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Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's Trip to Scotland
Chapter VIII. Progress through Edinburgh

Now came Saturday the 3d of September, when the loyal inhabitants of the city were to be gladdened by a sight of their Queen. Every human being who could move at all, cither on foot or on horseback, or in a vehicle of any kind, was astir by an early hour in the morning. The lesson which the Queen had unwittingly taught them, was not thrown away ; and the whole population, from my Lord Provost down to the humblest individual, were up and doing, almost by cock-crow. The whole country for miles round poured in its population ; and the railway trains and steamers groaned with asthmatic oppression, from the crowds which they had to convey. Nearly all the places in the temporary galleries, so plentifully erected along the line of those streets through which Her Majesty was to pass, were occupied by nine o’clock in tbe morning, and there the people stood or sat, according to circumstances, in a state of the most intense expectation. Though a strict regard to truth forbid any one to exclaim—

“The dawn is overcast, the morning lowers,
And heavily in clouds brings on the day—
The great, th’ important day”-

yet the morning was by no means bright. There was no rain, however,—and the citizens of Edinburgh, always sufficiently proud of its grandeur, and desirous that it should make its proper impression on the minds of strangers, comforted themselves with the reflection, that if “Auld Reekie” was not gay under smiling sunshine that day, she would at least look all the more sublime on that account.

For the benefit of those who have never been in Edinburgh, it is necessary to explain, that its most ancient part, through which Her Majesty was to make her royal progress to the Castle, covers a long ridge, rising gradually from the Palace of Holyrood, in the plain at its eastern extremity, for about a mile, till it terminates in the bold and lofty crag, covered by the extensive and antique fortifications of the Castle, frowning over the lower and more level country that stretches away to the west. Up the central part of this ridge runs a very steep line of street, extremely narrow in some places, and very wide in others. Beginning from the east, the first part of the thoroughfare, called the Canongate, when taken along with its tributary closes, and some other streets, forms that burgh from which was issued the notice already given in the account of the transactions of yesterday. This street, now properly called the Canongate, has its name from having been the gate or street where stood the houses of the Canons of the Abbey of Holyrood. The Abbey was erected by David I. in the year 1128, on the site of the more ancient town of Herbergare, in fulfilment of a vow made in consequence of his having been miraculously saved from an infuriated deer, b> the intervention of a cross from Heaven, whilst hunting in the royal forest. Exactly four centuries after this, in the year 1528, James V. erected a house, near the south-western corner of the Abbe) Church, and in 1672 Charles II. added to this the whole of the remainder of the magnificent structure of Holyrood Palace. The Canongate was filled with what were considered very splendid houses in those old times, belonging to the highest nobility and aristocracy in Scotland, who all desired to have a house here, in order to be near the Court. Many of these houses were declared to belong to those counties in which their owners’ estates were situated, so that most of the counties of Scotland have representative fragments here. “This place,” says Maitland, “has suffered more by the union of the kingdoms, than all the other parts of Scotland ; for having, before that period, been the residence of the chief of the Scottish nobility, it was then in a flourishing condition; but being deserted by them, many of their houses are fallen down, and others in a ruinous condition; it is a piteous case!” The street has still an air of antiquity about it, and many parts are extremely picturesque, as may he seen hy Mr. Duncan’s fine picture of the march of Prince Charles to Holyrood. But its inhabitants now principally belong to the working class of society, and the humblest trades are followed in apartments, the size of which, with their faded decorations, particularly their ceilings and chimney-pieces, still afford proofs of the wealth and taste of the original occupants. Amongst others, the celebrated Regent Moray’s house, about two-thirds of the way up the street, and on the south side, is remarkable for its imposing appearance, and its beautiful balcony supported on trusses.

The Canongate was divided off from the city by a gate, with a very picturesque tower over it, called the Netherbow Port, which having been considered as an impediment to the street, was taken down in August 1704. Above this point the High-street of the city suddenly opens to a great width, and it is singularly well adapted for such a show as that which was about to he exhibited there, having venerable tenements on either side. In Scotland these are called lands, and they rise, story above story, to a great height, each of the flats being occupied by different families, though approached by one stair common to all. Some sixty or eighty years ago, these common stairs gave access to the town residences of the proudest nobles of the country. Like those of the Canongate, most of them are now occupied by artisans. At the point where the street is intersected by the North and South Bridges, stands the Tron Church, and at its upper end, a little way above the place where stood the ancient cross, and where the barrier was erected, rises the old Cathedral Church of St. Giles, with its massive square tower, surmounted by an open imperial crown. A little below the old church, and 011 the opposite side of the way, is the Royal Exchange. Above the church the street is continued under the name of the Lawn-market. The modern County Booms are on the south side of the Lawnmarket, where the street opens into a square formed by them, the Library of the Writers to the Signet, and the west side of the cathedral; and above the County Booms, the main line of street is again intersected at right angles by the thoroughfare of Bank-street and Melbourne-place, leading to George the Fourth’s Bridge. At the upper end of the Lawnmarket, and just at the commencement of that part of the same continued line of street, which is called the Castle-hill, stands a grand new Gothic building, intended as a place of meeting for the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, with a magnificent tower and spire then in progress. As its foundation stone had not yet been laid with masonic ceremony, scaffolds and galleries were erected there for the Grand Lodge of Free Masons of Scotland, where they, with attendant lodges, had this clay taken their places, prepared, in the first place, to welcome the Queen as she went up to the Castle, and afterwards to perform the ceremonial previous to her return thence. To complete the general description of this great line of thoroughfare, it is only necessary to add, that the street called the Castle-hill is extremely narrow, and flanked by very old and very antique houses of the most curious and pictorial description. At its upper end, it opens on the wide esplanade of the Castle, whence a magnificent view is enjoyed on all sides, and at the upper end rises the ancient fortress, with the half-moon battery threatening, as it were, to pour destruction on all who venture to approach it.

If it be far from an easy matter for those possessed of no previous knowledge to form an accurate notion of this long and most striking line of street from verbal description, how much more difficult must it be to gather anything like a correct idea of its appearance upon this occasion—its roadways, both for carriage and foot passengers, being densely paved with human beings, save where room was preserved for the Queen’s carriage—the whole nails of the tenements, 011 cither side, tesselated as it were with anxious human faces, from the street up to the ninth and tenth story—not those of their inmates alone, but of people of better condition, who gave large sums for the use of the windows for that day; whilst the usual occupants, being resolved to pocket the money, and to have the spectacle into the bargain, were either planted on the streets, the outer stairs, or on the roofs and chimneys of the houses, at an aerial height so fearful, as to make one tremble to look at them. The churches were all clustered over with people, and every point of vantage ou the towers and spires, on which a human being of good head and nerves could plant his foot, had its hardy tenant for the time; and when to all this were added the numerous flags and streamers that floated from windows, or were hoisted on prominent pinnacles—such as that of the new Gothic spire—the effect produced had something in it extremely sublime.

Meanwhile the various authorities and public bodies were all in action, and, according to the programme, the Lord Provost, dressed in his scarlet and ermine robes of office, the Magistrates in their scarlet robes and gold chains, and the Council in their gowns, the City Chamberlain bearing the silver keys of the city, on a crimson velvet cushion, all in court dresses, together with the City Clerk and City Assessors, took up their position on a slightly inclined platform, leading from the front of the Royal Exchange nearly into the middle of the carriage way. The large body of the High Constables, composed of men of the greatest respectability among the citizens, sworn in to this honourable office, attended on the Lord Provost and Magistracy as their official guard of honour, under the command of Professor Dick, their Moderator. This gentleman had sufficient duty to perform in keeping the street clear, and preserving order amidst so great a crowd and pressure, although assisted above the barrier by a party of the 53d regiment, and below it by a party of the Innis-killing Dragoons, and a strong body of the Police force, under Captain Stuart and his lieutenants. Mr. Ramsay, of the Police Establishment, marshalled the public bodies to their respective places. Higher up the street, and consequently to the westward of the Magistrates, were the City Deputy-Lieutenants and Justices of the Peace. In a gallery on the south side of the street, near the cross, were the General and Resident Commissioners of Police, and another a little above them was occupied by the boys of George Heriot’s and George Watson’s Hospitals, and the girls of the Merchants’ and Trades’ Maidens Hospitals, and farther up, on the same side, were the Merchant Company and the Guildry. At about ten o’clock a loud cheering arose among the dense multitudes assembled in the High-street, which was caught up gradually as the people became successively aware of its cause, and increased till it reached the barrier, whence all eyes were strained to the westward, with anxious curiosity. This turned out to be the approach of the Celtic Society, in full Highland costume, under the command of their leader, the young Marquess of Lorn, assisted by his cousin Campbell of Islay, together with the Duke of Leeds Viscount Dunblane in Scotland, and the Chief of Clanranald. This fine body took up their position on the north side of the street, immediately to the east of the barrier. Every one being thus posted to wait for the coming of Her Majesty, the many false alarms which their impatience and anxiety engendered, may be easily imagined.

The Queen left Dalkeith Palace at about half-past ten o’clock, in a low-seated open carriage, drawn by four beautiful bay horses. Her Majesty was attired in a rich silk dress of the Royal Stuart tartan, and a blue shawl of Paisley manufacture. On her left sat Prince Albert, who wore over his shoulder the green ribbon and jewel of the Thistle, the only Order worn by the Sovereign or the Prince during their visit. Behind the Royal carriage followed those containing the Duchess of Buccleuch and family, the Duchess of Norfolk and Miss Paget, Lords Aberdeen and Liverpool, Sir Robert Peel and others. The Duke of Buccleuch, and his brother Lord .Tohn Scott, rode with the Royal carriage.

A little after eleven o’clock, the Royal carriage, escort, and cortege, entered the eastern end of the Duke’s Walk, by the gate close to Parson’s-green. Her Majesty there found the Royal Archers drawn up at their station in a double line. They saluted the Queen, who being now perfectly conversant with their ancient rights, signified to the officer commanding the Dragoons, that the place for him and his troopers was beyond. the line of the Royal Archers. Mr. Sheriff Speirs attended on horseback, and immediately joined the Duke of Buccleuch. Policemen were stationed at intervals to keep a clear passage to the Palace-yard.

As the Queen drove towards Holyrood, she enjoyed some of the finest views of Arthur’s Seat; at one part of the drive especially, the mountain rises abruptly to the left, with a picturesque projection, crowned by the ruins of St. Anthony’s Chapel, to which an ancient hermitage once belonged, and of which nothing now remains
but the imperishable “crystal well,” from which the recluse of these rocks quenched his thirst. From this a ridge of cliffs gradually rises towards the higher part of the hill, having a long and steeply inclined valley behind them, the aerial effect of which gives great distance and grandeur to the elevated summit. Below this ridge, and between it and the green sloping back of Salisbury Crags, the lovely retired valley, called the Hunter’s Bog, unfolds itself. With such features as these before her, the Queen, whilst so near the busy city, might, on any other day, have supposed herself in the midst of the Highlands, but on this occasion, she was already among crowds who had been long on the watch for her, and the echoes of the rocks were roused by the loudest acclamations.

The multitude increased in numbers as the Queen approached Holyrood, and she had no sooner swept along the southern side of its quadrangle, than she beheld the great square or yard in front of the Palace filled with people, who, having been long kept on the tiptoe of expectation, hailed her with a loud burst of cheering, that was prolonged by the echoes from the crags, as if the viewless spirits of the mountain had convocated to behold and to welcome the Sovereign of Great Britain. Again and again the people cheered, and the Queen and Prince Albert acknowledged their kind and loyal greetings in the most condescending manner, Her Majesty smiling with gratification at the warmth of this reception, bowing to all around, whilst the Prince, with head uncovered, gave the most courteous indications of his earnest desire to reciprocate the feelings thus so kindly expressed. The carriage stopped for a few moments here, to permit Her Majesty to survey the ancient residence of her ancestors. The front must have struck her as peculiarly venerable and imposing, with its long central facade, its entrance surmounted by the Imperial crown, and the fine round towers which rise from the ground, at both the angles of each of the projecting wings. The bold cornice and balustrade along the building was covered with people. Peacefully and harmoniously as England and Scotland now-work together under Queen Victoria, the strange reflection may have struck her Majesty, well read as she is know-n to be in the history of the countries she governs, that this palace was burned by the English during the minority of Mary. It was then rebuilt on a much larger scale than it is at present, having, when finished, no less than five courts. The greater part of this magnificent edifice was consumed by Cromwell’s soldiers, and, after the return of Charles

II., it was restored in its present more limited style. It bears some resemblance in plan to the Palace of Hampton Court,—the square inclosing a large quadrangular open court, surrounded on the four sides with open piazzas. The old stairs are extremely spacious and handsome; the royal apartments are grand, and the stucco ceilings of some of them are heavy and rich. The Gallery contains a curious, but very apocryphal, series of portraits of the Scottish monarchs. The oldest and most interesting apartments are those which were occupied by Queen Mary, in the north-western angle.

Her bed, and part of the furniture she used, still remain. It Was here that the murder of David Rizzio was brutally perpetrated in the presence of the Queen, so well and faithfully represented in the fine historical picture by Sir William Allan. Those who childishly doubt that the dark stains on the wooden floor are the blood of the poor Italian, only show their ignorance of the fact, that whether blood be that of a murdered man or a slaughtered animal, it becomes quite impossible to eradicate its stain from a deal board, if it has once been allowed to sink into it.

The Queen had no sooner arrived in front of Holyrood Palace, than by preconcerted signal, the Castle began to pour forth its thunder in a royal salute, as if touched by a galvanic wire. The guns appeared to be more fully charged than usual, for their voices were most potent,—every window in the town was shaken, and every rock in its environs returned the cannonade. Then it was that loyal hearts began to beat quick with nervously excited expectation ; and as Her Majesty recommenced her progress slowly through the immense mass of congregated people, their cheers became louder, and their signs of welcome more animated.

Immediately on leaving the precincts of Holyrood Palace, the Queen was met at the boundary of the Burgh of Canongate, by the Magistrates, dressed in their robes, accompanied by their assessor and clerk, and attended by their officers. They were supported by the Conveners of the Canongate and Leith, and the Incorporations of the Burgh. The streets were lined by the High Constables of Canongate and Calton, with their Moderators on horseback, and a number of the most respectable inhabitants as special constables. The Queen bowed graciously to these authorities, who accompanied her in her progress through the burgh.

Having entered the rather narrow and very steep High-street of the Canongate, the Queen had a full view of the curious grotesque fronts and gables of its houses, rising over the carriage on either side of the way. If the scene, from the palace to the castle, was picturesque in the extreme, with the old walls of the buildings faeed up, as it were, by thousands of human beings, in a state of silent expectancy, what was the effect when, as if deprived of their reason by the appearance of their beloved Queen, they were all at once thrown into the most violent agitation, and opened the floodgates of their voices in the wildest acclamations of joy. Stretched out beyond the casements of the highest stories of the houses, they seemed one and all to care little whether they were launched into the streets or not, provided they could only get a better view of that countenance, which all were so eager to behold. The shouts were deafening, and the waving of hats, handkerchiefs, and shawls, reminded one of some vast and curious piece of machinery, and still as the carriage proceeded, the volume of sound swelled before it, and slowly died away behind like the agitated waves in the wake of a steamboat. Her Majesty was strongly impressed with those finer feelings, which the affectionate demonstrations of these loyal subjects were calculated to inspire, and responded to them, not merely by repeated acknowdedgments, but evidently with the most sincere reciprocity of heart. How very different w^as this progress of Queen Victoria from that of the unfortunate Mary, after her capitulation at Carberry Hill, when she wTas led up the Canongate and High-street like a criminal, and, in all but name, prisoner to her own subjects, receiving the most offensive insults from the very dregs of the people.

As the Royal carriage moved up the Canongate, one hundred destitute children, who had found a refuge in the Night Asylum for the Houseless, were seated in front of the building. This was a most gratifying spectacle; but another of a gayer description awaited the Queen in front of Milton House. There a platform w'as erected on the whole extent of the wall; in the centre of which twenty-five orphan children were ranged, each hearing a basket filled with the choicest flowers. On a large crimson screen, there was a shield, with the words, “God bless Queen Victoria,” surmounted by a crown of gold, on the scroll of which were the words, “The Orphan’s Prayer.” On either side of this group were ranged the Roman Catholic Benefit Society. On Her Majesty’s approach the band struck up “God Save the Queen,” and the children put their little hands into the baskets, and scattered flowers over the Royal carriage. The Queen bowed to them in a most condescending manner. A short distance higher up the street, and on the same side, the balcony of the ancient building of Moray House was tastefully decorated with evergreens, and crowded with well dressed persons, who added greatly to the pleasing effect.

When the carriage had passed up through the narrow part at the head of the Canongate, where once stood the Netherbow Port, the wide space of the High-street suddenly expanded before the Royal eyes, with the long rising perspective of its buildings towering up on both sides to a height scarcely now to be matched in any modern or ancient city—the street, walls, and roofs, covered with human beings; and when the sudden shouts arose, expanding into a full volume of sound, the expression of the Royal countenance indicated considerable surprise. There are thousands of streets in the civilized world to which the High-street of Edinburgh can bear no comparison, either as to elegance of architecture or magnificence of design ; but the antiquated, unpretending, and smoke-discoloured fronts of its houses, of some ten stories, occasionally topped by curious 'gables and huge square chimneys, so high in the heavens, that notwithstanding its great breadth from side to side, it is painful to look directly up to them from below, gives to it a peculiar species of venerable grandeur, which is to be found nowhere else. Under any circumstances, it is remarkably striking; but thus to behold it, as the Queen did, on bursting from the narrow gullet of the Canongate, animated with thousands of eager and delighted countenances, could not fail to make a deep impression upon Her Majesty. The shouts of welcome increased as the Royal carriage proceeded slowly up the street, and became like the continuous sound of some mighty river. What were the feelings of the multitudes assembled between the head of the Canongate and the cathedral of St. Giles, when the shouts came up towards them like the resounding of the ocean, as it rushes wildly on the beach! They had been long expectant,—now their Queen was indeed coming,—and their enthusiasm was at its height!

The Queen, who seemed to lose nothing of the scene, was particularly struck with a group of Newhaven fisherwomen, whom she observed in one part of the High-street, with their Barcelona handkerchiefs, or curious foreign-looking white caps or matches on their heads, their coloured short gowns, or men’s jackets of cloth, their voluminous red, blue, or yellow petticoats, and their sturdy limbs, all indicating that Dutch or Flemish origin, to which most of their families can he traced. Her Majesty asked Lord Elcho who and what they were, and expressed herself much pleased with their picturesque appearance. When the carriage came opposite to where the Celtic Society were drawn up, their whole body saluted Her Majesty with their claymores, in Highland fashion.

About half-past eleven o’clock, the Queen reached the barrier, formed by a line of pallisadoes crossing the way, with a wide opening in the centre. Her Majesty’s carriage stopped immediately opposite to the place where the Provost, Magistrates, and Council were stationed in their robes, ready to receive her. The Lord Provost advanced, and addressed the Queen as follows :—

“May it please Your Majesty,

“On the part of the Lord Provost, Magistrates, and Council of the City of Edinburgh, I beg to congratulate your Majesty on your auspicious entrance into this ancient metropolis, now graced for the first time for ages with the presence of a Queen. These keys, committed to us by our predecessors, have been fondly retained by us among the vestiges of those warlike times, when walls and gates defended against hostile inroads. Under the protection, however, of salutary laws, firmly administered by a succession of illustrious monarchs, from whom your Majesty is sprung, we no longer require such shelter. We have the happiness to confide the security of this northern capital to a brave and orderly population, united in their allegiance to their beloved Queen, and dignified by the possession of that pure and peaceable wisdom which is at once the ornament and bulwark of our times. And now, with all humility, I deliver into your Majesty’s hands the keys of our city.”

The Queen having most graciously received the keys, returned them with these words, which she uttered in a clear and distinct voice—

“I return the keys of the city, with perfect confidence, into the safe keeping of the Lord Provost and Magistrates of my faithful city of Edinburgh.”

The press around the Royal carriage during this short halt was very great, from the anxious desire that prevailed among the people to hear the Queen speak, and the High Constables found it quite impossible to preserve perfect order, though a momentary silence prevailed every where else. But no sooner had the Royal carriage begun to proceed, than the shouts that rent the air far exceeded anything that had been previously heard, and from the pavement of the High-street to the mass of human beings that clustered like swallows on the crown-capped tower of St. Giles, all w ere in agitated motion like the leaves of the aspen. Her Majesty appeared to be much delighted with this truly glorious spectacle. One remark may not he out of place here, and that is, that the Queen appears to be gifted with the same Royal art of acknowledging compliments from a crowd of people, that has distinguished many of her predecessors, which, to use a strange phrase, has in it a certain generalized individuality, making every person present believe that he or she is favoured with peculiar and marked notice. This will be best understood from the following illustrative anecdote:—“Well, John,” said a gentleman, who lives near Edinburgh, to his hind on the evening of this glorious day; “did you see the Queen?”—“Troth did I that, sir.”—“Well, what did you think of her, John?”—“Troth, sir, I was terrible feared afore she cam forrit—my heart was amaist in my mouth—but whan she did come forrit, od, I wasna feared at a’—I just lookit at her, and she lookit at me—and she bowed her head to me, and I bowed my head to her. Od, she’s a real fine leddy, wi’ fient a bit o’ pride aboot her at a’.”

The Celtic Society formed in rear of the Royal carriage, and escorted Her Majesty towards the Castle, and during the rest of her progress through the city. As the way gradually narrows above the crossing to Bank-street, the crowds were so densely packed there as to make the passage somewhat difficult. When the carriage reached that fine new Gothic building, intended as a place of meeting for the General Assembly, the Queen’s attention was attracted to the gallery, where stood the Grand Master Mason of Scotland Lord Frederick Fitzclarence, the Earl of Buchan, acting Depute, Patrick Maxwell Stewart, M.P., acting Substitute, J. Whyte Melville, and Sir David Kinloch, Bart., acting Senior and Junior Wardens, W. A. Lawrie, Grand Secretary, John Maitland, Grand Clerk, Thomas Graham Dundas, Senior Grand Deacon, William Baillie, Junior Grand Deacon, the Rev. Alexander Stewart, minister of Douglas, Grand Chaplain, William Cunningham, Grand Jeweller, James Gillespie Graham, architect of the building, acting Grand Architect, and a very full meeting of the brethren, to the amount of not less than three hundred, all properly clothed, and with their insignia and jewels. The Queen especially noticed the Grand Master as she passed, by repeatedly bowing to him and waving her hand, and the Grand Master and the whole of the brethren saluted Her Majesty in the most loyal and appropriate manner, as did also the ladies in another balcony, among whom were the Countess of Glasgow and Lady Augusta Fitzclarence.

No sooner had the Queen passed, than the Grand Master, the Grand Lodge, and the whole Brethren entered the great tower of the Hall, where, after most appropriate and impressive addresses from the Grand Master and the Grand Chaplain, in the course of which allusion was made to the auspicious event of Her Majesty Queen Victoria being now within the city, and in the close vicinity of the place where they then stood—the foundation-stone of the Victoria Hall, as the building is henceforward to be called, was laid with short though solemn ceremonial. The following is the inscription engraved on the plate deposited in the stone :—


An Edinburgh almanack, the newspapers of the day, a plan of the city, and a beautiful engraving of the building, with coins of the present reign, all enclosed in a glass jar, were also deposited in the cavity of the stone.

The Royal carriage reached the wide esplanade in front of the Castle by a few minutes before twelve o’clock. There the way had been cleared and kept by the Inniskilling Dragoons; but the pressure and cheering of the multitude was immense. The carriage stopped before the gates, and the Queen and the Prince alighted amidst unceasing acclamations, excited by the unexpected circumstance of Her Majesty quitting her carriage, an idea having prevailed that she would use it to climb the steep within the Castle, and tanners’ bark having been laid to afford the horses better footing. Many pressed eagerly forward to see their Queen on foot; but Her Majesty having crossed the drawbridge, appeared to care little for the wet and disagreeable condition of the tanners’ bark under foot, and leaning on Prince Albert’s arm, she entered the Castle gates, which were instantly shut. A very small and select number of persons only were allowed entrance with Her Majesty. It is necessary to mention, for the information of those who never saw it, that the Castle of Edinburgh stands upon a bold perpendicular rock, about 300 feet high, accessible only from the east by the esplanade. The entrance is through an outer barrier, and by a drawbridge over the dry ditch, and a gate defended by two flanking bastions. The space within the walls is about six acres. The passage up to the great square, chiefly cut out of the rock, is very steep, narrow, and winding, and it passes through two gateways with portcullises. The Queen proceeded immediately with an active step up the way to the Argyll battery, attended by Sir Neil Douglas, Commander of the Forces in Scotland, and Fort-Major Cansh, who walked uncovered, one on each side of the royal pair, and accompanied by the Duchess of Buccleuch, the Duchess of Norfolk, and other ladies ; Lord Aberdeen, Lord Liverpool, Sir Robert Peel, and others. The Duke and Duchess of Argyll, and Sir George Murray, who had been previously admitted to the Castle, there joined the Royal party. A chair was brought for the Queen, but she declined sitting down, and remained for some little time enjoying the prospect, and making remarks to those around her, upon the grandeur of the view of the new part of the city, and the other objects thence to be seen. After this, the Queen and Prince Albert proceeded up towards the Mortar battery, and instead of following the easier ascent, Her Majesty withdrew her arm from the Prince, and they tripped nimbly up thither by a short though steeper way, followed more slowly by their less active attendants. The battery, and part of its parapet walls, were covered with scarlet cloth. It affords a remarkably fine point of view, and it is rendered peculiarly interesting from the great old cannon, called Mons Meg, being placed here, as if to threaten destruction to the new part of the city. A few of the enormous stone bullets, which it was calculated to discharge, are lying beside it.

As the earliest notices of Mons Meg occur in the reign of James

IV., it is probable that she was fabricated by order of that monarch. She accompanied him to the siege of Norham, being then called Mons, or Monssc, the “Meg” having been, for some cause, added afterward. There is a curious entry in the accounts of the High Treasurer during that reign, relative to her having been transported on some occasion of national festivity, from the Castle to the Abbey of Holyrood. “Item, to the pyonouris to gang to the Castell to help with Mons down, xs. Item, to the menstralles that playit befoir Mons down the gait, xivs. Item, giffen for xiii stanc of irnc to mak graitli to Mens’ new cradill, and gavillakkis to go with her, for ilk stane xxviih. iva. Item, for vii nrichtcs for ii dayis and anc half, that maid Mons’ cradill, to each man on the day, xvid. Item, for walking- (watching at night) of Mons the xxv, xxvi, xxvii, xxviii, xxix davs of .Tulii, and the gimncir of the Abbey ilk nycht, iii'. Item, the last day of August, giffyn to Robyn Ivor to fee 100 workmen to pas with Mons, siclike as the laif was feit, to ilk man vi8. xxx1’. Item, for xxvii lib. of talloun for Mons. Item, for viii cllc of claith, to he Mons’ claith to cover her, ix5. iiiid. Item, for mair talloun to Mons, xx». Item, for 200 spiken nails to turse with Mons, iii.” During the festivities celebrated at Edinburgh bj' the Queen Dowager, Mary of Guise, on the occasion of her daughter’s marriage to the Dauphin of France in 1588, Mons Meg was not allowed to be silent or inactive. The Treasurer’s accounts contain the following article:—“By the Queen’s precept and speeiale command, item, the third day of Julii, to certain pyonaris for thair lauboris in the mounting of Mons furth of her lair to be schote, and for the finding and carrying of hir bullet after scho wes schote, fra Weirdie Mure to the Castcll of Edinburgh.” How strange the view here conjured up of the environs of the city at that period ! Wardie is about two miles, in a direct line, from the castle, but how could any such experiment he now tried in so rich and populous a country?

This curious cannon is described by Maitland, as “a piece of ordnance resembling an old-fashioned mortar, (such as I have seen in Germany, though not so large, nor hooped, but cast,) denominated Mounts-Mcgg, small at the breech, and large at the mouth, composed of a number of tbick iron bars, which, by their inward appearance, look as if welded, and being strongh bound by strong iron hoops, seems to have been of considerable strength, but there being a breach in its side, that is probably owing to a burst the last time it was discharged. It is in length thirteen feet, two feet three inches and a half in diameter at the mouth, and the bore twenty inches wide, tapering inwards.” The breach here alluded to is accounted for by Sir John Lauder, Lord Fountainhall, ancestor of the author of the present work, who records in his “Historical Observes,” in October 1680, that when James Duke of York, afterwards James II. of Great Britain, came to Scotland, “A little after his arriveall, having visited the Castle of Edinburgh, and for a testimony of joy- the gun called Muns Meg, being charged by the advice of ane English canoneer, in the shooting was riven; which some foolishly called a bad omen. The Scots resented it extreemely, thinking the Englishman might of malice have done it purposely, they having no canon in all England so big as slice.” How strong the Scottish feeling of jealousy and hostility towards England about a century and a half ago, as thus indicated by this strange and ridiculous suspicion! Excepting for its great antiquity, the loss to Scotland by this accident would have been small, and her warlike resources would have been but little impaired by this useless engine being disabled. Yet such feelings existed to a much later period, for this great gun being removed from Edinburgh Castle to London, in 1754, it was ever after a sore subject for a Scotsman to talk of. Having lain seventy juars in the Tower, this redoubted heroine was sent back to Scotland by George IV., in March 1829, and although Edinburgh had b)r this time too much to rejoice in to be greatly uplifted by the return home of this ancient but useless piece of cannon, yet there were few people in the city who did not feel a certain degree of satisfaction in beholding her take up her old place in the castle.

The Queen and Prince Albert examined Mons Meg with great attention, but with that fine taste for scenery cherished bv both, it cannot be imagined that either could long be occupied with a rusty old gun, when one of the grandest prospects any where to he seen was before them. Looking eastward, past the lofty buildings of the castle, they saw the ancient part of the city through which they had so recently passed, backed by Arthur Seat, and the sight dropping fearfully down some hundred feet perpendicularly from the parapet directly into the gardens below', soared thence through the valley, over the Royal Institution, toward the North Bridge, and thence to the sea. Returning along the Calton Hill, with the massive buildings and towers of its jails begirding the precipitous rock, and the numerous monuments that crown its summit, the eye roamed westward over a vast extent of view. Looking down, and across the valley, as if from the heavens, the vast expectant crowds who were tarrying in Princes-street for the coming of their Queen, together with the numerous carriages and horses there assembled, appeared like pismires and toys. Thence the vision travelled over the country beyond it, thickly set with human dwellings, and luxuriated over the wide expanse of the Firth, with its sailing vessels and steamers, and especially those of the Royal Flotilla, the whole hounded by the Fifeshire coast, stretching towards the west on the one hand, and melting away into the eastern horizon on the other. Immediately to the west of the town, arose the soft and flowing outlines of the beautiful Corstorphine Hills, their summits and slopes enriched with wrood, and between these and the Firth the extensive demesne of Dalmeny Park, the extreme distance being closed in by the misty forms of the chain of western Scottish Alps. The Queen showed her admiration of this delightful prospect, by sitting down on the wall, that she might enjoy it more perfectly, and by making-many enquiries of the Duchess of Buccleuch, and others, as to the various points. Her Majesty indeed appeared loth to leave the rampart, and she returned to it more than once, that she might have yet another glance of this remarkable scene. Sharp-eyed loyalty discovered the Queen from Princes-street, and mingled shouts of acclamation came faintly upward on the Royal ears. Her Majesty waved her handkerchief, and all those in and about the castle, hitherto withheld by etiquette from giving way to their feelings, now yielded to them in hearty hurrahs. At this moment the captain of the Pique frigate, watching with his telescope, became aware of the Queen’s position, and began to discharge his guns in a royal salute, and the flash, with the curling smoke, and the mellow and tardy report, added greatly to the whole effect.

The Queen next proceeded to the half-moon battery, which, looking directly to the east commands a grand view over the singularly antique mass of the Old Town, and Arthur Seat, together with a repetition of a great part of the New Town, and the prominent features already described. Immediately adjacent to the half-moon battery is the great central square of the castle, on the southern side of which was the ancient Parliament-house, now used as barracks; the northern side was anciently a large church, and the apartments on the eastern side were for ages occupied as a royal residence, when the rude times became so troublesome as to render it important for the sovereign to be secure against sudden attack or treachery. Here is the room where the Scottish Regalia are kept, but they had been removed for the Queen’s inspection into an apartment, called the officers’ old mess-room, as being a fitter place for her to see them in. Her Majesty was here received by the Officers of State, the Duke of Argyll, Lord Viscount Melville, and the Lord Justice-Clerk, to whom she addressed many inquiries regarding the antique emblems of royalty before her, which had been borne for ages by her Scottish ancestors. They are extremely curious and beautiful as objects of antiquity, but the sight of them to such an ancient diadem of Scotland consists of two circles of the purest gold, chased, and adorned with precious stones and pearls of great size, the upper circle being surmounted by crosses flcuree, interchanged with fleurs-de-lis, and with small points terminated by large pearls. The under and broader circle is adorned with twenty-two precious stones, topazes, amethysts, emeralds, rubies, and jacinths, with oriental pearls intervening. These stones arc neither cut into facets nor polished, but set plain in the ancient style of jeweller’s work. The smaller circle, surmounting the under one, is adorned with diamonds and sapphires alternately, and its upper verge terminates in the range of the crosses, fleurs-de-lis, and knobs, topped with pearls. The date of this part of it, which was the original crown, is altogether unknown, but it is extremely probable that. it may be as old as the time of Robert Bruce. Two imperial arches of gold were added by James V. These cross and intersect each other above the circles, which arc surmounted by a globe, over which rises a large cross patee, richly ornamented with pearls, and bearing the characters, J. R. Y. The cap is of crimson velvet, turned up with ermine, and adorned with pearls. This was substituted by James VII., for the former cap of purple velvet, which had become much decayed during the concealment of these valuables in the time of the civil war. The bonnet is adorned with four superb pearls, set in gold, and fastened in the velvet. The crown measures about nine inches in diameter, twenty-seven inches in circumference, and about six and an half inches in height to the top of the cross. The whole presents a beautiful specimen of the skill and taste of the periods to which its manufacture belongs. Lord Fountainhall tells us in his Memoranda, that “ the crown of Scotland is not the ancient one, hut was casten of new by King James V. but this remark applies to the addition of the arches by that monarch.

The Sceptre is an elegant rod of silver, about thirty-nine inches in length, of a hexagonal form. It is divided by three ornamented rings, and surmounted by an antique capital of embossed leaves, supporting small figures of the Virgin Mary, St. Andrew and St. James, in ornamented niches. These are surmounted by a crystal globe of two inches and a quarter in diameter, above which is a small oval, topped with an oriental pearl. Under the figures appear the letters J. E. V. It is probable that James V. had the sceptre, and the addition to the crown made when he was in France in 1536, for the workmanship appears to excel that which Scotland could then produce.

Pope Julius II. presented the Sword of State to James IV. Its style resembles that of Benvenuto Cellini. Its entire length is about five feet, the handle and pummel being fifteen inches, of silver, highly carved and ornamented, and richly gilt. The cross is formed by two dolphins, with their heads joined to the handle. The scabbard is of crimson velvet, covered with filligree work and silver, with oak leaves and acorns, the emblem of the Pope who gave it.

Charles II. was crowned at Scone, and invested witli the regalia on the 1st of January 1661, and so rapid was the unfavourable turn of his affairs, that the Estates of Parliament were soon afterwards obliged to take measures for the preservation of the Regalia from a foreign enemy. On the rapid approach of the English, they were sent for safety to the Earl Marischal’s strong castle of Dunottar, built on an isolated rock, projecting into the German ocean near Stonehaven, and it was strongly garrisoned for the protection of these royal emblems, the command being given to George Ogilvy of Barras. The place was likewise fortified with additional artillery, and amongst other pieces Mons Meg was transported thither. The embrasure where this enormous gun was placed is still pointed out among the ruins of the castle, and tradition tells that one of its shot dismasted an English vessel about to enter the harbour of Stonehaven, at the distance of a mile and a half. The knowledge of the Regalia being there, seems to have incited the English to besiege the castle, and the place having been reduced to great straits, it was summoned by Lambert the English general, but although the conditions were honourable, they were rejected by the lieutenant-governor. The castle was then subjected to close blockade, and in this emergency, when valour and prudence had ceased to be of any avail, an ingenious plan for their removal was devised. Christian Fletcher, wife of the Rev. James Granger, minister of Kinneff, a small parish church within four or five miles of Dunottar, obtained permission from the English general to pay a visit to Mrs. Ogilvy, the governor’s lady, and in compliance with the scheme laid by them, she hid the crown in her lap. Though the English general himself helped her to her horse, on her return, she managed so well that the trick was not discovered. Her maid followed her on foot, bearing the sword and sceptre, concealed in bundles of lint, which Mrs. Granger pretended were to be spun into thread. Thus were they transported through the blockading army to Kin-neff, and disposed of by her husband, Mr. Granger, who afterwards granted to the Countess of Marischal, the following document:—

“I, Mr. James Granger, minister at Ivinneff, grant me to have in my custody the honours of the kingdom, viz. the Crown, Sceptre, and Sword. Tor the crown and sceptre, I raised the pavement-stone just before the pulpit, in the night tyme, and digged under it ane hole, and layed down the stone just as it wes before, and removed the mould that remained, that none would have discerned the stone to have been raised at all; the sword, again, at the west end of the church, amongst some common seits that stand there.

I digged down in the ground betwixt the two foremest seits, and layed it down within the case of it, and covered it up as that, removing the superfluous mould, it could not be discovered by any body; and if it shall please God to call me by death before they be called for, your ladyship will find them in that place.”

There is something extremely romantic in the idea of this clergyman being so employed in the church at dead of night, and it is curious to think how many rustic feet must have unconsciously trodden over these regal trophies, and how much the mere suspicion of their being there would have disturbed the devotions of any of the congregation who might have entertained it. The castle was taken about a month afterwards, and the disappointment of the victorious English was so great, when they discovered that the Regalia were nowhere to be found, that they treated the lieutenant-governor and his lady with so much severity, that Mrs. Ogilvy soon afterwards died. The minister and his wife being also suspected, were tortured, but they maintained the integrity of their secret. At length the Dowager-Countess Marischal put the enemy upon a false scent, by circulating a report, that they had been carried to Paris by her j’onngest son, the Honourable Sir John Keith. The worthy clergyman and his wife frequently visited their sacred deposit, for the purpose of renewing the cloths in which they were u rapt. They were raised from their temporary tomb at the Restoration of Charles, and honours and rewards were hestowed on all those who had been concerned in their preservation. Sir John Keith, youngest son of the Countess-Marischal, who had been severely treated for supporting the truth of the rumour his mother had spread, was created Earl of Kintore, and Knight-Marischal of Scotland. Ogilvy of Barras was made a baronet, and two thousand merks were voted by the Scottish Parliament to the good minister, Mr. Granger, and his wife Christian Fletcher.

On the 26th of March 1707, the Regalia were deposited in an oak chest in the Crown-Room, and there they lay till Scottish jealousy led to the belief that they had been secrctty removed to England. Long after this had ceased to exist, a question of antiquarian research arose, and George IV., when Prince Regent, granted his royal warrant to a Commission, to ascertain the fact; and, upon the chest being opened with great ceremony, they were discovered in the very state in which they had been deposited in 1707. Sir Walter Scott had the satisfaction of being one of the commissioners, and every one who has become acquainted with that wonderful man, from his inimitable works, may conceive the interest he took in this investigation.

After minutely examining them, Prince Albert expressed a desire to see the chamber where they had been found, and felt great interest on being admitted into it. The Queen then proceeded to inspect the small apartment on the ground floor, in the southeastern corner of this side of the quadrangle, called Queen Mary’s Room, whither she deemed it wise to retire in those iron times, previous to the birth of her son; and where, on the 19th of June 1566, James I. of England was born, in whose person that union of the two crowns took place, which Her Most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria now wears. The following strange doggrel lines are mentioned by old Maitland as being written on the wall, where they may still be seen :—

“Lord Jesn Chryst, that crownit was with thornse
Preserve the birth, quhais Badgie heir is borne,
And send her sonne succession to reign still,
Lang in this Realme, if that it be thy will.
Als grant, 0 Lord, whatever of her proseed,
Be to thy honour and Prais, so be it.”

Her Majesty was much astonished at the small size of the room ; and indeed what a contrast does the retirement of a Queen to such a place of strength, on such an occasion, present to the superior civilization of modern times!

Her Majesty, having visited the officers’ apartments, the way to which was laid with scarlet cloth, and having courteously declined partaking of the refreshments there provided for her, prepared to quit the Castle, after having been in it for about three quarters of an hour, during which main questions were put as to the age and history of the different buildings. The Queen and Prince returned to their carriage amidst the cheers of all within the walls, including the numerous ladies and gentlemen who had been admitted by tickets to occupy the windows ; all the areas and roads being left clear. The band of the 53d Regiment, stationed in the open space near the Argyll battery, and which had played occasionally, now struck up “God Save the Queen!”

After Her Majesty and the Prince were seated in the carriage, a short delay occurred till the rest of the party had got into their vehicles, and during this time an immense pressure took place, from the unconquerable desire of the people to get a nearer view of their sovereign. This jostling produced some whimsical scenes, which now and then beguiled her Majesty of a smile. One elderly woman succeeded, by a coup de main et de force, in making her way past the guards, and having most unceremoniously pressed through the party in attendance on Her Majesty, she exclaimed, in a convulsive state of excitement, “Oh, will ye no let me see the Queen?” A military gentleman pushed her back; but she was not to be so easily beaten. Again, squeezing forward, till she stood within a yard of the Royal carriage,—“Hecli, sirs,” exclaimed she, clasping her hands, “Is that the Queen?—Is that the Queen?—Weel, what have I no seen this day!—Eh, but she’s a bonnie leddie!” The poor woman gazed upon Her Majesty with the fixture of perfect wonder, until she was compelled to withdraw from the spot, greatly consoled, however, by the gratifying reflection, that not only had she seen the Queen, but that the Queen had seen her. The Royal Archers were drawn up in front and in rear of the carriage, and to the right of it, and the Queen observing that none of them were placed to the left, next the gate, she said to the gentleman, who happened to stand nearest to her, “Should not some of your number go to the other side?” Sir George Murray, who was within hearing, told Her Majesty, that they were prepared to fall in upon both sides of the carriage the moment it began to move. This was accordingly done, and the carriage, with its attendant cortege, with great difficulty, proceeded down the crowded esplanade, giving the Queen leisure to contemplate the bronze statue of her Royal uncle, the Duke of York, executed by Campbell, which stands close to the railing of the gardens. A party of the 53d Regiment having there succeeded in clearing the way, by pushing hack the crowd, the carriages moved on with somewhat more freedom, and were enabled to make their way down the narrow Castle-hill. This is one of the most picturesque portions of a street which modern innovation has left in the Old Town of Edinburgh. The houses on its north side are so antiquated and grotesque, that they must have struck Her Majesty very much. A little way down a close, on that side, ivas the ancient residence of Queen Mary’s mother, Mary of Guise. A curious painted wooden ceiling has recently been discovered there.

Having reached the Victoria Hall, Her Majesty again saluted Lord Frederick Fitzclarence, who, having completed the masonic ceremonial, stood with the Grand Lodge on the gallery. The Lord Provost and Magistrates now preceded Her Majesty in their carriages. On turning into Bank-street, which is steep, and not so wide as the Lawmmarket at that place, the squeeze became something tremendous. It seemed as if the very carriage must be crushed to pieces, and the Archers had enough to do. Her Majesty betrayed no symptom of anxiety, but continued in great spirits, laughing and talking to Lord Elcho, who was struggling hard to maintain his proper position, whilst Prince Albert, apparently full of solicitude for the safety of his Royal partner, seemed to he harassed with fears that some serious accident might occur.

The procession having gone down the Mound, and turned round the eastern side of the Royal Institution, the Queen’s carriage had hardly passed into Princes-street, when a most distressing accident took place, connected with an extensive temporary gallery within the railing at the north-west of the eastern gardens of Princes-street. It appears that those who erected the gallery, had been very particular in issuing no more tickets than it could securely contain; but that, after these had been admitted, numbers, who had no right to places on it, rushed to it as the Queen was passing, in defiance of the money-takers; and the pressure naturally taking place towards the end next to the passing spectacle, it became so overloaded there, that the scaffolding underneath gave way with a horrible crash, carrying down hundreds of shrieking people. Men immediately ran from all quarters to give assistance, and as there are always surgeons in a crowd, some eight or ten of these useful gentlemen were on the spot in a moment. The dragoons were extremely active in the rescue and removal of the sufferers; and Lieut.-Col. "White and Captain Arkwright were of most essential service, by their coolness and judgment. One posted himself at the gate, to keep the nay clear for the removal of the wounded, while the other was indefatigable in procuring vehicles, and even in bringing water to those who were injured, and as each person was carried out, he preceded the hearers, to clear a passage through the crowd. It turned out, that of seven people who were carried to the Infirmary, five had forced themselves into the gallery without tickets. To wind up this sad event, the only casualty of an unpleasant nature that occurred during the Queen’s visit, and which was in fact entirely owing to folly and improper conduct, it may be as well to give Professor Miller’s official report:—

“Edinburgh, 23, York Place, September 4, 1842.

“I have examined and inquired into the various cases of injury, occasioned by the unfortunate accident of yesterday, so far as circumstances have permitted. I have to report, that one person is dead, and that another is so seriously hurt, as to preclude the hope of recovery; that not a few fractures have been sustained, both of legs and arms; and that many bruises, sprains, and slighter injuries have occurred, swelling' the number of those hurt to about fifty. But I am glad to say, that, excepting the two cases first mentioned, there is no prospect of farther loss either of life or limb.

“JAMES MILLER, Professor of Suryerg."

Most fortunately the Queen was spared all knowledge of the accident until the evening, when she was much affected by the intelligence; and instantly despatched a messenger from Dalkeith, to learn the state of the sufferers; and Her Majesty made daily inquiries afterwards, and transmitted pecuniary aid, where such was found to be needful.

Having passed the front of the Royal Institution, the intercolummation of the peristyle of which was filled with spectators, the Queen proceeded westward, through crowds of well-dressed people, and carriages lining both sides of the way. The broad balcony of the splendid Club House was filled with a galaxy of beaut} and fashion. The cheering continued to be everywhere deafening, and was taken up by fresh crowds at every turn of the wheels. Whilst the Queen made her acknowledgments, it is to he hoped that Her Majesty was not thereby hindered from looking across the gardens that fill the valley, towards the black, beetling, rampart-girt rock of the castle, towering up from the bottom to an overawing height, and that Mons Meg, looming unnaturally large, and marking the position so recently honoured by her presence, did not pass unobserved. It was curious to notice how the more active people managed during this day, after seeing the Queen in one place, to dash off in flying troops to another favourable point. There were individuals who, by thus manoeuvring, contrived to see her four or five different times.

Passing the beautiful Gothic episcopal chapel of St. John’s, the Royal carriage entered Queensferry-street, and so proceeded past that pretty grove of trees in Randolph-crescent, remarkable for being annually occupied by a colony of rooks, and then it entered upon the Dean-bridge, over the Water of Leith, whence very fine scenery opens on both sides. The view up the stream to the left, with its hanging banks of wood, its buildings, and especially the picturesque towers of the Orphan Hospital, rising over the trees, is very beautiful. But it is when looking to the right, in an eastern direction, that a truly grand and extensive prospect is to be enjoyed. The backs of the houses of Randolph-crescent, rising from the very verge of the cliff, projecting over the river, are carried continuously away from the eye, meeting with those of Great Stuart-street west, Ainslie-place, Great Stuart-street east, and Moray-place, and so carrying on a waving line, varied by the plan of these different places and streets being here reversed ;—all princely houses—each with its beautiful fragment of garden, below which the hanging terraces common to the whole run along above the stream. About half a mile down the bed of the river, is the classical little round temple of Hygcia, erected over the chalybeate spring that rises there. Then comes wood on the one side of the vista, and trees, mingled with an extensive portion of handsome town residences on the other, with bridges at intervals, uniting the hanks. Beyond this stretches a long extent of sloping country, covered with buildings, and then Leith, and the Firth of Forth, and Inchkeith, with the more distant shores, and North Berwick Law, and the Bass. There is something Italian and Claude-like in the composition of this scene, and, as a whole, it may remind those who have been in Italy, of certain prospects in the Mediterranean. Perhaps the Italian sky is not often lent to it, and at this time that of Mid-Lothian, which had throughout the day behaved as well as a Mid-Lothian sky could be expected to do, now began to lower, and to threaten that rain which by and bye descended.

An occurrence happened on this rather narrow bridge, which abundantly proved Prince Albert’s great presence of mind, by which, it is certain that many lives were saved. A carriage appeared with the horses’ heads most improperly turned towards that direction from which the Queen was advancing. The animals suddenly took fright, wheeled about in an instant, and threatened to run directly through the dense crowd that was a-head, and thus to whirl destruction among them. The terrified coachman became confused, and lost command of the reins. The Prince seeing this perilous state of things, instantly arose, and called to the Queen’s postilions to stop, and some of the Archers rushed forward and seized the runaway horses by the head. Another second lost, and they must have gone furiously over hundreds of people! No one can doubt that a tide of mingled feelings of joy and pride must have filled Her Majesty’s heart, after her momentary anxiety for the safety of her people was thus so promptly and so nobly relieved by the Prince, who so well merits the possession of her warmest and dearest affections.

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