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divulged the secret except to Queen Caroline. The Queen seems to have led Walpole to suppose that the discovery of the body was made accidentally in the progress of some alterations in the palace. It is much more probable that George II. had if not a positive knowledge, at least some suspicions of the fact, which he lost no time in verifying, and of course in relieving his favourite residence from such a disagreeable deposit.

We have no doubt that Walpole has repeated accurately George II.'s account of the transaction itself; but it appears that he, and almost everybody else, has made a most extraordinary preliminary mistake--no less a one than of the identity of the victim. There were published here anonymously a few years ago certain Memoirs of Sophia Dorothea—(2 vols. 8vo., 1845)—in which we have an apologetical or rather panegyrical history of the Princess, most absurdly written and most wretchedly reasoned, and though affecting to be founded on documentary evidence, in truth, of no historical value at all beyond letting us know the palliations with which the Princess-in some dialogues written during her long imprisonment, and filling the second volume—could represent her own case; and which are, as might be expected, in the tone of George II.'s version, but to our mind still more strongly indicative of guilt; for she confesses that at her last meeting with Konigsmark she had arranged an attempt to escape with him next day from Hanover-only, as she says, te her cousins at Wolfenbuttel ; but when such an elopement happens we can better guess how than where it will end. But the point for which we refer to this trashy book is that it states, and so far we suppose it may be trusted, , that the Count Konigsmark killed at Hanover, was not the person tried in England for the assassination of Mr. Thynne; this latter was Count Charles John; the former, a younger brother, Count Philip Christopher, who at the time of Mr. Thynne's murder was in England, under the care of an English tutor. Charles John died in the Morea in 1686. Philip's exit was in 1694; so at least we gather from the date prefixed to one of the Princess's dialogues, for we have no where else seen the date of his tragedy.

This was only a few months before Lord Lexington's mission; and about that time the Countess Aurora de Konigsmark, the beautiful and fascinating sister of the missing gallant, had become the mistress of the Elector of Saxony (by whom she was, in 1696, mother of the celebrated Marshal Saxe); and through her influence, no doubt, the Elector of Saxony addressed to the Court of Hanover inquiries as to the fate of Count Philip, which appear to have been so seriously embarrassing to the Elector, that King William personally desired Lord Lexington to offer his mediation to get rid of the question :



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Lord Lexington to Mr. Blathwayt.

Zell, Sept. 18, 1694. • The King was pleased to command me, when I came away, that, if I had an opportunity, I should offer his good offices at Hanover towards satisfying the Elector of Saxony about this Konigsmark, which I have done ; and the Elector bids me say that he thinks himself mightily obliged to his Majesty for the kind offer, though there are hopes that there may be no occasion for it; their Minister at Saxony giving them so good assurances from the Elector, and by his order, that he was satisfied with the answer from Hanover; though Banniers still continues to press for a more positive one what was become of that fellow, and says it is by his master's orders, so one does not know what to make of it; but I find this, that here we have no mind to own any knowledge what is become of him, though in confidence to one's best friends, and after so kind an offer ; but I think one need not trouble oneself much about him, for I dare swear he is safe enough.'—pp. 10, 11.

The mystery which we see thus hung over the transaction makes us the more inclined to believe George II.'s statement that Konigsmark was secretly strangled and buried-perhaps by a refinement of vengeance-in the lady's dressing-room, than the assertion in the Memoirs and Dialogue,' of the Princess, that there was a long scene of violence and butchery in which many persons were concerned, which attracted notice both inside and outside the palace, and which could hardly, therefore, have long remained a secret.

A kind of divorce was pronounced by a court held at Hanover, with the consent of the lady, as appears by the letters of Mr. Cressett (our minister at the Court of Zell) to Lord Lexington; but it did not release her from the custody of her husband, who kept her for near thirty-two years in confinement, she dying only a few months before him; and the duchy of Zell, of which she was heiress, remaining annexed to the electorate. It was long believed that Konigsmark's ghost haunted the palace where we now know his body lay—and Mr. Cressett, in a subsequent letter, relates that it was supposed to have appeared on so incongruous an occasion as the ballet at a court opera. The obscurities and mistakes which have so long hung round this strange story induced us to go into the foregoing details; but our readers will see by this specimen, that if extracts of this nature were to be fully elucidated, there is some risk that, like Sir John Cutler's stockings, the darning would at last supersede the original fabric.

The first event of any public importance that we meet is the death of Queen Mary. Considering William's cold temper and habitually harsh treatment of his wife, and above all the notoriety and long continuance of his intrigue with Lady Orkney, which

gave Mary great uneasiness during her life, and was the subject of even a death-bed and unavailing remonstrance, we have always had some difficulty in believing the sincerity of such extravagant sorrow as Burnet attributes to William on this occasion ;-but the letters of Lord Lexington's correspondents go quite as far as the zealous Bishop. Mr. Vernon writes :

• Whitehall, Dec. 25, 1694. • Here has been an universal concern for Her Majesty's indisposition, but none more sensible of it than the King, who would never be persuaded to lie out of the Queen's bedchamber, and therefore had his field bed brought in thither, to be at hand and ready upon all occasions to assist her.' y The Duke of Shrewsbury says, on the 28th, the day of the Queen's death:

• About a week since, Her Majesty was taken with an indisposition which seemed at first but slight, but turned afterwards to the smallpox, and that of so fatal a kind, that as soon as the physicians agreed that to be her disease, their apprehensions for her life grew very great; and ill symptoms increasing upon her, it pleased God this morning, about one of the clock, to take her out of this world. Never did grief appear more general in a town, or more real sorrow in a court; and His Majesty's afflictions have been so passionate, and the neglect of his health so great, that it has given too just grounds for that request the Lords and Commons have made to him to take more care of his own person.

Mr. Vernon too writes, of the same date :

• My Lord President was then sent from the Council to His Majesty, to desire he would have some consideration of his own health ; which was very necessary advice, since His Majesty has so much neglected himself since the Queen's first falling ill. It was but two nights since that he has been persuaded to lie out of her bedchamber, and then he would only remove to the next room. He has scarce got any sleep or taken any nourishment, and there is hardly any instance of so passionale a sorrow as the King has been overtaken with, which seemed excessive while life yet lasted, and 'tis risen to a greater degree since; so that he can hardly bear the sight of those that were most agreeable to him before. He had some fits like fainting yesterday, but to-day they have prevailed on him to bleed.'—pp. 34, 35. All this certainly would appear to confirm Burnet's statement, but we confess that it does not altogether convince us.

There can be no doubt that William was very much disturbed by Mary's death partly, perhaps, from conjugal affection, which is sometimes (as it so remarkably was in the case of George II.) combined with gross conjugal infidelity—but probably still more from anxiety as to its effect on his political position; and we cannot but suspect that 2 D2


there was a parade of devotion to Mary's memory, of which the chief motive was to prolong, as it were, her influence on the public mind, and to ingratiate the monocracy of William with the Parliament and the country, to whom he had never been personally acceptable. This conjecture is corroborated by the conciliatory measures that were immediately adopted towards the Princess Anne, who, though she had previously been on the worst possible terms with the King, was on this occasion persuaded to write, says Mr. Vernon, "a very submissive letter to the King, so that she is entirely disposed to be wholly governed by his Majesty; and there is no prospect for any to build their hopes upon a division of those who so well understand how much it is their interest to be united.' On which the editor remarks :

• It is said that the letter referred to by Mr. Vernon was written by the Princess at the instance of Lord Sunderland, who, in thus effecting a reconciliation between the King and his sister-in-law, rendered an inportant service to the former; for the title of William to the Crown had become even more defective than before, by the death of the Queen.'-note, p. 39.

We moreover see reason to suspect that it was with the same design of keeping alive the public feeling towards the Queen, that a most extraordinary delay of her funeral occurred. She died the 28th of December. Mr. Vernon, on the 4th of January, writes to Lord Lexington, that it was intended that she should be buried within a fortnight, but it was put off from time to time on various pretences, till the 5th of March—that is, near ten weeks, instead of three. Are we unreasonable in supposing that this unparalleled delay must have had some political spring?--Nor does the concurrence of Burnet, Shrewsbury, and Vernon weigh much with us, for they were parties to the King's policy, if policy there was; and this was just the occasion of which we may venture to say

Regis ad exemplar vultus componitur omnis. To this cause also may be not unreasonably attributed some degree at least of the extraordinary celebration of the Queen by all the poets who were or who ambitioned to be well at Court. It was so profuse as to excite the notice of those who did not suspect any political motive. “The death of Queen Mary,' says Johnson in his Life of Prior, produced a subject for all the writers; perhaps no funeral was ever so poetically attended. Dryden, indeed, as a man discountenanced and deprived, was silent; but scarcely any other maker of verse omitted to bring his tribute of tuneful sorrow. An emulation of elegy was universal.


Maria's praise was not confined to the English language, but fills a great part of the Musæ Anglianæ. Prior, who was both a poet and a courtier, was too diligent to miss this opportunity of respect. He wrote a long ode, which was presented to the King, by whom it was not likely to be ever read.' Prior was at this period Secretary of Embassy at the Hague, and one of the most affectionate and familiar of Lord Lexington's correspondents, to whom he professed a decent sorrow for the Queen; but it was not very poignant, for we find that she had been dead above two months before he thought of his serious tribute to her memory. • Mr. Prior to Lord and Lady Lexington.

* Hague, March 1, 1693, • I am as yet so afflicted for the death of our dear mistress, that I cannot express

it in bad verse, as all the world here does; all that I have done was to-day on Scheveling Sands, with the point of my sword :

• Number the sands extended here;
So many Mary's virtues were:
Number the drops that yonder roll ;

So many griefs press William's soul.'—p. 63. We must recollect that a sword was then, and for near a century later, a part of a gentleman's ordinary dress. It would not have diminished Prior's poetical reputation if he had suffered the next tide to have quietly obliterated all recollection of these affected musings παρα θινα θαλασσης-which are now worth quoting only to mark that the courtly topic of the moment was the king's excessive grief. Another, however, of Prior's letters leaves no doubt that on one point at least his own regret was sincere :

Since the horrid loss of her Majesty, at naming of which my Lord will sigh and my Lady will cry, I protest I have written nothing but nonsense, which is a present I humbly offer to some of my correspondents, but it is so not very proper for you. Upon this occasion I have lost my senses and 1001. a year, which is something for a philosopher of my circumstances.'—p. 46. He had, it seems, a small office in the Queen's establishmentprobably that which Johnson erroneously calls Gentleman of the King's Bedchamber. His grief, however, whatever it may have been, was very soon alleviated by some hopes of promotion'and he proceeds in a strain that reminds us of the pleasantry in Steele's play, where the undertaker reproaches his men with negligence and ingratitude: 'I pay you,' he says, for looking dismal ; and the more I pay you, the merrier you look :'

'I have given notice of this cruel change to the States and Ministers here, in a long trailing cloak and a huge band, the one

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