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a protestant succession, he expected to which were as irritating as they were reign. His morals were most culpably unmerited. The sympathy of her broneglected: he was permitted to abandon ther-in-law, Prince Philip, afforded her himself to licentious pleasures, appa- great consolation ; but it unhappily rently without the least restraint; and involved her still more deeply in mishis habits and ideas at length became fortune. Count Philip de Koenigsmarck, irrevocably depraved. It is but justice who had previously acquired an infato add, that this dissolute young man, mous notoriety in England, by instiat an early period of his life, was, it is gating some wretches to assassinate a said, so good-natured, as to have been Mr. Thynne, was selected, either by the incapable of wilfully inflicting pain on prince or his sister-in-law, to be the any human being.
bearer of messages between them. The In the twenty-second year of his age he imprudent Sophia treated this vain was united, against his inclination, to the and ambitious man with so much famiPrincess Sophia Dorothea, who was then liarity, as to excite suspicions derogaabout sixteen. Of the causes which led tory to her honour; which were consito this imprudent match, and its unfor- derably increased by a report, that tunate consequences, the following is a Koenigsmarck had boasted of his pebrief narration :- The princess being culiar influence over her, during a the only child of the Duke of Zell by drunken frolic, at the court of Denmark. his Duchess Eleonora D'Emeirs, (a On his return to
he was woman of comparatively mean birth, narrowly watched, by command of the but great beauty,) and the acknow elector; who, discovering that stolen ledged heiress to his dominions, her interviews actually took place between uncle and aunt, the Elector of Hanover his daughter-in-law and the count, and his wife, were desirous of forming peremptorily ordered the latter to join an union between her and their son Prince Philip in Hungary. The count, George Lewis, so that the whole Duchy however, prevailed on the princess to of Luneburg might devolve upon their allow him a farewell audience, and he descendants. Proposals for a marriage was admitted to her bed-chamber at were consequently made by the elector, midnight. The elector, by means of which met with the decided approbation his emissaries, received immediate inof the Duke of Zell : but the young telligence of the circumstance; and, in princess and her mother felt a strong a paroxysm of rage, he placed two of objection to the alliance; the one, be- his guards in a passage which led to cause she disliked her ambitious sister- the apartment of the princess, with in-law, the electress, and the other, on orders to intercept Koenigsmarck's reaccount of her attachment to a young treat, and despatch him on the spot. Prince of Wolfenbüttel. Nor was the They, accordingly, stabbed the count proposed bridegroom himself at all to the heart as he attempted to retire, favourable to the match; he having, as and threw his body into the common well as the princess, set his heart on sewer of the palace. The princess was another object. The paternal authority shortly afterwards placed in confineover these young victims to the Moloch ment at the castle of Dahlen, whence of political expediency was, however, she was, some time after, removed, on irresistible; and they were united on the approach of a French army, and the 21st of November, 1682.
sent home to her father and mother; The unfortunate princess was neg but after a year's residence at Zell, lected, if not hated, by her husband, notwithstanding the importunities of almost from the day of their marriage. her parents that she might remain with The palace in which she resided, either them, she was taken back to Dahlen, by his permission or connivance, was where she died, a few months only constantly polluted by the presence before her husband. She was never of his mistresses; and, for a period of acknowledged by George the First as ten years, during which she gave birth his queen; being, for the last twenty to two children, afterwards George the years of her life, spoken of only as Second, King of England, and Sophia Princess of Zell. Dorothea, Queen of Prussia, she is said It has been asserted, that the sole to have endured a series of indignities, object on her part, in her interviews
with Koenigsmarck, whatever might On the death of his father, in 1698, have been his motives, and notwith- George succeeded to the electorate; standing the familiarity with which she and rather a favourable change took treated him, decidedly was to make place in his character: so that he acarrangements for her flight from the quired a degree of respectability which, electoral palace, where she was con- from his previous follies, could scarcely stantly insulted by the presence of her have been anticipated. He was placed husband's concubines, to seek an asylum at the head of the imperial army, after in France; pursuant to the advice of her the battle of Blenheim ; but the jeafriend, Prince Philip, communicated to lousies of his confederates induced him her through their mutual confidant, the to give up his command, after having
That her crime was merely retained it during three campaigns. imprudence, has been surmised from He did not, however, on this occasion the alleged fact, that George twice made withdraw his own forces from the proposals of reconciliation to her: first, allied army. on his father's death; and, secondly, Attached to his native country, and on his accession to the English crown. contented with his electoral dignities, She, however, indignantly refused his he seems to have viewed his splendid offers, saying, “ If I am guilty, I am not prospects, as the successor to the throne worthy of him: if I am innocent, he is of Great Britain, with remarkable innot worthy of me!"
difference, and to have left his inThe taste exhibited by the prince, terests to the gratuitous protection of in the selection of his mistresses, was his adherents. Queen Anne, who had outrageously bad. One of them, Ma- long been in a declining state, wearied, demoiselle Schulemberg, maid of honour or to speak more properly, tortured, to his mother, and afterwards Duchess by the cabals of a divided cabinet, some of Kendal, was so destitute of charms, members which favoured her own that one evening, while she was waiting latent wish for the restoration of her behind the chair of the electress at a brother, while the remainder were fuball, the latter said, in English, to rious partisans of the House of Hanover, Mrs. Howard, afterwards Countess of at length sunk into a lethargic condiSuffolk, and one of the mistresses of tion, which terminated in her death, on George the Second, “ Look at that tall the 1st of August, 1714: and the elector mawkin, and think of her being my was immediately proclaimed by the son's passion !" By this lady, George name of George the First. had a daughter, the Countess of Wal- Late in the evening of the 5th of singham, afterwards married to Lord August, Lord Clarendon, the English Chesterfield; and some reasons exist for ambassador at the court of Hanover, supposing that he was actually united having received an express announcing to her, by what is denominated, the royal demise, repaired with all posin Germany, a left-handed marriage, sible haste to the palace of Herenhausen; which imparts none of the privileges at two hours after midnight he entered of royalty to the wife, nor the rights of the chamber of the elector, and, kneelinheritance to her children. His other ing, saluted him King of Great Britain: acknowledged mistress, Madame Kil- but the ambassador's homage, it apmansegge, Countess of Platen, after- pears, was received with mortifying wards created Countess of Darlington, serenity. by whom he also had a daughter, the The sovereign appeared to be exfuture Lady Howe, was an absolutely ceedingly secure of his new subjects; gigantic figure, as corpulent and ample for, when someone in his presence as the duchess was long and emaciated. spoke of the dangerous principles of the She is described as having had large, presbyterians, and alluded to the death fierce, black eyes, rolling beneath lofty of Charles the First, he replied, with a arched eye-brows, two acres of cheeks pleasant indifference, “I have nothing spread with crimson, an ocean of neck to fear, for the king-killers are all on my that overflowed and was not distin-side." He seemed in no haste to leave guishable from the lower part of her Herenhausen; nor did he commence body, and no portion of which was re- his journey till the 31st of August. On strained by stays.
the eve of his departure, he ordered the
excise on provisions to be abolished, longing to be at home again. “This is and the insolvent debtors, throughout
odd country!" said he: “the first the electorate to be discharged. He morning after my arrival at St. James's, reached the Hague on the 5th of Sep- | I looked out of the window, and saw a tember, but did not embark until the park with walls, and a canal, which they 16th, and arrived at Greenwich on the told me were mine. The next day, 18th of the same month. He made his Lord Chetwynd, the ranger of my park, public entry into London on the 20th ; sent me a brace of fine carp out of my and his coronation took place with canal; and I was told I must give five the usual solemnities on the 20th of guineas to Lord Chetwynd's man for October.
bringing me my own carp out of my At the first court which he held, he own canal in my own park!" treated some of the late queen's minis Of oysters he was remarkably fond; ters with marked contempt, and others but, for some time, he could not rewith coldness. Lord Oxford was per concile his palate to those of this counmitted to kiss the king's hand, but re try. * The cursed English oysters,” he ceived no further notice. Chancellor exclaimed pettishly, “ have such a very Harcourt,who had prepared and brought queer taste!" It was at length discowith him a patent for creating the vered, by means of a German page, that king's eldest son Prince of Wales, was oysters, in Hanover, being necessarily forthwith turned out of his office. The conveyed a considerable distance overDuke of Ormond, who was captain- land, were always tainted: stale oysters, general, and had come with great were, therefore, at once procured, which, splendour to pay his court, was inform it
seems, proved exceedingly grateful to ed that the king had no occasion for the sovereign's palate. his services, and was not allowed even One of ihe most important circum
come into the royal presence. stances in the early part of this king's Pursuant to an order, despatched by the reign, was the impeachment of some king previously to his departure from of the Tory leaders for the share they Hanover, Bolingbroke had already been had taken in the treaty of Utrecht: dismissed; and his majesty appeared and their conduct was visited, in the bent on depressing, as much as possible, opinion of a still large and powerful parall the open and secret enemies of his ty, with unnecessary rigour. Inflamhouse.
matory papers were circulated, to a great In the early part of his reign, or, at extent, against the new monarch ; one least, on his arrival in this country, of these, in allusion to the white horse George the First was far from unpo in the Hanoverian arms, had for its pular ; but his decidedly foreign appear motto the following passage from the ance and manners, when they became book of Revelations : “I looked, and known, lowered him materially in public beheld a pale horse, and his name that estimation. His two German mistresses, sat on him was Death; and Hell followed who were created Duchess of Kendal, with him!” and Countess of Darlington, shortly Various parts of the country were after his accession, became seriously agitated by tumults; and, at length, offensive to the people, by whom they about the middle of September, in 1715, were satirically called the may-pole and the Earl of Mar proclaimed the Prethe elephant and castle. It is related tender, as James the Third, at Castleof one of these ladies, that being abused town in Scotland. He soon collected an by the mob, she put her head out of army of ten thousand men, and an inthe coach, and cried, in bad English, surrection followed in Northumberland, “Good people, why you abuse us? under the Earl of Derwentwater; but We come for all your goods.”—“Yes, that nobleman was compelled, in the d-n you," answered a fellow in the early part of November, to surrender, crowd, " and for our chattels too!" with many of his partisans. On the same
Nor does the king appear to have day, a bloody, but indecisive battle was been infinitely delighted with his new fought at Sheriffmoor, between Mar and subjects: he sighed for his beloved the Duke of Argyle. On the 25th of electorate, and spoke and acted like a December, the Pretender landed at man ill at ease, in a strange house, and Peterhead; but he displayed so little
judgment, his plans were so ill arranged, sented. His host, with some embarand the insurrection in his favour met rassment, replied, that in his journeys with such faint support from the English to Rome, he had become acquainted Jacobites, that in the February follow with the Chevalier, to whom he was ing he found it prudent to re-imbark for indebted for the picture in question. France.
The king instantly removed the distress A terrible scene of blood and ven and confusion of his host, by saying: geance ensued: the meaner throng of • Upon my word, it is very like the prisoners suffered without exciting much family.” sympathy; but on the condemnation A military officer, who had been of the Lords Derwentwater, Nithisdale, particularly intimate with him in Hanand Nairne, with many other noblemen, over, abstained from paying his usual an universal sentiment of compassion visits, as soon as George became King prevailed. In consequence of divers of England; and, on being asked the petitions presented to the house of reason of his absence, said, “I will still peers, a motion was made, and carried smoke a pipe with him as Elector of by a majority of five voices, that the Hanover, but I cannot admit that he is house should address the throne to re Sovereign of Great Britain." George prieve such of the condemned lords never resented this message, but often as really deserved mercy: But the lamented the loss of his old compaking haughtily answered, that on this nion's society. and all other occasions he would do Previously to the king's arrival in what he thought most consistent with this country, a proclamation had been the dignity of the crown and the safety issued, offering, in case the Pretender of the people. The Countesses of Der should land in any part of the British wentwater and Nithisdale, and Lady isles, the sum of £100,000 for his apNairne, threw themselves at his feet, prehension. At the first masquerade and with affecting earnestness implored which the king attended in this country, him, but in vain, to extend his cle an unknown lady, in a domino, invited mency towards their unhappy husbands. him to drink a glass of wine at one of The Earl of Nithisdale, however, es the side-tables; he readily assented, and caped, and some of the other prisoners the lady filling a bumper, said, “Here, were ultimately released, but their par- mask, the Pretender's health!”—Then don came too late to be graceful. When filling another glass, she presented it to the great Lord Somers heard of the the king, who received it with a smile rigour displayed towards the Jacobites, saying, “I drink, with all my heart, to he shed tears, and asked of his intorm the health of every unfortunate prince." ant, if the proscriptions of Marius and Soon after his accession, the Duchess Sylla were about to be revived. of Buckinghamshire, natural child of
Notwithstanding the severities of the James the Second, having been refused early part of his reign, some anecdotes a passage in her carriage through St. have been adduced to show that the James's park (a privilege confined to king entertained no feelings of enmity members of the royal family, and the towards the unfortunate Stuarts; and great officers of state), wrote a letter that he was even capable of gene to the king, affirming that he was an rously excusing those who evinced at usurper; that his claims to the privilege tachment to the exiled family. In one of going through the park were inferior of his Hanoverian journeys, according to her own; and otherwise abusing him to Walpole, his coach broke down, and in very gross terms. Far from being he sent for aid to a neighbouring cha- seriously offended at this epistle, George teau. The possessor conveyed the king laughed, and said, “ Oh' la folle! la to his house, and begged he would ac folle ! qu'on la laisse passer !" cept of some refreshment. While the
Peccadillos like these, it would have repast was preparing, George amused been not merely undignified but absurd himself by looking at some paintings; to have visited with the royal displeaand, perceiving among them a portrait sure: they occurred too, it seems proof an unknown person, in the robes bable, before any open attempts were and with the regalia of the kings of made by the Pretender to deprive the England, he asked whom it repre- king of his new dominions: and, in
fact, these anecdotes prove nothing, but dient to send a military force there, in that he pardoned what it would have order to prevent any seditions or treabeen ridiculous in him to have seriously sonable attempts. Cambridge being noticed. The offenders were, in two more complaisant, received a royal cases, foreigners, over whom, perhaps, present of books; and Dr. Trapp wrote he had no power; and in the others, the following epigram on the occasion: women. The fault of one of them, who
Our royal master saw, with heedful eyes, does not appear to have been even a
The wants of his two Universities : subject of George the First, consisted
Troops he to Oxford sent, as knowing why in his having a picture of an acquaint- That learned body wanted loyalty : ance, who happened to be his royal
But books to Cambridge gave, as well discerning
How that right loyal body wanted learning. guest's enemy: the others wrote or spoke a few words, not to the Jacobites, Sir William Browne, retorted, as it but to the king himself. To those who was said, impromptu : bore arms against him after the Pretender had been openly proclaimed in
The King to Oxford sept a troop of horse,
For Tories know no argument but force : his dominions, he certainly exhibited
With equal care, to Cambridge books he sent, no exalted mercy. Phlegmatic as he Fur Wigs allow no force but argumeot. had appeared on taking possession of the throne, he suddenly evinced a san- In this year, during the king's visit to guine temperament on his rights being Hanover, the Prince of Wales was left disputed; and although, by the laws of guardian of the realm, in which station the land, he was not unjust, he seems to he acquired such popularity as appeared have been rather ignobly ungenerous.
to revive those feelings of animosity, He did not seize the glorious oppor- which his father had exhibited towards tunity, which his good fortune, and we him on previous occasions.
He was may add, the justice of his cause ordered to remove from St. James's atforded him, to be greatly lenient to a palace to a private residence; the vanquished and prostrate enemy; but princess had permission to accompany endeavoured to secure his new kingdom him, but their children were retained by an effusion of blood, which, as it under the king's roof. Shortly after, evidently tended to aggravate rather the sovereign forbad all such persons than extingiush the discontents of the as should visit the prince to enter his Jacobites, might have been spared with presence. His feelings on this subequal security to himself, and advantage ject carried him so far, that he could to his successor.
listen to schemes for the exclusion of • In 1716 the disaffection to the House his heir-apparent from the throne, of Brunswick induced its staunch ad- and the consequent restoration of the herents, the Whigs, who were in office, banished family. It is even asserted by to propose the famous septennial act; Walpole, in his Reminiscences, and by which a power was assumed, not elsewhere, that Queen Caroline found, merely of increasing the duration of in the cabinet of George the First after future parliaments, but even of prolong- his death, a proposal from Lord Berkeing the existence of that assembly by ley, for securing the prince, and conwhich it was enacted; so that, although veying him secretly to America. A only elected by the nation for three reconciliation ultimately took place years, it conferred on itself the power between George the First and his son ; of sitting for seven. This iniquitous but it appears to have been equally and totally indefensible bill, after a long insincere on both sides. and violent struggle, was passed, and In 1718, a plan was formed to assasof course received the royal assent. sinate the king, by a political fanatic,
In 1717, the king and his ministers named James Shepherd, a youth under were exceedingly unpopular. Oaken nineteen years of age. He had imbibed boughs worn on the 29th of May, and from childhood the highest principles white roses on the 10th of June, the of monarchical right; and regarding birth-day of the Pretender, were the George the First as an usurper, he had badges of the disaffected. Oxford, and coolly resolved to put him to death. On especially the University, was the focus the 24th of January, he wrote to one of disloyalty; and it was deemed expe- Leake, a nonjuring clergyman, that he