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VERY few years since, I knew contrast them with our own. I have asked in marriage by Horace Wal- because the subject of these lectures pole, who had been patted on the has been misunderstood, and I have head by George I. This lady had been taken to task for not having knocked at Dr. Johnson's door; had given grave historical treatises, which been intimate with Fox, the beautiful it never was my intention to attempt. Georgina of Devonshire, and that Not about battles, about politics, brilliant Whig society of the reign of about statesmen and measures of George III..; had known the Duchess state, did I ever think to lecture you: of Queensberry, the patroness of Gay but to sketch the manners and life of and Prior, the admired young beauty the old world ; to amuse for a few of the court of Queen Anne. I often hours with talk about the old society; thought as I took my kind old friend's and, with the result of many a hand, how with it I held on to the day's and night's pleasant reading, old society of wits and men of the to try and while away a few winter world. I could travel back for seven evenings for my hearers. score years of time — have glimpses of Brummell, Selwyn, Chesterfield, Among the German princes who and the men of pleasure; of Walpole sat under Luther at Wittenberg, was and Conway; of Johnson, Reynolds, Duke Ernest of Celle, whose younger Goldsmith; of North, Chatham, New- son, William of Lüneburg, was the castle; of the fair maids of honor of progenitor of the illustrious HanoveGeorge II.'s court; of the German rian house at present reigning in Great retainers of George I.'s; where Addi- Britain. Duke William held his son was secretary of state; where court at Celle, a little town of ten Dick Steele held a place; whither the thousand people that lies on the railgreat Marlborough came with his way line between Hamburg and Hanfiery spouse; when Pope, and Swift, over, in the midst of great plains of and Bolingbroke yet lived and wrote. sand, upon the river Aller. When Of a society so vast, busy, brilliant, it Duke William had it, it was a very is impossible in four brief chapters to humble wood-built place, with a great give a complete notion; but we may brick church, which he sedulously peep here and there into that bygone frequented, and in which he and world of the Georges, see what they others of his house lie buried. He was and their courts were like; glance at a very religious lord, and was called the people round about them; look at William the Pious by his small circle past manners, fashions, pleasures, and I of subjects, over whom he ruled till
fate deprived him both of sight and and bid every one be quiet and orreason. Sometimes, in his latter days, derly, forbidding all cursing, swearthe good Duke had glimpses of men- ing, and rudeness; all throwing about tal light, when he would bid his mu- of bread, bones, or roast, or pocketing sicians play the psalm-tunes which he of the same. Every morning, at loved. One thinks of a descendant seven, the squires shall have their of his, two hundred years afterwards, morning soup, along with which, and blind, old, and lost of wits, singing dinner, they shall be served with their Handel in Windsor Tower.
under-drink – every morning, except William the Pious had fifteen chil- Friday morning, when there was dren, eight daughters and seven sons, sermon, and no drink. Every evenwho, as the property left among them ing they shall have their beer, and at was small, drew lots to determine night their sleep-drink. The butler which one of them should marry, and is especially warned not to allow noble continue the stout race of the Guelphs. or simple to go into the cellar: wine The lot fell on Duke George, the shall only be served at the Prince's sixth brother. The others remained or councillors' table; and every Monsingle, or contracted left-handed mar- day, the honest old Duke Christian riages after the princely fashion of ordains the accounts shall be ready, those days. It is a queer picture and the expenses in the kitchen, the that of the old Prince dying in his wine and beer cellar, the bakehouse little wood-built capital, and his seven and stable, made out. sons tossing up which should inherit Duke George, the marrying Duke, and transmit the crown of Brentford. did not stop at home to partake of Duke George, the lucky prizeman, the beer and wine, and the sermons. made the tour of Europe, during He went about fighting wherever which he visited the court of Queen there was profit to be had. He served Elizabeth; and in the year 1617, came as general in the army of the circle back and settled at Žell, with a wife of Lower Saxony, the Protestant out of Darmstadt.
His remaining army; then he went over to the Embrothers all kept their house at Zell, peror, and fought in his armies in for economy's sake. And presently, Germany and Italy; and when Gusin due course, they-all died -- all the tavus Adolphus appeared in Gerhonest Dukes; Ernest, and Christian, many, George took service and Augustus, and Magnus, and Swedish general, and seized the George, and John - and they are Abbey of Hildesheim, as his share of buried in the brick church of Brent- the plunder. Here, in the year 1641, ford yonder, by the sandy banks of Duke George died, leaving four sons the Aller.
behind him, from the youngest of Dr. Vehse gives a pleasant glimpse whom descend our royal Georges. of the way of life of our Dukes in Under these children of Duke Zell. “When the trumpeter on the George, the old God-fearing, simple tower has blown," Duke Christian ways of Zell appear to have gone out orders - viz. at nine o'clock in the of mode. The second brother was morning, and four in the evening constantly visiting Venice, and leadevery one must be present at meals, ing a jolly, wicked life there. It was and those who are not must go with the most jovial of all places at the out. None of the servants, unless it end of the seventeenth century; and be a knave who has been ordered to military men, after a campaign, ride out, shall eat or drink in the rushed thither, as the warriors of the kitchen or cellar; or, without special Allies rushed to Paris in 1814, to leave, fodder his horses at the Prince's gamble, and rejoice, and partake of cost. When the meal is served in all sorts of godless delights. This the court-room, a page shall go round Prince, then, loving Venice and its
pleasures, brought Italian singers | the gambling-table; swapped a batand dancers back with him to quiet talion against a dancing-girl's diaold Zell; and, worse still, demeaned mond necklace; and, as it were, himself by marrying a French lady pocketed their people. of birth quite inferior to his own - As one views Europe, through Eleanor d'Olbreuse, from whom our contemporary books of travel in the Queen is descended. Eleanor had a early part of the last century, the pretty daughter, who inherited a great landscape is awful - wretched wastes, fortune, which inflamed her cousin, beggarly and plundered; half-burned George Louis of Hanover, with a cottages and trembling peasants desire to marry her; and so, with her gathering piteous harvests; gangs beauty and her riches, she came to a of such tramping along with bayosadend.
nets behind them, and corporals with It is too long to tell how the four canes and cats-of-nine-tails to flog sons of Duke George divided his ter- them to barracks. By these passes ritories amongst them, and how, my lord's gilt carriage floundering finally, they came into possession of through the ruts, as he swears at the the son of the youngest of the four. postilions, and toils on to the ResiIn this generation the Protestant denz. Hard by, but away from the faith was very nearly extinguished noise and brawling of the citizens in the family : and then where should and buyers, is Wilhelmslust or Ludwe in England have gone for a king? wigsruhe, or Monbijou, or Versailles The third brother also took delight it scarcely matters which, near in Italy, where the priests converted to the city, shut out by woods from him and his Protestant chaplain too. the beggared country, the enormous, Mass was said in Hanover once more; hideous, gilded, monstrous marble and Italian soprani piped their Latin palace, where the Prince is, and the rhymes in place of the hymns which Court, and the trim gardens, and William the Pious and Dr. Luther huge fountains, and the forest where sang Louis XIV. gave this and the ragged peasants are beating the other converts a splendid pension. game in (it is death to them to touch . Crowds of Frenchmen and brilliant a feather); and the jolly hunt sweeps
French fashions came into his court. by with its uniform of crimson and It is incalculable how much that gold; and the Prince gallops ahead royal bigwig cost Germany. Every puffing his royal horn;
and his lords prince imitated the French King, and mistresses ride after him; and and had his Versailles, his Wilhelms- the stag is pulled down; and the höhe or Ludwigslust; his court and grand huntsman gives the knife in its splendors; his gardens laid out the midst of a chorus of bugles; and with statues; his fountains, and wa- | 'tis time the Court go home to dinter-works, and Tritons; his actors, ner; and our noble traveller, it may and dancers, and singers, and fiddlers; be the Baron of Pöllnitz, or the his harem, with its inhabitants; his Count de Königsmarck, or the exceldiamonds and duchies for these lat- lent Chevalier de Seingalt, sees the ter; his enormous festivities, his procession gleaming through the trim gaming-tables, tournaments, masque-avenues of the wood, and hastens to rades, and banquets lasting a week the inn, and sends his noble name long, for which the people paid with to the marshal of the Court. Then their money, when the poor wretches our nobleman arrays himself in green had it; with their bodies and very and gold, or pink and silver, in the blood when they had none; being richest Páris mode, and is introduced sold in thousands by their lords and by the chamberlain, and makes his masters, who gayly dealt in soldiers, bow to the jolly Prince, and the staked a regiment upon the red at I gracious Princess; and is presented
to the chief lords and ladies, and then robbed of their rights - communities comes supper and a bank at Faro, laid waste-faith, justice, commerce where he loses or wins a thousand trampled upon, and well-nigh depieces by daylight. If it is a German stroyed -- nay, in the very centre of court, you may add not a little royalty itself, what horrible stains drunkenness to this picture of high and meanness, crime and shame! It life; but German, or French, or is but to a silly harlot that some of Spanish, if you can see out of your the noblest gentlemen, and some palace-windows beyond the trim-cut of the proudest women in the world, forest vistas, misery is lying outside; are bowing down; it is the price of hunger is stalking about the bare a miserable province that the King villages, listlessly following precarious ties in diamonds round his mistress's husbandry; ploughing stony fields white neck. In the first half of the with starved cattle; or fearfully tak- last century, I say, this is going on ing in scanty harvests. Augustus is all Europe over. Saxony is a waste fat and jolly on his throne; he can as well as Picardy or Artois; and knock down an ox, and eat one al- Versailles is only larger and not most; his mistress, Aurora von worse than Herrenhausen. Königsmarck, is the loveliest, the It was the first Elector of Hanover wittiest creature; his diamonds are who made the fortunate match which the biggest and most brilliant in the bestowed the race of Hanoverian Sovworld, and his feasts as splendid as ereigns upon us Britons. Nine years those of Versailles. As for Louis after Charles Stuart lost his head, his the Great, he is more than mortal. niece Sophia, one of many chilLift up your glances respectfully, dren of another luckless dethroned and mark him eying Madame de sovereign, the Elector Palatine, marFontanges or Madame de Montespan ried Ernest Augustus of Brunswick, from under his sublime periwig, as and brought the reversion to the crown he passes through the great gallery of the three kingdoms in her scanty where Villars and Vendôme, and trousseau. Berwick, and Bossuet, and Massillon One of the handsomest, the most are waiting Can Court be more cheerful, sensible, shrewd, accomsplendid; nobles and knights more plished of women, was Sophia, daughgallant and superb; ladies more love ter of poor Frederick, the winter king ly? A grander monarch, or a more of Bohemia. The other daughters of miserable starved wretch than the lovely, unhappy Elizabeth Stuart peasant his subject, you cannot look went off into the Catholic Church;
Let us bear both these types in this one, luckily for her family, remind, if we wish to estimate the mained, I cannot say faithful to the old society properly. Remember Reformed Religion, but at least she the glory and the chivalry ? Yes! adopted no other. An agent of the Remember the grace and beauty, the French King's, Gourville, a convert splendor and lofty politeness; the himself, strove to bring her and her gallant courtesy of Fontenoy, where husband to a sense of the truth ; and the French line bids the gentlemen tells us that he one day asked Ma. of the English guard to fire first; the dame the Duchess of Hanover, of what noble constancy of the old King and religion her daughter was, then a Villars his general, who fits out the pretty girl of thirteen years old. The last army with the last crown-piece duchess replied that the princess was from the treasury, and goes to meet of no religion as yet. They were waitthe enemy and die or conquer for ing to know of what religion her husFrance at Denain. But round all band would be, Protestant or Cathothat royal splendor lies a nation en lic, before instructing her! And the slaved and ruined : there are people Duke of Hanover having heard all
Gourville's proposal, said that a for I am a fool with my children." change would be advantageous to his Three of the six died fighting against house, but that he himself was too Turks, Tartars, Frenchmen. One old to change.
of them conspired, revolted, fled to This shrewd woman had such keen Rome, leaving an agent behind him, eyes that she knew how to shut them whose head was taken off. The upon occasion, and was blind to many daughter, of whose early education faults which it appeared that her hus- we have made mention, was married band the Bishop of Osnaburg and to the Elector of Brandenburg, and Duke of Hanover committed. He so her religion settled finally on the loved to take his pleasure like other Protestant side. sovereigns — was a merry prince, A niece of the Electress Sophia fond of dinner and the bottle; liked who had been made to change her reto go to Italy, as his brothers had ligion, and marry the Duke of Ordone before him; and we read how leans, brother of the French King; he jovially sold 6,700 of his Hanoveri- a woman whose honest heart was alans to the seigniory of Venice. They ways with her friends and dear old went bravely off to the Morea, under Deutschland, though her fat little command of Ernest's son, Prince body was confined at Paris, or Marly, Max, and only 1,400 of them ever or Versailles - has left us, in her came home again. The German enormous correspondence (part of princes sold a good deal of this kind which has been printed in German of stock. You may remember how and French), recollections of the George III.'s Government purchased Electress, and of George her son. Hessians, and the use we made of Elizabeth Charlotte was at Osnaburg them during the War of Indepen- when George was born (1660). She dence.
narrowly escaped a whipping for beThe ducats Duke Ernest got for ing in the way on that auspicious his soldiers he spent in a series of the day. She seems not to have liked most brilliant entertainments. Nev- little George, nor George grown up; ertheless, the jovial Prince was eco- and represents him as odiously hard, nomical, and kept a steady eye upon cold, and silent. Silent he may have his own interests. He achieved the been ; not a jolly prince like his faelectoral dignity for himself: he mar- ther before him, but a prudent, quiet, ried his eldest son George to his beau- selfish potentate, going his own way, tiful cousin of Zell; and sending his managing his own affairs, and undersons out in command of armies to fight standing his own interests remarka- now on this side, now on that
bly well. he lived on, taking his pleasure, and In his father's lifetime, and at the scheming his schemes, a merry, wise head of the Hanover forces of 8,000 prince enough, not, I fear, a moral or 10,000 men, George served the Emprince, of which kind we shall have peror, on the Danube against Turks, but very few specimens in the course at the siege of Vienna, in Italy, and of these lectures.
on the Rhine. When he succeeded Ernest Augustus had seven children to the Electorate, he handled its afin all, some of whom were scapegraces, fairs with great prudence and dexteriand rebelled against the parental sys- ty. He was very much liked by his tem of primogeniture and non-divis- people of Hanover. He did not show ion of property which the Elector or his feelings much, but he cried heartdained. Gustchen,” the Electress ily on leaving them; as they used for writes about her second son :-"Poor joy when he came back. He showed Gus is thrust out, and his father will an uncommon prudence and coolness give him no more keep. I laugh in of behavior when he came into his the day and cry all night about it; kingdom; exhibiting no elation ; rea