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on a couch near an open window, and fell asleep for two hours. When he awoke he was much worse. At last his critical state became evident; he was supported merely by stimulants.
His favourite, Albermarle, had been sent for from the Hague, and arrived at Kensington, travel-stained and exhausted with his long journey. Before the King heard the Continental news, he kindly bade Albermarle snatch a few hours rest. A great war was on the eve of breaking out. Once again, after little more than four years of peace, it was to be England and Holland against France. Albermarle brought news that all was in readiness. Had William lived, the annals of his reign might have been brightened by the victories which afterwards crowned the efforts of Marlborough. But for once he listened with a cold ear to the details of military arrangements. All his answer was, “I draw towards my end." He bade farewell to his Dutch courtiers, his only friends; and, when he could no longer speak, pressed the hand of Bentinck tenderly to his heart. The bishops knelt and prayed. At that moment the clock struck eight.
Almost before the concluding stroke, William had ceased to breathe.
As soon as the lords-in-waiting perceived that he was dead, they told the surgeon to unloose from his wrist a small piece of black ribbon. It was found to contain a lock of his wife's hair.
The Jacobites made merry over the King's death. “ The gentleman in black velvet," as they nick-named the mole that had been the innocent cause of it, became a favourite toast with them. The morning after the event rose bright and sunny. Such a morning, said the people, had not been seen for years. A Scotch peasant, as soon as he perceived the change, exclaimed that he was certain the wicked king must be dead at last. Such were the opinions which the majority, perhaps, of Englishmen pronounced on the great warrior and statesman who lay dead at Kensing
ton Palace. “It may," says Earl Stanhope, “be · doubted whether, at the time of his decease, there was
a single Englishman who entertained for him a feeling of personal attachment.” Posterity, however, has not ratified the harsh judgment of his contemporaries. We are mindful of his faults; but we consider them as outweighed by his virtues. He was no Englishman; but he was a man; a great, good man, for all that; and if we cannot regard him, as perhaps we cannot, with feelings of affection, we must at least look back to him with sentiments of gratitude.
Our rambling has taken us to higher subjects than usual, but we hope the lessons we gain may be the better, and the interest none the less.
We have not hesitated to occasionally assume a graver tone, where we were speaking of graver things, and William of Orange well deserves such respect; but we need not scruple to deal more lightly with his successor, Anne, and cannot do her successor, George of Hanover, better service than by speaking of him as lightly as possible.
The Palace during the Reign of Anne-Mrs. Morley
and Mrs. Freeman-Death of the Queen—The First George and the Hanoverian Invasion.
“WINDSOR CASTLE is a place to receive monarchs in ; Buckingham Palace to set fashion in; Kensington Palace a place to drink tea in." So writes Leigh Hunt, and adds that the reigns that flourished there were all tea-drinking reigns. We, however, venture to think that that of William the Third scarcely deserves this epithet. Literally speaking, but little tea could have been drunk, for " Tay,” as it was then called, cost sixty shillings a pound ! But Queen Anne's reign, at least as regards the Palace, was decidedly a tea-drinking one. We fancy that chocolate was Queen Anne's favourite beverage, but there is a gossiping odour about her life at Kensington that makes “tea-drinking” a very appropriate term.
On the death of her brother-in-law, Anne and her husband, Prince George, took possession of the royal apartments at Kensington with an alacrity which William's courtiers declared was “scarce decent."
England had not been ruled by a woman since the time of Elizabeth, and no greater contrast could be imagined than that which existed between good Queen Bess and good Queen Anne.
Anne was fat, slow, and dull, with an amiable face and a kind heart, but with very little brains, and still less energy of mind; a good wife, a devoted and sorrowing mother, a warm friend, and a very lukewarm enemy, firmly attached to the Church of England and the Tory party, and above all, a terrible gourmand.
When in good humour, says Macaulay, she was meekly stupid, and when in bad humour, she was sulkily stupid.
Her husband resembled her in more than one respect. “ If,” says Earl Stanhope, “there were in England any person duller than her Majesty, that person was her Majesty's consort, Prince George of Denmark.”