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LONDON [Vol. II]
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VISIT TO BUCKINGHAM PALACE.
was the evening following the one the incidents of which occupied the preceding
Beneath a sofa in the Ball Room of Buckingham Palace,
Henry Holford lay concealed.
It would be a mere repetition of statements made in
former portions of this work, were we to describe the means by which the young
man obtained access to the most private parts of the royal dwelling. We may,
however, observe that he had paid frequent visits to the palace since the
occasion when we first saw him enter those sacred precincts at the commencement
of January, 1839; and that he was as familiar with the interior of the
sovereign's abode, even to its most retired chambers, as any of its numerous
He had run many risks of discovery; but a species of
good fortune seemed to attend upon him in these strange and romantic ventures;
and those frequent alarms had never as yet terminated in his detection. Thus he
became emboldened in his intrusions; and he now lay beneath the sofa in the Ball
Room, with no more apprehension than he would have entertained if some authority
in the palace had actually connived at his presence there.
It was nine o'clock in the evening; and the Ball Room
was brilliantly illuminated.
But as yet the low-born pot-boy was its sole occupant.
Not long, however, was he doomed to that solitude. By a
strange coincidence, the two noble ladles whose conversation had so much
interested him on the occasion of his first visit to the palace, entered the
room shortly after nine o'clock. He recognised their voices immediately; and he
was delighted at their arrival, for their former dialogues had awakened the most
lively sentiments of curiosity in his mind. But since his intrusion in January,
1839, he had never seen nor heard them in his subsequent visits to the royal
dwelling, until the present occasion; and now, as they advanced through the room
together, he held his breath to catch the words that fell from them.
"The dinner-party was tiresome to-day, my dear
countess," observed the duchess: "her Majesty did not appear to be in
"Alas!" exclaimed the lady thus addressed,
"our gracious sovereign's melancholy fits occur at less distant intervals
as she grows older."
"And yet her Majesty has every earthly reason to be
happy,' said the duchess. "The Prince appears to be devotedly attached to
her; and the Princess Royal is a sweet babe."
"Worldly prosperity will not always ensure
felicity," returned the countess; "and this your grace must have
perceived amongst the circle of your acquaintance. Her Majesty is a prey to
frequent fits of despondency, which are distressing to the faithful subjects who
have the honour to be near the royal person. She will sit for an hour at a time,
in moody contemplation of that sweet babe; and her countenance then wears an
expression of such profound — such plaintive — such
touching melancholy, that I have frequently wept to behold her thus."
"What can be the cause of this intermittent
despondency?" inquired the duchess.
"It is constitutional," answered the countess.
"The fit comes upon her Majesty at moments when she is surrounded by all
the elements of pleasure, happiness, and joy. It is a dark spirit against which
no mind, however powerful, can wrestle. The only method of mitigating the
violence of its attacks is the bustle of travelling: — then novelty,
change of scene, exercise, and the demonstrations of popular devotion seem to
relieve our beloved sovereign from the influence of that morbid, moody
"I believe that when we conversed upon this topic
on a former occasion, — it must be at least two years ago, — your
ladyship hinted at the existence of hereditary idiosyncrasies in the Royal
Family?" observed the duchess, inquiringly. "Indeed," added her
grace, hastily, "I well remember that you alluded to the unfortunate
attachment of George the Third for a certain Quakeress — "
"Yes — Hannah Lightfoot, to whom the
monarch, when a prince, was privately united," answered the countess.
"His baffled love — the necessity which compelled him to
renounce one to whom he was devotedly attached — and the constant
dread which he entertained lest the secret of this marriage should transpire,
acted upon his mind in a manner that subsequently produced those dread results
which are matters of history."
"You allude to his madness," said the duchess,
with a shudder.
"Yes, your grace — that madness which
is, alas! hereditary," replied the countess solemnly. "But George the
Third had many — many domestic afflictions. Oh! if you knew all, you
would not be surprised that he had lost his reason! The profligacy of some of
his children — most of them — was alone sufficient to
turn his brain. Many of those instances of profligacy have transpired; and
although the public have not been able to arrive at any positive proofs
respecting the matters, I can nevertheless assure your grace that such proofs are
in existence — and in my possession!"
"Your ladyship once before hinted as munch to me;
and I must confess that without having any morbid inclination for vulgar
scandal, I feel some curiosity in respect to these matters."
"Some day I will place in your hand papers of a
fearful import, in connexion with the Royal Family," returned the countess.
"Your grace will then perceive that profligacy the most abandoned — crimes
the most heinous-vices the most depraved, characterised nearly all the children
of George the Third. There is one remarkable fact relative to that prince's
marriage with Hannah Lightfoot. The Royal Marriage Act was not passed until thirteen
years after this union, and could not therefore set it aside; and yet Hannah
Lightfoot was still living when the prince espoused Charlotte Sophia Princess of
Mecklenburgh Strelitz in 1761."
"Is this possible?" exclaimed the duchess,
"It is possible — it is true!"
said the countess emphatically. "In 1772 the Royal Marriage Act* [* This
Act was denounced at the time as "one calculated only to encourage
fornication and adultery in the descendants of George the Second."] was
passed, and provided that no member of the Royal Family should contract a
marriage without the sovereign's consent. This measure was enacted for several
reasons; but principally because the King's two brothers had formed private
nexions, — the
Duke of Cumberland with Mrs Horton, a widow-and the Duke of Gloucester with the
widow of the Earl of Waldegrave."
"The act certainly appears to me most cruel and
oppressive," said the duchess; "inasmuch as it interferes with the
tenderest affections and most charming of human sympathies-feelings which
royalty has in common with all the rest of mankind."
"I cordially agree with your grace," observed
the countess. "The law is barbarous — monstrous-revolting; and
its evil effects were evidenced by almost every member of the family of George
the Third. In the first place, the Prince of Wales (afterwards George the
Fourth) was privately united to Mrs. Fitzherbert, at the house of that lady's
uncle, Lord Sefton. Fox, Sheridan, and Burke were present at the ceremony, in
addition to my mother and several relations of the bride. Mr. Fox handed her
into the marriage; and the happy pair proceeded to Richmond, where they passed a
week or ten days. Queen Charlotte was made acquainted with the marriage: she
sent for her son, and demanded an explanation. The prince avowed the truth. Your
grace has, of course, read the discussion which took place in connexion with
this subject, in the House of Commons, in 1787. Mr. Rolle, the member for
Devonshire, mysteriously alluded to the union: Mr. Fox rose up, and denied it;
but from that day forth Mrs. Fitzherbert never spoke to Fox again. Sheridan let
the truth escape him: — he said, 'A lady who has been alluded to,
is without reproach, and is entitled to the truest and most general respect.'
How would Mrs. Fitzherbert have been without reproach, or entitled to respect,
if she were not married to the prince? But I have proofs — convincing
proofs — that such an union did actually take place, although it was
certainly null and void in consequence of the Marriage Act."
"It nevertheless subsisted according to the
feelings and inclinations of the parties interested," said the duchess;
"and it was based on honour, if on no legal principle."
"Alas!" whispered the countess, casting a
rapid glance around; "the word honour must not be mentioned in
connexion with the name of George the Fourth. It pains me to speak ill of the
ancestors of [-194-] our lovely queen; but — if
we converse on the subject at all — truth must influence our
observations. The entire life of George the Fourth was one of profligacy and
crime. Often have I marvelled how one possessing a soul so refined as Georgiana,
the beautiful Duchess of Devonshire, could have resigned herself to such a
degraded voluptuary — such a low debauchee. Yet she was his Quen [-sic-]
of Love, surrounded by her graces, who, however, bore the modern names of
Craven, Windham, and Jersey."
"Carlton House has, indeed, beheld strange and
varied scenes," said the duchess; "low orgies and voluptuous
revels-music floating here — dice rattling there — the
refinements of existence in one room, and the most degraded dissipation in
"Such was the case," observed the countess.
"But let us return to the consequences of the Royal Marriage Act. Rumour
has told much in connexion with the coupled names of the Duke of York and Mrs.
Clarke — the late King William and Mrs. Jordan; and so well known
are these facts that I need not dwell upon them. The matrimonial connexions of
the Duke of Sussex — first with Lady Augusta Murray, and afterwards
with Lady Cecilia Underwood,*[-*Now Duchess of Inverness-]
are all matters resting upon something more solid than mere conjecture."
"And the Duke of Cumberland — the
present King of Hanover?" said the duchess Inquiringly.
"It is dangerous to speak of him,"
whispered the countess; "because it is impossible to utter a word in his
"You surely cannot believe all the tales that have
been circulated against him?" exclaimed the duchess, earnestly watching the
countenance of her companion, as if to anticipate her reply.
"Does your grace particularly allude to the death
of Sellis?" asked the countess, turning her head so as to meet the glance
of her friend. "Because," continued she, without waiting for a reply,
"I should be sorry — nay, nothing should induce me-to state in
plain terms my impression relative to that event. I may, however, allude to a
few material points. Sir Everard Home, the medical attendant of the Duke of
Cumberland, frequently observed, 'that too much pains were taken to involve
that affair in mystery;' and another eminent physician, since dead, declared
that 'the head of Sellis was nearly severed from his body, and that no man
could inflict upon himself a wound of such a depth.' The Duke of Cumberland
stated that his valet, Sellis, entered his bed-chamber and attacked him with a
sword; and that having failed in his murderous purposes, he retired to his own
room and committed suicide. Sir Everard Home distinctly proved, on the inquest,
that the corpse was found lying on its side on the bed; and yet 'he
had cut his own throat so effectually that he could not have changed his
position after inflicting the wound.' I will not, however, make any
observations upon that fact and this statement which seem so
conflicting: the subject is almost too awful to deal with. There is still one
remarkable point to which the attention of those who discuss the dark affair
should be directed: — the hand-basin in Sellis's room was half full
of blood-stained water, and it is very clear that the miserable wretch himself
could not have risen to wash his hands after the wound was inflicted in
his throat. But let us not dwell on this horrible event: the mere mention of it
makes me shudder."
"The King of Hanover has been, at least,
unfortunate in many circumstances of his life, if not guilty," observed the
duchess; "because his enemies have insisted strongly upon the suspicious
nature of the incident of which we have been speaking."
"The more so, because it was known that the Duke of
Cumberland had intrigued with the wife of Sellis," returned the countess.
"As your grace declares, that exalted personage has been indeed
unfortunate — if nothing more. In 1830 Lord Graves committed
suicide; and the improper connexion existing between the Duke of Cumberland and
Lady Graves was notorious."
"I well remember," said the duchess,
"that the conduct of the Duke and Lady Graves was far from prudent, to say
the least of it, after that melancholy event. Scarcely were the remains of the
self-slain nobleman cold in the tomb, ere his widow and her illustrious lover
were seen driving about together in the neighbourhood of Hampton Court, where
Lady Graves had apartments."
"True," exclaimed the duchess. "But we
have travelled a long way from our first topic — the Royal Marriage
Act. We were speaking of its pernicious effects in respect to the family of
George the Third. And that was a fine family, too! My deceased mother often
expatiated — and her secret papers dwell at length — upon
the charms of the princesses. Alas! how sorrowfully were they situated! In the
bloom of youth — in the glow of health — with warm
temperaments and ardent imaginations, which received encouragement from the
voluptuous indolence of their lives — they were denied the
privileges of the meanest peasant girl in the realm: — they were
unable to form matrimonial connexions where their inclinations prompted them.
The consequences were those which might have been anticipated: the honour of the
princesses became sacrificed to illicit passion — passion which was
still natural, although illicit! Those amours were productive of issue; but the
offspring of none has created any sensation in the world, save in the instance
of Captain Garth, the son of the Princess Sophia. Relative to the mysterious
birth of that individual, the secret papers left by my mother — and
the existence of which is even unknown to my husband-contain some strange, some
startling facts. Conceive the embarrassment — the perilous nature of
the situation in which the princess was suddenly involved — when,
during a journey from London to some fashionable watering-place, she found
herself overtaken with the pangs of premature maternity — she, who
up to that moment had managed to conceal her condition even from the attendants
upon her person! Then imagine this princess — a daughter of the
sovereign of the realm — compelled to put up at a miserable
road-side inn — forced to make a confidant of her lady in
attendance, and obliged also to entrust her secret to the surgeon of the village
where her child was born! But you shall read the narrative, with all its
details, in my private papers."
"What opinion has your ladyship formed relative to
the circumstances which led to the Bill of Pains and Penalties instituted
against Queen Caroline, the spouse of George the Fourth?" inquired the
"I firmly believe that most unfortunate and most
persecuted princess to have been completely innocent," answered the
countess, with solemn emphasis. "From the first she was hateful to her
husband. [-195-] When the Earl of Malmesbury, who
was sent to Germany to escort the Princess to England, arrived with her in
London, the Prince of Wales repaired instantly to pay his respects to his
intended bride. But scarcely had he set eyes on her when he conceived a feeling
of ineffable dislike; and, turning towards the Earl, he said, 'Harris,* [* 'The
family name of the Earl of Malmesbury.] a glass of brandy — I am
ill!" Your grace has heard of love at first sight: here was hatred at first
sight. Every thing attending that marriage was inauspicious: for if the Princess
had the misfortune to make an unfavourable impression on the Prince, his Royal
Highness wantonly wounded her feelings by grossly manifesting his dislike
towards her on all occasions. On the bridal night he drank so deeply that he
fell on a sofa in the nuptial chamber, and there slept with his clothes on. But
to pass over many years, let us come to the circumstances which led to the
memorable trial of Queen Caroline. During her continental travels, Baron Bergami
was presented to her. He was a man of honourable character, good family, but
ruined fortunes. His condition excited the compassion of the generous-hearted
Caroline; and she gave him a situation in her household. His conversation was
fascinating; and he was frequently her companion inside the travelling chariot.
Perhaps an English lady would have acted with more prudence; but your grace will
remember that there is a wide distinction between our manners and customs and
those of the Continent. We see improprieties in actions which foreigners
view as harmless courtesies or innocent proofs of friendly interest. We
also seem ready to meet suspicions of evil half-way: foreigners, with more
generous frankness and candour, say, 'Evil be to him who evil thinks.'
But the marriage was hateful to King George the Fourth; and he was determined to
dissolve it. He was resolved to sacrifice his wife to his aversions. She was to
be made a victim. Then commenced that atrocious subornation of perjured
witnesses which gave a colour to the proceedings against the unfortunate Queen.
Her slightest levities were tortured into proofs of guilt: her generosity
towards Bergami was branded as an illicit passion. The witnesses made statements
which proved how well they had been tutored: they over-acted their parts; and,
in their zeal to serve a master who paid them for their perjury, they deposed to
more than they could possibly have known, even if the main accusation had been
true. The nation was indignant — for the people, your grace,
are possessed of much chivalry and noble generosity of character. Then, too,
rose the portentous voices of Denman and Brougham, calling upon the hidden
accuser to come forth and confront his victim. Oh! it was a vile proceeding; and
I, as a woman — as a wife, feel my blood boiling in my veins when I
think of all the foul wrongs which were heaped upon the most injured of my
"That trial," said the duchess, who was
naturally of a more cautious disposition than her companion, — "that
trial was certainly a dark blot on time page which records the annals of George
the Fourth's reign."
"Say rather, your grace," exclaimed the
countess, "the blackest of the innumerable black deeds which characterised
his existence. Before the accusation in respect to Bergami was ever thought of,
a charge was concocted against that injured lady, and commissioners were
appointed to investigate it. Thus, your grace perceives, her bad husband was
determined to ruin her. That charge accused her of having been delivered of a
male child at her abode at Blackheath; and the affair certainly appeared
suspicious at first. But how triumphantly was it met? how readily was it
refuted? how easily was it explained! The injured lady had taken a fancy to the
infant of poor but respectable people named Archer, living in that
neighbourhood; and she had undertaken to adopt and provide for the boy. The
unfortunate Princess felt the necessity of loving something — since
her own child was taken from her. Thus was her goodness towards William Archer
converted into a weapon wherewithal to assail her in the most tender point. Her
husband's agents circulated the most odious calumnies concerning her, and even
improperly coupled her name with that of Sir Sydney Smith, the hero of Acre. But
the Archer story fell to the ground; and the Bergami scandal was subsequently
propagated with a zeal which evinced the determination of George the Fourth to
ruin Caroline of Brunswick."*[* We had the honour of enjoying the
friendship of Sir Sydney Smith in Paris during the years 1834 — 7;
and the misfortunes of Queen Caroline frequently became the topic of discourse
between us. Sir Sydney Smith assured us, on several occasions and in the most
solemn manner, that the reports which had been circulated relative to himself
and that injured lady, during her residence at Blackheath, were vile calumnies.
"Queen Caroline had certainly much levity of manner, and was very
thoughtless and inexperienced," he would observe; "but her virtue was
never for a moment suspected by me." The following passage occurs in a
letter which Queen Caroline wrote to the Countess de C — , shortly
before the commencement of the Trial, and which autograph letter (together
with numerous important papers concerning George the Third and his family)
is in our possession: — "This letter will be delivered to you
by an individual who is persecuted because he has served me faithfully. I
recommend him to your kindness. The Baron Bergami is of high birth. He has been
unfortunate: I perceived the excellence of the qualities he possesses — I
have ameliorated his condition in a pecuniary point of view — and
thus have I secured him as my friend. The fury of my adversaries pursues
him — I tremble for his very existence — my royal
husband is capable of any crime to ensure the gratification of his
revenge. I therefore crave your protection for Bergami, and hope that by your
influence you will so arrange matters that he shall not be molested in Paris. I
do not ask you to admit him into your society, unless agreeable to yourself; at
the same time, my dear Countess, you must be aware that pride is folly. We must
judge mankind by the scale of merit, and not by the grandeur of titles. This is
the course I have adopted through life, and am well pleased with my line of
conduct Recollect this precept you will perceive its wisdom when you grow
There was a pause in the conversation.
The duchess, who was possessed of a strong inclination
for the mysterious or scandalous narratives connected with the family of George
the Third, was so impressed by the vehemence and confident emphasis with which
her companion had denounced the profligacy of George the Fourth, that a species
of awe — an undefined alarm came over her: — it suddenly
appeared as if it were a sacrilege thus to canvass the character of that
deceased monarch within the very palace where he himself had dwelt; — and
she hesitated to make any remark or ask any question that might load to a
continuation of the same topic.
On her side, the countess-who was much older than the
duchess, and more deeply initiated in the [-196-]
mysteries of Courts — had become plunged into a deep reverie; for
she possessed a generous mind, and never could ponder upon the wrongs of the
murdered Queen Caroline without experiencing the most profound indignation and
sorrow.*[* The last and fatal illness of Queen Caroline was caused by a stoppage
in the bowel. Doctors Maton and Warren (the king's physicians) attended upon the
illustrious lady; and various remedies were prescribed by them — but
in vain. One morning, a bottle of crotan oil was sent to an individual of
Her Majesty's household, accompanied by the following letter: — "Sir, — I
am aware that nothing but the great — the very great — danger
Her Majesty is in, would excuse this unauthorised intrusion. Having, however,
learnt from the papers the nature of Her Majesty's complaint, I have taken the
liberty to forward to you, with a view of having it handed to Dr. Maton or Dr.
Warren, a medicine of strong aperient properties, called crotan oil — one
drop of which is a dose. It is most probably known to some of Her Majesty's
advisers; but it has only been recently brought into this country. it may be
proper to observe that Doctor Pemberton has himself taken it; and I have
administered it to more than one person. Its operation is quick and certain. Two
drops, when made into pills with bread, usually produce saving effects in half
or three quarters of an hour. It has struck me that this medicine might be
successfully administered to Her Majesty. At all events I can have done no harm
in taking the liberty to suggest it; but, unwilling to appear anxious to make
myself obtrusive, or to seem influenced by any other than the most disinterested
motives, I have declined giving my name.
This letter, and the medicine, were forwarded to Dr.
Pemberton, of Great George Street, Hanover Square. who had at one time been Her
Majesty's principal medical attendant. Dr. Pemberton's answer was this: — "I
have myself taken two drops of the crotan oil, on several
occasions; and the Queen may safely take one." The royal physicians
obtained an interview with George the Fourth, and the result was a declaration
on their part, "that they did not consider themselves justified in
administering the medicine to Her Majesty." Comment is unnecessary. ]
The reader may probably deem it somewhat extraordinary
that ladies attached to the Court should thus freely discuss the most private
affairs, and canvass the characters of deceased members of the Royal Family. But
we can positively assert that nowhere are scandal and tittle-tattle more
extensively indulged in, than amongst the members of that circle of courtiers
and female sycophants. who crowd about the sovereign.* [* But, ah! while of
Victoria's court I'm singing, / What solemn music echoes from the lyre!/ And
wherefore does a passing bell seem ringing,/ And melancholy thoughts my soul
inspire?/ See where the raven now his flight is winging-/ Hark to the anthem of
the funeral choir — / List to the curfew's note of death-like
gloom — / And drop a tear o'er Flora Hastings' tomb! - Sequel to
Don Juan. ]
The conversation of the duchess and countess was not
renewed on the present occasion; for while they were yet plunged each in the
depths of her own particular meditations, the regal train entered the Ball Room.
And all this while Henry Holford remained concealed
beneath the sofa!
Victoria leant upon the arm of her consort; and the
illustrious party was preceded by the Lord Chamberlain and the Lord Steward. The
Queen and the Prince proceeded to the reserved seats which were slightly
elevated in a recess, and were covered with white satin embroidered in silver.
Then the magnificent Ball-Room presented a truly fairy
spectacle. Plumes were waving, diamonds were sparkling, bright eyes were
glancing and music floated on the air. The spacious apartment was crowded with
nobles and gentlemen in gorgeous uniforms or court-dresses; and with ladies in
the most elegant attire that French fashions could suggest or French milliners
achieve. All those striking or attractive figures, and all the splendours of
their appearance, were multiplied by the brilliant mirrors to an illimitable
The orchestra extended across one end of the Ball Room;
and the musicians had entered by a side-door almost at the same moment that the
royal procession made its appearance.
In the rooms adjoining, the Corps of Gentlemen-at-arms
and the Yeomen of the Guard were on duty, and in the hall the band of the Royal
Regiment of Horse Guards was in attendance.
The Queen and the Prince danced in the first quadrille;
and afterwards they indulged in their favourite waltz — the Frohsinn
mein Ziel. At the termination of each dance the royal party passed into the
Picture Gallery, where they promenaded amidst a wilderness of flowers and
aromatic shrubs. Then indeed the odour-breathing exotics — the
whispering leaves — the light of the pendent lamps, mellowed so as
to give full effect to the portraits of those who were once famous or once
beautiful — the ribboned or gartered nobles — the blaze
of female loveliness — the streams of melody — the
presence of all possible elements of splendour, harmony, and pleasure, combined
to render the whole scene one of enchantment, and seemed to realize the most
glowing and brilliant visions which oriental writes a ever shadowed forth!
The dancing was renewed in the Ball-Room and as the
beauteous ladies of the court swam and turned in graceful mazes, it appeared as
if the art had become elevated into the harmony of motion. Dancing there was
something more than mechanical: it was a true, a worthy, and a legitimate sister
of poetry and music.
At twelve o'clock the doors of the supper-room were
thrown open; and in that gorgeous banqueting-hall the crimson draperies, the
service of gold and the massive table ornaments were lighted up by Chinese
lanterns and silver candelabra of exquisite workmanship. A splendid row of gold
cups was laid on each side of the table. On the sight of each plate stood a
decanter of water, a finger glass half filled with tepid water, a champagne
glass, a tumbler, and three wine-glasses. Numerous servants in magnificent
liveries were in attendance. No one asked for any thing: the servants offered
the various dishes, of which the guests partook or which they rejected according
to their taste No healths were drunk during the Queen's presence, nor was the
ceremony of taking wine with each other observed — not even on the
part of the gentleman with the lady whom he had handed into the room. The
domestics whose especial duty it was to serve the wine, never filled a glass
until it was quite empty; nor did any guest ask for wine, but when the servant
approached him, merely stated the kind of wine he chose.
After sitting for about an hour, the Queen rose, and was
conducted to the Yellow Drawing-Room by [-197-]
Prince Albert, the guests all rising as the royal couple retired.
Then the servants filled the glasses, and the Lord
Steward said, "The Queen!" The health was drunk standing, in silence,
and with a gentle inclination of the head. In a few minutes afterwards the
gentlemen conducted the ladies into the Yellow Drawing-Room, where coffee and
liqueurs were served.
The harp, piano, and songs by some of the ladies,
occupied another hour; at the expiration of which the guests took their
Holford had now been concealed nearly five hours beneath
the sofa in the ball-room; and he was cramped, stiff, and wearied. During that
interval he had experienced a variety of emotions — wonder at the
strange revelations which he had heard from the lips of the countess, — ineffable
delight in contemplating the person of his sovereign, — envy at the
exalted prosperity of Prince Albert, — thrilling excitement at the
fairy-like aspect of the enchanting dance, — sensations of unknown
rapture occasioned by the soft strains of the music, — and boundless
disgust for his own humble, obscure, and almost serf-like condition.
During those intervals when the royal party and the
guests were promenading in the Picture Gallery or were engaged in the
supper-apartment and the drawing-room, Holford longed to escape from his
hiding-place and retreat to the lumber-closet where he was in the habit of
concealing himself on the occasion of his visits to the palace; but there were
too many persons about to render such a step safe.
It was not, therefore, until a very late hour, — or
rather an early one in the morning, — that he was able to enter the
supper-room and help himself to some of the dainties left upon the board; having
done which, he retreated to his nook in the most retired part of the palace.
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