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an historical Romance.


“No age has had its manners, events, and writers, and the “Great Atossa” of Pope) and personages so lucidly and strikingly described as Abigail Hill, afterwards Lady Masham, the that of the last of the Stuarts who reigned over superserviceable bed-chamber woman of the obGreat Britain ; no period was so inundated with stinate, weak, bigoted, and drunken Queen pamphlets, and all the weapons of party war- Anne. The details of this intrigue Mr. Ainsfare, or afforded more salient points for the his- worth has gracefully devised, and beautifully torian and biographer to seize and improve. By dove-tailed with the fabric of true history; and, these materials, the historical novelist is enabled in the splendid woof of his imagination, each to approach his subject with great advantage; accessory appears directly connected with, and and, making due allowance for faction and consequent on, the true event; while his persons malevolence, to produce a more piquant and occupy the exact position prescribed by history. engaging narrative from real facts and charac- “ We look upon this as the most artistic of ters, than if he drew solely on his own inven- his efforts ; and the manner in which he has tion. , ' Fact is stranger than fiction,' is a well- evolved his personages, and carried everything known adage; and Mr. Ainsworth's literary on consequently to the historical result, is the experience has proved this. The wonders of his more praiseworthy on account of its difficulty, inimitable “ Crichton” are the more vivid on from the imagination of the writer being reaccount of their reality; and he has made the strained by the knowledge that he was treading most of what annals, memoirs, and history con- on ground familiar to us all, and that his sphere, tain. From the stores of all that is picturesque in this respect, was a circumscribed and strictly and exciting in the veritable details of past defined one. ages, he has culled, from the rich treasury his “SAINT JAMES's' is a perfect picture galresearch has opened to him, the most delightful lery ; and if our limits allowed, we should like and animated portraitures, which his fertile to take some of the characters out of their fancy and creative imagination have invested frames, and places them bodily before our readers. with still more glowing colours than they bore The Queen--her husband (poor est il possible ?)in life, and with a halo of romance and adven- Marlborough, the great and good-Godolphin, tures adapted to their career, naturally resulting the stern and honest—Harley, the cunning, the from their character, and which we read with indolent, the spiteful, and the vain-Bolingapprobation, as in no respect abhorrent from the broke, the all-accomplished philosopher, rake, genius of the individual, or the spirit of the time. man of the world, gallant, scholar, and the most

“We could wish we had time or space to in- eloquent debater of his day-Sacheverell, the stitute a detailed comparison between Mr. Ains- meanest tool that was ever instrument of a great worth and Mr. Dickens; but this we cannot do event-Guiscard, the bold and reckless advenhere. Their characteristics are as eminent as turer, true Frenchman of that epoch, a little for they are peculiar; one is the interpreter of his grand monarque, and all for himself-the human nature as seen in our own age and in wonderful Duchess, 'scarce once herself, by turns our own scenes; the former is the illustrator of all womankind'-and Abigail Hill, who made a the same human nature as we read of it in the lord of her husband, and got her brother prestoried page of bygone days, and with all the ferred to superintend the demolition of Dunkirk nice points of character and incident which con- fortifications, not to speak of the subordinate temporary observers have only indicated or characters, in situation we mean, but not in inglanced at. Mr. Ainsworth fills up the canvas terest-truly, the book is an exquisite example of which they traced the outline; and unites, in of ornamental history, bearing the same relation harmonious and perfect whole, the lights and to the actual flow of events as Fielding's chef shades of the picture, making everything con- d'autre does to the course of human life, its gruous and life-like, the effect being like that of accidents, persons, foibles, virtues, and results. something of which we had an indistinct remem- We cannot express our satisfaction more forcibly. brance, and which only required a hint to bring “The work is in three volumes, each of which is it back to the mind in full identity and indivi- amply embellished with illustrations by George duality.

Cruikshank, which give an excellent idea of the “ The work at the head of this notice is an manners and costume of the time in high and low instance in point; we all know the main parti- places, and are valuable as specimens of skill, as culars of the contest between the Whigs and well as elucidatory of character and incident. A Tories for supremacy in Court and Parliament, recommendation of this work should not be lost in the time of Queen Anne; of the intrigues of sight of: it is printed in a fine, large, clear, bold, Harley and Saint-John against Marlborough and legible type, such as those exquisite novels of and Godolphin; and of the female rivalry be- De Balzac appeared in, when first published tween the Duchess of Marlborough (the Sarah under the pseudonyme of Henri St. Aubin, in Jennings of the most accomplished of memoir Paris."-Edinburgh Weekly Register,



Saint James's:







Two years and upwards had elapsed, and Abigail's promise remained unfulfilled." The Whigs were still in power, and the Marlborough family paramount in influence. But neither delay nor defeat discouraged Harley. Resolved to hazard nothing by precipitation, he carefully strengthened himself so as to be sure of holding his place when he obtained it. His measures, at first obscure and apparently purposeless, began to grow defined and intelligible. Confident of the support of the Tories, and of those in the Jacobite interest, he at last succeeded in winning over some of the opposite party, and among others, Earl Rivers, who became his confidential agent, and acquainted him with all the designs of his colleagues. By working upon his vanity and jealousy, he managed likewise to estrange the Duke of Somerset, and the queen was prevailed upon to aid in the scheme, by constantly inviting the duke to her private conferences, and Hattering his inordinate self-esteem. The Duke of Shrewsbury was also gained over by similar arts, though he hesitated to commit himself by any step which should compromise him with his party.

While thus providing himself with supporters, Harley strove to undermine the stronghold of his opponents. He had long since succeeded in rendering the Duchess of Marlborough obnoxious to the queen, and unpopular with the court; and he now turned his weapons chiefly against the duke.

Three more campaigns, which, if not distinguished by victories as glorious as those of Blenheim and Ramilies, still were sufficiently brilliant, had been added to the roll of Marlborough's achievements. The first of these passed off without any remarkable action; but in the summer of 1708, the important battle of Oudenard was gained; and in the autumn of the suc

ceeding year-namely, the 11th September, 1709—the fiercely contested and memorable victory of Malplaquet occurred. In the latter terrible conflict, in which the French, by the admission of both Marlborough and Eugene, performed almost prodigies of valour, they lost nearly fourteen thousand men, while the triumph of the confederate armies was dearly purchased. Stigmatizing the battle as a wanton and injudicious carnage, Harley went so far as to insinuate that the duke had exposed his officers to certain destruction in order to profit by sale of their commissions; and monstrous and improbable as the calumny appears, it nevertheless found some credence amongst those who had lost relatives and friends on that fatal field.

It must be admitted, also, that the duke's ruling passion, avarice, coupled with his wife's undisguised rapacity, favoured assertions like the present, and caused it at last to be generally believed, that the war was prolonged rather for his own benefit than the glory of the nation. With others, too, though fully sensible of his high deserts, and of the groundlessness and malice of such accusations, the desire of peace outweighed every other consideration, and they joined the cry, in the accomplishing the object of their wishes.

Marlborough unintentionally aided the designs of his enemy. Convinced that he had irrecoverably lost the queen's favour, and anxious, while he had yet power, to fortify himself against further opposition, which he foresaw he should have to encounter, he applied to the chancellor, to ascertain whether a patent, appointing him captain-general of the forces for life, could not be obtained. To his surprise and disappointment, the answer was that the application would be irregular and unconstitutional, and that the grant could not be made ; and though further inquiries were instituted, and through other channels, the replies were equally unfavourable.

Undeterred by these opinions, the duke determined to make a direct application to the queen; and with this view, immediately after the victory of Malplaquet, judging it a fitting season, he was unwise enough to employ the duchess on the mission. Prepared for the request by Harley, and glad of an opportunity of mortifying her former favourite, but present object of her unmitigated dislike, Anne gave a decided refusal.

“ I shall not remonstrate with your majesty upon your decision,” said the duchess; “ but since the duke's services are thus disregarded, I must announce to you his positive intention to retire at the close of the war.”

“ If your grace had said at the close of the present campaign, I should have understood you better,” replied the queen, with bitter significance ; “ but if the duke only means to relinquish his command at the end of the war, I know not when his design will be put into execution.”

“ Your majesty does not mean to echo Mr. Harley's false and

shall have peace.


dishonourable cry, that the Duke of Marlborough intentionally protracts the war?" cried the duchess, with difficulty controlling her passion.

“I echo no cry but that of my people for peace,” replied Anne.

They complain of the perpetual call for fresh supplies, and I own I sympathize with them.” “ Weil then,” cried the duchess, “


But I


it will be worse than war. In spite of her resolution to the contrary, Anne was disturbed by the duchess's implied menace. Left to herself, she could not refrain from tears, and she murmured_" Ah ! my dear, lost husband, this is one of the occasions when I should have felt the benefit of your support and counsel.” Anne had now been a widow just a year.

Her amiable consort, Prince George of Denmark, expired on the 23rd October, 1708. Constant in attendance upon him during his illness, Anne made no display of her grief when his sufferings were ended, and might have been supposed by an indifferent or a harsh observer to have felt little regret for his loss. But it was not so. She mourned him sincerely, but secretly; and almost the only person acquainted with the extent of her affliction was Mrs. Nasham, who was destined to be a witness to her emotion on the present occasion.

“In tears, gracious madam!" cried the confidante, who had approached unobserved. “I trust the duchess has offered you no new indignity.”

“She has made a request of me, on behalf of the duke, which I have refused — peremptorily refused,” replied Anne. “But my grief is not caused by her, but by thoughts of my dear lost husband."

" In that case, I can only sympathize with you, madam,” replied Mrs. Masham. “ I will not affect to mourn the prince as deeply as you;, but my sorrow is only second to your “ The prince had a great regard for you,” rejoined the queen

a great regard. His last recommendation to me was— Keep Abigail and her husband always near you. They will serve you faithfully.'"

“And we will make good his highness's words,” returned Mrs. Masham ; “but, oh! let us dwell no more on this subject, gracious madam. It distresses you."

“No; it relieves my heart,” replied Anne. “It is one of the penalties of royalty to be obliged to sacrifice private feelings to public duties. I can open my heart to no one but you. Abigail,” she continued, in a broken voice, “ I am now alone. I have neither husband nor children. My brother is in arms against me—my house is desolate—and though I wear a crown, it is a barren one. I dare not think upon the succession to the throne; for others order it for me."

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“ Alas! madam,” exclaimed Mrs. Masham.

“ Oh that my brother could enjoy his inheritance,” cried the queen.

“Let Mr. Harley once be at the head of affairs, madam,” returned the other, « and I am sure your desires can be accomplished.”

“ The season is at hand for his advancement,” said the queen. “I have just read the duchess a lesson, and shall lose no opportunity now of mortifying and affronting her. When the duke returns, I shall give him clearly to understand that he can expect nothing further at my hands. But where is Mr. Harley? I have not seen him this morning.”

“He is without, in the ante-chamber,” replied Mrs. Masham, “ and only waits your leisure for an audience.

“ He stands upon needless ceremony,” replied the queen. “ Let him come in.”

And the next moment Harley was introduced. Anne informed him what had passed between herself and the duchess.

“I am glad your majesty has acted with such becoming spirit,” replied Harley. “ The duke will feel his refusal keenly, but I can furnish you with another plan of galling him yet more sensibly. By the death of the Earl of Essex, which has just occurred, two important military preferments have become vacant, -namely, the lieutenancy of the Tower, and a regiment. These appointments, I need not tell your majesty, are usually made by the commander-in-chief."

“And you would have me dispose of them ?" said the queen.

“Precisely,” replied Harley; "and if I might venture to recommend a fitting person for the lieutenancy, it would be Lord Rivers."

Why, he is a whig !” exclaimed Anne. “ He is a friend of your majesty's friends," returned Harley, smiling

“ He shall have the place then,” said Anne.

“I have asked few favours for myself, gracious madam,” said Mrs. Masham; “but I now venture to solicit the vacant regiment for my brother, Colonel Hill.”

“ It is his,” replied the queen, graciously, “and I am happy in being able to oblige you.”

Mrs. Masham was profuse in her thanks.

“ This will be a bitter mortification to Marlborough,” replied Harley, “and will accelerate his retirement. His grace is not what he was, even with the multitude, and your majesty will see the sorry welcome he will experience from them on his return. I have at last brought to bear a project which I have long conceived, for rousing the whole of the high-church party in our favour. The unconscious


scheme is Doctor Henry Sacheverel, rector of Saint Saviour's, Southwark, a bigoted, but energetic divine, who, on the next fifth of Novem

in my

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