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The King's Visit to Hanover page 5

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The weather was so unpropitious when the royal squadron cast anchor on the 14th, that it was found necessary to defer the landing until the 15th. In the midst of the rain and the breakers, however, Sir Walter rowed off to the Royal George; and, says the newspaper of the day, "when his arrival alongside the yacht was announced to the king, 'What! ' exclaimed his majesty, 'Sir Walter Scott! the man in Scotland I most wished to see! Let him come up.' This distinguished baronet then ascended the ship, and was presented to the king on the quarter-deck, where, after an appropriate speech in the name of the ladies of Edinburgh, he presented his majesty with the St. Andrew's cross in silver, which his fair subjects had provided for him. The king, with evident marks of satisfaction, made a gracious reply to Sir Walter, received the gift in the most kind and condescending manner, and promised to wear it in public, in token of acknowledgment to the fair donors." To this record Mr. Lockhart adds, that, on receiving the poet on the quarterdeck, his majesty called for a bottle of Highland whisky, and having drunk his health in this national liquor, desired a glass to be filled for him. Sir Walter, after draining his own bumper, made a request that the king would condescend to bestow on him the glass out of which his majesty had just drunk his health. This being granted, the precious vessel was immediately wrapped up, and carefully deposited in what he conceived to be the safest part of his dress. Returning home in a state of high excitement, he found the poet Crabbe, who had come to him on a visit. In the joy of meeting him, he forgot the glass for a moment, and allowing the coat pocket which contained it to fall into its natural place, he sat down and crushed it to atoms. His scream and gesture made his wife conclude that he had sat upon a pair of scissors; but there was no damage done to his person which prevented his assuming the Highland garb, in which he appeared in the procession, heroically accoutred, and in a most bardish state of excitement, in a carriage drawn by four fiery horses. The programme of the procession was certainly highly romantic, completely pervaded by the " Waverley" and "Rob Roy" animus. First went three trumpeters of the Mid-Lothian yeomanry cavalry; next, a squadron of the same; and then, in succession, two Highland pipers; captain Campbell, and the tail of Breadalbane; Scots Greys; two Highland pipers; colonel Stewart and the Celtic club; Sir Evan MacGregor, mounted, and the tail of MacGregor; herald mounted; marischal trumpets mounted; a marischal groom on foot; three marischal grooms abreast; six marischal esquires mounted, three abreast, with two grooms on each side; knight marischal mounted, with two henchmen; marischal rearguard of Highlanders; sheriff mounted; sheriff officers; deputy lieutenants, in green coats, mounted; two pipers; general Graham Stirling, and tail; barons of exchequer; lord clerk; registrar; lords of justiciary and session, in carriages; marquis of Lothian, lord-lieutenant, mounted; two heralds; Glengarry mounted, and grooms; young Glengarry, and two supporters, with tail; four herald trumpeters; white rod and equerries; lord Lyon depute mounted, and grooms; earl of Erie; lord high constable mounted; two heralds; Scots Greys; royal carriage and six, with the marquis of Graham, lord G. Beresford, lord C. Bentinck - lords of the household; Sir R. H% Vivian, equerry to the king; ten royal footmen; sixteen yeomen the king, attended by the duke of Dorset, master of the horse, and the marquis of Winchester, groom of the stole; another squadron of Scots Greys; three clans of Highlanders, and banners; Mid-Lothian yeomanry; dragoon guards, &c.

The officers of the household and of the state, in splendid uniforms and appropriate insignia, awaited the king's landing. He wore the full-dress uniform of an admiral, with St. Andrew's cross and a large thistle in his gold-laced hat. The lord-lieutenant of Mid-Lothian and the lord-chamberlain received his majesty on shore, while the senior magistrate congratulated him on his arrival on Scottish ground. The cavalry, the highland infantry, and the gentlemen archers of the royal guards saluted him in due form. The usher of the white rod sent his herald to give three knocks at the city gate, the provost of Edinburgh going through the same mediaeval forms as the lord mayor of Dublin. The knocking, after proper delay, was answered, the keys were delivered and returned^ and the king was admitted into his ancient capital with enthusiastic acclamations. The royal çortége was peculiarly interesting, from the variety of costumes adopted. The king declared that the beauty of the scenery, the splendour of the display, and the enthusiasm of his welcome, affected him more than anything in the whole course of his life. The people, in their turn, were delighted beyond measure with the condescension and affability of their sovereign. He took up his residence during his stay at Dalkeith Palace, as the guest of the duke of Buccleuch. The following day he held a levée in the palace of Holyrood, restored for the occasion to its former splendour, so far as upholstery could accomplish the renovation. The king, on this occasion, wore the highland costume, selecting for his dress the tartan of the Stewarts. On the next day three thousand persons paid their respects to his majesty, at a court held in the same place. He received his visitors in a field-marshal's uniform. He completely won the hearts of the Scottish ladies, dancing with the young, and gaily chatting with the old. A magnificent fete was given by the lord provost in the parliament house, Sir Walter Scott officiating as croupier. When the king's health had been drunk, his majesty stood up and said, "I am quite unable to express my sense of the gratitude which I owe to the people of this country. But I beg to assure them that I shall ever remember, as one of the proudest moments of my life, the day I came among them, and the gratifying reception they gave me. I return you, my lord provost, my lords and gentlemen, my warmest thanks for your attention this day, and I can assure you - with truth, with earnestness, and sincerity - that I shall never forget your dutiful attention to me, upon my visit to Scotland, and particularly the pleasure I have derived from dining in your hall this day." (" God save the king," and immense cheering followed.) He continued: " I take this opportunity, my lords and gentlemen, of proposing the health of the lord provost, Sir William Arbuthnot, Bart., and the corporation of Edinburgh." When the king named the lord provost by the title he had conferred upon him, the magistrate knelt and kissed his hand, which was held out at the moment, and the incident was loudly applauded by the company. The king afterwards gave as a toast, "Health to the chieftains and clans, and God Almighty bless the 'land o' cakes! ' " He added, " Drink this with three times three! " The delight of the company in drinking this toast may well be imagined.

The king attended the theatre one evening, and by his desire the drama of " Rob Roy" was performed. The theatre was of course crowded to excess, the boxes presenting a dazzling galaxy of rank and beauty. When the approach of the king was announced, there was a pause of death-like stillness; then an outburst of deep, honest enthusiasm never to be forgotten. " A prolonged and heartfelt shout, which for more than a minute rent the house," a waving of handkerchiefs, tartan scarfs, and plumed bonnets, testified the joy of the assembly, and delighted the ears and eyes of the " chief of chiefs." Sir Walter Scott, in a letter to his son, gives a vivid description of this royal visit. For a fortnight Edinburgh had been a scene of giddy tumult, and considering all that he had to do, he wondered that he had not caught fever in the midst of it. All, however, went off most happily. The Edinburgh populace behaved themselves like so many princes, all in their Sunday clothes; nothing like a mob - no jostling or crowding. "They shouted with great emphasis, but without any running or roaring, each standing as still in his place as if the honour of Scotland had depended on the propriety of his behaviour. This made the scene quite new to all who had witnessed the Irish reception." The king's stay in Scotland was protracted till the 29th of August. On the day before his departure, Mr. Peel, who accompanied him as home secretary, wrote the following letter to Sir Walter Scott: - "My dear sir, - The king has commanded me to acquaint you that he cannot bid adieu to Scotland without« conveying to you individually his warm personal acknowledgments for the deep interest you have taken in every ceremony and arrangement connected with his majesty's visit, and for your ample contributions to their complete success. His majesty well knows how many difficulties have been smoothed, and how much has been effected by your unremitting activity, by your knowledge of your countrymen, and by the just estimation in which they hold you. The king wishes to make you the channel of conveying to the highland chiefs and their followers, who have given to the varied scenes which we have witnessed so peculiar and romantic a character, his particular thanks for their attendance, and his warm approbation of their uniform deportment. He does justice to the ardent spirit of loyalty by which they are animated, and is convinced that he could offer no recompense for their services so gratifying to them as the assurance which I now convey of the esteem and approbation of their sovereign."

The king left Scotland on the 29th, taking a route different from that by which he entered. On his way to the place of embarkation he visited the earl of Hopetoun, at whose house he conferred the honour of knighthood on Mr. Raeburn, the celebrated portrait-painter. At Queens- ferry, the country people assembled to testify their loyalty with a last look and a parting cheer. The roar of cannon from all the surrounding hills, and the shouts of the multitude, greeted him on his embarkation at Port Edgar. The royal squadron arrived safely on the 1st of September at Greenwich, where he was cordially welcomed home.

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