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George III., died shortly afterwards ; the Duke of Kent almost the next day. The Dukes of York and Cumberland were more ardent and bigoted Tories than the Regent himself, who had at least the doubtful advantage of being a Whig apostate. In the midst of all this reaction, one Prince of the House of Brunswick raised his cheerful and sonorous voice for the principles which had placed his family on the throne. The patriotic toasts of the day were drunk with acclamation, amongst others, one to the “Respectability of the Crown, the • durability of the Constitution, and the liberty of the Sub
ject;' and the song · Fall, tyrants, fall!' which old John Taylor of Norwich had written in 1788 to celebrate the centenary of the landing of William of Orange at Torbay, was enthusiastically sung, the Duke of Sussex leading the chorus. The history of that song is curious. It began
“The trumpet of liberty sounds through the world,
And the universe starts at the sound;
And the nations are thronging around.
Its thunders, its faggots, its chains;
Fall, tyrants, fall!' Though written several months before the meeting of the States General at Versailles, these lines, and some other stanzas, were considered to be prophetic of the French Revolution, and the song shared the popularity of the • Marseillaise' among the party which had hailed with rapture that great overthrow of despotic power. In Norfolk especially the friends and followers of Mr. Fox adhered to the views he took of that great event, until they were checked by the altered course of Mr. Windham; but the House of Quidenham remained faithfully attached to the good old * cause.' At this distance of time, and under circumstances so different, it is hardly possible to describe the violence of party feeling which had been excited by the reactionary policy and measures of Lord Liverpool's government. The Ministry were literally at war with the people, and in one instance at least blood had been shed. The Whigs of that day responded, it must be acknowledged, in no moderate language, for they firmly believed that the liberties of the country were in danger; but they were prepared for deeds as well as words, and if the course of events had rendered inevitable a more direct appeal to the people, men like Lord Albemarle, Lord
Fitzwilliam, and Mr. Coke would not have been wanting to their Whig principles and their duty. The arrival of Queen Caroline in England at this crisis, and the steps immediately taken to bring in a Bill of Pains and Penalties against Her Majesty, fell like a spark upon these fiery materials; and on looking back to that convulsive period, we are really surprised that the constitution stood the shock of so much folly and unpopularity on the part of the Tories.
Before the end of the year 1820, Lieutenant Keppel, then of the 24th Foot, was ordered to join his regiment, whose headquarters were in Bengal. Upon his arrival our gallant author, with his accustomed good luck, found a vacancy on the personal staff of the Marquis of Hastings, then GovernorGeneral, to which he was immediately appointed, and the next few years of his life were spent in India. On leaving the country in 1829, Lieutenant Keppel took, as is well known, the Overland Route, and the Personal Narrative' (as it was called) of his travels through Persia to the Russian frontier deservedly obtained for him considerable celebrity, and, what was more, an unattached majority from the Duke of Wellington, who said. It is that young fellow's book that got him his step.
By the death of his eldest brother, who only lived about two years in the enjoyment of the family honours, the military cadet of the House of Keppel succeeded in 1851 to the earldom; and perhaps there is no better education and training for an English Peer than to have entered upon life, and seen a good deal of the world as a younger son, before he arrives at the rank and duties of the head of his family.
We must now leave Lord Albemarle to relate, in person, to our readers, the rest of his adventures. Our part is done in introducing them to so amusing a companion ; and if he has not had the good fortune to rival the military achievements of his ancestors, having lived in these piping times of peace, he has at least stood constantly by their Whig principles, and he has done what no former Earl of Albemarle had accomplished in writing a very agreeable and entertaining book. His first work, the · Memoirs of the Marquis of Rockingham,' which was published in 1852, was a book of higher political and literary pretensions than these amusing volumes. We reviewed it at the time of its appearance; and no subsequent publication, not even Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice's interesting life of his grandfather Lord Shelburne, has thrown more light on the transactions of the earlier years of George III. But these 'Reminiscences ' have the charm and flavour of personal experience, and they bring us into direct contact with the persons
urton as tare : but of a will leavinment of great, Albe
they describe. But before we conclude, there is one transaction related by Lord Albemarle, though it concerned his father more than himself, to which we must refer. The marriage of the Prince of Wales to Mrs. Fitzherbert has repeatedly been discussed in this Journal, more especially in the historical articles contributed by Lord Brougham and Sir George Cornewall Lewis to our pages, and since republished with the names of those eminent persons. It is, therefore, well known that the documents relating to the marriage were deposited in June 1833 at Coutts's Bank by an agreement between the Duke of Wellington and Sir W. Knighton as executors of George IV., and Lord Albemarle and Lord Stourton as the nominees of Mrs. Fitzherbert. There the papers still are : but of what do they consist? Lord Brougham says one was a will leaving everything to her • disposal; another was a marriage settlement of great length
with the certificate of the marriage annexed.'* Lord Albemarle answers this question with more precision, and shows that whilst the most essential papers in proof of the marriage were, and are, preserved, a vast quantity of other documents was destroyed. To this he adds an anecdote of singular interest, which shows that however insensible George IV. may have been to the nobler sentiments of honour and duty, affection for Mrs. Fitzherbert still lingered for almost half a century in his heart.
[1837.] In the month of March of this year died Mrs. Fitzherbert, a lady who had occupied a large share of public attention, and one associated in my mind with a number of childish recollections. She was buried at Brighton, where a handsome monument was raised to her memory by the Honourable Mrs. Dawson Damer, her adopted child, and the “Minnie Seymour" of my nursery days.
• In one of the pamphlets of her day, Mrs. Fitzherbert is described as “legally, really, and happily for the country, Her Royal Highness " the Princess of Wales.” William IV. treated her with much kindness and consideration ; he allowed her to wear widow's weeds for the deceased king; urged her to assume the royal liveries, and in her visits to the Palace, observed those external marks of courtesy which a British Sovereign usually shows to a sister-in-law.
· Four years before her death, there appeared in “Lord Holland's “Memoirs of the Whig Party," some passages which reflected on the relation in which she stood to George IV. when Prince of Wales. In consequence of this publication, Mrs. Fitzherbert committed certain documents to the charge of Lord Stourton, as one of her nearest relatives and to my father as her oldest and most trusted friend. Lord Stourton was prevented from acting by illness, and Lord Albemarle
ction come to thews that he adde quantitproof
* Statesmen of George III., vol. ii. p. 2.
became her nominee. It was then arranged with the approval of King William, that the Duke of Wellington as executor of George IV. should meet Lord Albemarle at Mrs. Fitzherbert's house in Tilney Street, and that they should destroy all documents, that were not deemed necessary for the vindication of her character.
The documents retained were: “1. The mortgage on the palace at Brighton. 62. The certificate of the marriage dated December 21st, 1785.
3. Letter from George IV. signed by him. 14. Will written by George IV.
5. Memorandum written by Mrs. Fitzherbert, attached to a letter written by the clergyman who performed the marriage ceremony.
* The papers were made into a packet, and having been first sealed by the Duke of Wellington and my father, were lodged at Coutts's bank, where they now remain. They are declared to be “the pro“perty of the Earl of Albemarle,” they are, however, not my property, but are held in trust by my brother Edward, as my father's executor. Some idea of the mass of manuscripts committed to the flames may be formed by an expression of the Duke to my father, after several hours' burning: “I think, my Lord, we had better hold our hand for a " while, or we shall set the old woman's chimney on fire.”
‘At an early period of their marriage, George Prince of Wales presented Mrs. Fitzherbert with a large diamond. This jewel she caused to be divided into two parts. In one part was inclosed the Prince's. portrait, which she reserved for herself. The other half containing her miniature, she gave to His Royal Highness. Soon after their final separation, it was agreed between them that all tokens of affection which each had received from the other should be returned. The arrangement was carried out by Mrs. Fitzherbert, but the Prince failed to restore her miniature. Too proud to ask for an explanation, Mrs. Fitzherbert lived and died in ignorance of what had become of her present.
"When on his death-bed, George IV. desired the Duke of Wellington, whom he had appointed his executor, to take care that he was buried in the night clothes in which he then lay. Soon after His Majesty had received the assurance that his wishes should be complied with, he breathed his last. Left alone with the lifeless form of his Royal Master, the Duke was seized with an irrepressible desire to discover the motive which had led the King to make so strange a request. Approaching the bed, he discovered round the King's neck, attached to a very dirty and faded piece of black riband, the jewelled miniature of Mrs. Fitzherbert.
“The poor King's dying request was fulfilled to the letter, and he carried with him to the grave the image of her who was perhaps the only woman whom he had respected as well as loved. The portrait of George Prince of Wales was bequeathed by Mrs. Fitzherbert to Mrs. Dawson Damer, and she left it in her will to her daughter, Georgiana, Countess Fortescue. It is now the property of her husband who survived her— the present Earl Fortescue, to whom I am indebted for these particulars.
VOL. CXLIII. NO. CCXCII.
ART. VII.- Storia della Repubblica di Firenze da GINO
CAPPONI. Two vols. 8vo. Firenze: 1875. W E had hoped that our tribute to the merits of this remark
able work would have found its illustrious author still living, the glory and pride of the city whose historic fortunes it was the interest of his later years to narrate: but a short illness at the beginning of February 1876 carried off the Marquis Gino Capponi in the full possession of his faculties and sympathies. It was not a premature death, as time is counted, for he had lived nearly eighty-four years, and had played a finished part in politics and in literature. It was not premature as to the curtailment of this world's happiness, for he had been doomed for thirty years to the severest of physical deprivations - like our own great writer and patriot Milton,
"Shut up from outward light
Puts forth no visual bean.' A man of warm family affections, he had experienced the severance of his dearest domestic ties; and, courageous and resigned as he was, those who knew him in his latter days tell us that he looked with desire to the moment when his spirit should be freed from its mortal impediments.
Yet to his fellow-countrymen the tidings of the Marquis Capponi's death came as a calamity; and the blank occasioned by his departure from among them is one not to be filled up. This will readily be understood by all who have studied the course of modern Italian politics, by all who are acquainted with the literature of the Peninsula during the last fifty years, by all who have had entrance into its most refined social circles; and, we may add, by all who are conversant with the lower ranks in Florence, and have heard the household name of « il nostro Gino Capponi' habitually mentioned with love and respect by peasant and artisan.
In fact this love of the lower classes for one who has been styled “ l'uom modello de' suoi tempi, il gentil'uomo « Toscano per eccellenza,' is not one of the least remarkable circumstances connected with him. When, at his funeral, at the Marignolle Chapel, representatives were present from the King, the Ministry, and the Chamber of Legislation, from numerous Colleges and Societies, and the military and ceremonial display was such as had seldom if ever been accorded to an Italian subject, no tribute on the occasion was more sincere or moving