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white silk stockings, shoes, and rosettes, a black hat and white feathers.
The Gentlemen Pensioners wore a scarlet dress slashed with blue, and almost wholly covered with gold buttons, spread like lace over great part of the habit; red silk stockings, white shoes with red and black roses, white gloves, and a black hat with red and black feathers.
The Lords of the King's Bedchamber had a peculiar dress, consisting of a blue vest slashed with white and gold lace, white stockings, shoes, and rosettes, a blue velvet sword-belt and sheath, a crimson velvet cloak laced with gold, and a black hat with white feathers.
The Keeper of his Majesty's Privy Purse succeeded them. He wore a blue satin cloak trimmed with broad gold lace, a blue satin dress slashed with white and laced with gold, white stockings, shoes, and rosettes, a black hat and white feathers.
The Gentlemen of the Bedchamber wore a blue dress edged with spangled gymp, and slashed with white, a plain blue satin cloak, lined with white; blue silk stockings, white shoes, with blue roses; blue sword-belt and sheath, a black hat and white feather.
There: -I think I have made up a dish of dress sufficient for the most inordinate female appetite. I now must forward. The King returned to the Hall precisely at the time he promised, and took his seat at the table, on which was a noble display of gold plate. Previous to the King's entry, however, I should not omit to tell
that orders were issued that the middle of the Hall should be cleared, which occasioned great consternation amongst groups of ladies, who were quietly and happily refreshing themselves in all directions. The order frayed them like birds, and they were seen flitting up and down, without any place of rest. Lord Gwydir pursued them with the fury of a falcon, and he eventually succeeded in effecting a clearance. His Majesty wore his crown and mantle on his return, and the Royal Dukes, and the Prince Leopold, sat near him at his table. The passage
from the kitchen to the lower end of the Hall was now opened; and the gentlemen bearing the golden dishes for the first course were seen in regular line, ready to proceed to the King's table. At this moment the doors at the end of the Hall
were opened, the clarions and trumpets sounding bravely at the time, and the Duke of Wellington, as Lord High Constable, the Marquis of Anglesea, as Lord High Steward, and Lord Howard of Eflingham, as Deputy Earl Marshal, entered upon the floor on horseback. The Marquis of Anglesea's horse was a beautiful cream-coloured Arabian; Lord Howard's was a dun; and the Duke's a white steed. After a short pause, they rode gracefully up to the royal table, followed by the gentlemen with the first course. When the dishes were placed on the board, the bearers first retired, with their faces towards the King; and then the noble horse. men retreated, by backing their steeds down the Hall, and out at the archway. Their noiseless steps on the blue cloth conveyed the idea that the horses had been shod with felt, according to Lear's invention. The Duke of Wellington's white charger "walked away with himself in the aptest manner; but the Marquis of Anglesea had great difficulty in persuading his Arabian to retire tailwise. The company could hardly be restrained from applauding, although it was evident that a shout would have settled the mind of this steed in a second, and have made him resolute against completing his unpleasant retreat. The pages soothed him before and behind, but he shook his head and tail, and paused occasionally, as if he had considerable doubts upon the subject.
Before the dishes were uncovered, the Lord Great Chamberlain presented the basin and ewer, to bathe his Majesty's hands; and the Lord of the Manor of Heydon attended with a rich towel The dishes were then bared; and his Majesty was helped, by the carvers, to some soup. He tasted it! This was a source of endless wonder to a lady near me.
At the end of this course, the gates of the Hall were again thrown open, and a noble flourish of trumpets announced to all eager hearts that the Champion was about to enter. He advanced under the gateway, on a fine pie-bald charger (an ill-colour), and clad in complete steel. The plumes on his head were tri-coloured, and extremely magnificent; and he bore in his hand the loose steel gauntlet, ready for the challenge. The Duke of Wellington was on his right hand; the Marquis of Anglesea on his left. When he had come within the limits of the Hall, he was about to throw
down his glove at once, so eager was he for the fray,--but the Herald distinctly said, “Wait till I have read the Challenge,” and read it accordingly,—the Champion husbanding his valour for a few minutes:
If any person, of what degree soever, high or low, shall deny or gainsay our Sovereign Lord King George the Fourth, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, son and next heir to our Sovereign Lord King George the Third, the last King deceased, to be right heir to the Imperial Crown of this United Kingdom, or that he ought not to enjoy the same, here is bis Champion, who saith that he lieth, and is a false traitor; being ready in person to combat with him, and in this quarrel will adventure his life against him on what day soever he shall be appointed.”
At the conclusion of this “awful challenge,” as a gentleman near me termed it: the Champion hurled down his gauntlet, which fell with a solemn clash upon the floor. It rang in most hearts! He then stuck his wrist against his steeled side, as though to show how indifferent he was to the consequence of his challenge. This certainly had a very pleasing and gallant effect. The Herald, ip a few seconds, took up the glove, delivered it to the Squire, who kissed it, and handed it to the Champion. In the middle of the Hall the same ceremony was performed: and at the foot of the royal platform it was a third time gone through. The King then drank his health, and, methinks, with real pleasure, for the Champion had right gallantly conducted himself. His Majesty then sent the cup to him; and he, taking it, drank to the King, but in so low a tone, that I could only catch the meaning by the tumultuous shouts of the people. The noise seemed to awaken the courage of his horse; but he mastered his steed admirably. The ceremony of backing out of the Hall was then again performed, and successfully, with the exception of the Marquis of Anglesea's Arabian, whose doubts were not yet satisfied, and he was literally shown out by the pages.
In Hall's Account of the Coronation of Henry VIII. and Katharine of Arragon, there is a very quaint and interesting account of the challenge, which, as I think it will aptly illustrate this
part of my letter, and serve to amuse you, I shall take leave te copy:
“ The seconde course beyng served, in at the haule doore entered a Knyhte armed at al poyntes, his bases rich tissue embroudered, a great plume and a sumpteous of oistriche fethers on his helmet, sittyng on a great courser trapped in tissue and embroudered with tharmes of England and of Fraunce, and an herauld of armes before hym. And passying through the haule, presented hymself with humble reverence before the Kynge's Majestie, to whom Garter Kynge of heraulds cried and said with a loude voyce, Sir Knyhte, from whence come you, and what is your pretence? This Knyhtes name was Sir Robert Dimmoke, Champion to the Kynge by tenour of his enheritaunce, who answered the said Kynge of armes in effecte after this manner. Sir, the place that I came from is not materiall, nor the cause of my repaire hyther is not concernyng any matter of any place or countrey, but onely this. And therewithal commanded his herauld to make an O Yes: Then said the Knyhte to the Kynge of armes, Now shal ye hear the cause of my comynge and pretence. Then he commanded his own herauld by proclamacion to saye: If there be any persone,
of what estate or degree soever he be that will saie or prove that King Henry the Eight is not the rightful inheritor and Kynge of this realm, I Sir Robert Dimmoke here his champion offre my glove, to fight in his querell with any persone to thutterance.”
The champions appear to have been more familiar in the olden time, and to have discoursed more freely with those about them) -but perhaps the less that is said the better amongst fighting men; so I shall not differ with our present Sir Knight on accoụnt of his solemn taciturnity. The same old writer from whom I have given you the above description, speaks curiously of the pageants which were had to enliven the procession of Anne Boleyn from the Tower of Westminster. The Three Graces, he tells us, took their stand on Cornhill, and the Cardinal Virtues in Fleet-street -a fountain of Helicon ran Rhenish wine; and the Conduit in Cheap, with a laudable courtesy, spouted claret. But I must not lose myself amongst books.
On the Champion retiring, the second course was served up as before: the Marquis's horse becoming more and more unmannerly. It was not amiss that his dutics were over.
Certain services were now performed, which generally ended in a peer, or some other fortunate personage, carrying off a gold cup. The most interesting was the present of two falcons to his Majesty from the Duke of Athol.
The King's health was about this time drunk with great acclamations, and the national air of “ God save the King" sung in a grand style. I think I never heard it sung better before. .
The King, standing up, drank to his people; notice of which honour was communicated by the Duke of Norfolk; and very shortly afterwards (Non Nobis Domine having been sung, in which I heard the King take a part,) his Majesty retired amidst the joyous clamours of his people.
I now descended into the body of the Hall, which was thronged with splendour and beauty. Hock and champagne, and fruit and venison pasties, were passing and repassing; and the most brilliant ladies were snatching at all the good things of this world from officers and gentlemen waiters. I was not idle; for having asked for a glass of water, and being informed “ You get no water, take the wine, Great Potentate." I fell seriously to work upon a cherry pie, the nearest dish, and followed this victory up with others of a more decisive nature. I forgot that I had been famished; and lifting a cup of burgundy to my lips, declared that the fatigue of the day had been nothing—a jest—a merriment-a thing to tell of to the children of 1896, or to write to kind friends in 1821. Before I quitted the banquet-room, I took the liberty of pocketing a sweetmeat dolphin, filched from the top of the Temple of Concord, which I shall long preserve amongst my scarce papers and curious coins, as a relic of the great Coronation Feast. Thus ended this splendid day.
I have detailed the particulars of the pageant as faithfully as possible; and I only hope that the length of my letter, and its tedious minuteness, will not weary you. I have purposely abstained from any political discussion about the exclusion of the Queen, or her Majesty's morning visit, because I only intended a description of the pageant, and I knew that you cared not to have a repeatedly