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way of discomposing my gravity at the moment of meeting the King; Lord W. having himself lost somewhat of
ing this, it was proposed that the King should become an Emperor. Some indeed alleged, that an Emperor, by its very idea, as received in the Chancery of Europe, implies a King paramount over vassal or tributary Kings. But it is a sufficient answer to say, that an Emperor is a prince, uniting in his own person the thrones of several distinct kingdoms and in effect we adopt that view of the case in giving the title of Imperial to the Parliament, or common assembly of the three kingdoms. However, the title of the prince was a matter trivial in comparison of the title of his ditio, or extent of jurisdiction. This point admits of a striking illustration: in the Paradise Regained, Milton has given us, in close succession, three matchless pictures of civil grandeur, as exemplified in three different modes by three different states. Availing himself of the brief Scriptural notice,-'And the devil showed him all the kingdoms of the earth,' he causes to pass, as in a solemn pageant before us, the two military empires then co-existing, of Parthia and Rome, and finally, (under another idea of political greatness,) the intellectual glories of Athens. From the picture of the Roman grandeur we extract, and beg the reader to weigh the following lines:
'Thence to the gates cast round thine eye, and see
In various habits on the Appian road,
Or on the Emilian; some from farthest south,
And utmost Indian Isle, Taprobane,
- Dark faces with white silken turbans wreath'd;
With this superb picture, or abstraction of the Roman pomps and power, when ascending to their utmost altitude, confront the following representative sketch of a great English levee on some high solemnity,
the awe natural to a young person in a first situation of this nature, through his frequent admissions to the royal
suppose the King's birth-day: :-'Amongst the presentations to his majesty, we noticed Lord O. S., the Governor-General of India, on his departure for Bengal; Mr. U. Z. with an Address from the Upper and Lower Canadas; Sir. L. V. on his appointment as Commander of the Forces in Nova Scotia; General Sir, on his return from the Burmese war ["the Golden Chersonese; "] the Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean fleet; Mr. B. Z., on his appointment to the ChiefJusticeship at Madras; Sir R. G., the late Attorney-General at the Cape of Good Hope; General Y. X. on taking leave for the Governorship of Ceylon ["The utmost Indian isle, T'aprobane; "] Lord F. M. the bearer of the last despatches from head-quarters in Spain; Col. P. on going out as Captain-General of the forces in New Holland; Commodore St. L. on his return from a voyage of discovery towards the North Pole; the King of Owhyhee, attended by Chieftains from the other islands of that cluster; Col. M'P. on his return from the war in Ashantee, upon which occasion the gallant Colonel presented the treaty and tribute from that country; Admiral on his appointment to the Baltic fleet; Captain O. N. with despatches from the Red Sea, advising the destruction of the piratical armament and settlements in that quarter, as also in the Persian Gulf; Sir T. O.'N., the late resident in Nepaul, to present his report of the war in that territory, and in adjacent regions names as yet unknown in Europe; the Governor of the Leeward Islands, on departing for the West Indies; various deputations, with petitions, addresses, &c., from islands in remote quarters of the globe, amongst which we distinguished those from Prince Edward Island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, from the Mauritius, from Java, from the British settlement in Terra del Fuego, from the Christian Churches in the Society, Friendly, and Sandwich Islands - as well as other groups less known in the South Seas; Admiral H. A., on assuming the command of the Channel Fleet; Major-Gen X. L. on resigning the Lieut. Governorship of Gibraltar; Hon. G. F. on going out as secretary to the Governor of Malta, &c. &c. &c.'
The sketch is founded upon a base of a very few years, i. e., we have, in one or two instances, placed in juxtaposition, as co-existences, events separated by a few years. But, if (like Milton's picture of the Roman grandeur) the abstraction had been made from a base of thirty years in extent, and had there been added to the picture (according to his precedent) the many and remote embassies to and from independent states, in all quarters of the earth; with how many more groups, might the spectacle have been crowded, and especially of those who fall within that most picturesque delineation
presence. For my part I was as yet a stranger to the King's person. I had, indeed, seen most or all the princesses in the way I have mentioned above; and on several occasions, in the streets of Windsor, the sudden disappearance of all hats from the heads of the passengers, had admonished me that some royal personage or other was then traversing or crossing the street; but either his Majesty had never been of the party, or I had failed to distinguish him. Now, for the first time, I was meeting him nearly face to face; for, though the walk we occupied was not that in which the royal party were moving, it ran so near it, and was connected by so many cross-walks at short intervals, that it was a matter of necessity for us, as we were now observed, to go and present ourselves. What passed was naturally very unimportant; and I know not that it would have been worth reporting at all, but for one reflection which, in after years, it forcibly suggested to me. The King, having first spoken with great kindness to my companion, inquiring circumstantially about his mother
'Dark faces with white silken turbans wreathed!'
As it is, we have noticed hardly any places but such as lie absolutely within our jurisdiction. And yet, even under that limitation, how vastly more comprehensive is the chart of British dominion than of the Roman! To this gorgeous empire, some corresponding style and title should have been adapted at the revision of the old title, and should yet be adapted; for of this empire only it can be said, amongst all which have existed, not only that the sun never sets upon its territory, but almost, perhaps, that the sun is always rising and always setting, to some one in that endless succession of stations upon which the British flag is flying.
Apropos of the proposed change in the King's title: Mr. Coleridge, on being assured that the new title of the King was to be Emperor of the British Islands and their dependencies, and on the coin Imperator Britanniarum, remarked, that, in this remanufactured form, the title might be said to be japanned; alluding to this fact, that amongst insular sovereigns, the only one known in Europe by the title of Emperor is the Sovereign of Japan.
and grandmother as persons particularly well known to himself, then turned his eye upon me. What passed was pretty nearly as follows: My name, it seems, from what followed, had been communicated to him as we were advancing; he did not, therefore, inquire about that. Was I of Eton ? was his first question. I replied that I was not, but hoped I should be. Had I a father living? I had not my father had been dead about eight years. 'But you have a mother?' I had. And she thinks of sending you to Eton?' I answered that she had expressed such an intention in my hearing; but I was not sure whether that might not be in order to waive an argument with the person to whom she spoke, who happened to have been an Etonian. Oh, but all people think highly of Eton; everybody praises Eton; your mother does right to inquire; there can be no harm in that; but the more she inquires, the more she will be satisfied; that I can answer for.'
Next came a question which had been suggested by my name. Had my family come into England with the Huguenots at the revocation of the Edict of Nantz? This was a tender point with me: of all things I could not endure to be supposed of French descent; yet it was a vexation I had constantly to face, as most people supposed that my name argued a French origin. I replied with some haste, 'Please your Majesty, the family has been in England since the Conquest.' It is probable that I colored, or showed some mark of discomposure, with which, however, the King was not displeased, for he smiled, and said, 'How do you know that?' Here I was at a loss for a moment how to answer: for I was sensible that it did not become me to occupy the King's attention with any long stories or traditions about a subject so unimportant as my own family; and yet it was necessary that I should say
something, unless I would be thought to have denied my Huguenot descent upon no reason or authority. After a moment's hesitation I said in effect - that a family of my name had certainly been a great and leading one at the era of the Barons' Wars; and that I had myself seen many notices of this family, not only in books of heraldry, &c., but in the very earliest of all English books. And what book was that?"""Robert of Gloucester's Chronicle in Verse," which I understood, from internal evidence, to have been written about 1280.' The King smiled again, and said, 'I know, I know.' But what it was that he knew, long afterwards puzzled me to conjecture. I now imagine, however, that he meant to say, that he knew the book I referred to a thing which at that time I thought improbable, supposing the King's acquaintance with literature was not very extensive, nor likely to have comprehended any knowledge at all of the black-letter period. But in this belief I was greatly mistaken, as I was afterwards fully convinced by the best evidence from various quarters. That library of 120,000 volumes, which George IV. presented to the nation, and which has since gone to swell the collection at the British Museum, was formed, (as I have been assured by several persons to whom the whole history of the library, and its growth from small rudiments, was familiarly known,) under the direct personal superintendence of George III. It was a favorite and pet creation ; and his care extended even to the dressing of the books in appropriate bindings, and (as one man told me) to their health; explaining himself to mean, that in any case where a book was worm-eaten, or touched however slightly with the worm, the King was anxious to prevent the injury from increasing, and still more to keep it from infecting others by close neighborhood; for it is supposed by many that such injuries spread rapidly in favorable situations.