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In divulging the details of a highly
distinguished honour, we are not, we hope
and believe, committing any breach of
confidence. A desire to gratify the pardonable
curiosity of our readers, in common with
all classes of the community, respecting the
person of our admired and beloved Sovereign,
will not, we feel sure, be construed harshly.
We are, indeed, incapable of rudely bursting
the golden bonds of Etiquette that doth hedge
the throne.

To guard against the imputation of boasting
of a higher privilege than that really
extended to us, we think it right to
mention at once, that the business which took
us into the presence of the "Highest
personage in the Realm," was not of a private

The memorable morning was a bright one
in February—  the fourth of the month. The
sky was cloudless; a brilliant sun gave to it
that cheering character whichfrom the good
fortune Her Majesty experiences whenever
she travels, or appears publiclyhas passed
into a proverb, as "The Queen's Weather."
The conveyance in which we were approaching
the palace—  that of Westminsterwas
suddenly stopped at Charing Cross. A great
crowd had collected between that point and
our destination. A long queue of carriages
of which our Hansom formed the last joint
had been brought to a stand; and when,
after a time, we were permitted to move on,
we perceived that not only the streets, but the
fronts of the houses, were thickly lined.
Individuals of every age, size, and condition,
occupied the pavements. The houses were
decorated with a bright variegation of lovely
faces, prettily framed in bewitching bonnets.
Every window was filled; every balcony
crowded; even the roofs of the public offices
were tenanted. Head over head appeared on
the steps of doors; the owners of apple-stalls,
fitting them up as temporary standing-places,
realised small fortunes; and, on grades of
seats protected by crimson awnings, and
built over areas, reclined the beauty and.
chivalry of eighteen hundred and fifty-one;
recalling the days of the "Tilt-yard," whose
site they actually overlooked. The standing
army of spectators gave the docile Life-Guards
and patient policemen but little trouble
to keep the carriage-road clear; for they
passed the time pleasantly in viewing the
procession of ladies and great officers of state
who were slowly drawn along on the same
errand as ourselves.

The stopping of a hackney cabriolet at the
entrance of that portion of Her Majesty's
Palace of Westminster which is devoted to
the deliberations of the second estate of the
realm in Parliament assembled, is not calculated
to produce such solemn impressions
upon the attendant police and marshals' men,
as when emblazoned panels are drawn up,
under the auspices of a Court coachman and a
full-bottomed wig. On alighting, therefore, the
only mark of attention we received, was from
an official; who, with the anxious look of one
who thinks he has encountered an intruder,
demanded a sight of our credentials. One
glance at the signature of the Lord High
Chamberlain, in the corner of our card
sufficed to dispel his anxiety; and, with a bland
smile of welcome, he waved his truncheon
towards the staircase it was necessary for us
to mountthe same which, at no distant
period of time, was to be pressed by the
feet of Royalty. In expectation of that
event, more loyal subjects lined the avenues,
and stood on the stairs. In fact, from the
drawing-room door of Buckingham Palace, to
the foot of the throne in the House of Lords,
an unbroken lane of human beings ranged
themselves to behold the Queen.

No one who enters the House of Lords for
the first time can suppress an emotion. As
an assemblage of florid ornament, as a specimen
of gorgeous decoration, this chamber is,
perhaps, unsurpassed in the world; but
whether the emotion be that of sober
reverence for the high functions performed in
it, or such a flash of mental exhilaration as
is called up by the first view of a surprisingly
gaudy ball-room, it is not necessary to
inquire. It must be owned, however, that a
ceiling blazing with gold, a base of burning
red, a throne of burnished brass, and
galleries enamelled with coloured mastics,
can scarcely be consonant with, or expressive
of the important interests gravely discussed
by the Peers of Great Britain. Yet, at
the performance of a state ceremony, when
the whole house is surrendered to the Court.