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man who should have been our sentinel, but had
so comfortably installed himself in a front seat,
what he thought of the whole thing. He said
it was " stunning." I am of that policeman's
forcible, albeit ungrammatical, opinion. It was
about the most " stunning" sight I ever looked
upon in my life, or that I am ever likely to look
upon again. I remember, as a very little boy,
being taken to see the coronation procession of
Queen Victoria. I thought that exceedingly
grand. I was transported with melodramatic
admiration when, a couple of years later, I had,
as a French schoolboy, a holiday and an
opportunity of witnessing the funeral train of the
Great Napoleon dragging its slow length
towards the Invalides. The college I belonged to
had, in the days of the first Empire, been called
the Lycée Bonaparte, and we were, in that
college, eight hundred staunch Imperialists. Of
other raree shows I have seen dozens, scores, if
not hundreds, in my jackdaw time, and "cawed"
about them ad nauseam ; but the bravest raree
show of all, the grandest, the handsomest, and
the noblest, was and ever will be to me, the
marriage of Albert Edward Prince of Wales.

Why? Common sense comes up with a
Custom-house officer's probe and begins to puncture
me as to any contraband sentimentality I may
have about me. Why brave, why grand, why
handsome, why noble? Why should I yearn to
clap my hands and cry " caw!" intempestively?
Have I never been to the Grand Opera? Have
I never seen a ballet at the Scala? Have the
splendours of the coronation seen in the
Prophète been wasted upon me? Is there anything
in the way of splendour, here, that a sagacious
theatrical manager, with the assistance of an
experienced super-master and an unlimited balance
at his banker's, could not accomplish? Nay,
there are incongruities and anomalies apparent
here, which would be banished from a spectacle
at Covent Garden or Drury Lane.

Take the heralds, for example. Here are
Garter King of Arms, and all his mystic brethren,
kings, heralds, and pursuivants: Norroy and
Clarencieux, Rouge Croix, Rouge Dragon,
Portcullis, and Blue Mantle, " with hues as lively
and appellations as quaint as the attendants on
a fairy court." "For gorgeousness of attire,
mysteriousness of origin, and, in fact, for
similarity of origin," says the author I have just
quoted, the late Mr. Leigh Hunt, " a knave at
cards is not unlike a herald." A story is told
of an Irish King of Arms who, waiting on the
Bishop of Killaloe to summon him to parliament,
and being dressed, as the ceremony required, in
his heraldic attire, so mystified the bishop's
servant with his appearance, that, not knowing
what to make of it, and carrying off but a
confused notion of his title, he announced him
thus: " My lord, here is the King of Trumps."
I know that Garter King of Arms is not a king at
all, that his crown and his sceptre are the
merest gewgaws, and that he is an estimable old
gentleman who got his berth from the Duke of
Norfolk, and derives a comfortable income from
fees paid into his office on Benet's-hill, Doctors'-
commons. I know that if I choose to have my
"arms found," I can get a painted sheet of
parchment from the Heralds' College for fifty
pounds ; that if I choose to " find" them for
myself, I can do so at no more expense than
paying a few shillings a year to the tax-gatherer,
if he discovers that I am in the habit of using
armorial bearings, which in nine cases out of ten
he does not. I know that probably three out
of the five hundred ladies in the nave "found"
their arms in this easy and uncostly manner ;
and I know that if I elect to assume the heraldic
cognizance worn five hundred years ago by my
forefathers at five hundred miles' distance from
the jurisdiction of the Heralds' College, or
which is perhaps the more sensible planto
adopt no coat of arms, crest, or motto at all
there is no man, true or false herald, who shall
legally interfere with me. And, finally, I cannot
shut my eyes to the fact that the " King of
Trumps" panoplythe firework tabard, or san
benito, all scrawled over with coats of arms, is
an absurd and egregious one, and is, when taken
in conjunction with the pantaloons and patent
leathers of ordinary life, utterly ridiculous and
preposterous. I know that the last time the
heralds were seen in the open air and at
Charing-cross, mounted on dobbins from Astley's,
and pretending to blow trumpets they couldn't
extract so much as a whistle from, the little
boys hooted them, and the Times newspaper
laughed them to scorn. Why am I impressed,
now, by Garter and Norroy, Clarencieux and
Rouge Dragon, Portcullis and Blue Mantle?

Take the Knights of the Garter, to pursue
the course of disillusion. It is patent to me
that Signer Mario as John of Leyden, and the
late Siguor Lablache as Marino Faliero, looked
much grander in their tinselled trappings than
any K.G. I cannot shut my eyes to the fact
that one of the K.G.s beneath me has a red
head, that another wears spectacles, and that
two or three more are visibly paralytic. I can't
help remembering that some of these dignitaries
have been joisted into their stalls by the merest
"flukes," and on the purest " any-other-man"
principles. Common sense dins inexorably in
my ears that there have been K.G.s who have
pawned their plate and rooked their creditors.
After all, the robes of the Garter, splendid as
they are, can be bought for shillings and pence
at the corner of Chancery-lane. After all, I
have been to Madame Tussaud's, and have seen
all threadbare, blackened and tarnished, the
coronation robes of George the Fourth. After
all, there are theatrical costumiers in Bow-street
and Vinegar-yard. A Knight of the Garter, in
full fig, looks very much like a Blue-coat Boy
in excelsis. Does he? Common sense may
tell me so, but I don't believe it. Why don't I?

And the yeomen of the guard, who, but the
other day, were sergeant-majors in marching
regiments! And the gentlemen-at-arms, with
golden Loysel's percolators on their heads, and
bearing gilt maypoles surmounted by hatchets
never meant to cut anything! And the
trumpeters in jockey caps and brocaded coats! And

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