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he made war against the French, and soon
found it necessary to raise money, which he
did in so arbitrary a manner, particularly
that called ship money, in which the city
of London was rated at twenty ships, that
he became very unpopular; when a power,
in the person of Cromwell and the Puritans,
destroyed him, and led him to the scaffold,
at Whitehall. The person of Cromwell
himself appears in a suit of armour of the period,
and he is characterised as having been led
on by ambition and rapine, and then eventually
rose to the supreme power. What the
ex-railway king owed his advance to, we are
informed in the following pithy sentence:
At an early age he was apprenticed to a
draper at York, and soon displayed that
vigour of character which . . . placed him in
Parliament. That vigour of character! Prince
Talleyrand, in a court dress, is the cause of a
highly poetical image: On his return (from
America) he rose highly in the estimation of
Bonaparte, and rose to honours. On the fall
of Napoleon, Talleyrand, who had hitherto
been his right hand, deserted the fallen
fortune, and (in a court dress) bowed to the
rising sun.

So much for the greatness of some of the
most prominent among the isolated figures in
the Pantheon; but, if you want really to
know what greatness is, you must turn to
the principal groups.

Where can it be more tremendously developed
than in the Robe Room, or what can
show it off to greater advantage than that
"clod and module of confounded royalty,"
King George the Fourth? He was, in sooth,
the very prince of cut velvet and monarch of
white satin. Here is the essence of his
biography: The robe, complete in every respect,
measuring seven yards long, was worn by
his Majesty in the procession to Westminster
Abbey, and borne by nine eldest sons of peers.
The robe on the extreme right of the inspector
was used at the opening of Parliament; that
on the left, similarly placed, is the purple or
imperial robe, used on his Majesty's return
from the Abbey. The three robes contain
five hundred and sixty-seven feet of velvet
and embroidery, and, with the ermine lining,
cost eighteen thousand pounds.

It is in a tone of deep regret that our
historian, speaking of these robes, observes:
Their like will never be seen again. I, for
one, do most fervently hope and believe not.

Synchronism is, I find, not necessary for
the ordering of an historical group. There
is the coronation of her present Majesty, for
example, at which, with the most complacent
air in the world, William the Fourth looks
on in the magnificent coat worn by him as
Lord High Admiral, embroidered by Messrs.
Blank; the only one ever made. Queen
Victoria's father and all her royal uncles are
also present; and even George the Third and
Queen Charlotte are resuscitated to grace the
ceremony. Our historian takes advantage of
the presence of the two latter, to tell us that
they had a numerous family of sons and
daughters who, for beauty and accomplishments,
were never surpassed by any family in
Europe, and certainly by none in the position
which they held in the hearts of their country.
The following tribute to the memory of the
Princess Charlotte, also one of the group,
struck me as poetical: As the tender rosebud,
when about to disclose its rich perfume and
loveliness, is sometimes blighted with the
fairest blossoms, so fell Britain's hope. This
group, which includes, amongst other figures,
the Bishop of Exeter and the late Duke of
Newcastle, is intended, says our historian, to
convey an idea of characters dear to every
Englishman and lover of his country; and, at
the same time, presents the most complete
view of the four national orders, the Garter,
Bath, Thistle, and St. Patrickcostumes with
which every one must desire to be acquainted.
The force of this reasoning is not, to me, so
very apparent; but, certainly, if one does
want to know anything about these emblems
of greatness, the materials for doing so are
here in abundance.

There is no such functionary as the Prose
Laureate; but if there were, I think I know
who might put in a claim for the office.
Hear him: Her Majesty, to a prepossessing
exterior, unites those qualities calculated to
endear her to her country, and to place her
in that exalted situation, in the hearts of a
free people, which must render her the envy
as well as the admiration of the world.

In his description of the Golden Chamber,
where are to be seen the largest and most
interesting collection of relics of the Emperor
Napoleon, which has ever been exhibited,
our historian strictly confines himself to
catalogue details; and in his account of the
Shrine or Memorial of the Duke of Wellington,
he simply says that it is a sight which
cannot be seen without vibrating in every
British heart. In the Chamber of Horrors
the energy of his diction finds appropriate
subjects to dwell upon; but I will merely
observe that I did not find in this room the
effigy of the late eminent Mr. Tawell, hanged
for murder under particularly atrocious
circumstances. But I saw a plain lilac bonnet
and a collarless coat of a drab complexion,
studying history in wax; and it occurred to
me that perhaps this special omission was an
act of polite deference towards respectability.

Now Ready, price 5s. 6d., neatly bound in cloth,
THE EIGHTH VOLUME
OF
HOUSEHOLD WORDS.
Containing Numbers 180 to 203 (both inclusive), issued
between September 3rd, 1853, and February 11th, 1854. And
also including the Extra Number and a Half for Christmas.

The preceding volumes of Household Words, and the
volumes of the Household Narrative of Current Events,
for the Years 1850, 1851, and 1852, may be had of all
booksellers.

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