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their voices before the august picture, just as they would have done had the King Churfürst been present himself.
He was always going back to Hanover. In the year 1729, he went for two whole years, during which Caroline reigned for him in England, and he was not in the least missed by his British subjects. He went again in '35 and '36 ; and between the years 1740 and 1755 was no less than eight times on the Continent, which amusement he was obliged to give up at the outbreak of the Seven Years' war. Here every day's amusement was the same. “Our life is as uniform as that of a monastery," writes a courtier whom Vehse quotes. “ Every morning at eleven, and every evening at six, we drive in the heat, to Herrenhausen, through an enormous linden avenue; and twice a day cover our coats and coaches with dust. In the King's society there never is the least change. At table, and at cards, he sees always the same faces, and at the end of the game retires into his chamber. Twice a week there is a French theatre ; the other days there is play in the gallery. In this way, were the King always to stop in Hanover, one could make a ten years' calendar of his proceedings ; and settle beforehand what his time of business, meals, and pleasure would be."
The old pagan kept his promise to his dying wife. Lady Yarmouth was now in full favour, and treated with profound respect by the Hanover society, though it appears rather neglected in England when she came among us. In 1740, a couple of the King's daughters went to see him at Hanover; Anna, the Princess of Orange (about whom, and whose husband and marriage-day, Walpole and Hervey have left us the most ludicrous descriptions), and Maria of Hesse Cassel, with their respective lords. This made the Hanover court very brilliant. In honour of his high guests, the King gave several fêtes; among others, a magnificent masked ball, in the green theatre at Herrenhausen—the garden theatre, with linden and box for screen,
for a carpet, where the Platens had danced to George and his father the late sultan. The stage and a great part of the garden were illuminated with coloured lamps. Almost the whole court appeared in white dominoes, “like," says the describer of the scene, “like spirits in the Elysian fields. At night, supper was served in the gallery with three great tables, and the King was very merry. After supper dancing was resumed, and I did not get home till five o'clock by full daylight to Hanover. Some days afterwards we had, in the opera-house at Hanover, a great assembly. The King appeared in a Turkish dress ; his turban was ornamented with a magnificent agraffe of diamonds; the Lady Yarmouth was dressed as a sultana ; nobody was more beautiful than the Princess of Hesse.” So, while poor Caroline was resting in her coffin, dapper little George, with his red face and his white eyebrows and goggle-eyes, at sixty years of age, is dancing a pretty dance with Madame Walmoden, and capering about dressed up like a Turk! For twenty years more, that little old Bajazet went on in this Turkish fashion, until the fit came which choked the old man, when he ordered the side of his coffin to be taken out, as well as that of poor Caroline's who had preceded him, so that his sinful old bones and ashes might mingle with those of the faithful creature. Ostrutting Turkey-cock of Herrenhausen ! 0 naughty little Mahomet ! in what Turkish paradise are you now, and where be your painted houris ? So Countess Yarmouth appeared as a sultana, and his Majesty in a Turkish dress wore an agraffe cf diamonds, and was very merry, was he? Friends ! he was your fathers' King as well as mine—let us drop a respectful tear over
He said of his wife that he never knew a woman who was worthy to buckle her shoe : he would sit alone weeping before her portrait, and when he had dried his eyes, he would go off to his Walmoden and talk of her. On the 25th day of October, 1760, he being then in the seventy-seventh year of his age, and the thirty-fourth of his reign, his page went to take him his royal chocolate, and behold! the most religious and gracious King was lying dead on the floor. They went and fetched Walmoden; but Walmoden could not wake him. The sacred Majesty was but a lifeless corpse. The King was clead; God save the King! But, of course, poets and clergymen decorously bewailed the late one. Here are some artless verses, in which an English divine deplored the famous departed hero, and over which you may cry or you may laugh, exactly as your humour suits :
“ While at his feet expiring Faction lay,
No contest left but who should best obey ;
If he had been good, if he had been just, if he had been pure in life, and wise in council, could the poet have said much more ? It was a parson who came and wept over this grave, with Walmoden sitting on it, and claimed heaven for the poor old man slumbering below. Here was one who had neither dignity, learning, morals, nor wit—who tainted a great society by a bad example ; who in youth, manhood, old age, was gross, low, and sensual; and Mr. Porteus, afterwards my Lord Bishop Porteus, says the earth was not good enough for him, and that his only place was heaven! Bravo, Mr. Porteus! The divine who wept these tears over George the Second's memory wore George the Third's lawn. I don't know whether people still admire his poetry or his sermons.