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Dr. Chalmers to his Daughter-Presentation of Scotch Commissioners to William IV.


is promised me by twelve. A general dressing, and anxiety on
all hands to be as snod [neat] as possible. A breakfast at which
all the members of the deputation were present: Dr. Singer,
Dr. Cook, Dr. McKnight, Dr. Lee, and myself; Mr. Paul, Mr.
Sinclair, Sir John Connel. We are, besides, to have Sir Henry
Jardine, Mr. Pringle of Stair, and Dr. Stewart of Erskine as
attendants. A vast deal of conversation anent our movements
to and from. We are all on edge. We have to make three
bows; and the question is whether we shall all make them on
moving toward the throne, or after we have spread ourselves
before it; and there is such a want of unanimity and distinct
understanding about it, that I fear we shall misbehave. How-
time will show, and I now lay down my pen till it is over.
We assembled in our hotel at one. The greatest consternation
among us about hats, which had been promised at twelve, but
had not yet arrived. There were four wanting; and at length
only three came, with the promise that we should get the other
when we passed the shop. We went in three coaches, and
landed at the palace entry at about half-past one. Ascended the
stair, passed through a magnificent lobby, between rows of glit-
tering attendants, all dressed in gold and scarlet, ushered into a
large anteroom, full of all sorts of company, walking about and
collecting there for attendance on the levee; military and naval
officers in splendid uniforms; high legal gentlemen with enor-
mous wigs; ecclesiastics, from archbishops to curates and inferior
clergy. Our deputation made a most respectable appearance
among them, with our cocked three-cornered hats under our
arms, our hands upon our breasts, and our gowns of Geneva upon
our backs. Mine did not lap so close as I would have liked, so
that I was twice as thick as I should be, and it must have been


Dr. Chalmers to his Daughter-Presentation of Scotch Commissioners to William IV.

palpable to every eye at the first glance that I was the greatest man there; and that though I took all care to keep my coat unbuttoned, and my gown quite open. However, let not mama be alarmed, for I made a most respectable appearance, and was treated with the utmost attention. I saw the Archbishop of York in the room, but did not get within speech of him. To make up for this, however, I was introduced to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who was very civil; saw the Bishop of London, with whom I had a good deal of talk, and am to dine on Friday; was made up to by Sir Admiral Philip Durham; and was further introduced, at their request, to Sir John Leach, Master of the Rolls, to Lord Chief Justice Tindall, to the Marquis of Bute, etc. But far the most interesting object there was Talleyrand-whom I could get nobody to introduce me to-splendidly attired as the French Ambassador, attended by some French military officers. I gazed with interest on the old shrivelled face of him, and thought I could see there the lines of deep reflection and lofty talent. His moral physiognomy, however, is a downright blank.* He was by far the most important continental personage in the room, and drew all eyes. I was further in conversation with Lord

* Jeffrey, who met Talleyrand at Holland House about this period, describes him thus: "He is more natural, plain, and reasonable than I had expected; a great deal of the repose of high breeding and old age, with a mild and benevolent manner, and great calmness of speech, rather than the sharp, caustic, cutting speech of the practiced utterer of bon mots. He spoke a great deal of old times and old persons, the court of Louis the XVI. when Dauphin, his coronation, Voltaire, Malsherbe, and Turgot, with traditional anecdotes of Massillon and Bossuet, and many women of these days, whose names I have forgotten, and a good deal of diplomatic anecdote, altogether very pleasing and easy. He did not eat much nor talk much about eating, except only that he inquired very earnestly into the nature of cocky-leekie (a Scotch soup), and wished very much to know whether prunes were essential. He settled at last that they should be boiled in the soup, but not brought up in it. He drank little but iced water."--H.

Dr. Chalmers to his Daughter-Presentation of Scotch Commissioners to William IV.

Melville, Mr. Spencer Percival, and Mr. Henry Drummond. The door in the middle apartment was at length opened for us, when we entered in processional order. The Moderator first, with Drs. Macknight and Cook on each side of him; I and Dr. Lee, side by side, followed; Mr. Paul and Mr. George Sinclair, with their swords and bags, formed the next row; then Sir John Connel and Sir Henry Jardine; and last of all Mr. Pringle, M. P., and Dr. Stewart. We stopped in the middle room-equally crowded with the former, and alike splendid with mirrors, chandeliers, pictures, and gildings of all sorts on the roof and walls-for about ten minutes, when, at length, the folding-doors to the grand state-room were thrown open. We all made a low bow on our first entry, and the King, seated on the throne at the opposite end, took off his hat-putting it on again. We marched up to the middle of the room and made another low bow, when the King again took off his hat; we then proceeded to the foot of the throne, and all made a third low bow, on which the King again took off his hat. After this the Moderator read his address, which was a little long, and the King bowed repeatedly while it was reading. The Moderator then reached the address to the King upon the throne, who took it from him and gave it to Sir Robert Peel on his left hand, who, in his turn, gave the King his written reply, which he read very well. After this the Moderator went up to the stool before the throne, leaned his left knee upon it, and kissed the King's hand. We each, in our turn, did the same thing--the Moderator naming every one of us as we advanced; I went through my kneel and kiss my comfortably. The King said something to each of us. His first question to me was, "Do you reside constantly in Edinburgh?" I said, "Yes, an't please your majesty." His next



Dr. Chalmers to his Daughter-Presentation of Scotch Commissioners to William IV.

question was, "How long do you remain in town?" I said, “Till Monday, an't please your majesty." I then descended the steps leading from the foot of the throne to the floor, and fell into my place in the deputation. After we had all been introduced, we began to retire in a body, just as we had come, bowing all the way, with our faces to the King, and so moving backward, when the King called out, "Don't go away, gentlemen, I shall leave the throne, and the Queen will succeed me." We stopped in the middle of the room, when the most beautiful living sight I ever beheld burst upon our delighted gaze-the Queen, with twelve maids of honor, in a perfect spangle of gold and diamonds, entered the room. I am sorry I cannot go over in detail the particulars of their dresses; only that their lofty plumes upon their heads, and their long sweeping trains upon the floor, had a very magnificent effect.

She took her seat on the throne, and we made the same profound obeisances as before; advancing to the foot of the steps that lead to the footstool of the throne. A short address was read to her as before; and her reply was most beautifully given, in rather a tremulous voice, and just as low as that I could only hear, and no more. We went through the same ceremonial of advancing successively and kissing hands, and then retired with three bows which the Queen returned most gracefully, but with all the simplicity, I had almost said bashfulness, of a timid country girl. She is really a very natural and amiable looking person. The whole was magnificent. On each side of the throne were maids of honor, officers of state, the Lord Chancellor, a vast number of military gentlemen, and among the rest the Duke of Wellington. My next will be to Helen. God bless you, my dear Margaret. I am your affectionate father,


Dr. Chalmers to his Daughter-Dinner at the Lord Mayor's.

Dr. Chalmers to his Daughter.

LONDON, October 29th, 1830. MY DEAR HELEN: I did not finish my description of our interview with the Queen in my letter to Margaret, for, after we left the grand state-room, we remained in the middle room; and after us the corporation of Dublin, a very large body, went with addresses to the King and Queen. There were some very magnificent people among them; and as a great number had to be introduced, it took up a long time, so we had to wait half an hour, at least, in the middle room, till the levee began, when the two inner doors between the middle and great state-rooms were thrown open. The King, instead of being upon the throne, now stood on the floor. There was an immense number of people introduced to him, going in a very close and lengthened column from the outer room by one corner door of the great state-room, passing the King, and retiring through an avenue of state attendants by the other corner door. I kissed his hand the second time, and was named both by him and Sir Robert Peel. After this we remained in the middle room a considerable time, and at length left the palace. We had to wait a long time in the door lobby till our coaches drew up for us. The crowding and calling of coaches had a very animating effect. We got to our hotel at four-waited there half an hour. Our coaches came for us again to take us to the Mansion House, where we were to dine with the Lord Mayor. This is a magnificent house, and has a very noble dining-room. The Lord Mayor himself was unwell, and could not be with us. His chaplain did the honors for him. There were about fifty. We assembled in the drawing-room. There were about six ladies; and I was very graciously received

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