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tification, “had presented himself, great as is my personal regard for you, I should have yielded it to higher considerations.” No other appointment could have been made so complimentary to Spain, and it remains to this day one of the mosu honorable to his own country. In reading Irving's letters written during his third visit abroad, you are conscious that the glamour of life is gone for him, though not his kindliness towards the world, and that he is subject to few illusions; the show and pageantry no longer enchant, — they only weary. The novelty was gone, and he was no longer curious to see great sights and great people. He had declined a public dinner in New York, and he put aside the same hospitality offered by Liverpool and by Glasgow. In London he attended the Queen's grand fancy ball, which surpassed anything he had seen in splendor and picturesque effect. “The personage,” he writes, “who appeared least to enjoy the scene seemed to me to be the little Queen herself. She was flushed and heated, and evidently fatigued and oppressed with the state she had to keep up and the regal robes in which she was arrayed, and especially by a crown of gold, which weighed heavy on her brow, and to which she was continually raising her hand to move it slightly when it pressed. I hope and trust her real crown sits easier.” The bearing of Prince Albert he found prepossessing, and he adds, “He speaks English very well;” as if that were a useful accomplishment for an English Prince Consort. His reception at court and by the ministers and diplomatic corps was very kind, and he greatly enjoyed meeting his old friends, Leslie, Rogers, and Moore. At Paris, in an informal presentation to the royal family, he experienced a very cordial welcome from the King and Queen and Madame Adelaide, each of whom took occasion to say something complimentary about his writings; but he escaped as soon as possible from social engagements. “Amidst all the splendors of London and Paris, I find my imagination refuses to take fire, and my heart still yearns after dear little Sunnyside.” Of an anxious friend in Paris, who thought Irving was ruining his prospects by neglecting to leave his card with this or

that duchess who had sought his acquaint


they cannot be altogether omitted. The duties which the minister had to perform were unusual, delicate, and difficult; but I believe he acquitted himself of them with the skill of a born diplomatist. When he went to Spain before, in 1826, Ferdinand VII. was, by aid of French troops, on the throne, the liberties of the kingdom were crushed, and her most enlightened men were in exile. While he still resided there, in 1829, Ferdinand married, for his fourth wife, Maria Christina, sister of the King of Naples, and niece of the Queen of Louis Philippe. By her he had two daughters, his only children. In order that his own progeny might succeed him, he set aside the Salique law (which had been imposed by France) just before his death, in 1833, and revived the old Spanish law of succession. His eldest daughter, then three years old, was proclaimed Queen, by the name of Isabella II., and her mother guardian during her minority, which would end at the age of fourteen. Don Carlos, the king's eldest brother, immediately set up the standard of rebellion, supported by the absolutist aristocracy, the monks, and a great part of the clergy. The liberals rallied to the Queen. The Queen Regent did not, however, act in good faith with the popular party: she resisted all salutary reform, would not restore the Constitution of 1812 until compelled to by a popular uprising, and disgraced herself by a scandalous connection with one Muños, one of the royal body guards. She enriched this favorite and amassed a vast fortune for herself, which she sent out of the country. In 1839, when Don Carlos was driven out of the country by the patriot soldier Espartero, she endeavored to gain him over to her side, but failed. Espartero became Regent, and Maria Christina repaired to Paris, where she was received with great distinction by Louis Philippe, and Paris became the focus of all sorts of machinations against the constitutional government of Spain, and of plots for its overthrow. One of these had just been defeated at the time of Irving's arrival. It was a desperate attempt of a band of soldiers of the rebel army to carry off the little Queen and her sister, which was frustrated only by the gallant resistance of the halberdiers in the palace. The little princesses had scarcely recovered


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