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from the horror of this night attack when our minister presented his credentials to the Queen through the Regent, thus breaking a diplomatic dead-lock, in which he was followed by all the other embassies except the French. I take some passages from the author's description of his first audience at the royal palace : —

“We passed through the spacious court, up the noble staircase, and through the long suites of apartments of this splendid edifice, most of them silent and vacant, the casements closed to keep out the heat, so that a twilight reigned throughout the mighty pile, not a little emblematical of the dubious fortunes of its inmates. It seemed more like traversing a convent than a palace. I ought to have mentioned that in ascending the grand staircase we found the portal at the head of it, opening into the royal suite of apartments, still bearing the marks of the midnight attack upon the palace in October last, when an attempt was made to get possession of the persons of the little Queen and her sister, to carry them off. . . . The marble casements of the doors had been shattered in several places, and the double doors themselves pierced all over with bullet holes, from the musketry that played upon them from the staircase during that eventful night. What must have been the feelings of those poor children, on listening, from their apartment, to the horrid tumult, the outcries of a furious multitude, and the reports of fire-arms echoing and reverberating through the vaulted halls and spacious courts of this immense edifice, and dubious whether their own lives were not the object of the assault! “After passing through various chambers of the palace, now silent and sombre, but which I had traversed in former days, on grand court occasions in the time of Ferdinand VII., when they were glittering with all the splendor of a court, we paused in a great saloon, with high-vaulted ceiling incrusted with florid devices in porcelain, and hung with silken tapestry, but all in dim twilight, like the rest of the palace. At one end of the saloon the door opened to an almost interminable range of other chambers, through which, at a distance, we had a glimpse of some indistinct figures in black. They glided into the saloon slowly, and with noiseless steps. It was the little Queen, with her governess, Madame Mina, widow of the general of that name, and her guardian, the excellent Arguelles, all in deep mourning for the Duke of Orleans. The little Queen advanced some steps within the saloon and then paused. Madame Mina took her station a little distance behind her. The Count Almodovar then introduced me to the Queen in my official capacity, and she received me with a grave and quiet welcome, expressed in a very low voice. She is nearly twelve years of age, and is sufficiently well grown for her years. She had a somewhat fair complexion, quite pale, with bluish or light gray eyes; a grave demeanor, but a graceful deportment. I could not but regard her with deep interest, knowing what important concerns depended upon the life of this fragile little being, and to what a stormy and precarious career she might be destined. Her solitary position, also, separated from all her kindred except her little sister, a mere effigy of royalty in the hands of statesmen, and surrounded by the formalities and ceremonials of state, which spread sterility around the occupant of a throne.”

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I have quoted this passage not more on account of its intrinsic interest, than as a specimen of the author's consummate art of conveying an impression by what I may call the tone of his style; and this appears in all his correspondence relating to this picturesque and eventful period. During the four years of his residence the country was in a constant state of excitement and often of panic. Armies were marching over the

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fresh and unhackneyed in society, and my imagination decked her out with everything that was pure, lovely, innocent, and angelic in womanhood. She was pointed out to me in the theatre shortly after my arrival in Madrid. I turned with eagerness to the original of the picture that had ever remained hung up in sanctity in my mind. I found her still handsome, though somewhat matronly in appearance, seated, with her daughters, in the box of a fashionable nobleman, younger than herself, rich in purse but poor in intellect, and who was openly and notoriously her cavalier servante. The charm was broken, the picture fell from the wall. She may have the customs of a depraved country and licentious state of society to excuse her; but I can never think of her again in the halo of feminine purity and loveliness that surrounded the Virgin of Murillo.”

During Irving's ministry he was twice absent, briefly in Paris and London, and was called to the latter place for consultation in regard to the Oregon boundary dispute, in the settlement of which he rendered valuable service. Space is not given me for further quotations from Irving's brilliant descriptions of court, characters, and society in that revolutionary time, nor of his half

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