Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/135

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
73
THE QUEEN ARRIVES IN LONDON.

resentment which she had nourished for so long a course of years, she boldly took up the gauntlet her enemies had flung at her feet, and crossed the Channel almost as soon as the astonished Government messenger himself.

The queen (for she was titular Queen of England now) arrived in London on the 7th of June: "the road was thronged with an immense multitude the whole way from Westminster Bridge to Greenwich. Carriages, carts, and horsemen followed, preceded, and surrounded her coach the whole way. She was everywhere received with the greatest enthusiasm. Women waved pocket-handkerchiefs, and men shouted wherever she passed. She travelled in an open landau, Alderman Wood sitting by her side, and Lady Ann Hamilton [the Duke of Hamilton's sister] and another woman opposite. … The queen looked exactly as she did before she left England, and seemed neither dispirited nor dismayed."[1] In one of the popular satires of the day we see her standing on the balcony of Alderman Wood's house in South Audley Street, receiving and acknowledging the enthusiastic plaudits of her admirers. The very day she arrived at Dover, a royal message was sent down to Parliament, by which the king commended to the Lords an inquiry into the conduct of the queen ; while on the following day, Mr. Brougham read in the House of Commons a message or manifesto from his client, declaring that her return was occasioned by the necessity her enemies had laid upon her of defending her character and conduct.

The Bill of Pains and Penalties.Both parties now stood irrevocably committed to the fatal measure. A secret committee of the House of Lords proceeded to open the celebrated green bag, which contained the reports of the Milan Commission; and on the 4th of July they made their report, recommending a solemn inquiry into the conduct of the queen. Next day the Earl of Liverpool presented a "bill of pains and penalties" entitled, "An Act to deprive Her Majesty Queen Caroline Amelia Elizabeth of the title, prerogative, rights, privileges, and

  1. "Greville Memoirs," vol. i. p. 28.