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morning, and was arrayed simply, but becomingly, in white. Her principal ornament was a necklace of six rows of pearls with a splendid diamond clasp. She was in high glee. Indeed, I never saw a school-girl at a school ball enjoy herself more completely. A royal quadrille was formed in the saloon just in front of the presence chamber. In the first quadrille, General Narvaez danced with the Queen; Count Bresson (the French Ambassador) with the Queen-mother; the Portuguese Minister with the Infanta; others of the diplomatic corps and of the royal household with the princesses (daughters of Don Francisco), the Princess Carina, the French ambassadors, etc. There were blunders in the quadrille, which set the little Queen laughing; and queer old-fashioned dancing on the part of the Portuguese Minister, which increased her risibility. She was at times absolutely convulsed with laughter, and throughout the whole evening showed a merriment that was quite contagious. I have never seen her in such a joyous mood, having chiefly seen her on ceremonious occasions, and had no idea that she had so much real fun in her disposition. She danced with various members of the diplomatic corps; and about four o'clock in the morning, when she was asked if she could venture upon another dance, O, yes! she said; she could dance eight more, if necessary. The Queen-mother, however, got her away between four and five. I was repeatedly asked to take a part in the royal quadrille, but pleaded my lameness as an excuse; for I do not know whether my years would have been a sufficient apology where royalty was in question. I left the ball about three o'clock in the morning; and, having been on my legs at that, and the Besa manos, almost ever since one o'clock in the preceding day, I expected to be laid up with inflammation of the ankles. To my great surprise and satisfaction, I have experienced no ill effects, and, ever since, the symptoms of my malady have been declining.

I have given you but the beginning of Court gayeties. To-morrow, the corps diplomatique are invited to a royal dinner at the palace, which I am curious to see, having never been present on an occasion of the kind at this Court. There is a talk, also, of a succession of concerts and balls at the palace of another ball at General Narvaez's, and of other enter

tainments in the court circle, unless some conspiracy or insurrection should break out to throw everything in confusion. Everything is undertaken here with such a proviso; and a lady who was preparing for the grand ball of General Narvaez, expressed her fears to me that we should all be blown up there, a plot having been discovered, some months since, to blow the general up at his lodgings.

A few days later, he gives his sister a long account of the royal banquet, at which the number of guests was upward of a hundred, composed of the Cabinet Ministers, the principal dignitaries of the government, the diplomatic corps, with their wives (such as had any), and the ladies in attendance on the royal family. His position at the table was to the left of the Queen-mother. In bringing his details to a close, he remarks:—

Thus, my dear sister, I have endeavored to give you a familiar idea of a royal banquet; and the interior of a royal palace. I am afraid, if any strange eye should peruse these domestic scribblings, I should be set down as one infatuated with courts and court ceremonies; but these are intended only for your eye, my dear sister, and for the domestic little circle of the cottage, and to gratify that curiosity which those who live in the quiet and happy seclusion of the country have to learn the reality about kings and queens, and to have a peep into the interior of their abodes.

At the close of another letter addressed to Mrs. Storrow at Paris, in which he had indulged in some details of court entertainments, and other festivities, he ob


You will conclude, from all these details of gayeties, that I am a very gay fellow; but I assure you I am often, in the midst of these brilliant

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throngs, the very dullest of the dull. Unless there should be some one or other of my few cordial intimates present to whom I can link myself, I am apt to gaze on the crowd around me with perfect apathy, and find it very difficult, and at times impossible, to pay those commonplace attentions, and make those commonplace speeches to scores of half acquaintances, required in the wide circulation of fashionable society. I have grown too old or too wise for all that. I hope those who observe my delinquency attribute it to the latter cause. How different my feelings are at these court fêtes and fashionable routs, from what they were at our cordial little American soirées at Paris!

I take the following from a letter to Mrs. Paris, dated Madrid, February 19th, 1845:

Madrid has been uncommonly gay this winter. The aristocracy, having got the government in their hands, and feeling confident of continuing in power have resumed somewhat of their old state and splendor. The Court has been quite magnificent.

I have been particularly pleased with two concerts given at the palace. One was an amateur concert, at which several ladies of the court circle acquitted themselves in a manner that would have done credit to firstrate artistes. On these occasions an immense range of saloons and chambers was thrown open, different from those in which the banquet was given, or in which the Besa manos are held. The concert was given in a splendid saloon, where seats were provided for a great part of the company; many, however, had to stand the whole time. The seats assigned to the diplomatic corps were in front, close to those of the Queen and royal family; there was no stirring, therefore, from one's place. After the first part of the concert, however, we all adjourned to a distant apartment fitted up in the style of a grotto, where tables were set out with a cold supper, confectionery, ices, etc., etc.

When the company returned to the concert room, I did not return to my place, but passed through to the range of apartments beyond. Here

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I enjoyed myself in my own way: loitering about a long suite of magnificent rooms brilliantly lighted up, decorated with all the luxuries of art, hung with paintings of the great masters, and with historical portraits. These I had, in a manner, all to myself, for, excepting here and there a domestic in royal livery, or a couple of courtiers who had stolen out to whisper secrets in a corner, the whole range was deserted. All the embroidered throng had crowded into the concert room to be in the presence of majesty. I wandered about, therefore, musing, and weaving fancies, and seeming to mingle them with the sweet notes of female voices, which came floating through these silken chambers from the distant music room. And now and then I half moralized upon the portraits of kings and queens looking down upon me from the walls, who had figured for a time in the pageants of this royal pile, but, one after another, had "gone down to dusty death." Among them was Ferdinand VII., and his wife, Amelia of Saxony, who had presided in this palace during my first visit to Spain, and whom I had often seen, objects of the adulation of its courtiers-Amelia, whose death-knell I heard rung from the cathedral towers of Granada, at the time I was a resident in the Alhambra. Talk of moralizing among the tombs ! You see one may moralize even in a palace, and within hearing of the revelry of a court.

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CONTINUE the picture of Mr. Irving's life at Madrid, and the changing scenes in which he was mingling, with some extracts from a letter to the sister to whom he was accustomed to write so copiously on Spanish affairs:

General Narvaez, you perceive, is quite the lord of the ascendant. There appears to be more court paid to him even than to the sovereign. Wherever he goes he is the object of adulation, not merely among men but among women. He is a great admirer of the sex, and received by them everywhere with smiles; and he has a quick, inflammable temper, that makes men stand in awe of him. He is, in fact, a singular compound: brave, high-spirited, proud, and even vain, generous to profusion, very punctilious, excessively sensitive to affronts, but passionate rather than vindictive; for, though in the first moment of passion he is capable of any excess, yet, when passion is past, he can forgive anything but an insult.

While thus at the height of power as a subject, and apparently basking

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