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and adulation meet her at every step; the meanest village has its ceremonial of respect, and a speech of loyalty from its alcalde. Thus her progress through the kingdom is a continual triumph.
In the following, to the same correspondent, dated March 23d, he gives a picture of the restoration of the Queen-mother to her children :
I must now give you a chapter of the romance of the palace. I set off, the day before yesterday, for Aranjuez, to be present at the meeting of the little Queen and her mother. I started at six o'clock in the morning, in my carriage, with old Pedro the coachman, and my faithful Lorenzo, Mr. Valdevielso, the Mexican Minister, accompanied me, having sent on his four horses to be stationed on the road as relays. We had a beautiful morning, and enjoyed our drive to the old village of Valdemoro, where we left Pedro and the horses to await our return, and took the first pair of Mr. Valdevielso's horses, with his coachWith these we drove to Aranjuez, not finding occasion to use the second relay, which followed us. We arrived at Aranjuez at half-past eleven, and found the meeting was expected to take place about five o'clock in the afternoon, about three miles from Aranjuez, on the road to Ocaña, a royal tent having been put up for the occasion. Aranjuez was crowded with company-all the nobility from Madrid, the military, and official characters of all sorts, not to mention office-hunters, and the countless crowd that courts the smiles of royalty.
Every vehicle at Madrid had been engaged at high prices to bring on the multitude; every lodging, good or bad, at Aranjuez, had been taken up beforehand. I had comfortable quarters with my good friends the Albuquerques, and found myself the inmate of quite a diplomatic commonwealth, occupying a huge house hired for the occasion. It was two stories high, built around a square court-yard. You may imagine the size of the Spanish houses, when I tell you that in this were accommodated the French Ambassador and his lady, with two young gentlemen of the embassy; the Albuquerques and their family; the Prince and
Princess de Carini; the Count Marnex, Belgian chargé d'affaires; Mr. D'Alborgo, chargé d'affaires of Denmark; the Mexican Minister and myself; and that each family had a distinct apartment to itself, with sitting room, antechamber, etc. We all dined together, and a pleasant dinner we had; while throughout the day and evening, Madame Albuquerque's saloon was a general resort. Here I had a comfortable sofa to lounge upon, and was quite petted by the good people. This gathering together of the diplomatic corps had, indeed, a most sociable, agreeable effect; we seemed like one family. I became great friends with the Princess Carini, who is full of good humor and good spirits, and disposed to take the world cheerfully. Her husband was quite the life of the house, ever ready for anything that may amuse; a man of varied talent -a musician, a painter, etc., etc.
In the course of the afternoon, I drove out, with Mr. Valdevielso, to the place where the royal meeting was to take place. The road was full of carriages and horsemen, hastening to the rendezvous, and was lined with spectators, seated by the roadside in gaping expectation. The scene of the rendezvous was quite picturesque. In an open plain, a short distance from the road, was pitched the royal tent-very spacious, and decorated with fluttering flags and streamers. Three or four other tents were pitched in the vicinity, and there was an immense assemblage of carriages with squadrons of cavalry, and crowds of people of all ranks, from the grandee to the beggar. We left our carriage at a distance from the tent, and proceeded on foot to the royal presence. The impatience of the little Queen and her sister would not permit them to remain in the tent; they were continually sallying forth among the throng of courtiers, to a position that commanded a distant view of the road of Ocaña, as it sloped down the side of a rising ground. Poor things! they were kept nearly a couple of hours in anxious suspense. .. At length the royal cortege was seen descending the distant slope of the road, escorted by squadrons of lancers, whose yellow uniforms, with the red flag of the lance fluttering aloft, made them look at a distance like a moving mass of fire and flame. As they drew near the squadrons of horse wheeled off into the plain, and the royal carriages approached. The impatience of VOL. III.-5
the little Queen could no longer be restrained. Without waiting at the entrance of the tent to receive her royal mother, according to etiquette, she hurried forth, through the avenue of guards, quite to the road, where I lost sight of her amidst a throng of courtiers, horse-guards, etc., etc. The reception of the queen-mother was quite enthusiastic. The air resounded with acclamations. .. The old nobility, who have long been cast down and dispirited, and surrounded by doubt and danger, look upon the return of the Queen-mother as the triumph of their cause, and the harbinger of happier and more prosperous days.
After witnessing this meeting, I hastened back to Aranjuez, to dine and get some repose before the reception of the corps diplomatique, which was to take place at the palace at half-past nine o'clock. We were received in plain clothes, the Queen-mother wishing to avoid the necessity of putting on a court dress. The royal palace was illuminated, and was surrounded by a crowd. We were received in a very beautiful saloon, furnished in the style of the "Empire ;" that is to say, the classic style prevalent during the reign of Napoleon. Our diplomatic circle has quite increased of late, since the Queen has been recognized by different courts. The Ambassador of France takes precedence in it, from his diplomatic rank; then come the Ministers, etc., according to the date of their residence first the Portuguese Minister, then myself, then the Mexican Minister, etc. The little Queen entered the room, followed by her mother and her sister, and the Minister of State. The ambassador of France made her a congratulatory address in the name of the corps, to which she read a brief, written reply. She then, followed by her mother and sister, passed along the line, addressing some words, of course, to each member of the diplomatic corps; after which the royal party courtesied themselves out of the room.
I was glad to get to bed that night, for my poor ankles fairly ached with having to be so much on my legs that day. The next morning Mr. Valdevielso and myself returned to Madrid, as did most of the diplomatic corps, so as to be ready to see the royal entrance into the capital. It will take place between three and four o'clock this afternoon, and I will keep my letter open to give you a word or two about it.
I have just returned from witnessing the entrance of Queen Christina, but have no time to give particulars, as it is dinner time, and the courier is about to depart. There was a great parade of military, and the streets were filled with a countless multitude. The Queen-mother sat in an open carriage, on the left hand of her daughter. The houses were all decorated with tapestry hung out of the windows and balconies. The reception of the Queen by the populace was not very animated. She is popular with the Moderados-that is to say, the aristocracy.
In the following letter to Mrs. Paris, he takes up the thread of his diplomatic themes. His elation, at the close, at being restored to the free use of his legs, from which he had been so long debarred, is quite in character:
[To Mrs. Paris, New York.]
MADRID, April 17, 1844.
MY DEAR SISTER :-
My last letter concluded with the entrance of the Queen and Queenmother into Madrid. Various fêtes and ceremonies, civil and religious, have since taken place in honor of the return of Maria Christina. I have been obliged to absent myself from most of them on account of my indisposition. I was present, however, at the Besa manos (or hand-kissing) at the royal palace. This is the grand act of homage to the sovereign and the royal family. The day was bright and propitious. The place in front of the royal palace was thronged with people waiting to see the equipages drive up; while the avenues were guarded by horse and foot, and the courts and halls echoed with military music. On entering the palace, the grand staircase and the antechambers were lined with the officers, halberdiers, and attendants of the royal household, and thronged with a gorgeous multitude, civil and military, glittering with gold lace and embroidery. I made my way into the Hall of Ambassadors, where the throne is situated, and which I found already filled with grandees and
high functionaries, and a number of the corps diplomatique. I have already noticed this hall in my former letters; it is very magnificent, though somewhat sombre, the walls being covered with crimson velvet. It has a great number of large mirrors, immense chandeliers of crystal, and the vaulted ceiling is beautifully painted, representing, in various compartments, the people and productions of the various countries and climates of the Spanish empire, as it existed before its dismemberment. The throne is on the side of the hall opposite to the windows, just midway. It is raised three or four steps, and surmounted by a rich canopy of velvet. There were two chairs of state thus elevated, one on the right hand for the Queen, and on the left for the Queen-mother; at the foot of the throne, to the left, was a chair of state for the Queen's sister. As everybody is expected to stand in the royal presence, there are no other seats provided. I began to apprehend a severe trial for my legs, as some time would probably elapse before the entrance of the Queen. The introducer of ambassadors, however (the Chevalier de Arana), knowing my invalid condition, kindly pointed out to me a statue at the lower end of the hall, with a low pedestal, and advised me to take my seat there until the opening of the court. I gladly availed myself of the suggestion, and, seating myself on the edge of the pedestal, indulged myself in a quiet survey of the scene before me, and a meditation on the various scenes of the kind I had witnessed in this hall in the time of Ferdinand VII. and during the time of my present sojourn at this court, and in calling to mind the rapid vicissitudes which had occurred, even in my limited experience, in the gilded and anxious throngs which, each in their turns, have glittered about this hall. How brief has been their butterfly existence! how sudden and desolate their reverses! Exile, imprisonment, death itself, have followed hard upon the transient pageants of a court; and who could say how soon a like lot might befall the courtier host before me, thus swarming forth into sudden sunshine? They all seemed, however, secure that their summer was to last, and that the golden days of monarchical rule had once more returned. The arrival of the Queen-mother has been regarded by the aristocracy as the completion and consolidation of their triumph. They have crowded, therefore, to do