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induced this country to put forth its whole strength in the war. It was not thought necessary to wait until Louis gave proof that he entertained the ambitious projects ascribed to him. It was not thought worth while to calculate whether any power on earth could force upon the English a sovereign whom they were determined not to have. It was not considered that a war undertaken merely upon suspicion cannot be justified to heaven or to man. Nor was it considered that, if fortune should be adverse to the Allies, France would have some kind of pretext for attempting to inflict upon England, as a measure of retaliation, the evil she so much dreaded. The only arguments which the minds of Englishmen could admit at this period were, that France had grown too great and powerful, that she threatened to extinguish the liberties of every State in Europe, and that therefore it was the interest of every State in Europe to try and reduce her before it was too late. For these reasons had England engaged to assist the Allies with her whole power ; and the only compensation she proposed to herself for the expense and bloodshed the war was certain to occasion was to witness the humiliation of France and the aggrandisement of Holland and the Emperor.

CHAPTER II.

Early on the morning of Sunday, the 8th of March, 1702, William III. expired in Kensington Palace. Upon his death the crown devolved, in accordance with the provisions of the bill of rights and succession passed in 1689, upon the Princess Anne. It was from the first inevitable that great alterations would be made in the system of internal government. It might even have been apprehended that those great schemes of foreign policy which had been the principal object of the last reign, and which had at length been brought to maturity, would now be abandoned. Just on the brink of declaring war against France, the chief power had passed from an intellectual and energetic prince to a lady of feeble understanding, known to be attached to a party which regarded the exaltation of the Church and the suppression of Dissent as the highest objects of statesmanship, and to be wholly governed by a female favourite. It is important, therefore, to consider first the character of the new sovereign, and secondly the character of those by whom it was likely she would be influenced.

There are several portraits of Anne in existence; and after making allowance for the courtliness of the painter, it must be pronounced that her Majesty presents to the world an exceedingly good-humoured countenance. It is impossible to contemplate the features of Elizabeth without a feeling of compassion for the people who lived under the power of that cruel-looking, thin-lipped, high-nosed incarnation of despotism. But the pictures of Anne inspire no such awe. There is a fat, maternal look about them which, although sometimes striking us as vulgar, affords a sufficient warranty that her Majesty not likely to turn her kingdom into a shambles. Piety and a love of good feeding are suggested as being probable character

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istics of the owner of those features. The arm and hand are usually displayed with such prominence as to leave us in no doubt that her Majesty especially valued herself upon their whiteness or contour. It is to be hoped that her husband, the party principally concerned with these charms, held them in proper appreciation.

From her infancy she had been an object of affectionate solicitude to the nation. With her father an avowed Papist, and her uncle, the reigning sovereign, a suspected one, it was not unreasonably apprehended that the orthodoxy of the Princess was in imminent danger of being corrupted. When she was but four years old all England was thrown into alarm by her being sent into France for the professed object of being cured of a weakness in her eyes. The relief was great when, after a few months' absence, she returned in improved health and as sound a Protestant as before. Charles was too sensible a man and understood his subjects too well to allow his brother to have his own way in the education of children who might one day ascend the throne. He was determined that both Mary and Anne should be brought up as Protestants. He went so far even as to gratify the wishes of his subjects on this point at the expense of his own inclinations. No Protestant divine was less in favour at court than Doctor Compton, dean of the royal chapel. His manners savoured too much of the rough soldiering life he had followed until his thirtieth year to please the fastidious taste of Charles. The energy with which he thundered against the Papists wearied and disgusted the careless but temperate monarch. But his activity and reputed success in making converts had made him popular. To this, the most zealous apostle for the reformed doctrines to be found in the entire body of the clergy, was confided the religious education of the princesses Mary and Anne. The result equalled the most sanguine expectations. Long before the princesses had grown into women their minds had become proof against any attempt which their father or his priests could make to pervert them.

In the year 1677 Mary became the wife of a distinguished pillar of the Protestant faith, the Prince of Orange. James, who had been naturally much averse to this marriage, conceived

that, as compensation for the sacrifice of his eldest daughter, he should be permitted to select the husband of his second. But on this point Charles, anxious to avoid any disagreement with his Parliament and subjects, remained firm. A Protestant husband was sought for Anne. George, son of the Elector of Hanover, and who afterwards ascended the English throne, came over to pay his addresses in 1681 ; but, before commencing operations, he received his recall from his father, who had been negociating with the Duke of Zell, and who had decided that a match with a daughter of that potentate would be more

a profitable to the family then a marriage with the English princess.

The next suitor for Anne was George, a younger son of the King of Denmark, and to him she was united on the 28th of July, 1683. The mental capacity of this prince was little superior to that of Slender in the play. His silence and stupid looks rendered him the standing jest of Charles : James scarcely thought him worth the trouble of attempting to pervert ; and William seems often to have almost forgotten his existence. But he made a faithful, affectionate, and assiduous husband, and Anne was fondly attached to him. She became a mother no less than seventeen times : but with the exception of a son, the Duke of Gloucester, who reached the age of nine years, all his children were either still-born or died immediately after birth.

Upon the occasion of forming an establishment for Anne at the time of her marriage, she preferred a very particular request to the King through her father, that her intimate friend from childhood, Sarah, Lady Churchill, might be appointed one of the ladies of her bedchamber. The request was granted without difficulty. No one could then have foreseen the momentous consequences that would result from this appointment. But the friendship and the quarrels between Anne and this lady have left their traces upon the history of Europe.t

Richard Jennings, the father of two girls, each of whom was destined to attain the rank of a duchess, was a country gentle

It is possible that in this circumstance we have one of the causes of that dislike which Anne subsequently manifested for the Elector and his family.

+ This account of the Marlboroughs and their rise at court, I have drawn from the several biographies of them, and from Hamilton's Memoirs.

cause.

man of good family and moderate estate, living at Sandridge, near St. Albans. His principles had been those of a Royalist; but as he emerged from the evil days of the Commonwealth with a fortune hardly, if at all, impaired, he must have conducted himself with singular discretion and moderation. The gratitude of the royal brothers was, however, not generally proportioned to the sacrifices which had been made in their

Richard Jennings was soon received into high favour at court, and his eldest daughter, Frances, became one of the maids of honour to the first Duchess of York, Anne Hyde. The bright complexion, animated features, fair hair, and lively manner of Frances Jennings set the breasts of half the cavaliers about Whitehall in a flame. But her numerous admirers soon discovered that, although ready to engage in any wild prank, she had her senses about her upon the most important of all matters to a young lady. An attempt was made upon her affections, or her ambition, by James, but was repulsed with a coolness and steadiness which in that dissolute court excited astonishment. The ogling of her royal lover failed even to bring a blush upon her countenance, while his letters were returned in an open manner which made him an object of ridicule. Charles himself was consulted by his brother upon this problem in the art of gallantry; and his sacred majesty pronounced that a girl who had never tasted anything more delicious than the plums and apricots of St. Albans, must have been very imperfectly attacked. According to the gay chronicler of the amusements at Whitehall, Charles at one time seriously contemplated bringing all his science to bear upon the heart of the maid of honour ; but his lazy disposition shrank from the trouble it might occasion him. Frances Jennings eventually gave her hand to Sir George Hamilton, a Roman Catholic, and after his death married the handsome but vain and imprudent Talbot, whom James, after quitting the kingdom, advanced to be Duke of Tyrconnel.

Sarah, the younger sister of Frances, was, while still a child, brought frequently to court, and permitted to join in the diversions of Anne, who was about four years her junior. The Princess formed a strong attachment for her, and after the appointment of Sarah to be maid of honour to the second

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