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all that had been heard, or could be imagined, for they did not speak to, and hardly looked at, each other. “Everybody," says Clarendon,“ was glad they were so far from town, for they were still at Hampton Court, and that there were so few witnesses of all that passed. The Queen sat melancholic in her chamber in tears, except when she drove them away by a more violent passion in choleric discourse; and the King sought his divertissements in that company that said and did all things to please him.”
Affairs at the palace continued in this state for two or three days, at the end of which time Clarendon, at the instance of the King, again saw the Queen, and entered into a long discussion with her, urging her, with the pharisaical cant of which he was so great a master, to yield to the King's demands, and blaming her for her vigorous resistance. The plea he chiefly used was that “as the husband would not impose a servant against whom just exceptions could be made; so it was presumed that no wife would refuse to receive a servant that was esteemed and commended by her husband as if Lady Castlemaine was a woman that any man could truly regard as an estimable and a commendable companion for his wife !—"and showing his trouble and wonder when she firmly declared, that however willing she might be to subordinate her personal feelings in the matter to those of the King,” she could not, in conscience, give her consent. All his dexterous pleading, however, was without avail; for the Queen declared to him her final determination that the King might do what he pleased, but that she would not consent to receive Lady Castlemaine as a lady of her bed-chamber. After this rebuff
, Clarendon's part in the affair was at an end, and he retired from the contest, with the discredit of having failed to move the Queen's resolution, and still more with the dishonour of having stooped to accept the office of pander to the King's outrageous project.
Charles now gave up all idea of influencing his wife in the matter through persuasion; and tried instead what a little brutality would accomplish. Accordingly he seldom came into the Queen's presence, and when he did he treated her with studied coldness and indifference, neither speaking to nor noticing her. All this time he passed in the gay and care
HUMILIATIONS PUT ON THE QUEEN.
less company of those who, as Clarendon expresses it, “made it their business to laugh at all the world, and who were as bold with God Almighty as with any of his creatures”; and to make the Queen feel the more lonely, directed nearly all her Portuguese attendants to be shipped off back to Lisbon, without giving any reason for their sudden dismissal to the King and Queen of Portugal, and without offering them any remuneration for having attended Catherine into England, so that she, not having as yet received any money of her own, had to see her old friends depart with their faithful services unacknowledged.
That the cup of her humiliation might be filled, her law agent, who had undertaken to pay her dowry into the Treasury, and who, according to Charles, had made default, though, in fact, he had not, was thrown into prison ; while her venerable friend and relative, the Portuguese ambassador, was so grossly insulted on her account, that he was made ill, and after a long sickness “which all men believed would have killed him, as soon as he was able to endure the air, he left Hampton Court, and retired to his own house in the city.”
All this time Charles steadily pursued his point: Lady Castlemaine came to Hampton Court, and had apartments assigned her in the palace, and she was every day, with brazen face, flaunting herself in the Queen's presence, the King being in constant conversation with her, while the Queen sat alone and unnoticed, the courtiers ostentatiously flocking round Lady Castlemaine, whose favour they valued more than hers. If Catherine, resenting these indignities, rose to retire to her own room, scarcely any of those present troubled themselves to attend her; but the company remained in the room, while as she left she could hear the intentionally ill-suppressed whispers and titterings, levelled at her “prudery.” Charles, who at the outset of the misunderstanding had appeared worried and dejected, now assumed an air of the most perfect gaiety and good-humour, which made her feel—as it was intended to do—her isolation the more acutely. “On all occasions she was forced to see that there was a universal mirth in all company but in hers, and in all places but in her chamber"; and while her evenings were spent alone, those of the King were passed among his boon companions, men and women, at jolly supper parties, the jokes and incidents of which were the one topic of conversation and laughter by the whole Court the next day-so that in everything, and at all times, the Queen should always feel completely “out of it.”
Never, in truth, was a woman, much less a Queen, placed in a more humiliating and cruel position; and it is a marvel that she should have endured it so long. At last, however, overwhelmed by the misery of her situation, and her spirit beaten down by the reiterated slights put upon her, she thought it best to end the contest by yielding unreservedly to her husband's wishes. Suddenly, one day, when least expected, Catherine condescended first to notice, then to speak to, Lady Castlemaine ; and soon after treated her with marked familiarity. “She was merry with her in public, talked kindly of her, and in private used nobody more friendly.” From that time forward the struggle was at an end: the Queen, having submitted to the King's terms, at once regained his goodwill, was admitted to share in all the gaieties that were going on, and, resuming her position in the Court, was henceforth treated with the respect due to the Queen of England.
But though she purchased peace by this unconditional surrender, there were not wanting those who, though they had rendered her no assistance in her struggle with the King, now pretended that they had always “looked upon her with great compassion, commended the greatness of her spirit, and detested the barbarity of the affronts she underwent” ; and who censured her most severely for not persevering in her former dignified resistance.
Conspicuous among these, and excelling them all in loathsome cant, was the man who had himself employed all his arts of sophistry and persuasion to induce her to accede to the King's demands, namely, the moral and religious Clarendon, who, in his autobiography, sharply blames her “for this sudden downfall and total abandoning her own greatness, this low demeanour, and even application to a person she had justly abhorred and worthily condemned”
-the “downfall” he had himself tried to bring her to; the “abandoning her greatness," which he had himself counselled; the “low demeanour” he had himself urged her to CHARLES II. AND HIS QUEEN RECONCILED. 283
adopt! The baseness of the Pharisee could not sink to lower depths !
Almost immediately after the reconciliation between Charles and Catherine, they had to go together to Greenwich to pay a visit of welcome to the Queen-Mother, Henrietta Maria, who had just come over to England to offer in person her congratulations on their marriage. The King and Queen set out from Hampton Court on the 28th of July, attended by a brilliant suite, and after a very amicable visit of four hours' duration, they returned the same day to this palace, and supped together in public. The following day the King went up to town on business- or pleasure—“and in the evening the Queen, accompanied by her household, went to meet his Majesty on the road—a gallantry which the King so highly appreciated, that he expressed his pleasure most heartily, which was much applauded by the Court."
A day or two afterwards the Queen-Mother came to Hampton Court to return their visit. It must have been with sad and painful feelings that she revisited the palace in which she had first resided with Charles I., thirty-six years before, just after her own marriage ; and in which she had not set foot for twenty years, since their fatal flight from London in 1642, after the attempted arrest of the Five Members.
When the Queen-Mother arrived, the King her son received her at the foot of the Great Hall stairs, and on her alighting led her up to the Hall, where the Queen, who was waiting for her, came forward to receive her. After the first greetings, they passed through the Hall and Guard Chamber to the Presence Chamber, were the two Queens seated themselves under the “ cloth of state,” or canopy, the QueenMother on the right of Queen Catherine, while the Duchess of York sat a little removed to the left. “The King and the Duke of York stood, and either one or the other acted as interpreters between the two Queens, for Catherine could not speak French, nor Henrietta Spanish, much less Portuguese."
Charles and Catherine dined in private with the QueenMother the first day of her arrival at Hampton Court, and in the afternoon the Duke and Duchess of York joined them
in the Queen's Chamber, where they heard her Majesty's Portuguese band.” A few days afterwards she left Hampton Court and returned to Greenwich.
Charles and Catherine, however, remained on here till the 23rd of August, the day fixed for their State entry into London, which took place by river, with all the magnificent aquatic pageantry which was usual in that age. They embarked at Hampton Court in the afternoon in their own State barge, with the bargemen in their picturesque scarlet liveries, and were accompanied by the Duke and Duchess of York, Prince Rupert, his brother Prince Edward, and the Countess of Suffolk, the first lady of the bed-chamber to the Queen. The ladies and gentlemen of the Court followed in other barges. When they reached Teddington, a larger vessel, which drew too much water to have proceeded higher up the river, was in waiting to receive the royal party. This vessel had glass windows, and a crimson awning bordered with gold. At Putney was another barge, in which they were to make their public entry. It was fashioned like " antique-shaped open vessel, covered with a state or canopy of cloth of gold, made in form of a cupola, supported with high Corinthian pillars, wreathed with flowers, festoons, and garlands.” In it were four and twenty oarsmen clad in scarlet. All down the river the banks were lined with spectators, who gave the King and Queen a cordial reception ; and at every point the procession was joined by barges and boats of all sorts, until, as it neared Westminster, the river was so thick with them that the water could not be seen between. So, at any rate, we are informed by Pepys, who must have had a good view, as he was
on top of the Banqueting House at Whitehall
, and who computed the boats of all sorts that he saw in one sight to number at least a thousand. Evelyn, also, witnessed the scene in the barge of the Royal Society; and he gives the following graphic account of what he saw: "I was spectator of the most magnificent triumph that ever floated on the Thames, considering the innumerable boats and vessels, dressed and adorned with all imaginable pomp, but above all the thrones, arches, pageants, and other representations, stately barges of the Lord Mayor and companies, with various inventions, music and peals of ordnance both from the vessels and the