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from the public. He rode into the Home Park, at Hampton Court, the morning of February 21 to look at the excavation making, under his directions, for a new canal, which was to run in another longitudinal stripe by the side of that which now deforms the vista, and injures the air of Hampton Court-gardens. His majesty was mounted on sir John Fenwick's sorrel pony, when, just as he came by the head of the two canals, opposite to the Ranger's Park pales, the sorrel pony happened to tread in a mole-hill, and fell. Such is the tradition of the palace ; and it must be owned, that after a careful examination of the spot, the author prefers its adoption to the usual assertion of historians, " that the king's pony stumbled when he was returning from hunting,” especially when the mischievous effects of the subterranean works of moles in that soil are remembered. For an officer of rank, who resides in the vicinity, asserted that he had twice met with accidents which threatened to be dangerous, owing to his horse having plunged his fore-foot to the depth of more than fifteen inches in mole-hills at Bushy Park and the Home Park. There, too, may be seen the half-excavated canal, which has remained without water, and in an unfinished state. None of William III.'s successors being Dutch, all taste for straight stripes of still water ceased to be fashionable with the life of the crowned Hollander. The account that the king himself gave of his accident agrees with the Hampton Court tradition. “ Riding in the park at noon," he said to Dr. Bidloo, “ while I was making my horse change his walk into a gallop, he fell upon his knees; upon that I meant to raise him with the bridle, but he fell forwards to one side, so I fell with my right shoulder on the ground. 'Tis a strange thing," added his majesty, musingly, “for it happened on smooth, level ground.

King William thus took his death-hurt within sight of the entrance of Hampton Court Palace. From the first weeks of his arrival in England, he had always had plans in agitation to make that favourite seat of his royalty as different in outward semblance as possible to its aspect when, in his youth, he had visited his uncles there. He was occupied in the same object when the accident, he thought so utterly

1 White Kennet's History, vol. iii. p. 831 ; and Lamberty, who likewise speaks as from the king's lips.

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unaccountable, befel him. The workmen busy at the neighbouring excavation raised the overthrown monarch, and assisted him to the palace. He affirmed, that he was very slightly hurt; but Ronjat, his surgeon, who was there, found he had broken his right collar-bone. On what trifles do human plans and projects depend, and what mean agency is sufficient to tumble the ambitious schemes of military pride and glory literally in the very dust? The purblind mole, that was obeying the first call of spring to repair his fortification, and set his subterranean house in order, did what Louis XIV. and all his engineers never could effect: he prevented William III. from heading Europe in battle-array against France.

The angry Jacobites found more than one circumstance of exultation in this accident, which proved so fatal to William III. “ The little gentleman in black velvet” became one of their party toasts, and they wrote many eulogies on the sagacity of Sorrel, who had been the favourite pony of the unfortunate sir John Fenwick, and had taken an opportunity of thus revenging the illegal death of his master. Pope has followed this example in the contrast he drew between the preservation of Charles at Boscobel, and the accident at Bushy:

Angels, who watched the guardian oak so well,

How chanced ye slept when luckless Sorrel fell ?”] When Ronjat had set the fractured collar bone of the king, he earnestly recommended to him rest and medical regimen. William refused to submit to any such discipline, he made light of the accident, declared the injury was nothing, that he must go to Kensington that night, and go he would despite of all remonstrance. On the journey, the jolting of the carriage displaced the fractured bones, and he was in a state of great pain and exhaustion when he arrived at his palace of Kensington. Bidloo, his household physician, received him there, and making many remonstrances regarding the wilfulness of royal patients, the injured collar-bone was re-set by Ronjat, under his superintendence.

The public papers announced the accident under which the king was suffering, in their own peculiar manner; like

2 This couplet was among the passages suppressed until the editions after Pope's death.


wise, they record the movements of the prince and princess of Denmark during the important week while the recovery of his majesty hung in suspense.

“ As the king was taking the divertisement of hunting a deer, near Hampton town, on Saturday last, (21 Feb.,) his horse slipt, so that his majesty fell

, and had the misfortune to hurt his collar-bone; after which he dined at Hampton Court, and at night came in his coach to Kensington, where he rested well that night, as he did on Sunday morning. Their royal highnesses, princess Anne, and George of Denmark, have been to Kensington to visit his majesty, who is, blessed be God ! in a very good state of health, and in no manner of danger from the accident. The princess and her consort, on February 24, paid a visit at Kensington to his majesty, who God be thanked, is in perfect health; their highnesses went on to Windsor. His majesty is very well, notwithstanding the fall he got on Saturday a hunting. Yesterday, (Feb. 26,) their royal highnesses paid the king a visit, on their return from Windsor.”

The king sent a message to the united houses of parliament (28th of February), for promoting the union with Scotland, in which he mentioned the mishap of breaking the collar-bone, “as an unhappy accident;" meantime he advised expedition in passing the bill for the attainder of young James Stuart, which had been in agitation in parliament since the preceding January,

It is just possible that when the act passed parliament, March 1st, against a child, who was his nearest male relative, some agitation might take place in the mind of the invalid king, for that self-same hour he was struck with his mortal malady, which appeared in the shape of spasmodic cramp. He recovered a little by the use of stimulants, and, on the 6th of March, walked for exercise in the gallery of Kensington-palace; he felt fatigued, and sat down on a couch near an open window, and fell fast asleep; he slept two hours; no one dared waken him, for his pages and personal attendants dreaded the effects of his positiveness and peevishness. Shiverings

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· The Postboy, Saturday, Feb. 21 to Feb. 24, 1701-2. Brit. Museum.

* The Flying Post. Ibid. 3 The English Post, Monday, Feb. 23, to Feb. 25. 4 Postman, Feb. 26.

and spasms seized him when he awoke from this unhealthy slumber; he was carried to bed in great misery. Sir Richard Blackmore, the poetaster-physician, attended him, but did him no good. It may be judged how little the public papers knew of his majesty's malady, or were permitted to communicate concerning it, by these passages : —“The king continues very well, but it not being advisable that his majesty should yet go abroad, the act for attainting the pretended prince of Wales, and the act for further punishing deserters and mutineers, received the royal assent.” Notwithstanding the assertion of the public prints, the attainder of the young prince, James Stuart, had not received the royal ratification, for the king fell into fits whenever he attempted to sign the act which was finally effected by being stamped by his ministers, on the Saturday afternoon, with his initials, when his death was approaching: 3 A dead silence was maintained in the newspapers regarding the state of William, until his death ; but stocks fell every day, and from this occult bulletin, the monied world formed accurate inferences on the subject.

All this time, the king's breath became more and more oppressed-a fatal symptom, which was soon observed by lord Jersey, the lord chamberlain of his household. This courtier immediately despatched a trusty messenger with the news to the princess Anne, at St. James's Palace. Likewise, ever and anon, during the agony of king William, did lord Jersey despatch intelligence to the expectant heiress that the breath of the royal patient “grew shorter every half hour.” The princess had sent, in the course of that day, to Kensington Palace, a dutiful message to the king, entreating permission to see him in his bedchamber. It was answered by the dying king himself, who collected his strength to pronounce a short and rude « No !”1 The prince of Denmark actually made many attempts to enter the king's chamber, but met with as many downright repulses. The newspapers of the day affirm that the king was kept alive all the Saturday night by the use of “ Sir Walter Raleigh's cordial.” Lamberty, who was in the palace with his patron, Lord Portland, that night-and therefore is indisputable evidence—declares that the king was supported entirely by spirituous liquors.” Sir Walter Raleigh's cordial was a strong spirituous compound. His majesty had desired to see his friend Bentinck, lord Portland, who, it is well known, never came to court since the period of the peace of Ryswick, excepting on a special message. This nobleman was sent for, and was momentarily expected during the Saturday evening. The king was likewise anxiously looking for the arrival of his favourite, Keppel earl of Albemarle, from a mission on which he had sent him to Holland; he just arrived before the king lost his speech, and was in his travelling boots when he came to his majesty's bed-side. The king was very desirous of saying something in confidence to Keppel; he gave him the keys of his escritoir and bade him take possession, for his private use, of 20,000 guineas--all the private property his majesty had at command; he likewise directed him to destroy all the letters which would be found in a cabinet which he named. Keppel was extremely eager to give his royal master information of the rapid progress of his

1 Postman newspaper, March 3, 1702, which contained, in the same week, the following advertisement: “ The true effigies of Georgius Augustus, (and not Gulielmus Ernestus, as was by mistake mentioned in a previous Postman,) prince of Hanover, grandson to the most illustrious princess Sophia, duchess.dowager, daughter to Elizabeth, queen of Bohemia, sister of Charles I., declared to succeed to the crown of England, &c., by the late act for settling the succession in the protestant line. Done from the original brought over by the earl of Macclesfield, and humbly dedicated to the lord Mohun. Sold by E. Cooper, at the Three Pidgeons in Bedford-street, price Is. 6d.” This was one of the signs of the times on the attainder of the unfortunate James Stuart. The prince represented was afterwards George II., then a boy about the same age with his cousin, the expatriated prince of Wales.

2 Coxe's Walpole Papers, vol. i. p. 17.
3 See vol. X., Life of Mary Beatrice.

martial preparations for the commencement of war in the Low Countries, and, for the first time, the departing warrior listened to the anticipations of battle with a cold dull ear; all the comment he made was comprised in these impressive words, the last he uttered distinctly : “ Je tire vers ma fin—“I draw towards my end !"

His old friend, Bentinck earl of Portland, entered the chamber of death early on the Sunday morning; the king was speechless, but had not then lost memory or consciousness. He took the hand of Bentinck, pressed it to his heart, and held it there while the pangs of death were dealing with

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Ralph's History, vol. ii. p. 1623. Macpherson, vol. ii. p. 207. The historian considers that these papers, if preserved, would have thrown very important lights on his biography,

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