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as at home, and there is no power to prevent her from returning to this country whenever she may think it necessary. Nor is any condition imposed, or attempted to be imposed, on Her Royal Highness to limit the exercise of her own discretion in that respect.”
The Princess of Wales left for the continent on August 6, 1814, not to return again until she became Queen. Her parting wish was characteristic, and indicated that there was still, after all these years of incessant persecution, plenty of fight left in her. Princess hopes, that when she had left England, the Prince Regent will make public his conviction that her conduct and character have not merited reproach,” she wrote to him, and thereby regain the popularity that is due to him on the part of his noble nation.”
Just before Caroline left England the second Prince of Orange arrived. “He is the same age as my daughter,” she wrote to Lady Charlotte Campbell, " and I should not be much surprised that this marriage would take place soon, as Princess Charlotte would certainly not be under the necessity to leave her native country, he being not the successor, only the second son.” This, however, was not to be.
The Princess Charlotte had set her heart on Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, and would not entertain the idea of any other suitor. No one,” she said to the Duke of York at a ball at Carlton House,“ prepossesses me so much as Leopold.” It was also in his favour that, being a younger son of a minor house, in the event of her marrying him the question of her living abroad would not be revived. Eventually the Prince Regent gave his consent to this alliance. The public announcement was made in March 1816, and Parliament granted an income
of £60,000 a year, and a sum of £60,000 for outfit, jewels, and the furnishing of a house. Leopold had only a few hundreds a year of his own; and when during the marriage ceremony he said, “With all my worldly goods I thee endow," the humour of the situation appealed so forcibly to the bride that she roared with laughter.
The marriage took place on May 2, and the honeymoon was spent at Oatlands Park, the seat of the Duke and Duchess of York. Presently the young couple bought the estate of Claremont, near Esher, where they settled down to a quiet, retired, and happy life. There was much excitement when it was known that Princess Charlotte was with child. On November 5, 1817, she was delivered of a still-born boy. Shortly after midnight the mother was dead. “I have not only to lament an ever-beloved child, but one most warmly attached friend, and the only one I had in England ! Caroline, on hearing the sad tidings, wrote to Lady Charlotte Campbell. “But she is only gone before. I have her not lossetand I now trust we shall soon meet in a much better world than the present one."
MARIA FAGNIANI ("MIE-MIE ") (1771-1856) The Earl of Yarmouth—The relation between his mother, Lady Hertford,
and the Prince Royal Stripes "-Thackeray's Lord SteyneDisraeli's Lord Monmouth-Maria Fagniani-Her three fathersThe Marquis Fagniani, Lord March, and George Selwyn-Selwyn's love for Mie-Mie "-Her childhood-Marries Lord YarmouthTheir son-Lady Yarmouth and Marshal Androche-A second son
Death. The only son of the second Marquis of Hertford by his second wife, the Earl of Yarmouth, did not show any annoyance at the intimate relations between his mother and the Prince of Wales.
Yarmouth, though fifteen years his junior, was an intimate of the Prince, and for some years they were much together, but they ended by quarrelling. The story goes that one day His Royal Highness endeavoured to kiss Lady Yarmouth, and that her husband then and there so soundly thrashed him that he had to keep to his apartments under the pretext of a sprained ankle. George Cruikshank found in this an admirable subject for a caricature, and that most disrespectful of lampoonists, Peter Pindar, wrote some now unprintable verses, “ Royal Stripes; or, a Kick from Yarmouth to Wales, with the Particulars of an Expedition to Oatlands, and the Sprained Ankle," of which, however, the moral ” can be given:
Ye Princes, as you love your lives,
But keep your brittle hearts from tripping :
So let us sing, Long live the King,
The Regent, long live he :
May I be there to see.
Yarmouth, who, because of his rubicund whiskers, hair, and face, was universally known as “ Red Herrings'
Bloaters,” himself was a roué of the worst type, and he has in that capacity been immortalised by more than one author, and his name has become a household word. Thackeray introduced him in Vanity Fair as Lord Steyne, and gives a description of him : “Lord Steyne's shining bald head was fringed with red hair. He had thick bushy eyebrows, with little, twinkling, bloodshot eyes, surrounded by a thousand wrinkles. His jaw was underhung, and, when he laughed, two white buck-teeth protruded themselves, and glistened savagely in the midst of the grin.” Lord Yarmouth was also the prototype of Lord Monmouth in Disraeli's Coningsby, and there we are told he was "in height above the middle size, but somewhat portly and corpulent. His countenance was strongly marked, sagacity on the brow, sensuality on the mouth and jaw. His large, deep blue eye, morbid yet piercing, showed that the secretions of his brain were apportioned, half to voluptuousness, half to common 'sense. But his general mien was truly grand; full of a natural nobility, of which no one was more sensible.” Yet another writer, John Mills, in his now forgotten satire, D'Horsay; or, The Follies of the Day, speaks of him as a man without one redeeming quality in the multitude of his glaring, damning vices," and as the debauched sensualist, the heartless roué, the gamester-he who never evinced a latent spark of virtue among his glaring vices, revelling in crime even in his impotent old age and dotage." In
spite of his excesses, however, he lived to the age of sixty-five. The excuse for his licentiousness is to be found in the statement of the doctor who attended him in his last years : “ The brain of the late Marquis of Hertford was a diseased brain, and had long been so ; the partial paralysis, speechlessness, and other longstanding direct cerebral symptoms demonstrate it.”
Lord Yarmouth, in 1792, married Maria Fagniani, then in her twenty-first year—the “Mie-Mie ” of George Selwyn's letters. Never, it has been said, did a lady have so many fathers, or derive so much benefit from them. First of all, there was the Marquis Fagniani, the husband of her mother, who never disavowed the paternity; and then there was Lord March (afterwards fourth Duke of Queensberry, and known familiarly as “Old Q”), and George Selwyn. The two last had been lovers of the Marquise at the same time, and to the end each regarded Maria as his daughter. Selwyn left her £20,000, and cynically appointed “Old Q” as trustee ; while the latter bequeathed to her five times that amount.
The history of the struggle for the custody of Mie-Mie as a child is an interesting story.
The principal authority for the early years of Maria Fagniani is the correspondence of George Selwyn. In that collection the first reference to her is contained in a letter to Lord Carlisle, dated July 23, 1774, in which Selwyn relates how he was sitting on the steps of Lord March's house “with the little girl on my lap.” She was then three years old, and Selwyn fifty-five. It was about this time that he made his will.
“ The experience which I have had in other families of the consequences of these delays determined me to lose no time in settling, for my dear Mie-Mie, that which may be the only thing done for her, and only because we