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out to him that I was very much engaged and he was very much entangled and must do it; it was too late to get any one else. If you treat the authorities like this, they collapse, and a permit, a personal one, came for me one day from the earl marshal, admitting me to the triforium. Through ranks of saluting police and detectives I passed, seeing lords left standing outside and envoys turned away. I got into the triforium, for I know Westminster Abbey fairly well, but first I went to the organ-loft. I chose my place, but beside me was a regiment of drums, and I left the loft and took a seat in the gallery that had been built. There was only one mysterious other person in the corner, and there I stayed.
I came rather late for this rehearsal, the second, for it was in full swing. In the midst of the crossing were the two thrones, now in place. So I drew them as I saw them, for the seat I chose was on the same level as the organ-loft and at nearly the same angle. That was about all I did for an hour, for soon, from the coronation chair before the altar, came slowly to the throne, Mr. L, the king's understudy, like the earl marshal, a devout Catholic. He was dressed in black, and, if possible, more solemn than usual. In his hands he held the scepter and the orb, or, rather, two sticks of lath. Pinned to the shoulders of his long black frock-coat was a sheet torn in strips about a foot wide and twenty feet long, borne by a dozen or more of the most awkward, clumsiest boys in Eton and Harrow jackets, Norfolk jackets, and black coats and gray trousers I have ever seen. They proved by their nervousness and the way they tripped and stumbled that they were real pages. Between times
they sprawled over the throne. The procession was stage-managed by the earl marshal of England, the Duke of Norfolk and the Garter king-atarms. Now, if one did not know that the earl marshal was a duke, one might think he was an able-bodied, bandy-legged sailorman who wanted his hair and his whiskers cut, and on this occasion he wore gray trousers, spats, a short black jacket, and a coronet many sizes too big for him, and carried a wand when he did not carry his hands in his pockets. He began by wearing an ermine robe, which sailed away behind him; but after some one trod on the tail of it, and tore it off him, he threw it away. On the chairs of the north transept sat and talked some specimen dukes, earls, marquises, viscounts, and in the front row some Knights of the Garter. They had been selected to make their homage to their newly crowned king. There were a dwarf duke and Lord Rosebery and Earl Crewe and a man who looked like a farmer and Lord Curzon and a lot more without any character at all, or any lordly character. In front of them, and nearer the throne, were three great chairs. In one was a top-hat, which I soon found out belonged to the Duke of Connaught, who had got mixed up with other specimen royalties and British workmen who were finishing up.
"Now," said the earl marshal to the duke, when he had seated the understudy of the king on the throne and given him a sounding kiss on the forehead, "you must do your homage."
"But what do I do?" said the duke, plaintively.
"If your Grace will be good enough to take your coronet," said the Garter king-at-arms, "and-"
"But I ain't got my coronet," interrupted the duke.
I gave up the editor. I never bothered the author, I don't even remember
"Where is it?" said the earl marshal, who it was, but I think Sir Philip severely.
Gibbs, who was on "The Chronicle"solemn Gibbs. After this I took matters in my own hands and got my permit extended, and, with difficulty, got in the next day, when dukes and ambassadors were excluded altogether. This rehearsal was with music and much more costume, and I began to get the figures in, for the rehearsal was in full dress. The clergy, the great officers of state, and the peers and peeresses were all there in their robes. No other artists save the three with royal and national commissions, were in the Abbey,-Tuxen, Bacon, Gillot,—
"But I can't get down on my knees and they were now placed in a tomb in or I'll never get up again."
"You 've got to," said the earl marshal.
But he did not, and when he kneeled at the ceremony, he tumbled over and had to be picked up. He bobbed at his king.
"And next?" said his Grace. "Walk down backward from the throne," pleaded Garter king-at-arms.
"I won't," said the duke, and he did not, and turned his back on the king and stalked down.
"Here; here's your coronet; thank you so much. Now what do I do?"
"You go home," said the earl marshal, and the duke took his hat and went, and I saw him no more that day.
Then it was the turn of the queen and her ladies and attendant duchesses to pass before the king and acknowledge him. But the procession did not please the earl marshal, and, after trying it twice, he made a speech to them. All I heard was the ending: "Now, then, do it over, and, duchesses, hustle!"
the choir. Beneath the effigy on top one could see their heads and their easels and mighty little, I imagine, could they see.
Soon after the processional march for the entry of the king began, deafening me even where I sat. Then came the archbishops, the bishops and clergy, they were all real,—the officers of state, the peers, the army, the navy, all real but the king and the queen. The first part of the rehearsal was the coronation in the Saxon chair. After the robing and unrobing had been done, the Archbishop of Canterbury approached with the crown. He took it in his hands, looked at it, turned to the Dean of Westminster, and said: "This is n't the crown. There are two."
"Where's that other crown?” said the dean, and for five minutes it was looked for as though, like the regalia at Dublin, it had vanished, and there would n't now be any King of England after all. Bishops and vergers and dukes ran about, and finally found it,
and the archbishop, taking it, said: "With this crown I crown thee." At this moment, according to custom, peers and peeresses should assume their coronets and the Abbey be bathed in glowing, gleaming, diamond light. Instead, the peers broke into a giggle and a grin,-what at I do not know,but the archbishop, dropping the crown upon the momentary kingly head, strode toward them, remarking as he came:
"As the peers of the realm did not appear to be acquainted with this portion of the coronation service, I will read it to them." And he did, though it took fifteen minutes. At the end, he said, "Now put on your coronets."
They did, and he turned his back upon them and left them. Then came the triumphal, "Vivat! vivat! vivat, Georgius Rex!" shouted by the choir and the Westminster boys. Then sounded a bang from the baton of the conductor, Sir Frederick Bridge.
"Is that the way you cheer your king? Try it again! cheer!" They did; another bang.
"If you boys can't cheer better than that, I'll go out in the street and hire some who can." Somewhere about Somewhere about here there was a sermon, but that was skipped. Then followed the homage, and Sir Frederick Bridge, though he did not know it, came and stood by me. "Now," said he, "if I were stagemanaging this show, it would be different.
"Now, look at that duke! Look at him!" said he, pointing with his baton and taking out his watch. The duke knelt, he was a little old duke,-he mounted the steps of the throne, he knelt again, read his part, rose, kissed at his temporary sovereign, spread out
his ermine robe, and stepped back right in to the middle of it. Slowly he toppled over, and if all the kings-atarms and heralds had not been waiting for this to happen, there would have been one less duke present at the ceremony.
"He's taken five minutes, not counting the fall," said Sir Frederick. "Five dukes, five earls, five marquises, and a lot more; that 's two hours, and all the while I 've got to keep my anthem going!" The next did his part in a minute.
"Well, that 's better," said Bridge. "I give 'em two minutes each, but even then it's going to take hours for this act."
Meanwhile, gathered round the throne upon the steps, were the great officers of state, among them Kitchener, in his ermine, carrying a lath sword a boy would be ashamed of. Near him was Lord Roberts, though nearly hidden by him, also with ermine and toy sword. Kitchener, as erect as a guardsman, was glared at by the earl marshal, who stopped in front of him.
"You may know how to direct men, but you don't know how to direct yourself. Turn round the other way. Don't turn your back on your gracious sovereign.'
The only other unrehearsed part that day, I remember, was when an earl stepped on a duke's robe and tore it off his back, and I thought from their looks there would be a tournament at least, and one marquis got so tired he sat down on the floor and took a nap, with his head against a pier. That day I got nearly all the figures in, for the gentlemen-at-arms, the yeomen, and all were there in costume, and the groups were staged by the real
stage manager, Sir Schomberg MacDonell, and told, as he meant they should tell, against the deep blue carpet.
I felt now that all was right, though to keep me quiet I was given a second drawing after refusing three others; but even I could not be in Parliament Street, on the top of St. Martin's Church, and in Westminster Abbey at the same time on the same day. The entire British system of art education has produced only two or three illustrators, so they had to come to me. The gentleman who did the procession from the tower of St. Martin's Church turned his drawing in some days before it started.
The great day came. We were up at five.
On such occasions London loses its head, the police become maudlin, and the authorities barricade the streets with huge gates to control crowds that never come. We were told by maps and plans just where we could and could not go. What I did was quietly to walk to the Abbey, carrying a foot-square card in my hand. So did all those who had not carriages or had not lost their heads. My entrance was through the cloisters and up the stairs to the triforium, just over where I had been all the time. This day I did not take my big drawing, for it was finished-all but the crowd of spectators. During the four rehearsals I had seen and drawn everything else, the only illustrator who did. Details of that crowd were what I wanted, and I got them in a sketch-book.
I found that all the ladies wore feathers, three small ones in their hair; that the Gentlemen of the Guard did not stand in the choir, as I was told they would and as they did at the rehearsals, while archbishops and bishops sat on the wooden benches. And,
third, the real king and queen were there. Finally, my lithograph was finished entirely within a few hours of the end of the ceremony. Before I went up I found more friends, some in court dress, others in plumes or blue and gold, gorgeous and self-conscious. There was one little group of which I formed a part, disguised as gentlemen in top-hats and frock-coats; but we were so few as to be conspicuous. Through the cloisters, where we gathered, swept an endless procession of the most amazing costumes. Knights of the Garter in great Spanish hats, above which waved towering plumes, their blue velvet mantles gathered about them, most with chains and stars of other orders. Their under costume was white, and round their knees the golden garter. Their trains were borne by pages. Then came towering German Life Guards, all in white, with gold and silver helmets, the most striking figures there. Turks, bishops, generals, envoys, dons, judges, sailors, and ladies, ladies, ladies, every one in full dress, and in the most appropriate surroundings, the precincts of the Abbey. They rapidly passed to their seats, but were followed by an endless procession and, not waiting for the end, I made my way to my seat. Here I found myself among enemies and friends, and by Marie Corelli, in feathers and court dress. But in the triforium there was only a handful of people, my seat being right over where I had been working. Now I found how sensible I had been, and how lucky to have chosen this place. Of all the eight or ten thousand people in the Abbey, not four hundred, probably fewer, saw the ceremony. Only those on the angles of the galleries and the envoys and minister of state and the