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Memoirs of the Jacobites of 1715 and 1745 (Complete)

Mrs. Thomson

740 pages
Library of Alexandria
I have been asked to write a few words of preface to this work. If the life-long friendship of my mother with her Majesty, which gained for me the honour of often seeing the Queen, or a deep feeling of loyalty and affection for our sovereign, which is shared by all her subjects, be accepted as a qualification, I gratefully respond to the call, but I feel that no written words of mine can add value to the following pages. Looking over some papers lately, I found the following note on a sketch which I had accidentally met with in Windsor Castle—a coloured chalk drawing, a mere study of one of the Queen's hands, by Sir David Wilkie, probably made for his picture now in the corridor of the Castle, representing the first council of Victoria. Of this sketch I wrote as follows:—"I was looking in one of the private rooms at Windsor Castle at a chalk sketch, by Sir David Wilkie, of a fair, soft, long-fingered, dimpled hand, with a graceful wrist attached to a rounded arm. 'Only a woman's hand,' might Swift, had he seen that sketch, have written below. Only a sketch of a woman's hand; but what memories that sketch recalls! How many years ago Wilkie drew it I know not: that great artist died in the month of June, 1841, so that more than forty years have passed, at least, since he made that drawing. The hand that limned this work has long ago suffered 'a sea change.' And the hand which he portrayed? That is still among the living—still occupied with dispensing aid and comfort to the suffering and the afflicted, for the original is that of a Queen, beloved as widely as her realms extend—the best of sovereigns, the kindest-hearted of women