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able insight into some at least of the political breadths and depths of the period with which his book is concerned. Thus he well observes, that to the conservative instincts of Continental politicians in the later years of the seventeenth century England seemed the natural home of revolutionary schemes and proceedings, and that this impression materially affected the attitude of so shrewd a reckoner as Ernest Augustus of Hanover towards the still remote prospect of the English succession. Of a wider significance for the history of that succession is Mr. Wilkins's remark, in which we concur, that the loyalty of the House of Hanover in the whole of these transactions stands out in favourable contrast to the conduct of William of Orange. At all events, on this head no shadow of intrigue, and, with one exception, scarcely even a trace of excessive anxiety, marred the correctness of the bearing of the Electress Sophia and her descendants. The exceptional case—that of the demand of the writ—is not very accurately
names Mr. Wilkins is apt to adopt whatever old-fashioned form comes readiest to hand, or to let their orthography take care of itself. Thus, among names which are of importance in his narrative we have · Schwartzfels' for "Schartzfels,' and 'Meissenburg,' or • Meissenberg,' for Meisen bug' or “Meisenbuch.' 'Lockurn is a misprint for * Lockum,' the name of the abbey over which ‘Judge Molan' (more commonly called Molanus, a latinisation of van der Meulen) presideda worthy divine who is to be compassionated for the sorry part he had to play in the solemn mockery of Sophia Dorothea's divorce. In the 'Letters,' as translated by Mr. Wilkins, occur, with a host of misspellings which are not to be laid to his account, a few names which he seems to have failed to identify. “Denise' (p. 133) should be 'Deinze,' and 'Einbec, a little town on the road' (p. 319), Eimbeck,' in Grubenhagen. Marshal Podewils, who was born in 1615, could hardly have taken service 'very early in the Thirty Years' War' (p. 603). "The fall of the principality of Ahlfeld,' to which and the nearness of the French troops to Ahlden in 1700 the poor Princess is said to have owed the permission to visit her mother at Celle (p. 598), seems to mean the invasion of the principality of Celle by a chiefly Polish army under the Danish Count Ahlefeld. We may perhaps add to this note a protest against a certain nonchalance of expression into which Mr. Wilkins occasionally allows himself to drop. Thus. on one occasion Ernest Augustus is called a "wily old fox,' and shortly afterwards George William of Celle such a fool'as to have been hoodwinked at pleasure by his brother. On an earlier page they and their two brothers are infelicitously introduced as four roystering blades ; ' yet, notwithstanding their various shortcomings, these princes were distinguished by a degree of polish hitherto very uncommon in German Courts.
told by Mr. Wilkins; but we doubt whether he intended the incidental statement (p. 580) that after the death of Ernest Augustus, the new Elector George Lewis per
sistently meddled in his mother's English schemes,' to be taken very seriously. Warmth of affection, and delicacy of feeling of any sort, were alike foreign to the nature of our first Hanoverian sovereign ; but it would have been well for his fame had his conduct as a husband been not more open to reproach than his bearing as a son. Finally, Mr. Wilkins shows insight into the importance which at a great crisis of European affairs belonged to the action of the Brunswick-Lüneburg brothers, from whose desire for political as well as personal union no one suffered so terribly as the unhappy Sophia Dorothea.
In recapitulating, before we reach the new ground in which lies the interest of these volumes, the story of Sophia Dorothea up to the time of her intimacy with Königsmarck, we need not dwell at any length upon the circumstances of her parents' marriage. It may be regarded as established that these circumstances lay at the root of the treatment experienced by her at the Hanoverian Court. This conclusion, first suggested by Schaumann in a characteristic essay, displaying more ingenuity than caution, was co-ordinated by Köcher with the general results of his exhaustive inquiry into the history of the subject, and was afterwards elaborated in a careful and attractive monograph by the Vicomte Horric de Beaucaire, of which a notice appeared at the time in this Journal.* In 1665, the year in which Duke George William of Brunswick-Lüneburg, on the death of his elder brother Charles Lewis, succeeded to the princi. pality (commonly called the duchy) of Celle, and thus
* See article entitled “A Hanoverian Marriage,' in the Edinburgh Review, vol. clxxi. January, 1890, on the Vicomte H. de Beaucaire's
Une Mésalliance dans la Maison de Brunswick : Éléonore Desmier d'Olbreuze, Duchesse de Zell' (Paris : 1884), of which an English translation has since appeared. A list of earlier publications bearing on the subject, including Schaumann's and Köcher's, is prefixed to an article on · The Electress Sophia' in the 'Quarterly Review,' vol. clxi. July, 1885. Among later publications special attention may be directed to the Letters of the Duchess Elizabeth Charlotte of Orleans to the Electress Sophia, edited and supplied with a model index by Dr. E. Bodemann (Hanover : 1891), as well as to Sophia's own Correspondence with her brother, the Elector Palatine Charles Lewis (Leipzig and Paris : 1886), and her Letters to his Children, the socalled “Raugräfinnen' and 'Raugrafen' (Leipzig: 1888), edited by the same,
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nekustus, he main favouring the hand seven yeargarriage ishop 04 But Ernest red into a soloungest brotho Princess
became personally the most important of the three surviving brother-dukes of his line, he adopted Mlle. Eleonora d'Olbreuze as his mistress en titre. She came from an ancient Poitevin family belonging to the minor nobility, and professing the Huguenot religion,' and when she first made his acquaintance was lady-in-waiting to a princess of German descent. Duke George William was prevented from contracting even a morganatic marriage with Eleonora d'Olbreuze, inasmuch as seven years before this date, when renouncing the hand of the Princess Palatine Sophia in favour of his youngest brother Ernest Augustus, he had entered into a solemn contract to remain unmarried. But Ernest Augustus (who in 1661 had become Bishop of Osnabrück) and his consort, the Duchess Sophia, had been found ready to append their signatures to what in her Memoirs she sardonically calls the anti-contrat de mariage, wherein their good brother promised to “Madame 'de Harburg' his protection during his life, and, should she survive him, a substantial jointure. Yet, though they seemed thus to have made things safe for their own prospects and those of their offspring, the Duchess Sophia from the first hated the “Signora' of her brother-in-law, for whom she always preserved a kindly feeling. While she allowed free vent to her sentiments in the correspondence which she was in the habit of carrying on with her devoted kinsfolk, Eleonora kept her own counsel. On September 15, 1666, she gave birth to a daughter, who was christened Sophia Dorothea—the former name being chosen in honour of her aunt, while the latter was familiar both at Wolfenbüttel and at Gandersheim. Although in the opinion of the Duchess Sophia this event completed her brother-in-law's infatuation, cela nous fit pitié'- yet he resisted the personal pressure put upon him by the brother of Eleonora to make her his wife. Some qualms as to possible perils for his daughter's future must have led him, when she was a child of but five years of age, to obtain for her, with the aid of the ever-obliging de Gourville, letters of naturalisation in France. The other daughters whom Eleonora bore to George William died in infancy, and the hope of a son, long cherished amidst the bitter derision of her enemies, was never fulfilled. Thus, as the years progressed, the future of Sophia Dorothea became of increasing importance. At a very early date—it is said already in 1671-it occupied the attention of Duke Antony Ulric of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (then administrator, and after
both at in honour peria Dorothea birth to a dcounsel. Om
wards co-regent of this duchy), in whom ambition and jealousy were constantly at work, and who moreover was at this time in great want of money. Whether, as the Electress Sophia asserts, the ambition of the Duke of Celle's Chancellor Schütz (Sinold)—whose daughter Bernstorff afterwards married was at the bottom of the whole mancuvre, is a question into which we cannot here enter. In any case, George William seems to have become convinced that if he wished to see his daughter ultimately become, as was proposed, the wife of Antony Ulric's eldest son (Augustus Frederick), something more must be done towards assuring her position. In 1674 he succeeded in obtaining from the Emperor Leopold I., in whose cause the troops of the House of Brunswick were in this year fighting against Turenne, a patent entitling her, in the event of her marriage to a prince, to use the Brunswick arms without the bar sinister; and in the same year her mother was granted the hereditary title of Countess of Wilhelmsburg. Against the final step, however, George William conscientiously held out till the summer of 1675, when at last an Act was prepared declaring his marriage to the Countess of Wilhelmsburg, but excluding any children that he might hereafter have by her from any claim to the succession, as to which he renewed his former undertaking towards his brother Ernest Augustus. The signature of the latter was added to the Act, which, on November 2, received the imperial sanction. Six months afterwards the Emperor's envoy at Celle saluted George William's wife as Duchess of Brunswick, and her name was associated with her husband's in the prayers of the Church. The irreverent observation made some nine years before by the Duchess Sophia, that she would rather George William's marriage were one before God than one before men, had lost its sting. But her comments and those of her correspondents on these transactions only increased in vehemence and bitterness, and as they proceed suggest more and more plainly that, though Eleonora had won the game, her daughter, for whose sake largely she had played it, was to pay the heaviest share of the cost. No charge was afterwards more persistently reiterated against the Duchess of Celle by her female adversaries, than that she had brought about her daughter's ruin by neglecting, or mismanaging, her education. The Duchess of Orleans (whose own conversion to the Church of Rome did not prevent her from remaining a good Protestant) also inveighed repeatedly against the Duchess de Celle for not professing herself a Romanist, when known to be one in secret. On the other hand, it is certain that, whether Huguenot or Catholic in sentiment, Eleonora succeeded in bringing over her spouse to the side of the domestic virtues—an achievement which her sisterin-law the Duchess Sophia could not so much as essay to parallel.*
So far as Sophia Dorothea's girlhood is concerned, we may conscientiously give the insinuations of her unkindly kinswoman a wide berth. Her earliest references to the child—at the age of one and eight respectively—are pleasant. Contemporary testimonies are not wanting to the useful accomplishments of the Princess; but on these it seems superfluous to dwell. The story of a boy-and-girl intimacy between Sophia Dorothea and Count Philip Christopher von Königsmarck, whose fortunes were afterwards to be so fatally linked with her own, is (it may be convenient to note at once) supported by no evidence but that of an utterly suspicious source.f There is every probability that the Count in his boyhood visited the Court at Celle; but the tale of a marriage between him and Sophia Dorothea having been projected at the time, which was foisted into the pamphlet of 1695, mentioned above, must have been founded on a mere quiproquo.
Meanwhile, the engagement which had actually been entered into for her with the young Prince of BrunswickWolfenbüttel came to an untimely end with his death in August 1676 from wounds received at the siege of Philipps
* Curiously enough, de Gourville, whom both Eleonora and Sophia seem to have liked, had as far back as 1667 advised George William and Ernest Augustus to abandon their life of pleasure, pour se donner de la considération,' by having more money with which to raise troops and secure the Dutch alliance. The supposition, by the way, that Eleonora "refined' the Court of Celle in an intellectual as well as a moral sense, seems to rest chiefly on the fact that her own family connexions combined with her husband's tastes to induce some Frenchmen of birth or talent to settle there.
of Viz. the protocol of the examination of Fräulein von dem Knesebeck in Cramer's · Memoirs of Aurora von Königsmarck,' vol. i. p. 77. These memoirs are a hopeless farrago of documents wholly or partly genuine, and of forgeries and fiction. The protocol, which extends over ten pages, professes to be in Aurora's hand; but how could it possibly have reached her ? (Cf. Köcher, u.8., p. 17.) In one of the Lund letters attributed to Königsmarck, we read : 'I was only a mere boy, and unable to declare my passion. But even then I loved you.