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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


26 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. continued with great spirit till near two in the morning, when the company sat down to a most elegant supper, in four different rooms, where they were served with a profusion of the best wines, and a most superb dessert. After supper, the dancing recommenced with redoubled vigour, and w a continued till an hour after sunrising.” In 1806, when the Opposition came into power, Lord Moira was appointed Master-General of the Ordnance. In 1810 he was nominated Governor of the Charter-house. The Earl being generally popular, and having zealously exerted himself in favour of the Prince of Wales, when the parliamentary inquiry into his financial embarrassments was going on, he thus stood high in the favour of the Regent. Accordingly, on the assassination of Mr. Percival in 1812, he was empowered by his Royal Highness to form a new Ministry. With this view Lord Grey, Grenville, Erskine, etc., were consulted by his lordship ; but, as is well known, the proposed arrangements came to nothing. Soon after this the Prince Regent conferred the Order of the Garter on the Earl; and in 1813 his lordship was appointed Governor-General and Commander- in-Chief of the forces of British India. He remained nins years in the East ; and during that period brought two important wars to a satisfactory conclusion, and managed affairs with the utmost credit to himself and advantage to the country. As a reward for his services, he was created (on the 7th December 1816) Viscount Loudon, Earl of Rawdon, and Marquis of Hastings, and twice received the thanks of the Court of Directors of the East India Company, as well as ’of both Houses of Parliament. In consequence of ill health the Earl was recalled, at his own desire, in 1822. He returned to England, but without having enriched himself by his long residence in a country wThich had proved a source of wealth to his predecessor. During the summer of 1823, his lordship and family paid a short visit to Loudon Castle,’ their residence in Ayrshire, This affair gave rise to much local speculation at the time. In a small volume of poems, by John Ramsay, Kilmarnock, 1836, the event is celebrated in a poem of some length, entitled “ Hope and Despair ; or, the Loudon Campaign.” In this burlesque effusion the poet satirises his military townsmen without mercy. In a prefatory note he says- “If half that old Fame detailed of the preparations made at Loudon for their entertainment was true, such a slaughter had not taken place since the dedication of Solomon’s Temple. Many went from feelings of respect to the noble veteran ; others, whose sentiments we had an opportunity of knowing, were attracted by somethiug of a very different nature; and some had even promised to use their influence to get their friends and acquaintances introduced to be sharers of the spoil.” It appears that Fame had indeed prodigiously magnified the “preparations made at Loudon ;” and it is on the well-merited disappointment which “the guzzlers” experienced that the humour of the poet hinges. “ Slow murmuring hameward cam’ the squad, Their bellies swamp, their hearts richt sad ; The very Major swore-‘By G-d, And brocht a stain and odium bad, It wa9 a shame, On Hastings’ name.’ “ The drummer raised his plaintive wail, The rocks gave back the doleful tale j Yea, and the sober evening gale That swept alang, Bore far away, o’er hill and dale, The mournful saug.”
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