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Title: Agnes Strickland's Queens of England, Vol. III. (of III) - Abridged and Fully Illustrated
Author: Strickland, Agnes, Kaufman, Rosalie
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Agnes Strickland's Queens of England, Vol. III. (of III) - Abridged and Fully Illustrated" ***

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AGNES STRICKLAND'S QUEENS OF ENGLAND

Abridged

By Rosalie Kaufman

Vol. III. (Of III)

Fully Illustrated

Boston

Estes & Lauriat

1882



NOTE.

In presenting this last volume of Queens of England to our readers, we
are glad to say that we have been permitted to carry the story through
the entire history of that country, from the Conquest to the present
day. We present a more complete, although less extended account than is
given in any volume or series of volumes now before the public. We feel
sure that the interest has been continued unabated from the beginning,
and that not only pleasure but real profit will be derived from a
careful perusal of every page of these three volumes. It is true that
some eminent names and many noteworthy events have been sacrificed; but
nothing has been omitted which has been requisite for the comprehension
of events which have depended upon them. Those who follow carefully
the story of these famous characters, will find suggestions which will
prompt them to independent inquiry and landmarks which will indicate a
more elaborate and complete course of study.



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


Sebastopol...........................................Frontispiece

India.........................................................014

Revocation of the Edict of Nantes,............................017

Zell..........................................................025

Sophia Dorothea of Zell.......................................033

The Bower.....................................................039

George I......................................................053

Caroline Wilhelmina Dorothea of Anspach.......................061

Lady Walpole's Reception......................................069

Sir Robert Walpole............................................083

George II.....................................................101

Kensington Palace.............................................115

Landing of George II..........................................121

Stoke Pogis Church............................................125

The Ivy Tower.................................................127

Charlotte Sophia..............................................137

William Pitt..................................................145

Garrick's Villa...............................................153

George III....................................................157

Cedar from Kew Gardens........................................163

Carlton House.................................................173

Pox...........................................................175

William Pitt the Younger......................................183

What a Little Place you Occupy................................195

Caroline of Brunswick.........................................205

Cowley's House................................................217

Country-scat..................................................223

View from Richmond Hill.......................................229

Hampton Court.................................................237

George IV.....................................................245

The Grotto....................................................231

Warwick Castle................................................259

Kensington Gardens............................................269

Caroline Refused Admittance to Westminster Abbey..............277

Adelaide Louisa...............................................281

O'Connell Haranguing the People...............................287

Lafayette.....................................................303

Queen Victoria................................................311

Victoria at the age of Eight..................................318

Marshal Soult.................................................325

The Youthful Queen............................................328

Street in Coburg..............................................335

Sir Robert Peel...............................................345

Houses of Parliament..........................................357

Beethoven's House at Bonn.....................................365

Castle of Coburg..............................................369

Lord John Russell.............................................373

Orleans House.................................................376

Drawing-room at Balmoral......................................379

Scene in Ireland..............................................385

Duke of Wellington............................................395

Lord Aberdeen.................................................403

Custom-House, Dublin..........................................408

Charge of the Light Brigade...................................413

Park of St. Cloud.............................................419

Capture of the Malakoff.......................................423

Calcutta......................................................433

Sans-Souci....................................................441

Frankfort-on-the-Main.........................................451

Windsor Castle................................................459

An old Castle on the Thames...................................463

The "San Jacinto" stopping the "Trent"........................465

Queen Victoria................................................473



STORIES OF THE LIVES OF THE QUEENS OF ENGLAND.

Compiled From Agnes Strickland, For Young People, By Rosalie Kaufman
{014}

[Illustration: 0020]

THE QUEENS OF ENGLAND. {015}



CHAPTER I. SOPHIA DOROTHEA OF ZELL, WIFE OF GEORGE I.

(A.D. 1666-1726.)

|When the Edict of Nantes was revoked by Louis XIV., of which mention
has been made in a previous reign, persecutions that equalled the
never-to-be-forgotten St. Bartholomew, followed, and being spread over
a longer period, affected a larger number of victims. This Edict had
permitted to Protestants the free observance of their religion so long
that when it was repealed it was a cruel blow, though perhaps a triumph
to Roman Catholics. Those faithful adherents to Protestantism who
refused to become converts were executed or imprisoned; but thousands
escaped and fled, leaving their property to be confiscated to the crown,
while they sought refuge, strangers in a strange land, with poverty
staring them in the face. Those were times when horrors unspeakable were
of daily occurrence. Armed bodies of dragoons went from town to town
in France, barbarously butchering the terror-stricken men, women, and
children, who had failed to confess and receive the sacrament according
to the mode prescribed by the king; while thousands hastened at the
point of the sword to do so, pretending, in order to escape massacre,
that {016}they had suddenly awakened to the error of their former ways.

When the report of these conversions--if we may so call the cowardice
that compelled myriads to take false oaths out of sheer desperation--was
carried to the willingly-duped King of France, he raised his eyes to
Heaven, amazed at the miracle, which he pronounced, in the presence of
his fawning courtiers, more wonderful than many of those recounted in
Scripture. But he knew as well as his bishops did, that "a man convinced
against his will is of the same opinion still."

We have said that some of the Protestants escaped their persecutors;
among the number of these lucky beings was Alexander D'Esmiers, Marquis
D'Olbreuse, a gallant gentleman of Poictiers, who, with his daughter,
Eleanora, sought refuge in Brussels. It was not long before this
beautiful, accomplished French girl was introduced into the gay society
of that gay city, where she was courted and admired by many of the
beaux, and no doubt envied and criticized by the belles.

[[A.D. 1665.]] It was at a grand court ball that this young girl first
became acquainted with Duke George William, second son of George, Duke
of Brunswick-Lunebourg, and heir to the dukedom of Zell. The duke fell
violently in love, for the first time in his life, though he had been
a traveller for some years, and was noted for his gallantry among the
ladies with whom he had flirted in various parts of the world. With
the awakening of this sentiment, George William, who had been rather a
taciturn man, became eloquent in his love-pleadings; he had never cared
to study, but a sudden desire to perfect himself in the French language
took hold of him, and he begged the beautiful Eleanora to assist him
with the intricacies of her native tongue. She consented, and throughout
the bright,

{017}

[Illustration: 0023]

{019}warm summer days, this youthful teacher and pupil were seen
strolling together in the park, or seated, books in hand, beneath the
shade of some wide-spreading tree, industriously pursuing their studies.

But of all the verbs in the language, the one which most interested this
pair was _aimer_, "to love," and they learned to conjugate its various
moods and tenses, which led, in their regular course, at last, to
marriage. This took place in the autumn of 1665, when Eleanora was
twenty-six years of age. Her title then became Lady Von Harburg, from an
estate so called, belonging to the duke.

This union proved a most happy one; for, with mutual affection,
confidence, and respect, the duke and his wife held their little
court free from the intrigues and anxieties that ruffled the peace and
happiness of most of the more important ones of their day. The only
fault that her subjects ever found with the high-minded, estimable Lady
Von Harburg was, that she surrounded herself with French attendants;
but it is no wonder she preferred to do so, if we consider that she was
always regarded by the jealous Germans as an intruder, even though she
had united her interest with theirs by marrying one of their countrymen.
So long as her husband approved of her choice of attendants, Eleanora
heeded not the railings of the envious; but occupied her mind and time
with wholesome, sensible pursuits.

[[A.D. 1666.]] Her first child, the subject of this history, was born on
the fifteenth of September, 1666. She was named Sophia Dorothea, which
means, Wisdom, the gift of God, and she needed an unusual amount of this
endowment, when she became a woman, to support her under the miserable
trials a cruel husband laid upon her. But we must not tell about that
yet. As a child, Sophia Dorothea was a source of delight to her fond
parents, and filled {020}their home with sunshine and happiness. Alas!
if they could have looked into the future, sooner would they have laid
their little darling in the grave than see her live to drag out a weary
existence to its bitter end. Perhaps it is well that they could not, for
they had three other children that died in infancy; and consolation for
their loss was always to be found in the possession of their charming,
interesting, constantly improving little Sophia Dorothea.

Under all her trials, the mother proved herself a true woman, and
so increased her husband's respect and esteem for her that he became
anxious to have her title equal to his own; for, at the time of their
marriage, there had been some complications that prevented. So he set
to work to accomplish this, and after a vast amount of trouble,
petitioning, delay and expense, at last succeeded. Then the Lady von
Harburg became Countess von Wilhelmsburg and Duchess of Zell. This
gratified the duke, though it did not enhance his wife's happiness, for
she had been perfectly contented before, and craved no title more lofty
than the one she had.

Nothing ever interfered with the care for her little daughter, who was
tenderly and religiously trained; and unspoiled by the flattery that
would have been showered upon her, had anybody suspected that she was
one day to become Queen of England. When Sophia Dorothea was about seven
years of age, she had for a playfellow, Philip von Kônigsmark, whose
father was a warm personal friend to the duke. Philip was at Zell, at
the time of which we speak, for purposes of education, and spent most
of his leisure hours with the little girl in the garden of the palace.
These two children became very fond of each other, and the gossips
about the court shook their heads knowingly as they prophesied a future
marriage, in an undertone. But they were false prophets, for a very
different fate awaited the two guileless, happy children.

[[A.D. 1673.]] {021}Before Sophia Dorothea had reached the age of ten,
Philip was called back to his old home, and for awhile he passes out
of our story, although we shall hear more of him some years later.
The little girl missed him sadly at first, but other companions were
provided for her, and she soon became reconciled to the absence of
Philip. She continued her studies, and gave early promise of becoming a
handsome, virtuous, accomplished woman. She was an heiress too, and that
by no means diminished her attractions. To be sure, her fortune was not
large; but fifteen thousand pounds was better than nothing,--at least
so thought her cousin, Augustus Frederick, Crown-Prince of
Brunswick-Wôlfenbuttel, who sought her hand a few months after the
departure of Philip von Konigsmark. Sophia Dorothea was fond of this
young kinsman after her child fashion, and so a formal betrothal took
place. But Augustus Frederick was a soldier, and according to his ideas
of chivalry, he could not claim his lady love until he had distinguished
himself on the battle-field; so, filled with courage and hope, he bade
farewell to the little girl, and marched to the siege of Philipsburg. He
fought valiantly, and, like a true knight, proved himself worthy of the
little lady of his choice; but alas! towards the close of the battle,
a fatal bullet put an end to his existence. Thus was Sophia Dorothea
deprived of a husband whose death affected her only slightly at the
time, but whom she learned to regret many years later, and no doubt
thought with the poet:--

                   "Of all sad words of tongue or pen,

                   The saddest are these: 'It might have been.'"

[[A.D. 1676.]] Now we must leave Sophia Dorothea, and while she
is developing into womanhood, tell about people who became closely
connected with the vicissitudes of her life after she was deprived of a
mother's care.

[[A.D. 1678.]] {022}The Duke of Zell had a brother, older than himself,
who was married to Sophia, daughter of Frederick and Elizabeth, the
short-lived King and Queen of Bohemia. This Sophia is the electress of
Hanover, mentioned in Queen Anne's reign as Protestant heiress to the
throne of England through her descent from James I. Ernest Augustus,
first Duke of Hanover, husband to this lady, was a pompous, ostentatious
man, who took Louis XIV. for his model in life, but in so doing imitated
his vices rather than his virtues, and became an unfaithful, neglectful
husband to a good woman. But Sophia was a person of rare intellect
and common sense, and though not unmindful of the duke's neglect, she
managed to forget her wrongs by occupying herself with literary and
other pursuits.

Ernest Augustus was almost as much under the influence of a woman as we
have seen that Queen Anne was during the early part of her reign;
but this one managed more adroitly than did the imperious, hot-headed
Duchess of Marlborough, and so retained her position.

[[A.D. 1680.]] Catherine and Elizabeth von Meissengen were two bright,
lively, ambitious sisters, who made their appearance at the Court of
Hanover, where they excited a great deal of curiosity and interest. Both
were handsome, and dressed so well that the German ladies accepted their
pretty, tasteful costumes as models for their own, while the gentlemen
flocked to the drawing-room of these sisters, who gave entertainments
so delightful in their character as to attract young and old, men
and women. Even the members of the royal family honored these witty,
fascinating ladies with their visits, and so for a time they became the
lionesses of Hanover.

We have said that the Von Meissengen ladies were ambitious, and so they
were; they had come to court to seek {023}their fortunes, and aimed so
high as the heir to the throne himself. But that young man, whose name
was George Louis, was not to be won by their wiles, and so in course of
time they began to look lower, and succeeded in captivating the private
tutors of the Hanover princes. Everybody was astonished when, at the
close of a short summer vacation, Catherine von Meissengen reappeared in
society as Madame Busche, and her sister Elizabeth as Madame von Platen.

[[A.D. 1681.]] Having secured these learned men for husbands was all
very well so far as it went, but Elizabeth immediately began to plan
and intrigue until she succeeded in getting her husband appointed prime
minister to Ernest Augustus. That made her mistress of the situation,
for though Von Platen was not weak-minded, his wife was strong, and not
only ruled him but the sovereign besides. We have related so much about
this woman, an _intriguante_ of the deepest dye, because it was she who
chiefly controlled the destiny of poor Sophia Dorothea.

The routine of the court of Zell continued with little variation from
year to year, the monotony being broken only now and then by the
arrival of some guest. One of these was Prince Augustus William von
Wôlfenbuttel, brother of the soldier who had early courted little Sophia
Dorothea, and who lost his life on the battle-field of Philipsburg.

This young man was not rich, but he was handsome, and his position and
character were excellent. He owned a small estate, sufficient to insure
the comfort of himself and wife as soon as he could find one whom he
could fancy, and who would accept him. His choice fell on his cousin,
Sophia Dorothea, and he had an eye, too, to her dower, which, though not
large, would help to maintain his princely state. So he wooed her, and
soon won her heart. But the {024}course of true-love did not run smooth,
for the Duke of Zell objected to the match, which of course only served
to increase the passion of the lovers. To be sure Sophia Dorothea was a
dutiful daughter, and would have yielded to her father's objections had
they been reasonable; but he was forced to admit that the lovers were
well-suited to each other, and only opposed their marriage because, like
many Germans of his day, he was absurdly superstitious. It seemed to him
a sacrilege for his daughter to wed the brother of her dead lover, and
he did not see how anything but bad luck could result from such a step.
So the young girl begged her mother to intercede for her, and the worthy
lady proved such a powerful mediator that her husband's consent was
finally won.

[[A.D. 1682.]] Even then matters were by no means settled to the
satisfaction of the lovers, for Madame von Platen had something to say
on the subject. Several times had this female prime minister consulted
with Ernest Augustus as to the most advisable manner of disposing of the
hand of his son, George Louis, in marriage, providing the proper person
could be found. In an evil hour for Sophia Dorothea, the worthy pair
decided that greater importance would accrue to the electorate of
Hanover by the acquisition of the broad acres of Zell. That was enough;
for with Madame von Platen to desire was to have, and no obstacle could
stand in the way of anything she had set her heart on. Sophia Dorothea
was engaged certainly, but that made no difference; everything, hearts,
hopes, happiness, must give way to political ambition. So a regular plot
was laid to destroy the bond that existed between Augustus William and
his lady-love.

Let us take a look at the young man who was to be substituted for
the handsome, noble, brilliant, and fondly loved Augustus William of
Wolfenbuttel. At the time of which

{025}

[Illustration: 0031]

{027}we speak, George Louis was twenty-two years of age, undersized,
coarse-minded, ungentlemanly, and mean-spirited. He was good-natured,
to be sure; and, like all the princes of the House of Brunswick, he was
brave on the battle-field, but he had no sympathy with suffering and
sorrow, and none of the qualities that are apt to attract a young girl.

He was in England when the powers at Hanover decided to marry him to
poor, innocent little Sophia Dorothea, and as ignorant of the plot as
she was. On his way thither he had visited William of Orange, to whom he
confided the object of his journey. This was to offer his hand and heart
to Princess Anne, and it is easy to believe what is generally suspected:
that William himself encouraged Madame Von Platen in the intrigues that
recalled George Louis and brought about the marriage that caused so
much misery. The reason why it is probable that William of Orange would
endeavor to prevent a union between George Louis and Princess Anne is,
that although his wife was heiress presumptive to the throne, in the
event of her death, which, as we know, occurred before his, he would not
have been permitted to govern alone had the House of Brunswick been
so powerfully represented in England, and to avoid complications, he
preferred to have George Louis safely married and settled out of the
way.

Meanwhile, with the firm conviction that in William of Orange he had a
friend ready to further his cause, George of Hanover arrived in England,
and was received as befitted his rank by Charles II., and entertained
at Whitehall Palace, where apartments had been prepared for him. Then he
was introduced to the Princess Anne; but it is not probable that he made
a very favorable impression on her, for she afterwards married Prince
George of Denmark, with whom she lived happily until the day of his
death. {028}It is certain, however, that George Louis had some hopes
of success with Anne, for when he was suddenly and most unexpectedly
recalled home, he was dreadfully perplexed. Nevertheless, he obeyed the
summons of his royal father without suspecting the cause of it. He must
have been somewhat astonished when it was announced to him that he was
to transfer his ideas of matrimony from one object to another.

Having made up his mind that an alliance with the House of Zell would be
advantageous to that of Hanover, Ernest Augustus found no difficulty in
persuading his brother to postpone the marriage of his daughter, Sophia
Dorothea, with Augustus of Wôlfenbuttel on the score of her youth, as
she was only fifteen years of age, he argued, and too young to become
a wife. Anxious as he was to retain possession of his child for another
year, the Duke of Zell was only too willing to listen to any argument
that would accomplish that object, so he consented to a betrothal only,
and postponed the marriage for a year. What reasoning he employed to
make the young lovers agree to this arrangement, is not known; but
Augustus went off evidently satisfied that the prize he was to get was
worth waiting for, and with no suspicion that treachery would deprive
him of his lady love.

No sooner was he well out of the way, than Ernest Augustus, Madame Von
Platen, and others busied themselves in endeavoring to bring their plot
to a climax. Months rolled by, Sophia Dorothea celebrated her sixteenth
birthday; George Louis visited her from time to time, but he had made
no impression whatever on the young girl, and the series of intrigues
concocted by the old heads for the ruin of young hearts would have been
utterly worthless had it not been for the active and efficient zeal of
one person, who, just when failure seemed {029}imminent, stepped in to
prove the worth of her energy and power. That person was Sophia, mother
to George Louis, a crafty, designing woman, ambitious as any of her
family, who, having seen the advantage to be derived from the marriage
of her son with her niece Sophia Dorothea, was determined that it should
take place.

She had heard rumors of an engagement with Augustus of Wôlfenbuttel; but
that was a matter of small consideration in her eyes, and so long as no
marriage had taken place, it was not too late for her son to supplant
the favored lover. The great, heavy family coach was therefore ordered
to be put in readiness for a journey of about thirty miles, which
an ordinary railway train of to-day would make in an hour. But two
centuries ago travelling was a more serious matter, and it took the
duchess all night to reach the ducal palace of Zell.

The sleepy sentinel was astonished when the lady pushed past him, and,
totally regardless of anything like ceremony, breathlessly requested the
servants she met in the hall to conduct her at once to the duke. She was
told that he was dressing, but would soon come down stairs to see her if
she would have the goodness to wait in a' reception-room.

But the lady was too impatient to lose a moment, so mounted the stairs,
and bade the groom of the bed-chamber to point out the door of the
duke's dressing-room. Without going through the formality of an
announcement, or making known her presence by a knock, the duchess
unceremoniously pushed open the door, while the scarcely half-dressed
duke gazed at the intruder in amazement.

Without deigning to apologize for her abrupt entrance, the sister-in-law
bounced herself into a chair, and having remarked that she had come on
important business, asked suddenly: "Where is your wife?" The Duke of
Zell had {030}not recovered his composure sufficiently to reply, but
pointed to the adjoining chamber, through the open door of which a large
bed was visible, where, beneath the covers, Duchess Eleanora lay safely
ensconced, wondering what could have prompted so early a visit. But
although she strained her ears to listen, she was not soon to be
gratified; for "Old Sophia," who had begun her interview in French, at
once changed to German, when she remembered how imperfectly the Duchess
of Zell understood that language.

The less she comprehended of the argument that the wife of Ernest
Augustus was so impressively setting forth, the more did she endeavor to
catch a word here and there; and when she heard the name of her
daughter coupled with that of George Louis again and again, she began
to understand as well as though the whole case had been put in her own
native tongue.

The Duke of Zell was easily convinced, particularly as he had never
favored his daughter's marriage with the brother of her dead lover; and
the mother of George Louis eloquently set forth the advantages to be
derived from a union between the heir of Hanover and the heiress of
Zell, adding the possibility of Sophia Dorothea some day becoming Queen
of England. The clever sister-in-law completely dazzled her listener
with all the bright hopes she held out, and returned to Hanover after
having obtained the Duke of Zell's solemn promise that he would break
off his daughter's match with her lover, and bestow her hand upon George
Louis.

That morning's work rendered three people miserable,--the loving
mother, the young girl, and the lover, whose happiness was sacrificed to
increase the territory of one heartless man and to gratify the ambition
of another. The duke loved his daughter; but all her prayers, sobs, and
entreaties {031}failed to weigh against his sinful ambition. He turned
a deaf ear to his wife, too, who assured him that their child detested
George Louis, and that he had neither respect nor affection for _her_.
It was a pitiable case, for had the people who planned this hateful
match set out with no other motive than the breaking of a young girl's
heart, and the utter destruction of all her bright hopes, they could not
more thoroughly have succeeded.

It would be needless to follow all the arrangements and make-believe
courtship that followed the visit of Duchess Sophia, and it would be
too painful to recount the sufferings of the poor child of sixteen,
who, with her heart filled with the image of the man she had promised
to marry, was forced to give her hand to one of the least attractive
creatures she had ever beheld.

Suffice it to say that the marriage between George Louis of Hanover and
Sophia Dorothea of Zell was celebrated with unusual splendor, on the
twenty-first of November; and the Electress Sophia congratulated herself
on the success of her undertaking. She had brought about the marriage
that was deemed advisable. The bride's toilet was superb, and every
detail of the nuptial festivities was carried out with more than
ordinary pains; what cared she then, though the tear-stained face of the
bride told of her sufferings? She had achieved a triumph, and that was
sufficient; for the Electress Sophia was not honorable enough to feel
that any wrong had been done to the deserted lover of her niece, and she
was never known to hesitate to employ any means, just or otherwise, for
the attainment of her ends. Yet she was a woman much admired in society,
witty, brilliant in conversation, and handsome. Men of ability were
pleased to talk with her, and she was remarkable for her logical style
of argument, often coming off victorious in the war of words.
Even Leibnitz, the {032}great German philosopher, was proud of her
friendship, and often laughingly said of her "that she not only
invariably asked _why_, but the _why_ of whys." He meant that she would
accept no reason that she did not clearly comprehend. In this respect
she is certainly worthy of imitation.

But to return to the little bride. The parting from her mother was a
sore trial to both, and one from which the latter never recovered, for
she always appeared like a person bowed down beneath the weight of a
great sorrow. As for the daughter, she went to Hanover, where for a time
she was at least less unhappy than at any future period of her life. Her
husband treated her shamefully from the first, but she did not love him
enough to be wounded by his neglect, and she found solace in the regard
shown her by her father-in-law, Ernest Augustus, who esteemed her very
highly.

[[A.D. 1683.]] Another comfort that Sophia Dorothea had in course of
time was a little boy, who was born on the thirtieth of October, 1683.
He was named George Augustus, and many years later ascended the throne
of England as George II. In 1684 a little daughter was added to the
family. She was named for her mother, and like her brother ascended a
throne, but it was as the wife of a King of Prussia.

[[A.D. 1684.]] She had contrived to win the good opinion of Ernest
Augustus as well as his wife, both of whom regarded her as an ornament
to their court. They treated her with a great deal of consideration, and
no doubt sympathized with her because of the selfish, brutal behavior
of their son towards her. But Ernest Augustus was so indiscreet as
to praise her on several occasions, and that was more than Madame von
Platen could stand. He even went so far as to consult her, and such a
proceeding filled the soul of Madame, the prime minister, with hatred.

{033}

[Illustration: 0039]

{035}Not only did she hate Sophia Dorothea, because she was in favor
with Ernest Augustus, but for another and a very unjust reason, as
it was connected with the Duchess of Zell, and her daughter could not
possibly have had any hand in the affair.

One day Ernest Augustus went to make a call at the house of Madame von
Platen, as he frequently did; the lady was not at home, but her pretty,
bright, rather forward maid was, and in the absence of her mistress set
herself out to entertain the old elector. "Use"--that was the name of
the girl, and quite an appropriate one--had a remarkable talent for
story-telling, and had just completed one of the most brilliant she
knew, for the entertainment of her royal listener, who was laughing
heartily when Madame von Platen suddenly stood before them. The lady was
not more shocked at the elector's lack of dignity than at the servant's
audacity. The one she dared not attack, the other she could, and most
certainly would, punish forthwith.

However, for the moment she only "looked daggers," and the royal visitor
soon took his departure. The next day he went to one of his palaces in
the country to spend a few weeks. What Madame von Platen said to
her pert handmaid is not recorded; but so great was her influence in
Hanover, that during the elector's absence, she had the girl locked up
in jail on a charge of scandalous conduct. Poor Use was treated very
unkindly while a captive, and at last in obedience to her mistress's
order, actually drummed out of the town.

Now one would suppose that the wife of the elector might have interfered
to prevent such harsh treatment; but she was too much occupied with her
studies to take interest in such matters, and even if she had, she would
have found how much greater was Madame von Platen's power than her
own. {036}So poor Use found herself outside the city walls, penniless,
disgraced, friendless. She wandered through the country until, footsore
and hungry, she arrived at the palace of Zell, where, upon being
admitted, she frankly related her troubles to the duchess. That lady's
sympathy was at once aroused, and although she told the giddy girl that
she had done wrong, she could not but own to herself that the punishment
for so slight an offence had been very heavy. Therefore, after due
consideration and a short consultation with her husband, she gave the
girl an asylum and employment in her household.

This was the head and front of the Duchess of Zell's offending, so far
as Madame von Platen was concerned, and this was the insult that she
resolved to revenge on the head of poor Sophia Dorothea.

[[A.D. 1686.]] George Louis had for a long time been encouraged in his
ill-treatment of his wife, not only by the vile Madame von Platen,
but by her equally vile sister, Madame von Busche, of whom we have not
spoken since her marriage. Her husband had died meanwhile, and it was
on the occasion of her second marriage with General Wreyke that the two
sisters had arranged to complete the unhappiness of Sophia Dorothea.
Previously they had invited a certain young lady to their fêtes, and
presented her to George Louis, with the understanding that she was
to captivate him, and as she had not much wit but a great deal of
shrewdness and some skill as a flatterer, there was little doubt
that she would succeed. This girl was so tall that she was called the
"Maypole," and she had a very long name--it was Ermengarda Melusina von
Schulem-berg. She courted and cajoled George Louis until he really began
to believe that he could not exist without her.

It was a curious state of morals when a prince could unite himself by
what was called a left-hand marriage to {037}two or three women after
he had one wife, as if it could possibly make any actual difference
on which hand the wedding-ring was placed. Yet, so it was with George
Louis, who was just on the eve of contracting a left-hand marriage with
Ermengarda, when Madame von Busche celebrated her second nuptials.
This ceremony took place at the house of her sister, Madame von Platen;
Sophia Dorothea was invited, and it was all arranged that as soon as
she entered the drawing-room, George Louis was to open the ball with
Ermengarda, whose intimacy was to be made so clear to the injured wife
that she could not misunderstand.

But there were too many in the secret, Sophia Dorothea got wind of it
and remained at home, though she sent her lady of honor, the Countess
von Knesebeck, to make her apologies on the score of illness. It need
scarcely be said that this lady reported all that happened at the ball,
and that the neglected wife was not less miserable because she had not
been an eye-witness to it.

Before we can tell more about her it is necessary to speak of others
whose lives were connected with hers, and we will begin with her
playmate of early days, Philip von Kônigsmark.

After his departure from Zell he lived with various members of his
family, travelled about with them, and returned at intervals to reside
with his mother, who lived to witness the many misfortunes that overtook
her children. Charles John was Philip's older brother, and often visited
at the Court of England, where his brilliant qualities rendered him a
welcome guest. In course of time Philip joined him in that country,
and was placed at college to complete his education. Leaving him there,
Charles John visited at the various courts of Europe, where he excited
the admiration of the women and the envy of the men. At the age of
twenty-two he joined an expedition against Tangier, {038}distinguished
himself on the battle-field, and return to to England a hero.

This young man was, like his brother, a beauty, but he was also a
worthless, wicked scoundrel. He did not excel Philip in crime, however,
for he was one of the greatest scamps of the seventeenth century, and
the two brothers assassinated Tom Thynne of Longleat, one Sunday evening
when he was riding along in his carriage, though the poor man had given
them no provocation. This was in 1682, and the dreadful deed created
great excitement for a time. Philip von Kônigsmark managed to make his
escape, but the bolder Charles John pleaded his own cause before a jury
and was acquitted, only because he was in favor at court, while his
assistants were executed. He knew that a stigma rested on his name, but
he was too barefaced to care for that. "Tut," he said, "it will all be
wiped out by some dazzling action in war," and so he went to France and
joined a regiment, and during the next few years he was frequently heard
of on the various battle-fields. The blot on the name of Kônigsmark
remained, but Charles John was sent out of the world by a bullet that
put an end to his existence in 1686 when he was in the service of the
Venetians.

Now let us see what became of Philip. Shortly after the murder of
Thynne he arrived in Hanover, where he was soon appointed to the post
of Colonel of the Guards. He was considered the handsomest and richest
colonel in the army, and displayed exquisite taste in his dress and his
equipages. With wonderfully fascinating manners, a good education, ready
wit, and considerable experience, he made himself agreeable to a great
variety of people. Among those was his old friend and playfellow, Sophia
Dorothea, and it is not at all unnatural that she should have been
pleased to see him. But Madame von Platen was in love with him,

[[A.D. 1690.]] One day the princess had been walking in the garden when
she met her little boy, George Augustus, {039}herself, and jealously
watched every interview he had with the wife of George Louis, with the
intention of making mischief.

[Illustration: 0045]

{040}and taking him from his attendant, began to mount the stairs which
led to her own apartments, with the child in her arms. When half-way up
she met Philip Konigsmark, who seeing that the lady's burden was heavier
than she could bear, gallantly took the future King of England from
his mother's arms and bore him to the door of her apartments. After
exchanging a few commonplace remarks he returned the child and departed,
but not before Madame von Platen had seen enough to form a groundwork
for her plot. She ran, without a moment's delay, to Ernest Augustus,
and made out a long story, the result of which was a scolding for Sophia
Dorothea, though she could not see that it was deserved, for she had
done no harm.

At another time Madame von Platen managed to make George Louis find a
glove that had his wife's initials embroidered on it, in a bower from
which he had seen Philip hastily take his departure; but the wicked
woman did not tell him that it was she who had been there with the young
man, or that she had previously procured the glove on purpose to excite
his suspicion against his wife. Everything that Sophia Dorothea did was
distorted to such a degree that little by little the hatred of the once
friendly Ernest Augustus and his wife was aroused against her. No doubt
she often acted imprudently, but certainly her husband was to blame for
neglecting her as he did. At last driven to desperation by the angry
glances and unkind remarks of those who had been friendly, she began
secretly to make plans with Philip von Konigsmark for her escape to
Paris. This led to a correspondence, and Philip, who was vain as he
was bad, boasted among his friends of the confidence reposed in him by
Sophia Dorothea.

[[A.D. 1693.]] The Duke of Zell had been duly informed that his daughter
was obstinate, disrespectful to the elector, undutiful as a wife and
mother. Inquiry among her enemies {041}only served to confirm the
report, and, to his eternal shame be it said, the father turned against
his child. Not so the mother: she knew the disposition of Sophia
Dorothea too well to credit the dreadful charges brought against her,
and longed to take her back home and shield her from all harm. The young
woman was permitted at last to make a visit to Zell, where she would
gladly have remained, but although George Louis had almost strangled her
to death in a fit of temper, just before she left Hanover, her father
insisted that she should return, and in order to insure obedience,
attacked her in her most tender point. He told her that unless she went
back at once to her husband, she should be deprived of her children;
then she no longer asked to remain.

[[A.D. 1694.]] Philip von Konigsmark had been on a visit to Dresden, but
returned to Hanover shortly after Sophia Dorothea got back there. He was
surprised one day at receiving a note signed by her, requesting him to
come to her room. He obeyed without suspecting that the note had been
forged by Madame von Platen. The lady-of-honor admitted him, as much
surprised as was her mistress, the visit being made at rather an
unseemly hour. Sophia Dorothea remarked upon it, whereupon Philip
produced the note which the lady at once declared she had not written.
Of course he should immediately have taken his departure, but Sophia
Dorothea began to talk about her domestic troubles and the unkind
treatment to which she had been subjected even at Zell, whereupon Philip
advised her to run away, and so these two talked on, in the presence of
the lady-of-honor, for a couple of hours.

Meanwhile, Madame von Platen was by no means idle. She had her own
reasons for hating Philip von Konigsmark, which need not be recounted,
but that she really did hate him intensely, her conduct proves only too
clearly. She {042}had watched him until she was sure of his whereabouts,
then rushed to the old elector with a tale that she embellished and
adorned, until she got permission to have Philip arrested and locked
up. To nothing else would the old man consent, for he really believed
no harm of his daughter-in-law, but thinking that he would not lose this
opportunity of teaching the young gallant a lesson that he would not
soon forget, he gave Madame von Platen a written warrant for his arrest,
playfully adding as he did so: "I know that although you seem to be so
angry with Kônigsmark, he is too handsome a man to receive ill-treatment
at your hands."

Truly has a well-known English writer said: "Heaven has no rage like
love to hatred turned." Madame von Platen verified this in the desperate
means she employed to bring down her victim. Armed with the warrant
bearing the elector's signature, she proceeded to the soldiers' quarters
and demanded a guard of four or five men to do something that she would
explain to them. She led them to the Hall of Knights, through which
Kônigsmark was obliged to pass, when he left the princess's apartment,
and there, after bribing each man with a handful of gold pieces, gave
her instructions.

They were to arrest a criminal whose person was minutely described, and
he was on no account to be permitted to escape. If he used violence he
was to be slain on the spot, and the men were not only provided with
weapons for that purpose, but several bottles of wine to enable them to
"screw their courage to the sticking-place." They promised to obey, and
Madame von Platen left them.

In the Hall of Knights was one of those enormous white porcelain stoves,
reaching from the floor to the ceiling, that every one who has visited
Germany must have seen. Behind this the soldiers ensconced themselves.
Just as the tower {043}clock struck twelve, Kônigsmark approached,
unsuspicious of danger, and had just passed the stove when he was seized
from behind. He drew his sword and tried to defend himself, but
what chance had one man against four well-armed ones? After a little
skirmishing, a powerful stroke from an old-fashioned battle-axe, in
the hands of one of the guards, felled him to the floor. With his last
breath the wounded man faintly said, "Spare the innocent princess," and
expired.

The matter was hushed up, and no one, excepting those engaged in the
crime, knew what had become of the handsome, accomplished Philip von
Kônigsmark. Some years later his body was found under the floor of one
of the rooms just off the hall in which the murder took place.

Of course Sophia Dorothea was kept in ignorance of the assassination.
She was depending upon Kônigsmark to complete the arrangements for her
escape to Paris, and wondered what could have become of him. She asked
no questions, and would have received no satisfaction if she had done
so; for those who knew would have given her no information, and those
who were not in the secret wondered almost as much as she did. Suddenly
suspense gave place to alarm when she heard that all the papers
belonging to the murdered man had been seized and carried to the elector
for examination. Her notes regarding her intended escape were, of
course, among them. No wonder she was alarmed!

Madame von Platen read these notes with the elector, and so interpreted
the most trifling sentences as to give them a false meaning,--it
required no uncommon ingenuity to do that,--and von Platen it was who
informed Sophia Dorothea of the death of her friend Philip, though not
the manner of it. She was shocked and grieved, and naturally turned
to Mademoiselle von Knesebeck, the only friend left to her, for
consolation. {044}This lady-in-waiting was so much disposed to defend
her mistress, whom she loved, that it was deemed desirable that she
should be put out of the way; so she was arrested and locked up in the
Castle of Schwartzfeld, in the Hartz Mountains, where she remained for
several years. At last she escaped through the roof in a manner that
appeared so miraculous to the governor of the jail that he declared some
of the demons of the adjacent mountains had spirited her off.

Sophia Dorothea's one desire was to get away from Hanover, where she
knew that she was surrounded by enemies and spies ready to misconstrue
every action. At last, after a great deal of persuasion on her part, she
was permitted to withdraw to Lauenau, but not to take her children with
her. This was a sad deprivation to the poor young mother, and it almost
broke her heart to part with the little ones, whom she feared she should
never more behold; but go she would, for she had too much spirit to
remain in a place where she was daily subjected to the most shameful
insults.

After her departure a kind of a court, composed of church and state
officers, was formed to patch up a reconciliation between George Louis
and his wife. They did not accuse the princess of any dreadful crimes,
but of incompatibility of temper and little failings of character.
One would think that the husband and wife might have settled such
differences without the interference of a council of wise-acres. So they
might if they loved and respected each other, but, unfortunately, such
had never been the case.

Well, the lawyers waited on Sophia Dorothea by twos and threes, and
tried all the arguments they could devise to make her own that she was
wrong, and to show her how a dutiful, obedient wife ought to behave.
But {045}unlike Topsy in Uncle Tom's Cabin, she would not confess faults
that she had not committed. All the learned men of the court could make
no impression on the young woman, who felt that she had been shamefully,
wickedly wronged and neglected. Her husband was a bad man, and nobody
knew it better than she did; and all the lecturing, coaxing, and
manoeuvring of those who visited Sophia Dorothea at Lauenau could bring
from her no reply but this: "If I am guilty I am unworthy of the prince.
If I am innocent he is unworthy of me." She was right, and they could
only admire the dignity and purity of character that prompted such an
answer.

Nevertheless, before the end of the year sentence of divorce was
pronounced, on the plea of incompatibility of temper, and George Louis
was considered quite an injured individual. By way of consolation
all the property of his wife was transferred to him in trust for his
children; and with an annual pension of about ten thousand thalers, the
princess was condemned to close captivity in the castle of Ahlden,
near Zell, with a retinue of domestics who were to act as spies on her
actions, and a body of armed jailers to see that she did not escape.

Henry VIII. would have made shorter work of this matter, and simply have
chopped off his wife's head when he was tired of her; but George Louis
preferred to keep his shut up in a lonely castle for thirty-two years.
It is a question which was the more merciful, but certain it is, that
all Germany was scandalized at the decree of the court.

To such persecutions had Sophia Dorothea been subjected in Hanover that
she probably felt the truth of the verse which begins thus:--

                   "Stone walls do not a prison make,

                   Nor iron bars a cage--"

for she entered upon her imprisonment with a certain {046}sense of
calmness and repose in contrast to the weeks and months of misery,
excitement, and despair that she had endured.

[[A.D. 1699]]. Thenceforth she was known as the Princess of Ahlden,
though she was the only person deprived of liberty in the place. She had
a little court, and held her levees, which were attended by the officers
of the town, the clergy, the nobility, and gentry. All treated her
with great respect. For the first few years her captivity was not very
irksome, but after the escape of Mademoiselle Knesebeck she was never
allowed to walk in the gardens of the castle without a guard, or to
drive through the neighboring woods without an armed mounted escort.
Certain parts of the castle were even forbidden to her; and so much
importance was attached to this point that, on one occasion when a
fire broke out in the portion of the building where her apartments were
situated, she ran to the entrance of a certain gallery, where she stood
in fear and trembling, with her jewel-box in her hand, until permission
from the proper authorities was obtained for her to advance.

Time did not hang so heavily on the hands of the Princess of Ahlden as
one might suppose, for every hour had its occupation. She superintended
her estate, overlooked, the work of each of her servants, and gave
personal instructions to them, kept a diary of her thoughts and actions,
wrote a number of letters, and devoted much time to charity. She was the
Lady Bountiful of the district, and spent half her income in supplying
the wants of the poor.

There was a church in the village in a very dilapidated condition when
Sophia Dorothea went to Ahlden. She put it in thorough repair, had it
handsomely decorated, and supplied it with an organ; but no sooner was
it all in order than a chaplain was provided for her household, and she
was forbidden to attend the place of worship that she had {047}felt such
pleasure in fitting up. This was a serious disappointment, but by no
means the greatest of her trials; for she was not permitted to see any
of her relations,--only an occasional open letter was allowed to pass
between her and her mother, and she heard no more of her children than
if they had been dead and buried. The prince and princess were forbidden
to mention their mother or to think of her, and were threatened with
severe punishment if ever they did so.

In course of time the heart of the old elector warmed towards the lonely
prisoner of Ahlden, and he wrote her several letters; her father did
likewise, but he was a weak-hearted, weak-minded man who was easily
frightened into silence by certain ominous threats. He consoled himself
by making a will in which he bequeathed money, jewels, and lands to his
only daughter, and then left her to her fate.

[[A.D. 1700.]] There was great rejoicing at Hanover when the English
Parliament fixed upon the Electress Sophia as successor to Queen Anne.
The deputation that went from England to announce the welcome news
was received by the highest officials, lodged in the finest palace in
Hanover, and entertained in the most sumptuous manner, entirely at the
expense of George Louis. Grand balls and feasts were given in their
honor, and they went back home loaded with rare and costly presents.

[[A.D. 1705.]] A few years later Parliament passed an act naturalizing
the Princess Sophia and her family, and this made George Louis an
Englishman. Shortly after Hanover was in danger on account of the
approach of the French army, and then for a brief period the captive of
Ahlden was permitted to visit her parents at Zell. They wanted to keep
her with them always, and she begged to be allowed to stay, but was
refused. Her father had {048}treated her so affectionately during this
visit at his castle that his death, which occurred a few months after
her return to Ahlden, was a severe grief to her. An occasional interview
with her mother was always a solace to the prisoner, but any appeal for
a sight of her children was sternly refused. That was a bitter sorrow.

Prince George Augustus had been commanded to forget his mother, but he
did not obey; and one day, when he was hunting in the neighborhood of
her prison, he resolved to visit her, and brave the anger of his father
and the government. So he put spurs to his horse and galloped full speed
toward Ahlden. His attendants were astonished, but soon suspected his
intention and followed him. He went flying over the fields; but two of
his followers, who were better mounted than he was, overtook him at the
outskirts of the wood not far from the castle of Ahlden, and after
a great deal of coaxing and argument persuaded him to go back home.
Probably he was closely watched after that, for he does not seem to have
made another attempt to see his mother. It is to be hoped she never knew
how near he was to her that day, when a swifter steed might have been
the means of adding a ray of bright sunshine to her sad and lonely
existence. What would she not have given to gaze upon her boy and press
him to her heart? We wonder how even her enemies could have denied her
that comfort.

George Augustus was not shut up in a prison for disobedience; but,
with the hope of turning his thoughts away from his mother, a wife was
provided for him. Although his father had been so unfortunate as to
marry a woman he never loved, he did not take the precaution to insure
a better fate for his son. But we will consider his case hereafter.
For the present, it is only necessary to say that he was married to
Caroline, daughter of John Frederick, {049}Margrave of Anspach,--a
bright, lively, clever girl, the same age as himself.

The little court of Hanover was very gay that year, particularly when
the marriage of George Augustus was followed by that of his sister, who
became the wife of Frederick William, Crown Prince of Prussia. But the
young Sophia Dorothea had little happiness afterwards; for her husband
was a cruel brute, who governed his wife and children with a word and a
blow,--the-blow generally coming first. This couple made a bridal tour
to Brussels, where they remained for several days awaiting an invitation
from Queen Anne to visit her in England; but they waited in vain, for
her majesty took no notice of them whatever.

There existed at that time a strong party in England desirous that the
Electress of Hanover should visit them; but she preferred to stay where
she was and enjoy her books, cards, and philosophical studies with the
learned Leibnitz, until she should be summoned as queen. This suited
Queen Anne precisely, for she wanted no representative of the House of
Hanover in her dominion. She feared the effect of their presence upon
her subjects, and so used every effort in her power to keep them away.
Although Sophia did not desire to go to England herself just then she
was very much distressed because her son, who had been created Duke of
Cambridge, was prevented from taking his seat in the House of Peers.
The old lady often said that she cared not when she died, if on her tomb
could be recorded that "she was Queen of Great Britain and Ireland."
Queen Anne was very much offended when she heard these words, and it was
to appease her anger that Tom D'Urfey wrote the verse, given in the last
reign, for which he was rewarded with fifty pounds.

[[A.D 1714.]] The tomb of Electress Sophia never bore {050}the record
she sighed for, because on the 10th of June, 1714, she died, quite
suddenly. The old lady had been walking in her garden for an hour, when
a shower of rain came up, and she quickened her speed to get to a place
of shelter. One of her attendants, observing that she was out of breath,
warned her that she was exerting herself too much. "I believe I am," she
replied, with a gasp, as she dropped to the earth. Those were the
last words she ever uttered, for all efforts failed to restore her to
consciousness.

Meanwhile Sophia Dorothea remained at her castle of Ahlden, forgotten
excepting by her son-in-law, who wrote her numerous and most dutiful
letters, until he succeeded in securing the inheritance of all her
property for his wife beyond the shadow of a doubt. No sooner was that
accomplished than he not only ceased to write, but put a stop to all
communications of any sort between the mother and daughter. Thus was
the prisoner, who had not seen her child for many years, deprived of the
poor satisfaction of even an occasional letter from her. The daughter
had managed once, with the assistance of a confederate, to convey a
portrait of herself to the Princess of Ahlden, at another time a watch,
then some little trinket, accompanied by a letter containing words of
affection and hope; but the tyrant of a husband, Frederick William,
found it out, and of course put a stop to it.

Queen Anne's death occurred shortly after that of the Electress Sophia,
and the different political parties waited for her last breath, each
ready to proclaim a different successor; but while the Jacobites
hesitated, the Whigs were prompt to act, and the proclamation of George
I. took place in the presence of a vast concourse of people.

The news was carried to the imprisoned wife by one who, while professing
to be her friend, was acting as a spy. Again, {051}it is said, was an
attempt made at reconciliation on the part of George Louis; but his
injured wife repeated as before: "If I am guilty I am not worthy of
him; if I am innocent he is not worthy of me." Even with the prospect
of going to England as queen Sophia Dorothea could not descend to her
husband's level, and she never landed on the shores of that country of
which she was sovereign only in name.

As soon as George I. was proclaimed, a fleet was sent to convey him
to England, and he leisurely began his preparations for the voyage.
Meanwhile the Pretender implored Louis XIV. to publicly acknowledge
_him_ King of England, but that sovereign was under certain engagements
with the House of Hanover which prevented; and so the son of James II.
was deprived of his last chance, small as it was, in the accession.

There was great excitement in London when, on the 5th of September, it
was announced that George I. had arrived at the Hague. He had wept when
taking leave of his Hanoverian subjects, who were really fond of him,
and showed no anxiety to get to his new realm. However, he arrived at
Greenwich on the 18th of September, and various officials waited on him
at once. Some of them were very much disgusted at the new sovereign's
discourtesy, and left him with a secret wish that the Pretender were in
his place. However, it was too late to lament, so those who had received
the worst treatment revenged themselves by making fun of the ugly German
women who accompanied George. Among these were Ermengarda, the left-hand
wife, called the Maypole, because she was so tall and lank; Madame
Kielmansegge, daughter of Madame von Platen, called the elephant,
because she was so fat and coarse, and their retinues.

The Londoners had been so heavily taxed on account of {052}the
dishonesty of certain public officers that so large a train of followers
as George took over with him created some dissatisfaction; and once,
when Madame Kielmansegge was driving out in grand style, a crowd hooted
at her, whereupon she leaned out of the carriage window and said in
broken English, "Vordy folks! Vy you abuse us? Ve come here for all your
goots."

"Oh, yes," roared a man in the crowd, "and for our chattels, too." There
was truth in the remark, for the populace groaned beneath the weight of
taxation necessary to support King George's household.

Well, George I. made his public entry into London with as much splendor
as ever attended such an event, and the next day he held a grand
reception. His coronation took place on the twentieth of October,
and all the lords attended the ceremony. Soon after Ermengarda von
Schulemberg was created Duchess of Kendal, and Madame Kielmansegge was
raised to the rank of Countess of Darlington.

[[A.D. 1715.]] There were riots at Bristol and elsewhere on the night of
the king's coronation, and political excitement ran high the following
spring, when three of Queen Anne's late ministers were accused of high
treason. The Duke of Marlborough made a grand triumphal entry into
London, attended by thousands of gentlemen on horseback, three days
after the queen's death. But his sun had set. Thackeray says of him:
"Marlborough, the greatest warrior that ever lived, betrayed William
III., James II., Queen Anne, England to France, the Elector to the
Pretender, the Pretender to the Elector." He was to be trusted no more,
though he was elected to some of his former offices.

Let us see how George got along with his new subjects. He began by
liking neither them nor their manners.

{053}

[Illustration: 0059]

{055}"This is a strange country," he said. "The first morning after my
arrival at St. James's, I looked out of the window and saw a park with
walks, a canal, and so forth, which they told me were mine. The next day
Lord Chetwynd, the ranger of _my_ park, sent me a fine brace of carp
out of _my_ canal, and I was told that I must give five guineas to Lord
Chetwynd's servant for bringing me my own carp, out of my own canal, in
my own park."

George I. showed uncommon prudence in his management of public affairs.
He always seemed to regard himself merely as a lodger at St. James's,
who might be turned out at any time, and who was therefore determined to
make the best of his brief stay there. He chose to be away from England
as much as possible, but when obliged to be there passed all his time
with his German followers, and never even took the trouble to learn the
language of the country he ruled. His aim was to lead a quiet, peaceable
sort of life, and leave England to itself. He made no parade of royalty,
was not hypocritical nor lofty, cared nothing for art, and studied
economy. He was good-natured, too, as this story, related by Horace
Walpole, goes to prove:--On one of King George's journeys to Hanover his
coach broke down, and he was obliged to send for assistance to a castle
near by, owned by a German nobleman of some note. The possessor begged
his majesty to do him the honor of accepting a dinner at his house while
the necessary repairs were being made to the coach. While waiting for
the dinner to be served the host led the royal guest to his picture
gallery, where he had a fine collection of paintings formed in several
tours through Italy. Suddenly the king stepped before the full length
portrait of a young man in the robes and regalia of a sovereign of Great
Britain; he asked whom it represented. The nobleman colored, and replied
with an air of embarrassment that it {056}was the Chevalier de St.
George, or the Pretender, as he was usually called, whose acquaintance
he had made when in Italy, and who had done him the honor of sending him
that picture. "Upon my word, it is very like the family!" exclaimed the
king and moved on, thus relieving the host from his awkward position.

This anecdote shows that he bore no ill-will to the unfortunate Stuarts,
and he was generous in excusing those who evinced attachment for them.

At the first masquerade he attended as king, a lady in domino approached
and asked him to drink a glass of wine with her at a side table; he
assented, and, filling two glasses, the lady handed him one, saying,
"Here's to the Pretender's health."

"I drink with all my heart to the health of every unfortunate prince,"
replied King George, with a smile.

He was not so merciful after the failure of the Scotch rebellion, for
executions were of daily occurrence, and those who were spared perished
miserably in prison. The wearing of oak-branches,--a Stuart emblem,--was
considered an insult to the government, and two soldiers were whipped
almost to death in Hyde Park for appearing with them on the twenty-ninth
of May, in memory of the Restoration; while others were actually shot
down for wearing white-rose badges, which they refused to surrender.

[[A.D. 1717.]] The Princess of Wales had gone to London with her
daughters shortly after the accession of George I., and lived at St.
James's Palace. Three years later she had a son, who was christened
George William. The king and the Duke of Newcastle were godfathers, and
the Duchess of St. Albans was godmother. But we must relate an incident
that occurred at the time this ceremony was performed. The Prince of
Wales wanted his uncle, the Duke of York, to be sponsor for his boy with
the king. {057}George I. said that the Duke of Newcastle should share
the office with him, and peremptorily insisted that it should be so. The
prince was forced to yield, though he hated the duke, who always treated
him with studied neglect. Just after the christening had been performed,
the prince crossed the room, and, shaking his finger in the face of the
Duke of Newcastle, said, "You are a rascal, and I shall find a time to
be revenged." The king understood this to mean a challenge to fight, so
placed his son under arrest, but soon released him, and turned him and
the princess out of the palace, though their three daughters lived with
him until he died.

Not only did George I. banish his son from his palace, but forbade all
those who visited at the court of the Prince and Princess of Wales ever
to come into his presence. The fact is that he had never loved his son
since he had made the attempt to visit his mother when he was hunting in
the neighborhood of Ahlden; and it has been asserted that he at one time
thought of having the prince captured and sent off to America, without
letting it be known what had become of him.

[[A.D. 1720.]] One of the most remarkable circumstances of the reign of
George I. was the formation and bursting of a gigantic speculation known
as the South-Sea Company, that being the name of the organization by
which the scheme was manipulated. As in all such cases, a few people
realized immense fortunes by the sudden rise of the stock,--that is,
those who were in the secret of the plot and knew when to sell. In a few
months thousands of victims were reduced to a deplorable state of misery
and ruin by the decline of the stock, which, was much more rapid than
the rise had been.

The king was in Germany when this catastrophe happened; but he was
summoned to England to discuss with {058}his ministers some means for
quelling the disturbance it had caused. A committee from the House of
Commons was appointed to investigate the affair. They pronounced it
the most villanous fraud that had ever been contrived for the ruin of
a nation. Many members of parliament were implicated in the disastrous
affair, and the profits of the South-Sea Company were found to amount
to thirteen millions of pounds. It was many years before the country
recovered from the dreadful effects of this unparalleled swindle.

It was not only the officials who cheated; this propensity extended to
the menials also. Once a Hanoverian cook complained in person to the
king that all his assistants helped themselves so freely they left him
no chance whatever. He was honest, he declared, but such was not the
case with any other servant in the royal household. "Embezzlement is
rife in the kitchen in despite all I can do," he said. "When the dishes
are brought from your majesty's table, one steals a fowl, another a pig,
a third a joint of meat, another a pie, and so on till there is nothing
left." George, who saw that the trouble lay in the fact of there being
nothing left to steal, answered, "I can put up with these things; and my
advice to you is, to go and steal like the rest, and to remember to take
enough." This was very bad advice, for the fellow became an accomplished
thief, though probably if he had not inclined in that direction he would
not have taken his master at his word.

[[A.D. 1726.]] And now we have only to record the death of the poor
prisoner of Ahlden, after a captivity of more than thirty years. She
had been ill for a long time, and became worse as the hopes she had
entertained of escape gradually grew fainter. Through the long weary
years she had been a model of patience, mildness, and dignity, and she
died asserting her innocence, commending {059}herself to God, mentioning
her children with tenderness, and pardoning her oppressors.

[[A.D. 1727.]] Six months later King George I. set out for Hanover, and
by the end of a week he was dead. He had landed in Holland and travelled
quickly through the country, eating heartily wherever he stopped, and
taking no heed of the violent pains that frequently attacked him after
doing so. As he approached Osnaburg he became worse, and fell forward in
his carriage, saying to his attendant, "I am a dead man!" He was carried
to Osnaburg in an unconscious state, and died there on the eleventh
of June, 1727, in the sixty-eighth year of his age. He was buried at
Hanover.

He had once promised the Duchess of Kendal that if it were possible
for the departed to return to this world, he would visit her after his
death. So when a large black raven flew in at that lady's window at
Isleworth, she was so convinced that it was the soul of the departed
monarch that she treated the bird with great tenderness and respect.

{060}



CHAPTER II. CAROLINE WILHELMINA DOROTHEA, WIFE OF GEORGE II.

(A.D. 1683-1737.)

|Caroline of Anspach, whose name appears in full in the heading of this
reign, was a highly accomplished young lady. This was due partly to her
excellent training and careful education, and partly to her naturally
quick, inquiring mind; for she learned easily, seldom forgot anything
worth remembering, and was a good judge of books and people. She loved
philosophical studies, yet she was not at all pedantic. She was lively,
witty, an excellent conversationist, and spoke several languages
fluently.

Her father died when she was still a child, and her mother marrying
again not long afterwards, the young girl went to live with her
guardians, the King and Queen of Prussia. This queen was the sister of
George I., and daughter of Sophia Charlotte, Electress of Bradenburg,
mentioned in the last reign. Caroline was fortunate in falling into the
hands of so good and sensible a lady, to whom she was indebted for the
formation of certain traits that made her remarkable when she grew to
womanhood.

Caroline was born in the year 1683, and spent her childhood at the court
of Berlin, where she pursued her studies with little interruption. When
she was about twenty-one years of age an embassy was sent from Lisbon to
demand her hand in marriage for King Charles of Spain, who had seen her
a short time before. Religion prevented this

{061}

[Illustration: 0067]

{063}union; for Charles was a Catholic, and the Princess of Anspach
refused him on that account. Even the prospect of filling so lofty a
position as that of Queen of Spain was not so dazzling as to tempt her
to renounce her Protestant faith.

[[A.D. 1705.]] Shortly after she became the wife of the Electoral Prince
of Hanover, and then it was said that heaven had especially reserved her
to make Great Britain happy. But that was looking ahead, for she did not
become queen until many years had elapsed.

[[A.D. 1715.]] Caroline went to England, as Princess of Wales, a little
while after her father-in-law, George I., ascended the throne. Her two
daughters, Anne and Caroline Elizabeth, accompanied her; but the only
son she had at that time, whose name was Frederick Louis, remained in
Germany. We shall have more to say about these children as well as those
that were born in England, hereafter.

George I. never loved his son, the Prince of Wales, and always
designated the princess as "that she-devil." This was because she was
high-spirited and had a will of her own; not that she was disrespectful,
but George was unamiable, and had little respect for women, particularly
for those who possessed brains.

[[A.D. 1717.]] When the Prince and Princess of Wales were ordered to
withdraw from St. James's Palace, they established a home of their own
at Leicester House, where their court was noted for its brilliancy. It
was made up of the most promising men and the prettiest and liveliest
women of the day. The apartments of the bed-chamber ladies became the
resort of the noted wits and beaux, who would congregate of an evening
for conversation and all sorts of gay amusements.

Among these were Lord Chesterfield, Lord Scarborough, Lord Hervey,
Charles Churchill, and many others. The {064}principal ladies were Lady
Hervey, Lady Walpole, Mrs. Selwyn, Mrs. Howard, Mrs. Clayton, and Miss
Bellenden. Three of these must each have a separate paragraph in order
to introduce them properly; and, as they will appeal (at least two of
them) frequently throughout this reign, they ought to be known.

To begin then with the liveliest, most beautiful, most charming,--Miss
Bellenden. She was one of the maids-of-honor, and such a fascinating
creature that the Prince of Wales was early attracted towards her, and
very much inclined to flirt. Perhaps he dreamed of a left-hand marriage,
but the lady did not, and saw nothing to admire in the fair-haired
little prince. It was Colonel John Campbell who won her heart and
married her, without ever consulting the Prince of Wales, who was so
indignant that he never forgave Miss Bellenden. It is probable she never
asked to be forgiven, seeing that she had done no wrong.

Mrs. Howard was a daughter of Sir Henry Hobart, a Knight of the Bath.
Early in life she married Mr. Howard, who became, by the death of his
older brothers, Earl of Suffolk. When this marriage took place the young
couple had very little money; and, seeing no chance of improving their
fortunes at the court of Queen Anne, they went over to Hanover, where
they were kindly welcomed by the Electress Sophia.

Once this pair of adventurers were very anxious to entertain the
Hanoverian minister; but how could they do so when they had no money?
Mrs. Howard's mother-wit helped them out of the dilemma in this way. It
was an era when full-bottomed wigs were worn, each of which cost from
twenty to thirty guineas, and often perplexed barbers to know where
to turn for all the material they needed. So Mrs. Howard, who had a
splendid head of light-brown hair, decided to sell it. The sacrifice
enabled her to win {065}the good graces of the minister and his
half-dozen secretaries, through the instrumentality of a good dinner,
and gratified her ambition by securing for her a position in the
Princess of Wales's household. Mrs. Howard was a woman of medium height,
well-formed, and extremely fair; her features were regular, and she
was generally considered very pretty, though not beautiful. She always
dressed with the simplicity that good taste prompts; but the most
remarkable feature about her was, that at the age of seventy-nine she
was still good-looking, and her eyes still preserved the mild, grave
expression that characterized them in her youth. Her husband, who was a
gambler and a drunkard, left her as soon as she was fairly established
in the royal household.

Mrs. Clayton, another lady of the bed-chamber, was a _protégé_ of
the Duchess of Marlborough, through whose influence she obtained her
position. She was of humble birth, but married Sir Robert Clayton, one
of the managers of the Marlborough estate, in the duke's absence. She
was a woman of some accomplishments, ordinary intelligence, and very bad
temper, which often led her to make remarks which had better have been
left unsaid. Mrs. Howard and she were bitter enemies always, and hated
each other intensely. This may have been, in part, owing to the fact
that Mrs. Clayton had considerable influence with Caroline, and thereby
excited the envy of the other lady. It was her duty to introduce works
of merit or petitions for relief. She acted as mediator between Caroline
and those who desired favors of any description; consequently, she was
flattered on all sides by various classes of people, who were very apt
to exaggerate her power when seeking her good offices.

The Princess of Wales desired popularity above all things, and for that
reason presided over the round of {066}pleasures, and set the fashions
at her court. Every morning she held a reception or drawing-room, as it
was called; and on two evenings in the week there was a reunion in her
apartments, which gradually increased in dimensions until they became
crowded balls, or masquerades. On other evenings the fashionable world
attended plays and operas. This gayety was carried on at Leicester
House, but for an occasional repose Caroline would retire to Richmond
Lodge, her country retreat.

There was one person at court with whom Caroline was frequently at odds.
That was Lord Chesterfield, gentleman of the bed-chamber to the prince.
Dr. Johnson said of him, "that he was a wit among lords, but a lord
among wits." He possessed an uncontrollable desire to turn the princess
into ridicule, and some amiable friend early informed her of it. She
did not desire to quarrel, because at that period it was her policy to
retain as many friends for her husband as possible; but she told Lord
Chesterfield, half in jest and half in earnest, that he had better not
provoke her, for although he had a witty tongue she had a bitter one,
and would pay him back with interest whatever debt he put upon her.
The noble lord was not above "fibbing," and declared that he would not
presume to ridicule the princess; but no sooner was her back turned than
he would mimic her, and make everybody laugh at her expense.

Caroline had, as she said, a bitter tongue, and could say sharp things
when she chose, but she knew how to control herself. This is shown by
the way she managed her husband, for she ruled in seeming to obey, and
he never suspected it. She could even laugh heartily at him without
hurting his feelings, for her tact always led her to say something that
would excite his laughter at the same time.

When the Prince and Princess of Wales were driven from {067}St. James's
Palace by the king; they were not permitted to take their daughters with
them, and the son, who was the innocent cause of the quarrel, died three
months later. Frederick, their eldest son, was an object of dislike
to both parents, and was therefore left in Hanover when they went to
England. Frederick was noted as a child for his cunning and his spiteful
disposition. He disliked all kinds of study, and made very little
progress in consequence. At an early age he drank, gambled, and
gave every evidence of having a vicious character. When his governor
complained, Caroline, who cared too little for him to correct him
properly, said that his were only boy's tricks. "Would to heaven they
were no more!" exclaimed the worthy governor, "but in truth they are the
tricks of scoundrels."

Though this prince was not allowed to appear in England before his
father ascended the throne, a title or two was sent over to him
merely to prove that he was not forgotten. Thus he was created Duke
of Gloucester, Knight of the Garter, and in 1726 he became Duke of
Edinburgh.

[[A.D. 1721]]. In 1721 the Princess of Wales had a son who was
christened William Augustus. Later he was created Duke of Cumberland,
and was so much more beloved by his parents than Frederick was that they
were desirous of securing the throne of England to him, and making over
the electorate of Hanover to Frederick, but the law would not permit
that exchange.

We must not omit to mention a circumstance of the utmost importance that
took place at this period. Lady Mary Wortley Montague had just returned
from Constantinople, where she had witnessed inoculation for small-pox,
and reported the successful results. Dr. Mead was ordered by the prince
to try the experiment on six criminals who had been condemned to death,
but whose lives were spared for this purpose. The success was so satis-
{068}factory that Caroline ordered her two daughters to be inoculated
during the following year. If we recall how this dreadful disease
attacked numerous members of the royal family during the previous
century, we will understand the blessing of this discovery. But it
was reserved for Dr. Jenner to discover vaccination, which he did by a
merely accidental observation some years later. This circumstance is so
well known that it is unnecessary to relate it.

[[A. D. 1727.]] Now we come to a most important period of this history,
when the Princess of Wales becomes Queen of England. It was on the
afternoon of June 14, 1727, that Sir Robert Walpole, the prime minister,
received intelligence of the death of George I., and hastened to do
homage to the new sovereigns, George and Caroline. On that occasion he
asked who would be selected to draw up the usual address to the privy
council, no doubt thinking it would be himself. George II. named Sir
Spenser Compton, speaker of the House of Commons.

That was a polite way of informing Sir Robert that he was dismissed. He
was, of course, by no means pleased, but showed no resentment toward his
successor, because he was not narrow-minded enough for that; besides, he
knew that Sir Spenser was incompetent, and said to a friend who was also
turned out of office: "I shall go out; but let me advise you not to go
into violent opposition, as we must soon come in again."

The fact is that Sir Robert had very unwisely offended the queen when
she was Princess of Wales by speaking of her as "that fat beast, the
prince's wife." Nevertheless, he was determined, if possible, to retain
his position, and knowing the queen's influence over her husband, it
was through her that he decided to manage it. So he ascertained that Sir
Spenser Compton intended to propose to

{069}

[Illustration: 0075]

{071}parliament an allowance of sixty thousand pounds per annum for the
queen, and then informed her, through a friend, that if he were retained
in office he should make it one hundred thousand pounds.

Caroline was delighted, and intimated that Sir Robert might be sure "the
fat beast" had kindly feeling enough towards him to induce her to secure
for herself the extra forty thousand pounds; so she hastened to the
king, and pointed out to him the advantages of retaining in office so
able a man as Sir Robert, and the utter incompetency of Compton.

The king was soon convinced, Sir Robert was reappointed prime minister,
and Sir Spenser was made president of the council. Not only did
Sir Robert secure the promised sum for the queen, but he persuaded
parliament to add a hundred and thirty thousand pounds a year to the
king's revenue besides. This made him a most popular officer with the
royal couple, of course.

At the queen's first drawing-room, before the office of prime minister
had been decided upon, Lady Walpole was among the guests; but as her
husband was not supposed to be a candidate for royal favor, nobody made
way for her, as they had done on previous occasions, when he occupied
his lofty position, and she could not approach her majesty nearer than
the third or fourth row. With her usual amiability, Queen Caroline no
sooner espied Lady Walpole, than she said, aloud: "Ah, there I am sure
I see a friend!" Thereupon the crowd made way for the lady, who declared
that, "as she came away, she might have walked over their heads had she
pleased."

When George I. died he left a will which he certainly supposed his
successor would respect; but he made a mistake; for when Dr. Wake,
Archbishop of Canterbury, appeared before the king with the precious
document that {072}had been intrusted to him, and prepared himself to
hear the instructions contained therein, George II. astonished him by
quietly putting the paper in his pocket without looking at it, and then
walking out of the room. Afterwards he dropped it into the fire. This
was only following the example of his sire, who had treated in like
manner the wills of the Duke of Zell and Sophia Dorothea. George I. must
have suspected that his son would imitate him in this matter, for he
left two copies of his will in Germany, but both were in course of time
secured by the son and consigned to the flames, as the original had
been.

When George II. ascended the throne he was very popular, being generally
regarded as a man of honor and integrity. There is little doubt that had
his poor injured mother lived until that time he would have called her
to England, for when Lady Suffolk entered the new queen's room, on
the day after the king died, she was surprised to see the full-length
portrait of a beautiful lady in royal robes, and over the bed in the
adjoining apartment a smaller picture of the same person. These Queen
Caroline told her were portraits of her husband's mother, that had been
kept concealed so long as George I. lived. Who can help regretting that
the poor lonely prisoner of Ahlden did not stay on earth long enough to
enjoy her son's society and affection? It is certain that he loved her a
great deal better than he ever did his father, and very little doubt can
be entertained that it was the knowledge of that fact which increased
the enmity the old king felt towards his son.

The new sovereigns were duly crowned, and every part of the ceremony
was performed on a scale of magnificence that had not been seen for many
years.

Although George II. was a small man, with light hair, he presented a
very dignified appearance in his royal robes, and thoroughly enjoyed the
whole coronation ceremony {073}from beginning to end. At the time of his
father's accession he had said to an English nobleman: "I have not one
drop of blood in my veins which is not English, and at the service of my
father's subjects." He was now to have an opportunity of proving whether
he was sincere when he made that popular remark.

Parliament was surprised when, after assuring them that he was
determined to secure the civil and religious rights of the people,
George II. announced the reappointment of the old ministers, for the
opposition party had flattered themselves that they were to have a
chance under the new sovereign. Even the Duke of Newcastle, in whose
face George had shaken his fist, and whom he had called an "impertinent
fool," when William, Duke of Cumberland, was christened, was retained in
office.

Of course, Sir Robert Walpole had great influence after he had managed
to retain the former officials at their post. He was called the queen's
minister; and it was generally understood that she distinguished those
whom he favored. He knew the importance of Queen Caroline's confidence,
because she was really the ruler of the kingdom. She ruled, but did so
with such exquisite tact that her feebleminded lord never suspected it.
She never spoke to him about public affairs when any one was present,
but if she by chance ventured to do so, when off her guard, a rebuke was
sure to follow. She even went so far as to rise and offer to leave the
room whenever an interview took place between the king and one of his
ministers, and George prided himself upon "being under the control of no
woman." He had lost sight of the fact that it was entirely owing to his
wife's interference that Walpole had been reinstated. After praising the
ability of the minister, the principal argument she had brought forward
was that he was rich enough to be honest, and having no private business
{074}of his own, he would have more time to devote to that of the
government. So George had followed her counsel, as he always did
unconsciously, and when speaking to his courtiers with scorn of
sovereigns who had been controlled by women he would look about, and,
with a pompous air, ask, "Who governs now?" Nobody ventured to enlighten
him as to who did not, but one of the wits answered rather roughly on
paper,--

               "You may strut, dapper George, but 'twill all be in vain;

               We know't is Queen Caroline, not you that reign--

               You govern no more than Don Philip of Spain.

               Then, if you would have us fall down and adore you,

               Lock up your fat spouse, as your dad did before you."

Queen Caroline never claimed credit for showing her husband the right
course, and she had the rare good sense to see and acknowledge her own
errors. Once she formed a design to shut up St. James's Park for some
reason, and asked Sir Robert Walpole what it would cost to do it.

"Only a crown, madam," was the reply; whereupon she laughed
good-naturedly, and at once abandoned her idea.

George II. had so much respect for his wife's ability, that when he
made a visit to Hanover he appointed her regent during his absence.
Frederick, Prince of Wales, was in the kingdom at the time; but, as he
made no secret of hating both his parents, and favored the party
opposed to them in politics, he was not to be trusted. Besides, he had a
disgraceful way of finding fault with his father's management of public
affairs, and talked loudly of what _he_ would have done in similar
circumstances. But he would certainly have governed less well than his
mother did, for she gave universal satisfaction. She had the benefit of
Sir Robert Walpole's counsel, and understood, as he did, not only how
to let well enough alone, but the wisdom of not interfering with
parliamentary government, and of keeping the nation at peace with its
neighbors. {075}Queen Caroline's mind was not entirely occupied with the
affairs of the nation, for she kept up the brilliancy of her court, and
was greatly interested in everybody connected with it. She took wicked
delight in teasing Mrs. Howard, who was always precise, ladylike, and
self-possessed to a degree that must have been provoking at times.

At an early period of the reign she was required to present the basin
for the queen to wash her hands, and to do so kneeling. A page brought
the pitcher and basin, and placed both upon a table; then it became the
duty of the bed-chamber woman to pour water into the basin, place it
before the queen, and remain on her knees, close by the stand, while
her majesty performed her ablution. Mrs. Howard objected to so humble
an office; but we will let Queen Caroline tell of it in her own words:
"When I requested Mrs. Howard to bring me the basin, she proceeded to
tell me, with her little fierce eyes, and cheeks as red as a beet, that
positively she would not do it; to which I made no answer for a moment,
then spoke calmly, as I would to a naughty child: 'Yes, my dear Howard,
I am sure you will. I know you will. Go,--go; fie! for shame! Go, my
good Howard; we will talk of this another time!' Mrs. Howard did come
round, and I told her I knew we should be good friends again; but that
of all my servants I had least expected such treatment of her."

[[A.D. 1728.]] Queen Caroline also describes a personal interview with
Mr. Howard, who wanted to claim his wife, after having left her for
several years. He said that he should not hesitate to drag his wife out
of her majesty's coach if ever he met her in it. Caroline replied, "Do
it if you dare;" though she added, when relating it afterwards, "I
was horribly afraid of him all the time I was playing the bully,
particularly as I knew him to be brutal, a little mad, and seldom quite
sober; so I got as near to the door {076}as possible, fearing that he
might take it into his head to pitch me out of the window, which was
wide open. Then I resumed my lofty air, and said: 'I would be glad to
see any one who would dare to open my coach door and take out one of my
servants,' though I knew perfectly well that he might do so if he chose,
and nobody could prevent him. Then I told him positively, 'that I would
neither force his wife to go to him if she did not wish, nor keep her
if she did.' He said he would complain to the king. I told him 'the king
had no control over my servants, and he might save himself the trouble,
as I was sure the king would give him no answer, but that it was none of
his business to concern himself with my family'; and after a good deal
more conversation of this sort,--I standing close to the door all the
while, to give me courage,--Mr. Howard and I bade each other _good
morning_, and he withdrew."

[[A.D. 1731.]] Frederick, Prince of Wales, had joined his parents in
England without their desire, and he gave them no pleasure. His vices
increased with age to such a degree that his friends could only excuse
him by declaring that his intellect was weak. Nevertheless, he won.
popularity, and placed himself in course of time at the head of the
opposition party. George II. had no more violent or powerful an enemy
than this son. It was hoped that, if he could get a good wife, he would
improve in his morals, so Sir Charles Hotham was sent to Berlin to
negotiate two marriages. One was between the Prince of Wales and the
eldest daughter of the King of Prussia; the other between the crown
Prince of Prussia and Queen Caroline's second daughter.

Both matches fell through, and so much angry feeling arose that the two
monarchs came near fighting a duel to settle the dispute. George was in
Hanover at the time, and his royal brother-in-law, the King of Prussia,
was at {077}Saltzdahl, near Brunswick. General Sutton was selected to
act as second for George, and Colonel Derscheim for Frederick. Meanwhile
Borck, who had been ambassador from Prussia to the court of St.
James, hastened to Saltzdahl, hoping to be able to put a stop to the
disgraceful affair; but the king was in such a fury that he could not
be open with him. He therefore pretended to approve of the duel, and
offered to be the bearer of the challenge. After that important document
had been duly prepared, the king became somewhat calmer, and then Borck
ventured to reason with him.

"Sire," he said, "I allow that your majesty's quarrel is not to be
terminated any other way than by a duel; but your majesty being just
recovered from a most serious illness, and your health not being yet
by any means reestablished, a relapse may occur on the day before or
perhaps at the very hour of the important meeting; and in that case,
what would the world say? How the King of England would boast? What
scandalous constructions might be put on the circumstance! What an
odious suspicion of your majesty's courage might ensue! Therefore I ask
if you do not think it would be better to take no steps in the affair
for a fortnight?"

Thus was the king talked into delay; the challenge was not sent, and
so the ministers on both sides gained sufficient time to effect a
reconciliation.

[[A.D. 1733.]] The English court was soon busy with another
marriage,--that of Queen Caroline's eldest daughter, the Princess Anne.
This young lady had reached the age of twenty-four, and it was thought
high time for her to be married. When she was not more than sixteen
Louis XV. proposed for her hand; but, being the representative of a
Protestant family, she could not marry him, though she was so proud and
ambitious that she was heard to say, {078}"I would die to-morrow to be
queen to-day." She never loved her brothers, because she felt that
their birth had deprived her of ever ascending the throne, and she often
declared that she wished they had never appeared in the world. As she
could not become a queen, she decided to descend a step, and accept
the hand of the Prince of Orange. She had never seen him, but she was
satisfied to know that his was an exalted station. The king and queen
opposed the royal suitor because he was lame, his neck was crooked, he
was otherwise dreadfully deformed, and he was one of the ugliest men in
Europe. George told his daughter this, and added that she must not be
deceived by the pictures the ambassadors had brought of him, because,
although he was repulsive looking enough in them, they were nevertheless
flattering. "I do not care how ugly he may be," she declared. "If he
were a Dutch baboon I would marry him." This obstinacy made the king
very angry, and he replied with his strong German accent, "Nay, then,
have your way, have your way; you will find baboon enough, I promise
you."

So the Prince of Orange was accepted, and it is to be hoped he never
heard the unkind remarks that the bride's family made behind his
back, for the queen always spoke of him as "the animal," and everybody
ridiculed him. The arrangements for the marriage could not be completed
without application to parliament for a dower. A committee was appointed
to provide one, and they resolved to sell lands in the island of St.
Christopher to the amount of eighty thousand pounds, and to make over
that sum to the king for his eldest daughter. As soon as the bridegroom
was informed that this important matter had been settled, he repaired to
England, and went direct to Somerset House, which had been prepared for
him and his attendants. Princess Anne was not flurried in the least,
{079}when she was informed of his arrival. She was playing on the
harpsichord at the time, and went on as though nothing unusual had
happened. If she felt any curiosity to behold the man she was to marry,
she certainly did not betray it, but appeared remarkably indifferent,
and proved herself an uncommonly strong-minded young woman.

A few days after his arrival in England the Prince of Orange was
attacked with a severe illness, which confined him to his bed for many
weeks. During the whole of that time not a single member of the royal
family went near him, and it seemed to concern Princess Anne very little
to know whether he were well or ill. The prince made no complaint about
this shabby treatment, but his attendants did, and all they made by it
was being called "Dutch boobies." The marriage was to have taken
place before the end of the year, but it had to be postponed until the
following March, and during the interval some of the arrangements that
had been begun had to be left as they stood, half completed. No one was
more annoyed by this postponement than the Duchess of Marlborough, for
an enclosed passage way through which the wedding procession was to
pass had been built up close to the windows of Marlborough House, and
completely darkened the rooms. There it had to stay for four months, and
the duchess frequently looked up at the boards, and said: "I do wish the
princess would oblige me by taking away her _orange_ chest!"

[[A.D. 1734.]] It was January before the bridegroom was well enough to
be removed to Bath, and a couple of months later before his health was
entirely restored. At last, on the fourteenth of March, the marriage was
solemnized at St. James's Chapel by the Bishop of London.

Everything was conducted with great splendor, and the groom was attired
in a complete suit of cloth of gold, in {080}which the royal parents
thought he looked more like a baboon than ever. The bride wore a robe of
silver tissue, with a train six yards long, which was supported by ten
young ladies of noble birth, all dressed in the same gorgeous material.
The ceremony took place in the evening, and was succeeded by a grand
public banquet, the festivities being kept up until long after midnight.
Queen Caroline wept as she walked in the procession through the
brilliantly lighted gallery, and observed the deformed bit of humanity
that her daughter had accepted for a husband. To be sure Anne was by
no means a beauty; but she was a well-developed, fair complexioned,
bright-eyed young woman, though perhaps too stout. But the bridegroom's
ugliness was extraordinary. If you looked at him from behind he appeared
to have no head, and from before, he seemed possessed of neither neck
nor legs; besides, there was something disgusting about him which gave
the idea of uncleanliness,--a very offensive breath. Strange to
say, Anne adored her "monster" after a time, though he never cared
particularly about her. She treated him with the utmost consideration
and respect, addressed all her remarks to him, and applauded whatever he
said. Perhaps she did this to pretend that she was perfectly happy;
but certain it is, that the homage she showed her little husband was
perfectly absurd.

During the week following the marriage Frederick, Prince of Wales, took
it upon himself to show the bridegroom the sights of London; and then
it suddenly struck the government that, as he was now son-in-law to the
king, he ought to be naturalized. Accordingly, the necessary bill
was made out and passed unanimously; but the prince received the
announcement that he had become an Englishman with an indifference that
proved how little he appreciated the honor. It was much more gratifying
to him when he heard that the {081}king had sent a message to the House
of Commons that he had settled five thousand pounds a year on Princess
Anne for life.

The bride and groom set out for Holland on the tenth of April, and
before three months had elapsed Anne was back in England, where
she seemed determined to remain. Neither of her parents desired her
presence; but they could not prevail upon her to return to her new home
until towards the close of the year. Just at that time Queen Caroline
dismissed Lady Suffolk from her office of mistress of the robes, and
appointed the Countess of Tankerville in her stead.

Prince Frederick was very much displeased with his sister for marrying
before he did, but still more so with his father for settling a sum of
money on her when he had not been so favored. The great trouble with him
was that he was heavily in debt; and, out of the hundred thousand pounds
granted to him by parliament, the king allowed him only thirty-six
thousand, appropriating the rest himself. No doubt he allowed the prince
little or much money, according as he behaved well or ill; and this was
certainly humiliating to one of his station.

Her son's conduct was the more painful to Queen Caroline because she was
so kind and considerate of others herself. Here is a little anecdote in
proof of this. One of the princesses had suffered a lady-in-waiting to
stand behind her chair one morning for nearly an hour without the
least occasion; the queen observed this lack of consideration, but said
nothing at the moment. The same evening the princess was made to stand
while reading to her mother until she was well-nigh exhausted; then,
after explaining why she had permitted her to remain in that position
so long, Queen Caroline added: "You are now, my dear, capable of feeling
how improper it is, unnecessarily, {082}to make those who are about
you the victims of etiquette." A lesson so taught was not likely to be
disregarded.

About this time Queen Caroline's mind was occupied with a matter that
caused intense excitement in England. This was Sir Robert Walpole's
excise scheme, which can be explained in a few words. After the civil
war certain articles, such as beer, ale, cider, tea, coffee, wine,
vinegar, tobacco, and sugar, had been subject to duty for the purpose
of supplying the government with money. This was not in favor with the
populace, because it increased the price of such articles as were taxed,
and made the cost of living higher than it had been before. Then certain
tradesmen, rather than pay the duty, organized a system of smuggling,
which was done with the aid of gangs of armed men, who beat, abused,
and even murdered those custom-house officers who insisted on performing
their duty. Walpole organized a plan to prevent the smuggling and the
recurrence of these outrages. It is not necessary to enter into the
details of his scheme, but no sooner was it made public than the
agitation became intense. Taxation in any form was regarded in the light
of tyranny, and the mob that gathered around the doors of the House
of Commons during the fierce debates, which lasted for three weeks,
declared that they would not submit to slavery,--for so it appeared to
them. Walpole's proposition was not really unreasonable at all, but the
populace were driven to madness by pamphlets and ballads distributed
among them by those who desired to further their own personal interests
in one way or another. Riots threatened on all sides, and even the
soldiers, who had got the idea that the minister's excise scheme would
raise the price of tobacco, cursed parliament and the administration,
and murmurs of treason reached to the very palace walls. Bonfires and
illumina-

{083}

[Illustration: 0089]

tions {085}lighted up the towns, and cockades were worn on which was
inscribed, "Liberty, Property, and no Excise." In the city of London the
mob hung Sir Robert Walpole and a _fat woman_, meant to represent the
queen, in effigy.

Feeling that the government was in danger on his account, the prime
minister sought the queen, and offered to surrender his office, but she
would not permit him to do so. Both she and the king declared that they
would not be so cowardly nor so ungrateful as to part with him at such a
crisis. George had often called Walpole hard names, but under his wife's
influence he had learned to love the man whom he had several times
pronounced "a noble fellow" on being told what a firm stand he had made
against the enemies of the government.

Walpole had to withdraw his scheme at last, although he felt sure that
it would have been most beneficial to the interest of the nation; and at
the next meeting of the parliament, when the question of the tax on tea
came up, he declared that he would never again engage in anything that
bore the least resemblance to excise. King George revenged himself by
having the names of the peers who had opposed his minister read to him,
and calling each in turn by some angry epithet. The love that George II.
bore towards Walpole, whom he had begun his reign by thoroughly hating,
is one of the best proofs of Queen Caroline's power over him; but there
are many others besides.

We have seen how much enmity existed between Prince Frederick and the
king. On New Year's Day there was a grand levee held at the palace,
which the prince attended; not because he desired to show proper respect
to his royal parents, but for the purpose of appearing in the light of
an ill-used son, if, as was usually the case, the king refused to speak
to him. He was not to be gratified in this particular however, for Queen
Caroline had persuaded her husband {086}to address Frederick kindly in
public, and he complied! The ill-feeling remained, however, and the
queen always opposed the settlement of an income on her son, whom she
did not hesitate to call an extravagant, unprincipled fool. She thought
him good-hearted, but weak, easily led, and obstinate. It was said of
him that he was more German than English, but so was his mother, for
that matter; and she was ever ready to sacrifice the interests of
England to those of her native land. But Walpole was determined to
preserve peace, though the king told him daily, "that it was with the
sword alone he desired to keep the balance of Europe." This was while
France, Spain, and Germany were at war, and George could not bear to
be left out of the contest; but towards the end of the year he said: "I
have followed your advice, Walpole, in keeping quiet,--contrary often
to my own opinion, and sometimes, I have thought, contrary even to my
honor; but I am convinced you advised me well." It must not be supposed
that George II. spoke English as well as this speech makes him appear
to have done, for he never lost his strong German accent as long as he
lived.

When the Prince of Orange joined his army Princess Anne went to
England on a visit. She was as arrogant as ever, and, like her brother
Frederick, despised her father, of whom she too frequently spoke with
the utmost disrespect. One evening Lord Hervey was escorting her from
the drawing-room to her own apartments;--news of the surrender of
Phillipsburg had just been received. The princess was speaking on this
subject, and then said: Was there ever anything so unaccountable as the
temper of papa? He has been snapping and snubbing every mortal for a
week, because he began to think Phillipsburg would be taken; and this
very day, that he actually hears it is taken, he is in as good humor as
I ever saw him in my life. {087}"To tell you the truth," she added,
in French, though it was quite as disrespectful as though uttered
in German, "I find that so whimsical, and (_entre nous_) so utterly
foolish, that I am more enraged by his good than I was before by his bad
humor."

"Perhaps," answered Lord Hervey, "he may be about Phillipsburg as David
was about the child, who, whilst it was sick, fasted, lay upon the
earth, and covered himself with ashes, but the moment it was dead, got
up, shaved his beard, and drank wine."

"Well, it may be like David," said the princess, "but I am sure it is
not like Solomon."

Having mentioned Lord Hervey, we must tell how he stood at court. He was
a great favorite with Queen Caroline, and, being many years younger than
she, he was called "her child, her pupil, her charge." He generally rode
by her carriage when she went hunting, on a horse that she had given
him, and on such occasions they discussed politics and other matters.
Hervey was treated like a pet child, and allowed to say what would
have been regarded as impertinence coming from any one else; but Queen
Caroline encouraged him by laughing at him, and kept him with her
as much as possible. He always sat and talked to her while she ate
breakfast, and presumed to give her advice on every conceivable subject,
often flatly contradicting her, whereupon she would good naturedly
declare that he took such liberties because he knew she could not
possibly live without him. It is to the memoirs left by this lord that
we are indebted for our knowledge of much of the private life of Queen
Caroline. A letter which he addressed to her one summer when he was
visiting at some distance in the country will give the best idea of the
nature of his position in the royal household. He begins by imagining
that he died on the day he left the queen, and proceeds to recount how
he serves her in spirit:--{088}"On Monday, whilst you walked, my _shade_
turned on the side of the sun to guard you from its beams.

"On Tuesday morning, at breakfast, I brushed away a fly that was just
going to taste your chocolate.

"On Wednesday, in the afternoon, I took off the chilliness of some
strawberry-water your majesty was going to drink, as you came in hot
from, walking; and at night I hunted a bat out of your bed-chamber, and
shut a sash just as you fell asleep, which your majesty had indiscreetly
ordered Mrs. Purcel to leave open.

"On Thursday, in the drawing-room, I took the forms and voices of
several of my acquaintances, made strange faces, put myself into awkward
postures, and talked a good deal of nonsense, whilst your majesty
entertained me very gravely, _recommended_ me very graciously, and
laughed at me internally very heartily.

"On Friday, being-post day, I proposed to get the best pen in the other
world for your majesty's use, and slip it invisibly into your portfolio
just as Mr. Shaw was bringing it into your gallery for you to write; and
accordingly I went to _Voiture_, and desired him to hand me his pen; but
when I told him for whom it was designed, he only laughed at me for
a blockhead, and asked me if I had been at court for four years to so
little purpose as not to know that your majesty had a much better of
your own.

"On Saturday, I went on the shaft of your majesty's chaise to Richmond;
as you walked there I went before you, and with an invisible wand I
brushed the dew and the worms out of your path all the way, and several
times uncrumpled your majesty's stocking.

"Sunday--This very day, at chapel, I did your majesty some service,
by tearing six leaves out of the parson's sermon, and shortening his
discourse six minutes."

If Queen Caroline's young friend really performed such {089}varied and
such important services for her, she must have missed him, indeed, when
he was absent from home. He gives an instance, in his memoirs, of how
much Queen Caroline endured for the sake of her husband, in these words:
"She works harder than any of the court drudges in one respect, for
she passes seven or eight hours _tête-à-tête_ with the king every day,
generally saying what she does not think, and forced, like a spider, to
spin out of her own bowels all the conversation with which the fly is
taken."

The queen's health was undoubtedly poor at this time; but in spite of
that, after an acute attack of cold and fever, for which she had twice
been bled, George insisted on her going from Kensington to London to
celebrate his birthday, and made her accompany him to the opera the
same night. To be sure, this was not so inconsiderate as it appears; for
George II. thought so little of illness himself that he would rise from
a sick-bed to hold a levee when he could scarcely keep up his head, and
go back as soon as it was over. He did not see why his wife should not
sacrifice herself as he did. She came very near swooning on the morning
of the birthday drawing-room, and sent one of her attendants to beg the
king to retire, saying: "That she was unable to stand any longer;" but,
for all that, he obliged her to attend a crowded ball in the evening,
and kept her there until after eleven o'clock.

Sir Robert Walpole urged Queen Caroline to take care of herself,
assuring her that England would fall into great danger if deprived
of her presence, and addressing her as though she was the governing
sovereign,--which she was in fact, though not in name.

[[A.D. 1734.]] When the Bishop of Winchester was stricken with apoplexy,
Lord Hervey announced it to Hoadly, Bishop of Salisbury, and urged him
in the strongest {090}terms to apply for the See, which would surely
be vacant within a few days, because the bishop's attack would without
doubt prove fatal. Now this promotion had been promised to Hoadly by the
king, the queen, and Walpole at various times, and he felt no doubt that
he would get it, but Hervey knew better; so he wrote the bishop to apply
to the king at once through his "two ears"--the queen and Walpole--and
make his request as though it were according to an agreement. Caroline
disliked Hoadly, and pronounced his letter indelicate and ill-timed;
but he had followed Hervey's instructions so accurately that he got the
appointment. When he went to make an acknowledgment of his advancement,
the king, who hated him too, treated him with incivility that was at
least honest; but Caroline showered congratulations and compliments on
him, not one of which was sincere. Walpole did worse, for he hated the
man more than either of the sovereigns did; but, leading the new Bishop
of Winchester aside, he deceitfully pressed his hand, and with warm
congratulations assured him that his elevation was entirely due to the
efforts of himself, Sir Robert. The minister was not aware of the part
Lord Hervey had played, or he would not have said that, and the bishop
did not tell him.

[[A.D. 1735.]] Shortly after this the king set out for Hanover, and
Caroline rejoiced at the extra power his absence would give her,
but still more at the idea of being relieved from the dreary task
of entertaining him for hours at a time. But a few months later he
returned, quite suddenly and unexpectedly. The queen and her court had
just left the chapel at Kensington on Sunday, October 26, when it
was announced that the king was driving up the road. Her majesty went
quickly to the gate, with her ladies and gentlemen, to receive her
husband, who, after condescendingly permitting her to kiss him, led
her up stairs {091}with stately formality. George had returned in a bad
humor, which he took no pains to conceal. Besides, he was ill, and very
much fatigued from travelling, so he conversed with everybody but the
queen, just as though she were to blame for it all. She understood him
perfectly, and knew what a trial it always was to him to leave his
dear Hanover, where he thought everything and everybody perfection as
compared with England. She therefore bore his ill-nature with wonderful
patience, which only seemed to increase the king's crossness and
brutality.

He found fault with everything Queen Caroline had done in his absence;
and, when Lord Hervey ventured to defend her for removing some inferior
pictures and statues and replacing them by works of art, he said:
"I suppose you assisted the queen with your fine advice when she was
pulling my house to pieces and spoiling my furniture. Thank God! at
least she has left the walls standing!" He then ordered that several
old daubs of paintings should be restored to their places before his
departure for London the next day, adding that "otherwise he knew it
would not be done at all."

A night's repose did not restore King George's temper. When he made his
appearance in the queen's morning-room, she was drinking chocolate with
her two daughters, the Princess Amelia and Princess Caroline, while
the Duke of Cumberland, her son, stood at her side. Princess Anne had
returned to Holland some weeks previously, much to the satisfaction of
her parents. The father of the family only stopped in their midst long
enough to tell the queen that she was always stuffing; to scold Princess
Amelia, who was slightly deaf, for not hearing him; to ridicule Princess
Caroline for growing fat, and, finally, to abuse the Duke of Cumberland
for standing awkwardly. Then having made himself thoroughly hateful, he
requested his wife to go for a walk in the garden. {092}In the evening
he was sauntering backwards and forwards in the queen's apartment, while
she was engaged with some fancy work. Presently Lord Hervey entered, and
the queen laughingly began to tease him about an answer that had just
appeared to a book written by his friend, Bishop Hoadly, in which the
bishop was rather roughly handled. Before she had half finished what
she wanted to say, her ill-natured husband interrupted her, and told
her "she was always talking such nonsense about things she did not
understand;" and added, "that if it were not for such foolish people
loving to talk of these things when they were written, the fools who
wrote such nonsense would never think of publishing it." The queen
bowed, and said, "Sir, I only wanted to let Lord Hervey know that
his friend's book had not met with the general approbation he had
pretended."

"A pretty fellow for a friend," said the king, turning to Lord Hervey.
"Pray, what is it that charms you in him? His pretty limping gait?" and
then he mimicked the bishop's lameness, besides other defects, and wound
up by saying: "If the Bishop of Winchester is your friend, all I have
to say is, that you have a great puppy, a very dull fellow, and a very
great rascal for your friend. He is just the same thing in the church
that he is in the government, and as ready to receive the best pay for
preaching the Bible, though he does not believe a word of it, as he is
to take favor from the crown, though he would be glad to abolish its
power." It was dreadful for the king to say such things; for if he did
not think Hoadly a proper person to be at the head of the church, he had
no business to appoint him. The queen kept smiling and nodding her
head all the time he was delivering this most disgraceful, undignified
speech, and wishing with all her heart that he would stop. Lord Hervey
tried to introduce another topic, but that was unfortunate, {093}and
only set his majesty off in a different direction, though he continued
to be equally violent and insulting. At last the queen began to talk of
the custom of feeing servants in private houses where one happened to
be visiting, and said that it had been a great expense to her when she
visited in town during the previous summer. "That is your own fault,"
growled George, "for my father when he went to people's houses in town,
never was fool enough to give away his money."

"But I only gave what my chamberlain, Lord Grantham, informed me was
customary," meekly replied Caroline. "Oh yes," returned George, "always
asking some fool or another what to do; only a fool would ask another
fool's advice. Stay at home, as I do; you do not see me running into
every puppy's house to see his new chairs and tables, and you need not
be poking your nose everywhere, and trotting about wherever you can get
bread and butter." Finding that he could not be sufficiently abusive
with his broken English,--though we think he was,--George had recourse
to German, and poured a torrent of unpronounceable words on the head
of the unoffending queen, who kept on with her work, then snuffed the
candles, and was taken to task for putting one of them out. Such scenes
as this were of frequent occurrence; and the king seemed never so happy
as when he was raving like a madman, and making every one near him
uncomfortable.

Strange as it may seem, English literature began to rise in this reign
from the low state into which it had fallen under George I. Queen
Caroline laughed heartily over the "Travels of Gulliver," in which Swift
ridiculed statesmen, scholars, and men of every class of society. Pope
wrote a satire upon the literature of his time, which he called the
"Dunciad." It created a tremendous uproar among men of letters, and he
was assailed in all the news- {094}papers for having produced such a
work. His personal appearance was ridiculed, too, for he was anything
but prepossessing; and he was represented with a perfect likeness of his
head and face on the body of a repulsive-looking monkey, with its long,
bony arms embracing a huge pile of ponderous volumes. A weekly journal
published this:--

          A RECEIPT AGAINST POPE-ISH POETRY.

               "Select a wreath of withered bays,

                   And place it on the brow of Pope;

               Then, as reward for stolen lays,

                   His neck encircle with a rope.

               When this is done, his look will show it,

               Which he's most like,--a thief or poet."

Besides card-playing and court receptions, there were operas and dramas,
and of these the king and his whole court were very fond. We must give
an account of a funny scene that took place one night at a theatre. John
James Heidegger, was a Swiss, who lived in England and superintended
operas and masquerades. He soon amassed a fortune, and made himself
very popular by devoting part of it to charity. He lived extravagantly,
dressed well, and visited in the best society; but he was so eccentric
that he was occasionally made the victim of practical jokes. Once he was
invited to an entertainment given by the Duke of Montague, and the wine,
of which he drank freely, was drugged so that he soon fell sound asleep.
He was then placed upon a bed, and a cast was taken of his face and made
into a mask. This was done without Heidegger's being aware of it.

The duke then hired a man just the size of the manager, dressed him the
same, put the mask on him, and took him to the next masquerade, when the
king, who had been previously apprised of the plot, was to be present.
As his {095}majesty entered, Heidegger ordered the orchestra to play
"God save the King." No sooner was his back turned than the impostor,
imitating his voice and manner, ordered "Charlie over the Water,"--a
song that referred to Charles Edward, the Pretender, and ought certainly
not to have been played in presence of George. Heidegger was horrified;
he raved and swore at the musicians, and made them recommence the loyal
tune. A few bars of "God save the King" were no sooner performed than
the impostor found an opportunity to again order "Charlie over the
Water." The orchestra thought their master must be drunk, but obeyed.
By this time the house was in a perfect uproar, and cries of "Shame!
shame!" arose from every part of it. The king's officers wanted to kick
the musicians out; but the Duke of Cumberland, who was in the secret,
restrained them.

Heidegger was beside himself with rage and fright, but he came boldly
forward and offered to discharge the band, then and there. The impostor
appeared at his side and said, in a plaintive voice, looking toward the
king: "Sire, the whole fault lies with that devil in my likeness."

That was too much. Poor Heidegger fairly gasped for breath when he gazed
upon his double. He turned pale and stared; astonishment had struck him
dumb. At last, thinking that his joke had been carried far enough,
the Duke of Montague ordered his man to unmask, and the mystery was
explained. Heidegger was in a perfect frenzy; he stamped his feet,
retired from the stage, and fell, in a state of exhaustion, into an
arm-chair, then commanded his servants to extinguish the lights at once,
swearing that he would never again superintend a masquerade until that
mask lay crushed to atoms at his feet.

[[A.D. 1735.]] Queen Caroline had made up her mind that the Prince
of Wales should marry; so, after gaining {096}the king's consent, she
employed Lord Hervey to tell the prince of his intended fate. There was
no princess in view; but the queen spoke about the coming marriage just
as though there was, purchased clothing for the wedding, and ordered
several costly presents for the bride, from various, jewellers. The king
was then in Hanover, and so it was arranged that he was to see Augusta
of Saxe-Gotha, and if he liked her then negotiations for a marriage with
the heir-apparent would be begun. He sent a favorable report a few weeks
later, and Frederick was told to prepare for the reception of his bride.
He received the order with an indifferent sort of resignation, but
obeyed. This gratified the queen, because her son had such contradictory
qualities that he was never to be counted on. There was nothing either
to admire or to hate in him. He was neither great nor vicious, and his
behavior was such that although he gained good wishes, no one esteemed
him, for he was false and deceitful; and it was suspected that
his supremely condescending manners were prompted by a desire for
popularity. His heart was bad; his head was weak; and he was unfortunate
in having a father who abhorred him, a mother who despised him, sisters
who betrayed him, a brother set up against him in public life, and
servants who neglected him, and were incapable of being useful to him.

[[A.D. 1736.]] Lord Delawar was sent to demand the hand of Princess
Augusta from her brother, the Duke of Saxe-Gotha. As the young lady, who
was very bright and pretty, could speak neither English nor French, it
was suggested to her mother that it would be well for her to take a few
lessons in both languages. But as the Hanoverian family had been on
the throne of England for a score of years or more, the Duchess of
Saxe-Gotha concluded that all the people there spoke or understood
German, and {097}would not bother her child to study two languages that
seemed to her not worth the pains spent upon the work.

Prince Frederick showed no desire to seek the lady he was to marry, but
dutifully remarked that "whoever his majesty thought a proper match for
his son would be agreeable to him"; and the princess submitted joyfully
to the custom among the royalty of marrying people they had never seen.
She was willing to go to the prince, since he was not gallant enough to
travel to Germany to win her, and probably rejoiced at the idea of one
day becoming Queen of England. She sailed in the month of April in the
royal yacht "William and Mary," and landed at Greenwich on St. George's
day, twenty-fifth. The bride was just seventeen years of age, and
excited much admiration on account of her graceful, girlish air, her
good humor, and tasteful attire.

She was conducted to the Queen's House in the park, where one would
naturally suppose that all the royal family would assemble to welcome
her; but such was not the case, for there were only the solemn officers
of state and ladies-in-waiting to meet her. The people had gathered in
crowds to have a look at the princess, and as she sat on the balcony
overlooking the park they shouted themselves hoarse in her praise.
At last Prince Frederick made his appearance alone, and brought the
"compliments of the king, queen, duke, and princesses, who hoped the
bride was well." They could scarcely have done less, but certainly
might, and ought, to have done more to welcome a young girl who had come
to their shores under such circumstances. But she does not seem to have
complained, and no doubt contented herself with the belief that she was
only submitting to the custom of a strange country.

Greenwich looked very bright and gay on the following {098}day; for the
prince and princess dined in public, and a crowd gathered to witness
that important ceremony. Then the royal pair drove down to the river,
and entered a beautifully decorated barge that awaited them, and were
rowed up and down, while horns were blown, guns fired, and bands of
music performed on the boats and at different points along the banks
of the river. On the next day, which was Tuesday, Frederick awaited his
bride, with whom he had fallen in love at first sight, in London. She
left Greenwich in one of the royal carriages, alighted at Lambeth,
and then crossed over to Whitehall in a boat. Entering one of Queen
Caroline's state-chairs, the princess was carried by two stout yeomen
to St. James's Palace, where everything was arranged in a tasteful,
magnificent manner for her reception. Prince Frederick received his
bride as she stepped from the chair, and drawing her to him, pressed her
in his arms and gave her two affectionate kisses; then, taking her by
the hand, he led her up the grand staircase, and into the presence of a
splendid and numerous assemblage of court ladies and gentlemen. She was
first presented to the king, who would not permit her to kneel, but,
putting his arm around her, kissed her cheek and said a few kind words.
Queen Caroline greeted her warmly, and her example was followed by her
daughters and the Duke of Cumberland.

The king had grown so impatient at being detained in England for the
wedding, when he wanted to get back to his beloved Hanover, that he had
declared if they did not make haste with it they would have to dispense
with his presence altogether at the ceremony. But he was so well pleased
at the appearance and behavior of the young bride that he was completely
mollified. She was modest, but at the same time self-possessed to a
degree that proved her to be thoroughly well-bred and sensible. In this
respect she {099}formed quite a contrast to the young people whose
family she was entering, for they squabbled about the most trifling
points of etiquette, which proved the littleness of their minds as well
as their faulty training. For example, the prince thought that on such
an important occasion as that of his marriage, he and his bride should
take precedence of others of equal rank, and that his brother and
sisters should be satisfied with stools at the dinner-table, while he
and Princess Augusta occupied chairs, also that they should be served
with somewhat less ceremony and respect. But they absolutely refused to
enter the dining-room until the stools had been replaced by chairs
as large and luxurious as those intended for the bride and groom, and
insisted upon being waited on by their respective servants, who had
orders to imitate those of the Prince of Wales in every ceremony used
at table. Later in the evening, when coffee was brought around in the
drawing-room by Frederick's servants, the Duke of Cumberland and the
princesses all declined it, because, as they said, "they were afraid
instructions had been given to inflict some disgrace in the manner of
handing the beverage had they accepted of any." They certainly did not
deserve to partake of the coffee, or anything else that was good, as
long as they were so petty and narrow-minded.

On the day after the arrival of the bride at St. James's, there was
a grand state-dinner, after which costumes were rearranged, and the
marriage ceremony was performed, while several salutes were fired by the
artillery at various stages of the proceedings. The bride wore no
wig, but had her own hair tastefully dressed and surmounted by a crown
studded with diamonds, of which gems she wore a profusion, besides on
different parts of her person and dress. Brides and babies ought always
to wear white; but a different rule guided the Princess of Wales, whose
robe {100}at her wedding ceremony was of crimson velvet, bordered with
ermine. A long, full train, that hung from the shoulders, where it was
attached by diamond clasps, was supported by four young ladies, who
wore silver gauge dresses and diamonds valued at from twenty to thirty
thousand pounds each.

The Duke of Cumberland gave the bride away, and the Duke of Grafton and
Lord Hervey, lord and vice-chamberlains of the royal household, acted as
ushers. All the noble ladies and gentlemen of the court accompanied the
bride and groom in procession to the Chapel Royal, where the ceremony
was performed by the Lord Bishop of London. At its completion there was
a grand flourish of trumpets, and a deafening beating of drums, followed
by the music of a brass band, and the thundering of cannon in the park,
that announced to Londoners the conclusion of the compact. Then the
bridal party proceeded to the king's drawing-room, where his majesty and
Queen Caroline were seated on a dais under a richly-draped canopy. The
newly-wedded couple walked hand in hand the entire length of the room,
and knelt before the royal parents, who solemnly blessed their children.

A grand banquet was served at ten o'clock, and was attended by much
gaiety and joviality. Speeches were made, healths were drunk, and
everybody seemed happy.

{101}

[Illustration: 0107]

{103}



CHAPTER III.

|In spite of Sir Robert Walpole's persuasions to the contrary, the king
went back to Hanover a week after his son's marriage. Previous to his
departure from England he appointed Queen Caroline regent, much to the
dissatisfaction of the Prince of Wales; but he went further, for he sent
word to the prince that wherever the queen resided _there_ would always
be apartments for himself and the princess. In other words, Frederick
was to be treated as a sort of a prisoner without the privilege of a
separate court of his own. This was most humiliating, and a condition
of affairs that naturally led to disobedience and deceit; for when Queen
Caroline removed from one residence to another her son would pretend to
be making preparations to follow, and then contrive some excuse for
not doing so. Once he pleaded illness of the princess, although she was
perfectly well, then the queen feigned anxiety and went to visit the
make-believe invalid, who received her in a darkened room, and said she
was suffering from measles, although the doctors could not be induced
to back her up in her lie. The queen went to live at Kensington, as
she always did during her husband's absence, and every time she held a
council meeting there Frederick contrived to arrive just as the business
was concluded. This he did on purpose to annoy his mother, and to show
his displeasure at her being regent, when he {104}thought that position
ought to have been assigned to him.

It would have been a great deal better for all the members of the royal
family if the king had been more contented to remain in England; but he
spent months at a time in Hanover, and was only prevented at last from
indulging in this amusement by the breaking out of the seven years'
war. Everybody expressed his opinion very freely on the subject of
King George's love for Germany, and made that the ostensible reason for
complaint, no matter what it was really. One day a poor, lean, lame,
blind, old horse was turned loose into the streets with a shabby, broken
saddle on his back, and a paper fastened to his head, on which was this
inscription: "Let nobody stop me: I am the King's Hanover Equipage going
to fetch his Majesty to England."

At the Royal Exchange a placard was posted up with this notice: "It is
reported that his Hanover Majesty designs to visit his British dominions
for three months in the Spring." On the gate of St. James's Palace
appeared this advertisement: "Lost or strayed out of this house, a man
who has left a wife and six children on the parish; whoever will give
any tidings of him to the church wardens of St. James's Parish, so as he
maybe got again, shall receive four shillings and sixpence reward.

"N.B. This reward will not be increased, nobody judging him to deserve a
crown." There were many more such notices; but we have quoted enough
to give an idea of what complaining there was because King George loved
Germany, and did not take the pains to conceal it.

During the king's absence Queen Caroline governed, with Walpole for
adviser and assistant; but every measure they decided upon was submitted
to the Cabinet Council, who were required to sanction and sign each
document before it was carried into effect. This was wise management,
{105}because the responsibility was thus shared by a number of people,
though Walpole acted quite independently. In 1736 the queen had a
great deal of trouble as regent, for there were corn-riots in the West,
labor-riots in London, because there were so many Irishmen there who
were willing to work at cheaper rates than the English, and smugglers on
the coasts who were in league with the peasantry. This class of people
gave special uneasiness, because whenever they were opposed they cursed
the queen, as well as "the foreign prince," as they called the king, and
cheered for James III. The disturbance became so great that the guard
around Kensington Palace had to be doubled, the person of the queen
not being considered safe. A large part of the trouble was due to
intoxication, which increased depravity among the lower orders to an
alarming degree.

So a bill was introduced before parliament to prohibit the sale of gin.
It did little good, however; for the horrid stuff was sold under such
names as Sangree, Tom Row, Cuckold's Comfort, Parliament Gin, Make
Shift, The Last Shift, Ladies' Delight, King Theodore, Cholic and Gripe
Waters. Gin-shops disappeared and gave place to chemists, who had whole
rows of bottles labelled, "Take two or three spoonfuls of this four or
five times a day, or as often as the fit takes you." When these
people were arrested and brought before the courts, they said that
apothecary-shops were more in demand than ever before, because the "late
act of parliament had caused people to suffer so much from cholic that
they had constantly to buy medicine." There were those who informed
against others for selling gin, either privately or under a false name,
merely for the gratification of some spite, or from a feeling of envy;
but when they fell into the hands of the mob they paid dearly for it,
for they were beaten, rolled in the dirt, held under a pump, or ducked
in the horse-pond or in the Thames. {106}There were disturbances in
Scotland, too, the most formidable of which was known as the Porteous
riot, because a captain of that name was one of the principal victims of
it. Sir Walter Scott has given an excellent and most interesting account
of this riot in one of the most popular of his novels. He says that
Captain John Porteous was the son of a citizen of Edinburgh, who did all
in his power to bring him up to an honest trade; but the boy was so wild
and dissipated that at last he was sent to join the army in Holland,
with the hope that the discipline would improve his morals. Some years
later he returned to his native city, where he was employed by the
magistrates to drill the City Guard, because he was supposed to possess
military skill. It was not long before he was made captain, and his very
name became a terror to all disturbers of the public peace, because he
was so harsh and severe. He commanded a corps of a hundred and twenty
soldiers, whose duty it was to preserve order, and prevent street
robberies and mobs; yet whenever there was a public holiday there
was sure to be a skirmish between the City Guard and the rabble of
Edinburgh, who really hated them.

Among the smugglers that abounded all along the coast of Scotland was
one Andrew Wilson, a man possessed of so much strength, courage,
and cunning, that he did not hesitate to conduct the most desperate
enterprises. He frequently managed to escape the king's officers; but
they watched him so closely that they were able to seize all the wares
he smuggled into the country and completely ruined him. He, like many
others, could not see the justice of taxation, and looked upon himself
as a man deprived of his honest dues, and resolved to get back what he
could, in one way or another, from the government. So, hearing that a
tax collector had come to the town, with a considerable sum of public
money, Wilson decided to seize him and {107}take from him
just the amount of which he had been deprived. He associated himself for
this purpose with a young man named Robertson and two others, who, after
carefully watching the movements of the collector, broke into the house
where he lodged, and entered his apartment. As soon as the collector
beheld three armed men,--for Robertson, the fourth, kept watch at the
house-door,--he suspected that his life was in danger, and jumped out of
the window in his night-shirt. The plunderers then helped themselves to
two hundred pounds; but no sooner had they made their escape than one of
the accomplices gave the alarm; the military were called in, Wilson and
Robertson were caught with the money concealed about their persons; both
were tried and condemned to death. As public sympathy was always with
smugglers, and they were generally regarded by the country people along
the coast as brave, worthy traders, this sentence was considered too
severe. On the other hand, the act had been so audacious that it was
thought proper to make an example of the culprits. When it seemed
certain that sentence of death was really to be executed, files and
other implements were conveyed secretly to the prisoners to enable them
to escape. Thus provided, they cut through a bar of one of the prison
windows, and might have got off, had it not been for Wilson's obstinacy.
Robertson was a young, slender man, and knew that he could pass through
the opening, when he proposed to enlarge it from the outside, to enable
Wilson, who was very fat, to pass also. Wilson insisted on going first;
but all the pushing and squeezing in the world availed nothing, and the
poor man stuck fast half way, without being able to advance or recede.
In this plight he was discovered by the jailer, who took the necessary
precautions to prevent the recurrence of such an attempt. Robertson did
not once reproach his companion; but Wilson {108}was greatly distressed,
because he knew that but for him Robertson would not have got into
trouble at all, and that he had injured him a second time by not
permitting him to pass through the window first, when he might have
escaped. So his whole thought was turned towards devising some means for
the rescue of the young man, for he cared nothing about his own fate.

Next to the Edinburgh city jail was a church, to which criminals under
sentence of death were led by a strong guard on the Sunday previous to
their execution. Wilson and Robertson, each between two soldiers of the
City Guard, sat in the pew set apart for persons in their unfortunate
situation on a certain Sunday, while the officiating clergyman preached
an affecting sermon, part of which was ad#-dressed to the prisoners.
Robertson wept, but Wilson's countenance bore a look of fixed
determination, and his thoughts seemed far away. The congregation
glanced towards the two men, but their suspicion was not excited by
anything they saw; on the contrary, compassion was aroused, and after
the benediction had been pronounced, many lingered to take a last look,
as they supposed, at the unfortunate criminals. Suddenly Wilson seized
two of the soldiers, one with each hand, called to his companion, "Run,
Geordie, run!" threw himself on the third, and fastened his teeth in the
collar of his coat. For an instant Robertson was so taken aback that he
did not stir, but the cry of "Run, run!" that arose from every part of
the church recalled him to himself; so he shook off the grasp of the
fourth soldier, jumped over the pew-railing, and disappeared through
the church door, the crowd making way for him, and covering his retreat.
From that time the practice of taking culprits to church has been
discontinued.

Now Wilson was looked upon as a hero, and it was whispered that the mob
of Edinburgh, who always favored {109}such offenders, would help him to
escape also. Murmurs to this effect reached the ears of the magistrates,
who ordered John Porteous to be at the place of execution with the
City Guard at the time appointed for Wilson to expiate his crime. This
defence not being deemed sufficient, a regular infantry regiment besides
was drawn up on the principal streets of the city, to intimidate the
people in case they purposed any interference with the officers of
justice.

John Porteous became most indignant at this arrangement, for he was
jealous of the sound of any drums besides his own within the city
limits. He could not vent his ill-humor on the magistrates, but resolved
to do so on poor Wilson, whom he ordered to be manacled as soon as he
was delivered over to his charge by the prison keeper. This was done to
prevent any possibility of escape, but the handcuffs were too small for
the wrists of so powerful a man as Wilson, so the captain forced them
on with his own hands until they clasped, and tortured the criminal
dreadfully. Wilson remonstrated against such barbarity, and declared
that the pain distracted his thoughts from their proper course at such a
solemn moment.

"It signifies little," replied Captain Porteous; "your pain will soon be
at an end."

"Your cruelty is great," answered the sufferer. "You know not how soon
you yourself may have occasion to ask the mercy which you are now
refusing to a fellow-creature. May God forgive you."

As these words were repeated among the crowd, compassion for Wilson was
increased with a proportionate degree of indignation against Porteous,
who was much disliked by the common people. When the criminal arrived
at the Grass-market, the place of execution, the multitude attempted no
violence, and the sentence of the law was fulfilled in due form. {110}No
sooner was life extinct than by a sudden impulse, angry murmurs filled
the air, which increased to whoops, howls, and yells, while the mob
pressed forward and threw stones at Porteous and his men. One young man
with a cap slouched over his face jumped upon the scaffold and cut down
the body dangling there, while others approached to carry it off. This
excited the fury of Captain Porteous, who snatched a musket from one of
his soldiers, gave the order to fire, and set the example by shooting a
man dead on the spot. Six or seven others were slain, and a great many
were wounded. This was an unjustifiable act of violence on the part of a
man whose duty it was to preserve peace and order, and he recognized it
as such when his rage had subsided.

On his return to the guard-house Porteous dismissed his men, and went
to make his report of the day's proceedings to the magistrates, glossing
over his own part in them as much as possible. The public indignation
was great, and before it had time to cool Captain Porteous was brought
up for trial before the High Court of Justiciary. There was so much
conflicting evidence that the jury had a long and tedious task; but
at the end their verdict was such that the captain was condemned to be
hanged on September 8, and all his movable property confiscated to the
crown, according to the Scottish law in cases of wilful murder.

On the day appointed for the execution, Grass-market was crowded almost
to suffocation, and every window of the surrounding tenement-houses
was filled with spectators. Few words were spoken, but there was an
expression in men's faces that showed determination as they watched for
the approach of the criminal with a feeling of triumphant revenge. Had
the captain appeared upon the scaffold some sympathy might have been
awakened in his behalf, but the longer the delay the greater became the
{111}animosity against him. Among the magistrates and the better class
of the Scotch people Porteous had been a favorite officer, for he had
proved himself a reliable man in cases of emergency, and it was argued
that on the occasion of the Wilson execution his conduct might have been
caused by an imprudent excess of zeal. So a petition, signed by a vast
number of the nobility and gentry, was sent to Queen Caroline, asking
her to exercise the mercy of the crown in the captain's behalf.

Just at the last moment, when all preparations for the execution had
been completed, a reprieve, granting a respite of six weeks, arrived
with the queen regent's signature. The news, which the magistrates
almost feared to communicate, was at length announced, and spread like
lightning among the crowd.

There were groans of indignation and disappointed revenge as the
citizens began to disperse and return to their respective homes; but
some of them gathered in knots, and several individuals were seen
to pass from group to group talking excitedly about the injustice of
Wilson's death, and how much more he was entitled to mercy than this
man, who had just been granted a reprieve. An Edinburgh mob, when
thoroughly excited, had always been considered one' of the fiercest that
could be found in Europe, and it was not easy to suppress them. They
took their departure from Grass-market, but they were to be heard from
soon again; for that very night they assembled to the number of four or
five thousand, seized and closed the city gates, took possession of all
the arms belonging to the City Guard, set fire to the prison gate, and
released every prisoner confined within, excepting Captain Porteous. Him
they dragged to the place of execution, and with all the solemnity of a
legal proceeding hanged him, saying that they wanted to show the world
that no authority {112}should have power to dispense with the laws of
Scotland, while many talked in the coarsest and most opprobrious terms
of the queen and her reprieve. As soon as this horrible murder was
committed the mob was appeased and dispersed without further violence to
any one.

Queen Caroline was excessively indignant, particularly with Captain
Moyle, commander of the troops, who had refused to use his authority in
suppressing the riot. She declared that he deserved to be shot by order
of court-martial quite as much as the rioters deserved to be hanged.
Even Sir Robert Walpole, who tried to soften her majesty's temper,
acknowledged that Moyle had acted like a fool, knave, and coward.

When the Edinburgh jail was thrown open by the mob on the night of the
Porteous murder, there was among the prisoners a lovely, fair-haired
young woman, named Effie Deans, who had been arrested on a charge of
having killed her infant. This circumstance would not be in place here,
excepting as it led to an act of sympathy and generosity on the part of
Queen Caroline which shows a pleasing trait in her character.

Effie Deans had a sister, ten years older than herself, named Jeanie,
who was so much distressed at the punishment of one in whose innocence
she had the utmost confidence, that she was determined to get a pardon
for her if possible. For that purpose she applied to Mr. Butler, a young
minister, to whom she was engaged to be married. He, too, believed
in Effie's innocence, and resolved to aid his lady-love in her worthy
endeavor to save her sister. After a few moments of reflection he
remembered that his father and grandfather had rendered important
service to the ancestors of the Duke of Argyle, whose influence with
Queen Caroline was very great; he, therefore, gave Jeanie a paper,
which had descended as an heirloom in his family, {113}stating that
in consideration of the aid rendered to the Argyle family, all the
descendants thereof were earnestly enjoined to grant any reasonable
demand that might ever be made by the Butlers.

Armed with this document, Jeanie sought the presence of the duke, who,
after inquiring into her sister's trouble and carefully examining the
paper she gave him, told her to come to him two days later, and he would
do his best to serve her, adding: "But God has the hearts of kings in
his own hand."

Instead of waiting for Jeanie Deans the Duke of Argyle sent one of his
servants the next day in a coach to fetch her, and after a long drive
she found herself on a turnpike road leading to London. The duke's
servant got down from the carriage, and opened the door just as his
master appeared. "You have been punctual, I see, Jeanie," said the duke
as he placed her in a large chariot drawn by four horses, and seated
himself by her side, giving his footman an order to drive forward
rapidly. It is not our province to give all the details of this
interesting adventure, which anybody may read in Sir Walter Scott's
"Heart of Midlothian" for himself; we will mention only that part of it
which refers to the queen.

When Jeanie walked into the gardens of Kensington Palace with the Duke
of Argyle, she saw two ladies strolling about. They were her majesty and
an attendant; but the young girl did not suspect the rank of the person
whom the duke approached and conversed with for several minutes, while
she stood at some distance away. Neither could she hear what was said,
but presently she was told by a signal from the duke to advance.

Queen Caroline smiled at the shy, awkward manner of the quiet, demure
little Scotchwoman as she came towards her, and in a low, sweet voice,
with a broad northern ac- {114}cent, asked "her leddyship to have pity
on a poor misguided young creature."

"Stand up, young woman," said the queen, in a kind tone, "and tell me
what sort of barbarous folk your country people are, where child-murder
is become so common as to require the restraint of laws like yours?"

"If your leddyship pleases," answered Jeanie, "there are _mony_ places
besides Scotland where mothers are unkind to their ain flesh and blood."

And so the conversation went on until Queen Caroline was in possession
of the whole of Effie's sad story, and then she said: "I fear you have
had a long journey to little purpose; since, if the king were to pardon
your sister, in all probability it would do her little good, for I
suppose your people of Edinburgh would hang her out of spite." The queen
spoke thus because she was still very angry at the contempt with which
her reprieve had been treated in the case of John Porteous. But Jeanie
replied: "I am confident that baith town and country wad rejoice to see
his majesty taking compassion on a poor unfriended creature."

"His majesty has not found it so of late," said the queen; "but, hark
you, young woman, had you any friends engaged in the Porteous mob?"

"No, madam," replied Jeanie, pleased that she could say so with truth;
"I would hae gaen to the end of the earth to save the life of John
Porteous, or any other unhappy man in his condition; but he is dead and
gane to his place, and they that have slain him must answer, for their
ain act. But my sister--my puir sister Effie, still lives, though her
days and hours are numbered! She still lives, and a word of the king's
mouth might restore her to a broken-hearted auld man, that never, in his
daily and nightly exercise, forgot to pray that his majesty might

{115}

[Illustration: 0121]

{117}be blessed with a long and a prosperous reign. Oh, madam, if ever
ye kend what it was to sorrow for and with a suffering creature, whose
mind is sae tossed that she can be neither ca'd fit to live or die, have
some compassion on our misery! Save an honest house from dishonor, and
an unhappy girl, not eighteen years of age, from an early and dreadful
death! Alas! it is not when we sleep soft and wake merrily ourselves
that we think on other people's sufferings. Our hearts are waxed light
within us then, and we are for righting our ain wrangs and fighting our
ain battles. But when the hour of trouble comes to the mind or to the
body--and seldom may it visit your leddyship--and when the hour of death
comes, that comes to high and low--lang and late may it be yours--oh, my
leddy, then it isna what we hae dune for oursells, but what we hae dune
for others, that we think on maist pleasantly. And the thoughts that ye
hae intervened to spare the puir thing's life, will be sweeter in that
hour, come when it may, than if a word of your mouth could hang the
the Porteous mob at the tail of ae tow." The tears flowed down
Jeanie's cheeks as she pleaded for her sister's life, and all present
were touched at her simple, solemn manner. "This is eloquence," said her
majesty to the Duke of Argyle.. "Young woman," she continued, addressing
herself to Jeanie, "I cannot grant a pardon to your sister; but
you shall not want my warm intercession with his majesty. Take this
housewife case," she continued, putting a small embroidered needle-case
into Jeanie's hands; "do not open it now, but at your leisure you
will find something in it which will remind you that you have had an
interview with Queen Caroline." Jeanie had begun to suspect to whom she
was speaking; but as soon as her suspicion was confirmed she dropped
upon her knees speechless with gratitude. After a few {118}courteous
remarks addressed to the duke, Queen Caroline withdrew.

It is only necessary for us to add that upon opening the needle-case at
the duke's request, as they were driving back home, Jeanie Deans found,
besides the usual assortment of silks, needles, scissors, etc., a
bank-bill for fifty pounds; and her sister's pardon was sent to her
before many days had elapsed. The story, so beautifully related by
Scott, is founded on fact; but the name of the young girl who sought
the interview with the Duke of Argyle in behalf of her sister is a
fictitious one.

In October King George wrote the queen to remove from Kensington to St.
James's, saying that the season being far advanced, and the house in
which she was living reputed to be damp, he thought it would be better
for her health, besides she would be nearer the ministers. She did not
obey, because she knew that her husband did not mean what he wrote, but
preferred to have her live in retirement, as she was doing, until his
return.

Frederick, however, removed to London, but left his suite in the
country, so that he could not be accused of setting up a rival court,
and of thus acting in direct disobedience to his father's commands. He
charmed the public by sending five hundred pounds to the Lord Mayor for
the purpose of releasing poor freemen of the city. To be sure he was
deeply involved in debt as usual, and his creditors would have preferred
to get the money themselves; nevertheless, his act was a liberal one,
and formed a strong contrast to his father, who spent large sums in
Germany, much to the disgust of his English subjects.

On the eighth of December the king left Hanover to return to England,
and arrived at Helvoetsluys, the seaport, on the eleventh of the same
month. His daughter, Anne, was dangerously ill at the Hague; but he did
not take time {119}even to inquire how she was, so impatient did he feel
to get back to his Caroline. Everybody in London was on the lookout for
their sovereign, for it was known that he had reached the-Holland coast,
and as the weather was fine it was expected that he would be among them
in a few days. But the wind changed, a violent storm ensued, and such
a terrific hurricane blew from the west that fears were entertained for
the king's safety. People began to bet on the time of his sailing, and
the probabilities of his having gone to the bottom of the ocean. Day
succeeded day; still no news; the excitement increased. Walpole began to
discuss the situation of the royal family, and to consider what sort of
a ruler the Prince of Wales would make,--how he would treat his mother,
sisters, and brother, who would rule him, and whom he would bully. Lord
Hervey had a private conversation with the queen on the subject, and
assured her that she would be able to govern her son as easily as she
had her husband; but she could not be induced to believe that, called
Frederick a fool, and wondered at his popularity, which seemed perfectly
incomprehensible to her. Hour after hour reports came of losses at sea;
the Harwich guns had been heard at a distance, and they were regarded
as signals of distress from the royal fleet. The queen would not believe
that the king was drowned, though Frederick had informed her that little
doubt remained, and began to assume lordly airs as he grew more and more
convinced of his own advancement. But all his high hopes were dashed to
the ground when a courier arrived, having risked his life to bring the
news to England that King George had not sailed when he expected, and
was still at Helvoetsluys awaiting favorable winds and weather.

At last favorable weather did come, and the royal fleet set sail, but it
was overtaken by a storm far more severe than the one that had detained
it before. This time Queen {120}Caroline was excessively anxious, for
she saw there was real cause for alarm. The ships that had comprised the
royal fleet were dashed ashore at various points along the coast, some
of them totally wrecked, and it was reported that the last seen of the
vessel which bore the king was when she was tacking, and it was hoped
that his majesty might have got safely back to Helvoetsluys, though
there were strong doubts.

Christmas-day came around, and still no king. St. James's palace
presented a most gloomy appearance. The queen and her attendants
played cards in the evening, and every one tried to appear cheerful and
hopeful, but their thoughts were far away, and all were prepared for the
worst. The next day, being Sunday, Caroline attended chapel, resolved
to keep up her courage until she was positive that her husband had
perished. In the midst of the service a letter was handed to her from
the king, which she opened at once. Considering the anxiety she had
endured she is to be excused for that, for she afterwards declared that
her heart had been heavier that day than ever before. His majesty wrote
that he had set sail, but the fleet had been scattered, and his ship
driven back to Holland after knocking about for nearly twenty hours. He
added that the commander, Sir Charles Wager, was entirely to blame, for
he had hurried him aboard with the assurance that wind and tide were
both favorable.

This statement was entirely false, for it was George himself who had
insisted on setting sail, and he had even declared that if Sir Charles
refused he would go over in a packet-boat, adding, "Be the weather what
it may, I am not afraid."

"I _am_," was the seaman's reply. "But I want to see a storm," said
the king, "and would sooner be twelve hours in one than be shut up for
twenty-four hours more at this place."

"Twelve hours in a storm!" cried

{121}

[Illustration: 0127]

{123}Sir Charles, "four hours would do your business for you." The
commander would not sail until the wind was fair, and when he did so,
he said, "Although your majesty can compel me to go, I can make you
come back again." And he was right, for the storm that overtook them was
awful, and their return to the Dutch coast was attended by a great deal
of danger. On landing Sir Charles said, "Sir, you wished to see a storm;
how does your majesty like it?" "So well," replied the king, "that I
never wish to see another."

[[A.D. 1737.]] Queen Caroline wrote a letter to her husband
congratulating him on his safety, and he sent one in return filled with
terms of affection and praise. He passed five long, tedious weeks at
Helvoetsluys, and did not arrive in England until the fifteenth of
January. Contrary to his usual habit, he came from Germany in a splendid
humor, smiled on every one, complimented his wife, and declared her to
be the most superior woman in the world. One thing made him very angry,
and that was when any of the ministers inquired after his health. He
really was not well, for his experience at sea had upset him dreadfully;
but any man who presumed to refer to his illness was pronounced a
"puppy," and treated with supreme contempt.

Soon after his return to England the king was much annoyed about the
income of the Prince of Wales, but the manner in which it was settled
by parliament gave both his majesty and Queen Caroline perfect
satisfaction. This means, of course, that the prince did not get what he
asked for, because, if he had, their majesties would have been very much
displeased. Queen Caroline was so anxious for her son William to succeed
to the throne that she would have given anything if Frederick could have
been put out of the way; but she was not to be gratified, {124}and even
if she had been, the little daughter born to the Princess of Wales on
the thirty-first of July, would have stood in William's path.

The child was named Augusta, and the Prince of Wales had behaved so
badly towards his parents about the time when she appeared in the world
that he was requested to leave St. James's Palace. He removed with his
wife and baby to Kew, and from that time he and his mother never spoke
to each other.

In September the Prince and Princess of Wales held a levee at Carlton
House, when the lord mayor and other officials of the city offered
congratulations on the birth of the Princess Augusta, and many friends
gathered about the prince, anxious to show him that they considered him
oppressed, and wished to prove themselves his partisans. He invariably
discussed his father's treatment of him, but always blamed the queen
for it. Probably this was because she was unwomanly, and unlike a mother
enough to call him by the harshest and most disgraceful names whenever
she had occasion to speak of him at all, and these were no doubt
repeated to him.

If the prince's levees were crowded so were the king's, for his birthday
drawing-room, on the thirtieth of October, was the most splendidly
attended of any that had been celebrated since his accession. This was
very gratifying to King George, and put him in a most amiable mood, but
it was not long to continue; for the queen, whose health had been poor
for many months, though she had endeavored to conceal it, now grew
visibly worse. Yet such was her love for the king, and so anxious was
she to gratify every desire of his, that even when suffering from an
attack of gout she would often plunge her whole leg in cold water, in
order that she might be able to attend him in a walk of three or four
miles. But such treatment only {125}aggravated the disease, and in the
month of August Queen Caroline was so ill that a report was circulated
of her death, and all the London shop windows displayed mourning
materials in place of the gay ones that had decorated them before. The
mourning was premature, however, for the royal patient rallied, and
was able to walk with the king in the gardens of Hampton Court several
times.

[Illustration: 0131]

However, in November of the same year she had a more serious attack,
which finally proved fatal. Queen Caroline was a woman of such energy
and will that she would not succumb until the end. On the morning of the
ninth she got up as usual, but was obliged to return to bed for several
{126}hours. There was to be a drawing-room that day, and as the king
always said that there was neither grace, gayety, nor dignity on such
occasions when the queen was absent, she exerted herself to attend, and
he was inconsiderate enough to permit her to do so. Before long Lord
Hervey noticed how much she was suffering, and urged her to retire; she
refused at first, but finding herself growing weaker she sent for the
king, who was in another part of the room discussing the merits of the
last burlesque performance. At length he answered the summons, and,
without any pretense of sympathy, led the queen from the room, no
doubt with a feeling of great annoyance at having his entertainment
interrupted. This was her last appearance in public.

She was put to bed, and Princess Caroline, who was herself in bad
health, watched beside her mother until long past midnight. Then the
king relieved her; that is, robed in a comfortable morning gown, he lay
on the outside of her majesty's bed, and scarcely left her room enough
to turn over. Besides, he was not quite comfortable, and so grumbled at
being kept awake, and did more harm than good to the sufferer.

On the' following day the queen was bled, but continued to grow worse.
That did not prevent his majesty from giving directions about the
lace ruffles that were to be sewed in his coat-sleeves in time for the
reception of the foreign ministers, before whom he was always desirous
of making a display.

The Princesses Caroline and Amelia watched by their dying mother with
all the devotion of dutiful, affectionate daughters, but they were
not to be rewarded by seeing her recover; for on the thirteenth the
physicians announced that their royal patient was beyond hope of
recovery. She took a solemn, tender farewell of all her children, except
ing {127}the Prince of Wales, and Anne, who was in Holland, and whose
presence in London was not desired by any one.

[Illustration: 0133]

Queen Caroline loved her other children as much as she disliked the two
older ones; and her last words to the Duke of Cumberland were touching
and sensible. After giving him a great deal of counsel, she concluded by
telling him, "That should his brother. Frederick ever be king, he should
never seek to mortify him, but simply try to manifest a superiority
over him only by good actions and merit." She placed her two youngest
daughters, Louisa and Mary, under the care of the gentle Caroline, and
then took leave of the king, who was overcome with grief.

The queen expressed no desire to see Walpole, but he sought an
interview, and then she requested him to take care of the king. All this
time no member of the royal family had suggested that a priest should
be sent for; but {128}for the gratification of public-opinion Walpole
recommended it, though he was little better than a heathen, joked about
bishops, and laughed at High Church and Low. He addressed himself to the
Princess Amelia on the subject thus: "It will be quite as well that the
farce should be played. The Archbishop of Canterbury will perform it
decently; and the princess might bid him be as short as she liked. It
would do the queen neither harm nor good; and it would satisfy all the
fools who called them atheists if they affected to be as great fools as
they who called them so."

So Archbishop Potter was summoned, and attended the dying queen, morning
and evening, but the sacrament was not administered. It was supposed
that this ceremony could not be performed because of her majesty's
irreconcilable hatred of her eldest son, but this could not be known
positively, because all her interviews with the archbishop were private.
However, everybody felt great curiosity to know whether the solemn rite
had been administered, but when at his last visit the courtiers met the
priest and asked eagerly, "My lord, has the queen received?" The only
reply they got was, "Gentlemen, her majesty is in a most heavenly frame
of mind." What that signified they were left to guess, and we may do the
same.

Meanwhile the king passed his time praising the virtues of his wife,
which he recounted over and over again, yet whenever he entered her room
he was sure to say something rough or unkind. Once when her eyes had a
vacant look peculiar to invalids, he requested her to "stop staring in
that disagreeable way, which made her look just like a calf with its
throat cut."

On the morning of the twentieth the queen turned to her physician, and
asked, "How long can this last?"

"It will not be long," was the reply, "before your majesty will {129}be
relieved from this suffering."

"The sooner the better," said the queen. Then she began a solemn,
earnest, eloquent prayer, that excited the admiration of every one
present, for it was so beautiful and so touching. She requested to be
raised up in bed, and asked all present to offer up a prayer for her. As
she grew weaker she ordered water to be sprinkled over her, so that
she might revive and be able to listen to the appeal to Heaven in her
behalf. "Louder!" she murmured, while one or the other of her family
prayed, "louder, that I may hear." One of the princesses read the Lord's
Prayer, in which the dying queen took part; at its conclusion she looked
fixedly at those who stood weeping around her, then with a long-drawn,
feeble "so--!" expired, as the clock on the chimney-piece struck eleven.

The king kissed the face and hands of his dead wife, and then went to
his own apartment; but he was so superstitious and so afraid of ghosts
that he would not allow himself to be left alone for a moment. He kept
constantly talking about his "Caroline," and related over and over again
the different circumstances of her life. Then he would weep; but in the
midst of his tears he burst into a roar of laughter at Horace Walpole,
the brother of Sir Robert, because he presented such a grotesque
appearance when he cried.

George II. was not a man to grieve very long nor very deeply, but he
never ceased to respect the memory of his wife, and declared that he had
never seen a woman whom he thought "good enough to buckle her shoes."
Queen Caroline was mourned by a great number of people, as she well
deserved to be, but by none more than the king, to whom she had been one
of the truest, fondest wives a prince was ever blessed with. She loved
him and was faithful to him to the last. Queen Caroline was a clever,
{130}learned, good-tempered woman. Her predominant passion was pride,
the dearest pleasure of her soul was power; but to her credit it must be
recorded that she never abused the power she had over the king's mind by
employing it for the promotion of her own friends or favorites. Carlyle
says of her: "There is something stoically tragic in the history of
Caroline with her flighty vaporing, little king; seldom had foolish
husband so wise a wife."

Queen Caroline was buried at Westminster Abbey, and the Princess Amelia
acted as chief mourner. The anthem sung on that occasion was "The Ways
of Zion do Mourn," set to music by Handel.

Of course the ill-feeling between the king and the Prince of Wales
continued, and whatever courtiers visited at Carlton House dared not
show their faces at St. James's, and the king's jealousy of his son was
probably further increased when George Augustus, who afterwards reigned
as George III., was born. This event occurred on the 4th of June, 1738;
and after that the party opposed to the king gathered more and more
around the prince, while the rival courts kept the town amused.

[A.D. 1743.] For twelve years Sir Robert Walpole had kept England at
peace, but the era of war began soon after Queen Caroline's death.
George II. espoused the cause of Marie Theresa when the French tried to
deprive her of her inheritance. During that campaign the Earl of Stair,
who commanded the British troops, allowed himself to be surrounded by
the enemy near the village of Dettingen, and but for the bravery of
George II., who was present, would have lost the battle. His majesty
rode a vicious horse, which during the conflict carried him out of the
way. At length with the assistance of a soldier the animal was stopped,
and the king dismounted, saying in his broken English, "Aha! now dat I
am upon my own legs, I am sure dat I sal not run away!" {131}The Duke
of Cumberland had accompanied his father to Flanders, and when they got
back to England they met with a most enthusiastic reception. The Prince
of Wales stood at the head of the stairs of St. James's Palace with his
two sisters to receive the king, who passed him by as he would a
dog. The next year the Duke of Cumberland met with a signal defeat
at Fontenoy, and in 1748 peace was restored to England once more. The
Prince of Wales continued to oppose his father all the time, but that
did not prevent his son, Prince George, from having the Order of the
Garter conferred on him. On that occasion the little knight was carried
to the king's door in his father's arms. The Duke of Dorset received
him, and he made a speech that had been taught him by his tutor.

[[A.D. 1749.]] The dissension between George II. and his eldest son was
put an end to at last by the death of the latter, which occurred as a
result of great imprudence in 1751. The king was at Kensington when the
news reached him looking at a game of cards. "Dead, is he? Why, they
told me he was better," and that is all the regret, if it may be so
called, that the royal father felt at the loss of his first-born. But he
sent kind messages to the widow, who behaved with a great deal of sense
and courage.

She was then the mother of eight children, and her husband's death was
a severe blow. She sat beside his body for four hours before she would
believe that he was dead; then, after taking a brief repose, she went to
his writing-desk and burned all his private papers.

[[A.D. 1751.]] Frederick had had his friends, and his death was lamented
by many, though his own family were not of the number. A preacher said
of him, "He had no great parts, but he had great virtues,--indeed, they
degenerated into vices. He was very generous; but I hear his generosity
ruined a great many people; and, then, his condescension {132}was such
that he kept very bad company." It is rather hard to decide whether this
was intended for praise or censure; but a Jacobite epitaph that appeared
at the time is decidedly more conclusive. It was to this effect:--

                   "Here lies Fred,

                   Who was alive and is dead

                   Had it been his father,

                   I had much rather.

                   Had it been his brother,

                   Still better than another.

                   Had it been his sister,

                   No one could have missed her.

                   Had it been the whole generation,

                   Still better for the nation:

                   But since't is only Fred,

                   Who was alive and is dead,

                   There is no more to be said."

One of George II.'s earliest acts after the death of the Prince of Wales
was to appoint his wife regent, in case of his own death before the
next heir should be of age. This gave great offence to William, Duke of
Cumberland; but the king did not trouble himself about such a trifle,
and devoted the rest of his life to gayety and politics.

The young Pretender is said to have visited England more than once for
the purpose of finding out what the populace thought of him. One day the
king asked a certain lord where Charles Edward was. "Upon my word, sire,
I don't exactly know," was the reply. "I suppose he is in Italy; but
I'll consult my last despatches."

"Poh, poh! man," said the king, "don't trouble your head about
despatches; I'll tell you where he is: he is now at No.--, in the
Strand, and last night he was at Lady--------'s party.
What shall we do with him?" The lord proposed calling a council to
decide, but the king said, "No, no; we can manage the business without a
council. Let him stay where he is at present; and when the poor man has
{133}amused himself with looking about London, he will go home again."

George II. had no taste for art, science, nor literature, and never
pretended to have. "I hate bainting and boetry too," he used to say,
"neider de one nor de oder ever did any good!" But he loved the theatre,
opera, and masquerades. Once when he was in Hanover he was visited by
the Princess of Orange and Maria of Hesse-Cassel with their husbands. At
that time his court was very brilliant, and he gave a magnificent mask
ball in honor of his guests in the theatre of Herrenhausen. The stage
was splendidly decorated, and the garden surrounding the theatre was
illuminated with colored lanterns. All the ladies and gentlemen appeared
in white satin dominos, and every detail of the ball was conducted with
unusual magnificence. A grand supper was served on three long tables,
and the dancing was kept up until broad daylight.

A few days later there was an assembly at the opera-house, when the king
appeared in a richly embroidered Turkish costume, with a striped silk
turban, in which was an agraffe of rare and costly diamonds, Dapper
little George danced and capered about with his red face, white
eyebrows, and goggle eyes, in a manner that would have been more
becoming to a man of twenty than one of sixty.

[[A.D. 1760.]] The latter years of King George's life were passed as
regularly as clockwork. At night he played cards in the apartments of
his daughters, Amelia and Caroline, with some favored officers of
his own household, and two or three of the late queen's ladies. Every
Saturday he made a pleasure trip to Richmond, where, with a party of
courtiers, he dined. They went in coaches, drawn by six horses, in the
middle of the day, with the horse-guards kicking up the dust before
them, dined, walked an hour in {134}the garden, and returned in the same
dusty procession. This was considered enjoyment.

When the young and beautiful Duchess of Hamilton was presented to King
George, just after her marriage, he conversed with her for a long time,
and was much pleased with her naturalness and vivacity. He asked
her what striking public sights she had witnessed, whereupon she
thoughtlessly replied: "Oh! I have seen so much, there is only one sight
in the world which I wish to behold, and that is a coronation." The
old king gently took her hand in his, and with a sigh, exclaimed, "I
apprehend you have not long to wait; you will soon have your desire."

On the twenty-fifth of October, he arose about his usual hour, and
seemed well; he called for his chocolate, and inquired the direction of
the wind, as if anxious for the arrival of his foreign mails. He then
opened the window, and said he would walk into the garden; but he
stopped, and with a deep sigh, fell to the ground, saying, faintly,
"Call Amelia," and then expired. He was raised and laid upon the bed. It
was found, on examination, that he had died of rupture of the heart.

The funeral took place the following month, at night. The king's chamber
was hung with purple velvet, and lit up with silver lamps; the coffin
was placed on a dais under a canopy of purple velvet, surrounded by
silver candelabra, on high stands.

The procession passed through a double line of foot-guards, every
seventh man bearing a torch. The horse-guards formed an outside line,
and all their officers Wore crape sashes and carried drawn sabres. As
the coffin was borne along, minute-guns were fired, bells tolled, and a
funeral march was played on fifes, with muffled drums for accompaniment.
The procession was met at the entrance to the Abbey by the dean and
chapter in rich robes, all the {135}choir and almsmen bearing torches.
Arriving at the chapel of Henry VIL, the bishop read the prayers for
the dead, which were succeeded by an anthem. The Duke of Cumberland, as
chief mourner, stood at the entrance of the vault, in which his father's
remains were placed beside those of his mother.

He looked very tall in his black cloak, with a train live yards long,
which must have felt very heavy during the two hours he was kept
standing. But he bore the ordeal firmly, in spite of his lame leg, and
the thought that he must soon follow his father. He had had a paralytic
stroke, from which he had not entirely recovered. He lived five years
longer. {136}



CHAPTER IV. CHARLOTTE SOPHIA, WIFE OF GEORGE III.

(A.D. 1744-1818.)

|Long before his death, George II. began to look about for a wife for
his grandson, George William Frederick, whose father, Frederick, Prince
of Wales, died when the young prince was only thirteen years of
age. This event made young George heir to the throne of England;
consequently, it was by no means an unimportant matter to decide upon
a lady worthy of the honor of marrying him. Before telling how it was
settled, let us take a look at the early life and education of the
prince.

He was such a feeble infant at the time of his birth that he was
baptized privately on the following day; but a month later he had
improved so much that this ceremony was repeated in public, when the
King-of Prussia and the Duke of Saxe-Gotha were god-fathers by proxy,
and the Queen of Prussia god-mother, also by proxy. No doubt the old
king would have stood sponsor for his first grandson if he had been
friendly with the Prince of Wales; but we know of the enmity that
existed between that father and son. It fortunately did not extend to
the grandson, who became good friends with George II,. and was admitted
on familiar terms to his presence.

[[A.D. 1748.]] George was not a bright boy at his studies; for when he
was eleven years old he could not read English, though he knew something
of Latin. Baron Stein-

{137}

[Illustration: 0143]

berg {139}was directed by the king to find out what progress the royal
children were making in their studies. He examined them, and said to
Prince George, "I will report your proficiency in Latin; but I wish you
were a little more perfect in your German grammar."

"German grammar!" exclaimed the boy, "oh, any stupid child can learn
that."

[[A.D. 1749.]] He had for drawing-master Goupy, the artist, who was very
fond of him. One day the pupil was standing behind his father's chair,
where he had been placed for punishment, when the master entered. "Sit
down, Goupy, and go on with your sketch," said the Prince of Wales. But
as the artist declared that it was impossible for him to use his pencil
with any spirit while his little friend was in disgrace, the prince was
released. George never forgot this act of consideration; and many years
later, when he was king, he met poor Goupy, then eighty-four years of
age, in great distress, tottering along the road from Kensington to
London, with bailiffs at his heels. The king stopped his carriage,
and called out, "How now, Goupy! how now! What's the matter?" The aged
artist replied that he had been arrested for debt, but added: "As I once
took your majesty out of confinement, I trust you will not suffer me to
be imprisoned."

"O Goupy!" returned the king. "Bailiffs, eh? I can't stop the law, you
know; let it take its course. But--d'ye hear, Goupy?--Ramus shall settle
this business, and I'll take care to secure you from such dangers in
future."

[[A.D. 1750.]] It was the fashion among the Georges for each one to hate
his heir, and Frederick, Prince of Wales, did not depart from it. He
lavished all his affection on Edward, his second son; but a short time
before his death, which occurred in 1751, he sent for the prince, and,
embracing him tenderly, said: "Come, George, let us be good {140}friends
while we are suffered to be so." It was not to be for a very long time,
as he knew; but the interview made a favorable impression on the boy,
who was very much grieved when his father died. Soon after an act of
parliament made the Princess-Dowager of Wales guardian and regent of
the heir-apparent during his minority; and then the boy, who had already
been made a Knight of the Garter, was created Prince of Wales and Earl
of Chester.

[[A.D. 1752.]] When, at the age of twenty-three, George III. ascended
the throne, his knowledge of books and men was very limited, though the
latter he learned to know by experience. He was about fourteen years of
age when Lord Bute began to take a share in his education, and laid the
foundation of his future influence over the mind of the prince.

[[A.D. 1756.]] George William Frederick was not more than seventeen
years old when, as we have said, his grandfather began to think of a
wife for him.

While the king was thus interesting himself for his grandson, that young
prince fell in love with Lady Sarah Lennox, a virtuous, beautiful young
English girl, whom Walpole thus describes: "There was a play at Holland
House, acted by Children: not all children, for Lady Sarah Lennox and
Lady Susan Strangways played the women. They were delightful, and acted
with so much nature that they appeared the very people they represented.
Lady Sarah was more beautiful than you can conceive; and her very
awkwardness gave an air of' truth to the sham of the part. When Lady
Sarah was in white, with her hair about her ears and on the ground, no
Magdalen of Correggio was half so lovely and expressive."

[[A.D. 1760.]] Although George admired Lady Sarah, he could not marry
her, because she was English, therefore his subject; but he was wise
enough to choose a bride for {141}himself at last. A princess of
Saxe-Gotha had been selected by the royal mother and Lord Bute; but
the king said he had already had enough of that family. Then a Colonel
Graeme was sent to visit all the German courts in search of a princess,
good, beautiful, and accomplished. At Pyrmont he happened to fall in
with the Princess-Dowager of Strelitz, with her two daughters. There
was very little etiquette observed at this watering-place. The young
princesses went about with a good deal of freedom, which was the more
agreeable to them, because it formed such a contrast to the stiffness
and formality of the life at their little court. Colonel Graeme was thus
afforded an opportunity of approaching them; and it was not long before
he decided that the Princess Charlotte was in every way a desirable
person to become the wife of the future King of England.

This princess was born at the palace of Mirow, May 16, 1744; and her
early education was conducted by her mother, with the assistance of an
accomplished, noble lady. She was not more than seven years of age when
Madame de Grabow began to instruct her. This lady was possessed of such
poetical talent as to be called "the German Sappho," and proved of great
service to her pupil, who became, under her tuition, a good German,
French, and Italian scholar. The princess was well instructed besides
in history, geography, and mineralogy; danced with grace, sketched well,
and showed a great deal of talent for music. Above all, she was good and
religious.

So Colonel Graeme's report was favorable; but George would not have
consented to wed the princess if he had not known something more about
her, and this was through a letter, said to have been written by her to
the King of Prussia, which by some means fell into George's hands. It
was during the Continental war, when the towns and villages {142}of the
duchy of Mecklenburgh were occupied by the Prussian troops, that this
letter was written. Her native land was subjected to such misery that
many families were obliged to seek homes elsewhere; and it was under
the impulse of strong excitement that the princess addressed the King of
Prussia, thus:--

"May it please your Majesty,--

"I am at loss whether I should congratulate or condole with you on your
late victory over Marshal Daun, since the same success which has
covered you with laurels has overspread the country of Mecklenburgh with
desolation. I know, sire, that it seems unbecoming my sex in this age of
vicious refinement to feel for one's country, to lament the horrors of
war, or to wish for the return of peace. I know you may think it more
properly my province to study the arts of pleasing, or to inspect
subjects of a more domestic nature; but, however unbecoming it may be in
me, I cannot resist the desire of interceding for this unhappy people.

"It was but a very few years ago that this territory wore a most
pleasing appearance; the country was cultivated, the peasants looked
cheerful, and the towns abounded with riches and festivity. What an
alteration at present from such a charming scene! I am not expert at
description, nor can my fancy add any horrors to the picture; but surely
even conquerors themselves would weep at the hideous prospects now
before me. The whole country--my dear country!--lies one frightful
waste; presenting only objects to excite terror, pity, and despair. The
employments of the husbandman and the shepherd are quite suspended; for
the husbandman and the shepherd are become soldiers themselves, and
help to ravage the soil which they formerly cultivated. The towns
are inhabited only by old men, women, and children; while, perhaps,
{143}here and there a warrior, by wounds or loss of limbs rendered unfit
for service, is left at his door, where his little children hang round
him, ask the history of every wound, and grow themselves soldiers before
they find strength for the field. But this were nothing, did we not
feel the alternate insolence of either army as it happens to advance or
retreat in pursuing the operations of the campaign. It is impossible,
indeed, to express the confusion which they who call themselves our
friends create; for even those from whom we might expect relief only
oppress us with new calamities. From your justice, therefore, it is,
sire, that we hope redress; to you even children and women may complain,
whose humanity stoops to the meanest petitions, and whose power is
capable of repressing the greatest wrong!"

We have given the whole of this letter, because it is a remarkable
production from the pen of so young a girl. So thought the king to whom
it was addressed, for he instructed his soldiers to be more humane;
and so thought George III., who was charmed with the eloquence and kind
heart of the writer. We say George III., because by this time the young
prince had ascended the throne.

On the morning after the death of his grandfather, who had said of
him, "The boy is good for nothing but to read the Bible to his mother,"
George proceeded from Kew to St. James's Palace, accompanied by Lord
Bute. On his arrival there, he was presented by Mr. Pitt, the secretary
of state, with a paper, on which were written a few sentences that the
minister had prepared as a basis of the new king's speech to the privy
council. George thanked Mr. Pitt, but said that he had already prepared
himself; and he soon proved that he had done so, for the councillors
were astonished at the grace and dignity of his address.

Although in ordinary conversation George III. spoke so {144}rapidly that
it was almost impossible to comprehend him, in public he was perfectly
intelligible, and moderated his voice as well as any man in his
dominions. He was exceedingly popular on his accession. In his opening
speech before parliament, he--who, it must be remembered, was the first
English George,--said: "Born and educated in this country, I glory in
the name of Briton; and the peculiar happiness of my life will ever
consist in promoting the welfare of a people whose loyalty and warm
affection for me I consider as the greatest and most permanent security
of my throne; and I doubt not but their steadiness in those principles
will equal the firmness of my invariable resolution to adhere to and
strengthen this excellent constitution in church and state, and to
maintain toleration inviolable." Mr. Pitt could have prepared no speech
for the king that would have been more satisfactory than this, and he
made several others that were equally so.

On July 8, 1761, the king announced to his council that he had, after
mature reflection, come to the resolution to demand in marriage Princess
Charlotte of Mecklenburgh-Strelitz, a lady distinguished by every virtue
and amiable quality. On the fifteenth of the next month the treaty was
concluded, and preparations were immediately made to conduct the bride
to England. The Earl of Harcourt and the Duchesses of Ancaster and
Hamilton, the two finest women of the British court, were selected
to escort her; and the royal yacht in which she and her suite were to
embark was ordered to be convoyed by a fleet under the command of Lord
Anson.

[[A.D. 1761.]] Lord Harcourt wrote to a friend that the bride was "the
most amiable young princess he ever saw;" and was very enthusiastic over
the reception he had met with at the little German court, saying, "The
great honor the king has done this family is seen in its proper light."

{145}

[Illustration: 0151]

{147}His task was an easy and pleasant one, and his
testimony regarding the bride runs thus: "Our queen that is to be
has seen very little of the world; but her good sense, vivacity, and
cheerfulness, I dare say, will recommend her to the king, and make her
the darling of the British nation. She is no regular beauty; but she is
of a very pretty size, has a charming complexion, very pretty eyes,
and is, in short, a very fine girl." The two duchesses who were sent to
conduct the bride to England were such splendid-looking women that they
excited the greatest amount of admiration in Germany, and Charlotte
began to have some misgivings as to her own personal appearance when
compared with them. "Are all the women in England as beautiful as you
are?" she asked when first she saw them.

The treaty of marriage was concluded on the 15th of August, the Earl of
Hardwicke acting as the king's ambassador; and then there were two days
of state-banquets, balls, fireworks, and illuminations in the city of
Strelitz, and everybody seemed wild with joy. On the seventeenth, the
princess took leave of her family and began her journey towards the
sea-coast, being received with demonstrations of delight from the
populace wherever she stopped. When she embarked at Cuxhaven all the
ships fired a salute of twenty-one guns each, and the young bride was
so overcome that she exclaimed, "Is it possible that I can be worthy of
these honors?" The weather was so unfavorable that the squadron did not
proceed to sea until the twenty-eighth. At length, on Sunday, September
6, the royal yacht entered Harwich Roads; but, as it was not possible to
guess at the length of the voyage, no preparations had been made for the
reception of the princess, and she could not land until the next day.

Even then the king was not present, and she was received by no higher
dignitary than the mayor. In the {148}afternoon she proceeded to
Colchester, where she was entertained at the house of a private
gentleman.

On the eighth the princess arrived at Romford, where she alighted at the
house of Mr. Dalton, a wine-merchant, and waited an hour for the royal
carriages and servants, sent from London to meet her. She then took her
seat in one of the carriages with the two Duchesses of Ancaster and
Hamilton. "She wore a fly-cap," say the chroniclers, "with rich lace
lappets, a stomacher ornamented with diamonds, and a gold brocade
suit, with a white ground." Three carriages containing ladies from
Mecklenburgh and lords from St. James's preceded that of the princess,
and they all passed in procession through lines of people, militia, and
horse and foot-guards to London.

The young bride had been very gay and self-possessed throughout the
journey, but as soon as she came in sight of St. James's Palace her
courage failed; she trembled and turned pale. The Duchess of Hamilton
smiled; whereupon the princess said: "My dear duchess, you may
laugh,--you have been married twice,--but it's no joke to me."

When the royal carriage stopped at the palace gate the bride stepped
out, assisted by the lord-chamberlain, Duke of Devonshire, and advanced
into the garden as the king came forward to meet her. She sank down upon
her knees; but he quickly raised her, kissed her on the cheek, and led
her into the palace. At first sight of the German princess, George
III. was certainly disappointed; but it was only a momentary cloud that
passed over his countenance, for he treated his bride with a great deal
of tenderness and consideration always. Soon after her arrival a dinner
was served, and then the bridesmaids and the court were all presented to
the princess, who said: "_Mon Dieu, il y en a tant, il y en a tant!_" No
wonder she was appalled {149}at the sight of so many strange faces
and the sound of so many strange names. She kissed the princesses with
evident pleasure; but, when it came to offering her hand to be kissed by
those of lower rank, she had to be instructed by the king's sister, the
Princess Augusta, how to do it.

At seven o'clock in the evening the nobility congregated in the royal
chapel to witness the marriage ceremony, which was performed by the Lord
Archbishop of Canterbury. All the royal family were present, and
the king's brother, Edward, Duke of York, gave away the bride. Four
daughters of earls acted as train-bearers, or bridesmaids. Among these
was the beautiful Lady Sarah Lennox, with whom the king had once been
in love. The queen was dressed in silver brocade, with a long train of
violet-colored velvet, lined with crimson, and fastened at the shoulders
with a bunch of large pearls.

After the ceremony the king and queen occupied two state-chairs under a
canopy on one side of the altar, and the mother of the monarch sat in
a similar chair of state on the opposite side. The other members of the
royal family were seated on stools, while benches were provided for the
foreign ministers and others. At half-past ten the marriage procession
returned from the chapel, when a salute was fired from the artillery of
the park and the Tower.

While the company waited for supper the bride sang and played, and
conversed in French and German with the king, the Duke of Cumberland,
and the Duke of York. Indeed, she behaved so prettily that all were
charmed with her graceful, easy, sensible manners. At the wedding
reception everybody was presented to the young queen; but, as she was
acquainted with neither the history nor the names of the guests, she
spoke to no one. The king looked very handsome, in a rich brocaded satin
and velvet costume, and spoke good-naturedly to his bride and many of
the court ladies and gentlemen. {150}On the Sunday after their marriage
the royal couple attended divine service at the chapel, and both seemed
very happy. The next evening they went in chairs to Drury-lane Theatre,
attended by the horse-guards. The king was preceded by the Duke of
Devonshire, his lord-chamberlain, and the Honorable Mr. Finch,
his vice-chamberlain; the queen by the Duke of Manchester, her
lord-chamberlain, Lord Cantalupe, her vice-chamberlain, the Earl of
Harcourt, her master of horse, and the Duchess of Ancaster and the
Countess of Effingham. These went in carriages, and took their places in
the box of the theatre, before the royal couple appeared. Never had
such a crowd of people been seen in the streets as gathered between St.
James's Palace and the theatre, to get a glimpse of the new queen, and
never had the play-house presented so brilliant a spectacle; for all
the ladies and gentlemen wore the same rich jewelry and dresses that had
been made for the wedding drawing-room, and the house was packed from
pit to dome. The queen had never seen a dramatic entertainment-before in
her life, nor had she ever beheld such a brilliant concourse of people,
and her childish wonder and delight lit up her pleasant countenance, and
added much to her attractive appearance. There probably never was
great enjoyment without something to mar it, and this case formed no
exception; but it did not affect the royal couple personally. It was the
crowd in the streets that had their small share in the fun spoiled by
attempting to enter the theatre. Many women had their clothing torn off;
one poor girl was killed outright; a man was so trampled upon that his
recovery seemed doubtful, and many were scratched and bruised quite
seriously.

This did not deter the populace from gathering again in much larger
numbers to witness the coronation. Grand preparations had been made for
this imposing ceremony, {151}which was to be as fine as any that had
ever taken place in England. Thousands sat in the streets all night in
order to secure good places, and long before daylight the scaffoldings
which had been erected on all the street-corners were crowded. A row of
foot-soldiers was placed on either side of the street, and parties of
horse-guards at proper intervals. The coaches and chairs of the nobility
began to hurry about to their various destinations soon after daylight;
but even then the roads were so blocked up that ladies in full-dress
were in some instances forced to walk, escorted by soldiers to their
places. When it is considered that the Countess of Northampton wore
three hundred thousand pounds' worth of diamonds, and all the noble
ladies wore rich gems of great value, the military protection will not
seem superfluous, particularly in such a crowd.

Their majesties were carried in chairs from St. James's to Westminster
Hall at nine o'clock in the morning; but they had to wait until chairs
of state with the canopy were put in place, for they had been forgotten
amidst all the preparations. The whole scene was so splendid that it is
impossible to do it justice in words, and Queen Charlotte looked back
before entering the Abbey at the sea of heads and faces with perfect
amazement.

A very imposing and pretty part of the show was the procession of the
Princess-Dowager of Wales from the House of Lords to the Abbey. The
royal mother was led by the hand of her young son, William Henry, and
followed by the other members of her household, all attired in white
and silver. The princess wore a silk train short enough to require no
bearers; her long hair fell over her shoulders in ringlets, and her head
was encircled by a band of diamonds.

The Westminster boys sang _Vivat Regina_ as the queen {152}entered the
Abbey, and _Vivat Rex_ when the king appeared, then followed the usual
ceremonies, and a sermon by the Bishop of Salisbury. The Archbishop of
Canterbury placed the crowns on the heads of the sovereigns, and then
proceeded to administer the sacrament. Contrary to any precedent, the
king desired his crown to be removed, that he might appear humbly at
this ceremony; but, as the queen's crown had been fastened on with
pins to keep it secure, it was not an easy matter for her to follow the
king's example, therefore he consented that she might retain hers;
but it was to be considered simply as part of her dress, and not as
indicating any power or greatness in a person kneeling before God.

The banquet which followed cost ten thousand pounds. Earl Talbot carried
the second course to the king's table. He had taken great pains to train
his horse to back the whole length of the hall, so that on retiring the
animal would not turn his rump towards the king. So much training must
have bewildered the horse, for he backed _into_ the hall, much to the
disgust of the earl, and was heartily applauded by the spectators at his
retreat. The champion appeared on the identical charger that George II.
had ridden at the battle of Dettingen, and acted his part admirably.
Many persons of quality in the galleries let down handkerchiefs tied
together, and strings with baskets attached, for some of the good things
from the tables; for they had eaten nothing since morning, and were
almost famished.

It was the universal opinion that no public festival had ever passed
off with more _eclat_ than the coronation of George III. and Queen
Charlotte. They were both young and popular, and the nation was enjoying
a season of prosperity with political leaders who were in favor. The
removal of Pitt, the prime minister, who had been replaced {153}by Lord
Bute, was not considered a wise move on the part of George; but he had
stood in awe of that powerful statesman, and had declared, "that he
would not be the only slave in a country where it was his wish to see
all the people free."

[Illustration: 0159]

London became very gay under the new reign. The queen announced her
intention to attend the opera once a week, and that seemed a great deal
of dissipation to a woman who had been strictly educated in the smallest
and quietest of German courts. She was soon coaxed into attending the
theatre oftener, particularly as the great actor, David Garrick, was
then at his best. He had excited universal praise as Richard III., in
which he made his first appearance twenty years before. But this was
all new to the young queen, who, after witnessing one play, thirsted for
another. One night she went with the king to see "King John"; but that
play was not repeated, because {154}George III. grievously offended
Garrick by preferring another actor who took the part of Falconbridge.
As soon as the great tragedian heard of this proof of what he considered
bad taste on the part of his majesty, he would not allow "King John" to
have its run, and substituted something in which he was certain he could
have no rival.

The last splendid scene of this year was when the queen was introduced
to the citizens of London, on Lord Mayor's Day. All the royal family
left St. James's Palace at noon in great state, escorted by guards,
and cheered by crowds of people. They proceeded to the house of David
Barclay, a silk mercer, and a member of the Society of Friends. Barclay
was eighty-one years of age, and boasted of having entertained the
two other Georges on occasions similar to the one on which he welcomed
George III. and his Queen Charlotte. About a hundred Quakers had
assembled at the old man's house, which was decorated with brilliant
crimson damask, to do honor to their majesties, and each was presented
in turn. The king kissed all the women, young and old, ugly and pretty,
without distinction, and after he passed into the next room, his young
brother followed his example. A little grand-daughter of Mr. Barclay
kissed the queen's hand with so much grace that the Princess-Dowager
took her up in her arms and embraced her a dozen times. The Duke of York
was so charmed with the child that he wanted to present her to the
king; but she refused until assured that he was a prince, whereupon she
confidently put her hand in his, and permitted herself to be led. His
majesty was greatly amused when the little five-year old Quakeress told
him, "that she loved the king, though she must not love fine things, and
that her grandpapa would not allow her to kneel."

Mr. Barclay's daughters served the queen with tea; but they merely
handed it to the ladies-in-waiting, who presented {155}it on their
knees. After witnessing the procession, the royal family attended
a banquet at Guildhall, which cost eight thousand pounds. It was so
magnificent that, on retiring, the king said to the Lord Mayor, "To be
elegantly entertained I must come to this end of the city." One of the
foreign ministers described it as a feast fit only for one king to give
to another.

The year closed with an act of parliament settling forty thousand pounds
per annum on Queen Charlotte, with a dowry of a hundred thousand pounds
and two palaces, in case she should outlive the king. His majesty went
in state to the House to give the royal assent to the bill; and the
queen, who accompanied him, rose from her seat and made him a profound
curtsey in acknowledgment of the favor.

Somerset House was not considered fine enough for her majesty's town
residence, so George bought another for twenty-one thousand pounds,
and settled it on his consort. It was known as Buckingham House, and
afterwards as Queen's House, and was intended as a sort of retreat when
its owner felt disposed to retire from the ceremony and state of
St. James's Palace. It was in this house that George III. began the
formation of a library, that in the following reign was presented to the
nation, and is now in the British Museum.

The king continued for a time to be popular. In a letter written
by Horace Walpole, about this period, he says: "I saw his majesty
yesterday, and was surprised to find the levee-room had lost so entirely
the air of a lion's den. The sovereign does not stand in one spot, with
his eyes royally fixed on the ground, and dropping bits of German news;
he walks about and speaks to everybody." It was this affable manner of
George III. that pleased people, yet he could make himself disagreeable
when he chose; for {156}one historian tells us that "when anything
displeased his majesty he became sullen, silent, and cross, and would go
off to enjoy the melancholy of his own ill-humor."

[[A.D. 1762.]] Well, the royal couple established their household in
a style that would have done credit to a private family, but was not
becoming in them, because every detail was planned with an eye to
economy. Considering that the nation had made such a liberal allowance
to both the sovereigns, it was expected that they would support the
royal dignity in a manner more in accordance with the generally accepted
ideas. But they were absurdly economical, and their life was excessively
prosaic and dreary, though they were a model couple. The first
entertainment at their new house was given to about half a dozen
strangers, the whole company consisting of not more than thirty people
in all. Everybody danced excepting the king's mother, the Duchess of
Bedford, and Lady Bute. Even the king and queen, the Princess Augusta,
and her four younger brothers all danced from half after six until one
o'clock in the morning, scarcely stopping for a moment to rest, and then
the guests went home without refreshment of any kind. It was certainly
carrying economy to excess when people left a ball after several hours
of dancing, and had no supper. The famished guests must have retired in
ill-humor, and with little desire to pay so dearly in future for their
amusement. It need scarcely be said that the courtiers made fun of such
a tame entertainment, or that they were greatly disappointed because
the young couple did not establish their household on a more luxurious
scale. They had expected pleasure to reign supreme; but, instead of
that, they found an abode of gloom and meanness.

The queen's drawing-room was usually crowded; but as there were
seventeen English and Scotch unmarried

{157}

[Illustration: 0163]

{159}dukes always present, it is no wonder that ladies attended
regularly. A visit from Queen Charlotte's brother, Prince Charles of
Strelitz, was an event that disturbed the court monotony somewhat, and
so royally was that handsome young man entertained that his younger
brother afterwards spent a month in England. On that occasion, several
splendid fêtes were given in his honor by various members of the
nobility.

The most important event to the royal family of the year was the birth
of the heir-apparent, on the twelfth of August. He was christened George
Augustus Frederick the following month,--the Princess Dowager of Wales,
the Duke of Cumberland, and the Duke of Mecklenburgh acting as sponsors.
This prince reigned as George IV., and we shall tell more about him
hereafter.

[[A.D. 1763.]] Queen Charlotte was so happy in the possession of a
child of her own that she decided to do something for those who were
so unfortunate as to have lost their parents early in life; so she
established a home in Bedforshire for orphan children. A lady was placed
at the head of this establishment who received a salary of five hundred
pounds per annum, in consideration of which she was expected to
instruct the orphan girls of the Home in embroidery. Even in this act
of benevolence Queen Charlotte was somewhat calculating, for the first
piece of work produced by each girl went to her, and it always
consisted of something that could be used for window curtains, chair
or sofa-covers, or bed-quilts for one of the palaces. To be sure,
her majesty paid well for this handiwork, and performed many really
charitable acts which made her exceedingly popular.

[[A.D. 1765.]] She interfered very little with politics, but devoted
much of her time to the care of her sons, of whom she had at this time,
besides the Prince of Wales, Frederick, {160}afterwards Duke of York,
and William Henry, afterwards Duke of Clarence.

In a letter to his son, written at this period, Lord Chesterfield says
of the queen: "She is a good woman, a good wife, a tender mother, and an
unmeddling queen. The king loves her, but I verily believe has never yet
spoken to her one word about business." This is probably true, yet it
is strange; for there was much anxiety and distress in England, and
politics were in a most troubled condition.

[[A.D. 1766.]] There had been many important changes in the ministry,
and war with the colonies had increased the national debt heavily. Lord
Bute, the king's favorite, had been turned out of office, and succeeded
by George Grenville, at whose suggestion exorbitant taxes were imposed
on the American colonies. In spite of violent opposition, the stamp act
was passed by parliament, and caused great indignation among those whom
it affected. Everybody knows the important consequences of this act,
and the excitement it occasioned in the house of representatives
in Virginia, when that eloquent and popular orator, Patrick Henry,
exclaimed, "Cæsar had his Brutus, Charles the First his Cromwell, and
George the Third----------".

Cries of "Treason!" here interrupted the speaker; but, after a moment's
pause, he continued, "And George the Third may profit by their example.
If this be treason, make the most of it." We are not writing an American
history, and need not again refer to the Revolution that led to our
Independence; it has merely been referred to because of the excitement
it caused in England.

{161}



CHAPTER V.

|After an illness that lasted six weeks, King George, who knew the
seriousness of its nature, made a speech before the House of Peers,
during which he asked that an act might be passed enabling him from time
to time to appoint the queen or some other member of the royal family
as guardian to the heir-apparent, and regent of the kingdom. Parliament
granted this right.

The Duke of Cumberland died at this time. It will be remembered that he
was the favorite son of Queen Caroline, and uncle of George III. Never
was there so popular a prince, or one so winning in his ways when he was
young; but his health began to fail by the time he was twenty years of
age, and he was only forty-four at the time of his death. A paralytic
stroke had almost deprived him of the sight of one eye in his youth, and
a wound received on his leg at the battle of Dettingen, when he
fought so bravely at his father's side, had left him lame. He was so
unfortunate on the battle-field afterwards that he retired to private
life, and devoted himself to gaming and horse-racing. Then he ceased
to be a favorite; for right-minded people could not approve of such a
senseless waste of time. There is one anecdote that shows a good trait
in his character, even while he was leading a useless life.

The duke's death was followed by that of his majesty's youngest brother,
Prince Frederick, and these two events {162}cast a gloom over the royal
family for some time. The king and queen were then living at Richmond,
and amused themselves by visiting places in the neighborhood. Their
household was maintained on a very modest scale, and with a small
retinue of servants. The birth of their first daughter occurred this
year, and she was christened Charlotte Augusta. This event was succeeded
by the marriage of the king's niece, Caroline Matilda, with Christian
VII., King of Denmark. A most unfortunate union this one proved, for the
groom was in every respect a man of detestable character, and treated
his poor wife with extreme cruelty. Before ten years of married life had
passed away, this queen had been carried to Zell for safety by a British
fleet, and there she lived and died, neglected and forgotten.

[[A.D. 1768.]] We have spoken of the economy of George III. and his
wife; but they sometimes gave entertainments that were occasions of
great display when they were in town, and formed a striking contrast to
their simple, private life in the country.

Meanwhile, the royal couple were happy and contented in their domestic
life. When they were at Kew they rose at six-o'clock, and spent a
couple of hours doing exactly as they pleased, undisturbed by business
of any sort, and untrammelled by ceremony. At eight o'clock there was
a lively family breakfast, at which the sovereigns were surrounded by
their children, who at this meal were permitted to chatter freely. This
was a privilege, for in public they were taught to be silent, and it was
at this time in the day that parents and children became best acquainted
with each other. The king was so fond of riding that he passed much time
between breakfast and dinner on horseback, and even went in the rain
sometimes in this manner to attend a council meeting at St. James's.

{163}

[Illustration: 0169]

{165}Queen Charlotte, and often the king too,
presided at the children's early dinner; and every week there was a
family excursion to Richmond Gardens, where, while the young people
played, the queen would do some needle-work, and his majesty would read
aloud to her, generally from Shakespeare. In this pleasant manner the
children of George III. and Charlotte passed their early lives; and, as
the Prince of Wales and his brother of York grew older, they had a piece
of ground in the garden at Kew, which they cultivated with their own
hands. There they sowed wheat, attended the growth of their little crop,
weeded and gathered it all by themselves. They even went further: for
they threshed the grain, ground it, and attended the whole process of
making it into bread, which was eaten by the royal family with great
relish.

The Duke of York was a very little boy when he was found one day in the
cottage of one of the villagers, who lived near Kew, seated on a low
stool shelling peas, his occupation being shared by a pretty little
fair-haired girl, with whom he fancied he was very much in love. He
was closely watched after that, and not permitted to run after rustic
beauties any more.

Queen Charlotte and George III. both patronized art, though they were
rather deficient in taste. A charter was granted to the society of
artists, and Joshua Reynolds, its first president, was knighted, though
the king preferred the paintings of some less gifted artists. Benjamin
West, who succeeded Sir Joshua as president of the society, was such
a favorite that in the course of thirty years he painted sixty-four
pictures for George III., and received a very liberal sum of money for
them. Once, when a picture by Wilson, which had been ordered for the
royal collection, was shown to the king, he exclaimed: "Hey! What!
Do you call _this painting?_ Take it away; I call it daubing!
{166}Hey--what!--'T is a mere daub!" He then inquired what Wilson
expected for his work; and, on being told a hundred guineas, he declared
it was the dearest picture he ever saw: "Too much,--too much," added his
majesty; "tell him I say so."

[[A.D. 1772.]] The death of his mother was a great sorrow to George, for
he was tenderly attached to her. He had shown his devotion by visiting
her regularly every evening at eight o'clock, in company with Queen
Charlotte, and she had been his guardian and adviser ever since
the death of his father. Princess Augusta's character has been so
differently estimated that it is impossible to form a correct judgment
of it; but it is allowed by all that she was benevolent, and possessed
many good qualities. She certainly was honest in paying off, out of her
own income, the heavy debts that her husband left. Let us accept what
Bishop Newton, her chaplain, said of her: "The calmness and composure
of her death were further proofs and attestations of the goodness of her
life; and she died, as she had lived, beloved and lamented most by those
who knew her best.".

Meanwhile, children were being added to the royal family, and Queen
Charlotte devoted herself to their care and education. One day a visitor
was surprised at seeing one of the princesses, then six years of age,
run to her mother with a book in her hand, and tearfully exclaim,
"Madam, I cannot comprehend it! I cannot comprehend it!"

"Well, my child," said the queen, "do not be alarmed; what you cannot
comprehend to-day you may comprehend to-morrow; and what you cannot
attain to this year, you may arrive at the next. Do not, therefore, be
frightened with little difficulties; but attend to what you do know, and
the rest will come in time."

"This," said the visitor afterwards, "was good common sense, and a
golden rule well worthy our observation."

[A.D. 1773.] {167}Let us see what progress literature made in this
reign. Though George II. never looked at a book if he could possibly
avoid it,--and he generally managed' to do so,--literature began to
improve in his day, and many periodicals were established. These gave
rise to a new class of writers, who called themselves critics. They
began by merely giving a list of the new books that appeared. After
a time short notices accompanied the titles, and the contents of the
works, with opinions as to the merit or demerit were given. This was the
origin of the reviews, which at the present time form such an important
part of the magazine articles of the present day. This class of
periodicals became numerous after the accession of George III.; but the
critics did not confine themselves to notices of books, for they took
delight in abusing people, and brought to light a large amount of
private scandal, by resorting to the use of fictitious names. The charm
of the writings of such men as Fielding and Smollett, as well as the
memoirs and novels of other authors, consisted in the facility of
recognizing the portraits of well-known individuals of the day, whose
weaknesses were often presented in false and glaring colors. These
critics spent their whole time in coffee-houses and at the theatres,
where they were ever on the alert for any bit of gossip, that, whether
true or false, they managed to work up into an interesting and spicy
article for their papers. Of course there was no end of quarrels
resulting from such proceedings; but these men would have starved if the
periodicals had not existed, for the House of Hanover did not patronize
literary men. To be sure, Queen Charlotte did procure a pension of two
hundred pounds a year for Beattie; but neither she nor Lord Bute,
when he was in power, used much judgment in the granting of pensions,
excepting with regard to Hogarth, Johnson, and Smollett. The last had
no regular sum settled {168}on him; but he was engaged to edit "The
Briton," a weekly paper, devoted to abusing Pitt and all the popular
party.

As for music, both George and his queen were devoted to this branch of
art, and encouraged George Frederick Handel to establish an academy for
its advancement; but it soon broke up on account of rivalry. Then Handel
returned to the continent, and in his native land devoted himself to the
production of those noble oratorios that gave him celebrity and wealth.

Many years later, when King George, who delighted in Handel's oratorios,
was listening to one of them, a thunderstorm came up. "How sublime!"
exclaimed his majesty. "What an accompaniment! How this would have
delighted Handel!"

Queen Charlotte excited the ire of some of the court ladies when she
issued a decree against the enormous head-dresses that were then in
fashion. She was prompted to this not without some provocation; for
a dowager-duchess had appeared at a drawing-room with a structure
of jewels and feathers a yard and a quarter in height,--almost too
ridiculous to be believed. It had become the fashion to pile up the hair
to at least half a yard above the head; and this was done by spreading
it thinly over pads of wool, tow, or hemp, and sticking it in place
with pomatum and other compounds. After this structure had attained the
desired proportions, it was finished off with great bunches of flowers
and feathers, interspersed with sparkling jewels. But as this was the
work of two or three hours, it must not be supposed that it was repeated
every day. No, indeed! Once in two or three weeks was considered often
enough for brushing and combing; and we shudder to think of what must
have been the contents of the puffs that these great ladies carried
about so proudly. {169}No history tells how they managed to sleep,
or the suffering that such a weight on top of the head must have
occasioned, but everybody must agree in considering Queen Charlotte a
wise woman for altering such a filthy, silly fashion. To the front wire
was attached a string, by which the wearer could draw up her hood or
let it fall back at will. It must not be imagined that ladies' heads
exceeded their bodies in size; for, to insure symmetry, enormous
hoop-skirts, oval in shape, and spreading out suddenly over the hips,
were worn, making a slender waist look very wasplike. A long, loose
cloak, fastened at the throat, was the outer garment, which, with the
hood described above, must have given a woman the appearance of
an animated woolsack. These ladies had so much trouble to squeeze
themselves in and out of carriages, large and cumbersome though they
were, that it was suggested to manufacture them with movable tops, and
then, by means of pulleys and ropes, gently raise the wearers of hoops
and gigantic head-gear, and lower them into the vehicle, thus avoiding
damage to their toilets.

The fashions for the lords of creation were not less ridiculous than
those of the women, though different. Many of the rich young men of
England had visited Italy, and from that sunny land of the South, they
brought back not what was virtuous and sensible, but all the follies
and vices that it was possible to imitate. These travellers formed
themselves into a club, which, in honor of Italy, they called the
"Macaroni Club." They were distinguished by an immense bunch of false
hair hanging down the back, the head being surmounted by a tiny cocked
hat. A closely-fitting short jacket, waistcoat, and knee-breeches
completed the attire, and each Macaroni carried an enormous
walking-stick, ornamented with silk cords and tassels. A man thus
attired must have presented an exceedingly {170}droll appearance; yet
the style became popular, and was even adopted by members of the clergy,
whose hats were made, clothing cut, and wigs combed _à la macaroni_.
There were dances, songs, and music, called Macaroni, and nothing was
popular that was not sufficiently trifling, showy, and affected to
belong to the macaronic class. This manner of dress excited so much
ridicule that it was altered before very long, and gave place to a
higher style of dressing the hair. Then the beaux wore nosegays on their
breasts, large enough to fill a good-sized mantel-vase. Walpole says of
the members of the fashionable club, after complaining of a dull winter
in politics: "Even our macaronies entertain the town with nothing but
new dresses and the size of their nosegays. They have lost all their
money, and exhausted all their credit, and can no longer game for twenty
thousand pounds a night."

Queen Charlotte's maids-of-honor grumbled a good deal at the changes
their mistress instituted in the fashions; but they were ready to
mutiny when she made it a rule of her household that they should not
be provided with supper. However, a compromise was affected,--their
salaries were raised, and each maid-of-honor received a thousand pounds
on her marriage as a gift from the queen. This was very benevolent on
the part of her majesty, and there are many equally kind, considerate
acts told of her. Here is one that she managed very gracefully.

[[A.D. 1779.]] In one of the battles off the French coast, near Brest, a
mate named William Moore was so desperately wounded in the shoulder and
leg by the blowing up of a vessel that it was not supposed he would ever
be fit for service again. While he was lying in bed, a kinsman named
Ashburner, who often sold dry goods at court, was one day exhibiting his
wares to Queen Charlotte, when he adroitly managed to mention the name
of Moore, and then {171}related all the circumstances of his hard fate.
Her majesty was touched by the story, and told Ashburner to send the
mate to Windsor, where she was then living, as soon as he was well
enough to travel. Such a command was balm to the wounded man, who,
before the lapse of three days, was not only comfortably lodged at the
palace, but watched and tended by the queen's own surgeon, and provided
with a competent nurse.

It was many weeks before the invalid was cured; but at last he asked
permission to thank his royal benefactress, and was admitted to her
presence. He faltered out a few awkward sentences, turning red and pale
by turns; but ended by assuring her majesty that he was equal to the
performance of duty again. "So I hear from the doctor," replied the
queen, "and I have spoken about you to the king, and, there, Mr. Moore,
is his majesty's acknowledgment for your gallantry and sufferings when
afloat." The man took the paper, but wondered why so much was said
about the performance of a mere act of duty. "Will you not see what his
majesty says, Mr. Moore?" asked the queen, as the man sidled towards the
door. He silently obeyed, and, on opening the document, found that he
had been promoted to a lieutenancy on board the "Mercury." Some years
later Moore became a captain, which proves that Queen Charlotte's
charity was judiciously bestowed. The commander of the vessel on which
Moore was injured lost his life when it blew up; and for his widow and
children her majesty obtained such a liberal pension that they could
enjoy not only the comforts, but many of the luxuries of life. These are
only a couple of a large number of Queen Charlotte's benevolent deeds.

Few persons interested themselves more to rescue Dr. Dodd from the hands
of the executioner than the queen. William Dodd was a popular divine
of the Church of England, {172}as well as a voluminous writer. But he
committed several errors in the course of his life, which was violently
ended because of a check which he forged for a large sum of money on
Lord Chesterfield. Queen Charlotte argued that a man occupying the holy
office of minister of the Gospel ought not to be punished like a common
criminal; but the king replied, that the crime was the more heinous
because committed by a clergyman, and declared that the law must take
its course.

[[A.D. 1780.]] There came a year of riots in London, occasioned by the
repeal of certain laws against the Catholics. Queen Charlotte was called
upon for the exercise of considerable courage at this period, for she
was left almost alone at Buckingham House, with her children, while the
mob set the city on fire in several places, and behaved so disgracefully
that there was no telling where they would stop. The king, who was hated
by a large portion of his subjects, spent two nights at the queen's
riding-house with his council, where he was constantly receiving reports
of the doings of the rioters. At length it was decided to fire on them,
yet the king mercifully hesitated to give the necessary directions to
his troops; and even when St. James's Palace was assailed, he ordered
the soldiers not to fire if they could possibly help it; but to keep the
crowd off with their bayonets. Thus, those of his enemies who pronounced
George a stubborn man were bound to acknowledge that he was also a
merciful one.

[[A.D. 1783.]] Having reached the age of twenty-one, the-Prince of Wales
was allotted an establishment of his own at Carlton House, which had
been the residence of his grandfather, whom he is said to have resembled
in many respects. Then parliament settled upon him a hundred thousand
pounds, besides an annual income of fifty thousand. Thus liberally
provided for, he devoted himself to {173}a life of indulgence and
idleness, and incurred the displeasure of the king, both on account
of his vices and his politics. He entered the House of Peers, and in
following the lead of the opposition party, imitated the example of the
Georges who had preceded him. In spite of his liberal allowance, he got
into debt, which his so-called friends solicited the king to pay.

[Illustration: 0179]

The conduct of their eldest son was a source of much unhappiness to the
royal couple. The queen did not lose confidence in him, though she was
deeply distressed.

[A. D. 1784.] A year after he went to live at Carlton House his royal
sire offered to pay his debts, if the accounts were sent to him. They
were sent, but, after being kept for months, they were returned, because
they {174}were found to be incorrect,--twenty-five thousand pounds being
entered without any explanation as to whom that sum was due. The prince
declared it to be a secret of honor, which he would not reveal, and
the king, in his turn, declared that he would pay no debt the nature of
which his son was ashamed to acknowledge; and there the matter rested.

[[A.D. 1785.]] But the following year the prince's debts had increased
to such an outrageous amount that he could see no way out of his dilemma
excepting in flight. He wanted, as Earl of Chester, to remove to some
German court, and there live in retirement, declaring that the king
hated him, and would not allow parliament to assist him. The great
trouble was, that no confidence existed between George III. and his
eldest son, and neither treated the other with fairness. The ministry
offered the prince a hundred thousand pounds, provided half the sum
might be retained for the payment of his debts; but he pronounced the
offer useless, saying that he knew the king would not listen to it, and
if Pitt, the minister, were to propose such a measure he would be turned
out of office. It was proposed to him to try to conciliate his royal
father by ceasing to adhere to a political party in opposition to the
government; but he refused to abandon Fox or any of his friends. Then it
was proposed that he should marry; and, as he was very much in love with
Mrs. Fitzherbert, a lady who had been divorced from a bad husband, he
resolved to do so. But this marriage could not be legal for two reasons:
first, because Mrs. Fitzherbert was a Catholic; and second, because no
prince of the blood was permitted to marry without the king's consent
before he had attained the age of twenty-five. So George, Prince of
Wales, kept his marriage secret, and even had it denied in parliament,
much to his wife's indignation. When the queen heard of

{175}

[Illustration: 0181]

{177}it she commanded the presence of her son, and, on being assured
that he was really married, and to a woman worthy of respect, she
consented to receive her. Not only did Queen Charlotte show marked
courtesy to Mrs. Fitzherbert, but she did a service for her son in using
her influence to have all his debts paid off. Then Carlton House,
which had been dull and silent, became once more the scene of gay and
brilliant entertainments.

We must now return to the royal couple, and see them pleasantly
established at Windsor, though with the king's health far from
satisfactory. It was at this period that a remarkable lady entered the
queen's service; and, as she was well-known in the literary world, she
must be properly introduced. This was Frances Burney, the daughter of
a musician of much talent. She was only a little child when her mother
died; and, as her father seemed to think that his whole duty consisted
in fondling his children and treating them with the kindness and
affection his sweet temper prompted, Frances educated herself. Dr.
Burney (he had the degree of Doctor of Music from the University of
Oxford) really had little time for anything but the lessons he gave, for
they sometimes kept him busy from seven in the morning until eleven at
night, and he often carried a tin-box of sandwiches, with a bottle of
wine and water, for his luncheon, which he would eat in a hack while
hurrying from one pupil to another. Two of his daughters were sent to a
school in Paris, and one of them taught her little sister, Frances,
to write; and before she was fourteen she began to find pleasure in
reading. Dr. Burney had a large library, but it contained no novels, and
so his daughter's taste was not spoiled by light reading.

The social position of the Burney family was peculiar; for, while the
children played with those of the tradespeople in the neighborhood, they
had opportunities of {178}seeing some very distinguished people, who
were proud to know the doctor. Samuel Johnson was his most intimate
friend, and they spent many a long winter evening together. David
Garrick often amused the Burney girls with his powers of mimicry, and
there were so many other artists and men of letters whom Frances had
an opportunity of seeing that it would be tedious to mention all their
names.

The very finest musicians of the day visited Dr. Burney, and esteemed
him so highly that occasionally he would gather them at his modest
little house, and give such a splendid concert that many members of the
nobility considered it a privilege to get an invitation. At this time
Frances was a shy, awkward girl, who trembled if any of the guests spoke
to her. Therefore she was permitted to remain in the background, and,
while thus unobserved, she watched people, observed their peculiarities,
and analyzed their characters. She had a vivid imagination too, and laid
up a store of material for fiction that was of great use to her later.

Frances soon began to write little stories that amused her sisters
very much, but were not shown to her father, who knew nothing of their
existence. Dr. Burney had an intimate friend named Samuel Crisp, a
well-educated, literary man, whose advice was of the utmost benefit to
Frances, whom he always called his Fannikin, while she in return called
him her dear Daddy. Crisp enjoyed Dr. Burney's concerts; but, when he
grew old and gouty, and could no longer attend them, Frances would write
him a long account of each one, and of the gay people who attended.
These letters were answered, and contained so much instruction
about what to read and how to write, that they went far towards the
development of "Fannikin's" intellect. {179}The result was that Frances
Burney wrote a novel which took the literary world by surprise. Her
father wept over it for joy. "Daddy" Crisp shook his fist at Fannikin in
affectionate anger for not having confided in him, and everybody began
to guess what author could have written "Evelina." When they found out
that a reserved, inexperienced young woman had produced the best work of
fiction that had appeared in many a day, praises were increased. Frances
Burney suddenly found herself famous. Then she wrote another novel,
which she called "Cecilia." The publishers paid her two thousand pounds
for it, and there never was a book more eagerly snatched from the
counters of the booksellers. Frances Burney was now thirty years old;
she had literary fame, position and money. What, then, could have
induced her to take the steps to which we have alluded,--that of
entering the queen's service? It is certainly inexplicable; but this is
how it happened:--

Mrs. Delany, a lady of noble birth, having been left a widow, was kindly
cared for by King George and Queen Charlotte, who fitted up a house
for her in Windsor Park, and settled on her an annuity of three hundred
pounds a year. Their majesties frequently visited the old lady, and the
young princes and princesses often honored her by their company to tea.

Miss Burney was visiting at Mrs. Delany's house, when, one day after
dinner, as the old lady was taking her nap, a stout gentleman entered,
unannounced. "What? what? what?" he asked, looking about, as the
visitors who had been playing a game scampered out of the room, and a
cry of "The King!" was set up. Mrs. Delany came forward to receive her
royal guest, and introduced Miss Burney, who was questioned as to
what she had written and what she was going to write. The queen soon
appeared, and {180}his majesty repeated to her all that the young
authoress had said. Miss Burney was charmed with the royal pair, and
felt quite at her ease when their visit was repeated a few days later.
On that occasion the king expressed his opinion about many English and
foreign writers. Voltaire he pronounced a monster, Rousseau he liked
better. "But was there ever such stuff as a great part of Shakespeare?"
he cried, "only one must not say so. But what think you? What? Is there
not sad stuff? What? what?"

Well, one of the keepers of the queen's robes retired about this time,
and the position was offered to Miss Burney. She consented, with the
advice of her father, to give up writing, to leave a happy home and
pleasant associates, to become the companion of an old German woman who
was the chief-keeper of the robes and waiting-maid to her majesty. We
wonder how Dr. Burney could have consented to allow his daughter to
enter upon the five years of drudgery to which she bound herself; but
he, poor deluded man, seemed to think that going to court was like going
to heaven, and so he actually persuaded her to it; and, after escorting
her to her dreary prison, for so it was, went home rejoicing at her
marvellous prosperity. It is to the diary that Miss Burney kept while
she was waiting-maid to her majesty that we are indebted for an account
of the domestic life at court.

She felt very timid the first day she entered upon her office, but Queen
Charlotte was exceedingly gracious, and soon placed the new maid at her
ease by treating her less like a servant than a friend. Nevertheless,
she was glad to escape from the royal presence to dine with the ladies
and gentlemen-in-waiting. The meals served for these court attendants
were much more enjoyable than those at which their majesties presided,
because there was less formality and ceremony. The queen was no longer
served {181}by gentlemen who kneeled while offering a dish, but they
were never permitted to sit in her presence; no matter how high their
rank, and it is easy to understand how uncomfortable they must have felt
when forced to eat standing. No wonder the lords, bishops, and officers
preferred to dine with the maids-of-honor and ladies-in-waiting, with
whom they could enjoy themselves, and at whose sides they might sit
while partaking of their meal.

Miss Burney found the dressing of the queen a very formidable matter at
first, because the ringing of the bell that summoned her always put her
in a flurry at the start. No maid was permitted to remain in the room
while the queen was dressing, but they assembled in the ante-chamber,
where one handed to the other the various articles as they were
required. "'T is fortunate for me," says Miss Burney, "that I have
not the handing of them. I should never know which to take first,
embarrassed as I am, and should run a prodigious risk of giving the gown
before the hoop, and the fan before the neckerchief."

The actual toilet for the day was performed at one o'clock, and
concluded with the powdering of the hair, a very important matter,
always performed by a regular hairdresser. On his arrival her majesty
was covered by a large _peignoir_, and then left alone with the
_artist_, who flung the powder at the royal head causing a light spray
to fall gently on every part of the hair,--standing off to view
the effect, applying the puff here and there, and so continuing the
operation until the desired effect was produced.

One of Miss Burney's duties consisted in preparing her majesty's
snuff-boxes, and dampening the contents to suit the royal nose; for
Queen Charlotte was a connoisseur of the article, and took it as
regularly as did all the gentlemen and most of the ladies of that
period. "On court days," says Miss Burney in her diary, "the queen
dresses {182}her head at Kew, and puts on her drawing-room apparel at
St. James's. I dress all at Kew except my tippet and long ruffles, which
I carry in paper to save from dusty roads." The most rigid etiquette was
observed when the royal family were at Windsor. Nobody ever knocked at a
door for fear of shocking the royal nerves; a shake of the knob was
the only signal allowed to a person desiring to enter. When a birthday
occurred, the family walked on the terrace, crowded with people of
distinction, who gathered to show respect. One of these scenes is thus
described:--

"It was really a mighty pretty procession. The little Princess Amelia,
just three years old, in a colored robe, covered with fine muslin, a
dressed close cap, white gloves and a fan, walked on alone, turning from
side to side to see everybody as she passed, for all the people on the
terrace stand up against the walls, to make a clear passage for the
royal family, as soon as they come in sight. Then followed the king
and queen, no less delighted themselves with the joy of their little
darling." Little Amelia was a great pet with her parents, and when she
observed Miss Burney among the guests, and actually stopped to kiss her,
the breach of etiquette was merely smiled at, though the queen was
not pleased; for she only addressed a word to those whom she desired
especially to distinguish. So rigid was the court etiquette that no
person ever passed a room occupied by the royal family if the door
chanced to be open, and the children never spoke in the presence of
their parents unless called upon to answer an observation directed to
them.

[[A.D. 1786.]] But everything was different at Kew, where the absence of
restraint formed a striking contrast to the life at Windsor. There the
king was called "Farmer George," and there were some odd sketches made
by the caricaturists of the day, representing his

{183}

[Illustration: 0189]

{185}majesty with his wife on his arm, trudging along in true rustic
fashion. Some very amusing anecdotes are given of "Farmer George's"
visits to the cottages of his neighbors, which were made with the least
possible ceremony, and often at most inconvenient periods.

He rode for hours every day, and would poke his nose wherever the fancy
happened to take him. Once he was caught in a shower and took shelter in
a cottage, where he found a girl roasting a goose. He requested her to
go and put his horse under an adjacent shed, which she agreed to do if
he would keep the goose from burning during her absence. Presently the
girl's father entered, and, though surprised at seeing the occupation of
his sovereign, had the good sense not to recognize him. George began to
talk to the man about the disadvantage of roasting with a string, and
explained how much easier and safer it was to cook with a spit, which
required less watching and only occasional basting. At the conclusion of
his lecture, he secretly wrote upon a piece of paper "to buy a jack,"
and enclosed five guineas, which he placed upon the table before his
departure.

One day his majesty met a young rustic on the road not far from Windsor
Castle. "Who are you, boy?" he asked, attracted by something in his
appearance. "Who are you, eh, eh?"

"I be a pig-boy."

"Where did you come from? Who do you work for here, eh?"

"I be from the low country; out of work at present."

"Don't they want lads here; not want lads, eh?"

"I doan't know; all about here belongs to Georgy."

"Georgy! Who's Georgy?"

"He lives at the castle, yonder: but he does no good for I." The king
immediately gave the lad employment on his farm, and told him if he were
a steady lad, "Georgy" might be a friend to him.

He thus addressed a stable-boy one morning: "Well, {186}boy! What do you
do? What do they pay you?"

"I help in the stable, but they only give me victuals and clothes," said
the lad. "Be content; I have no more," was the king's reply.

He could be generous, though, on occasion; for two boys who did not know
him fell on their knees one day, and asked relief, saying that their
mother had been dead three days, and their father was too ill to rise
from his bed of straw. The king went with them to their miserable hovel,
and, finding that they had not exaggerated their distress, gave them
a liberal sum of money, and then went to the castle, whence he sent a
plentiful supply of food and clothing. He did more. When the sick father
recovered, the boys were educated and provided for at his majesty's
expense.

Visiting the stable one morning, King George found the grooms disputing
so loudly that his arrival was not noticed.

"I don't care what you say, Robert," said one, in a very loud tone, "but
everybody else agrees that the man at the Three Tuns makes the best purl
in Windsor."

"Purl! purl!" exclaimed the king. "What's purl, Robert?" The manner of
making the beverage was explained to him, and he said, "Very good drink,
no doubt; but too strong for breakfast." Five years later, George, who
had such a good memory that he knew the names, numbers, and uniform
of every regiment in the service, entered the stables, shortly after
daylight, one morning, and asked a boy to whom he was unknown, where all
the men were. "I don't know, sir, replied the lad; "but they will soon
be here, for they expect the king."

"Ah! oh! Then run, boy, to the Three Tuns and say that the king expects
_them_;--to the Three Tuns, boy, d' ye hear? They are sure to be there,
for the landlord makes the best purl in Windsor."

{187}



CHAPTER VI.

|There was great excitement in the palace when the king entered Queen
Charlotte's apartments one day, and exclaimed quite joyously, "Well,
here I am, safe and well, though I have had a very narrow escape from
being stabbed." He then proceeded to tell how a woman had presented him
with a paper, just as he was about to enter his carriage at the gate
of St. James's Palace, and as he proceeded to open it she struck at him
with a knife, which pierced his clothing, but fortunately did him no
injury. She was about to repeat the thrust, when a yeoman of the guard
caught her arm and wrenched the knife from her grasp. She was proved to
be insane in the examination which followed, and sent to an asylum; but
Queen Charlotte was so alarmed for the safety of her husband that she
could not bear to see him go about unattended, as he often did, and
every time he went to London she watched for his return with the utmost
anxiety.

[[A.D. 1787.]] It was a great comfort to the queen when a reconciliation
took place with the Prince of Wales, after a coldness that had prevented
his attending several of the drawing-rooms. Miss Burney gives an
instance of his playfulness when he was visiting at Windsor to celebrate
the return of his brother, the Duke of York, to England, after an
absence of seven years. "At near one o'clock in the morning, while the
wardrobe-woman was pinning up {188}the queen's hair, there was a sudden
rap-tap at the drawing-room door. Extremely surprised, I looked at the
queen to see what should be done; she did not speak. I had never heard
such a sound before, for at the royal doors there is always a peculiar
kind of scratching or rattling of the knob instead of tapping. I heard
it, however, again, and the queen called out: 'What is that?' I was
really startled, not conceiving who could take such a liberty as to come
to the queen's apartment without being announced by a page; and no
page, I was very sure, would make such a noise. Again the rapping was
repeated, but more smartly. I grew quite alarmed, imagining some serious
evil at hand, either regarding the king or some of the princesses.
The queen, however, bade me open the door. I did so; and what was my
surprise to see there a large man, in an immense wrapping great-coat
buttoned up around his chin, so that his face was almost hidden. I stood
quite motionless for a moment;--but he, as if also surprised, drew back;
I felt quite sick with sudden terror. I really thought some ruffian had
broken into the house,--or a madman. 'Who is it?' cried the queen. 'I do
not know, ma'am,' I answered. 'Who is it?' she called aloud, just as
the man took off his hat, and I beheld the Prince of Wales. The
queen laughed heartily, and so did I, too, happy at this unexpected
explanation. He told her eagerly that he only came to inform her there
were the most beautiful northern lights to be seen that could possibly
be imagined, and begged her to come to the gallery windows to see them."

This is a long story about a trifling matter; but it proves that the
prince was at that period on friendly terms with his mother, and that he
felt privileged to lay aside court etiquette when such was the case.

[[A.D. 1788.]] Everything was forgotten by Queen Charlotte, except the
alarming illness that now threatened the {189}king. He tried to conceal
it as long as possible, and by so doing became much worse, until at last
the disease affected his brain, and he was seized with delirium.
This lasted so long that it was thought death would result; and the
politicians, belonging both to the government and the opposition party,
began to speculate as to how far they, individually, would be affected.
The Prince of Wales and his brother of York did not behave with common
decency at this time, but gayly flew about from club to club, party to
party, without even pretending to care that their father was ill and
suffering. Their shameful conduct was universally discussed, for they
acted like men with little feeling and less brains. The poor queen had
a succession of fainting spells that prostrated her almost as low as
her royal husband. Between these attacks she would pace her room, too
nervous to rest, and if by way of solace she attempted to read aloud to
her children, she would stop in the midst of it and burst into an agony
of tears.

The royal patient constantly bewailed the fact that he could not sleep,
and would pray aloud for that blessing; then he would declare that he
needed no physician but the queen, adding: "She is my best friend; where
could I find a better?"

One night he got out of bed, and with a candle in his hand, walked to
the queen's couch to make sure that she had not left him; then he sat
and conversed with her, at times rather incoherently and hoarsely, for
nearly an hour. The sufferer was occasionally better, but relapses were
so frequent that at last the queen was advised to remove to a room in
another part of the palace,--the one she had occupied adjoining the
king's being required for the medical men and others, who, with the
Prince of Wales and the Duke of York, kept watch.

One night the king suddenly appeared among them, and {190}roughly asked
what they were there for. They endeavored to pacify him, but in vain;
he treated them all as enemies. His second son had slipped out as
the father entered, and that made a favorable impression on the poor
invalid, who said, touchingly, "Freddy is my friend,--yes, _he_ is my
friend!" At last, after a good deal of maneuvering and whispering on
the part of the gentlemen present, one of' them with gentle firmness led
him back to bed.

Everything was badly managed at Windsor just at this time; for the
simple reason that the queen, rather from necessity than choice,
submitted to the Prince of Wales and depended on him, and he lost no
time in making her feel that he was supreme master. Nothing was done
but by his orders; and the queen spent her time in patient sorrow and
retirement with her daughters, whose conduct formed a pleasing contrast
to that of the sons.

The Prince of Wales was desirous that his father should be removed from
Windsor to Kew; but the question arose as to how he could be induced to
make the change. On being assured that the quiet and fresh air of the
country were necessary for the patient, the queen decided to go at once.
She proceeded, without state, accompanied by her daughters, to Kew. On
arriving there she found half the apartments locked up by the prince's
orders, while on the doors of the few allotted to the queen and her
modest retinue the names of those who were to occupy them were scratched
in chalk. It was night before the king arrived. He had not been
permitted to see his wife and daughters for some weeks, and he was
wheedled away from Windsor by being told that they were at Kew, and by
a promise that they should be admitted to his presence. He made the
journey, therefore, in silent content, but the promise was broken. The
queen was assured it was for the best, and the royal patient spent the
night in violence and {191}raving because of the cruel disappointment to
which he had been subjected.

Meanwhile preparations were going on to name the prince-regent, the
king's friends taking great pains that, in case of his recovery, his
rights should not be infringed upon. And he did recover this time; for
Dr. Willis, of Lincoln, a man who had devoted himself to the study of
nervous diseases, was summoned. He arrived with his two sons, and took
the royal patient in charge, with such good result that on the tenth of
December he walked in the garden alone.

[[A.D. 1789.]] On the first day of the new year the queen was gratified
with a most favorable report; for Miss Burney, whose duty it was to make
inquiries about the royal patient the first thing every morning, was
informed that during the night he had prayed aloud for his own recovery.
On the eighteenth he remembered that it was the queen's birthday, and
expressed a desire to see her; but that pleasure was still denied him. A
few days later, Miss Burney was walking in the garden, when she suddenly
and most unexpectedly encountered the king, who, she supposed, had
been taken to Richmond Gardens. As her majesty, acting by the doctor's
advice, had ordered everybody to keep out of the patient's way, and not
to address him on any account, Miss Burney no sooner recognized him than
she fairly took to her heels. The king called her by name, and was so
delighted at the sight of an old familiar face that he ran after her.
The Willises, father and sons, followed close behind, somewhat in alarm.
Miss Burney kept on in breathless affright, until the older doctor
peremptorily ordered her to stop, with the assurance that further
agitation would be injurious to the patient. She then turned and
advanced to meet the king, as though she had not before been aware of
his presence. He put his arms {192}around her and kissed her on the
cheek, then held her lest she should run away from him while he spoke,
rapidly, hoarsely, and at times incoherently, about family matters,
politics, foreign affairs, art, and music,--singing something from his
favorite Handel, but so falsely that his hearers were alarmed. He showed
plainly that he was aware of his condition, and named those whom he
meant to promote and to discharge as soon as he was well.

At last, after various vain attempts, Dr. Willis induced him to return
to the house; and Miss Burney ran to relate to the queen all that had
happened. Her majesty listened with breathless interest, and made the
young lady repeat every word of her recital again and again. All that
the poor queen heard filled her with encouragement, and she was not to
be disappointed; for the following month the king was well enough to
write a letter to Mr. Pitt, informing him that he was prepared to resume
the government of his realm, and appointing a day for an interview with
his council.

A message to parliament, informing them of the king's recovery, was
followed by bonfires, illuminations, and other demonstrations of public
rejoicing. On the seventeenth of March the queen caused Kew Palace to
be decorated with thousands of colored lanterns, and a transparency,
beneath which were these lines that she herself had composed:--

               "Our prayers are heard, and Providence restores

               A patriot-king to bless Britannia's shores.

               But not to Britain is the bliss confin'd:

               All Europe hails the friend of human kind.

               If such the general joy, what words can show

               The change to transport from the depths of woe,

               In those permitted to embrace again,

               The best of fathers, husbands, and of men!"

[[A.D. 1790.]] Then the queen held a drawing-room, and afterwards
attended the theatre, so anxious was she to {193}prove to the nation
that the king had really recovered. As she entered the play-house shouts
of welcome from an immense audience greeted her, the orchestra struck
up "God save the King," and so great was the enthusiasm that it was
repeated five times, and succeeded by an anthem, in which the spectators
took part. A visit to St. Paul's was made by the royal family in April,
when an immense concourse of people assembled to take part in the
ceremonies, and the king seemed fully absorbed in his devotions during
the service. He was heard afterwards to say that his illness had been
a perfect bliss to him, because it had proved how confidently he might
rely on the support of his people. Strange to say, the king's sons
were the last to acknowledge his sanity, and the least rejoiced at his
restoration to health. They did their utmost to keep as many people as
possible away from congratulatory balls; and at one given by the French
ambassador they would neither dance nor remain to supper, because they
desired to appear inattentive to their mother, who was present. The
reason for this conduct was that her majesty had opposed an unqualified
regency for the prince, and neither he nor his brothers could forgive
her for standing between them and the power they coveted.

No sooner did the king resume the reins of government than, contrary
to the Prince of Wales's expectations, he conveyed to parliament his
approval of all the actions of his ministers during his long illness,
and removed from office all those who had opposed his cause with a view
to gaining favor with the heir-apparent.

Queen Charlotte had a mania for the collection of precious stones,
as some people have for porcelain, coins, or stamps; and at the first
drawing-room which she held, just after the king's recovery, she fairly
glittered in a blaze of diamonds. Around her neck was a double row
of these {194}gems, to which was suspended a medallion. Across her
shoulders were festooned three rows of costly pearls, and a portrait of
the king was hung on the back of her skirt from five rows of brilliants,
producing a gorgeous effect. The tippet was of fine lace, fastened with
the letter G in diamonds of immense value, and in her majesty's hair
was "God save the King," in letters formed of the same costly gems.
The princesses were beautifully attired, and all the noble ladies wore
emblematical designs, painted, as fancy or loyalty dictated, on the
satin part of their headdresses.

Towards the close of the year Frederick, Duke of York, married
Frederica, eldest daughter of the King of Prussia. The bride was in
her twenty-fourth year, the groom in his twenty-eighth. She was good,
handsome, accomplished, and kind-hearted; far too superior a person for
so vicious a spendthrift as the prince. They were married in Berlin, but
the ceremony was repeated in London by the Archbishop of Canterbury
in presence of the whole royal family. Notwithstanding that the duke's
income was increased to thirty-five thousand pounds a year on his
marriage, he ran into debt so deeply that he could never extricate
himself, and the poor duchess became so disgusted with his shameless
dissipation and cruel neglect of herself, that at the end of six years
of misery she left him and went to live in retirement. She was so good
and charitable that she was warmly beloved by a large number of people,
and she was universally styled "The poor soldiers' Friend," because she
helped so many sick and wounded representatives of the army.

[[A.D. 1794.]] Napoleon's brilliant successes at this time cast a gloom
over England, until Lord Howe won his splendid naval victory. The
royal family visited the triumphant fleet on its return, when the king
presented a

{195}

[Illustration: 0201]

{197}diamond-hilted sword to the admiral, and splendid gold chains to
various officers under his command.

Sovereigns may be popular one year and the reverse the next. So it
was with George III., though both the idolatry and the hatred of
his subjects were undeserved. The attack against his life by the
mad lieutenant was followed by others which threatened to be more
successful. A crowd of people assembled in the park one day when the
king set out in state from St. James's to attend a parliament meeting.
At first a sullen silence was observed, and few hats were removed;
but presently shouts of "Give us bread!" "No war!" "No king!" and many
others arose. His majesty entered his coach and was driven off. No
sooner, however, had he reached a certain narrow street than a ball,
either of lead or marble, was hurled through the window, but fortunately
passed out at the other side without damage, excepting to the glass.
George evinced the utmost calmness, and read his speech with even less
hesitation than usual. When he was disrobing afterwards the gentlemen
in attendance talked about the ball that had been thrown at the royal
carriage, whereupon the king, who joined in the conversation, said:
"Well, my lords, one person is proposing this, and another is supposing
that, forgetting that there is One above us all who disposes of
everything, and on whom alone we depend." On his return the mob threw
stones at the coach, which was nearly demolished, and several of them
hit the king, though without doing him serious injury.

[[A.D. 1796.]] Two other attempts were made on the king's life,--one
when he was reviewing his troops, and the other just as he entered
his box at the theatre. On the latter occasion he behaved with so much
courage and presence of mind, that the audience were aroused to
the highest pitch of excitement, and shouted "God save the King!"
{198}several times, and then the following stanza by Sheridan, the
distinguished orator and dramatist, was sung:--

                   "From every latent foe,

                   From the assassin's blow,

                        God save the king!

                   O'er him Thine arm extend,

                   For Britain's sake defend,

                   Our father, prince, and friend,

                        God save the king!"

We have scarcely mentioned Prince William, Duke of Clarence, third son
of George III. and Queen Charlotte. At the age of thirteen he was sent
as midshipman on board a man-of-war, and told to fight his way. He
obeyed by having a wrestle with another "middy" soon after he was
afloat, and in this way secured the respect of his fellow-officers. He
was present in several important actions, under different admirals,
and when a certain Spanish commander was brought prisoner on board the
"Prince George," this smart, active, young midshipman, whom he observed
on duty at the gangway, was pointed out to him as a prince of the blood,
he exclaimed, "Well may England be queen of the seas, when the son of
her sovereign is engaged in such duty!" Prince William was the least
courteous of the queen's Sons,--owing, perhaps, to the fact of his
having spent so many years among sailors, enjoying the freedom of a life
on the ocean wave; but he was certainly coarse in manners and speech.
Once he disappointed his sister, Princess Mary, very much by drinking
champagne until he was too intoxicated to dance a minuet with her at the
drawing-room, as he had promised. We shall tell more about this prince
hereafter, when he becomes King of England.

Of the marriage of the Prince of Wales with Princess Caroline of
Brunswick, which took place about this time, we need only say that it
began, continued, and ended miserably; {199}but the particulars of it
and of the remainder of their lives will be considered in the ensuing
reign.

[[A.D. 1801.]] We pass over five years, and find the prince in full
opposition against the crown and Pitt, which, with other matters,
weighed so heavily on the mind of the king that a return of his malady
was the consequence. He improved, after a few weeks, enough to be able
to open parliament in person; but he required constant watching, and
could not attend any of the entertainments he was in the habit of
honoring with his patronage. He lived with the utmost regularity, but
was excessively careless about taking cold, though it was always a
prelude to the attacks of brain fever that had perceptibly impaired his
mind.

[[A.D. 1804.]] He was living at Windsor with his family when he again
became suddenly and alarmingly ill. His attack was called rheumatic,
but his mind was more affected than his body, and no wonder; for he was
constantly on the rack between public affairs, changes, and quarrels
in the ministry and the conduct of his sons. He recovered after several
weeks, only to continue the contest which had begun between himself
and the Prince of Wales, relative to the residence and education of the
Princess Charlotte, daughter, of the Prince and Princess of Wales. The
monarch wished her to be placed under the supervision of the queen at
Windsor, in order that she might be brought up properly; but the prince
objected merely for the sake of opposition. After years of estrangement
the father and son had an interview on the subject; but the latter was
so insulting in his tone and manner that the poor king was more annoyed
than ever.

[[A.D. 1805.]] The remaining years of his life were spent in retirement,
except on rare occasions; and the queen, who watched over him with a
true wife's devotion, beheld the gradual but certain decay of his mental
faculties, the details of which are too painful to be interesting.

The Queens of England. {200}A gorgeous entertainment, the expense of
which exceeded fifty thousand pounds, was given by the king at Windsor
on the installation of the Knights of the Order of the Garter; but his
conduct was so undignified, and so different from what that of a monarch
should have been on such an occasion, that the queen looked at him in
amazement, and perhaps wondered whether it was all due to his disordered
mind.

[[A.D. 1809.]] The venerable monarch was not able to attend the grand
fête given by Queen Charlotte, at Frogmore, in celebration of his
having reached the fiftieth year of his reign. His sight had grown
so dim that, although he rode out every day, his horse was led by a
servant, and when he walked he felt his way along the terrace by means
of a stick. London and all the principal cities of the kingdom were
illuminated at the time of the jubilee, and large sums of money were
raised by subscription for the benefit of the poor. In this way many
were made happy, but the king was sad and dejected. He would often shed
tears during the performance of Handel's "Total Eclipse,"--a composition
of which he was very fond, even though it reminded him of his increasing
blindness. One morning the Prince of Wales entered his father's
apartment unannounced, and heard him reciting the following well-known
lines of Milton:--

               "Oh dark! dark! dark! amid the blaze of noon!

                   Irrevocably dark! Total eclipse

                   Without all hope of day!

               Oh first created beam, and Thou great word,

               Let there be light, and light was over all;

               Why am I thus deprived, thy prime decree?"

[[A.D. 1810.]] The royal household was indeed a sorrowful one when the
death of the Princess Amelia occurred, for she was the youngest of
the children and had always been a pet. Nothing could have been more
touching than {201}the appearance of the afflicted father, aged and
almost blind, as he leaned over the couch of his dying child, whispering
to her words of consolation and hope of future glory. When the princess
bade the king farewell, just before she died, she placed a ring on his
finger, on which were inscribed these words, "Remember me."

From that period the king's mental state became gradually worse, and
the following year the Prince of Wales was appointed regent, though the
queen still retained the care of her husband, with the assistance of
the council, who were constantly at Windsor. At times his majesty would
appear better, then he would relapse into a state that offered little
hope. The queen's position was by no means a pleasant one. She was
constantly brought in contact with the Princess of Wales, whom she
thoroughly disliked; and her heart was torn by the sad scenes in which
her poor, afflicted consort played the leading part. Thus one day she
entered his room and found him singing a hymn to the accompaniment of a
harpsichord, on which he was performing himself. On concluding the hymn,
he knelt down, prayed for his family and the nation, and finally that
God would restore to him the reason which he felt he had lost. At other
times he was heard begging that he might die; then he would imagine that
he really had departed this life, and ask for a suit of black, that
he might wear mourning for the old king. Such pathetic scenes Queen
Charlotte witnessed constantly. And she had other matters to worry
her; for the public distress was so great that she became excessively
unpopular, not because she had been guilty of any wrong, but simply
because indignation had to be vented on somebody.

[[A.D. 1815.]] One day, when she was going to attend her last
drawing-room, she was hissed and insulted by a mob that actually had
the audacity to stop her chair. She {202}was equal to the occasion, and
showed a great deal of pluck. Quietly letting down the window of the
chair, she spoke without agitation to those nearest to her: "I am about
seventy years of age," she said, sorrowfully; "I have been more than
half a century Queen of England, and I never was hissed by a mob
before." The vulgar are easily silenced by true dignity and courage, and
so the venerable lady was allowed to pass on unmolested. The Prince
of Wales sent several aides-de-camp to escort his mother back home in
safety; but she said to them: "You have left Carlton House by his royal
highness's orders; return there by mine, or I will leave my chair and go
home on foot."

[[A.D. 1818.]] Queen Charlotte appeared in public no more, for her
health was declining, and she went to Bath to try and restore it,
without avail. Towards the close of the year she was again at Kew, where
she was confined to her bed with dropsy. She could not see the king, for
he was at Windsor, and it was deemed unsafe for her to move. At last
her case was pronounced hopeless, and she expired on the sixteenth of
November. Her last breath was drawn in the arms of her eldest son, who,
during her final illness, had been unremitting in his attentions.

The queen's funeral took place on the 2d of December, the procession
consisting of horse and foot soldiers, as if they had been escorting a
warrior to the tomb instead of a woman. The arrangements throughout were
very inappropriate, and few members of the peerage felt called upon to
do honor to their late sovereign. Her will, which had been made only on
the day preceding her death, was a very sensible one, but she left
debts to the amount of nine thousand pounds. These were contracted for
purposes of charity, and were of course paid, for Queen Charlotte
was exceedingly benevolent without the least ostentation. Her superb
diamonds, valued at a million of pounds, were divided by her request
among her four daughters. {203}George III. survived his wife two years,
but was never informed of her death, because he was not in a condition
to bear the sad news when he could have understood it, which was only
at rare intervals. He now occupied a long suite of rooms, in which were
pianos and harpsichords; on these he would occasionally play a few notes
from some composition of Handel's, and then stroll on. His bodily health
was good and his appetite was excellent, and this made the loss of his
reason only the more pitiable. He generally wore a blue robe-de-chambre
fastened with a belt in the morning, and changed it for a costume of
brocaded silk in the afternoon. As he wandered through his apartments,
which he could do even though he had become totally blind, the old king
would speak to the dear ones, whom he fancied were near him, but always
made the replies himself, or he would address an imaginary parliament,
and, when exhausted, fall back in a kind of delirium.

[[A.D. 1820.]] As the new year opened the health of George III. began to
fail, and he was soon reduced almost to a skeleton. For a month he
was confined to his bed, and on the 29th of January breathed his last,
without the slightest pain. He was nearly eighty-two years of age at the
time of his death.

{204}



CHAPTER VII. CAROLINE OF BRUNSWICK, WIFE OF GEORGE IV.

(A.D. 1768-1821.)

|Those who have read the preceding pages will remember the birth of the
"Lady Augusta," because of the quarrel that event occasioned between her
father, Frederick, Prince of Wales, and her grandfather, George II. She
grew up a beautiful, accomplished woman,--the favorite sister of George
III., whose protection she was forced to seek after she had reached
middle age. We have nothing to do with that part of her life, however,
nor with her childhood, which was passed quietly with scarcely any
remarkable incidents. When she was twenty-seven years of age she
married Charles William Frederick, Hereditary Prince of Brunswick, a man
distinguished for his fine appearance, courtly manners, and heroism on
the field of battle.

He soon won the heart of "Lady Augusta," and she promised to marry him,
though the king and queen were by no means pleased with the match. When
the prince arrived on English soil the people of Harwich pressed forward
in crowds to have a look at him, and a simple-hearted Quaker forced
his way into the bridegroom's apartments, and taking off his hat, said:
"Noble friend, give me thy hand!" It was given to him, and after kissing
it, he added, "Although I do not fight myself, I love a

{205}

[Illustration: 0211]

{207}brave man that will fight; thou art a valiant prince and art to be
married to a lovely princess; love her, make her a good husband, and the
Lord will bless thee both!"

This was the warmest greeting the bridegroom received in England, for
the royal couple treated him with marked coldness, and Queen Charlotte
did all she could to prevent too great an outlay of money. To be
sure, she gave the bride a gold watch set with jewels of exquisite
workmanship, and George III. presented her a diamond necklace worth
thirty thousand pounds; but everything pertaining to the wedding was
conducted on a very simple scale, considering the rank of the principal
parties concerned, and not a gun was fired by way of congratulatory
salute. The servants of the royal household were not even permitted
to put on their new attire, either for the wedding ceremony or the
drawing-room, which was held next day; but were ordered to reserve them
for the queen's birthday.

As soon as the marriage ceremony was performed the bridal pair drove
to the Leicester House, where a splendid supper awaited them. It was a
season when political party spirit ran high, and George III. took great
pains to conceal the unpromising condition of affairs from the prince.
But it would have been a very unobservant person who had failed to
notice the difference between the enthusiasm accorded to the young
couple on their arrival at the theatre a few nights later, and the lack
of it that signalized the entrance of their majesties. Queen Charlotte
was young then, and it is certain that she did not love the bride and
groom any better because of their seeming popularity.

Horace Walpole describes their visit on the next night at the Opera
House thus: "The crowd is not to be described. Many noble ladies sat on
chairs between the scenes; the doors of the boxes were thrown open, and
the {208}boxes were all filled to the back of the stoves; nay, women of
fashion stood on the very stairs till eight at night. In the middle of
the second act the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick turned his back to the
king and queen, pretending to offer his place to Lady Tankerville. You
know enough of Germans and their stiffness to etiquette to be sure that
this could not be done inadvertently, especially as he repeated this
only without standing up with one of his own gentlemen in the third
act."

Now it is very probable that the prince was far from pleased at the
treatment he had received at the hands of his bride's brother and
sister-in-law; but it is scarcely likely that he would be guilty of
a desire to insult the king, whose guest he was. Several grand balls
succeeded the wedding, and then the bride and groom went in separate
carriages, each with three uninteresting attendants, on their way to
Harwich. Arriving at the sea-coast, they embarked on separate yachts
for Holland, and had such a tempestuous voyage that they were in
great danger most of the way. This seems a rather unsociable way of
travelling; but perhaps court etiquette required the prince and princess
each to have a different ship.

A grand ovation awaited them all along the route to their home-in
Brunswick, where they were greeted with a hearty welcome by all the
ducal family. This union proved a happy one; but we shall have nothing
more to say about it, merely having introduced the Prince and Princess
of Brunswick, because they became the parents of Caroline Amelia
Elizabeth, the subject of this sketch.

[[A.D. 1768.]] Caroline, their second daughter, was born in 1768. Her
home education was very imperfect, for there was a lack of discipline
in it that colored her after-life. It was her misfortune that she early
discovered how to be mistress of her weak-minded mother, for whom she
had, in {209}consequence, little respect. She was good-hearted, but
utterly wanting in tact and common sense.

As a punishment for certain indiscretions, she was not allowed to appear
at court for a few months; and when she returned an aged lady kindly
said that she hoped it would not be necessary for her to be dismissed
again, whereupon she pertly replied: "Gone is gone, and will never
return, and what is to come will come of itself." Caroline delighted
in making dashing, fearless remarks that too often excited a smile
and encouraged a repetition. After a lesson in natural history, her
governess once asked, "In what country is the lion to be found?" "Well,"
answered the princess deliberately, "I should say, you may find him in
the heart of a Brunswicker." When taking part in any boisterous game,
of which she was very fond, if her attendant warned her of danger, she
would reply: "A Brunswicker dares do anything!" or, "A Brunswicker does
not know that thing,--fear."

[[A.D. 1780.]] "How would you define time and space?" asked her father,
when she was not more than twelve years of age. "Space is in the mouth
of Madame von L----------," she answered, "and time is in her face."
When told that it was not becoming for so young a lady to have opinions
of her own, she rather cleverly returned, "People without opinions of
their own are like those barren tracts which will not bear grass."

This young princess's religious education was as sadly neglected as her
home-training. Like many other royal German ladies, she could not decide
what church she was to join, until she knew what prince she was
to marry; and then, having been taught morality, but no creed, the
princesses were ready to adapt their consciences to the Greek, Roman
Catholic, or Protestant faith, just as it happened. Two offers of
marriage had been refused by Princess Caroline, {210}when the Duke of
York, commander of the English force in Holland, made a visit to his
aunt at the court of Brunswick, and was so favorably impressed with his
young cousin that he went back home with quite a flattering report about
her. George III. had never seen his niece; but, when he heard so much
about her, he began to consider what sort of a match he could manage
between her and his eldest son, the Prince of Wales.

[[A.D. 1794.]] Of this prince so much has been said in the previous
reign that it will be necessary for us to take up his life only at the
time of his marriage. As his union with Mrs. Fitzherbert was illegal,
the prince provided for her a sumptuous house at Brighton, and finding
himself over head and ears in debt, agreed to take a wife who could
help him out of his dilemma. It must not be supposed that the Prince of
Brunswick would or could pay the seventy thousand pounds that the Prince
of Wales owed, but parliament had agreed to do so if he would consent to
marry. So for the sake of his creditors, and his own peace of mind with
regard to them, he wrote to Caroline of Brunswick, and offered her his
hand in marriage. She replied coolly but favorably; and, as the prince's
financial affairs were getting more and more desperate, what, with
horse-racing and all sorts of dissipation, he lost no time in setting on
foot the arrangements for his marriage.

Lord Malmesbury was selected for the prince's proxy, and he was
instructed to bring Princess Caroline to England without using
any discretion in the matter whatever. He reached Brunswick on the
twenty-eighth of November, and was received with a most enthusiastic
welcome. Then he saw the future Queen of England for the first time.
She was an accomplished, high-spirited girl of twenty-seven, who spoke
English fluently, and dressed tastefully. She had fair hair, expressive,
almond-shaped eyes, good teeth, {211}and a delicately formed mouth. Her
face was pretty, but her figure was rather undersized and not graceful.
This was a slight defect compared with one of which Lord Malmesbury
speaks in his diary. We refer to uncleanliness, which seems to have been
sadly apparent in this pretty creature, and was in great part due to her
bad training.

The duchess was indiscreet enough to talk disparagingly of Queen
Charlotte to the English ambassador; but she was so fond of gossip
that she could not lose this opportunity of telling how she had been an
object of envy and dislike to her sister-in-law, who had been ready to
quarrel with King George because he had given her a handsome diamond
ring on her marriage. "George is more kind-hearted than wise-headed,"
she added, "and loves me as well as he could love anybody."

Lord Malmesbury had not been in Brunswick more than a week when Major
Hyslop arrived with a portrait of the Prince of Wales, and a private
letter to his envoy, urging him to set out with the Princess Caroline
immediately. Whether it was impatience to possess his bride, curiosity
to behold her, or the increasing demands of creditors that prompted
the message, we can only guess; but the marriage was celebrated on the
eighth of December, just five days after Major Hyslop's arrival.

Lord Malmesbury was the person to name the day of departure for England,
and after a consultation with the Duke of Brunswick, he wrote the
bridegroom that providing he received intelligence of the sailing of
the fleet from England, which was to serve for a wedding escort, by the
eleventh, he should set out on that day with the princess.

The Duke of Brunswick spent his mornings in consultations with Lord
Malmesbury, and these were succeeded by public dinners and operas, the
Princess Caroline appearing {212}on each occasion as the heroine. The
father begged of the ambassador always to recommend to the princess
discretion, adding: "She is not a fool, but she has no judgment; she
is too curious, and too free in expressing her opinions aloud about
people." Thus Lord Malmesbury became a sort of mentor to the young
bride, and constantly gave her instructions how to act, well knowing
that she would have to be very discreet if she was to succeed in her new
position.

Lord Malmesbury escorted the princess to a masquerade ball at the court
opera house, and acted as a check on her whenever she seemed disposed to
enter into the spirit of the fun, as she had done before her marriage.
A strange conversation took place between these two during one of these
dances. They had retired to one of the private boxes, and the bride
repeated the questions regarding her future state that naturally
occupied her mind all the time. Among other things, Lord Malmesbury told
her that she should never miss going to church on Sundays, as the king
and queen were always punctual in their attendance. This did not please
the princess, and she inquired if the prince was like his parents in
that respect. Lord Malmesbury replied, that if he were not, she would
bring him to it; and if he would not go with her she would do well
to set a good example and go with him. "You must tell him that the
fulfilling regularly and exactly this duty can alone enable you to
perform exactly and regularly those you owe him. This cannot but please
him, and will in the end induce him to go to church."

The envoy well knew that no amount of advice or training could fit a
young, innocent woman to conform to the habits of the prince whom he
represented. The princess thought his conversation very serious for a
masquerade, and told him so, whereupon he gayly defended himself; but
he {213}took another opportunity to say that, "in the order of society
those of a very high rank have a price to pay for it. The life of
a Princess of Wales is not to be one of pleasure, dissipation,
and enjoyment. The advantages belonging to it must be purchased by
sacrifices, which must be constantly repeated."

Princess Caroline took all that Lord Malmesbury told her in good part,
and even expressed a desire that he should be her lord-chamberlain when
she established her household, but though he felt flattered at this mark
of her esteem, he said that he desired no favors. So the guardian got
on very well with his ward, though she said, wearily one day that she
"never should be able to learn all those things."

At length the time approached for the departure of the bride. It was her
desire to take one Mademoiselle Rosenzweit with her to England as "a
sort of reader," but as soon as the prince heard of it he peremptorily
objected, and said that he would not have her in that or any other
capacity. The Duke and Duchess of Brunswick were very angry at this
exercise of authority on the part of the bridegroom, but they were
forced to submit. However, the duke took occasion to say to the envoy
that the reason why he was anxious to have Mademoiselle Rosenzweit
with his daughter was that she could write and spell, in which
accomplishments the princess failed, therefore her services would be
needed.

At last, on the twenty-ninth of December, the bride left Brunswick, but
it was three months before she reached England. This delay was caused
by the war which was raging between the French on one side and the Dutch
and English on the other. Major Hyslop went forward to give notice
in case of danger, and to see that all necessary arrangements were
completed for the comfort of the party. {214}The citizens of Brunswick
gathered in crowds to bid farewell to their princess, and a volley was
fired from the ramparts as she passed out of her native town.

For three days the travellers continued on their way, but made very slow
progress, for they were often detained by the movements of the troops,
and suffered considerably from cold. The princess found her lady
companions so dull and stupid that she invited Lord Malmesbury to ride
in her coach with her, but he declared that it would be a breach of
etiquette, at which the princess laughed very heartily; but he was far
too proper a person to consent to anything of which all the world would
not approve, so the bride was forced to submit.

[[A.D. 1795.]] There was a delay of several days at Osnaburg, and Lord
Malmesbury relates an anecdote as an illustration of the princess's
lack of judgment. There were a great many poor French emigrants at this
place, some of them actually dying of hunger and exposure. When Caroline
saw them she was filled with compassion, but did not know how to set
about assisting them. "I tell her liberality and generosity are an
enjoyment, not a severe virtue," says the lord mentor in his notes. "She
gives a louis for some lottery tickets; I give ten, and say the princess
ordered me to do it. She looked surprised, and I told her that I was
sure she did not mean to give only the value of the ticket, and that
I merely forestalled her intention. Next day an emigrant with a pretty
child draws near the table; the Princess Caroline immediately, of her
own accord, puts ten louis in a paper and gives it to the child. The
duchess, who goes with us as far as the sea, observes it, and inquires
of me what it was. I tell her a demand on her purse; she looks
embarrassed, and says, in French, 'I have only my pretty double
Brunswick louis, which would look prettier in the hands of that child
than in your {215}pocket,' I answered. She felt ashamed, and gave three
of them. In the evening, Princess Caroline, to whom this sort of virtue
was never preached, on my praising the coin of the Brunswick money,
offers me very seriously eight or ten double louis, saying (in French,
which we translate): 'Oh, I beg of you to take them; they are a mere
trifle--of no consequence whatever.' This shows how little she could
distinguish between benevolence and the mere act of throwing away money
like a child. I took an opportunity at supper of defining to her what
real charity was, and I recommended it to her as a quality that
would, if rightly employed, make her more admirers and give her more
satisfaction, than any that human nature could possess. The idea was
perfectly new to her, but she felt the truth of it; and she certainly is
not fond of money, as both her parents are."

On the 18th of January the escort wrote: "Princess Caroline was very
miss-ish at supper. I much fear these habits are irrevocably rooted in
her. She is naturally curious and a gossip; she is quick and observing,
and she has a silly pride of finding out everything.. She thinks herself
particularly acute in discovering likings, and this leads her at times
to the most improper remarks and conversation. I am determined to take
an opportunity of correcting her, cost what it may."

Princess Caroline flattered herself that she would reform her husband;
for although Lord Malmesbury had dropped numerous hints as to his vices,
he had so whitewashed the general character of the prince as to make
him appear far less of a scapegrace than he really was. She knew of his
disagreement with his parents, but thought she would be able to act the
part of the good angel, and reconcile them; that she would domesticate
him and give him a taste for virtue, and thus gain for herself and
him the blessings of a grateful {216}nation. Thus, filled with good
intentions, did this young bride declare herself ready, and with
confidence in her own capacity, to undertake the reformation of a man
she had never seen. She was not long, poor girl! in finding out how
utterly useless such a task would be, and how impossible even to make
the attempt.

The travellers did not reach Hanover until the twenty-fourth of January,
and they had suffered so intensely from the severe weather that the
duchess was as cross and ill-natured as possible, while her daughter
preserved her patience and good humor throughout the journey. There was
one matter that gave Lord Malmesbury great concern, and that was the
toilette of his charge. During their sojourn of three weeks at Hanover
he had several discussions with her upon this subject, and this is what
he wrote on the eighteenth of February, in his diary: "Argument with the
princess about her toilette. She piques herself on dressing quickly;
I disapprove this. She maintains her point; I, however, desire Madame
Busche to explain to her that the prince is very delicate, and that he
expects a long and very careful toilette, of which she has no idea. On
the contrary, she neglects it sadly, and is offensive from this neglect.
Madame Busche executes her commission well, and the princess comes out
the next day well washed all over."

The Madame Busche, to whom the lord refers, was a court lady, who
attended the princess from Brunswick. It would quite be edifying could
we be informed what argument she brought to bear in order to induce the
bride to take a bath; but it is to be hoped that once having discovered
the necessity of daily ablutions, there was no need of further reminders
on that subject. But washing alone was not enough; the princess was so
untidy about her clothing that her escort was forced to make another
appeal to the {217}court ladies, since he scarcely dared to broach so
delicate a point to the princess herself.

[Illustration: 0223]

He says: "I had conversations with the Princess Caroline on the
toilette, on cleanliness and on delicacy of speaking. On these points
I endeavored, as far as it was possible for a man, to inculcate the
necessity of great and nice attention to every part of dress,--as well
to what was hid as what was seen. I knew she wore coarse petticoats,
coarse chemises, and thread stockings, and these never well washed or
changed often enough. I observed that a long toilet was necessary, and
gave her no credit for boasting that hers was a short one. What I could
not say myself on this point I got said through women: through Madame
Busche, and afterwards through Mrs. Harcourt. It is remarkable how
amazingly on this point her education has been neglected, and how much
her mother, although an Englishwoman, was inattentive to it. I had
another conversation with her on speaking slightingly to the duchess;
being peevish to her, and often laughing at her or about her. On that
point I talked very seriously indeed--said that nothing was so extremely
{218}improper, so radically wrong; that it was impossible, if she
reflected for a moment, that she should not be sorry for every
disrespectful word she uttered to her mother, who always showed the
most tender affection for her. The princess felt this, and it made a
temporary impression. But on this, as on all other subjects, I have had
too many opportunities to observe that her heart is very, very light,
incapable of strong or lasting feelings. In some respects this may make
her happier, but certainly not better."

At last news came that the fleet had arrived off Stade, and that was a
signal for the mother and daughter to part. The duchess was affected to
tears; but Caroline behaved with sense and propriety, and kept up her
spirits all the way. Three days later the bridal party reached the
coast, and embarked on board the "Jupiter," a fifty-gun ship, while the
rest of the fleet poured forth a thundering salute.

One of the ladies selected to attend the bride was Mrs. Harcourt, who
had met her at Hanover; the other was Lady Jersey, who awaited her in
England. The squadron arrived off Yarmouth in due season; but a thick
fog set in, and it was not until noon on Saturday, a week from the day
of sailing, that they dropped anchor off Gravesend. The princess won the
hearts of the officers and seamen by her cheerfulness and affability,
which called forth the praise even of Lord Malmesbury.

On Sunday morning the bridal party was transferred to one of the royal
yachts, and, after a pleasant sail, reached Greenwich at noon. Vast
crowds had assembled to greet the princess, but not the bridegroom or
any of his family. There was a delay of more than an hour, because the
lady-in-waiting was behindhand, and had kept the carriages until she was
ready. When she did at last arrive she turned up her nose at the costume
of the princess, and behaved so rudely that Lord Malmesbury had to take
her {219}to task for it. This costume consisted of a muslin gown over
a blue satin petticoat, with a black beaver hat, in which were blue and
black plumes. Lady Jersey had brought a rich white satin frock and an
elegant turban, which the bride was required to put on at the governor's
house before proceeding to London.

The procession, consisting of two coaches, each drawn by six white
horses, and escorted by a detachment of the prince's own regiment, then
started, and the bride must have been somewhat surprised at the small
greeting and applause she met by the way.

About half-past two she alighted at St. James's Palace, and was
conducted to the rooms of the Duke of Cumberland, which had been
prepared for her use. Then the windows were opened, and the princess
stepped out upon the balcony to show herself to the crowd. Lord
Malmesbury at once went for the prince, who, it must be admitted, had
not shown much eagerness to behold the bride. How the poor stranger's
heart must have fluttered at this moment, with none of her own
countryfolk near to advise and guide her! She had not long to wait; for
the prince soon appeared, and this is the report of the interview as
given by the lord, whose duties were not yet over: "I, according to the
established etiquette, introduced (no one else being in the room) the
Princess Caroline to him. She, very properly, in consequence of my
saying it was the right mode of proceeding, attempted to kneel to him.
He raised her gracefully enough, and embraced her, said barely one word,
turned round, retired to a distant part of the apartment, and calling me
to him, said: 'Harris, I am not well; pray get me a glass of brandy.' I
said, 'Sir, had you not better have a glass of water?'--upon which he,
much out of humor, said, _with an oath_, 'No! I will go directly to
the queen. And away he went. The princess, {220}left during this short
moment alone, was in a state of astonishment, and on my joining her,
said: 'Mon Dieu, is he always like that? I find him very fat, and not
at all like the picture he sent me.'" No wonder she was shocked at such
treatment; it was a wretched beginning to her new life, and showed, even
more plainly than she suspected, what her future treatment was to be.

Lord Malmesbury tried to mend matters as best he could, and stammered
out a lame apology: "His royal highness was a good deal affected and
flurried at this first meeting; but would be better by dinner-time."
Of course the princess was not to be deceived by such an excuse, and
embarrassed her companion by indulging in no end of uncomplimentary
remarks. Relief came to him in the shape of a summons to wait upon the
king at once.

Strange as it may appear, his majesty immediately began to discuss the
war and foreign politics; and then, having satisfied himself on these
points, suddenly seemed to remember the purpose of Lord Malmesbury's
mission to the continent. He had only one question to ask about his
son's wife: "Is she good-humored?"

"I have never seen her otherwise, even when severely tried," was the
reply. "I glad of it," said the king, significantly; for he well knew
what need she would have of that quality.

Lady Jersey acted as a spy while waiting on the princess, and had
managed to worm a secret out of her during the short time they were
at Greenwich together, which she lost no time in communicating to the
prince. This was a love affair with a young German, and the knowledge
of it made the prince exceedingly angry. That evening at dinner, the
princess behaved absurdly. She was "flippant, rattling, affecting
raillery and wit," that proved her a very coarse, vulgar person. The
bridegroom was thoroughly disgusted and everybody else astonished; for
there was none of the {221}shyness or reserve that would seem natural
and becoming to a young woman in such a position.

When opportunity offered, the prince asked Harris what he thought of the
princess's manners, and took him to task for bringing her to England at
all. Lord Malmesbury then informed the prince of the injunctions he had
received from the Duke of Brunswick, at the same time assuring him that
he had observed only slight defects of character, that he hoped might
be amended, and adding, that no discretion had been left to him in
the matter, as he had merely been ordered to ask for the hand of the
Princess Caroline in marriage, and nothing more, and that he would
not have presumed to give any opinion of his own upon the lady, unless
requested to do so; and even in that case it would only have been in
strict confidence to the king himself. The prince sighed, but he was not
consoled, and his disgust for his bride was fast turning to hatred.

After the dinner was over the king and queen, with other members of the
family, arrived, and the princess was presented in due form. The king
was kind and affectionate towards his niece, but the queen was so cold
and unfriendly that everybody present noticed it. On the eighth of April
all the royal family dined together at the Queen's Palace, Buckingham
House, and after the meal they retired to their separate apartments
to dress for the wedding ceremony, which took place at night. It was
performed in the Chapel Royal at St. James's by the Archbishop of
Canterbury. The prince handed his hat with its rich diamond buckle to
Lord Harcourt to hold, and then made him a present of it. During the
procession it was noticed that the Prince and Princess of Wales scarcely
addressed a single remark to each other, although they walked side by
side. Some chroniclers say that the prince had partaken so freely of
wine during the dinner which

The Queens of England. {222}preceded the ceremony that he had to be held
up in the chapel between two dukes, and scarcely seemed aware of what
he was about. This may not be a fact, but he certainly behaved very
strangely during the ceremony; for he got up from his knees at the wrong
time and interrupted the archbishop, who stood silently wondering what
he intended to do. It was the king who stepped forward and whispered to
his son, who then resumed his position, and allowed the service to be
concluded. With the bridegroom behaving as he did, and taking no pains
to conceal his displeasure, the wedding must have been a melancholy
affair indeed. After all the legal formalities had been disposed of,
there was a grand supper at Buckingham House, and at midnight the
newly-wedded pair went to their own home at Carlton House. It is said
they had their first quarrel on the way, which is not surprising if it
be really true that the prince had been drinking too freely, and he was
probably not more abstemious at supper than he had been at dinner. The
city was illuminated, and there was great rejoicing in honor of the
royal marriage, though perhaps a peep into the hearts of the principal
parties concerned would have shown more cause to weep than to rejoice.

Two days after the marriage the royal couple returned to Windsor, where
they spent a few days, then went to a country-seat belonging to the
prince at Kempshott. The bride had only one lady-in-waiting with her at
that time, and she was her sole female, companion; but the prince was
surrounded by a lot of his low friends, who constantly were to be found,
in one part of the house or another, in such a state of intoxication as
to be sleeping and snoring on the sofas. After two or three weeks the
"happy pair" established themselves at Carlton House, and then the
princess was for the first time presented to the public at the theatre.
{223}The princess had evidently formed good resolutions, which appeared
in her amiable and prudent behavior. The change that came over her later
must, therefore, be attributed, in great part, to the ill-treatment she
received at the hands of the ruffian she was so unfortunate as to have
married.

[Illustration: 0229]

The lady-in-waiting that was forced upon her was an objectionable
person, and most disagreeable to the princess, who saw her treated with
cordiality in the queen's house and even invited to play cards with
the princesses. This was not customary, and King George expressed his
disapproval of such proceedings, but he was overruled.

The first serious matter to which the prince turned his attention
after his marriage was the payment of his debts, which were perfectly
enormous. But he had accepted a wife solely on condition that his
creditors should be satisfied; and when it was proposed by one of the
members of parliament {224}that a yearly deduction should be made out of
his revenue for that purpose he was highly indignant. If he had been an
honest man he would never have contracted debts that were far in excess
of his income; but, having done so, he ought to have been eager to
retrench. He preferred to throw himself on the mercy of his country,
like a spendthrift and a pauper, and afterwards continue in his reckless
course.

Princess Caroline was soon made aware that her marriage was part of a
bargain, the price being the payment of her husband's debts; also that
he had been formerly married to Mrs. Fitzherbert, on whom he had settled
a superb mansion in Park Lane. No one can deny that the young wife had
much to complain of, though it may not justify her future conduct.

While parliament remained in a state of indecision regarding the
prince's debts, his brother, the Duke of Clarence, afterwards William
IV., made an extraordinary harangue, which created no little surprise.
He represented that it was taking advantage of the _poor innocent_
prince to make any opposition to the full payment of all his
obligations, when it was well known that his consent to his marriage
had been obtained with that understanding. This was certainly an honest
speech, and perhaps a proof of brotherly interest and partisanship; but
it can scarcely be pronounced discreet or delicate.

At last, after no end of propositions, debates, and disputes, Mr.
Pitt's suggestion was agreed upon. This was an income of one hundred and
twenty-five thousand pounds a year for the prince, besides his revenue
from the duchy of Cornwall, of thirteen thousand pounds more. In
addition, the princess was to have fifty thousand pounds, besides twenty
thousand pounds for jewels, and twenty-six thousand pounds for the
refurnishing of Carlton House. {225}The old standing debts of the Prince
of Wales were all settled, and this was no trifling affair; for to his
ferrier alone he was indebted forty thousand pounds, and to his jeweller
eighty-five thousand pounds. This included the four thousand pounds that
the jewelled frame had cost in which the prince's miniature had been
placed before it was sent to Brunswick. It is not surprising that the
bride was disappointed when she beheld the original, after having viewed
his flattered counterpart with such a surrounding.

{226}



CHAPTER VIII.

[[A.D. 1796.]] |Long before the first year of their marriage was
completed the princess was living almost in solitary confinement at
Brighton, while her good-for-nothing husband was leading the gayest
sort of an existence in London, courted and honored at all the brilliant
parties he attended, and almost ignoring the fact that he had a wife. He
had abandoned his extravagant court at Carlton House for a time, because
he was not entirely satisfied with the revenue that had been settled on
him; so he showed his discontent by assuming a theatrical air of injured
innocence, poked his wife off in the country, and continued his shameful
course.

Then, feeling justly indignant at her husband's neglect, and at the
coldness of all of the royal family, excepting the old king, who was
always her firm friend, the princess was guilty of an indiscretion, the
effect of which went far towards completing her ruin. This consisted
in writing letters to her relations in Brunswick, in which she not only
complained piteously of her own position, but imprudently made use of
very harsh terms towards the queen and the princesses, who she
declared disliked her exceedingly, and seemed to take special pains
to misrepresent her every action. Her situation was without doubt
distressing, and it seems not unnatural for the young wife to yearn for
some sympathizing friend in whose ear she could pour forth her {227}tale
of wrong and regret; but we know that lack of judgment was Princess
Caroline's greatest fault, and it appears plainly in this, instance. She
did not write a dignified, sorrowful appeal to her parents, telling them
of her blasted hopes, and asking advice, for which there might have been
some excuse; but she sent pages of gossip and sarcastic abuse of
her relations in England to various parties in her native land,
tittle-tattle, unwise as it was unrefined, and unladylike.

These letters she confided to the care of Doctor Randolph, a clergyman,
who was going to Germany, and promised to deliver them. All his
arrangements were made for the journey when Mrs. Randolph fell ill,
and it was abandoned. The packet of letters written by the princess was
forthwith returned under cover, addressed to Lady Jersey. That malicious
spy carried them to the queen, by whom they were read, and displayed
among the different members of the royal family, the Prince of Wales
included. Of course this dishonorable action was not reported to the
writer of the letters, who remained in ignorance of their fate for
many years; therefore she continued to suffer from the ever-increasing
coldness and disdain of her husband and his family, excepting the king,
without being able to account for it. She had committed a fault, but
compared with those of the prince it sinks into insignificance; for he
was a heartless, treacherous reprobate from his cradle to his grave.

Princess Caroline had a little daughter born in the early part of the
new year at Carlton House. The father pronounced her a "fine
little girl," and she was christened Charlotte Augusta. The usual
congratulatory addresses were prepared; yet, when the corporation of
London desired to present theirs, they were informed that, as the prince
had reduced his establishment, he was unable to receive {228}them "in
a manner suitable to the situation," yet they might send it to him. To
this they very properly refused to listen, whereupon his royal highness
sent for the Lord Mayor, and gracefully proclaimed his sentiments of
veneration and esteem for the corporation of the city of London with
many lame excuses for not receiving the address. He did not, however,
add that he was at that very moment contemplating a final separation
from the princess, which was his real reason for declining public
rejoicings.

Soon after he went to Windsor to live, and the princess was so lonely
with the few old people selected by the queen to be her companions that
she complained both to the king and the prince. The consequence was a
message sent to her through Lady Cholmondeley, saying that "they ought
to separate." This was no shock to the young mother, who had been
prepared by the prince's neglect to expect nothing better; but, when
this message had been repeated several times, she merely replied, "That
she would be quite happy to live with her husband provided a change was
made in his behavior."

The prince's message was followed by a letter, in which, after writing
"our inclinations are not in our power, nor should either of us be held
answerable to the other because nature has not made us suitable to each
other," he proposed that they should live apart, and meet in society
merely as ordinary acquaintances. The injured wife agreed to this, only
stipulating that the separation should be forever, and concluded her
reply thus: "You will find enclosed a copy of my letter to the king.
As I have at this moment no protector but his majesty, I refer myself
solely to him on this subject; and, if my conduct meets his approbation,
I shall be in some degree at least consoled.

"I retain every sentiment of gratitude for the situation in which I find
myself as Princess of Wales; enabled by your

{229}

[Illustration: 0235]

{231}means to indulge in the free use of a virtue dear to my heart--I
mean charity. It will be my duty likewise to act upon another motive,
that of giving an example of patience and resignation under every
trial."

In this dignified, sensible answer, the prince could see only that he
was to be rid of the creature whom he had used as a tool to relieve him
of his embarrassments, and agreed without a moment's hesitation to her
wish that their separation should be final.

The king attempted to patch up a reconciliation, but did not succeed. He
then suggested an allowance of twenty thousand pounds for the princess,
but she declined any stipulated sum, and declared that her bills should
be sent to the prince for settlement. Public opinion was in favor of
the princess; and the first time she appeared at the opera, after the
separation, she was greeted with a tremendous outburst of applause,
that must have been galling to the prince. It certainly alarmed the poor
lady, who said, "she supposed she should be guillotined on account
of it." She had contrived before this to dismiss Lady Jersey, who was
excessively obnoxious to her, and Lady Carnarvon and Mrs. Fitzroy were
ladies-in-waiting in her stead.

The princess now gathered about her friends well known for their rank
and respectability, all of whom were impressed by her good sense
and discretion. This makes it very clear that she was driven, by a
persistent course of ill-treatment, to the follies of her later life. It
was so painful for her to appear at court, where she met with coldness
and disdain, that she made a humble appeal, both to the king and the
prince, to be relieved from doing so; and the public felt so much
sympathy with her that her request could not be refused. The worthy old
king had a warm feeling for his favorite sister's child, and was grieved
at the indignity she had suffered; so he wrote her a kind, {232}fatherly
letter, urging her to make another attempt at reconciliation with
the prince. His tone throughout was affectionate and sensible, and he
advised her to intimate to her husband that she desired his return, and
to promise that no reproaches should disturb his equanimity if he would
consent. With the belief that the king would not so have written unless
he had reason to suppose that his son was willing to become reconciled
to her, the princess eagerly undertook the task of writing to him, and
for the moment felt buoyed up with the hope of winning him. This is a
copy of her letter:--

"I avail myself with the greatest ardor of the king's desire, whose
letter shows me that you are willing to yield to his wishes, which fills
me with the greatest delight. I look forward with infinite pleasure to
the moment that will bring you to Carlton House, and that will forever
terminate a misunderstanding which, on my side, I assure you, will never
be thought of again. If you do me the honor of seeking my society in
future, I will do everything to make it agreeable to you. If I should
displease you, you must be generous enough to forgive me, and count upon
my gratitude, which I shall feel to the end of my life. I may look for
this as mother of your daughter, and as one who is ever yours."

This humble appeal had no effect on the prince, and, finding it
treated with silent contempt, the princess gave up all hopes of a
reconciliation, and went to live with a few ladies at Montague House,
near Blackheath. Her little daughter was not allowed to accompany her,
but was kept at Carlton House, under the direction of Lady Elgin and
Miss Hayman, the sub-governess.

The prince continued to live at Carlton House, but saw very little of
his daughter, because he had not much time for anything but his own
pleasures, and she constituted no {233}part of them. However, rather
than leave her to the care of her mother, he assumed some concern
for her welfare, and by his gracious and charming manners made a most
favorable impression on Miss Hayman.

[[A.D. 1797.]] The princess visited her daughter about once a week, and
loved the little thing so dearly that she made several applications to
the prince to be allowed to have her at Montague House; but he never
noticed them. Miss Hayman thus describes one of the royal mother's
visits to the nursery:--

"The princess came in to see me and spoke very affably. She asked me
if I did not find the infant wonderfully like the Prince of Wales, and
whether I was fond of children, and added that her little Charlotte had
been naughty, but was now, by Lady Elgin's care, quite good. She stayed
about half an hour, and selected some lace for the baby's frocks.
When Lady Elgin came in she said, 'Miss Hayman must now kiss her royal
highness's hand;' but the princess got up and said, 'Oh, no! We will
shake hands instead,' and turned the whole formality into a jest. She
then began a gossiping conversation on novels, and showed throughout the
warm-heartedness and kindliness, the indiscretion and want of dignity
which, Lord Malmesbury had noticed in her."

Miss Hayman was removed from the royal nursery at the end of three
months, because the princess seemed to favor her: but she was then taken
into service at Montague House, where pleasant parties were often
given, and the friends of the princess contrived to pass the time quite
merrily. Sir Gilbert Elliot, Lord and Lady Wood, the Duke and Duchess
of Hamilton, the Edens, and Lord Thurlow were among the guests, and,
strange to say, the last was friend and adviser to both the Prince and
Princess of Wales. Sir Gilbert Elliot constantly praises the conduct of
the injured {234}wife, and declares that she was utterly undeserving
of "such strange neglect." He said of her besides: "Her countenance is
remarkably lively and pleasing; I think her positively a handsome woman,
but she is a little indiscreet; for she is apt to select any new guest,
to whom she will pour out the whole story of her wrongs, while the rest
stand about and look on."

The Princess Charlotte was sometimes taken to visit her mother. On one
of these occasions she was permitted to remain in the drawing-room
until dinner was announced, and all the guests pronounced her one of the
finest and pleasantest of children. The mother got down on her knees and
romped and played with her child for a long time. When the little girl
became unruly one day, Miss Garth, a lady-in-waiting, said to her, "You
have been so naughty, I don't know what we must do with you."

"You must soot me," she replied,--meaning shoot her.

Although the life of Princess Caroline was in some respects a sad one,
she passed many pleasant hours in company with her friends, dancing,
playing cards, blind man's buff, and other games, interspersed with
musical parties.

[[A.D. 1798.]] After many months the idea of a reconciliation was
broached by the prince and his advisers; but fancying that she saw some
object for which she was again to be made a tool, the shrewd princess
was determined that unless the matter was laid before her in due form
she would treat it according to the example the prince had shown her.
She was right; for Mrs. Fitzherbert, who always considered herself
the only real wife of the Prince of Wales, was again honored by his
attentions. She had been the person selected by himself for a wife, the
Duke of York was her firm friend, the queen was kind and attentive, and
George III. treated her with the tenderness of a father from the time
of her landing in England until he ceased to {235}reign. She was a good
woman, and never in any way gave cause for scandal. On the contrary,
when the prince, her husband, returned to live with her, she gave a
public breakfast in honor of the event, and the following eight years
were very happy ones to this couple.

At this period a taste for the best music and the stage was cultivated
to a remarkable degree by the nobility. Both the king and the Prince of
Wales extended their patronage to the opera, which was a pastime that
only the aristocracy could indulge in, because it was too expensive for
the general public. The royal family attended regularly, and the corps
of actors included a great deal of talent. One of these was Elliston,
who had a curious ad-venture with George III., by whom he had been
commanded to appear in a certain part on his benefit-night.

The monarch had been taking a very long walk, entirely alone, when a
sudden rain storm came up just as he was passing the theatre door. In
he went, and meeting no one passed at once to the royal box, and seated
himself in his own chair. The light in the theatre was dim, the air
somewhat close, and the king, soon succumbing to the influence of both
after his brisk walk, fell asleep. Towards night Elliston entered the
theatre to make sure that everything was in readiness for the play; but
first went to the king's box to inspect that. What was his surprise
to find a man comfortably ensconced in his majesty's own arm-chair? He
raised his hand and was just about to let it descend with a smart blow
on the intruder's shoulder when he recognized the king. What was to
be done? He dared not arouse the royal sleeper, and the time for
the performance was approaching. Suddenly an idea struck him; softly
stepping out of the royal box, he took a violin from the orchestra, and
stationing himself in the pit just under the sleeper's nose, struck up
"God save the King!" Up {236}started his majesty, rubbing his eyes, and
staring at the comedian, who went down on his knees, while continuing
his tune. "Hey! hey! hey! What! what! Oh, yes! I see, Elliston--ha! ha!
ha! Rain came on--took a seat--took a nap. What's o'clock?"

"Approaching six, your majesty."

"Six!--six o'clock!" exclaimed the king. "Send to her majesty--say
I'm here. Stay--stay--this wig won't do--eh, eh? Don't keep the people
waiting--light up--light up--let'em in--let'em in--ha! ha! ha! fast
asleep! Play well to-night, Elliston. Great favorite with the queen. Let
'em in--let 'em in."

The house was illuminated at once; messengers were sent off to the royal
family, and in a few minutes they reached the theatre. At the close
of the performance, the comedian attended the king and queen to
their carriage, and as he held open the door, his majesty laughingly
exclaimed, "Fast asleep, eh, Elliston!--fast asleep! ha! ha! ha!"

[[A.D. 1801.]] By this time the king's health was seriously impaired;
but of his condition and the causes, the chapter devoted to his reign
contains an account. He was always friendly to his daughter-in-law, and
said, again and again: "The princess shall have her child, and I will
speak to Mr. Wyatt about building a wing to her present house." He
meant well, but his mind was so feeble that he was to be depended on for
nothing. The Prince of Wales bothered him, as he was constantly doing
in one way or another, and sent a request through Mr. Addington, who
had succeeded Mr. Pitt as prime minister, to be placed in command of the
army. After a month's delay, the king, who had but a poor opinion of his
eldest son's ability or courage, declared that there was no situation in
the army suited to his rank; and not long after peace was concluded.

{237}

[Illustration: 0243]

[[A.D. 1802.]] {239}This joyful event was celebrated by festivities of
all kinds. The Lord Mayor gave a magnificent entertainment, which the
Prince of Wales attended; and so great was the popular enthusiasm that
the horses were taken from his carriage, and the mob drew it to the
Mansion House. At the close of this feast there was a ball given by
the Gaming Club, in a hall decorated on the most magnificent scale. The
windows were, by some mechanical contrivance, converted into entrances,
hung with festoons of flowers and gilt lanterns containing brilliant
lights. The hall was splendidly illuminated, and the walls were covered
with a rich green and buff paper. Each recess formed a conservatory for
choice plants and trees of rare beauty. There was a grand orchestra,
composed of first-class musicians, and a large band of Indians performed
their war-dances. The Prince of Wales wore a rich Highland costume, and
was comfortably placed in a room appropriated to him and his party.
An adjoining one represented a cave, in which a company of bandits,
consisting of musically-inclined lords, sang comic songs for the
amusement of his royal highness. Many of the foreign ministers were
present, and the ball was pronounced one of the most splendid ever given
in England.

[[A.D. 1804.]] We now turn with pleasure to the young Princess
Charlotte, who had become a most engaging child of eight years. Miss
Berry pictures her with "her face damaged by small-pox to an extent
rarely seen at the time among the higher classes;" and says "that it
frightened her to hear dismal stories, yet able to tell a very good one
herself." She was a bright child, could speak French, knew music, and
was remarkably amiable and good-natured. She had a peculiar little
stammer in her speech, "which she never lost, even after she became a
woman. Miss Gale had succeeded Miss Hayman as sub-governess, and lived
with her {240}charge at a country place known as Shrewsbury House, near
Shooter's Hill.

There are many stories told of her amusing insubordination. She used to
leave the doors wide open, and rush with a shout into Miss Gale's room.
"My dear princess," the lady would exclaim, "you should always shut the
door after you."

"Not! indeed!" returned the little lady; "if you want the door shut,
ring the bell." Then with a laugh she would run off. Sometimes she would
commit a forbidden act, and then say, defiantly, "I have done it,--now
punish me."

Her mother remained at Montague House, always favored and protected
by the king, who was very fond of his grandchild. The princess devoted
herself to music, painting, and modelling, and spent her evenings with
the friends who gathered around her and sympathized with her wrongs.
Although she would at times abuse the prince loudly at her own table,
she always gave her daughter good advice with regard to him. Such
speeches as this were not uncommon: "It must have been an honor and
pleasure to you that your father wished to see you on his birthday, and
I trust you will never in any day of your life deviate from the respect
and attachment which is due to the prince, your father."

The young princess had violent likes and dislikes. Two people for whom
she felt a special aversion were Dr. Fisher, Bishop of Salisbury, and
Mrs. Udney. She shows this in a will which she made before she was nine
years old, from which she excludes both. It ran thus: "I make my will.
First, I leave all my best books and all my books to the Rev. Mr.
Nott. Secondly, to Mrs. Campbell, my three watches and half my jewels.
Thirdly, I beg Mr. Nott, whatever money he finds me in possession of, to
distribute to the poor, and I leave to Mr. Nott all my papers {241}which
he knows of. I beg the Prayer-book which Lady Elgin gave me may be given
to the Bishop of Exeter, and that the Bible Lady Elgin gave me may be
given to him also. Also my playthings the Misses Fisher are to have.
And, lastly, concerning Mrs. Gargarin and Mrs. Lewis, I beg that they
may be very handsomely paid, and that they may have a house. Lady
de Clifford, the rest of my jewels, except those that are the most
valuable; and these my father and mother, the Prince and Princess of
Wales, are to take. Nothing to Mrs. Udney,--for reasons. I have done my
will, and trust that after I am dead a great deal may be done for Mr.
Nott. I hope the king will make him a bishop.--Charlotte." This childish
will, instead of merely exciting a smile on the part of the prince,
caused his serious displeasure. He pronounced it "high treason," and
sent for Mr. Adam, chancellor of the duchy of Cornwall, to get his
opinion on this highly important matter. Meanwhile, the privy council
did not consider it beneath their dignity to put their wise heads
together for consultation about Princess Charlotte's will. The desire
to have Mr. Nott created a bishop never could have originated in that
young brain, they decided. "Your royal highness has a just conception
of the matter," declared Mr. Adam. In short, after the document had
occupied a great deal more time and thought than it was worth, it
was settled that as Mrs. Campbell had been so highly favored, she had
exerted an undue influence over the mind of the little princess, and the
worthy woman was forthwith dismissed from the household.

The king now decided to undertake the education of Princess Charlotte
himself, acting as trustee for the nation. His reason for this step was
that he did not consider his son a proper person even to live in the
same house with her, and it was not expedient that the mother should
take {242}her in charge. The Prince of Wales had not been on friendly
terms with his parents for many months; but Mr. Pitt, who was again in
power, attempted to bring about a reconciliation between him and the
queen. This was not a difficult matter; for the mother's heart naturally
yearned towards her son, and a dutiful note from him was answered
affectionately by her.

In accordance with a desire expressed by the prince that he might be
permitted to throw himself at the king's feet, an appointment was made
for him at Kew; but, although the king went there specially for that
purpose, the prince pleaded illness, and failed to appear. He was not
ill, but very indignant because his father made frequent visits to the
Princess of Wales, to whom he knew that, if he gave up his daughter to
the king, some benefit would accrue. In order to avoid the necessity of
giving his consent to this step he decided to forego the privilege he
had asked. Three months later the interview really did take place,
and the very first person to whom the king made a report of it was the
Princess of Wales. He wrote her a most affectionate note, in which
he assured her that nothing should be decided upon with regard to
the future of her daughter without her concurrence, adding: "For your
authority as a mother it is my object to support."

[[A.D. 1805.]] The king was so fond of his daughter-inlaw that he
presented her with two beautiful Arabian horses and a very costly
service of gold, and frequently expressed a desire to pass as much
time in her society as possible, and to take her under his special
protection.

Having presented the bad sides of the prince's character, it is only
fair to tell something good of him; for we know that "there is good in
all, though none all good," as the proverb says. Here is an anecdote
that indicates kindness of heart. It is thus related by a person who
witnessed the scene:--{243}"Being at Brighton, and going rather earlier
than usual to visit his stables, the prince inquired of a groom, 'Where
is Tom Cross? Is he unwell? I have missed him for some days.'
'Please your royal highness,' answered the groom, hesitatingly, 'I
believe--for--Mr.--can inform your royal highness.' 'I desire to
know, sir, of you. What has he done?' 'I believe--your royal
highness--something--not--quite correct. Something about the oats.'
'Where is Mr.---------? Send him to me immediately.' The prince seemed
much disturbed at what he had heard, as the youth for whom he inquired
was the son of an old, faithful groom, who had died in his service. When
the officer of the stable appeared, his royal highness inquired, 'Where
is Tom Cross? What has become of him?' 'I do not know, your royal
highness.' 'What has he been doing?' 'Purloining the oats, your royal
highness, and I discharged him.' 'What, sir? Send him away without
acquainting me!--not know whither he has gone!--a fatherless boy, driven
into the world from my service, with a blighted character! Why, the poor
fellow will be destroyed. Mr.--------, I did not expect this from you!
Seek him out, sir, and let me not see you until you have discovered
him.' Before many days Tom was found and brought before his royal
master. He hung his head, and the tears rolled down his cheeks. The
prince looked at him for a moment or two, and then said: 'Tom, Tom, what
have you been doing? Happy it is for your poor father that he is gone;
it would have broken his heart to see you in such a situation. I hope
this is your first offence!' The youth was so overcome with shame and
remorse that he wept bitterly. 'Ah, Tom, I am glad to see that you are
penitent,' continued the prince; 'your father was an honest man; I had a
great regard for him; so I should have for you, if you were a good lad,
for his sake. Now, if I desire {244}Mr.--------to take you into the
stable again, do you think I may trust you?' Tom fell on his knees,
implored forgiveness, and promised to reform. 'Well, then, you shall
be restored,' said the prince. 'Avoid evil company; go and recover your
character; be diligent; be honest, and make me your friend; and--hark
ye, Tom--I will take care that no one shall ever taunt you with what is
past!'"

It was by such gracious acts that the Prince of Wales won the gratitude
and admiration of his inferiors. "Do as I say, but not as I do," ought
to have been his motto, for he could advise others so much better than
he could act for himself.

It is always interesting to know what people look like; so here is a
picture of the Prince of Wales as he appeared at the age of forty-two:
"A merry, good-humored man, tall, though somewhat portly in stature, in
the prime of life, with laughing eyes, pouting lips, and nose which very
slightly turned up and gave a peculiar poignancy to the expression
of his face. He wore a well-powdered wig, adorned with a profusion of
curls, and a very large pigtail appended thereto. His clothes fitted him
like a glove; his coat wras single-breasted and buttoned up to the chin.
His nether garments were leather pantaloons and Hessian boots. Around
his throat was a huge, white neck-cloth of many folds, out of which his
chin seemed to be always struggling to emerge."

[A.D. 1806.] Here was an exterior that may have been very attractive
to those who did not know the Prince of Wales for the lazy, vain,
frivolous, weak, dissipated creature that he was; always plunging
himself into some awkward embarrassment by thoughtlessly taking action
where his feelings were aroused. And thus, with a decided hatred for his
injured wife, he chose to pervert every indiscreet or thoughtless speech
or action of hers into the appearance of

{245}

[Illustration: 0251]

{247}crime; for he never could prove anything against her. He bribed
her servants and his own to appear against the princess, when the king
thought fit to institute a court of inquiry; but never were proceedings
more improper or unjust. But the truth prevailed, as it always must,
and the princess came out victorious at last, though not without severe
tests of patience and resignation, that nothing but great, piety and
fortitude could have carried her through. She had warm friends always,
and they gathered about her at this crisis. The most valuable of her
allies was Mr. Perceval, who enthusiastically espoused her cause,
and drew up a statement of her case. This document has always been
considered one of the most powerful and complete defences ever written,
and the author of it had the satisfaction of a splendid triumph. To be
sure, there was considerable delay; for so determined was the prince
upon the ruin of his wife that even when the king was convinced of her
innocence, and willing for her to reappear at court, he adopted every
means to procure further inquiries, and if possible more charges.

[[A.D. 1807.]] An ignominious defeat was his reward; for the council
declared the princess innocent of every charge brought against her, and
she was invited to appear at the queen's drawing-room. The royal family
were all present when she entered, elegantly attired. The king received
her affectionately, the ladies and gentlemen with cordial respect, the
queen with cold, formal courtesy, and the princesses with indifference.
Presently she stood face to face with the prince, her husband, in the
very centre of the apartment, with all eyes fixed on them. They bowed,
exchanged a few common-places, and then passed on,--he as cold as an
icicle, she dignified and triumphant. They never met again; and, strange
to say, instead of profiting by the lesson she had had, and seeking to
retain the favor {248}of the populace, which she certainly had secured,
the princess became so reckless as to alienate even her best friends.

She lived at Kensington Palace, though she still retained her villa at
Blackheath, and held a sort of court, attended by the Tory, nobility,
who knew that the king and Mr. Perceval, then minister, were on her
side. She kept up considerable style, gave and attended balls and
parties, and gathered around her as many lively, witty people as
possible, for she had a special aversion to dull ones. In course of time
an eccentric and somewhat frivolous set of friends replaced the better
class, and had a baneful influence on the princess.

Miss Berry wrote of her at this period: "Her conversation is certainly
uncommonly lively, odd, and clever. What a pity that she has not a grain
of common sense, not an ounce of ballast to prevent high spirits and a
coarse mind running away with her, and allowing her to act indecorously
whenever an occasion offers." This is probably a true picture of her;
for she was always seeking amusement, and would sacrifice propriety
for the sake of getting it. Perhaps she tried in this way to forget her
sorrow; but that does not justify her conduct.

Among the most respectable and powerful of the princess's allies were
Mr. Canning and Mr. Brougham, both prominent statesmen, who were of
great advantage to her for many years.

[[A.D. 1811.]] The king's mental condition became so dreadful that
at last, after repeated relapses, little hope was entertained of his
ultimate recovery, and the Prince of Wales was appointed regent. In
celebration of this event, he gave one of the grandest fêtes at Carlton
House that had ever been witnessed in England. It was considered
ill-timed, because his father's life hung upon a thread, but {249}the
excuse he gave was a popular one; for he said that he desired to
benefit those branches of trade which had suffered so long from the
discontinuance of court splendor. The queen and her daughters were
displeased at the prince's apparent heartlessness, and refused to attend
his fête; but his brothers were present, also the princess's suite,
though she herself was excluded. Princess Charlotte, who had reached
her fifteenth year, was also tabooed, and the letter she wrote on the
subject to Miss Hayman shows how she felt about it.

"My dear Hamy,--But a few lines, as I will write you a longer one soon
again, only to tell you that the prince-regent gives a magnificent ball
on the fifth of June. I have not been invited, nor do I know if I shall
be or not. If I should not it will make a great noise in the world, as
the friends I have seen have repeated over and over again it is my duty
to go there; it is proper that I should. Really I do think it will be
very hard if I am not asked."

It does seem hard, but it is nevertheless a fact, that this little
maiden was not permitted even to be a spectator of all the magnificence
displayed at her father's entertainment. The costumes worn by the ladies
were all new and splendid, and the supper surpassed any that had ever
been given at the other courts. Louis XVIII. and several other members
of the French royal family, then in London, attended the ball by special
invitation from the prince. The host wore a rich scarlet uniform, with a
magnificent badge, diamond aigrette, and jewelled sabre. He received his
royal guests in an apartment fitted up for the occasion with rich blue
silk, brocaded with _fleurs-de-lis_ in gold. The Grecian Hall was
adorned with shrubs and innumerable large lanterns and patent lamps. The
floor was carpeted; and two lines composed of Yeomen of the Guard, and
the servants {250}of the king, the regent, the queen, and the royal
dukes, in their finest liveries, formed an avenue to the octagonal hall
where yeomen were also stationed. That hall was decorated with antique
drapery of scarlet trimmed with gold, and festooned with gold cords and
tassels. A dozen officers and lords received the company. The prince
entered the state-rooms with the royal family of France at a quarter
past nine. During the evening the prince-regent passed from room to
room, and conversed with the utmost cheerfulness and lack of ceremony
with his guests. For some time the company amused themselves walking
about the halls and apartments, and every one particularly admired the
grand circular dining-room, supported by columns of porphyry, and the
elegance of the whole of its arrangements. The room in which the throne
stood was hung with crimson velvet, with gold lace, and fringes. The
canopy of the throne was surmounted by golden helmets, with lofty plumes
of ostrich feathers, and underneath stood the state-chair. The ball-room
floors were chalked in beautiful arabesque devices and divided for two
sets of dancers by crimson silk cord; but the weather was so warm that
little dancing took place in any of the rooms. At two o'clock the supper
was announced, and the company, preceded by the prince and the French
royal family, descended the grand staircase to the temporary buildings
that had been erected on the lawn. Passing through a grotto lined with
shrubs and flowers, they came to a grand table, extending the whole
length of the conservatory, which was two hundred feet. Along the centre
of the table, about six inches above the surface, a canal of pure water
flowed from a silver fountain, beautifully constructed at the head of
the table. Its banks were covered with green moss and aquatic flowers,
while gold and silver fish swam up and down in the current. At the head
of the

{251}

[Illustration: 0257]

{253}table, above the fountain sat the prince-regent, with his most
particular friends on either side of him. They were attended by sixty
waiters; seven served the prince, besides six of the queen's, and six of
the king's footmen in state liveries, and one man in a complete suit of
ancient armor. At the back of the prince's seat were elevated stands,
so arranged as to exhibit to the greatest advantage exquisitely wrought
silver-plate, and near the ceiling was a royal crown, and his majesty's
cipher, G. R., splendidly illuminated. There was also an immense
side-board covered with gold urns, vases, and salvers, and on the top
was a Spanish urn of great value, taken from the 'Invincible Armada.'
There were other tables running in various directions, and places for
the accommodation of two thousand persons. When the whole company was
seated, there was a line of female beauty more richly adorned, and
a blaze of jewelry more brilliant than was ever displayed before in
England. Bands of music were stationed at various points, and performed
choice selections. The upper servants wore a costume of dark blue with
gold lace trimmings, and the assistants were dressed in black suits with
white vests. All the tureens, dishes, and plates were of silver. There
were hot soups, roasts, _entrées_, and all sorts of fine, well-cooked
viands, a profusion of peaches, grapes, pine-apples, and all other
fruits in and out of season. There was iced champagne at every three or
four seats, and other wines in great plenty. The ropes that supported
the tent were gilded and ornamented with no end of wreaths and festoons
of flowers.

The next day the public were admitted to view the decorations, which was
considered a mark of great good nature on the part of the prince. The
crush was so tremendous on that occasion, and the excitement so great,
that when the gates were thrown open many women were {254}knocked down
and trodden upon. Many fainted, shrieks and cries filled the air, limbs
were broken, and clothing torn from the backs of people. At last,
after a great deal of mischief had been done, the Duke of Clarence came
forward and made a speech, which had the effect of tranquillizing the
mob.

{255}



CHAPTER IX.

[[A.D. 1812.]]

|The health of the king did not improve; and, as the prince-regent now
held the reins of government, a separate maintenance was provided for
the queen and princesses. This was quite necessary, because the prince
was on bad terms with all his family; besides, he was thinking seriously
of a divorce from Princess Caroline, which he felt more sure of getting
because of his father's inability to protect her. But that matter had
to rest for a while, because his mind was so filled with political
disturbances, the Catholic question, changes in the ministry, and at
last the assassination of Mr. Perceval in the House of Commons. The
prince was entirely under the control of men of small ability, who
advised him so badly that he became exceedingly unpopular, and attacks
of the most stinging and bitter character were made against him in the
papers. Such men as Moore, Charles Lamb, Cruikshank, and Home held him
up to ridicule in the most merciless manner, and, as he was vain and
sensitive, it must have been very galling. Here is one of the verses
written by Charles Lamb, which leaves no doubt to whom it refers:--

               THE TRIUMPH OF THE WHALE.

                   "Io! Paean! Io! sing,

                   To the finny people's king,

                   Not a mightier whale than this,

                   In the vast Atlantic is; {256}

                   Not a fatter fish than he

                   Flounders round the Polar sea:

                   See his blubber at his gills,--

                   What a world of drink he swills!--

                   Such a person,--next declare,

                   Muse, who his companions are:

                   Every fish of generous kind

                   Stands aside or drinks behind.

                   Name or title, what was he?

                   Is he Regent of the sea?

                   By his bulk and by his size,

                   By his oily qualities,

                   This (or else my eyesight fails),

                   This should be the Prince of Whales."

[[A.D. 1813.]] Meanwhile, Princess Charlotte had become a handsome young
lady, with _piquant_ manners, that made her very attractive. She loved
her mother and espoused her cause, which excited the jealousy and
indignation of her father to a degree bordering on insanity. She had
not seen her mother for several weeks for some reason, when Princess
Caroline drove to Windsor and demanded to see her child. She was denied,
but had an interview with the queen; during which the latter pointed out
to her that it was the regent who regulated this matter, and no one else
had any authority. The princess was very angry, and a message from the
regent sent by Lord Liverpool, requesting her not to go there again,
did not tend to pacify her. Her reply was, that if she saw the Princess
Charlotte once a week she would obey, otherwise she would certainly
go to Windsor whenever she chose. She knew that she should meet with a
refusal to see her daughter; but she wanted it in black and white.

After consulting several times with Mr. Brougham, the princess at
last resolved to send the queen a letter claiming free access to her
daughter, and complaining that her education was being neglected, and
that she was being {257}kept in too close confinement. The prince was
in such a rage when he read the letter, which was of course sent to him
before it could be answered, that he determined to take his daughter
under his immediate control, and to get rid of the governess to whom she
was attached, because she was supposed to favor her pupil's mother too
much. The prince was shocked when he one day heard his daughter call
the queen "the Merry Wife of Windsor," and reprimanded her for her
disrespect. "Don't you know my mother is Queen of England?" he asked,
sternly. "And you seem to forget that _my_ mother is Princess of Wales!"
retorted the pert young lady.

On the eve of her seventeenth birthday Princess Charlotte wrote a letter
to Lord Liverpool, in which she declared that as her late governess had
been removed, she was now old enough to do without another, and required
an establishment with her own ladies-in-waiting. As she wrote all the
details of the different scenes she had with her aunts and the queen to
her mother, it is probable that she received some secret hints from that
quarter.

One morning the young princess was summoned to appear before her father,
the queen, the lord chancellor, and her aunts. The regent asked her
angrily, "What she meant by refusing to have a governess," adding, "as
long as I live you shall have no establishment unless you marry." She
referred him to her letter for his reply, whereupon both he and the
queen abused her and called her a "perverse, wilful creature."

The chancellor then explained to her, rather roughly, what was her duty,
and she asked him as a father what he would do. He replied, that if the
princess were his daughter he would lock her up. She said not a word,
but on going to the room of one of her aunts burst into tears, and
exclaimed, "What would the king say if he could know {258}that his
grand-daughter had been compared to the granddaughter of a collier?" As
a compromise, the Duchess of Leeds was appointed as governess, merely
in name, and the princess was to have two ladies-in-waiting besides. She
was now a young lady "out" in society, and a ball was given at Carlton
House in honor of her birthday.

Meanwhile, the Princess of Wales sent a letter to the regent, which was
returned unopened. This was repeated several times, when it was decided
by Mr. Brougham and others to publish it. The mother began by saying how
she had waited day by day to see her daughter, but it had been made more
and more impossible. "Our intercourse has been gradually diminished,"
she wrote; "a single interview weekly seemed hardly sufficient for a
mother's affections; that, however, was reduced to our meeting once a
fortnight, and I now learn that this most rigorous interdiction is to
be still more rigidly enforced." Then, after a most touching appeal,
she closes by reminding the regent that their daughter had never been
confirmed.

The effect of this document was marvellous. The whole country was
aroused, and every heart throbbed with indignation at the idea of a
loving mother being so cruelly separated from her child. But the prince
had made up his mind to get rid of his wife, and so employed an eminent
law firm to manage it for him,--by what intrigues and falsehoods he
cared not, so long as it was accomplished.

Parliament declared the princess innocent of any of the charges brought
against her, still intercourse with her daughter was restricted.

That daughter had shown such a spirit of independence that a
household of her own had been established at Warwick House. This was a
dilapidated, gloomy building; but the young princess preferred it to the
fine apartments she occupied at Windsor, because it freed her from the
super-

{259}

[Illustration: 0265]

vision {261}of the queen. The Duchess of Leeds was at the head of the
household, and Miss Knight was lady-companion. She went from time to
time to Carlton House, which was just across the road from hers, but the
prince-regent desired to keep her back as much as possible, and informed
her that all intercourse with her mother must cease for a time. Such a
command had the effect of keeping her at home; for she was so grieved
that for several weeks she refused to attend any public amusements, even
the queen's drawing-rooms.

The Duke of Brunswick was killed on the battle-field of Jena, and his
wife had been forced to seek the protection of her brother, George
III., very soon after. By the time she arrived in England, however, that
brother, who, she always said, "loved her as well as he could anybody,"
was not permitted to see her, and not in a condition to recognize her,
even if he had been. So the poor duchess set up an establishment of her
own not far from her daughter, whose cause she espoused, and to whom her
sympathy was a source of real comfort. Her death, which occurred at this
period, left Princess Caroline an orphan, and deprived her of another
valuable friend.

The princess continued to be popular with the people, though some
gentlemen of high standing had deserted her when the prince became
regent. She dared not visit her daughter, but managed to meet her
clandestinely when she drove out; and when such meetings occurred on
the public highway, crowds would gather around the carriage with loud
demonstrations of approbation; and threatening cries of "to
Carlton House," more than once arose from the mob. Not only was the
prince-regent anxious to get his wife out of the way, but he had a
similar desire regarding his daughter. Her case seemed easy to manage,
if he could only find a husband for her, so he pitched on the Prince
of {262}Orange, a young man who had been educated in England, and was
serving on the Duke of Wellington's staff.

[[A.D. 1814.]] The first time the young princess met him was at a party
at Carlton House, given for that purpose. She looked very pretty in
a dress of violet-satin, trimmed with blonde, and made a favorable
impression on the prince. She did not dislike her suitor; but her
father's eagerness to conclude the match rendered her suspicious,
and set her to making inquiries as to her future position in case she
consented to the marriage. She consulted her mother, who told her that
the match was unpopular with the nation, because they did not wish the
heir to the throne of England to pass most of her time in Holland,
as she would be obliged to do if she married the Prince of Orange.
Furthermore, the Princess of Wales assured her child that all the world
was astonished at her eighteenth birthday having been passed over with
no public testimony of joy. "Oh, but the war, and the great expenses
of the nation, occasion my coming of age to be passed over at present,"
argued Charlotte. "A very good excuse, truly," replied the mother, "and
you are child enough to believe it!"

Thus when the high-spirited girl found that her father's aim was to get
her out of the way, and for that reason was so anxious for her to marry
the Prince of Orange, she began to raise objections, and made such a
struggle that the affair came to a dead stop, and another husband had to
be sought.

All England rejoiced this year because of the defeat of Napoleon and
his exile to Elba. This was a signal for the return of the Bourbons to
France. Louis XVIII. made a public entry into London, escorted by the
regent, on whom he bestowed the order of St. Esprit, in the enthusiasm
of his gratitude for the hospitality he had received. There were only
two people not permitted to take {263}part in the festivities,--the
Princess of Wales and her daughter. The regent escorted the French royal
family to Dover, and the Duke of Clarence attended them to their native
land.

But there were grand doings at hand; for early in June the Emperor
of Russia, the King of Prussia, the czar's sister, the Grand Duchess
Catherine, Blucher, the great general, and many other distinguished
foreigners visited London, and the whole city went wild over these
visitors. The queen gave two drawing-rooms, and, on hearing that it was
the intention of the Princess of Wales to be present, her majesty wrote
her that as the regent had declared it to be his fixed and unalterable
intention never to meet her in public or private, she would not be
received. It was only after a great deal of persuasion on the part of
her friends that the princess consented to stay away; but she wrote to
the regent and told him she would not stand such treatment. Her letter
was not noticed, and, rather than submit to further indignities, she
began to think about leaving the country, where she had known nothing
but insults and neglect.

A series of fêtes and banquets were given to the illustrious visitors;
one of them by the merchants, and another by the Lord Mayor, which had
seldom been surpassed in magnificence. During his progress through the
streets with his guests the regent was incessantly hissed, and the mob
called out, "Where's your wife?" much to the chagrin of the host, who
was anxious to appear at his best. The princess was excluded from the
banquets, but she went to the opera on the night when all the potentates
were to be present. Her lady-in-waiting thus describes the scene:--

"When we arrived at the opera the regent was placed between the emperor
and the King of Prussia, and all the {264}minor princes were in a box
to the right of them. 'God save the King' was being played when the
princess entered, consequently she did not sit down. As soon as the air
was over the whole pit turned to the princess's box and applauded her.
We entreated her to rise and make a courtesy; but she sat immovable, and
at last she said to one of her ladies, 'My dear, Punch's wife is nobody
when Punch is present!' 'We shall be hissed,' suggested one of the
gentlemen. 'No, no,' replied the princess, with a good-humored laugh,
'I know my business better than to take the morsel out of my husband's
mouth, I am not to seem to know that the applause is meant for me until
they call my name.' When his royal highness left the theatre, at the
close of the performance, the audience called for the princess, and gave
her a warm applause. She then went forward and made three courtesies,
and hastily withdrew. When the coachman attempted to drive home, the
crowd of carriages was so great that he was obliged to turn out of his
road and pass Carlton House. As soon as the mob discovered the princess,
they surrounded her carriage, and huzzaed her loudly. Some of them
opened the doors and insisted on shaking hands with her, and asked if
they should burn Carlton House. 'No, my good people,' she said; 'be
quite quiet: let me pass, and go home to your beds.'"

The Princess of Wales was very anxious to have a visit from the Emperor
of Russia, and he set out one day with the intention of calling on her,
when one of the ministers pursued him in hot haste and implored him, in
the name of the regent, to turn back.

In the crowd of kings and princes who visited England at this period was
Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, a young man of two and twenty, who struck
the fancy of Princess Charlotte the very first time she saw him. He
{265}had brought a letter to her from the Duke of Brunswick, and she
was so pleased with him that she complained to her aunt, the Duchess
of York, saying that she would like to know him better, but had no
opportunity, because she was not permitted to attend any of the balls.
So the duchess gave one specially for her, and the more she saw of
Prince Leopold the better she liked him. In the park he would ride near
the carriage, and showed plainly that he reciprocated her admiration. He
courted and flattered the regent, offended no one, and made himself so
popular that after he went away the regent declared him to be a most
honorable, worthy young man.

The Princess of Wales had made up her mind to leave England. It was an
unwise step, and Mr. Brougham advised her to abandon it; but, with the
obstinacy of a weak person who will not be convinced, she refused to
listen to his advice. She made a formal application to Lord Liverpool
for permission to reside abroad; this was granted, and parliament made
her a liberal allowance. On the 2d of August she embarked on board the
frigate "Jason," under the name of the Countess of Wolfenbuttel, and
started on her pilgrimage. It is said that on her arrival in Germany she
contrived to see Prince Leopold and hand him a letter from her daughter.
This is probable, because she favored the match, and was capable of an
undignified act, such being the case.

The Prince of Coburg made no sign, having very wisely decided to await
an invitation from the regent before again appearing in England.

[[A.D. 1816.]] But the young princess was fretting her heart out,
because she fancied that he had forgotten her. She had no sooner
completed her twentieth year, however, than she quite unexpectedly
received a message that she was to go with the queen to Brighton,
where a surprise awaited {266}her. She obeyed, wondering what it could
possibly be, and was received on her arrival there by her favored
suitor. The young lady was happier than she had been in many a day; and,
as all the royal family were pleased at her choice, arrangements for her
wedding were soon made, and the ceremony took place in May. Claremont
House was purchased and handsomely fitted up for the young couple, and
shortly after their marriage they went there to live. Every time they
appeared in public they met with a most enthusiastic reception; and this
displeased the regent very much, for he was greeted with nothing but
complaints on every side. The married life of the Princess Charlotte
was extraordinarily happy. She was known by the country people for miles
around, and dispensed so many benefits among them that every visit of
hers was like a ray of sunshine. In her own household she was a queen,
beloved and respected by her husband, and by all who approached her. So
happy were this couple in their domestic life that they cared little for
the gayeties of London, and seldom went to town.

[[A.D. 1817.]] Now we must turn to the "Countess of Wolfenbüttel," and
follow her in her travels. She was accompanied by Mr. St. Leger, Sir
William Gell, Mr. Craven, Dr. Holland as physician, and Captain Hesse
as equerry. She went first to Brunswick, where she was received by her
brother and all the inhabitants with the heartiest of welcomes; but a
spirit of restlessness had taken possession of her, and she could stop
nowhere very long. The governors of the German cities all treated her
with respect and courtesy as she passed along, but before she reached
Switzerland Mr. St. Leger had withdrawn from her train, for some reason
not reported. A greater portion of the month of September was passed at
Geneva, where the "Countess" met Marie Louise, the ex-Empress of France,
{267}and the two ladies were for a time on very intimate terms. But the
countess dressed so absurdly, and made such a spectacle of herself, that
the gentlemen who had accompanied her from England were shocked.

In October the Princess of Wales, as we shall continue to call her,
because we know her best by that title, arrived at Milan. There she took
one Bartholomew Bergami, a handsome Italian, into her service, and made
him her chamberlain. Wherever she went she behaved so unlike a lady
that she was thought by many people to be insane; and, as she passed
on through Italy, her English attendants fell off one by one. She
complained that they were tyrants, but it is probable that they only
gave her good advice, which she was silly enough to ignore. Spies were
watching her wherever she went; she was well aware of it, and acted all
the more recklessly in defiance of her enemies. She purchased a villa at
the Lake of Como, and made a companion of Bergami, whom she allowed to
sit at table with her, thus bestowing honors with little judgment. At
one of her festivals at Como her conversation was so thoughtless and
silly that a friend asked her if she did not know that every word and
action of hers was reported at Carlton House within a fortnight. "I know
it," she replied, "and therefore do I speak and act as you hear and see.
The regent will hear it? I hope he will, for I love to mortify him."
Thus did this foolish woman effect her own ruin with deplorable
obstinacy. From Como she went to Palermo, and thence to Genoa,
everywhere dancing, sightseeing, and feasting, as though life were worth
nothing unless passed in gayety.

At Genoa the princess had a superb palace, where she surrounded herself
with Italians, and held her court, which was attended by the nobility.
Reports derogatory to the princess's character were constantly reaching
the regent, {268}who, anxious to catch at any straw that might enable him
to obtain the divorce he longed for, sent a commission to Italy to
investigate her actions.

The following seven months were spent in continual travelling and change
of scene, during which the princess visited Sicily, Tunis, Carthage, and
many other places of note. In the spring she went to Athens, and thence
to Constantinople, and by the middle of July she was in the holy city of
Jerusalem. There she was received cordially by the Capuchin friars, and
established the "Order of St. Caroline." After making a flying visit to
Jericho, and suffering from the fierce heat of the sun, the princess and
her attendants were glad to take to the sea again, and in course of
time reached Rome. A brief sojourn in that city satisfied the royal
traveller, who then returned to the Villa d'Este, on the Lake of Como,
and began to sign herself Caroline d'Este.

A few months later she repaired to Carlsruhe on a visit to the Grand
Duke of Baden; but her reception was not such as to induce her to
prolong her stay; and when she appeared at Vienna contemptuous neglect
awaited her. English families had long since ceased to show her respect;
and from the time of her leaving her home to become a wanderer nobody is
to blame but herself for whatever ill-treatment she experienced. Up to
that period all the world sympathized with her, but they could do so no
longer.

Towards the close of the year the sad news of the sudden death of
her daughter, the Princess Charlotte, reached her. She bore it with
wonderful calmness, and wrote to a friend in England: "I have not only
to lament ah ever-beloved child, but a most warmly attached friend, and
the only one I have in the kingdom. But she is only gone before. I have
not lost her, and I now trust we shall soon meet in a much better world
than the present one."

{269}

[Illustration: 0275]

[[A.D. 1818.]] {271}Three of the royal dukes married this year, and
towards its close, Queen Charlotte, who had been declining for many
months, died suddenly while sitting in a chair.

[[A.D. 1819.]] The Duke of Kent, George III.'s fourth son, had married
Princess Victoria of Leiningen. The event had no connection with this
reign; but we mention it merely to announce the birth of their daughter,
which occurred on the twenty-fourth of May. It was not supposed that she
would ever mount the throne, therefore her appearance in the world was
not considered of great importance. She was christened in June, and
received the name of Alexandra Victoria. The baptismal ceremony took
place in the grand saloon of Kensington Palace, in presence of the
regent and other members of the royal family. The Emperor of Russia was
god-father. As this princess is the present Queen of England, we shall
have more to say about her by-and-by.

[[A.D. 1820.]] The great bell of St. Paul's announced the death of
George III. at midnight, on January 29, and the accession of George IV.
Before ten days had elapsed the new king was again embroiled with his
ministers on the subject of a divorce from his wife, who, having met
with a series of insults and petty slights at the various courts of
Europe, had made her way to St. Omer, where she awaited her legal
advisers before deciding on her future course.

It was Mr. Brougham and Lord Hutchinson who met her there, the latter
with a proposition, that as the death of George III. left her without
income, the king would grant her fifty thousand pounds per annum on the
condition that she would remain on the continent, surrender the title of
queen, and never, under any pretext whatever, set foot in England.
She refused the proposal with infinite {272}scorn, and declared her
intention to proceed to England. This was the result of Mr. Brougham's
advice, for he was always friendly to Caroline, and knew that her
acceptance of Hutchinson's proposal would be most injurious to her
character.

No sooner had her interview closed with the envoys from the king, than
Queen Caroline, without a moment's delay, proceeded to Calais, dismissed
her Italian followers, and, attended only by Alderman Wood and Lady
Anne Hamilton, embarked on board the packet "Leopold," then lying in the
harbor. She did not sail until the next morning, and reached Dover about
noon. Much to her surprise a royal salute greeted her, and the whole
town lined the shores to welcome their queen. Her progress to London was
a perfect ovation, and by the time she reached the metropolis so many
mounted persons had joined her that she found herself escorted by a vast
cavalcade. It was seven o'clock in the evening when she passed through
the city; and such crowds gathered to see her that the streets were
almost impassable, and the windows were filled with eager faces and
waving handkerchiefs. So great was the excitement that Carlton House had
to be guarded, for threatening yells and cries arose from all sides.

The queen found refuge at the house of Alderman Wood, and no sooner was
she domiciled there than the ministers met to decide what course was to
be pursued with regard to her for the peace and well-being of the United
Kingdom. Each one carried a "green bag," which was supposed to contain
a copy of the report made by the Milan spies, or commissioners, as they
were called, on the conduct of the Princess of Wales, now queen, while
she was travelling abroad. Meanwhile the king had the humiliation of
hearing the hussars of his own regiment shout, "Long live the queen!"
and it was reported to him how at the Toy Tavern, {273}Hampton Court,
where they were quartered, a dozen or more of them had stood up and
drank her health with a pot of porter.

Mr. Brougham threw himself heart and soul into the queen's cause, and
conducted it in a masterly manner, showing himself a man of courage and
ability. He was ably assisted by Canning, who warned and threatened the
House of Lords, and boldly declared, "that his affection and respect for
the queen were undiminished, and that he considered her the grace and
ornament of every society."

While the trial was pending, the queen took possession of Brandenburgh
House, where she daily received large mobs, who came with addresses of
sympathy. The numerous amusing scenes created by these deputations
were not lost sight of by the queen's opponents, who made such bitter
attacks that the more respectable class, who were inclined to support
her, were thereby driven away.

Having established herself comfortably, the queen sent for all her
Italian attendants, who arrived in London in August,--several boatloads
of them,--for the queen's house was on the river, and the government had
so barricaded Westminster Bridge that it could be approached in no other
way. So many Italians congregated together under one roof excited no
little curiosity among the London rabble, who hovered around them and
watched them as a cat does a mouse. On the seventeenth of August, the
day fixed for the trial to begin, the city was in a perfect ferment.
Bands of soldiers and police were stationed at every corner, and the
space between St. James's and the houses of parliament was crammed with
people soon after daylight.

As the peers began to arrive they were greeted with hisses, and groans,
or loud cheers,--according as they opposed or defended the queen. The
Duke of Wellington, who was prominent in the opposition, frequently had
his horse {274}stopped by people who would shout in his face, "No
foul play, my lord!--the queen forever." He would answer in his
characteristic style, "Yes, yes, yes;" and once, it is said, he added
good humoredly: "And may all your wives be like her!" A perfect roar
of voices and deafening shouts of applause greeted the arrival of her
majesty's carriage each day; and as she passed Carlton House the crowd
jealously watched to see whether the guard on duty presented arms.
Fortunately they did, for they would otherwise have been torn to pieces.
"God bless your majesty! We'll give our blood for you! The queen or
death! May you overcome your enemies!" were the exclamations that arose
on all sides as Queen Caroline passed along.

A confused sound of drums and trumpets announced her arrival at the
house. The peers rose as she entered, and remained standing until she
took her seat in a crimson and gilt chair, placed immediately in front
of her counsel. Her appearance was not prepossessing; for she wore a
black satin dress with a high ruff, and an unbecoming broad hat with a
huge bow, and a bunch of ostrich plumes. On her head was a curled black
wig, and her eyebrows were painted. Considering that nature had given
her blue eyes and light hair, these artificial additions were not in
keeping with her other characteristics, and gave her a bold, defiant,
unattractive air.

It was embarrassing to the lords to have the queen present every day;
but, as she could get no information as to the charges brought against
her, she was resolved to be there.

Lord Liverpool's bill, which favored the king in every particular,
concluded by proposing that "Caroline Amelia Elizabeth should be
deprived of her rights, rank, and privileges as queen, and that her
marriage with the king be dissolved and disannulled to all intents and
purposes." {275}We do not propose to give the details of the "queen's
trial" as it dragged its slow length along. The bill passed by a
majority of nine only, and they consisted of the members of the cabinet,
who dare not vote as they chose. No action could be taken upon so
small a majority, yet the queen can scarcely be said to have achieved
a victory. The case had been unfairly tried, and the popular voice
declared it so. She had made several attempts to have her name restored
to the liturgy, and refused to accept an income offered by the king
unless that was done. At last she was forced to abandon that request,
much to the disappointment of her friends, and to accept the fifty
thousand pounds a year.

[[A.D. 1821.]] The king's attention was now turned towards his
coronation, which was to be managed on a most magnificent scale; for
never was there a man more fond of display and theatrical effect than
George IV. Queen Caroline immediately addressed Lord Liverpool on
the subject, claiming her right to take part in the ceremony. Much
correspondence, arguments, and discussions with legal advisers on both
sides ensued, and the result was the entire exclusion of her majesty.
She then addressed a note to the Archbishop of Canterbury, informing him
of her desire to be crowned some day, within a week after that ceremony
was performed for the king. The archbishop's answer was, "that he was
the king's servant, and was ready to obey any command that he might
receive from his royal master."

All this anxiety and disappointment began to tell on the poor queen's
health, and she was ill and suffering, when, with her usual spirit and
energy, she presented herself at the grand door of Westminster-Hall on
the morning of the coronation, and demanded admittance as a spectator.
She had started from Brandenburgh House at six o'clock, with {276}Lord
and Lady Hood and Lady Anne Hamilton in attendance,-in a carriage drawn
by six white horses. No person could enter the hall without a ticket,
and, as the queen had none, an officer on guard respectfully declined
allowing her to pass. She felt the insult keenly, but laughed and
chatted in a flippant manner as she turned away. It was a pitiable
sight,--that of the queen going to every door in turn, and being turned
away because she could not show the indispensable ticket. Lord Hood
suggested that on account of her rank the queen should not be bound by
the rules which governed others; but the doorkeepers were inexorable,
and there was nothing left but for her to enter her carriage and go back
home, humiliated, almost crushed.

George IV. had spent days and nights with his tailor and friends,
discussing and selecting the various articles in which he was to appear
on the grand occasion. His robes are said to have cost twenty-five
thousand pounds, and his jewels were gorgeous. Never was a more
magnificent scene witnessed than that which marked the coronation
ceremony of George IV., and never did monarch labor harder to make it
so.

Poor Queen Caroline's nervous system had sustained a shock from which it
could not rally, and three months after the king's coronation she died.
On the second of August she was attacked with her last illness, and
after five days of intense suffering sank into a stupor, from which she
never awoke. She was conscious of her condition, made her will, and gave
all the necessary directions for the disposal of her body. She died on
the seventh of August, 1821, at the age of fifty-three.

Her will contained a clause to this effect: "I desire and direct that my
body be not opened, and that three days after my death it be carried to
Brunswick for interment,

{277}

[Illustration: 0283]

{279}and that the inscription on my coffin be, 'Here lies Caroline of
Brunswick, the murdered Queen of England.'"

The king was in Ireland while his wife was dying. There he was
magnificently feted and escorted wherever he stopped. He made speeches
to flatter his Irish subjects, promises that he never intended to
fulfil, and received attentions that were remarkable for nothing more
than their insincerity.

Lord Byron gave vent to his contempt of the whole proceeding in the
following lines:--

                        THE IRISH AVATAR.

               "Ere the daughter of Brunswick is cold in her grave,

                   And her ashes still float to her home o'er the tide,

               Lo! George the triumphant speeds over the wave,

                   To the long-cherished isle which he loved like his bride.


               But he comes! the Messiah of royalty comes!

                   Like the goodly Leviathan roll'd from the waves!

               Then receive him as best such an advent becomes,

                   With a legion of cooks and an army of slaves.


               Is it madness or meanness that clings to thee now?

                   Were he God--as he is but the commonest clay,

                   With scarce fewer wrinkles than sins on his brow--

               Such servile devotion might shame him away.


               Spread, spread for Vitellius the royal repast,

                   Till the gluttonous despot be stuffed to the gorge;

               And the roar of his drunkards proclaim him at last,

                   The fourth of the fools and oppressors called 'George.'"

Grief was great throughout the kingdom at the death of Queen Caroline.
Fearing that the funeral might prove the occasion of a popular
demonstration, it was resolved that the body should not pass through the
city, but be taken through roundabout and private roads. In a pouring
rain the procession started. It consisted of a {280}hearse emblazoned
with escutcheons and drawn by eight horses, heralds, twelve
mourning-coaches, and six squadrons of soldiers. At every turn
barricades had been placed by an angry and excited crowd, who, amid
yells of triumph, saw the authorities yield to the course _they_ had
determined on, and, contrary to imperative instructions, pass with
the _cortège_ through some of the most public thoroughfares. But the
excitement was intense; the soldiers were attacked with brickbats and
stones, and several people were killed.

It took two days to get to Harwich; and, just before the coffin was
placed on the man-of-war that awaited it, the discovery was made that
the plate which Queen Caroline had ordered had been replaced by another
bearing a simple inscription. The interment took place at Brunswick,
after night, on the twenty-fourth of August.

The king survived until June 26, 1830. When he was dying, a letter was
brought to him from Mrs. Fitzherbert, in which that worthy lady
offered to watch over and soothe his last moments. After his death her
miniature, attached to a red cord, was found hanging from his neck,
where, it is supposed, he always wore it.

One historian justly says of George IV., that he was jovial, epicurean,
good-natured; offering a disastrous spectacle of a life wrecked by
self-indulgence and an unbounded love of pleasure.

{281}

[Illustration: 0287]

{283}



CHAPTER X. ADELAIDE LOUISA, WIFE OF WILLIAM IV.

(A.D. 1818-1849.)

|There is so little to relate about this queen, that were it not for the
fact that her reign develops many matters of importance and interest to
the whole civilized world, we should feel tempted to pass her by with a
brief notice. But this would be unsatisfactory in an historical point
of view. Queen Adelaide will, therefore, receive her share of mention
whenever she takes prominence as we proceed.

It was on April 13, 1818, that the regent, afterwards George IV.,
announced to parliament through Lord Liverpool that he had given his
consent to the marriage of his brother, the Duke of Clarence, with
Adelaide Louisa Theresa Caroline Amelia, Princess of Saxe-Coburg
Meiningen. Two other brothers of the regent were married the same year;
but of these, more hereafter.

When quite a youth Prince William Henry had entered the navy as
midshipman under Captain Digby, and for many years his life was one of
neglect, poverty, and obscurity. Nobody ever thought it necessary to
honor him until he reached his fortieth year, when Mr. Canning, the
premier, brought him into notice by giving him the appointment of lord
high-admiral. He reigned when the Duke of Wellington succeeded Mr.
Canning, and sank into obscurity {284}again until, by the deaths of
the Princess Charlotte and his elder brother, the Duke of York, he was
made prominent by becoming heir to the throne.

[[A.D. 1830.]] The princess he had married was remarkable for nothing
so much as her amiability. For many years she lived with her husband
at Bushey Park, a pleasant domestic life, free from the intrigues and
excitements of court or political affairs. She was by no means delighted
when the death of George IV. elevated her to the throne; for she loved
her retired home in the country, and it was a long time before she took
upon herself the dignity of her new position.

It was the same with her husband, "the bluff sailor-king" William IV.,
who declared "that he had slept in a cot, and did not desire luxury and
magnificence." By his simplicity and good nature he had made himself
exceedingly popular with the lower and middle classes, and there never
was anything like the enthusiasm with which he was greeted by all
parties. He could not readily throw off the habits and manners of a
country gentleman, even when a crowd gathered to stare at him at every
turn he made, for he had been too long accustomed to trot about without
exciting the least observation.

He began his reign by providing for old friends,--pensioning some and
placing others in lucrative offices. He threw himself into the arms
of the Duke of Wellington, whom he placed at the head of the
administration, because he was to be depended upon for advice and
support. William, as well as other members of the royal family, had
always been friendly to Mrs. Fitzherbert, and he showed the kindness of
his heart by responding to an application made in her behalf soon after
his brother's death. He invited her to Windsor, desired her to put her
servants into mourning,--though he did not show that respect to the
{285}dead king in his own household,--and settled an income of six
thousand pounds a year on her.

King William was glad of every opportunity to show himself to his
subjects, particularly in such public spectacles as he knew would give
them pleasure. Indeed, he went about this task in such a business-like
manner as to astonish everybody. A month after his accession he
inspected the Coldstream Guards in St. James's Park, which was
surrounded by a large assemblage of spectators. He was dressed (for the
first time in his life) in a military uniform, with a large pair of
gold spurs, half-way up his legs, like a game-cock. These were entirely
useless, because a stiffness in the joints of his hands prevented his
holding the reins, therefore he could not ride.

The queen appeared at this review, and afterwards held a drawing-room,
when the ministers wives were presented to her, also various officers of
state; but she did not enjoy that sort of thing at all, and is said to
have behaved like a well-bred actress rehearsing a part, while anxiously
awaiting the dropping of the curtain. Luncheon was served at one
o'clock, and then the king and queen, seated together on one throne,
received the addresses of the Oxford and Cambridge representatives. Then
the queen retired, and a council was held, and the king had a civil word
to say to everybody, inviting some to dine with him, promising to visit
others, and reminding several of former intercourse in a most affable
but rather undignified manner. When all this was over, his majesty put
on his plain clothes, and took a stroll about the streets arm-in-arm
with a gentleman, and followed by a mob that so shoved him about that on
his return to the palace he was glad to take a quiet walk in the garden,
saying, good-humoredly, to his companion: "Oh, never mind all this; when
I have walked about a few times they will get used to it, and will take
no notice." {286}For the next three days regiments were inspected in
the various parks, the king's affability being the theme on everybody's
lips, and then he held a grand levee, which was crowded to excess. He
had gained favor with the army, the navy claimed him as their chief,
so it would be difficult to tell with which of the services he was most
popular.

William IV. could not comprehend etiquette, and appeared at the House of
Lords without his crown, because he found it less irksome when carried
in the hands of Lord Hastings than on his own head. He wanted to take
the King of Wurtemberg, who was visiting England, in his coach with him,
but that was beyond all precedent, and could not be allowed; however,
nobody could prevent his sitting backwards in his private carriage, or
making any man who accompanied him sit by his side instead of opposite.

After the session at the House of Lords, William drove all over town
in an open barouche with the queen, Princess Augusta, and the King of
Wurtemberg; but that was not the worst of it: he actually stopped at
a hotel to set down his guest, and that was a sample of simplicity and
good-nature never before witnessed in a sovereign of England. He had
immense dinners every day at the palace, often inviting the same people
three or four times hand-running. At eleven o'clock he dismissed his
guests thus: "Now, ladies and gentlemen, I wish you a good-night. I will
not detain you any longer from your amusements, and shall go myself to
bed; so come along, my queen."

One of the reviews made by his majesty was succeeded by a breakfast at
Apsley House, the home of the Duke of Wellington, about fifty members of
the council and foreign ministers being present, and that same evening
he sat at a state dinner between the King of Wurtemberg and the

{287}

[Illustration: 0293]

{289}duke. When his health was drunk, he returned thanks briefly,
saying that he should give a toast by-and-by. So after a while he sent
a message to his band to play the merriest waltz they could, and as soon
as he was obeyed, he gave "The Queen of Wurtemberg," and praised her
tremendously. He next ordered them to play "See the Conquering Hero
Comes;" then he rose and said he had been so short a time on the throne
that he did not know whether etiquette required him to speak sitting or
standing; but he wished to propose the health of the Duke of Wellington,
whom he compared with the Duke of Marlborough, and, after making a long
speech, concluded by declaring that he gave him his fullest confidence,
and should continue to do so as long as he remained upon the throne.

While King William was keeping himself busy with dinners, drives,
reviews, breakfasts, etc., Paris was in a state of siege, and no end of
reports--some true, some false--were constantly arriving in England,
where the result was watched with the greatest anxiety. Three days
brought the French Revolution to a climax, and established the Duke
of Orleans--Louis Philippe--on the throne. But it did not tranquillize
Europe; for there was every prospect of a general war, and much alarm
was felt in England in consequence. The First Napoleon said that a
revolution in France was a revolution of Europe; and so it proved, for
there was fighting in all the principal towns before peace was really
established.

Before William had been on the throne a year there was trouble in
Ireland, and in some counties it became necessary for the military force
to put down the outrages committed by mobs. The Irish people believed
that their rights had been assailed by the government, and Daniel
O'Connell made speeches to the ignorant portion of the inhabitants,
which served, as he intended they should, to {290}increase their
discontent. Then there was an outbreak among the English peasantry
against the use of agricultural machinery. They met in crowds and went
about destroying all the barns, corn, and hay-ricks, and setting fire
right and left to the threshing-machines, like a set of maniacs. Of
course such lawless behavior filled the country with consternation,
because it was impossible to tell where it would end.

When parliament met, the king made a speech which proved to be one of
the most offensive that ever proceeded from an English sovereign. It
was known to be the work of his ministry, but did not increase his
popularity on that account. The Duke of Wellington followed it up by
a declaration against reform in parliament, which certainly sealed his
fate, for it was condemned by friend and foe. It proved that, though a
great general, the duke was by no means capable of filling the position
of prime minister.

Excitement ran so high in London that the Lord Mayor's dinner, which had
been fixed for the ninth of November, had to be postponed, for there
was great fear of a repetition of Guy Fawkes's day. Troops paraded the
streets, prudent citizens renewed their bolts and bars, lined their
shutters with iron plates, and laid in a supply of arms, while little
knots of people gathered at the street-corners, waiting for something,
though they did not know exactly what. Before the end of the week
everybody was laughing at the panic they had experienced; but the effect
of it was seriously felt, for certain disorderly citizens organized
meaningless riots, merely because they could think of no other way of
amusing themselves just then. Besides, the impression got abroad that
the King of England dared not pass through the streets of his own
capital to dine with the Lord Mayor, and that the banquet had,
therefore, to be postponed. {291}The reform bill was a most important
matter; and, when we consider the nature of it, we shall see why it
created so much excitement among the common people of Great Britain.
This measure was introduced into parliament with the intention of
regulating the number of representatives from the various counties,
according to their size and standing. It had another aim. Hitherto
the affairs of government had been exclusively in the hands of the
aristocracy; but the reform bill was introduced for the purpose of
admitting the middle classes to a voice in public concerns. It is
easy to see, therefore, why the workingmen were aroused; but those who
witnessed the tame, wordy meetings of the workingmen not long since
on the San Francisco sand-lots can form no idea of the riots which
succeeded such demonstrations in England fifty years ago.

The panic had another effect, which was the removal of the Duke of
Wellington from office, at the same time that Sir Robert Peel offered
his resignation in the House of Commons. This meant a complete change in
the ministry. Throughout the troubled and unsettled state of affairs the
king behaved admirably, and proved that, although he had ignored court
etiquette at the opening of his reign, he had much more real dignity
than his predecessor, whose mind was ever bent on theatrical effect,
and who never yielded one jot where a display of ceremony could be made.
William treated his ministers with great kindness and consideration,
supporting them while it was possible, and parting with them in sorrow
when it became a necessity.

Lord Grey was requested not only to form a new ministry, but even to
make the necessary changes in the royal household. No wiser selection
could have been made; for Lord Grey was popular, and people saw in the
parliamentary reform a noble beginning of a great work. Brougham, now
Lord Brougham, who so warmly defended Queen {292}Caroline of Brunswick,
was appointed Lord High Chancellor, and this also gave general
satisfaction. Lord John Russell, whose name appears often in the cabinet
during the present century, was appointed paymaster-general.

The year closed with a report that Asiatic cholera was spreading over
Europe, and making rapid strides towards England. Great anxiety was
felt; but honest-hearted, unselfish King William took prompt measures
towards the establishment of a proper quarantine, and so held the plague
at bay.

[[A.D. 1831.]] All through the January nights of the new year the
heavens were lit up by burning barns and ricks; and in the manufacturing
districts men formed into organizations called trades-unions, because
representatives of certain trades bound themselves to stand by one
another in the maintenance of what they believed to be their rights. But
they were merciless to those who dared to act independently, and murder
was committed at Manchester out of revenge in consequence of a quarrel
about the trades-union.

While discussions on the reform bill were engaging the attention of
parliament, trades-unions were growing, and the arrest of O'Connell was
agitating the Irish, the queen lived quietly, and took no part in public
affairs. She was called a prude because she would not allow her ladies
to wear low-neck dresses, while during the previous reign no others had
been permitted.

One night in February the king and queen went to the theatre. They were
well received on entering; but on returning home they were hooted at,
and their carriage was pelted with stones, one of which broke the window
and fell in the lap of Prince George of Cumberland. The king told one
of his officers "that the queen was terrified, and it was very
disagreeable, because they should always be going about somewhere."
{293}The queen had no influence whatever with her husband in public
affairs; but she was interested in the elections, knew the king's weak
points, and felt unhappy at his being so completely under the influence
of his ministry. At her balls and drawing-rooms, scarcely anything was
talked of but the doings of parliament, and the elections continued
to cause great excitement. When the Lord Mayor unwisely had the city
illuminated after certain of them had been decided, there was a great
uproar and a general breaking of windows. A few nights later the queen
attended a concert, and as she was returning the mob surrounded her
carriage, and her footmen were obliged to beat the people off with their
canes to keep them from poking their heads into the coach. Her majesty
was dreadfully alarmed, and the king, who was not well enough to
accompany her to the concert, had heard something of the tumult, and was
anxiously pacing backwards and forwards in his room when Lord Howe,
the chamberlain, who always preceded the queen, entered. "How is her
majesty?" eagerly demanded William as he went down to meet her. "Very
much frightened, sir," was the reply of the chamberlain; who, being
an anti-Reformer, at once proceeded to give a most graphic and rather
exaggerated account of the attack. The king was so angry that he
declared neither he nor the queen should again enter the city, and the
latter felt as distressed and disgusted as possible.

In June the royal family attended the Ascot races. They arrived at the
course with a _cortège_ of eight coaches, each drawn by four horses,
phaetons, pony chaises, and led horses. Their reception was strikingly
cold and indifferent, and the king looked bored to death. After the
races there was a dinner at the castle each day, when the king invited
a crowd of people. The queen was led to the dining-room by the Duke of
Richmond, and the king followed {294}with the Duchess of Saxe-Weimar,
the queen's sister. He drank wine with everybody, and after dinner
dropped asleep from the effect of it. That did not interfere with the
concert by a very good band, that was going on all through dinner, and
continued for a couple of hours afterwards.

At this period a deputation waited upon Prince Leopold, the widower of
Princess Charlotte, mentioned in the last reign, to invite him to become
their king. As he had been expecting this for a long time, he did not
hesitate to accept.

The next event of interest was the coronation. A council was held at St.
James's to consider it, when the king made a request that the ceremonies
might be short, and that all those not connected with the church might
be dispensed with. His object was to make it less tedious and less
expensive than the last, which had occupied the whole day, and cost two
hundred and forty thousand pounds.

Greville, who occupied a position in the council, gives an account
of the queen's decision with regard to her crown. He says: "I rode to
Windsor to settle with the queen what sort of a crown she would have. I
was ushered into the king's presence; he was sitting at a red table in
the sitting-room of George IV. looking over the flower-garden. He sent
for the queen, who came with two ladies. She tried to be civil to me
in her ungracious way, and said she would have none of our crowns, and
asked me if I thought it was right that she should. I said, 'Madam, I
can only say that the late king wore one at his coronation.' However,
she said, 'I do not like it, and I have got jewels enough, so I will
have them made up myself.' The king said to me, 'Very well; then _you_
will have to pay for the setting?' 'Oh, no,' replied the queen, 'I shall
pay for it all myself.'" {295}When the estimates for the coronation were
presented, they amounted to less than thirty-one thousand pounds, which
was a moderate sum compared with similar preceding ceremonies. The
king objected very seriously to being kissed on the cheek, as an act
of homage, by the bishops, and ordered that part of the ceremony to be
struck out; but it had been the custom for ages, and he had to give in,
whether he liked it or no.

The coronation was announced for September 8, and very extensive
alterations were made in Westminster Abbey for the occasion. About forty
private gentlemen acted as pages of the Earl-Marshal, attired in blue
frock-coats, white breeches and stockings, crimson silk sashes, and
small oddly-shaped hats, with black ostrich feathers. Each carried a
gilt staff, bearing the arms of the Earl-Marshal, and it was his duty to
conduct people provided with tickets to their proper seats.

Shortly after five o'clock in the morning a royal salute was fired by
the artillery stationed in the Green Park, and that was a signal for
every one interested in the proceedings of the day to be on the move.
At six the troops distributed themselves along the line of procession in
St. James's Park. The members of the House of Commons, some in military,
others in Highland costumes, had a covered platform all to themselves in
Westminster Hall.

The queen's ivory rod, surmounted by a dove, was borne by Earl Camden,
the sceptre and cross by the Earl of Jersey, and the crown by the Duke
of Beaufort. Her majesty followed between the Bishops of Winchester and
Chichester, and attended by five gentlemen pensioners on each side. Her
train was borne by the Duchess of Gordon and six daughters of earls. The
ladies and women of the bed-chamber and the maids-of-honor followed.

Of the king's regalia, St. Edward's staff was borne by {296}the Duke of
Grafton, the golden spurs by the Marquis of Hastings, the sceptre
with the cross by the Duke of St. Albans, the sword by the Marquis of
Salisbury, the second sword by the Marquis of Downshire, the third
by the Marquis of Cleveland, their coronets carried by a page. Then
followed the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, and Garter King-at-Arms,
and the Deputy Lord Great Chamberlain of England; the Royal Dukes with
their train and coronet bearers; the High Constables of Ireland and
Scotland, the Duke of Norfolk, the Duke of Wellington, with his staff
and baton of field-marshal; Earl Grey with the sword-of-state, the Duke
of Richmond with the sceptre and dove, the Duke of Hamilton with St.
Edward's crown, the Duke of Somerset with the orb.

After them the Bishops of Rochester and Exeter with the Bible, the
Bishop of Oxford with the chalice, followed by the king, supported by
the Bishop of Bath and Wells and the Archbishop of York, his train borne
by the Marquises of Worcester, Lichfield and Douro, and the Earls of
Kerry and Euston, assisted by the Master of the Robes and his grooms. On
each side of his majesty walked ten gentlemen pensioners in the
uniform of officers of the Guard, headed by their lieutenant and
standard-bearer; then came the Groom of the Stole, the Gold Stick, and
the Master of the Horse, the Captains of the Yeomen of the Guard, and a
few other subordinates of the royal household.

His majesty took his seat, the Bible and chalice were placed on the
altar, where two officers of the wardrobe spread a rich cloth of gold,
and laid two handsome cushions on the steps, while the Archbishop of
Canterbury put on his cope, and the bishops, who had read the Litany,
their vestments. The king and queen then, with their supporters and the
bearers of the regalia, advanced to the altar, where the king offered
a pall and an ingot of gold, and the {297}queen a pall of gold. Their
majesties knelt while the prayer was said by the archbishop, and then
were conducted to their chairs-of-state, when the Litany and communion
service were read, and a sermon preached by the Bishop of London.

After the sermon, the archbishop administered the coronation oath, which
was followed by the ceremony of anointing, and this concluded with a
benediction. The spurs and sword were then laid upon the altar, and the
latter returned to the king by the prelates, when his majesty offered
it at the altar, whence it was redeemed by Earl Grey, who carried it
without a scabbard until the end of the ceremony.

Then the mantle was placed around his majesty; he received the orb,
the ring, and the sceptre, the crown was placed upon his head, and the
spectators shouted, "God save the king!" while the trumpets sounded,
drums were beaten, and the park guns sent forth a loud peal.

The prayers and anthems having been completed, the peers put on their
coronets, and the Bible was presented to the king, who took his place
upon the throne. Then followed the usual acts of homage, and the
treasurer of the household scattered coronation medals. The anointing,
crowning, and enthroning of the queen then took place.

After partaking of the sacrament, their majesties were disrobed, and
proceeded, as they had entered, to the west door of the abbey. The
regalia was received by the officers of the Jewel Office, and their
majesties returned to St. James's Palace in the same state as they had
approached the abbey. It was three o'clock in the afternoon before the
ceremony ended.

There was no grand state banquet, but the king entertained a large
party of the royal family and nobility, with the chief officers of the
household instead. In consequence {298}of the ill-health of Princess
Victoria, heiress-presumptive, neither she nor her mother, the Duchess
of Kent, took part in the ceremonies.

Coronation day was distinguished as a general holiday, and in the
evening the city was illuminated. It was selected for the laying of the
corner-stones of two churches,--one at Hastings by the Princess Sophia
Matilda of Gloucester, and one at East Cowes by the Princess Victoria.
Everybody felt satisfied, the coronation had been a success, and a
number of peers had been created.

The reform bill was not yet settled in parliament, and the debates upon
it brought into prominence many men whose names are familiar to us at
the present day. Macaulay was one of these, and his speeches were very
brilliant. Robert Peel, whom we have already mentioned, was another. At
last the real fight took place in the House of Lords, where there was a
magnificent display of talent on both sides, which resulted at the first
reading in the defeat of the reform bill. We need not give the details
of this matter. While it was pending little else was thought of, and no
sooner was it decided than the appearance of cholera, that dread
disease that had been slowly but surely approaching, filled the public
attention.

It broke out with violence at Sunderland among the filthy and degraded;
but it did not become so dreadful a plague as many that had visited
England in previous times. It proved a benefit in this, that it awakened
people to the necessity for cleanliness in the thoroughfares, and
prompted the benevolent to help those who were attacked with the disease
on account of their privations and unhealthy habitations in wretched,
damp country villages. A board of health was established, and England
was from that period awakened to the duty of care for the public health,
which, we have seen, was a matter of slight consideration in earlier
days.

[[A.D. 1832.]] {299}Riots continued while the reform bill remained
unsettled; for this was the only argument that those ignorant, lawless
people who took part in them could bring to bear against those who
opposed them. The consequences of these proceedings were dreadful. In
Derby the town jail and many houses of the respectable inhabitants were
destroyed, and in Nottingham the ancient castle belonging to the Duke of
Newcastle was completely demolished.

The rioters even marched upon St. James's Palace under pretence of
presenting addresses, and several mansions in the neighborhood were
stoned. Fortunately they first attacked the Duke of Wellington's house,
which gave the troops ample time to assemble for the protection of the
palace.

A riot in Bristol lasted three days, during which all the public
buildings were set on fire, and the toll-gate was pulled down. The
prison-doors were burst open, and all the prisoners liberated; dwellings
and warehouses were completely demolished, and the property destroyed in
that one town alone was valued at half a million of pounds. At last the
military attacked the rioters, and, after several were shot down, order
was restored; but many had perished in the flames they themselves had
kindled, after having drunk to excess of the liquor they had stolen.
Public meetings were held in every part of the kingdom to express
dissatisfaction,--particularly in the large manufacturing towns, some of
which were frequently set on fire.

In November a meeting of the political union of the working-classes
was announced, their object being to demand universal suffrage, vote by
ballot, and yearly parliaments; but government took the matter in
hand, and the leaders of such illegal proceedings were frightened
into abandoning them for the time being. These scenes of excitement
{300}produced their effect, even across the channel in France, where
demonstrations were made by men who attacked some of the principal
places, and were only dispersed at last by the appearance of the
National Guard in their midst. Lord Eldon wrote at the time on this
subject: "The French are more volatile than we are; they have travelled
somewhat quicker on the road to ruin than we sluggish Englishmen travel;
but we are, I fear, on the same road."

We have said very little about the Princess Victoria, because she lived
in retirement, pursuing her studies under the excellent supervision of
her mother, the Duchess of Kent; but in the autumn of this year the two
royal ladies made an interesting tour through the principal counties of
Eng land and Wales, and were everywhere received with demonstrations
of welcome and respect. They returned to Kensington Palace in November,
highly gratified with their tour.

During this year occurred some events to which we must allude, because
they are too important to be passed over in silence. One is the marriage
of Leopold, King of the Belgians, with the Princess Louise, daughter of
King Louis Philippe of France. This event was preceded by the death of
the only son of Napoleon I., known as the Duke of Reichstadt.

He died of consumption at the palace of Schoenbrunn, near Vienna, at the
early age of twenty-one. A funeral service at the church of St. Mary was
the only mark of respect shown to the memory of this young man in Paris,
because the Bonaparte family were not then in power.

Sir Walter Scott died on the twenty-first of September, at Abbotsford,
at the age of sixty-one. Few men of genius ever had so brilliant a
career, or acquired during their lifetime so widespread a reputation.
He was a lawyer, an historian, a novelist, a poet, than whom none have
maintained a longer or firmer hold on the popular favor; but, what is
{301}better, he died a great and good man. Carlyle says of him: "No
sounder piece of British manhood was put together in the eighteenth
century of time. Alas! his fine Scotch face, with its shaggy honesty,
sagacity, and goodness, when we saw it latterly on the Edinburgh streets
was all worn with care, the joy all fled from it,--ploughed deep with
labor and sorrow. We shall never forget it; we shall never see it
again. Adieu, Sir Walter, pride of all Scotland; take our proud and last
farewell!"

[[A.D. 1833.]] At the beginning of the new year Queen Adelaide was
anxious that Lord Howe, who had resigned the chamberlainship, should
resume it. She was very fond of him, and received his respect and
attentions in return for the favor she showed him. He had been opposed
to the government, and, as his return to office was to be made only
on condition that he would change his principles, he refused. He was
replaced by William Basil Percy, Earl of Denbigh, who remained in her
majesty's service to the close of her life.

There was a change in the government this year: Lord Brougham had become
chancellor, and the reformed parliament, as it was called, emancipated
the slaves in the British colonies. This was a most important event, and
interested the whole civilized world.

Among the distinguished Frenchmen who visited England at this period
was Monsieur Thiers, who was entertained by Talleyrand, the French
ambassador to London, at a grand dinner.

At important assemblages the young Princess Victoria now began to be
brought forward. She attended the ceremonial of the opening of a new
pier at Southampton, which was managed with great pomp, all the city
officials being present. About twenty-five thousand spectators were
present, and the Duchess of Kent announced that she {302}desired her
daughter to become impressed with the value of everything that could
be of practical benefit to all classes of the community. Their royal
highnesses were escorted by a military staff, and were treated to a
splendid collation, served for them in a beautifully decorated tent that
had been erected for the occasion.

An address was then presented by the corporation to the royal visitors,
acknowledging the distinction they had conferred on the town, and
requesting the duchess to name the pier. Her royal highness named
it "The Royal Pier," and added her wishes that it might promote the
prosperity of the town. This ceremony was followed by a regatta on the
water and a public dinner, after which there was a display of fireworks.
The young princess excited a great deal of interest, and the Southampton
people felt quite as proud of her as they did of their new pier.
Wherever she travelled with her mother, a salute was sure to greet them.

William IV. did not like this ever-increasing popularity of his
successor at all, and remonstrated, saying that such an honor was
only due to himself and the queen; but the Duchess of Kent insisted on
receiving all the honors that she considered her due, and would not
give orders that the salutes should be discontinued, as the king had
requested.

[[A D. 1834.]] The death of Lord Grenville, which occurred this year,
left the chancellorship of Oxford vacant, and the Duke of Wellington
was appointed to the office. He was installed with grand ceremonies, and
nothing could surpass the enthusiasm of the crowd that collected to do
him honor.

Several distinguished people died just at this period. One was Lord
Chancellor Bathurst, who had occupied public positions for many years,
and boasted of being the only civilian invited to the annual banquet
given by the Duke of Wellington on the anniversary of the battle of

{303}

[Illustration: 0309]

{305}Waterloo. Another was Coleridge, the poet, whose beautiful
compositions are so familiar to us all.

In France, General de Lafayette closed his earthly career. We must honor
his memory for the part he took in our war of Independence, and the
assistance he rendered the American colonies in throwing off the English
yoke. After his return to his native land Lafayette lived quietly, until
the revolution of 1830 brought him into prominence again, and he became
chief of the Republican party. He was honored with a grand public
funeral.

[[A.D. 1835.]] Of the various changes that took place in the government
from year to year we have scarcely made mention, because they would not
be interesting to our readers. It is enough to know that they occurred,
and, as some of them were extremely distasteful to the king, he became
so ill-humored and low-spirited that it seemed almost impossible for him
to rally. Lord John Russell, secretary of the home department at this
time, was an object of special odium; but his majesty so thoroughly
hated all of his ministers this year that when he was told he ought to
give a dinner for the Ascot races, he said, "I cannot give any dinners
without inviting the ministers, and I would rather see the devil than
any one of them in my house."

The king's ill-feeling towards his ministers would have rendered their
position excessively disagreeable if they had considered themselves
really _his_ ministers; but they were working, they thought, for the
good of the country, and had so little regard for the intellect or
judgment of William that they treated him as a cipher. Indeed, his
outbursts of temper often led to the belief that he was losing what
little mind he had.

At one of his levees he made a disgraceful scene with Lord Torrington,
a gentleman of the bed-chamber. A card {306}was handed to Torrington
of somebody to be presented. He read the name, and added,
"Deputy-governor." "Deputy-governor?" asked the king, angrily,
"Deputy-governor of what?"

"I cannot tell, your majesty," replied the gentleman, "as it is not upon
the card."

"Hold your tongue, sir," roughly retorted the king; "you had better go
home and learn to read." This was so public an insult that Torrington
ought to have resented by instantly resigning, but he probably was a
daily witness to just such scenes; for the king could not bridle his
temper, and lost no opportunity of showing dislike of everybody who
surrounded him. He was so absurd as to admit only Tories to his private
society, and no member of the Whig cabinet was ever entertained at
Windsor.

[[A.D. 1836.]] The Duchess of Kent came in for her share of his
ill-humor at a birthday-dinner. She and Princess Victoria were invited
to go to Windsor on the twelfth of August, to celebrate the queen's
birthday, and to stay there until after that of the king, on the
twenty-first. She sent word that she wanted to keep her own birthday on
the fifteenth, at Claremont; took no notice of the queen whatever, in
her reply, but said she would go to Windsor on the twentieth. This put
the king in a perfect fury, but he made no reply. He was in town on the
day the duchess had named for her arrival, for the purpose of assembling
parliament, and having desired them not to wait dinner for him at
Windsor, marched off to Kensington Palace to spy into the state of
affairs there.

He flew into a rage on discovering that the duchess had appropriated
to her own use a suite of apartments, seventeen in number, which he had
refused during the previous year to let her have. This was a piece of
intrusion that his angry majesty would not bear meekly, so he hastened
to Windsor to give vent to his feelings. It was ten o'clock {307}at
night when he arrived, and, walking straight into the drawing-room,
where the whole court were assembled, he approached the Princess
Victoria, took hold of both her hands, and in a loud tone of voice
expressed his pleasure at seeing her there, and his regret at not being
oftener gratified in that respect. Then, turning towards the duchess,
and making a stately bow, he continued, in a still louder tone: "A most
unwarrantable liberty has been taken in one of my palaces; I have just
come from Kensington, where I found apartments taken possession of,
not only without my consent, but contrary to my commands; this I cannot
understand, nor will I endure conduct so disrespectful."

An embarrassed silence followed this coarse attack, which proved
only the prelude to a storm that was to break next day. It was the
twenty-first of August, the king's birthday, and a hundred people of
the court and neighborhood were assembled at dinner in the palace. The
Duchess of Kent sat on one side of the king, one of his sisters on the
other, and the Princess Victoria opposite. Near the conclusion of the
meal, at the queen's desire, the health of his majesty was proposed. All
the guests drank it standing, according to custom, and then followed
a long speech by the king, during which he poured forth the following
terrible tirade: "I trust in God my life may be spared for nine months
longer, after which period, in the event of my death, no regency would
take place. I should then have the satisfaction of leaving the royal
authority to the personal exercise of that young lady (pointing to the
princess), the heiress-presumptive to the crown, and not in the hands
of a person now near me, who is surrounded by evil advisers, and who is
herself incompetent to act with propriety in the station in which she
would be placed. I have no hesitation in saying that {308}I have been
insulted, grossly and continually insulted, by that person, but I am
determined to endure no longer a course of behavior so disrespectful to
me. Amongst many other things, I have particularly to complain of the
manner in which that young lady (again pointing to the princess) has
been kept away from my court; she has been repeatedly kept from my
drawing-rooms, at which she ought always to have been present, but I am
fully resolved that this shall not happen again. I would have her know
that I am king, and I am determined to have my authority respected, and
for the future I shall insist and command that the princess do upon all
occasions appear at my court, as it is her duty to do."

This speech was made in a most excited manner, and took everybody
completely by surprise. The queen looked distressed, the princess burst
into tears, and the whole company were shocked. The Duchess of Kent
remained perfectly silent, but immediately rose and retired. She then
announced her intention to depart at once, and ordered her carriage; but
a sort of reconciliation was patched up, and she was persuaded to stay
until the next day.

The king asked one of his gentlemen what people said about his speech,
and was told that the general opinion was that the Duchess of Kent
merited the rebuke, though it ought not to have been given there before
a hundred people. His majesty replied: "I do not care where I said it
or before whom; I had been insulted in a measure by her that was past
endurance, and I will not stand it any longer."

[[A.D. 1837.]] The middle of this year was marked by the illness of the
king, which did not cause alarm at first; but it was greatly increased
by another quarrel with the Duchess of Kent. This was the cause of it:
The king wrote a letter to Princess Victoria, offering her ten thousand
{309}pounds a year for her own use, quite independently of her mother,
which he sent by Lord Conyngham, with orders to deliver into the
princess's own hands. On arriving at Kensington, Conyngham asked to be
admitted to the presence of the princess. He was requested to state by
what authority he made such a demand. He said by his majesty's orders.
Shortly after he was ushered into a room where sat the Duchess of Kent
with her daughter. He made a speech, saying, "that he had waited on her
royal highness by the king's commands, to present to her a letter with
which he had been charged by his majesty." Thereupon the duchess put out
her hand to take it; but the lord begged her royal highness's pardon,
saying, "That he had been expressly commanded by the king to deliver the
letter into the princess's own hands." Then the duchess drew back, and
Victoria took the letter. After reading it, she wrote to thank the king
and accept the offer. That was the signal for a grand dispute, for the
king desired his niece to name a person who was to receive the money for
her, and suggested Stephenson. The Duchess of Kent positively objected,
and put in her claim for part of the money. She was exceedingly angry
with the king, and he with her, and a great deal of harsh, bitter
correspondence resulted; but the matter was never settled, for his
majesty's illness prevented.

He was ill for several days before he would permit anybody to say in his
presence that such was the case, and continued to do business as long as
possible, even dictating the reports about his condition himself. On
the seventeenth of June prayers were offered for his majesty in the
churches, and the following day the sacrament was administered by the
Archbishop of Canterbury. He said, just after the ceremony: "This is
the eighteenth of June; I should like to live to see the sun of Waterloo
set." {310}For three weeks the faithful wife sat at his bedside,
performing for him every office he required, totally depriving herself
of rest or recreation. This was a labor of love, for Queen Adelaide had
always been devoted to her husband. With his head upon her shoulder, and
her hand upon his breast, his majesty gently dropped into the sleep that
knows no waking.

His remains lay in state at Windsor Castle until July 8, when he was
buried at St. George's Chapel. For the last time the royal crown of
Hanover was placed beside the imperial crown on the coffin of a King
of England. Queen Adelaide, now Queen-dowager, was present in the royal
closet. When the coffin had been lowered, dust thrown upon it, the
blessing pronounced, and a rocket sent up from the door of the chapel,
the flag at the Round Tower was lowered, and the royal widow left,
followed by the mourners.

[[A.D. 1849.]] Queen Adelaide lived until the close of the year 1849.
Parliament had made her rich by giving her a hundred thousand pounds,
which she devoted to charity. Neither rank nor wealth ever spoiled the
simplicity of her heart or her manners. She always respected the memory
of her husband, over whose reign she had shed a respectability that
did her credit. She was not what might be termed a woman of brains, and
never influenced the king for good or for evil; but she was wise enough
not to interfere in state affairs, and for her virtues she merits
respect.

In her will, Queen Adelaide requested that her coffin should be carried
to the grave by sailors,--a touching tribute to her husband's memory,
and to the Navy, to which she had shown her attachment.

{311}

[Illustration: 0317]

{313}



CHAPTER XI. QUEEN VICTORIA.

(A.D. 1819-1862.)

|William IV. expressed a wish that he might live until his niece was
old enough to assume the reins of government herself, so that no
regent might be necessary. He was gratified, for Princess Victoria had
celebrated her eighteenth birthday just four weeks before messengers
arrived at Kensington Palace to summon her to the throne. It was on the
morning of June 20, 1837, long before daylight, that the king's illness
terminated fatally.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Howley, the Lord Chamberlain, and
the Marquis of Conyngham immediately started to carry the news to
Kensington. They arrived there at five o'clock, and this is Miss Wynn's
account of how the new sovereign received them: "They knocked, they
rang, they thumped for a considerable time before they could rouse the
porter at the gate; they were again kept waiting in the court-yard,
then turned into one of the lower rooms, where they seemed forgotten
by everybody. They rang the bell, and desired that the attendant of the
Princess Victoria might be sent to inform her royal highness that they
requested an audience on business of importance. After another delay,
and another ringing to inquire the cause, the attendant was summoned,
who stated that the princess was in such a sweet sleep that she could
{314}not venture to disturb her. Then they said, 'We are come on
business of state to the queen, and even her sleep must give way to
that.' It did; and, to prove that she did not keep them waiting longer
than she could help, she came into the room in a few minutes in a loose
white night-gown and shawl, her night-cap thrown off, and her hair
falling upon her shoulders, her feet in slippers, tears in her eyes, but
perfectly collected and dignified. The prime minister was presently sent
for, and a meeting of the privy council called for eleven o'clock."

Greville says: "Never was anything like the first impression the young
queen produced, or the chorus of praise and admiration which is raised
about her manner and behavior, and certainly not without justice. It was
very extraordinary, and something far beyond what was looked for.
Her extreme youth and inexperience, and the ignorance of the world
concerning her, naturally excited intense curiosity to see how she would
act on this trying occasion, and there was a considerable assemblage at
the palace notwithstanding the short notice which was given. The first
thing to be done was to teach her her lesson. This task was performed by
Lord Melbourne. He asked her if she would enter the room accompanied by
the great officers of state, but she said she would come in alone. As
soon as the lords were assembled, the proclamation was read and the
usual order passed, when the doors were thrown open and the queen
entered, accompanied by her two uncles, the Dukes of Cumberland and
Sussex.

"She bowed to the lords, took her seat, and then read her speech in a
clear, distinct, and audible voice, and without any appearance of fear
or embarrassment. She was quite plainly dressed in mourning. After she
had read her speech and signed the oath for the security of the church
of Scotland, the privy councillors were sworn; and, as the two {315}old
royal dukes, her uncles, knelt before her, swearing allegiance and
kissing her hand, I saw her blush up to the eyes, as if she felt the
contrast between their civil and their natural relations, and this was
the only sign of emotion which she evinced. Her manner to them was very
graceful and engaging; she kissed them both, and rose from her chair
and moved towards the Duke of Sussex, who was farthest from her, and too
infirm to reach her. She seemed bewildered at the multitude of men who
were sworn, and who came one after another to kiss her hand; but she did
not speak to anybody, nor did she make the slightest difference in her
manner or show any in her countenance to any individual of whatever
rank, station, or party. She went through the whole ceremony,
occasionally looking at Melbourne for instruction when she had any doubt
what to do, which hardly ever occurred, and with perfect calmness
and self-possession, but at the same time with a graceful modesty and
propriety particularly interesting and ingratiating. When the business
was done, she retired as she had entered.

"The Duke of Wellington said that if she had been his own daughter he
could not have desired to see her perform her part better. At twelve she
held a council at St. James's, at which she presided with as much ease
as if she had been doing nothing else all her life; she looked very
well, and though so small of stature, and without much pretension to
beauty, the gracefulness of her manner, and the good expression of her
countenance, give her on the whole a very agreeable appearance, and,
with her youth, inspire an excessive interest in all who approach her.
After the council she received the archbishops and bishops, and after
them the judges. They all kissed her hand, but she said nothing to any
of them. In short, she appears to act with every sort of good taste
and good feeling, as well {316}as good sense, and nothing can be more
favorable than the impression she has made."

When Conyngham carried the announcement of the king's death to the
young queen, he was at the same time the bearer of a request from the
Queen-dowager Adelaide that she might be permitted to remain at Windsor
until after the funeral. Without a moment's hesitation the new sovereign
wrote a most kind, tender, and sympathetic letter to her aunt, begging
her to remain just as long as she pleased, and to consult nothing but
her own feelings and convenience in the matter.

Up to this period but little was known of the young queen, because her
life had been one of seclusion. Her mother was a wise, judicious parent,
who knew that court life, such as it was during the reigns of George IV.
and William IV., could not have a beneficial effect on the character of
a young girl; and she therefore kept her daughter at a safe distance.
This lady was Victoria Maria Louisa, the youngest daughter of the Duke
of Saxe-Coburg, and widow of the Prince of Leiningen.

[[A.D. 1818.]] Edward, Duke of Kent, was decidedly the most honest and
high-minded of all the sons of George III., and for this reason probably
was by no means popular in his own family. His income was so small that
he could not afford to maintain his rank in England, therefore much of
his time was passed in Germany. It was while sojourning in that country
that he fell in love with the Princess of Leiningen, and they were
married in 1818. It did not seem then as if the duke would ascend the
throne, because there were so many who preceded him in the line of
succession; but we have seen how one by one they were removed by death,
until it became evident that his brother, George IV., must soon make way
for him.

[[A.D. 1819.]] That being the case, the Duke and Duchess {317}of Kent
went to England to live while patiently awaiting the course of events,
and on the 24th of May, 1819, their only child was born. She was
christened Alexandrina Victoria, the first name being in honor of the
then reigning Czar of Russia; but as she always signed only the last
one, the Alexandrina has fallen out of sight.

The duke only lived eight months after the birth of his child, and this
event left her heiress-presumptive to the throne. The duchess was left
with scarcely sufficient means for the proper education of her daughter;
but there never was a woman better fitted for the duty of rearing
the future Queen of England. She had strength of character, noble
principles, gentle disposition, and marked amiability and agreeableness
of manner, besides being a devoted mother and an educated, accomplished
lady.

Her first care was for the health of her little Victoria, who was born
with a delicate constitution. She was, therefore, encouraged to romp
and play in the open air of some wholesome country resort as much
as possible, even while her intellectual and moral training were
progressing. Her mother was her constant companion, superintended
her studies, and assisted her in them, at the same time sharing her
amusements, and watching with pleasure her gradual development.

[[A.D. 1825.]] When she was six years of age the Rev. George Davys was
appointed her preceptor, and the Baroness Lehzen became her governess.
The young princess had reached her eleventh year before she was made
aware of her claim to the succession. Then William IV. ascended the
throne, and his two children were already dead. Princess Victoria's
education from that period was conducted in a manner that would best
prepare her for the lofty position she was to occupy, and she had a
mind capable of profiting by it. She gained a good knowledge of history
{318}and geography, as well as of the lives of all the scholars,
statesmen, inventors, discoverers, poets, and divines who had ever
benefited the human race. Long before she became queen she spoke
English, German, and French with equal fluency, read Italian, could
translate some of the Latin poets, and showed decided talent for
mathematics.

Besides, she sang well, danced prettily, and sketched from nature.

[Illustration: 9324]

Her religious training was such as to fit her for the Christian nation
over whom she was to rule, and she has proved in her domestic life the
excellence of her early impressions.

The Duke of Kent died in debt, which his wife and daughter were so
anxious to liquidate that they practiced great economy in order that
they might be able to do so. Still this worthy task was not completed
until the princess ascended the throne, when she drew on her own privy
purse for that purpose.

[[A.D. 1837.]] On the seventeenth of July her majesty proceeded in state
to the House of Lords, where she made her first speech. It had
been carefully prepared, and gave a great deal of satisfaction. A
proclamation appeared in the "Gazette" the same evening dissolving
parliament. Three months later the youthful sovereign paid a state visit
to the {319}city of London, where a grand banquet had been prepared for
her by the Lord Mayor. She was accompanied by her mother, her two aunts,
the Duchesses of Gloucester and Cambridge, the royal Dukes of Cambridge
and Sussex, her uncles, and Prince George of Cambridge. She was attended
in her state carriage by the Duchess of Sutherland, Mistress of the
Robes, and the Earl of Albermarle. The ambassadors, cabinet ministers,
and other noble ladies and gentlemen followed in a train of two hundred
carriages, that extended for a mile and a half. They left Buckingham
Palace at two in the afternoon, and passed through Temple Bar,--which
was at that time considered the entrance +.o the city proper,--with the
usual ceremonies.

At St. Paul's addresses detained the queen so long that it was half-past
three before the procession reached Guildhall, where the Lady Mayoress
waited to receive her majesty. After the banquet, which was a splendid
affair in every respect, the title of baronet was conferred on the Lord
Mayor, and two sheriffs were knighted. One of these was Mr. Montefiore;
and it is worthy of note that "Sir Moses" was the first Jew who had ever
been so honored in England. This event was a proof of the young queen's
liberality in religious views, of which she has since given many others.

[[A.D. 1838.]] The public mind soon began to be occupied with the
coronation, and there was much speculation throughout the country with
regard to it, because nearly two centuries had elapsed since the last
queen-regnant had been crowned alone. The excitement became very great
as the twenty-eighth of June, the day appointed for the important
ceremony, approached; and so eager were people to witness the procession
that windows along the route were let for as much as two hundred pounds
each, and the cost of single seats ranged from ten shillings to five
guineas. {320}Crowds of spectators filled every street through which her
majesty was to pass, and never had so much enthusiasm been shown on a
similar occasion. "The procession formed near Buckingham Palace at ten
o'clock in the morning. It was headed by trumpeters, a squadron of the
Household Brigade, the foreign ministers, then the foreign ambassadors,
these being followed by a mounted regimental band and a detachment of
the Household Brigade. Next came the carriages of the Duchesses of
Kent and Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and the Duke of
Sussex.

"Another mounted band, and the queen's barge-master, with forty-eight
watermen, preceded twelve of the queen's carriages conveying the ladies,
noblemen, and gentlemen belonging to the royal household, followed by a
squadron of the Household Brigade, and another mounted band. After them
came the military staff, aides-de-camp, and other distinguished officers
on horseback, the royal huntsmen, yeomen, and foresters, six of her
majesty's led horses, with the Yeomen of the Guard and their officers.

"Then came the Queen in her state-carriage, drawn by eight cream-colored
horses, followed by the Duke of Buccleuch, on horseback as
Captain-General of the Royal Archer Guard of Scotland, with a few other
officials. A squadron of the Household Brigade closed the procession,
which proceeded slowly to Westminster Abbey.

"That ancient edifice was fitted up splendidly. A gallery had been
raised capable of holding four hundred spectators, besides an organ and
an orchestra. This was at the west end of the abbey. There was another
gallery at the east end, capable of holding six hundred persons,
reserved for the House of Commons, and above this, two others, the
topmost one being reserved for the trumpeters.

"On the south side were boxes for the Sovereign, the {321}Earl-Marshal,
the Ambassadors, and the Lord Chamberlain. The peeresses were placed in
the north transept, the peers in the south, the Judges, Knights of the
Bath, and Aldermen in the choir, the Bishops on the floor to the north,
with the royal family, and the clergy of Westminster opposite. The
latter waited in the nave to join the procession on entering the abbey;
and Augusta of Cambridge, Prince George of Cambridge, the Duke of
Nemours, the Prince of Holstein, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg, the Duke of
Nassau, Prince Ernest of Hesse, and the Prince of Leiningen had seats
in the royal box.

"The clergymen headed the procession in the abbey, followed by the
heralds, the officers of the household, the chief prelates, and officers
of state. Then came the Duchess of Cambridge, with a circlet of gold
on her head, wearing a robe of purple velvet, her train borne by Lady
Caroline Campbell, her coronet by Viscount Villiers; the Duchess of Kent
with a similar circlet and robe, her train borne by Lady Flora Hastings,
her coronet by Viscount Morpeth; and the Duchess of Gloucester, her
train borne by Lady Caroline Legge, her coronet by Viscount Evelyn.

"The regalia was carried thus: St. Edward's staff by the Duke of
Roxburgh; the golden spurs by Lord Byron; the sceptre, with the cross,
by the Duke of Cleveland; the third sword by the Marquis of Westminster;
the second by the Duke of Sutherland; and the curtara or dull sword,
emblematic of mercy, by the Duke of Devonshire. The coronets of these
noblemen were carried by pages.

"After the Black Rod, the Deputy Garter, and the Lord Great Chamberlain
of England, came the Duke of Cambridge, in his robes of state, with his
baton of field-marshal, his coronet borne by the Marquis of Granby, his
train by Major-General Sir William Maynard Gomm; and the Duke of Sussex,
in his robes of state, his coronet borne by {322}Viscount Anson, his
train by the Honorable Edward Gore and Viscount Coke.

"Then came the Duke of Leinster as High Constable of Ireland, and the
Earl of Erroll as High Constable of Scotland, the Duke of Norfolk as
Earl-Marshal, with his baton, and the Duke of Wellington as Lord High
Constable of England, with his staff and field-marshal's baton. The
sword-of-state was borne by Viscount Melbourne, the sceptre, with
the dove, by the Duke of Richmond, St. Edward's crown by the Duke of
Hamilton, the orb by the Duke of Somerset, the patina by the Bishop of
Bangor, the Bible by the Bishop of Winchester, and the chalice by the
Bishop of Lincoln.

"They preceded the queen, who wore a royal robe of crimson velvet,
bordered with ermine and edged with gold lace, the collars of the orders
of the Garter, Thistle, Bath, and St. Patrick, and a circlet of gold.
Her majesty was supported on either side by the Bishops of Bath, Wells,
and Durham; her train was borne by Ladies Adelaide Paget, Frances
Elizabeth Cowper, Anne Wentworth Fitzwilliam, Mary Augusta Frederica
Grimstone, Caroline Amelia Gordon Lennox, Mary Alethea Beatrix Talbot,
Catherine Lucy Wilhelmina Stanhope, and Louisa Harriet Jenkinson,
assisted by the Lord Chamberlain of the Household, the Marquis of
Conyngham, followed by the Groom of the Robes, Captain Francis Seymour,
with ten gentlemen-at-arms on either side, with their lieutenant
standard-bearer, Clerk of the Cheque, and Harbinger.

"Afterwards came the Duchess of Sutherland as Mistress of the Robes, the
Marchioness of Lansdowne as First Lady of the Bed-chamber; other
ladies of the bedchamber, two marchionesses, four countesses, eight
maids-of-honor, and eight women of the bed-chamber.

"They were followed by the Gold Stick of the Life {323}Guards, Viscount
Combermere; the Master of the Horse, the Earl of Albermarle; the
Captain-General of the Royal Archer Guard of Scotland, the Duke of
Buccleuch; and the Captains of the Yeomen of the Guard, the Earl of
Ilchester, the Band of Gentlemen-at-Arms, Lord Foley, the Lords in
Waiting, the Keeper of Her Majesty's Privy Purse, and the Yeomen of the
Guard brought up the rear.

"After the regular coronation ceremony the lords pronounced the words
of homage, and kissed her majesty's hand. The princes of the blood
royal ascended the steps of the throne, took off their coronets, knelt,
pronounced the words of homage, touched the crown upon her majesty's
head, and kissed her left cheek.

"The Duke of Norfolk and sixteen other dukes did the same, with the
exception of kissing her hand instead of the cheek. Their example
was followed by twenty-one marquises, ninety-three earls, nineteen
viscounts, and ninety-one barons.

"Lord Rolle, who was very infirm, slipped on ascending the throne, when
the queen rose and extended her hand, expressing a hope that he was
not hurt. The Duke of Wellington was much cheered when performing his
homage; and, when this part of the ceremony was concluded, the members
of the House of Commons gave nine hearty cheers, accompanied with
frequent cries of "God save Queen Victoria!" which were repeated
throughout the building.

"The crown made for George IV. weighed more than seven pounds, and,
being considered too heavy, a new one had been prepared for the queen,
formed of hoops of silver, covered with precious stones, over a cap,
of rich blue velvet, surmounted by a ball studded with small
diamonds, having on the top a Maltese cross of brilliants, a
splendid {324}sapphire in the centre, a cluster of brilliants, with
_fleurs-de-lis_ and Maltese crosses round the centre of the crown, and
the large heart-shaped ruby worn by the Black Prince in front, a large
oblong sapphire below it, and clusters of pearls, with emeralds, rubies,
sapphires, and other gems." This is the description given by the Duke of
Buckingham in his "Memoirs of Victoria's Court."

The usual grand public banquet was omitted, but her majesty entertained
a party of a hundred people at dinner at the palace after the ceremony,
and on the following night the Duke of Wellington gave a splendid ball
at Apsley House, for which two thousand invitations were issued. A
number of state dinners were given by the cabinet ministers, and there
were illuminations and fireworks, a fair, and free admission to all the
theatres granted to her majesty's subjects, who enjoyed the amusements
provided for them with great spirit.

One of the most conspicuous persons in the coronation procession was
Marshal Soult, one of the ablest of Napoleon's generals, who had been
sent to England as ambassador to represent the French government. The
white-haired soldier was cheered whenever the crowd caught sight of
him, and throughout his sojourn in England reviews were got up for his
entertainment, and everything was done to make his visit agreeable.

Another person who attracted attention was Prince Esterhazy, the
Austrian ambassador, who appeared in a superb costume, and sparkled with
gorgeous diamonds from head to foot.

Several new peers were created after the coronation, besides twenty-nine
baronets, among whom were George Earle Lytton Bulwer, the novelist,
and John Frederick William Herschel, the scientist, and a great many
knights. With the opening of the new reign we see a change in the

{325}

[Illustration: 0331]

{327}government, which had begun while William IV. was ruler. He had
exercised the right to dismiss his ministers if he pleased, and all the
sovereigns who preceded him had done the same, and kept their favorites,
whether it suited the House of Commons or no. This was to be the case no
longer, and the constitutional government which exists today in England
began now gradually to develop itself; but, until this excellent
system of government was firmly established, there was a good deal of
discontent among all classes.

One important event that took place after the death of William IV. was
the accession of his brother Ernest, Duke of Cumberland, to the throne
of Hanover. This gave general satisfaction in England, for the duke was
thoroughly detested, and his absence from the country most welcome.
He was suspected of having taken part in the Orange plot, in 1835, the
object of which was to set aside the claims of the Princess Victoria
and place himself on the throne, and this circumstance certainly did
not increase his popularity. Of all the sons of George III. he was the
roughest, the most overbearing, unprincipled, and brutal, and England
was blessed in being rid of him.

Lord Melbourne was the queen's prime minister, and she had a sincere
regard and affection for him always. He was kindly, good-natured, and
honest, and sought in every possible way to make her reign agreeable
to her. He advised her to the best of his ability, but she had too much
sense to depend entirely on his counsel. He was not a man of very strong
intellect, nor was he a statesman, so there was little danger of the
young queen becoming a mere puppet in his hands, as some prominent
Tories feared she might.

The Duke of Wellington was one of these. He said on the queen's
accession: "The Tories will never have a chance {328}with a young woman
for sovereign; I have no small talk and Peel has no manners." But he was
to find his mistake, for the queen had the interest of her kingdom too
much at heart to be governed entirely by personal feelings.

[Illustration: 0324]

There were two powerful leaders in the House of Lords who were opposed
to Lord Melbourne, though one was a Whig and the other a Tory. They were
Lord Brougham and Lord Lyndhurst,--the former a man whose capacity for
work seemed almost superhuman, and whose power as a speaker was immense.
There never was a man whose knowledge was so universal or who did so
much at one time as Lord Brougham, and his extraordinary ability was
felt in England for many years. {329}Lord Lyndhurst was one of the
most remarkable parliamentary debaters of his day, and resembled Lord
Brougham in his ability to labor, though he was not master of so
many branches of learning. The two combined were the most formidable
opponents the ministry could have had, and they were merciless in their
criticisms of Lord Melbourne.

When the new parliament assembled an unusually large number of men, who
afterwards became prominent, were gathered together. Among these were
Mr. Grote, the historian of Greece, Mr. Edward Lytton Bulwer, Mr.
Disraeli, Mr. Gladstone, Lord Carlisle, Lord John Russell, Lord
Palmerston, Sir Robert Peel, and Lord Derby. Lord John Russell was
leader of the Whig party in the House of Commons, and Sir Robert Peel of
the Tory or Conservative party, as they were now called. O'Connell, the
great Irish agitator, was very prominent in the House of Commons, and
Richard Lalor Sheil was an eloquent orator of the Irish National party.
This is a long list of names, some of which may not be mentioned again;
but others are so closely connected with the queen's career, because of
the positions they fill in the government, that short biographies will
be supplied where they seem to be appropriate.

[[A.D. 1839.]] The first serious source of trouble in the new reign
was Canada. That country had been colonized by both French and English
emigrants, and for some time the line of their respective possessions
was clearly drawn. But British ways of thinking and acting and British
laws began to predominate, which led to jealousy on the part of the
French, who feared that their neighbors would get the upper-hand in
everything. Members of parliament in England frequently discussed
Canadian affairs, and from time to time made laws that were expected
to tend towards her welfare, but the colonists were not satisfied.
They felt {330}that the home government had little sympathy with
their situation, and that they were being left out in the cold, while
attention was directed towards affairs that they fancied must be
of greater interest to parliament, simply because of being better
understood or more nearly affecting individuals.

At last a rebellion broke out, but it was quickly put down by the end
of three weeks. Unlike most outbreaks of that sort, its effect was good;
for it aroused England to the necessity of at once doing something to
ameliorate the condition of her colonists. No time was to be lost, and
the friends of good government were alive to the necessity of sending to
Canada a man of ability and unexceptionable character. It was Lord John
Russell who undertook to select a governor-general, and the person he
named was Lord Durham.

Lord Durham accepted the mission with reluctance, because his health was
not good, and he knew that energy and labor were required in order
to accomplish what was expected of him. It was only after repeated
assurances of the support he would receive in England that he consented
at last to go.

It is not necessary to enter into the difficulties that beset his path,
or to trace out the details of his policy. He was too despotic to please
the colonists, but he acted conscientiously, and was warmly upheld
by the home government at first. He issued a proclamation that caused
dissatisfaction, and seems to have been misunderstood, and he was
unmindful of some of the technicalities of English law. Then some of
his friends turned against him, and his foes were merciless in their
denunciation. Among the latter was the all-powerful Lord Brougham,
against whose thundering eloquence no man could hold up his head.
Suffice it to say that Lord Durham returned to England a {331}disgraced
man. He had saved Canada, but ruined himself. The policy which he
recommended on his return was the one upon which the foundation of the
prosperity of all the British colonies was established. In so far Lord
Durham's mission to Canada was a splendid success; but the anxiety and
the hard work it had entailed upon him ruined his already enfeebled
health, and he died a short time after his return, at the age of
forty-eight.

At the beginning of Queen Victoria's reign there was trouble nearer home
to be contended with; and this was "Chartism," which a few words will
serve to explain. The reform bill was passed before King William died,
as we have seen, but those among the lower classes who had worked for it
were not satisfied; they had not yet obtained all they desired, for they
had looked for relief from poverty and misery, and no relief had come.
They fancied that the new government was unmindful of their wants. They
hated the rich, who enjoyed the comforts of which they were deprived,
and the rich feared the consequences of their hatred. This separated the
two classes as decidedly as though an ocean had rolled between them, in
so far as sympathy or assistance was concerned.

The result was grand mass-meetings in every part of the country, which
were organized, in many instances, by men of eloquence and ability. One
of the leaders was Feargus O'Conner, who headed the processions, and
fancied himself the saviour of the workingmen. His rude eloquence had
great weight with the masses, who felt that they were thrust out of the
political workings of the government, but needed to be told what changes
they required. Then Daniel O'Connell stepped forward as leader of the
workingmen's party, and wrote an appeal to the government, setting forth
the grievances of the people and demanding reform. To this document he
gave the popular title of {332}"the People's Charter," and said, as
he handed it to the secretary of the association: "Agitate for it, and
never be content with anything else." This was the introduction of the
movement known as Chartism that agitated England during the following
ten years; for charters representing all sorts of grievances, political
and social, were made out, and Chartist newspapers were founded. The
most influential of these was the "Northern Star," conducted by Feargus
O'Conner. Some of the Chartist meetings were preceded by torchlight
processions, and many of them terminated in serious riots.

It must not be supposed that complaints were made without cause, or that
the grievances were imaginary; for the poor of England really suffered,
and there was urgent need of reform. Some of the points in "the People's
Charter" were adopted as part of the English Constitution, and as time
rolled on Chartism gradually faded out of existence.

There was a great and most beneficial change made in the post-office
system at this period; and this is how it came about: Miss Martineau
says, that Coleridge, when a young man, was walking through the Lake
District one day, when he saw a postman deliver a letter to a young
woman at a cottage door. The woman turned it over and examined it, and
then returned it, saying that she could not pay the postage, which was
a shilling. Hearing that the letter was from her brother, the poet's
interest was aroused, and he paid the postage in spite of the woman's
protestations. No sooner was the postman out of sight than the woman
tore open the sheet, and showed Coleridge that it was blank. She then
explained that she and her brother had agreed that as long as everything
went well with him he was to send her a blank sheet once every three
months, and upon the receipt of it she would know that such was the
case without the expense of postage. {333}This incident made such an
impression on Coleridge that he repeated it to Mr. Rowland Hill, who was
struck with the belief that there must be something wrong in a system
which prompted brother and sister to cheat in order to gratify their
desire to hear from each other. So he set to work to make inquiries as
to the cost of carrying letters, and never rested until he succeeded in
establishing the penny-post, which has proved a great blessing to the
whole civilized world. Of course, it was not accomplished without a
great deal of trouble and opposition; but no sooner were the advantages
of cheap postage recognized in England than the system was imitated by
nearly all nations.

Now we come to an event that will no doubt prove more interesting to our
readers than politics or inventions,--the queen's marriage; but first we
must introduce the person selected for her consort, and take a glance at
his early life.

Francis Charles Augustus Albert Emanuel was the second son of Ernest and
Louise, Duke and Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. He was born at Rosenau, a
summer residence, about four miles from Coburg, August 26, 1819, and was
consequently three months younger than Victoria. The Duchess of Kent was
a sister of the Duke of Saxe-Coburg; therefore Prince Albert, as he was
always called, and Princess Victoria were first cousins.

The prince was a remarkably intellectual and thoughtful child, with
so great a fondness for study that, instead of being a task, it was a
source of pleasure to him. He loved occupation, and could never bear
to be idle. His tutor said that "to do _something_ was with him a
necessity," and he comprehended so easily and clearly that it was a
pleasure to teach him.

He was fond of active sport, as all healthy boys are sure {334}to be,
and engaged in them with the same zeal that marked his devotion to
study. He had a sunny nature and an excellent heart, which prompted
him to do good to others, and never to forget a favor, no matter how
trifling, done to himself.

King Leopold of Belgium was uncle to Prince Albert and Queen Victoria,
and very fond of both, and anxious that they should marry, because he
saw qualities in each that led him to believe they were eminently suited
to make each other happy. But he was not willing to depend entirely
on his own judgment, so he took into his confidence Baron Christian
Friedrich von Stockmar, his old friend and adviser, who had been with
him in England.

Stockmar was capable of forming an opinion on this important subject,
because he had seen much of the princess in her youth, and knew her
character and disposition as well as he did those of the prince. He
favored the match; but advised that the young people should be brought
together without allowing them to suspect the reason.

An opportunity presented itself soon; for the Duchess of Kent invited
the Duke of Coburg and his sons to visit her at Kensington Palace. This
was in 1836, and as the visitors remained four weeks the young people
had ample time to become good friends. As soon as Prince Albert left
England King Leopold informed his niece of his wish, and desired an
answer. She wrote in the most flattering terms of her cousin, and
concluded her letter thus: "I have only now to beg you, my dearest
uncle, to take care of the health of one now so dear to me, and to take
him under your special protection. I hope and trust that all will go on
prosperously and well on this subject now of so much importance to me."

The prince was kept in the dark about the matter; but

{335}

[Illustration: 0341]

{337}care was taken that his education should be such as to fit him for
the position of consort to the Queen of England; and the next two years
of his life were devoted to hard study under the guidance of some of the
best professors in Germany.

[[A.D. 1839.]] When his cousin mounted the throne he was one of the
first to congratulate her. He wrote: "Now you are queen of the mightiest
land in Europe; in your hand lies the happiness of millions. May
heaven assist you and strengthen you with its strength in that high but
difficult task! I hope that your reign may be long, happy, and glorious,
and that your efforts may be rewarded by the thankfulness and love of
your subjects."

At last King Leopold took occasion, when Prince Albert was visiting him,
to find out whether he loved the young queen, and was so well pleased
with the result of the interview that he wrote Baron Stockmar, who was
then in England: "If I am not very much mistaken, Albert possesses all
the qualities required to fit him for the position which he will occupy
in England. His understanding is sound, his apprehension clear and
rapid, and his heart in the right place."

The prince was too young to marry yet, so it was decided that he should
make a tour of Italy after he left the university where he had been
pursuing his education. The queen had taken Baron Stockmar into her
confidence, and told him how much she thought of her cousin. She now
requested him to accompany the prince to Italy, and he consented. They
spent part of the winter in Florence, where the prince took long walks
about the country and continued his studies. He rose at six and
worked until noon, dined at two o'clock, and went to bed at nine. Music
occupied much of his time, for he played well on the piano and the
organ; and he often went into society, though he was not fond of parties
and balls, {338}After visiting Rome and most of the other cities of
Italy, the prince returned to Coburg; and the baron, who had been his
companion, and who had watched him closely for many weeks, was more than
ever convinced of his noble qualities and strength of character.

In October, 1839, the prince went to England again, in company with his
brother. During the three years that had passed since his former visit
Prince Albert had grown tall, and had developed into a handsome man.
He had a sweet expression, a bright, intelligent countenance, broad
forehead, and clear blue eyes. The young queen was perfectly delighted
with the change that had taken place in him, and on the very day of
his arrival at Windsor Castle wrote her uncle: "Albert's beauty is
most striking, and he is most amiable and unaffected,--in short, very
_fascinating_. The young men are amiable, delightful companions, and
I am very happy to have them here." Four days later she informed
Lord Melbourne that she was going to marry her cousin Albert, and he
expressed his entire satisfaction at a step which he felt sure would be
acceptable to all her subjects. Then she wrote Baron Stockmar: "I _do_
feel so guilty, I know not how to begin my letter; but I think the news
it will contain will be sufficient to insure your forgiveness. Albert
has completely won my heart, and all was settled between us this
morning. I feel certain he will make me very happy. I wish I could say I
felt as certain of _my_ making him happy; but I shall do my best. Uncle
Leopold must tell you all about the details, which I have not time to
do. Albert is very much attached to you."

Prince Albert also wrote to the baron, and said: "Victoria is so good
and kind to me that I am often puzzled to believe that I should be
the object of so much affection. I know the interest you take in my
happiness, and therefore pour out my heart to you." {339}The princess
returned to Germany in November, and stopped at Wiesbaden, where they
met King Leopold and Baron Stockmar, who desired to make arrangements
for Albert's establishment in England. Shortly after his arrival in
Coburg his engagement was made public, and though the rejoicing was
great, everybody felt sorry that the young prince, who was a general
favorite, was so soon to leave them; and it was not without a great deal
of regret that he himself thought of his departure from his native land,
that he was so soon to leave forever.

[[A.D. 1839.]] General Grey, who went over with Lord Torrington in
December to invest the prince with the Order of the Garter, and to
accompany him to England, thus describes the final departure from Gotha:
"It was an affecting scene, and everything shows the genuine love of
all" classes for their young prince. The streets were densely crowded;
every window was crammed with heads; every housetop covered with people,
waving handkerchiefs and vying with each other in demonstrations of
affection that could not be mistaken. The carriages stopped in passing
the dowager-duchess's, and Prince Albert got out with his father and
brother to bid her a last adieu. It was a terrible trial to the poor
duchess, who was inconsolable for the loss of her beloved grandson. She
came to the window as the carriages drove off, and threw her arms out,
calling,

'Albert, Albert!' in tones that went to every one's heart, when she was
carried away almost in a fainting state by her attendants."

[[A.D. 1840.]] Meanwhile the queen summoned her privy council and
announced to them her marriage engagement, and, at the opening of
parliament in January, she repeated the announcement from the throne.
She had the satisfaction of finding that her choice of a husband was
universally approved of, and time proved that she could scarcely have
{340}made a wiser one; for there is probably no queen who ever had as
happy a married life as Victoria.

Baron Stockmar was sent to England, as the prince's representative, to
settle the terms of the treaty of marriage, and to arrange the prince's
future establishment there. A letter to the queen concerning his
household shows how sensible the prince was, especially in his
determination to side with no party? He says: "I should wish
particularly that the selection be made without regard to politics; for,
if I am really to keep myself free from all parties, my people must not
belong exclusively to one side. Let the men be of very high rank or very
accomplished or very clever, or persons who have performed important
services for England. It is necessary that they should be chosen from
both sides,--the same number of Whigs as of Tories; and, above all, it
is my wish that they should be men of high character and well educated.
I am satisfied you will look upon this matter as I do; and I shall be
much pleased if you will communicate what I have said to Lord Melbourne,
so that he may be fully aware of my views."

Now arose three points of discussion in England before the marriage
treaty could be signed. They were, first, religion,--a report having
been circulated that the prince was inclined to Catholicism. It was soon
shown that he and all his family were Protestants, and that there was
no essential difference between the communion services of the German and
English churches.

Second, the annuity,--which, after considerable debate between the
two political parties, was fixed at thirty thousand pounds, though
the queens of the three preceding sovereigns, as well as the Princess
Charlotte when she married Prince Leopold, had been granted fifty
thousand. The prince felt disturbed when he heard of this diminution
{341}in his allowance, not so much because of his desire for money as
because it struck him as a sign that the English people were not
pleased with the marriage. However, Baron Stockmar, with his usual
thoughtfulness, wrote a letter to the prince, explaining that it was
only on account of the commercial distress throughout the country, and
not from any personal motives, that parliament had decided as it did.

The third point of discussion was more a matter of feeling, particularly
with regard to the bride, because it was a question of precedence and
rank. The English Constitution made clear the position of the wife of a
king, who had the highest rank next to her husband, but said nothing
on this point about the husband of the queen-regnant. It was easily
settled, however, and gave the prince the first place after the queen,
although it was not until many years after the marriage that the title
of prince-consort was formally granted to him.

An enthusiastic welcome awaited Prince Albert on his arrival in England,
and the people streamed out of every town and village on the road to
cheer him. The impression he made was most favorable, and all those who
were not prejudiced by party feeling soon liked him thoroughly.

The marriage took place on the tenth of February, and thousands of the
queen's subjects lined the roads between Buckingham Palace and Windsor
Castle, to view the bridal procession on its way to and from the chapel.
The young couple spent three days quietly at Windsor, and then returned
to London.

Although the prince occupied the first position of any gentleman in
the kingdom, a few members of the royal family disputed his right of
precedency and that was a source of disquietude, which was felt also
whenever he travelled on the continent with the queen. Then in his
{342}own household his position was not at first clearly defined, and
that was excessively disagreeable to a man of the prince's character. In
May he wrote to his friend, the Prince von Lowenstein: "In my home life
I am very happy and contented; but the difficulty in filling my place
with the proper dignity is that I am only the husband, and not the
master, in the house." It was his aim to become the queen's private
secretary and chief adviser, and to assume control of the royal
household. He desired no power for himself, but studied English law
and politics, that he might be able to assist and advise his wife with
regard to any difficult question that might be brought before her; in
short, to be the head of his family and household. And he succeeded, not
in a day, but in course of time, and by the exercise of great tact and
self-control. He had decided opinions, and was never indifferent to
the foreign or domestic relations of his adopted country; but he never
directly interfered with the machinery of the government or the duties
of the sovereign. He devoted himself nobly and unselfishly to the task
of doing all the good in his power towards making his wife's reign a
prosperous and happy one to the nation.

His path was made smoother by the queen's excellent judgment and warm
affection; for she lost no opportunity of making it felt that she and
her husband were one in purpose, as in heart and authority. The prince
had an invaluable adviser in Baron Stockmar, whose knowledge of men and
of politics made him thoroughly reliable. Lord Palmerston spoke of him
"as one of the best political heads he had ever met with, and one of the
first statesmen of Europe."

The royal marriage was succeeded by all sorts of public entertainments,
which served to introduce the prince to court life; but they were a
great strain upon him, for he {343}had lived so quietly and regularly
all his life that the late hours he had to keep were hard to bear.
Besides, the pressure of public duties obliged him to neglect his music
and drawing for awhile, and this was a serious deprivation. The prince
was an excellent musician, and played both the piano and the organ, but
particularly the latter, with rare skill. When work became so planned
out as to afford some leisure hours, the royal couple devoted them
to etching and to music. To sing and play together was their chief
amusement. So highly was Prince Albert's musical knowledge thought of
that he was appointed one of the directors of a series of classical
concerts, that soon became popular, and went far towards cultivating a
taste for the best music. He was interested in all branches of art, and
never failed to encourage painters and sculptors as well as musicians.

Several attempts have been made on the life of the queen during her
reign. The first one occurred about four months after her marriage. She
was driving in an open carriage, with the prince, up Constitution Hill,
when a youth, seventeen years of age, named Oxford, fired two shots
at her. Fortunately neither took effect, and the wretched creature was
found to be insane, and confined in a lunatic asylum.

The prince could have no better proof of the high estimation in which
he was held by both parties in parliament than when a bill was passed
appointing him regent, in case the queen should die and leave minor
children. There was only one dissenting voice, and that was the queen's
uncle, the Duke of Sussex, who wanted the position himself, and thought
he was entitled to it. Baron Stockmar then felt that his presence was
no longer needed in England, and returned to his quiet home in Coburg,
whence he kept up a regular correspondence with the prince, and always
{344}pointed out his line of conduct, and watched him at a distance with
keen interest.

The queen had a daughter born on the thirteenth of November, at
Buckingham Palace. She was baptized by the names Victoria Adelaide Mary
Louisa. The sponsors were the Duke of Saxe-Coburg, represented by the
Duke of Wellington, King Leopold, the Queen-dowager, the Duchesses of
Kent and Gloucester, and the Duke of Sussex. Lord Melbourne declared
next day to the queen that the infant "looked about her quite conscious
that the stir was all about herself;" but as she was only three months
old when the ceremony took place, it is not probable that she recognized
herself as the heroine of it. The prince wrote his father: "The
christening went off very well. Your little grandchild behaved with
great propriety."

The Christmas holidays were kept that year at Windsor Castle. This
had always been a favorite festival with the prince, and the custom of
interchanging gifts, which marks the day in Germany, was introduced into
his home. Christmas trees were set up, and every member of the household
was remembered in the pretty articles that surrounded them.

This year the queen received some beautiful presents from the Emperor
of China,--consisting of a golden bedstead, ear-rings worth a thousand
pounds each, an exquisitely wrought shawl, and some rare silks and
embroidery. This was at the close of the Chinese war with England, of
which it is not necessary to give here all the particulars. The English
gained victories that opened several ports in China for them to carry on
trade; but they acted with unpardonable injustice towards the Chinese,
and their victory ought rather to have made them blush than rejoice.

[[A.D. 1841.]] The Melbourne administration had by this

{345}

[Illustration: 0351]

{347}time become unpopular, because the country had fallen heavily into
debt, trade was in a depressed state, and pauperism and distress had
increased. A fierce political struggle was pending; and it was very
gratifying to the queen to find, when she made short excursions in the
country, that, in spite of the discontent which prevailed, she was met
with every mark of loyalty and affection by her subjects.

In August parliament met, and, after a fortnight's debate, decided to
represent to her majesty the necessity of a change in the ministry. So
Lord Melbourne had to resign, though he took leave of the queen with
sincere regret. She was grieved with parting with her minister, whom
she had seen every day for four years, and in whom she had found a
warmly-attached friend; but Prince Albert was such a clever, able
support that the trial was by no means so great as it would have been
before her marriage.

The task of forming a new ministry was intrusted to Sir Robert Peel,
who worked so quickly that all the appointments were made in less than
a week. No sooner was the new cabinet fairly established than the Prince
of Wales was born at Buckingham Palace. This event took place on the
ninth of November, and during the following month the court removed to
Windsor Castle. Here is a copy of the letter which the queen wrote King
Leopold soon after:--

"We arrived here with our awfully large nursery establishment yesterday
morning. To-day is very bright, clear, and dry, and we walked out early,
and felt like prisoners freed from some dungeon.

"I wonder very much who our little boy will be like. You will understand
how fervent are my prayers, and I am sure everybody's must be, to see
him resemble his father in {348}_every, every_ respect,--both in body
and mind! Oh, my dearest uncle, I am sure if you knew how happy, how
blessed I feel, and how proud in possessing such a perfect being as my
husband, and if you think you have been instrumental in bringing about
this union it must gladden your heart!"

[[A.D. 1842.]] King Frederick William of Prussia was invited to England
to stand sponsor for the Prince of Wales. He arrived at Greenwich on the
twenty-second of January, and was met by Prince Albert, who escorted
him to Windsor Castle. There he was received by the queen with all the
formalities of state. Three days later the baby-prince was christened at
St. George's Chapel, Windsor. Besides the King of Prussia, the sponsors
were the Duchess of Saxe-Coburg, represented by the Duchess of Kent, the
Duke of Cambridge, the Duchess of Saxe-Gotha, represented by the Duchess
of Cambridge, Princess Augusta of Cambridge, and Prince Ferdinand of
Saxe-Coburg.

The ceremony was performed with unusual splendor; the chapel was hung
with banners, lights shone upon the altar, and the music was very fine.
An anthem had been composed for the occasion; but the prince objected to
anything new, saying: "We will have something we all know--something
in which we can all join--something devotional," and so the Hallelujah
Chorus was substituted.

Shortly after the King of Prussia returned home Prince Albert received
news of the approaching marriage of his brother Ernest with the Princess
Alexandrine of Baden. He was urged to be present at the ceremony; but
public affairs were in such a dreadful condition in England that
he could not leave, though he was strongly inclined to do so.
{349}Insurrections were from time to time breaking out in the iron and
coal districts, where there was a great deal of suffering and want.
Ireland was still excited by the Chartist agitators, and the horrible
war with Afghanistan, where the British troops suffered so dreadfully,
was still going on. These are some of the circumstances--but there were
others besides--which called for an increase of soldiers and large sums
of money; and the Melbourne administration, as we have seen, had left
the country in debt two million five hundred thousand pounds.

In the face of such troubles Prince Albert could not desert his wife
to attend his brother's wedding. He worked hand-in-hand with Sir Robert
Peel, and together they established an income tax, which worked with
splendid results, and furnished two million pounds more than had been
expected. Even the queen shared the burden of the taxation, which proved
such an excellent remedy that confidence in the government was restored.
The harvest was good this year, trade began to revive, and it seemed
at last that a tide of prosperity had set in. The poorer classes had
suffered so much that it was long before they could recover from the
depression into which they had sunken; but reforms were going on in
every branch of industry that effected their interest, and a brighter
day had dawned for England.

In March an account of the massacre of the British troops at Cabul was
communicated to the queen, but it was not until the following month
that the shocking details of it reached England. But such scenes were
fortunately not repeated, and when the war was over England retained a
firmer hold on India than she had done before.

For the advancement of trade the court gave a series of dinners,
concerts, and balls, which kept all sorts of shopkeepers busy. In May a
grand ball was given for the {350}benefit of the Spitalfields weavers,
which the queen and prince attended, and for the same purpose a
fancy-dress party was given at Buckingham Palace. This was a magnificent
entertainment, and the costumes were splendid. The prince was dressed as
Edward III., the queen as Queen Philippa, and their ladies and gentlemen
appeared in the court-dress of that period. The Duchess of Cambridge
headed a procession of a hundred and twenty persons who represented
France, Italy, and Spain.

Another attempt was made on her majesty's life this year. Here is an
account of it as given by the prince in a letter to his father: "On
Sunday, as we were returning from the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace,
at two o'clock, there was, as usual, a crowd of spectators under the
trees, who bowed and cheered. Suddenly I saw a man step out from the
crowd, and present a pistol full at me. I heard the trigger snap, but it
must have missed fire. I turned to Victoria, who was seated on my right,
and asked her, 'Did you hear that?' She had been bowing to the people on
the other side, and observed nothing. I said, 'I may be mistaken, but
I am sure I saw somebody take aim at us.' When we reached the palace I
asked the footmen who had been at the back of the carriage if they
had not noticed a man step forward and stretch his hand towards the
carriage, as if he wanted to throw a petition into it. They had noticed
nothing. I did not breathe a syllable about it to any one, except
Colonel Arbuthnot, to whom I told what had happened, and directed him to
make it known to the inspector of police, Sir Robert Peel, and Sir James
Graham.

"I then ran out upon the balcony to see whether the man had not been
seized, but all was quiet, and the people had dispersed, satisfied with
having seen the queen. In the afternoon Sir Robert Peel came with the
head of police, {351}and took down my statement, in writing, together
with a description of the man's appearance.

"Yesterday morning a boy of fourteen, named Pearse, came to Mr. Murray,
and said that he had seen a man present a pistol at us as we were
returning from church, but he did not fire, and afterwards exclaimed,
'Fool that I was not to fire!' We sent the boy to the home office, where
his evidence was taken down. The police showed the greatest activity.
We are naturally much agitated, Victoria very nervous and unwell. As
the doctor wished that she should go out, we determined to do so; for
we should have to shut ourselves up for months, had we settled not to go
out, so long as the miscreant was at large. Besides, as he could have no
suspicion he was watched, we felt sure that he would come again skulking
around the palace, and that the numerous policemen in plain clothes, who
were on the lookout for him, would seize him on the least imprudence
or carelessness on his part. We drove out at four, gave orders to drive
faster than usual, and for the two equerries, Colonel Wylde and Colonel
Arbuthnot, to ride close to the carriage. You may imagine that our minds
were not very easy. We looked behind every tree, and I cast my eyes
around in search of the rascal's face. We, however, got safely through
the parks, and drove towards Hampstead. The weather was superb, and
hosts of people on foot. On our way home, as we were approaching the
palace, between the Green Park and the garden wall, a shot was fired
at us about five paces off. It was the fellow with the same pistol--a
little swarthy, ill-looking rascal. The shot must have passed under the
carriage, for he lowered his hand. We felt as if a load had been taken
off our hearts, and, we thanked the Almighty for having preserved us
a second time from so great a danger. {352}John Francis (that is the
man's name) was standing near a policeman, who immediately seized him,
but could not prevent the shot. The culprit was instantly taken off to
the police office. He is not out of his mind, but a thorough scamp.
His answers were coarse and witty. He tries to make fun of his judges.
Little Pearse identified him this morning as the same person he had seen
on Sunday. He is twenty-two years old, the son of a machinist at one of
the theatres;--a wretched creature."

Francis was tried and found guilty of high treason. There were
circumstances which led to the belief that the pistol he had used was
not loaded at all, and that he only wanted to make himself notorious.
The queen interfered in his behalf, and had the death-sentence changed
to transportation for life. Francis was greatly relieved when he found
that he was not to be hung; but the leniency shown to him had a bad
effect, for the very day after it was made public another attempt was
made-on the queen's life by a hunchbacked boy named Bean.

Her majesty was driving to the chapel of St. James's Palace when Bean
pointed his pistol, but it missed fire, and a youth named Dassett tore
it out of his hand, and collared him, calling at the same time to the
crowd to secure the assassin. He was promptly arrested, and the pistol
was found to be loaded with powder, paper closely rammed down, and some
scraps of a clay pipe.

Bean had left his father's house a week before, and had written that he
would never see him again, because he intended committing a desperate,
though not a dishonest deed, and signed himself, "your unhappy, but
disobedient son." Now, the fact of the fellow's having deliberately set
about a crime for which Francis was then lying under sentence of
death in prison, proved that something was wanting in the laws for the
punishment of such miscreants. {353}Sir Robert Peel lost no time in
introducing a bill in parliament, which, it was thought, would put a
stop to such attempts. It made the offender subject to transportation
for seven years, or imprisonment, with or without hard labor, for a
term not exceeding three years--"the culprit to be publicly or privately
whipped as often and in such manner and form as the court shall direct,
not exceeding thrice." This bill became a law, and under it Bean was
sentenced to eighteen months' imprisonment.

One point that gave the prince serious concern was the internal working
of the royal household, which did not run smoothly by any means. It may
seem easy to control such a matter, particularly when one observes the
regularity and precision of the present day; but there was no system
when Prince Albert undertook the reform. The whole management of the
palace was in confusion; there were too many masters, and nobody's
duties were clearly defined. With every change in the ministry the three
principal officers of the household were changed, and their appointments
were not due to special qualifications. They were regulated by politics,
and, such being the case, no uniformity of system could prevail; there
could be no order, comfort, or economy, for no one felt particularly
responsible or knew how soon he might be called upon to make way for a
successor. Certain officials were responsible for the interior of the
palace, certain others for the grounds, woods, and forests, but they
never worked in harmony. The consequence was, that as the inside
cleaning of the windows belonged to the lord chamberlain's department,
the outside was regulated by the officer who ruled over the grounds;
and, unless a good understanding happened to exist between him and the
lord chamberlain, it is easy to see what trouble might arise from that
one matter {354}alone. As Baron Stockmar says in his memoranda: "The
lord steward finds the fuel and lays the fire, and the lord chamberlain
lights it. The lord chamberlain provides all the lamps, and the lord
steward must clean, trim, and light them." Before even the most trifling
repairs could be made so many people had to be consulted that months
elapsed, while the pane of glass, lock, bolt, or hinge was under
consideration. Neither the lord chamberlain nor the master of the horse
had his deputy residing in the palace; consequently, the servants
went and came as they chose, did their work or left it undone as fancy
dictated, and often absented themselves for several days without any
notice being taken of it.

[[A.D. 1843.]] All this the prince was determined to change; but it
would take time, and had to be done with extreme caution to avoid giving
offence to the large number of people who would be affected by the
reform. Sir Robert Peel was consulted, but he thought that ancient
institutions ought not to be interfered with, and feared that any change
in the household, that would seem to impair the authority of the great
officers of state would make the distinguished members of the House of
Peers less anxious to fill such positions.

The prince concurred with Sir Robert, but was, nevertheless, bent on
improvement. "All I beg of you now, my dear Sir Robert," he said, "is
your cordial assistance in combating the existing and crying nuisances.
Much as I am inclined to treat the household machine with a sort of
reverence from its antiquity, I still remain convinced that it is clumsy
in its construction, and works so ill that as long as its wheels are not
mended there can neither be order, regularity, comfort, security, nor
outward dignity in the queen's palace."

The prince's persevering qualities were in course of time {355}crowned
with success, and it was through the officers of state themselves, who
agreed to confer on the master of the household absolute authority over
all the internal affairs of the palace. This arrangement proved even
more satisfactory than was at first expected, and relieved the prince of
a multitude of petty cares.

{356}



CHAPTER XII.

[[A.D. 1843.]]

|Parliament opened this year with very exciting debates on the corn
laws, which, of course, referred to all sorts of grain. Sir Robert Peel
entered upon his office bound to maintain these laws, but five years
later he repealed them. Such a change of policy brought down upon his
head the most outrageous abuse, but he was probably convinced that the
change was beneficial.

These laws made the price of all grain that was imported so high that
few could afford to purchase any but English grain. This protected
the English farmer, and gave him a chance to charge a good sum for his
crops; which was all very well for the farmer, but the manufacturer
rebelled. Foreign countries said: "If you refuse to buy our grain,
we will manage to do without your woollen and cotton goods." This was
ruinous to trade, and in consequence there was less manufacturing done.
Many were thrown out of employment, and all wages were reduced. That the
poor were forced to earn less and pay more for their daily bread struck
some members of parliament as a most unjust state of affairs. They did
not wonder at the riots that were becoming matters of daily occurrence,
and sought for a remedy.

This was only to be found in free-trade,--which means relief from duty;
but it would take time, thought, and debate before this remedy could
be established. The nominal {357}leader of the Free-trade party in
parliament was Mr. Charles Villiers, a man of aristocratic family and
rare ability, who had brought forward his views for several sessions
in the House of Commons, and had worked hard to secure converts to the
principle he advocated.

[Illustration: 0363]

The real leader of the movement was Mr. Richard Cobden, a manufacturer
of cotton goods in Manchester.

He was a man who saw and thought for himself, while he was willing to
learn from everybody. He travelled a great deal, and thus gained a stock
of information that proved of much value. He was not an orator, but his
simple, honest, straightforward style of speaking was most convincing.
He ruled men by appealing to their common sense, and showing them
wherein lay their own interest; {358}therefore was he most fitted by
nature to succeed in his arguments against the corn laws.

His strongest ally was Mr. Bright, an orator of the most brilliant type.
Mr. Bright had a commanding presence, a fine, broad head, a handsome,
expressive face. He had not read many books; but those he had read he
knew thoroughly, and the principal ones were the Bible and Milton. Mr.
Bright was a Quaker and a manufacturer of carpets. His business was a
prosperous one, and he had amassed a large sum of money; therefore, when
he made his appearance in parliament, his eloquence had a disinterested
ring; no one could accuse him of pleading his own cause alone.

Mr. Cobden and Mr. Bright met for the first time when both were
interested in the question of education, and each was struck with the
peculiar ability of the other. They became friends, and when Mr. Bright
was in deep grief after the death of his young and lovely wife, Mr.
Cobden made him a visit of condolence. After expressing what his heart
dictated, it suddenly occurred to him that work would offer the greatest
relief to his stricken friend,--work for the alleviation of other's
misery. "Come with me!" he said, after a pause. "There are thousands and
thousands of homes in England at this moment, where wives and mothers
and children are dying of hunger. Come with me, and we will work for
them, and never rest until the corn laws are repealed."

The invitation was cordially accepted; and these two men formed a bond
of friendship so strong, so close that until the death of Mr. Cobden the
name of one was scarcely ever mentioned without that of the other. Their
gifts were exactly suited to each other; for each possessed something
that the other needed, and together they became a power that stopped at
nothing short of complete success. {359}But before free-trade was fairly
established many converts had to be made, and much opposition had to
be put down. A favorable effect was produced by a letter from Lord John
Russell, at the time of the potato-rot in Ireland, which threatened to
produce a famine. This letter had a great influence on Sir Robert
Peel, as it convinced him of the necessity of doing something for the
advancement of trade, and prompted him to favor the repeal of the corn
laws, for which he was, as we have said, so severely condemned. Before
introducing another statesman, who became prominent at this time, a few
pages must be devoted to the queen and her family.

On the twenty-fifth of April another daughter was added to the royal
family. She was christened Alice Maud Mary, and her sponsors were the
King of Hanover, Ernest, now Duke of Coburg, Princess Sophia Matilda,
and Feodore. The queen wrote her uncle that the ceremony went off
brilliantly, and that little Alice behaved extremely well.

The royal couple took a lively interest in the exhibition of cartoons,
on subjects taken from English history and poetry, that was opened at
Westminster Hall that summer. All classes of people, from the highest
to the lowest, visited this exhibition, and this showed that a taste for
art was developing itself.

The prince was a great admirer of fresco painting, and gave valuable
instructions with regard to the decoration of both houses of parliament.
After they were completed, he ordered eight pictures, for a pavilion in
the garden of Buckingham Palace, illustrating Milton's "Cornus,"--one
from each of the following artists: Landseer, Maclise, Uwins, Eastlake,
Leslie, Ross, Dyce, and Stanfield.

The queen, with her husband, watched the progress of this work with real
interest, and one of the artists thus {360}wrote about them in a letter
to a friend: "I have never met with any royal personages who have
impressed me so favorably as our reigning sovereign and her young
and interesting husband. They come to us twice a day unannounced, and
without attendants, entirely stripped of all state and ceremony, and
courting conversation in a way that has gained our admiration and love."

The Queen and Prince Albert had long been contemplating a visit to the
court of Louis Philippe, so the day after the opening of parliament in
August they embarked at Southampton on the "Victoria and Albert," a new
yacht that had just been built for them. The French royal family were
at Château d'Eu, near Tréport. After cruising about off the coast of the
Isle of Wight for four or five days, the queen and prince crossed over
to Tréport, and the French king came out in his barge to welcome them.

Her majesty describes it thus in her journal: "The landing was a fine
sight, which the beauty of the evening, with the setting sun, enhanced.
Crowds of people (all so different from ours), numbers of troops (also
different from our troops), the whole court, and all the authorities
were assembled on the' shore. The king led me up a somewhat steepish
staircase, where the queen received me with the kindest welcome,
accompanied by dearest Louise, Queen of the Belgians; Hélène, Duchess
of Orleans, in deep mourning; Françoise, Prince de Joinville, and Madame
Adélaïde. All this--the cheering of the people, and of the troops
crying "_Vive la Reine! Vive le Roi!_"--well nigh overcame me. The king
repeated again and again to me how happy he was at the visit, and how
attached he was to my father and to England."

The visitors remained five days, and were received with so much
affection by every member of the royal family and so splendidly
entertained that it was with sincere regret that they parted from them
at last. {361}After stopping two or three days at Brighton, the queen
and prince made a tour in Belgium, and visited their beloved uncle, King
Leopold. The month succeeding this journey was marked by the prince's
first visit to Cambridge, where he and the queen were received by the
students with tremendous enthusiasm.

[[A.D. 1844.]] The first grief that darkened the home of the royal
couple was caused by the death of Prince Albert's father, which occurred
quite suddenly in January, 1844. This event was not entirely unexpected;
nevertheless the prince was deeply shocked, for he had always
entertained a warm affection for his father. The following month he
decided to visit Coburg, and see those of his relations who remained.

Shortly after his return the King of Saxony arrived at Buckingham Palace
on a visit, and two days later the Emperor of Russia appeared, having
given only forty-eight hours' notice that he would do so. Meanwhile,
the court removed to Windsor Castle, where the emperor was conducted by
Prince Albert and received by the queen. The royal visitor was struck by
the magnificence of the castle, and repeatedly declared that the English
court was conducted on a grander scale than any he had ever seen.

A brilliant review was given in Windsor Park on the fourth of June in
honor of the two royal guests, and they were delighted with the rapidity
of the artillery movements. The whole royal party attended the Ascot
races on the sixth, and returned to town on the seventh. Next day the
emperor went with Prince Albert on an excursion in the country, and
attended the opera with the queen in the evening. On the ninth he took
his departure, having made a most favorable impression in England.

On the sixth of August the queen's second son was born, at Windsor
Castle. He was christened at the end of {362}four weeks in the private
chapel, and received the names Alfred Ernest Albert. The sponsors were
Prince George of Cambridge, the Prince of Leiningen, represented by the
Duke of Wellington, the Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, represented by
the Duchess of Kent. The scene was very solemn. The Princess Royal and
the Prince of Wales were present; and it was on that occasion that the
former first beheld the father of the man she was to marry fourteen
years later,--the Crown Prince of Prussia,--who was then on a visit to
England.

In October grand preparations were made for the reception of King Louis
Philippe. The Duke of Wellington went with Prince Albert to Portsmouth
to receive him and accompany him to Windsor, and everything was done
to make a favorable impression on both sides, because his visit was the
first one ever made by a French to an English sovereign. The king was
no stranger in England, for he had lived there for five years during
his exile from France; and it gave him much pleasure to visit the old
familiar scenes, and to reflect upon his improved condition. He could
not forget how, under a feigned name, he had been glad to earn twenty
pence a day while in exile,--and now he was King of France! His visit
had a good effect, for it removed much of the angry feeling that had
existed between his country and England, and established a bond of
friendliness.

[[A.D. 1845.]] When the Queen and Prince Albert accompanied Louis
Philippe to Portsmouth they saw Osborne, in the Isle of Wight, for the
first time, and were so pleased with the prospect it offered for a quiet
retreat that they purchased it. There were eight hundred acres at first,
but more were added, until the estate comprised twenty-three hundred
acres. The prince cultivated the whole place, and improved it year by
year, until he made it one of the most delightful country-seats in the
world. {363}On the ninth of August the queen prorogued parliament; and
the same evening she and the prince, attended by Lord Aberdeen, Lord
Liverpool, Lady Gainsborough, Lady Canning, Mr. Anson, and Sir James
Clark sailed from Woolwich for Antwerp in the royal yacht, their
destination being Saxony. This is what her majesty wrote in her journal
on the morning of her departure:--

"A very fine morning when we got up. Both Vicky and darling Alice were
with me while I dressed. Poor, dear puss (the Princess Royal) would much
have wished to go with us, and often proposed that she might go, and
said,--'Why am I not going to Germany?' Most willingly would I have
taken her, and I wished much to have taken one of dear Albert's
children with us to Coburg; but the journey is a serious undertaking,
particularly the first time, and she is very young still. But what
chiefly decided us is the visit to the King of Prussia, where I could
not have looked after her. All four children were with us at breakfast,
after which I gave Lady Lyttelton my last instructions, and then with
a heavy heart we bade them adieu in the hall. Poor little Vicky seemed
very sorry, but did not cry. It was a very painful moment to drive away
with the three poor little things standing at the door. God bless them
and protect them; which He will! And they are in excellent hands. Our
dear Osborne is so lovely and so enjoyable that we left it with the
greatest regret."

Sir Robert Peel met her majesty at Buckingham Palace, and gave such a
satisfactory report of public affairs that the royal travellers set out
on their German tour with nothing to mar their pleasure.

They arrived at Antwerp on the tenth of August, and found the city
illuminated in their honor. They were received by a guard of soldiers,
and proceeded to Malines, where they were welcomed by King Leopold and
his {364}queen. They then proceeded to the Prussian frontier, where they
were met by the English ambassador, the King of Prussia with several
members of his family, many gentlemen in uniform, and a numerous escort.
They were magnificently entertained, and shown all the sights of Cologne
and other cities.

At Bonn a Beethoven festival was given, and afterwards all the
professors of the university where Prince Albert had been educated were
presented to her majesty. We need not follow the royal couple through
all their travels, but will quote the queen's account of their arrival
at Coburg, Prince Albert's birthplace.

"I began," says the queen, "to feel greatly moved,--agitated, indeed, in
coming near the Coburg frontier. At length we saw flags and people drawn
up in lines, and in a few moments more we were welcomed by Ernest
in full uniform. We got into an open carriage of Ernest's, with six
horses,--Ernest sitting opposite to us. The good people were all dressed
in their best,--the women in pointed caps, with many petticoats, and the
men in leather breeches. Many girls were there with wreaths of
flowers. We came to a triumphal arch, where we were received by
the land-director, who said a few kind words of welcome, to which I
replied,--all those who accompanied him standing on either side, and
the good people receiving us in such a warm, hearty, and really friendly
way. We then drove to Ketschendorff, the pretty little house of our dear
late grandmother, where we found uncle Leopold and Louise, who got
into the carriage with us. Ernest mounted a horse and rode next to the
carriage on my side, Alvensleben on the other. Then the procession was
formed, which looked extremely pretty. At the entrance to the town we
came to another triumphal arch, where the burgomaster addressed us. On
the other side stood a number of girls, dressed in

{365}

[Illustration: 0371]

{367}white, with green wreaths and scarfs, who presented us with
bouquets and verses. I cannot say how much I felt moved on entering
the dear old place, and with difficulty I restrained my emotion. The
beautifully ornamented town, all bright with wreaths and flowers, the
numbers of good affectionate people, the many recollections connected
with the place,--all was so affecting.

"The palace was soon reached, and as the royal cortège approached it
numbers of young girls, dressed like the others, threw wreaths into the
carriage. The staircase was full of relations. It was an affecting, but
exquisite moment, which I shall never forget."

Before they rose, the first morning after their arrival at the Roseman,
the singers of the Coburg Theatre serenaded them. "Before breakfast,"
the queen writes, "we went upstairs to where my dearest Albert and Ernest
used to live. It is quite in the roof, with a tiny little bedroom on
each side, in one of which they both used to sleep, with their tutor.
The view is beautiful, and the paper is still full of holes with their
fencing; and the very same table is there on which they were dressed
when they were little." After visiting the fortress that overlooks
Coburg, and driving in the suburbs, the first day closed with a
performance of the "Huguenots" at the theatre, where the royal couple
were greeted as they entered with "God save the Queen," sung in German.

The twenty-sixth of August was the prince's birthday, and a number of
gifts were spread out on a table for him, which the queen, with the
assistance of the Duke and Duchess of Coburg, had arranged amidst
beautiful flowers. Some of the peasants remembered the day, and came
all decorated in ribbons and flowers and preceded by a band of music, to
offer their congratulations.

The next day the royal couple left Coburg and travelled {368}on,
stopping frequently to visit various relations; each of whom vied with
the other in the feasts that were prepared for the entertainment of
their guests. After seeing and enjoying the numerous points of interest
in the Thurin-gian forest, the travellers began to turn their attention
homeward; but a flying visit had to be made at the Château D'Eu, so that
Louis Philippe might not feel himself neglected.

On the evening of September 7 the royal couple left the Scheldt in their
yacht, and at nine the next morning were off Tréport. The king was on
the lookout for them, and soon appeared on board in full uniform. They
were received with the same affectionate welcome that greeted them two
years before from the whole French royal family, and conducted to the
château. There a room was shown to her majesty, which had been fitted up
in honor of her former visit, with pictures of the various incidents
of it, as well as of the king's visit to Windsor, and among them
full-length portraits of the queen and Prince Albert. The whole company
of the Opéra Comique had been brought down from Paris that day, and in
the evening they gave a performance in a tent erected for the purpose.

Next day the travellers returned home, and the prettiest sight that
awaited them, as they approached Osborne, was the bright, chubby faces
of their four little children, who were on the watch for them.

[[A.D. 1846.]] We must now take a look at the political struggle that
was so bitter and so fierce this year. Sir Robert Peel had become
a free-trader, and announced himself as such in parliament; but his
downfall was at hand, even when victory seemed so near. This was brought
about by a bill introduced for the purpose of checking assassination in
Ireland, called the coercion bill.

It was at this exciting session that Mr. Disraeli rose into

{369}

[Illustration: 0375]

{371}sudden prominence. He had been for many years in the House of
Commons, and had made many speeches, but hitherto his political career
had been a failure. His first speech was, perhaps, as clever as many
later ones that won outbursts of applause, but he was ridiculed by the
noisy members of the house to such an extent that most men with less
courage would have been silenced forever. Not so Disraeli; he looked
straight at the party that opposed him, and, raising his hands with
theatrical effect, he exclaimed, in a tone of voice so powerful as to
penetrate to every part of the house: "I have begun several times many
things, and I have often succeeded at last; ay, sir, and though I sit
down now the time will come when you will hear me." His prediction came
true, and from the time--nine years after--when he rose to denounce
Sir Robert Peel, until the day of his death, his career was one long
brilliant success.

That night he made for himself a name, and for the Tory party, of which
he became the leader, a new career. The man whom the House of
Commons had ridiculed nine years before, now proved himself a great
parliamentary orator, and, as time went on, a politician perfectly
capable of assuming the control of his party. Sir Robert Peel had gone
over to the free-traders, and now the "Protectionists," headed by Lord
George Bentinck and the opponents of the coercion bill, would combine
to turn him out of office. This was accomplished after a great deal
of passionate, bitter debate, and three days later the great minister
announced his resignation.

It was with a feeling of profound regret that the queen parted with her
ministers, and the formal leave-taking was a severe trial on both sides.
Her majesty wrote King Leopold: "Yesterday was a very hard day for me.
I had to part with Sir Robert Peel and Lord Aberdeen, who are
{372}irreparable losses to us and to the country. They were both
so overcome that it quite upset me, and we have in them two devoted
friends. Never, during the five years that they were with me, did they
ever recommend a person or a thing that was not for my or the country's
best, and never for the party's advantage only."

Sir Robert Peel had done his duty to his country and his conscience, and
the very measure which deprived him of power has proved a blessing, for
which the British nation can never cease to be grateful.

Lord John Russell succeeded Sir Robert Peel as First Lord of the
Treasury; Lord Palmerston became Foreign Secretary; Lord Grey, Colonial
Secretary; and Sir George Grey, Home Secretary. Mr. Macaulay became
Paymaster-General, with a seat in the cabinet, and the Earl of
Bess-borough went to Ireland as Lord-Lieutenant.

Immediately after the formation of the ministry, and while the elections
were going on, the court removed for a short time to Osborne, where,
on the twenty-fifth of May, a princess was born. She was christened
a couple of months later at Buckingham Palace, by the names of Helena
Augusta Victoria, and the sponsors were the Duchess of Kent, the Duchess
of Cambridge, and the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

The new Whig party were not in an enviable position; for they had,
immediately on assuming power, to consider the disastrous condition of
Ireland, caused by the failure of the potato crop. It is difficult to
understand why people could not eat something else when potatoes were
not to be had; but it becomes clear when we remember that the Irish
peasant, with his wife and children, depended entirely on that root for
subsistence. They had absolutely no other food, and, when deprived of
that, they starved,--yes, literally laid down in their huts, or by the
road-side, and starved

{373}

[Illustration: 0379]

{375}to death. Not a county in Ireland wholly escaped the potato-rot,
and with it came what was called the potato disease--a peculiar form of
fever that was the result of sheer starvation, and caused the death of
hundreds of people.

Of course such terrible suffering led to scenes of crime and violence,
and the Irish hated the government that they firmly believed _would_ not
help them. Such was not the case; for the government were doing the best
they could, and were at their wits' end to find a remedy for the evil.
Subscription lists were opened in the large cities, and many of the
merchants put down their names for a thousand pounds. The sympathy of
the whole civilized world was aroused, and relief began to pour in from
different countries. The United States sent over their war-ships laden
with grain and other food, and, as they arrived, one after another at
one of the Irish seaports, the bells of the town rang out merrily to
convey the joyful tidings to the famine-stricken inhabitants.

Starvation and disease had killed off two millions of people by the time
the famine was over. Young Ireland became dissatisfied with a country
where such misery could exist, and might be repeated, and their
attention was turned westward. The United States had opened her arms for
the oppressed, and offered them a welcome, a home, citizenship. To our
hospitable shores, therefore, streamed a tide of Irish emigration until
they formed a large part of the population of every city in the Union.

[[A.D. 1847.]] This year an evidence of Prince Albert's having gained
in public esteem was shown by his being offered the chancellorship
of Cambridge University. He accepted, and at his request William
Wordsworth, then in his seventy-seventh year, wrote the ode for the
occasion, which was set to music by Mr. Thomas Attwood Walmisley,
and proved most effective. The ceremony of installation {376}was very
impressive, and after it was over there was a fine banquet at Trinity
Hall, followed by a reception.

[Illustration: 0382]

[[A.D. 1848.]] Early in the following year the Orleans dynasty in France
was overthrown, and a republic was proclaimed. By the end of February
King Louis Philippe, his queen, and the various members of his family
were hurrying secretly and in disguise by different routes to England,
their fortunes ruined, and they themselves anxious to escape from the
fury of the revolution and the horrible scenes that were being enacted
in their native land. This flight of King Louis Philippe with his queen,
in the depth of a very severe winter, is a painful story. They were old,
wretched, and deserted; and, although the king was responsible for the
mistakes that brought about the revolution after a peaceful reign of
eighteen years, who can fail to pity him?

It was but a sorry asylum he found in England, for he had lost the good
opinion of the queen and the nation, and {377}he was tolerated merely as
an object of compassion. In course of time his position and that of his
sons was much improved, because they bore their adversity with so much
dignity, manliness, and amiability. Great sympathy was excited in their
behalf when Louis Napoleon, the man whose life the king had spared,
hastened to France, seized the throne by conspiracy, and confiscated all
the property of his benefactor and the entire Orleans family.

The French revolution had begun so suddenly that all the world looked
on in astonishment. No sooner were the particulars of it known than it
found an echo in Italy, Germany, and Austria; and all three of those
countries rose in revolt, eager for improvements in their respective
governments.

Prince Metternich, the Austrian minister, was another person of note who
sought refuge in England at this period. This great diplomatist fell,
after long years of service to his emperor, who abdicated his throne
rather than fight for his rights; and with his wife, made his way
through Germany under a feigned name, and with a price set upon his
head. Then Louis Kossuth came forward with the determination to free
Hungary from Austrian rule.

Tumults broke out in every state and principality of Germany, and
a demand was made for freedom of the press, trial by jury, and
representation of the people in government affairs. In small towns the
peasants attacked the castles of their feudal lords, set fire -to them,
and put their owners to flight. The work of destruction was going on
everywhere.

Meanwhile in Paris business was at a standstill, the people were without
employment or food, a reign of terror set in, and an armed mob held the
provisional government at bay.

On the thirteenth of March a grand reform meeting was {378}held at
Berlin, which ended in a conflict between the military and the populace.
The promises held out by the king would no longer be listened to, and
disorder reigned in the streets for many days. He issued a proclamation
favoring the union of the German Confederation into one Federal State,
with one flag, one army, one fleet, one ruler. Overjoyed at this
proclamation, the crowd gathered to the square in front of the palace to
cheer the king, when, by some terrible misunderstanding or preconcerted
plan on the part of some violent politicians, shots were fired at the
cavalry drawn up beneath the windows of the palace. They moved forward
to clear the square. At that instant two muskets of the infantry were
fired; a cry of "Treachery! to arms!" arose on all sides; and, as if by
magic, barricades were erected in the principal streets, and then began
a struggle that was carried on throughout the night. The heavens were
illuminated by the burning houses set on fire by the mob, and the
streets ran with blood. Two hundred and sixteen people and sixteen
soldiers were killed in the fight. The king ordered the military
to cease firing in the morning, and thus his leniency gave the
revolutionary party the upper hand. But it was his aim to become Emperor
of Germany, so he took the position of popular leader, and paraded
the streets on horseback, wearing the German colors,--black, red, and
yellow,--streaming from his left arm, followed by carriages containing
the Polish prisoners that had just been released.

The Prince of Prussia, the king's brother and the present emperor, who
did not appear to favor the progress of the nation, had to leave the
city, and his palace was only saved from the fury of the mob by having
"National Property" placarded on it. He too sought refuge in England.

In Belgium peace remained unshaken, and the nation

{379}

[Illustration: 0385]

{381}felt what a blessing they had in the wise administration of King
Leopold. "Belgium," wrote the queen to her uncle, "is a bright star in
the midst of dark clouds. It makes us all very happy."

In April there was a monster meeting of the Chartists summoned to
Kensington Common. They had been preparing for several weeks, and
announced their intention to assemble to the number of one hundred and
fifty thousand, and march with a petition to the houses of parliament.
The law-abiding citizens determined to crush such a movement, and
one hundred and seventy thousand enrolled themselves as constables to
support the regular police force, and act in concert with the military,
if it became necessary. Prince Louis Napoleon was of their number, as he
had not yet gone to France.

Mr. Feargus O'Conner was somewhat disgusted when, after all his
boasting, not more than twenty-three thousand of his followers
assembled. Instead of storming the houses of parliament with their
petition, they were glad enough to be permitted to send a deputation
with it in a couple of common street-cabs, and make the best of their
way back home, conscious of the ridicule they had brought about them.
And this was the end of Chartism.

On the eighteenth of March, while the court were sojourning at Osborne,
Princess Louise was born, and a couple of months later they returned
to town. The christening took place in the private chapel of Buckingham
Palace, and the princess received the names of Louise Caroline Alberta.
Some years before Prince Albert had written a chorale, which was sung
at this ceremony. A splendid state banquet followed, and throughout
the month there was more than the ordinary number of court balls and
receptions in honor of the queen's birthday.

Immediately after proroguing parliament the queen and {382}Prince
Albert, with their children, went to Balmoral, a new country-seat in
Scotland, which they had just purchased from the Earl of Aberdeen. This
became a favorite retreat with her majesty. Her first impression of
it is thus given in her journal: "Looking down from the hill which
overhangs the house the view is charming. To the left you look to
the beautiful hills surrounding Loch-na-Gar, and to the right towards
Ballater, to the valley, along which the Dee winds, with beautiful
wooded hills, which reminded us very much of the Thuringian forest. It
was so calm and so solitary it did one good as one gazed around, and the
pure mountain air was most refreshing. All seemed to breathe freedom
and peace, and to make one forget the world and its sad turmoils. The
scenery is wild and yet not desolate; and everything looks much more
prosperous and cultivated than at Laggan. Then the soil is delightfully
dry. We walked beside the Dee a beautiful, rapid stream, which is close
behind the house. The view of the hills is exceedingly fine."

In this picturesque, wild highland home the queen and Prince Albert
found great relief from the cares and anxieties of London life, though
they were not without intelligence from the political world that
sometimes marred their perfect happiness. While there they heard of
the terrible doings in Frankfort, where a mob attacked the national
assembly, and hacked to pieces two of its members in a most brutal
manner; of the sudden death of Lord George Bentinck, of the election
of Louis Napoleon in France, and of a rising of natives against British
authority in India.

At the end of September the court left Balmoral for London, and, after
resting there one night, proceeded to Osborne, returning in a fortnight
to Windsor.

The year 1848 was one of bloodshed and misery, that {383}will ever be
remembered in Europe, and few were sorry to see it come to an end. The
death of Lord Melbourne, which took place in November, was an event
that caused the queen sincere sorrow; for she often said that during the
first two years and a half of her reign he was almost the only friend
she had, and we know how faithfully he served her and the country.

[[A.D. 1849.]] Another attempt on the queen's life was made in May,
as she was driving down Constitution Hill in an open carriage with her
children. The prince was riding in advance, and knew nothing of what
had occurred until he heard it from the lips of her majesty. She did
not lose her self-possession for a moment; but motioned her coachman to
proceed, and engaged the children's attention to keep them from being
alarmed. The man who fired proved to be an Irishman, named William
Hamilton, who seemed to have no motive whatever for the deed. Had it
not been for the intervention of the police he would have been torn
to pieces. On examination the pistol was found to be charged only with
powder. Hamilton was sentenced to seven years' transportation.

The time had arrived when it was thought proper to place the Prince
of Wales under the care of a tutor, and Mr. Birch, a young man who had
taken the highest honors at Cambridge, was selected for the office.
The queen and prince had early settled on a plan of education; for they
never forgot Baron Stockmar's saying, that "a man's education begins the
first day of his life."

"To neglect beginnings," says Locke, "is the fundamental error into
which most parents fall."

The royal couple had, therefore, given this important matter much
thought; and as early as 1842 Lady Lyttelton had been installed as
governess to the children. She filled her post with a devotion that won
the respect and {384}love of her charges, and the entire approval of
their parents. When she resigned it was because she thought herself old
enough to rest, and this is what she wrote about it: "The queen has told
me I may be free about the middle of January, and she said it with all
the feeling and kindness of which I have received such incessant and
unvarying proofs through the whole long twelve years during which I have
served her. Never by a word or look has it been interrupted." On her
last day in the palace, she writes: "In the evening I was sent for to my
last audience in the queen's own room; and I quite broke down, and could
hardly see or hear. I remember the prince's face, pale as ashes, and a
few words of thanks from them both; but it is all misty, and I had to
stop on the private staircase and have my cry out before I could go up
again." This departure of Lady Lyttelton's did not take place until
the princess royal was ten years old, and all the children were able to
appreciate their loss.

In August the queen and prince, with their four older children,
embarked for their first visit to Ireland. Nothing could have been more
gratifying than the enthusiastic welcome that greeted them on their
arrival at Cork and at _every_ stopping-place along their route. The
spot where her majesty first set foot on Irish soil has ever since borne
the name of Queenstown. As the royal party proceeded up the river Lee
to the town of Cork crowds assembled along the shores, and the air was
filled with wild shouts and cheers, ringing of bells, and firing of
cannon. Even in the towns that had been foremost in rebellion the
enthusiasm was great. The queen wrote thus of one feature of the Irish:
"The beauty of the women is very remarkable, and struck us much; such
beautiful dark eyes and hair, and such fine teeth; almost every third
woman was pretty, and some remarkably so."

[Illustration: 0391]

{385}When the royal squadron steamed into the harbor of Kingstown, the
wharves were crowded and the scene was magnificent. A salute was fired
from all the men-of-war in the harbor. "It was a sight never to be
forgotten,--a sound to be recollected forever. Ladies threw aside
the old formula of waving a white handkerchief, and enthusiastically
cheered; while the men, pressing in so closely as to throng the very
edges of the pavilion, waved whatever came first to hand,--hat, stick,
or coat (for the day was very hot),--and rent the air with shouts of
joy, which never decreased in energy till their sovereign was out of
sight. The royal children were objects of universal attention {386}and
admiration. 'Oh! queen, dear!' screamed a stout old lady, 'make one of
them Prince Patrick, and all Ireland will die for you!'"

The same scenes of wild delight were repeated on the road to Dublin,
and the four days spent in that city were a perfect jubilee. The most
important public institutions were visited; a levee, attended by four
thousand people, was held; there was a review of six thousand troops;
addresses presented, and an exhibition of cattle and agricultural
implements, in which the prince was particularly interested. All the
other cities vied with Dublin in welcoming the royal party, and the
effect of their visit on the country was most beneficial. The Irish
were charmed with their sovereign's gracious manners, and felt their own
importance greatly increased by the consideration she had shown them.

[[A.D. 1850.]] The new year found the health of Prince Albert by no
means good. His physician advised change of air, but there were reasons
why he could not leave England just then. Parliament assembled on the
thirty-first of January, and the prince had, besides, the affairs of the
grand exhibition on his hands. A preliminary meeting had been held
at Buckingham Palace many months before; but now committees had to be
organized and communications opened with all parts of the civilized
world to get contributions. There was a building to be erected, and for
that and other purposes money had to be raised, and distinguished men
pressed into the service to insure confidence, and to do their share of
the work. The prince felt that he had undertaken a formidable task when
at every point his guidance was sought.

On the twenty-first of February the first of the great public meetings
was held on account of the exhibition, all the representatives from
the countries that were to send {387}contributions being present. The
following month a grand banquet was given at the Mansion House, to
which the chief officers of state, the foreign ambassadors, the royal
commissioners for the exhibition, and the chief magistrates of more than
two hundred towns were invited. This gave Prince Albert an opportunity
to make known the entire plan and purpose of the exhibition; and no man
could have more thoroughly explained all the details.

The speech was received with such enthusiasm that Prince Albert felt
confident of the success of his undertaking. Congratulations poured in
upon him from all sides, and the newspapers were filled with words of
encouragement and praise. Her majesty wrote King Leopold at this time:
"Albert is, indeed, looked up to and beloved as I could wish he should
be; and the more his rare qualities of mind and heart are known, the
more will he be understood and appreciated. People are much struck by
his power and energy; by the great self-denial and constant wish to
work for others which are so striking in his character. But this is the
happiest life. Pining for what one cannot have, and trying to run after
what is pleasantest, invariably ends in disappointment."

As soon as parliament closed in the spring the court removed to Windsor
Castle, where Prince Albert's health improved very much. On the first
of May a prince was born, and, as he came into the world on the
eighty-first birthday of the Duke of Wellington, it was decided to name
him after that great general. Arthur William Patrick Albert were the
names bestowed on the royal infant at his christening, the old duke and
the present Emperor of Germany being sponsors. No doubt the Patrick was
added in remembrance of the old woman's request to the queen when she
visited Cork the previous year.

During the summer of this year there was a prospect of {388}war with
France on account of certain claims which England had against Greece
that had been acknowledged, but never settled. Matters were brought to a
crisis by an English admiral, who stationed himself off the Piræus, and
prevented a Greek vessel from leaving. France and Russia took offence at
this; but the first notice England had of such being the case was when,
at the levee given on the queen's birthday, the ambassadors of the two
countries failed to appear.

This event led to one of the most remarkable debates that ever took
place in the English parliament. A question arose as to whether the Whig
ministry, then in power, were free from censure in their dealings with
the Greek government. Lord Palmerston, as Minister of Foreign Affairs,
was put upon trial, as it were, with some of the most powerful of the
representatives opposed to him. But he was undaunted. His speech on the
occasion was considered a masterpiece. He explained the whole course
of his policy, and ably defended it. The stand he took was one that
appealed to the citizenship of the nation; for he contended that he had
been prompted in his actions by a determination to protect the rights
of even the poorest claimant to the name of Englishman against foreign
oppression.

He spoke for five hours without a note, a pause, or a sign of fatigue,
and held even his adversaries spell-bound with wonder and admiration.
His success was complete. "No man," said Mr. Gladstone next day, "had
listened with greater admiration than himself, while from the dusk of
one day to the dawn of the next he defended his policy, before a crowded
House of Commons, in that gigantic, intellectual, and physical effort."
This, it must be remembered, was the generous remark of an opponent.
Such another was made by Sir Robert Peel, who described Lord
Palmerston's {389}defence as "that most able and most temperate speech,
which made us proud of the man who delivered it, and in which he
vindicated with becoming spirit, and with an ability worthy of his name
and place, that course of conduct which he had pursued."

Lord John Russell and Mr. Disraeli followed Sir Robert Peel in the
debate, which terminated, after four nights, in the complete triumph of
the ministry.

This does not prove, however, that the laws Palmerston had enforced were
just, or even that the members of the cabinet who defended his action
thought so. In private they condemned it; but for reasons which it would
be difficult to explain to those not versed in diplomacy they felt bound
to stand by the ministry. However, Lord John Russell, who defended the
policy of Palmerston, declared that it would be impossible to remain in
office with him.

It was during this memorable debate that Mr. Cockburn came into
prominence. He defended the policy of Lord Palmerston, and his speech
was remarkable for a grace and finish that was seldom heard. It was
said by one of his hearers, "that when Mr. Cockburn concluded his
speech one-half of the treasury benches were left empty, while honorable
members ran after one another, tumbling over each other in their haste
to shake hands with the honorable and learned member." Mr. Cockburn's
reputation was made, and he sustained it for many years.

The speech made by Sir Robert Peel in this debate proved his last. It
was daylight on Saturday morning, June 29, when he left the house of
parliament, much fatigued. He could take only a short repose, for by
twelve he had to attend a meeting of the Royal Commissioners of the
Great Industrial Exhibition, and it was important that he should be
present, because a dispute had arisen with regard to the site of the
building. Hyde Park had been selected; but serious objections had been
raised, and Peel's influence was so great that Prince Albert depended
upon him to remove them. Therefore, though worn out with fatigue, he had
to attend the meeting; and afterwards he set out for a short ride in the
park, thinking the fresh air and exhilarating exercise would invigorate
him. He called at Buckingham Palace, and wrote his name in the queen's
visiting-book. As he was riding up Constitution Hill his horse suddenly
shied and threw him. Peel clung to the bridle, and the animal fell
with its knees on his shoulders. His injuries were so great that after
lingering between delirium and consciousness for three days he died.

Never was a statesman more sincerely mourned. When announcing his death
to the Duchess-dowager of Saxe-Coburg, the prince wrote: "We have lost
our truest friend and trustiest counsellor, the throne its most valiant
defender, the country its most open-minded and greatest statesman."

The queen wrote: "Peel is to be buried to-day. The sorrow and grief at
his death are most touching, and the country mourns over him as over a
father."

A warm tribute was paid to his memory by the Duke of Wellington in one
house of parliament, and by Mr. Gladstone, in the other. "In all the
course of my acquaintance with Sir Robert Peel," said the aged duke,
"I never knew a man in whose truth and justice I had a more lively
confidence, or in whom I saw a more invariable desire to promote the
public service. In the whole course of my communications with him
I never a knew an instance in which he did not show the strongest
attachment to truth; and I never saw, in the whole course of my life,
the slightest reason for suspecting that he stated anything which he
did not believe to be the fact." {391}Parliament desired to show their
respect for the memory of Peel by burying his remains with public
honors. This was proposed by Lord John Russell, but it was found that
the great statesman had particularly requested in his will that his
remains should be placed beside those of his parents at Drayton Bassett.
A monument in Westminster Abbey was therefore substituted at the public
expense. The offer of a peerage was made to Lady Peel, but she declined,
saying, "that she desired to bear no other name than that by which Sir
Robert Peel was known." At the same time she stated that her husband's
wish, recorded in his will, had been that none of his family should ever
accept any title, distinction, or reward on account of any service he
might be supposed to have rendered his country. Peel earnestly desired
that if his sons were to bear titles and distinctions given them by the
state, they should win them by their own services and worth, and not
simply put them on as an inheritance from their father.

On the twenty-sixth Prince Albert celebrated his birthday quietly at
Osborne, surrounded by his family. It was, however, a day of mourning;
for just before dinner news was brought of the death of King Louis
Philippe. Two days later the queen and prince paid a visit to the
afflicted family, and then proceeded by rail to Edinburgh. They were
met at the station by the Duke of Buccleuch, at the head of the Royal
Archers, who formed a body-guard, and accompanied the carriage to
Holyrood Palace. This was the first time a queen had entered the old
building since poor Mary Stuart had left it.

"We wandered out to look at the old ruined abbey, which adjoins the
palace," says the queen's diary, "and which you see from our windows.
It is beautiful inside. One of the aisles is still roofed in, but the
others are not. It was originally an abbey, and the very old tombstones
{392}are those of the friars. It was afterwards the Chapel Royal, and
Queen Mary, my unfortunate ancestress, was married to Lord Darnley at
this very altar, of which we see the remains. We saw the rooms where
Queen Mary lived, her bed, the dressing-room into which the murderers
entered who killed Rizzio, and the spot where he fell."

The next day the prince laid the corner-stone of the National Gallery,
which is now one of the finest buildings in the city of Edinburgh.
Thousands of people attended the ceremony, and the prince's speech was
most satisfactory.

Scarcely had the court returned to Osborne from Scotland when news was
brought of the death of the Queen of the Belgians. Although this
sad event was not unexpected, it was a source of deep grief to Queen
Victoria, who had loved her aunt devotedly. The two ladies were nearly
allied in age, rank, sympathy, and culture, and they had been friends
and confidants for many years.

Great excitement was occasioned in the autumn by the pope's issue of
a bull, directing the establishment in England of bishops to bear
the title of their sees. This was offensive, because the crown had
maintained the right to bestow such titles. It was an assumption of
power on the part of the pope that produced an outburst of passion such
as has seldom been witnessed in England. The queen was indignant, the
prime minister lost his temper, and wrote a letter that gave great
offense to the Roman Catholics. Long, fierce debates followed the
opening of parliament, and the "Ecclesiastical-Titles Bill" occupied the
attention of its members for many months. Lord John Russell resigned,
and was invited back to his post; the bill was wrangled over, and
caused much bitterness of feeling, and then died a natural death. Both
Catholics {393}and Protestants found that they had made a mountain
out of a mole-hill, and that time and temper had been wasted, and both
blushed for their lack of dignity and tolerance.

[[A.D. 1851.]] The attention of the nation was next turned towards the
great International Exhibition, which opened on the first of May, in
Hyde Park. Similar exhibitions have taken place since, and superior
ones, but the one projected by Prince Albert was the first,--therefore
the most remarkable. Two days before the opening of the exhibition the
queen made a private visit to the building. We quote from her diary: "We
remained two hours and a half, and I came back quite beaten, and my head
bewildered, from the myriads of beautiful and wonderful things which
now quite dazzle one's eyes! such efforts have been made, and our people
have shown such taste in their manufactures! All owing to this great
exhibition and to Albert,--_all to him!_ We went up into the gallery
and the sight from there, with the numerous courts full of all sorts
of objects of art and manufacture, is quite marvellous. The noise was
overpowering, for so much was going on everywhere, and from twelve to
twenty thousand people engaged in arranging all sorts of things.

"May 1.--The great event has taken place,--a complete and beautiful
triumph; a glorious and touching sight,--one that I shall ever be proud
of for my beloved Albert and my country. Yes; it is a day which makes my
heart swell with pride and glory and thankfulness!

"The park presented a wonderful spectacle, crowds streaming through it,
carriages and troops passing, quite like the coronation day, and for
me the same anxiety--no, much greater anxiety, on account of my
beloved Albert. The day was bright, and all bustle and excitement. At
{394}half-past eleven the whole procession in state carriages was in
motion. The Green Park and Hyde Park were one densely crowded mass of
human beings, in the highest good humor, and most enthusiastic. I never
saw Hyde Park look as it did,--as far as the eye could reach. A little
rain fell just as we started; but before we came near the Crystal Palace
the sun shone and gleamed upon the gigantic edifice, upon which the
flags of all the nations were floating. We drove up Rotten Row, and got
out at the entrance on that side.

"The glimpse of the transept through the iron gates, the waving palms,
flowers, statues, myriads of people filling the galleries and seats
around, with the flourish of trumpets as we entered, gave us a sensation
which I can never forget, and I felt much moved. We went for a moment to
a little side-room, where we left our shawls, and where we found mamma
and Mary (Princess of Teck), and outside which were standing the other
princes. In a few seconds we proceeded, Albert leading me, having
Vicky at his hand, and Bertie holding mine. The sight as we came to the
middle, where the steps and chair (which I did not sit on) were
placed, with the beautiful crystal fountain just in front of it, was
magical,--so vast, so glorious, so touching. One felt--as so many did
to whom I have since spoken--filled with devotion,--more so than by any
service I have ever heard. The tremendous cheers, the joy expressed
in every face, the immensity of the building, the mixture of palms,
flowers, trees, statues, fountains, the organ (with two hundred
instruments and six hundred voices, which sounded like nothing), and my
beloved husband, the author of this 'Peace Festival,' which united the
industry of all nations of the earth,--all this was moving indeed, and
it was and is a day to live forever. God bless my dearest Albert, God
bless my dearest country, which has shown

{395}

[Illustration: 0401]

{397}itself so great to-day! The only event it in the slightest degree
reminded me of was the coronation; but this day's festival was a
thousand times superior. In fact, it is unique, and can bear no
comparison, from its peculiarity, beauty, and combination of such
different and striking objects. .

"Albert left my side after 'God save the Queen' had been sung, and,
at the head of the commissioners,--a curious set of political and
distinguished men,--read me the report, which is a long one, and to
which I read a short answer. After which the Archbishop of Canterbury
offered up a short and appropriate prayer, followed by the 'Hallelujah
Chorus,' during which a Chinese mandarin slowly and gravely made his
way around the fountain, and made me a profound obeisance. Then the
procession began. It was beautifully arranged and of great length,--the
prescribed order being exactly adhered to. The nave was full, which had
not been intended; but still there was no difficulty, and the whole long
walk from one end to the other was made in the midst of continued and
deafening cheers and waving of handkerchiefs. Every one's face was
bright and smiling, many with tears in their eyes. Many Frenchmen called
out, '_Vive la Reine!_' One could, of course, see nothing but what was
near in the nave, and nothing in the courts. The organs were but little
heard, but the military band at one end had a very fine effect as we
passed along. They played the march from Athalie. The beautiful Amazon
in bronze, by Kiss, looked very magnificent.

"We returned to our place, and Albert told Lord Breadalbane to declare
that the exhibition was opened, which he did in a loud voice: 'Her
majesty commands me to declare this exhibition open,' which was followed
by a flourish of trumpets, and immense cheering. All the commissioners,
{398}the executive committee, etc., who worked so hard, and to whom such
immense praise is due, seemed truly happy, and no one more so than
Mr. Joseph Paxton, who planned the building, and who rose from being a
common gardener's boy."

The exhibition was a perfect success, and all those that have followed
have certainly been a compliment to Prince Albert's enterprise. The
building itself called forth much wonder and admiration, the beautiful
structure being entirely of glass and iron. It was afterwards removed to
Sydenham, where it now stands, and where few travellers fail to make a
visit on purpose to behold this wonderful inspiration of Mr., now Sir
Joseph, Paxton.

"I must not omit to mention an interesting episode of this day," writes
the queen; viz. "the visit of the good old Duke of Wellington, on
this his eighty-second birthday, to his little godson, our dear little
Arthur. He came to us at five, and I gave him a golden cup and some
toys, which he himself had chosen, and Arthur gave him a nosegay.

"We dined _en famille_, and then went to Covent Garden Opera. I was
rather tired; but we were both so happy, so full of thankfulness! God is
indeed our kind and merciful Father!"

Lord John Russell and Lord Palmerston were among the first to offer
congratulations to the queen on the success of the undertaking; and
Sir George Grey was able to report next day that, although twenty-five
thousand people had been within the building, and seven hundred thousand
along the route between Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park, not a single
accident had happened, and not a case of bad behavior had been reported
by the police.

While in Scotland the prince won the admiration of the Highlanders by
his skill in deer-stalking, and by the energy and endurance with which
he made his tramps {399}over hill and heather. He and the queen returned
to London in time to make one more visit to the exhibition, which closed
in October.

This year was memorable for a visit from Kossuth, who sought to secure
the intervention of England in the cause of Hungarian independence.
He received a warm welcome, and his irresistible, passionate eloquence
charmed thousands of people, even though they did not sympathize with
him or his object. He spoke the purest English, and his powers of speech
excited the wonder and admiration of his hearers everywhere; but he
soon found that the peace with Austria was not to be broken. So the
illustrious patriot came to America, where again he was doomed to
disappointment.

Before the close of the year all England, and, indeed, the whole world,
was taken by surprise by the _coup d'état_ made by Louis Napoleon, which
placed him on the throne as Emperor of the French. This remarkable
piece of intelligence reached the queen just before her departure from
Osborne, and she immediately wrote Lord John Russell to request Lord
Normandy, her ambassador at Paris, "to remain entirely passive, and to
take no part whatever in what was passing, and to say no word that might
be misconstrued into approval of the action of Louis Napoleon."

Lord Normanby's reply created quite a sensation. He wrote that when he
called on M. Targot, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, to tell him
that no change was to be made in England's relations with France, he
was astonished to hear from that gentleman that Lord Palmerston had,
two days before, called upon Count Walewski, the French ambassador in
London, and not only expressed his approval of what the new emperor had
done, but had declared that he could not have acted otherwise. {400}When
this was repeated to the queen she was unwilling to believe it,
considering how explicit she had been in desiring strict neutrality
on the part of her ministers. She wrote Lord John Russell desiring an
explanation, and he at once opened a correspondence with Lord Palmerston
on the subject. Many letters passed between the two statesmen before
complete satisfaction could be obtained. Lord Palmerston had profound
confidence in himself, and every man who differed from him was, in
his estimation, a blockhead. He jumped at conclusions, acted upon them
quickly, cared little for the opinion of the world, and regarded those
more deliberate than himself as dullards. Thus had he often acted upon
his own judgment and authority in deciding matters of state, and pledged
the queen to a course of conduct of which she did not wholly approve.
This was exceedingly aggravating, and her majesty chafed under it. With
regard to the _coup d'etat_, he wrote just as one of Louis Napoleon's
ministers might have done in addressing a foreign court. He did not
disguise the contempt he felt for Lord John Russell because he thought
differently from himself in the matter, and obstinately refused to
understand that it was not his favoring the action of Louis Napoleon
that gave offense, but his openly expressing his approval of it in
defiance of the queen's judgment and decision.

Lord John Russell was highly indignant, and declared that, while he
admired the energy and ability of his colleague, he could not submit to
being associated with one who was constantly creating misunderstandings
and committing acts of imprudence. The consequence was that Lord
Palmerston withdrew from office, and Lord Granville took his place.

Lord Palmerston's removal caused a sensation all over {401}Europe, for
he had shown himself to be a man of great ability and strong common
sense; and it was generally believed that he had been sacrificed to
government intrigue, though such was not the case. The cabinet met on
the twenty-second of December, and condemned Lord Palmerston's conduct,
and approved of the steps taken by Lord John Russell.

{402}



CHAPTER XIII.

[[A.D. 1852.]]

|The year opened with considerable uneasiness regarding the probability
of a French invasion; and the queen drew the attention of parliament to
the necessity of increasing the number of soldiers. Without explaining
the plan of the "militia bill," which was brought up for consideration,
it is only necessary to say that the alterations made in it by the
members of the house excited the indignation of Lord John Russell to
such a degree that he sent his resignation to her majesty. Lord Derby
took his place as minister, and Mr. Disraeli became Chancellor of the
Exchequer and leader of the House of Commons. The scheme for providing
forces to defend the country was soon completed; and Mr. Disraeli
occasioned no little surprise by the talent he showed for figures, in
addition to his other gifts.

The new administration was called the "Who? Who? Ministry," and this is
how it came by such a queer name. The Duke of Wellington was somewhat
deaf, and, like many people so afflicted, spoke in a very loud tone.
He was so anxious to hear the names of those who were to form the new
cabinet that he stopped Lord Derby in the House of Lords, and asked
to what person each office was to be assigned. As the prime minister
mentioned the names, the aged duke eagerly asked, "Who? Who?" and the
more unfamiliar the names the louder they had to be {403}repeated,
and the oftener and more audible became the "Who? Who?" until the
conversation was heard by all the members. The story got abroad, and the
familiar name of the "Who? Who?" government was given to Lord Derby's
administration.

The well-known gray head disappeared soon after; for the old duke died
on the fourteenth of September, at Walmer Castle, in his eighty-fourth
year. Never did any other man occupy such a position in England as
the Duke of Wellington. The whole nation loved him and had the utmost
confidence in him; and to the queen he was a loyal subject and an
affectionate friend. Strong men shed tears when they announced his
death, for he had held a warm place in the hearts of his countrymen. "He
was the pride and good genius, as it were, of this country,"--wrote
the queen,--"the most loyal and devoted subject, and the staunchest
supporter the crown ever had. He was to us a true friend and most
valuable adviser."

This is the order which Lord Derby issued to the army, by her majesty's
command:--

"The discipline which he exacted from others, as the main foundation of
the military character, he sternly imposed upon himself; and the queen
desires to impress upon the army that the greatest commander whom
England ever saw has left an example for the imitation of every soldier,
in taking as his guiding principle, in every relation of life, an
energetic and unhesitating obedience to the call of duty."

In Southey's "Peninsular War," this sentence referring to the great duke
occurs: "His campaigns were sanctified by the cause; they were sullied
by no cruelties, no crimes; the chariot wheels of his triumphs have been
followed by no curses; his laurels are entwined with the amaranths of
righteousness, and upon his deathbed he might remember his victories
among his great works." {404}The funeral was grand and imposing, and
beneath the dome of the Metropolitan Cathedral the remains of England's
greatest military hero were laid beside those of Nelson, her greatest
naval hero. "We have buried in our greatest general," said Lord Derby,
in the House of Lords next day, "the man among us who had the greatest
horror of war."

After a short sojourn at Balmoral the court returned to Windsor, and as
soon as parliament was opened repaired to Osborne, when her majesty was
soon called upon to make another change in her ministry.

Mr. Disraeli occupied the attention of the house for more than five
hours with a speech regarding the reduction of certain taxes and the
increase of others. He spoke ably, and made a strong impression; but a
still stronger one was made by Mr. Gladstone in opposition. It was
four long nights before the debate concluded, and it resulted in the
resignation of the ministry, which was formally tendered to the queen
the next morning. From that period Disraeli and Gladstone were rivals in
power and opponents in parliament for more than twenty years.

The queen now felt the necessity for the formation of a powerful
administration, and for that purpose she called on Lord Aberdeen, who
became prime minister. Lord John Russell took the foreign office, Lord
Palmerston became home secretary, and Mr. Gladstone chancellor of the
exchequer. This was a powerful organization; but the man who attracted
the most attention was Mr. Gladstone, then forty-three years of age. He
had entered public life at a very early age, and had often distinguished
himself as a debater. He was born in Liverpool, and his father was a
Scotchman. He was a free-trader, and as such early attached himself
to Peel. The speech which he made just after the formation of the new
ministry lasted several

{405}

[Illustration: 0411]

{407}hours; but it was so fine that his hearers were charmed, and
nobody wished it to come to an end. His voice was remarkably clear and
resonant, and he had the rare gift of being able to argue, with all the
fluency for which he was noted, without the slightest preparation. He
would start to his feet at a moment's notice, and pour forth a volume of
words effective as they were eloquent. Mr. Gladstone, besides being an
orator, was a statesman, a critic, an essayist, a Greek scholar, and a
financier.

[[A.D. 1853.]] The queen was quite satisfied with her new cabinet, and
wrote King Leopold: "The success of our excellent Aberdeen's arduous
task, and the formation of so brilliant and strong a cabinet, would, I
was sure, please you. It is the realization of the country's and our own
most ardent wishes, and it deserves success, and will, I think, command
great support."

The court prolonged their stay at Osborne until late in the spring of
this year, and during that time the Eastern question began to attract
attention. On that subject we shall presently have more to say. Another
royal visit to Dublin must first be mentioned. It was made on the
occasion of the opening of a great Art and Industrial Exhibition,
similar to the one of 1851 in London. The exhibition opened in July; but
measles, which attacked the Queen, Prince Albert, and all but the two
younger royal children, delayed them for a month.

It was on the twenty-ninth of August before the royal party reached
Dublin, where they were welcomed with the same enthusiasm that had
marked their visit four years before. The morning of each day was
devoted to the exhibition, and the Irish poplins, laces, and pottery
were special objects of admiration.

After passing a pleasant week at Dublin the royal guests drove to
Kingstown, on the evening of September 3, where {408}an immense crowd
assembled to bid them adieu. "The evening was very beautiful," says her
majesty's diary, "and the sight a fine one,--all the ships and yachts
decked out and firing salutes, and thousands on the quay cheering." As
night closed in, a magnificent aurora borealis lighted up the northern
sky, and fire-works were let off until late into the night.

[Illustration: 0414]

On the sixth of September, the court reached Balmoral; but they could
not enjoy this retreat so much as usual, because the prospect of war
with Russia was daily becoming more imminent. England had been at peace
with all the world for forty years, and she was very reluctant to be
{409}drawn into any complication now; but a few words of explanation
will show how she was forced to fight.

A treaty had been made between Francis I. and the Sultan, by which the
holy places in Palestine and the monks of the Latin church were placed
under the protection of France. In course of time the Greeks began to
dispute the claim of the Latin monks to guard the shrines, and serious
disputes arose. Then Russia, claiming to possess the greatest number of
Greek Catholics among her subjects, thought fit to interfere. The matter
was left to the decision of the Turkish Porte, which granted keys to
certain of the shrines to the Latins, and of others to the Greeks. The
French were not pleased, but agreed to accept the decision. Not so the
Russians; they felt that the French had the key to the most important
shrines, and had therefore obtained supremacy over them in the East.
Besides, the Russian Government was determined to have the protectorate
of the Christians in Turkey, even though they gained it at the point
of the sword. So Prince Menschikoff was sent with a suite of naval and
military officers to Constantinople to propose a sort of convention to
enable his government to assert this protectorate over the Greek church
within the Turkish Empire. He demanded an immediate reply. The new
foreign minister, who had just entered upon his office, asked for
five or six days in which to consider so important a matter. This was
refused, whereupon the Ottoman council became indignant and declined to
have any convention at all.

Prince Menschikoff at once left Constantinople, and Russia began her
preparations for war. Before many days her troops were gathering in
great force along the frontier. This aroused the patriotism of all the
Turks, Moslem as well as Christian, and Russia appeared like a big giant
ready to goble them up.

{410}The czar had long before called Turkey, "the sick man," and had
invited the English ministry to form an agreement with him, as to
the distribution of the effects in case "the sick man" should die. He
desired no strife,--oh no! He was perfectly satisfied that arrangements
should be made that would be agreeable to all parties, provided he got
possession of Constantinople.

England very properly refused to acknowledge that Turkey was "a sick
man" at all, and would not agree that any European power should be wiped
out. But she desired no war, and so a conference was called at Vienna
between England, France, Austria, and Prussia, for the purpose of
patching up, if possible, a reconciliation between Turkey and Russia.
The eagerness with which Russia consented to accept the Vienna note
made the Turkish Government suspicious that she saw something of special
advantage in it to herself. Therefore, through the advice of the English
ambassador at Constantinople, Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, the Turks
declined to accept the Vienna note, unless certain changes were made.
The prince consort had said that the Vienna note was a trap laid by
Russia, and he was right; it was a trap in which the Western powers
would have been caught, had it not been for the shrewdness of de
Redcliffe.

The czar would listen to no modification of the Vienna note; so Turkey
declared war, and the French and English fleet combined were sent to the
Bosporus with orders to pass into the Black Sea, if the Russian fleet
came out of Sebastopol. Turkish independence must be maintained, and
that could not be unless the Western powers granted their assistance.
Thus was war inevitably thrust upon them.

[[A.D. 1854.]] The Russian ambassador left London on the seventh of
February, and on the same day the English {411}ambassador was recalled.
Towards the close of the month a formal declaration of war was issued.
Meanwhile, regiments were constantly passing through London, and
embarking for action in the East. The queen thus describes one in a
letter to King Leopold:--

"The last battalion of the Scotch Fusileers embarked to-day. They passed
through the court-yard here at seven o'clock in the morning. We stood
on the balcony to see them. The morning fine, the sun shining over the
towers of Westminster Abbey, and an immense crowd collected to see the
fine men, and cheering them immensely, as with difficulty they marched
along. They formed line, presented arms, and then cheered us very
heartily and went off cheering. It was a touching and beautiful sight.
Many sorrowing friends were there, and we saw the shake of many a hand.
My best wishes and prayers will be with them all."

A few days later the queen and prince visited the magnificent fleet at
Spithead under the command of Sir Charles Napier. "We are just starting
to see the fleet," wrote her majesty to Lord Aberdeen, "which is to sail
at once for its important destination. It will be a solemn moment! Many
a heart will be very heavy, and many a prayer, including our own, will
be offered up for its safety and glory."

Lord Raglan, an old pupil of the Duke of Wellington, who had lost his
right arm at Waterloo, was appointed to command the English forces,
and Marshal St. Arnaud those of the French. Their instructions were to
communicate with Omar Pasha, the Turkish commander, and then to decide
whether an immediate attack upon Sebastopol, the Crimean stronghold,
was advisable. The three commanders did consult, and did not altogether
relish the idea of such an attack; but it had been strongly urged by the
{412}English and French governments, and, therefore, was it undertaken.

On the fourteenth of September, twenty-seven thousand English, thirty
thousand French, and seven thousand Turks landed without opposition on
the shores of the Crimea. On the nineteenth they marched towards the
river Alma, and reached its banks at noon of the twentieth. Prince
Menschikoff thought his position invulnerable with his Russian
batteries, his artillery, and his dense masses of infantry covering
the hills; and when he saw the enemy approach, he began to congratulate
himself upon the glorious victory that he already considered assured. He
did not open fire on them as they crossed to his side of the river; that
was not in accordance with his plan. He had told the czar that he could
easily hold his position for three weeks; and so he would merely play
with the allied troops until his immense reinforcements arrived, and
then it would be so easy to pounce down upon them and crush them.
So certain did he feel of the result of a fight that some of the
precautions that a less arrogant general would have taken were entirely
unheeded. The consequence was, that after a desperate combat the allied
forces drove the Russians from the field and gained a complete victory.

If an immediate attack had been made upon Sebastopol in the face of
this victory, it might have been taken; but there was no Marlborough,
no Wellington, in the English army at that time, and the flying Russian
troops were not even pursued. Thus they gained time, not only to
consider the cause of their defeat, but to increase their defences.

On the third day after the battle, the allied troops gazed in wonder
at certain movements of the Russians in the Black Sea. "What were they
about?" was the question that was asked on all sides. "Were they going
to attack the

{413}

[Illustration: 0419]

{415}English and French ships?" It seemed so, for seven of their war
vessels were drawn up right to the very entrance of the harbor, and
under the very noses of the enemy. The operation was soon explained; for
slowly but surely did the seven vessels go down, down into the water,
until nothing was to be seen of them but the tops of their masts. Then
vanished all hope of a speedy capture of Sebastopol. Her harbor was as
impassable as though huge rocks guarded it.

Then the allied forces began a long, fatiguing march to Balaklava, which
lies south of Sebastopol, and has a port that would enable them to keep
communication between the army and the navy intact. They reached their
destination safely, stationed themselves on the heights above the
city, and with the fleet in the harbor prepared to attack Sebastopol
simultaneously by sea and land. On the seventeenth of October the attack
began; but the ships could not get near enough, on account of the sunken
war vessels to do very effective work, and so it proved a failure.

On the twenty-fifth, the Russians made an attack with the hope of
getting possession of Balaklava. The assault was bold and splendid, and
with boldness and splendor was it repulsed. It was during this battle
that the charge of the Light Brigade was made, of which Tennyson has
written in so spirited a manner:--

                   "'Forward, the Light Brigade!'

                   Was there a man dismayed?

                   Not though the soldier knew

                   Some one had blundered:

                   Theirs not to make reply,

                   Theirs not the reason why,

               Theirs but to do and die,--

                   Into the valley of Death

                   Rode the six hundred."

Some one _had_ blundered, but exactly who has never {416}been entirely
settled. The officer who received the order was one of the first who
fell; and, of the six hundred and seven men who composed the Light
Brigade, only one hundred and ninety-eight returned. All the world
wondered at the magnificent charge.

"When can their glory fade?--" asks the Poet Laureate. Never while
courage and heroism are honored.

On the fifth of November the battle of Inkermann was fought during a
dark, heavy fog. This was the fiercest fight of the campaign, and took
place almost entirely in the dark. It was a hand-to-hand combat, and
the loss was very heavy on all sides. It was, however, a victory to
the allies; and the queen was so well pleased that she expressed her
admiration of Lord Raglan's generalship by conferring upon him the baton
of field-marshal.

Sir George Cathcart was one of the officers who lost his life in this
campaign, and the queen wrote a most touching letter of sympathy to
his widow. As a mark of regard to his memory, her majesty appointed his
daughter Emily one of her maids-of-honor.

The Russians behaved, as they always do, with the greatest barbarity.
"When poor Sir George Cathcart fell," writes the queen, "his faithful
and devoted military secretary sprang from his horse, and with one
arm--he was wounded in the other--supported his dying chief, when three
wretches came and bayoneted him." Such scenes were not at all uncommon;
and when the English or French soldiers were assisting the wounded enemy
that were left on the battlefield they always took the precaution to
deprive them of their arms; for it was not unusual for a Russian soldier
to receive a cup of water with one hand, and stab his benefactor in the
back with the other.

During the winter the suffering among the troops was very great. Cholera
had attacked them and thinned their {417}ranks to a great extent.
Men were dying by hundreds, because the hospitals were in such a bad
condition, and even the stores of food and medicines that were sent out
could not be got at. There was a lack of system and organization in the
army, which prevented supplies from reaching the proper places, and they
were often left to decay in the holds of vessels, or worse still, fell
into the hands of the Russians.

At last Sir Sidney Herbert remembered Miss Florence Nightingale, and
applied to her for relief. Miss Nightingale was the daughter of a
wealthy English country gentleman, who had made nursing a study. At
the time of the breaking out of the Crimean war she was engaged in
establishing an institution for training nurses after the plan of some
she had visited on the continent. To this lady, then, Sir Sidney turned,
and she consented at once to take charge of the Scutari hospital. She
went out to the Crimea with a corps of thirty-seven ladies, and from
the moment of her arrival no further complaints were made about hospital
regulations. She restored order as by a stroke of magic, and thousands
of sick and wounded soldiers were comforted by the tender nursing of
that corps of brave, self-sacrificing women.

The queen, the elder princess, and all the ladies of the court made
woolen comforters, mittens, and other warm clothing to be distributed in
the army, and their example was imitated by women in every part of the
kingdom.

The ministry at home were very much blamed for the lack of organization
in the army, and changes were made. Lord John Russell resigned, and
wrote to Lord Aberdeen, urging that Lord Palmerston should take charge
of the war department. Then the queen wrote to Lord Palmerston, asking
him "whether he could undertake to form an administration that would
command the confidence of parliament, {418}and properly conduct public
affairs." He accepted, and much to his surprise found himself prime
minister. Lord Panmure became minister of war.

Meanwhile negotiations for peace were begun at Vienna, and Lord John
Russell was sent there to represent England; On the second of March
the czar died very suddenly--it was said of pneumonia; but defeat and
blasted hopes had much to do with his fatal illness. People outside of
Russia did not seem very sorry; and it was ardently hoped that the
new czar would be more inclined for peace than his father, but the
conference at Vienna failed.

Then Louis Napoleon resolved to go to the Crimea himself, but England
interposed to prevent, and he met with discouragement at home also. His
next resolution was to make a visit to the queen, and having ascertained
that it would be welcome, he named April 16 for the day of his arrival.
The empress was to accompany him. The notice was short, but a splendid
suite of apartments was quickly prepared at Windsor Castle for the royal
guests.

The prince went down to Dover to meet them, but in consequence of
a dense fog it was noon before they landed. An enthusiastic welcome
greeted England's ally at every point; flags waved from the houses, and
triumphal arches had been erected, all festooned with bright banners
and flowers. Extracts from her majesty's diary will best describe the
arrival at Windsor.

[[A.D. 1855.]] "I advanced and embraced the emperor, who received two
salutes on either cheek from me, having first kissed my hand. I next
embraced the very gentle, graceful, and evidently very nervous empress.
We presented the children; the emperor embraced Bertie, and then we went
up stairs, Albert leading the empress, who, in the most engaging manner,
refused to go first,

{419}

[Illustration: 0425]

{421}but at length, with graceful reluctance, did so, the emperor
leading me, expressing his great gratification at being here and seeing
me.

"Nothing can be more civil or amiable or more well-bred than the
emperor's manner--so full of tact. A long walk after breakfast gave him
and Albert an opportunity, to discuss the war. The empress was as eager
as her husband that he should go to the Crimea. She sees no greater
danger for him there than elsewhere--in fact, than in Paris. She is
full of courage and spirit, and yet so gentle, with such innocent and
charming manners."

During the visit the emperor was invested with the Order of the Garter,
and on the nineteenth he and the empress were entertained at Guildhall,
by the city of London, at a grand banquet. They returned to the palace
in the evening, charmed with the way they had been received everywhere,
and later they attended the opera.

In the evening a council was held to decide upon future operations in
the Crimea, and the next day the royal guests took their departure.

While the emperor was in England, St. Arnaud had died at the seat of
war, and soon after news was brought of the death of Lord Raglan. The
former was succeeded by Canrobert, who soon resigned in favor of General
Pélissier, and the latter by General Simpson. Sardinia had come forward
as an ally, and her troops had distinguished themselves for bravery and
skill.

The visit of the emperor and empress had to be returned, so the queen,
Prince Albert, the Prince of Wales, and the princess royal embarked,
on the eighteenth of August, on board the "Victoria and Albert" for
Boulogne. The emperor stood on the quay with a brilliant retinue to
receive them, and conducted them to the railway station.

Arriving at St. Cloud, the royal guests were received by {422}the
empress "amidst a blaze of light from lamps and torches, the roar of
cannon, music, drums, and cheers."

"The saloons are splendid," writes the queen, "the ceilings are
beautifully painted, and the walls hung with gobelins. The saloon in
which we dined was terribly hot, for the table was covered with wax
lights, which quite dazzled me. Everything was magnificent, and all very
quiet and royal." This beautiful palace, which the queen describes
in her diary, is in ruins now,--not from age, but from the storm of
revolution that has destroyed so many fine buildings in and near Paris.

It might be tiresome to those of my readers who are not fond of
descriptions to follow the queen in her visits to all the interesting
places in Paris and its suburbs; so we will merely say that, after a
week of feasting and sight-seeing, she returned to Osborne with her
family, having cemented a warm friendship with the emperor and empress
of the French.

In September the glorious tidings of the fall of Sebastopol reached
England. A simultaneous attack of the French and English forces on the
two fortresses--Redan and Malakoff--had resulted in victory; and then
the Russians, finding that it would be useless to remain longer at
Sebastopol, left it a burning mass, with powder magazines exploding, and
flames bursting from every private and public building in the place. And
so the war came to a close, and a treaty of peace was signed in Paris on
the thirtieth of March. Turkey preserved her independence, and all the
Russian places that had been taken by the allies were restored.

[[A.D. 1856.]] Just before peace was declared, a domestic event claimed
the attention of the English royal family. This was a proposal from
Frederick William, Prince of Prussia, for the hand of the princess
royal. All parties inter-

{423}

[Illustration: 0429]

ested {425}were very much pleased, and Prince Albert wrote to Baron
Stockmar: "The young man laid his proposal before us this morning,
with the permission of his parents and of the king; we accepted it for
ourselves, but requested him to hold it in suspense as regards the other
party until after her confirmation. In the spring the young man wishes
to make his offer to herself, and possibly to come to us along with
his parents and his engaged sister. The seventeenth birthday is to
have elapsed before the actual marriage is thought of, and this will,
therefore, not come off till the following spring.... The young man is
to leave us again in a fortnight.... I have been much pleased with
him. His chiefly prominent qualities are great straightforwardness,
frankness, and honesty.... He speaks of himself as personally greatly
attracted to Vicky. That she will have no objection to make, I regard as
probable."

The next day the queen wrote in her diary: "Our dear Victoria was this
day engaged to Prince Frederick William of Prussia. He had already
spoken to us of his wishes; but we were uncertain, on account of her
extreme youth, whether he should speak to her himself or wait till he
came back again. However, we felt it was better he should do so, and
during our ride this afternoon up Craig-na-Ban, he picked a piece of
white heather (the emblem of "good luck"), which he gave to her; and
this enabled him to make an allusion to his hopes and wishes as they
rode down Glen Girnoch, which led to this happy conclusion."

The confirmation of the princess royal took place the following March
in the private chapel of Windsor Castle. The princess was led in by her
father, and followed by the queen, with the King of the Belgians. All
the royal children, the various members of the family, the ministers,
the great officers of state, the members of the household, and {426}many
of the nobility were present. The Bishop of Oxford and the Archbishop
of Canterbury performed the ceremony, and everything went off extremely
well.

The next domestic matter that occupied the attention of the royal
parents was a plan for the education of Prince Alfred, who had selected
the navy for his profession. In order that he might pursue his
studies without interruption, it was decided that he should have an
establishment of his own. The Royal Lodge at Windsor Park was therefore
fitted up for him, and Lieutenant John Cowell, a young officer of
Engineers, who had received a fine scientific education, was selected as
tutor.

The queen had always shown regard for the care of her wounded soldiers,
and took personal interest in the hospital arrangements at home. In
April she visited St. Mary's Hospital at Chatham, where four hundred
invalids were drawn up in the barrack square to receive her. After
passing through the suffering numbers, cheering them with kind smiles
and comforting words, the queen and prince entered the hospital, where
those who were not well enough to be in the open air were assembled.
Some of the poor fellows were frightfully crippled and disfigured;
but all felt flattered by their sovereign's interest in them, and many
displayed, with honest pride, the medals and other marks of honor that
they had won on the battlefield. Two days later her majesty visited
Aldershot, where a camp had been established. On a richly caparisoned
chestnut horse she rode forward to inspect the troops. They were drawn
up in two lines, fourteen thousand in number, and reached out a mile and
a half in length. Bayonets flashed in the sunlight as the men presented
arms, and the bands of the different regiments burst forth in strains of
welcome as their sovereign advanced. Having reached an elevated piece of
ground, her majesty, surrounded {427}by a brilliant suite, witnessed the
movements of the soldiers as they marched past her in a line. A grand
field-day followed, when the queen appeared again on horseback, wearing
the uniform of a field-marshal with the star and ribbon of the Garter,
and a dark blue riding-skin. The sight was more splendid than before;
the troops had mustered eighteen thousand strong this time, and
their manoeuvres under the command of General Knollys excited great
admiration.

During the same month there was a review of the fleet at Spithead. The
royal yacht steamed out of the harbor followed by private vessels,
all decked with flags and crowded with spectators, and, as they passed
through the double line of men-of-war, a royal salute was fired; and
this, added to the cheering of the men, produced a most exciting scene.
The fleet performed various evolutions afterwards, and then had a mimic
battle, which concluded the proceedings. Several more reviews, both
of the navy and army, took place this year, and her majesty laid the
corner-stone of a large military hospital which she had ordered to be
built near Nettey. "It is to bear my name," she wrote, "and is to be one
of the finest in Europe. Loving the brave army as I do, and having seen
so many of my poor sick and wounded soldiers, I shall watch over the
work with maternal anxiety."

An accident to the princess royal, in June, was the cause of a great
deal of anxiety to the queen. The young lady was melting sealing-wax by
a candle, to seal a letter, when her sleeve caught fire and her right
arm was severely burned from the elbow to the shoulder. Had assistance
not been near, the princess might have been burned to death; but two
ladies who were in the room acted with praiseworthy presence of mind,
and extinguished the flame with a hearth-rug. In a few weeks the wounds
were entirely healed. {428}In the autumn the court retired to Balmoral,
and one of the most distinguished visitors presented to the queen and
prince was Miss Florence Nightingale. The prince wrote of her: "She put
before us all the defects of our present military hospital system,
and the reforms that are needed. We are much pleased with her; she is
extremely modest." A fortnight later she became the queen's guest, and
Lord Panmure, the minister of war, was invited to meet her in order that
she might lay before him an account of all she had seen at the
Crimea, and her opinions as to the reforms that ought to be made. Miss
Nightingale was treated with all the honors due so perfect a woman and
so great a philanthropist.

[[A.D. 1857.]] When parliament opened in February, the queen gave an
account in her speech of how an insult had been offered to the British
flag by the Chinese, at Canton, which had rendered it necessary for
redress to be demanded by force of arms. The facts were these: A
Chinese-built vessel, called "The Arrow," sailing under a British flag,
had been boarded by a Chinese war-junk, and the crew carried off as
pirates. Sir John Bowring, the English governor at Hong-Kong, had
demanded satisfaction, which Yeh, the Chinese commissioner, had refused.
Thereupon the English fleet, under Admiral Michael Seymour, was sent to
enforce reparation as well as free admission of foreigners to the city
of Canton. Had Sir John Bowring not been so determined that the port of
Canton should, according to a former treaty, remain open to trade, the
matter might have been settled without a fight; but, as it was, the
Chinese were forced into a war which cost them dear.

In a few words the cause of the Chinese war is told; but it would
require thousands to recount the debate which arose in parliament as to
the action of the government, {429}which Lord Derby had challenged in
one house, and Mr. Cobden in the other. The question was, whether or
no the war was to be continued, whether or no Lord Palmerston was to
resign? "Let the noble lord, who complains that he is the victim of a
conspiracy, not only complain to the country,--let him appeal to it!"
said Mr. Disraeli at the close of a two nights' debate. The noble lord
did appeal to the country. He announced his policy to be, "to maintain
the rights, to defend the lives and properties of British subjects, to
improve our relations with China, and in the selection and arrangement
of the means for the accomplishment of those objects, to perform the
duty which they owed to the country." The elections which took place
soon after showed a clear gain to the ministry, and a glorious victory
for Lord Palmerston.

Two visitors must be mentioned, the one an American, the other a
Frenchman, who went to England about this time on important missions.
The American was Mr. Cyrus W. Field, who astonished the leading
merchants and scientific men, by announcing a plan which he had for
laying a telegraph line beneath the Atlantic to connect Europe and
the United States. The Frenchman was M. de Lesseps, who explained his
project for cutting a canal across the Isthmus of Suez. Both met with
opposition, and both plans were deemed impossible; but, as we know, both
have succeeded.

The Archduke Maximilian, brother to the Emperor of Austria, visited the
court in June. He was at that time engaged to the Princess Charlotte
of Belgium,--the woman afterwards known to all the world as "Poor
Carlotta." It was six years after this visit to London that the
Archduke Maximilian became Emperor of Mexico, where, by a turn of the
revolutionary wheel, he was ordered to be shot by President Juarez,
in 1867. Just before his sentence {430}was carried into execution,
Maximilian took out his watch, and, pressing a spring which concealed
a portrait of his wife, he kissed it, and gave it to a priest, saying:
"Carry this souvenir to Europe,--to my dear wife; and, if she be ever
able to understand you, say that my eyes closed with the impression of
her image, which I shall carry with me above. Poor Carlotta!" He had
reason to believe that his message never would be comprehended by his
wife, because, as all her bright hopes were blasted in Mexico, her mind
succumbed. When her husband was taken prisoner, she had gone to France,
and then to Rome to plead for help. She was refused, and insanity was
the result.

One of the most important movements this year was towards the
establishment of schools for the poorer classes. Prince Albert took a
lively interest in this matter; for it had astonished and pained him to
find that more than half of the children between the ages of three and
fifteen, in England and Wales, could neither read nor write, and the
remainder had only two years of school life. He made a speech urging
the necessity of compulsory education, and declared that parents must
be made to see that to secure education for their children was "not only
their most sacred duty, but also their highest privilege."

The title of Prince Consort was conferred by the queen on her husband
this year; she also distributed "the Victoria Cross," for the first
time. This ceremony took place at Hyde Park, and was intended as a
reward for bravery in the army and navy. These decorations had been
manufactured by the queen's order, and had inscribed on one side, "For
Valor." They were given only to men who had served in the presence of
the enemy, and had performed some signal act of bravery or devotion to
their country. The list of such names had been made out with great care,
and her majesty resolved to establish the order {431}by decorating the
heroes with her own hand. More than a hundred thousand people assembled
to witness the ceremony, and a vast semi-circle of seats had been
erected to hold about twelve thousand. Four thousand soldiers were
drawn up in a line, and between these and the royal pavilion were the
sixty-two brave fellows who were to be decorated.

At ten o'clock her majesty rode into the park mounted on a gray horse,
and dressed in a scarlet jacket, with a black skirt. She was accompanied
by the prince, Prince Frederick William of Prussia, and a brilliant
suite. The heroes were brought forward one by one, and her majesty
pinned the cross to the breast of each without leaving her seat in
the saddle. The prince saluted each man with profound respect as
he withdrew. It was a splendid spectacle, and the enthusiasm of the
multitude was very great.

Towards the end of June, news of the most alarming nature came from
India. It was that the native regiments had mutinied, and massacred in
cold blood the English officers, their wives, and children. An order
was immediately issued for twelve regiments of a thousand each, and
four thousand five hundred recruits, to be added to the army already in
India.

Although these reinforcements were to be sent, some doubt existed as to
whether the trouble was really so serious as was at first represented.
Before many days the government learned by telegraph that the mutiny was
almost universal in Bengal, and that thirty thousand men had deserted
from the army. Delhi was in possession of the mutineers, who had been
driven into the city with considerable loss. They still continued
to make a desperate resistance, and the city was to be assaulted
immediately.

There was no longer room for doubt; the English government and the whole
nation shuddered at the thought of {432}what horrible deeds might be
committed, should the mutiny become general throughout the country.

The death by cholera of the commander-in-chief for India had been
announced by telegraph, and Lord Palmerston wrote to the queen proposing
that Sir Colin Campbell should be sent out to take his place. This was
agreed upon, and Sir Colin started the next day. Bad news continued
to arrive from India, and Lord Canning wrote from Calcutta, urging the
increase of English troops, as the only means of crushing anarchy and
rebellion. But he knew the necessity for immediate action, and he could
not wait for troops to come all the way from England; he therefore
stopped those that were on their way to China, and pressed them into the
service.

We need not detail the horrors of the Sepoy war nor the treachery of the
never-to-be-forgotten fiend in human shape, Nana Sahib. It is enough
for us to know that one post after another succumbed to English arms and
English generalship, and the rebellion was finally stamped out.

This was a disastrous year in the commercial world; failure followed
failure, not only of private firms, but of banks, and the difficulty
was even greater in the United States than in Europe. Long years of
prosperity had led to reckless speculation, which was supposed to be the
chief cause of the trouble; but there were others besides.

[[A.D. 1858.]] The new year opened with preparations for the marriage of
the princess royal. The court removed from Windsor to Buckingham Palace
on the fifteenth of January, and by that time the guests who had been
invited to attend the wedding had begun to arrive. By the nineteenth
the palace was entirely filled. It contained besides the English royal
family, the King of the Belgians with his sons, the Prince and Princess
of Prussia, with their suites, and several princes and princesses.

{433}

[Illustration: 0439]

"Such a houseful!" says her majesty's diary, "such bustle and
excitement! Between eighty and ninety sit down to dinner at the royal
table daily." On the eighteenth many guests were invited for the
evening, and the diary says: "After dinner a party, and very gay, and
pretty dance. It was very animated, all the princes dancing.

Albert did not waltz. Ernest (the prince consort's brother) said it
seemed like a dream to him to see Vicky dance as a bride just as I did
eighteen years ago, and I still--so he said--looking very young. In 1840
poor dear papa (the late Duke of Coburg) danced with me as Ernest danced
with Vicky." {434}The first of the festivities in which the public took
part was at her Majesty's Theatre, on the nineteenth, when Macbeth was
performed with Miss Helen Faucit and Mr. Phelps in the leading parts.
The theatre was beautifully decorated with flowers, and the house was
filled to overflowing with a brilliant audience. After the play, "God
save the Queen," was sung, everybody rising, while those who could not
find room in the body of the house crowded upon the stage, and joined in
the patriotic song.

The next evening a grand ball, attended by a thousand guests, was given
at the palace, and on the following day a dinner. We now return to her
majesty's diary.

"Saturday, January 23.--Fine frost. Much excitement, but I feel
calm,--such bustle, such questions, and Albert torn to pieces. Latish
walks in the garden with Albert and our dear child. Albert went before
one to fetch Fritz, who had landed at half-past ten, and at half-past
one he arrived with an escort (as have all the visitors), and all the
court waiting for him below. I received him at the bottom of the stairs
very warmly; he was pale and nervous. At the top of the staircase Vicky
received him with Alice, and we went into the audience-room.

"January 24.--Poor, dear Vicky's last unmarried day,--an eventful one,
reminding me so much of mine.... After breakfast, we arranged in the
large drawing-room the gifts (splendid ones) for Vicky on two tables:
mamma's and ours on one, Fritz's, his parents', king's and queen's (of
Prussia), uncle's, Ernest's, and Alexandrine's (Duchess of Coburg) on
the other.... Fritz's pearls are the largest I ever saw,--one row. On
a third table were three fine candelabra, our gift to Fritz. The Prince
and Princess of Prussia, the children, mamma, William, all the princes,
and ourselves brought in Vicky and Fritz. She was in ecstasies,--quite
startled, and {435}Fritz delighted. Service at half-past eleven. The
Bishop of Oxford preached a fine sermon.

"Coming from a walk in the gardens of the palace after luncheon, we went
again to the present-room, where we found more gifts had been placed,
many from ladies, including a quantity of fancy work. From the Duchess
of Buccleuch, a splendid case with table ornaments set with coral. From
a gentleman of the household, a beautiful diamond and emerald bracelet.
Very busy,--interrupted and disturbed every instant. Dear Vicky gave me
a very pretty brooch before church with her hair, and clasping me in her
arms, said, 'I hope to be worthy to be your child!' When the duties of
hospitality for the day were over, we accompanied Vicky to her room,
kissed her, and gave her our blessing, and she was much overcome. I
pressed her in my arms, and she clung to her truly adored papa with much
tenderness.

"Monday, January 25.--The second most eventful day in my life as regards
feelings. I felt as if I were being married over again myself, only much
more nervous; for I had not that blessed feeling which I had then, which
raises and supports one, of giving myself up for life to him whom I
loved and worshipped, then and ever.... Got up, and while dressing,
Vicky came to see me, looking well and composed, and in a fine, quiet
frame of mind.... Gave her a pretty book, called 'The Bridal Offering.'"

Just before proceeding to the chapel royal at St. James's Palace, the
queen, the princess royal, and the prince were daguerreotyped together.
The queen says in her diary: "I trembled so that my likeness has come
out indistinct. Then came the time to go. The sun was shining brightly;
thousands had been out since very early, shouting, bells ringing, etc.
Albert and uncle in field-marshal's uniform, with batons. The two eldest
boys went first, then the {436}three girls in pink satin trimmed with
Newport lace, Alice with a wreath, and the two others with only bouquets
in their hair of corn-flowers and marguerites; next the four boys
in Highland dress. The hall was full. The flourish of trumpets, and
cheering of thousands, made my heart sink within me. Vicky was in a
carriage with me, sitting opposite.... At St. James's I took her into a
dressing-room prettily arranged, where were uncle, Albert, and the
eight bridesmaids, who looked charming in white tulle, with wreaths and
bouquets of pink roses, and white heather. We went into 'the closet'
(this is a room which on court days only the royal family are allowed to
enter), where mamma, in violet velvet trimmed with ermine and white
and violet silk, and the Cambridges were. All the foreign princes and
princesses except uncle, the Prince of Prussia, and Prince Albert of
Prussia, were already in the chapel.

"Then the procession was formed, mamma last before me. Then Lord
Palmerston with the sword-of-state; then Bertie and Alfred. I, with the
two little boys on either side, and the three girls behind. The effect
was very solemn and impressive as we passed through the rooms, down the
staircase, and across a covered court.

"The chapel, though too small, looked extremely imposing and well, full
as it was of so many elegantly-dressed ladies, uniforms, etc. The
drums and trumpets played marches, and the organ played others as the
procession approached and entered. There was a pause between each, but
not a very long one, and the effect was thrilling and striking, as you
heard the music gradually coming nearer and nearer. Fritz looked pale
and much agitated, but behaved with great self-possession, bowing to
us and then kneeling down in a most devotional manner. Then came the
bride's procession, and our darling flower looked {437}very touching and
lovely, with such an innocent, confident, and serious expression, her
veil hanging back over her shoulders, walking between her beloved father
and dearest Uncle Leopold, who had been at her christening and her
confirmation.

"My last fear of being overcome vanished on seeing Vicky's quiet, calm,
and composed manner. It was beautiful to see her kneeling with Fritz,
their hands joined, and the train borne by the eight young ladies, who
looked like a cloud of maidens hovering around her as they knelt near.
Dearest Albert took her by the hand and gave her away. The music was
very fine; the archbishop very nervous; Fritz spoke very plainly; Vicky,
too.

"When the ceremony was over we both embraced Vicky tenderly, but she
shed not one tear, and then she kissed her grandmamma, and I, Fritz.
She then went up to her new parents, the dear prince and princess of
Prussia, who were both much moved, Albert shaking hands with them, and
I kissing both, and pressing their hands with a most happy feeling. Then
the bride and bridegroom left, hand-in-hand, followed by the supporters
of the train, the "Wedding March," Mendelssohn being played, and we
all went up to the Throne Room to sign the register. Here general
congratulations, shaking hands with all the relations,--I with all the
Prussian princes. The young couple signed first, then the parents of
both, and all the princes and princesses present. I felt so moved and
overjoyed that I could have embraced everybody. I shook hands with Lord
Clarendon and Lord Palmerston. Vicky gave very pretty lockets to her
bridesmaids.

"The young couple returned to Buckingham Palace together, and we with
the prince and princess of Prussia. Tremendous crowd and cheering as
we passed. The young couple stepped out on the balcony and showed
{438}themselves, we and the prince and princess of Prussia standing with
them."

After the wedding-breakfast the bride and bridegroom drove away to
Windsor Castle; and in the evening a messenger brought a letter from the
princess to her mother telling her that the Eton boys had dragged the
carriage from the railway station to the castle, and that they had been
welcomed by immense crowds with the greatest enthusiasm.

Two days later (twenty-seventh), the court removed to Windsor, where the
bridegroom was invested with the Order of the Garter.

On the thirtieth addresses were presented to the young couple from all
the large towns and cities, many of them accompanied by rare and costly
presents. Then there was a drawing-room, which was unusually brilliant,
and lasted four hours."

On Monday, February 1, the queen wrote in her diary:--

"The last day of our dear child's being with us, which is incredible,
and makes me at times quite sick at heart.

"I clasped her in my arms and blessed her, and knew not what to say. I
kissed good Fritz, and pressed his hand again and again. He was unable
to speak, and the tears were in his eyes. I embraced them both again
at the carriage door, and Albert got into the carriage with them, and
Bertie. Alfred and George (Duke of Cambridge) in the next; the band
struck up. I pressed the hand of General Schreckenstein and the good
Dean of Windsor, and then went quickly up stairs.

"A dreadful moment and a dreadful day. Such sickness came over me, real
heartache, when I thought of our dearest child being gone, and for
so long--all, all being over! It began to snow before Vicky went, and
continued {439}to do so without intermission all day. At times I could
be quite cheerful, but my tears began to flow afresh frequently, and
I could not go near Vicky's corridor. Everything recalled the time now
passed.

"At four my beloved Albert returned with the two boys, _very_ sad, and
my grief again burst forth. The separation had been dreadful. Albert
seemed much impressed by it. Nothing could exceed the loyalty,
enthusiasm, and feeling shown by the countless thousands in the city,
and again at Gravesend, where the decorations were beautiful. Young
girls with wreaths, in spite of the snow, walked on the pier strewing
flowers.

"Albert had waited to see the ships leave,--what a moment it must have
been!--but Vicky did not come on deck. The sight of the darling baby
(Princess Beatrice) even made me sad, as dear Vicky loved her so much,
and only yesterday played with her!"

The young princess made a most favorable impression among the Berliners;
for her manners were charming, and she had the rare gift of being able
to say the right thing at the right time and in the right place. From
the moment when her engagement to the Prince of Prussia was thought of,
her father had given her daily instruction in the studies that would
be of the greatest service in the position she was to fill. A prominent
statesman of Germany wrote of her a few weeks after her arrival in her
new home: "She sees more clearly and more correctly than many a man of
commanding intellect, because, while possessing an acute mind and the
purest heart, she does not know the word 'prejudice.'"

{440}



CHAPTER XIV

|In August the queen and prince consort went to Germany on a visit. They
arrived at Antwerp on the eleventh, and drove at once to the railway
station. At Malines they were met by King Leopold and his second
son, and at Aix-la-Chapelle by the Prince of Prussia, who had come to
accompany them for the rest of their journey. The weather was intensely
hot, and marred much of their pleasure; but they were everywhere met
with a hearty welcome. On the twelfth news reached them of the sudden
death of Cart, who had been Prince Albert's valet for twenty-nine years.
"He was invaluable," writes the queen in her diary: "Well educated,
thoroughly trustworthy, devoted to the prince, the best of nurses,
superior in every sense of the word, a proud, independent Swiss, who
might be trusted with anything. He was the only link my loved one had
about him which connected him with his childhood,--the only one with
whom he could talk over old times. I cannot think of my dear husband
without Cart! Albert felt the loss so much that we had to choke our
grief down all day."

After breakfast the royal couple travelled to Hanover, and were met by
the king and queen, with princes and princesses, and a guard of honor,
and conducted to the Herrenhausen,--the country palace where George I.
was living when called to the English throne. After luncheon

{441}

[Illustration: 0447]

{443}many people were presented, and at four in the afternoon the queen
and prince proceeded on their journey. It was evening when they reached
Wildpark Station, and "there on the platform," says the queen's diary,
"stood our darling child with a nosegay in her hand. She got into the
carriage, and long and warm was the embrace as she clasped me in her
arms. So much to say, and to tell, and to ask, yet so unaltered, looking
well--quite the old Vicky still! It was a happy moment, for which I
thanked God!

"Another five or six minutes brought us to the Potsdam station, where
were a band and a guard of honor of gigantic guardsmen with pointed
caps, and all the princes and princesses. After a few minutes we
got into open carriages and drove up to Babelsburg. The castle was
beautifully lit up. The Princess of Prussia and Vicky took us to our
rooms, which are very comfortable. It was eleven. Many well-known faces
appeared among the servants, and I felt quite at home. We supped with
our children, and the prince and princess, and then went up to bed,
wishing our dear child, as of old, good-night." The next morning was
passed quietly at the castle, and in the evening the royal party drove
through Potsdam to the beautiful gardens of Sans-Souci, and visited the
palace built by Frederick the Great, in which he lived and died. The
queen was charmed with the splendid orange trees at Sans-Souci, some of
them two hundred years old, all festooned with vines, reaching from one
to another.

Several succeeding days were spent in making excursions to the various
places of interest, both in Berlin and the surrounding country. State
dinners were given, reviews attended, as well as churches and theatres,
and many men of learning were presented. The queen mentions Von Humboldt
particularly, with whose conversation she was delighted. {444}The
twenty-sixth was the prince consort's birthday, described thus in the
royal diary: "Blessed day! May God ever bless my beloved Albert! The
band kindly-ordered by our children, and the Prince and Princess of
Prussia, played two hymns. I gave Albert all the children's letters.
They had all written. Went down to the drawingroom to arrange the
present-table, and found Fritz and Louise (Princess of Baden) there.
Vicky soon followed, and then we went up to Albert, where we found his
brother Ernest, who arrived this morning as a surprise. We took Albert
down. My gifts were a picture of Beatrice, life-size, in oil, by
Horsley; a complete collection of photographic views of Gotha and
the country round it, which I had had taken by Bedford, and which
particularly delighted Albert, and a paper-weight of Balmoral granite
and deer's teeth, designed by Vicky. Vicky gave her portrait, a small
oil one, by Hartman, very like, though not flattered; an iron chair
for the garden at Balmoral, and a drawing by herself. The prince and
princess gave two bronze statues. Albert was pleased with all. There
were two birthday cakes. Vicky had ordered one with as many lights as
Albert numbered years, which is the Prussian custom.

"Friday, August 27.--The last day. It made one very sad to feel this....
Visit from Stockmar. Satisfactory conversation with this kind friend.
After luncheon Ernest came and took leave, going back to Gotha. At
half-past five took a short drive alone with dear Vicky, alas! for the
last time. Saw Stockmar once more in the evening; broke up at half-past
ten, and went up to our room with dear Vicky. Fritz joined us soon
after. We stayed talking together till eleven, happy, but dreading the
next day."

The leave-taking need not be described. The journey back to England
was accomplished with few delays, and the royal party reached Dover at
mid-day on the 31st. Prince {445}Alfred met his parents as they landed
at the private pier at Osborne, in his sailor's suit, having just passed
his examination, and received his appointment as midshipman.

Shortly after their return, the queen and prince went to Balmoral,
where, surrounded by their children, they were delighted to avail
themselves of the repose offered by this invigorating mountain retreat.
The prince resumed his favorite sport of deer-stalking without loss
of time, and records having shot his first stag of the season on the
fourteenth of September. The queen had to part with another of her
children this year, for Prince Alfred went for a two years' cruise on
the Mediterranean.

[[A.D. 1859.]] Queen Victoria became a grandmother at the beginning of
the new year,--the princess royal had a son born in Berlin.

Shortly after, the prince consort founded a library at Aldershot at his
own expense, and filled it with every work of value on military history
or science. This is called "The Prince Consort's Library," and has been
kept supplied by the queen from her own privy purse ever since. Thus all
military officers, who desire to study their profession, are supplied
with rare and costly works, which would otherwise be beyond their
reach. During the Crimean war, the queen and prince had not forgotten
to provide books for the soldiers, which were afterwards divided
between Aldershot and Dublin. These were called the "Victoria Soldiers'
Libraries."

In May the court removed to Osborne; but on their way thither, stopped
at Portsmouth to receive the Princess Frederick William of Prussia,
who had gone to England to join in the family reunion on her majesty's
birthday.

The queen soon had to turn her attention to state affairs, and on the
seventh of June parliament was opened by her in person. An exciting
debate, extending over three nights, {446}ensued, and resulted in the
resignation of Lord Derby. Then the queen did not know whether to call
upon Lord Palmerston or Lord John Russell to form a new ministry,
as both had claims to the appointment. She therefore summoned Lord
Granville, thinking that he would be acceptable to their respective
followers, as well as to themselves. But Lord Granville was
comparatively a young man, and in no hurry to become prime minister; and
Lord John Russell declined to serve under him, while he expressed his
willingness to serve under Lord Palmerston. The matter was soon settled
after that, and Lord Palmerston became prime minister for life. His
ministry was a strong one. Mr. Gladstone became Chancellor of the
Exchequer; Lord John Russell, Foreign Secretary; Sir G. C. Lewis, Home
Secretary; Mr. Sidney Herbert, Minister of War; the Duke of Newcastle
took charge of the Colonies; Mr. Cardwell became Irish Secretary, and
Sir Charles Wood Secretary for India.

There were troublous times in Europe when this ministry came into power;
for the emperor of the French had issued a proclamation declaring his
intention to rescue Italy from oppression and misrule, and help her to
declare her independence. The combat was to be with Austria; but, not
knowing how far it might extend, all the other states excepting Belgium
gathered together their forces and placed them under arms, to be ready
for any emergency. England was pretty certain to remain neutral; but the
states of the German Confederation demanded to be led to the support of
Austria. A general feeling of distrust towards Louis Napoleon had spread
all over Europe, and he was closely watched. Prussia had not declared
her intentions; she was non-committal. The emperor of the French
particularly desired to fight Austria alone with his ally, Sardinia;
because, should he be victorious, he could {447}then make an attempt on
the Rhine, with only the states of the Confederation to oppose him.

Austria, once defeated, would feel so indignant at having received no
aid from Germany, that she would retaliate by refusing to assist in
defending the Rhine. If Germany became involved in the war, Russia
would have to declare either for her or for France, and she was not then
prepared for war.

With such an unsettled state of affairs, a strong ministry in England
became of the utmost importance, and no better or abler leader than Lord
Palmerston could have been chosen. There were those in the cabinet
who were enthusiastic for the freedom of Italy. Mr. Gladstone was
particularly so, and Lord Palmerston had not lost his confidence in
Louis Napoleon; Lord John Russell, on the other hand, was distrustful,
and the Duke of Newcastle, Sir George Lewis, and Lord Elgin were
with him, while the other members were indifferent. This diversity of
opinion, in a cabinet composed of so many able men, was good; for
it enabled them to look at the question of "a strict and impartial
neutrality," to which the queen's addresses in both houses had pledged
the nation, from all points.

Meanwhile the war was going on, and the French were victorious at every
point. But their victories were dearly bought; more than a hundred
thousand men had been sacrificed, and Louis Napoleon longed for peace.
His ministers at home were, therefore, instructed to arrange through
England terms for an armistice; but, as those proposed by Count Persigny
were not approved of in England, Lord Palmerston wrote Lord John
Russell: "If the French emperor is tired of his war, and finds the job
tougher than he expected, let him make what proposals he pleases; but
let them be made as from himself, formally and officially, and let him
not ask us to further his suggestions, and make ourselves answerable for
them" {448}The emperors of France and Austria then arranged a meeting,
which took place at Villafranca, and patched up a peace to suit
themselves, though it surprised all other nations, and satisfied none.
England knew that the terms of the treaty were impracticable, but
resolved to quietly await further developments.

As soon as parliament was prorogued the court went to Osborne, and some
days later to the Highlands, where a few weeks were spent with the usual
country sports and freedom from care. In October the queen and prince,
accompanied by the Princesses Alice and Helena, went to Glasgow to
attend the ceremony of the opening of the great water-works there, which
were constructed on a grander scale than any in the kingdom.

An early and severe winter set in, and the prince consort took such a
severe cold that he was confined to his bed for several days. Nothing
hastened his cure so much as a visit from his eldest daughter. She
arrived quite unexpectedly at Windsor Castle with her husband on the
ninth of November, just in time to celebrate the birthday of the Prince
of Wales.

This visit, which lasted until the third of December, gave the queen
and prince consort the greatest pleasure; for the young couple were so
happy, and the princess was so much improved, that their presence left a
most favorable impression.

Before the close of the year, Macaulay, the poet, historian, esssayist,
and parliamentary orator, died in his sixtieth year. He was one of the
most prominent literary men of his day. "There are no limits to his
knowledge," was said of him by a contemporary; "he is like a book in
breeches." In 1857 Macaulay had been raised to the peerage, but many
years before he had made his reputation in the House of Commons, where
each of his speeches was {449}applauded more than the one that had
preceded it. His life was a singularly happy one,--though, of course, it
was not all sunshine,--and his career was one of remarkable success.
It has been truly said of him: "You might lay ribbons, stars, garters,
wealth, title, before him in vain. He had an honest, genuine love of his
country, and the world could not bribe him to neglect her interests."

[[A.D. 1860.]] "We began the year very peaceably and happily," wrote the
queen to King Leopold, "and I never remember spending a pleasanter New
Year's day, surrounded by our children and dear mamma. It is really
extraordinary how much our good children did for the day in writing,
reciting, and music." It was by proofs of their improvement in study
that the royal children always planned little surprises to celebrate the
Christmas holidays, and to evince their gratitude and affection towards
their parents. On the twentieth anniversary of the queen's marriage,
which occurred this year, they had a series of _tableaux-vivants_ in
St. George's Hall, which were witnessed by the royal family with a great
deal of pleasure.

During the Crimean war, for which Canada had equipped an infantry
regiment, her majesty had promised that the Prince of Wales should
visit her possessions in that country. This year the promise was to
be fulfilled, and the great railway bridge across the St. Lawrence
at Montreal was to be opened in honor of the occasion. The Duke of
Newcastle, as Secretary of State for the Colonies, was to accompany the
prince, who would probably reach Canada by July.

No sooner did this piece of intelligence reach the United States than
President Buchanan addressed a letter to the queen, offering a cordial
welcome at Washington to the prince, and an assurance that he would be
everywhere greeted by Americans in a manner that could not fail to be
{450}gratifying. Mr. Dallas, our minister to England, was instructed to
inform Lord John Russell that the corporation of New York also invited
the prince to visit that city.

Accordingly, on the tenth of July, the prince and his suite sailed from
Plymouth, and, after a very stormy voyage, landed on the twenty-fifth at
St. John, Newfoundland.

Meanwhile England was shocked at the news from Syria. Horrible massacres
had taken place between the Druses and the Maronites, which at last
extended as far as Damascus, where the Christian quarter had been
attacked, and nearly two thousand human beings had been butchered. In
the mountains not less than three thousand five hundred men had been cut
down. The consulates of France, Austria, Russia, Holland, Belgium,
and Greece were destroyed, and the fury of the mob knew no bounds. The
famous Algerian chief, Abd-el-Kader, was then living in Damascus, and
exerted himself nobly for the defense of the Christians,--for which
noble deed he afterwards received the thanks of the British Government.

England and France at once took steps to restore order, and were ably
assisted by the other great powers of Europe. Lord Dufferin was sent out
as commissioner from England, and performed his task with judgment and
spirit. Turkey acted promptly too, and the governor of Damascus, as
well as the commander of the Turkish troops, with about sixty others in
authority, were executed, and peace was restored.

On the twenty-second of September the queen, the prince, and the
Princess Alice left Buckingham Palace for Gravesend, attended by Lady
Churchill, Miss Bulteel, General Grey, Sir Charles Phipps, and Colonel
Ponsonby. They were joined at the station by Lord John Russell and Dr.
Baly, who were to accompany them to the continent. They embarked on
board the "Victoria and Albert" at half-

{451}

[Illustration: 0457]

{453}past five, and at seven dropped anchor at the Nore for the night.
The next morning at five they sailed, and arrived in the evening
at Antwerp, where they were informed of the sad death of the
Dowager-duchess of Coburg. It was too late then to turn back, so the
royal party proceeded on their journey. We quote from the queen's
diary:--

"At about seven we reached Frankfort, where, to our regret, we were
received by a guard of honor and a band. The Princess of Prussia, Fritz,
and Louise of Baden were there, having come on purpose to meet us.
Arrived at the Hôtel d'Angleterre,--the same where we were fifteen years
ago,--we found sentries placed on the staircase, with whom we dispensed.
After dinner came Prince George of Saxony, who brought me a kind letter
from the King of Saxony, inviting us to come to Dresden, an invitation
which naturally we cannot accept. We remained some little time together,
and then went to our rooms.... This sad, sad news (the death of the
Dowager-duchess) lay like a load upon our otherwise bright and happy
hearts.

"The next morning at nine we resumed our journey. I felt so agitated as
we approached nearer and nearer to Coburg. At last we caught the first
glimpse of the Festung, then of the town, with the cheerful and lovely
country round, the fine evening lighting it all up so beautifully.
At five we were at the station. Of course all was private and
quiet,--Ernest and Fritz standing therein deep mourning. Many
people were out; but they showed such proper feeling--all quiet, no
demonstrations of joy, though many kind faces. Felt so moved as we drove
up to the door of the palace. Here stood Alexandrine (Duchess of Coburg)
and Vicky in the deepest German mourning--long black veils with a
point--surrounded by the ladies and gentlemen: a tender embrace, and
then we walked up the staircase.... {454}"We remained together for some
little time, and then our darling grandchild was brought. Such a little
love! He came walking at Mrs. Hobbs's (his nurse's) hand, in a little
white dress, with black bows, and was so good. He is a fine fat child,
with a beautiful soft skin; very fine shoulders and limbs, and a very
dear face, like Vicky and Fritz. He has Fritz's eyes and Vicky's mouth,
and very fair, curly hair. We felt so happy to see him at last!"

The next day the funeral of the Dowager-duchess of Coburg took place;
and, after that sad ceremony was over, a fortnight was passed in
visiting the old familiar scenes in and around Coburg, with nothing
of importance to narrate until the first of October, when the prince
consort met with an accident, of which the queen writes thus: "Our
drawings being finished, we ladies walk down to the park gate, going
along merrily, and much amused by a pretty peasant woman, who told Vicky
how dirty her dress was getting by trailing on the ground, and advising
her to take it up, and expecting our carriage to overtake us, when we
met a two-seated carriage, with Colonel Ponsonby in it, who said Albert
had sent him to say there had been an accident to the carriage, but
that Albert was not hurt, having only scratched his nose; that Dr. Baly
happened to meet him, and said it was of no consequence. This prevented
my being startled or much frightened. That came later," when Colonel
Ponsonby explained that the horses had run away, and that Albert had
jumped out!

"Drove back in this carriage with Alice, Colonel Ponsonby sitting on the
box beside the coachman. I went at once to my dearest Albert's rooms,
and found him lying on his valet's bed, with a lint compress on his
nose, mouth, and chin, and poor, good, old Stockmar standing by him, and
also Dr. Baly. He was quite cheerful, and talking, and giving an
account of his fearful accident, and, as it proved, {455}merciful and
providential escape. Dr. Baly said Albert had not been the least stunned;
that there was no injury, and the features would not suffer. I sent off
many telegrams to England, fearing wrong messages."

Many despatches and letters were received next day containing inquiries
about the prince, who was so much better by the third as to be able to
take a walk.

On the evening of the fifteenth of October the queen returned to
Windsor Castle, and by that time all traces of the prince's accident had
vanished. As a memorial in gratitude for the prince's escape, the queen
invested a little over a thousand pounds in the names of the burgomaster
and chief clergyman of Coburg, the interest to be divided on the first
of October of each year among a certain number of young men and women
belonging to the humbler ranks of life. These payments were to be
applied in enabling the young men to pursue any occupation they chose,
and for the young women, it was to be a dowry on their marriage, or an
assistance towards earning a support.

On the fifteenth of November the Prince of Wales arrived at Windsor
Castle, and his account of the honor that had been shown him in the
United States and Canada rejoiced the hearts of his parents. Enormous
crowds had assembled at every city, from Chicago to Washington, to
greet "Baron Renfrew," as the prince was styled while travelling, and
everywhere he was so much admired, and made himself so popular, that
somebody said of him: "He may consider himself a lucky lad if he escapes
a nomination for president before he reaches his homeward-bound fleet."
The most interesting incident of the prince's visit at Washington was
an excursion to Mount Vernon, the home and burial-place of our first
president. There the prince, Mr. Buchanan, and the entire party stood
{456}before the humble tomb of George Washington, uncovered, and then
the prince planted a chestnut beside the grave.

An ovation, such as has seldom been accorded to any monarch, awaited
the prince both in New York and Boston; and, after his departure, the
President wrote to Queen Victoria, expressing the gratification that he
and the whole nation had derived from her son's visit. The letter was
cordially answered by the queen herself, who expressed the warmest
friendship for the United States.

The Duke of Newcastle, to whose care the prince had been confided, had
performed his delicate task so well and with so much discretion and
tact, that he was publicly invested with the Order of the Garter, as a
mark of gratitude from her majesty.

In November Prince Louis of Hesse was betrothed to the Princess Alice,
and this event gave much pleasure to the royal parents. The queen
writes in her diary, November 30: "After dinner, while talking to the
gentlemen, I perceived Alice and Louis talking before the fireplace more
earnestly than usual, and when I passed to go to the other room, both
came up to me, and Alice, in much agitation, said he had proposed to
her, and he begged for my blessing. I could only squeeze his hand, and
say 'certainly,' and that we would see him later in our room. Alice came
to our room; Albert sent for Louis to his room,--went first to him, and
then called Alice and me in. Louis has a warm, noble heart. We embraced
our dear Alice, and praised her much to him. After talking a little, we
parted; a most touching, and to me, most sacred moment."

[[A.D. 1861.]] Before leaving Windsor on the second of January for a
visit to Osborne, news reached the queen of the death of the King of
Prussia. His brother had long been regent, in consequence of the king's
impaired mental powers, and he is the present Emperor of Germany. The
{457}queen's daughter "Vicky" then became, and still remains, crown
princess.

Shortly after, Dr. Baly, the queen's physician, was killed by a railway
accident, and Dr. Jenner succeeded him. This caused considerable sorrow,
but it was followed by an event that plunged the queen and her family
into deep grief. The Duchess of Kent had undergone a surgical operation
in the beginning of March, from which she did not reap any benefit; but
no alarm was felt as to her condition. On the morning of the fifteenth
the queen and prince went to inspect the new gardens of the Royal
Horticultural Society at South Kensington, from which the queen returned
alone, leaving the prince to transact some business with the committee.
While there, he was suddenly summoned to Buckingham Palace by Sir James
Clarke, who had come up from Frogmore to announce some alarming symptoms
that had attacked the Duchess of Kent. The prince at once informed the
queen, who, without a moment's delay, set out with him and the Princess
Alice for Windsor. Her majesty's diary tells the rest: "By eight o'clock
we were at Frogmore. Here, Lord James Murray and the ladies received us,
and, alas! said it was just the same; but, still, I did not then realize
what it was. Albert went up, and when he returned with tears in his
eyes, I saw what it was that awaited me.... With a trembling heart I
went up the staircase and entered the bedroom, and there on a sofa,
supported by cushions, the room much darkened, sat, leaning back, my
beloved mamma, breathing rather heavily, in her silk dressing-gown, with
her cap on, looking quite herself.

"Seeing that my presence did not disturb her, I knelt before her, kissed
her dear hand, and pressed it to my cheek; but, though she opened her
eyes, she did not, I think, know me. She brushed my hand off, and the
dreadful {458}reality was before me that for the first time she did not
know the child she had ever received with such tender smiles. I went
out to sob.... I asked the doctors if there was no hope. They said they
feared none whatever, for consciousness had left her....

"I entered her room about eight o'clock, the window was wide open and
both doors. I sat on a footstool, holding her dear hand. Meantime her
face grew paler (though, in truth, her cheeks had that pretty, fresh
color they always had, up to within half an hour of the last), the
features longer and sharper. The breathing became easier. I fell on my
knees holding the beloved hand, which was still warm, though heavier, in
both of mine. I felt the end was fast approaching, as Clarke went out
to call Albert and Alice, I only left gazing on that beloved face,
and feeling as if my heart would break.... It was a solemn, sacred,
never-to-be-forgotten scene.

"Fainter and fainter grew the breathing. At last it ceased. The clock
struck half-past nine at the very moment. Convulsed with sobs, I fell
upon the hand, and covered it with kisses. Albert lifted me up and took
me into the next room, himself entirely melted into tears, which is
unusual for him, deep as his feelings are, and clasped me in his arms. I
asked if all was over; he said, 'Yes!'

"I went into the room again and gave one look. My darling mother was
sitting as she had done before; but was already white! O God! How awful!
How mysterious! But what a blessed end! Her gentle spirit at rest,--her
sufferings over! But I--I, wretched child,--who had lost the mother I
so tenderly loved, from whom for these forty-one years I had never
been parted except for a few weeks,--what was my case? My childhood,
everything, seemed to crowd upon me at once. I seemed to have lived
through a life, to have become old! The

{459}

[Illustration: 0465]

{461}blessed future meeting and her peace and rest must henceforward be
my comfort.

"My beloved Albert felt it, and feels it so intensely. He has shed so
many tears; he was so tender, and kind, and full of loving affection, of
tender consideration to spare my feelings. Albert took me upstairs, and
said it was better to go at once into her dear sitting-room, where we
so constantly saw her. We did so; but oh, the agony of it! All, all
unchanged,--chairs, cushions, everything,--all on the tables, her very
work-basket with her work, the little canary bird, of which she was so
fond, singing! In these two dear rooms, where we had so constantly seen
her, where everything spoke of life, we remained a little while to weep
and pray, I kneeling down at her chair."

The Prince of Wales and Princess Helena arrived from London, and were
taken by the queen to gaze upon the grandmother to whom they were so
fondly attached. Then the relations at a distance had to be remembered,
and the queen wrote a most touching letter to King Leopold, "the last of
his generation."

The Duchess of Kent was mourned by every member of her household, from
the highest to the lowest. Some of them had been in her employ for more
than thirty years, and all felt that they had lost a friend.

On hearing of her grandmother's death, the princess royal set out for
England, and reached Windsor Castle on the eighteenth. Letters filled
with expressions of the warmest affection and sympathy were constantly
delivered to the queen, and addresses of condolence from both houses of
parliament were voted at once, in which a warm tribute was offered to
the memory of the deceased duchess.

The funeral took place on the twenty-fifth, in St. George's Chapel,
Windsor, the prince consort acting as chief-mourner, supported by the
Prince of Wales and Prince Leiningen. {462}The pall-bearers were the
six ladies-in-waiting who had been with the duchess for a long time. The
scene was very affecting, and everybody wept. The Dean of Windsor was so
affected that he almost broke down in reading the service.

The death of the duchess greatly increased the labors of the prince
consort; for not only was he left her sole executor, and had therefore
all her affairs to settle up, but he endeavored in every possible way
to save the queen any care, and therefore took many of her duties upon
himself.

On the thirtieth of April, at a meeting of the privy council, the queen
announced the contemplated marriage of Princess Alice with the Prince of
Hesse-Darmstadt. On the fourth of May it was communicated to parliament,
and a dowry of thirty thousand pounds, with an annuity of six thousand
pounds, was voted to the princess.

The Confederate war began about this time, and England was immediately
affected by the failure in the supply of cotton from the Southern States
for her manufacturing districts. No account of this war will be given,
and no further reference made to it, excepting where England was
concerned.

In June King Leopold and his second son visited England, and after
their departure the crown Prince and Princess of Prussia with their
two children arrived at Buckingham Palace. "This happy family
meeting," wrote the queen next day to her uncle, "with our children and
grandchildren, while our dear Alice's bridegroom is still here, makes me
long and pine for _her_ who would have been so happy and so proud. Dear
Fritz is excellent, and the _menage_ a truly happy one.

"My second drawing-room is just over, and I have nothing more to do
until to-morrow, when I go to White Lodge. On the fourth we go to
Osborne." {463}The court remained at Osborne throughout the month of
July, and received the visits of many distinguished people while there.
In August the crown prince and princess returned to Berlin with their
children.

[Illustration: 0469]

Meanwhile the remains of the Duchess of Kent had been removed to the
mausoleum at Frogmore, just completed, and the queen and prince made a
visit there after parting with their children.

The prince's birthday was celebrated while he and the queen were making
a journey through Ireland. "This," wrote the queen to King Leopold,
"is the dearest of days, and one which fills my heart with love and
gratitude. God bless and protect my beloved Albert, the purest and best
of human beings." The customary gifts were ready, although the prince
was far from home, and all were spread out on a table when he came down
stairs in the morning. We quote from her majesty's diary: "Alas!
there was wanting the usual gift from that beloved mother, which has
{464}never been wanting before. When all was ready I fetched Albert, and
the four children received us, and gave him bouquets. But I missed the
little ones,--above all baby,--and sadly I thought of poor dear Vicky.
Albert was much pleased with the presents, and with the girls' (the
Crown Princess and Princess Alice) pretty drawings."

On the last day of August the royal family were again at Balmoral, where
Prince Louis of Hesse soon joined them. The circle was increased by
the arrival of her majesty's half-sister from Germany, and Lady Augusta
Bruce, who had been the Duchess of Kent's favorite lady-in-waiting for
many years. The autumn of this year was all that could be desired, and
the sojourn at Balmoral delightful in every respect. It was at this
period that the Prince of Wales first met the lady whom he married
later. The Princess Alexandra, of Denmark, was on a visit to Germany,
and it had been arranged that the prince was to meet her there with a
view to marriage, in case they liked each other. Every precaution was
taken to keep this delicate matter secret; but it was soon discovered
in Germany, and then published in the English papers. It met with hearty
approval everywhere. "We hear nothing but excellent accounts of the
Princess Alexandra," wrote the prince consort in his diary, "and there
seems no doubt that the young people have taken a warm liking for each
other."

Shortly after the court returned to Windsor Castle, the death of the
young King of Portugal was announced. This was a sad blow to the prince
consort, who loved the king very much. The queen wrote in her diary of
this melancholy event: "Such a fearful loss! Such an irreparable loss
for the country which adored him,--for his and our family, of which
he was the brightest ornament,--for Europe,--in short, for every one.
Highly gifted, and most pure, able, excellent, and hard-working to a
degree--

{465}

[Illustration: 0471]

{467}he was one in a thousand. My Albert was very fond of him, loved him
like a son (as I did too), while he had unbounded confidence in Albert,
and was worthy of him. It was like another awful dream! Dear Pedro!
only twenty-five! gone from this world, in which he was certainly never
happy! It is too, too dreadful!"

This loss had a serious effect on the prince consort, who had not felt
well for several months, often complained of fatigue, and suffered
much from sleeplessness. He continued to travel about and attend to his
varied duties, but always complaining of pain and depression of spirits.

The last matter of public importance in which he took an interest was
the "Trent" affair, connected with our Confederate war. On the eighth
of November the English steamer "Trent" sailed from Havana for England,
having on board Messrs. Mason and Slidell with their secretaries,
Messrs. McFarland and Eustis. These men had run the blockade from
Charleston, in the Confederate steamer "Nashville," and were going as
representatives of the Southern Confederacy to the courts of England and
France. The day after sailing from Havana, the "Trent" was fired into by
the "San Jacinto," and ordered to stop. She obeyed, when Captain Wilkes,
commander of the American vessel, boarded the English one, and captured
Messrs. Mason and Slidell with their secretaries. This was a violation
of international law, and England considered herself insulted. France
sided with England, and for some time there was a prospect of our having
another war on our hands, besides the dreadful civil war. The prince
consort drew up the draft of a letter to our government, in the queen's
name, demanding, in mild though firm terms, an assurance that Captain
Wilkes had not acted under official instructions, and that the prisoners
should be released. The demand was complied with, and the war-cloud blew
away very soon. {468}The speedy settlement of the "Trent" affair was due
in great part to the careful, courteous though determined wording of the
prince consort's letter. But he was ill,--confined to his room part of
every day, and felt the extra anxiety very severely; for he was far from
desiring any dispute with the United States.

On the night of the twenty-eighth of November the prince had slept
rather better than usual, but complained of chilliness when he made his
appearance in the morning. He stood by the queen for twenty minutes on
the south terrace of the castle, to see the Eton College volunteers
go through their manoeuvres, and pass in review before the queen. The
volunteers then marched into the conservatory near by, where a luncheon
was spread for them. "As soon as they were seated," writes the queen in
her diary, "we went in and walked round the tables; it was a very pretty
sight. Albert was well wrapped up but looked very unwell, and could only
walk very slowly. The day was close and warm; but although the prince
was wrapped in a coat lined with fur, he said on the ground that he felt
as if cold water was being poured down his back. His absence would have
given rise to apprehension and remark, therefore he went out, though
conscious that he ought not to have gone."

This feeling of chilliness continued, and other symptoms of disorder
followed. The prince exerted himself to talk and to be cheerful, but
he ate little and slept less. On Monday morning, December 2, at seven
o'clock, Dr. Jenner was summoned, as a low fever had set in. "I was
so anxious," says her majesty's diary, "so distressed; Albert did not
dress, but lay upon the sofa and I read to him.... Sir James Clarke
arrived, and found him in much the same state,--very restless and
uncomfortable, sometimes lying on the sofa in his dressing-room,
and then sitting up in an arm-chair in his sitting-room." {469}The
physicians assured the queen that there was no cause for alarm, and
no necessity for further medical advice, as had been suggested. On the
fourth there was no improvement. Her majesty found him "looking very
wretched and woe-begone. He could take only half a cup of tea. He
afterwards came to his sitting-room, where I left him so wretched that I
was dreadfully overcome and alarmed. Alice was reading to him."

Sir James Clarke still felt hopeful, and the queen went for a short
walk. On her return, she found, the invalid "very restless and haggard
and suffering, though at times he seemed better. While Alice was reading
the 'Talisman,' in the bedroom, where he was lying on the bed, he seemed
in a very uncomfortable, panting state, which frightened us. We sent for
Dr. Jenner, and then Mr. Brown, of Windsor, came up, and was most kind
and reassuring, and not at all alarmed. But Dr. Jenner said that
the prince _must_ eat; that the illness would be tedious, and that
completely starving himself, as he had done, would not do."

Two days passed with little change, and the doctors pronounced the
disease gastric fever. The queen was informed of it, but not the
patient, who had a perfect horror of fevers. "What an awful trial this
is," writes her majesty, "to be deprived for so long of my guide,
my support, my all! My heart was ready to burst; but I cheered
up, remembering how many people have fever.... Good Alice was very
courageous, and tried to comfort me."

On the eighth the prince had requested to be removed to the "blue-room,"
because it was so large, bright, and cheerful, and then he asked for
some music, saying: "I should like to hear a fine chorale, played at
a distance." A piano was drawn to the next room and the Princess Alice
played "_Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott_" and another {470}hymn, while
the prince listened with tears in his eyes. Later in the day the queen
read "Peveril of the Peak" to him, and he followed the story with much
interest. When her majesty returned to him after dinner, she writes: "He
was so pleased to see me,--stroked my face, and smiled, and called me
'_liebeschauchen_,'--precious love!"

Dr. Watson and Sir Henry Holland were now associated with the other two
physicians, and for a few days the invalid seemed to improve, though his
mind wandered at times in a most distressing manner. On the eleventh a
bulletin was issued, informing the public that the prince was seriously
ill, though his case was not yet considered dangerous. He could not bear
to have the queen absent from his bedside for an instant, and constantly
spoke kind and tender words to her. In the evening the symptoms were not
so favorable, and great anxiety was felt.

Lord Palmerston was laid up with an attack of gout; but he was kept
informed of the prince's condition, as were the rest of the ministers,
inquiries being made regularly by them all.

Between frequent changes from better to worse and worse to better, two
more days passed, and on the fourteenth, Dr. Brown, who had been in
attendance on the royal family for more than twenty years, informed her
majesty that the crisis was over, and there was ground for hope. This
was good news indeed!

"I went over at seven, as I usually did," writes her majesty. "It was a
bright morning, the sun just rising, and shining brightly. The room
had the sad look of nightwatching, and the candles burnt down to their
sockets, the doctors looking anxious. I went in, and never can I forget
how beautiful my darling looked, lying there with his face lit up by
the rising sun, his eyes unusually bright, gazing, as it were, on unseen
objects, and not taking notice of me." {471}It was true that the prince
consort had rallied; but he was not really better, and the Prince of
Wales, who, in answer to a telegram, had arrived during the night, had
been informed by Sir Henry Holland of his father's state. During the
day there was little change; the prince spoke from time to time to the
queen, called her "_Gutes Frauchen_" and recognized each of the children
as they came in and kissed his hand.

The next evening the queen was summoned from the adjoining room, where
she had gone only a few moments before to give vent to her grief. She
knew only too well what it meant. She entered, took the prince's hand,
and knelt down. On the other side of the bed was the Princess Alice, and
at the foot knelt the Prince of Wales and Princess Helena. Physicians
and others stood near in different parts of the room. Not a sound was
to be heard within that mournful chamber; the gentle spirit was passing
calmly, peacefully away. The castle clock chimed the third quarter
after ten. Two or three long but gentle breaths were drawn, the beloved
features settled into a sweet repose, and all was over.

After what has appeared in these pages concerning the prince's
character, and his qualities as a husband, a father, a friend, it is
unnecessary to comment upon the loss those nearest and dearest to him
had sustained. But his death took the nation by surprise; for they had
not realized the seriousness of his illness, and there was not a home
in the kingdom that was not saddened by it. The queen was and is dearly
beloved, and her sorrow was shared by her people.

On the morning of Monday, December 23, the remains of the prince
consort were removed in grand state from Windsor Castle, and temporarily
deposited in the entrance to the royal vault in St. George's Chapel,
where they were to remain until the completion of a mausoleum to be
erected afterwards. {472}On the eighteenth of December, her majesty,
accompanied by the Princess Alice, drove to the gardens of Frogmore,
where the Prince of Wales, Prince Louis of Hesse, Sir Charles Phipps,
and Sir James Clarke awaited her. A spot was selected for the mausoleum,
which was to contain the remains of the prince consort; and the
following year, the work having been completed, they were removed to
their final resting-place.

[[A.D. 1862.]] At the time of his death the prince consort was making
arrangements for another International Exhibition, which opened May 1
of the ensuing year. But the public did not enter into the spirit of the
enterprise, as they had done eleven years before; the novelty and charm
had worn off, and neither the building nor the site on which it was
erected were to be compared with the former one for taste or beauty.
Besides, the United States were still in the midst of civil war, and the
continent of Europe had not yet recovered from the effects of several
conflicts.

The queen retired as much as possible from public life; for she was
plunged in the deepest grief, from which she could not rouse herself.
She did not open parliament again until 1866; then Lord John Russell was
prime minister, having replaced Lord Palmerston, who had died during the
previous year. It is unnecessary to record the events" of the political
world, because they would fail to interest young readers, for whom this
work is intended. Besides, it has been our object to avoid details
as much as possible, and some events that have been of the utmost
importance in their bearing have had only slight mention. Everybody,
young and old, is interested in literature and science, however. We
will, therefore, devote a little space to the consideration of their
progress during this reign.

In the early part of the century, travel by land and

{473}

[Illustration: 0479]

{475}water was greatly facilitated by the utilization of steam; and
voyages across the Atlantic, which had hitherto taken months, now began
to be accomplished in a fortnight, and have since been reduced to ten
days or a week. Great railroads have been built, embracing thousands and
thousands of miles, and intersecting every acre of the civilized world.
Telegraph wires have been stretched from end to end of the earth, and
even beneath the ocean, facilitating the interchange of messages, and
many minor improvements akin to these have been made. The nineteenth
century is remarkable for other inventions besides, of which we daily
feel the benefit. Of the rapid strides that science has made, we cannot
be more entirely conscious than by contemplating the labors of such men
as Faraday, Sir Charles Lyell, Sir John Herschel, Richard Owen, Hugh
Miller, Darwin, Huxley, Tyndall, and others. To this list the name of
Mary Somerville must be added, for she is the one woman who takes her
place in the foremost rank of scientific scholars.

This is an age of great reforms, too. In Queen Victoria's reign
constitutional and parliamentary government has been firmly established,
and the system of social science inaugurated, and the penal laws have
been modified in England.

In literature, a bright galaxy of names comes to our mind. Among the
philosophers are John Stuart Mill, Herbert Spencer, George Henry Lewis,
Buckle, and Lecky; while Carlyle, Macaulay, Grote, Froude, Ruskin, and
Miss Martineau represent some of the historians and essayists.

Scott, Byron, Coleridge, and Keats were dead when Queen Victoria
ascended the throne; but there still lived such poets as Wordsworth,
Southey, Moore, and Landor, and later there came into prominence Robert
Browning and his wife, Tennyson, the Poet Laureate, Philip James Bailey,
Alexander Smith, Swinburne, Morris, Jean Inge-low, Dante Rossetti, and
Christina Rossetti. {476}Punch, the world-renowned paper, was founded in
this reign, and drew together some clever young writers, while among its
illustrators were such famous artists as Doyle, Leech, and Tenniel.

Then we come to the novelists. Who has not heard of Dickens and
Thackeray, and enjoyed their works time and time again? Perhaps these
two are the most familiar, to young people, of the English novelists of
the present century; but we must mention besides Charles Reade, Anthony
Trollope, Charlotte Bronte, Bulwer, Charles Kingsley, Black, Charles
Lever, Miss Mulock, and Hardy.

This very incomplete list of names, that suggest the various branches of
literature, will serve to show that no century has produced so many
men and women whose names deserve to be handed down to posterity as the
present one.

Thus far, and no further, are we permitted to inquire into her majesty's
private life. Whatever we have written has been furnished from the royal
diary, extracts of which have been made from Mr. Theodore Martin's "Life
of the Prince Consort." Whatever else we might add would not be based
upon authentic documents, and would degenerate into gossip. It is left
for others, who, after her majesty's death, may have access to her
private papers, to chronicle such events of importance and interest as
may have centred around her. Let us only express a sincere hope that it
may be many years before opportunity offers.





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