The Project Gutenberg eBook of Agnes Strickland's Queens of England, Vol. 3. (of 3)

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Title: Agnes Strickland's Queens of England, Vol. 3. (of 3)

Author: Agnes Strickland

Adapter: Rosalie Kaufman

Author: Elisabeth Strickland

Release date: October 15, 2014 [eBook #47123]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by David Widger from page images generously
provided by the Internet Archive




Vol. III. of III, Abridged

By Rosalie Kaufman

Fully Illustrated

Boston: Estes & Lauriat



















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.




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


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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

The Youthful Queen.............................................324

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..................................................405

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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





(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 016they 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,



019warm 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 020their 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. 021Before 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. 022The 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 023their 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 024course 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



027we 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. 028It 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 029imminent, 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 030not 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 031failed 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 032great 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.



035Not 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. 036So 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 037two 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, 038distinguished 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, 039herself, and jealously watched every interview he had with the wife of George Louis, with the intention of making mischief.


040and 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 041only 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 042had 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 043clock 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. 044This 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 045unlike 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 046sense 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 047felt 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 048treated 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, 049Margrave 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 050the 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, 051it 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 052the 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.



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 056was 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. 057George 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 058his 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 059herself 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.



(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



063union; 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 064principal 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 065the 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 066pleasures, 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 067St. 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- 068factory 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



071parliament 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 072had 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 073from 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 074of 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. 075Queen 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 076as 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 077Saltzdahl, 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, 079when 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 080which 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 081king 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, 082to 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-



tions 085lighted 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 086to 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 089varied 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 090terms 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 091with 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. 092In 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, 093and 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- 094papers 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:—


"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 095majesty 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 096the 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 097would 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 098day; 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 099formed 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 100at 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.





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 104thought 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, 105because 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. 106There 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 107take 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 108was 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 109such 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. 110No 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 111animosity 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 112should 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, 113stating 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- 114cent, 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



117be 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 118courteous 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 119even 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 120Caroline 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



123Sir 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, 124and 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 125aggravated 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.


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 126hours. 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 127the Prince of Wales, and Anne, who was in Holland, and whose presence in London was not desired by any one.


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 128for 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 129be 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, 130learned, 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!" 131The 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 132was 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 133amused 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 134the 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 135choir 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


(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-



berg 139was 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 140friends 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 141himself 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 142of 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, 143here 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 144rapidly 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."



147His 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 148afternoon 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 149at 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. 150On 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, 151which 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 152entered 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 153by 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."


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 154George 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 155it 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 156one 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



159dukes 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, 160afterwards 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.



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 162cast 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.



165Queen 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! 166Hey—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.] 167Let 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 168on 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. 169No 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 170droll 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 171related 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, 172as 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 173a 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.


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 174were 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



177it 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 178seeing 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. 179The 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 180his 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 181by 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 182her 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



185majesty 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, 186boy! 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."



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 188the 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 189king. 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 190roughly 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 191raving 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 192around 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 193prove 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 194gems, 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



197diamond-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!" 198several 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; 199but 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. 200A 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 201the 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 202was 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. 203George 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.



(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



207brave 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 208boxes 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 209consequence, 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, 210when 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, 211and 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 212on 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 213took 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. 214The 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 215pocket,' 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 216nation. 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 217court ladies, since he scarcely dared to broach so delicate a point to the princess herself.


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 218improper, 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 219to 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, 220left 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 221shyness 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. 222preceded 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. 223The 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.


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 224that 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. 225The 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.



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 227tale 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 228them "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



231means 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, 232fatherly 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 233part 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 234wife, 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 235reign. 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 236started 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.



A.D. 1802. 239This 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 240charge 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 241which 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 242her 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 244Mr.————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



247crime; 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 248of 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 249the 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 250of 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



253table, 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 254knocked 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.



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:—


"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 257kept 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 258that 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-



vision 261of 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 262Orange, 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 263part 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 264minor 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 265had 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 266her. 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, 267and 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, 268who, 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."



A.D. 1818. 271Three 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 272scorn, 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, 273Hampton 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 274stopped 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." 275We 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 276Lord 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,



279and 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 280hearse 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.





(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 284again 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 285dead 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." 286For 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



289duke. 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 290increase 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. 291The 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 292Caroline 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." 293The 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 294with 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.'" 295When 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 296the 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 297queen 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 298of 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. 299Riots 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 300produced 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 301better, 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 302desired 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



305Waterloo. 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 306was 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 307at 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 308I 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 309pounds 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." 310For 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.





(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 314not 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 315old 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 316as 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 317of 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 318and 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.


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 319city 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. 320Crowds 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 321Earl-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 322Viscount 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 323Guards, 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 324sapphire 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



327government, 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 328with 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.

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. 329Lord 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 330that 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 331disgraced 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. 333This 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 334to 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



337care 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, 338After 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." 339The 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 340made 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 341in 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 342own 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 343had 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 344pointed 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



347time 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 348every, 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. 349Insurrections 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 350benefit 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, 351and 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. 352John 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. 353Sir 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 354alone. 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 355crowned 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.



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 357leader 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.


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; 358therefore 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. 359But 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 360wrote 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. 361After 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 362four 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. 363On 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 364queen. 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



367white, 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 368on, 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



371sudden 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 372irreparable 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



375to 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 376was very impressive, and after it was over there was a fine banquet at Trinity Hall, followed by a reception.


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 377he 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 378held 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



381felt 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 382Prince 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 383will 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 384love 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." 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 386and 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 387contributions 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 388war 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 389defence 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." 391Parliament 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 392are 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 393and 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 394half-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



397itself 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, 398the 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 399over 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. 400When 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 401Europe, 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.



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 403repeated, 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." 404The 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



407hours; 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 408an 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.


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 409drawn 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.

410The 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 411ambassador 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 412English 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



415English 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 416been 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 417ranks 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, 418and 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,



421but 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 422the 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-



ested 425were 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 426many 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 427by 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. 428In 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, 429which 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 430was 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 431by 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 432what 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.



"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." 434The 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 435Fritz 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 436three 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 437very 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 438themselves, 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 439to 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.'"



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



443many 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. 444The 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 445Alfred 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, 446ensued, 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 447then 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" 448The 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 449applauded 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 450gratifying. 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-



453past 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, 455merciful 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 456before 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 457queen'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 458reality 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



461blessed 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. 462The 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." 463The 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.


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 464never 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—



467he 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. 468The 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." 469The 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 470hymn, 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." 471It 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. 472On 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



475water 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. 476Punch, 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.