Life of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen — Volume 1 (2024)

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Title: Life of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen — Volume 1

Author: Sarah Tytler

Release date: November 1, 2004 [eBook #6910]
Most recently updated: December 30, 2020

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Arjan Moraal, Juliet Sutherland, Charles Franks and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team

*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK LIFE OF HER MOST GRACIOUS MAJESTY THE QUEEN — VOLUME 1 ***

Produced by Arjan Moraal, Juliet Sutherland, Charles Franks

and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.

BY SARAH TYTLEREDITED, WITH AN INTRODUCTION, BYLORD RONALD GOWER, F.S.A.
IN TWO VOLUMES.VOL. I.

Entered according to Act of Parliament of Canada, in the year EighteenHundred and Eighty-five, by GEORGE VIRTUE, in the office of the Ministerof Agriculture.

PREFACE.

I have been asked to write a few words of preface to this work.

If the life-long friendship of my mother with her Majesty, which gainedfor me the honour of often seeing the Queen, or a deep feeling of loyaltyand affection for our sovereign, which is shared by all her subjects, beaccepted as a qualification, I gratefully respond to the call, but I feelthat no written words of mine can add value to the following pages.

Looking over some papers lately, I found the following note on a sketchwhich I had accidentally met with in Windsor Castle—a coloured chalkdrawing, a mere study of one of the Queen's hands, by Sir David Wilkie,probably made for his picture now in the corridor of the Castle,representing the first council of Victoria. Of this sketch I wrote asfollows:—

"I was looking in one of the private rooms at Windsor Castle at a chalksketch, by Sir David Wilkie, of a fair, soft, long-fingered, dimpledhand, with a graceful wrist attached to a rounded arm. 'Only a woman'shand,' might Swift, had he seen that sketch, have written below. Only asketch of a woman's hand; but what memories that sketch recalls! How manyyears ago Wilkie drew it I know not: that great artist died in the monthof June, 1841, so that more than forty years have passed, at least, sincehe made that drawing. The hand that limned this work has long ago suffered'a sea change.' And the hand which he portrayed? That is still among theliving—still occupied with dispensing aid and comfort to the sufferingand the afflicted, for the original is that of a Queen, beloved as widelyas her realms extend—the best of sovereigns, the kindest-hearted ofwomen."

To write the life of Queen Victoria is a task which many authors mightwell have felt incompetent to undertake. To succeed in writing it is anhonour of which any author may well be proud. This honour I humbly thinkhas been realised in the work of which these poor lines may form thepreface.

RONALD GOWER.

CONTENTS

VOL. I.

CHAP.
I. Sixty-Three Years Since.
II. Childhood.
III. Youth.
IV. The Accession.
V. The Proroguing Of Parliament, The Visit To Guildhall; And The
Coronation.
VI. The Maiden Queen.
VII. The Betrothal.
VIII. The Marriage.
IX. A Royal Pair.
X. Royal Occupations.—An Attempt On The Queen's Life.
XI. The First Christening.—The Season Of 1841.
XII. Birth Of The Prince Of Wales.—The Afghan Disasters.—Visit Of The
King Of Prussia.—The Queen's Plantagenet Ball.
XIII. Fresh Attempts Against The Queen's Life.—Mendelssohn.—Death Of
The Duc D'Orleans.
XIV. The Queen's First Visit To Scotland.
XV. A Marriage, A Death, And A Birth In The Royal Family.—A Palace
Home.
XVI. The Condemnation Of The English Duel.—Another Marriage.—The
Queen's Visit To Chateau D'Eu.
XVII. The Queen's Trip To Ostend.—Visits To Drayton, Chatsworth, And
Belvoir.
XVIII. Allies From Afar.—Death And Absence.—Birthday Greetings.
XIX. Royal Visitors.—The Birth Of Prince Alfred.—A Northern Retreat.
XX. Louis Philippe's Visit.—The Opening Of The Royal Exchange.

CHAPTER I.SIXTY-THREE YEARS SINCE.

The 24th of May, 1819, was a memorable and happy day for England, thoughlike many such days, it was little noticed at the time. Sixty-three yearssince! Do many of us quite realise what England was like then; how muchit differed from the England of to-day, even though some of us have livedas many years? It is worth while devoting a chapter to an attempt torecall that England.

A famous novel had for its second heading, "'Tis sixty years since." Thatnovel—"Waverley"—was published anonymously just five years before 1819,and, we need not say, proved an era in literature. The sixty years behindhim to which Walter Scott—a man of forty-three—looked over his shoulder,carried him as far back as the landing of Prince Charlie in Moidart, andthe brief romantic campaign of the '45, with the Jacobite songs whichembalmed it and kept it fresh in Scotch memories.

The wounds dealt at Waterloo still throbbed and burnt on occasions in1819. Many a scarred veteran and limping subaltern continued the heroesof remote towns and villages, or starred it at Bath or Tunbridge. Thewarlike fever, which had so long raged in the country, even when ruinedmanufacturers and starving mechanics were praying for peace or leadingbread-riots, had but partially abated; because whatever wrong to trade,and misery to the poor, closed ports and war prices might have meant, thepeople still depended upon their armed defenders, and in the hardestadversity found the heart to share their triumphs, to illuminate cities,light bonfires, cheer lustily, and not grudge parliamentary grants to thecountry's protectors. The "Eagle" was caged on his rock in the ocean, toeat his heart out in less than half-a-dozen years. Still there was nosaying what might happen, and the sight of a red coat and a swordremained cheering—especially to soft hearts.

The commercial world was slowly recovering from its dire distress, butit* weavers and mechanics were blazing up into fierce, futile strugglewith the powers by which masses of the people believed themselvesoppressed. If the men of war had no longer anything to do abroad, therewas great fear that work might be found for them at home. All Europe waslooking on in the expectation that England was about to follow theexample of France, and indulge in a revolution on its own account—notbloodless this time.

Rarely since the wars of the Commonwealth had high treason been so muchin men's mouths as it was in Great Britain during this and the followingyear. Sedition smouldered and burst into flame—not in one place alone,but at every point of the compass. The mischief was not confined to asingle class; it prevailed mostly among the starving operatives, but italso fired minds of quite another calibre. Rash, generous spirits inevery rank became affected, especially after an encounter between theblinded, maddened mobs and the military, when dragoons and yeomanrycharged with drawn swords, and women and children went down under thehorses' hoofs. Great riotous meetings were dispersed by force atManchester, Birmingham, Paisley. Political trials went on at everyassize. Bands of men lay in York, Lancaster, and Warwick gaols. AtStockport Sir Charles Wolseley told a crowd armed with bludgeons that hehad been in Paris at the beginning of the French Revolution, that he wasthe first man who made a kick at the Bastille, and that he hoped heshould be present at the demolition of another Bastille.

On the 22nd of August, 1819, Sir Francis Burdett wrote to his electors atWestminster: "….It seems our fathers were not such fools as some wouldmake us believe in opposing the establishment of a standing army andsending King William's Dutch guards out of the country. Yet would toheaven they had been Dutchmen, or Switzers, or Russians, or Hanoverians,or anything rather than Englishmen who have done such deeds. What! killmen unarmed, unresisting; and, gracious God! women too, disfigured,maimed, cut down, and trampled on by dragoons! Is this England? This aChristian land—a land of freedom?"

For this, and a great deal more, Sir Francis, after a protracted trial,was sentenced to pay a fine of two thousand pounds and to be imprisonedfor three months in the Marshalsea of the Court. In the Cato Streetconspiracy the notorious Arthur Thistlewood and his fellow-conspiratorsplanned to assassinate the whole of the Cabinet Ministers when they weredining at Lord Harrowby's house, in Grosvenor Square. Forgery andsheep-stealing were still punishable by death. Truly these were times oftrouble in England.

In London a serious difficulty presented itself when Queen Charlotte grewold and ailing, and there was no royal lady, not merely to hold aDrawing-room, but to lend the necessary touch of dignity and decorum tothe gaieties of the season. The exigency lent a new impetus to the famousballs at Almack's. An anonymous novel of the day, full of society scandaland satire, described the despotic sway of the lady patronesses, thestruggles and intrigues for vouchers, and the distinguished crowd whenthe object was obtained. The earlier hours, alas! only gave longer timefor the drinking habits of the Regency.

It is a little difficult to understand what young people did withthemselves in the country when lawn-tennis and croquet were not. Therewas archery for the few, and a good deal more amateur gardening andwalking, with field-sports, of course, for the lads.

The theatre in 1819 was more popular than it showed itself twenty yearslater. Every country town of any pretensions, in addition to its assemblyrooms had its theatre, which reared good actors, to which provincialtours brought London stars. Genteel comedy was not past its perfection.Adaptations of the Waverley novels, with musical dramas and melodramas,drew great houses. Miss O'Neill had just retired, but Ellen Tree wasmaking a success, and Macready was already distinguished in hisprofession. Still the excellence and prestige of the stage had declinedincontestably since the days of Mrs. Siddons and John Kemble. EdmundKean, though he did much for tragedy, had a short time to do it in, andwas not equal in his passion of genius to the sustained majesty of thesister and brother.

In the same way, the painters' art hovered on the borders of a brilliantepoch. For Lawrence, with his courtly brush, which preferred flattery totruth and cloying suavity to noble simplicity, was not worthy to be namedin the same breath with Reynolds. Raeburn came nearer, but his reputationwas Scotch. Blake in his inspiration was regarded, not without reason, asa madman. Flaxman called for classic taste to appreciate him; and thefame of English art would have suffered both at home and abroad if asimple, manly lad had not quitted a Scotch manse and sailed from Leith toLondon, bringing with him indelible memories of the humour and the pathosof peasant life, and reproducing them with such graphic fidelity, power,and tenderness that the whole world has heard of David Wilkie.

The pause between sunset and sunrise, the interregnum which signifiesthat a phase in some department of the world's history has passed away asa day is done, and a new development of human experience is about topresent itself, was over in literature. The romantic period had succeededthe classic. Scott, Coleridge, Southey (Wordsworth stands alone), Byron,Shelley, Keats, Campbell, Moore, were all in the field as poets, carryingthe young world with them, and replacing their immediate predecessors,Cowper, Thompson, Young, Beattie, and others of less note.

Sir Walter Scott had also risen high above the horizon as a poet, andstill higher as a novelist.

A great start in periodical literature was made in 1802 by theestablishment of The Edinburgh Review, under Jeffrey and SydneySmith, and again in 1817 by the publication of Blackmoods Magazine,with Christopher North for its editor, and Lockhart, De Quincey, Hogg,and Delta among its earlier contributors. The people's friend, CharlesKnight, was still editing The Windsor and Eton Express.

In 1819 Sir Humphry Davy was the most popular exponent of science, SirJames Mackintosh of philosophy. In politics, above the thunderstorm ofdiscontent, there was again the pause which anticipates a fresh advance.The great Whig and Tory statesmen, Charles James Fox and William Pitt,were dead in 1806, and their mantles did not fall immediately on fitsuccessors. The abolition of the slave-trade, for which Wilberforce,Zachary Macaulay, and Clarkson had fought gallantly and devotedly, wasaccomplished. But the Catholic Emancipation Bill was still to work itsway in the teeth of bitter "No Popery" traditions, and Earl Grey's ReformBill had not yet seen the light.

George III.'s long reign was drawing to a close. What changes it had seenfrom the War of American Independence to Waterloo! What woeful personalcontrasts since the honest, kindly, comely lad, in his simple kingliness,rode out in the summer sunshine past Holland House, where lady SarahLennox was making hay on the lawn, to the days when the blind, mad oldking sat in bodily and mental darkness, isolated from the wife andchildren he had loved so well, immured in his distant palace-rooms inroyal Windsor.

His silver beard o'er a bosom spread
Unvexed by life's commotion,
Like a yearly lengthening snow-drift shed
On the calm of a frozen ocean:

Still o'er him oblivion's waters lay,
Though the stream of time kept flowing
When they spoke of our King, 'twas but to say
That the old man's strength was going.

At intervals thus the waves disgorge,
By weakness rent asunder,
A piece of the wreck of the Royal George
For the people's pity and wonder.

Lady Sarah, too, became blind in her age, and, alas! she had troddendarker paths than any prepared for her feet by the visitation of God.

Queen Charlotte had come with her sense and spirit, and ruled for morethan fifty years over a pure Court in England. The German princess ofsixteen, with her spare little person and large mouth which preventedher from being comely, and her solitary accomplishment of playing on theharpsichord with as much correctness and taste as if she had been taughtby Mr. Handel himself, had identified herself with the nation, so thatno suspicion of foreign proclivities ever attached to her. QueenCharlotte bore her trials gravely; while those who came nearest to hercould tell that she was not only a fierce little dragon of virtue, as shehas been described, but a loving woman, full of love's wounds and scars.

The family of George III. and Queen Charlotte consisted of seven sons andhis daughters, besides two sons who died in infancy.

George, Prince of Wales, married, 1795, his cousin, Princess Caroline ofBrunswick, daughter of the reigning Duke and of Princess Augusta, sisterof George III. The Prince and Princess of Wales separated soon aftertheir marriage. Their only child was Princess Charlotte of Wales.

Frederick, Duke of York, married, 1791, Princess Frederica, daughter ofthe reigning King of Prussia. The couple were childless.

William, Duke of Clarence, married, 1818, Princess Adelaide, of
Saxe-Meiningen. Two daughters were born to them, but both died in infancy.

Edward, Duke of Kent, married, 1818, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg,widow of the Prince of Leiningen. Their only child is QUEEN VICTORIA.

Ernest, Duke of Cumberland, married, 1815, Princess Frederica of
Mecklenburg-Strelitz, widow, first of Prince Frederick Louis of Prussia,
and second, of the Prince of Saliris-Braunfels. Their only child was
George V., King of Hanover.

Augustus, Duke of Sussex, married morganatically.

Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, married, 1818, Princess Augusta of
Hesse-Cassel, daughter of the Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel. They had three
children—George, Duke of Cambridge; Princess Augusta, duch*ess of
Mecklenburg-Strelitz; and Princess Mary, duch*ess of Teck.

The daughters of King George and Queen Charlotte were:—

The Princess Royal, married, 1797, the Prince, afterwards King, of
Wurtemberg. Childless.

Princess Augusta, unmarried.

Princess Elizabeth, married, 1818, the Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg.
Childless.

Princess Mary, married, 1816, her cousin, William, Duke of Gloucester.
Childless.

Princess Sophia, unmarried.

Princess Amelia, unmarried.

In 1817 the pathetic idyl, wrought out amidst harsh discord, had foundits earthly close in the family vault at Windsor, amidst the lamentationsof the whole nation. Princess Charlotte, the candid, fearless,affectionate girl, whose youth had been clouded by the sins and folliesof others, but to whom the country had turned as to a stay for thefuture—fragile, indeed, yet still full of hope—had wedded well, knowna year of blissful companionship, and then died in giving birth to a deadheir. It is sixty-five years since that November day, when the bonfires,ready to be lit at every town "cross," on every hill-side, remained darkand cold. Men looked at each other in blank dismay; women wept for theblushing, smiling bride, who had driven with her grandmother through thepark on her way to be married not so many months before. There arecomparatively few people alive who had come to man's or woman's estatewhen the shock was experienced; but we have all heard from ourpredecessors the story which has lent to Claremont a tender, pensivegrace, especially for royal young pairs.

Old Queen Charlotte nerved herself to make a last public appearance onthe 11th of July, 1818, four months before her death. It was in herpresence, at Kew, that a royal marriage and re-marriage were celebratedthat day. The Duke of Clarence was married to Princess Adelaide ofSaxe-Meiningen, and the Duke of Kent was re-married, in strict accordancewith the English Royal Marriage Act, to Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg,the widowed Princess of Leiningen. The last couple had been alreadyunited at Coburg in the month of May. The Archbishop of Canterbury andthe Bishop of London officiated at the double ceremony. The brides weregiven away by the Prince Regent. The Queen retired immediatelyafterwards. But a grand banquet, at which the Prince Regent presided, wasgiven at six o'clock in the evening. An hour later the Duke and duch*essof Kent drove off in her brother, Prince Leopold's, carriage toClaremont.

Of the two bridegrooms we have glimpses from Baron Stockmar, a shrewdobserver, who was no flatterer.

The Duke of Clarence, at fifty-three years of age, was the "smallest andleast good-looking of the brothers, decidedly like his mother, astalkative as the rest;" and we may add that he was also endowed with asailor-like frankness, cordiality, and good humour, which did not,however, prevent stormy ebullitions of temper, that recommended him tothe nation of that day as a specimen of a princely blue-jacket. Since thenavy was not considered a school of manners, he was excused for theabsence of much culture or refinement.

"The Duke of Kent, at fifty-one, was a tall, stately man, of soldierlikebearing, already inclined to great corpulence…. He had seen much of theworld, and of men. His manner in society was pleasant and easy. He wasnot without ability and culture, and he possessed great activity. Hisdependents complained of his strictness and pedantic love of order….The Duke was well aware that his influence was but small, but this didnot prevent him from forwarding the petitions he received whenever it waspossible, with his own recommendation, to the public departments….Liberal political principles were at that time in the minority inEngland, and as the Duke professed them, it can be imagined how he washated by the powerful party then dominant. He was on most unfriendlyterms with his brothers…. The Duke proved an amiable and courteous,even chivalrous, husband."

Judiciously, in the circ*mstances, neither of the brides was in her firstyouth, the future Queen Adelaide having been, at twenty-six, the youngerof the two. The duch*ess of Kent, a little over thirty, had been alreadymarried, in 1803, when she was seventeen, to Prince Emich Charles ofLeiningen. Eleven years afterwards, in 1814, she was left a widow with ason and daughter. Four years later she married the Duke of Kent. Thebrides were very different in looks and outward attractions. The duch*essof Clarence, with hair of a peculiar colour approaching to a lemon tint,weak eyes, and a bad complexion, was plain. She was also quiet, reserved,and a little stiff, while she appears to have had no specialaccomplishments, beyond a great capacity for carpet-work. The duch*ess ofKent, with a fine figure, good features, brown hair and eyes, a prettypink colour, winning manners, and graceful accomplishments—particularlymusic, formed a handsome, agreeable woman, "altogether most charming andattractive."

But both duch*esses were possessed of qualities in comparison with whichbeauty is deceitful and favour is vain—qualities which are calculated towear well. Queen Adelaide's goodness and kindness, her unselfish,unassuming womanliness and devout resignation to sorrow and suffering,did more than gain and keep the heart of her bluff, eccentricsailor-prince. They secured for her the respectful regard of the nationamong whom she dwelt, whether as Queen or Queen-dowager. The Archbishopof Canterbury could say of her, after her husband's death, "For threeweeks prior to his (King William's) dissolution, the Queen sat by hisbedside, performing for him every office which a sick man could require,and depriving herself of all manner of rest and refection. She underwentlabours which I thought no ordinary woman could endure. No language cando justice to the meekness and to the calmness of mind which she soughtto keep up before the King, while sorrow was pressing on her heart. Suchconstancy of affection, I think, was one of the most interestingspectacles that could be presented to a mind desirous of being gratifiedwith the sight of human excellence." [Footnote: Dr. Doran] Such graces,great enough to resist the temptations of the highest rank, might well besingled out as worthy of all imitation.

The duch*ess of Kent proved herself the best of mothers—as she was thebest of wives, during her short time of wedlock—in the self-renunciationand self-devotion with which, through all difficulties, and in spite ofevery opposition and misconception, she pursued the even tenor of herway. Not for two or ten, but for well-nigh twenty years, she gave herselfup unreservedly, turning her back on her country with all its strongearly ties, to rearing a good queen, worthy of her high destiny. Englandowes much to the memories of Queen Adelaide and the duch*ess of Kent, whosucceeded Queen Charlotte, the one as Queen Consort, the other as motherof the future sovereign, and not only served as the salt to savour theirroyal circles, but kept up nobly the tradition of honourable women amongthe queens and princesses of England, handing down the high obligation toyounger generations.

The Duke and duch*ess of Kent withdrew to Germany after their re-marriage,and resided at the castle of Amorbach, in Bavaria, part of theinheritance of her young son. The couple returned to England that theirchild might be born there. The Duke had a strong impression that,notwithstanding his three elder brothers, the Crown would come to him andhis children. The persuasion, if they knew it, was not likely to beacceptable to the other Princes. Certainly, in the face of the Duke'smoney embarrassments, his kinsmen granted no assistance to enable thefuture Queen of England to be born in her own dominions. It was by thehelp of private friends that the Duke gratified his natural and wisewish.

Apartments in Kensington Palace were assigned to the couple. The oldqueen had died at Kew, surrounded by such of her daughters as were in thecountry, and by several of her sons, in the month of November, 1818.George III. was dragging out his days at Windsor. The Prince Regentoccupied Carlton House.

The Kensington of 1819 was not the Kensington of today. In spite of thepalace and gardens, which are comparatively little altered, the greatcrowded quarter, with its Museum and Albert Hall, is as unlike aspossible to the courtly village to which the Duke and duch*ess of Kentcame, and where the Queen spent her youth. That Kensington consistedmainly of a fine old square, built in the time of James II., in which theforeign ambassadors and the bishops in attendance at Court congregated inthe days of William and Mary, and Anne, and of a few terraces and blocksof buildings scattered along the Great Western Road, where coaches passedseveral times a day. Other centres round which smaller buildingsclustered were Kensington House—which had lately been a school for thesons of French emigres of rank—the old church, and Holland House,the fine seat of the Riches and the Foxes. The High Street extended avery little way on each side of the church and was best known by itsCharity School, and its pastrycook's shop, at the sign of the"Pineapple," to which Queen Caroline had graciously given her own recipefor royal Dutch gingerbread. David Wilkie's apartments represented thesolitary studio. Nightingales sang in Holland Lane; blackbirds andthrushes haunted the nurseries and orchards. Great vegetable-gardens metthe fields. Here and there stood an old country house in its own grounds.Green lanes led but to more rural villages, farms and manor-houses.Notting Barns was a farmhouse on the site of Notting Hill. In thetea-gardens at Bayswater Sir John Hill cultivated medicinal plants, andprepared his "water-dock essence" and "balm of honey." Invalidsfrequented Kensington Gravel pits for the benefit of "the sweet countryair."

Kensington Palace had been bought by William III. from Daniel Finch,second Earl of Nottingham. His father, the first Earl, had built andnamed the pile of brick-building Nottingham House. It was comparativelya new, trim house, though Evelyn called it "patched up" when it passedinto the hands of King William, and as such might please his Dutch tastebetter than the beautiful Elizabethan Holland House—in spite of thename, at which he is said to have looked, with the intention of making ithis residence.

The Duke of Sussex, as well as the Duke and duch*ess of Kent, hadapartments in the palace. He dwelt in the portion of the southern frontunderstood to belong to the original building. His brother andsister-in-law were lodged not far off, but their apartments formed partof an addition made by King William, who employed Sir Christopher Wren ashis architect.

The clumsy, homely structure, with its three courts—the Clock Court, thePrinces' Court, and the Princesses' Court—had many interestingassociations in addition to its air of venerable respectability. Williamand Mary resided frequently in the palace which they had chosen; and bothdied under its roof. Mary sat up in one of these rooms, on a drearyDecember night in 1694, after she felt herself stricken with small-pox,seeking out and burning all the papers in her possession which mightcompromise others. The silent, asthmatic, indomitable little man wascarried back here after his fall from his horse eight years later, todraw his last breath where Mary had laid down her crown. Here Anne sat,with her fan in her mouth, speaking in monosyllables to her circle.George I.'s chief connection with Kensington Palace was building thecupola and the great staircase. But his successors, George II. and QueenCaroline, atoned for the deficiency. They gave much of their time to thepalace so identified with the Protestant and Hanoverian line ofsuccession. Queen Caroline especially showed her regard for the spot byexercising her taste in beautifying it according to the notions of theperiod. It was she who caused the string of ponds to be united so as toform the Serpentine; and he modified the Dutch style of the gardens,abolishing the clipped monsters in yew and box, and introducingwildernesses and groves to relieve the stiffness and monotony of straightwalks and hedges. The shades of her beautiful maids of honour, "sweetMolly Lepell," Mary Bellenden, and Sophy Howe, still haunt the BroadWalk. Molly Lepell's husband, Lord Hervey (the "Lord Fanny" of lampoonsand songs), composed and read in these rooms, for the diversion of hisroyal mistress and the princesses, with their ladies and gentlemen, thefalse account of his own death, caused by an encounter with footpads onthe dangerous road between London and the country palace. He added anaudacious description of the manner in which the news was received atCourt, and of the behaviour of the principal persons in the circle.

With George II. and Queen Caroline the first glory of the palacedeparted, for the early Court of George III. and Queen Charlotte took itscountry pleasures at Kew. Then followed the selection of Windsor for thechief residence of the sovereigns. The promenades in the gardens, towhich the great world of London flocked, remained for a season as avestige of former grandeur. In George II.'s time the gardens were onlythrown open on Saturdays, when the Court went to Richmond. Afterwards thepublic were admitted every day, under certain restrictions. So late as1820 these promenades were still a feature on Sunday mornings.

Kensington Palace has not yet changed its outward aspect. It stillstands, with its forcing-houses, and Queen Anne's banqueting-room—converted into an orangery—in its small private grounds, fenced off bya slight railing and an occasional hedge from the public gardens. Theprincipal entrance, under the clock-tower, leads to a plain, square, redcourtyard, which has a curious foreign aspect in its quiet simplicity, asif the Brunswick princes had brought a bit of Germany along with themwhen they came to reign here; and there are other red courtyards, equallyunpretentious, with more or less old-fashioned doors and windows. Within,the building has sustained many alterations. Since it ceased to be a seatof the Court, the palace has furnished residences for various members ofthe royal family, and for different officials. Accordingly, the interiorhas been divided and partitioned off to suit the requirements of separatehouseholds. But the great staircase, imposing in its broad, shallow stepsof black marble and its faded frescoes, still conducts to a succession ofdismantled Presence-chambers and State-rooms. The pictures and tapestryhave been taken from the walls, the old panelling is bare. Thedistinctions which remain are the fine proportions of the apartments—the marble pillars and niches of one; the remains of a richly-carvedchimneypiece in another; the highly-wrought ceilings, to which ancienthistory and allegory have supplied grandiose figures—their deep coloursunfaded, the ruddy burnish of their gilding as splendid as ever. Here andthere great black-and-gold court-stools, raised at the sides, andfinished off with bullet heads of dogs, arouse a recollection ofVersailles or Fontainebleau, and look as if they had offered seats toCourt ladies in hoops and brocades, and gentlemen-in-waiting in velvetcoats and breeches and lace cravats. One seat is more capacious than theothers, with a round back, and in its heavy black-and-gold has the lookof an informal throne. It might easily have borne the gallant William, oreven the extensive proportions of Anne.

There is a word dropped of "old kings" having died in the closed roomsbehind these doors. George II., in his old age? or William, worn out inhis prime? or it may be heavy, pacific George of Denmark, raised to thekingly rank by the courtesy of vague tradition? The old chapel was inthis part of the house. Leigh Hunt tells us it was in this chapel GeorgeI. asked the bishops to have good short sermons, because he was an oldman, and when he was kept long, he fell asleep and caught cold. It musthave been a curious old chapel, with a round window admitting scantylight. The household and servants sat below, while a winding staircaseled round and up to a closed gallery in near proximity to the pulpit. Itwas only a man's conscience, or a sense of what was due to his physicalwell-being, which could convict him of slumbering in such a peacefulretreat. It is said that her late Royal Highness the duch*ess of Kentobjected to the obscurity of this place of worship, and, to meet herobjections, the present little chapel was fitted up.

The duch*ess of Kent's rooms were in an adjacent wing; spacious roomsenough, and only looking the more habitable and comfortable for themoderate height of the ceilings. In a room with three windows on oneside, looking out on the private grounds, the Queen was born. It wasthinking of it and its occupants that the warm-hearted, quick-wittedduch*ess-mother, in Coburg, wrote: "I cannot express how happy I am toknow you, dearest, dearest Vickel, safe in your bed, with a littleone…. Again a Charlotte—destined, perhaps, to play a great part oneday, if a brother is not born to take it out of her hands. The Englishlike queens; and the niece (by marriage) of the ever-lamented, belovedCharlotte, will be most dear to them."

In another wide, low room, with white pillars, some eighteen years later,the baby Princess, become a maiden Queen, held her first Council,surrounded by kindred who had stood at her font—hoary heads wise instatecraft, great prelates, great lawyers, a great soldier, and she aninnocent girl at their head. No relic could leave such an impression asthis room, with its wonderfully pathetic scene. But, indeed, there arefew other traces of the life that budded into dawning womanhood here,which will be always linked with the memories of Kensington Palace. Anupper room, sunny and cheerful, even on a winter's day, having a pleasantview out on the open gardens, with their straight walks and great pond,where a child might forget sometimes that she had lessons to learn, was aprincess's school-room. Here the good Baroness who played the part ofgoverness so sagaciously and faithfully may have slipped into the book ofhistory the genealogical table which was to tell so startling a tale. Inanother room is a quaint little doll's-house, with the different rooms,which an active-minded child loved to arrange. The small frying-pans andplates still hang above the kitchen dresser; the cook stands unwearied bythe range; the chairs are placed round the tables; the tiny tea-service,which tiny fingers delighted to handle, is set out ready for company. Butthe owner has long done with make-believes, has worked in earnest,discharged great tasks, and borne the burden and heat of the day, inreigning over a great empire.

CHAPTER IICHILDHOOD.

In the months of March and May, 1819, the following announcements of royalbirths appeared in succession in the newspapers of the day, no doubt tothe satisfaction alike of anxious statesmen and village politiciansbeginning to grow anxious over the chances of the succession:—

"At Hanover, March 26, her Royal Highness the duch*ess of Cambridge, of ason; and on March 27, her Royal Highness the duch*ess of Clarence, of adaughter, the latter only surviving a few hours."

"24th May, at Kensington Palace, her Royal Highness the duch*ess of Kent,of a daughter."

"27th May, at her hotel in Berlin, her Royal Highness the duch*ess ofCumberland, of a son."

Thus her Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria first saw the light in KensingtonPalace on the 24th of May, 1819, one in a group of cousins, all, saveherself, born out of England.

The Duke of Sussex, the Duke of Wellington, and other officers of Statewere in attendance on the occasion, though the probability of hersuccession to the throne was then very doubtful. The Prince Regent hadalready made overtures towards procuring a divorce from the Princess ofWales. If he were to revive them, and prove successful, he might marryagain and have heirs. The duch*ess of Clarence, who had just given birth toan infant that had only survived a few hours, might yet be the joyfulmother of living children. The little Princess herself might be thepredecessor of a troop of princes of the Kent branch. Still, both atKensington and in the depths of rural Coburg, there was a little flutter,not only of gladness, but of subdued expectation. The Duke of Kent, onshowing his baby to his friends, was wont to say, "Look at her well, forshe will be Queen of England." Her christening was therefore an event ofmore than ordinary importance in the household. The ceremony took place amonth afterwards, on the 24th of June, and doubtless the good Germannurse, Madame Siebold, who was about to return to the duch*ess of Kent'sold home to officiate on an equally interesting occasion in the family ofthe duch*ess's brother, the reigning Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, carriedwith her flaming accounts of the splendour of the ceremonial, as well aspretty tales of the "dear little love" destined to mate with the comingbaby, whose big blue eyes were soon looking about in the lovely littlehunting-seat of Rosenau. The gold font was brought down from the Tower,where for some time it had been out of request. The Archbishop ofCanterbury and the Bishop of London officiated, as they had done the yearbefore at the re-marriage of the Duke and duch*ess. The godfathers were thePrince Regent, present in person, and Alexander, Emperor of Russia, thenat the height of his popularity in England, represented by the Duke ofYork. The godmothers were the Queen-dowager of Wurtemberg (the PrincessRoyal), represented by Princess Augusta, and the duch*ess-dowager of Coburg(mother of the duch*ess of Kent, and grandmother of both the Queen and thePrince Consort), represented by the duch*ess of Gloucester (Princess Mary).

It is said there had been a proposal to name the little princess Georgianaalso, after her grandfather and uncle, George III. and George, PrinceRegent; but the idea was dropped because the latter would not permit hisname to stand second on the list.

Among the other privileged guests at the christening was Prince Leopold,destined to be the child's second father, one of her kindest and wisestfriends. It is not difficult to comprehend what the scene must have beento the young man whose cup had been so full two years before, who was howa widower and childless. We have his own reference to his feelings in aletter to one of the late Princess Charlotte's friends. It had been hardfor him to be present, but he had felt it to be his duty, and he had madethe effort. This was a man who was always facing what was hard, alwaysstruggling and overcoming in the name of right. The consequence was that,even in his youth, all connected with him turned to him as to a naturalstay. We have a still better idea of what the victory cost him when weread, in the "Life of the Prince Consort," it was not till a greatmisfortune happened to her that Prince Leopold "had the courage to lookinto the blooming face of his infant niece." With what manly pity andtenderness he overcame his reluctance, and how he was rewarded, we allknow.

In December, 1819, the Duke and duch*ess of Kent went for sea-air to
Woolbrook Cottage, Sidmouth, Devonshire.

The first baby is always of consequence in a household, but of how muchconsequence this baby was may be gleaned by the circ*mstance that astartling little incident concerning the child made sufficient mark tosurvive and be registered by a future chronicler. A boy shooting sparrowsfired unwittingly so near the house that the shot shattered one of thewindows of the nursery, and passed close to the head of the child in thenurse's arms. Precious baby-head, that was one day to wear, with honour, avenerable crown, to be thus lightly threatened at the very outset! One canfancy the terror of the nurse, the distress of the duch*ess, the fright andire of the Duke, the horror and humiliation of the unhappy offender, withthe gradual cooling down into magnanimous amnesty—or at most dignifiedrebuke, mollified by penitent tears into reassuring kindness, and just alittle quiver of half-affronted, half-nervous laughter.

But there was no more room for laughter at false alarms at WoolbrookCottage. Within a month the Duke was seized with the illness which endedhis life in a few days. The particulars are simple and touching. He hadtaken a long walk with his equerry and great friend, Captain Conroy, andcame in heated, tired, and with his feet so wet that his companionsuggested the propriety of immediately changing his boots. But the baby ofwhom he was so fond and proud came in his way. She was eight months old,able to stretch out her little arms and laugh back to him. He stayed toplay with her. In the evening it was evident he had caught a chill; he washoarse, and showed symptoms of fever. The complaint settled at once on hislungs, and ran its course with great rapidity. We hardly need to be toldthat the duch*ess was his devoted nurse, concealing her anxiety and griefto minister to him in everything.

There is a pathetic little reference to the last illness of the Duke ofKent in one of the Princess Hohenlohe's letters to the Queen. This eldersister (Princess Feodora of Leiningen) was then a little girl of nine orten years of age, residing with her mother and stepfather. "Indeed, I wellremember that dreadful time at Sidmouth. I recollect praying on my kneesthat God would not let your dear father die. I loved him dearly; he alwayswas so kind to me."

On the afternoon of the 22nd his case was hopeless, and it became aquestion whether he had sufficient consciousness to sign his will. His oldfriend, General Wetherall, was brought up to the bed. At the sound of thefamiliar voice which had always been welcome to him, the sick man,drifting away from all familiar sounds, raised himself, collected histhoughts for the last time, and mentioned several places and peopleintelligently. The poor Duke had never been negligent in doing what he sawto be his duty. He had been forward in helping others, even when they werenot of his flesh and blood. He heard the will read over, and with a greateffort wrote the word "Edward," looking at every letter after he wrote it,and asking anxiously if the signature was legible.

In this will, which left the duch*ess guardian to the child, and appointedGeneral Wetherall and Captain Conroy trustees of his estate for thebenefit of his widow and daughter, it is noticeable that the name in eachcase is given in the French version, "Victoire." Indeed so rare was theterm in England at this date, that it is probable the English equivalenthad scarcely been used before the christening of the Queen.

The Duke died on the following day, the 23rd of January, 1820. Only sixdays later, on the 29th, good old King George expired at Windsor. The sonwas cut down by violent disease while yet a man in middle life, just afterhe had become the head of a little household full of domestic promise, andwith what might still have been a great public career opening out beforehim. The father sank in what was, in his case, the merciful decay of age,after he had been unable for ten years to fulfil the duties and charitiesof life, and after surviving his faithful Queen a year. The language ofthe official announcement of the physicians was unusually appropriate: "Ithas pleased the Almighty to release his Majesty from all furthersuffering." To complete the disasters of the royal family this month, thenew King, George IV., who had been labouring under a cold when his fatherdied, was seized immediately after his proclamation with dangerousinflammation of the lungs, the illness that had proved fatal to the Dukeof Kent, and could not be present at his brother's or father's funerals;in fact, he was in a precarious state for some days.

The Duke of Kent was buried, according to the custom of the time, bytorchlight, on the night of the 12th of February, at Windsor. As anexample of the difference which distance made then, it took nearly aweek's dreary travelling to convey the Duke's body from Woolbrook Cottage,where it lay in State for some days, to Cumberland Lodge, from which thefuneral train walked to Windsor. The procession of mourning-coaches,hearse, and carriages set out from Sidmouth on Monday morning, halting onsuccessive nights at Bridport, Blandford, Salisbury, and Basingstoke, thecoffin being deposited in the principal church of each town, under amilitary guard, till on Friday night Cumberland Lodge was reached. Thesame night a detachment of the Royal Horse Guards, every third man bearinga flambeau, escorted a carriage containing the urn with the heart to St.George's Chapel, where in the presence of the Dean, the officers of thechapel, and several gentlemen appointed for the duty, urn and heart weredeposited in the niche in which the coffin was afterwards to be placed.The body lay in State on the following day, that it might be seen by theinhabitants of Windsor, his old military friends, and the multitude whocame down from London for the two mournful ceremonies. At eight o'clock atnight the final procession was formed, consisting of Poor Knights, pages,pursuivants, heralds, the coronet on a black velvet cushion, the bodyunder pall and canopy, the supporters of the pall and canopy field-marshalsand generals, the chief mourner the Duke of York, the Dukes of Clarence,Sussex, Gloucester, and Prince Leopold in long black cloaks, their trainsborne by gentlemen in attendance.

These torchlight funeral processions formed a singular remnant ofmediaeval pageantry. How the natural solemnity of night in itselfincreased the awe and sadness of the scene to all simple minds, we canwell understand. Children far away from Windsor remembered after they weregrown men and women the vague terror with which they had listened in thedim lamplight of their nurseries to the dismal tolling of the bell out inthe invisible church tower, which proclaimed that a royal duke was beingcarried to his last resting-place. We can easily believe that thousandswould flock to look and listen, and be thrilled by the imposing spectacle.The show must have been weirdly picturesque when wild wintry weather, asin this case, added to the effect, "viewed for the distance of threemiles, through the spacious Long Walk, amidst a double row of lofty trees,whilst at intervals the glittering of the flambeaux and the sound ofmartial music were distinctly seen and heard."

The Duke's funeral only anticipated by a few days the still moremagnificent ceremonial with which a king was laid in the tomb.

But the real mourning was down in Devonshire, in the Sidmouth cottage. Itwould be difficult to conceive more trying circ*mstances for a woman inher station than those in which the young duch*ess—she was but little overthirty—found herself left. She had lost a kind husband, her child wouldmiss a doting father. She was a foreigner in a strange country. She hadentered into a divided family, with which her connection was in a measurebroken by the death of the Duke, while the bond that remained, howeverprecious to all, was too likely to prove a bone of contention. The Dukehad died poor. The duch*ess had previously relinquished her Germanjointure, and the English settlement on her was inadequate, especially ifit were to be cumbered with the discharge of any of her husband's personaldebts. It was not realised then that the duch*ess of Kent, in marrying theDuke and becoming his widow and the guardian of their child, had given upnot only independence, but what was affluence in her own country, with itsmodest ways of living—even where princes were concerned—for themortification and worry of narrow means, the strain of a heavyresponsibility, the pain of much unjustifiable and undeserved interference,misconception, and censure, until she lived to vindicate the good sense,good feeling, and good taste with which she had always acted.

But the duch*ess was not altogether desolate. Prince Leopold hurried to herand supported her then, and on many another hard day, by brotherlykindness, sympathy, and generous help. It was in his company that she cameback with her child to Kensington.

One element of the Coburg character has been described as the soundjudgment and quiet reasonableness associated with the temperate blood ofthe race. Accordingly, we find the duch*ess not only submitting with gentleresignation to misfortune, but rousing herself, as her brother might havedone in her circ*mstances—as doubtless he urged her to do—to the activedischarge of the duties of her position. On the 23rd of February, beforethe first month of her widowhood was well by, she received ViscountMorpeth and Viscount Clive, the deputation bearing to her the address ofcondolence from the House of Commons. She met them with the infantPrincess in her arms. The child was not only the sign that she fullyappreciated and acknowledged the nature of the tie which united her to thecountry, it was the intimation of the close inseparable union with herdaughter which continued through all the years of the Queen's childhoodand youth, till the office of sovereign forced its holder into a separateexistence; till she found another fitting protector, when the generous,ungrudging mother gave way to the worthy husband, who became the dutiful,affectionate son of the duch*ess's declining years.

Five months after these events the duch*ess, at her own request, had aninterview with William Wilberforce, then living in the house at KensingtonGore which was occupied later by the Countess of Blessington and CountD'Orsay. "She received me," the good man wrote to Hannah More, "with herfine, animated child on the floor by her side, with its playthings, ofwhich I soon became one. She was very civil, but, as she did not sit down,I did not think it right to stop above a quarter of an hour; and therebeing but a female attendant and a footman present, I could not well getup any topic so as to carry on a continual discourse. She apologisedfor not speaking English well enough to talk it; intimated a hope thatshe might talk it better and longer with me at some future time. She spokeof her situation, and her manner was quite delightful."

The sentence in italics opens our eyes to one of the difficulties of theduch*ess to which we might not otherwise have given much consideration. Weare apt to take it for granted that, though there is no royal road tomathematics, the power of speaking foreign languages comes to royalpersonages, if not by nature, at least by inheritance and by force ofcirc*mstances. There is some truth in this when there is a foreign fatheror mother; when royal babies are brought up, like Queen Victoria, to speakseveral languages from infancy, and when constant contact with foreignersconfirms and maintains the useful faculty. Even when a prince or aprincess is destined from his or her early youth to share a foreignthrone, and is brought up with that end, a provision may be made for anadopted tongue to become second nature. But the duch*ess of Kent was notbrought up with any such prospect, and during her eleven years of marriedlife in Germany she must have had comparatively little occasion topractise what English she knew; while, at the date of her coming toEngland, she was beyond the age when one learns a new language withfacility. Any one of us who has experienced the fettered, perturbed,bewildered condition which results from being reduced to express ourselvesat an important crisis in our history through a medium of speech withwhich we are but imperfectly acquainted, will know how to estimate thisunthought-of obstacle in the duch*ess of Kent's path, at the beginning ofher widowhood.

This was the year (1820) of the greatest eclipse of the sun which had beenseen for more than a century, when Venus and Mars were both visible, withthe naked eye, for a few minutes in the middle of the day. Whatever theportents in the sky might mean, the signs on the earth were notreassuring. When the Bourbon monarchy had seemed fairly restored inFrance, all the world was shocked by the assassination of the Duc de Berriat the door of the Opera-house in Paris. Three kingdoms which had butrecently been delivered from the clutch of the usurper were in revoltagainst the constituted authorities—Portugal, Spain, and Naples. Ofthese, the two former were on the brink of wars of succession, when theroyal uncles, Don Miguel and Don Carlos, fought against their royalnieces, Donna Maria and Donna Isabella. At home the summer had been a sadone to the royal family and the country. The ferment of discontent waskept up by the very measures—executions and imprisonments—taken torepress anarchy, and by the continuance of crushed trade, want of work,and high prices. The duch*ess of York died, making the third member of theroyal family dead since the new year; yet she, poor lady, was but a unitin the sum, a single foreign princess who, however, kind she might havebeen to the few who came near her, was nothing to the mass of the people.

The name of another foreign princess was in every man's mind and on everyman's tongue. However, there were many reasons for the anomaly. Carolineof Brunswick was the Queen until she should be proved unworthy to bear thetitle. Her quarrel with the King had long made her notorious. Though thestory reflected little credit on her, it was so utterly discreditable tohim that it raised up friends for her where they might have been leastexpected. His unpopularity rendered her popular. Her name became therallying-cry for a great political faction. The mob, with its usualheadlong, unreasoning appropriation of a cause and a person, elevated herinto a heroine, cheered frantically, and was ready to commit any outbreakin her honour.

After six years' absence from England Queen Caroline had come back on thedeath of George III. to demand her rights. She had landed at Dover andbeen welcomed by applauding crowds. She had been escorted through Kent byuproarious partisans, who removed the horses from her carriage and draggedher in triumph through the towns. London, in its middle and lower classes,had poured out to meet her and come back in her train, till she was safelylodged in South Audley Street, in the house of her champion, Alderman Wood.

The King had instructed his ministers to lay before the House of Lords abill of Pains and Penalties against the Queen which, if sustained, woulddeprive her of every claim to share his rank and would annul the marriage.The Queen was prepared with her defence, and furnished with two of theablest advocates in the kingdom, Mr. Brougham and Mr. Denman. In theearlier stages of the proceedings she was present almost every day in theHouse of Lords. She entered in her puce or black sarcenet pelisse andblack velvet hat, a large, not uncomely woman, a little over fifty, andtook the chair of State provided for her, the House rising to receive theQueen whom it was trying. The trial, in its miserable details of grossfolly well-nigh incredible, lasted from July to November—four months ofburning excitement—when it collapsed from the smallness of the majority(nine) that voted for the second reading of the bill. The animus of theprosecution and the unworthy means taken to accomplish its purpose,defeated the end in view. It is said that had it been otherwise thecountry would have broken out into widespread insurrection.

The Queen's supporters, of all classes, sects, and shades, indulged in aperfect frenzy of rejoicing. Festivals, illuminations, every token oftriumph for her and condemnation for him accompanied what was equivalentto her acquittal. She went in something like State, with her queer, motleyhousehold—Bohemian, English and Italians—and her great ally, AldermanWood, to offer up thanksgiving in St. Paul's, where, at the same time, shefound her name omitted from the Church service. She wore white velvet andermine, and was surrounded by thousands of shouting followers, as if shehad been the most discreet of queens and best of women. The poorpassionate, wayward nature, which after all had been cruelly dealt with,was touched as well as elated.

On the very day after Queen Caroline's arrival in London in June, she haddispatched Alderman Wood to Kensington, to condole with the duch*ess ofKent on her recent widowhood, and inquire after the health of the infantprincess. The message was innocent in itself, but alarming by implication;for Queen Caroline was not a woman to be kept at a distance, or tohesitate in expressing her sentiments if she fancied her overturesslighted by the embarrassed duch*ess. In the month of August Queen Carolinehad established herself at Brandenburg House—the Margravine of Anspach'shouse, by the river at Hammersmith—near enough to Kensington Palace, tojudge from human nature, to disconcert and provoke a smile against thesmiler's will—for Caroline's extravagances would have disturbed thegravity of a judge—in the womanly Princess at the head of the littlehousehold soberly settled there. Never were princesses and women moreunlike than Caroline of Brunswick and Victoria of Coburg; But poor QueenCaroline was not destined to remain long an awkward enigma—a queen andyet no queen, an aunt and yet no aunt, a scandal and a torment ineverybody's path.

In the summer of the following year, when the country was drawn away anddazzled by the magnificent ceremonial of the coronation of George IV., sheexercised her last disturbing influence. She demanded to be crowned alongwith her husband; but her demand was refused by the Privy Council. Sheappeared at the door of Westminster Abbey, but the way was barred to her.A fortnight afterwards, when King George had gone to Ireland to arouse thenation's loyalty, his wife had passed where Privy Council ushers andyeomen of the guard were powerless, where the enmity of man had no voicein the judgment of God. She had been attacked by severe illness, and inthe course of five days she died, in the middle of a wild storm ofthunder, wind, and rain. The night before, a boatful of Methodists hadrowed up the Thames, within sound of the open windows of her sick-room,and sung hymns to comfort her in her extremity. The heart of a large partof the nation still clung to her because of her misfortunes and theinsults heaped upon her. The late Queen's body was conveyed back toBrunswick. The funeral passed through Kensington, escorted by a mightymob, in addition to companies of soldiers. The last were instructed toconduct the cortege by the outskirts of London to Harwich, where afrigate and two sloops of war were waiting for the coffin. The mob wereresolute that their Queen's funeral should pass through the city. Thefirst struggle between the crowd and the military took place at the cornerof Church Street, Kensington. The strange, unseemly, contention wasrenewed farther on more than once; but as bloodshed had been forbidden,the people had their way, and the swaying mass surged in grimdetermination straight towards the Strand and Temple Bar. The captain ofthe frigate into whose keeping the coffin was committed in order to beconveyed back to Brunswick had been, by a curious, sorrowful coincidence,the midshipman who, "more than a quarter of a century before, handed therope to the royal bride whereby to help her on board the Jupiter,"which was to bring her to England.

One can fancy that, when that sorry tragedy was ended, and its perpetualnoisy ebullitions had sunk into silence, a sense of relief stole over thepalace-home at Kensington.

Round the childhood and youth of sovereigns, especially popularsovereigns, a growth of stories will gather like the myths which attend onthe infancy of a nation. Such stories or myths are chiefly valuable asshowing the later tendency of the individual or people, the character andhistory of the monarch or of the subjects, in accordance with which, inreversal of the adage that makes the child father to the man, the man is,in a new sense, father to the child, by stamping on his infancy and nonagetraits borrowed from his mature years. Mingled with the species oflegendary lore attaching to every generation, there is a foundation moreor less of authentic annals. It is as affording an example of this humanpatchwork of fancy and fact, and as illustrating the impression deeplyengraved on the popular mind, that the following incidents of the Queen'schildhood and youth are given.

First, the people have loved to dwell on the close union between motherand child. The duch*ess nursed her baby—would see it washed and dressed.As soon as the little creature could sit alone, her small table was placedby her mother's at meals, though the child was only allowed the food fitfor her years. The Princess slept in her mother's room all through herchildhood and girlhood. In the entries in the Queen's diary at the time ofthe duch*ess of Kent's death, her Majesty refers to an old repeaterstriking every quarter of an hour in the sick-room on the last night ofthe duch*ess's life—"a large watch in a tortoiseshell case, which hadbelonged to my poor father, the sound of which brought back to me all therecollections of my childhood, for I had always used to hear it at night,but had not heard it for now twenty-three years."

When the Princess was a little older, and lessons and play alternated witheach other, she was taught to attend to the thing in hand, and finish whatshe had begun, both in her studies and games. One day she was amusingherself making a little hayco*ck when some other mimic occupation caughther volatile fancy, and she flung down her small rake ready to rush off tothe fresh attraction. "No, no, Princess; you must always complete what youhave commenced," said her governess, and the small haymaker had toconclude her haymaking before she was at liberty to follow anotherpursuit.

From the Princess's fifth year Dr. Davys, afterwards Bishop ofPeterborough, was her tutor. When it became clear that the little girlwould, if she lived, be Queen of England, a prelate high in the Church wasproposed to the duch*ess of Kent as the successor of Dr. Davys in hisoffice. But the duch*ess, with the mild firmness and conscientious fidelitywhich ruled her conduct, declared that as she was perfectly satisfied withthe tutor who had originally been appointed (when the appointment was lesscalculated to offer temptations to personal ambition and politicalintrigue), she did not see that any change was advisable. If a clergymanof higher rank was necessary, there was room for the promotion of Dr.Davys. Accordingly he was named Dean of Chester.

The Baroness Lehzen was another of the Queen's earliest guardians whor*mained at her post throughout her Majesty's youth. Louise Lehzen,daughter of a Hanoverian clergyman, came to England as governess toPrincess Feodora Leiningen and remained as governess to Princess Victoria,entering on her duties in 1824. In 1827 she was raised to the rank of aHanoverian Baroness, by George IV., at the request of Princess Sophia.From that time Baroness Lehzen acted also as lady in attendance. On herdeath, so late as 1870, her old pupil recorded of her, in a passage in theQueen's journal, which is given in the "Life of the Prince Consort," "Mydearest, kindest friend, old Lehzen, expired on the 9th quite gently andpeaceably…. She knew me from six months old, and from my fifth to myeighteenth year devoted all her care and energies to me with the mostwonderful abnegation of self, never even taking one day's holiday. Iadored, though I was greatly in awe of her. She really seemed to have nothought but for me…. She was in her eighty-seventh year." This constancyand permanency in the family relations were in themselves inestimableboons to the child, who thus grew up in an atmosphere of familiaraffection and unshaken trust, for the absence of which nothing in theworld could have compensated. Another lady of higher rank was of necessityappointed governess to the Queen in 1831, when she became next heir to thethrone. This lady, the Dowager duch*ess of Northumberland, appears also asthe Queen's friend in after life.

The late Bishop Wilberforce was told by Dr. Davys an interesting anecdoteof his former pupil. "The Queen always had from my first knowing her amost striking regard to truth. I remember when I had been teaching her oneday, she was very impatient for the lesson to be over—once or twicerather refractory. The duch*ess of Kent came in, and asked how she hadbehaved. Lehzen said, 'Oh, once she was rather troublesome.' The Princesstouched her and said, 'No, Lehzen, twice, don't you remember?' The duch*essof Kent, too, was a woman of great truth."

It had been judged meet that the future Queen should not be made aware ofher coming greatness, which, for that matter, continued doubtful in herearlier years. She was to grow up free from the impending care andresponsibility, happy and healthful in her unconscious girlhood—aboveall, unassailed by the pernicious attempts to bespeak her favour, thecrafty flattery, the undermining insinuations which have proved the baneof the youth of so many sovereigns. In order to preserve this reticence,unslumbering care and many precautions were absolutely necessary. It issaid the Princess was constantly under the eye either of the duch*ess ofKent or the Baroness Lehzen. The guard proved sufficient; yet it wasdifficult to evade the lively intelligence of an observant sensible child.

"Why do all the gentlemen take off their hats to me and not to my sisterFeodora?" the little girl is said to have asked wonderingly on her returnfrom a drive in the park, referring to her elder half-sister, who becamePrincess of Hohenlohe, between whom and the questioner there alwaysexisted the strong sweet affection of true sisters. Perhaps the littlelady felt indignant as well as mystified at the strange preference thusgiven to her, in spite of her sister's superiority in age and wisdom. Wedo not know what reply was made to this puzzling inquiry, though it wouldhave been easy enough to say that the little Princess was the daughter ofan English royal Duke, therefore an English Princess, and the big Princesswas German on both sides of the house, while these were English gentlemenwho had saluted their young countrywoman. We all know from the bestauthority that Sir Walter Scott was wrong when he fancied some bird of theair must have conveyed the important secret to the little fair-hairedmaiden to whom he was presented in 1828. The mystery was not disclosed foryears to come.

The child, though brought up in retirement, was by no means secluded fromobservation, or deprived of the change and variety so advantageous tohuman growth and development. From her babyhood in the sad visit toSidmouth in 1820, and from 1821, when she was at that pretentiouscombination of fantasticalness and gorgeousness, the Pavilion, Brighton,she was carried every year, like any other well-cared-for child, either tothe seaside or to some other invigorating region, so that she becamebetimes acquainted with different aspects of sea and shore in her island.Ramsgate was a favourite resort of the duch*ess's. The little Thanetwatering-place, with its white chalk cliffs, its inland basin of aharbour, its upper and lower town, connected by "Jacob's Ladder," its pureair and sparkling water, with only a tiny fringe of bathing-machines, wasin its blooming time of fresh rural peace and beauty when it was thecradle by the sea of the little Princess.

When she was five she was at Claremont, making music and motion in thequiet house with her gleeful laughter and pattering feet, so happy inbeing with her uncle that she could look back on this visit as thebrightest of her early holidays. "This place," the Queen wrote to the Kingof the Belgians long afterwards, "has a peculiar charm for us both, and tome it brings back recollections of the happiest days of my otherwise dullchildhood,—when I experienced such kindness from you, dearest uncle,kindness which has ever since continued…. Victoria plays with my oldbricks, and I see her running and jumping in the flower-garden, asold, though I feel still little, Victoria of former daysused to do." In the autumn of 1825 the Queen's grandmother, the Dowagerduch*ess of Coburg, visited England, and the whole family were together atClaremont.

In 1826, "the warm summer," when the Princess was seven years of age, shewas invited to Windsor to see another uncle, George IV. That was a moreformidable ordeal, but her innocent frank brightness carried her throughit successfully. It is not easy for many men to contemplate withsatisfaction their heirs, when those heirs are no offspring of theirs. Itmust have been doubly difficult for the King to welcome the little girlwho had replaced his daughter, the child of his wronged brother and of aPrincess whom King George persistently slighted and deprived of her due.But we are told his Majesty was delighted with his little niece'sliveliness and intelligence.

In the following year, 1827, the Duke of York died, and the Princess, wasa step nearer to the throne, but she did not know it. So far from beingreared in an atmosphere of self-indulgence, the invaluable lesson wasearly taught to her that if she were to be honourable and independent inany rank, she must not buy what she could not pay for; if she were to be agood woman she must learn to deny herself. An incident in illustration,which made a small stir in its locality at the time, is often quoted. Theduch*ess and her daughter were at Tunbridge Wells, dwelling in theneighbourhood of Sir Philip Sidney's Penshurst, retracing the vanishedglories of the Pantiles, and conferring on the old pump-woman thenever-to-be-forgotten honour of being permitted to present a glass ofwater from the marble basin to the Princess. The little girl madepurchases at the bazaar, buying presents, like any other young visitor,for her absent friends, when she found her money all spent, and at thesame time saw a box which would suit an absent cousin. "The shop-people ofcourse placed the box with the other purchases, but the little lady'sgoverness admonished them by saying, 'No. You see the Princess has not gotthe money; therefore, of course, she cannot buy the box.'" This beingperceived, the next offer was to lay by the box till it could bepurchased, and the answer was, "Oh, well, if you will be so good as to dothat." On quarter-day, before seven in the morning, the Princess appearedon her donkey to claim her purchase.

In the reverence, peace, and love of her pure, refined, if saddened home,everything went well with Princess Victoria, of whom we can only tell thatwe know the old brick palace where she dwelt, the playground that washers, the walks she must have taken. We have sat in the later chapel whereshe said her prayers, a little consecrated room with high pews shutting inthe worshippers, a royal gallery, open this time, and an elderly gentlemanspeaking with a measured, melodious voice. We can guess with tolerablecertainty what was the Princess's child-world of books, though from thecirc*mstance that in the light of the future she was made to learn morethan was usual then for English girls of the highest rank, she had lesstime than her companions for reading books which were not study, but themost charming blending of instruction and amusem*nt. That was still theage of Mrs. Barbauld and Miss Edgeworth. "Evenings at Home," "Harry andLucy," and "Frank and Rosamond," were in every well-conducted school-room.All little girls read with prickings of tender consciences about the ladywith the bent bonnet and the scar on her hand, and came under thefascination of the "Purple Jar." A few years later, Harriet Martineau'sbristling independence did not prevent her from feeling gratified by thepersuasion that the young Princess was reading through her tales onpolitical economy, and that Princess Victoria's favourite character wasElla of the far north.

In the Princess's Roman history one day she came to the passage where thenoble matron, Cornelia, in answer to a question as to her precious things,pointed to her sons, and declared, "These are my jewels." "Why," cried theready-witted little pupil, with a twinkle in her blue eyes, "they musthave been cornelians."

When the Princess's lessons took the form of later English history, shewas on the very spot for the study. Did her teacher tell her, we wonder,the pretty story of "Bucky," who interrupted grave, saturnine King Williamat his statescraft in one of yonder rooms? How the small dauntlessapplicant wiled his father's master, great Louis's rival, into playing athorses in the corridor? Or that sadder story of another less fortunateboy, poor heavy-headed William of Gloucester? Tutors crammed and doctorsshook him up, with the best intentions, in vain. In his happier moments hedrilled his regiment of little soldiers on that Palace Green before hisuncle, King William.

Was the childish passion for exploring old garrets and lumber-roomsexcited in this royal little woman by the narrative of the wonderfuldiscovery which Queen Caroline had made in a forgotten bureau in this verypalace? Did the little Princess roam about too, in her privileged moments,with a grand vision of finding more and greater art-treasures, otherdrawings by Holbein or Vandyke, fresh cartoons by Raphael?

All the more valuable paintings had been removed long ago to Windsor, butmany curious pictures still remained on the walls of presence chambers andgalleries, kings' and queens' great dining-rooms and drawing-rooms,staircases and closets. Did the pictures serve as illustrations to thehistory lessons? Was the inspection made the recreation of rainy days,when the great suites of State-rooms in which Courts were no longer heldor banquets celebrated, but which still echoed with the remembered treadof kings' and courtiers' feet, must have appeared doubly deserted andforlorn?

What was known as the King's Great Drawing-room was not far from theduch*ess of Kent's rooms, and was, in fact, put at her disposal in itsdismantled, ghostly condition. Among its pictures—freely attributed tomany schools and masters—including several battle-pieces and manyportraits, there were three representations of English palaces: oldGreenwich, where Elizabeth was born; old Hampton, dear to William andMary; and Windsor, the Windsor of George III. and Queen Charlotte, thePrincess's grandfather and grandmother. In the next room, amidst classicand scriptural subjects, and endless examples of "ladies with ruffs,""heads in turbans," &c., there were occasionally family portraits—the oldKing and Queen more than once; William, Duke of Gloucester; the Queen ofWurtemberg as the girl-Princess Royal, with a dog. (She died in Wurtembergabout this time, 1828. She had quitted England on her marriage in 1797,and in the thirty-one years of her married life only once came back, as anaging and ailing woman. She proved a good wife and stepmother.) A youthfulfamily group of an earlier generation was sure to attract a child—GeorgeIII. and his brother, Edward, Duke of York, when young, shooting at atarget, the Duke of Gloucester in petticoats, Princess Augusta (duch*ess ofBrunswick, and mother of Caroline, Princess of Wales) nursing the Duke ofCumberland, and Princess Louisa sitting in a chaise drawn by a favouritedog, the scene in Kew Gardens, painted in 1746. Queen Elizabeth was thereas a child aged seven, A.D. 1540—three-quarters, with a feather-fan inher hand. Did the guide of the little unconscious Princess pauseinadvertently, with a little catch of the breath, by words arrested on thetip of the tongue, before that picture? And was he or she inevitablyarrested again before another picture of Queen Elizabeth in her prime,returning from her palace, wearing her crown and holding the sceptre andthe globe; Juno, Pallas, and Venus flying before her, Juno dropping hersceptre, Venus her roses, and the little boy Cupid flinging away his bowand arrows, and clinging in discomfiture to his mother because good QueenBess had conquered all the three in power, wisdom, and beauty? We know thePrincess must have loved to look at the pictures. More curious thanbeautiful as they were, they may have been sufficient to foster in herthat love of art which has been the delight of the Queen's maturer years.

English princesses, even though they were not queens in perspective, werenot so plentiful in Queen Victoria's young days as to leave any doubt oftheir hands and hearts proving in great request when the proper time came.Therefore there was no necessity to hold before the little girl, as anincentive to good penmanship, the example of her excellent grandmother,Queen Charlotte, who wrote so fair a letter, expressed with suchcorrectness and judiciousness, at the early age of fifteen, that when thesaid letter fell, by an extraordinary train of circ*mstances, into thehands of young King George, he determined there and then to make thatpainstaking and sensible Princess, and no other, a happy wife and greatQueen. There was no strict need for the story, and yet as a gentlestimulant it may have been administered.

Queen Victoria was educated, as far as possible, in the simple habits andfamiliarity with nature which belongs to the best and happiest training ofany child, whatever her rank. There is a pleasant picture in Knight's"Passages of a Working Life": "I delighted to walk in Kensington Gardensin the early summer, on my way to town…. In such a season, when the sunwas scarcely high enough to have dried up the dews of Kensington's greenalleys, as I passed along the broad central walk I saw a group on the lawnbefore the palace, which, to my mind, was a vision of exquisiteloveliness. The duch*ess of Kent and her daughter, whose years thennumbered nine, are breakfasting in the open air, a single page attendingon them at a respectful distance, the mother looking on with eyes of love,while the fair, soft, English face is bright with smiles. The world offashion is not yet astir. Clerks and mechanics passing onwards to theiroccupations are few, and they exhibit nothing of vulgar curiosity."

We have another charming description, by Leigh Hunt, of a glimpse which hehad of Princess Victoria in these gardens: "We remember well the peculiarkind of personal pleasure which it gave us to see the future Queen, thefirst time we ever did see her, coming up a cross-path from the BayswaterGate, with a girl of her own age by her side, whose hand she was holdingas if she loved her. It brought to our minds the warmth of our ownjuvenile friendships, and made us fancy that she loved everything elsethat we had loved in like measure—books, trees, verses, Arabian tales,and the good mother who had helped to make her so affectionate. Amagnificent footman in scarlet came behind her, with the splendidest pairof calves, in white stockings, that we ever beheld. He looked somehow likea gigantic fairy, personating for his little lady's sake the grandest kindof footman he could think of; and his calves he seemed to have made out ofa couple of the biggest chaise-lamps in the possession of the godmother ofCinderella. With or without her big footman, the little Princess couldhave rambled safely in the grounds which her predecessors had made forher, could have fed the ducks which swam in the round pond before herpalace windows, could have drunk from the curious little mineral well,where, in Miss Thackeray's 'Old Kensington,' Frank Raban met DollyVanburgh, or peeped out of the little side gate where the same Dolly cameface to face with the culprits George and Rhoda. The future owner of allcould have easily strayed down the alleys among the Dutch elms which KingWilliam brought, perhaps saplings, from the Boomjees, as far as the oakthat tradition says King Charles set in the form of an acorn taken fromhis leafy refuge at Boscobel."

The Duke of Kent had brought an old soldier-servant, called Stillman, andestablished him, with his wife and family, in a cottage in one of theKensington lanes. It is said the Duke had recommended this former retainerto the care of the duch*ess, and that she and her daughter were in thehabit of visiting and caring for the family, in which there were a sicklylittle boy and girl.

An event happened in 1828 to the household in Kensington Palace which wasof importance to all. It was a joyful event, and the preparations for theroyal wedding, with the gala in which the preliminaries culminated, musthave formed an era in the quiet young life into which a startlingannouncement and its fulfilment had broken, filling the hours of the shortwinter days with wonder, admiration, and interest.

Yet all the pleasant stir and excitement; the new member of the familyprominent for a brief space; the gifts, the trousseau, the wedding-cake,the wedding guests, were but the deceptive herald of change and loss tothe family, whose members were so few that each became deeply precious.The closely united circle was to be broken, and a dear face permanentlywithdrawn from the group. The duch*ess of Kent's elder daughter, PrincessVictoria's only sister, was about to marry. It was the most natural andthe happiest course, above all when the Princess Feodora weddedworthily—how worthily let the subsequent testimony of the Queen and thePrince Consort prove. It was given at the time of the Prince ofHohenlohe's death, thirty-two years afterwards, in 1860.

The Queen wrote to her own and her sister's uncle, the King of theBelgians, in reference to the Prince of Hohenlohe: "A better, morethoroughly straightforward, upright, and excellent man, with a moreunblemished character, or a more really devoted and faithful husband,never existed."

The Prince Consort's opinion of his brother-in-law is to be found in aletter to the Princess William of Prussia: "Poor Ernest Hohenlohe is agreat loss. Though he was not a man of great powers of mind, capable oftaking comprehensive views of the world, still he was a great character—that is to say, a thoroughly good, noble, spotless, and honourable man,which in these days forms a better title to be recognised as great than docraftiness, Machiavellism, and grasping ambition."

At the time of his marriage the Prince of Hohenlohe was in the prime ofmanhood, thirty-two years of age.

But the marriage meant the Princess Feodora's return to Germany and herseparation from the other members of her family, with the exception of herbrother, brought up in his own country. The bride, whom we hear ofafterwards as a true and tender woman, was then a sweet maiden of twenty,whose absence must have made a great blank to her mother and sister.Happily for the latter, she was too young to realise in the agreeableexcitement of the moment what a deprivation remained in store for her.There were eleven years between the sisters. This was enough difference tomingle a motherly, protecting element with the elder sister's pride andfondness, and to lead the younger, whose fortunes were so much higher, butwho was unaware of the fact, to look up with affectionate faith and trustto the grown-up companion, in one sense on a level with the child, inanother with so much more knowledge and independence.

It was a German marriage, both bride and bridegroom being German, thoughthe bride had been nine years—the difference between a child and awoman—in England, and though the event occurred in an English household.Whether the myrtle was worn for the orange-blossoms, or any of the otherpretty German wedding customs imported, we cannot tell. Anyhow, theordinary peaceful simplicity of the palace was replaced by much bustle andgrandeur on that February morning, the modest forerunner of anotherFebruary morning in another palace, when a young Queen plighted her troth.

The royal family in England, with two exceptions, were at Kensington Palaceto do honour to the marriage. The absent members were the King and PrincessAugusta—the latter of whom was at Brighton. The company arrived soon aftertwo o'clock, and consisted of the Duke and duch*ess of Clarence, the Duke ofSussex, the Duke and duch*ess of Gloucester, the Princess Sophia, thePrincess Sophia Matilda of Gloucester, and Prince Leopold.

At three o'clock the party walked in procession to the great saloonadjoining the vestibule, in which a temporary altar had been fitted up. Thebride was given away by the Duke of Clarence. The ceremony was performed inthe simple Lutheran fashion by a simple Lutheran pastor, Dr. Kuper, "thechaplain of the Royal German Chapel."

Then came the parting, and the quiet palace-home was stiller and shadierthan ever, when the gracious maidenly presence had gone, when the openingrose was plucked from the parent stem, and only the bud left.

In 1830 George IV. died, and William, Duke of Clarence, succeeded to thethrone as King William IV. That summer was the last of the Princess'signorance of her prospects; until then not even the shadow of a throne hadbeen projected across the sunshiny path of the happy girl of eleven. Shewas with her mother in one of the fairest scenes in England—Malvern. Thelittle town with its old Priory among the Worcester hills, looks down onthe plain of Worcester, the field of a great English battle.

A dim recollection of the duch*ess and the Princess is still preserved atMalvern—how pleasant and kind they were to all, how good to the poor; howthe future Queen rode on a donkey like any other young girl atMalvern—like poor Marie Antoinette in the forest glades of Compiegne andFontainebleau half a century earlier, when she was only four years older,although already Dauphiness of France. The shadowy records do not tell usmuch more; we are left to form our own conclusions whether the Queenanticipated her later ascents of Scotch and Swiss mountains by juvenilescrambles amongst the Worcester hills; whether she stood on the top of theWorcester or Hereford Beacon; or whether these were considered toodangerous and masculine exploits for a princess of tender years, growing upto inherit a throne? She could hardly fail to enter the Wytche, the strangenatural gap between Worcestershire and Herefordshire, by which, at onestep, the wayfarer leaves wooded England behind, and stands face to facewith a pastoral corner of Wales; or to drive along the mile-long common ofBarnard's Green, with the geese, and the hay-stacks, and the littlecottages on either side, and always in front the steep ridge of hills withthe grey Priory where Piers Plowman saw his vision, nestling at their feet;or to pull the heather and the wild strawberries in Cowleigh Park, fromwhich every vestige of its great house has departed. She might have been aprivileged visitor at Madresfield, where some say Charles II. slept thenight before the battle of Worcester, and where there is a relic that wouldbetter become Kensington, in a quilt which Queen Anne and duch*ess Sarahembroidered together in silks in the days of their fast friendship.

As it was part of the Princess's good education to be enlightened, as faras possible, with regard to the how and why of arts and manufactures, wemake no question she was carried to Worcester, not only to see thecathedral, but to have the potteries exhibited to her. There was a greatdeal for the ingenuous mind of a royal pupil to see, learn, and enjoy inWorcester and Warwickshire—for she was also at Guy's Cliff and Kenilworth.

It had become clear to the world without that the succession rested withthe Duke of Kent's daughter. Long before, the duch*ess of Clarence hadwritten to her sister-in-law in a tender, generous struggle with hersorrow: "My children are dead, but yours lives, and she is mine too." Asthe direct heir to the crown, the Princess Victoria became a person ofgreat importance, a source of serious consideration alike to the Governmentand to her future subjects. The result, in 1830, was a well-deserved ifsomewhat long-delayed testimony to the merits of the duch*ess of Kent, whichmust have given honest satisfaction not only at Kensington, but atClaremont—to whose master the Belgian Revolution was opening up theprospect of a kingdom more stable than that of Greece, for which PrinceLeopold had been mentioned. Away in the duch*ess's native Coburg, too, thecongratulations were sincere and hearty.

The English Parliament had not only formally recognised the Princess as thenext heir and increased the duch*ess's income to ten thousand a year, sorelieving her from some of her difficulties; it had, with express andflattering reference to the admirable manner in which she had until thendischarged the trust that her husband had confided to her, appointed herRegent in the event of King William's death while the Princess was still aminor. In this appointment the duch*ess was preferred to the Duke ofCumberland. He had become the next royal Duke in the order of descent, buthad failed to inspire confidence in his countrymen. In fact he was inEngland the most uniformly and universally unpopular of all George III.'ssons. There was even a wild rumour that he was seeking, against right andreason, to form a party which should attempt to revive the Salic law andaim at setting aside the Princess and placing Prince George of Cumberlandon the throne of England as well as on that of Hanover.

The Princess had reached the age of twelve, and it was judged advisable,after her position had been thus acknowledged, that she herself should bemade acquainted with it. The story—the authenticity of which isestablished beyond question—is preserved in a letter from the Queen'sformer governess, Baroness Lehzen, which her Majesty has, given to theworld.

"I ask your Majesty's leave to cite some remarkable words of your Majestywhen only twelve years old, while the Regency Bill was in progress. I thensaid to the duch*ess of Kent, that now, for the first time, your Majestyought to know your place in the succession. Her Royal Highness agreed withme, and I put the genealogical table into the historical book. When Mr.Davys (the Queen's instructor, afterwards Bishop of Peterborough) was gone,the Princess Victoria opened the book again, as usual, and seeing theadditional paper, said, 'I never saw that before.' 'It was not thoughtnecessary you should, Princess,' I answered. 'I see I am nearer the thronethan I thought.' 'So it is, madam,' I said. After some moments the Princessanswered, 'Now, many a child would boast, but they don't know thedifficulty. There is much splendour, but there is more responsibility.' ThePrincess having lifted up the forefinger of her right hand while she spoke,gave me that little hand, saying, 'I will be good. I understand now why youurged me so much to learn even Latin. My aunts Augusta and Mary never did;but you told me Latin is the foundation of English grammar and of all theelegant expressions, and I learned it as you wished it, but I understandall better now;' and the Princess gave me her hand, repeating, 'I will begood.' I then said, 'But your aunt Adelaide is still young, and may havechildren, and of course they would ascend the throne after their father,William IV., and not you, Princess.' The Princess answered, 'And if it wasso, I should never feel disappointed, for I know by the love aunt Adelaidebears me how fond she is of children.'"

No words can illustrate better what is striking and touching in thisepisode than those with which Mrs. Oliphant refers to it in her sketch ofthe Queen. "It is seldom that an early scene like this stands out sodistinctly in the early story even of a life destined to greatness. Thehush of awe upon the child; the childish application of this great secretto the abstruse study of Latin, which was not required from the others; theimmediate resolution, so simple, yet containing all the wisest sage couldhave counselled, or the greatest hero vowed,' I will be good,' makes aperfect little picture. It is the clearest appearance of the future Queenin her own person that we get through the soft obscurity of those childishyears." The duch*ess of Kent remained far from a rich woman for her station,and the young Princess had been sooner told of her mother's straitenedincome than of the great inheritance in store for herself. She continued tobe brought up in unassuming, inexpensive habits.

In February, 1831, when Princess Victoria was twelve, she made her firstappearance in state at "the most magnificent Drawing-room which, had beenseen since that which had taken place on the presentation of PrincessCharlotte of Wales upon the occasion of her marriage." The Drawing-room washeld by Queen Adelaide, and it was to do honour to the new Queen no lessthan to commemorate the approaching completion of the Princess's twelfthyear that the heiress to the throne was present in a prominent position, anobject of the greatest interest to the splendid company. She came alongwith the duch*ess her mother, attended by an appropriate suite, includingthe duch*ess of Northumberland, Lady Charlotte St. Maur, Lady CatherineParkinson, the Hon. Mrs. Cust, the Baroness Lehzen, and the Princess'sfather's old friends, General Wetherall and Captain (now Sir John) Conroy,with his wife, Lady Conroy. The Princess's dress was made, as the Queen'soften was afterwards, entirely of articles manufactured in the UnitedKingdom. She wore a frock of English blonde, "simple, modest, andbecoming." She stood on the left of her Majesty on the throne, and"contemplated all that passed with much dignity, but with evidentinterest." We are further told, what we can well believe, that she excitedgeneral admiration as well as interest. We can without difficulty call upbefore us the girlish figure in its pure, white dress, the soft, open face,the fair hair, the candid blue eyes, the frank lips slightly apart, showingthe white pearly teeth. The intelligent observation, the remarkable absenceof self-consciousness and consequent power of self-control and ofthought for others, which struck all who approached her in the great crisisof her history six years afterwards, were already conspicuous in the younggirl. No doubt it was for her advantage, in consideration of what laybefore her, that while brought up in wholesome privacy, she was at the sametime inured, so far, to appear in public, to bear the brunt of manyeyes—some critical, though for the most part kind—touched by her youthand innocence, by the circ*mstance that she was fatherless, and by thecrown she must one day wear. She had to learn to conduct herself with themingled self-respect and ease which became her station. Impulsiveness,shyness, nervousness, are more serious defects in kings and queens than inordinary mortals. To use a homely phrase, "to have all their wits aboutthem" is very necessary in their case. If in addition they can have alltheir hearts—hearts warm and considerate, nobly mindful of their ownobligations and of the claims of others—so much the better for thesovereigns and for all who come under their influence. A certain amount offamiliarity with being the observed of all observers, with treading alone aconspicuous path demanding great circ*mspection, was wanted beforehand, inorder that the young head might remain steady in the time of sudden,tremendous elevation.

Nevertheless, the Princess was not present at the coronation of KingWilliam and Queen Adelaide, and her absence, as the heir-presumptive to thethrone, caused much remark and speculation, and gave rise to not a fewnewspaper paragraphs. Various causes were assigned for the singularomission. The Times openly accused the duch*ess of Kent of provingthe obstacle. Other newspapers followed suit, asserting that the groundsfor the duch*ess's refusal were to be found in the circ*mstance that in thecoronation procession, marshalled by Lord A. Fitzclarence, the placeappointed for the Princess Victoria, instead of being next to the King andQueen, according to her right, was after the remaining members of the royalfamily. Conflicting authorities declared that the Prime Minister, EarlGrey, for some occult reason, opposed the Princess's receiving aninvitation to be present at a ceremony which had so much interest for her;or that the duch*ess of Northumberland, the governess of the Princess, tookthe same extraordinary course from political motives. Finally, TheGlobe gave, on authority, an explanation that had been offered allalong in the midst of more sensational rumours. The Princess's health wasrather delicate, and the duch*ess of Kent had, on that account, got theKing's sanction to her daughter's not being exposed to unusual excitementand fatigue. The statement on authority was unanswerable, but while itstilled one cause of apprehension it awakened another. After the untimelydeath of Princess Charlotte, the nation was particularly sensitive withregard to the health of the heir to the crown. Whispers began to spreadabroad, happily without much foundation, of pale cheeks, and a constitutionunfit for the burden which was to be laid upon it.

CHAPTER III.YOUTH.

In the month of August, 1831, the Princess went with her mother to profitby the soft, sweet breezes of the Isle of Wight. The duch*ess and herdaughter occupied Norris Castle for three months, and the ladies of thefamily were often on the shore watching the white sails and chatting withthe sailors. Carisbrooke and King Charles the Martyr were brought morevividly home to his descendant, with the pathetic little tale of thegirl-Princess Elizabeth. We do not know whether the Queen then learnt tofeel a special love for the fair little island with which she has long beenfamiliar, but of this we are certain, that she could then have had littleidea that her chief home would be within its bounds. Even in 1831 transportand communication by land and water continued a tedious and troublesomebusiness. However, the visit to the Isle of Wight was repeated in 1833.Perhaps to dissipate the gossip and calm the little irritation which hadbeen created by the Princess's absence from the coronation, she made herappearance twice in public, on the completion of her thirteenth year, in1832. That was a year in which there was much call for oil to be cast onthe troubled waters: never since 1819, the date of the Queen's birth hadthere been greater restlessness and turmoil throughout the country. Forsome time public feeling had been kept at the boiling-point by the questionof the Reform Bill—groaned over by some as the first step to democracy anddestruction; eagerly hailed by others as a new dawn of freedom, peace, andprosperity. The delay in passing the Bill had rendered the King unpopular,and brought unmerited blame on Queen Adelaide, for having gone beyond herprerogative in lending herself to overthrow the King's Whig principles. Theferment had converted the old enthusiastic homage to the Iron Duke as asoldier into fierce detestation of him as a statesman. The carrying of themeasure on which the people had set their hearts did not immediately allaythe tempest—a disappointing result, which was inevitable when theuniversal panacea failed to work at once like a charm in relieving all thewoes in the kingdom. Men were not only rude, and spoke their minds, theringleaders broke out again into riots, the most formidable and alarming ofwhich were those in Bristol, that left a deep impression on more than onechance spectator who witnessed them. But the girl Princess—praised for herproficiency in Horace and Virgil, and her progress in mathematics—couldonly hear far off the mutterings of the storm that was passing; and KingWilliam and Queen Adelaide sought to put aside what was perplexing andharassing them; and tried to forget that when they had shown themselves totheir people lately they had been met—here with indifference—and therewith hootings. The times were waxing more and more evil, as it seemed, touneasy, vexed wearers of crowns, unlike those in which old King George andQueen Charlotte had been received with fervent acclamation wherever theywent, whatever wars were being waged or taxes imposed. The manners of theCommons were not improving with the extension of their rights. But the Kingand Queen would do their duty, which was far from disagreeable to them, inpaying proper respect to their niece and successor. Accordingly theirMajesties gave a ball on the Princess's thirteenth birthday, 24th May,1832, at which the heroine of the day figured; and four days later, on the28th of May, she was present for the second time at a Drawing-room.

All the same, it is an open secret that William, living, for the most part,in that noblest palace of Windsor, considered the Princess led too retireda life, so far as not appearing often enough at his Court was concerned,and that he complained of her absence and resented it as a slight tohimself. It is an equally well-established fact that, in spite of theKing's kindness of heart and Queen Adelaide's goodness, King William'sCourt was not in all respects a desirable place for a Princess to grow upin, in addition to the objection that any Court in itself formed anunsuitable schoolroom for a young girl.

It is doubtful, since even the most magnanimous men have jealous instincts,whether the King's displeasure on one point would be appeased by what wasotherwise a very natural and judicious step taken by the duch*ess of Kentthis year. She made an autumn tour with her daughter through severalcounties of England and Wales, in the course of which the royal mother anddaughter paid a succession of visits to seats of different noblemen, takingOxford on the way. If there was a place in England which deserved thenotice of its future Queen, it was one of the two great universities—thecradles of learning, and, in the case of "the most loyal city of Oxford,"the bulwark of the throne. The party proceeded early in October throughthe beautiful scenery of North Wales—the Princess's first experience ofmountains—to Eaton Hall, the home of the Grosvenor family. From Eaton thetravellers drove to the ancient city of Chester, with its quaint arcadesand double streets, its God's Providence House and its cathedral. AtChester the Princess named the new bridge which was opened on the occasion.By the wise moderation and self-repression of those around her, the namebestowed was not the "Victoria," but simply the "Grosvenor Bridge."

From Eaton the Princess was taken to Chatsworth, the magnificent seat ofthe Cavendishes. She stayed long enough to see and hear something ofromantic Derbyshire. She visited Hardwick, associated with Building Bess,whose granddaughter, the unfortunate "Lady Arbell," had been a remotecousin of this happy young Princess, and she went, like everybody else, toMatlock. At Belper the party, in diligent search after all legitimateknowledge, examined the great cotton-mills of the Messrs. Strutt, and thesenior partner had the honour of showing to her Royal Highness, by means ofa model, how cotton was spun.

From Chatsworth the duch*ess and her daughter repaired to Alton Abbey, wherethe "Talbot tykes" still kept watch and ward; thence to Shugborough, theseat of the Earl of Lichfield, which enabled the visitors to see anotherfine cathedral and to breathe the air which is full of "the great Dr.Johnson."

At each of the towns the strangers were met by addresses—of course made tothe duch*ess and replied to by her. How original these formal complimentsmust have sounded to Princess Victoria! On the 27th of October their RoyalHighnesses were at Pitchford Hall, the residence of the Earl of Liverpool,from which they visited Shrewsbury—another Chester—with a word of its ownfor the old fateful battle in which "Percy was slain and Douglas takenprisoner," and the Welsh power broken in Owen Glendower. After getting aglimpse of the most picturesque portion of Shropshire, halting at morenoble seats, and passing through a succession of Worcester towns, the royalparty reached Woodstock on the 7th of November, and the same evening restedat Wytham House, belonging to the Earl of Abingdon. There was hardly timeto realise that the memories of Alice Lee, the old knight Sir Henry, andthe faithful dog Bevis, rivalled successfully the grisly story of QueenEleanor and Fair Rosamond. Nay, the magician was still dogging thetravellers' steps; for had he not made the little town of Abingdon his ownby choosing it for the meeting-place of Mike Lambourne and Tressillian, andrebuilding in its neighbourhood the ruins of Cumnor Hall, on which the dewsfell softly? Alas! the wizard would weave no more spells. A month beforethat princely "progress" Sir Walter Scott, after Herculean labours to payhis debts like an honest man had wrecked even his robust frame andhealthful genius, lay dead at Abbotsford.

On the 8th of November the future Queen entered Oxford with something likeState, in proper form escorted by a detachment of Yeomanry. There is noneed to tell that she was received by the Vice-Chancellor of theUniversity, and the dons and doctors of the various colleges, in fullarray. And she was told of former royal visitors: of Charles in histribulation; of her grandfather and grandmother, King George and QueenCharlotte, when little Miss Barney was there to describe the festivities.The Princess went the usual round: to superb Christ Church, at which hersons were to graduate; to the Bodleian and Radclyffe libraries; to AllSouls, New College, &c. She proceeded to view other buildings, which,unless in a local guide-book, are not usually included among the lions ofOxford. But this young lady of the land was bound to encourage town as wellas gown; therefore she visited duly the Town Hall and Council Chamber. FromOxford the tourists returned to Kensington.

There are no greater contrasts than those which are to be found in royallives. When the Princess Victoria was about to set out on her pleasantjourney in peace and prosperity, the news came of the arrest of theduch*esse de Berri, at Nantes. It was the sequel to her gallant butunsuccessful attempt to raise La Vendee in the name of her young son, Henride Bordeaux, and the end to the months in which she had lain in hiding.She was discovered in the chimney of a house in the Rue Haute-du-Chateau,where she was concealed with three other conspirators against theGovernment of her cousin, Louis Philippe. The search had lasted for severalhours, during which these unfortunate persons were penned in a small spaceand exposed to almost intolerable heat. A mantelpiece had been contrived soas to turn on a swivel and form an opening into a suffocating recess. Whenthe duch*esse and her companions were found their hands were scorched andpart of their clothes burnt. She was taken to the fortress of Nantes, andthence transferred to the Castle of Blaze, where she suffered a term ofimprisonment. She had acted entirely on her own responsibility, her wildenterprise having being disapproved alike by her father-in-law, Charles X.,and her brother and sister-in-law, the Duc and duch*esse d'Angouleme.

In 1833, we are told, the duch*ess of Kent and the fourteen years oldPrincess stopped on their way to Weymouth—the old favourite watering-placeof King George and Queen Charlotte—and visited the young Queen ofPortugal, at Portsmouth. Donna Maria da Gloria had been sent from Brazil toEngland by her father, Don Pedro, partly for her safety, partly under theimpression, which proved false, that the English Government would take anactive part in her cause against the usurpation of her uncle, Don Miguel.The Government did nothing. The royal family paid the stranger some courtlyand kindly attentions. One of the least exceptional passages in the lateCharles Greville's Memoirs is the description of the ball given by theKing, at which the two young queens—to be—were present. The chronicledescribes the girls, who were of an age—having been born in the same year:the sensible face of the fair-haired English Princess, and the extremedignity—especially after she had sustained an accidental fall—of thePortuguese royal maiden, inured to the hot sun of the tropics. Don Miguelwas routed in the course of the following year (1834), and his niece wasestablished in her kingdom. Within the same twelve months she lost a fatherand gained and lost a husband; for among the first news that reached herEnglish acquaintances was her marriage, before she was sixteen, and herwidowhood within three months. She had married, in January, the Duc deLeuchtenberg, a brother of her stepmother and a son of Eugene Beauharnais.He died, after a short illness, in the following March. She married againin the next year, her re-marriage having been earnestly desired by hersubjects. The second husband was Prince Ferdinand of Coburg, belonging tothe Roman Catholic branch of the Coburgs, and cousin both to the Queen andthe Prince Consort. He was a worthy and, ultimately, a popular prince.Donna Maria was grand-niece to Queen Amelie of France, and showed muchattachment to the house of Orleans. There is said to have been a projectformed by Louis Philippe, which was frustrated by the English Government,that she should marry one of his sons, the Duc de Nemours.

In addition to the English tours which the Princess Victoria made with hermother, the duch*ess of Kent was careful that as soon as her daughter hadgrown old enough to profit by the association, she should meet the mostdistinguished men of the day—whether statesmen, travellers, men ofscience, letters, or art. Kensington had one well-known intellectual centrein Holland House, presided over by the famous Lady Holland, and was soon tohave another in Gore House, occupied by Lady Blessington and Count D'Orsay;but even if the fourteen years old Princess had been of sufficient age andhad gone into society, such salons were not for her. The duch*essmust "entertain" for her daughter. In 1833 Lord Campbell mentions diningat Kensington Palace. The company found the Princess in the drawing-room ontheir arrival, and again on their return from the dining-room. He recordsher bright, pleasant intelligence, perfect manners, and happy liveliness.

In July, 1834, when the Princess was fifteen, she was confirmed in theChapel Royal, St. James's, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, in the presenceof the King and Queen and the duch*ess of Kent. She was advancing with rapidsteps to the point at which the girl leaves the child for ever behind her,and stretches forward to her crown of young womanhood. She had in her ownname confirmed the baptismal vow which consecrated her as a responsiblebeing to the service of the King of kings. Still she was a young creature,suffered to grow up according to a gracious natural growth, not forced intopremature expansion, permitted to preserve to the last the sweet girlishtrust and confidence, the mingled coyness and fearlessness, pensive dreamsand merry laughter, which constitute the ineffable freshness and tendergrace of youth.

If the earlier story of the purchase, or non-purchase, of the box atTunbridge Wells reads "like an incident out of 'Sandford and Merton,'"there is another anecdote fitting into this time which has still more ofthe good-fairy ring in it, while it sounds like a general endorsem*nt ofyouthful wisdom. Yet it may have had its origin in some eager, youthfulfancy of astonishing another girl, and giving her "the very thing shewanted" as a reward for her exemplary behaviour. The Princess was visitinga jeweller's shop incognito (a little in the fashion of Haroun-al-Raschid)when she saw another young lady hang long over some gold chains, lay downreluctantly the one which she evidently preferred, and at last contentherself with buying a cheaper chain. The interested on-looker waited tillthe purchaser was gone, made some inquiries, directed that both chainsshould be tied up and sent together, along with the Princess Victoria'scard, on which a few words were pencilled to the effect that the Princesshad been pleased to see prudence prevail, while she desired the young ladyto accept her original choice, in the hope that she would always perseverein her laudable self-denial.

In the autumn of 1835 the duch*ess of Kent and the Princess went as farnorth as York, visiting the Archbishop at Bishopsthorpe, studying theminster—second only to Westminster among English abbeys—and gracing withthe presence of royalty the great York Musical Festival. On the travellers'homeward route they were the guests of the Earl of Harewood, at HarewoodHouse, Earl Fitzwilliam at Wentworth, and the Duke of Rutland at Belvoir.At Burghley House the duch*ess and the Princess visited the Marquis ofExeter. The late Charles Greville met them there, and gives a fewparticulars of their visit. "They arrived from Belvoir at three o'clock, ina heavy rain, the civic authorities having turned out at Stamford to escortthem and a procession of different people, all very loyal. When they hadlunched, and the Mayor and his brethren had got dry, the duch*ess receivedthe Address, which was read by Lord Exeter, as Recorder. It talked of thePrincess as 'destined to mount the throne of these realms.' Conroy handedthe answer just as the Prime Minister does to the King. They are splendidlylodged, and great preparations have been made for their reception. Thedinner at Burghley was very handsome; hall well lit, and all went off well,except that a pail of ice was landed in the duch*ess's lap, which made agreat bustle. Three hundred people at the ball, which was opened by LordExeter and the Princess, who, after dancing one dance, went to bed. Theyappeared at breakfast next morning at nine o'clock, and at ten set off toHolkham."

Romance was not much in Mr. Greville's way, but Burghley, apart from thestatesman Cecil and his weighty nod, had been the scene of such a romanceas might well have captivated the imagination of a young princess, thoughits heroine was but a village maiden—she who married thelandscape-painter, and was brought by him to Burghley, bidden look aroundat its splendour, and told

"All of this is thine and mine."

Tennyson has sung it—how she grew a noble lady, and yet died of the honourto which she was not born, and how the Lord of Burghley, deeply mourning,bid her attendants

"Bring the dress and put it on her
Which she wore when we were wed."

In one of those autumns which the duch*ess of Kent and her daughter spent atRamsgate—not so rural as it had been a dozen years before, but still aquiet enough retreat—they received a visit from the King and Queen of theBelgians. Prince Leopold was securely established on the throne which hefilled so well and so long, keeping it when many other European sovereignswere unseated. He was accompanied by his second wife, Princess Louise ofFrance, daughter of Louis Philippe. She was a good woman, like all thedaughters of Queen Amelie, while Princess Marie, in addition to goodness,had the perilous gift of genius. The following is Baron Stockmar's opinionof the Queen of the Belgians. "From the moment that the (Queen Louise)entered that circle in which I for so many years have had a place, I haverevered her as a pattern of her sex. We say and believe that men can benoble and good; of her we know with certainty that she was so. We saw inher daily a truthfulness, a faithful fulfilment of duty, which makes usbelieve in the possible though but seldom evident nobleness of the humanheart. In characters such as the Queen's, I see a guarantee of theperfection of the Being who has created human nature." We ought to add thatStockmar had not only the highest opinion of the character of Queen Louise,but also of her insight and judgment, and he often expressed his opinionthat if anything were to happen to King Leopold the Regency might beentrusted to the Queen with perfect confidence.

How much the Queen valued Queen Louise, how she became Queen Victoria'sdearest friend, is fully shown at a later date by the extracts from theQueen's journal, and letters in the "Life of the Prince Consort"

About this time the duch*ess of Kent and Princess Victoria paid a visit tothe Duke of Wellington at Walmer Castle—the old tower with fruit-treesgrowing in the dry moat, and a slip from the weeping-willow which hung overthe grave in St. Helena flourishing in its garden, where the Warden of theCinque Ports could look across the roadstead of the Downs and count theships' masts like trees in a forest, and watch the waves breaking twentyfeet high on the Goodwin Sands. "The cut-throat town of Deal" which poorLucy Hutchinson so abhorred, pranked its quaint red houses for soillustrious and dainty a visitor. The Duke had stood by her font, and if hehad "no small talk," he was a courteous gentleman and gentle warrior whenhe fought his battles over again for the benefit of the young Princess.

A winter was spent by the duch*ess and the Princess at St. Leonard's, notfar from Battle Abbey, where the last Saxon king of England bit the dust,and William of Normandy fought and won the great battle which rendered hisinvasion a conquest.

1836 was an eventful year in the Queen's life. We read that the duch*ess ofKent and her daughter remained at Kensington till the month of September.There was a good reason for staying at home in the early summer. The familyentertained friends: not merely valued, kinsfolk, but visitors who mightchange the whole current of a life's history and deeply influence a destinyon which the hopes of many hearts were fixed, that concerned the well-beingof millions of the human race. Princess Victoria had not grown up solitaryin her high estate. It has been already pointed out that she was one in agroup of cousins with whom she had cordial relations. But the time wasdrawing near when nature and policy alike pointed to the advisability offorming a closer tie, which would provide the Princess with companionshipand support stretching beyond those of her mother, and, if it were well andwisely chosen, afford the people further assurance that the first householdin the kingdom should be such as they could revere. The royal maiden whohad been educated so wisely and grown up so simply and healthfully, wasapproaching her seventeenth birthday. Already there were suitors in storefor her hand; as many as six had been seriously thought of—among them,Prince Alexander of the Netherlands, whose suit was greatly favoured byKing William; Duke Ernest of Wurtemberg; Prince Adalbert of Prussia; andPrince George of Cambridge. Prince George of Cumberland was hors decombat, apart from the Duke of Cumberland's pretensions and thealienation caused by them. Prince George, when a baby, had lost the sightof one eye, a misfortune which his father shared. A few years later in theson's boyhood, as he was at play in the gardens of Windsor Castle, he beganto amuse himself with flinging into the air and catching a long silk pursewith heavy gold tassels, when the purse fell on the seeing eye, inflictingsuch an injury as to threaten him with total blindness. The lastcatastrophe was brought about by the blunder of a famous German oculistafter Prince George had become Crown Prince of Hanover.

How much the Princess knew or guessed of those matrimonial prospects, howfar they fluttered her innocent heart, we cannot tell; but as of all thecandidates mentioned there was only one with whom she had any acquaintanceto speak of, it may be supposed that the generality of the proposed wooerspassed like vague shadows before her imagination.

In the meantime the devoted friends of her whole life had naturally notleft this question—the most important of all—entirely unapproached. HerEnglish cousins stood to her somewhat in the room of contemporary brothersand sisters; for her own brother and sister, however united to her inaffection, were removed from her by age, by other ties, and by residence ina foreign country, to which in 1833 there was still no highway well troddenby the feet of kings and queens and their heirs-presumptive, as well as bymeaner people, such as we find to-day. But there were other cousins of whommuch had been said and heard, though they had remained unseen andpersonally unknown. For that very reason they were more capable of beingidealised and surrounded by a halo of romance.

At the little ducal Court of Coburg there was the perfect young prince ofall knightly legends and lays, whom fate seemed to have mated with hisEnglish cousin from their births within a few months of each other. When hewas a charming baby of three years the common nurse of the pair would talkto him of his little far-away royal bride. The common grandmother of thetwo, a wise and witty old lady, dwelt fondly on the future union of heryoungest charge with the "Mayflower" across the seas.

In all human probability these grandmotherly predictions would have come tonothing had it not been for a more potent arbiter of the fortunes of hisfamily. King Leopold had once filled the very post which was now vacant,for which there were so many eager aspirants. None could know as he knewthe manifold and difficult requirements for the office; none could care ashe cared that it should be worthily filled. His interest in England hadnever wavered, though he had renounced his English annuity of fiftythousand a year on his accession to the throne of Belgium. He was deeplyattached to the niece who stood nearly in the same position which PrincessCharlotte had occupied twenty years before. Away in Coburg there was aprincely lad whom he loved as a son, and who held the precise relation tothe ducal house which he himself had once filled. What was there to hinderKing Leopold from following out the comparison? Who could blame him forseeking to rebuild, in the interest of all, the fair edifice of love andhappiness and loyal service which had been shattered before the dawn ofthose lives—that were like the lives of his children—had arisen? Besides,look where he might, and study character and chances with whateverforethought, he could not find such another promising bridegroom for thefuture Queen of England. Young, handsome, clever, good, endowed with allwinning attributes; with wise, well-balanced judgment in advance of hisyears; with earnest, steadfast purpose, gentle, sympathetic temper, andmerry humour.

King Leopold's instinct was not at fault, as the result proved; but it wasnot without the most careful consideration and many anxious consultations,especially with his trusty old friend, Baron Stockmar, that the Kingallowed himself to take the initiatory step in the matter. If the youngcouple were to love and wed it was certainly necessary that they shouldmeet, that "the favourable impression" might be made, as the two honourableconspirators put it delicately. For this there was no more time to be lost,when so many suitors had already entered the lists, and the maiden onlywanted a year of the time fixed for her majority. But with conscientiousheedfulness for the feelings of the youthful pair, and for their power offorming separately an unbiassed opinion, it was settled that when anopportunity of becoming acquainted should be given them, the underlyingmotive must be kept secret from the Princess as well as the Prince, thatthey might be "perfectly at their ease with each other." This secrecy couldnot, however, extinguish the previous knowledge which the Prince at leastpossessed, that a marriage between the cousins had been mooted by some ofthose most interested in their welfare.

In spite of the obstacles which King William raised, an invitation was sentby the duch*ess of Kent to her brother, the reigning Duke of Saxe-Coburg, topay her a visit, accompanied by his two sons, in the spring of 1836.Accordingly, in the month which is the sweetest of the year, in spite ofinconstant skies and chill east winds, when Kensington Gardens were boweryand fair with the tender green foliage—the chestnut and hawthornblossoms—the lilac and laburnum plumes of early summer, the goodly companyarrived, and made the old brick palace gay with the fresh and fittinggaiety of youth.

We may never know how the royal cousins met—whether the frank, kind,unconscious Princess came down under the wing of the duch*ess as far astheir entrance into the Clock Court; whether there was a little dimness ofa*gitation and laughing confusion, in spite of the partial secrecy, in twopairs of blue eyes which then encountered each other for the first time;whether the courtly company ascended in well-arranged file, or in a littlefriendly disorder. It was fortunate that there were more doors and hallsand staircases than one, for it goes without saying that nobody could havehad time and attention to spare for the wonderfully elaborate staircase,the representation in chiaroscuro of horses and warlike weapons, thefrieze with heads of unicorns and masks of lions. It must have been onanother day that young heads looked up in jest or earnest at Hercules,Diana, Apollo, and Minerva, and stopped to pick out the heterogeneousfigures in the colonnade—"ladies, yeomen of the guard, pages, a quaker,two Turks, a Highlander, and Peter the Wild Boy," which testified to theliberal imagination of Kent, who executed not only the architecture, butthe painting, in the reign of George I.

The guests remained at Kensington for a month, the only drawback to theirpleasure being a little attack of bilious fever, from which Prince Albertsuffered for a few days. There is a published letter to his stepmother inwhich the Prince tells his doings in the most unaffected, kindly fashion.There were the King's levee, "long and fatiguing, but very interesting;"the dinner at Court, and the "beautiful concert" which followed, at whichthe guests had to stand till two o'clock; the King's birthday, with theDrawing-room at St. James's Palace, where three thousand eight hundredpeople passed before the King and Queen, and another great dinner andconcert in the evening. There was also the "brilliant ball" at KensingtonPalace, at which the gentlemen were in uniform and the ladies in fancydresses. Duke William of Brunswick, the Prince of Orange and his sons, andthe Duke of Wellington, were among the guests, and the Princes of Coburghelped to keep up the ball till four o'clock. They spent a day with theDuke of Northumberland at Sion House, they went to Claremont, and they wereso constantly engaged that they had to make the most of their time in orderto see at least some of the sights of London. To one of the sights theQueen referred afterwards. The Duke of Coburg and the two Princesaccompanied the duch*ess of Kent and the Princess to the wonderful gatheringof the children of the different charity schools in St. Paul's Cathedral,where Prince Albert listened intently to the sermon. We hardly need to betold that he was full of interest in everything, paid the greatestattention to all he saw, and was constantly occupied. Among his pleasantoccupations were the two favourite pursuits—which the cousinsshared—music and drawing. He accompanied the Princess on the piano, andhe drew with and for her. It was a happy, busy time, though some of thelate dinners, at which, the Prince drank only water, were doubtless dullenough of the young people, and Prince Albert, accustomed to the earlyhours and simple habits of Germany, felt the change trying. He confessedthat it was sometimes with the greatest difficulty he could keep awake. ThePrincess's birthday came round during her kinsman's visit. The Princealluded to the event and to his stay at Kensington in writing to theduch*ess of Kent three years later, when he was the proud and happybridegroom of his cousin. He made no note of the date as having had aneffect on their relations to each other, neither did he dwell on any goodwish or gift [Footnote: Lady Bloomfield mentions among the Queen's rings "asmall enamel with a tiny diamond in the centre, the Prince's gift when hefirst came to England, a lad of seventeen."] on his part; but in compliancewith a motherly request from his aunt, the duch*ess, that he would send hersomething he had worn, he returned to her a ring that she had given him onthat May morning. The ring had never left his finger since then. The veryshape proclaimed that it had been squeezed in the grasp of many a manlyhand. The ring had her name upon it, but the name was "Victoria" too, andhe begged her to wear it in remembrance of his bride and himself.

The favourable impression had been made in spite of the perversity offortune and the vagaries of human hearts, which, amidst other casualties,might have led the Princess to accord her preference to the elder brother,Prince Ernest, who was also "a fine young fellow," though not so wellsuited to become prince-consort to the Queen of England. But for oncedestiny was propitious, and neither that nor any other mischance befell thebright prospects of the principal actors in the scene. When the King of theBelgians could no longer refrain from expressing his hopes, he had the mostsatisfactory answer from his royal niece.

"I have only now to beg you, my dearest uncle," she wrote, "to take care ofthe health of one now so dear to me, and to take him under your specialprotection. I hope and trust that all will now go on prosperously and wellon this subject, now of so much importance to me."

At the same time, though an affectionate correspondence was started andmaintained for a year, no further communication passed which could tend toenlighten the Prince as to the feelings he had excited. He went away tocomplete his education, to study diligently, along with his brother, atBrussels and Bonn; to feel in full the gladness of opening life and openingpowers of no ordinary description; to rejoice, as few young men have thesame warrant to rejoice, in the days of his unstained, noble youth.

On the King's birthday, the 21st August, the duch*ess of Kent and PrincessVictoria were at Windsor Castle on a visit. In spite of some soreness overthe old grievance, the King proposed the Princess Victoria's health verykindly at the dinner. After he had drunk the Princess Augusta's health hesaid, "And now, having given the health of the oldest I will give that ofthe youngest member of the royal family. I know the interest which thepublic feel about her, and although I have not seen so much of her as Icould have wished, I take no less interest in her, and the more I do see ofher, both in public and private, the greater pleasure it will give me." Thewhole thing was so civil and gracious that it could hardly be taken ill,but, says Greville, "the young Princess sat opposite and hung her head withnot unnatural modesty at being thus talked of in so large a company."

In the September of that year the duch*ess and the Princess went again toRamsgate, and stayed there till December. It was their last visit to thequiet little resort within a short pilgrimage of Canterbury—the greatEnglish shrine, not so much of Thomas a Becket, slain before the altar, asof Edward the Black Prince, with his sword and gauntlets hung up for ever,and the inscription round the effigy which does not speak of Cressy andPoictiers, but of the vanity of human pride and ambition. It was the lastseaside holiday which the mother and daughter spent together untrammelledby State obligations and momentous duties, with none to come between thetwo who had been all in all with each other. In their absence a storm ofwind passed over London, and wrought great damage in Kensington Gardens.About a hundred and thirty of the larger trees were destroyed. In theforenoon of the 29th of November "a tremendous crash was heard in one ofthe plantations near the Black Pond, between Kensington Palace and theMount Gate, and on several persons running to the spot twenty-five limeswere found tumbled to the earth by a single blast, their roots reachinghigh into the air, with a great quantity of earth and turf adhering, whiledeep chasms of several yards in diameter showed the force with which theyhad been torn up…. On the Palace Green, Kensington, near theforcing-garden, two large elms and a very fine sycamore were also laidprostrate."

In the following summer (1837) the Princess came of age, as princesses do,at eighteen, and it was meet that the day should be celebrated with, allhonour and gladness. But the rejoicings were damped by the manifestlyfailing health of the aged King, then seventy-one years of age. He had beenattacked by hay fever—to which he had been liable every spring at anearlier period of his life, but the complaint was more formidable in thecase of an old and infirm man, while he still struggled manfully totransact business and discharge the duties of his position. At the Leveeand Drawing-room of the 21st May he sat while receiving the company. Bythe 24th he was confined to his rooms, and the Queen did not leave him.

At six o'clock in the morning the Union Jack was hoisted on the summit ofthe old church, Kensington, and on the flagstaff at Palace Green. In thelast instance the national ensign was surmounted by a white silk flag onwhich was inscribed in sky-blue letters "Victoria." The little town adorneditself to the best of its ability. "From the houses of the principalinhabitants of the High Street were also displayed the Royal Standard,Union Jack, and other flags and colours, some of them of extraordinarydimensions." Soon after six o'clock the gates of Kensington Gardens werethrown open for the admission of the public to be present at the serenadewhich was to be performed at seven o'clock under the Palace windows, withthe double purpose of awaking the Princess in the most agreeable manner,and of reminding her that at the same place and hour, eighteen years ago,she had opened her eyes on the May world. The sleep of youth is light aswell as sound, and it may well be that the Princess, knowing all that wasin store for her on the happy day that could not be too long, the manygoodly tokens of her friends' love and gladness—not the least preciousthose from Germany awaiting her acceptance—the innumerable congratulationsto be offered to her, was wide awake before the first violin or voice ledthe choir.

The bells rang out merry peals, carriages dashed by full of fine company.Kensington Square must have thought it was the old days of William andMary, and Anne, or of George II and Queen Caroline at the latest, come backagain. The last French dwellers in Edwardes Square must have talked volublyof what their predecessors had told them of Paris before the flood, Parisbefore the Orleanists, and the Bonapartists, and the Republic—Paris whenthe high-walled, green-gardened hotels of the Faubourg St. Germain werefull of their ancient occupants; when Marie Antoinette was the daughter ofthe Caesars at the Tuileries, and the bergere Queen at le PetitTrianon. Before the sun went down many a bumper was drunk in honour ofKensington's own Princess, who should that day leave her girlhood all toosoon behind her.

But London as well as Kensington rejoiced, and the festivities were woundup with a ball given at St. James's Palace by order of the poor King andQueen, over whose heads the cloud of sorrow and parting was hangingheavily. We are told that the ball opened with a quadrille, the Princessbeing "led off" by Lord Fitzalan, eldest son of the Earl of Surrey andgrandson of the Duke of Norfolk, Premier Duke and Earl, Hereditary EarlMarshal and Chief Butler of England. Her Royal Highness danced afterwardswith Prince Nicholas Esterhazy, son of the Austrian Ambassador. PrinceNicholas made a brilliant figure in contemporary annals—not because of hisown merits, not because he married one of the fairest of England's nobledaughters, whose gracious English hospitalities were long remembered inVienna, but because of the lustre of the diamonds in his Court suit. Hewas said to sparkle from head to heel. There was a legend that he could notwear this splendid costume without a hundred pounds' worth of diamondsdropping from him, whether he would or not, in minor gems, just as jewelsfell at every word from the mouth of the enchanted Princess. We have heardof men and women behind whose steps flowers sprang into birth, but PrinceNicholas left a more glittering, if a colder, harder track.

CHAPTER IV.THE ACCESSION.

On the day after that on which Princess Victoria celebrated her majority.Baron Stockmar arrived at Kensington. He came from the King of the Belgiansto assist King Leopold's niece in what was likely to be the great crisis ofher life. During Baron Stockmar's former stay in England he had been in thecharacter first of Physician in Ordinary to Prince Leopold, and afterwardsof Private Secretary and Comptroller of his household. In those offices hehad spent the greater part of his time in this country from 1816 to 1834.He had accompanied his master on his ascending the Belgian throne, but hadreturned to England in a few years in order to serve him better there.Baron Stockmar was thus an old and early friend of the Princess's. Inaddition he had a large acquaintance with the English political world, andwas therefore well qualified to advise her with the force of adisinterested adviser in her difficult position. In the view of herbecoming Queen, although her three predecessors, including George III afterhe became blind, had appointed and retained private secretaries, the officewas not popular in the eyes of the Government and country, and it was notconsidered advisable that the future Queen should possess such a servant,notwithstanding the weight of business—enormous in the matter ofsignatures alone—which would fall on the Sovereign. Without any recognisedposition, Stockmar was destined to share with the Prime Minister oneportion of the duties which ought to have devolved on a private secretary.He was also to act as confidential adviser.

Baron Stockmar, [Footnote: "An active, decided, slender, rather little man,with a compact head, brown hair streaked with grey, a bold, short nose,firm yet full mouth, and what gave a peculiar air of animation to his face,with two youthful, flashing brown eyes, full of roguish intelligence andfiery provocation. With this exterior, the style of his demeanour andconversation corresponded; bold, bright, pungent, eager, full of thought,so that amid all the bubbling copiousness and easy vivacity of his talk, acertain purpose was never lost sight of in his remarks andillustrations."—Friedrich Carl Meyer.] who was at this time a manof fifty, was no ordinary character. He was sagacious, warm-hearted,honest, straightforward to bluntness, painstaking, just, benevolent to aremarkable degree; the friend of princes, without forfeiting hisindependence, he won and kept their perfect confidence to the end. He lovedthem heartily in return, without seeking anything from them; on thecontrary, he showed himself reluctant to accept tokens of their favour.While lavishing his services on others, and readily lending his help tothose who needed it, he would seem to have wanted comfort himself. Anaffectionate family man, he consented to constantly recurring separationfrom his wife and children in order to discharge the peculiar functionswhich were entrusted to him. For he played in the background—contented,nay, resolute to remain there—by the lawful exercise of influence alone,no small part in the destinies of several of the reigning houses in Europe,and through them, of their kingdoms. Like Carlyle, he suffered during hiswhole life from dyspepsia; like Carlyle, too, he was a victim tohypochondria, the result of his physical state. To these two last causesmay be attributed some whimsicalities and eccentricities which were readilyforgiven in the excellent Baron.

Baron Stockmar did not come too soon; in less than a month, on the 20th of
June, 1837, after an illness which he had borne, patiently and reverently,
King William died peacefully, his hand resting where it had lain for hours,
on the shoulder of his faithful Queen.

The death took place at Windsor, at a little after two o'clock in themorning. Immediately afterwards the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Howley,and the Lord Chamberlain, the Marquis of Conyngham, together with the Earlof Albemarle, the Master of the Horse, and Sir Henry Halford, the lateKing's physician, started from Windsor for Kensington. All through the restof the summer night these solemn and stately gentlemen drove, nodding withfatigue, hailing the early dawn, speaking at intervals to pronouncesentence on the past reign and utter prognostications, of the reign whichwas to come. Shortly before five, when the birds were already in fullchorus in Kensington Gardens, the party stood at the main door, demandingadmission. This was another and ruder summons than the musical serenadewhich had been planned to wile the gentle sleeper sweetly from her slumbersand to hail her natal day not a month before. That had been a graceful,sentimental recognition of a glad event; this was an unvarnished, well-nighstern arousal to the world of grave business and anxious care, followingthe mournful announcement of a death—not a birth. From this day theQueen's heavy responsibilities and stringent obligations were to begin.That untimely, peremptory challenge sounded the first knell to the lightheart and careless freedom of youth.

Though it had been well known that the King lay on his death-bed, andKensington without, as well as Kensington within, must have been in a highstate of expectation, it does not appear that there were any watchers onthe alert to rush together at the roll of the three royal carriages.Instead of the eager, respectful crowd, hurrying into the early-openedgates of the park to secure good places for all that was to be seen andheard on the day of the Princess's coming of age, Palace Green seems tohave been a solitude on this momentous June morning, and the individual themost interested in the event, after the new-made Queen, instead of beingthere to pay his homage first, as he had offered his congratulations on thebirthday a year before, was far away, quietly studying at the littleuniversity town on the Rhine.

"They knocked, they rang, they thumped for a considerable time before theycould rouse the porter at the gate," says Miss Wynn, in the "Diary of aLady of Quality," of these importunate new-comers. "They were again keptwaiting in the courtyard, then turned into one of the lower rooms, wherethey seemed forgotten by everybody. They rang the bell and desired that theattendant of the Princess Victoria might be sent to inform Her RoyalHighness that they requested an audience on business of importance. Afteranother delay and another ringing to inquire the cause, the attendant wassummoned, who stated that the Princess was in such a sweet sleep that shecould not venture to disturb her. Then they said, 'We are come on businessof 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, in a few minutes she cameinto the room in a loose white nightgown and shawl, her nightcap thrownoff, and her hair falling upon her shoulders, her feet in slippers, tearsin her eyes, but perfectly collected and dignified."

In those days, when news did not travel very fast, and was not alwaysdelivered with strict accuracy, a rumour got abroad that the Queen waswalking in the Palace Garden when the messengers came to tell her she hadsucceeded to the Crown. A great deal was made of the poetic simplicity ofthe surroundings of the interesting central figure—the girl in her tenderbloom among the lilies and roses, which she resembled. We can remember abrilliant novel of the time which had a famous chapter beginning with animpassioned apostrophe to the maiden who met her high destiny "in a palace,in a garden." Another account asserted that the Queen saw the Archbishop ofCanterbury alone in her ante-room, and that her first request was for hisprayers.

The Marquis of Conyngham was the bearer to the Queen of a request from theQueen-dowager that she might be permitted to remain at Windsor till afterthe funeral. In reply, her Majesty wrote an affectionate letter ofcondolence to her aunt, begging her to consult nothing but her own healthand convenience, and to stay at Windsor just as long as she pleased. Thewriter was observed to address this as usual "To the Queen of England." Abystander interposed, "Your Majesty, you are Queen of England." "Yes,"answered the unelated, considerate girl-Queen, "but the widowed Queen isnot to be reminded of the fact first by me."

Their message delivered, the messengers returned to London, and the nextarrival was that of the Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne, who appeared atnine o'clock, had an interview with the Queen, which lasted for half anhour, when he also took his leave to issue summonses for a Privy Council,to he held in the course of the next two hours at Kensington Palace, andnot at St. James's, as had been anticipated.

The little town of Kensington must now have been up and about, for,perhaps, never had there been such a day in its annals, as far transcendingthe birthday celebration as a great reality surpasses the brightestpromise; and Kensington might hug the day with all its might, for it was tobe nearly the last of its kingly, queenly experience. The temporary Courtwas to pass away presently, never to come back. No more kings and queenswere likely to be born or to die at the quiet spot, soon to become a greatnoisy suburb of great London. No later Sovereign would quit the red-brickpalace of Mary and Anne, and the First George, to reign at Buckingham orWindsor; no other Council be held in the low-browed, white-pillared room todispute the interests of the unique Council which was to be held there thisday.

The first Council of any Sovereign must awaken many speculations, while thebearing of the principal figure in the assumption of new powers and dutiesis sure to be watched with critical curiosity; but in the case of QueenVictoria the natural interest reached its utmost bounds. The publicimagination was impressed in the most lively manner by the strong contrastbetween the tender youth and utter inexperience of the maiden Queen and theweighty and serious functions she was about to assume—an anomaly bestindicated by the characteristic speech of Carlyle, that a girl at an agewhen, in ordinary circ*mstances, she would hardly be trusted to choose abonnet for herself, was called upon to undertake responsibilities fromwhich an archangel might have shrunk. More than this, the retirement inwhich the young Queen had grown up left her nature a hidden secret to thosewell-trained, grey-bearded men in authority, who now came to bid her ruleover them. Thus, in addition to every other doubt to be solved, there wasthe pressing question as to how a girl would behave under such a tremendoustest; for, although there had been queens-regnant, popular and unpopularbefore, Mary and Elizabeth had been full-grown women, and Anne had attainedstill more mature years, before the crown and sceptre were committed to thesafe keeping of each in turn. Above all, how would this royal girl, onwhose conduct so much depended, demean herself on this crucial occasion?Surely if she were overcome by timidity and apprehension, if she weregoaded into some foolish demonstration of pride or levity, allowance mustbe made, and a good deal forgiven, because of the cruel strain to which shewas subjected.

Shortly after eleven o'clock, the royal Dukes and a great number of PrivyCouncillors, amongst whom were all the Cabinet Ministers and the greatofficers of State and the Household, arrived at Kensington Palace, and wereushered into the State apartments. A later arrival consisted of the LordMayor, attended by the City Marshals in full uniform, on horseback, withcrape on their left arms; the Chamberlain, Sword-bearer, Comptroller, TownClerk, and Deputy Town Clerk, &c., accompanied by six aldermen. These Citymagnates appeared at the Palace to pay their homage to her Majesty. TheLord Mayor attended the Council.

We have various accounts—one from an eye-witness wont to be cool andcritical enough—of what passed. "The first thing to be done," writesGreville, "was to teach her her lesson, which, for this purpose, Melbournehad himself to learn. I gave him the Council papers and explained all thatwas to be done, and he went and explained all this to her. He asked her ifshe would enter the room accompanied by the great officers of State, butshe said she would come in alone. When the Lords were assembled, the LordPresident (Lord Lansdowne) informed them of the King's death, andsuggested, as they were so numerous, that a few of them should repair tothe presence of the Queen, and inform her of the event, and that theirlordships were assembled in consequence; and accordingly the two royalDukes (the Duke of Cumberland, by the death of William, King of Hanover,and the Duke of Sussex—the Duke of Cambridge was absent in Hanover), thetwo Archbishops, the Chancellor, and Melbourne went with him. The Queenreceived them in the adjoining room alone."

It was the first time she had to act for herself. Until then she had beenwell supported by her mother, and by the precedence which the duch*ess ofKent took as her Majesty's guardian. But the guardianship was over and thereign begun. There could be no more sheltering from responsibility, orbecoming deference to, and reliance on, the wisdom of another and a mucholder person. In one sense the stay was of necessity removed. The duch*essof Kent, from this day "treated her daughter with respectful observance aswell as affection." The time was past for advice, instruction, orsuggestion, unless in private, and even then it would be charily and warilygiven by the sensible, modest mother of a Queen. Well for her Majesty thatthere was no more than truth in what one of the historians of the reign hassaid, in just and temperate language, of her character: "She was wellbrought up. Both as regards her intellect and her character her trainingwas excellent. She was taught to be self-reliant, brave, and systematical."

As soon as the deputation had returned, the proclamation was read; "Whereasit has pleased Almighty God to call to His mercy our late Sovereign Lord,King William the Fourth, of blessed and glorious memory, by whose deceasethe imperial Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland issolely and rightfully come to the high and mighty Princess AlexandrinaVictoria, saving the rights of any issue of his late majesty, King Williamthe Fourth, which may be born of his late Majesty's consort; we, therefore,the lords spiritual and temporal of this realm, being here assisted withthese of his late Majesty's Privy Council, with numbers of others,principal gentlemen of quality, with the Lord Mayor, aldermen and citizensof London, do now hereby, with one voice and consent of tongue and heart,publish and proclaim that the high and mighty Princess Alexandrina Victoriais now, by the death of our late Sovereign, of happy memory, become ouronly lawful and rightful liege Lady, Victoria, by the grace of God Queen ofthe United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Defender of the Faith,saving, as aforesaid: To whom, saving as aforesaid, we do acknowledge allfaith and constant obedience, with all hearty and humble affection,beseeching God, by whom kings and queens do reign, to bless the royalPrincess Victoria with long and happy years to reign over us.

"Given at the Court of Kensington this 20th day of June, 1837. (Signed byall the Lords of the Privy Council present). God Save the Queen."

"Then," resuming Mr. Greville's narrative, "the doors were thrown open,and the Queen entered, accompanied by her two uncles, who advanced to meether. She bowed to the Lords, took her seat (an arm-chair improvised into athrone, with a footstool), and then read her speech in a clear, distinct,and audible voice, and without any appearance of fear or embarrassment:—

"'The severe and afflicting loss which the nation has sustained by thedeath of his Majesty, my beloved uncle, has devolved upon me the duty ofadministering the Government of this empire. This awful responsibility isimposed upon me so suddenly, and at so early a period of my life, that Ishould feel myself utterly oppressed by the burden were I not sustained bythe hope that Divine Providence, which has called me to this work, willgive me strength for the performance of it, and that I shall find in thepurity of my intentions, and in my zeal for the public welfare, thatsupport and those resources which usually belong to a more mature age andto longer experience.

"'I place my firm reliance upon the wisdom of Parliament and upon theloyalty and affection of my people. I esteem it also a peculiar advantagethat I succeed to a Sovereign whose constant regard for the rights andliberties of his subjects, and whose desire to promote the amelioration ofthe laws and institutions of the country, have rendered his name the objectof general attachment and veneration.

"'Educated in England, under the tender and enlightened care of a mostaffectionate mother, I have learned from my infancy to respect and lovethe Constitution of my native country.

"'It will be my unceasing study to maintain the reformed religion as by lawestablished, securing at the same time to all the full enjoyment ofreligious liberty; and I shall steadily protect the rights and promote, tothe utmost of my power, the happiness and welfare of all classes of mysubjects.'"

Her Majesty's speech was after the model of English royal speeches; but onecan feel at this day it was spoken in all ingenuousness and sincerity, andthat the utterance—remarkable already for clearness and distinctness—forthe first time, of the set words, ending in the solemn promise to do aSovereign's duty, must have thrilled the hearts both of speaker andhearers.

A critical listener was not wanting, according to the testimony of thewitness who, on his own account, certainly did not object to chronicledetraction of every kind. "The speech was admired, except by Brougham, whoappeared in a considerable state of excitement. He said to Peel (whom hewas standing near, and with whom he was not in the habit of communicating),'"amelioration;" that is not English. You might perhaps say "melioration,"but "improvement" is the proper word.'

"'Oh!' said Peel, 'I see no harm in the word; it is generally used.'

"'You object,' said Brougham, 'to the sentiment; I object to the grammar.'

"'No,' said Peel, 'I don't object to the sentiment.'

"'Well, then, she pledges herself to the policy of our Government,'said Brougham.

"She was quite plainly dressed, and in mourning. After she had read her
speech, and taken and signed the oath (administered by the Archbishop of
Canterbury) for the security of the Church of Scotland, the Privy
Councillors were sworn, the two royal Dukes first by themselves."

The days of violence were ended, and whatever private, hopes he might oncehave entertained, Ernest, Duke of Cumberland, was the first to hail hisniece as the high and mighty Princess Alexandrina Victoria, to whom theimperial Crown of Great Britain and Ireland had solely and rightfullycome—the first to proclaim her, with one voice and consent of tongue andheart, on the part of himself and his peers, his only lawful and rightfulliege Lady Victoria, to whom he acknowledged all faith and rightfulobedience, with all hearty and humble affection. It may be, the fact thathe had succeeded to the throne of Hanover rendered the step less difficult.His name was also the first in the signatures of princes, PrivyCouncillors, peers, and gentlemen affixed in the next room to theproclamation. His brother, the Duke of Sussex, followed. They were bothelderly men, with the younger older in infirmities than in years. The Kingof Hanover was sixty-six, the Duke of Sussex sixty-four years of age.

"And as these two old men, her uncles, knelt before her, swearingallegiance and kissing her hand," Greville went on, with a sense of pathos,curious for him, in the scene, "I saw her blush up to the eyes, as if shefelt the contrast between their civil and their natural relations, and thiswas the only sign of emotion which she evinced. Her manner to them was verygraceful and engaging; she kissed them both, and rose from her chair andmoved towards the Duke of Sussex, who was farthest from her, and too infirmto reach her. She seemed rather bewildered at the multitude of men who weresworn, and who came one after another to kiss her hand, but she did notspeak to anybody, nor did she make the slightest difference in her manner,or show any in her countenance, to any individual of any rank, station, orparty. I particularly watched her when Melbourne and the Ministers, and theDuke of Wellington and Peel approached her. She went through the wholeceremony, occasionally looking at Melbourne for instruction when she hadany doubt what to do, which hardly ever occurred, and with perfect coolnessand self-possession, but at the same time with a graceful modesty andpropriety particularly interesting and ingratiating. When the business wasdone she retired as she had entered, and I could see that nobody was in theadjoining room."

Mr. Greville's comment on the scene was singularly enthusiastic from such aman. "Never was anything like the first impression she produced, or thechorus of praise and admiration which is raised about her manner andbehaviour, and certainly not without justice. It was something veryextraordinary, and something far beyond what was looked for." He quoted SirRobert Peel's and the Duke of Wellington's opinions in accordance with hisown. "He (Sir Robert) likewise said how amazed he was at the manner andbehaviour, at her apparent deep sense of her situation, her modesty, and atthe same time her firmness. She appeared, in fact, to be awed, but notdaunted; and afterwards, the Duke of Wellington told me the same thing, andadded, that if she had been his own daughter he could not have desired tosee her perform her part better."

We can understand the fatherly reference of the Duke, and the sort ofpersonal pride he took in his young Queen. He had been present at her birthin this very Palace of Kensington; he had known her at every stage of herlife hitherto. She was doing credit not only to herself and her mother, butto every friend she had, by her perfect fulfilment of what was required ofher. Lord Campbell was equally eulogistic. "As soon as I heard that KingWilliam had expired I hurried to Kensington, to be present at the firstCouncil of the new Sovereign. This, I think, was the most interesting sceneI have ever witnessed…. I am quite in raptures with the deportment of theyoung Queen. Nothing could be more exquisitely proper. She looked modest,sorrowful, dejected, diffident, but at the same time she was quite cool andcollected, and composed and firm. Her childish appearance was gone. Shewas an intelligent and graceful young woman, capable of acting and thinkingfor herself. Considering that she was the only female in the room, and thatshe had no one about her with whom she was familiar, no human being wasever placed in a more trying situation."

What was most conspicuous in the Queen had been already remarked upon andadmired in the young girl at Queen Adelaide's Drawing-room. Here were thesame entire simplicity, with its innate dignity only further developed; thepower of being herself and no other, which left her thoughtful of what sheought to do—not of how she should look and strike others—and rendered herfree to consider her neighbours; the docility to fit guidance, and yet theability to judge for herself; the quick sense all the time of her highcalling.

That first Council at Kensington has become an episode in history—a verysignificant one. It has been painted, engraved, written about many a time,without losing its fascination. Sir David Wilkie made a famous picture ofit, which hangs in a corridor at Windsor In this picture the artist usedcertain artistic liberties, such as representing the Queen in a whitemuslin robe instead of a black gown, and the Privy Councillors in thevarious costumes of their different callings—uniforms with stars andribands, lawyers' gowns and full-bottomed wigs, bishops' lawn, instead ofthe ordinary morning dress of the gentlemen of their generation. It musthave tickled Wilkie as he worked to come to an old acquaintance of hisboyhood and youth in John, Lord Campbell, and to recognise howbewilderingly far removed from the bleak little parish of Cults and thequiet little town of Cupar was the coincidence which summoned him, thedistinguished painter, in the execution of a royal commission, to draw thefamiliar features of his early playmate in those of the Attorney-General,who appeared as a privileged member of the illustrious throng.

We still turn back wistfully to that bright dawn of a beneficent reign. Wesee the slight girlish figure in her simple mourning filling her placesedately at the head of the Council table. At the foot, facing her Majesty,sits the Duke of Sussex, almost venerable in his stiffness and lameness,wearing the black velvet skull-cap by which he was distinguished in thosedays. We look at the well-known faces, and think of the famous names amongthe crowd of mature men, each of whom was hanging on the words and looks ofhis mistress. There is Copley the painter's son, sagacious Lyndhurst, wholived to be the Nestor of the bench and the peerage; there is his greatopponent, Robertson the historian's grand-nephew, Brougham, a tyrant offreedom, an illustrious Jack-of-all-trades, the most impassioned, mostpublic-spirited, most egotistical of men. He was a contradiction to himselfas well as to his neighbours. His strongly-marked face, with its shaggybrows, high cheek-bones, aggressive nose, mouth drooping at the corners,had not lost its mobility. He was restless and fault-finding in thispresence as in any other. The Duke of Wellington's Roman nose lentsomething of the eagle to his aspect. It was a more patrician attributethan Sir Robert Peel's long upper lip, with its shy, nervous compression,which men mistook for impassive coldness, just as the wits blundered incalling his strong, serviceable capacity, noble uprightness, and patientlabour "sublime mediocrity." William Lamb, Viscount Melbourne, was the typeof an aristocrat, with brains and heart. He was still a very handsome manat fifty-eight, as he was also "perhaps the most graceful and agreeablegentleman of the generation." His colleague—destined to marry LordMelbourne's sister, the most charming woman who ever presided in turn overtwo Ministerial salons, Lord Palmerston, in spite of his earlyachievements in waltzing at Almack's, was less personally and mentallygifted. He had rather an indiarubber-like elasticity and jauntiness thanstateliness, or dignity, or grace. His irregular-featured face was comical,but he bore the bell in exhaustless spirits, which won him, late in life,the reputation of perennial juvenility, and the enviable if not altogetherrespectful sobriquet of "the evergreen Palm." Lord John Russell, with hislarge head and little body, of which Punch made stock, with hisfriendship for Moore and his literary turn, as well as his ambition toserve his country like a true Russell, was at this date wooing and weddingthe fair young widow, Lady Ribblesdale, his devotion to whom had drawn fromthe wags a profane pun. They called the gifted little lord "the widow'smite." When the marriage ceremony was being performed between him and LadyRibblesdale the wedding-ring fell from the bride's finger—an evil omensoon fulfilled for the marriage tie was speedily broken by her early death."Plain John Campbell" was a very different man. The son of a minister ofthe Church of Scotland, in a presbytery which included among its membersthe father of Sir David Wilkie, his Scotch tongue, Scotch shrewdness,healthy appetite for work, and invulnerable satisfaction with himself andhis surroundings, caused themselves to be felt in another sphere than thatto which he was born.

"The Cabinet Ministers tendered to the Queen the seals of their respectiveoffices, which her Majesty was most graciously pleased to return, and theyseverally kissed hands on their reappointment." The last business done wasto arrange for the public proclamation of the Queen, and to take herpleasure with regard to the time, which she fixed for the day following,Wednesday, the 21st of June, at ten o'clock. When Lord Albemarle, for whomshe had sent, went to her and told her he was come to take her orders, shesaid, "I have no orders to give. You must know this so much better than Ido, that I leave it all to you. I am to be at St. James's at ten to-morrow,and must beg you to find me a conveyance proper for the occasion." We arefurther informed that the Queen, in the course of the morning, received agreat many noble and distinguished personages. So finished a busy andexciting day; the herald of many other days crowded with engagements andexcitement.

The Palace of St. James's, where the proclamation was to take place, hadbeen for a long time the theatre of all the principal events in the livesof the kings and queens of England. Even the young Queen already viewed itin this light, for though she had been baptized at Kensington, she had beenconfirmed at St. James's. She had attended her first Drawing-rooms, andcelebrated her coming-of-age ball there. St. James's is a brick building,like Kensington Palace, but is far older, and full of more stirring andtragic associations. It has an air of antiquity about it, if it has fewarchitectural claims on the world's interest; but at least one front, thatwhich includes the turreted gateway into St. James's Street, is not withoutpicturesque beauty. The situation of the palace, considering that it is inthe middle of a great city, is agreeable. It has its park, with a stretchof pleasant water on one side, and commands the leafy avenue of the Malland the sweep of Constitution Hill. As a royal residence it dates as farback as Henry VIII., whose daughter Mary ended her sad life here. Both ofthe sons of James I. received it as a dwelling, and were connected with itin troubled days. Prince Henry fell into his pining sickness and died here.Charles, after bringing Henrietta Maria under its roof, and owning itsshelter till three of his children were born, was carried to St. James's asa prisoner. He was taken from it in a sedan-chair to undergo his trial athis new palace of Whitehall. He was conveyed back under sentence of death.Here Bishop Juxon preached the last sermon to which the King listened, andadministered to him the Sacrament; and here Charles took leave of hischildren—the little Duke of Gloucester and the girl-Princess Elizabeth.From St. James's the King went to the scaffold on the bitter Januarymorning, followed by the snowy night in which "the white King" was borne tohis dishonoured burial. Other and less tragic scenes were enacted withinits bounds. A familiar figure in connection with KensingtonPalace—Caroline of Anspach, wife of George II.—died like herself here.Her King had fallen into a stupor of sorrow across the bed where she lay inher last agony, and she forbade his being disturbed. She told those whowere praying to pray aloud, that she might hear them; then raising herselfup and uttering the single German word of acquiescence, "So," herbrave spirit passed away.

When the Queen arrived, accompanied by her mother and her ladies, andattended by an escort, on the June morning of her proclamation, she wasreceived by the other members of the royal family, the Household, and theCabinet Ministers. Already every avenue to the Palace and every balcony andwindow within sight were crowded to excess. In the quadrangle opposite thewindow where her Majesty was to appear a mass of loyal ladies and gentlemenwas tightly wedged. The parapets above were filled with people, conspicuousamong them the big figure of Daniel O'Connell, the agitator, waving his hatand cheering with Irish effusion.

"At ten o'clock," says the Annual Register, "the guns in the parkfired a salute, and immediately afterwards the Queen made her appearance atthe window of the tapestried ante-room adjoining the ante-chamber, and wasreceived with deafening cheers. She stood between Lords Melbourne andLansdowne, in their State dresses and their ribands, who were also cheered,as was likewise her Royal Highness the duch*ess of Kent. At this and the twoother windows we recognised the King of Hanover, the Dukes of Sussex,Wellington, and Argyle; Lords Hill, Combermere, Denbigh, Duncannon,Albemarle, and Winchester; Sir E. Codrington, Sir William Houston, and anumber of other lords and gentlemen, with several ladies.

"Her Majesty looked extremely fatigued and pale, but returned the repeatedcheers with which she was greeted with remarkable ease and dignity. She wasdressed in deep mourning, with a white tippet, white cuffs, and a border ofwhite lace under a small black bonnet, which was placed far back on herhead, exhibiting her light hair in front simply parted over the forehead.Her Majesty seemed to view the proceedings with considerable interest. HerRoyal Highness the duch*ess of Kent was similarly dressed to the Queen."

"In the courtyard were Garter-King-at-Arms with heralds and pursuivants intheir robes of office, and eight officers of arms on horseback bearingmassive silver maces; sergeants-at-arms with their maces and collars; thesergeant-trumpeter with his mace and collar; the trumpets, drum-major anddrums, and knights'-marshal and men."

"On Her Majesty showing herself at the Presence Chamber window,Garter-Principal-King-at-Arms having taken his station in the courtyardunder the window, accompanied by the Duke of Norfolk as Earl-Marshal ofEngland, read the proclamation containing the formal and officialannouncement of the demise of King William IV., and of the consequentaccession of Queen Alexandrina Victoria to the throne of these realms …'to whom we acknowledge all faith and constant obedience, with all humbleand hearty affection, beseeching God, by whom kings and queens do reign, tobless the Royal Princess Alexandrina Victoria with long and happy years toreign. God save the Queen.' At the termination of this proclamation theband struck up the National Anthem, and a signal was given for the Park andTower guns to fire in order to announce the fact of the proclamation beingmade. During the reading of the proclamation her Majesty stood at thePresence Chamber window, and immediately upon its conclusion the air wasrent with the loudest acclamations by those within the area, which wereresponded to by the thousands without."

The scene drew from Elizabeth Barrett Browning the following popularverses:—

O, maiden, heir of kings,
A king has left his place;
The majesty of death has swept
All other from his face;
And thou upon thy mother's breast
No longer lean adown,
But take the glory for the rest,
And rule the land that loves thee best.
The maiden wept,
She wept to wear a crown.

* * * * *

God bless thee, weeping Queen,
With blessings more divine,
And fill with better love than earth
That tender heart of thine;
That when the thrones of earth shall be
As low as graves brought down,
A pierced hand may give to thee
The crown which angels shout to see.
Thou wilt not weep
To wear that heavenly crown.

A maiden Queen in her first youth, wearing the crown and wielding thesceptre, had become un fait accompli and the news spread over thelength and breadth of the land. We have seen how it touched the oldeststatesmen, to whom State ceremonials had become hackneyed—who were perhapsa little sceptical of virtue in high places. It may be imagined, then, howthe knowledge, with each striking and picturesque detail, thrilled andengrossed all the sensitive, romantic young hearts in the Queen'sdominions. It seemed as if womanhood and girlhood were exalted in one womanand girl's person—as if a new era must be inaugurated with such a reign,and every man worthy of the name would rally round this Una on the throne.

The prosaic side of the question was that the country was torn by thefactions of Whig and Tory, which were then in the full bloom of partyspirit and narrow rancorous animosity. The close of the life of WilliamIV. had presented the singular and disastrous contradiction of a King insomething like open opposition to his Ministers. William had begun by beinga liberal in politics, but alarmed by the progress of reform, he had hungback resisted, and ended by being dragged along an unwilling tolerator of aWhig regime. The Duke of Kent had been liberal in his opinions whenliberality was not the fashion. The duch*ess was understood to be on thesame side; her brother and counsellor, the King of the Belgians, wasdecidedly so. Accordingly, the Whigs hailed the accession of Queen Victoriaas their triumph, likely to secure and prolong their tenure of office. Theyclaimed her as their Queen, with a boasting exultation calculated to woundand exasperate every Tory in the kingdom. Lord Campbell, who, though azealous Whig, was comparatively cool and cautious, wrote in his journal,after the Queen's first Council, "We basked in the full glare of royalsunshine;" and this tone was generally adopted by his party. They met withsome amount of success in their loud assertion, and the consequence was astrain of indignant bitterness in the Tory rejoinder. A clever partisaninscribed on the window-pane of an inn at Huddersfield:

"The Queen is with us," Whigs insulting say,
"For when she found us in, she let us stay."
It may be so; but give me leave to doubt
How long she'll keep you when she finds you out.

There was even some cooling of Tory loyalty to the new Queen. Chroniclerstell us of the ostentatious difference in enthusiasm with which, at Torydinners, the toasts of the Queen, and the Queen-dowager were received.

As a matter of course, Lord Melbourne became the Queen's instructor in theduties of her position, and as she had no private secretary, he had to bein constant attendance upon her—to see her, not only daily, but sometimesthree or four times a day. The Queen has given her testimony to theunwearied kindness and pleasantness, the disinterested regard for herwelfare, even the generous fairness to political opponents, with which herPrime Minister discharged his task. It seems as if the great trust imposedon him drew out all that was most manly and chivalrous in a characterwhich, along with much that was fine and attractive, that won to him allwho came in close contact with him, was not without the faults of thetypical aristocrat, correctly or incorrectly defined by the popularimagination. Lord Melbourne, with his sense and spirit, honesty andgood-nature, could be haughtily, indifferent, lazily self-indulgent,scornfully careless even to affectation, of the opinions of his socialinferiors, as when he appeared to amuse himself with "idly blowing afeather or nursing a sofa-cushion while receiving an important and perhapshighly sensitive deputation from this or that commercial interest." Thetime has come when it is fully recognised that whatever might have beenLord Melbourne's defects, he never brought them into his relations with theQueen. To her he was the frank, sincere, devoted adviser of all that it waswisest and best for her to do. "He does not appear to have been greedy ofpower, or to have used any unfair means of getting or keeping it. Thecharacter of the young Sovereign seems to have impressed him deeply. Hisreal or affected levity gave way to a genuine and lasting desire to makeher life as happy and her reign as successful as he could. The Queen alwaysfelt the warmest affection and gratitude for him, and showed it long afterthe public had given up the suspicion that she could be a puppet in thehands of a Minister. "But men—especially Lord Melbourne's politicaladversaries—were not sufficiently large-minded and large-hearted to putthis confidence in him beforehand. They remembered with wrath and disgustthat, even in the language of men of the world, "his morals were notsupposed to be very strict." He had been unhappy in his family life. Theeccentricities and follies of Lady Caroline Lamb had formed the gossip ofseveral London seasons long years before. Other scandals had gathered roundhis name, and though they had been to some extent disproven, it wasindignantly asked, could there be a more unsuitable and undesirable guidefor an innocent royal girl of eighteen than this accomplished, blandroue of threescore? Should he be permitted to soil—were it but inthought—the lily of whose stainlessness the nation was so proud? Theresult proved that Lord Melbourne could be a blameless, worthy servant tohis Sovereign.

In the meantime the great news of Queen Victoria's accession had travelledto the princely student at Bonn, who responded to it in a manly, modestletter, in which he made no claim to share the greatness, while he referredto its noble, solemn side. Prince Albert wrote on the 26th of June: "Nowyou are Queen of the mightiest land of Europe; in your hand lies thehappiness of millions. May Heaven assist you and strengthen you with itsstrength in that high but difficult task. I hope that your reign may belong, happy, and glorious, and that your efforts may be rewarded by thethankfulness and love of your subjects." To others he expressed hissatisfaction at what he heard of his cousin's astonishing self-possession,and of the high praise bestowed on her by all parties, "which seemed topromise so auspiciously for her reign." But so far from putting himselfforward or being thrust forward by their common friends as an aspirant forher hand, while she was yet only on the edge of that strong tide and giddywhirl of imposing power and dazzling adulation which was too likely tosweep her beyond his grasp, it was resolved by King Leopold and the kindredwho were most concerned in the relations of the couple, that, to give timefor matters to settle down, for the young Queen to know her own mind—aboveall, to dissipate the premature rumour of a formal engagement between thecousins which had taken persistent hold of the public mind ever since thevisit of the Saxe-Coburg princes to Kensington Palace in the previous year,Prince Albert should travel for several months. Accordingly, he set out, incompany with his brother, to make an enjoyable tour, on foot, throughSwitzerland and the north of Italy. To a nature like his, such anexperience was full of keen delight; but in the midst of his intoxicationhe never forgot his cousin. The correspondence between them had beensuffered to drop, but that she continued present to his thoughts wassufficiently indicated by the souvenirs he collected specially for her: theviews of the scenes he visited, the Alpenrosen he gathered for herin its native home, Voltaire's autograph.

The Queen left Kensington, within a month of her uncle's death, we do notneed to be told "greatly to the regret of the inhabitants." She went on the13th of July to take up her residence at Buckingham Palace. "Shortly afterone o'clock an escort of Lancers took up a position on the Palace Green,long previous to which an immense concourse of respectable persons hadthronged the avenue and every open space near the Palace." About half-pastone an open carriage drawn by four greys, preceded by two outriders, andfollowed by an open barouche, drawn by four bays, drove up from herMajesty's mews, Pimlico, and stopped before the grand entrance to theduch*ess of Kent's apartments. The Queen, accompanied by the duch*ess ofKent and Baroness Lehzen, almost immediately got into the first carriage.There was a tumult of cheering, frankly acknowledged. It is said the youngQueen looked "pale and a little sad" at the parting moment. Then with adash the carriages vanished in a cloud of July dust, and the familiarPalace Green, with its spreading trees and the red chimneys beyond—theHigh Street—Kensington Gore, were left behind. Kensington's last briefdream of a Court was brought to an abrupt conclusion. What was worse,Kensington's Princess was gone, never to return to the changed scene savefor the most fleeting of visits.

We should like to give here one more story of her Majesty's stay atKensington—a story that refers to these last days. We have already spokenof an old soldier-servant of the Duke of Kent's, said to have been namedStillman, who was quartered with his family—two of them sickly—in aKensington cottage of the period, visited by the duch*ess of Kent and thePrincess Victoria. The little boy had died; the ailing girl still lived.The girl's clergyman, a gentleman named Vaughan, went to see her some daysafter the Queen had quitted the Palace, and found the invalid lookingunusually bright. He inquired the reason. "Look there!". said the girl,and drew a book of Psalms from under her pillow, "look what the new Queenhas sent me to-day by one of her ladies, with the message that, though now,as Queen of England, she had to leave Kensington, she did not forget me."The lady who had brought the book had said the lines and figures in themargin were the dates of the days on which the Queen herself had beenaccustomed to read the Psalms, and that the marker, with the little peaco*ckon it, was worked by the Princess's own hand. The sick girl cried, andasked if this act was not beautiful?

CHAPTER V.THE PROROGUING OF PARLIAMENT, THE VISIT TO GUILDHALL, AND THE CORONATION.

Buckingham Palace had been a seat of the Duke of Buckingham's, which wasbought by George II., and in the next reign was settled on Queen Charlotteinstead of Somerset House, and called the "Queen's House." It was rebuiltby George IV. but not occupied by him, and had been rarely used by KingWilliam. Besides its gardens, which are of some extent, it shares with St.James's, which it is near, the advantage of St. James's Park, one of themost agreeable in London, and full of historic memories. Though it, too,was modernised by George IV., its features have still much interest. Itwas by its canal, which has been twisted into the Serpentine, that theMerry Monarch strolled alone, lazily playing with his dogs, feeding hisducks, and by his easy confidence flattering and touching his good citizensof London. On the same water his gay courtiers practised their foreignaccomplishment of skating, which they had brought back with them from theLow Countries. In the Mall both Charles and his brother, the Duke of York,joined in the Court game of Palle Malle, when a ball was struck with amallet through an iron ring down a walk strewn with powdered co*ckle-shells.At a later period the Mall was the most fashionable promenade in London.While dinners were still early on Sunday afternoons, the fashionable worldwalked for an hour or two after dinner in the Mall. An eyewitness declaredthat he had seen "in one moving mass, extending the whole length of theMall, five thousand of the most lovely women in this country of femalebeauty, all splendidly attired, and accompanied by as many well-dressedmen." For, as Mr. Hare, in his "Walks in London," points out, thefrequenters of the Mall were very different in one respect from the companyin the Row: "The ladies were in full dress and gentlemen carried their hatsunder their arms."

One relic of the past survives intact in the park—that is, the cow-stalls,which formerly helped to constitute "Milk Fair." Mr. Hare tells us "thevendors are proud of the number of generations through which the stallshave been held in their families."

From Buckingham Palace the Queen went in State on the 17th of July to closeParliament. The carriage, with the eight cream-coloured horses, was used.As far as we can judge, this was the first appearance in her Majesty'sreign of "the creams," so dear to the London populace. The carriage waspreceded by the Marshalmen, a party of the Yeomen of the Guard in Statecostumes, and runners. The fourth carriage, drawn by six black horses,contained the Marchioness of Lansdowne, the duch*ess of Sutherland, the Dukeof Argyle, Lord Steward and Gold Stick in Waiting. The Queen wasaccompanied by the Earl of Albemarle, Master of the Horse, and the Countessof Mulgrave, the Lady-in-Waiting. The procession, escorted by a squadron ofthe Horse Guards, moved into Whitehall, and was cheered in ParliamentStreet by deafening shouts from a mass of spectators lining the streets andcovering the house-tops. On arriving opposite the entrance of the House ofLords her Majesty was received by a battalion of the Grenadier Guards,whose splendid band, when she alighted, played the National Anthem.

Thus heralded, the young Queen entered the old Houses of Parliament, seatedherself on the throne of her ancestors, and accorded her maiden receptionto her loyal Lords and faithful Commons. This was the first occasion in agreat assembly that people remarked the natural gift which has proved avaluable possession to her Majesty, and has never failed to awaken theadmiration of the hearers. We allude to the peculiar silvery clearness, aswell as sweetness, of a voice which can be heard in its most delicatemodulations through the whole House. In reply to the Speaker of the Houseof Commons' assurance of the Commons' cordial participation in that strongand universal feeling of dutiful and affectionate attachment whichprevailed among the free and loyal people of which they were therepresentatives, the Queen read her speech in an unfaltering voice,thanking the Parliament for its condolence upon the death of his lateMajesty, and for its expressions of attachment and affection to herself,announcing her determination to preserve all the rights, spiritual andcivil, of her subjects, touching on the usual topics in a royal speech inits relation to home and foreign affairs, and making the solemn assertion:"I ascend the throne with a deep sense of the responsibility which isimposed upon me, but I am supported by the consciousness of my own rightintentions and by my dependence on the protection of Almighty God." FannyKemble was present at this memorable scene, and has given her impression ofit. Her testimony, as a public speaker, is valuable. "The Queen was nothandsome, but very pretty, and the singularity of her great position lent asentimental and poetical charm to her youthful face and figure. The serene,serious sweetness of her candid brow and clear soft eyes gave dignity tothe girlish countenance, while the want of height only added to the effectof extreme youth of the round but slender person, and gracefully mouldedhands and arms. The Queen's voice was exquisite, nor have I ever heard anyspoken words more musical in their gentle distinctness than "My Lords andGentlemen," which broke the breathless silence of the illustrious assemblywhose gaze was riveted on that fair flower of royalty. The enunciation wasas perfect as the intonation was melodious, and I think it is impossible tohear a more excellent utterance than that of the Queen's English by theEnglish Queen."

The accession of Queen Victoria almost coincided with a new era in Englishhistory, art and letters, new relations in politics at home and abroad, newsocial movements undreamt of when she was born. In spite of the strongparty spirit, the country was at peace within and without. France, theforeign neighbour of most importance to England, was also at peace under aso-called "citizen-king." The "Tractarian" movement at Oxford was startlingthe world with a proposed return to the practices of the primitive Church,while it laid the foundation of the High Church and Ritualistic parties inthe modern Church of England. The names of Newman and Pusey especially werein many mouths, spoken in various terms of reprobation and alarm, orapproval and exultation. Next to Tractarianism, Chartism—the people'sdemand for a charter which should meet their wants—was a rising force,though it had not reached its full development. Arnold was doing his noblework, accomplishing a moral revolution in the public schools of England.Milman and Grote had arisen as historians. Faraday was one of the chieflights of science. Sir John Herschel occupied his father's post among thestars. Beautiful modest Mary Somerville showed what a woman might do withthe Differential Calculus; Brewster had taken the place of Sir HumphryDavy. Murchison was anticipating Robert Dick and Hugh Miller in geology.Alfred Tennyson had already published two volumes of poems; Browning hadgiven to the world his "Paracelsus," and this very year (1837) hisStrafford had been performed at Covent Garden, while it was still onthe cards that his calling might be that of a great dramatist. Dickens, theScott of the English lower-middle classes, was bringing out his "PickwickPapers." Disraeli had got into the House of Commons at last, and his"Vivian Grey" was fully ten years old. So was Bulwer's "Pelbam"—the authorof which also aided in forming the literary element of the House of Commonsin the Queen's first Parliament. Mrs. Gore, Mrs. Trollope, Miss Mitford,Mrs. S. C. Hail, and Harriet Martinean represented under very differentaspects the feminine side of fiction. Macready remained the stage king, buthe shared his royalty with the younger Kean. A younger Kemble had alsoplayed Juliet well, but the stage queen was Helen Faucit. In painting,Turner was working in his last style; Stanfield's sea-pieces were famous.Mulready and Leslie were in the front as genre painters. Maclise wasmaking his reputation; Etty had struggled into renown, while poor Haydonwas sinking into despair. Landseer was already the great animal painter.Sir C. Eastlake had court commissions. Wilkie, too, still had royalcommissions, but his best work was done, and he was soon to set out on hislast travels in a vain search after health and strength.

Withal the world was a light-hearted world enough—not so hurried as it isto-day, though railways were well established, and the electric telegraphhad been hit upon in this same 1837. Young blood continued hot, and playwas apt to be riotous. Witness the fantastic frolics of the Marquis ofWaterford—public property in those years. He had inherited theeccentricities of the whole Delaval race, and not content with tickling hispeers in England, carried his whims and pranks into Scotland and Irelandand across the Channel. Various versions of his grotesque feats circulatedand scintillated through all classes, provoking laughter, and tempting toclumsy imitation, till the gentleman may be said to have had a species ofworld-wide reputation in a madly merry way.

The Queen held a review at Windsor on the 28th of September, 1837. She haddwelt at Windsor before as a cherished guest; but what must it not havebeen to her to enter these gates as the Queen? The rough hunting-seat ofWilliam Rufus had long been the proudest and fairest palace in England. StGeorge's Tower and battlements are the most royal in these realms. St.George's Hall and St. George's Chapel are the best examples of ancient andmodern chivalry. The stately terrace commanding the red turrets of Eton andthe silvery reaches of the Thames, where George III. and Queen Charlotte,with their large family and household, were wont to promenade on Sundayafternoons for the benefit of their Majesties' loyal subjects, where theblind old King used to totter along supported by two of his faithfulPrincesses; the green alleys and glades of the ancient forest, with thegreat boles of the venerable oaks—Queen Elizabeth's among them; VirginiaWater sparkling in the sunshine or glimmering in the moonlight, all make upsuch a kingly residence, as in many respects cannot be surpassed. What mustit not have been to enter the little Court town, another Versailles orFontainebleau, as its liege Lady, to be hailed and welcomed by the goodlythrong of Eton lads—those gay and gallant attendants on royal Windsorpageants—to pass through these halls as their mistress, and fairlyrecognise that all the noble surroundings were hers, with all England, allBritain and many a great dependency and colony on which the sun neversets—hers to rule over, hers to bless if she would?

At the review, in compliment to her soldiers whom she saw marshalled intheir disciplined masses, and saluting her as the Captain of theirCaptains—even of Wellington himself—the Queen wore a half-militarydress—a tight jacket with deep lappels, the blue riband of the Garteracross one shoulder, and its jewelled star upon her breast, a stocklikeblack neckerchief in stiff folds holding up the round throat, and on thehead—hiding nearly all the fair hair—a round, high, flatcap with a broadblack "snout"; beneath it the soft, open, girlish face, with itssingle-hearted dignity.

In this month of September the Queen heard that her sister-queen and girlfriend, Donna Maria da Gloria, had received consolation for the troubles ofher kingdom in becoming the youthful mother of a son and heir, PrinceFerdinand of Portugal.

By November the Court was back at Buckingham Palace, and on the 9th theQueen paid her first visit to the City of London, which received her withmagnificent hospitality.

Long before the hour appointed for her Majesty's departure for Guildhall,all the approaches to the palace and the park itself presented dense crowdsof holiday folks. At two o'clock the first carriage of the processionemerged from the triumphal arch, and in due time came the royal Statecarriage, in which sat the Queen, attended by the Mistress of the Robes andthe Master of the Horse. Her Majesty's full-dress was a "splendid pinksatin shot with silver." She wore a queenly diamond tiara, and, as we aretold, looked remarkably well. Her approach was the signal for enthusiasticcheering, which increased as she advanced, while the bells of the citychurches rang out merry peals. The fronts of the houses were decorated withbright-coloured cloth, green boughs, and such flowers as November hadspared. Devices in coloured lamps waited for the evening illumination tobring them out in perfection. Venetian masts had not been hoisted then inEngland, but "rows of national flags and heraldic banners were stretchedacross the Strand at several points, and busts and portraits of her Majestywere placed in conspicuous positions." The only person in the Queen's trainwho excited much interest was the Duke of Wellington, and he heard himselfloudly cheered. The mob was rapidly condoning what they had considered hiserrors as a statesman, and restoring him to his old eminence, in theirestimation, as the hero of the long wars, the conqueror of Bonaparte.Applause or reprobation the veteran met with almost equal coolness. When hehad been besieged by raging, threatening crowds, calling upon him to dojustice to Queen Caroline, as he rode to Westminster during the wild daysof her trial, he had answered "Yes, yes," without a muscle of his facemoving, and pushed on straight to his destination. For many a year he wasto receive every contrite huzza, as he had received every fierce hiss, withno more than the twinkling of an eyelid or the raising of two fingers.

The gathering at Temple Bar—real, grim old Temple Bar, which had bornetraitors' heads in former days—was so great that a detachment of LifeGuards, as well as a strong body of police, had work to do in clearing away for the carriages. The aldermen had to be accommodated with a room inChild's old banking-house, founded by the typical industrious apprenticewho married his master's daughter. It sported the quaint old sign of the"Marigold," and was supposed to hold sheaves of papers containing noble,nay, royal secrets, as well as bushels of family jewels, in its strongboxes. It had even a family romance of its own, for did not the great Childof his day pursue his heiress in her flight to Gretna with the heir of theVilliers, who, leaning, pistol in hand, from his postchaise in front, senta bullet into the near horse of the chaise behind, and escaped with hisprize?

Undisturbed by these exciting stories, the aldermen waited in the diminterior—charged with other than money-lending mysteries, till the worthygentlemen were joined by the Lord Mayor and sheriffs, when they proceededto mount their chargers in Temple Yard—perhaps the most disturbingproceeding of any, with the riders' minds a little soothed by thecirc*mstance that the horses had been brought from the Artillery barracksat Woolwich, and each was led by the soldier to which it belonged, in thecapacity of groom.

"A few minutes before three the approach of the Queen was announced. TheLord Mayor dismounted, and, taking the City sword in his hand, stood on thesouth side of Temple Bar. As soon as the Queen's carriage arrived withinthe gateway it stopped, and then, unfortunately, it began to rain." TheQueen's weather, which has become proverbial, of which we are given toboast, did not attend her on this occasion. Perhaps it would have been toomuch to expect of the clouds when the date was the 9th of November.Regardless of the weather, "the Lord Mayor delivered the keys of the Cityto the Queen, which her Majesty restored in the most gracious manner." Atthis time the multitude above, around, and below, from windows,scaffolding, roofs, and parapets, cheered long and loud. The Lord Mayorremounted, and, holding the City sword aloft, took his place immediatelybefore the royal carriage, after which the aldermen, members of the CommonCouncil, and civic authorities formed in procession.

Rather a curious ceremony was celebrated in front of St. Paul's. Booths andhustings had been erected in the enclosure for the accommodation of membersof the different City companies and the boys of Christ's Hospital. "Theroyal carriage having stopped in the middle of the road, opposite thecathedral gate, a platform was wheeled out, on which were Mr. FrederickGifford Nash, senior scholar of Christ's Hospital, and the head master andtreasurer. The scholar, in conformity with an old usage, delivered anaddress of congratulation to her Majesty, concluding with an earnest prayerfor her welfare. 'God Save the Queen' was then sung by the scholars and agreat part of the multitude."

But already the dreariness and discomfort of a dark and wet Novemberafternoon had been too much even for the staunchest loyalty, and haddispersed the feebler spirits among the onlookers. The Lord Mayor assistedher Majesty to alight at the door of the Guildhall, where the Lady Mayoresswas waiting to be presented by her husband. We have a full description ofthe Council-room and retiring-room, with their draperies of crimson andgold, including the toilet-table, covered with white satin, and embroideredwith the initials V. R., a crown and wreath in gold, at which the maidenQueen was understood to receive the last touches to her toilet, while shewas attended by such distinguished matrons as the duch*ess of Kent, theduch*ess of Gloucester, and the duch*ess of Cambridge. In the drawing-roomthe address of the City of London was read by the Recorder, and replied toby the Queen. At twenty minutes past five dinner was announced, and theQueen, preceded by the Lord Mayor and the Lady Mayoress, and conducted bythe Lord Chamberlain, in "respectful silence," descended into the hallwhere the banquet was prepared. The great old hall, with its "glorioustimber roof," could hardly have known itself. Gog and Magog—compared byNathaniel Hawthorne to "playthings for the children of giants"—must havelooked down with goggle eyes at the transformation. These were differentdays from the time when Anne Ascue, of Kelsey, was tried there for heresy,and the brave, keen-witted lady told her judges, when examined on thedoctrine of transubstantiation, she had heard that God made man, but thatman made God she had never heard; or when gallant Surrey encountered hisenemies; or melodious Waller was called to account. It was on the raisedplatform at the east end of the hall that the Common Council had expendedits strength of ornament and lavished its wealth. Here London outdiditself. The throne was placed there. "It was surmounted by an entablature,with the letters V. R. supporting the royal crown and cushion. In the frontwas an external valance of crimson velvet, richly laced and trimmed withtassels. The back-fluting was composed of white satin, relieved with theroyal arms in gold. The curtains were of crimson velvet, trimmed with laceand lined with crimson silk. The canopy was composed of crimson velvet,with radiated centre of white satin enamelled with gold, forming a gold rayfrom which the centre of velvet diverged; a valance of crimson velvet,laced with gold, depended from the canopy, which was intersected withcornucopia, introducing the rose, thistle, and shamrock, in white velvet.Beneath this splendid canopy was placed the State-chair, which was richlycarved and gilt, and ornamented with the royal arms and crown, includingthe rose, thistle, and shamrock, in crimson velvet. Its proportions weretastefully and judiciously diminished to a size that should in some sortcorrespond with the slight and elegant figure of the young Sovereign forwhom it was provided. The platform on which the throne stood was coveredwith ermine and gold carpeting of the richest description." … In frontof the throne was placed the royal table, extending the whole width of theplatform. It was thirty-four feet long and eight wide, and was covered witha cloth of the most exquisite damask, trimmed with gold lace and fringe.The sides and front of the platform were decked with a profusion of therarest plants and shrubs. The royal table was on a dais above the level ofthe hall. A large mirror at each side of the throne reflected the gorgeousscene. From the impromptu dais four long tables extended nearly half-waydown the hall, where the Lord and Lady Mayoress presided over the companyof foreign ambassadors, Cabinet Ministers, nobility, aldermen, and membersof the Common Council. The "royal avenue" led up the middle of the hall tothe throne, with the tables on each side. The Queen took her seat on thethrone; the Lord and Lady Mayoress stood on either side of her Majesty, butwere almost immediately bidden be seated at their table.

The company had now time to study the central figure, the cause andculmination of the assembly. Over her pink and silver she wore the ribandand order of the Garter, with the George appended. Besides her diamondtiara she had a stomacher of brilliants, and diamond ear-rings. She sat inthe middle of a regal company, only two of the others young like herself.To the rest she must have been the child of yesterday; while to each andall she preserved in full the natural relations, and was as much thedaughter, niece, and cousin as of old; yet, at the same time, she was everyinch the Queen. What a marvel it must have seemed—still more to those whosat near than to those who stood afar. The Queen was supported by the Dukesof Sussex and Cambridge, the duch*esses of Kent, Gloucester, Cambridge, andSutherland; and there were present her two cousins, Prince George andPrincess Augusta Of Cambridge.

After dinner, Non Nobus Domine was sung; and then, preceded by aflourish of trumpets, the common crier advanced to the middle of the halland said, "The Right Honourable the Lord Mayor gives the health of our mostgracious Sovereign, Queen Victoria."

The company simultaneously rose and drank the toast with enthusiasm. "GodSave the Queen" was sung, after which her Majesty rose and bowed repeatedlywith marked goodwill…. The common crier then shouted, "Her Majesty givesthe Lord Mayor and Prosperity to the City of London." Bishop's "When theWind Blows" was sung. The only other toast was, "The Royal Family," givenby the Lord Mayor.

At half-past eight her Majesty's carriage was announced. The weather wasunpleasant, the streets were unusually dirty, but a vast crowd once moregreeted her. On arriving at the end of Cheapside, she was hailed out of theglimmering illumination and foggy lamplight by "God Save the Queen," againsung by many hundred voices, accompanied by a band of wind instruments, theperformance of the Harmonic Society, and the music was followed all the wayby enthusiastic cheering. The Baroness Bunsen remarked of such a scene longafterwards, "I was at a loss to conceive how any woman's sides can 'bearthe beating of so strong a throb' as must attend the consciousness of beingthe object of all that excitement, and the centre of attraction for allthose eyes. But the Queen has royal strength of nerve." Not so muchstrength of nerve, we should say, as strength of single-heartedness andsimple sense of duty which are their own reward, together with thecomparative immunity produced by long habit.

Still it is a little relief to turn from so much State and strain to abrief glimpse of the girl-Queen in something like the privacy of domesticlife. In the month of November, 1837, the Attorney-General, Lord Campbell,with his wife, Lady Stratheden, received an invitation to BuckinghamPalace, to dine with her Majesty at seven, and one of the guests wrote thusof the entertainment: "I went, and found it exceedingly agreeable, althoughby no means so grand as dining at Tarvit with Mrs. Rigg. The little Queenwas exceedingly kind to me, and said she had heard from the duch*ess ofGloucester that I had the most beautiful children in the world. She askedme how many we had, and when she heard seven, seemed ratherappalled, considering this a number which she would never be able to reach.She seems in perfect health, and is as merry and playful as a kitten."

Amongst the other innumerable engagements which engrossed every moment ofthe Queen from the time of her accession, she had been called on to sit forher portrait to many eager artists—among them Hayter and Sir David Wilkie.The last has recorded his impression of her in his manly, unaffected,half-homely words. "Having been accustomed to see the Queen from a child,my reception had a little the air of that of an early acquaintance. She iseminently beautiful, her features nicely formed, her skin smooth, her hairworn close to her face in a most simple way, glossy and clean-looking. Hermanner, though trained to act the Sovereign, is yet simple and natural. Shehas all the decision, thought, and self-possession of a queen of olderyears, has all the buoyancy of youth, and from the smile to theunrestrained laugh, is a perfect child. While I was there she was sittingto Pistrucci for her coin, and to Hayter for a picture for King Leopold."

The mention of the coin recalls the "image and superscription" on the gold,silver, and copper that passes through our hands daily, which we almostforget to identify with the likeness of the young Queen. About this timealso commenced the royal patronage of Landseer, which resulted later inmany a family group, in which numerous four-footed favourites had theirplace. At the exhibition of Landseer's works after his death, the sight ofthese groups recalled to elderly men and women who had been his earlyneighbours, the days when a goodly cavalcade of ladies and gentlemen, withtheir grooms, on horseback, used to sweep past the windows, and the wordwent that the young Queen was honouring the painter by a visit to hisstudio.

On the 20th of November the Queen went in State to the House of Lords toopen Parliament for the first time, with as great a crowd of members andstrangers present as had flocked to witness the prorogation in July. In thecourse of the month of December the bills were passed which fixed theQueen's income at three hundred and eighty-five thousand pounds a year, andfurther raised the duch*ess of Kent's annuity from twenty-two thousand,which it had been latterly, to thirty thousand a year. On the 23rd ofDecember the Queen went to give her assent to the bills, and thank herParliament personally, according to old custom on such an occasion. Onpresenting the bill the Speaker observed that it had been framed in "aliberal and confiding spirit." The Queen simply bowed her acknowledgement.

Lord Melbourne, "with the tears in his eyes," told Lord Campbell that inone of his first interviews with the Queen she had said to him, "Myfather's debts must be paid." Accordingly the late Duke of Kent's debtswere paid by his daughter, in the name of herself and her mother, in thefirst year of Queen Victoria's reign. In the second year she discharged thedebts which the duch*ess of Kent had incurred in meeting the innumerableheavy calls made upon her, not only as the widow of one of the Royal Dukes,but as the mother of the future Sovereign.

The summer of 1838 was gay with the preparations for the Queen'scoronation. All classes took the greatest interest in it, so that spleneticpeople pronounced the nation "coronation mad." Long before the eventcoronation medals were being struck, coronation songs and hymns written,coronation ribands woven. Every ingenious method by which the world couldcommemorate the joyful season was put in practice. The sentiment was notconfined to the inhabitants of the United Kingdom. "Foreigners of variousconditions, and from all quarters of Europe, flocked in to behold theinauguration of the maiden monarch of the British Empire. In the Metropolisfor some weeks anterior to the event the excitement was extreme. Thethousand equipages which thronged the streets, the plumed retainers of theambassadors, the streams of swarthy strangers, and the incessant din ofpreparation, which resounded by night as well as by day, along the intendedline of the procession, constituted by themselves a scene of no ordinaryanimation and interest, and sustained the public mind in an unceasingstretch of expectation."

Some disappointment was experienced on the knowledge that the ancientcustom of a royal banquet in Westminster Hall on the coronation day was tobe dispensed with. But the loss was compensated by a procession—amodification of the old street pageant—on the occasion.

On the morning of the 28th of June the weather was not promising. It wascold for the season, and some rain fell; but the shower ceased, and the dayproved fresh and bright, with sunshine gilding the darkest cloud. The Towerartillery awoke the heaviest City sleepers. It is needless to say a greatconcourse, in every variety of vehicle and on foot, streamed from east towest through the "gravelled" streets, lined with soldiers and policemen,before the barriers were put up. "The earth was alive with men," wrote anenthusiastic spectator; "the habitations in the line of march cast forththeir occupants to the balconies or the house-tops; the windows were liftedout of their frames, and the asylum of private life, that sanctuary whichour countrymen guard with such traditional jealousy, was on this occasionmade accessible to the gaze of the entire world."

At ten o'clock the Queen left Buckingham Palace in the State coach, to themusic of the National Anthem and a salute of guns, and passed beneath theRoyal Standard hoisted on the marble arch. A marked feature of theprocession was the magnificent carriages and escorts of the foreignambassadors: the splendid uniform of the German Jagers delighted thepopulace. A deeper and subtler feeling was produced by the sight of one ofNapoleon's marshals, Soult, Wellington's great adversary, rearing his whitehead in a coach the framework of which had belonged to the State carriageof the Prince de Conde, and figured in the beaux jours of Louis XVI.The consciousness that this worthy foe had come to do honour to the youngQueen awoke a generous response from the crowd. Soult was cheered lustilyalong the whole route, and in the Abbey itself, so that he returned toFrance not only full of personal gratification at the welcome he hadreceived, but strongly convinced of the goodwill of John Bull to Frenchmenin general. How the balls of destiny roll! Soult feted in London, Ney deadby a traitor's death, filling his nameless grave in Pere la Chaise. Theprocession, beginning with trumpeters and Life Guards, wound its way inrelays of foreign ambassadors, members of the royal family and theirsuites—the duch*ess of Kent first—the band of the Household Brigade, theQueen's bargemaster and her forty-eight watermen—honorary servants formany a day—twelve carriages with her Majesty's suite, a squadron of LifeGuards, equerries, gentlemen riders and military officials, the royalhuntsmen, yeomen-prickers, and foresters, six of her Majesty's horses, withrich trappings, each horse led by two grooms; the Knight-Marshal,marshalmen, Yeomen of the Guard, the State coach—drawn by eightcream-coloured horses, attended by a Yeoman of the Guard at each wheel, andtwo footmen at each door—the Gold Stick, Viscount Combermere, and theCaptain of the Yeomen of the Guard, the Earl of Ilchester, riding on eitherside. In the coach sat the Queen, the Mistress of the Robes (the duch*ess ofSutherland), the Master of the Horse (the Earl of Albemarle), and theCaptain-General of the Royal Archers (the Duke of Buccleugh). The whole waswound up by a squadron of Life Guards. In this order of stately march,under the June sky, emerging from the green avenues of the park, theprocession turned up Constitution Hill, traversed Piccadilly, St. James'sStreet, Pall Mall, co*ckspur Street, and by Charing Cross, Whitehall, andParliament Street, reached the west door of Westminster Abbey—

Where royal heads receive the sacred gold.

At the Abbey door, at half-past eleven, the Queen was received by the greatofficers of State, the noblemen bearing the regalia, the bishops carryingthe patina, the chalice, and the Bible. Her Majesty proceeded to therobing-room, and there was a hush of expectation in the thronged interior,where the great persons who were to play a part in the ceremony and theprivileged ticket-holders had been waiting patiently for long hours.

Underneath the galleries and below the platform were ranged lines of FootGuards. The platform (under the central tower) was the most conspicuousobject. It was covered with cloth of gold, and bore the chair of homage, orthrone, facing the altar. Farther on, within the altar-rails, was "St.Edward's Chair," or the chair decorated by "William the Painter" forEdward. Enclosed within it is the "Stone of Destiny," or Fatal Stone ofScone—a sandy stone, supposed to have formed the pillow on which Jacobslept at Bethel, and long used in the coronation of the Scotch kings. Inthis chair all the kings of England, since the time of Edward I., have beencrowned. The altar was covered with massive gold plate.

The galleries of the Abbey were arranged for the members of the House ofCommons, the foreign ambassadors, the judges, Knights of the Bath, membersof the Corporation, &c. &c. The floor of the transepts was occupied bybenches for the peers and peeresses, who may be said to be in their gloryat a coronation; the space behind them was for the ticket-holders.

Harriet Martineau has preserved some of the splendours and "humours" of thecoronation with her usual clever power of observation and occasionalcaustic commentary. "The maids called me at half-past two that Junemorning, mistaking the clock. I slept no more, and rose at half-past three.As I began to dress the twenty-one guns were fired, which must haveawakened all the sleepers in London. When the maid came to dress me shesaid numbers of ladies were already hurrying to the Abbey. I saw the greyold Abbey from the window as I dressed, and thought what would have goneforward within it before the sun set upon it. My mother had laid out herpearl ornaments for me. The feeling was very strange of dressing in crape,blonde, and pearls at five in the morning…. The sight of the rapidlyfilling Abbey was enough to go for. The stone architecture contrastedfinely with the gay colours of the multitude. From my high seat I commandedthe whole north transept, the area with the throne, and many portions ofgalleries, and the balconies which were called the vaultings. Except a meresprinkling of oddities, everybody was in full dress. In the wholeassemblage I counted six bonnets. The scarlet of the military officersmixed in well, and the groups of the clergy were dignified; but to anunaccustomed eye the prevalence of Court dresses had a curious effect. Iwas perpetually taking whole groups of gentlemen for Quakers till Irecollected myself. The Earl-Marshal's assistants, called Gold Sticks,looked well from above, lightly fluttering about in white breeches, silkstockings, blue laced frocks, and white sashes. The throne—an arm-chairwith a round back, covered, as was its footstool, with cloth of gold—stoodon an elevation of four steps in the centre of the area. The first peeresstook her seat in the north transept opposite, at a quarter before seven,and three of the bishops came next. From that time the peers and theirladies arrived faster and faster. Each peeress was conducted by two GoldSticks, one of whom handed her to her seat, and the other bore and arrangedher train on her lap, and saw that her coronet, footstool, and book werecomfortably placed. I never saw anywhere so remarkable a contrast betweenyouth and age as in these noble ladies." Miss Martineau proceeds to remarkin the strongest and plainest terms on the unbecoming effect of full dress,with "hair drawn to the top of the head, to allow the putting on of thecoronet" on these venerable matrons. She goes on to express her admirationof a later generation of peeresses. "The younger were as lovely as the agedwere haggard…. About nine the first gleams of the sun slanted into theAbbey and presently travelled down to the peeresses. I had never beforeseen the full effect of diamonds. As the light travelled each peeress shonelike a rainbow. The brightness, vastness, and dreamy magnificence of thescene produced a strange effect of exhaustion and sleepiness…. The greatguns told when the Queen had set forth, and there was renewed animation.The Gold Sticks flitted about, there was tuning in the orchestra, and theforeign ambassadors and their suites arrived in quick succession. PrinceEsterhazy crossing a bar of sunshine was the most prodigious rainbow ofall. He was covered with diamonds and pearls, and as he dangled his hat itcast a dancing radiance all round.

"At half-past eleven the guns told that the Queen had arrived, but as therewas much to be done in the robing-room, there was a long pause before sheappeared."

A little after twelve the grand procession of the day entered the choir.The Prebendaries and Dean of Westminster and Officers-at-Arms, theComptroller, Treasurer, Vice-Chamberlain, and Lord Steward of her Majesty'sHousehold, the Lord Privy Seal, the Lord President, the Lord Chancellor ofIreland, came first. When these gentlemen were peers their coronets werecarried by pages. The Treasurer bore the crimson bag with the medals; theVice-Chancellor was attended by an officer from the Jewel Office,conveying, on a cushion, the ruby ring and the sword for the offering. Thenfollowed the Archbishops of Canterbury, York, and Armagh, with the LordChancellor, each archbishop in his rochet, with his cap in his hand; theprincesses of the blood royal, all in "robes of estate" of purple velvetand wearing circlets of gold; the duch*ess of Cambridge, her train borne byLady Caroline Campbell and a gentleman of her household, her coronet byViscount Villiers; the duch*ess of Kent, her train borne by Lady FloraHastings, and her coronet by Viscount Morpeth; the duch*ess of Gloucester,her train borne by Lady Caroline Legge, and her coronet by Viscount Evelyn.(The royal generation next that of George III. was fast dwindling away whenthese three ladies represented the six daughters and the wives of six ofthe sons of the old King and Queen. But there were other survivors, thoughthey were not present to-day. The Queen-dowager; Princess Augusta, an agedwoman of seventy; Princess Elizabeth, Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg, nearlyas old, and absent in Germany; the Queen as well as the King of Hanover,who had figured formerly as Duke and duch*ess of Cumberland; and PrincessSophia, who was ten years younger than Princess Augusta, and resident inEngland, but who was an invalid.) The regalia came next, St. Edward'sstaff, borne by the Duke of Roxburgh, the golden spurs borne by Lord Byron,the sceptre with the cross borne by the Duke of Cleveland, the third swordborne by the Marquis of Westminster, Curtana borne by the Duke ofDevonshire, the second sword borne by the Duke of Sutherland, eachnobleman's coronet carried by a page, Black Rod and Deputy-Garter walkingbefore Lord Willoughby d'Eresby, Lord Great Chamberlain of England, withpage and coronet.

The princes of the blood royal were reduced to two. The Duke of Cambridge,in his robe of estate, carrying his baton as Field-Marshal, his coronetborne by the Marquis of Granby, his train by Sir William Gomm; the Duke ofSussex, his coronet carried by Viscount Anson, his train by the HonourableEdward Gore.

The High Constable of Ireland, the Duke of Leinster; the High Constable ofScotland, the Earl of Errol, with their pages and coronets. TheEarl-Marshal of England, the Duke of Norfolk, with his staff, attended bytwo pages; the sword of State, borne by Viscount Melbourne, with his pageand coronet; the Lord High Constable of England, the Duke of Wellington,with his staff and baton as Field-Marshal, attended by two pages. Thesceptre with the dove, borne by the Duke of Richmond, page and coronet; St.Edward's crown, borne by the Lord High Steward, the Duke of Hamilton,attended by two pages; the orb, borne by the Duke of Somerset, page andcoronet. The patina, borne by the Bishop of Bangor; the Bible, borne by theBishop of Winchester; the chalice, borne by the Bishop of London.

At last the Queen entered, walking between the Bishops of Bath and Wellsand Durham, with Gentlemen-at-Arms on each side. She was now a royal maidenof nineteen, with a fair, pleasant face, a slight figure, rather small instature, but showing a queenly carriage, especially in the pose of thethroat and head. She wore a royal robe of crimson velvet furred with ermineand bordered with gold lace. She had on the collars of her orders. Like theother princesses, she wore a gold circlet on her head. Her train was borneby eight "beautiful young ladies," as Sir David Wilkie called them, alldressed alike, some of them destined to officiate again as the Queen'sbridesmaids, when the loveliness of the group attracted general attentionand admiration. These noble damsels were Lady Adelaide Paget, Lady FannyCowper, Lady Anne Wentworth Fitzwilliam, Lady Mary Grimston, Lady CarolineGordon Lennox, Lady Mary Talbot, Lady Catherine Stanhope, Lady LouisaJenkinson. The Ladies of her Majesty's Household came next in order, theduch*ess of Sutherland, the Mistress of the Robes, walking first, followedby Lady Lansdowne as first Lady of the Bed-chamber. Other ladies of theBed-chamber, whose names were long familiar in association with that of theQueen, included Ladies Charlemont, Lyttelton, Portman, Tavistock, Mulgrave,and Barham. The Maids of Honour bore names once equally well known in theCourt Circular, while the office brought with it visions of oldhistoric Maids prominent in Court gossip, and revealed to this daypossibilities of sprightliness reined in by Court etiquette, and innocentlittle scrapes condoned by royal graciousness and kindness. The Maids ofHonour at the Queen's coronation were the Honourable Misses MargaretDillon, Cavendish, Lister, Spring Rice, Harriet Pitt, Caroline co*cks,Matilda Paget, and Murray. One has heard and read less of the Women of theBed-chamber, noble ladies also, no doubt, but by the time the superbprocession reached them, with the gathering up of the whole in Goldsticks,Captains of the Royal Archers, of the Yeomen of the Guard, of theGentlemen-at-Arms, though pages and coronets still abounded, the strainedattention could take in no more accessories, but was fain to return to theprincipal figure in the pageant, and dwell with all eyes on her.

"The Queen looked extremely well, and had an animated countenance." Thescene within the choir on her entrance was so gorgeous, that, it is said,even the Turkish Ambassador, accustomed we should say to gorgeousness,stopped short in astonishment. As the Queen advanced slowly toward thecentre of the choir, she was received with hearty plaudits, everybodyrising, the anthem, "I was glad," sung by the musicians, ringing throughthe Abbey. "At the close of the anthem, the Westminster boys (who occupiedseats at the extremity of the lower galleries on the northern and southernsides of the choir) chanted Vivat Victoria Regina. The Queen movedtowards a chair placed midway between the chair of homage and the altar, onthe carpeted space before described, which is called the theatre." Here sheknelt down on a faldstool set for her before her chair, and used someprivate prayers. She then took her seat in the chair and the ceremonialproceeded.

First came "the Recognition" by the Archbishop of Canterbury, who advancedto the Queen, accompanied by the Lord Chancellor, the Lord Chamberlain, theLord High Constable, and the Earl-Marshal, preceded by the Deputy-Garter,and repeated these words: "Sirs, I here present unto you Queen Victoria,the undoubted Queen of this realm, wherefore all you who are come this dayto do your homage, are you willing to do the same?" Then burst forth theuniversal cry from the portion of her Majesty's subjects present, "God saveQueen Victoria." The Archbishop, turning to the north, south, and westsides of the Abbey, repeated, "God save Queen Victoria," the Queen turningat the same time in the same direction.

"The Bishops who bore the patina, Bible, and chalice in the procession,placed the same on the altar. The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishopswho were to read the Litany put on their copes. The Queen, attended by theBishops of Durham and Bath and Wells, and the Dean of Westminster, with thegreat officers of State and noblemen bearing the regalia, advanced to thealtar, and, kneeling upon the crimson velvet cushion, made her firstoffering, being a pall or altar-cloth of gold, which was delivered by anofficer of the Wardrobe to the Lord Chamberlain, by his lordship to theLord Great Chamberlain, and by him to the Queen, who delivered it to theArchbishop of Canterbury, by whom it was placed on the altar. The Treasurerof the Household then delivered an ingot of gold, of one pound weight, tothe Lord Great Chamberlain, who having presented the same to the Queen, herMajesty delivered it to the Archbishop, by whom it was put into theoblation basin.

"The Archbishop delivered a prayer in the prescribed form. The regalia werelaid on the altar by the Archbishop. The great officers of State, exceptthe Lord Chamberlain, retired to their respective places, and the Bishopsof Worcester and St. David's read the Litany. Then followed the Communionservice, read by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishops of Rochesterand Carlisle. The Bishop of London preached the sermon from the followingtext, in the Second Book of Chronicles, chapter xxxiv. verse 31: 'And theking stood in his place, and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk afterthe Lord, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and hisstatutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the wordsof the covenant which are written in this book.'

"In the course of his sermon from this text, the Bishop praised the lateking for his unfeigned religion, and exhorted his youthful successor tofollow in his footsteps. At the conclusion of the sermon 'the oath' wasadministered to the Queen by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The form ofswearing was as follows: The Archbishop put certain questions, which theQueen answered in the affirmative, relative to the maintenance of the lawand the established religion; and then her Majesty, with the LordChamberlain and other officers, the sword of State being carried beforeher, went to the altar, and laying her right hand upon the Gospels in theBible carried in the procession, and now brought to her by the Archbishopof Canterbury, said, kneeling:

"'The things which I have here before promised I will perform and keep. Sohelp me God.'

"The Queen kissed the book and signed a transcript of the oath presented toher by the Archbishop. She then kneeled upon her faldstool, and the choirsang 'Veni, Creator, Spiritus.'

"'The Anointing' was the next part of the ceremony. The Queen sat in KingEdward's chair; four Knights of the Garter—the Dukes of Buccleugh andRutland, and the Marquesses of Anglesea and Exeter—held a rich cloth ofgold over her head; the Dean of Westminster took the ampulla from thealtar, and poured some of the oil it contained into the anointing spoon,then the Archbishop anointed the head and hands of the Queen, marking themin the form of a cross, and pronouncing the words, 'Be thou anointed withholy oil, as kings, priests, and prophets were anointed; and as Solomon wasanointed king by Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, so be youanointed, blessed, and consecrated Queen over this people, whom the Lordyour God hath given you to rule and govern, in the name of the Father, andof the Son and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.'

"The Archbishop then said the blessing over her.

"The spurs were presented by the Lord Chamberlain, and the sword of Stateby Viscount Melbourne, who, however, according to custom, redeemed it witha hundred shillings, and carried it during the rest of the ceremony. Thenfollowed the investing with the 'royal robes and the delivery of the orb,'and the 'investiture per annulum et baculum,' by the ring andsceptre.

"The Coronation followed. The Archbishop of Canterbury offered a prayer toGod to bless her Majesty and crown her with all princely virtues. The Deanof Westminster took the crown from the altar, and the Archbishop ofCanterbury, with the Archbishops of York and Armagh, the Bishops of London,Durham, and other Prelates, advanced towards the Queen, and the Archbishoptaking the crown from the Dean reverently placed it on the Queen's head.This was no sooner done than from every part of the crowded edifice arose aloud and enthusiastic cry of 'God save the Queen,' mingled with lustycheers, and accompanied by the waving of hats and handkerchiefs. At thismoment, too, the Peers and Peeresses present put on their coronets, theBishops their caps, and the Kings-of-Arms their crowns; the trumpetssounding, the drums beating, and the Tower and park guns firing by signal."

Harriet Martineau, who, like most of the mere spectators, failed to see andhear a good deal of the ceremony, was decidedly impressed at this point."The acclamation when the crown was put on her head was very animating; andin the midst of it, in an instant of time, the Peeresses were allcoroneted—all but the fair creature already described." The writer refersto an earlier paragraph in which she had detailed a small catastrophe thatbroke in upon the harmonious perfection of the scene. "One beautifulcreature, with transcendent complexion and form, and coils upon coils oflight hair, was terribly embarrassed about her coronet; she had apparentlyforgotten that her hair must be disposed with a view to it, and the largebraids at the back would in no way permit the coronet to keep on. She andher neighbours tugged vehemently at her braids, and at last the thing wasdone after a manner, but so as to spoil the wonderful effect of theself-coroneting of the Peeresses."

To see "the Enthronement," the energetic Norwich woman stood on the railbehind her seat, holding on by another rail. But first "the Bible waspresented by the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Queen, who delivered itagain to the Archbishop, and it was replaced on the altar by the Dean ofWestminster.

"The Benediction was delivered by the Archbishop, and the Te Deumsung by the choir. At the commencement of the Te Deum the Queen wentto the chair which she first occupied, supported by two Bishops; she wasthen 'enthroned,' or 'lifted,' as the formulary states, into the chair ofhomage by the Archbishops, Bishops, and Peers surrounding her Majesty. TheQueen delivered the sceptre with the cross to the Lord of the Manor ofWorksop (the Duke of Norfolk), and the sceptre with the stone to the Dukeof Richmond, to hold during the performance of the ceremony of homage. TheArchbishop of Canterbury knelt and did homage for himself and other LordsSpiritual, who all kissed the Queen's hand. The Dukes of Sussex andCambridge, removing their coronets, did homage in these words:—

"'I do become your liege man of life and limb, and of earthly worship; andfaith and truth I will bear unto you, to live and die, against all mannerof folks, so help me God.'

"They touched the crown on the Queen's head, kissed her left cheek, andthen retired. It was observed that her Majesty's bearing towards heruncles was very kind and affectionate. The Dukes and other Peers thenperformed their homage, the senior of each rank pronouncing the words; asthey retired each Peer kissed her Majesty's hand. The Duke of Wellington,Earl Grey, and Lord Melbourne were loudly cheered as they ascended thesteps to the throne. Lord Rolle, "who was upwards of eighty, stumbled andfell on going up the steps. The Queen immediately stepped forward and heldout her hand to assist him, amidst the loudly expressed admiration of theentire assembly."

"While the Lords were doing homage, the Earl of Surrey, Treasurer of theHousehold, threw coronation medals, in silver, about the choir and lowergalleries, which were scrambled for with great eagerness.

"At the conclusion of the homage the choir sang the anthem, 'This is theday which the Lord hath made.' The Queen received the two sceptres from theDukes of Norfolk and Richmond; the drums beat, the trumpets sounded, andthe assembly cried out—'God save Queen Victoria!'" [Footnote: AnnualRegister.]

Harriet Martineau, from her elevated perch, says, "Her small dark crownlooked pretty, and her mantle of cloth of gold very regal; she, herself,looked so small as to appear puny." (At a later stage of the proceedingsthe same keen critic notes that the enormous train borne by her ladies madethe figure of the Queen look still less than it really was.) "The homagewas as pretty a sight as any: trains of Peers touching her crown, and thenkissing her hand. It was in the midst of that process that poor LordRolle's disaster sent a shock through the whole assemblage. It turned mevery sick. The large infirm old man was held up by two Peers, and hadnearly reached the royal footstool when he slipped through the hands of hissupporters, and rolled over and over down the steps, lying at the bottomcoiled up in his robes. He was instantly lifted up, and he tried again andagain, amidst shouts of admiration of his valour. The Queen at length spoketo Lord Melbourne, who stood at her shoulder, and he bowed approval; onwhich she rose, leaned forward, and held out her hand to the old man,dispensing with his touching the crown. He was not hurt, and hisself-quizzing on his misadventure was as brave as his behaviour at thetime. A foreigner in London gravely reported to his own countrymen, what heentirely believed on the word of a wag, that the Lords Rolle held theirtitle on the condition of performing the feat at every coronation."

Sir David Wilkie, who was present at the coronation, wrote simply, "TheQueen looked most interesting, calm, and unexcited; and as she sat upon thechair with the crown on, the sun shone from one of the windows bright uponher."

Leslie, another painter who witnessed the scene, remarked, "I was very nearthe altar, and the chair on which the Queen was crowned, when she signedthe coronation oath. I could see that she wrote a large, bold hand…. Idon't know why, but the first sight of her in her robes brought tears intomy eyes, and it had this effect on many people; she looked almost like achild."

"The Archbishop of Canterbury then went to the altar. The Queen followedhim, and giving the Lord Chamberlain her crown to hold, knelt down at thealtar. The Gospel and Epistle of the Communion service having been read bythe Bishops, the Queen made her offering of the chalice and patina, and apurse of gold, which were laid on the altar. Her Majesty received thesacrament kneeling on her faldstool by the chair."

Leslie afterwards painted this part of the ceremony for her Majesty. In hispicture are several details which are not given elsewhere. The Peers andPeeresses who had crowned themselves simultaneously with the coronation ofthe Queen, removed their crowns when she laid aside hers. Among thegentlemen of the royal family was the Duc de Nemours.

After receiving the communion, the Queen put on her crown, "and with hersceptres in her hands, took her seat again upon the throne. The Archbishopof Canterbury proceeded with the Communion service and pronounced the finalblessing. The choir sang the anthem, 'Hallelujah! for the Lord Godomnipotent reigneth.' The Queen then left the throne, and attended by twoBishops and noblemen bearing the regalia and swords of State, passed intoKing Edward's chapel, the organ playing. The Queen delivered the sceptrewith the dove to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who laid it on the altar.She was then disrobed of her imperial robe of State and arrayed in herroyal robe of purple velvet by the Lord Chamberlain. The Archbishop placedthe orb in her left hand. The gold spurs and St. Edward's staff weredelivered by the noblemen who bore them to the Dean of Westminster, whoplaced them on the altar. The Queen then went to the west door of the Abbeywearing her crown, the sceptre with the cross being in the right and theorb in the left hand…. It was about a quarter to four o'clock when theroyal procession passed through the nave, in the same order as before, atthe conclusion of the ceremony in the Abbey."

The coronation lasted three hours, and must have been attended with greatfatigue of mind and body to the young girl who bore the burden of thehonours. Even the mere spectators, who, to be sure, had been in theirplaces from dawn of day, the moment the stimulus of excitement was removed,awoke to their desperate weariness. "I watched her (the Queen) out at thedoors," said Harriet Martineau, "and then became aware how fearfullyfatigued I was. I never remember anything like it. While waiting in thepassages and between the barriers, several ladies sat or lay down on theground. I did not like to sink down in dust half a foot deep, to thespoiling of my dress and the loss of my self-respect, but it was really aterrible waiting till my brothers appeared at the end of the barrier."

But the day's business was not ended for the great world, high and low. Thereturn of the procession, though the line was broken, had the specialattraction that the Queen wore her crown, and the Peers and Peeresses theircoronets. The Queen's crown was a mass of brilliants, relieved here andthere by a large ruby or emerald, encircling a purple velvet cap. Among thestories told of the coronation, foremost and favourite of which was themisadventure of poor Lord Rolle, and the pretty gentle way in which theyoung Queen did her best to help the sufferer; an incident was reportedwhich might have had its foundation in the difficulties described by MissMartineau as besetting the fair Peeress in the Abbey. It was said that theQueen's crown was too cumbrous, and disturbed the arrangement of those softbraids of hair, the simple, modest fashion of which called forth Sir DavidWilkie's praise, and that as her Majesty drove along in her State carriage,she was seen laughingly submitting to the good offices of her beautifulcompanion seeking with soft hands to loop up afresh the rebellious lockswhich had broken loose. Leslie, from whom we have already quoted, gives ananecdote of the Queen on her coronation-day, which serves at least to showhow deeply the youthfulness of their sovereign was impressed on the publicmind. He had been informed that she was very fond of dogs, and that shepossessed a favourite little spaniel which was always on the look-out forher. She had been away from him longer than usual on this particular day.When the State coach drove up to the palace on her return, she heard hisbark of joy in the hall. She cried, "There's Dash!" and seemed to forgetcrown and sceptre in her girlish eagerness to greet her small friend.[Footnote: In the list of Sir Edwin Landseer's pictures there is one, theproperty of the Queen, which was painted in 1838. It includes "Hector,""Nero," "Dash," and "Lorey" (dogs and parrot).]

In spite of the ordeal her Majesty had undergone, she entertained a partyof a hundred to dinner, and witnessed from the roof of Buckingham Palacethe grand display of fireworks in the Green Park and the generalillumination of London. The Duke of Wellington gave a ball at Apsley House,followed next day by official dinners on the part of the Cabinet ministers.The festivities lasted for more than a week in the metropolis. Prominentamong them was a fancy fair held for the space of four days in Hyde Park,and visited by the Queen in person. On the 9th of July, a fine, hot daythere was a review in Hyde Park. The Queen appeared soon after eleven in anopen barouche, with her aides-de-camp in full uniform. The Dukes ofCambridge and Wellington, the Duc de Nemours, Marshal Soult, PrinceEsterhazy, Prince Schwartzenburg, Count Stragonoff, were present amidst agreat crowd. The Queen was much cheered. The country's old gallant foe,Soult, was again hailed with enthusiasm, though there was just a shade ofbeing exultingly equal to the situation, in the readiness with which, onhis having the misfortune to break a stirrup, a worthy firm of saddlerscame forward with a supply of the stirrups which Napoleon had used in oneof his campaigns. And there might have been something significant to thevisitor, in the rapturous greeting which was bestowed on the Iron Duke,round whose erect, impassive figure the multitude pressed, the nearest menand women defying his horse's hoofs and stretching up to shake hands with"the Conquering Hero" amidst a thunder of applause.

The rejoicings pervaded every part of the country from John o' Groat's to
Land's End, from the Scilly Isles to Sark. There was merry-making among the
English residents in every foreign place, as far as the great colonies in
the still remote continents.

To many simple people the Queen did not seem to reign, hardly to exist,till she had put on her crown and taken up her sceptre. It was to do thefirst honour to their youthful liege lady that June garlands were swungover every village street, bonfires gleamed like carbuncles on mountaincairns, frightening the hill foxes, or lit up the coast-line and were flungback in broken reflections from the tossing waves, scaring the very fish inthe depths of the sea, where hardy islanders had kindled the token on somerock of the ocean.

Pen and pencil were soon busy with the great event of the season. Elizabeth
Barrett Browning wrote later:—

The Minster was alight that day, but not with fire, I ween,
And long-drawn glitterings swept adown that mighty aisled scene;
The priests stood stoled in their pomp, the sworded chiefs in theirs,
And so the collared knights—and so the civil ministers;
And so the waiting lords and dames—and little pages best
At holding trains—and legates so, from countries east and west;
So alien princes, native peers, and high-born ladies bright
Along whose brows the Queen's new crown'd, flashed coronets to light.
And so, the people at the gates, with priestly hands on high,
Which bring the first anointing to all legal majesty;
And so, the Dead—who lay in rows beneath the Minster floor,
There verily an awful state maintaining evermore—
The statesman, with no Burleigh nod, whate'er court tricks may be;
The courtier, who, for no fair Queen, will rise up to his knee;
The court-dame, who for no court tire will leave her shroud behind;
The laureate, who no courtlier rhymes than "dust to dust" can find;
The kings and queens who having ta'en that vow and worn that crown,
Descended unto lower thrones and darker, deeper adown;
"Dieu et mon Droit," what is't to them? what meaning can it have?
The king of kings, the dust of dust—God's judgment and the grave.
And when betwixt the quick and dead the young fair Queen had vowed,
The living shouted, "May she live! Victoria, live!" aloud,
And as these loyal shouts went up, true spirits prayed between,
The blessings happy monarchs have, be thine, O Crowned Queen!

In the autumn and winter of 1838 Leslie went down to Windsor to getsittings for his picture of the coronation. He had been presented to theQueen on her first visit to the Academy after her accession, as he mentionsin one of his pleasant letters to his kindred in America. He was now tocome into nearer contact with royalty. He slept at the Castle Inn, Windsor,and went up daily to the Castle. If he found her Majesty and any othersitter engaged, he improved the occasion by copying two of the Queen's fineDutch pictures, a De Hooghe and a Nicholas Maas. He wrote his experience tohis wife in London, and his sister in America. To the latter he said, "Icame here on the 29th of last month by appointment to have a sitting of theQueen, and with little expectation of having more than one…. I have beenhere ever since, with the exception of a day or two in town (I perform thejourney in an hour by the railroad), and the Queen has sat five times. Sheis now so far satisfied with the likeness, that she does not wish me totouch it again. She sat not only for the face, but for as much as is seenof the figure, and for the hands with the coronation-ring on her finger.Her hands, by-the-bye, are very pretty, the backs dimpled, and the fingersdelicately shaped. She was particular also in having her hair dressedexactly as she wore it at the ceremony, every time she sat. She hassuggested an alteration in the composition of the picture, and I supposeshe thinks it like the scene, for she asked me where I sat, and said, 'Isuppose you made a sketch on the spot.'

"The duch*ess of Kent and Lord Melbourne are now sitting to me, and lastweek I had sittings of Lord Conyngham and Lady Fanny Cowper [Footnote:Daughter of a beautiful and popular mother, Lady Palmerston, by her firsthusband, Earl Cowper.] (a very beautiful girl, and one of the Queen'strain-bearers), who was here for a few days on a visit to her Majesty.Every day lunch is sent to me, which, as it is always very plentiful andgood, I generally make my dinner. The best of wine is sent in a beautifullittle decanter, with a V.R. and the crown engraved on it, and thetable-cloth and napkins have the royal arms and other insignia on them as apattern.

"I have two very good friends at the Castle—one of the pages, and a littleman who lights the fires. The Queen's pages are not little boys in green,but tall and stout gentlemen from forty to fifty years of age. Myfriend (Mr. Batchelor) was a page in the time of George III, and was thentwenty years old; George IV died in his arms, he says, in a room adjoiningthe one I am painting in. Mr. Batchelor comes into the room whenever thereis nobody there, and admires the picture to my heart's content. My otherfriend, the fire-lighter, is extremely like Peter Powell, only a sizelarger. He also greatly admires the picture; he confesses he knows nothingabout the robes, and can't say whether they are like or not, but hepronounces the Queen's likeness excellent." [Footnote: Leslie'sAutobiography.]

CHAPTER VI.THE MAIDEN QUEEN.

When the great event of the coronation was over the Queen was left tofulfil the heavy demands of business and the concluding gaieties of theseason. It comes upon us with a little pathetic shock, to think of one whomwe have long known chiefly in the chastened light of the devoted unflaggingworker at her high calling, of our lady of sorrows, as a merrygirl—girl-like in her fondness, in spite of her noble nature and theserious claims she did not neglect, of a racket of perpetual excitement. Weread of her as going everywhere, as the blithest and most indefatigabledancer in her ball-room, dancing out a pair of slippers before the nightwas over; we hear how reluctant she was to leave town, how eager to returnto it.

Inevitably the old and dear friends most interested in her welfare were nowregarding this critical period in the Queen's career with anxious eyes. Inlooking back upon it in after life, she has frankly and gravelyacknowledged its pitfalls; "a worse school for a young girl, or one moredetrimental to all natural feeling and affection, cannot well be imagined,than the position of a queen at eighteen, without experience, and without ahusband to guide and support her. This the Queen can state from painfulexperience, and she thanks God that none of her dear daughters are exposedto such danger."

The King of the Belgians sought to abridge the period of probation byrenewing the project of the worthy marriage to which his niece had beenwell inclined two years before. But either from the natural coyness andthe strain of perversity which are the privilege and the danger ofgirlhood, or simply because, as she has, stated, "the sudden change fromthe secluded life at Kensington to the independence of her position asQueen Regnant, at the age of eighteen, put all ideas of marriage out of herhead," the bride in prospect demurred. She declared, with the unhesitatingdecision of her age, that she had no thought of marriage for years to come.She objected, with some show of reason, that both she and Prince Albertwere too young, and that it would be better for him to have a little moretime to perfect his English education.

The princely cousin who had won her first girlish affections, and thetender sweetness of love in the bud, were by no means forgotten. The ideaof marriage never crossed the Queen's mind without his image presentingitself, she has said, and she never thought of herself as wedded to anyother man. But every woman, be she Queen or beggar-maid, craves to exerciseone species of power at one era of her life. It is her prerogative, andthough the ruth of love may live to regret it, and to grudge every passingpang inflicted, half wilfully half unwittingly, on the true heart, it maybe questioned whether love would flourish better, whether it would attainits perfect stature, without the test of the brief check and combat formastery.

But if a woman desires to prove her power, a man cannot be expected towelcome the soft tyranny; the more manly, the more sensitive he is, themore it vexes and wounds him. Here the circ*mstances were specially trying,and while we have ample sympathy with the young Queen—standing out as muchin archness as in imperiousness for a prolonged wooing—we have alsosympathy to spare for the young Prince, with manly dignity and a littleindignant pain, resisting alike girlish volatility and womanly despotism,asserting what was only right and reasonable, that he could not wait muchlonger for her to make up her mind—great queen and dear cousin though shemight be. It was neither just nor generous that he should be kept hangingon in a condition of mortifying uncertainty, with the risk of his wholelife being spoilt, after it was too late to guard against it, by a finalrefusal on her part. That the Queen had in substance made up her mind isproved by the circ*mstance that it was by her wish, and in accordance withher written instructions—of which, however, Prince Albert seems to havebeen ignorant—that Baron Stockmar, on quitting England in 1838, joined thePrince, who had just endured the trial of being separated from his elderbrother, with whom he had been brought up in the closest and most brotherlyrelations, so that the two had never been a day apart during the whole oftheir previous lives. Prince Albert was to travel in Italy, and BaronStockmar and Sir Francis (then Lieutenant) Seymour were appointed histravelling companions, visiting with him, during what proved a happy tour,Rome and Naples.

At home, where Baroness Lehzen retained the care of purely personal mattersand played her part in non-political affairs and non-politicalcorrespondence, Lord Melbourne, with his tact and kindness, discharged theremaining offices of a private secretary. But things did not go altogetherwell. Party feeling was stronger than ever. The Queen's household wasmainly of Whig materials, but there were exceptions, and the lady who hadborne the train of the duch*ess of Kent at the coronation belonged to afamily which had become Tory in politics.

Lady Flora Hastings was a daughter of the Marquis of Hastings and of Flora,Countess of Loudoun, in her own right. The Countess of Loudoun in her youthchose for her husband Earl Moira, one of the plainest-looking and mostgallant officers in the British army. The parting shortly after theirmarriage, in order that he might rejoin his regiment on active service, wasthe occasion of the popular Scotch song, by Tannahill, "Bonnie Loudoun'swoods and braes." Earl Moira, created Marquis of Hastings, had adistinguished career as a soldier and statesman, especially asGovernor-General of India. When he was Governor-General of Malta he diedfar from Loudoun's woods and braes, and was buried in the little island;but in compliance with an old promise to his wife, who long survived him,that their dust should rest together, he directed that after death hisright hand should be cut off, enclosed in a casket, and conveyed to thefamily vault beneath the church of Loudoun, where the mortal remains of hiswidow would lie.

Lady Flora Hastings was good, clever and accomplished, dearly loved by herfamily and friends. But whether she, nevertheless, possessed capabilitiesof offending her companions in office at Court; whether her conduct in anyrespect rebuked theirs, and provoked dislike, suspicion, and a desire tofind her in the wrong; whether the calamity was sheerly due to that mortalmeanness in human nature, which tempts people not otherwise unworthy toreceive the most unlikely and injurious evil report of their neighbour, onthe merest presumptive evidence, the unhappy sequel remains the same. LadyFlora had been attacked by an illness which caused so great a change in herpersonal appearance, as to lend colour to a whispered charge that she hadbeen secretly guilty of worse than levity of conduct. The cruel whisperonce breathed, it certainly became the duty of every person in authorityround a young and maiden Queen to guard her Court jealously from thefaintest suspicion of such a reproach. The fault lay with those who utteredthe shameful charge on slight and, as it proved, totally mistakeninferences.

When the accusation reached the ears of Lady Flora—last of all, nodoubt—the brave daughter of a brave man welcomed such a medicalexamination as must prove her innocence beyond dispute. Her name and famewere triumphantly cleared, but the distress and humiliation she hadsuffered accelerated the progress of her malady, and she died shortlyafterwards, passionately lamented by her friends. They sought fruitlesslyto bring punishment on the accusers, which could not be done since therewas no evidence of deliberate insincerity and malice on the part of thecirculators of the scandal. The blame of the disastrous gossip fell on twoof the Whig Ladies of the Bed-chamber; and just before the sad climax, theother event, which angry Tory eyes magnified to the dignity of aconspiracy, drew double attention to both catastrophes.

In May, 1839, the Whig Government had been defeated in a crucial measure,and the ministry under the leadership of Lord Melbourne resigned office.The Queen sent for the Duke of Wellington, and he recommended that SirRobert Peel should be called upon to form a new Cabinet. It was the firsttime that the Queen had experienced a change of Ministers, and she wasnaturally dismayed at the necessity, and reluctant to part with the friendwho had lent her such aid on her accession, whom she trusted implicitly,who in the requirements of his office had been in daily communication withher for the last two years. In her interview with Sir Robert Peel, who inhis shyness and constraint appeared to have far fewer personalrecommendations for a young Queen's counsellor, she told him with a simpleand girlish frankness that she was sorry to have to part with her lateMinister, of whose conduct she entirely approved, but that she bowed toconstitutional usage. [Footnote: Justin Macarthy.] Sir Robert took theimpulsive speech in the straightforward spirit in which it was spoken,while time was to show such a good understanding and cordial regardestablished between the Queen and her future servant, as has rarely beensurpassed in the relations of sovereigns and their advisers. But in themeanwhile a contretemps, which was more than half a blunder,occurred. "The negotiations went on very smoothly as to the colleagues Peelmeant to recommend to her Majesty, until he happened to notice thecomposition of the royal household, as regarded the ladies most closely inattendance on the Queen. For example, he found that the wife of LordNormanby and the sister of Lord Morpeth were the two ladies in closestattendance on her Majesty. Now it has to be borne in mind—it wasproclaimed again and again during the negotiations—that the chiefdifficulty of the Conservatives would necessarily be in Ireland, wheretheir policy would be altogether opposed to that of the Whigs. LordNormanby had been Lord Lieutenant of Ireland under the Whigs, and LordMorpeth, whom we can all remember as the amiable and accomplished LordCarlisle of later time, Irish Secretary. It certainly would not besatisfactory for Peel to try to work a new Irish policy, whilst the closesthousehold companions of the Queen were the wife and sister of the displacedstatesmen, who directly represented the policy he had to supersede. Hadthis point of view been made clear to the sovereign at first, it is hardlypossible that any serious difficulty could have arisen. The Queen must haveseen the obvious reasonableness of Peel's request, nor is it to be supposedthat the two ladies in question could have desired to hold their placesunder such circ*mstances. But unluckily some misunderstanding took place atthe very beginning of the conversations on this point. Peel only desired topress for the retirement of the ladies holding the higher offices,[Footnote: This has been the rule in subsequent changes of Ministry.] hedid not intend to ask for any change affecting a place lower in officialrank than that of Lady of the Bed-chamber. But somehow or other he conveyedto the mind of the Queen a different idea. She thought he meant to insistas a matter of principle upon the removal of all her familiar attendantsand household associates. Under this impression she consulted Lord JohnRussell, who advised her on what he understood to be the facts. On hisadvice the Queen stated in reply, that she could not "consent to a coursewhich she conceives to be contrary to usage, and is repugnant to herfeelings." Sir Robert Peel held firm to his stipulation, and the chance ofhis then forming a Ministry was at an end. Lord Melbourne and hiscolleagues had to be recalled, and at a Cabinet meeting they adopted aminute declaring it "reasonable, that the great offices of the Court, andsituations in the household held by members of Parliament, should beincluded in the political arrangements made on a change in theAdministration; but they are not of opinion that a similar principle shouldbe applied or extended to the offices held by ladies in her Majesty'shousehold."

As an instance of the garbled impression received, and the unhesitatingexultation manifested by some of the Whig leaders, we quote from LordCampbell: "House of Commons, Friday, May 10, 1839. What do you think? Peelhas quarrelled with the Queen, and for the present we are all in again. Heinsisted on her removing all her ladies, which she peremptorily refused.Peel sent his final answer yesterday evening, which she received at dinner,saying that on consulting his colleagues they could not yield, and that hiscommission was at an end. She then sent for Melbourne, who had not seen hersince his resignation. At eleven a meeting of the old Cabinet was called.To-day Melbourne has been with her, and, Bear Ellis says, agreed to go onwith the government. Reports differ as to the exact conditions. Our peoplesay that she was willing to give up the wives of Peers; Sir George Clerkasserts she insisted on keeping all, inter alias the Marchioness ofNormanby. There never was such excitement in London. I came with hundredsof others to the House of Lords, which met to-day, in the expectation thatsomething would be said, but all passing off in silence." [Footnote: Theexplanation was made later.]

"Brooks's, Saturday, May 11, 1839. The Cabinet is still sitting, and weknow nothing more to-day…. I was several hours at the Queen's ball lastnight, a scene never to be forgotten. The Queen was in great spirits, anddanced with more than usual gaiety. She received Peel with great civility;but after dancing with the Russian Bear, took for her partner LadyNormanby's son. The Tories looked inconceivably foolish—such whimsicalgroups."

Calm onlookers, including Stockmar, condemned Lord Melbourne for theposition, in which he had allowed the young Queen to be placed, andconsidered that he had brought discredit on his Government by thecirc*mstances in which he and his colleagues had resumed office. Themelancholy death of Lady Flora Hastings following on this overthrow of theordinary arrangements, intensified the wrath of the Tories, and helped toarouse a sense of general dissatisfaction and doubt.

In the month of July, 1839, an Act of Parliament was passed which was ofgreat consequence to the mass of the people. In 1837 Sir Rowland Hillpublished his post-office reform pamphlet, and in 1839 the penny-postscheme was embodied in an Act of Parliament.

What stories clustered round the early miniature "heads" of her Majesty inthe little dull red stamp! These myths ranged from the panic that theadhesive gum caused cancer in the tongue, to the romance that a desperateyoung lady was collecting a huge supply of used stamps for the purpose ofpapering a room of untold dimensions. This feat was the single stipulationon the part of a tyrannical parent, on compliance with which the haplessmaiden would be allowed to marry her faithful lover.

CHAPTER VII.THE BETROTHAL.

The Queen's remaining unmarried was becoming the source of innumerabledisturbing rumours and private intrigues for the bestowal of her hand. Toshow the extent to which the public discussed the question in every light,a serious publication like the Annual Register found space in itspages for a ponderous joke on the subject which was employing all tongues.Its chronicle professes to report an interview between her Majesty theQueen and Lord Melbourne, in which the Premier gravely represents to hissovereign the advisability of her marriage, and ventures to press her tosay whether there is any man for whom she might entertain a preference. HerMajesty condescends to acknowledge there is one man for whom she couldconceive a regard. His name is "Arthur, Duke of Wellington."

Altogether, King Leopold was warranted in renewing his efforts toaccomplish the union which would best secure the happiness of his niece andthe welfare of a kingdom. He adopted a simple, and at the same time, amasterly line of policy. He sent the Prince, whose majority had beencelebrated along with his brother's a few months before, over again toEngland in the autumn of 1839; Prince Ernest of Saxe-Coburg went once morewith Prince Albert, in order to show that this was not a bridegroom come toplead his suit in person; this was a mere cousinly visit of which nothingneed come. Indeed, the good king rather overdid his caution, for it seemshe led the Prince to believe that the earlier tacit understanding betweenhim and his cousin had come to an end, so that Prince Albert arrived moreresolved to relinquish his claims than to urge his rights. In his honestpride there was hardly room for the thought of binding more closely andindissolubly the silken cord of love, which had got loosened and warped inthe course of the three years since the pair had parted—a long interval atthe age of twenty. All the same, one of the most notably and deservedlyattractive young men of his generation was to be brought for the secondtime, without the compulsory strain of an ulterior motive—declared orunjustifiably implied—into new contact with a royal maiden, whom aqualified judge described as possessing "a keen and quick apprehension,being straightforward, singularly pure-hearted, and free from all vanityand pretension." In the estimation of this sagacious well-wisher, she wasfitted beforehand "to do ample justice both to the head and heart of thePrince."

It was at half-past seven on the evening of Thursday, the 10th of October,that the princely brothers entered again on the scene, no longer young ladsunder the guidance of their father, come to make the acquaintance of agirl-princess, their cousin, who though she might be the heir to a mightykingdom, was still entirely under the wing of the duch*ess, their aunt andher mother, in the homely old Palace of Kensington. These were two youngmen in the flower of their early manhood, who alighted in due form underthe gateway of one of the stateliest of castles that could ever havevisited their dreams, and found a young Queen as well as a kinswomanstanding first among her ladies, awaiting them at the top of the grandstaircase. However cordial and affectionate, and like herself, she mightbe, it had become her part, and she played it well, to take the initiative,to give directions instead of receiving them, to command where she hadobeyed. It was she, and not the mother she loved and honoured, who was themistress of this castle; and it was for her to come forward, welcome herguests, and graciously conduct them to the duch*ess.

King Leopold had furnished the brothers with credentials in the shape of aletter, recommending them, in studiously moderate terms, as "good, honestcreatures," deserving her kindness, "not pedantic, but really sensible andtrustworthy," whom he had told that her great wish was they should be atease with her.

Both of these simply summed-up guests were fine young men, tall, manly,intelligent, and accomplished. Prince Albert was very handsome and winning,as all his contemporaries must remember him, with a mixture of thought andgentleness in his broad forehead, deep-blue eyes, and sweet smile.

The first incident of the visit was a trifle disconcerting, but not more sothan happy, privileged people may be permitted to surmount with a laughingapology; even to draw additional light-hearted jests from the misadventure.The baggage of the Princes by some chance was not forthcoming; they couldnot appear at a Court dinner in their morning dress, but etiquette wasrelaxed for the strangers to the extent that later in the evening theyjoined the circle, which included Lord Melbourne, Lord Clanricarde, Lordand Lady Granville, Baron Brunnow and Lord Normanby, as visitors at Windsorat the time. The pleasant old courtier, Lord Melbourne, immediately toldthe Queen that he was struck with the resemblance between Prince Albert andherself.

"The way of life at Windsor during the stay of the Princes was much asfollows:—the Queen breakfasting at this time in her own room, theyafterwards paid her a visit there; and at two o'clock had luncheon with herand the duch*ess of Kent. In the afternoon they all rode—the Queen andduch*ess and the two Princes, with Lord Melbourne and most of the ladies andgentlemen in attendance, forming a large cavalcade. There was a greatdinner every evening, with a dance after it, three times a week."[Footnote: "Early Years of the Prince Consort."] Surely an ideal palacelife for the young—born to the Stately conditions, bright with all thefreshness of body and sparkle of spirit, unexhausted, undimmed by years andcare. Surely a fair field for true love to cast off its wilful shackles,and be rid of its half-cherished misunderstandings, to assert itself masterof the situation. And so in five days, while King Leopold was still writingwary recommendations and temperate praise, the prize which had been deemedlost was won, and the Queen who had foredoomed herself to years of maidenlytoying with happiness and fruitless waiting, was ready to announce herspeedy marriage, with loyal satisfaction and innocent fearlessness, to herservants in council.

At the time, and for long afterwards, there were many wonderful littlestories, doubtless fanciful enough, but all taking colour from the onecharming fact of the royal lovers. How the Queen, whose place it was tochoose, had with maidenly grace made known her worthy choice at one ofthese palace "dances," in which she had waltzed with her Prince, andsubsided from the liege lady into the loving woman. She had presented himwith her bouquet in a most marked and significant manner. He had acceptedit with the fullest and most becoming sense of the distinction conferredupon him, and had sought to bestow her token in a manner which should provehis devotion and gratitude. But his tight-fitting foreign uniform hadthreatened to baffle his desire, till, in the exigency of the moment, hetook out a pocket-knife (or was it his sword from its sheath?) and cut aslit in the breast of his coat on the left side, over the heart, where heput the flowers. Was this at the end of that second day after the brothers'arrival, on which, as the Prince mentions, in detailing to a friend theturn of the tide, "the most friendly demonstrations were directed towardsme?"

On the 14th of October, the Queen told her fatherly adviser, LordMelbourne, that she had made her choice; at which he expressed greatsatisfaction, and said to her (as her Majesty has stated in one of thepublished portions of her Journal), "I think it will be very well received,for I hear that there is an anxiety now that it should be, and I am veryglad of it;" adding, in quite a paternal tone, "you will be much morecomfortable, for a woman cannot stand alone for any time in whateverposition she may be."

In the circ*mstances, the ordinary role was of necessity strangelyreversed, and the ordeal of the declaration fell to the maiden and not tothe young man. But the trial could not have come to a better pair. Innategood sense and dignity, and single-hearted affection on the one hand, andmanly, delicate-minded tenderness on the other, made all things possible,nay, easy. An intimation was conveyed to the Prince through an old friend,who was in the suite of the brothers on this visit to England, BaronAlvensleben, Master of the Horse to the Duke of Coburg, that the Queenwished to speak to Prince Albert next day. Doubtless, the formality andcomparative length of the invitation had its significant importance to thereceiver of the message, and brought with it a tumult and thrill ofanticipation. But he was called on to show that he had outgrown youthfulimpetuosity and impatience, and to prove himself worthy of trust and honourby perfect self-restraint and composure. So far as the world knows, heawaited his lady's will without a sign of restlessness or disturbance. Ifblissful dreams drove away sleep from the pillows on which two young headsrested in Royal Windsor that night, none save the couple needed to know ofit. It was not by any means the first time that queenly and princely headshad courted oblivion in vain beneath the tower of St. George, and under thebanner of England, but never in more natural, lawful, happy wakefulness.

On the morning of the 15th, behaving himself as if nothing had happened, orwas going to happen, according to the code of Saxon Englishmen, PrinceAlbert went out early, hunting with his brother, but came back by noon, and"half an hour afterwards obeyed the Queen's summons to her room, where hefound her alone. After a few minutes' conversation on other subjects, theQueen told him why she had sent for him."

The Prince wrote afterwards to the oldest of his relations: "The Queen sentfor me alone to her room a few days ago, and declared to me, in a genuineoutburst of love and affection, that I had gained her whole heart, andwould make her intensely happy if I would make her the sacrifice of sharingher life with her, for she said she looked on it as a sacrifice; the onlything that troubled her was, that she did not think she was worthy of me.The joyous openness of manner with which she told me this quite enchantedme, and I was quite carried away by it."

"The Prince answered by the warmest demonstration of kindness andaffection."

The affair had been settled by love itself in less time than it has takento tell it.

There is an entry in her Majesty's Journal of this date, which she has,with noble and tender confidence, in the best feelings of humanity,permitted her people to read.

"How I will strive to make him feel, as little as possible, the greatsacrifices he has made! I told him it was a great sacrifice on hispart, but he would not allow it."

This record has been enthusiastically dwelt upon for its thoroughwomanliness; and so it is truly womanly, royally womanly. But it seems tous that less weight has been put on the fine sympathetic intuition of theQueen which enabled her to look beyond herself, beyond mere outwardappearance and worldly advantages, and see the fact of the sacrifice on thepart of such a man as Prince Albert, which he made with all his heart,cheerfully, refusing so much as to acknowledge it, for her dear sake. Forthe Queen was wisely right, and the Prince lovingly wrong. He not only gaveback in full measure what he got, but, looking at the contract in the lightof the knowledge which the Queen has granted to us of a rare nature, werecognise that for such a man—so simple, noble, purely scholarly andartistic; so capable of undying attachment; so fond of peaceful householdcharities and the quiet of domestic life; so indifferent to pomp and show;so wearied and worried in his patience by formality, parade, and the vulgarstrife and noise, glare and blare of the lower, commoner ambitions—itwas a sacrifice to forsake his fatherland, his father's house, thebrother whom he loved as his own soul, the plain living and high thinking,healthful early hours and refined leisure—busy enough in good thoughts anddeeds—of Germany, for the great shackled responsibility which should reston the Queen's husband, for the artificial, crowded, high-pressure life ofan England which did not know him, did not understand him, for many a day.If Baron Stockmar was right, that the physical constitution of the Princein his youth rendered strain and effort unwelcome, and that he was ratherdeficient in interest in the ordinary work of the world, and in the broadquestions which concern the welfare of men and nations, than overendowedwith a passion for mastering and controlling them, then the sacrifice wasall the greater.

But he made it, led by what was, in him, an overruling sense of right, andby the sweetest compelling motive, for highest duty and for her his Queen.Having put his hand to the plough he never looked back. What his hand foundto do, that he did with all his might, and he became one of the hardestworkers of his age. In seeing what he resigned, we also see that thefullness of his life was rendered complete by the resignation. He wascalled to do a grand, costly service, and he did well, at whatever price,to obey the call. Without the sacrifice his life would have been lesshonourable as an example, less full, less perfect, and so, in the end, lesssatisfying.

When the troth was plighted, the Queen adds, "I then told him to fetchErnest, who congratulated us both and seemed very happy. He told me howperfect his brother was."

There were other kind friends to rejoice in the best solution of theproblem and settlement of the vexed question. The good mother and aunt, theduch*ess of Kent, rendered as secure as mortal mother could be of the futurecontentment and prosperity of her child; the attached kinsman beyond theChannel; the father of the bridegroom; his female relations; trusty BaronStockmar; an early comrade, were all to be told and made happy, and in somecases sorry also, for the promotion of Prince Albert to be the Queen'shusband meant exile from Germany.

The passages given from the Queen's and Prince's letters to King Leopoldand Baron Stockmar are not only very characteristic, the words express whatthose who loved the writers best would have most wished them to say. Therespective utterances are radiant with delight softened by the modest, firmresolves, the humble hearty conscientiousness which made the proposedmarriage so auspicious of all it was destined to prove.

The King of the Belgians was still in a state of doubt, writing his earnestbut studiously measured praise of his nephews to the Queen. "I am sure youwill like them the more, the longer you see them. They are young men ofmerit, and without that puppy-like affectation which is so often found withyoung gentlemen of rank; and though remarkably well informed, they are veryfree from pedantry.

"Albert is a very agreeable companion. His manners are so quiet andharmonious that one likes to have him near one's self. I always found himso when I had him with me, and I think his travels have still improvedhim. He is full of talent and fun, and draws cleverly."

At last there is a plainer insinuation. "I trust they will enliven yoursejour in the old castle, and may Albert be able to strew roseswithout thorns on the pathway of life of our good Victoria. He is wellqualified to do so…."

On the very day this letter was written, the Queen was addressing heruncle. "My dearest uncle, this letter will I am sure give you pleasure, foryou have always shown and taken so warm an interest in all that concernsme. My mind is quite made up, and I told Albert this morning of it. Thewarm affection he showed me on learning this, gave me great pleasure. Heseems perfection, and I think I have the prospect of very great happinessbefore me. I love him more than I can say, and shall do everything in mypower to render this sacrifice (for such is my opinion it is) as small as Ican…. It is absolutely necessary that this determination of mine shouldbe known to no one but yourself and to Uncle Ernest, until after themeeting of Parliament, as it would be considered, otherwise, neglectful onmy part not to have assembled Parliament at once to inform them of it….Lord Melbourne has acted in this business as he has always done towards me,with the greatest kindness and affection. We also think it better, andAlbert quite approves of it, that we should be married very soon afterParliament meets, about the beginning of February."

The King's reply from Wiesbaden is like the man, and is pathetic in thedepth of its gratification. "My dearest Victoria, nothing could have givenme greater pleasure than your dear letter. I had, when I learnt yourdecision, almost the feeling of Old Simeon: 'Now lettest thou thy servantdepart in peace.' Your choice has been for these last years my convictionof what might and would be best for your happiness; and just because I wasconvinced of it, and knew how strangely fate often changes what one triesto bring about as being the best plan one could fix upon—the maximum of agood arrangement—I feared that it would not happen."

In Prince Albert's letter to Baron Stockmar, written without delay, as hesays, "on one of the happiest days of my life to give you the most welcomenews possible," he goes on to declare that he is often at a loss to believethat such affection should be shown to him. He quotes as applicable tohimself from Schiller's "Song of the Bell," of which the Prince was veryfond—

Das Auge sieht den Himmel offen,
Es schwimmt das Herz in seligkeit.

The passage from which these lines are taken is the very beautiful one thusrendered in English by the late Lord Lytton:—

And, lo! as some sweet vision breaks
Out from its native morning skies,
With rosy shame on downcast cheeks,
The virgin stands before his eyes:
A nameless longing seizes him!
From all his wild companions flown;
Tears, strange till then, his eyes bedim,
He wanders all alone.
Blushing he glides where'er she moves,
Her greeting can transport him;
To every mead to deck his love,
The happy wild-flowers court him.
Sweet hope—and tender longing—ye
The growth of life's first age of gold,
When the heart, swelling, seems to see
The gates of heaven unfold.
Oh, were it ever green! oh, stay!
Linger, young Love, Life's blooming may.

In a later letter to Stockmar the Prince writes: "An individuality, acharacter which shall win the respect, the love, and the confidence of theQueen and of the nation, must be the groundwork of my position…. Iftherefore I prove a 'noble' Prince in the true sense of the word, as youcall upon me to be, wise and prudent conduct will become easier to me, andits results more rich in blessings;" and to his stepmother he makes thethoughtful comment, "With the exception of my relation to her (the Queen),my future position will have its dark sides, and the sky will not always beblue and unclouded. But life has its thorns in every position, and theconsciousness of having used one's powers and endeavours for an object sogreat as that of promoting the good of so many will surely be sufficient tosupport me."

The brothers remained at Windsor for a happy month, [Footnote: LadyBloomfield describes a beautiful emerald serpent ring which the Prince gavethe Queen when they were engaged.] when the royal lovers saw much of eachother, and as a matter of course often discussed the future, particularlywith reference to the Prince's position in his new country, and what histitle was to be. One can easily fancy how interesting and engrossing suchtalks would become, especially when they were enlivened by the brighthumour, and controlled by the singular unselfishness, of the object of somany hopes and plans. It was already blustering wintry weather, but therewas little room to feel the depressing influence of the grey cloudy sky orthe chill of the shrilly whistling wind and driving rain. Prince Ernest hadthe misfortune to suffer from an attack of jaundice, but it was a passingevil, sure to be lightened by ample sympathy, and it did not prevent thefriend of the bridegroom from rejoicing greatly at the sound of thebridegroom's voice.

Perhaps the fact that a form of secrecy had to be kept up till her Majestyshould announce her marriage to the Council only added an additionalpiquant flavour to the general satisfaction. But this did not cause theQueen to fail in confidence towards the members of her family, for shewrote herself to the Queen-dowager and to the rest of her kindredannouncing her intended marriage, and receiving their congratulations.

On the 2nd of November there was a review of the battalion of the RifleBrigade quartered at Windsor under Colonel, afterwards Sir George Brown, ofCrimean fame, in the Home Park. The Queen was present, accompanied byPrince Albert, in the green uniform of the Coburg troops. What a picture,full of joyful content, independent of all accidents of weather, survivesof the scene! "At ten minutes to twelve I set off in my Windsor uniform andcap (already described) on my old charger 'Leopold,' with my beloved Albertlooking so handsome in his uniform on my right, and Sir John Macdonald, theAdjutant-General, on my left, Colonel Grey and Colonel Wemyss preceding me,a guard of honour, my other gentlemen, my cousin's gentlemen, Lady CarolineBarrington, &c., for the ground.

"A horrid day. Cold, dreadfully blowing, and, in addition, raining hardwhen we had been out a few minutes. It, however, ceased when we: came tothe ground. I rode alone down the ranks, and then took my place as usual,with dearest Albert on my right and Sir John Macdonald on my left, and sawthe troops march past. They afterwards manoeuvred. The Rifles lookedbeautiful. It was piercingly cold, and I had my cape on, which dearestAlbert settled comfortably for me. He was so cold, being 'EN GRANDE TENUE,'with high boots. We cantered home again, and went in to show ourselves to.poor Ernest, who had seen all from a window."

The Princes left Windsor on the 14th of November, visiting the King of theBelgians on their way home, so that King Leopold could write to his niece,"I find them looking well, particularly Albert. It proves that happiness isan excellent remedy to keep people in better health than any other. He ismuch attached to you, and modest when speaking of you. He is besides ingreat spirits, full of gaiety and fun."

The bridegroom also sent kind words to his aunt and future mother-in-law,as well as tender words to his cousin and bride. "Dearest aunt, a thousandthanks for your two kind letters just received. I see from them that youare in close sympathy with your nephew—your son-in-law soon to be—whichgratifies me very, very much…. What you say about my poor little bridesitting all alone in her room, silent and sad, has touched me to the heart.Oh, that I might fly to her side to cheer her!"

"For 'the poor little bride' there was no lack of those sweet words,touched with the grateful humility of a manly love, to receive which was aprecious foretaste to her of the happiness of the years to come." "That Iam the object of so much love and devotion often comes over me as somethingI can hardly realise," wrote the Prince. "My prevailing feeling is, What amI that such happiness should be mine? For excess of happiness it is to meto know that I am so dear to you." Again, in referring to his grandmother'sregret at his departure he added, "Still she hopes, what I am convincedwill be the case, that I may find in you, my dear Victoria, all thehappiness I could possibly desire. And so I SHALL, I can truly tell her forher comfort." And once more he wrote from "dear old Coburg," brimming overwith loyal joy, "How often are my thoughts with you! The hours I wasprivileged to pass with you in your dear little room are the radiant pointsof my life, and I cannot even yet clearly picture to myself that I am to beindeed so happy as to be always near you, always your protector." Last andmost touching assurance of all, touching as it was solemn, when hementioned to the Queen that in an hour he was to take the sacrament inchurch at Coburg, and went on, "God will not take it amiss, if in thatserious act, even at the altar, I think of you, for I will pray to Him foryou and for your soul's health, and He will not refuse us His blessing."

In the meantime there was much to do in England. On the 20th of Novemberthe Queen, with the duch*ess of Kent, left Windsor for Buckingham Palace. Onthe 23rd, the Council assembled there in the Bow-room on the ground floor.The ceremony of declaring her proposed marriage was a mere form, but a verytrying form to a young and modest woman called to face alone a gathering ofeighty-three elderly gentlemen, and to make to them the announcement whichconcerned herself so nearly. Of the Privy Councillors some, like the Dukeof Wellington, had known the Queen all her life, some had only served hersince she came to the throne, but all were accustomed to discuss verydifferent matters with her. How difficult the task was to the Queen we mayjudge from the significant note. The Queen always wore a bracelet with thePrince's picture, "and it seemed," she wrote in her Journal, "to give mecourage at the Council." Her own further account of the scene is asfollows: "Precisely at two I went in. The room was full, but I hardly knewwho was there. Lord Melbourne I saw looking kindly at me with tears in hiseyes, but he was not near me. I then read my short declaration. I felt myhands shook, but I did not make one mistake. I felt most happy and thankfulwhen it was over. Lord Lansdowne then rose, and in the name of the PrivyCouncil asked that this most gracious and most welcome communication mightbe printed. I then left the room, the whole thing not lasting above two orthree minutes. The Duke of Cambridge came into the small library where Iwas standing and wished me joy."

The Queen's declaration was to this effect: "I have caused you to besummoned at the present time in order that I may acquaint you with myresolution in a matter which deeply concerns the welfare of my people andthe happiness of my future life.

"It is my intention to ally myself in marriage with the Prince Albert ofSaxe-Coburg and Gotha. Deeply impressed with the solemnity of theengagement which I am about to contract, I have not come to this decisionwithout mature consideration, nor without feeling a strong assurance that,with the blessing of Almighty God, it will at once secure my domesticfelicity and serve the interests of my country.

"I have thought fit to make this resolution known to you at the earliestperiod, in order that you may be apprised of a matter so highly importantto me and to my kingdom, and which, I persuade myself, will be mostacceptable to all my loving subjects."

The Queen returned to Windsor with the duch*ess of Kent the same evening.

On the 16th of January, 1840, the Queen opened Parliament in person, andmade a similar statement. "Since you were last assembled I have declared myintention of allying myself in marriage with the Prince Albert ofSaxe-Coburg and Gotha. I humbly implore that the Divine blessing mayprosper this union, and render it conducive to the interests of my peopleas well as to my own domestic happiness, and it will be to me a source ofthe most lively satisfaction to find the resolution I have taken approvedby my Parliament. The constant proofs which I have received of yourattachment to my person and family persuade me that you will enable me toprovide for such an establishment as may appear suitable to the rank of thePrince and the dignity of the Crown."

To see and hear the young Queen, still only in her twenty-first year, whenshe went to tell her people of her purpose, multitudes lined the streetsand cheered her on her way that wintry day, and every seat in the House"was filled with the noblest and fairest of the land" ready to give herquieter but not less heartfelt support. It is no mere courtly compliment tosay that Queen Victoria's marriage afforded the greatest satisfaction tothe nation at large. Not only was it a very desirable measure on politicalgrounds, but it appealed to the far deeper and wider feelings of humanity.It had that touch of nature which makes the whole world kin. Sir RobertPeel's words, when he claimed the right of the Opposition to join with theGovernment in its felicitations to both sovereign and country, were notrequired to convince the people that their Queen was not only making asuitable alliance, but was marrying "for love," according to the oldest,wisest, best plan. They knew the glad truth as if by instinct, and howheartily high and low entered into her happiness and wished her joy! It issaid there is one spectacle which, whether the spectators own it or not,hardly ever palls entirely even on the most hardened and worldly, the mostweary and wayworn, the poorest and most wretched—perhaps, least of all onthe last. It is a bridegroom rejoicing to leave his chamber, and a brideblushing in her sweet bliss. There are after all only three great events inhuman history which, projected forward or reflected backward, colour allthe rest—birth, marriage, and death. The most sordid or sullen populationwill collect in knots, brighten a little, forget hard fate or mortal wrongsfor a moment, in the interest of seeing a wedding company go by. Thesurliest, the most whining of the onlookers will spare a little relenting,a happier thought, for "two lunatics," "a couple of young fools whose eyeswill soon be opened," "a pore delooded lad," "a soft silly of a gal;" whoare still so enviable in their brief bright day.

What was it then to know of a pair of royal lovers—a great Queen and herchosen Prince—well mated! It softened all hearts, it made the old youngagain, with a renewing breath of late romance and tenderness. And, oh! howthe young, who are old now, gloried in that ideal marriage! What tales theytold of it, what wonderful fancies they had about it! How it knit thehearts of the Queen and her subjects together more strongly than anythingelse save common sorrow could do! for when it comes to that, sorrow is moreuniversal than joy, sinks deeper, and in this world lasts longer.

Indeed, at this stage, as at every other, it was soon necessary to descendfrom heaven to earth; and for the royal couple, as for the meanest of thepeople, there were difficulties in connection with the arrangements,troubles that proved both perplexing and vexatious. It may be said herethat the times were not very propitious for asking even the most just andreasonable Parliamentary grants. The usual recurring sufferings frominsufficient harvests and from stagnation of trade were depressing the mindof the country. Parliament was called on to act on the occasion of theQueen's marriage, and the House was not only divided into two hostileparties, the hostility had been envenomed by recent contretemps,notably that which prevented Sir Robert Peel and the Tories from takingoffice and kept in the Whig Government. The unpalatable fruits of theembroilment had to be eaten and digested at the present crisis. Accordinglythere were carping faultfinding, and resistance—even defeat—on everymeasure concerning the Prince brought before the Lords and Commons.

The accusation of disloyal retaliation was made against the Tories. On theother hand the Whigs in power showed such a defiant attitude, in theabsence of any attempt to conciliate their antagonists, even when thewelfare of the Government's motions, and the interests and feelings of theQueen and the Prince demanded the first consideration, that LordMelbourne's party were suspected of a crafty determination to let matterstake their course for the express purpose of prejudicing Prince Albertagainst the Tories, and alienating him from them in the very beginning.

Lord Melbourne at least did not deserve this accusation. Whatever share hehad in the injudicious attitude of the Government, or in the blunders itcommitted, must be attributed to the sort of high-handed carelessness whichdistinguished the man. His singular fairness in the business is thusrecorded by Baron Stockmar. "As I was leaving the Palace, I met Melbourneon the staircase. He took me aside and used the following remarkable andtrue words, strongly characteristic of his great impartiality: 'The Princewill doubtless be very much irritated against the Tories. But it is not theTories alone whom the Prince has to thank for the curtailment of hisappanage. It is the Tories, the Radicals, and a good many of our ownpeople.' I pressed his hand in approbation of his remarkable frankness.I said, 'There's an honest man! I hope you will yourself say that to thePrince.'" [Footnote: Lord Melbourne and Baron Stockmar were always onexcellent terms. At the same time the English Prime Minister was notwithout a little jealousy of any suspicion of his Government being dictatedto by King Leopold.]

Umbrage was taken by the Duke of Wellington at no mention being made ofPrince Albert's Protestantism on the notification of the marriage. Withregard to the income and position to be secured to the Prince, the nearestprecedent which could be found to guide the discussion was that of PrinceGeorge of Denmark, husband to Queen Anne. It was halting in many respects,such as the fact that he had married the Princess long before she wasQueen, nay, while her succession to the throne was problematical. Besides,his character and position in the country were only respectable for theirharmlessness, and did not recommend him by way of example of any kind,either to Queen or people. Statesmen turned rather to the settlement anddignity accorded to Prince Leopold, when he married Princess Charlotte; butneither was that quite a case in point. The fittest reference, so far asincome was concerned, seemed to be to the private purses allowed to theQueen Consorts of the reigning sovereigns of England. To the three lastQueens—Caroline, Charlotte, and Adelaide, the sum of fifty thousandpounds a year had been granted. This also was the annuity settled onPrince Leopold. Therefore fifty thousand was the amount confidently askedby the Government.

After a good deal of wrangling and angry debate, in which, however, theQueen's name was studiously respected, she and the Prince had themortification to learn that the country, by its representatives, hadrefused the usual allowance, and voted only thirty thousand a year to theQueen's husband.

The same ill-fortune attended an attempt to introduce into the bill for thenaturalisation of the Prince, before the House of Lords, a clause whichshould secure his taking precedence of all save the Queen. The Duke ofSussex opposed the clause, in the interest of the King of Hanover, and somany jealous objections were urged that it was judged better to let theprovision drop than risk a defeat in the House of Lords similar to that inthe House of Commons. The awkward alternative remained that Prince Albert'sposition, so far as it had to do with the Lord Chamberlain and the Heralds'Office, was left undecided and ambiguous. It was only by the issue ofletters patent on the Queen's part, at a later date, that any certainty onthis point could be attained even in England.

The formation of the Prince's household, which one would think might havebeen left to his own good feeling and discretion, or at least to theQueen's judgment in acting for him, proved another bone of contentioncalling forth many applications and implied claims.

Baron Stockmar came to England in January, to see to this important elementin the Prince's independence and comfort, as well as to the signing of themarriage contract. But in spite of the able representative, the Prince'swritten wishes, judicious and liberal-minded as might have been expected,and the Queen's desire to carry them out, at least one of the offices wasfilled up in a manner which caused Prince Albert anxiety and pain. Thegentleman who had been private secretary to Lord Melbourne was appointedprivate secretary to the Prince, without regard to the circ*mstance thatthe step would appear compromising in Tory eyes—the very result whichPrince Albert had striven to avoid, and that the official would be forced,as it were, on the Prince's intimacy without such previous acquaintance asmight have justified confidence. It was only the sterling qualities of bothPrince and secretary which obviated the natural consequences of such anill-judged proceeding, and ended by producing the genuine liking and honestfriendship which ought to have preceded the connection. The grudging,suspicions, selfish spirit thus manifested on all hands, was liable towound the Queen in the tenderest point, and the disappointment came uponher with a shock, since she had been rashly assured by Lord Melbourne thatthere would be no difficulty either as regarded income or precedence. Theindications were not encouraging to the stranger thus met on the threshold.But his mission was to disarm adverse criticism, to shame want ofconfidence and pettiness of jealousy, to confer benefits totallyirrespective of the spirit in which they might be taken. And even by theirritated party-men as well as by the body of the people, the Prince was tobe well received for the Queen's sake, with his merits taken for granted,so far as that went, since the heart of the country was all right, thoughits Whig and Tory temper might be at fault.

On the 10th of January, 1840, a death instead of a marriage took place inthe royal family, but it was that of an aged member long expatriated.Princess Elizabeth, Landgravine of Hesse Homburg, died at Frankfort. It wastwenty-two years since she had married and quitted England, shortly beforethe old Queen's death, a year before the birth of Queen Victoria. TheLandgravine had returned once, a widow of sixty-four, and then had goneback to her adopted country. She had survived her husband eleven years, andher sister, resident like herself in Germany, the Princess Royal, Queen ofWurtemberg, twelve years. The Landgravine as Princess Elizabeth showedartistic talent. She was famous in her middle age for her greatembonpoint; as she was also tall she waxed enormous. BaronessBunsen, when Miss Waddington, saw Princess Elizabeth, while she was stillunmarried, dressed for a Drawing-room, with five or six yellow featherstowering above her head, and refers to her huge dimensions then. It wasalleged afterwards that it required a chain of her husband's faithfulsubjects in Homburg to encompass his consort. She accommodated herselfwonderfully, though she was an elderly woman before she had ever been outof England, to the curious quaint mixture of State and homeliness in thelittle German town in which she was held in much respect and regard. TheLandgravine was seventy years of age at the time of her death. After herwidowhood she resided in Hanover, where her brother, King William, gave hera palace, and then at Frankfort, where she died. Out of her English incomeof ten thousand a year, it was said she spared six thousand for the needsof Hesse Homburg. Its castle and English garden still retain memories ofthe English princess who made her quiet home there and loved the place.

The marriage of the Queen was fixed for the 10th of February, and manyeager, aspiring young couples throughout the country elected that it shouldbe their wedding-day, also. They wished that the gala of their lives shouldfit in with hers, and that all future "happy returns of the day" might havea well-known date to go by, and a State celebration to do them honour.

Lord Torrington and Colonel—afterwards General—Grey set out for Gotha to
escort the bridegroom to England. They carried with them the Order of the
Garter, with which Prince Albert was invested by his father, himself a
Knight of the Order, amidst much ceremony.

All the world knows that the Order of the Garter is the highest knightlyorder of England, dating back to the time of Edward III., and associatedby a gay and gallant tradition with the beautiful Countess of Salisbury.The first Chapter of the Order was held in 1340, when twenty-five knights,headed by the King, walked in solemn procession to St. George's Chapel,founded for their use, and for the maintenance of poor knightly brethren topray for the souls of the Knights-Companions—hence "the Poor Knights ofWindsor." The first Knights-Companions dedicated their arms to God and St.George, and held a high festival and tournament in commemoration of the actin presence of Queen Philippa and her ladies. The habit of the knights wasalways distinguished by its colour, blue. Various details were added atdifferent times by different kings. Henry VIII. gave the collar and thegreater and lesser medallions of St. George slaying the dragon. CharlesII. introduced the blue riband. It is scarcely necessary to say that thefull dress of the knights is very magnificent. "There are the blue velvetmantle, with its dignified sweep, the hood of crimson velvet, the heron andostrich-plumed cap, the gold medallion, the blazing star, the gold-letteredgarter, to all which may be added the accessories that rank and wealth haveit in their power to display; as, for example, the diamonds worn by theMarquis of Westminster, at a recent installation, on his sword and badgealone were Worth the price of a small kingdom; or richer still her presentMajesty's jewels, that seem to have been showered by some Eastern fairyover her habit of the Order, among, which the most beautiful and strikingfeature is, perhaps, the ruby cross in the centre of the dazzling star ofSt. George." [Footnote: Knight's "Old England."]

The whole court of Gotha was assembled to see Prince Albert get the Garter;a hundred and one guns were fired to commemorate the auspicious occasion.The younger Perthes, under whom the Prince had studied at Bonn, wrote ofthe event, "The Grand-ducal papa bound the Garter round his boy's kneeamidst the roar of a hundred and one cannon" (the attaching of the Garter,however, was done, not by Prince Albert's father, but by the Queen'sbrother, the Prince of Leiningen, another Knight of the Order). "Theearnestness and gravity with which the Prince has obeyed this early call totake a European position, give him dignity and standing in spite of hisyouth, and increase the charm of his whole aspect."

The investiture was followed by a grand dinner, when the Duke proposed theQueen's health, which was drunk by all the company standing, accompanied byseveral distinct flourishes of trumpets, the band playing "God save theQueen," and the artillery outside firing a royal salute. Already the Princehad written to the Queen, when the marriage was officially declared atCoburg, that the day had affected him very much, so many emotions hadfilled his heart. Her health had been drunk at dinner "with a tempest ofhuzzas." The joy of the people had been so great that they had gone onfiring in the streets, with guns and pistols, during the whole night, sothat one might have imagined a battle was going on. This was a repetitionof that earlier festival, only rendered more emphatic and with a touch ofpathos added to it by the impending departure of Prince Albert, to lay holdof his high destiny. The leave-takings were earnest and prolonged, withmany pretty slightly fantastic German ceremonies, and must have been hardupon a man whose affections were so tender and tenacious. Especiallypainful was the farewell to his mother's mother, the Dowager duch*ess ofGotha, who had partly reared the princely lad. She was much attached tohim, and naturally saw him go with little hope of their meeting again inthis world.

The Prince was accompanied by his father and brother, with various friendsin their train, who, after the celebration of the marriage, were to returnto Germany. But Prince Albert carried with him—to remain in his nearneighbourhood—two old allies, whose familiar faces would be doubly welcomein a foreign country. The one was his Swiss valet, Cart, a faithful,devoted servant, "the best of nurses," who, had waited on his master sincethe latter was a boy of seven years of age. The other was the beautifulgreyhound, Eos, jet black with the exception of a narrow white streak onthe nose and a white foot. Her master had got her as a puppy of six weeksold, when he was a boy in his fourteenth year, and had trained the loving,graceful creature in all imaginable canine, sagacity and cleverness. Shehad been the constant companion of his youth. She had already come toEngland with him, on the decisive visit of the previous autumn, and wasknown and dear to his royal mistress.

It was severe wintry weather when the great cavalcade, in eight travellingcarriages, set out for England, and took its way across Germany, Belgium,and the north of France, to the coast The whole journey assumed much of thecharacter of a festive procession. At each halting-place crowds turned outto do the princes honour. Every court and governing body welcomed themwith demonstrations of respect and rejoicing. But at Aix-la-Chapelle, in anewspaper which he came across, Prince Albert read the debates and votes inthe Houses of Parliament that cut down the ordinary annuity of the Englishsovereign's consort, and left unsettled the question of his position in thecountry. The first disappointment told in two ways. Young andsensitive—though he was also resolute and cheerful-minded—he had been alittle nervous beforehand about the reception which might be accorded tohim in England; he now received a painful impression that the marriage wasnot popular with the people. He had indulged in generous dreams of theassistance and encouragement which he would be able to bestow on men ofletters and artists, when he suddenly found his resources curtailed tonearly half the amount he had been warranted in counting upon. However, atBrussels, the next halting-place, in writing to the Queen, and franklyadmitting his mortification at the words and acts of the majority of themembers of both English Houses of Parliament, he could add with perfectsincerity, "All I have time to say is, that while I possess your love theycannot make me unhappy."

And King Leopold was there with his sensible, calming counsel, while BaronStockmar had been careful to have a letter awaiting the Prince, whichexplained the undercurrent of political, not personal, motives that hadinfluenced the debates.

In fact, so far from being unpopular, the Prince, who was the Queen'schoice, was really the most acceptable of all her suitors in the eyes ofher people. The sole serious objection urged against him in those days wasthat of his youth, a fault which was not only daily lessening, but wasspeedily forgotten in the conviction of the manly and serious attention toduty on his part which he quickly inspired.

On the 5th of February the party arrived at Calais. Lord Clarence Paget hadbeen sent over with the Firebrand to await their arrival, but theusual difficulties of an adverse tide and an insufficient French harbourpresented themselves, and the company had to sail on the morning of the 6thin one of the ordinary Dover packet-boats, under a strong gale from thesouth-east, with a heavy sea, which rendered the horrors of the Channelcrossing, at the worst, what only those who have experienced them canrealise.

The Prince, like most natives of inland Germany, had been little inured tosailing, and his constitution rendered him specially liable tosea-sickness. As a lad of seventeen, facing the insidious and repulsive foefor the first time, he had expressed his own and his brother's dread of theunequal encounter. Now he was doomed to feel its ignoble clutch to the lastmoment. "The Duke had gone below, and on either side of the cabin staircaselay the two princes in an almost helpless state."

It was in such unpropitious circ*mstances that Prince Albert had to rise,pull himself together, and bow his acknowledgements to the crowds on thepier ready to greet him. Who that has rebelled against the calmsuperiority of the comfortable; amused onlookers at the haggard, giddysufferers reeling on shore from the disastrous crossing of a stormy ferry,cannot comprehend the ordeal!

The Prince surmounted it gallantly, anticipating the time when, at the callof work or duty, he was known to rise to any effort, to shake off fatigueand indisposition as if he had been the most muscular of giants, and tomake a brave fight to the last against deadly illness. He had his reward.The raw inclement day, the disabling, discomfiting malady—which hadappeared in themselves a bad beginning, an inhospitable introduction to hisfuture life—the recent misgivings he had entertained, were all forgottenin the enthusiastic reception he received before he put foot on land. Akind heart responds readily to kindness, and the Prince felt, in spite ofparliamentary votes, the people were glad to see him, with an overflowinggladness.

It had been fixed that the Prince should not arrive at Buckingham Palacetill the 8th. Accordingly there was time for the much-needed rest andrefreshment, and for a leisurely conclusion of the long journey. Thetravellers stayed that night at Dover, the next at Canterbury, the Princebeginning the long list of fatiguing ceremonials which he was to undergo inthe days to come, by receiving addresses, holding a reception, and showinghimself on the balcony, as well as by the quieter, more congenial interludeof attending afternoon service in Canterbury Cathedral with his brother.The weather was still bad; pouring rain had set in, but it could not dampthe spirit of the holiday-makers. As for the hero of the holiday, he waschafing, lover-like, at the formal delay which was all that interposedbetween him and a blissful reunion. He wrote to the Queen before startingfor Canterbury, "Now I am once more in the same country with you. What adelightful thought for me. It will be hard for me to have to wait tillto-morrow evening. Still, our long parting has flown by so quickly, andto-morrow's dawn will soon be here…. Our reception has been mostsatisfactory. There were thousands of people on the quays, and they salutedpus with loud and uninterrupted cheers.".

From Canterbury Prince Albert sent on his valet, Cart, with the greyhoundEos. "Little Dash," if Dash still lived, was to have a formidable rival,and the Queen speaks in her Journal of the pleasure which the sight of"dear Eos," the evening before the arrival of the Prince, gave her."[Footnote: Early Years of the Prince Consort.] Words are not wanted topicture the bright little scene, the light interruption to "affairs of theState," always weighty, often harassing, the gay reaction, the heartyunceremonious recognition on both sides, the warm welcome to the gentleavant courier. This was not a great queen, but a gleeful girl at theheight of her happiness, who stroked with white taper hand the sleek blackhead, looked eagerly into the fond eyes, perhaps went so far as to hug thehumble friend, stretching up fleet shapely paws, wildly wagging a slendertail, uttering sharp little yelps of delight to greet her. What wealth ofcherished associations, of thrice happy realisation, the mere presencethere, once more of "only a dog," brought to the mistress of the palace,the lady of the land!

On Saturday, the 8th of the month, Prince Albert proceeded to London, beingcordially greeted along the whole road by multitudes flocking from everytown and village to see him and shout their approval. At half-past four, inthe pale light of a February afternoon, the travellers arrived atBuckingham Palace, "and were received at the hall door by the Queen and theduch*ess of Kent, attended by the whole household," to whom a worthy masterhad come. The fullness of satisfaction and perfect joy of the meeting totwo in the company are sacred.

An hour after his arrival the oath of naturalisation was administered tothe Prince, "and the day ended with a great State dinner. Sunday was a restday. Divine service was performed by the Bishop of London in the Bow-roomon the ground floor—the same room in which the Queen had met her assembledCouncil in the course of the previous November, and announced to them herintended marriage. Afterwards the Prince drove out and paid the visitsrequired of him to the different members of the royal family. In spite ofthe season and weather, throngs of Londoners surrounded the Palace, andwatched and cheered him as he went and came. That day the Queen and Princeexchanged their wedding gifts. She gave him the star and badge of theGarter and the Garter set in diamonds, and he gave her a sapphire anddiamond brooch.

CHAPTER VIII.THE MARRIAGE.

The 10th of February rose dark and foggy, with a lowering sky dischargingat frequent intervals heavy showers. But to many a loyal heart far beyondthe sound of Bow bells the date brought a thrill of glad consciousnesswhich was quite independent of the weather. What mattered dreary skies orstinging sleet! This was the day on which the young Queen was to wed thelover of her youth, the man of her choice.

The marriage was to take place at noon, not in the evening, like formerroyal weddings, and the change was a great boon to the London public.During the busy morning, Prince Albert found time for a small act, whichwas nevertheless full of manly reverence for age and weakness, of mindful,affectionate gratitude for old and tender cares which had often made hischildhood and youth happy. He wrote a few lines to the loving, venerablekinswoman who had performed the part of second mother to him, who hadgrieved so sorely over their parting.

"In less than three hours I shall stand before the altar with my dearbride. In these solemn moments I must once more ask your blessing, which Iam well assured I shall receive, and which will be my safeguard and myfuture joy. I must end. God help me (or, rather, God be my stay!), yourfaithful Grandson." The Prince wrote a similar letter, showing howfaithfully he recollected her on the crowning day of his life, to his goodstepmother, the duch*ess of Coburg.

Among the innumerable discussions on the merits or demerits of the Princewhen he was first proposed as the husband for the Queen of England, therehad not been wanting in a country where religion is generally granted to bea vital question, and where religious feuds, like other feuds, rage high,sundry probings as to the Prince's Christianity—what form he held, whetherhe might not be a Roman Catholic, whether he were a Christian at all, andmight not rather be an infidel? Seeing that the Prince belonged to aChristian and to one of the most Protestant royal families in Europe, thathe had been regularly trained in Christian and Lutheran doctrines, and hadmade a public profession of his belief in the same—a profession which hispractice had in no way contradicted—these suppositions were, to say theleast, uncalled for, and not remarkable for liberality or charity. It iseasy to answer them substantially. The Prince, reserving his Protestantright of private judgment on all points of his belief, was a deeplyreligious man, as indicated throughout his career, at every stage, in everyevent of his life. It is hardly possible even for an irreligious man toconceive that Prince Albert could have been what he was without faith anddiscipline. His biographer has with reason quoted the "God be my stay!" inthe light of the sincerity of the man, in a letter written in the flush ofhis joy and the very fruition of his desires, as one of the innumerableproofs that the Prince lived consciously and constantly under theall-seeing eye of an Almighty Father.

There were two main points from which out-of-door London could gaze itsfill on the gala. The one was St. James's Park, from which the people couldsee the bride and bridegroom drive from Buckingham Palace to St. James's,where the marriage was to take place, according to old usage, and backagain to Buckingham Palace for the wedding breakfast; the other was theGreen Park, Constitution Hill, Hyde Park, and Piccadilly, by which most ofthe guests were to arrive to the wedding. The last point also commanded theroute which the young couple would take to Windsor.

It was said that, never since the allied sovereigns visited London in 1814had such a concourse of human beings made the parks alive, as on this wetFebruary morning, when a dismal solitude was changed to an animated scene,full of life and motion. The Times described the mass of spectatorswedged in at the back of Carlton Terrace and the foot of Constitution Hill,and the multitude of chairs, tables, benches, even casks, pressed info. Theservice, and affording vantage-ground to those who could pay for theaccommodation. The dripping trees were also rendered available, and hadtheir branches so laden with human fruit, that brittle boughs gave way,while single specimens and small clusters of men and boys came rattlingdown on the heads and shoulders of confiding fellow-creatures; but suchmisadventures were without serious accident, and simply afforded additionalentertainment to the self-invited, light-hearted wedding guests.

Parties of cavalry and infantry taking their places, with "orderliesdashing to and fro," lent colour and livelier action to the panorama. Atthe same time the military were not a very prominent feature in thepicture, and the State element was also to some extent wanting. Some statewas inevitable, but after all the marriage of the sovereign was not so mucha public ceremonial as a private event in her life. As early as eighto'clock in the morning the comparatively limited number of invited guestsbegan to contribute to the satisfaction of the great uninvited by drivingup beneath the triumphal arch, and presenting their pink or white cards forinspection. A body of Foot Guards marched forwards, followed by adetachment of the Horse Guards Blue, with their band discoursing weddingmusic appropriate to the occasion, cheering the hearts of the cold, soakedcrowd, and awaking an enthusiastic response from it. Then appeared variousmembers of the nobility, including the Duke of Norfolk, coming always tothe front as Grand Marshal, wearing his robe and carrying his staff ofoffice, when the rest of the world were in comparative undress, as more orless private individuals. But this gentleman summed up in his own person"all the blood of all the Howards," and recalled his ancestors great andsmall—the poet Earl of Surrey, those Norfolks to whom Mary Tudor and MaryStuart were alike fatal, and that Dicky or Dickon of Norfolk who lent ahumorous strain to the tragic tendency of the race.

The Ministers and Foreign Ambassadors came singly or in groups. TheMinisters, with one or two exceptions, wore the Windsor uniform, blueturned up with an oak-leaf edging in gold. Viscount Morpeth, Lord JohnRussell, the Marquis of Normanby, Lord Palmerston, Lord Holland, LordMelbourne, were well-known figures. The good-natured Duke of Cambridgearrived with his family and suite in three royal carriages. He wore theOrders of the Garter, and the Bath, and carried his baton as Field-Marshal.The Duke of Sussex was in the uniform of Captain-General of the ArtilleryCompany, and wore the Orders of the Garter, the Bath, and St. Andrew. Hehad on his black skull-cap as usual, and drove up in a single carriage. Hehad opposed the clause relating to Prince Albert's taking precedence ofall, save the Queen, in the Naturalisation Bill. He was to make furtherobjection to the husband's occupying his natural place by the side of hiswife when the Queen opened and prorogued Parliament, and to the Prince'srights in the Regency Bill. All the same, by right of birth and years, theDuke of Sussex was to give away his royal niece.

Before eleven o'clock, the Gentlemen and Ladies of the Household were inreadiness at Buckingham Palace. The Ladies started first for St. James's.The Gentlemen of the foreign suites—Prince Albert's, and his father's, andbrother's—in their dark-blue and dark-green uniforms, mustered in thehall, and dispatched a detachment to receive the Prince on his arrival atthe other palace. At a quarter to twelve notice was sent to Prince Albertin his private apartments, and he came forth "like a bridegroom," betweenhis royal supporters, traversed the State-rooms, and descended the grandstaircase, preceded by the Chamberlain and Vice-Chamberlain, Comptroller ofthe Household, equerries and ushers. He was received with eager clappingsof hands and wavings of handkerchiefs. The Prince was dressed in theuniform of a British Field-Marshal, and wore only one decoration, that ofthe Garter, with the collar surmounted by two white rosettes, and hisbride's gifts of the previous day, the George and Star set in diamonds, onhis breast, and the diamond-embroidered Garter round his knee. His pale,handsome face, with its slight brown moustache, his slender yet manlyfigure would have become any dress. Indeed, his general appearance, full of"thoughtful grace and quiet dignity," impressed every honest observer mostfavourably. We can imagine Baron Stockmar watching keenly in the backgroundto catch every furtive glance and remark, permitting himself to rub hishands and exclaim, with sober exultation, "He is liked!"

Prince Albert's father and brother, his dearest friends hitherto, walkedbeside him. The Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, with his fatherly heartswelling high, must have looked like one of the quaint stately figures outof old German prints in his long, military boots, the same as those of theLife Guards, and his dark-green uniform turned up with red. He, too, worethe collar and star of the Garter, and the star of his own Order of CoburgGotha. On the other side of the bridegroom walked Prince Ernest. Thewedding was next in importance to him to what it was to his brother, whileto the elder playing the secondary part of the couple so long united inevery act of their young lives, the marriage ceremony of his other self,which was to deal the decisive blow in the cleaving asunder of the olddouble existence, must have been full of very mingled feelings of joy andsorrow, pleasure and pain. Prince Ernest was a fine young man, in whoseface, possibly a little stern in its repressed emotion, The Timesreporter imagined he saw more determination than could be found in themilder aspect of Prince Albert, not guessing how much strength of will andpatient steadfastness might be bound up with gentle courtesy. Prince Ernestwas in a gay light-blue and silver uniform, and carried his helmet in hishand.

When the group came down the stairs, some privileged company, including afew ladies, stationed behind the Yeoman Guard and about the entrance,clapped their hands and waved their congratulations, and as Prince Albertentered the carriage which was to take him and his father and brother toSt. James's, he received for the first time all the honours paid to theQueen. Trumpets sounded, colours were lowered, and arms presented. Asquadron of Life Guards attended the party, but as the carriage was closedits occupants were not generally recognised.

As soon as the Lord Chamberlain had returned from escorting the Prince, sixroyal carriages, each with two horses, were drawn up before the entrance toBuckingham Palace, and his Lordship informed the Queen that all was readyfor her. Accordingly, her Majesty left her room leaning on the arm of LordUxbridge, the Lord Chamberlain. She was supported by her mother, theduch*ess of Kent, and followed by a page of honour. The various officers ofthe Household—the Earl of Belfast, Vice-Chamberlain; the Earl ofAlbemarle, Master of the Horse; Lord Torrington, Comptroller and Treasurer,&c., walked in advance.

The Queen wore a bride's white satin and orange blossoms, a simple wreathof orange blossoms on her fair hair. Her magnificent veil of Honiton lacedid not cover the pale face, but fell on each side of the bent head. Herornaments were the diamond brooch which had been the gift of thebridegroom, diamond earrings and necklace, and the collar and insignia ofthe Garter. She looked well in her natural agitation, for, indeed, she wasa true woman at such a moment. She was shy and a little shrinking as becamea bride, and her eyes were swollen with recent tears—an illustration ofthe wise old Scotch proverb, "A greetin' (weeping) bride's a happy bride."Here were no haughty indifference, no bold assurance, no thoughtless,heartless gaiety,

A creature breathing thoughtful breath,
A traveller 'twixt life and death.

A maiden leaving one stage of her life, with all its past treasures ofaffection and happiness, for ever behind her, and going forward, in lovinghope and trust, no doubt, yet still in uncertainty of what the hiddenfuture held in store for her of weal and woe, to meet her wifely destiny.As she came down into her great hall she was welcomed with ferventacclamations, but for once she was absorbed in herself, and the usualfrank, gracious response was not accorded to the tribute. Her eyes werefixed on the ground; "a hurried glance round, and a slight inclination ofthe head," were all the signs she gave.

The duch*ess of Kent, the good mother who had opened her heart to her nephewas to a son, from the May-day when he came to Kensington, who had everyreason to rejoice in the marriage, still shared faithfully in herdaughter's perturbation. However glad the duch*ess might be, it was still atroubled gladness, for she had long experience. She knew that this dayclosed the morning glory of a life, brought change, a greater fullness ofbeing, but with the fullness increased duties and obligations, more todread, as well as more to hope, a heavier burden, though there was a truefriend to share it. Illusions would vanish, and though reality is betterthan illusion to all honest hearts, who would not spare a sigh to thebright dreams of youth—too bright with a rainbow-hued radiance and agolden mist of grand expectations, dim in their grandeur, ever to befulfilled in this work-a-day world? And the duch*ess was conscious that themother who gives a daughter away, even to the best of sons, resigns thefirst place in that daughter's heart, the first right to her time,thoughts, and confidence. Queen Victoria belonged to her people, but afterthat great solemn claim she had till now belonged chiefly to her mother.Little wonder that the kind duch*ess looked "disconsolate" in the middle ofher content!

The duch*ess of Kent and the duch*ess of Sutherland drove in the carriagewith her Majesty "at a slow pace," for the royal bride, even on herbridal-day, owed herself to her subjects, while a strong escort ofHousehold cavalry prevented the pressure of the shouting throng frombecoming overpowering.

On the arrival of the Queen at St. James's Palace she proceeded to hercloset behind the Throne-room, where she remained, attended by her maids ofhonour and train-bearers, until the Lord Chamberlain announced that all wasready for the procession to the chapel.

Old St. James's had been the scene of many a royal wedding. Besides that ofQueen Mary, daughter of James II. and Anne Hyde, who was married to Williamof Orange at eleven o'clock at night in her bedchamber, Anne and George ofDenmark were married, in more ordinary fashion, in the chapel. Followingtheir example, the daughters of George II. and Queen Caroline—anotherAnne, the third English princess who was given to a Prince of Orange, andwho was so ready to consent to the contract that she declared she wouldhave him though he were a baboon, and her sister Mary, who was united tothe Landgrave of Hesse-Cassel, were both married here; so was theirbrother, Frederick, Prince of Wales, to Princess Augusta of Saxe-Coburg.Prince Albert was the third of the Coburg line who wedded with the royalhouse of England. Already there were two strains of Saxe-Coburg blood inthe veins of the sovereign of these realms. The last, and probably the mostdisastrous, marriage which had been celebrated in St. James's was that ofGeorge Frederick, Prince of Wales, and Caroline of Brunswick.

The portions of the palace in use for the marriage included the PresenceChamber, Queen Anne's Drawing-room, the Guard-room, the Grand Staircase,with the Colonnade, the Chapel Royal, and the Throne-room. On the Queen'smarriage-day, rooms, staircase, and colonnade were lined with larger andsmaller galleries for the accommodation of privileged spectators. The seatshad crimson cushions with gold-coloured fringe, warming up the cold lightand shade of a February day, while the white and gay-coloured dresses ofthe ladies and the number of wedding favours contributed to the gaiety ofthe scene. A Queen's wedding favours were not greatly different from thoseof humbler persons, and consisted of the stereotyped white riband, silverlace, and orange blossoms, except where loyalty indulged in immensebouquets of riband, and "massive silver bullion, having in the centre whatmight almost be termed branches of orange blossoms." The most eccentricallydisposed favours seem to have been those of the mace-bearers, whose white"knots" were employed to tie up on the wearers' shoulders the large goldchains worn with the black dress of the officials. The uniformity of thegathering was broken by "burly Yeomen of the Guard, with their massivehalberts, slim Gentlemen-at-Arms with their lighter 'partisans,'….elderly pages of State, almost infantile pages of honour, officers of theLord Chamberlain's Office, officers of the Woods and Forests, embroideredheralds and shielded cuirassiers, robed prelates, stoled priests, andsurpliced singing-boys."

Among the guests, though not in the procession, loudly cheered as on otheroccasions, was the Duke of Wellington, who had seen the bride christened.People thought they noticed him bending under his load of years, totteringto the last step of all, but the old soldier was still to grace many apeaceful ceremony. In his company, far removed this day from the smoke ofcannon and the din of battle, walked more than one gallant brother-in-arms,the Marquis of Anglesey, Lord Hill, &c.

The chapel was also made sumptuous for the occasion. Its carved and paintedroof was picked out anew. The space within the chancel was lined and hungwith crimson velvet, the communion-table covered with magnificent goldplate.

The Queen's procession began with drums and trumpets, and continued withpursuivants, heralds, pages, equeries, and the different officers of theHousehold till it reached the members of the Royal Family. These rangedfrom the farthest removed in relationship, Princess Sophia of Gloucester,through the Queen's young cousins in the Cambridge family, with muchadmiration bestowed on the beautiful child, Princess Mary, and theexceedingly attractive young girl, Princess Augusta, to another and avenerable Princess Augusta—one of the elder daughters of George III., anaged lady upwards of seventy, who then made her final appearance in public.Doubtless she had been among the company who were present at the last royalmarriage in St. James's, on the night of the 8th of April, 1795, forty-fiveyears before, a marriage so widely removed in every particular from thishappy wedding. The two royal Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex walked next, theLord Chamberlain and Vice-Chamberlain, with Lord Melbourne between, bearingthe Sword of State before the Queen.

Her Majesty's train was carried by twelve unmarried ladies, herbridesmaids. Five of these, Lady Fanny Cowper, Lady Mary Grimston, LadyAdelaide Paget, Lady Caroline Gordon Lennox, and Lady Catherine Stanhope,had been among her Majesty's train-bearers at the coronation. Of the threeother fair train-bearers on that occasion, one at least, Lady AnneWentworth Fitzwilliam, was already a wedded wife. The remaining sevenbridesmaids were Lady Elizabeth West, Lady Eleanor Paget, Lady ElizabethHoward, Lady Ida Hay, Lady Jane Bouverie, Lady Mary Howard, and Lady SarahVilliers. These noble maidens were in white satin like their royalmistress, but for her orange blossoms they wore white roses. Still morethan on their former appearance together, the high-bred English lovelinessof the party attracted universal admiration.

The Master of the Horse and the Mistress of the Robes, the Ladies of theBedchamber, Maids of Honour, and Women of the Bedchamber followed, closedin by Yeomen of the Guard and Gentlemen-at-Arms.

In the chapel there had been a crowd of English nobility and foreignambassadors awaiting the arrival of Prince Albert, when at twenty minutespast twelve he walked up the aisle, carrying a prayer-book covered withgreen velvet. He advanced, bowing to each side, followed by his supportersto the altar-rail, before which stood four chairs of State, provided forthe Queen, the Prince, and, to right and left of them, Queen Adelaide andthe duch*ess of Kent. The Queen-dowager was in her place, wearing a dress ofpurple velvet and ermine; the bridegroom kissed her hand and entered intoconversation with her, while his father and brother took their seats nearhim.

The Queen entered the chapel at twenty-five minutes to one, and immediatelyproceeded to her chair in front of the altar-rails. She knelt down andprayed, and then seated herself. Her mother was on her left side. Behindher stood her bridesmaids and train-bearers. On stools to right and leftsat the members of the Royal Family. The Archbishop of Canterbury and theBishop of London were already at the altar. In a few minutes the Queen andthe Prince advanced to the communion-table. The service was the beautiful,simple service of the Church of England, unchanged in any respect. In replyto the question, "Who giveth this woman to be married to this man?" theDuke of Sussex presented himself. The Christian-names "Albert" and"Victoria" were all the names used. Both Queen and Prince answereddistinctly and audibly. The Prince undertook to love, comfort, and honourhis wife, to have and to hold her for better, for worse, for richer, forpoorer; the Queen promised to obey as well as to love and cherish herhusband till death them did part, like any other pair plighting theirtroth. When the ring was put on the finger, at a concerted signal the Parkand Tower guns fired a royal salute and all London knew that her Majestywas a married woman.

The usual congratulations were exchanged amongst the family party beforethey re-formed themselves into the order of procession. The Duke of Sussexin his character of father kissed his niece heartily on the cheek besidesshaking her by the hand. The Queen stepped quickly across and kissed heraunt, Queen Adelaide, whose hand Prince Albert saluted again. Theprocession returned in the same order, except that the bride and bridegroomwalked side by side and hand in hand, the wedding-ring being seen on theungloved hand. Her Majesty spoke once or twice to Lord Uxbridge, the LordChamberlain, as if expressing her wishes with regard to the procession. Herpaleness had been succeeded by a little flush, and she was smilingbrightly. On the appearance of the couple they were received with clappingof hands and waving of handkerchiefs. In the Throne-room the marriage wasattested and the register signed "on a splendid table prepared for thepurpose."

The whole company then repaired to Buckingham Palace, Prince Albert drivingin the carriage with the Queen. The sight of the pair was hailed everywherealong the short route with loud cheering, to the joyous sound of which "theQueen walked up the grand staircase, in the presence of her court, leaningon her husband's arm."

An eye-witness—the Dowager Lady Lyttelton, who, both as a Lady of theBedchamber and Governess to the royal children, knew the Queen and Princewell—has recorded her impression of the chief actor in the scene. "TheQueen's look and manner were very pleasing, her eyes much swollen withtears, but great happiness in her countenance, and her look of confidenceand comfort at the Prince when they walked away as man and wife was verypleasing to see. I understand she is in extremely high spirits since; sucha new thing to her to dare to be unguarded in conversation withanybody, and, with her frank and fearless nature, the restraints she hash*therto been under from one reason or another with everybody must havebeen most painful." The wedding-breakfast with the toast of the dayfollowed, then the departure for Windsor, on which the skies smiled, forthe clouds suddenly cleared away and the sun shone out on the journey andthe many thousand spectators on the way.

The Queen and Prince drove in one of the five carriages—four of whichcontained the suite inseparable from a couple of such rank. The firstcarriage conveyed the Ladies in Waiting, succeeded by a party of cavalry.The travelling chariot came next in order, and was enthusiastically hailed,bride and bridegroom responding graciously to the acclamations. HerMajesty's travelling dress was bridal-like: a pelisse of white satintrimmed with swans' down, a white satin bonnet and feather. The Prince wasin dark clothes. The party left before four, but did not arrive at Windsortill nearly seven—long after darkness had descended on the landscape. Etonand Windsor were in the height of excitement, in a very frenzy ofrejoicing. The travellers wended their way through a living mass inbrilliantly illuminated streets, amidst the sending up of showers ofrockets, the ringing of bells, the huzzaing of the people, the gladshouting of the Eton boys. Her Majesty was handed from the carriage by thePrince, she took his arm and the two entered the castle after a right royalwelcome home.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning celebrated this event also in her eloquentfashion.

"She vows to love who vowed to rule, the chosen at her side,
Let none say 'God preserve the Queen,' but rather 'Bless the Bride.'
None blow the trump, none bend the knee, none violate the dream
Wherein no monarch but a wife, she to herself may seem;
Or if you say, 'Preserve the Queen,' oh, breathe it inward, low—
She is a woman and beloved, and 'tis enough but so.
Count it enough, thou noble Prince, who tak'st her by the hand,
And claimest for thy lady-love our Lady of the land.
And since, Prince Albert, men have called thy spirit high and rare,
And true to truth and brave for truth as some at Augsburg were,
We charge thee by thy lofty thoughts and by thy poet-mind,
Which not by glory and degree takes measure of mankind,
Esteem that wedded hand less dear for sceptre than for ring,
And hold her uncrowned womanhood to be the royal thing."

Up in London and all over the country there were feasts and galas for richand poor. There was a State banquet, attended by very high and mightycompany, in the Banqueting-room at St. James's. Grand dinners were given bythe members of the Cabinet; the theatres were free for the night to greatand small; at each the National Anthem was sung amidst deafening applause;at Drury Lane there was a curious emblematical ballet—like a revival ofthe old masques, ending with a representation of the Queen and Princesurrounded by fireworks, which no doubt afforded immense satisfaction tothe audience.

The Queen's wedding-cake was three hundred pounds in weight, three yards incircumference, and fourteen inches in depth. In recognition of the nationalinterest of the wedding, the figure of Hymen, on the top, was replaced byBritannia in the act of blessing the royal pair, who, as a critic observed,were represented somewhat incongruously in the costume of ancient Rome. Atthe feet of the image of Prince Albert, several inches high, lay a dog, theemblem of fidelity. At the feet of the image of her Majesty nestled a pairof turtle-doves, the token of love and felicity. A Cupid wrote in a volume,spread open on his knees, for the edification of the capering Cupidsaround, the auspicious "10th of February, 1840," the date of the marriage;and there were the usual bouquets of white flowers, tied with true lovers'knots of white riband, to be distributed to the guests at the weddingbreakfast and kept as mementoes of the event.

There were other trophies certain to be cherished and preserved amongfamily treasures, and perhaps shown to future generations, as we sometimessee, turning up in museums and art collections, relics of the marriages ofMary Tudor and Catharine of Aragon. These were the bridesmaids' brooches.They were the royal gift to the noble maidens, several of whom had, twoyears before, received rings from the same source to commemorate theservices of the train-bearers at the Coronation. These brooches were in theshape of a bird, the body being formed entirely of turquoises, the eyeswere rubies, and the beak a diamond, the claws were of pure gold, andrested on pearls of great size and value. The design and workmanship wereaccording to the Queen's directions.

The twelve beautiful girls who received the gifts have since fulfilledtheir various destinies—each has "dreed her weird," according to thesolemn, sad old Scotch phrase. Some, perhaps the happiest, have passedbetimes into the silent land; the survivors are elderly women, withgranddaughters as lovely as they themselves were in their opening day. Onebecame a princess—Lady Sarah Villiers married Prince Nicholas Esterhazy.Two are duch*esses—Lady Elizabeth Sackville-West, duch*ess of Bedford; andLady Catherine Stanhope, married first to Lord Dalmeny, eldest son of theEarl of Rosebery, and secondly to the Duke of Cleveland. Three arecountesses—Lady Caroline Gordon Lennox, Countess of Bessborough; Lady MaryGrimston, Countess of Radnor; and Lady Ida Hay, Countess of Gainsborough.Lady Fanny Cowper, whose beauty was much admired by Leslie, the painter,married Lord Jocelyn, eldest son of the Earl of Roden. Lord Jocelyn wasone of the victims to cholera in 1854. He was seized while on duty atBuckingham Palace, and died after two hours' illness in Lady Palmerston'sdrawing-room. Lady Mary Howard became the wife of Baron Foley. Onebridesmaid, Lady Jane Bouverie, married a simple country gentleman, Mr.Ellis, of Glenaquoich.

CHAPTER IX.A ROYAL PAIR.

The Queen and the Prince were only one whole day holding state bythemselves at Windsor. It is not given to a royal couple to flee away intothe wilds or to shut themselves up from their friends and the world likemeaner people; whether a prolonged interval of retirement be spent insmiling or in sulking, according to cynical bachelors and spinsters, it isnot granted to kings and queens. On the single day of grace which herMajesty claimed she wrote to Baron Stockmar the emphatic estimate of theman of her choice. "There cannot exist a dearer, purer, nobler being in theworld than the Prince." A young bride's fond judgment; but to her was giventhe deep joy of finding that time only confirmed the proud and gladconviction of that first day of wedlock.

On Wednesday, the 12th, the royal couple at Windsor were rejoined by theduch*ess of Kent, the Duke of Coburg, the hereditary Prince, and the wholeCourt. Then two more days of holiday were spent with something of theheartiness of old times, when brides and bridegrooms did not seem either asif they were ashamed of their happiness or too selfish to share it withtheir friends. No doubt there were feasting and toasting, and there wasmerry dancing each night.

On Friday, the 14th, the Court returned to London, that the principalperson might gratify the people by appearing in public and that she mighttake up once more the burden of a sovereign's duties. Addresses werereceived from the Houses of Parliament. The theatres were visited instate. On the 19th of the month the Queen held her first levee after hermarriage, when the Prince took his place at her left hand. On Sunday, the20th, the newly-married couple attended divine service together in theChapel Royal, St. James's, and were loudly cheered on their way through thePark.

Buckingham Palace was to continue the Queen's town residence, but St.James's, by virtue of its seniority in age and priority in historicalassociations, remained for a considerable time the theatre of all the Stateceremonials which were celebrated in town until gradually modifications ofthe rule were established. A chapel was fitted up in Buckingham Palace,which accommodated the household in comparative privacy, and prevented theinconvenience of driving in all states of the health and the weather forpublic worship at the neighbouring palace chapel. It was found that therewas better accommodation for holding Drawing-rooms, and less crowding andinconvenience to the ladies attending them, when the Drawing-rooms wereheld at Buckingham Palace instead of St. James's. The levees are nearly allthat is left to St. James's, in addition to the fact that it contains theoffices of the Lord Chamberlain, &c. But the place where her Majesty wasproclaimed Queen and wedded deserves a parting word.

The visitor to St. James's passes up the great staircase, which has beentrodden by the feet of so many generations, bound on such differenterrands. Here and there, from a picture-frame high up on the wall, apainted face looks down immovably on the comings and goings below. TheGuard-room has a few stands of glittering arms and one or two women'sportraits; altogether a different Guard-room from what it must have beenwhen it received its name. Beyond is the Armoury, where arms bristle insheaves and piles, surmounted by hauberks and casques, smooth and polishedas if they had never been dinted in battle or rusted with blood. QueenAnne's Drawing-room, spacious and stately, is resplendent in yellow satin.Old St. James's has sustained a recent renovation, its faded gorgeousnesshas been renewed, not without a difficult compromise between theunhesitating magnificence of the past and the subdued taste of the presentday. The compromise is honourable to the taste of the decorator, for thereis no stinting of rich effect, stinting which would have been out of place,in the great doors, picked out and embossed, the elaborately devised andwrought walls and ceilings, the huge chandeliers, &c. But warm, deepcrimson is relieved by cool pale green, and sage wainscot meets the dullred of feathery leaves on other walls. The Queen's Closet, which misses itsmeaning when it is called a boudoir, with the steel-like embroidery on itswalls, matching the grey blue of its cut velvet hangings, recalls thenatural pauses in a busy life, when the Queen awaits the call of publicduty, or withdraws for a breathing space from the pressure of fatiguingobligations.

In more than one of the principal rooms there are low brass screens orrailings drawn across the room, to be used as barricades; and theuninitiated hears with due respect that behind those the ambassadors aresupposed to congregate, while these fence the approach to the throne.

In spite of such precautions, large Drawing-rooms became latterlyhard-pressed crowds struggling to make their way, and the State-rooms ofBuckingham Palace were put in request as affording better facilities forthese ceremonies.

There is a picture gallery where a long row of Kings and Queens, in theirfull-length portraits, stand like Banquo's descendants. The portraits beginwith that of bluff King Hal, very bluff and strident. According to Mr.Hare's account, which he has taken from Holinshed, Henry VIII. got St.James's when it was an hospital for "fourteen maidens that were leprous,"and having pensioned off the sisters, "reared a fine mansion and park" inthe room of the hospital. The picture of his young son is a quaint, slimedition of his father. There is a sad and stiff Mary Tudor, who laid downher embittered and brokenhearted life in this palace, and by her side, asshe seldom was in the flesh, a high-ruffed, yellow-haired, peaked-chinnedElizabeth—a noble shrew. The British Solomon has the sword-proof paddingof his doublet and trunk hose very conspicuous. A wide contrast is aromantic, tragic King Charles, with a melancholy remembrance in his longface and drooping eyes of the day when he bade farewell to the world at St.James's and left it for the scaffold at Whitehall. His swarthy periwiggedsons balance the sister queens, Mary and Anne. St. James's, like Kensingtonand Hampton Court, seems somehow peculiarly associated with them. Thoughother and more striking royal figures dwelt there both before and after thetwo last of the reigning Stuarts, they have left a distinct impression ofthemselves, together with a Sir Peter Lely and a Sir Godfrey Knellerflavour about all the more prominent quarters of the palace. The likenessesof Mary and Anne occur as they must have appeared before they lost thecomeliness of youth, when St. James's was their home, the house of theirfather, the Duke of York and Anne his duch*ess, where the two sisters weddedin turn a princely hero and a princely nobody.

In the Throne-room, amidst the portraits of later sovereigns to which royalrobes and the painter's art have supplied an adventitious dignity, thereare fine likenesses of the Queen and Prince Albert, which must have beentaken soon after their marriage, when they were in the first bloom of theiryouth and happiness. Her Majesty wears a royal mantle and the riband of theGarter, like her compeers; behind her rise the towers of Windsor.

In the double corridor, along which two streams of company flow differentways to and from the Presence-chamber, as the blood flows in the veins andarteries, are more pictures—those of some charming children. A stoutlittle Prince Rupert before he ever smelt the smoke of battle or put pencilto paper. Representations of almost equally old-world-looking children ofthe Georgian era by their royal mother's knee, one child bearing such a bowas figures often in the hands of children in the portraits of the period; aprincely boy in miniature robes of State, with a queen's hand on hisshoulder; a little solitary flaxen-haired child with a tambourine. The bowhas long been unbent, the royal mother and child are together again, themusic of the tambourine is mute.

In the Banqueting-room there are great battle-pieces by land and sea from
Tournay to Trafalgar, like a memory of the Hall of Battles at Versailles.

The Chapel Royal, where the Queen was made a wife, has ceased in a measureto be a royal place of worship. Still within its narrow bounds and plainwalls a highly aristocratic congregation have, if they choose, a right tothe services of the dean and sub-dean and the five-and-thirtychaplains—not to say of the bishops duly appointed to officiate on specialoccasions. Not only is the royal closet still in readiness furnished withits chairs of State, there are other closets or small galleries for theHousehold, peeresses and their daughters, &c. The simplest pew belowbelongs to the Lord Chamberlain, the Lord Steward, peers and their sons, ormembers of Parliament, &c. The Chapel Royal, like the State-rooms, is freshand spruce from renewal. It has, however, wisely avoided all departure fromthe original character of the building, which has nothing but the carvedroof and the great square window to distinguish it from any other chapel ofthe same size and style. It is difficult to realise that it was here QueenMary listened attentively to Bishop Burnet, and Queen Caroline was guiltyof talking, while Princess Emily brought her little dog under her arm. Noris it easy to fancy the brilliance of the scene in the quiet place when itwas lined from floor to ceiling with tier upon tier of seats for thenoblest in the land, when every inch of standing-room had its fit occupant,and a princely gathering was grouped before the glittering altar to hear aQueen plight her troth.

St. James's has still a royal resident in the sole surviving member of thegreat family of George III., the venerable duch*ess of Cambridge, who livesin the north wing of the palace. Marlborough House and Clarence House arein the immediate vicinity, indeed the last is so near that it is reached bya covered way. And as if to make the sense of the neighbourhood of acluster of royal establishments more vivid, and the thought of the youngergeneration of the Royal Family more present in the old place, as thevisitor passes through its corridors the cannon in the park peals forth theannouncement of the birth of the last of her Majesty's grandchildren.

On the 28th of February, a little more than a fortnight after the marriage,came the Prince's first practical experience of its cost to him. His fatherleft on his return to Coburg. "He said to me," the Queen wrote in herJournal, "that I had never known a father, and could not therefore feelwhat he did. His childhood had been very happy. Ernest, he said, was nowthe only one remaining here of all his earliest ties and recollections; butif I continued to love him as I did now, I could make up for all…. Oh!how I did feel for my dearest, precious husband at this moment! Father,brother, friends, country, all has he left, and all for me. God grant thatI may be the happy person, the most happy person to make thisdearest, blessed being happy and contented. What is in my power to makehim happy I will do."

Prince Ernest remained in England nearly three months after his father hadleft.

Early in March a step was taken to render the Prince's position clearer andmore secure. Letters patent were issued conferring on him precedence nextto the Queen. How necessary the step was, even in this country, towards aconclusion which appears to us to-day so natural as to be beyond dispute,may be gathered from the circ*mstance that, even after the marriage,objections were made to the Prince's sitting by the Queen's side in theState carriage on State occasions, and to his occupying a chair of Statenext the throne when she opened and prorogued Parliament.

Prince Albert proposed for himself a wise and generous course, which heafterwards embodied in fitting words—"to sink his own individual existencein that of his wife, to aim at no power by himself or for himself, to shunall ostentation, to assume no separate responsibility before the public;continually and anxiously to watch every part of the public business inorder to be able to advise and assist her at any moment, in any of themultifarious and difficult questions brought before her—sometimespolitical, or social, or personal—as the natural head of the family,superintendent of her household, manager of her private affairs, her soleconfidential adviser in politics and only assistant in her communicationswith the affairs of the Government." In fact, the Prince was the Queen'sprivate secretary in all save the name, uniting the two departments,political and social, of such an office which had hitherto been heldseparately by Lord Melbourne and Baroness Lehzen.

Prince Albert discharged the double duty with the authority of his rank andcharacter, and especially of his relations to the Queen. He expressed hisobject very modestly in writing to his father: "I endeavour quietly to beof as much use to Victoria in her position as I can." The post was a mostdelicate and difficult one, and would have been absolutely untenable, hadit not been for the perfect confidence and good understanding alwaysexisting between the Queen and the Prince, and for his remarkable commandof temper, and manly forbearance and courtesy, under every provocation, toall who approached him. Perhaps a still more potent agent was a qualitywhich was dimly felt from the beginning, and is fully recognisedto-day—his sincerity of nature and honesty of purpose. In the painfulrevelations which, alas! time is apt to bring of double-dealing andself-seeking on the part of men in power, no public character of his daystands out more honourably in the strong light which posterity is alreadyconcentrating on the words and actions of the past, than does Prince Albertfor undeniable truthfulness and disinterestedness. Men may still cavil athis conclusions, and maintain that he theorised and systematised and wastempted to interfere too much, but they have long ceased to question hisperfect integrity and single-heartedness, his rooted aversion to alltrickery and to deceit in every form. "He was an honest man and a nobleprince who did good work," is now said universally of the Queen's husband;and honesty is not only the highest praise, it is a great power in dealingwith one's fellows.

But it was not in a day or without many struggles that anything approachingto his aim was achieved. The inevitable irritation caused by the transferof power and the disturbance of existing arrangements on the part of a newcomer, the sensitive jealousy which even the Prince's foreign birthoccasioned, had to be overcome before the first approach to success couldbe attained.

We can remember that some of the old Scotch Jacobite songs—very sarcasticwhere German royal houses were concerned—experienced a temporary revival,certainly more in jest than in earnest, and with a far higher appreciationof the fun than of the malice of the sentiment. The favourite was "The wee,wee German Lairdie," and began in this fashion:—

Wha the Diel hae we gotten for a King,
But a wee, wee German Lairdie?
And when they gaed to bring him hame
He was delvin' in his little kail-yardie.

The last verse declared:—

He'a pu'ed the rose o'English blooms,
He's broken the harp o'Irish, clowns,
But Scotia's thistle will jag his thoomba,
The wee, wee German Lairdie.

A prophecy honoured in its entire breach.

Even tried and trusty friends grown old in Court service could not make uptheir minds at once to the changed order of affairs, or resign, without aneffort to retain it, their rule when it came into collision with the wishesof the new head of the household; Prince Albert, in writing frankly to hisold comrade Prince Lowenstein, said he was very happy and contented, butthe difficulty in filling his place with proper dignity was that he wasonly the husband and not the master of the house. The Queen had to assert,like a true woman, when appealed to on the subject, that she had solemnlyengaged at the altar to obey as well as to love and honour her husband, and"this sacred obligation she could consent neither to limit nor define."

It may be stated that, in spite of the fidelity and devotion of those whosurrounded the Queen, the old system under which the arrangements of thepalaces were conducted stood in great need of reform. Anything morecumbrous, complicated, and inconvenient than the plan adopted cannoteasily be conceived. The great establishments were not subject to oneindependent, responsible rule, they were divided into various departmentsunder as many different controlling bodies. Rights and privileges,sinecures and perquisites, bristled on all sides, and he who would reformthem must face the unpopularity which is almost always the firstexperience of every reformer. There is a graphic account of the situationin the "Life of the Prince Consort," and "Baron Stockmar's Memoirs." "Thethree great Officers of State, the Lord Steward, the Lord Chamberlain, andthe Master of the Horse, all of them officials who varied with each changeof the Ministry, and were appointed without regard to any specialqualifications for their office, had each a governing voice in theregulation of the household…. Thus one section of the palace wassupposed to be under the Lord Chamberlain's charge, another under that ofthe Lord Steward, while as to a third it was uncertain whose business itwas to look after it. These officials were responsible for all thatconcerned the interior of the building, but the outside had to be takencare of by the office of Woods and Forests. The consequence was, that asthe inside cleaning of the windows belonged to the Lord Chamberlain'sdepartment, the degree of light to be admitted into the palace dependedproportionably on the well-timed and good understanding between the LordChamberlain's Office and that of Woods and Forests. One portion of thepersonnel of the establishment again was under the authority of theLord Chamberlain, another under that of the Master of the Horse, and athird under the jurisdiction of the Lord Steward." "The Lord Steward,"writes Baron Stockmar, "finds the fuel and lays the fire, and the LordChamberlain lights it…. In the same manner the Lord Chamberlain providesall the lamps, and the Lord Steward must clean, trim, and light them.Before a pane of glass or a cupboard door could be mended, the sanction ofso many officials had to be obtained, that often months elapsed before therepairs were made."

One is irresistibly reminded of the dilemma of the unfortunate King ofSpain, who died from a feverish attack brought on by a prolonged exposureto a great fire, because it was not etiquette for the monarch to rise, andthe grandee whose prerogative it was to move the royal chair happened tobe out of the way.

"As neither the Lord Chamberlain nor the Master of the Horse has a regulardeputy residing in the palace, more than two-thirds of all the male andfemale servants are left without a master in the house. They can come onand go off duty as they choose, they can remain absent hours and hours ontheir days of waiting, or they may commit any excess or irregularity;there is nobody to observe, to correct, or to reprimand them. The variousdetails of internal arrangement whereon depend the well-being and comfortof the whole establishment, no one is cognisant of, or responsible for.There is no officer responsible for the cleanliness, order, and securityof the rooms and offices throughout the palace."

Doubtless, it was under this remarkable condition of the royal householdthat a considerable robbery of silver plate from an attic in whichit was stored took place at Windsor Castle in 1841. Massive silverencasings of tables, borders of mirrors, fire-dogs and candelabra,together with the silver ornaments of Tippoo Saib's tent, disappeared inthis way.

It took years to remedy such a state of matters, and it was only by theexercise of the greatest tact, which, to be sure, was comparatively easyto the Prince, that the improvement was effected. The necessary reformswere made to proceed from the officers of State themselves, and theenforcement of the new regulations was carried out by a Master of theHousehold, who resided permanently in the palace which the Queen occupied.Eventually each royal establishment was brought to a high average of orderand efficiency. If possible, still greater caution had to be practised inthe Prince's dealing with political affairs, for here the jealousy offoreign influence was national, and among the most deeply rooted ofinsular prejudices. In the beginning of their married life the Prince wasrarely with the Queen at her Cabinet Councils, though no objection hadbeen made to his presence, and he did not take much share in business,though Lord Melbourne, especially, urged his being made acquainted with itin all its details. Both in its public and private relations, the path atstarting was not an easy one, while the Prince and the Queen shared itsanxieties and worries. Happily for all, the two, who were alike in sense,good feeling, and trusting affection, stood firm, and gradually surmountedthe contradictions in their brilliant lot. But it was probably underthese influences that Baron Stockmar, always exacting in the bestinterests of those he loved, fancied—even while he had no hesitation inrecording the Prince behaved in his difficult position very well—that afriend had reason to dread in the young man not yet twenty-one, the olddefects of dislike to intellectual exertion and indifference to politics.No efforts were wanting on the part of the good old mentor, who in hisabsence kept up a constant correspondence with the Prince, to preserve thelatter's "ideal aspirations." Sometimes, the keen observer feared that theobject of his dreams and cares was losing courage for his self-imposedHerculean labours, but the brave will and loyal heart proved triumphant.

That spring and the next two springs and summers were gay seasons inLondon—and London life meant then to the Queen and the Prince anoverwhelming amount of engagements, besides the actual part in thegovernment of the country. "Levees, Drawing-rooms, presentations ofaddresses, great dinners, State visits to the theatre" swelled the longlist. The Prince, like most Germans, was fond of the play, and had agreat admiration of Shakespeare, whose plays were revived at Covent Gardenin 1840, Charles Kemble giving a last glimpse of the glory of the earlyKemble performances. The couple presided over many little balls and danceswhich became a Court where the sovereigns were in the heyday of theiryouth and happiness. Lady Bloomfield, who as the Hon. Miss Liddell was oneof the Queen's Maids of Honour a little later, gives a pleasant account ofan episode at one of these dances. "One lovely summer's morning we haddanced till dawn, and the quadrangle being then open to the east, herMajesty went out on the roof of the portico to see the sun rise, which wasone of the most beautiful sights I ever remember. It rose behind St.Paul's, which we saw quite distinctly; Westminster Abbey and the trees inthe Green Park stood out against a golden sky."

All this innocent gaiety was consecrated by the faithful discharge of dutyand the reverent observance of sacred obligations. At Easter, which wasspent at Windsor, the Queen and the Prince took the Sacrament together forthe first time. "The Prince," the Queen has said, "had a very strongfeeling about the solemnity of the act, and did not like to appear incompany either the evening before or on the day on which, he took it, andhe and the Queen almost always dined alone on these occasions." HerMajesty has supplied a brief record, in the "Early Years of the PrinceConsort," of one such peaceful evening. "We two dined together. Albertlikes being quite alone before he takes the Sacrament; we played part ofMozart's Requiem, and then he read to me out of Stunden den Andacht(Hours of Devotion) the article on Selbster Kentniss (Self-knowledge.)"The whole sounds like a sweet, solemn, blessed pause in the crowded busylife.

A sudden shock, which was only that of a great danger happily averted,broke in on the flush of all that was best worth having and doing inexistence, and seemed to utter a warning against the instability of lifeat its brightest and fairest. There was stag-hunting on Ascot Heath, atwhich the Queen and the Prince were to be present. He was to join in thehunt and she was to follow with Prince Ernest in a pony phaeton. As shestood by a window in Windsor Castle, she saw Prince Albert canter past ona restless and excited horse. In vain the rider turned the animal roundseveral times, he got the bit between his teeth and started at the top ofhis speed among the trees of the Park; very soon he brushed against abranch and unseated the Prince, who fell, without, however, sustaining anyserious injury. The Queen saw the beginning but not the end of themisadventure, and her alarm was only relieved by the return of one of thegrooms in waiting, who told the extent of the accident. Noblesseoblige. The Prince mounted a fresh horse and proceeded to the hunt,and the Queen joined him. "Albert received me on the terrace of the largestand and led me up," the Queen wrote in her Journal. "He looked verypale, and said he had been much alarmed lest I should have been frightenedby his accident…. He told me he had scraped the skin off his poor arm,had bruised his hip and knee, and his coat was torn and dirty. It was afrightful fall."

On the 20th of April, an event took place in France which at this timenaturally was particularly interesting both to the Queen and the Prince.The Duc de Nemours, second son of Louis Philippe and brother to the Queenof the Belgians, married Princess Victoire of Saxe-Coburg, only daughterof the head of the Catholic branch of the family, sister of the KingConsort of Portugal, and first cousin both to the Queen and Prince Albert.This marriage drew many intertwined family ties still more closelytogether. Princess Victoire was a pretty golden-haired girl, and isdescribed afterwards as a singularly sweet, affectionate, reasonablewoman. She had spent much of her youth at Coburg, and been a favouriteplaymate of Prince Albert, whose junior she was by three years. She wasthe friend of the Queen from girlhood. "We were like sisters," wrote herMajesty, "bore the same name, married the same year…. There was in shorta similarity between us, which, since 1839, united us closely andtenderly." The Duc de Nemours, without the intellectual gifts of some ofhis brothers, resembled his good mother, Queen Amelie, in many respects.He had quiet, domestic tastes, and was affectionately attached to hiswife.

CHAPTER X.ROYAL OCCUPATIONS.—AN ATTEMPT ON THE QUEEN'S LIFE.

The family arrangements in the marriage of the Queen and Prince Albertappear to have been made with the kindest, most judicious considerationfor what was due to former ties, that all the relations of life might besettled gradually and naturally, on the footing which it was desirablethey should assume. The connection between the Queen and the duch*ess ofKent was very close. It was that of a mother and child who had been nearlyall in all to each other, who, till Queen Victoria's marriage, had notbeen separated for a day. Since the duch*ess of Kent's arrival in England,she had never dwelt alone. It was now deemed advisable that she shouldhave a separate house, which was, however, to be in constant communicationwith the Queen's, the intercourse between the two continuing to be of themost intimate character, mother and daughter meeting daily and sharing themost of their pleasures. In April, two months after the marriage, theduch*ess removed to Ingestrie House, Belgrave Square.

In another month, on the 7th of May, Prince Ernest left England. Theparting between the brothers was a severe trial to both. They badefarewell, German student fashion, singing together beforehand the partingsong Abschied.

The young couple were now left in a greater measure to themselves to formtheir life, and lead it to noble conclusions. They spent the Queen'sbirthday in private at Claremont—a place endeared to her by the happiestassociations of her childhood, and very pleasant to him because of itscountry attractions. There the pair could wander about the beautifulgrounds and neighbourhood, as another royal pair had wandered before them,and do much as they pleased, like simple citizens or great folks livingin villeggiatura. The custom was then established of thus keepingthe real birthday together in retirement, while another day was set apartfor public rejoicing.

There is a story told of the Queen and Prince Albert's early visits toClaremont—a story certainly not without its parallel in the lives ofother popular young sovereigns in their honeymoons, but probable enough inthis case. The couple were caught in a shower, during one of their longerrambles, and took refuge in a cottage—the old mistress of which wastotally unacquainted with the high rank of her guests. She entertainedthem with many extraordinary anecdotes of Princess Charlotte and PrinceLeopold, the original heroine and hero of Claremont. At last the damevolunteered to give her visitors the loan of her umbrella, with manycharges to Prince Albert that it should be taken care of and returned toits owner. The Queen and the Prince started on their homeward way underthe borrowed shelter, and it was not for some time that the donor knewwith whom she had gossipped, and to whom she had dealt her favours.

The Prince's first appearance as an art patron took place in connectionwith the Ancient Music Concerts. He had already been named one of thedirectors who arrange in turn each concert. He made the selections for hisconcert on the 29th of April, and both he and the Queen appeared at therehearsal on the 27th. Perhaps the gentle science was what he loved aboveevery other, being a true German in that as in all else. At this time heplayed and sang much with the Queen; the two played together often on theorgan in one of his rooms. Lady Lyttelton has described the effect of hismusic. "Yesterday evening, as I was sitting here comfortably after thedrive by candlelight, reading M. Guizot, suddenly there arose from theroom beneath, oh, such sounds! It was Prince Albert, dear Prince Albert,playing on the organ; and with such master skill, as it appeared to me,modulating so learnedly, winding through every kind of bass and chord,till he wound up with the most perfect cadence, and then off again, louderand then softer. No tune, as I was too distant to perceive the executionor small touches so I only heard the harmony, but I never listened withmuch more pleasure to any music. I ventured at dinner to ask him what Ihad heard. 'Oh! my organ, a new possession of mine. I am so fond of theorgan! It is the first of instruments; the only instrument for expressingone's feelings' (I thought, are they not good feelings that the organexpresses?), 'and it teaches to play; for on the organ a mistake, oh! suchmisery;' and he quite shuddered at the thought of the sostenutodiscord."

But while the Prince was an enthusiastic musician, he was likewise fond ofpainting; his taste and talent in this respect also having been carefullycultivated. In these sunshiny early days, sunshiny in spite of theiroccasional clouds, he still possessed a moderate amount of leisure,notwithstanding the late hours night and morning, of which the Queen tookthe blame, declaring it was her fault that they breakfasted at ten,getting out very little—a practice quite different from their laterhabits. He seized the opportunity of starting various pursuits whichformed afterwards the chief recreation of his and the Queen's laboriousdays. He tried etching, which afforded the two much entertainment, and hebegan his essays in landscape gardening, developing a delightful facultywith which she had the utmost sympathy.

On the 1st of June the Prince took the initiatory step in identifyinghimself with moral and social progress, and in placing himself, as theQueen's representative, at the head of those humane and civilisingmovements which recommended themselves to his good judgment andphilanthropic spirit. He complied with the request that he should bechairman at a meeting to promote the abolition of the slave trade, andmade his first public speech in advocacy of justice between man and man.This speech was no small effort to a young foreigner, who, howeveraccomplished, was certainly not accustomed to public speaking in a foreigntongue. It was like delivering a maiden speech under great difficulties,and as it was of importance that he should produce a good impression, hespared no preparation for the task. He composed the speech himself, learntit by heart, and repeated it to the Queen in the first instance.

Among the crowd present was the young Quaker lady, Caroline Fox, whose"Memories" have been given to the world. She wrote at the time: "Theacclamations attending his (the Prince's) entrance were perfectlydeafening, and he bore them all with calm, modest dignity, repeatedlybowing with considerable grace. He certainly is a very beautiful youngman, a thorough German, and a fine poetic specimen of the race. He utteredhis speech in a rather low tone and with the prettiest foreign accent."

On the 18th of the same month great horror and indignation were excited bythe report of an attempt to assassinate the Queen. About six o'clock onthe June evening, her Majesty was driving, according to her usual custom,with Prince Albert. The low open phaeton, attended by two equeries, wasproceeding up Constitution Hill, on its way first to the house of theduch*ess of Kent in Belgrave Square and afterwards to Hyde Park. Suddenly alittle man leaning against the park railing drew a pistol from under hiscoat and fired at her Majesty, who was sitting at the farther side fromhim. He was within six yards of the phaeton—so near, in fact, that theQueen, who was looking another way, neither saw him nor comprehended for amoment the cause of the loud noise ringing in her ears. But Prince Alberthad seen the man hold something towards them, and was aware of what hadoccurred. The horses started and the carriage stopped. The Prince calledto the postillions to drive on, while he caught the Queen's hands andasked if the fright had not shaken her, but the brave royal heart onlymade light of his alarm. He looked again, and saw the same man stillstanding in a theatrical attitude, a pistol in each hand. The next instantthe fellow pointed the second pistol and fired once more. Both the Queenand the Prince saw the aim, as well as heard the shot, on this occasion,and she stooped, he pulling her down that the ball might pass over herhead. In another moment the man, who still leant against the railing,pistols in hand, with much bravado and without any attempt to escape, wasseized by a bystander. In the middle of the consternation and wrath of thegathering crowd, the Queen and the Prince went on to the duch*ess of Kentthat they might be the first to tell her what had happened and assure herof the safety of her daughter. A little later, in order to show the peoplethat the Queen had not lost her confidence in them, the couple carried outtheir original intention of taking a drive in Hyde Park. There they werereceived with a perfect ovation, a crowd of nobility and gentry incarriages and on horseback forming a volunteer escort on the way back toBuckingham Palace, where another multitude awaited them, vehementlycheering, as the Queen, pale but smiling and bowing, re-entered herpalace. The wretched lad who was the author of the attack did not deny it,but seemed rather sorry that it had failed to inflict any injury, thoughhe had no motive to allege for such a crime. In spite of the strictestsearch no ball could be found, which left the question doubtful whether ornot the pistols had been loaded. On further examination it proved that thelad, Edward Oxford—not above eighteen years of age, was a dischargedbarman from a public-house in Oxford Street. His father, who was dead, hadbeen a working jeweller in Birmingham.

"It would be difficult to describe the state of loyal excitement intowhich the Metropolis has been thrown by this event," says the AnnualRegister. "It seems as if only the dastardly deed had been wanted tobring out the full love and devotion of the people to their young Queen,"the happy wife and expectant mother, whose precious life might have beencut short by the unlooked-for shot of an assassin. At the differenttheatres and concerts that evening "God save the Queen" was sung withpassionate fervour. When the Queen and Prince Albert drove out the nextafternoon in the same phaeton, at the same hour, in Hyde Park, thedemonstration of the previous day was repeated with effusion. The crowdwas immense, the cheering was again vociferous. An improvised body-guardof hundreds of gentlemen on horseback surrounded the couple. "The line ofcarriages (calling at Buckingham Palace to make inquiries) extended aconsiderable way down the Mall." The calls were incessant till theprocession from the Houses of Parliament arrived. Thousands of peopleassembled to witness it. The Sheriffs of London came first in fourcarriages. Then the Grenadier Guards with their band marched through thegateway, on which the royal standard was hoisted, and took up theirposition in the entrance court. The Cabinet Ministers and chief Officersof the Household followed. The State carriage of the Speaker led thehundred and nine carriages filled with Members of the House of Commons.The Peers' carriages were upwards of eighty in number. The occupants,beginning with the Barons, rose in rank till they reached the Royal Dukes,and wound up with the Lord Chancellor. "Many of the Lords wore splendiduniforms and decorations and various orders; the Duke of Wellingtonespecially was attired with much magnificence…. The terrace in front ofthe house was crowded with distinguished persons in grand costume," as ona gala-day. The Queen received the address of congratulation on her escapeseated on the throne. What a strange contrast between the scene and itsorigin—the emphatically stately and dignified display, and the miserableact which gave rise to it! What blended feelings cause and effect musthave produced in the principal performers—the inevitable pain and shamefor the base reason, the well-warranted pride and pleasure in thehonourable result!

The first time the Queen went to the opera afterwards she wrote in herJournal that the moment she and the Prince entered the box "the wholehouse rose and cheered and waved hats and handkerchiefs, and went on sofor some time. 'God save the Queen' was sung…. Albert was called forseparately and much cheered."

The trial of Oxford came on during the following month. The question ofbullets or no bullets in the pistols was transferred to the jury. Evidenceof symptoms of insanity and of confirmed insanity in the prisoner, hisfather, and grandfather, was shown, and after some difficulty in dealingwith the first question the jury found the prisoner guilty, while he wasat the same time declared insane. Therefore Oxford, like every otherprisoner shielded by the irresponsibility of madness, was delivered up tobe dealt with according to her Majesty's pleasure, which signified hisimprisonment so long as the Crown should see fit.

The sole reason for the outrage on the Queen proved to be the morbidegotism of an ill-conditioned, ignorant, half-crazy lad; showing that onemore danger exists for sovereigns—a peril born entirely of their high andsolitary rank with its fascination for envious, irritable, distemperedminds.

The following routine of the Queen's life at this time is given in the"Early Years of the Prince Consort": "They breakfasted at nine, and took awalk every morning soon afterwards."

In London, their walks were in Buckingham Palace gardens, fifty acres inextent, part of which was once the pleasant "Mulberry Gardens" of James I.The lake, not far from the palace, covers five acres. Looking across thevelvet sward away to the masses of shady trees, it is hard to realise thatone is still in London. The Prince had already enlivened these gardenswith different kinds of animals and aquatic birds, a modified version ofthe Thier-Garten so often found in connection with royal residencesin Germany.

The Queen mentions that, "in their morning walks in the gardens, it was agreat amusem*nt to the Prince to watch and feed these birds. He taughtthem to come when he whistled to them from a bridge connecting a smallisland with the rest of the gardens.

"Then came the usual amount of business (far less heavy, however, thenthan now), besides which they drew and etched a great deal together, whichwas a source of great amusem*nt, having the plates bit in the house.Luncheon followed at the usual hour of two o'clock. Lord Melbourne, whowas generally staying in the house, came to the Queen in the afternoon,and between five and six the Prince usually drove her out in a ponyphaeton. If the Prince did not drive the Queen he rode, in which case shedrove with the duch*ess of Kent or the ladies. The Prince also read aloudmost days to the Queen. The dinner was at eight o'clock, and always withthe company. In the evening the Prince frequently played at double chess,a game of which he was very fond, and which he played extremely well."

The Prince would return "at a great pace" from his morning rides, whichtook him into all the districts of London where improvements were goingon, and "would always come through the Queen's dressing-room, where shegenerally was at that time, with that bright loving smile with which heever greeted her, telling her where he had been, what new buildings he hadseen, what studios he had visited."

Her Majesty objected to the English custom of gentlemen remaining in thedining-room after the ladies had left the table. But, by the advice ofLord Melbourne, in which the Prince concurred, no direct change was madein what was almost a national institution. The hour when the whole partybroke up, however, was seldom later than eleven.

The story got into circulation that the Queen's habit was to standconversing with the ladies till the gentlemen joined them, and thatknowing her practice, the dining-room was soon left empty. Lord Campbellgives his experience of this portion of a royal dinner some years afterthe Queen's marriage. "The Queen and the ladies withdrawing, Prince Albertcame over to her side of the table, and we remained behind about a quarterof an hour, but we rose within the hour from the time of our sitting down.A snuff-box was twice carried round and offered to all the gentlemen.Prince Albert, to my surprise, took a pinch."

The Prince, who was an exceedingly temperate man at table, rather grudgedthe time spent in eating and drinking, just as he disliked riding for mereexercise, without any other object. Yet he was a bold and skilled rider,and could, without any privilege of rank, come in first in thehunting-field. It amused the Queen and her husband to find that thisaccomplishment, more than any other, was likely to make him popular amongEnglish gentlemen. But though he liked hunting as a recreation, he did notunderstand how it or any other sport could be made the business of a man'slife.

By the month of July, the prospect of an heir to the throne rendered itadvisable that provision should be made for the Queen's possible death, orlengthened disqualification for reigning. The Regency Bill was broughtforward with more caution and better success than had attended on thePrince's Annuity Bill. In accordance with the prudent counsels of BaronStockmar, the Opposition as well as the Ministry were taken into accountand consulted. The consequence was that the Duke of Wellington, themouthpiece of the Tories on the former occasion, was altogether propitiousin the name of himself and his party, and it was agreed that the Princewas the proper person to appoint as Regent in case of any unhappycontingency. The Bill was passed unanimously and without objection in bothHouses, except for a speech made by the Duke of Sussex in the House ofLords.

This conclusion was gratifying in all respects, not the least so in itstestimony to the respect which the Prince's conduct had already calledforth. "Three months ago they would not have done it for him," LordMelbourne told the Queen. "It is entirely his own character." It was alsoa pleasant proof of the goodwill of the Tories, whom the Prince had doneeverything in his power to conciliate, employing his influence to impressupon the young Queen the constitutional attitude of impartiality andneutrality towards all political parties.

There was a corresponding withdrawal of the absurd opposition to PrinceAlbert's taking his place by the Queen's side on all State occasions. "Letthe Queen put the Prince where she likes and settle it herself, that isthe best way," said the Duke of Wellington cordially. A lively example ofthe great Duke's want of toleration for the traditions of Court etiquetteis given in a note to the "Life of the Prince Consort." The late LordAlbemarle, when Master of the Horse, was very sensitive about his right inthat capacity to sit in the sovereign's coach on State occasions. "TheQueen," said the Duke, when appealed to for his opinion, "can make LordAlbemarle sit at the top of the coach, under the coach, behind the coach,or wherever else her Majesty pleases."

On the 11th of August the Queen prorogued Parliament, accompanied by herhusband for the first time. The following day the Court left for Windsor.The Prince was very fond of the country, and gladly went to it. The Queen,in her early womanhood, had been, as she said, "too happy to go to London,and wretched to leave it." But from the time of her marriage she sharedher husband's tastes, and could have been "content and happy never to goto town." How her Majesty has retained the love of nature, which is arefuge of sorrow as well as a crown of happiness, we all know.

In the mornings at Windsor there were shooting in the season, and a widerfield for landscape gardening for the Prince before he took to farming. Inthe evening there were occasional great dinners and little dances as inLondon. The young couple dispensed royal hospitality to a succession offriendly visitors, who came to see with their own eyes the bright palacehome. The King and the Queen of the Belgians rejoiced in the fruits of hiswork. The Princess of Hohenlohe, herself a happy wife and mother, arrivedwith her children to witness her sister's felicity. Queen Adelaide did notshrink from revisiting Windsor, and seeing a beloved niece fill well KingWilliam and his consort's place.

Prince Albert's birthday was celebrated in England for the first time;there were illuminations in London; down at Windsor the day was kept, forthe most part, in the simple family fashion, which is the best. The Princewas awakened by a musical reveille; a German chorale, chosen with loving,ungrudging care, as the first thing which was to greet him, was mostcertain, on that day of all others, to carry him back in spirit to hisnative country.

The family circle breakfasted by themselves in a favourite cottage in thepark. Princess Feodora's children were in masquerade as Coburg peasants,doubtless hailing the Coburg Prince with an appropriate greeting. In theafternoon, in the fine weather, the Prince drove out the Queen; in theevening, "there was rather a larger dinner than usual."

On the 11th of September the Prince was formally sworn a member of herMajesty's Privy Council. And so conscientiously anxious was he todischarge worthily every duty which could be required of him, that, in thegreater leisure of Windsor, he not only read "Hallam's ConstitutionalHistory" with the Queen, he began to read English law with a barrister.

In the meantime, an old historical figure, Princess Augusta of England,who had appeared at the Queen's marriage, lay terribly ill at ClarenceHouse. She died on the 22nd of September, having survived her sister,Princess Elizabeth, the Landgravine of Hesse Homburg, only eight months.Princess Augusta carried away with her many memories of the Court ofGeorge III. By a coincidence, the lady who may almost be called thePrincess's biographer, at least whose animated sketches and affectionatepraises of her "dear Princess Augusta" were destined to give the world ofEngland its principal knowledge of an amiable princess, died at a greatage the same year. Madame D'Arblay, as Miss Burney, the distinguishednovelist, had been appointed in 1786, in a somewhat whimsicalacknowledgement of her talents and services to the reading world, one ofthe keepers of Queen Charlotte's wardrobe. In this office she resided atCourt for five years, and she has left in her diary the most graphicaccount which we have of the English royal life of the day. "Evelina" and"Cecilia" were old stories even in 1840; it was more than fifty yearssince Madame D'Arblay had taken royal service, and now her best-belovedyoung patroness had passed away an aged woman, only a few months laterthan the gifted and vivacious little keeper of the robes, whose duties, tobe sure, had included reading habitually to the Queen when she wasdressing, and sometimes to the Court circle. Princess Augusta's funeralwent from her house of Frogmore at seven o'clock in the evening of the 2ndof October, one of the last of the night funerals of a past generation,and she was buried with the customary honours in St. George's Chapel,Windsor. Frogmore became from that time the country residence of theduch*ess of Kent.

In November the Court returned to Buckingham Palace for the Queen'saccouchement. Baron Stockmar, at the Prince's earnest entreaty, came toEngland for the event, though he remained then as always in thebackground. On the 21st of November the Princess Royal was born, the goodnews being announced to London by the firing of the Tower guns. TheCabinet Ministers and Officers of State were in attendance in an adjoiningroom, and the new-born child, wrapped in flannel, was carried by thenurse, escorted by Sir James Clark, into the presence of those who were toattest her birth, and laid for a moment on a table before them. Bothmother and child were well, and although a momentary disappointment wasfelt at the sex of the infant, it did not detract from the generalrejoicing at the Queen's safety with a living successor to the throne. Itwas said at the time, kindly gossips dwelling on the utterance with theutmost pleasure, that on the Prince expressing a fear that the peoplemight be disappointed, the Queen reassured him in the most cheerfulspirit, "Never mind, the next shall be a boy," and that she hoped shemight have as many children as her grandmother, Queen Charlotte.

A fresh instance of a diseased appetite for notoriety, grafted on vagrantyouthful curiosity and restless love of mischief, astonished andscandalised the English world. On the day after the birth of the PrincessRoyal a rascally boy named Jones was discovered concealed under a sofa ina room next to the Queen's. The offender was leniently dealt with inconsideration of his immature years, but again and again, at intervals ofa few months, the flibbertigibbet turned up in the most unlooked-forquarters, impudently asserting, on being questioned, that he had entered"the same way as before," and that he could, any time he pleased, find hisway into the palace. It was supposed that he climbed over the wall onConstitution Hill and crept through one of the windows. But he couldhardly have done so if it had not been for the confused palace management,for which nobody was responsible, with its inevitable disorder, that hadnot yet been overcome. The boy had to be committed to the House ofCorrection as a rogue and vagabond for three months. Afterwards he servedon board one of her Majesty's ships, where his taste for creating asensation seems to have died a natural death.

In the Queen's weakness the young husband and father was continuallydeveloping new traits of manly tenderness. "His care and devotion werequite beyond expression." He declined to go anywhere, that he might bealways at hand to do anything in his power for her comfort "He was contentto sit by her in a darkened room, to read to her and write for her." "Noone but himself ever lifted her from her bed to her sofa, and he alwayshelped to wheel her on her bed or sofa into the next room. For thispurpose he would come instantly when sent for from any part of the house.""His care for her was like that of a mother, nor could there be a kinder,wiser, more judicious nurse." Happy Queen!

The Queen made an excellent recovery, and the Court was back at Windsorholding Christmas and New Year relieved from all care and full ofthankfulness. The peace and goodwill of the season, with the interchangeof kindly gifts, were celebrated with pleasant picturesque German, inaddition to old English customs. We have all heard wonderful tales of thebaron of beef, the boar's head, the peaco*ck with spread tail, the plumsoup for which there is only one recipe, and that a royal one. There werefir-trees in the Queen's and the Prince's rooms and in humbler chambers.There was a great gathering of the household in a special corridor, wherethe Queen's presents were bestowed.

A new year dawned with bright promise on an expectant world. This lastyear had been so good in one sense that it could hardly be surpassed. Whathad it not done for the family life! It had given a good and loving wifeto a good and loving husband, and a little child, with undreamt-ofpossibilities in its slumbering eyes and helpless hands. The publichorizon was tolerably clear. The Welsh riots had been quelled and otheracts of insubordination in the manufacturing districts put down—notwithout the use of force—but there was room for trust that such madtumults would not be repeated. Father Matthews was reforming Ireland.There were far-away wars both with China and Afghanistan, certainly, butthe wars were far away in more respects than one, distant enough to havetheir origin in the English protection of the opium trade, andinterference—now with a peaceful, timidly conservative race—and againwith fiercely jealous and warlike tribes, slurred over and forgotten, andonly the successes of the national arms dwelt upon with pride andexultation.

Across "the silver streak" of the Channel there were more remarkableevents, marked by a curious inconsistency, than the suitable marriage ofthe Duc de Nemours. Prince Louis Napoleon Buonaparte landed on the Frenchcoast with a handful of men prepared to invade the country, and wasimmediately overpowered and arrested. He was tried and condemned toimprisonment in the fortress of Ham, from which he escaped in due time,having earned for himself during long years the sobriquet of "the madmanof Boulogne." The very same year Prince de Joinville, Louis Philippe'ssailor son, was commissioned to bring the ashes of Napoleon from St.Helena to France. The coffin was conveyed in the Prince's frigate, LaBelle Poule, to Cherbourg, whence a steamboat sailed with the solemnfreight up the Seine to Paris. The funeral formed a splendid pageant,attended by the royal family, the ministers, and a great concourse ofspectators. The dust of le petit caporal was deposited in amagnificent tomb in the Hotel des Invalides, before the eyes of a fewsurvivors of his Old Guard.

Spain and Portugal were still the theatres of civil wars—now smouldering,now leaping up with brief fury. In Spain the Queen Regent, Christina, wasdriven from the kingdom, and had to take refuge in France for a time. InPortugal, in the middle of a political crisis, Maria da Gloria gave birthto a daughter, which died soon after its birth, while for days her ownlife was despaired of.

CHAPTER XITHE FIRST CHRISTENING.—THE SEASON OF 1841.

The Queen was able to open Parliament in person at the end of January.

The first christening in the royal household had been fixed to take placeon the 10th of February, the first anniversary of the Queen's wedding-day,which was thus a double gala in 1841. The day before the Prince again hada dangerous accident. He was skating in the presence of the Queen and oneof her ladies on the lake in the gardens of Buckingham Palace when the icegave way a few yards from the bank, where the water was so deep that theskater had to swim for two or three minutes before he could extricatehimself. The Queen had the presence of mind to lend him instantassistance, while her lady was "more occupied in screaming for help," sothat the worst consequences of the plunge were a bad cold.

The christening took place at six in the evening in Buckingham Palace. Theceremony was performed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, assisted by theArchbishop of York, the Bishop of London, the Bishop of Norwich, and theDean of Carlisle. The sponsors were the Duke of Saxe-Coburg Gotha,represented by the Duke of Wellington, King Leopold, the Queen-dowager,the duch*ess of Gloucester, the duch*ess of Kent, and the Duke of Sussex,the most of whom had been present at the baptism of her Majesty, and wereable to compare royal child and royal mother in similar circ*mstances.The Duke of Cambridge and his son, Prince George, with Prince Edward ofSaxe-Weimar, were among the company. The infant was named "VictoriaAdelaide Mary Louisa."

The Annual Register for the year has an elaborate description ofthe new silver-gilt font used on the occasion. It was in the shape of awater-lily supporting a shell, the rim of which was decorated with smallerwater-lilies. The base bore, between the arms of the Queen and PrinceAlbert, the arms of the Princess Royal, surmounted by her Royal Highness'scoronet. The water had been brought from the river Jordan.

A simple description of the event was given by Prince Albert in a letterto his grandmother, the Dowager-duch*ess of Gotha. "The christening wentoff very well; your little great-granddaughter behaved with greatpropriety and like a Christian. She was awake, but did not cry at all,and seemed to crow with immense satisfaction at the lights and brilliantuniforms, for she is very intelligent and observing. The ceremony tookplace at half-past six P.M. After it there was a dinner, and then we hadsome instrumental music. The health of the little one was drunk with greatenthusiasm."

The lively noticing powers of the Princess Royal when she was between twoand three months of age is in amusing contradiction to a report which weremember as current at the time. It was mentioned in order to be denied byLeslie, who was commissioned to paint the royal christening, and worked atthe picture so diligently in the long days of the following summer that hewas often occupied with the work from nine in the morning till seven oreight in the evening. He wrote in his "Recollections": "In 1841 I painteda second picture for the Queen, the christening of the Princess Royal. Iwas admitted to see the ceremony, and made a slight sketch of the royalpersonages as they stood round the font in the room. I made a study fromthe little Princess a few days afterwards. She was then three months old,and a finer child of that age I never saw. It is a curious proof of thereadiness with which people believe whatever they hear to the disadvantageof those placed high in rank above them, that at the time at which I madethe sketch it was said everywhere but in the palace and by those whobelonged to the royal household, that the Princess was born blind, and bymany it was even believed that she was born without feet. The sketch wasshown at a party at Mr. Moon's, the evening after I made it, and theladies all said, 'What a pity so fine a child should be entirely blind!'It was in vain I told them that her eyes were beautifully clear andbright, and that she took notice of everything about her. I was told that,though her eyes looked bright, and though she might appear to turn them toevery object, it was certain she was blind."

What Leslie attributes to a species of envy, we think may be more justlyregarded as having its foundation in the love of sensationalism to whichhuman nature is prone—sensationalism which appears to become all theracier when it finds its food in high quarters. The particular directionthe tendency took was influenced by the blindness of George III. and ofhis grandson, the Crown Prince of Hanover, which seemed to lend aplausibility to the absurd rumour.

Baron Stockmar states that the Princess Royal was a delicate child,causing considerable apprehension for her successful rearing during thefirst year of her life. It was only by judicious care that she developed asplendid constitution. Charles Leslie goes on to say: "The most agreeablepart of my task in painting the christening of the Princess Royal was instudying the fine head of the wisest and best of living Kings, Leopold, aman whom the people he reigns over scarcely seem to deserve. Nothing couldbe more agreeable than his manner, and that of his amiable Queen, who wasin the room all the time he sat. He speaks English very well, and she alsospoke it. After I had painted for some time, she said, "May I look?" andsuggesting some alterations, she said, "You must excuse me, I speakhonest; but if I am wrong, don't mind me."

In those years the King and Queen of the Belgians were such frequentvisitors of her Majesty, who may be said to have been his adopted child,that a whole floor of Buckingham Palace which was set apart for their useis still known as "the Belgian Floor." The portraits of both are in thePalace, and so is his likeness when he was many years younger, and one ofthe handsomest men in Europe. The last is hanging beside a full-lengthportrait of his first wife, Princess Charlotte, with her fair face andstriking figure. In the summer of 1841 the Queen was farther and longerseparated from her mother than she had ever been previously. The duch*essof Kent, secure in her daughter's prosperity and happiness, went to hernative Germany, for the first time since she had come to Englandtwenty-two years before. She was warmly received wherever she went. Shevisited, among other places, Amorbach, the seat of her son, the Prince ofLeiningen, in Bavaria, where the duch*ess had resided with the Duke of Kentin the first years of their married life. "It is like a dream that I amwriting to you from this place," she addressed her daughter. "He (thePrince of Leiningen) has made many alterations in the house. Your fatherbegan them just before we left in March, 1819."

A threatened change of Ministry and a general election were pending; butamidst the political anxieties which already occupied much of the Queenand Prince Albert's thoughts, it was a bright summer, full of manyinterests and special sources of pleasure.

Mademoiselle Rachel, the great French actress, arrived in England. She hadalready established her empire in Paris by her marvellous revival ofRacine's and Corneille's masterpieces. She was now to exercise the samefascination over an alien people, to whom her speech was a foreign tongue.She made her first appearance in the part of Hermione in Racine'sAndromaque at the Italian Opera-house. Few who witnessed thespectacle ever forgot the slight figure, the pale, dark, Jewish face, thedeep melody of the voice, the restrained passion, the concentrated rage,especially the pitiless irony, with which she gave the poet's meaning.

The Queen and the Prince shared the general enthusiasm. For that matterthere was a little jealousy awakened lest there might be too much generousabandon in the royal approval of the great player. Perhaps thisfeeling arose in the minds of those who, dating from Puritan days, had aconscientious objection to all plays and players, and waxed hotter astime, alas! proved how, in contrast to the honourable reputation of theEnglish Queen of Tragedy, Sarah Siddons, the character and life of thegifted French actress were miserably beneath her genius. There was alittle vexed talk, which probably had small enough foundation, of theadmission of Rachel into the highest society; of the duch*ess of Kent'scondescending to give her shawl to the shivering foreigner; of a braceletwith the simple inscription, "From Victoria to Rachel," as if there couldbe a common meeting-ground between the two, though the one was a queen inart and the other a queen in history. But if there was any imprudence, itmight well have been excused as a fault of noble sympathy with art andcordial acknowledgement of it, which leant to virtue's side, a fault whichhad hitherto been not too common in England. The same year a Kemble, thelast of the family who redeemed for a time the fallen fortunes of CoventGarden Theatre, Adelaide, the beautiful and accomplished younger daughterof Charles Kemble, brother to John Kemble and Sarah Siddons, came out asan operatic-singer in the part of "Norma." She was welcomed as her sweetvoice, fine acting, and the traditions of her family deserved. She wasinvited to sing at the palace. From girlhood the Queen had been familiarwith the Kembles in their connection with the English stage. The last timeshe visited the Academy as Princess Victoria, just before the death ofKing William, Leslie mentions, she asked that Charles Kemble might bepresented to her, when the gentleman had the opportunity of making his"best genteel-comedy bow." Now it was on the younger generation of theKembles that the Queen bestowed her gracious countenance. These werehalcyon days for society as well as for the stage, when, in Mrs.Oliphant's words, "the Queen was in the foreground of the national life,affecting it always for good, and setting an example of purity and virtue.The theatres to which she went, and which both she and her husbandenjoyed, were purified by her presence, evils which had been the growth ofyears disappearing before the face of the young Queen…."

On the 13th of June the Queen revisited Oxford in company with herhusband, in time for Commemoration. Her Majesty and the Prince stayed atNuneham, the seat of the Archbishop of York, and drove in to theUniversity city. The Prince was present at a banquet in St. John's andattended divine service at New Inn Hall.

On the 21st of June the Queen and Prince Albert were at Woolwich, for thelaunch of the good ship Trafalgar. Nothing so gay had been seen atthe mouth of the river since King William and Queen Adelaide came down toGreenwich to keep the anniversary of the battle of Trafalgar. The waterwas covered with vessels, including every sort of craft that had been seen"since the building of Noah's Ark." The shore was equally crowded with animmense multitude of human beings finding standing-ground in the mostunlikely places. The Queen drove down to the Dockyard in atravelling-carriage and four. She was received with a royal salute andglad bursts of cheering.

It is hardly necessary to say that the young Queen was exceedingly popularwith the blue-jackets. In the course of a visit to Portsmouth she had goneover one of her ships. She was shown through the men's quarters, thesailors being under orders to remain perfectly quiet and abstain fromcheering. Her Majesty tasted the men's coffee and pronounced it good. Sheasked if they got nothing stronger. A glass of grog was brought to her.She put it to her lips, and Jack could contain himself no longer; a burstof enthusiastic huzzas made the ribs of the ship ring.

At Woolwich a discharge of artillery announced the moment when the greatvessel slipped from her stays, and "floated gallantly down the river" tillshe was brought up and swung round with her stern to London.

The King and Queen of the Belgians paid their second visit this year, theQueen remaining six weeks, detained latterly by the illness of her son inEngland. The long visit confirmed the tender friendship between the twoqueens. "During this stay, which had been such a happiness for me, webecame most intimate," Queen Victoria wrote in her Journal, and shegrudged the necessity of having to set out with Prince Albert on a royalprogress before the departure of her cherished guest. "To lose four daysof her stay, of which, I repeat, every hour is precious, is dreadful," herMajesty told King Leopold.

The short summer progress was otherwise very enjoyable. The Queen andPrince Albert visited the Duke of Bedford at the Russells' stately seat ofWoburn Abbey, with its park twelve miles in extent. From Woburn the royalcouple went to Panshanger, Earl Cowper's, and Brocket Hall, LordMelbourne's, returning by Hatfield, the Marquis of Salisbury's. At Brocketthe Queen was entertained by her Prime Minister. At Hatfield there weremany memories of another Queen and her minister, since the ancientcountry-house had been a palace of Queen Elizabeth's, passing, in hersuccessor's reign, by an exchange of mansions, from the hands of James Iinto those of the son and representative of Lord Burleigh, little crooked,long-headed Robert Cecil, first Earl of Salisbury. In Hatfield Park thereis an oak still standing which bears the name of "Queen Elizabeth's Oak."It is said Princess Elizabeth was sitting in its shade when the news wasbrought to her of the death of her sister, Queen Mary, and her ownaccession to the throne of England.

The only difficulty—a pleasant one after all—which was experienced inthese progresses, proceeded from the exuberant loyalty of the people. Atstraw-plaiting Dunstable a volunteer company of farmers joined the regularescort and nearly choked the travellers with the dust the worthy yeomenraised. On leaving Woburn Abbey the same dubious compliment was paid. Inthe Queen's merry words, "a crowd of good, loyal people rode with us partof the way. They so pressed and pushed that it was as if we were hunting."

The recent election had returned a majority of Conservative members, andsoon after the reassembling of Parliament in August a vote ofnon-confidence in Lord Melbourne's Ministry was carried. The same eveningthe Prime Minister went to Windsor to announce his resignation. He actedwith his natural fairness and generosity, giving due honour to hisadversaries, and congratulating the Queen on the great advantage shepossessed in the presence and counsel of the Prince, thus softening to herthe trial of the first change of Ministers in her reign. He only regrettedthe pain to himself of leaving her. "For four years I have seen you everyday; but it is so different from what it would have been in 1839. ThePrince understands everything so well, and has a clever, able head." TheQueen was much affected in taking leave of a "faithful and attachedfriend," as well as Minister, while her words were, that his praise of thePrince gave her "great pleasure" and made her "very proud."

In anticipation of the change of Ministry it had been arranged, with SirRobert Peel's concurrence, that the principal Whig ladies in the Queen'shousehold—the duch*ess of Sutherland, the duch*ess of Bedford, and LadyNormanby—should voluntarily retire from office, and that this should bethe practice in any future change of Ministry, so that the question ofMinisterial interference in the withdrawal or the appointment of theladies of the Queen's household might be set at rest. [Footnote: Theretirement from office is now limited to the Mistress of the Robes.]

On the 3rd of September the new Ministers kissed hands on theirappointment at a Cabinet Council held at Claremont. Lord Campbell givessome particulars. "I have just seen here several of our friends returnedfrom Claremont. Both parties met there at once. They were shown intoseparate rooms. The Queen sat in her closet, no one being present butPrince Albert. The exaunters were called in one by one and gave upthe seals or wands of their offices and retired. The new men by mistakewent to Claremont all in their Court costume, whereas the Queen at Windsorand Claremont receives her Ministers in their usual morning dress.Nonnanby says taking leave of the Queen was very affecting."

Whatever momentary awkwardness may have attended the substitution of SirRobert Peel as Prime Minister, it did not at all interfere—thanks to thecandid, liberal nature of all concerned—with the friendly goodwill whichit is so desirable should exist between sovereign and minister. We read inthe "Life of the Prince Consort," "Lord Melbourne told Baron Stockmar, whohad just returned from Coburg, that Sir Robert Peel had behaved mosthandsomely, and that the conduct of the Prince had throughout been mostmoderate and judicious."

Sir Robert had experienced considerable embarrassment at the recollectionof his share in the debates on the Royal Annuity Bill, but the Prince didnot show an equally retentive memory. His seeming forgetfulness of thepast and cordiality in the present did more than reassure, it deeplytouched and completely won a man who was himself capable of magnanimousself-renunciation.

Sir Robert Peel had the pleasure, in his early days in office, ofsuggesting to the Prince the Royal Commission to promote and encourage thefine arts in the United Kingdom, with reference to the rebuilding of thetwo Houses of Parliament. Sir Robert proposed that Prince Albert should beplaced at the head of the Commission. This was not only a movement afterthe Prince's own heart, on which he spared no thought and labour for yearsto come, it was an act in which Prince and Minister—both of them loversof art—could co-operate with the greatest satisfaction.

CHAPTER XII.BIRTH OF THE PRINCE OF WALES.—THE AFGHAN DISASTERS.—VISIT OF THE KING OFPRUSSIA.—"THE QUEEN'S PLANTAGENET BALL."

On the 9th of November, 1841, the happiness of the Queen and Prince wasincreased by the birth of the Prince of Wales. The event took place on themorning of the Lord Mayor's Day, as the citizens of London rejoiced tolearn by the booming of the Tower guns. In addition to the usual calls ofthe nobility and gentry, the Lord Mayor and his train went in great stateto offer their congratulations and make their inquiries for theQueen-mother and child.

The sole shadow on the rejoicing was the dangerous illness of theQueen-dowager. She had an affection of the chest which rendered her aconfirmed invalid for years. At this time the complaint took an aggravatedform, and her weakness became so great that it was feared death wasapproaching. But she rallied—a recovery due in a great measure, it wasbelieved, to her serene nature and patient resignation. She regained herstrength in a degree and survived for years.

The public took a keen interest in all that concerned the heir to thecrown, though times were less free and easy than they had been—all theworld no longer trooped to the Queen's House as they had done to taste thecaudle compounded when royal Charlotte's babies were born. There was atleast the cradle with the nodding Prince of Wales feathers to gossipabout. The patent creating the Duke of Cornwall Prince of Wales and Earlof Chester was issued on the 8th of December, when the child was a monthold. It was a quaint enough document, inasmuch as the Queen declared in itthat she ennobled and invested her son with the Principality and earldomby girting him with a sword, by putting a coronet on his head and a goldring on his finger, and also by delivering a gold rod into his hand, thathe might preside there, and direct and defend these parts. The RoyalNursery had now two small occupants, and their wise management, still morethan that of the household, engaged the serious consideration of the Queenand the Prince's old friend, Baron Stockmar, and engrossed much of theattention of the youthful parents. They took great delight in the brightlittle girl, whom her mother named "puss*," and the charming baby who wasso near her in age.

"To think," wrote the Queen in her Journal this Christmas, "that we havetwo children now, and one who enjoys the sight already" (referring to theChristmas-tree); "it is like a dream."

"This is the dear Christmas Eve on which I have so often listened withimpatience to your step which was to usher us into the gift-room," thePrince reminded his father. "To-day I have two children of my own to makegifts to, who, they know not why, are full of happy wonder at the GermanChristmas-tree and its radiant candles."

On this occasion the New Year was danced into "in good old Englishfashion. In the middle of the dance, as the clock finished strikingtwelve, a flourish of trumpets was blown, in accordance with a Germancustom." The past year had been good also, and fertile in blessings onthat roof-tree, though in the world without there were the chafings andmutterings of more than one impending crisis. The corn-laws, with theembargo they laid on free trade, weighed heavily on the minds both ofstatesmen and people. In Scotland Church and State were struggling keenlyonce more, though, bloodlessly this time, as they had struggled to thedeath in past centuries, for mastery where what each considered its rightswere in question.

Among the blows dealt by death in 1841, there had been heavy losses to artin the passing away of Chantrey and Wilkie.

In January, 1842, events happened in Afghanistan which brought bittergrief to many an English home, and threw their shadow over the palaceitself in the next few months. The fatal policy of English interferencewith the fiery tribes of Northern India in support of an unpopular rulerhad ended in the murder of Sir Alexander Burns and Sir William Macnaghten,and the evacuation of Cabul by the English. This was not all. The marchthrough the terrible mountain defiles in the depth of winter, under thecontinual assaults of an unscrupulous and cruel enemy, meant simplydestruction. The ladies of the party, with Lady Sale, a heroic woman, attheir head, the husbands of the ladies who were with the camp, and finallyGeneral Elphinstone, who had been the first in command at Cabul, but whowas an old and infirm man, had to be surrendered as hostages. They werecommitted to the tender mercies of Akbar Khan, the son of the exiled DostMahomed, the moving spirit of the insurrection against the native puppetmaintained by English authority, and the murderer, with his own hand, ofSir William Macnaghten, whose widow was among the prisoners. The surrenderof hostages was partly a matter of necessity, in order to secure for themost helpless of the party the dubious protection of Akbar Khan, partly adesperate measure to prevent what would otherwise have beeninevitable—the perishing of the women and children in the dreadfulhardships of the retreat. The captives were carried first to Peshawur andafterwards to a succession of hill-forts in the direction of the Caucasus,while their countrymen at home, long before they had become familiar withthe tragedy of the Indian Rebellion, burned with indignation and thrilledwith horror at the possible fate of those victims of a treacherous,vindictive Afghan chief. In the meantime the awful march went on, amidstthe rigours of winter, in wild snowy passes, by savage precipices, whilethe most unsparing guerilla warfare was kept up by the furious natives atevery point of vantage. Alas! for the miserable end which we all know,some of us recalling it, through the mists of years, still fresh with thewonder, wrath, and sorrow which the news aroused here. Out of a company ofsixteen thousand that left Cabul, hundreds were slain or died ofexhaustion every day, three thousand fell in an ambush, and after anight's exposure to such frost as was never experienced in England. Atlast, on the 13th of January, 1842, one haggard man, Dr. Brydon, rode up,reeling in his saddle, to the gates of Jellalabad. The fortress was stillin the keeping of Sir Robert Sale, who had steadfastly refused to retire.It is said his wife wrote to him from her prison, urging him to hold out,because she preferred her own and her daughter's death to his dishonour.

But the Afghan disasters were not fully known in England for months tocome. In the interval, the christening of the Prince of Wales wascelebrated with much splendour in St. George's Chapel, Windsor, on the25th of January. The King of Prussia came over to England to officiate inperson as one of the Prince's godfathers. The others were the child's twogrand-uncles, the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg,uncle of the Queen and of Prince Albert, and father of the King Consort ofPortugal and the duch*esse de Nemours. The godmothers were the duch*ess ofKent, proxy for the duch*ess of Saxe-Coburg, Prince Albert's stepmother;the duch*ess of Cambridge, proxy for the child's great-grandmother, theduch*ess of Saxe-Gotha; and the Princess Augusta of Cambridge, proxy forthe Princess Sophia of England.

The ambassadors and foreign ministers, the Cabinet ministers with theirwives in full dress, the Knights of the Garter in their mantles andcollars, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, the Bishops of London,Winchester, Oxford, and Norwich assembled in the Waterloo Gallery; theofficers and the ladies of the Household awaited the Queen in thecorridor. At noon, certain officers of the Household attended the King ofPrussia, who was joined by the other sponsors at the head of the grandstaircase, to the chapel.

The Queen's procession included the Duke of Wellington, bearing the Swordof State between the Lord Chamberlain, the Earl De la Warr, and the LordSteward, the Earl of Liverpool, the three walking before her Majesty andPrince Albert, who were supported by their lords-in-waiting, and followedby the Duke of Sussex, Prince George of Cambridge, Prince Edward ofSaxe-Weimar, Prince Augustus and Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, sons ofPrince Ferdinand and cousins of the Queen and Prince Albert.

When the sponsors had taken their places, and the other company wereseated near the altar, the Lord Chamberlain, accompanied by the Groom ofthe Stall to Prince Albert, proceeded to the Chapter-house, and conductedin the infant Prince of Wales, attended by the lord and groom in waiting.The duch*ess of Buccleugh, the Mistress of the Robes, took the infant fromthe nurse, and put him in the Archbishop's arms. The child was named"Albert" for his father, and "Edward" for his maternal grandfather, theDuke of Kent. The baby, on the authority of The Times, "behavedwith princely decorum." After the ceremony, he was reconducted to theChapter-house by the Lord Chamberlain. By Prince Albert's desire "TheHallelujah Chorus," which has never been given in England without theaudience rising simultaneously, was played at the close of the service.

The Queen afterwards held a Chapter of the Order of the Garter, at whichthe King of Prussia, "as a lineal descendant of George I.," was elected aKnight Companion, the Queen buckling the garter round his knee. There wasluncheon in the White Breakfast-room, and in the evening there was abanquet in St. George's Hall. The table reached from one end of the hallto the other, and was covered with gold plate. Lady Bloomfield, who waspresent, describes an immense gold vessel—more like a bath than anythingelse, capable of containing thirty dozens of wine. It was filled withmulled claret, to the amazement of the Prussians. Four toasts weredrunk—that to his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales taking precedence;toasts to his Majesty the King of Prussia, the Queen and Prince Albertfollowed. A grand musical performance in the Waterloo Gallery wound up thefestivities of the day.

The presence of the King of Prussia added additional dignity to theproceedings. He was a great ally whose visit on the occasion was abecoming compliment. Besides, his personal character was then regarded asfull of promise, and excited much interest. His attainments andaccomplishments, which were really remarkable, won lively admiration. Hiswarm regard for a man like Baron Bunsen seemed to afford the best auguryfor the liberality of his sentiments. As yet the danger ofimpracticability, discouragement, confusion, and paralysis of all that hadbeen hoped for, was but faintly indicated in the dreaminess andfancifulness of his nature.

Lady Bloomfield describes the King as of middle size, rather fat, with anexcellent countenance and little hair. The Queen met him on the grandstaircase, kissed him twice, and made him two low curtseys. Her Majestysays in her Journal: "He was in common morning costume, and complainedmuch of appearing so before me…. He is entertaining, agreeable, andwitty, tells a thing so pleasantly, and is full of amusing anecdotes."

Madame Bunsen, who was privileged to see a good deal of the gay doingsduring the King of Prussia's visit, has handed down her experience. "28thJanuary, 1842, came by railway to Windsor, and found that in the YorkTower a comfortable set of rooms were awaiting us. The upper housemaidgave us tea, and bread and butter—very refreshing; when dressed we wenttogether to the corridor, soon met Lord De la Warr, the duch*ess ofBuccleugh, and Lord and Lady Westmoreland—the former showed us where togo—that is, to walk through the corridor (a fairy scene—lights,pictures, moving figures of courtiers unknown), the apartments which wepassed through one after another till we reached the magnificent ball-roomwhere the guests were assembled to await the Queen's appearance. Amongthese guests stood our King himself, punctual to quarter-past seveno'clock; soon came Prince Albert, to whom Lord De la Warr named me, whenhe spoke to me of Rome. We had not been there long before two gentlemenwalking in by the same door by which we had entered, and then turning andmaking profound bows towards the open door, showed that the Queen wascoming. She approached me directly and said, with a gracious smile, 'I amvery much pleased to see you,' then passed on, and after speaking a fewmoments to the King took his arm and moved on, 'God save the Queen' havingbegun to sound from the Waterloo Gallery, where the Queen has always dinedsince the King has been with her. Lord Haddington led me to dinner, andone of the King's suite sat on the other side. The scene was one of fairytales, of undescribed magnificence, the proportions of the hall, the massof light in suspension, the gold plate, and the table glittering with athousand lights in branches of a proper height not to meet the eye. TheKing's health was drunk, then the Queen's, and then the Queen went out,followed by all her ladies. During the half-hour or less that elapsedbefore Prince Albert and the King followed the Queen, she did not sit, butwent round to speak to the different ladies. She asked after my children,and gave me an opportunity of thanking her for the gracious permission tobehold her Majesty so soon after my arrival. The duch*ess of Kent alsospoke to me, and I was very glad of the notice of Lady Lyttelton, who isvery charming. As soon as the King came the Queen went into the ball-roomand made the King dance a quadrille with her, which he did with allsuitable grace and dignity, though he has long ceased to dance. Athalf-past eleven, after the Queen had retired, I set out on my travels tomy bed-chamber. I might have looked and wandered about some miles before Ihad found my door of exit, but was helped by an old gentleman, I believeLord Albemarle."

The same thoughtful observer was present when the King of Prussia saw theQueen open Parliament. "February, 1842, Thursday. The opening of theParliament was the thing from which I expected most, and I was notdisappointed; the throngs in the streets, in the windows, in every placepeople could stand upon, all looking so pleased; the splendid HorseGuards, the Grenadiers of the Guard—of whom might be said as the Kingsaid on another occasion—'An appearance so fine, you know not how tobelieve it true;' the Yeomen of the Body Guard; then in the House ofLords, the Peers in their robes, the beautifully-dressed ladies with verymany beautiful faces; lastly, the procession of the Queen's entry andherself, looking worthy and fit to be the converging-point of so many raysof grandeur. It is self-evident that she is not tall, but were she ever sotall, she could not have more grace and dignity, a head better set, athroat better arching; and one advantage there is in her looks when shecasts a glance, being of necessity cast up and not down, that the effectof the eyes is not lost, and they have an effect both bright and pleasing.The composure with which she filled the throne while awaiting the Commons,I much admired—it was a test, no fidget, no apathy. Then her voice andenunciation cannot be more perfect. In short it could not be said that shedid well, but that she was the Queen—she was, and feltherself to be, the descendant of her ancestors. Stuffed in by herMajesty's mace-bearers, and peeping over their shoulders, I was enabled tostruggle down the emotions I felt, at thinking what mighty pages in theworld's history were condensed in the words so impressively uttered bythat soft and feminine voice. Peace and war—the fate ofmillions—relations and exertions of power felt to the extremities of theglobe! Alterations of corn-laws, birth of a future sovereign, with whatshould it close, but the heartfelt aspiration, God bless her and guide herfor her sake, and the sake of all."

Lady Bloomfield, who was also present, mentions that when the Queen hadfinished speaking and descended from the throne, she turned to the King ofPrussia and made him a low curtsey. The same eye-witness refers to one ofthe "beautiful faces" which Madame Bunsen remarked; it was that of one ofthe loveliest and most accomplished women of her time: "Miss Stewart(afterwards Marchioness of Waterford) was there, looking strikinglyhandsome. She wore a turquoise, blue velvet which was very becoming, andshe was like one of the Madonnas she is so fond of painting."

The Queen and the Prince's hearts were gladdened this spring by the newsof the approaching marriage of his brother, Prince Ernest, to PrincessAlexandrine of Baden. In a family so united such intelligence awoke theliveliest sympathy. The Queen wrote eagerly on the subject to her uncle,and the uncle of the bridegroom, King Leopold. "My heart is full, veryfull of this marriage; it brings back so many recollections of our dearbetrothal—as Ernest was with us all the time and longed for similarhappiness… I have entreated Ernest to pass his honeymoon with us, and Ibeg you to urge him to do it, for he witnessed our happiness andwe must therefore witness his."

There were warm wishes for Prince Albert's presence at the ceremony atCarlsruhe on the 3rd of May; but though his inclination coincided withthese wishes, he believed there were grave reasons for his remaining inEngland, and, as was usual with him, inclination yielded to duty. Thetimes were full of change and excitement. The people were suffering.Rioting had occurred in the mining districts, both in England andScotland. Lord Shaftesbury, then Lord Ashley, a champion of hard-pressedhumanity, was able to obtain an Act of Parliament which redeemed womenfrom the degradation and slavery of their work as beasts of burden in themines, and he was pushing forward his "Factories Bill," to release littlechildren from the unchildlike length of small labour, which was requiredfrom them in mills. The Anti-corn Law League was stirring up the countrythrough its length and breadth. The twin names of Cobden and Bright, menof the people, were becoming associated everywhere with eloquentpersistent appeals for "Free Trade"—cheap bread to starving multitudes.Fears were entertained of the attitude of the Chartists. The true state ofmatters in Afghanistan began to break on the public. America was sore onwhat she considered the tampering with her flag in the interests of theabolition of the slave trade. Sir Robert Peel's income-tax, in order toreplenish an ill-filled exchequer, was pending. Notwithstanding, theseason was a gay one, though the gaiety might be a little forced in somequarters. Certainly an underlying motive was an anxious effort to promotetrade by a succession of "dinners, concerts, and balls."

One famous ball is almost historical. It is still remembered as "the
Queen's Plantagenet Ball." It was a very artistic and wonderfully perfect
revival, for one night at Buckingham Palace, of the age of Chaucer and the
Court of Edward III. and Queen Philippa.

Nothing could exceed the enthusiasm with which the idea was taken up inthe great world. All aristocratic London set themselves to study the pagesof Chaucer and Froissart. At the same time, though the Court was to bethat of Edward III and his Queen, no limit was put to the periods andnationalities to be selected by the guests. The ball was to be a masque,and perhaps it would have lost a little of its motley charm had it beenconfined entirely to one age in history, and to one country of the world.A comical petition had to be presented, that the masquers might remaincovered before the Queen, lest the doffing of hats should cause thedisplacement of wigs.

The great attraction lay in the fact that not only did her Majestyrepresent one of her predecessors, an ancestress however remote, but thatmany of the guests were enabled to follow her example. They appeared—somein the very armour of their forefathers, others in costumes copied fromfamily pictures, or in the dress of hereditary offices still held by therepresentatives of the ancient houses. For it was the sons and daughtersof the great nobles of England that held high revelry in Buckingham Palacethat night. There was an additional picturesqueness, as well as a curiousvividness, lent to the pageant by the circ*mstance that in many cases theblood of the men and the women represented ran in the veins of theperformers in the play.

The wildest rumours of the extent and cost of the ball circulatedbeforehand. It was said that eighteen thousand persons were engaged in it.The Earl of Pembroke was to wear thirty-thousand pounds' worth ofdiamonds—the few diamonds in his hat alone would be of the value ofeighteen thousand pounds. He was to borrow ten thousand pounds' worth ofdiamonds from Storr and Mortimer at one per cent, for the night. Thesegreat jewellers' stores were reported to be exhausted. Every otherjeweller and diamond merchant was in the same condition. It almost seemedas if the Prince of Esterhazy must be outdone, even though the report ofhis losses from falling stones on the Coronation-day had risen to twothousand pounds. One lady boasted that she would not give less than athousand pounds for her dress alone. Lord Chesterfield's costume was tocost eight hundred pounds. Plain dresses could not be got under twohundred; the very commonest could not be bought under fifty pounds. A newmaterial had been invented for the occasion—gold and silver blonde toreplace the heavy stuffs of gold and silver, since the nineteenth centurydid not always furnish strength or endurance to bear such a burden in acrowded ball-room on a May night. Truly one description of trade must havereceived a lively impetus.

Both The Times and the Morning Post give full accounts ofthe ball. "The leading feature…. was the assemblage and meeting of theCourts of Anne of Brittany (the duch*ess of Cambridge) and Edward III. andPhilippa (her Majesty and Prince Albert). A separate entrance to thePalace was set apart for the Court of Brittany, the duch*ess of Cambridgeassembling her Court in one of the lower rooms of the Palace, while theQueen and Prince Albert, surrounded by a numerous and brilliant circle,prepared to receive her Royal Highness in the Throne-room, which wasaltered so as to be made as much as possible to harmonize with the period.The throne was removed and another erected, copied from an authenticsource of the time of Edward III. It was lined (as well as the wholealcove on which the throne was placed) with purple velvet, having workedupon it in gold the crown of England, the cross of St. George, andemblazoned shields with the arms of England and France. The State chairswere what might be called of Gothic design, and the throne was surmountedwith Gothic tracery. At the back of the throne were emblazoned the royalarms of England in silver. Seated on this throne, her Majesty and PrinceAlbert awaited the arrival of the Court of Anne of Brittany."

Her Majesty's dress was entirely composed of the manufactures ofSpitalfields. Over a skirt with a demi-train of ponceau velvetedged with fur there was a surcoat of brocade in blue and gold lined withminiver (only her Majesty wore this royal fur). From the stomacher a bandof jewels on gold tissue descended. A mantle of gold and silver brocadelined with miniver was so fastened that the jewelled fastening traversedthe jewelled band of the stomacher, and looked like a great jewelled crosson the breast. Her Majesty's hair, folded a la Clovis, wassurmounted by a light crown of gold; she had but one diamond in her crown,so large that it shone like a star. It was valued at ten thousand pounds.

Prince Albert, as Edward III., wore a cloak of scarlet velvet, lined withermine and trimmed with gold lace—showing oak-leaves and acorns, edgedwith two rows of large pearls. The band connecting the cloak was studdedwith jewels; so was the collar of the full robe, or under-cloak, of blueand gold brocade slashed with blue velvet. The hose were of scarlet silk,and the shoes were richly jewelled. The Prince had on a gold coronet setwith precious stones.

The suite were in the costume of the time. The Hon. Mrs. Anson and Mrs.
Brand, Women of the Bedchamber, had dresses bearing the quarterings of the
old arms of England, with lions and fleurs-de-lys. The Maids of
Honour had dresses and surcoats trimmed with gold and silver. The Duke of
Buccleugh figured as one of the original Knights of the Garter. The
Countess of Rosslyn appeared as the beautiful Countess of Salisbury.

About half-past ten, the heralds marshalled the procession from the lowersuite of rooms up the grand white marble staircase, and by the GreenDrawing-room to the Throne-room, all the State-rooms having been thrownopen and brilliantly illuminated. The duch*ess of Cambridge enteredmagnificently dressed as Anne of Brittany, led by the Duke of Beaufort,richly clad as Louis XII., and followed by her court. It included the Earlof Pembroke as the Comte d'Angouleme, with Princess Augusta of Cambridgeas Princess Claude; Prince George of Cambridge as Gaston de Foix, with theMarchioness of Ailesbury as the duch*esse de Ferrare; Lord Cardigan asBayard, with Lady Exeter as Jeanne de Conflans; Lord Claud Hamilton as theComte de Chateaubriand, with Lady Lincoln as Ann de Villeroi…. Theduch*ess of Gloucester and the duch*ess of Saxe-Weimar represented twoFrench Chatelaines of the period. Each gentleman, leading a lady, passedbefore the Queen and Prince Albert, and did obeisance.

Among the most famous quadrilles which followed that of France were the
German quadrille, led by the duch*ess of Sutherland, and the Spanish
quadrille, led by the duch*ess of Buccleugh. There were also Italian,
Scotch, Greek and Russian quadrilles, a Crusaders' quadrille led by the
Marchioness of Londonderry, and a Waverley quadrille led by the Countess
De la Warr.

One of the two finest effects of the evening was the passing of thequadrilles before the Queen, a ceremony which lasted for an hour. Onleaving the Throne-room, the quadrille company went by the Picture Galleryto join the general company in the ballroom. The Queen and the Princethen headed their procession, and walked to the ballroom, taking theirplaces on the haut pas under a canopy of amber satin, when eachquadrille set was called in order, and danced in turn before the Queen,the Scotch set dancing reels. The court returned to the Throne-room forthe Russian mazurkas. The Russian or Cossack Masquers were led by BaronessBrunnow in a dress of the time of Catherine II., a scarlet velvet tunic,full white silk drawers, and white satin boots embroidered with gold, aCossack cap of scarlet velvet with heron's feathers. The appearance of theThrone-room with its royal company and brilliant picturesque groups, whenthe mazurkas were danced, is said to have been striking and beautiful.

The diamonds of the Queen, the duch*ess of Cambridge, and the Marchionessof Londonderry outshone all others. Lady Londonderry's very gloves andshoes were resplendent with brilliants. The Duke and duch*ess ofBeaufort—the one as Louis XII. of France, the other as Isabelle ofValois, Queen of Spain, in the French and Spanish quadrilles, weremagnificent figures.

Among the beauties of the evening, and of Queen Victoria's earlier reign,were Lady Clementina Villiers as Vittoria Colonna; Lady WilhelminaStanhope as her ancestress, Anne Stanhope, duch*ess of Somerset; LadyFrances and Lady Alexandrina Vane as Rowena and Queen Berengaria; and theLadies Paget in the Greek quadrille led by the duch*ess of Leinster.Another group of lovely sisters who took part in three differentquadrilles, were the Countess of Chesterfield, Donna Florinda in theSpanish quadrille; the Honourable Mrs. Anson, duch*ess of Lauenburg in theGerman quadrille; and Miss Forrester, Blanche de St. Pol in the Frenchquadrille.

Of the ladies and gentlemen who came in the guise of ancient members oftheir families, or in the costumes of old hereditary offices, Lady De laWarr appeared as Isabella Lady De la Warr, daughter of the Lord HighTreasurer of Charles I.; Lady Colville as the wife of Sir Robert Colville,Master of the Horse to James IV. of Scotland; Viscountess Pollington,daughter of the Earl of Orford, as Margaret Rolle, Baroness Clinton, inher own right, and Countess of Orford; and the Countess of Westmorland asJoan Beaufort, daughter of John of Gaunt and wife of Ralph Neville, firstEarl of Westmoreland. Earl De la Warr wore the armour used by his ancestorin the battle of Cressy, and the Marquis of Exeter the armour of Sir JohnCecil at the siege of Calais. The Earl of Warwick went as ThomasBeauchamp, Earl of Warwick, Marshal-General of the army at the battle ofPoietiers; the Duke of Norfolk as Thomas Howard, Earl-Marshal in the reignof Elizabeth; the Earl of Rosslyn as the Master of the Buckhounds; theDuke of St. Albans as Grand Falconer-hereditary offices.

Mr. Monckton Milnes, the poet, presented himself as Chaucer. Thehistorical novelist of the day, Sir Edward Lytton Bulwer, contentedhimself with a comparatively humble anonymous dress, a doublet of darkvelvet slashed with white satin. The Duke of Roxburgh as David Bruce, thecaptive King of Scotland, encountered no rival royal prisoner, though aridiculous report had sprung up that a gentleman representing John ofFrance was to form a prominent feature of the pageant, to walk in chainspast the Queen. This stupid story not only wounded the sensitive vanity ofthe French, to whom the news travelled, it gave rise to a wittycanard in the Morning Chronicle professing to give a debateon the affront, in the Chamber of Deputies.

The tent of Tippoo Saib was erected in the upper or Corinthian porticocommunicating with the Green Drawing-room, and used as a refreshment-room.At one o'clock, the Earl of Liverpool, the Lord High Steward, as anancient seneschal, conducted the Queen to supper, which was served in thedining-room. The long double table was covered with shields, vases, andtankards of massive gold plate. Opposite the Queen, where she sat at thecentre of the horseshoe or cross table, a superb buffet reached almost tothe roof, covered with plate, interspersed with blossoming flowers. Aftersupper her Majesty danced in a quadrille with Prince George of Cambridge,opposite the Duke of Beaufort and the duch*ess of Buccleugh. The Queen leftthe ball-room at about a quarter to three o'clock, and dancing wascontinued for an hour afterwards. Thus ended the most unique and splendidfete of the reign. About a fortnight afterwards, the Queen and the Princewent in state to a ball given at Covent Garden Theatre, for the relief ofthe Spitalfields weavers. Society followed the Queen's example. There wasanother fancy ball at Stafford House, and a magnificent rout at ApsleyHouse. Fanny Kemble was present at both, and retained a vivid remembranceof "the memorable appearance" of two of the belles of the evening at thelast fete, "Lady Douro and Mdlle. D'Este, [Footnote: Daughter of the Dukeof Sussex, by his morganatic marriage with Lady Augusta Murray. Mdlle.D'Este became the wife of Lord Chancellor Truro.] who, coming into theroom together, produced a most striking effect by their great beauty andtheir exquisite dress. They both wore magnificent dresses of white laceover white satin, ornamented with large cactus flowers, those of theblonde Marchioness being of the sea-shell rose colour, and the darkMademoiselle D'Este's of deep scarlet, and in the bottom of each of thoselarge veined blossoms lay, like a great drop of dew, a single splendiddiamond. The women were noble samples of fair and dark beauty, and theirwhole appearance, coming in together attired with such elegance andbecoming magnificent simplicity, produced an effect of surprise andadmiration on the whole brilliant assembly." Of this year's Drawing-roomswe happen to have two characteristic reports. Baroness Bunsen attended oneon April 8th, and wrote: "I was extremely struck with the splendour of thescene at the Drawing-room, and had an excellent place near enough to seeeverybody come up to the Queen [Footnote: "At a Levee or Drawing-room itis his (the Lord Chamberlain's) duty to stand next to the Queen and readout the names of each one approaching the royal presence…. Any peeresson presentation, as also daughters of dukes, marquises, and earls, havethe privilege of being kissed by her Majesty; all other ladies make thelowest Court curtsey they can, and lifting the Queen's hand, which sheoffers, on the palm of their hand, it is gently kissed…. It seemsunnecessary to say that of course the right-hand glove is removed beforereaching the Presence Chamber."—"Old Court Customs and Modern CourtRule," by the Hon. Mrs. Armytage.] and pass off again. I was very muchentertained, and admired a number of beautiful persons. But nobody did Iadmire more than Mrs. Norton, whom I had never seen before, and LadyCanning's face always grows upon me." Fanny Kemble also attended aDrawing-room and described it after her fashion. "You ask about my goingto the Drawing-room, which happened thus. The Duke of Rutland dined somelittle time ago at the Palace, and speaking of the late party at Belvoir,mentioned me, when the Queen asked why I didn't have myself presented? TheDuke called next day, at my house, but we did not see him, and he beingobliged to go out of town, left a message for me with Lady Londonderry tothe effect that her Majesty's interest about me (curiosity would have beenthe more exact word I suspect) rendered it imperative that I should go tothe Drawing-room; and indeed Lady Londonderry's authoritative 'Of courseyou'll go,' given in her most gracious manner, left me no doubt whateveras to my duty in that respect…."

"You ask me how I managed about diamonds to go to Court in?" she wroteafterwards in reply to a friend's question. "I used a set of the value ofseven hundred pounds, which I also wore at the fete at Apsley House; theywere only a necklace and earrings, which I wore … stitched on scarletvelvet and as drops in the middle of scarlet velvet bows in my hair, andmy dress being white satin and point lace, trimmed with white Romanpearls, it all looked nice enough.

"I suffered agonies of nervousness, and I rather think did all sorts ofawkward things; but so I dare say do other people in the same predicament,and I did not trouble my head much about my various mis-performances. Onething, however, I can tell you, if her Majesty has seen me, I have notseen her, and should be quite excusable in cutting her wherever I met her.'A cat may look at a king,' it is said; but how about looking at theQueen? In great uncertainty of mind on this point I did not look at mysovereign lady. I kissed a soft white hand which I believe was hers; I sawa pair of very handsome legs in very fine silk stockings, which I amconvinced were not hers, but am inclined to attribute to Prince Albert;and this is all I perceived of the whole Royal family of England, for Imade a sweeping curtsey to the 'good remainders of the Court' and cameaway, with no impression but that of a crowded mass of full-dressedconfusion, and neither know how I got in or out of it."

We might furnish a third sketch of a Drawing-room from one of the lettersof Bishop, then Archdeacon, Wilberforce, who was often at Court about thistime. In the early part of 1842 he paid a visit to Windsor, of which hehas left a graphic account. "All went on most pleasantly at the Castle. Myreception and treatment throughout was exceedingly kind. The Queen and thePrince were both at church, as was also Lord Melbourne, who paid his firstvisit at the same time. The Queen's meeting with him was very interesting.The exceeding pleasure which lighted up her countenance was quitetouching. His behaviour to her was perfect—the fullest attentivedeference of the subject with a subdued air of 'your father's friend' thatwas quite fascinating. It was curious to see (for I contemplated myself atthe moment objectively—and free from the consciousness of subjectivity),sitting round the Queen's table, (1) the Queen, (2) the Prince, (3) LordMelbourne, (4) Archdeacon, (5) Lady F. Howard, (6) Baron Stockmar, (7)duch*ess of Kent, (8) Lady Sandwich, in the evening, discussing Coleridge,German literature, &c., with 2 and 3, and a little with 4 and 6, who is avery superior man evidently. The remarks of 3 were highly characteristic,his complaints of 'hard words,' &c., and 2 showed a great deal of interestand taste in German and English literature, and a good deal ofacquaintance with both. I had orders to sit by the duch*ess of Kent atdinner, just opposite to 1 and 2, 3 sitting at l's right, and theconversation, especially after dinner, was much more general across thetable on etymology," &c. &c.

CHAPTER XIII.FRESH ATTEMPTS AGAINST THE QUEEN'S LIFE.—MENDELSSOHN.—DEATH OF THE DUCD'ORLEANS.

On the 30th of May a renewed attempt to assassinate the Queen, almostidentical in the circ*mstances and the motive—or no motive, save morbidvanity—with the affair of Oxford, awoke the same disgust andcondemnation. This was a double attack, for on the previous day, Sunday,at two o'clock, as the Queen and the Prince were driving home from theChapel Royal, St. James's, in passing along the Mall, near Stafford House,amidst a crowd of bowing, cheering spectators, the Prince saw a man stepout and present a pistol at him. He heard the trigger snap, but the pistolmissed fire. The Queen, who had been bowing to the people on the oppositeside, neither saw nor heard anything. On reaching the Palace the Princequestioned the footmen in attendance, but neither had they noticedanything, and he could judge for himself that no commotion, such as wouldhave followed an arrest, had taken place. He was tempted to doubt theevidence of his senses, though he thought it necessary to make a privatestatement before the Inspector of Police. Confirmation came in the storyof a stuttering boy named Pearse. He had witnessed the scene, and after alittle delay arrived of his own accord at the Palace, to report what hadhappened. Everybody concerned was now convinced of the threatened danger,but it was judged best to keep it secret. The Prince, writing afterwardsto his father, mentions in his simple straightforward fashion that theywere both naturally much agitated, and that the Queen was very nervous andunwell; as who would not be with the sword of Damocles quivering ready tofall on the doomed head? Her Majesty's doctor wished that she should goout, and the wish coincided with the quiet courage and good sense of theRoyal couple. To have kept within doors might have been to shutthemselves up for months, and the Queen said later, "she never could haveexisted under the uncertainty of a concealed attack. She would muchrather run the immediate risk at any time than have the presentiment ofdanger constantly hovering over her." But the brave, generous woman, atrue queen in facing the dastardly foe, was careful to save others fromunnecessary exposure. The Annual Register of the year mentions thatshe did not permit her female attendants to accompany her according to herusual practice, on that dangerous drive. Lady Bloomfield, who as MissLiddell was one of the Maids of Honour in waiting, amply confirms thestatement. No whisper of what was expected to occur had reached the ladiesof the Household. They waited at home all the afternoon counting on beingsummoned to drive with the Queen. Contrary to her ordinary habit and toher wonted consideration for them, they were neither sent for to accompanyher, nor apprised in time that they were not wanted, so that they mighthave disposed of their leisure elsewhere. The Queen went out alone withPrince Albert. When she returned and everybody knew what she hadencountered, she said to Miss Liddell: "I dare say, Georgy, you weresurprised at not driving with me this afternoon, but the fact was that aswe returned from church yesterday, a man presented a pistol at thecarriage window, which flashed in the pan; we were so taken by surprisethat we had not time to escape, so I knew what was hanging over me, andwas determined to expose no life but my own." The young Maid of Honour, inspeaking warmly of the Queen's courage and unselfishness, shrewdly remindsher readers that had three ladies driven rapidly by instead of one, thewould-be assassin might have been bewildered and uncertain in his aim. TheQueen and the Prince had driven in the direction of Hampstead in "superbweather," with "hosts of people on foot" around them—a strange contrastin their ease and tranquillity to the beating hearts and watchful eyes inthe Royal carriage. There had been no misadventure and nothing suspiciousobserved, though every turn, almost every face was scanned, till on theway home, between the Green Park and the garden wall, at the same spot,though on the opposite side from where Oxford had stood two years before,a shot was fired about five paces off. The Prince immediately recognisedthe man who had aimed at him the day before, "a little swarthy ill-lookingrascal," who had been already seized, though too late to stop the shot, bya policeman close at hand.

When the worst was over without harm done, "We felt as if a load had beentaken off our hearts," wrote the Prince, "and we thanked the Almighty forhaving preserved us a second time from so great a danger." The Princeadded, "Uncle Mensdorff [Footnote: The duch*ess of Kent's eldest sistermarried a private gentleman, originally a French emigre, afterwardsa distinguished officer in the Austrian service. His sons were PrinceAlbert's early companions and intimate friends.] and mamma were drivingclose behind us. The duch*ess Bernhard of Weimar was on horseback—notsixty paces from us."

It was said that when the Queen arrived at the Palace and met the duch*essof Kent, whom Count Mensdorff had conducted thither, the poor mother wasdeeply affected and fell upon her daughter's neck with a flood of tears,"while the Queen endeavoured to reassure her with cheerful words andaffectionate caresses." Indeed the Queen was greatly relieved, and in thereaction she recovered her spirits. She wrote to the King of the Belgiansthe day afterwards, "I was really not at all frightened, and feel veryproud at dear Uncle Mensdorff calling me 'very courageous,' which I shallever remember with peculiar pride, coming from so distinguished an officeras he is." We may mention that the general impression made on the publicby the Queen's bearing under these treacherous attacks was that of herutter fearlessness and strength of nerve; a corresponding idea, which wethink quite mistaken, was that the Prince showed himself the more nervousof the two.

A great crowd assembled to cheer the Queen when she drove out on thefollowing day. "One long shout of hurrahs," with waving of hats andhandkerchiefs, greeted her. She bowed and smiled and appeared calm andcollected, though somewhat flushed; but when she came back from what isdescribed as like a triumphal progress, it was observed that, in spite ofher gratification, she looked pale and not so well as she had done on theday preceding the attack. The bravest heart in a woman's breast could notsurmount unmoved such an ordeal; she was at the Italian Opera the sameevening, however, and heard the national anthem interrupted at every lineby bursts of cheering.

In this case, as in the other, the offender was a mere lad, little overtwenty, named John Francis. He was the son of a stage-carpenter, and hadhimself been a young carpenter who had led an irregular life, and beenguilty of dishonesty. He behaved at first with much coolness andindifference, jeering at the magistrates. Francis was tried in the monthof June for high treason, and sentenced to death, when his bluster ceased,and he fell back in a fainting fit in the arms of the turnkey.

The Queen was exceedingly anxious that the sentence should not beexecuted, though "fully conscious of the encouragement to similarattempts—which might follow from such leniency," and the sentence ofdeath was commuted to banishment for life.

On the very day after the commutation of the sentence had been announced,Sunday, the 3rd of July, the Queen was again fired at as she sat by theside of her uncle, King Leopold, on her way to the Chapel Royal, St.James's. The pistol missed fire, and the man who presented it, ahunchback, was seized by a boy of sixteen called Dasset. So ridiculous didthe group seem, that the very policemen pushed away both captor andcaptive as actors in a bad practical joke. Then the boy Dasset, whor*tained the pistol, was in danger of being taken up as the real culprit,trying to throw the blame upon another. At last several witnesses provedthe true state of the case. The pistol was discovered to contain onlypowder, paper, and some bits of a tobacco-pipe rammed together. Onexamination it was found that the hunchback, another miserable lad namedBean, was a chemist's assistant, who had written a letter to his fatherdeclaring that he "would never see him again, as he intended doingsomething which was not dishonest, but desperate."

The Queen was not aware of Bean's attempt till she came back from St.James's, "when she betrayed no alarm, but said she had expected arepetition of the attempts on her life, so long as the law remainedunaltered by which they could be dealt with only as acts of high treason."

"Sir Robert Peel hurried up from Cambridge on hearing what had occurred,to consult with the Prince as to the steps to be taken. During thisinterview her Majesty entered the room, when the Minister, in public socold and self-controlled, in reality so full of genuine feeling, out ofhis very manliness, was unable to control his emotion, and burst intotears;" [Footnote: "Life of the Prince Consort"] an honourable sequel tothe difficulties and misunderstanding which had heralded the Premier'sentrance on office.

It was, indeed, high time that a suitable provision should be made to meetwhat seemed likely to be a new and base abuse of Royal clemency.

In the meantime, Prince Albert's fair and fearless treatment of the wholematter was very remarkable. He wrote that he could imagine thecirc*mstance of Bean's attempt being made the day after Francis receivedhis pardon would excite much surprise in Germany. But the Prince wassatisfied that Bean's letter making known his intention had been writtendays before. Prince Albert was convinced that, as the law then stood,Francis's execution, notwithstanding the verdict of the jury, would havebeen nothing less than a judicial murder, as it was essential that the actshould be committed with intent to kill or wound, and in Francis's casethis, to all appearance, was not the fact; at least it was open to gravedoubt. There was no proof that Francis's pistol was loaded. "In this calmand wise way," observes Mr. Justin M'Carthy, "did the husband of theQueen, who had always shared with her whatever of danger there might be inthe attempts, argue as to the manner in which they ought to be dealtwith." The historian adds, "The ambition which moved most or all themiscreants who thus disturbed the Queen and the country, was that of themountebank rather than the assassin." It merited contempt no less thanseverity. A bill was brought forward on the 12th of July, and passed onthe 16th, making such attacks punishable, as high misdemeanours, bytransportation for seven years, or imprisonment with or without hardlabour for a term not exceeding three years; the culprit to be publicly orprivately whipped as often and in such manner and form as the court shalldirect, not exceeding thrice. Bean was tried by this law on the 25th ofAugust, and sentenced to eighteen months' imprisonment.

One of the attractions of the season was the reappearance of Rachel,ravishing all hearts by her acting of Camille in Les Horaces, andwinning ovations of every kind up to roses dropped from the Queen'sbouquet.

Mendelssohn was also in London, and went to Buckingham Palace. He has lefta charming account of one of his visits in a letter to his mother. "I musttell you," he writes, "all the details of my last visit to BuckinghamPalace…. It is, as G. says, the one really pleasant and thoroughlycomfortable English house where one feels a son aise. Of course Ido know a few others, but yet on the whole I agree with him. Joking apart,Prince Albert had asked me to go to him on Saturday at two o'clock, sothat I might try his organ before I left England; I found him alone, andas we were talking away, the Queen came in, also alone, in a simplemorning-dress. She said she was obliged to leave for Claremont in an hour,and then, suddenly interrupting herself, exclaimed, 'But, goodness, what aconfusion!' for the wind had littered the whole room, and even the pedalsof the organ (which, by the way, made a very pretty picture in the room),with leaves of music from a large portfolio that lay open. As she spokeshe knelt down, and began picking up the music; Prince Albert helped, andI too was not idle. Then Prince Albert proceeded to explain the stops tome, and she said that she would meanwhile put things straight.

"I begged that the Prince would first play me something, so that, as Isaid, I might boast about it in Germany. He played a chorale by heart,with the pedals, so charmingly, and clearly, and correctly, that it wouldhave done credit to any professional; and the Queen, having finished herwork, came and sat by him and listened, and looked pleased. Then it wasmy turn, and I began my chorus from St. Paul, "How lovely are themessengers." Before I got to the end of the first verse they both joinedin the chorus, and all the time Prince Albert managed the stops for me socleverly—first a flute, at the forte the great organ, at the Dmajor part the whole register, then he made a lovely diminuendowith the stops, and so on to the end of the piece, and all by heart—thatI was really quite enchanted. Then the young Prince of Gotha came in, andthere was more chatting; and the Queen asked if I had written any newsongs, and said she was very fond of singing my published ones. 'Youshould sing one to him,' said Prince Albert, and after a little beggingshe said she would try the 'Fruhlingslied' in B flat. 'If it is stillhere,' she added, 'for all my music is packed up for Claremont.' PrinceAlbert went to look for it, but came back saying it was already packed.'But one might, perhaps, unpack it,' said I. 'We must send for Lady——,' she said (I did not catch the name). So the bell was rung, and theservants were sent after it, but without success; and at last the Queenwent herself, and while she was gone, Prince Albert said to me, 'She begsyou will accept this present as a remembrance,' and gave me a little casewith a beautiful ring, on which is engraved 'V. R., 1842.'

"Then the Queen came back and said, ' Lady —— is gone, and has taken allmy things with her. It really is most annoying.' You can't think how thatamused me. I then begged that I might not be made to suffer for theaccident, and hoped she would sing another song. After some consultationwith her husband, he said, 'She will sing you something of Gluck's.'Meantime, the Princess of Gotha had come in, and we five proceeded throughvarious corridors and rooms to the Queen's sitting-room. The duch*ess ofKent came in too, and while they were all talking, I rummaged aboutamongst the music, and soon discovered my first set of songs; so, ofcourse, I begged her rather to sing one of those than the Gluck, to whichshe very kindly consented; and which did she choose? 'Schoner undschoner schmuck sich,' sang it quite charmingly, in strict time andtune, and with very good execution. Only in the line 'Der Prosa Lastenund muh,' where it goes down to D, and then comes up again bysemi-tones, she sang D sharp each time, and as I gave her the note the twofirst times, the last time she sang D, where it ought to have been Dsharp. But with the exception of this little mistake it was reallycharming, and the last long G I have never heard better, or purer, or morenatural, from any amateur. Then I was obliged to confess that Fanny hadwritten the song (which I found very hard; but pride must have a fall),and to beg her to sing one of my own also. 'If I would give her plenty ofhelp she would gladly try,' she said, and then she sang'Pilgerspruch,' 'Lass dich nur,' really quite faultlessly,and with charming feeling and expression. I thought to myself, one mustnot pay too many compliments on such an occasion, so I merely thanked hera great many times, upon which she said. 'Oh, if only I had not been sofrightened! generally I have such long breath.' Then I praised herheartily, and with the best conscience in the world; for just that partwith the long C at the close, she had done so well, taking it and thethree notes next to it all in the same breath, as one seldom hears itdone, and therefore it amused me doubly that she herself should have begunabout it.'

"After this Prince Albert sang the 'Arndle-lied,' 'Es ist einschnitter,' and then he said I must play him something before I went,and gave me as themes the chorale which he had played on the organ, andthe song he had just sung. If everything had gone as usual I ought to haveimprovised dreadfully badly, for it is almost always so with me when Iwant it to go well, and then I should have gone away vexed with the wholemorning. But just as if I were to keep nothing but the pleasantest, mostcharming recollection of it, I never improvised better; I was in the bestmood for it, and played a long time, and enjoyed it myself so much that,besides the two themes, I brought in the songs that the Queen had sungquite naturally; and it all went off so easily, that I would gladly nothave stopped; and they followed me with so much intelligence andattention, that I felt more at my ease than I ever did in improvising toan audience. The Queen said several times she hoped I would soon come toEngland again, and pay them a visit, and then I took leave; and down belowI saw the beautiful carriages waiting, with their scarlet outriders, andin a quarter of an hour the flag was lowered, and the CourtCircular announced, 'Her Majesty left the palace at twenty minutespast three.'"

The Queen and the Prince were enjoying the company of Prince Albert'sbrother, Prince Ernest, the hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg Gotha, andhis newly-wedded wife, who were both with the Court during its short stayat Claremont. There the news reached her Majesty of the sad andsudden death of the Duc d'Orleans, the eldest son of Louis Philippe, andthe favourite brother of the Queen of the Belgians. The Duc d'Orleans hadbeen with the King and Queen of France at Neuilly, from which he wasreturning in order to join the duch*esse d'Orleans at Plombieres, when thehorses in his carriage started off near the Porte Maillot. Fearing that heshould be overturned the Prince rashly leaped out, when his spurs and hissword caught in his cloak and helped to throw him to the ground with greatviolence. The result was concussion of the brain, from which he diedwithin three hours, never recovering consciousness. The Duc d'Orleans wasa young man of great promise, and his death was not only a source of deepdistress to all connected with him, it was in the end, so far as men canjudge, fatal to the political interests of his family. Many of us canrecollect still something of the agonised prayer of the poor mother by thedying Prince, "My God, take me, but save my child!" and the cry of thebereaved father, the first time he addressed the Chamber afterwards, whenhe broke down and could utter nothing save the passionate lamentation ofDavid of old, "My son, my son!" The Queen and Prince Albert were doublyand trebly allied to the Orleans family by the marriages of the Queen ofthe Belgians, the Duc de Nemours, and later of Princess Clementine, tothree members of the Coburg family—the uncle and two of the cousins ofQueen Victoria and Prince Albert. They felt much for the unhappy family intheir terrible bereavement. The Queen grieved especially for herparticular friend, Queen Louise, and for the young widow, a cultured,intellectual German Princess, with her health already broken. "My poordearest Louise, how my heart bleeds for her. I know how she loved poorChartres, [Footnote: The Duc de Chartres was the earlier title of the Ducd'Orleans, which he bore when his father was still Duc d'Orleans, beforehe became King of France as "Louis Philippe." Apparently the son continued"Chartres" to his intimate friends.] and deservedly, for he was so nobleand good. All our anxiety now is to hear how poor dear frail Helene (theduch*esse d'Orleans) has borne this too dreadful loss. She loved him so,and he was so devoted to her."

During the night of the 27th of July this year, London was visited by themost violent thunderstorm which had been experienced for many summers. Itlasted for several hours. The fine spire of the church of St.Martin-in-the-Fields was struck by the lightning and practicallydestroyed.

On the 9th of August the Queen prorogued Parliament, when the Prince andPrincess of Saxe-Coburg Gotha witnessed the interesting ceremony,occupying chairs near the chair of State, kept vacant for the Prince ofWales to the right of the Queen, while Prince Albert sat in the chair toher left.

The Prince of Wales was still at a considerable distance from theoccupancy of that chair. Even as we see him here, in a copy of Mrs.Thornycroft's graceful statue, he is in the character of a shepherd lad,like David of old, and not in that of the heir-apparent to the throne.

At the close of this season, the Queen's old friend and servant BaronessLehzen withdrew from Court service and retired to Germany to end her daysin her native country, in the company of a sister. Lady Bloomfield saw theBaroness Lehzen in her home at Buckeburg, within a day's journey ofHanover, a few years subsequently. "She resided with her sister in acomfortable small house, where she seemed perfectly contented and happy.She was as much devoted to the Queen as ever, and her rooms were filledwith pictures and prints of her Majesty." The Prince and Princess ofBuckeburg were very kind to her, and she had as much society as she likedor desired. What a change from the great monarchy of England to the tinyprincedom of Buckeburg! But the Baroness was a German, and could reconcilethe two ideas in her mind. She was also an ageing woman, to whom the restand freedom of domestic life were sweet and the return to the customs ofher youth not unacceptable..

CHAPTER XIV.THE QUEEN'S FIRST VISIT TO SCOTLAND.

The Queen had never been abroad. It was still well-nigh anunconstitutional step for a sovereign of England to claim the privilege,enjoyed by so many English subjects, of a foreign tour, let it be ever soshort. However, this year the proposal of a visit to her uncle KingLeopold at Brussels, where several members of Louis Philippe's family wereto have met her, was made. But the lamentable death of the Duc d'Orleansput an end for the present to the project. Neither were affairs at home inso flourishing a condition as to encourage any great departure fromordinary rule and precedent. The manufacturing districts were in a mostunsettled state. The perpetually recurring riots—so long as the corn lawsstood in the way of a sure and abundant supply of grain, which meant cheapbread, and as the people believed prosperous trade—had broken out afreshin Lancashire, Yorkshire, and the Midland counties. The aspect ofManchester alone became so threatening, that all the soldiers who could bespared from London, including a regiment of the Guards, were dispatched tothe North of England. Happily, the disturbances were quelled, though notwithout bloodshed; and it was resolved, notwithstanding the fact thatsimilar rioting had taken place in Lanarkshire, the Queen and the Princeshould pay their first visit to Scotland, a country within her dominions,but different in physical features and history from the land in which shehad been born and bred. How much the royal visitors were gratified, hasbeen amply shown; but to realise what the Queen's visit was to the Scotchpeople, it is necessary to go back to the nation's loyalty and to thecirc*mstance that since the exile of the Stewarts, nay, since the dayswhen James VI. left his ancient capital to assume the crown of England,the monarchs had shown their faces rarely in the north; while in the casesof Charles I. and Charles II. there had been so much of self-interest andcompulsion in their presence as to rob it of its grace. George IV. hadcome and gone certainly, but though he was duly welcomed, it was difficulteven for his most zealous supporters to be enthusiastic about him. At theproposed arrival of the young Queen, who was well worthy of the mostardent devotion, the "leal" heart of Scotland swelled with gladanticipation. The country had its troubles like the rest of the world. Inaddition to vexed questions between perplexed mill-masters, shipbuilders,and mine-owners on the one side, and on the other, penniless mechanics andpitmen, the crisis which more than all others rent the Covenanting church,so dear to the descendants of the old Whigs, was close at hand. All wasforgotten for the hour in the strange resemblance which exists between onestrain of the character of the staid Scotch, and a vein in the nature ofthe impulsive French, two nations that used to be trusty allies. There is,indeed, a bond to unite "Caledonia stern and wild" and "the sunny land ofFrance;" a weft of passionate poetry crosses alike the woof of the simplecunning of the Highlander and the slow canniness of the Lowlander.Scotland as well as France has been

The chosen home of chivalry, the garden of romance.

The news that the Queen and the Prince were coming, travelled with therapidity of the ancient clansmen's fiery cross from the wan waters of thesouth to the stormy friths of the north, and kindled into a blaze thelatent fire in every soul. The fields, the pastures, the quarries, theshootings, were all very well, and the Kirk was still better; but theQueen was at the door—the Queen who represented alike Queen Mary, KingJamie—all the King Jamies,—King William, the good friend of religiousliberty, and of "Cardinal Carstairs," "Bonnie Prince Charlie," at oncepitied and condemned, and King George, "honest man!" not unfair orunmerciful, whatever his minister Walpole might advise. The Queen was,above all, herself the flower of her race. Who would not hurry to meet andgreet her, to give her the warmest reception?

All the traditions, all the instincts of the people thrilled and impelledthem. Multitudes formed of broadly and picturesquely contrasting elementsflocked to Edinburgh to hail her Majesty's landing. Manifold preparationswere made for her entrance into the capital, the one regret being that shewas not to dwell in her own beautiful palace of Holyrood—unoccupied byroyal tenants since the last French exiles, Charles X., the Dauphin andthe Dauphiness (the Daughter of the Temple), and the duch*esse de Berri,with her two children, the young Duc de Bourdeaux and his sister, found abrief refuge within its walls. The Queen, like her uncle George IV., wasto be in the first place the guest of the Duke of Buccleugh at DalkeithPalace.

Her Majesty and the Prince left Windsor at five o'clock on the morning ofthe 29th August, 1842, and after journeying to London and Woolwich,embarked on board the Royal George yacht under a heavy shower ofrain. The yacht was attended by a squadron of nine vessels, the TrinityHouse steamer, and a packet, besides being followed for some distance, inspite of the unpropitious weather, by innumerable little pleasure-boats.The squadron was both for safety and convenience; certain vessels conveyedthe ladies and gentlemen of the suite, and one took the two dogs, thechosen companions of their master and mistress, "Eos," and anotherfour-footed favourite, "Cairnach." [Footnote: Sir Edwin Landseer paintedthese two dogs for the Queen, "Eos" with the Princess Royal in 1841, "Eos"alone, a sketch for a large picture in 1842, "Cairnach" in 1841. In 1838,the great animal painter had painted for her Majesty "little Dash" alongwith two other dogs, and "Lorey," a pet parrot belonging to the duch*ess ofKent.]

The voyage was both tedious and trying, the sea was rough, and the royalvoyagers were ill. On the morning of the 31st they were only coastingNorthumberland, when the Queen saw the Fern Islands, where Grace Darling'slighthouse and her heroic story were still things of yesterday. Before herMajesty's return to England, she heard what she had not known at the time,that the brave girl had died within twenty-four hours of the royal yacht'spassing the lighthouse station.

The Queens first remark on the Scotch coast, though it happened to be thecomparatively tame east coast, was "very beautiful—so dark, rocky, bold,and wild—totally unlike our coast." All her observations had the naivefreshness and sympathetic willingness to be pleased, of an unexhausted,unvitiated mind. She noticed everything, and was gratified by detailswhich would have signified nothing to a sated, jaded nature, or, if theyhad made an impression, would only have called forth more weariness,varied by contemptuous criticism. The longer light in the north, that dearsummer gloaming which is neither night nor day, but borrows something fromboth—from the silence and solemn mystery of the latter, and from theclear serenity of the former—a leisure time which is associated fromyouth to age with a host of happy, tender associations; the pipes playingin one of the fishing-boats; the reel danced on board an attendantsteamer; the bonfires on the coast—nothing was too trivial to escape theinterested watcher, or was lost upon her, Queen though she was.

The anchor of the royal yacht was let down in Leith Roads at midnight. Atseven o'clock on the morning of the 1st of September the Queen saw beforeher the good town of Leith, where Queen Mary had landed from France; andin the background, Edinburgh half veiled in an autumn fog, lying at thefoot of its semicircle of hills—the grim couchant lion of Arthur's seat;Salisbury Crags, grey and beetling; the heatherly slopes of the Pentlandsin the distance. A little after eight her Majesty landed at Granton Pier,amidst the cheers of her Scotch subjects. The Duke of Buccleugh, whosepublic-spirited work the pier was, stood there to receive his sovereign,when she put her foot on shore, as he had already been on board the yachtto greet her arrival in what was once called Scotland Water.

When Queen Mary landed at Leith, it took her more than one day, if weremember rightly, to make a slow progress to her capital. Things are donefaster in the nineteenth century; a few minutes by railway now separateGranton from Edinburgh. But the Edinburgh and Granton railway did notexist in 1842. Her Majesty and the Prince drove in a barouche, followed bythe ladies and gentlemen of her suite in other carriages, and escorted bythe Duke of Buccleugh and several gentlemen on horseback, to the ancientcity of her Stewart ancestry. An unfortunate misconception robbed theoccasion of the dignified ceremony and the exhibition of fervent personalattachment which had awaited it. All the previous day the authorities andthe crowd had been on the look-out for the great event, and in the delayhad passed the time quite happily in watching the preparations, and thedecorations and devices for the coming illumination. The Lord Provost, SirJames Forrest, had taken the precaution to send a carriageful of bailiesover night, or by dawn of day, to catch the first sign of the Queen'slanding, and drive with it, post-haste, to the chief magistrate, who withhis fellows was to be stationed at the barrier erected in the High Street,to present the keys of the city to the sovereign claiming admittance. Butwhether the bailies blundered over their instructions or slept at theirpost, or lost their way, no warning of the Queen's approach reached theProvost and his satellites in time. They were calm in the confidentpersuasion that the Queen would not arrive till noon—at the soonest—apersuasion which was based on the conviction that the event was too greatto be hurried over, and which left out of sight the consideration of thedisagreeable sea-voyage, and the natural desire to be on solid ground, andat rest, on the part of the travel-tossed voyagers. "We both feltdreadfully tired and giddy," her Majesty wrote of herself and the Princewhen they reached Dalkeith.

The result was that these gentlemen in office were seated at breakfast asusual, or were engaged in getting rid betimes of some of the numerousengagements which beset busy men on a busy day, when the cry arose thatthe Queen was there, in the midst of them, with nobody to meet her, nosilver keys on a velvet cushion to be respectfully offered and graciouslyreturned. The ancient institution of the Royal Archer Guard, one of thechief glories of the situation, was only straggling by twos and threes toits muster-ground. The Celtic Society was in a similar plight, headed indefault of the Duke of Argyle by the Marquis of Lorn, a golden-hairedstripling in a satin kilt of the Campbell set, who looked all the slighterand more youthful, with more dainty calves in his silken hose, because ofthe big burly chieftains—Islay conspicuous among them—whom he led. Thestands, the windows, the very grand old streets were half empty as yet, inthe raw September morning. No King or Queen had visited Edinburgh for ascore of years, and when at last the Queen of Hearts did come, thecitizens were found napping—a sore mortification with which her Majestydeals very gently in her Journal, scarcely alluding to the inopportuneaccident. In truth only a moiety of early risers—those mostly countryfolks who had trooped into the town—restless youthful spirits, ardentholiday-makers, who could not find any holiday too long—or gallantdevoted innocent Queen-worshippers, sleepless with the thought that theQueen was so near and might already be stirring—were abroad and intenton what was passing, looking at the vacant places, speculating on how theywould be choke full in a couple of hours, amusing themselves easily withthe idlest trifles, by way of whetting the appetite for the great sight,which they were to remember all their lives. These spectators werestartled by seeing a gentleman, said afterwards to have been Lord JohnScott, the popular but somewhat madcap brother of the Duke of. Buccleugh,gallop up the street bareheaded, waving his hat above his head andshouting "The Queen, the Queen!" The listeners looked at each other andlaughed. How well the hoax was gone about; but who would presume to playsuch a trick, it was too much even from Lord John—did not somebody say itwas Lord John? On the line of route too! What were the police thinking of?

Then swift corroboration followed, in the train of carriages rolling up,the first attended by a few of the Royal Archers, in their picturesquecostumes of green and gold, each with his bow in one hand and his arrowsin his belt. But the calmest had his equanimity disturbed by theconsciousness that the main body of his comrades, all noblemen andgentlemen of Scotland, were running pell-mell behind, in a desperateeffort to form into rank and march in due order. One eager confusedglance, one long-drawn breath, one vehement heart-throb for her who wasthe centre of all, and the disordered pageant had swept past.

The Queen wrote in her Journal that the Duke of Roxburgh and Lord Elchowere the members of the Body Guard on her side of the carriage, and thatLord Elcho, whom she did not know at the time, pointed out the variousmonuments and places of interest.

Both the Queen and Prince Albert were much struck by the beautiful town,the massive stone houses, the steep High Street, the tall buildings, "andthe Castle on the grand rock in the middle of the town, and Arthur's Seatin the background, a splendid spectacle."

On the country road to Dalkeith, the cottages built of stone, the walls("dry stane dykes") instead of fences, the old women in their close caps("sou-backed mutches"), the girls and children of the working classes,with flowing hair, often red, and bare feet, all the little individualtraits, which impress us on our first visit to a foreign country, werecarefully noted down. The Duke and duch*ess of Buccleugh proved a noblehost and hostess, but they could provide no such cicerone for the Queen aswas furnished for George IV., when Sir Walter Scott showed him Edinburgh,and for the Governor of the Netherlands, when Rubens introduced him toAntwerp. Neither did any peer or chief appear on the occasion of theQueen's visit, with such a telling accompaniment as that ruinous "tail" ofwild Highlanders, attached to Glengarry, when he waited on the King.

On the "rest day," which succeeded that of her Majesty's arrival atDalkeith, she had three fresh experiences, chronicled in her Journal. Shetasted oatmeal porridge, which she thought "very good," and "Finnanhaddies," of which she gave no opinion, and she was stopped and turnedback in her drive by "a Scotch mist." Indeed, not all the Queen'sproverbial good luck in the matter could now or at any future time greatlymodify the bane of open-air enjoyment amidst the beautiful scenery ofScotland—the exceedingly variable, even inclement, weather which may bemet with at all seasons.

Saturday, the 3rd of September, afforded abundant compensation for allthat had been missed on the Queen's entrance into Edinburgh. She paid anannounced and formal visit from Dalkeith Palace to the town, in order toaccomplish the balked ceremony of the presentation of the keys and to seethe Castle on its historic rock. By Holyrood Chapel and Holyrood Palace,which the Queen called "a royal-looking old place," but where she did nottarry now, because there was fever in the neighbourhood; up the old worldCannon-gate, and the High Street, where the Setouns and the Leslies hadtheir brawl, and the Jacobites went with white co*ckades in their co*ckedhats and white roses at their breasts, braving the fire of the Castle, topay homage to Prince Charlie; on to the barrier. Edinburgh was wide awakethis time. The streets were densely crowded, every window, high and low,in the tall grey houses framed a galaxy of faces, stands had been erected,and platforms thrown out wherever stand and platform could find space. Thevery "leads" of the public buildings bore their burden of sightseers. TheLord Provost and his bailies stood ready, and the Queen came wearing theroyal Stewart tartan, "A' fine colours but nane o' them blue," to showthat she was akin to the surroundings. She heard and replied to the speechmade to her by the representative of the old burghers, and gave him backthe token of his rule. She reached the Castle, after having passed thehouses of Knox and the Earl of Moray. She saw the Scotch regalia, andheard anew how it had once been saved by a minister's brave wife, whocarried it hidden in a bundle of yarn in her lap, out of the northerncastle, which was in the hands of the enemy; and how it had been concealedagain—only too well, forgotten in the course of a generation or two, andactually lost sight of for a hundred years. She entered the room, "such avery, very small room," she wrote, in her wonder at the rude and scantyaccommodation of those days, in which James VI. was born. No doubt "MonsMeg," the old Flemish cannon and grim darling of the fortress, waspresented to her. But what seems to have moved her most was themagnificent view, which included the rich Lothians and the silver shieldof the Frith, and stretched, but only, when the weather was fine enough,in the direction of Stirlingshire, to the round-backed Ochils and the bluegiants, the Grampians, while at her feet lay the green gardens of PrincesStreet and the handsome street itself—once the Nor' Loch and the BurghMuir—Allan Ramsay's house and Heriot's Hospital, or "Wark," the princelygift of the worthy jeweller to his native town.

A little incident, the motive of which was unknown to her Majesty,occurred on her drive back to Dalkeith. An enthusiastic active youngfellow, who had seen the presentation of the keys, hurried out the lengthof a mile on the country road to Dalkeith, and choosing a solitary point,stationed himself on the summit of a wall, where he was the only watcher,and awaited the return of the carriages. The special phaeton drove up withthe young couple, talking and laughing together in the freedom of theirprivacy. The single spectator took off his hat at the risk of losing hisprecarious footing, and in respectful silence, bowed, or "loutedlow"—another difficult proceeding under the circ*mstances. PrinceAlbert, who was sitting with his arms crossed on his breast, treated thedemonstration as not meant for him. The smiling Queen inclined her head,and the eager lad had what he sought, a mark of her recognition given tohim alone. To the day of his death no more loyal heart beat for his Queenthroughout her wide dominions.

The Queen drove to Leith on another day, and she and the Prince were stillmore charmed with the view, which he called "fairylike." After the fashionof most strangers, the travellers had their attention attracted by theNewhaven fish-wives, who offered a curious contrast to the rest of thepopulation. Their Flemish origin announced itself, for her Majestypronounced them "very clean and very Dutch-looking with their whitecaps and bright-coloured petticoats." It was about this time that a greatauthor made them all his own, by "choosing a fit representative for hisheroine, and describing a fisherman's marriage on the island of Inchcolm.

On Sunday, Dean Kamsay, whose memory is so linked with Scotch stories,read prayers.

On Monday, the Queen held a Drawing-room at Dalkeith Palace. It was an
antiquarian question whether there had been another Drawing-room since the
Union. Well might the stay-at-home ladies of Scotland plume themselves.
Afterwards, her Majesty received addresses from the Magistrates of
Edinburgh, the Scotch Church, and Universities.

The Queen's stay at Dalkeith was varied by drives about the beautifulgrounds on the two Esks, and short visits to neighbouring country seats,characteristic and interesting, Dalmeny, Dalhousie, &c. &c. In theevening, it is said, Scotch music was frequently given for her Majesty'sdelectation, and that among the songs were some of the satires andparodies poured forth on the unfortunate Lord Provost and bailies, who hadrobbed the town of the full glory of the Queen's arrival. The cleverest ofthese was an adaptation of an old Jacobite ditty, itself a cutting satirewhich a hundred years before had taunted the Georgian general, Sir JohnCope, with the excess of caution that led him to shun an engagement,withdraw his forces over night, and leave the country open to thePretender to march southward. The mocking verses thus challenged thedefaulter—

Hey! Johnnie Cope, are ye waukin' yet?
Or are your drums a-beatin' yet?

Now, with a slight variation on the words the measure ran—

Hey! Jamie Forrest, are ye waukin' yet?
Or are your bailies snorin' yet?

Then, after proceeding to run over the temptations which might he supposedto have overmastered the party, the writer dwelt with emphasis on afavourite breakfast dish in Scotland—

For kipper it is savoury food,
Sae early in the mornin'.

Common rumour would have it that Lord John Scott, whose good qualitiesincluded a fine voice and a love for Scotch songs, to which his wifecontributed at least one exquisite ballad, sang this squib to her Majesty.An improvement on the story, which is at least strictly in keeping withthe Prince's character, added, that when another song was suggested, andthe "Flowers of the Forest" mentioned, Prince Albert, unacquainted withthe song in question, and misled by a word in the title, exclaimed kindly,"No, no; let the poor man alone, he has had enough of this sort of thing."

From Dalkeith the Queen and the Prince started for the Highlands, on abright, clear, cold, frosty morning. They crossed the Forth and landed atQueen's Ferry, which bore its name from another queen when she was goingon a very different errand; for there it is said the fugitive Margaret,the sister of the Atheling, after she had been wrecked in Scotland Water,landed and took her way on foot to Dunfermline to ask grace of MalcolmCean Mohr, who made her his wife. Queen Victoria only saw Dunfermline andthe abbey which holds the dust of King Robert the Bruce from a distance,as she journeyed by Kinross and Loch Leven, getting a nearer glimpse ofQueen Mary's island prison, to Perthshire.

At Dupplin the 42nd Highlanders, in their kilts, were stationedappropriately. Perth, with its fair "Inches" lying on the brimming Tay, inthe shadow of the wooded hills of Kinnoul and Moncrieff, delighted theroyal strangers, and reminded Prince Albert of Basle.

The old Palace of Scone, under the guardianship of Lord Mansfield, was therestingplace for the night. Next day the Queen saw the mound where theearly kings of Scotland were crowned. A sort of ancient royal visitors'book was brought out from Perth to her Majesty, and the Queen and thePrince were requested to write their names in it. The last names writtenwere those of James VI. and Charles I. Her Majesty and Prince Albert gavetheir mottoes as well as their names. Beneath her signature she wrote,"Dieu et mon Droit;" beneath his he wrote, "Treu und Fest."

From Scone the party proceeded to Dunkeld, passing through Birnam Pass,the first of the three "Gates," into the Highlands, where the prophecyagainst Macbeth was fulfilled, and entered what is emphatically "theCountry" by the lowest spur of the mighty Grampians.

The romantic, richly-wooded beauty of Dunkeld was increased by apicturesque camp of Athole Highlanders, to the number of a thousand men,with their piper in attendance. They had been called out for herMajesty's benefit by the late Duke of Athole, then Lord Glenlyon, who wassuffering from temporary blindness, so that he had to be led about by LadyGlenlyon, his wife. At Dunkeld the Queen lunched, and walked down theranks of Highland soldiers. The piper played, and a reel and the ancientsword-dance, over crossed swords—the nimble dancer avoiding all contactwith the naked blades—were danced. The whole scene—royal guests, noblemen and women, stalwart clansmen in their waving dusky tartans—must havebeen very animated and striking in the lovely autumn setting of themountains when the ling was red, the rowan berries hung like clusters ofcoral over the brown burns, and a field of oats here and there came outlike a patch of gold among the heather. To put the finishing-touch to thepicture, the grey tower of Gawin Douglas's Cathedral, still and solemn,kept watch over the tomb of the Wolf of Badenoch.

But Dunkeld was not the Queen's destination. She was going still fartherinto the Highlands. She left the mountains of Craig-y-barns andCraig-vinean behind her, and travelled on by Aberfeldy to Taymouth, thenoble seat of the Marquis of Breadalbane. Lord Glenlyon's Highlandersgave place to Lord Breadalbane's, the Murrays, in their particular set oftartan with their juniper badge, to the Campbells and the Menzies, intheir dark green and red and white kilts, with the tufts of bog myrtle andash in their bonnets. The pipers were multiplied, and a company of the92nd Highlanders replaced the 42nd, in kilts like their neighbours. "Thefiring of the guns," wrote the Queen, "the cheering of the great crowd,the picturesqueness of the dresses, the beauty of the surrounding countrywith its rich background of wooded hills, altogether formed one of thefinest scenes imaginable. It seemed as if a great chieftain in oldenfeudal times was receiving his sovereign. It was princely and romantic."

Such a "sovereign" of such a "chief" is the crowned lady, every inch aqueen, represented in Durham's bust reproduced in the illustration.

Lord Breadalbane was giving his Queen a royal welcome. Lady Breadalbane, achildless wife, had been one of the beautiful Haddington Baillies,descendants of Grizel Baillie; she was suffering from wasting sickness,and her beauty, still remarkable, was "as that of the dead." Some of theflower of the Scotch nobility were assembled in the house to meet theQueen and the Prince—members of the families of Buccleugh, Sutherland,Abercorn, Roxburgh, Kinnoul, Lauderdale &c. &c. The Gothic dining-room wasdined in for the first time; the Queen was the earliest occupant of hersuite of rooms. After dinner, the gardens were illuminated, the hills werecrowned with bonfires, and Highlanders danced reels to the sound of thepipes by torchlight in front of the house. "It had a wild and very gayeffect."

The whole life, with its environment, was like a revelation of newpossibilities to the young English Queen who had never been out of Englandbefore. It was at the most propitious moment that she made her firstacquaintance with the Scotch Highlands which she has learned to love sowell; she enjoyed everything with the keen sense of novelty and thebuoyance of unquenched spirits. Looking back upon it all, long afterwards,she wrote with simple pathos, "Albert and I were then only twenty-three,young and happy."

At Taymouth there was shooting for the Prince; and there was much pleasantdriving, walking, and sketching for the Queen—with the drives walks, andsketches unlike anything that she had been accustomed to previously. Theweather was not always favourable; the sport was not always so fortunateas on the first day, when the Prince shot nineteen roe-deer, several haresand pheasants, three brace of grouse, and wounded a capereailzie, whichwas afterwards brought in; but the travellers made the best of everythingand became "quite fond of the bagpipes," which were played in perfectionat breakfast, at luncheon, whenever the royal pair went out and in, andbefore and during dinner. One evening there was a ball for the benefit ofthe county people, at which the Queen danced a quadrille with LordBreadalbane; Prince Albert and the duch*ess of Buccleugh being thevis-a-vis.

On September 10th, a fine morning, the Queen left Taymouth. She was rowedup Loch Tay, past Ben Lawers with Benmore in the distance. The pipersplayed at intervals, the boatmen sang Gaelic songs, and the representativeof Macdougal of Lorn steered. At Auchmore, where the party lunched, theywere rejoined by the Highland Guard. As her Majesty drove round by GlenDochart and Glen Ogle, the latter reminded her of the fatal Kyber Passwith which her thoughts had been busy in the beginning of the year. By thetime Loch Earn was reached, the fine weather had changed to rain. ByGlenartney and Duneira, earthquake-haunted Comrie, Ochtertyre, where grows"the aik," and Crieff with the "Knock," on which the last Scotch witch wasburnt, the travellers journeyed to Drummond Castle, belonging to LadyWilloughby d'Eresby, where her Majesty was to make her next stay. LadyWilloughby was a chieftainess in her own right, the heiress of the oldDrummonds, Earls of Perth. Lord Willoughby was the representative of thelucky English Burrells and the Welsh Gwydyrs, one of whom had married aMaid of Honour to Catharine of Aragon, and come to grief, because, unlikeher royal mistress, she and her husband adopted the Protestant religion,and fell into dire disgrace in the reign of Bloody Mary. The Drummonds.like the Murrays and unlike the Campbells, had been staunch Jacobites.The mother of the first and last Duke of Perth caused the old castle to beblown up after her two sons had joined the rebellion in the '45, lest thekeep should fall into the hands of King George's soldiers. [Footnote: Sheis said to have been the heroine of the popular Jacobite song, "When theKing comes over the water."] The Queen alludes in her Journal to the steepascent to the castle. The long narrow avenue leads up by the side of thefine castle rock, tufted with wild strawberries, ferns, and heather, tothe courtyard. Her Majesty also mentions the old terraced garden; "like anold French garden," or like such an Italian garden as was a favouritemodel for the gardens of its day.

The Willoughby Highlanders, wearing the Drummond tartan and the hollybadge, were now the Queen's guard. The lady of the castle and herdaughters wore the Drummond tartan and the holly when they met the Queen.

It was at Drummond Castle that Prince Albert made his first attempt atdeer-stalking, under the able guidance of Campbell of Moonzie. ThePrince's description of the sport was that it was "one of the mostinteresting of pursuits," in which the sportsman, clad in grey, in orderto remain unseen, had to keep under the hill, beyond the possibility ofscent, and crawl on hands and knees to approach his prey.

There was a story told at the time of the Prince and Campbell of Moonzie.Prince Albert had arranged to return at a particular hour to drive withthe Queen. Moonzie, who was the most ardent and agile deer-stalker in theneighbourhood, had got into the swing of the sport, till thenunsuccessful, when, as the men lay crouching among the heather, waitingintently for the herd expected to come that way, the Prince said it was,time to return.

"But the deer, your Royal Highness," faltered the Highlander, lookingaghast, and speaking in the whisper which the exigencies of the caserequired.

The Prince explained that the Queen expected him.

It is to be feared the Highlander, in the excitement of the moment, andthe marvel that any man—not to say any prince—could give up the sport atsuch a crisis, suggested that the Queen might wait, while the deercertainly would not.

"The Queen commands," said her true knight, with a quiet smile and agentle rebuke.

In the evening there was company, as at Taymouth, some in kilts. Campbellof Moonzie showed himself as great in reels as in deer-stalking. (Ah! thewild glee and nimble grace of a Highland reel well danced.) The Queendanced one country dance with Lord Willoughby, while Prince Albert had theeldest daughter of the house, Lady Carington, for his partner.

The next day the royal party, starting as early as nine on a hazy morning,reached Stirling and visited the castle, which figures so largely in thelives of the old Stewart kings. The Queen saw the room in which James II.slew Douglas, John Knox's pulpit, the field of Bannockburn, which savedScotland from a conquest, and the Knoll or "Knowe" where the Scotch Queensand the Court ladies sat to look down on their knights "Riding the Ring"or playing at the boisterously boyish game of "Hurleyhacket." But theautumn mists shut out the "Highland hills," already receding in thebackground, and the Links of Forth, where the river winds like the meshesof a chain through the fertile lowlands to the sea. Soon Drummond Castleand Taymouth, with their lochs and mountains and "plaided array," would belike a wonderful dream, to be often recalled and recounted at Windsor andBuckingham Palace.

From Stirling the Queen travelled back to Dalkeith, where she arrived thesame night. During her Majesty's last day in Scotland, which she expressedherself as "very sorry to leave," she drove to Roslin Chapel, where twenty"barons bold" of the house of St. Clair wear shirts of mail for shrouds,then went on to storied Hawthornden—a wooded nest hung high over thewater, where the poet Drummond entertained his English brother-of-the-pen,Ben Jonson.

On Thursday, the 15th of September, the Queen embarked in theTrident, a large steamboat, likely to be swifter than the RoyalGeorge, and surrounded by the flotilla, which, with the exception ofone, fell behind, and out of sight in the course of the voyage, sailed forEngland, past Berwick Law, Tantallon, the ruined keep of the Douglases,and the Bass, where a gloomy state prison once frowned on a rock, nowgiven up to seagulls and Solan geese. The weather was favourable and themoonlight fine. The voyage became enjoyable as the young couple ate a"pleasant little dinner on deck in a tent, made of flags," or paced thedeck in the moonlight, or read the "Lay of the Last Minstrel," and playedon the piano in the cabin. Notwithstanding the good time, winds and wavesare not to be trusted, and the roar of the guns which announced that thevessel was at the Nore was a welcome awakening at three o'clock on themorning of Saturday, the 17th. The sun smiled through a slight haze onthe sail up the river, among the familiar English sights and sounds. Thetour, which had delighted the pair, was over; but home, where a lovingmother and little children awaited them, was sweet.

CHAPTER XV.A MARRIAGE, A DEATH, AND A BIRTH IN THE ROYAL FAMILY.—A PALACE HOME.

The rest of the autumn and early winter passed in busy quiet and domestichappiness. In November, the Queen honoured the Duke of Wellington by asecond visit to Walmer. She was no longer the girl-princess—a solitaryfigure, but for her devoted mother, she was the Queen-wife, taking withher not only her good and noble husband, but her two fine children, toshow her old servant, the great soldier of a former generation, who hadknown her from her childhood, how rich she had become in all womanlyblessings. During her stay her Majesty went to Dover, and included theguardian castle of England, on the chalk cliffs which overlook the coastof France, among the venerable fortresses she had inspected this year.

In the meantime, the agitation for Free Trade was exciting the country inone direction, and O'Connell was thundering for a repeal of the unionbetween England and Ireland in another. On the 20th of January, 1843, apublic crime was committed which shocked the whole nation and aroused theutmost sympathy of the Queen and Prince Albert. A half-crazy man namedMacnaughten, who conceived he had received a political injury from SirRobert Peel, planned to waylay and shoot the Premier in Downing Street.The man mistook his victim, and fatally wounded Sir Robert's privatesecretary, Mr. Drummond, who perished in the room of his chief. The pleaof insanity accepted by the jury on the trial was so far set aside by thejudges.

The descendants of the numerous family of George III. and Queen Charlotte,in the third generation, only numbered five princes and princesses. Apartfrom her German kindred, the Queen had only four cousins—her nearestEnglish relations after her uncles and aunts. Of these the Crown Prince ofHanover, German born but English bred as Prince George of Cumberland, andlong regarded as, in default of Princess Victoria, the heir to the crown,married at Hanover, on the 18th of February, Princess Mary ofSaxe-Altenburg. The Crown Prince was then twenty-four years of age.Though he had no longer any prospect of succeeding to the throne ofEngland, he was the heir to a considerable German kingdom. But theterrible misfortune which had cost him his eyesight did not terminate hishard struggle with fate. His father, whose ambition had been built uponhis son from his birth, appeared to have more difficulty in submitting tothe sore conditions of the Prince's loss than the Prince himself showed.By a curious self-deception, the King of Hanover never acknowledged hisson's blindness, but persisted in treating him, and causing others totreat him, as if he saw. The Queen of Hanover, once a bone of contentionat the English Court, and Queen Charlotte's bete noire, as thedivorced wife of one of her two husbands prior to her third marriage withthe Duke of Cumberland, had died two years before. It was desirable inevery light that she should find a successor—a princess—to preside overthe widowed Court, and be the mother to the future kings of Hanover,supposing Hanover had remained on the roll of the nations. A fittingchoice was made, and the old King took care that the marriage should becelebrated with a splendour worthy of the grandson of a King of England.Twenty-four sovereigns and princes, among them the King of Prussia, gracedthe ceremony. The bride wore cloth of silver and a profusion of jewels,and whatever further troubles were in store for the blind bridegroom,whose manly fortitude and uprightness of character—albeit these qualitieswere not without their alloy of pride and obstinacy—won him the respectof his contemporaries, Providence blessed him on that February day with agood, bright, devoted wife.

On the 25th of March, the Thames Tunnel, which at the time was fondlyregarded as the very triumph of modern engineering, and a source of thegreatest convenience to London, was opened for foot-passengers by aprocession of dignitaries and eminent men, including in their ranks theLord Mayor, Sir Robert Inglis, Lord Lincoln, Joseph Hume, Messrs. Babbageand Faraday, &c. &c. The party descended by one staircase, shaft, andarchway which carried them to Wapping, and, ascending again, returned bythe other archway to Rotherhithe. Some of the Thames watermen hoistedblack flags as a sign that they considered their craft doomed.

For the first time since her accession, the Queen had been unable, fromthe state of her health, to open Parliament or to hold the usual springlevees. Prince Albert relieved her of this, as of so many of her burdens,and Baron Stockmar paid a visit to England, at the Prince's urgentrequest, that the Baron's sagacity and experience might be brought to bearon what remained of the arduous task of getting a Queen's household intoorder and directing a royal nursery. The care of the Queen's Privy Pursehad been transferred to the Prince on the departure of Baroness Lehzen.These various obligations, together with his rapidly increasing interestin public affairs, and the number of persons who claimed his attention,especially when he was in London, become a serious tax on his strength, atax which the Queen even at this early date feared and sought to guardagainst. Baron Stockmar was greatly pleased with the aspect of the family.He proudly proclaimed that the Prince was quickly showing what was in him,among other things that he was rich in that very practical talent in whichthe Baron had feared the young man might be deficient; at the same timethe old family friend remarked that the Prince, in the midst of hisindustry and happiness, frequently looked "pale, worried, and weary."

An instance of Prince Albert's cordial interest in the welfare of thehumbler ranks is to be found in one of Bishop Wilberforce's letters, datedMarch, 1843: "After breakfast with the Prince, for three-quarters of anhour talked about Sunday. Told him that I thought 'Book of Sports' didmore than anything to shock the English mind. He urged want of amusem*ntsfor common people of an innocent class—no gardens. In Coburg, with tenthousand inhabitants, thirty-two gardens, frequented by different sorts ofpeople, who meet and associate in them. 'I never heard a real shoutin England. All my servants marry because they say it is so dull here,nothing to interest-good living, good wine, but there is nothing to do butturn rogue or marry.'"

On the 20th of April, Prince Augustus of Saxe-Coburg was married toPrincess Clementine of France, the youngest daughter of Louis Philippe. Onthe following day, the 21st, the Queen's uncle, the Duke of Sussex, whohad long been infirm, and for a little time seriously ailing, died atKensington Palace, at the age of seventy years. The body lay in statethere on the 3rd of May, all persons in decent mourning being admitted towitness the sight. Twenty-five thousand persons availed themselves of thepermission. On the following morning, the funeral of the first of theRoyal Dukes, who was buried by daylight and not in the royal vault atWindsor, took place. There was a great procession, a mile in length,beginning and ending with detachments of Horse and Foot Guards, theirbands playing at intervals the "Dead March in Saul," in acknowledgement ofthe military rank of the deceased. The hearse, drawn by eight blackhorses, was preceded and followed by twenty-two mourning-coaches andcarriages, each with six horses, and upwards of fifty private carriages,one of these containing Sir Augustus d'Este, the son of the dead Duke andof Lady d'Ameland (Lady Augusta Murray). [Footnote: The Duke of Sussexmade a second morganatic marriage, after Lady d'Ameland's death, with LadyCecilia Buggin, daughter of the second Earl of Arran, and widow of SirGeorge Buggin. She was created duch*ess of Inverness. She survived the Dukeof Sussex thirty years.] The Duke of Cambridge acted as chief mourner. Thecortege passed along the High Street to Kensal Green Cemetery, wherePrince Albert, Prince George of Cambridge, and the Grand Duke ofMecklenburg-Strelitz, whose son was about to become the husband ofPrincess Augusta of Cambridge, awaited its arrival. The service was readby the Bishop of Norwich in the cemetery chapel, and the coffin wasdeposited in the vault prepared for it. It was observed of Prince Albertthat "he seemed to be more affected than any person at the funeral."

An old face, once very familiar, had passed away: a young life had dawned.In the interval between the Duke of Sussex's death and funeral, five daysafter the death, on the 24th of April, 1843, a second princess was born.The Queen was soon able to write to King Leopold that the baby was to becalled "Alice," an old English name, "Maud," another old English name, and"Mary," because she had been born on the birthday of the duch*ess ofGloucester. The godfathers were the Queen's uncle, the King of Hanover,and Prince Albert's brother, by their father's retirement, already Duke ofCoburg. The King of Hanover came to England, though, unfortunately, toolate to be present at the christening, so that one likes to think of thePrincess, whose name is associated with all that is good and kind, ashaving served from the first in the light of a messenger of peace to healold feuds. The godmothers were the Princess of Hohenlohe and PrincessSophia Matilda of Gloucester.

In the illustration Princess Alice is given as she represented "Spring" inthe family mask in 1854.

On the 18th of May, 1843, the prolonged contest between the civil andecclesiastical courts in Scotland reached its climax—in many respectsstriking and noble, though it may be also one-sided, high-handed, anderring. The chief civil law-court in Scotland—the Court of Session—hadoverruled the decisions of the chief spiritual court—the General Assemblyof the Church of Scotland—and installed, by the help of soldiers, in theparishes, which patronage had presented to them, two ministers, dislikedby their respective congregations, and resolutely rejected by them, thoughneither for moral delinquencies nor heretical opinions. The Government,after a vain attempt to heal the breach and reconcile the contendingparties, not only declined to interfere, but asserted the authority of thelaw of the land over a State church.

Once more the representatives of the Scotch clergy and laity, of allshades of opinion, met, as their forefathers had done for centuries, inthe Assembly Hall, in Edinburgh, in the month of May. Then, after theusual introductory ceremonies, the moderator, or chairman, delivered asolemn protest against the State's interference with the spiritual rightsof the Church, declared that the sovereignty of its Divine Head wasinvaded, and, in the name of himself and his brethren, rejected, a unionwhich compelled submission to the civil law on what a considerableproportion of the population persisted in regarding as purely spiritualquestions. Four hundred and seventy ministers of one of the poorestchurches in Christendom had appended their names to the protest. Churches,manses, livings were laid down, the mass following their leaders. Amongthem, though many a good and gifted man remained with equalconscientiousness behind, there were men of remarkable ability as well asChristian worth; and there was one, Dr. Chalmers, with a world-widereputation for genius, eloquence, and splendid benevolence. The bandformed themselves into a procession of black-coated soldiers of aKing—not of this world—marched along the crowded streets of Edinburgh,hailed and cheered by an enthusiastic multitude, and entering a buildingtemporarily engaged for the purpose, constituted themselves a separatechurch, and flung themselves on the liberality of their portion of thepeople, on whom they were thenceforth entirely dependent for maintenance.And their people, who, with their compatriots, are regarded among thenations as notably close-fisted and hard-headed, responded generously,lavishly, to the impassioned appeal. All Scotland was rent and convulsedthen, and for years before and after, by the great split in what lay verynear its heart—its church principles and government. These things werenot done in a corner, and could not fail to arouse the interest of theQueen and Prince, whatever verdict their judgment might pronounce on thedispute, or however they might range themselves on the constitutional sideof the question, as it was interpreted by their politicaladvisers—indeed, by the first statesmen, Whig or Tory, of the day.

Six years later, Sir Edwin Landseer painted the picture called "The Free
Kirk," which became the property of her Majesty.

The Royal Commission on the Fine Arts, at the head of which was PrinceAlbert, in view of the decoration of the new Houses of Parliament, had anexhibition of prize cartoons in Westminster Hall during the summer of1843. Great expectations were entertained of the effect of such patronageon painting in its higher branches. Many careful investigations weremade into the best processes of fresco painting, of which the Prince had ahigh opinion, and this mode of decoration was ultimately adopted,unfortunately, as it proved, for in spite of every precaution, and thegreatest care on the part of the painters—some of whom, like Dyce, werelearned in this direction, while others went to Italy to acquire thenecessary knowledge—the result has been to show the perishable nature ofthe means used, in this climate at least, since the pictures on the wallsof the Houses of Parliament have become but dim, fast-fading shadows ofthe original representations. In the early days of the movement thePrince, in order the better to test and encourage a new development of artin this country, gave orders for a series of fresco paintings fromMilton's "Comus," in eight lunettes, to decorate a pavilion in the groundsof Buckingham Palace. Among the painters employed were Landseer, Maclise,Leslie, Uwins, Dyce, Stanfield, &c. &c. Two of them—Leslie andUwins—record the lively interest which the Queen and the Prince took inthe painting of the pavilion, how they would come unannounced and withoutattendants twice a day, when the Court was at Buckingham Palace, and watchthe painters at work. Uwins wrote, that in many things the Queen and herhusband were an example to the age. "They have breakfasted, heard morningprayers with the household in the private chapel, and are out somedistance from the Palace, talking to us in the summer-house, beforehalf-past nine o'clock—sometimes earlier. After the public duties of theday, and before the dinner, they come out again, evidently delighted toget away from the bustle of the world to enjoy each other's society in thesolitude of the garden…. Here, too, the royal children are brought outby the nurses, and the whole arrangement seems like real domesticpleasure."

The square of the Palace, with a park on either hand, and its mainentrance fronting the Mall, has green gardens of its own, velvet turf,shady trees, shining water—now expanding into a great round pond, likethat in Kensington Gardens, only larger—now narrowing till it is crossedby a rustic bridge. These cheat the eye and the fancy into the beliefthat the dwellers in the Palace have got rid of the town, and furnishpleasant paths and pretty effects of landscape gardening within a limitedspace.

But the Palace has a public as well as a private side. The former looksout on the parks and drives, which belong to all the world, and in theseason are crowded with company.

The great white marble staircase leads to many a stately corridor, withkings and queens looking down from the walls, to many a magnificent roomwith domed and richly fretted roofs, ball-room with a raised dais forcourt company, and a spot where royal quadrilles are danced,banqueting-room, music-room, white, crimson, blue, and greendrawing-rooms, crimson and gold throne-room. There are finely-wroughtwhite marble chimney-pieces with boldly-carved heads, angelic figures, anddragons in full relief. There are polished pillars of purple-blue, andred scagliola, hugs china vases—oriental, Dresden, unpolished Sevres—andglittering timepieces of every shape and device.

King George and Queen Charlotte in shadowy form preside once and again, aswell they may, seeing this was her house when it was named the Queen'sHouse. Their family, too, still linger in their portraits. George IV. invery full-blown kingly state, the Duke of York and his duch*ess, the Dukeof Kent and his duch*ess, the King of Hanover, King William and QueenAdelaide, the Duke of Sussex. But not one of their lives is so linked withthe place as the life of Queen Victoria has been, especially the doublelife of the Queen and the Prince Consort in their "blooming time."Buckingham Palace was their London home, to which they came every seasonas regularly as Park Lane and Piccadilly, with the squares and streets ofBelgravia, find their fitting occupants. From this Palace the girl-Queendrove to Westminster, to be crowned, and returned to watch in the softdusk of the summer evening all London illuminated in her honour. Here sheannounced her intended marriage to her Lords in Council; here she met herprincely bridegroom come across the seas to wed her. From that gateway shedrove in her bridal white and orange blossoms, and it was up these stepsshe walked an hour-old wife, leaning on the arm of her husband. Most oftheir children were born here. The Princess Royal was baptized here, andshe went from Buckingham Palace to St. James's, like her mother beforeher, to be married. In the immediate neighbourhood occurred some of themiserable attempts on the Queen's life, and it was round Buckingham Palacethat nobility and people thronged to convince themselves of her Majesty'ssafety, and assure her of their hot indignation and deep sympathy. On thatbalcony she has shown herself, to the thousands craving for the sight, onthe opening-day of the first Exhibition and on the morning when the Guardsleft for the Crimea. Through these corridors and drawing-rooms streamedthe princely pageant of the Queen's Plantagenet Ball. Kingly and courtlycompany, the renowned men and the fair women of her reign, have often heldfestival here. Along these quiet garden walks the Queen was wont to strollwith her husband-lover; from that rustic bridge he would summon hisfeathered favourites around him; in yon sheet of water he swam for hislife among the broken ice, the day before the christening of the PrincessRoyal. In the little chalet close to the house the Queen loved to carry onher correspondence on summer-days, rather than to write within palacewalls, because she, whose life has been pure and candid as the day, hasalways loved dearly the open air of heaven. In the pavilion where thefirst English artists of the time strove to do their Prince's behest,working sometimes from eight in the morning to six or seven in theevening, her Majesty and the Prince delighted to watch Maclise put inSabrina releasing the Lady from the enchanted chair, and Leslie make Comusoffering the cup of witchery.

As in the case of King George and Queen Charlotte, it is well thatportraits and marble statues of the Queen and the Prince, in the flower oftheir age, should remain here as unfailing links with the past which wasspent within these walls.

In later years the widowed Queen has dwelt little at Buckingham Palace,coming rarely except for the Drawing-rooms, which inaugurate the seasonand lend the proper stamp to the gilded youth of the kingdom. What talesthat Throne-room could tell of the beating hearts of debutantes andthe ambitious dreams of care-laden chaperons! The last tale is of the kindconsideration of the liege lady. From the room where the members of theroyal family assemble apart, she walks, not to take her seat on thethrone, but to stand in front of the steps which lead to it, that theladies who advance towards her in single file may not have to climb thesteps with stumbling feet, often caught in their trailing skirts, till thewearers were in danger of being precipitated against the royal knees asthe ladies bent to kiss the Queen's hand. In the same manner, the slow andpainful process of walking backwards with long trains, of which suchstories were told in Queen Charlotte's day, is graciously dispensed with.A step or two, and the trains are thrown over their owners' arms by thepages in waiting, while the ladies are permitted to retire, like ordinarymortals, in a natural, easy, and what is really a more seemly fashion. Aroyal chapel has for a considerable time taken the place of a greatconservatory, so that the Queen and the Prince could worship with theirhousehold, without the necessity of repairing to the neighbouring ChapelRoyal of St. James's.

There are other suites of rooms besides the private apartments, notablythe Belgian floor, full of memories of King Leopold and Queen Louise.

Among the portraits of foreign sovereigns, the correctly beautiful face ofthe Emperor Alexander of Russia, and the likeness of his successor,Nicholas, occur repeatedly. The portraits of the Emperor and Empress ofGermany, when as Prince and Princess of Prussia they won the cordialfriendship of the Queen, are here. There is a pleasant picture of QueenVictoria's girl friend, Maria da Gloria, and a companion picture of herhusband, the Queen and the Prince's cousin. The burly figure of LouisPhilippe appears in the company of two of his sons. Another ruler ofFrance, the Emperor Napoleon III., looks sallow and solemn beside hisEmpress at the height of her loveliness. Other royal portraits are thoseof the King of Saxony, the present King and Queen of the Belgians, as Dukeand duch*ess of Brabant; the late blind King of Hanover and his devotedQueen; the Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, now blind also, and his duch*ess,who was the handsome and winning Princess Augusta of Cambridge; her notless charming sister, Princess Mary, duch*ess of Teck; the familiar face oftheir soldierlike brother, the Duke of Cambridge; the Maharajah DhuleepSingh, in his slender youth and eastern dress, &c. &c.

In the sister country of France, one has a feeling that there are bloodstains on all the palaces. Let us be thankful that, as a rule, it is notso in England. But there are tragic faces and histories here too, mockingthe glories of rank and State. There is a fine picture of Matilda ofDenmark, to whom—but for the victim's fairer hair—her collateraldescendant, Queen Victoria, is said to bear a great resemblance. TheQueen's ancestress was herself a princess and a queen, yet she was fatedto fall under an infamous, unproven charge, and to pine to an early deathin a prison fortress.

Here, with a pathos all her own, in her pale dark girlish face and slightfigure, is the Queen's Indian god-daughter, Princess Gouromma, the childof the Rajah of Coorg. She was educated in England, and married a Scotchgentleman named Campbell. But the grey northern skies and the bleakeasterly winds were cruel to her, as they would have been to one of hernative palm-trees, and she found an early grave.

A graceful remembrance of a peculiarly graceful tribute to the faithfulservice and devotion of a lifetime appears in a picture of the old Duke ofWellington—after whom the Queen named her third son—presenting hisgodfather's token of a costly casket to the infant Prince Arthur, seatedon the royal mother's knee. Another laughing child, in the arms of anotherhappy mother, is the Queen herself, held by the duch*ess of Kent.

The long picture gallery contains valuable specimens of Dutch and Flemishart, a remnant of George IV.'s collection, and a portion, of the Queen'smany fine examples of these schools. Here are Tenierses, full of riotouslife; exquisite Metzus, Terburgs, and Gerard Dows; cattle by Paul Potter;ships by Van de Velde; skies by Cuyp; landscapes, with white horses, byWouvermanns; driving clouds and shadow-darkened plains by Ruysdael, who,though he died in a workhouse, yet lives in his pictures in kings'palaces.

Lady Bloomfield has given the world a delightful glimpse of what the lifeat Windsor and Buckingham Palace was from 1842 to 1845; how much realfriendliness existed in it; what simplicity and naturalness lay behind itspomp and magnificence. Dissipation and extravagance found no place there.That palace home—whether in town or country, where all sacred obligationsand sweet domestic affections reigned supreme, where noble work had dueprominence and high-minded study paved the way for innocent pleasure—was,indeed, a pattern to every home in the kingdom. The great household waslike a large family, with a queenly elder sister and a royal brother atit* head; for the Queen and the Prince were still in their first prime,and very kindly, as well as very wise, were their relations with old andyoung. It is good to read of the tenderly-united pair; of theirwell-regulated engagements—punctually performed as clockwork, and rarelyjostling each other; of their generous consideration for others, theirfaithful regard for old friends, so that to this day the ranks of theQueen's household are replenished from the households of her youth. It hasbeen pointed out how rarely the duch*ess of Kent allowed any change in thelittle Princess's guardians and teachers. In like manner, as whoever willexamine Court calendars may learn for themselves, this middle-agedMistress of the Robes, or that elderly Lady in Waiting, was in formertimes a young Maid of Honour, and the youngest page of to-day is verylikely the grandson of a veteran courtier, and has a hereditary interestin his surroundings.

When her Majesty was still young, there was the frankest sympathy with theyoung girls who were so proud to be in their Queen's service—a sympathyshowing itself in a thousand unmistakable ways; in concern for each noblemaiden's comfort and happiness; in interest in her friends pursuits, andprospects; by the kindly informal manner in which each member of thegirlish suite was addressed by her familiar christian-name, sometimes withits home abbreviation; by the kiss with which she was greeted on herreturn from her six months' absence. We do not always connect such lovableattributes with kings' and queens' courts, and it is an excellent thingfor us to know that the greatest, towards whom none may presume, can alsohe the most ready to oblige, the least apt to exact, the most cordial andtrustful.

We hear from Lady Bloomfield that the sum total of a Maid of Honour'sobligations, when she is in residence, like a canon, is to give the Queenher bouquet before dinner every other day. In reality, the young lady andher companions, as well as the older and more experienced Ladies and Womenof the Bedchamber, are in waiting to drive, ride, or walk with the Queenwhen she desires their society, to sit near her at dinner, to share heroccupations—such as reading, music, drawing, needlework—when she wishesit, to help to make up any games, dances, &c. &c. These favoured damselsenjoy a modest income of three hundred a year, and wear a badge—theQueen's picture, surrounded with brilliants on a red bow—such as thepublic may have seen in the portraits of several of the Maids of Honourbelonging to the Queen which were exhibited on the walls of the Academywithin recent years. The hours of "the Maids" never were so early as thoseof their royal mistress, while their labours, like their responsibilities,have been light as thistledown in comparison with hers.

The greatest restriction imposed on these youthful members of theHousehold, when Lady Bloomfield as Miss Liddell figured among them, seemsto have been that they were expected to be at their posts, and they werenot at liberty to entertain all visitors in their private sitting-rooms,but had to receive some of their friends in a drawing-room which belongedto the ladies in common.

The routine of the Palace passes before us, unpretentious in its dignityas the actual life was led: the waiting of the ladies in the corridor tomeet the Queen when she left her apartments and accompany her to dinner;the talk at the dinner-table; the round game of cards—vingt-et-un,or some other in the evening, for which the stakes were so low, that theplayers were accustomed to provide themselves with a stock of newshillings, sixpences, and fourpenny pieces, and the winnings were nowthreepence, now eightpence; the workers and talkers in the background. Inspite of different times and different manners, there is a slight flavourof Queen Charlotte's drawing-room, in Miss Burney's day, about the wholescene.

The ordinary current was broken by varying eddies of royal visits andvisitors, with their accompanying whirl and bubble of excitement, and byceremonies, like the opening and proroguing of Parliament, State visits tothe City, royal baptisms. In addition there were the more tranquil andhomely diversions of the festivals of the seasons and family festivals.There was Christmas, when everybody gave and received Christmas-boxes; andthis happy individual had a brooch, "of dark and light blue enamel, withtwo rubies and a diamond in the shape of a bow;" and another had abracelet, with the Queen's portrait; while to all there were pins, rings,studs, shawls, &c. &c. Or it was the duch*ess of Kent's birthday, when theCourt went to dine and dance, and wish the kind duch*ess many happy returnsof the day, at Frogmore. On one occasion the little ball ended in acurious dance, called "Grand-pere," a sort of "Follow my Leader." "ThePrince and the duch*ess of Kent led the way, and it was great fun, butrather a romp." Solemn statesmen, hoary soldiers, reverent churchmen,foreign diplomatists, were frequently consigned for companionship andentertainment to the "ladies of the Household," and relaxed and grewjocular in such company, under the spring sunshine of girlish smiles andlaughter.

More mature and distinguished figures stood out among the women, to matchthe men—whose names will be household words so long as England keeps herplace among the nations. Sagacious Baroness Lehzen, the incomparable earlyinstructress and guide of the Queen, so good to all the young people whocame under her influence, before she retired to her quiet home atBuckeburg; Lady Lyttelton, who had been with the Queen as one of theladies-in-waiting ever since her Majesty came to the throne, who, afterthe most careful selection, was appointed governess to the Royal children,and was well qualified to discharge an office of such consequence to theQueen and the nation. It is impossible to read such portions of herletters as have been published without being struck by their wisewomanliness and gentle motherliness. Beautiful Lady Canning, with herartist soul, was another star in an exalted firmament.

Little feet pattered amongst the brilliant groups. The Princess Royal wasa remarkably bright, lively child; the Prince of Wales a beautifulgood-tempered baby, in such a nautilus-shell cradle as Mrs. Thorneycroftcopied in modelling the likeness of Princess Beatrice. We have the prettyfancy before us: the exquisite curves of the shell, its fair round-limbedoccupant, one foot and one arm thrown out with the careless grace ofchildhood, as if to balance and steer the fairy bark, the other soft handlightly resting on the breast, over which the head and face, full ofinfant innocence and peace, are inclined.

Both children were fond of music, as the daughter and son of parents somusical might well be. When the youthful pair were a little older theywould stand still and quiet in the music-room to hear the Prince-fatherdiscourse sweet sounds on his organ, and the Queen-mother sing with one ofher ladies, "in perfect time and tune," with a fine feeling for her songs,as Mendelssohn has described her. The small people furnished anever-ending series of merry anecdotes and witticisms all their own, andwould have gone far to break down the highest dead wall of stiffness andreserve, had such a barrier ever existed. Now it was the little Princess,a quaint tiny figure "in dark-blue velvet and white shoes, and, yellow kidgloves," keeping the nurseries alive with her sports, showing off the newfrocks she had got as a Christmas-box from her grandmamma, the duch*ess ofKent, and bidding Miss Liddell put on one. Now it was the Queen offendingthe dignity of her little daughter by calling her "Missy," and being toldin indignant remonstrance, "I'm not Missy—I'm the Princess Royal." Or itwas Lady Lyttelton who was warned off with the dismissal in French, fromthe morsel of royalty, not quite three, "N'approchez pas moi, moi neveut pas vous;" or it was the Duke of Wellington, with a dash of oldchivalry, kissing the baby-hand and bidding its owner remember, him. Orthe child was driving in Windsor Park with the Queen and three of herladies, when first the Princess imagined she saw a cat beneath the trees,and announced, "Cat come to look at the Queen, I suppose." Then she longedfor the heather on the bank, and asked Lady Dunmore to get her some; whenLady Dunmore said she could not do that, as they were driving so fast, thelittle lady observed composedly, "No, you can't, but thosegirls," meaning the two Maids of Honour, in the full dignity of theirnineteen or twenty summers and their office, "might get me some."

Windsor Castle in the height of summer, Windsor in the park among the oldoaks and ferns, Windsor on the grand terrace with its glorious Englishview, might well leave bright lingering memories in a susceptible youngmind. So we hear of a delightful ride, when the kind Queen mounted herMaid of Honour on a horse which had once belonged to Miss Liddell'ssister, and in default of Miss Liddell's habit, which was not forthcoming,lent her one of the Queen's, with hat, cellar and cuffs to suit, and thetwo cantered and walked over the greensward and down many a leafy gladefor two hours and a half. Once, we are told, the Queen, the Prince, andthe whole company went out after dinner in the warm summer weather, andpromenaded in the brilliant moonlight, a sight to see, with the lit-upcastle in the background, the men in the Windsor uniform, the women infull dress, like poor Marie Antoinette's night promenades at Versailles,or a page from Boccaccio.

Running through all the young Maid of Honour's diary is the love whichmakes all service light; the loyal innocent sense of hardship at being inwaiting and not seeing the Queen "at least once a day;" the affectionateregret to lose any of her Majesty's company; the pride and pleasure atbeing selected by the Queen for special duties.

CHAPTER XVI.THE CONDEMNATION OF THE ENGLISH DUEL.—ANOTHER MARRIAGE.—THE QUEEN'SVISIT TO CHATEAU D'EU.

On the 1st of July, 1843, duelling received its death-blow in England by afatal duel—so unnatural and so painful in its consequences that itserved the purpose of calling public attention to the offence—longtolerated, even advocated in some quarters, and to the theory of militaryhonour on which this particular duel took place. Two officers, ColonelFawcett and Lieutenant Munro, who were also brothers-in-law, had aquarrel. Colonel Fawcett was elderly, had been in India, was out of healthand exceedingly irritable in temper. It came out afterwards that he hadgiven his relation the greatest provocation. Still Lieutenant Munro hungback from what up to that time had been regarded as the sole resource of agentleman, especially a military man, in the circ*mstances. He showedgreat reluctance to challenge Colonel Fawcett, and it was only after theimpression—mistaken or otherwise—was given to the insulted man that hisregiment expected him to take the old course, and if he did not do so hemust be disgraced throughout the service, that he called out hisbrother-in-law.

The challenge was accepted, the meeting took place, Colonel Fawcett wasshot dead, and the horrible anomaly presented itself of two sisters—theone rendered a widow by the hand of her brother-in-law, and a family ofchildren clad in mourning for their uncle, whom their father had slain.Apart from the bloodshed, Lieutenant Munro was ruined by the miserablestep on which he had been thrust. Public feeling was roused to protestagainst the barbarous practice by which a bully had it in his power torisk the life of a man immeasurably his superior, against whom he happenedto have conceived a dislike. Prince Albert interested himself deeply inthe question, especially as it concerned the army. Various expedients weresuggested; eventually an amendment was inserted into the Articles of Warwhich was founded on the more reasonable, humane, and Christianconclusion, that to offer an apology, or even to make reparation wherewrong had been committed, was more becoming the character of an officerand a gentleman, than to furnish the alternative of standing up to kill orto be killed for a hasty word or a rash act.

On the 28th of July, Princess Augusta of Cambridge was married in thechapel at Buckingham Palace to the hereditary Grand Duke ofMecklenburg-Strelitz. Princess Augusta was the elder of the two daughtersof the Duke of Cambridge, was three years younger than the Queen, and atthe time of her marriage was twenty-one years of age. In the cousins'childhood and early youth, during the reign of King William, the Duke ofCambridge had acted as the King's representative in Hanover, so that hisfamily were much in Germany. At the date of the Queen's accession,Princess Augusta, a girl of fifteen, was considered old enough to appearwith the rest of the royal family at the banquet at Guildhall, and in theother festivities which commemorated the beginning of the new reign. Shefigures in the various pictures of the Coronation, the Queen's marriage,&c. &c., and won the enthusiastic admiration of Leslie when he went toCambridge House to take the portraits of the different members of thefamily for one of his pictures. Only a year before she had, in thecharacter of Princess Claude of France, been one of the most gracefulmasquers at the Queen's Plantagenet Ball, and among the bridesmaids on thepresent occasion were two of the beauties at the ball, Lady AlexandrinaVane and Lady Clementina Villiers. Princess Augusta was marrying a youngGerman prince, three years her senior, a kinsman of her father's throughhis mother, Queen Charlotte. She was going to the small northern duchywhich had sent so brave a little queen to England.

Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, and all the royal family in the country,including the King of Hanover, who had remained to grace the ceremony,were present at the wedding, which, in old fashion, took place in theevening. Among the foreign guests were the King and Queen of the Belgians,the Prince and Princess of Oldenburg, the Crown Prince of Wurtemburg, &c.&c. The ambassadors, Cabinet Ministers, and officers of State were inattendance. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and the Bishops ofLondon and Norwich, officiated. The marriage was registered and attestedin the great dining room at Buckingham Palace. Then there passed away fromthe scene the Princess who had been for some years the solitaryrepresentative of the royal young ladyhood of England, as her sister,Princess Mary, was eleven years Princess Augusta's junior, and still onlya little girl of ten. Princess Augusta had an annuity of three thousand ayear voted to her by Parliament on her marriage.

A month later, on the 28th of August, the Queen went by railway toSouthampton, in order to go on board the royal yacht for a trip to theIsle of Wight and the Devonshire coast. At Southampton Pier, the rain wasfalling heavily. Her Majesty had been received by the Mayor andCorporation, the Duke of Wellington, and other official personages, whenit was discovered that there was not sufficient covering for the stage organgway, which was to be run out between the pier and the yacht. Then themembers of the Southampton Corporation were moved to follow the example ofSir Walter Raleigh in the service which introduced him to the notice ofQueen Elizabeth. They pulled off their red gowns, spread them on thegangway, and so procured a dry footing for her Majesty.

Lady Bloomfield, as Miss Liddell, in the capacity of Maid of Honour inwaiting, was with the Queen, and has furnished a few particulars of thepleasant voyage. The Queen landed frequently, returning to the yacht atnight and sleeping on board. At the Isle of Wight she visited NorrisCastle, where she had stayed in her youth, asking to see some of therooms, and walking on the terrace. She told her companions that she wouldwillingly have bought the place but could not afford it. At one point allthe party except Lady Canning were overcome by sea sickness, which is norespecter of persons. At Dartmouth the Queen entered her barge and wasrowed round the harbour, for the better inspection of the place, and thegratification of the multitude on the quays and in every description ofsailing craft. At Plymouth the visitors landed and proceeded to MountEdgcumbe, the beautiful seat of the Edgcumbe family. Wherever her Majestywent she made collections of flowers, which she had dried and kept asmementoes of the scenes in which they had been gathered. In drivingthrough Plymouth, the crowd was so great, and pressed so much on theescort, that the infantry bayonets crossed in the carriages.

At Falmouth, the Queen was again rowed in her barge round the harbour, butthe concourse of small boats became dangerous, as their occupants desertedthe helms and rushed to one side to see the Queen, and the royal bargecould only be extricated by the rowers exerting their utmost strength andskill, and forcing a passage through the swarming flotilla. The Mayor ofFalmouth was a Quaker, and asked permission to keep on his hat whilereading his address to the Queen. The Mayor of Truro, who with the Mayorof Penryn had accompanied their official brother when he put off in asmall boat to intercept her Majesty in her circuit round the harbour, wasdoomed to play a more undignified part. He unluckily overleaped himselfand fell into the water, so that he and his address, being too wet forpresentation, were obliged to be put on shore again.

On board the Queen used to amuse herself with a favourite occupation ofthe ladies of the day, plaiting paper so as to resemble straw plait forbonnets. She was sufficiently skilled in the art to instruct her Maid ofHonour in it.

On one occasion the Queen chanced to have her camp-stool set where it shutup the door of the place that held the sailors' grog-tubs. After muchhanging about and consulting with the authorities, she was made acquaintedwith the fact, when she rose on condition that a glass of grog should bebrought to her. She tasted it and said, "I am afraid I can only make thesame remark I did once before, that I think it would be very good if itwere stronger," an observation that called forth the unqualified delightof the men. Sometimes in the evening the sailors, at her Majesty'srequest, danced hornpipes on deck.

But the Queen's cruises this year were not to end on English or evenScotch ground. She was to make the first visit to France which had beenpaid by an English sovereign since Henry VIII. met Francis I. on the fieldof the Cloth of Gold. Earlier in the year two of Louis Philippe's sons,the sailor Prince Joinville, "tall, dark, and good looking, with a largebeard, but, unfortunately for him, terribly deaf," and his brother, theman of intellect and culture if not of genius, the Duc d'Aumale, "muchshorter and very fair," had been together at Windsor; and had doubtlessarranged the preliminaries of the informal visit which the Queen was topay to Louis Philippe. The King of France and his large family were in thehabit of spending some time in summer or autumn at Chateau d'Eu, near theseaport of Treport, in Normandy; and to this point the Queen could easilyrun across in her yacht and exchange friendly greetings, without theelaborate preparations and manifold trouble which must be theaccompaniment of a State visit to the Tuileries.

Accordingly the Queen and Prince Albert, on the 1st of September, sailedpast the Eddystone Lighthouse, where they were joined by a little fleet ofwar-ships, and struck off for the coast of France. Besides her suite, theQueen was accompanied by two of her ministers, Lords Aberdeen andLiverpool. With the first, a shrewd worthy Scot, distinguished as astatesman by his experience, calm sagacity, and unblemished integrity, herMajesty and Prince Albert were destined to have cordial relations in theyears to come.

In the meantime, French country people were pouring into Treport, wherethe King's barge lay ready. It was provided with a crimson silk awning,having white muslin curtains over a horseshoe-shaped seat covered withcrimson velvet, capable of containing eleven or twelve persons. The rowerswere clad in white, with red sashes and, red ribands round their hats.

The Queen was to land by crossing the deck of a vessel moored along thequay and mounting a ladder, the steps of which were covered with crimsonvelvet. At five o'clock in the afternoon the King and his whole family, agreat cortege, arrived on horseback and in open chars-a-bancs. PrinceJoinville had met the yacht at Cherbourg and gone on board. As soon as itlay-to the King came alongside in his barge. The citizen King was stout,florid, and bluff-looking, with thick grizzled hair brushed up into apoint. As the exiled Duke of Orleans, in the days of the great Revolution,he had been a friend of the Queen's father, the Duke of Kent. The King didnot fail to remind his guest of this, after he had kissed her on eachcheck, kissed her hand, and told her again and again how delighted he wasto see her. When the two sovereigns entered the barge the standards ofEngland and France were hoisted together, and amidst royal salutes fromthe vessels in the roads and from the batteries on shore, to the music ofregimental bands, in the sunset of a fine autumn evening the party landed.

At the end of the jetty the ladies of the royal family of France withtheir suites stood in a curved line. Queen Amelie, with her snowy curlsand benevolent face, was two paces in advance of the others. Behind herwere her daughter and daughter-in-law, the Queen of the Belgians and thewidowed duch*esse d'Orleans, who appeared in public for the first timesince her husband's death a year before. A little farther back stoodMadame Adelaide, the King's sister, and the other princesses, the youngerdaughter and the daughters-in-law of the house. Louis Philippe presentedQueen Victoria to his Queen, who "took her by both hands and saluted herseveral times on both cheeks with evident warmth of manner." Queen Louise,and at least one of the other ladies, were well known to the visitor, whomthey greeted gladly, while the air was filled with shouts of "Vive laReine Victoria!" "Vive la Reine d'Angleterre!"

The Queen, who was dressed simply, as usual, in a purple satin gown, ablack mantilla trimmed with lace, and a straw bonnet with straw-colouredribands and one ostrich feather, immediately entered the King'schar-a-bancs, which had a canopy and curtains that were left open. LadyBloomfield describes it as drawn by twelve large clumsy horses. There wasa coachman on the box, with three footmen behind, and there was "a motleycrowd of outriders on wretched horses and dressed in different liveries."The other chars-a-bancs with six horses followed, and the whole tooktheir, way to the Chateau, a quaint and pleasant dwelling, some of it asold as the time of the Great Mademoiselle.

A stately banquet was held in the evening in the banqueting-room, hunground with royal portraits and historical pictures, the table heavy withgold and silver plate, including the gold plateau and the great gold vasesfilled with flowers. The King, in uniform, sat at the centre of the table.He had on his right hand Queen Victoria, wearing a gown of crimson velvet,the order of the garter and a parure of diamonds and emeralds, buthaving her hair simply braided. On her other side sat Prince Joinville. Onthe King's left hand was Queen Louise. The duch*esse d'Orleans, inaccordance with French etiquette for widows in their weeds, did not cometo the dinner-table. Opposite the King sat his Queen, with Prince Alberton her right hand and the Duc d'Aumale on her left. The royal host andhostess carved like any other old-fashioned couple.

The Queen received the same lively impressions from her first visit toFrance that she had experienced on her first visit to Scotland. Apart fromthe scenery there was yet more to strike her. The decidedly foreigndresses of the people, the strange tongue, the mill going on Sunday, thedifferent sound of the church bells—nothing escaped her. There was also,in the large family of her brother king and ally—connected with her by somany ties, every member familiar to her by hearsay, if not known to herpersonally—much to interest her. The Queen had been, to all intents andpurposes, brought up like an only child, and her genial disposition hadcraved for entire sympathy and equal companionship. She seems to haveregarded wistfully, as an only child often regards, what she had neverknown, the full, varied, yet united life of a large, happy, warmlyattached family circle. When she saw her children possessed of theblessing which had been denied to her in her early days, she was temptedto look back on the widowed restricted household in Kensington Palace ason a somewhat chill and grey environment. She has more than once referredto her childhood as dull and sad by comparison with what she lived to knowof the young life of other children.

But the great royal household of France at this date, in addition to itswealth of interests and occupations, and its kindness to the stranger whowas so quick to respond to kindness, was singularly endowed with elementsof attractiveness for Queen Victoria. It appeared, indeed, as if all lifeat its different stages, in its different aspects, even in its differentnationalities, met and mingled with a wonderful charm under the oneroof-tree. Besides the old parent couple and the maiden aunt, who had seensuch changes of fortune, there were three young couples, each with theirseveral careers before them. There was the bride of yesterday, theyoungest daughter of the house, Princess Clementine, with her young Germanhusband, the Queen and Prince Albert's kinsman; there was Nemours, weddedto another German cousin, the sweet-tempered golden-haired PrincessVictoire; there was Joinville, with his dark-haired Brazilian Princess.[Footnote: A kinswoman of Maria da Gloria's] It had been said that he hadgone farther, as became a sailor, in search of a wife than any otherprince in Europe. She was very pretty in a tropical fashion, verypiquante, and, perhaps, just a little sauvage. She had never seensnow, and the rules and ceremonies of a great European court were almostas strange to her. Lady Bloomfield mentions her as if she were somethingof a spoilt child who could hardly keep from showing that the rigid lawsof her new position fretted and bored her. She wore glowing pomegranateblossoms in her hair, and looked pensive, as if she were pining for thegorgeous little hummingbirds and great white magnolias—the mixture ofnatural splendour and ease, passion and languor, of a typical SouthAmerican home.

D'Aumale and Montpensier were still gay young bachelors, and well would ithave been for the welfare of the Orleans family and the credit of LouisPhilippe if one of them had remained so. There was a widow as well as abride in the house. There were the cherished memories of a dearly-prizedlost son and daughter to touch with tender sorrow its blithest moments andlightest words. The Queen had to make the acquaintance of Helene, duch*essed'Orleans; [Footnote: Princess Helena of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.] tall, thinand pale, not handsome, but better than handsome, full of character andfeeling, shrinking from observation in her black dress, with the shadow ofa life-long grief over her heart and life. And the visitor had to hearagain of the gifted Princess Marie, the friend of Ary Scheffer, whosestatue of Jeanne d'Arc is the best monument of a life cut down in itsbrilliant promise. Princess Marie's devoted sister Louise, Queen of theBelgians, in her place as the eldest surviving daughter of France, hadlong been Queen Victoria's great friend. Finally, there was the thirdgeneration, headed by the fatherless boy, "little Paris," with regard towhom few then doubted that he would one day sit on the throne of France.

It was not principally because the Chateau d'Eu was in France that theQueen wrote, the first morning she awoke there, the fulfilment of herfavourite air-castle of so many years was like a dream, or that shegrieved when her visit was over. She sought to find, and believed she hadfound, a whole host of new friends and kindred—another father and mother,more brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces, to make her life stillricher and more full of kindly ties.

The speciality in the form of entertainment at Chateau d'Eu was drives inthe sociable chars-a-bancs in the neighbouring forest, ending indejeuners and fetes-champetres, which the Queen enjoyedheartily, both because they were novel to her and because they werespontaneous and untrammelled. "So pretty, so merry, so rural," shedeclared. "Like the fetes in Germany," Prince Albert said. The long,frequently rough drives under the yellowing trees in the golden Septemberlight, the camp-chairs, the wine in plain bottles, the improvised kitchenhidden among the bushes, the many young people of high rank all so gay,the king full of liveliness and brusqueness, his queen full ofmotherliness and consideration for all—everything was delightful.

One pathetic little incident occurred when the guests were being shownover the parish church of Notre Dame. As they came to the crypt, with itsancient monuments of the Comtes d'Eu, the duch*esse d'Orleans was overcomewith emotion, and the Queen of the Belgians drew her aside. When the restof the party passed again through the church, on their way back, they cameupon the two mourning women prostrate before one of the altars, theduch*esse weeping bitterly.

The King presented Queen Victoria with fine specimens of Gobelin tapestryand of Sevres china. He went farther in professions and compliments. Hewas not content to leave the discussion of politics to M. Guizot and LordAberdeen. Louis Philippe volunteered to the Queen's minister the statementthat he would not give his son to Spain (referring to a proposed marriagebetween the Duc de Montpensier and the Infanta Luisa, the sister of theyoung Queen Isabella, who had been lately declared of age), even if hewere asked. To which the stout Scot replied, without beating about thebush, "that except one of the sons of France, any aspirant whom Spainmight choose would be acceptable to England."

Louis Philippe, Queen Amelie, and the whole family escorted the Queen andthe Prince on board the yacht, parting with them affectionately. PrinceJoinville accompanied the couple to the Pavilion, Brighton. In the courseof the sail there was a race between his ship and the Black Eagle,in which the English vessel won, to the French sailors' disgust.

Louis Philippe felt great satisfaction at a visit which proved his cordialrelations with England, and served to remove the reproach which he seemedto think clung to him and prevented the other European royal families fromfraternising with him and his children as they would otherwise havedone—namely, that he was not the representative of the elder, and whatmany were pleased to consider the legitimate, branch of the Bourbons. Hewas but a king set up by the people, whom the people might pull downagain. There was not much apparent prospect of this overthrow then, thoughthe forces were at work which brought it about. In token of hisgratification, and as a memorial of what had given him so much pleasure,the King caused a series of pictures to be taken of Queen Victoria'slanding, and of the various events of her stay. These pictures remain,among several series, transferred to the upper rooms of one of the Frenchpalaces, and furnish glimpses of other things that have vanished besidesthe fashion of the day. There the various groups reappear. Queen Ameliewith her piled-up curls, the citizen King and their numerous young peopledoing honour to the young Queen of England and her husband, both lookingjuvenile in their turn—all the more so for a certain antiquated cut intheir garments at this date, a formality in his hat and neckerchief, ademureness in her close bonnet, and a pretty show of youthful matronlinessin the little lace cap which, if we mistake not, she wears on oneoccasion.

CHAPTER XVII.THE QUEEN'S TRIP TO OSTEND:—VISITS TO DRAYTON, CHATSWORTH, AND BELVOIR.

"Ce n'est que le premier pas qui coute." In the course of anotherweek the Queen took a second trip to the Continent, sailing to Ostend topay the most natural visit in the world—the only thing singular about itwas that it had been so long delayed—to her uncle, King Leopold. Theyacht, which had been lying off Brighton, was accompanied by eight othersteamers, and joined at Walmer by two ships of the line. At Dover a salutewas fired from the castle. At Deal the Duke of Wellington came on boardand dined with the royal party, the Queen watching with some anxiety thereturn of the old man in his boat, through a considerable surf whichwetted him thoroughly, before he mounted his horse and rode off to Walmer,to superintend the illumination of the Castle in lines of light. In likemanner every ship lying in the Downs glittered through the darkness.

At two o'clock on the following afternoon the Queen and the Prince reachedOstend, where they were received by King Leopold and Queen Louise. Therehad been some uncertainty whether the travellers, after not too smooth apassage, would be equal to the fatigue of a banquet at the Hotel de Villethat evening. But repose is the good thing to which royalty can rarelyattain, so it was settled that the banquet should go on. The display wasless, and there was more of undress among the chief personages than therehad been at the opening banquet at Chateau d'Eu. The Queen must havelooked to her host not far removed from the docile young niece he had socarefully trained and tutored, as she sat by him in white lace and muslin,with flowers in her hair—only bound by a ferroniere of diamonds.The King and Prince Albert were in plain clothes, save that they showedthe ribands and insignia of the orders of the Garter and the Bath; theQueen of the Belgians wore a white lace bonnet. It was in the main asimple family party made for the travellers.

The next day the Prince and Princess of Hohenlohe arrived, when the eldersister would have knelt and paid her homage to the younger, had not herMajesty prevented her with a sisterly embrace. Ostend was thehead-quarters of the royal party, from which in the mellow autumn timethey visited Bruges and Ghent. "The old cities of Flanders had put ontheir fairest array and were very tastefully decorated with tapestries,flowers, trees, pictures, &c. &c." The crowds of staid Flemings worestirred up to joyous enthusiasm.

The Queen's artistic tastes, in addition to her fresh sympathies and heraffection for her uncle and his wife, rendered the whole scene delightfulto her. She was fitted to relish each detail, from the carillons to thecarvings. She inspected all that was to be seen at Bruges, from the Palaceof Justice to the Chapel of the Holy Blood. At Ghent, she went to thechurch of St. Bavon, where the Van Eycks have left the best part of theirwonderful picture before the altar while the dust of Hubert and Margaret,rests in the crypt below. She saw the fragment of the palace in which Johnof Gaunt was born, when an English queen-consort, Philippa, resided therefive hundred years before. She visited the old Beguinage, with theshadowlike figures of the nuns in black and white flitting to and fro.

From Ostend the Queen and Prince Albert proceeded to the cheerful,prosperous, and, by comparison, modern town of Brussels, King Leopold'scapital, and stayed a night at his palace of Lacken, which had been builtby Prince Albert's ancestor and namesake, Duke Albert of Sechsen, when hegoverned the Netherlands along with his wife the Archduch*ess Christina,the favourite daughter of Maria Theresa and the sister of MarieAntoinette. From Brussels the travellers journeyed to Antwerp, where theysaw another grand cathedral and witnessed the antique spectacle of "theGiant" before the palace in the Place de Mer.

On leaving Antwerp, the Queen and the Prince sailed for England, escortedso far on their way by King Leopold and Queen Louise. "It was such a joyto me," her Majesty wrote to her uncle, soon after their parting, "to beonce again under the roof of one who has ever been a father to me." Thevessel lay all night in Margate Roads, and the next morning arrived atWoolwich.

In the month of October her Majesty and the Prince visited Cambridge,where he received his degree of LL.D. A witty letter, written by ProfessorSedgwick, describing the royal visit to the Woodwardian Museum, is quotedby Sir Theodore Martin

"….I received a formidable note from our master telling me of anintended royal visit to the Woodwardian den of wild beasts, immediatelyafter Prince Albert's degree; and enjoining me to clear a passage by theside entrance through the old divinity schools. This threw me off mybalance, for since the building of the new library this place of ancienttheological disputation has been converted into a kind of lumber-room, andwas filled from end to end with every kind of unclean things—mops,slop-pails, chimney-pots, ladders, broken benches, rejected brokencabinets, two long ladders, and an old rusty scythe were the things thatmet the eye, and all covered with half an inch of venerable dust. There isat the end of the room a kind of gallery or gangway, by which theundergraduates used to find their way to my lecture-room, but this wasalso full of every kind of rubbish and abomination. We did our best; soontumbled all impediments into the area below, spread huge mats over theslop-pails, and, in a time incredibly short, a goodly red carpet wasspread along the gangway, and thence down my lecture-room to the door ofthe Museum. But still there was a dreadful evil to encounter. What we haddone brought out such a rank compound of villanous smells that even myplebeian nose was sorely put to it; so I went to a chemist's, procuredcertain bottles of sweet odours, and sprinkled them cunningly where mostwanted.

"Inside the Museum all was previously in order, and inside the entrancedoor from the gangway was a huge picture of the Megatherium, under whichthe Queen must pass to the Museum, and at that place I was to receive herMajesty. So I dusted my outer garments and ran to the Senate House, and Iwas just in time to see the Prince take his degree and join in theacclamations. This ended, I ran back to the feet of the Megatherium, andin a few minutes the royal party entered the mysterious gangway abovedescribed. They halted, I half thought in a spirit of mischief, tocontemplate the furniture of the schools, and the Vice-chancellor(Whewell) pointed out the beauties of the dirty spot where Queen Bess hadsat two hundred and fifty years before, when she presided at the DivinityAct. A few steps more brought them under the feet of the, Megatherium. Ibowed as low as my anatomy would let me, and the Queen and Prince bowedagain most graciously, and so began act first. The Queen seemed happy andwell pleased, and was mightily taken with one or two of my monsters,especially with the 'Plesiosaurus,' and a gigantic stag. The subject wasnew to her; but the Prince evidently had a good general knowledge of theold world, and not only asked good questions and listened with greatcourtesy to all I had to say, but in one or two instances helped me on bypointing to the rare things in my collection, especially in that part ofit which contains the German fossils. I thought myself very fortunate inbeing able to exhibit the finest collection of German fossils to be seenin England. They fairly went the round of the Museum, neither of themseemed in a hurry, and the Queen was quite happy to hear her husband talkabout a novel subject with so much knowledge and spirit. He called herback once or twice to look at a fine impression of a dragon-fly which Ihave in the Solenhope slate. Having glanced at the long succession of ourfossils, from the youngest to the oldest, the party again moved into thelecture-room. The Queen was again mightily taken with the long neck ofthe Plesiosaurus; under it was a fine head of an Ichthyosaurus which I hadjust been unpacking. I did not know anything about it, as I had myselfnever seen its face before, for it arrived in my absence. The Queen askedwhat it was. I told her as plainly as I could. She then asked whence itcame; and what do you think I said? That I did not know the exact place,but I believed it came as a delegate from the monsters of the lower worldto greet her Majesty on her arrival at the University. I did not repeatthis till I found that I had been overheard, and that my impertinence hadbeen talked of among my Cambridge friends. All was, however, taken in goodpart, and soon afterwards the royal party again approached the mysteriousgangway. The Queen and Prince bowed, the Megatherium packed up his legsclose under the abdominal region of his august body, the royal pageantpassed under, and was soon out of my sight and welcomed by the cheers ofthe multitude before the library.

"I will only add that I went through every kind of backward movement toadmiration of all beholders, only having once trodden on the hinder partof my cassock, and never once having fallen during my retrogradationsbefore the face of the Queen. In short, had I been a king crab, I couldnot have walked backwards better."

When in Cambridgeshire the Queen and the Prince visited Lord Hardwicke at
Wimpole, where the whole county was assembled at a ball, and Earl De la
Warr at Bourne.

In this month of October the great agitator for the repeal of the IrishUnion, Daniel O'Connell, was arrested, in company with other Irishagitators, on a charge of sedition and conspiracy. After a prolongedtrial, which lasted to the early summer of the following year, he wassentenced to a year's imprisonment and the payment of a fine of twothousand pounds, with recognisances to keep the peace for seven years. Thesentence lapsed on technical grounds, but its moral effect wasconsiderable.

In the month of September the Queen and Prince Albert visited Sir RobertPeel at Drayton, travelling by railroad, with every station they passedthronged by spectators. At Rugby the pupils of the great school, headedby Dr. Tait, were drawn up on the platform. Sir Robert Peel received hisguests in a pavilion erected for the occasion, and conducted her Majestyto her carriage, round which was an escort of Staffordshire yeomanry. Atthe entrance to the town of Tamworth, the mayor, kneeling, presented hismace, with the words, "I deliver to your Majesty the mace;" to which theQueen replied, "Take it, it cannot be in better hands."

At eight o'clock in the evening Sir Robert Peel conducted the Queen, whowore pink silk and a profusion of emeralds and diamonds, to thedining-room, Prince Albert giving his arm to Lady Peel. Among the guestswere the Duke of Wellington and the Duke and duch*ess of Buccleugh. Theduch*ess on one occasion during the visit wore an old brocade which hadbelonged to a great grand-aunt of the Duke's, and was pronounced verybeautiful. After dinner the party withdrew to the library. Either on thisevening or the next the Queen played at the quaint old game of "Patience,"with some of her ladies, while the gentlemen "stood about."

On the following day her Majesty walked in the grounds, while PrinceAlbert gratified an earnest wish by visiting Birmingham and inspecting itsmanufactures, undeterred, perhaps rather allured, by the fact that thegreat town of steel and iron was regarded as one of the centres ofChartism. This did not prevent its mighty population from displaying themost exultant loyalty as they pressed round the carriage in which thePrince and the Mayor, reported to be a rank Chartist, drove to glass andsilver-plate manufactories and papier-mache works, the town hall, and theschools.

At the railway station the Prince was joined by the Queen-dowager andPrince Edward of Saxe-Weimar, who came from Whitley Court to accompany himback to Drayton. The next morning was devoted to shooting, when PrinceAlbert confirmed his good character as a sportsman by bringing down sixtypheasants, twenty-five hares, eight rabbits, one woodco*ck, and two wildducks. In the afternoon the Queen visited Lichfield, to which she had goneas "the young Princess." Indeed, the next part of the tour was over oldground in Derbyshire, for from Drayton the royal couple proceeded toChatsworth, and spent several days amidst the beauties of the Peak. Twentythousand persons were assembled in the magnificent grounds at Chatsworth,and artillery had been brought from Woolwich to fire a salute. Many oldfriends, notably members of the great Whig houses—Lord Melbourne, Lordand Lady Palmerston, the Marquis and Marchioness of Normanby—met to gracethe occasion. There was a grand ball, at which the aristocracy ofinvention and industry, trade and wealth, represented by the Arkwrightsand the Strutts, mingled with the autocracy of ancient birth and landedproperty. Mrs. Arkwright was presented to the Queen. Her Majesty openedthe ball with the Duke of Devonshire, dancing afterwards with Lord Morpethand Lord Leveson—in the last instance, "a country dance, with muchvigour"—and waltzing with Prince Albert. On the 2nd of December the partyvisited Haddon Hall, the ancient seat of the Vernons, where Dorothy Vernonlived and loved. On their return in the evening, the great conservatorywas brilliantly illuminated, and there was a display of fireworks.

On the 3rd, Sunday, the Queen walked through the kitchen gardens andbotanical gardens, and drove to Edensor. On the return of the party by theHome Farm, they went to see a prize-pig, weighing seventy pounds. The dayended with a concert of sacred music.

On Monday, the 4th, the Queen and the Prince parted from the Duke ofDevonshire at Derby, and proceeded to Nottingham—not to visit whatremained of the Castle so long associated with John and Lucy Hutchinson,or to penetrate to the cradle of hosiery, daring an encounter with the"Nottingham Lambs," the roughest of roughs, who at election times werewont to add to their natural beauties by painting their faces red, white,and blue, as savages tattoo themselves—but as a step on the way toBelvoir, the seat of the Duke of Rutland. There her Majesty entered thatmost aristocratic portion of England known as "The Dukeries." The Duke ofRutland, attended by two hundred of his tenantry on horseback, awaited hisguests at Red Mile, and rode with them the three miles to Belvoir. Soonafter the Queen's arrival, Dr. Stanton presented her Majesty with the keyof Stanton Town, according to the tenure on which that estate is held.

Belvoir was a sight in itself, even after the stately lawns of Chatsworth."I do not know whether you ever saw Belvoir," writes Fanny Kemble; "it isa beautiful place; the situation is noble, and the views, from the windowsof the castle, and the terraces and gardens hanging over the steep hillcrowned by it, is charming. The whole vale of Belvoir, and miles of meadowand woodland, lie stretched below it, like a map unrolled to the distanthorizon, presenting extensive and varied prospects in every direction;while from the glen which surrounds the castle-hill, like a deep moatfilled with a forest, the spring winds swell up as from a sea of woodland,and the snatches of birds' carolling, and cawing rooks' discourse, floatup to one from the topmost branches of tall trees, far below one's feet,as one stands on the battlemented terraces."

December was not the best time for seeing some of the attractions ofBelvoir; but Lady Bloomfield has written of her Majesty's proverbial goodfortune in these excursions: "The Queen yachts during the equinox, and hasthe sea a dead calm; visits about in the dead of winter, and has summerweather." There were other respects in which Belvoir was in its glory inmidwinter—it belonged to a hunting neighbourhood and a hunting society.Whereas at Drayton and Chatsworth the royal pair had been principallysurrounded by Tory and Whig statesmen, at Belvoir, while the Queen-dowagerand some of the most distinguished members of the company at Chatsworthwere again of the party, the Queen and the Prince found themselves in thecentre of the fox-hunters of Melton Mowbray.

Happily, the Prince could hunt with the best, and the Queen liked to lookon at her husband's sport, so that the order of the day was the throwingoff of the hounds at Croxton. In the evening the Queen played whist. Thenext day there was a second splendid meet royally attended, with cardsagain at night. The Prince wrote of one of these "runs," to BaronStockmar, that he had distinguished himself by keeping up with the houndsall through. "Anson" and "Bouverie" had both fallen on his left and right,but he had come off "with a whole skin." We are also told that thePrince's horsemanship excited the amazed admiration of the spectators, tothe Queen's half-impatient amusem*nt. "One can scarcely credit theabsurdity of the people," she wrote to her uncle, King Leopold; "butAlbert's riding so boldly has made such a sensation that it has beenwritten all over the country, and they make much more of it than if he haddone some great act." Apparently the Melton Mowbray fox-hunters had, tillnow, hardly appreciated that fine combination of physical and mentalqualities, which is best expressed in two lines of an old song:—

His step is foremost in the ha',
His sword in battle keen.

On the 7th of December the visitors left for Windsor, passing throughendless triumphal arches on the road, greeted at Leicester by seventhousand school children.

Shortly after the Queen's return home, she and the Prince heard, withregret, of the death of Thomas Graham, Lord Lynedoch. The veteran fell,indeed, like a shock of corn ripe for the garner, until it had beendifficult to recognise in the feeble, nearly blind old man, upwards ofninety, the stout soldier of Barossa and Vittoria. But he carried with himmany a memory which could never be recalled. Gallant captain though hewas, his whole life was touched with tender romance. Born only four yearsafter the Jacobite rebellion of '45, married in 1774, when he wastwenty-five years of age, to his beautiful wife, the Hon. MaryCathcart—whose sister Jane was married on the same day to John, Duke ofAthole—for eighteen years Mr. Graham lived the quiet life of a countrygentleman in Lynedoch Cottage, the most charming of cottages ornes,thatch-roofed, with a conservatory as big as itself, set down in a finepark. The river Almond flowed by, serving as a kind of boundary, andmarking the curious limit which the plague kept in its last visit toScotland. On a green "haugh" beneath what is known as the Burnbraes,within a short distance of Lynedoch Cottage, may be seen thecarefully-kept double grave of two girls heroines of Scotch song, who diedthere of the "pest," from which they were fleeing.

Mr. Graham was happy in his marriage, though it is said Mrs. Graham didnot relish that element in her lot which had made her the wife of a simplecommoner, while her sister, not more fair, was a duch*ess. Death entered onthe scene, and caused the distinctions of rank to be forgotten. Thecherished wife was laid in a quiet grave in Methven kirk-yard, and thechildless widower mourned for the desire of his heart with a grief thatrefused to be comforted. By the advice of his friends, who feared for hisreason or his life, he went abroad, where he joined Lord Hood as avolunteer. It is said he fought his first battle in a black coat, with thehope that, being thus rendered conspicuous in any act of daring which hemight perform, he would be stricken down before the day was done. Honours,not death, were to be his portion in his new career. A commission, rapidpromotion, the praise of his countrymen followed. He received the thanksof both Houses of Parliament. It was on this occasion that Sheridan saideloquently, in allusion to the soldier's services in the retreat toCorunna, "In the hour of peril Graham was their best adviser, in the hourof disaster Graham was their surest consolation." A peerage, which therewas none to share or inherit, a pension, the Orders of the Bath, of St.Michael and St. George, &c. &c., were conferred upon him. It seemed onlythe other day since Lord Lynedoch, hearing of her Majesty's first visit toScotland, hurried home from Switzerland to receive his queen. A place inWestminster Abbey was ready for all that was mortal of him, but he hadleft express injunctions that he was to be buried in Methven kirk-yard,beside the wife of his youth, dead more than half a century before.

Most people know the history of Gainsborough's lovely picture of Mrs.Graham, the glory of the Scotch National Gallery—that it was not broughthome till after the death of the lady, whose husband could not bear tolook on her painted likeness, and sent it, in its case, to the care of aLondon merchant, in whose keeping it remained unopened, and well-nighforgotten, for upwards of fifty years. On Lord Lynedoch's death, thepicture came into the possession of his heir, Mr. Graham, of Redgorton,who presented it—a noble gift—to the Scotch National Academy.

CHAPTER XVIII.ALLIES FROM AFAR.—DEATH AND ABSENCE.—BIRTHDAY GREETINGS.

Lady Bloomfield describes a set of visitors at Windsor this year such ashave not infrequently come a long way to pay their homage to the Queen,and to see for themselves the wonders of civilisation. The party consistedof five Indian chiefs, two squaws, a little girl, and a half-breed,accompanied by Mr. Catlin as interpreter. The Queen received the strangersin the Waterloo Gallery. The elder chief made a speech with all thedignity and self-confidence of his race. It was to the effect that he wasmuch pleased the Great Spirit had permitted him to cross the large lake(the Atlantic) in safety. They had wished to see their great mother, theQueen. England was the light of the world; its rays illuminated allnations, and reached even to their country. They found it much larger thanthey expected, and the buildings were finer than theirs, and the wigwam(Windsor Castle) was very grand, and they were pleased to see it.Nevertheless, they should return to their own country and be quite happyand contented. They thanked the Great Spirit they had enough to eat anddrink. They thought the people in England must be very rich, and theylooked pleased and happy. They (the Chippewas) had served under theEnglish sovereigns and had fought their battles. He—the chief—had servedunder ——, the greatest chief that had ever existed or had ever beenknown. He had been on the field of battle when his general was killed andhad helped to bury him. He had received kindness from the English nation,for which he thanked them; their wigwams at home had been made comfortablewith English goods. He had nothing more to say. He had finished.

These Indians had their faces tattooed and were clad in skins, with largebunches of feathers on their heads. The men were armed with tomahawks,clubs, wooden swords, bows, and spears. The women were in the height ofsquaw-fashion, with long black hair, dresses reaching to their feet, andquantities of coloured beads. Two war-dances were danced before the Queen,one of the chiefs playing a sort of drum, the music being assisted byshrieks and cries and the shaking of a rattle. The dance began by thedancers quivering in every joint, then passed into a slow movement, whichended in violent action.

Such an interlude was welcome in the necessary monotony of Court life tothose who do not penetrate into its inmost circle. Lady Bloomfield writes,"Everything else changes; the life at Court never does; it is exactly thesame from day to day and year to year." And she records, as an agreeablediversion from the set routine, the mistake of one of the pages, by whichan equerry-in-waiting, in the absence of another official, received awrong order about dinner. When the Queen dines in private there is apurely Household dinner in the room appointed for the purpose. In thosedays the Queen rarely dined two days consecutively in private, so that hersuite were surprised by the announcement that there were to be twoHousehold dinners—the one after the other. The ladies and gentlemen satdown together in the Oak Room at eight o'clock, and had finished theirsoup and fish, when a message came from the Queen to know who had giventhe order that they were to dine without her. The company stared blanklyat each other, finished their dinner with what appetite they might, andadjourned to the drawing-room, when they were told that her Majesty wascoming. One can fancy the consternation of the courtiers, who were "onlyin plain evening coats," instead of Windsor uniform. Happily it occurredto the defaulters that it would be but right to anticipate her Majesty, sothat all rushed off to the corridor to meet the Queen and the Prince, whowere much amused by the blunder.

There is a pleasant little picture of the young family at Windsor in oneof the Prince's letters this winter: "The children, in whose welfare youtake so kindly an interest, are making most favourable progress. Theeldest, "puss*" (the Princess Royal at three years of age), is now quite alittle personage. She speaks English and French with great fluency andchoice of phrase…. The little gentleman (the Prince of Wales) is grownmuch stronger than he was…. The youngest (Princess Alice) is the beautyof the family, and is an extraordinarily good and merry child."

January, 1844, brought a severe trial to Prince Albert, and through him tothe Queen, in the sudden though not quite unexpected death of his fatherat Gotha, at the comparatively early age of sixty years. Father and sonwere much attached to each other, they had been parted for nearly fouryears since the Prince's marriage, and the early meeting to which they hadbeen looking forward was denied to them.

The Queen wrote to Baron Stockmar, in the beginning of February, "Oh, ifyou could be here now with us: My darling stands so alone, and his griefis so great and touching…. He says (forgive my bad writing, but my tearsblind me) I am now all to him. Oh, if I can be, I shall beonly too happy; but I am so disturbed and affected myself, I fear I can bebut of little use."

"I have been with the Queen a good deal, altogether,"—Lady Lytteltonrefers to this time; "she is very affecting in her grief, which is intruth all on the Prince's account; and every time she looks at him hereyes fill afresh. He has suffered dreadfully, being very fond of hisfather, and his separation from him and the suddenness of the event, andhis having expected to see him soon, all contribute to make him worse."

The Prince himself wrote to his trusty friend, "God will give us allstrength to bear the blow becomingly. That we were separated gives it apeculiar poignancy; not to see him, not to be present to close his eyes,not to help to comfort those he leaves behind, and to be comforted by themis very hard. Here we sit together, poor Mama (the duch*ess of Kent, thelate Duke of Coburg's sister), Victoria and myself, and weep, with a greatcold public around us, insensible as stone."

The Prince had one source of consolation, that of a good son who had nevercaused his father pain. He had another strong solace in the reality andworth of the new ties which were replacing the old, both in his own caseand in that of his brother. "The good Alexandrine," Prince Albertremarked, referring to his sister-in-law, "seems to me in the wholepicture like the consoling angel." Then he goes on, "Just so is Victoriato me, who feels and shares my grief and is the treasure on which my wholeexistence rests. The relation in which we stand to each other leavesnothing to desire. It is a union of heart and soul, and is thereforenoble; and in it the poor children shall find their cradle, so as to beable one day to ensure a like happiness for themselves."

Lady Lyttelton describes a sermon which Archdeacon Wilberforce preached atWindsor at this season, February, 1844. "Just before church time the Queentold me that Archdeacon Wilberforce was going to preach, so I had my treatmost unexpectedly, mercifully I could call it, for the sermon, expressedin his usual golden sweetness of language, was peculiarly practical anduseful to myself—I mean, ought to be. 'Hold thee still in the Lord andabide patiently upon him,' was the text, and the peace, trust and restwhich breathed in every sentence, ought to do something to assuage any andevery worret, temporal and spiritual. There were some beautifulpassages on looking forward into 'the misty future,' and its misery to aworldly view, and the contrary. The whole was rather the more strikingfrom its seeming to come down so gently upon the emblems of earthly sorrow(referring to the mourning for Prince Albert's father), we are in such 'aboundless contiguity of shade.' There was a beautiful passage—I wish youcould have heard it, because you could write it out—about growth in gracebeing greatest when mind and heart are at rest, and in stillness like thefirst shoot of spring which is not forwarded by the storm or hurricane,but by the silent dews of early dawn; another upon the melancholy of humanlife, 'most beautiful because most true.'"

It was judged desirable that the Prince should go to Germany for afortnight at Easter. It was his first separation from the Queen sincetheir marriage, and both felt it keenly. Lady Lyttelton wrote of herMajesty on the occasion: "The Queen has been behaving like a pattern wifeas she is, about the Prince's tour; so feeling and so wretched and yet sounselfish; encouraging him to go, and putting the best face on it to thelast moment…. We all feel sadly wicked and unnatural in his absence, andI am actually counting the days on my part as her Majesty is on hers,"adds the kindly, sympathetic woman. The Queen of the Belgians,—and later,King Leopold, came over to console their niece by their company duringpart of her solitude. But her best refreshment must have been the letterswith which couriers were constantly riding to and fro, full of a lover'stenderness and a brother's care, from the first to the last; thesedispatches came unfailingly. They breathed "the tender green of hope,"like the spring which was on the land at the time.

From Dover the husband wrote: "My own darling…. I have been here aboutan hour and regret the lost time which I might have spent with you. Poorchild, you will, while I write, be getting ready for luncheon, and youwill find a place vacant where I sat yesterday; in your heart, however, Ihope my place will not be vacant. I, at least, have you on board with mein spirit. I reiterate my entreaty, 'Bear up,' and do not give way to lowspirits, but try to occupy yourself as much as possible; you are even nowhalf a day nearer to seeing me again; by the time you get this letter youwill be a whole one—thirteen more and I am again within your arms."

From Ostend he wrote, "I occupy your old room." From Cologne, "Yourpicture has been hung up everywhere, and been very prettily wreathed withlaurel, so that you will look down from the walls on my tete-a-tetewith Bouverie" (the Prince's equerry)…. "Every step takes me fartherfrom you—not a cheerful thought." From Gotha, in the centre of hiskinsfolk, he told her what delight her gifts had given, and added, "Couldyou have witnessed the happiness my return gave my family, you would havebeen amply repaid for the sacrifice of our separation. We spoke much ofyou." From Reinhardtsbrunn and Rosenau he sent the flowers he had gatheredfor her. He wrote of the toys he had got for the children, the presents hewas bringing for her. At Kalenberg—one of his late father's countryseats—he broke out warmly, "Oh, how lovely and friendly is this dear oldcountry; how glad I should be to have my little wife beside me, that Imight share my pleasure with her."

Coburg had grown marvellously in beauty. In company with his stepmother,brother, and sister-in-law, he went to the town church and was deeplymoved by the devotional singing, and "an admirable sermon" from thepastor, who had confirmed the two brothers. Afterwards they rode togetherto their father's last resting-place. The Prince's biographer closes theaccount of this tour with a few significant words from Prince Albert'sdiary, in which he noted down in the briefest form the events of each day:"Crossed on the 11th. I arrived at six o'clock in the evening atWindsor. Great joy."

As a surprise for the Queen's birthday this year, the Prince had privatelyordered a little picture of angels from Sir C. Eastlake, who had receiveda similar commission from the Queen for a picture with which she intendedto greet the Prince.

A still more welcome surprise to Her Majesty was a miniature of PrinceAlbert in armour, according to a fancy of the Queen's, by Thorburn, alikeness which proved the best of all the portraits taken of the Prince,the most successful in catching the outward look when it expressed mostcharacteristically the man within. This picture, together with that of theangels holding a medallion bearing the inscription "Heil und segen"(Health and Blessing), and all the other presents were placed in a room"turned into a bower by dint of enormous garlands."

The Queen and the Prince's relations with artists were naturally, from theroyal couple's artistic tastes, intimate and happy. Accordingly, manypictures not only of great personages in State ceremonies, but of familygroups in the simplicity of domestic life, survive as a proof of theconnection. Vandyck did not paint Charles I. and Henrietta Maria morefrequently than Landseer and some of his contemporaries painted herMajesty, with her husband and children, in the bright and unclouded summerof her life; and Vandyck, never painted his royal patrons in such easyunaffected guise and everyday circ*mstances. There is such a picture ofLandseer's, well known from engravings, in which the Prince is representedin a Highland dress returned late from shooting, seated, surrounded by thetrophies of his sport in deer, blackco*ck, &c. &c., and by a whole colonyof delighted dogs,—beautiful Eos conspicuous by her sobriety and reserve,while an enraptured terrier presses forward to lick his master's hand. TheQueen, dressed for dinner and still girlish-looking in her white satin,stands talking to the Prince. The Princess Royal, a chubby child of two orthree, is prowling childlike among the dead game, curiously making herinvestigations.

Of many stories told of royal visits to studios, there are two which referto an enfant terrible, the baby son of one of the painters. Thissmall man having undertaken to be cicerone to his father's work, soughtspecially to point out to her Majesty that two elves were likenesses ofhimself and a little brother, "only, you know, we don't go about withoutclothes at home," he volunteered the confidential explanation.

The same child horrified an attentive audience by declining to receive agracious advance made to him by the Queen, asserting with the utmostcandour, "I don't like you."

"But why don't you like me, my boy?" inquired the loving mother of otherlittle children, in some bewilderment.

"Because you are the Queen of England and you killed Queen Mary," theardent champion of the slain Queen answered boldly.

The story goes on, that after a little laughter at the anachronism, HerMajesty took some trouble to explain to the malcontent that he was wrong,she did not kill Queen Mary, she had been very sorry for her fate. So farfrom killing her, she, Queen Victoria, was one of Queen Mary'sdescendants, and it was because she came of the old Stewart line that shereigned over both England and Scotland.

CHAPTER XIX.ROYAL VISITORS.—THE BIRTH OP PRINCE ALFRED.—A NORTHERN RETREAT.

The year 1844 may be instanced as rich in royal visitors to England. Onthe 1st of June the King of Saxony arrived and shortly after him a greaterlion, the Emperor of Russia. The King of Saxony came as an honest friendand sightseer, entering heartily into the obligations of the latter. Therewas more doubt as to the motives of the Czar of all the Russias, andconsiderable wariness was needed in dealing with the northern eagle, whosereal object might be, if not to use his beak and claws on the Englishnation, to employ them on some other nation after he had got an assurancethat England would not interfere with his game. Indeed, jealousy of theFrench, and of the friendship between the Queen and Louis Philippe, was atthe bottom of the Emperor's sudden appearance on the scene.

The Emperor had paid England a previous visit so far back as 1816, in thedays of George, Prince Regent, when Prince Leopold and Princess Charlottewere the young couple at Claremont. He had then won much admiration andpopularity by his strikingly handsome person, stately politeness, andgallant devotion to the English ladies who caught his fancy. He was stilla handsome man—over six feet, with regular features, remarkable eyes, andbushy moustaches. He wore on his arrival a cloth cloak lined with costlyfur, and a kind of cap which looked like a turban—rather a tellingcostume.

But time and the man's life and character had stamped themselves on whathad once been a goodly mould. There was something oppressive in hiselaborate politeness. There was a glare, not far removed from ferocity,in the great grey eyes, so little shaded by their lids and light eyelashesthat occasionally a portion of the white eyeball above the iris wasrevealed, and there was an intangible brooding melancholy about theautocrat whose will was still law to millions of his fellow-creatures.

The Queen received her distinguished guest in the great hall at BuckinghamPalace Shortly afterwards there was a dejeuner, at which some ofthe Emperor's old acquaintances in the royal family and out of it, methim—the duch*ess of Gloucester, the Princess Sophia, the Duke ofCambridge, the Duke of Wellington, &c. &c. In the evening there was abanquet.

The Emperor followed the Queen to Windsor, where, amidst the gaieties ofthe Ascot week, he was royally entertained. Two visits were paid to theracecourse, with which the new-comer associated his name by founding thefive hundred pounds prize. There was a grand review in Windsor Park, atwhich both the Emperor of Russia and the King of Saxony were present, aswell as Her Majesty and Prince Albert and the royal children. The Emperorin a uniform of green and red, the King of Saxony in a uniform of blue andgold, and Prince Albert in a field-marshal's uniform—all the threewearing the insignia of the Garter—were the observed of all observers inthe martial crowd. The only incidents of the day which struck LadyLyttelton were "the very fine cheer on the old Duke of Wellington passingthe Queen's carriage, and the really beautiful salute of Prince Albert,who rode by at the head of his regiment, and of course lowered his swordin full military form to the Queen, with such a look and smile ashe did it! I never saw so many pretty feelings expressed in a minute."

On the return of the Court with its guests to Buckingham Palace, theEmperor went with Prince Albert to a fete at Chiswick, given by the Dukeof Devonshire, and attended by seven or eight hundred noble guests. TheCzar returned from it loud in the praise of the beauty of English women,while staunchly faithful to the belles he had admired twenty-eight yearsbefore. The same evening he accompanied the Queen to the opera, when shetook his hand and made him stand with her in the front of the box, thatthe brilliant assemblage might see and welcome him.

The Emperor was an adept at saying courteous things. He remarked to theQueen, of Windsor, which he greatly admired, "It is worthy of you,Madame." He wished Prince Albert were his son. When the hour ofleave-taking came he found the Queen in the small drawing-room with herchildren. He declared with emotion that he might at all times be reliedupon as her most devoted servant, and prayed God to bless her. He kissedher hand and she kissed him; he embraced and blessed the children. Hebesought her to go no farther with him. "I will throw myself at yourknees; pray let me lead you to your room." "But," wrote the Queen, "ofcourse I would not consent, and took his arm to go to the hall…. At thetop of the few steps leading to the lower hall he again took most kindlyleave, and his voice betrayed his emotion. He kissed my hand and weembraced. When I saw him at the door I went down the steps, and from thecarriage he begged I would not stand there; but I did, and saw him driveoff with Albert to Woolwich."

The Emperor was rather suspiciously fond of declaring, "I mean what I say,and what I promise I will perform." Some of his speeches were emphaticenough. "I esteem England highly, but as for what the French say of me Icare not; I spit upon it." He felt awkward in evening dress; he was soaccustomed to wear military uniform that without it he said he felt as ifthey had taken off his skin. To humour him, uniform was worn every eveningat Windsor during his stay. Among his camp habits was one which he hadformed in his youth and kept up to the last: it was that of sleeping everynight on clean straw stuffed into a leathern case. The first thing hisvalets did on being shown their master's bedroom in Windsor Castle was tosend out for a truss of straw for the Emperor's bed. The last thing gotfor him at Woolwich was the same simple stuffing for his rude mattress.

On the 15th of June, 1844, Thomas Campbell, author of the "Pleasures ofHope," "Ye Mariners of England," &c., died at Boulogne at the age ofsixty-seven. Although he had not quite reached the threescore and ten, thespan of man's life on earth, he had long survived the authors, Scott,Byron, &c., with whom his name is linked. He was one of many well-knownmen in very different spheres who passed away in 1844. Sir AugustusCallcott, the painter; Crockford with his house of Turf celebrity;Beckford, the eccentric author of "Vathek," and the owner of theart-treasures of Fonthill; Lord Sidmouth, the well-known statesman of the"Addington Administration;" Sir Francis Burdett, who in recent times waslodged in the Tower under a charge of high treason.

In the same year an attempt was made to honour the memory of a greaterpoet than Thomas Campbell, one whose worldly reward had not been great,whose history ended in a grievous tragedy. The Scotchmen of the day seizedthe opportunity of the return of two of Robert Burns's sons from militaryservice in India to give them a welcome home which should do something toatone for any neglect and injustice that had befallen their father. Thefestival was not altogether successful, as such festivals rarely are, butit excited considerable enthusiasm in the poet's native country,especially in his county of Ayrshire. And when the lord of the Castle ofMontgomery presided over the tribute to the sons of the ploughman who had"shorn the harvest" with his Highland Mary on the Eglinton "lea-riggs,"and Christopher North made the speech of the day, the demonstration couldnot be considered an entire failure.

Scotch hearts warmed to the belief that the Queen understood and admiredBurns's poetry, and proud reference was made to the circ*mstance thatduring one of her Highland excursions she applied the famous descriptivepassage in the "Birks of Aberfeldy" to the scene before her:

The braes ascend like lofty wa'e,
The foamy stream deep roaring fa's,
O'erhung with fragrant spreading shaws,
The birks of Aberfeldy.

The hoary cliffs are crown'd wi' flowers,
White o'er the linn the burnie pours,
And rising, weets wi' misty showers
The birks of Aberfeldy.

This summer, brown Queen Pomare, and the affairs of far-off Tahiti, had astrange, inordinate amount of attention from the English public. Frenchinterference in the island, the imprisonment of an English consul andProtestant missionary, roused the British lion. The dusky island-queenclaimed the help of her English allies, and till Louis Philippe and M.Guizot disowned the policy which had been practised by theirrepresentatives in the South Seas, there was actually fear of war betweenEngland and France, in spite of the friendly visit to Chateau d'Eu.Happily the King and his minister made, or appeared to make, reparation aswell as explanation, and the danger blew over.

On the 31st of July, down at Windsor a humble but affectionately lovedfriend died. Prince Albert's greyhound Eos—his companion from hisfourteenth to his twenty-fifth year, his avant courier when he cameas a bridegroom to claim his bride—was found dead, without previoussymptom of illness. She lies buried on the top of the bank above theSlopes, and a bronze model of her marks the spot.

On the 6th of August the Queen's second son was born at Windsor Castle.The Prince of Prussia (the present Emperor of Germany), the third royalvisitor this year, came over in time for the christening, when the littleprince received the name of the great Saxon King of England, Alfred,together with the names of his uncle, Ernest, and his father, Albert. Thegodfathers were Prince George of Cambridge, the Queen's cousin,represented by his father; and the Prince of Leiningen, the Queen'sbrother, represented by the Duke of Wellington; while the godmother wasthe Queen and Prince Albert's sister-in-law, the duch*ess of Coburg-Gotha,represented by the duch*ess of Kent. "To see these two children there too,"the Queen wrote of the Princess Royal and the Prince of Wales, "seems sucha dream to me … May God bless them all, poor little things." Theengraving represents the sailor-Prince in his childhood.

A tour in Ireland had been projected for the Queen's holiday, but theexcitement in the country consequent on the liberation of O'Connell andhis companions rendered the time and place unpropitious for a royal visit,so it was decided that Her Majesty should go again to Scotland. On thisoccasion the Queen and the Prince took their little four-year-old daughterwith them. The route was not quite the same as formerly. The party went bya shorter way to the Highlands, the yacht sailing to Dundee, the greatmanufacturing city so fortunate in its situation, where the rushing Taycalms and broadens into a wide Frith, with a background of green hills anda foreground of the pleasantly broken shores of Forfar and Fife. Thetrades held high holiday, and gave the Queen a jubilant welcome, the airringing with shouts of gladness as she landed from the yacht, leaning onPrince Albert's arm, while he led by the hand the small daughter whor*minded the Queen so vividly of herself—as the little Princess of pastyears.

The Queen, escorted by the Scots Greys, proceeded by Cupar Angus toDunkeld, stopping at one of the hotels to get "some broth for the child,"who proved an excellent traveller, sleeping in her carriage at her usualhours, not put out or frightened at noise or crowds—an excellent thing ina future empress—standing bowing to the people from the windows like agreat lady.

At Moulinearn her Majesty tasted that luscious compound of whisky, honey,and milk known as "Athol brose."

The Queen's destination was Blair Castle, the seat of Lord Glenlyon—awhite, barrack-like building in the centre of some of the grandest sceneryof the Perthshire Highlands. There a strong body of Murrays met herMajesty at the gate and ran by the side of the carriages to the portico ofthe Castle, where the clansmen, pipers and all, were drawn up in fourcompanies of forty each, to receive the guests. The Queen occupied theCastle during her stay, Lord and Lady Glenlyon, with their son and theother members of their family, being quartered in the lodge for the time.

The Queen and the Prince led the perfectly retired and simple life whichwas so agreeable to them. Spent among romantic and interesting scenery, itwas doubly delightful to the young couple. They dispensed as much aspossible with state and ceremony. The Highland Guard were ordered not topresent arms more than twice a day to the Queen, and once a day to thePrince and the Princess Royal; but in other respects the Guard were somuch impressed by their responsibility that not only would they permit nostranger to pass their cordon without giving the password, whichwas changed every day, they stopped Lord Glenlyon's brother for want ofthe necessary "open sesame," telling him that, lord's brother or not, hecould not pass without the word.

Her Majesty's piper, Mackay, had orders to play a pibroch under herwindows every morning at seven o'clock. At the same early hour a bunch offresh heather, with a draught of icy-cold water from Glen Tilt, wasbrought to the Queen. The Princess Royal, on her Shetland pony,accompanied the Queen and the Prince in their morning rambles. Sometimesthe little one was carried in her father's arms, while he pointed out toher any object that would amuse her and call forth her prattle. "puss*'scheeks are on the point of bursting, they have grown so red and plump,"wrote the Prince to his stepmother. "She is learning Gaelic, but makeswild work with the names of the mountains."

So free was the life that one morning when a lady, plainly dressed andunaccompanied, left the Castle about seven o'clock no notice was taken ofher, and it was only after she had gone some distance that the rank of thepedestrian was discovered. With a little hesitation, a body-guard was toldoff and followed her Majesty, but she intimated that she would dispensewith their attendance, and went on alone as far as the lodge, where sheinquired for Lord Glenlyon. It was understood afterwards that she hadchosen to be her own messenger with regard to some arrangements to be maderespecting a visit to the Falls of the Bruar.

Lord Glenlyon was not out of bed, and the deputy-porter was electrified bybeing told that the Queen had called on his master. On her Majesty'sreturn to the house she took a different road and lost her way, so thatshe had to apply to some Highland reapers whom she met, trudging to one ofthe isolated oatfields, to direct her to the Castle. They told hercivilly, but without ceremony, to cross one of the "parks" (fields ormeadows) and climb over a paling—instructions which she obeyed literally,and found herself at home again.

On a fine September morning the two who were so happy in each other'scompany rode on a dun and a grey pony, attended only by Sandy McAra, wholed the Queen's pony through the ford, up the grassy hill of Tulloch, "tothe very top." There they saw a whole circle of stupendous Bens—BenVrackie, Ben-y-Ghlo, Ben-y-Chat, as well as the Falls of the Bruar and thePass of Killiecrankie, which the Hanoverian troopers likened to "the mouthof hell" on the day that Dundee fell on the field at Urrard.

"It was quite romantic," declared the Queen joyfully. "Here we were withonly this Highlander behind us holding the ponies—for we got off twiceand walked about; not a house, not a creature near us, but the prettyHighland sheep, with their horns and black faces, up at the top ofTulloch, surrounded by beautiful mountains … the most delightful, themost romantic ride I ever had."

There was much more riding and driving in Glen Tilt, with its disputed"right of way" ease, but there was none to bar the Queen's progress. HerMajesty showed herself a fearless rider, abandoning the cart-roads andfollowing the foot-tracks among the mountains. She grew as fond of herhomely Highland pony, Arghait Bhean, with which Lord Glenlyonsupplied her, as she was of her Windsor stud, with every trace of highbreeding in their small heads, arching necks, slender legs, and daintyhoofs.

One day the foresters succeeded in driving a great herd of red-deer, withtheir magnificent antlers, across the heights, so that the Queen had apassing view of them. On another day she was able to join in thedeer-stalking, scrambling for hours in the wake of the hunters, among therocks and heather, when she was not "allowed," as she described it, tospeak above a whisper, in case she should spoil the sport. It was a brieftaste of an ideal, open-air, unsophisticated life, upon which there was nointrusion, except when stolid sightseers flocked to the little parishchurch of Blair Athol for the chance of "seeing royalty at its prayers,and hardly a regret beyond the lack of time to sketch the groups ofkeepers and dogs, the deer, the mountains.

The Queen, as usual, enjoyed and admired everything there was toadmire—the pretty jackets or "short gowns" of the rustic maidens; the"burns," clear as glass; the mossy stones; the peeps between the trees;the depth of the shadows; the corn-cutting or "shearing," when a patch ofyellow oats broke the purple shadow of the moor; Ben-y-Ghlo standing likea mighty sentinel commanding the course of the Garry, as when many a lad"with his bonnet and white co*ckade," sped with fleet foot by the flashingwaters, "leaving his mountains to follow Prince Charlie;" Chrianean, wherethe eagles sometimes sat; the sunsets when the sky was "crimson, goldenred, and blue," and the hills "looked purple and lilac," till the huesgrew softer and the outlines dimmer. Prince Albert, an ardent admirer ofnatural scenery, was in ecstasy with the mountain landscape. But herMajesty has already permitted her people to share in the halcyon days ofthose Highland tours.

On the homeward journey to Dundee, Lord Glenlyon and his brother, CaptainMurray, performed the loyal feat of riding fifty miles, the whole distancefrom Blair, by the Queen's carriage.

CHAPTER XX.LOUIS PHILIPPE'S VISIT.—THE OPENING OF THE ROYAL EXCHANGE.

The Queen and the Prince returned to Windsor to receive a visit from LouisPhilippe. The King, who had spent part of his exiled youth in England,had not been back since 1815, when he took refuge there again during "theHundred Days," after Napoleon's return from Elba and Louis XVIII.'swithdrawal to Ghent, till the battle of Waterloo restored the heads of theBourbon and Orleans families to the Tuileries and the Palais Royal.

The King arrived on the 6th of October, accompanied by his son, the Duc deMontpensier, M. Guizot, and a numerous suite. They had sailed from Treportin the steamer Gomer, attended by three other, steamers, andarrived at Portsmouth, where the Corporation came on board to present anaddress.

The King answered in English, with much effusion and affability, shakinghands with the whole batch of magistrates, telling those who were too slowin removing their white gloves, "Oh! never mind your gloves, gentlemen,"and recalling a former visit to Portsmouth when he was an exile. PrinceAlbert and the Duke of Wellington went on board the steamer, when theenthusiastic elderly gentleman saluted the Prince on both cheeks, to whichhe submitted, though he did not reply in kind, contenting himself withshaking his guest by the hand. It would seem as if the Prince had someperception of the wiliness which was one quality of the big, bluff citizenking, and of the discretion which must be practised in dealing with him,no less than with the Russian bear. For in writing from Blair to akinswoman, in anticipation of the visit, the writer states, with a dash ofhumour, that after a preliminary training on the sea, the bold deerstalkerand mountaineer would have to transform himself into a courtier to receiveand entertain a King of the French, and play the part of a staid andastute diplomatist.

The king wore the French uniform of a Lieutenant-General—blue with redfacings. The moment he ascended the stairs of the jetty, he turned withhis hand on his heart and bowed to the multitude of spectators.

The Queen met her visitor in the grand vestibule fronting George theFourth's Gate at Windsor Castle; the duch*ess of Kent and the ladies of theHousehold, Sir Robert Peel and Lord Liverpool, and the officers of theHousehold, were with her Majesty. The moment the carriage drew up, theQueen advanced and extended her arms to her father's old friend. The twosovereigns embraced, and she led the way to the suite of rooms which hadbeen previously occupied by the Emperor of Russia.

Lady Lyttelton has supplied her version of the arrival. "At two o'clock hearrived, this curious king, worth seeing if ever a body was. The Queenhaving graciously permitted me to be present, I joined the Court in thecorridor, and we waited an hour, and then the Queen of England came out ofher room to go and receive the King of France—the first time in history!Her Majesty had not long to wait (in the armoury, as she received him inthe State apartments, his own private rooms; very civil); and from thearmoury, amidst all the old trophies and knights' armour, and Nelson'sbust, and Marlborough's flag, and Wellington's, we saw the first of theescort enter, the Quadrangle, and down flew the Queen, and we after her,to the outside of the door on the pavement of the Quadrangle, just in timeto see the escort clattering up and the carriage close behind. The oldman was much moved, I think, and his hand rather shook as he alighted, hishat quite off, and grey hair seen. His countenance is striking—muchbetter than the portraits—and his embrace of the Queen was very parental,and nice. Montpensier is a handsome youth, and the courtiers and ministersvery well-looking, grave, gentlemenlike people. It was a striking piece ofreal history—made one feel and think much."

"He is the first king of France who comes on a visit to the sovereign ofthis country," wrote the Queen in her Journal…. "The King said, as hewent up the grand staircase to his apartments, 'Heavens! howbeautiful!'…. I never saw anybody more pleased or more amused in lookingat every picture, every bust. He knew every bust, and knew everythingabout everybody here in a most wonderful way. Such a memory! suchactivity! It is a pleasure to show him anything, as he is so pleased andinterested. He is enchanted with the Castle, and repeated to me again andagain (as did also his people) how delighted he was to be here; how he hadfeared that what he had so earnestly wished since I came to the thronewould not take place, and 'Heavens! what a pleasure it is to me to giveyou my arm!'" The dinner was comparatively private, in the Queen'sdining-room.

On the 8th of the month the whole royal party went on a little pilgrimageto Claremont and Twickenham, to the house in which Louis Philippe, as Ducd'Orleans, had resided, and wound up the day by a great banquet in St.George's Hall. The Queen records of this excursion, "We proceeded byStaines, where the King recognised the inn and everything, to Twickenham,where we drove up to the house where he used to live, and where Lord andLady Mornington, who received us, are now living. It is a very prettyhouse, much embellished since the King lived there, but otherwise much thesame, and he seemed greatly pleased to see it again. He walked round thegarden, in spite of the heavy shower which had just fallen…. The Kinghimself directed the postillion which way to go to pass by the house wherehe lived for five years with his poor brothers, before his marriage. Fromhere we drove to Hampton Court, where we walked over Wolsey's Hall and allthe rooms. The King remained a long time in them, looking at the pictures,and marking on the catalogue numbers of those which he intended to havecopied for Versailles. We then drove to Claremont. Here we got out andlunched, and after luncheon took a hurried walk in the grounds…. We leftClaremont after four, and reached Windsor at a little before six."

Of the conversation during the banquet her Majesty wrote, "He talked to meof the time when he was 'in a school in the Grisons, a teacher merely,'receiving twenty pence a day, having to brush his own boots, and under thename of Chabot. What an eventful life his has been!" On the 9th there wasan installation of a Knight of the Garter. Sir Theodore Martin reminds hisreaders, 'with regard to the ceremony, that it "must have been pregnantwith suggestions to all present who remembered that the Order had beeninstituted by Edward III. after the battle of Cressy, and that itsearliest knights were the Black Prince and his companions, whose prowesshad been so fatal to France. "In the Throne-room, in a State chair, satQueen Victoria, in the (blue velvet) mantle of the Order, its mottoinscribed on a bracelet that encircled her arm; a diamond tiara on herhead. The chair of State by her side was vacant. Round the table beforeher sat the knights-companions of the highest rank; on the steps of thethrone behind the Queen's chair were seated the high civil ministers ofthe two sovereigns, and some officers of the French suite. At theopposite end of the room were the royal ladies (members of the royalfamily) and the two young Princes (the Duc de Montpensier and PrinceEdward of Saxe-Weimar) visiting at the Castle…. The King, dressed in auniform of dark blue and gold, was introduced by Prince Albert and theDuke of Cambridge, preceded by Garter King-at-Arms, the Queen and theknights all standing. The sovereign (Queen Victoria) in French announcedthe election. The declaration having been pronounced by the Chancellor ofthe Order, the new knight was invested by the Queen and Prince Albert withthe Garter and the George, and received the accolade."

"Albert then placed the Garter round the King's leg," wrote the Queen. "Ipulled it through while the admonition was being read, and the King saidto me, 'I wish to kiss this hand,' which he did afterwards, and I embracedhim."

"Taking the King's arm, her Majesty conducted him in state to his ownapartments," the Annual Register ends its account of an interestingepisode.

"At four o'clock we again went over to the King's room," wrote the Queen,"and I placed at his feet a large cup representing St. George and thedragon, with which he was very much pleased." That night there was asplendid banquet in St. George's Hall to commemorate the installment.

On the 12th the King was to have left, but first the Corporation of Londonwent down to Windsor in civic state to present Louis Philippe with anaddress. This unusual compliment from the City was due partly to thegeneral satisfaction which the visit, with, its promise of continuedfriendly relations between England and France, gave to the whole country,partly to the circ*mstance that it was judged inadmissible, in view of thesusceptibility of the French nation, for the King of France to pay aformal visit to London, since the Queen of England, in her recent trip toTreport, had not gone to Paris. A somewhat comical contretempsoccurred in the preparation of the reply to this address. It was writtenby the person who usually acted for the King in such matters, and broughtto him shortly before the arrival of the Corporation, when Louis Philippefound to his disgust that the speech was so French in spirit, andexpressed in such bad English, he could not hope to make it understood."It is deplorable…. It is cruel," cried the mortified King. "And to sendit to me at one o'clock! They will be here immediately!" No time was to belost; the King had to sit down and, with the help of his host and hostess,who had come to his rooms opportunely, to write out a more suitableanswer.

In M. Guizot's "Memoirs" he tells a curious incident of this visit. Onretiring to his room at night he lost his way, and appeared to wander, asBaroness Bunsen feared she might do on a similar occasion, along miles ofcorridors and stairs. At last, believing he recognised his room-door, heturned the handle, but immediately withdrew, on getting a glimpse of alady seated at a toilet-table, with a maid busy about her mistress's hair.It was not till next day that from some smiling words addressed to him bythe Queen the horrified statesman discovered he had been guilty of aninvasion of the royal apartments.

Louis Philippe started on his homeward journey accompanied by her Majestyand Prince Albert, who were to go on board the Gomer and there takeleave of their guest. Afterwards they were to embark in the royal yachtand cross to the Isle of Wight. But the stormy weather overturned allthese plans. The swell in the sea was so great that it was feared the Kingcould not land at Treport. Eventually he parted from the Queen and thePrince on shore, returned in the evening to London, went to NewCross—where he found the station on fire—proceeded by train to Dover,and sailed next day, amidst wind and rain, in French steamer to Calais. Inorder to soften the disappointment to the officers and crew of theGomer, the Queen and Prince Albert breakfasted on board that vesselbefore they proceeded to the Isle of Wight.

The cause of the cruise of the Queen and the Prince at this season was thewish to see for themselves the house and grounds of Osborne, belonging toLady Isabella Blatchford. They were to be sold, and had been, suggested bySir Robert Peel to her Majesty and the Prince as exactly constituted toform the retired yet not too remote country and seaside home—not palace,for which the royal couple were looking out. It is unnecessary to say thatthe personal visit was quite satisfactory, though the purchase was notmade till some months later. The engraving gives a pleasant idea of theOsborne of to-day, with its double towers—seen out at sea—its terraces,and its fountains.

On the 21st of October the Queen and the Prince happened to be yachtingoff Portsmouth. It was the anniversary of the battle of Trafalgar, and theVictory lay in the roads, adorned with wreaths and garlands fromstem to stern. The Queen expressed her desire to visit the ship. She wentat once to the quarter-deck to see the spot where Nelson fell. It ismarked by a brass plate with an inscription, on this day surrounded by awreath of laurel. The Queen gazed in silence, the tears rising to hereyes. Then she plucked a couple of leaves from the laurel wreath, andasked to be shown the cabin in which Nelson died. The co*ckpit was lit upwhile the party were inspecting the poop of the Victory, whichbears the words of the great Admiral's last signal, "England expects everyman to do his duty." In the co*ckpit, long associated with merry,mischievous sprites of "middies," there had been for many a year therepresentation of a funeral urn, with the sentence, "Here Nelson died."The visitors looked at the spot without speaking. There, on this very dayin the fast-receding past, amidst the hardly subdued din of a great navalbattle, the dying hero with his failing breath made the brief, tenderappeal to his faithful captain, "Kiss me, Hardy." The Queen requested thatthere might be no firing when she left the ship, and was sped on her wayonly by "the three tremendous British cheers of the sailors manning theyards."

On the 28th of October the great civic ceremonies of the opening of thenew Royal Exchange by the Queen took place. The morning had been foggy,but cleared up into brilliant autumn sunshine, a happy instance of theQueen's weather, when a considerable part of the programme, as a matter ofnecessity, was enacted under the open sky.

Crowds almost as great as on the day of the Coronation six years beforeoccupied the line of route, swarming in St. James's Park and St. Paul'sChurchyard and at Charing Cross, while the Poultry—deriving its name fromthe circ*mstance that it was once filled with poulterers' shops—wasreserved for the Livery of the City Companies. Every window which couldcommand the passing of the pageant was filled with spectators. The Queen,in her State coach, drawn by her cream-coloured horses, drove through themarble arch at Buckingham Palace about eleven o'clock. She was accompaniedby Prince Albert, and attended by Lady Canning in the absence of theduch*ess of Buccleugh, Mistress of the Robes, and by the Earl of Jersey,Master of the Horse. The great officers of her Household in longprocession preceded her, and she was followed by an escort of Life Guards.At this time the Queen's popularity was a very active principle, thoughnot more heartfelt and abiding than it is to-day. As she appeared, it issaid the words "God bless you," uttered by some loyal subject, were caughtup and passed from lip to lip, running through the vast concourse. Thesimply-clad lady of the Highlands was magnificently dressed to-day, to dohonour to her City of London, in white satin and silver tissue, sparklingwith jewels. On her left side she wore the star of the Order of theGarter, and round her left arm the Garter itself, with the motto set indiamonds. She had at the back of her head a miniature crown entirelycomposed of brilliants, while above her forehead she wore a diamond tiara.Prince Albert was in the uniform of a colonel of artillery.

The City magnates as usual had gathered at Child's Bank, from which theywent to Temple Bar. The common councilmen were in their mazarine-bluecloaks and co*cked hats, the aldermen in their scarlet robes, the LordMayor in a robe of crimson velvet, with a collar of SS, and, strange tosay, a Spanish hat and feather. In truth a goodly show. The gates ofTemple Bar, which had been previously closed, were thrown open to admitthe royal procession. The Queen's carriage drew up. The Lord Mayoradvanced on foot before the spikes on which many a traitor's head had beenstuck, and with a profound reverence offered to her Majesty the Citysword, which, the Queen touched as a sign of acceptance, and then waved itback to the Lord Mayor. Nothing can read better, but accidents willhappen.

From Lady Bloomfield, on the authority of the late Sir Robert Peel, whotold the story in the maid-of-honour's hearing, we have additionalparticulars. The Lord Mayor, in his Spanish hat and feather, was at thisvery moment in as awkward a predicament as ever befell an unlucky chiefmagistrate. He had drawn on a pair of jack-boots over his shoes andstockings, to keep the mud off till the moment of action. Unfortunatelythe boots proved too tight, and could not be got off when the sign wasgiven that the Queen was coming. One of the victim's spurs caught in thefur trimming of an alderman's robe, and rendered the confusion worse. TheLord Mayor stood with a leg out, and several men tugging at his boot. Inthe meantime the Queen was coming nearer and nearer; she was only a fewpaces off, while the representative of her good City of London struggledin an agony with one boot on and one off. At last he became besidehimself, and cried wildly, "For God's sake put that boot on again." Heonly got it on in time to make his obeisance to her Majesty. He had towear the detestable boots till the banquet; just before it, he wassuccessfully stripped of his encumbrances.

As the procession went on, the civic body fell into its place, the Lord
Mayor on horseback, where his jack-boots would not look amiss, with three
footmen in livery on each side of him, carrying the City sword before the
Queen's coach.

The Royal Exchange, at the end of the Poultry, with the Mansion House onthe right and the Bank of England on the left, has been twice burnt. SirThomas Gresham's Exchange, which was built after an Antwerp model, whileit bore the Greshams' grasshopper crest conspicuous on the front, wasopened by good Queen Bess, and perished in the Great Fire of London. Thisbuilding's successor was burnt down in 1838, one of the bells which rangtunes pealing forth, in the middle of the fire, the only too appropriatemelody, "There's nae luck about the house." In the large cloistered courtof the present Royal Exchange, the stage of this day's festivities, standsa statue of Queen Victoria. There is an allegorical figure of Commerce onthe front of the building. The inscription on the pedestal, selected byDean Milman, is due to a suggestion of Prince Albert's to the sculptor,Westmacott, that there should be the recognition of a superior Power. Thewell-chosen words declare "The earth is the Lord's and the fullnessthereof."

At the Royal Exchange the body of the procession went in by the northernentrance, only to hurry to the western door to receive the Queen. Sheentered the building leaning on the arm of Prince Albert, and the royalstandard was immediately hoisted. The procession was again formed. Sheset forth "in slow State" to make her circuit of the roofless quadrangle,round the corridor and through the inner court, all in the open air. Atthe foot of the campanile the bells chimed for the first time "God savethe Queen." Her Majesty went upstairs and passed through the secondbanqueting-room to show herself, then walked on to the throne-room, hungwith crimson velvet and cloth, and furnished with a throne of crimsonvelvet. The Queen took her seat, Prince Albert standing on her right andthe duch*ess of Kent and the Duke of Cambridge on her left, Sir Robert Peeland Sir James Graham being near. The Lord Mayor and the rest of theCorporation formed a semicircle facing the Queen. The Recorder read theloyal and congratulatory address welcoming his sovereign, and recallingQueen Elizabeth's visit to open the first Exchange. Did anybody rememberthe picture of the Virgin Queen with the outshone goddesses fleeingabashed before her virtues, with which the child-princess reared atKensington must have been familiar?

The speaker concluded by asking her Majesty's "favourable regard andsanction for the work which her loyal citizens of London had nowcompleted." The Queen returned a gracious reply, gave the Lord Mayor herhand to kiss, and doubtless consoled him for any misadventure byannouncing her intention to create him a baronet in remembrance of theday.

In the great room of the underwriters, ninety-eight feet long by fortywide, a dejeuner was served, at which the Queen, the Prince, theduch*ess of Kent, and the Duke and duch*ess of Cambridge, with other personsof rank, including the foreign ambassadors and their wives, sat on thedais at the cross-table. At the long table beneath the dais, among theCabinet ministers and their wives, members of Parliament, judges, theCourt of Aldermen, and many other distinguished and privileged persons,sat Sir Robert and Lady Sale, in another scene than any they had knownamong the defiles and forts of Afghanistan. The Bishop of London saidgrace. The usual toasts, "Her gracious Majesty, Queen Victoria"—no longerthe young girl who bore her part so well at the Guildhall dinner, but thewoman in her flower, endowed with all which makes life precious—"PrinceAlbert, the Prince of Wales, and the rest of the royal family," weredrunk, and replied to by the comprehensive wish, "Prosperity to the Cityof London."

At twenty minutes after two the Queen and the Prince went downstairs againto the quadrangle, in the centre of which her Majesty stopped, while theMinisters and the Corporation formed a circle round her. The heralds madeproclamation and commanded silence; the Queen, after receiving a slip ofpaper from Sir James Graham, announced in clear, distinct tones, "It is myroyal will and pleasure that this building be hereafter called "The RoyalExchange." This ceremony concluded the day's programme, and her Majestyleft shortly afterwards. Great festivities in the City wound up the gala.The Lord Mayor entertained at the Mansion House, the Lady Mayoress gave aball, the Livery Companies dined in their respective halls.

A little adventure occurred at the Opera in November, 1844. The Queenwent, not in State, or even semi-state, but privately, to hear Auber'sopera of "The Siren," when Mr. Bunn, the lessee, was found to have madeknown without authority her Majesty's intention. The result was a greathouse, but some inconvenience to the first lady in the land. The Queen wascalled for, but declined to come forward, and for ten minutes there was acommotion, the audience refusing to let the opera go on. At last theNational Anthem was played, the Queen showed herself, and this section ofher subjects was appeased and passed from clamorous discontent to equallyclamorous satisfaction.

During the winter Sir Robert and Lady Sale paid the Queen a visit atWindsor, while Miss Liddell was maid-of-honour in waiting. The livelynarrator of the events of these days describes Lady Sale, as tall, thin,and rather plain, but with a good countenance, while Sir Robert was stout.Lady Sale told these wondering listeners, in a palace that she startedfrom Cabul in a cloth habit, which got wet the first day, and became likea sheet of ice, while it was nine days before she could take it off. Shewas wounded in the arm on the second day's march, the ball passing firstbelow the elbow and coming out at the wrist, while there were other ballswhich passed through her habit; Mrs. Sturt's fatherless child, LadySales's grand-daughter, was born in a small room without light and almostwithout air. The captive ladies often slept in the open air on the snow,with the help of sheepskins, half of which were under and half over thesleepers. They washed their clothes by dipping them in the rivers andpatting the garments till they became dry. Sometimes the prisoners weretwenty-four hours without food, and when served it consisted of dishes ofrice with sheeps' tails in the middle, and melted fat like tallow pouredover them. The captivity lasted ten weary months, while the captives weredragged from place to place, over fearful roads, amidst the snows of theCaucasus. Lady Sale was told she was kept by Akbar Khan as a hold on her"devil of a husband."

END OF VOL. I.

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Life of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen — Volume 1 (2024)
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