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me. My mind is quite made up, and I told Albert this morning of it. The warm affection he showed me on learning this gave me great pleasure. He seems perfection, and I think that I have the prospect of very great happiness before me. I love him more than I can say, and shall do everything in my power to render this sacrifice (for such in my opinion it is) as small as I can. He seems to have great tact, a very necessary thing in his position. These last few days have passed like a dream to me, and I am so much bewildered by it all that I know hardly how to write; but I do feel very happy. It is absolutely necessary that this determination of mine should be known to no one but yourself and to Uncle Ernest until after the meeting of Parliament, as it would be considered, otherwise, neglectful on my part not to have assembled Parliament at once to inform them of it.

'Lord Melbourne, whom I have of course consulted about the whole affair, quite approves my choice, and expresses great satisfaction at this event, which he thinks in every way desirable.

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, and Albert quite approves of it, that we should be married very soon after Parliament meets, about the beginning of February.

'Pray, dearest Uncle, forward these two letters to Uncle Ernest, to whom I beg you will enjoin strict secrecy, and explain these details, which I have not time to do, and to faithful Stockmar. I think you might tell Louise of it, but none of her family.

'I wish to keep the dear young gentlemen here till the end of next month. Ernest's sincere pleasure gives me great delight. He does so adore dearest Albert.-Ever, dearest Uncle, your devoted Niece,

'V. R.-P. 227.

To this artless expression of feeling the King replied that the Queen's choice had been for years his conviction of what would be best for her happiness:

'In your position, which may and will perhaps become in future even more difficult in a political point of view, you could not exist without having a happy and agreeable intérieur. And I am much deceived (which I think I am not) or you will find in Albert just the very qualities and disposition which are indispensable for your happiness, and which will suit your own character, temper, and mode of life.

'You say most amiably that you consider it a sacrifice on the part of Albert. This is true in many points, because his position will be a difficult one; but much, I may say all, will depend on your affection for him. If you love him, and are kind to him, he will easily bear the bothers of his position, and is a steadiness, and at the same time a cheerfulness in his character, which will facilitate this.'

The Prince is happy, but it is contrary to his nature to be exultant. His was a temper to embrace at once all the points of a new situation. He has gained the object of his hopes; the future spreads out bright before him; but simultaneously he realises the parting from all home and family associations, and an instant keenness. His first letter is addressed to his grandmother the Duchess Dowager of Saxe Gotha, with cautions to keep the news secret for the present :

'DEAR GRANDMAMMA,-I tremble as I take up my pen, for I cannot but fear that what I am about to tell you will at the same time raise a thought

which cannot be otherwise than painful to you, and, oh! which is very much so to me also-namely, that of parting. The subject which has occupied

us so much of late is at last settled.

'The Queen sent for me alone to her room a few days ago, and declared to me in a genuine outburst of love and affection (Ergusse von Herzlichkeit und Liebe) that I had gained her whole heart, and would make her intensely happy (überglücklich) if I would make her the sacrifice of sharing her life with her; for she said she looked on it as a sacrifice; the only thing which troubled her was that she did not think she was worthy of me. The joyous openness of manner in which she told me this quite enchanted me, and I was quite carried away by it. She is really most good and amiable, and I am quite sure Heaven has not given me into evil hands, and that we shall be happy together.

'Since that moment Victoria does whatever she fancies I should wish or like, and we talk together a great deal about our future life, which she promises me to make as happy as possible. Oh, the future! does it not bring with it the moment when I shall have to take leave of my dear, dear home, and of you?

'I cannot think of that without deep melancholy taking possession of me.

'It was on the 15th of October that Victoria made me this declaration, and I have hitherto shrunk from telling you; but how does delay make it better?

"The period of our marriage is already close at hand. The Queen and the Ministers wish exceedingly that it should take place in the first days of February, in which I acquiesced, after hearing their reasons for it.

'We have, therefore, fixed our departure for the 14th inst., so as to have still as much time as possible at home. We shall therefore follow close upon this letter.

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My position here will be very pleasant, inasmuch as I have refused all the offered titles. I keep my own name, and remain what I was. This

will make me very independent, and makes it easy for me to run over Occasionally (einen Sprung nach der Heimath zu machen) to see all my dear relations.

'But it is very painful to know that there will be the sea between us. 'I now take leave of you again. Victoria is writing to you herself to tell you all she wishes.

'I ask you to give me your grandmotherly blessing in this important and decisive step in my life; it will be a talisman to me against all the storms the future may have in store for me.

'Good-by, dear grandmamma, and do not take your love from me. 'Heaven will make all things right.

'Always and ever your devoted grandson,

'Windsor, Nov. 11, 1839.'--P. 239.


His letter to Baron Stockmar on the same occasion is as wise and as free from the flurry and intoxication of youth under new and brilliant circumstances, as the one we have quoted, while it shows in what an extraordinary degree he was adapted for the position to which Providence called him :

'DEAR BARON STOCKMAR,-A thousand thousand thanks for your dear, kind letters. I thought you would surely take much interest in an event which is so important for me, and which you yourself prepared.

'Your prophecy is fulfilled. The event has come upon us by surprise,

sooner than we could have expected; and I now doubly regret that I have lost the last summer, which I might have employed in many useful preparations, in deference to the wishes of relations, and to the opposition of those who influenced the disposal of my life.

'I have laid to heart your friendly and kind-hearted advice as to the true foundation on which my future happiness must rest, and it agrees entirely with the principles of action which I had already privately framed for myself. An individuality (personlichkeit), a character, which shall win the respect, the love, and the confidence of the Queen and of the nation must be the groundwork of my position. This individuality gives security for the disposition which prompts the actions; and even should mistakes occur, they will be more easily pardoned on account of that personal character; while even the most noble and beautiful undertakings fail in procuring support to a man who is not capable of inspiring that confidence. 'If, therefore, I prove a "noble" Prince in the true sense of the word, as you call upon me to be, wise and prudent conduct will become easier to me, and its results more rich in blessing.

I will not let my courage fail. With firm resolution and true zeal on my part, I cannot fail to continue "noble, manly, and princely" in all things. In what I may do good advice is the first thing necessary; and that you can give better than any one, if you can only make up your mind to sacrifice your time to me for the first year of my existence here.

'I have still much to say to you, but must conclude, as the courier cannot wait longer. I hope, however, to discuss the subject more fully with you by word of mouth at Wiesbaden. Hoping that I shall then find you well and hearty, I remain yours truly,

-P. 235.

Truly admirable as these letters are, we naturally look for the lighter touches that must impart a legitimate gaiety to this most important event of life. These the Queen's own pen indulges us with, and a real indulgence we feel it. What a bright animated sense of happiness sheds itself over the following account of a review, extracted from the Queen's diary, in spite of the horrid day :'.

'At ten minutes to twelve, I set off in my Windsor uniform and cape, upon my old charger "Leopold," with my beloved Albert, looking so handsome in his uniform, on my right, and Sir John Macdonald, the Adjutant-General, on my left, Colonel Grey and Colonel Wemyss preceding me; a guard of honour, my other gentlemen, my cousin's gentlemen, Lady Caroline Barrington, &c. -for the ground.

'A horrid day! Cold-dreadfully blowing-and in addition raining hard when we had been out a few minutes. It, however, ceased when we came to the 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 saw the troops march past. They afterwards manoeuvred. The Rifles looked beautiful. It was piercingly cold, and I had my cape on, which dearest Albert settled comfortably for me. He was so cold, being en grande tenue, with high boots. We cantered home again, and went to show ourselves to poor Ernest, who had seen all from a window.-P. 234. And the same spirit had charmed the beloved grandmamma, who writes

'God be thanked that he feels painfully the separation from us. He seems also very happy. God keep him so! The little Queen has written

me a charming letter indeed, in which she does not express herself as a queen but as a very happy bride, and full of grateful feelings towards Albert, that he will share her fate. I am really touched that she remembered me.' -P. 242.

On bis return after the betrothal, Leopold reports what the seriousness of the Prince's own style scarcely allows to transpire :

'The young people arrived here only on the morning of the 20th, having very kindly stopped at Bonn. I find them looking well, particularly Albert. It proves that happiness is an excellent remedy, and keeps people in better health than any other. He is much attached to you, and modest when speaking of you, is besides in great spirits, full of gaiety and fun. He is a very amiable companion,'

Among the engaging parts of this singularly interesting story is the instant confiding intimacy of intercourse between the lovers. The young Queen, accustomed to homage, seems to value above all things her lover's making her the confidante of his regrets. After the marriage the journal is again quoted :

'A fortnight or more after, on the 28th, the Duke of Coburg left England. This separation from his father was deeply felt by the Prince. "He said to me," the Queen records in her Journal, “that I had never known a father, and could not therefore feel what he did. His childhood had been very happy. Ernest, he said, was now the only one remaining here of all his earliest ties and recollections; but that if I continued to love him as I did now, I could make up for all. He never cried, he said, in general, but Alvensleben and Kolowrath (they had accompanied the Duke to England, and now left with him) had cried so much that he was quite overcome. Oh, how I did feel for my dearest, precious husband at this moment! Father, brother, friends, country-all has he left, and left for me. God grant that I may be the happy person, the most happy person, to make this dearest, blessed being happy and contented! What is in my power to make him happy I will do."—P. 312.

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And, again, a fortnight later, after his parting from his brother, where she seeks him out and finds him as pale as a sheet;' and he, knowing that upon her he may rely for sympathy, says, 'Such things are hard to bear.' Surely,' it is added, no man was ever endowed with a stronger feeling of love for all the recollections and associations of his youth, and of his native place.' Thus in his love of laying out grounds he had always in his memory some familiar scene, and the Queen likes to record that a skittle-ground at Buckingham Palace was made in memory of his boyhood's favourite game; and deer-stalking is mentioned as the only sport to which he had any strong liking, which may have most reminded him (though our sportsmen would say, with very marked difference in his favour) of the stag-hunts, for which Coburg was at one time notorious.

This clinging to early associations is the mark of a strong and amiable character, but it may have had the necessary drawback in this case of preventing the Prince always recognising what was distinguishingly excellent in our institutions. We must, for instance, infer as we read, a lifelong preference for the religious forms in which he was educated, to a degree which may have prevented his ever cordially entering into, or perhaps comprehending, the spirit and the services of our National Church. That religion was a deeply actuating principle we did not need the following testimony to assure us, which is written on occasion of his Confirmation, at sixteen, with his brother :—

"The profession now made by the Prince he held fast through life. His was no lip-service; his faith was essentially one of the heart-a real and living faith, giving a colour to his whole life. Deeply imbued with a conviction of the great truths of Christianity, his religion went far beyond mere forms, to which, indeed, he attached no especial importance. It was not a thing to be taken up and ostentatiously displayed with almost pharisaical observance on certain days, or at certain seasons, or on certain formal occasions. It was part of himself. It was engrafted on his very nature, and pervaded his every-day life. In his every action the spirit-as distinguished from the letter-the spirit and essence of Christianity, was his constant and unerring guide.'-P. 118.

But somehow we get to suspect-we can scarcely say upon what reasons that the Court religion of England under the Prince's influence was of a hazy and mystic character, the influence of which not unfrequently displays itself from time to time.

Both in this strictness, and in the licence of his education, we recognise the German influence. Thus the narrative tells us that in boyhood Sunday was especially chosen as the day for games with a knot of chosen young companions. While his practice with the Queen was to seclude himself with her in strict privacy on every occasion before receiving the Holy Communion-a system which, however excellent in sound, has the danger in practice of leading to a rare reception.

We could, we own, have wished that less space had been devoted to the question of the Prince's annuity. It is painful to learn how acutely the young Queen felt what she regarded as a slight, not only on herself, but on the object of her affection, by this national fit of economy. Without entering into the question here, we can only say that the Prince, by the prudent management of his income, proved the sum as sufficient as the Opposition of the day thought it, and that no increase of income could have added anything to the prestige which his high character and distinguished abilities secured him. At the time, however, we learn that the news of the defeat of ministers, received on his state journey to England,

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