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The next sensation in connection with the Court was the discovery of the
famous "boy Jones" in Buckingham Palace. This singular young personage
was by no means a stranger in the Palace. He had made himself very
familiar with, and at home in that august mansion, about two years
before. He was then arrested, and had lived an exceedingly retired life
ever since. On that first occasion he was discovered by one of the
porters, very early one morning, leisurely surveying one of the
apartments. He was caught and searched; nothing of any consequence was
found on him, but in a hall was a bundle, evidently made up by him,
containing such incongruous articles as old letters, a sword, and a pot
of bear's grease. He had he appearance of a sweep, being very sooty, but
disclaimed the chimney-cleaning profession. He had occupied, for a while,
the vacant room of one of the Equerries, leaving in the bed the impress
of his sooty figure. He declared that he had not entered the Palace for
the purpose of theft, but only to gratify his curiosity, as to how royal
people and "great swells" like royal footmen, lived. The young rascal's
examination before the Magistrate caused much amusement. In answer to
questions, he admitted, or boasted that he had been in the Palace
previously, and for days at a time--in fact, had "put up" there--adding,
"And a very comfortable place I found it. I used to hide behind the
furniture and up the chimneys, in the day-time; when night came, I walked
about, went into the kitchen, and got my food, I have seen the Queen and
her ministers in Council, and heard all they had to say."

Magistrate: "Do you mean to say you have worn but one shirt all the
time?"

Prisoner: "Yes; when it was dirty, I washed it out in the kitchen. The
apartment I like best is the drawing-room."

Magistrate: "You are a sweep, are you?"

Prisoner: "Oh, no; it's only my face and hands that are dirty; that's
from sleeping in the chimneys.... I know my way all over the Palace, and
have been all over it, the Queen's apartments and all. The Queen is very
fond of politics."

He was such an amusing vagabond, with his jolly ways and boundless
impudence, and so young, that no very serious punishment was then meted
out to him, nor even on his second "intrusion," as it was mildly
denominated, when he was found crouched in a recess, dragged forth, and
taken to the police-station. This time he said he had hidden under a sofa
in one of the Queen's private apartments, and had listened to a long
conversation between her and Prince Albert. He was sent to the House of
Correction for a few months, in the hope of curing him of his "Palace-
breaking mania"; but immediately on his liberation, he was found prowling
about the Palace, drawing nearer and nearer, as though it had been built
of loadstone. But finally he was induced to go to Australia, where, it is
said, he grew up to be a well-to-do colonist. Perhaps he met the house-
painter Oxford there, and they used to talk over their exploits and
explorations together, after the manner of heroes and adventurers, from
the time of Ulysses and ├ćneas. We can imagine the man Jones being
a particularly entertaining boon companion, with his reminiscences of
high life, not only below, but above stairs, in Buckingham Palace. That
he ever made an entrance into those august precincts, and was so long
undiscovered, certainly speaks not well for the police and domestic
arrangements of the household; and it is little wonder that Baron
Stockmar was finally sent for to suggest some plan for the better
regulation of matters in both the great royal residences. And he did work
wonders,--though mostly by inspiring others, the proper officers, to
work. This extraordinary man seemed to have a genius for order,
discipline, economy, and dispatch. He found the palaces grand
"circumlocution offices,"--with, in all the departments, an entangling
network of red-tape, which needed to be swept away like cobwebs. He
himself entered the Royal Nursery finally with the besom of reform. It is
said in his "Memoirs"--"The organization and superintendence of the
children's department occupied a considerable portion of Stockmar's
time"; and he wrote, "The Nursery gives me more trouble than the
government of a King would do." Very likely the English nurses and maids
questioned among themselves the right of an old German doctor to meddle
with their affairs, and dictate what an English Princess Royal should
eat, drink, and wear; but they lived to see the Baron's care and skill
make of a delicate child--"a pretty, pale, erect little creature," as she
is described, a ruddy and robust little girl, of whom the Baron wrote:
"She is as round as a little barrel"; of whom the mother wrote: "Pussy's
cheeks are on the point of bursting, they have grown so red and plump."

After the domestic reforms in the Palace, no such adventure could have
happened to a guest as that recorded by M. Guizot, who having been unable
to summon a servant to conduct him to his room at night, wandered about
the halls like poor Mr. Pickwick at the inn, and actually blundered into
Her Majesty's own dressing-room. The boy Jones, too, had had his day.

At the very time of the "intrusions" into Buckingham Palace, there was in
London another young man, with a "mania for Palace-breaking," of a
somewhat different sort. He, too, was "without visible means of support,"
but nobody called him a vagabond, or a burglar, but only an adventurer,
or a "pretender." He had his eye particularly on Royal Windsor, and once
a cruel hoax was played off upon him, in the shape of a forged invitation
to one of the Queen's grand entertainments at the Castle. He got himself
up in Court costume, with the aid of a friend, and went, to be told by
the royal porter that his name was not down on the list, and afterwards
by a higher officer of the household that really there must be some
mistake, for Her Majesty had not the honor of knowing him, so could not
receive him. We shall see how it was when he came again, nine or ten
years later.

But after all, the French royal palaces were more to this young man's
taste, for he was French. He longed to break into the Tuileries--not to
hide behind, or under any furniture, but to sit on the grandest piece of
furniture there. He had a strange longing for St. Cloud, and
Fontainebleau, and even stately Versailles. Said of him one English
statesman to another, "Did you ever know such a fool as that fellow is?
Why, he really believes he will yet be Emperor of France."

That "fellow" was Louis Napoleon Bonaparte.

In August of this year, the Whig Ministry finding themselves a minority
in the new Parliament, resigned, and a Conservative one was formed, with
Sir Robert Peel as Premier. It came hard for the Queen to part with her
favorite Minister and faithful friend, Lord Melbourne, but she soon
became reconciled to his Tory successor, and things went on very
harmoniously. The benign influence and prudent counsels of Prince Albert,
with some lessons of experience, and much study of her constitutional
restrictions, as well as obligations, had greatly modified Her Majesty's
strong partisan prejudices, and any proclivities she may have had toward
personal and irresponsible government.

One great thing in favor of the new Minister, was that he thoroughly
appreciated Prince Albert. One of his early acts was to propose a Fine
Arts Commission--having for its chief, immediate object, the
superintendence of the artistic work on the new Houses of Parliament.
This was formed--composed of some of the most eminent artists and
connaisseurs in the kingdom, and Prince Albert was the chairman.
He used to speak of this as his "initiation into public life." The Queen
rejoiced in it, as in every stage of her husband's advance--which it is
only just to say was the advance of the liberal arts in England, as well
as of social and political reforms. I believe it is not generally known
that to the humane influence of the Prince-Consort with the Duke of
Wellington, was owing the new military regulation which finally put an
end to duelling in the English army. Lord, keep his memory green!

The second year of the Queen's marriage wore on to November, and again
the Archbishops and Bishops, the statesmen and "Medicine men," the good
mother-in-law, and the nurses were summoned by the anxious Prince to
Buckingham Palace. This time it was a boy, and the holy men and wise men
felt that they had not come out so early in the morning and waited four
hours in an ante-room for nothing. Prince Albert was overjoyed. Everybody
at the Palace was wild with delight, so wild that there was great
confusion. Messengers were dispatched right and left to royal relatives.
It is said that no less than three arrived within as many minutes, at
Marlborough House, to acquaint the Queen Dowager of the happy event. As
they came in breathless, one after another, Her Majesty might have
supposed that Victoria and Albert had been blessed with triplets. The
biggest guns boomed the glad tidings over London,--the Privy Council
assembled to consider a form of prayer and thanksgiving, to relieve the
overcharged hearts of the people; the bells in all the churches rang
joyous peals. So was little Albert Edward ushered into the kingdom he is
to rule in God's own time.

No such ado was made over the seven brothers and sisters who came after;
but they were made welcome and comfortable, as, alas! few children can be
made, even by loving hearts and willing hands. The Queen may have thought
of this, and of what a sorry chance some poor little human creatures
have, from the beginning, for she did a beautiful thing on this occasion.
She notified the Home Secretary that all those convicts who had behaved
well, should have their punishment commuted, and that those deserving
clemency, on the horrible prison-hulks, should have their liberty at
once. She had a right to be happy, and that she was happy, a beautiful
picture in her journal shows:

"Albert brought in dearest little Pussy, in such a smart, white morino
dress, trimmed with blue, which mama had given her, and a pretty cap, and
placed her on my bed, seating himself next to her, and she was very dear
and good, and as my precious invaluable Albert sat there, and our little
love between us, I felt quite moved with happiness and gratitude to
God.".

The next month she wrote from Windsor Castle to her Uncle Leopold: "I
wonder very much whom our little boy will be like. You will understand
how fervent are my prayers, and I am sure everybody's must be, to see him
resemble his father, in every respect, both in mind and body." Later
still she writes: "We all have our trials and vexations--but if one's
home is happy, then the rest is comparatively nothing."

They had an unusually merry Christmas-time at Windsor, and they danced
into the new year, in the old English style--only varying it by a very
poetic and impressive German custom. As the clock struck twelve, a
flourish of trumpets was blown.

The Prince of Wales was christened in the Royal Chapel, at Windsor, with
the greatest state and splendor, King Frederick William of Prussia, who
had come over for the purpose, standing as chief sponsor. Then followed
all sorts of grand festivities and parades--both at Windsor and in
London. The Queen did honor to her "brother of Prussia" in every possible
way--in banquets and balls, in proroguing Parliament, in holding a
Chapter of the Garter, and investing him with the splendid insignia of
the Order, and in having a grand inspection for him, of "Prince Albert's
Own Hussars," he being a little in the military line himself.

Among the suite of the Prussian King was Baron Alexander Von Humboldt.
The great savant was treated by the Queen and the Prince with
distinguished consideration, then and ever after. The Prince, on hearing
of his death in 1859, wrote to the Crown Princess: "What a loss is the
excellent Humboldt! You and Berlin will miss him greatly. People of this
kind do not grow on every bush, and they are the glory and the grace of a
country and a century." When the Baron's private correspondence was
published, and found to contain certain slurs and sarcasms regarding him,
and, as he affirmed, misrepresentations--probably based on
misunderstandings of his political opinions--the Prince showed no
resentment, though he must have been wounded. I know nothing more
sensible and charitable in all his admirable private writings, than his
few words on this unpleasant incident. He says: "The matter is really of
no consequence, for what does not one write or say to his intimate
friends, under the impulse of the moment. But the publication is a great
indiscretion. How many deadly enemies may be made if publicity be given
to what one man has said of another, or perhaps has not said!"

But what does it matter to the dead, how many "deadly enemies" are made?
They have us at unfair advantage. We may deny, we may cry out, but we
cannot make them apologize, or retract, or modify the cruel sarcasm, or
more cruel ridicule. They seem to stealthily open the door of the tomb,
to shoot Parthian arrows at the very mourners who have just piled wreaths
before it. Carlyle fired a perfect mitrailleuse from his grave.
The Prince's English biographer calls the Humboldt publication
"scandalous." Yet the English, who sternly condemn the most kindly
personalities of living authors (especially American authors), seem to
have rather a relish for these peppery posthumous revelations of genius,
--often saddening post-mortem exhibitions of its own moral weaknesses and
disease. No great English author dies nowadays, without his most
attached, faithful and familiar friends being in mortal terror lest they
be found spitted on the sharp shafts of his, or worse, her satire.

During those Windsor festivities, the little Prince of Wales was shown to
the people at an upper window and pronounced satisfactory. A Court lady
described him at the time, as "the most magnificent baby in the Kingdom."
And perhaps he was. He was fair and plump, with pleasant blue eyes. It
seems to me that after all the years, he must look to-day, with his
fresh, open face, a good deal as he did on the day when his nurse dandled
him at the Castle window. He still has the fairness, the plumpness, the
pleasant blue eyes. It is true he has not very abundant hair now, but he
had not much then.

Tytler, the historian, gives a charming picture of him. as he appeared
some two years later. He was waiting one morning in the corridor at
Windsor with others to see the Queen, who came in bowing most graciously,
and having by the hand the Prince of Wales, "trotting on, looking happy
and merry." When she came to where Mr. Tytler stood, and saw him "bowing
and looking delightedly" at the little Prince and her, she bowed and said
to the little boy, "Make a bow, sir!" "When the Queen said this, the Duke
of Cambridge and the rest stood still, and the little Prince, walking
straight up to me, made a bow, smiling all the while, and holding out his
hand, which I immediately took, and bowing low, kissed it." The Queen, he
added, "smiled affectionately on the little Prince, for the gracious way
in which he deported himself."





Next: The Queen's First Visit To Scotland

Previous: Death Passes By



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