Sixty-three Years Since

The 24th of May, 1819, was a memorable and happy day for England, though

like many such days, it was little noticed at the time. Sixty-three years

since! Do many of us quite realise what England was like then; how much

it differed from the England of to-day, even though some of us have lived

as many years? It is worth while devoting a chapter to an attempt to

recall that England.

A famous novel had for its second heading, "'Tis sixty years since." That

novel--"Waverley"--was published anonymously just five years before 1819,

and, we need not say, proved an era in literature. The sixty years behind

him 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, and

the brief romantic campaign of the '45, with the Jacobite songs which

embalmed it and kept it fresh in Scotch memories.

The wounds dealt at Waterloo still throbbed and burnt on occasions in

1819. Many a scarred veteran and limping subaltern continued the heroes

of remote towns and villages, or starred it at Bath or Tunbridge. The

warlike fever, which had so long raged in the country, even when ruined

manufacturers and starving mechanics were praying for peace or leading

bread-riots, had but partially abated; because whatever wrong to trade,

and misery to the poor, closed ports and war prices might have meant, the

people still depended upon their armed defenders, and in the hardest

adversity found the heart to share their triumphs, to illuminate cities,

light bonfires, cheer lustily, and not grudge parliamentary grants to the

country's protectors. The "Eagle" was caged on his rock in the ocean, to

eat his heart out in less than half-a-dozen years. Still there was no

saying what might happen, and the sight of a red coat and a sword

remained cheering--especially to soft hearts.

The commercial world was slowly recovering from its dire distress, but

its weavers and mechanics were blazing up into fierce, futile struggle

with the powers by which masses of the people believed themselves

oppressed. If the men of war had no longer anything to do abroad, there

was great fear that work might be found for them at home. All Europe was

looking on in the expectation that England was about to follow the

example of France, and indulge in a revolution on its own account--not

bloodless this time.

Rarely since the wars of the Commonwealth had high treason been so much

in men's mouths as it was in Great Britain during this and the following

year. Sedition smouldered and burst into flame--not in one place alone,

but at every point of the compass. The mischief was not confined to a

single class; it prevailed mostly among the starving operatives, but it

also fired minds of quite another calibre. Rash, generous spirits in

every rank became affected, especially after an encounter between the

blinded, maddened mobs and the military, when dragoons and yeomanry

charged with drawn swords, and women and children went down under the

horses' hoofs. Great riotous meetings were dispersed by force at

Manchester, Birmingham, Paisley. Political trials went on at every

assize. Bands of men lay in York, Lancaster, and Warwick gaols. At

Stockport Sir Charles Wolseley told a crowd armed with bludgeons that he

had been in Paris at the beginning of the French Revolution, that he was

the first man who made a kick at the Bastille, and that he hoped he

should be present at the demolition of another Bastille.

On the 22nd of August, 1819, Sir Francis Burdett wrote to his electors at

Westminster: "....It seems our fathers were not such fools as some would

make us believe in opposing the establishment of a standing army and

sending King William's Dutch guards out of the country. Yet would to

heaven they had been Dutchmen, or Switzers, or Russians, or Hanoverians,

or anything rather than Englishmen who have done such deeds. What! kill

men unarmed, unresisting; and, gracious God! women too, disfigured,

maimed, cut down, and trampled on by dragoons! Is this England? This a

Christian 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 imprisoned

for three months in the Marshalsea of the Court. In the Cato Street

conspiracy the notorious Arthur Thistlewood and his fellow-conspirators

planned to assassinate the whole of the Cabinet Ministers when they were

dining at Lord Harrowby's house, in Grosvenor Square. Forgery and

sheep-stealing were still punishable by death. Truly these were times of

trouble in England.

In London a serious difficulty presented itself when Queen Charlotte grew

old and ailing, and there was no royal lady, not merely to hold a

Drawing-room, but to lend the necessary touch of dignity and decorum to

the gaieties of the season. The exigency lent a new impetus to the famous

balls at Almack's. An anonymous novel of the day, full of society scandal

and satire, described the despotic sway of the lady patronesses, the

struggles and intrigues for vouchers, and the distinguished crowd when

the object was obtained. The earlier hours, alas! only gave longer time

for the drinking habits of the Regency.

It is a little difficult to understand what young people did with

themselves in the country when lawn-tennis and croquet were not. There

was archery for the few, and a good deal more amateur gardening and

walking, with field-sports, of course, for the lads.

The theatre in 1819 was more popular than it showed itself twenty years

later. Every country town of any pretensions, in addition to its assembly

rooms had its theatre, which reared good actors, to which provincial

tours 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 was

making a success, and Macready was already distinguished in his

profession. Still the excellence and prestige of the stage had declined

incontestably since the days of Mrs. Siddons and John Kemble. Edmund

Kean, though he did much for tragedy, had a short time to do it in, and

was not equal in his passion of genius to the sustained majesty of the

sister and brother.

In the same way, the painters' art hovered on the borders of a brilliant

epoch. For Lawrence, with his courtly brush, which preferred flattery to

truth and cloying suavity to noble simplicity, was not worthy to be named

in the same breath with Reynolds. Raeburn came nearer, but his reputation

was Scotch. Blake in his inspiration was regarded, not without reason, as

a madman. Flaxman called for classic taste to appreciate him; and the

fame of English art would have suffered both at home and abroad if a

simple, manly lad had not quitted a Scotch manse and sailed from Leith to

London, bringing with him indelible memories of the humour and the pathos

of 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 signifies

that a phase in some department of the world's history has passed away as

a day is done, and a new development of human experience is about to

present itself, was over in literature. The romantic period had succeeded

the classic. Scott, Coleridge, Southey (Wordsworth stands alone), Byron,

Shelley, Keats, Campbell, Moore, were all in the field as poets, carrying

the 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, and

still higher as a novelist.

A great start in periodical literature was made in 1802 by the

establishment of The Edinburgh Review, under Jeffrey and Sydney

Smith, 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, Charles

Knight, was still editing The Windsor and Eton Express.

In 1819 Sir Humphry Davy was the most popular exponent of science, Sir

James Mackintosh of philosophy. In politics, above the thunderstorm of

discontent, 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 fit

successors. The abolition of the slave-trade, for which Wilberforce,

Zachary Macaulay, and Clarkson had fought gallantly and devotedly, was

accomplished. But the Catholic Emancipation Bill was still to work its

way in the teeth of bitter "No Popery" traditions, and Earl Grey's Reform

Bill had not yet seen the light.

George III.'s long reign was drawing to a close. What changes it had seen

from the War of American Independence to Waterloo! What woeful personal

contrasts since the honest, kindly, comely lad, in his simple kingliness,

rode out in the summer sunshine past Holland House, where lady Sarah

Lennox was making hay on the lawn, to the days when the blind, mad old

king sat in bodily and mental darkness, isolated from the wife and

children he had loved so well, immured in his distant palace-rooms in

royal 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 trodden

darker paths than any prepared for her feet by the visitation of God.

Queen Charlotte had come with her sense and spirit, and ruled for more

than fifty years over a pure Court in England. The German princess of

sixteen, with her spare little person and large mouth which prevented

her from being comely, and her solitary accomplishment of playing on the

harpsichord with as much correctness and taste as if she had been taught

by Mr. Handel himself, had identified herself with the nation, so that

no suspicion of foreign proclivities ever attached to her. Queen

Charlotte bore her trials gravely; while those who came nearest to her

could tell that she was not only a fierce little dragon of virtue, as she

has 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 and

his daughters, besides two sons who died in infancy.

George, Prince of Wales, married, 1795, his cousin, Princess Caroline of

Brunswick, daughter of the reigning Duke and of Princess Augusta, sister

of George III. The Prince and Princess of Wales separated soon after

their marriage. Their only child was Princess Charlotte of Wales.

Frederick, Duke of York, married, 1791, Princess Frederica, daughter of

the 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, Duchess of

Mecklenburg-Strelitz; and Princess Mary, Duchess 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.


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


Princess Sophia, unmarried.

Princess Amelia, unmarried.

In 1817 the pathetic idyl, wrought out amidst harsh discord, had found

its earthly close in the family vault at Windsor, amidst the lamentations

of the whole nation. Princess Charlotte, the candid, fearless,

affectionate girl, whose youth had been clouded by the sins and follies

of others, but to whom the country had turned as to a stay for the

future--fragile, indeed, yet still full of hope--had wedded well, known

a year of blissful companionship, and then died in giving birth to a dead

heir. 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 dark

and cold. Men looked at each other in blank dismay; women wept for the

blushing, smiling bride, who had driven with her grandmother through the

park on her way to be married not so many months before. There are

comparatively few people alive who had come to man's or woman's estate

when the shock was experienced; but we have all heard from our

predecessors the story which has lent to Claremont a tender, pensive

grace, especially for royal young pairs.

Old Queen Charlotte nerved herself to make a last public appearance on

the 11th of July, 1818, four months before her death. It was in her

presence, at Kew, that a royal marriage and re-marriage were celebrated

that day. The Duke of Clarence was married to Princess Adelaide of

Saxe-Meiningen, and the Duke of Kent was re-married, in strict accordance

with the English Royal Marriage Act, to Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg,

the widowed Princess of Leiningen. The last couple had been already

united at Coburg in the month of May. The Archbishop of Canterbury and

the Bishop of London officiated at the double ceremony. The brides were

given away by the Prince Regent. The Queen retired immediately

afterwards. But a grand banquet, at which the Prince Regent presided, was

given at six o'clock in the evening. An hour later the Duke and Duchess

of Kent drove off in her brother, Prince Leopold's, carriage to


Of the two bridegrooms we have glimpses from Baron Stockmar, a shrewd

observer, who was no flatterer.

The Duke of Clarence, at fifty-three years of age, was the "smallest and

least good-looking of the brothers, decidedly like his mother, as

talkative as the rest;" and we may add that he was also endowed with a

sailor-like frankness, cordiality, and good humour, which did not,

however, prevent stormy ebullitions of temper, that recommended him to

the nation of that day as a specimen of a princely blue-jacket. Since the

navy was not considered a school of manners, he was excused for the

absence of much culture or refinement.

"The Duke of Kent, at fifty-one, was a tall, stately man, of soldierlike

bearing, already inclined to great corpulence.... He had seen much of the

world, and of men. His manner in society was pleasant and easy. He was

not without ability and culture, and he possessed great activity. His

dependents complained of his strictness and pedantic love of order....

The Duke was well aware that his influence was but small, but this did

not prevent him from forwarding the petitions he received whenever it was

possible, with his own recommendation, to the public departments....

Liberal political principles were at that time in the minority in

England, and as the Duke professed them, it can be imagined how he was

hated by the powerful party then dominant. He was on most unfriendly

terms with his brothers.... The Duke proved an amiable and courteous,

even chivalrous, husband."

Judiciously, in the circumstances, neither of the brides was in her first

youth, the future Queen Adelaide having been, at twenty-six, the younger

of the two. The Duchess of Kent, a little over thirty, had been already

married, in 1803, when she was seventeen, to Prince Emich Charles of

Leiningen. Eleven years afterwards, in 1814, she was left a widow with a

son and daughter. Four years later she married the Duke of Kent. The

brides were very different in looks and outward attractions. The Duchess

of 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 special

accomplishments, beyond a great capacity for carpet-work. The Duchess of

Kent, with a fine figure, good features, brown hair and eyes, a pretty

pink colour, winning manners, and graceful accomplishments--particularly

music, formed a handsome, agreeable woman, "altogether most charming and


But both Duchesses were possessed of qualities in comparison with which

beauty is deceitful and favour is vain--qualities which are calculated to

wear 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, eccentric

sailor-prince. They secured for her the respectful regard of the nation

among whom she dwelt, whether as Queen or Queen-dowager. The Archbishop

of Canterbury could say of her, after her husband's death, "For three

weeks prior to his (King William's) dissolution, the Queen sat by his

bedside, performing for him every office which a sick man could require,

and depriving herself of all manner of rest and refection. She underwent

labours which I thought no ordinary woman could endure. No language can

do justice to the meekness and to the calmness of mind which she sought

to keep up before the King, while sorrow was pressing on her heart. Such

constancy of affection, I think, was one of the most interesting

spectacles that could be presented to a mind desirous of being gratified

with the sight of human excellence." [Footnote: Dr. Doran] Such graces,

great enough to resist the temptations of the highest rank, might well be

singled out as worthy of all imitation.

The Duchess of Kent proved herself the best of mothers--as she was the

best of wives, during her short time of wedlock--in the self-renunciation

and self-devotion with which, through all difficulties, and in spite of

every opposition and misconception, she pursued the even tenor of her

way. Not for two or ten, but for well-nigh twenty years, she gave herself

up unreservedly, turning her back on her country with all its strong

early ties, to rearing a good queen, worthy of her high destiny. England

owes much to the memories of Queen Adelaide and the Duchess of Kent, who

succeeded Queen Charlotte, the one as Queen Consort, the other as mother

of the future sovereign, and not only served as the salt to savour their

royal circles, but kept up nobly the tradition of honourable women among

the queens and princesses of England, handing down the high obligation to

younger generations.

The Duke and Duchess of Kent withdrew to Germany after their re-marriage,

and resided at the castle of Amorbach, in Bavaria, part of the

inheritance of her young son. The couple returned to England that their

child might be born there. The Duke had a strong impression that,

notwithstanding his three elder brothers, the Crown would come to him and

his children. The persuasion, if they knew it, was not likely to be

acceptable to the other Princes. Certainly, in the face of the Duke's

money embarrassments, his kinsmen granted no assistance to enable the

future Queen of England to be born in her own dominions. It was by the

help of private friends that the Duke gratified his natural and wise


Apartments in Kensington Palace were assigned to the couple. The old

queen had died at Kew, surrounded by such of her daughters as were in the

country, and by several of her sons, in the month of November, 1818.

George III. was dragging out his days at Windsor. The Prince Regent

occupied Carlton House.

The Kensington of 1819 was not the Kensington of today. In spite of the

palace and gardens, which are comparatively little altered, the great

crowded quarter, with its Museum and Albert Hall, is as unlike as

possible to the courtly village to which the Duke and Duchess of Kent

came, and where the Queen spent her youth. That Kensington consisted

mainly of a fine old square, built in the time of James II., in which the

foreign ambassadors and the bishops in attendance at Court congregated in

the days of William and Mary, and Anne, and of a few terraces and blocks

of buildings scattered along the Great Western Road, where coaches passed

several times a day. Other centres round which smaller buildings

clustered were Kensington House--which had lately been a school for the

sons of French emigres of rank--the old church, and Holland House,

the fine seat of the Riches and the Foxes. The High Street extended a

very little way on each side of the church and was best known by its

Charity School, and its pastrycook's shop, at the sign of the

"Pineapple," to which Queen Caroline had graciously given her own recipe

for royal Dutch gingerbread. David Wilkie's apartments represented the

solitary studio. Nightingales sang in Holland Lane; blackbirds and

thrushes haunted the nurseries and orchards. Great vegetable-gardens met

the 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 the

tea-gardens at Bayswater Sir John Hill cultivated medicinal plants, and

prepared his "water-dock essence" and "balm of honey." Invalids

frequented Kensington Gravel pits for the benefit of "the sweet country


Kensington Palace had been bought by William III. from Daniel Finch,

second Earl of Nottingham. His father, the first Earl, had built and

named the pile of brick-building Nottingham House. It was comparatively

a new, trim house, though Evelyn called it "patched up" when it passed

into the hands of King William, and as such might please his Dutch taste

better than the beautiful Elizabethan Holland House--in spite of the

name, at which he is said to have looked, with the intention of making it

his residence.

The Duke of Sussex, as well as the Duke and Duchess of Kent, had

apartments in the palace. He dwelt in the portion of the southern front

understood to belong to the original building. His brother and

sister-in-law were lodged not far off, but their apartments formed part

of an addition made by King William, who employed Sir Christopher Wren as

his architect.

The clumsy, homely structure, with its three courts--the Clock Court, the

Princes' Court, and the Princesses' Court--had many interesting

associations in addition to its air of venerable respectability. William

and Mary resided frequently in the palace which they had chosen; and both

died under its roof. Mary sat up in one of these rooms, on a dreary

December night in 1694, after she felt herself stricken with small-pox,

seeking out and burning all the papers in her possession which might

compromise others. The silent, asthmatic, indomitable little man was

carried back here after his fall from his horse eight years later, to

draw 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 the

cupola and the great staircase. But his successors, George II. and Queen

Caroline, atoned for the deficiency. They gave much of their time to the

palace so identified with the Protestant and Hanoverian line of

succession. Queen Caroline especially showed her regard for the spot by

exercising her taste in beautifying it according to the notions of the

period. It was she who caused the string of ponds to be united so as to

form the Serpentine; and he modified the Dutch style of the gardens,

abolishing the clipped monsters in yew and box, and introducing

wildernesses and groves to relieve the stiffness and monotony of straight

walks and hedges. The shades of her beautiful maids of honour, "sweet

Molly Lepell," Mary Bellenden, and Sophy Howe, still haunt the Broad

Walk. Molly Lepell's husband, Lord Hervey (the "Lord Fanny" of lampoons

and songs), composed and read in these rooms, for the diversion of his

royal mistress and the princesses, with their ladies and gentlemen, the

false account of his own death, caused by an encounter with footpads on

the dangerous road between London and the country palace. He added an

audacious description of the manner in which the news was received at

Court, and of the behaviour of the principal persons in the circle.

With George II. and Queen Caroline the first glory of the palace

departed, for the early Court of George III. and Queen Charlotte took its

country pleasures at Kew. Then followed the selection of Windsor for the

chief residence of the sovereigns. The promenades in the gardens, to

which the great world of London flocked, remained for a season as a

vestige of former grandeur. In George II.'s time the gardens were only

thrown open on Saturdays, when the Court went to Richmond. Afterwards the

public were admitted every day, under certain restrictions. So late as

1820 these promenades were still a feature on Sunday mornings.

Kensington Palace has not yet changed its outward aspect. It still

stands, with its forcing-houses, and Queen Anne's banqueting-room--

converted into an orangery--in its small private grounds, fenced off by

a slight railing and an occasional hedge from the public gardens. The

principal entrance, under the clock-tower, leads to a plain, square, red

courtyard, which has a curious foreign aspect in its quiet simplicity, as

if the Brunswick princes had brought a bit of Germany along with them

when they came to reign here; and there are other red courtyards, equally

unpretentious, with more or less old-fashioned doors and windows. Within,

the building has sustained many alterations. Since it ceased to be a seat

of the Court, the palace has furnished residences for various members of

the royal family, and for different officials. Accordingly, the interior

has been divided and partitioned off to suit the requirements of separate

households. But the great staircase, imposing in its broad, shallow steps

of black marble and its faded frescoes, still conducts to a succession of

dismantled Presence-chambers and State-rooms. The pictures and tapestry

have been taken from the walls, the old panelling is bare. The

distinctions which remain are the fine proportions of the apartments--

the marble pillars and niches of one; the remains of a richly-carved

chimneypiece in another; the highly-wrought ceilings, to which ancient

history and allegory have supplied grandiose figures--their deep colours

unfaded, the ruddy burnish of their gilding as splendid as ever. Here and

there great black-and-gold court-stools, raised at the sides, and

finished off with bullet heads of dogs, arouse a recollection of

Versailles or Fontainebleau, and look as if they had offered seats to

Court ladies in hoops and brocades, and gentlemen-in-waiting in velvet

coats and breeches and lace cravats. One seat is more capacious than the

others, with a round back, and in its heavy black-and-gold has the look

of an informal throne. It might easily have borne the gallant William, or

even the extensive proportions of Anne.

There is a word dropped of "old kings" having died in the closed rooms

behind these doors. George II., in his old age? or William, worn out in

his prime? or it may be heavy, pacific George of Denmark, raised to the

kingly rank by the courtesy of vague tradition? The old chapel was in

this part of the house. Leigh Hunt tells us it was in this chapel George

I. asked the bishops to have good short sermons, because he was an old

man, and when he was kept long, he fell asleep and caught cold. It must

have been a curious old chapel, with a round window admitting scanty

light. The household and servants sat below, while a winding staircase

led round and up to a closed gallery in near proximity to the pulpit. It

was only a man's conscience, or a sense of what was due to his physical

well-being, which could convict him of slumbering in such a peaceful

retreat. It is said that her late Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent

objected to the obscurity of this place of worship, and, to meet her

objections, the present little chapel was fitted up.

The Duchess of Kent's rooms were in an adjacent wing; spacious rooms

enough, and only looking the more habitable and comfortable for the

moderate height of the ceilings. In a room with three windows on one

side, looking out on the private grounds, the Queen was born. It was

thinking of it and its occupants that the warm-hearted, quick-witted

Duchess-mother, in Coburg, wrote: "I cannot express how happy I am to

know you, dearest, dearest Vickel, safe in your bed, with a little

one.... Again a Charlotte--destined, perhaps, to play a great part one

day, if a brother is not born to take it out of her hands. The English

like queens; and the niece (by marriage) of the ever-lamented, beloved

Charlotte, 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 in

statecraft, great prelates, great lawyers, a great soldier, and she an

innocent girl at their head. No relic could leave such an impression as

this room, with its wonderfully pathetic scene. But, indeed, there are

few other traces of the life that budded into dawning womanhood here,

which will be always linked with the memories of Kensington Palace. An

upper room, sunny and cheerful, even on a winter's day, having a pleasant

view 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 a

princess's school-room. Here the good Baroness who played the part of

governess so sagaciously and faithfully may have slipped into the book of

history the genealogical table which was to tell so startling a tale. In

another room is a quaint little doll's-house, with the different rooms,

which an active-minded child loved to arrange. The small frying-pans and

plates still hang above the kitchen dresser; the cook stands unwearied by

the range; the chairs are placed round the tables; the tiny tea-service,

which tiny fingers delighted to handle, is set out ready for company. But

the owner has long done with make-believes, has worked in earnest,

discharged great tasks, and borne the burden and heat of the day, in

reigning over a great empire.

Second Attempt On The Queen's Life Sketch Of The Princess Charlotte facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail