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with all his great career before him. The conversation between the two was cut short by the English monosyllable, "Sharp," ringing through the air. That, it seems, is the slang word indicating the approach of the royal lady. Herr von Bismarck heard the cry, knew its official significance-in Lord Granville's words describing the scene with numorous simplicity-"took one dive into the shrubbery as if into a lake, and so completely vanished from my view for ever." Before that disappearance Bismarck had summed up to the British diplomatist his im pressions of the Prince Consort's character in the words: "The most remarkable combination of an entire absence of self-consciousness with personal dignity and intellectual power that I have ever seen among those born in the purple." Prince Albert died while the present writer was finishing his first term at Oxford. One's earlier reminiscences of that particular royalty who did more than any other individual of his day to educate English taste, as well as to affect the whole ordering of English life, must be rather of an impersonal sort. They were, indeed, of the sort which might have been conveyed by the small cartoons and the underlying legends in Punch; they therefore belong to most Englishmen old enough to recall the youth of the Prince of Wales. One heard much of the Prince Consort's punctilious insistence on all details of court etiquette, be the occasion levee at St. James's, a visit to the opera, or an investiture of knighthood at Windsor. Most of the anecdotes, whose name was legion, illustrating this supposed attribute were probably apocryphal; they need not be revived, especially in a periodical published in the capital of the country where the real Prince Consort was perhaps better known than he ever became south of the Tweed.
The earliest, if not the only, recollection of the husband of the Queen now occurring to me illustrates so aptly one portion of the estimate of him formed by Bismarck, and tends to correct so many misconceptions, that it is worth giving here. The Prince Consort's services to court economy and the better keeping up of the court establishment are familiar to all who care to know them from Sir Theodore Martin's biography. Less, or rather nothing, has yet been written about the personal interest taken by the Prince Consort in reorganizing the western heritage of his eldest son; in improving the collection of the revenues or the administration of the Stannaries Courts of the Duchy of Cornwall. While these improvements were being planned and carried out during the late fifties and the early sixties, it was the lot of this writer to be passing his young days in the extreme west of England. Than his old friend, the late Henry Sewell Stokes, no one was a better judge of administrative ability, or knew practically more of the working of the local judicature courts within the province giving a title to the Queen's eldest son. Even the official chronicle of the movements of the Prince Consort would be searched in vain for a record of the visits he paid to the west during several years, and especially about the time when the Prince of Wales was within sight of his majority. On these occasions the Queen's husband travelled with very little state. He seemed often to have with him no one but a private secretary and a body servant. During such a visit as this the I'rince had made an excursion, certainly with only one of his suite, to the neighborhood of Torquay. Within a few miles of that place is the ruined Abbey of Berry Pomeroy, actually in or very near to the rich pasture grounds watered by the prettiest of
western streams, the river Dart. In the days now spoken of, the whole of this region was dotted by small farms, the farmhouse itself being very often a mere cottage, and the farmer being a laborer as well. The production of the thick clotted cream, called on one side of the Tamar, Devonshire, and on the other side Cornish, was and is among the native industries of these parts. The mode of preparation is the heating of the unskimmed milk in a broad and moderately deep pan over a wood fire on the hearth. The Prince Consort would seem to have watched, as he watched everything, this process in the farmhouses between Mount's Bay and Land's End, where his son's property chiefly lay. Strolling now near the abbey ruins just mentioned, the Prince passed a cottage farm, whose door was open, and on whose hearth was the clotted cream apparatus already named. It was in charge of a very small child, who could scarcely support the ladle with which she had presently to skim the contents of the very big pan. Visibly perplexed at the domestic task set her, the infant-for she was little more was about to give it up in tears of despair, when she heard a kind voice, as of some one approaching her: "Little girl, I understand all this, and I will help you." It was the husband of the Queen, who had quietly entered, and who straightway began to show more practical knowledge of this hearthside business than had been displayed by another Anglo-Saxon royalty some centuries earlier, the King Alfred, who did not properly tend in the Athelney cottage the baking of the historic cakes.
This aptitude for the practical mastering of the details of any business, great or small, public or private, amounting with the Prince Consort to genius, has notoriously descended from father to son. A single instance,
under conditions very different from those just named, of the same sort of faculty as possessed and exercised by the Prince of Wales may be now given. During the earlier eighties, in the monthly periodical for which I was then responsible, Professor R. C. Jebb, to-day M.P. for Cambridge University, had advocated a scheme for the establishment of an English school of Hellenic studies at Athens, such as the United States, France and Germany had for some time possessed. If such an article were to lead to anything, it was necessary to have some sort of assurance of the practicability of the project. The minute and almost affectionate interest taken, for family reasons, by the heir-apparent in all sorts of Hellenic enterprises seemed likely, if it could be secured, to insure the success of the scheme. The Prince of Wales was warmly predisposed in favor of the plan. "Let me," he said, "ascertain what I should like to know of local feeling in Athens on the matter; we will then, if you please, call a meeting at Marlborough House."
Obviously this was a subject out of the beaten track, diplomatic or international, and therefore not quite in the Prince's normal line. Within a week of the notion being first submitted to him he had read up the subject so thoroughly as to be able to pass an examination in it at the hands of an expert even such as Professor Jebb. The steps by which foreign schools of studies at Athens had been formed; whatever related to their revenues or their management; the disposition towards the enterprise of Oxford, Cambridge, and of the learned bodies or individuals of London-all these things were exhaustively mastered by the Prince entirely by methods he himself had devised for his enlightenment. Shortly afterwards, the meeting which the Prince had called was
held in that room of his house em
ployed for such purposes. Having taken up the matter warmly, he had found means of communicating with all the most distinguished men whose names as proper to be invited had been submitted to him by Professor Jebb and myself. The result was that an actual and a potential prime minister, Mr. Gladstone and Lord Salisbury, found themselves seated side by side. The foreign office in London was represented by Lord Granville, who then presided over it; and our diplomatic body by Lord Dufferin, then on furlough in England. The presence of that accomplished man .was associated with an agreeably humorous incident in the proceedings. After the Prince of Wales, Mr. Jebb, if I recollect rightly, Lord Reay, as the representative of cosmopolitan culture, and one of the house of Rothschild, which had subscribed liberally to the movement, had from different aspects exhausted the subject in the best of unpublished speeches I ever heard, there came a lull in the proceedings. Presently a sheet of foolscap paper was circulated among the company. On this it seemed to be expected, and as was supposed by royal order, that each of those present should sign his name. No one doubted that in doing so he was presenting his autograph to his future sovereign. A pleasant smile played upon the face of Lord Dufferin throughout this little episode. When the paper reached him, Instead of writing his own name, having satisfied himself with the completeness of the list, he calmly put it into his pocket-book, then rose to say a few words on the possible advantages to diplomatic relations of that Athens school, whose success was now assured. "The fact is," as he explained at the time to a friend, "my daughter collects autographs. I really thought this was too good an
opportunity to be lost." His lordship had indeed made a most brilliant bag; the heir-apparent, having been let into the secret, completed the triumph of the diplomatist by adding the "Albert Edward" to the imposing list.
No better instances than those here chosen need be given of the combined industry, versatility, tact and varied knowledge of the eldest son of the Queen. He had, of course, as princes always will have, every opportunity for mastering the facts; but most of those facts must have been new to him when he first took them in hand. He had not previously displayed any of those archæological tastes which his brother, the Duke of Albany, had shown; nor had the Prince in his speeches merely reproduced the substance of Professor Jebb's instructive and brilliant paper. The Prince's details about the work of other nations now to be emulated by England, were not only most pertinent, but absolutely fresh, and entirely his own. Some years before this, the late Sir Philip Cunliffe Owen, who had worked with and under the Prince in every sort of way, had said to me: "If His Royal Highness takes up any subject, no inatter what it be, he will carry it through, doing the work as admirably as it can be done. You need tell him nothing; he knows where to go for every fact, figure and person; if he wants anything, you will hear at just the right moment. But all this is conditional on one thing. The Prince of Wales likes a free hand, and to do things properly, he must be allowed to do them in his own way. But when he has promised to see a thing through you may with entire confidence leave it in his own hands, knowing that the way he chooses will certainly be the best." No better commentary on the wise truth of the strenuous, tactful and kindly man who said these words, and who so long and so well carried
on the work of Sir Henry Cole at South Kensington, could be supplied than is given by the foregoing incident.
During the earliest childhood of this writer England was full of the praises of the splendid presence, the grand manner, the more than royal generosity of our future foe of Crimean days, the Czar Nicholas of Russia (Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Disraeli both in later years spoke of this prince as the handsomest man they had ever seen). Shortly before the great Exhibition of 1851 the memory of a visit he had paid to Windsor was fresh. The press and the public could not find praise warm enough for the beauty of the jewelled snuff-boxes and other gifts bestowed by him on every one who had come near him. The next occasion on which the imperial name was much mentioned in England arrived during the bitter winter of 1854-5; then it was that Tenniel's superb cartoon showed how "General Février had turned traitor," and in the death of the Emperor of All the Russias we in England saw an omen of the coming close of the Crimean war. On a bitter spring day, with nothing but the calendar to remind one of the season, a successor of the Czar Nicholas was awaited by a sorely tried crowd of sightseers at Gravesend. The Queen's second son had just married (1874) the Grand Duchess Alexandrovna, whose imperial father was to escort her to her new home. Everything on that bleak, bitter March day seemed to go wrong. The steamer was late; the arrangements for landing were very imperfect; the Czar was invisible to all but a few. Those who saw him can never forget the handsome, but pale and worn face, with a settled expression almost of unhappiness, relieved only by a pathetic and softening smile, as, while the sun for a moment peeped out from a cold gray cloud, the mighty
potentate, stooping down, directed a fond fatherly glance at his daughter.
The old Emperor William of Germany must recall to many who read. these lines the figure, stately in extreme old age, of which only the white head was visible to strollers on Unter den Linden at Berlin. One of his windows opened on the famous promenade. From it Prince Bismarck's great master was seen by me, as by hundreds of others, every afternoon during the early eighties. One reminiscence rather more definite and personal of the monarch may be given. He was announced to pay a visit to Baden-Baden while happened to be staying there in 1879. Shortly before his arrival he must have accomplished a feat in a railway carriage which a "change artist" at a music hall might have envied. Only a few minutes before the train actually stopped I had, at a point on the line, seen him in the costume of an old gentleman en voyage. When the station was reached the Kaiser stepped forth on the platform blazing in a magnificent and bejewelled uniform. A little later on the same day His Majesty, once more in unofficial costume, was inspecting on foot the pretty things in the shops of the Baden Kursaal. rather suggestive as they are of a section of the Paris Palais Royal. Two peasants from the neighboring Black Forest, evidently a young man and his sweetheart, wistfully eyed some little object, timidly asked its price, and, on hearing it, almost tearfully turned away. The grand and kind old Kaiser had noted it all. The peasant pair had just reached the exit from the enclosure, when one of the people of the shop came up to them, placed a packet in their hands with some such words, murmured low, as, "By the will of the Kaiser."
Of Foreign royalties. my impression is most vivid of the deadly pale, still
youngish man, with a marvellously waxed moustache, whom I sometimes saw when, as a child in short frocks, I stayed with а relative in John Street, Mayfair. Once more only was I to behold this man on whose lip Europe had meanwhile so long trembled. It was in the September of 1870, after Sedan, when Napoleon III. was an exile at Chislehurst. At the moment now referred to he was driving down King Street, St. James's, no doubt on his way to the Army and Navy Club, of which he was once again made free; in that King Street, at No. 13, he had lodged in his early English days. As he passed he looked up, and read the blue plaque outside -commemorating the fact. pose," said a voice from the deferential crowd which had silently recognized the fallen Cæsar, "he is coming to engage rooms at his old lodgings."
I often had occasion to approach in England the late Emperor of Brazil, the most early rising and polyglot of the earth's sovereigns. While the then master of the place was absent Chambers's Journal.
this imperial student had appointed to visit the Chatsworth. He reached the palace of the Peak soon after dawn, before the household was up, before perhaps all its members had quite settled to rest. The housekeeper, arriving on the scene, found a gentleman talking in a language she did not understand. Fortunately, Sir James Lacaita, the great linguist and librarian, was in the house, busy with the books. He quickly appeared, and addressed the visitor in French. The Emperor replied in Spanish, in which language Sir James continued. Italian was next employed; presently a particular patois of that tongue peculiar to a single district of Naples. It happened to be literally the mothertongue of Sir James. Then came the inspection of the books. The distinguished cicerone still kept his identity dark. The Emperor assumed the savant to be the butler; he asked as he left the house: "Do all the servants of the Duke of Devonshire have to pass an examination in languages before his Grace engages them?"
T. H. S. Escott.
THE SPECTRE OF LAVINGTON.
During the short time that had passed since his institution the new Rector of Lavington had heard a good deal about the Squire's daughter. seems an ungallant thing to say, but she was the one bitter drop in the cup which otherwise promised to be all sweetness. In other respects, he told himself, the change which he had made was for the better. After moving in the natural sequence of events from one curacy to another, it was good to feel settled at last; good to be at no one's beck and call, although in one sense-and he gloried in it-he was
servant of all. He meant, indeed, to study his people's wishes, to win their confidence, not to ride rough-shod through prejudice and tradition, as he had known other rectors do; but, even so, the fact remained that he was at length what the world would call "his own master."
He had hitherto worked in towns, where poverty and squalor and overcrowding had prevailed to a hideous extent, in spite of all that modern zeal and methods could do; but he had, during a season of temporary ill-health, done duty in a country parish, and he