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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, created a very disagreeable impression on his mind. The Queen, who had talked over all these matters with him immediately after the engagement, felt even more annoyance that on the question of precedence her wishes were not law with her Parliament. The Journal shows the Queen as most indignant that the first impressions made on the Prince's mind on these two points should be a painful one, and on these matters is evidently disposed to blame both sides. The Queen owns, however, that her feelings of partisanship at that time ran very high, and that she had a strong prejudice against the Tory party. Allusion is made to the affair of Sir R: Peel and the Ladies of the Bed-chamber. Prince Albert seems to have learnt the wise lesson from these unpalatable defeats that the sovereign should not conspicuously belong to either party. What this book further establishes as an axiom, perhaps never before made public or put in so authoritative a form, is
That there ought to have been proper communications beforehand between Government and the leaders of Opposition, such as, in after years, under the guidance of the Prince himself, were frequently had recourse to when the question to be settled was one rather of a personal than a political character.'--P. 276.
Under the Prince's judicious management all these matters righted themselves. At first, happy as he was in his domestic position, he confides to his friend, that the difficulty in filling
my place with the proper dignity is, that I am only the husband, 'not the master of the house.' But, as a comment on this, we read
Fortunately, however, for the country, and still more fortunately for the happiness of the Royal couple themselves, things did not long remain in this condition. Thanks to the firmness, but at the same time gentleness, with which the Prince insisted on filling his proper position as head of the family -thanks also to the clear judgment and right feeling of the Queen, as well as to her singularly honest and straightforward nature—but thanks, more than all, to the mutual love and perfect confidence which bound the Queen and Prince to each other, it was impossible to keep up any separation or difference of interests or duties between them. To those who would urge upon the Queen that as Sovereign, she must be the head of the house and family as well as of State, and that her husband was, after all, but one of her subjects, Her Majesty would reply, that she had solemnly engaged at the altar to obey" as well as to "love and honour;" and this sacred obligation she could consent neither to limit nor refine away.'—P. 320.
It was not indeed possible that where there was mutual love and confidence, there should be divided interests on any class of topics; or otherwise than common ground. By degrees the Prince's influence was recognised, and his opinion sought by men in power. A mere boy in years, he threw himself at once into all the labour necessary to make his position important. From the
first, under the advice of Lord Melbourne, who seems to have appreciated the Prince at once, the Queen communicated all foreign despatches to him. In August 1840, he writes to his father
· Victoria allows me to take much part in foreign affairs, and I think I have already done some good. I always commit my views to paper, and then communicate them to Lord Melbourne. He seldom answers me, but I have often had the satisfaction of seeing him act entirely in accordance with what I have said.'—P. 320.
In another letter, 1841 :"«All I can say about my political position is, that I study the politics of the day with great industry, and resolutely hold myself aloof from all parties (fortfahre mich von allen Parteien frei zu halten). I take an active interest in all national institutions and associations. I speak quite openly with the Ministers on all subjects, so as to obtain information, and meet on all sides with much kindness. ... I endeavour quietly to be of as much use to Victoria in her position as I can.” Here we have the first announcement of that principle by which the whole of his future life was guided, and to which many years later he gave the noble expression already quoted, of “sinking his individual existence in that of the Queen.” Slowly, but surels, acting on that principle, did he establish his position; and so entirely was it recognised by the Queen herself, so unreservedly and confidingly did she throw herself upon her husband's support, relying in all questions of difficulty on his judgment, and acting in all things by his advice, that when suddenly bereaved of that support, her sense of the loss which she had sustained as Queen found expression in the pathetic words, “that it would now be, in fact, the beginning of a new reign.”—Pp. 320, 321.
At the same age he formed the plans for his course of conduct in private life, from which he never deviated, which would have cost most men so situated an enormous effort. He made it a rule never to be seen in London without an equerry, and never to go into general society.
"From the moment of his establishment in the English palace,' we read, 'as the husband of the Queen, his first object was to maintain, and, if possible, even raise the character of the Court. With this view he knew that it was not enough that his own conduct should be, in truth, free from reproach ; 110 shadow of a shade of suspicion shoulů, by possibility, attach to it. He knew that, in his position, every action would be scanned—not always, possibly, in a friendly spirit; that his goings out and his comings in would be watched ; and that in every society, however little disposed to be censorious, there would always be found some prone, were an opening afforded, to exaggerate, and even to iuvent stories against him, and to put an uncharitable construction on the most innocent acts. He therefore, from the first, laid down strict, not to say severe, rules for his own guidance. He imposed a degree of restraint and self-denial upon his own movements which could not but have been irksome, had he not been sustained by a sense of the advantage which the throne would derive from it. He denied himself the pleasure-which to one so fond as he was of personally watching and inspecting every improvement that was in progress would have been very great-of walking at will about the town., Wherever he went, whether in a carriage or on horseback, he was accompanied by his equerry. He paid no visits in general society. His visits were to the studio of the NO. CXXXVIII.--N.S,
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artist, to museums of art or science, to institutions for good and benevolent purposes. Wherever a visit from him, or his presence, could tend to advance the real good of the people, there his horses might be seen waiting; never at the door of mere fashion. Scandal itself could take no liberty with his name.'
These are indeed very remarkable resolutions to have adhered to through life, and wise, we are willing to believe, as they are remarkable; but it was not a course to lead to fusion. It kept him distinct from his adopted people. As we have said, we believe so sagacious a person must have deliberately renounced popularity. He was a reader and admirer of Shakespeare, and could learn from him, if he had cared to be a people's idol, how to set about his task. He felt always that his was a second place. He would not attempt to give it the prominence of a first. But this, to such a character, was an act of conscious renunciation, not calculated to attach him to his adopted country. This life of isolated state would keep Germany, and Coburg, and Rosenau ever fresh in his mind as ideas of liberty, friendliness, and home. It is another proof of the intimate union of heart and soul with the Queen that he could confide to her, without fear of being misunderstood, that childhood had been the happiest part of his life. In so young a life as his, what were all the previous years before his coming to England, but one long, free childhood ? This volume, while it brings to light his strong, prevailing, persistent sense of duty-and more, duty in action-toward the English people, does not give evidence of any strong love or admiration for our national character. He remained a German in tastes, in feeling, in characteristics, in turn of thought, in his preferences, in his religious instincts to the end, and very proud his countrymen ought to be of him. But this leads us to reverence and admire him, not as one of ourselves, but as a good man in the abstract; and as regards the English people, as having possessed a larger share of his services than of his sympathy. His portrait has, it is true, raised an universal excitement of admiration ; but judging by our own feeling, we are convinced that this warmth has really another object. The Queen, in her earnest resolution to set her husband in a bright, noble, and saintly light before the world, has unconsciously shown us herself in an aspect exciting universal sympathy. And the end to each reader, if we may judge of others by ourselves, is that we respect and admire Prince Albert, but we like the Queen with a tenderer sentiment and a fresh and warmer effusion.
ART. V.-1. The Relations of Church and State historically con
sidered. By MONTAGUE BURROWS, Chicele Professor of Modern History in Oxford. London and Oxford: Parker
and Co. 1866. 2. The Debates in Convocation, Session of 1867. From the
Churchman and Guardian. 3. The Debates in the House of Lords, Session of 1867. From
the Churchman and Guardian. 4. Letters in the Guardian' Newspaper. By the Rev. J. W.
Joyce and others. 1867. 5. 'S. G. O.' in the Times' Newspaper. 1867.
It needs no prophetic eye to see that the present strain on the relations which exist between the Church of England and the State cannot long continue. Something will break before we are many sessions older, or there will be a general explosion, dangerous to the life and limb of the body spiritual. The pilitical influences which predominate seem directed to nothing so much as trying what amount of strain the machinery may be made to bear, reckless of the consequences of the experiment. We speak not of the present Cabinet, who never had a majority, and were merely made the fulcrum where they ought to have been the power applied to the lever ; but we speak of the forces existing in politics generally. Their momentum may not be calculable, but their tendency is evident. It is to cripple the action of the Church and deny her rights, to stifle spiritual life and paralyse its organization. At such a moment a temperate review of the historical facts which have led up to such a cli ax is peculiarly acceptable. The first on the list of works which heads this article is of that kind. It consists of two lectures on • The Relations of Church and State historically considered,' from Captain Burrows, the Chicele Professor of Modern History in Oxford. The lecturer's aim is to show that those relations were, down to the time of the repeal of the Corporation and Test Acts, substantially unchanged throughout the course of English history, the same in 1827 and under the Saxon kings. We select as typical the following passage :
"Ohserve how the Saxon principles were for ever, so to speak, "cropping up” in aster bustory. It is no mere fancy. We are accustomed at this place to trace this Sax in influence on our laws; it is no less evident in the relations of Church and State. . . . From the time of the great Edward to that
and pare the Church anndency is evidemomentum mayhe for