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a Leo? Have there been no warriors in Germany from Arminius to Eugene? In France from Martial to Turenne ? Are there no statesmen in modern history? Has Sweden never possessed an Oxenstiern? France a Richelieu or a Colbert? Spain a Ximenes or an Albaroni ? England a Burleigh or a Chatham? Has not Alfred, been a patriot King? Is the godlike philanthropy of Howard a dream ? Have not Latimer and Ridley triumphed amidst the flames in order to preserve the purity of that religion which connects Heaven with earth, and man with his maker? Have we not perceived the spirit of enterprize in Magellan or in Cook, to omit more recent and even present instances, undertaking or performing the longest labours for the benefit of science; daring the elements; confronting unknown perils; traversing the ocean; and circumnavigating the globe ? Have no pious missionaries left the ties of country and kindred ; exposed themselves, alone and unprotected to neglect, ignominy, imprisonment, and torture in the remotest tracts of Asia, America and the Polynesian Islands, and persevered with patient calmness, amidst the insults of barbarism, and the scorn of idolatrous stupidity to promote the advancement of the christian faith and the happiness of unenlightened man?
The latter, indeed, may be said to be strange characters to uphold for the imitation of a British Prince, and they are most probably the last which they would like to assume, or which their tutors would attempt to put upon them; but whether we look into ancient or modern history, a multitude of characters present themselves, which might have been selected as a model for Prince William, and it would have been better for them had they known so much of ancient history, as to know, that there once lived a man of the name of Charondas, a Thurian legislator, who made a law, probibiting a social intercourse with bad men, a caution which certainly had been most frequently omitted by the legislators of the father of their royal pupil. Charondas was satisfied that ingenuous minds were often corrupted by a familiarity with men of licentious manners. Vice is contagious as well as malady: our propensity to evil is strong, and many who have in youth a warm affection for
virtue, by the gradual but the powerful influence of bad example sink into total depravity. If the law above mentioned had ever been introduced into the English code, what a confusion would have arisen in the royal family of England, particularly amongst the junior branches of it.
Free intercourse with the licentious liver,
It was the licentious livers with whom George IV., when Prince of Wales associated, that destroyed his morals and corrupted his soul, and at the time when the royal Princes were at Hanover, there were some characters belonging to it, what was there styled the court party, although no court was ever held, from whose contaminating society, the friends of both the Bishop of Osnaburg and of Prince William, ought to have removed them with all possible expedition. Amongst those characters was Baron Hardenberg, than whom no inan was more fitted for the vices and profligacies of a court. He began his career of vicious infamy at the court of Berlin, from which he was obliged suddenly to absent himself, on account of some scandalous fraud, which he had committed at the gambling table, and having sojourned for a time at the Hague, where he was more guarded and circumspect in his conduct, and being a skilful tactitian in the lower department of diplomatic intrigue, he was sent to Hanover to probe the feelings of the electoral states on some important changes, which were then in agitation in the constitution of the germanic empire, as well as the strog desire which had been manifested by some of them to emanci. pate themselves from all dependence on the house of Austria. His polished manners, his exquisite courtier-like qualities, bij handsome and commanding exterior rendered him a special favourite in the higher circles of Hanover, particularly amongst the female branches, and with the exception of his well-known character, as a deep and successful gambler, which in the estimation of the Hanoverians was no stain at all, he had by a dexterous system of cunning and address established himself
fully in the good opinion of the Hanoverians, and at the time of the arrival of the royal Princes of England, he was considered as one of the most influential men of that particular part of the country. His introduction to the royal princes took place as a matter of course, and his natural shrewdness soon enabled him to discover one of the ruling vices of the Bishop of Osnaburg, which was that of gambling, and with the customary tact of the skilful gambler, he allowed his royal Highness at first to be a considerable winner. Prince William was also a winner to some amount; but to the credit of Captain Merrick, be it recorded, that he gave his royal Highness a seasonable warning, which saved him from those ruinous losses, which in a short time befel his royal brother. There is scarcely any thing which exasperates the desperate gambler more than for an individual, who is a considerable winner to retire from the gambling table, at the very moment, perhaps, when the plans are ripening towards perfection, by which the ruin of his victim is to be accomplished. Prince William had won a considerable sum of Hardenberg, which had been purposely connived at by him, in order to draw his victim on to still higher stakes, and then eventually to inclued him in the number of his victims. The timely warning of Captain Merrick rendered him, comparatively to what he had been, a stranger at the gambling table which drew from Hardenberg some aspersions on the character of his royal Highness, wbich coming to the ear of Captain Merrick, he called upon Baron Hardenberg for a full retractation of them, or he would call upon him for that satisfaction, which he had a right to demand of him as the accuser of the character of an individual whom he was bound to protect, and particularly as in the line of conduct which he had pursued, he had been guided entirely by his advice, and, therefore, he rendered himself responsible for whatever consequences resulted from that advice. It was not to be supposed that an occurrence of this nature would not make a great sensation in the States of Hanover, and on its coming to the ears of Prince William, he insisted in the most peremptory manner that Captain Merrick should not be exposed to any risk in the defence of his character,
hesitated not a moment in conveying a message through Captain Campbell, who belonged to the first regiment of foot guards in England, and who happened to be at that particular juncture in Hanover, demanding a full and public retractation of the aspersions which he had thrown upon his character, or that Captain Campbell was empowered to arrange the time and place, leaving the choice of weapons to be determined by the respective friends of the two parties.
General Bude, now considered it high time to interfere in the business, so as to prevent a hostile meeting taking place, and at the same time, not to compromise the honor of his royal pupil. Fortunately for the General, he found an auxiliary in his cause in the most unexpected manner, in the person of the Dowager Countess Stolberg, whose husband, had been an accredited agent of the Elector of Bavaria, at the Court of Berlin, and who on account of his extraordinary literary attainments, was an especial favourite with the great Frederick. He had resided at Berlin, during the time that Baron Hardenberg was obliged to fly the city on account of his gambling frauds, and on his decease, his amiable Countess retired to Hanover, it being her native country, and although she was privy to the circumstances which had compelled Hardenberg to leave Berlin, yet from a noble spirit of generosity and liberality, she had forborne to divulge the transaction, not wishing to injure him in the estimation of those individuals of rank and respectability, with whom he was in the habit of associating, and perhaps be the means of obliging him to seek a residence in a distant country. The circumstance of Hardenberg having traduced the character of an honourable and amiable Prince, when such a heavy stigma rested upon his own, and as a probability existed that fatal consequences might issue, were not the affair terminated in an amicable manner, the Countess determined in confidence, to impart to General Bude, the circumstances of Hardenberg's disgrace at Berlin, leaving him to make whatever use he pleased of the information. General Bude lost not a moment in waiting upon Baron Hardenberg, and in a resolute manner insisted
upon a full and ample apology being made to his Royal Highness for any, and every aspersion that he had had the presumption to cast upon his character, or he would appeal to the unpleasant expedient of shewing to the public, that the character of Hardenberg itself, was so tainted with infamy, that it would be an actual disgrace to any man whatever his station might in life, be much less then a Prince of the bloodroyal of England, to meet him on the terms of that equality of condition, which is supposed to exist between individuals, who are to be placed in a hostile position against each other. Baron Hardenberg was thunder-struck, he little suspected that there was a person in the circles amongst which he moved, who had the key to the secrets of his former life, or who by the exposition of his former conduct, could at once hurl him from that station in society, which he had attained by a system of consummate address, and an apparent observance of all the punctilios, on which the true character of the nobleman is founded. General Bude was peremptory; giving the Baron six hours to determine upon the line of conduct which he was to pursue, but at the same time giving him distinctly to understand, that until he could go into the field, with a fair and unblemished character, neither his Royal Highness nor Captain Merrick, should condescend to take any further notice of him.
The question was soon brought to an issue, on the following morning the Baron publicly posted his recantation of all and every expression, which he had made use of, derogatory to the character of Prince William, and confessed that they were uttered in the moment of extraordinary excitement, occasioned by his losses at the gambling table.
Thus terminated, the affair, as far as Prince William was corcerned, but from that moment, Hardenberg sank in the good opinion of the Hanoverians, and he ultimately left the country, dying at last in the town of Konigstein, in the most abject state of poverty.
The Bishop of Osnaburg was at this time on the point of returning to Berlin, to be present at the periodical reviews of