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Prince of Wales, dressed in scarlet and gold, with the insignia of the Order of the Garter; the Bishop of Osnaburg, in blue and gold, with the Order of the Bath ; Prince William, in a Roman toga, and the Princess Royal, in a stiff-starched musiin frock, with the determination of the Americans, not to endure the taxation of the mother country. The same historian, however, informs us, that the impression produced by the pleasing spectacle of the scarlet and gold of the Prince of Wales, and the blue and gold of the Bishop of Osnaburg, not forgetting the Roman toga of Prince William, was so very great, that with the view of further conciliating the people, the Prince of Wales was again brought conspicuously before the public, by giving a juvenile ball and supper at Buckingham House ; but, as the arm of power, and the gagging system, forced the people to quietude, and America was ultimately lost to the Crown of England, it was evident, as the lawyers would express themselves, that the Queen took nothing by her drawing-rooms, and that the whole benefit derived from them, was a temporary influx of a little money into the pockets of the milliner, the tailor, or the plumassier.
As particularly illustrative of the early character of William IV., we transcribe the following account of the royal children at this time, from one of Mrs. Chapone's letters.
Mrs. Chapone, who was niece of Dr. Thomas, Bishop of Winchester, formerly preceptor to George III, and was in the habit of spending much of her time at her uncle's residence, at Farnham Castle, relates the following anecdotes of the Royal Family, in a letter to Mr. Burrows, dated August 20, 1778.
“ Mr. Buller went to Windsor on Saturday; saw the King who inquired much about the Bishop, and hearing that he would be eighty-two next Monday, then,' said the King, I will go and wish him joy'. And I,' said the Queen, 'will go too.' Mr. Buller then dropt a hint of the additional pleasure it would give the Bishop, if he could see the Princes. That,' said the King, requires contrivance; but if I can manage it, we will all go.' On the Monday following, the royal party, consisting of their Majesties, the Prince of Wales, Duke of
York, Duke of Clarence, the Princess Royal, and Princess Augusta, visited the Bishop. The King,' continues Mrs. Chapone, sent the Princes to pay their compliments to Mrs. Chapone; himself, he said, was an old acquaintance. Whilst the Princes were speaking to me, Mr. Arnold, the sub-preceptor, said, “ These gentlemen are well acquainted with a certain ode prefixed to Mrs. Carter's Fpictetus, if you know any thing of it. Afterwards, the King came and spoke to us, and the Queen led the Princess Royal to me, saying, 66 This is a young lady, who, I hope, has much profited by your instructions. She has read them [Letters on the Improvement of the Mind] more than once, and will read them often; and the Princess assented to the praise which followed with a very modest air. I was pleased with all the Princes, but particularly with Prince William, who is little of his age, but so sensible and engaging, that he won the Bishop's heart, to whom he particularly attached himself, and would stay with him, while all the rest ran about the house. His conversation was surprisingly manly and clever for his age, yet, with the young Bullers, he was quite the boy, and said to John Buller, by way of encouraging him to talk, “ Come, we are both boys, you know.” All of them showed affectionate respect to the Bishop; the Prince of Wales pressed his hand so hard, that he hurt it.'"
In regard to the education of Prince William, the same system was adopted with him, as with his elder brothers, but it is an observation, and a very just one, which has been made by some very acute writers, that the British nation, which exercises the utmost jealousy in almost everything that regards its Princes, "has been singularly and culpably inattentive to whatever concerns their education. We have, indeed, an instance in the case of the son of the Duke of Cumberland, when the Government on granting a certain sum to defray the expenses of his education, stipulated that he should not be educated out of the country, and when it is considered, that the son of the Duke of Cumberland stands in a very near succession to the throne, it becomes a matter of importance
that he should be educated according to the principles of the English Constitution, and not in accordance with the despotic and arbitrary institutions of the German governments. The country is well aware, how the royal father managed to evade the stipulation imposed upon him, but after all, it was a mere matter of pounds, shillings, and pence, for according to the dictum of the Crown lawyers, the education of Princes is a matter of prerogative, with which the two houses of Parliament have no right to interfere, and consequently, whenever the subject has been agitated in the legislature, as happened in one or two instances, the answers of the friends of the Court to those who perceived, or thought they perceived, something faulty in the system of education pursued with regard to the young Princes, has been, that the education of a Prince of the blood, was a branch of the royal prerogative, and that the mere agitation of the subject was derogatory to the dignity of the Crown. But as we have before hinted, the affair of the Duke of Cumberland was a mere matter of money, the Parliament virtually had it in their power, to lay any restrictions upon him in regard to the education of his son, but the Duke considered it an excellent opportunity of exacting from the people of this country an augmentation of his income, and on what other ground could he apply, than for the education of his son? For himself, he knew that he might knock for ever at the door of the House of Commons, in the character of a royal beggar, and that he would meet with the same treatment, which other beggars generally experience in a more humble state of life. As to the stipulation imposed upon him, he knew he could break it whenever he pleased; and he did break it, for although the people heard of the periodical arrival of Prince George of Cumberland, with his tutor at his heels, in conformity with the stipulation of the English Legislature, yet in reality, it was a mockery; for their appearance in England, was nothing more than a kind of holiday visit, the actual education of the Prince being carried on in Berlin.
We have only to advert to the names of the individuals chosen by George III., for the education of his sons, to arrive
at the immediate knowledge of the principles in which they were educated. The political bias of the King was toryism, in its most comprehensive sense. The political partialities of the Queen not only tended to the same point, but imbued as she was with the high aristocratic predilections of the German principalities, it cannot be considered but almost as a natural consequence, that the tutors of their children should have been selected from that class, who were the most conspicuous for the display of those principles, which they themselves professed. The preceptor of a Prince is not always chosen according to the extent of his attainments, or the profundity of his knowledge, for the situation is too often obtained by personal interest, dexterity, and intrigue, to the actual exclusion of direct and acknowledged merit. Fenelon was the tutor of the heir to the Crown of France, his virtue was unimpeachable, his morals without a stain, his maxims of integrity were rigid and inflexible, and on that account he was dismissed the Court. We never heard of a tutor of an English Prince being dismissed from Court for a similar offence.
There cannot be a doubt, and many actions of their life distinctly verify the position, that the mode of education which George III. adopted with his children, was anything but calculated to make them conversant with the great theory of human life, and as to practice, they far too soon emancipated themselves from the galling yoke of dominion, and became comparatively speaking, their own masters, when in some measure, they ought to have been in leading-strings. It is too much a habit of human nature, to make others follow in the track in which we have moved ourselves, and if we minutely consider the mode of education adopted with George III, we shall then be able to trace many of the errors and mistakes which that Monarch made in the education of his children. The chilling restraint and seclusion which his system of education adopted, derived all their severer features from the King himself; who, in certain matters evinced a degree of self-will, characterised by some, as firmness, but which in reality, degenerated into a kind of mulish obstinacy, yet by the King
himself, it was designated as royal prudence. The effect of this system of education was in after years, more observable in the Prince of Wales, than in any other branch of the royal family. It was the foundation of that system of seclusion, and of a total want of access, which was more in character with the Emperor of China, than that of a Prince, ruling over a free and independent people. In every Court of Europe, it is practicable to lay before the Sovereign any truth, in which the rights of an individual, the good of the nation, or the good of the Sovereign himself are concerned, but the Prince of Wales on account of the faulty system of his education, was, when he came into the possession of the Kingly power, the most inacessible Monarch that ever sat upon the throne of England. It is the fashion of Englishmen to talk of the despotism of Russia, and Germany, but Paul the Emperor of Russia, had his “lion's mouth,” into which his subjects threw their grievances, and with all his madness, to his honour be it said, that he attended to the contents of “ the lion's mouth," as it was termed in Petersburg, before he admitted the foreign Ambas. sadors into his presence. He never neglected, nor refused to give an answer, even to the petition of the humblest of his subjects, nor did he ever hesitate to redress a grievance, as soon as the complainant had established its existence. Even the calumniated Turk, from the midst of his women in his seraglio, receives the complaints of his people, private or political, and although redress may not always be given, the subject has the satisfaction to know that his complaint has been attended to. There is, however, another man, greater than all them, whom we may quote in illustration of the present subject, and that individual was Napoleon Buonapartethe branded despot of Europe; he did, indeed, affect to, and did hold the Princes and Sovereigns of Europe in contempt, but he listened to the complaints of the people, and could be approached by even the most ordinary of men; but the Prince Regent of England was inaccessible, his gates was hermetically barred more to his own disadvantage and loss, than to that of any one, who ever wished to approach him.