Abbildungen der Seite

left Dover for London, and the Emperor of Russia took up his residence in the Pultney Hotel, and had alighted, entered the house, and was at the top of the stairs, before he was recognised. He embraced his sister in an affectionate manner, and took up his quarters there. The King of Prussia and the veteran Blucher, remained, while they stayed in the country, at the house of the Duke of Clarence, who went down to Portsmouth to a more congenial duty to himself than feasting and riding about the country. He was soon after followed by the Prince Regent and Duke of Cambridge, who preceded the royal foreigners, in order to meet their illustrious guests there in form. At the place of embarkation they were received by the Duke of Clarence, and the naval procession in the royal and other barges, which passed down the line formed by the shipping, the yards being manned for the occasion. The Duke of Clarence preceded the party to the impregnable, on board of which he received his august guests, as commander-in-chief; the ships' company cheered, and the vessels fired salutes.

The royal visiters were very curious, and narrowly inspected the vessel. They questioned the sailors, tasted their grog, made them presents, and seemed to be much pleased with the

A grand collation was laid out for them on the Prince Regent's richest plate, after partaking of which, they returned on shore and dined at the Government House, where a banquet was given by the Prince Regent. The next day they visited the Dock-yard and Arsenal, examined the machinery, and the Emperor of Russia went again on board the Impregnable with the Duke of Clarence.

ace. The fleet got under weigh, formed the line in front of the Isle of Wight, every ship firing a salute, the Royal Sovereign being the headmost ship, in which were the Regent and King of Prussia. There were above two hundred sail of every class and kind of shipping under sail together. After standing out a few miles to sea, the fleet returned to its anchorage, and the royal party landed. The next day the troops in the garrison were reviewed, and the royal party proceeded to Goodwood, to breakfast with the Duke of Richmond; from thence they went to Petworth, and dined with Lord


Egremont; and thus continued their journey to Dover, and reembarked for the Continent.

On the 7th of July this year, the Duke of Clarence accompanied his royal brothers and the Prince Regent to St. Paul's Cathedral, on the day of thanksgiving for the peace.

About this time a court-martial was held, on the application of the officers of the tenth dragoons, against Lieutenant-Colonel Quintin, their commander. This officer had been a ridingmaster to some of the prisoners, it was said, and had clearly been pushed up in the army by promotion of some kind. This report was fully justified by the results. The charges were specific, and they were in the essential part fully proved. The nature of such a tribunal is easily seen when it acts in any way opposed to particular inclinations. The main charge against this Colonel Quintin was, his having neglected his duty as a commanding officer, than which there could scarcely be one more onerous. Of this charge, Quintin was found guilty, and the very finding confirms the truth of the acts with which he was charged by asking the simple question, “how did he neglect his duty ?” The reply to which is by his being guilty of the offences charged in the first article exhibited against him. On the fourth charge, of relaxed discipline being allowed by the said Colonel Quintin to exist in the regiment while under his command, having been before reprimanded, the court-martial did not think proper to increase the reprimand, and for a crime which would have broken any other officer, it may be imagined, the Colonel was only reprimanded again. Lastly, so strong was the shield thrown over this offender, that the Regent takes especial care, in the King's name to admonish officers of the severe responsibility attaching to those who become accusers of their superiors—they are unmindful of it by what they owe “ to the first principles of their profession, by forming an opinion of their commander's personal conduct, which neither their general experience of the service, vor their knowledge of the alleged facts, could justify.” Some were “ inadvertent,” it seemed and some "inexperienced,” and so the officers who had proposed a duty to the public, in bringing

a commander guilty of neglect of duty to trial, are all turned to the right about for it, and in order to punish them, they are told, though some of them are officers, fully the equals of Colonel Quintin in army rank, and in every thing, but the date of a commission, that they are not to form a judgment, to exercise their reasons, or to bring a superior officer to trial, do what he may. It is difficult to say whether the arbitrary nature, the false reasoning, or the stupidity of such an order issued in his Majesty's name, is most conspicuous. Two of the officers were sons of the Duke of Clarence, one now the Earl of Munster, and the other Henry Fitzclarence, who died in the East Indies. These last were kindly permitted, as if to insult their kind father, to seek their fortunes in India, for doing an act in concert with oihers of public duty. This was not all. It rests on the authority of a letter of their mother's that M‘Mahon, the Prince's secretary, when they were sent out to India, sent with them a note, begging that the strictest discipline, not to say severity, should be exercised towards them, in consequence of their share in the business of the 10th Hussars. The individual to whom it was addressed said in reply,” that he had received the colonel's letter, and that he should have returned it with the contempt it deserved, but that he chose to retain it, that he might have it in his power to expose him, should such unfair and offensive conduct be repeated, and that no British officer would be dictated to in their line of conduct with those under their command.” Now M-Mahon could not have done this without orders from some quarter. The 10th was the Prince of Wales regiment—who could have dared give such orders but himself? Yet the compliment to his brother's feeling was as bad as could well be. The Duke of Clarence had always paid great deference; and shown much regard for him, and this was an ill re-payment of such regard. There might have been underlings about the household, who were friends of this Colonel Quintin's, but could they have ventured on such a contemptible and pitiful act without a motive? As it turned out, the officer's dismissal did not mend the character of the regiment. The puppyism of the 10th under its recast

state became a standing joke in Dublin, and the regiment will never lose the well earned reputation. One of the young men sent to India never returned to England ; the other has distinguished himself as a soldier and a man of considerable acquirements, and no members of any family have conducted themselves, in the delicate circumstances in which their positions have placed them, with more correct feeling and scrupuJous propriety of public carriage. Nothing which can reflect upon one of them, which is founded in truth, has ever been advanced, because uncharitableness itself cannot discover a holding-place in their conduct. The interests of truth require this should be said in speaking of them. As to Colonel Quintin, his conduct was not spared by the press of that day: it had been better employed in urging some more impartial system of Court-martials which are not bound to make their consciences “ become the accusers of their superiors.”

When the lamented Princess Charlotte was married, on the 2nd of May 1816, at Carlton House, the Duke of Clarence supported his niece at the ceremony, and always exhibited towards her Royal Highness the greatest affection.

In 1817, the Duke of Clarence accompanied the Queen, his mother to Bath, where her Majesty was advised to go for the benefit of her health : the Princess Elizabeth, also, accompanied her mother. They had scarcely arrived in the city, and began to use the waters, before the death of the Princess Charlotte was announced. The Queen fainted upon hearing the news, and the Duke of Clarence, who was dining at the Guildhall, left the table on hearing the melancholy intelligence, as did all the guests. The illustrious visitors returned the next day to Windsor Castle. At the funeral of the Princess, in St. George's Chapel, Prince Leopold, as chief mourner, was supported by the Dukes of York and Clarence.

The Duke of Clarence returned to Bath with his illustrious relatives after the funeral was over. The Duke bad found benefit from the waters in attacks of the gout, and regularly drank them during his residence there. On going to visit Clifton and the neighbourhood of Bristol, the Duke of

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Clarence - received the freedom of the city of Bristol in a
gold box ; that of Bath had previously been presented to

Soon after the return of the royal party to Windsor, they
proceeded to Buckingham House to celebrate the marriage of
the Princess Elizabeth with the Prince of Hesse Homburg, a
very desirable match for the German potentate, whose whole
revenue was said not to exceed 2,000l. or 3,000). The Duke
of Clarence and Kent led the bride to the altar, and her
Royal Highness was given - away by the Duke of York.
Shortly after this event it was proposed, upon the motion of
the Earl of Liverpool, to augment the income of the Duke of
Clarence, on the understanding of his marriage to the Princess
of Saxe Meiningen being to take place. In the House of
Commons, in place of 10,0001. a-year, 6,0001. was moved by
Mr. Holme Sumner, who complained of the Duke's being in
debt. Lord Castlereagh said, if the resolutions were agreed
to, the Duke, besides making a provision to extinguish his
debts, would have 25,0001. of unencumbered income. The
amendment of Mr Sumner to reduce the 10,0001. to 6,0001.
was carried in the House of Commons. Lord Castlereagh
announced that the negotiation for the marriage was at an end.
The Duke, declaring he could not marry without running in
debt, and keep up, at the same time, a proper establishment,
begged to decline the proposed allowance. On the persuasion
of his friends, however, a short time afterwards, the Duke was
induced to accept the offer, and continue the treaty for the
marriage of the Princess before mentioned: the correspond-
ence was therefore again resumed. Soon after the Duchess
Dowager brought over her daughter to England, circumstances
preventing the Duke of Clarence from going to Germany at
that moment, and he was married to the Princess at Kew, on
the 13th of July, 1818.
• There were present at the marriage the Duke and Duchess
of Kent, who were re-married according to the rites of the
established church. The Queen was able to attend the ceremony,

4 L

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »