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reached Nalda, and on the 14th, met there the reigning Duke of Saxe Meiningen. On the 24th of July the Duke went to pay a visit to his sister, the Queen of Wirtemberg, at Stutzgard. On this journey his Royal Highness had a narrow escape of losing his life near Kundelsau, owing to a drunken postilion; the horses of his carriage were urged down a declivity, on one side of which was a precipice, by the weight of the carriage; the wheel-horses seeming sensible of the danger, by a strong effort retarded the velocity of the vehicle in turning an angle of the road, where destruction seemed inevitable, tlius taking the carriage just clear of the danger. The Duke travelled as Count Von Munster. He reached Louisburg in time to embrace his sister. His Royal Highness remained a week at Stuttgardt, and then returned to Meiningen to the Duchess. Not long after the royal party left the place for Heidelberg, whence they made excursions on the Neckar.
The Duke left Hesse Homburg for Brussels, and thence by way of Ghent proceeded to Antwerp, and embarked in the Royal Sovereign for England.
The Duke found that death had made fresh inroads among his old connexions and friends in 1823; Earl St. Vincent whom the Duke succeeded as General of Marines, Lord Keith, and Lord Erskine, died that year. He had become patron of several charitable societies at Plymouth, and gave his name to a new one, which was called the “Royal Naval Annuitant Society,” in 1823.
In the beginning of 1825, the Duke of Clarence left England on board the Comet steamer, at Woolwich, and landed at Calais ; from whence his Royal Highness proceeded by Ghent to Meiningen, whither he went to be present at the marriage of the Duke of Saxe Meiningen to a Princess of the house of Hesse Cassel. The Duke took with him on this occasion two of his daughters, whom the change of climate very much affecta ted, and they were obliged to have medical atiendance. On this occasion the conduct of the Duke as a father was remarkably kind. He visited them four or five times a day, and showed a paternal solicitude about their recovery the most un
remitting. The Duke then visited Ems, and was so hale and well in constitution that he kept a Prussian officer, sent to compliment him, full two hours on his legs until he was overcome with fatigue. The Duke returned by Antwerp, where a yacht was waiting for him, the Duchess and their suite. A grand dinner was given on board, by the Duke, to the King of Prussia, the Queen of the Netherlands, and upwards of one hundred persons of distinction. The next day the vessel fell down to Flushing, towed by the Comet steamer; but when out at sea a storm arose, the steamer was separated, and went on for the Downs, while the yacht steered for Yarmouth Roads, where the illustrious party landed, and immediately set off for Londou.
The Duke and Duchess of Clarence quitted England for the Continent again by way of-Calais, on the 21st of May, 1826, whence they proceeded to Ems. In June his Royal Highness was attacked with his old asthmatic disorder. These attacks were very severe, causea much personal suffering, and left him always in a state of great exhaustion. He bore them with a patience and resignation most exemplary. On this tour the Duke visited Constance, travelled through Wirtemburg, and by Ulm to Stuttgardt, returning to Meiningen. After a residence of about four months, the Duke and Duchess came back to England, by way of Coblentz and Brussels, passing over the field of Waterloo, where the lying guides impose so many tales upon travellers, and did not it appeared spare the Duke. They reached Calais on the 30th of September, and forth with embarked for Dover. The Duke was observed to be exceedingly exact and methodical in everything. His expenses, were calculated with the greatest minuteness, and his mode of travelling so arranged, that there should be the least possible delay upon every occasion. Abroad his kindness to his servants was very remarkable as well as at home. In Germany he would fancy he saw unhappiness on the face of one of them, and conjecturing the cause, would endeavour to remove it. Mr. Jone of his Royal Highness's suite, the Duke fancied one day was 27.
solitary, and as the French say ennuyance, and he ordered & fishing rod to be purchased for him, that he might amuse himself in Germany as he did in England. In this way be Duke always attached those of his suite or bis servants to him; and as he was far from showing any of the hauteur of coo many in high life, no one ever had more attached friends. His Royal Highness' temper too was remarkably agreeable.
The year 1827 had scarcely commenced, when the Duke of York's death placed the Duke of Clarence in the situation of heir-presumptive to the throne. Very soon after the event, where his Royal Highness at the funeral appeared as chiefmourner, an increase of 30001. a year was additionally voted to the Duke, and 60007. to the Duchess of Clarence. Scarcely was this matter of revenue arranged before the Earl of Liverpool was struck down by a fit of paralysis, and became incapable of continuing in the office of prime-minister. On the 11th of April, Mr. Canning succeeded to the premiership, after accept ing his Majesty's commands to form an administration. The inembers of the existing cabinet received the notice with coldness and they all, soon after, sent in their resignations. It was from this moment that a dawn of that course of liberal measures which has tended so much to benefit the people of England first broke upon the gloom of the political horizon.
Before proceeding further, it will not be amiss to notice an incident of the time which is decidedly authentic, and which shows how curiously sometimes even accidental jokes become verified. The Duke of Clarence had always been disliked by the parties who were at the head of the government, He was of too plain speaking manner for them, not at all in consenance with those of the Court. The Duke of Clarence was not supple enough; he said what he thought upon all occasions, in the most blunt down-right way; he had not the polite arts of his royal brothers to win his way through the polished hypocrisy of the atmosphere of insincerity in which he moved, after he came from sea. His Royal Highness had not the benefit of that experience so doubtful in virtue, which
the dissipated circles of princes exhibit. · His life was passed in the cockpit and the ward-room, and if the more experienced courtier were better able to overreach and to deceive, to put on a glazing softness of manners, to assume the wisdom that he did not possess, and the conduct more honoured in the breach than the observance, so much the better for the moral worth of the man, if these virtues detracted from the imagined accomplishments of the Prince. No one who knew anything of the character of the two individuals, would charge the Duke of Clarence with being less gifted in mind than his brother of York, much less lay at his door an equal share of follies or vices. More need not be said here on a subject upon which so much might be adduced in the way of comparison, as long as the reader is satisfied that no moral nor intellectual infe-riority, which cannot for a single instant be admitted, was the cause why the Duke of Clarence was neglected by the ministers of the day, when he sought active employment during a long course of years, in a service the hardships and duties of which he had patiently gone through; or why his good-nature end simplicity of character were sometimes imposed upon, and often declared for a purpose to be a lack of intellectual ability, It must surely be admitted, that in what was solid and indicative of talent, the Duke of Clarence, unaided by the first wits and writers of the day, to say fine things for him and palm them upon the world as his, was still able to conduct a correspondence, or maintain an argument equal in good sense to any individual of his august family. There seemed at one time a continual desire to disparage and detract from the quiet and unostentatious merits of this Prince, this feeling, infecting even the most vulgar and ill-bred of those who frequented the court of his father and mother. To the Prince Regent indeed, when made Admiral of the Fleet, the Duke of Clarence was indebted for a momentary employment in the Channel, hoisting his flag there as Admiral of the Fleet. Again his Royal Highness remained without taking any part in professional service or public life, uutil Canning placed him at
the head of the Admiralty as Premier, and greatly to the satis faction of the English people, for ever struck down the bansful Melville influence, which had so long through sire and son, appeared the appanage of a jobbing Scotch family, not more sedulous in preserving unbroken the strings that pull the puppets of corruption, than some thrifty Scots were wont to be, when they could once clutch them.
With the removal of the Melville incubus from the Admiralty, fell also one whose claim to notice, in what is calied “respectability” in the world, was very much the Scotchman's inferior. Superior in talent, he applied that talent unscrupulously to his own advancement under them. With the Melville interest fell the vocation of Mr. John Wilson Croker, who owed to his distinguished services towards the discomfiture of Mrs. Clark, in the history of the amours of the “Duke and Darling," the high office of Secretary to the Admiralty. In those days it seemed as if favour truly went by kissing, and the “Duke” and his “Darling's” kissing being discovered, made the fortunes of Mr. Croker. Wit and Mr. Croker, for the gentleman is a wit, may be good-humoured and fine, or ill-natured and coarse; that of Mr. Croker cannot be ranked in the class the shafts of which are very high, nor are they polished very discriminatory in that direction to the wounding of vice or virtue; even Mr. Croker quailed before the Amazon when she retorted so sharply upon the selfish advocate of the Duke, on bis pertly asking her “What name was signed to the anonyinous letter ?”
Alluding to Mr. Croker, it must be omitted that he was one, of course, who affected to think lightly of the Duke of Clarence, most probably because he saw others affect the same thing among the race of upstarts who formed the later companions and flatterers of the Prince Regent and King George IV, a race neither recommended to royal or princely notice by talents, birth, or acquired knowledge, but courtiers of the most supple and crouching character who had sprung from nothing. Croker was a man far above this class, but he did not disdair to take his tone from those who were in talent