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Vol. I. No. IV.-FEBRUARY 1, 1827.
“ Recollections of London," No. II. in our next.
G. P. 0. will find his communication word for word in Shaftesbury's Characteristics..-“ plague take our ancestors, they have said all our good things before us."
S., B. B., and V. shall be inserted.
We beg to inform the person who signs “ Xeros," that Queen Anne is dead: our readers may think this piece of intelligence unnecessary, but we assure them that it is newer by at least fifty years, and far more important, than our friend's communication.
* PISTOL” is a swaggering dog, but very harmless---his bullets are as Soft as his brains.
The MS. just received signed “XX.” puzzles us sadly. We look at it, and look at it, bút cannot make out more than one word in twenty. Our friend D. says the writer was certainly under the influence of “double X.” when he scribbled it---for ourselves, we can make nothing of it. Our Persian interpreter will be in town next week, and we will shew it to him, unless in the meantime the writer will tell us what it is all about.
F. will not do.
JON. OLDBUCK, the Younger.
HIS LATE R. H., FREDERICK, DUKE OF YORK.
"A plain, blunt man.” SHAKESPEARE.
The brilliancy which surrounds exalted stations is apt so entirely to blind the eyes of the majority of mankind, that we almost forget that princes are but " men, even as we are.” The glittering and gaudy pomp with which we suppose them to be continually circumscribed, but which in many instances has no other existence than in our imaginations; the state and pride of ceremony which seem to hedge them in, the splendour and magnificence of their dwelling-places, and the humble obsequiousness of their attendants, all tend to exclude from our ideas of royalty, the inconveniences, the miseries, and above all, the death which we too well know to be the lot of humbler individuals. The chambers of princes appear to us halls of perpetual gladness; their condition, one of uninterrupted happiness; an Elysium unpolluted by care; an Eden into which sorrow dares not intrude. So prevalent, so universal is this idea, not only in familiar conversation, but even in the writings of inspired authors, that we find a state of unmixed and eternal happiness cannot be described in terms more forcible or more illustrative than those which are employed to denote the circumstances of royalty: “a crown of glory" is the Christian's promised recompense, and they who have received their reward, are described as “ sitting upon thrones," “ clothed in white raiments," and “ having on their heads crowds of gold.” It does indeed sometimes happen, that the veil which conceals the truth from us is signally withdrawn, and we are at once convinced of the imperfection of human language and the instability of regal happiness. No occur. rence produces these results more certainly than when “pale Death," ever watchful to assert his authority, humbles one of the mightiest amongst us to the dust. Then, indeed, the vision is dispelled, and the sympathy which pervades a whole people, as if they were one family, and converts every habitation into “a house of mourning," at once establishes our claim of universal kindred. No event is more striking, or is fraught with more solemn lessons of morality, than a royal death, especially if the prince be one whose claims to favour rest upon private worth as well as public services. In the melancholy instance to which we all are at present witnesses, the general voice proclaims that this union was found; and the willingness with which all classes of society united, and continue to unite, in even more than the ordinary demonstrations of mourning and regret, prove their sincerity, and furnish a convincing testimony in his behalf. For ourselves, we know not how we can better shew our respect to his memory, than by a plain and unbiassed statement of his actions, which, although it may not prove him faultless, will at least convince the candid that his memory deserves to be cherished and respected.
FREDERICK, the second son of George III. and Charlotte bis Queen, was born on the 16th of August, 1763, George IV., the eldest son, having been born on the 12th of August in the year preceding. On the 27th of February, 1764, Prince Frederick was elected titular Bishop of Osnaburgh, in the King's German dominions. This hishoprick is governed alternately by a Popish and a Protestant bishop; when a Catholic bishop is chosen, it is done entirely by the Catholics, and his jurisdiction is ecclesiastical: but the Protestant bishop, who is merely the inspector of civil affairs, is nominated by the House of Brunswick Lunenburg. The Elector of Cologne, who is the Metropolitan, governs ecclesiastical matters during the continuance of the Protestant bishop. .
On the 30th of December, 1767, at a Chapter of the Military Order of the Bath, his royal highness was invested with the badges of that Order, and on the 15th of June, 1772, was installed Principal Companion in Henry VII.'s chapel.
On the 19th of June, 1771, he was chosen Knight of the most Noble and Illustrious Order of the Garter, and was installed at Windsor on the 25th of that month.
On the 27th of November, 1784, being then of age, he was created Duke of York and of Albany in Great Britain, and Earl of the province of Ulster in Ireland.
Of the education of his royal highness, we have little account; but he is said to have been quick in the acquisition of languages, and much given to the hardier sports of boyhood. Fond of leaping, fencing, riding, cricket, and ever merry and good-tempered.
Having been early destined for a soldier, he was sent to the continent to observe the practice of the military art amongst foreigners; and, whilst at Berlin, is said to have received instructions in tactics from the Great Frederick. Mirabeau, who was jealous of the attention paid to the duke at the Prussian Court, described him, notwithstanding, as a lively young man: his account of him is, however, so splenetic, and so manifestly unjust, that it scarcely deserves notice.
In 1788, the illness of the king occasioned the well-known disputes between Fox and Pitt, as to the right of the Prince of Wales to the Regency of the kingdom, during his father's indisposition, and, afterwards, as to the propriety of restraining the powers to be committed to him. Upon the agitation of the first of these questions the Duke of York made his maiden speech in the House of Lords, and is said to have delivered it in a manner “ modest yet unembarrassed, graceful yet animated." He strongly deprecated all discussion upon the question of right, and, in the name of the prince, expressed his wish that it might be waved. He stated, that no claim of right had been advanced by the Prince of Wales, and he was confident that his brother too well understood the sacred principles which seated
the House of Brunswick upon the throne, ever to assume or exercise any power, be his claim what it might, that was not derived from the will of the people expressed by their representatives. Upon the consideration of the restrictions, the Duke of York, together with fifty-six of the peers, entered an indignant protest against them upon the Journals of the House. His majesty's recovery, it is well known, prevented the passing of the bill.
In the year following, his royal highness became implicated in an affair of honor with Colonel Lennox, which arose out of circumstances which have been thus related :-On the 18th of May, 1789, Colonel Lennox sent a circular letter to the members of Daubigny's Club, to the following effect:- That “ a report having been spread that the Duke of York had said, some words had been made use of to him (Colonel L.) in a political conversation that no gentleman ought to submit to,” Colonel L. took the first opportunity to speak to his royal highness before the officers of the Coldstream regiment, to which Colonel L. belongs; when he answered, “ that he had heard them said to Colonel L. at Daubigny's, but refused, at the same time, to tell the expression, or the person who had used it; that, in this situation, being perfectly ignorant what his royal highness could allude to, and not being aware that any such expression ever passed, he (Colonel L.) knew not of any better mode of clearing up the matter than by writing a letter to every member of Daubigny's Club, desiring each of them to let him know if he could recollect any ex. pression to have been used in his (Colonel Li's) presence, which could bear the construction put upon it by his royal highness; and, in such case, by whom the expression was used.”
None of the members of the Club having given an affirmative answer to this request, and the duke still declining to give any further explanation than he had done before the officers of the Coldstream regiment, Colonel Lennox thought it incumbent on him to call upon his royal highness for the satisfaction due from one gentleman to another. The duke at once waved that distinction of rank of which he might have properly availed himself, and consented to give Colonel Lennox the meeting required. The following is the account of the affair, as published by the two seconds, Lord Rawdon (the late Marquis of Hastings) and Lord Winchelsea:
“ In consequence of a dispute, already known to the public, his Royal Highness the Duke of York, attended by Lord Rawdon, and Lieutenant-Colonel Lennox, accompanied by the Earl of Winchelsea, met at Wimbledon-common. The ground was measured at twelve paces, and both parties were to fire at a signal agreed upon. The signal being given, Lieutenant-Colonel Lennox fired, and the ball grazed his royal highness's curl; the Duke of York did not fire. Lieutenant-Colonel Lennox observed that his royal highness had not fired. Lord Rawdon said it was not the duke's intention to fire; his royal highness had come out upon Lieutenant-Colonel Lennox's desire to give him satisfaction, and had no animosity against him.