THE DEATH OF PRINCE ALBERT

by Victoria Hinshaw

On the night of 14 December, 1861, Queen Victoria lost her beloved husband Prince Albert. In the custom of the time, most of her subjects learned of his death through the tolling of church bells, traditional alert to crisis.

Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, 1840

In 2011, 150 years after the event, the BBC History Magazine carried an article about how the death of Prince Albert threatened the continuing existence of the monarchy.  Here is a topic with everything: love, dynasty, death and mourning, royalty, and Future Considerations, the capital letters well-deserved.  Most of the information in this post comes from the magazine article  by Helen Rappaport, author of Magnificent Obsession: Victoria, Albert and the Death that Changed the Monarchy, published by Hutchinson, 2011.

Victoria was already Queen when she and Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha were married on February 10, 1840.  There is no doubt that she adored him — handsome, clever, and virile, Prince Albert had long been intended to be  her spouse by their mutual uncle, Leopold, King of the Belgians, since 1831 and the widower of the late Princess Charlotte of Wales, who died in 1817.

Leopold I, King of the Belgians; portrait by Winterhalter

King Leopold was the brother of both Victoria’s mother, the Duchess of Kent, and Albert’s father, Ernst I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

Queen Victoria  and Prince Albert with their children in 1846; Painted by Franz Xavier Winterhalter
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were parents of four sons and five daughters and eventually 42 grandchildren, most of whom married into European royalty and aristocratic families.
There is little doubt from her writing that her marriage to Albert was a love match for Victoria.  If those early years were difficult for Prince Albert, he was confident of her adoration, and he worked hard to win the confidence of her advisers, government officials, and the public.
2010 Exhibition at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London
Several years ago, Kristine and I attended the exhibition “Victoria and Albert: Art and Love” and feasted our eyes on the lovely portraits and objects they gave each other. According to the catalogue, “This exhibition is the first ever to focus on Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s shared enthusiasm for art. Bringing together more than 400 items from the Royal Collection, it celebrates the royal couple’s mutual delight in collecting and displaying…”  We examined each item, until we could hardly stand on our tired feet.  Seeing their love so obviously expressed gave us a new appreciation of their mutual trust and dependence upon one another
Prince Albert, 1859, by Winterhalter
 By the time he died, most people (according to Rappaport) considered Albert to be King in all but name. Regarding the press accounts of his death, Rappaport writes, “Many of them were tinged with a profound sense of guilt that Albert had never been sufficiently valued during his life time for his many and notable contributions to British culture as an outstanding patron of the arts, education, science and business.” The Queen was plunged into a profound depression which lasted for many years.
The Death of Prince Albert
 As seemed to be common in the British Royal Family, first sons and their ruling fathers often did not see eye to eye.  Prince Albert was disappointed in his eldest son, known as Bertie, who succeeded his mother as monarch King Edward VII in 1901. Albert had kept Bertie to a strict regimen of preparation for his eventual role as King, but Bertie, being young and mischievous, managed to involved himself in troublesome activities.  The Queen, in part, blamed her son for her husband’s illness and death.
The fear grew in Britain that the Queen would never recover from her grief, and her exaggerated mourning would endanger the continuation of the monarchy.  Victoria and Albert had, during their 20-year reign, re-established the dignity of the royal family, so greatly reduced during the period of the Hanovers, the first four Georges and William IV.
Prince and Princess of Wales, wedding in 1863
Rappaport writes, Victoria “became increasingly intractable in response to every attempt to coax her out of her self-imposed purdah…the only thing that interested Victoria now was her single-handed mission to memorialize her husband in perpetuity.”
The Albert Memorial, Kensington Gardens, London, one of many memorials to the Prince Consort
 Not until 1871 did Queen Victoria begin to appear in public again. Rappaport writes, “…discontent escalated into outright republican challenges and calls for Victoria’s abdication…when Queen Victoria attended a thanksgiving service at St. Paul’s Cathedral” to celebrate the recovery of the Prince of Wales from an attack of typhoid fever, the disease which may have killed his father ten years earlier.  From then on, public sympathy was recovered for the Queen and her son.
Queen Victoria, 1899, NPG
With the help of her favorite PM, Disraeli, and her beloved Scottish servant, John Brown, the Queen became “…a respected figure of enduring dignity and fortitude, ageing into her familiar image…only now that people started calling themselves ‘Victorian’s’…”
Albert and Victoria resting side by side in the Royal Mausoleum at Frogmore

HOW TO SCORE THE MARKLE SPARKLE

Meghan Markle made her first official appearance along with fiance Prince Harry in Nottingham on 1 December and her coat (Mackage ‘Elodie’ Navy Wool Coat US$790) and boots (KG by Kurt Geiger Violet Black Suede Over the Knee Boots £229) sold out on the same day. How did everyone find out what pieces she was wearing, so fast? Kensington Palace’s newest fashion icon has us mere mortals wanting to shop pieces, but how do we get the 411 about what they are and where to buy them? I mean before they sell out?

Well, it seems that Meghan has been a trendsetter since at least November 2016, when the website Meghan’s Fashion debuted. Loaded with photos of Meghan’s outfits and the required links to shopping those looks, this site should be bookmarked by all Royal watching fashionistas. Can’t decide between Meghan’s outfit or Katherine’s? No problem, there’s a Kate’s Closet site, as well.

 

And another similar site Princess Charlotte Style for all your tiny princess buying needs.

Then there’s Meghan’s Mirror, a site similar to those above, but which also features Meghan’s best looks, her favourites, her fashion rules and even what’s on her reading list.

Want to see Meghan’s airport look? No problem!

 

And here’s Meghan’s yoga style

 

Even more exciting, Meghan has designed her very own dress line, The Meghan Markle Collection, available online at Canadian retailer Reitman on 27 April, in store 28 April. There’s no way to guess whether Ms. Markle will be able to continue selling her line beyond this season and after marrying into the Royal family, so this may be our only chance to get one of the gorgeous dresses below – all selling for under $100. Mark your calendars!

The Terrace $90

 

The Sunset $95

 

The Soirée $85

You can find photos of the full line here.

Of course, the one MM fashion item we’re all eagerly awaiting is her wedding dress. Trust Number One London to bring you all the speculation, guesses and possible winners as soon as we can.

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BRUSHING UP ON BOSWELL

James Boswell by Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1785

 

James Boswell is best known as the biographer of Dr. Samuel Johnson, but he was also 9th Laird of Auchinleck, in Scotland, with the family seat being Auchinleck House, in Ayershire, below, since it was built circa 1760. Boswell visited often and he and Dr. Johnson stayed here together in 1773 during their return from the Hebrides. As it turns out, a small group of lucky travelers will be staying here and we’ll have the entire estate to ourselves during Number One London’s 2018 Scottish Writer’s Retreat in September. Can there be a more perfect location for a writer’s retreat than the home of the author commonly said to have written the greatest biography in the English language – or the man who spent nine years working on The Dictionary of the English Language?

In light of my upcoming stay, I thought it would only be fitting for me to brush up on my Boswell/Johnson knowledge by re-reading Boswell’s Journals and Christopher Hibbert’s excellent biography, The Personal History of Samuel Johnson.

Samuel Johnson by Sir Joshua Reynolds, circa 1772

Also on my reading list is Adam Sisman’s book, Bowell’s Presumptuous Task, which garnered this review by Bibliomane01 on Amazon:

“In this magnificent work Mr Sisman describes the making of that greatest of all biographies, Boswell’s Life of Dr Johnson. To his contemporaries the task that Boswell had taken on was presumptuous indeed – to record the life of the greatest literary man of his age, while being dismissed himself as a frivolous and reprobate dilettante incapable of any serious activity. Well, the world knows that Bozzy succeeded in confounding his critics, but the tragic irony of his predicament was that he succeeded too well. While hailing the book as a masterpiece, the current and future literary establishment dismissed Boswell’s own role as little more than that of a stenographer. Macaulay’s damning essay on Boswell formed the opinion held by too many people for far too long. The true story of Boswell’s genius became well known to scholars in the 20th century; with this book, Mr. Sisman brings the story to a wider audience. It is a remarkable portrait of Boswell’s love for Johnson and the great struggles he endured to bring his hero to life in the pages of his biography. Battling drink, debauchery, depression and his own self-destructive nature, Boswell managed to pull off the one great sustained piece of effort of his life. In his book Johnson was brought to life once again, an image so convincing that it took over 150 years for people to discern the art behind the apparent ingenuousness of Boswell’s technique. Sisman does a good job of showing how the Johnson of the Life was as much a product of Boswell’s gift as the historical record (although I think readers would have benefited from a few examples of textual analysis to illustrate this). His final chapter on the gradual unearthing of the Boswell papers provides an exciting ending and his writing is clear and compelling. “Boswell’s Presumptuous Task” is nothing short of a triumph.”

The “gradual unearthing of the Boswell papers” mentioned above refers to a cache of Boswell’s private papers and journals found at Malahide Castle just outside of Dublin in the 1920’s. Boswell’s great-great-grandson, Lord Talbot de Malahide sold the papers to American collector Ralph Isham and they now form part of the collection at Yale University. Having only just visited Malahide Castle in September, I’m looking forward to reading Sisman’s book soon.

If you’d like to join us on The Scottish Writer’s Retreat, you will find complete details herethere are only two places remaining!

BRITBOX TV – IS IT WORTH IT?

by Kristine Hughes Patrone

If you’re at all like me, you probably prefer watching British television to American television. Not so long ago, this was almost impossible to do in the USA. The only options available were Masterpiece Theatre or buying mini-series and movies on video tape or CD. Then came Acorn TV, which was much better than what we had, offering more content and many British shows otherwise unavailable to us. Acorn TV answered a need and served a purpose. Yes, we had to pay for the service, but if you were a dedicated Brit telly fan, the monthly fee of $4.99 was worth it.

Enter Britbox, a joint service by the BBC, ITV and Amazon video, allowing those of us in America to stream UK telly. When it first launched I yawned. In fact, I’d been yawning for quite a while as my Acorn TV subscription had become a tad stale. Who needs Britbox, thought I, it will most likely be nothing more than another version of Acorn TV, where the same old programs were rerun again and again. And again. After several years of subscribing to Acorn TV, I’d grown tired of the slow turnover of “new” shows and I’d been seriously considering dropping my subscription. Admittedly, old standards such as Blacks Books, Cradle to Grave and Grandma’s House  were interspersed with more contemporary, and desirable, shows such as Vera, Doc Martin, A Place to Call Home, and Happy Valley, but new episodes were slow in coming. And besides, I wanted access to more than just dated, and well watched, series TV. I wanted prime time British telly.

I’m a huge fan of Coronation Street, the UK soap opera that’s been on the air since 1960. I’ve seen every episode aired since 1970, discovering the program on YouTube and watching it for months until I’d caught up with the current episodes. I also used to be able to watch new episodes on YouTube, where a handful of lovely people would upload them soon after they aired in the UK. Recently, Coronation Street’s parent company, ITV, began policing YouTube and reporting “pirated” content, which was quickly taken down. It’s almost impossible to find a recent episode on the platform any more. When I learned that Hulu was streaming new episodes of Coronation Street, of course I headed their way. $5.99 per month, so worth it to see Corrie. I signed up for their free trial and waited for new episodes of Coronation Street. And waited. And waited.  As of last night, as I write this on November 9, the latest episode available on Hulu was October 23rd. And that’s been the latest episode for almost two weeks now. Not. Funny. Not. Happy.

And so I found myself on the Britbox website. Since Britbox is affiliated with ITV, the producers of Coronation Street, chances were better that new Corrie episodes would drop in a more timely fashion. Taking a lesson from my Hulu experience, I checked the Corrie line up before getting too excited and, lo and behold, they had Corrie episodes right up until yesterday’s date. Joy! I cancelled my trial period at Hulu and signed up with Britbox and then browsed their line up of other shows.

        

And they had plenty that was current. Don’t get me wrong, there were still a good amount of old saws like Poirot, Dalziel and Pascoe, Rosemary and Thyme, Sharpe with Sean Bean (Sean Bean !!), Fawlty Towers, Upstairs, Downstairs and Cranford, but there were also many more current shows, such as Broken with Sean Bean (Sean Bean !!), Cold Feet 2017, Strictly Come Dancing, Kat and Alfie, The Great Chelsea Garden Challenge, Flog It!, In The Dark, Ordinary Lives, The Moorside, plus documentaries, Royal specials and, in addition to Coronation Street, new episodes of favourite soaps Emmerdale, Holby City and East Enders.

     

Acorn TV does seem to be stepping up it’s game with the arrival of Britbox on the scene, adding new shows like Loch Ness and The Good Karma Hospital, but they’re going to have to step up their line up of current shows in order to keep pace with the new kid on the block. For now I’ll keep both subscriptions for a total of $11 per month, but it would be lovely if the UK telly powers that be would just let us subscribe to their t.v. tax and allow us to watch real time telly. Until then, I’m happy to have new episodes of Coronation Street and I’m also enjoying Broken –  it’s gritty, gripping and heartbreaking. In short, entirely binge worthy. As is Ordinary Lies. And Scott & Bailey. And Britbox will also be airing the Queen’s Christmas speech on the day.

If you’ve subscribed to any of these streaming services, or are considering signing on for any of them, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

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THE DEATH OF ELIZABETH, 5th DUCHESS OF RUTLAND

John Hoppner – Lady Elizabeth Howard, Duchess of Rutland

From The Gentleman’s Magazine, December 1825

Duchess Of Rutland. Nov. 23. At Belvoir Cattle, in consequence of an inflammation of the chest, aged 45, Elizabeth Duchess of Rutland. Her Grace so lately as Friday the 18th was engaged in inspecting the progress of the numerous workmen employed in completing the splendid decorations of the grand drawing-room at Belvoir, which it was intended should have been first opened on the occasion of the Duke’s approaching birth-day: she also took her accustomed exercise, and wrote several letters. In the evening symptoms of the disease, with which she was severely attacked a year ago, began to manifest themselves; but on the following day they appeared to have abated very considerably. At two o’clock on Sunday morning, Mr. Catlett, surgeon to the family, who sleeps in the castle, was hastily summoned to her Grace’s apartment, and found her state so extremely dangerous as to excite the most alarming appreheusions. Expresses were instantly sent off to Dr. Wilson, of Grantham, Dr. Pennington, of Nottingham, Dr. Arnold, of Leicester, and Sir Henry Halford. The three first promptly obeyed the summons; Sir Henry arrived at the castle from London at 5 o’clock on Tuesday morning, but the hand of death was already on the Duchess; all the efforts of the faculty had been unremittingly exerted to arrest the progress of the disorder, but in vain. Her Grace, whose self-possession was remarkable, felt perfectly alive to the imminence of her danger, and the fortitude with which she bore her acute sufferings, and viewed her approaching fate, was in the highest degree affecting. The Duke never quitted the bed-side till she had ceased to breathe. Dispatches were immediately forwarded, announcing the afflicting event, to his Majesty, to his Royal Highness the Duke of York, and to the various branches of the Rutland and Carlisle families.

John Manners, 5th Duke of Rutland

 

Her Grace was the fifth, but second surviving daughter of Frederick Karl of Carlisle (Byron’s guardian, the 5th Earl of Carlisle), who died Sept. 4, 1825, by Caroline, daughter of Granville-Levison, the first Marquess of Stafford; was born Nov. 13, 1780. She was married to John-Henry Manners, Duke of Rutland, on the 22d of April 1799, and had issue nine children, of whom three sons and four daughters survive.

Due to her elevated taste, Belvoir Castle ( above)  will long remain a magnificent monument. From its first commencement, 25 years ago, in despite of momentary interruption from the calamitous fire in October 1816, until its recent completion, the lamented Duchess had been the presiding Genius of the place, and selected all the plans for its erection; nor were her active and useful exertions restricted to the castle alone. The grounds, the villages, the roads in its vicinity, even the general aspect of the country, were improved through her agency. Every rational suggestion which had for its object the decoration and the embellishment of this beautiful domain, was adopted with eagerness. and zealously carried into effect under her personal and immediate superintendence.

What many individuals would have required a century to execute, her perseverance in a few years achieved; nor was her Grace less successful in the cultivation of the elegant accomplishments of her sex. Her drawings exhibit correct taste. Her poetical genius, hereditary from her noble father the late Earl of Carlisle, and her musical attainments were of the first order. Indefatigable in whatever might promote the general good, and alive to the true interests of her Country, the Duchess was a practical agriculturist. The farm she held, consisting of above 700 acres, visited almost daily by herself, has always been considered a model of scientific management. On several occasions she was complimented with premiums from the Society for the Promotion of Arts and Manufactures, for her extensive plantations and acknowledged improvements in the breeding of cattle.

It is striking that with predilections so marked and decided for a rural life, her Grace was one of the brightest ornaments of the English Court, and whenever she graced it with her presence, an object of universal admiration. The ease and dignity of her deportment, her refined and polished address, the graceful condescension of her manners, fascinated every one who came within the sphere of her numerous attractions. Married early to the object of her choice, as a wife, a parent, and a benefactress, she was alike exemplary. To the sorrowing hearts now and for ever bereft of her soothing affection, her tender care, her munificent charily, her death is indeed an irreparable loss!

Dec. 9. The remains of the Duchess of Rutland were deposited in the family vault at Bottesford. Crowds of inhabitants of the vicinity had assembled to pay the last tribute of respect to their esteemed benefactress. Early in the morning the Duke of Rutland arrived at Bottesford, and immediately proceeded to the house of the Rev. Charles Thornton. The procession left Belvoir Castle at ten o’clock, and arrived at Bottesford about one. It was followed by a long train of carriages and other vehicles. The following was the order observed :

Mr. Pound, his Grace’s woodman, accompanied by twelve tenants of his Grace, in deep mourning.—The Duchess’s Coronet, on a crimson velvet cushion, carried by a gentleman uncovered.—A favourite pony of the late Duchess, enveloped in a black cloth, in the corners of which were embossed her Grace’s armorial bearings, led by two of her Grace’s oldest servants. —The hearse, drawn by black horses which had belonged to ber Grace, and driven by her Grace’s coachman —Five mourning coaches, drawn by six horses each —Her Grace’s carriage, drawn by four horses.—W. F. Norton, esq. in his own carriage, accompanied by the Rev. Mr. Salmon.—Two carriages and four.— Forty-six of his Grace’s tenants in deep mourning.—Two of the carriages in the procession were occupied by the immediate family—one by the Earl of Carlisle and his brother, and the other by the brothers of his Grace.

The procession, in the first instance, proceeded to the Rectory-yard, Bottesford, where it remained about one hour. The remains of the lamented lady were then taken from the hearse, and carried into the Church by eight Gentlemen. The coffin was covered with a rich pall of black velvet, decorated with her Grace’s armorial bearings. His Grace joined the procession at the Rectory. Twenty-six of the noble ancestors and relatives of his Grace lie entombed in the vault, which now also contains the remains of his late amiable Duchess.

Her Grace was not forgotten, as we see in a piece that appeared in Bell’s World of Fashion – January 1 1829

. . . entertainments of much splendour and liberality have been given in many a noble mansion; and these have not been bounded within a narrow space, but have extended to the country, as well as occupied the town. Of these, it behoves us particularly to mention the grand file given on the 5th ult. at Belvoir Castle, upon the congratulatory occasion of the birthday anniversary of his Grace of Rutland, its noble and worthy possessor. The Duke of Wellington, and a very large party of highly distinguished personages, were present.

A drawing-room, of truly magnificent dimensions, was for the first time opened; at one end of which stood a full-length statue, executed on the purest white marble (emblem of her stainless character and unsullied virtue!), of the late amiable and greatly regretted Duchess. The ceiling of this rich apartment was divided into sections, in which, cleverly painted, were the portraits of the Duke and late Duchess, the dowager Duchess, and other members of the noble house of Belvoir; also that of the late Duke of York, who was much in the habit of honouring the Castle with his presence, and its excellent possessor with his highest confidence and his purest friendship. This entertainment was the first given by his Grace since the decease of his late ever-to-be-remembered and esteemed Duchess.

THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON AT HOME

Being at a remove of two hundred years from the victory at the Battle of Waterloo, it’s difficult for us to appreciate the Duke of Wellington’s resultant contemporary popularity. To put it in perspective, Wellington could be said, without exaggeration, to have been the world’s first rock star, a media phenomenon whose level of popularity reached fever pitch. Combine the present day public interest in Princess Diana with that of Michael Jackson and you’ll get a fair idea of Wellington’s celebrity status post-Waterloo and his ability to single-handedly drive the 19th century media engine.  Printsellers, the contemporary equivalent to our modern day paparazzi, worked at fever pitch to regularly issue new Wellington engravings, with which the populace decorated their walls.  The public clamored for news of Wellington’s doings, with no detail of his life being too inconsequential to report. The media responded by giving the public what they wanted – not a single day passed in which Wellington’s name was not mentioned in print.

Enter English journalist Albany Fonblanque who, from 1820 to 1830, was successively employed on the staff of The Times and the Morning Chronicle, whilst he contributed to the Examiner, to the London Magazine and to the Westminster Review. While writing for London newspapers, Fonblanque also sought to reform his profession, often turning to satire in order to point out the flaws in current journalistic styles. So, when the Duke rose to political power in 1828, and with the public still rabid for daily details of Wellington’s life, Fonblanque used satire in order to point out the absurdities in some of the pieces being printed and the level to which the press had sunk in order to provide the public with the content they desired. Fonblanque wrote a piece entitled, The Duke of Wellington at Home –

“THE Duke of Wellington generally rises at about eight. Before he gets out of bed he commonly pulls off his nightcap, and while he is dressing he sometimes whistles a tune, and occasionally damns his valet. The Duke of Wellington uses warm water in shaving, and lays on a greater quantity of lather than ordinary men. While shaving he chiefly breathes through his nose, with a view, as is conceived, of keeping the suds out of his mouth; and sometimes he blows out one cheek, sometimes the other, to present a better surface to the razor.

“When he is dressed he goes down to breakfast, and while descending the stairs he commonly takes occasion to blow his nose, which he does rather rapidly, following it up with three hasty wipes of his handkerchief, which he instantly afterwards deposits in his right-hand coat pocket. The Duke of Wellington’s pockets are in the skirts of his coat, and the holes perpendicular. He wears false horizontal flaps, which have given the world an erroneous opinion of their position. The Duke of Wellington drinks tea for breakfast, which he sweetens with white sugar and corrects with cream. He commonly stirs the fluid two or three times with a spoon before he raises it to his lips. The Duke of Wellington eats toast and butter, cold ham, tongue, fowls, beef, or eggs, and sometimes both meat and eggs; the eggs are generally those of the common domestic fowl. During breakfast the Duke of Wellington has a newspaper either in his hand, or else on the table, or in his lap. The Duke of Wellington’s favourite paper is the “Examiner.” After breakfast the Duke of Wellington stretches himself out and yawns. He then pokes the fire and whistles. If there is no fire he goes to the window and looks out. At about ten o’clock the General Post letters arrive. The Duke of Wellington seldom or never inspects the superscription, but at once breaks the seal and applies himself to the contents. The Duke of Wellington appears sometimes displeased with his correspondents, and says pshaw, in a clear, loud voice. About this time the Duke of Wellington retires for a few minutes, during which it is impossible to account for his motions with the desirable precision.

“At eleven o’clock, if the weather is fine, the Duke’s horse is brought to the door. The Duke’s horse on these occasions is always saddled and bridled. The Duke’s horse is ordinarily the same white horse he rode at Waterloo, and which was eaten by the hounds at Strathfieldsaye. His hair is of a chestnut colour. Before the Duke goes out, he has his hat and gloves brought him by a servant. The Duke of Wellington always puts his hat on his head and the gloves on his hands. The Duke’s daily manner of mounting his horse is the same that it was on the morning of the glorious battle of Waterloo. His Grace first takes the rein in his left hand which he lays on the horse’s mane; he then puts his left foot in the stirrup, and with a spring brings his body up, and his right leg over the body of the animal by the way of the tail, and thus places himself in the saddle; he then drops his right foot into the stirrup, puts his horse to a walk, and seldom falls off, being an admirable equestrian. When acquaintances and friends salute the Duke in the streets, such is his affability that he either bows, touches his hat, or recognises their civility in some way or other. The Duke of Wellington very commonly says, “How are you?’—‘It’s a fine day’—‘How d’ye do?’—and makes frequent and various remarks on the weather, and the dust or the mud, as it may be. At twelve o’clock on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, the Duke’s master comes to teach him his political economy. The Duke makes wonderful progress in his studies, and his instructor is used pleasantly to observe that ‘the Duke gets on like a house on fire.’

“At the Treasury the Duke of Wellington does nothing but think. He sits on a leathern library chair, with his heels and a good part of his legs on the table. When thus in profound thought, he very frequently closes his eyes for hours together, and makes an extraordinary and rather appalling noise through his nose. Such is the Duke of Wellington’s devotion to business that he eats no luncheon. In the House of Lords the Duke’s manner of proceeding is this: he walks up to the fire-place, turns his back to it, separates the skirts of his coat, tossing them over the dexter and sinister arms, thrusts his hands in his breeches’ pockets, and so stands at ease. The characteristic of the Duke’s oratory is a brevity the next thing to silence. As brevity is the soul of wit, it may confidently be affirmed that in this quality Lord North and Sheridan were fools compared with him.”

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