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the marriage, and it was not until the Sth of August, that her Royal Highness ventured out, when she took an airing in her open barouche on the Harrow-road. On the following day she took another short ride on the Chelsea road, accompanied by Prince Leopold.
Prince Leopold was also at this time very much indisposed, arising from an attack, similar to that which he experienced soon after his arrival in England, of the rheumatism in his head, and accompanied with a very violent tooth-ache. His Serene Highness underwent the painful operation of having a tooth drawn. He was confined to Camelford-House during a whole week.
The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester paid their first visit, after their marriage, to the Princess Charlotte and Prince Leopold, on the 7th. The inconvenience of Camelford-House was by this time found to be so great, and the objections of the Princess Charlotte to that residence were so insuperable, on account of its being so dull and close, that an immediate examination of Cumberland-House was instituted; and an actual arrangement had at one time taken place, which specified, that it should be put into the most complete repair, and rendered in all respects an appropriate residence for the illustrious couple. It redounds, however, highly to the character of the Princess Charlotte and of Prince Leopold, that the expense which the repairs of Cumberland-House would occasion to the nation, was no sooner laid before them, than they immediately relinquished the idea of removing to that residence; and they determined, rather than add to
the burdens of the country, to accept of apartments in Kensington-Palace. The Princess Charlotte expressed a wish to have those which had been formerly occupied by her mother, to which were to be annexed the apartments of the Duke of Kent, during the absence of his Royal Highness on the continent. This arrangement was, however, subsequently abandoned, as the purchase of Claremont had been completed, and a desire had been expressed by the Princess Charlotte to retire into the country as soon as Claremont-House could be got ready for her reception.
It cannot have escaped the recollection of those who keep a vigilant eye upon the passing events of the day, and especially upon those, which have any reference to the most distinguished characters of the kingdom, with what a deep speculative interest, the absence of a distinguished member of the royal family from Camelford-House, during the indisposition of the Princess Charlotte, was regarded. It had been long a subject of notoriety, that the most cordial affection did not exist between the Princess Charlotte and the illustrious individual alluded to, and every circumstance was greedily seized upon by the public which could unravel the clue to the difference, or which could betray its growth or its decrease. From the secrecy which is in general attached to the actions and motives of royalty, it cannot be exactly ascertained whether it were in deference to popular opinion, or in conformity to the cold dictates of etiquette, that on Friday the 9th, the Queen and Princess Elizabeth
partook of a repast with the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, and at half-past two o'clock, accompanied by the latter, proceeded to Camelford-House, on a visit to the Princess Charlotte, where they remained about three quarters of an hour. When the seeds of disaffection exist in the human heart, every trivial circumstance, which in any other case would have failed of effect, gives an additional vigour to their growth, and causes them to take so deep a root, that no after vigilance or exertion can eradicate them. Injuries, the remembrance of which have been softened by the lapse of time, then present themselves to the memory in their full original poignancy, and the heart becomes steeled against the admission of those softer feelings, which are inculcated by the charities of our nature. Every family, under whatever relation it may stand in life, has its dissensions, its likings, and its aversions, and it would be an anomaly in the general and established construction of society, were a family, constituted as the Royal Family of England appears to the world, not to exhibit those distinct and separate shades, which are the distinguishing marks of human society. There is, however, a line which delicacy will always draw in the exposure of those acts of individuals, which have no bearing on the public interest, and the promulgation of which has a direct tendency to gratify the malicious dispositions of those who are ever on the alert to discover and to magnify the errors of those who are not of the same party as themselves,
Any circumstance, which has once attracted the public attention in this country, is raked and sifted to the bottom, to discover its inost minute and constituent parts. It passes through the strictest analysis in the powerful alembic of the public mind; and it seldom happens, that its composition, though disguised by consummate art, be not discovered. It was rumoured, at the time, that this visit of the Queen to Camelford House was not exactly of a private nature, but had some reference to an important subject, which was again to be brought upon the tapis, and in which the dearest feelings of the Princess Charlotte were concerned. The result will shew that there was some foundation for the rumour.
On the same day, his Royal Highness the Prince Regent dined at Camelford-House, where he was met by the Duke of Cambridge, Prince Esterhazy, the Marquis of Anglesea, the Marquis of Camden, thie Earl of Yarmouth, Viscount Castlereagh, Lord John Thynne, and several distinguished individuals.
During the protracted confinement of the Princess Charlotte, her mind was chiefly occupied in the study of our best ethical and theological writers. Of the latter, she always spoke without the least restraint, as it was a grounded maxim with her Royal Highness, that religious controversy had done more injury to the beauty and simplicity of the Christian religion, as handed down to us by its Divine Founder, than any other cause which could be mentioned. With regard to religious prejudices, her Royal Highness entertained the most tolerating sentiments. "In ancient days,” said
her Royal Highness, discoursing with an amiable lady*, who enjoyed her confidence in a particular degree, “it was the principal characteristic of a philosopher, to treat with respect the religious prejudices of his countrymen ; whatever may be my sentiments with regard to the popular objects of adoration, I am too thoroughly convinced of my own liability to error, to expose the mistakes of others to contempt; but when I behold errors which not only afford a momentary
* To this Lady I publicly acknowledge myself indebted for many interesting circumstances, connected with the private life of the inuch lamented object of these Memoirs, which will appear in the sequel of this work, and which I do not doubt, will be greedily seized upon by the publishers of the Liverpool and Bungay editions of the Memoirs of the Princess Charlotte, as the genuine result of their own researches. I admire open and maply competition, as it is a powerful stimulus to genius, and produces a spirit of emulation, which must consequently be productive of the most beneficial results; but I heartily despise the individuals, who, from ignorance and incompetency, erect a fabric from materials collected by the perseverance, assiduity, and expense of another, and then palm it upon the world as the offspring of their own immediate researches. The mole, the secret miner of the soil, who, in a moment, defaces the skilful labours of the horticulturist; or the cuckoo who usurps the nest of another to nourish its bastard brood, are, in their noxious dispositions, to be compared to a Fisher, who, not knowing where to throw his line in the stream of events, by which some of a royal nature can be hooked, quietly awaits the skill of another, who no sooner drags them forth, than the conscientious FISHER seizes upon them as his own, and in triumph proclaims to the world, that by bis Maggots he has caught them. " More of this, anon," says Shakspeare.