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the Saturday morning, which he did at a very early hour, the first step which he took towards consoling his own afflictions was by alleviating the distress of others. He ordered 501. to be distributed among the poor discharged workmen who had been employed in the improvements on the grounds at Claremont. Thus the first thought which he allowed to interfere with his deep sense of his overwhelming loss, was an attention to the comforts of others. This was indeed the noblest and wisest mode of soothing his sorrows; though, at the same time, it makes our regret the keener, that such a mind should have had such cause for anguish.

The visit of the Duke of Gloucester, on the Sunday, lasted for three hours: he went and retired in that private manner which was best suited to the melancholy occasion. The Duchess of York rode over from Oatlands in the evening, for the purpose of condoling with his Serene Highness. Lord Castlereagh went the following morning at ten o'clock with the same object, but his visit was a very short one.

The Prince Regent also, after an affecting interview with the Queen at Windsor, on the Sunday, expressed a wish to go to Claremont to see Prince Leopold; but he was advised, for both their sakes, to delay the visit for a day or two. Though his Royal Highness was exceedingly depressed, his health upon the whole was stated not to have sustained any very material injury. The Queen and Princesses, at Windsor, continued deeply affected : and the gloomy appearance of

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the town of Windsor, all the shops being partially shut, increased the melancholy felt by all ranks and ages. Prince Leopold himself carried about him the deepest impression of silent sorrow. Some slight amendment took place in his bodily health, and his rest at night was less disturbed. Another bulletin was issued about this time, and signed by his own resident physician, who came to England with him; it was as follows:

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« November 10.

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“ His Serene Highness the Prince Leopold has passed rather a calm night, and is something better this morning."

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In consequence of the death of the Princess Charlotte, almost all the workmen employed about the improvements at Claremont, were temporarily discharged; for what pleasure could be derived from them, when she whose taste had planned, and whose presence endeared them, was no more? The forlorn situation of these work. men would alone have excited commiseration ; but the strongest sympathy was felt, when even the sturdiest of them were seen melted in tears, more for the loss of their benefactress than for their own misfortune.

In the outward tribute, and in the more genuine expression of affectionate sorrow, which was manifested throughout the nation, on this melancholy occasion, the people of England shewed as much 24

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discrimination as sensibility; for the public and private character of the Princess was such as to conciliate love and esteem in exact proportion as it was seen and known. Her state was not supported by ostentation, her greatness was not asserted by pride, her dignity did not estrange her from the lowly and the poor. Raised above the great mass of society, she, notwithstanding, deeply felt her alliance with the universal family of the earth; she delighted to partake in their sympathies, to assuage their misfortunes, to merit by her benevolence the homage which was paid to her rank. the knowledge of these her virtues that has made the public mourning so deep and general. In dwelling upon them the mind naturally associates them with those of her consort, of whom it is the greatest honor, and yet not too great a one, to say, that he deserved to be the husband of such

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a woman.

The mental sufferings of Prince Leopold were at this time so acute, and so fixed, as to create the greatest concern, if not alarm, to all who approached him; he spoke but little, and passed the most disturbed nights. The Royal Family were most anxious and attentive in their efforts to console him. The Prince Regent would have gone to him immediately after the mournful event, but Prince Leopold wished for a few days to elapse, previous to his seeing the father of the Princess. On the 10th, however, in the afternoon, his Royal Highness went to Claremont, and saw

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his son-in-law. The particulars of this affecting interview have never transpired; and that curio. sity must be of a cruel nature which would wish to intrude upon the over-whelming grief of a father and a husband, meeting for the first time after their mutual and irreparable loss. Misery is a sacred thing, and of all miseries this must be the most sacred. The interview lasted for several hours, during which such silence reigned in the house, that it might be supposed to have been forsaken by its inhabitants. It was, indeed, the mansion of death, silent and appalling. The Prince Regent returned late in the evening to Carlton-House.

In the course of the day, Prince Leopold received visits of condolence from the Earl of Liverpool and Prince Esterhazy; their visits, like that of Lord Castlereagh on the preceding day, were short; for the dejection of the Prince was such, as to render any stay or conversation, except that of the dearest relative, intrusive. The Duke of Sussex, probably from a feeling of this kind, made no personal visit, but sent to make the most affectionate inquiries. His Royal Highness, who is known to have entertained the highest esteem and love for his illustrious niece, was proportionably afflicted at her loss.

The health of the Queen was visibly impaired by the fatal event. Her Majesty on the 11th, received a visit from the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, who had been since Sunday morn

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556

MEMOIRS OF H. R. H.

ing residing at Carlton-House, for the

purpose

of soothing the melancholy of the Prince Regent, whose health, at this time, was in the most precarious state. He refused all comfort, except such as arose from some association with the memory of his beloved daughter. A portrait of the Princess, which was under the hands of Sir Thomas Lawrence, was ordered home in its unfinished state; it was placed in the room which bis Royal Highness constantly occupies, and he frequently sat before it, contemplating the well-known lineaments:

Animum pictura pascit inani.

In the Gazette of the 7th appeared the following notice for the general mourning, to commence on Sunday the 9th * :

T'he Deputy Earl Marshal's order for a general mourning for her

late Royal Highness the Princess Charlotte Augusta, daughter of his Royal Highness the Prince Regent, and consort of his Serene Highness the Prince Leopold of Saxe-Cobour .

In pursuance of the commands of his Royal Highness the Prince Regent, acting in the name and on the behalf of His Majesty, these are to give public notice, that it is expected that, upon the present most melancholy occasion of the death of her late Royal Highness the Princess Charlotte Augusta, daughter of His Royal Highness the Prince Regent, and consort of bis Serene Highness the Prince Leopold of Saxe-Cobourg, all per

* It is curious to compare this notice with those which were issued on the death of George I. and George II.

London

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