« PoprzedniaDalej »
be contrary to the constitution of the country, and
Her studies were urged with singular assiduity,
the most inquisitive, but of the most intelligent mind. He adds (and the report is upon record), that he found her extremely well versed in all the branches of English literature suited to her age, and that her progress in moral and christian studies far exceeded his expectation. Whilst: the more solid and serious pursuits of education were in the course of acquisition, the elegant and refined parts were not overlooked - nor neglected. Her Royal Highness was an excellent musician; she performed on the harp, the piano, and the guitar, with more than usual skill. Her voice was not powerful, but sweet, and scientifically modulated. She had a most excellent ear, and a brilliant execution
Of her exalted spirit, and of her dislike to those false, and exaggerated encomiums, which are in general lavished
individuals of her elevated rank, the following anecdote will testify.
A foreigner, not now in England, instructed her Royal Highness in singing and music. On one occasion she performed to a large party, and was of course highly applauded; but she was conscious she did not deserve it. Turning round to her teacher, she asked his opinion; he said that she sung delightfully, and played charmingly. Her Royal Highness took no further notice of the matter at that moment; but, when the sycophantish preceptor called on the following day, one of the household was desired to pay him,
and at the same time to tell him, that her Royal Highness could not expect to profit by the instructions of a person who was mean enough to flatter her against his reason, and who had not eandour enough to tell her when she was wrong, but suffer her to expose herself.
Her chief delight was, however, in the poetry and classical writers of our language. An admirable choice of prose writers was made for her library by the Bishop of Exeter, and an elegant English edition of Blackstone's Commentaries on the Law of England was dedicated to her by the permission of her august parent. She always spoke of the Poems of Ossian in enthusiastic terms, and often expressed a wish to visit the country, and to tread the heaths and mountains where Fingal and his warriors fought, and where “ the last sound of the voice of Cona was heard." Pope's Essay on Man she could almost repeat from memory; and it was in the frequent discussions which she maintained on the merits of that exquisite poem, that the innate powers of her mind unfolded themselves, and exhibited that energy of understanding, and that depth of comprehension, which so particularly distinguished her in her riper years.
Nature had been kind to her in indulging her with tastes which are seldom united; as, in addition to her talent for music, she had a fine perception of the picturesque in nature, and a por,
tion of her earliest hours, and, subsequently, of those happier ones, which she spent in the society of her husband, was appropriated to drawing.
She spoke French, German, Italian, and Spanish, with considerable Auency; and the correctness of her ear enabled her to catch the correct pronunciation of the words, and the inflexions, or the recitative, as it may be termed, of each language, with a precision which rarely falls to the lot of any individual who acquires the knowledge of a language in any other country than that to which it naturally belongs.
It is well known, that in all her studies, the Princess had a particular eye to that station to which she knew she was born. The pages of history were most carefully perused, and she extracted the great and virtuous deeds of every illustrious female who had signalized herself in the annals of civilized nations. With the private and public character of every queen of England, she was intimately acquainted; that of Elizabeth appeared to be her favourite study, and she seemed to have analyzed it with an uncommon degree of acuteness. On being once asked how she would have acted in the case of Elizabeth and the earl of Essex, she answered, “ I should, perhaps; have acted like Elizabeth, I should have forgotten the queen and acted like the woman.”
Whilst her studies were thus pursued, the most scrupulous attention was paid to her health, and a temporary residence by the sea-side was
a was heard."
frequent dis che merits of
of chibited that pth of comstinguished
ulging her s, in addi
fine pero nd a por,
recommended as likely to prove highly beneficial to her. The mansion at Bognor, belonging to Mr. Wilson, was taken for a certain number of years, and thither her Royal Highness repaired with her establishment. She had not resided there above a fortnight, when some fears were expressed of the dangerous consequences which might result to her Royal Highness from the vicinity of her mansion to the depôt for soldiers afflicted with the ophthalmia, and a commission was appointed to investigate the possibility of persons residing in the neighbourhood being afAlicted with the disease. Not one case of that nature had ever occurred; and a report was made by the physicians, that the contagion did not extend to persons, not coming into immediate contact with the infected, or who did not sleep upon
the same pillow. Without entering at this time into the truth of that report, it must, however, be admitted that, considering the extensive range of our coasts, a more suitable place might have been selected for the temporary residence of the heiress presumptive to the throne, than one in the heart of which was situated a depôt for invalids afflicted with a most contagious and excruciating disease. Warwick-House at Worthing had been for some short time the residence of the Princess Charlotte; but, for private reasons, which it were here unnecessary to state, that house was relinquished, and Bognor was fixed upon as the future summer residence of her Royal Highness. It