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of the civilized world doubted the agency by which it was to be vindicated. They failed to see in the "man of December"--the sovereign who had gained power by a coup d'état -the consistent rescuer of an oppressed people, the upholder of freedom, the champion of the oppressed. Germany, perhaps, showed the greatest perturbation, by the immediate mobilization of the greater part of the army; and still more by the demand made by an influential party that they should at once annex Alsace and Lorraine, march to Paris, and effectually cripple France for the remainder of the century. The cry "To Paris! to Paris!" was as shrill and persistent then in Berlin as that of "To Berlin! to Berlin!" was eleven years later in Paris, when Napoleon was precipitated into the war with Germany which lost him his throne and cost France so dear. Nor were the Germans without reasonable excuse for the outcry. French military officers were again too free with their tongues, and the words of General Espinasse-"I accompany the emperor to Italy with pleasure, for it is the first step towards the Rhine"-were perhaps an example of other phrases which were sure to be repeated. An article in the Allgemeine Zeitung, which was reprinted in the Times, interpreted the desire of the Germans. Commenting upon it the Times said: "If we may trust the Allgemeine Zeitung, which does not often speak without some authority, all Germany, from Cologne to Swabia, from the Baltic to the Euxine, is possessed by one unanimous uproarious enthusiasm for the conquest of Alsace and Lorraine, and for the occupation of Paris! Sober, steady-going old Germany is, we are told, dreaming quite seriously of some tremendous scheme of invasion, of which France is to be the victim, and we English are to be part agents in the work, but by no means participators in the gain."

England, however, took good care to let the world know that Germany would receive no help from her, and that without this assistance the north German coast would be exposed to France and also to Russia, who had at the same time concentrated 200,000 men on the Austrian frontier, and in the neighbourhood of


the Danubian Principalities. So wide-spread was the suspicion that the intervention of France would not end with a war in Italy, that Switzerland placed 100,000 men under arms, and Denmark 70,000; Belgium alone, relying on the guarantees of her independence, making no effort to increase her defensive armaments. It therefore became of the utmost importance to the Emperor of the French that the war should be localized. The States of the Confederation were already demanding to be led to the support of Austria. Prussia, though understanding the danger which such a policy must involve, could not venture wholly to dissociate herself from the prevailing sentiment of the North German States. She had accordingly made the French ambassador at Berlin aware, that while she would not say that no territorial change must be effected by the war, she would not see with tranquillity any heavy sacrifice inflicted upon Austria, nor any change made which would enhance the strength of one power at the expense of another. To localize the war, therefore, and to leave Austria and France with her ally Sardinia to fight it out alone, became a matter of vital importance to the Emperor of the French. If he succeeded in this, and Austria were defeated, she might naturally, in resentment at being deserted by Germany, stand aloof and leave the other States of the Confederation to withstand without her aid any attempt upon the Rhine, which France, flushed with victory, might afterwards make. It was thus by no means clear that it was for the interest of Germany that the war should be localized. To Russia, however, it was scarcely of less moment than to France that it should be so; for, if Germany embarked in it, Russia must declare her policy, and either break with France or with Germany. For neither event was she prepared, and she was, moreover, without either the men or money required for an active participation in such a war as must then have ensued.

It soon became evident to Napoleon III. that, unless he confined his interposition to helping to drive the Austrians out of Italy, he would cause a general state of hostility in Europe. The queen, in reply to a letter from

the empress, had already warned him against an attempt to invade the Austrian States, when it would only be natural that Germany, alarmed at seeing one of the most important members of her Confederation attacked and in danger, should be impelled to come to her assistance, and that all Europe should take alarm at seeing the treaties put in question on which its peace and its existence rested.

On the attitude of England the ultimate direction of the war seemed to depend, and England maintained a strictly neutral position. We had, however, hastily strengthened our naval armaments, and the Rifle Volunteer force, the formation of which, perhaps, received a new stimulus from the general condition of affairs in Europe, was growing with enormous rapidity, and was being formed into a regular body. "Volunteer corps are being formed in all the towns," wrote Prince Albert to Baron Stockmar on the 8th of December. "The lawyers of the Temple go through regular drill. Lords Spencer, Abercorn, Elcho, &c., are put through their facings in Westminster Hall by gaslight in the same rank and file with shopkeepers. Close on 50,000 are already under arms."

Prince Albert shortly afterwards was called upon to take a prominent part in the public demonstrations of this force, which had grown spontaneously in numbers and efficiency, but at the time he wrote he was but just recovering from one of those attacks of illness to which he appeared to be increasingly liable. But he was still actively busy in so many directions that probably few men in the kingdom worked harder. As a relief from the cares and anxieties which he shared with the queen there had been a very delightful family reunion. The princess royal (the Princess of Prussia), and her husband, Prince Frederick William, had again been on a visit to Windsor to keep the queen's birthday, and her company was always a great delight to her father; and now he was prepared to welcome her with tender solicitude, for she had become a mother, and the first grandchild of the queen had only just been baptized at Berlin. The Prince of Wales, too, had just returned from Rome, where he had been staying after

a continental journey, during which he had given ample promise of that distinguished frankness and simple bonhomie which have always made him not only popular, but welcome, in every country to which he has paid a visit. Nowhere have these qualities been more truly recognized than among his own countrymen, who see in the Prince of Wales much that is to be regarded as typically English. His characteristic outspokenness, no less than his rank, places him above artifice, and he has at command a certain serious dignity by which he can always protect himself from vulgar familiarity, while he succeeds in placing those about him at their ease, and accepts with genuine appreciation courtesies which his station might entitle him to leave unnoticed.

There had been more than one gap made in the royal circle, for Prince Alfred had commenced his nautical career at the end of October in the previous year, and was with the Euryalus, which had been placed on the Mediterranean station for two years. The Prince Consort and the Prince of Wales had accompanied him to Spithead. The Prince of Wales had shortly afterwards received the rank of colonel in the army and had been invested with the Garter. Mr. Gibbs, his former tutor, had retired, and Colonel Bruce, the brother of Lord Elgin, had become his governor, and with Major Teesdale had accompanied him on a visit to the princess royal, and there produced a remarkable impression by his singular tact and unaffected manner. "All that a parent's heart could desire,” the Prince Regent (the present Emperor of Germany) wrote to Prince Albert. His royal highness had returned to London, and resumed some of his studies, among the pleasantest of which, we may think, were a series of lectures on history by Charles Kingsley, who had been appointed one of her majesty's chaplains, mainly in consequence of the great admiration of Prince Albert for his books, especially Two Years Ago and The Saint's Tragedy. By the end of 1858 Prince Alfred was at Malta, and we afterwards hear of him at Tunis and Algiers, and in Greece, especially at Corfu. The Prince of Wales was then starting for Italy, and his route was not at


first changed because of approaching events. In February, 1859, he was in Rome, and, after some stay, extended his tour to the south of Spain and Lisbon, where he remained till June, when he was to return to Edinburgh to resume his regular studies, and afterwards to go to Oxford. On the 3d of September Prince Albert wrote to Stockmar from Balmoral:

"In Edinburgh I had an educational conference with all the persons who are taking part in the education of the Prince of Wales. They all speak highly of him, and he seems to have shown zeal and good-will. Dr. Lyon Playfair is giving him lectures on chemistry in relation to manufactures, and at the close of each special course he visits the appropriate manufactory with him, so as to explain its practical application. Dr. Schmitz (the Rector of the High School of Edinburgh, a German) gives him lectures on Roman history. Italian, German, and French are advanced at the same time; and three times a week the prince exercises with the 16th Hussars, who are stationed in the city.

"Mr. Fisher, who is to be the tutor for Oxford, was also in Holyrood. Law and history are the subjects on which he is to prepare the prince."

His royal highness entered on his Oxford career soon afterwards, and was to be in residence for nine months, an arrangement having been made that before he again returned permanently to town, to take possession of Marlborough House, which had been prepared for him, the new museum in the park should be opened by the queen and commemoration should be held in the same week.

Marlborough House had been adapted to the purpose of a picture gallery, containing the Vernon and Turner collection of paintings, and as it was now to become the residence of the Prince of Wales, the collection was removed to the South Kensington Museum, which already contained the "Sheepshanks" collection. The new portion, which was twice the breadth of that just mentioned, was built in six weeks at a cost of £3000, and consisted of brick, with fire-proof floors, and the whole structure, planned with a view of holding more or less permanent art and industrial exhibi


tions, was promoted by Prince Albert, and its completion greatly accelerated by the active interest he manifested in it, and the assistance given to the enterprise by Mr. Henry Cole, who had taken a prominent part in the Great Exhibition of 1851. So great had been the success of that undertaking, that the Society of Arts had already proposed to commence arrangements for organizing another such display in 1861, and Prince Albert was solicited to take part with the former commission in carrying out the necessary provisions. It is not surprising that he shrank from it a little, but he did not refuse, though he was in precarious health, and the number and importance of his engagements scarcely left him time for necessary rest and little or none for general recreation.


As we have noted, he had taken an immediate personal interest in the organization of the Volunteer force, and when the government decided to authorize the formation of rifle corps, as well as of artillery corps and companies in maritime towns with forts and batteries, the prince applied himself to the study of the means of organizing these bodies in such a way as to make them a permanent means of defence, on which the country might confidently rely upon an emergency. results were embodied by him in an elaborate series of "Instructions to Lord-lieutenants," which he sent to General Peel, as secretary of war, on the 20th of May, 1859. It was by him found to be so complete, that he submitted it three days afterwards to the cabinet, by whom it was adopted, and ordered to be issued forthwith. Accordingly it was printed and sent out to the lord-lieutenants throughout the kingdom next day (25th May), and formed the code for the organization and working of these volunteer corps.

But at the end of the year he was again engaged in the promotion of scientific and social progress. The meeting of the British Association for the Promotion of Science had invited him to preside at their meeting, which was to be held at Aberdeen on the 14th of September; and to be president involved the delivery of an address. The task was no light one, especially to a fastidious speaker who had

only a general knowledge of science in relation | light from the naturalist, the astronomer from

to its aims and objects, but he was just the kind of speaker they needed.

During his visit to the Association meeting the prince stayed at the house of Mr. Thomson of Banchory, about five miles from Aberdeen. Here he was met at dinner on the 14th by the Duke of Richmond, Lord Rosse, Sir David and Lady Brewster, General and Mrs. Sabine, Sir Roderick Murchison, Professor Owen, Professor Phillips, and others. After dinner the whole party drove to Aberdeen, where the prince delivered his inaugural address to an audience of 2500 people. It occupied fifty minutes in delivery, and was confined to general principles, and a comprehensive statement of the main object of the Association in advancing the arrangement and classification of what the prince called "the universe of knowledge." The address had peculiar interest for men of science, because of the keen sympathy which it showed with their pursuits, and for what it did in quickening the interest of both the public and the government in scientific research.

He referred with remarkable appropriateness to the recent death of the great naturalist Von Humboldt, and reminded his hearers that the day on which they had met was the anniversary of the birthday of that distinguished man. His address concluded with some striking remarks on the advantages and the true signification of such assemblies as that at which the Association had invited him to preside:

"These meetings draw forth the philosopher from the hidden recesses of his study, call in the wanderer over the field of science to meet his brethren, to lay before them the results of his labours, to set forth the deductions at which he has arrived, to ask for their examination, to maintain in the combat of debate the truth of his positions and the accuracy of his observations. These meetings, unlike those of any other society, throw open the arena to the cultivators of all sciences to their mutual advantage: the geologist learns from the chemist that there are problems for which he had no clue, but which that science can solve for him; the geographer receives

the physicist and engineer, and so on. And all find a field upon which to meet the public at large,-invite them to listen to their reports, and even to take part in their discussions,show to them that philosophers are not vain theorists, but essentially men of practice—not conceited pedants, wrapt up in their own mysterious importance, but humble inquirers after truth, proud only of what they may have achieved or won for the general use of man. Neither are they daring and presumptuous unbelievers a character which ignorance has sometimes affixed to them-who would, like the Titans, storm heaven by placing mountain upon mountain, till hurled down from the height attained by the terrible thunders of outraged Jove; but rather the pious pilgrims to the Holy Land, who toil on in search of the sacred shrine, in search of truth-God's truth-God's laws as manifested in His works, in His creation."

Unhappily inventions for the promotion of human welfare, however, had not alone engaged the attention of scientific men. Unless from the point of view, that the more destructive war can be made, the greater is the probability of nations declining its deadly arbitration, the "improvements" made in weapons at about the period of which we are speaking can scarcely be regarded as an addition to beneficent progress. There were many ingenious contrivances in rifles, of which the Martini-Henry and the Schneider were the outcome; bayonets and revolvers underwent sundry changes, and there was much contention on the subject of the superior rapidity and accuracy of firing of one or other of the "arms of precision" which then engaged attention. Of course in artillery there was an enormous accession of calibre as well as perfection of aim and of destructive power, and among these the Armstrong gun, invented and manufactured by Sir William Armstrong, the famous military and naval engineer, held the foremost place. It was found to be a gun built up in separate pieces of wrought iron, a method that secured the substance from flaw, and ensured great strength, lightness, and durability. The guns were to be built as



pounders, 70-pounders, and 100-pounders; and | mediums of flashing instant intelligence round

at a distance of 600 yards, an object of the size of the crown of a hat could be hit at almost every shot. At 3000 yards a target 9 feet square, which at that distance appears a mere speck, was struck five times out of ten. A ship could of course be struck at a much larger distance, and either shot or shell could be thrown into a fortress five miles off.

It was evident that ships armed with these guns would destroy each other if they continued to be made of timber. Therefore the "Armstrong gun" was supposed to be invaluable for fortresses and defences against invasion, but useless for ships opposing each other and equally armed. The "wooden walls," it was believed, could not stand against the tremendous artillery, and the inference was that to resist it they would have to be put in armour; the Armstrong gun was the forerunner of the armour-plated ship. There were, of course, other inventions, of which the Winans, or cigar-shaped steamship with propeller amidships, and intended to make the voyage across the Atlantic in four days, was one of the most remarkable, though it did not fulfil the expectations of its inventors. It is manifestly impossible to do more than indicate that in every branch of manufacture where machinery was employed, as well as in engines of warfare, the implements of civilization, and the means of intercommunication, ingenuity had been stimulated, and the investigations of thoughtful and patient scholars and experimentalists had produced marvellous results.

We shall presently have to return to some evidences of the great social progress made at this period as evidenced by various remarkable inventions and discoveries, but we may here mention one of the "wonders" of the time, which, though it was far from being a surprising success, became associated with the initiation of one of the most amazing achievements known to mankind. The Great Eastern steamship was an experiment of which bigness was the chief attraction, and it might almost have ceased to be remembered but for the fact that it was afterwards used to convey those submarine cables which were to be the

the world.

There had been a monster steamship launched in 1843, the largest ever built up to that date, named the Great Britain. Her length of keel was 289 feet, her main breadth above 50 feet; the depth of her hold more than 32 feet, and her tonnage 3444 tons. Her commander, Captain Hoskins, received the queen on board, and her majesty wished him success on his voyage across the Atlantic. It was a magnificent vessel, and could run, under favourable circumstances, at a speed of nearly sixteen statute miles an hour.

This was a decided success, but many persons who were believed to be competent judges declared that there was no advantage in enormous ships, and that the Great Britain represented the limit beyond which it would be difficult to ensure safety or convenience. This, however, did not prevent the enterprise of construction in 1856-1858, of the Great Eastern, a vessel of much vaster proportions, and of which the chief dining saloon, occupying only a portion of the poop, was 120 feet long, 47 feet wide, and 9 feet higli under the beams. The main shaft of the paddle engines weighed 40 tons, the rudder 13 tons. The appointments were to be luxurious, including hot and cold baths, with fresh as well as sea water, handsomely furnished cabins, and arrangements for the complete comfort of a large number of passengers of each class. It was computed that the vessel would run at the lowest estimate 17 or 18 miles an hour-about the speed of a parliamentary train, and great expectations were formed of the advantage of possessing two or three such vessels to be used in case of war, as troop-ships, by which an army of 30,000 men might be transported to any part of Europe in ten days. Of course the exponents of this view had not sufficiently considered the consequences of such a leviathian filled with troops being intercepted by smaller ships of war, nor had the difficulties of navigating a vessel of that size at points where troops could be readily disembarked been computed. The Great Eastern was, so to speak, an expensive toy. The company originally interested in the construction had to go into "liquida

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