The last hours of Prince Albert.
An English periodical contains the following interesting account of the last hours of the Prince Consort of England
, written by a member of his household:
"There has reached us from abroad a most interesting extract from a letter which was written by a member of the Queen
's household shortly after the death of Prince Albert.
The extremely confidential position which the writer held at the time, not only gives the assurance of perfect reliability, but invests the following lines with a very special interest.
After describing the grief and fears of the whole household for the Queen
, the writer speaks of the personal loss sustained in the death of Prince Albert: "How I shall miss his conversation about the children!
He used often to come into the school-room to speak about the education of the children; and he never left me without my feeling that he had strengthened my hands and raised the standard I was aiming at. Nothing mean or frivolous could exist in the atmosphere that surrounded him; the conversation could not be trifling if he was in the room.
I dread the return of spring for my dear lady.
it was his favorite time of the year — the opening leaves, the early flowers, and fresh green, were such a delight to him; and he so loved to point out their beauties to his children, that it will be terrible to see them without him. The children kept his table supplied with primroses, which he especially loved.
The last Sunday
he passed on earth was a very blessed one for the Princess Alice to look back upon.
He was very ill and very weak, and she spent the afternoon alone with him, while the others were in church.
"He begged to have his sofa drawn to the window, that he might see the sky and the clouds sailing past.
He then asked her to play to him, and she went through several of his favorite hymns and chorals.
After she had played some time, she looked round and saw him lying back, his hands folded as if in prayer, and his eyes shut.
He lay so long without moving that she thought he had fallen asleep.
Presently he looked up and smiled.
She said, 'Were you asleep, dear papa?
Oh, no, ' he answered; 'only I have such sweet thoughts,' During his illness his hands were often folded in prayer; and when he did not speak, his serious face showed that the 'happy thoughts,' were with him to the end.--The Princess Alice's fortitude has amazed us all. She saw from the first that both her father's and mother's firmness depended on her firmness, and she set herself to the duty.
He loved to speak openly of his condition, and had many wish He loved to hear
"he could not speak to the Queen
of himself, for she could not bear to listen, and shut her eyes to the danger.
His daughter saw that she must act differently; and she never let her voice falter or shed a single tear in his presence.--She sat by him, listened to all he said, repeated hymns, and then, when she could bear it no longer, would walk calmly to the door, and then rush away to her room, returning soon with the same calm and pale face without any appearance of the agitation she had gone through.
I have had several interviews with the poor Queen
The first time she said, 'You can feel for me, for you have gone through this trial.'--Another time she said how strange it seemed, when she looked back, to see how much for the last six months the Prince
's mind had dwelt upon death and the future state; their conversation had so often turned upon these subjects, and they had read together a book, called Heaven our Home,
which had interested him very much.
"He once said to her, 'We don't know in what state we shall meet again; but that we shall recognize each other and be together in eternity, I am perfectly certain.' It seemed as if it had been intended to prepare her mind and comfort her — though of course it did not strike her then.
She said she was a wonder to herself, and she was sure it was in answer to the prayers of her people that she was so sustained.
She feared it would not last, and that times of agony were before her. She said, 'There's not the bitterness in this trial that I felt when I lost my mother — I was so rebellious then; but now I can see the mercy and love that are mixed in my trial,' Her whole thought now is to walk worthy of him, and her greatest comfort to think that his spirit is always near her, and knows all that she is doing."