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Bude was sent for to England. The chronicles of the day, of course, informed us that his abilities were of the most substantial and comprehensive nature. He was thoroughly acquainted with the forms and etiquette of a Court, which at that period, was no trifling recommendation in the eyes of the royal parents ; he was an excellent musician ; was an expert player on the violin, and knew something of the flute. He had been for some time in Holland, and was an excellent judge of the flavour of tobacco; he had been in Sardinia, and could never breakfast without anchovies. He had been in the army, and knew something of mathematics; he had studied Vauban on fortification, and had arrived at the knowledge that the glacis is not the counterscarp, nor the bastion, a drawbridge. His honour was reported to be of the most delicate nature, and according to one of his chroniclers, “ his religious principles were founded on the firm base of unadulterated Christianity." It happens, however, that Colonel Bude was a kind of renegade Catholic, and his religious principles were of that accommodating kind, that they could conform themselves to the country in which he lived. In Holland, he was a Lutheran; in Sardinia, he was a Catholic; and in England, he was a Protestant; and had he undertaken the preceptorship of the sons of the Sultan of the East, he would have forgotten “the firm base of unadulterated Christianity,". and would have become a follower of Mahomet, without, perhaps, being in the least the worse for it. On his arrival in England, he became a permanent resident of the royal household; and as George III., was at that time Elector of Hanover, and having to maintain an army there of two or three thousand men, whom he never saw in his life, he determined that they should also have a General, who was never to see the troops which he commanded, and no fitter person could he select for so important an office, than Colonel Bude. Nevertheless, with all these drawbacks upon his character as a person fitted for the responsible task of education, Colonel Bude by a particular sauvity of manner, and a true courtier-like bearing, gained the esteem of his royal pupils, particularly of Prince William, whom, at a future period, he accompanied to the continent, and finally became the private secretary of the Duke of York.
Although Prince William was now at a distance from his two elder brothers, on account of their separate establishments, yet they frequently met, and numerous were the scrapes in which the high spirited youths found themselves, and loud and incessant were the complaints which were carried to the ear of their royal parents, on account of some mischief which they had committed; but as the actual delinquent could scarcely ever be discovered, the reprimand was of that general nature, that it made very little, or no impression upon them. In whatever difficulty or embarrassment they found themselves, they always stood by each other, and no threat, nor bribe, could ever induce one of them to disclose the real offender; and if at any time a tale was carried to the King or Queen, of any act of misconduct on the part of one of them, the other two were sure to resent it and miserable, indeed, was the life which the informer afterwards led. The following anecdote strongly corroborates this statement. The Prince of Wales, the Bishop of Osnaburg, and Prince William, were once at play in one of the apartments, when the head of one of their drums being out, the mischievous youths prevailed on the attendant to get into the hoop, that they might draw her about the room. Prince William, who was, perhaps, the most mischievous of the three, contrived to throw her down, when she in the warmth of her resentment, flung him against the wainscot. The King on being informed of it, ordered her to go to Saint James', and to remain there till the return of Lady Charlotte Finch to town, as his Majesty did not choose to interfere in such matters. On the arrival of Lady Charlotte, she examined into the particulars, when another of the servants said, that the accused attendant did not strike Prince William. The Prince of Wales being present, said with great spirit, “pray do not assert any such thing, you know she did strike my brother, but you are both Scotchwomen, and will say anything to favour one another.” In this manner did they espouse each other's part, and the attendants soon discovered, that if they offended one of them, they were certain of meeting with the resentment of the other two.
Of the three royal brothers, Prince William was the most diminutive in stature, but there was always a manliness of temper about him, which prepossessed every one in his favour, and which formed a striking contrast with the high and haughty demeanour, which so particularly distinguished the Prince of Wales. It has been stated, that Prince William, at a very early age evinced a decided predilection for the naval profession, and that his education was regulated accordingly; we have no immediate means of either refuting or confirming that statement, but although his father might have determined, in consequence of that predilection, to devote him to the naval service of his country, yet considering the rank and station which Prince William held in society, it could not but be considered as rather a premature decision on the part of his father, to send him to sea, at the early age of thirteen, when his education was by no means completed, and in some branches of science, not actually begun. The quarter-deck of a man of war, or the middy's cabin is not a place to advance a youth, in the attainment of those branches of learning, without which no education can be considered complete. Prince William was taken from his tutors at a time, when with other men, their collegiate education is at its commencement; at no period of his life, was he remarkable for the acuteness or superiority of his intellect, he had by no means outstripped either of his royal brothers in the acquisition of any particular branch of learning, on the contrary, they had outstripped him; is it then to be wondered at, that at a later period of his life, he showed himself deficient in many of those - classical and scientific attainments, which are the concomitants of a liberal and enlightened education ? It may be said in extenuation of this line of conduct, adopted by George III. in regard to his son William, that the rules of the navy, distinctly prescribed the age, beyond which an individual entering the navy, could not be rated on the books, nor admitted into the service, and therefore the act was imperative on him to enter his son, before he had attained his fourteenth year. The policy or the prudence of entering him at all, becomes in itself a very questionable matter, at the same time it must be admitted, that the professions of the army and navy, were the only ones open into which the King's sons could be received, at the same time, that they are the two professions of all others, from which they should be excluded, or if not wholly excluded, they should be prevented from ever assuming the command. If we follow the entire career of all the King's sons, in their professional capacity, what is the result, but disgrace, discomfiture, and dishonour? The Prince of Wales was a soldier, although the laws of the country, prevented him from fulfilling the most essential part of the duty of a soldier, that of fighting; but as far as the cut of a uniform, or the adjustment of any military frippery was concerned, he was one of the most active members of the army. If we look to the Duke of York, what do we there behold, but the country overwhelmed with disgrace, by his blundering generalship? By him. was the flower of the English army destroyed; the finest park of artillery, which ever left the shores of England, taken by the enemy; himself and his whole army saved from being carried prisoners into France, by one of the most ignominious treaties, which was ever signed by a British General, one article of which was, that the French sailors then in the different prisons of England, amounting to above 8000 men should be released, which enabled France to man her navy, to form a junction with the Spanish fleet, and of which Nelson gave so good an account at the Battle of Trafalgar. If any other individual, but a King's son had so misconducted himself, as the Duke of York did on every occasion in Holland, he would have been instantly brought to a court-martial, and dismissed the service for incompetency.
Of the Duke of Clarence, we shall have occasion to describe his exploits, as they respectively come under our notice, but in the mean time, it must be observed, that he only appears before us as the commanded, not as the commander,
He was never at the head of a fleet, nor does history record any great achievement performed by him, as the result of his own personal skill and prowess.
If we direct our view to the Duke of Kent, another soldier, and one more obnoxious or hated by the troops which he commanded, never stood at the head of a regiment. His friends called him a disciplinarian, those whom he commanded, called him a tyrant; his friends compared him to Frederic of Prussia, his soldiers looked upon him, as the haughtiest of the Indian despots. At Halifax in Nova Scotia, the army would have mutinied, had he not been removed and he was removed to Gibraltar, and it soon became necessary to remove him to England, or it is not at all improbable, that he would bave been removed from the world altogether.
If we look to the Duke of Cumberland, another soldier, what do we there find to gratify our vision ? A man, who we are informed has done much for the army—and what is that much? He has added much to the expence of our army, by the introduction of German frippery, and the most ridiculous gewgaws; he has contributed much to render our soldiers, a multitude of bedizened fops, and he has so much encumbered them with trappings and helmets of an unbearable weight, that they frequently faint under them. If this then happens at a common parade, what must be the case in the day of battle? The Duke of Cumberland, we beg his pardon, the King of Hanover, has punctually attended all the reviews on the continent, where thousands are collected at the nod of the continental despots, to enslave the liberties of Europe, and what did he bring back with him to his native country? new styles of dresses, new harlequin uniforms, new patterns of caps and helmets, stays, padding, and mustachios. He has, indeed, done much for the army, and too much have the people of this country paid him for it.
If we look to the Duke of Cambridge, another soldier, what do we there find to make us fall in love with royal Field Marshals? We do not mean to speak in the slightest degree