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A SHORT time since, we took occasion to
notice some of the curious outrages on good
taste and good sense committed by official
people who happen to be entrusted with the
duty of receiving the Queen when she travels.
We drew, it may be remembered, a strange,
but perfectly true picture of towns turning
themselves into travelling Circuses, and railway
refreshment rooms trying to look like
Royal boudoirs, under the amazing delusion
that the Sovereign of this country would
approve of them all the more for appearing to be
ashamed of themselves in their own characters.
We thought it hard at that time, and
we think it hard still, that persistent Mayors
should besiege the Royal carriage-windows,
and pitiless Corporations pour out all the
vials of bad grammar on the Royal head,
whenever they can catch the first Personage
in these realms on her travels. And we then
expressed a very decided opinion (which we
now reiterate) that the practice of concealing
from our Queen the true aspect of towns,
stations, and, where it is possible, even of the
people themselves, amounts in effect to a
species of positive disloyalty, for the plain
reason that it deprives her, in her relation to
her subjects and to all that surrounds them,
of every fair means of judging accurately for

Certain events have lately happened which
oblige us to return to this subject. The
official persecution of her Majesty has
extended its abject range of action, and has now
overtaken her Majesty's second son, Prince

When we first heard of the profession
that had been chosen for the young Prince,
we could not divest ourselves of the idea that
the Queen had been to some slight extent
influenced, in arriving at her decision, by a
natural wish to preserve one of her children,
at least, from falling a victim to the municipal
authorities of his native country. Any
hope of rescue for her eldest son was clearly
out of the question. We are all of us born
to a drawback of some kind; and the Prince
of Wales, as heir to the throne, is necessarily
born to a drawback of Mayors and
Corporations. Prince Alfred, however, it was still
possible to save from being Addressed at his
carriage-window, from being bewildered by
make-shift drawing-rooms, and from being
loyally leapt over, as it were, by sprightly
pole-and-canvas arches, whenever he
attempted to drive through the streets of a
strange town. The one apparently safe means
of accomplishing his preservation from these
and other equally unendurable nuisances, in
the present Mayor-and-Corporation-burdened-
condition of all civilised land, was clearly to
send him to seaand that is exactly what
his Royal mother has done with him.

Whether we are right or wrong in venturing
to set up this theory, one thing at least is
certain. Prince Alfred was not sent to sea
as a Prince of the blood royal, but as a
midshipman of the Euryalus. The Queen has
determined, with excellent good sense, that
he shall learn his noble profession exactly as
other English lads learn it; that he shall
rank with his brother officers on a footing of
perfect equality; and that if he rises (as we
all hope he will rise) to a position of eminence
in the Navy, he shall have something higher
and bettersomething infinitely more
satisfactory to his country and to himselfto
thank for it, than the accident of his birth.
It is gratifying to know this; it is doubly
gratifying to know that the son is worthy of
the mother's confidence; that he frankly and
gladly accepts his position; and that, finding
himself in a new sphere of action (in which,
be it remembered, his social standing is really
and truly decided by his individual merit),
he is as happy and as popular with his mess-
mates as any other sensible, good-humoured,
high-spirited English boy might be in his

These things are matters of public
notoriety. It is perfectly well known, that the
Prince eats and drinks and sleeps as other
midshipmen eat and drink and sleep; that
his outfit has been exactly regulated (though
the tradesman who made his chest is rumoured
to have gone the loyal length of
french-polishing it) by the outfits of other
midshipmen; and that every distinction, in short,
(except the too-enthusiastic polishing of the
chest) has been most strictly and sensibly
levelled between the many young officers
who are the sons of gentlemen, and the one
young officer who is the son of the Queen.
Under these circumstances, it would seem