Death of the Prince Consort


on all questions of the day, his faithful hope for the future, his utter detestation and abhorrence of sin and wrong-doing, and especially of all little, mean, dirty sins, which most men gloss over; and then his heartiness and playfulness, and his sympathy for the poor and needy; and, more striking to those who only knew of him by his writings, his Christ-like toleration for those who differed with him in opinion, and his sweet gentleness. . . . Naturally and by principle averse from quarrelling, he was ever ready to fight in the cause of justice to the poor, the oppressed and the suffering, and the weak. The Revelation of His Master's life Revelation of Christ- had penetrated Charles Kingsley through and through. . . ."


The year was ended sadly by the death of the Prince Consort, which threw a gloom all over England, and was to Mr. Kingsley a personal loss, which he deeply felt:

"Can we forget one friend,

Can we forget one face,

Which cheered us toward our end,
Which nerved us for our race?

Oh sad to toil, and yet forego
One presence which has made us know
To God-like souls how deep our debt!
We would not, if we could, forget."1

"I remember," said a friend, "how Kingsley was affected by it, as at the loss of a personal friend. We walked over the next day to Madingley, and met, on the way, more than one of the young associates of the Prince of Wales. I can never forget, nor probably will those who were addressed forget, the earnest, solemn, and agitated tones in which he spoke of the Prince Consort's care for his son, and the duty which lay on

1 Installation Ode, Cambridge, 1862.

them, the Prince of Wales's young friends, to see that they did all in their power to enforce the wise counsel of him who was dead."

TO SIR CHARLES BUNBURY. -"As for the death of the Prince Consort, I can say nothing. Words fail me utterly. What little I could say, I put into a sermon for my own parishioners. . . . I need not say how we regretted not being able to accept your kind invitation. But the heavy work of last term, and the frightful catastrophe with which it ended, sent us all home to rest, if rest is possible, when, on coming home, one finds fresh arrears of work waiting for one, which ought to have been finished off months since. The feeling of being always behindhand, do what one will, is second only in torment to that of debt. I long to find myself once again talking over with you 'the stones which tell no lies.'"

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The opening of 1862 found him once more settled at Eversley, and thankful to return to parish work after the heavy duties and responsibilities of such a year at Cambridge as could never come again. But the change of scene and work had done him good. His mind was particularly vigorous this year; and one spring morning, while sitting at breakfast, his wife reminded him of an old promise, "Rose, Maurice, and Mary have got their book, and baby must have his." He made no answer, but got up at once and went into his study, locking the door. In half an hour he returned with the story of little Tom. This was the first chapter of "The WaterBabies," written off without a flaw. The whole book was more like an inspiration than a composition, and seemed to flow naturally out of his brain and heart, lightening both of a burden

without exhausting either. Nothing helped the books and sermons more than the silence and solitude of a few days' fishing, which he could now indulge in. "The Water Babies," especially, have the freshness and fragrance of the seabreeze and the riverside in almost every page.

"When you read the book," he writes to Mr. Maurice, "I hope you will see that I have not been idling my time away. I have tried, in all sorts of queer ways, to make children and grown folks understand that there is a quite miraculous and divine element underlying all physical nature; and that nobody knows anything about anything, in the sense in which they may know God in Christ, and right and wrong. And if I have wrapped up my parable in seeming Tom-fooleries, it is because so only could I get the pill swallowed by a generation who are not believing, with anything like their whole heart, in the Living God. Meanwhile, remember that the physical science in the book is not nonsense, but accurate earnest, as far as I dare speak yet."

In the summer the Duke of Devonshire was installed at Cambridge as Chancellor of the University, in the place of the Prince Consort; and the Professor of Modern History wrote an installation ode, which was set to music by Sir William Sterndale Bennett. Their work together was a great mutual interest. "Music and words were well received, and followed," said the Professor of Music, by a "ringing cheer for Professor Kingsley," who was unable to be present. A month's holiday in Scotland with his wife and eldest boy this year, and visits to The Grange, where Lord Ashburton gathered round him a brilliant society: Thomas Carlyle, Bishop Wil

berforce, the Duke and Duchess of Argyll, Lord Houghton, Mr. Venables, Mr. E. Ellice, &c., &c., were a great refreshment to him. He writes to his mother from

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INVERARAY CASTLE, August 21. "The loveliest spot I ever saw large lawns and enormous timber on the shores of a salt-water loch, with moor and mountain before and behind. We had the grandest drive yesterday through Glencroe, from Loch Lomond at Tarbet to Inveraray round the head of Loch Fyne. . . . If you examine the picture enclosed, carefully, on the extreme top of the extreme left, you behold the hill of Dunnaquoich, or the drinking-cup, which has a watch-tower on his top, for speculation after the thieves of those parts, and is about 500 feet high, with enormous pine and beech to his top, and views angelical. Beneath it you

see the Castle of the Maccallum More. Between the hill and the castle, you would perceive, if it were visible, the river Aray, which contains now far more salmon than water; wherefore not being able to catch them fairly, we gaff them in narrow places. Beyond Dunnaquoich runs up Glen Shiray, which contains the Dhu Loch, which again contains salmon, salmon trout, brown trout, salmo-ferox, sythe, lythe, herrings, sticklebacks, flounders, grayling (on my honor I ain't lying), and all other known and unknown fresh and salt-water fish, jumbled together in thousands. Such a piece of fishing I never saw in my life. . . ."

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The visit to Inveraray was one of the bright memories and green spots of his life, combining as it did not only beautiful scenery, but intellectual, scientific, and spiritual communings with his host and hostess on the highest, holiest themes. Such holidays were few and far between

in his life of labor, and when they came he could give himself up to them, "thanks," as he would


"to my blessed habit of intensity, which has been my greatest help in life. I go at what I am about as if there was nothing else in the world for the time being. That's the secret of all hard-working men; but most of them can't carry it into their amusements. Luckily for me, I can stop from all work, at short notice, and turn head over heels in the sight of all creation for a spell."

He returned to Cambridge for his autumn course of lectures, and for the meeting of the British Association - the first he had ever attended. The zoological and geological sections were those which naturally attracted him; and the acquaintances he now made, the distinguished men he met, made this an era in his life, and gave a fresh impetus to his scientific studies. He was present at the famous tournament between Professor Owen and Professor Huxley on the Hippocampus question, which led to his writing the following little squib for circulation among his friends.


CAMBRIDGE: October, 1862. "Mr. President and Gentlemen, I mean Ladies and Mr. President, I am sure that all ladies and gentlemen will see the matter just as I do; and I am sure we 're all very much obliged to these scientific gentlemen for quarrelling-no- I don't mean that, that would n't be charitable, and it's a sin to steal a pin but I mean for letting us hear them quarrel,


VOL. II.-10

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