And in India, which he said it had been the dream of his life to visit, he made friends of the haughtiest, the most aloof, amongst the native Princes. The same unrivalled tact was brought to bear in dealing with that "most distressful country" where no English Royalty might reasonably expect to be received with open arms.
For, as an Irish newspaper has observed, "since the days of Strongbow, King Edward was the first English monarch who could be said to be a friend of Ireland. After his first visit there in , all had "some word of endearment to couple with his name, some story to tell of his kindness and generosity. He could walk alone from one end of Ireland to the other, and never have anything worse than a rose thrown at him. He had, in fact, "walked virtually unattended into the darkest slums of Dublin, to have blessings and good wishes showered upon him instead of hot water and vitriol.
But the courage of the King in the face of danger, as evinced in the visit to Dublin,—that "simple courage" which has been alluded to by his son,—was one of his most typical traits. His life was a charmed one: it was full of hair-breadth 'scapes and painful accidents and illnesses,—yet nothing shook his imperturbability.
His coolness and pluck were peculiarly gratifying to his subjects: not less so was his appreciation of those qualities in others. Deeds of homely heroism he loved to reward: and his full knowledge of the Nation's devotion to him made him realise the more keenly for how much he stood to them. Not a word of his own pain, risk, or disappointment: and subsequently he sent a message to his subjects:. When the deferred great ceremony at last took place, it was said that His Majesty, as he left the Abbey, "looked like a man who had seen a vision.
When the war-drum throbbed no longer, and the battle flags were furl'd. In the Parliament of man, the Federation of the World.
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The King's own leanings towards a soldier's life—"the only life"—as he said in his younger days,—and the firm confidence in "our first line of defence" which led him to place both his sons as Cadets in the Navy, were often manifested in his utterances. Yet his desire for this efficiency was based upon a deeper longing—the goal of all his life.
In social affairs, in private matters, his intervention was being constantly sought, to prevent folks making shipwreck of their lives; and of his efforts in the cause of international conciliation, it is not possible to speak too highly. It has been written: "King Edward went openly in the light of day, facing Kings and men and talking like a King and man, and the world also knows what he did for peace. Edward the Seventh sleeps with his mighty ancestor crowned with the rarest of all benedictions, that blessing that is upon the peacemakers: for "Peace hath her victories no less renowned than war," and these greater triumphs were his in superb abundance.
Charity and kindness between nations—peace upon earth, goodwill to man,—for these he strove from the very outset. To the King of Italy he said:. He was determined to drag out his kingdom from her position of "splendid isolation," that she might bear her part in maintaining the European balance of power, which is the European peace: and with splendid tact and patience he achieved his end. King Edward was never parochial in his patriotism: he sought the ultimate good of all, as of fellow-members of one great family. And his extreme and sedulous interest in promoting international exhibitions, was built upon the same basis: he loved to dwell upon.
But perhaps his greatest triumph was the breaking down of the age-long barrier between France and England—the establishment of the entente cordiale , and the recognition of the mutual interests which should unite the neighbour countries,—. Interests which, I am glad to think, increase every year, and which tend to draw closer the ties of friendship and mutual respect which have characterised the relations which have so happily existed between this country and my own for nearly a century. One great secret of King Edward's immense influence was that, as The Times has said, "He was indeed a man among men; and the British people, and yet more perhaps the Irish people, instinctively love a man.
Nothing struck them more and nothing pleased them better than his open and manifest joy in life. But he wrote,. I am the happiest man when I can, like plain Mr. Jones, go to a race meeting without it being chronicled in the papers the next day that the Prince of Wales has taken to gambling very seriously, and yesterday lost more money than he could afford to pay! Horse racing may produce gambling or it may not, but I have always looked upon it as a manly sport which is popular with Englishmen of all classes, and there is no reason why it should be looked upon as a gambling transaction.
He was a good rider to hounds, and had a friendly greeting for every man in the hunting field; he was a welcome guest in many a farmhouse after the hard day's run, being regaled on bread and cheese and home-brewed. In a word, he fulfilled his own definition of himself to the Savage Club:. In everything "he struck the human note,"and nowhere more so than at Sandringham, his beautiful Norfolk estate where, as an Old-English country gentleman, he led what was for a King the "simple life," and where he was known "a model landlord, a successful farmer, a sanitary reformer, a generous philanthropist, an esteemed employer, and the most practical of all temperance reformers.
King Edward, in fact, was one of the first to go "back to the land. But the keynote of King Edward's character and reign is summed up, as has been truly said, in the word Humanity—humanity in its widest as well as its narrowest sense. His life was not only a constant devotion to the broader issues of the State— for the love of England, with him, was a veritable passion ,—but the endeavour to bring light into dark places—comfort the sick and sorrowful—help to the needy and the poor.
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Whether,—as in —he mixed freely among thousands of British working classes at the Bethnal Green Museum, talking to them, they said, just as if he were a working man himself,—or whether, as on the occasion of his Coronation, he gave a dinner to over half a million London poor: to every variety and calling he extended that amazing sympathy which found its vent in the most carefully detailed practical kindness.
In one of his earlier addresses, when Prince, he said, that "being excluded by his position from taking active part in political life, he would devote his time to duties connected with works of charity and public utility. He became in the widest sense the Father of his people, who "always," as Will Crooks avowed, makes the poor man feel as comfortable as possible"—mentally as well as physically.
He laid special stress on this himself. But this deep and vital interest in the working classes necessitated constant effort on their behalf. Sometimes he was pleading for little outcast children. Sometimes he was espousing the cause of simple heroism in humble life, for which he always had a particular delight.
Even those in what we usually hold the lowest stratum of employment—the last resource of the destitute—the "sandwichmen" of the metropolis,—had a place in his kindly heart: and, not content with regularly sending a handsome donation to their yearly dinner, he always took care to be personally represented there, and to read, with genuine interest, a subsequent account of the proceedings. Nor did he stint his praise of those—whether corporate or individual—who worked for the people's good. Even the much abused L.
First and foremost in King Edward's desire for the betterment of his poorer subjects, stood the ancient question of Hospitals—always over-full, always under financial difficulties. The establishment of the "Prince of Wales' Hospital Fund for London" was the noblest and surest memorial of his mother's Diamond Jubilee. And the vast improvement which has been wrought by these means is entirely due to the originator of the Fund. For, perhaps, of all King Edward's wise and witty sayings, none is more forcible than that regarding "preventible diseases. He applied the same formula—in action—to the apparently insoluble problem—the world—old problem—of the Housing of the Poor.
Nor were his efforts confined to London only: he had acquainted himself with the hideous unsanitariness of too many cottages in the loveliest villages of England, and had personally done his bit to remedy the existing state of things. But there were, indeed, no limits to the King's desire for the "well-being of the people.
Or in the tender solicitude which he always displayed towards the old and superannuated: seeking out those who had been neglected, or passed over, and putting them in such positions of safety and comfort. This habit of kind thought reached even to those "beyond these voices," and in he moved a resolution "that the present condition of the British cemeteries in the Crimea is not creditable to us, and not creditable to a great country like ours, for I am sure we are the very first to do who fought in the name of their country.
His famous farewell words to the Duke and Duchess of York, as they sailed on the "Ophir" to visit the various Colonies, may, indeed, be said to have been addressed to the Nation at large.
That a man should be educated to and for his vocation, was the theory of the man who had been most carefully trained to Kingship: moreover, he regarded knowledge as the root and promise of peace. But, above all, he inculcated the paramount importance of religious instruction and the study of the Scriptures: for he was "a regular church-goer, and a firm believer in the value of a sound moral training. For the lofty words spoken by King Edward of his father, Albert the Good, might well serve as the motto and meaning of his own great life.
And this aim was the secret of his extraordinary tact and sympathy. Will Crooks, "about the personality of the King. This it was and not his power that drew me to him—drew everyone to him. Supposing a poor man had to see him, and felt ill at ease. It was quite natural The poor fellow would go into the audience trembling. Perhaps he might be a man whose business was birds. King Edward would have been told about it, and before our friend knew where he was, he would find himself quite at home explaining the reason why some bird was that kind of bird, just like one chap to another.
His marvellous memory, "a treasure to a Prince," as he remarked, never allowed him to forget a face. Innumerable anecdotes bear witness to his bonhomie and generosity: and it was small wonder that, as he assured a nervous foreign Prince, who enquired as to precautions for his safety at the time of the great Coronation—.
We need no precautions. No, sir; the British people and myself have confidence in on another.watch
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In fact, it has been truly observed that "if the world at any time since could have been polled to ascertain the most popular of its inhabitants, there can be no question that the vote would have fallen to the late King. In the word of Canon Scott Holland. He died, as has been said by a medical journal, a martyr to his sense of duty: almost literally on his feet; refusing regard himself as an invalid.
That which England expected from him, he had of a truth accomplished in him was fulfilled an example of devotion to duty paralleled only by our very greatest. And the last words of Sir Richard Grenvile, the fighting sea-captain, might have been those on Edward. King and Peacemaker:—. Here die I,. Peace be with the Peacemaker: all love and gentle memories go with him. Though in some other part of God's great unseen universe he has joined the innumerable multitudes of "the majority," we can still retain the impulses and influences which that kindly presence has bequeathed to us; we can still cry to Him who is not the Lord of the dead, but of the living.
God Save the King. This work was published before January 1, , and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least years ago. I do not know how it is that I am ever naughty, for I am much happier when I am good. O merciful God, I thank Thee for giving me rest during the night past, and refreshing me with quiet sleep. O Lord, grant that I may pass a good and happy day, and be obedient to all those who are set to watch over me. Bless dear Papa and Mama and give them the comfort of seeing me grow up a good child.
Bless and keep my brothers and sisters, and teach them and me to remember Thee our Creator, in the days of our youth, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Elric of Melniboné
I feel now wrote Albert Edward what it is to be really happy. If I can make the future life and home of the Princess a happy one, I shall be content. I feel doubly happy in the thought that my approaching marriage is one that has the approval of the Nation: and I only trust that I may not disappoint the expectations that have been formed of me. If sympathy at such a moment they wrote is of any avail, the remembrance that the grief has been shared by all classes will be a lasting consolation to their sorrowing hearts, and if possible, will make them more than ever attached to their dear country.
I trust to the nation to support me in the arduous duties which now devolve upon me by inheritance, and to which I an determined to devote my whole strength during the remainder of my life. To be a good painter, genius is by no means all that is required; industry and perseverance must also be exercised, just as much as in the case of eminent clergymen, lawyers, scientific men, philosophers, or the members of any other branch of human exertion which we can name.
Royal Academy , Royal College of Music , In every effort to further and develop their material interests—interests which we feel to be inseparably bound up with the prosperity of the Empire, we must remember that, as regards the Colonies, they are the legitimate and natural homes in future, of the most adventurous and energetic portion of the population of these islands.