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Text for Page 281 [1901]

              [newspaper clipping: first column]
     THE KING AS PRICE OF WALES,
		     �TAT 19.
	BY THOMAS BUTLER GUNN.
  All England is at present talking of the approaching
Coronation, of which, as a matter of couse, His
Majesty King Edward the Seventh will be the prin-
cipal figure.  The reader may, perhaps, care to have a
retrospective description of him, as he appeared more
than forty-one years ago, by one who had an excep-
tional opportunity for obtaining it.  It is derived
from a diary, kept at the date in question, with some
personal journalistic additions.
  In autumn of 1860 the Prince, under one of his
minor titles, Lord Renfrew, paid a visit to the North
American continent, going by way of Boston to
Canada, and thence, through some of the western
States, to New York City.  In the great republic, as
in the British colonly, considerable interest attended
his progress.  It was, in fact, the paramount sensation
of the time.  Then, as now, Americans were prone to
all kinds of excitement, and by no means averse to
lionizing royalty, though inevitably free from what
Dr. Wendell Holmes calls �the Englishman�s con-
centrated loyalty and specialised reverence� towards
it.  Wherefore the newspaper were full of the one
topic; editorials, lectures, news items, paragraphs
and advertisements all turned upon it, claiming pre-
ference in public attention above all others.  New
York on the 11th of October was all astir with expect-
ation.
  The Prince and his suite reached the city by way of
Philadelphia and the Camden and Amboy railroad,
embarking at the latter place on the revenue cutter
Harriet Lane (so named in honour of the niece of
President James Buchanan) and thence to New York.
I was, at that date, one of the corps of reporters
attached to the N. Y. World, a newly-started journal,
which has, since then, like most American papers,
undergone many transformations and is now a rival to
the tremendous Herald.  To me was assigned the task
of �writing up� the coming of the Price to the city.
  The weather was propitious for the occasion.  No
lovelier autumn day ever dawned upon the harbour
and city of New York than that on which its thousands
awaited the arrival of the royal guest.  There, as else-
where in the United States, he escaped the watery
attention of Jupiter Pluvius, whose adherence to him
while in Canada had almost passed into a joke.  It was
emphatically a beautiful day; what in England used 
to be called �Queen�s weather.�
  The Harriet Lane (heretofore on several occasions
placed at the disposal of the Prince) lay off the Battery
�a sort of marine park at the southern end of Man-
hattan Island, on which New York is situated.  I got
on board by means of a boat at 8 a.m.  The cutter,
ordinarily a model of nautical trimness and propriety,
was temporarily marked by the abeyance of these
characteristics: the receiving and unpacking of crates
of crockery, wine-glasses, bottles of champagne and
other wines, not to mention sofas and divers articles of
furniture materially interfering with them.  Officers,
sailors, atewards, and waiters seemed equally busy.  A
military band from Governor�s Island (adjacent)
detailed for service on the steamer, furnished music,
the only thing needed to complete the scene.  Con-
spicuous in his handsome naval costume, with his
golden epaulets sparkling in the sunshine, was the
captain of the vessel, guiding and directing, aided by
his officers.  Now and then a boatful of guests put off
from the shore, and presently the whole of the expected
complement had arrived.  This was not numerous, but
select, and perhaps few New York assemblages, public
or private, at that date, included so many noteworth, 
if not distinguished persons.  Some of them are worth
mentioning.
  The most important was certainly Lieutenant-General
Winfield Scott, Commander-in-Chief of the United
States Army, whose arrival on board was acknowledged
by the military salute due to his rank�the discharge
of seventeen guns.  These were fired rapidly, seven
seconds intervening between each explosion.  The
General stood erect and bareheaded, observed by all
during this ceremony.  He was not in uniform, but
his height, portly figure, erect carriage and fine
physiognomy rendered him the most conspicuous, as he
was the most distinguished person on board.  I never
saw a grander-looking man than General Scott and
was pleased to be introduced to him, when, in the
course of a brief chat, he told me that he had met the
Duke of Wellington in Paris, in July 1815, during its
occupation by the Allied Army after the battle of
Waterloo.
  Another notable person with whom I talked was Cyrus
Field, the famous originator of the Atlantic Ocean
Telegraph, who might have sat for a handsome model
of Uncle Sam as popularly delineated.  He formed on
of a Committee of Reception, made up by a sort of
natural selection, not appointed by the Mayor of the
city, as has been the custom of later years.  There
were three presidents, Peter Cooper, an ex-merchant
and philanthropist, Wilson G. Hunt, and Henry
Grinnell, a great ship-owner.  The members, twelve in
number, included various prominent personages, whom,
with one exception, I shall not particularize.  This
was Judge Robert B. Roosevelt (I presume a relative
of the new President of the United States), then
District Attorney to the Governent.  Later on he
became U.S. Minister to the Netherlands.  He is the
only surviving member of the Reception Committee of
which I write.
  Among the guests were a nephew of President
Buchanan, various senators, governors of States and
their aids, consuls, prominent lawyers, editors and
others.  E. M. Archibald, British Consul to the Port
of New York, I had some acquaintance with, and in
December of this same year, 1860, during Secession
Time, I made that of another person on board, Robert
Bunch, of Charleston, South Carolina, who at first
ridiculed the Confederate conspiracy and then became
its ally and accomplice.
  At five minutes to 9 the Harriet Lane left her anchor-
age and, with the band playing, steamed down the
bay, which then presented its ordinary aspect on a fine,
sunny October morning; bright blue sky above and
laughing water below.  On board the guests conversed
in groups, sitting or standing.  All continued on deck,
none but the servants, intent on culinary preparations,
going below.  An awning was erected, and presently a
table, sufficient to accommodate about thirty persons,
placed on the aft-part of the desk.  Behind this,
screened by flags of different nations, the employ�s set
out the collation.
  A gun from the landing-place at Perth-Amboy, fired
at twenty minutes to 11 welcomed the Harriet Lane�s
arrival.  Here a large concourse had assembled on the
piers, in the railroad dep�t and on board a steamboat,
the latter of which was literally black with spectators.
All were awaiting the coming guest of the nation.  At
twenty-two minutes to twelve a telegram announced
that he would arrive in five minutes.
  Punctually the royal party appeared, and forthwith
the brass 24-pounders of the Harriet Lane gave it a
royal and deep-mouthed welcome.  To their thunder,
the music of the band playing the National Anthem,
and the equally vociferous and cordial cheers of the
spectators, the Prince and suite passed through the
dep�t and, ascending the gangway, came on board.
  He was very youthful in aspect, had an oval face
inclining to fulness toward the lower part of it, and
clear-cut, delicate, decidedly aristocratic features,
strongly resembling those of his mother.  An artist
might have constructed  fair average portrait of him
from her likeness on a shilling.  One peculiarity, how-
ever, the mouth showing the upper teeth, he did not
possess, though his lips were full, almost femininely so.
He had a narrow head, brown hair, but little chin,
full blue, expressive, prominent eyes, with a look of con-
scious position in them which might have been thought
to verge on superciliousness.  He was dressed in a light
hat, a dark-blue frock coat, and loose grey trousers.
  There was a general impression that the two prin-
cipal members of his staff were sent with him as much
to repress any too lively tendencies, with which he was
credited, as to do him honour.  The first of these, the
Duke of Newcastle, a tall, stoutly-built man, with fine,
expressive features, reddish hair and full red beard and
moustache, had a stern look of command befitting such
a responsibility.  The second guardian was altogether
the best-dressed of the royal party.  Tall, of gaunt
figure, with grey hair and the marks of time visible in
his countenances, the office of High Steward, the Earl
of St. Germain, placed him next to the dule in rank.
Next in position, was General Bruce, whohad super-
vised the Prince�s studies at Oxford University.  He
was a handsome man, and attracted considerable atten-
tion.  I shall dismiss the rest of the suite with mere
mention.  There was Dr. Ackland, the Prince�s tutor
at Oxford, his two equerries, Sir Henry Holland, the
Queen�s physician, the Hon. Mr. Eliot, son of the Earl
of St. Germain, the Marquis of Chandos, and several
secretaries and servants.  Also Lord Lyons, a peculiar-
looking man, British Minister at Washington.
  While in the railroad dep�t the Prince had been
waited upon by the aids of the Governor of the State
of New York, bidding him welcome.  Immediately on
his stepping on board the Harriet Lane, he was
received by General Scott and the committee, shaking
hands very cordially with them.  Proceeding to the
upper part of the vessel, where most of the company
were presented to him, the Prince and his party
mingled with their entertainers, General Scott taking
the lead in doing the honours to the royal guest.
  At noon precisely the Harriet Lane steamed off, on
the return to New York.  Within five minutes after-
wards the collation was served.  As the screen of flags
had been removed, a fair view was obtained by all
present.  The meal, provided by the keeper of the
Astor Hotel, was according to a programme, copies of
which, printed in blue ink on white satin, were placed
before each guest.  It is needless to say that it com-
prised all the dainties of the season or that the guests,
including the Prince, did full justice to it.  A knot of
on-lookers gathered at a respectful distance, and he
would sometimes turn and good-humouredly survey
them.  The band played during the progress of the
meal.
  On the party rising from the table, the remainder
of the company seated themselves at it, the Prince

[newspaper clipping: second column]
mounting the upper deck, where General Scott pointed
out to him the different features of the locality,
calling special attention to Forts Hamilton and Colum-
bus, which fired salutes of twenty-one guns in honour
of the occasion.  Their figures contrasted as notably
as the relative size of their respective countries, and
it was good to see the courtly, Grandisonian manner
of the Americans, totally unalloyed by any suggestion
of sycophancy.  I cannot say that the Prince seemed
much interested.
  The scene now became exceedingly striking, bril-
liant, and picturesque.  The daily Amboy steamer,
which had followed the Harriet Lane, was crowded
with spectators who, on sight of the Prince, cheered
him vociferously, to which he responded by slightly
raising his hat.  A yacht, too, held her course on the
same tack.  With the band discoursing national airs,
lively quick steps and opera tunes, flags flying, can-
non booming, people hurrahing, the water leaping and
sparkling, the sun growing brighter and hotter
overhead the Harriet Lane approached the city.
  The echoes of the saluting volleys of Fort Hamilton
had scarcely died away, at a quarter to 2 p.m., when
the U.S. mail steamer Habana, gaily decorated with
flags, conspicuous among which was a green one, dis-
playing the Irish harp at the masthead, passed us, her
passengers giving three cheers and �a tiger� and sub-
sequently fired a gun.  The Prince had ascended to
the top of the wheel-house with the Duke of Newcastle
and others of his suite.  He stood surveying the scene
with some interest, but no great animation, sometimes
stooping to listen to the remarks of Genearl Scott,
who addressed him from below.
  On Governor�s Island a company of soldiers and
marines were drawn up in front of Castle William,
which fired the customary salute.  New York was
now in sight, presenting an appearance likely to be re-
membered by those who, in French phrase, assisted on
this notable occasion.  All the shipping displayed flags,
many having their rigging profusely decorated with
them.  Their spars and decks were, like the adjoining
shores, densely populated by curious and excited
spectators.  The welcome to Kossuth in 1852, a
recent visit of the Japanese, the reception of
the Great Eastern, all of which I witnessed,
were paralleled, if not eclipsed by the unanimous
ovation accorded by the inhabitants of the Empire
City to the youthful heir to the crown of Great Britain.
On the Battery the lines of soldiery, drawn up in
glittering ranks, formed a brilliant foreground, while
behind could be seen the heads of innumerable specta-
tors.  Castle Garden, too (an old fort, subsequently a
theatre, in which Jenny Lind sang, and later an
emigrant dep�t), was crowded, its outer gallery being
thronged, mostly by ladies.  When the Harriet Lane
steamed alongside, the Prince was not recognized by
them, though he leaned over the top rail of the steamer
at not twenty yards distance.  I attempted to en-
lighten them by a significant gesture, but they thought
I was hoaxing, and laughed.  We reached New York
at precisely two o�clock, having been just an hour and
twenty-three minutes in making the trip.
  Disembarking with some difficulty and leaving the
Prince to review the assembled troops (to be stupidly
supplemented by another review, further on, in the
City Hall Park, which delayed his progress, so that
darkness set in before he got up-town to his destined
hotel) I made my way through the lines of soldiers 
occupying the whole of the Battery, and the dense
crowd up Broadway, where the sidewalks, trees,
windows, and housetops were thronged with specta-
tors, all expectant and good-humoured.  The roadway
had been kept free by the police, and as I marched up
it, the crowd, lacking any other temporary amusement,
chose to welcome me (I suppose in virtue of my unpre-
tending beard) as the Duke of Newcastle!  Accepting 
the situation, I raised my hat repeatedly, whereat the
cheers were redoubled.
  I had to get to the World Office and write a brief
account of the morning�s doings for our evening paper.
Then I sped up-town and scribbled and scribbled and
scribbled until half-past ten p.m.,�three or four
columns for our next day�s issue, sending it down-town
by a friend.  I saw more of the Prince during his
sojourn in New York City, where he had what
Americans would emphatically call �a real good
time,� but not specially essential to this article.               
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