The New Zealand Spectator and Cook’s Strait Guardian, Saturday, April 5, 1862
The late Prince Albert
The late Prince Albert.
It has pleased Almighty God to take unto himself the Consort of our beloved Queen [sic: .] No Pompous announcements in gazettes extraordinary—no sounding proclamations of his style and titles which, a few days hence, will be made by the emblazoned King at Arms, standing on the verge of his tomb—none of these, the sonorous symbols of earthly state and grandeur, can abate one jot from the awful impressiveness, the ghastly puissance of those few naked words which tell us that Prince Albert is dead, and that Queen Victoria is a widow. But yesterday, this Prince was among us—powerful, revered, caressed, beloved, handsome and generous, brave and wise, the happy father of blooming sons and daughters, the husband of the mightiest monarch of the world. His name was in all men’s mouths; his portrait was everywhere; the interest he took in every good and beautiful and humanising thing was universally felt. A magnificent industrial scheme drew its greatest claim to encouragement, derived its brightest prospect of success, from his approval and his aid. And now, all is in the dust. The departed Prince has left no enemies; his name was associated with no base cruelty and no unworthy intrigue, with no outrage and no wrong; his public career was infinitely dignified, discreet, and judicious; his private life was spotlessly pure and blameless. Surrounded by temptations, besieged by flatterers and timeservers, beset with incentives to either splendid indolence or to mischievous activity, enabled from his exalted position almost to brave censure and set criticism at defiance, he struck out for himself a line of life which suited alike the philosophical nature of his mind and the elaborate intellectual culture he had gone through. His genius and his capacity, his learning and his accomplishments, were devoted to a worthy and a glorious purpose.
But the Fiat went forth, and it was decreed that he was not fully to reap that which he had sown. In the flower of his age and the fulness [sic: fullness] of his strength—in all the glow and vigour of manhood—in prosperity, and honour, and splendour—in the enjoyment of perhaps the most perfect domestic happiness that it was ever the lot of man to know—the Cold Hand was laid on his wrist, the Cold Finger beckoned him away, the Cold Voice whose frigid accents must be heard someday by all of us—rich and poor, evil and just, princes and beggars—the Voice that no thunders can silence, no mortal dictates hush—penetrated through the tapestries of the Queen’s house, into the inner chambers, and passed the guards and pages, the lacqueys and chamberlains, and came to his bedside and said “It is time.” . . . . . Let us not pry with sacrilegious gaze into the mysteries of the house of mourning. For the present none can dare to hope that consolidation can penetrate where the loss has been so fearful and so immense. We can only humbly and reverentially trust that the strength of mind and firmness of character possessed by our Queen will enable her to bear up under this tremendous bereavement, and that when time has been good to her, and the moment for listening to words of condolence shall have arrived, it may soothe her wounded spirit to remember how her subjects wept for him who is no more—how her sorrow was the sorrow of millions upon millions of Britons—how once again those pledges of loyalty and affection were renewed, to convince the Queen of England that in weal and in woe, in adversity and prosperity, in life and unto death, she will ever be [sic: ]the object of our unalterable devotion and our inextinguishable love.