Mémoires de Saint- Simon aloud to the Queen and, alone, he read the diary of Samuel Pepys. One evening they played and sang, joining in the simple verse, in German,
The husband's heart is bowed unto the dust,
But still, the wife looks up with fearless trust
To heaven's pure light, up to the stars beyond,
And a tear falls, that says, "Do not despond."
They were curiously alone, surrounded by English courtiers who had their own interests and with whom entire friendship was impossible. At heart the Queen and the Prince were simple and sentimental. Prince Albert pressed dead blossoms in his Prayer Book. Some time later he complained to his brother, "Sentimentality is a plant that cannot grow in England . . . an Englishman, when he finds that he is being sentimental, becomes frightened as at the thought of having a dangerous illness, and he shoots himself." He added the interesting thought, "I think the plant is smothered by reading so many newspapers."1
ON HIS thirty-third birthday Prince Albert wrote to his brother, "I can hardly believe that in five years I may have a married daughter. ... Our birthdays are beginning to make us rather old." But he was satisfied with the prosperity of the country. The bank had " twenty-four million pounds sterling in gold and silver in the cellars."
In September the Duke of Wellington died. "The whole world has suffered a loss," wrote the Prince; "we especially have lost a good friend." The Queen and Prince Albert were at Balmoral, "enjoying" themselves in "one of the wildest places imaginable" when one of their Highlanders arrived with the news. "He was the pride and good genius, as it were, of this country," the Queen wrote to her uncle, "the most loyal and devoted subject, and the staunchest supporter the Crown ever had. ... We shall soon stand sadly alone."
There was one new friend coming closer into the Queen's life during these years: Princess Augusta, afterwards Queen of Prussia, who had stayed for a week at Windsor, in 1846. Queen Victoria thought