Separation of the Brothers.--The Prince's Tour in Italy.--Baron Stockmar.--Majority of Prince Ernest.--PrinceAlbert declared of Age at the same Time.--Letters.
THE brothers were now to be separated for the first time in their lives, and deeply was the separation felt by both. At the close of their University career, the elder, Prince Ernest, was to go to Dresden to enter the Saxon service, while Prince Albert was to set out shortly afterward for Italy, where he was to spend the winter, according to the plan which, as we have seen, had been already determined upon for him.
They had, however, still two months to spend together at Coburg before the final separation took place, and, attached to each other as they were, we may easily imagine how dear to them must have been the last days spent together at a home which they both loved so much. These last days had, however, been nearly marked by a sad catastrophe, of which the Prince gives the following account in a letter to his grandmother; and it will be seen that it was only averted by a combination of coolness and good sense very rare at such moments. Had they opened the doors to call for assistance in the first alarm, as would have been only natural, instead of "shutting themselves