REMINISCENCES OF THE KING OF THE BELGIANS.
IN the preceding chapters little has been said of the Prince's family. The wish has been to confine this memoir to what more immediately concerned the Prince himself; and therefore, beyond the slight allusion to them in the opening chapter, no mention has been made of any members of the family except those--his father, grandmothers, and brother--with whom his own early life was naturally identified.
Yet his immediate ancestors for two, if not three generations, had been so mixed up with the stirring events which marked the close of the last and the opening of the present century, that some notice of them from one who has himself borne a prominent part in the European history of these latter times will not be out of place here. The Prince's greatgrand-uncle, the Field-marshal Prince Friedrich of Saxe-Coburg, had commanded with distinction and success in the Netherlands at the commencement of the French Revolutionary War; his father commanded a corps toward its close while his uncle Leopold, after greatly distinguishing himself in the latter campaigns against Napoleon, has for the last four-and-thirty years, as King of Belgium, earned for himself, by the consummate ability and prudence with which he has passed through times of the greatest difficulty and danger, the character of the most sagacious as well as the most enlightened sovereign of Europe.*
In 1862, with a view to this memoir, the Queen applied to the king for some account of his recollections of the Prince and of his family; and his majesty, responding to that appeal, has related his reminiscences in the following letters.____________________