Come forth into the light
Let Nature be your teacher.
An education of not the brain alone, but of heart and hand as well, all three working in co-operation, was necessary to raise man to the level of an intelligent being.
Ruskin’s teachings fared no better than those of Carlyle at first, and though he is spoken of sometimes as being ‘old-fashioned,’ yet his lesson is of the old-fashioned kind which does live and will live, for, like Dickens, he knew how to appeal to the hearts of his readers. He is one of the most picturesque writers in the language, a man of great nobility of character and generous feelings, who had a tremendous belief in himself and knew how to express his thoughts in the most beautiful language. Some of his books, for example Sesame and Lilies and Unto this Last, are probably destined for immortality.
The year 1861 was a black year for the Queen. On March 15th her mother, the Duchess of Kent, died. She had been living for some time at Frogmore, a pleasant house in the Windsor Home Park, and here in the mausoleum erected by her daughter her statue is to be seen.
She was sincerely loved by every member of her household, and her loss was felt as one affecting the whole nation. In the words of Disraeli: “She who reigns over us has elected, amid all the splendour of empire, to establish her life on the principle of domestic love. It is this, it is the remembrance and consciousness of this, which now sincerely saddens the public spirit, and permits a nation to bear its heartfelt sympathy to the foot of a bereaved throne, and to whisper solace to a royal heart.”
The death of the Queen’s’ mother came as a great shock to the Prince Consort. The Queen was, for a time, utterly unable to transact any business, and this added to his already heavy burden of cares and responsibilities.
In the following November the King of Portugal died. The Prince had loved him like a son, and this fresh disaster told so severely upon his health that he began to suffer much from sleeplessness. The strain of almost ceaseless work for many years was gradually wearing him out.
He had never been afraid of death, and not long before his last illness he had said to his wife: “I do not cling to life. You do; but I set no store by it. If I knew that those I love were well cared for, I should be quite ready to die to-morrow. . . . I am sure, if I had a severe illness, I should give up at once, I should not struggle for life.”
On the 1st of December the Queen felt anxious and depressed. Her husband grew worse and could not take food without considerable difficulty, and this made him very weak and irritable.
The physicians in attendance were now obliged to tell her that the illness was low fever, but that the patient himself was not to know of this. The Ministers became alarmed at his state, and when the news of his illness became public there was the greatest and most universal anxiety for news.