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this requires that the husband should entirely sink his own individual existence in that of his wife-that he should aim at no power by himself or for himself-should shun all ostentation-assume no separate responsibility before the public —but make his position entirely a part of hersfill up every gap which, as a woman, she would naturally leave in the exercise of her regal functions — continually and anxiously watch every part of the public business, in order to be able to advise and assist her at any moment, in any of the multifarious and difficult questions or duties brought before her, sometimes international, sometimes political, or social, or personal. As the natural head of her family, superintendent of her household, manager of her private affairs, sole confidential adviser in politics, and only assistant in her communications with the officers of the government, he is besides the husband of the Queen, the tutor of the Royal children, the private secretary of the Sovereign, and her permanent minister.
How far would it be consistent with this position to undertake the management and administration of a most important branch of the public service, and the individual responsibility attaching to it-becoming an Executive Officer of the Crown, receiving the Queen's commands through her Secretaries of State, &c. &c. ? I feel sure that, having undertaken the responsibility, I should not be satisfied to leave the business and real work in the hands of another (the Chief of the Staff), but should feel it my duty to look to them myself. But whilst I should in this manner perform duties which, I am sure, every able General Officer, who has gained experience in the field, would be able to perform better than myself, who have not had the advantage of such experience, most important duties connected with the welfare of the Sovereign would be left unperformed, which nobody could perform but myself. I am afraid, therefore, that I must discard the tempting idea of being placed in command of the British Army.
AT A MEETING FOR THE ABOLITION OF
[JUNE 1st, 1840. ]
HAVE been induced to preside at the
Meeting of this Society, from a conviction of its paramount importance to the great interests of humanity and justice. I deeply regret that the benevolent and
persevering exertions of England to abolish that atrocious traffic in human beings (at once the desolation of Africa and the blackest stain upon civilized Europe) have not as yet led to any satisfactory conclusion. But I sincerely trust that this great country will not relax in its efforts until it has finally, and for ever, put an end to a state of things so repugnant to the spirit of Christianity, and the best feelings of our nature.