study, mainly reserving for himself religious knowledge and history. Although his personal religious views were decidedly evangelical, he was liberal in his attitude to all religious opinions, and he encouraged in his pupil a singularly tolerant temper, which in after life served her in good stead. Thomas Steward, the writing-master of Westminster school, taught her penmanship and arithmetic. She rapidly acquired great ease and speed in writing, although at the sacrifice of elegance. As a girl she was a voluble correspondent with her numerous kinsfolk, and she maintained the practice till the end of her life. Although during her girlhood the duchess conscientiously caused her daughter to converse almost entirely in English, German was the earliest language she learned, and she always knew it as a mother-tongue. She studied it and German literature grammatically under M. Barez. At first she spoke English with a slight German accent ; but this was soon mended, and in mature years her pronunciation of English was thoroughly natural, although refined. As a young woman she liked to be regarded as an authority on English accent (Lady Lyttleton, Letters). She was instructed in French by M. Grandineau, and came to speak it well and with fluency. At a later period, when she was fascinated by Italian opera, she studied Italian assiduously, and rarely lost an opportunity of speaking it. Although she was naturally a good linguist, she showed no marked aptitude or liking for literary subjects of study. She was not permitted in youth to read novels. First-rate literature never appealed to her. Nor was she endowed with genuine artistic taste. But to the practical pursuit of the arts she applied herself as a girl with persistency and delight. Music occupied much time. John Bernard Sale, organist of St. Margaret's, Westminster, and subsequently organist of the Chapel Royal, gave her her first lessons in singing in 1826. She developed a sweet soprano voice, and soon both sang and played the piano with good effect. Drawing was first taught her by Richard Westall the academician, who in 1829 painted one of the earliest portraits of her, and afterwards by (Sir) Edwin Landseer. Sketching in pencil Her youthful devotion to music and art. or water-colours was a lifelong amusement, and after her marriage she attempted etching. In music and the pictorial arts she sought instruction till comparatively late in life. To dancing, which she was first taught by Mdlle. Bourdin, she was, like her mother, devoted; and like her, until middle age, danced with exceptional grace and energy. She was also from childhood a skilful horse-woman, and thoroughly enjoyed physical exercise, taking part in all manner of indoor and outdoor games.
The princess grew up an amiable, merry, affectionate, simple-hearted child very considerate for others' comfort, scrupulously regardful of truth, and easily pleased by homely amusement. At the same time she was self-willed and often showed impatience of restraint. Her memory was from the first singularly retentive. Great simplicity was encouraged in her general mode of life. She dressed without ostentation. Lord Albemarle watched her watering, at Kensington, a little garden of her own, wearing 'a large straw hat and a suit of white cotton,' her only ornament being 'a coloured fichu round the neck.' Charles Knight watched her breakfasting in the open air when she was nine years old, enjoying all the freedom of her years, and suddenly darting from the breakfast table ' to gather a flower in an adjoining pasture.' Leigh Hunt often met her walking at her ease in Kensington Gardens, and although he was impressed by the gorgeous raiment of the footman who followed her, noticed the unaffected playfulness with which she treated a companion of her own age. The Duchess of Kent was fond of presenting her at Kensington to her visitors, who included men of distinction in all ranks of life. William Wilberforce describes how he received an invitation to visit the duchess at Kensington Palace in July 1820, and how the duchess received him ' with her fine animated child on the floor by her side with its playthings, of which I soon became one.' On 19 May 1828 Sir Walter Scott 'dined with the duchess ' and was 'presented to the little Princess Victoria—I hope they will change her name (he added)— Sir Walter Scott's visit. the heir apparent to the crown as things now stand. . . . This little lady is educating with much care, and watched so closely, that no busy maid has a moment to whisper, "You are heir of England." ' But Sir Walter suggested 'I suspect, if we could dissect the little heart, we should find that some pigeon or other bird of the air had carried the matter.'According to a story recorded many years afterwards by Baroness Lehzen, the fact of her rank was carefully concealed from her until her twelfth year, when after much consultation it was solemnly revealed to her the baroness, who cunningly inserted in the child's book of English history a royal genealogical tree in which her place was prominently indicated. The princess, the