A Mother's Influence
( Originally Published 1902 )
THE Duke of Kent, in walking about the grounds at Kensington one rainy afternoon got his feet wet, and coming into the palace, instead of changing his boots and stockings, as he was advised to do, took his little babe from her mother's lap and petted and played with her as she laughed and crowed at him, till a chill came on and pneumonia speedily caused his death. The little fatherless babe was the Princess Victoria. Her mother, the Duchess of Kent, was a wise and good woman, and deserves great credit for the manner in which she prepared her daughter for her crown. She was a rigid disciplinarian. She taught her daughter old-fashioned German notions of industry, economy and study. She kept from her as long as she could, the fact that she was likely to be the Queen, because she wanted to make of her a simple-hearted, modest, worthy girl. She let her run and romp, and ride horseback, and enjoy the scenes of nature, but required the closest application during the hours of study. So the girl Queen came to her throne a simple, sincere child of nature, with a sane mind in a sound body, ready for her enormous responsibility.
Next to her mother, her governess, the Baroness Lehzen, had the largest influence in preparing the Princess Victoria for her throne. She had so much common sense, had such splendid views of life, had such a spotless character, and such a living faith in God that she breathed herself into the spirit of the child with the omnipotence of love. Under the tuition. of her mother and her governess she appeared a girl of eighteen with good health, a happy heart, a pure life; a knowledge of three languages, of history, of government, of every-day affairs ; with reverence for the Bible, intense love for her Saviour and an unfaltering faith in the Providence of God and in the future life, worthy to take the crown of the greatest empire in the world. Eternity alone can calculate the influence of a good mother on the destiny of her child. Christian mothers in the cottage or palace are training children of the King for lives of usefulness here and for crowns of glory hereafter.