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Prince Alfred and the Fisherman's Boy.

When the present Duke of Edinburgh was twelve years of age, and then called Prince Alfred, the Queen and' Prince Alfred were spending the autumn* months at Balmoral. The young prince; slipped his attendants and wandered, some distance away. Finding himself tired, he wished to return home, but had quite forgotten the way he came, and looked hither and thithei for soine outline of Balmoral. At length he saw a boy about his own age coming along with a basket of cockles on his head. ; . : “ Hallo, boy !” cried the juince ; but the lad went on without any response, “ Come here, I want you !” said 'Prince Alfred, but still the boy walked.' The young prince then run with all speed, and overtook the lad with the cockles, and said : “Now, I want'you to tell me the way to the castle.” “ 1 dinna ken,” said the boy. “If you don’t tell me,” shouted the prince, “I will knock the basket off your head.” “ Na, ye winna,” was the defiant reply. “ Won’t I,” said the prince, and in the next instant the basket was rolling in the sand, and cockles tumbling about in all directions.

The boy’s temper was roused, and he rushed up to the prince with his clenched hand ; there was a tussle for a few seconds, but the boy adon conquered, and the. prince ran away, followed by his assailant. One of the royal servants, who had gone in search of the young prince, witnessed the assault, and coming quickly to the rescue, took the poor boy into custody, marching him to the castle, and telling him on the way the enormity of his offence, he having dared to. stride a prince of the royal family. <f l dinna ken wha the gentleman was, but he spilt a’ ray cockles,” said the boy, sobbing. The young prince thought over the affair, and told the attendant that he was more to blame than the lad, and he had better let hirid ; go ; but' the attendant thought otherwise, and marched the prisoner on, and the rumor ran round the castle that Prince Alfred had been seriously assaulted ; but that royal youth, with wise resolve, went to the Queen and told her what had happened, and that the boy was hot in fault. ;'. 4 The poor little prisoner was taken to an ante-room in the castle, whore, trembling all over, he awaited his sentence. Presently a reverend gentleman made’ his appearance ; he was one of the Queen’s chaplains ; and in a gentle, - encouraging tone, he asked the boy his name, where

he lived, his occupation, and all- the circumstances which led. to the encounter ; and to the surprise of the attendant, lie ordered the boy, by the wish of Her Majesty, to be taken into a comfortable room and given something to eat. In about hajf-an-hour afterwards, the same reverend gentleman returned, .and told the little .boy that the’ Queen was satisfied that he had done no wrong ; that Her Majesty deemed it the duty of her subjects to protect, themselves whenever they, were oppressed ; Her ‘ Maj esty had, taken into consideration the value of the Cockles and the time lost, and had sent him five shillings aa compensation. V: The prisoner was then released to pick up hia basket and his cockles, and ran home a 1 rich and happy'boy ; but his good fortune did not end here, for. tho . Queen sent to inquire about his family,, anfl found that his, mother was ; a .poor fisherman's widow) living ih great poverty,‘and thp fortunate boy was pent to,schoQl, : am} afterwards apprenticed' to' ‘a trade by Her Majesty’s bounty.

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Bibliographic details

Prince Alfred and the Fisherman's Boy., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 263, 8 February 1881

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Prince Alfred and the Fisherman's Boy. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 263, 8 February 1881