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Title: Life of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen — Volume 2
Author: Tytler, Sarah
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Life of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen — Volume 2" ***

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Life Of

Her Most Gracious Majesty

THE QUEEN


by

SARAH TYTLER


_Edited with an Introduction by_

LORD RONALD GOWER, FSA.


IN TWO VOLUMES

Vol II


       *       *       *       *       *


CONTENTS.

VOL. II.


CHAP.

I. ROYAL PROGRESSES TO BURGHLEY, STOWE, AND STRATHFIELDSAYE

II. THE QUEEN'S POWDER BALL

III. THE QUEEN'S FIRST VISIT TO GERMANY

IV. RAILWAY SPECULATION--FAILURE OF THE POTATO CROP--SIR ROBERT PEEL'S
RESOLUTIONS--BIRTH OF PRINCESS HELENA--VISIT OF IBRAHIM PASHA

V. AUTUMN YACHTING EXCURSIONS--THE SPANISH MARRIAGES--WINTER VISITS

VI. INSTALLATION OF PRINCE ALBERT AS CHANCELLOR OF CAMBRIDGE

VII. THE QUEEN'S VISIT TO THE WESTERN ISLANDS OF SCOTLAND AND STAY AT
ARDVERIKIE

VIII. THE FRENCH FUGITIVES--THE PEOPLE'S CHARTER

IX. THE QUEEN'S FIRST STAY AT BALMORAL

X. PUBLIC AND DOMESTIC INTERESTS--FRESH ATTACK UPON THE QUEEN

XI. THE QUEEN'S FIRST VISIT TO IRELAND

XII. SCOTLAND AGAIN--GLASGOW AND DEE-SIDE

XIII. THE OPENING OF THE NEW COAL EXCHANGE--THE DEATH OF QUEEN
ADELAIDE

XIV. PREPARATION FOR THE EXHIBITION--BIRTH OF THE DUKE OF CONNAUGHT

XV. THE DEATHS OF SIR ROBERT PEEL, THE DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE, AND LOUIS
PHILIPPE

XVI. THE QUEEN'S FIRST STAY AT HOLYROOD--THE DEATH OF THE QUEEN OF
THE BELGIANS

XVII. THE PAPAL BULL--THE GREAT EXHIBITION

XVII. THE QUEEN'S ACCOUNT OF THE OPENING OF THE EXHIBITION

XIX. THE QUEEN'S "RESTORATION BALL" AND THE "GUILDHALL BALL."

XX. ROYAL VISITS TO LIVERPOOL AND MANCHESTER--CLOSE OF THE EXHIBITION

XXI. DISASTERS--YACHTING TRIPS--THE DEATH OF THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON

XXII. THE IRON DUKE'S FUNERAL

XXIII. THE EMPEROR NAPOLEON III. AND THE EMPRESS EUGÉNIE--FIRE AT
WINDSOR

XXIV. THE EASTERN QUESTION--APPROACHING WAR--GROSS INJUSTICE TO PRINCE
ALBERT

XXV. THE BATTLE OF INKERMANN--FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE--THE DEATH OF THE
EMPEROR NICHOLAS

XXVI. INSPECTION OF THE HOSPITAL AT CHATHAM--DISTRIBUTION OF WAR
MEDALS

XXVII. DEATH OF LORD RAGLAN--VISIT OF THE QUEEN AND PRINCE ALBERT TO
THE EMPEROR AND EMPRESS OF THE FRENCH--FALL OF SEBASTOPOL

XXVIII. BETROTHAL OF THE PRINCESS ROYAL--QUEEN'S SPEECH TO THE
SOLDIERS RETURNED FROM THE CRIMEA--BALMORAL

XXIX. DEATH OF THE PRINCE OF LEININGEN--BIRTH OF PRINCESS BEATRICE--
BESTOWAL OF THE VICTORIA CROSS--INDIAN MUTINY

XXX. THE MARRIAGE OF THE PRINCESS ROYAL

XXXI. DEATH OF THE DUCHESSE D'ORLEANS--THE PRINCE CONSORT'S VISIT TO
GERMANY--THE QUEEN AND PRINCE CONSORT'S VISIT TO PRINCE AND PRINCESS
FREDERICK WILLIAM AT BABELSBERG

XXXII. BIRTH OF PRINCE WILLIAM OF PRUSSIA--DEATH OP PRINCE HOHENLOHE

XXXIII. DEATH OF THE DUCHESS OF KENT

XXXIV. LAST VISIT TO IRELAND--MEETING OF THE PRINCE OF WALES AND THE
PRINCESS ALEXANDRA OF DENMARK--DEATH OF THE KING OF PORTUGAL AND HIS
BROTHERS.

XXXV. THE DEATH OF THE PRINCE CONSORT

XXXVI. THE WITHDRAWAL TO OSBORNE--THE PRINCE CONSORT'S FUNERAL

XXXVII. THE FIRST MONTHS OF WIDOWHOOD--MARRIAGE OF THE PRINCE OF
WALES, ETC., ETC.

XXXVIII. DEATHS OF LORD PALMERSTON AND THE KING OF THE BELGIANS

XXXIX. STAY AT HOLYROOD--DEATHS OF PRINCESS HOHENLOHE AND OF PRINCE
FREDERICK OF DARMSTADT--MARRIAGE OF THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH

XL. BIRTH OF THE FIRST GREAT-GRANDCHILD--MARRIAGE OF THE DUKE OF
ALBANY--CONCLUSION


       *       *       *       *       *


LIST OF STEEL PLATES.

H.R.H. THE PRINCE OF WALES
OSBORNE HOUSE
THE PASTURE, OSBORNE
THE AMAZON (PORTRAIT OF H.R.H. THE PRINCESS HELENA)
THE ROYAL YACHT OFF MOUNT ST. MICHAEL
THE PRINCESS LOUISE
THE PRINCESS HELENA
PRINCESSES HELENA AND LOUISE
THE HUNTER (H.R.H. PRINCE ARTHUR)
HYDE PARK IN 1851
THE FISHER (H.R.H. PRINCE LEOPOLD)
H.R.H. THE DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE, K.G., ETC.
THE CRADLE (H.R.H. PRINCESS BEATRICE)
H.R.H. THE PRINCESS OF WALES (BUST)
H.R.H. THE PRINCESS OF WALES
THE ALBERT MEMORIAL
MONUMENT TO THE PRINCESS ALICE OF HESSE


       *       *       *       *       *


QUEEN VICTORIA.



CHAPTER I.


ROYAL PROGRESSES TO BURGHLEY, STOWE, AND STRATHFIELDSAYE.

On the 29th of November the Queen went on one of her visits to her
nobility. We are told, and we can easily believe, these visits were
very popular and eagerly contested for. In her Majesty's choice of
localities it would seem as if she loved sometimes to retrace her
early footsteps by going again with her husband to the places where
she had been, as the young Princess, with the Duchess of Kent. The
Queen went at this time to Burghley, the seat of the Marquis of
Exeter. The tenantry of the different noblemen whose lands she passed
through lined the roads, the mayors of the various towns presented
addresses, the school children sang the National Anthem.

At Burghley, too, Queen Elizabeth had been before Queen Victoria. She
also had visited a Cecil. The Maiden Queen had travelled under
difficulties. The country roads of her day had been so nearly
impassable that her only means of transit had been to use a pillion
behind her Lord Steward. Her seat in the chapel was pointed out to the
Queen and Prince Albert when they went there for morning prayers.
Whether or not both queens whiled away a rainy day by going over the
whole manor-house, down to the kitchen, we cannot say; but it is not
likely that her Majesty's predecessor underwent the ordeal to her
gravity of passing through a gentleman's bedroom and finding his best
wig and whiskers displayed upon a block on a chest of drawers. And we
are not aware that Queen Elizabeth witnessed such an interesting
family rite as that which her Majesty graced by her presence. The
youngest daughter of the Marquis and Marchioness of Exeter was
christened in the chapel, at six o'clock in the evening, before the
Queen, and was named for her "Lady Victoria Cecil," while Prince
Albert stood as godfather to the child. After the baptism the Queen
kissed her little namesake, and Prince Albert presented her with a
gold cup bearing the inscription, "To Lady Victoria Cecil, from her
godfather Albert." At dinner the newly-named child was duly toasted by
the Queen's command.

The next day the royal party visited "Stamford town," from which the
Mayor afterwards sent Prince Albert the gift of a pair of Wellington
boots, as a sample of the trade of the place. The drive extended to
the ruins of another manor-house which, Lady Bloomfield heard, was
built by the Cecils for a temporary resort when their house of
Burghley was swept. The Queen and the Prince planted an oak and a
lime, not far from Queen Elizabeth's lime. The festivities ended with
a great dinner and ball, at which the Queen did not dance. Most of the
company passed before her chair of State on the dais, as they do at a
drawing-room.

On the 29th of December an aged English kinswoman of the Queen's died
at the Ranger's House, Blackheath, where she held the somewhat
anomalous office of Ranger of Greenwich Park. This was Princess Sophia
Matilda, daughter of the Duke of Gloucester, George III.'s brother,
and sister of the late Duke of Gloucester, the husband of his cousin,
Princess Mary.

Her mother's history was a romance. She was the beautiful niece of
Horace Walpole, the illegitimate daughter of his brother, the Earl of
Oxford. She married first the Earl of Waldegrave, and became the
mother of the three lovely sisters whom Sir Joshua Reynolds's brush
immortalised. The widowed countess caught the fancy of the royal Duke,
just as it was said, in contemporary letters, that another fair young
widow turned the head of another brother of the King's. George III.
refused at first to acknowledge the Duke of Gloucester's marriage, but
finally withdrew his opposition. If, as was reported, the Duke of York
married Lady Mary Coke, the marriage was never ratified. The risk of
such marriages caused the passing of the Royal Marriage Act, which
rendered the marriage of any member of the royal family without the
consent of the reigning sovereign illegal. The children of the Duke of
Gloucester and his Duchess were two--Prince William and Princess
Sophia Matilda. They held the somewhat doubtful position, perhaps more
marked in those days, of a family royal on one side of the house only.
The brother, if not a very brilliant, an inoffensive and not an
illiberal prince, though wicked wags called him "Silly Billy,"
improved the situation by his marriage with the amiable and popular
Princess Mary, to whom a private gentleman, enamoured by hearsay with
her virtues, left a considerable fortune. We get a passing glimpse of
the sister, Princess Sophia Matilda, in Fanny Burney's diary. She was
then a pretty, sprightly girl, having apparently inherited some of her
beautiful mother's and half-sisters' attractions. She was admitted to
terms of considerable familiarity and intimacy with her royal cousins;
and yet she was not of the circle of Queen Charlotte, neither could
she descend gracefully to a lower rank. No husband, royal or noble,
was found for her. One cannot think of her without attaching a sense
of loneliness to her princely estate. She survived her brother, the
Duke of Gloucester, ten years, and died at the age of seventy-two at
the Ranger's House, Blackheath, from which she had dispensed many
kindly charities. At her funeral the royal standard was hoisted half-
mast high on Greenwich Hospital, the Observatory, the churches of St.
Mary and St. Alphege, and on Blackheath. She was laid, with nearly all
her royal race for the last two generations, in the burial-place of
kings, St. George's Chapel, Windsor. Prince Albert occupied his stall
as a Knight of the Garter, with a mourning scarf across his field-
marshal's uniform.

In the middle of January, 1845, the Queen and Prince Albert went on a
visit to the Duke of Buckingham at Stowe, which was still unstripped
of its splendid possessions and interesting antiquarian relics. The
huge gathering of neighbours and tenants included waggons full of
labourers, admitted into the park to see the Queen's arrival and the
illumination of the great house at night.

The amusements of the next two days, the ordinary length of a royal
visit, began with _battues_ for the Prince, when the accumulation
of game was so enormous that, in place of the fact being remarkable
that "he hit almost everything he fired at," it would have been
singular if a good shot could have avoided doing so. Fifty beaters, so
near each other that their sticks almost touched, entered a thick
cover and drove the game past the place where the sportsmen were
stationed, into the open space of the park. Out the hares rushed from
every quarter, "so many of them, that it was often impossible to stop
more than one out of half-a-dozen. The ground immediately in front of
the shooters became strewn with dead and dying.... It was curious to
behold the evident reluctance with which the hares left their retreat,
and then their perplexity at finding themselves so beset without. Many
actually made for the canal, and swam like dogs across a piece of
water nearly a hundred yards wide, shaking themselves upon landing,
and making off without any apparent distress. The pheasants were
still more averse 'to come and be killed.' For some time not one
appeared above the trees. The cocks were heard crowing like domestic
fowls, as the numerous tribe retreated before the sticks of the
advancing army of beaters. Upon arriving, however, at the edge of the
wood, quite a cloud ascended, and the slaughter was proportionately
great."

"Slaughter," not sport, is the appropriate word. One cannot help
thinking that so it must have struck the Prince; nor are we surprised
that, on the next opportunity he had of exercising a sportsman's
legitimate vocation, with the good qualities of patience, endurance,
and skill, which it is calculated to call forth, emphatic mention is
made of his keen enjoyment.

Besides shooting there was walking for both ladies and gentlemen, to
the number of twenty guests, "in the mild, clear weather," in the
beautiful park. There was the usual county gathering, in order to
confer on the upper ten thousand, within a radius of many miles, the
much-prized honour of "meeting" the Queen at a dinner or a ball.
Lastly, her Majesty and the Prince planted the oak and the cedar which
were to rank like heirlooms, and be handed down as trophies of a royal
visit and princely favour, to future generations.

The Queen and Prince Albert returned to Windsor on the evening of
Saturday, the 18th of January, and on the afternoon of Monday, the
20th, they started again to pay a long-projected visit to her old
friend the Duke of Wellington at Strathfieldsaye. It was known that
the Duke had set his heart on entertaining his sovereign in his own
house, and she not only granted him the boon, but in consideration of
his age, his laurels, and the long and intimate connection between
them, she let the visit have more of a private and friendly character
than the visits of sovereigns to subjects were wont to have. However,
the country did not lose its gala. Arches of winter evergreens instead
of summer flowers, festive banners, loyal inscriptions, yeoman corps,
holiday faces, met her on all sides. At Swallowfield--a name which
Mary Russell Mitford has made pleasant to English ears--"no less a
person than the Speaker of the House of Commons," the representative
of an old Huguenot refugee, the Right Honourable John Shaw Lefevre,
commanded the troop of yeomanry.

The Iron Duke met his honoured guests in the hall and conducted them
to the library. Every day the same formula was gone through. "The Duke
takes the Queen in to dinner, sits by her Majesty, and after dinner
gets up and says, 'With your Majesty's permission I give the health of
her Majesty,' and then the same to the Prince. They then adjourn to
the library, and the Duke sits on the sofa by the Queen (almost as a
father would sit by a daughter) for the rest of the evening until
eleven o'clock, the Prince and the gentlemen being scattered about in
the library or the billiard-room, which opens into it. In a large
conservatory beyond, the band of the Duke's grenadier regiment plays
through the evening."

There was much that was unique and kindly in the relations between the
Queen and the greatest soldier of his day. He had stood by her
baptismal font; she had been his guest, when she was the girl-
Princess, at Walmer. He had sat in her first Council; he had witnessed
her marriage; she was to give his name to one of her sons; in fact, he
had taken part in every event of her life. The present arrangements
were a graceful, well-nigh filial, tribute of affectionate regard for
the old man who had served his country both on the battle-field and in
the senate, who had watched his Queen's career with the keenest
interest, and rejoiced in her success as something with which he had
to do.

The old soldier also gave the Prince shooting, but it was the "fine
wild sport" which might have been expected from the host, and which
seemed more to the taste of the guest. And in the party of gentlemen
who walked for miles over the ploughed land and through the brushwood,
none kept up the pace better than the veteran.

The weather was broken and partly wet during the Queen's stay at
Strathfieldsaye, and in lieu of out-of-door exercise, the tennis-court
came into request. Lord Charles Wellesley, the Duke's younger son,
played against professional players, and Prince Albert engaged Lord
Charles and one of the professional players, the Queen looking on.

When the visit was over, the Duke punctiliously performed his part of
riding on horseback by her Majesty's carriage for the first stage of
her journey.

Comical illustrations are given of the old nobleman and soldier's dry
rebuffs, administered to the members of the press and the public
generally, who haunted Strathfieldsaye on this occasion.

The first was in reply to a request for admission to the house on the
plea that the writer was one of the staff of a popular journal
commissioned to give the details of the visit. "Field-Marshal the Duke
of Wellington presents his compliments to Mr. ---, and begs to say
he does not see what his house at Strathfieldsaye has to do with the
public press." The other was in the form of a still more ironical
notice put up in the grounds, "desiring that people who wish to see
the house may drive up to the hall-door and ring the bell, but that
they are to abstain from walking on the flagstones and looking in at
the windows."

In February the Queen opened Parliament in person for what was
destined to be a stormy session, particularly in relation to Sir
Robert Peel's measure proposing an increased annual grant of money to
the Irish Roman Catholic priests' college of Maynooth. In the
Premier's speech, in introducing the Budget, he was able to pay a
well-merited compliment on the wise and judicious economy shown in
the management of her Majesty's income, so that it was equal to meet
the heavy calls made upon it by the visits of foreign sovereigns, who
were entertained in a manner becoming the dignity of the sovereign,
"without adding one tittle to the burdens of the country. And I am not
required, on the part of her Majesty," went on Sir Robert Peel, "to
press for the extra expenditure of one single shilling on account of
these unforeseen causes of increased expenditure. I think, to state
this is only due to the personal credit of her Majesty, who insists
upon it that there shall be every magnificence required by her
station, but without incurring a single debt." In order to show how
the additional cost of such royal hospitality taxed the resources even
of the Queen of England, it may be well to give an idea of the
ordinary scale of housekeeping at Windsor Castle. Lady Bloomfield
likens the kitchen-fire to Nebuchadnezzar's burning fiery furnace.
Even when there was no company, from fifteen to twenty joints hung
roasting there. In one year the number of people fed at dinner in the
Castle amounted to a hundred and thirteen thousand!

Shall we be accused of small moralities and petty lessons in thrift if
we say that this passage in Sir Robert Peel's speech recalls the
stories of the child-Princess's training, in a wholesome horror of
debt, and the exercise of such little acts of self-denial as can alone
come in a child's way; that it brings to mind the Tunbridge anecdote
of the tiny purchaser on her donkey, bidden to look at her empty purse
when a little box in the bazaar caught her eye, and prohibited from
going further in obtaining the treasure, till the next quarter's
allowance was due? Well might the nation that had read the report of
Sir Robert Peel's speech listen complacently when it heard in the
following month, of the Queen's acquisition of a private property
which should be all her own and her husband's, to do with, as they
chose. Another country bestowed, upon quite different grounds, on one
of its sovereigns the honourable title of King Honest Man. Here was
Queen Honest Woman, who would not buy what she could not afford, or
ask her people to pay for fancies in which she indulged, regardless of
her means. A different example had been presented by poor Louis XVI.
and Marie Antoinette, who, after a course of what their most faithful
servants admitted to be grievous misrule and misappropriation of
public dignities and funds--to satisfy the ambition and greed of
favourites or their friends--in the face of national bankruptcy,
private ruin, and widespread disaffection, in the very death-throes of
the Revolution, chose that time of all others to buy--under whatever
specious pretext of exchange and indemnification--for him who had
already so many hunting-seats, the fresh one of Rambouillet; for her,
who had Little Trianon in its perfection, the new suburban country
house of St. Cloud.

Osborne abounded in the advantages which the royal couple sought. It
was in the Isle of Wight, which her Majesty had loved in her girlhood,
with the girdle of sea that gave such assurance of the much-courted,
much-needed seclusion, as could hardly be procured elsewhere--
certainly not within a reasonable distance of London. It was a lovely
place by nature, with no end of capabilities for the practice of the
Prince's pleasant faculty of landscape-gardening, with which he had
already done wonders in the circumscribed grounds of Buckingham Palace
and the larger field of Windsor. There were not only woods and valleys
and charming points of view--among them a fine look at Spithead; the
woods went down to the sea, and the beach belonged to the estate. Such
a quiet country home for a country and home-loving Queen and Prince,
and for the little children, to whom tranquillity, freedom, the woods,
the fields, and the sea-sands were of such vital and lasting
consequence, was inestimable.

In addition to other outlets for an active, beneficent nature,
Osborne, with its works of building, planting, and improving going on
for years to come, had also its farms, like the Home Farm at Windsor.
And the Prince was fond of farming no less than of landscape-gardening
--proud of his practical success in making it pay, deeply interested
in all questions of agriculture and their treatment, so as to secure
permanent employment and ample provision for the labourers. Prince
Albert's love of animals, too, found scope in these farming
operations. When the Queen and the Prince visited the Home Farm the
tame pigeons would settle on his hat and her shoulders. The
accompanying engraving represents the pasture and part of the Home
Farm at Osborne. "The cow in the group was presented to her Majesty by
the Corporation of Guernsey, when the Queen visited the Channel
Islands; the animal is a beautiful specimen of the Alderney breed, and
is a great favourite ... on the forehead of the cow is a V
distinctly marked; a peculiarity, it may be presumed, which led to the
presentation; the other animals are her calves."

In the course of this session of Parliament, the Queen sought more
than once to mark her acknowledgment of the services of Sir Robert
Peel, round whose political career troubles were gathering. She acted
as sponsor to his grandchild--the heir of the Jersey family--and she
offered Sir Robert, through Lord Aberdeen, the Order of the Garter, an
offer which the Prime Minister respectfully declined in words that
deserve to be remembered. He sprang from the people, he said, and was
essentially of the people, and such an honour, in his case, would be
misapplied. His heart was not set upon titles of honour or social
distinction. His reward lay in her Majesty's confidence, of which, by
many indications, she had given him the fullest assurance; and when he
left her service the only distinction he courted was that she should
say to him, "You have been a faithful servant, and have done your duty
to your country and to myself."



CHAPTER II.


THE QUEEN'S POWDER BALL.

On the evening of the 6th of June, 1845, her Majesty, who was at
Buckingham Palace for the season, gave another great costume ball,
still remembered as her Powder Ball--a name bestowed on it because of
the universally-worn powder on hair and periwigs. It was not such a
novelty as the Plantagenet Ball had been, neither was it so splendidly
fantastic nor apparently so costly a performance; not that the
materials used in the dresses were less valuable, but several of them
--notably the old lace which was so marked a feature in the spectacle
that it might as well have been called "The Lace Ball"--existed in
many of the great houses in store, like the family diamonds, and had
only to be brought out with the other heirlooms, and properly disposed
of, to constitute the wearer _en grande tenue_. No doubt trade
was still to be encouraged, and Spitalfields, in its chronic
adversity, to be brought a little nearer to prosperity by the
manufacture of sumptuous stuffs, in imitation of gorgeous old
brocades, for a portion of the twelve hundred guests. But these
motives were neither so urgent nor so ostensible, and perhaps the ball
originated as much in a wish to keep up a good custom once begun, and
to show some cherished guests a choice example of princely
hospitality, as in an elaborate calculation of forced gain to an
exotic trade.

The period chosen for the representation was much nearer the present.
It was only a hundred years back, from 1740 to 1750. It may be that
this comparative nearness fettered rather than emancipated the players
in the game, and that, though civil wars and clan feuds had long died
out, and the memory of the Scotch rebellion was no more than a
picturesque tragic romance, a trifle of awkwardness survived in the
encounter, face to face once more, in the very guise of the past, of
the descendants of the men and women who had won at Prestonpans and
lost at Culloden. It was said that a grave and stately formality
distinguished this ball--a tone attributed to dignified, troublesome
fashions--stranger then, but which since these days have become more
familiar to us.

No two more attractive figures presented themselves that night than
the sisters-in-law, the Duchess of Kent and the Duchess of
Gloucester, the one in her sixtieth the other in her seventieth year.
The third royal duchess in the worthy trio, who represented long and
well the royal matronhood of England, the Duchess of Cambridge, was,
along with her Duke, prevented from being present at the Queen's ball
in consequence of a recent death in her family. The Duchess of Kent
wore a striped and "flowered" brocade, with quantities of black lace
relieving the white satin of her train. The Duchess of Gloucester,
sweet pretty Princess Mary of more than fifty years before, came in
the character of a much less happy woman, Marie Leczinska, the queen
of Louis XV. She must have looked charming in her rich black brocade,
and some of the hoards of superb lace--which she is said to have
inherited from her mother, Queen Charlotte--edged with strings of
diamonds and agraffes of diamonds, while over her powdered hair was
tied a fichu capuchin of Chantilly.

Among the multitude of guests assembled at Buckingham Palace, the
privileged few who danced in the Queen's minuets, as well as the
members of the royal family, arrived by the Garden Gate and were
received in the Yellow Drawing-room. Included in this select company
was a German princess who had lately married an English subject--
Princess Marie of Baden, wife of the Marquis of Douglas, not the first
princess who had wedded into the noble Scotch house of Hamilton,
though it was many a long century since Earl Walter received--

            all Arran's isle
    To dower his royal bride

The Queen had special guests with her on this occasion--her brother
the Prince of Leiningen, the much-loved uncle of the royal children;
and the favourite cousin of the circle, the young Duchesse de Nemours,
with her husband. The Queen and Prince Albert, accompanied by their
visitors, the various members of the English royal family present at
the ball, and the different suites, passed into the ball-room at half-
past ten. The first dance, the graceful march of the German
_polonaise_, was danced by all, young and old, the bands striking
up simultaneously, and the dance extending through the whole of the
State apartments, the Queen leading the way, preceded by the Vice-
Chamberlain, the Comptroller and Treasurer of the Household, and two
gentlemen ushers to clear a space for her. After the _polonaise_
the company passed slowly before the Queen. A comical incident
occurred in this part of the programme through the innocent mistake of
an old infantry officer, who in his progress lifted his peaked hat and
gave the Queen a military salute, as he walked by.

Then her Majesty left the ball-room and repaired to the throne-room,
where the first minuet was formed. It is only necessary to recall that
most courtly of slow and graceful dances to judge how well suited it
was for this ball. The Queen danced with her cousin, Prince George of
Cambridge. Her Majesty wore a wonderful dress of cloth of gold and
cloth of silver, with daisies and poppies worked in silks, and shaded
the natural colours; trimmings and ruffles of exquisite old lace,
stomacher covered with old lace and jewels, the sacque set off with
scarlet ribands, the fair hair powdered under a tiara and crown of
diamonds, dainty white satin shoes with scarlet rosettes--a diamond in
each rosette, the Order of the Garter on the arm, the Star and Riband
of the Order.

Prince George was less fortunate in the regimentals of a cavalry
officer a century back; for, as it happened, while the costume of
1740-50 was favourable to women and to civilians, it was trying to
military men.

Prince Albert danced with the Duchesse de Nemours. These two had been
early playmates who never, even in later and sadder days, got together
without growing merry over the stories and jokes of their childhood in
Coburg. The Prince must have been one of the most graceful figures
there, in a crimson velvet coat edged with gold and lined with white
satin, on the left breast the splendid Star of the Order of the
Garter, shoulder-strap and sword inlaid with diamonds, white satin
waistcoat brocaded with gold, breeches of crimson velvet with gold
buttons, shoes of black kid with red heels and diamond buckles, three-
cornered hat trimmed with gold lace, edged with white ostrich
feathers, a magnificent loop of diamonds, and the black cockade of the
Georges, not the white cockade of the Jameses.

His golden-haired partner was in a tastefully gay and fantastic as
well as splendid costume of rose-coloured Chinese damask, with gold
blonde and pearls, over a petticoat of point d'Alençon, with a deep
border of silver and silver rosettes. The stomacher of brilliants and
pearls, on the left shoulder a nosegay with diamond wheat-ears
interspersed, shoes of purple satin with fleurs-de-lys embroidered in
gold and diamonds, as became a daughter of France, and gloves
embroidered with similar fleurs-de-lys.

There were many gay and gallant figures and fair faces in that minuet
of minuets. Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar was meant to dance with the
young Marchioness of Douro, but she by some strange chance came too
late for the honour, and her place was supplied by another young
matron and beauty, Lady Jocelyn, formerly Lady Fanny Cowper. Prince
Leiningen, who wore a white suit faced with blue and a buff waistcoat
edged with silver lace, danced with Lady Mount-Edgcumbe. The Duke of
Beaufort once more disputed with the Earl of Wilton the distinction of
being the finest gentleman present.

The Queen danced in four minuets, standing up in the second with
Prince Albert. This minuet also included several of the most beautiful
women of the time and of the Court; notably Lady Seymour, one of the
Sheridan sisters, the Queen of Beauty at the Eglinton tournament; and
Lady Canning.

After the second minuet the Queen and all the company returned to the
ball-room, where two other minuets, those of Lady Jersey and Lady
Chesterfield, were danced, and between them was given Lady
Breadalbane's strathspey. There was such crowding to see these dances
that the Lord Chamberlain had difficulty in making room for them.
While Musard furnished special music for the minuets and quadrilles,
adapting it in one case from airs of the '45, the Queen's piper,
Mackay, gave forth, for the benefit of the strathspey and reel-
dancers, the stirring strains of "Miss Drummond of Perth,"
"Tullochgorum," and "The Marquis of Huntly's Highland Fling," which
must have rung with wild glee through the halls of kings.

Lady Chesterfield's minuet was the last dance before supper, served
with royal splendour in the dining-room, to which the Queen passed at
twelve o'clock. After supper the Queen danced in a quadrille and in
the two next minuets. Her first partner was the Duc de Nemours, who
wore an old French infantry general's uniform--a coat of white cloth,
the front covered with gold embroidery, sleeves turned up with crimson
velvet, waistcoat and breeches of crimson velvet, stockings of crimson
silk, and red-heeled shoes with diamond buckles. In the second minuet
her Majesty had her brother, the Prince of Leiningen, for her partner.
The ball was ended, according to a good old English fashion, by the
quaint changing measure of "Sir Roger de Coverley," known in Scotland
as "The Haymakers," in which the Queen had her husband for her
partner. This country-dance was danced in the picture gallery.

Let who would be the beauty at the Queen's ball, there was at least
one poetess there in piquant black and cerise, with cerise roses and
priceless point à l'aiguille, Lady John Scott, who had been the witty
heiress, Miss Spottiswoode of Spottiswoode. She wrote to an old
refrain one of the most pathetic of modern Scotch ballads--

    Douglas, Douglas, tender and true

The beauty of the ball was the Marchioness of Douro, who not so long
ago had been the beauty of the season as Lady Elizabeth Hay, daughter
of the Marquis of Tweeddale, when she caught the fancy of the elder,
son and heir of the Duke of Wellington. In this case beauty was not
unadorned, for the lovely Marchioness, [Footnote: Her likeness is
familiar to many people in an engraving from a well-known picture of
the Duke of Wellington showing his daughter-in-law the field of
Waterloo] the Greek mould of whose head attracted the admiration of
all judges, was said to wear jewels to the value of sixty thousand
pounds, while the superb point-lace flounce to her white brocade must
have been a source of pious horror to good Roman Catholics, since it
was believed to have belonged to the sacred vestments of a pope.

We have said that lace and jewels gave the distinguishing stamp to the
ball--such lace!--point d'Alençon, point de Bayeux, point de Venise,
point a l'aiguille, Mechlin, Guipure, Valenciennes, Chantilly, enough
to have turned green with envy the soul of a cultured _petit-
maître_, an aesthetic fop of the present day.

Some of the jewels, no less than the lace, were historical. The
Marchioness of Westminster, besides displaying _sabots_ of point-
lace, which had belonged to Caroline, queen of George II., wore the
Nassuk and Arcot diamonds.

Miss Burdett-Coutts wore a lustrous diadem and necklace that had once
graced the brow and throat of poor Marie Antoinette, and had found
their way at last into jewel-cases no longer royal, owing their
glittering contents to the wealth of a great city banker.

A word about the antiquated finery of the Iron Duke, with which the
old soldier sought to please his young mistress. It provoked a smile
or two from the more frivolous as the grey, gaunt, spindle-shanked old
man stalked by, yet it was not without its pathetic side. The Duke
wore a scarlet coat, a tight fit, laced with gold, with splendid gold
buttons and frogs, the brilliant star of the Order of the Garter, and
the Order of the Golden Fleece, a waistcoat of scarlet cashmere
covered with gold lace, breeches of scarlet kerseymere trimmed with
gold lace; gold buckles, white silk stockings, cocked hat laced with
gold, sword studded with rose diamonds and emeralds.

It is nearly forty years since these resplendent masquers trod the
floors of Buckingham Palace, and if the changes which time has brought
about had been foreseen, if the veil which shrouds the future had been
lifted, what emotions would have been called forth!

Who could have borne to hear that the bright Queen and giver of the
fete would pass the years of her prime in the mournful shade of
disconsolate widowhood? That the pale crown of a premature death was
hovering over the head of him who was the life of her life, the active
promoter and sustainer of all that was good and joyous in that great
household, all that was great and happy in the kingdom over which she
ruled?

Who would have ventured to prophesy that of the royal kindred and
cherished guests, the Prince of Leiningen was to die a landless man,
the Duc de Nemours to spend long years in exile, the Duchesse to be
cut down in the flower of her womanhood? Who would have guessed that
this great nobleman, the head of an ancient house, was to perish by a
miserable accident in a foreign hotel; that his sister, the wife of an
unfortunate statesman, was to be dragged through the mire of a divorce
court; that the treasures of a princely home were to pass away from
the race that had accumulated them, under the strokes of an
auctioneer's hammer? Who could have dreamt that this fine intellect
and loving heart would follow the lord of their destiny to Hades, and
wander there for evermore distracted, in the land of shadows, where
there is no light of the sun to show the way, no firm ground to stay
the tottering feet and groping hands? As for these two fair sisters in
Watteau style of blue and pink, and green and pink taffetas, lace, and
pearls, and roses--surely the daintiest, most aristocratic
shepherdesses ever beheld--one of them would have lost her graceful
equanimity, reddened with affront, and tingled to the finger-tips
with angry unbelief if she had been warned beforehand that she would
be amongst the last of the high-born, high-bred brides who would
forfeit her birthright and her presence at a Queen's Court by agreeing
to be married at the hands of a blacksmith instead of a bishop, before
the rude hymeneal altar at Gretna.

But to-night there was no alarming interlude, like a herald of evil,
to shake the nerves of the company--nothing more unpropitious than the
_contretemps_ to an unlucky lady of being overcome by the heat
and seized with a fainting-fit, which caused her over-zealous
supporters to remove her luxuriant powdered wig in order to give her
greater air and coolness, so that she was fain, the moment she
recovered, to hide her diminished head by a rapid discomfited retreat
from what remained of the revelry.

On the 21st of June the Queen and the Prince, with the Lords of the
Admiralty, inspected the fleet off Spithead. The royal yacht was
attended by a crowd of yachts belonging to the various squadrons, a
throng of steamboats and countless small boats. The Queen visited and
went over the flagship--which was the _St. Vincent_--the
_Trafalgar_, and the _Albion_. On her return to the yacht
she held a levee of all the captains of the fleet. A few days
afterwards she reviewed her fleet in brilliant, breezy weather. The
royal yacht took up its position at Spithead, and successive signals
were given to the squadron to "Lower sail," "Make sail," "Shorten sail
and reef," and "Furl topgallant sails," all the manoeuvres--including
the getting under way and sailing in line to St. Helen's--being
performed with the very perfection of nautical accuracy. The review
ended with the order, "Furl sails, put the life-lines on, and man
yards," which was done as only English sailors can accomplish the
feat, while the royal yacht on its return passed through the squadron
amidst ringing cheers.

During the earlier part of the summer Sir John Franklin sailed with
his ships, the _Erebus_ and _Terror_, in search of that
North Pole which, since the days of Sir Hugh Montgomery, "a captain
tall," has been at once the goal and snare of many a gallant English
sailor. The good ships disappeared under the horizon, never to reach
their haven. By slow degrees oblivion, more or less profound, closed
over the fate of officers and men, while, for lack of knowledge of
their life or death, the light of many a hearth was darkened, and
faithful hearts sickened with hope deferred and broke under the
strain. As one instance, out of many, of the desolation which the
silent loss of the gallant expedition occasioned, sorrow descended
heavily on one of the happy Highland homes among which the Queen had
dwelt the previous summer. Captain, afterwards Lord James, Murray,
brother of Lord Glenlyon, was married to Miss Fairholme, sister of one
of the picked men of whom the explorers were composed. When no tidings
of him came, year after year, from the land of mist and darkness,
pining melancholy seized upon her and made her its prey.

In the month of July the King of the Netherlands, who, as Prince of
Orange, had served on the Duke of Wellington's staff at the close of
the Peninsular War, came to England and took up his quarters at
Mivart's Hotel, the Queen being in the Isle of Wight, where he joined
her. Prince Albert met the King at Gosport and escorted him to
Osborne. On his return to London the King, who was already a general
in the English army, received his appointment as field-marshal, and
reviewed the Household troops in Hyde Park. He paid a second visit to
the Queen at Osborne before he left Woolwich for Holland.

A curious accident happened when the Queen prorogued Parliament on the
9th of August. The Duke of Argyle, an elderly man, was carrying the
crown on a velvet cushion, when, in walking backwards before the
Queen, he appeared to forget the two steps, leading from the platform
on which the throne stands to the floor, and stumbled, the crown
slipping from the cushion and falling to the ground, with the loss of
some diamonds. The Queen expressed her concern for the Duke instead of
for the crown; but on her departure the keeper of the House of Lords
appeared in front of the throne, and prevented too near an approach to
it, with the chance of further damage to the dropped jewels. The
misadventure was naturally the subject of a good deal of private
conversation in the House.



CHAPTER III.


THE QUEEN'S FIRST VISIT TO GERMANY.

On the evening of the day that she prorogued Parliament, the Queen and
the Prince with the Earl of Aberdeen as the minister in attendance,
started from Buckingham Palace that she might pay her first visit to
Germany. Surely none of all the new places she had visited within the
last few years could have been of such surpassing interest to the
traveller. It was her mother's country as well as her husband's, the
home of her brother and sister, the place of which she must have
heard, with which she must have had the kindliest associations from
her earliest years.

The first stage of the journey--in stormy weather, unfortunately--was
to Antwerp, where the party did not land till the following day, when
they proceeded to Malines, where they were met by King Leopold and
Queen Louise, who parted from their royal niece at Verviers. On the
Prussian frontier Lord Westmoreland, the English ambassador, and Baron
Bunsen met her Majesty. "To hear the people speak German," she wrote
in her Journal, "to see the German soldiers, seemed to me so singular.
I overheard people saying that I looked very English."

At Aix-la-Chapelle the King and Prince of Prussia received the
visitors and accompanied them to Cologne. The ancient dirty town of
the Three Kings gave the strangers an enthusiastic reception. The
burghers even did their best to get rid of the unsavoury odours which
distinguish the town of sweet essences, by pouring eau-de-Cologne on
the roadways.

At Bruhl the Queen and the Prince were taken to the palace, where they
found the Queen of Prussia, whose hostility to English and devotion to
Russian interests when Lord Bloomfield represented the English
Government at Berlin, are recorded by Lady Bloomfield. With the Queen
was her sister-in-law, the Princess of Prussia, and the Court. The
party went into one of the _salons_ to hear the famous tatoo
played by four hundred musicians, in the middle of an illumination by
means of torches and coloured lamps. The Queen was reminded that she
was in a land of music by hearing at a concert, in which sixty
regimental bands assisted, "God save the Queen" better played than she
had ever heard it before. "We felt so strange to be in Germany at
last," repeats her Majesty, dwelling on the pleasant sensation, "at
Bruhl, which Albert said he used to go and visit from Bonn."

The next day the visitors went to Bonn, accompanied by the King and
Queen of Prussia. At the house of Prince Furstenberg many professors
who had known Prince Albert were presented to the Queen, "which
interested me very much," the happy wife says simply. "They were
greatly delighted to see Albert and pleased to see me.... I felt as
if I knew them all from Albert having told me so much about them." The
experience is known to many a bride whose husband takes her proudly to
his old _alma mater_.

The day was made yet more memorable by the unveiling of a statue to
Beethoven. But, by an unlucky _contretemps_, the royal party on
the balcony found the back of the statue presented to their gaze. The
_Freischutzen_ fired a _feu-de-joie_. A chorale was sung.
The people cheered and the band played a _Dusch_--such a flourish
of trumpets as is given in Germany when a health is drunk.

The travellers then went to the Prince's "former little house." The
Queen writes, "It was such a pleasure for me to be able to see this
house. We went all over it, and it is just as it was, in no way
altered.... We went into the little bower in the garden, from which
you have a beautiful view of the _Kreuzberg_--a convent situated
on the top of a hill. The _Siebengebirge_ (seven mountains) you
also see, but the view of them is a good deal built up."

This visiting together the ground once so familiar to the Prince
formed an era in two lives. It was the fulfilment of a beautiful,
brilliant expectation which had been half dim and vague when the
ardent lad was a quiet, diligent student, living simply, almost
frugally, like the other students at the university on the Rhine, and
his little cousin across the German Ocean, from whom he had parted in
the homely red-brick palace of Kensington, had been proclaimed Queen
of a great country. The prospect of their union was still very
uncertain in those days, and yet it must sometimes have crossed his
mind as he built air-castles in the middle of his reading; or strolled
with a comrade along those old-fashioned streets, among their
population of "wild-looking students," with long fair hair, pipes
between their lips, and the scars of many a sword-duel on forehead and
cheek; or penetrated into the country, where the brown peasant women,
"with curious caps and handkerchiefs," came bearing their burden of
sticks from the forest, like figures in old fairy tales. He must have
told himself that the time might come when something like the
transformation of a fairy-tale would be effected on his account; the
plain living and high-thinking and college discipline of Bonn be
exchanged for the dignity and influence of an English sovereign's
consort. Then, perhaps, he would bring his bride to the dear old
"fatherland," and show her where he had dreamt about her among his
books.

At the banquet in the afternoon the accomplished King gave the Queen's
health in a speech fit for a poet. He referred to a word sweet alike
to British and German hearts. Thirty years before it had echoed on the
heights of Waterloo from British and German tongues, after days of hot
and desperate fighting, to mark the glorious triumph of their
brotherhood in arms. "Now it resounds on the banks of our fair Rhine,
amidst the blessings of that peace which was the hallowed fruit of the
great conflict. That word is 'Victoria.' Gentlemen, drink to the
health of her Majesty the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain
and Ireland, and to that of her august consort."

"The Queen," remarked Bunsen, "bowed at the first word, but much lower
at the second. Her eyes brightened through tears, and as the King was
taking his seat again, she rose and bent towards him and kissed his
cheek, then took her seat again with a beaming countenance."

After the four-o'clock dinner, the royal party returned to Cologne,
and from a steamer on the Rhine saw, through a drizzle of rain which
did not greatly mar the spectacle, a splendid display of fireworks and
illumination of the town, in which the great cathedral "seemed to glow
with fire."

We quote a picturesque description of the striking scene. "The Rhine
was made one vast _feu-de-joie_. As darkness closed in, the dim
city began to put forth buds of light. Lines of twinkling brightness
darted like liquid gold or silver from pile to pile, then by the
bridge of boats across the river, up the masts of the shipping, and
along the road on the opposite bank. Rockets now shot from all parts
of the horizon. The royal party embarked in a steamer at St. Tremond
and glided down by the river. As they passed the banks blazed with
fireworks and musketry. At their approach the bridge glowed with
redoubled light, and, opening, let the vessel pass to Cologne, whose
cathedral burst forth a building of light, every detail of the
architecture being made out in delicately-coloured lamps--pinkish,
with an underglow of orange. Traversing in carriages the illuminated
and vociferous city, the King and his companions returned by the
railroad to Bruhl."

Next morning there was a great concert at Bonn--part of the Beethoven
festival, in which much fine music was given, but, oddly enough, not
much of Beethoven's, to her Majesty's regret. The Queen drove to the
University--in the classrooms of which the Prince had sat as a
student--and saw more of the professors who had taught him, and of
students similar to those who had been his class-fellows. Then she
went once more to Cologne, and visited its glory, the cathedral, at
that time unfinished, returning to Bruhl to hail with delight the
arrival of the King and Queen of the Belgians. "It seems like a dream
to them and to me to see each other in Germany," the Queen wrote once
more. The passages from her Majesty's Journal read as if she were
pleased to congratulate herself on being at last with Prince Albert in
his native country.

The last day at Cologne ended in another great concert, conducted by
Meyerbeer, for which he had composed a cantata in honour of the Queen.
Jenny Lind sang in the concert. It was her Majesty's first opportunity
of hearing the great singer, who, of all her sister singers, has most
identified herself with England, and from her noble, womanly character
and domestic virtues, endeared herself to English hearts.

The tutelary genius of the river which is the Germans' watchword was
not able to procure the Queen her weather for her sail on its green
waters. Rain fell or threatened for both of the days. Not even the
presence of three queens--of England, Prussia, and Belgium--two kings,
a prince consort, an archduke, and a future emperor and empress, could
propitiate the adverse barometer, or change the sulky face of the sky.
Between showers the Queen had a glimpse of the romantic scenery, and
perhaps Ehrenbreitstein was most in character when the smoke from the
firing of twenty thousand troops "brought home to the imagination the
din and lurid splendours of a battle."

The halt was made at Schlossenfels, which included among its
distinguished guests Humboldt and Prince Metternich. Next day the King
and Queen of Prussia took leave of their visitors, still under heavy
rain. The weather cleared afterwards for a time, however, and
beautiful Bingen, with the rest of the Rhenish country, was seen in
sunshine. The only inconvenience remaining was the thunder of cannons
and rattle of muskets which every loyal village kept up.

At Mayence the Queen was received by the Governor, Prince William of
Prussia, and the Austrian commander, while the Prussian and Austrian
troops, with their bands, gave a torchlight serenade before the hotel
windows. On the rest-day which Sunday secured, the Queen saw the good
nurse who had brought the royal pair into the world. Her Majesty had
also her first introduction to one of her future sons-in-law--an
unforeseen kinsman then--Prince Louis of Hesse, whom she noticed as "a
very fine boy of eight, nice, and full of intelligence."

There were still long leagues to drive, posting, before Coburg could
be reached, and the party started from Mayence in two travelling
carriages as early as seven o'clock next morning. They went by
Frankfort to Aschaffenburg, where they were met by Bavarian troops and
a representative of the King on their entrance into Bavaria. Through
woodland scenery, and fields full of the stir of harvest, where a
queenly woman did not relish the spectacle of her sister-women
treated as beasts of burden, the travellers journeyed to Wurzburg.
There Prince Luitpold of Bavaria met and welcomed them to a
magnificent palace, where the luggage, which ought to have preceded
the wearied travellers, was not forthcoming. Another long day's
driving, beginning at a little after six in the morning, would bring
the party to Coburg. By one o'clock they were at the old prince-
bishop's stately town of Bamberg. In the course of the afternoon the
Queen had changed horses for the last time in Franconia. "I began,"
she wrote, "to feel greatly moved, agitated indeed, in coming near the
Coburg frontier. At length we saw flags and people drawn up in lines,
and in a few minutes more were welcomed by Ernest (the Duke of Coburg)
in full uniform.... We got into an open carriage of Ernest's with six
horses, Ernest sitting opposite to us."

The rest of the scene was very German, quaintly picturesque and warm-
hearted. "The good people were all dressed in their best, the women in
pointed caps, with many petticoats, and the men in leather breeches.
Many girls were there with wreaths of flowers." A triumphal arch, a
Vice-Land-Director, to whose words of greeting the Queen replied, his
fellow-officials on either side, the people welcoming their prince and
his queen in "a really hearty and friendly way."

The couple drove to what had been the pretty little country house of
their common grandmother, the late Dowager-Duchess of Coburg, and
found King Leopold and Queen Louise awaiting them there. He also was
an honoured son of Coburg, pleased to be present on such a proud day
for the little State. He and his queen took their places beside Queen
Victoria and Prince Albert--Ernest Duke of Coburg mounting on
horseback and riding beside the carriage as its chief escort. In this
order the procession, "which looked extremely pretty," was formed. At
the entrance to the town there was another triumphal arch, beneath
which the Burgomaster addressed the royal couple. "On the other side
stood a number of young girls dressed in white, with green wreaths and
scarfs, who presented us with bouquets and verses."

Oh! what anxious, exciting, girlish rehearsals must have been gone
through beforehand.

"I cannot say how much I felt moved on entering this dear old place,
and with difficulty I restrained my emotion. The beautifully-
ornamented town, all bright with wreaths and flowers, the numbers of
good affectionate people, the many recollections connected with the
place--all was so affecting. In the Platz, where the _Rathhaus_
and _Rigierungshaus_ are, which are fine and curious old houses,
the clergy were assembled, and Ober-Superintendent Genzler addressed
us very kindly--a very young-looking man for his age, for he married
mamma to my father, and christened and confirmed Albert and Ernest."
Neither was the motherly presence of her whose marriage vow the Ober-
Superintendent had blessed, who had done so much to contribute to the
triumph of this day, wanting to its complete realization of all that
such a day should have been. The Duchess of Kent was already on a
visit to her nephew, standing on the old threshold--once so well known
to her--ready to help to welcome her daughter, prepared to show her
the home and cherished haunts of her mother's youth. As the carriage
drew up, young girls threw wreaths into it. Beside the Duchess of Kent
were the Duchess and Dowager-Duchess of Coburg, Prince Albert's
sister-in-law and stepmother. The staircase was full of cousins. "It
was an affecting but exquisite moment, which I shall never forget,"
declared the Queen.

But in the middle of the gratification of the son of the house who
thus brought his true wife under its roof-tree, and of his
satisfaction of being with her there, the faithful hearts did not
forget the late sovereign and house-father who had hoped so eagerly to
welcome them to the ancestral home. They were there, but his place was
filled by another. At Coburg and at Rosenau, which had been one of the
old Duke's favourite resorts, his memory haunted his children. "Every
sound, every view, every step we take makes us think of him and feel
an indescribable hopeless longing for him."

By an affectionate, thoughtful provision for their perfect freedom and
enjoyment, Rosenau, Prince Albert's birthplace, was set apart for the
Queen and the Prince's occupation on this very happy occasion when
they visited Coburg, and still it is the widowed Queen's residence
when she is dwelling in the neighbourhood. Beautiful in itself among
its woods and hills, it was doubly beautiful to both from its
associations. The room in which the Queen slept was that in which the
Prince had been born. "How happy, how joyful we were," the Queen
wrote, "on awaking to find ourselves here, at the dear Rosenau, my
Albert's birthplace, the place he most loves.... He was so happy to be
here with me. It is like a beautiful dream."

Fine chorales were sung below the window by some of the singers in the
Coburg theatre. Before breakfast the Prince carried off the Queen to
see the upper part of the house, which he and his brother had occupied
when children. "It is quite in the roof, with a tiny little bedroom on
each side, in one of which they both used to sleep with Florschutz,
their tutor. [Footnote: The Prince was then such a mere child that the
tutor used to carry him in his arms up and down stairs. One is
reminded of the old custom of appointing noble governors for royal
children of the tenderest years, and of the gracious pathetic
relations which sometimes existed between bearded knights and infant
kings. Such was the case where Sir David Lindsay of the Mount and
little King James V. were concerned, when the pupil would entreat the
master for a song on the lute with childish peremptoriness, "P'ay,
Davie Lindsay, p'ay!"] The view is beautiful, and the paper is still
full of holes from their fencing; and the very same table is there on
which they were dressed when little."

The days were too short for all that was to be seen and done. The
first day there was a visit to the fortress overhanging the town,
which looks as far away as the sea of trees, the Thuringerwald. It has
Luther's room, with his chair and part of his bed.

In the evening the Queen went to the perfect little German theatre,
where Meyerbeer's _Huguenots_ was given, and the audience sang
"God save the Queen" to German words.

The next day the visitors drove to Kalenberg, another of the Duke's
seats. In the evening they held a reception at the palace, when not
only those persons who had the magic prefix _von_ to their names
were admitted, but deputations of citizens, merchants, and artisans
were presented, the Queen praising their good manners afterwards.

The following day was the Feast of St. Gregorius, the children's
festival, in which thirteen hundred children walked in procession
through Coburg, some in fancy dresses, most of the girls in white and
green. Three girls came up to the palace balcony and sang a song in
honour of the Queen. Then great and small repaired to the meadow--
fortunately the fine weather had set in--where there were tents
decorated with flowers, in which the royal party dined, while the band
played and the children danced "so nicely and merrily, waltzes,
polkas, and it was the prettiest thing I ever saw," declared the
Queen. "Her Majesty talked to the children, to their great
astonishment, in their own language. Tired of dancing and processions,
and freed from all awe by the ease of the illustrious visitors, the
children took to romps, 'thread my needle,' and other pastimes, and
finally were well pelted by the royal circle with bon-bons, flowers
and cakes" is the report of another observer.

The day ended with a great ball at the palace.

The next day was spent more quietly in going over old favourite
haunts, among them the cabinet or collection of curiosities, stuffed
birds, fossils, autographs, &c., which had been formed partly by the
Princes when boys. Prince Albert continued to take the greatest
interest in it, and had made the Queen a contributor to its treasures.
At dinner the Queen tasted _bratürste_ (roasted sausages), the
national dish of Coburg, and pronounced it excellent, with its
accompaniment of native beer. A royal neighbour, Queen Adelaide's
brother, the Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, joined the party at dinner, and
the company witnessed the performance of Schiller's _Bride of
Messina_ at the theatre.

On Sunday the August weather was so hot that the Queen and the Prince
breakfasted for the second time out of doors. In the course of the
morning they drove over with Duke Ernest and the Duchess to St. Moritz
Kirche--equivalent to the cathedral of the town. The clergy received
the party at the door of the church, and the Ober-Superintendent
Genzler made a brief oration "expressive of his joy at receiving the
great Christian Queen who was descended from their Saxon dukes, who
were the first Reformers, and at the doors of the church where the
Reformation was first preached." The Queen describes the service as
like the Scotch Presbyterian form, only with more ceremony and more
singing. The last impressed her deeply. The pastor preached a fine
sermon. The afternoon's drive led through scenery which, especially in
its pine woods, resembled the Scotch Highlands, and ended in the
_Thiergarten_, where the Duke reared his wild boars.

"I cannot think," the Queen wrote longingly, "of going away from here.
I count the hours, for I have a feeling here which I cannot describe--
a feeling as if my childhood also had been spent here." No wonder;
Coburg was home to her, like her native air or her mother tongue; she
must have learnt to know it at her mother's knee. Her husband's
experience was added to the earlier recollection of every salient
point, every _Haus-Mahrchen_; and never were husband and wife
more in sympathy than the two who now snatched a short season of
delight from a sojourn in the cradle of their race.

Another brilliant sunshiny day--which the brother Princes spent
together reviving old associations in the town, while the Queen
sketched at Rosenau--closed with the last visit to the theatre, when
the people again sang "God save the Queen," adding to it some pretty
farewell verses.

The last day which the Queen passed in Coburg was, by a happy
circumstance, the Prince's birthday--the first he had spent at Rosenau
since he was a lad of fifteen, and, in spite of all changes, the day
dawned full of quiet gladness. "To celebrate this dear day in my
beloved husband's country and birthplace is more than I ever hoped
for," wrote her Majesty, "and I am so thankful for it; I wished him
joy so warmly when the singers sang as they did the other morning."
The numberless gifts had been arranged by no other hands than those of
the Queen and the Prince's brother and sister-in-law on a table
"dressed with flowers."' Peasants came in gala dress, [Footnote: The
Queen admired greatly many of the peasant costumes, often as
serviceable and durable as they were becoming, which she saw in
Germany. She expressed the regret so often uttered by English
travellers that English labourers and workers at handicrafts, in place
of retaining a dress of their own, have long ago adopted a tawdry
version of the fashions of the upper classes. Unfortunately the
practice is fast becoming universal.] with flowers, music, and dancing
to offer their good wishes. In the afternoon all was quiet again, and
the Queen and the Prince took their last walk together, for many a
day, at Rosenau, down into the hayfields where the friendly people
exchanged greetings with them, drank the crystal clear water from the
stream, and looked at the fortifications which two princely boys had
dug and built, as partly lessons, partly play.

The next day at half-past eight the travellers left "with heavy
hearts," measuring the fateful years which were likely to elapse
before Coburg was seen again. The pain of parting was lessened by the
presence of the Duke and Duchess of Coburg, who accompanied their
guests to the Duke's other domain of Gotha. The way led through Queen
Adelaide's country of Meiningen, and at every halting-place clergymen
with addresses more or less discursive, and "white and green young
ladies," literally bombarded the travellers with speeches, flowers,
and poems. At last the Duke of Coburg's territory was again entered
after it was dark; and the party reached the lovely castellated
country-seat of Reinhardtsbrunn, amidst forest and mountain scenery,
with its lake in front of the house, set down in the centre of a
mining population that came up in quaint costumes, with flaming
torches, to walk in procession past the windows. The Queen was charmed
with Reinhardtsbrunn, and would fain have lingered there, but time
pressed, and she was expected in the course of the next afternoon at
Gotha, on a visit to the Prince's aged grandmother who had helped to
bring him up, and was so fondly attached to her former charge.

The old lady at seventy-four years of age anticipated the visit. She
travelled the distance of eight miles before breakfast, in order to
take her grandchildren by surprise. "I hastened to her," is the
Queen's account, "and found Albert and Ernest with her. She is a
charming old lady, and though very small, remarkably nice-looking,
erect and active, but unfortunately very deaf.... She was so happy to
see us, and kissed me over and over again. Albert, who is the dearest
being to her in the world, she was enraptured to see again, and kissed
so kindly. It did one's heart good to see her joy."

In the afternoon the travellers proceeded to Gotha, which was in a
state of festival and crowded with people. The Queen and the Prince
resided at the old Duchess's house of Friedrichsthal, where the
greatest preparations, including the hanging of all her pictures in
their rooms, had been made for them. The first visit they paid in
Gotha was a solemn one, to the chapel which formed the temporary
resting-place of the body of the late Duke, till it could be removed
to its vault in Coburg. Then the rooms in which the father had died
were visited. These were almost equally melancholy, left as they had
been, unchanged, with the wreaths that had decorated the room for his
last birthday still there; "and there is that sad clock which stopped
just before he died." Who that has seen in Germany these faded
wreaths, with their crushed, soiled streamers of white riband, can
forget the desolate aspect which they lend to any room in which they
are preserved!

There was a cabinet or museum here, too, to inspect, and the curious
old spectacle of the popinjay to be witnessed, in company with the
Grand Duke of Weimar and his son. This kind of shooting was harmless
enough, for the object aimed at was a wooden bird on a pole. The
riflemen, led by the rifle-king (_schutzen-konig_), the public
officials, and deputations of peasants marched past the platform where
the Queen stood, like a pageant of the Middle Ages. All the princes,
including King Leopold, fired, but none brought down the bird; that
feat was left for some humbler hero.

On the Queen's return from the popinjay she had the happiness to meet
Baroness Lehzen, her old governess, who had come from Buckeburg to see
her Majesty. During the next few days the old friends were often
together, and the Queen speaks with pleasure of the Baroness's
"unchanged devotion," only she was quieter than formerly. It must have
appeared like another dream to both, that "the little Princess" of
Kensington, travelling with her husband, should greet her old
governess, and tell her, under the shadow of the great Thuringerwald,
of the four children left behind in England.

The next day the forest itself was entered, when "the bright blue sky,
the heavenly air, the exquisite tints," gave a crowning charm to its
beauties. The road lay through green glades which occasionally
commanded views so remote as those of the Hartz Mountains, to
_Jagersruh_, a hunting-lodge on a height "among stately firs that
look like cedars." Here the late Duke had excited all his skill and
taste to make a hunter's paradise, which awoke again the regretful
thought, "How it would have pleased him to have shown all this himself
to those he loved so dearly!"

But _Jagersruh_ was not the goal of the excursion; it was a
"deer-drive" or battue, which in Germany at least can be classed as "a
relic of mediaeval barbarism." A considerable space in the forest was
cleared and enclosed with canvas. In the centre of this enclosure was
a pavilion open at the sides, made of branches of fir-trees, and
decorated with berries, heather, and forest flowers; in short, a
sylvan bower provided for the principal company, outside a table
furnished with powder and shot supplied a station for less privileged
persons, including the chasseurs or huntsmen of the Duke, in green and
gold uniforms.

Easy-chairs were placed in the pavilion for the Queen, the Queen of
the Belgians, and the Duchess Alexandrina, while Prince Albert, King
Leopold, the Prince of Leiningen, and Duke Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg,
the Prince's uncle, stood by the ladies. Stags to the number of
upwards of thirty, and other game, were driven into the enclosure, and
between the performances of a band which played at intervals, the
gentlemen loaded their rifles, and fired at the helpless prey in the
presence of the ladies.

Her Majesty records in her Journal, "As for the sport itself, none of
the gentlemen like this butchery." She turns quickly from the piteous
slaughter to the beautiful, peaceful scenery.

A quiet Sunday was spent at Gotha. Monday was the _Lieder fest_,
or festival of song, to which, on this occasion, not only the
townspeople and villagers from all the neighbouring towns and villages
came with their banners and bands, but every small royalty from far
and near flocked to meet the Queen of England. These innumerable
cousins repaired with the Queen to the park opposite the Schloss, and
shared in the festival. The orchestra, composed of many hundreds of
singers, was opposite the pavilion erected for the distinguished
visitors. Among the fine songs, rendered as only Germans could render
them, songs composed by Prince Albert and his brother, and songs
written for the day, were sung. Afterwards there was a State dinner
and a ball.

The last day had come, with its inevitable sadness. "I can't--won't
think of it," wrote the Queen, referring to her approaching departure.
She drove and walked, and, with her brother-in-law and his Duchess,
was ferried over to the "Island of Graves," the burial-place of the
old Dukes of Gotha when the duchy was distinct from that of Coburg. An
ancient gardener pointed out to the visitors that only one more
flower-covered grave was wanted to make the number complete. When the
Duchess of Gotha should be laid to rest with her late husband and his
fathers, then the House of Gotha, in its separate existence, would
have passed away.

One more drive through the hayfields and the noble fir-trees to the
vast Thuringerwald, and, "with many a longing, lingering look at the
pine-clad mountains," the Queen and the Prince turned back to attend a
ball given in their honour by the townspeople in the theatre.

On the following day the homeward journey was begun. After partings,
rendered still more sorrowful by the fact that the age of the
cherished grandmother of the delightful "dear" family party rendered
it not very probable that she, for one, would see all her children
round her again, the Duke and Duchess of Coburg went one stage with
the travellers, and then there was another reluctant if less painful
parting.

The Queen and the Prince stopped at the quaint little town of
Eisenach, which Helen of Orleans was yet to make her home. They were
received by the Grand Duke and Hereditary Duchess of Saxe-Weimar, with
whom the strangers drove through the autumn woods to the famous old
fortress of the Wartburg, which, in its time, dealt a deadly blow to
Roman Catholicism by sheltering, in the hour of need, the Protestant
champion, Luther. Like the good Protestants her Majesty and the Prince
were, they went to see the great reformer's room, and looked at the
ink-splash on the wall--the mark of his conflict with the devil--the
stove at which he warmed himself, the rude table at which he wrote and
ate, and above all, the glorious view over the myriads of tree-tops
with which he must have refreshed his steadfast soul. But if Luther is
the hero of the Wartburg, there is also a heroine--the central figure
of that "Saint's Tragedy" which Charles Kingsley was to give to the
world in the course of the next two or three years--St. Elizabeth of
Thuringia, the tenderest, bravest, most tortured soul that ever
received the doubtful gain of canonization. There is the well by which
she is said to have ministered to her sick poor, half-way up the
ascent to the Wartburg, and down in the little town nestling below,
may be seen the remains of an hospital bearing her name.

From Fulda, where the royal party slept, they journeyed to Goethe's
town of Frankfort, where Ludwig I., who turned Munich into a great
picture and sculpture gallery, and built the costly Valhalla to
commemorate the illustrious German dead, dined with her Majesty.

At Biberich the Rhine was again hailed, and a steamer, waiting for the
travellers, carried them to Bingen, where their own little vessel,
_The Fairy_, met and brought them on to Deutz, on the farther
side from Cologne. The Queen says naively that the Rhine had lost its
charm for them all--the excitement of novelty was gone, and the
Thuringerwald had spoilt them. Stolzenfels, Ehrenbreitstein, and the
Sieben-Gebirge had their words of praise, but sight-seeing had become
for the present a weariness, and after Bonn, with its memories, had
been left behind, it was a rest to the royal travellers--as to most
other travellers at times--to turn away their jaded eyes, relinquish
the duty of alert observation, forget what was passing around them,
and lose themselves in a book, as if they were in England. Perhaps the
home letters had awakened a little home-sickness in the couple who
had been absent for a month. At least, we are given to understand
that it was of home and children the Queen and the Prince were chiefly
thinking when they reached Antwerp, to which the King and Queen of the
Belgians had preceded them, and re-embarked in the royal yacht
_Victoria and Albert_, though it was not at once to sail for
English waters. In gracious compliance with an urgent entreaty of
Louis Philippe's, the yacht was to call, as it were in passing, at
Tréport.

On the morning of the 8th of September the Queen's yacht again lay at
anchor off the French seaport. The King's barge, with the King, his
son, and son-in-law, Prince Joinville, and Prince Augustus of Saxe-
Coburg, and M. Guizot, once more came alongside. After the friendliest
greetings, the Queen and Prince Albert landed with their host, though
not without difficulty. The tide would not admit of the ordinary
manner of landing, and Louis Philippe in the dilemma fell back on a
bathing-machine, which dragged the party successfully if somewhat
unceremoniously over the sands.

The Queen of the French was there as before, accompanied among others
by her brother, the Prince of Salerno and his Princess, sister to the
Emperor of Austria. The crowd cheered as loudly as ever; there seemed
no cloud on the horizon that bright, hot day; even the plague of too
much publicity and formality had been got rid of at Château d'Eu. The
Queen was delighted to renew her intercourse with the large, bright
family circle--two of them her relations and fast friends. "It put me
so much in mind of two years ago," she declared, "that it was really
as if we had never been away;" and the King had to show her his
_Galerie Victoria_, a room fitted up in her honour, hung with the
pictures illustrating her former visit and the King's return visit to
Windsor.

Although she had impressed on him that she wished as much as possible
to dispense with state and show on this occasion, the indefatigable
old man had been at the trouble and expense of erecting a theatre, and
bringing down from Paris the whole of the Opéra Comique to play before
her, and thus increase the gaiety of the single evening of her stay.

Only another day was granted to Château d'Eu. By the next sunset the
King was conducting his guests on board the royal yacht and seizing
the last opportunity, when Prince Albert was taking Prince Joinville
over the _Fairy_, glibly to assure the Queen and Lord Aberdeen
that he, Louis Philippe, would never consent to Montpensier's marriage
to the Infanta of Spain till her sister the Queen was married and had
children.

At parting the King embraced her Majesty again and again. The yacht
lay still, and there was the most beautiful moonlight reflected on the
water. The Queen and the Prince walked up and down the deck, while not
they alone, but the astute statesman Aberdeen, congratulated
themselves on how well this little visit had prospered, in addition to
the complete success of the German tour. With the sea like a lake, and
sky and sea of the deepest blue, in the early morning the yacht
weighed anchor for England. Under the hot haze of an autumn noonday
sun the royal travellers disembarked on the familiar beach at Osborne.
The dearest of welcomes greeted them as they "drove up straight to the
house, for there, looking like roses, so well and so fat, stood the
four children."

The Queen referred afterwards to that visit to Germany as to one of
the happiest times in her life. She said when she thought of it, it
made her inclined to cry, so pure and tender had been the pleasure.



CHAPTER IV.


RAILWAY SPECULATION--FAILURE OF THE POTATO CROP--SIR ROBERT PEEL'S
RESOLUTIONS--BIRTH OF PRINCESS HELENA--VISIT OF IBRAHIM PASHA.

One thousand eight hundred and forty-five had begun with what appeared
a fresh impetus to national prosperity--a new start full of life and
vigour, by which the whole resources of the country should be at once
stirred up and rendered ten times more available than they had ever
been before. This was known afterwards as "the Railway Mania," which,
like other manias, if they are not mere fever-fits of speculation, but
are founded on real and tangible gains, had its eager hopeful rise,
its inflated disproportioned exaggeration, its disastrous collapse,
its gradual recovery, and eventually its solid reasonable success. In
1845 the movement was hurrying on to the second stage of its history.

The great man of 1845 was Hudson the railway speculator, "the Railway
King." Fabulous wealth was attributed to him; immense power for the
hour was his. A seat in Parliament, entrance into aristocratic
circles, were trifles in comparison. We can remember hearing of a
great London dinner at which the lions were the gifted Prince, the
husband of the Queen, and the distorted shadow of George Stephenson,
the bourgeois creator of a network of railway lines, a Bourse of
railway shares; the winner, as it was then supposed, of a huge
fortune. It was said that Prince Albert himself had felt some
curiosity to see this man and hear him speak, and that their encounter
on this occasion was prearranged and not accidental.

The autumn of 1845 revealed another side to the country's history. The
rainy weather in the summer brought to sudden hideous maturity the
lurking potato disease. Any one who recalls the time and the aspect of
the fields must retain a vivid recollection of the sudden blight that
fell upon acres on acres of what had formerly been luxuriant
vegetation, under the sunshine which came late only to complete the
work of destruction; the withering and blackening of the leaves of the
plant, the sickening foetid odour of the decaying bulbs, which tainted
the heavy air for miles; the dismay that filled the minds of the
people, who, in the days of dear corn, had learnt more and more to
depend upon the cultivation of potatoes, to whom their failure meant
ruin and starvation.

This was especially the case in Ireland and the Highlands of Scotland,
where the year closed in gloom and apprehension; famine stalked
abroad, and doles of Indian corn administered by Government in
addition to the alms of the charitable, alone kept body and soul
together in fever-stricken multitudes.

About this time also, like another feature of the spirit of adventure
which sent Franklin to the North Pole, and operated to a certain
extent in the flush of railway enterprise, England was talking half
chivalrously, half commercially, and alas! more than half sceptically,
of Brook and Borneo, and the new attempt to establish civilization and
herald Christianity under English influence in the far seas. All these
conflicting elements of new history were felt in the palace as in
other dwellings, and made part of Queen Victoria's life in those days.

A great statesman closed his eyes on this changing world. Earl Grey,
who had been in the front in advocating change in his time, died.

A brave soldier fell in the last of his battles. Sir Robert Sale, who
had been the guest of his Queen a year before, having returned to
India and rejoined the army of the Sutlej on fresh disturbances
breaking out in the Punjab, was killed at the battle of Moodkee.

Something of the wit and humour of the country was quenched or
undergoing a transformation and passing into other hands. Two famous
English humorists, Sydney Smith and Tom Hood the elder, went over to
the great majority.

By the close of 1845 it had become clear that a change in the Corn
Laws was impending. In the circumstances Sir Robert Peel, who, though
he had been for some time approaching the conclusion, was not prepared
to take immediate steps--who was, indeed, the representative of the
Conservative party--resigned office. Lord John Russell, the great Whig
leader, was called upon by the Queen to summon a new Ministry; but in
consequence of difficulties with those who were to have been his
colleagues, Lord John was compelled to announce himself unable to form
a Cabinet, and Sir Robert Peel, at the Queen's request, resumed
office, conscious that he had to face one of the hardest tasks ever
offered to a statesman. He had to encounter "the coolness of former
friends, the grudging support of unwilling adherents, the rancour of
disappointed political antagonists."

In February, 1846, the royal family spent a week at Osborne, glad to
escape from the strife of tongues and the violent political contention
which they could do nothing to quell. The Prince was happy, "out all
day," directing the building which was going on, and laying out the
grounds of his new house; and the Queen was happy in her husband and
Children's happiness. During this short absence Sir Robert Peel's
resolutions were carried, and his Corn Bill, which was virtually the
repeal of the Corn Laws, passed. He had only to await the
consequences.

In the middle of the political excitement a single human tragedy,
which Sir Robert Peel did something to prevent, reached its climax.
Benjamin Haydon, the painter, the ardent advocate, both by principle
and practice, of high art, took his life, driven to despair by his
failure in worldly success--especially by the ill-success of his
cartoons at the exhibition in Westminster Hall.

On the 25th of May a third princess was born, and on the 20th of June
Sir Robert Peel's old allies, the Tories, who had but bided their time
for revenge, while his new Whig associates looked coldly on him,
conspired to defeat him in a Government measure to check assassination
in Ireland, so that he had no choice save to resign. He had sacrificed
himself as well as his party for what he conceived to be the good of
the nation. His reign of power was at an end; but for the moment, at
least, he was thankful.

To Lord John Russell, who was more successful than on an earlier
occasion, the task of forming a new Ministry was intrusted. The
parting from her late ministers, on the 6th of July, was a trial to
the Queen, as the same experience had been previously. "Yesterday,"
her Majesty wrote to King Leopold, "was a very hard day for me. I had
to part from Sir Robert Peel and Lord Aberdeen, who are irreparable
losses to us and to the country. They were both so much overcome that
it quite upset me. We have in them two devoted friends. We felt so
safe with them. Never during the five years that they were with me did
they ever recommend a person or a thing that was not for my or the
country's best, and never for the party's advantage _only_.... I
cannot tell you how sad I am to lose Aberdeen; you cannot think what a
delightful companion he was. The breaking up of all this intercourse
during our journeys is deplorable."

In the separation the Queen turned naturally to a nearer and dearer
friend, whom only death could remove from her. "Albert's use to me,
and I may say to the country, by his firmness and sagacity in these
moments of trial, is beyond all belief." And beyond all gainsaying
must have been the deep satisfaction with which the uncle, who was
like a father, heard the repeated assurance of how successful had been
his work--what a blessing had rested upon it.

Here is a note of exultation on the political changes from the
opposite side of the House. Lord Campbell wrote: "The transfer of the
ministerial offices took place at Buckingham Palace on the 6th of
July. I ought to have been satisfied, for I received two seals, one
for the Duchy of Lancaster and one for the County Palatine of
Lancaster. My ignorance of the double honour which awaited me caused
an awkward accident, for, when the Queen put two velvet bags into my
hand, I grasped one only, and the other with its heavy weight fell
down on the floor, and might have bruised the royal toes, but Prince
Albert good-naturedly picked it up and restored it to me."

In July the Court again paid a short visit to Osborne, that the
Queen's health might be recruited before the baptism of the little
Princess. Her Majesty earnestly desired that the Queen of the Belgians
might be present, as the baby was to be the godchild of the young
widow of Queen Louise's much-loved brother, the late Duc d'Orleans.
Unfortunately the wish could not be fulfilled. The child was
christened at Buckingham Palace. She received the names of "Helena
Augusta Victoria." Her sponsors were the Duchesse d'Orleans,
represented by the Duchess of Kent; the Duchess of Cambridge; and the
Hereditary Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. The illustration
represents the charming little Princess at rather a more advanced age.

At the end of July Prince Albert was away from home for a few days. He
visited Liverpool, which he had greatly wished to see, in order to lay
the foundation-stone of a Sailors' Home and open the Albert Dock. In
the middle of the bustle and enthusiasm of his reception he wrote to
the Queen: "I write hoping these lines, which go by the evening post,
may reach you by breakfast time to-morrow. As I write you will be
making your evening toilette, and not be ready in time for dinner.
[Footnote: The Queen dressed quickly, but sometimes she relied too
much on her powers in this respect, and failed in her wonted
punctuality.] I must set about the same task and not, let me hope,
with the same result. I cannot get it into my head that there are two
hundred and fifty miles between us.... I must conclude and enclose, by
way of close, two touching objects--a flower and a programme of the
procession."

The same day the Queen wrote to Baron Stockmar: "I feel very lonely
without my dear master; and though I know other people are often
separated for a few days, I feel habit could not make me get
accustomed to it. This I am sure you cannot blame. Without him
everything loses its interest.... It will always be a terrible pang
for me to separate from him even for two days." Then she added with a
ring of foreboding, "And I pray God never to let me survive him." She
concluded with the true woman's proud assertion, "I glory in his being
seen and heard."



CHAPTER V.


AUTUMN YACHTING EXCURSIONS--THE SPANISH MARRIAGES--WINTER VISITS.

In the beginning of August the Queen and the Prince, accompanied by
the King and Queen of the Belgians, went again to Osborne. This autumn
the Queen, the Prince and their two elder children, made pleasant
yachting excursions, of about a week's duration each, to old admired
scenes and new places. In one of these Baron Stockmar was with them,
since he had come to England for a year's visit. He expressed himself
as much gratified by the Prince's interest and judgment in politics,
and his opinion of the Queen was more favourable than ever. "The Queen
improves greatly," he noted down as the fruits of his keen
observation, "and she makes daily advances in discernment and
experience. The candour, the tone of truth, the fairness, the
considerateness with which she judges men and things, are truly
delightful; and the ingenuous self-knowledge with which she speaks of
herself is simply charming." The yachting excursions included
Babbicombe, with the red rocks and wooded hills, which gave the Queen
an idea of Italy, where she had never been, "or rather of a ballet or
play where nymphs are to appear;" and Torbay, where William of Orange
landed. It was perhaps in reference to that event that her Majesty
made her little daughter "read in her English history." It seems to
have been the Queen's habit, in these yachting excursions, to take
upon herself a part, at least, of the Princess Royal's education.
"Beautiful Dartmouth" recalled--it might be all the more, because of
the rain that fell there--the Rhine with its ruined castles and its
Lurlei. Plymouth Harbour and the shore where the pines grew down to
the sea, led again to Mount Edgcumbe, always lovely. But first the
Queen and the Prince steamed up the St. Germans and the Tamar rivers,
passing Trematon Castle, which belonged to the little Duke of
Cornwall, and penetrated by many windings of the stream into lake-like
regions surrounded by woods and abounding in mines, which made the
Prince think of some parts of the Danube. The visitors landed at
Cothele, and drove up to a fine old house unchanged since Henry VII.'s
time. When they returned in the _Fairy_ to the yacht proper, they
found it in the centre of a shoal of boats, as it had been the last
time it sailed in these waters.

Prince Albert made an excursion to Dartmoor, and could have believed
he was in Scotland, while her Majesty contented herself with another
visit to Mount Edgcumbe, the master of which, a great invalid, yet
contrived to meet her near the landing-place at which his wife and
sons, with other members of the family, had received the royal
visitor. The drowsy heat and the golden haze were in keeping with the
romantically luxuriant glories of the drive, which the Queen took with
her children and her hostess. The little people went in to luncheon
while the Queen sketched.

After Prince Albert's return in the afternoon, the visit was repeated.
"The finest and tallest chestnut-trees in existence," and the
particularly tall and straight birch-trees, were inspected, and Sir
Joshua Reynolds's portraits examined. Well might they flourish at
Mount Edgcumbe, since Plymouth was Sir Joshua's native town, and some
of the Edgcumbe family were among his first patrons, when English art
stood greatly in need of such patronage.

The next excursion was an impromptu run in lovely weather to Guernsey,
which had not been visited by an English sovereign since the days of
King John. The rocky bays, the neighbouring islands, the half-foreign
town of St. Pierre, with "very high, bright-coloured houses,"
illuminated at night, pleased her Majesty greatly. On the visitors
landing they were met by ladies dressed in white singing "God save the
Queen," and strewing the path with flowers. General Napier, a white-
haired soldier, received the Queen and presented her with the keys of
the fort. The narrow streets through which she drove were "decorated
with flowers and flags, and lined with the Guernsey militia." The
country beyond, of which she had a glimpse, was crowned with fine
vegetation.

Whether or not it was to prevent Jersey, with St. Helier's, from
feeling jealous, ten days later the Queen and the Prince, the Prince
of Wales, and the Princess Royal, the usual suite, Lord Spencer, and
Lord Palmerston, set out on a companion trip to the sister island. The
weather was colder and the sea not so calm. Indeed, the rolling of the
vessel in Alderney Race was more than the voyagers had bargained for.
After it became smoother the little Prince of Wales put on a sailor's
dress made by a tailor on board, and great was the jubilation of the
Jack Tars of every degree.

The whole picturesque coast of Jersey was circumnavigated in order to
reach St. Helier's, which was gained when the red rocks were gilded
with the setting sun. A little later the yacht was hauled up under the
glow of bonfires and an illumination. On a splendid September day,
which lent to the very colouring a resemblance to Naples, the Queen
passed between the twin towers of Noirmont Point and St. Aubin, and
approached Elizabeth Castle, with the town of St. Helier's behind it.
The Queen landed amidst the firing of guns, the playing of military
bands, and the roar of cheers, the ladies of the place, as before,
strewing her path with flowers, and marshalling her to a canopy, under
which her Majesty received the address of the States and the militia.
The demonstrations were on a larger and more finished scale than in
Guernsey, greater time having been given for preparation.

The French tongue around her arrested the Queen's attention. So did a
seat in one of the streets filled with French women from Granville,
"curiously dressed, with white handkerchiefs on their heads." The
Queen drove through the green island, admiring its orchards without
end, though the season of russet and rosy apples was past for Jersey.
The old tower of La Hogue Bie was seen, and the castle of Mont Orgueil
was still more closely inspected, the Queen walking up to it and
visiting one of its batteries, with a view across the bay to the
neighbouring coast of France. Mont Orgueil is said to have been
occupied by Robert of Normandy, the unfortunate son of William the
Conqueror. Her Majesty heard that it had not yet been taken, but found
this was an error, though it was true the island of Guernsey had never
been conquered.

The close of the pleasant day was a little spoilt by the heat and
glare, which sent the Queen ill to her cabin. The next day saw the
party bound for Falmouth, where they arrived under a beautiful moon,
with the sea smooth as glass--not an unacceptable change from the
rolling swell of the first part of the little voyage.

Something unexpected and unwelcome had happened before the close of
the excursion, while the French coast which the Queen had hailed with
so much pleasure was still full in sight. Whether the news which
arrived with the other dispatches had anything to do with the fit of
indisposition that rendered the heat and glare unbearable, it
certainly marred the enjoyment of the last part of her trip. Before
quitting Jersey the Queen was made acquainted with the fact that Louis
Philippe's voluntary protestations with regard to the marriage of his
son, the Duc de Montpensier, had been so many idle words. He had
stolen a march both upon England and Europe generally. The marriage of
the Due de Montpensier with the Infanta Luisa of Spain was announced
simultaneously with the marriage of her sister, the Queen of Spain, to
her cousin the Due de Cadiz.

Everybody knows at this date how futile were Louis Philippe's schemes
for the aggrandisement of his family, and how he learnt by bitter
experience, as Louis XIV. had done before him, that a coveted Spanish
alliance, in the very fact of its attainment, meant disaster and
humiliation for France.

Louis Philippe had the grace, as we sometimes say, to shrink from
writing to announce the double marriage against which he had so often
solemnly pledged himself to the Queen. He delegated the difficult task
to Queen Amélie, who discharged it with as much tact as might have
been expected from so devoted a wife and kind a woman.

The Queen of England's reply to this begging of the question is full
of spirit and dignity:--

"OSBORNE, September 10, 1846.

"MADAME,--I have just received your Majesty's letter of the 8th, and I
hasten to thank you for it. You will, perhaps remember what passed at
Eu between the King and myself. You are aware of the importance which
I have always attached to the maintenance of our cordial
understanding, and the zeal with which I have laboured towards this
end. You have no doubt been informed that we refused to arrange the
marriage between the Queen of Spain and our cousin Leopold (which the
two Queens [Footnote: The reference is to the young Queen of Spain and
her mother the Queen-dowager Christina.] had eagerly desired) solely
with the object of not departing from a course which would be more
agreeable to the King, although we could not regard the course as the
best. [Footnote: The confining of the Queen of Spain's selection of a
husband to a Bourbon prince, a descendant of Philip V.] You will
therefore easily understand that the sudden announcement of this
double marriage could not fail to cause us surprise and very keen
regret.

"I crave your pardon, Madame, for speaking to you of politics at a
time like this, but I am glad that I can say for myself that I have
always been _sincere_ with you. Begging you to present my
respectful regards to the King, I am, Madame, your Majesty's most
devoted friend,

"VICTORIA."

The last yachting excursion of the season was to Cornwall. The usual
party accompanied the Queen and the Prince, the elder children, and
the ladies and gentlemen in waiting, her Majesty managing, as before,
to hear her little daughter repeat her lessons. Lizard Point and
Land's End were reached. At Penzance Prince Albert landed to inspect
the copper and serpentine-stone works, while the Queen sketched from
the deck of the _Fairy_. As the Cornish boats clustered round the
yacht, and the Prince of Wales looked down with surprise on the half-
outlandish boatmen, a loyal shout arose, "Three cheers for the Duke of
Cornwall."

The romantic: region of St. Michael's Mount, dear to the lovers of
Arthurian legends, was visited, the Queen climbing the circuitous path
up the hill to enter the castle, the Prince mounting to the tower
where "St Michael's chair," the rocky seat for betrothed couples,
still tests their courage and endurance. Each man and woman races up
the difficult path, and the winner of the race who first sits down in
the chair claims the right to rule the future home.

The illustration from a painting by Stanfield represents the imposing
pile of the "old religious house" crowning the noble rock, the royal
yacht lying off the shore commanding St. Michael's Mount, the numerous
spectators on shore and in boats haunting the royal footsteps--in
short, the whole scene in the freshness and stir which broke in upon
its sombre romance.

On Sunday service was held under the awning with its curtains of
flags, Lord Spencer--a captain in the navy--reading prayers "extremely
well." On Monday there was an excursion to the serpentine rocks, where
caves and creeks, cormorants and gulls, lent their attractions to the
spot. At Penryn the corporation came on board, "very anxious to see
the Duke of Cornwall." The Queen makes a picture in writing of the
quaint interview. "I stepped out of the pavilion on deck with Bertie.
Lord Palmerston told them that that was the Duke of Cornwall, and the
old mayor of Penryn said he hoped 'he would grow up a blessing to his
parents and his country.'"

The party were rowed up the beautiful rivers Truro and Tregony,
between banks covered with stunted oaks or woods of a more varied kind
down to the water's edge, past charming pools, creeks, and ferries,
with long strings of boats on the water and carts on the shore, and a
great gathering of people cheering the visitors, especially when the
little Duke of Cornwall was held up for them to see. The Queen took
delight in the rustic demonstration, so much in keeping with the
place, and the simple loyalty of the people.

Her Majesty went to Fowey, and had the opportunity of driving through
some of the narrowest, steepest streets in England, till she reached
the hilly ground of Cornwall, "covered with fields, and intersected
with hedges," and at last arrived at her little son's possession, the
ivy-covered ruin of the old castle of Restormel, an appanage of the
Duchy of Cornwall, in which the last Earl of Cornwall had resided five
hundred years before.

The Queen also visited the Restormel iron-mines. She was one of the
comparatively few ladies who have ventured into the nether darkness of
a pit. She saw her underground subjects as well as those above ground,
and to the former no less than to the latter she bore the kindly
testimony that she found them "intelligent good people." We can vouch
for this that these hewers and drawers of ore, in their dark-blue
woollen suits, the arms bare, and caps with the candles or lamps stuck
in the front, lighting up the pallid grimy faces, would be fully
conscious of the honour done them, and would yield to no ruddy,
fustian-clad ploughman or picturesque shepherd, with his maud and
crook in loyalty to their Queen.

The Queen and the Prince got into a truck and were drawn by the
miners, the mineral agent for Cornwall bringing up the rear, into the
narrow workings, where none could pass between the truck and the rock,
and "there was just room to hold up one's head, and not always that."
As it is with other strangers in Pluto's domains, her Majesty felt
there was something unearthly about this lit-up cavern-like place,
where many a man spent the greater part of his life. But she was not
deterred from getting out of the truck with me Prince, and scrambling
along to see the veins of ore, from which Prince Albert was able to
knock off some specimens. Daylight was dazzling to the couple when
they returned to its cheerful presence.

The last visit paid in Cornwall was by very narrow stony lanes to
"Place," a curious house restored from old plans and drawings to a
fac-simile of a Cornwall house of the past as it had been defended by
one of the ancestresses of the present family, the Treffrys, against
an attack made upon her, by the French during her husband's absence.
The hall was lined with Cornwall marble and porphyry.

On the 15th of September the new part of Osborne House was occupied
for the first time by its owners. Lady Lyttelton chronicled the
pleasant event and some ceremonies which accompanied it. "After dinner
we were to drink the Queen and Prince's health as a 'house-warming.'
And after it the Prince said very naturally and simply, but seriously,
'We have a hymn' (he called it a psalm) 'in Germany for such
occasions. It begins'--and then he repeated two lines in German,
which I could not quote right, meaning a prayer to 'bless our going
out and coming in.' It was long and quaint, being Luther's. We all
perceived that he was feeling it. And truly entering a new house, a
new palace, is a solemn thing to do, to those whose probable span of
life in it is long, and spite of rank, and health, and youth, down-
hill now."

Sir Theodore Martin, who quotes Lady Lyttelton's letters in the "Life
of the Prince Consort," gives such a hymn, which is a paraphrase of
the 121st Psalm, as it appears in the Coburg _Gesang-Buch_, and
supplies a translation of the verse in question.

  Unsern ausgang segne Gott,
    Unsern erngang gleicher massen,
  Segne unser taglich brod,
    Segne unser thun und lassen.
  Segne uns mit sel'gem sterben,
    Und mach uns zu Himmel's Erben

       *       *       *       *       *

  By Tre, Con and Pen,
    You may know the Cornish men
  God bless our going out, nor less
    Our coming in, and make them sure,
  God bless our daily bread, and bless
    Whate'er we do, whate'er endure,
  In death unto his peace awake us,
    And heirs of his salvation make us

"I forgot," writes Lady Lyttelton again, "much the best part of our
breaking in, which was that Lucy Kerr (one of the maids of honour)
insisted on throwing an old shoe into the house after the Queen, as
she entered for the first night, being a Scotch superstition. It
looked too strange and amusing. She wanted some melted lead and sundry
other charms, but they were not forthcoming. I told her I would call
her _Luckie_, and not _Lucy_."

During the autumn the Princess of Prussia, who was on a visit to her
aunt, Queen Adelaide, went to Windsor Castle, where Madame Bunsen met
her. "I arrived here at six," writes Madame Bunsen "and at eight went
to dinner in the great hall, hung round with Waterloo pictures, the
band playing exquisitely, so placed as to be invisible, so that what
with the large proportions of the hall and the well-subdued lights,
and the splendours of plate and decorations, the scene was such as
fairy tales present; and Lady Canning, Miss Stanley, and Miss Dawson
were beautiful enough to represent an ideal queen's ideal attendants.

"The Queen looked well and _rayonnante_, with the expression of
countenance that she has when pleased with what surrounds her, and
which you know I like to see. The old Duke of Cambridge failed not to
ask after you.

"This morning at nine we were all assembled at prayers in the private
chapel, then went to breakfast, headed by Lady Canning, after which
Miss Stanley took the Countess Haach and me to see the collection of
gold plate. Three works of Benvenuto Cellini, and a trophy from the
Armada, an immense flagon or wine-fountain, like a gigantic old-
fashioned smelling-bottle, and a modern Indian work--a box given to
the Queen by an Indian potentate--were what interested me the most.
Then I looked at many interesting pictures in the long corridor.

"I am lodged in what is called the Devil's Tower, and have a view of
the Round Tower, of which I made a sketch as soon as I was out of bed
this morning."

In October the Queen and the Prince spent several days on a private
visit to the Queen-dowager at her country house of Cashiobury. From
Cashiobury the royal couple went on, in bad weather, to Hatfield
House, which had once been a palace, but had long been the seat of the
Cecils, Marquises of Salisbury. Here more than anywhere else Queen
Victoria was on the track of her great predecessor, Queen Elizabeth,
while the virgin queen was still the maiden princess, considerably
oppressed by her stern sister Queen Mary. Queen Victoria inspected all
the relics of the interesting old place, "the vineyard," the
banqueting-room fallen down into a stable, and the oak still linked
with the name of Queen Bess.

At Hatfield there was a laudable innovation on the usual round of
festivities. From four to five hundred labourers were regaled on the
lawn with a roasted ox and hogsheads of ale.

On the 1st of December, the Queen and Prince, who had been staying at
Osborne, paid the Duke of Norfolk a visit at Arundel. Not only was the
Duke the premier duke and Earl-Marshal of England, but he held at this
time the high office in the Household of Master of the Horse. The old
keep and tower at Arundel were brilliantly illuminated in honour of
the Queen's presence, and bonfires lit up the surrounding country. The
Duke of Wellington was here also, walking about with the Queen, while
the younger men shot with Prince Albert. On the second day of her stay
her Majesty received guests in the state drawing-room. The third day
included the usual commemorative planting of trees in the Little Park.
In the evening there was dancing, in which the Queen joined.

There were great changes, ominous of still further transitions, in the
theatrical and literary world. Liston, the famous comedian who had
delighted a former generation, was dead, and amateur actors, led by
authors in the persons of Charles Dickens, Douglas Jerrold, &c. &c.,
had come to the front, and were winning much applause, as well as
solid benefits for individuals and institutions connected with
literature requiring public patronage. A man and a woman unlike in
everything save their cordial admiration for each other, bore down all
opposition in the reading world: William Makepeace Thackeray, in 1846,
in spite of the discouragement of publishers, started his "Vanity
Fair," and Charlotte Brontë, from the primitive seclusion of an old-
fashioned Yorkshire parsonage, took England by storm with her
impassioned, unconventional "Jane Eyre." The fame of these two books,
while the authors were still in a great measure unknown, rang through
the country.

Art in England was still following the lines laid down for the last
twenty or thirty years, unless in the case of Turner, who had entered
some time before on the third period of his work, the period marked by
defiance and recklessness as well as by noble power.



CHAPTER VI.


INSTALLATION OF PRINCE ALBERT AS CHANCELLOR OF CAMBRIDGE.

One thousand eight hundred and forty-seven began with the climax of
the terrible famine in Ireland, and the Highlands, produced by the
potato disease, which, commencing in 1845, had reappeared even more
disastrously in 1846. In the Queen's speech in opening Parliament, she
alluded to the famine in the land with a perceptibly sad fall of her
voice.

In spite of bad trade and bad times everywhere, two millions were
advanced by the Government for the relief of the perishing people, fed
on doles of Indian meal; yet the mortality in the suffering districts
continued tremendous.

In February, 1847, Lord Campbell describes an amusing scene in the
Queen's closet. "I had an audience, that her Majesty might prick a
sheriff for the county of Lancaster, which she did in proper style,
with the bodkin I put into her hand. I then took her pleasure about
some Duchy livings and withdrew, forgetting to make her sign the
parchment roll. I obtained a second audience, and explained the
mistake. While she was signing, Prince Albert said to me, 'Pray, my
lord, when did this ceremony of pricking begin?' CAMPBELL. 'In ancient
times, sir, when sovereigns did not know now to write their names.'
QUEEN, as she returned me the roll with her signature, 'But we now
show we have been to school.'" In the course of the next month his
lordship gives a lively account of dining along with his wife and
daughter at Buckingham Palace. "On our arrival, a little before eight,
we were shown into the picture gallery, where the company assembled.
Bowles, who acted as master of the ceremonies, arranged what gentlemen
should take what lady. He said, 'Dinner is ordered to be on the table
at ten minutes past eight, but I bet you the Queen will not be here
till twenty or twenty-five minutes after. She always thinks she can
dress in ten minutes, but she takes about double the time.' True
enough, it was nearly twenty-five minutes past eight before she
appeared; she shook hands with the ladies, bowed to the gentlemen, and
proceeded to the _salle à manger_. I had to take in Lady Emily de
Burgh, and was third on her Majesty's right, Prince Edward of Saxe-
Weimar and my partner being between us. The greatest delicacy we had
was some very nice oat-cake. There was a Highland piper standing
behind her Majesty's chair, but he did not play as at State dinners.
We had likewise some Edinburgh ale. The Queen and the ladies
withdrawing, Prince Albert came over to her side of the table, and we
remained behind about a quarter of an hour, but we rose within the
hour from the time of our sitting down to dinner.... On returning to
the gallery we had tea and coffee. The Queen came up and talked to me.
She does the honours of the palace with infinite grace and sweetness,
and considering what she is both in public and domestic life, I do not
think she is sufficiently loved and respected. Prince Albert took me
to task for my impatience to get into the new House of Lords, but I
think I pacified him, complimenting his taste. A dance followed. The
Queen chiefly delighted in a romping sort of country-dance, called the
_Tempête_. She withdrew a little before twelve."

The beginning of the season in London was marked by two events in the
theatrical and operatic world. Fanny Kemble (Mrs. Pierce Butler)
reappeared on the stage, and was warmly welcomed back. Jenny Lind sang
for the first time in London at the Italian Opera House in the part of
"Alice" in _Roberto il Diavolo_, and enchanted the audience with
her unrivalled voice and fine acting.

In the month of May, in the middle of the Irish distress, the great
agitator of old, Daniel O'Connell, died in his seventy-second year, on
his way to Rome. The news of his death was received in Ireland as only
one drop more in the full cup of national misery. In the same month of
May another and a very different orator, Dr. Chalmers, the great
impassioned Scotch divine, philosopher, and philanthropist, one of the
leaders in the disruption from the Church of Scotland, died in
Edinburgh, in his sixty-eighth year.

Prince Albert had been elected Chancellor of Cambridge University--a
well-deserved compliment, which afforded much gratification both to
the Queen and the Prince. They went down to Cambridge in July for the
ceremony of the installation, which was celebrated with all scholarly
state and splendour.

"The Hall of Trinity was the scene of the ceremony for which the visit
was paid. Her Majesty occupied a chair of state on a dais. The
Chancellor, the Prince in his official robes, supported by the Duke of
Wellington, Chancellor of Oxford, the Bishop of Oxford, the Vice-
Chancellor of Cambridge, and the Heads of the Houses entered, and the
Chancellor read an address to her Majesty congratulatory on her
arrival. Her Majesty made a gracious reply and the Prince retired with
the usual profound obeisances, a proceeding which caused her Majesty
some amusement," so says the _Annual Register_. This part of the
day's proceedings seems to have made a lively impression on those who
witnessed it.

Bishop Wilberforce gives his testimony. "The Cambridge scene was very
interesting. There was such a burst of loyalty, and it told so on the
Queen and Prince. E--- would not then have thought that he looked
cold. It was quite clear that they both felt it as something new that
he had earned, and not she given, a true English honour; and so he
looked so pleased and she so triumphant. There was also some such
pretty interludes when he presented the address, and she beamed upon
him and once half smiled, and then covered the smile with a gentle
dignity, and then she said in her clear musical voice, 'The choice
which the University has made of its Chancellor _has my most entire
approbation_.'" The Queen records in her Diary, "I cannot say how
it agitated and embarrassed me to have to receive this address and
hear it read by my beloved Albert, who walked in at the head of the
University, and who looked dear and beautiful in his robes, which were
carried by Colonel Phipps and Colonel Seymour. Albert went through it
all admirably, almost absurd, however, as it was for us. He gave me
the address and I read the answer, and a few kissed hands, and then
Albert retired with the University."

After luncheon a Convocation was held in the Senate House, at which
the Queen was present as a visitor. The Prince, as Chancellor,
received her at the door, and led her to the seat prepared for her.
"He sat covered in his Chancellor's chair. There was a perfect roar of
applause," which we are told was only tamed down within the bounds of
sanity by the dulness of the Latin oration, delivered by the public
orator. Besides the princes already mentioned, and several noblemen
and gentlemen, Sir George Grey, Sir Harry Smith (of Indian fame), Sir
Roderick Murchison, and Professor Muller, received university honours.

Her Majesty and the new Chancellor dined with the Vice-Chancellor at
Catherine Hall--probably selected for the honour because it was a
small college, and could only accommodate a select party. After dinner
her Majesty attended a concert in the Senate House--an entertainment
got up in order to afford the Cambridge public another opportunity of
seeing their Queen. Later the Prince went to the Observatory, and her
Majesty walked in the cool of the evening in the little garden of
Trinity Lodge, with her two ladies.

The following day the royal party again went to the Senate House, the
Prince receiving the Queen, and conducting her as before to her seat.
With the accompaniment of a tremendous crowd, great heat, and thunders
of applause, the prize poems were read, and the medals distributed by
the Prince. Then came the time for the "Installation Ode," written at
the Prince's request by Wordsworth, the poet laureate, set to music,
and sung in Trinity Hall in the presence of the Queen and Prince
Albert with great effect. Poetry, of all created things, can least be
made to order; yet the ode had many fine passages and telling lines,
besides the recommendation claimed for it by Baroness Bunsen: "The
Installation Ode I thought quite affecting, because the selection of
striking points was founded on fact, and all exaggeration and humbug
were avoided."

The poem touched first on what was so prominent a feature in the
history of Europe in the poet's youth--the evil of unrighteous and the
good of righteous war, identifying the last with the successes of
England when Napoleon was overthrown.

  Such is Albion's fame and glory,
  Let rescued Europe tell the story

Then the measure changes to a plaintive strain.

  But lo! what sudden cloud has darkened all
  The land as with a funeral pall?
  The rose of England suffers blight,
  The flower has drooped, the isle's delight
  Flower and bud together fall,
  A nation's hopes he crushed in Claremont's desolate hall

Hope and cheer return to the song.

  Time a chequered mantle wears,
  Earth awakes from wintry sleep,
  Again the tree a blossom bears
  Cease, Britannia, cease to weep,
  Hark to the peals on this bright May morn,
  They tell that your future Queen is born


A little later is the fine passage--

  Time in his mantle's sunniest fold
  Uplifted on his arms the child,
  And while the fearless infant smiled
  Her happy destiny foretold
  Infancy, by wisdom mild,
  Trained to health and artless beauty,
  Youth by pleasure unbeguiled
  From the lore of lofty duty,
  Womanhood, in pure renown
  Seated on her lineal throne,
  Leaves of myrtle in her crown
  Fresh with lustre all their own,
  Love, the treasure worth possessing
  More than all the world beside,
  This shall be her choicest blessing,
  Oft to royal hearts denied.

After a brief period of rest, which meant a little quiet "reading,
writing, working, and drawing"--a far better sedative for excited
nerves than entire idleness--the Queen and the Prince attended a
flower-show in the grounds of Downing College, walking round the
gardens and entering into all the six tents, "a very formidable
undertaking, for the heat was beyond endurance and the crowd fearful."
In the evening there was a great dinner in Trinity Hall. "Splendid did
that great hall look," is Baroness Bunsen's admiring exclamation;
"three hundred and thirty people at various tables ... the Queen and
her immediate suite at a table at the raised end of the hall, all the
rest at tables lengthways. At the Queen's table the names were put on
the places, and anxious was the moment before one could find one's
place." Then the Queen gave a reception in Henry VIII.'s drawing-room,
when the masters, professors and doctors, with their wives, were
presented. When the reception was over, at ten o'clock, in the soft
dim dusk, a little party again stole out, to see with greater leisure
and privacy those noble trees and hoary buildings. Her Majesty tells
us the pedestrians were in curious costumes: "Albert in his dress-coat
with a mackintosh over it, I in my evening dress and diadem, and with
a veil over my head, and the two princes in their uniforms, and the
ladies in their dresses and shawls and veils. We walked through the
small garden, and could not at first find our way, after which we
discovered the right road, and walked along the beautiful avenues of
lime-trees in the grounds of St. John's College, along the water and
over the bridges. All was so pretty and picturesque, in particular the
one covered bridge of St. John's College, which is like the Bridge of
Sighs at Venice. We stopped to listen to the distant hum of the town;
and nothing seemed wanting but some singing, which everywhere but here
in this country we should have heard. A lattice opened, and we could
fancy a lady appearing and listening to a serenade."

Shade of quaint old Fuller! thou who hast described with such gusto
Queen Elizabeth's five days' stay at Cambridge, what wouldst thou not
have given, hadst thou lived in the reign of Victoria, to have been in
her train this night? Shades more formidable of good Queen Bess
herself, Bluff King Hal, Margaret Countess of Richmond, and that other
unhappy Margaret of Anjou, what would you have said of this simple
ramble? In truth it was a scene from the world of romance, even
without the music and the lady at the lattice. An ideal Queen and an
ideal Prince, a thin disguise over the tokens of their magnificence,
stealing out with their companions, like so many ghosts, to enjoy
common sights and experiences and the little thrill of adventure in
the undetected deed.

On the last morning there was a public breakfast in the grounds of
Trinity College, attended by thousands of the county gentry of Cambridge
and Lincolnshire. "At one the Queen set out through the cloisters and
hall and library of Trinity College, to pass through the gardens and
avenues, which had been connected for the occasion by a temporary bridge
over the river, with those of St. John's." Madame Bunsen and her
companions followed her Majesty, and had the best opportunity of seeing
everything, and in particular "the joyous crowd that grouped among the
noble trees." The Queen ate her _déjeuner_ in one of the tents, and on
her return to Trinity Lodge, she and Prince Albert left Cambridge at
three o'clock for London. Baroness Bunsen winds up her graphic
descriptions with the statement, "I could still tell much of Cambridge--
of the charm of its 'trim gardens,' of how the Queen looked and was
pleased, and how well she was dressed, and how perfect in grace and
movement."



CHAPTER VII.


THE QUEEN'S VISIT TO THE WESTERN ISLANDS OP SCOTLAND AND STAY AT
ARDVERIKIE.

On the 11th of August her Majesty and Prince Albert, with the Prince
of Wales, the Princess Royal, and the Prince of Leiningen, attended by
a numerous suite, left Osborne in the royal yacht for Scotland. They
followed a new route and succeeded, in spite of the fogs in the
Channel, in reaching the Scilly Isles. The voyage, to begin with, was
not a pleasant one. There had been a rough swell on the sea as well as
fogs off shore. The children, and especially the Queen, on this
occasion suffered from sea-sickness. However, her Majesty landed on
the tiny island of St. Mary's.

As the royal party approached Wales the sea became calmer and the
sailing enjoyable. The yacht and its companions lay in the great
harbour of Milford Haven, under the reddish-brown cliffs. Prince
Albert and the Prince of Leiningen went to Pembroke, while the Queen
sat on the deck and sketched.

On a beautiful Sunday the Queen sailed through the Menai Straits in
the _Fairy_, when the sight of "Snowdon rising splendidly in the
middle of the fields and woods was glorious." The "grand old Castle of
Caernarvon" attracted attention; so did Plas Newydd, where her Majesty
had spent six weeks, when she had visited Wales as Princess Victoria,
in one of her girlish excursions with the Duchess of Kent. The Isle of
Man, with the town of Douglas, surmounted by bold hills and cliffs, a
castle and a lighthouse, looked abundantly picturesque, but the
landing there was reserved for the return of the voyagers, though it
was on this occasion that a tripping Manxman described Prince Albert,
in a local newspaper, as leading the Prince Regent by the hand; a slip
which drew from the Prince the gay rejoinder that "usually one has a
regent for an infant, but in Man it seems to be precisely the
reverse."

The Mull of Galloway was the first Scotch land that was sighted, and
just before entering Loch Ryan the huge rock, Ailsa Craig, with its
moving clouds of sea-fowl, rose to view.

Arran and Goatfell, Bute and the Bay of Rothesay, were alike hailed
with delight. But the islands were left behind for the moment, till
more was seen of the Clyde, and Greenock, of sugar-refining and boat-
building fame, was reached. It was her Majesty's first visit to the
west coast of Scotland, and Glasgow poured "down the water" her
magistrates, her rich merchants, her stalwart craftsmen, her swarms
from the Gorbels and the Saut Market, the Candle-rigs and the Guse-
dibs. Multitudes lined the quays. No less than forty steamers over-
filled with passengers struggled zealously in the wake of royalty.
"Amidst boats and ships of every description moving in all
directions," the little _Fairy_ cut its way through, bound for
Dumbarton.

On the Queen's return to Greenock she sailed past Roseneath, and
followed the windings of Loch Long, getting a good view of the
Cobbler, the rugged mountain which bears a fantastic resemblance to a
man mending a shoe. At the top of the loch, Ben Lomond came in sight.
"There was no sun, and twice a little mist; but still it was
beautiful," wrote the Queen.

On "a bright fresh morning" in August, when the hills were just
"slightly tipped with clouds," the Queen sailed through the Kyles of
Bute, that loveliest channel between overtopping mountains, and
entered Loch Fyne, another fine arm of the sea, of herring celebrity.

A Highland welcome awaited the Queen at the little landing-place of
Inverary, made gay and fragrant with heather. Old friends, whom she
was honouring by her presence, waited to receive her, the Duke and
Duchess of Argyle--the latter the eldest daughter of the Duchess of
Sutherland, who was also present with her son, Lord Stafford, her
unmarred daughter, Lady Caroline Leveson-Gower, and her son-in-law and
second daughter, Lord and Lady Blantyre. An innocent warder stood in
front of the old feudal keep. In the course of the Queen's visit to
Germany she had made the acquaintance, without dreaming of what lay
concealed in the skirts of time, of one of her future sons-in-law in a
fine little boy of eight years. Now her Majesty was to be introduced,
without a suspicion of what would be the result of the introduction,
to the coming husband of another daughter still unborn. Here is the
Queen's description of the son and heir of the house of Argyle, who
was yet to win a princess for his bride. "Outside, stood the Marquis
of Lorne, just two years old--a dear, white, fat, fair little fellow,
with reddish hair but very delicate features, like both his mother and
father; he is such a merry, independent little child. He had a black
velvet dress and jacket, with a 'sporran,' scarf, and Highland
bonnet."

Her Majesty lunched at the castle, "the Highland gentlemen standing
with halberts in the room," and returned to the _Fairy_, sailing
down Loch Fyne when the afternoon was at its mellowest, and the long
shadows were falling across the hillsides. At five Lochgilphead was
reached, when Sir John Orde lent his carriage to convey the visitors
to the Crinan Canal. The next day's sail, in beautiful weather still,
was through the clusters of the nearest of the western islands, up the
Sound of Jura, amidst a flotilla of small boats crowned with flags.
Here were fresh islands and mountain peaks, until the strangers were
within hail of Staffa.

It is not always that an approach to this northern marvel of nature is
easy or even practicable; but fortune favours the brave. Her Majesty
has described the landing. "At three we anchored close before Staffa,
and immediately got into the barge, with Charles, the children, and
the rest of our people, and rowed towards the cave. As we rounded the
point the wonderful basaltic formation came into sight. The appearance
it presents is most extraordinary, and when we turned the corner to go
into the renowned Fingal's Cave the effect was splendid, like a great
entrance into a vaulted hall; it looked almost awful as we entered,
and the barge heaved up and down on the swell of the sea. It is very
high, but not longer than two hundred and twenty-seven feet, and
narrower than I expected, being only forty feet wide. The sea is
immensely deep in the cave. The rocks under water were all colours--
pink, blue, and green, which had a most beautiful and varied effect.
It was the first time the British standard, with a queen of Great
Britain and her husband and children, had ever entered Fingal's Cave,
and the men gave three cheers, which sounded very impressive there."

On the following day the Atlantic rains had found the party, though
for the present the affliction was temporary. It poured for three
hours, during which her Majesty drew and painted in her cabin. The
weather cleared in the afternoon; sitting on the deck was again
possible, and Loch Linnhe, Loch Eil, and the entrance to Loch Leven
were not lost.

At Fort William the Queen was to quit the yacht and repair to the
summer quarters of Ardverikie. Before doing so she recorded her regret
that "this delightful voyage and tour among the western lochs and
isles is at an end; they are so beautiful and so full of poetry and
romance, traditions and historical associations."

Rain again, more formidable than before, on Saturday, the 21st of
August. It was amidst a hopeless drenching drizzle, which blots out
the chief features of a landscape, that the Queen went ashore, to find
"a great gathering of Highlanders in their different tartans" met to
do her honour. Frasers, Forbeses, Mackenzies, Grants, replaced
Campbells, Macdonalds, Macdougals, and Macleans. By a wild and lonely
carriage-road, the latter part resembling Glen Tilt, her Majesty
reached her destination.

Ardverikie, which claimed to have been a hunting-seat of Fergus, king
of the Scots, was a shooting lodge belonging to Lord George Bentinck,
rented from him by the Marquis of Abercorn, and lent by the marquis to
the Queen. It has since been burnt down. It was rustic, as a shooting
lodge should be, very much of a large cottage in point of
architecture, the bare walls of the principal rooms characteristically
decorated with rough sketches by Landseer, among them a drawing of
"The Stag at Bay," and the whole house bristling with stags' horns of
great size and perfection. In front of the house lay Loch Laggan,
eight miles in length.

The Queen remained at Ardverikie for four weeks, and doubtless would
have enjoyed the wilds thoroughly, had it not been for the lowest deep
of persistently bad weather, when "it not only rained and blew, but
snowed by way of variety."

Lord Campbell heard and wrote down these particulars of the royal stay
at Ardverikie. "The Queen was greatly delighted with the Highlands in
spite of the bad weather, and was accustomed to sally for a walk in
the midst of a heavy rain, putting a great hood ever her bonnet, and
showing nothing of her features but her eyes. The Prince's invariable
return to luncheon about two o'clock, in spite of grouse-shooting and
deer-stalking, is explained by his voluntary desire to please the
Queen, and by the intense hunger which always assails him at this
hour, when he likes, in German fashion, to make his dinner."

In a continuance of the most dismally unpropitious weather, the Queen
and her children left Ardverikie on the 17th of September, the Prince
having preceded her for a night that he might visit Inverness and the
Caledonian Canal. The storm continued, almost without intermission,
during the whole of the voyage home.



CHAPTER VIII.


THE FRENCH FUGITIVES--THE PEOPLE'S CHARTER.

Long before the autumn of 1847, the mischievous consequences of the
railway mania, complicated by the failure of the potato crop, showed
itself in great bankruptcies in the large towns all over the country.

The new year came with trouble on its wings. The impending storm burst
all over Europe, first in France. Louis Philippe's dynasty was
overthrown.

In pairs or singly, sometimes wandering aside in a little distraction,
so as to be lost sight of for days, the numerous brothers and sisters,
with the parent pair, reached Dreux and Eu, and thence, with the
exception of the Duchesse d'Orleans and her sons, straggled to
England.

One can guess the feelings of the Queen and Prince Albert when they
heard that their late hosts, doubly allied to them by kindred ties,
were fugitives, seeking refuge from the hospitality of a foreign
nation. And the first confused tidings of the French revolution which
reached the Queen and Prince Albert were rendered more trying, by the
almost simultaneous announcement of the death of the old Dowager-
Duchess of Gotha, to whom all her grandchildren were so much attached.

The ex-King and Queen arrived at Newhaven, Louis Philippe bearing the
name of Mr. Smith. Queen Victoria had already written to King Leopold
on the 1st of March: "About the King and Queen (Louis Philippe and
Queen Amélie) we still know nothing.... We do everything we can for
the poor family, who are, indeed, sorely to be pitied. But you will
naturally understand that we cannot make common cause with them, and
cannot take a hostile position to the new state of things in France.
We leave them alone; but if a Government which has the approbation of
the country be formed, we shall feel it necessary to recognise it in
order to pin them down to maintain peace and the existing treaties,
which is of the greatest importance. It will not be pleasant to do
this, but the public good and the peace of Europe go before one's
personal feelings."

As soon as it could be arranged under the circumstances, the Queen had
an interview with the exiles. What a meeting after the last parting,
and all that had come to pass in the interval! This interview took
place on the 6th of March, when Louis Philippe came privately to
Windsor.

The same intelligent chronicler, Lady Lyttelton, who gave such a
graphic account of the Citizen-King's first visit to Windsor, had also
to photograph the second. Once more she uses with reason the word
"historical." "To-day is historical, Louis Philippe having come from
Claremont to pay a private (_very_ private) visit to the Queen.
She is really enviable now, to have in her power and in her path of
duty, such a boundless piece of charity and beneficent hospitality.
The reception by the _people_ of England of all the fugitives has
been beautifully kind."

That day the Queen wrote sadly to Baron Stockmar: "I am quite well;
indeed, particularly so, though God knows we have had since the 25th
enough for a whole life--anxiety, sorrow, excitement; in short, I feel
as if we had jumped over thirty years' experience at once. The whole
face of Europe is changed, and I feel as if I lived in a dream." She
added, with the tenderness of a generous nature, referring to the very
different circumstances in which her regard for the Orleans house had
been established, and to the alienation which had arisen between her
and some of its members: "You know my love for the family; you know
how I longed to get of terms with them again ... and you said, 'Time
will alone, but will certainly, bring it about.' Little did I dream
that this would be the way we should meet again and see each other,
all in the most friendly way. That the Duchesse de Montpensier, about
whom we have been quarrelling for the last year, and a half, should be
here as a fugitive and dressed in the clothes I sent her, and should
come to thank _me for my kindness_, is a reverse of fortune which
no novelist would devise, and upon which one could moralise for ever."

It was a comfort to the Queen and Prince Albert that Belgium, which
had at first appeared in the greatest danger, ended by standing almost
alone on the side of its King and Government.

The tide of revolution, which swept over the greater states, did not
spare the small. The Duke of Coburg-Gotha's subjects, who had seemed
so happily situated and so contented at the time of the Queen's visit,
were in a ferment like the rest of their countrymen. Bellona's hot
breath was in danger of withering the flowers of that Arcadia. The
Princes of Leiningen and Hohenlohe, the Queen's brother and brother-
in-law, were practically dispossessed of seigneurial rights and lands,
and ruined. The Princess of Hohenlohe wrote to her sister: "We are
undone, and must begin a new existence of privations, which I don't
care for, but for poor Ernest" (her husband) "I feel it more than I
can say."

In the meantime, on the 18th of March a fourth English Princess was
born. There was more than usual congratulation on the safety and well-
being of mother and child, because of the great shocks which had tried
the Queen previously, and the anxiety which filled all thoughtful
minds for the result of the crisis in England. Her Majesty's courage
rose to the occasion. She wrote to King Leopold in little more than a
fortnight: "I heard all that passed, and my only thoughts and talk
were political. But I never was calmer or quieter, or less nervous.
Great events make one calm; it is only trifles that irritate my
nerves."

England had its own troubles and was in high excitement about an
increased grant of money for the support of the army and navy, and the
continuance of the income-tax. The Chartists threatened to make a
great demonstration on Kennington Common.

The first threat in London, for the 13th of March, a few days before
the birth of the little Princess, ended in utter failure. The happy
termination was assisted by the state of the weather, great falls of
rain anticipating the work of large bodies of police prepared to
scatter the crowd. But as another demonstration, with the avowed
intention of walking in procession to present to the House of Commons
a monster petition, miles long, for the granting of the People's
Charter, was announced to take place on the 10th of April, great
uncertainty, and agitation filled the public mind. It was judged
advisable that the Queen should go to the Isle of Wight for a short
stay at Osborne, though it was still not more than three weeks since
her confinement.

The second demonstration collapsed like the first. Only a fraction--
not more than twenty-three thousand of the vast multitude expected to
appear--assembled at the meeting-place, and the people dispersed
quietly. But it is only necessary to mention the precautions employed
to show how great had been the alarm. The Duke of Wellington devised
and conducted the steps which were taken beforehand. On the bridges
were massed bodies of foot and horse police, and special constables,
of whom nearly two hundred thousand--one of them Prince Louis
Napoleon, the future Emperor of the French--are said to have been
sworn in. In the immediate neighbourhood of each bridge strong forces
of military, while kept out of sight, were ready "for instant
movement." Two regiments of the line were at Millbank Penitentiary,
twelve hundred infantry at Deptford Dockyard, and thirty pieces of
heavy field ordnance at the Tower prepared for transport by hired
steamers to any spot where help might be required. Bodies of troops
were posted in unexpected quarters, as in the area of the untenanted
Rose Inn yard, but within call. The public offices at Somerset House
and in the City were liberally supplied with arms. Places like the
Bank of England were "packed" with troops and artillery, and furnished
with sand-bag parapets for their walls, and wooden barricades with
loopholes for firing through, for their windows.

"Thank God," her Majesty wrote to the King of the Belgians, "the
Chartist meeting and procession have turned out a complete failure.
The loyalty of the people at large, has been very striking, and their
indignation at their peace being interfered with by such wanton and
worthless men immense."

Never was cheerfulness more wanted to lighten a burden of work and
care. In this year of trouble "no less than twenty-eight thousand
dispatches were received or sent out from the Foreign Office." All
these dispatches came to the Queen and Prince Albert, as well as to
Lord Palmerston, the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Across the Channel the inflammatory speeches and writings of Messrs.
Mitchel, Meagher, and Smith O'Brien became so treasonable in tone
that, after the passing of a Bill in Parliament for the better
repression of sedition, the three Irish leaders were arrested and
brought to trial, the jury refusing to commit in the case of Meagher
and Smith O'Brien, but in that of Mitchel, who was tried separately,
finding him guilty, and sentencing him to transportation for fourteen
years.

On the 2nd of May the Court returned to Buckingham Palace, and the
baptism of the infant princess took place on the 13th, in the private
chapel of Buckingham Palace, when the Archbishop of Canterbury
officiated. The sponsors were Duke Augustus of Mecklenburg-Schwerin,
represented by Prince Albert, and the Duchess of Saxe-Meiningen and
the Grand-Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, represented by the Queen-
dowager and the Duchess of Cambridge. The names given to the child
were, "Louise Caroline Alberta," the first and last for the child's
grandmother on the father's side and for the royal father himself. A
chorale was performed, which the Prince had adapted from an earlier
composition written to the hymn--

  In life's gay morn, ere sprightly youth
    By vice and folly is enslaved,
  Oh! may thy Maker's glorious name
    Be on thy infant mind engraved;
  So shall no shades of sorrow cloud
    The sunshine of thy early days,
  But happiness, in endless round,
    Shall still encompass all thy ways.

Bishop Wilberforce describes the scene. "The royal christening was a
very beautiful sight, in its highest sense of that word 'beauty.' The
Queen, with the five royal children around her, the Prince of Wales
and Princess Royal hand-in-hand, all kneeling down quietly and meekly
at every prayer, and the little Princess Helena alone, just standing,
and looking round with the blue eyes of gazing innocence."

When the statues of the royal children were executed by Mrs.
Thornycroft, Princess Helena was modelled as Peace. The engraving is a
representation of the graceful piece of sculpture, in which a slender
young girl, wearing a long loose robe and having sandalled feet, holds
the usual emblematic branch and cluster--one in each hand.

As one Princess was born, another of a former generation, whose birth
had been hailed with equal rejoicing, passed away, on the 27th of May,
immediately after the Birthday Drawing-room. Princess Sophia, the
youngest surviving daughter and twelfth child of George III. and Queen
Charlotte, died in her arm-chair in the drawing-room of her house at
Kensington, aged seventy-one. At her own request she was buried at
Kensal Green, where the Duke of Sussex was interred.



CHAPTER IX.


THE QUEEN'S FIRST STAY AT BALMORAL.

From France, in June, came the grievous news of the three days'
fighting in the streets of Paris, because no Government provision
could secure work and bread for the artisans. The insurrection was
only put down by martial law under the Dictator, General Cavaignac.

In Sardinia the King, Charles Albert, fighting gallantly against the
Austrian rule, was defeated once and again, and driven back.

In England, though the most swaggering of the Chartists still
blustered a little, attention could be given to more peaceful
concerns. In July Prince Albert went to York, though he could "ill be
spared" from the Queen's side in those days of startling events and
foreign turmoil, to be present at a meeting of the Royal Agricultural
Society, of which he had been governor for half-a-dozen years. The
acclamations with which the Prince was received, were only the echo of
the tempest of cheers which greeted and encouraged her Majesty every
time she appeared in public this year.

In August strong measures had again to be taken in Ireland. These
included the gathering together of a great military force in the
disturbed districts, and the assemblage of a fleet of war-steamers on
the coast. As in the previous instance, little or no resistance was
offered. In the course of a few days the former leaders, Meagher,
Smith O'Brien, and Mitchel, were arrested. They were brought to trial
in Dublin, convicted of high treason, and sentenced to death--a
sentence commuted into transportation for life.

The Queen had the pleasure of finding her brother, the Prince of
Leiningen, appointed head of the department of foreign affairs in the
short-lived Frankfort assembly of the German states. It showed at
least the respect in which he was held by his countrymen.

On the 5th of September the Queen went in person to prorogue
Parliament, which had sat for ten months. The ceremony took place in
the new House of Lords. There was an unusually large and brilliant
company present on this occasion, partly to admire the "lavish paint
and gilding," the stained-glass windows, with likenesses of kings and
queens, and Dyce's and Maclise's frescoes, partly to enjoy the
emphatically-delivered sentence in the royal speech, in which the
Queen acknowledged, "with grateful feelings, the many marks of loyalty
and attachment which she had received from all classes of her people."

The Queen and the Prince, with three of their children and the suite,
sailed from Woolwich for a new destination in Scotland--a country-
house or little castle, which they had so far made their own, since
the Prince, acting on the advice of Sir James Clark, the Queen's
physician, had acquired the lease from the Earl of Aberdeen.

The royal party were in Aberdeen Harbour at eight o'clock in the
morning of the 7th September. On the 8th Balmoral was reached. The
first impression was altogether agreeable. Her Majesty has described
the place, as it appeared to her, in her Journal. "We arrived at
Balmoral at a quarter to three. It is a pretty little castle in the
old Scottish style. There is a picturesque tower and garden in the
front, with a high wooded hill; at the back there is a wood down to
the _Dee_, and the hills rise all around."

During the first stay of the Court at Balmoral, the Queen has
chronicled the ascent of a mountain. On Saturday, the 16th of
September, as early as half-past nine in the morning, her Majesty and
Prince Albert drove in a postchaise four miles to the bridge in the
wood of Ballochbuie, where ponies and guides awaited them. Macdonald,
a keeper of Farquharson of Invercauld's and afterwards in the service
of the Prince, a tall, handsome man, whom the Queen describes as
"looking like a picture in his shooting-jacket and kilt," and Grant,
the head-keeper at Balmoral, on a pony, with provisions in two
baskets, were the chief attendants.

Through the wood and over moss, heather, and stones, sometimes riding,
sometimes walking; Prince Albert irresistibly attracted to stalk a
deer, in vain; across the stony little burn, where the faithful
Highlanders piloted her Majesty, walking and riding again, when
Macdonald led the bridle of the beast which bore so precious a burden;
the views "very beautiful," but alas! mist on the brow of Loch-na-gar.
Prince Albert making a detour after ptarmigan, leaving the Queen in
the safe keeping of her devoted guides, to whom she refers so kindly
as "taking the greatest care of her." Even "poor Batterbury," the
English groom, who seems to have cut rather a ridiculous figure in his
thin boots and gaiters and non-enjoyment of the expedition, "was very
anxious also" for the well-being of his royal lady, whose tastes must
have struck him as eccentric, to say the least.

The mist intensified the cold when the citadel mountain was reached,
so that it must have been a relief to try a spell of walking once
more, especially as the first part of the way was "soft and easy,"
while the party looked down on the two _lochans_, known as _Na
Nian_. Who that has any knowledge of the mountains cannot recall
the effect of these solitary tarns, like well-eyes in the wilderness,
gleaming in the sunshine, dark in the gloom? The Prince, good
mountaineer as he was, grew glad to remount his pony and let the
docile, sure-footed creature pick its steps through the gathering fog,
which was making the ascent an adventure not free from danger.

Everything not within a hundred yards was hidden. The last and
steepest part of the mountain (three thousand seven hundred and
seventy-seven feet from the sea-level) was accomplished on foot, and
at two o'clock, after four hours' riding and walking, a seat in a
little nook where luncheon could be taken was found; for,
unfortunately, there was no more to be done save to seek rest and
refreshment. There was literally nothing to be seen, in place of the
glorious panorama which a mountain-top in favourable circumstances
presents.

This was that "dark Loch-na-gar" whose "steep frowning glories" Lord
Byron rendered famous, for which he dismissed with scorn, "gay
landscapes and gardens of roses."

No doubt the snowflakes, in corries on the mountain-side, do look
deliciously cool on a hot summer day. But such a drizzling rain as
this was the other side of the picture, which her Majesty, with a
shiver, called "cold, wet, and cheerless." In addition to the rain the
wind began to blow a hurricane, which, after all, in the case of a fog
was about the kindest thing the wind could do, whether or not the
spirits of heroes were in the gale.

At twenty minutes after two the party set out on their descent of the
mountain. The two keepers, moving on as pioneers in the gloom, "looked
like ghosts." When walking became too exhausting, the Queen, "well
wrapped in plaids," was again mounted on her pony, which she declared
"went delightfully," though the mist caused the rider "to feel
cheerless."

In the course of the next couple of hours, after a thousand feet of
the descent had been achieved, by one of those abrupt transitions
which belong to such a landscape, the mist below vanished as if by
magic, and it was again, summer sunshine around.

But the world could not be altogether shut out at Balmoral, and the
echoes which came from afar, this year, were of a sufficiently
disturbing character. Among the most notable, Sir Theodore Martin
mentions the Frankfort riots, in which two members of the German
States Union were assassinated, and the startling death of the
Conservative leader, Lord George Bentinck, who had suddenly exchanged
the _rôle_ of the turf for that of Parliament, and come to the
front during the struggle over the abolition of the Corn Laws.

A third strangely significant omen was the election of Prince Louis
Napoleon, by five different French Departments, as a deputy to the new
French Chamber.

The Court left Balmoral on the 28th of September, stayed one night in
London, and then proceeded for ten days to Osborne. On the return of
the Queen and the Prince to Windsor, on the 9th of October, a sad
accident occurred in their sight. As the yacht was crossing on a misty
and stormy day to Portsmouth, she passed near the frigate
_Grampus_, which had just come back from her station in the
Pacific. In their eagerness to meet their relations among the crew on
board, five unfortunate women had gone out in an open boat rowed by
two watermen, though the foul-weather flag was flying. "A sudden
squall swamped the boat" without attracting the attention of anyone on
board the _Grampus_ or the yacht. But one of the watermen, who
was able to cling to the overturned boat, was seen by the men in a
Custom-house boat, who immediately aroused the indignation of Lord
Adolphus Fitzclarence and his brother-officers by steering, apparently
without any reason, right across the bows of the _Fairy_. Prince
Albert, who was on deck, was the first to discover the cause of the
inexplicable conduct of the men in the Custom-house boat. "He called
out that he saw a man in the water;" the Queen hurried out of her
pavilion, and distinguished a man on what turned out to be the keel of
a boat. "Oh dear! there are more!" cried Prince Albert in horror,
"which quite overcame me," the Queen wrote afterwards. "The royal
yacht was stopped and one of its boats lowered, which picked up three
of the women--one of them alive and clinging to a plank, the others
dead." The storm was violent, and the responsibility of keeping the
yacht exposed to its fury lay with Lord Adolphus. Since nothing
further could be attempted for the victims of their own rashness, he
did not think it right that the yacht should stay for the return of
the boat, as he held the delay unsafe, although both the Queen and the
Prince, with finer instincts, were anxious this should be done. "We
could not stop," wrote her Majesty again, full of pity. "It was a
dreadful moment, too horrid to describe. It is a consolation to think
we were of some use, and also that, even if the yacht had remained,
they could not have done more. Still, we all keep feeling we might,
though I think we could not.... It is a terrible thing, and haunts me
continually."

The Magyar War under Kossuth was raging in Hungary. In the far-away
Punjab the Sikh War, in which Lieutenant Edwardes had borne so gallant
a part in the beginning of the year, was still prolonged, with Mooltan
always the bone of contention.

In October all aristocratic England was excited by the sale of the Art
treasures of Stowe, which lasted for forty days. Mrs. Gaskell made a
fine contribution to literature in her novel of "Mary Barton," in
which genius threw its strong light on Manchester life.

The Queen had a private theatre fitted up this year in the Rubens
Room, Windsor Castle. The first of the _dramatis personae_ in the
best London theatres went down and acted before the Court, giving
revivals of Shakespeare--which it was hoped would improve the taste
for the higher drama--varied by lighter pieces.

On the 24th of November the Queen heard of the death of her former
Minister and counsellor William Lamb, Viscount Melbourne. "Truly and
sincerely," her Majesty wrote in her Journal, "do I deplore the loss
of one who was a most disinterested friend of mine, and most sincerely
attached to me. He was, indeed, for the first two years and a half of
my reign, almost the only friend I had, except Stockmar and Lehzen,
and I used to see him constantly, daily. I thought much and talked
much of him all day."



CHAPTER X.


PUBLIC AND DOMESTIC INTERESTS--FRESH ATTACK UPON THE QUEEN.

The Queen and the Prince were now pledged--alike by principle and
habit--to hard work. They were both early risers, but before her
Majesty joined Prince Albert in their sitting-room, where their
writing-tables stood side by side, we are told he had already, even in
winter, by the light of the green German lamp which he had introduced
into England, prepared many papers to be considered by her Majesty,
and done everything in his power to lighten her labours as a
sovereign.

Lord Campbell describes an audience which he had from the Queen in
February. "I was obliged to make an excursion to Windsor on Saturday,
and have an audience before Prince Albert's lunch. I was with the
Queen in her closet, _solus cum solâ_. But I should first tell
you my difficulty about getting from the station at Slough to the
Castle. When we go down for a council we have a special train and
carriages provided for us. I consulted Morpeth, who answered, 'I can
only tell you how I went last--on the top of an omnibus; but the Queen
was a little shocked.' I asked how she found it out. He said he had
told her himself to amuse her, but that I should be quite _en
règle_ by driving up in a fly or cab. So I drove up in my one horse
conveyance, and the lord-in-waiting announced my arrival to her
Majesty. I was shown into the royal closet, a very small room with one
window, and soon she entered by another door all alone. My business
was the appointment of a sheriff for the County Palatine, which was
soon despatched. We then talked of the state of the finances of the
Duchy, and I ventured to offer her my felicitations on the return of
this auspicious day--her wedding-day. I lunched with the maids of
honour, and got back in time to take a part in very important
deliberations in the Cabinet."

In February, 1849, the Queen opened Parliament in person. Perhaps the
greatest source of anxiety was now the Sikh War, in which the warlike
tribes were gaining advantages over the English troops, though Mooltan
had been reduced the previous month. A drawn battle was fought between
Lord Gough's force and that of Chuttar Singh at Chillianwallah. While
the English were not defeated, their losses in men, guns and standards
were sore and humiliating to the national pride. Sir Charles Napier
was ordered out, and, in spite of bad health, obeyed the order. But in
the meantime Lord Gough had retrieved his losses by winning at
Goojerat a great victory over the Sikhs and Afghans, which in the end
compelled the surrender of the enemy, with the restoration of the
captured guns and standards. On the 29th of March the kingdom of the
Punjaub was proclaimed as existing no longer, and the State was
annexed to British India; while the beneficial influence of Edwardes
and the Lawrences rendered the wild Sikhs more loyal subjects, in a
future time of need, than the trained and petted Sepoy mercenaries
proved themselves.

On the afternoon of the 19th of May, after the Queen had held one of
her most splendid Drawing-rooms, when she was driving in a carriage
with three of her children up Constitution Hill, she was again fired
at by a man standing within the railings of the Green Park. Prince
Albert was on horseback, so far in advance that he did not know what
had occurred, till told of it by the Queen when he assisted her to
alight. But her Majesty did not lose her perfect self-possession. She
stood up, motioned to the coachman, who had stopped the carriage for
an instant, to go on, and then diverted the children's attention by
talking to them. The man who had fired was immediately arrested.
Indeed, he would have been violently assaulted by the mob, had he not
been protected by the police. He proved to be an Irishman, named
Hamilton, from Limerick, who had come over from Ireland five years
before, and worked as a bricklayer's labourer and a navvy both in
England and France. Latterly he had been earning a scanty livelihood
by doing chance jobs. There was this to distinguish him from the other
dastardly assailants of the Queen: he was not a half-crazed, morbidly
conceited boy, though he also had no conceivable motive for what he
did. He appears to have taken his measures, in providing himself with
pistol and powder, from a mere impulse of stolid brutality. His pistol
contained no ball, so that he was tried under the Felon's Act, which
had been provided for such offences, and sentenced to seven years'
transportation.

The education of their children was a subject of much thought and care
to the Queen and Prince Albert. Her Majesty wrote various memoranda on
the question which was of such interest to her. Some of these are
preserved in the life of the Prince Consort. She started with the wise
maxim, "that the children should be brought up as simply and in as
domestic a way as possible; that (not interfering with their lessons)
they should be as much as possible with their parents, and learn to
place their greatest confidence in them in all things." She dwelt upon
a religious training, and held strongly the conviction that "it is
best given to a child, day by day, at its mother's knee." It was a
matter of tender regret to the Queen when "the pressure of public
duty" prevented her from holding this part of her children's education
entirely in her own keeping. "It is already a hard case for me," was
the pathetic reflection of the young mother in reference to the
childhood of the Princess Royal, "that my occupations prevent me being
with her when she says her prayers." At the same time the Queen and
the Prince had strong opinions on the religious training which ought
to be given to their children, and strove to have them carried out.
The Queen wrote, still of the Princess Royal, "I am quite clear that
she should be taught to have great reverence for God and for religion,
but that she should have the feelings of devotion and love which our
Heavenly Father encourages His earthly children to have for Him, and
not one of fear and trembling; and that the thoughts of death and an
after life should not be represented in an alarming and forbidding
view, and that she should be made to know _as yet_ no difference
of creeds, and not think that she can only pray on her knees, or that
those who do not kneel are less fervent and devout in their prayers."

Surely these truly reverent, just, and liberal sentiments on the
religion to be imparted to young children must recommend themselves to
all earnest, thoughtful parents.

In the accompanying engraving the girl-Princesses, Helena and Louise,
who are represented wearing lilies in the breasts of their frocks,
look like sister-lilies--as fresh, pure, and sweet.

In 1849 Mr. Birch, who had been head boy at Eton, taken high honours
at Cambridge, and acted as one of the under masters at Eton, was
appointed tutor to the Prince of Wales when the Prince was eight years
of age.



CHAPTER XI.


THE QUEEN'S FIRST VISIT TO IRELAND.

Parliament was prorogued by commission, and the Queen and the Prince,
with their four children, sailed on the 1st of August for Ireland.
Lady Lyttelton watching the departing squadron from the windows of
Osborne, wrote with something like dramatic emphasis, "It is done,
England's fate is afloat; we are left lamenting. They hope to reach
Cork to-morrow evening, the wind having gone down and the sky cleared,
the usual weather compliment to the Queen's departure."

The voyage was quick but not very pleasant, from the great swell in
the sea. At nine o'clock, on the morning of the 2nd, Land's End was
passed, and at eight o'clock in the evening the Cove of Cork was so
near that the bonfires on the hill and the showers of rockets from the
ships in the harbour to welcome the travellers, were distinctly
visible. Unfortunately the next day was gray and "muggy"--a quality
which the Queen had been told was characteristic of the Irish climate.
The saluting from the various ships sent a roar through the thick air.
The large harbour with its different islands--one of them containing a
convict prison, another a military depot--looked less cheerful than it
might have done. The captains of the war-steamers came on board to pay
their respects; so did the Lord-Lieutenant, Lord Bandon, and the
commanders of the forces at Cork. Prince Albert landed, but the Queen
wrote and sketched till after luncheon. The delay was lucky, for the
sun broke out with splendour in the afternoon. The _Fairy_, with
its royal freight, surrounded by rowing and sailing boats, went round
the harbour, all the ships saluting, and then entered Cove, and lay
alongside the gaily-decorated crowded pier. The members, for Cork, the
clergymen of all denominations, and the yacht club presented
addresses, "after which," wrote the Queen, "to give the people the
satisfaction of calling the place 'Queenstown,' in honour of its being
the first spot on which I set foot upon Irish ground, I stepped on
shore amid the roar of cannon (for the artillery was placed so close
as quite to shake the temporary room which we entered), and the
enthusiastic shouts of the people.".

The _Fairy_ lay alongside the pier of Cork proper, and the Queen
received more deputations and addresses, and conferred the honour of
knighthood on the Lord Mayor. The two judges, who were holding their
courts, came on board in their robes.

Then her Majesty landed and entered Lord Bandon's carriage,
accompanied by Prince Albert and her ladies, Lord Bandon and General
Turner riding one on each side. The Mayor went in front, and many
people in carriages and on horseback joined the royal cortege, which
took two hours in passing through the densely-crowded streets and
under the triumphal arches. Everything went well and the reception was
jubilant. To her Majesty Cork looked more like a foreign than an
English town. She was struck by the noisy but good-natured crowd, the
men very "poorly, often-raggedly, dressed," many wearing blue coats
and knee-breeches with blue stockings. The beauty of the women
impressed her, "such beautiful dark eyes and hair, and such fine
teeth; almost every third woman was pretty, and some remarkably so.
They wear no bonnets, and generally long blue cloaks."

Re-embarking at Cork, the visitors sailed to Waterford, arriving in
the course of the afternoon.

The travellers sailed again at half-past eight in the morning, having
at first a rough passage, with its usual unacceptable accompaniment of
sea-sickness, but near Wexford the sea became gradually smooth, and
there was a fine evening. At half-past six Dublin Bay came in sight.
The war-steamers, four in number, waiting for her Majesty, were at
their post. Escorted by this squadron, the yacht "steamed slowly and
majestically" into Kingstown Harbour, which was full of ships, while
the quays were lined with thousands of spectators cheering lustily.
The sun was setting as this stately "procession of boats" entered the
harbour, and her Majesty describes in her Journal "the glowing light"
which lit up the surrounding country and the fine buildings,
increasing the beauty of the scene.

Next morning, while the royal party were at breakfast, the yacht was
brought up to the wharf lined with troops. The Lord-Lieutenant, Lord
Clarendon, and Lady Clarendon, Prince George of Cambridge, Lords
Lansdowne and Clanricarde, the Archbishop of Dublin, &c. &c., came on
board, an address was presented from the county by the Earl of
Charlemont, to which a written reply was given. At ten Lord Clarendon,
bowing low, stepped before the Queen on the gangway, Prince Albert led
her Majesty on shore, the youthful princes and princesses and the rest
of the company following, the ships saluting so that the very ground
shook with the heavy 68-pounders, the bands playing, the guard of
honour presenting arms, the multitude huzzaing, the royal standard
floating out on the breeze.

Along a covered way, lined with ladies and gentlemen, and strewn with
flowers, the Queen proceeded to the railway station, and after a
quarter of an hour's journey reached Dublin, where she was met by her
own carriages, with the postillions in the Ascot liveries.

The Queen and Prince Albert, the Prince of Wales and the Princess
Royal, occupied one carriage, Prince Alfred and Princess Alice, with
the ladies-in-waiting, another. The Commander-in-chief of the soldiers
in Ireland, Sir Edward Blakeney, rode on one side of the Queen's
carriage, Prince George of Cambridge on the other, followed by a
brilliant staff and escort of soldiers. "At the entrance of the city a
triumphal arch of great size and beauty had been erected, under which
the civic authorities--Lord Mayor, town-clerk, swordbearer, &c. &c.--
waited on their sovereign." The Lord Mayor presented the keys and her
Majesty returned them. "It was a wonderful and stirring scene," she
described her progress in her Journal; "such masses of human beings,
so enthusiastic, so excited, yet such perfect order maintained. Then
the number of troops, the different bands stationed at certain
distances, the waving of hats and handkerchiefs, the bursts of welcome
that rent the air, all made it a never-to-be-forgotten scene when one
reflected how lately the country had been under martial law."

The Queen admired Dublin heartily, and gave to Sackville Street and
Merrion Square their due meed of praise. At the last triumphal arch a
pretty little allegory, like a bit of an ancient masque, was enacted.
Amidst the heat and dust a dove, "alive and very tame, with an olive-
branch round its neck," was let down into the Queen's lap.

The viceregal lodge was reached at noon, and the Queen was received by
Lord and Lady Clarendon and their household.

On the 7th of August, a showery day, the Queen drove into Dublin with
her ladies, followed by the gentlemen, but with no other escort. Her
Majesty was loudly cheered as she proceeded to the bank, the old
Parliament House before the Union, where Curran and Grattan and many a
"Monk of the Screw" had debated, "Bloody Toler" had aroused the rage
of the populace, and Castlereagh had looked down icy cold on the
burning commotion. The famous Dublin schools were next visited. Their
excellent system of education and liberal tolerant code delighted the
Prince. At Trinity College, with its memories of Dean Swift and
"Charley O'Malley," the Queen and the Prince wrote their names in St.
Columba's book, and inspected the harp said to have belonged to "King
O'Brian." After their return to the lodge, when luncheon had been
taken, and Prince Albert went into Dublin again, the Queen refreshed
herself with a bit of home life. She wrote and read, and heard her
children say some of their lessons.

At five the Queen drove to Kilmainham Hospital, Lord Clarendon
accompanying her and her ladies, while the Prince and the other
gentlemen rode. The Irish Commander-in-chief and Prince George
received her Majesty, who saw and no doubt cheered the hearts of the
old pensioners, going into their chapel, hall, and governor's room.
Afterwards she drove again into Dublin, through the older quarters,
College Green--where Mrs. Delany lived when she was yet Mrs. Pendarvis
and the belle of the town, and where there still stands the well-
known, often maltreated statue of William III., Stephen's Green, &c.
&c. The crowds were still tremendous.

On the 8th of August, before one o'clock, the Queen and her ladies in
evening dress, and Prince Albert and the gentlemen in uniform, drove
straight to the castle, where there was to be a levee the same as at
St. James's. Her Majesty, seated on the throne, received numerous
addresses--those of the Lord Mayor and corporation, the universities,
the Archbishop and bishops (Protestant and Catholic), the different
Presbyterians, and the Quakers. No fewer than two thousand
presentations took place, the levee lasting till six o'clock--some
five hours.

On the following day there was a review of upwards of six thousand
soldiers and police in the Phoenix Park.

The Queen and the Prince dined alone, but in the course of the evening
they drove again into Dublin, to the castle, that she might hold a
Drawing-room. Two or three thousand people were there; one thousand
six hundred ladies were presented. Then her Majesty walked through St.
Patrick's Hall and the other crowded rooms, returning through the
densely-filled, illuminated streets, and the Phoenix Park after
midnight.

On the 10th of August, the Queen had a little respite from public
duties in a private pleasure. She and Prince Albert, in company with
Lord and Lady Clarendon and the different members of the suite, went
on a short visit to Carton, the seat of "Ireland's only Duke," the
Duke of Leinster. The party passed through Woodlands, with its
"beautiful lime-trees," and encountered a number of Maynooth students
near their preparatory college. At Carton the Queen was received by
the Duke and Duchess and their eldest son, the Marquis of Kildare,
with his young wife, Lady Caroline Leveson-Gower, one of the daughters
of the Duchess of Sutherland. All the company walked, to the music of
two bands, in the pretty quaint garden with its rows of Irish yews.
Was it the same in 1798, when a son of the Leinster house, after
thinking to be a king, was hunted down in a poor Dublin lodging,
fought like a lion for his life, was taken a wounded prisoner to the
castle, and then to Newgate to die?

The Duke led the Queen round the garden, while Prince Albert conducted
the Duchess. Her Majesty wrote warmly of her host that "he was one of
the kindest and best of men." After luncheon the country people danced
jigs in the park, the men in their thick coats, the women in their
shawls; one man, "a regular Irishman, with his hat on, one ear," the
music furnished by three old and tattered pipers. Her Majesty
pronounced the steps of the dancers "very droll."

The Duke and Duchess took their guests a drive, the people riding,
running, and driving with the company, but continuing perfectly well-
behaved, and ready to obey any word of the Duke's. It must have been a
curious scene, in which all ranks took part. The Queen could not get
over the spectacle of the countrymen running the whole way, in their
thick woollen coats, in the heat.

On the Queen's departure from Kingstown she was followed by the same
enthusiasm that had greeted her on her arrival. "As the yacht approached
the extremity of the pier near the lighthouse, where the people were
most thickly congregated and were cheering enthusiastically, the Queen
suddenly left the two ladies-in-waiting with whom she was conversing,
ran with agility along the deck, and climbed the paddle-box to join
Prince Albert, who did not notice her till she was nearly at his side.
Reaching him and taking his arm, she waved her right hand to the people
on the piers." As she stood with the Prince while the yacht steamed out
of the harbour, she waved her handkerchief in "a parting acknowledgment"
of her Irish subjects' loyalty. As another compliment to the
enthusiastic farewells of the people, the Queen gave orders "to slacken
speed." The paddlewheels became still, the yacht floated slowly along
close to the pier, and three times the royal standard was lowered by way
of "a stately obeisance" made in response to the last ringing cheers of
the Irish. Lord Clarendon wrote afterwards, that "there was not an
individual in Dublin who did not take as a personal compliment to
himself the Queen's having gone upon the paddle-box and ordered the
royal standard to be lowered three times." It was a happy thought of her
own.

The weather was thick and misty, and the storm which was feared came
on in a violent gale before the yacht entered Belfast Harbour, early
on the morning of the 11th of August. The Mayor and other officials
came on board to breakfast, and in the course of the forenoon the
Queen and the Prince, with the ladies and gentlemen in attendance,
entered the barge to row to the _Fairy_. Though the row was only
of two minutes' duration, the swell on the water was so great that the
embarkation in the _Fairy_ was a matter of difficulty; and when
the smaller yacht was gained the Queen had to take shelter in the
pavilion from the driving spray. In such unpropitious circumstances
her Majesty passed Carrickfergus, the landing-place of William III.,
and arrived at the capital of Ulster just as the sun came out and lent
its much-desired presence to the gala. Lord Londonderry and his wife
and daughters, Lord Donegal, the proprietor of the greater part of
Ulster, &c. &c., came on board with various deputations, especially of
Presbyterians and members of the linen trade. The Queen knighted the
mayor, as she had knighted his brother-magistrate at Cork.

By an odd blunder the gangway, which had been carefully constructed
for the Queen's use, was found too large. Some planks on board the
yacht had to form an impromptu landing-stage; but the situation was
not so awkward as when Louis Philippe had to press a bathing-machine
into the royal service at Tréport. The landing-place was covered in
and decorated, the Londonderry carriage in waiting, and her Majesty's
only regret was for Lord Londonderry, a big man, crowded on the rumble
along with specially tall and large sergeant-footmen.

The Scotch-descended people of Belfast had outdone themselves in
floral arches and decorations. The galleries for spectators were
thronged. There was no stint in the honest warmth of the reception.
But the Irish beauty, and doubtless also something of the Irish spirit
and glee, had vanished with the rags and the tumbledown cabins. The
douce, comfortable people of Ulster were less picturesque and less
demonstrative.

Linen Hall, the Botanic Gardens, and the new college were visited, and
different streets driven through in returning to the place of
embarkation at half-past six on an evening so stormy that the weather
prevented the yacht from setting sail. As it lay at anchor there was
an opportunity for seeing the bonfires, streaming in the blast, on the
neighbouring heights.

Before quitting Ireland the Queen determined to create her eldest son
"Earl of Dublin," one of the titles borne by the late Duke of Kent.



CHAPTER XII.


SCOTLAND AGAIN--GLASGOW AND DEE-SIDE.

In the course of the afternoon the yacht sailed for Loch Ryan. The
object of this second visit to the West of Scotland was not so much
for the purpose of seeing again the beautiful scenery which had so
delighted the Queen and the Prince, as with the view of making up for
the great disappointment experienced by the townspeople of Glasgow on
her Majesty's having failed to visit what was, after London, one of
the largest cities in her empire.

The weather was persistently bad this time, squally and disagreeable.
On August 15th the _Fairy_, with the Queen and Prince on board,
sailed for Glasgow, still in pouring rain and a high wind. The storm
did not prevent the people from so lining the banks that the swell
from the steamer often broke upon them. Happily the weather cleared at
last, and the day was fine when the landing-place was reached. As
usual, the Lord Provost came on board and received the honour of
knighthood, after he had presented one of the many addresses offered
by the town, the county, the clergy of all denominations, and the
House of Commerce. The Queen landed, with the Prince and all the
children that had accompanied her. Sheriff Alison rode on one side of
her carriage, the general commanding the forces in Scotland on the
other. The crowd was immense, numbering as many as five hundred
thousand men, women, and children. The Queen admired the streets, the
fine buildings, the quays, the churches. At the cathedral she was
received by a man who seemed as venerable as the building itself,
Principal MacFarlane. He called her Majesty's attention to what was
then the highest chimney in the world, that of the chemical works of
St. Rollax. The inspection of the fine cathedral, which the old
Protestants of the west protected instead of pulling down, included
the crypt. The travellers proceeded by railway to Stirling and Perth.

Early on the morning of the 15th the party started, the Queen having
three of the children in the carriage with herself and the Prince, on
the long drive through beautiful Highland scenery to Balmoral.

This year her Majesty made her first stay at Alt-na-guithasach, the
hut or bothie of "old John Gordon," the situation of which had taken
her fancy and that of the Prince. They had another hut built for
themselves in the immediate vicinity, so that they could at any time
spend a day or a couple of days in the wilds, with a single lady-in-
waiting and the most limited of suites. On the 30th of August the
Queen, the Prince, and the Honourable Caroline Dawson, maid of honour,
set out on their ponies, attended only by Macdonald, Grant, another
Highlander, and an English footman. The rough road had been improved,
and riding was so easy that Prince Albert could practise his Gaelic by
the way.

The Queen was much pleased with her new possession, which meant "a
charming little dining-room, sitting-room, bedroom, and dressing-room
all _en suite_; a little bedroom for Miss Dawson and one for her
maid, and a pantry." In the other hut were the kitchen where the
Gordon family sat, a room where the servants dined, a storeroom, and a
loft where the men slept. All the people in attendance on the small
party were the Queen's maid, Miss Dawson's maid, Prince Albert's
German valet, a footman, and Macdonald, together with the old couple,
John Gordon and his wife. After luncheon the visitors went to Loch
Muich--a name which has been interpreted "darkness" or "sorrow"--and
got into a large boat with four rowers, while a smaller boat followed,
having a net. The excursion was to the head of the loch, which joins
the _Dhu_ or Black Loch. "Real severe Highland scenery," her
Majesty calls it, and to those who know the stern sublimity of such
places, the words say a great deal. "The boat, the net, and the people
in their kilts in the water and on the shore," called for an artist's
pencil. Seventy trouts were caught, and several hawks were seen. The
sailing was diversified by scrambling on shore. The return in the
evening was still more beautiful. At dinner the German valet and
Macdonald, the Highland forester, helped the footman to wait on the
company. Whist, played with a dummy, and a walk round the little
garden, "where the silence and solitude, only interrupted by the
waving of the fir-trees, were very striking," ended the day.

The Queen and her family left Balmoral on the 27th. Travelling by
Edinburgh and Berwick, they visited Earl Grey at Howick. Derby was the
next halting-place. At Reading the travellers turned aside for
Gosport, and soon arrived at Osborne.

Already, on the 16th of September, a special prayer had been read in
every church in England, petitioning Almighty God to stay the plague
of cholera which had sprung up in the East, travelled across the seas,
and broken out among the people. But the dreaded epidemic had nothing
to do with the sad news which burst upon the Queen and Prince Albert
within, a few days of their return to the south. Both were much
distressed by receiving the unexpected intelligence of the sudden
death of Mr. Anson, who had been the Prince's private secretary, and
latterly the keeper of the Queen's privy purse.

The offices which Mr. Anson filled in succession were afterwards
worthily held by Colonel Phipps and General Grey.



CHAPTER XIII.


OPENING OF THE NEW COAL EXCHANGE--THE DEATH OF QUEEN ADELAIDE.

On the 30th of October the new Coal Exchange, opposite Billingsgate,
was to have been opened by the Queen in person. A slight illness--an
attack of chicken-pox--compelled her Majesty to give up her
intention, and forego the motherly pleasure of seeing her two elder
children, the Prince of Wales and the Princess Royal, make their first
appearance in public. Prince Albert, with his son and daughter,
accompanied by the Duke of Norfolk as Master of the Horse, drove from
Buckingham Palace at twelve o'clock, and embarked on the Thames in the
royal barge, "a gorgeous structure of antique design, built for
Frederic, Prince of Wales, the great-great-grandfather of the Prince
and Princess who now trod its deck." It was rowed by twenty-seven of
the ancient craft of watermen, restored for a day to the royal
service, clad in rich livery for the occasion, and commanded by Lord
Adolphus Fitzclarence. Commander Eden, superintendent of Woolwich
Dockyard, led the van in his barge. Then came Vice-Admiral Elliot,
Commander-in-chief at the Nore; next the Lord Mayor's bailiff in his
craft, preceding the Lord Mayor in the City barge, "rearing its quaint
gilded poop high in the air, and decked with richly emblazoned devices
and floating ensigns.... Two royal gigs and two royal barges escorted
the State barge, posted respectively on its port and starboard bow,
and its port and starboard quarter. The Queen's shallop followed; the
barges of the Admiralty and the Trinity Corporation barge brought up
the rear." [Footnote: Annual Register.] According to ancient custom
one barge bore a graceful freight of living swans to do honour to the
water procession. Such a grand and gay pageant on the river had not
been seen for a century back. It only wanted some of the "water
music," which Handel composed for George II., to render the gala
complete.

It would be difficult to devise a scene more captivating for children
of nine and ten, such as the pair who figured in it. Happily the day,
though it was nearly the last of October, was beautiful and bright,
and from the position which the royal party occupied in their barge
when it was in the middle of the river, "not only the other barges and
the platformed steamers and lighters with their living loads, but the
densely-crowded banks, must have formed a memorable spectacle. The
very streets running down from the Strand were so packed with
spectators as to present each one a moving mass. Half a million of
persons were gathered together to witness the unwonted sight; the
bridges were hung over with them like swarms of flies, and from the
throng at intervals shouts of welcome sounded long and loud." Between
Southwark and London Bridge the rowers lay on their oars for a moment,
in compliment to the ardent loyalty of the scholars of Queen
Elizabeth's Grammar School. The most picturesque point was "at the
moment the vessels emerged from London Bridge and caught sight of the
amphitheatre of shipping in the Upper Pool--a literal forest of masts,
with a foliage of flags more variously and brilliantly coloured than
the American woods after the first autumn frost. Here, too, the ear
was first saluted by the boom of guns, the Tower artillery firing as
the procession swept by."

The landing-place on the Custom House Quay was so arranged, by means
of coloured canvas, as to form a covered corridor the whole length of
the quay, to and across Thames Street, to the principal entrance to
the Coal Exchange.

Prince Albert and the young Prince and Princess passed down the
corridor, "bowing to the citizens on either side," a critical ordeal
for the simply reared children. When the Grand Hall of the Exchange
was reached, the City procession came up, headed by the Lord Mayor,
and the Recorder read aloud an address "with such emphatic solemnity,"
it was remarked, that the Prince of Wales seemed "struck and almost
awed by his manner." Lady Lyttelton takes notice of the same comical
effect produced on the little boy. Prince Albert replied.

At two o'clock the _déjeuner_ was served, when the Lord Mayor and
the Lady Mayoress, at Prince Albert's request, sat near him. The usual
toasts were given; the health of the Queen was drunk with "loudest
cheers," that of the Queen-Dowager with "evident feeling," called
forth by the fact that King William's good Queen, who had for long
years struggled vainly with mortal disease, was, as everybody knew,
drawing near her end. The toast of the Prince of Wales and the
Princess Royal was received with an enthusiasm that must have tended
at once to elate and abash the little hero and heroine of the day.

At three o'clock the royal party re-embarked in the _Fairy_. As
Prince Albert stepped on board, while expressing his gratification
with the whole proceedings, he said to his children, with the
gracious, kindly tact which was natural to him, "Remember that you are
indebted to the Lord Mayor for one of the happiest days of your
lives."

Before December wound up the year it was generally known that the
Queen-Dowager Adelaide, who had in her day occupied a prominent place
in the eyes of the nation, was to be released from the sufferings of
many years.

In November Queen Victoria paid her last visit to the Queen-Dowager.
"I shall never forget the visit we paid to the Priory last Thursday,",
the Queen wrote to King Leopold. "There was death written in that dear
face. It was such a picture of misery, of complete prostration, and
yet she talked of everything. I could hardly command my feelings when
I came in, and when I kissed twice that poor dear thin hand.... I love
her so dearly; she has ever been so maternal in her affection to me.
She will find peace and a reward for her many sufferings."

Queen Adelaide died quietly on the 2nd of December, at her country
seat of Bentley Priory, in the fifty-eighth year of her age. Her will,
which reflected her genuine modesty and humility, requested that she
should be conveyed to the grave "without any pomp or state;" that she
should have as private a funeral as was consistent with her rank;
that her coffin should be "carried by sailors to the chapel;" that,
finally, she should give as little trouble as possible.

The Queen-Dowager's wishes were strictly adhered to. There was no
embalming, lying in State, or torchlight procession. The funeral
started from the Priory at eight o'clock on a winter morning, and
reached Windsor an hour after noon. There was every token of respect
and affection, but an entire absence of show and ostentation. Nobody
was admitted to St. George's Chapel except the mourners and those
officially connected with the funeral. Few even of the Knights of the
Garter were present. Among the few was the old Duke of Wellington,
sitting silent and sad; Prince Albert and the Duke of Cambridge also
occupied their stalls. The Duchess of Kent and the Duchess of
Cambridge, with the Duchess of Saxe-Weimar and two Princesses of Saxe-
Weimar, the late Queen's sister and nieces, were in the Queen's
closet.

The Archbishop of Canterbury officiated. Ten sailors of the Royal Navy
"gently propelled" the platform on which the coffin was placed to the
mouth of the vault. Among the supporters of the pall were Lord
Adolphus and Lord Frederick Fitzclarence. The chief mourner was the
Duchess of Norfolk. Prince George of Cambridge and Prince Edward and
Prince Gustaf of Saxe-Weimar, nephews of the late Queen, followed.
Then came the gentlemen and ladies of her household. All the gentlemen
taking part in the funeral were in plain black with black scarfs; each
lady had a large black veil over her head.

After the usual psalms and lessons, Handel's anthem, "Her body is
buried in peace," was sung. The black velvet pall was removed and the
crown placed on the coffin, which, at the appropriate time in the
service, was lowered to the side of King William's coffin. Sir Charles
Young, King-at-Arms, proclaimed the rank and titles of the deceased.
The late Queen's chamberlain and vice-chamberlain broke their staves
of office amidst profound silence, and kneeling, deposited them upon
the coffin. The organ played the "Dead March in Saul," and the company
retired.

Long years after Queen Adelaide had lain in her grave, the publication
of an old diary revived some foul-mouthed slanders, which no one is
too pure to escape. But the coarse malice and gross falsehood of the
accusations were so evident, that their sole result was to rebound
with fatal effect on the memory of the man who retailed them.



CHAPTER XIV.


PREPARATION FOR THE EXHIBITION--BIRTH OF THE DUKE OF CONNAUGHT--THE
BLOW DEALT BY FATE--FOREIGN TROUBLES--ENGLISH ART.

The first great public meeting in the interest of the Exhibition was
held in London in the February of this year, and on the 21st of March
a banquet was given at the Mansion House to promote the same cause.
Prince Albert was present, with the ministers and foreign ambassadors;
and the mayors and provosts of all the principal towns in the United
Kingdom were also among the guests. The Prince delivered an admirable
speech to explain his view of the Exhibition.

It was at this time that the Duke of Wellington made the gratifying
proposal that the Prince should succeed him as Commander-in-chief of
the army, urging the suggestion by every argument in his power, and
offering to supply the Prince with all the information and guidance
which the old soldier's experience could command. After some quiet
consideration the Prince declined the proposal, chiefly on the ground
that the many claims which the high office would necessarily make on
his time and attention, must interfere with his other and still more
binding duties to the Queen and the country.

On May-day, 1850, her Majesty's third son and seventh child was born.
The Prince, in announcing the event to the Dowager-Duchess of Coburg,
says: "The little boy was received by his sisters with _jubilates_. 'Now
we are just as many as the days of the week,' was the cry, and then a
bit of a struggle arose as to who was to be Sunday. Out of well-bred
courtesy the honour was conceded to the new-comer."

The circumstance that the 1st of May was the birthday of the Duke of
Wellington determined the child's name, and perhaps, in a measure, his
future profession. The Queen and the Prince were both so pleased to
show this crowning mark of friendship from a sovereign to a subject,
that they did not allow the day to pass without intimating their
intention to the Duke. "It is a singular thing," the Queen wrote to
Baron Stockmar, "that this so much wished-for boy should be born on
the old Duke's eighty-first birthday. May that, and his beloved
father's name, bring the poor little infant happiness and good
fortune!"

An amusing episode of the Queen's visit to Ireland had been the
passionate appeal of an old Irishwoman, "Och, Queen, dear! make one of
them Prince Patrick, and all Ireland will die for you!" Whether or not
her Majesty remembered the fervent request, Prince Arthur had Patrick
for one of his names, certainly in memory of Ireland, and William for
another, partly in honour of one of his godfathers--the present
Emperor of Germany--and partly because it would have pleased Queen
Adelaide, whose sister, Duchess Ida of Saxe-Weimar, was godmother.
Prince Albert's name wound up the others. The child was baptized on
the 22nd of June at Buckingham Palace. The two godfathers were
present; so were the Duchesses of Kent and Cambridge (the Duke of
Cambridge lay ill), Prince George and Princess Mary of Cambridge, the
Prince of Leiningen, and Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar, the ministers
and foreign ambassadors. The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishops of
London and Oxford, &c. &c., officiated. Prince Albert's chorale, "In
life's gay morn," was performed again. After the christening there was
a State banquet in the picture gallery. Prince Arthur was the finest
of all the Queen's babies, and the royal nurseries still retain
memories of his childish graces.

Before the ceremony of the christening, and within a month of the
birth of her child, her Majesty was subjected to one of the most
wanton and cowardly of all the attacks which half-crazed brains
prompted their owners to make upon her person. She had driven out
about six o'clock in the evening, with her children and Lady Jocelyn,
to inquire for her uncle, the Duke of Cambridge, who was suffering
from his last illness. While she was within the gates of Cambridge
House, a tall, gentlemanlike man loitered at the entrance, as it
appeared with the by no means uncommon wish to see the Queen. But when
her carriage drove out, while it was leisurely turning the corner into
the road, the man started forward, and, with a small stick which he
held, struck the Queen a sharp blow on the face, crushing the bonnet
she wore, and inflicting a severe bruise and slight wound on the
forehead. The fellow was instantly seized and the stick wrested from
his grasp, while he was conveyed to the nearest police-station.

The Queen drove home, and was able to show herself the same evening at
the Opera, where she was received with the singing of the National
Anthem and great cheering.

The offender was neither a boy nor of humble rank. He proved to be a
man of thirty--a gentleman by birth and education.

The Prince wrote of the miserable occurrence to Baron Stockmar that
its perpetrator was a dandy "whom you must often have seen in the
Park, where he has made himself conspicuous. He maintains the closest
silence as to his motives, but is manifestly deranged. All this does
not help to make one cheerful."

The man was the son of a gentleman named Pate, of wealth and position,
who had acted as sheriff of Cambridgeshire. The son had had a
commission in the army, from which he had been requested to retire, on
account of an amount of eccentricity that had led at least to one
serious breach of discipline. He could give no reason for his conduct
beyond making the statement that he had acted on a sudden
uncontrollable impulse. He was tried in the following July. The jury
refused to accept the plea of insanity, and he was sentenced, like his
predecessor, to seven years' transportation.

At the date of the attack the minds of the Queen and the Prince, and
indeed of a large portion of the civilised world, were much occupied
with a serious foreign embroilment into which the Government had been
drawn by what many people considered the restless and interfering
policy of Lord Palmerston, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
He had gone so far as to send a fleet into Greek waters for the
protection of two British subjects claiming assistance, and in the act
he had offended France and Russia.

Much political excitement was aroused, and there were keen and
protracted debates in both Houses of Parliament. In the House of Lords
something like a vote of censure of the foreign policy of the
Government was moved and carried. In the House of Commons the debate
lasted five nights, and the fine speech in which Lord Palmerston, a
man in his sixty-sixth year, defended his policy, was continued "from
the dusk of one day to the dawn of the next."

Apart from these troubles abroad, the country, on the whole, was in a
prosperous and satisfactory condition. Trade was flourishing. Neither
had literature fallen behind. Perhaps it had rarely shown a more
brilliant galaxy of contemporary names, including those of John Stuart
Mill in logic, Herbert Spencer in philosophy, Charles Darwin in
natural science, Ruskin in art criticism, Helps as an essayist. And in
this year Tennyson brought out his "In Memoriam," and Kingsley his
"Alton Lock". It seemed but natural that the earlier lights should be
dying out before the later; that Lord Jeffrey, the old king of
critics, should pass beyond the sound of reviews; and Wordsworth,
after this spring, be seen no more among the Cumberland hills and
dales; and Jane Porter, whose innocent high-flown romances had been
the delight of the young reading world more than fifty years before,
should end her days, a cheerful old lady, in the prosaic town of
Bristol.

In the Academy's annual exhibition the same old names of Landseer
(with his popular picture of the Duke of Wellington showing his
daughter-in-law, Lady Douro, the field of Waterloo), Maclise,
Mulready, Stanfield, &c. &c., came still to the front. But a new
movement, having a foreign origin, though in this case an English
development, known as the pre-Raphaelite theory, with Millais, Holman
Hunt, and Rossetti as its leaders, was already at work. This year
there was a picture by Millais--still a lad of twenty-one--in support
of the protest against conventionality in the beautiful, which did not
fail to attract attention, though it excited as much condemnation as
praise. The picture was "Christ in the House of His Parents," better
known as "The Carpenter's Shop."



CHAPTER XV.


THE DEATHS OF SIR ROBERT PEEL, THE DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE, AND LOUIS
PHILIPPE.

The Court had been at Osborne for the Whitsun holidays, and the Prince
had written to Germany, "In our island home we are wholly given up to
the enjoyment of the warm summer weather. The children catch
butterflies, Victoria sits under the trees, and I drink the Kissingen
water, Ragotzky. To-day mamma-aunt (the Duchess of Kent) and Charles
(Prince of Leiningen) are come to stay a fortnight with us; then we go
to town to compress the (so-called) pleasures of the season into four
weeks. God be merciful to us miserable sinners."

There was more to be encountered in town this year, than the hackneyed
round of gaieties--from which even royalty, with all the will in the
world, could not altogether free itself. The first shock was the
violent opposition, got up alike by the press and in Parliament, to
Hyde Park as the site of the building required for the Exhibition.
Following hard upon it came the melancholy news of the accident to
Sir Robert Peel, which occurred at the very door, so simply and yet so
fatally. Sir Robert, who, was riding out on Saturday, the 29th of
June, had just called at Buckingham Palace and written his name in her
Majesty's visiting-book. He was going up Constitution Hill, and had
reached the wicket-gate leading into the Green Park, when he met Miss
Ellis, Lady Dover's daughter, with whom he was acquainted, also
riding. Sir Robert exchanged greetings with the young lady, and his
horse became restive, "swerved towards the rails of the Green Park,"
and threw its rider, who had a bad seat in the saddle, sideways on his
left shoulder. It was supposed that Sir Robert held by the reins, so
as to drag the animal down with its knees on his shoulder.

He was taken home in a carriage, and laid on a sofa in his dining-
room, from which he was never moved. At his death he was in his sixty-
third year.

The vote of the House of Commons settled the question that Hyde Park
should be the site of the Exhibition, and _Punch_'s caricature,
which the Prince enjoyed, of Prince Albert as "The Industrious Boy,"
cap in hand, uttering the petition--

  "Pity the troubles of a poor young Price,
  Whose costly scheme has borne him to your door,"

lost all its sting, when such a fund was guaranteed as warranted the
raising of the structure according to Sir Joseph Paxton's beautiful
design.

The Queen and the Prince had many calls on their sympathy this summer.
On the 8th of July the Duke of Cambridge died, aged seventy-six. He
was the youngest of George III and Queen Charlotte's sons who attained
manhood. He was one of the most popular of the royal brothers,
notwithstanding the disadvantages of having been educated partly
abroad, taken foreign service, and held appointments in Hanover which
caused him to reside there for the most part till the death of William
IV. Neither was he possessed of much ability. He had not even the
scientific and literary acquirements of the Duke of Sussex, who had
possessed one of the best private libraries in England. But the Duke
of Cambridge's good-nature was equal to his love of asking questions--
a hereditary trait. He was buried, according to his own wish, at Kew.

The House of Commons voted twelve thousand a year to Prince George, on
his becoming Duke of Cambridge, in lieu of the twenty-seven thousand a
year enjoyed by the late Duke.

Osborne was a more welcome retreat than ever at the close of the
summer, but even Osborne could not shelter the Queen from political
worry and personal sorrow. There were indications of renewed trouble
from Lord Palmerston's "spirited foreign policy."

The Queen and the Prince believed they had reason to complain of Lord
Palmerston's carelessness and negligence, in not forwarding in time
copies of the documents passing through his department, which ought to
have been brought under the notice both of the sovereign and the Prime
Minister, and to have received their opinion, before the over-
energetic Secretary for Foreign Affairs acted upon them on his own
responsibility.

In these circumstances her Majesty wrote a memorandum of what she
regarded as the duty of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
towards the Crown. The memorandum was written in a letter to Lord John
Russell, which he was requested to show to Lord Palmerston.

Except the misunderstanding with Sir Robert Peel about the dismissal
of the ladies of her suite, which occurred early in the reign, this is
the only difference on record between the Queen and any of her
ministers.

During this July at Osborne, Lady Lyttelton wrote her second vivid
description, quoted in the "Life of the Prince Consort," of Prince
Albert's organ-playing. "Last evening such a sunset! I was sitting,
gazing at it, and thinking of Lady Charlotte Proby's verses, when from
an open window below this floor began suddenly to sound the Prince's
organ, expressively played by his masterly hand. Such a modulation!
Minor and solemn, and ever changing and never ceasing. From a
_piano_ like Jenny Lind's holding note up to the fullest swell,
and still the same fine vein of melancholy. And it came on so exactly
as an accompaniment to the sunset. How strange he is! He must have
been playing just while the Queen was finishing her toilette, and then
he went to cut jokes and eat dinner, and nobody but the organ knows
what is in him, except, indeed, by the look of his eyes sometimes."

Lady Lyttelton refers to the Prince's cutting jokes, and the Queen has
written of his abiding cheerfulness. People are apt to forget in their
very admiration of his noble thoughtfulness, earnestness, and
tenderness of heart that he was also full of fun, keenly relishing a
good story, the life of the great royal household.

The Queen had been grieved this summer by hearing of the serious
illness of her greatest friend, the Queen of the Belgians, who was
suffering from the same dangerous disease of which her sister,
Princess Marie, had died. Probably it was with the hope of cheering
King Leopold, and of perhaps getting a glimpse of the much-loved
invalid, that the Queen, after proroguing Parliament in person, sailed
on the 21st of August with the Prince and their four elder children in
the royal yacht on a short trip to Ostend, where the party spent a
day. King Leopold met the visitors--the younger of whom were much
interested by their first experience of a foreign town. The Queen had
the satisfaction of finding her uncle well and pleased to see her, so
that she could call the meeting afterwards a "delightful, happy
dream;" but there was a sorrowful element in the happiness, occasioned
by the absence of Queen Louise, whose strength was not sufficient for
the journey to Ostend, and of whose case Sir James Clark, sent by the
Queen to Laeken, thought badly.

The poor Orleans family had another blow in store for them. On Prince
Albert's thirty-first birthday, the 26th of August, which he passed at
Osborne, news arrived of the death that morning, at Claremont, of
Louis Philippe, late King of the French, in his seventy-seventh year.

The Queen and the Prince had been prepared to start with their elder
children for Scotland the day after they heard of the death, and by
setting out at six o'clock in the morning they were enabled to pay a
passing visit to the house of mourning.

We may be permitted to remark here, by what quiet, unconscious touches
in letters and journals we have brought home to us the dual life, full
of duty and kindliness, led by the highest couple in the land. Whether
it is in going with a family of cousins to take the last look at a
departed kinsman, or in getting up at daybreak to express personal
sympathy with another family in sorrow, we cannot fail to see, while
it is all so simply said and done, that no painful ordeal is shirked,
no excuse is made of weighty tasks and engrossing occupations, to free
either Queen or Prince from the gentle courtesies and tender charities
of everyday humanity; we recognise that the noblest and busiest are
also the bravest, the most faithful, the most full of pity.



CHAPTER XVI.


THE QUEEN'S FIRST STAY AT HOLYROOD--LIFE IN THE HIGHLANDS--THE DEATH
OF THE QUEEN OF THE BELGIANS.

This year the Queen went north by Castle Howard, the fine seat of the
Earl of Carlisle, the Duchess of Sutherland's brother, where her
Majesty made her first halt. After stopping to open the railway
bridges, triumphs of engineering, over the Tyne and the Tweed, the
travellers reached Edinburgh, where, to the gratification of an
immense gathering of her Scotch subjects, her Majesty spent her first
night in Holyrood, the palace of her Stewart ancestors. The place was
full of interest and charm for her, and though it was late in the
afternoon before she arrived, she hardly waited to rest, before
setting out incognito, so far as the old housekeeper was concerned, to
inspect the historical relics of the building. She wandered out with
her "two girls and their governess" to the ruins of the chapel or old
abbey, and stood by the altar at which Mary Stewart, the fair young
French widow, wedded "the long lad Darnley," and read the inscriptions
on the tombs of various members of noble Scotch houses, coming to a
familiar name on the slab which marked the grave of the mother of one
of her own maids of honour, a daughter of Clanranald's.

The Queen then visited Queen Mary's rooms, being shown, like other
strangers, the closet where her ancestress had sat at supper on a
memorable night, and the stair from the chapel up which Ruthven, risen
from a sick-bed, led the conspirators who seized Davie Rizzio, dragged
him from his mistress's knees, to which he clung, and slew him
pitilessly on the boards which, according to old tradition, still bear
the stain of his blood. After that ghastly token, authentic or non-
authentic, which would thrill the hearts of the young princesses as it
has stirred many a youthful imagination, Darnley's armour and Mary's
work-table, with its embroidery worked by her own hand, must have
fallen comparatively flat.

The next morning the Queen and the Prince, with their children, took
their first drive round the beautiful road, then just completed, which
bears her name, and, encircling Arthur's Seat, is the goal of every
stranger visiting Edinburgh, affording as it does in miniature an
excellent idea of Scotch scenery. On this occasion the party alighted
and climbed to the top of the hill, rejoicing in the view. "You see
the beautiful town, with the Calton Hill, and the bay with the island
of Inchkeith stretching out before you, and the Bass Rock quite in the
distance, rising behind the coast.... The view when we gained the
carriage hear Dunsappie Loch, quite a small lake, overhung by a crag,
with the sea in the distance, is extremely pretty.... The air was
delicious."

In the course of the forenoon the Prince laid the foundation stone of
the Scotch National Gallery, and made his first speech (which was an
undoubted success) before one of those Edinburgh audiences, noted for
their fastidiousness and critical faculty. The afternoon drive was by
the beautiful Scott monument, the finest modern ornament of the city,
Donaldson's Hospital, the High Street, and the Canongate, and the
lower part of the Queen's Drive, which encloses the Queen's Park. "A
beautiful park indeed," she wrote, "with such a view, and such
mountain scenery in the midst of it."

In the evening there was assembled such a circle as had not been
gathered in royal old Holyrood since poor Prince Charlie kept brief
state there. Her Majesty wrote in her journal, "The Buccleuchs, the
Roxburghs, the Mortons, Lord Roseberry, Principal Lee, the Belhavens,
and the Lord Justice General, dined with us. Everybody so pleased at
our living at my old palace." The talk seems to have been, as was
fitting, on old times and the unfortunate Queen Mary, the heroine of
Holyrood. Sir Theodore Martin thinks it may have been in remembrance
of this evening that Lord Belhaven, on his death, left a bequest to
the Queen "of a cabinet which had been brought by Queen Mary from
France, and given by her to the Regent Mar, from whom it passed into
the family of Lord Belhaven." The cabinet contains a lock of Queen
Mary's golden hair, and a purse worked by her.

On the following day the royal party left Holyrood and travelled to
Balmoral. The Queen, with the Prince and her children, and the Duchess
of Kent, with her son and grandson, were at the great gala of the
district, the Braemar gathering, where the honour of her Majesty's
presence is always eagerly craved.

Another amusement was the _leistering_, or spearing, of salmon in
the Dee. Captain Forbes of Newe, and from forty to fifty of his clan,
on their return to Strathdon from the Braemar gathering, were
attracted by the fishing to the river's edge, when they were carried
over the water on the backs of the Queen's men, who volunteered the
service, "Macdonald, at their head, carrying Captain Forbes on his
back." The courteous act, which was quite spontaneous, charmed the
Queen and the Prince. The latter in writing to Germany gave further
details of the incident. "Our people in the Highlands are altogether
primitive, true-hearted and without guile.... Yesterday the Forbeses
of Strath Don passed through here. When they came to the Dee our
people (of Strath Dee) offered to carry them across the river, and did
so, whereupon they drank to the health of Victoria and the inmates of
Balmoral in whisky (_schnapps_), but as there was no cup to be
had, their chief, Captain Forbes, pulled off his shoe, and he and his
fifty men drank out of it."

The Forbeses got permission to march through the grounds of Balmoral,
"the pipers going, in front. They stopped and cheered three times
three, throwing up their bonnets." The Queen describes the
characteristic demonstration, and she then mentions listening with
pleasure "to the distant shouts and the sound of the pibroch."

There were two drawbacks to the peace and happiness of Balmoral this
year. The one was occasioned by an unforeseen vexatious occurrence,
and the complications which arose from it. General Haynau, the
Austrian officer whose brutalities to the conquered and to women
during the Hungarian war had aroused detestation in England, happened
to visit London, and was attacked by the men in Barclay's brewery.
Austria remonstrated, and Lord Palmerston made a rash reply, which had
to be recalled.

The other care which darkened the Balmoral horizon in 1850 was the
growing certainty of a fatal termination to the illness of the Queen
of the Belgians. Immediately after the Court returned to Osborne the
blow fell. Queen Louise died at Ostend on the 11th of October, 1850.
She was only in her thirty-ninth year, not more than eight years older
than Queen Victoria. She was the second daughter of Louis Philippe,
Princess Marie having been the elder sister.



CHAPTER XVII.


THE PAPAL BULL--THE GREAT EXHIBITION.

In the winter of 1850 the whole of England was disturbed by the Papal
Bull which professed to divide England afresh into Roman Catholic
bishoprics, with a cardinal-archbishop at their head. Protestant
England hotly resented the liberty the Pope had taken, the more so
that the Tractarian movement in the Church seemed to point to
treachery within the camp. Lord John Russell took this view of it, and
the announcement of his opinion intensified the excitement which
expressed itself, in meetings all over the county and numerous
addresses to the Queen, condemning the act of aggression and urging
resistance. The protests of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge,
and of the Corporation of London, were presented to her Majesty in St.
George's Hall, Windsor Castle, on the 10th of December. The Oxford
address was read by the Chancellor of Oxford, the Duke of Wellington,
the old soldier speaking "in his peculiar energetic manner with great
vigour and animation." The Cambridge address was read by the
Chancellor of Cambridge, Prince Albert, "with great clearness and
well-marked emphasis." The Queen replied "with great deliberation and
with decided accents." Her Majesty, while repelling the invasion of
her rights and the offence to the religious principles of the country,
held, with the calmer judges of the situation, that no pretence,
however loudly asserted, could constitute reality. The Pope might call
England what he liked, but he could not make it Catholic.

In January, 1851, the Court had a great loss in the retirement of Lady
Lyttelton from her office of governess to the royal children, which
she had filled for eight years; while her service at Court, including
the time that she had been a lady-in-waiting, had lasted over twelve
years. Thenceforth her bright sympathetic accounts of striking events
in the life at Windsor and Osborne cease. The daughter of the second
Earl of Spenser married, at twenty-six years of age, the third Lord
Lyttelton. She was forty-two when she became a lady-in-waiting, and
fifty-four when she resigned the office of governess to the Queen's
children. She desired to quit the Court because, as she said, she was
old enough to be at rest for whatever time might be left her. In the
tranquillity and leisure which she sought, she survived for twenty
years, dying at the age of seventy-four in 1870. The parting in 1851
was a trial to all. "The Queen has told me I may be free about the
middle of January," wrote Lady Lyttelton, "and she said it with all
the feeling and kindness of which I have received such incessant
proofs through the whole long twelve years during which I have served
her. Never by a word or look has it been interrupted." Neither could
Lady Lyttelton say enough in praise of the Prince, of "his wisdom, his
ready helpfulness, his consideration for others, his constant
kindness." "In the evening I was sent for to my last audience in the
Queen's own room," Lady Lyttelton wrote again, "and I quite broke down
and could hardly speak or hear. I remember the Prince's face, pale as
ashes, and a few words of praise and thanks from them both, but it is
all misty; and I had to stop on the private staircase and have my cry
out before I could go up again."

Lady Lyttelton was succeeded in her office by Lady Caroline
Barrington, sister of Earl Grey, who held the post for twenty-four
years, till her death in 1875. She too was much and deservedly
esteemed by the Queen and the royal family.

The Exhibition was the event in England of 1851. From the end of March
till the opening-day, for which May-day was fitly chosen, Prince
Albert strove manfully day and night to fulfil his important part in
the programme, and it goes without saying that the Queen shared in
much of his work, and in all his hopes and fears and ardent desires.

Already the building, with its great transept and naves, lofty dome,
transparent walls and roof, enclosing great trees within their ample
bounds, the _chef-d'-oeuvre_ of Sir Joseph Paxton--who received
knighthood for the feat--the admiration of all beholders, had sprung
up in Hyde Park like a fairy palace, the growth of a night. Ships and
waggons in hundreds and thousands, laden by commerce, science and art,
were trooping from far and near to the common destination. Great and
small throughout the country and across the seas were planning to make
the Exhibition their school of design and progress, as well as their
holiday goal.

It must be said that the dread of what might be the behaviour of the
vast crowds of all nations gathered together at one spot, and that
spot London, assailed many people both at home and abroad. But as
those who are not "evil-doers" are seldom "evil-dreaders," the Queen
and the Prince always dismissed the idea of such a danger with
something like bright incredulous scorn, which proved in the end wiser
than cynical suspicion and gloomy apprehension.

The Exhibition of 1851, with its reverent motto, chosen by Prince
Albert, "The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof; the
compass of the world, and they that dwell therein," is an old story
now, and only elderly people remember some of its marvels--like the
creations of the "Arabian Nights'" tales--and its works of art, which,
though they may have been excelled before and since, had never yet
been so widely seen and widely criticised. The feathery palm-trees and
falling fountains, especially the great central cascade, seemed to
harmonize with objects of beauty and forms of grace on every side. The
East contended with the West in soft and deep colours and sumptuous
stuffs. Huge iron machines had their region, and trophies of cobweb
lace theirs; while "walking-beams" clanked and shuttles flew, working
wonders before amazed and enchanted-eyes.

Especially never had there been seen, such modern triumphs in carved
woodwork, in moulded iron, zinc, and bronze, in goldsmiths' work, in
stoneware and porcelain, in designs for damasks in silk and linen.

The largest diamond in the world, the Koh-i-Noor or "mountain of
light," found in the mines of Golconda, presented to the great Mogul,
having passed through the hands of a succession of murderous and
plundering Shahs, had been brought to England and laid at the feet of
Queen Victoria as one of the fruits of her Afghan conquests, the year
before the Exhibition. It was now for the first time publicly
displayed. Like many valuable articles, its appearance, marred by bad
cutting, did not quite correspond with the large estimate of its
worth, about two millions. In order to increase its effect, the
precious clumsily-cut "goose's egg," relieved against a background of
crimson velvet in its strong cage, was shown by gas-light alone. Since
those days, the jewel has been cut, so that its radiance may have full
play when it is worn by her Majesty on great occasions. To keep the
Koh-i-Noor in company, one of the largest emeralds and one of the
largest pearls in the world were in this Exhibition. So were "_le
saphir merveilleux_"--of amethystine colour by candle-light, once
the property of Egalité Orleans, and the subject of a tale by Madame
Genlis-and a renowned Hungarian opal.

Hiram Powers's "Greek Slave" from America more than rivalled Monti's
veiled statue from Italy, while far surpassing both in majesty was
Kiss's grand group of the "Mounted Amazon defending herself from, the
attack of a Lioness," cast in zinc and bronzed. Statues and statuettes
of the Queen abounded, and must have constantly met her eye, from Mrs.
Thornycroft's spirited equestrian statue to the great pedestal and
statue, in zinc, of her Majesty, crowned, in robes of State, with the
sceptre in one hand and the orb in the other, modelled by Danton,
which stood in the centre of the foreign nave.

What enhanced the fascination of the scene to untravelled spectators
was that without the deliberate contrivance brought to perfection in
the great Paris Exhibition, real Chinamen walked among their junks and
pagodas, Russians stood by their malachite gates, Turks hovered about
their carpets.

Women's quaint or exquisite work, whether professional or amateur, was
not absent. It was notable in the magnificent covers for the head and
footboard of a bed which had occupied thirty girls for many weeks, and
in a carpet worked in squares by a company of ladies, and presented as
a tribute of their respect and love for the most unremittingly
diligent woman in England, her Majesty the Queen.



CHAPTER XVIII.


THE QUEEN'S ACCOUNT OF THE OPENING OF THE EXHIBITION.

Of all the many descriptions of the Exhibition of 1851, which survive
after more than thirty years, the best are those written by the Queen,
which we gratefully borrow, as we have already borrowed so many of the
extracts from her journal in the Prince's "Life."

Sir Theodore Martin has alluded to the special attraction lent to the
Exhibition on its opening day by the excitement of the glad
ceremonial, the throng of spectators, the Court element with "its
splendid toilets" and uniforms, while Thackeray has a verse for the
chief figure.

  Behold her in her royal place,
  A gentle lady, and the hand
  That sways the sceptre of this land,
  How frail and weak
  Soft is the voice and fair the face;
  She breathes amen to prayer and hymn
  No wonder that her eyes are dim,
  And pale her cheek.

But she has deigned to speak for herself, and no other speaks words
so noble and tender in their simplicity.

"May 1st. The great event has taken place, a complete and beautiful
triumph, a glorious and touching sight, one which I shall ever be
proud of for my beloved Albert and my country.... Yes, it is a day
which makes my heart swell with pride and glory and thankfulness.

"We began it with tenderest greetings for the birthday of our dear
little Arthur. At breakfast there was nothing but congratulations....
Mamma and Victor (the Queen's nephew, son of the Princess of
Hohenlohe, now well-known as Count Gleichen) were there, and all the
children and our guests. Our humble gifts of toys were added to by a
beautiful little bronze _replica_ of the 'Amazon' (Kiss's) from
the Prince (of Prussia), a beautiful paper-knife from the Princess (of
Prussia), and a nice little clock from mamma.

"The Park presented a wonderful spectacle, crowds streaming through
it, carriages and troops passing quite like the Coronation day, and
for me the same anxiety; no, much greater anxiety, on account of my
beloved Albert. The day was bright, and all bustle and excitement....
At half-past eleven the whole procession, in State carriages, was in
motion.... The Green Park and Hyde Park were one densely crowded mass
of human beings in the highest good-humour and most enthusiastic. I
never saw Hyde Park look as it did, as far as the eye could reach. A
little rain fell just as we started, but before we came near the
Crystal Palace the sun shone and gleamed upon the gigantic edifice,
upon which the flags of all the nations were floating. We drove up
Rotten Row and got out at the entrance on that side.

"The glimpse of the transept through the iron gates--the waving palms,
flowers, statues, myriads of people filling the galleries and seats
around, with the flourish of trumpets as we entered, gave us a
sensation which, I can never forget, and I felt much moved. We went
for a moment to a little side-room, where we left our shawls, and
where we found mamma and Mary (now Duchess of Teck), and outside which
were standing the other Princes. In a few seconds we proceeded, Albert
leading me, having Vicky at his hand, and Bertie holding mine. The
sight as we came to the middle, where the steps and chair (which I did
not sit on) were placed, with the beautiful crystal fountain in front
of it, was magical--so vast, so glorious, so touching. One felt, as so
many did whom I have since spoken to, filled with devotion, more so
than by any service I have ever heard. The tremendous cheers, the joy
expressed in every face, the immensity of the building, the mixture of
palms, flowers, trees, statues, fountains--the organ (with two hundred
instruments and six hundred voices, which sounded like nothing), and
my beloved husband the author of this peace festival, which united the
industry of all nations of the earth--all this was moving indeed, and
it was and is a day to live for ever. God bless my dearest Albert, God
bless my dearest country, which has shown itself so great to-day! One
felt so grateful to the great God who seemed to pervade all and to
bless all. The only event it in the slightest degree reminded me of
was the Coronation, but this day's festival was a thousand times
superior. In fact it is unique and can bear no comparison, from its
peculiarity, beauty, and combination of such different and striking
objects. I mean the slight resemblance only as to its solemnity; the
enthusiasm and cheering, too, were much more touching, for in a church
naturally all is silent.

"Albert left my side after "God save the Queen" had been sung, and at
the head of the commissioners, a curious assemblage of political and
distinguished men, read me the report, which is a long one, and to
which I read a short answer; after which the Archbishop of Canterbury
offered up a short and appropriate prayer, followed by the "Hallelujah
Chorus," during which the Chinese mandarin came forward and made his
obeisance. This concluded, the procession began. It was beautifully
arranged and of great length, the prescribed order being exactly
adhered to. The nave was full, which had not been intended; but still
there was no difficulty, and the whole long walk, from one end to the
other, was made in the midst of continued and deafening cheers and
waving of handkerchiefs. Everyone's face was bright and smiling, many
with tears in their eyes. Many Frenchmen called out "_Vive la
Reine_!" One could, of course, see nothing but what was near in the
nave, and nothing in the courts. The organs were but little heard, but
the military band at one end had a very fine effect as we passed
along. They played the march from _Athalie_.... The old Duke and
Lord Anglesey walked arm in arm, which was a touching sight. I saw
many acquaintances among those present. We returned to our own place,
and Albert told Lord Breadalbane to declare that the Exhibition was
opened, which he did in a loud voice: 'Her Majesty commands me to
declare this Exhibition open,' which was followed by a flourish of
trumpets and immense cheering. All the commissioners, the executive
committee, who worked so hard, and to whom such immense praise is due,
seemed truly happy, and no one more so than Paxton, who may be justly
proud; he rose from being a common gardener's boy. Everybody was
astonished and delighted, Sir George Grey (Home Secretary) in tears.

"The return was equally satisfactory, the crowd most enthusiastic, the
order perfect. We reached the palace at twenty minutes past one, and
went out on the balcony and were loudly cheered, the Prince and
Princess (of Prussia) quite delighted and impressed. That we felt
happy, thankful, I need not say; proud of all that had passed, of my
darling husband's success, and of the behaviour of my good people. I
was more impressed than I can say by the scene. It was one that can
never be effaced from my memory, and never will be from that of any
one who witnessed it. Albert's name is immortalised, and the wicked
reports of dangers of every kind, which a set of people, viz. the
_soi disant_ fashionables, the most violent Protectionists,
spread, are silenced. It is therefore doubly satisfactory, and that
all should have gone off so well, and without the slightest accident
or mishap.... Albert's emphatic words last year, when he said that the
feeling would be _that of deep thankfulness to the Almighty for the
blessings which He has bestowed on us here below_ this day
realised....

"I must not omit to mention an interesting episode of this day, viz:--
the visit of the good old Duke on this his eighty-second birthday to
his little godson, our dear little boy. He came to us both at five,
and gave him a golden cup and some toys, which he had himself chosen,
and Arthur gave him a nosegay.

"We dined _en famille_, and then went to the Covent Garden Opera,
where we saw the two finest acts of the _Huguenots_ given as
beautifully as last year. I was rather tired, but we were both so
happy, so full of thankfulness! God is indeed our kind and merciful
Father."

In answer to Lord John Russell's statement, on the close of the
Exhibition, that the great enterprise and the spirit in which it had
been conducted would contribute "to give imperishable fame to Prince
Albert," the Queen asserted that year would ever remain the happiest
and proudest of her life.



CHAPTER XIX.


THE QUEEN'S "RESTORATION BALL" AND THE "GUILDHALL BALL."

The season of the first Exhibition was full of movement and gaiety, in
which the Queen and Prince Albert joined. They had also the pleasure
of welcoming their brother and sister, the Duke and Duchess of Saxe
Coburg, who arrived to witness the Prince's triumph. As usual he came
forward on every occasion when his services, to which his position and
personal gifts lent double value, were needed--whether he presided at
an Academy dinner, or at a meeting of the Society for the Propagation
of the Gospel, or laid the foundation of the Hospital for Consumption,
or attended the meeting of the British Association, and the Queen
delighted in his popularity and usefulness.

On the 4th of May Baroness Bunsen was at Stafford House "when her
there," and thus describes the Queen. "The Queen looked charming, and I
could not help the same reflection that I have often made before, that
she is the only piece of _female royalty_ I ever saw who was also a
creature such as almighty God has created. Her smile is a _real_ smile,
her grace is _natural_; although it has received a high polish from
cultivation, there is nothing artificial about it. Princes I have seen
several whose first characteristic is that of being _men_ rather than
princes, though not many. The Duchess of Sutherland is the only person I
have seen, when receiving the Queen, not giving herself the appearance
of a visitor in her own house by wearing a bonnet."

On the 16th of May the Queen and the Prince were at Devonshire House,
when Lord Lytton's comedy of "Not so Bad as we Seem" was played by
Dickens, Foster, Douglas Jerrold, on behalf of the new "Guild of
Literature and Art," in which hopes for poor authors were cheerfully
entertained.

On the 23rd of May Lord Campbell was anticipating the Queen's third
costume ball with as much complacency as if the eminent lawyer had
been a young girl. "We are invited to the Queen's fancy ball on the
13th of June," he wrote "where we are all to appear in the characters
and costume of the reign of Charles II. I am to go as Sir Matthew
Hale, Chief Justice, and I am now much occupied in considering my
dress, that is to say, which robe I am to wear--scarlet, purple, or
black. The only new articles I shall have to order are my black velvet
coif, a beard with moustaches, and a pair of shoes with red heels, and
red rosettes."

The period chosen for the Restoration Ball was the time midway between
the dates of the Plantagenet and the Powder Ball.

As on former occasions, the Court walked in procession to the throne-
room, where each quadrille passed in turn before the Queen and Prince
Albert.

Her Majesty's dress was of grey watered silk, trimmed with gold and
silver lace, and ornamented with bows of rose-coloured riband fastened
by bouquets of diamonds. The front of the dress was open, and the
under-skirt was made of cloth of gold embroidered in a shawl pattern
in silver. The gloves and shoes were embroidered alternately with
roses and _fleurs-de-lys_ in gold. On the front of the body of
the dress were four large pear-shaped emeralds of great value. The
Queen wore a small diamond crown on the top of her head, and a large
emerald set in diamonds, with pearl loops, on one side of the head;
the hair behind plaited with pearls.

Prince Albert wore a coat of rich orange satin, brocaded with gold,
the sleeves turned up with crimson velvet, a pink silk epaulette on
one shoulder; a baldrick of gold lace embroidered with silver for the
sword; the breeches of crimson velvet with pink satin bows and gold
lace, the stockings of lavender silk, the sash of white silk, gold
fringed.

There were four national quadrilles. The English Quadrille was led by
the Marchioness of Ailesbury; the Scotch Quadrille was under the
guidance of the young Marchioness of Stafford, daughter-in-law of the
Duke of Sutherland; the French Quadrille was led by Countess Flahault,
the representative of the old barons Keith, and the wife of a
brilliant Frenchman; the Spanish Quadrille was marshalled by Countess
Granville. There were two more Quadrilles, the one under the control
of the Countess of Wilton, the other, called the "Rose Quadrille," led
by Countess Grey.

With all due deference to the opinion of the late Mr. Henry Greville,
the accounts of these quadrilles leave the impression not only that
they were arranged with finer taste, but that a considerable advance
had been made in artistic perception and sense of harmony. The ladies
in each quadrille were dressed alike, so were the gentlemen; thus
there were no harsh contrasts. In the English set the ladies wore blue
and white silk gowns with trimmings of rose-colour and gold. The
gentlemen were in scarlet and gold, and blue velvet. Lady Waterford
was in this set, and Lady Churchill, daughter of the Marquis of
Conyngham, long connected with the Court. The Duke of Cambridge and
Prince Edward of Saxe Weimar were among the gentlemen in the set.

Certainly it is a little hard to decide on what principle the
exceedingly piquant costume of the ladies in the Scotch Quadrille was
classed as Scotch. The ladies wore riding-habits of pale green taffeta
ornamented with bows of pink ribbon, and had on grey hats with pink
and white feathers. Lady Stafford carried a jewelled riding-whip. The
gentlemen were in Highland costume.

In the French Quadrille the ladies wore white satin with bows of light
blue ribbon opening over cloth of gold. The gentlemen were in the
uniform of _Mousquetaires_. In this quadrille danced Lady
Clementina Villiers, with her "marble-like beauty." She had ceased to
be a Watteau shepherdess, and she had lost her companion shepherdess
of old, but her intellectual gifts and fine qualities were developing
themselves more and more. In the same dance was Lady Rose Lovell, the
young daughter of the Duke of Beaufort, whose elopement at the age of
seventeen with a gallant one-armed soldier had been condoned, so that
she still played her part in the Court gala.

In the Spanish Quadrille the ladies wore black silk over grey damask,
trimmed with gold lace and pink rosettes, and Spanish mantillas. The
gentlemen were in black velvet, with a Spanish order embroidered in
red silk on coat and cloak, grey silk stockings, and black velvet hats
with red and yellow feathers. In this quadrille were the matronly
beauties Lady Canning, Lady Jocelyn, and Lady Waldegrave.

After the quadrilles had been danced, the ladies falling into lines,
advanced to the throne and did reverence, the gentlemen forming in
like manner and performing the same ceremony. Her Majesty, and Prince
Albert then proceeded to the ballroom, where Lady Wilton's and Lady
Grey's quadrilles were danced. In the Rose Quadrille the ladies wore
rose-coloured skirts over white moire, with rose-coloured bows and
pearls, rose colour and pearls in the hair. Each lady wore a single
red rose on her breast.

After the quadrilles, the Queen opened the general ball by dancing the
_Polonnaise_ with Prince Albert, the Duke of Cambridge, and
Prince Edward of Saxe Weimar; Prince Albert dancing next with the
Duchess of Norfolk, the premier peeress present. The Queen danced
after supper with the Prince of Leiningen. He was at the Restoration
as he had been at the Powder Ball, and wore black velvet and gold lace
with orange ribbons.

The characters seem to have been chosen with more point than before.
The Countess of Tankerville personated a Duchesse de Grammont, in
right of her mother-in-law, Corisande de Grammont, grand-daughter of
Marie Antoinette's friend Gabrielle de Polignac.

Lady Ashburton was Madame de Sevigné, whose fashion of curls beginning
in rings on the forehead and getting longer and longer towards the
neck, was as much in demand for the ladies, as Philip Leigh's
lovelocks were for the gentlemen.

Lady Hume Campbell was "La Belle Duchesse de Bourgogne;" Lady
Middleton, Lucy Percy, Countess of Carlisle. Mrs. Abbot Lawrence
vindicated her American nationality by representing Anna Dudley, the
wife of an early governor of Massachusetts; Mr. Bancroft Davies,
secretary of the United States legation, figured as William Penn.

Lady Londonderry and Miss Burdett Coutts were still remarkable for the
splendour of their jewels. Lady Londonderry wore a girdle of diamonds,
a diamond _berthe_, and a head-dress a blaze of precious stones,
the whole valued roughly at a hundred and fifty thousand pounds. Miss
Burdett Coutts displayed a band of jewels, after the fashion of the
gentlemen's baldricks, passing over one shoulder and terminating in a
diamond clasp fastening back the upper skirt. After diamonds, which,
like the blossom of the gorse, may be considered as always _à la
mode_, the specialities of the Restoration Ball were Honiton lace,
which was reckoned in better keeping with falling collars than old
point, and an enormous expenditure of ribbons. Some of the magnificent
collars, such as that of Lord Overton, were manufactured for the
occasion. As for ribbons, not only did ladies' dresses abound in bows
and rosettes, the gentlemen's doublets, "trunks," and sleeves, were
profusely beribboned. The very shirt-sleeves, exposed by the coat-
sleeves terminating at the elbow, were bound and festooned with
ribbons; while from the ends of the waistcoat hung a waterfall of
ribbons, like a Highlander's philabeg. Verily, the heart of Coventry
must have rejoiced; the Restoration Ball might have been got up for
its special benefit.

The Duke of Wellington was in the scarlet and gold uniform of the
period, but he alone of all the gentlemen was privileged to wear his
own scanty grey hair, which rendered him conspicuous. The old man
walked between his two daughters-in-law, Lady Douro and Lady Charles
Wellesley.

Lord Galway wore a plain cuirass and gorget so severely simple that it
might have been mistaken for the guise of one of Cromwell's officers,
who were otherwise unrepresented.

Mr. Gladstone was there as Sir Leoline Jenkins, judge of the High
Court of Admiralty in Charles's reign. His dress was copied from an
engraving in the British Museum. It was quiet enough, but it is
difficult to realise "the grand old man" of to-day in a velvet coat
turned up with blue satin, ruffles and collar of old point, black
breeches and stockings, and shoes with spreading bows.

Sir Edwin Landseer, whom Miss Thackeray has described as helping to
dress some of the ladies for this very ball, was so studiously plain
that it must have looked like a protest against the use of
"properties" in his apparel. He wore a dress of black silk, with no
cloak, no mantle, no skirts to his coat. Round his neck was a light
blue scarf, hanging low behind. He had on a grey wig, imitating
partial baldness. There could have been no doubt of the historical
correctness of the dress, though there might have been some question
of its becomingness.

There were changes of some importance in the royal household at this
time, caused by the retirement of General, afterwards Sir George
Bowles, the Master of the Household, and of Mr. Birch, tutor to the
Prince of Vales. With the assistance of Baron Stockmar, fitting
successors for those gentlemen were found in Sir Thomas Biddulph and
Mr. Frederick Gibbes.

The ball at Guildhall had been fixed for the 2nd of July, but the day
was changed when it was remembered that the 2nd was the anniversary of
the death of Sir Robert Peel. The entertainment was a very splendid
affair. The city was continually progressing in taste and skill in
these matters, and the times were so prosperous as to admit of large
expenditure without incurring the charge of reckless extravagance. The
Queen, Prince Albert, and their suite left Buckingham Palace, in State
carriages, at nine o'clock on the summer evening, and drove through
brilliantly illuminated streets, densely crowded with large numbers of
foreigners as well as natives.

The great hall where the ball took place was magnificently fitted up,
many ideas for the decoration being borrowed from the Exhibition. Thus
there was a striking array of banners emblazoned with the arms of the
nations and cities which had contributed to the Exhibition. "Above the
centre shaft of each cluster of columns, shot up towards the roof a
silver palm-tree, glittering and sparkling in the brilliant light so
profusely shed around. On touching the roof these spread forth and
ended in long branches of bright clustering broad leaves of green and
gold, from which hung pendant rich bunches of crimson and ruby
sparkling fruit." The compartments beneath the balconies were filled
with pictures of the best known and most admired foreign contributions
to the Exhibition--such as the Amazon group, the Malachite gates, the
Greek Slave; &c., &c. Huge griffins had their places at the corners of
the dais supporting the throne, while above it a gigantic plume of
Prince of Wales's feathers reared itself in spun glass. The chambers
and corridors of the Mansion House were fitted up with "acres of
looking-glass, statuary, flowers, &c., &c.," provided for the crowd of
guests that could not obtain admittance to the hall, where little room
was left for dancing. The supper, to which the Queen was conducted,
was in the crypt. It was made to resemble a baronial hall, "figures in
mediaeval armour being scattered about as the bearers of the lights
which illuminated the chamber." Before leaving, in thanking the Lord
Mayor (Musgrove) for his hospitality, the Queen announced her
intention of creating him a baronet. Her Majesty and the Prince took
their departure at one o'clock, returning to Buckingham Palace through
the lit streets and huzzaing multitude.



CHAPTER XX.


ROYAL VISITS TO LIVERPOOL AND MANCHESTER--CLOSE OF THE EXHIBITION.

On the 27th of August the Court left for Balmoral, travelling for the
most part by the Great Northern Railway, but not, as now, making a
rapid night and day journey. On the contrary, the journey lasted three
days, with pauses for each night's rest between. Starting from Osborne
at nine, the Royal party reached Buckingham Palace at half-past
twelve. Halting for an hour and a half, they set off again at two.
They stopped at Peterborough, where old Dr. Fisher, the Bishop, was
able to greet in his Queen the little Princess who had repeated her
lessons to him in Kensington Palace. No longer a solitary figure but
for the good mother, she was herself a wife and mother, the happiest
of the happy in both relations. The train stopped again at Boston and
Lincoln for the less interesting purpose of the presentation and
reception of congratulatory addresses on the Exhibition. The same
ceremony was gone through at Doncaster where the party stayed for the
night at the Angel Inn.

Leaving before nine on the following morning, after changing the line
of railway at York, and stopping at Darlington and Newcastle,
Edinburgh was reached in the course of the afternoon. Her Majesty and
the Prince, with their children, proceeded to Holyrood, and before the
evening was ended drove for an hour through the beautiful town. Here,
too, the Exhibition bore its fruit in the honour of knighthood
conferred on the Lord Provost.

On the third morning the travellers left again at eight o'clock, and
journeyed as far as Stonehaven, where the royal carriages met them,
and conveyed them to Balmoral, which was reached by half-past six. The
Prince had now bought the castle and estate, seven miles in length,
and four in breadth, and plans were formed for a new house more
suitable for the accommodation of so large a household.

On the day after the Queen and Prince Albert's arrival in the
Highlands, he received the news of the death of his uncle, brother to
the late Duke of Coburg and to the Duchess of Kent, Duke Ferdinand of
Saxe-Coburg.

There is little to record of the happy sojourn in the North this year,
with its deer-stalking, riding and driving, except that Hallam, the
historian, and Baron Liebig, the famous chemist, visited Sir James
Clark, the Queen's physician, at Birkhall, which he occupied, and were
among the guests at Balmoral.

It had been arranged that the Queen and the Prince should visit
Liverpool and Manchester on their way south, in order to give the
great cities of Lancashire the opportunity of greeting and welcoming
their Sovereign. It was the 8th of October before the royal party set
out on their homeward journey, ending the first of the shortening days
at Holyrood.

On the following day the strangers went on to the ancient dull little
town of Lancaster, and drove to the castle, where the keys were
presented, and an address read under John O'Gaunt's gateway. The tower
stairs were mounted for the view over Morcambe Bay and the English
lake country on the one hand, and away across level lands to the sea
on the other. Every native of the town "wore a red rose or a red
rosette, as emblems of the House of Lancaster."

The Queen and the Prince then proceeded to Prescot, where they left
the railway, driving through Lord Derby's fine park at Knowsley, to be
the guests of the Earl of Sefton at Croxteth. Next morning, when
Liverpool was to be visited, a _contretemps_ occurred. The
weather was hopelessly wet; the whole party had to go as far as
possible in closed carriages; afterwards the downpour was so
irresistible that the Prince's large cloak had to be spread over the
Queen and her children to keep them dry. But her Majesty's
commiseration is almost entirely for the crowd on foot, "the poor
people so wet and dirty." They spoil her pleasure in her enthusiastic
reception and the fine buildings she passes.

The royal party drove along the docks, and in spite of the rain got
out at the appointed place of embarkation, went on board the
_Fairy_, accompanied by the Mayor and other officials, and sailed
along the quays round the mouth of the Mersey, surveying the grand
mass of shipping from the pavilion on deck as well as the dank mist
would permit. On landing, the Town Hall and St. George's Hall were
visited in succession. In the first the Queen received an address and
knighted the Mayor. She admired both buildings--particularly St.
George's, which she called "worthy of ancient Athens," and said it
delighted Prince Albert. At both halls she presented herself on
balconies in order to gratify the multitudes below.

The Queen left Liverpool by railway, going as far as Patricroft, where
she was received by Lady Ellesmere and a party from Worsley, including
the Duke of Wellington, Lord and Lady Westminster, and Lord and Lady
Wilton. Her Majesty was to try a mode of travelling new to her. She
had arrived at the Bridgewater Canal, one of the greatest feats of
engineering in the last century, constructed by the public-spirited,
eccentric Duke of Bridgewater, and Brindley the engineer. The Queen
went on board a covered barge drawn by four horses. She describes the
motion as gliding along "in a most noiseless and dream-like manner,
amidst the cheers of the people who lined the sides of the canal."
Thus she passed under the "beautifully decorated bridges" belonging to
Lord Ellesmere's colliery villages.

Only at the hall-door of Worsley were Lord Ellesmere, lame with gout,
and Lord Brackley, his son, "terribly delicate" from an accident in
the hunting-field, the husband of one of the beautiful Cawdor
Campbells, able to meet their illustrious guests. Henry Greville says
her Majesty brought with her four children, two ladies-in-waiting, two
equerries, a physician, a tutor, and a governess. Men of mechanical
science seem to belong to Worsley, so that it sounds natural for the
Queen and the Prince to have met there, during the evening, Nasmyth,
the inventor of the steam-hammer, and to have examined his maps of his
investigations in the moon, and his landscape-drawings, worthy of his
father's son. The Queen and Prince Albert derived great pleasure from
their passing intercourse with a man of varied gifts, whose sterling
qualities they could well appreciate.

The next morning, the 10th of October, the weather was all that could
be wished, but another and even more unfortunate complication
threatened the success of the arrangements, on which the comfort of a
few and the gratification of many thousands of persons depended.
Prince Albert, never strong, was always liable to trying attacks of
sleeplessness and sickness. In the course of the night he had been
"very unwell, very sick and wretched for several hours." "I was
terrified for our Manchester visit" wrote the Queen in her journal.
"Thank God! by eight o'clock he felt much better, and was able to get
up" indefatigable as ever.

At ten the party started to drive the seven miles to Manchester,
escorted by Yeomanry and a regiment of Lancers, Lord Cathcart and his
staff riding near the Queen's carriage through an ever-increasing
crowd. The Queen was greatly interested in the rows of mill-workers
between whom she passed, "dressed in their best, ranged along the
streets, with white rosettes in their button-holes"--that patient,
easily pleased crowd, which has an aspect half comical, half pathetic.
Her Majesty admired the intelligent expression of both men and women,
but was painfully struck with their puniness and paleness. In the Peel
Park the visitors were greeted by a great demonstration, which her
Majesty calls "extraordinary and unprecedented," of no less than
eighty-two thousand school children, of every denomination, Jews as
well as Christians. The Queen received and replied to an address, from
her carriage, and the immense body of children sang "God save the
Queen."

The party then drove through the principal streets of Salford and
Manchester--the junction of the two being marked by a splendid
triumphal arch, under which the Mayor and Corporation (dressed for the
first time in robes of office--so democratic was Manchester), again
met the Queen and presented her with a bouquet. At the Exchange she
alighted to receive another address, to which she read an answer, and
knighted the Mayor. Her Majesty missed "fine buildings," of which,
with the exception of huge warehouses and factories, Manchester had
then none to boast; but she was particularly struck by the demeanour
of the inhabitants, in addition to what she was pleased to call their
"most gratifying cheering and enthusiasm." "The order and good
behaviour of the people, who were not placed behind any barriers, were
the most complete we have seen in our many progresses through capitals
and cities--London, Glasgow, Dublin, Edinburgh--for there never was a
running crowd, nobody moved and therefore everybody saw well, and
there was no squeezing...." The Queen heard afterwards that she had
seen a million of human beings that day. In the afternoon her Majesty
and the Prince, returned to Worsley.

Henry Greville tells an almost piteous incident of this visit, in
relation to the Duke of Wellington and his advanced age, with the
infirmities that could no longer be repelled. After saying that in
order to prevent the procession's becoming too large, no other guest
at Worsley was admitted into it, except the privileged old Duke, whom
the teller of the story describes as driving in the carriage with
Henry Greville's sister, Lady Enfield, one of the ladies in attendance
on the Queen, he goes on to mention "he (the Duke) was received with
extraordinary enthusiasm; notwithstanding Lady Enfield had to nudge
him constantly, to keep him awake, both going and coming, with very
little success." Lady Enfield adds a note to her brother's narrative.
"The whole scene was one of the most exciting I ever saw in my life.
Being carried away by the general enthusiasm, and feeling that the
people would be disappointed if no notice was taken of their cheering,
I at last exclaimed 'Duke, Duke, that's for _you_.' Thereupon he
opened his eyes, and obediently made his well-known salutation, two
fingers to the brim of his hat."

The next morning when the Prince had started by seven o'clock to
inspect a model factory near Bolton, while there was a long and busy
day before them, the Queen made a little entry in her journal which
will find a sorrowful echo in many a faithful heart, "This day is full
of sad recollections, being the anniversary of the loss of my beloved
Louise (Queen of the Belgians), that kind, precious friend, that
angelic being whose loss I shall ever feel."

The same pleasant passage was made by the canal back to Patricroft,
where the railway carriages were entered and the train steamed to
Stockport. Crewe, Stafford--there another old soldier, Lord Anglesey,
was waiting--Rugby, Weedon, Wolverton, and Watford, then at five
o'clock the railway journey ended. The royal carriages were in
attendance, and rest and home were near at hand. The day had been hot
and fatiguing, but the evening was soft and beautiful with moonlight;
a final change of horses at Uxbridge, the carriage shut when the
growing darkness prevented any farther necessity for seeing and being
seen; at half-past seven, Windsor, and the three little children still
up and at the door "well and pleased."

From Windsor the Court went for some days to London for the closing of
the Exhibition. The number of visitors had been six millions two
hundred thousand, and the total receipts five hundred thousand pounds.
There had not been a single accident, "We ought, indeed, to be
thankful to God for such a success," the Prince wrote reverently. On
the 14th of October the Queen paid a farewell visit to the place in
which she had been so much interested, with the regret natural on such
an occasion. "It looked so beautiful," she wrote in her journal, "that
I could not believe it was the last time I was to see it." But already
the dismantling had begun.

The Queen refers in the next breath to a heroine of the Exhibition, an
old Cornish woman named Mary Kerlynack, who had found the spirit to
walk several hundreds of miles to behold the wonder of her generation.
This day she was at one of the doors to see another sight, the Queen.
"A most hale old woman" her Majesty thought Mary, "who was near crying
at my looking at her."

On the 15th, a cheerlessly wet day, in keeping with a somewhat
melancholy scene, Prince Albert and his fellow commissioners closed
the Exhibition--a ceremony at which it was not judged desirable the
Queen should be present, though she grieved not to witness the end as
well as the beginning. "How sad and strange to think this great and
bright time has passed away like a dream," her Majesty wrote once more
in her diary. The day of the closing of the Exhibition happened to be
the twelfth anniversary of the Queen's betrothal to the Prince.

The tidings arrived in the course of November of the death, in his
eighty-first year, in the old palace of Herrenhausen, on the 18th of
the month, of the King of Hanover, the fifth, and last surviving son
of George III and Queen Charlotte. He had been more popular as a king
than as a prince.

The arrival of Kossuth in England in the autumn of 1851 had brought a
disturbing element into international politics. But it was left for
Louis Napoleon's _coup d'état_ in Paris on the 2nd of December,
when the blood shed so mercilessly on the Boulevards was still fresh
in men's minds, to get Lord Palmerston into a dilemma, from which
there was no disentanglement but the loss of office on his part.

An impetus, great though less lasting than it seemed, was given this
year to emigration to Australia, by the discovery in the colony of
gold in quartz beds, under much the same conditions that the precious
metal had been found in California. The diggings, with the chance of a
large nugget, became for a time the favourite dream of adventurers.
Nay, the dream grew to such an absorbing desire, that men heard of it
as a disease known as "the gold fever." And quiet people at home were
told that it was hardly safe for a ship to enter some of the
Australian harbours, on account of the certainty of the desertion of
the crew, under whatever penalties, that they might repair to the last
El Dorado.

The successful ambition of Louis Napoleon and his power over the
French army, began to excite the fears of Europe with regard to French
aggression, and a renewal of the desolating wars of the beginning of
the century; before the talk about the Exhibition and the triumphs of
peace had well died on men's lips. The Government was anxious to fall
back on the old resource of calling out the militia, with certain
modifications and changes--brought before Parliament in the form of a
Militia Bill. It did not meet with the approval of the members any
more than of the Duke of Wellington, whose experience gave his opinion
much weight. Lord Palmerston spoke with great ability against the
measure. The end was that the Government suffered a defeat, and the
Ministry resigned office in February, 1852. This time Lord Derby was
successful in forming a new Cabinet, in which Mr. Disraeli was
Chancellor of the Exchequer. A fresh Militia Bill was brought forward
and carried by the new Government, after it had received the warm
advocacy of the Duke of Wellington. The old man spoke in its favour
with an amount of vigour and clear-headedness which showed that
however his bodily strength might be failing, his mental power
remained untouched.



CHAPTER XXI.


DISASTERS--YACHTING TRIPS--THE DEATH OF THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON.

The month of February, 1852, was unhappily distinguished by three
great English calamities, accompanied by extensive loss of life. The
first was the destruction of the West India mail steamer _Amazon_
by fire, as she was entering the Bay of Biscay, in which a hundred and
forty persons perished, among them Eliot Warburton, the accomplished
traveller and author.

The second was the wreck of her Majesty's troop-ship _Birkenhead_
near the Cape of Good Hope, with the loss of upwards of four hundred
lives, in circumstances when the discipline and devotion of the men
were of the noblest description. The third was the bursting of the
Bilberry Reservoir in midland England, with the sacrifice of nearly a
hundred lives and a large amount of property.

When the season commenced, and it was this year, as last, particularly
gay, a reflection of the general prosperity of the country, with the
high hopes inspired by the Australian gold-fields, the Queen wrote to
the King of the Belgians in order to re-assure him with regard to a
fear which seems to have arisen in the elderly man's mind, that she
whom he remembered at the beginning of her reign as fond of pleasure
and untiring in her amusements, might be swept away in the tide.
"Allow me just to say one word about the London season. The London
season for us consists of two State balls and two concerts. (The State
balls and concerts are given to this day, though her Majesty, since
her widowhood, has ceased to attend them. The Queen's place and that
of Prince Albert in these social gaieties, have been naturally taken
by the Prince and Princess of Wales.) We are hardly ever later than
twelve o'clock at night, and our only dissipation is going three or
four times a week to the play or opera, which is a great amusement and
relaxation to us both. As for going out as people do here every night,
to balls and parties, and to breakfasts and teas all day long besides,
I am sure no one would stand it worse than I should; so you see,
dearest uncle, that in fact the London season is nothing to us."

So much higher, and more solid and lasting, as they should have been,
were the pursuits and gratifications of the woman, the wife and
mother, than of the young girl.

The Queen added that the only one who was fagged was the Prince, and
that from business and not pleasure, a result which made her often
anxious and unhappy. Indeed, this suspicion of precarious health on
Prince Albert's part was the cloud the size of a man's hand that kept
hovering on the horizon in the summer sky.

Parliament was prorogued and dissolved at the same time at an
unusually early date, the first of July, so that the season itself
came to a speedy end.

Before the Queen left London, she was present at the baptism and stood
sponsor for the young Hindoo Princess Gouromma, the pale, dark,
slender girl whose picture looks down on the visitor at Buckingham
Palace. She had been brought to England by her father, the Rajah of
Coorg, a high-caste Hindoo, who desired that she should be brought up
a Christian. He was one of the princes of Northern India, whose
inheritance had become a British possession. He lived at Benares under
the control of the East India Company, and had an allowance from
Government as well as a large private fortune. The little princess was
the same age as the Princess Royal, eleven years. She was the daughter
of the Rajah's favourite wife, who had died immediately after the
infant's birth. The ceremony took place in the private chapel of
Buckingham Palace. The Archbishop of Canterbury officiated. Besides
the Queen, the sponsors were Lady Hardinge, Mr. Drummond, and Sir
James Weir Hogg, the chairman of the East India Company. The little
girl received the name "Victoria." The Rajah returned soon afterwards
to India.

The Court had longer time to enjoy the sea air and quiet of Osborne,
where, however, sorrow intruded in the shape of the news of the death
of Count Mensdorff, the uncle by marriage both of the Queen and Prince
Albert, to whom they were warmly attached. Though he had been no
prince, only a French emigrant officer in the Austrian service, when
he married the sister of the Duchess of Kent, he was held in high
esteem by his wife's family for the distinction with which he had
served as a soldier, and for his many good qualities.

Princess Hohenlohe, with a son and daughter, came to Osborne as a
stage to Scotland and Abergeldie, where she was to visit her mother,
the Duchess of Kent, and where she could also best enjoy the Queen's
society. The poor Princess, who made a stay of several months in this
country, had need of a mother's and a sister's sympathy. A heavy
sorrow had lately befallen her. The eldest daughter of the Hohenlohe
family, Princess Elise, a girl of great promise, had died at Venice of
consumption in her twenty-first year.

Yachting excursions were again made to Devonshire and Cornwall, to
Torquay and the often-visited beauties of Mount Edgcumbe and the banks
of the Tamar. There was a proposal of a visit to the King of the
Belgians, with the Channel Islands to be touched at on the way. One
part of the programme had to be given up, on account of the
tempestuous weather. The yacht, after waiting to allow Prince Albert
to pay a flying visit--the last--to the Duke of Wellington at
Walmer, ran up the Scheldt in one of the pauses in the storm, and the
travellers reached Antwerp at seven o'clock on the morning of the 11th
of August, "in a hurricane of wind and rain."

But the weather is of little consequence when friends meet. King
Leopold was waiting for his welcome guests, and immediately carried
them off to his country palace, for their visit this time was to him
and not to any of the old Flemish towns.

The Queen and Prince Albert, with their children, stayed at Laeken for
three days, returning to Antwerp in time for a visit to the cathedral
and the museum, before sailing in the same unpropitious weather for
Flushing. The intention was still to cross on the following morning to
the Channel Islands, but the wet, wild weather did not change, and the
yacht remained where it was, the Queen indemnifying herself for the
disappointment by landing and going over an old Dutch town and a
farmhouse, with which she was much pleased.

On the 30th of August the Court went to Balmoral by Edinburgh. Soon
after her arrival the Queen had the gratifying intelligence that a
large legacy, about two hundred and fifty thousand pounds, had been
left to her and her heirs by one of her subjects--Mr. Campden Nield--
a gentleman without near relatives, who had lived in the most
penurious way, denying himself the very necessaries of life.

The Queen's comment on the bequest to King Leopold was like her. "It
is astonishing, but it is satisfactory to see that people have so much
confidence that it will not be thrown away, and so it certainly will
not be." Baron Stockmar held with some justice that it was "a monument
reared to the Queen during her life, in recognition of her simple,
honourable, and constitutional career."

Her Majesty and Prince Albert went on the 16th of September for their
customary two days' stay by Loch Muich, though they had been startled
in the morning by a newspaper report of the death of the Duke of
Wellington at Walmer. But the rumour had arisen so often during these
many years that nobody believed it, now that it was true.

The little party started in the course of the forenoon on a showery
day. Arrived at the Loch, the Queen walked up the side to Alt-na-
Dearg, a "burn" and fall, then rode up the ravine hung with birch and
mountain-ash, and walked again along the top of the steep hills to
points which command a view of Lord Panmure's country, "Mount Keen and
the Ogilvie Hills."

A little farther on, while resting and looking down on the Glassalt
Shiel and the head of the loch, the Queen, by a curious coincidence,
missed the watch which the Duke of Wellington had given her. Her
Majesty sent back a keeper to inquire about her loss; in the meanwhile
she walked on and descended by the beautiful falls of the Glassalt,
one hundred and fifty feet in height, which she compares to those of
the Bruar. The cottage or shiel of the Glassalt had just been built
for the Queen, and offered accommodation in its dainty little dining-
room and drawing-room for her to rest and refresh herself. After she
had eaten luncheon, she set out again on a pony, passed another
waterfall, called the Burn of the Spullan, and reached the wild
solitary Dhu Loch.

The Queen had sat down to sketch when the keeper returned to tell her
that the watch was safe at home; but that was not all. He brought a
letter from Lord Derby with a melancholy confirmation of the report of
the morning. The Duke of Wellington was dead. The Queen calls the news
"fatal," and with something of the fond exaggeration of a daughter,
writes of the dead man as "England's--rather Britannia's--pride, her
glory, her hero, the greatest man she ever had produced."

We can understand it, when we remember how closely connected he was
with all her previous career, from her cradle till now. He had taken
pride in her, advised her, obeyed her, with half a father's, half a
servant's devotion. The King of the Belgians was hardly more her
second father than the Duke of Wellington had been.

Besides, the Duke was not only a soldier; he had been a statesman, tried
and true as far as his vision extended; brave here no less than in the
stricken field, honest with an upright man's straightforwardness, wise
with a practical man's sense of what could and could not be done, what
must be yielded when the time came.

The Queen might well mourn for her grey-bearded captain, her faithful
old councillor. There was one comfort, that the Duke had reached a
good old age, and died after a few hours illness, without suffering.
He simply fell asleep, and awoke no more in this world. His old
antagonist, Marshal Soult, had pre-deceased him only by a few months.

The Queen sums up the position: "One cannot think of this country
without 'the Duke,' our immortal hero."

Her Majesty hastened down on foot to the head of Loch Muich, and rode
back in the rain to Alt-na-Giuthasach to write to Lord Derby and Lord
Charles Wellesley, who had been with his father in his last hours. She
wrote mournfully in her journal: "We shall soon stand sadly alone.
Aberdeen is almost the only personal friend of that kind left to us.
Melbourne, Peel, Liverpool, now the Duke, all gone!...."

Invitations were countermanded, and the Court went into mourning. The
Queen was right that the sorrow was universal. The ships in the Thames
and in all the English ports had their flags half-mast high, the
church bells were tolled, business was done "with the great exchanges
half-shuttered," garrison music was forbidden.

The Duke had left no directions with regard to his funeral, and it was
fitting that it should receive the highest honour Sovereign and people
could pay. But the Queen refrained from issuing an order, preferring
that the country should take the initiative. It was necessary to wait
till the 11th of November, when Parliament must meet. In the meantime
the body of the Duke was placed under a Guard of Honour at Walmer.
Viscount Hardinge was appointed Commander-in-Chief.

The Court left Balmoral on the 12th of October, about a month after
the Duke of Wellington's death, and on the 11th--a day which the Queen
calls in her journal "a very happy, lucky, and memorable one"--her
Majesty and Prince Albert, with their family, household, tenants,
servants, and poorer neighbours, ascended Craig Gowan, a hill near
Balmoral, for the purpose of building a cairn, which was to
commemorate the Queen and the Prince's having taken possession of
their home in the north. At the "Moss House," half-way up, the Queen's
piper met her, and preceded her, playing as he went. Not the least
welcome among the company already collected were the children of the
keepers and other retainers, with whom her Majesty was familiar in
their own homes. She calls them her "little friends," and enumerates
them in a motherly way, "Mary Symons, and Lizzie Stewart, the four
Grants, and several others."

The Queen laid the first stone of the cairn, Prince Albert the next.
Their example was followed by the Princes and Princesses, according to
their ages, and by the members of the household. Finally every one
present "came forward at once, each person carrying a stone and
placing it on the cairn." The piper played, whiskey was handed round.
The work of building went on for an hour, during which "some merry
reels were danced on a flat stone opposite." All the old people
danced, apparently to her Majesty's mingled gratification and
diversion. Again the happy mother of seven fine children notices
particularly the children and their performance. "Many of the
children--Mary Symons and Lizzie Stewart especially--danced so nicely,
the latter with her hair all hanging down."

There is another little paragraph which is very characteristic of the
love of animals, and the faithful remembrance of old landmarks, well-
known features in the Queen's character. "Poor dear old Monk, Sir
Robert Gordon's (the former owner of Balmoral) faithful old dog, was
sitting there among us all."

When the cairn ("seven or eight feet high") was all but finished,
Prince Albert climbed to the top and deposited the last stone, when
three cheers were given. The Queen calls it "a gay, pretty, and
touching sight," that almost made her cry. "The view was so beautiful
over the dear hills; the day so fine, the whole so _gemüthlich_."
She ends reverently, "May God bless this place, and allow us to see it
and enjoy it many a long year."



CHAPTER XXII.


THE IRON DUKE'S FUNERAL.

On the 11th of November the Parliament met and voted the Duke a public
funeral in the City cathedral of St. Paul's, by the side of Nelson,
the great soldier and the great sailor bearing each other company in
their resting-place, in the middle of the people whom they had saved
from foreign dominion.

The hearse with the body had left Walmer at seven o'clock on the
morning of the 10th, minute guns being fired in succession from the
castles of Walmer, Deal, and Sandown, startling the sea-mews hovering
over the Goodwin Sands, causing the sailors in the foreign vessels in
the Downs to ask if England had gone to war. From the railway station
in London, the coffin was escorted by Life Guards to Chelsea, where it
was received by the Lord Chamberlain and conducted to the great hall
for the lying-in-state, which occupied four days.

The fine old hospital, where so many of the Duke's soldiers had found
refuge, which Wilkie had painted for him at the moment when the
pensioners were listening to the reading of the Gazette that announced
the victory of Waterloo, was carefully prepared for the last scene but
one of a hero's life. Corridors, vestibule, and hall were hung with
black cloth and velvet, and lit with tall candles in silver
candelabra. Trophies of tattered banners, the spoils of the many
victories of him who had just yielded to the last conqueror, were
surmounted by the royal standard; Grenadiers lined hall and vestibule,
their heads bent over their reversed arms. A plumed canopy of black
velvet and silver was raised over a dais, with a carpet of cloth of
gold, on which rested the gilt and crimson coffin. At the foot of the
bier hung the mace and insignia of the late Duke's numerous orders of
knighthood; and on ten pedestals, with golden lions in front, were the
eight field-marshals' batons of eight different kingdoms, which had
been bestowed on him. On the ninth and tenth pedestals were placed the
Great Banner and the banner of Wellesley.

The Queen and Prince Albert came privately with their children, early
on the first day, a windy, rainy Saturday in November, to view the
lying-in-state.

On the night before the funeral the coffin was removed to the Horse
Guards, over which Wellington had so long presided, where it is said
that in the early days of his career he met Nelson. Early next morning
the coffin was conveyed to a pavilion on the parade, whence it was
lifted to the car which was to convey it to St. Paul's.

Not later than six o'clock on the morning of the 18th, the troops in
large numbers began to muster in Hyde Park, under the direction of the
Duke of Cambridge. The streets and windows were lined with seats
covered with black cloth. Barriers were raised at the mouths of the
side streets in the line of route, to prevent the danger of any side
rush. In the dread of missing the sight, hundreds of people took up
their position the night before, and kept it during the dark hours, in
spite of wind and rain. All the richer classes were in mourning;
indeed, whoever could bring out a scrap of black did so. There was a
peculiar hush and touch of solemnity, which had its effect on the
roughest in the million and a half of spectators.

At a quarter before eight, nineteen minute guns were fired in the
park, the walls of the pavilion were suddenly drawn up, revealing the
funeral car and its sacred burden. Instantly the troops presented arms
for the last time to their late commander, and the drums beat "a long
and heavy roll, increasing like the roll of thunder." The words "to
reverse arms" were then given, and the funeral procession began to
move. First came battalion after battalion of infantry, commencing
with the rifles, the bands playing "The Dead March in Saul," the
trumpets of the cavalry taking up "the wailing notes." "As the dark
mass of the rifles appeared, and the solemn dead march was heard, the
people were deeply affected, very many of both sexes to tears....
Great interest was felt as the Duke's regiment, the 33rd, passed."
Squadrons of cavalry were succeeded by seventeen guns; the Chelsea
Pensioners, old men, like him whose remains they followed, to the
number of eighty three--his years on earth; one soldier from every
regiment in her Majesty's service, to say that none had been left out,
when their leader was borne to his grave; standards and pennons;
deputations from public bodies--Merchant Taylors' Company, East India
Company, and the deputation from the Common Council of London, joining
the procession at Temple Bar; more standards, high officials,
Sheriffs, and Knights of the Bath; the Judges, members of the
Ministry, and Houses of Parliament; the Archbishop of Canterbury; the
Lord Mayor of London carrying the City Sword; His Royal Highness
Prince Albert, attended by the Marquesses of Exeter and Abercorn--
Lord Chamberlain and Groom of the Stole; the Great Banner, borne by an
officer, and supported by two officers on horseback; the Field-
marshals' batons--each carried by a foreign officer of high rank--
which every country in Europe, except France and Austria, had
entrusted to the care of the Great Duke. To the imposing scene to-day
France, like an honorable enemy, sent a representative; but Austria,
still smarting under the affront to Haynau, was conspicuous by
absence. The English Field-marshal's baton was borne on its cushion by
the Duke's old comrade in arms, the Marquis of Anglesey. The Duke's
coronet followed. Then the pall-bearers--eight generals in mourning
coaches. At length the huge funeral car, heavily wrought and
emblazoned and inscribed with the names of the Duke's battles, drawn
by twelve horses, with five officers on horseback, bearing the
banneroles of the lineage of the deceased, riding on either side. On
the car was placed the coffin, and on the coffin rested the hat and
sword of the dead commander.... Every emotion, save that of solemn
awe, was hushed. The massive structure moved on its course with a
steady pressure, and produced a heavy dull sound, as it ground its
path over the road.... But the car, apart from its vast size, passed
unnoticed, for on its highest stage rested a red velvet coffin, which
contained all that was mortal of England's greatest son. It seemed
that a thousand memories of his great and long career were awakened at
the sight of that narrow tenement of so great a man.... The voice
which had cried "Up, Guards, and at them!" at the critical moment on
the afternoon of that rainy Sunday at Waterloo, thirty-seven years
before, was silent for ever. The sagacious and skilled brain which had
planned so well the defence of London from the threatened outbreak of
the Chartists, would plan no more for Queen and country. No longer
would the shouting crowd press round him on every gala, and strangers
watch patiently near the Horse Guards for one of the sights of London--
the eagle face of the conqueror of him who conquered Europe.

  "No more in soldier fashion would he greet,
  With lifted hand, the gazer in the street."

Wellington was making his way from the Horse Guards for the last time,
attended by such a mighty multitude as seldom waits on the steps of
Kings, hardly ever with such mute reverence as they gave him that day.
The "good grey head" of "the last Great Englishman" was about to be
laid in the dust, and his best epitaph was Tennyson's line--

  "One that sought but duty's iron crown."

Behind the car came the chief mourner, accompanied by his younger
brother, with cousins and relatives to the last degree of kindred, and
friends filling a long train of mourning coaches. Then followed what
moved the people more than all the splendour, because it came like a
touch of homely nature appealing to all, in a familiar part of the
life that was gone, the late Duke's horse, led by John Mears, his aged
groom. The horse might have been "Copenhagen," which had borne the
Duke in the thick of his greatest battle, and died long since at
Strathfieldsaye, so eagerly did the crowds gaze on it. More carriages
and troops closed the march.

And she was not absent who had held the dead man in such high esteem,
whom he had so loved and honoured. From two different points--as if
she were reluctant to see the last of her old friend--from the balcony
of Buckingham Palace, where the Royal Standard floated half-mast high,
as the funeral passed up Constitution Hill, and again from the windows
of St. James's Palace, as the melancholy train went down St. James's
Street, the Queen, surrounded by her children and her young cousins
from Belgium, looked down on the solemn pageant.

Nearly twenty thousand privileged persons--many of them of high rank,
filled St. Paul's, black-draped and gas-lit on the dark November day.
After the funeral company were seated, the body, which had been
received at the west entrance by the Bishop of London and the other
clergy of the Cathedral, was carried up the nave to the chanting of "I
am the Resurrection and the Life." The spurs were borne by one herald,
the helmet and crest by another, the sword and target by a third, the
surcoat by a fourth, the foreign batons by their foreign bearers, the
English baton by Lord Anglesey.

Among the psalms and anthems, a dirge accompanied by trumpets was
sung, "And the King said to all the people that were with him, rend
your clothes and gird you with sackcloth and mourn. And the King
himself followed the bier. And they buried him; and the King lifted up
his voice and wept at the grave, and all the people wept. And the King
said unto his servants, Know ye not that there is a prince and a great
man fallen this day in Israel."

An affecting incident occurred, when, at the conclusion of this dirge,
the body was lowered into the crypt to the "intensely mournful" sound
of "The Dead March in Saul." As the coffin with the coronet and baton
slowly descended, and thus the great warrior departed from the sight
of men, a sense of heavy depression came on the whole assembly. Prince
Albert was deeply moved, and the aged Marquess of Anglesey, the
octogenarian companion in arms of the deceased, by an irresistible
impulse stepped forward, placed his hand on the sinking coffin that
contained the remains of his chief in many battles, and burst into
tears.

  "In the vast Cathedral leave him;
  God accept him, Christ receive him."



CHAPTER XXIII.


THE EMPEROR NAPOLEON III. AND THE EMPRESS EUGÉNIE--FIRE AT WINDSOR--
THE BIRTH OF PRINCE LEOPOLD.

At the close of 1852 Mr. Disraeli announced his Budget in one famous
speech, to which Mr. Gladstone replied in another, the first of those
memorable speeches--at once a fine oration and a convincing argument--
so often heard since then. The Derby Ministry, already tottering to
its fall on the ground of its opposition to Free-trade principles, was
defeated, and the same night Lord Derby resigned office, and Lord
Aberdeen, who was able to unite the Whigs and the followers of the
late Sir Robert Peel, took his place.

On the 2nd of December, the anniversary of the _coup d'état_, the
Empire was declared in France, and Louis Napoleon entered Paris as
Emperor on the following day.

On the 22nd of January, 1853, the Emperor of the French made public
his approaching marriage to the beautiful Eugénie de Montigo, Comtesse
de Théba.

A serious fire broke out at Windsor Castle on the night of the 19th of
March, the very day that the Court had come down for Easter. It was
the result of an accident from the over-heating of a flue, which might
have been doubly disastrous.

The scene of the fire was the upper stories of the Prince of Wales's
Tower, above the Gothic dining-room, which is in the same suite with
the Crimson, Green, and White drawing-rooms, in the last of which the
Queen and Prince Albert were sitting, at ten o'clock in the evening,
when the smell of smoke and burning aroused an alarm.

Besides the suite of drawing-rooms, with their costly furniture, the
plate-rooms were beneath the Gothic dining-room; and on the other
side--beyond a room known as the Octagon-room--was the Jewelled
Armoury. The fire had taken such hold that the utmost exertions were
needed to keep it under, and prevent it from spreading, and it
remained for hours doubtful whether the rest of the Castle would
escape. Prince Albert, the gentlemen of the household, and the
servants, with seven hundred Guards brought from the barracks and
stationed in the avenues to prevent further disorder, strove to
supplement the work of the fire-engines. The Gothic dining-room was
stripped of its furniture, including the gold vase or bath for wine,
valued at ten thousand pounds. The Crimson drawing-room and the
Octagon-room were dismantled. The plate-rooms were considered
fireproof, but the Jewelled Armoury was emptied of its treasures,
among them the famous peacock of Tippoo Sahib.

More than five hours passed before the danger was over. The Queen, in
writing to reassure the King of the Belgians, said, "Though I was not
alarmed, it was a serious affair, and an acquaintance with what a fire
is, and with its necessary accompaniments, does not pass from one's
mind without leaving a deep impression. For some time it was very
obstinate, and no one could tell whether it would spread or not. Thank
God, no lives were lost."

Less than three weeks after the fire, the Queen's fourth son, and
eighth child, was born at Buckingham Palace on the 7th of April.
Within a fortnight her Majesty was sufficiently recovered to write to
the King of the Belgians, and here the wound which had been felt so
keenly bled afresh. "My first letter is this time, as last time,
addressed to you. Last time it was because dearest Louise--to whom the
first announcement had heretofore always been addressed, was with me,
alas! Now," she goes on to remind him affectionately, "Stockmar will
have told you that Leopold is to be the name of our fourth young
gentleman. It is a mark of love and affection which I hope you will
not disapprove. It is a name which is the dearest to me after Albert,
one which recalls the almost only happy days of my sad childhood. To
hear "Prince Leopold" [Footnote: When Prince Leopold's title was
merged into that of Duke of Albany, our readers may remember that some
reluctance was expressed at the change, and that there was an attempt
to preserve the earlier name, by arranging that his Royal Highness
should be styled "Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany."] again will make me
think of all those days. His other names will be George, Duncan,
Albert, and the sponsors will be the King of Hanover, Ernest Hohenlohe
(the Queen's brother-in-law), the Princess of Prussia, and Mary of
Cambridge. George is after the King of Hanover, and Duncan is a
compliment to dear Scotland."

In the Royal Academy this year one of the pre-Raphaelites, who had
been at first treated with vehement opposition and ridicule, came so
unmistakably to the front as to stagger his former critics, and render
his future success certain. Even the previous year Millais's
"Huguenot" had made a deep impression, and his "Order of Release" this
year carried everything before it. In the same Academy exhibition were
Sir Edwin Landseer's highly poetic "Night" and "Morning."

On the Court's return from Osborne to London, the Queen and Prince
Albert were present with their guests, the King and Queen of Hanover,
and the Duke and Duchess of Coburg, on the 21st of June, in the camp
at Chobham, when a sham-fight and a series of military manoeuvres over
broken ground were carried out with great spirit and exactness, to the
admiration of a hundred thousand spectators. Her Majesty, as in the
early years of her reign, wore a half-military riding-habit, and was
mounted on a splendid black horse, on which she rode down the lines
before witnessing the mock battle from an adjoining height.

Four days afterwards Prince Albert returned to the camp to serve for a
couple of days with his brigade, the Guards. The Prince experienced
something of the hardships of bivouacing in stormy weather, and
suffered in consequence. He came back labouring under a bad cold, to
be present at the baptism of his infant son on the 28th. All the
sponsors were there in person. The Lord Chamberlain conducted the
baby-prince to the font; the Archbishop of Canterbury performed the
sacred rite. The usual State banquet and evening party followed. But
illness, not very deadly, yet sufficiently prostrating, was hovering
over the royal pair and their guests. The Prince of Wales was already
sick of measles. Prince Albert, pre-disposed by the cold he had
caught, got the infection from his son, had a sharp attack of the same
disease, and we are told "at the climax of the illness showed great
nervous excitement," symptomatic of a susceptible, highly-strung,
rather fragile temperament.

Though the country was unaware of the extent of the Prince's illness,
we can remember the public speculation it excited, and the
contradictory assertions that the Queen would claim her wife's
prerogative of watching by her husband's sick-bed, and that she would
be forbidden to do so, for State reasons, her health or sickness, not
to say the danger to her life, being of the utmost importance to the
body politic. It is easy to see that if such a question had arisen, it
would have been peculiarly trying to one who had been brought up to
regard her duty to the country as a primary obligation, while at the
same time every act of her life showed how precious and binding were
her conjugal relations. But the matter settled itself. After the
Princess Royal and Princess Alice had also been attacked by the
epidemic, the Queen was seized with it, happily in the mildest form,
which was of short duration. But the mischief did not confine itself
to the English royal family. The juvenile malady of measles became for
a time the scourge of princes, a little to the diversion of the world,
since no great harm was anticipated, or came to pass, while the
ailment invaded a succession of Courts. The guests at Prince Leopold's
baptism carried the seeds of the disease to Hanover, in the person of
the little Hanoverian cousin, King George's son, who had been a
visitor in the English royal nurseries; to Brussels, in the case of
the Duke and Duchess of Coburg, who unconsciously handed on the
unwelcome gift to King Leopold's sons, the Due de Brabant and the
Comte de Flandres, the former on the eve of his marriage, before the
illness was taken across Germany to Coburg.

By the 6th of August, the birthday of Prince Alfred, the Queen and the
Prince were sufficiently recovered to pay a second visit with their
children to Chobham, when a fresh series of manoeuvres were performed
prior to the breaking up of the camp.

A great cluster of royal visitors had arrived in England, making the
season brilliant. It was, perhaps, significant that these visitors
included three Russian archduchesses, in spite of the fact that a war
with Russia was in the air, being only held back by the strenuous
efforts of statesmen, against the wishes of the people. Other visitors
were the Crown Prince and Princess of Wurtemberg, near akin to Russia,
and the Prince of Prussia--the later came from Ostend, on an
invitation to witness a sight well calculated to recommend itself to
his martial proclivities--a review, on the grandest scale, of the
fleet at Spithead, on the 11th of August. The weather was fine, and
the spectacle, perfect of its kind, was seen by all the royal company,
by what was in effect "the House of Commons with the Speaker at its
head," and by multitudes in more than a hundred steamers, besides, the
crowds viewing the scene from the shores of the Isle of Wight and
Hampshire. On the 21st of August, a French sailor whose name has
become a household word in England, died far away amidst the horrors
of the north seas, in a gallant effort to rescue Sir John Franklin and
his crew. Among the brave men who sailed on this perilous quest, none
earned greater honour and love than young Bellot.

On the 22nd of August, a marriage of some interest to the Queen was
celebrated at Brussels. King Leopold's eldest son, the Due de Brabant,
was married in St. Gudule's to the Archduchess Marie Henriette of
Austria. The bridegroom was only eighteen years of age, the bride as
young; but it was considered desirable that the heir-apparent should
marry, and Queen Louise's place had remained vacant while her
daughter, Princess Charlotte, was still unfit to preside over the
Court in her mother's room.

On the 29th of August, Sir Charles Napier, the dauntless, eccentric
conqueror of Scinde, follows his old commander to the grave. Though
more than ten year's younger, Sir Charles's last public appearance was
at the Duke's funeral. He was the grandson of Lord Napier, and the
son of the beautiful Lady Sarah Lennox.

A great art and industrial exhibition at Dublin--the first of the
numerous progeny of the Great Exhibition of two years before--was held
this year. Naturally, the Queen and the Prince were much interested in
its fortunes, and had promised to be present at the opening, but were
prevented by the outbreak of measles in June. It was possible,
however, to visit the Irish Exhibition before its close, and this her
Majesty and Prince Albert did on their way to Balmoral. Proceeding by
train to Holyhead, where they were detained a day and a night by a
violent storm, the travellers sailed on the 29th of August for
Kingstown, which was reached next morning. On landing they were
received by the Lord-Lieutenant, Lord St. Germains and Lady St.
Germains, the Archbishop of Dublin, the Duke of Leinster, &c., &c.,
together with an immense number of people, lining the dock walls and
hailing her Majesty's arrival with vociferous cheers, as on her last
visit to Ireland. Enthusiasm, equal to what had been shown before, was
displayed on the railway route and the drive through the thronged
streets to the Viceregal Lodge. Not long after her arrival, the Queen,
as energetic as ever, was seen walking in the Phoenix Park, and in the
evening she took a drive in the outskirts of the city. At night Dublin
was illuminated. The next day the Queen and the Prince, with their two
elder sons, paid a State visit to the exhibition, full to overflowing
with eager gazers. The royal party were conducted to a dais, where the
Queen, seated on the throne prepared for her, received the address of
the commissioners thanking her for the support she had lent to the
undertaking by her presence, and by her contributions to the articles
exhibited.

The Queen replied, expressing her satisfaction that the worthy
enterprise had been carried out in a spirit of energy and self-
reliance, "with no pecuniary aid but that derived from the patriotic
munificence of one of her subjects." That subject, Mr. Dargan, who had
erected the exhibition building at his own expense, was present, and
kissed hands amidst the cheers of the assembly. The Queen and the
Prince afterwards made the circuit of the whole place, specially
commending the Irish manufactures of lace, poplin, and pottery.

In, the afternoon her Majesty and Prince Albert, to the high
gratification of the citizens of Dublin, drove out through pouring
rain to Mount Annville, the house of Mr. Dargan, saw its beautiful
grounds, and conversed with the host and hostess. His manner struck
the Queen as "touchingly modest and simple," and she wrote in her
journal, "I would have made him a baronet, but he was anxious it
should not be done."

Every morning during their week's stay the royal pair returned
unweariedly to the exhibition, and by their interest in its
productions, stimulated the interest of others. The old engagements--a
review, visits to the castle, and the national schools--occupied what
time was left.

On Saturday, the 3rd of September, a beautiful day succeeding
miserable weather, the Queen drove slowly through the Dublin streets,
"unlined with soldiers," feeling quite sorry that it was the last day
after what she called "such a pleasant, gay, and interesting tune in
Ireland." Loyal multitudes waited at the station and at Kingstown,
cheering the travellers. Lord and. Lady St. Germains went on board the
yacht, and dined with hen Majesty and Prince Albert.

On the following morning, the _Victoria and Albert_ crossed to
Holyhead.

A glad event at Balmoral that year was the laying of the foundation-
stone of the new house. The rite was done with all the usual
ceremonies, Mr. Anderson, then the minister of Crathie, praying for a
blessing on the work.



CHAPTER XXIV.


THE EASTERN QUESTION--APPROACHING WAR--GROSS INJUSTICE TO PRINCE
ALBERT--DEATH OF MARIA DA GLORIA.

The return of the Court to England was hastened by what had disturbed
the peace of the stay in the North. The beginning of a great war was
imminent. The Eastern Question, long a source of trouble, was becoming
utterly unmanageable. Russia and Turkey were about to take up arms.
Indeed, Russia had already crossed the Danube and occupied the
Principalities.

Turkey, in a fever-heat, declared war against Russia, crossed the
Danube, and fought with desperate valour and some success at Oltenitza
and Kalafat; but matters were brought to a crisis by the nearly utter
destruction of the Turkish fleet at Sinope, one of the Turkish ports
on the shores of the Black Sea. The French and English Governments
uttered a practical protest by informing the Czar, that if his fleet
in the south made any further movement against the Turks, the English
and French fleets already in the Dardanelles would immediately enter
the Black Sea and take active steps in defence of their ally.

In the meantime there had been some commotion in the English Cabinet.
Lord Palmerston suddenly resigned, and as quickly resumed office. The
ostensible cause of difference between him and his colleagues was the
new Reform Bill; but the real motive is believed to have been the
Government's tactics with regard to the threatened war. These changed
all at once, the change coinciding with the return of Lord Palmerston
to office, and suiting the fighting mood of the people. He was once
more the favourite of the hour, and in the popular pride and
confidence in him, a great injustice was done to another. Startled and
angered by Lord Palmerston's withdrawal from the Government, the old
clamour about Court prejudice and intrigue, and German objections to
Liberal statesmen, broke out afresh, and raged more hotly than ever.
Prince Albert was openly mentioned as the hostile influence "behind
the throne," and in the Cabinet of which he was a member, against the
man who was prepared to assert the dignity of England in spite of all
opposition; the man who had uniformly sided with the weak, and spoken
the truth of tyrants, let them be in ever so high places; the man at
the same time who had approved of the _coup d'état_. The most
unfounded charges of unfaithfulness to English interests, and personal
interference for the purpose of gaining his own ends, and working into
the hands of foreign Governments, were brought against the Queen's
husband. His birth as a German, and his connection with the King of
the Belgians and the Orleans family, were loudly dwelt upon. It was
treated as an offence on his part that he should attend the Cabinet
counsels of which he was a member, and be in the confidence of the
Queen, who was his loving wife. He was attacked alike by Liberals and
Protectionists; assailed, with hardly an assumption of disguise, both
in public and private, and in many of the principal newspapers. The
man who little more than two years before, at the time of the Great
Exhibition, had been hailed as a general benefactor, and praised as
the worthiest of patriots, was now almost the best-abused man in
England, pursued with false accusations and reproaches equally false.

"One word more about the credulity of the public," wrote Prince Albert
to Baron Stockmar; "you will scarcely credit that my being committed
to the Tower was believed all over the country; nay, even 'that the
Queen had been arrested!' People surrounded the Tower in thousands to
see us brought to it."

All this ingratitude and stupidity must have been galling to its
object, in spite of his forbearance, and, if possible, still more
exquisitely painful to the Queen, who had felt a natural and just
pride, not merely in her husband's fine qualities, but in her people's
appreciation of them. The Prince wrote in the same letter, "Victoria
has taken the whole affair greatly to heart, and was exceedingly
indignant at the attacks." And the Queen wrote with proud tender pain
to Lord Aberdeen, "In attacking the Prince, who is one and the same
with the Queen herself, the throne is assailed; and she must say she
little expected that any portion of her subjects would thus requite
the unceasing labours of the Prince."

This unscrupulous accusation was grave enough to demand a refutation
in Parliament, which Lord Aberdeen and Lord John Russell were ready to
give as soon as the House should meet.

During this trying winter, the Queen heard of the melancholy death of
her sister queen and girlish acquaintance, who had become a kinswoman
by marriage--Maria da Gloria. The two queens were the same in age--
thirty-four--and each had become the mother of eight children, but
there the similarity ceased. At the birth of her last child--dead
born--the Queen of Portugal ended a life neither long nor happy,
though she had been fortunate in her second husband. Queen Maria da
Gloria lacked Queen Victoria's reasonableness and fairness. The Queen
of Portugal started on a wrong course, and continued with it,
notwithstanding the better judgment of her husband. She supported the
Cabrals--the members of a noble Portuguese family, who held high
offices under her government--in ruling unconstitutionally and
corruptly. She consented to her people's being deprived of the liberty
of the press, and burdened with taxes, till, though her private life
was irreproachable, she forfeited their regard. In 1846 civil war
broke out, and the Cabrals were compelled to resign; the Count of
Soldanha and his party took the place of the former ministers. But the
insurrection spread until it was feared the Queen and her husband
would be driven out of the country. Suddenly the tide turned; the
better portion of the army declared for the Queen, her cause was
upheld by the English Government, and peace and the royal authority
were restored. But in spite of a pledge that the Cabrals should be
excluded from the Government, the elder brother again became Premier,
with the old abuse of power. A second revolution was accomplished by
Soldanha, to whose control Maria da Gloria had to yield, much against
the grain. She was succeeded by her eldest son, Don Pedro, still a
minor, with the King-Consort his father for regent, an arrangement
which proved satisfactory to the distracted kingdom.

A different event was the premature death of perhaps the most
beautiful, and the most fortunate, in the eyes of the world, of the
Queen's fair bridesmaids. Lady Sarah Villiers, who had become a
princess by her marriage with the son of one of the richest, most
aristocratic subjects in Europe, Prince Nicholas Esterhazy--of diamond
notoriety, died at Torquay in her thirty-second year.

When Parliament met in January, 1854, the Prince was triumphantly
vindicated by the leaders on both sides, but it was not till his death
that his character was done full justice to. In the meantime the cloud
had broken, and the royal couple rejoiced unaffectedly. The Queen
wrote to Baron Stockmar that there was "an immense concourse" of
people assembled, and they were very friendly when she went to the
House of Lords. The anniversary of the marriage was hailed with fresh
gratitude and gladness, and with words written to Germany that fall
pathetically on our ears to-day. "This blessed day is full of joyful,
tender emotions," are her Majesty's words. "Fourteen happy and blessed
years have passed, and I confidently trust many more will, and find us
in old age as we are now, happy and devotedly united. Trials we must
have; but what are they if we are together?"

It was on this occasion that there was a family masque, of which
Baroness Bunsen, who was present, has given a full description. She
tells how, between five and six o'clock in the evening, the company
followed the Queen and the Prince to a room where a red curtain was
let down. They all sat in darkness till the curtain was drawn aside,
"and the Princess Alice, who had been dressed to represent 'spring,'
recited some verses taken from Thomson's "Seasons," enumerating the
flowers which the spring scatters around, and she did it very well,
spoke in a distinct and pleasing manner, with excellent modulation,
and a tone of voice like that of the Queen. Then the curtain was drawn
up, and the whole scene changed, and the Princess Royal represented
'summer,' with Prince Arthur lying upon some sheaves, as if tired with
the heat of the harvest work; the Princess Royal also recited verses.
Then again there was a change, and Prince Alfred, with a crown of
vine-leaves and a panther's skin, represented 'autumn,' and recited
also verses and looked very well. Then there was a change to a winter
landscape, and the Prince of Wales represented 'winter,' with a white
beard and a cloak with icicles or snow-flakes (or what looked like
such), and the Princess Louise, warmly clothed, who seemed watching
the fire; and the Prince also recited well a passage altered from
Thomson.... Then another change was made, and all the seasons were
grouped together, and far behind, on high, appeared the Princess
Helena, with a long veil hanging on each side down to her feet, and a
long cross in her hand, pronouncing a blessing on the Queen and Prince
in the name of all the seasons. These verses were composed for the
occasion. I understood them to say that St. Helena, remembering her
own British extraction, came to utter a blessing on the rulers of her
country; and I think it must have been so intended, because Helena the
mother of Constantine, the first Christian emperor, was said to have
discovered the remains of the cross on which our Saviour was
crucified, and so when she is painted she always has a cross in her
hand. But grandpapa understood that it was meant for Britannia
blessing the royal pair. At any rate, the Princess Helena looked very
charming. This was the close; but when the Queen ordered the curtain
to be drawn back, we saw the whole royal family, and they were helped
to jump down from their raised platforms; and then all came into the
light and we saw them well; and the baby, Prince Leopold, was brought
in by his nurse, and looked at us all with big eyes, and wanted to go
to his papa, Prince Albert. At the dinner-table the Princesses Helena
and Louise and Prince Arthur were allowed to come in and stand by
their mamma, the Queen, as it a was festival day.... In the evening
there was very fine music in St. George's Hall, and the Princess Royal
and Princess Alice, and the Prince of Wales and Prince Alfred, were
allowed to stop up and hear it, sitting to the right and left of the
chairs where sat the Queen and Prince Albert and the Duchess of Kent."
Some of the graceful figures in the pretty masque were given, with
modifications, by the sculptor's art. Four are reproduced in the
engravings in this book, that of the Princess Royal at page 146, that
of Princess Alice at page 190, that of the Prince of Wales at page
153, and that of Prince Alfred at page 224, Volume First.

On the 7th of February Baron Brunnow, who had been Russian ambassador
in England for fifteen years, quitted London. Notes were dispatched on
the 27th from London and Paris to St. Petersburg, calling on Russia to
evacuate the Principalities, a summons to which the Czar declined to
reply. War was declared in a supplemental gazette, and on the 31st of
March the declaration was read, according to ancient usage, from the
steps of the Royal Exchange by the Sergeant-at-Arms of the City of
London, to a great crowd that wound up the ceremony by giving three
cheers for the Queen. Part of the troops had already embarked, their
marching and embarkation being witnessed by multitudes with the utmost
interest and enthusiasm. The chief sight was the departure of the
Guards, the Grenadiers leaving by gaslight on the winter morning, the
Fusiliers marching to Buckingham Palace, where at seven o'clock the
Queen and the Prince, with their children, were ready to say good-bye.
"They formed line, presented arms, and then cheered us very heartily,
and went off cheering," the Queen wrote to the King of the
Belgians.... "Many sorrowing friends were there, and one saw the shake
of many a hand. My best wishes and prayers went with them all." It was
a famous scene, which is remembered to this day. Another episode was
that of the Duchess of Cambridge and her daughter, the Princess Mary,
taking leave of the brigade with which the Duke of Cambridge, the only
son and brother, left.

Her Majesty and the Prince started for Osborne in the course of the
next fortnight, to visit the superb fleet which was to sail from
Spithead under Sir Charles Napier. "It will be a solemn moment," the
Queen wrote again to Lord Aberdeen; "many a heart will be very heavy,
and many a prayer, including our own, will be offered up for its
safety and glory." In spite of the bad weather, which marred the
arrangements, the Queen sailed from Portsmouth in the _Fairy_,
and passing the _Victory_, with its heroic associations, went
through the squadron of twenty great vessels, amidst the booming of
the guns, the manning of the yards, and the cheers of the sailors. The
following day the little _Fairy_, with its royal occupants,
played a yet more striking part. At the head of the outward-bound
squadron, it sailed with the ships for several miles, then stopped for
the fleet to pass by, the Queen standing waving her handkerchief to
the flag-ship. Her Majesty was, as she said, "very enthusiastic" about
her army and navy, and wished she had sons in both of them, though she
foresaw how she would suffer when she heard of the losses of her brave
men. If she had not sons in either service, her cousin, the Duke of
Cambridge, was with the Guards for a time, and her young nephews,
Prince Victor of Hohenlohe and Prince Ernest Leiningen, were with
their ships. The Queen paid the same compliment of giving a farewell
greeting to the second division of the fleet.

When the address to the Throne in reply to the Queen's message
announcing the declaration of war was presented, her Majesty and the
Prince were accompanied to the House for the first time by the Prince
of Wales, a boy of thirteen.

In the middle of the worry, the season was gay as if no life-blood was
drained in strong currents from the country; and Varna, with its
cholera swamps, where the troops had encamped on Turkish soil, was not
present to all men's minds. The Queen set an example in keeping up the
social circulation without which there would be a disastrous collapse
of more than one department of trade. On May-day, Prince Arthur's
birthday, there was a children's ball, attended by two hundred small
guests, at Buckingham Palace. Sir Theodore Martin quotes her Majesty's
merry note, inviting the Premier to come and see "a number of happy
little people, including some of his grandchildren, enjoying
themselves." Among the grandchildren of Lord Aberdeen were the young
sons of Lord Haddo--sinking under a long wasting illness--George,
sixth Earl of Aberdeen, who, when he came to man's estate, served as
an ordinary seaman in a merchant ship, where his rank was unsuspected,
and who perished by being washed overboard on a stormy night; and the
Honourable James Gordon, who died from the bursting of his gun when he
was keeping his terms at Cambridge.

The Queen honoured Count Walewski, the French ambassador, by her
presence at one of the most brilliant of costume balls. A great Court
ball was followed by a great Court concert, at which Lablache sang
again in England after an interval of many years. Among the visitors
to London in June were poor Maria da Gloria's sons, Coburgs on the
father's side, young King Pedro of Portugal, and his brother, the Duke
of Oporto, fine lads who were much liked wherever they went.

The Queen and the Prince spent her Majesty's birthday at Osborne, and
commemorated it to their children by putting them in possession of the
greatest treasure of their happy childhood--the Swiss cottage in the
grounds, about a mile from the Castle, in which youthful princes and
princesses played at being men and women, practised the humbler duties
of life, and kept natural history collections and geological
specimens, as their father and uncle had kept theirs in the museum at
Coburg. Another great resource consisted of the plots of ground--among
which the Princess Royal's was a fair-sized garden, ultimately nine in
number, where the amateur gardeners studied gardening in the most
practical manner, and had their tiny tool-house, with the small spades
and rakes properly grouped and duly lettered, "Prince Alfred" or
"Princess Louise," as the case might be. A third idea, borrowed like
the first from Coburg, was the miniature fort, with its mimic
defences, every brick of which was made and built, and the very
cannon-balls founded, by the two sons destined to be soldiers--the
Prince of Wales and Prince Arthur.

Before the end of the season cholera broke out in London. Among its
victims was Lord Jocelyn, eldest son of Lord Roden, and husband of
Lady Fanny Cowper. He had been on guard at the palace, and died after
an illness of not more than two hours' duration in the drawing-room of
his mother-in-law, Lady Palmerston.

The Queen came up to town to prorogue Parliament in person. Afterwards
her Majesty and the Prince spent his birthday at Osborne, when one of
the amusements, no doubt with a view to the entertainment of the
children as well as of the grown-up people, was Albert Smith's "Ascent
of Mont Blanc," which was then one of the comic sights of London.

Early in September Prince Albert, in compliment to the alliance
between England and France, went, by the Emperor's invitation, to
visit the French camp at St. Omer, and was absent four or five days.
The Prince's letters were as constant and lover-like as ever.

On the 15th of September the Court arrived at Balmoral, and the same
day the Queen received the news of the sailing of the English and
French soldiers for the Crimea. An anxious but brief period of
suspense followed. Six days later came the tidings of the successful
landing, without opposition, in the neighbourhood of Eupatoria.

Lord Aberdeen came on a visit to Balmoral, and had just left when the
glad tidings arrived of the victory of the Alma, followed immediately
by a false report of the fall of Sebastopol.

During this year's stay in the north, her Majesty met for the first
time a remarkable Scotchman whom she afterwards honoured with her
friendship. Both the Queen and Dr. Macleod describe the first sermon
he preached before her, on Christian life. He adds, "In the evening,
after _daundering_ in a green field with a path through it which
led to the high-road, and while sitting on a block of granite, full of
quiet thoughts, mentally reposing in the midst of the beautiful
scenery, I was roused from my reverie by some one asking me if I was
the clergyman who had preached that day. I was soon in the presence of
the Queen and Prince, when her Majesty came forward and said with a
sweet, kind, and smiling face, 'We wish to thank you for your sermon.'
She then asked me how my father was, what was the name of my parish,
&c.; and so, after bowing and smiling, they both continued their quiet
evening walk alone." [Footnote: Life of Dr. Norman Macleod.]

The Court returned from Balmoral by Edinburgh. At Hull, and again at
Grimsby, the Queen and the Prince inspected the docks, of which he had
laid the foundation stones.



CHAPTER XXV.


THE BATTLE OF INKERMANN--FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE--THE DEATH OF THE
EMPEROR NICHOLAS.

In the beginning of November England heard with mingled triumph and
pain of the repulsed attack on the English at Balaclava on the 25th of
October, and of the charge of the Light Brigade.

The number of the English soldiers in the field fell lower and lower.
The Queen wrote to King Leopold, "We have but one thought, and so has
the nation, and that is--Sebastopol. Such a time of suspense, anxiety,
and excitement, I never expected to see, much less to feel."

On the 13th of November telegrams arrived with the news of the battle
of Inkermann, fought against terrible odds on the 5th.

The Queen wrote herself to Lord Raglan to tell of her "pride and joy"
at receiving the intelligence of "the glorious, but alas! bloody
victory of the 5th." She conferred upon him the baton of a Field-
Marshal. Her Majesty also addressed a kind and sympathising letter to
the widow of Sir George Cathcart.

The Queen wrote with high indignation to the King of the Belgians
after the battle of Inkermann: "They (the enemy) behaved with the
greatest barbarity; many of our poor officers who were only slightly
wounded were brutally butchered on the ground. Several lived long
enough to say this. When poor Sir G. Cathcart fell mortally wounded,
his faithful and devoted military secretary (Colonel Charles Seymour)
... sprang from his horse, and with one arm--he was wounded in the
other--supported his dying chief, when three wretches came and
bayoneted him. This is monstrous, and requisitions have been sent by
the two commanders-in-chief to Menschikoff to remonstrate...."

The winter of 1854-55 was a sorrowful and care-laden time. Little or
no progress was made in the war, while in the meanwhile the sufferings
of the soldiers from a defective commissariat, a rigorous climate, and
the recurring ravages of cholera, were frightful. The very winds and
waves seemed to fight against the allies and to side with "Holy
Russia." Never had the Black Sea been visited by such storms and
wrecks.

From the palace to the cottage, women's fingers worked eagerly and
unweariedly knitting comforters and muffatees to protect the throats
and wrists of the shivering men. We have heard that the greatest lady
in the land deigned thus to serve her soldiers. We have been told of
a cravat worked in crochet by a queen's fingers which fell to the
share of a gallant young officer in the trenches--the same brave lad
who had carried, unscathed, the colours of his regiment to the heights
of the Alma.

The hospitals were in as disorganised a state as the commissariat, and
Mr. Sydney Herbert, well-nigh in despair, had the bright inspiration
of sending to the seat of war Florence Nightingale, the daughter and
co-heiress of a Derbyshire squire, with a staff of nurses.

Such reformation of abuses was wrought by a capable devoted woman,
such order brought out of disorder, such comfort and consolation
carried to wounded and dying men, that the experiment became a
triumphant success. Many were the stories told of the soldiers'
boundless reverence for the woman who had left country and friends and
all the good things that wealth and rank can command to relieve her
fellow-creatures; how one of them was seen to kiss her shadow on the
wall of his ward as she passed; how the convalescents engaged in
strange and wonderful manufactures of gifts to offer to her.

A second large instalment of nurses was sent out after the first, the
latter led by Mary Stanley, daughter of the Bishop of Norwich, and
sister of the Dean of Westminster, who had already been a sister to
the poor in her father's diocese.

The Queen wrote again to Lord Raglan, "The sad privations of the army,
the bad weather, and the constant sickness, are causes of the deepest
concern and anxiety to the Queen and the Prince. The braver her noble
troops are, the more patiently and heroically they bear all their
trials and sufferings, the more miserable we feel at their long
continuance. The Queen trusts that Lord Raglan will be _very
strict_ in seeing that no unnecessary privations are incurred by
any negligence of those whose duty it is to watch over their wants.

"The Queen heard that their coffee was given them green instead of
roasted, and some other things of this kind, which have distressed
her, as she feels so anxious that they should be as comfortable as
circumstances can admit of. The Queen earnestly trusts that the large
amount of warm clothing sent out has not only reached Balaclava, but
has been distributed, and that Lord Raglan has been successful in
procuring the means of hutting for the men. Lord Raglan cannot think
how much we suffer for the army, and how painfully anxious we are to
know that their privations are decreasing.... The Queen cannot
conclude without wishing Lord Raglan and the whole of the army, in the
Prince's name and her own, a happy and _glorious_ new year."

No sooner had Parliament reassembled than Mr. Roebuck brought forward
his famous motion for the appointment of a committee to inquire into
the state of the army and the management of the War Department of the
Government.

Lord John Russell resigned office, and there was a threatened
resignation of the whole Ministry, an ill-timed step, which was only
delayed till Mr. Roebuck's motion was carried, by a large majority,
not amidst the cheers, but to the odd accompaniment of the derisive
laughter of the Liberal members who had voted for the motion. Lord
Aberdeen's Ministry immediately resigned office; and after an abortive
attempt on the part of Lord Derby, at the request of the Queen, to
form a new Ministry, Lord Lansdowne and Lord John Russell were in
succession asked to take the leadership, but each in his turn had to
own his inability to get the requisite men to act under him. In
summoning Lord John Russell to become Premier, the Queen had expressed
a wish that Lord Palmerston--the man to whom the country looked as the
only proper war minister--should take office. The wish, especially
flattering and acceptable to Lord Palmerston, because it indicated
that old differences were forgotten, was in marked keeping with a
certain magnanimity and candour--excellent qualities in a sovereign--
which have been prominent features in her Majesty's character.

Lord John Russell having been as unsuccessful as his predecessors in
forming a Ministry, Lord Palmerston was sent for by the Queen and
offered the premiership, and the most popular minister of the day was
soon able, to the jubilation of the country, to construct a Cabinet.

On the 10th of February, the anniversary of the Queen's marriage-day,
there was this year, as usual, a home festival, with the nursery drama
of "Little Red Riding Hood" performed by the younger members of the
family, and appropriate verses spoken by Princess Alice, who seems to
have been the chosen declaimer among the princes and princesses. But
beneath the rejoicing there were in the elders anxiety, sympathetic
suffering, and the endurance of undeserved suspicion. The committee
carrying out the inquiry proposed by Mr. Roebuck's motion, conceived
most unjustly that the Prince's hostile influence prevented them from
obtaining the information they desired. The Queen's health was
suffering from her distress on account of the hardships experienced by
her soldiers, so that when Lord Cardigan returned to England, repaired
to Windsor, and had the royal children upon his knee, they said, "You
must hurry back to Sebastopol and take it, else it will kill mamma!"

On the 2nd of March the strange news burst upon Europe, exciting
rather a sense of solemnity than any less seemly feeling, of the
sudden death of the Emperor Nicholas, former guest and fervent friend
of the Queen--for whom she seems to have retained a lingering, rueful
regard--grasper at an increase of territory, disturber of the peace of
Europe, dogged refuser of all mediation. He had an attack of
influenza, but the real cause of his death is said to have been bitter
disappointment and mortification at his failure to drive the allies
out of the Crimea. The "Generals, January and February," on whom he
had counted to work his will, laid him low.


CHAPTER XXVI.


INSPECTION OF THE HOSPITAL AT CHATHAM--VISIT OF THE EMPEROR AND
EMPRESS OF THE FRENCH--DISTRIBUTION OF WAR MEDALS.

On the 3rd of March, the Queen and the Prince, with the Prince of
Wales, Prince Alfred and the Duke of Cambridge, visited the hospital
at Chatham, to which many of the wounded and sick soldiers had been
brought home. The whole of the invalids who were in a condition to
leave their beds "were drawn up on the lawn," each having a card
containing his name and services, his wounds, and where received. Her
Majesty passed along the line, saying a few kind words to those
sufferers who particularly attracted her notice, or to those whose
services were specially commended. It is easy to imagine how the
haggard faces would brighten and the drooping figures straighten
themselves in that royal and gentle presence.

In the course of the month, at an exhibition and sale of water-colour
drawings and pictures by amateurs, in aid of a fund for the widows and
orphans of officers in the Crimea, the artistic talent of which there
have been many proofs in the Queen's and the Prince's children, was
first publicly shown. A water-colour drawing by the Princess Royal,
already a fine girl of fifteen--whose marriage was soon to be mooted,
in which she had represented a woman weeping over a dead grenadier,
displayed remarkable merit and was bought for a large price.

On the 16th of April the Emperor and Empress of the French arrived in
England on a visit to the Queen. The splendid suite of rooms in
Windsor Castle which includes the Rubens, Zuccarelli, and Vandyck
rooms, were destined for the imperial guests. And we are told that, by
the irony of fate, the Emperor's bedroom was the same that had been
occupied on previous occasions by the late Emperor Nicholas and King
Louis Philippe. Sir Theodore Martin refers to a still more pathetic
contrast which struck the Queen. He quotes from her Majesty's journal
a passage relating to a visit paid by the old Queen Amélie to Windsor
two or three days before. "It made us both so sad to see her drive
away in a plain coach with miserable post-horses, and to think that
this was the Queen of the French, and that six years ago her husband
was surrounded by the same pomp and grandeur which three days hence
would surround his successor."

Prince Albert received the travellers at Dover in the middle of a
thick mist which had delayed the _corvette_, hidden the English
fleet, and somewhat marred what was intended to have been the
splendour of the reception. After the train had reached London, the
drive was through densely crowded streets, in which there was no lack
of enthusiasm for the visitors.

The strangers did not reach Windsor till past seven. The Queen had
been waiting for them some time in one of the tapestry rooms near the
guard-room. "The expectation and agitation grew more intense," her
Majesty wrote in her diary. "The evening was fine and bright. At
length the crowd of anxious spectators lining the road seemed to move;
then came a groom; then we heard a gun, and we moved towards the
staircase. Another groom came. Then we saw the advanced guard of the
escort; then the cheers of the crowd burst forth. The outriders
appeared, the doors opened, I stepped out, the children and Princes
close behind me; the band struck up "Partant pour la Syrie," the
trumpets sounded, and the open carriage, with the Emperor and Empress,
Albert sitting opposite to them, drove up, and they got out.

"I cannot say what indescribable emotions filled me, how much all
seemed like a wonderful dream. These great meetings of sovereigns,
surrounded by very exciting accompaniments, are always very agitating.
I advanced and embraced the Emperor, who received two salutes on
either cheek from me, having first kissed my hand. I next embraced the
very gentle, graceful, and evidently very nervous Empress. We
presented the Princes (the Duke of Cambridge and the Prince of
Leiningen, the Queen's brother) and our children (Vicky, with very
alarmed eyes, making very low curtsies); the Emperor embraced Bertie;
and then we went upstairs, Albert leading the Empress, who in the most
engaging manner refused to go first, but at length with graceful
reluctance did so, the Emperor leading me, expressing his great
gratification at being here and seeing me, and admiring Windsor."
[Footnote: Life of the Prince Consort.]

Her Majesty was pleased with the Emperor; his low soft voice and quiet
manner were very attractive. She was delighted with the Empress, of
whom she repeatedly wrote with admiration and liking. "She is full
courage and spirit," the Queen described her visitor, "yet so gentle,
with such innocence and _enjouement_, that the _ensemble_ is
most charming. With all her great liveliness, she has the prettiest
and most modest manner." There were morning walks during the
visitors' stay, and long conversations about the war. A deputation
from the Corporation of London came down to Windsor, and presented the
Emperor with an address. There was a review of the Household troops in
the Great Park, to which the Queen drove with the Empress. The
Emperor, the Prince, and the Duke of Cambridge rode. There was a
tremendous enthusiastic crowd in the Long Walk, and considerable
pushing at the gates. The Queen was alarmed because of the spirited
horse the Emperor rode.

The day ended with a ball in the Waterloo Room, when the Queen danced
a quadrille with the Emperor, who, she wrote, "danced with great
dignity and spirit. How strange" she added "to think that I, the
grand-daughter of George III., should dance with the Emperor Napoleon,
nephew of England's great enemy, now my nearest and most intimate
ally, in the Waterloo Room, and this ally only sixteen years ago
living in this country in exile, poor and unthought of."

A Council of War was held the day after the Emperor's arrival, at
which the Queen was not present. It was attended by the Emperor, the
Prince, Lords Palmerston, Panmure, Hardinge, Cowley (English
ambassador in Paris), Count Walewski (French ambassador in London),
Marshal Vaillant, &c., &c. It met at eleven, and had not separated at
two, the hour of luncheon, after which a chapter of the Order of the
Garter--for which special toilettes were indispensable, was to be
held. The Empress went and told Lord Cowley how late it was, in vain.
She advised the Queen to go to them. "I dare not go in, but your
Majesty may; it is your affair." The Queen passed through the
Emperor's bedroom, which was next to the council-room, knocked, and
entered to ask what was to be done, perhaps a solitary instance of a
queen having to go in search of her guests. Both the Emperor and the
Prince rose and said they would come, but business was so enchaining
that still they delayed, and the ladies had to take luncheon alone.

The Emperor was invested with the Order of the Garter in the Throne-
room. The forms were the same as those followed in the investiture of
Louis Philippe, and no doubt the one scene recalled the other vividly
enough. Bishop Wilberforce was present and gives some particulars: "A
very full chapter. The Duke of Buckingham (whose conduct had not been
very knightly) came unsummoned, and was not asked to remain to dinner.
The Emperor looked exulting and exceedingly pleased." After the
chapter, the Emperor sent for the Bishop, that he might be presented.
His lordship's opinion was that Louis Napoleon was "rather mean-
looking, small, and a tendency to _embonpoint_; a remarkable way,
as it were, of swimming up a room, with an uncertain gait; a small
grey eye, looking cunning, but with an aspect of softness about it
too. The Empress, a peculiar face from the arched eye-brows, blonde
complexion; an air of sadness about her, but a person whose
countenance at once interests you. The banquet was magnificent. At
night," ends Bishop Wilberforce, "the Queen spoke to me. 'All went off
very well, I think; I was afraid of making some mistake; you would not
let me have in writing what I was to say to him. Then we put the
riband on wrong, but I think it all went off well on the whole.'"

The Emperor and Empress were invited to a banquet at Guildhall. They
went from Buckingham Palace, to which the Queen and Prince Albert had
accompanied them. The Queen wrote in her journal that their departure
from Windsor made her sad. The passing through the familiar rooms and
descending the staircase to the mournful strains of "Partant pour la
Syrie" (composed by the Emperor's mother, Queen Hortense, and heard by
her Majesty fourteen different times that April day), the sense that
the visit about which there had been so much excitement was nearly
over, the natural doubt how and when the group would meet again,
touched her as with a sense of foreboding.

The Emperor and Empress drove from Buckingham Palace to Guildhall in
six of the Queen's State carriages, the first drawn by the famous
cream-coloured horses. The whole route was packed with people, who
gave the visitors a thorough ovation. The City hall was decorated with
the flags of England, France, and Turkey; and the lion and the eagle
conjointly supported devices which bore the names "Alma, Balaclava,
and Inkermann." At the _déjeuner_ sherry was served which had
reached the venerable age of one hundred and nine years, was valued at
£600 the butt, and had belonged to the great Napoleon. The same
evening, the Queen and the Prince, with their guests, went in State to
the Italian Opera, where _Fidelio_ was performed. "We literally
drove through a sea of human beings, cheering and pressing near the
carriage." The illuminated streets bore many devices--of N.E. and
V.A., which the Emperor remarked made the word "Neva"--a coincidence
on which he appears to have dwelt with his share of the superstition
of the Buonapartes. The Opera-house and the royal box were richly
decorated for the occasion. On entering, her Majesty led the Emperor,
and Prince Albert the Empress, to the front of the box, amidst great
applause. The audience was immense, a dense mass of ladies and
gentlemen in full dress being allowed to occupy a place behind the
singers on the stage.

The next day, a beautiful April day, the Queen discovered was the
forty-seventh birthday of the Emperor; and when she went to meet him
in the corridor, she wished him joy and gave him a pencil-case. He
smiled and kissed her hand, and accepted with empressment two violets--
the Buonapartes' flower--brought to him by Prince Arthur. All along
the thronged road to Sydenham, cries of "Vive l'Empereur!" and "Vive
l'Impératrice!" alternated with cheers for the Queen. The public were
not admitted while the royal party were in the palace, but they
gathered twenty thousand strong on the terrace; and when her Majesty,
with her guests, came out on the balcony to enjoy the beautiful view,
such shouts of loyalty and welcome filled the spring air as struck
even ears well accustomed to public greetings. After luncheon the
Queen and her visitors returned to the Palace, having to pass through
an avenue of people lining the nave, to reach the balcony from which
the strangers were to see the fine spectacle of the fountains playing.
The Queen owned afterwards she was anxious; yet, she added, "I felt as
I leant on the emperor's arm, that I was possibly a protection for
him. All thoughts of nervousness for myself were lost. I thought only
of him; and so it is, Albert says, when one forgets oneself, one loses
this great and foolish nervousness." A sentence worthy of him and of
her.

Alas for fickle fortune and the changes which time brings! The present
writer was accidentally present on the occasion of the Emperor and
Empress's last visit to the Crystal Palace. They came from Chislehurst
without any announcement, when they were not expected, on an ordinary
shilling day in autumn, the company happening to be few. A slight stir
and one or two policemen coming to the front, suggested that some
theft had been committed, and that the offender was about to be taken
into custody and removed from the building. Then an official walked
bareheaded down the cleared nave, and behind him came a little yellow-
skinned shrunken man in plain clothes, on whose arm a lady in a simple
black silk walking-dress and country hat leant lightly, as if she were
giving instead of receiving support. He made a slight attempt to
acknowledge the faint greetings of the spectators, some of them
ignorant of the identity of the visitors, all of them taken by
surprise. She smiled and bowed from side to side, a little
mechanically, as if anxious to overlook no courtesy and to act for
both. It was not long after the battle of Sedan and the imprisonment
at Wilhelmshohe, and the hand of death was already upon him. The
couple hurried on, as if desirous of not being detained, and could not
have tarried many minutes in the building when a few straggling cheers
announced their departure.

In the afternoon of the 20th of April a second council relating to the
war in the Crimea was held, at which the Queen was present. With her
large interest in public affairs, her growing experience, and her
healthy appetite for the work of her life, she enjoyed it exceedingly.
"It was one of the most interesting scenes I was ever present at," she
wrote in her journal. "I would not have missed it for the world."

On Saturday, the 21st of April, the visitors left, after the Emperor
had written a graceful French sentence in the Queen's album, and an
admonitory verse in German, which had originally been written for
himself, in the Prince of Wales's autograph book. The Queen
accompanied her visitors to the door, and parted from them with kindly
regret. As they drove off she "ran up" to see the last of the
travellers from the saloon they had just quitted. "The Emperor and
Empress saw us at the window," she wrote, "turned round, got up, and
bowed.... We watched them, with the glittering escort, till they could
be seen no more...." The Prince escorted the Emperor and Empress to
Dover. The Queen wrote in a short memorandum her view of the Emperor's
character, and what she expected from the visit in a political light.
Through the good sense of the paper one can see how the confiding
friendly nature had survived the rough check given to it by Louis
Philippe's manoeuvres and dissimulation.

On the 1st of May the Academy opened with Millais's "Rescue of
children from a burning house," and with a remarkable picture by a
young painter who has long since vindicated the reception it met with.
It was Mr. F. Leighton's "Procession conveying Cimabue's Madonna
through the streets of Florence."

On the 18th of May her Majesty distributed medals to some of the
heroes of the war still raging. The scene was both picturesque and
pathetic, since many of the recipients of the honour were barely
recovered from their wounds. The presentation took place in the centre
of the parade of the Horse Guards, where a dais was erected for the
ceremony, while galleries had been fitted up in the neighbouring
public offices for the accommodation of members of the royal family
and nobility. Barriers shut off the actors in the scene, and a great
gathering of officers, from the crowd which filled every inch of open
space and flowed over into St. James's Park.

The Queen, the Prince, with many of the royal family, the Court, the
Commander-in-Chief, the Secretary for War, and "a host of generals
and admirals," arrived about eleven o'clock. The soldiers who kept the
ground formed four deep, making three sides of a square, and the men
to be decorated passed up the open space, until "the Queen stood face
to face with a mass of men who had suffered and bled in her cause."

The Deputy-Adjutant-General read over the list of names, and each
person, answering to the call, presented to an officer a card on which
was inscribed his name, rank, wounds, and battles. As the soldiers
passed in single file before the Queen, Lord Panmure handed to her
Majesty the medal, which she gave in turn to the medal-holder. He
saluted and passed to the rear, where friends and strangers gathered
round him to inspect his trophy.

The first to receive the medal were the Queen's cousin and
contemporary, the Duke of Cambridge, Lords Lucan, Cardigan, Major-
General Scarlett, Sir John Burgoyne, Sir De Lacy Evans, and Major-
General Torrens. It is needless to say how keenly the public were
moved by the sight of their brave defenders, several of them scarred
and mutilated, many tottering from weakness, some wearing on their
sleeves bands of crape, tokens of mourning for kinsmen lying in
Russian earth.

To every wounded man, officer or private, her Majesty spoke, some of
those addressed blushing like girls under their bronze, and the tears
coming into their eyes. The idea of personally presenting the medals
to the soldiers was the Queen's own, and she must have been amply
rewarded by the gratification she bestowed.

Three officers unable to walk were wheeled past her Majesty in bath-
chairs. Among them was young Sir Thomas Troubridge, both of whose feet
had been carried off by a round shot, while he had continued
commanding his battery till the battle was over, refusing to be taken
away, only desiring his shattered limbs to be raised in order to check
the loss of blood. The Queen leant over Sir Thomas's chair and handed
him his medal, while she announced to him his appointment as one of
her aides-de-camp. He replied, "I am amply repaid for everything."



CHAPTER XXVII.


DEATH OP LORD RAGLAN--VISIT OF THE QUEEN AND PRINCE ALBERT TO THE
EMPEROR AND EMPRESS OF THE FRENCH--FALL OF SEBASTOPOL.

A Sardinian contingent had now, by a stroke of policy on the part of
Count Cavour, the Sardinian Minister, joined the English and French in
arms in the Crimea; but an unsuccessful attack, made with heavy loss
by the combined forces of the English and French on Sebastopol, filled
the country with disappointment and sorrow. The attack was made on the
18th of June, a day which, as the anniversary of Waterloo, had been
hitherto associated with victory and triumph.

Lord Raglan had never approved of the assault, but he yielded to the
urgent representations of General Pelissier. The defeat was the last
blow to the old English soldier, worn by fatigue and chagrin. He was
seized with illness ending in cholera, and died in his quarters on the
29th of June, eleven days after the repulse. He was in his sixty-
seventh year. The Queen wrote to Lady Raglan the day after the tidings
of the death reached England.

During the summer the Queen received visits from King Leopold and his
younger children, and from her Portuguese cousins. During the stay of
the former in England scarlet fever broke out in the royal nurseries.
Princess Louise, Prince Arthur, Prince Leopold, and finally Princess
Alice, were attacked; but the disease was not virulent, and the
remaining members of the family escaped the infection.

In the early morning of the 16th of August, the Russians marched upon
the French lines, and were completely routed in the battle of the
Tchernaya, which revived the allies' hopes of a speedy termination of
the war.

In the meantime, the Queen and Prince Albert, accompanied by the
Prince of Wales and the Princess Royal, paid a visit to the Emperor
and Empress of the French, near Paris. The palace of St. Cloud was set
apart for the use of the Queen and the Prince.

Her Majesty landed at Boulogne during the forenoon of the 18th of
August. She was received by the Emperor, who met her on the gangway,
first kissed her hand, and then kissed her on both cheeks. He led her
on shore, and rode by the side of her carriage to the railway station.

Paris, where no English sovereign had been since the baby Henry VI.
was crowned King of France, was not reached till evening. The city had
been _en fête_ all day with banners, floral arches, and at last
an illumination. Amidst the clatter of soldiers, the music of brass
bands playing "God save the Queen," and endless cheering, her Majesty
drove through the gathering darkness by the Bois de Boulogne to St.
Cloud. To the roar of cannon, the beating of drums, and the echoing of
_vivats_, she was greeted and ushered up the grand staircase by
the Empress and the Princess Mathilde. Everybody was "most civil and
kind," and in the middle of the magnificence all was "very quiet and
royal."

The next day was Sunday, and after breakfast there was a drive with
the Emperor through the beautiful park, where host and guests were
very cheerful over good news from Sebastopol. The English Church
service was read by a chaplain from the Embassy in one of the palace
rooms. In the afternoon the Emperor and the Empress drove with their
guests to the Bois de Boulogne, and to Neuilly--so closely associated
with the Orleans family--lying in ruins. General Canrobert, just
returned from the Crimea, was an addition to the dinner party.

On Monday the weather continued lovely. The Emperor fetched his guests
to breakfast, which, like luncheon, was eaten at small round tables,
as in her Majesty's residences in England. She remarked on the cookery
that it was "very plain and very good." After breakfast the party
started in barouches for Paris, visiting the Exposition des Beaux Arts
and the Palais d'Industrie, passing through densely crowded streets,
amidst enthusiastic shouts of "Vive l'Empereur!" "Vive la Reine
d'Angleterre!" At the Elysée the _corps diplomatique_ were
presented to the Queen. In the meantime, the Emperor himself drove the
boy Prince of Wales in a curricle through Paris. Afterwards the Queen
and Prince Albert, in the company of the Emperor, visited the
beautiful Sainte Chapelle and the Palais de Justice. On the way the
Emperor pointed out the _conciergerie_ as the place where he had
been imprisoned.

Nôtre Dame, where the Archbishop of Paris and his clergy met the
visitors, and the Hôtel de Ville, followed in the regular order of
sightseeing.

The Queen dwells not only on the kindness but on the quietness of the
Emperor as a particular "comfort" on such an occasion.

_Les Demoiselles de St. Cyr_ was acted in the evening. In the
Salle de Mars all the company passed before the Queen, the Empress
presenting each in turn. The Emperor and Empress, preceded by their
gentlemen, always took the Queen and the Prince to their rooms.

On, Tuesday Versailles was the visitors' destination. They went in
many carriages. Troops and national guards, and especially gendarmes,
were to be seen everywhere. The gardens and the fountains, with
throngs of company, were much admired.

The Queen visited the two Trianons. At the larger the Emperor showed
her the room and bed provided for her, in the expectation of her
visiting Paris, by "poor Louis Philippe;" Madame Maintenon's sedan-
chair, by which Louis XIV. was wont to walk; and the little chapel in
which "poor Marie (Louis Philippe's daughter) was married to Alexander
of Wurtemberg in 1838," two years before the Queen's marriage.

At Little Trianon the Empress (who had a passion for every relic of
Marie Antoinette) joined the party, and luncheon was eaten in one of
the cottages where princes and nobles were wont to play at being
peasants.

In the evening the Emperor, with his guests, paid a State visit to the
opera-house in the Rue Lepelletier. Part of the performance was a
representation of Windsor Castle, with the Emperor's reception there,
when "God save the Queen" was splendidly sung, and received with
acclamation. The Emperor's happy animation, in contrast to his usual
impassiveness, was remarked by the audience.

Wednesday's visit, in the continuously fine August weather, was to the
French Exhibition, which the Queen and the Prince were so well
calculated to appreciate. They rejoiced in the excellent manner in
which England was represented, particularly in pottery. The specially
French productions of Sèvres, Goblins, and Beauvais were carefully
studied. The Queen also examined the French Crown jewels, the crown
bearing the renowned Regent diamond, which, though less large than the
Koh-i-noor, is more brilliant. The Emperor presented the Prince with a
magnificent Sèvres vase, a souvenir of the Exhibition of 1851. The
Tuileries was visited, and luncheon taken there in rooms containing
pictures and busts or Napoleon I., Josephine, &c., &c. The Queen
received the Prefect and consented to attend the ball to be given in
her honour.

After a visit to the British Embassy, the Queen and the Prince, with
the Princess Royal and one of the ladies of the suite, took a drive
incognito through Paris, which they enjoyed exceedingly. They went in
an ordinary _remise_, the three ladies wearing common bonnets and
mantillas, and her Majesty having a black veil over her face.

On Thursday morning the Queen rested, walking about the gardens with
her young daughter, and sketching the Zouaves at the gate. The
afternoon was spent at the Louvre, where the Queen mentions the heat
as "tropical."

After dinner at the Tuileries, the party stood laughing together at an
old-fashioned imperial cafetière which would not let down the coffee,
listening to the music, the carriages, and the people in the distance,
and talking of past times; as how could people fail to talk at the
Tuileries! The Emperor spoke of having known Madame Campan (to whose
school his mother was sent for a time), and repeated some of the old
court dresser's anecdotes of Marie Antoinette and the Great
Revolution.

In her Majesty's full dress for the ball given to her by the City of
Paris, she wore a diadem in which the Koh-i-noor was set. Through the
illuminated, crammed streets, the Queen proceeded to the Hotel de
Ville, and entered among flags, flowers, and statues, "like the
Arabian Nights," the Emperor said.

The royal visitors occupied chairs on a dais. One quadrille and one
valse were danced, the Emperor being the Queen's partner, while Prince
Albert danced with Princess Mathilde (the Empress was in delicate
health); Prince Napoleon and Madame Haussman (the wife of the Prefect
of the Seine), and Prince Adalbert of Bavaria and Lady Cowley (wife of
the English ambassador) completing the set.

Several Arabs in long white burnouses were among the guests, and
kissed the hands of the Queen and the Emperor. Her Majesty made the
tour of the stately suite of rooms, lingering in the one in which
"Robespierre was wounded, Louis Philippe proclaimed, and from the
windows of which Lamartine spoke for so many hours in 1848."

On Friday there was a second visit to the Exhibition, and in the
afternoon a grand review of troops in the Champ de Mars, which the
Queen admired much, regretting that she had not been on horseback,
though the day was not fine. From the Champ de Mars the visitors drove
to the Hôtel des Invalides, and there occurred the most striking scene
in the memorable visit, of which the passages from the Queen's journal
in the "Life of the Prince Consort," give so many graphic, interesting
details. Passing between rows of French veterans, the Queen and the
Prince went to look by torchlight at the great tomb, in which,
however, all that was mortal of Napoleon I. had not yet been laid. The
coffin still rested in a side chapel, to which her Majesty was taken
by the Emperor. The coffin was covered with black velvet and gold, and
the orders, hat, and sword of "le Petit Caporal" were placed at the
foot. The Queen descended for a few minutes into the vault, the air of
which struck cold on the living within its walls.

The Emperor took his guests in the evening to the Opéra Comique. It
was not a State visit, but "God save the Queen" was sung, and her
Majesty had to show herself in front of the Emperor's private box. On
Saturday the royal party went to the forest of St. Germain's, and a
halt was made at the hunting-lodge of La Muette. The _Grand
Veneur_ and his officials in their hunting-dress of dark-green
velvet, red waistcoats, high boots, and cocked hats, received the
company. The dogs were exhibited, and a _fanfare_ sounded on the
huntsmen's horns.

The strangers repaired to the old palace of St. Germain's, where her
Majesty saw the suite of rooms which had served as a home for her
unhappy kinsman, James II. It is said she went also to his tomb, and
stood by it in thoughtful silence for a few minutes. On the return
drive to St. Cloud detours were made to Malmaison, where the Emperor
remembered to have seen his grandmother, the Empress Josephine, and to
the fortress of St. Valérien.

The same night there was a State ball at Versailles. At the top of the
grand staircase stood the Empress--"like a fairy queen or nymph," her
Majesty writes, "in a white dress trimmed with bunches of grass and
diamonds, ..." wearing her Spanish and Portuguese orders. The
enamoured Emperor exclaimed in the hearing of his guests, "Comme tu es
belle!" (how beautiful you are!) The long Galerie de Glaces, full of
people, was blazing with light, and had wreaths of flowers hanging
from the ceiling. From the windows the illuminated trellis was seen
reflected in the splashing water of the fountains. The balconies
commanded a view of the magnificent fireworks, among which Windsor
Castle was represented in lines of light.

The Queen danced two quadrilles, with the Emperor and Prince Napoleon,
Prince Albert dancing with Princess Mathilde and the Princess of
Augustenburg. Among the guests presented to her Majesty was Count
Bismarck, Prussian Minister at Frankfort.

The Queen waltzed with the Emperor, and then repaired to the famous
Oeil-de-Boeuf, hung with Beauvais tapestry. After the company had gone
to supper, the Queen and the Emperor's procession was formed, and
headed by guards, officers, &c. &c, they passed to the theatre, where
supper was served. The whole stage was covered in, and four hundred
people sat in groups of ten, each presided over by a lady, at forty
small tables. Innumerable chandeliers and garlands of flowers made the
scene still gayer. The boxes were full of spectators, and an invisible
band was playing. The Queen and Prince Albert, with their son and
daughter, the Emperor and the Empress, Prince Napoleon, Princess
Mathilde, and Prince Adalbert of Bavaria, sat at a small table in the
central box. Her Majesty seems to have been much struck with this
Versailles ball, which was designed and arranged by the Empress from a
plate of the time of Louis XV. It was said there had been no ball at
Versailles since the time of Louis XVI. The last must have been the
ball in the Orangery, on the night that the Bastille fell.

Sunday was Prince Albert's birthday, which was not forgotten among
these brilliant doings. Loving hands laid out the flower-decorated
table with its gifts. At luncheon the Emperor presented the Prince
with a picture by Meissonier. The Empress gave a _pokal_, or
mounted cup, carved in ivory. During a quiet drive with the Emperor
through the park in the morning, the Queen, with her characteristic
sincerity, courageously approached a topic which was a burden on her
mind, on which Baron Stockmar had long advised her to act as she was
prepared to do. She spoke of her intercourse with the Orleans family,
on which the French ambassador in London had laid stress as likely to
displease the Emperor. She said they were her friends and relations,
and that she could not drop them in their adversity, but that politics
were never touched upon between her and them. He professed himself
perfectly satisfied, and sought in his turn to explain his conduct in
the confiscation and forced sale of the Orleans property.

The English Church service was read in a room at St. Cloud as before.
In the afternoon the Emperor took his guests to the memorial Chapelle
de St. Ferdinand, erected on the spot where the late Duc d'Orleans was
killed.

On Monday, the 27th of August, the Queen wrote in her diary her deep
gratitude for "these eight happy days, for the delight of seeing such
beautiful and interesting places and objects," and for the reception
she had met with in Paris and France. The Emperor arrived to say the
Empress was ready, but could not bring herself to face the parting,
and that if the Queen would go to her room it would make her come.
"When we went in," writes her Majesty, "the Emperor called her:
'Eugénie, here is the Queen,' and she came," adds her Majesty, "and
gave me a beautiful fan, and a rose and heliotrope from the garden,
and Vicky a beautiful bracelet, set with rubies and diamonds,
containing her hair...."

The morning was beautiful as the travellers, accompanied by the
Emperor and Empress, drove for the last time through the town of St.
Cloud, with its Zouaves and wounded soldiers from the Crimea, under
the Arc de Triomphe, where the ashes of the great Napoleon had passed,
to Paris and the Tuileries. There was talk of future meetings at
Windsor and Fontainbleau. (And now of the places which the Queen
admired so much, St. Cloud and the Tuileries are in ruins like
Neuilly, while the Hôtel de Ville has perished by the hands of its own
children.) Leave was taken of the Empress not without emotion;

At the Strasbourg railway station the Ministers and municipal
authorities were in attendance, and the cordiality was equal to the
respect shown by all.

Boulogne, to which the Emperor accompanied his guests, was reached
between five and six in the afternoon. There was a review of thirty-
six thousand infantry, besides cavalry, on the sands. The Queen
describes the beautiful effect of the background of calm, blue sea,
while "the glorious crimson light" of the setting sun was gilding the
thousands of bayonets, lances, &c. It was the spot where Napoleon I.
inspected the army with which he was prepared to invade England; while
Nelson's fleet, which held him in check, occupied the anchorage where
the Queen's squadron lay. Before embarking, her Majesty and Prince
Albert drove to the French camps in the neighbourhood.

At last, when it was only an hour from midnight, in splendid
moonlight, through a town blazing with fireworks and illuminations,
with bands playing, soldiers saluting, and a great crowd cheering as
if it was noonday, the Queen and the Prince returned to their yacht,
accompanied by the Emperor. As if loth to leave them, he proposed to
go with them a little way. The parting moment came, the Queen and the
Emperor embraced, and he shook hands warmly with the Prince, the
Prince of Wales, and the Princess Royal. Again at the side of the
vessel, her Majesty pressed her late host's hand, and embraced him
with an, "Adieu, sire." As he saw her looking over the side of the
ship and watching his barge, he called out, "Adieu, Madame, au
revoir," to which the Queen answered, "Je l'espère bien."

On the 6th of September the Court went to Scotland, staying a night at
Holyrood, as usual in those years. On the Queen's arrival she drove
through the old castle of Balmoral, the new house being habitable,
though much of the building was still unfinished. An old shoe was
thrown after her Majesty, Scotch fashion, for luck, as she entered the
northern home, where everything charmed her.

On the 10th of September the Duchess of Kent, who was staying at
Abergeldie, dined with the Queen. At half-past ten despatches arrived
for her Majesty and Lord Granville, the Cabinet Minister in
attendance. The Queen began reading hers, which was from Lord
Clarendon, with news of the destruction of Russian ships. Lord
Granville said, "I have still better news," on which he read, "'From
General Simpson. Sebastopol is in the hands of the allies.'" "God be
praised for it," adds the Queen.

Great was the rejoicing. Prince Albert determined to go up Craig Gowan
and light the bonfire which had been ready the year before, had been
blown down on the day of the battle of Inkermann, and was at last only
waiting to be lit. All the gentlemen, in every species of attire, all
the servants, and gradually the whole population of the little
village, keepers and gillies, were aroused and started, in the autumn
night, for the summit of the hill. The happy Queen watched from below
the blazing light above. Numerous figures surrounded it, "some
dancing, all shouting; Ross (the Queen's piper) playing his pipes
(surely the most exultant of pibrochs), and Grant and Macdonald firing
off guns continually," the late Sir E. Gordon's old Alsatian servant
striving to add his French contribution to the festivities by lighting
squibs, half of which would not go off. When Prince Albert returned he
described the health-drinking in whiskey as wild and exciting.



CHAPTER XXVIII.


BETROTHAL OF THE PRINCESS ROYAL--QUEEN'S SPEECH TO THE SOLDIERS
RETURNED FROM THE CRIMEA--BALMORAL.

An event of great importance to the Queen and her family was now
impending. A proposal of marriage for the Princess Royal--still only
fifteen years of age--had been made by the Prince of Prussia, the heir
of the childless king, in the name of the Prince's only son, Prince
Frederick William, a young man of four-and-twenty, nearly ten years
the Princess's senior. From the friendship which had long existed
between the Queen and the Prince and the Princess of Prussia, their
son was well-known and much liked in the English royal family, and the
youthful Princess Royal was favourably inclined to him. The proposal
was graciously received, on certain conditions. Of course the marriage
of the young Princess could not take place for some time. She had not
even been confirmed. She ought to be allowed to know her mind fully.
The couple must become better acquainted. It was agreed at first that
nothing should be said to the Princess Royal on the subject till after
her confirmation. But when the wooer arrived to pay a delightfully
private visit to the family in their Highland retreat, the last
interdict was judged too hard, and he was permitted to plead his cause
under the happiest auspices.

We have pleasant little glimpses in her Majesty's journal, and Prince
Albert's letters, of what was necessarily of the utmost moment to all
concerned; nay, as the contracting parties were of such high estate,
excited the lively sympathies of two great nations. The Prince writes
in a half tender, half humorous fashion, of the young couple to Baron
Stockmar, "The young man, 'really in love,' 'the little lady' doing
her best to please him." The critical moment came during a riding
party up the heathery hill of Craig-na-Ban and down Glen Girnock,
when, with a sprig of white heather for "luck" in his hand, like any
other trembling suitor, the lover ventured to say the decisive words,
which were not repulsed. Will the couple ever forget that spot on the
Scotch hillside, when they fill the imperial throne of Charlemagne?
They have celebrated their silver wedding-day with loud jubilees, may
their golden wedding still bring welcome memories of Craig-na-Ban and
its white heather.

The Court had travelled south to Windsor, and in the following month,
in melancholy contrast to the family circumstances in which all had
been rejoicing, her Majesty and the Prince had the sorrowful
intelligence that her brother, the Prince of Leiningen, while still
only in middle age, just over fifty, had suffered from a severe
apoplectic attack.

In November the King of Sardinia visited England. His warm welcome was
due not only to his patriotic character, which made Victor Emmanuel's
name a household word in this country, but to the fact that the
Sardinians were acting along with the French as our allies in the
Crimea. He was royally entertained at Windsor, saw Woolwich and
Portsmouth, received an address at Guildhall, and was invested with
the Order of the Garter. He left before five the next morning, when,
in spite of the early hour, the intense cold, and a snowstorm, the
Queen took a personal farewell of her guest.

In the beginning of 1896 the Queen and the Prince were again wounded
by newspaper attacks on him, in consequence of his having signed his
name, as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, among the other officers of
the Guards, to a memorial to the Queen relating to the promotion and
retirement of the officers.

On the 31st of January her Majesty opened Parliament amidst much
enthusiasm, in a session which was to decide the grave question of
peace or war. In March the welcome news arrived that the Empress of
the French had given birth to a son.

On the 20th of March the ceremony of the confirmation of the Princess
Royal took place in the private chapel, Windsor. The Archbishop of
Canterbury and the Bishop of Oxford, Lord High Almoner, officiated,
in the presence of the Queen and the royal family, the Ministers,
Officers of State, &c. Prince Albert led in the Princess; her
Godfather, King Leopold, followed with the Queen. Bishop Wilberforce
made a note of the scene in a few words. "To Windsor Castle. The
confirmation of Princess Royal. Interesting. She devout, composed,
earnest. Younger sister much affected. The Queen and Prince also."

On the 30th of March peace was signed. London became aware of it by
the firing of the Park and the Tower guns at ten o'clock at night. The
next morning the Lord Mayor, on the balcony of the Mansion House, read
a despatch from the Secretary of State, to a large crowd assembled in
the street, who received the tidings with loud cheers. At noon his
Lordship, preceded by the civic functionaries, went on foot to the
Exchange and read the despatch there.

The Tower guns were again fired, the church-bells rang merry peals,
flags were hung out from all the public buildings. A few days
afterwards the Queen conferred on Lord Palmerston the Order of the
Garter--a frank and cordial acknowledgment of his services, which the
high-spirited statesman received with peculiar pleasure.

On the 18th of April her Majesty and Prince Albert went to Aldershot
to commemorate the completion of the camp and review the troops, when
the Queen spent her first night in camp, in the pavilion prepared for
her use. On one of the two days she wore a Field-Marshal's uniform,
with the Star and Order of the Garter, and a dark blue riding habit.
Within a week, in magnificent weather, Her Majesty and Prince Albert
inspected a great fleet at Spithead.

After Easter Lord Ellesmere, in his last appearance in the House of
Lords, moved the address to the Queen on the peace, and spoke the
feelings of the nation when he expressed in the words of a poet the
country's deep debt of gratitude to Florence Nightingale. On the 8th
of May the Lords and Commons went in procession to Buckingham Palace
to present their addresses to the Queen. The same evening she gave a
State ball--the first in the new ball-room--to celebrate the peace.

Lord Dalhousie returned in this month of May from India, where he had
been Governor-General. He was a hopeless invalid, while still only in
his forty-fifth year. The moment the Queen heard of his arrival, she
wrote to him a letter of welcome, for which her faithful servant
thanked her in simple and touching words, as for "the crowning honour
of his life." He could not tell what the end of his illness might be,
but he ventured to say that her Majesty's most gracious words would be
a balm for it all.

On the 19th of May the Queen laid the foundation of the military
hospital at Netley, which she had greatly at heart.

In June a serious accident, which might have been fatal, occurred to
the Princess Royal while her promised bridegroom was on a visit to
this country. Indeed he was much in England in those days, appearing
frequently in public along with the royal family, to the gratification
of romantic hearts that delighted to watch young royal lovers. She was
sealing a letter at a table when the sleeve of her light muslin dress
caught fire and blazed up in a moment. Happily she was not alone. The
Princess's governess, Miss Hildyard, was at the same table, and
Princess Alice was receiving a lesson from her music-mistress in the
room. By their presence of mind in wrapping the hearthrug round the
Princess Royal, who herself showed great self possession under the
shock and pain of the accident, her life was probably saved. The arm
was burnt from below the elbow to the shoulder, though not so as to be
permanently disfigured. Lady Bloomfield has a pretty story about this
accident. She has been describing the Princess as "quite charming. Her
manners were so perfectly unaffected and unconstrained, and she was
full of fun." The writer goes on to say, "When she, the Princess,
burnt her arm, she never uttered a cry; she said 'Don't frighten
mamma--send for papa first.'" She wrote afterwards to her music-
mistress, dictating the letter and signing it with her left hand, to
tell how she was, because she knew the lady, who had been present when
the accident happened, would be anxious.

King Leopold, his younger son, and his lovely young daughter, Princess
Charlotte, were among the Queen's visitors this summer, and a little
later came the Prince and Princess of Prussia to improve their
acquaintance with their future daughter-in-law.

In July the Queen and the Prince were again at Aldershott to review
the troops returned from the Crimea. But the weather, persistently
wet, spoilt what would otherwise have been a joyous as well as a
glorious scene. During a short break in the rain, the Crimean
regiments formed three sides of a square round the carriage in which
the Queen sat. The officers and four men of each of the troops that
had been under fire "stepped out," and the Queen, standing up in the
carriage, addressed them. "Officers, non-commissioned officers, and
soldiers, I wish personally to convey through you to the regiments
assembled here this day my hearty welcome on their return to England
in health and full efficiency. Say to them that I have watched
anxiously over the difficulties and hardships which they have so nobly
borne, that I have mourned with deep sorrow for the brave men who have
fallen in their country's cause, and that I have felt proud of that
valour which, with their gallant allies, they have displayed on every
field. I thank God that your dangers are over, while the glory of your
deeds remains; but I know that should your services be again required,
you will be animated with the same devotion which in the Crimea has
rendered you invincible."

When the clear, sweet voice was silent, a cry of "God save the Queen!"
sprang to every lip. Helmets, bearskins, and shakos were thrown into
the air; the dragoons waved their sabres, and a shout of loyal
acclamation, caught up from line to line, rang through the ranks.

The next day, in summer sunshine, the Queen and her City of London
welcomed home the Guards. In anticipation of a brilliant review in the
park, she saw them march past from the central balcony of Buckingham
Palace, as she had seen them depart on the chill February morning more
than two years before: another season and another scene--not
unchastened in its triumph, for many a once-familiar face was absent,
and many a yearning thought wandered to Russian hill and plain and
Turkish graveyard, where English sleepers rested till the great
awakening.

An old soldier figured before the Queen and the Prince in
circumstances which filled them with sorrow and pity. Lord Hardinge,
the Commander-in-Chief, was having an audience with the Queen, when he
was suddenly struck by paralysis. He resigned his post, to which the
Duke of Cambridge was appointed. Lord Hardinge died a few months
afterwards.

After several yachting excursions, marred by stormy weather, the Court
went north, and reached Balmoral on the 30th of August. The tower and
the offices, with the terraces and pleasure-grounds, were finished,
and every trace of the old house had disappeared. The Balmoral of to-
day, though it still lacked what has become some of its essential
features, stood before the Queen. We are fain to make it stand before
our readers as it is now.

The road to Balmoral may be said to begin with the Strath at Aberdeen.
The farther west the railway runs, the higher grow the mountains and
the narrower waxes the valley. Yet the Highlands proper are held to
commence only at Ballater, the little northern town with its gray
square, and its pleasant inn by the bridge over the rushing Dee. The
whole is set between the wooded hills of Pannanich and Craigendarroch,
the last-named from the oak wood which crowns its summit. The Prince
of Wales's house, Birkhall, stands back from the road on a green
eminence with the mountain rising behind, and in front the river Muich
running down to join the Dee.

At Ballater the railway ends, and two picturesque roads follow the
course of the river, one on each side, the first passing Crathie, the
other going through the fir and birch woods of Abergeldie on the same
side as Balmoral. Both command grand glimpses of the mountains, which
belong to the three great ranges of the district--Cairngorm,
Glengairn, and Loch-na-Gar.

Approaching on the Crathie side, the stranger is struck with the
frequent tokens of a life that was once the presiding genius of this
place, which passing away in its prime, has left the shadow of a great
grief, softened by the merciful touch of time. The haunting presence,
mild in its manliness and gentle in its strength, of a princely
benefactor common to all, has displaced the grim phantoms of old
chieftains and reigns in their stead. It hovers over the dearly loved
Highland home with its fitting touch of stateliness in the middle of
its simplicity, over the forest where a true sportsman stalked the
deer, over the streams and lochs in which he fished, and the paths he
trod by hill and glen. We are made to remember that Balmoral was the
Prince Consort's property, that he bought it for his possession, as
Osborne was the Queen's, and that it was by a bequest in his will that
it came, with all its memories, to his widow. Three different
monuments to the Prince, on as many elevations above the castle, at
once attract the eye. The highest and most enduring, seen from many
quarters and at considerable distances, is a gable-like cairn on the
summit of a hill. It is here that such of the Prince's sons as are in
the neighbourhood, and all the tenantry and dependents who can comply
with the invitation, assemble on the Prince Consort's birthday and
drink to his memory.

Lower down stands a representation of the noble figure of the Prince,
attended by his greyhound, Eos. On another spur of the same hill is an
obelisk, erected by the tenantry and servants to the master who had
their interests so deeply at heart.

The castle, like its smaller predecessor of which this pile of
building has taken the place, stands in a haugh or meadow at the foot
of a hill, within a circle of mountain-tops. The porter's ledge and
gate might belong to the hunting-seat of any gentleman of taste and
means; only the fact that, even when her Majesty is not in residence,
a constable of police is in attendance, marks the difference between
sovereign and subject.

Within the gate the surroundings are still wild and rural, in keeping
with nature free and unshackled, and have a faint flavour of German
parks where the mowing-machine is not always at work, but a sweet
math of wild flowers three or four feet high is supposed to cheat the
dweller in courtly palaces into a belief that he too is at liberty to
breathe the fresh air without thought or care, and roam where he will,
free from the fetters of form and etiquette.

Great innocent moon-daises, sprightly harebells, sturdy heather, bloom
profusely and seem much at home within these royal precincts, under
the brow of the hills and within sight and sound of the flashing Dee.
Gradually the natural birch wood shows more traces of cultivation, and
is interspersed with such trees and shrubs as suit the climate, and
the rough pasture gives place to the smooth lawn, with a knot of
bright flower-beds on one side.

The house is built of reddish granite in what is called the baronial
style, with a sprinkling of peaked gables and pepper-box turrets, and
a square tower with a clock which is said to keep the time all over
the parish. Above the principal entrance are the coats of arms,
carved, coloured, and picked out with gold. There are two bas-reliefs
serving to indicate the character of the building--a hunting-lodge
under the patronage of St. Hubert, supported by St. Andrew of Scotland
and St. George of England, the stag between whose antlers the sacred
cross sprang, forming part of the representation. The other bas-relief
shows groups of men engaged in Highland games.

Within doors many a relic of the chase appears in antlered heads
surmounting inscriptions in brass of the date of the slaying of the
stag and the name of the slayer. The engravings on the walls are
mostly of mountain landscapes and sporting scenes, in which Landseer's
hand is prominent, and of family adventures in making this ascent or
crossing that ford.

The furniture is as Scotch as may be--chairs and tables, with few
exceptions, of polished birch hangings and carpets with the tartan
check on the velvet pile, the royal "sets" in all their bewildering
variety: "royal Stewart," strong in scarlet; "Victoria," with the
check relieved on a white ground; "Albert," on a deep blue, and
"hunting Stewart," which suddenly passes into a soft vivid green,
crossed by lines of red and yellow.

Drawing-room, dining-room, billiard-room, and library are spacious
enough for royalty, while small enough for comfort when royalty is in
happy retreat in little more than a large family circle rusticating
from choice. The corridors look brown and simple, like the rest of the
house, and lack the white statuary of Osborne, and the superb vases,
cabinets, and pictures of Buckingham Palace and Windsor. By the
chimney-piece in the entrance hall rest the tattered colours once
borne through flood and field by two famous regiments, one of them
"the Cameronians."

In the drawing-room is a set of chairs with covers in needlework sewed
by a cluster of industrious ladies-in-waiting. In the library hangs a
richly wrought wreath of flowers in porcelain, an offering from
Messrs. Minton to the Queen. On the second story are the private rooms
of her Majesty and the different members of the royal family. Perhaps
the ballroom, a long hall, one story in height, running out from the
building like an afterthought, is one of the most picturesque features
of the place. The decorations consist of devices placed at intervals
on the walls. These devices are made up of Highland weapons, Highland
plaids, Highland bonnets bearing the chief's feather or the badge of
the clan. Doubtless tufts of purple heather and russet bracken, with
bunches of the coral berries of the rowan, will supplement other
adornments as the occasion calls for them; and when the lights gleam,
the pipers strike up, and the nimble dancers foot it with grace and
glee through reel [Footnote: "Yesterday we had the Gillies' Ball, at
which Arthur distinguished himself and was greatly applauded in the
Highland reels. Next to Jamie Gow, he was the 'favourite in the
room.'"--Extract from one of the Prince Consort's letters.] and sword-
dance, the effect must be excellent of its kind. For long years the
balls at Balmoral have been mostly kindly festivals to the humble
friends who look forward to the royal visits as to the galas of the
year, the greater part of which is spent in a remote solitude not
without the privations which accompany a northern winter.

The parish church of Crathie, a little, plain, white building, well
situated on a green, wooded knoll, looks across the Dee to Balmoral.
The church is notable for its wide, red-covered gallery seats, to
which the few plain pews in the area below bear a small proportion.
The Queen's arms are in front of the gallery, which contains her seat
and that of the Prince of Wales. Opposite are two stained-glass
windows, representing King David with his harp, and St. Paul with the
sword of the Spirit and the word of God, gifts of the Queen in memory
of her sister, the Princess of Hohenlohe, and of Dr. Norman Macleod.
Famous speakers and still more famous hearers have worshipped together
in this simple little country church. Macleod, Tulloch, Caird,
Macgregor--the foremost orators in the Church of Scotland--have taken
their turn with the scholarly parish minister, while in the pews,
bearing royalty company, have sat statesmen and men of letters of whom
the world has heard: Lord Derby, Mr. Gladstone, Dean Stanley, Sir
Arthur Helps, &c., &c.

The old churchyard in which John Brown, the Queen's trusty Scotch
servant, faithful as a squire of old, sleeps, lies down in the low
land near the Dee. John Brown's house, solid and unpretending like the
man himself, which he only occupied once, when his coffin lay for a
night in the dining-room, is in the neighbourhood.

The Queen has white cottages not far from the castle gate, built on
the model of the Osborne cottages, pretty and convenient homes of
keepers, keepers' widows, &c., &c., with the few artisans whose
services are necessary for the small population. There are other
cottages of the old, homely sort, containing no more than "the butt
and the benn" of stereotyped Scotch architecture, with the fire made
of "peats" or of sticks on the hearth-floor. In some of these, the
walls of the better rooms are covered with good plates and photographs
of every member of the royal family, with whose lineaments we are
familiar, from the widowed Queen to the last royal couple among her
grandchildren. These likenesses are much-valued gifts from the
originals.

As a nucleus to the cottages, there is _the_ shop or Highland
store with a wide door and a couple of counters representing two
branches of trade in the ordinarily distinct departments of groceries
and haberdashery. Probably this is the one shop in her Majesty's
domains in which, as we have evidence in her journal, [Footnote: "Life
in the Highlands"--Queen's journal. "Albert went out with Alfred for
the day, and I walked out with the two girls and Lady Churchill,
stopped at the shop and made some purchases for poor people and
others. Drove a little way, got out and walked up the hill to
_Balnacroft_, Mrs. P. Farquharson's, and she walked round with us
to some of the cottages to show me where the poor people lived, and to
tell them who I was.... I went into a small cabin of old Kitty Kear's,
who is eighty-six years old, quite erect, and who welcomed us with a
great air of dignity. She sat down and spun. I gave her, also, a warm
petticoat; she said, 'May the Lord ever attend ye and yours, here and
hereafter, and may the Lord be a guide to ye and keep ye from all
harm.' ... We went into three other cottages--to Mrs. Symons's
(daughter-in-law to the old widow living next door) who had an 'unwell
boy,' then across a little burn to another old woman's, and afterwards
peeped into Blair's, the fiddler. We drove back and got out again to
visit old Mrs. Grant (Grant's mother), who is so tidy and clean, and
to whom I gave a dress and a handkerchief; and she said, 'You're too
kind to me, you're over kind to me, ye give me more every year, and I
get older every year.' After talking some time to her, she said, 'I am
happy to see ye looking so nice.' She had tears in her eyes, and
speaking of Vicky's going said, 'I'm very sorry, and I think she is
sorry hersel'.'..."] she avails herself of the feminine privilege of
shopping. For the Queen can live the life of a private lady--can show
herself the most considerate and sympathetic of noble gentlewomen in
this primitive locality. She can walk or drive her ponies, or visit on
foot her commissioner or her minister, or look in at her school, or
call on her sick, aged, and poor, and take to them the comforts she
has provided for them, the tokens of her remembrance they prize so
much. She can enjoy their simple friendliness and native shrewdness.
She can read to them words of lofty promise and tender consolation.
She can do all as if she were not crowned Queen and ruler of a great
kingdom. In hardly any other part of her empire would such pleasant
familiar intercourse and gentle personal charities be possible for
her. The association has been deepened and strengthened by a duration
of more than thirty years. The Queen came while still a young wife to
Balmoral, and she has learnt to love and be loved by her neighbours in
the long interval which leaves her a royal widow of threescore. Her
children were fair-haired little boys and girls, making holiday here,
playing at riding and shooting, getting into scrapes like other
children, [Footnote: There is a story told of one of the little
princes having chased an old woman's hen and been soundly scolded by
her for the offence. Her neighbours remonstrated with her, and her
heart failed her when, a few days afterwards, she saw the Prince
Consort coming up the path to her house leading the small offender.
But the visit was one of courteous deprecation, in order that the
little hunter of forbidden game might personally apologise for his
delinquency.] prattling to the old women in "mutches" and "short
gowns," whose houses were so charmingly queer and convenient, with the
fires on the hearths to warm cold little toes, and the shadowy nooks
ready for hide-and-seek. These children are now older than their
mother was when she first came up Dee-side, heads of houses in their
turn, but they have not forgotten the friends of their youth.

The rustic community is pervaded in an odd and fascinating manner with
the fine flavour of a Court. It has, as it were, a touch of Arcady.
Among tales of the great storms and fragments of old legends, curious
reflections of high life and gossip of lords and ladies crop up. Not
only are noble names and distinguished personages, everyday sounds and
friendly acquaintances in this privileged region, but when the great
world follows its liege lady here, it is to live in _villiagiatura_, to
copy her example in adapting itself to the ways of the place and in
cultivating the natives. Courtiers are only courtly in being frankly at
ease with the whole human race. Ladies-in-waiting and maids of honour
lose their pride of rank and worldly ambition--if they ever had any,
stroll about, drop into this or that cottage at will, and have their
cronies there as in loftier localities. We hear of this or that
marriage, which has yet to be announced in the _Morning Post_; how a
noble duke, who was conveniently in attendance on the Prince, once
walked with a fair and gentle lady, whose father was in waiting on the
Queen, through the birch woods and by the brawling Dee, and a marriage,
only too shortlived, came of it. And we end by listening to the piteous
details of the swift fading away of the much-loved young duchess. Other
names, with which the Court Calendar has made us familiar, are
constantly coming to the surface in the conversation, generally in
association with some act of cheery good fellowship. The son of an earl
found a dog for his mother at one of these cottage hearths, and never
returned to the neighbourhood without punctually reporting himself to
tell its old mistress how well her former pet was thriving--that it had
its dinner with the family in the dining-room, and drove every day with
the countess in her carriage.

The fine old white house of Abergeldie, with its single-turreted
tower, has become the Scotch home of a genial prince and a beautiful
princess, who, we may remember, remained steadfastly settled there
during the darkening, shortening days of a gloomy autumn, in devoted
watch over her lady-in-waiting lying sick, nigh unto death with fever.
Abergeldie has another cherished memory, that of the good old Duchess
of Kent, for whom Prince Albert first rented the castle, who often
stayed in it, accompanied by her son, the Prince of Leiningen, her
daughter, the Princess of Hohenlohe, or some member of their families.
The peculiar cradle which used to be swung across the Dee here,
conveying passengers as well as parcels, has been removed in
consequence of the last disaster which befell its progress. An earlier
tragedy of a hapless bride and bridegroom who perished in making the
passage is still remembered. Remoter traditions, like that of the
burning of a witch on Craig-na-Ban, linger in the neighbourhood.

Beyond Balmoral, in the Braemar direction, stretches the fine deer-
forest--a great fir-wood on broken ground--of Ballochbuie, a remnant of
the old forest of Mar, where a pretended hunting expedition meant a
projected rebellion. It is said an earl of that name bestowed it on a
Farquaharson in exchange for so small a matter as a plaid. It is now
part of the estate of Balmoral. The hills of Craig Nortie and Meal
Alvie lie not far off, while on the opposite side rise Craig-na-Ban
and Craig Owsel.

Of all the Queen's haunts, that which she has made most her own, where
she has stayed for a day or two at a time, seeming to prefer to do so
when the hills have received their first powdering of snow, [Footnote:
"A little shower of snow had fallen, but was succeeded by brilliant
sunshine. The hills covered with snow, the golden birch-trees on the
lower brown hills, and the bright afternoon sky, were indescribably
beautiful"--Extract from the Queen's journal.] almost every year
during her residence in Aberdeenshire, is that which includes Alt-na-
Giuthasach and the Glassalt Shiel. This retreat is now reached by a
good carriage-road over a long tract of moorland among brown hills,
opening now and then in different directions to show vistas closed in
by the giant heads and shoulders--here of dark Loch-na-Gar, there of
Ben Macdhui, both of them presenting great white splashes on their
seamed and scarred sides--wide patches of winter snow on this July
day, far more than usual at the season, which will not melt now while
the year lasts. "Burns," the Girnoch and the Muich, trot by turns
along with us, singing their stories, half blythe, half plaintive.
Once or twice a lowly farmhouse has a few grass or oat-fields spread
out round it, with the solitude of the hills beyond. A cross-road to
such a house was so bad that a dog-cart brought up to it, had been
unyoked and left by the side of the main road, while its occupants
trudged to their destination on foot, leading with them the horse,
which needed rest and refreshment still more than its masters. The
blue waters of Loch Muich come in sight with bare precipitous hills
round; a little wood clothes the mouth of the pass and the loch, and
helps to shelter Alt-na-Ginthasach. The hut is now the Prince of
Wales's small shooting-lodge. The modest blue stone building, with its
brown wooden porch and its offices behind, is built on a knoll, and
commands a beautiful view of the loch and the steep rocky crags to
those who care for nature at the wildest. The only vestige of soft
green is the knoll on which the hut stands. All the rest is bleak and
brown, or purple when the heather is in bloom. The hills, torn by the
winter torrents, are glistening after a summer shower with a hundred
silver threads in the furrows of the watercourses.

There are fences and gates to the royal domicile, but there is hardly
an attempt to alter its character within, unless by a round plot of
rhododendrons offering a few late blossoms. But all nature, however
stern and savage, smiles on a July day. The purple heather-bell is in
bloom, the tiny blue milkwort and the yellow rock-rose help to make a
summer carpet which is rendered still gayer by many a pale peach-
coloured orchis and by an occasional spray of wild roses, deeper in
the rose than the same flower is in the low countries, or by a tall
white foxglove. Loch Muich may be desolation itself when the heather
and bracken are sere, when the lowering sky breathes nothing save
gloom, and chill mist-wreaths creep round its precipices; but when the
air is buoyant in its tingling sharpness, when the dappled white
clouds are reflected in water--blue, not leaden, and there is enough
sunshine to cast intermittent shadows on the hillsides and the loch,
though a transient darkness and a patter of raindrops vary the scene,
it has its day and way of blossoming.

The Queen's house or shiel of the Glassalt stands near the head of the
two miles long loch, just beyond the point where the Glassalt burn
comes leaping and dashing down the hillside. Here, too, is a small
sheltering fir and birch plantation, though not large enough to hide
the full view of the sentinel hills. A "roundel" of _Alpenrosen_,
or dwarf rhododendrons, is the only break in the growth of moss and
heather. The loch is so near the house that a stone thrown by a
child's hand from the windows of the principal rooms would fall into
the watery depths.

The interior is almost as simple and limited in accommodation as Alt-
na-Giuthasach was when the Queen described it in her journal. The
dining-room and drawing-room might, in old fashioned language, be
called "royal closets"--cosy and sweet with chintz hangings and covers
to chairs and couches, a small cottage piano, a book-tray in which
Hill Burton's "History of Scotland" and Sir Walter Scott's "Tales of a
Grandfather," find their place among Scotch poetry old and new. The
engravings on the walls tell of that fidelity to the dead which
implies truth to the living. There are likenesses of the Prince--who
died before this house was built, as in the great palaces; the Duchess
of Hesse--best known in the north as Princess Alice; the Princess of
Hohenlohe, with her handsome matronly face, full of sense and
kindness, and her young daughter, Princess Elise, who passed away in
the springtime of her life. In these rustic sitting-rooms and the
adjacent bedrooms and dressing-rooms we come again on many a portrait
of the humble friends of the family--the dogs which we seem to know so
well; the early group of little Dash and big Nero, and Hector with the
parrot Lorey; Cairnach, Islay, Deckel, &c. [Footnote: An anecdote of
the royal kennels states that when no notice has been given, the
servants shall know of her Majesty's presence in the vicinity, and
will say among themselves, "The Queen is at Frogmore" by the actions
of the dogs, the stir and excitement, the eager listening, sniffing of
the air, wagging of tails, and common desire to break bounds and
scamper away to greet their royal mistress.]

Behind the house a winding footpath leads up the hill to the rocky
cleft from which issues in a succession of white and foamy twists and
downward springs, the Falls of the Glassalt. Turning round from the
spectacle, the stranger looks down on the loch in its semicircle of
mountains. Gaining the crest of the hill and descending the edge on
the opposite side, the foot of the grim giant Loch-na-Gar is reached.

Among the visitors at Balmoral in 1858 was Florence Nightingale. The
Queen had before this presented her with a jewel in remembrance of her
services in the Crimea. The design was as follows: a field of white
enamel was charged with a St. George's cross in ruby red enamel, from
which shot rays of gold. This field was encircled by a black band
bearing the scroll "Blessed are the merciful." The shield was set in a
framework of palm-branches in green enamel tipped with gold, and
united at the bottom by a riband of blue enamel inscribed "Crimea" in
gold letters. The cypher V.R. surmounted by a crown in diamonds, was
charged upon the centre of the cross. On the back was a gold tablet
which bore an inscription from the hand of her Majesty.

While the Queen was in Scotland the marriage in Germany of one of the
daughters of the Princess of Hohenlohe took place. Princess Adelaide,
like her sister Princess Elise, possessed of many attractions, became
the wife of Prince Frederick of Schleswig Holstein Sonderberg-
Augustenberg, the brother of Prince Christian, destined to become the
husband of Princess Helena.



CHAPTER XXIX.


DEATH OF THE PRINCE Of LEININGEN--BIRTH OF PRINCESS BEATRICE--BESTOWAL
OF THE VICTORIA CROSS--INDIAN MUTINY.

The court returned to Windsor in October, and in November a severe
blow struck the Queen in the death of her brother, the Prince of
Leiningen. A second fit of apoplexy ended his life while his sister,
the Princess of Hohenlohe, watched by his death-bed. Prince Leiningen
was fifty-two years of age. He had served in the Bavarian army, and
was a man of recognised influence among his countrymen in the German
troubles of 1848, which cost him his principality. He had married in
1829, when he was twenty-seven years of age and when the Queen was
only a little girl of ten, Marie (née) Countess of Kletelsberg. He
left two sons, the eldest of whom, Prince Ernest, entered the English
navy.

Her Majesty's references to the death in her letters to King Leopold
are very pathetic. "Oh! dearest uncle, this blow is a heavy one, my
grief very bitter. I loved my dearest, only brother, most tenderly."
And again, "We three were particularly fond of each other, and never
felt or fancied that we were not real _geschwister_ (children of
the same parents). We knew but one parent, _our_ mother, so
became very closely united, and so I grew up; the distance which
difference of age placed between us entirely vanished...." The aged
Duchess of Kent was "terribly distressed, but calm and resigned."

Baron Stockmar was with the royal family at this time. It was his last
visit to England. His company, always earnestly coveted, especially by
the Prince, was apt to be bestowed in an erratic fashion
characteristic of the man. Some one of the royal children would
unexpectedly announce, "Papa, do you know the Baron is in his room,"
which was the first news of his arrival.

During the stay of the Court at Osborne in December, the graceful gift
of the _Resolute_ was made by the Americans to the Queen, and
accepted by her Majesty in person, with marked gratification. The
_Resolute_ was one of the English ships which had gone to the
north seas in search of Sir John Franklin. It had been abandoned in
the ice, found by an American vessel, taken across the Atlantic,
refitted, and by a happy thought offered as a suitable token to the
Queen.

On the 14th of April, 1857, the Queen's fifth daughter and ninth and
last child was born at Buckingham Palace. A fortnight afterwards the
Duchess of Gloucester, the last of George the III. and Queen
Charlotte's children, died in her eighty-third year. The Queen wrote
of her to King Leopold, who must have been well acquainted with her in
his youth, "Her age, and her being a link with bygone times and
generations, as well as her great kindness, amiability, and
unselfishness, rendered her more and more dear and precious to us all,
and we all looked upon her as a sort of grandmother." Sixty-two years
before, when the venerable Princess was a charming maiden of eighteen,
she had gloried in the tidings of her princely cousin's laurels, won
on the battlefields of Flanders. More than twenty years afterwards,
when Princess Charlotte descended the staircase of Carlton House after
her marriage with Prince Leopold, "she was met at the foot with open
arms by the Princess Mary, whose face was bathed in tears." The first
wedding had removed the obstacle to the second, which was celebrated a
few weeks later. The Duchess lived for eighteen years happily with her
husband, then spent more than twenty years in widowhood. She ended her
long life at Gloucester House, Park Lane. At her earnest request, she
was buried without pomp or show with her people in the family vault at
Windsor.

Before the late Duchess of Gloucester's funeral, Prince Albert,
according to a previous pledge, opened, on the 5th of May, the great
Art Exhibition at Manchester, to which the Queen contributed largely.

On the announcement to Parliament of the Princess Royal's approaching
marriage, the House of Commons voted in a manner gratifying to the
Queen and the Prince a dowry of forty thousand, with an annuity of
eight thousand a year to the Princess.

At Osborne the Queen had a flying visit from one of her recent
enemies, the Archduke Constantine, the Admiral-in-Chief of the Russian
navy.

On the 14th of June, the young Archduke Maximilian of Austria arrived.
He was an object of peculiar interest to the Queen and the Prince, as
the future husband of their young cousin, Princess Charlotte of
Belgium. He seemed in every way worthy of the old king's careful
choice for his only daughter. Except in the matter of looks, he was
all that could have been wished--good, clever, kind. But man proposes
and God disposes; so it happened that the marriage attended by such
bright and apparently well-founded hopes resulted in one of the most
piteous tragedies that ever befell a noble and innocent royal pair.
Another bridegroom, Prince Frederick William, was in England to meet
the Archduke, and a third was hovering in the background in the person
of Don Pedro of Portugal, whose marriage with Princess Stephanie of
Hohenzollern Prince Albert had been requested to negotiate. Marriage-
bells were in the air, and that must indeed have been a joyous
christening at which two of the bridegrooms were present. Prince
Frederick William of Prussia acted as godfather to his future little
sister-in-law, while his betrothed bride was one of the godmothers.
The infant was named as her Majesty explained to King Leopold: "She is
to be called Beatrice, a fine old name, borne by three of the
Plantaganet princesses, and her other names will be Mary (after poor
Aunt Mary), Victoria (after mamma and Vicky, who with Fritz Wilhelm
are to be the sponsors), and Feodore (the Queen's sister)." Her
Majesty's last baby was a beautiful infant, soon to exhibit bright and
winning ways, the pet plaything of her brothers and sisters, and
especially of her father.

On the 25th of June the Queen conferred on Prince Albert, by letters
patent, the title of "Prince Consort." The change was desirable, to
insure the proper recognition of his rank, as her Majesty's husband,
at foreign courts.

On the following day, the 26th, the interesting ceremony of the first
bestowal of the Victoria Cross took place in Hyde Park before many
thousands of spectators. The idea was to provide a decoration which
might be earned by officers and soldiers alike, as it should be
conferred for a single merit--the highest a soldier could possess, yet
in its performance open to all--devoted, unselfish courage. Thus arose
the most coveted and honourable of English orders, which confers more
glory on its wearer than the jewelled star of the Order of the Garter
gives distinction. In excellent keeping with the motive of the
creation, the Maltese cross is of the plainest material, iron from the
cannon taken at Sebastopol; in the centre is the crown, surmounted by
the lion; below it the scroll "For Valour." On the clasp are branches
of laurel; the cross hangs suspended from it by the letter V--a red
riband being for the army, a blue for the navy. The decoration
includes a pension of ten pounds a year. The arrangements for the
ceremony were similar to those at the distribution of the medals,
except that her Majesty was on horseback. She rode a grey roan, and
wore a scarlet jacket with a black skirt. Stooping from her seat on
horseback, she pinned the cross on each brave man's breast, while the
Prince saluted him with "a gesture of marked respect." [Footnote:
"Life of the Prince Consort."] Prince Frederick William was with the
royal party.

A few days afterwards, the Queen, the Prince, their two elder
daughters and two elder sons and Prince Frederick William of Prussia,
a large party, paid a visit to Manchester, staying two nights at
Worsley Hall. They inspected the great picture exhibition, received
addresses, and traversed the streets to Peel Park, where a statue to
her Majesty had been recently erected, the whole amidst much
rejoicing.

In the end of June, King Leopold arrived with his daughter on a
farewell visit before her marriage, so that there were two young
brides comparing experiences and anticipating what the coming years
would bring, under her Majesty's wing. The princesses were nearly of
an age, neither quite seventeen. They had been playmates and friends
since childhood, but the fates in store for them were very different.

In the second week of July the freedom of the City of London was
presented to Prince Frederick William of Prussia; the Prince Consort
was sworn in master of the Trinity House, and the Queen and the Prince
visited the camp at Aldershott. On the 27th the marriage of the
Princess Charlotte of Belgium and the Archduke Maximilian was
celebrated at Brussels. The Prince went abroad for a few days, to make
one in the group of friends and relations, among whom was the old
French Queen Amélie, the grandmother of the bride. Queen Victoria
wrote to King Leopold, that she was present with them in spirit, and
that she could not have given a greater proof of her love than she had
shown in urging her husband to go. "You cannot think how much this
costs me," she added, "or how completely forlorn I am and feel when he
is away, or how I count the hours till he returns. All the numerous
children are as nothing to me when he is away. It seems as if the
whole life of the house and the home were gone."

On the 6th of August, the Emperor of the French's yacht, with the
Emperor and Empress on board, arrived on the English coast, and a
private visit of a few days' length was paid to the Queen and the
Prince at Osborne. On the 19th of August Her Majesty and the Prince,
with six of their children, in the royal yacht, paid an equally
private visit to Cherbourg, in the absence of the Emperor and Empress.
During the short stay there was a long country drive to an old
chateau, when darkness overtook the adventurous party, and all was
agreeably fresh and foreign.

By the beginning of September terrible tidings arrived from India. The
massacre of the English women and children at Cawnpore, after the
surrender of the fort, and the perilous position of the garrison at
Lucknow, darkened the usually joyous stay at Balmoral, to which the
Princess Royal was paying her last visit. Another source of distress
to the Queen and the Prince, when the mutiny began to be put down, was
the indiscriminate vengeance which a section of the rulers in India
seemed inclined to take on the natives for the brutalities of the
rebels. At length Lucknow was relieved, and England breathed freely
again, though the country had to mourn the death of Havelock. Sir
Colin Campbell completed the defeat of the enemy, and the first steps
were taken to put an end to the complications of government in India,
by bringing the great colony directly under the rule of the Queen, and
causing the intermediate authority of the East India Company to cease.



CHAPTER XXX.


THE MARRIAGE OF THE PRINCESS ROYAL.

In the end of 1857 there were many preparations for the marriage of
the Princess Royal in the month of January in the coming year. In the
interval a calamity occurred at Claremont which revived the
recollection of the great disaster in the early years of the century,
and was deeply felt by the Queen and the Prince Consort. The pretty
and gentle Victoire, Duchesse de Nemours, the Queen and the Prince
Consort's cousin, and his early playfellow, had given birth to a
princess, and appeared to be recovering, in spite of her presentiment
to the contrary. The Queen had gone to see and congratulate her. The
old Queen Amélie and the Duc de Nemours had been at Windsor full of
thankfulness for the happy event. The Duchess was sitting up in bed,
looking cheerfully at the new dress in which she was to rejoin the
family circle next day, when in a second she fell back dead.

Another shock was the news of the Orsini bomb, which exploded close to
the Emperor and Empress of the French as they were about to enter the
opera-house.

The marriage of the Princess Royal was fixed for the 25th of January,
1858. On the 15th the Court left Windsor for Buckingham Palace, when
the Queen's diary records the sorrow with which the young bride
relinquished many of the scenes and habits of her youth. One sentence
recalls vividly the kindly family ties which united the royal
children. Her Majesty writes, "She slept for the last time in the same
room with Alice." In the course of the next few days all the guests
had assembled, including, King Leopold and his sons, the Prince and
Princess of Prussia, the Duke of Saxe Coburg, with minor princes and
princesses, to the number of nearly thirty, so that even Buckingham
Palace was hardly large enough to hold the guests and their suites. At
the nightly dinner party from eighty to ninety covers were laid. But
one old friend was absent, to the regret of all, and not least so of
the bride. Baron Stockmar was too ill to accept the invitation to be
present at the ceremony. One of his sons was to accompany the Princess
to Berlin as her treasurer.

"Such bustle and excitement," wrote the Queen, and then she describes
an evening party with a "very gay and pretty dance" on the 18th, when
Ernest, Duke of Coburg, said, "It seemed like a dream to him to see
Vicky dance as a bride, just as I did eighteen years ago, and I am
still (so he said) looking very young. In 1840 poor dear papa (late
Duke of Coburg) danced with me, as Ernest danced with Vicky." In
truth, neither the father nor the mother of the bride of seventeen had
reached the age of forty.

The first of the public festivities were three of the four State
visits to Her Majesty's Theatre, "when the whole of the boxes on one
side of the grand tier had been thrown into one" for the royal company
gracing the brilliant audience--which, as on a former occasion, filled
the back of the stage as well as the rest of the house. The plays and
operas were, _Macbeth_, in which Helen Faucit acted, [Footnote:
Another great actress had just passed away in her prime. Mademoiselle
Rachel had died in the beginning of this month, near Cannes.] _Twice
Killed, The Rose of Castille, Somnambula_. At the first
performance, the Queen sat between the King of the Belgians and the
Prince of Prussia. After the play, "God save the Queen" was sung with
much enthusiasm.

As when her own marriage had occurred, all the nation sympathised with
Her Majesty. It was as if from every house a cherished young daughter
was being sent with honour and blessing. The Princess Royal, always
much liked, appealed especially to the popular imagination at this
time because of her extreme youth, her position as a bride, and the
circumstance that she was the first of the Queen's children thus to
quit the home-roof. But, indeed, we cannot read the published passages
in the Queen's journal that refer to the marriage without a lively
realisation of the touch of nature which makes the whole world kin,
without a sense that good true hearts beat alike everywhere, and that
strong family affection--an elixir of life--is the same in the palace
as in the cottage.

In fine frosty weather, on Saturday, the 23rd, the Prince Consort,
after a walk in Buckingham Palace Gardens with the Queen and the child
so soon to be parted from them, started to bring the bridegroom, who
had landed in England that morning. He arrived in the middle of the
day, and was received in the presence of the Court. The Queen found
him looking pale and nervous, but no doubt alive to her warm greeting,
at the bottom of the grand staircase. At the top a still sweeter
reward awaited him, for the Princess Royal, with her fifteen years'
old sister, Princess Alice, to keep her company, stood there.

On the 24th, all the gifts to the young couple, which the Queen calls
"splendid," were shown in the large drawing-room--the Queen's, the
Prince Consort's, the Duchess of Kent's, &c., on one table; the
Prussian and other foreign gifts on another. Of the bride-groom's
gift--a single string of large pearls, said to have been worth five
thousand pounds, her Majesty remarks that they were the largest she
ever saw. The Queen gave a necklace of diamonds, the Prince Consort a
set of diamonds and emeralds, the Prince of Wales a set of diamonds
and opals, the King and Queen of Prussia a diamond tiara, the Prince
of Prussia a diamond and turquoise necklace, King Leopold a Brussels
lace dress, valued at a thousand pounds. On a third table were the
candelabra which the Queen and the Prince gave to their son-in-law.
The near relations of the bride and bridegroom brought the young
couple into the room, and witnessed their pleasure at the magnificent
sight. Before the Sunday service the Princess Royal gave the Queen a
brooch with the Princess's hair, clasping her mother in her arms as
she did so, and telling her--precious words for such a mother to hear,
nobly fulfilled in the days to come--that she hoped to be worthy to be
her child.

Wilberforce, Bishop of Oxford, preached an eloquent sermon.

"Very busy, interrupted and disturbed every instant," the record runs
on. Many can enter into the feelings which prompted the Queen and the
Prince, after the duties of hospitality were discharged, to accompany
their child to her room for the last time, and to kiss and bless her
while she clung to them. It is necessary to remember that every rank
has its privations. Not the least penalty of such a station as that
which the Princess Royal was to occupy arose from the fact that its
many and weighty obligations precluded the hope of her returning
frequently or for any length of time to the home where she had been so
happy, which she was so grieved to quit, though social customs have
improved in this respect, and royal marriages no longer mean, as a
matter of course, banishment for life from the bride's native country.

On the wedding morning, the Queen declared very naturally that she
felt as if she were being married over again herself, "only much more
nervous," since now it was for another, and a dearer than herself,
that her heart was throbbing. Besides, she said, she had not "that
blessed feeling, elevating and supporting, of giving herself up for
life to him whom she loved and worshipped--then and ever." She was
comforted by her daughter's coming to her while the Queen was
dressing, showing herself quiet and composed. The day was fine, with a
winter sun shining brightly, as all England, especially all London
knew, for many a pleasure-seeker was abroad betimes to enjoy the
holiday. The marriage was to take place, like the Queen's marriage, in
the little Chapel Royal of St. James's. Before setting out, a final
daguerreotype was taken of the family group, father, mother, and
daughter, "but I trembled so," the Queen writes, "my likeness has come
out indistinct."

In the drive from Buckingham Palace to St James's, the Princess Royal
in her wedding dress was in the carriage with her Majesty, sitting
opposite to her, when "the flourish of trumpets and the cheering of
thousands" made the Queen's motherly heart sink. In the bride's
dressing-room, fitted up for the day, to which the Queen took the
Princess, were the Prince Consort and King Leopold, both in field-
marshals' uniform, and carrying batons, and the eight bridesmaids,
"looking charming in white tulle, with wreaths and bouquets of pink
roses and white heather."

Her Majesty left the bride and repaired to the royal closet, where she
found the Duchess of Kent and the Duchess of Cambridge with her son
and daughter. Old and new relations were claiming the Queen at the
same time. Her thoughts were perpetually straying back to that former
wedding-day. She spared attention from her daughter to bestow it on
her mother, "looking so handsome in violet velvet, trimmed with ermine
and white silk and violets." And as the processions were formed, her
Majesty exclaimed, perhaps with a vague pang, referring to the good
old Duchess still with her, and still able to play her part in the
joyful ceremony, "How small the _old_ royal family has become!"
Indeed, there were but two representatives--the Duchesses of Kent and
Cambridge. The Princess Mary of Cambridge, the farthest removed from
the throne, walked first of the English royal family, her train borne
by Lady Arabella Sackville West; then the Duke of Cambridge; the
Duchess of Cambridge followed, her train borne by Lady Geraldine
Somerset. The Duchess of Kent, with her train borne the Lady Anna
Maria Dawson, walked next to the present royal family. They were
preceded by Lord Palmerston, bearing the sword of state. The Prince of
Wales, and Prince Alfred, fresh from his naval studies, lads of
sixteen and fourteen, in Highland costumes, were immediately before
the Queen, who walked between Prince Arthur and Prince Leopold,
children of eight and five years of age. Her Majesty's train was of
lilac velvet, petticoat of lilac and silver moiré--antique, with a
flounce of Honiton lace; corsage ornamented with diamonds, the Koh-i-
noor as a brooch; head-dress, a magnificent diadem of diamonds and
pearls. The three younger princesses--Alice, Helena, and Louise, girls
of fifteen, twelve, and ten--went hand-in-hand behind their mother.
They wore white lace over pink satin, with daisies and blue
cornflowers in their hair.

Most of the foreign princes were already in the chapel, which was full
of noble company, about three hundred peers and peeresses being
accommodated there. White and blue prevailed in the colours of the
ladies dresses, blue in compliment to Prussia. At the altar, set out
with gold plate of Queen Anne's reign, were the Archbishop of
Canterbury, the Bishops of London, Oxford, and Chester, and the Dean
of Windsor. As the Queen entered, she and the Princess of Prussia
exchanged profound obeisances. Near her Majesty were her young princes
and princesses; behind her the Duchess of Kent; opposite her the
Princess of Prussia, with the foreign princes behind her.

The drums and trumpets and the organ played as the bridegroom's and
the bride's processions approached, and the Queen describes the
thrilling effect of the music drawing nearer and nearer. The
bridegroom entered between his supporters, his father and brother-in-
law, the Prince of Prussia and Prince William of Baden. Prince
Frederick William, soldierly and stately, wore the blue uniform of a
Prussian general, with the insignia of the Black Eagle, and carried in
his hand his polished silver helmet. He looked pale and agitated, but
was quite master of himself. He bowed low to the Queen and to his
mother, then knelt with a devotion which attracted attention. The
bride walked as at her confirmation, between her father and godfather--
her grand-uncle King Leopold. Her blooming colour was gone, and she
was pale almost as her white dress of moiré and Honiton lace, with
wreaths of orange and myrtle blossoms. Her train was borne by eight
bridesmaids--daughters of dukes, marquises, and earls--Lady Susan
Clinton, Lady Emma Stanley, Lady Susan Murray, Lady Victoria Noel,
Lady Cecilia Gordon Lennox, Lady Katherine Hamilton, Lady Constance
Villiers, and Lady Cecilia Molyneux.

One can well conceive that the young princess looked "very touching
and lovely, with such an innocent, confiding, and serious expression,
her veil hanging back over her shoulders."

As the Princess advanced to the altar, she paused and made a deep
obeisance to her mother, colouring high as she did so, and the same to
the Princess of Prussia. The bridegroom when he took the bride's hand
bent one knee.

Once more as the Prince Consort gave her daughter away, her Majesty
had a bright vision of her own happy marriage on that very spot; again
she was comforted by her daughter's self-control, and she could
realise that it was beautiful to see the couple kneeling there with
hands joined, the bridesmaids "like a cloud of maidens hovering near
her (the bride) as they knelt."

When the ring was placed on the Princess's finger cannon were fired,
and a telegram was sent off to Berlin that the same compliment might
be paid to the pair there. The close of the "Hallelujah Chorus" was
sung at the end of the ceremony.

The usual congratulations followed. The bride flung herself into her
mother's arms and was embraced by her again and again, then by her
bridegroom and her father. Prince Frederick William kissed first the
hand and then the cheek of his father and mother, saluted the Prince
Consort and King Leopold foreign fashion, and was embraced by the
Queen. Princess Frederick William would have kissed her father-in-
law's hand, but was prevented by his kissing her cheek. The bride and
bridegroom left the chapel hand-in-hand to the sound of Mendelssohn's
"Wedding March." The register was signed in the Throne-room first by
the young couple, then by their parents, and afterwards by all the
princes and princesses--including the Maharajah Duleep Singh
"resplendent in pearls."

The newly wedded pair drove to Buckingham Palace, to which the Queen
and the Prince Consort followed, with the Prince and Princess of
Prussia, through an immense multitude, amidst ringing cheers. The
whole party showed themselves on the balcony before the window over
the grand archway, where the Queen had appeared on so many memorable
occasions. First her Majesty with her children came out, then the
Queen led forward the bride, who stood hand-in-hand with her
bridegroom; afterwards the rest of the circle joined them. It was a
matter of lively satisfaction to her Majesty and the Prince Consort to
witness the loyal, affectionate interest which the people took in
their daughter, and the Queen and the Prince were ready to gratify the
multitude by what is dear to every wedding crowd, "a sight of the
bride and bridegroom."

The wedding cake was six feet high. The departure of the couple for
Windsor, where they were to spend their honeymoon, was no more than a
foreshadowing of that worse departure a week later. The Queen and the
Princess of Prussia accompanied their children to the grand entrance;
the Prince Consort escorted his daughter to her carriage. The bride
wore a while _épinglé_ dress and mantle trimmed with grebe, a
white bonnet with orange blossoms, and a Brussel's lace veil.

At the family dinner after the excitement and fatigue of the day were
over, the Queen felt "lost" without her eldest daughter. In the
evening a messenger arrived from Windsor, bringing a letter from the
bride telling how the Eton boys had dragged the carriage from the
station to the castle, though she might not know that they, had flung
up their hats in the air, many of them beyond recovery, the wearers
returning bareheaded to their college. When the Queen and the Prince
read this letter all London was illuminated, and its streets filled
with huzzaing spectators. At the palace the evening closed quietly
with a State concert of classic music.

The Princess Royal's honeymoon so far as a period of privacy was
concerned, did not last longer than the Queen's. Two days after the
marriage the Court followed the young couple to Windsor, where a
chapter of the Order of the Garter was held, and Prince Frederick
William was created a knight, a banquet being held in the Waterloo
Gallery. On the 29th of January, the Court-including the newly married
pair-returned to Buckingham Palace, and in the evening the fourth
state visit was paid to Her Majesty's Theatre, when _The Rivals_
and _The Spitalfields Weaver_ were given. The bride was in blue
and white, the Prussian colours, and wore a wreath of sweet peas on
her hair.

On the 30th of January, the addresses from the City of London and
other cities and towns of the Empire, many of them accompanied by
wedding gifts, were received, and there was a great and of course
specially brilliant Drawing-room, which lasted for four hours. On
Sunday the thought of the coming separation pressed heavily on those
loving hearts, "but God will carry us through, as He did on the 25th,"
wrote the Queen reverently, "and we have the comfort of seeing the
dear young people so perfectly happy."

On Monday, the Queen in noting that it was the last day of their dear
child's being with them, admitted she was sick at heart, and the poor
young bride confided to her mother, "I think it will kill me to take
leave of dear papa."

Tuesday, the 2nd of February, was dark and cold, with snow beginning
to fall, unpropitious weather for a long journey, unless in the Scotch
saying which declares that a bride is happy who goes "a white gate"
(road:) All were assembled in the hall, not a dry eye among them, the
Queen believed. "I clasped her in my arms, and blessed her, and knew
not what to say." The royal mother shared all good mother's burdens.
"I kissed good Fritz, and pressed his hand again and again. He was
unable to speak, and the tears were in his eyes." One more embrace of
her daughter at the door of the open carriage, into which the Prince
Consort and the Prince of Wales went along with the Prince and
Princess Frederick William, the band struck up, and they were gone.

The embarkation was at Gravesend. The Londoners assembled in crowds to
see the last of their Princess on her route to the coast by the
Strand, Cheap, and London Bridge. Many persons recall to this day the
sorrowful scene in the cheerless snowy weather. This was the reverse
side of all the splendid wedding festivities-the bride of seventeen
quitting family, home, and native country, sitting grave and sad
beside her equally pale, and silent father--the couple so tenderly
attached, on the eve of the final parting. At Gravesend, where young
girls, in spite of the snow, strewed flowers before the bride's steps,
the Prince waited to see the ship sail--not without risk in the
snowstorm--for Antwerp. But no daughter appeared for a last look; the
passionate sorrow of youth hid itself from view.

Away at Buckingham Palace the Queen could not bear to look at the
familiar objects--all linked with one vanished presence. The very baby
princess, so great a darling in the household, only brought the
thought of how fond her elder sister had been of her; how but
yesterday the two had played together.

The Princess wrote home from the steamer, and every telegram and
letter, together with the personal testimony of Lady Churchill and
Lord Sydney, who had accompanied the travellers to Berlin, conveyed
the most gratifying and consoling intelligence of the warm welcome the
stranger had met with, and how well she bore herself in difficult
circumstances. "Quiet and dignified, but with a kind word to say of
everybody; on the night of her public entry into Berlin and reception
at Court, when she polonaised with twenty-two princes in succession."
[Footnote: Lady Bloomfield.] The Princess Frederick William continued
to write "almost daily, sometimes twice a day," to her mother, and
regularly once a week to her father. And another fair young daughter
was almost ready to take the Princess Royal's place at the Queen's
side. From the date of her sister's marriage, the Prince Consort's
letters and the Queen's journal tell that the Princess Alice, with her
fine good sense and unselfishness, almost precocious at her age, was a
great help and comfort in the royal circle.



CHAPTER XXXI.


DEATH OF THE DUTCHESS D'ORLEANS--THE PRINCE CONSORT'S VISIT TO
GERMANY--THE QUEEN AND PRINCE CONSORT'S VISIT TO PRINCE AND PRINCESS
FREDERICK WILLIAM AT BABELSBERG.

In February, Lord Palmerston's ministry resigned after a defeat on the
Conspiracy Bill, and Lord Derby, at the Queen's request, formed a
short-lived Cabinet. The Prince of Wales was confirmed on Maundy
Thursday in the chapel at Windsor.

In April, the young Queen of Portugal, Princess Stéphanie of
Hohenzollern, visited England with her father on her way to her
husband--to whom she had been married by proxy--and her future home.
Her charm and sweetness greatly attracted the Queen and the Prince. In
May, only seven months after the death of Victoire, Duchesse de
Nemours, the sympathies of her Majesty and the Prince Consort were
awakened afresh for the Orleans family. Helene, Duchesse d'Orleans,
died suddenly from the effects of influenza at Cranbourne House,
Richmond. How many of the large family party with which the Queen had
been so delighted when she visited Chateau d'Eu had already passed
away--the old King, Queen Louise, the Duchesse de Nemours, and now the
Duchesse d'Orleans! Her two young sons--the elder the Comte de Paris,
not yet twenty--were specially adopted by Queen Amélie.

In the end of May the Prince started for a short visit to Germany,
with the double intention of getting a glimpse of his daughter, and
revisiting his country for the first time after thirteen years
absence. He accomplished both purposes, and heard "the watchman's
horn" once more before he retired to rest in the old home. He sent
many a loving letter, and tender remembrance to England in
anticipation of his speedy return. On his arrival in London he was met
by the Queen at the Bricklayers' Arms station.

In the course of a very hot June, the Queen and the Prince went to
Warwickshire, which she had known as a young girl, in order to pay a
special visit to Birmingham. They were the guests for two nights of
Lord and Lady Leigh, at Stoneleigh. Her Majesty had the privilege of
seeing Birmingham without a particle of smoke, while a mighty
multitude of orderly craftsmen, with their wives and children, stood
many hours patiently under the blazing sun, admiring their banners and
flags, and cheering lustily for their Queen. One of the objects of the
visit was that her Majesty might open a people's museum and park at
Aston for the dwellers in the Black country. The royal party drove
next day to one of the finest old feudal castles in England--Warwick
Castle, with its noble screen of woods, mirroring itself in the Avon--
and were entertained at luncheon by Lord and Lady Warwick. In the
evening, in the middle of a violent thunderstorm, the Queen and the
Prince returned to Buckingham Palace.

This season as usual, there was a visit from the King of the Belgians
and several of his family.

The first Atlantic cable was laid, and lasted just long enough for the
exchange of messages of proud congratulation on the wonderful
annihilation of distance between Europe and America, so far as the
thoughts of men were concerned.

After a month's stay at Osborne, during one of the warmest Julys ever
known in this country, when the condition of the river Thames
threatened to drive the Parliament from Westminster, the Queen and the
Prince Consort, with the Prince of Wales and their suites, paid a
state visit to Cherbourg. The great fort was nearly completed, and the
harbour was full of French war-vessels as her Majesty steamed in, on
the evening of the 4th of August, receiving such a salute from the
ships and the fortress itself as seemed to shake earth and sky. The
Emperor and Empress, who arrived the same day, came on board at eight
o'clock, and were cordially received by the Queen and the Prince,
though the relations between France and England were not quite so
assured as when their soldiers were brothers-in-arms in the Crimea.
After the visitors left, the Queen's journal records that she went
below and read, and nearly finished "that most interesting book 'Jane
Eyre.'"

When the Queen and the Prince landed next day, which was fine, they
were received by the Emperor and Empress, entered with them one of the
imperial carriages, and drove through the town to the Prefecture,
where the party breakfasted or rather lunched. In the afternoon the
fort with its gigantic ramparts and magnificent views was visited.
There was a State dinner in the evening, in the French ship
_Bretagne_. The Emperor received the Queen at the foot of the
ladder. The dinner was under canvas on deck amidst decorations of
flowers and flags. The Queen sat between the Emperor and the Duke of
Cambridge; the Empress sat between the Prince Consort and the Prince
of Wales. The speechmaking, to which one may say all Europe was
listening, was a trying experience. The Emperor, though he changed
colour, spoke well "in a powerful voice," proposing the health of the
Queen, the Prince, and the royal family, and declaring his adherence
to the French alliance with England. The Prince replied. "He did it
very well, though he hesitated once," the Queen reported. "I sat
shaking, with my eyes riveted to the table." The duty done, a great
relief was felt, as the speechmakers, with the Queen and the Empress,
retired to the privacy of the cabin, shook hands, and compared notes
on their nervousness.

A splendid display of fireworks was witnessed from the deck of the
_Bretagne_. In the middle of it the Queen and the Prince returned
to the yacht, escorted by the Emperor and Empress, when they took
their departure in turn. They were followed by showers of English
rockets and rounds of English cheers.

The next morning the Emperor and Empress paid a farewell visit on
board the yacht, which sailed at last under "heavy salutes." At five
o'clock in the afternoon the beach at Osborne was reached. The sailor
Prince, whose fourteenth birthday it was, stood on the pier. All the
children, including the baby, were at the door. The dogs added their
welcome. The young Prince's birthday-table was inspected. There was
still time to visit the Swiss Cottage, to which Princess Alice and the
Queen drove the other members of the family. The children's castle,
where they had lunched in honour of the day, was gay with flags.
Prince Alfred with Princess Alice was promoted to join the royal
dinner party. The little princes, Arthur and Leopold, appeared at
dessert. "A band played," writes the Queen, "and after dinner we
danced, with the three boys and the three girls and the company, a
merry country-dance on the terrace--a delightful finale to the
expedition! It seemed a dream that this morning at twelve we should
have been still at Cherbourg, with the Emperor and Empress on board
our yacht."

On the 11th of August, the Queen and the Prince arrived in the yacht
at Antwerp, on their way to Germany, to pay their first eagerly
anticipated visit to the Princess Royal--then a wife of six months
standing--in her Prussian home.

The travellers proceeded by railway to Malines, where they were met by
King Leopold with his second son, and escorted to Verviers in a
progress which was to be as far as possible without soldiers, salutes,
addresses; and at Aix-la-Chapelle the Prince of Prussia joined the
party. The halt for the night was at Dusseldorf, where the Prince and
Princess of Hohenzollern were waiting. The Queen and the Prince
Consort quitted their hotel to dine with the Hohenzollern family, in
whose members they were much interested. The Queen made the
acquaintance of a young son who is now Prince of Roumania, and a
handsome girl-princess who has become the wife of the Comte de
Flanders, King Leopold's younger son.

The next day, long looked forward to as that which was to bring about
a reunion with the Princess Royal, was suddenly overclouded by the
news of the sad, unexpected death of the Prince's worthy valet,
"Cart," who had come with him to England, and been in his service
twenty-nine years--since his master was a child of eight The Prince
entered the room as the Queen was dressing, carrying a telegram, and
saying "My poor Cart is dead." Both felt the loss of the old friend
acutely. "All day long," wrote the Queen, "the tears would rush into
my eyes." She added, "He was the only link my loved one had about him
which connected him with his childhood, the only one with whom he
could talk over old times. I cannot think of my dear husband without
Cart." It was no day for sorrow, yet the noble, gentle hearts bled
through all their joys.

Before seven the royal party, including the Prince of Prussia, were on
their way through Rhenish Prussia. As the train rushed by the railway
platform at Buckeburg there stood the aged Baroness Lehzen, the
Queen's good old governess, waving her handkerchief. In the station at
Hanover were the King and Queen of Hanover, Princess Frederick Charles
of Prussia, and her Majesty's niece, the Princess Feodore of
Hohenlohe, a charming girl of nineteen, with her betrothed husband,
the Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, a widower of thirty-two.

The Queen then made the acquaintance of one of the cradles of her
race, driving out to the country palace of Herrenhausen, which had
been the home of the Electress Sophia, and where George I. was
residing when he was summoned to be king of England. At five o'clock,
in the heat and the dust, her Majesty resumed her journey, "with a
racking headache." At Magdeburg Prince Frederick William appeared,
"radiant," with the welcome intelligence that his Princess was at the
Wildpark station. "There on the platform stood our darling child, with
a nosegay in her hand." The Queen described the scene. "She stepped
in, and long and warm was the embrace, as she clasped me in her arms;
so much to say, and to tell, and to ask, yet so unaltered; looking
well, quite the old Vicky still! It was a happy moment, for which I
thank God!" It was eleven o'clock at night before the party reached
Babelsberg--a pleasant German country house, with which her Majesty
was much pleased. It became her headquarters for the fortnight during
which her visit lasted. In addition to enjoying the society of her
daughter, the Queen became familiar with the Princess's surroundings.
Daily excursions were made to a succession of palaces connected with
the past and present Prussian royal family. In this manner her Majesty
learnt to know the King's palace in Berlin, while the poor King, a
wreck in health, was absent; Frederick the Great's Schloss at Potsdam;
his whimsical Sans Souci with its orange-trees, the New Palais, and
Charlottenburg with its mausoleum. The Queen also attended two great
reviews, gave a day to the Berlin Museum, and met old Humboldt more
than once. Among the other guests at Babelsberg were the Duke of Saxe-
Coburg and Baron Stockmar. The Prince Consort's thirty-ninth birthday
was celebrated in his daughter's house. At last with struggling tears
and a bravely said "_Auf baldiges wiedersehn_" (to a speedy
meeting again), the strongly attached family party separated. The
peculiar pang of separation to the Queen, she expressed in words which
every mother will understand. "All would be comparatively easy were it
not for the one thought, that I cannot be with her (the Princess
Royal), at that very critical moment when every other mother goes to
her child."

The royal travellers stayed over the Sunday at Deutz, and again saw
Cologne illuminated, the cathedral like "a mass of glowing red fire."
On reaching Osborne on the 31st of August, the Queen and the Prince
were met by Prince Alfred--who had just passed his examination and
been appointed to a ship--"in his middy's jacket, cap, and dirk."

On their way to Scotland the Queen and the Prince Consort, accompanied
by the Princesses Alice and Helena, visited Leeds, for the purpose of
opening the Leeds Town Hall. The party stayed at Woodley House, the
residence of the mayor, who is described in her Majesty's journal as a
"perfect picture of a fine old man." In his crimson velvet robes and
chain of office he looked "the personification of a Venetian doge."
The Queen as usual made "the tour of the town amidst a great concourse
of spectators." She remarked on the occasion, "Nowhere have I seen the
children's names so often inscribed. On one large arch were even
'Beatrice and Leopold,' which gave me much pleasure...." a result
which, had they known it, would have highly gratified the loyal
clothworkers. After receiving the usual addresses, the Queen knighted
the mayor, and by her command Lord Derby declared the hall open.

While her Majesty was at Balmoral, the marriages of a niece and nephew
of hers took place in Germany--Princess Feodore, the youngest daughter
of the Princess of Hehenlohe, married the Duke of Saxe-Meiningen; and
Ernest, Prince of Leiningen, the eldest son of the late Prince of
Leiningen, who was in the English navy, married Princess Marie Amélie
of Baden.

More of the English royal children were taking flight from the parent
nest. Mr. Bruce, Lord Elgin's brother, was appointed Governor to the
Prince of Wales, and was about to set out with him on a tour in Italy.
Prince Alfred was with his ship at Malta.



CHAPTER XXXII.


BIRTH OF PRINCE WILLIAM OF PRUSSIA--DEATH OF PRINCE HOHENLOHE--
VOLUNTEER REVIEWS--SECOND VISIT TO COBURG--BETROTHAL OF PRINCESS
ALICE.

One of the beauties of the Queen's early Court, Lady Clementina
Villiers, daughter of the Earl of Jersey, died unmarried at her
father's seat of Middleton Park in 1858. She was as good and clever as
she was beautiful. Like her lovely sister, Princess Nicholas
Esterhazy, Lady Clementina died in the prime of life, being only
thirty-four years of age.

On the 27th of January, 1859, the Queen and the Prince received the
good news of the birth of their first grandchild, a fine boy, after
great suffering on the part of the young mother. He had forty-two
godfathers and godmothers.

In April Princess Alice was confirmed. Her Majesty's estimate of her
daughter's character was amply borne out in the years to come. "She is
very good, gentle, sensible, and amiable, and a real comfort to me."
Without her sister, the Princess Royal's, remarkable intellectual
power, Princess Alice had fine intelligence. She was also fair to see
in her royal maidenhood. The two elder sons were away. The Prince of
Wales was in Italy, Prince Alfred with his ship in the Levant. At home
the volunteer movement, which has since acquired such large
proportions, was being actively inaugurated. The war between Austria
and France, and a dissolution of Parliament, made this spring a busy
and an anxious time. The first happy visit from the Princess Royal,
who came to join in celebrating her Majesty's birthday at Osborne,
would have made the season altogether joyous, had it not been for a
sudden and dangerous attack of erysipelas from which the Duchess of
Kent suffered. The alarm was brief, but it was sharp while it lasted.

In June her Majesty opened the new Parliament, an event which was
followed in a fortnight by the resignation of Lord Derby's Ministry,
and Lord Palmerston became Prime Minister with a strong Cabinet.

At the close of the season the sad news arrived of the sudden death
from diphtheria of the year-old wife, the young Queen of Portugal.

In August the Queen and the Prince made one of their yachting
excursions to the Channel Islands. The Duchess of Kent's seventy-third
birthday was kept at Osborne. During the autumn stay of the Court at
Balmoral, the Prince presided over the British Association for the
Promotion of Science, which met that year at Aberdeen. He afterwards
entertained two hundred members of the association, filling four
omnibuses, in addition to carriages, at a Highland gathering at
Balmoral. The day was cold and showery, but with gleams of sunshine.
It is unnecessary to say that the attendance was large, and the games
and dancing were conducted with much spirit. In honour of the country,
the Prince and his sons appeared in kilts, the Queen and the
Princesses in royal Stewart tartan skirts and shawls over black velvet
bodices.

In 1859 the Queen made no less than three successful ascents of
Highland mountains, Morvem, Lochnagar, and at last Ben Macdhui, the
highest mountain in Scotland, upwards of four thousand feet. On the
return of the royal party they went from Edinburgh to Loch Katrine, in
order to open the Glasgow Waterworks, the conclusion of a great
undertaking which was marred not inappropriately by a very wet day.
The Queen and the Prince made a detour on their homeward route, as
they had occasionally done before, visiting Wales and Lord Penryn at
Penryn Castle.

This year saw the publication of a memorable book, "Adam Bede," for
which even its precursor, "Scenes from Clerical Life," had not
prepared the world of letters. The novel was much admired in the royal
circle. In one of the rooms at Osborne, as a pendant to a picture from
the "Faery Queen," there hangs a representation from a very different
masterpiece in English literature, of the young Squire watching Hetty
in the dairy.

In the beginning of winter the Prince suffered from an unusually
severe fit of illness. In November the Princess Royal again visited
England, accompanied by her husband.

There were cheery winter doings at Osborne, when the great household,
like one large family, rejoiced in the seasonable snow, in a slide
"used by young and old," and in a "splendid snow man." The new year
was joyously danced in, though the children who were wont to assemble
at the Queen's dressing-room door to call in chorus "_Prosit Neu
Jahr_," were beginning to be scattered far and wide.

In January, 1860, the Queen opened Parliament in person, when for the
first time the Princesses Alice and Helena were present.

On the twentieth anniversary of the Queen's wedding-day she wrote to
Baron Stockmar, "I wish I could think I had made one as happy as he
has made me."

In April the Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenberg, the Queen's brother-in-
law, who was now an old man, died at Baden, after a long illness. He
had been an upright, unlucky German prince, trusted by his
contemporaries, a good husband and father--whose loss was severely
felt by the widowed Princess. Her sorrow was reflected in the Queen's
sympathy for her sister.

This year's Academy Exhibition contained Millais's "Black
Brunswicker," Landseer's "Flood in the Highlands," and Phillips's
"Marriage of the Princess Royal," now in the great corridor at Windsor
Castle. "The Idyls of the King," much admired by the Prince, were the
poems of the year.

Among the guests at Windsor Castle for Ascot week, in addition to King
Leopold, who came to look once more on the old scene, were Prince
Louis of Hesse and his younger brother. In a letter of the Prince
Consort's, written soon afterwards, he alludes to an apparent "liking"
between Prince Louis and Princess Alice.

Sir Arthur Helps, whose subsequent literary relations with the Queen
were so friendly, was sworn in Clerk of the Council on the 23rd of
June.

The first great volunteer review took place in Hyde Park this summer.
The Queen was present, driving with Princess Alice, Prince Arthur, and
King Leopold, while the Prince Consort rode. The display of the twenty
thousand citizen soldiers, at that time reckoned a large volunteer
force, was in every respect satisfactory. As a sequel her Majesty was
also present during fine weather, in an exceptionally wet summer, at
the first meeting of the National Rifle Association at Wimbledon, when
the first shot was fired by the Queen, the rifle being so arranged
that a touch to the trigger caused the bullseye to be hit, when the
shooter scored three points.

At the close of the season the Prince of Wales sailed for Canada,
after he had accepted the President of the United States' invitation
to visit him at Washington. At the same time another distant colony
was to be graced by the presence of royalty; it was settled that
Prince Alfred was to land at the Cape of Good Hope. The Queen's sons
were to serve her by representing her race and rule in her far distant
dominions.

In July the Princess Royal became the medium, in a letter home, of the
overtures of the Hesse family for a marriage between Prince Louis and
Princess Alice--overtures favourably received by the Queen and the
Prince, who were much attracted by the young suitor. Immediately
afterwards came the intelligence of the birth of the Princess Royal's
second child--a daughter.

The eyes of all Europe began to be directed to Garibaldi as the
champion of freedom in Naples and Sicily.

In August the Court went North, staying longer than usual in Edinburgh
for the purpose of holding a volunteer review in the Queen's Park,
which was even a greater success than that in Hyde Park. The summer
day was cloudless; the broken nature of the ground heightened the
picturesqueness of the spectacle. There was much greater variety in
the dress and accoutrements of the Highland and Lowland regiments,
numbering rather more than their English neighbours. The martial
bearing of many of the men was remarkable, and the spectators crowding
Arthur's Seat from the base to the summit were enthusiastic in their
loyalty. The Queen rejoiced to have the Duchess of Kent by her side in
the open carriage. The old Duchess had not appeared at any public
sight for years, and her presence on this occasion recalled former
days. She was not venturing so far as Abergeldie, but was staying at
Cramond House, near Edinburgh. Soon after the Queen and the Prince's
arrival at Balmoral the news reached them of the death of their aunt,
the Duchess of Kent's only surviving sister, the widow of the Grand-
Duke Constantine of Russia.

This year the Queen and the Prince, with the Princesses Alice and
Helena, made, in fine weather, a second ascent of Ben Macdhui.

The success of such an excursion led to a longer expedition, which
meant a night spent on the way at what was little better than a
village inn. Such a step was only possible when entire secrecy, and
even a certain amount of disguise, were maintained. Indeed, the little
innocent mystery, with all the amusement it brought, was part of the
pleasure. The company consisted of the Queen and the Prince, Lady
Churchill and General Grey, with two keepers for attendants. Their
destination, reached by driving, riding, and walking through the shiel
of the Geldie, Glen Geldie, Glen Fishie, &c, was Grantown, where the
party spent the night, and were waited on, in all unconsciousness, by
a woman in ringlets in the evening and in curl-papers in the morning.
But before Grantown was left, when the truth was known, the same
benighted chambermaid was seen waving a flag from the window of the
dining and drawing-room in one, which had been lately so honoured,
while the landlady on the threshold made a vigorous use of her pocket-
handkerchief, to the edification and delight of an excited crowd in
the street.

The Court returned to Osborne, and on the 22nd of September the Queen,
the Prince, and Princess Alice, with the suite, sailed from Gravesend
for Antwerp _en route_ for Coburg, where the Princess Royal was
to meet them with her husband and the child-prince, whom his
grandparents had not yet seen.

The King of the Belgians, his sons and daughter-in-law met the
travellers with the melancholy intelligence that the Prince's
stepmother, the Duchess-Dowager of Coburg, who had been ill for some
time, but was looking forward to this visit, lay in extremity. At
Verviers a telegram announced that she had died at five o'clock that
morning--a great shock to those who were hastening to see her and
receive her welcome once more. Royal kindred met and greeted the party
at each halting-place, as by Aix-la-Chapelle, Frankfort, where they
slept, the valley of the Maine and the Thuringen railway, the
travellers approached Coburg. Naturally the Queen grew agitated at the
thought of the arrival, so different from what she had expected and
experienced on her last visit, fifteen years before. At the station
were the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Prince Frederick William of Prussia,
in deep mourning. Everything was quiet and private. At the door of the
palace, in painful contrast to the gala faces and dresses of her
earlier reception, stood the Grand Duchess and the Princess Royal in
the deepest German mourning, with long black veils, the point hanging
over the forehead. Around were the ladies and gentlemen of the suites.
"A tender embrace, and then we walked up the staircase," wrote the
Queen; "I could hardly speak, I felt so moved, and quite trembled."
Her room was that which had formerly belonged to the Duchess of Kent
when she was a young Coburg princess. One of its windows looked up a
picturesque narrow street with red roofs and high gables, leading to
the market-place. His English nurse led in the Queen's first
grandchild, aged two years, "in a little white dress with black bows."
He was charming to his royal grandmother. She particularised his
youthful attractions--"A beautiful white soft skin, very fine
shoulders and limbs, and a very dear face, ... very fair curly hair."
The funeral of the Dowager-Duchess took place at seven o'clock on the
morning of the 27th September, at Gotha, and was attended by the
gentlemen of the party, while the ladies in deep mourning, wearing the
pointed veils, were present at a commemorative service in the Schloss
Kirche at Coburg.

Then followed a quiet happy time, among the pleasures of which were
the daily visits from the little grandchild, the renewal of
intercourse with Baron Stockmar, whom Germans called the familiar
spirit of the house of Coburg; the acquaintance of the great novelist,
Auerbach; a visit to Florrschutz, the Prince's old tutor, in the
pretty house which his two pupils had built for him.

The holiday was alarmingly interrupted by what might have been a grave
accident to the Prince Consort. He was driving alone in an open
carriage with four horses, which took fright and dashed along at full
gallop in the direction of the railway line, where a waggon stood in
front of a bar, put up to guard a level crossing. Seeing that a crash
was inevitable, the Prince leapt out, escaping with several bruises
and cuts, while the driver, who had remained with the carriage, was
thrown out when it came in contact with the railway-bar, and seriously
hurt. One of the horses was killed, the others rushed along the road
to Coburg. They were met by the Prince's equerry, Colonel Ponsonby,
who in great anxiety procured a carriage and drove with two doctors to
the spot, where he found the Prince lending aid to the injured man.
Colonel Ponsonby was sent to intercept the Queen as she was walking
and sketching with her daughter and sister-in-law, to tell her of the
accident and of the Prince's escape, before she could hear a garbled
version of the affair from other quarters.

In deep gratitude for the Prince's preservation, her Majesty
afterwards set aside the sum deemed necessary--rather more than a
thousand pounds--to found a charity called the "Victoria Stift," which
helps a certain number of young men and women of good character in
their apprenticeship, in setting them up in trade, and marriage.

The royal party returned at the end of a fortnight by Frankfort and
Mayence. At Coblentz, where they spent the night, her Majesty was
attacked by cold and sore throat, though she walked and drove out next
day, inspecting every object she was asked to see in suffering and
discomfort. It was her last day with the Princess Royal and "the
darling little boy," whom his grandmother was so pleased to have with
her, running about and playing in her room. The following day was cold
and wet, and the Queen felt still worse, continuing her journey so
worn out and unwell that she could only rouse herself before reaching
Brussels, where King Leopold was at the station awaiting her. By the
order of her doctor, who found her labouring under a feverish cold
with severe sore throat, she was confined to her room, where she had
to lie down and keep quiet. Never in the whole course of her Majesty's
healthful life, save in one girlish illness at Ramsgate, of which the
world knew nothing, had she felt so ailing. Happily a night's rest
restored her to a great extent; but while a State dinner which had
been invited in her honour was going on, she had still to stay in her
room, with Lady Churchill reading to her "The Mill on the Floss," and
the door open that the Queen might hear the band of the Guides.

On the 17th of October the travellers left Brussels, and on the 17th
arrived at Windsor, where they were met by the younger members of the
family.

On the 30th of October the great sea captain, Lord Dundonald, closed
his chequered life in his eighty-fifth year.

In December two gallant wooers were at the English Court, as a few
years before King Pedro, the Arch-Duke Maximilian, and Prince
Frederick William were all young bridegrooms in company. On this
occasion Prince Louis of Hesse-Darmstadt came to win Princess Alice,
and the hereditary Prince of Hohenzollern Seigmaringen was on his way
to ask the hand of Donna Antoine, sister of King Pedro. Lord Campbell
paid a visit to Windsor at this time, and made his comment on the
royal lovers. "My stay at Windsor was rather dull, but was a little
enhanced by the loves of Prince Louis of Hesse and the Princess Alice.
He had arrived the night before, almost a stranger to her" (a
mistake), "but as her suitor. At first they were very shy, but they
soon reminded me of Ferdinand and Miranda in the _Tempest_, and I
looked on like old Prospero."

The betrothal of Princess Alice occurred within the week. Her Majesty
has given an account in the pages of her journal, transferred to the
"Life of the Prince Consort," how simply and naturally it happened.
"After dinner, whilst talking to the gentlemen, I perceived Alice and
Louis talking before the fireplace more earnestly than usual, and when
I passed to go to the other room both came up to me, and Alice in much
agitation said he had proposed to her, and he begged for my blessing.
I could only squeeze his hand and say 'Certainly,' and that we would
see him in our room, later. Got through the evening work as well as we
could. Alice came to our room ... agitated but quiet.... Albert sent
for Louis to his room, went first to him, and then called Alice and me
in...." The bride was only seventeen, the bridegroom twenty-three
years of age--but nearly two years were to elapse, with, alas! sad
changes in their course, before the marriage thus happily settled was
celebrated.

This winter her Majesty's old servant and friend, Lord Aberdeen, died.

In December the Empress of the French, who had recently lost her
sister, the Duchess of Alba, in order to recover health and
cheerfulness, paid a flying visit in private to England and Scotland.
From Claridge's Hotel she went for a day to Windsor to see the Queen
and the Prince. Towards the close of the year the Prince had a brief
but painful attack of one of the gastric affections becoming so common
with him.

In January, 1861, the Queen received the news of the death of the
invalid King of Prussia at Sans Souci. His brother, the Crown Prince,
who had been regent for years, succeeded to the throne, of which the
husband of the Princess Royal was now the next heir.

In the beginning of the year the Prince of Wales matriculated at
Cambridge.

In February the Queen opened Parliament. The twenty-first anniversary
of the royal wedding-day falling on a Sunday, it was celebrated
quietly but with much happiness. The Queen wrote to her uncle, King
Leopold, "Very few can say with me that their husband, at the end of
twenty-one years, is not only full of the friendship, kindness, and
affection which a truly happy marriage brings with it, but of the same
tender love as in the very first days of our marriage."



CHAPTER XXXIII.


DEATH OF THE DUCHESS OF KENT.

The Duchess of Kent was now seventy-five years of age. For the last
few years she had been in failing health, tenderly cared for by her
children. When she had been last in town she had not gone to her own
house, Clarence House, but had stayed with her daughter in the
cheerful family circle at Buckingham Palace.

A loss in her household fell heavily on the aged Duchess. Sir George
Cooper, her secretary, to whose services she had been used for many
years, a man three years her junior, died in February, 1860.

In March the Duchess underwent a surgical operation for a complaint
affecting her right arm and rendering it useless, so that the habits
of many years had to be laid aside, and she could no longer without
difficulty work, or write, or play on the piano, of which her musical
talent and taste had made her particularly fond. The Queen and the
Prince visited the Duchess at Frogmore on the 12th of March, and found
her in a suffering but apparently not a dangerous condition.

On the 15th good news, including the medical men's report and a letter
from Lady Augusta Bruce, the Duchess of Kent's attached lady-in-
waiting, came from Frogmore to Buckingham Palace, and the Queen and
the Prince went without any apprehension on a visit to the gardens of
the Horticultural Society at Kensington. Her Majesty returned alone,
leaving the Prince to transact some business. She was "resting quite
happily" in her arm-chair, when the Prince arrived with a message from
Sir James Clark that the Duchess had been seized with a shivering fit--
a bad symptom, from which serious consequences were apprehended.

In two hours the Queen, the Prince, and Princess Alice were at
Frogmore. "Just the same," was the sorrowful answer given by the
ladies and gentlemen awaiting them.

The Prince Consort went up to the Duchess's room and came back with
tears in his eyes; then the Queen knew what to expect. With a
trembling heart she followed her husband and entered the bedroom.
There "on a sofa, supported by cushions, the room much darkened," sat
the Duchess, "leaning back, breathing heavily in her silk dressing-
gown, with her cap on, looking quite herself"

For a second the sight of the dear familiar figure, so little changed,
must have afforded a brief reprieve, and lent a sense of almost glad
incredulity to the distress which had gone before. But the well-meant
whisper of one of the attendants of "_Ein sanftes ende_"
destroyed the passing illusion. "Seeing that my presence did not
disturb her," the Queen wrote afterwards, "I knelt before her, kissed
her dear hand and placed it next my cheek; but though she opened her
eyes, she did not, I think, know me. She brushed my hand off, and the
dreadful reality was before me that for the first time she did not
know the child she had ever received with such tender smiles. I went
out to sob.... I asked the doctors if there was no hope; they said
they feared none whatever, for consciousness had left her.... It was
suffusion of water on the chest which had come on."

The long night passed in sad watching by the unconscious sufferer, and
in vain attempts at rest in preparation for the greater sorrow that
was in store.

A few months earlier, on the death of the King of Prussia, the Prince
Consort had written to his daughter that her experience exceeded his,
for he had never seen any person die. The Queen had been equally
unacquainted with the mournful knowledge which comes to most even
before they have attained mature manhood and womanhood. Now the loving
daughter knelt or stood by the mother who was leaving her without a
sign, or lay painfully listening to the homely trivial sounds which
broke the stillness of the night--the crowing of a cock, the dogs
barking in the distance; the striking of the old repeater which had
belonged to the Queen's father, that she had heard every night in her
childhood, but to which she had not listened for twenty-three years--
the whole of her full happy married life. She wondered with the vague
piteous wonder--natural in such a case--what her mother, would have
thought of her passing a night under her roof again, and she not to
know it?

In the March morning the Prince took the Queen from the room in which
she could not rest, yet from which she could not remain absent. When
she returned windows and doors were thrown open. The Queen sat down on
a footstool and held the Duchess's hand, while the paleness of death
stole over the face, and the features grew longer and sharper. "I fell
on my knees," her Majesty wrote afterwards, "holding the beloved hand
which was still warm and soft, though heavier, in both of mine. I felt
the end was fast approaching, as Clark went out to call Albert and
Alice, I only left gazing on that beloved face, and feeling as if my
heart would break.... It was a solemn, sacred, never-to-be-forgotten
scene. Fainter and fainter grew the breathing; at last it ceased, but
there was no change of countenance, nothing; the eyes closed as they
had been for the last half-hour.... The clock struck half-past nine at
the very moment. Convulsed with sobs I fell on the hand and covered it
with kisses. Albert lifted me up and took me into the next room,
himself entirely melted into tears, which is unusual for him, deep as
his feelings are, and clasped me in his arms. I asked if all was over;
he said, "Yes." I went into the room again after a few minutes and
gave one look. My darling mother was sitting as she had done before,
but was already white. Oh, God! how awful, how mysterious! But what a
blessed end. Her gentle spirit at rest, her sufferings over."

By the Prince's advice the Queen went at once to the late Duchess's
sitting-room, where it was hard to bear the unchanged look of
everything, "Chairs, cushions ... all on the tables, her very work-
basket with her work; the little canary bird which she was so fond of,
singing!"

In one of the recently published letters of Princess Alice to the
Queen, the former recalled after an interval of eight years the words
which her father had spoken to her on the death of her grandmother,
when he brought the daughter to the mother and said, "Comfort mamma,"
a simple injunction which sounded like a solemn charge in the sad
months to come.

The melancholy tidings of the loss were conveyed by the Queen's hand
to the Duchess's elder daughter, the Princess of Hohenlohe; to the
Duchess's brother, the King of the Belgians--the last survivor of his
family--and to her eldest grand-daughter, the Crown Princess of
Prussia.

The moment the Princess Royal heard of the death she started for
England, and arrived there two days afterwards.

The unaffected tribute of respect paid by the whole country, led by
the Houses of Parliament, to the virtues of the late Duchess, was very
welcome to the mourners. The Duchess of Kent by her will bequeathed
her property to the Queen, and appointed the Prince Consort her sole
executor. "He was so tender and kind," wrote the Queen, "so pained to
have to ask me distressing questions, but spared me so much.
Everything done so quickly and feelingly."

The funeral took place on the 25th of March, in the vault beneath St.
George's Chapel, Windsor. The Prince Consort acted as chief mourner,
and was supported by two of the grandchildren of the late Duchess, the
Prince of Wales and the Prince of Leiningen. The pallbearers were six
ladies; among whom was Lady Augusta Bruce. Neither the Queen nor her
daughters were present. They remained, in the Queen's words, "to pray
at home together, and to dwell on the happiness and peace of her who
was gone." On the evening of the funeral the Queen and the Prince
dined alone; afterwards he read aloud to her letters written by her
mother to a German friend, giving an account of the illness and death
of the Duke of Kent more than forty years before. The Queen continued
the allowances which the Duchess of Kent had made to her elder
daughter, the Princess Hohenlohe, and to two of the duchess's
grandsons, Prince Victor Hohenlohe and Prince Edward Leiningen. Her
Majesty pensioned the Duchess's servants, and appointed Lady Augusta
Bruce, who had been like a daughter to the dead Princess, resident
bedchamber woman to the Queen.

Frogmore had been much frequented by Queen Charlotte and her
daughters, and was the place where they held many of their family
festivals. It had been the country house of Princess Augusta for more
than twenty years. On her death it was given to the Duchess of Kent.
It is an unpretending white country house, spacious enough, and with
all the taste of the day when it was built expended on the grounds,
which does not prevent them from lying very low, with the inevitable
sheet of water almost beneath the windows. Yet it is a lovely, bowery,
dwelling when spring buds are bursting and the birds are filling the
air with music; such a sheltered, peaceful, home-like house as an
ageing woman well might crave. On it still lingers, in spite of a
period when it passed into younger hands, the stamp of the old
Duchess, with her simple state, her unaffected dignity, her
affectionate interest in her numerous kindred. The place is but a
bowshot from the old grey castle of Windsor. It was a chosen resort of
the royal children, to whom the noble, kind, grandame was all that
gracious age can be. Here the Queen brought the most distinguished of
her guests to present them to her mother, who had known so many of the
great men of her time. Here the royal daughter herself came often,
leaving behind her the toils of government and the ceremonies of rank,
where she could always be at ease, was always more than welcome. Here
she comes still, after twenty years, to view old scenes--the chair by
which she sat when the Duchess of Kent occupied it, the piano she knew
so well, the familiar portraits, the old-fashioned furniture, suiting
the house admirably, the drooping trees on the lawn, under which the
Queen would breakfast in fine weather, according to an old Kensington
--an old German--custom.

The long verandah was wont to contain vases of flowers and statues of
the Duchess's grandchildren, and formed a pleasant promenade for an
old lady. Within the smaller, cosier rooms, with the softly tinted
pink walls covered with portraits, was led the daily life which as it
advanced in infirmity necessarily narrowed in compass, while the State
rooms remained for family and Court gatherings. The last use made of
the great drawing-room by its venerable mistress was after her death,
when she lay in state there.

Half-length portraits of the Duke and Duchess of Kent are in the place
usually occupied by the likenesses of the master and mistress of the
house. Among the other pictures are full-length portraits of the Queen
and Prince Albert in their youth, taken soon after their marriage--
like the natural good end to the various pictures of her Majesty in
her fair English childhood and maidenhood, with the blonde hair
clustering about the open innocent forehead, the fearless blue eyes,
the frank mouth. The child, long a widow in her turn, a mother,
grandmother, great-grandmother, must look with strange mingled
feelings on these shadows of her early, unconscious self.

There are innumerable likenesses of the Queen's children such as a
loving grandmother would delight to accumulate, from the baby Princess
Royal with the good dog Eos curled round by her side, the child's tiny
foot on the hound's nose, to the same Princess a blooming girl-bride
by the side of her bridegroom, Prince Frederick William of Prussia.

The Duchess's other children and grandchildren are here on canvas,
with many portraits of her brothers and sisters and their children. A
full-length likeness of the former owner of Frogmore, Princess
Augusta, Fanny Burney's beloved princess, hangs above a chimneypiece;
while on the walls of another room quaintly painted floral festoons,
the joint work of the painter, Mary Moser, and the artistic Princess
Elizabeth, are still preserved.

Frogmore was for some years the residence of Princess Christian of
Schleswig-Holstein. When she removed to Cumberland House, the
furniture which had belonged to the Duchess of Kent was brought back,
and the place restored as much as possible to the condition in which
she had left it, which implies the presence of many cherished relics--
such as the timepiece which was the last gift of the Queen and the
Prince, and a picture said to have been painted by both representing
Italian peasants praying beside a roadside calvary. There are numerous
tokens of womanly tastes in the gay, bright fashion of the Duchess's
time, among them a gorgeously tinted inlaid table from the first
Exhibition, and elaborate specimens of Berlin woolwork, offerings from
friends of the mistress of the house and from the ladies of her suite.
In one of the simply furnished bedrooms of quiet little Frogmore, as
it chanced, the heir of the Prince of Wales first saw the light. For
here was born unexpectedly, making a great stir in the little
household, Prince Victor Albert of Wales.



CHAPTER XXXIV.


LAST VISIT TO IRELAND--HIGHLAND EXCURSIONS--MEETING OF THE PRINCE OF
WALES AND THE PRINCESS ALEXANDRA OF DENMARK--DEATH OF THE KINO OF
PORTUGAL AND HIS BROTHERS

In the retirement of Osborne the Queen mourned her mother with the
tender fidelity which her people have learnt to know and reverence.

In April the Court returned to Buckingham Palace, when the Queen
announced the marriage of the Princess Alice to the Privy Council It
was communicated to Parliament, and was very favourably received. The
Princess had a dowry of thirty thousand, and an annuity of six
thousand pounds from the country.

The Queen's birthday was celebrated at Osborne without the usual
festivities. During the Whitsun holidays Prince Louis, who was with
the family, had the misfortune to be attacked by measles, which he
communicated to Prince Leopold. The little boy had the disease
severely, and it left bad results.

In June King Leopold and one of his sons paid the Queen a lengthened
visit of five weeks. The Princess Royal, with her husband and
children, arrived afterwards, and there was a happy family meeting,
tinged with sorrow.

In July the most exalted Order of the Star of India was instituted,
and conferred first on the Maharajah Dhuleep Singh, Lord Clyde, Sir
John Lawrence, &c., &c. That summer saw the death of two statesmen who
had been men of mark in the Crimean war--Count Cavour, the Sardinian
Prime Minister, and Lord Herbert of Lea. The royal visitors in London
and at Osborne included the Archduke Maximilian and his young wife,
and the King of Sweden and his son.

Towards the close of August the Queen went to Frogmore with the Prince
and Princess Alice, in order to keep the birthday of the late Duchess
of Kent, whose remains had been already removed from St. George's
chapel to the mausoleum prepared for them in the grounds of her former
home. The Queen wrote of the first evening at Frogmore as "terribly
trying;" but it comforted her in the beautiful morning to visit the
grand simple mausoleum, and to help to place on the granite
sarcophagus the wreaths which had been brought for the purpose.

The day after the return of Prince Alfred from the West Indies, the
Queen and the Prince, their second son and the Princesses Alice and
Helena, sailed from Holyhead in the _Victoria and Albert_ for
Kingstown. This visit to Ireland meant also the royal presence on a
field-day in the Curragh camp, where the Prince of Wales was serving,
and a run down to Killarney in very hot weather. At the lakes the
Queen was the guest of Lord Castleross and Mr. Herbert. The wild
luxuriant scenery, the size and beauty of the arbutus-trees, and the
enthusiastic shriek of the blue-cloaked women, made their due
impression. In a row on one of the lakes her Majesty christened a
point. The Prince's birthday came round during the stay in Ireland,
and was marked by the usual loving tokens, though the Queen noted
sadly the difference between this and other anniversaries: the lack of
festivities, the absence from home, the separation from the younger
children, and the missing the old invariable gift from the Duchess of
Kent.

Balmoral was reached in the beginning of September. Prince Louis came
speedily, and another welcome guest, Princess Hohenlohe, who travelled
north with Lady Augusta Bruce. Dr. Norman Macleod gives a glimpse of
the circumstances and the circle. He preached to the Queen, and she
thanked him for the comfort he gave her. Lady Augusta Bruce talked to
him of "that noble, loving woman, the Duchess of Kent, and of the
Queen's grief." He found the Queen's half-sister "an admirable woman"
and Prince Alfred "a fine gentlemanly sailor."

The Queen's greatest solace this year was in long days spent on the
purple mountains and by the sides of the brown lochs, and in a second
private expedition, like that of the previous year to Grantown, when
she slept a night at the Ramsay Arms in the village of Fettercairn,
and Prince Louis and General Grey were consigned to the Temperance
Hotel opposite. The whole party walked out in the moonlight and were
startled by a village band. The return was by Blair, where the Queen
was welcomed by her former host and hostess, the Duke and Duchess of
Athole. Her Majesty had a look at her earlier quarters, at the room in
which the little Princess Royal had been put to bed in two chairs, and
saw Sandy Macara, grown old and grey.

After an excursion to Cairn Glaishie, her Majesty recorded in her
journal, "Alas! I fear our last great one." Six years afterwards the
sorrowful confirmation was given to words which had been written with
a very different meaning, "It was our last one."

The Prince of Wales was on a visit to Germany, ostensibly to witness
the manoeuvres of the Prussian army, but with a more delicate mission
behind. He was bound, while not yet twenty, to make the acquaintance
of the Princess Alexandra of Denmark, not quite seventeen, with the
probability of their future marriage--a prospect which, to the great
regret of the Prince Consort, got almost immediately into the
newspapers. The first meetings of the young couple took place at
Speyer and Heidelberg, and were altogether promising of the mutual
attachment which was the desired result.

On the 18th of October the King of Prussia was crowned at Könisburg--a
splendid ceremonial, in which the Princess Royal naturally, as the
Crown Princess, bore a prominent part.

On the return of the Court to Windsor, Prince Leopold, then between
eight and nine years of age, was sent, with a temporary household, to
spend the winter in the south of France for the sake of his health.

Suddenly a great and painful shock was given to the Queen and the
Prince by the news of the disastrous outbreak of typhoid fever in
Portugal among their royal cousins and intimate friends, the sons of
Maria de Gloria. When the tidings arrived King Pedro's brother, Prince
Ferdinand, was already dead, and the King ill. Two more brothers, the
Duke of Oporto and the Duke of Beja, were in England, on their way
home from the King of Prussia's coronation. The following day still
sadder news arrived--the recovery of the young king, not more than
twenty-five, was despaired of. His two brothers started immediately
for Lisbon, but were too late to see him in life. The younger, the
Duke of Beja, was also seized with the fatal fever and died in the
course of the following month. The Queen and the Prince lamented the
King deeply, finding the only consolation in the fact that he had
rejoined the gentle girl-wife for whose loss he had been inconsolable.



CHAPTER XXXV.


THE DEATH OF THE PRINCE CONSORT.

The news of the terrible mortality in the Portuguese royal family,
especially the death of the King, to whom the Prince was warmly
attached, had seriously affected his health, never strong, and for the
last few years gradually declining, with gastric attacks becoming more
frequent and fits of sleeplessness more confirmed. At the same time
the Prince's spirit was so unbroken, his power of work and even of
enjoyment so unshaken, while the patience and unselfishness which
treated his own bodily discomfort as a matter of little moment had
grown so much the habit of his mind, that naturally those nearest to
him failed in their very love to see the extent of the physical
mischief which was at work. Nevertheless there is abundant evidence
that the Queen was never without anxiety on her husband's account, and
Baron Stockmar expressed his apprehensions more than once.

Various causes of care troubled the Prince, among them the
indisposition contracted by the Princess Royal at the coronation of
her father-in-law, the King of Prussia, and the alarming illness at
Cannes of Sir Edward Bowater, who had been sent to the south of France
in charge of Prince Leopold. After a fortnight of sleeplessness,
rheumatic pains, loss, of appetite, and increasing weakness, the
Prince drove in close wet weather to inspect the building of the new
Military Academy at Sandhurst, and it is believed that he there
contracted the germs of fever. But he shot with the guests at the
Castle, walked with the Queen to Frogmore and inspected the mausoleum
there, and visited the Prince of Wales at Cambridge afterwards.

Then the affair of the _Trent_ suddenly demanded the Prince's
close attention and earnest efforts to prevent a threatened war
between England and America. In the course of the civil war raging
between the Northern and Southern states the English steamer
_Trent_ sailed with the English mails from Savannah to England,
having on board among the other passengers several American gentlemen,
notably Messrs. Mason and Slidell, who had run the blockade from
Charlestown to Cuba, and were proceeding to Europe as envoys sent by
the Confederates to the Courts of England and France. A federal vessel
fired on the English steamer, compelling her to stop, when the
American Captain Wilkes, at the head of a large body of marines,
demanded the surrender of Mason and Slidell, with their companions. In
the middle of the remonstrances of the English Government agent at the
insult to his flag and to the neutral port from which the ship had
sailed, the objects of the officer's search came forward and
surrendered themselves, thus delivering the English commander from his
difficulty.

But the feeling in England was very strong against the outrage which
had been committed, and it was only the most moderate of any political
party who were willing to believe--either that the American Government
might not be cognisant of the act done in its name, or that it might
be willing to atone by honourable means for a violation of
international law--enough to provoke the withdrawal of the English
ambassador from Washington, and a declaration of war between the two
countries.

Cabinet councils were summoned and a dispatch prepared. A draft of the
dispatch was forwarded to Windsor to be read by the Queen, when it
struck both her and, the Prince that it was less temperate and
conciliatory than it might have been, while still consistent with
perfect dignity. The Prince Consort's last public work for his Queen
and country was to amend this draft. He rose as usual at seven
o'clock, and faint and ill as he was, scarcely able to hold a pen,
drew out an improved version of the dispatch, which was highly
approved of by the Ministers and favourably received by the American
Government. As the world knows, the President, in the name of his
countrymen, declared that Captain Wilkes had acted without official
instructions, and ordered the release of the gentlemen who had been
taken prisoners.

In the meantime the shadows were darkening round the royal home which
had been so supremely blest. The Prince was worse. Still he walked out
on one of the terraces, and wrapped in a coat lined with fur he
witnessed a review of the Eton College volunteers, from which his
absence would have been remarked. The ill-omened chilly feeling
continued, but there were guests at the Castle and he appeared at
dinner. On Sunday, the 1st of December, the Prince walked out again on
the terrace and attended service in the chapel, insisting "on going
through all the kneeling," though very unwell.

Next morning something was said by the doctors of low fever. No wonder
the Queen was distressed after the recent calamity at Lisbon, but
concealing her feelings as such watchers must, she strove to soothe
and amuse her sick husband. The members of the household who had been
at Lisbon arrived with the particulars of the young King of Portugal's
death. After listening to them the Prince said "that it was well his
illness was not fever, as that, he felt sure, would be fatal to him."

One of the guests at the Castle was Lord Palmerston. In spite of his
natural buoyancy of temperament he became so much alarmed by what he
heard that he suggested another physician should be called in. Her
Majesty had not been prepared for this step, and when she appealed to
the two medical men in attendance, Sir James Clark and Dr. Jenner,
they comforted her by their opinion that there was nothing to alarm
her, and that the low fever which had been feared might pass off.

The next few days were spent in alternations of hope and fear. Which
of us is so happy as not to have known that desperate faith when to
doubt would be to despair? The Prince liked to be read to, but "no
book suited him." The readers were the Queen and Princess Alice, who
sought to cheat themselves by substituting Trollope for George Eliot,
and Lever for Trollop, and by speaking confidently of trying Sir
Walter Scott "to-morrow." To-morrow brought no improvement. Sir James
Clark, though still sanguine, began to drop words which were not
without their significance. He _hoped_ there would be no fever,
which all dreaded, with too sure a presentiment of what would follow.
The Prince _must_ eat, and he was to be told so; his illness was
likely to be tedious, and completely starving himself would not do.

As if the whole atmosphere was heavy with sorrow, and all the tidings
which came from the world without in these days only reflected the
ache of the hearts within, the news came from Calcutta of the death of
the wife of the Governor-General, beautiful, gifted Lady Canning, so
long the Queen's lady-in-waiting and close companion.

The doctors began to sit up with the patient, another stage of the
terrible illness. When her Majesty came to the Prince at eight in the
morning she found him sitting up in his dressing-room, and was struck
with "a strange wild look" which he had, while he talked in a baffled
way, unlike him, of what his illness could be, and how long it might
last. But that day there was a rally; he ate and slept a little,
rested, and liked to be read to by Princess Alice. He was quite
himself again when the Queen came in with his little pet child,
Princess Beatrice, in whom he had taken such delight. He kissed her,
held her hand, laughed at her new French verses, and "dozed off," as
if he only wanted sleep to restore him.

The doctor in attendance was anxious that the Prince should undress
and go to bed, but this he would not do. Throughout the attack, with
his old habit of not giving way and of mastering his bodily feelings
by sheer force of will, he had resisted yielding to his weakness and
submitting to the ordinary routine of a sick-room. After it was too
late the doctor's compliance with the Prince's wishes in this respect
was viewed by the public as rash and unwise. On this particular
occasion he walked to his dressing-room and lay down there, saying he
would have a good night--an expectation doomed to disappointment. His
restlessness not only kept him from sleeping, it caused him to change
his room more than once during the night.

The morning found him up and seated in his sitting-room as before. But
he was worse, and talked with a certain incoherence when he told the
Queen that he had been listening to the little birds, and they had
reminded him of those he had heard at the Rosenau in his childhood.
She felt a quick recoil, and when the doctors showed that their
favourable opinion of the day before had undergone a change, she went
to her room and it seemed to her as if her heart would break.

Fever had now declared itself unmistakably. The fact was gently broken
to the Queen, and she was warned that the illness must run its course,
while the knowledge of its nature was to be kept from the Prince. She
called to mind every thought that could give her courage; and Princess
Alice, her father's true daughter, capable of rising to heights of
duty and tenderness the moment she was put to the test, grew brave in
her loving demotion, and already afforded the support which the
husband and father was no longer fit to give.

Happily for her Majesty, the daily duties of her position as a
sovereign, which she could not lay aside though they were no longer
shared by the friend of more than twenty years, still occupied a
considerable portion of her time. But she wrote in her diary that in
fulfilling her task she seemed to live "in a dreadful dream." Do we
not also know, many of us, this cruel double life in which the
obligations which belong to our circumstances and to old habits
contend for mastery with new misery? When she was not thus engaged the
Queen sat by her husband, weeping when she could do so unseen.

On the 8th of December the Prince appeared to be going on well, though
the desire for change continued strong in him, and he was removed at
his earnest request to larger and brighter rooms, adjoining those he
had hitherto occupied. According to Lady Bloomfield one of the rooms--
certainly called "the Kings' rooms"--into which the Prince was
carried, was that in which both William IV. and George IV. had died;
and the fact was remembered and referred to by the new tenant, when he
was placed where he too was destined to die. The Queen had only once
slept there, when her own rooms were being painted, and as it
happened, that single occasion was on the night before the day when
the Duchess of Kent had her last fatal seizure.

The Prince was pleased with the greater space and light and with the
winter sunshine. For the first time since his illness he asked for
music, "a fine chorale." A piano was brought into the room, and his
daughter played two hymns--one of them "_Ein fester burg ist unser
Gott_" to which he listened with tears in his eyes.

It was Sunday, and Charles Kingsley preached at the Castle. The Queen
was present, but she noted sadly that she did not hear a word.

The serious illness of the Prince Consort had become known and excited
much alarm, especially among the Cabinet Ministers. They united in
urging that fresh medical aid should be procured. Dr. Watson and Sir
Henry Holland were called in. These gentlemen concurred with the other
doctors in their opinion of the case as grave, but not presenting any
very bad symptoms. The increased tendency of the Prince to wander in
his mind was only what was to be expected. The listlessness and
irritability characteristic of the disease gave way to pleasure at
seeing the Queen and having her with him, to tender caresses, such as
stroking her cheek, and simple loving words, fondly cherished,
"_Liebes frauchen, gutes weibchen_." [Footnote: "Dear little
wife, good little wife."] The changes rung on the relationship which
had been so perfect and so satisfying.

On the 10th and the 11th the Prince was considered better. He was
wheeled into the next room, when he called attention to a picture of
the Madonna of which he was fond; he said that the sight of it helped
him through half the day.

On the evening of the 11th a slight change in the Prince's breathing
was perceptible and occasioned uneasiness. On the 12th it was too
evident the fever and shortness of breathing had increased, and on the
13th Dr. Jenner had to tell the Queen the symptom was serious, and
that there was a probability of congestion of the lungs. When the sick
man was wheeled into the next room as before, he failed to notice his
favourite picture, and in place of asking to be placed with his back
to the light as he had hitherto done, sat with his hands clasped,
gazing abstractedly out of the window. That night the Prince of Wales
was summoned from Cambridge, it was said by his sister, Princess
Alice, who took upon her the responsibility of bringing him to
Windsor.

All through the night at hourly intervals reports were brought to the
Queen that the Prince was doing well. At six in the morning Mr. Brown,
the Windsor medical attendant of the family for upwards of twenty
years, who was believed to be well acquainted with the Prince's
constitution, came to the Queen with the glad tidings "that he had no
hesitation in saying he thought the Prince was much better, and that
there was ground to hope the crisis was over." There are few
experiences more piteous than that last flash of life in the socket
which throws a parting gleam of hope on the approaching darkness of
death.

When the Queen entered the sick-room at seven o'clock on a fine winter
morning, she was struck with the unearthly beauty--another not
unfamiliar sign--of the face on which the rising sun shone. The eyes
unusually bright, gazing as it were on an unseen object, took no
notice of her entrance.

The doctors allowed they were "very, very anxious," but still they
would not give up hope. The Queen asked if she might go out for a
breath of air, and received an answer with a reservation--"Yes, just
close by, for a quarter of an hour." She walked on one of the terraces
with Princess Alice, but they heard a military band playing in the
distance, and at that sound, recalling such different scenes, the poor
Queen burst into tears, and returned to the Castle.

Sir James Clark said he had seen much worse cases from which there had
been recovery. But both the Queen and the doctors remarked the dusky
hue stealing over the hands and face, and there were acts which looked
like strange involuntary preparations for departure--folding of the
arms, arranging of the hair, &c.

The Queen was in great distress, and remained constantly either in the
sick-room or in the apartment next to it, where the doctors tried
still to speak words of hope to her, but could no longer conceal that
the life which was as her life was ebbing away. In the course of the
afternoon, when the Queen went up to the Prince, after he had been
wheeled into the middle of the room, he said the last loving words,
"_Gutes frauchen_," [Footnote: "Good little wife."] kissed her,
and with a little moaning sigh laid his head on her shoulder. He dozed
and wandered, speaking French sometimes. All his children who were in
the country came into the room, and one after the other took his hand,
Prince Arthur kissing it as he did so, but the Prince made no sign of
knowing them. He roused himself and asked for his private secretary,
but again slept. Three of the gentlemen of the household, who had been
much about the Prince's person, came up to him and kissed his hand
without attracting his attention. All of them were overcome; only she
who sat in her place by his side was quiet and still.

So long as enough air passed through the labouring lungs, the doctors
would not relinquish the last grain of hope. Even when the Queen found
the Prince bathed in the death-sweat, so near do life and death still
run, that the attendant medical men ventured to say it might be an
effort of nature to throw off the fever.

The Queen bent over the Prince and whispered "_Es ist kleins
Frauchen_." He recognised the voice and answered by bowing his head
and kissing her. He was quite calm, only drowsy, and not caring to be
disturbed, as he had been wont to be when weary and ill.

The Queen had gone into the next room to weep there when Sir James
Clark sent Princess Alice to bring her back. The end had come. With
his wife kneeling by his side and holding his hand, his children
kneeling around, the Queen's nephew, Prince Ernest Leiningen, the
gentlemen of the Prince's suite, General Bruce, General Grey, and Sir
Charles Phipps, the Dean of Windsor, and the Prince's favourite German
valet, Lohlein, reverently watching the scene, the true husband and
tender father, the wise prince and liberal-hearted statesman, the
noble Christian man, gently breathed his last. It was a quarter to
eleven o'clock on the 14th of December, 1861. He was aged forty-two
years.



CHAPTER XXXVI.


THE WITHDRAWAL TO OSBORNE--THE PRINCE CONSORT'S FUNERAL.

The tolling of the great bell of St. Paul's, borne on the wintry
midnight air, thrilled many a heart with grief and dismay, as London
was roused to the melancholy fact of the terrible bereavement which
had befallen the Queen and the country.

To the Prince indeed death had come without terror, even without
recoil. Some time before he had told the Queen that he had not her
clinging to life, that if he knew it was well with those he cared for,
he would be quite ready to die to-morrow. He was perfectly convinced
of the future reunion of those who had loved each other on earth,
though he did not know under what circumstances it would take place.
During one of the happy Highland excursions in 1861, the Prince had
remarked to one of the keepers when talking over with him the choice
and planting of a deer-forest for the Prince of Wales, "You and I may
be dead and gone before that." "He was ever cheerful, but ever ready
and prepared," was the Queen's comment on this remark.

But for the Queen, "a widow at forty-two!" was the lamenting cry of
the nation which had been so proud of its young Queen, of her love-
match, of her happiness as a wife. Now a subtler touch than any which
had gone before won all hearts to her, and bowed them before her feet
in a very passion of love and loyalty. It was her share in the common
birthright of sorrow, with the knowledge that she in whose joy so many
had rejoiced was now qualified by piteous human experience to weep
with those who wept--that thenceforth throughout her wide dominions
every mourner might feel that their Queen mourned with them as only a
fellow-sufferer can mourn. [Footnote: "The Queen wrote my mother, Lady
Normanby, such a beautiful letter after Normanby's death, saying that
having drunk the dregs of her cup of grief herself, she knew how to
sympathise with others."--LADY BLOOMFIELD.] All hearts went out to her
in the day of her bitter sorrow. Prayers innumerable were put up for
her, and she believed they sustained her when she would otherwise have
sunk under the heavy burden.

On the Sunday which dawned on the first day of her Majesty's
widowhood, when the news of her bereavement--announced in a similar
fashion in many a city cathedral and country church, was conveyed to
the people in a great northern city by Dr. Norman MacLeod's praying
for the Queen as a widow, a pang of awe and pity smote every hearer;
the minister and the congregation wept together.

The disastrous tidings had to travel far and wide: to the Princess
Royal, the daughter in whom her father had taken such pride, who had
so grieved to part from him when she left England a happy young bride,
who had been so glad to greet him in his own old home only a few
months before; to the sailor son on the other side of the globe; to
the delicate little boy so lately sent in search of health, whose
natural cry on the sorrowful tale being told to him was, "Take me to
mamma."

Deprived in one year of both mother and husband, alone where family
relations were concerned, save for her children; with her eldest son,
the Prince of Wales, a lad of not more than twenty years, the devoted
servants of the Queen rallied round her and strove to support and
comfort her.

In the absence of the Princess Royal and the Princess of Hohenlohe,
the Duchess of Sutherland, one of the Queen's oldest friends, herself
a widow, was sent for to be with her royal mistress. Lady Augusta
Bruce watched day and night by the daughter as she had watched by the
mother. The Queen's people did not know how sore was the struggle, how
near they were to losing her. Princess Alice wrote years afterwards of
that first dreadful night, of the next three terrible days, with a
species of horror, and wondered again and again how she and her mother
survived that time. The Queen's weakness was so great that her pulse
could hardly be felt. "She spoke constantly about God's knowing best,
but showed herself broken-hearted," Lady Bloomfield tells us. It was a
sensible relief to the country when it was made public that the Queen
had slept for some hours.

The doctors urgently advised that her Majesty should leave Windsor and
go to Osborne, but she shrank unconquerably from thus quitting all
that was mortal of the Prince till he had been laid to rest. The old
King of the Belgians, her second father, afflicted in her affliction
as he had gloried in her happiness, added his earnest entreaty to, the
medical men's opinion, in vain, till the plea was brought forward that
for her children's sake--that they might be removed from the fever-
tainted atmosphere, the painful step ought to be taken. Even then it
was mainly by the influence of the Princess Alice that the Queen, who
had proved just and reasonable in all her acts, who had been confirmed
by him who was gone in habits of self-control and self-denial, who was
the best of mothers, gave up the last sad boon which the poorest might
claim, and consented to go immediately with her daughters to Osborne.

But first her Majesty visited Frogmore, where the Duchess of Kent's
mausoleum had been built, that she might choose the spot for another
and larger mausoleum where the husband and wife would yet lie side by
side. It was on the 18th of December that the Queen, accompanied by
Princess Alice, drove from the Castle on her melancholy errand. They
were received at Frogmore by the Prince of Wales, Prince Louis of
Hesse, who had arrived in England, Sir Charles Phipps, and Sir James
Clark. Her Majesty walked round the gardens leaning on her daughter's
arm, and selected the place where the coffin of the Prince would be
finally deposited. Shortly afterwards the sad party left for Osborne,
where a veil must be drawn over the sorrow which, like the love that
gave it birth, has had few parallels.

The funeral was at Windsor on the 23rd of December. Shortly before
twelve o'clock the cortège assembled which was to conduct the remains
of the late Prince Consort the short distance from the state entrance
of Windsor Castle, through the Norman Tower Gate to St. George's
Chapel. Nine mourning-coaches, each drawn by four horses, conveyed the
valets, foresters, riders, librarian, and doctors; the equerries,
ushers, grooms, gentlemen, and lords in waiting of his late Royal
Highness; and the great officers of the Household. One of the Queen's
carriages drawn by six horses contained the Prince's coronet borne by
Earl Spencer, and his baton, sword, and hat by Lord George Lennox. The
hearse, drawn by six horses, was escorted by a detachment of Life
Guards.

The carriages of the Queen, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of
Cambridge, and the Duchess of Cambridge followed. The company which
had received commands to be present at the ceremony, including the
foreign ambassadors, the Cabinet Ministers, the officers of the
household, and many of the nobility and higher clergy, entered St.
George's Chapel by the Wolsey door and were conducted to seats in the
choir. The Knights of the Garter occupied their stalls. The royal
family, with their guests, came privately from the Castle and
assembled in the chapter-room. The members of the procession moved up
the nave in the same order in which they had been driven to the South
porch. Among them were the representatives of all the foreign states
connected by blood or marriage with the late Prince, the choir,
canons, and Dean of Windsor. After the baton, sword, and crown,
carried on black velvet cushions, came the comptroller in the
Chamberlain's department, Vice-Chamberlain, and Lord Chamberlain, then
the crimson velvet coffin, the pall borne by the members of the late
Prince's suite. Garter-King-at-Arms followed, walking before the chief
mourner, the Prince of Wales, who was supported by Prince Arthur, a
little lad of eleven, and the Duke of Saxe-Coburg, and attended by
General Bruce. Behind came the son-in-law, the Crown Prince of
Prussia, the cousins--the sons of the King of the Belgians--with the
Duc de Nemours, Prince Louis of Hesse, Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar,
the Queen's nephew, Count Gleichen, and the Maharajah Dhuleep Singh.
The gentlemen in waiting on the foreign princes wound up the
procession.

When the coffin arrived within the choir, the crown, baton, sword, and
hat were placed on it. That morning a messenger had come from Osborne
with three wreaths and a bouquet. The wreaths were simple garlands of
moss and violets woven by the three elder princesses; the bouquet of
violets, with a white camellia in the centre, was from the Queen.
These were laid between the heraldic insignia. The Prince of Wales
with his brother and uncle stood at the head, the Lord Chamberlain at
the foot, the other mourners and the pallbearers around. Minute-guns
were fired at intervals by Horse Artillery in the Long Walk. A guard
of honour of the Grenadier Guards, of which the Prince Consort had
been colonel, presented arms on the coming of the body and when it was
lowered into the grave. During the service the thirty-ninth Psalm,
Luther's Hymn, and two chorales were sung.

The Prince of Wales bore up with a brave effort, now and then seeking
to soothe his young brother, who, with swollen eyes and tear-stained
face, when the long wail of the dirge smote upon his ear, sobbed as if
his heart were breaking. At the words--

  "To fall asleep in slumber deep,
  Slumber that knows no waking,"

part of a favourite chant of the Prince Consort's, both his sons hid
their faces and wept. The Duke of Coburg wept incessantly for the
comrade of his youth, the friend of his mature years.

Garter-King-at-Arms proclaimed the style and title of the deceased.
When he referred to her Majesty with the usual prayer, "Whom God bless
and preserve with long life, health, and happiness," for the first
time in her reign the word "happiness" was omitted and that of
"honour" substituted, and the full significance of the change went to
the hearts of the listeners with a woeful reminder of what had come
and gone. The Prince of Wales advanced first to take his last look
into the vault, stood for a moment with clasped hands and burst into
tears. In the end Prince Arthur was the more composed of the two
fatherless brothers.

As the company retired, the "Dead March in Saul" was pealed forth.

The whole ceremony was modelled on the precedent of other royal
funerals, but surely rarely was mourning so keen or sorrow so deep.



CHAPTER XXXVII.


THE FIRST MONTHS OF WIDOWHOOD--MARRIAGE OF THE PRINCE OF WALES, ETC.,
ETC.

The Princess of Hohenlohe arrived in England on the 20th of December,
and immediately joined the Queen at Osborne before the funeral of the
Prince. The old King of the Belgians came to Osborne on the 29th of
December--one can imagine his meeting with the widowed Queen.

On the 10th of January, 1862, occurred the terrible Hartley Colliery
accident, by which upwards of two hundred miners perished. The Queen's
grief for the Prince was not a month old when she telegraphed from
Osborne her "tenderest sympathy for the poor widows and mothers."

The Prince of Wales left Osborne on the 6th of February in strict
privacy to accomplish the tour in the East projected for him by his
father. The Prince was accompanied by Dean Stanley, General Bruce, &c.

In the Queen's solitude at Osborne Princess Alice continued to be the
great medium of communication between her Majesty and her Ministers.
(_Times_.)

The opening of the second great Exhibition in the month of May must
have been full of painful associations. At the State ceremony on the
first day the royal carriages with mourning liveries were empty, but
for the Crown Prince of Prussia, Prince Oscar of Sweden, and the
Duchess of Cambridge with her daughters. Tennyson's ode was sung. It
contained the pathetic lines--

  "O silent father of our kings to be,
  Mourned in this golden hour of jubilee,
  For this, for all we weep our thanks to thee."

It was decided that the Queen's birthday should be spent at Balmoral,
a practice which became habitual. Dr. Norman Macleod was summoned
north to give what consolation he could to his sorrowing Queen. He has
left an account of one of their interviews. "May 14th. After dinner I
was summoned unexpectedly to the Queen's room; she was alone. She met
me, and, with an unutterable expression which filled my eyes with
tears, at once began to speak about the Prince.... She spoke of his
excellences, his love, his cheerfulness, how he was everything to her;
how all now on earth seemed dead to her...."

On the 4th of June the Prince of Wales arrived in England from his
eastern tour. A melancholy incident occurred on his return--General
Bruce, who had been labouring under fever, died soon after reaching
England on the 24th of June. Another sad death happened four days
later--that of Lord Canning, Governor-General of India. He had also
just come back to England. He survived his wife only six months.

Princess Alice's marriage, which had been delayed by her father's
death, took place at Osborne at one o'clock on the afternoon of the
1st of July, in strict privacy. The ceremony was performed by the
Archbishop of York in room of the sick Archbishop of Canterbury. The
Queen in deep mourning appeared only for the service. Near her was the
Crown Princess of Prussia--already the mother of three children--and
her Majesty's four sons.

The father and mother, brothers and sister of the bridegroom, and
other relatives, were present. The Duke of Saxe-Coburg in the Prince
Consort's place led in the bride. Her unmarried sisters, Princesses
Helena, Louise, and Beatrice, and the bridegroom's only sister,
Princess Anna of Hesse, were the bridesmaids. Prince Louis was
supported by his brother, Prince Henry.

The guests were all gone by four o'clock. No contrast could be greater
than that of the brilliant and glad festivities at the Princess
Royal's wedding and the hush of sorrow in which her sister was
married. The young couple went for three days to St. Clare, near Ryde,
and left England in another week. The English people never forgot what
Princess Alice had proved in the hour of need, and her departure was
followed by prayers and blessings.

In August the Queen was at Balmoral with all her children who were in
this country. On the 21st she drove in a pony carriage, accompanied by
the elder Princes and Princesses on foot and on ponies, to the top of
Craig Lowrigan, and each laid a stone on the foundation of the Prince
Consort's cairn. On the late Prince's birthday another sad tender
pilgrimage was made to the top of Craig Gowan to the earlier cairn
celebrating the taking of the Malakoff.

Her Majesty, whose health was still shaken and weakened, sailed on the
1st of September for Germany. She was accompanied by the Prince of
Wales, Prince Arthur, and Prince Leopold, Princesses Helena, Louise,
and Beatrice, and the Princess Hohenlohe. During the Queen's stay with
her uncle, King Leopold, at Laeken, in passing through Belgium, she
had her first interview with her future daughter-in-law, Princess
Alexandra of Denmark. The Princess with her father and mother drove
from Brussels to pay a private visit to her Majesty.

The Queen's destination in Germany was Reinhardtsbrunn, the lovely
little hunting-seat among the Thuringian woods and mountains, which
had so taken her fancy on her first happy visit to Germany. There she
was joined by the Crown Prince and Princess of Prussia and their
children, Prince Louis and Princess Alice, and Prince Alfred.

Her Majesty could not quit Germany without revisiting Coburg, hard as
the visit must have been to her. One of the chief inducements was to
go to one who could no longer come to her, the aged Baron Stockmar,
whose talk was still of "the dear good Prince," and of how soon the
old man would rejoin the noble pupil cut off in the prime of his gifts
and his usefulness.

Prince and Princess Louis of Hesse spent the winter with the Queen in
England, and in the month of November Princess Alexandra of Denmark
paid a short visit to her Majesty, when the Princess's youthful beauty
and sweetness won all hearts.

Early in the morning on the 18th of December the Prince Consort's
remains were removed from the entrance of the vault beneath St.
George's Chapel to the mausoleum already prepared for them at
Frogmore. The ceremony, which was attended by the Prince of Wales,
Prince Arthur, Prince Leopold, and Prince Louis of Hesse, was quite
private. Prince Alfred had a severe attack of fever in the
Mediterranean.

The Duchess of Sutherland presented the Queen with a Bible from "many
widows of England," and to "all those kind sister widows" her Majesty
expressed the deep and heartfelt gratitude of "their widowed Queen."

As a consequence of the failure of the cotton crop in America, caused
by the civil war rending the country asunder, the Lancashire
operatives were in a state of enforced idleness and famine, calling
for the most strenuous efforts to relieve them.

When Parliament was opened by commission on the 5th of February, 1863,
the Queen's speech announced the approaching marriage of the Prince of
Wales. On the 7th of March Princess Alexandra, accompanied by her
father and mother, brother and sister, arrived at Gravesend, where the
Prince of Wales met her. Bride and bridegroom drove, on the chill
spring day which ended in rain, through decorated and festive London,
where great crowds congregated to do the couple honour.

In the afternoon at Windsor the Queen was seen seated with her two
younger daughters at a window of the castle which commanded the
entrance drive. The little party waited there in patient expectation
till it grew dark.

On Tuesday, the 10th of March, the marriage took place in St. George's
Chapel. The Queen in her widow's weeds occupied the royal closet, from
which she could look down on the actors in the ceremony. She was
attended by the widow of General Bruce. Among the English royal family
were Prince and Princess Louis of Hesse, and the Crown Princess of
Prussia leading her little son, Prince William.

The Prince of Wales, who wore a general's uniform with the star of the
Garter, was supported by the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and the Crown Prince
of Prussia.

Princess Alexandra came in the last carriage with her father, Prince
Christian of Denmark, and the Duke of Cambridge. The bride's dress was
of white satin, and Honiton lace, with a silver moiré train. She had a
wreath of orange-blossoms and myrtle. She wore a necklace, earrings,
and brooch of pearls and diamonds, the gift of the Prince of Wales,
rivières of diamonds, the City of London's gift, an opal and diamond
bracelet, presented by the Queen, &c., &c. The bride's train was borne
by eight unmarried daughters of English dukes, marquises, and earls.

Princess Alexandra was in her nineteenth, the Prince of Wales in his
twenty-second year.

On reaching the _haut pas_, the bride made a deep reverence to
the Queen. During the service her Majesty was visibly affected. Indeed
an interested spectator, Dr. Norman Macleod, remarked as a
characteristic feature of the marriage that all the English princesses
wept behind their bouquets to see--not the Prince of Wales, not the
future king, but their brother, their father's son, standing alone
before the altar waiting for his bride.

The bride and bridegroom on leaving the chapel occupied the second of
the twelve carriages, and were preceded by the Lord Chamberlain, &c.,
&c. Her Majesty received her son and new daughter at the grand
entrance. The wedding breakfast for the royal guests was in the
dining-room, for the others in St. George's Hall. At four the Prince
and Princess of Wales left in an open carriage drawn by four cream-
coloured horses for the station, where the Crown Princess of Prussia
had already gone to bid her brother and his bride good-bye, as they
started for Osborne to spend their honeymoon.

That night there were great illuminations in London and in all the
towns large and small in the kingdom. Thousands of hearts echoed the
poet-laureate's eloquent words--

  Sea kings daughter from over the sea,
  Alexandra.
  Saxon and Norman and Dane are we,
  But all of us Danes in our welcome to thee,
  Alexandra.

Among the Princess of Wales's wedding presents was a parure of
splendid opals and brilliants from a design by the late Prince
Consort, given in his name as well as in the Queen's.

The town and country houses selected for the Prince and Princess of
Wales were Marlborough House and Sandringham.

On the 4th of April Princess Alice's first child, a daughter, was born
at Windsor.

On the 8th of May the Queen paid a visit to the military hospital at
Netley, in which the Prince Consort had been much interested.

Her Majesty left England on the 11th of August for Belgium and
Germany. She was accompanied by the Princes Alfred and Leopold and the
Princesses Helena and Beatrice. Their destination was Rosenau, near
Coburg, where the Queen was again joined by the Crown Prince and
Princess of Prussia and Prince and Princess Louis of Hesse. In the
house which was so dear and so sad, the late Prince's birthplace, his
widow and children spent his birthday. During the Queen's stay in
Coburg she went to see the widow of Baron Stockmar, and Mr.
Florschütz, the late Prince's tutor. The venerable superintendent
Meyer was still alive and able to preach to her. Her Majesty's health
continued feeble, but she was able to receive visits at Rosenau from
the King of Prussia and the Emperor of Austria. She quitted Coburg on
the 7th of September, spending the 8th at Kranichstein, near
Darmstadt, the country house of Princess Alice and her husband.

Later on in autumn the Queen with nearly the whole of her family was
at Balmoral and Abergeldie. The cairn on Craig Lowrigan was finished.
It formed a pyramid of granite thirty feet high, seen for many a mile.
The inscription was as follows:--

                    "TO THE BELOVED MEMORY

                              of

                  ALBERT, THE GREAT AND GOOD,

                       PRINCE CONSORT,

              RAISED BY HIS BROKEN-HEARTED WIDOW,

                        VICTORIA B.,

                      AUGUST 21, 1862.



         He being made perfect in a short time, fulfilled a
             long time, for his soul pleased the Lord,
              therefore hastened He to take him away
                     from among the wicked.

                               _Wisdom of Solomon, iv. 13, 14._

The appropriate verse is said to have been suggested by the Princess
Royal.

Immediately after her Majesty's arrival at Balmoral she went to Blair
to see the Duke of Athole, who was hopelessly ill with cancer in the
throat. The poor Duke bore up bravely. He had to receive the Queen in
his own room, "full of his rifles and other implements and attributes
of sport now for ever useless to him." But he was able to present the
white rose, the old tribute from the Lords of Athole to their
sovereign, and he was gratified by the gracious and kindly mark of
attention shown in her Majesty's visit. He insisted on accompanying
her to the station, where she gave him her hand, saying, "Dear Duke,
God bless you." He had asked permission that the same men who had gone
with the Queen and the Prince Consort through the glen two years
before might give her a cheer. "Oh! it was so dreadfully sad," was the
Queen's comment in her journal.

About three weeks afterwards, on the 7th of October, the Queen had an
alarming accident. She was returning from Altnagiuthasach with two of
her daughters in the darkness of an autumn evening, when the carriage
was upset in the middle of the moorland. Her Majesty was thrown with
her face on the ground, but escaped with some bruises and a hurt to
one of her thumbs. No one else was injured. The ladies sat down in the
overturned carriage after the traces had been cut and the coachman
despatched for assistance. There was no water to be had, nothing but
claret to bathe the Queen's hand and face. In about half an hour
voices and horses' hoofs were heard. It was the ponies which had been
sent away before the accident, but the servant who accompanied them,
alarmed by the non-appearance of the Queen and by the sight of lights
moving about, rode back to reconnoitre. Her Majesty and the Princesses
mounted the ponies, which were led home. At Balmoral no one knew what
had happened; the Queen herself told the accident to her two sons-in-
law who were at the door awaiting her.

Six days afterwards the Queen made her first appearance in public
since the Prince's death a year and nine months before, at the
unveiling of his statue in Aberdeen. She was accompanied by the Crown
Prince and Princess of Prussia, Prince and Princess Louis of Hesse,
Princesses Helena and Louise, and Princes Arthur and Leopold. The day
was one of pouring rain, and the long silent procession was sad and
strange. The Queen was trembling; she had no one as on former
occasions to direct and support her. She received the Provost's
address, and returned a written reply. She conferred the honour of
knighthood on the magistrate, the first time she had performed the
ceremony "since all was ended."

On the 14th of December the Queen and her family visited the
mausoleum, [Footnote: Dr. Norman Macleod describes an earlier visit in
March, 1863 "I walked with Lady Augusta to the mausoleum to meet the
Queen. She was accompanied by Princess Alice. She had the key, and
opened it herself, undoing the bolts, and alone we entered and stood
in silence beside Marochetti's beautiful statue of the Prince. I was
very much overcome. She was calm and quiet."] to which she went
constantly on every return to Windsor. Princess Alice in her published
letters calls the sarcophagus--with the exquisite decorations which
were in progress, and cost more than two hundred thousand pounds paid
from her Majesty's private purse--"that wonderfully beautiful tomb" by
which her mother prayed. It became the practice to have a religious
service celebrated there in the presence of the Queen and the royal
family on the anniversary of the Prince's death.

In December Lady Augusta Bruce left the Queen's service on her
marriage with Dean Stanley. On the night of the 23rd of December
Thackeray died.

Prince Albert Victor of Wales was born unexpectedly at Frogmore, where
the Prince and Princess of Wales then resided occasionally, on the 8th
of January, 1864. The child was baptised in the chapel at Buckingham
Palace on the first anniversary of his parents' marriage, as the
Princess Royal had been baptised there on the first anniversary of the
Queen and Prince Albert's marriage. The Queen and the old King of the
Belgians were present among the sponsors.

When the Queen went north this year she was accompanied by the Duke
and Duchess of Saxe-Coburg.

On the 14th of March, 1865, her Majesty visited the Hospital for
Consumption at Brompton, walking over the different wards and speaking
to the patients.

The news of the assassination of President Lincoln reached England in
April, when the Queen became, as she has so often been, the mouthpiece
of her subjects, writing an autograph letter expressing her horror,
pity, and sympathy to Mrs. Lincoln.

Prince Alfred on the 6th of August, his twenty-first birthday, was
formally acknowledged heir to his childless uncle, the Duke of Saxe-
Coburg.

Two days later the Queen embarked with Prince Leopold, the three
younger Princesses, the Duchess of Roxburgh, Lady Churchill, &c., &c.,
at Woolwich for Germany. She arrived at Coburg on the 11th and went to
Rosenau. On the 26th, the birthday of the Prince Consort, perhaps the
most interesting of all the inaugurations of monuments to his memory
took place at Coburg. A gilt-bronze statue ten feet high was unveiled
with solemn ceremony in the square of the little town which Prince
Albert had so often traversed in his boyhood. After the unveiling, the
Queen walked across the square at the head of her children and handed
to the Duke of Saxe-Coburg flowers which he laid on the pedestal. Each
of her sons and daughters followed her example, till "the fragrant
mass" rose to the feet of the statue. Princess Alice writes of "the
terrible sufferings" of the first three years of the Queen's
widowhood, but adds that after the long storm came rest, so that the
daughter could tenderly remind the mother, without reopening the
wound, of the happy silver wedding which might have been this year
when the royal parents would have been surrounded by so many
grandchildren in fresh young households.

While the Queen was in the Highlands during the autumn, her journal,
in its published portions, records a few days spent with the widowed
Duchess of Athole at her cottage at Dunkeld. This visit was something
very different from the old royal progresses. It was a private token
of friendship from the Queen to an old friend bereaved like herself.
There was neither show, nor gaiety, nor publicity. The life was even
quieter than at Balmoral. Her Majesty breakfasted with the daughter
who accompanied her, lunched and dined with the Princess, the Duchess,
and one or more ladies. There were long drives, rides, and rows on the
lochs--sometimes in mist and rain, among beautiful scenery, like that
which had been a solace in the days of deepest sorrow, tea among the
bracken or the heather or in some wayside house, friendly chats,
peaceful readings.

This year Princess Helena was betrothed to Prince Christian of
Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg, a brother of the husband of her cousin,
Princess Adelaide of Hohenlohe. The family connection and the personal
character of the bridegroom were high recommendations, while the
marriage would permit the Princess to remain in England near her
mother.



CHAPTER XXXVIII.


DEATHS OF LORD PALMERSTON AND THE KING OF THE BELGIANS--THE QUEEN
AGAIN OPENS PARLIAMENT IN PERSON, &C., &C.

The Prime Minister so long connected with the Queen, Lord Palmerston,
energetic to the last, died at Brockett Hall on the 18th of October.

A still greater loss befell her Majesty in the month of December--a
marked month in her history. King Leopold died on the 9th at Laeken,
within a few days of attaining his seventy-sixth year, the last of a
family of nine sons and daughters. He had been cured of a deadly
disease by a painful and dangerous operation two years before. He had
suffered afterwards from a slight shock of paralysis, which had not
prevented him from coming to England to be present at the baptism of
Prince Victor of Wales, the fifth generation, counting that of George
III., which King Leopold had known in connection with the English
throne. In addition to his fine mental qualities, he was singularly
active in his habits to the end. He walked thirty miles, and shot for
six hours in winter snow, after he had entered his seventy-fifth year.
Though the Queen must have been prepared for the event, and his death
was peaceful, it was a blow to her--much of her early past perished
with her life-long friend and counsellor.

In 1866 the Queen opened Parliament in person for the first time since
the death of the Prince Consort, and there was a great assemblage to
hail her reappearance when she entered, not by the State, but by the
Peers' entrance. There were none of the flourishes of trumpets which
had formerly announced her arrival--solemn silence prevailed. She did
not wear the robes of state, they were merely laid upon the throne.
Her Majesty was accompanied by the Princesses Helena and Louise. When
the Queen was seated on the throne the Prince of Wales took his seat
on her right, while the Princesses stood on her left. Behind the Queen
was the Duchess of Wellington, as mistress of the robes, and a lady in
waiting. Her Majesty's dress was dark purple velvet bordered with
ermine; she wore a tiara of diamonds with a white gauze veil falling
down behind. The speech, which in one passage announced the coming
marriage of Princess Helena and Prince Christian (who sat near the end
of one of the ambassadors' benches) was read by the Lord Chancellor.
The Parliament granted to Prince Alfred an annuity of fifteen thousand
pounds--voted in turn to each of his younger brothers on their coming
of age--and to Princess Helena a dowry of thirty thousand and an
annuity of six thousand pounds, similar to what had been granted to
Princess Alice and was to be voted to Princess Louise.

In March the Queen instituted the "Albert Medal," as a decoration for
those who had saved life from shipwreck and from peril at sea, and for
the first time during five-years revisited the camp at Aldershot and
reviewed the troops. She was accompanied by Princess Helena and the
Princess Hohenlohe, who was on a visit to England.

Queen Amélie died at Claremont on the 24th of March, aged eighty-three
years.

On the 25th of May Prince Alfred was created Earl of Ulster, Earl of
Kent, and Duke of Edinburgh.

The Princess Mary of Cambridge was married to the Prince of Teck on
the 12th of June, in the presence of the Queen, in the parish church
of Kew, where the bride had been confirmed, "among her own people."
Parliament granted her an annuity of five thousand pounds.

Another marriage, that of Princess Helena, was celebrated in St.
George's Chapel, Windsor, by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the
Bishop of London, on the 7th of July. The bridegroom was supported by
Prince Frederick of Schleswig-Holstein and Prince Edward of Saxe-
Weimar. The bride entered between her Majesty and the Prince of Wales.
The usual eight noble bridesmaids followed. Prince Christian was in
his thirty-sixth, Princess Helena in her twenty-first year. Their home
has been first at Frogmore and afterwards at Cumberland Lodge.

While the German war which had Schleswig-Holstein for a bone of
contention was still only threatening, the Crown Princess of Prussia
lost a fine child, Prince Sigismund.

Afterwards the Queen had the pain of seeing her married children, with
their unfailing family affection, inevitably ranged on different sides
in the war. Princess Alice trembled before the fear of a widowhood
like her mother's as the sound of the firing of the Prussian army,
which lay between the wife at home and the husband in the field, was
heard in Darmstadt. The quiet little town fell into the hands of the
enemy, and was at once poverty and pestilence stricken, small-pox and
cholera having broken out in the hospitals, where the Princess was
labouring devotedly to succour the wounded. In such circumstances,
while the standard of her husband's regiment lay hidden in her room,
Princess Louis's third daughter was both. Happily peace was soon
proclaimed. In honour of it the baby, Princess Irene, whose godfathers
were the officers and men of her father's regiment, received her name.

This year Hanover ceased to be an independent state, and became
annexed to Prussia.

Dr. Norman Macleod has a bright little picture of an evening at
Balmoral in 1866. "The Queen sat down to spin at a nice Scotch wheel
while I read Robert Burns to her, 'Tam o' Shanter,' and 'A man's a man
for a' that'--her favourite."

Her Majesty sent her miniature with an autograph letter to the
American citizen, Mr. Peabody, in acknowledgment of his magnificent
gift of model lodging-houses to the Working people of London.

In 1867 the Queen again opened Parliament in person, her speech being
read by the Lord Chancellor.

The grievous accident of the breaking of the ice in Regent's Park,
when it was covered with skaters and spectators, took place on the
15th of January.

"The Early Tears of the Prince Consort," the first instalment of his
"Life," brought out under the direction of General Grey, with much of
the information supplied by the Queen, was published, and afforded a
nobler memorial to the Prince than any work in stone or metal.

On the 20th of May her Majesty laid the foundation of the Albert Hall.
She was accompanied by the Princesses Louise and Beatrice, Prince
Leopold, and Prince Christian, and received by the Lord Steward, the
Lord Chamberlain, and the Queen's elder sons. The latter presented her
with a bouquet, which she took, kissing her sons. In reply to the
Prince of Wales's speech her Majesty spoke in accents singularly
inaudible for her. She mentioned the struggle she had undergone before
she had brought herself to take part in that day's proceedings, but
said she had been sustained by the thought that she was thus promoting
her husband's designs.

In June and July the Queen of Prussia and the Sultan of Turkey came in
turn to England. The latter was with her Majesty in her yacht at a
great naval review held in most tempestuous weather off Spithead. In
the end of July the Empress of the French paid a short private visit
to her Majesty at Osborne.

On the 20th of August the Queen left for Balmoral. On her way north
she spent a few days with the Duke and Duchess of Roxburgh at Fleurs,
when her Majesty visited Melrose and Abbotsford. After inspecting with
great interest the memorials of Sir Walter Scott, who had been
presented to her when she was a little girl at Kensington Palace, she
complied with a request that she should write her name in the great
author's journal, adding the modest comment in her own journal that
she felt it presumption in her to do so.

During the autumn the Queen paid an informal visit to the Duke of
Richmond's shooting lodge in Glen Fiddich. On the first evening of her
stay the break with the luggage failed to appear, and her Majesty had
to suffer some of the half-comical inconveniences of ordinary
travellers. She had to dine in her riding skirt, with a borrowed black
lace veil arranged as a head-dress, and she had to go to bed without
the necessary accompaniments to her toilette.

In 1867 the terrible news from Mexico that the Emperor Maximilian
(Archduke of Austria and husband of the Queen's cousin, Princess
Charlotte of Belgium) had been shot by his rebel subjects, while his
wife was hopelessly insane, rendered it a mercy to all interested in
the family that old King Leopold had not lived to see the wreck of so
many hopes.

In 1868 the Queen gave to her people the first "Leaves" from her
journal in the Highlands, which afforded most pleasant glimpses of the
wonderfully happy family life, the chief holidays of which had been
spent at Balmoral. Her Majesty sent a copy to Charles Dickens, with
the graceful inscription that it was the gift of "one of the humblest
of writers to one of the greatest."

On the 13th of May the Queen laid the foundation stone of St. Thomas's
Hospital, and on the 20th she held a great review of twenty-seven
thousand volunteers in Windsor Park. Instead of her mother or her
little children, her daughter-in-law and grown-up daughters, the
Princess of Wales, Princess Christian, and Princess Louise, were in
the carriage with her, while in room of her husband and her brother or
cousin, her two soldier sons rode one on each side of the carriage.

On the 5th of July her Majesty, whose health required change of air
and scene, left for Switzerland, which must have possessed a great
attraction to so ardent an admirer of mountain scenery. She went
incognito as Countess of Kent. She was accompanied by Prince Leopold
and the Princesses Louise and Beatrice. The Queen travelled in her
yacht to Cherbourg, and thence by railway to Paris, where she stayed
all day in seclusion in the house of the English Ambassador, receiving
only a private visit from the Empress Eugénie--a different experience
of Paris from the last. The Queen continued her journey in the evening
to Basle, and from Basle to Lucerne, where for nearly two months she
occupied the Pension Wallis, delightfully situated on the Hill
Gibraltar above the lake. She made numerous enjoyable excursions on
her pony "Sultan" to the top of the Rhigi, and in the little steamboat
_Winkelried_ on the lovely lake of the Four Cantons, under the
shadow of Pilatus, to William Tell's country--she even ventured as far
as the desolate, snow-crowned precipices of the Engelberg. Her Majesty
returned by Paris, driving out to St. Cloud, and being much affected
as she walked in the grounds, but not venturing to enter the house,
where she had lived with the Prince during her happy fortnight's visit
to her ally in the Crimean war.

Three days after her arrival in England the Queen proceeded as usual
to Balmoral, where she took a lively interest in all the rural and
domestic affairs which stood out prominently in the lives of her
humbler neighbours. The passages from her journal in this and in
subsequent years are full of graphic, appreciative descriptions of the
stirring incidents of "sheep-juicing," "sheep-shearing," the
torchlight procession on "Hallowe'en," a "house-warming;" of the grave
solemnity of a Scotch communion, and the kindliness and pathos of more
than one cottage "kirstenin," death-bed, and funeral, with the simple
piteous tragedy of "a spate" in which two little brothers were
drowned.

Considerable excitement was caused in the House of Commons during the
debate on the disestablishment of the Irish Church, by the Premier,
Mr. Disraeli, mentioning the Queen's name in connection with an
interview he had with her on his resignation of office and on the
dissolution of Parliament. The conduct of Mr. Disraeli was stigmatised
as unconstitutional both in advising a dissolution of Parliament and
in apparently attempting to shift the responsibility of the situation
from the Government to the Crown.

The Queen lost by death this year her old Mistress of the Robes, one
of the earliest and most attached of her friends, Harriet, Duchess of
Sutherland.

In September, 1869, her Majesty, with the Princesses Louise and
Beatrice, paid a ten days' visit to Invertrosachs, occupying Lady
Emily Macnaghten's house, and learning to know by heart Loch Katrine,
Loch Lomond, &c., &c.

In November the Queen was in the City after a long absence, for the
double purpose of opening Blackfriars Bridge and the Holborn Viaduct.
Happily for the cheering multitudes congregated on the occasion the
day was bright and fair though cold, so that she could drive in an
open carriage accompanied by her younger daughters and Prince Leopold.
The Queen still wore deep mourning after eight years of widowhood, and
her servants continued to have a band of crape on one arm. Her Majesty
was received by the Lord Mayor, &c., &c. After Blackfriars Bridge had
been declared open for traffic her carriage passed across it, followed
by his. The same ceremony was performed at the Holborn Viaduct.

This season the Prince of Wales revisited the East, accompanied by the
Princess.

In 1870 the Queen signed the order in council resigning the royal
prerogative over the army.

On the 11th May her Majesty opened the University of London. She was
received by Earl Granville and Mr. Grote. Baboo Keshub Shunder Sen was
conspicuous among the company. The Queen received an address, said in
a clear voice "I declare this building open," and the silver trumpets
sounded.

Charles Dickens died on the 9th of June.

The Franco-German war, in which the Crown Prince of Prussia and Prince
Louis of Hesse were both engaged with honour, happily this time on the
same side, was filling the eyes of Europe; and before many months had
passed since "_Die Wacht am Rhein_" had resounded through the
length and breadth of Germany, the Empress of the French arrived in
England as a fugitive, to be followed ere long by the Emperor.

In the autumn at Balmoral, Princess Louise, with the Queen's consent,
became engaged to the Marquis of Lorne, eldest son of the Duke of
Argyle. The proposal was made and accepted during a walk from the
Glassalt Shiel to the Dhu Loch.

In November the Queen visited the Empress at Chislehurst.

During the war, while the number of the French wounded alone in
Darmstadt amounted to twelve hundred, and Princess Alice was visiting
the four hospitals daily, her second son was born.

The death of Sir James Clark, at Bagshot, was the snapping to the
Queen of another of the links which connected the present with the
past.

In 1871 the Queen again opened Parliament in person, with her speech
read by the Lord Chancellor. As described by an eye-witness, her
Majesty sat "quite still, her eyes cast down, only a slight movement
of the face." The approaching marriage of the Princess Louise was
announced, and reference was made to the fact that the King of Prussia
had become Emperor of Germany.

For the first time since the death of the Prince Consort, the Queen
spent the anniversary of their marriage-day at Windsor.

On the 21st of March Princess Louise was married in St George's
Chapel, Windsor, to the Marquis of Lorne. The bridegroom was supported
by Earl Percy and Lord Ronald Leveson-Gower. The bride walked between
the Queen and the Duke of Saxe-Coburg. Her Majesty by a gesture gave
away her daughter. Princess Louise was twenty-three, Lord Lorne
twenty-six years of age. The Princess has rooms in Kensington Palace
for her London residence.

Eight days afterwards the Queen opened the Albert Hall.

On the 3rd of April her Majesty visited the Emperor of the French at
Chislehurst--a trying interview.

On the 21st of June the Queen opened St. Thomas's Hospital, knighting
the treasurer.

This summer the Emperor and Empress of Brazil visited London, while
the Tichborne trial was running its long course.

On the Queen's return from Balmoral in November, she was met by the
alarming tidings that the Prince of Wales lay ill of typhoid fever at
Sandringham. The Queen went to her son on the 29th and remained for a
few days. The disease seemed progressing favourably, and she returned
to Windsor in the beginning of December, leaving the invalid devotedly
nursed by the Princess of Wales and Princess Alice--who had been
staying with her brother when the fever showed itself, and by the Duke
of Edinburgh. On the 8th there was a relapse, when the Queen and the
whole of the royal family were sent for to Sandringham. During many
days the Prince hovered between life and death. The sympathy was deep
and universal. The reading of the bulletins at the Mansion House was a
sight to be remembered. A prayer was appointed by the Archbishop of
Canterbury for "Albert Edward Prince of Wales, lying upon the bed of
sickness," and for "Victoria our Queen and the Princess of Wales in
this day of their great trouble." Supplications were sent up alike in
Catholic churches and Jewish synagogues. On the night of Wednesday the
14th, a date which had been dreaded as that of the Prince Consort's
death ten years before, a slight improvement took place, sleep at last
was won, and gradual recovery established. The Queen returned to
Windsor on the 19th, and wrote on the 26th of December to thank her
people for their sympathy.

On the 8th of February, 1872, the Governor-General of India, Lord
Mayo, was assassinated.

The 27th was the Thanksgiving Day for the Prince of Wales's recovery.
No public sight throughout her Majesty's reign was more moving than
her progress with the Prince and Princess of Wales and Princess
Beatrice to and from St. Paul's. The departure from Buckingham Palace
was witnessed by the Emperor and Empress of the French, who stood on a
balcony. The decorated streets were packed with incredible masses of
people, the cheering was continuous. The Queen wore white flowers in
her bonnet and looked happy. The Prince insisted on lifting his hat in
return for the people's cheers. The royal party were met at Temple Bar
by the Lord Mayor and a deputation from the Common Council. The City
sword was presented and received back again, when the chief magistrate
of London remounted and rode before the Queen to St. Paul's. Thirteen
thousand persons were in the City cathedral. The pew for the Queen and
the Prince was enclosed by a brass railing. The _Te Deum_ was
sung by a picked choir. There was a special prayer, "We praise and
magnify Thy glorious name for that Thou hast raised Thy servant Albert
Edward Prince of Wales from the bed of sickness." The sermon was
preached by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The return was led by the
Lord Mayor and Aldermen to the bounds of the City. When Buckingham
Palace was reached the Queen showed herself with the Prince for a
moment on the central balcony. There was an illumination in the
evening.

On the 29th of February, as the Queen was returning from a drive in
the Park, having come down Constitution Hill and entered the
courtyard, when about to alight, a lad with a paper in one hand and a
pistol in the other rushed first to the left and then to the right
side of the carriage, with arms extended to the Queen, who sat quite
unmoved. Her Majesty's attendant, John Brown, seized the assailant. He
was a half-witted Irish lad, named Arthur O'Connor, about seventeen
years of age, who had been a clerk to an oil and colour merchant. He
had climbed over the railings. There was no ball in the pistol, which
was broken. The paper was a petition for the Fenians. The public
indignation was great against the miserable culprit, who was dealt
with as in former outrages of the kind, according to the nature of the
offence and with reference to the mental condition of the offender.
The Queen, who had been about to institute a medal as a reward for
long and faithful service among her domestics, gave a gold medal and
an annuity of twenty-five pounds to John Brown for his presence of
mind and devotion on this occasion.

Her Majesty had gone to Balmoral for her birthday, and was still there
on the 16th of June when she heard of the death of her valued friend,
Dr. Norman Macleod. He had preached to her and dined with her so
recently as the 26th of May. What his loss was to her she has
expressed simply and forcibly in a passage in her journal.... "When I
thought of my dear friend Dr. Macleod and all he had been to me--how
in 1862, '63, '64, he had cheered and comforted and encouraged me--how
he had ever sympathised with me ... and that this too like so many
other comforts and helps was for ever gone, I burst out crying."

On the 1st of July the Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh and
Prince Leopold and the two younger princesses, visited the Albert
Memorial, Hyde Park, which was complete save for the statue.

Three days afterwards, in very hot weather, her Majesty was present at
a great review at Aldershot.



CHAPTER XXXIX.


STAY AT HOLYROOD--DEATHS OF PRINCESS HOHENLOHE AND OF PRINCE FREDERICK
OF DARMSTADT--MARRIAGE OF THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH.

The Queen arrived at Holyrood on the 14th of August, and made a stay
of a few days in Edinburgh for the first time during eleven years. A
suite of rooms called the "Argyle rooms" had been freshly arranged for
her occupation. She went over Queen Mary's rooms again for the
gratification of Princess Beatrice, and with the Princess and Prince
Leopold took the old drives to Dalkeith and Leith which her Majesty
had first taken thirty years before.

A favourite project in the past had been that her Majesty should go so
far north as to visit Dunrobin, and rooms had been prepared for her
reception. When the visit was paid the castle was in the hands of
another generation, and the Queen laid the foundation stone of a cross
erected to the memory of the late Duchess.

Soon after her Majesty's return to Balmoral, on the 23rd September,
she had the grief to receive a telegram announcing the death of her
sister, Princess Hohenlohe. Though not more than sixty-five years of
age the Princess had been for some time very infirm. She had received
a great shock in the previous spring from the unexpected death by
fever, at the age of thirty-three, of her younger surviving daughter,
Princess Feodore, the second wife of the Duke of Saxe-Meiningen.

The Emperor Napoleon III, who had long been labouring under sore
disease, laid down his wearied and vanquished life at Chislehurst on
the 9th of January, 1873.

The coming marriage of the Duke of Edinburgh to the Grand Duchess
Marie of Russia was announced to Parliament.

On the 2nd of April the Queen was present at the opening of the
Victoria Park. Prince Arthur was created Duke of Connaught.

A fatal accident to the younger son of Prince and Princess Louis of
Hesse happened at Darmstadt on the 29th of May. The nurse had brought
the children to see the Princess while she was in bed, and had left
the two little boys playing beside her. The windows of the bedroom and
of a dressing-room beyond were open. Princess Louis, hearing Prince
Ernest, the elder brother, go into the dressing-room, leapt out of bed
and hurried after him. In her momentary absence Prince Frederick,
between two and three years of age, leant out of one of the bedroom
windows, lost his balance, and fell on the pavement below, receiving
terrible injuries, from which he died in a few hours, to the great
sorrow of his parents.

In September the Queen and Princess Beatrice, with Lady Churchill and
General Ponsonby, spent a week at Inverlochy, occupying the house of
Lord Abinger at the foot of Ben Nevis, among the beautiful scenery
which borders the Caledonian Canal, and is specially associated with
Prince Charlie--in pity for whom her Majesty loved to recall the drops
of Stewart blood in her veins.

This year more than one figure, well-known in different ways to the
Queen in former years, passed out of mortal sight--Bishop Wilberforce,
Landseer, Macready.

In January, 1874, the Duke of Edinburgh was married at the Winter
Palace, St. Petersburg, to the Grand Duchess Marie of Russia. The Duke
was in his thirtieth, the Grand Duchess in her twenty-first year. The
royal couple arrived at Gravesend on March 7th, and entered London on
March 12th in a heavy snowstorm. In spite of the weather the Queen and
the Duchess, with the Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Beatrice seated
opposite, drove slowly through the crowded streets in an open carriage
drawn by six horses. The Prince and Princess of Wales, Princess
Louise, &c., were at the windows of Buckingham Palace. The Queen went
out with the Duke and Duchess on the balcony. The Duke and Duchess's
town and country houses are Clarence House and Eastwell Park.

In March her Majesty, accompanied by all her family in England,
reviewed the troops returned from the Ashantee War in Windsor Great
Park, and gave the orders of St. Michael and St. George to Sir Garnet
Wolseley and the Victoria Cross to Lord Gifford.

The first volume of the "Life of the Prince Consort," by Sir Theodore
Martin, came out and made a deep impression on the general public.

Her Majesty had for many years honoured with her friendship M. and
Madame Van de Weyer, who were the Queen's near neighbours at Windsor,
the family living at the New Lodge. In addition they had come for
several seasons to Abergeldie, when the Court was at Balmoral. M. Van
de Weyer was not only the trusted representative of the King of the
Belgians, he was a man highly gifted morally and intellectually. This
year the friendship was broken by his death.

On the 15th of October the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh's son--was
born.

The news of Livingstone's death reached England.

Early in 1875 Prince Leopold, then twenty-two years of age, suffered
from typhoid fever. So great were the fears entertained for his life
that the Queen was prevented from opening Parliament in person.
Already Princess Alice in her letters had referred to her youngest
brother as having been three times given back to his family from the
brink of the grave.

During the spring the Queen was deprived by death of her Clerk to the
Council and literary adviser in her first book, Sir Arthur Helps.
Charles Kingsley, whose work was much admired by the Prince Consort,
died also.

On the 18th of August, when the Queen was sitting on the deck of the
royal yacht as it crossed from Osborne to Gosport, the yacht
_Mistletoe_ ran across its bows and a collision took place, the
_Mistletoe_ turning over and sinking. The sister-in-law of the
owner of the yacht was drowned. The master, an old man, who was struck
by a spar, died after he had been picked up. The rest of the crew were
rescued. Her Majesty, who was greatly distressed, aided personally in
the vain efforts to restore one of the sufferers to consciousness.

In September the Queen, in paying a week's visit to the Duke and
Duchess of Argyle at Inverary, had the pleasure of seeing Princess
Louise in her future home. It was twenty-eight years since her Majesty
had been in the house of MacCallummore, and then her son-in-law of to-
day had been a little fellow of two years, in black velvet and fair
curls.

Towards the end of the year the Prince of Wales left for his
lengthened progress through her Majesty's dominions in India, which
was accomplished with much éclat and success.

In 1876 the Queen opened Parliament in person.

On the 25th of February her Majesty, accompanied by the Princess of
Wales, Princess Beatrice, and Prince Leopold, and received by the Duke
of Edinburgh, attended a state concert given in the morning at the
Albert Hall. Since 1866 the Queen had been able gradually to hear and
enjoy again the music in which she had formerly delighted, but she had
taken the gratification in her domestic life. Her royal duties had
been only intermitted for the briefest space. Every act of beneficence
and gracious queenliness had been long ago resumed. But no place of
public amusement had seen the face of the widowed Queen.

Lady Augusta Stanley died, after a lingering illness, on the 1st of
March. It was the close--much lamented from the highest to the lowest--
of a noble and beautiful life. The Queen afterwards erected a
memorial cross to Lady Augusta Stanley's memory in the grounds at
Frogmore.

On the 7th of March her Majesty, accompanied by Princess Beatrice,
opened a new wing of the London Hospital.

Two days afterwards the statue of the Prince Consort in the Albert
Memorial was unveiled without any ceremony. The whole memorial thus
completed stood, as it stands to-day, one of the most splendid tokens
--apart from its artistic merit--of a nation's gratitude and a Queen's
love. Opinions may differ on the use of gilding and colours, as they
have been rarely employed in this Country, upon the towering facades
and pinnacles, and on the choice of the central gilt figure of the
Prince, colossal, in robes of state. But there can hardly be a doubt
as to the striking effect of the magnificent monument taken
altogether, especially when it has the advantage of a blue sky and
brilliant sunshine, and of the charm of the four white marble groups
which surround the pedestal, seen in glimpses through the lavish green
of Kensington Gardens. An engraving of the statue of the Prince is
given in Vol. I., p. 172.

In the end of the month the Queen, travelling incognito as Countess of
Kent, having crossed to Cherbourg, arrived at Baden-Baden accompanied
by Princess Beatrice. Her Majesty visited the Princess Hohenlohe's
grave. She continued her journey to Coburg. In passing through Paris
on her return to England towards the end of April, her Majesty had an
interview with the President of the French Republic.

On the 1st of May the Queen was proclaimed Empress of India.

In the season the Empress of Germany and the ex-royal family of
Hanover visited England. On the 17th of August the Queen, with the
Princes Arthur and Leopold and Princess Beatrice, stayed two nights at
Holyrood for the purpose of unveiling the equestrian statue to the
late Prince in Charlotte Square. Her Majesty recalled the coincidence
that the last public appearances of both her husband and mother were
in Edinburgh--the Prince Consort in laying the foundation stone of the
new post-office in October, 1861, only six weeks before his death, the
Duchess of Kent at the summer volunteer review in 1860. The town was
gay and bright and crowded with company. In Charlotte Square the Duke
of Buccleuch, chairman of the committee, read the address, to which
the Queen read a reply. On her return to the palace she knighted the
sculptor, Sir John Steel, and Professor Oakeley, the composer of the
chorale which was sung on the occasion. In the evening there was once
more a great dinner at Holyrood--Scotts, Kerrs, Bruces, Primroses,
Murrays, &c., &c, being gathered round their Queen.

A month afterwards at Ballater, amidst pouring rain, her Majesty
presented new colours to the 79th regiment, "Royal Scots," of which
her father was colonel when she was born. She spoke a few kind words
to the soldiers, and accepted from them the gift of the old colours,
which are in her keeping.

On the 15th December the Queen and the Princess Beatrice paid a visit
to Lord Beaconsfield at Hughenden, lunched, and remained two hours,
during which the royal visitors planted trees on the lawn.

In consequence of fever in the Isle of Wight her Majesty held her
Christmas at Windsor for the first time since the death of the Prince
Consort.

On New Year's day, 1877, the Queen was proclaimed Empress of India at
Delhi. Her Majesty opened Parliament on the 8th of February.

In September, when the war between Russia and Turkey was raging, her
Majesty, Princess Beatrice, the Duchess of Roxburgh, &c., spent a week
at Loch Maree Hotel, enjoying the fine Ross-shire scenery, making
daily peaceful excursions, to which such a telegram as told of the
bombardment of Plevna must have been a curious accompaniment.

In February, 1878, the Queen's grandchild, Princess Charlotte of
Prussia, was married at Berlin to the hereditary Prince of Saxe-
Meiningen, at the same time that her cousin, Princess Elizabeth of
Prussia, was married to the hereditary Grand Duke of Oldenburg.

On the 12th June the Queen's cousin, who had been the blind King of
Hanover, died in exile at Paris. His body was brought to England and
was buried in the royal vault below St. George's Chapel, Windsor.

The Queen saw a naval review off Spithead in August. In the end of the
month the Queen, with Princess Beatrice and Prince Leopold, stopped at
Dunbar on the way north in order to pay a visit to the Duke and
Duchess of Roxburgh at Broxmouth. During her Majesty's stay she heard
of the death of Madame Van de Weyer at the New Lodge, and wrote in her
journal, "Another link with the past gone! with my beloved one, with
dearest Uncle Leopold, and with Belgium."

In September a terrible accident occurred in the Thames off Woolwich,
when the _Princess Alice steamboat_ on a pleasure trip was run
down by the _Bywell Castle_, and about six hundred passengers
perished.

In the end of the month the Queen had the misfortune to lose her old
and faithful servant Sir Thomas Biddulph, who died at Abergeldie
Mains. When she went to see him in his last illness and took his hand,
he said, "You are very kind to me," to which she answered, pressing
his hand, "You have always been very kind to me."

The Marquis of Lorne had been appointed Governor-General of Canada,
for which he and Princess Louise sailed, arriving at Ottawa on the
23rd of November.

Already the Queen, who was still at Balmoral, had heard of the
disastrous outbreak of diphtheria in the Darmstadt royal family. It
attacked every member in succession, the youngest, Princess Marie, a
child of four years of age, dying on the 16th of November. It was
supposed that the Duchess had caught the infection from having once,
in an abandonment of sorrow for the death of her little daughter,
forgotten the necessary precautions, and rested her head on the Duke's
pillow. Her case was dangerous from the first, and she gave orders
lest she should die, but did not seem to expect death. In her sleep
she was heard to murmur, "Four weeks--Marie--my father." On the
morning before she died she read a letter from her mother. Her last
words when waking from sleep, she took the refreshment offered her,
were, "Now I will again sleep quietly for a longer time." Then she
fell back into the slumber from which she never awoke. She died on the
14th December, exactly four weeks from the death of her child, and
seventeen years from the death of her father. She was thirty-five
years of age. Princess Alice was a woman of rare qualities and
remarkable benevolence.

The Prince of Wales and Prince Leopold went to Darmstadt and followed
the funeral from the church to the Rosenhöhe, where all that was
mortal of Princess Alice rests beside the dust of her children. A fine
figure in white marble of the Princess, recumbent, clasping her little
daughter to her breast, has been placed close to the spot as a token
of the loving remembrance of her brothers and sisters. The engraving
represents this beautiful piece of monumental sculpture.

In 1879 the Zulu war broke out. On the 11th of March Princess Louise
of Prussia arrived in England, and on the 13th she was married in St.
George's Chapel, Windsor, in the presence of the Queen and all the
members of the royal family and the bride's father and mother, Prince
and Princess Frederick Charles of Prussia. The bridegroom was
supported by his brothers, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of
Edinburgh. The bride walked between her father and the Crown Prince of
Germany, and was followed by eight noble bridesmaids. The Duke of
Connaught was in his twenty-ninth and Princess Louise of Prussia in
her nineteenth year. Their residence is Bagshot Park.

Twelve days later the Queen left with Princess Beatrice and,
travelling by Cherbourg and Paris, reached Lake Maggiore on the 28th.
Immediately after their arrival the news came of the death, from
diphtheria of one of the Crown Princess of Germany's sons, Prince
Waldemar of Prussia, a fine boy of eleven years of age.

Her Majesty left on the 23rd of April, and returned by Milan, Turin,
Paris, and Cherbourg, to England.



CHAPTER XL.


BIRTH OF THE FIRST GREAT-GRANDCHILD--MARRIAGE OF THE DUKE OF ALBANY--
CONCLUSION.

The Queen's first great-grandchild, the child of the Princess of Saxe-
Meiningen, was born on the 12th of May.

On her Majesty's arrival at Balmoral on the 22nd of May she went to
see the granite cross erected to the "dear memory" of Alice, Duchess
of Hesse, by her "sorrowing mother"

The Queen remained at Balmoral till after the 19th of June, when the
melancholy tidings arrived that the Prince Imperial had been killed in
the Zulu war. Her Majesty left on the 20th, and crossed over the Tay
Bridge, which was destroyed in the terrible gale of the 29th December
of the same year.

In 1880 the Queen opened Parliament in person. Her Majesty,
accompanied by Princess Beatrice, left Windsor on the 25th of March
for Baden-Baden and Darmstadt. The Queen was present at the
confirmation of the Princesses Victoria and Elizabeth, and visited the
Rosenhöhe, where their mother was buried.

About the same time the ex-Empress Eugénie embarked at Southampton for
the Cape of Good Hope, that she might see the place where her son fell
on the anniversary of his death.

On the 24th of April the Princess Frederica of Hanover, elder daughter
of the late King, was married to Baron von Pawel-Rammingen, who had
been equerry to her father, in St. George's Chapel, Windsor. The Queen
and several members of the royal family witnessed the ceremony.

In September the Duke of Connaught and his bride were welcomed to
Balmoral, and a visit paid to the cairn erected in their honour when
their healths were drunk with "three times three" in the presence of
the Queen, Princess Beatrice, and the ladies and gentlemen of the
household. Later in the autumn the childless widow, the Empress
Eugénie, stayed for a little time at Abergeldie.

At the close of 1880 Lord Beaconsfield published his last novel of
"Endymion." George Eliot died on the 22nd December, and in 1881 Thomas
Carlyle died, on the 5th of February, in the eighty-sixth year of his
age.

Her Majesty's eldest grandson, Prince William of Prussia, was married
at Berlin on the 27th of February to Princess Augusta Victoria of
Schleswig-Holstein. The bride was the granddaughter of the Queen's
sister, Princess Hohenlohe, and the niece of Prince Christian.

On March 13th the Emperor of Russia was assassinated.

Lord Beaconsfield died on the 19th of April at his house in Curzon
Street. Ten days later the Queen and Princess Beatrice visited
Hughenden while the vault was still open, and placed flowers on the
coffin.

In June Prince Leopold took his seat in the House of Peers on his
creation as Duke of Albany.

On the 19th of September President Garfield died, after a long
struggle, with the effects of his assassination, when the Queen wrote
to Mrs. Garfield her indignation and pity as she had expressed them to
the widow of President Lincoln.

In 1882 a monument was erected in Hughenden Church to Lord
Beaconsfield "by his grateful and affectionate sovereign and friend,

                           "VICTORIA R. I.

                 Kings love him that speaketh right.

                                          PROVERBS xvi 13."

The Queen's speech on the opening of Parliament in 1882 announced the
approaching marriage of the Duke of Albany to Princess Helen of
Waldeck.

On the 2nd of March, as her Majesty was entering her carriage at
Windsor station, she was fired at by a man named Roderick Maclean, the
ball passing between her Majesty and Princess Beatrice. The criminal,
who proved to be of respectable antecedents, was arrested and
committed for high treason. He was tried, found not guilty on the plea
of insanity, and sentenced to be confined during her Majesty's
pleasure. Much sympathy and indignation were felt, and addresses were
voted by both Houses of Parliament.

The Queen left with Princess Beatrice, twelve days afterwards, by
Portsmouth, Cherbourg, and Paris for Mentone, where her Majesty stayed
a fortnight.

Princess Helen of Waldeck, accompanied by her parents, arrived on the
25th of April. The King and Queen of the Netherlands, the bride's
brother-in-law and sister, came next day, and the marriage was
celebrated on the 27th of April in St. George's Chapel, Windsor,
before the Queen and the royal family. The Duke of Albany was in his
twenty-ninth, and Princess Helen in her twenty-first year. Claremont
was assigned to the young couple as their future residence. Eight days
after the marriage a sad event broke in on the marriage rejoicings;
the bride's sister, Princess William of Wurtemberg, died in childbirth
at the age of twenty-three.

On the 6th of May the Queen, with Princess Beatrice, went in state to
Epping Forest, where they were received by the Lord Mayor, the
Sheriffs, and the Duke of Connaught as ranger of the forest. After an
address the Queen declared the forest dedicated to the people's use.

On the same day Lord Frederick Cavendish and Mr. Burke were
assassinated in the Phoenix Park, Dublin.

Garibaldi died at Caprera on the 2nd of June.

The Egyptian war broke out, and among the officers who sailed with the
troops under Sir Garnet Wolseley in August was the Duke of Connaught.
The Duchess and her little daughter were with the Queen at Balmoral,
where anxious days were spent as mother and wife waited for the news
of battle. Successive telegrams announced that an attack was
determined on, that the army had marched, that fighting was going on,
and that the enemy had been routed with heavy loss at Tel-el-Kebir.
The Queen wrote in her journal "How anxious we felt I need not say,
but we tried not to give way.... I prayed earnestly for my darling
child, and longed for to-morrow to arrive. Read Korner's beautiful,
'_Gebet vor der Schlacht_,' '_Vater ich rufe Dich_,' ('Prayer
before the Battle,' 'Father, I call on Thee'). My beloved husband used
to sing it often...."

At last came the welcome telegram, "A great victory, Duke safe and
well," and a further telegram with details and the concluding
sentence, "Duke of Connaught is well and behaved admirably, leading
his brigade to the attack," and great was the joy and thankfulness.

In the meantime the Duke and Duchess of Albany had been expected on
their first visit after their marriage, and were met at Ballater. When
their healths were drunk with Highland honours, the happy Queen asked
her son to propose another toast "to the victorious army in Egypt"
coupled with the Duke of Connaught's name, and the health was drunk in
the hearing of his proud wife and his unconscious infant in her
nurse's arms.

In November the Queen reviewed the troops returned from Egypt in St.
James Park, and afterwards distributed war medals to the officers and
men.

On the 4th December her Majesty opened the New Law Courts. She was
received by the judges and the representatives of the Bar. Lord
Chancellor Selborne was raised to the rank of an earl, and knighthood
was conferred on the Governors of the Inns of Court.

The Duke of Connaught, accompanied by the Duchess, went to fill a
military post in India.

We have seen that Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, her Majesty's fourth
and youngest son, who was born on the 7th of April, 1853, had a
delicate childhood and boyhood. He suffered from a tendency to
haemorrhage on the slightest provocation. Ailments in the joints are
apt to accompany such constitutional weakness, and one of Prince
Leopold's knees was affected. As he grew up he was again and again
brought to the brink of the grave by sudden and violent fits of
indisposition. It is hardly necessary to say that the precariousness
of Prince Leopold's health, combined as it was with an amiable
disposition and intellectual gifts, only served to endear him the more
to his family and friends.

The bodily weakness which set the Duke of Albany apart from his elder
brothers and from lads of his age, which prevented his being regularly
trained either as a soldier or a sailor, in the two professions which
have been long held fit for princes, made him peculiarly the home-son
of the Queen, and caused him to be much longer associated with her
than he might otherwise have been, in her daily life and in her public
appearances during the later years of her reign.

It did not follow from this circumstance that Prince Leopold
relinquished an independent career or led an idle life. In 1872, when
he was in his twentieth year, he matriculated at Oxford, where he kept
his terms with credit alike to his original abilities and his
conscientious diligence. His honourable and pleasant connection with
his university remained a strong tie to the end of his short life, and
it was doubtless in relation to Oxford that he came sensibly under the
influence of Mr. Buskin.

On leaving college Prince Leopold continued to lead the quiet yet busy
life of a scholarly and somewhat artistic young man to whom robust
health has been denied. In addition to the many dignities of his rank,
including four orders of knighthood, belonging to the Garter, the
Thistle, the Star of India, and the Order of St. Michael and St.
George, he became a D.O.L. of Oxford in 1876, and in the following
year a bencher of Lincoln's Inn. A less characteristic honour given
him was the rank of a colonel in the army.

It was a marked feature in Prince Leopold's individuality, as it had
been in that of the Prince Consort, that he sought to turn all his
gifts and pursuits to practical use, not only in the interests of
science and art, but in order to improve the condition and increase
the happiness of the Queen his mother's people. His speeches on the
increasing occasions when he took the chair at public meetings in aid
of the objects he had at heart, were remarkable in so young a man, not
only for good taste and for the amount of carefully acquired knowledge
they displayed, but for the spirit of enlightened humanity and
benevolence which breathed through them. Gradually but surely Prince
Leopold's graceful, well-considered, kindly utterances, with which he
was ready whenever his services were required, were making a most
favourable and permanent impression on the public which was too soon
to mourn his loss. The extension of education and of innocent
amusements through all classes, the Kyrle Society for the fostering of
Art among the homeliest surroundings, the higher and more general
cultivation of music, the introduction of lessons in cookery into the
poorest schools; were among the schemes which the Duke of Albany
warmly advocated.

The Duke's marriage took place, as we have recorded, on the 27th of
April, 1882, and in 1883 a daughter was born to him, who received the
dear and hallowed name of "Alice."

In March, 1884, the Duke of Albany went to Cannes in order to escape
the spring east winds, leaving the Duchess, who was in a delicate
state of health, behind him at Claremont. He appeared to profit by his
stay of a few weeks in the south of France, was unusually well in
health and in excellent spirits, entering generally into the society
of the place. But on the 27th of March, in ascending a stair at the
Cercle Nautique, he slipped and fell, injuring his ailing knee in a
manner in which he had hurt it several times before. He was conveyed
in a carriage to the Villa Nevada, at which he was residing, and no
danger was apprehended, the Duke writing with his own hand to the
Duchess, making light of the accident. During the following night,
however, he was observed to breathe heavily, was found to be in a fit,
and in a few minutes afterwards, early on the morning of the 28th of
March, 1884, he died in the arms of his equerry, Captain Perceval. The
melancholy news was telegraphed to Windsor, and broken to the Queen by
the Master of her Household, Sir Henry Ponsonby. Under the shock and
grief, with which the whole country sympathised, her Majesty's first
and constant thought seems to have been for the young widow at
desolate Claremont.

The Prince of Wales started for Cannes, and accompanied the remains of
his brother to England, the royal yacht _Osborne_ landing them at
Portsmouth. On the arrival of the melancholy cavalcade at Windsor, on
Friday, the 4th of April, the Queen went with her daughters, Princess
Christian and Princess Beatrice, to the railway station to meet the
body of the beloved son who had been the namesake of King Leopold, her
second father, and the living image in character of the husband she
had adored. The coffin was carried by a detachment of the Seaforth
Highlanders through the room in which her Majesty awaited the
procession, and conveyed to the chapel, where a short service was
afterwards held in the presence of the Queen and the near relatives of
the dead, and where the nearest of all, the widowed Duchess, paid one
brief last visit to the bier.

On the following day, Saturday, the 5th of April, towards noon, the
funeral took place, with all the pomp of the late Prince's rank, and
all the sorrow which his untimely end and many virtues might well call
forth. The Prince of Wales, as chief mourner, was supported by the
Crown Prince of Germany, the Duke of Hesse-Darmstadt, Prince Christian
of Schleswig-Holstein, Prince Albert Victor of Wales, and the Duke of
Cambridge. The coffin, with its velvet pall nearly hidden by flowers,
was again borne by a party of the Seaforth Highlanders to the solemn
music of Chopin's "Funeral March" and the firing of the minute-guns,
to the principal entrance of St. George's Chapel. Among the same
company that had been assembled when the Duke of Albany had been
married not two years before, were his father-in-law and sister-in-
law, the Prince of Waldeck-Pyrmont, and the Queen of Holland.

While the dirge-like music and the booming of the cannon filled the
air, the Queen in deep mourning entered, leaning on the arm of the
Princess of Wales, and followed by Princess Christian, the Princesses
Louise and Beatrice, and Princess Frederica of Hanover, the royal
party being conducted by the Lord Chamberlain to seats near the choir
steps. The Duchess of Albany and the Duchess of Edinburgh were unable,
from the state of their health, to attend the funeral. As the coffin,
every movement of which was regulated by the word of command spoken by
the officer appointed for the duty, passed through the screen and
entered the choir, the Queen and Princesses rose as if to greet him
who came thus for the last time among them. The rest of the company
had remained standing from the moment of the Queen's entrance. The
Dean of Windsor read the Funeral Service. When the choir sang the
anthem, "Blessed are the Departed," the Queen again rose. Lord Brooke,
a young man like the Prince who was gone, who had been with him at
Oxford, was one of the most intimate of his friends, and had been
named one of the executors of his will, threw, with evident emotion,
the handful of earth on the coffin while the Dean recited "Earth to
earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust."

After the singing of the hymn, "Lead kindly light," during which her
Majesty stood, she and the Princesses quitted the chapel. Garter-King-
at-Arms having proclaimed the style and titles of the deceased, the
coffin was lowered into the vault below St. George's Chapel, the
Prince of Wales gazing sadly on its descent. The Queen, with her long
discipline of sorrow, had in the middle of her affliction preserved
her coolness throughout the trying ceremony. Prince Leopold, Duke of
Albany, had almost completed his thirty-first year. The anniversary of
his birthday was on the second day after his funeral.

The Queen has left her mark on the palaces and humbler houses which
have been her homes. In indicating it we have nothing to do with grey
Windsor in its historical glories, or even in its more picturesque
lights. We leave behind the Waterloo Gallery, the Garter-room and the
quaint cottages of the Poor Knights in order to point out the touches
which are the tokens of Queen Victoria's presence. Though she dwelt
here principally in the bright days of her early reign, the chief
signs which she will leave behind her are those of her widowhood and
of the faithful heart which has never forgotten its kindred dead. The
most conspicuous work of the Queen's is the restoration and
rechristening of the Wolsey Chapel. As the Albert Chapel, the
beautiful little building is fall of the thought of him who was once
master here. Its rich mosaics, stained glass, "pictures for eternity"
fretted in marble, scriptural allegories of all the virtues--the very
medallions of his children which surmount these unfading pictures, are
all in his honour. Specially so is the pure white marble figure of the
Prince, represented as a knight in armour, lying sword in hand, his
feet against the hound--the image of loyalty, while round the pedestal
is carved his name and state, and the place of his burial, with the
epitaph which fits him well, "I have fought the good fight, I have
finished my course."

In St. George's Chapel her Majesty has erected five monuments. A
recumbent marble figure on an alabaster sarcophagus is to her father,
who was so fond of the infant daughter whom he left a helpless baby. A
white marble statue, larger than life, in royal robes, is to the man
who took the Duke of Kent's place, Leopold I., King of the Belgians,
of whom his niece could cause to be written with perfect truth "who
was as a father to her, and she was to him as a daughter." This statue
is reared near the well-known monument to the dead King's never
forgotten first wife, Princess Charlotte of Wales. [Footnote: Princess
Alice mentions in one of her published letters that King Leopold had
entertained a wish that he might be buried in England.] The third and
fourth monuments are to the Queen's aunt and cousin, the good Duchess
of Gloucester and the late King of Hanover. The last was executed by
the Queen's nephew, Count Gleichen (Prince Victor Hohenlohe). The
inscription has several pathetic allusions. "Here has come to rest
among his kindred, the royal family of England, George V., the last
King of Hanover." "Receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved." "In
this light he shall see light." The fifth monument has been raised to
a young eastern prince, son of Theodore, King of Abyssinia, who came
to England as a lad and died here "I was a stranger and ye took me in"
is the epitaph.

At the entrance to the fine corridor which runs round two sides of the
quadrangle of the Castle, and forms a matchless in-door promenade, is
Theed's beautiful group of the Queen and the Prince, conceived and
worked out after his death, with the solemn parting of two hearts
tenderly attached as the motive of the whole. The figures are not only
ideally graceful while the likeness in each is carefully preserved,
the expression is beyond praise. The wife clings, in devotion so
perfect that impassioned hope contends with chill despair, to the arm
of the husband who looks down on her whom he loves best, with fond
encouragement and the peace of the blessed already settling on the
stainless brow. The inscription is from Goldsmith's "Deserted
Village"--

  "Allur'd to brighter worlds and led the way,"

It is part of an exquisite passage:--

  "And as a bird each fond endearment tries
    To tempt its new-fledg'd offspring to the skies,
  He tried each art, reprov'd each dull delay,
    Allur'd to brighter worlds, and led the way."

The corridor, among its innumerable vases, cabinets, and pictures of
kings and great men--including a fine portrait of Sir Walter Scott--
has a whole series of pictures illustrating, the leading events of her
Majesty's life, from her "First Council," by Wilkie, through her
marriage, the baptisms of the Princess Royal and the Prince of Wales,
the first reception of Louis Philippe, &c., &c., to the Princess
Royal's marriage.

The white drawing-room, said to be a favourite room of her Majesty's,
is not far from her private sitting-room on the south-east side of the
quadrangle which looks out on the Long Walk and Windsor Forest, the
white drawing-room commanding the Home Park.

Going down the stately double avenue of elms called the Long Walk, a
lodge and side walk at no great distance lead to Frogmore, with its
mausoleum half hidden in luxuriant foliage. In the octagonal building,
which forms a cross, and is richly decorated with coloured marbles, is
the famous recumbent figure of the Prince in white marble by Baron
Marochetti. When the Queen's time comes, which her people pray may
still be far distant, she will rest by her husband's side, and a
similar statue to his will mark where she lies. Memorials of Princess
Alice and of her Majesty's dead grandchildren are also here.

The late Duchess of Kent is buried in a separate vault beneath a dome
supported by pillars of polished granite and surrounded by a parapet
with balconies. In the upper chamber, lit from the top by stained
glass, is a statue of the Duchess, by Theed.





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