The Letters of Queen Victoria, Volume III (of 3), 1854-1861
by Queen of Great Britain Victoria
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[Footnote 3: Secretary of Legation at Florence, resident in Rome, afterwards Lord Ampthill.]

[Footnote 4: Secretary of Legation at Florence, afterwards successively Minister at Rio Janeiro and Stockholm.]

[Footnote 5: Richard Bickerton Pemell Lyons, who had just been transferred from Rome to Washington. He had recently succeeded his father, the Admiral, in the Barony of Lyons, and was himself subsequently promoted to an Earldom.]

[Footnote 6: Secretary of Foreign Affairs for the Papal States.]

The Earl of Malmesbury to Queen Victoria.

LONDON, 18th January 1859.

The Earl of Malmesbury presents his humble duty to the Queen, and has the honour to inform your Majesty that he has seen the French Ambassador to-day, who came of his own accord to say that we need be in no apprehension, of a war at present, as the public opinion in France, especially in the large towns, had been so strongly pronounced against a war that it was impossible. Lord Malmesbury is also glad to inform your Majesty that the Cabinet has agreed to-day to make a great addition to the effective force of your Majesty's Navy.

Your Majesty's commands are obeyed respecting the telegram to Berlin.

The Earl of Malmesbury to Queen Victoria.

LONDON, 25th January 1859.

The Earl of Malmesbury presents his humble duty to the Queen, and regrets to say that he shares your Majesty's apprehensions. The Emperor is extremely irritated at our not concurring in his views on Italy, and Lord Malmesbury believes that nothing will restrain him but the public opinion expressed against them, in France.[7] Austria has, against all our advice and common prudence, made a false move by sending troops into the Papal States against the wish of the Pope, and is now obliged to recall them. The speech of your Majesty is to be discussed in Cabinet to-day. Lord Derby intended to introduce a paragraph stating that your Majesty's Alliance with France remained "unimpaired," but it now appears to us that such a statement might provoke a question "why" it should be made a special one. Lord Malmesbury entirely agrees with your Majesty as to an allusion to Treaties.

[Footnote 7: Yet the Emperor had just written to Queen Victoria on 20th January: "Le corps legislatif va bientot s'ouvrir, presque en meme temps que le parlement; je tacherai d'exprimer dans mon discours tout le desir que j'ai de vivre toujours en bonne et sincere intelligence avec votre Majeste et son gouvernement." Early in February the pamphlet Napoleon et l'Italie, nominally written by M. de la Gueronniere, but inspired by the Emperor, foreshadowed the war in Italy, and attempted to justify it.]

[Pageheading: LORD CANNING]

Queen Victoria to Lord Stanley.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 25th January 1859.

The Queen thinks that the time is come when the bestowal of some honour or reward on Lord Canning ought no longer to be delayed. He has now nearly arrived at the end of his tremendous task of quelling the Rebellion, and has triumphed over all his many difficulties. If any man deserves an acknowledgment of his services at the hands of the Crown, it is surely he, and the Queen would be sorry that the grace of it should be taken away from her by questions being asked in Parliament when it is assembled again, which will now be the case very soon.

A step in the Peerage and the G.C.B. appear to the Queen an appropriate reward. Perhaps a pension should be awarded to him? Lord Elphinstone also ought not to be left unrewarded, and a step in the Peerage with the G.C.B. does not appear too high an honour for him, for he also has greatly contributed to the saving to the Indian Empire.[8]

[Footnote 8: Lord Canning was made an Earl and Lord Elphinstone (who had been Governor of Bombay during the Mutiny) a Peer of the United Kingdom, and both received the G.C.B.]


Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 2nd February 1859.

MY DEAREST, KINDEST UNCLE,—Accept my warmest thanks for your most kind letter of the 28th. I know how pleased you would be at the safety of our dear Vicky, and at the birth of our first grandson![9] Everything goes on so beautifully, Vicky recovering as fast and well as I did, and the dear little boy improving so much and thriving in every way.... The joy and interest taken here is as great almost as in Prussia, which is very gratifying.

I think that the Speech will do good, but it has not been easy to frame it, as the feeling against the Emperor here is very strong. I think yet that if Austria is strong and well prepared, and Germany strong and well inclined towards us (as Prussia certainly is), France will not be so eager to attempt what I firmly believe would end in the Emperor's downfall! Old Malakhoff himself said to the Duchess of Wellington that if the French had the slightest defeat ce serait fini avec la Dynastie! A pretty speech for an Ambassador, but a very true one!

Pray say everything most kind to your dear children and believe me ever, your devoted Niece,


We are just arrived here, and go back to Windsor to-morrow afternoon.

[Footnote 9: Frederick William Victor Albert, now German Emperor, born on the 27th of January.]

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Malmesbury.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 3rd February 1859.

The Queen has this moment received Lord Malmesbury's letter. As she has not yet written (only telegraphed) to announce to the Emperor the birth of our grandson (we being in the habit since we know the Emperor and Empress personally to communicate to one another reciprocally family events), the Queen has an opportunity or a pretext for writing to the Emperor, and is therefore prepared to do so to-morrow. But as the terms to be used are of the most vital importance, she would wish Lord Malmesbury to consult forthwith with Lord Derby, and to let her have "the matter" to be put into the letter before the Queen leaves town, which we do at half-past four this afternoon.


The Earl of Derby to Queen Victoria.

ST JAMES'S SQUARE, 3rd February 1859. (Thursday,1 P.M.)

Lord Derby, with his humble duty, and in obedience to your Majesty's commands, received within this half hour through Lord Malmesbury, submits the accompanying very hastily drawn sketch of the language which, in his humble opinion, your Majesty might hold in a private and confidential letter to the Emperor of the French. Lord Derby is not sure that it is what your Majesty desired that he should submit; but he trusts that your Majesty will be pleased to receive it as an attempt to obey your Majesty's commands, and will excuse its many imperfections on account of the extreme haste in which it has unavoidably been written.

"I cannot refrain from taking this opportunity of expressing confidentially to your Imperial Majesty my deep anxiety for the preservation of the peace of Europe, nor can I conceal from myself how essentially that great object must depend upon the course which your Imperial Majesty may be advised to take. Your Majesty has now the opportunity, either by listening to the dictates of humanity and justice, and by demonstrating unmistakably your intention to adhere strictly to the faithful observance of Treaties, of calming the apprehensions of Europe, and restoring her confidence in your Majesty's pacific policy; or, by permitting yourself to be influenced by the ambitious or interested designs of others, of involving Europe in a war, the extent and termination of which can hardly be foreseen, and which, whatever glory it may add to the arms of France, cannot but interfere materially with her internal prosperity and financial credit. I am sure that your Majesty will not doubt the sincerity of the friendship which alone induces me to write thus unreservedly to your Majesty, and if anything could add to the sorrow with which I should view the renewal of war in Europe, it would be to see your Majesty entering upon a course with which it would be impossible for England to associate herself."[10]

[Footnote 10: The Queen accordingly wrote a letter, which is printed in the Life of the Prince Consort, assuring the Emperor that rarely had any man had such an opportunity as was now his for exercising a personal influence for the peace of Europe, and that, by faithful observance of Treaty obligations, he might calm international anxieties.]

The King of the Belgians to Queen Victoria.

LAEKEN, 4th February 1859.

MY DEAREST VICTORIA,—... Heaven knows what dance our Emperor Napoleon Troisieme de nom will lead us. In a few days he will have to make his speech. I fear he is determined on that Italian War. The discussions in Parliament may influence him; I fear party spirit in lieu of a good and right sense of what is the interest of Europe. It was praiseworthy that you said in your Speech that treaties must be respected, else indeed we return to the old Faustrecht we have been striving to get rid of. It is curious that your speech has made the funds fall again: I presume they hoped at Paris that you would have been able to say that you congratulated Parliament on the prospect of peace being preserved. For us poor people who find ourselves aux premieres loges, these uncertainties are most unsatisfactory. Your devoted Uncle,


[Pageheading: THE INDIAN ARMY]


Queen Victoria to the Earl of Derby.

WINDSOR CASTLE. 5th February 1859.

With regard to a decision which will have to be taken when the report of the Indian Army Commission shall have been received, the Queen thinks it incumbent upon her not to leave Lord Derby in ignorance of her firm determination not to sanction, under any form, the creation of a British Army, distinct from that known at present as the Army of the Crown.

She would consider it dangerous to the maintenance of India, to the dependence of the Indian Empire on the mother country, and to her Throne in these realms.

Such an Army would be freed from the proper control of the constitutional monarchy. It would be removed from the direct command of the Crown, and entirely independent of Parliament. It would throw an unconstitutional amount of power and patronage into the hands of the Indian Council and Government; it would be raised and maintained in antagonism to the Regular Army of the Crown; and professional jealousy, and personal and private interests, would needs drive it into a position of permanent hostility towards that Army.

This hostility has been already strongly marked in the proceedings of the Commission itself.

Its detrimental effects would not be confined to India alone, but would form a most dangerous obstacle to the maintenance of the government of the Regular Army by the Queen. Already, during the Crimean War, most of the blows levelled at the Army and the prerogative of the Crown were directed by Indian officers, of whom, in future, a vast number would be at home, without employment or recognised position, in compact organisation, and moved by a unity of feeling.

There may be points of detail, admitting differences of opinion as to the relative advantages of a purely local or general Military Force for India; but these are mere trifles, which sink into insignificance in the Queen's estimation, when she has to consider the duty which she owes to her Crown and her Country.

The Queen hopes Lord Derby will not consider that she intends, by this letter, unduly to influence his free consideration and decision as to the advice he may think it his duty to offer, but merely to guard against his being taken by surprise, and to prevent, if possible, an unseemly public difference between herself and Lord Stanley. She is impelled to the apprehension that such may arise from the manner in which, since the first transfer of the Indian Government to the Crown, every act of Lord Stanley has uniformly tended to place the Queen in a position which would render her helpless and powerless in resisting a scheme which certain persons, imbued with the old Indian traditions, would appear to wish to force upon the Crown.

The Queen does not expect an answer to this letter from Lord Derby, and asks him to treat it as strictly confidential.

The Queen sees that Lord Stanley means to make a statement on Monday on the Indian Finances. She trusts that there will be nothing said in that statement to prejudge the Army Question.

Decipher from Lord Cowley.

PARIS, 6th February 1859. (1 A.M. Received 4 A.M.)

A great change for the better. The Queen's letter has produced an excellent effect, as also the Debates in Parliament.[11] The Emperor has expressed himself ready to subscribe to every word of Lord Derby's speech.

[Footnote 11: Parliament was opened by the Queen in person on the 3rd; the ensuing debates, and especially the speeches of the Liberal leaders, showed that, however much the English nation, as a whole, might sympathise with Italian aspirations for the expulsion of the Austrians from Lombardy, they would regard unfavourably a war commenced in defiance of Treaty obligations.]

[Pageheading: THE INDIAN ARMY]

The Earl of Derby to Queen Victoria.

ST JAMES'S SQUARE, 6th February 1859.

Lord Derby, with his humble duty, submits to your Majesty his respectful acknowledgment of the explicitness with which the letter he had the honour of receiving last night conveys to him the intimation of your Majesty's views upon the important subject of the Indian Army. He cannot, however, disguise from your Majesty the deep pain which that communication has occasioned him; first, that your Majesty should think that Lord Stanley has so far mistaken his duty as systematically to place your Majesty in a false position; and next because unless Lord Derby misconceives the purport of your Majesty's letter, he fears that it may leave him no alternative but that of humbly entreating to be relieved from a responsibility which nothing should have induced him to undertake but a sense of duty to your Majesty, and the conviction that he might rely with confidence upon your Majesty's continued support. It would ill become Lord Derby to attempt to argue a question on which your Majesty has expressed so strong a determination; he has studiously avoided taking any step which might prejudge a question so important as the organisation of your Majesty's Forces in India. He has awaited the report of the Commission appointed to enquire into the subject, and though aware of the wide difference of opinion which prevailed, has desired impartially to weigh and examine the arguments adduced on both sides, and he has in the meantime refused to give his sanction to a proposition, earnestly pressed upon the Government by Lord Canning, for immediately raising additional regiments for Indian Service. But the announcement of your Majesty's determination (if he rightly understands it), under no circumstances to continue an European Army in India, under terms of service different from those of the Line, paid out of Indian Revenues, and officered by men educated for that especial service, and looking to India for their whole career, places Lord Derby in a position of no little embarrassment; for notwithstanding the gracious intimation that your Majesty does not desire unduly to influence his judgment as to the advice which he may tender, it amounts to a distinct warning that if tendered in a particular direction it has no chance of being accepted by your Majesty. Nor, with that knowledge on his part not shared by his colleagues, can he freely discuss with them the course which they may consider it their duty to pursue.

Lord Derby humbly trusts, therefore, that your Majesty will be graciously pleased, so far as the members of the Government are concerned, to absolve him from the obligation of secrecy, and to allow him to place before them a state of things which may lead to the most serious results, so far as their power of serving your Majesty is concerned.

Lord Derby will give Lord Stanley a caution not to say anything in his statement of Indian Finance which may prejudge the question of a single or separate armies; but he hardly thinks the caution necessary, as European troops, whether in one Service or in two, will equally be chargeable to the revenues of India, which will only be affected by the proportion which the whole of the European may bear to the whole of the native forces.

Lord Derby hopes that he may be permitted to offer his humble congratulations to your Majesty on the very favourable reports received from Paris by telegraph, and upon the highly satisfactory effects produced by your Majesty's private letter to the Emperor.

The above is humbly submitted by your Majesty's most dutiful Servant and Subject,



Queen Victoria to the Earl of Derby.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 7th February 1859.

The Queen is very sorry to learn from Lord Derby's letter, received last evening, that her communication to him on the Indian Army question had caused him deep pain. She had long hesitated whether she should write it, from a fear that its purport and motive might possibly be misunderstood; but feeling that there ought to exist nothing but the most unreserved and entire confidence between herself and her Prime Minister, she thought it incumbent upon her to let Lord Derby see exactly what was passing in her mind.

If, notwithstanding the Queen's expressed hope that Lord Derby might not consider the communication as intended unduly to influence his free consideration of the important subject, he should feel that its possession, without being at liberty to communicate it to his colleagues, does so in effect, she would ask him to return it to her, and to consider it as not having been written. If he should think, however, that a communication of the Queen's views to the Cabinet is due to them, she is quite prepared to make one. In that case it would naturally have to be differently worded, would omit every reference to Lord Stanley, and might go more into detail.

The Queen cannot close this letter without correcting some misapprehensions into which Lord Derby seems to have fallen. It was not the Queen's intention to impute any motives of systematic action to Lord Stanley; she referred simply to facts and steps, known as well to Lord Derby as to herself, which "uniformly tended" to place her in a powerless position with regard to the Army question.

The Queen protested against "the creation of a British Army distinct (in its existence and constitutional position) from that of the Crown," and not against the "continuance of an European Army, under terms of service different from the Line, paid out of Indian Revenues, and officered by men educated for that special service, and looking to India for their whole career." In fact, she does not understand what meaning Lord Derby attaches to the words "terms of service." Every force kept in India, however constituted, would be paid out of Indian Revenues. This would therefore not form the distinction, and Lord Derby cannot intend to convey that on these revenues one set of Englishmen can have a greater claim than another; nor does she see why English officers, commanding English soldiers and charged with the maintenance of their discipline and efficiency, should for that object require to be specially and differently educated, and be restricted to look to India for their whole career. Officers attached to native troops are in a different position.


The Earl of Derby to Queen Victoria.

ST JAMES'S SQUARE, 7th February 1859.

Lord Derby, with his humble duty, submits to your Majesty his grateful acknowledgments for your Majesty's most gracious note received this evening, the contents, and still more the tenor of which have relieved him from the painful apprehension that he might be called upon to choose between a strong sense of public duty, and, on the other side, his deep devotion to your Majesty's service, and his gratitude for the favourable consideration which his imperfect attempts to discharge his public duty had always received at your Majesty's hand. The explanation, with which he has now been honoured, of your Majesty's views has entirely dispelled those apprehensions, and he feels that he has only to thank your Majesty for the gracious explanation, with which he has been honoured, of your Majesty's motives in addressing to him the letter which certainly caused him "deep pain."...[12]

[Footnote 12: Lord Derby then proceeded to deal at some length with the status of the troops in India, concluding with the opinion that the local forces in India should never exceed those sent from home as part of the Regular Army, subject to the ordinary routine of service.]

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Derby.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 8th February 1859.

The Queen has received Lord Derby's letter of yesterday, and is pleased to find that he now appreciates the motives which dictated her first letter. It needs no assurance on her side that she never doubted those which actuate Lord Derby. The Queen will, in compliance with his request, defer any further notice of the subject until the Commissioners shall have made their report; it would not be fair, however, to Lord Derby, not to add that she fears from his explanation that he has not now correctly estimated the nature of the Queen's objection, which is not to a variety of forces, terms of service, local or general employment, etc., etc., etc., established in one Army, but to the principle of two British Armies.


Queen Victoria to General Peel.[13]

13th February 1859.

The Queen relies with confidence that when the question of the Indian Army comes before the Cabinet, General Peel will stoutly defend the interests of the Crown and the British Army. On the opinion which he will give and maintain much of their decision must depend, and unless he speaks out boldly the Indian Secretary will have it all his own way.

[Footnote 13: General Jonathan Peel, brother of Sir Robert Peel (the Premier), and Secretary of State for War.]

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 15th February 1859.

MY DEAREST UNCLE,—We came here to settle yesterday—and also here Spring seems wonderfully forward! It can't last—and frost is sure to follow and cut off everything. At Windsor and Frogmore everything is budding—willow I see is green—rose-leaves out, and birds singing like in May!

Accept my warmest thanks for your kind letter of the 11th. I still hope that matters will cool down—the Emperor personally expressed regret to Huebner for his words, disclaiming the construction put upon them, and saying that no one could dispute the right of Austria to her Italian possessions.[14] He has not written to me lately, but I wrote him ten days ago a long friendly letter, speaking out plainly our fears for the future, and urging him to aid us in averting the calamity of War....

Our Parliament is as quiet as possible as yet, but it will soon have more cause for action and excitement....

Bertie's interview with the Pope went off extremely well. He was extremely kind and gracious, and Colonel Bruce was present; it would never have done to have let Bertie go alone, as they might hereafter have pretended, God knows! what Bertie had said.... With Albert's love, ever your devoted Niece,


[Footnote 14: See ante, 13th January, 1859, note 2.]


The Earl of Derby to Queen Victoria.

DOWNING STREET, 21st February 1859.

Lord Derby, with his humble duty, and in obedience to the commands which he had the honour of receiving from your Majesty last night, submits the following suggestions, as embodying the substance of what, in his humble judgment your Majesty might address with advantage in a private letter to the Emperor of Austria.

Your Majesty might say, that deeply penetrated with the conviction of the duty imposed upon your Majesty of acting on the principles enunciated in the speech from the Throne, of exercising whatever influence your Majesty could employ for the preservation of the general peace, your Majesty had looked with anxiety to the circumstances which threatened its continued existence. That your Majesty was unable to see in those circumstances, any which were beyond the reach of diplomatic skill, if there were only a mutual desire, on the part of the Chief Powers concerned, to give fair play to its exercise. That the only source of substantial danger was the present state of Italy; and that even in that there would be little danger of interruption to the general tranquillity, were it not for the antagonism excited by interests and engagements, real or supposed, of France and Austria.

That your Majesty believed that the supposed divergence of these interests and engagements might be capable of reconciliation if entered into with mutual frankness, and with a mutual disposition to avoid the calamities of war; but that, as it appeared to your Majesty, neither party would be willing to invite the other to a friendly discussion of the points of difference between them.

That in this state of affairs your Majesty, as a mutual friend of both Sovereigns, and having no individual interests to serve, entertained the hope that by the spontaneous offer of good offices, your Majesty might be the means of establishing certain bases, on which the Powers mainly interested might subsequently enter into amicable negotiations with regard to the questions chiefly in dispute, or threatening serious results.

Of these, the most pressing are those which relate to the Italian Peninsula.

That your Majesty, anxiously revolving in your mind the question how your Majesty's influence could best be brought to bear, had come to the conclusion that your Majesty's Ambassador at Paris, having the fullest knowledge of the views entertained by that Court, and possessing your Majesty's entire confidence, might usefully be intrusted with a highly confidential, but wholly unofficial mission, for the purpose of ascertaining whether there were any possibility consistently with the views of the two Courts of offering such suggestions as might be mutually acceptable as the basis of future arrangements; and, if such should happily be found to be the case, of offering them simultaneously to the two parties, as the suggestions of a mutual friend.

That your Majesty trusted His R.I.A.[15] Majesty would look upon this communication in the truly friendly light in which it was intended, and that Lord Cowley, in his unofficial and confidential character, might be permitted fully to develop the views which your Majesty entertained, and to meet with the most favourable consideration of his suggestions from His R.I.A. Majesty.

Lord Derby, before submitting the above to your Majesty, has thought it right to communicate it to Lord Malmesbury and Lord Cowley, and he is enabled to say that it meets with their entire concurrence.[16] He will be highly gratified if he is permitted to know that it is honoured by your Majesty's gracious approval. All which is humbly submitted by your Majesty's most dutiful Servant and Subject,


[Footnote 15: Royal and Imperial Apostolic.]

[Footnote 16: The Queen acted on this advice, and wrote a letter on the 22nd to the Emperor of Austria, on the lines of Lord Derby's suggestions. The material parts of it are printed in the Life of the Prince Consort, vol. iv. chap. 92.]

[Pageheading: CHURCH RATES]

Mr Disraeli to Queen Victoria.

HOUSE OF COMMONS, 21st February 1859. (Monday.)

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, with his humble duty to your Majesty, informs your Majesty that the Government measure on Church Rates was introduced to-night, in a very full House, and was received with so much favour that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has every belief that it will pass. This is very unexpected, and the satisfactory settlement of this long agitated and agitating question will be a great relief to public life, and tend to restore and augment the good-humour of the country.[17]

It is generally rumoured that, on Friday next, Lord Palmerston is to move a vote of censure upon your Majesty's Government with respect to their Foreign Policy. The Chancellor of the Exchequer scarcely credits this, and would rather suppose that the formal censure will take the shape of a rattling critique, preceding some Motion for papers.

[Footnote 17: Since the Braintree case in 1853, no rate could legally be levied except by the majority of the rate-payers. The present Bill was designed to exempt Dissenters from payment, excluding them at the same time from voting on the subject in the vestry meeting. Sir John Trelawney, the leader of the Abolitionist party in the House, however, procured the rejection of the proposed measure, and a solution was not arrived at till 1868.]


Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 1st March 1859.

MY DEAREST UNCLE,—Many thanks for your kind letter of the 25th. Matters remain much in the same state. Lord Cowley arrived on Sunday at Vienna, but we know nothing positive yet. I much fear the obstinacy of Austria.

It will indeed be a blessing if we could do something not only to avert the war for the present, but to prevent the causes of it, for the future. Nothing but improvement in the Italian Governments can bring about a better state of things. What is really the matter with the King of Naples[18]?

We found the poor Queen really very tolerably well at Claremont on Saturday. She is decidedly better than when we saw her at the end of November. Poor Joinville is suffering from an accident to his bad knee.

Here our Reform Bill has been brought in yesterday.[19] It is moderate, and ... [Lord John] has therefore allied himself with Mr Bright and Mr Roebuck against it! He has no other followers. The Debate on Foreign Affairs on Friday was extremely moderate, and can only have done good.[20]

It is rumoured that you are going to Berlin to the Christening, but I doubt it! Oh! dearest Uncle, it almost breaks my heart not to witness our first grandchild christened! I don't think I ever felt so bitterly disappointed about anything as about this! And then it is an occasion so gratifying to both Nations, which brings them so much together, that it is most peculiarly mortifying! It is a stupid law in Prussia, I must say, to be so particular about having the child christened so soon. However, it is now no use lamenting; please God! we shall be more fortunate another time! With Albert's affectionate love, ever your devoted Niece,


Affectionate love to your children. When does Philip go to Italy?

[Footnote 18: Ferdinand II., known as Bomba, died on the 22nd of May in the same year.]

[Footnote 19: See ante, Introductory Note to Chapter XXVIII.]

[Footnote 20: In this debate Lord Palmerston urged the Ministry to mediate between Austria and France, in order to obtain their simultaneous withdrawal from Rome, and Mr Disraeli announced the confidential mission of Lord Cowley as "one of peace and conciliation."]

[Pageheading: THE EMPEROR'S REPLY]

The Emperor of Austria to Queen Victoria.

VIENNE, le 8 Mars 1859.

MADAME ET CHERE S[OE]UR,—J'ai recu des mains de Lord Cowley la lettre que votre Majeste a bien voulu lui confier et dont le contenu m'a offert un nouvel et precieux temoignage de l'amitie et de la confiance qu'elle m'a vouees, ainsi que des vues elevees qui dirigent sa politique. Lord Cowley a ete aupres de moi le digne interprete des sentimens de votre Majeste, et je me plais a lui rendre la justice, qu'il s'est acquitte avec le zele eclaire, dont il a deja fourni tant de preuves, de la mission confidentielle dont il etait charge.

J'ai hautement apprecie les motifs qui vous ont inspire la pensee de m'envoyer un organe de confiance pour echanger nos idees sur les dangers de la situation. Je m'associe a tous les desirs, que forme votre Majeste pour le maintien de la paix, et ce n'est pas sur moi que pesera la responsabilite de ceux, qui evoquent des dangers de guerre sans pouvoir articuler une seule cause de guerre.

Lord Cowley connait les points de vue auxquels j'envisage les questions qui forment l'objet ou le pretexte des divergences d'opinion qui subsistent entre nous et la France; il sait aussi que nous sommes disposes a contribuer a leur solution dans l'esprit le plus conciliant, en tant qu'on n'exige pas de nous des sacrifices que ne saurait porter aucune Puissance qui se respecte. Je forme des v[oe]ux pour que votre Majeste puisse tirer parti des elemens que Lui apportera son Ambassadeur, dans l'interet du maintien de la paix que nous avons egalement a c[oe]ur.

Mais quelles que soient les chances et les epreuves que l'avenir nous reserve, j'aime a me livrer a l'espoir que rien ne portera atteinte aux rapports d'amitie et d'union que je suis heureux de cultiver avec votre Majeste, et que Ses sympathies seront acquises a la cause que je soutiens et qui est celle de tous les Etats independans.

C'est dans ces sentimens que je renouvelle a votre Majeste l'assurance de l'amitie sincere et de l'inalterable attachement avec lesquels je suis, Madame et chere S[oe]ur, de votre Majeste, le bon et devoue frere et ami,



Queen Victoria to the Earl of Malmesbury.

20th March 1859.

The Queen has received Lord Malmesbury's letter[21] written before the Cabinet yesterday. The Memorandum of Lord Cowley and the telegrams from Vienna give better hopes of the idea of Congress or Conference leading to a good result. Everything will now depend upon the Emperor Napoleon's acceptance of the conditions on which Austria is willing to agree to a Conference. The Queen would like to have a copy of Lord Cowley's memorandum.[22]

[Footnote 21: Lord Cowley had returned from his mission to Vienna, and was now again at Paris. The complexion of affairs had been changed by a suggestion on the part of Russia (which may or may not have been ultimately prompted from Paris) for a Conference between England, France, Austria, Prussia and Russia, to settle the Italian Question. Cavour pressed for the admission of Piedmont to the Conference.]

[Footnote 22: Lord Malmesbury's letter to Lord Cowley, written immediately after the Cabinet, enjoined him to impress upon the Emperor that England would only address herself to the four points—evacuation of the Roman States by foreign troops, reform, security for Sardinia, and a substitute for the treaties of 1847 between Austria and the Duchies.]

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Malmesbury.

OSBORNE, 22nd March 1859.

The Queen thanks Lord Malmesbury for his communication of yesterday, which she received this morning. She quite approves the steps taken by the Government,[23] and concurs in Lord Malmesbury's views. If the understanding about a Conference first of the five Powers, and then of the Italian States with them, could be so far come to that France and Austria agree with us upon the conditions on which it is to take place, we need not wait for Russia's proposing it. She is evidently playing, as she always does, a double game, and from Sir John Crampton's[24] letter it appears that she never meant to propose a Congress, but merely to accept one, for ulterior objects.

[Footnote 23: An attempt to obtain the disarmament of Austria and Sardinia, and a proposal to obtain the co-operation of France, in guaranteeing to defend Sardinia against invasion by Austria for five years, unless Sardinia left her own territory. On the 23rd, Lord Malmesbury wrote that all the great Powers, except Austria, had agreed to a Congress upon the conditions laid down by the British Government.]

[Footnote 24: English Ambassador at St Petersburg, formerly Minister at Washington; see ante, 12th December, 1856, note 61. He had succeeded to the baronetcy in 1858.]

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Malmesbury.

OSBORNE, 27th March 1859.

The Queen trusts that Lord Malmesbury will act with the utmost circumspection in answering the many telegrams crossing each other from all directions respecting the proposed Congress. An understanding with Austria on every point ought, if possible, to precede our giving our opinion to France or Russia. If they can once get the Powers to agree upon a point upon which Austria disagrees, they have won the game, and the Emperor can proceed to his war, having a declaration of Europe against Austria as his basis.

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Malmesbury.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 12th April 1859.

The Queen has marked a passage in this draft, which she thinks it would be advisable to modify—so as not to put upon record (should the Austrians refuse to give way on this point) that we consider their conduct as "reckless." Should they persist, they would certainly not meet with as much sympathy as they would do if they yielded, and such a course on their part would be very much to be regretted, as we consider every sacrifice small, in comparison to the blessings of preserving peace; but still Austria would have a perfect right to stand out—and we originally supported her in this demand.

If something which expressed the above sentiments and opinions could therefore be substituted for the present passage, the Queen thinks it would be very desirable for the future, both as regards Austria and England.


The Earl of Derby to Queen Victoria.

DOWNING STREET, 21st April 1859.

Lord Derby, with his humble duty, submits to your Majesty that it has appeared to him, in consultation with his colleagues, with the exception of Lord Hardwicke and Sir John Pakington, who are out of Town, that the only step which can properly be taken at present is to protest strongly against the course which Austria is now taking, and to warn her that whatever may be the results to herself, she deprives herself of all claim to the support or countenance of England.[25] Your Majesty will see by another telegram, received a few minutes ago from Lord Cowley, that Huebner!! advises that England should threaten to come to the aid of Sardinia, if the contemplated invasion should take place! Your Majesty's servants are not, however, prepared to take so strong a step, which would commit them to measures to which they might be unable at the moment to give due effect; and which, if Austria were to disregard the measure, would involve them in War as the Allies of France. They have therefore limited themselves to a protest, the terms of which will require to be very carefully considered before it is embodied in a despatch. Lord Malmesbury will submit to your Majesty by this messenger the terms of his telegram.... To appeal at once to arms, when no question, except this of form, remained unsettled as to the meeting of Congress, and the subjects to be then discussed, had been unanimously agreed to, appears to Lord Derby to indicate a reckless determination to go to war which it will be very difficult to justify in the eyes of Europe.

For the moment these events rather diminish than increase the probability of a rupture with France, while they will task her means to the uttermost, and not improbably overthrow her personal dynasty!

[Footnote 25: On the 19th, Count Buol despatched an emissary, Baron Kellersberg, to Turin, with a summons to Sardinia to disarm, under the threat of immediate hostilities if she declined. Sardinia indignantly refused, whereupon the Austrian troops crossed the Ticino.]

[Pageheading: WAR IMMINENT]

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 26th April 1859.

MY DEAREST UNCLE,—I hardly know what to say, so confused and bewildered are we by the reports which come in three or four times a day! I have no hope of peace left. Though it is originally the wicked folly of Russia and France that have brought about this fearful crisis, it is the madness and blindness of Austria which have brought on the war now![26] It has put them in the wrong, and entirely changed the feeling here, which was all that one could desire, into the most vehement sympathy for Sardinia, though we hope now again to be able to throw the blame of the war on France, who now won't hear of mediation, while Austria is again inclined to do so!

It is a melancholy, sad Easter; but what grieves me the most (indeed, distracts me)—for I have had nothing but disappointments in that quarter since November—is that in all probability Vicky will be unable to come in May! It quite distracts me. You also must be very anxious about dear Charlotte; I hope she will not remain at Trieste, but go to Vienna. Her being in Italy is really not safe.... Now with kind loves to your children, ever your affectionate and devoted Niece,


[Footnote 26: Referring to an understanding reported to have been arrived at between France and Russia, the suspicion of which created great indignation in England. Prince Gortschakoff and the French Emperor, in answer to enquiries, gave conflicting explanations.]

The Earl of Derby to Queen Victoria.

ROEHAMPTON, 27th April 1859.

... Lord Derby has thought it necessary, in consequence of the attitude assumed by Russia, notwithstanding her assurances that there is nothing hostile to England in her secret treaty with France, to call upon Sir J. Pakington to say what addition could be made to the Channel Fleet within a period of two or three months, without weakening that in the Mediterranean. He has the honour of enclosing the answer, which he has just received by messenger. Lord Derby proposes to go up to Town to confer with Sir J. Pakington on this important subject to-morrow, and Lord Malmesbury has summoned a Cabinet for Friday to consider the general state of affairs.

France having absolutely refused the proffered mediation of England, and Austria having only accepted it under the condition of the disarmament of Sardinia, every effort to preserve the peace has been exhausted; and it only remains for this country to watch the course of events, to protect her own interests, and to look out for any opportunity which may offer to mediate between the contending parties. This policy, announced by Lord Derby in the City on Monday,[27] was received with unanimous approval. It will require a great deal to induce the country to be drawn into a war under any circumstances, and Lord Derby's anxious efforts will not be wanting to avoid it as long as possible.

[Footnote 27: He had there described Austria's action as hasty, precipitate, and (because involving warfare) criminal, but the Government would still (he added) strive to avert war, by urging Austria, under the Treaty of Paris, to invoke the mediation of the Powers. The Derby Government, however, were supposed to be giving encouragement to Austria. See Lord Derby's letter of the 2nd of June, post.]

[Pageheading: LORD DERBY'S POLICY]

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Derby.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 29th April 1859.

The Queen has read the last telegrams with much pain, as they show that there is no chance left of stopping war. Indeed she thinks, considering the progress of revolution in the Duchies, and the daily increase of military strength of France and financial exhaustion of Austria, that it would not be morally defensible to try to restrain Austria from defending herself while she still can.

Count Buol's proposal to continue negotiations during the fight sounds strange, but ought not to be altogether put aside. The King of Sardinia's assumption of the Government of Tuscany[28] and military occupation of Massa-Carrara form gross infractions of the Treaties of 1815 and international law, and can hardly be left without a protest from us.

Has Lord Derby heard that a Russian Fleet is expected soon to appear in the Black Sea? The Queen has just heard it from Berlin, where it is supposed to be certain, and it would explain Lord Cowley's report of (the Queen believes) Prince Napoleon's[29] account of the Russian engagements, which are admitted to contemplate a junction of the French and Russian Fleets to defend the Treaty closing the Dardanelles.

[Footnote 28: See ante, Introductory Note to Chapter XXVIII. The Duchy of Modena and the Grand Duchy of Tuscany were in revolution, and the Duchy of Parma soon followed their example.]

[Footnote 29: See post, 1st May, 1859, note 30.]

[Pageheading: FRANCE AND RUSSIA]

The Earl of Derby to Queen Victoria.

ROEHAMPTON, 1st May 1859. (Sunday night, 12 P.M.)

... Lord Derby entirely concurs in your Majesty's opinion that no credit is to be attached to the denials of the French or Russian Governments in regard to the engagements subsisting between them.[30] It is very easy to convey denials in terms which are literally true, but practically and in spirit false; and Lord Derby has no doubt but that France is well assured that in any case she may rely upon the tacit assistance, if not the active co-operation, of Russia; and that both Powers are using their utmost endeavours to excite troubles in the East, as well as in Italy, as the result of which France may gratify her cherished designs of ambition in the latter, while Russia carries on her projects of aggrandisement in the former. This is a lamentable state of affairs; but it is Lord Derby's duty to assure your Majesty that no Government which could be formed in this country could hope to carry public opinion with it in taking an active part, as matters now stand, in opposition to France and Russia, if in truth they are acting in concert, as Lord Derby believes that they are. All that can be done is to maintain the principle of strict neutrality in regard to the affairs of Italy, and probably of Montenegro also, though there is not sufficient evidence of facts in that case to justify a positive conclusion. But in the meantime everything shows more conclusively the absolute necessity for the increase of your Majesty's Naval Force,[31] which was determined at the Council yesterday, and respecting which it will be necessary, on the very first day of the meeting of the new Parliament, to call for an explicit expression of opinion.

Your Majesty enquires as to a supposed pledge given by the Emperor of the French as to a denial of any Treaty with Sardinia. So far as Lord Derby can recollect at this moment, there never was more than an assurance that so long as Austria remained within her own limits, he would not interfere; and that he would not support Sardinia, unless she were herself invaded in any unjustifiable attack on Austria; and there was also a denial in the Moniteur, to which your Majesty probably refers, of there having been any engagement entered into as a condition of the marriage.[32] These are just the denials to which Lord Derby has already adverted, which appear at first sight satisfactory, but which may be afterwards explained away, so as to escape the charge of absolute falsehood.

Lord Derby trusts that your Majesty will have understood, and excused, his absence from the Council on Saturday, in consequence of the misunderstanding as to the time appointed.

[Footnote 30: Lord Cowley, in a letter of the 29th of April to Lord Malmesbury, described an interview with the Emperor of the French, when the latter denied in terms the existence of a signed Treaty between France and Russia. But, as Lord Cowley added, there might be moral engagements which might easily lead to a more specific alliance.]

[Footnote 31: The Emperor had interrogated Lord Cowley as to this.]

[Footnote 32: In July 1858, the joint action of France and Sardinia had been concerted at the confidential interview at Plombieres, between the Emperor and Cavour, the former undertaking to assist Sardinia, under certain contingencies, against Austria. On the same occasion the marriage was suggested of the Princess Clothilde of Sardinia to the Prince Napoleon Joseph Paul, son of Prince Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte. An interesting account of the events of this time, and of the character and aims of Cavour, will be found in De la Gorce's Histoire du Second Empire; see especially vol. ii. book 14.]


Queen Victoria to the Earl of Malmesbury.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 3rd May 1859.

The Queen has carefully read the enclosed draft. She thinks that, without saying anything offensive to France,[33] this important document would not place matters before that Power in the world in accordance with the facts, and would lead to erroneous inferences if it left out altogether, as it does, any reference to the responsibility which France has had in bringing about the present state of affairs.... Austria and Sardinia are spoken of as the offenders, and blamed, not without sufficient ground, for the parts which they have respectively acted, and France is treated as if standing on a line with us in fostering civilisation, liberty, and peace. The inference would be that we forsake her in her noble course, and deserve again the name of "perfide Albion."

The Queen would ask Lord Malmesbury to consider this. For the sake of showing how she thinks the omissions dangerous to our position might be supplied, she has added some pencil remarks.

[Footnote 33: I.e., if the despatch were to abstain from reprobating the French policy.]


Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 3rd May 1859.

DEAREST UNCLE,—Many thanks for you dear, kind letter of the 30th. God knows we are in a sad mess. The rashness of the Austrians is indeed a great misfortune, for it has placed them in the wrong. Still there is one universal feeling of anger at the conduct of France, and of great suspicion. The Treaty with Russia is denied, but I am perfectly certain that there are engagements....

Here the Elections are not as satisfactory as could be wished, but the Government still think they will have a clear gain of 25 to 30 seats, which will make a difference of 50 or 60 votes on a Division. It gives unfortunately no majority; still, it must be remembered that the Opposition are very much divided, and not at all a compact body, which the supporters of the Government are.[34]

Lord John has been holding moderate and prudent language on Foreign Affairs, whereas Lord Palmerston has made bad and mischievous speeches, but not at all in accordance with the feelings of the country. The country wishes for strict neutrality, but strong defences, and we are making our Navy as strong as we can.

You ask me if Louis Oporto[35] is grown? He is, and his figure much improved. He is a good, kind, amiable boy whom one must like. He has sailed this morning with the Bridegroom, and on the 16th or 17th we may expect them back with the dear young Bride.

I venture to send you a letter I received some days ago from dear Vicky, and the religious tone of which I think will please you. May I beg you to return it me, as her letters are very valuable to me?...

We are well fagged and worked and worried; we return to Town to-morrow afternoon.

With kindest love to your children, ever your devoted Niece,


[Footnote 34: After their defeat on the 1st of April on the proposed Reform Bill, the Ministry had dissolved Parliament, and had gained in the elections twenty-five seats—not enough to counterbalance the Palmerstonian triumph of 1857. If, therefore, the various sections of the Liberal Party could unite, the displacement of the Derby Government was inevitable. Such a combination was, in fact, arranged at a meeting at Willis's Rooms organised by Lord Palmerston, Lord John Russell, Mr Bright and Mr Sidney Herbert.]

[Footnote 35: Brother and successor of King Pedro V. of Portugal, and father of King Carlos. The King had married in May 1858 the Duchess Stephanie (born 1837), daughter of Prince Antoine of Hohenzollern.]

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.


MY DEAREST UNCLE,—I write to-day instead of to-morrow to profit by the return of your messenger. Many, many thanks for your dear letter of the 6th. What are the Austrians about? They would not wait when they ought to have done so, and now that they should have long ago made a rush and an attack with their overwhelming force, they do nothing! nothing since the 30th! leaving the French to become stronger and more fit for the struggle every day!! It is indeed distracting, and most difficult to understand them or do anything for them. The Emperor leaves Paris for Genoa to-morrow. It is not true that the Empress was so warlike; Lord Cowley says, on the contrary, she is very unhappy about it, and that the Emperor himself is low and altered. Old Vaillant goes with him as General-Major.... Ever your devoted Niece,



The Earl of Malmesbury to Queen Victoria.

15th May 1859.

The Earl of Malmesbury presents his humble duty to the Queen, and has the honour to inform your Majesty that Count de Persigny[36] called on him yesterday. He passed an hour in attempting to prove what it seems he really believes himself—that the Emperor had no plan or even intention to make war in Italy; that His Imperial Majesty was drawn into it step by step by M. de Cavour, who finally menaced to publish his most confidential correspondence, etc.; that his army was totally unprepared, and is now in a very imperfect state, and that he himself was overcome with surprise and fear when he learnt in the middle of last month that the Austrians had 120,000 men on the Ticino.[37] The Emperor, however, now believes that he will easily gain a couple of victories, and that when he has rejete les Autrichiens dans leur taniere (by which he means their great fortresses), he will return to govern at Paris, and leave a Marshal to carry on the sieges and the war. M. de Persigny's letters of appointment are not yet signed, and must go to Italy to be so. He stated that a week ago he was named Minister of Foreign Affairs, and that Fould,[38] Walewski, and others were to be dismissed, but that two days before the Emperor's departure Madame Walewska[39] and the Empress had on their knees obtained a reprieve, and that M. de Persigny was ordered to come here sans raisonner...

[Footnote 36: Who had been re-appointed to London, where Marshal Pelissier, Duc de Malakhoff, had replaced him in 1858. See ante, 23rd March, 1858. Both Malakhoff and Walewski were out of sympathy with the Emperor's present policy.]

[Footnote 37: Sir James Hudson, in a letter written at Turin on the 28th of February, and shown to Queen Victoria, described an interview with Cavour, who, in answer to the direct question, "Do you mean to attack Austria?" replied that the Italian question was becoming so complex that it was impossible to say what might happen. Sir J. Hudson added that he had learned confidentially that the understanding on the same subject between Cavour and the Emperor Napoleon was complete, and that it had been expressed thus: "Non seulement nous prendrons la premiere occasion de faire la guerre a l'Autriche, mais nous chercherons un pretexte."]

[Footnote 38: Achille Fould, a Jewish banker, was a colleague of Walewski, though not a loyal one, in the French Government.]

[Footnote 39: Madame Walewska was a Florentine by birth, descended on her mother's side from the princely family of Poniatowski.]


Queen Victoria to the Earl of Malmesbury.


The Queen was much surprised to receive the enclosed telegram. An alliance with Russia to localise and arrest the war by joint interference, which is here proposed to Russia, is a policy to which the Queen has not given her sanction, and which would require very mature deliberation before it could ever be entertained. The Queen is much afraid of these telegraphic short messages on principles of policy, and would beg Lord Malmesbury to be most cautious as they may lead us into difficulties without the possibility of previous consideration. How can we propose to join Russia, whom we know to be pledged to France? The Queen hopes Lord Malmesbury will stop the communication of this message, to Prince Gortschakoff.[40]

[Footnote 40: A telegram had been received from St Petersburg, saying that Prince Gortschakoff entirely coincided with Lord Malmesbury's views as to localising the war; and Lord Malmesbury had proposed to send a telegraphic reply containing the words: "We are anxious to unite with Russia, not only in localising the war, but in arresting it."]

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Derby.

OSBORNE, 22nd May 1859.

In answer to Lord Derby's letter of yesterday referring to the importance of concerting with Russia the best modes of preventing the extension of the war, the Queen wishes merely to observe: That Russia has acknowledged her desire to see the Austrians defeated, and her indifference to the maintenance of the Treaties of 1815; France wages war to drive the Austrians out of Italy, wresting from them the Italian provinces secured to them by those treaties; and that the Queen has declared from the Throne her adhesion to these treaties to which Parliament unanimously responded. France and Russia may therefore have an interest, and indeed must have one, in not being disturbed in any way in the prosecution of their Italian scheme. England can have no such interest. If France prove successful, the territorial arrangements of Europe, in which England has found safety, and which she helped to establish in order to obtain safety against France after a war of twenty years' duration, will be subverted, and she herself may some day (perhaps soon) have her own safety imperilled. The Saxon provinces of Prussia will be in much greater danger when France shall have destroyed Austria in Italy and ruined her at home, than while the latter remains a powerful member of the German Confederation. What the Queen is naturally anxious to guard against is our being drawn by degrees into playing the game of those who have produced the present disturbance, and whose ulterior views are very naturally and very wisely by them concealed from us. The Queen is glad to hear that the telegram in question was not sent, having been alarmed by its being marked as having been despatched "at noon" on the 20th. The Queen wishes Lord Derby to show this letter to Lord Malmesbury.


Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

OSBORNE, 25th May 1859.

DEAREST UNCLE,—Thousand thanks for your dear kind letter and good wishes for my old birthday, and for your other dear letter of the 21st. Albert, who writes to you, will tell you how dreadfully our great, great happiness to have dearest Vicky, flourishing and so well and gay with us, was on Monday and a good deal too yesterday, clouded over and spoilt by the dreadful anxiety we were in about dearest Mamma. Thank God! to-day I feel another being—for we know she is "in a satisfactory state," and improving in every respect, but I am thoroughly shaken and upset by this awful shock; for it came on so suddenly—that it came like a thunderbolt upon us, and I think I never suffered as I did those four dreadful hours till we heard she was better! I hardly myself knew how I loved her, or how my whole existence seems bound up with her—till I saw looming in the distance the fearful possibility of what I will not mention. She was actually packing up to start for here! How I missed her yesterday I cannot say, or how gloomy my poor birthday on first getting up appeared I cannot say. However, that is passed—and please God we shall see her, with care, restored to her usual health ere long. I trust, dearest Uncle, you are quite well now—and that affairs will not prevent you from coming to see us next month?

Dear Vicky is now a most dear, charming companion—and so embellie!

I must end, having so much to write. Ever your devoted Niece,


I shall write again to-morrow or next day how dear Mamma is.

[Pageheader: THE QUEEN'S SPEECH]

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Derby.


The Queen takes objection to the wording of the two paragraphs[41] about the war and our armaments. As it stands, it conveys the impression of a determination on the Queen's part of maintaining a neutrality—a tout prix—whatever circumstances may arise, which would do harm abroad, and be inconvenient at home.[42] What the Queen may express is her wish to remain neutral, and her hope that circumstances will allow her to do so. The paragraph about the Navy[43] as it stands makes our position still more humble, as it contains a public apology for arming, and yet betrays fear of our being attacked by France.

The Queen suggests two amended forms for these passages, in which she has taken pains to preserve Lord Derby's words as far as is possible, with an avoidance of the objections before stated.

"Those endeavours have unhappily failed, and war has been declared between France and Sardinia on one side, and Austria on the other. I continue to receive at the same time assurances of friendship from both contending parties. It being my anxious desire to preserve to my people the blessing of uninterrupted peace, I trust in God's assistance to enable me to maintain a strict and impartial neutrality."

"Considering, however, the present state of Europe, and the complications which a war, carried on by some of its great Powers, may produce, I have deemed it necessary, for the security of my dominions and the honour of my Crown, to increase my Naval Forces to an amount exceeding that which has been sanctioned by Parliament."

[Footnote 41: In the Speech to be delivered by the Queen at the opening of Parliament on the 7th of June.]

[Footnote 42: The passage originally ran: "Receiving assurances of friendship from both the contending parties, I intend to maintain a strict and impartial neutrality, and I hope, with God's assistance, to preserve to my people the blessing of continued peace."]

[Footnote 43: The passage originally ran: "I have, however, deemed it necessary, in the present state of Europe, with no object of aggression, but for the security of my dominions, and for the honour of my Crown, to increase my Naval Forces to an amount exceeding that which has been sanctioned by Parliament."]


[Pageheader: THE NAVY]


The Earl of Derby to Queen Victoria.

DOWNING STREET, 2nd June 1859.

Lord Derby, with his humble duty, submits to your Majesty that he has most anxiously, and with every desire to meet your Majesty's wishes, reflected upon the effect of the alterations suggested by your Majesty in the proposed Speech from the Throne. He has considered the consequences involved so serious that he has thought it right to confer upon the subject with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, as Leader of the House of Commons; and it is a duty which he owes to your Majesty not to withhold the expression of their clear and unhesitating conviction. Lord Derby trusts that your Majesty will forgive the frankness with which, in the accompanying observations, he feels it necessary to submit to your Majesty the grounds for the view which they are compelled to take.

The first paragraph to which your Majesty takes exception is that which intimates your Majesty's "intention" to maintain a strict and impartial neutrality, and "hope" to be enabled to preserve peace. Your Majesty apprehends that this may be interpreted into a determination to preserve neutrality a tout prix; but Lord Derby would venture to observe that such an inference is negatived by the subsequent words, which only imply a "hope" of preserving peace. With the cessation of that hope, neutrality would necessarily terminate. But as matters stand at present, Lord Derby is warranted in assuring your Majesty that if there is one subject on which more than another the mind of the country is unanimous, it is that of an entire abstinence from participation in the struggle now going on in Italy. He collects this from the language of politicians of almost every class, from all the public papers, from Addresses and Memorials which he receives every day—some urging, and some congratulating him upon the adoption of a perfectly neutral policy. The sympathies of the country are neither with France nor with Austria, but were it not for the intervention of France, they would be general in favour of Italy. The charge now made against your Majesty's servants, by the opposition Press, as the Morning Post and Daily News, is that their neutrality covers such wishes and designs in favour of Austria; and any word in your Majesty's Speech which should imply a doubt of the continuance of strict impartiality, would, undoubtedly, provoke a hostile Amendment, which might very possibly be carried in the Sardinian sense, and which, if so carried, would place your Majesty in the painful position of having to select an Administration, pledged against the interests of Austria and of Germany. Lord Derby says nothing of the personal results to your Majesty's present servants, because, in such cases, personal considerations ought not to be allowed to prevail; and it is in the interest of the country only, and even of the very cause which your Majesty desires to uphold, that he earnestly trusts that your Majesty will not require any alteration in this part of the Speech. There is, at this moment, in the country, a great jealousy and suspicion of France, and of her ulterior designs—as indicated by the demand of means of defence, the formation of Volunteer Corps, etc.—but it is neutralised, partly by sympathy for Italy, partly by suspicions, industriously circulated, of the pro-Austrian tendencies of the present Government. It is very important that the language of the Speech should be so decided as to negative this impression, and Lord Derby cannot but feel that if neutrality be spoken of not as a thing decided upon, but which, it is hoped, may be maintained, such language will be taken to intimate the expectation of the Government that it may, at no distant time, be departed from. In Lord Derby's humble opinion Peace should be spoken of as subject to doubt, because, out of the present struggle, complications may arise which may necessarily involve us in war; but neutrality, as between the present belligerents, should be a matter open to no doubt or question. If there be no attempt made to run counter to public opinion, and Austria should sustain serious reverses, the jealousy of France will increase, and the feeling of the country will support your Majesty in a war, should such arise, against her aggression; but if the slightest pretext be afforded for doubting the bona fide character of British neutrality, or the firm determination to maintain it, an anti-German feeling will be excited, which will be fatal to the Administration, and seriously embarrassing to your Majesty.

The same observations apply, with hardly less force, to part of the Amendment suggested by your Majesty to the paragraph regarding the Navy. With submission to your Majesty, Lord Derby can hardly look upon it as humiliating to a great country, in announcing a large increase of its Naval Force, to disclaim any object of aggression. These words, however, might, if your Majesty were so pleased, be omitted, though Lord Derby cannot go so far as to say that in his humble judgment the omission would be an improvement; but he trusts that your Majesty will be satisfied with a general reference to the "state of Europe" without speaking of the "complications which a war carried on by some of the Great Powers may produce." These words would infallibly lead to a demand for explanation, and for a statement of the nature of the "complications" which the Government foresaw as likely to lead to war. In humbly tendering to your Majesty his most earnest advice that your Majesty will not insist on the proposed Amendments in his Draft Speech, he believes that he may assure your Majesty that he is expressing the unanimous opinion of his Colleagues. Of their sentiments your Majesty may judge by the fact that in the original draft he had spoken of your Majesty's "intention" to preserve peace "as long as it might be possible"; but by universal concurrence these latter words were struck out, and the "hope" was, instead of them, substituted for the "intention." Should your Majesty, however, be pleased so to order, Lord Derby will immediately submit the question to the consideration of his Colleagues, in order that your Majesty may be put, in the most authentic form, in possession of their views. He assures your Majesty that nothing can be more repugnant to his feelings than to appear to offer objections to any suggestions emanating from your Majesty; and he has only been induced to do so upon the present occasion by the deep conviction which he entertains of the danger attending the course proposed, and the serious embarrassments which it would cause your Majesty. He regrets more especially having been compelled to take this step at a moment when your Majesty's thoughts are very differently engaged, and when it may be doubly irksome to have matters of public business pressed upon your Majesty's consideration.

The above is humbly submitted by your Majesty's most dutiful Servant and Subject,


Queen Victoria to the Earl of Derby.


The Queen has received Lord Derby's answer to her observations on the proposed Speech. There is in fact no difference of opinion between her and Lord Derby; the latter only keeps in view the effect which certain words will have in Parliament and upon the country, whilst she looks to the effect they will produce upon the European conflict. If the Queen were not obliged to speak, both positions might be well reconciled; but if what she is going to declare from the Throne is to allay suspicions purposely raised by the Opposition against the Government that they intended to take part at some moment or other in the war, and is to give absolute security to the country against this contingency, this will be the very thing France would wish to bring about in order to ensure to her the fullest liberty in prosecuting her schemes for disturbing and altering the territorial state of Europe. How is this impression to be avoided? Lord Derby thinks that the expression of "hope" to be able to preserve peace to this country is a sufficient indication that this country reserves to herself still a certain liberty of action; but the Queen would have interpreted it rather as the expression of a hope, that we may not be attacked, particularly when followed by the sentence in which all intention of aggression is disclaimed, and that our armaments are merely meant for defence. The sense would then appear as this: "As the belligerents separately assure me of their friendship, I am determined to maintain a strict neutrality between them, and hope they may not change their minds, and attack me; I arm, but merely to defend myself if attacked." This would abdicate on the part of this country her position as one of the arbiters of Europe, declare her indifference to treaties or the balance of power (which are, in fact, of the greatest value to her), and would preclude her from any action to preserve them. The Queen fully enters into the Parliamentary difficulty, and would deprecate nothing more than to expose the Government to a defeat on an Amendment which would lead to the formation of a new Government on the principle of neutrality a tout prix imposed by Parliament on the Crown.

It will be for Lord Derby and his colleagues to consider how far they may be able to avoid this danger without exposing themselves to that pointed out by the Queen. She puts herself entirely in his hands, and had suggested the verbal amendments merely with a view to indicate the nature of the difficulty which had struck her. Whatever decision Lord Derby may on further reflection come to, the Queen is prepared to accept.[44]

[Footnote 44: Ultimately the Cabinet recommended the modification of the declaration of neutrality by the insertion of the words "between them"; so as to run: "I intend to maintain between them a strict and impartial neutrality," etc.; and in the second paragraph proposed to omit the words "with no object of aggression, but"—and adopting the form of the Queen's paragraph, but omitting the words referring to possible complications, to leave it thus: "Considering, however, the present state of Europe, I have deemed it necessary for the security of my Dominions," etc.]


Queen Victoria to the Earl of Malmesbury.


The Queen has read Lord Cowley's letter with regret. Nothing could be more dangerous and unwise than at this moment to enter into negotiations with Russia on the best manner of disposing of the Emperor of Austria's dominions. The Queen cannot understand how Lord Cowley can propose anything so indefensible in a moral point of view.


Mr Disraeli to Queen Victoria.

HOUSE OF COMMONS [? 7th June 1859.] (Tuesday, quarter-past eight o'clock.)

The Chancellor of the Exchequer with his humble duty to your Majesty.

Lord Hartington[45] spoke like a gentleman; was badly seconded.

Chancellor of Exchequer rose immediately at six o'clock, and is just down. The House very full, and very enthusiastic.

The Chancellor of Exchequer presumes to say he thinks he satisfied his friends.[46]

[Footnote 45: Lord Hartington, afterwards eighth Duke of Devonshire, moved an Amendment to the Address, expressing a want of confidence in the Ministry.]

[Footnote 46: He flung his taunts right and left at the now united Opposition, and was especially bitter against Sir James Graham. Referring to the Liberal meeting on the 6th, Mr Disraeli reminded the House that Willis's Rooms had, as Almack's, formerly been maintained by fashionable patronesses. "The distinguished assemblies that met within those walls were controlled by a due admixture of dowagers and youthful beauties—young reputations and worn celebrities—and it was the object of all social ambition to enter there. Now Willis's Rooms are under the direction of patrons, and there are two of these patrons below the gangway" (indicating Lord John Russell and Mr Sidney Herbert). In regard to its Foreign Policy, he said the Government should not be condemned without direct documentary evidence. Lord Malmesbury has since deplored Mr Disraeli's neglect to produce the Blue Book with the correspondence relating to the affairs of Italy and Austria, and stated that, had he laid it on the table, the debate would have ended differently (Memoirs of an Ex-Minister, vol. ii. p. 188).]

The Earl of Derby to Queen Victoria.

ST JAMES'S SQUARE, 10th June 1859.

Lord Derby, with his humble duty, submits to your Majesty that the tone of the Government Agents in the House of Commons is less sanguine to-day than it was yesterday with regard to the issue of the Debate to-night. There are no actual changes announced of votes, but the tone of the Opposition is more confident; and when an opinion begins to prevail that the Government are likely to be in a minority, it often realises itself by the effect which it produces on waverers and lukewarm supporters. The Division will certainly take place to-night; and, without absolutely anticipating failure, Lord Derby cannot conceal from your Majesty that he considers the situation very critical. Mr Gladstone expressed privately his opinion last night that, even if successful on the present occasion, the Government could not possibly go on, which does not look like an intention, on the part of the Liberal Party, of considering the present division as decisive.[47]...

[Footnote 47: The rest of the letter relates to the distribution of honours to the outgoing Ministers.]

Mr Disraeli to Queen Victoria.

HOUSE OF COMMONS, 11th June 1859. (Saturday morning, half-past two o'clock.)

The Chancellor of the Exchequer with his humble duty to your Majesty:

For the Amendment 323 For the Address 310 —- Majority against your Majesty's servants 13 —-


Queen Victoria to the Earl of Derby.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 11th June 1859.

The Queen was very much grieved to receive Mr Disraeli's report of the division of yesterday, although she was fully prepared for this event.

She did not answer Lord Derby's letter of yesterday in order not to anticipate it. Now that the fate of the Government is decided, she is prepared to grant those favours and acknowledgments of service for which Lord Derby asked in his letter. The Queen could not reconcile it with her own feelings, however, were she to omit this opportunity, when Lord Derby for the second time resigns the post of her Prime Minister, of giving to him personally a public mark of her approbation of his services. The Queen therefore asks him to accept the Garter from her hands.

As the Queen holds a Drawing-room to-day, and receives the City Address after it, Lord Derby will be aware how little time she has this morning (being naturally anxious to have some conversation with him with as little delay as possible); she would ask him to come here either at half-past eleven or half-past twelve o'clock.

The Earl of Derby to Queen Victoria.

ST JAMES'S SQUARE, 11th June 1859.

Lord Derby, with his humble duty, submits to your Majesty the expression of his deep gratitude for your Majesty's most gracious note this moment received, and for the terms in which your Majesty has been pleased to speak of his very imperfect services. He gratefully accepts the honour which your Majesty has been pleased to confer upon him as a mark of your Majesty's personal favour. As a Minister, he could never have advised your Majesty to bestow it upon him, and he could not have accepted it on the recommendation of any Government to which he was politically opposed; but as a spontaneous act of your Majesty, it acquires in his eyes a value which nothing else could have given to it. Lord Derby is this moment going down to the Cabinet, as a matter of form, and will obey your Majesty's commands as soon as possible after half-past eleven, when he will have an opportunity of expressing in person his deep sense of your Majesty's goodness, and his entire devotedness, in whatever situation he may be placed, to your Majesty's service.


Memorandum by Earl Granville.

[Undated. 11th June 1859.]

I waited at four o'clock this afternoon[48] upon the Queen by Her Majesty's gracious commands. The Queen was pleased to remark upon the importance of the present crisis. Her Majesty informed me that Lord Derby had resigned, and that she had sent for me to desire that I should attempt to form another Administration, which Her Majesty wished should be strong and comprehensive. I respectfully assured the Queen that Her Majesty's commands came upon me by surprise; that at any time I felt my own insufficiency for such a post, and that at this time there were special difficulties; that I believed the only two persons who could form a strong Liberal Government were either Lord Palmerston or Lord John Russell; and that, although it had sometimes happened that two statesmen of equal pretensions preferred having a nominal chief to serving under one another, I did not believe that this was the case now. I said that I had reason to believe that Lords Palmerston and John Russell were ready to co-operate with one another, while I doubted whether either would consent to serve under a younger man of such small pretensions as myself.

The Queen in reply informed me that her first thoughts had been turned to Lord Palmerston and Lord John Russell, that they had both served her long and faithfully, and that Her Majesty felt it to be an invidious task to select one of the two. Her Majesty was also of opinion that as different sections of the Liberal Party were more or less represented by each, it might be more easy for the Party to act together under a third person. Her Majesty added that she had selected me as the Leader of the Liberal Party in the House of Lords, and a person in whom both Lord Palmerston and Lord John Russell had been in the habit of placing confidence, and she expressed her confident hope that their attachment to herself would induce them to yield that assistance without which it would be difficult to form a strong and comprehensive Government.

I proceeded to state some of the most salient difficulties of the task, and asked Her Majesty's permission to ascertain by negotiation what it would be possible to do.

Her Majesty informed me that Her Majesty's experience of former changes of administration had taught her that the construction of an administration had failed when the person entrusted with the task had acted merely as a negotiator, and that the success of other attempts had been owing to the acceptance of the charge by the person for whom she had sent. Her Majesty laid Her Majesty's commands upon me to make the attempt, and I had the honour of conveying two letters from Her Majesty to Lord Palmerston and Lord John Russell, stating that Her Majesty relied upon their assistance.

[Footnote 48: The 11th of June.]

[Pageheading: THE RIVAL LEADERS]

Queen Victoria to {Viscount Palmerston. {Lord John Russell.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 11th June 1859.

The Queen gives these lines to Lord Granville, whom she has entrusted with the task of forming an administration on the resignation of Lord Derby. She has selected him as the Leader of the Liberal Party in the House of Lords. She feels that it is of the greatest importance that both Lord Palmerston and Lord John Russell should lend their services to the Crown and country in the present anxious circumstances, and thought at the same time that they might do so most agreeably to their own feelings by acting under a third person. They having both served the Queen long and faithfully as her First Minister, she must not conceal from Lord Palmerston (John Russell) that it is a great relief to her feelings not to have to make the choice of one of them, and she trusts that they will feel no difficulty to co-operate with one in whom they have both been in the habit of placing confidence. From the long experience the Queen has had of Lord Palmerston's (John Russell's) loyal attachment to her and the service of the Crown, she feels confident she may rely on Lord Palmerston's (John Russell's) hearty assistance.[49]

[Footnote 49: In reply, Lord Palmerston (in a letter printed in Ashley's Life of Lord Palmerston, vol. ii. p. 155) accepted his responsibility for uniting with others to overthrow the Derby Ministry, and undertook to serve under either Lord John Russell or Lord Granville, but stipulated that any Government he joined must be an efficient and representative one.]


Earl Granville to Queen Victoria.

BRUTON STREET, 12th June 1859. (2 A.M.)

Lord Granville presents his humble duty to your Majesty, and begs to submit that he saw Lord Palmerston immediately after he had left Buckingham Palace. Lord Granville stated what had passed there, omitting any reference to your Majesty's objection to the effect likely to be produced on the Continent by Lord Palmerston's name, if he had the direction of the Foreign Affairs. Nothing could be more frank and cordial than Lord Palmerston's manner. He agreed to lead the House of Commons; he said that he had certainly anticipated that your Majesty would have sent for either Lord John or himself, but having taken a part in the defeat of the present Government, he felt bound to put aside any personal objects, and co-operate with me; and that there was no person whom he should prefer or even like as much as myself. He added that his co-operation must depend upon my being able to form a strong Government. Lord Granville then saw Lord John Russell, and had a very long conversation with him. Lord John had no objection to serving under Lord Granville, but thought that he could not give effect to his political views unless he was either Prime Minister or Leader of the House of Commons, and he doubted whether he had confidence in any one but Lord Palmerston for the Foreign Office. Lord Granville again saw Lord Palmerston, who informed him that if he had been sent for, he should have objected to go to the House of Lords, and that he could not now give up the lead of the House of Commons (which Lord Granville had already proposed to him to retain) to Lord John. This answer rendered it unnecessary for Lord Granville to allude to the objections to his holding the Foreign Office. Lord Granville has seen Lord Clarendon, who acted up to the full spirit of your Majesty's letter, but deprecates strongly the attempt to form a Government without Lord John Russell. Sir George Grey is of the same opinion. Sir George Lewis, Mr Herbert, and Mr Gladstone think every effort should be made to secure Lord John, but that it would not be impossible to form a Government without him. Mr Milner Gibson, with whom Lord Granville had a more reserved conversation, considered it a sine qua non condition of support from the Liberal Party below the gangway, that Lord John should be a member of the Government. Lord Granville thinks that in his third interview with Lord Palmerston he observed more dissatisfaction at not being sent for by your Majesty. Lord Palmerston suggested that Lord John's absence from the Government would make it more difficult for a Leader of the House, who was not Prime Minister, to hold his position.

Lord Granville has written to Lord John asking for a final answer before he informs your Majesty, whether he is able to attempt the task which your Majesty has with so much kindness and indulgence laid upon him.[50]

[Footnote 50: This letter, and Lord John's reply declining to occupy only the third office in the State, and expressing his anxiety for adequate security in the handling of Foreign Affairs and Reform, are printed in Walpole's Life of Lord John Russell, vol. ii. chap. xxvii.

Lord Granville then wrote to Lord John: "I am glad that I wrote to you yesterday evening, as your answer gave me information which I had not gathered from your conversation in the morning. I came away from Chesham Place with the impression that union between you and Palmerston with or without me was impossible. Your letter afforded a good opportunity of arrangement. As soon as I found by it that I was an obstacle instead of a facility towards the formation of a strong Government. I went to the Queen to ask her to excuse me from the task which she had so unexpectedly and so graciously imposed upon me. In answer to a question, I stated to Her Majesty that it was disagreeable to me to advise as to which of you and Palmerston she should send for, but that I was ready to do so if it was her wish.

"The Queen did not press me. It is a great relief to have finished this business. I have asked Palmerston to do whatever would strengthen the Government, and assist him the most as regards myself."]


Queen Victoria to the Earl of Derby.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 12th June 1859.

The Queen writes to inform Lord Derby that after a fruitless attempt on the part of Lord Granville to form a Government comprising Lord Palmerston and Lord John Russell, she has now charged Lord Palmerston with the task, which she trusts may prove more successful....

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria.

94 PICCADILLY, 12th June 1859.

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your Majesty, and begs to report that he has been to Pembroke Lodge, and has had a satisfactory conversation with Lord John Russell, who has agreed to be a Member of the Government without any suggestion that Viscount Palmerston should leave the House of Commons; but Viscount Palmerston is sorry to say that Lord John Russell laid claim to the Foreign Office in a manner which rendered it impossible for Viscount Palmerston to decline to submit his name to your Majesty for that post when the List of the new Government shall be made out for your Majesty's consideration and approval....

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston.

13th June 1859.

Lord Clarendon has just left the Queen. She had a long and full conversation with him. Nothing could be more friendly than his language, and he expressed himself ready to do anything for the Queen's service. But he positively declines entering the Cabinet or taking any other office. He says, as Foreign Secretary, he should be ready to join the Government should there be a vacancy; but that he has never directed his attention much to general politics, and his taking any other office, after having held the Foreign Seals during a long and important time, would be of no use to the Government, and would only injure himself. The Queen told him that he might have any office almost (naming several of those which Lord Palmerston discussed with her), but she could not urge nor press him to do what he felt would injure him, and indeed she found him quite determined in his purpose.

His absence from the Cabinet the Queen sincerely deplores, and she knows that Lord Palmerston will feel it a serious loss.


Queen Victoria to Earl Granville.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 13th June 1859.

The Queen is much shocked to find her whole conversation with Lord Granville yesterday and the day before detailed in this morning's leading article of the Times.[51] What passes between her and a Minister in her own room in confidential intercourse ought to be sacred, and it will be evident to Lord Granville that if it were not so, the Queen would be precluded from treating her Ministers with that unreserved confidence which can alone render a thorough understanding possible; moreover, any Minister could state what he pleased, against which the Queen would have no protection, as she could not well insert contradictions or explanations in the newspapers herself.

[Footnote 51: A circumstantial account of the Queen's conversation with Lord Granville had appeared in the Times, and Lord Derby drew attention to the matter in the House of Lords. Lord Granville in reply expressed his regret in not having used more complete reserve, and frankly attributed the disclosures to his non-observance of adequate discretion.]

Earl Granville to Queen Victoria.

LONDON, 13th June 1859.

Lord Granville presents his humble duty to your Majesty, and feels deeply your Majesty's reproof.

Lord Granville was extremely annoyed this morning at seeing the article in the Times of to-day, repeating with some accuracy, but in a vulgar, inflated manner, the account which Lord Granville gave yesterday afternoon to many of his political friends, and which he believed your Majesty had authorised him to do. Lord Granville in that account laid much stress on the reasons which your Majesty gave for sending for Lord Granville, as he found that attempts had been made to attribute every sort of motive which might render the Court unpopular.

Besides the gross impropriety of the appearance of reporting your Majesty's conversation, Lord Granville regrets the indirect attack upon Lord John Russell.

Lord Granville begs respectfully to express to your Majesty his vexation at the annoyance, which he has thus been the cause of inflicting on your Majesty, particularly at a moment when your Majesty had just given him an additional proof of the indulgent kindness and confidence which your Majesty has been pleased to place in him.

[Pageheading: MR COBDEN]

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria.

94 PICCADILLY, 1st July 1859.

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your Majesty, and has been unable till within the last few minutes to make any Report about Mr Cobden, from whom he had received no communication till about an hour ago, when Mr Cobden came to him.[52] The result of a long conversation between them has been that Mr Cobden, against the advice of all his friends and of his constituents, has decided to decline taking office. He grounds his decision upon feelings personal to himself. He thinks that after having so often and so strongly disapproved of the Foreign Policy of Viscount Palmerston as tending too much to involve this country in war, it would be inconsistent for him to join the present Cabinet, and he also said that, at his time of life and with his general habits, he does not consider himself fit for administrative office.

Viscount Palmerston used every [means] in his power to induce him to change his decision, and showed that, with respect to present and future action, there is no apparent difference between his views and those of Mr Cobden, since both would desire that this country should remain neutral in the war now raging in Italy. All his arguments, however, were useless, and though Mr Cobden discussed the matter in the most friendly and good-humoured manner, and promised to give out of office all support to the Government, and said that he thought he could do so more effectually out of office than in office, he could not be persuaded to make any change in the answer which he came to give.

Viscount Palmerston will consider what arrangement he may have to propose to your Majesty in consequence of Mr Cobden's answer.

[Footnote 52: Mr Cobden had been visiting the United States. On landing at Liverpool he learned that he had been elected at Rochdale, and at the same time he received an offer of the Board of Trade.]

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