The Letters of Queen Victoria, Volume III (of 3), 1854-1861
by Queen of Great Britain Victoria
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[Footnote 50: Henry Phillpotts, who was Bishop from 1830 to 1869.]

[Footnote 51: The Hon. Henry Montagu Villiers, who was transferred to Durham.]

[Footnote 52: George Murray, who had died in the previous February.]

[Footnote 53: For a considerable period, during 1859, discreditable scenes of brawling took place at this Church as a protest against the High Church practices of the Rector, the Rev. Bryan King.]

[Pageheading: AFFAIRS OF NAPLES]

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 4th December 1860.

MY BELOVED UNCLE,—I have to thank you for another dear letter of the 29th. I trust that you have received both mine now. We expect the Empress at half-past one, and I will certainly give her your message. She is very amiable, and one must like her. There seems to be no doubt that there were many scenes, partly about the Pope, and also on account of her sister's funeral; she was so angry with Fould about it that she insisted on his dismissal.[54] Then the Priests are said to try and work upon her, and say that her son will die if the Emperor continues dans cette voie against the Pope.

We saw Mr Elliot[55] from Naples yesterday, who has always been very fair. He says that if, when the King came to the Throne, he had only insisted on the laws of the country being properly carried out, no reforms or change in the Constitution would have been necessary—but from the want of energy, and also no strength of intellect and great indecision of character of the poor King, as well as an unfortunate Pietaet for the memory of his father, nothing right was done; bad counsellors surrounded him, the Queen Mother had a bad influence, and finally everything was given up as lost—when it might yet have been prevented. They dislike extremely being annexed, but prefer it to having back the former state of things.

We have since ten or twelve days almost incessant rain, so that we shall soon be on an island. This is the more distressing as we can't go to Osborne at present—there being a sort of epidemic fever which the doctors declare is in the air and that it would be running too great a risk if we went. But we have perpetual sunshine in the house when we look at our dear young lovers, who are so happy, so devoted to each other, that it does one good to see it; he is so modest and unassuming that we feel as if he was one of our own children; and he is so good and amiable, has such an open honest character, such a warm heart, such high principles, and is withal so merry and aufgeweckt that I feel we have gained a son and shall not lose a daughter—for we shall be able to have them a good deal with us, Louis not having any duties to detain him much at home at present. I can't say what happiness and comfort it is to me. I feel my dear child will first of all have a peaceful, quiet, happy home, without difficulties—and secondly, that she will not be entirely cut off from us and monopolised as our poor Vicky is.

I add a few lines since we have seen the Empress. She came at half-past one, and stayed till a little after three. She looked very pretty, but very sad—and in speaking of her health and of her return from Algiers began to cry. She seems to be much better, however, for her journey; before she could neither eat nor sleep, nor would she take notice of anything. She never mentioned the Emperor but once when she offered his compliments, and there was not the slightest allusion to politics. It is altogether very strange. She remains another week in England, and then goes back as she came. I gave her your message, and she enquired after you. Ever your devoted Niece,


[Footnote 54: See ante, 15th May, 1859, note 38.]

[Footnote 55: See ante, 17th July, 1859, note 62.]


Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

Windsor Castle, 11th December 1860.

MY BELOVED UNCLE,—I have to thank you for two most kind letters of the 4th and 7th. Your kind interest in our dear child's happiness—your approval of this marriage of our dear Alice, which, I cannot deny, has been for long an ardent wish of mine, and just therefore I feared so much it never would come to pass, gives us the greatest pleasure. Now—that all has been so happily settled, and that I find the young man so very charming—my joy, and my deep gratitude to God are very great! He is so loveable, so very young, and like one of our own children—not the least in the way—but a dear, pleasant, bright companion, full of fun and spirits, and I am sure will be a great comfort to us, besides being an excellent husband to our dear, good Alice, who, though radiant with joy and much in love (which well she may be), is as quiet and sensible as possible.

The Empress is still here, and enjoys her liberty of all things. We went to town for the Smithfield Cattle Show yesterday, and visited her at Claridge's Hotel. She very civilly wanted us to avoid the trouble, but we felt that it would not be civil if we did not, and that hereafter even the French might say that she had not been treated with due respect. She looked very pretty, and was in very good spirits, but again carefully avoided any allusion to her husband and to politics, though she talked a great deal about all she was seeing!...

I must now wish you good-bye. Ever your devoted Niece,




Early in 1861—a year destined to close in sorrow and desolation—Queen Victoria experienced a heavy grief in the death of her mother, the Duchess of Kent, at the age of seventy-four.

In January, fresh overtures were made to Lord Palmerston by the Conservative leaders, with a view of supporting him in office against the dissentients in his Ministry, especially Lord John Russell and Mr Gladstone, whose views on the questions of Reform and National Defence respectively were opposed to those of the Premier. Lord Palmerston was indifferent to the support of Mr Gladstone; but a unity of view on the Italian policy of the Government held the three Liberal statesmen together.

The attack on the Paper Duties was repeated by Mr Gladstone, who, on this occasion, combined all his fiscal proposals in a single Bill. The measure, after strong opposition, passed the Commons by a majority of fifteen, and the Peers subsequently accepted the Budget, which took a penny off the income tax, while maintaining the existing tea and sugar Duties. In July, Lord John Russell, who had entered Parliament in 1813, before he came of age and had been leader of the House of Commons at the time of the Queen's accession, was transferred to the House of Lords. In August, the Queen and the Prince Consort, with the Prince of Wales and Prince Alfred, paid a third visit to Ireland.

The affairs of Italy still continued to attract public attention. At the end of 1860, the French fleet had been despatched to Gaeta to protect the interests of King Francis; this protection, given in violation of the principle of non-intervention, was withdrawn in January, and the garrison surrendered to the Piedmontese Admiral. On the 18th of February, the new Parliament of Italy met at Turin, the debates emphasising the vital necessity of including both Rome and Venetia in a united nation; Victor Emmanuel was declared King of Italy, a title promptly recognised by Great Britain; but in June, to the profound grief of the Italian nation, Cavour, its Prime Minister, and the mainspring of the Piedmontese policy, died while still in the prime of life.

King Frederick William of Prussia had died in January, and was succeeded by his brother, William I., Prince of Prussia, who was crowned with Queen Augusta, at Koenigsberg, on the 18th of October, Lord Clarendon attending as British representative. In the following month, King Pedro of Portugal, son and successor of Donna Maria, and his brother Ferdinand, died of typhoid fever; another brother, Prince John, succumbed to the same malady before the close of the year.

Events of great importance took place in North America, where the secession of South Carolina was followed by that of other Southern States. The delegates of the latter assembled in February at Montgomery, Alabama, and nominated Jefferson Davis as their President, Abraham Lincoln having been previously elected as the new President of the United States. The first shot had been fired, on the 9th of January, in Charleston Harbour, where a Secessionist battery opened its guns on a vessel sent by the Federal Government to reinforce Fort Sumter. In April, the Confederate troops attacked the Fort, which was compelled to surrender, whereupon President Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for 75,000 volunteers; President Davis replied by issuing (in default of an official fleet) letters of marque to privately owned vessels, and Lincoln declared the Southern ports in a state of blockade. In May, Lord John Russell announced that the British Government would recognise the South as a belligerent power, and a proclamation of neutrality was issued. At Bull Run, on the 21st of July, the Federals were defeated, and fled in confusion to Washington. Hostilities continued during the year, and Great Britain was nearly involved in war, by the seizure, on the 8th of November, by the captain of a Federal vessel, the San Jacinto, of Messrs Slidell and Mason, the envoys accredited by the Confederate States to Great Britain and France. This high-handed action was taken while the envoys in question were passengers to Europe, by the British mail steamer Trent, between Havana and St Thomas, and the public mind of Great Britain was greatly excited in consequence; but eventually the envoys were transferred to a British ship-of-war, and arrived in Great Britain, not, however, until in view of a threatened aggression on British North America, troops had been despatched from England to strengthen the Canadian garrisons on the frontier. The despatch of Lord Russell to the American Government, which led to a pacific result, had been revised by Prince Albert, in the direction of leaving open to that Government an honourable retreat from the aggressive attitude they had taken up; the Prince's action in this respect, the beneficial effect of which it would be difficult to exaggerate, was destined to be the last of a long series of political services rendered to this country.

It had become apparent in the autumn that Prince Albert's normal health was impaired, and in November he began to suffer from persistent insomnia; towards the end of the month the fever originated which was to prove fatal to him. He suffered at first from rheumatic pains and constant weakness, until, early in December, what was thought to be influenza developed, and the Prince was confined to his room. By the 11th his condition, though not hopeless, had become grave, and the serious nature of the illness was made public; and, although on the 12th the Queen could write hopefully to King Leopold, the malady continued to increase. On the evening of the 13th, a rally took place, and encouraging reports were brought hourly to the Queen through the night; but congestion of the lungs supervened on the following day, in the closing hours of which, to the inexpressible grief both of the Queen and her subjects, the Prince passed peacefully away. The letters of the Queen to King Leopold and Lord Canning express, in language to which nothing can be added, the intensity of her grief, and, no less, the noble and unselfish courage with which she resolved to devote her life to her children and country.




Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria.

BROADLANDS, 1st January 1861.

VISCOUNT PALMERSTON presents his humble duty to your Majesty, and begs to be allowed to wish your Majesty and His Royal Highness the Prince Consort many prosperous returns of New Year's Day, with increasing happiness to your Majesty and the Royal Family, and progressive advantage to the Nation who have the good fortune to have your Majesty for their Sovereign; and to adopt the language of Pope, he would say,

"May day improve on day, and year on year, Without a pain, a trouble, or a fear."

This Autumn and Winter, however, have been productive of events in three of the four quarters of the Globe, which future years are not likely to repeat. The capture of Pekin in Asia by British and French troops; the Union in Europe of nearly the whole of Italy into one Monarchy; and the approaching and virtually accomplished Dissolution in America of the great Northern Confederation, are events full of importance for the future, as well as being remarkable in time present.

Viscount Palmerston submits two letters which your Majesty may feel an interest in seeing. With regard to that from Lord John Russell stating a half-formed wish to go to the House of Lords, Viscount Palmerston does not expect that the desire will be repeated when the Session begins, although Lord John said last year that he felt attendance in the House of Commons in addition to the labour of his office, more than he could well get through. He would be a loss to Viscount Palmerston in the House of Commons, especially after the removal of Mr Sidney Herbert to the House of Lords;[1] and speaking confidentially to your Majesty with regard to the future, Viscount Palmerston would think himself doing better service by recommending the House of Lords for Mr Gladstone, than for Lord John Russell.

Mr Herbert will take the title of Lord Herbert of Lea, the title of Herbert being that borne by his elder brother during the life of the late Lord Pembroke.

The other letter from Lord Malmesbury relates to a communication which he made to Viscount Palmerston last year from Lord Derby and Mr Disraeli at the beginning of the Session, to the effect that, if the Government were then to break up from internal dissensions, the Conservative Party would support during the then ensuing Session any administration which Viscount Palmerston might be able provisionally to make, to carry through the business of the Session.[2] Viscount Palmerston is not aware of any circumstances which can have led to the expectation that the present administration is likely to be broken up by internal divisions in the course of this next Session. There are no questions ahead so likely to produce discord as the Reform Bill of last year, and the differences between the two Houses about the Paper Duties, about which it was very difficult to prevent Lord John and Mr Gladstone from flying off, or the Fortification Question, upon which Mr Gladstone announced to his colleagues, nearly a dozen times, that he was firmly resolved to resign. Viscount Palmerston has asked Lord Malmesbury to come over to him to Broadlands at any time before the 21st or 22nd of this month, which is the probable time at which the Cabinet will have to meet in London.

Viscount Palmerston finds he has not got Lord John Russell's letter at hand, but the only thing of any interest in it was the intimation which Viscount Palmerston quoted.

[Footnote 1: Mr Herbert had been latterly in bad health, and resigned office in the summer. He died on the 2nd of August.]

[Footnote 2: In his memoirs, Lord Malmesbury describes an interview with Lord and Lady Palmerston on the 1st of June 1860, apparently the one at which this communication was made. "It is evident," he writes, "he [Lord Palmerston] does not wish to lose Lord John, though he would be very glad if Gladstone resigned."]

The Emperor of the French to Queen Victoria.

PARIS, le 31 Decembre 1860.

MADAME ET TRES CHERE S[OE]UR,—Je ne veux pas laisser cette annee s'ecouler sans venir porter a votre Majeste l'expression de mes souhaits pour son bonheur et celui du Prince et de sa famille. J'espere que l'annee qui va commencer sera heureuse pour nos deux nations, et qu'elle verra encore nos liens se resserrer. L'Europe est bien agitee, mais tant que l'Angleterre et la France s'entendent, le mal pourra se localiser.

Je felicite votre Majeste du succes que nos deux armees ont obtenu en Chine; laissons toujours nos etendards unis; car Dieu semble les proteger.

J'ai bien envie l'Imperatrice qui a pu vous faire une visite et revoir votre charmante famille: elle en a ete bien heureuse.

Je saisis avec empressement cette occasion de renouveler a votre Majeste les sentiments de haute estime et de sincere amitie avec lesquels je suis, de votre Majeste le bon Frere,



The Princess Royal to Queen Victoria and the Prince Albert.

POTSDAM, 2nd January 1861.

BELOVED PARENTS,—At last I can find a moment for myself to sit down and collect my thoughts and to write to you an account of these two last dreadful days! My head is in such a state, I do not know where I am hardly—whether I am in a dream or awake, what is yesterday and what to-day! What we have so long expected is come at last! All the confusion, bustle, excitement, noise, etc., is all swallowed up in that one thought for me—I have seen death for the first time! It has made an impression upon me that I shall never, never forget as long as I live—and I feel so ill, so confused and upset by all that I have gone through in the last forty-eight hours, that you must forgive me if I write incoherently and unclearly. But to go back to Monday evening (it seems to me a year now). At a quarter to eight in the evening of Monday the 31st, I took dear darling Affie to the railway station, and took leave of him with a heavy heart. You know I love that dear boy distractedly, and that nothing could have given me more pleasure than his dear, long-wished-for visit. At nine o'clock Fritz and I went to tea at the Prince Regent's; we four were alone together. The Princess was rather low and unwell, the Prince low-spirited, and I thinking of nothing but Affie and of how dear he is. While we were sitting at tea we received bad news from Sans Souci,[3] but nothing to make us particularly uneasy. Fritz and I went home and to bed, not being in a humour to sit up till twelve.

About half-past one we heard a knock at the door and my wardrobe maid brought in a telegram saying the King was given up, and a note from the Prince Regent saying he was going up immediately. We got up in the greatest hurry and dressed—I hardly know how; I put on just what I found, and had not time to do my hair or anything. After we had hurried on our clothes we went downstairs and out—for there was no time to get a carriage or a footman or anything—it was a splendid night, but twelve degrees of cold (Reaumur). I thought I was in a dream finding myself alone in the street with Fritz at two o'clock at night. We went to the Prince Regent's, and then with them in their carriages to the railway station—we four all alone in the train. We arrived at Sans Souci and went directly into the room where the King lay—the stillness of death was in the room—only the light of the fire and of a dim lamp. We approached the bed and stood there at the foot of it, not daring to look at one another or to say a word. The Queen was sitting in an armchair at the head of the bed, her arm underneath the King's head, and her head on the same pillow on which he lay; with her other hand she continually wiped the perspiration from his forehead. You might have heard a pin drop; no sound was heard but the crackling of the fire and the death-rattle, that dreadful sound which goes to one's heart, and which tells plainly that life is ebbing. This rattling in the throat lasted about an hour longer, and then the King lay motionless. The doctors bent their heads low to hear whether he still breathed—and we stood, not even daring to sit down, watching the death-struggle; every now and then the King breathed very fast and loud, but never unclosed his eyes; he was very red in the face, and the cold perspiration pouring from his forehead. I never spent such an awful time! And to see the poor Queen sitting there quite rent my heart—three, four, five, six, seven struck, and we were still standing there—one member of the family came in after the other and remained motionless in the room, sobs only breaking the silence. Oh! it is dreadful to see a person die! All the thoughts and feelings that crowded on my mind in those hours I cannot describe, more than in my whole past lifetime. The light of the morning dawned, and the lamps were taken away—oh, how sad for the first morning in the year! We all went into the next room, for I assure you, anxiety, watching, standing, and crying had worn us out. The Princess fell asleep on a chair, I on a sofa, and the rest walked up and down the room asking one another, How long will it last? Towards the middle of the day, Marianne and I went into the room alone, as we wished to stay there; we came up and kissed the Queen's hand and knelt down and kissed the King's; it was quite warm still. We stood about and waited till five o'clock and then had some dinner, and I felt so sick and faint and unwell, that Fritz sent me here to bed. At one o'clock this morning I got up and dressed, and heard that the King had not many minutes more to live, but by the time I had got the carriage I heard all was over. I drove to Sans Souci and saw the King and Queen. May God bless and preserve them, and may theirs be a long and happy and blessed reign. Then I went into the room where the King lay, and I could hardly bring myself to go away again. There was so much of comfort in looking at that quiet, peaceful form, at rest at last after all he had suffered—gone home at last from this world of suffering—so peaceful and quiet he looked, like a sleeping child. Every moment I expected to see him move or breathe—his mouth and eyes closed, and such a sweet and happy expression—both his hands were on the coverlid. I kissed them both for the last time; they were quite cold then. Fritz and I stood looking at him for some time. I could hardly bring myself to believe that this was really death, that which I had so often shuddered at and felt afraid of; there was nothing there dreadful or appalling, only a heavenly calm and peace. I felt it did me so much good, and was such a comfort. "Death, where is thy sting? Grave, where is thy victory?" He was a just and good man, and had a heart overflowing with love and kindness, and he has gone to his rest after a long trial which he bore with so much patience. I am not afraid of death now, and when I feel inclined to be so, I shall think of that solemn and comforting sight, and that death is only a change for the better. We went home and to bed and this morning went there at ten. I sat some time with the poor Queen, who is so calm and resigned and touching in her grief. She does not cry, but she looks heartbroken. She said to me: "I am not longer of any use in this world. I have no longer any vocation, any duties to perform. I only lived for him." Then she was so kind to me, kinder than she has ever been yet, and said I was like her own child and a comfort to her. I saw the corpse again this morning; he is unaltered, only changed in colour, and the hands are stiffened.

The funeral will be on Saturday; the King will lie in state till then. His wish was to be buried in Friedenskirche before the altar—and his heart at Charlottenburg in the Mausoleum. Of course all will be done that he wishes. His servants are in a dreadful state. They adored him, and nursed him day and night for three years with the most devoted attachment. The King and Queen stay at Sans Souci till after the funeral, and Fritz and I here at Potsdam.... Ever your most dutiful and devoted Daughter,


P.S.—The funeral will only take place on Monday, and the body will be embalmed to-morrow. To-morrow evening there will be prayers at the bedside, and the day after the lying in state.

[Footnote 3: The palace at Potsdam, built by Frederick the Great, the usual residence of the King of Prussia.]


Queen Victoria to the Emperor of the French.

OSBORNE, le 3 Janvier 1861.

SIRE ET CHER FRERE,—Les bons v[oe]ux que votre Majeste veut bien m'exprimer a l'occasion de la nouvelle annee me sont bien chers, et je vous prie d'en accepter mes remerciments sinceres, ainsi que l'expression des v[oe]ux que je forme pour le bonheur de votre Majeste, de l'Imperatrice et de votre cher enfant; le Prince se joint a moi dans ces sentiments.

Votre Majeste a bien raison si elle regarde avec quelque inquietude l'etat agite de l'Europe, mais je partage aussi avec elle le ferme espoir, que le mal peut etre beaucoup amoindri, tant que la France et l'Angleterre s'entendent, et j'y ajouterai, tant que cette entente a pour but desinteresse de preserver au monde la paix et a chaque nation ses droits et ses possessions, et d'adoucir des animosites, qui menacent de produire les plus graves calamites, des guerres civiles et des luttes de races. La benediction de Dieu ne manquera pas a l'accomplissement d'une tache aussi grande et sacree.

Je me rejouis avec votre Majeste des glorieux succes que nos armees alliees viennent d'obtenir en Chine, et de la belle paix que ces succes ont amenee. Elle sera feconde, je l'espere, en bienfaits pour nos deux pays aussi bien que pour ce peuple bizarre que nous avons force a entrer en relations avec le reste du monde.

Il nous a fait bien du plaisir de voir l'Imperatrice et d'entendre depuis que son voyage en Angleterre lui a fait tant de bien.

Agreez l'assurance de la parfaite amitie avec laquelle je suis, Sire et mon Frere, de votre Majeste Imperiale, la bonne S[oe]ur,


[Pageheading: ITALIAN AFFAIRS]

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria.

BROADLANDS, 10th January 1861.

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your Majesty, and has many apologies to make for not having sooner answered your Majesty's previous communications. He is glad to be able to say that Lady Jocelyn's youngest boy, whose illness has been the cause of very great anxiety, is now in the course of gradual, but favourable recovery.

Viscount Palmerston returns to your Majesty the letter of the Emperor of the French, and your Majesty's excellent answer; it is to be hoped that he will profit by the sound advice which that answer contains.

Upon the subject of Italy your Majesty reminds Viscount Palmerston that he stated last summer that it would be better for the interests of England that Southern Italy should be a separate Monarchy, rather than that it should form part of an united Italy. Viscount Palmerston still retains that opinion; because a separate kingdom of the Two Sicilies would be more likely, in the event of war between England and France, to side, at least by its neutrality, with the strongest Naval Power, and it is to be hoped that such Power would be England. But then it would be necessary that the Two Sicilies as an independent and separate State should be well governed, and should have an enlightened Sovereign. This unfortunately has become hopeless and impossible under the Bourbon Dynasty, and no Englishman could wish to see a Murat or a Prince Napoleon on the Throne of Naples.[4] The course of events since last summer seems to have finally decided the fate of Sicily and Naples, and there can be no doubt that for the interest of the people of Italy, and with a view to the general balance of Power in Europe, a united Italy is the best arrangement. The Italian Kingdom will never side with France from partiality to France, and the stronger that kingdom becomes the better able it will be to resist political coercion from France. The chief hold that France will have upon the policy of the Kingdom of Italy consists in the retention of Venetia by Austria.

Viscount Palmerston has heard no more from Lord John Russell about his wish eventually to go to the House of Lords, and it is probable that this wish often before expressed will, as upon former occasions, be allowed to sleep undisturbed....

[Footnote 4: Prince Napoleon Murat, a son of Joachim Murat, King of Naples, 1808-1815, had returned to France from the United States in 1848; an attempt was now being made to form a Murat party in Southern Italy.]

Queen Victoria to Lord John Russell.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 19th January 1861.

The Queen has received Lord John Russell's letter enclosing his correspondence with Lord Clarendon.[5] She has kept the latter in order to show it to Lord Palmerston this evening, not knowing whether he has seen it already. She must say that Lord Clarendon's arguments are very conclusive. Has it ever occurred to Lord John Russell that, if Lord Clarendon were to go to Berlin carrying the highest compliment the Queen has to bestow, viz. the Order of the Garter to the new King of Prussia, and from thence to Vienna empty-handed to the Emperor of Austria for the purpose of giving good advice, the Emperor might look upon it as an offensive public proceeding towards him?

[Footnote 5: Lord Clarendon was appointed to represent the Queen at the Coronation of the King of Prussia.]


Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria.

PICCADILLY, 27th January 1861.

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your Majesty....

Viscount Palmerston saw Lord Malmesbury on Friday before the Cabinet. They both came up in the same train though not in the same carriage, and Lord Malmesbury came to Viscount Palmerston's in Piccadilly at three o'clock.

He said that he was charged by Lord Derby and Mr Disraeli with a message similar to that which he had conveyed last year, namely, that if Mr Gladstone were to propose a democratic Budget making a great transfer of burthens from indirect to direct Taxation, and if, the Cabinet refusing its concurrence, Mr Gladstone were to retire, the Conservative Party would give the Government substantial support except in the case of the Government wishing to take an active part in war against Austria. That this did not of course mean an abstinence from usual attacks and criticisms in debate, but that no step would in such case be taken to produce a change of Government. In fact, said Lord Malmesbury, neither the Conservative leaders nor the Party wish at present to come into office, and have no intention of taking any step to turn the present Government out. Mr Bright had indeed proposed to Mr Disraeli to join together with the Radical Party, the Conservatives, for the purpose of turning out the present Government; and especially to get rid of Viscount Palmerston and Lord John Russell. Mr Bright said he would in that case give the Conservative Government a two years' existence, and by the end of that time the country, it might be hoped, would be prepared for a good and real Reform Bill, and then a proper Government might be formed.

This proposal, which it must be owned was not very tempting, Lord Malmesbury said had been declined. He also said that Count Persigny, on returning from one of his trips to Paris, had brought a similar proposal from Mr Cobden for a co-operation of Radicals and Conservatives to overthrow the present Government; but that also had been declined. Viscount Palmerston requested Lord Malmesbury to convey his thanks to Lord Derby and Mr Disraeli for the handsome communication which they had thus made to him, and to assure them that he fully appreciated the honourable and patriotic motives by which it had been prompted....

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 29th January 1861.

MY BELOVED UNCLE,—I write to you on a sad anniversary—already seventeen years ago, that it pleased God to take dearest Papa away from us all! He, who ought to have lived for twenty years longer at least!...

We hear from Berlin that the poor King is much angegriffen, and very irritable, but that my letter announcing to him that I would give him the Garter had given him so much pleasure that he had been seen to smile for the first time since the 2nd of January.

I think you will be gratified by the little extract from a letter from our dear friend the Queen, about Vicky, which I venture to send you—as well as by the following extract from Vicky's own letter to me, written on her wedding day, in which she says:—"Every time our dear wedding day returns I feel so happy and thankful—and live every moment of that blessed and never-to-be-forgotten day over again in thought. I love to dwell on every minute of that day; not a hope has been disappointed, not an expectation that has not been realised, and much more—that few can say—and I am thankful as I ought to be."

These two extracts are very gratifying to our hearts.

I must now wish you good-bye. With Albert's affectionate love, ever your devoted Niece,



[Pageheading: DR GOODFORD]

Viscount Palmerston to Sir Charles Phipps.

94 PICCADILLY, 10th February 1861.

MY DEAR PHIPPS,—In the box which I sent to the Queen on Friday morning, giving a short account of the Debate on Thursday, I placed a separate paper submitting for her approval that Dr Goodford, Headmaster of Eton, might be recommended to the Fellows to be elected to the office of Provost now vacant; and I mentioned that the matter was rather pressing. I have had no answer as yet, and the election is fixed for to-morrow.

The election is on the same footing as that of a bishop who is nominally elected by the Chapter of the Diocese, but who is named for being so elected by the Crown. The Crown recommends the person to be named Provost, and the Fellows as a matter of course elect him. But the election must be made within a stated period—I believe fifteen days after the vacancy has happened; and if the Crown does not within that period recommend, the Fellows proceed to make their own choice.

The election is fixed for to-morrow, and it would not, I think, be desirable to let the Royal prerogative drop on this occasion. The persons who have been named as candidates are Dr Goodford, Headmaster, and with regard to him it is to be said that the office has generally been given to the Headmaster, and that, as far as the Provost has any function connected with improvements in the arrangement of the school, there is an advantage in his having been conversant with the details of the existing system. Dr Goodford is qualified for the office by his degree.

The next candidate is Mr Coleridge, once a master in the school, but he is not qualified by a sufficient degree, and there was a prejudice against him on account of his Puseyite tendencies.

The third is Dr Chapman, late Bishop of Colombo, qualified by his degree, but having no peculiar claims or other recommendations for the office.

The fourth is Mr Birch, formerly tutor to the Prince of Wales, scarcely of sufficient calibre for the office, and not qualified by a sufficient degree.

Between Dr Goodford and Dr Chapman I think the preference should be given to Dr Goodford, and the more especially because Dr Chapman is supposed to entertain theological opinions similar to those of Mr Coleridge, his brother-in-law.

If the Queen should approve of Dr Goodford being recommended, perhaps she would have the goodness to sign the document sent in the accompanying box, and if it is returned by the earliest opportunity it is just possible that I may be able to send it to Windsor in time for the election to-morrow.[6] Yours sincerely,


[Footnote 6: Dr Goodford was elected, and remained Provost till his death in 1884.]

Queen Victoria to Lord John Russell.

10th February 1861.

The Queen has received Lord John Russell's letter enclosing the draft of one to General Garibaldi, which she now returns. She had much doubt about its being altogether safe for the Government to get into correspondence, however unofficial, with the General, and thinks that it would be better for Lord John not to write to him. Lord Palmerston, who was here this afternoon on other business, has undertaken to explain the reasons in detail to Lord John—in which he fully concurs.

[Pageheading: GARIBALDI]

Lord John Russell to Queen Victoria.

CHESHAM PLACE, 11th February 1861.

Lord John Russell presents his humble duty to your Majesty; he earnestly entreats your Majesty to consider whether any step ought to be omitted by which the peace of Europe may be preserved.

General Garibaldi is generally esteemed by Italians; even Count Ludolf speaks of him in the highest terms of praise. General Garibaldi has lost his country, and is full of resentment at Count Cavour for selling it. He respects and admires England for her disinterested conduct.

But it is evident the French Emperor is again exciting the Hungarian party. The Garibaldian legion is told to hold itself in readiness, and the Pays and Patrie are instructed to praise the Legion. They are being assembled in Genoa and Piedmont.

There is little chance of Garibaldi's refusing to take part in this expedition, and if he does proceed to the Dalmatian or Istrian coast, his name will have an immense effect.

It does not seem reasonable to throw away any chance of saving the Austrian Empire and the peace of Europe.

Lord John Russell will wait till Monday next to learn definitively your Majesty's pleasure.

The proposed letter appears to him to give some hope of preventing great misfortunes. In this belief it is Lord John Russell's duty to endeavour to prevent the frightful war which is impending.

Kossuth is fabricating paper to the extent of from 140 to 300,000,000 of florins to furnish the sinews of insurrection. In the month of March Hungary will be in a blaze. But if Italy, Germany, and France keep away, the fire may burn out of itself.

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria.

11th February 1861.

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your Majesty, and in returning Lord John's letter begs to submit, that as Lord John is so anxious to send it, and seems so strongly of opinion that it is an effort which might be successful in dissuading Garibaldi from attempting to create disturbances in the Austrian territory by going thither with a band of adventurers, it may be best to let the letter go, though it might perhaps be improved by pointing more directly to the nature of the expedition which it advises Garibaldi not to undertake.

There may be inconveniences which may arise from the letter, but they might be dealt with; on the other hand, if Garibaldi undertakes his expedition, it would be a matter of regret if it could be thought or said that a step which might have prevented the mischief had been omitted.

Queen Victoria to Lord John Russell.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 12th February 1861.

The Queen has received Lord John Russell's reiterated request for her sanction to his writing to General Garibaldi. She still entertains the same objections to the step, as implying a recognition of the General's position as a European Power as enabling him to allow the impression to prevail, that he is in communication with the British Government and acts under its inspiration, as possibly leading to a prolonged and embarrassing correspondence, and as implying for the future that when the disapprobation of the Government is not expressed (as in the present instance), it gives its consent to his aggressive schemes. The Queen will not prevent, however, Lord John from taking a step which he considers gives a chance of averting a great European calamity. Should Lord John therefore adhere to his opinion, she asks him to let her see the letter again, upon the precise wording of which so much depends.


Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 12th February 1861.

MY DEAREST UNCLE,—Many, many thanks for your dear letter of the 8th. Here we have cold again since the day before yesterday, and last night seven degrees of frost. On Sunday we celebrated, with feelings of deep gratitude and love, the twenty-first anniversary of our blessed marriage, a day which had brought us, and I may say the world at large, such incalculable blessings! Very few can say with me that their husband at the end of twenty-one years is not only full of the friendship, kindness, and affection which a truly happy marriage brings with it, but the same tender love of the very first days of our marriage!

We missed dear Mamma and three of our children,[7] but had six dear ones round us—and assembled in the evening those of our Household still remaining who were with us then!...

In Parliament things go on quietly enough, and every one hopes for a short session....

Hoping that these lines will find you well, believe me ever, your devoted Niece,


[Footnote 7: The Duchess of Kent was at Frogmore; the Princess Royal, now Crown Princess of Prussia, was at Potsdam; the Prince of Wales had just entered upon his first term at Cambridge; and Prince Alfred had joined his ship, the Euryalus, at Plymouth.]


Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria.

DOWNING STREET, 13th February 1861.

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your Majesty, and begs to state that the Cabinet at its meeting this afternoon were of opinion that Lord John Russell's proposed letter to Garibaldi, as altered by Lord John, might do good, and could scarcely be attended with any material inconvenience, and that therefore it might go.[8]

[Footnote 8: It accordingly was sent in the following form:—

GENERAL,—You did me the honour, some time ago, to write me a letter, thanking me for a speech I made in Parliament.

I was not insensible to the value of that compliment. My present purpose however is not compliment.

I wish you seriously to reconsider your declaration that you propose to begin a war in the Spring.

It seems to me that no individual, however distinguished, has a right to determine for his country the momentous question of peace or war with a foreign State.

Italy, represented by a free Parliament, is about to assemble and declare her own sentiments and wishes.

It is surely for the King and the Parliament together to decide on questions which may involve all Europe in bloodshed.

I cannot believe that you will be the man to give the signal of dissension in Italy. I remain, General, your obedient Servant,


The reply received was as follows:—

CAPRERA, 4th March 1861.

NOBLE LORD,—Italy owes you much gratitude. You, however, judge me somewhat harshly; giving credence to rumours which attribute to me projects that are not known to any one.

I hope to make war again for my country. But I desire that you, deserving as you are of my esteem and attachment, should believe that I will not undertake anything which may injure or be in contradiction with the rights of the King and Parliament of Italy.

I do not love war, Minister, but, in the present condition of my country, it appears most difficult to constitute her in a normal manner, without war.

I am sure that Italy is able to make her war of liberation even this year. The person who directs does not feel the same certainty, and I leave it to you to weigh his motives. I, if I am not called upon by events, shall continue in my retreat, and I will, in every way, endeavour to gain your good-will, and that of the generous nation to whom my country owes so much, etc., etc., etc. I am your devoted Servant,


Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 22nd February 1861.

The Queen is very glad to see that the Government is seriously taking up the question of iron-sided ships, and looks forward to the result of Lord Palmerston's conference with the Duke of Somerset. The number wanted appears large, but the Queen must add that she does not consider one ship a sufficient preponderance over the French Navy for this country. Twenty-seven to twenty-six would give that number.


Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

FROGMORE, 16th March 1861.

MY DEARLY BELOVED UNCLE,—On this, the most dreadful day of my life, does your poor broken-hearted child write one line of love and devotion. She is gone![9] That precious, dearly beloved tender Mother—whom I never was parted from but for a few months—without whom I can't imagine life—has been taken from us! It is too dreadful! But she is at peace—at rest—her fearful sufferings at an end! It was quite painless—though there was very distressing, heartrending breathing to witness. I held her dear, dear hand in mine to the very last, which I am truly thankful for! But the watching that precious life going out was fearful! Alas! she never knew me! But she was spared the pang of parting! How this will grieve and distress you! You who are now doubly precious to us. Good Alice was with us all through, and deeply afflicted, and wishes to say everything kind to you. Bertie and Lenchen are now here—all much grieved, and have seen her sleeping peacefully and eternally! Dearest Albert is dreadfully overcome—and well he may, for she adored him! I feel so truly verwaist. God bless and protect you. Ever your devoted and truly unhappy Niece and Child,


P.S.—The devotion of dearest Mamma's ladies and maids is not to be described. Their love and their devotion were too touching. There we all were round her—the poor, good, old Clark, who is so devoted to us all. Ever again, your devoted Child,


[Footnote 9: The Duchess of Kent died on the 16th of March. She had had a surgical operation in the arm, on account of an abscess, a short time before, but till the 15th the medical reports had been encouraging. On that day the Queen went to Frogmore, and was with her mother at the time of her death.]

[Pageheading: BEREAVEMENT]

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 26th March 1861.

MY DEAREST UNCLE,—Your sad little letter of the 21st reached me on Saturday. On Sunday I took leave of those dearly beloved remains—a dreadful moment; I had never been near a coffin before, but dreadful and heartrending as it was, it was so beautifully arranged that it would have pleased her, and most probably she looked down and blessed us—as we poor sorrowing mortals knelt around, overwhelmed with grief! It was covered with wreaths, and the carpet strewed with sweet, white flowers. I and our daughters did not go yesterday—it would have been far too much for me—and Albert when he returned, with tearful eyes told me it was well I did not go—so affecting had been the sight—so universal the sympathy.

Poor little Arthur went too. I and my girls prayed at home together, and dwelt on her happiness and peace.

But oh! dearest Uncle—the loss—the truth of it—which I cannot, do not realise even when I go (as I do daily) to Frogmore—the blank becomes daily worse!

The constant intercourse of forty-one, years cannot cease without the total want of power of real enjoyment of anything. A sort of cloud which hangs over you, and seems to oppress everything—and a positive weakness in the powers of reflection and mental exertion. The doctors tell me I must not attempt to force this. Long conversation, loud talking, the talking of many people together, I can't bear yet. It must come very gradually....

I try to be, and very often am, quite resigned—but dearest Uncle, this is a life sorrow. On all festive or mournful occasions, on all family events, her love and sympathy will be so fearfully wanting. Then again, except Albert (who I very often don't see but very little in the day), I have no human being except our children, and that is not the same Verhaeltniss, to open myself to; and besides, a woman requires woman's society and sympathy sometimes, as men do men's. All this, beloved Uncle, will show you that, without dwelling constantly upon it, or moping or becoming morbid, though the blank and the loss to me, in my isolated position especially, is such a dreadful, and such an irreparable one, the worst trials are yet to come. My poor birthday, I can hardly think of it! Strange it is how often little trifles, insignificant in themselves, upset one more even than greater things....

But the general sympathy for me, and approval of the manner in which I have shown my grief, as well as the affection and respect for dearest Mamma's memory in the country, is quite wonderful and most touching. Ever your devoted Niece,


[Pageheading: RENEWED GRIEF]

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 30th March 1861.

MY DEARLY BELOVED UNCLE,—It is a comfort for me to write to you, and I think you may like to hear from your poor motherless child. It is to-day a fortnight already, and it seems but yesterday—all is before me, and at the same time all, all seems quite impossible. The blank—the desolation—the fearful and awful Sehnsucht und Wehmuth come back with redoubled force, and the weeping, which day after day is my welcome friend, is my greatest relief.

We have an immense deal to do—and everything is in the greatest order; but to open her drawers and presses, and to look at all her dear jewels and trinkets in order to identify everything, and relieve her really excellent servants from all responsibility and anxiety, is like a sacrilege, and I feel as if my heart was being torn asunder! So many recollections of my childhood are brought back to me, and these dumb souvenirs which she wore and used, and which so painfully survive what we so dearly and passionately loved, touch chords in one's heart and soul, which are most painful and yet pleasing too. We have found many most interesting and valuable letters—the existence of which I was not aware of—and which, I think, must have come back with poor Papa's letters, viz. letters from my poor father asking for dearest Mamma's hand—and sending a letter from you, encouraging him to ask her. And many others—very precious letters—from dear Grandmamma; Albert has also found at Clarence House, where he went to-day, many of dear Grandpapa's.[10] ...

Frogmore we mean to keep just as dear Mamma left it—and keep it cheerful and pretty as it still is. I go there constantly; I feel so accustomed to go down the hill, and so attracted to it, for I fancy she must be there.

Was poor dear Grandpapa's death-bed such a sad one? You speak of its distressing impressions.[11] ...

She watches over us now, you may be sure! Ever your devoted, sorrowing Child and Niece,


Albert is so kind, and does all with such tenderness and feeling. Vicky goes on Tuesday, and we on Wednesday, to Osborne, where I think the air and quiet will do me good.

[Footnote 10: Duke Francis Frederick of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, and Duchess Augusta Caroline Sophia, the parents of the Duchess of Kent and King Leopold.]

[Footnote 11: In a recent letter King Leopold had said that he was not quite sixteen years old when his father died (1806), and the elder son, Ernest, being alarmingly ill at Koenigsberg, he was himself called upon to be the support of his mother. "The recollections of that death-bed," he adds, "are fresh in my memory, as if it had been yesterday. I thank God that your recollections of that terrible moment are so peaceful, and that you may preserve an impression ... without any distressing addition."]

[Pageheading: FATHERLY ADVICE]

The King of the Belgians to Queen Victoria.

LAEKEN, 1st April 1861.

MY BELOVED VICTORIA,—Your dear letter of the 30th moved me very much. I can see everything, and it makes me shed tears of the sincerest sorrow.

The bereavement, the impossibility, they are what one feels most deeply and painfully, that nothing will bring back the beloved object, that there is a rupture with everything earthly that nothing can remedy. Your good, dear Mamma was without ostentation, sincerely religious, a great blessing, and the only solid support we can find. Happy those whose faith cannot be shaken; they can bear the hardships of earthly life with fortitude.

True it is that if we compare the sorrows of our earthly life with the hope of an eternal existence, though painfully felt, still they shrink as it were in appreciation.

You feel so truly, so affectionately, that even in that you must gratify the dear being we lost. When I think of poor Aunt Julia,[12] she was so alone that I cannot help to pity her even in all the objects she valued and left behind; the affectionate care which is shown to everything connected with your dear Mamma could not have existed, and still she was a noble character, and with a warm, generous heart. In all your dear Mamma's letters there will everywhere be found traces of the affection which united us. From early childhood we were close allies; she recollected everything so well of that period which now, since the departure of the two sisters, is totally unknown to every one but me, which, you can imagine, is a most melancholy sensation. Time flies so fast that all dear recollections soon get isolated. Your stay at Osborne will do you good, though Spring, when fine, affects one very much, to think that the one that was beloved does not share in these pleasant sensations. You must try, however, not to shake your precious health too much. Your dear Mamma, who watched your looks so affectionately, would not approve of it.... Your devoted old Uncle,


[Footnote 12: Sister of King Leopold, and widow of the Grand Duke Constantine, who had lived in retirement at Geneva for many years, and died at Elfenau on the 15th of August 1860.]

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

OSBORNE, 9th April 1861.

MY DEARLY BELOVED UNCLE,—Your dear, sad letter of the 5th found a warm response in my poor heart, and I thank you with all my heart for it. I am now most anxiously waiting for an answer to my letter asking you to come to us now. You would, I think, find it soothing, and it would painfully interest you to look over her letters and papers, which make me live in times I heard her talk of when I was a child. It is touching to find how she treasured up every little flower, every bit of hair. I found some of dear Princess Charlotte's, and touching relics of my poor Father, in a little writing-desk of his I had never seen, with his last letters to her, and her notes after his death written in a little book, expressing such longing to be reunited to him! Now she is! And what a comfort it is to think how many very dear ones are gone on before her whom she will find! All these notes show how very, very much she and my beloved Father loved each other. Such love and affection! I hardly knew it was to that extent. Then her love for me—it is too touching! I have found little books with the accounts of my babyhood, and they show such unbounded tenderness! Oh! I am so wretched to think how, for a time, two people most wickedly estranged us!... To miss a mother's friendship—not to be able to have her to confide in—when a girl most needs it, was fearful! I dare not think of it—it drives me wild now! But thank God! that is all passed long, long ago, and she had forgotten it, and only thought of the last very happy years.

And all that was brought by my good angel, dearest Albert, whom she adored, and in whom she had such unbounded confidence....

On Sunday our dear little Beatrice was four years old. It upset me much, for she was the idol of that beloved Grandmamma, and the child so fond of her. She continually speaks of her—how she "is in Heaven," but hopes she will return! She is a most darling, engaging child.... Ever your devoted Niece,



Queen Victoria to Lord John Russell.

OSBORNE, 27th May 1861.

The Queen returns the proposed draft of answer to the observations of the Russian Government on Lord John Russell's proposals with regard to the Danish Question. She has to observe that this reverses the whole position taken by us hitherto. Prince Gortschakoff is quite right in reminding us that the engagements taken in 1852[13] did not contain a formal guarantee (obliging to take up arms for the defence of the object guaranteed) in deference to the opinion of the British Government which, on general principles, has always objected to such engagements. These principles are as important now as ever, and yet Lord John proposes "to renew the guarantee of the integrity of the Danish Monarchy contained in the Treaty of 8th May 1852," thereby giving those engagements the force of a guarantee, which was on principle objected to by us at the time. Both Russia and France in their answers object to such a guarantee now, even with regard to Schleswig alone, as involving the guaranteeing powers in future grave difficulties, and Lord John proposes to extend it to Holstein, a part of Germany and not of Denmark, by way of obviating the difficulty. The Queen cannot give her sanction to this proposal.

[Footnote 13: A Treaty was signed by the European Powers on the 8th of May 1852, by which the succession of the line of Sonderburg-Gluecksburg to the Danish throne was settled, and the integrity of the kingdom guaranteed. See ante, vol. ii., 4th January, 1852.]

[Pageheading: WAR IN AMERICA]

Lord John Russell to Queen Victoria.

FOREIGN OFFICE, 30th May 1861.

Lord John Russell presents his humble duty to your Majesty; he has the honour to submit letters from the Emperor and Empress of Austria of a private nature. The Cabinet decided yesterday that the ports of your Majesty's Dominions ought to be closed to the ships of war and privateers of the Belligerents in America.[14] A letter for that object has been sent to the Law Officers of the Crown, and will be, when put into proper form, submitted for your Majesty's approbation.

[Footnote 14: See ante, Introductory Note to Chapter XXX.]

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston.

OSBORNE, 30th May 1861.

The Queen returns these papers. She thinks it of great importance that we should be strong in Canada, and thinks an increase in Artillery as important as the sending of two more battalions, as that Arm cannot be supplied at all by the Colony. The Naval forces would, however, require strengthening even more. It is less likely that the remnant of the United States could send expeditions by land to the North while quarrelling with the South, than that they should commit acts of violence at sea.

Queen Victoria to Lord John Russell.


The Queen has perused the accompanying draft to Sir James Hudson. She is of opinion that so important a step as proposals on our part for the solution of the Roman Question, with which we are not directly concerned, and for the solution of which we are for many obvious reasons perhaps the Power possessing the least favourable position, is a subject of such great importance, that it should not be undertaken without the most mature consideration. Has this draft been brought before the Cabinet? The Queen wishes to have their united advice before giving her decision. Her opinion at present is against our volunteering a scheme which will render us responsible for the result of grave complications, from which we have hitherto stood happily quite clear. The Queen wishes these lines to be communicated to the Cabinet.[15]

[Footnote 15: Lord John Russell had written that the withdrawal of the French troops from Rome would probably be followed by tumults and bloodshed; and as both the Roman party and Garibaldi hated the Government of the Pope, and wished to put an end to his temporal power, he suggested that the Pope should be allowed to retain his sovereignty during his lifetime, in a restricted territory and with restricted powers; that Italian troops should occupy the towns and villages outside a limit of five miles from Rome; and that the King of Italy and the Emperor of the French should agree not to recognise the temporal power of any future Pope.]

[Pageheading: DEATH OF CAVOUR]

Lord John Russell to Queen Victoria.

PEMBROKE LODGE, 6th June 1861.

Lord John Russell presents his humble duty to your Majesty; the despatch relating to Rome had been sent, seeming to Lord John Russell quite unobjectionable. But your Majesty will see that it was instantly suspended, and that Count Cavour is dying.[16] The despatch was solely intended to save the poor old Pope from insult, and Rome from tumult, but beyond this it is of no consequence, and the death of Cavour may give a new complexion to the affairs of Italy.

Nothing will be done on the despatch at present.

[Footnote 16: Count Cavour died at Turin on the 6th of June. It is curious to note that the words of the Emperor Napoleon, on hearing of the death of Cavour, appear to have been "Le cocher est tombe du siege; il faut voir maintenant si les chevaux iront s'emporter, ou rentrer a l'ecurie."]

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria.

PICCADILLY, 18th June 1861.

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your Majesty....

Viscount Palmerston submits a note from Garter King at Arms, by which your Majesty will see that there are now three Garters vacant; and Viscount Palmerston would beg to suggest for your Majesty's consideration that those Garters might appropriately be conferred upon Lord Canning for his great services in India, upon Lord John Russell for his long political services under your Majesty, and upon the Duke of Somerset, senior Duke after the Duke of Norfolk, and the able administrator of an important branch of your Majesty's service.[17]

Viscount Palmerston is not aware whether by the regulations of the Order the Garter could be sent out to Lord Canning in India. If that were possible, it might have the double advantage of strengthening his hands during the remainder of his stay, by affording so public a mark of your Majesty's approval; and moreover of making sure that Lord Canning should receive this mark of your Majesty's royal favour, while the Government is in the hands of an administration similar to that at whose recommendation he was sent out, which perhaps might be more agreeable to his feelings than running the chance, always possible, though Viscount Palmerston hopes it may not be probable, that political combinations might, before his return in May or June 1862, have produced administrative changes.

[Footnote 17: The Duke was First Lord of the Admiralty. All the three Peers mentioned received the Garter early in 1862.]


Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston.

24th June 1861.

The Queen approves of Sir R. Bethell[18] as Lord Campbell's successor. Lord Palmerston is aware of the Queen's objections to the appointment; they will have weighed with him as much as with her. If therefore he finally makes this recommendation, the Queen must assume that under all the circumstances he considers it the best solution of the difficulty, and that his Colleagues take the same view.

[Footnote 18: Lord Campbell died at the age of eighty-two; his successor was created Lord Westbury.]


The Duchess of Sutherland to Queen Victoria.

STAFFORD HOUSE, 26th June 1861.

MADAM,—I shall never forget your Majesty and the Prince's kindness.[19]

I am anxious to tell your Majesty as strongly as it was, what his feeling was of my service to your Majesty; he approved and delighted in it; dear as it was to me—it could not have been if this had not been so, nor those occasional absences, if he had not had devoted children when I was away; still, when the great parting comes one grudges every hour, and the yearning is terrible.

Even in his last illness he showed an anxious feeling, as if he feared I might resign, saying that I knew what an interest it had been to him, how he had liked hearing of the Queen and her family. He spoke very late in life of your Majesty's constant kindness. This feeling and early associations made him take a great interest in the Princess Royal's marriage, which did not leave him. If it ever crossed your Majesty—if your Majesty should ever feel that I might have been devoted, if I had had but one service, pray believe that he took the greatest pleasure and pride in that other great service; and that therefore he really felt it best it should be so.

Since I have written this I have received your Majesty's most kind letter—and the precious gift of the photograph so wonderfully like, and rendering exactly that most kind and loving countenance. I shall like much sending one to your Majesty of my dearest husband.

I repeat to myself the precious word that I am dear to your Majesty again and again; and that my love to your Majesty was returned. How often I shall think of this in my altered life, in my solitude of heart! The admiration I have ever felt for the Prince has been one of the great pleasures of my life; that he should be your Majesty's husband, a constant thankfulness. I feel I owe him much, and that great approbation and admiration are not barren feelings. I have the honour to remain, Madam, your Majesty's devoted Subject,


I fear I have written worse than usual—I can hardly see to do so—weak eyes and tears.

[Footnote 19: The Duke of Sutherland had died in the preceding February.]

[Pageheading: MR LAYARD]

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria.

PICCADILLY, 8th July 1861.

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your Majesty, and begs to state that Lord Elcho[20] this afternoon moved a Resolution that the new Foreign Office should not be built in the Palladian style. Mr Charles Buxton seconded the Motion. Mr Cowper[21] opposed it, stating reasons for preferring the Italian style to the Gothic. Mr Layard was for neither, but seemed to wish that somebody would invent a new style of architecture. Mr Tite,[22] the architect, was strongly for the Italian style; Lord John Manners, swayed by erroneous views in religion and taste, was enthusiastic for Gothic;[23] Mr Dudley Fortescue confided in a low voice to a limited range of hearers some weak arguments in favour of Gothic; Mr Osborne seemed to be against everything that anybody had ever proposed, and wanted to put off the building till some plan better suited to his own taste should have been invented. Viscount Palmerston answered the objections made to the Italian plan, and Lord Elcho's Motion was negatived by 188 to 75. The House then went into Committee of Supply, and the first estimate being that for the Foreign Office, some of the Gothic party who had not been able to deliver their speeches on Lord Elcho's Motion, let them off on this estimate....

[Footnote 20: Now Earl of Wemyss.]

[Footnote 21: Mr William Cowper, at this time First Commissioner of Works.]

[Footnote 22: Mr (afterwards Sir) William Tite, was now Member for Bath; he had been the architect entrusted with the task of rebuilding the Royal Exchange.]

[Footnote 23: Mr Gilbert Scott had made his first designs for the new Foreign Office in the Gothic style; his appointment as architect for the building was made by the Derby Government, but the scheme which they favoured, for a Gothic building, was opposed by Lord Palmerston, and Scott adopted the Italian style in deference to his views.]

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston.

OSBORNE, 24th July 1861.

The Queen is sorry that she cannot alter her determination about Mr Layard.[24] She fully recognises the importance of the Parliamentary exigencies; but the Queen cannot sacrifice to them the higher interests of the country. Neither Mr Layard nor Mr Osborne ought to be proposed as representatives of the Foreign Office in the House of Commons, and therefore of the Crown to foreign countries. If Lord Palmerston can bring Mr Layard into office in some other place, to get his assistance in the House of Commons, she will not object.

[Footnote 24: In the course of July, Lord John Russell, who had entered Parliament for the first time in 1813, was raised to the Peerage as Earl Russell and Viscount Amberley. To supply the loss to the Government of two such powerful debaters as Lord Russell and Lord Herbert, Lord Palmerston had suggested Mr Layard as Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, mentioning also the claims of Mr Bernal Osborne.]

[Pageheading: MR LAYARD]

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria.

94 PICCADILLY, 24th July 1861.

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your Majesty, and regrets very much to find that he has not succeeded in removing your Majesty's objections to Mr Layard as Under-Secretary of State for the Foreign Department; but he still hopes that he may be able to do so. If he rightly understands your Majesty's last communication on this subject, he is led to infer that your Majesty's main objection is founded on a dislike that Mr Layard should be the representative and organ of the Foreign Policy of the Crown in the House of Commons.

With regard to his being a subordinate officer in the Foreign Office, your Majesty's sanction to that was obtained in 1851-52, when Mr Layard was Under-Secretary to Lord Granville. His tenure of office at that time was short; not from any fault of his, but because the Government of that day was overthrown by Viscount Palmerston's Motion in the House of Commons in February 1852 about the Militia; and Lord Granville speaks highly of Mr Layard's performance of his official duties at that time. There is no reason, but the reverse, for thinking him less competent now than then; and an Under-Secretary of State is only the instrument and mouthpiece of his principal to say what he is told, and to write what he is bid.

With regard to Mr Layard's position in the House of Commons, he would in no respect be the representative of the Foreign Policy of the country; that function will belong to Viscount Palmerston, now that the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs will be removed to the House of Lords, and it will be Viscount Palmerston's duty and care to see that nobody infringes upon that function. Mr Layard would be useful to answer unimportant questions as to matters of fact, but all questions involving the Foreign Policy of the country will be answered by Viscount Palmerston as head of the Government, as was done when Lord Clarendon was Foreign Secretary and in the House of Lords. But there are not unfrequently great debates on Foreign Affairs in the House of Commons, and there are many members, some of them not perhaps of great weight, who join in attacks on such matters. It is of great importance to your Majesty's Government to have a sufficient number of speakers on such occasions. Lord John Russell and Lord Herbert were ready and powerful. Mr Gladstone is almost the only one on the Treasury Bench who follows up foreign questions close enough to take an active part; it would be of great advantage to Viscount Palmerston to have as assistant on such occasions a man like Mr Layard, knowing the details of matters discussed, able to make a good speech in reply to Mr Fitzgerald, or Mr Baillie Cochrane,[25] or Mr Hennessy,[26] or Sir G. Bowyer,[27] and who would shape his course in strict conformity with the line which might be chalked out for him by Viscount Palmerston. Your Majesty need therefore be under no apprehension that Mr Layard or anybody else, who might in the House of Commons hold the office of Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, would appear to the world as the organ or representative of the Foreign Policy of your Majesty's Government. With respect to giving Mr Layard any other office of the same kind, there is none other in which he could be placed without putting into the Foreign Office somebody far less fit for it, and putting Mr Layard into some office for which he is far less fit. His fitness is for the Foreign Department, and to use the illustration, which was a favourite one of the late Mr Drummond, it would be putting the wrong man into the wrong hole. Viscount Palmerston has, as charged with the conduct of the business of the Government in the House of Commons, sustained a severe loss by the removal of two most able and useful colleagues, Lord Herbert and Lord John Russell, and he earnestly hopes that your Majesty will be graciously pleased to assist him in his endeavours, not indeed to supply their place, but in some degree to lessen the detriment which their removal has occasioned.

[Footnote 25: Afterwards Lord Lamington.]

[Footnote 26: Mr (afterwards Sir) John Pope Hennessy, M.P. for King's County.]

[Footnote 27: M.P. for Dundalk.]

[Pageheading: MR LAYARD]

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston.

OSBORNE, 25th July 1861.

The Prince has reported to the Queen all that Lord Palmerston said to him on the subject of Mr Layard; this has not had the effect of altering her opinion as to the disqualifications of that gentleman for the particular office for which Lord Palmerston proposes him. This appointment would, in the Queen's opinion, be a serious evil. If Lord Palmerston on sincere self-examination should consider that without it the difficulty of carrying on his Government was such as to endanger the continuance of its success, the Queen will, of course, have to admit an evil for the country in order to avert a greater. She still trusts, however, that knowing the nature of the Queen's objections, he will not place her in this dilemma.

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria.

94 PICCADILLY, 26th July 1861.

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your Majesty, and begs to be allowed to make his grateful and respectful acknowledgments for your Majesty's gracious and condescending acquiescence in his recommendation of Mr Layard for the appointment of Under-Secretary of State for the Foreign Department. It is always a source of most sincere pain to Viscount Palmerston to find himself differing, on any point, in opinion with your Majesty, a respect for whose soundness of judgment, and clearness of understanding, must always lead him to distrust the value of his own conclusions when they differ from those to which your Majesty has arrived. But the question about Mr Layard turned mainly upon considerations connected with the conduct of public business of your Majesty's Government in the House of Commons.

Viscount Palmerston sits in that House four days in every week during the Session of Parliament, from half-past four in the afternoon to any hour however late after midnight at which the House may adjourn. It is his duty carefully to watch the proceedings of the House, and to observe and measure the fluctuating bearings of Party and of sectional associations on the present position of the Government, and on its chances for the future; and he is thus led to form conclusions as to persons and parties which may not equally strike, or with equal force, those who from without and from higher regions may see general results without being eye- and ear-witnesses of the many small and successive details out of which those results are built up.

It was thus that Viscount Palmerston was led to a strong conviction that the proposed appointment of Mr Layard would be a great advantage to your Majesty's Government as regards the conduct of business in the House of Commons, and the position of your Majesty's Government in that House; and he is satisfied that he will be able to prevent Mr Layard in any subsidiary part which he may have to take in any discussion on foreign questions, from departing from the line which may be traced out for him by Lord John Russell and Viscount Palmerston....

[Pageheading: THE KING OF SWEDEN]

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

OSBORNE, 13th August 1861.

MY BELOVED UNCLE,—Since Saturday we have great heat. Our King of Sweden[28] arrived yesterday evening. We went out in the yacht to meet him, and did so; but his ship going slow, the dress of the hohen Herrn only arrived at a quarter to nine, and we only sat down to dinner at a quarter past nine! The King and Prince Oscar[29] are very French, and very Italian! I think that there is a dream of a Scandinavian Kingdom floating before them. The King is a fine-looking man.... He is not at all difficult to get on with, and is very civil. Oscar is very amiable and mild, and very proud of his three little boys. They leave again quite early to-morrow.

Our dear children leave us, alas! on Friday quite early, for Antwerp.[30] It will again be a painful trial! Their stay has been very pleasant and gemuethlich, and we have seen more of and known dear Fritz more thoroughly than we ever did before, and really he is very excellent, and would, I am convinced, make an excellent King. The little children are very great darlings, and we shall miss them sadly.

On the 16th we go to poor, dear Frogmore, and on the 17th we shall visit that dear grave! Last year she was still so well, and so full of life; but it was a very sad birthday, two days after the loss of that dear beloved sister, whom she has joined so soon! Oh! the agony of Wehmuth, the bitterness of the blank, do not get better with time! Beloved Mamma, how hourly she is in my mind!

The King of Prussia will have great pleasure in visiting you at Wiesbaden; he will arrive at Ostend on the 16th....

Good-bye, and God bless you, dearest Uncle. Ever your devoted Niece,


[Footnote 28: Charles XV., who succeeded to the throne in 1859.]

[Footnote 29: Brother and heir to Charles XV., whom he succeeded, as Oscar II., in 1872; died 1907.]

[Footnote 30: The Crown Prince and Princess of Prussia, accompanied by their two children, were on a visit to the Queen.]


Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria.

DOWNING STREET, 14th August 1861.

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your Majesty, and hastens to answer the enquiry contained in your Majesty's note, which was delivered to him at Southampton. He must, in the first place, explain that much of what was said to him by the King of Sweden and by Prince Oscar was not clearly understood by him. They would both speak English—which they spoke with difficulty and in an indistinct utterance of voice—and he did not like to break the conversation into French, because to have done so would have looked like a condemnation of their English, of any imperfection of which they did not seem to be at all conscious.

The King was very guarded in all he said about France; the Prince spoke with more freedom and with less caution. The result of what Viscount Palmerston gathered from their conversation, and perhaps for this purpose they may be put together, because they probably both feel and think nearly alike, though the Prince lets his thoughts out more than the King, may be summed up as follows.

They were much pleased and flattered by the kind and friendly reception given them by the French Emperor, and both he and they seem to have had present to their minds that the existing Royal Family of Sweden is descended from General Bernadotte—a General in the Army of the First Napoleon. They think the French Emperor sincerely desirous of maintaining his alliance with England, believing it to be for his interest to do so. But they consider the French Nation essentially aggressive, and they think that the Emperor is obliged to humour that national feeling, and to follow, as far as the difference of circumstances will allow, the policy of his Uncle. They consider the principle of nationalities to be the deciding principle of the day, and accordingly Venetia ought to belong to Italy, Poland ought to be severed from Russia, and Finland ought to be restored to Sweden. Holstein should be purely German with its own Duke, Schleswig should be united to Denmark, and when the proper time comes, Denmark, so constituted, ought to form one Monarchy with Sweden and Norway. But they see that there are great if not insuperable obstacles to all these arrangements, and they do not admit that the Emperor of the French talked to them about these things, or about the map of Europe revised for 1860. They lamented the dangerous state of the Austrian Empire by reason of its financial embarrassments, and its differences between Vienna and Hungary. They admitted the difficulty of re-establishing a Polish State, seeing that Russia, Prussia, and Austria are all interested in preventing it; but they thought that Russia might make herself amends to the Eastward for giving up part of her Polish possessions.

They said the Swedes would be more adverse than the Danes to a Union of Denmark with Sweden. They said the Finns are writhing under the Russian yoke, and emigrate in considerable numbers to Sweden. They think Russia paralysed for ten years to come by her war against England and France, by her internal changes, and her money embarrassments. When the Prince asked Viscount Palmerston to sit down, it was for the purpose of urging in the strongest and most earnest manner that some British ships of war, or even one single gunboat, if more could not be spared, should every year visit the Baltic, and make a cruise in that sea. He said that the British Flag was never seen there, although Great Britain has great interests, commercial and political, in that sea. That especially for Sweden it would be a great support if a British man-of-war were every year to show itself in Swedish waters. He said that our Navy know little or nothing of the Baltic, and when a war comes, as happened in the late war with Russia, our ships are obliged, as it were, to feel their way about in the dark; that the Russians send ships of war into British ports—why should not England send ships of war into Russian ports? That we survey seas at the other side of the Globe, why should we not survey a sea so near to us as the Baltic; that as far as Sweden is concerned, British ships would be most cordially received. I said that this should receive due consideration; and in answer to a question he said the best time for a Baltic cruise would be from the middle of June to the latter end of August.

They both thought the Emperor of the French extremely popular in France—but, of course, they only saw outward demonstrations. They are very anxious for the maintenance of the Anglo-French Alliance; and they think the Emperor obliged to keep a large Army and to build a strong Navy in order to please and satisfy the French Nation. Such is the summary of the impression made upon Viscount Palmerston by the answers and observations drawn out by him in his conversations with the King and the Prince; most of these things were said as above reported, some few of the above statements are perhaps inferences and conclusions drawn from indirect answers and remarks.


[Pageheading: FRANCE AND SWEDEN]

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston.

OSBORNE, 18th August 1861.

The Queen is very much obliged to Lord Palmerston for his detailed account of his conversation with the King of Sweden, and sends both Memorandums back to him in accordance with his wishes, in the expectation of having them returned to her after they shall have been copied.

The King may have been embarrassed by the presence of the Crown Prince of Prussia here at Osborne, and have on that account postponed speaking openly to Lord Palmerston. His desire to acquire Denmark and Finland is not unnatural, and would not be very dangerous; but the important part of the matter is, that the Emperor Napoleon has evidently tried to bribe him for his schemes by such expectations. After having established a large kingdom, dependent upon him and possessing a fleet, in the South of Europe on his right flank, he evidently tries to establish by the same means a similar power on his left flank in the North. If then the Revolution of Poland and Hungary takes Germany also in the rear, he will be exactly in the all-powerful position which his Uncle held, and at which he himself aims, with that one difference: that, unlike his Uncle, who had to fight England all the time (who defended desperately her interests in Europe), he tries to effect his purposes in alliance with England, and uses for this end our own free Press and in our own free country!

The Polish and Hungarian Revolutions (perhaps the Russian) and the assistance which may be (nobly?) given to them by Sweden, can easily be made as popular in this country as the Italian has, and efforts to produce this result are fully visible already. The position and prospects of the Ally, when the Emperor shall have the whole Continent at his feet, and the command of the Mediterranean and the Baltic, will not be a very pleasant one. Moreover, the Ally will probably have irritated him and the French Nation all the time by abusing them, and by showing that, although we may have approved of her policy, we did not intend that France should reap any benefits from it. All this is probably not thought of by our journalists, but requires the serious attention of our statesmen.

Lord Palmerston will perhaps show this letter to Lord Russell when he sends him the copies of the Memoranda, which he will probably do.

[Pageheading: FROGMORE]

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

OSBORNE, 20th August 1861.

MY BELOVED UNCLE,—Before I thank you for your dear letter of the 14th, or at least before I answer it, I wish to tell you how soothed I was by that visit to that lovely peaceful Mausoleum at Frogmore.

We parted from our dear children and grandchildren with heavy hearts at seven on the morning of the 16th, for their visit, excepting the blank which clouds over everything, has been most peaceful and satisfactory, and we have learnt to know and most highly appreciate the great excellence of dear Fritz's character; noble, high-principled, so anxious to do what is right, and to improve in every way, and so sweet-tempered and affectionate—so, beyond everything, devoted to Vicky.

I thought much of poor, dear Aunt Julia on the 15th; that loss was the signal for my irreparable one!

We went that afternoon (16th) to Frogmore, where we slept. The first evening was terribly trying, and I must say quite overpowered me for a short time; all looked like life, and yet she was not there! But I got calmer; the very fact of being surrounded by all she liked, and of seeing the dear pretty house inhabited again, was a satisfaction, and the next morning was beautiful, and we went after breakfast with wreaths up to the Mausoleum, and into the vault which is a plain-pied, and so pretty—so airy—so grand and simple, that, affecting as it is, there was no anguish or bitterness of grief, but calm repose! We placed the wreaths upon the splendid granite sarcophagus, and at its feet, and felt that only the earthly robe we loved so much was there. The pure, tender, loving spirit which loved us so tenderly, is above us—loving us, praying for us, and free from all suffering and woe—yes, that is a comfort, and that first birthday in another world must have been a far brighter one than any in this poor world below! I only grieve now that we should be going so far away from Frogmore, as I long to go there; only Alice and dear Augusta Bruce[31](who feels as a daughter of hers) went with us. The morning was so beautiful, and the garden so lovely!...

The news from Austria are very sad, and make one very anxious. The King of Sweden is full of wild notions put into his head by the Emperor Napoleon, for whom he has the greatest admiration!...

It is high time I should end my long letter. With Albert's affectionate love, ever your devoted Niece,


[Footnote 31: Lady Augusta Bruce, who bad been living with the Duchess of Kent at the time of her death, was appointed by the Queen to be her resident Bedchamber Woman.]

[Pageheading: VISIT TO IRELAND]

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.


MY BELOVED UNCLE,—Not to miss your messenger I write a few hurried lines to thank you for your two dear letters of the 16th and the 22nd, the last of which I received yesterday morning here.... Would to God that affairs in Hungary took a favourable turn—mais j'en ai bien peur. We had a very good passage on Wednesday night, since which it has blown very hard. We left Osborne on Wednesday morning (21st) at quarter to nine, and anchored in Kingstown Bay at half-past eleven that night. The next day (22nd) we landed at eleven and came here, and it rained the whole day. On Saturday we all went over to the camp, where there was a field-day. It is a fine emplacement with beautiful turf. We had two cooling showers. Bertie marched past with his company, and did not look at all so very small.

Yesterday was again a very bad day. I have felt weak and very nervous, and so low at times; I think so much of dearest mamma, and miss her love and interest and solicitude dreadfully; I feel as if we were no longer cared for, and miss writing to her and telling her everything, dreadfully. At the Review they played one of her marches, which entirely upset me.

Good Lord Carlisle[32] is most kind and amiable, and so much beloved. We start for Killarney at half-past twelve. This is the dearest of days, and one which fills my heart with love, gratitude, and emotion. God bless and protect for ever my beloved Albert—the purest and best of human beings! We miss our four little ones and baby sadly, but have our four eldest (except poor Vicky) with us.

Now good-bye, dearest Uncle. Ever your devoted Niece,


[Footnote 32: Lord Carlisle was Viceroy in both the administrations of Lord Palmerston; as Lord Morpeth he had been Chief Secretary in the Melbourne Government.]

Queen Victoria to Earl Canning.

BALMORAL, 9th September 1861.

The Queen has not heard of Lord Canning for some time, but is happy to hear indirectly that he is well, and that everything is going on well under his admirable administration.

It is most gratifying to the Queen to see how peaceful her Indian Dominions are, and considering the very alarming state of affairs during the years 1857, '58, and even '59, it must be a source of unbounded satisfaction and pride to Lord Canning to witness this state of prosperity at the end of his Government.

As Lord Canning will now soon return to England, the Queen is anxious to offer him the Rangership of the Park at Blackheath, with the house which dear Lord Aberdeen had for some years, hoping that he might find it acceptable and agreeable from its vicinity to London.[33]

[Footnote 33: Lord Aberdeen had died on the 14th of December 1860.]


The King of the Belgians to Queen Victoria.

LAEKEN, 17th October 1861.

MY BELOVED VICTORIA,—Receive my sincerest thanks for your dear letter of the 14th, which arrived very exactly. I am so happy to see all the good which your stay in the Highlands has done you, and I am sure it will be lasting, though Windsor must have the effect of reviving strongly some feelings.... When one looks back on those times, one must say that they were full of difficulties, and one ought to feel very grateful that such a happy present has grown out of them. I regret much Paris and Robert[34] having joined the Federal Army, mixing in a civil war!! The object is to show courage, to be able to say: "Ils se sont beaucoup distingues." They have a chance of being shot for Abraham Lincoln and the most rank Radicalism. I don't think that step will please in France, where Radicalism is at discount fortunately. The poor Queen is very unhappy about it, but now nothing can be done, only one may wish to see them well out of it. Poor Queen! constantly new events painful to her assail her. I had rather a kind letter from the Emperor Napoleon about the state of Mexico. I fear he will find his wishes to see there a stable Government not much liked in England, though his plans are not for any advantage France is to derive from it. To-morrow we go to Liege to be in readiness for the following day. The King William III.[35] will arrive for dinner, stay the night, and go very early on Sunday. He will be extremely well received here, his procede being duly appreciated. To be very civilly received in a country which one was heir to, is rather un peu penible, and one feels a little awkward.... Your devoted and only Uncle,


[Footnote 34: The Comte de Paris and the Duc de Chartres, sons of the Duc d'Orleans, eldest son of King Louis Philippe.]

[Footnote 35: The King of Holland.]


The Duchess of Manchester[36] to Queen Victoria.

HANOVER [Undated. October 1861].

MADAM,—Though your Majesty has only very lately seen the Princess Royal, I cannot refrain from addressing your Majesty, as I am sure your Majesty will be pleased to hear how well Her Royal Highness was looking during the Man[oe]uvres on the Rhine, and how much she seems to be beloved, not only by all those who know her, but also by those who have only seen and heard of her. The English could not help feeling proud of the way the Princess Royal was spoken of, and the high esteem she is held in. For one so young it is a most flattering position, and certainly as the Princess's charm of manner and her kind unaffected words had in that short time won her the hearts of all the officers and strangers present, one was not astonished at the praise the Prussians themselves bestow on Her Royal Highness. The Royal Family is so large, and their opinions politically and socially sometimes so different, that it must have been very difficult indeed at first for the Princess Royal, and people therefore cannot praise enough the high principles, great discretion, sound judgment, and cleverness Her Royal Highness has invariably displayed.

Your Majesty would have been amused to hear General Wrangel[37] tell at the top of his voice how delighted the soldiers were to see the Princess on horseback, and the interest she showed for them. What pleased them specially was to see Her Royal Highness ride without a veil—such an odd thing in soldiers to remark. The King of Prussia is looking very well, but the Queen I thought very much altered. Her Majesty looks very pale and tired, and has such a painful drawn look about the mouth. How the Queen will be able to go through all the fatigues of the Coronation I do not know, as Her Majesty already complained of being tired, and knocked up by the man[oe]vres and dinners, and had to go to Mentz for a few days to rest herself. Their Majesties' kindness was very great, and the Duke told me of the extreme hospitality with which they were entertained. Every one, high and low, were rivalling each other in civility and friendliness towards the strangers, especially the English, and one really felt quite ashamed of those wanton attacks the Times always makes on Prussia, and which are read and copied into all the Prussian papers. The last night all the officers dined together. General Forey put himself into the President's place and insisted, to the exclusion of Lord Clyde, who was by far the senior officer, and who was expected to do it, on proposing the health of the King, the Royal Family, the Army, and Nation. Not content with doing it in French, he drew out of his pocket a document written for him in German, for he did not know the language, and read it with the most extraordinary pronunciation. The English officers all admired the way the Germans kept their countenance notwithstanding the absurdity of the exhibition.

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