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The Letters of Queen Victoria, Volume III (of 3), 1854-1861
by Queen of Great Britain Victoria
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The weather is so mild that we should almost hope Stockmar would start soon. If he can't come himself, he should send his son for a few days, who could bring us any confidential communication from his father, and could be the bearer of any from us. Something of this kind is most necessary, for it is overwhelming to write to one another upon so many details which require immediate answer....

With Albert's love, and ours to your young people, believe me, always, your devoted Niece,

VICTORIA R.



Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston.

14th February 1856.

The Queen has seen in the reports of the House of Commons that a return has been moved for of all the decorations of the Bath given since the war. The Queen hopes the Government will not allow the House of Commons so much further to trespass upon the prerogatives of the Crown as now virtually to take also the control over the distribution of honours and rewards into their hands.



[Pageheading: TERMS OF PEACE]

The King of the Belgians to Queen Victoria.

LAEKEN, 15th February 1856.

MY DEAREST VICTORIA,—I have to thank you for your dear kind letter of the 12th. Madame de Sevigne says, with great truth, that a letter to be a good letter ought to be as if one heard the person speak; your dear letters are always so, and you would therefore be praised by Madame de Sevigne, and that very deservedly. Lord Clarendon is, Heaven be praised, well calculated to bring matters to a happy conclusion. I will try to make some impression on the mind of the Emperor Alexander, his best policy will be the most honest. By all I can learn they wish most sincerely the conclusion of this war. If on the side of the Allies only the things which really protect the territories of the present Turkish Empire are asked, the Russians ought not to man[oe]uvre, but grant it, and the Allies also ought to be moderate. You are very properly never to be contradicted, but there are a few things to be remarked. This neutrality was in the real interest of this country, but our good Congress here did not wish it, and even opposed it; it was impose upon them. A neutrality to be respected must be protected. France at all time in cases of general war can put an end to it, by declaring to us Vous devez etre avec nous ou contre nous. If we answer Nous sommes neutres, they will certainly try to occupy us; then the case of self-defence arises and the claim to be protected by the other powers....

My beloved Victoria, your devoted Uncle,

LEOPOLD R.



[Pageheading: THE CONFERENCE]

Queen Victoria to the Emperor of the French.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, le 15 Fevrier 1856.

SIRE ET CHER FRERE,—Mes Commissaires pour le Conseil de Guerre sont a peine revenus de Paris et notre plan de campagne est a peine arrete, que mes Plenipotentiaires pour la Conference de paix se mettent en route pour assister sous les yeux de V.M. a l'[oe]uvre de la pacification. Je n'ai pas besoin de vous recommander Lord Clarendon, mais je ne veux pas le laisser partir sans le rendre porteur de quelques mots de ma part.

Quoique bien convaincue qu'il ne pourra dans les discussions prochaines s'elever de questions sur lesquelles il y aurait divergence d'opinions entre nos deux Gouvernements, j'attache toutefois le plus haut prix a ce que l'accord le plus parfait soit etabli avant que les conferences ne soient ouvertes; et c'est dans ce but que j'ai charge Lord Clarendon de se rendre a Paris quelques jours avant, afin qu'il put rendre un compte exact des opinions de mon Gouvernement, et jouir de l'avantage de connaitre a fond la pensee de V.M.

J'eprouverai un sentiment d'intime satisfaction dans ce moment critique, et je le regarderai comme une preuve toute particuliere de votre amitie, si vous voulez permettre a Lord Clarendon de vous exposer personnellement mes vues et d'entendre les Votres de Votre proper bouche.

Les operations de nos armees et de nos flottes combinees, sous un commandement divise, ont ete sujettes a d'enormes difficultes; mais ces difficultes ont ete heureusement vaincues. Dans la Diplomatie comme a la guerre, les Russes auront sur Nous le grand avantage de l'unite de plan et d'action, et je les crois plus forts sur ce terrain que sur le champ de bataille; mais a coup sur, nous y resterons egalement victorieux, si nous reussissons a empecher l'ennemi de diviser nos forces et de nous battre en detail.

Sans vouloir jeter un doute sur la sincerite de la Russie en acceptant nos propositions, il est impossible d'avoir a ce sujet une conviction pleine et entiere. J'ai tout lieu de croire cependant que nul effort et nul stratageme ne seront negliges pour rompre, s'il etait possible, ou au moins pour affaiblir notre alliance. Mais je repose a cet egard dans la fermete de V.M. la meme confiance qui saura detruire toutes ces esperances, que j'ai dans la mienne et dans celle de mes Ministres. Cependant, on ne saurait attacher trop d'importance a ce que cette commune fermete soit reconnue et appreciee des le commencement des negociations, car de la dependra, j'en ai la conviction, la solution, si nous devons obtenir une paix dont les termes pourront etre consideres comme satisfaisants pour l'honneur de la France et de l'Angleterre, et comme donnant une juste compensation pour les enormes sacrifices que les deux pays ont faits. Une autre consideration encore me porte a attacher le plus haut prix a cet accord parfait, c'est que si, par son absence, nous etions entraines dans une paix qui ne satisferait point la juste attente de nos peuples, cela donnerait lieu a des plaintes et a des recriminations qui ne pourraient manquer de fausser les relations amicales des deux pays au lieu de les cimenter davantage comme mon c[oe]ur le desire ardemment.

D'ailleurs, je ne doute pas un moment qu'une paix telle que la France et l'Angleterre ont le droit de la demander sera bien certainement obtenue par une determination inebranlable de ne point rabaisser les demandes moderees que nous avons faites.

Vous excuserez, Sire, la longueur de cette lettre, mais il m'est si doux de pouvoir epancher mes sentiments sur toutes ces questions si importantes et si difficiles, avec une personne que je considere non seulement comme un Allie fidele, mais comme un ami sur lequel je puis compter en toute occasion, et qui, j'en suis sure, est anime envers nous des memes sentiments.

Le Prince me charge de vous offrir ses hommages les plus affectueux, et moi je me dis pour toujours, Sire et cher Frere, de V.M.I., la tres affectionnee S[oe]ur et Amie,

VICTORIA R.



[Pageheading: THE CRIMEAN ENQUIRY]

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 16th February 1856.

The subject to which Lord Palmerston refers in his letter of last night, and upon which the Cabinet is going to deliberate to-day, has also caused the Queen much anxiety.

A Civil Commission is sent out by the Government to enquire into the conduct of the officers in command in the Crimea; this is done without any consultation with the Commander-in-Chief. They report to the Government, inculpating several general officers and others in high command; this report is not communicated to the military authorities, nor to the persons affected by it, but is laid on the table of both Houses of Parliament.[12] These officers then for the first time find themselves accused under the authority of Government, and that accusation communicated to the Legislature without ever having been heard in answer or allowed an opportunity to defend themselves. It is stated in both Houses by the Government that the officers may send papers in reply if they choose! But who is to be the Judge on the trial? The Press, of course, and the Times at the head, have already judged and condemned, and the House of Commons is now moving in default of another Judge to constitute its tribunal by a Committee of Enquiry.

It is quite evident if matters are left so, and military officers of the Queen's Army are to be judged as to the manner in which they have discharged their military duties before an enemy by a Committee of the House of Commons, the command of the Army is at once transferred from the Crown to that Assembly.

This result is quite inevitable if the Government appear as accusers, as they do by the report of their Commission, and then submit the accusation for Parliament to deal with, without taking any steps of their own!

The course suggested by Sir James Graham and alluded to by Lord Palmerston, of following the precedent of the enquiry into the Convention of Cintra,[13] appears therefore to the Queen to be the only prudent one.

The Queen thinks it most unfair to the officers to publish their statements beforehand, as these will not go before judges feeling the weight of their responsibility, but before the newspapers who are their sworn enemies and determined to effect their ruin, for which they possess unlimited means.

The Queen wishes Lord Palmerston to read this letter to the Cabinet.

[Footnote 12: Sir John MacNeill and Colonel Tulloch had been sent out to the Crimea early in 1855 to investigate the breakdown of various military departments. They had issued a preliminary report in the summer of 1855, and a final one in January 1856, which was presented to Parliament. The officers specially censured were Lord Lucan (who had been given the command of a Regiment), Lord Cardigan, Inspector of Cavalry, Sir Richard Airey, Quartermaster-General, and Colonel Gordon, Deputy Quartermaster-General. Lord Panmure wrote on the 17th of February that the Government recommended the appointment of a Commission of Enquiry, consisting of General Sir Howard Douglas and six other high military officers. The Commission sat at Chelsea, and made its report in July, exonerating the officers censured.]

[Footnote 13: The Convention of Cintra was concluded on the 30th of August 1808. It was founded on the basis of an armistice agreed upon between Sir Arthur Wellesley and General Kellerman, on the day after the battle of Vimiera, and some of its provisions were considered too favourable to the French. A Board of Enquiry, under the presidency of Sir David Dundas, in the first instance exculpated the British officers; but the Government having instructed the members of the Board to give their opinions individually, four were found to approve and three to disapprove the armistice and convention.]



[Pageheading: THE EMPEROR'S CORDIALITY]

The Earl of Clarendon to Queen Victoria.

PARIS, 18th February 1856.

Lord Clarendon presents his humble duty to your Majesty, and humbly begs to say that he dined last night at the Tuileries, and had a conversation of two hours with the Emperor, which was in all respects satisfactory. On no occasion has Lord Clarendon heard the Emperor express himself more warmly or with greater determination in favour of the Alliance, and H.M. entirely concurred with Lord Clarendon, that upon the perfect understanding between the two Governments, and the conviction on the part of others that the Alliance was not to be shaken, depended the facility with which negotiations might be conducted, and the terms on which peace would be made. Lord Clarendon spoke with the utmost frankness about the flattery that had been and would continue to be addressed to His Majesty, and the contrast perpetually drawn between England and France, to the disparagement of the former, for the purpose of disturbing the relations between them; but that your Majesty and your Majesty's Government had always treated these tricks with contempt, because the confidence in the Emperor's honour and loyalty was complete. Lord Clarendon dwelt particularly upon the feelings of your Majesty and of the Prince on this subject, and the pleasure it gave the Emperor was evident; and he desired Lord Clarendon to say that your Majesty should never find such confidence misplaced.

He promised Lord Clarendon that he would give Baron Brunnow and Count Buol to understand that if they thought the Alliance could be disturbed by them they would find themselves grievously mistaken, and that it would be waste of time to try and alter any conditions upon which he had agreed with the English Government.

The Emperor appeared to be much gratified by your Majesty's letter, for the first thing he said to Lord Clarendon on coming into the room before dinner was "quelle charmante lettre vous m'avez apportee de la Reine," and then began upon the extraordinary clearness with which your Majesty treated all matters of business, and the pleasure he derived from every discussion of them with your Majesty....

The Empress was looking in great health and beauty. She was in the highest spirits, and full of affectionate enquiry for your Majesty.



[Pageheading: OUDH]

[Pageheading: THE KING'S APPEAL]

The Marquis of Dalhousie to Queen Victoria.

CALCUTTA, 19th February 1856.

The Governor-General presents his most humble duty to your Majesty, and has the honour of submitting to your Majesty a copy of a Proclamation, whereby the Kingdom of Oudh has been placed exclusively and permanently under the authority of your Majesty's Government.[14]

The various considerations, and the course of public events, which led to this necessity, have long since been laid before your Majesty's Government in great detail.

The Governor-General during the past summer communicated to the Home Authorities his readiness to remain in India as long as he dared, namely, for one additional month, until the 1st of March, for the purpose of carrying into effect the proposed policy regarding Oudh—if it was desired that he should do so.

The orders from the Home Government reached the Governor-General only upon the 2nd of January, leaving barely two months for the assembling of the military force which was necessary to provide against all risks—for the negotiations with the King—and for the organisation of the future Civil and Military Administration of Oudh.

Every preparation having been completed, the Resident at Lucknow waited upon the King in person—communicated to him the resolution which the British Government had taken—and tendered for his acceptance a new Treaty, whereby the transfer of the Government of Oudh would have been made a matter of amicable agreement.

The King wholly refused to sign any Treaty. He declared himself ready to submit to the will of the British Government in all things. He bade the Resident observe that every mark of power had already been laid down by His Majesty's own orders—the guns at the palace gates were dismounted, the guards bore no arms, and, though drawn up as usual in the Court, they saluted the Resident with their hands only; while not a weapon was worn by any officer in the Palace.

The King gave way to passionate bursts of grief and anger—implored the intercession of the Resident in his behalf—and finally, uncovering his head, he placed his turban in the Resident's hands. This act—the deepest mark of humiliation and helplessness which a native of the East can exhibit—became doubly touching and significant when the head thus bared in supplication was one that had worn a royal crown.

The Government, however, had already borne too long with the wrongs inflicted by the sovereigns of Oudh upon their unhappy subjects. The clamorous grief of the King could not be allowed to shut out the cry of his people's misery. The King's appeal, therefore, could not be listened to; and as His Majesty, at the end of the three days' space which was allowed him for deliberation, still resolutely refused to sign a Treaty, the territory of Oudh was taken possession of, by the issue of the Proclamation which has now been respectfully submitted to your Majesty.

It is the fourth kingdom in India which has passed under your Majesty's sceptre during the last eight years.[15]

Perfect tranquillity has prevailed in Oudh since the event which has just been narrated. General Outram writes that the populace of Lucknow, more interested than any other community in the maintenance of the native dynasty, already "appear to have forgotten they ever had a King." In the districts the Proclamation has been heartily welcomed by the middle and lower classes; while even the higher orders, who of course lose much in a native state by the cessation of corruption and tyranny, have shown no symptoms of dissatisfaction.

There seems every reason to hope and expect that the same complete tranquillity will attend the further progress of our arrangements for the future administration of Oudh....

The Governor-General has only further to report to your Majesty that Lord Canning arrived at Madras on the 14th inst., and that he will assume the Government of India on the last day of this month.

The Governor-General will report hereafter Lord Canning's arrival at Fort William; and he has now the honour to subscribe himself, your Majesty's most obedient, most humble and devoted Subject and Servant,

DALHOUSIE.

[Footnote 14: In a letter of the 13th, Mr Vernon Smith had told the Queen that the Press rumours of "annexation" were premature, and that the use of the word itself had been avoided in Lord Canning's correspondence with the Court of Directors.]

[Footnote 15: The earlier annexations were those of the Punjab (1849), Pegu (1852), and Nagpur (1853); some minor additions were also made under what was called the "doctrine of lapse."]



[Pageheading: PRELIMINARIES OF PEACE]

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 27th February 1856.

The Queen returns Lord Clarendon's letter.

The matter becomes very serious, and it would be a bad position for us to be left quite alone in the Conference, which the Russians, the Queen has every reason to believe, are anxiously striving to bring about. In fact, well-informed persons pretend that this was the main aim of Russia in accepting the Austrian ultimatum and going to Paris.

Would it not answer to take this line: to say to Russia, "You have accepted the ultimatum, pur et simple, and have now again recognised its stipulations as preliminaries of peace. You will, therefore, first of all, have to execute them; you may then come to the question of Kars and say you mean to keep it—then you will see that Europe, bound to maintain the integrity of Turkey, will be obliged to go on with the war, and it will be for you to consider whether you mean to go on fighting for Kars; but at present this is not in question, as you are only called upon to fulfil the engagements to which you have solemnly pledged yourself"?

Perhaps Lord Palmerston will discuss this suggestion with his colleagues to-night.



Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria.

PICCADILLY, 27th February 1856.

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your Majesty, and begs to state that as the result of the deliberations of the Cabinet this evening, the accompanying telegraphic message is proposed to be sent to-morrow morning to Lord Clarendon. It is founded upon the substance of your Majesty's memorandum of this afternoon. Viscount Palmerston has taken another copy of this draft.



Telegram to the Earl of Clarendon.

28th February 1856.

[Enclosure.]

Your letter has been considered by the Cabinet.

Russia should be told that she cannot recede from the conditions which she deliberately agreed to by a pur et simple acceptance at Petersburg, which she afterwards formally recorded in a protocol at Vienna, and which she has within a few days solemnly converted into preliminaries of peace.

Those engagements must be fulfilled, and those conditions must be carried into execution.

As to Kars, Austria, France, and Great Britain have undertaken to maintain the integrity of the Turkish Empire, and that integrity must be maintained.

Russia received no equivalent for giving up the principalities which she had occupied as a material pledge. She can receive none for giving up Kars.

If Russia determines to carry on the war, rather than give up Kars, things must take their course.



[Pageheading: TRANQUILLITY OF INDIA]

The Marquis of Dalhousie to Queen Victoria.

GOVERNMENT HOUSE, 29th February 1856.

Lord Dalhousie presents his most humble duty to your Majesty.

The guns are announcing from the ramparts of Fort William that Lord Canning has arrived. In an hour's time he will have assumed the Government of India. Lord Dalhousie will transfer it to him in a state of perfect tranquillity. There is peace, within and without. And although no prudent man will ever venture to predict the certainty of continued peace in India, yet Lord Dalhousie is able to declare, within reservation, that he knows of no quarter in which it is probable that trouble will arise.[16]

Lord Dalhousie desires that his very last act, as Governor-General, should be to submit to your Majesty a respectful expression of the deep sense he entertains of your Majesty's constant approbation of his public conduct while he has held the office of Governor-General of India; together with a humble assurance of the heartfelt gratitude with which he shall ever remember your Majesty's gracious favour towards him through the eight long years during which he has borne the ponderous burden he lays down to-day.

Lord Dalhousie begs permission to take leave of your Majesty, and has the honour to subscribe himself, with deep devotion, your Majesty's most obedient, most humble and faithful Subject and Servant,

DALHOUSIE.

[Footnote 16: It has been, however, freely alleged that the failure to repress acts of insubordination in the administration of Lord Dalhousie was a contributory, if not the direct, cause of the events of 1857. See post, Introductory Note to Chapter XXVI, and Walpole's History of England from the Conclusion of the Great War in 1815, ch. xxvii., and authorities there referred to.]



[Pageheading: LORD CLARENDON'S INSTRUCTIONS]

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, [? March] 1856.

The Queen returns these letters to Lord Palmerston. She entirely concurs in Lord Palmerston's general views of the question, but at the same time she thinks—as circumstances, which are beyond our control, may so vary from day to day or even from hour to hour—that Lord Clarendon should receive full powers to act according to what may appear to him to be best and wisest at the time, even if it should not be in strict accordance with what we originally contemplated and must naturally wish. Such a power would certainly not be misplaced in Lord Clarendon's hands; his firmness, and his sense of what this country expects, are too well known to lead us to doubt of his permitting anything but what would really be for the best of this country, and for the maintenance of the Alliance.



[Pageheading: THE PEACE NEGOTIATIONS]

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 6th March 1856.

With reference to Lord Clarendon's letter, the Queen must say that she, though very reluctantly, shares his opinion, that we have no choice now but to accept the peace, even if it is not all we could desire, and if another campaign might have got us better terms. She feels certain that the bad accounts of the French Army in the Crimea, which appears to suffer now all the misery which ours suffered last year at the worst time of the siege, will more than ever indispose the Emperor from risking a renewal of hostilities. It is affirmed that the French have beyond 20,000 men in hospital!

If we are to have this peace, however, the Queen must again agree with Lord Clarendon that we ought not ourselves to depreciate it, as our Press has done the deeds of our Army.

With regard to the principalities, it is the Queen's opinion that nothing will oppose a barrier to Russia and her intrigues but the arrangement which will satisfy the people themselves, viz. an hereditary monarchy. The example of Egypt might perfectly well be followed in Wallachia and Moldavia.

The subject of Poland would, in the Queen's opinion, be much better left unintroduced into the present negotiations; we have no claim arising out of this war to ask Russia to make concessions on that head, which, moreover, would be treated by her as an internal question not admitting of foreign interference.

The clause in the Treaty of Vienna about the Bonapartes is a dead letter, as this very Treaty, now to be signed, will prove, and the Emperor would act very unwisely to call for an alteration in which all Powers who signed the original Treaty would claim to be consulted. We have every interest not to bring about a European Congress pour la Revision des Traites, which many people suspect the Emperor wishes to turn the present Conference into.

The Queen wishes only to add that, should Prussia be asked to join in the final Treaty on the ground of her having been a party to the July Treaty, we should take care that it does not appear that this was an act of courtesy of all the other Powers towards Prussia except England, who need not be made to take additional unpopularity in Germany upon herself.



The Earl of Clarendon to Queen Victoria.

PARIS, 18th March 1856.

Lord Clarendon presents his humble duty to your Majesty, and humbly begs to say that the Emperor gave him to-day the most satisfactory report of the Empress and the young Prince.[17] There appears to be little or no fever now, and a great power of sleeping. The Emperor's eyes filled with tears when he described the tortures of the Empress and his own sensations. He said he hardly knew how to express his gratitude for the interest which your Majesty had manifested for the Empress, and for the letters which he had received from your Majesty and the Prince.

The Prussian Plenipotentiaries[18] were admitted at the close of the Conference this afternoon—all important matters under negotiation having been concluded.

Count Walewski made an ineffectual attempt to make it appear by a doubtful form of expression that Prussia had taken part throughout in the negotiations. Lord Cowley and Lord Clarendon said that they wished to show all courtesy to Prussia, but could not consent to sign what was manifestly untrue....

[Footnote 17: The Prince Imperial, Napoleon Eugene Louis Jean Joseph, was born on the 16th of March.]

[Footnote 18: Baron Manteuffel and Count Hatzfeldt.]



[Pageheading: THE PRINCESS ROYAL]

Extract of a Letter from Mr Cobden to a Friend.[19]

MIDHURST, 20th March 1856.

... It is generally thought that the young Prince Frederic William of Prussia is to be married to our Princess Royal. I was dining tete-a-tete with Mr Buchanan, the American Minister, a few days ago, who had dined the day before at the Queen's table, and sat next to the Princess Royal. He was in raptures about her, and said she was the most charming girl he had ever met: "All life and spirit, full of frolic and fun, with an excellent head, and a heart as big as a mountain"—those were his words. Another friend of mine, Colonel Fitzmayer, dined with the Queen last week, and in writing to me a description of the company, he says, that when the Princess Royal smiles, "it makes one feel as if additional light were thrown upon the scene." So I should judge that this said Prince is a lucky fellow, and I trust he will make a good husband. If not, although a man of peace, I shall consider it a casus belli....

[Footnote 19: Submitted to the Queen.]



The Earl of Clarendon to Queen Victoria.

PARIS, 29th March 1856.

Lord Clarendon presents his humble duty to your Majesty, and humbly begs to say that the Emperor sent General Ney to him this morning to request that Lord Clarendon would convey the cordial thanks of the Emperor to your Majesty for the feu de joie fired by your Majesty's troops in the Crimea upon the announcement of the birth of the Prince Imperial.

Lord Clarendon was much embarrassed by a letter this morning from Lord Palmerston, desiring that the signature of the Treaty should be postponed till Monday, in case the Cabinet should have any amendments to propose; and Lord Clarendon humbly hopes that your Majesty may not be displeased at his not having acted upon this injunction, because he had promised to sign the Treaty to-morrow in accordance with the general wish of the Congress, notwithstanding that it was Sunday, and he could not therefore go back from his engagement—every preparation is made for illuminations, not alone at Paris, but throughout France, as all the Prefects have been informed of the signature—the odium that would have fallen [on] us all would have been extreme throughout Europe it may be said, and it would have been regarded as a last proof of our unwillingness to make peace. The friendly feeling of the Congress towards the English P.P.'s[20] would have changed, and they probably would have agreed to no amendments, requiring that all the seven copies of the Treaty should be recopied. In short, Lord Clarendon felt that he had no choice but to take upon himself the responsibility of signing to-morrow; but he has suggested that Lord Palmerston's private letter should be converted into a despatch, in order that the sole and entire blame should rest with Lord Clarendon....[21]

[Footnote 20: I.e., Plenipotentiaries.]

[Footnote 21: For the chief stipulations of the Treaty, see ante, Introductory Note to Chapter XXV. In addition to the actual Treaty, an important declaration was made as to the rules of international maritime law, to be binding only on the signatory powers, dealing with the following points:—

(a) Abolition of Privateering. (b) Neutral flag to cover enemy's goods, other than contraband of war. (c) Neutral goods, other than contraband of war, under enemy's flag, to be exempt from seizure. (d) Blockades to be binding must be effective, i.e. maintained by adequate marine force.]



[Pageheading: TERMS ARRIVED AT]

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria.

PICCADILLY, 30th March 1856.

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your Majesty, and in submitting the accompanying letter from Lord Clarendon, he begs to state that he informed Lord Clarendon by the messenger yesterday evening that all he had done and agreed to was approved, and that he might sign the Treaty to-day. It was to be signed at half-past twelve this day.

Viscount Palmerston begs to congratulate your Majesty upon an arrangement which effects a settlement that is satisfactory for the present, and which will probably last for many years to come, of questions full of danger to the best interests of Europe. Greater and more brilliant successes by land and sea might probably have been accomplished by the Allies if the war had continued, but any great and important additional security against future aggressions by Russia could only have been obtained by severing from Russia large portions of her frontier territory, such as Finland, Poland, and Georgia; and although by great military and financial efforts and sacrifices those territories might for a time have been occupied, Russia must have been reduced to the lowest state of internal distress, before her Emperor could have been brought to put his name to a Treaty of Peace finally surrendering his sovereignty over those extensive countries; and to have continued the war long enough for these purposes would have required greater endurance than was possessed by your Majesty's Allies, and might possibly have exhausted the good-will of your Majesty's own subjects....



[Pageheading: THE TREATY OF PARIS]

The Earl of Clarendon to Queen Victoria.

PARIS, 30th March 1856.

Lord Clarendon presents his humble duty to your Majesty, and humbly begs to congratulate your Majesty upon the signature of peace this afternoon. It is not to be doubted that another campaign must have brought glory to your Majesty's arms, and would have enabled England to impose different terms upon Russia, but setting aside the cost and the horrors of war, in themselves evils of the greatest magnitude, we cannot feel sure that victory might not have been purchased too dearly—a continuation of the war would hardly have been possible either with or without France—if we had dragged her on with us it would have been most reluctantly on her part, her finances would have suffered still more, she would have borne us ill-will, would have acted feebly with us, and would on the first favourable occasion have left us in the lurch. If we had continued the war single-handed, France would feel that she had behaved shabbily to us, and would therefore have hated us all the more, and become our enemy sooner than under any other circumstances; a coalition of Europe might then have taken place against England, to which the United States would but too gladly have adhered, and the consequence might have been most serious.

Lord Clarendon would not make such an assertion lightly, but he feels convinced that your Majesty may feel satisfied with the position now occupied by England—six weeks ago it was a painful position here, everybody was against us, our motives were suspected, and our policy was denounced; but the universal feeling now is that we are the only country able and ready, and willing, if necessary, to continue the war; that we might have prevented peace, but that having announced our readiness to make peace on honourable terms we have honestly and unselfishly acted up to our word. It is well known, too, that the conditions on which peace is made would have been different if England had not been firm, and everybody is, of course, glad even here that peace should not have brought dishonour to France.

Lord Clarendon, therefore, ventures to hope that the language in England with respect to the peace will not be apologetic or dissatisfied. It would be unwise and undignified, and would invite criticism if such language were held before the conditions are publicly known.



[Pageheading: END OF THE WAR]

Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 31st March 1856.

The Queen thanks Lord Clarendon much for his two letters of Saturday and yesterday; and we congratulate him on the success of his efforts in obtaining the Peace, for to him alone it is due, and also to him alone is due the dignified position which the Queen's beloved country holds, and which she owes to a straightforward, steady, and unselfish policy throughout.

Much as the Queen disliked the idea of Peace, she has become reconciled to it, by the conviction that France would either not have continued the war, or continued it in such a manner that no glory could have been hoped for for us.

We have a striking proof of this in Pelissier not having obeyed the Emperor's orders and never having thought of occupying Sak.[22] This really might be hinted to the Emperor....

The Queen finds Lord Palmerston very well pleased with the Peace, though he struggled as long as he could for better conditions....

[Footnote 22: The word is so written in the original draft. There was a place of the name near Old Fort in the Crimea, but this is more probably an abbreviation for Sakatal in Caucasia.]



Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 1st April 1856.

MY DEAREST UNCLE,—... Peace is signed! But till the ratifications have taken place its terms cannot be known. That so good a Peace has been obtained, and that this country stands in the high position she now does by having made peace, but not yielding to unworthy and dishonourable terms, is all owing to Lord Clarendon, whose difficulties were immense, and who cannot be too highly praised.

May I beg to remind you to make enquiries, quietly, about the young Prince of Orange[23]—as to his education, entourage, and disposition? Pray also don't forget to try and let us have a new Russian; it would be infinitely better.[24]

We were much grieved to hear the day before yesterday from Sommer that poor Stockmar had had a relapse, but the illness is clearly of a spasmodic nature and therefore not at all dangerous, and the pain had speedily left him, but of course left him again weaker, which is most distressing.

Now with Albert's affectionate love and our reiterated warmest thanks, in which Vicky is included, for your having so VERY kindly come over for her Confirmation, believe me, ever, your devoted Niece and Child,

VICTORIA R.

[Footnote 23: Prince William Nicholas, born 1840, elder son of King William III. of Holland.]

[Footnote 24: The new Russian Ambassador was Count Creptowitch.]



Queen Victoria to the Emperor of the French.

PALAIS DE BUCKINGHAM, le 3 Avril 1856.

SIRE ET MON CHER FRERE,—V.M. me permettra de lui offrir toutes mes felicitations a l'occasion de la paix qui a ete conclue sous vos auspices, et peu de jours seulement apres l'heureux evenement qui vous a donne un fils. Quoique partageant le sentiment de la pluspart de mon peuple qui trouve que cette paix est peut-etre un peu precoce, j'eprouve le besoin de vous dire que j'approuve hautement les termes dans lesquels elle a ete concue, comme un resultat qui n'est pas indigne des sacrifices que nous avons faits mutuellement pendant cette juste guerre, et comme assurant autant que cela se peut, la stabilite de l'equilibre Europeen....

Le Prince me charge de vous offrir ses hommages les plus affectueux, et je me dis pour toujours, Sire et cher Frere, de V.M.I., la bien affectionnee S[oe]ur et Amie,

VICTORIA R.



[Pageheading: HONOURS GRATEFULLY DECLINED]

The Earl of Clarendon to Queen Victoria.

PARIS, 6th April 1856.

Lord Clarendon presents his humble duty to your Majesty....

Lord Clarendon humbly begs in Lord Cowley's name and his own most gratefully to acknowledge the kind and gracious intention of your Majesty to raise each of them a step in the Peerage, and they venture to hope that your Majesty will not have been displeased at their having respectfully declined this great distinction. Lord Cowley's reason was his extreme poverty, and the feeling that an accession of rank would only aggravate the inconvenience he already experiences from being a Peer....

Lord Clarendon felt that courtesy titles to his younger sons would be a positive injury to them in working for their bread, and he relied upon your Majesty's unvarying kindness for appreciating his reluctance to prefer himself to his children. He may, with entire truth, add that the knowledge that your Majesty has approved of their conduct is ample and abundant reward for Lord Cowley and himself. Lord Clarendon hopes it is not presumptuous in him to say that he would not exchange your Majesty's letters of approval for any public mark of your Majesty's favour....



[Pageheading: LORD PALMERSTON AND THE GARTER]

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 11th April 1856.

Now that the moment for the ratification of the Treaty of Peace is near at hand, the Queen wishes to delay no longer the expression of her satisfaction as to the manner in which both the War has been brought to a conclusion, and the honour and interests of this country have been maintained by the Treaty of Peace, under the zealous and able guidance of Lord Palmerston. She wishes as a public token of her approval to bestow the Order of the Garter upon him. Should the two vacant Ribbons already have been promised to the Peers whose names Lord Palmerston has on a former occasion submitted to the Queen, there could be no difficulty in his being named an extra Knight, not filling up the next vacancy which may occur; this course was followed when Lord Grey received the Garter from the hands of King William.



Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria.

PICCADILLY, 11th April 1856.

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your Majesty, and is unable to express in words the gratification and thankfulness which he feels upon the receipt of your Majesty's most gracious and unexpected communication of this morning. The utmost of his ambition has been so to perform the duties of the high position in which your Majesty has been pleased to place him, as to prove himself not unworthy of the confidence with which your Majesty has honoured him; and the knowledge that your Majesty has found no reason to be dissatisfied with your choice; and that his endeavour properly to discharge his duties to your Majesty and the country have met with your Majesty's approval would of itself be an ample reward for any labour or anxiety with which the performance of those duties may have been attended, and, therefore, the gracious communication which he has this morning received from your Majesty will be preserved by him as in his eyes still more valuable even than the high honour which it announces your Majesty's intention to confer upon him.

That high and distinguished honour Viscount Palmerston will receive with the greatest pride as a public mark of your Majesty's gracious approbation, but he begs to be allowed to say that the task which he and his colleagues have had to perform has been rendered comparatively easy by the enlightened views which your Majesty has taken of all the great affairs in which your Majesty's Empire has been engaged, and by the firm and steady support which in all these important transactions your Majesty's servants have received from the Crown.



[Pageheading: SERVICE RETRENCHMENTS]

Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 12th April 1856.

The Queen returns the draft of Treaty, which she approves, and of which she would wish to have a copy.

The Queen believes that the Cabinet are going to consider to-day the amount of retrenchments which may be necessary in the Army and Navy.

She trusts and expects that this will be done with great moderation and very gradually; and that the difficulties we have had, and the sufferings which we have endured, may not be forgotten, for to the miserable reductions of the last thirty years are entirely owing our state of helplessness when the War began; and it would be unpardonable if we were to be found in a similar condition, when another War—and who can tell how soon there may be one?—breaks out.

We must never for a moment forget the very peculiar state of France, and how entirely all there depends upon one man's life.

We ought and must be prepared for every eventuality, and we have splendid material in that magnificent little Army in the Crimea.

The Queen wishes Lord Palmerston to show this letter to the Cabinet.



[Pageheading: LETTER FROM THE EMPEROR]

The Emperor of the French to Queen Victoria.

PARIS, le 12 Avril 1856.

MADAME ET TRES CHERE S[OE]UR,—Votre Majeste m'a fait grand plaisir en me disant qu'elle etait satisfaite de la conclusion de la paix, car ma constante preoccupation a ete, tout en desirant la fin d'une guerre ruineuse, de n'agir que de concert avec le Gouvernement de votre Majeste. Certes je concois bien qu'il ait ete desirable d'obtenir encore de meilleurs resultats, mais etait-ce raisonnable d'en attendre de la maniere dont la guerre avait ete engagee? J'avoue que je ne le crois pas. La guerre avait ete trop lentement conduite par nos generaux et nos amiraux et nous avions laisse le temps aux Russes de se rendre presque imprenables a Cronstadt comme en Crimee. Je crois donc que nous aurions paye trop cherement sous tous les rapports les avantages que nous eussions pu obtenir. Je suis pour cette raison heureux de la paix, mais je suis heureux surtout que notre Alliance sorte intacte des conferences et qu'elle se montre a l'Europe aussi solide que le premier jour de notre union. (Je prie le Prince Albert de ne pas etre jaloux de cette expression.)

Nous avons appris avec la plus vive satisfaction que les projets que votre Majeste avait concus pour le bonheur de la Princesse Royale allaient bientot se realiser. On dit tant de bien du jeune Prince Frederic Guillaume que je ne doute pas que votre charmante fille ne soit heureuse. L'Imperatrice, qui attend avec impatience le moment de pouvoir ecrire a votre Majeste, a ete bien touchee de votre aimable lettre. Vers le commencement de Mai nous irons a St Cloud ou votre souvenir nous y accompagne toujours, car ces lieux nous rappellent le sejour de votre Majeste et nous faisons des v[oe]ux pour qu'un si heureux evenement puisse se renouveler.

Je prie votre Majeste de me rappeler au souvenir du Prince Albert et de recevoir avec bonte l'assurance des sentiments de respectueuse amitie avec lesquels je suis, de votre Majeste, le devoue Frere et Ami,

NAPOLEON.



Queen Victoria to Viscount Hardinge.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 21st April 1856.

The Queen has heard from Colonel Phipps that Lord Hardinge is most anxious for her sanction to the paper submitted yesterday, if even as merely a temporary measure, before the mail goes this evening, as all the shipping at Balaklava is waiting for it. She hopes Lord Hardinge will see how inconvenient and unpleasant it must be to the Queen to have important matters submitted at such short notice that they cannot even be discussed by her without detriment to the public service, and trusts that she may not again be placed in a similar position. She has now signed the paper, but only as a temporary measure, and upon the understanding that Lord Hardinge will submit to her, between this and the next mail, the arrangements which are now wanting.

She has also signed the proposal about Canada, but must express her conviction that General Le Marchant,[25] as Civil Governor of the Colony, cannot possibly attend to the command of the Brigade, which ought to have a distinct Commander. There may be Artillery in Canada, but is it horsed? and in Batteries?

We are rapidly falling back into the old ways!

[Footnote 25: Sir John Gaspard Le Marchant, 1803-1874, Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia from 1852 to 1857.]



Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 6th May 1856.

MY DEAREST UNCLE,—Having returned late from a drive, I have but little time to spare to thank you for your kind letter of the 2nd. Last Thursday (1st) was our darling Arthur's sixth birthday, which he enjoyed duly. On the 3rd we received Brunnow[26]—who was so nervous and humble, and so emu that he could hardly speak. He dines with us to-night, and the dinner is given for him, being a funny collection of antagonistic elements—Granville, Clarendon, Lansdowne, Aberdeen, Graham, John Russell, Derby, and Malmesbury! "The Happy Family," I call it.

The Opposition have taken the line of disapproving the Peace and showing great hostility to Russia.

To-morrow we have a Levee, and on Thursday a ball in our fine new room, which we open on that day; and on Friday there is a Peace Fete at the Crystal Palace. On Saturday we go out of town; and now I must end, begging to be forgiven for so hurried a scrawl, but I had to write a long letter and to sit to Winterhalter. Ever your devoted Niece,

VICTORIA R.

[Footnote 26: He had come to England, charged with a special mission.]



[Pageheading: COLONIAL GOVERNORSHIPS]

Queen Victoria to Mr Labouchere.

OSBORNE, 14th May 1856.

The Queen has received Mr Labouchere's letter, and hastens to express her opinion that Mr Wilson[27] would not be at all a proper person to be Governor of so large and important a Colony as Victoria. It ought to be a man of higher position and standing, and who could represent his Sovereign adequately....

She wishes further to observe that Mr Labouchere should in future take care that, while he tries to ascertain the feelings of people as to their accepting the offer of a Colonial appointment, before he submits them to the Queen, that these enquiries should be made in such a manner as not to lead these persons to expect the appointment, else, if the Queen does not approve of them, the whole odium of the refusal will fall upon her. The best way, and the way in which similar appointments are conducted in the other Offices, would be to mention the names first to the Queen, and if she approves of them, to ascertain the feelings of the respective candidates. This would avoid all difficulties on the subject.

[Footnote 27: James Wilson, the founder of The Economist, was at this time Financial Secretary to the Treasury. In 1859 he accepted the new office of Financial Member of the Council of India, but died in the following year.]



Queen Victoria to Mr Labouchere.

14th May 1856.

The Queen would quite approve of the selection of Sir H. Bulwer, Lord Lyttelton, or Sir H. Barkly for Victoria. She is decidedly of opinion that the Governor should be an Englishman and not a Colonist. Now that self-Government has been established in the Colonies, the person of the Governor is the only connection remaining with the Mother Country; and if the Government were once filled from among the public men in the Colonies, this would become a precedent most difficult to break through again, and possibly paving the way for total separation.[28]

[Footnote 28: Sir Henry Bulwer declined. Sir Henry Barkly was appointed.]



[Pageheading: NAVAL POLICY]

Queen Victoria to Sir Charles Wood.

OSBORNE, 18th May 1856.

The Queen has to thank Sir C. Wood for his long and clear statement as to the present position of the Naval Force, which she quite understands. She attaches the greatest importance to perfect faith being kept with the sailors, and on that account was distressed to hear of the misapprehension at Portsmouth the other day.

A good system for a Naval Reserve would be most important. The Queen thinks a Commission, composed chiefly of younger officers still conversant with the present feelings of our sailors, would best be able to advise on the subject; the old Admirals are always and not unnaturally somewhat behind their time.

With respect to the policy of not too rapidly reducing our naval armaments, Sir C. Wood only anticipates the Queen's most anxious wish on this subject, for we cannot tell what may not happen anywhere at any moment; our relations with America are very unsettled, and our Alliance with France depends upon the life of one man. And it is best to be prepared, for else you excite suspicion if you have suddenly to make preparations without being able to state for what they are intended.

With regard to the Sailors' Homes, the Queen concurs in the advantage of leaving them to private management; but the Government, having so large a stake in the sailors' welfare, would act wisely and justly to make a handsome donation to all of them at the present moment, taking care that this should be used by the different establishments for their permanent extension. Five thousand pounds amongst them would be by no means an unreasonable sum to give as a token of the interest taken in the well-being of these brave men when no immediate return in shape of service was expected for it.



Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston.

OSBORNE, 21st May 1856.

The Queen is very anxious about the fixing of our Peace establishment both for the Army and Navy. Although Lord Hardinge's proposals are before the Government already for some time, no proposal has yet been submitted to the Queen; and on enquiry from Sir C. Wood, he stated but two days ago that no reduction of the Navy was yet settled. On the other hand, the Queen sees from the Chancellor of the Exchequer's speech that he specifies the sums by which both Army and Navy estimates are to be reduced. This prejudges the whole question, and will deprive the Government of all power freely to consider these important questions. The Queen was, moreover, sorry to find Mr Disraeli, Mr Gladstone, and Sir Francis Baring agreeing with the doctrine of the Times and Lord Grey that we ought not to improve our state of preparation for war; and if we had been better prepared for the late war, we should have been still more disappointed.[29]

[Footnote 29: In the course of an elaborate reply, Lord Palmerston stated that the country had never been in a better condition of defence than at the present time, but he insisted that the Militia, which from 1815 to 1832 had been allowed to become extinct, must be maintained in an efficient state—120,000 strong.]



[Pageheading: TITLE OF PRINCE CONSORT]

[Pageheading: PRECEDENCE OF PRINCE ALBERT]

Memorandum by Queen Victoria.

WINDSOR CASTLE, May 1856.

It is a strange omission in our Constitution that while the wife of a King has the highest rank and dignity in the realm after her husband assigned to her by law, the husband of a Queen regnant is entirely ignored by the law. This is the more extraordinary, as a husband has in this country such particular rights and such great power over his wife, and as the Queen is married just as any other woman is, and swears to obey her lord and master, as such, while by law he has no rank or defined position. This is a strange anomaly. No doubt, as is the case now—the Queen can give her husband the highest place by placing him always near her person, and the Nation would give it him as a matter of course. Still, when I first married, we had much difficulty on this subject; much bad feeling was shown, and several members of the Royal Family showed bad grace in giving precedence to the Prince, and the late King of Hanover positively resisted doing so. I gave the Prince precedence by issuing Letters Patent, but these give no rank in Parliament—or at the Council Board—and it would be far better to put this question beyond all doubt, and to secure its settlement for all future Consorts of Queens, and thus have this omission in the Constitution rectified. Naturally my own feeling would be to give the Prince the same title and rank as I have, but a Titular King is a complete novelty in this country, and might be productive of more inconveniences than advantages to the individual who bears it. Therefore, upon mature reflection, and after considering the question for nearly sixteen years, I have come to the conclusion that the title which is now by universal consent given him of "Prince Consort," with the highest rank in and out of Parliament immediately after the Queen, and before every other Prince of the Royal Family, should be the one assigned to the husband of the Queen regnant once and for all. This ought to be done before our children grow up, and it seems peculiarly easy to do so now that none of the old branches of the Royal Family are still alive.

The present position is this: that while every British subject, down to the Knight, Bachelor, Doctor, and Esquire, has a rank and position by Law, the Queen's husband alone has one by favour—and by his wife's favour, who may grant it or not! When granted as in the present case, it does not extend to Parliament and the Council, and the children may deny the position which their mother has given to their father as a usurpation over them, having the law on their side; or if they waive their rights in his favour, he will hold a position granted by the forbearance of his children. In both cases this is a position most derogatory to the Queen as well as to her husband, and most dangerous to the peace and well-being of her family. If the children resist, the Queen will have her husband pushed away from her side by her children, and they will take precedence over the man whom she is bound to obey; if they are dutiful, she will owe her peace of mind to their continued generosity.

With relation to Foreign Courts, the Queen's position is equally humiliating in this respect. Some Sovereigns (crowned heads) address her husband as "Brother," some as "Brother and Cousin," some merely as "Cousin." When the Queen has been abroad, her husband's position has always been a subject of negotiation and vexation; the position which has been accorded to him the Queen has always had to acknowledge as a grace and favour bestowed on her by the Sovereign whom she visited. While last year the Emperor of the French treated the Prince as a Royal personage, his uncle declined to come to Paris avowedly because he would not give precedence to the Prince; and on the Rhine in 1845 the King of Prussia could not give the place to the Queen's husband which common civility required, because of the presence of an Archduke, the third son of an uncle of the then reigning Emperor of Austria, who would not give the pas, and whom the King would not offend.

The only legal position in Europe, according to international law, which the husband of the Queen of England enjoys, is that of a younger brother of the Duke of Saxe-Coburg, and this merely because the English law does not know of him. This is derogatory to the dignity of the Crown of England.

But nationally also it is an injury to the position of the Crown that the Queen's husband should have no other title than that of Prince of Saxe-Coburg, and thus be perpetually represented to the country as a foreigner. "The Queen and her foreign husband, the Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha!"

The Queen has a right to claim that her husband should be an Englishman, bearing an English title, and enjoying a legal position which she has not to defend with a wife's anxiety as a usurpation against her own children, her subjects, and Foreign Courts.

The question has often been discussed by me with different Prime Ministers and Lord Chancellors, who have invariably entirely agreed with me; but the wish to wait for a good moment to bring the matter before Parliament has caused one year after another to elapse without anything being done. If I become now more anxious to have it settled, it is in order that it should be so before our children are grown up, that it might not appear to be done in order to guard their father's position against them personally, which could not fail to produce a painful impression upon their minds.

If properly explained to Parliament and the country, I cannot foresee the slightest difficulty in getting such a necessary measure passed, particularly if it be made quite clear to the House of Commons that it is in no way connected with a desire to obtain an increased grant for the Prince.[30]

VICTORIA R.

[Footnote 30: See post, 28th June, 1856, note 33.]



[Pageheading: SABBATARIANISM]

Queen Victoria to Viscount Hardinge.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 1st June 1856.

The Queen understands that there is an attempt to be made to prevent the military bands from playing when the Troops march to church on a Sunday.

She is anxious to express to Lord Hardinge her very strong feeling on this subject, and her wish that he should on no account give way to such a proposal. Whatever has been the custom should be firmly adhered to, and Lord Hardinge is perfectly at liberty to make use of the Queen's name, and say he could not bring such a proposal before her, as he knew she would not consent to it.[31]

[Footnote 31: The custom of bands playing in the public parks on Sundays had been objected to by various religious bodies, and in April a letter on the subject was written to Lord Palmerston by the Archbishop of Canterbury, after which the performances were discontinued, the Government giving way before the threat of a vote of censure. A similar movement was made in opposition to the playing of regimental bands. See ante, 7th August, 1855, note 71.]



[Pageheading: WELLINGTON COLLEGE]

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 3rd June 1856.

MY DEAREST UNCLE,—I hasten to thank you for your very kind letter of yesterday, just received. Your kind question puts me into considerable perplexity, and I think I cannot do better than by putting you in full possession of the state of the case.

Our house is very full—and it is possible that we may have very shortly the visit of Prince Oscar of Sweden. These Princes have very large suites, and I should therefore in such a case be totally unable to lodge you and them. But there is another reason. While Fritz Wilhelm is here, every spare moment Vicky has (and I have, for I must chaperon this loving couple—which takes away so much of my precious time) is devoted to her bridegroom, who is so much in love, that, even if he is out driving and walking with her, he is not satisfied, and says he has not seen her, unless he can have her for an hour to himself, when I am naturally bound to be acting as chaperon. Under these circumstances I may truly say that dear Charlotte would have very little enjoyment; she would see very little of Vicky, I could not take care of her, and I fear it would be anything but agreeable for her. Fritz Wilhelm would besides be miserable if I took Vicky more away from him than I already do, and therefore while he is here, it would not, I think, be advisable that Charlotte should come. Could you not come a little in August when the Prince and Princess of Prussia have left us? Or would you prefer coming in October, when we return from Scotland? You will easily believe, dearest Uncle, what pleasure it gives me to see you; but I know you will understand the reasons I here give for begging you to delay this dear visit either to August or October....

I had a little hope that the Archduke and Charlotte might take a mutual liking; it would be such a good parti.

We had an interesting ceremony yesterday, the laying of the first stone of the Wellington College—which is the monument to the memory of the dear old Duke. Dear little Arthur appeared for the first time in public, and I hope you will approve my answer.[32]

Now, dearest Uncle, ever your truly devoted Niece,

VICTORIA R.

[Footnote 32: The Queen's reply to an address presented to her, on behalf of the College, by Lord Derby.]



[Pageheading: THE NATIONAL GALLERY]

Queen Victoria to Lord Panmure.

WINDSOR CASTLE, 12th June 1856.

The Queen and Prince had intended to take their visitors down to the Camp on Monday next—the only day which we shall have for a fortnight free from other engagements—and hears, to her utter astonishment, that all the troops are gone—not only the Militia, but the 3rd Battalion of the Rifles!—and this without the Queen's hearing one word of it! The Queen is the more astonished and annoyed, as Lord Panmure had promised that the Militia regiments should not be disembodied until there were other troops to replace them, which will not be the case for some little time. What is the cause of this, sudden determination? The Queen is much vexed, as her visitors will not stay long, and are very anxious to visit the Camp; and it is of much importance that Foreign Princes should see what we have, and in what state of efficiency our troops are.



Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 26th June 1856.

The Queen hopes Lord Palmerston will make it quite clear to the subordinate Members of the Government that they cannot be allowed to vote against the Government proposal about the National Gallery to-morrow, as she hears that several fancy themselves at liberty to do so.



[Pageheading: TITLE OF PRINCE CONSORT]

The Earl of Derby to Queen Victoria.[33]

ST JAMES'S SQUARE, 28th June 1856.

Lord Derby, with his humble duty ... will be prepared, as well as Lord Lyndhurst, to give his cordial support to such a Bill as that sketched out by the Lord Chancellor; but using that freedom which is invited by and due to the gracious confidence reposed in him by your Majesty, he hopes he may be pardoned for earnestly submitting to your Majesty's serious consideration the question whether it may be expedient to raise a discussion on such a subject during the short remainder of the present Session of Parliament. Measures of public importance already in progress are now beginning to be abandoned in consequence of the advanced period of the Session, and Lord Lyndhurst concurs very strongly in Lord Derby's apprehensions as to the result on public feeling of the introduction of such a measure at the present moment. If it could be stated that your Majesty contemplated a foreign visit in the course of the summer, which rendered it desirable that a measure should be passed to obviate the embarrassment which had been created on previous occasions of the same sort, some case might be made out for immediate legislation, though even then the question would arise why it was not thought of sooner; but in the absence of any change of circumstances, and in the present unfortunate temper of the House of Commons, of which a proof was given last night, such a course would probably lead to suspicions and remarks of the most painful character. It would be said, and with some justice, that the greater the constitutional importance of a settlement, the greater was also the necessity of ample opportunity for consideration being given to Parliament; and the hurry of passing the Bill would be cited as a proof that it covered some unavowed and objectionable design. If such suspicions should lead to the postponement of the measure, not only would the Crown have been subjected to a mortifying defeat, but the Bill would be open to the hostile criticisms of the Press during the whole summer and autumn, the effect of which might even endanger its ultimate success....

Should your Majesty be otherwise advised, Lord Derby will be ready to give the Bill his personal support, but he would be wanting in candour if he did not frankly state to your Majesty the serious apprehensions which he should entertain as to the result. Such an unreserved expression of his opinions is the only and very inadequate return which he can make to your Majesty for the gracious confidence with which your Majesty has honoured him, and for which he feels most deeply grateful.

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

DERBY.

[Footnote 33: The Queen had sent to Lord Derby a copy of her Memorandum, ante, May, 1856, a letter from Lord Palmerston to herself on the same subject, and the sketch of a Bill drawn up by the Lord Chancellor to give effect to her wishes. On the 25th of June 1857, the title of "Prince Consort" was conferred on Prince Albert by Royal Letters Patent. "I should have preferred," wrote the Queen, "its being done by Act of Parliament, and so it may still be at some future period; but it was thought better upon the whole to do it now in this simple way."]



[Pageheading: RETIREMENT OF LORD HARDINGE]

Viscount Hardinge to Queen Victoria.

15 GREAT STANHOPE STREET, 10th July 1856.

Field-Marshal Viscount Hardinge,[34] with his most humble duty to your Majesty, is conscious that his power of serving your Majesty in the high position of General Commanding-in-Chief has ceased in consequence of the state of his health, which leaves him no other course to pursue than that of placing in your Majesty's hands the resignation of his office, the duties of which his sudden and severe illness has rendered him incapable of performing.

Lord Hardinge cannot take this step without thanking your Majesty for the great consideration and support which he has at all times received at a period of no ordinary difficulty, and which have impressed him with such sentiments of gratitude as can only cease with his life.

All of which is most humbly submitted to your Majesty by your Majesty's dutiful and devoted Servant,

HARDINGE.

[Footnote 34: A great review of the troops lately returned from the Crimea was held in most unfavourable weather at Aldershot, on the 8th of July, King Leopold among others being present; Lord Hardinge, who had brought with him the Report of the Military Commission which had been sitting at Chelsea, was struck by paralysis during an Audience with the Queen; the next day Lord Panmure wrote: "His leg is entirely useless, and his right arm visibly affected. I spoke to him for a moment as he got into his carriage, and his head is quite clear, but his public career is closed; and knowing his high mind as I do, I would not be surprised to learn that he made a communication to that effect to the Queen very shortly."]



Queen Victoria to Viscount Palmerston.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 10th July 1856.

The Queen has received the enclosed letter from Lord Hardinge, conveying his resignation, for which she was prepared. She asks Lord Palmerston to enable her, by the assistance of his advice, soon to appoint a successor to the important office of Commander-in-Chief. She has again considered the question, and is confirmed in her opinion that the Duke of Cambridge stands almost without a competitor.



Queen Victoria to Viscount Hardinge.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 11th July 1856.

The Queen received yesterday evening Field-Marshal Lord Hardinge's letter resigning his office of Commander-in-Chief. She cannot sufficiently express how deeply grieved she is to feel that from Lord Hardinge's state of health she must accept his resignation. The loss of his services will be immense to the Queen, the country, and the Army—and she trusts that he is well assured of her high sense of the very valuable services he has long rendered. She hopes, however, that she may still reckon on his advice and assistance on matters of importance, though he will no longer command her noble Army.

She cannot conclude without expressing the Prince's and her fervent wishes that he may rapidly recover, and his valuable life be long preserved to all his friends, amongst whom we shall ever consider ourselves.



[Pageheading: THE COMMANDERSHIP-IN-CHIEF]

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria.

DOWNING STREET, 12th July 1856.

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your Majesty, and begs to state that he has consulted with his colleagues as to the advice to be tendered to your Majesty in regard to the appointment of a successor to Lord Hardinge as General Commanding-in-Chief; and upon a full consideration of the subject, the Cabinet are of opinion that your Majesty's choice could not fall upon any General Officer better suited to that important position than His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge, and Lord Panmure will have the honour of taking your Majesty's pleasure upon the matter officially.

It seems quite clear that there is no General Officer senior to His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge to whom it would in all respects be desirable to intrust the duties of the command of the Army, and there is no General Officer below him in seniority who has claim sufficiently strong to justify his being preferred to His Royal Highness....



Queen Victoria to the Earl of Clarendon.

BUCKINGHAM PALACE, 13th July 1856.

The Queen wishes to ask, before she sanctions this draft, whether the Cabinet have fully considered the consequences of this declaration to the Persians, which may be war;[35] and if so, whether they are prepared to go to war with Persia, and have provided the means of carrying it on? The draft itself the Queen approves.

[Footnote 35: The Shah, availing himself of the departure of the British Minister from Teheran, laid siege to Herat, in direct violation of a treaty of 1853.]



[Pageheading: THE DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE]

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

OSBORNE, 21st July 1856.

MY DEAREST UNCLE,—... We had a delightful little sejour at Aldershot—much favoured by fine weather. The first day, Wednesday, the wind was too high for me to ride, but the second (Thursday) we had one of the prettiest and most interesting field days I ever remember. I rode about everywhere and enjoyed it so much. On Thursday and Friday morning we visited the Camp. The new Troops from the Crimea which we saw were the 34th, 41st, and 49th, particularly fine Regiments; the 93rd Highlanders, the 2nd Rifle Battalion, and three Companies of splendid Sappers and Miners, all very fine; and the Scots Greys and Enniskillen Dragoons. The Prussians[36] were emerveilles at the looks of our Troops on returning from the Crimea! We came here on the 18th, and have really hot weather.

George has been appointed Commander-in-Chief. There was really no one who could have been put over him; though in some respects it may be a weakness for the Crown, it is a great strength for the Army....

I fear I must end here for to-day. Ever your devoted Niece,

VICTORIA R.

[Footnote 36: The Prince and Princess of Prussia were on a visit to the Queen and Prince.]



Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria.

PICCADILLY, 24th July 1856.

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your Majesty, and will give directions for the Council at Osborne at one o'clock on Monday, according to your Majesty's desire; and he would beg to submit for your Majesty's gracious consideration that the General Commanding-in-Chief has usually been a Privy Councillor, and that His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge might, if your Majesty thought fit, be sworn in on Monday.

Viscount Palmerston will communicate with Dr. Goodford, but he finds that he was misled by the Headmaster and one of the Governors of Harrow at the Speech Day; he understood from them that an additional week's holiday would at his request be given to the boys at this vacation in commemoration of the Peace. He has now received a letter from the Governors to say that the school had an additional week on the occasion of the Peace at Easter, and that an additional week will be given, not now, but at Christmas, in commemoration of the laying the first stone of the new Chapel. If, therefore, the Eton boys had an additional week at Easter in honour of the Peace, as the Harrow boys had, there will be no reason for any addition to the Eton holidays now....



[Pageheading: SOUTH AFRICA]

Mr Labouchere to Queen Victoria.

26th July 1856.

With Mr Labouchere's humble duty to Her Majesty. Mr Labouchere begs to submit the following observations in reply to Her Majesty's enquiries respecting the Free States in the vicinity of the British Colonies in South Africa.

There are two independent States there:—

(1.) The Transvaal Republic, founded by Boers who left the Colony for the most part from ten to fifteen years ago. The territory on which they are established never was British. The Government of the day, thinking it useless and impolitic to pursue them there, entered into a capitulation with them and recognised their independent existence. They inhabit the plains north of the Vaal or Yellow River.

(2.) The Orange River Free State. This occupies the territory between the Vaal River to the north and the Orange River to the south. This territory, like the former, was occupied originally by emigrant Boers, and was beyond the boundaries of the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope. But Sir Harry Smith, in 1849, after a severe military struggle with the Boers, thought proper without authority from home to annex it to British Dominion.[37] This annexation was ratified by Lord Grey, and the country remained for three or four years under British rule. Afterwards it was resolved to abandon it, during the administration of the Duke of Newcastle, as a result of the general revision of our affairs which took place at the conclusion of the Kaffir War. The Orange River Territory was recognised as a separate Republic in 1854.

It is certainly true that the existence of these Free States may complicate our relations with the Kaffirs, and possibly be a source of danger to the security of British dominion in South Africa. But the latter danger seems very remote. They possess no portion of the sea coast, and are altogether a pastoral people, and are engaged in a constant struggle with the barbarous tribes in their neighbourhood.

To retain and protect these territories would have involved an immense expenditure, and been attended with great difficulties. Besides, the same question would have speedily recurred, as these emigrant Boers would have soon gone further into the interior, and again have asserted their independence. Our present relations with both these States are very amicable. When Governor Sir George Grey went to the Cape all these questions had been finally disposed of.[38]

There seems to be good reason to hope that the apprehensions of a Kaffir War will not be realised. The Colony is very prosperous, and is beginning to export wool in large quantities. The new legislature appears to be disposed to act harmoniously with the Governor, and to be actuated by a spirit of loyalty and attachment to this country. What they most want is a supply of European settlers, which it is to be hoped that the soldiers of the German and Swiss Legions will give them.

[Footnote 37: See ante, vol. ii., Introductory Note to Chapter XVII, and 25th October, 1848, note 45.]

[Footnote 38: Sir George Grey had been sent out by the Duke of Newcastle in 1854. He had previously been Governor of South Australia and New Zealand successively. He returned to New Zealand as Governor in 1861, and was Premier of the Colony, 1877-1884. He died in 1898, and was buried in St Paul's Cathedral.]



[Pageheading: FOREIGN ORDERS]

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

OSBORNE, 30th July 1856.

MY DEAREST UNCLE,—I am much grieved to have to retract the permission which in my letter of yesterday I said I would give to Lord Westmorland.[39] When I said so, I had not received the opinion of the Ministers, which I have since done, and this is, I am sorry to say, conclusive against it. I quite overlooked one very important case of very late date, viz. the Plenipotentiary at Paris—on whom the Emperor pressed very hard to confer his order in commemoration of the Peace; but it was refused, and the Emperor was a good deal hurt. If now Lord Westmorland received the permission, the Emperor might with right complain. I am much grieved, dearest Uncle, at all this, but it was quite unavoidable, and I was at the time much distressed at your giving the order to Lord Westmorland as I foresaw nothing but difficulties. Ever your devoted Niece,

VICTORIA R.

[Footnote 39: King Leopold had proposed to bestow a decoration on Lord Westmorland.]



The King of the Belgians to Queen Victoria.

LAEKEN, 1st August 1856.

MY DEAREST VICTORIA,—... When your excellent Ministers will consider things coolly, which is not to be expected in this hot weather, I am sure they will come to other conclusions. The rule is a very wise one, and has been kept up even at the time of those great congresses of Paris, Vienna, and ditto Paris in 1815. But in cases of particular affection and feeling not connected with politics, there have been during the reigns of George IV. and William IV. exceptions. The Duke of Devonshire was sent to the Coronation, I think, of the Emperor Nicholas, because one knew the Emperor liked him. And he has worn ever since that diamond star of the St Andrew of the largest dimensions.

Our Napoleon is too wise not to understand that a treaty has a direct political character. And, during the next fifty years of your glorious reign, there will be most probably a great many more treaties and congresses. You may get all sorts of things during that time, but you cannot either by the power of heaven or of earth get a new uncle, who has kept his word twenty-five years; rather an undertaking considering circumstances.... I remain, my dearest Victoria, your devoted Uncle,

LEOPOLD R.



Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

ON BOARD THE Victoria and Albert, 14th August 1856.

DEAREST UNCLE,—You will be surprised to get a letter so soon again from me, and still more on so trivial a subject, but I come as a petitioner for a supply of the cakes or Oblaten which you kindly always send me, but which have come to a dead stop, having been too rapidly consumed; all the children having taken to eat them. As I am not a very good breakfast eater, they are often the only things I can take at that time, and consequently I miss them much. May I therefore beg them to be sent?

We are still here; profiting by the bad sea, to visit many beautiful points de vue in this really beautiful country. We saw yesterday one of the loveliest places possible—Endsleigh—the Duke of Bedford's, about twenty miles from here.

The weather is so bad, and it blows so hard, that we shall go back to Southampton to-morrow by railroad—a beautiful line which we have never seen. I must close in haste. Ever your devoted Niece,

VICTORIA R.

We went to Saltram, Lord Morley's, this afternoon.



[Pageheading: LORD GRANVILLE'S MISSION]

[Pageheading: THE CZAR ALEXANDER]

[Pageheading: CORONATION OF THE CZAR]

Earl Granville to Queen Victoria.[40]

MOSCOW, 30th August 1856.

Lord Granville presents his humble duty to your Majesty, and begs, according to your Majesty's desire, to submit to your Majesty the impressions which he has received during the short time of his stay in this country.

Lord Granville's conversation with the Emperor of Russia, and what he has heard from various reliable sources, have led him to the following conclusions respecting His Imperial Majesty.

He is handsome, but thinner and graver than when he was in England. When speaking with energy to Lord Granville his manner seemed to be rather an imitation of some one else than his own, and he did not look Lord Granville in the face. His usual manner is singularly gentle and pleasing. He does not give the idea of having much strength either of intellect or of character, but looks intelligent and amiable. Although the education of a Caesarwitch must be subject to pernicious influences, the present Emperor has had advantages which those in his position have not usually had. The Emperor Nicholas came to the throne without having had the confidences of his predecessor. He initiated his son into everything that was going on, while others who knew the good-nature of the Grand Duke Alexander's character, told him that which they did not tell his father. He was supposed to have different tastes from the late Emperor, but, since the death of the latter, he has liked the late Emperor's favourite residence which he himself had formerly disliked, he has taken to all the military pursuits of his father, and is said to have shown undignified haste in issuing regulations about, and in appearing in, new uniforms. He is liked by those who surround him, but is blamed for not having those habits of punctuality and of quick decision in business which characterised the late Emperor.

There is still much talk of stimulants to be applied by His Imperial Majesty to commerce and to the development of the resources of the country.... There are persons, however, here well qualified to judge, who doubt whether much more will be performed than has formerly been done, after brilliant promises at the beginning of a reign. His Imperial Majesty is not supposed to have that power of will which will enable him to deal with the mass of corruption which pervades every class in this country. The Empress,[41] a woman of sense and ability, is believed to have great influence with her husband when he is with her, but he is generally guided by the person who speaks last to him before he acts—and His Imperial Majesty has not the talent of surrounding himself with able men. His Ministers certainly do not appear to be men of that remarkable intellect as have been usually supposed to be employed by the Court of St Petersburg. Count Orloff is stated to have but little influence, and to have lost his former activity. Prince Gortschakoff is clever in society, of easy conversation and some smartness in repartee. He is vain, a great talker, and indiscreet. It is difficult to keep him to the point. He flies about from one thing to another, and he is so loose in his talk, that the repetition of isolated phrases might lead to impressions of his meaning, which would not be correct....

The Serf Question is admitted by all to be of a very difficult character, and will become more so as the wealth of the country increases. Indeed when that state of things occurs, it is more than likely that popular movements will take place, and it is frightful to consider the immediate results of a revolution in a country organised as this is at present. No country in Europe will furnish so fair a chance of success to Socialism. The reins of Government were held so tight during the last reign, that even the relaxation which now exists is not altogether without danger.

The preparations for the Coronation are on an immense scale. The present estimate of the expenses is L1,000,000; the last Coronation cost half that sum; the Coronation of Alexander, L150,000; while that of the Emperor Paul did not exceed L50,000. The military household of the present Emperor consists of one hundred and twenty generals—that of Nicholas, at the beginning of his reign, consisted of twenty.

Your Majesty is spoken of by the Emperor and by the Society here with the greatest respect. Lord and Lady Granville have met with nothing but remarkable civility from all classes.

Lord Granville has had great pleasure in seeing His Royal Highness Prince Frederick William of Prussia in such good health and spirits. His only anxiety was an interval of fourteen days during which His Royal Highness did not hear from England. That anxiety has been relieved by a letter received to-day. Lord Granville ventures to request your Majesty to present his respectful remembrances to the Princess Royal with his congratulations at Her Royal Highness's complete recovery. Lord Granville begs to advise Her Royal Highness, when residing abroad, not to engage a Russian maid. Lady Wodehouse found hers eating the contents of a pot on her dressing-table—it happened to be castor oil pomatum for the hair.

Lord Granville has been requested to convey to your Majesty and to His Royal Highness Prince Albert the Prince of Nassau's expressions of devotion and respect. The atmosphere in which His Highness at present resides does not appear to have had much influence on His Highness's opinions.

[Footnote 40: Lord Granville was appointed head of a special mission, with the temporary rank of Ambassador, to attend the Coronation of the Czar Alexander.]

[Footnote 41: Marie Alexandrovna, formerly the Princess Marie of Hesse, daughter of the Grand Duke Louis II.]



[Pageheading: CHURCH APPOINTMENTS]

Viscount Palmerston to Queen Victoria.

ST LEONARDS, 6th September 1856.

Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your Majesty, and begs to submit for your Majesty's gracious approval that Dr Tait, Dean of Carlisle, should be appointed Bishop of London with a clear explanation to him that the Diocese will probably be divided into two—one of London and one of Westminster.

That the Bishop of Ripon[42] should be appointed Bishop of Durham, with a like explanation that the Diocese of Durham may possibly be divided into two—one for Durham and one for Northumberland.

That the Dean of Hereford[43] should be appointed Bishop of Ripon; and that Dr Trench[44] be appointed Dean of Westminster with the condition that he is not to receive any fees or emoluments arising out of appointments of Knights of the Bath.

Dr Trench is a man of the world and of literature, and would in those respects be well suited to be Dean of Westminster, and if his tendencies are, as some persons suppose, rather towards High Church opinions, his position as Dean would not afford him any particular means of making those opinions prevail; while his appointment would show that the patronage of the Crown was not flowing exclusively in one direction.

Viscount Palmerston will, on another occasion, submit to your Majesty the names of persons for the Deaneries of Hereford and Carlisle.[45]

[Footnote 42: Charles Thomas Longley (1774-1868) became Bishop of Durham 1856, Archbishop of York 1860, and Archbishop of Canterbury 1862.]

[Footnote 43: Richard Dawes, who became Dean in 1850, and restored the Cathedral. He did not become Bishop of Ripon; Robert Bickersteth, a Canon of Salisbury, being eventually appointed. See post, 24th November, 1856, note 60.]

[Footnote 44: Richard Chenevix Trench (1807-1886), Archbishop of Dublin from 1864-1884.]

[Footnote 45: Francis Close (1797-1882), Rector of Cheltenham, succeeded Dr Tait as Dean of Carlisle.]



The Duke of Cambridge to Queen Victoria.

ST JAMES'S PALACE, 17th September 1856.

MY DEAR COUSIN,—This morning the reply from Baden reached me, and I hasten to inform you at once of the purport of it, embodied in a very excellent letter written by my sister Mary, who declines the proposal made to her on the part of the King of Sardinia, for some very excellent and weighty reasons.[46]

I must confess that I fully agree with her in the view she has taken, and, I can say with truth, that I think her decision is a very judicious and very correct one, and I am not at all sorry she has come to it. As I know that Clarendon was very anxious to have an early reply, I have in the first instance sent Mary's letter on to him, and have requested him, after perusing it, to send it on to you, and I hope you will not think that I have been wanting in respect to you in so doing. With many thanks to you for your great kindness in having left the decision of this weighty matter entirely in our hands, I beg to remain, my dear Cousin, your most dutiful Cousin,

GEORGE.

[Footnote 46: The King had, in January 1855, lost his consort, Queen Marie Adelaide, daughter of the Archduke Renier of Austria. Lord Clarendon wrote to Baron Marochetti:—...

"The Queen's first care was for the happiness of Princess Mary, and it was the wish of Her Majesty and of Her Majesty's Government that the decision should be left to the unbiassed judgment of Her Royal Highness.

"Princess Mary, having maturely weighed the matter in all its different bearings, has come to the conclusion that it is her duty as regards both the King of Sardinia and herself to decline the offer, which you were empowered to make on the part of His Majesty.

"Princess Mary fully appreciates the many excellent and noble qualities of the King. She does not doubt that in him individually she would be happy, and she thinks that the alliance would be popular in England; but Her Royal Highness feels that as the Protestant Queen of Sardinia she must be in a false position, and that a wife can never find herself thus placed without injury to her husband.

"Princess Mary is deeply attached to her religion, which is the first consideration in this world, and in the free and undisturbed exercise of that religion, however much it might be sanctioned by the King, and supported by His Majesty's Government, she feels that she would be the object of constant suspicion, that her motives would be liable to misconstruction, and that the King would be exposed to grave embarrassments, which time would only serve to increase.

"I am not surprised at this decision, which, from my knowledge of Princess Mary's profound religious feeling, I rather led you to anticipate; but I am bound to say that with reference to her religion, and with reference to that alone, Her Royal Highness has, in my opinion, decided with wisdom and foresight.

"I am convinced, however, that in renouncing upon conscientious grounds the brilliant position which has been offered to her, of which she fully appreciated the advantages, Princess Mary can only have added to the respect which the King already feels for the noble and elevated character of Her Royal Highness."]



[Pageheading: THE KING OF PORTUGAL]

Queen Victoria to the King of the Belgians.

BALMORAL, 19th September 1856.

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