The Life and Times of Queen Victoria; vol. 4 of 4 by Robert Wilson








C A S S E L L   &   C O M P A N Y, Limited:






Effect of Prussian Victories on English Opinion—Sudden Changes of Popular Impulse—Demand for Army Reform—Opposition to the Princess Louise’s Dowry—Opening of Parliament—The Army Bill—Abolition of Purchase—Opposition of the Tory Party—Mr. Disraeli Throws Over his Followers—Obstructing the Purchase Bill—Mr. Cardwell’s Threat—Obstruction in the House of Lords—A Bold Use of the Queen’s Prerogative—The Wrath of the Peers—They Pass a Vote of Censure on the Government—The Ballot Bill—The Peers Reject the Ballot Bill—The University Tests Bill—The Trades Union Bill—Its Defects—The Case of Purchon v. Hartley—The Licensing Bill and its Effect on Parties—Local Government Reform—Mr. Lowe’s Disastrous Budget—The Match Tax—Ex luce lucellum—Withdrawal of the Budget—The Washington Treaty and the Queen—Lord Granville’s Feeble Foreign Policy—His Failure to Mediate between France and Germany—Bismarck’s Contemptuous Treatment of English Despatches—Væ Victis!—The German Terms of Peace—Asking too Much and Taking too Little—Mr. Gladstone’s Embarrassments—Decaying Popularity of the Government—The Collier Affair—Effect of the Commune on English Opinion—Court Life in 1871—Marriage of the Princess Louise—The Queen Opens the Albert Hall—The Queen at St. Thomas’s Hospital—Prince Arthur’s Income—Public Protests and Irritating Discussions—The Queen’s Illness—Sudden Illness of the Prince of Wales—Growing Anxiety of the People—Alarming Prospects of a Regency—Between Life and Death—Panic in the Money Market—Hopeful Bulletins—Convalescence of the Prince—Public Sympathy with the Queen—Her Majesty’s Letter to the People 385

Thanksgiving Day—The Procession—Behaviour of the Crowd—Scene in St. Paul’s—Decorations and Illuminations—Letter from Her Majesty—Attack on the Queen—John Brown—The Queen’s Speech—The Alabama Claims—The “Consequential Damages”—Living in a Blaze of Apology—Story of the “Indirect Claims”—The Arbitrators’ Award—Sir Alexander Cockburn’s Judgment—Passing of the Ballot Act—The Scottish Education Act—The Licensing Bill—Public Health Bill—Coal Mines Regulation Bill—The Army Bill—Admiralty Reforms—Ministerial Defeat on Local Taxation—Starting of the Home Government Association in Dublin—Assassination of Lord Mayo—Stanley’s Discovery of Livingstone—Dr. Livingstone’s Interview with the Queen—Her Majesty’s Gift to Mr. Stanley—Death of Dr. Norman Macleod—The Japanese Embassy—The Burmese Mission—Her Majesty at Holyrood Palace—Death of Her Half-Sister 414

A Lull Before the Storm—Dissent in the Dumps—Disastrous Bye-Elections—The Queen’s Speech—The Irish University Bill—Defeat of the Government—Resignation of the Ministry—Mr. Disraeli’s Failure to Form a Cabinet—The Queen and the Crisis—Lord Derby as a Possible Premier—Mr. Gladstone Returns to Office—Power Passes to the House of Lords—Grave Administration Scandals—The Zanzibar Mail Contract—Misappropriation of the Post Office Savings Banks’ Balances—Mr. Gladstone Reconstructs his Ministry—The Financial Achievements of his Administration—The Queen and the Prince of Wales—Debts of the Heir Apparent—The Queen’s Scheme for Meeting the Prince’s Expenditure on her Behalf—The Queen and Foreign Decorations—Death of Napoleon III.—The Queen at the East End—The Blue-Coat Boys at Buckingham Palace—The Coming of the Shah—Astounding Rumours of his Progress through Europe—The Queen’s Reception of the Persian Monarch—How the Shah was Entertained—His Departure from England—Marriage of the Duke of Edinburgh—Public Entry of the Duchess into London 431

Questions of the Recess—The Dissenters and the Education Act—Mr. Forster’s Compromise—The Nonconformist Revolt—Mr. Bright Essays Conciliation—Sudden Popularity of Mr. Lowe—His “Anti-puritanic Nature”—Mr. Chamberlain and the Dissidence of Dissent—Decline of the Liberal Party—Signs of Bye-elections—A Colonial Scandal—The Canadian Pacific Railway—Jobbing the Contract—Action of the Dominion Parliament—Expulsion of the Macdonald Ministry—The Ashanti War—How {iv}it Originated—A Short Campaign—The British in Coomassie—Treaty with King Koffee—The Opposition and the War—Skilful Tactics—Discontent among the Radical Ranks—Illness of Mr. Gladstone—A Sick-bed Resolution—Appeal to the Country—Mr. Gladstone’s Address—Mr. Disraeli’s Manifesto—Liberal Defeat—Incidents of the Election—“Villadom” to the Front—Mr. Gladstone’s Resignation—Mr. Disraeli’s Working Majority—The Conservative Cabinet—The Surplus of £6,000,000—What will Sir Stafford do with it?—Dissensions among the Liberal Chiefs—Mr. Gladstone and the Leadership—The Queen’s Speech—Mr. Disraeli and the Fallen Minister—The Dangers of Hustings Oratory—Mr. Ward Hunt’s “Paper Fleet”—The Last of the Historic Surpluses—How Sir S. Northcote Disposed of it—The Hour but not the Man—Mr. Cross’s Licensing Bill—The Public Worship Regulation Bill—A Curiously Composed Opposition—Mr. Disraeli on Lord Salisbury—The Scottish Patronage Bill—Academic Debates on Home Rule—The Endowed Schools Bill—Mr. Stansfeld’s Rating Bill—Bill for Consolidating the Factory Acts—End of the Session—The Successes and Failures of the Ministry—Prince Bismarck’s Contest with the Roman Catholic Church—Arrest of Count Harry Arnim—Mr. Disraeli’s Apology to Prince Bismarck—Mr. Gladstone’s Desultory Leadership—“Vaticanism”—Deterioration in Society—An Unopposed Royal Grant—Visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales to Birmingham—Withdrawal of the Duchess of Edinburgh from Court—A Dispute over Precedence—Visit of the Czar to England—Review of the Ashanti War Soldiers and Sailors—The Queen on Cruelty to Animals—Sir Theodore Martin’s Biography of the Prince Consort—The Queen tells the Story of its Authorship 457

Mr. Disraeli recognises Intellect—Lord Hartington Liberal Leader—The Queen’s Speech—Lord Hartington’s “Grotesque Reminiscences”—Mr. Cross’s Labour Bills—The Artisans’ Dwellings Act—Mr. Plimsoll and the “Ship-knackers”—Lord Hartington’s First “Hit”—The Plimsoll Agitation—Surrender of the Cabinet—“Strangers” in the House—The Budget—Rise of Mr. Biggar—First Appearance of Mr. Parnell—The Fugitive Slave Circular—The Sinking of the Yacht Mistletoe—The Loss of the Vanguard—Purchase of the Suez Canal Shares—The Prince of Wales’s Visit to India—Resignation of Lord Northbrook—Appointment of Lord Lytton as Viceroy of India—Outbreak of the Eastern Question—The Andrassy Note—The Berlin Memorandum—Murder of French and German Consuls at Salonica—Lord Derby Rejects the Berlin Memorandum—Servia Declares War on Turkey—The Bulgarian Revolt Quenched in Blood—The Sultan Dethroned—Opening of Parliament—“Sea-sick of the Silver Streak”—Debates on the Eastern Question—Development of Obstruction by Mr. Biggar and Mr. Parnell—The Royal Titles Bill—Lord Shaftesbury and the Queen—The Queen at Whitechapel—A Doleful Budget—Mr. Disraeli becomes Earl of Beaconsfield—The Prince Consort’s Memorial at Edinburgh—Mr. Gladstone and the Eastern Question—The Servian War—The Constantinople Conference—The Tories Manufacture Failure for Lord Salisbury—Death of Lady Augusta Stanley—Proclamation of the Queen as Empress at Delhi 482

Opening of Parliament—Sir Stafford Northcote’s Leadership—The Prisons Bill—Mr. Parnell’s Policy of Scientific Obstruction—The South Africa Confederation Bill—Mr. Parnell’s Bout with Sir Stafford Northcote—A Twenty-six Hours’ Sitting—The Budget—The Russo-Turkish Question—Prince Albert’s Eastern Policy—Opinion at Court—The Sentiments of Society—The Feeling of the British People—Outbreak of War—Collapse of Turkey—The Jingoes—The Third Volume of the “Life of the Prince Consort”—The “Greatest War Song on Record”—The Queen’s Visit to Hughenden—Early Meeting of Parliament—Mr. Layard’s Alarmist Telegrams—The Fleet Ordered to Constantinople—Resignation of Lord Carnarvon—The Russian Terms of Peace—Violence of the War Party—The Debate on the War Vote—The Treaty of San Stefano—Resignation of Lord Derby—Calling Out the Reserves—Lord Salisbury’s Circular—The Indian Troops Summoned to Malta—The Salisbury-Schouvaloff Agreement—Lord Salisbury’s Denials—The Berlin Congress—The Globe Disclosures—The Anglo-Turkish Convention—Occupation of Cyprus—“Peace with Honour”—The Irish Intermediate Education Bill—Consolidation of the Factory Acts—The Monarch and the Multitude—Outbreak of the Third Afghan War—The “Scientific Frontier”—Naval Review at Spithead—Death of the Ex-King of Hanover—Death of the Princess Alice 513

Ominous Bye-Elections—The Spangles of Imperialism—Disturbed state of Eastern Europe—Origin of the Quarrel with the Zulus—Cetewayo’s Feud with the Boers—A “Prancing Pro-Consul”—Sir Bartle Frere’s Ultimatum to the Zulu King—War Declared—The Crime and its Retribution—The Disaster of Isandhlwana—The Defence of Rorke’s Drift—Demands for the Recall of Sir Bartle Frere—Censured but not Dismissed—Sir Garnet Wolseley Supersedes Sir Bartle Frere in Natal—The Victory of Ulundi—Capture of Cetewayo—End of the War—The Invasion of Afghanistan—Death of Shere Ali—Yakoob Khan Proclaimed Ameer—The Treaty of Gundamuk—The “Scientific Frontier”—The Army Discipline Bill—Mr. Parnell attacks the “Cat”—Mr. Chamberlain Plays to the Gallery—Surrender of the Government—Lord Hartington’s Motion against Flogging—The Irish University Bill—An Unpopular Budget—The Murder of Cavagnari and Massacre of his Suite—The Army of Vengeance—The Recapture of Cabul—The Settlement of Zululand—Death of Prince Louis Napoleon—The Court-Martial on Lieutenant Carey—Its Judgment Quashed—Marriage of the Duke of Connaught—The Queen at {v}Baveno 562

General Gloom—Fall of the Tay Bridge—Liberal Onslaught on the Government—The Mussulman Schoolmaster and the Anglican Missionary—The Queen’s Speech—The Irish Relief Bill—A Dying Parliament—Mr. Cross’s Water Bill—“Coming in on Beer and Going out on Water”—Sir Stafford Northcote’s Budget—Lord Beaconsfield’s Manifesto—The General Election—Defeat of the Tories—Incidents of the Struggle—Mr. Gladstone Prime Minister—The Fourth Party—Mr. Bradlaugh and the Oath—Mr. Gladstone and the Emperor of Austria—The Naval Demonstration—Grave Error in the Indian Budget—Affairs in Afghanistan—Disaster at Maiwand—Roberts’s March—The New Ameer—Revolt of the Boers—The Ministerial Programme—The Burials Bill—The Hares and Rabbits Bill—The Employers’ Liability Bill—Supplementary Budget—The Compensation for Disturbance Bill—Boycotting—Trial of Mr. Parnell and Mr. Dillon—The Queen’s Visit to Germany—The Queen Presents the Albert Medal to George Oatley of the Coastguard—Reviews at Windsor—The Queen’s Speech to the Ensigns—The Battle of the Standards—Royalty and Riflemen—Outrages in Ireland—“Endymion”—Death of George Eliot 581

Lord Beaconsfield Attacks the Government—The Irish Crisis—The Coercion Bills—An All-night Sitting—The Arrest of Mr. Davitt—The Revolt of the Irish Members—The Speaker’s Coup d’État—Urgency—New Rules of Procedure—The Speaker’s Clôture—End of the Struggle against Coercion—Mr. Dillon’s Irish Campaign—Mr. Forster’s First Batch of “Suspects”—The Peers Censure the Ministry—Mr. Gladstone’s “Retort Courteous”—Abolition of the “Cat”—The Budget—Paying off the National Debt—The Irish Land Bill—The Three “F’s”—Resignation of the Duke of Argyll—The Strategic Blunder of the Tories—The Fallacy of Dual Ownership—Conflict between the Lords and Commons—Surrender of the Peers—Passing the Land Bill—Revolt of the Transvaal—The Rout of Majuba Hill—Death of Sir George Colley—The Boers Triumphant—Concession of Autonomy to the Boers—Lord Beaconsfield’s Death—His Career and Character—A “Walking Funeral” at Hughenden—The Queen and Lord Beaconsfield’s Tomb—A Sorrowing Nation—Assassination of the Czar—The Queen and the Duchess of Edinburgh—Character of the Czar Emancipator—Precautions for the Safety of the Queen—Visit of the King and Queen of Sweden to Windsor—Prince Leopold becomes Duke of Albany—Deaths of Dean Stanley and Mr. Carlyle—Review of Scottish Volunteers—Assassination of President Garfield—The Royal Family—The Highlands—Holiday Pastimes—The Parnellites and the Irish Land Act—Arrest of Mr. Parnell—No-Rent Manifesto 610

The Duke of Albany’s Marriage Announced—Mr. Bradlaugh Again—Procedure Reform—The Closure at Last—The Peers Co-operate with the Parnellites—Their Attacks on the Land Act—Mr. Forster’s Policy of “Thorough”—A Nation under Arrest—Increase in Outrages—Sir J. D. Hay and Mr. W. H. Smith bid for the Parnellite Vote—A Political Dutch Auction—The Radicals Outbid the Tories—Release of Mr. Parnell and the Suspects—The Kilmainham Treaty—Victory of Mr. Chamberlain—Resignation of Mr. Forster and Lord Cowper—The Tragedy in the Phœnix Park—Ireland Under Lord Spencer—Firm and Resolute Government—Coercion Revived—The Arrears Bill—The Budget—England in Egypt—How Ismail Pasha “Kissed the Carpet”—Spoiling the Egyptians—Mr. Goschen’s Scheme for Collecting the Debt—The Dual Control—The Ascendency of France—“Egypt for the Egyptians”—The Rule of Arabi—Riots in Alexandria—The Egyptian War—Murder of Professor Palmer—British Occupation of Egypt—The Queen’s Monument to Lord Beaconsfield—Attempt to Assassinate Her Majesty—The Queen’s Visit to Mentone—Marriage of the Duke of Albany 630

The Married Women’s Property Act—The Opening of Parliament—Changes in the Cabinet—Arrest of Suspects in Dublin—Invincibles on their Trial—Evidence of the Informer Carey—Carey’s Fate—The Forster-Parnell Incident—National Gift to Mr. Parnell—The Affirmation Bill—The Bankruptcy and other Bills—Mr. Childers’ Budget—The Corrupt Practices Bill—The “Farmers’ Friends”—Sir Stafford Northcote’s Leadership—The Bright Celebration—Dynamite Outrages in London—The Explosives Act—M. de Lesseps and Mr. Gladstone—Blunders in South Africa—The Ilbert Bill—The Attack on Lady Florence Dixie’s House—Death of John Brown—His Career and Character—The Queen and the Consumption of Lamb—A Dull Holiday at Balmoral—Capsizing of the Daphne—Prince Albert Victor made K.G.—France and Madagascar—Arrest of Rev. Mr. Shaw—Settlement of the Dispute—Progress of the National League—Orange and Green Rivalry—The Leeds Conference—“Franchise First”—Lord Salisbury and the Housing of the Poor—Mr. Besant and East London—“Slumming”—Hicks Pasha’s Disastrous Expedition {vi}in the Soudan—Mr. Gladstone on Jam 652

Success of the Mahdi—Difficult Position of the Ministers—Their Egyptian Policy—General Gordon sent out to the Soudan—Baker Pasha’s Forces Defeated—Sir S. Northcote’s Vote of Censure—The Errors on Both Sides—Why not a Protectorate?—Gordon in Khartoum—Zebehr, “King of the Slave-traders”—Attacks on Gordon—Osman Digna Twice Defeated—Treason in Khartoum—Gordon’s Vain Appeals—Financial Position of Egypt—Abortive Conference of the Powers—Vote of Credit—The New Speaker—Mr. Bradlaugh Redivivus—Mr. Childers’ Budget—The Coinage Bill—The Reform Bill—Household Franchise for the Counties—Carried in the Commons—Thrown Out in the Lords—Agitation in the Country—The Autumn Session—“No Surrender”—Compromise—The Franchise Bill Passed—The Nile Expedition—Murder of Colonel Stewart and Mr. Frank Power—Lord Northbrook’s Mission—Ismail Pasha’s Claims—The “Scramble for Africa”—Coolness with Germany—The Angra Pequena Dispute—Bismarck’s Irritation—Queensland and New Guinea—Death of Lord Hertford—The Queen’s New Book—Death of the Duke of Albany—Character and Career of the Prince—The Claremont Estate—The Queen at Darmstadt—Marriage of the Princess Victoria of Hesse—A Gloomy Season—The Health Exhibition—The Queen and the Parliamentary Deadlock—The Abyssinian Envoys at Osborne—Prince George of Wales made K.G.—The Court at Balmoral—Mr. Gladstone’s Visit to the Queen 671

An Annus Mirabilis—Breaking up of the Old Parties—The Tory-Parnellite Alliance—Mr. Chamberlain’s Socialism—The Doctrine of “Ransom”—Effect of the Reform Bill and Seats Bill—Enthroning the “Sovereign People”—Three Reform Struggles: 1832, 1867, 1885—“One Man One Vote”—Another Vote of Censure—A Barren Victory—Retreat from the Soudan—The Dispute with Russia—Komaroff at Penjdeh—The Vote of Credit—On the Verge of War—Mr. Gladstone’s Compromise with Russia—Threatened Renewal of the Crimes Act—The Tory Intrigue with the Parnellites—The Tory Chiefs Decide to Oppose Coercion—Wrangling in the Cabinet—Mr. Childers’ Budget—A Yawning Deficit—Increasing the Spirit Duties—Readjusting the Succession Duties—Combined Attack by Tories and Parnellites on the Budget—Defeat of the Government and Fall of Mr. Gladstone’s Ministry—The Scene in the Commons—The Tories in Power—Lord Salisbury’s Government—Places for the Fourth Party—Mr. Parnell Demands his Price—Abandoning Lord Spencer—Re-opening the Question of the Maamtrasna Murders—Concessions to the Parnellites—The New Budget—Sir H. D. Wolff sent to Cairo—The Criminal Law Amendment Act—Court Life in 1885—Affairs at Home and Abroad—The Fall of Khartoum—Death of General Gordon—Marriage of the Princess Beatrice—The Battenbergs 697

Mr. Chamberlain’s Doctrine of “Ransom”—The Midlothian Programme—Lord Randolph Churchill’s Appeal to the Whigs—Bidding for the Parnellite Vote—Resignation of Lord Carnarvon—The General Election—“Three Acres and a Cow”—Defeat of Lord Salisbury—The Liberal Cabinet—Mr. Gladstone’s Home Rule Scheme—Ulster Threatens Civil War—Secession of the Liberal “Unionists”—Defeat of Mr. Gladstone—Lord Salisbury again in Office—Mr. Parnell’s Relief Bill Rejected—The “Plan of Campaign”—Resignation of Lord Randolph Churchill—Mr. Goschen becomes Chancellor of the Exchequer—Riots in the West End of London—The Indian and Colonial Exhibition—The Imperial Institute—The Queen’s Visit to Liverpool—The Holloway College for Women—A Busy Season for her Majesty—The International Exhibition at Edinburgh—The Prince and Princess Komatsu of Japan 724

The Fiftieth Year of the Queen’s Reign—Mr. W. H. Smith Leader of the Commons—Sudden Death of Lord Iddesleigh—Opening of Parliament—The Queen’s Speech—The Debate on the Address—New Rules for Procedure—Closure Proposed by the Tories—Irish Landlords and Evictions—“Pressure Within the Law”—Prosecution of Mr. Dillon—The Round Table Conference—“Parnellism and Crime”—Resignation of Sir M. Hicks-Beach—Appointment of Mr. Balfour—The Coercion Bill—Resolute Government for Twenty Years—Scenes in the House—Irish Land Bill—The Bankruptcy Clauses—The National League Proclaimed—The Allotments Act—The Margarine Act—Hamburg Spirit—Mr. Goschen’s Budget—The Jubilee in India—The Modes of Celebration in England—Congratulatory Addresses—The Queen’s Visit to Birmingham—The Laureate’s Jubilee Ode—The Queen at Cannes and Aix—Her Visit to the Grande Chartreuse—Colonial Addresses—Opening of the People’s Palace—Jubilee Day—The Scene in the Streets—Preceding Jubilees—The Royal Procession—The German Crown Prince—The Decorations and the Onlookers—The Spectacle in Westminster Abbey—The Procession—The Ceremony—The Illuminations—Royal Banquet in Buckingham Palace—The Shower of Honours—Jubilee Observances in the British Empire and the United States—The Children’s Celebration in Hyde Park—The Queen’s Garden Party—Her Majesty’s Letter to her People—The Imperial Institute—The Victorian Age 733


The Prince and Princess of Wales and their Frontispiece.
Osborne, from the Solent 385
The Princess Louise (From a Photograph by and Fry) 388
The Marquis of Lorne (From a Photograph by and Fry) 389
Inverary Castle (From a Photograph by G. W. and Co.) 393
Mr. W. E. Forster (From a Photograph by Russell Sons) 396
Balmoral Castle, from the North-west (From a by G. W. Wilson and Co., Aberdeen) 400
After Sedan: Discussing the Capitulation (From Picture by Georg Bleibtreu) 401
Metz 405
Marriage of the Princess Louise To face 408
Opening of the Royal Albert Hall 409
The Prince of Wales’s Illness: Crowd at the House Reading the Bulletins 412
Thanksgiving Day: the Procession at Ludgate (From the Picture by N. Chevalier) 413
Thanksgiving Day: St. Paul’s Illuminated 416
The Thanksgiving Service in St. Paul’s Cathedral 417
Geneva 421
Dr. Norman Macleod (From a Photograph by and Fry) 425
The Queen receiving the Burmese Embassy 428
Queen’s College, Cork (From a Photograph by . Lawrence, Dublin) 432
Professor Fawcett (From a Photograph by the Stereoscopic Company) 433
Queen’s College, Galway 436
Views in Windsor: Old Market Street, and the Hall, from High Street 440
Sandringham House 441
The Queen’s Visit to Victoria Park 445
Blue-coat Boys at Buckingham Palace 448
The Shah of Persia Presenting his Suite to the at Windsor To face 449
The Duke of Edinburgh 452
The Duchess of Edinburgh (From a Photograph W. and D. Downey) 453
Marriage of the Duke of Edinburgh (From the by N. Chevalier) 456
Coomassie 460
King Koffee’s Palace, Coomassie 461
Lord Salisbury (From a Photograph by Bassano, Bond Street, W.) 465
Review in Windsor Great Park of the Troops from Ashanti War: the March Past before the 469
The Bishop of Peterborough (Dr. Magee) addressing House of Lords 473
Alexander II., Czar of Russia 477
The Albert Memorial Chapel, Windsor (From a by G. W. Wilson and Co.) 480
Mr. Plimsoll Addressing the House of Commons 484
The Marquis of Hartington (From a Photograph Russell and Sons) 485
Abergeldie Castle (From a Photograph by G. W. and Co.) 488
View on the Suez Canal 492
Count Ferdinand De Lesseps 493
The Mosque at San Sophia, Constantinople 496
Heralds at the Mansion House, Proclaiming the as “Empress of India” 497
The Queen Visiting the Wards of the London 500
The Albert Memorial, Charlotte Square, Edinburgh 501
Holyrood Palace, from the South-east 504
Sir James Falshaw (From a Photograph by . Moffat, Edinburgh) 505
Lord Beaconsfield at the Banquet in the Guildhall 508
General View of Constantinople 509
Trooping the Colours in St. James’s Park on the ’s Birthday To face 513
Lord Cairns (From a Photograph by Russell and ) 513
Horseshoe Cloisters, Windsor Castle 517
Lord Derby (From a Photograph by Elliott and ) 521
The Tower of Galata, Constantinople 525
Russian Wounded Leaving Plevna 528
Hughenden Manor (From a Photograph by Taunt Co.) 529
The Queen’s Visit to Hughenden: at High Wycombe Station 533
Prince Gortschakoff 537
Russo-Turkish War: Map showing Position of and Turkish Lines outside of Constantinople, of the British Fleet 540
The Marina, Larnaca, Cyprus 544
Salonica 545
Prince Bismarck (From the Photograph by and Petsch, Berlin) 548
{viii}Shere Ali, Ameer of Cabul 553
The Queen Reviewing the Fleet at Spithead 557
The Albert Memorial, Kensington 561
Isandhlwana: the Dash with the Colours 565
Baveno, on Lago Maggiore 568
The Villa Clara, Baveno 569
The Duchess of Connaught 572
The Duke of Connaught 573
Marriage of the Duke of Connaught (From the by S. P. Hall) 576
Queen Victoria (1887) To face 577
The Mausoleum, Frogmore 577
Osborne House, from the Gardens (From a Photograph J. Valentine and Sons) 581
The First Tay Bridge, from the South 584
Windsor Castle: a Peep from the Dean’s Garden 585
After the Midlothian Victory: Mr. Gladstone Addressing Crowd from the Balcony of Lord ’s House, George Street, Edinburgh (From the Picture in “The Graphic”) 589
Mr. Chamberlain (From a Photograph by Russell Sons) 593
Old Palace of the Prince of Montenegro, Cettigne 597
Windsor Castle: Queen Elizabeth’s Library, from Quadrangle 600
The Queen Presenting the Albert Medal to George , of the Coastguard 604
Review in Windsor Park: Charge of the 5th and Dragoon Guards 605
Ballater 609
Mr. Parnell (From a Photograph by William , Dublin) 613
Grafton Street, Dublin 616
Lord Beaconsfield’s Last Appearance in the Peers’ of the House of Commons (From a by Harry Furniss) 617
Lord Beaconsfield’s House, 19, Curzon Street, Mayfair 621
The Prince of Wales in his Robes as a Bencher of Middle Temple (From a Photograph by . and D. Downey) 624
The Princess of Wales (From a Photograph by . and D. Downey) 625
The Royal Family in the Highlands: Tug of War—Balmoral v. Abergeldie 629
Lord Frederick Cavendish (From a Photograph the London Stereoscopic Company) 633
The Karmous Suburb, Alexandria, and Pompey’s 637
Ahmed Arabi Pasha (From the Portrait by Villiers in A. M. Broadley’s “How Defended Arabi and his Friends”) 640
Lord Wolseley (From a Photograph by Fradelle Young) 641
The Duchess of Albany 644
The Duke of Albany 645
Marriage of the Duke of Albany To face 648
Mentone (From a Photograph by Frith and Co., ) 649
Lambeth Palace 652
Charles Darwin (From a Photograph by Elliott Fry) 653
The Round Tower, Windsor Castle 657
The Royal Albert Hall, Kensington 661
John Brown (From a Photograph by G. W. Wilson Co., Aberdeen) 665
The Parish Church, Crathie 669
Braemar Castle 669
General Gordon (From a Photograph by Adams Scanlan, Southampton) 673
Khartoum 677
Sir Stafford Northcote, afterwards Lord Iddesleigh (From a Photograph by Barraud, Oxford ) 680
The Citadel, Cairo 681
Balmoral Castle, from Craig Nordie (From a by G. W. Wilson and Co.) 685
Funeral of the Duke of Albany: the Procession Windsor Castle 688
View in Claremont Park 689
The Linn of Dee (From a Photograph by G. W. and Co.) 693
The Queen Receiving the Abyssinian Envoys at 696
Prince Henry of Battenberg (From a Photograph Theodor Prümm, Berlin) 700
Princess Beatrice (From a Photograph by Hughes Mullins, Ryde) 701
The Queen in her State Robes To face 705
Mr. Gladstone (From a Photograph by Elliott Fry) 705
Drawing-Room in Buckingham Palace 709
Map of the War in the Soudan 716
Marriage of the Princess Beatrice 721
Opening of Parliament in 1886: the Royal Procession Westminster Palace on the way to House of Peers 725
Lord Tennyson (From a Photograph by H. H. H. , Mortimer Street, W.) 729
Opening of the Indian and Colonial Exhibition: Queen’s Tour 733
The Queen’s Visit to Edinburgh (1886): Her Leaving Holyrood Palace 737
The Crown Prince, afterwards the Emperor III. of Germany (From a Photograph Reichard and Lindner, Berlin) 745
The Crown Princess, afterwards the Empress of Germany (From a Photograph by and Lindner, Berlin) 745
The Jubilee Garden Party at Buckingham Palace: Royal Tent 749



Effect of Prussian Victories on English Opinion—Sudden Changes of Popular Impulse—Demand for Army Reform—Opposition to the Princess Louise’s Dowry—Opening of Parliament—The Army Bill—Abolition of Purchase—Opposition of the Tory Party—Mr. Disraeli Throws Over his Followers—Obstructing the Purchase Bill—Mr. Cardwell’s Threat—Obstruction in the House of Lords—A Bold Use of the Queen’s Prerogative—The Wrath of the Peers—They Pass a Vote of Censure on the Government—The Ballot Bill—The Peers Reject the Ballot Bill—The University Tests Bill—The Trades Union Bill—Its Defects—The Case of Purchon v. Hartley—The Licensing Bill and its Effect on Parties—Local Government Reform—Mr. Lowe’s Disastrous Budget—The Match Tax—Ex luce lucellum—Withdrawal of the Budget—The Washington Treaty and the Queen—Lord Granville’s Feeble Foreign Policy—His Failure to Mediate Between France and Germany—Bismarck’s Contemptuous Treatment of English Despatches—Væ Victis!—The German Terms of Peace—Asking too Much and Taking too Little—Mr. Gladstone’s Embarrassments—Decaying Popularity of the Government—The Collier Affair—Effect of the Commune on English Opinion—Court Life in 1871—Marriage of the Princess Louise—The Queen Opens the Albert Hall—The Queen at St. Thomas’s Hospital—Prince Arthur’s Income—Public Protests and Irritating Discussions—The Queen’s Illness—Sudden Illness of the Prince of Wales—Growing Anxiety of the People—Alarming Prospects of a Regency—Between Life and Death—Panic in the Money Market—Hopeful Bulletins—Convalescence of the Prince—Public Sympathy with the Queen—Her Majesty’s Letter to the People.

The closing weeks of 1870 and the early days of 1871 were full of anxiety to the Queen. Despite its services to the country, the Cabinet was obviously losing ground. The Franco-Prussian War had brought about a great change in the minds of the people as to the kind of work they wanted their Government to do, and it was certain that Mr. Gladstone and his colleagues did not respond quickly to the new impulse which the fall of Imperialism in France, and the rise of the new German Empire had given to public opinion in{386} England. When the Cabinet took office, retrenchment and reform at home, and isolation abroad, were objects which the nation desired the Government to pursue. The victories of Prussia certainly strengthened the hands of the Ministry in carrying out their education policy. But in every other department of public life the people began to expect from the Cabinet what the Cabinet was not, by its temperament, likely to give. Ministers, in their handling of the Army and Navy, for example, made economy the leading idea of their policy. The country, on the other hand, alarmed at the collapse of France, put efficiency before economy. Non-intervention in Foreign Affairs, which was the policy of the Ministry, and which had been the policy of the Tory Opposition, was discredited when Russia repudiated the Black Sea Clauses of the Treaty of Paris, and when it was discovered that somehow Lord Granville’s management of Foreign Affairs had left England with enemies, and not with allies, in the councils of the world. Forgetful of the stormy sea of foreign troubles through which Palmerston was perpetually steering the labouring vessel of State, the nation began to long for a Minister who could make England play a great part in the drama of Continental politics. Lord Granville’s “surrender” in the Black Sea Conference was admittedly dignified and adroit, but it did not on that account satisfy the country. Why had he not pressed for an equivalent right on the part of England and the Powers to pass the Dardanelles? That would, at all events, have made the Black Sea an European instead of a Russian lake, or rather a lake whose waters Russia shared with a weak and decaying Power like Turkey. Why did he not recast the Foreign Policy of England, and proceed to check Russia diplomatically by strengthening Austria in the Danube? If the irritation of the United States was paralysing England in Europe, why was no decided action taken to bring about an equitable settlement of the Alabama Claims? Why was the recognition of the new French Republic delayed, when it was known that even Von Bismarck deigned to treat with it for peace, and when its recognition would raise up for England a friendly feeling in France? All these and other questions were asked by men who were not partisans, and who were, on the whole, well disposed to Mr. Gladstone’s administration.

The only reform movement, indeed, that excited any popular enthusiasm at the beginning of 1871, was that which Mr. Trevelyan had started after he resigned his Civil Lordship of the Admiralty, because Mr. Forster’s Education Bill increased the grant to denominational schools. It was significant, too, that this movement was one for making the army more efficient by abolishing the system that permitted officers to buy their commissions and their promotion. It had been said that nothing could be done to render the army formidable, so long as the Commander-in-Chief was its absolute ruler. The result was that the Duke of Cambridge was made subordinate to the Secretary of State. Next it was said that{387} nothing could be done to improve the army so long as it was pawned to its officers, who had acquired by purchase something like a vested right in maintaining the existing military system. Abolition of Purchase, therefore, in 1871, seemed to be the only point of contact between the nation and the Cabinet, who were supposed to favour Mr. Trevelyan’s agitation. The demand for increasing the army, when sanctioned by a Parliamentary vote, Mr. Cardwell evaded. When merely sanctioned by public opinion he either ignored it, or, as in the case of issuing breech-loading rifles to the Volunteers, yielded to it after resisting it for about eight months. The changes in the Cabinet due to Mr. Bright’s resignation further lessened confidence in the Government. Mr. Chichester Fortescue, in spite of his half-hearted Fenian amnesty, was on the whole a popular and active Irish Secretary. He, however, was appointed to succeed Mr. Bright at the Board of Trade, where he had to guide a department charged with interests of which he was utterly ignorant. Lord Hartington, on the other hand, whose transference to the War Office would have been gratifying to the country, was sent to the Irish Office, to the consternation of those Liberals who had been dissatisfied with the reactionary tone of his speeches on Irish affairs. The general desire for new War and Foreign Ministers was ignored.[1]

But perhaps the most extraordinary change in public sentiment in 1871 was that which marked public opinion in relation to the marriage of the Princess Louise. When it was announced, popular feeling was clearly in favour of the alliance. But towards the end of January, 1871, there was hardly a large borough in England, the member for which on addressing his constituents, was not asked menacingly if he meant to vote for a national dowry to the Princess. Too often, when the member said he intended to give such a vote, he was hissed by the meeting. Mr. Forster escaped a hostile demonstration by humorously parrying the question. He said he could not consent to fine the Princess for marrying a Scotsman. At Halifax Mr. Stansfeld was seriously embarrassed by the question. At Chelsea both members nearly forfeited the usual vote of confidence passed in them by their constituents. Mr. White at Brighton had to promise to vote against the dowry; at Birmingham Messrs. Dixon and Muntz could hardly get a hearing from their constituents when they defended it. The annoyance which the Queen suffered when she saw her daughter’s name rudely handled at angry mass{388}

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(From a Photograph by Elliott and Fry.)

meetings was unspeakable. This unexpected ebullition of public feeling was due to a belief among the electors that when Royalty formed matrimonial alliances with subjects it ought to accept the rule which prevails among persons of private station, and frankly recognise that it is the duty of the husband to support the wife. To demand a dowry of £40,000 and an income of £6,000 a year for the Princess Louise, it was argued, was preposterous. The lady, it was said, could not possibly need it, seeing that she was to marry a nobleman who was able to maintain his wife, and who, had he not married a princess, would have been expected to maintain her in the comfort befitting his inherited rank and social position. But common sense soon reasserted its sway over the nation. It was then speedily admitted that a great country lowered its dignity when it chaffered with the Sovereign over{389} allowances which were necessary to sustain a becoming stateliness of life in the Royal Family.[2]

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(From a Photograph by Elliott and Fry.)

In the course of the discussions that were carried on as to the dowry of the Princess Louise many ill-natured allusions had been made to the Queen’s life of seclusion, and it had been broadly hinted that she was neglecting her public duties. It was unfortunate that steps were not taken by some person in authority to refute this calumny, for, if her Majesty shunned the nervous excitement of public ceremonials, it was for the purpose of husbanding her strength for the transaction of official business. Still, the people were kept{390} in ignorance of that fact, and the result was that when the Queen proceeded in person to open Parliament on the 9th of February, 1871, she was for the first time in her life rather coldly received on the route from the Palace to Westminster. The Speech from the Throne dealt chiefly with Foreign Affairs, and it represented fairly the national feeling in favour of a policy of neutrality, tempered, however, with a strong desire to preserve the existence of France as “a principal and indispensable member of the great Commonwealth of Europe.” Two points in it were recognised as being in a special sense the expression of the Queen’s own views. These were (1), the cordial congratulation of Germany on having attained a position of “solidity and independence,” and (2), the carefully-guarded suggestion that Germany should be content with the cession of a mountain barrier beyond the Rhine on her new frontier, and not endanger the permanence of the peace, which must soon come by pressing for the cession of French fortresses, which, in German hands, must be a standing menace to France. Perhaps the most popular paragraph in the Speech was the one which indicated that the Governments of England and the United States, after much futile and bitter controversy, were at last agreed that the Alabama dispute should be settled by friendly arbitration before a mixed Commission. The instinct of the masses taught them that the “latent war,” as Mr. Hamilton Fish called it, between the two kindred peoples, explained why England had suddenly lost her influence in the councils of Europe. By its reference to Home Affairs, the Royal Speech, for the time, strengthened the popularity of the Ministry. It promised a Ballot Bill, a Bill for abolishing University Tests, for readjusting Local Taxation, for restricting the grants of Licences to Publicans, for reorganising Scottish Education, and for reforming the Army. When the Debate on the Address was taken, the House of Commons was obviously in a state of high nervous tension. It was half angry with Mr. Gladstone because he had not pursued a more spirited Foreign Policy, and because, by submitting to the abolition of the Black Sea Clauses of the Treaty of Paris, and assuming an isolated attitude towards France and Germany, he had made England the mere spectator of great events, the course of which she yearned to influence, if not to control. On the other hand, the House showed plainly that it was thankful that the country had been kept out of the embarrassments and entanglements of war. Indeed it was clear that, if Mr. Gladstone had pursued a more spirited policy at the risk of enforcing it by arms, he would have been hurled from power by the votes of the very men who now sneered at his policy because it was spiritless.

Mr. Disraeli’s tone was less patriotic than usual. He was careful to say nothing that would commit him and his party to any other policy than that of neutrality; but he was equally careful to encourage a belief that this policy had been adopted, not from prudence, but from cowardice. To use one of his own phrases, he “threatened Russia with a clouded cane;” though, as{391} he knew well, the Black Sea dispute had by that time ended. He endangered the prospects of peaceful arbitration on the Alabama Claims, by his bitter allusions to the United States. He poured ridicule on the military feebleness of the country at a crisis when a patriotic statesman would have naturally preferred to remain silent on such a theme. But the effect of his attack was somewhat diminished by his attempt to show that military impotence was naturally associated with Liberal Governments. Everybody knew that all governments, Liberal or Tory, were equally responsible for the bad state of the army, and that they had all equally resisted the popular demand for reform, till it grew so loud that Mr. Cardwell was forced to yield to it.

The great measure of the Session was of course the Army Bill, which was introduced by Mr. Cardwell, on the 16th of February. It abolished the system by which rich men obtained by purchase commissions and promotion in the army, and provided £8,000,000 to buy all commissions, as they fell in, at their regulation and over-regulation value.[3] In future, commissions were to be awarded either to those who won them by open competition, or who had served as subalterns in the Militia, or to deserving non-commissioned officers. Mr. Cardwell also proposed to deprive Lords-Lieutenant of Counties of the power of granting commissions in the militia. He laid down the lines of a great scheme of army reorganisation which bound the auxiliary forces closer to the regular army, gave the country 300,000 trained men, divided locally into nine corps d’armée, for home defence, kept in hand a force of 100,000 men always available for service abroad, and raised the strength of the artillery from 180 to 336 guns. This, however, he did at the cost of £15,000,000 a year—a somewhat extravagant sum, seeing that 170,000 of the army of defence consisted of unpaid volunteers. The debate that followed was a rambling one. The Tory Party defended the Purchase system because good officers had come to the front by its means. Even a Radical like Mr. Charles Buxton was not ashamed to argue that promotion by selection on account of fitness, would sour the officers who were passed over with discontent. Lord Elcho, though he made a “palpable hit” in detecting the inadequacy of Mr. Cardwell’s scheme of National Defence, sedulously avoided justifying the sale of commissions in the army. He based his objection to the abolition of Purchase on the ground that it would involve “the most wicked, the most wanton, the most uncalled for waste of the public money.” Here we have depicted a vivid contrast between the House of Commons of the Second, and the House of the Third Reform Bill. In these latter days Lord Wemyss—who in 1871 was Lord Elcho—would hardly venture to obstruct any measure of reform because there was tacked on to it a scheme for compensating “vested interests” too generously. The Representatives of the People would now meet such an objection by simply{392} cutting down the compensation. And Mr. Cardwell had an excellent opportunity for doing this ready to his hands. The money paid for commissions was far above the regulation price, and yet it was a statutory offence punishable by two years’ imprisonment to pay over-regulation prices. In fact, Parliament may be said to have betrayed the country in this transaction. Not only had it connived at the offence of paying over-regulation money, but it made its connivance a pretext for compensating the offenders for the loss of advantages they had gained by breaking the law.

Only two arguments worthy of the least attention were brought forward by the Opposition. The first was that abolition of Purchase would weaken the regimental system. For it was contended that promotion by selection for officers above the rank of captain—which was the substitute proposed for promotion by Purchase—involving, as it did, transfers from one regiment to another, must destroy the regimental home-life.[4] The second was, that it would tend to create a professional military caste, who might, as Mr. Bernal Osborne argued, prove dangerous to the liberties of the people. It was, however, felt that it was absurd to sacrifice the efficiency of the Army to its regimental home life, and that one of the strongest objections to the Purchase system was that it rendered the Army amateurish rather than professional. But in the long controversy that raged through the Session no argument told more effectively than Mr. Trevelyan’s citation of Havelock’s bitter complaint that “he was sick for years in waiting for promotion, that three sots and two fools had purchased over him, and that if he had not had a family to support he would not have served another hour.” Mr. Cardwell, too, left nothing to be said when he told the House of Commons that Army reformers were paralysed by Purchase. Every proposal for change was met by the argument that it affected the position of officers who had paid for that position. In fact, the British Army was literally held in pawn by its officers, and the nation had virtually no control over it whilst it was in that ignominious position. The debate, which seemed interminable, ended in an anti-climax that astonished the Tory Opposition. Mr. Disraeli threw over the advocates of Purchase, evidently dreading an appeal to the country, which might have resulted in a refusal to compensate officers for the over-regulation prices they had paid for their commissions in defiance of the statute. The Army Regulation Bill thus passed the Second Reading without a division. In Committee the Opposition resorted to obstructive tactics, and attempted to talk out the Bill by moving a series of dilatory and frivolous amendments. The clique of “the Colonels,” as they were called, in fact anticipated the Parnellites of a later date in inventing and developing{393}

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(From a Photograph by G. W. Wilson and Co.)

this form of factious and illegitimate opposition. Mr. Cardwell so far succumbed that after weary weeks of strife he withdrew his reorganisation scheme, merely insisting on the Purchase clauses, and on the transference of control over the auxiliary forces from Lords-Lieutenant of Counties to the Queen. But the Opposition still threatened to obstruct the Bill, and it was not till Mr. Cardwell warned them that he could stop the payment of over-regulation money for commissions by enforcing the law, that the measure was allowed to pass. In the House of Lords the Bill was again obstructed, in spite of Lord Northbrook’s able argument that until Purchase was abolished the Government could not develop their scheme of Army reorganisation, which was to introduce into England the Prussian system without compulsory service. The Tory Peers did not actually venture to vote in favour of Purchase. But they passed a resolution declining to accept the responsibility of assenting to its abolition without further information. Mr. Gladstone met them with a bold stroke. By statute it was enacted that only such terms of Purchase could exist as her Majesty chose to permit by Royal Warrant. The Queen therefore, acting on Mr. Gladstone’s advice, cancelled{394} her warrant permitting Purchase, and thus the opposition of the Peers was crushed by what Mr. Disraeli indignantly termed “the high-handed though not illegal” exercise of the Royal Prerogative.[5] The rage of the Tory Peers knew no bounds. And yet what could Mr. Gladstone have done? The Ministry might have resigned, but in that case the Tory Party, as mere advocates of Purchase, could not have commanded a majority of the House of Commons. New Peers might have been created, but to this obsolete and perilous method of coercing the Lords the Queen had a natural and justifiable antipathy. Parliament might have been dissolved, but then the appeal to the country would probably have raised the question whether it was desirable to continue the existence of an unreformed House of Lords side by side with a reformed House of Commons.[6] The only other course was to bow to the decision of the Peers, admitting that they must be permitted to quash a reform, which was passionately desired by the nation, and that they must be allowed to coerce the House of Commons, as in the days when they nominated a majority of its members. To have adopted either of these courses would have been fatal to the authority, perhaps even to the existence, of the Upper House. Thus the excuse of the Royal Prerogative, which removed the subject of contention between the two Houses, was really the means of saving the Lords from a disastrous conflict with the People. The Peers, however, carried a vote of censure on the Government, who ignored it, and then their Lordships passed the Army Regulation Bill without any alteration, nay even without dividing against the clauses transferring the patronage of the Militia from Lords-Lieutenant of Counties to the Crown.

The Session of 1871 was also made memorable by the struggle over the Ballot Bill, in the course of which nearly all the devices of factious obstruction were exhausted. The Ballot had become since 1832 the shibboleth of Radicalism.[7] Resistance to it had been accepted as the first duty of a Conservative. The arguments for the Ballot were (1), that by allowing men{395} to vote in secret they were free from intimidation, and (2), that when votes were given in secret men were not likely to buy them, for they had no longer any means of knowing whether value was ever given for their money. On the other hand, the Tories argued (1), that to vote in secret was cowardly and unmanly; (2), that it was unconstitutional; and (3), that it weakened the sense of responsibility in the voter who had no longer the pressure of public opinion on him.[8] But though these arguments were elaborated at enormous length, they were felt by the average elector to be wiredrawn and academic. To him the practical object of any system of election was to get the voter to give effect to his own real opinion, and not the opinion of somebody else, in choosing a member. There could be nothing constitutional, or moral, or distinctively “English,” in a man who desired to be represented by A voting for B, either because his landlord or his employer or some of his neighbours intimidated or bribed him into doing so. Nor could his sense of duty be strengthened under a system which enabled him to cast the responsibility for a false vote on those who had coerced or bribed him into giving it. No doubt the prospect of getting rid of violent scenes and of the demonstrations of turbulent mobs round the polling-booths where men voted in public, induced many independent politicians, who were not insensible to the weight of some of the Conservative arguments, to accept the Ballot. Strictly speaking, when the question was lifted out of the mire of mere party controversy it came to this—whether Englishmen, in giving their votes, preferred the protection of secrecy, to the protection of a strong law punishing those who attempted to interfere with their independence. To set the law in motion against a rich man in England is a costly, and sometimes a dangerous, process. Hence the majority of Englishmen preferred the protection of secrecy.

Mr. Forster’s Ballot Bill was introduced on the 28th of February, and when the Second Reading had been passed after three nights’ dull debate in June, the Conservatives attempted to talk it out by reviving, on various frivolous pretexts, a discussion on the principle of the Bill in Committee.[9] After these tactics had been exhausted, the Opposition endeavoured to smother the Bill with dilatory amendments. The supporters of the Government, on the other hand, attempted to defeat the factious obstruction of their opponents by remaining silent during the debates. The obstructive party, after{396} a long and tedious fight, were beaten, and the Bill passed through Committee, but shorn of the clauses which cast election expenses on the rates, and made all election expenses not included in the public returns, corrupt expenses.[10] When the Bill reached the House of Lords, the real motive which dictated the apparently futile and stupid obstruction of the Conservative Opposition in the House of Commons, was quickly revealed. The Lords rejected the Bill on the 18th of August, not merely because they disliked and dreaded it, but because it had come to them too late for proper consideration.[11]

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(From a Photograph by Russell and Sons.)


Ministers were more successful with some other measures. In spite of much Conservative opposition they passed a Bill abolishing religious tests in the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and throwing open all academic distinctions and privileges except Divinity Degrees and Clerical Fellowships to students of all creeds and faiths. Mr. Bruce passed a Trades Union Bill, which gave all registered Unions the legal status and legal protection of ordinary corporations.[12] The vague language of the old Act touching intimidation was swept away, and only such forms of coercion as were not only in themselves obviously brutal, but could also be clearly defined, were made punishable. A decision of the law courts, however, deprived the Unions of many of the benefits they had expected to gain under the Act.[13] Mr. Bruce’s Bill, regulating the licensing of public-houses, another large measure, was abandoned, but not till it had converted all the Radical and Liberal publicans and their clientèle into stern and uncompromising Tories. Mr. Goschen’s scheme for reforming Local Government and Taxation was far-reaching and comprehensive, but it alarmed the landlords, for it divided rates between owners and occupiers, and levied rates on game rents.[14]

But by far the most damaging failure of the Session was Mr. Lowe’s Budget. It was known that the large outlay on the Army, due to the abolition of Purchase and other causes, would leave a deficit of about £2,000,000 to be met by Mr. Lowe in the coming year’s accounts. How was he going to meet it? An elastic revenue and rigid economy in expenditure had left Mr. Lowe with a surplus of £396,681. But he had on the next year’s account an estimated deficit of £2,713,000,[15] which he proposed to meet by a tax on matches—“not on matrimonial engagements,” as he remarked,{398}—by a readjustment of the Probate and Succession Duties, and by an increase of about one penny farthing in the £ of income-tax.[16] The Radicals attacked the Budget furiously, and Mr. Disraeli formed with them what Mr. Gladstone termed an “unprincipled coalition.” But the Tories and the Radicals objected to the Budget on entirely different grounds. Mr. White, member for Brighton, quoting Mr. Bright’s declaration that a Government which could not rule the country with £70,000,000 of revenue did not deserve public confidence, complained of the increase in the Army Estimates, and warned the House that if such enormous sums were spent on the protection of property, the people would elect a Parliament pledged to tax property to pay them. Mr. Disraeli, correctly gauging popular feeling, objected to the match tax, the proposal of which enraged the poor match-makers of the East End of London. He gave just expression to the feeling not only of his own Party, but of almost all the rich men on the Liberal benches, when he denounced any increase in the Succession Duties. The Government only escaped defeat by hinting that they would abandon the Match Tax. After some fencing, the whole Budget was reconstructed, the Succession Duties being also given up, and the additional supplies needed by the Government being met by a twopenny income-tax.[17] There could be no better illustration of the strength and weakness of the Gladstone Government than this Budget. Theoretically and logically, it was quite defensible. Purchase in the Army had existed for the convenience and advantage of the wealthy classes. It was, therefore, fair to increase the Succession Duties in order to pay the expense of abolishing it. The Match Tax again satisfied the ideal of public financiers, who all yearned for the discovery of an impost that should fall on an article which, though used by the masses, was yet not food, or one of those “luxuries” like tea, which can with difficulty be distinguished from necessaries. Moreover, as Professor Stanley Jevons proved, the Match Tax would have laid even on the very poor less than one-third of the burden which had been imposed by the shilling duty on corn, that Mr. Lowe had repealed in 1869.[18] Unfortunately, however, Mr. Lowe, in preparing his Budget, ignored the prejudices and foibles of the people. He imagined that if he could defend his proposals logically, they would be accepted with gratitude and unanimity.

In Foreign Affairs, the Government did not improve their position in 1871, and yet they achieved one success, for which they failed to obtain sufficient credit. In May, the Queen was gratified to learn that a basis for settling the outstanding{399} dispute between the United States and Great Britain had been at last discovered. It had been her firm conviction that this quarrel had caused England to lose her traditional influence over the affairs of Europe. The first essential step towards regaining that influence, in her opinion, was taken when it was agreed to submit to a Joint Commission of eminent Englishmen and Americans in Washington the points at issue between the two nations.[19] The American Commissioners, when they met their English colleagues, refused to consider claims for damages due to the Fenian raids in Canada. Not ignoring the Confederate raids from Canada on Vermont, the English Commissioners, on their side, did not press this point. With great courage and frankness, the British Government, through their Commissioners, expressed their sincere regret that Confederate cruisers had escaped from British ports to prey on American commerce. But they did not admit that they were to blame for such an untoward occurrence, nor did they offer what Mr. Sumner had demanded, any apology for recognising the Southern States as belligerents. American claims against England, and English claims against America, “growing out of” the Civil War, it was agreed should be alike referred to a Commission of Arbitration,[20] and the English Commissioners admitting that some just rule for determining international liability in such cases should be laid down, accepted the principle that neutrals are to be held responsible for negligence in allowing warships to be equipped or built in their ports for use against a belligerent. The English Commissioners next agreed to let this principle be applied to the Alabama Claims, and though they were blamed for allowing these claims to be determined by an ex post facto rule, it was difficult for them to adopt any other course. The rule was one that was essential to the protection of British commerce from American privateers in the event of England being engaged in any Continental war. To adopt it as just and right for claims that might accrue in the future, rendered it hardly possible to reject it as unjust and wrong for outstanding claims that had accrued in the past. As to the Fishery dispute, citizens of the United States, it was agreed, were to have for ten years the right to fish on the Canadian coast, and Canadians were to have a similar right of fishing on the coasts of the United States down to the 39th parallel of latitude. As the British Commissioners insisted that the balance of advantage was here conceded to the United States, and that it therefore ought to be paid for by them, that point was by mutual agreement referred to another Commission for adjustment. The chronic controversy as to the San Juan boundary was to be referred to the Emperor of Germany. These{400} arrangements as embodied in the Washington Treaty were subjected to some carping criticism in England. Lord Russell moved, in the House of Lords, that the Queen should be asked to refuse to ratify the instrument, and Lord Salisbury taunted the Government with sacrificing the position of England as a neutral power. But the tone of the debate showed that in their hearts the Conservatives and the old Whigs were thankful that the country had been so honourably extricated from an embarrassing diplomatic conflict, and their attack on the Treaty was like that made by Mr. Sumner and General Butler on the other side of the Atlantic, merely a Party sortie.[21] In a few weeks it was universally admitted that the object which the Government had in view had been attained. As if by magic, the feeling of the United States towards England changed from one of menacing exasperation, to one of growing sympathy and friendliness. For the first time in the course of eighty years the average American stump orator found he could not evoke a round of applause, by hotly-spiced denunciations of England and Englishmen.

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(From a Photograph by G. W. Wilson and Co., Aberdeen.)

But, speaking generally, the Foreign Policy of the Government discredited it. In the struggle between France and Germany the Cabinet preserved a cold{401}

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General Faure. General Wimpffen. Von Moltke. Von Bismarck.
AFTER SEDAN: DISCUSSING THE CAPITULATION (From the Picture by Georg Bleibtreu.)

neutrality, at a time when popular feeling would have supported it in protesting against the cession of Alsace and Lorraine to the conquering power. For this attitude, however, Lord Granville had a plausible excuse. Though the nation was sulky because an effective protest had not been made, it would not have tolerated any policy that might have led the country into war. Moreover, the{402} Army had yet to be reorganised, and till that was done the voice of England was naturally of little account in the affairs of Europe. At the same time the meek and spiritless expression which Ministers habitually gave to their neutrality, irritated a proud and sensitive democracy who were every day taunted by Tory orators and writers with permitting themselves to be governed by a cowardly Cabinet. It seems just to say, even when one makes every allowance for the difficulties of their position, that in their handling of the diplomacy of the Franco-German War, Mr. Gladstone and Lord Granville missed a great opportunity. After the collapse of France at Sedan had been followed by that long series of German victories which ended in the capitulation of Paris, and the Armistice Convention between M. Jules Favre and Count von Bismarck (28th January, 1871), Englishmen were all agreed on one point. To cede Alsace and Lorraine to Germany was, in their opinion, to create a French Poland, or Venetia on the Rhine, whose chronic discontent must permanently imperil the peace of the world. But when the English Government in February attempted to dissuade Germany from exacting terms that inevitably rendered revenge the first duty of every French patriot, England found herself isolated. None of the Powers were prepared to join her in reviewing the conditions of peace which Germany might impose, and the German Chancellor never even deigned to answer the English remonstrance. England, in fact, had moved in the matter too late.

As far back as the 17th of October, 1870, Sir Andrew Buchanan told Lord Granville that the Czar, in his private letters to King William of Prussia, had expressed a hope that no French territory would be annexed. On the 4th of November the Italian Minister informed Lord Granville that whilst Italy admitted that French fortresses must be surrendered to the Germans, yet she held that there should be no cession of territory. Sir A. Paget, writing from Florence, also conveyed to Lord Granville about the same time the views of Signor Visconti to the effect that “the Italian Government had several times expressed the opinion that a peace in which Germany would seek her guarantees by the dismantling of fortresses, &c., would afford better securities for its duration than one which would be likely to create a new question of nationalities.” Here there was a basis for a joint representation on the part of the European Powers—for Austria all through had only been held back through fear of Russia—both to France and Germany. France might have been warned that, in spite of M. Jules Favre’s formula,[22] she, as the defeated aggressor, had no right to object to her menacing strongholds being razed. Germany might have been reminded that, in the interests not of France but of Europe, it was her duty as a great and civilising Power not to demand a cession of territory, the recovery of which must be to France an object of ceaseless striving.{403}

The Queen would gladly have used her personal influence with the German Emperor in urging on the Court of Berlin the policy and justice of this representation. Lord Granville’s subordinates had assured him that France, despite M. Favre’s heroics, would agree to anything if spared the surrender of territory. It is now known that even Bismarck himself was not desirous of the annexation of Alsace and Lorraine against the will of their inhabitants.[23] The German generals had, however, claimed what they deemed a safe, military frontier, and though Von Bismarck induced them not to insist on the cession of Belfort, he could not repel their demand for Alsace, a third part of Lorraine, and Metz and Strasburg. The German Crown Prince was, moreover, understood to be opposed to any irritating and unnecessary annexation. Hence all the chances were in favour of success, if Lord Granville, acting with Russia and Italy, had approached Germany with a cordial and courteous appeal, to reject the advice of her military party, and moderate their demands in the interests of Europe.[24] But the golden opportunity of strengthening Von Bismarck’s hands was lost. Lord Granville not only refused to abandon his attitude of rigid neutrality, but he couched his policy in phrases so ostentatiously deferential to Germany, that they almost justified the half-contemptuous replies which Von Bismarck at this time sent to all despatches from the English Foreign Office, which he did not entirely ignore. In February, 1871, when Lord Granville at last plucked up heart to remonstrate with Germany, her victorious armies had made sacrifices that rendered his tardy protests impertinent. Italy and Russia had sense enough to recognise this fact. They therefore refused to join England when Lord Granville sent his remonstrance to Von Bismarck, who tossed it into his diplomatic waste-paper basket.[25]

It may be readily conceived, then, that, despite its public services, its invincible majority, and the failure of the Tory leaders to put before the country any policy of their own, signs of decay were already visible in the{404} Government. Mr. Bruce had converted every publican into an enemy. The Dissenters had vowed vengeance against the Ministry, because Mr. Forster had increased the grant to denominational schools. The officers of the Army and the upper and upper-middle classes of society had resolved to punish Mr. Gladstone because he had allowed Mr. Cardwell to abolish Purchase. A few Radicals and many Whigs were also alarmed, because it had been abolished by Royal Prerogative, the use of which to coerce the Peers was resented by the aristocracy as an insult. The abolition of Purchase was to have been followed by an effective reorganisation of the Army. Hence the nation was profoundly disappointed to find the question of Army organisation made light of by Ministers during the recess. Mr. Cardwell’s project for autumn manœuvres on a large scale on the Berkshire Downs had to be abandoned, because his Control Department could not feed or supply his troops. When he substituted for this scheme a sham campaign in the neighbourhood of Aldershot, the Transport Service was found to be so bad that the Artillery had to be drawn upon to supply it with horses, carts, and drivers. The disaster to the Agincourt and the wreck of the Megæra, also gave colour to slanders against the Government which had issued from the Admiralty from the day that Mr. Childers began to reform its wasteful administration, and Mr. Goschen had continued his work.[26]

The Duke of Somerset, after the failure of the Berkshire campaign, had scoffed at the Government because they gave the nation “armies that could not march and ships that could not swim,” and the epigram was soon everywhere repeated. Mr. Gladstone’s appointment of Sir Robert Collier, the Attorney-General, to a seat on the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council was denounced far and wide as a job perpetrated by a tricky evasion of the law.[27] The Prime Minister’s management of the House of Commons had also cost him many friends. As Mr. Disraeli once said, it was like that of a{405}

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schoolmaster who was a little too fond of exhibiting the rod. Mr. Ayrton and Mr. Lowe during the Session even enhanced their reputation for irritating those who transacted business with them. But at every turn Mr. Gladstone was embarrassed by his Parliamentary majority. It had been elected to carry reforms which most of them individually dreaded. Their desire was therefore to discover, not pretexts for pushing the Ministry onward, but excuses which they could plausibly justify to their constituents for holding Ministers back. As for the working classes, they had imagined when Mr. Gladstone came to office “something would be done for them.” But nothing except the Trades Union Bill had been conceded to their demands, and even that measure was defaced by irritating provisions, inserted to please their masters. Mr. Disraeli’s strategy in these circumstances was artful, if not altogether admirable. He gently fomented every rising discontent. Without committing his Party to redress the wrongs of the discontented, he left on the country the impression that under his administration there would be less social friction than then existed, whilst there could not be much less social reform.{406}

Other circumstances tended to strengthen Conservative feeling in England. Just as the triumph of democracy in the United States at the end of the Civil War gave a great impetus to English Liberalism, so did the march of events in France after the conclusion of peace produce a reaction in England against democracy. The French elections resulted in the return of the Assembly which met at Bordeaux on the 12th of February. Its majority consisted of Legitimists and Orleanists, and, since the Convocation of the Estates General in 1789, no French Parliament had ever met which contained so many men of high rank and good estate. It had no special mandate, but it very sensibly took in hand the task of making peace with Germany, and, having superseded the Government of National Defence, it elected M. Thiers as Chief of the Executive. He formed a Ministry which represented the best men of all parties. The new Government were confronted at the outset with an unexpected difficulty. The National Guard of Paris had been allowed to retain their arms, and they not only broke into revolt, but seized the capital and established in Paris the revolutionary Government of the Commune, General Cluseret, a revolutionary “soldier of fortune,” being appointed Minister of War. The idea of the revolt seems to have been to convert the ten great cities of France into autonomous States in federal alliance with the rest of the country, and the insurgents began by giving Paris a separate Government, Executive, Army, and Legislature. The Red Republicans imagined that by this device they could emancipate the artisans from the control of the peasants, who, under universal suffrage, were masters of France. The Commune was founded by honest fanatics, but it let loose the suppressed blackguardism of Paris, and before it was stamped out by the Army and the Government of Versailles, terrible atrocities not unworthy of the worst days of the “Terror” had been committed by the rabble whom it had armed, and was powerless to restrain. In England the excesses of the Commune were pointed to by Conservative writers and speakers as an apt illustration of the natural and logical tendencies of Radicalism.

The Queen’s domestic life during 1871 was not much disturbed by the petty demonstrations of Republican feeling which were in vogue at the beginning of the year. They did not influence either the Ministry or Parliament; and when, on the 13th of February, Mr. Gladstone proposed the vote for the Princess Louise’s dowry in the House of Commons, only three Members voted against it.[28] Mr. Disraeli, though he supported the proposal,{407} gently tickled the sympathies of its opponents by suggesting that the system of voting Royal grants should be changed. His idea was to maintain the Crown by an estate of its own, ample enough to cover all its personal and family expenses, and that Parliament should not be called on to grant money to the Queen save for expenditure on public pageantry.

When it was announced that the Queen had fixed the 21st of March for the Princess Louise’s marriage, the High Church Party were indignant that the ceremony was to be performed in Lent. They argued that when Royalty set an example contrary to the teachings of the Church, the influence of the clergy was weakened over, what the Guardian newspaper called, “the large area of society which lies between the inner circle of the devout and the multitude of the unattached outside the consecrated ground.” No heed, however, was paid to these remonstrances, and the Royal wedding, when it took place at Windsor, completely diverted popular attention from the Communist Reign of Terror in Paris. The enthusiasm of the capital, it is true, was rather qualified. The West End tradesmen were sulky because of the withdrawal of the Queen from the gaieties of the London season; and the populace was annoyed because the marriage did not take place in Westminster Abbey or St. Paul’s. But the provinces were unusually lavish in their demonstrations of sympathy with the Sovereign, and with the wedded pair who had broken down the barrier of caste which had been so long maintained between the Royal Family and the nation.[29]

The town of Windsor was en fête for the occasion, the people crowding the Castle Green, and the Eton boys occupying the Castle Hill. The police and soldiery kept a passage open for the guests who came from London by special train, and who were conveyed in Royal carriages to St. George’s Chapel amid general cheering and joyous ringing of bells. The Ministers of State, Foreign Princes and Ambassadors, and other prominent persons, were gay in rich and glittering uniforms. Of the bridal party, the first to arrive was the Duke of Argyll, with his family. He wore the dress of a Highland chieftain, with philabeg, sporran, claymore, and jewelled dirk. A plaid of Campbell tartan was thrown across his shoulders, over which was also hung the Order of the Thistle. He was accompanied by the Duchess of Argyll, who shone in silver and white satin. The Lord Chancellor, in wig and gown, and Lord Halifax, in Ministerial uniform of blue and gold, walked up the central aisle and took their{408} seats, along with members of the Cabinet and the Privy Council, in the stalls to the left of the altar. Then came the Princess Christian, in pink satin, trimmed with white lace, and some Indian potentates, radiant in auriferous scarlet. Lord Lorne, the bridegroom, next entered, arrayed in the uniform of the Argyllshire Regiment of Volunteer Artillery, of which he was Colonel, looking pale and nervous. He was supported by his groomsmen, Lord Percy and Lord Ronald Leveson-Gower. The Princess Beatrice arrived evidently in high spirits, and wearing a pink satin dress, her sunny hair flowing freely down her back. The Princess of Wales, who received an almost affectionate greeting, was the last of the Royal party to come. All the members of the Royal Family were then present, with the exception of Prince Alfred. As the procession advanced up the nave, the bride was supported on the right by the Queen, and on the left by the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The Princess, in her dress of white satin and veil of Honiton lace, was voted one of the most charming brides on whom the sun had shone. Eight bridesmaids followed, all daughters of dukes and earls, clad in white satin, decorated with red camellias. The Queen appeared in black satin, relieved by the broad blue ribbon of the Garter, and by a fall of white lace, which nearly reached to the ground. The service was read by the Bishop of London, the Queen giving away her daughter.[30] After the ceremony, the Queen took the bride in her arms, and kissed her heartily, while the Marquis of Lorne knelt and kissed the Queen’s hand. The Royal wedding breakfast was served in the magnificent oak-room of Windsor Castle, the company including the Prince and Princess of Wales, Prince Arthur, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince and Princess Teck, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg, Prince and Princess Christian. Another breakfast for the general company was served in the Waterloo Gallery. When the newly-married pair left the Castle for Claremont, it was noticed that the bride wore a charming travelling costume of Campbell tartan. As they departed, their numerous relatives showered over them a quantity of white satin slippers, and, following an ancient Highland usage, a new broom was also thrown after them as they got into the carriage. The Oriental custom of flinging rice after a wedded couple, introduced into England by the family of Musurus Pasha, the Turkish Ambassador, had not then become the mode in the highest circles of Society.[31]

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(After the Picture by Sydney P. Hall.)


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On the 29th of March, in the presence of a brilliant and fashionable crowd of upwards of 10,000 persons, the Queen opened the Royal Albert Hall at Kensington. The Members of the Provisional Committee met the Prince of Wales, their President, and, on the arrival of the Queen at half-past twelve o’clock, the Heir Apparent read the address to her Majesty, which could hardly be heard, because a provoking echo mimicked the tones of his voice whilst he described the completion of the Hall. The Queen having handed to the Prince a written answer, said, “I wish to express my great admiration of this beautiful Hall, and my earnest wishes for its complete success.” After a prayer from the Bishop of London, the Prince exclaimed, “The Queen declares this Hall to be now opened!” an announcement which was followed by a burst of cheering, the National Anthem, and the discharge of the Park guns. Then a concert was given, which included the performance of a cantata written expressly for the occasion by Sir Michael Costa.{410}

On the 21st of June the Queen again appeared in London to open the new buildings of St. Thomas’s Hospital on the Albert Embankment, and her neatly-worded reply to the address which was presented to her on that occasion attracted considerable attention, because it was rumoured that it had been carefully written out by herself. It ran as follows:—

“I thank you for your loyal Address. I congratulate you on the completion of a work of so much importance to the suffering poor of the Metropolis. The necessity for abandoning the ancient site of your Hospital has been wisely turned to account by the erection of more spacious and commodious buildings in this central situation, and I rejoice that a position of appropriate beauty and dignity has been found for them on the noble roadway which now follows the course of this part of the Thames, of which they will henceforth be among the most conspicuous ornaments. It gives me pleasure to recognise in the plan of your buildings, so carefully adapted to check the growth of disease, ample and satisfactory evidence of your resolution to take advantage of the best suggestions of Science for the alleviation of suffering, and the complete and speedy cure of the sick and disabled. These great purposes are not least effectually promoted by an adequate supply of careful and well-trained nurses, and I do not forget that in this respect your Hospital is especially fortunate through the connection with it of the staff trained under the direction of the lady whose name will always remain associated with the care of the wounded and the sick. I thank you for the kind expressions you have used in regard to the marriage of my dear daughter.”

Early in summer it was bruited about that an application would be made to the House of Commons for a settlement on Prince Arthur. At first it was whispered that he was to be created Duke of Ulster, and that he was to live in Ireland, an eccentric tribute to the loyalty of the Orangemen, who when the Irish Church was disestablished threatened to “kick the Queen’s Crown into the Boyne.” The idea, however, was abandoned, and the agitation against the Princess Louise’s dowry now broke out anew, especially in Birmingham, in the form of a protest against the usual portion being voted to the Prince on the attainment of his majority. But Mr. Gladstone was not to be intimidated by the Republicans. On the 27th of July he brought down to the House of Commons a Royal Message requesting the customary allowance for a Prince of the Blood to be voted.[32] A few days afterwards the Royal Message was debated, Mr. Peter Taylor moving the rejection of the resolution voting £15,000 a year to the Prince, and Mr. Dixon moving its reduction from £15,000 to £10,000. Eleven members voted for Mr. Taylor, and Mr. Dixon found fifty-one supporters. The grant was easily carried, Mr. Gladstone basing his case on the implied contract made by Parliament to support the Royal Family when the Crown Lands were taken over by the State, and Mr. Disraeli arguing that the English workmen could easily afford to pay for their Monarchy because they were the richest class in the world. But Mr. Gladstone seemed a little nervous{411} when Mr. Dixon indicated that he was forced to demand a reduction of the vote by his constituents, among whom Republicanism, he said, was spreading, because they considered it cheap. The Prime Minister accordingly took occasion to hint that it might be well to establish an arrangement which would render similar applications to Parliament unnecessary, and Mr. Disraeli, not to be outdone, made his bid for popularity by suggesting that the Crown should be allowed to charge Crown Lands for the Queen’s children, just as English nobles charged their estates with portions for their younger sons. Perhaps some of the acerbity of the Radical or Republican members was due to the meddlesomeness of the Home Secretary, Mr. Bruce, who prohibited a public meeting in Trafalgar Square which was fixed for the same evening on which the Royal Message was debated, in order to protest against the grant.[33] The Prince took the title of Duke of Connaught, and settled down to follow a useful career in the Army.

In September the country was greatly grieved to learn that the Queen had fallen seriously ill. Those who had been reproaching her for retiring from active life now began to suspect what was the truth, namely, that the Queen’s labours were not materially lessened by her withdrawal from the exciting functions of each London season. Her illness took the form of a sore throat, accompanied by glandular swellings under the arm, and the sympathetic sentiment of London was expressed by the Times, which mournfully regretted that the Sovereign had ever been pressed to overwork herself.

Gradually the prostration which this illness had caused passed away; but, unhappily, no sooner had her own health ceased to give the Queen cause for anxiety, than that of her eldest son broke down. Nothing could exceed the alarm of the country when it was announced on the 20th of November that the Heir to the Throne was smitten at Sandringham with typhoid fever—the very malady which had cut off his father in his prime. The disease, it was said, had probably been contracted when the Prince was visiting Lord Londesborough at Scarborough, and it was a significant coincidence, not only that Lord Chesterfield, who was staying there at the same time, had been attacked by and had quickly succumbed to the fever, but that six other guests of Lord Londesborough’s had complained of being unwell. On the other hand, it was pointed out that a groom at Sandringham, who had not quitted the place, was smitten at the same time as the Prince, and that it was therefore to bad sanitation at Sandringham that the mishap must be traced. Day by day the nation read the reassuring bulletins with growing anxiety,{412}

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relieved only by the knowledge, not only that the Queen herself had taken her place at the sufferer’s sick bed, and that the ever self-sacrificing Princess Louis of Hesse—a nurse of high technical skill—had installed herself in charge of the sick room. The Princess of Wales was herself suffering, doubtless from the same poison which had attacked her husband. Day by day the bulletins were eagerly scanned, not only in the newspapers, but by excited crowds at public places like the Mansion House and Marlborough House, where they were exhibited. After twenty-five days of suffering the Prince, who had shown signs of recovery, had a relapse, and then the worst was feared. The Prince it was thought must die, and the shock of the bereavement might be fatal to the Queen, whose health was already sadly impaired. Englishmen remembered for the first time that only two precarious lives—one of which was flickering between life and death—stood between the country and a Regency. But what might a Regency portend? It had been fatal to the Monarchy in France; within the memory of living men it had nearly proved fatal to the Monarchy in England. When it was announced on the 9th of December that all the members of the Royal Family had suddenly been summoned to Sandringham, securities in the Money Market, with the exception of Consols, fell from one to{413}

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two per cent. Twice the physicians warned the Queen that the end was at hand, but at last, on the 14th of December—strangely enough the tenth anniversary of his father’s death—the Prince made a rally, and the bulletins again became more hopeful. Prayers had been offered up for his recovery in every church in the empire, and even the Republican societies had sent addresses of sympathy to the Sovereign. The heart of the people had gone forth to her and to the Princess{414} of Wales in sincere and unrestrained sympathy, and as the year closed an official announcement was made which dispelled the gloom that had settled on all classes. It stated that, though Sir James Paget had not left Sandringham, the Prince was then (29th December) progressing favourably. This was followed by a letter from the Queen to the Home Secretary, in which she said:—“The Queen is very anxious to express her deep sense of the touching sympathy of the whole nation on the occasion of the alarming illness of her dear son the Prince of Wales. The universal feeling shown by her people during these painful, terrible days, and the sympathy evinced by them with herself and her beloved daughter the Princess of Wales, as well as the general joy at the improvement in the Prince of Wales’s state, have made a deep and lasting impression on her heart which can never be effaced. It was, indeed, nothing new to her, for the Queen had met with the same sympathy when, just ten years ago, a similar illness removed from her side the mainstay of her life—the best, wisest, and kindest of husbands. The Queen wishes to express at the same time, on the part of the Princess of Wales, her feelings of heartfelt gratitude, for she has been as deeply touched as the Queen by the great and universal manifestation of loyalty and sympathy. The Queen cannot conclude without expressing her hope that her faithful subjects will continue their prayers to God for the complete recovery of her dear son to health and strength.”


Thanksgiving Day—The Procession—Behaviour of the Crowd—Scene in St. Paul’s—Decorations and Illuminations—Letter from Her Majesty—Attack on the Queen—John Brown—The Queen’s Speech—The Alabama Claims—The “Consequential Damages”—Living in a Blaze of Apology—Story of the “Indirect Claims”—The Arbitrators’ Award—Sir Alexander Cockburn’s Judgment—Passing of the Ballot Act—The Scottish Education Act—The Licensing Bill—Public Health Bill—Coal Mines Regulation Bill—The Army Bill—Admiralty Reforms—Ministerial Defeat on Local Taxation—Starting of the Home Government Association in Dublin—Assassination of Lord Mayo—Stanley’s Discovery of Livingstone—Dr. Livingstone’s Interview with the Queen—Her Majesty’s Gift to Mr. Stanley—Death of Dr. Norman Macleod—The Japanese Embassy—The Burmese Mission—Her Majesty at Holyrood Palace—Death of Her Half-Sister.

During the first weeks of 1872 the convalescence of the Heir Apparent seemed to obscure all other topics of political interest. The anti-monarchical agitation, which Sir Charles Dilke had fomented, not only by his votes in Parliament, but by his speeches in the country, suddenly subsided, showing that the sentiment of affectionate regard which had linked the Crown and the nation together in the past, was not to be destroyed by political factions who were trading on the temporary and local estrangement of the Queen from her subjects in{415} the capital. Faction, indeed, was for the time silenced throughout the land, and the Queen soon saw that it was the universal desire of the nation that the recovery of the Prince, which had saved the country from much anxiety as to its future under a Regency, should be celebrated by a solemn public function. It was therefore announced in the middle of January that the Queen would proceed in State to St. Paul’s Cathedral on as early a day as could be fixed after the 20th of February, to return thanks for the recovery of her son. Ultimately Tuesday, the 27th of February, was fixed for the ceremony.

The day was clear and bright, though cold, and a wintry sun shone on the splendid pageant, for which elaborate preparations had been made many days before. The demand for tickets to view the spectacle was unprecedented. Carriages were hired at fabulous prices, and writing on the morning of the ceremony to his daughter-in-law, Lord Shaftesbury tells her that when he had ordered a brougham on the previous day at his job-master’s he was told “that every vehicle had been pre-engaged for weeks. Thoroughfares like St. James’s Street were impassable, because for two days before the event they were blocked by crowds who had come to see the preparations.”[34] In fact, as Bishop Wilberforce says in a passage in his Diary, London was “quite wild on Thanksgiving Day.”[35] By general desire the day was celebrated as a national holiday. As for the crowds in the streets along the line of route, they were said to number from a million to a million and a quarter of spectators, and the decorations far surpassed any similar display ever seen in London. The procession started from Buckingham Palace at five minutes past twelve o’clock, led by the carriages of the Speaker, the Lord Chancellor, and the Duke of Cambridge, and was composed of nine royal carriages, in the last of which the Queen was seen accompanied by the Prince and Princess of Wales. Her Majesty seemed to be in good health, and she looked supremely happy. The Prince was pale and rather haggard, but his bright and happy nature shone through a countenance radiant with gratitude, and he kept bowing all along the way to the multitudes who cheered him. The hearty reciprocal feeling between the Queen, the Prince, and the populace, which the shouts of such a vast crowd expressed, rendered the scene a magnificent demonstration of national loyalty to a popular Sovereign. At Temple Bar the Queen was met by the Lord Mayor and municipal dignitaries of the City of London, arrayed in their robes, and mounted on white horses. Having alighted, the Lord Mayor delivered to and received back from the Queen the City sword, according to the usual custom. But, contrary to precedent and to general expectation, the gates of Temple Bar were not closed against the Queen, so that it was unnecessary to present her with the{416}

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keys. The Lord Mayor and his colleagues having re-mounted their steeds, preceded the Royal procession to St. Paul’s. Precisely at one o’clock the Queen entered the Cathedral through the pavilion erected upon the steps. Its approach was covered with crimson cloth, and it was ornamented with the royal arms and with the escutcheon of the Prince of Wales. On it there was the inscription “I was glad when they said unto me, We will go into the house of the Lord.” Within the Cathedral the scene was imposing and impressive, for all that was exalted in station, high in official position, or eminent by reason of genius, talent, and public services was represented in the congregation of 13,000 persons. Representatives of the Court, the Princes of India, the Colonies, the Houses of Parliament, the Episcopate, the Judges, the Lords-Lieutenant, and the municipal authorities of the provincial towns, were especially prominent. The Queen was received at the Cathedral by the Bishop of{417}

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London and the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul’s, and by the officers of her household, who were already waiting for her. With the Prince of Wales on her right hand and the Princess of Wales on her left, the Queen, leaning on the Prince’s arm, walked up the nave in a procession which was marshalled by the Lancaster and Somerset Heralds. The special service began at one o’clock with the Te Deum, which was arranged by Mr. Goss for the occasion, and sung by a choir of two hundred and fifty voices. The voice of the Archbishop of Canterbury was inaudible, but the choral part of the ritual was listened to reverently. The words of special thanksgiving were:—“O Father of Mercies and God of all Comfort, we thank Thee that Thou hast heard the prayers of this nation in the day of our trial. We praise and magnify Thy glorious name for that Thou hast raised Thy servant, Albert Edward Prince of Wales, from the bed of sickness. Thou castest down and Thou liftest up, and health and strength are Thy gifts; we pray Thee to perfect the recovery of Thy servant, and to crown him day by day with more abundant blessings, both for body and soul, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” Here there was a long pause, during which the dead silence of that vast hushed congregation was described by those present as being almost painful to the ear. Archbishop Tait having pronounced the benediction delivered a sermon which was striking for its brevity and its simple unadorned eloquence. He took for his text the words “Every one members one of another,” and illustrated in a few apt sentences the Divine origin of family life and of the State and of the Church, which, he said, was but the family and the State in relation to God. The illness of the Prince had given a fresh meaning to this conception. Hence “such a day,” observed the Archbishop in his concluding sentence, “makes us feel truly that we are all members one of another.” The religious ceremony ended at two o’clock, and the Royal procession returned to Buckingham Palace amid thunders of artillery from the guns of the Tower and the Park.

With one exception the decorations were successful. That exception—which was noted as curious at the time by the Queen—was at Ludgate Circus, where the triumphal arch, which ought to have been one of the grandest in the metropolis was, by reason of backward preparation, almost a failure. It was not till the procession was nearly within sight that the scaffoldings were taken down, and the scene of confusion as the distracted workmen removed the poles, delighted the mob amazingly.[36] Unfortunately in the hurry, so much damage was done to the gorgeous gold mouldings of the arch, that it presented the appearance of an ancient but freshly gilded ruin. As for the illuminations at night, they were not general—probably because many people did not regard a religious thanksgiving day as a fit occasion for illuminating. The centres of attraction were the dome and{419} west front of St. Paul’s, the dome being picked out by a treble row of coloured ship’s lanterns. The cathedral itself stood out in lurid splendour when transient shafts of lime-light, and the fitful glow of the red light on the gilded ball fell on the building. Two days after the ceremony the following letter was published in the London Gazette:—

“Buckingham Palace, February 29, 1872.
“The Queen is anxious, as on a previous occasion, to express publicly her own personal very deep sense of the reception she and her dear children met with on Tuesday, February 27th, from millions of her subjects, on her way to and from St. Paul’s.

“Words are too weak for the Queen to say how very deeply touched and gratified she has been by the immense enthusiasm and affection exhibited towards her dear son and herself, from the highest down to the lowest, on the long progress through the Capital, and she would earnestly wish to convey her warmest and most heartfelt thanks to the whole nation for this great demonstration of loyalty.

“The Queen, as well as her son and her dear daughter-in-law, felt that the whole nation joined with them in thanking God for sparing the beloved Prince of Wales’s life.

“The remembrance of this day and of the remarkable order maintained throughout, will for ever be affectionately remembered by the Queen and her family.”

On the very day on which this letter was dated a strange attack was made on the Queen. When she returned from her afternoon drive in the Park, she passed along by Buckingham Palace wall, and drove to the gate at which she usually alighted. The carriage had hardly halted when a lad rushed to its left side, and bending forward presented a pistol at the Queen, while he flourished a petition in his hand. He then rushed round the carriage and threw himself into a similar attitude on the other side. The Queen remained calm and unmoved, and the boy’s pistol was taken from him, when it was discovered that it was unloaded. The petition was a poor scrawl, demanding the release of the Fenian prisoners, and the lad gave the name of Arthur O’Connor, and stated his age to be seventeen.[37]

When Parliament assembled in 1872 Mr. Gladstone found himself confronted by an Opposition which had been rendered almost insolently aggressive by their triumphs at the bye-elections. He found himself supported by a majority, each section of which had its special grievance against him. And{420} if he looked beyond Parliament for support he might have seen that a subtle popular suspicion was growing up round his name which was fast neutralising the magic of his personality. It was said, alike by friends and foes, that an overweening love for personal power, and a passion for exercising personal authority over others, had become the guiding motives of his life, and the inspiring ideas of his policy. Had this been true, it is hardly likely that the Prime Minister would have identified himself with legislation which had set the vested interests, and the fanatical sectaries up in arms against him. But the important point was that, whether true or false, the calumny was believed, and the Queen, like many other careful observers, saw the Ministry growing weaker and weaker every day, whilst Mr. Gladstone and his colleagues were themselves under the delusion that every day increased their popularity. And yet, as if to justify the maxim that in politics it is the unexpected that happens, the year was not fruitful in crises or in sensational scenes. Mr. Disraeli held his followers in check, and the Session was a business-like one, which, when it ended, left the Government stronger than could have been anticipated.

The Parliamentary year was opened on the 6th of February, the Queen’s Speech being read by Commission. It promised a Ballot Bill, and Bills for organising Education in Scotland, for regulating Mines, and for improving the Licensing System. The passage in the Speech to which, however, all eyes turned was the one dealing with the Alabama Claims. On this subject the country had suddenly become profoundly agitated, and from an observation in Bishop Wilberforce’s Diary we gather that the Queen, shared the popular feeling of the hour.[38] After the nation had congratulated itself on discovering a diplomatic solution of its difficulties with the American Republic, it was amazed to find that the Americans were endeavouring to seize by chicane what they had failed to gain by diplomacy. When they forwarded the case which they meant to submit to Arbitration, it was discovered that they had included in it not only a claim for the actual damage done to American commerce by the Confederate cruisers, but also the claims for the indirect or “consequential damages” which Mr. Sumner had put forward, and which the British Commissioners understood were abandoned. The sum asked under this head would have covered half the cost of the whole Civil War. It was therefore the clear opinion of the Queen that England could not consent to go into Arbitration till this preposterous demand was withdrawn. Lord Granville, on the other hand, though he inclined to this opinion, was slow to reply to a demand which he was in honour bound to promptly repel. He was chiefly concerned about saving the Washington Treaty, and he therefore sent to the American Government a mild letter requesting the withdrawal of the “indirect claims” in terms so deferentially conciliatory, that had he been dealing with a less pacific Power his despatch would probably have been answered with the cynical{421}

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brusquerie that marked Von Bismarck’s dealings with him. But the country was not as meek as the Minister. There was an outburst of popular anger against the Americans for the “sharp practice” which sullied their statement of claim, and Mr. Gladstone soon saw that to go into Arbitration before the demand for “consequential damages” was withdrawn would lead to his expulsion from office. His declarations in Parliament on the subject thenceforth showed that he meant to repudiate the American interpretation of the Treaty under which the “indirect claims” had been dragged into the American case, and he spoke with the high spirit of a statesman rejecting a humiliating demand for tribute greater than conquest itself could extort. The Opposition in both Houses, on the whole, gave the Government generous support in this emergency, though Mr. Disraeli—referring to the torrent of Ministerial{422} oratory which had deluged the recess—could not refrain in his comment on the Queen’s Speech from deriding the Cabinet for having lately lived “in a blaze of apology.”

The story of the controversy on the “indirect claims” may here be told. The United States, in extremely conciliatory despatches, insisted on including these claims in their case. They argued that it was for the arbitrators at Geneva to say whether they were or were not admissible under the Treaty. They rested their contention on an ambiguous phrase which Lord Ripon and Sir Stafford Northcote had unfortunately permitted to pass unconnected into the Treaty. The first Article of that instrument described its object to be that of removing and adjusting “all complaints and claims,” &c., “growing out of acts committed by the said vessels, and generically known as the ‘Alabama’ Claims.” This certainly gave the Americans a plausible excuse for demanding “consequential” as well as direct damages. On the other side, the English Government argued that all the concessions made by the British Commissioners at Washington were made on the understanding that the “indirect claims” were not included in the Treaty; that in all their correspondence with the Washington Department of State no claims save direct claims were ever “generically” known as the Alabama Claims; and, lastly, that their interpretation was publicly expressed and well known to the United States Government, people, and Minister at the Court of St. James’s, and was never objected to by either of them. It would, however, have been easy to put the point beyond dispute when the Treaty was drawn up by specifically barring all indirect claims. When Lord Ripon and Sir Stafford. Northcote failed to do that they were guilty of negligence which, if brought home to the diplomatists of either Russia or Germany, would have procured for them, not rewards and honours, but punishment and degradation. Fortunately the dispute ended happily. Lord Granville for once acted with the firmness becoming the representative of a great nation. When the arbitrators met at Geneva, the representatives of England persistently refused to take part in the proceedings till the “indirect claims” were withdrawn. The arbitrators then adroitly extricated the agents of the Washington Government from a false position. They met and declared that, without reference to the scope of the Treaty or to the merits of the dispute as to its interpretation, which England refused to discuss before them, they were agreed that “indirect claims” could never, on general principles of international law, be a tenable ground for an award of damages in international disputes.

The Americans then withdrew the obnoxious part of their “case,” and the arbitrators awarded to the United States £3,229,000 damages against England for the depredations committed by three out of the ten Confederate cruisers which, it was alleged, the British Government had negligently permitted to escape from British ports. The American claim for naval expenses incurred in chasing these cruisers was, however, rejected, because the{423} arbitrators held that it could not be practically distinguished from the general cost of the war. The Lord Chief Justice of England—one of the members of the Tribunal—concurred in the judgment as regards the Alabama. He differed from all his colleagues in regard to the Florida, and he and the Brazilian arbitrator differed from the majority as to the case of the Shenandoah.[39] The failure of the English Government to seize the Florida and Alabama, when they put into British ports after they had made their escape, was evidently the fact which bore most strongly against England in the opinion of the Geneva Tribunal. The American claims for damages in respect of the Georgia, Chickamauga, Nashville, Retribution, Sumter, and Tallahassee, were rejected. On the whole, public opinion on both sides of the Atlantic, though not quite satisfied with the verdict, allowed that there had been a fair fight and a fair trial. Lord Chief Justice Cockburn’s dissenting judgment, however, expressed the feeling of the English people, which was this. “Let us admit,” they said, “the ex post facto rule making neutrals liable for damages if they do not exercise ‘due diligence’—the ‘dueness of diligence’ to be always proportionate to the mischief the vessels might do—in preventing the escape of cruisers, and in re-capturing them when they get the chance. English officials were, however, not aware that, when these cruisers escaped and when on re-entering British ports they were not detained, international law demanded from them more ‘dueness’ of diligence than they had exercised or been taught to exercise. Hence it surely was wrong to give damages for their unconscious negligence, just as if their negligence had been conscious.” This argument, indeed, Sir Alexander Cockburn pressed to the point of cutting down to zero the claim for damages in respect of the Shenandoah and Florida.

One of the most important Government measures of the year was the Ballot Act. But the opposition to it was marked by no novelty of argument, and it need only be said about it here that it was passed, the Lords not venturing to reject it a second time.[40] The Scottish Education Bill, which also passed, established a School Board system of public instruction all over Scotland far in advance of that which England had been able to obtain. A Licensing Bill of a mildly regulative character was carried, the publicans grudgingly accepting it as a compromise, while the Temperance Party attacked it as miserably ineffective.[41] Mr. Stansfeld’s Public Health Bill, defining the{424} authority which must in future be responsible for local sanitation, and embodying the principle that rates should be divided between the State and the locality was so adroitly managed by Mr. Stansfeld, that at last Mr. Disraeli supported the Government in carrying it. Another useful measure regulating the working of Coal Mines was carried in spite of many protests against interfering with private contracts between masters and servants, and many attempts on the part of the vested interests who were supported by the bulk of the Tory Party, to render the Bill inoperative. Among other things it prohibited the employment of women underground, and it made mine-owners responsible for the results of preventible mining accidents.

Mr. Cardwell’s Army Bill was received with unlocked for favour. It attempted to adapt the territorial system of Prussia to the exigencies of military service in England. The nine existing military divisions were subdivided into sixty-six military districts. In each of these a small army or brigade was formed, consisting of two battalions of Regulars, to which were linked the local Militia and Volunteers. One of the regular battalions was to be told off for foreign service, and its “waste” supplied by drafts from the territorial depôt. The main objection to the scheme urged by Conservative officers was that it destroyed the family life of the old regiments—that it even destroyed their identity by substituting local titles for the numbers which their prowess in war had in many cases made historic. According to this scheme the country would have an Army of 446,000 men, of whom 146,000 were available for service abroad. The evidence given before the Commission which reported on the wreck of the Megæra, concentrated attention on Admiralty Reform. On the whole, the country gave Mr. Childers credit for having brought order into that chaotic department. Before he came to power the various branches of the Admiralty had little or no connection with each other, and when a blunder was made by conflicting authority or contradictory orders, nobody could be made responsible. Mr. Childers set responsible officers at the head of each department, and made excellent arrangements for their mutual co-operation. But the weak point of his scheme was that he as First Lord was the real nexus which bound the whole organisation together. The system accordingly broke down when his health gave way, for Mr. Lushington, who was in a sense the Grand Vizier of the First Lord, was a civilian comparatively new to the department, and unable to act as an efficient substitute for Mr. Childers.[42] Mr. Goschen met the difficulty, not by appointing a naval expert as his second in command, but by casting responsibility for all orders on three officials—a Naval Secretary who was to be responsible for orders concerning the personnel, a Controller who was to be responsible for those relating to the matériel, and a Permanent Secretary who was to be responsible for those{425} affecting finance and civil business. To secure unity of work the Board of Admiralty was to meet daily for consultation, and in the First Lord’s absence the supreme authority was to pass to the First Naval Lord of the Admiralty.

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(From a Photograph by Elliott and Fry.)

In spite of a serious defeat on Sir Massey Lopes’ motion on the question of Local Taxation,[43] a narrow escape from defeat on the Collier scandal, and a clever mocking attack by Mr. Disraeli at Manchester in the spring on their{426} sensational policy and their ambiguous utterances on the proposals of their extreme supporters, the Ministers were stronger in Parliament when the Session ended than when it began. Mr. Lowe’s Budget further helped the credit of the Government, for such was the elasticity of the revenue that it foreshadowed a surplus of £3,000,000, and enabled him to remit the twopenny Income Tax which he had imposed in 1871.[44] Ireland, however, was as usual a source of anxiety to the Cabinet. The Tories and Orangemen, indignant at the Disestablishment of the Church, had coalesced with the more moderate Repealers, and set on foot the Home Government Association,[45] from which the Home Rule Party under the leadership of Mr. Isaac Butt sprang. Whenever the Ballot Act was passed, Home Rule candidates began to carry the Irish bye-elections against the Ministerialists—in fact, it was apparent to shrewd observers that the destruction of the Liberal Party in Ireland was now only a matter of time. Earl Russell was probably of this opinion when, in August, he startled the town by publishing a letter in the Times virtually conceding the principle of Home Rule in order to lighten the burden of Imperial legislation with which Parliament was overweighted.[46]

As for the Opposition, their councils were divided. Lord Salisbury was averse from promising any programme. Mr. Disraeli seemed afraid to suggest one that went beyond sanitary reform. Yet the Tories had completely broken the absolute power of Mr. Gladstone in the country, and were still, as the Municipal Elections in November showed, a growing party. The causes which contributed to a reaction in their favour in 1871 were still at work. Mr. Gladstone’s opposition to Sir Massey Lopes’ motion on rating, and the sudden appearance of Trades Unionism among the agricultural labourers gave Conservatism hosts of fresh recruits, for the squires and the farmers naturally rallied to the Party whose leaders stood forth as champions of the threatened interests.

The attempt of O’Connor on the Queen’s life was not the only crime{427} of the kind that darkened the year. On the 8th of February Lord Mayo, the Viceroy of India, was stabbed to death by a Mahommedan convict at Port Blair, the port of the penal settlement on the Andaman Islands, to which Lord Mayo was paying a visit of inspection. The assassin was a sullen, brooding fanatic who had been transported for killing a relative with whom he had a “blood feud.” The Queen was as much shocked as the country by the event, for by this time it was universally recognised that Lord Mayo was one of the most competent Viceroys who had ever ruled India. His intuitive insight into difficulties, his shrewd perception of character, his frank resoluteness of action, his clearness and decision of purpose, and his dignified and stately bearing rendered Lord Mayo an ideal viceroy. His great work consisted in cementing an alliance with the Afghan Ameer, in imposing an income-tax to rehabilitate the finances of India, and suppressing a rebellious movement among the Wahabee fanatics.

Early in May telegrams were received in London announcing that Dr. Livingstone, the African explorer, as to whose safety much anxiety had been felt, had been discovered by Mr. Stanley, a special correspondent on the staff of the New York Herald, who had been despatched by Mr. J. Gordon Bennett, the proprietor of that journal, to look for the missing traveller. The Queen received these tidings with the deepest gratification, not unmingled with regret that the honour of the discovery should pass to an American expedition. Her interest in Livingstone, and in his last efforts to discover the sources of the Nile, was well known—indeed, when in England the explorer had a private interview with her Majesty, of which an account is given in Mr. Blaikie’s “Personal Life of Dr. Livingstone.” “She [the Queen] sent for Livingstone,” writes Mr. Blaikie, “who attended her Majesty at the Palace without ceremony, in his black coat and blue trousers and his cap surrounded with a stripe of gold lace. This was his usual attire, and the cap had now become the appropriate distinction of one of her Majesty’s Consuls—an official position to which the traveller attaches great importance as giving him consequence in the eyes of natives and authority over the members of the expedition. The Queen conversed with him affably for half-an-hour on the subject of his travels. Dr. Livingstone told her Majesty that he would now be able to say to the natives that he had seen his chief, his not having done so before having been a constant subject of surprise to the children of the African wilderness. He mentioned to her Majesty also that the people were in the habit of inquiring whether his chief were wealthy, and when he answered them that she was very wealthy they would ask how many cows she had got, a question at which the Queen laughed very heartily.” Mr. Stanley had found Livingstone at Ujiji near Lake Tanganyika, and on his way back to Zanzibar he met the English Expedition, which had been despatched by the Royal Geographical Society, carrying succour to the explorer. As Livingstone’s orders were to{428} refuse this tardy aid, the chiefs of the British Expedition had to return. Some people were at first sceptical as to the story told by Mr. Stanley, but doubts were set at rest on the 27th of August, when Lord Granville sent to Mr. Stanley a gold snuff-box set with diamonds as a gift from the Queen. Accompanying the present was the following letter:—

“I have great satisfaction in conveying to you, by command of the Queen, her Majesty’s high appreciation of the prudence and zeal which you have displayed in opening a communication with Dr. Livingstone, and relieving her Majesty from the anxiety which, in common with her subjects, she had felt in regard to the fate of that distinguished traveller. The Queen desires me to express her thanks for the service you have thus rendered, together with her Majesty’s congratulations on your having so successfully carried out the mission which you so fearlessly undertook. Her Majesty also desires me to request your acceptance of the memorial which accompanies this letter.”

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In June the Queen had to mourn the loss of a highly trusted old family friend, Dr. Norman Macleod of Glasgow. He had been long ailing, and when at Balmoral, in May, the Queen at her last interview with him was so struck with his physical weakness that she insisted on his being seated whilst he was in her presence. Macleod’s influence as a courtier was built up partly on his ability as an eloquent pulpit orator, and his tact as a kindly, genial,{429} shrewd, tolerant man of the world. He had genuine goodness of heart, and he had not only the supple diplomatic skill of the Celt, but the Celt’s inborn and honest love and reverence for rank and dignities. It was quite a mistake to suppose that his “flunkeyism” made him a persona grata at Court. On the contrary, he was in the unique position of being a Royal Chaplain on whom the Queen could not confer any favour or dignity. She could not give him a richer living in the Church than the one he had obtained without her patronage, and as a Presbyterian clergyman he could never be suspected of intriguing for hierarchical rank when he approached the Sovereign. His disinterestedness, too, was well known, for it was to Macleod’s credit that during his long connection with the Court, though he was frequently entrusted with missions concerning matters of delicate family business, he never even asked for a favour either for himself or any of his relatives. When the vague rumour of his death reached the Queen she addressed the following letter to Dr. Macleod’s brother:—

“Balmoral, June 17, 1872.
“The Queen hardly knows how to begin a letter to Mr. Donald Macleod, so deep and strong are her feelings on this most sad and most painful occasion, for words are all too weak to say what she feels, and what all must feel who ever knew his beloved, excellent, and highly-gifted brother, Dr. Norman Macleod.

“First of all to his family—his venerable, loved, and honoured mother, his wife and large family of children—the loss of the good man is irreparable and overwhelming! But it is an irreparable public loss, and the Queen feels this deeply. To herself, personally, the loss of dear Dr. Macleod is a very great one; he was so kind, and on all occasions showed her such warm sympathy, and in the early days of her great sorrow gave the Queen so much comfort whenever she saw him, that she always looked forward eagerly to those occasions when she saw him here; and she cannot realise the idea that in this world she is never to see his kind face and listen to those admirable discourses which did every one good, and to his charming conversation again.

“The Queen is gratified that she was able to see him this last time, and to have had some lengthened conversation with him, when he dwelt much on that future world to which he now belongs. He was sadly depressed and suffering, but still so near a termination of his career of intense usefulness and loving-kindness never struck her or any of us as likely, and the Queen was terribly shocked on learning the sad news. All her children, present and absent, deeply mourn his loss. The Queen would be very grateful for all the details which Mr. D. Macleod can give her of the last moments and illness of her dear friend.

“Pray say everything kind and sympathising to their venerable mother, to Mrs. N. Macleod and all the family, and she asks him to accept himself of her true heartfelt sympathy.”

The letter—one of the most remarkable ever written by a sovereign to and of a subject—is worth quoting, not only on account of its biographical interest, but as a model of sincerity, tenderness, and good taste exhibited in an order of composition usually disfigured by artificiality both of sentiment and style.

The lions of the London season of 1872 were two foreign embassies—one from Japan and one from Burma. The Japanese were Envoys from a great Asiatic monarch, and were nobles of the first rank specially chosen to represent their Sovereign. Their refined manner, shrewd observations, quick intelligence, and mastery over the English tongue, rendered them general favourites. The{430} so-called “Ambassadors” from Burma came to England on a different footing, and some authorities on Eastern affairs complained that they received an amount of attention and hospitality far beyond their deserts or their importance. It was said that they were officials chosen because of their low rank for the purpose of publicly slighting England; that they were sent to this country in order to establish a precedent for ignoring the Indian Viceroy, and enabling the King of Burma to treat with the Queen of England as a Peer. The Indian Viceroys had certainly been averse from permitting the Burmese Court to form direct diplomatic relations with European Courts; but in the East, Missions of Compliment are sometimes sent from Sovereigns to each other, and such Missions do not necessarily engage in diplomatic business. In this case the Burmese King Mindohn, by far the ablest ruler of the Alompra dynasty, had accepted the arrangement by which the diplomatic relations of Burma and the British Empire were carried on through an agent of the Indian Viceroy at Mandalay.[47] Indeed, one of the chief diplomatic difficulties between the two Governments—the great “Shoe Question,” as it was called—was not one capable of direct discussion between the Courts of St. James’s and Mandalay.[48] As to the rank of the Burmese Envoy, misconceptions on that point arose because Englishmen failed to understand that in Burma there was no such thing as hereditary rank outside the royal family of Alompra, the hunter king. Rank was conferred solely by official position, and the head of the Burmese Mission was a high official of the first grade, who was really President of the Hloht or Council of State. Under King Theebaw, who succeeded Mindohn, he became better known as the Kin-Woon Mingyee, and represented the party of peace and order at Mandalay with great ability and honesty of purpose. The Queen was rather better informed as to the antecedents of these distinguished visitors, and accordingly on Friday, the 21st of June, she received them at Windsor Castle. They brought with them many costly presents to her Majesty, of which an exceptionally magnificent bracelet, made of seven pounds of solid gold, was much talked about at the time. They also delivered a letter from the King, which began, “From His Great, Glorious, and Most Excellent Majesty, King of the Rising Sun, who reigns over Burma, to Her Most Glorious and Excellent Majesty Victoria, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland.” After her Majesty had received the presents, and made her acknowledgments through Major MacMahon, late Political Agent at Mandalay, the Embassy withdrew, and returned to London.

On the 1st of July the Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Louise, Princess Beatrice, and Prince Leopold visited the National{431} Memorial erected in Hyde Park to the memory of the late Prince Consort. This was a strictly private visit, the monument being at the time incomplete.

Between the 15th and 20th of August the Queen broke her journey to Balmoral, and resided at Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh, for a few days. Though her visit was private, she was so gratified with the reception she everywhere received that she caused Viscount Halifax to address the following letter to the Lord Provost of Edinburgh:—

“Dear Lord Provost,—It is not the practice unless the Queen has visited any city or town in a public manner, to address any official communication to the chief magistrate or authority of the place. I am commanded, however, by her Majesty to convey to you in a less formal manner the expression of her Majesty’s gratification at the manner in which she was received by the people of Edinburgh in whatever part of this city and neighbourhood her Majesty appeared. Her Majesty has felt this the more because, as her Majesty’s visit was so strictly private, it was so evidently the expression of their national feeling of loyalty. Her Majesty was also very much pleased with the striking effect produced by lighting up the park and the old chapel.”

The death of the amiable and accomplished Princess Feodore of Hohenlohe-Langenburg on the 23rd of September plunged the Queen into deep despondency. The Princess was half-sister to her Majesty, and the tie that bound them together through life had been close and affectionate. “All sympathise with you,” wrote the Princess Louis to the Queen when she heard of her mother’s bereavement, “and feel what a loss to you darling aunt must be, how great the gap in your life, how painful the absence of that sympathy and love which united her life and yours so closely.”


A Lull Before the Storm—Dissent in the Dumps—Disastrous Bye-Elections—The Queen’s Speech—The Irish University Bill—Defeat of the Government—Resignation of the Ministry—Mr. Disraeli’s Failure to Form a Cabinet—The Queen and the Crisis—Lord Derby as a Possible Premier—Mr. Gladstone Returns to Office—Power Passes to the House of Lords—Grave Administration Scandals—The Zanzibar Mail Contract—Misappropriation of the Post Office Savings Banks’ Balances—Mr. Gladstone Reconstructs his Ministry—The Financial Achievements of his Administration—The Queen and the Prince of Wales—Debts of the Heir Apparent—The Queen’s Scheme for Meeting the Prince’s Expenditure on her Behalf—The Queen and Foreign Decorations—Death of Napoleon III.—The Queen at the East End—The Blue-Coat Boys at Buckingham Palace—The Coming of the Shah—Astounding Rumours of his Progress through Europe—The Queen’s Reception of the Persian Monarch—How the Shah was Entertained—His Departure from England—Marriage of the Duke of Edinburgh—Public Entry of the Duchess into London.

When the Session of 1873 opened, it is a curious fact that in London the universal complaint was that politics had become depressingly dull. But the lull really presaged a storm, in which the Government was wrecked. It was known that Mr. Gladstone intended to make the question of Irish University{432} education the chief business of the Session, and it was admitted that next to this question the one of most consequence to the Government was that which was raised by the Dissenters, who demanded the extension of School Boards, and the establishment of compulsory education all over England, together with the repeal of the 25th clause of Mr. Forster’s Education Act. The bye-elections, which had been disastrous to the Ministry, showed that the Dissenters were in revolt, and that they “sulked in their tents,” instead of supporting Ministerial candidates. The Irish University Bill could not possibly be carried without Nonconformist support, and that could obviously not be hoped for if anything like “concurrent endowment” for the Roman Catholics defaced it. On the other hand, if the revenues of Trinity College were shared with Catholic scholars, Liberals like Mr. Fawcett and Mr. Vernon Harcourt would support Mr. Disraeli in opposing the measure. The Cabinet resolved to neutralise the expected secession of the small Fawcett-Harcourt group, by rendering their Bill acceptable to their powerful Nonconformist contingent, and Liberal tacticians were full of joyful anticipations when it leaked out that this plan was contemplated. As will be seen, one important contingency was never taken into consideration—the possible desertion of Mr. Gladstone’s Roman Catholic followers; and yet it was their desertion which wrecked the Bill and destroyed the Government.

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(From a Photograph by W. Lawrence, Dublin.)


The Queen’s speech was read to Parliament by Commission on the 6th of February, and it promised an Irish Education Bill, a Judicature Bill, a Land Transfer Bill, an Education Amendment Act, a Local Taxation Bill, and a Railway Regulation Bill. In the debate on the Address the Opposition leaders dwelt mainly on foreign questions, pressing the Government to say whether they were prepared to recommend the rules under which the Alabama case had been decided to the European Powers; and if so, whether they would recommend them as interpreted by the legal advisers of the Crown, or as interpreted by the majority of the arbitrators. Mr. Gladstone first said that the rules had been recommended for adoption by the Powers, but without any special construction being put on them. Then he had to correct himself before the debate closed, by explaining that he had made a mistake, for the rules had not yet been brought under the notice of Foreign Governments. This confession naturally forced the public to conclude that the Tories could not be far wrong when they declared that foreign affairs were neglected because Lord Granville was indolent and Mr. Gladstone neither knew nor cared anything about them.

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(From a Photograph by the London Stereoscopic Company.)

On the 13th of February Mr. Gladstone introduced the Irish University Education Bill. It affiliated several other educational institutions besides Trinity College to the University of Dublin. Two of the Queen’s Colleges, established by Sir Robert Peel, were to be associated with the University, and the Queen’s University itself was to be abolished. Queen’s College at Galway was to be suppressed, because it had failed to attract students to its class{434}rooms. The so-called Catholic University and several other Roman Catholic seminaries were also, in the same manner, to be attached to the Dublin University. The new University was to have an income of £50,000 a year, a fourth of which was taken from Trinity College, a fourth from the endowment for Queen’s University, three-eighths from the Irish Church surplus, whilst fees, it was expected, would make up the balance. It was to have professors for teaching in Dublin all academical subjects excepting history and mental philosophy, which were tabooed as too controversial for Ireland. Bursaries, Scholarships, and Fellowships were liberally endowed. Tests were to be abolished, the Theological Faculty of Trinity College was to be transferred—with an endowment—to the Disestablished Church, and the prohibited subjects, History and Philosophy, were not to be compulsory in examinations for degrees. The constituency of the University was to consist of all graduates of the affiliated colleges. The governing council of twenty-five was to be nominated in the Bill, after which, vacancies were to be filled up alternately by co-optation and Crown nomination. After ten years, however, equal numbers of the council were to be chosen, by the Crown, by co-optation, by the professors, and by the graduates. The Bill, according to the Bishop of Peterborough—by far the ablest Protestant ecclesiastic Ireland has produced in the Victorian period—“was as good as could be under the circumstances,” and “ought to have pleased all parties.”[49] Unfortunately it pleased nobody, and its weak point was obvious. It attempted to provide for separate denominational education in the affiliated colleges, and for mixed secular education in Trinity College and the University of Dublin, to which they were affiliated—the one system being as incompatible with the other as an acid with an alkali. As Mr. Gathorne-Hardy said, the exclusion of History and Philosophy rendered the new University a monster cui lumen ademptum. The proposal to make the Irish Viceroy its Chancellor recalled, he declared, the lines of Milton,

“Its shape,
If shape it can be called, which shape had none
Distinguishable in feature, joint, or limb—”
all the more that

“What seemed its head,
The likeness of a kingly crown had on.”
At first the Bill was very well received, and there was a general disposition to admit that, in view of the limiting conditions of the problem, it was impossible to find a solution less offensive to the Protestants, and more generous to the Catholics of Ireland. But in a few days it became apparent that the measure was doomed. Ministers had been led to believe by their colleague, Mr. Monsell, who was the spokesman of the Catholic clergy, that the compromise would be accepted by them. But the Catholic Bishops met in secret,{435} and decided to oppose the Bill.[50] As the Catholics opposed it for giving them too little, the Protestants opposed it because it gave the Catholics too much. The apostles of culture opposed it because it cut History and Philosophy out of the University curriculum, and in doing so they furnished all discontented Liberals with a good non-political excuse for voting against the Government. The Bill was defeated on the 12th of March by a vote of 287 to 284, the votes of 36 Catholic Members and 9 Liberals[51] having turned the scale. To the very last moment the issue was uncertain, because it was known that if Mr. Gladstone had offered to abandon the teaching clauses of the Bill, he would have won over a sufficient number of Catholic votes to carry it.[52]

Mr. Gladstone’s defeat was followed by the resignation of his Ministry, and the crisis was a most embarrassing one for the Queen. Mr. Disraeli, when sent for by the Sovereign, attempted to form a Cabinet, but did not succeed, mainly because Mr. Gathorne-Hardy objected to the party holding office on sufferance. When Mr. Disraeli reported his failure to the Queen, she again consulted Mr. Gladstone, who, however, suggested that some other Conservative leader—obviously hinting at Lord Derby—might succeed where Mr. Disraeli had failed. But Lord Derby was at Nice when the crisis became acute; and though the Tory Party felt that he was in a special sense their natural leader at such a juncture,[53] they knew that it was decidedly inconvenient for the Prime Minister to be a member of the Upper House, and that he would refuse to enter into anything like rivalry with Mr. Disraeli. Yet a restful Ministry, competent in administration, under a cool-headed, sensible Conservative aristocrat, was what the majority of the{436} people, alarmed by harassed “vested interests,” desired at the time. Be that as it may, Mr. Disraeli, when appealed to a second time by the Queen, refused to assist her out of the difficulty, and Mr. Gladstone was again summoned to the rescue. He returned to power with his Cabinet unchanged and disavowed any intention to dissolve Parliament. Mr. Disraeli’s refusal to take office had given the Queen infinite anxiety, and his defence of his conduct was lame and halting. He was, he said, in a minority; he had not a policy, and could not get one ready till he had been for some time in office, so that he might see what was to be done. He did not desire to experience the humiliation of governing the country under a régime of hostile resolutions. The Queen and the country were alike conscious of the flimsiness of these excuses. Mr. Disraeli never met the question—which, to the Queen, seemed unanswerable—Why did he paralyse the existing Administration, if he was not prepared to put another in its place?

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Mr. Disraeli in refusing to govern England himself whilst he prevented Mr. Gladstone from governing it, was pursuing a policy which was as unconstitutional as it was unpatriotic. When he said he could not take office because he must dissolve in May in any case, and that he could not dissolve because he had not a policy to go to the country with, and when he{437} explained that till he had time to study the archives of the Foreign Office he could not tell what ought to be done with questions such as the Russian advance on Khiva, and the Three Rules of the Washington Treaty, men smiled cynically. They asked each other if Lord Palmerston in 1869 was afraid to take the place of the Tory Government because he wanted time to form an opinion on Lord Malmesbury’s policy towards the Italian war of Liberation. Yet Mr. Disraeli gave a truthful account of his motives. He had no policy. Hence when he dissolved Parliament, as he was bound to do after winding up the business of the Session, he must have gone to the country on a purely personal issue between himself and Mr. Gladstone. Doubtless at a time when the nation was getting wearied of restless statesmen, a contest of the sort would have been disastrous to Mr. Gladstone, but not when raised by Mr. Disraeli, who was notoriously even flightier than his antagonist. To have won a General Election on such an issue the Tories must have fought under Lord Derby’s banner. Mr. Disraeli, however, had no intention of giving way to Lord Derby, and his followers did not dare to put him aside, more especially as he had in view a clever scheme of strategy. His idea was to force Mr. Gladstone to dissolve on a positive programme, and then to defeat him by a running fire of destructive criticism. These tactics might bring the Tories back to office under his own leadership, absolutely uncommitted to any definite policy whatever.

When Mr. Gladstone resumed office it was soon seen that he had not only wrecked his party, but compromised the prestige of the House of Commons. His was admittedly a weakened and discredited Ministry. It had been one of Mr. Disraeli’s favourite theories that whenever a feeble Ministry attempted to govern England, power passed from Parliament to the Crown. At one time, no doubt, the theory seemed plausible enough, but the Session of 1873 completely upset it. No sooner had Mr. Gladstone returned to office than power passed from the Crown and the House of Commons to the House of Lords. The will of the Peers was supreme over all. They said or did what they pleased, and quashed Bill after Bill without the least regard to the sentiments of the Queen, the desire of the Commons, or the interests of the country. The Peers rejected the Bill improving Church organisation contemptuously, though it had passed the Commons without a division. By asserting obsolete privileges of appellate jurisdiction over Scotland and Ireland, they disfigured the Judicature Bill, which consolidated the law courts and constituted a high court of appeal. They destroyed Mr. Stansfeld’s useful Rating Bill almost without debate. They opened a way for the reintroduction of purchase in the army, rejected the Landlord and Tenant Bill without even seeing it, and quashed a Bill, promoted by Mr. Vernon Harcourt and supported by the Government, to protect working men against being imprisoned under the law of conspiracy for non-statutable offences committed in the course of a strike. And the curious thing was that from the day Mr.{438} Gladstone returned to office to lead a moribund Ministry and a disorganised House of Commons, the people submitted without a murmur to the resolute and decisive despotism of the Peers. Thus it came to pass that when the Session ended the Ministry seemed to have sunk into a dismal swamp of humiliation—a humiliation which was intensified by administrative scandals and internal feuds. It was shown that Mr. Lowe, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, prepared plans of his own for public works, without consulting the Public Works Office. Mr. Ayrton, as head of that Department, in his place in the House of Commons, repudiated all responsibility for the votes of money for his department which were altered without his knowledge and consent by Mr. Lowe. There was a painful “scene” in the House of Commons at the end of July when these disclosures were made, and when Mr. Ward Hunt formally asked the Government if its Chancellor of the Exchequer and Chief Commissioner of Works were on speaking terms. Mr. Baxter created another scandal by suddenly resigning office as Financial Secretary to the Treasury, because Mr. Lowe had ignored him in the matter of the Zanzibar mail contract. Mr. Lowe was proved to have given the contract for carrying letters from the Cape to Zanzibar to the Union Steam Company for £26,000, whereas the British India Steam Company had offered to do the work for £16,000. Mr. Lowe declared he had never heard of the offer; yet Lord Kimberley, the Secretary for the Colonies, knew of it, and the tender was transmitted by the Indian Postmaster-General to Mr. Monsell, the British Postmaster-General, who passed it on to the Treasury. At the Treasury Mr. Lowe concealed the papers relating to the contract from Mr. Baxter, avowedly because he was known to be hostile to it. A Committee of the House investigated the scandal, and disallowed the contract. This affair was also accompanied by the final revelation of the truth as to what was known as the telegraph scandal.

In spring the working classes were profoundly disturbed by a rumour that the Government had seized the Savings Banks balances, and were building great extensions of telegraph lines with the money without consulting Parliament on the subject. The foundation for the story was a discovery made by the Auditor-General of Public Accounts. He reported that the Telegraph Department of the Post Office had for some time evaded the control of the House of Commons over its expenditure. Instead of submitting to the House estimates for proposed works, and asking for a vote on account, Mr. Scudamore, the Chief of the Department, a brilliant but too zealous official, took whatever money he wanted from the Post Office receipts, and spent it as he pleased on works of extension and improvement. He submitted no estimates in detail, but always asked the House of Commons for a sum for new works, which enabled him to replace the Post Office receipts which he had used. A large portion of the money thus spent was taken from the Savings Banks balances which everybody understood were always paid in for safety to the Commissioners of National Debt,{439} who invested them in Consols. Though no money was missing, it shook public confidence in the Government to find its administrative power so feeble that it could not prevent its own servants from tampering with the Savings Banks Deposits, and further investigation aggravated the scandal. It was shown that Lord Hartington when Postmaster-General had, like Mr. Monsell, allowed Mr. Scudamore to manage the Telegraph Department without any supervision, and that the Treasury had so far condoned this gross and culpable negligence that when it did business with Mr. Scudamore it communicated with him directly, and not through either Lord Hartington or Mr. Monsell, who had meekly submitted to be treated as official “dummies.” It was shown that the Treasury knew of Mr. Scudamore’s irregularities in 1871, and condoned them; that in 1872 it knew of them again, and acted so feebly that even Mr. Lowe admitted he regretted his lack of firmness. It was utterly impossible to defend the conduct of Mr. Lowe, Lord Hartington, Mr. Monsell, and the Chief Commissioner of National Debt, for countenancing these grave irregularities, and the scandal was simply disastrous to the administrative prestige of the Ministry.

The Queen was alarmed at the dismal prospect of ruling England by means of a Cabinet so hopelessly discredited, and Mr. Gladstone was equally conscious of the gravity of the situation. Whenever Parliament was prorogued he tried to parry attacks on the administrative incapacity of his Cabinet by reconstructing it. To the great relief of the Queen, he himself took the Chancellorship of the Exchequer into his own hands, so that the public might have a guarantee that the era of chaos at the Treasury was closed.[54] Mr. Bruce was elevated to the Peerage as Lord Aberdare, and became President of the Council, Lord Ripon having retired for private reasons. Mr. Childers (also for private reasons) vacated the Chancellorship of the Duchy of Lancaster, and Mr. Bright took his place and re-entered the Cabinet. Mr. Lowe was removed to the Home Office, and ere the year closed Mr. Adam became Chief Commissioner of Works, Mr. Ayrton taking the office of Judge-Advocate-General. Mr. Monsell also retired from the Postmaster-Generalship, and was succeeded by Dr. Lyon Playfair. The death of Sir William Bovill, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, in November, elevated Sir J. D. Coleridge to the Bench. Mr. Henry James accordingly became Attorney-General, and, to the amazement of the Bar, he was succeeded as Solicitor-General by Mr. Vernon Harcourt, whose attacks on the Ministry had thus met with their reward.

Mr. Gladstone’s hope was to reinvigorate the Government with a little new blood, and rehabilitate it by means of his influence and reputation as a financial administrator and Mr. Bright’s personal popularity among the Nonconformists. Yet the financial work of the Government alone, when administrative{440}

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blunders were detached from it, and relegated to their true place in political perspective, ought to have won for them the gratitude of the nation. Mr. Vernon Harcourt, who perpetually harassed the Ministry because of its growing expenditure—like many financial critics with an imperfect knowledge of book-keeping—failed to see that the apparent growth was not real because much of it was a mere matter of accounting.[55]{441}

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During their five years of power the Government had remitted £9,000,000 of taxation. They had reduced a chaotic Naval Administration to something resembling order, and not far removed from efficiency; and yet at the Admiralty there had been a saving of £1,500,000 on the Estimates of their predecessors. They had taken the Army out of pawn to its officers by abolishing Purchase, and had laid the basis for a compact military organisation; yet they had saved £2,300,000 a year at the War Office. The Army and Navy, though by no means efficient, were much more efficient than they had been when Mr. Gladstone’s Ministry came to power; and yet they were costing the country £4,000,000 less a year.[56] In spite of the great increase in{442} Civil Service expenditure—much of which, like the Education Vote, being morally rather than financially reproductive, showed no “results” in figures on the credit side of the public ledger—there had been since 1857 a decrease in the drain on the taxes of about £1,500,000.[57] Mr. Lowe’s last Budget in 1873 did not discredit the Ministry. In spite of his reductions of taxation in the previous year, he had obtained £2,000,000 more than his estimated income. For the coming year (1873-4) he estimated a surplus of £4,746,000; but he could promise no great remission of taxation, for he had to pay the damages (£3,000,000) which had been awarded at Geneva to the United States Government. Still, he halved the sugar duties and took another penny off the Income Tax. With all his faults, he was accordingly entitled to claim credit for reducing the Income Tax to the lowest point it had ever touched (threepence in the £) since it had been imposed by Peel in 1842. And yet Mr. Lowe could not, even with such a Budget, refrain from expressing his thankfulness in an acrid gibe against the populace. Referring to the marvellous increase in the receipts from Customs and Excise, he said he had been able to produce a good Budget because the nation had drunk itself out of debt.

Apart from the political strife and Ministerial embarrassments which so severely taxed the nerves of the Queen, life at Court was not very eventful. Indeed, it centred chiefly round the Prince and Princess of Wales, who were discharging vicariously and with great popular acceptance most of the social duties of the Crown. This fact was recognised by the Queen herself in a curious indirect kind of way. The Prince of Wales, though very far from being a spendthrift, has never shrunk from incurring expenditure which, in his judgment, was necessary to maintain the dignity and prestige of the Crown in a manner worthy of the great nation whose Sovereignty is his heritage. But he has always refrained from appealing to Parliament for subsidies and subventions, either for himself or his family, other than those to which he is equitably and legally entitled by his official position in the State. This was all the more creditable to him, for two reasons. He was surrounded by companions, some of whom did not scruple to take advantage of his generosity. A considerable section of the public during the controversy that raged over the Princess Louise’s dowry had expressed a strong opinion in favour of limiting future Royal grants to an additional allowance to the Heir Apparent, for the purpose of meeting the unanticipated expenditure which{443} he had incurred by taking the Queen’s place as the head of English Society. Sandringham, moreover, had not turned out a remunerative property, and the Prince was therefore under strong temptations to give a favouring ear to unwise counsels on this delicate subject. These, however, he put aside with manly common sense, and his affairs were arranged on a business-like basis, which would have met with the approval of his father, who was always of opinion that matters of the sort were best managed inside the family circle. The only public indication that was given of arrangements which must necessarily be spoken of with great reserve was afforded by Mr. Gladstone when, on the 21st of July, he introduced a Bill enabling the Queen to bequeath real property to the Prince of Wales, so that he could alienate it at will. The obvious advantage of such a measure was that it imparted a fresh elasticity to the financial resources of the Heir Apparent. For he had discovered a fact hitherto unrevealed in the history of his dynasty in England, namely, that though the Sovereign could bequeath to the Heir Apparent alienable personality, such as hard cash, land or real property so bequeathed, became, when vested in his person on ascending the Throne, the property of the State, and therefore inalienable. In fact, supposing the Queen had left Balmoral, an estate which she and her husband bought out of their private purse, to her eldest son, then, though it had been her own private property, it must become public property whenever the Prince of Wales became King. The state of the law on the subject was inequitable and inconvenient. For if the Queen wished to aid her eldest son in meeting expenses which he was every day incurring on her behalf, she had either to sell her private estates, endeared to her by a thousand tender family associations, or appeal to Parliament for a grant, a course which was as objectionable to her as to the Prince. On the other hand, if these private estates, when inherited by the Prince at her death, could be treated as private property, the Heir Apparent could easily obtain any additional subsidies he might need, by mortgaging his expectations. And yet the generous intentions of the Queen, and the honest purposes of the Prince which formed the motives for the Bill, were snappishly and churlishly misrepresented by several Radicals, and by at least one aristocratic Whig. Mr. George Anderson opposed the Bill because Sovereigns kept their wills secret. Sir Charles Dilke objected to it because he said it allowed the indefinite accumulation of private property in the hands of the Sovereign. His argument, in fact, came to this, that profligacy in the Monarch should be encouraged by the posthumous confiscation of his private estates. As for Mr. Bouverie, he asked what business the Sovereign had to possess large private means? The Bill, however, passed, and an incident which at one time threatened to be unpleasant for the Queen and her children was discreetly closed.

In March, the Queen’s refusal to permit the persons who represented England at the French Exhibition of 1867 to accept decorations, was made the subject of debate by Lord Houghton in the House of Lords. Her{444} Majesty’s prejudice against introducing Foreign Orders and titles into England had often given offence to naturalised stockjobbers and pushing parvenus. She never even took kindly to the use of the title of “Baron” by the Rothschilds, though she tolerated it for reasons of an entirely exceptional nature. But if the Orders were admitted the titles must soon follow, and society might be inundated some day with Russian “Counts,” who, as the French say, had “a career behind them,” or with Austrian “Barons,” who had bought their honours out of the profits of financial gambling. The English Court, for this reason, has such strong opinions on the point that even English nobles, inheriting foreign titles, conceal them so successfully that few people ever suspect that the Duke of Wellington is a Portuguese prince, the head of the House of Hamilton a French duke, or Lord Denbigh a Prince of an uncrowned branch of the Imperial House of Hapsburg. It need not be said that Lord Houghton’s complaints were generally admitted to be frivolous, and that the Queen’s feeling that she must be the sole fountain of honour in England, was shared by the nation. If the services which an individual has rendered abroad have benefited England or mankind, or if it is possible to form a correct estimate of their value in England, the Queen held she must either reward them herself, or retain the right to permit the individual to receive a foreign decoration for them. There never has been any practical difficulty in dealing with such cases, and no self-respecting person has ever felt aggrieved because he was debarred from accepting Foreign Orders.[58]

On the 4th of January the Queen was grieved to hear of the death of the ex-Emperor of the French, at Chislehurst. Her tender sympathy was freely bestowed on the ex-Empress, who was prostrated by her misfortunes and her sorrow. Five years before, the death of this strange man, whose Imperial life seemed ever shadowed by the great crime of the coup d’état, would have convulsed Europe. Now the world seemed quite indifferent to it, and when politicians spoke of it, all they said was that by disorganising the Imperialist party in France, it lessened the labours of M. Thiers in founding the Third Republic. The English people, whom Napoleon III. had kept in feverish dread for two decades, and whose support and friendship he had rewarded with the perfidy of the Benedetti Treaty, did not pretend to mourn over his grave. They spoke of his character, which was a moral paradox, and his career, which was a political crime, without prejudice or ill-feeling. But as they thought{445} of the horrors of the Crimean War, the wasted millions which Palmerston spent in fortifying the South Coast, and the final act of treachery which the German Government had revealed in July, 1870, there were some who considered that the Queen might have been less demonstrative in her manifestations of sorrow. But Her Majesty has never been free from the defects of her qualities. Quick to resent betrayal, her anger passes away as swiftly, when the betrayer broken by an avenging Destiny, and prostrate amid the wreck of his fortunes and his reputation, appeals to her sympathies. When Louis Philippe stood before her as a hunted fugitive, the Queen forgot the Spanish marriages. When Charles Louis Bonaparte fled for refuge to Chislehurst, she was too generous to remember his scheme for stealing Belgium.

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When spring came round, “the great joyless city,” as Mr. Walter Besant calls the East End of London, was gladdened by the Queen, for on the 2nd of April her Majesty went there to visit Victoria Park. She was accompanied by the Princess Beatrice, and drove from Buckingham Palace to the park in an open carriage. Her route was along Pall Mall, Regent Street, Portland Place, Marylebone Road, and Euston Road to King’s Cross, up Pentonville Hill to the “Angel” at Islington, beyond which point along Upper{446} Street, Essex Road, Ball’s Pond Road, through Dalston and Hackney, surging crowds of people lined both sides of the entire way. Streamers of gaudy bunting floated overhead from house to house across Islington Green. The Dalston and Hackney stations of the North London Railway, the Town Hall, and shops of Hackney were conspicuously decorated, and it was noticed that the Queen went among the poor of the East End without any military escort, a feat that few European Sovereigns would have dared to emulate. At the Town Hall she halted and received a bouquet, while the people sang the National Anthem. At the temporary entrance to Victoria Park a triple arch, of triumph had been erected, deep enough to resemble a long marquee in three compartments, open at both ends. It was handsomely fitted up in scarlet and gold, and here was stationed a guard of honour of the Fusiliers, while an escort of Life Guards was in waiting to conduct her Majesty round the park. Even the slums in this dismal quarter exhibited meagre decorations, eloquent alike of loyalty and indigence. A poor shoemaker, having nothing better to show, hung out his leather apron, on which the Queen saw with a thrill of interest that he had chalked up in flaming red letters, “Welcome as flowers in May. The Queen, God bless her.” The enthusiasm of the populace on this occasion was due to a curious idea that prevailed all over the East End. This visit, they said, was no ordinary one, because the Queen had come of her own free will to see the East End—a very different thing from the East End going westwards to see her. Hence a hurricane of cheers greeted the Queen wherever she went, and was more gladsome to her ears than the ornate language of the loyal addresses which she received. Her Majesty returned by Cambridge Heath Road, and when she came to Shoreditch the way was rendered almost impassable by an eager crowd. From Bishopsgate Street to the Bank she was hailed with passionate loyalty, which seemed to lose all restraint when on passing the Mansion House she rose in her carriage and smilingly bowed to the Lord Mayor, who stood in his State robes under the portico and saluted her. She then drove along the Embankment to the Palace, having charmed the sadder quarters of London with a visit which the people took to mean that they were not forgotten or ignored by their Queen.

On the 3rd of April, at three o’clock in the afternoon, the Duke of Cambridge, as President of Christ’s Hospital—the famous Blue-coat School—visited the Queen at Buckingham Palace to present the boys of the Mathematical School, who had come to exhibit their drawings and charts to her Majesty. A number of gentlemen connected with the Hospital had the honour of being presented by the Duke to the Queen when she entered the Drawing-room. Her Majesty then inspected, apparently with great interest, the maps and charts which were held before her by each boy separately.

The foreign curiosity of the London season in 1873 was the Shah of Persia. Soon after the Queen’s visit to the East End ceased to be discussed, the coming of the Shah was the favourite topic of talk. At the end of April his{447} departure from Teheran amidst the blessings of an overawed crowd of 80,000 subjects was chronicled. On the 12th of May he was heard of, painfully navigating the waters of the Caspian in a Russian steamer, and wonderful tales of his progress were told. He had three wives, and nobody knew how many other ladies in his train holding brevet-matrimonial rank. Was he going to bring them to England? If so, could more than one of them be received, and in that case how were the rest to be disposed of? A cloud of despondency began to settle over the subordinates in the Lord Chamberlain’s department. Would it be possible, it was asked, to persuade the Queen to invite each of the Shah’s wives separately—one to Buckingham Palace, one to Windsor, and one to Osborne? Later on it was reported that not only was the Shah bringing his harem, but his Cabinet Ministers also. Was his visit likely to be free from danger? Might not people begin to cherish strange fancies, if the Shah thus gave them ocular proof that an ancient country could get on wonderfully well without a sovereign and without a government? Gradually astounding rumours of his wealth were sent round. He had brought only half a million sterling for pocket-money, because there had just been a famine in Persia; still the sum would meet the modest wants of his exalted position. Indeed, through a telegraphic blunder, the sum was first stated as £5,000,000. He was said to be covered with jewels and precious stones, and he wore a dagger which blazed with diamonds, so that one could only view it comfortably through ground glass. In June the officials of the Court were relieved from a supreme anxiety. Ere he got half-way over Europe the Shah had sent his harem back to Persia. As he approached England he was described as looking terribly bored, and his black velvet doublet, covered with diamonds, and ornamented with emerald epaulettes, was said by one irreverent journalist to give him the appearance of “a dark shrub under the early morning dew.” To the good English people he was a mighty Asiatic potentate, representing an ancient dynasty, and the popular cry was that he must be impressed with the power of England. Had they understood that his great grandfather was a petty chief, who at a time of revolution established a dynasty, and promptly began, with the aid of his relatives, to ruin Persia, and that their visitor himself ruled over a country with the population of Ireland and twice the area of Germany, they might have made themselves less ridiculous. Mr. Gladstone was even pestered on the subject, and had to turn the matter off with a smiling suggestion that it would be well to let the Shah fix his own programme, and not put him in chains when he landed on our shores. But in Court circles it was whispered with dread that it might be well to fetter the bedizened barbarian, for he had odd notions of etiquette, and had even rudely poked the august arm of the German Empress, when he wanted to call her attention at the theatre to something on the stage. On the 18th of June, however, the long-expected guest landed at Dover from Ostend. The cannon of the Channel fleet thundered forth a salute, and the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Arthur welcomed him as he stepped{448}

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on the pier. His Majesty arrived at Charing Cross in the evening, and London forthwith went mad about him. It talked and thought about nothing else, much to the disgust of the Tory wirepullers, who saw with sorrow the scandal of the Zanzibar mail contract absolutely wasted on a frivolous metropolis. It may be recorded that when he appeared the Shah disappointed sightseers, who were looking out for the black velvet tunic powdered with diamonds, and ornamented with epaulettes of emeralds. His Majesty, in fact, was clad in a blue military frock-coat, faced with rows of brilliants and large rubies; his belt and the scabbard of his scimitar were likewise bright with jewels, and so was his cap.

The suite of apartments placed at the disposal of his Imperial Majesty in Buckingham Palace had been put in direct telegraphic communication with Teheran, and though it was expected he would be impressed by being able to talk to anybody in his capital without leaving his room, the arrangement seemed rather to bore him than otherwise. An infinite variety of entertainments was prepared for him, and the programme he had to work through seemed too extensive for human endurance during the last ten days of his visit. On the 20th of June the Queen, who was at Balmoral when he arrived, came to Windsor to receive the Persian monarch in State.

The preparations for the Shah’s public welcome were worthy of the Royal borough. As the train steamed into Windsor Station, the Princes and others in waiting to receive him welcomed him as he stepped out, arrayed in a State uniform flashing with gems. The Mayor and Recorder then read an Address, to which the Shah briefly replied, both the Address and reply being translated by Sir Henry Rawlinson. Accompanied by Prince Arthur and Prince Leopold he was driven to the Castle, where the Queen received him. The reception was held in the White Drawing Room, and the Shah conferred upon the Queen the Persian Order, and also the new Order which he had then, with a gallantry hardly to be expected of an Asiatic, just instituted for ladies. Luncheon was served in the Oak Room, after which the Queen accompanied her guest to the foot of the staircase on his leaving the Castle.

In the evening a splendid entertainment was given to his Majesty by the Lord Mayor at Guildhall, to which 3,000 persons were invited. At this banquet the Shah was placed on a daïs with the Princess of Wales, the Lord Mayor on his left hand, and the Czarevna, wife of the Czarewitch, on his right. The Shah wore a blue uniform with a belt of diamonds, and the ribbon and Star of the Garter, which had been conferred on him at Windsor in the afternoon. The scene at the ball which followed was unusually brilliant and picturesque. When the Shah had taken his seat the first quadrille was formed. He did not dance, but when the company had gone through four dances he joined the supper-party. About midnight his Majesty and the Royal Family left the scene. This magnificent entertainment was the first of many. The Shah was hurried in rapid succession to a Review of Artillery at Woolwich, and another of{450} the Fleet at Spithead, to a State performance at the Italian Opera, to the International Exhibition, to a concert in the Royal Albert Hall, and to a Review in Windsor Park of 8,000 troops. At this Review what impressed him most were the batteries of Light Artillery, the physique and drill of the Highlanders, and the brilliant skirmishing of the Rifles. When the spectacle was over he presented his scimitar to the Duke of Cambridge. An odd sight was witnessed when the Shah visited the West India Dock and Greenwich on the 25th of June. He went in an open carriage from Buckingham Palace to the Tower Wharf, and embarked amidst a salvo of artillery. The river was filled with an extraordinary collection of ships, barges, boats, and vessels of every description. Crowds, cheering and shouting like crazy beings, swarmed on decks, rigging, wharves, roadways, and even on the roofs and crane stages of the warehouses. A striking effect was produced during this trip by the floating steam fire-engines of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, which, closely lashed together, all at once saluted the Shah as he passed, by casting up many perpendicular jets of water to a great height in the air. On the evening of this day, by command of the Queen, a State ball was given at Buckingham Palace, at which the Persian Sovereign and the British Princes and Princesses were present. After a short visit to Liverpool, the Shah left England on the 5th of July, no abatement having taken place in the entertainments in his honour up to the last.

The Shah’s departure from London, and his embarkation for Cherbourg on board the French Government yacht Rapide, was the final act of these remarkable proceedings. He was accompanied to the Victoria Station by the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Arthur, the Duke of Cambridge, and Prince Christian, all in full uniform. The Shah having been made a Knight of the Garter during his visit to England, her Majesty presented him with the badge and collar set in diamonds. He in turn gave his photograph set in diamonds to the Queen and the Prince of Wales. To Earl Granville he offered his jewelled portrait, but that wily diplomatist, knowing what was meant, demurely said he could only accept the portrait if the precious stones were removed from it. London never had such a lion before or since, and the fuss made over him led many to imagine that his visit was of high political importance. It was certainly odd that the heir to the Russian throne, who must have been satiated with the Shah’s society in St. Petersburg, persisted in being seen everywhere in his train in London. Perhaps at his interview with Lord Granville he had asked for some promise of protection against Russian encroachment, and as it was impossible for Russia to conquer the Tekke Turcomans unless she could draw her supplies from the Golden Province of Khorassan, such a promise, if given and kept, would have effectually barred the march of the Cossack towards Herat. If these matters were talked of, events subsequently showed that no such promises had been made, and that Lord Granville, like his predecessors, firmly adhered to the fatal policy initiated by England in{451} order to buy the aid of the Czar against Napoleon I.—the policy of abandoning Persia to Russian “influence.”

It was semi-officially announced in the middle of July that the Duke of Edinburgh had been betrothed (11th July) to the Grand Duchess Marie Alexandrovna, the only daughter of the Czar of Russia. The affair had been the subject of some difficult and delicate negotiations, not so much because there was some difference of religion between the bride and bridegroom, but because, being an only daughter, the parents of the Grand Duchess felt that parting with her would be a bitter heart-wrench. She was devoted to her father, as he was to her, and it was said that if he had given his crown to the English Prince he could not have testified more strongly his esteem for him than he had done by bestowing on him his daughter’s hand. “I hear,” writes the Princess Louis of Hesse from Seeheim (9th July), to the Queen, “Affie [the Duke of Edinburgh] comes on Thursday night. Poor Marie is very happy, and so quiet…. How I feel for the parents, this only daughter (a character of Hingebung [perfect devotion] to those she loves)—the last child entirely at home, as the parents are so much away that the two youngest, on account of their studies, no longer travel about.”[59]

This alliance was unusually interesting, for the Duke of Edinburgh was practically within the Royal succession.[60] Nothing but an Act of Parliament barring him from the succession, such as men talked of passing against the hated Duke of Cumberland, who conspired with the loyal Orangemen of Ulster to oust the Queen from the throne, could prevent the Duke from succeeding to the Crown if the Prince of Wales and his children did not survive the Queen. There was a very general feeling that this marriage was worthy of the country. Apart from her great wealth, the only daughter of the Czar of All the Russias appeared to the average British elector to be a much more fitting mate for a Prince who stood very near the English throne, than an impecunious young lady from a minor Teutonic “dukery”—if we may venture to borrow a term which Lord Beaconsfield made classical. Thoughtful observers of public life were grateful to the Queen for establishing a precedent which enlarged the area of matrimonial selection for English Princes. Since the reign of George II. this had been so closely limited to Germany, that the Royal Family of England from generation to generation had been purely and exclusively German. There was, therefore, no popular outcry against a Parliamentary settlement for the Duke of Edinburgh. Mr. Gladstone, on the 29th{452}

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of July, carried a resolution in the House of Commons, giving the Duke of Edinburgh an annuity of £25,000 a year, and securing to the Grand Duchess Marie £6,000 a year of jointure in the event of her becoming a widow. The Minister was not met with any formidable opposition. When Mr. Holt and Mr. Newdegate began to attack the Grand Duchess’s religion, the House instantly flew into a passion and hooted them into silence. When the resolution was debated two days afterwards, Mr. Taylor, who objected to the vote on the ground that the bride was one of the richest heiresses in Europe, was literally effaced by Mr. Gladstone. Amid deafening cheers from all parts of the House, he asked Mr. Taylor if he dared to stand up before his own constituents and beg the Russian Czar to accept a poor English Prince for a{453} son-in-law on the plea that his daughter had a large fortune? The grant was carried by a vote of 170 to 20.

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(From a Photograph by W. and D. Downey.)

The marriage itself was solemnised on the 23rd of January, 1874, at the Czar’s Winter Palace in St. Petersburg in accordance with the Greek and the Anglican rite. All that wealth and absolute power could do to invest the ceremony with Imperial pomp and splendour was done. Among those invited were members of the Holy Synod, and of the High Clergy of Russia; the members of the Council of the Empire, Senators, Ambassadors, and other members of the Corps Diplomatique, with the ladies of their families, general officers, officers of the Guard, of the Army and Navy. The great Russian ladies wore the national costume, while the nobles and gentlemen were in full uniform. The Queen of England was represented by Viscount Sydney and{454} Lady Augusta Stanley. On their arrival at the church the Duke and Grand Duchess took their places in front of the altar, where were standing the Metropolitan of St. Petersburg and the chief priests, attired in magnificent vestments. The Czar and Czarina were on the right of the altar, the Prince of Wales and the Russian Grand Dukes standing opposite. The most interesting portions of the ceremony were the handing of the rings to the bride and bridegroom, the crowning of the Royal couple, and the procession of the newly wedded pair, with the Metropolitan and clergy, Prince Arthur, and the Grand Dukes round the analogion or lectern, the bride and bridegroom carrying lighted candles in their left hands. On the conclusion of this part of the ceremony, the bride and bridegroom proceeded to the Salle d’Alexandre, where the Anglican ceremony was performed by Dean Stanley, the bride being given away by the Emperor, while Prince Arthur officiated as his brother’s groomsman. The Duke of Edinburgh and the Grand Duchess Marie used prayer books which had been sent to them by the Queen, and the Grand Duchess carried a bouquet of myrtle from the bush at Osborne, which had been so often laid under tribute for the marriages of the Queen’s children. The wedding-day was celebrated in the principal towns of Great Britain with much popular rejoicing.

The Queen deeply regretted her inability to be present at a ceremony so interesting to her, and, in some respects, momentous for her House. Nor was she the only member of the Royal circle who entertained the same feeling. Her daughter, the Princess Louis of Hesse, writing to her from Darmstadt on the 23rd of January, 1874, says, “On our dear Affie’s [Prince Alfred’s] birthday, a few tender words. It must seem so strange to you not to be near him. My thoughts are constantly with them all, and we have only the Times account, for no one writes here. They are all too busy, and, of course, all news comes to you. What has Augusta [Lady Augusta Stanley] written, and Vicky and Bertie? Any extracts or other newspaper accounts but what we see would be most welcome…. God bless and protect them, and may all turn out well.” Artless passages like these are worth quoting, if for no better reason than this, that they illustrate the strength of the sentiment of domesticity which has not only bound the Royal children to the Queen, but to each other, all through life. Even after the Queen had complied with her daughter’s request, and sent her some letters about the ceremony, the Princess recurs to the same theme, saying, “Dear Marie [the Duchess of Edinburgh] seems to make the same impression on all. How glad I am she is so quite what I thought and hoped. Such a wife must make Affie happy, and do him good, and be a great pleasure to yourself, which I always liked to think.” And again, a few days later, she writes to the Queen as follows:—“I have a little time before breakfast to thank you so much for the enclosures, also the Dean’s [Stanley’s] letter through Beatrice. We are most grateful for being allowed to hear these most interesting{455} reports. It brings everything so much nearer. How pleasant it is to receive only satisfactory reports.”[61]

The Grand Duchess, when she came to her new home, brought her own weather with her. She was introduced by the Queen to London and the Londoners on the 12th of March, in the midst of a bleak and blinding snowstorm. That dense crowds of people should line the street, and stand for hours in the half-frozen slush, for an opportunity of bidding the Grand Duchess welcome to her new home, afforded an impressive testimony to the deep-seated loyalty of the capital. The Queen, the Grand Duchess, the Duke of Edinburgh, and other members of the Royal Family, left Windsor Castle at 11 o’clock in closed carriages for the railway station, under a brilliant escort of Scots Greys. The Royal train steamed to Paddington terminus, which was all ablaze with Russian and English colours. The people thronged the windows, balconies, the house-tops, and the pavements, and each side of the roadway, all along from Paddington to Buckingham Palace, and the Queen and the Royal couple showed their appreciation of the splendid reception which was given to them by braving the snowstorm in an open landau. The Queen, who was dressed in half-mourning, smilingly bowed in acknowledgment of the hearty cheering, and the Grand Duchess, who sat by her side, attired in a purple velvet mantle edged with fur, a pale blue silk dress and white bonnet, was evidently surprised at the warm greeting she received. The route was lined by the military and police. The streets were full of loyal but bedraggled decorations, and grimly festive with limp flags and illegible mottoes. Nothing could be more gracious than the smiling demeanour of the Queen and her new daughter-in-law, and nothing more pitiable than the obvious discomfort of the poor ladies-in-waiting, who sat palpably shivering in their carriages. At night the chief thoroughfares were brilliantly illuminated. “I hope,” writes the Princess Louis of Hesse to the Queen, “you were not the worse for all your exertions…. Such a warm reception must have touched Marie, and shown how the English cling to their Sovereign and her House.” Yet, after the first flush of excitement had passed away, the Russian Princess began to suffer from the common complaint of all Northern women—nostalgia, or home-sickness. “Marie must feel it very deeply,” writes the Princess Louis to the Queen (7th April), “for to leave so delicate and loving a mother must seem almost wrong. How strange this side of human nature always seems—leaving all you love most, know best, owe all debts of gratitude to, for the comparatively unknown! The lot of parents is indeed hard, and of such self-sacrifice.” This incident seems to have led to a curious correspondence between the Queen and her daughter, in which her Majesty apparently gave her some solemn warnings about the evil done by parents who bring up their daughters for the sole purpose of marrying them. “This,” observes the Princess Louis in her reply to her{456}

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(From the Picture by N. Chevalier.)


mother, “is said to be a too prominent feature in the modern English education of the higher classes…. I want to bring up the girls without seeking this as the sole object for the future—to feel that they can fill up their lives so well otherwise…. A marriage for the sake of marriage is surely the greatest mistake a woman can make…. I know what an absorbing feeling that of devotion to one’s parent is. When I was at home it filled my whole soul. It does still in a great degree, and heimweh [home-sickness] does not cease after so long an absence.”


Questions of the Recess—The Dissenters and the Education Act—Mr. Forster’s Compromise—The Nonconformist Revolt—Mr. Bright Essays Conciliation—Sudden Popularity of Mr. Lowe—His “Anti-puritanic Nature”—Mr. Chamberlain and the Dissidence of Dissent—Decline of the Liberal Party—Signs of Bye-elections—A Colonial Scandal—The Canadian Pacific Railway—Jobbing the Contract—Action of the Dominion Parliament—Expulsion of the Macdonald Ministry—The Ashanti War—How it Originated—A Short Campaign—The British in Coomassie—Treaty with King Koffee—The Opposition and the War—Skilful Tactics—Discontent among the Radical Ranks—Illness of Mr. Gladstone—A Sick-bed Resolution—Appeal to the Country—Mr. Gladstone’s Address—Mr. Disraeli’s Manifesto—Liberal Defeat—Incidents of the Election—“Villadom” to the Front—Mr. Gladstone’s Resignation—Mr. Disraeli’s Working Majority—The Conservative Cabinet—The Surplus of £6,000,000—What will Sir Stafford do with it?—Dissensions among the Liberal Chiefs—Mr. Gladstone and the Leadership—The Queen’s Speech—Mr. Disraeli and the Fallen Minister—The Dangers of Hustings Oratory—Mr. Ward Hunt’s “Paper Fleet”—The Last of the Historic Surpluses—How Sir S. Northcote Disposed of it—The Hour but not the Man—Mr. Cross’s Licensing Bill—The Public Worship Regulation Bill—A Curiously Composed Opposition—Mr. Disraeli on Lord Salisbury—The Scottish Patronage Bill—Academic Debates on Home Rule—The Endowed Schools Bill—Mr. Stansfeld’s Rating Bill—Bill for Consolidating the Factory Acts—End of the Session—The Successes and Failures of the Ministry—Prince Bismarck’s Contest with the Roman Catholic Church—Arrest of Count Harry Arnim—Mr. Disraeli’s Apology to Prince Bismarck—Mr. Gladstone’s Desultory Leadership—“Vaticanism”—Deterioration in Society—An Unopposed Royal Grant—Visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales to Birmingham—Withdrawal of the Duchess of Edinburgh from Court—A Dispute over Precedence—Visit of the Czar to England—Review of the Ashanti War Soldiers and Sailors—The Queen on Cruelty to Animals—Sir Theodore Martin’s Biography of the Prince Consort—The Queen tells the Story of its Authorship.

Two questions disturbed the recess of 1873-74—would Mr. Gladstone attempt to conciliate the Dissenters, and would Mr. Bright, at their bidding, denounce the Education Act which had been recently passed by a Government of which he was a leading and authoritative member?

The great grievance of the Dissenters was, that the 25th Clause of the Education Act sanctioned the payment of denominational school-fees for pauper children out of the school-rate. The Dissenters argued that it was as wicked to make them pay rates for Anglican teaching in a school, as it was to make them pay tithes for it in a church. Their opposition was mainly led and organised by Mr. Chamberlain and the Birmingham Secularists, who had so effectually made war on the Liberal Party at bye-elections, that even{458} Mr. Forster deemed it prudent to conciliate them early in 1873. He offered them a compromise in his Education Amendment Act, which passed before Parliament rose. This Act repealed the 25th Clause, which ordered the payment out of the school rate of fees for pauper children in denominational schools. Instead of that it compelled Boards of Guardians to pay the fees to the indigent parent, leaving it to him to select a school for his child. He might choose a denominational school if he preferred it, only it must be an efficient school under Government inspection. This compromise had, however, been rejected by Mr. Chamberlain, who also complained bitterly that Mr. Forster refused to make the formation of School Boards compulsory in every parish. Nor was the bitterness of the Nonconformists assuaged by an indiscreet speech which Mr. Gladstone had made during the recess at Hawarden, in which he advised the people of that parish to be content with their Church Schools, and not to elect a School Board. The attempts which were made to explain away this speech were not successful, and so when Mr. Bright came before his constituents at Birmingham, he found the Dissenters in open revolt. He therefore deemed it prudent to condemn the Education Act, and oppose Mr. Forster’s Education policy. As he had joined a Cabinet in which Mr. Forster held high rank, Mr. Bright’s utterances on the subject did the Government more harm than good. The Dissenters put no faith in them, because, they said, amidst all the Ministerial changes that had occurred, Mr. Forster was still at the Education Office. Independent supporters of the Ministry were, on the other hand, surprised to find a statesman of Mr. Bright’s reputation condemning on high moral principles an Act which he had himself helped to pass only a year before. Mr. Bright’s unfortunate position was further aggravated by the defence which was put forward on his behalf. It was contended that he had no responsibility for Mr. Forster’s Education Act. All he had seen was the draft of the Bill, and of that he had, as a Cabinet Minister, formed a favourable impression. But his illness had withdrawn him from active work, and when the measure was passing through the House of Commons evil changes, it was argued, were made in it, and for these Mr. Bright could not be blamed. Unfortunately it was written in the inexorable chronicles of Hansard that the only changes made in the Bill were all in favour of the Dissenters. Mr. Bright was accordingly too clearly responsible for the original measure, which was infinitely more odious to the Nonconformists than the one that was finally passed, and which he now disowned and denounced on account of its injustice.

Curiously enough, it was Mr. Lowe who was most successful in winning popularity for the Ministry during the recess. The police found in him a zealous defender. The working-classes heard with pleased surprise a rumour to the effect that he had drafted a Bill conceding the demand of Trade Unionists for a reform of the Labour Laws. His manner of receiving deputations had suddenly become bland and suave. When, for example, the representatives of the Licensed Victuallers went to complain to him of the{459} Licensing Laws, he was so sympathetic that the leader of the deputation sent a graphic account of the interview to the Press. He explained how he and his colleagues had waited on the new Home Secretary in fear and trembling, but how delighted they were to find that “the great scholar and debater cheered the meeting with many sunny glimpses of his own Anti-puritanic nature.”

Still, in spite of Mr. Bright and Mr. Lowe, the Liberal cause was waning among the electors. Every day Mr. Chamberlain was driving deeper and deeper into the heart of the Liberal Party the wedge of Dissenting dissension, that ultimately split its electoral organisation in twain. On the whole, the bye-elections favoured the Conservatives. But Mr. Henry James, the new Attorney-General, carried Taunton, and Captain Hayter, owing to an imprudent letter which Mr. Disraeli wrote in support of the Tory candidate, was successful at Bath.[62]

A Colonial scandal and a Colonial war also attracted much attention during the recess, and though the scandal did not affect the Ministry, the war somewhat chilled the sympathies of many of their strongest supporters.

The story of the scandal was as follows:—The Canadian Government had decided to construct a Pacific Railway that would bridge the wildernesses by which Nature had separated those Provinces, which were united by the British North American Act. The project was deemed so hopeless as a commercial undertaking that the money to carry it on could not be raised. But during the negotiations which ended in the Treaty of Washington, Canada, at the instance of the British Commissioners, made certain concessions, in return for which the British Government undertook to guarantee a loan for the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The money was then raised without delay, and Sir Hugh Allen, the richest capitalist in Canada, formed a syndicate, who applied for and obtained the contract for constructing the railway from the Government of Sir John Macdonald, which then held office in the Dominion. It was soon alleged that Sir John Macdonald and his colleagues in the Canadian Cabinet had been bribed to “job” away the contract into Sir Hugh Allen’s hands. The Canadian House of Commons believed in the charge, insisted on an investigation, and appointed a Committee of Inquiry. Vigorous efforts were made to hush up the scandal, and by means of the veto of the Crown the Committee was paralysed. An Act authorising it to examine witnesses on oath was passed by the Dominion Parliament, but was vetoed by the Crown on technical grounds. The Members of the Opposition, however, defeated this attempt to stifle effective inquiry, by refusing to serve on what they declared would be a sham tribunal, and public opinion was so incensed that the Government were compelled to appoint to the vacant seats in the Committee persons of high judicial position.{460} When under examination by the Commissioners Sir Hugh Allen admitted that he paid Sir John Macdonald £36,000 in order to secure the election of candidates pledged to support his Ministry in the Canadian Parliament. Sir John Macdonald and his colleagues admitted that they received this money, and that they had used it to carry seats in the Province of Ontario for their faction. After the money was paid the contract was given to Sir Hugh Allen. But in this transaction Sir John Macdonald denied that there was any taint of bribery. Like his celebrated countryman, Sir Pertinax Macsycophant, he said, “Dinna ca’t breebery. It ’s juist geenerosity on the ae haun’, an’ grawtitude on the ither.” In Canada and England a different view was taken of the matter. The Macdonald Ministry was driven from office amidst public execration, and even Lord Dufferin the Governor-General, and the Colonial Office did not escape censure, when it became clear that they were at least privy to the matter.

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The Colonial war broke out on the West Coast of Africa. In consideration of being permitted to annex as much of Sumatra as they could subdue, the Dutch had handed over to England their possessions on the West Coast of{461}

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Africa. The English Government soon became involved in a dispute with the King of the Ashantis over a subvention which the Dutch had always paid him. The Ashantis attacked the English settlements near Elmina, but were beaten off by a small party of English troops. When the cool season came it was decided to send Sir Garnet Wolseley with an expedition strong enough to march to Coomassie, the Ashanti capital, and, if need be, lay the country waste. Sir Garnet arrived before his troops, and engaged with success in several unimportant skirmishes. The main army left England in December, and on the 5th of February, 1874, it entered Coomassie in triumph. The place was so unhealthy that it had to be evacuated almost immediately. But ere the troops left a Treaty was signed by which King Koffee renounced his claim to sovereignty over the tribes who had been transferred from the Dutch to the British Protectorate. The management of the expedition was not perfect. But it at all events showed that the administrative departments of the Army had improved somewhat since the Crimean War, and that whilst the English private soldier had lost none of his superb fighting qualities, he was now led by officers possessed of a considerable degree of professional{462} skill. And yet the Ashanti War failed to arrest the decay of public confidence in the Government. With masterly tact the Tory leaders put forward Lord Derby to deprecate wasteful military enterprises and extensions of territory in pestilential climes, whilst Sir Stafford Northcote attacked the Ministry fiercely in September for engaging in such a war without consulting the House of Commons. The effect of this criticism was soon manifest. The sympathies of a large section of the Radicals and of the entire Peace Party were alienated from the Ministry, who now found the arguments they had used to embarrass Mr. Disraeli during the Abyssinian War, turned against themselves. Mr. Bright, in joining a Cabinet which waged a costly war on some wretched African savages without the consent of Parliament, sacrificed the last remnant of authority which his inconsistent attitude to the Education Act had left him. Nor did he regain this authority by writing a letter early in January, in which he expressed an opinion that all difficulties with Ashanti might be settled by arbitration. As the country was actually at war with King Koffee, Mr. Bright’s suggestion was taken to mean that England should, by an act of surrender, pave the way for arbitration between herself and the Ashantis. This could not possibly be the opinion of the Government which was vigorously prosecuting the war, and it was clear that on this subject, as on the Education question, there was chaos in the Cabinet. In these circumstances the question came to be would Ministers dissolve, or would they meet Parliament and attempt to regain popularity through the work of a reconstructed Cabinet, whose latest and most influential recruit never spoke in public without showing that, when he did not abandon his principles, he was at variance with his colleagues? Various rumours were current as to a conflict of opinion on the subject between Mr. Gladstone and his colleagues and the Queen. Ultimately it was decided that there should be no dissolution before spring.

Worn with anxiety, irritated by the failure of his plans for recovering popularity through a reconstruction of his Cabinet, sick in body and mind, the Prime Minister in January fell seriously ill. A fortnight before the opening of the Session he paralysed his Party with amazement by deciding to dissolve Parliament. Seldom has so momentous a decision been arrived at in circumstances so strange and so peculiar. Writing to Lord Salisbury on the 26th of January, 1874, Mr. Hayward says: “Alderson (whom I saw yesterday) thought it unlikely that you would be brought back earlier than you intended by the Dissolution, which has come on every one by surprise. The thought first struck Gladstone as he lay rolled up in blankets to perspire away his cold, was mentioned as a thought to daughter and private secretary, then rapidly ripened into a resolution and submitted to the Cabinet. The secret was wonderfully well kept by everybody. The Liberals are delighted, and the Disraelites puzzled and amazed.”[63]{463}

Parliament was dissolved on the 20th of January, and it was reckoned that the new House of Commons would be elected by St. Valentine’s Day. Mr. Gladstone’s Address to the electors of Greenwich set forth at great length the reasons for his sudden appeal to the country. But Mr. Forster gave the best and briefest explanation, when he told his constituents at Bradford that the Dissolution was due to the petty defeats and humiliations which the Government had suffered since Mr. Disraeli’s refusal to relieve them of the cares of office, and to a desire that the electors should decide whether Mr. Disraeli or Mr. Gladstone should have the spending of the enormous surplus of £6,000,000 at the disposal of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Mr. Gladstone in his declarations of policy referred to the Ashanti War as a warning against “equivocal and entangling engagements.” He complained that the House of Commons was overburdened with work, and, with an eye to the Irish vote, he approved of delegating some of its business to “local and subordinate authorities” under the “unquestioned control” of Parliament. He held out no hopes of effecting any great changes in the Education Act, but he promised a measure of University Reform, supported the extension of Household Franchise to the Counties, and pledged himself to abolish the Income Tax. His meagre references to Foreign Affairs seemed to show that Mr. Bright had forced the Cabinet to accept the unpopular policy of selfish and self-contained isolation, which virtually ignored the higher international duties of England as one of the brotherhood of European nations.

Mr. Disraeli’s manifesto was not at first sight captivating. Instead of attacking Mr. Gladstone’s proposal to abolish the Income Tax as an attempt to secure a Party majority by taking a plébiscite on a Budget which had not yet come before Parliament, Mr. Disraeli fell in gladly with the idea. The abolition of the Income Tax was apparently to him what emigration was to Mr. Micawber when he had it suggested to him for the first time—the dream of his youth, the ambition of his manhood, and the solace of his declining years. The Tory chief also over-elaborated his complaints that Mr. Gladstone had imperilled freedom of navigation in the Straits of Malacca by recognising the right of the Dutch to conquer the Acheenese if they could. Nor was he apparently successful in attacking the Government for entering on the Ashanti War without waiting to ask Parliament for leave to repel Ashanti assaults on our forts. But when he demanded “more energy” in Foreign Affairs than Mr. Gladstone had exhibited, and when he said that measures could be devised to improve the condition of the people without incessant “harassing legislation,” he cut the Government to the quick.

The elections ended in a signal disaster to the Liberal Party. Nobody was ready for the fray. Everybody was irritated at being taken unawares. The influences and the “interests” that had caused the decay of Mr. Gladstone’s Administration have been already described. It will be enough to say here that they smote it with defeat at the polls. The attempt to neutralise these{464} influences by promising to spend the surplus in abolishing the Income Tax and readjusting local taxation completely failed. The working classes were not eager to take off a tax which they did not pay. The majority of the Income Tax payers argued that Mr. Disraeli’s manifesto showed that he was prepared to give them whatever relief was possible. Independent electors felt that it was desirable to censure a project which might establish a precedent for including the Budget in an electoral manifesto,[64] and throwing the financial system of the country into the crucible of a General Election.[65] The City of London decisively abandoned Liberalism. The counties were swept by Tory candidates. The working classes refused to support candidates of their own order, save in Stafford and Morpeth, where the miners returned Mr. Macdonald and Mr. Burt to Parliament. Men of high capacity, unless their names were known to newspaper readers, were ruthlessly rejected. The electors preferred either candidates of loudly-advertised eminence, rich local magnates, or young men of family—especially if they had titles. Only two tenant-farmers were chosen—Mr. Clare Read, a moderate Conservative, and Mr. McCombie, a moderate Liberal. The “professors” and academic politicians went down helplessly in the mêlée—even Mr. Fawcett failing to hold his seat at Brighton, though shortly after Parliament met he was returned by Hackney, where a vacancy accidentally occurred. The Home counties, where “villadom”—to use Lord Rosebery’s term—reigns supreme, went over to Conservatism, and the success of the Tories in the largest cities was amazing. The middling-sized towns, and, generally speaking, the electors north of the Humber, were pretty faithful to Liberalism. But in Ireland the Liberal Party almost ceased to exist—the Irish electors preferring to return either Home Rulers or Tories.{465} Roughly speaking, Mr. Disraeli could count on a steady working majority of fifty, even reckoning the Irish Home Rulers as Liberals.

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(From a Photograph by Bassano, Old Bond Street, W.)

Mr. Gladstone tendered his resignation at once when the results of the Elections were known, and Mr. Disraeli on being sent for formed a Cabinet, in which the offices were distributed as follows:—First Lord of the Treasury, Mr. Disraeli; Lord Chancellor, Lord Cairns; Lord President of the Council, Duke of Richmond; Lord Privy Seal, Lord Malmesbury; Foreign Secretary, Lord Derby; Secretary for India, Lord Salisbury; Colonial Secretary, Lord Carnarvon; Home Secretary, Mr. R. A. Cross; War Secretary, Mr. Gathorne-Hardy; First Lord of the Admiralty, Mr. Ward Hunt; Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir Stafford Northcote; Postmaster-General, Lord John Manners. The minor offices were distributed either among administrators and men of{466} business, or young men of high birth and promising abilities, who were thus put in training for the duties of leadership in the future.[66]

Ministers and ex-Ministers soon had their troubles thick upon them. The “interests” were impatient for satisfaction, and there was an ugly rush after the surplus. Deputations of Income Tax repealers, Local Taxation Leaguers, clergymen demanding subsidies to Consular chaplains, brewers demanding the repeal of their licence, Malt Tax repealers, Sugar Duty repealers, clerical supporters of voluntary schools, who, according to Lord Sandon, virtually asked for the suspension of payment by results, waited on Sir Stafford Northcote to claim their share of Mr. Gladstone’s surplus. Other Ministers, too, were pestered by the various “interests” who had worked for the Tory Party at the General Election on the understanding that Mr. Gladstone’s “harassing” legislation would be undone if Mr. Disraeli came back to power. The new Government were sufficiently courageous to resist this pressure. Indeed, they were generous enough to retract much of the hostile criticism which in the heat of electioneering contests had been hurled against Mr. Gladstone’s Administration. The Liberal Party, on the other hand, was not only shattered, but practically leaderless. Its chiefs, it was said, were fighting among themselves. Stories flew about to the effect that Mr. Lowe declared he would never again follow Mr. Gladstone, that Sir William Harcourt was convinced he must lead the Party himself if it was to be saved from extinction, and that Sir Henry James vowed that he would never permit Mr. Gladstone to sit as his colleague in any future Liberal Cabinet. Naturally Mr. Gladstone retired from the duties of leadership, but pressure was put upon him to resume them. He consented, but only on the understanding that his service was to be temporary, and that he should not be expected to be in regular attendance in the House of Commons. His advanced age, his broken health, and his need of rest, were the reasons which he gave publicly for his action. His real motive, however, he confided to Mr. Hayward, who, in a letter to Lady Emily Peel (27th of February, 1874), says, “I had a long talk with Gladstone yesterday. He thinks the Party in too heterogeneous a state for regular leadership, that it must be let alone to shake itself into consistency. He will attend till Easter, and then quit the field for a time. He does not talk of permanent abdication.”[67] Mr. Gladstone, it would seem, at this time considered his functions as a leader ended after he had shattered his Party. Not till it had been reorganised by somebody else, or had reorganised itself, did he apparently deem it worthy of his guidance.{467}

On the 19th of March the Queen’s Speech was read to both Houses of Parliament. It referred joyfully to the termination of the war with the Ashantis, the marriage of the Duke of Edinburgh, but mournfully to the famine which was then devastating Bengal. It promised a Land Transfer Bill, the extension of the Judicature Act fusing law and equity to Ireland and Scotland, a Bill to remedy the grievances of the publicans, a Bill dealing with Friendly Societies, and a Royal Commission on the Labour Laws.[68] In the debate on the Address several Peers took occasion to make sport of the great Minister who had fallen from power. But the Commons were spared this exhibition of political vulgarity, mainly because Mr. Disraeli snubbed most mercilessly the first of his followers who attempted to indulge in it.

When Sir William Stirling-Maxwell, who moved the Address, taunted Mr. Gladstone with his defeat, Mr. Disraeli assured the House that Sir William had, contrary to custom, spoken without consulting him as to what he should say—in fact, without consulting anybody. As for the silence of the Liberal Members on the results of the Dissolution, “I admire,” said Mr. Disraeli, “their taste and feeling. If I had been a follower of a Parliamentary chief as eminent as the Right Honourable gentleman, even if I thought he had erred, I should have been disposed rather to exhibit sympathy than to offer criticism; I should remember the great victories he had fought and won. I should remember his illustrious career; its continuous success and splendour; not its accidental or even disastrous mistakes.” Mr. Gladstone’s frank and candid statement was a model of dignified simplicity well worthy of Mr. Disraeli’s chivalrous admiration. The defeated Minister simply said that his policy of fiscal reorganisation in his judgment could not be carried save by a Government possessing the full confidence of the country. The bye-elections—notably the Liberal defeat at Stroud—during the recess rendered it doubtful if his Administration possessed this confidence. His appeal to the country confirmed that doubt. Nay, the verdict of the electors so emphatically declared their desire to entrust power to the Tory Party, that he felt it his duty to make way for Mr. Disraeli and his colleagues as soon as possible, and to afford them every reasonable facility for giving effect to the will of the people. [69]


These chivalrous courtesies foretold a dull Session. Nor did the statements of Ministers seem promising to the “young bloods” of the Tory Party, who held it as an axiom that they were badly led if their leaders did not show them plenty of “sport.” What did Lord Derby mean, for example, by telling the House of Lords that Lord Granville had left the Foreign Affairs of the country in the most satisfactory condition? Had they not all assured their constituents that he had brought England to such a depth of degradation that there were now none so poor as do her reverence? What did Mr. Disraeli mean in moving the Vote of Thanks to the Ashanti troops by praising Mr. Cardwell for the preparations he made for bringing the war to a speedy and victorious conclusion? Had they not all declared on the hustings that the conduct of the war was a model of mismanagement? Moreover, was it necessary for Lord Salisbury to exhaust the vocabulary of eulogy on Lord Northbrook for his energy in dealing with the Indian Famine? and was Mr. Hardy true to his followers and supporters when, on moving the Army Estimates (30th March), he contradicted every one of the charges that had been made against Mr. Cardwell, who had been accused of stopping Volunteering, exhausting stores, wrecking fortifications, and failing to arm the troops?[70] One passing gleam of hope shot across the horizon when Mr. Ward Hunt in his speech on the Naval Estimates stood by the wild and whirling rhetoric of Opposition criticism. He declared that the Fleet was inefficient, and warned the House he might need a Supplementary Estimate. Whilst he, at least, remained at the Admiralty he would not tolerate a “fleet on paper” or “dummy ships.” But alas! even Mr. Ward Hunt’s alarmist statement vanished in a peal of laughter when it was discovered that all he asked for to convert his “paper fleet” into a real one was £100,000! Cynical critics soon reassured a scared populace. The best proof that the Services had not been starved or rendered inefficient by Mr. Gladstone’s Administration was afforded by Sir Stafford Northcote, who made no secret of his intention to distribute the surplus of £6,000,000 which every one regarded with hungry eyes.

The eventful day for the division of the spoil came on the 16th of{469}

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April, when Sir Stafford Northcote made his statement. In spite of Mr. Lowe’s remission of taxes, his payment of the Alabama Claims, his disbursement of £800,000 on the Ashanti War, the year 1873-74 ended with a surplus in hand of £1,000,000. On the basis of existing taxation Sir Stafford Northcote for the coming year estimated his revenue at £77,995,000, to which he added £500,000 from interest on Government advances for agricultural improvements heretofore added to Exchequer balances and never reckoned in the revenue. His expenditure was taken at £72,503,000, so that he had the magnificent surplus of £6,000,000 to play with. Never did a Finance Minister use a great opportunity more tamely. With such a sum at his disposal he might have re-cast the fiscal system of England and won a reputation rivalling that of Peel. But Northcote had not the heart to climb ambition’s ladder. He pleaded lack of time as an excuse for attempting no great stroke of financial policy, and he frittered away his six millions as follows:—He gave £240,000 in aid of the support of pauper lunatics; £600,000 in aid of the Police rate; £170,000 in increased local rates on Government property, and this sum of £1,010,000 was to be raised in succeeding years by further payments for pauper lunatics to £1,250,000 as an Imperial subvention to local taxation.[71] He devoted £2,000,000 to the remission of the Sugar Duties; he took a penny off the Income Tax, which absorbed £1,540,000, and he remitted the House Duties, which cost him £480,000. The half-million of interest on loans which he had included in revenue Sir Stafford Northcote used to create terminable annuities, which would in eleven years extinguish £7,000,000 of National Debt. The fault of the Budget was that nothing historic was done with a surplus such as rarely occurs in the history of a nation. Even if Sir Stafford Northcote felt unequal to the task of re-casting the whole financial system, and giving relief to the poorer taxpayers, he could easily have earned for his Government the enduring gratitude of the nation. He might, for example, have created terminable annuities to pay off twenty or thirty millions of National Debt before 1890.

Mr. Cross’s Licensing Bill was introduced early in May, when the publicans, who had worked hard to put the Government in power, expected Mr. Austin Bruce’s restrictions on the hours of opening public-houses to be swept away. Mr. Cross, however, found that the magistrates and police, and more respectable inhabitants of every town and parish, were of opinion that these restrictions had done good. He was, therefore, forced to disappoint his clients. He left the Sunday hours untouched. On week-days he fixed the hours for closing at half-past twelve in London, half-past eleven in populous places, and{471} eleven in rural districts.[72] He cancelled the permission given by Mr. Bruce to fifty-four houses to remain open till one in the morning, in order to provide refreshments for playgoers and theatrical people. Inasmuch as the Government were at the mercy of the publican vote in a great many constituencies, the Bill was most creditable to Mr. Cross. It was, in truth, a Bill not in extension but in further restriction of the hours of opening, and in passing it he risked giving offence to Ministerialists who had won their seats under a pledge that the existing restrictions would be relaxed.[73]

Quite unexpectedly the Ministry plunged into the stormy sea of ecclesiastical legislation, and as was hinted at broadly, not without encouragement from the Queen. This much might also have been inferred from two facts. The churchmen who had most strongly influenced the Court in matters of ecclesiastical government were Dr. Tait, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Dr. Norman Macleod, Minister of the Barony Parish in Glasgow. The Bill dealing with the English Church represented the ideas of Tait. That dealing with the Kirk of Scotland embodied the policy of Macleod. Indeed, pressure of an unusual character must have been applied to the Prime Minister to support the former measure, which he knew only too well must provoke dissensions in his Cabinet. It was on the 20th of April that Dr. Tait introduced the Public Worship Regulation Bill in the House of Lords, and the best and briefest description of it was that which was subsequently given by Mr. Disraeli, who said, in one of the debates in the House of Commons, that it was a Bill “to put down Ritualism.” At first Ministers did not give it warm support, in fact, Lord Salisbury opposed it vigorously. After it had passed through the House of Lords the fiction that it was a private Member’s Bill was still kept up, the Second Reading being moved in the House of Commons by Mr. Russell Gurney. Mr. Hall, the new Tory member for Oxford, moved an amendment to Mr. Gurney’s motion, and Mr. Gladstone opposed the measure as an attack on congregational liberties, which had been consecrated by usage. The three great divisions of the Established Church, the Evangelical, Broad, and High Church Parties, had each been allowed a large scope of liberty. Why single out the last for an invidious assault? Mr. Gladstone, however, did not deny that some Ritualistic practices were offensive, and he moved six resolutions which would sufficiently protect congregations from priestly extravagances, and yet leave the clergy ample freedom in ordering their church service. These resolutions disintegrated both parties in{472} the State. Sir William Harcourt led a Liberal revolt against Mr. Gladstone. The Secretary for War (Mr. Gathorne-Hardy) replied hotly to Sir William Harcourt’s ultra-Erastian harangue. Mr. Disraeli here cast in his lot with the supporters of the Bill; which, despite the opposition of Mr. Hardy, Sir Stafford Northcote, and Lord John Manners, accordingly became in a few days a Cabinet measure. In the House of Lords matters grew still more serious. When the House of Commons sent the Bill back to the Peers, one of Mr. Gladstone’s defeated amendments was speedily inserted in it, and Lord Salisbury “utterly repudiated the bugbear of a majority in the House of Commons.” A few days afterwards Mr. Disraeli replied with caustic humour to the taunts of Lord Salisbury, whom he ridiculed as “a great master,” so he called him, “of gibes, and flouts, and sneers.” Still, the Commons accepted the Lords’ Amendments, which were for the most part in favour of individual freedom, and so the Bill passed. But Mr. Disraeli paid a great price for his complaisance to the Court and its confidential ecclesiastical adviser. The High Church Party, who had ever marched in the van of his supporters, became disaffected, and in every future electoral contest those of them who did not fall sulking to the rear went over to the enemy. Mr. Disraeli’s tactical blunder in identifying his Cabinet with the Public Worship Regulation Bill of 1874 was notoriously one of the causes of the collapse of the Tory Party in the General Election of 1880. His other adventure into the perilous region of ecclesiastical legislation was not so disastrous to his Party as to the institution it was his desire to protect and strengthen. In 1869 Dr. Macleod had headed a deputation which waited on Mr. Gladstone, asking him to abolish lay Patronage in the Scottish State Church. Mr. Gladstone asked if Macleod and his colleagues had considered what view was likely to be taken of the proposal by the other Presbyterian churches of Scotland, “regard being had to their origin.” This phrase struck the deputation dumb. It was as if Mr. Gladstone had asked whether they thought it right that the clergy of the Free Church, who sacrificed their endowments in 1843 because the Party whom the deputation represented successfully prevented the abolition of lay Patronage, should be ignored now, when this very Party proposed that the price they agreed to pay for the enjoyment of their benefices should no longer be exacted. The project, according to Dr. Macleod, excited no great enthusiasm in Scotland,[74] but the Courts of the Scottish Established Church supported it strongly. In 1874 Mr. Disraeli, yielding to pressure, which it was admittedly difficult to resist, permitted Lord Advocate Gordon to introduce his Scottish Patronage Bill. It abolished the rights of lay patrons, and vested presentations to livings in the hands of the congregations of the Established Church of Scotland. When the patron was a private individual he was compensated, but when the patronage to a benefice was held by{473}

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a Corporation it was confiscated without compensation. The idea of the Government was that Presbyterians outside the Established Church were deterred from joining it by the existence of lay Patronage. When this was abolished it was supposed that they would immediately go over to the State Church, whose services they could command gratuitously, and leave their own pastors, whose stipends they had to pay out of their own pockets, to starve. Mr. Disraeli did not understand that lay Patronage, by bringing the Church courts and civil courts into collision, was merely the occasion and not the cause of the Disruption, and that what separated the Free Churchmen from the State Church was a difference of opinion on the relative position of Church and State, as wide as that which separated Dr. Pusey from an Erastian like Sir William Harcourt. But the Patronage Bill was passed in spite of Mr. Gladstone’s opposition, though, like the Public Worship Regulation Bill, it failed in its object. The congregations of the non-established Presbyterian churches refused to justify Mr. Disraeli’s cynical estimate of their character, and therefore did not desert their pastors. The powerful Free Kirk of Scotland, representing the principle that the Church should be established and endowed but left free from State control, had been debarred from joining in the Disestablishment movement. It now, however, cast in its lot with those Presbyterian dissenters who clamoured for Disestablishment in Scotland, which thus for the first time came within{474} the range of practical politics. Perhaps, if Mr. Disraeli had insisted on the rights of patrons being transferred to all parishioners his policy might have been more successful. But by transferring these rights to the congregations in actual attendance at established churches, he gave the Free Churchmen a pretext for arguing that he had sectarianised the national ecclesiastical endowments, and that, therefore, the State Church could no longer be defended on principle. These endowments were not sectarianised, but secularised, when controlled by private patrons and civil courts, for patron and judge could alike be regarded in theory as legal trustees for the nation. They were bad trustees according to the Free Churchmen, but then they represented the nation officially, and did not, like their successors, the congregations of the parish churches, constitute a sect.

Academic debates on Parliamentary Reform and Home Rule varied the monotony of ecclesiastical controversy which Ministers seemed to take a morbid delight in stirring up. Their next achievement in this direction led to a defeat. Lord Sandon unexpectedly introduced in July an Endowed Schools Bill, which virtually undid the work of 1869. It restored the ascendency of the Church of England in Grammar Schools, and substituted the authority of the Charity Commissioners for that of the Endowed Schools Commission. The Bill would probably have done much to conciliate the clergy who had been offended by the Public Worship Regulation Act, but, on the other hand, it closed the ranks of the Opposition, and recalled the Dissenters to the Liberal colours. The result was that, after fierce controversy in both Houses, Mr. Disraeli professed himself satisfied with the appointment of the Charity Commission to superintend the working of Mr. Forster’s Act, and postponed the contentious clauses till the following year. They were never heard of again. Mr. Stansfeld’s Rating Bill, which the Lords had rejected in the previous Session, was adopted by the Ministry and passed. Mr. Mundella’s Bill for consolidating the Factory Acts, which had been shelved in 1873, was adopted by Mr. Cross and carried.

The popular verdict on the Ministry, when the Session closed on the 8th of August, was, that as administrators they had done nothing brilliant, and as legislators they were timidly reactionary, when they did not adopt the ideas and measures of their predecessors. The Premier, perhaps, suffered most in reputation. It was impossible to admire the strategy that brought into prominence Church questions which divided his Cabinet, and were uninteresting to the populace, or which, like the Endowed Schools Bill, when they were of great popular interest, were dealt with in an offensively reactionary spirit. On the other hand, the success with which the famine in Bengal and Behar was arrested, and indeed the whole tone of the administration at the India Office, greatly increased Lord Salisbury’s prestige. Lord Carnarvon’s management of the Colonies was sympathetic and popular. Foreign affairs had been conducted by Lord Derby with admirable prudence.{475} This was aptly illustrated by his skill in avoiding entangling engagements committing England to approve of changes in international law which would have greatly extended the powers of invading armies in an enemy’s country. These changes were proposed at a Conference at Brussels, which had been promoted by Russia and Germany ostensibly to mitigate the evils of modern warfare.

Only one cloud shadowed the Foreign policy of the Cabinet during this uneventful year. The contest between Prince Bismarck and the Roman Catholic Church was raging in Germany, and the personal rivalry of the German Chancellor and Count Harry Arnim—who had been German Ambassador at Paris—had ended in the arrest of the latter on the charge of embezzling State documents. This arrest had been effected after Count Harry Arnim’s house had been ransacked by the police, and the Continent rang with the scandal. Mr. Disraeli, at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet, on the 9th of November, congratulated the country on the Conservatism of the British working classes, who, he said, enjoyed so many liberties that they were naturally loyal to the institutions under which their freedom was safeguarded. “They are not,” said he, “afraid of political arrests or domiciliary visits.” The Queen was somewhat pained at an utterance which the German Government regarded as an impertinent interference with its domestic affairs, but a few days afterwards the wrath of Prince Bismarck was appeased by an official explanation in the Times to the effect that Mr. Disraeli had not meant to refer to the affairs of Germany, or to the arbitrary conduct of the Berlin police. In this unfortunate speech Mr. Disraeli, however, struck a popular note when he referred to the extension of the Empire by the annexation of the Fiji islands, in terms that foreshadowed a policy of Colonial expansion.

As for the Opposition, it remained in a state of disorganisation, under Mr. Gladstone’s desultory leadership. Its prospects were not improved by his publication of two pamphlets, in which he attacked what he called “Vaticanism,” and attempted to prove that good Catholics, who were mostly Liberals, must be incapable of reasoning, if they were not traitors. That was the sum and substance of his amazing tirades against the extravagant pretensions of the Papacy under Pius IX.

During the year the Queen seldom appeared in public, which was, perhaps, one reason why a marked deterioration in the moral tone of society was discernible. A curious languor crept over the upper classes. They were consumed with a quenchless thirst for amusement, and the genius who could have invented a new pleasure would have had the world at his feet. Frivolity seemed to prey like a cancer on the vitality of the nation. When the Prince of Wales gave a State Fancy Ball in July, the Times actually devoted three columns of space to an elaborate description of the dresses. Sport became a serious business to all classes of society, and even{476} grave and earnest men of affairs like Mr. Gladstone wasted their lives in the laborious idleness of ecclesiastical controversies. The more vigorous youth of the aristocracy now began to make their “grand tour,” not as did their ancestors to study foreign affairs and institutions, but merely to kill big game. Fashionable life became so costly that rents had to be exacted with unusual rigour, and the strikes among the agricultural labourers that mitigated the advantages of a good harvest, were accordingly spoken of in West End drawing-rooms as if they had revived the horrors of the Jacquerie. Though prices had begun to fall, the mercantile classes vied with the aristocracy in the ostentatious extravagance of their personal expenditure, and in the City the old and substantial Princes of Commerce were pushed aside by gamblers who termed themselves “financial agents,” and who had suddenly grown rich by “placing” Foreign Loans and floating fabulously successful Joint-Stock Companies. The pace of life was too rapid even for the Prince of Wales, whose financial embarrassments during a dull autumn formed the subject of some discussion. It was publicly stated that he had incurred liabilities to the extent of £600,000, and that the Queen, disgusted with Mr. Gladstone’s refusal to apply to Parliament for money to discharge them, had paid them herself. From what has already been said on this delicate subject it is hardly necessary to point out here that this statement was not quite accurate. It was true that the debts of the Heir Apparent amounted to one-third of his income, but it was equally true that on the 1st of October his Controller’s audit showed that he had a balance to his credit sufficient to meet them. At the same time there could be no doubt that the Prince’s expenditure far exceeded his resources, for sums varying from £10,000 to £20,000, taken from the great fund accumulated for him by the Prince Consort’s thrifty administration of the revenues of the Duchy of Cornwall, were sacrificed every year to prevent his debts from becoming unmanageable.[75]

His brothers were more fortunately situated. Prince Arthur, who had been created, in May, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn and Earl of Sussex,[76] was able to devote himself quietly to his military studies, and lead a life of dignified simplicity. “Many thanks,” writes the Princess Louis of Hesse to the Queen (May 4th, 1874), “for your last dear letter, written on dear Arthur’s birthday, of which, though late, I wrote you joy. Such a good, steady, excellent boy as he is! What a comfort it must be to you never to have had any cause of uneasiness or annoyance in his conduct! He is so much respected, which for one so young is doubly praiseworthy. From St. Petersburg, as from Vienna, we heard the same account of the steady line he{477}

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holds to, in spite of all chaffing, &c., from others, which shows character.”[77] Prince Leopold was equally fortunate; indeed, his delicate health would of itself have compelled him to shun the exhausting gaieties of London seasons, when Society was worn out with ennui every year ere the rosebuds burst into bloom. When Parliament voted him an income of £15,000 a year, Mr. Disraeli described Prince Leopold as an invalid student of “no common order,” and to the Queen it was an increasing source of delight to watch in her youngest son the growth of the same pensive nature, the same studious habits, and the same refined and cultured tastes which, in the Prince Consort, Mr. Disraeli averred somewhat effusively, “gave a new impulse to our civilisation.{478}”

With the exception of the grant to the Duke of Edinburgh on his marriage, this was the only Royal grant voted by Parliament which was not made a matter of controversy. But it must be noted that in 1874 the spirit of Republicanism in the country was almost dead. Mr. Chamberlain, by his writings and speeches, made an ineffectual effort to keep it alive, but even he had to bow his austere knee to the popular idols of the time, who were undoubtedly the Prince and Princess of Wales. As if to throw out a jaunty challenge to the enemies of the Monarchy, the Prince and Princess paid a visit to Birmingham in November, where it was the duty of Mr. Chamberlain as Mayor to receive them, and where they met with a welcome from the populace, the significance of which he was quick to recognise. Mr. Chamberlain, who had not been expected to make pleasant speeches to his guests, behaved to them with the tact of an astute if not an accomplished courtier. His undisguised appreciation of the Prince’s visit to his mansion, and of the Princess’s delight in his conservatories, famed for their priceless exotics, recalled the devotion of the Lady Margaret Bellenden in “Old Mortality,” when Charles II. accepted the hospitalities of her castle.

One marked feature of the London season in 1874 was the sudden withdrawal of the Duchess of Edinburgh from Court ceremonials. An attempt was made to account for this by explaining that as her Royal and Imperial Highness was expecting to become a mother she deemed her retirement from Society necessary.[78] According to statements current at the time, however, her absence was due not exactly to a dispute, but to a difficulty about her precedence, which must have considerably embarrassed the Queen. As the daughter of a powerful Emperor, the Duchess of Edinburgh not unnaturally thought that she had a right to take precedence of the Princess of Wales, who was but the daughter of a petty king. An Imperial Highness should, in her opinion, take precedence of a Royal Highness. On the other hand, it was intolerable to the English people that even by implication should the inferiority of the English Monarchy to that of any Imperial House in Europe be recognised—in fact, the kings of England had never admitted that any of the Continental Emperors had a title to precedence over them. The country, therefore, heard with interest a report that the Russian Czar was about to come to England, not merely to visit his daughter, but if possible to settle with the Queen the question of precedence that had disturbed her family. Her Majesty was understood to be willing to assent to any arrangement which did not confer on the wife of her second son, the right to take precedence over the wife of the Heir Apparent, and so matters stood when the Czar arrived at Dover on the 13th of May. He was received with the utmost cordiality by the Queen in person at Windsor. The first effect of his visit was to replace the Duchess of Edinburgh in the Court Circular among the ladies of{479} the Royal Family next to the Princess of Wales, and to cause her to be described as “Her Royal and Imperial Highness the Duchess of Edinburgh (Grand Duchess of Russia).”[79] The Czar was well received by the people, among whom he was popular as the Liberator of the Serfs, and after a dreary week of sightseeing and State banquets, he left England on the 22nd of May.

On the 30th of March the Queen proceeded to Windsor Great Park to review the troops who had been engaged in the Ashanti War. The force, 2,000 in number, went through their evolutions in gallant style, and her Majesty with her own hands awarded the Victoria Cross to Lord Gifford for personal bravery in the campaign. On the 13th of April the Queen also inspected the sailors and marines of the Royal Navy who had fought in the Ashanti War. The review took place at Gosport, and many of the officers were, by the Queen’s desire, personally presented to her.

The controversy then raging over Vivisection seemed to have interested her Majesty greatly, for at the Jubilee meeting of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals there was read a letter written by Sir Thomas Biddulph by the Queen’s instructions, which ran as follows:—

“My Dear Lord,—The Queen has commanded me to address you, as President of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, on the occasion of the assembly in this country of the foreign delegates connected with your association and of the Jubilee of the Society, to request you to give expression publicly to her Majesty’s warm interest in the success of the efforts which are being made at home and abroad for the purpose of diminishing the cruelties practised on dumb animals. The Queen hears and reads with horror of the sufferings which the brute creation often undergo from the thoughtlessness of the ignorant, and she fears also sometimes from experiments in the pursuit of science. For the removal of the former the Queen trusts much to the progress of education, and in regard to the pursuit of science, she hopes that the entire advantage of those anæsthetic discoveries, from which man has derived so much benefit himself in the alleviation of suffering, may be fully extended to the lower animals. Her Majesty rejoices that the Society awakens the interest of the young by the presentation of prizes for essays connected with the subject, and hears with gratification that her son and daughter-in-law have shown their interest by distributing the prizes. Her Majesty begs to announce a donation of £100 to the funds of the Society.”

On the 23rd of November her Majesty was present, with the Empress of Russia, the Prince and Princess of Wales, and other members of the Royal Family, at the christening of the infant son of the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh—Prince Alfred of Edinburgh; and on the 3rd of December she received a deputation from France to present her with an Address of thanks for services rendered by Englishmen to the sick and wounded in the war of 1870-71. The Address was contained in four large volumes, which were placed on a table for the purpose of being shown to her Majesty. M. d’Agiout and Comte Serrurier explained the nature of their contents. Having accepted the volumes, the Queen said to the deputation in French, “I accept with pleasure the volumes which you have presented, and which will be carefully preserved by{480} me as records of the interesting historical events which they commemorate. They are beautiful as works of art, but their chief value in my eyes is that they form a permanent memorial of the gratitude of the French people for services freely and spontaneously rendered to them by Englishmen acting under a simple impulse of humanity. Your recognition of those services cannot fail to be appreciated by my subjects, and it will increase the friendly and cordial feeling which I am happy to believe exists between the two nations.” The volumes were placed in the British Museum.

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(From a Photograph by G. W. Wilson and Co.)

On the 3rd of December her Majesty at Windsor personally presented several seamen and marines with the medals which they had won for conspicuous gallantry in the Ashanti War. A few days after this ceremony the attention of the country was absorbed in the first volume of the biography of the Prince Consort, which had been compiled with sedulous care, delicate tact, and refined feeling by Mr. (afterwards Sir) Theodore Martin. The verdict of the public was one of immediate and unreserved approval. They were delighted with Mr. Martin’s idyllic picture of Prince Albert’s domestic life, and of the tender companionship in which he and the Queen lived lovingly together. Glimpses, too, of the Queen’s own strength of character and of her shrewd judgment in politics, such as, for example, her letters and memoranda on the affair of the Spanish marriages, and her keenly-etched{481} portrait of the Czar Nicholas after his visit in 1844, suggested very plainly that the Sovereign was not exactly a cipher in the State. If in some of its lines Mr. Martin’s portrait recalled memories of William III., it reminded the people that, like William III., the Prince, though unable from his intellectual detachment to inspire the people with love, won their confidence and respect through his unpretending, but unswerving fidelity to the interests of his adopted country. But the frankness and absence of reserve with which the book was written displeased a few of the Queen’s foreign relatives; indeed, this feature of the biography had been commented on by some who thought it was derogatory to the dignity of the Royal Caste. The Princess Louis of Hesse, if she did not share this opinion, felt it her duty to convey it to the Queen. In a letter to her mother at the beginning of 1875, the Princess says, “It is touching and fine in you to allow the world to have so much insight into your private life, and allow others to have what has been only your property, and our inheritance…. For the frivolous higher classes how valuable this book will be if read with real attention, as a record of a life spent in the highest aims, with the noblest conception of duty as a leading star.” To this letter the Queen replied from Osborne, 12th of January, 1875:—“If,” she wrote, “you will reflect a few minutes, you will see how I owed it to beloved papa to let his noble character be known and understood, as it now is, and that to wait longer when those who knew him best—his own wife, and a few (very few there are) remaining friends—were all gone, or too old and too far removed from that time, to be able to present a really true picture of his most ideal and remarkable character, would have been really wrong. He must be known for his own sake, for the good of England and of his family, and of the world at large. Countless people write to say what good it does and will do. And it is already thirteen years since he left us! Then you must also remember that endless false and untrue things have been said about us, public and private, and that in these days people will write and will know; therefore the only way to counteract this is to let the real full truth be known, and as much be told as can be told with prudence and discretion, and then no harm, but good, will be done. Nothing will help me more than that my people should know what I have lost!… The ‘Early Years’ volume was begun for private circulation only, and then General Grey and many of papa’s friends and advisers begged me to have it published. This was done. The work was most popular, and greatly liked. General Grey could not go on with it, and asked me to ask Sir A. Helps to continue it; and he said that he could not, but recommended Mr. Theodore Martin as one of the most eminent writers of the day, and hoped I could prevail on him to undertake this great national work. I did succeed, and he has taken seven years to prepare the whole, supplied by me with every letter and extract; and a deal of time it took, but I felt it would be a national sacred work.{482}”


Mr. Disraeli recognises Intellect—Lord Hartington Liberal Leader—The Queen’s Speech—Lord Hartington’s “Grotesque Reminiscences”—Mr. Cross’s Labour Bills—The Artisans’ Dwellings Act—Mr. Plimsoll and the “Ship-knackers”—Lord Hartington’s First “Hit”—The Plimsoll Agitation—Surrender of the Cabinet—“Strangers” in the House—The Budget—Rise of Mr. Biggar—First Appearance of Mr. Parnell—The Fugitive Slave Circular—The Sinking of the Yacht Mistletoe—The Loss of the Vanguard—Purchase of the Suez Canal Shares—The Prince of Wales’s Visit to India—Resignation of Lord Northbrook—Appointment of Lord Lytton as Viceroy of India—Outbreak of the Eastern Question—The Andrassy Note—The Berlin Memorandum—Murder of French and German Consuls at Salonica—Lord Derby Rejects the Berlin Memorandum—Servia Declares War on Turkey—The Bulgarian Revolt Quenched in Blood—The Sultan Dethroned—Opening of Parliament—“Sea-sick of the Silver Streak”—Debates on the Eastern Question—Development of Obstruction by Mr. Biggar and Mr. Parnell—The Royal Titles Bill—Lord Shaftesbury and the Queen—The Queen at Whitechapel—A Doleful Budget—Mr. Disraeli becomes Earl of Beaconsfield—The Prince Consort’s Memorial at Edinburgh—Mr. Gladstone and the Eastern Question—The Servian War—The Constantinople Conference—The Tories Manufacture Failure for Lord Salisbury—Death of Lady Augusta Stanley—Proclamation of the Queen as Empress at Delhi.

The year 1875 opened less gloomily for the Ministry than for the Opposition. Mr. Disraeli had sanctioned the despatch of a Polar Expedition, and in a curious letter, since published by Mr. Froude, he had tendered Mr. Carlyle the Grand Cross of the Bath on the ground that “a Government should recognise Intellect.”[80] He had also offered Mr. Tennyson—“if not a great poet, a real one,” to use his own phrase—a baronetcy. Both offers had been refused, but the scientific and literary classes—potent agencies for influencing public opinion—sang loud the praises of a Ministry that was so obviously in sympathy with them. As for the Opposition, Mr. Gladstone’s definite refusal to lead them any longer, compelled them to elect a successor, whereupon an infinite amount of dissension, heartburning, and jealousy was stirred up in their ranks. Mr. Goschen, Sir William Harcourt, and Mr. W. E. Forster were the candidates who had most partisans, and the last was undoubtedly the one on whom the public choice would have fallen, if the public had been permitted to arbitrate between the rivals. The Nonconformists, however, had not yet forgiven Mr. Forster, and Mr. Bright put him out of the field by using his powerful influence in favour of Lord Hartington, who was finally selected. According to one of the ablest of Liberal political critics, Lord Hartington “succeeded in making the whole party content, if not enthusiastic, with their choice.”[81] Lord Hartington had, in the course of the Session, virtually nothing to do, and, like the Peers in Mr. Gilbert’s opera, he “did it very well.” The Queen’s Speech outlined a temperately progressive policy, and when the Opposition leader taunted Ministers with failing to carry out the scheme of reaction to which they stood pledged{483} on the hustings and in the Conservative Press, Mr. Disraeli, with demure gaiety, protested against his “grotesque reminiscences.” Lord Hartington, he complained, sought out “the most violent speeches made by the most uninfluential persons in the most obscure places, and the most absurd articles appearing in the dullest and most uninfluential newspapers,” and took these as the opinions of “the great Conservative Party.”[82] The opinions of the Conservative Ministry, he added, were now expressed from the front Ministerial Bench, and for these alone did he hold himself responsible.

Mr. Cross was the popular Minister of the Session. His Artisans’ Dwellings Bill embodied a resolution which Mr. U. Kay-Shuttleworth and Sir Sidney Waterlow had induced Mr. Gladstone’s Government to accept, and though in practice it proved disastrous to local ratepayers, it was taken as a kindly recognition of claims which Liberal Cabinets had too often ignored.[83] Mr. Cross was much more successful with his Labour Bills, drafts of which, it was said, had been prepared by Mr. Lowe. The Home Secretary had framed his Bills to conciliate Tory members who had eloquently denounced Trades Unions during the General Election. But in Committee he accepted amendments which removed from the law every trace of the evil spirit that punished breach of contract by a workman, not as a civil offence, but as a crime. Though he fought hard against the repeal of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, he finally surrendered to Mr. Lowe, and not only accepted his definition of “molestation” or “picketing,” but further agreed to his proposal to make that offence punishable when committed by anybody—be he master or servant. The growth of a Conservative spirit among the Trades Unions dates from the passing of Mr. Cross’s Employers and Workmen Bill, and his Conspiracy Bill. Mr. Gathorne-Hardy’s Regimental Exchanges Bill was a reactionary concession to “the Colonels,” for it gave rich officers facilities for bribing poor ones to relieve them from arduous foreign service. Lord Cairns, however, did much more harm to the Government by withdrawing his Judicature Bill under the menaces of a secret Junta of Peers, headed by{484} the Duke of Buccleuch, who had resolved to restore to the House of Lords its Appellate Jurisdiction. Whilst independent Peers protested against this course as a slight to the Upper House, the country considered that it indicated a deplorable want of courage. For when Lord Cairns’ new Bill, postponing till the 1st of November, 1886, the provisions of Lord Selborne’s Act (1873),[84] and establishing an Intermediate Court of Appeal as a kind of judicial makeshift, came before the House of Commons, Sir John Holker, with indiscreet frankness, explained why the Government had dropped their own measure. The Peers, he said, meant to retain their jurisdiction in spite of the House of Commons, and it was, therefore, futile to resist them. This admission that the Cabinet, which ought to be responsible only to the Queen and to Parliament, was really controlled by a small caucus of Peers, whose very names were kept secret, was one which Government could now-a-days survive. The Bill, however, passed before the Session closed.

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Ministers also lost much of their popularity through Mr. Disraeli’s tenderness towards owners of unseaworthy ships. Mr. Plimsoll had stirred{485}

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up public opinion against the “ship-knackers,” as he called them, who, having over-insured vessels that were rotten, sent them away to founder at sea with their crews, and then put the insurance money in their pockets. The Board of Trade had rather frowned on his efforts to get it to detain unseaworthy ships for survey, but in deference to popular pressure the Government had promised to bring in a Merchant Shipping Bill to check the evil which Mr. Plimsoll had discovered and denounced. The Bill was read a second time in the Commons without opposition, and it was one in which the Queen was said to be as much interested as Mr. Plimsoll himself. But Mr. Disraeli had brought forward a measure permitting farmers to receive compensation for unexhausted improvements, and enabling landlords to deny them this compensation by contracting themselves out of the Bill. He had contrived to get{486} Government business into confusion by trying to push on Ministerial measures abreast instead of in single file, and in a fatal moment he shelved the Merchant Shipping Bill, in order to make way for the perfectly worthless Agricultural Holdings Bill. He announced the fact on the 22nd of July, when Mr. Goschen entered a mild protest.

Mr. Plimsoll, however, rose quivering with rage and passion, and moved the adjournment of the House. He not only protested against the Government postponing a Bill that interfered with “the unhallowed gains” of the “shipknackers,” but said that some of them sat in the House, and mentioned by name one of “the villains” he was determined to “unmask.” In vain the Speaker called him to order. Louder and louder grew the turmoil, and in the midst of it Mr. Disraeli grew visibly pale when Mr. Plimsoll rushed up the floor of the House with his clenched fist extended in front of him. However, he did not strike the Premier or Sir Charles Adderley—who was officially in charge of the Bill—as had been dreaded. He merely stood on one leg, placed a written protest on the table, and then, having shaken his fist in the Speaker’s face, marched out of the Chamber amidst a scene of terrible disorder. Mr. Disraeli lost his temper and, with it, touch of the House for a moment. In angry accents he moved that Mr. Plimsoll be reprimanded there and then, whereupon the Speaker interfered, and said that before a motion of that sort could be put Mr. Plimsoll, who was now standing below the bar, must be heard in his place. Mr. Plimsoll, however, preferred immediate withdrawal, and the House was on the eve of entering into conflict with a defiant Member, supported by an irresistible force of democratic passion in the country, a conflict from which it must have emerged with impaired authority, when suddenly Lord Hartington came to the rescue. His frigid accents, in strong contrast with Mr. Disraeli’s tremulous tones of wrath, immediately cooled the temper of the House. Mr. Plimsoll was, said Lord Hartington, merely suffering from “overstrain acting on a very sensitive temperament, and before taking any strong measures against a man so universally respected, it would be more consonant with the dignity of the House to give him reasonable time to put himself right.” Mr. Disraeli instantly saw that Lord Hartington’s phlegmatic sense had suggested the course that would extricate him from the dangerous position into which he was leading the House, and he consented to adjourn the matter for a week. Mr. Plimsoll made an honourable apology to the Speaker, and the matter ended happily, but the incident, to the gratification of the country, revealed in Lord Hartington a capacity for cool and adroit leadership, the existence of which had hitherto been unsuspected. The day after the scene in the House of Commons a storm of agitation broke over the country on behalf of Mr. Plimsoll. From every constituency remonstrances couched in terms of strong indignation poured in upon the House of Commons. Tory Members warned the Whips that they did not dare to run athwart the wave of passion that swept over the land.{487} The Cabinet accordingly held a meeting in a panic, and resolved to bring in a temporary Bill empowering the Board of Trade to detain rotten ships and to prohibit grain cargoes from being carried in bulk. The measure was passed, even the Peers shrinking from the responsibility of rejecting it.

Another blunder damaged Mr. Disraeli’s leadership. In April Mr. Charles Lewis moved that the printer of the Times be summoned to the Bar and dealt with for printing a letter reflecting on a Member of the House of Commons, in a report of evidence given before the Foreign Loans Committee. It was an attempt to carry out the old Standing Order, which made it an offence for newspapers to report Parliamentary proceedings. Mr. Disraeli first spoke against the motion, and then voted for it. It was carried. But next day he moved that the Order be discharged, and when Mr. Sullivan asked him if he intended to put the relations of the Press and Parliament on a less anomalous footing, he answered “No.” Thereupon Mr. Sullivan warned him he would insist on carrying out the ridiculous old Standing Order, and clearing the House of reporters every night till Mr. Disraeli yielded. Lord Hartington induced Mr. Sullivan to refrain, but Mr. Biggar next stepped in, and with elfish humour, one night when the Prince of Wales was listening to a debate, rose and said he “espied strangers in the House,” which was duly cleared of every one—including the Prince—save Members. The two leaders then carried a motion suspending the ridiculous Order for that evening. Mr. Disraeli, however, still refused to alter the rule or accept a proposal from Lord Hartington for altering it. Mr. Sullivan accordingly retorted by again “espying strangers,” clearing the House, and compelling the Government to adjourn an important debate. Mr. Disraeli now saw he had no choice but to surrender. He therefore carried a new Standing Order, enabling the Speaker to exclude strangers when he saw fit, but submitting the attempt of a private Member to clear the House, to the check of an immediate and undebateable vote.

Sir Stafford Northcote’s Budget was ominous of hard times coming. Prices were beginning to fall, and unsound Foreign Loans, in which rich people had invested, were beginning to collapse. Sir Stafford Northcote, therefore, though he received half a million more revenue than he expected, wisely made no sanguine estimate for the ensuing year. His anticipated expenditure he put at £75,268,000, an increase of £939,000, and his revenue at £75,685,000, showing a probable surplus of £417,000, which was ultimately converted by supplementary estimates into an estimated deficit of £300,000—a bad contrast to the miraculous surplus of £6,000,000, which in the previous year he inherited from Mr. Gladstone. There was no special feature in the Budget, save the scheme fixing the charge for the paying up the interest and the principal of the National Debt in future at £28,000,000 a year, and making it obligatory to meet this sum before any surplus could be declared. It was, in fact, a plan for establishing a rigid Sinking Fund to discharge the{488} National Debt, and though it was popular at the time, it failed, as all such plans fail, because whenever a difficulty arises Ministers of Finance always confiscate a Sinking Fund in preference to imposing new taxes.

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(From a Photograph by G. W. Wilson and Co.)

Ireland, represented by the new National Party, under Mr. Butt, gained little during 1875, but she gained something. Under a Liberal Government half the Home Rule Party could have been bribed by places into silence. But an ostentatiously hostile Tory Ministry could not offer them places, and yet they had to be quieted somehow, for the Irish people had by this time lost faith in their insincere Parliamentary action. Fenian agents were telling the Irish peasantry that they could expect no concessions unless they extorted them by revolution. The Government, accordingly, relaxed the existing Coercion Acts, and the debate on one of these—the Westmeath Act—was, on the 22nd of April, 1875, rendered historic by the intervention of Mr. Biggar, who talked against time for five hours, by the simple device of reading long extracts from Blue Books.[85] Shortly after this feat, Mr. Charles Stewart Parnell, a young Wicklow squire, who had been educated at Cambridge, and was notable for his shyness, his aristocratic reserve, and his{489} faltering and confused speech, took his seat as Member for Meath, in succession to John Martin, who had died. Nothing was known of him save that he had the reputation of being a Protestant landlord who was on good terms with his tenants, that from his mother—a daughter of the celebrated Commodore Stewart of the United States Navy—he had inherited Republican ideas, that he was a lover of field sports, and that he was a cadet of the family of which his great-grandfather, Sir John Parnell, Chancellor of the Irish Exchequer in 1782, was a distinguished member, and the head of which was the present Lord Congleton. That his beautiful estate of Avondale was heavily mortgaged was not regarded as noteworthy. Mr. Joseph Gillies Biggar, whose quaint bourgeois humour had already made him, if not the favourite, at least one of the privileged “diversions” of the House, and who was destined to be Mr. Parnell’s coadjutor in organising the largest and most powerful Irish National Party of the Victorian period, was a prosperous provision-dealer, of Scottish extraction, trading in Belfast. His experience of affairs had been gained as Chairman of the local Water Board.

Parliament was prorogued peacefully on the 13th of August, and, on the whole, Ministers emerged from the Session with credit. Mr. Disraeli’s bright wit, his cheerful temper, and his airy jocularity in meeting serious attacks, recalled pleasant memories of Lord Palmerston, and tempted the House to forget his occasional blunders as its Leader. The Recess, however, brought serious peril to his Cabinet—peril which, however, it had done little to deserve. In the middle of September it was discovered that the Foreign Office had induced the Admiralty to issue a Fugitive Slave Circular to naval officers. They were told they must not receive fugitive slaves in territorial waters unless their lives were in danger. If the fugitive slave came on board a British ship in territorial waters, he was not to remain if it were proved he were a slave. If received on the high seas, he must be surrendered when the ship came within the territorial waters of the country from which he had escaped. The Circular, in fact, defined the legal obligations under which British ships of war must logically lie if they chose to enter the territorial waters of slave States, with which England was not at war. It was a Circular embodying regulations on which every Liberal Minister had habitually acted, but the Liberal Party immediately proceeded to make political capital out of it. An agitation as fierce as that which was caused by the abandonment of the Merchant Shipping Bill sprang up, and Lord Derby, at whose instance the Admiralty issued the Circular, was accused of attempting to commit England to a furtive partnership with slave-owners. The most that could be said in fairness against the document was that it was so badly drafted as to imply that the deck of a Queen’s ship was subject to foreign jurisdiction. Moreover, the order to surrender a fugitive slave who had taken refuge on a Queen’s ship on the high seas, was so completely indefensible that Lord Derby himself struck it out of the second edition of his{490} Circular. He might as well have ordered a British Consul in Rio to arrest and surrender a Brazilian slave who, having gained freedom by escaping to English soil, had afterwards returned to that port. Till Parliament met in 1876, the country rang with the inflated protests of Liberal partisans against the amended Circular, which was published after the original one had been suspended in October, and cancelled in November.

But the issue and publication of the Slave Circular was not the only blunder at the Admiralty that rendered the Government unpopular during the Recess. They were guilty of one which gave the Queen the utmost annoyance. When she was crossing the Solent from Osborne to Gosport on the 18th of August her yacht ran down another yacht called the Mistletoe. The owner (Mr. Heywood) and his sisters-in-law, Miss Annie Peel and Miss Eleanor Peel, were on board, and, though the last-named was rescued, Miss Annie Peel and the sailing-master were drowned. The Queen happened to be on deck, and her emotion during the scene was painful to witness. The Prince of Leiningen, as commander of the Royal yacht, was blamed by the people for the catastrophe, and unfortunately the Admiralty not only refused to try him by court-martial, but, after a secret inquiry, condemned the navigating officer. This roused public wrath, and it was ungenerously alleged that the Queen had forced a servile Minister to protect her nephew from just punishment. The fact is, as a subsequent case showed, the Admiralty merely followed the stereotyped rule, which, in those days, was to punish subordinate officers for the blunders of their superiors. It used to be asked, What was a navigating officer on board a Queen’s ship for, unless to take his captain’s punishment? Unfortunately for the Prince of Leiningen, there was a tribunal from which he could not escape—the coroner’s inquest on the bodies of those for whose death he was morally responsible. The evidence given before the coroner still further exasperated the ill-feeling which had been roused. Yachtsmen—proverbially a loyal body of men—were irritated at the tone of a letter addressed to the president of the Cowes Yacht Club (the Marquis of Exeter), in which General Ponsonby expressed the Queen’s wish that in future members of the Club would not approach too closely to the Royal yacht when the Queen was on board. The insinuation contained in this document and assumption that no blame rested on the officers of the Alberta, provoked yachtsmen in every club in Great Britain to retort that, in their painful experience, the Queen’s yachts were navigated in the Solent with a disregard of the “rules of the road” which rendered them a constituted nuisance.

In this particular instance the Royal yacht had been driven at the rate of seventeen miles an hour, and the Prince of Leiningen and his subordinates had paid no attention to the Board of Trade rule which makes it the duty of a steamer to get well out of the way of a sailing-vessel. The quartermasters of the yacht, too, gave their evidence in a manner which not only cast{491} suspicion on their testimony, but suggested that they stood in terror of their officers. A letter which the Queen wrote to her nephew expressing her satisfaction with their conduct, was moreover taken to be an attempt to unduly influence the Coroner’s Court. The first jury did not agree on a verdict, and the outcry about the Queen’s letter was so loud that the case had to be tried again. The Queen had for a moment forgotten that the vast influence which she had acquired during her reign rendered it imperative for her to be silent on all matters of controversy—especially if they were under judicial investigation. She forgot that the mere expression of her individual opinion gave an advantage to one side in a dispute, the extent of which she herself had clearly never dreamt of—an advantage so great, that it bore unfairly against the side that had not got it. The second jury, however, brought in a verdict of “Accidental Death,” and condemned the officers of the Royal yacht (1), for steaming at too high a speed, and (2), for keeping a bad look-out. The verdict was quite illogical. If the look-out on the Alberta was bad and her speed too high, and if, as was proved, her officer had violated the rule of the road, the verdict ought to have been one of Manslaughter. But no further steps were taken to do justice. Mr. Anderson brought the case before the House of Commons, and though he was defeated in his effort to make the Government move in the affair, he created a great stir in the country, by declaring that public funds had been used as hush-money to prevent further inquiry.[86] So far as the verdict of the jury went, demanding that the Royal yachts should steam at less speed in the Solent, it was absurd. State business often forces the Queen and her messengers and Ministers to travel fast. What the jury should have recommended was a new rule of the road, to the effect that everything must make way on the water for a yacht flying the Sovereign’s personal flag.

The other blunder of the Admiralty arose out of an inquiry into the loss of two ironclads off the Wicklow coast. On the night of the 1st of September the Iron Duke rammed and sank the Vanguard. There was a fog at the time, and the captain of the Vanguard left the deck at the moment of greatest peril, and was stupid enough to reduce speed for no discernible reason without warning the Iron Duke, which was coming behind him. The captain of the Iron Duke was stupid enough to increase her speed in the fog, and she was not only badly steered, but her fog-signal was not blown. Had they been employed in the merchant service these two officers would have been subjected to the severest punishment. As it was, the captain of the Vanguard was dismissed the service. The captain of the Iron Duke, who had been condemned by the court-martial for ramming the Vanguard, was acquitted, on a review of his sentence by the Admiralty. The Admiralty then, by way of compensation, cashiered his subordinate, Lieutenant{492} Evans, without a trial, and without giving him leave to make a defence. As for the Admiral, who, from lack of skill or from negligence permitted the ships of his squadron to sail close to each other in a fog, he was freed from blame.

Fortunately for Mr. Disraeli, an opportunity for a great stroke of policy occurred, which diverted public attention from these blunders, and re-established the waning popularity of his Ministry. On the 26th of November it was announced that the Government had bought for £4,000,000 the Khedive’s shares in the Suez Canal, and what a French writer described as “a conquest by mortgage” was hailed by the English people, with a shout of gratification. The impecunious ruler of Egypt had been literally hawking

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his Canal shares among the Powers. It was possible that at any moment Germany or France might buy them up, and then impede the passage of English troops to India. Not a day was to be lost, and Mr. Disraeli, therefore, on his own responsibility, and without consulting his Cabinet, purchased the Shares. There was joy in the City over this operation. The bankruptcy of Turkey, declared at the end of October, had converted Turkish Bonds into waste paper, and it was some compensation to speculators that Mr. Disraeli’s purchase of the Canal Shares sent up the price of Egyptian Stock by leaps and bounds. Lord Hartington, it is true, in a speech at Sheffield (15th of December), querulously carped at the transaction. But as his contention was that England was in a better position to secure the neutrality of the Canal without than with a solid proprietary interest in it, nobody paid the least attention to his unpatriotic cavillings. They merely convinced the country that, despite Mr. Disraeli’s bungling Parliamentary leadership, his inaccuracy of statement, his loose hold of principle, and the administrative blunders of his subordinates, he{493} was the only living statesman of first rank, in whose hands the higher interests of the Empire were safe.

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It was announced in March that the Prince of Wales was to visit India in November, with Sir Bartle Frere as his guide. In July it was decided that his tour should be a State Progress, the expenses of which should be paid for out of the revenues of England and India. The marine escort was to be provided by the Admiralty at a cost of £52,000; the Indian Treasury was to contribute £30,000; and when Mr. Disraeli asked the House of Commons for £52,000, Lord Hartington had no complaint to make except that he thought the vote ought to be larger. Messrs. Macdonald and Burt, when they objected that the working-classes would not approve of the grant, were literally “howled down” by the House. Yet all Mr. Burt said was that as he himself lived on a salary derived from his constituents, he could not decently vote away their money to pay the cost of what they believed was a tour of pleasure for a rich Prince. His argument was fair enough from his{494} point of view. It was faulty because he failed to see that a vote for a State pageant which meant to individualise the Monarchy to the Indian mind, was not a grant to the Prince as a private individual. Mr. Bright’s support of the grant, which was voted, was useful to the Government. But as his argument was that the visit of the Prince might be serviceable in checking the harsh and cruel treatment to which the natives of India are subjected by their English rulers, it was condemned as unjust to the devoted servants of the Queen, who wear out their lives in honourable exile, maintaining peace in an Empire that, without them, would be converted into a pandemonium of slaughter.

The opening days of 1876 were marked by the announcement of Lord Northbrook’s resignation as Viceroy of India. The Indian Viceroy had for some time thwarted the policy of the Secretary of State, and the final rupture was made when they differed in opinion as to the kind of Envoy the Government should have at Cabul. It was a quaint controversy. Lord Salisbury said the face of the British Envoy should be white. Lord Northbrook contended that it should be black, whereupon Lord Salisbury wrote Lord Northbrook a despatch, couched in terms that left him no alternative save resignation. According to Lord Salisbury, unless a white Envoy kept watch over the Ameer, Shere Ali, our information from Cabul would be defective. According to Lord Northbrook, if we sent an European Envoy to Cabul, he would be promptly assassinated, in which case we should get no information at all, and India would be dragged into a ruinous war of vengeance. Lord Northbrook had nothing on his side but facts. No Afghan Ameer had ever been able to guarantee a Christian Envoy at Cabul against assassination. When Lord Salisbury did send an European Envoy to Cabul he was not only murdered, but, pending his inevitable murder, the only information worth having that came from Cabul, came from native sources. It was, moreover, a slight on the Indian Government to say that they had not been able to train a Mahommedan official of rank up to the duties of effective diplomatic espionage at Cabul. However, the dispute ended in Lord Northbrook coming back to England, and in Lord Lytton going out to India as his successor. There was no doubt a time when the appointment of a diplomatist who was a Peer and a passionate poet, to the Viceregal Throne might have been useful. Unhappily, in 1876, a different type of ruler was needed in India. The war cloud in Eastern Europe was about to break, and it was well known that in any diplomatic contest between Russia and England, it would be the aim of Russia to weaken England by making trouble for her on her Indian frontier. For the stress of the times, a man like Lord Mayo was necessary, and Lord Lytton was everything that Lord Mayo was not.

All through 1875 there had been in Bosnia and Herzegovina disturbances {495}precisely similar to those in the Principalities which preceded the Crimean War. After Lord Derby had been appealed to by Musurus Pasha, the Turkish Ambassador in London, he suggested to Count Andrassy that Austria should prevent her subjects on her frontier from supporting the insurgents in the mutinous Turkish provinces, and a similar suggestion was made to the Servian Government. His advice to the Turks was to stamp out rebellion as quickly as possible, so as to prevent it from spreading and provoking European intervention. The Porte, instead of acting on this advice, desired that the Consuls of the Great Powers should mediate between the Sultan and the rebels, and Lord Derby, instead of adhering to his original counsels, weakly fell in with this proposal, and consented, though with great hesitancy, to let the British Consul join the delegation. The rebels were delighted with the proposals of the Consuls for their better government, but refused to lay down their arms unless the Powers guaranteed that the Turks would carry them out. The Consuls were pleased that the demands of the insurgents were moderate and reasonable, but could give no guarantees for the good faith of Turkey. As they were returning from their mission fighting began again.

From their public utterances during the recess of 1875 it was inferred that while Lord Derby was averse from further intervention on the part of England in the business, because in the East, he said, “we want nothing, and fear nothing,” Mr. Disraeli was of opinion that England had great interests in Eastern Europe, which the Government, he said at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet, “are resolved to guard and maintain.” There are no novelties in English politics. The situation was the same as that which led to the Crimean War, and it also had to be dealt with by a Cabinet which, like Lord Aberdeen’s, was divided into interventionists and non-interventionists. But an acute observer might have detected what Mr. Disraeli failed to see, that English opinion had changed since 1853. In 1853 the electors were in favour of intervention, whereas, since the defeat of Palmerston by the Court and Mr. Cobden in 1864, they had always been against it. As the insurrection spread, the Porte promised reforms. Three Powers—Austria, Germany and Russia, afterwards joined by France and Italy—sent a Note to Turkey known as “the Andrassy Note” (30th of December, 1875), condemning the misgovernment of the insurgent provinces, bewailing the broken promises of the Porte, and demanding certain reforms in Bosnia and Herzegovina to prevent a general rising. Lord Derby, after about a month’s hesitation, instructed the British Ambassador to give the Note a general support. Turkey accepted most of its proposals, and issued another Iradé to carry them out. The Iradé was never made operative, and though Lord Derby was not offended by the contumacy of Turkey, the other Powers resented it. Count Schouvaloff persuaded him to permit Lord Odo Russell to meet the representatives of the five Powers at Berlin in May to consider the situation. At this meeting the Berlin Memorandum was produced and agreed to by the Continental Powers.{496}

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It assumed, that as the Porte had promised to carry out the reforms in the Andrassy Note, the Powers had now the right to force it to keep its pledges. It formulated the guarantees which Europe asked for in order to give effect to the Andrassy Note, and threatened Turkey with “more effective measures” of coercion if she failed to give them within two months after an armistice between her and her rebellious provinces had been concluded. The reason why the Note was minatory lay on the surface. The Consuls of France and Germany had been murdered by the Turks at Salonica, and before any redress could be obtained Prince Bismarck had to send the Porte an ultimatum that meant war. Lord Derby declined to assent to the Memorandum, on the ground that England had not been consulted in the preparing of it, and did not believe that it would do any good if presented. The Foreign Ministers of the Powers in vain implored him to reconsider his decision, and then the Memorandum was tossed into the waste-paper basket of diplomacy. Turkey, seeing that Lord Derby had broken up the European Concert at Berlin, behaved exactly as she did when Clarendon broke up the same instrument of coercion at Vienna. Her contumacy was intensified, and what was still more serious, her European vassals,{497} seeing that diplomacy had failed to rescue them from misrule, took up arms. Within a month after the diplomatic triumph of England, the Turks found it had secured to them the following advantages:—(1), The Continental Powers withdrew from the field, and adopted an attitude of vigilant inactivity. (2), Servia and Montenegro declared war on Turkey. (3), The soil of Bulgaria was soaked with the blood of her Christian population, whose revolt had been quelled by massacres and ghastly atrocities, that rendered expulsion from Europe the manifest destiny of the Ottoman race. (4), The Sultan Abdul Aziz was dethroned by a mob of fanatical Moslems, and his European Empire lay wrecked in anarchy. It had been made a matter of complaint that the Foreign Policy of England in 1853 was slow in producing any effect. When we consider what happened in the month that followed the failure of the Berlin Memorandum, and the collapse of the European Concert, that complaint cannot be justly advanced against Mr. Disraeli’s Foreign Policy in 1876.

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Parliament was opened on the 8th of February by the Queen in person, with great pomp and ceremony; and the Royal Speech promised several useful measures dealing with the Court of Appeal, Merchant Shipping, and Prisons. But the one that excited most public interest was the Bill to confer{498} on the Sovereign a new title derived from India, in gracious acknowledgment of the enthusiastic reception given to the Prince of Wales by the natives of that Empire. As for the Slave Circular, the questions raised by it were to be referred to a Royal Commission. The Foreign Policy of the Government was expressed by Mr. Disraeli, in terms that appealed sympathetically to national feeling. It was based on the idea that England was responsible for the good use of her influence in the councils of Europe, and it united the Tory Party, and caused the country to condone all Ministerial blunders. The debate on the Eastern Question showed that Mr. Gladstone and other eminent Liberals approved of Lord Derby’s adherence to the Andrassy Note. But it clearly indicated that the Opposition would attack the Government if it adopted the old Crimean policy of supporting Turkey whenever she rejected the demands of Europe. The purchase of the Suez Canal Shares provoked more controversy. It turned out that they had been mortgaged by the Khedive, and could not yield dividends for nineteen years, a fact unknown to Mr. Disraeli when he bought them. Sir Stafford Northcote, therefore, proposed to borrow £4,000,000, and exact from the Khedive 5 per cent. a year on that sum to cover the loss of the mortgaged dividends. Mr. Gladstone attacked the financial details of the transaction,[87] and though his criticism was logical it failed to influence the country. Had the purchase of the Shares been solely a commercial speculation, the unbusiness-like manner in which it had been effected would have been of some importance. But it was also a stroke of high policy, and it appealed to the imperial instincts of the nation which, as Mr. Disraeli said, was getting “sea-sick of the silver streak.”[88] Most of Mr. Gladstone’s prophecies have been falsified by events. Oddly enough the only valid objections to the purchase of the Canal Shares were not pressed by him. They were (1), That a Canal which could be easily blocked and wrecked by an enemy’s ship, was not a safe route to India; and (2), That the fault of Mr. Disraeli’s policy was in his failure to carry it out to its logical conclusion—the establishment of a British Protectorate over Egypt, which would have rendered the final fate of Turkey, a matter of indifference to Englishmen. Parliament ratified the policy of the Government with enthusiasm. The appointment of the Royal Commission to examine all the difficulties raised by the Slave Circular saved Ministers from defeat at the end of the Debate on the issue of that stupid State Paper. The Government{499} was also fortunate in its domestic legislation. The Merchant Shipping Bill, when it passed, was found to be a compromise which remedied most of the wrongs for which Mr. Plimsoll sought redress. Lord Sandon’s Education Act was a concession to the advocates of compulsory education, for it prohibited the employment of children under ten, and it prohibited the employment of children between ten and fourteen, who had not attended school 250 times a year and passed an examination in the Fourth Standard. In fact, the Bill legalised, not direct, but indirect compulsion. Bills restricting the practice of vivisection, and restoring to the House of Lords its Appellate Jurisdiction, but adding to it Judges of Appeal, who would be Peers during their tenure of office, and who, with the ex-Chancellor, would discharge the judicial functions of the Upper House, were also passed. For the meagre achievements of the Session three reasons may be given: (1), Much time was lost over the Education Act, because not only was it necessary for the Opposition to tone down its reactionary clauses, but concessions to the opponents of School Boards were suddenly sprung upon the House by Lord Sandon, which had to be fiercely resisted. (2), The policy of obstruction which had been adopted with so much success to delay Mr. Forster’s Ballot Bill in 1883, was now developed in an ingenious manner by Messrs. Biggar and Parnell. They “blocked” Bills indiscriminately, so as to bring them under the rule which forbade opposed measures to be taken after half-past twelve at night. They moved adjournments in various forms at half-past twelve, on the ground that the hour was too far advanced for discussion. They were always on the watch to “count out” the House, and they never missed a chance of “talking out” a Bill,[89] quite regardless of its merits. Mr. Parnell and Mr. Biggar thus taught themselves to be formidable debaters at the expense of the House, for, as Mr. Parnell once told a friend, the best way to learn the rules of Parliament is to break them.[90] (3), A great deal of time was also wasted in discussing the Royal Titles Bill, to which the Liberals offered an amount of opposition out of all proportion to the significance of the measure.

The Royal Titles Bill was introduced by the Prime Minister on the 7th of February. He had some idea that it would be an offence against the prerogative if he stated what the new title was to be, but it was said that the Queen, ever since the Duchess of Edinburgh had claimed precedence over her sisters-in-law, on the ground that hers was an Imperial, whilst theirs was a Royal title, desired to be styled Empress of India. On the other hand, most people objected to change the Queen’s designation. Why, it was asked, should the successor of Egbert wish to be a modern Empress? To insert India in the existing form of the Royal title would adequately meet any{500}

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real necessity for change. The Imperial title was also surrounded with evil associations, and it suggested that Imperialism or personal Government, tempered by casual appeals for support to the democracy or the Army over the head of Parliament, was the end aimed at by the Ministerial policy. Mr. Disraeli’s haughty refusal to communicate the new title to the House of Commons was met by a motion that no progress be made with the Bill till the title was revealed. The Prime Minister accordingly yielded the point, and promised to give the necessary explanations before the Bill was read a second time. The debate on the Second Reading showed clearly that the House of Commons was hostile to the Bill; but as the Government gave a pledge that the title should be used in India only, the Second Reading was carried. This pledge was soon broken, for the Proclamation was made, not that the new title should be used in India, but that it might be used{501}

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everywhere save in the United Kingdom. The Peers were as reluctant as the Commons to sanction the adoption of any exotic titles by the Crown, and the Court did not scruple to bring personal pressure to bear on them for the purpose of overcoming their threatened opposition. Lord Shaftesbury was summoned to Windsor in early spring, and as it was twenty years since he had been the Queen’s guest, he says in his Diary that he assumed his invitation was brought about by the controversy then raging over the Royal Titles Bill. “I dread it [the visit],” he writes in his Diary, on the 12th of March, “the cold, the evening dress, the solitude, for I am old, and dislike being far away from assistance should I be ill at night…. She [the Queen] sent for me in 1848 to consult me on a very important matter. Can it be so now?” The next entry showed his foreboding to be correct. He says, on the 14th of March, “Returned from Windsor. I am sure it was so, though not distinctly avowed. Her Majesty personally said nothing.” But though she did not discuss the views he expressed to her, a Lord-in-{502}Waiting formally requested him to communicate them to Mr. Disraeli. Mr. Disraeli paid no heed to them, and Lord Shaftesbury accordingly moved (3rd of April), in the House of Lords, an Address to the Queen praying her not to take the title of Empress. He pointed out that in time it would lose its present impression of feminine softness, and be transformed into “Emperor,” whereupon “it must have an air military, despotic, offensive, and intolerable.” To scoff as Mr. Disraeli had done at the popular dislike to the Imperial title as a mere “sentiment” was a mistake. “Loyalty itself,” observed Lord Shaftesbury, “was a sentiment, and the same sentiment that attached the people to the word Queen, averted them from that of ‘Empress.’” In the division, though the Government obtained 137 votes in favour of what the Saturday Review called a “vulgar and impolitic innovation,” eight Dukes and a large body of habitual courtiers voted with Lord Shaftesbury in the minority of 91.[91] The dismal predictions of the opponents of the measure have not been verified—possibly because their protests convinced the Court that any ostentatious display of modern Imperialism by an ancient Constitutional Monarchy would lead to a recrudescence of the Republic agitation. Fortunately the heated debates on the Titles Bill did not affect the personal popularity of the Sovereign. In the midst of the controversy the Queen visited Whitechapel on the 6th of March, to open a new wing of the London Hospital, which had been built by the munificence of the Grocers’ Company. Her Majesty was enthusiastically received, the only complaint being that she drove too fast along the route where the populace swarmed in their thousands to gaze on her. The visit was taken to be an intimation that the Crown was not a mere toy of the aristocratic quarters of the capital, and that when the Queen emerged from her seclusion it was not solely for the purpose of benefiting the West End shopkeepers. “The bees welcome their Queen,” was one of the mottoes displayed on the route. “I was sick and ye visited me,” was another, and both inscriptions reflected the kindly feeling with which her Majesty was greeted by industrial London. In the Hospital many interesting incidents were recorded, one of the most touching being that of a little girl who was suffering from a severe burn, and who had said she was sure she would get better if she “could only see the Queen.” When this was communicated to her Majesty, she smiled, went straightway to the child’s cot, where she kissed her, and soothed her with many tender words of comfort.

Sir Stafford Northcote’s Budget was a doleful statement of increased expenditure, and diminished income from a revenue that had ceased to be elastic. He estimated a deficit for the coming year of £774,000, and so he increased the income-tax to 5d. in the £, and added 4d. on the pound to the duty on tobacco. The latter tax was a mistake. It did not raise the price of{503} tobacco to the poor, but it caused the manufacturers to adulterate their tobacco with water so as to add to its weight. The Session ended on the 15th of August, and next day the world heard with great surprise that Mr. Disraeli had become Earl of Beaconsfield, and to use his own jocose expression, that, “abandoning the style of Don Juan for that of Paradise Lost,” he would in future lead the House of Lords. Sir Stafford Northcote was left to represent him in the House of Commons.

On the 17th of August the Queen unveiled the Scottish National Memorial of Prince Albert, which had been erected in Charlotte Square, Edinburgh. The monument consisted of a colossal equestrian statue of the Prince Consort, and the four panels of the pedestal contained bas-reliefs illustrating notable events in his Royal Highness’s career. At each of the four corners of the platform on which the pedestal stands were groups of statuary, symbolical of the respect paid to Prince Albert’s memory by all classes of the community: one group typifying Labour, another Science and Art, a third the Army and Navy, and the fourth the Nobility. The equestrian figure and the panels were the work of the veteran Scottish sculptor, Mr. John Steell, who designed and superintended the construction of the memorial. The subordinate groups were executed by Mr. D. W. Stevenson, Mr. Clark Stanton, Mr. Brodie, and Mr. George McCallum, a young artist of high promise, who died before his group was completed. The ceremony of unveiling was unusually interesting. A gaily-decorated pavilion had been raised for the occasion. The Queen was accompanied by Prince Leopold, the Princess Beatrice, and the Duke of Connaught. Under the command of the Duke of Buccleuch, the Royal Company of Archers formed the bodyguard. The Duke of Roxburghe, Lord Rosebery, Sir W. Gibson-Craig, the Earl of Selkirk, the Earl of Lauderdale, Lord Provost Falshaw, and the Town Council, were among the distinguished persons present. After the statue had, at her Majesty’s command, been uncovered, she walked round it and expressed her entire satisfaction with the memorial. To signalise her appreciation of what had been done, and to manifest her desire to honour her “faithful city,” Mr. Falshaw was created a baronet, and a knighthood was conferred on Mr. John Steell, and on Mr. Herbert Oakeley, Professor of Music in the University.

During the Recess, the country could think of nothing save the Eastern Question. Mr. Gladstone’s taste

“For writing pamphlets and for roasting Popes”
was bent in a new direction, and he threw himself with all his might into the controversy that ended in turning English public opinion irrevocably against Turkey. Throughout the Session Mr. Gladstone and Lord Hartington had, with commendable patriotism, abstained from putting questions to Ministers with reference to their Eastern policy. Parliament and the country were, therefore, in the dark as to what was going on. But towards the end of{504}

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June disquieting rumours flew about to the effect that there had been a revolution in Bulgaria, and that the Turks had suppressed it by massacres of the most revolting barbarity. The Government met these tales with jaunty persiflage. On the 10th of July Mr. Forster put a question on the subject, which Mr. Disraeli answered by saying that he considered the reports exaggerated, nor did he think that torture had been resorted to by “an Oriental people who, I believe, seldom resort to torture, but generally terminate their connection with culprits in a more expeditious manner.”[92] This ill-timed jest was hailed with a great guffaw of laughter from the Ministerial Benches. It destroyed Mr. Disraeli’s authority in the country when the awful truth was revealed, not by the diplomatic agents of England, who strove hard to conceal it, but by two American gentlemen, Mr. J. A. Macgahan, a distinguished journalist, and Mr. Eugene Schuyler, the United States Consul-General in Turkey. They went to Philippopolis on the 25th of July, and Mr. Macgahan’s description of what he saw in the country, which had been ravaged by the Turks, when published in the Daily News, sent a thrill of horror through the{505}

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(From a Photograph by J. Moffat, Edinburgh.)

civilised world. The partisans of Turkey were enraged beyond self-control, and vowed that the worst of all outrages that had been committed was that which was perpetrated by the publication of Mr. Macgahan’s report on the brutalities of the Turkish soldiery. The wild work of the Sepoys at Cawnpore was indeed merciful and humane compared with what had been done by the Turks at Batak. Indiscriminate butchery could alone be laid to the charge of the Indian mutineers. But in Bulgaria, before the Turk murdered his victims, he inflicted on them fiendish tortures and bestial outrages. The Province was one vast desolation covered with blackened ruins, devastated fields, putrefying corpses, and bleached skeletons. Neither age nor sex had been spared. The land would have been as silent as a desert, save for the wailing of the scattered remnant of the Christian population who had{506} eluded the vengeance of their oppressors. As for the Porte—whose promises of reform in Bulgaria were cheerily cited by Mr. Disraeli to cast doubt on the descriptions of these atrocities—it gave but one sign of action. It promoted Achmed Aga, the barbarian who was responsible for all this wickedness, to be Governor of the Province which he had laid waste.”[93] The effect of these revelations on public opinion was heightened by Mr. Gladstone’s pamphlet, entitled “Bulgarian Horrors,” and by his speech at Blackheath on the 9th of September, wherein he convicted the Government of apologising for Turkish barbarities, when it could no longer venture to deny their existence. He laid down the lines of the new Eastern policy which England must support. The Turkish officials must be expelled from Bulgaria “bag and baggage,” and the European Provinces of Turkey granted such powers of self-government under the suzerainty of the Sultan, as would protect them from being seized by Austria and Russia on the one hand and devastated by Asiatic savages on the other. Sir Stafford Northcote and Lord Derby, in subsequent speeches, seemed to adopt the principle of Mr. Gladstone’s policy. They admitted that it was the duty of England to join the civilised Powers in preventing Turkey from opening again the floodgates of lust, rapine, and murder in Bulgaria, and the English people for the first time understood how, with the cries of their tortured neighbours ringing in their ears, the Servians and Montenegrins had flown to arms.

Some Conservative writers and speakers still tried to persuade the world that the Russian Government had bribed the Turkish Pashas to commit and the Bulgarians to submit to outrages, in order to discredit Ottoman rule in Europe. But their efforts were futile, and the word went forth from all sides that never again would England draw her sword, as in 1854, to save Turkey from the consequences of her incurable barbarism. Strange to say, Lord Beaconsfield failed to gauge the strength of this feeling. On the 20th of September, in his speech at Aylesford, he neither adopted nor rejected the policy suggested by Sir Stafford Northcote and Lord Derby, but he spoke in a querulous tone of the popular meetings which were being held all over England expressing sympathy with Bulgaria and urging the Government to shield her from the cruelty of her oppressors. The agitation, he said, was “impolitic, and founded on erroneous data.” Those who got up these meetings, he declared, were guilty of outrages on “the principle of patriotism, worse than any of those Bulgarian atrocities of which we have heard so much.” His negative policy which destroyed the Berlin Memorandum without putting any counter proposals in its place, would, he contended, have had a happy issue in negotiations. These, however, were upset by the unexpected Servian declaration of war against Turkey, which was prompted by “the Secret Societies.” Yet England had signed{507} the Andrassy Note, which warned Turkey that this unexpected war would be waged against her by Servia, unless she granted the reforms demanded in the Note. When Turkey, instead of granting these reforms, massacred the population that craved for them, it was absurd to suppose that “the Secret Societies of Europe,” rather than the popular sympathies of the Christian Slavs, forced the Servian Government into war. That the speech fell flat was seen by the polling at the Buckinghamshire Election next day, when in Lord Beaconsfield’s own county Mr. Freemantle only saved the seat from the attack of Mr. Rupert Carrington, the Liberal candidate, by the small majority of 186. There were now two voices in the Cabinet; for on the day after Lord Beaconsfield’s speech was made and was taken by Turkey to mean that she had the English Cabinet on her side, Lord Derby ordered Sir H. Elliot to go to the Sultan, and not only denounce the outrages in Bulgaria, but, in the name of the Queen, who was profoundly shocked by them, demand that the officials who perpetrated them be adequately punished. It is hardly necessary to say that the Sultan, imagining that the Prime Minister was all-powerful, paid no heed to remonstrances from the Foreign Secretary. On the 25th of September, the day after the war with Servia began, Sir H. Elliot pressed the Porte to make peace on terms which Lord Derby suggested, and which were most creditable to his diplomatic sagacity. Lord Derby’s proposals, if carried out, would have saved Turkey from the supreme disaster which was awaiting her, for they provided that the Porte should effectively guarantee administrative reforms in her Christian Provinces, while Servia and Montenegro should lay down their arms and return to the status quo ante bellum. The Porte would only accept an armistice which would have been unfair to Servia and Montenegro, and Servia would not accept a settlement which did not provide for the withdrawal of the barbarous soldiers of Turkey from Bulgaria. Whilst negotiations were pending, the Turks, on the 29th of October, beat down the Servian defence at Alexinatz, whereupon, to the mortification of England, the Czar effected in an instant that which Lord Derby, after many weary weeks of negotiation, had failed to accomplish. Ignatieff was instructed to tell the Porte that if it did not accept an armistice of six weeks within forty-eight hours, diplomatic relations between Turkey and Russia would cease. When the same threat had been delivered by the British Ambassador, the Turks ignored it; in fact, they were impudent enough to meet it with a counter-proposal so absurd, that the Italian Minister said they were obviously playing with England. Although strengthened by a great victory, they did not, however, dare to treat the representative of the Czar as if he were the representative of the Queen. They accepted his ultimatum without demur or delay, and thus owing to the feebleness of English diplomacy, Russia emerged with the honours of the game in which, up to the last moment, Lord Derby held the winning cards. This was, however, a minor matter. Lord Beaconsfield and{508} Lord Derby had now given Russia not only a plausible pretext for taking the lead in dealing with the Eastern Question, but also an opportunity for intimating to the world that, in circumstances which extorted the sanction of the Continental Powers, she had the right, in case of a deadlock, to deal with it single-handed. In other words, the English Government, by allowing the Porte to trifle with it during September, 1876, flung away at one cast the only practical results won by the Crimean War.

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The Czar now proposed that a coercive naval demonstration by the Powers should be made in the Bosphorus, but Lord Derby rejected the idea. After some weeks he suggested that a Conference of the Powers should be held to{509}

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consider the situation on the basis of his own excellent proposals for peace, which have been already described. The Conference was assented to, and Lord Derby to some extent retrieved the position he lost on the morrow of Alexinatz. The Czar had also given the English Government the fullest assurances that he had no design on Constantinople, and in proof of his sincerity he had withdrawn a suggestion he had thrown out for the temporary occupation of Bosnia and Bulgaria by Austrian and Russian troops, and frankly accepted the English proposals for a settlement. It has been seen that during the negotiations which led up to the Crimean War, whenever the question was on the point of being settled somebody always interfered in England and in France to break the accord of the Powers. On this occasion history repeated itself. On the 9th of November Lord Beaconsfield delivered a speech at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet, which suppressed all information as to the conciliatory mood of the Czar, and not only terrified Englishmen into a belief that Russia was scheming to seize Bulgaria, but that England was determined to oppose her by arms. The Czar, on the other hand, in an address to the Notables of Moscow, said that he was “firmly resolved to act independently if necessary” to obtain justice for the Christian subjects of Turkey.[94] At Constantinople there was joy among the Pashas, for they argued that after Lord Beaconsfield’s Guildhall speech they might regard the verdict of the Conference with indifference. The Czar, on his side, by way of emphasising his Moscow speech, mobilised six corps d’armée,[95] and Sir Stafford Northcote and Mr. Cross, in order to minimise the effect of Lord Beaconsfield’s threats, delivered addresses showing that they thought Turkey must be coerced if she trifled with Europe.[96] Lord Salisbury visited the European capitals on his way to the Conference at Constantinople, at which he was to represent England, and at each one he was informed that he must expect no aid in supporting Turkey. An appeal was made by the Times to Prince Bismarck to check Russia—but in vain. When Lord Salisbury had an interview with Prince Bismarck he found he was virtually a diplomatic ally of Russia. In fact, ere he reached Constantinople, Lord Salisbury found that Lord Beaconsfield’s policy of applying the obsolete ideas of the Whigs of 1854 to solve the Eastern Question in 1876, had isolated England. In the preliminary Conference, from which the Turks were excluded, Mr. Gladstone’s plan of giving administrative autonomy to the European Provinces of Turkey was adopted, Lord Salisbury supporting it with great ability and skill.[97] He even consented to allow 6,000 troops from some minor State—Belgium was{511} suggested—to support the International Commission for reorganising the Government of an autonomous Bulgaria. This scheme was to have been adopted by the Porte at a Plenary Conference. Relying on the support of Lord Beaconsfield, and misled by the denunciations of Lord Salisbury which appeared in the Ministerial Press—then busy manufacturing failure for the English representatives at the Conference—the Porte met the demands of the Powers for reform, by proclaiming a grotesque Parliamentary Constitution for the Ottoman Empire. But it obstinately refused to grant the reforms demanded by the Conference, which accordingly broke up on the 20th of January, 1877. The Ambassadors of the Powers were then recalled from Constantinople. On the 8th of December (1876) a National Conference, under the presidency of the Duke of Westminster, and representing not only the heads of the Whig nobility, but most of the leaders of literature, science, and art, the High Church clergy, the Nonconformists, and politicians of every shade of Liberal opinion, met in St. James’s Hall to condemn Lord Beaconsfield’s policy, and protest against England giving armed aid to Turkey.

Early in 1876 the death of Lady Augusta Stanley, wife of the Dean of Westminster, removed one of the Queen’s most trusted friends. She had been for many years in personal attendance on her Majesty, and her services were so valuable that for many years her marriage with Dean Stanley had been postponed simply because the Royal Family could not spare her from their domestic circle. This gentle lady, throughout her life of unobtrusive usefulness at the Deanery of Westminster, served as one of the connecting-links between the upper, the middle, and the lower classes. She was as well known and as well loved in the dismal “slums” of London as in the radiant circle of the Court, and her death somewhat dimmed the brightness of the London season of 1876. It was a feverish, ill-conditioned season, agitated by financial scandals, by the pressure of hard times, by the failure of trade due to the uncertainty of the political situation, and by fierce and factious controversies as to the relative merits of Turks and Eastern Christians. To be in the mode one had to affect a strong admiration, not only for the ethics of the Koran, but for those of the Bashi-Bazouk, and a compassionate regret that Christianity had failed to elevate the European subjects of the Sultan, to the plane of Asiatic civilisation. The china mania, or craze for collecting old pottery, represented the fashionable movement in Art. Rinking, or skating on roller-skates in very mixed assemblies,[98] was the favourite form of physical recreation, and persons of quality kept their intellects alive by holding the spelling competitions known as “Spelling Bees.” Besides the “hard times” due to the collapse of investments, the Colorado beetle and the tropical heat of summer were added to the torments of the time; and the publication of the Domesday Book, showing that 710 individuals owned more{512} than one-fourth of the soil of England and Wales, still further aggravated the uneasiness of a territorial aristocracy, whose margin of income for expenditure on luxuries was daily diminishing. The year closed with the sudden return of the Polar Expedition under Sir George Nares. Its record of achievement was most meagre, and its retreat after enduring only one winter in the ice was felt to be discreditable to the manhood of the British Navy. It was, however, discovered that the disaster was due to a terrible outbreak of scurvy in the crews of the Arctic ships, which was traced to their neglect to use lime-juice. The reputation of the explorers for pluck and endurance was thus redeemed at the expense of their intelligence.

The daily papers were filled with glowing accounts of the proclamation of the Queen as Empress of India (Kaiser-i-Hind) at Delhi, in the presence of the Viceroy and the great feudatories of the Empire on the 1st of January, 1877. The ceremony was accompanied by salvoes of artillery. A banner and a medal were given to the Princes to commemorate the event, and five of the most powerful magnates, Holkar, Scindiah, the Maharajah of Cashmere, the Maharajah of Travancore, and the Maharanee of Oodeypore, were granted rank, typified by salutes of twenty-one guns, equivalent to that of the Nizam. But as the viceregal salute was raised to thirty-one guns, Holkar and Scindiah, whose claim was to hold higher status than the Viceroy in their own dominions, and equal rank with him elsewhere, went away discontented. The scenic display was a little tawdry and theatrical, and grizzled Anglo-Indians, who had been accustomed to see austere statesmen or stern soldiers on the viceregal throne, were perplexed to find the Empress represented by a Viceroy who appeared to enjoy keenly the Orientalism of the function, and saw no absurdity in representing the majesty of Empire from the back of an elephant, which had been painted white for the occasion. Yet the ceremony was not without a deep meaning. It represented the final triumph of the new system which was introduced into India by Canning, the system by which, instead of ruling India by a paternal bureaucracy, whose aim was to sweep away all magnates who stood between it and the people, the hereditary rights of the native Princes were recognised, and they themselves admitted as corner-stones in the fabric of Empire of which the Kaiser-i-Hind was now proclaimed the apex and crown. It was, therefore, not without significance that the only class unrepresented at the Coronation was the Indian people. Yet one occasionally heard of the Indian people. A quarter of a million of them had been drowned by a cyclone in Bengal when the debates on the Imperial title were going on in London. Eight millions of them were in the agonies of famine in Central India when that title was proclaimed at Delhi.

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Opening of Parliament—Sir Stafford Northcote’s Leadership—The Prisons Bill—Mr. Parnell’s Policy of Scientific Obstruction—The South Africa Confederation Bill—Mr. Parnell’s Bout with Sir Stafford Northcote—A Twenty-six Hours’ Sitting—The Budget—The Russo-Turkish Question—Prince Albert’s Eastern Policy—Opinion at Court—The Sentiments of Society—The Feeling of the British People—Outbreak of War—Collapse of Turkey—The Jingoes—The Third Volume of the “Life of the Prince Consort”—The “Greatest War Song on Record”—The Queen’s Visit to Hughenden—Early Meeting of Parliament—Mr. Layard’s Alarmist Telegrams—The Fleet Ordered to Constantinople—Resignation of Lord Carnarvon—The Russian Terms of Peace—Violence of the War Party—The Debate on the War Vote—The Treaty of San Stefano—Resignation of Lord Derby—Calling Out the Reserves—Lord Salisbury’s Circular—The Indian Troops Summoned to Malta—The Salisbury-Schouvaloff Agreement—Lord Salisbury’s Denials—The Berlin Congress—The Globe Disclosures—The Anglo-Turkish Convention—Occupation of Cyprus—“Peace with Honour”—The Irish Intermediate Education Bill—Consolidation of the Factory Acts—The Monarch and the Multitude—Outbreak of the Third Afghan War—The “Scientific Frontier”—Naval Review at Spithead—Death of the Ex-King of Hanover—Death of the Princess Alice.

The “green Yule,” which bodes ill-luck, ushered in the year 1877. The attitude of the Ministry to the Eastern Question was still one of indecision; but there was joy in City circles when, on the 11th of January, it was announced that Lord Derby had recalled the British Fleet from Besika Bay. This was a warning to the Sultan that England had no sympathy with the contumacy of the Porte, which still refused to concede the guarantees for reform in its European provinces that the Conference insisted on.

On the 8th of February the Queen opened Parliament in person, and was well received in the crowded streets, but Mr. Gladstone, Lord Beaconsfield, and the Chinese Ambassador and his suite were for the time the real heroes of the mob. The scene in the House of Lords was one of exceptional{514} brilliancy, and after the Speech, was read by Lord Cairns, the Queen, descending the steps of the Throne, left the Chamber, the ceremony, so far as her Majesty was concerned, not occupying more than fifteen minutes. It need not be said that in both Houses the debates on the Address centred round the Eastern Question. The Conference had been a failure, and the Government were seriously embarrassed. Logically, Ministers, as men of spirit, were bound to make the demands of the Conference effective, for was it not their own device for settling the Eastern Question, and were not its demands their demands? That was the view which Lord Hartington vindicated in a speech of great power and cogency.

On the other hand, it was clear that the Cabinet had no fixed aim when it organised the Conference—that if it ever contemplated the contingency of failure, which its supporters by their fierce attacks on Lord Salisbury had virtually manufactured, it had hoped to tide over the difficulty by letting matters drift. Lord Derby had begun by assuming that it was not the right or duty of England to insist on Turkey conceding reforms to Bulgaria. The autumnal agitation about the atrocities induced him to change front, and to admit that it was alike the duty and right of England, as one of the Powers whose support maintained the Turkish Empire, to demand that its European Provinces should not be submerged in barbarism. He had organised the Powers in support of this demand, and now, when the Turks refused to yield to it, he reverted to his original theory that England had no more right to interfere with Turkey, than with Austria or France. What made matters worse for the Cabinet was the prevailing belief that, though they sent Lord Salisbury to Constantinople to insist on reforms, their agents privily assured Midhat Pasha, then Grand Vizier, that no harm would come if Turkey upset the Conference. The State Papers furnish no confirmation of this belief. Indeed, they show that Lord Derby told Lord Salisbury to warn the Turks that though England would take no part in coercive measures against them, the Porte “is to be made to understand that it can expect no assistance from England in the case of war.”[99] The Turks, however, had a fixed conviction that England would help them in a war with Russia. Nothing but a strong statement from Lord Beaconsfield would have eradicated this belief, and all that the English Government can be blamed for is, that Lord Beaconsfield failed or refused to make this statement. According to Prince Bismarck, no statesman who aspires to influence abroad will permit his Government to be associated with a failure in diplomacy. Yet not only had Lord Beaconsfield and Lord Derby permitted their project of the Conference to be laughed to pieces by the Turks, but all they had to say to Parliament was that they were sorry that Turkey had misunderstood her own interests. They were quite contented to accept the defeat of their scheme{515} meekly. Their position appears rather abject to those who look at it critically, and yet no other was practically open to them. Only a small faction, led by Lord Hartington and Mr. Gladstone, were for coercing Turkey. A still smaller faction of idle loungers, whose favourite phrase was that “Piccadilly wanted a little wholesome blood-letting,” were for joining Turkey in a war against the Slav States headed by Russia. The people were divided between their spasmodic fear of Russia and their equally spasmodic loathing for the Turks, and Radical Russophobes, like Mr. Joseph Cowen, were just as loud in demanding non-intervention as Radical Russophiles like Mr. Bright. Thus the policy of the Government—that of demanding concessions from Turkey from a love of Humanity, and tamely submitting to a contemptuous refusal, from fear of Russia, fairly well reflected the mind of the English democracy.

Sir Stafford Northcote’s leadership of the House of Commons was not promising. He tolerated the obstruction of a small group of members, who caused the Bill which closed public-houses in Ireland on Sundays to be abandoned, after Ministers stood pledged to its principle, and all parties in the House were willing to pass it. He permitted his more devoted followers to oppose a Resolution moved by Mr. Clare Read—who had left the Government because he considered that they neglected agricultural interests—in favour of County Government Reform. But at the last moment he put forward Mr. Sclater-Booth to accept the Resolution in a speech which was evidently meant as a conclusive argument against it. Mr. Cross’s Prisons Bills, too, spread disaffection among the squirearchy. These measures reduced the management of gaols in the three kingdoms to something like uniformity. But they made the prisons national and not local institutions, centralised their administration in the hands of the Imperial Government, deposed the local justices from their position of control over them, and charged their cost to the Consolidated Fund.

The debates in Parliament were rendered memorable by the appearance of a cool and adroit gladiator on the Irish benches, whose business-like methods of attacking the Prisons Bill in Committee extorted admiration from all old Parliamentary hands. This was Mr. Charles Stewart Parnell. It was known to be his intention to obstruct the Prisons Bill, in defiance of the wishes of Mr. Butt, the leader of the Irish Party. But it was assumed that a combination of the two great English Parties would easily crush opposition of the frivolous and factious order with which Mr. Beresford Hope and a section of the Tories had met Mr. Forster’s Ballot Bill.[100] But Mr. Parnell had evidently foreseen this contingency, and he met it by inventing a higher and more scientific type of obstruction than Mr. Hope had been capable of{516} devising. His obstruction paralysed the two front benches, because he took care that it was not frivolous. He had evidently spent many nights and days in the minute dissection of the Bill, and he had manifestly toiled without stint in reading up the whole question of Prison discipline. It was not till he had made himself master of the entire subject that he intervened in the Debates, and then the House, to its amazement, found that the Home Secretary himself, when pitted against this bland young Irish squire with his soft voice, his lugubrious intonation, his funereal manner, and dull, prosaic Gradgrind-like form of speech, was but a poor amateur wriggling in the firm grip of a pitiless expert. To the dismay of the three leaders of the House—Sir Stafford Northcote, Lord Hartington, and Mr. Butt—there was no easy means of getting rid of Mr. Parnell, simply because his amendments—and their name was legion—were not vamped up. Nay, with Machiavelian ingenuity he had draughted them so skilfully that most of them appealed strongly to the sympathies of other sections of the House than those connected with Ireland. Indeed, but for the persistency with which Mr. Parnell and one or two of his friends “bored” the House with the sufferings of certain Fenian prisoners under discipline, one would have thought that his treatment of the Bill was simply that of an English country gentleman, who had made himself an authority on the question, and had a genuine desire to eliminate from it stupid provisions which had been palmed off on a credulous Home Secretary. Nor was it in mastery of detail and skill of draughtsmanship alone that Mr. Parnell showed himself formidable. His ingenuity in inventing amendments drawn on lines that appealed to English popular feeling was inexhaustible. If at one moment the Home Secretary found himself contending with Mr. Parnell in the guise of a healthy-minded Tory squire, who was a hater of centralisation and a champion of the rights of visiting justices, at another he found himself battling with a philanthropist in whom the spirit of Howard lived again. Few who witnessed the long duel between Mr. Cross and Mr. Parnell will ever forget the pitiful and perturbed embarrassment of the Home Secretary when he found himself at every turn so maliciously cornered by his enemy, that he must either surrender, offend the prejudices of the rural magistracy, who hated the Bill, or raise up hosts of enemies in Exeter Hall and other centres of philanthropic activity, where any proposal to humanise Prison Discipline was hailed with delight. And when the duel was over it was impossible to deny that whatever might be Mr. Parnell’s motive, he had by his opposition extorted from Mr. Cross a series of concessions, which not only improved the Bill, but converted it from a bad one into a good one.

One more point remains to be noted. Mr. Parnell’s party practically consisted of one—namely, Mr. Joseph Gillies Biggar. If it was Mr. Parnell’s desire “to scorn delights and live laborious days” in reforming the administration of English prisons, it was the firm and austere resolve of Mr. Biggar that this great work should be done with a solemnity of deliberation{517}

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worthy of such an august Assembly as the House of Commons. The business in hand was too serious to be transacted without a quorum—so Mr. Biggar invariably tried to “count” out the House. Public affairs ought not to be transacted at an hour when, to use his favourite phrase, “no decent person would be out of their beds,” so Mr. Biggar would insist on adjourning the House or the Committee about one o’clock in the morning.[101] And Mr. Biggar played his part in the serio-comedy with so much elfish delight and quaint, grotesque humour, that if the House now and then roared with rage at him, it still oftener roared with laughter. Those who saw deeper than the surface saw that something more serious than a comedy was being{518} produced by these new performers from Ireland. They saw sprouting the germ of that extraordinary policy of Parliamentary pressure by which the new school of Irish Nationalists sought to gain their end—the policy that offered the Imperial Government the choice of one of two alternatives—concession of autonomy in Ireland, or the sacrifice of the ancient liberties and privileges of Parliament.

Still Englishmen were loth to believe that an issue so grave would be forced upon them. Indeed, the Conservative Party regarded obstruction, so far as it had gone, with merely a Platonic hatred. It had been used only to check legislation, and Conservative interests were not hurt by keeping things as they were. Then it was also said that the success of Mr. Parnell was due to the feebleness of Mr. Cross, who, however, was in a position to smile at such innuendoes. Whether he had been strong or weak, Mr. Cross had, at all events, got his Prisons Bill passed in a form that brought him great credit in the country. However, in the lobbies of the House of Commons and in the political clubs the general opinion was, that there was no need for Conservatives to be alarmed so long as Mr. Parnell merely delayed legislative changes. He would not venture to obstruct administrative work, and he must assuredly succumb if he challenged a vigorous and resolute Minister like Mr. Gathorne-Hardy. Mr. Parnell accordingly put up Mr. O’Connor Power to block Mr. Hardy’s Army Estimates on the 2nd of July. Mr. Power waited till the Army Reserve Vote came on, and then he met it with a motion to report progress, first, because money ought not to be voted away after midnight, and secondly because Ireland, not being allowed to raise a Volunteer Force, ought not to pay taxes to support the Volunteer Forces of England and Scotland. Would Mr. Hardy explain why Ireland should not have Volunteers? Mr. Hardy seemed speechless with wrath at the audacity of the attack, and met the question with contemptuous silence. The interest of the House was now roused. It would be seen whether the strong Minister of the Government, would be more successful than Mr. Cross in coping with obstruction. Of course the motion was defeated—but eight members, including Mr. Whalley, voted for it. Mr. Parnell, it was then seen, had a small party at his back, nay, he had lieutenants at his call ready to serve. Mr. O’Donnell next moved that the Chairman of Committee leave the chair, and defiantly warned Mr. Hardy that, till he did answer Mr. Power’s question, no Supply would be voted. Mr. Hardy still refused, and then the struggle went on merrily, dilatory motions being moved one after the other, till at last the Government gave up the fight, and allowed the House to be counted out at a quarter past seven in the morning.[102] Mr. Cross was the only Conservative member who did not appear crestfallen next day. His “feeble” method of dealing had, at all events, borne fruit. He had got work, and good{519} work, done. Mr. Hardy’s vigour had simply demonstrated to the world that six Irish members could keep the House of Commons sitting till seven o’clock in the morning, and keep it sitting for nothing. Sir Stafford Northcote accordingly carried the feeling of the House with him when, at next meeting, he threatened to move that the rules of Procedure be reconsidered. But on going into the matter he found that this would take time. The rules were dear to Members opposed to reform, because they were so contrived as to give the utmost facilities for impeding legislative change. Hence, he intimated, on the 5th of July, that he would deal with the difficulty after the Recess. Mr. Parnell’s retort was to obstruct business at that sitting till about three in the morning. He and his friends not only opposed the clause in the Irish Judicature Bill fixing the salaries of the Irish Judges,[103] but they affected to have suddenly taken an absorbing interest in the Solicitors Examination Bill which had come down from the House of Lords. On the 23rd of July Sir Stafford Northcote, still shrinking from altering the rules of the House, tried to meet the case by moving that the Government should confiscate for their business the nights allotted to private members. This enabled the Parnellite Party to again obstruct business, as champions of Parliamentary privileges.

By this time the House of Commons was working itself up into a fit of burning indignation. The anger of the Conservatives indeed knew no bounds, for they saw that they must either submit to Mr. Parnell, or surrender privileges of obstruction which they had themselves found useful in defeating measures of reform in bygone days. Mr. Parnell’s Party sat maliciously cool and annoyingly calm through all the turmoil; indeed, Mr. Parnell seemed bent on provoking the Tories opposite him, by assuming towards them a demeanour of supercilious aristocratic superiority that cut them at every moment like a whip. His manner of disdainful mastery indicated that he must have some dire instrument of torture in reserve for them. And so he had. He and his friends had picked up a Bill which nobody dreamt of seriously attacking, because it was purely an administrative measure proposed by the Colonial Office. It gave the Colonies and the two Dutch Republics in South Africa the means of forming a Confederation if they chose to do so. It was perfectly harmless and permissive, but it was unfortunately complex and loaded with detail. Mr. Parnell and his band had devoted their unremitting energies to mastering, not only this Bill, but every imaginable point in South African policy. Hence, when it came before the House, they suddenly appeared in the character of South African “experts,” who knew infinitely more about the subject than the unfortunate Minister in charge of the measure. The Government had also annexed the Transvaal Republic under the erroneous impression that the Boers desired annexation, and Lord Grey had frankly admitted in{520} the House of Lords that South Africa was not ripe for Confederation. A few Radical doctrinaires, led by Mr. Courtney, alarmed at the annexation of the Transvaal, also disliked the Bill. In fact, an ideal opportunity for practising obstructive tactics had been presented to Mr. Parnell by the Government, and he took advantage of it ruthlessly. He and his Party opposed the South Africa Bill line by line, nay, almost word by word,[104] contemptuously asking Ministers to explain why they persisted in giving to Colonies that did not want it, the autonomy for which Ireland sued in vain. What, however, chiefly embarrassed the Ministry was the factiousness of several powerful Radicals, like Mr. Chamberlain, Professor Fawcett, and Mr. Rylands, who, not content with expressing dissent in the constitutional manner on the Second Reading, voted with Mr. Parnell in obstructing the formal proposal to go into Committee on the Bill.[105] It would have been comparatively easy to rouse an overwhelming force of public opinion against Mr. Parnell at this juncture, had not Messrs. Chamberlain, Rylands, Courtney, and Fawcett thrown over his opposition the ægis of their personal authority. Their unexpected alliance emboldened Mr. Parnell, who accordingly blocked the Bill in Committee to such an extent, that Sir Stafford Northcote, on the 25th of July, moved that the Irish leader be suspended for two days because he had said he had “satisfaction in preventing and thwarting the intentions of the Government in respect of the Bill.” In the wrangle that followed, Mr. Parnell’s cool, supercilious manner rendered the House almost ungovernable, until several Members recalled it to reason. It was seen that the words expressed no more in themselves than a legitimate act of critical opposition. Mr. Whitbread moved that the debate on the motion to suspend Mr. Parnell be adjourned for twenty-four hours. Mr. Hardy accepted the proposal, whereupon Mr. Parnell with frigid imperturbability rose and resumed his speech at the very sentence in delivering which Sir Stafford Northcote had interrupted him exactly two hours before. During that sitting, from noon till a quarter to six in the evening, only two clauses were passed. But one point was gained. Mr. Parnell had inflicted on Sir Stafford Northcote a personal defeat so detrimental to his authority as leader of the House, that he was at last compelled to consent to a modification of the rules of procedure.

On the 27th of July he moved two Resolutions, one prohibiting a Member from moving dilatory motions of adjournments more than once on the same night, and another enabling the Chair to put without debate a motion silencing a Member for the rest of the debate who had been “named” as defying the authority of the Speaker or Chairman of Committees. As for Sir Stafford Northcote’s motion to suspend Mr. Parnell, that was dropped at Lord Hartington’s suggestion. After apologetic explanations were given by Lord Beaconsfield and Sir Stafford Northcote to the Members of the Tory Party at{521} a private meeting at the Foreign Office, these resolutions were carried. Independent critics predicted that they would be futile; that, indeed, no remedy short of the Continental clôture, which the Conservatives dreaded much more than Mr. Parnell, could be effective.

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Mr. Parnell proceeded without delay to give a practical illustration of the defects of the new rules. He played his game more warily, but more persistently than ever, and every day the House of Commons found itself an object of contempt to the nation, because it could not vindicate its authority against one man. At last, on the 31st of July, Sir Stafford Northcote in despair resolved to resort to physical methods. He arranged with Lord Hartington to force the South Africa Bill through Committee, by getting the House to sit on without a break till the Parnellites were worn out from sheer bodily exhaustion. Relays of Members were brought up to keep the House{522} in Session, and Mr. Parnell and his friends were allowed to talk themselves out. For twenty-six consecutive hours the struggle went on with the seven Irish Members, who, ere it was half through, lost their Radical ally, Mr. Courtney, who flounced out of the House muttering his disgust at the hideous scene of anarchy. At two o’clock in the afternoon of the following day, Sir Stafford Northcote threatened “further proceedings,” and then, and not till then, did the Irish forlorn hope give way. Mr. O’Donnell, whose voice was now scarcely audible, said that this menace[106] changed the situation, and the Bill was forthwith passed through Committee. The Government triumphed, but at a terrible cost. They had to drop all their best Bills, because Mr. Parnell kept them using up the time at their disposal in passing a measure which was of little interest to Englishmen, and which ultimately proved, not only useless, but mischievous. The Session was therefore barren of legislative fruit. Even the Budget failed to excite debate, for, as Sir Stafford Northcote said, it was “a ready-made” one, and changed nothing.[107] No old taxes were remitted, and no new ones imposed. Sir Stafford Northcote perhaps underrated the depression in trade, which was even then obviously growing. He hardly appreciated the rapidity with which the working classes were exhausting their savings at a time when wages were more likely to fall than rise. But otherwise his statement was unobjectionable.

Foreign Policy was, however, the mainstay of the Ministry, and it is curious to note how completely the anti-Turkish agitation, which Mr. Gladstone had fomented with passionate zeal, forced the Cabinet to change their attitude to the Eastern Question. In 1876 the Ministerial doctrine was that England had no more to do with a quarrel between the Sultan and his subjects than between the Austrian Emperor and his people—the Ministerial theory, in fact, was, that if England was bound to protect anybody, it was the Sultan, and not his subjects. In 1877 Ministers acknowledged that, as England had been mainly responsible for keeping the Turk in Europe, she was in honour bound to protect his Christian subjects from the torture which his Pashas inflicted on them. There was also a change in regard to another point. In 1876 Ministers were all for maintaining the “integrity and independence” of Turkey. The Atrocities agitation, however, forced Lord Derby to make demands on Turkey, and to assent to demands being made on her, which ignored her visionary integrity and her mythical independence. It was said at the time that the Court, having strongly supported the pro-Turkish policy of 1876, was disappointed at the change of front in 1877. It is quite certain that these views were not shared by the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh and their entourage. A passage in{523} one of the letters of the Princess Alice to the Queen makes that point tolerably clear.[108] But as to the other question the evidence is faulty. The policy of the Prince Consort, which was always supposed to dominate the ideas of the Court, was certainly not pro-Turkish. In his celebrated Memorandum to Lord Aberdeen’s Cabinet in 1853 he laid down two principles: It was the duty and interest of England to prevent Russia from imposing in an underhand way a Protectorate on the European provinces of Turkey “incompatible with their own independence.” It was also the duty and interest of England to prevent Turkey from using English diplomacy so as to enable the Pashas to impose “a more oppressive rule of two millions of fanatic Mussulmans over twelve millions of Christians.” England might go to war to prevent Bulgaria from falling into the hands of Russia, but not for the mere maintenance of the integrity and independence of Turkey. Nay, the Prince considered that such a war ought to lead, in the peace which must be its object, “to the obtaining of arrangements more consonant with the well-understood interests of Europe, of Christianity, liberty, and civilisation, than the re-imposition of the ignorant barbarian and despotic yoke of the Mussulman over the most fertile and favoured portion of Europe.”[109] Lord Aberdeen, Lord Clarendon, Sir James Graham, and Mr. Gladstone accepted this view of English policy. On the other hand, Lord Palmerston repudiated it. He contended that it was the duty of England to maintain the integrity of Turkey at all hazards; that the Prince Consort’s policy pointed to the ultimate expulsion of the Ottomans from Europe; and that any reconstruction of Turkey such as that which the Prince foreshadowed simply meant “its subjection to Russia, direct or indirect, immediate or for a time delayed.”

But Lord Beaconsfield’s policy was simply a reproduction of Lord Palmerston’s, hence it might be inferred that if the Prince Consort’s ideas still prevailed at Court, his policy in 1876 could not have had Royal sanction. On the other hand, there is no proof that Prince Albert’s ideas on the subject—which in the main were those of the great bulk of the English people—were still held as authoritative at Court. In a curious letter, the significance of which is obvious in its relation to the Queen’s personal opinions, written by the Princess Alice to her mother (25th July, 1878) there occurs, after an outburst against the advance of the Russians on Bulgaria, the following passage: “What do the friends of the ‘Atrocity Meetings’ say now? How difficult it has been made for the Government through them, and how blind they have been! All this must be a constant worry and anxiety for you.” [110]


As the Princess’s letters, where they touch on English public affairs, invariably reflect the opinions of the Queen, and as it cannot be imagined that in a matter of bitter political controversy she would venture to obtrude on the Queen so contemptuous a view of the “Atrocity Meetings” and of the conduct of the Opposition, had it not been in sympathy with the Queen’s own feelings, we may safely draw one conclusion. Despite the conjectures which have been ingeniously based on the Prince Consort’s Memorandum of 1853, the policy of the Court was identified with that of the Cabinet all through 1876, and if it was changed in 1877, it was changed in deference to the popular hostility to Turkey, which Mr. Gladstone had aroused. Among those persons, however, who were closest in contact with the Court, and who usually reflected Royal ideas most correctly, there was no change of opinion. Mr. Hayward’s correspondence teems with references to the fierce hatred with which Mr. Gladstone and the Opposition were denounced by “the upper ten thousand;”[111] in fact, Society vilipended Mr. Gladstone with the same obloquy that it had bestowed on him for his pamphlet denouncing the Neapolitan atrocities. But Mr. Hayward is at pains to state that, “all that the Government have been doing in the right direction is owing to the flame kindled by him [Mr. Gladstone]”; and the Hayward Correspondence proves that at the different embassies the diplomatists were at one on three points (1), the insulation of England; (2), the necessity of protecting the Bulgarians effectually from Turkish oppression; (3), the necessity of refusing Russia any cession of Turkish territory in Europe; a condition which, says Mr. Hayward in his account of a celebrated diplomatic dinner-party at the Austrian Embassy, Russia accepted.[112]

Events justified the accuracy of Mr. Hayward’s information, for it was the fatal error of Lord Beaconsfield’s policy that it assumed there was no genuine accord among the Powers, and that they were neither able nor willing to prevent Russia from seizing Turkish territory in Europe. Indeed, Mr. Hayward seems to have been the only observer of public affairs who clearly understood why they were drifting in the direction indicated by the table-talk of the embassies. In a letter to Lady Waldegrave (7th October, 1876) he says, “the power of public opinion is a remarkable feature of the Eastern Question. Russia is so strongly impelled by it that the Government would be endangered by holding back. Austria is impelled by the Magyar to oppose the construction of any new Slav State. The Porte is afraid of exasperating its Mahometan subjects by what might be deemed unworthy concessions. The English Government is completely controlled by public opinion.” And again in a letter to Mr. Gladstone he says, “One of the strongest features of the situation is, that the popular voice or national will is bettering or impelling diplomacy and statesmanship in Russia, Austria, England, and Turkey, and{525}

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fortunately so as concerns England. Whatever England is doing in the right direction is owing to the popular impulse for which you are mainly responsible, and which will redound to your lasting honour.”[113] At the same time, there was a point at which Mr. Gladstone and the nation parted company. He thought that if England admitted that she ought to see that the Bulgarians were protected from oppression, she ought to force Turkey to give effectual guarantees for their protection. If she did not, Russia would step in as their champion, and establish a claim to exclusive influence over European Turkey, which it was not politic to give her even a pretext for exercising. The great majority of Englishmen, however, held (1), that it was not their business to waste their taxes in winning freedom for the Bulgarians; (2), that they sufficiently discharged their duty to them when they paralysed Turkey by withdrawing British support from her; and (3), that the futile results of{526} the Crimean War proved that Austria and Germany, from their geographical position, were the only Powers who could be safely trusted to effectively check Russian aggression in Eastern Europe. The masses, as distinguished from the aristocratic and academic classes, here proved themselves wiser than their leaders, on whom they forced a policy of non-intervention, which practically meant benevolent neutrality to the oppressed provinces of Turkey. The manner in which the Treaty of San Stefano was transformed into the Treaty of Berlin, every concession extorted from Russia being obviously exacted in Austro-German interests, more than justified the somewhat cynical anticipations of the British people.

It is not necessary to describe at length the steps which led up to the outbreak of war between Russia and Turkey on the 23rd of April, 1877. In vain did Lord Derby implore Turkey to grant of her own free will the concessions she had refused to the abortive Conference. Russia stood grimly on the frontier, with her hand on her sword-hilt, asking Europe how long she was to wait ere she unsheathed her weapon. In March a Protocol was signed by the Powers pressing Turkey to yield. To this Russia appended a declaration that she would disarm if Turkey accepted the advice of the Powers, and also sent an ambassador to St. Petersburg to arrange for mutual disarmament. But otherwise Russia clearly indicated her intention to use force. Lord Derby accepted, as did the other Powers, this declaration, only he added, on behalf of England, a reservation that she would consider the instrument null and void if it did not lead to disarmament. The Turks rejected the appeal of the Protocol. Prince Bismarck rejected a personal appeal which the Queen made to him to hold back Russia; and so war was declared. To the last the Turks expected that England would take their side, and they had been confirmed in their attitude of contumacy by the appointment of Mr. Layard, a notorious supporter of Turkey, to the British Embassy at Constantinople on the day on which the Protocol was signed. If it was the object of Lord Beaconsfield to prevent the outbreak of war and to save the Ottoman Empire in Europe from ruin, his policy must be described as an utter failure. And it failed for obvious reasons. Lord Beaconsfield and the British diplomatic agents in Turkey talked and wrote in terms which persuaded the Turks that, if they resisted the demands of Europe, England would defend them, as in 1853-4. On the contrary, if Lord Beaconsfield desired the Foreign Policy of England to succeed, and to save Turkey from being crushed by Russia, he should have taken steps to convince her that, even if he had the will, he had not the power to do battle for her.

Others besides the Turks shared the opinion that Lord Beaconsfield meant to drag England into a new Crimean War. On the 5th of May Mr. Carlyle stated in the Times, “not on hearsay, but on accurate knowledge,”[114] that Lord Beaconsfield was contemplating a feat “that will force, not Russia only,{527} but all Europe to declare war against us.”[115] The idea of the Government was to occupy Gallipoli to protect British interests. This would have forced Russia to declare war against England, and then English public opinion would, of course, have supported Lord Beaconsfield in fighting on the side of Turkey. But Mr. Carlyle’s sudden revelation of the scheme roused public opinion in favour of non-intervention, and Mr. Gladstone “took occasion by the hand” to inflame the populace against Lord Beaconsfield’s supposed designs. Stormy meetings were held all over England during the first week of May, and then Ministers seemed to have changed their offensive tone towards Russia. On the 6th of May Lord Derby buoyed out for Russia the torpedoes called “British interests” which lay in her way. He laid down in a polite despatch the precise conditions under which England would remain neutral, conditions so plainly reasonable that Prince Gortschakoff accepted them with the utmost frankness. Meanwhile Mr. Gladstone was seriously misled by the public indignation which had been roused against a conspiracy to fight for Turkey under the pretext of protecting British interests. He imagined it would enable him to carry out his own project of coercing Turkey in company with Russia. He therefore submitted to the House of Commons six Resolutions, which were discussed early in May. Of these, however, he was forced to withdraw two, because a powerful section of the Liberal party considered that they bound England to joint action with Russia. Thus Mr. Gladstone’s formidable array of Resolutions dwindled down to the simple and harmless proposition that the Turk was a bad man, who did not deserve English sympathy or support. The House, however, by a majority of 131, carried a colourless amendment declining to embarrass the Government by any formal vote, and leaving “the determination of policy entirely in their hands.” The debate on the Resolutions was one of those high and sustained triumphs of Parliamentary eloquence which at great crises display the British House of Commons at its best. It may be said to have exhausted the controversy on the Eastern Question. Mr. Gladstone’s speech (which would of itself have rendered the debate historical) admittedly soared as high as the loftiest flights of Chatham and of Burke.

There is no need to narrate the events of the war, how Osman Pasha, from behind his earthworks at Plevna, blocked the Russian advance, and Mukhtar held the Russians at bay in Asia Minor. As the star of fortune shed its beams on either side, public opinion in England grew feverish and excited, the Tories all the while clamouring for intervention on behalf of Turkey. Some of them, indeed, seemed to hold that it was the duty of England to head a new Crusade on behalf of Islam against Christianity. But the public utterances of Ministers indicated their determination to remain neutral, and Lord Derby did his best to convince Musurus Pasha that Turkey was abandoned to her fate.{528}

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Though the fact was not known at the time, a perfectly frank and friendly understanding existed between the English and Russian Governments; in fact, Russia had informed England, through her ambassador, what terms of peace she would offer to Turkey, if Turkey were to yield before Russian troops were compelled to cross the Balkans. This information was given so that Lord Derby might have an opportunity of modifying these terms if necessary for the protection of British interests, prior to their presentation to the Porte, and Lord Derby thought them so reasonable that he made more than one fruitless effort to get Mr. Layard to press them on Turkey. Unfortunately the diplomacy of 1877 was kept a profound secret, and as the people were not aware of the good understanding between the Governments of Russia and England, a fierce and exasperating controversy between the Russophiles and the Russophobes raged through the land. On the 14th and 15th of October the Turkish defence in Asia Minor collapsed. On the 11th of December the fall of Plevna was announced, and when it was intimated that Parliament was to meet on the 13th of January, 1878, the country was panic-stricken. Nobody knew that Lord Derby and Count Schouvaloff had{529} practically agreed about the terms of peace that were to be imposed on Turkey, and that Lord Derby had repeatedly warned the Turks to expect no help from England. Everybody, in fact, inferred, from the tone of the Ministerial press and of the speeches of Lord Beaconsfield, Mr. Hardy, and Lord John Manners, that a scheme of intervention was “in the air,” and that the early meeting of Parliament implied a demand for supplies to carry on a war with Russia. The Money Market rocked and swayed with excitement, and securities fell with amazing rapidity.[116] Throughout England meetings were held by business people protesting against any divergence from a policy of neutrality. At night bands of young men, representing the War Party, marched about London, the only English city which favoured war, singing the chorus of a song then becoming popular in the music-halls, and which began—

“We don’t want to fight,
But by Jingo if we do,
We’ve got the ships, we’ve got the men,
And we’ve got the money too.”

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HUGHENDEN MANOR. (From a Photograph by Taunt and Co.)


A new political term crept into use, namely, “Jingoism,”[117] or the cult of the war-god Jingo, whose worshippers, however, were bellicose rather than warlike, for they always prefaced their hymnal invocations by the assurance that they did “not want to fight.” The Ministry, too, was divided—Lord Beaconsfield, Lord John Manners, and Mr. Hardy leading the “Jingo” faction, whilst Lord Derby, Lord Carnarvon, and Mr. Cross represented the Peace Party. This split in the Cabinet was deplored at the time, and yet it was of enormous advantage to England. It prevented her from being dragged into the war. It is true that it buoyed up the expectant Turks with false hopes of aid from England, and thus tempted them to reject the easy terms of peace which Russia would have accepted after the fall of Plevna.[118] But the wrecking of Turkey was not in 1877 a matter that deeply moved the British taxpayer, unless he held Turkish Bonds, and if Lord Beaconsfield, Mr. Hardy, Lord John Manners, and their group, by their bellicose attitude, lured the Ottoman race to disaster, it was for the Turkish or War Party, and not for the nation, to call these Ministers to account.[119] As for the policy of neutrality which the English people literally forced on Lord Beaconsfield and Mr. Gladstone, it was justified in the second week of December, by a statement which Count Andrassy made to the Austro-Hungarian Delegations on the 8th and 9th of that month. He frankly said that Austrian sympathies were with the Christian subjects of the Sultan, and that he “would not dare to stand up for the status quo” in Turkey.

It needed little insight to discern that when Austria—a Power that could have hurled 150,000 men on the flank of Russia—declared herself against{531} Turkey, and the status quo, it meant that Russia had bought her alliance by consenting to an Austrian occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In such a crisis the true policy of a high-spirited English statesman was to have safeguarded British interests in the Ottoman Empire by “temporarily” occupying Egypt, as Austria was to “temporarily” occupy Bosnia. Lord Beaconsfield, however, adopted the surest means for paralysing his arm for such a bold stroke. He summoned Parliament to meet three weeks earlier than usual, and permitted his supporters to divert the attention of the country from Egypt—obviously endangered by the impending fall of Turkey—to wild schemes for occupying Gallipoli, sending a fleet to defend Constantinople, and an army to obstruct the advance of Russia in Asia Minor. As any one of these projects meant war with Russia, popular excitement soon grew intense.

In this crisis it was to be expected that the policy of the Court would be the subject of criticism, even though it were based on conjecture. The pro-Turkish party were artful and adroit in their insinuations that the Queen was on their side; though it is doubtful if the country would have paid heed to them but for a curious coincidence. The third volume of the “Life of the Prince Consort” was published at this juncture, and it was assumed by both the partisans of Lord Beaconsfield and Mr. Gladstone that Sir Theodore Martin had issued it by the Queen’s desire in the form of a violent pamphlet against Russia. Perhaps it might have been more discreet to have suppressed some passages, in which the Prince, carried away by the excitement of the Crimean struggle, had naturally taken a less sober and far-seeing view of European diplomacy and English duty than he formulated in his famous Memorandum of 1853. On the other hand, there is no reason to suppose that when the work was compiled Sir Theodore Martin, or rather the Queen, who selected the documents for publication, could have anticipated that the London Press and the Pall Mall clubs would be agitated by a frenzied controversy as to whether the Cossack was a more moral man than the Bashi-Bazouk, or Lord Beaconsfield a greater traitor than Mr. Gladstone. Nor can it be said that a just view of the Prince Consort’s opinions would have been obtained if his letter to Stockmar, penned in April, 1854, and his Memorandum to the Cabinet of the 3rd of May, 1855, had been withheld. The former expressed the Prince’s regret that the English public were too excited to permit the Government to stand by, and, having let Turkey dash herself to pieces against Russia, step in and take guarantees against Russia using her victory to the prejudice of Europe. Public opinion in 1854, the Prince regretfully admitted, recognised no way of taking these guarantees but one—that of supporting Turkey at the outset, so that the influence thus gained might be used to persuade the Porte to behave decently. As for the Memorandum of May, 1855, written during the negotiations at Vienna, it merely put on record his strong feeling against giving Russia an excuse for enforcing, single-handed, demands which Europe{532} might make on Turkey. It is simply amazing that by these documents the Russophobes pretended to prove that the Queen was on the side of Turkey, and the Russophiles that she was for attempting to raise another Crimean War. The natural inferences from the documents read in connection with the Memorandum of 1853, were (1), that as English public opinion had now changed so as to tolerate the policy of expectancy, for which Prince Albert hinted his personal preference, he would, if alive, have supported the “sordid” national policy of neutrality, and that, too, all the more readily that Austria and Germany were better able to curb Russia in 1877 than in 1854; (2), that he would have either accepted the Berlin Memorandum, or have taken steps to give executive effect to the demands formulated by the Conference of Constantinople.

But another circumstance gave colour to the floating gossip as to the Queen’s pro-Turkish sympathies.[120] She resolved to confer on Lord Beaconsfield a distinction she had bestowed only on three of her Premiers—Melbourne, Peel, and Aberdeen—that of paying him a visit at his country seat. It was on the 15th of December that the Queen arrived at High Wycombe, which she found lavishly decorated with evergreens, flowers, and flags. At one part of her route there was built a triumphal arch of chairs (representing the staple manufacture of the town), in which she displayed a special interest. Accompanied by the Princess Beatrice, her Majesty was received at High Wycombe railway-station by Lord Beaconsfield and the Local Authorities, who presented her with a loyal address. The Mayor’s daughter then presented bouquets to their illustrious visitors, after which the Royal party drove, amidst the cheers of the townspeople, to Hughenden Manor. Her Majesty had luncheon there with the Prime Minister, and spent about two hours in his house. She and the Princess planted trees in the grounds in memory of their visit.{533}

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If political significance could be attributed to the visit, it must have had some relation to the most recent action of the Government. That had, however, consisted in sending a despatch to Russia (13th of December) expressing a hope that, if the Russians crossed the Balkans, they would not occupy Constantinople or menace the Dardanelles.[121] To this Gortschakoff’s answer was a repetition of the pledge given in July, that British interests would be respected, and that Constantinople should only be occupied if the obstinacy of the Turks forced that step on Russia as a military necessity.[122] That the{534} Queen should approve of such a despatch as that which Lord Derby sent two days before she visited Hughenden, and of its frank warning that the occupation of Constantinople would leave England free to take active steps for protecting British interests, was only natural. Yet it was out of this visit that there grew up a great fabric of foolish gossip, the purport of which was that the Sovereign was goading the Cabinet into war with Russia! The Ministerial Press made matters worse by pretending that Prince Gortschakoff’s reply to the despatch of the 13th of December was insulting to England. But on the 2nd of January, 1878, Lord Carnarvon, addressing a South African deputation, took occasion to contradict these assertions. The fall of Plevna, he said, had not materially affected the policy of the Cabinet, which was still one of neutrality, and there had been nothing in the Russian communications with the Ministry of an insulting or discourteous character. The war scare now subsided as if by magic, and Funds rose a quarter per cent. But the Ministerial newspapers heaped obloquy on Lord Carnarvon, declaring that he merely spoke for himself; and at a Cabinet Meeting on the 3rd of January there was quite a “scene” between him and Lord Beaconsfield. The Prime Minister condemned the speech of his colleague, who, however, put on a bold front, and read a Memorandum before the Cabinet vindicating his position, and re-affirming everything that he had said. Lord Beaconsfield merely asked him for a copy of this document, and no Minister then or at any subsequent period hinted at a private or public disavowal of Lord Carnarvon’s statement. A very conciliatory answer was sent on the 12th of January to Prince Gortschakoff. It did not even suggest that the temporary military occupation of Constantinople would endanger British interests, but it asked Russia not to touch Gallipoli. On the 15th of January Prince Gortschakoff answered that Russia would not occupy Gallipoli unless Turkish troops were massed there; but he said that a British occupation of the Peninsula would be regarded by Russia as a breach of neutrality. On the 17th of January Parliament met, and, to its surprise, found itself greeted with a Royal Speech couched in the most dove-like terms of peace. The War Party were abashed. Even Lord Beaconsfield spoke not of daggers, though he hinted vaguely at the chances of using them. There was also a clause in the Queen’s Speech which, after admitting that none of the conditions of British neutrality had been violated, alluded darkly to the possibility of something occurring which might render “measures of precaution” necessary. Lord Salisbury, however, went out of his way to state that the Czar, so far from having aggressive designs, had shown himself anxious to defer to the wishes of Europe, and was possessed with “an almost tormenting desire for peace,” so that Members went about asking each other—Why had Parliament been summoned so soon, to the{535} great disturbance of business and the alarm of the nation, merely to be told that everything was going on smoothly? The fact is, that it had been Lord Beaconsfield’s original intention to send the Fleet to the Dardanelles.

On the 12th of January, 1878, this proposal was discussed in the Cabinet, and it would have been necessary to follow up the step by asking the House of Commons for a war vote. At a meeting on the 14th, from which Lord Derby was absent, the proposal was adopted. On the 15th Lord Carnarvon sent in his resignation, but Mr. Montagu Corry came to him with a message from Lord Beaconsfield to say that certain telegrams had arrived which had caused the order to the Fleet to be cancelled. These telegrams must obviously have been from Lord Augustus Loftus, conveying Prince Gortschakoff’s pledge that Gallipoli would not be touched, and his warning that Russia would regard the British occupation of it as a breach of neutrality. On the 16th Lord Carnarvon was at the Cabinet meeting, but his resignation was not returned to him till the 18th, when Lord Beaconsfield assured him that there was no longer any difference between them. Lord Beaconsfield, indeed, went further in his soothing assurances to the House of Lords on the 17th. Though he had Lord Carnarvon’s resignation at that moment in his pocket, he said “there is not the slightest evidence that there has ever been any difference between my opinions and those of my colleagues.”[123] As for the rumours of dissensions in the Cabinet, Lord Salisbury scornfully averred that they were only the inventions of “our old friends the newspapers.”

To understand the events that followed, and which again threw the country into a panic, two facts must be kept in view. First, the resolution to send the Fleet to the Dardanelles had been taken on the 14th of January, after the receipt of a telegram from Mr. Layard warning the Government that the Russians were moving on Gallipoli. This false statement had been neutralised by Lord Augustus Loftus, who sent on the 15th the telegram conveying Gortschakoff’s renewed pledges to respect British interests, in time to enable Lord Beaconsfield to cancel the orders to the Fleet. But the second point is, that the public and Parliament were kept in complete ignorance of Gortschakoff’s fresh pledges not to approach Gallipoli, and not to occupy Constantinople. If the one pledge was to be trusted, so was the other, and the withdrawal of the orders to the Fleet proved that the Government thought that the one pledge was valid. Yet Lord Beaconsfield’s friends strove without ceasing to impress the public with the false notion that Russia meant to seize Constantinople. On the 17th Mr. Layard sent another alarmist telegram. The Russians, he said, were marching on Adrianople. They were next to occupy Constantinople, and the Sultan was making ready to fly to Broussa. On the 22nd a deputation of the Tory War Party, representing seventy-five malcontents in the House of Commons, urged a policy of intervention on Sir Stafford Northcote. On the 23rd the Cabinet resolved to send immediate orders to{536} Admiral Hornby to take the Fleet to Constantinople. Lord Derby and Lord Carnarvon thereupon resigned. The order to the Fleet was countermanded, and Hornby was instructed to anchor in Besika Bay, whereupon Lord Derby returned to the Cabinet, but without Lord Carnarvon. Lord Derby afterwards admitted that neither he nor his colleagues had altered their opinions about the propriety of sending the order to the Fleet, so that the Ministry and its Foreign Secretary were now avowedly at variance as to a vital point of principle in Foreign policy. If the Cabinet was trustworthy Lord Derby should not have left it. If it was not trustworthy he was right to leave it, but wrong to go back. As for Lord Beaconsfield, that he should have permitted Lord Derby to return in such circumstances was, it need hardly be said, discreditable to him as a man of honour. On January 24th Sir Stafford Northcote gave notice that on the 28th he would move “a supplementary estimate for the military and naval services,” and the Ministerial press immediately circulated the most startling accounts of the oppressive conditions which Russia sought to impose on Turkey, then negotiating for an armistice. The Liberal press, on the other hand, accused Sir Stafford Northcote of breaking his promise, passed on the opening day of the Session, that he would not ask for a Vote till he knew what the Russian terms of peace were, and saw that they plainly put British interests in peril.

As for the public, it had not the faintest idea that Ministers had received assurances from Prince Gortschakoff which they had dealt with as satisfactory. The official excuse for the War Vote now was that Russia, by delaying to communicate the terms of peace which were the basis of the armistice, rendered precautionary measures necessary. On the 25th, Count Schouvaloff communicated these terms to the Foreign Office, and they were found to be simply those which Russia had, with unusual frankness, forewarned England and the Powers at various stages of the war, she would exact from Turkey. On the evening of the 25th, Lord Beaconsfield alluded to these terms as a possible basis for an armistice. He must have regarded them as eminently moderate, for he said that they had induced him to cancel the order to the Fleet to proceed to Constantinople.[124] But the Ministry still persisted in going on with the War Vote, and on the 28th of January Sir Stafford Northcote denounced the terms of peace, in language which would have induced Turkey to reject them had Russia not astutely kept them secret{537} till Turkey had accepted them. On the same day Lord Carnarvon, in the House of Lords, explained his reasons for quitting the Cabinet.[125]

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The feeling in the House of Commons was now running high against the Ministry, whose dissensions could no longer be concealed. But the War Party organised with some difficulty a strong agitation in London in their favour, and the streets and public-houses soon rang again with the hymnal invocation to the war-god Jingo. His worshippers attacked and broke up meetings called to protest against the War Vote, and they themselves held meetings in Sheffield, in Trafalgar Square, and in Exeter Hall (6th February). Still these demonstrations were empty of real meaning, and the Opposition would not have been intimidated by them but for a curious circumstance.

On the 7th of February the debate on the War Vote was still dragging on, and every night the case of the Cabinet seemed to grow feebler and{538} feebler. The accommodating Mr. Layard, however, once more came to their rescue. He began again to pour in his stereotyped telegrams that the Russians, in spite of the armistice, were still marching on Constantinople. Finally his despatches formed the basis for a rumour that was circulated at Countess Münster’s ball, on the 6th of January, that the Russians had actually occupied Constantinople. Next day the panic-stricken City was literally occupied by raging “Jingoes,” and but for the police Mr. Gladstone’s house would have been sacked. Every man who did not bow to the war-god was a traitor and a Russian spy, and the violence of the War Party ultimately frightened the wits out of the Opposition. When the House of Commons met, Sir Stafford Northcote, in reply to Lord Hartington, read Mr. Layard’s alarming telegrams, and then the Liberal leaders ran from their guns in a panic. Mr. Forster made haste to withdraw his Resolution against the War Vote. Nobody would listen to Mr. Bright, who shrewdly suggested that Mr. Layard was again misleading the Government; and the Liberal Party, deserted by its leaders, sat in abject dismay, cowering beneath the triumphant cheering of their opponents. But in a moment the whole scene changed, as if by the touch of a magician. While Mr. Bright was casting doubt on Mr. Layard’s telegrams, a note was passed on to Sir Stafford Northcote, after reading which he grew visibly agitated. He handed it to his colleagues, and when Mr. Bright sat down, Sir Stafford Northcote rose and, with a shame-faced visage, said he had something of importance to communicate. Both sides strained every ear to learn what fresh act of Russian perfidy had been discovered; but the reaction was indescribable when he read out an official denial from Prince Gortschakoff of Mr. Layard’s sensational despatches. “The order,” said Gortschakoff, “has been given to stop hostilities along the whole line in Europe and in Asia. There is not a word of truth in the rumours which have reached you.” Peals of derisive laughter greeted this anti-climax, only it was difficult to know whether the Opposition and Ministers were laughing at themselves, or at each other.

The end of the affair was that Mr. Forster could not muster up enough courage to press his Resolution, and when a division came he and Lord Hartington and about a hundred bewildered Liberals walked out of the House. Hence the Vote was carried into Committee by a majority of 295 to 199. The country did not conceal its contempt for Mr. Forster’s manœuvre. Men of sense agreed that there was only one ground on which such a Vote could be fairly opposed. It was that till Ministers stated definitely, whether their policy was to be that of Lord Derby or Lord Beaconsfield, tempered at intervals by a telegraphic romance from the British Embassy at Constantinople, not a farthing should be granted to them. No such statement of policy was made, and the withdrawal of the Liberals from their position served to convince impartial observers that their opposition had been factious from the beginning. [126]


After this unexpected victory the “Jingoes” pressed the Government to follow it up. To please them the Fleet was ordered to Constantinople, but to soothe Lord Derby he was permitted to explain that it went there merely to protect British residents who were alarmed by the prevailing anarchy. The Turks, enraged at what they deemed their betrayal by Lord Beaconsfield and Mr. Layard, churlishly refused to grant a firman opening the Straits to the Fleet. Prince Gortschakoff said, that as the protection of Europeans from anarchy was a duty which Russia and England ought to undertake in common for the sake of Humanity, Russia would now, as a matter of course, occupy the fortified lines that covered Constantinople, and, if need be, the city itself. It was a pretty “situation” in the high comedy of diplomacy, in which Lord Beaconsfield was, for the moment, outwitted and outmanœuvred. He lowered the point of his foil with good temper and good grace, but when he effected a compromise with Gortschakoff there was wailing and gnashing of teeth in the Temple of “Jingo.” And yet Lord Beaconsfield may be forgiven much, on account of the dexterity with which he extricated the country from a position which rendered war with Russia, and the immediate expulsion of the last remnant of the Ottoman race to Asia, a dead certainty. He, or Lord Derby in his name, promised Gortschakoff not to occupy Gallipoli nor the lines of Bulair, if Russia would promise not to land troops on the European shore of the Dardanelles. This compromise was accepted by Russia, with the additional proviso that neither Power was free to occupy the Asiatic side of the Straits.

After the Government obtained the Vote of Six Millions, they began to spend the money as quickly as possible in the arsenals, for the strangest part of their policy was, that their Army and Navy Estimates were essentially peace estimates. Meantime, everybody was speculating as to what terms of peace were being forced on Turkey, and the War Party were busy spreading abroad the most alarming rumours about the exactions of Russia. The veil of secrecy in which the negotiations were wrapped excited the suspicion of the people, who, it must be remembered, were kept in ignorance of the fact that the Russian Government had frankly told Lord Derby the conditions on which they would make peace. There was thus a distinct oscillation of public feeling towards the “Jingoes.” The Treaty of Peace was signed at San Stefano on the 3rd of March. Nineteen days afterwards the full text of this Treaty, by which, as Prince Bismarck told General Grant, “Ignatieff had swallowed more than Russia could digest,” was printed in the English newspapers. At first, the War Party collapsed. It was clear that the Russians had not touched British interests, and that to offer to fight on behalf of Turkey after she was annihilated as a fighting Power, and had signed a Treaty of Peace, was a palpable absurdity. Some other basis for a policy had thus to be discovered, and it was soon found. The ghastly phantom of “the public law of Europe” was conjured up from the Crimean Museum of diplomatic antiquities. It was said that{540} England was bound to defend that law against the Treaty of San Stefano which had violated it, by upsetting the Treaty of Paris as modified in 1871 by the Powers. Austria also took a line that again inspired the War Party with false hopes. The Treaty of San Stefano had not arranged for an Austrian occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as a counterpoise to a Bulgaria under Russian influence. Austria therefore began to arm. At the instance of Germany, however, she invited all the Powers to meet in Congress and endeavour to harmonise the Treaty of San Stefano with the general interests of Europe. As Lord Derby was blamed, somewhat unjustly, for the failure of the project of a Congress, it may be well to state precisely his attitude to it. Unfortunately for himself he deemed it desirable to conceal his real objection to the scheme, which was this: he held that more harm than good results from a discussion among rival Powers on their competing interests in any Congress, unless they shall have arrived beforehand at a complete agreement as to the concessions which they will give and take.

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Lord Derby’s idea evidently was to delay the Congress till the Powers were so far agreed that their meeting would be virtually one to register foregone conclusions. Lord Beaconsfield and the War Party, on the other hand, knew that their only hope lay in preventing the Congress from meeting. Up to a certain point Lord Derby and Lord Beaconsfield could, therefore, hold common ground. But as Lord Derby’s policy of obstructive procrastination destroyed the popularity of the project before it had brought about such an agreement among the Powers as would render the Congress innocuous, even in his eyes, it was easy for Lord Beaconsfield to take some warlike step that would get rid of Lord Derby and the Congress also. Hence throughout the period of diplomatic conflict that followed we find Lord Derby allowed to object to the Congress, first because Greece was not to be represented, and lastly because the Russians did not distinctly promise to submit the whole Treaty of San Stefano to it. The dispute finally centred round this last point. Out of England nobody at the time could understand Lord Derby’s objection. He seemed, from beginning to end, either to be quibbling about words and phrases, or trying to force Russia to enter the Congress with less liberty of action and on a lower status of dignity and independence than the other Powers. Before England accepted the Congress he wrote to Sir Henry Elliot, saying that she would not enter it unless he distinctly understood that “every article in the Treaty between Russia and Turkey will be placed before the Congress, not necessarily for acceptance, but in order that it may be ascertained what articles require acceptance or concurrence by the several Powers, and what do not.” Russia had already admitted that at the Congress each of the Powers “would have full liberty of appreciation and action” as regards the Treaty of San Stefano, and on the 9th of April Prince Gortschakoff’s Circular Note further stated that “in claiming the same right for Russia we can only reiterate the same declaration.” Lord Beaconsfield, on the 8th of April, complained, in the House of Lords, that the phrase “liberty of appreciation and action” was involved in classical ambiguity. “Delphi herself,” said he, with a provoking sneer at the Russian Chancellor, “could hardly have been more perplexing and august.” Yet, on the 27th of March, Count Schouvaloff wrote to Lord Derby as follows: “The liberty of appreciation and action which Russia thinks it right to reserve to herself at the Congress the Imperial Cabinet defines in the following manner. It leaves to the other Powers the liberty of raising such questions at the Congress as they may think it fit to discuss, and reserves to itself the liberty of accepting or not accepting the discussion of those questions.”[127] Russia had communicated the Treaty in its entirety to all the Powers. She had expressly and explicitly informed Austria, who had summoned the Congress, that she admitted the competence of that body to overhaul every clause of the Treaty in European interests—a fact of which Lord Derby was well aware. Austria{542} and the Continental Powers were satisfied that Russia had sufficiently recognised the competence of the Congress. England alone denied this, and pressed for a declaration which would have technically left all the Powers except Russia free not only to decide what affected their individual interests, but free to decide what affected those of Russia also. Lord Derby’s demand seemed as if meant to put the Russian Government, behind which stood a great and irritable army, flushed with victory, in the position of a criminal at the bar of Europe, and to force from her an admission that on certain vital points she pledged herself to bow to the decision of the Congress, though no other Power was to be put under a similar obligation.[128] Whilst this pedantic controversy was going on the “Jingoes” beat the war-drum with so much sound and fury that Lord Beaconsfield was misled into the idea that they were strong outside London. On the 26th of March the Cabinet accordingly resolved to call out the Reserves, to summon a contingent of native troops from India, to seize Cyprus, and land an army at a port in Syria. Lord Derby was not much alarmed about the order to call out the Reserves, but to seize one portion of the Turkish Empire, and land an army on another, without a declaration of war, was to his mind an act of piracy. Moreover, it would have instantly led to the catastrophe which he had made every sacrifice to avoid—the Russian occupation of Constantinople.

At this crisis Lord Derby saved his country from the direst calamity—a war between England and Russia, in which victory could bring no other gain to England than the privilege of restoring the liberated Turkish provinces to barbarism, and in which, since India had been put down by Lord Beaconsfield as one of the stakes in his game, defeat would have meant the loss of her Asiatic and Colonial Empire. Lord Derby resigned, and the panic caused by his withdrawal from the Cabinet compelled Lord Beaconsfield to abandon the filibustering expedition to Cyprus and Syria, and confine himself to those steps which did not make war inevitable. Russia, who was strengthening her own forces, could not object to England calling out her Reserves. As for the summons to the Indian troops, it would have been harmless, but for a circumstance not known at the time. It gave Prince Gortschakoff an opportunity for carrying out a diabolically malignant scheme of vengeance. He considered himself free to ignore the arrangement by which Russia was bound not to interfere in the “neutral zone” between her Asiatic Empire and the Indian frontier. Russian troops were accordingly ordered to move towards the Oxus for the invasion of India. Russian agents hastened in advance to the frontier to brew trouble for England in Afghanistan. Nay, so swift and secret were these counter-strokes, that even after the dispute{543} between Russia and England in Europe had been settled, Russia was unable to undo the mischief she had wrought in Asia. England was dragged into the costly agony of another Afghan War, and it may therefore be said that the luxury of bringing the native troops to Europe in 1878 not only permanently disorganised the finances of India, but cost the country hecatombs of lives and £20,000,000 of money in 1879-80. Though the step was at first popular, the nation in time began to appreciate the grave political and fiscal objections which could be urged unanswerably against the employment of Indian troops out of Asia, or out of that portion of Eastern Africa which is practically Asiatic.

But when Lord Derby resigned it was not known that Indian troops were to be brought to Cyprus and landed in Syria, and the Ministerial explanations were so couched as to make it appear that he left the Government merely because the Reserves were called out. His real reasons could not be given at the moment, and he had to submit to a tirade of abuse from Tory speakers and writers unparalleled in its ferocity. Even his personal character was attacked by abominable slanders. Violence and virulence are the outward and visible signs of decaying power in a political Party. These evil qualities had, however, never been displayed to a greater extent by the Tories since the wars of the Protectionists and the Peelites in 1852, when a band of the former one day after dinner at the Carlton Club explored the drawing-room in order to “fling Mr. Gladstone out of the window.”[129] Yet it is curious to observe that Lord Beaconsfield and his followers were forced by events to adopt the policy and even the method of their slandered colleague. They floundered deeper and deeper every day into a quagmire of difficulties, till they actually made a secret arrangement with Russia as to the points in the Treaty of San Stefano, about which, however much they might wage a sham fight in the coming Congress, neither Power would go to war.

In fact it is now evident that of the statesmen who figured in the controversy at this crisis, Lord Derby is the one who emerges from it with least damage to his reputation. Alike in his strength and weakness, in his resolute determination to spend neither British blood nor British treasure for the sake of Turkey, and in his lack of red-hot enthusiasm for the cause of Slavic{544}

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nationality, Lord Derby’s diplomacy was the diplomacy of the British people in their saner moments, when they were not under the spell of passion or partisanship. His blunders—the rejection of the Berlin Memorandum and the refusal to give an executive character to the decisions of the Constantinople Conference—had at all events wrought no evil to England or the world, unless it were an evil to hasten the destruction of Ottoman tyranny in Europe, and the deliverance of Bulgaria from barbarism.[130] As for his successes, they are now obvious. His shrewd appreciation of British interests, and his firmness, candour, courtesy, and lucidity in defining them at the outset of the struggle between the belligerents, made it easy for Russia to avoid a collision with England. That he fell short of his opportunity in neglecting to establish British influence in Egypt was a mistake excusable in a minister whose leader, like a character in one of his own novels, “had but one idea in Foreign{545}

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Policy, and that was wrong”—the “maintenance of the integrity of the Ottoman Empire.” But the net result of Lord Derby’s administration was that he kept the country out of war, and out of enfeebling and disreputable alliances. He thrust a peace policy on bellicose colleagues. Even when they broke from his control he still forced them back to the paths of peace by inflicting on them the penalty of his resignation. In quitting them he left them as his legacy the secret of going into the Congress, and bringing back from it “Peace with Honour.”

Mr. Gladstone, in a famous speech at Oxford, said, on the 30th of January, that he had devoted his life, during the past year, to counteract the Machiavelian designs of Lord Beaconsfield. Mr. Gladstone, however, never appeared to less advantage than when he made that statement. It was not Lord Beaconsfield but Lord Derby who was the master-mind of the Cabinet during 1877-78, and who moulded its diplomacy and controlled its action in Foreign Affairs. That Mr. Gladstone strengthened Lord Derby’s hands by rendering a war for the sake of Turkey unpopular is true; but that he weakened them by seeming to advocate a military alliance with Holy Russia for a crusade against Islam, is true also.

Lord Derby’s successor was Lord Salisbury. His first act was to issue a Circular to the Powers, which was a furious and unrestrained condemnation of every line of the Treaty of San Stefano. If it were to be taken seriously it meant the condemnation even of the proposals of the Constantinople Conference, to which he was himself a party. Prince Gortschakoff, however, did not take it seriously. He replied to it with polite irony in his Circular of the 9th of April, pointing out that the difficulty Lord Salisbury put him in was that he confined himself to saying what England did not want. The situation, however, could not be understood by the Powers till Lord Salisbury stated plainly what she did want. The only logical answer which Lord Salisbury in terms of his Circular could give was, “The restoration of the status quo in Turkey.” Hence it is needless to say that he did not find it convenient to issue a direct reply to Prince Gortschakoff’s cynical despatch.

The Resolution calling out the Reserves was carried in the House of Commons by 319 against 64, the Liberal leaders, with the exception of Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Bright, refusing to take part in the division. That fewer than half the House supported the Government was bitterly bewailed by the War Party, but was taken by the country as a good omen of peace. So was the proposal to adjourn Parliament for a holiday of three weeks at Easter, though, when the order summoning the Indian troops to Malta was issued immediately after the adjournment, war alarms again vexed the nation. Peace meetings were once more held, and the provinces grew so restive that in the end of April Mr. Hardy and Mr. Cross, speaking at Bradford and Preston, tried to soothe public opinion by the most pacific assurances. When Parliament met after the Recess the Government were taken to task because,{547} in sending for the Indian troops, they seemed to be endeavouring to nullify Parliamentary control over the Army. Though the Opposition were beaten in the division in the House of Commons, independent Conservatives did not conceal the suspicions and the dislike with which they regarded a proceeding which appeared more in harmony with the policy of Rome in her decay, than of the British Empire in the full vigour of virility. Though the War Party were more noisy than ever in London, there grew up a strong feeling towards the end of May that the Congress would meet after all, and that the risk of war was over. Intimidated by the Peace demonstrations, the feeble vote of support on the motion for calling out the Reserves, and the suspicions with which many Conservatives viewed the employment of Asiatic troops to fight the battles of England in Europe, the Government adopted Lord Derby’s plan, and entered into a secret agreement with Russia as to what was to be conceded in Congress. After that agreement it mattered little on what terms the two Powers met. The compromise between Lord Salisbury and Count Schouvaloff pushed back the Bulgaria of the San Stefano Treaty from the Ægean Sea to the limit fixed by the Constantinople Conference, cutting it off from all possible contact with England, an arrangement not altogether disadvantageous to Russia. It divided Bulgaria into two provinces—one to be free, but tributary to Turkey, and the other to have an autonomous government, under a Christian Pasha, appointed by the Porte with the sanction of the Powers. This weakened Bulgaria so as to give Russia a dominant influence in both provinces, which was not shaken till 1885, when their aspirations for union were realised by a Revolution, which it was Lord Salisbury’s fate to sanction, perhaps, indeed, in some measure to encourage. Greek populations were excluded from the new Bulgarias, greatly to the satisfaction of Mr. Gladstone and Lord Derby. Bayazid was restored to Turkey, but Batoum and Kars were to be taken by Russia, who thus had the Asiatic frontier of Turkey at her mercy. Russia was to take Bessarabia, and Turkey to cede Kolour to Persia—obviously to earn Persian gratitude for Russia. Subject to this compromise Lord Beaconsfield agreed not to make a casus belli of any Article in the Treaty of San Stefano, each one of which had been so fiercely condemned by Lord Salisbury’s Circular of the 1st of April.

The intention of the Government was to keep the Salisbury-Schouvaloff compromise secret. The people were to be left to imagine that Ministers had won a diplomatic victory by forcing Russia into the Congress fettered, whilst England entered it free. All the points agreed on privately were to be fought over publicly by the representatives of England in the Congress as if no such agreement were in existence, and Englishmen were to be deluded into the idea that their diplomatic agents had, by superhuman efforts at Berlin, not by private huckstering in London, obtained enormous concessions from Russia. But when the Globe newspaper astonished the world by divulging the secret agreement, the people—more especially the enthusiastic Tories—refused to be{548}

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(From the Photograph by Loescher and Petsch, Berlin.)

deluded. What, they asked, had Ministers made such a fuss about? Why had they passed war votes, brought Indian troops to Malta at the risk of violating the Constitution, and kept Europe in a fever of unrest, if they were prepared to accept a compromise with Russia, so fatal to the Turk as this? In fact, public opinion was so much excited that Lord Salisbury, on the 3rd of June, had the courage to deny that the secret compromise published by the Globe on the 31st of May was “authentic.” Ministerial organs, also tried to convince the world that it was a forgery which had been treacherously uttered from the Russian. Embassy.[131] For a time this denial{549} lulled all popular suspicions. By way of enforcing it Sir Stafford Northcote, when pressed, on the 6th of June, as to what policy Ministers would pursue in Congress, referred the House of Commons to the drastic Circular of the 1st of April, which tore every Article in the Treaty of San Stefano to pieces. As a matter of fact that Circular became a bit of waste-paper when Lord Salisbury signed his secret agreement with Russia, the existence of which the Government were now denying.

Three days after this compromise was arrived at, Germany, on the 3rd of June, issued invitations to the Powers to meet in Congress at Berlin on the 14th.[132] Lord Beaconsfield and Lord Salisbury then proceeded to represent England at the conclave in the Radziwill Palace. Few will forget the almost breathless excitement with which the people of England watched what they believed would be a terrible diplomatic duel for the honour of their Queen and country between Lord Beaconsfield and Prince Gortschakoff, for all this time the country had accepted as true Lord Salisbury’s denial of his secret compact with Count Schouvaloff.[133] But the tension of public feeling suddenly relaxed in the reaction of a ludicrous anti-climax. On the day after the Congress met (14th June) the Globe published the full text of the Secret Agreement. In vain did Sir Stafford Northcote and the Duke of Richmond repeat Lord Salisbury’s equivocal denials of its authenticity. Lord Grey indignantly condemned the Government for their misleading disclaimers. Lord Houghton, a Liberal supporter of Lord Beaconsfield’s foreign policy, said “the effect of the document on the whole of Europe had been portentous,{550}” and had lowered the dignity of the Government.[134] The theory of the Ministerial Press, that the document came from the Russian Embassy was refuted in a few days by the Ministry. They raised criminal proceedings against Mr. Charles Marvin, a writer in the Foreign Office, for surreptitiously copying the paper and sending it to the Globe.[135] The prevarication of Ministers and the revelations attendant on the disclosure of the Secret Agreement shocked the confidence of the nation in the Cabinet. Lord Salisbury and his colleagues earned for themselves at this time an evil reputation for mendacity, which did much to bring about the defeat of Lord Beaconsfield’s Administration at the General Election of 1880. And yet it was difficult for them to be quite candid with Parliament in the circumstances. On the day after they had signed the Secret Agreement with Russia (which, it must be kept in view, bound her to encroach no further on Turkey in Asia) they began to negotiate a Convention with the Porte by which England promised to defend the Asiatic frontier of Turkey, on condition that the Sultan would reform the Government of Asia Minor, and permit the British Government to hold Cyprus as long as Russia kept Kars. It would have been inconvenient to divulge this scheme before Congress had decided the fate of Bulgaria. Hence Lord Salisbury was really within the mark in saying that the Secret Agreement with Russia did not “wholly” represent the Government policy. On the 8th of July it was announced that the Anglo-Turkish Convention had been signed on the 4th of June—most reluctantly, as it seemed, by Turkey. Her hesitancy, indeed, was not overcome till Lord Salisbury in the Congress abandoned, and Lord Beaconsfield actively opposed, the cause of the Greeks, whom they had buoyed up with delusive hopes. In an instant the scandal of the Secret Agreement was forgotten. The wildest tales of the wealth that was to be exploited in Cyprus flew from mouth to mouth. Englishmen saw with prophetic eye, “in a fine frenzy rolling,” Asia Minor “opened up,” under a British Protectorate, by the British prospector and pioneer. Indeed, it was not till the 9th of November, when the nauseous wines of Cyprus (of which such glowing accounts had been published) were served at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet, that the truth dawned on the City. Then it was recognised that the country had been deceived as to the teeming riches of its new possessions and{551} positions in the East. Cool-headed men did not, however, at the outset conceal their opinion that the privilege of occupying Cyprus and of defending the Asiatic frontier of Turkey was a poor substitute for the occupation of Egypt as a means of restoring British influence in the East and safeguarding British communications with India. Mr. Gladstone and Lord Hartington both denounced the Anglo-Turkish Convention, as an “insane covenant,” and the Opposition attacked it savagely in Parliament, but without success. Independent Members attributed less importance to the arrangement than Mr. Gladstone. They argued that, as the introduction of reforms into Asia Minor was the condition precedent of defending the frontier by arms, the Treaty, so far as England was concerned, would remain a dead-letter. Great commercial interests, if created in Asia Minor by English adventurers, might doubtless need defence. But, on the other hand, it was impossible to create those interests so long as Asia Minor was desolated by misgovernment, which the Sultan had not the power, even if he had the will, to reform. Lord Beaconsfield and Lord Salisbury returned to London on the 15th of July, bringing with them, as they said, “Peace with Honour.” Applauding crowds welcomed them with passionate enthusiasm. The Tories were delighted with the Anglo-Turkish Convention, for as yet the gilt had not been rubbed off their Cyprian toy. The Liberals, though indignant at the betrayal of Greece, were pleased that Lord Beaconsfield had come out of the Congress without involving England in war. They could say very little against a Treaty the net result of which was to free eleven millions of Christian Slavs from the direct rule of the Sultan, to render even divided Bulgaria practically autonomous, and to create Servia and Roumania into independent Kingdoms. On the 18th of July Lord Beaconsfield gave the House of Lords an apologetic explanation of the Treaty of Berlin, which was only the Treaty of San Stefano modified by the Salisbury-Schouvaloff Agreement, and by the concession to Austria of the right to occupy Bosnia and Herzegovina. The debate raised no point of interest, save Lord Derby’s disclosure of the Ministerial decision in May, to send a naval Expedition to Syria, a project which was abandoned when he quitted the Cabinet. Lord Salisbury created a scene by comparing Lord Derby’s revelations to those of Titus Oates, and he gave them a flat denial. But Lord Derby had spoken from a Memorandum which he had made of the decision to which he referred at the time it was arrived at. As Lord Salisbury’s reputation for veracity had been sadly shaken by his statements about his Secret Agreement with Russia, the country paid little heed to his disclaimers, and Lord Derby’s version of the facts has ever since been taken as correct.

Triumphant majorities endorsed the policy which had been adopted in the Congress, and at the end of the year Ministers went about predicting for the country halcyon days of peace. Domestic affairs gave them little trouble. Irish obstruction was bought off by the Irish Intermediate Education Bill,{552} which appropriated £1,000,000 to encourage secondary schools in Ireland, by prizes, exhibitions, and capitation grants. An attempt was made to pass a Bill, which, under the pretext of excluding diseased cattle from English ports, might have been so applied as to shut out foreign competition in the cattle trade. But when it was discovered that the effect of the measure would be to raise meat to eighteen-pence and two shillings a pound, the Tory borough members threatened to revolt, and after a long and obstructive struggle in Committee concessions were extorted from the Government which satisfied the Opposition. The Government and the Opposition agreed to pass a Bill consolidating forty-five Factory and Workshop Acts—a most useful measure which removed many legal ambiguities. But no other Bills of importance were carried, and no debates of much consequence raised, save on foreign questions.

The Budget was introduced on the 4th of April. But for the money spent under the Vote of Credit, Sir Stafford Northcote would have had a balance in hand of £859,000. As it was he had a deficit on the accounts of 1877-78 of £2,640,000. Supposing that no change either in taxation or ordinary expenditure occurred in the coming year, he admitted that he would also have a deficit in the accounts of the coming year of £1,559,000. But besides this, Sir Stafford Northcote contended that he must make provision for an “extraordinary expenditure” of £1,000,000, or perhaps £1,500,000, in addition to what appeared in the regular estimates for the Army and Navy for 1878-79. The ordinary income and expenditure he estimated at £79,640,000, but his attempt to introduce the vicious system of bankrupt or half-bankrupt States, whose Governments confuse their accounts by mixing up ordinary and extraordinary expenditure could not conceal one fact. Adding his extraordinary expenditure to his past and estimated deficits, the existing taxation of the country would fail to meet the expenditure of 1878-79 by at least £5,300,000. Hence it was necessary to impose new taxes. Sir Stafford Northcote therefore added 2d. to the income-tax, and 4d. per pound to the duty on tobacco, but even then he estimated a deficit of about £1,500,000, which he added to the floating debt.

Parliament was prorogued on the 16th of August, and, amidst optimist anticipations of peace, an end was put to a Session in which the House of Commons, for the first time in the century, had permitted itself to be treated by the Ministry like a Bonapartist Corps Législatif. When it adjourned many people wondered why it had been summoned. In the stirring crises of the year the Government had on every momentous occasion carried out their policy without consulting it. The legislative work that it was allowed to do might have been deferred for another year without serious inconvenience. It had been converted into a court of registration for the decisions of a Minister who treated it as an ornamental appendage to a new system in which the Monarch and the Multitude, under his guidance, were the only real governing forces. Ministers, however, when they went down to their constituents in the autumn, and told them to hope for peace, plenty, and{553}

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reduced taxation, did not apparently know that a cunning trap had been set for them by Russia. Before Parliament rose there were rumours afloat that the policy of the Indian Government was becoming restless and disquieting. Lord Lytton had put the vernacular Press under a harsh censorship. The native Princes were threatened, or they expected to be threatened, with a demand for the reduction of their armies. A frontier policy of perilous adventure was mooted, greatly to the alarm of experienced Indian officials like Lord Lawrence.{554}

It has been already stated that Lord Salisbury, when Secretary of State for India, had a scheme in view for covering Afghanistan with European residents, and that Lord Northbrook resigned office rather than further it. In 1878 Lord Lytton found an opportunity made for him by Russia for developing this scheme, and he hastened to seize it. He had already estranged Shere Ali, the Afghan Ameer, by his menaces, and this prince was perhaps not indisposed to intrigue with a rival Power. When Lord Beaconsfield brought the Indian troops to Malta, Russia not only made secret preparations for the invasion of India, but sent a Mission to Cabul for the purpose of securing the co-operation of the Afghans. It does not appear that Shere Ali entered into any bargain with the Russian Envoys, whom he sent away as soon as he could, because whilst they were in Cabul he seems to have been very nervous about their safety. But the Indian Government, hearing of what was going on, demanded that they too should send an Embassy to Cabul, urging that the reception of the Russian Mission showed that Shere Ali’s apprehensions as to the safety of Europeans in his capital were groundless. A Mahometan official of rank, the Nawab Gholeim Hasan Khan, was entrusted with the task of conveying the demand to Shere Ali, and he did his work honestly, and with great tact and skill. The Nawab, on the 30th of August, left Peshawur, where the British Envoy, Sir Neville Chamberlain, and his escort of a thousand troops were waiting for the Ameer’s reply. The Nawab apparently did not see Shere Ali till the 12th of September, who told him that he did not like the idea of the Mission being forced on him. The advice of the Nawab, who appears in these transactions as the only diplomatist who correctly appreciated the situation, was to delay the Mission, “otherwise some harm will come.” By “some harm” Gholeim Hasan Khan meant an Afghan war, at all times a dire calamity for India, whether it ended in victory or defeat. The Nawab, as the result of further negotiations, reported that Shere Ali was willing to send for the British Mission, and clear up any misunderstanding that might have arisen about his reception of the Russian Envoys, if the Indian Government would give him time. The Russians had come to Cabul uninvited, and they had all been sent away, save some who were ill, and who were to be sent back whenever they recovered. As the Nawab sensibly said, Shere Ali did not want his people to suspect that the British Mission was thrust on him. “If Mission,” said the Nawab, “will await Ameer’s permission, everything will be arranged, God willing, in the best manner, and no room will be left for complaint in future.”[136] But during September all these details—afterwards revealed in the Blue-books—were concealed from the British people. The Indian Government primed the correspondents of the Press with mendacious accounts of Shere Ali’s insulting refusal to receive a British Envoy, whereas he had not only invited a Russian Mission to Cabul in violation of his pledges to us, but was loading them{555} with attentions, whilst Sir Neville Chamberlain was kept ignominiously waiting his pleasure at Peshawur. British prestige, it was said, rendered it necessary to coerce the Ameer, and so Sir Neville Chamberlain was ordered to enter Afghan territory without the Ameer’s permission, with a force “too large,” as Lord Carnarvon said, “for a mission, and too small for an army.” When the advance guard of the Mission came to the fort of Ali Musjid the Commandant stopped it. At the time the country was told in the inspired telegrams in the newspapers that the Commandant, Faiz Muhammed Khan, was violent and insulting, and threatened to shoot Major Cavagnari. When the Blue-book appeared with Major Cavagnari’s account of the affair it showed that the Khan behaved with the greatest courtesy, and though he said he must, in obedience to orders, oppose the advance of the Mission, he had actually prevented his troops from firing on Cavagnari and his men. What need to expand the story? The Mission returned. A pretext for a quarrel with Shere Ali, which Lord Salisbury had instructed Lord Lytton to find, was at last discovered. War was declared on Afghanistan, and Parliament was summoned on the 5th of December to hear the news.

Of course Parliament was called into consultation too late. The Viceroy of India had deliberately put himself into a position to invite and receive a blow in the face from a semi-barbarous Asiatic prince. The Government were therefore compelled either to recall Lord Lytton, and treat the whole affair as a blunder, or avenge the rebuff which he had received by war. They chose the latter alternative, and the hearts of Liberal wirepullers were lifted up, because manifestly even Lord Beaconsfield’s Administration could not survive such an escapade as a third Afghan war. The debates on the policy of the Government were dismal reading for those who knew what Afghan campaigns meant. The Government shrank from resting their case on the transactions which caused the war. It could not be concealed that on the 19th of August Lord Salisbury asked Russia to withdraw her mission from Cabul, and that on the 18th of September he received a scoffing reply informing him that the Mission was only a temporary one of courtesy. As Sir Charles Dilke put it, Lord Salisbury was naturally dissatisfied with this reply, but being “afraid to hit Russia, yet determined to hit somebody,” he “hit Shere Ali.” Ministers, however, took up a broader ground of defence. They said that the Russian advances in Asia rendered it necessary for England to secure the independence of Afghanistan. All Indian statesmen were agreed that this could be done by guaranteeing his throne to Shere Ali, he on his side giving the Indian Government control over his policy. Shere Ali had been always willing to accept the guarantee and the pledge to defend him against foreign and domestic foes. But he would never consent to pay for it by putting his country under a diplomatic or military protectorate. On no consideration would he permit European agents to be stationed at Cabul, though he had no objection to receive Mussulman agents, and neither Lord Mayo nor Lord Northbrook thought it wise to press him on the point. They confined themselves to a{556} promise of aid, reserving to themselves the right of determining when they should give it. Shere Ali was not satisfied with this arrangement, but he had to make the best of it. In 1875 Lord Salisbury urged Lord Northbrook to find some pretext for forcing European residents on the Ameer. Lord Northbrook refused and resigned. Lord Lytton took his place. Lord Lytton roused Shere Ali’s suspicions at the outset by occupying Quetta. At a conference at Peshawur in 1876, between Sir Lewis Pelly and Shere Ali’s representative, Mir Akbor, menaces were exchanged for persuasion, and even the conditional promise of support given by Lord Mayo and Lord Northbrook to Shere Ali was withdrawn. This aggravated Shere Ali’s suspicions, and it was while he was in this frame of mind that Lord Lytton attempted to force a British Mission upon him. The theory of the Government was that as diplomacy had failed to make the Ameer accept our protectorate, resort must be had to coercion. This had led to war, it was true. But war must end in victory, and victory in the occupation of the southern part of Afghanistan, which, as Lord Beaconsfield said, would give India a “scientific frontier.” The objection to his idea was that to push our outposts farther north was to put ourselves at a disadvantage in defending India. Not only would the occupation of Afghanistan be ruinously costly, but it would lengthen and attenuate the line of our communications with our base—a line, moreover, which would run through the lands of wild and fanatical hill-tribes. The debates in both Houses perhaps served to render the war unpopular. But it had begun, and it was absurd to refuse supplies to carry it on, because such a refusal merely exposed British troops to disaster in the field. However, it was notorious that in the majorities who supported the Government were many who, like Lord Derby, felt forced to support in action a policy which in opinion they disapproved.

During the Session of 1878 only one matter personally affecting the interests of the Queen came up for discussion. On the 25th she sent to both Houses a Message announcing the approaching marriage of the Duke of Connaught with the Princess Louise, third daughter of Prince Frederick Charles of Prussia, the celebrated cavalry leader, popularly known as “The Red Prince.” He was a man of large private fortune, and his daughter was described by Lord Beaconsfield as “distinguished for her intelligence and accomplishments, and her winning simplicity of thought and manner.” As for the Duke of Connaught, Lord Napier of Magdala bore testimony to his efficiency as a soldier. In the House of Commons an addition of £10,000 a year was voted to the Duke’s income, thus raising it to £25,000, of which £6,000 a year was to be settled on his wife in the event of her surviving him. The vote was passed without a division, the only protest made coming from Sir Charles Dilke, who asserted that no good precedent could be cited for such a provision for a Prince, when it was not manifestly a provision for succession to the Crown.

The only great public function of the year in which the Queen took part{557}

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was the Review of the Fleet at Spithead on the 13th of August. The spectacle was marred by the storm of wind and rain, which too often spoils naval reviews, but it was one which had a special interest. It was designed to show the country what kind of naval defence could be organised on short notice, amidst rumours of war, when the Channel Fleet was absent in foreign waters. It represented a naval force which, but for its ordnance which was utterly obsolete and inefficient, would have been equal in strength to the navy of any of the Continental Powers, and the Queen saw for the first time the manœuvring of two malevolent-looking little torpedo boats, which astonished her by dashing about in all directions at the rate of twenty-one knots an hour. At noon the ships were dressed. At half-past three the Royal Yacht with the Queen on deck passed down the lines. Salutes were fired, and yards manned, and her Majesty, accompanied by the Prince and Princess of Wales, Princess Beatrice, and the Lords of the Admiralty, was enthusiastically cheered. When the Queen’s vessel emerged from the lines it was followed by a gay flotilla of yachts. Those that were sailing craft luffed their wind and, headed by Mr. Brassey’s Sunbeam, went round by starboard, the steamers going round by port, and with the Royal Yacht in the centre the brilliant pleasure fleet came back with the Squadron. All evolutions were countermanded on account of the weather, but at night the Fleet was illuminated.

At Paris, on the 12th of June, there died George V., ex-King of Hanover, Duke of Cumberland, grandson of George III. of England and first cousin of the Queen. Court mourning was ordered for him, though it was not very generally displayed. The old jealousy with which the people regarded English Princes, who had interests separate from England, accounted for their indifference to his death. Nor was there any strong family sentiment at Court to counteract this feeling. On the contrary, the sentiment of the Queen’s family was as anti-Hanoverian as that of the nation. She had not forgiven the treasonable intrigues which his father, her uncle, King Ernest Augustus of Hanover—the most universally hated of all the sons of George III.—carried on with the Orange Tories to set up Salic law in England, and usurp her throne. She had unpleasant memories of his arrogance in persistently conferring the Guelphic Order on Englishmen, not only without asking her permission, but in defiance of her prohibition, as if in suggestive assertion of an unsurrendered hereditary right of English sovereignty. More recently the Queen had been still further offended by the pretensions of his son, her cousin George V., to sanction or veto the marriages of English princes and princesses, as male head of the House of Brunswick-Sonneberg. His attempt to treat the marriage of the Duchess of Teck (the Princess Mary of Cambridge) as a mere morganatic connection, and his refusal to let the Duke of Teck sit beside the Duchess at dinner, had also strained the relations between the Queen and her cousin. Still, in 1866, she had, in response{559} to his appeal, used her influence on his behalf with the German Emperor. She had even pressed Lord Derby and Lord Stanley to save Hanover from Prussian annexation, and though they refused, she had induced them to mediate on his behalf in order to secure for him a comfortable personal position as a dethroned monarch. His misfortunes roused her sympathies, and when he died, so far as the Queen was concerned, all feuds with the Hanoverian branch of the Royal Family were buried in his grave.

But the end of the year brought a more bitter sorrow to the Queen than the death of George V. The Princess Alice, Grand Duchess of Hesse, died in extremely touching circumstances. She had spent the summer months with her children at Eastbourne, where she had endeared herself to the people by her sweetness of disposition, and by the personal interest she manifested in the poor of the town. She was usually to be seen visiting the cottages of the sick in the fishing quarter. She had taken a keen interest in studying the management of certain charitable institutions, evidently with a view to making use of her knowledge when she returned to Darmstadt, and a charming visit to Osborne completed a holiday that was for her full of happiness. Her life was uneventful at Darmstadt till the 8th of November, when her daughter, the Princess Victoria, was smitten with diphtheria. The Grand Duchess was herself a skilled and scientifically-trained nurse, and she tended her child personally. She was the first to detect the appearance of the diphtheritic membrane in the little Princess’s throat, and she promptly attacked it with inhalations of chlorate of potash. In spite of careful isolation, the whole family, including the Grand Duke, with the exception of the Princess Elizabeth, caught the disease, and it need hardly be said that the strength of the Grand Duchess soon began to give way under the strain of mental anxiety and bodily fatigue. The Princess May died, but on the 25th of November the Grand Duke recovered. On the 7th of December the Grand Duchess went to the railway station to see the Duchess of Edinburgh, and next day she too was prostrate with diphtheria. Lord Beaconsfield, in his speech of condolence in the House of Lords on the 16th of December, described her, with ornate rhetoric, as receiving “the kiss of death” from one of her children, and he recommended the tragic incident as fit to be commemorated by the painter, the sculptor, or the artist in gems. There was no foundation for this histrionic flight. Nobody knew how the Princess caught the contagion, but her biographer states “it is supposed that she must have taken the infection when one day, in her grief and despair, she had laid her head on her sick husband’s pillow.”[137] Her sufferings were severe and protracted, and on the 13th of December it was seen that she must die. Still she lingered on. In the afternoon she welcomed her husband with great joy. She saw her lady-in-waiting, and even read two letters, the last one being{560} from the Queen, her mother. Then she fell asleep and never woke again. At half-past eight on the morning of the 14th, the anniversary of her father’s death, she passed away, quietly murmuring to herself these words: “From Friday to Saturday, four weeks—May—dear papa!” All through her life she had worshipped her father’s memory with passionate devotion, and in death his name was the last on her lips.

The grief of the Queen was only equalled by that of the Prince of Wales, who seems to have regarded the Grand Duchess as his favourite sister. As for the English people, they mourned for her with simple-minded sincerity. The character of the Princess Alice—so full of sense and enterprise, and high-spirited self-helpfulness—had been to them peculiarly attractive. She had won their gratitude by her devotion to her mother in the first hours of her widowhood, and to the Heir Apparent, when in 1871 his life hung in the balance. That her daily existence was clouded with sordid cares due to straitened means was not known to her countrymen till after her death. But they were well aware that much domestic sorrow had entered into her life. Her efforts to raise the condition of her sex in Germany procured for her many enemies in a country where it is deemed desirable to reduce the house-mothers to the position of upper servants in their families, who, however, do their work without claiming wages. Sticklers for Court etiquette were shocked by the unconventional activity manifested by the Princess in furthering the organisation of charitable and educational movements. Even the poor in most instances viewed her visits to their homes—visits which she ultimately found prudent to make incognito—with suspicious hostility. She had the character in fact of being bent on revolutionising the domestic and social life of Darmstadt by English ideas. She loved learning, and delighted in the society of men of letters and artists, who were always her most favoured guests. Hence it was bruited about that she was an infidel, and a foe to religion. Undoubtedly at one time, when she cultivated close relations with Friedrich Strauss, under whom she studied the works of Voltaire, her theological views ceased to be orthodox. But her musings on the mystery of life, the problem of duty, the conflict between Will and Law in the world, reveal a profoundly reverent and eagerly upstriving spirit, ever struggling towards the light. Some day the story of the spiritual conflict that went on in the still depths of this pure and gentle soul may be told. Here it is enough to say that personal influences played a great part in bringing it to a happy issue. Some time after her philosophical conclusions had crumbled away like dust, one of her most intimate relatives writes, “She told me herself, in the most simple and touching manner, how this change had come about. I could not listen to her story without tears. The Princess told me she owed it all to her child’s death, and to the influence of a Scotch gentleman, a friend of the Grand Duke’s and Grand Duchess’s,” who was residing with his family at Darmstadt.[138] “I owe all{561}

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to this kind friend,” she said, “who exercised such a beneficial influence on my religious views; yet people say so much that is cruel and unjust of him, and of my acquaintance with him.”[139] In Germany, her biographer[140] admits “her life and work were not easy,” and she had not the intrepid intellect, the ardent temperament, the caustic wit and the soaring ambition, which enabled her sister, the Crown Princess, to conquer for herself a position of dominant influence in the midst of an unsympathetic Court, and an antipathetic Society. Perhaps this explains why through life she had every year been drawn more closely to the land of her birth, where her worth was more justly appreciated than in the land of her exile. “How deep was her feeling in this respect,” writes the Princess Christian in her touching preface to her sister’s memoirs, “was testified by a request which she made to her husband, in anticipation of her death, that an English flag might be laid on her coffin; accompanying the wish with a modest expression of a hope that no one in the land of her adoption would take umbrage at her desire to be borne to her rest with the old English colours above her.{562}”


Ominous Bye-Elections—The Spangles of Imperialism—Disturbed state of Eastern Europe—Origin of the Quarrel with the Zulus—Cetewayo’s Feud with the Boers—A “Prancing Pro-Consul”—Sir Bartle Frere’s Ultimatum to the Zulu King—War Declared—The Crime and its Retribution—The Disaster of Isandhlwana—The Defence of Rorke’s Drift—Demands for the Recall of Sir Bartle Frere—Censured but not Dismissed—Sir Garnet Wolseley Supersedes Sir Bartle Frere in Natal—The Victory of Ulundi—Capture of Cetewayo—End of the War—The Invasion of Afghanistan—Death of Shere Ali—Yakoob Khan Proclaimed Ameer—The Treaty of Gundamuk—The “Scientific Frontier”—The Army Discipline Bill—Mr. Parnell attacks the “Cat”—Mr. Chamberlain Plays to the Gallery—Surrender of the Government—Lord Hartington’s Motion against Flogging—The Irish University Bill—An Unpopular Budget—The Murder of Cavagnari and Massacre of his Suite—The Army of Vengeance—The Re-capture of Cabul—The Settlement of Zululand—Death of Prince Louis Napoleon—The Court-Martial on Lieutenant Carey—Its Judgment Quashed—Marriage of the Duke of Connaught—The Queen at Baveno.

From the bye-elections it was clear, when the New Year (1879) opened, that the prestige of the Ministry was waning. The spangled robe and gaudy diadem of Asiatic Imperialism began to sit uneasily on Constitutional England. The Treaty of Berlin had not brought Englishmen much “honour.” But it had not even brought Europe “peace.” Austria had to make good her hold of Bosnia and Herzegovina by war. Albania was in the hands of a rebel League that executed “Jetdart justice” on Turkish Pashas of the highest rank. Bulgaria and Thrace were only saved from anarchy by the Russian army of occupation. Eastern Roumelia was the scene of daily conflicts between the Turkish troops, and the people of Greece were clamorous to know when Turkey would respond to the invitation of the Conference, and rectify the Hellenic frontier. The discovery that Cyprus was a poor pestilential island, infinitely less valuable than most of the Ionian group, which Englishmen had given to Greece as a gift, was a profound disappointment to popular hopes, and led to an undue and exaggerated depreciation of its value as a place of arms. The Anglo-Turkish Convention was already seen to be a farce. The Sultan, after the resources of diplomatic menace had been well-nigh exhausted, conceded to the agents of England in Asia Minor a few illusory rights of surveillance. But he set on foot no reforms, and he made it plain that he would resist to the death any attempt to “open up” his Asiatic provinces under a British Protectorate to the enterprise of the British projector and pioneer. The Afghan War was unpopular, and though victory did not prove, as was feared, inconstant to our arms, the people seemed convinced, from the history of the first and second Afghan Wars, that a triumph would be almost as disastrous in its cost to India as a defeat. It was impossible now to conceal the fact that when the Indian troops were brought to Malta, the country was placed in a position of far greater peril than had been imagined. While Ministers were wasting their energies in protecting more or less imaginary{563} interests in Eastern Europe, they were apparently quite ignorant that their policy had exposed the vital interests of the Empire to attack in Asia. Nay, it was seen that their policy of irritating and menacing the Afghan Ameer, and of terrifying the Native Princes with enforced disarmament, had rendered it easy for Russia, without doing more than giving our enemies and discontented feudatories merely some unofficial support, to shake the fabric of Indian Empire to its very centre. To put the Imperial Crown of India down among the stakes in Lord Beaconsfield’s game with Russia in Europe was magnificent. But men of sense and prudence now began to suspect that it was not good business or good diplomacy. Never was England less restful or less easy in mind. Abroad Lord Beaconsfield, as was said, had created a situation which was neither peace with its security, nor war with its happy chances. At home the classes were groaning over the collapse of their most remunerative investments, and the masses writhing under a fall of wages, which, in many trades, amounted to fifty per cent. To complete the popular feeling of depression, it was plain that the Government were fast drifting into another Kaffir War. On the 3rd of February, 1879, in fact, it was officially announced that hostilities with the Zulus had begun.

There is no difficulty in understanding the causes of the Zulu War. The Zulu king (Cetewayo) had ever been a staunch ally of England. But he had a blood-feud with the Boers of the Transvaal, and he claimed part of their territory as having been originally stolen by them from his race. When England in an evil moment annexed the Transvaal, she found that she took over with it the quarrel of the Boers with the Zulus. Cetewayo pressed his claims all the more confidently that a friendly Power now held the land which had been taken from him. In every colony there is a clique of land-speculators, who also, as a rule, form the War Party, and, by a singular coincidence, net most of the profits that are to be derived from a colonial war waged at the expense of the British taxpayer. This Party in Natal ridiculed the notion of giving Cetewayo his land. They also stirred up a war panic, vowing that the Zulus were only waiting for a favourable opportunity to pounce upon Natal and exterminate the Europeans. Sir Bartle Frere—“a prancing pro-consul,” as Sir William Harcourt called him—was High Commissioner at the Cape, and the Commander-in-Chief of the Forces there was Lord Chelmsford. A more ominous combination could hardly be imagined. Sir Bartle Frere even in India had been a hot annexationist. He had the restless brain to devise schemes of conquest, whilst his military colleague had neither the brain nor nerve to carry them out. The Blue-books indicate that Sir Bartle Frere had been preparing beforehand a grand project of conquest in South Africa.[141] Unfortunately, Sir M. Hicks-Beach was not sharp enough to detect and blight this scheme in the bud, and it is doubtful if he even suspected its existence till he was galvanised{564} into vigilance by the startling ultimatum which Sir Bartle Frere suddenly sent to the Zulu king. The award of the British Boundary Commissioners on the dispute between the Zulus and the Boers had been in favour of the Zulus. It was given in June, 1878. Yet it had been kept back by Sir Bartle Frere, apparently to stimulate the War Party among the Zulus with the provocation of delay. Then when it was communicated to King Cetewayo, there was tacked on to it an irrelevant and menacing demand that King Cetewayo should immediately disband his whole army. “To make the case our own,” wrote Lord Blachford, one of the highest living authorities on Colonial Policy, “it is as if the Emperor of Germany, in concluding with us a Treaty of Commerce, suddenly annexed a notice that he would make war on us in six weeks unless before the expiration of that time we burnt our Navy.”[142] And the ultimatum was not only a crime, but a hideous blunder. To annihilate instead of utilising the Zulu power was to relieve the Boers of the Transvaal from the pressure on their flank that alone prevented them from throwing off the British yoke. But it was of no use to argue the case on the grounds of justice or common sense. “The men who had been in the country”—who always come forward to defend every act of folly that is about to be perpetrated in a distant colony—dinned their defence of Sir Bartle Frere into the ears of Englishmen, who were at last half persuaded that it must be the duty of England to exterminate the Zulus, when a satrap like Sir Bartle Frere was eager to annihilate them in the interests of Christianity. Moreover, as in the case of the Afghan War, the people were kept in utter ignorance of the arrogant ultimatum by which Frere had gone out of his way to fix a quarrel on King Cetewayo.

But if the crime was rank, the retribution by which it was avenged was swift and stern. Chelmsford’s advance guard crossed the Tugela on the 12th of January. A petty success was recorded at Ekowe on the 7th, and then on the 22nd of January the English column at Isandhlwana was smitten as with the sword of Gideon. Our troops were beaten not only in the actual conflict, but they were out-manœuvred and out-generalled. The barbarians under Cetewayo had fought like lions, and they had inflicted on a British army a defeat so disgraceful that the history of half a century supplies no parallel to it. Frere, like a reckless gambler, had staked everything on this cast of the die. Neither he nor Chelmsford had made provision for a disaster, and the result was that the rout of Isandhlwana left the whole colony of Natal, even then discounting the spoils of victory, open to invasion. Nothing, in fact, stood between the Europeans in Natal and extermination, save the little post of Rorke’s Drift. There Lieutenants Bromhead and Chard, with a handful of men, stemmed the tide of invasion, and redeemed the honour of England which had been smirched by the political incapacity of Frere, and the military failure of Chelmsford. In vain did the Queen and the Duke of{565}

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Cambridge send sympathetic messages to the seat of war. It was reinforcements that were needed, if the English in South-East Africa were not to be driven into the sea. Parliament, when it met on the 8th of February, was as wrathful as the country. The Government had let Sir Bartle Frere drag the country into a war, which in a few days the disaster of Isandhlwana showed they were incompetent to conduct with credit to the Empire. If Ministers were not able to emerge, without ignominy, from a conflict with the Zulu king, what must have happened had they been allowed to challenge the Czar of Muscovy to mortal combat? Criticism was felt to be futile, in view of the pressing need to retrieve the disgrace of a defeat, none the less ignominious that the Government and their agents had courted it. But a stern demand was heard on all sides for the recall of Frere and Chelmsford, a demand which, like a vote of censure that was proposed in the House of Lords by Lord Lansdowne on the 25th, and in the Commons by Sir Charles Dilke on the 11th of March, Ministers evaded by administering a strong rebuke to the High Commissioner. As a man of spirit, Frere would have naturally resigned after this rebuke. But he held on to his place, and this was so discreditable, that to account for his conduct a strange theory was mooted. It was said that private letters were sent to him by high personages, some of them connected with the Government, assuring him that the censure of the Secretary of State was not meant to be taken as real, but had been penned merely to save Ministers from a Parliamentary defeat.[143] Sir M. Hicks-Beach’s despatch with the censure ended with these words: “But I have no desire to withdraw the confidence hitherto reposed in you.” Such was the feeble manner in which the Government dealt with a satrap who had virtually usurped the prerogative of the Sovereign to declare war. Soon after the Ministry had warded off the vote of censure in Parliament, the country was again agitated by tidings of further reverses in Zululand, and it was not till the 21st of April that the Government could announce that Pearson’s column, which had been locked up at Ekowe since the outbreak of the war, had been able to save itself by retreat. The indignation of the country grew apace, and at last it was found necessary to allay it by superseding Sir Bartle Frere’s authority in Natal and the Transvaal. Sir Garnet Wolseley was accordingly sent to take supreme command at the scene of action. Ere he could arrive Chelmsford, stimulated into action by Colonel Evelyn Wood, had however taken a decisive step. He gave the Zulus battle at Ulundi on the 3rd of July, and won a victory which put an end to the war. Cetewayo was taken prisoner on the 28th of August, and, despite the efforts made by Sir Garnet Wolseley and others to set up another Government for{567} the one which had been destroyed, Zululand lapsed into the confusion and anarchy in which it has since remained.

The Afghan War had been more skilfully managed. The British invaders overcame all resistance, and when Parliament assembled General Stewart was in possession of Candahar, and Shere Ali had fled from Cabul. Soon afterwards he died, and his heir, Yakoob, came with his submission to the British camp at Gundamuk. There, on the 25th of May, he signed a Treaty which bound the Indian Government to give him a subsidy of £60,000 a year and defend him against his enemies, in return for which he ceded the “scientific frontier,” and agreed to manage his foreign policy in accordance with the advice of a British Resident who was to be received in Cabul. This gleam of success neutralised the effect of the reverses in South Africa, and both Houses voted their thanks to the Indian Viceroy and to the Generals who had carried out the expedition. The Government had no difficulty in persuading Parliament to sanction a loan of £2,000,000 without interest to India, to enable her to pay the expenses of the campaign. In fact, when the Session closed Ministers were jubilant at having upset the predictions of the experienced Anglo-Indians, who had declared that it was impossible to keep a British Resident at Cabul. They assured the nation not only that the British Resident was there, but that the Cabulees were delighted to receive him.

The severe winter of 1879 aggravated the distress which had settled like a blight on the labouring and trading classes, and the existence of which Ministers attempted to ignore. They were, indeed, so ill-advised as to propose a grant of money for the relief of the Turks, who were enduring great sufferings in the Rhodope district. But some of the Tory borough Members threatened to rebel if this project were persisted in, and it was withdrawn. The programme of domestic legislation was long and ambitious, and Ministers very properly began the Session by an attempt to guard against obstruction. They carried a rule which prevented any amendment from being made to the motion that the Speaker of the House of Commons leave the Chair on going into Committee of Supply on Monday nights. This enabled a Minister who came to explain his Estimates to do so at once, because it prevented private Members from interposing, between him and the Committee, with long and irrelevant debates on real and imaginary grievances. The chief measure of the Session was a Bill to consolidate the Mutiny Act and the Articles of War—a measure which still further extended the Parliamentary control of the Army by incorporating these Articles into an Act of Parliament. It was read a second time on the 7th of April; but when it went into Committee it attracted the attention of Mr. Parnell and his followers.

Mr. Parnell now appeared in the character of a British patriot and philanthropist who took an absorbing interest in perfecting the discipline of the Army and in ameliorating the condition of the private soldier. As in{568}

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the case of the Prisons Bill, he had mastered every detail of the subject, only he had become a much more formidable personage than he had been in 1877. He had deposed Mr. Butt from the leadership of the Irish party, and, for all practical purposes, he had taken his place.[144] He had shown Ireland that he had been able to procure for her, by one short year’s obstruction in 1877, not only the endowment of her secondary education, but even the release of several Fenian convicts in 1878—a year, said the Times, marked by the cessation of obstruction, and the good relations which obtained between the Government and the Home Rulers. In March he had discussed the Army Estimates with an ability and knowledge which even the Minister for War recognised; and when the Army Discipline Bill was sent before the House in Committee Mr. Parnell was conspicuous for his cleverness in exposing its anomalies, its obsolete applications of the principles of martial law, and its prevailing bias in favour of the officers and against the rank-and-file. When the 44th clause was reached, Mr. Parnell and his friends made a stand against the continuance of flogging in the Army, and at this stage Liberals vied with Ministerialists in denouncing their obstructive tactics. But Mr. Parnell persisted. He had foreseen that he was raising a popular{569} cry. A General Election was at hand, and he knew that the moment it was discovered that he had touched the heart of the constituencies, it would be a question with the Liberals and Conservatives who were then storming at him as to who should be the first to fall into line with him. Mr. Parnell’s cynical prevision was justified by events.

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Both parties, to do them justice, held out manfully night after night against the pressure of this appeal to the sordid side of their political character. But the longer the game of obstruction on the flogging question was played, the stronger grew the feeling among the populace against flogging, and night after night Mr. Parnell was at his post with cold malice giving an additional turn to the electoral screw. The first to succumb to the torture was Mr. Chamberlain, and something like a faded smile flitted across Mr. Parnell’s stony visage when that successful and practical politician scurried into his camp. Mr. Chamberlain’s unexpected speech against flogging fell like a bombshell in the House of Commons, where it was understood that Englishmen of all parties had entered{570} into an honourable understanding to meet Mr. Parnell’s obstructive policy with a firm and united resistance. It was a speech which, as Sir Robert Peel very justly said, “entirely upset the calculations of the Government,”[145] a fact which was forgotten or concealed by those critics of Lord Beaconsfield’s Administration who afterwards vilipended them for their weak and vacillating attitude to this question. No sooner had Mr. Chamberlain deserted to the Irish ranks than he found himself the object of unsparing obloquy which Liberals and Conservatives impartially bestowed on him. Of course other Radicals, if they desired to save their seats in a General Election, were forced to follow him, and as soon as Mr. Parnell found that he had lured nearly the whole Radical party into his net, he and the Irish Members suddenly vanished from the scene as leaders in the struggle. They were never absent from their posts, and they never failed to support the cause they had espoused by their votes. But they thrust the work of obstruction and of speaking on the Liberal and Radical Members who had tardily become their allies. The advantage they gained was soon apparent. Mr. Chamberlain speedily lost his temper, and not only publicly quarrelled with Lord Hartington, but one evening he even insulted him amidst furious cries of protest from the Liberal benches, by describing him as “the late Leader of the Liberal Party.”[146] Nothing could be more complete than the disintegration of the Liberal Party which Mr. Chamberlain thus produced, unless it were the perplexity of the Ministry. The Tories did not dare to stand by the lash as a British institution unless they got what they had been promised—the loyal support of the Opposition. Yet under Mr. Chamberlain’s obstructive agitation, and under popular pressure from the constituencies, it was clear that the Opposition was going over piecemeal to the opponents of flogging. What wonder, then, that Colonel Stanley, the Minister of War, temporised, when Mr. Chamberlain extorted from him a damaging schedule, giving a list of the offences for which a soldier could be flogged?

Debates instinct with a strange kind of fierce frivolity raged as to the sort of “cat” that should be used in flogging a soldier. Infinite time was wasted in discussing whether the word “lashes” should be used instead of “stripes” in the Act, Mr. Chamberlain being beaten in his effort to get the word “stripes” inserted. Endless discussions arose as to the maximum number of lashes that should be sanctioned. When there was any sign of hesitancy Irish obstructionists were always ready to join in the fray, and not only screw Mr. Chamberlain up to the “sticking point,” but ironically suggest that Liberal and Conservative leaders would alike find it profitable to go to the country in the coming election, with a “new cat and an old Constitution,” as a taking “cry.” Colonel Stanley at last gave way, and offered to reduce the maximum{571} number of lashes from fifty to twenty-five, whereupon Mr. Chamberlain showed that he was as dangerous to run away from as Mr. Parnell. Indeed, all through these debates Mr. Chamberlain fought the battle of obstruction with an amount of courage and fertility of resource that placed him in the front rank of Parliamentary gladiators. Friends and foes alike admitted that but for his asperity of temper he might have disputed the palm of success even with Mr. Parnell himself. The fight was virtually won when Colonel Stanley proposed to reduce the number of lashes from fifty to twenty-five. Even Lord Hartington then made haste to go over to Mr. Chamberlain whilst it was yet time, just as Mr. Chamberlain had made haste to desert to Mr. Parnell.

On the 17th of July Lord Hartington accordingly proposed that corporal punishment should be abolished for all military offences. Though on a division he was beaten by a majority of 106, it was felt that the “cat-o’-nine-tails” was doomed whenever a Liberal Government came into power. It was foreseen that at the next election many Conservative Members would be driven from their seats, because they had been forced to vote in the majority, and the Ministerialists denounced Lord Hartington’s surrender to Mr. Parnell and Mr. Chamberlain with exceeding bitterness. As Lord Salisbury said in addressing a Tory meeting in the City of London, Lord Hartington was like the Sultan, because, though he had a group of political Bashi-Bazouks in his party, whom he could not control, and whose conduct he politely deprecated, yet his motion showed he would not hesitate to profit by their misdeeds, when the conflict of parties was fought out at the polls. As it was, the Government were only able to obtain their majority by agreeing to restrict corporal punishment to those offences which were then punishable by death.

The only other Bill of importance passed during the Session was one dealing with Irish University education. It abolished the Queen’s University, and substituted for it the Royal University of Ireland, an examining body like the University of London, empowered to grant degrees, except in Theology, to all qualified students who might present themselves.

The Budget, as might be expected, was by no means a popular one. Since 1878 extraordinary expenditure, incurred on account of an adventurous Foreign Policy, had simply been treated as a deferred liability. On the 3rd of April Sir Stafford Northcote, in explaining his Budget, admitted that the revenue, which he had estimated at £83,230,000, had fallen short of that sum by £110,000. As for his expenditure, it had exceeded his estimate by £4,388,000. He had therefore no money in hand with which to meet the deferred liabilities of 1878-79; in fact, he was face to face with a fresh deficit. Comparing his actual revenue with his actual expenditure, the deficit was seen to amount to £2,291,000. The position, then, was this. In 1878 he had paid off £2,750,000 by bills, which he thought he would have been able to meet in 1879. Now he found he could not meet them. These he reserved{572}

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for another year, adding to them a fresh set of bills for the new deficit, which transferred to the future a lump sum of debt equal to £5,350,000. Leaving this item out of account, and ignoring the cost of the South African War, he estimated the expenditure of 1879-80 at £81,153,000. The revenue, he hoped, would amount to £83,000,000, so that the estimated surplus he expected would suffice to cover the cost of the operations in Zululand. It was a dismal statement, at best. But ere the Session ended it was discovered that the real position of affairs was even worse than Sir Stafford Northcote had admitted. In August he had to inform the House that the Zulu War was costing the country £500,000 a month, and that he must get a Vote of Credit of £3,000,000. This, with an addition of £64,000 to the ordinary Estimates, raised the original estimate of expenditure to £84,217,000. Thus the estimated surplus of £1,847,000 vanished, and in its place there stood a deficit of £1,217,000 for 1879-80, which might probably be increased. The{573} plan of evading the payment of debt, so as to render a costly policy palatable to the electors, was thus a failure. The longer the payment of the debt was deferred the more it grew, and it was clear that the finances of the country were drifting into inextricable confusion.

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Parliament was prorogued on the 15th of August, and it had hardly risen when the predicted calamity in Afghanistan arrived. As experienced Anglo-Indians had anticipated, Sir Louis Cavagnari, the British Envoy at Cabul, was murdered, and his suite massacred (3rd September), by the fanatical soldiers of the Ameer. During the short period of his residence, Cavagnari had justified the arguments of those who averred that a European Envoy would never be able to furnish his Government with any valuable information from Cabul. The only intelligence worth having that was received by the Indian Government came from native sources, and it had consisted of warnings{574} that Cavagnari’s life was in grave peril.[147] It was necessary to order an Army of Vengeance to enter Afghanistan, and this was done. But, in England, the verdict of public opinion was that Lord Beaconsfield’s Afghan policy had proved an irredeemable failure. It was no longer possible to dream of avoiding the costly and harassing annexation of Afghanistan, by extending over it a veiled British Protectorate, to be administered by a British Envoy at Cabul as Political Resident. There was no alternative but a military occupation, which meant that England must be ready to hold down by the sword a country as large as France, as impracticable for military movements as Switzerland, and inhabited by wild fanatical tribes as fierce, lawless, and savage as the hordes of Ghengis Khan.[148] The Army of Vengeance under Sir Frederick Roberts, after much toil and many struggles, fought its way through the Shutargardan Pass, and captured Cabul on the 12th of October. The Ameer, Yakoob Khan, was forced to abdicate, and he was deported to Peshawur, and in the meantime Roberts governed the country by sword and halter. The hillmen attacked his communications. The attitude of the Cabulees was, from the first, threatening, though General Roberts disregarded the warnings of the Persian newswriters, who told him that Afghanistan was going to rise about his ears. On the 14th of December the insurrection broke out in Cabul, and Roberts had to leave the city and fight his way round to the cantonments at Sherpore, where his supplies were stored, and where he took refuge, and was soon besieged. In fact, in the middle of December the public learnt with extreme anxiety that every British post in Afghanistan was surrounded by swarms of fierce insurgents, and that a rescuing army must be organised at Peshawur without delay. Cabul itself was in the hands of Mahomed Jan, the victorious Afghan leader. Bitterly did Englishmen recall Lord Beaconsfield’s speech a month before at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet, in which he assured his audience that the operations in Afghanistan “had been conducted with signal success,” that the North-West frontier of India had been strengthened and secured, and that British supremacy had been asserted in Central Asia. Fortunately, ere the year closed, General Gough, who had advanced from Gundamuk, was able to join hands with Roberts, who again made himself master of Cabul.

In South Africa affairs began to assume a more hopeful aspect towards the end of the year. After the victory of Ulundi the Zulu chiefs one after another submitted to the British Government. Cetewayo—who, as we have seen,{575} had been captured on the 28th of August—was sent as a State prisoner to Cape Town, and Sir Garnet Wolseley made peace with the Zulu chiefs and people.[149] The Kaffir chief, Secocoeni, who had defied the Government before the Zulu War broke out, was attacked and subdued. He had been secretly aided by the Boers, who had warned Sir Bartle Frere that they did not accept the annexation of the Transvaal. At Pretoria Sir Garnet Wolseley, however, told the Boer leaders that the annexation which they were resisting was irreversible, and the Boers for a time confined themselves to obstructing the judicial and fiscal administration of the British Government.

The Zulu War was marked by one incident that powerfully influenced the destiny of Europe: it cost the heir of the Bonapartes his life. The young Prince Louis Napoleon—or the “Prince Imperial,” as the Bonapartists insisted on calling him—had resolved to serve with the British Army in Zululand. His object was to acquire a military reputation that might be useful to him as a Pretender. A proud and self-respecting Government, however hard pressed, cannot accept the services of a foreign mercenary, however high his rank might be. But, in deference to Courtly influences, the Prince was permitted to proceed to the seat of war in an ambiguous position. He held no commission, but he was treated like a junior officer of the General Staff, and the Duke of Cambridge requested Lord Chelmsford to let the Prince see as much of the war as he could. Lord Chelmsford issued instructions to the military authorities, which made the Prince a burden—perhaps, in some degree, a nuisance—to them. When he joined Lord Chelmsford Prince Louis seems to have been attached to the Quartermaster-General’s Department. But he was not to be allowed to go out of the camp without Lord Chelmsford’s permission, and even then he was to be guarded by an escort under an officer of experience. On the 1st of June Colonel Harrison allowed the Prince to make a reconnaissance for the purpose of choosing the site of a camp, but without obtaining Lord Chelmsford’s sanction. The Prince’s party was to consist of six troopers and six Basutos, and though no officer was sent to accompany him, Lieutenant Carey, an accomplished and intelligent soldier, happened, by an accident, to join the band. Carey had been employed to survey and map out some of the adjoining ground, and he asked leave to go with the Prince to clear up a doubtful topographical point on which he and Lord Chelmsford differed in opinion. Carey merely went for his private convenience. He was not told to look after the Prince; in fact, he was told that, if he went, he was not to interfere with him, because his Imperial Highness, eager to re-gild the tarnished Eagles of his House, desired to have all the credit of conducting the{576}

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(From the Picture by S. P. Hall.)

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(From a Photograph by Lafayette, Dublin.)


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Expedition. The Prince was in command of the party,[150] and in a fit of boyish impatience, and in defiance of Carey’s advice, ordered it to march without waiting for the six Basutos, who were late of putting in an appearance. He led his little troop on for some distance, and then, without taking the most ordinary precautions against surprise, he halted—again against Carey’s counsel—for a rest in a deserted kraal surrounded by a field of

tall Indian corn. This was a fatal blunder, for the cover of the cornfield rendered the place eminently convenient for the concealment of an ambuscade. Here the Prince waited an hour, whilst the Zulus surrounded him. Then he gave his men the order to move. The Zulus sprang from their hiding-places and fired on the little band, whose startled horses were difficult to mount. It was impossible to see what was going on in the cornfield, and it was not till{578} the troopers had retreated for some distance that Lieutenant Carey and his comrades discovered that the Prince was missing. To have made a stand in the cornfield would have been to court instant death. It appeared that the Prince had been unable to mount his horse, which was frightened and restive, and that the Zulus overtook him and stabbed him with their assegais. Thanks to Carey’s knowledge of the ground, the rest of the party, with the exception of two troopers, were saved, and Carey was able to give Colonel Wood’s force the valuable intelligence that the enemy, contrary to the general belief, were infesting the country in front.

The indignation of the French Bonapartists at the death of the Prince Imperial was without limit. The ex-Empress, who had encouraged her son to go to South Africa, was prostrated with sorrow and remorse. Even the tender sympathy of the Queen could not console her for the loss of one whose life was necessary for her ambition, and whose death shattered the last hopes of Imperialism in France. It was thought desirable that somebody should be sacrificed to appease the ex-Empress, and Lieutenant Carey was accordingly tried by Court-martial and promptly condemned for “misbehaviour in front of the enemy” while in command of a reconnoitring party. There were only two reasons for attacking Carey. He was the officer of lowest rank who had any connection with the Prince’s ill-fated reconnaissance, and he had absolutely nothing whatever to do with the command of that expedition, or with the Prince’s mismanagement of it. In fact, all that Carey could be blamed for was for saving, by his superior knowledge of the ground, four of the six troopers whom the Prince had led into a fatal ambuscade. It need hardly be said that, on review, the finding of the Court-martial was set aside by the Duke of Cambridge, and Lieutenant Carey restored to his rank. The Duke laid all the blame on Colonel Harrison, who, however, was not tried by Court-martial. But he also complained that Carey made a mistake in imagining that the Prince was in command of the party, a mistake which was not only natural but inevitable, and which was shared by all his comrades. The melancholy and stubborn imprudence of the Prince obviously led the expedition to disaster. The Duke of Cambridge argued that Colonel Harrison should have warned the Prince to be guided by Carey. Having blamed Harrison for not giving Carey sufficiently definite instructions as to the command of the expedition, he made Carey responsible for the defects in Harrison’s instructions. Carey, according to the Duke, should have provided that military skill which the Prince lacked. The truth was that Carey was warned not to meddle with the Prince, who from first to last took command, and who, when advice was tendered to him, rejected it in a manner that did not encourage a spirited and self-respecting officer to press it on him.

The family life of the Court in 1879 was brightened by a Royal wedding. On the 13th of March the marriage of the Duke of Connaught with the Princess Louise Marguerite of Prussia was celebrated with some display. The{579} ceremony took place in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor. At noon the four processions—those of the Queen, the Princess of Wales, the bride and the bridegroom—quitted the quadrangle. The Queen drove in her own carriage, drawn by four ponies, the remainder of the Royal Family occupying the gilded State coaches, driven by the Royal coachmen in their liveries of scarlet and gold. The display of decorations and uniforms and costumes among the august guests was seen to be very brilliant as the Royal party took their places round the Communion rails, where were assembled the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishops of London, Winchester, Worcester, and the Dean of Windsor. As Mendelssohn’s march from Athalie resounded through the sacred building the Queen was observed to take her place, dressed in a complete Court dress of black satin, with a white veil and a flashing coronet of diamonds. The Princess Beatrice had discarded Court mourning, and appeared in a turquoise blue costume with a velvet train to match. The bridegroom, wearing the uniform of the Rifle Brigade, was supported by the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Edinburgh. The bride was accompanied by her father, Prince Frederick Charles of Prussia, better known as the “Red Prince,” and the German Crown Prince, who wore the uniform of the 2nd or Queen’s Cuirassiers. The German Crown Princess and the King of the Belgians were also present. The Red Prince gave his daughter away. At the close of the ceremony the Queen and Royal Family returned to the Palace amidst a salute of twenty-one guns.

On March the 25th the Queen and Princess Beatrice, attended by General Sir H. F. Ponsonby, Lady Churchill, Sir W. Jenner, and Captain Edwards, left Windsor Castle for the North of Italy. The Royal departure took place in very wintry weather, snow and sleet falling heavily. In spite of this the railway platform was crowded by visitors, who offered many loyal salutations as the train steamed out of the station at 9.40 a.m. Portsmouth was reached at noon, and the Royal party embarked on board the Victoria and Albert, the yacht sailing at once for Cherbourg, which was reached early in the evening. The Queen slept on board, and left for Paris. When she arrived in Paris she found that though crowds had collected at the station, no one was admitted to the platform except the British Ambassador, Lord Lyons. The Queen, who was dressed in deep mourning, though almost invisible to the people as she drove to the English Embassy, was, nevertheless, greeted with cheers and waving of hats all along the way. On the 27th her Majesty left Paris for Arona. Prior to starting, she was much affected by the receipt of a message announcing the death of her grandson, Prince Waldemar of Prussia. She, however, went through the appointed tasks of the day with her customary self-possession, and received President Grévy and M. Waddington, both visits being brief and formal. The Duc de Nemours also paid her a friendly visit, accompanied by Prince and Princess Czartolyski. On the 28th the Queen, preserving the strictest incognito, arrived at Modane, and after a{580} short interval continued the journey to Turin and Baveno on Lake Maggiore, which was her final destination. On reaching the Italian frontier the Queen received a despatch from the King and Queen of Italy welcoming her Majesty upon Italian soil. The Queen sent a reply immediately, expressing her thanks in cordial terms. On March 31st Prince Amadeus, brother of the King of Italy, arrived at Baveno and had an audience of the Queen. During her stay in Italy her Majesty assumed the title of the Countess of Balmoral, and occupied the Villa Clara, which was placed at her disposal by M. Henfrey, the owner. At first the weather was bad, but in spite of that the Queen made many excursions to places of interest, and as her incognito was respected, her holiday was not burdened with the wearisome formalities of Court etiquette. Alike in France and Italy she was received with hearty good wishes by the people. Garibaldi and the Pope vied with King Humbert in welcoming her with congratulatory messages. On the 17th of April King Humbert and Queen Margherita and the members of their household left Rome for Monza, and on the 18th proceeded to the railway station to meet the train which was to bring the Queen and her suite from Baveno. Punctually at the time arranged the Queen arrived, and, on alighting from her carriage, warmly greeted the King and Queen of Italy. The party then drove to the Royal Castle, where lunch was served, after which the Queen returned to Baveno, which she left on the 23rd of April, arriving in Paris next day. Her return was clouded, as her setting out had been, by the shadow of death. On her arrival at Turin she received the painful intelligence of the death at Genoa of the Duke of Roxburghe, the husband of one of her valued friends. She left Paris on Friday, the 25th, and before her departure she gave away memorial tokens to several of the members of the Embassy. She arrived at Windsor on the 27th, where the German Empress came to spend some days with her in May. During this visit both Royal ladies became great-grandmothers, for the Queen’s first great-grandchild was born on the 12th of May. This was the first-born daughter of the Princess Charlotte of Saxe-Meiningen, the eldest daughter of the German Crown Prince and Princess.{581}

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(From a Photograph by J. Valentine and Sons.)


General Gloom—Fall of the Tay Bridge—Liberal Onslaught on the Government—The Mussulman Schoolmaster and the Anglican Missionary—The Queen’s Speech—The Irish Relief Bill—A Dying Parliament—Mr. Cross’s Water Bill—“Coming in on Beer and Going out on Water”—Sir Stafford Northcote’s Budget—Lord Beaconsfield’s Manifesto—The General Election—Defeat of the Tories—Incidents of the Struggle—Mr. Gladstone Prime Minister—The Fourth Party—Mr. Bradlaugh and the Oath—Mr. Gladstone and the Emperor of Austria—The Naval Demonstration—Grave Error in the Indian Budget—Affairs in Afghanistan—Disaster at Maiwand—Roberts’s March—The New Ameer—Revolt of the Boers—The Ministerial Programme—The Burials Bill—The Hares and Rabbits Bill—The Employers’ Liability Bill—Supplementary Budget—The Compensation for Disturbance Bill—Boycotting—Trial of Mr. Parnell and Mr. Dillon—The Queen’s Visit to Germany—The Queen Presents the Albert Medal to George Oatley of the Coastguard—Reviews at Windsor—The Queen’s Speech to the Ensigns—The Battle of the Standards—Royalty and Riflemen—Outrages in Ireland—“Endymion”—Death of George Eliot.

If 1880 opened cheerfully, it was solely because men felt a sense of relief at getting rid of what they called “the bad old year.” It had begun with bitter frosts, varied by black fogs. Its spring was a prolonged winter. Cold gloom marked its dog-days. There was no summer worth recording, and as for autumn, October and November saw the crops rotting in the fields. Farmers and squires, like Sheridan, were striving “to live on their debts.” Two great bank failures—that of the City of Glasgow Bank and that of the West of England Bank—had shaken the fabric of credit and reduced thousands of the{582} well-to-do middle class to penury, while trade seemed going from bad to worse. Even science and invention appeared to be in a conspiracy to ruin people, for Edison’s contrivance of the electric lamp frightened investors in gas shares into a panic, which seriously depreciated the value of their property. Disasters in war, which are courteously called blunders, were followed by catastrophes by flood and field, which it is customary to call accidents. The ghastly tale of misfortunes was completed by the frightful hurricane that swept over the country on the last Sunday of the old year. At half-past seven of the evening of that day a furious gust swept down the Firth of Tay and cut a section out of the great railway bridge that spanned the estuary. A train crossing at the moment was blown, with the wreckage of the bridge and its precious freight of human life, into the surly waters of the Firth.[151] Very promptly did the Queen instruct Sir Henry Ponsonby to telegraph from Osborne a sympathetic message from her to the relatives of the dead.[152] Her Majesty had herself crossed the bridge on her way to Balmoral, and the shock of the disaster struck her to the heart.

It was when the people were moodily pondering over the evil fate of England under the Government that was to have given it rest and prosperity, that Lord Beaconsfield’s opponents became unusually active. Mr. Gladstone reprinted his speech on Finance which he had delivered in Edinburgh in November (1879), and reminded the electors how Lord Beaconsfield, after promising to repeal the Income Tax in 1874, had raised it; how in bad times he had increased expenditure, whereas in good times the Liberals had reduced it; how he had imposed £6,000,000 more taxes than he remitted, whereas the Liberals remitted £12,500,000 more than they imposed; how he had transformed a surplus into a deficit, and kept on rolling up debt, instead of paying off the nation’s liabilities as they were incurred. There was a stroke of high art in publishing this sombre speech when the New Year opened. Sir Stafford Northcote had, at Leeds, essayed a mild and apologetic reply to it. Mr. Gladstone thus considered it necessary, when men were beginning to suspect that they were ruled by a Government of bad luck, to answer Sir Stafford in an appendix to the November speech, which tended to deepen the prevailing depression of spirits. Sir William Harcourt, in his New Year orations at{583} Oxford, on the other hand, dealt with the Government from a comic point of view. He touched with caustic wit on their incongruities and inconsistencies, and by contrasting their swelling words with their small deeds, their affluence of promise with their poverty of performance, contrived to create an impression that Ministers were making the country the laughing-stock of the world. When Mr. Gladstone showed that the nation was being ruined, Sir William Harcourt immediately followed up by declaring, in speeches which everybody read, because they were amusing and personal, that it was being ruined by a group of mountebanks. To him succeeded Mr. Bright, who, at a Liberal banquet at Birmingham (20th of January), elaborately explained how that which had happened was only what might have been looked for. He exhibited, from the treasure-house of his memory, an interminable series of examples to illustrate one simple thesis. It was that the history of England had ever been a tragic conflict between the Spirits of Good and Evil—the Tory Party representing the Spirit of Evil. His political Manichæism would not have influenced the country if it had not been downhearted. Inasmuch as it manifestly affected public opinion, it ought to have warned Lord Beaconsfield that the people were out of humour with him. The Tories, however, had eyes and ears for nothing, save Sir William Harcourt’s jokes and gibes, and flouts and sneers. These were not highly refined or polished, but they were just what was wanted to make the average voter laugh at Imperialism. The Imperialists being sensitive, not to say short-tempered persons, instead of pleading their own case rationally before the country, spent their force in vituperative attacks on Sir William Harcourt. It was also the misfortune of Lord Beaconsfield, that at this juncture he became nervous over the growing hostility of the clergy of all denominations to his foreign policy, the tone of which they deemed anti-Christian.

A desperate effort which was made to counteract this impression, displayed Sir Henry Layard at Constantinople—an Envoy who was supposed to be more Turkish than the Turks—figuring as a champion of the Cross against the Crescent. People, in fact, were startled at the beginning of the year to learn that the Government had suspended diplomatic relations with Turkey, because the Turkish authorities had threatened to execute a Mussulman schoolmaster for helping an Anglican missionary to translate the Bible.[153] Sir Henry Layard had been unmoved by the massacre and judicial murder of thousands of Christian subjects of the Sultan in Epirus, Macedonia, and Armenia, in defiance of Treaty law. It was, therefore, amazing that he should have suddenly burst into a convulsion of diplomatic wrath because a Turkish Court{584}

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passed on a Turkish Mussulman the sentence appointed by the law of his race and creed for an act which, when done by him, was legally a crime. Still, from the point of view of the practical statesman on the eve of a General Election, the step taken by Sir Henry Layard would not have been open to criticism merely because of its inconsistency and injustice. The fatal objection to it was that, whilst it failed to conciliate the religious world, it made the Government seem ineffably ridiculous to the electors. The foreign policy that was to give England ascendency in the councils of Europe, had reduced her to such a poor pass that, at Constantinople, Sir Henry Layard had to threaten war ere the Porte would even listen to his appeal for clemency to the obscurest of offenders against the letter of a harsh and obsolete law. Nor was the situation improved as the quarrel developed. The Turks resolutely refused even to deliver up Dr. Köller’s MSS., which they hardly had any right to keep, and it was not till the German Ambassador interfered on behalf of the English missionary that they were restored. When Sir Henry Layard pressed for the dismissal of Hafiz Pasha, he was foiled by the Sultan averring that he, and not the Minister, had ordered the arrest of Ahmed Tewfik. After Lord Beaconsfield’s Guildhall eulogies on the Sultan, Ministers were seriously embarrassed by this new turn in the affair. Ultimately the intervention of Germany and Austria induced the Sultan, who listened to the menaces of the British Government with imperturbable serenity, to offer concessions. He still refused Sir Henry Layard’s demand for the annulment of the sentence of death on Ahmed Tewfik. But he offered to commute it by exiling Ahmed to a remote Turkish island with a Christian population. He also ordered Hafiz Pasha, the Minister of Police, to apologise.[154] The commutation of Ahmed’s sentence meant that, though{585} England had saved him from the gallows, “Kismet” had destined him for a premature grave. The apology from Hafiz was immediately converted into a further insult to the British Government, for, as soon as it had been delivered, the Sultan decorated him with the Grand Cordon of the Medjidie. Nor was this act quite atoned for by the issue of an Imperial edict forbidding the Mohammedan Press to laugh at the British Ambassador. It was, therefore, easy to predict that the Queen’s Speech would be demure, if not actually meek in tone, when it touched on Foreign Affairs.

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Parliament was opened on the 5th of February, and her Majesty’s Speech was read by the Lord Chancellor. Events, according to the Royal Message, still tended to safeguard the peace of Europe on the basis of the Berlin Treaty, and the Sultan had signed a Convention for the suppression of the Slave Trade. The abdication of the Ameer rendered it impossible to recall the army of occupation. But the Government, in their dealings with Afghanistan, merely desired to strengthen their Indian frontier and preserve the independence of that State. The success of Sir Garnet Wolseley’s policy in South Africa was touched on. It was stated that the Irish authorities had been instructed to make special provisions for coping with distress in Ireland, which would{586} necessitate an Indemnity Bill; and a Criminal Code Bill, a Bankruptcy Bill, a Lunacy Bill, and a Conveyancing Bill were promised. Mr. Cross had, at the end of the previous Session, also promised a Bill to transfer the Metropolitan Water Companies to the ratepayers of London. The debates on the Address were uninteresting. The Tories tried to discredit their opponents by proving that in election contests they angled for the Irish vote by promising to support an inquiry into the demand for Home Rule. The Liberals retorted by proving that though Lord Beaconsfield was ever ready to pass sentence of political excommunication on Home Rulers, he was equally ready to confer honours on Home Rulers,[155] that the Home Rule movement was started by Tories, and that it was a rich Tory who found the money for the Fenian candidature of O’Donovan Rossa in Tipperary.

The Irish Relief Bill was introduced on the 7th, and read a second time on the 23rd of February. It granted loans to the amount of £1,092,985 without interest for two years and a half, but bearing 1 per cent. interest after that time, to landlords and sanitary authorities for works of improvement; it also permitted the Baronial Sessions to start such works, and relaxed the law of out-door relief. Most of the Irish members complained that as a measure of relief, the Bill was inadequate. Some, like Mr. Synan, objected to the loans being taken from the Irish Church surplus. Others wished Boards of Guardians to be able to give out-door relief in money, and to take up loans for improvements. The Bill was passed on the 15th of March, and Major Nolan also passed a Seed Bill which enabled poor farmers to get seeds on loan. It is now clear that the Government had no true conception of the state of Ireland. They had been satisfied with the jaunty assurances of the Chief Secretary, Mr. Lowther, in the previous year, that there was no exceptional agrarian distress in that country. Yet, as a matter of fact, a famine was imminent, and at the beginning of 1880 the Duchess of Marlborough, wife of the Lord-Lieutenant, and Mr. E. Dwyer Gray, Lord Mayor of Dublin, were compelled to start Relief Funds to avert that dreadful calamity.

Even with this evidence before them, the Tory Ministry in 1880 fell into a blunder worthy of the Whigs in 1847-9. They adopted the fatal Whig principle, that the best way to relieve the Irish peasant’s distress was to vote the relief money to be doled out in wages by his landlord, who, by rack-renting and evictions had aggravated that distress, and who, though in most cases an absentee, was yet for some inexplicable reason supposed to be the best almoner the State could find in Ireland.[156] That this mistake was made can only be accounted for by the fact that Lord Beaconsfield’s advanced age, and his absorption in Foreign Affairs, rendered it possible for his less competent colleagues to control his policy.[157]{587}

However, all Englishmen were predisposed to believe that Mr. Gladstone’s Land Act of 1870 had averted famine for ever from Ireland. They did not know that it had broken down because it made no provision against rack-renting, and, therefore, no real provision against unjust eviction. It permitted eviction in cases where a tenant was unable to pay rent; so that, in order to evict, a landlord had merely to put up his rent to the point at which the tenant could not pay it, the tenant’s claim for improvements on eviction being in such a case usually swallowed up in long out-standing arrears. It was quite obvious to those who looked beneath the surface that the coming question was the agrarian difficulty in Ireland. And yet the Ministry treated it as a matter of trivial importance, a blunder which, however, was also committed by the majority of Liberals, who were convinced that Mr. Gladstone’s Land Act had brought content to Ireland.

Still, the Session was quiet and business-like, and the Liberal leaders were studiously polite to Ministers. They helped to pass a Standing Order checking obstruction, hinting that it was not strong enough. By these tactics they artfully neutralised the insinuation that they were fishing for the Home Rule vote.[158] But it was clear that Parliament was moribund and quite “gravelled for lack of matter.” It could not legally survive another year; in fact, since the sixteenth century only four Parliaments had existed as long. Naturally public opinion was pressing for a dissolution, and it merely remained for Ministers to select the “psychological moment” which was most advantageous to themselves for going to the country. Lord Beaconsfield suddenly resolved in spring not to exhaust his mandate, and on the 8th of March Sir Stafford Northcote intimated that the Budget would be brought in before Easter, and that, after taking formal and necessary business, Parliament would be dissolved. Lord Beaconsfield was guided to this step by three considerations. He thought that the glamour of his Asiatic Imperialism still blinded{588} the eyes of the nation to the disasters in Afghanistan and South Africa. He imagined that, because the returns from three bye-elections were favourable to the Tory Party, public opinion was still with him.[159] He trusted that Mr. Cross’s Water Bill would consolidate the popularity of the Ministry, not only in the Capital, but among municipal reformers all over the country. This last forecast was most untoward. When Mr. Cross produced his Water Bill on the 2nd of March, the Standard, which was the organ of the Ministry in the Press, suddenly deserted its Party and its leaders, and assailed Mr. Cross’s scheme with astounding ferocity.[160] The opposition of the Standard at the critical moment not only depressed the spirits of the Tories, but also forced the hand of the “independent” newspapers, who had up till now supported Lord Beaconsfield loyally. They could not be more royalist than the King, so they, too, poured forth their invective on Mr. Cross’s Bill. The effect of this sudden attack of the whole metropolitan Press was to paralyse a vast body of metropolitan opinion that up till then had run in favour of the Ministry. “It came into power on beer,” said a malicious Liberal one afternoon in the Tea-room of the House of Commons, “and it will float out on water.” A more cautious statesman would have postponed dissolution till a happier moment; but Lord Beaconsfield persisted in appealing to the people, and the Government passed an Electoral Bill repealing the law which prohibited candidates from paying for the carriage of voters to the poll. It was obvious that in the coming struggle the Tories were at least resolved to give the rich men on both sides all the advantages of their opulence.

When the Budget was produced Sir Stafford Northcote had a sad tale to tell. His revenue for the past year, instead of yielding £83,055,000, only yielded £80,860,000, showing a deficit of £2,195,000, to which had to be added{589}

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supplementary estimates for South Africa, bringing it up to £3,340,000. For the coming year, however, he estimated, supposing there were no changes of taxation, a revenue of £81,560,000, and an expenditure of £81,486,472. But it was no longer possible to postpone payment of past deficits. These had accumulated to a sum of £8,000,000. He proposed to pay this off by creating £6,000,000 of annuities terminable in five years, and meeting the yearly charge for them by adding £800,000 a year to the service of the National Debt. As this would relieve the Government from its existing payments for interest on Exchequer Bonds, the fresh revenue needed to meet the payments for the new annuities in reality came to £589,000, and not £800,000. As to the remaining £2,000,000 of deficits, Sir Stafford Northcote seemed to trust to luck for their payment. The additional revenue he proposed to get by a revision of the Probate Duty. As he increased the Succession Duty on personal property, and left that on land untouched, the Budget was extremely unpopular with the landless class. But even his scheme as it stood, with its £6,000,000 added for five years to the National Debt, and its £2,000,000 of postponed deficits, involved the sacrifice of his Sinking Fund for paying off the debt. Virtually the Government told the electors that they had brought Britain to such a pass, that she had to abandon for five years her scheme for paying off her National Debt, in order to clear off £6,000,000 of their deficits.

On the 24th of March Parliament was dissolved, and the new writs were made returnable on the 29th of April. Lord Beaconsfield’s Manifesto, however, had been issued in the shape of a letter to the Duke of Marlborough, Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, on the 8th of March. In this letter he called on the people to support the Ministry in order to give England an ascendency in the councils of Europe, and check the Home Rule movement in Ireland, which was “scarcely less disastrous than pestilence or famine.” This movement had been patronised, he declared, by the Liberal Party, whose “policy of decomposition” was meant to destroy the Imperial character of the realm. On the other side, the leaders traversed all Lord Beaconsfield’s insinuations. They scoffed at his Foreign Policy, asserted that it was pretentious, futile, and costly; they denounced his restless turbulence and his bankrupt finance, and, though they declared against Home Rule, they promised to give Ireland equal laws and equal rights with England. When the struggle began it was predicted in London that Lord Beaconsfield’s majority would be so vastly increased that the Liberals would be ostracised from power for a generation. As the contest proceeded it was noticed that at Liberal meetings no man could mention Mr. Gladstone’s name without being stopped by prolonged outbursts of cheering. That had happened in 1868, and it was a bad omen, whereupon it was said that the Tories would come back with only a slight reduction in their majority. Finally it was admitted, when the first day’s returns came in, that Lord Beaconsfield’s majority had vanished, and that he himself had fallen from power. The incidents of the struggle were curious. Mr. Gladston{591}e’s campaign in the North was a marvellous achievement, and the sustained passion and energy of his attack on the policy of the Government, alike in principle and detail, seemed to paralyse the Tory leaders. Lord Hartington’s political duel with Mr. Cross in Lancashire completed the wreck of that Minister’s reputation, already damaged by his abortive Water Bill. Lord Derby’s letter to Lord Sefton (12th March) intimating his inability to support the Ministry and his adhesion to the Liberal Party, was a cruel blow, struck at the Tory Party in their most formidable stronghold. Sir William Harcourt and Mr. Lowe vied with each other in rendering Ministers ridiculous. Mr. Bright roused the conscience of the nation against their warlike policy. Mr. Chamberlain and Sir Charles Dilke stirred the latent socialistic sympathies of the masses. As for the Irish vote, it was cast solidly against the Tories, in order to avenge the passage describing Home Rule in Lord Beaconsfield’s letter. Looking back on this historic election, it is amazing to find how few Ministerial speeches of importance were made. Lulled into a false sense of security by the support of the London Press and the gossip of Pall Mall clubs, Ministers seem to have permitted their opponents to talk them down. As for the result, why dwell on it? The first day’s Borough elections destroyed Lord Beaconsfield’s majority. The Counties deserted him in the most unaccountable manner. In Scotland the Tory Party was almost obliterated.[161] In Ireland two-thirds of the Members elected were Home Rulers. The net result was, that when the Election was over, there were returned 351 Liberals, 237 Tories, and 65 Home Rulers. The verdict of the country, therefore, was this: the electors were more afraid of Lord Beaconsfield’s Foreign Policy than of Mr. Gladstone’s Irish Nationalist sympathies. The sweeping reforms which he was pledged to demand and support by his Midlothian speeches did not displease the country so much as Lord Beaconsfield’s manifest reluctance to pledge himself to a strong programme of domestic legislation.

While the elections were taking place the Queen was abroad. Little dreaming that the verdict of the people would destroy Lord Beaconsfield’s Ministry, she had arranged to visit Hesse-Darmstadt to be present at the confirmation of the daughters of the late Princess Alice, and after that ceremony to spend a brief holiday at Baden. Her Majesty returned to England on the 17th of April, and on the 28th of April Ministers resigned office. Lord Beaconsfield was not present on the occasion. He had bade farewell to the Queen on the previous day. After the results of the Election were known strenuous efforts were made to prevent Mr. Gladstone from{592} becoming Prime Minister. The general opinion, however, was that, as Lord Beaconsfield’s fall from power was due mainly to Mr. Gladstone’s energetic and persistent criticism of his policy, Mr. Gladstone ought to take the responsibility of forming a Government. His own views on the subject can be gleaned from two letters which he wrote to Mr. Hayward. In one he seems to resent the idea of taking any office lower than that of the Premiership, supposing he took office at all.[162] In another he tries to explain away a statement he was alleged to have made to a reporter of the Gaulois, who asked him in November, 1879, if he would resume office, and to whom he replied, “No; I am now out of the question.” He (the reporter), says Mr. Gladstone, “rejoined, ‘Mais vos compatriotes vont vous forcer.’ I said, ‘C’est à eux à déterminer, mais je n’en vois aucun signe!’ I meant by these words to get out of this branch of the discussion as easily as I could. My duty is clear: it is to hold fast by Granville and Hartington, and try to promote the union and efficiency of the Party led by them.”[163]

In the ordinary course it was the duty of the Queen to send first for the actual Leader of the Opposition, who was Lord Granville. On the contrary, the first Liberal statesman summoned to Windsor was Lord Hartington, who, when he arrived there on the 22nd of April, it was remarked, declined the use of one of the Royal carriages, and strolled in a leisurely manner to the Castle. He informed her Majesty that a Liberal Ministry which was not headed by Mr. Gladstone could not command the confidence of the country. Next day the Queen sent for Lord Granville, who went to Windsor, accompanied by Lord Hartington. His advice was to entrust Mr. Gladstone with the formation of a Cabinet. They returned to London, and, after an interview with them, Mr. Gladstone proceeded to Windsor and received the Queen’s commission to organise a Government. Whenever Mr. Gladstone became Prime Minister the Whigs (who had secretly done their utmost as a Party to prevent his return to office) swarmed round him like a cloud of locusts. The Whigs and moderate Liberals were, as of old, to have all the comfortable places.

As for the Radicals, they would, it was suggested, be amply repaid for their services by a few of the minor offices under the Government, by including Mr. Bright and Mr. Forster in the Cabinet, and by offering a seat to Mr. Stansfeld, whose health prevented him from accepting it. That, however, was not the view of the Radicals. North of the Humber they constituted the bulk of the Liberal Party. Their system of representative Party organisation, invented in Birmingham and popularised by Mr. Chamberlain, had enabled them to consolidate the opposition to the Tories, to prevent double candidatures, and to win seats that, under a looser form of discipline, it would have been hopeless to contest. If Mr. Gladstone was the Napoleon,{593}

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(From a Photograph by Russell and Sons.)

Mr. Chamberlain was the Carnot of the campaign. The cry went forth that some uncompromising Radical must have a seat in the Cabinet, and Mr. Chamberlain was suggested as the fittest person to select. But what had Mr. Chamberlain done? His speeches—hard, brilliant, and clever—were permeated with “socialism.” Good Tory matrons were said to frighten their unruly babes with the whisper of his name. In Parliament he had chiefly distinguished himself by his obstructive tactics and his revolt against Lord Hartington’s leadership. He was even a more persistent opponent of the Monarchy than Sir Charles Dilke, who had abandoned the advocacy of Republicanism for the{594} critical study of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Gladstone’s chief objection to Mr. Chamberlain was that he had no official training. Lord Hartington (who knew, to his cost, that his obstructive opposition in the House of Commons could be most embarrassing), on the other hand, was in favour of including Mr. Chamberlain in the Cabinet. So was Lord Granville, who probably thought that there was no surer way of muzzling a dangerous Republican than that of making him a Cabinet Minister. Still, the Whig antagonism to Mr. Chamberlain was too strong to be ignored, and a compromise was arrived at when office was offered to Sir Charles Dilke. He, however, refused to take any place unless one advanced Radical, at least, was included in the Cabinet, and he said that Mr. Chamberlain should be chosen. After much intriguing Mr. Gladstone yielded, and Mr. Chamberlain became President of the Board of Trade. At the end of April the Cabinet was complete. Mr. Gladstone combined the two offices of Premier and Chancellor of the Exchequer; Lord Selborne was Lord Chancellor; Lord Granville, Foreign Secretary; Sir William Harcourt, Home Secretary; Lord Hartington, Indian Secretary; Mr. Childers, War Secretary; Lord Northbrook, First Lord of the Admiralty; Lord Kimberley, Colonial Secretary; Mr. Bright, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster; Mr. Forster, Chief Secretary for Ireland; the Duke of Argyll, Lord Privy Seal; Mr. Dodson, President of the Local Government Board; Lord Spencer, Lord President of the Council. Outside the Cabinet, Mr. Fawcett became Postmaster-General; Sir Charles Dilke, Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs (the office which he specially desired, and for which he was specially qualified); Sir Henry James, Attorney-General; Sir Farrer Herschel, Solicitor-General; Mr. Mundella, Vice-President of the Council; Mr. Adam (the famous Whip), First Commissioner of Works; and Mr. Shaw-Lefevre, Secretary to the Admiralty. Mr. Lowe was sent to the Upper House with a Peerage as Lord Sherbrooke. Mr. Goschen (whose opposition to any extension of Household Franchise to the counties rendered him impossible as a Cabinet Minister) was sent as a Special Ambassador to Constantinople. Sir H. A. Layard was not recalled, but he was granted an indefinite leave of absence. Lord Lytton having resigned the Indian Viceroyalty, Lord Ripon was appointed in his place.

No sooner had Parliament met, on the 29th of April, than it was apparent that one gentleman had read aright the lesson to be derived from Mr. Chamberlain’s successful career. To prove that one’s capacity for obstruction was not inferior to that of Mr. Parnell, to reform on a popular basis the organisation of one’s Party, and to flout openly on fitting occasions the authority of one’s leader, these, argued Lord Randolph Churchill, are the keys that unlock the doors of the Cabinet. He, together with Sir H. D. Wolff, Mr. A. J. Balfour, and Mr. Gorst, organised a small band of Tory obstructionists called the Fourth Party, who hoped, by their unscrupulous tactics in embarrassing Mr. Gladstone, that their gibes at Sir Stafford Northcote’s prudent leadership{595} would be forgiven. Their first opportunity for wasting the time of the House arrived when Mr. Bradlaugh, the Member for Northampton, came forward to be sworn on the 3rd of May. Mr. Bradlaugh was notoriously an Atheist, and he claimed to make an affirmation. At first the Fourth Party did not move in the matter, but the Speaker doubted if he could affirm, and a Select Committee appointed to consider the question, reported that he could not. Lord Frederick Cavendish had, in nominating the Committee, included several members who being Ministers would have to stand for re-election, and Sir Drummond Wolff and his friends raised an acrimonious debate by objecting to the names of gentlemen who were not technically members of the House being appointed to the Committee. On the 21st of May Mr. Bradlaugh came forward and claimed to take the oath. This the Fourth Party opposed as revolting to their consciences, for had not Mr. Bradlaugh publicly declared that as he was an Atheist the religious sanction in the oath was to him meaningless? There was no precedent for refusing to swear a member. The law seemed to be that it was his duty to his constituents to get himself sworn. But the point was referred to another Committee, and they reported that Mr. Bradlaugh could not be sworn. The absurdity of this proceeding is easily illustrated. In the Parliament of 1886, Mr. Bradlaugh was allowed to take the oath without a word of protest from the conscience-seared pietists of the Fourth Party. But by that time most of them had become Ministers, and were not anxious to encourage the obstruction of public business. On the 21st of June Mr. Labouchere, the senior member for Northampton, moved that Mr. Bradlaugh be allowed to affirm. The motion was rejected on the 22nd of June by a vote of 275 to 230, and when Mr. Bradlaugh, after speaking in his defence, refused to leave the bar, Sir Stafford Northcote carried a motion that he be imprisoned in the Clock Tower. This step made the House the laughing-stock of the nation, and the Tories promptly released Mr. Bradlaugh from his luxurious retreat. On the 1st of July Mr. Gladstone moved and carried a resolution allowing Mr. Bradlaugh to affirm at his own risk, and subject to any penalties he might incur by doing so, if it were found by the Courts that he had broken the law. Three points had been gained. Lord Randolph Churchill and his friends had forced Sir Stafford Northcote to follow their lead. They had blocked Government business. They had, to some extent, disseminated an impression abroad that the Cabinet was a champion of Atheism—and no doubt there were many good people who looked with suspicion on Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Bright for endeavouring to prevent Northampton from being disfranchised by a combination of faction and bigotry in the House of Commons.

During the interval between the appointment of the Ministry and the reading of the Queen’s Speech, a last attempt was made by the foreign allies of Lord Beaconsfield—and not without some success—to damage the new Government. One of the strange incidents of the Election had been the{596} appearance every morning in the London papers of extracts from the Continental Press urging the English people to vote for Lord Beaconsfield’s supporters. Lord Beaconsfield, as the candidate of the foreigner, was pressed on the constituencies with abject servility by Tory speakers, who, if they had reflected for a moment, must have seen that they were deeply offending the insular instincts and prejudices of Englishmen. But the zenith of imprudence was attained when one morning a semi-official telegram purporting to emanate from the British Embassy at Vienna, appeared in a Ministerial organ informing Englishmen that it was the august desire of the Emperor of Austria that Mr. Gladstone should be defeated in Midlothian. No Englishman will tolerate, even from a foreign Emperor, any interference between him and his constituents during a contested election. Mr. Gladstone accordingly treated the Emperor of Austria as if he had been an interloper from the Carlton Club, who had come down to Midlothian to give extraneous aid to Lord Dalkeith, the Conservative candidate. He snubbed the successor of the Cæsars mercilessly, and greatly to the delight of the British Democracy. This called forth a denial from Sir Henry Elliot that the Emperor of Austria had ever used the words attributed to him, though Sir Henry did not explain how the correspondent of the Standard had come to publish them. Mr. Gladstone retorted that the interest of Austria in preventing his election lay in his known determination to upset her plans for absorbing the heritage of the rising nationalities in Turkey. Austria had always shown herself to be an incompetent tyrant in dealing with subject races, and his warning to the Austrian intriguers, who hoped, if Lord Beaconsfield were returned to power, to make a dash for Salonica, was “Hands Off.” When Mr. Gladstone became Premier this speech was brought up for dissection. Would his Ministry quarrel with Austria? Would Count Karolyi ask for his papers? Then two long telegrams from Vienna were published in the Times, of date 28th of April and 6th of May, semi-officially denying that Austria was conspiring to make a dash for Salonica. Her sole desire now was to stand by the Treaty of Berlin. Count Karolyi had some interviews with Lord Granville on the subject, and in return for assurances of Austrian loyalty and goodwill, he pressed for some expression of opinion from Mr. Gladstone that would allay irritation in Vienna. Mr. Hayward seems to have been asked to use his influence over Mr. Gladstone to get him to make this explanation. Mr. Gladstone accordingly, in a letter to Count Karolyi (4th of May), declared that since he had become a Minister he had resolved not to defend by argument polemical language which he had used in a position of “greater freedom and less responsibility.” He wished Austria well. He had threatened to thwart her policy solely because the evidence at his command indicated that she was hostile to the freedom of the rising nationalities of Turkey. But he accepted the assurances of Count Karolyi that Austria had no designs against that freedom, and added, “Had I been in possession of such an assurance as I have{597} now been able to receive, I never would have uttered any one of the words which your Excellency justly describes as of a painful and wounding character.” The moment this letter was published, the Austrian organs in England, indeed, every Tory speaker and writer, made political capital out of it. The Premier was held up to odium for having humiliated England by an apology which was, undoubtedly, somewhat too exuberant. The people would have been better pleased if Mr. Gladstone had replied that an explanation should have been sought when it was possible for him to give it as the candidate for Midlothian. To ask for it now was to assume that a foreign potentate had a right to expect the Prime Minister of England to apologise for what he might choose to say, as a private person, fighting a contested election.

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Difficulties of a more serious character soon gathered round the Ministry. The Turks refused to make those concessions of territory to Montenegro and Greece which had been recommended by the Treaty of Berlin. Lord Granville succeeded in uniting the European Powers in a vain attempt to induce Turkey{598} to fulfil her obligations. The Porte was warned that, unless Dulcigno was given up to Montenegro by a certain date, the Powers would resort to coercion. When that date arrived the European Fleets assembled at Ragusa, under the command of Sir Beauchamp Seymour, to make a naval demonstration against Turkey, but, as the captains of the ships were prohibited from firing a shot, the naval demonstration amused rather than alarmed the Porte. At this point Mr. Gladstone hit on a happy expedient for bringing the Sultan to reason. He threatened to send a British fleet to Smyrna, and, though France refused to join in the scheme, Russia and Italy were willing to act with England. The mere threat was sufficient. The customs dues of the port of Smyrna supplied the only ready money on which the Sultan could depend for the payment of his household expenses. Mr. Gladstone’s intention plainly was to intercept or impound these moneys till Turkey fulfilled her obligations; and the Sultan, alarmed at the prospect, instructed Dervish Pasha to hand over Dulcigno to the Montenegrins. The Greeks were less fortunate. Finding that they could get no concessions from Turkey by diplomacy, they threatened war. But, under pressure from the European Powers, they were held down, and the diplomatists again undertook to reconsider their claims.

In India Lord Lytton resigned. One of his last acts was to deliver a contemptuous speech refuting Mr. Gladstone’s suggestion that the finances of that Dependency were in a state of confusion. To the very last Lord Lytton endeavoured to persuade the English people that the Afghan War had cost only six millions of money, and his Finance Minister (Sir John Strachey) produced a most comforting “Prosperity Budget.” It had, however, one defect. As Lord Hartington discovered when he went to the India Office, a trifling sum of £9,000,000 sterling had been dropped out of the expenditure side of the Afghan War accounts; in other words, a mistake which would have been called by a very ugly name indeed had it been made in the office of a bank or of a railway company, had been made at the expense of the British taxpayer by the Indian Government. While Lord Lytton was assuring England that the war was costing £200,000 a month, it was costing £500,000. Nay, for two years he had been paying away this excess of expenditure over estimates without knowing it, or getting from the Treasury a monthly statement of the money spent on the war! But the position of affairs in Afghanistan was rapidly becoming unendurable. England held Cabul as the Emperor Augustus held Rome—like a man who had a wolf by the ear. Lord Lytton recognised Shere Ali Khan as independent Wali of Candahar, and the ex-Ameer Yakoob was a prisoner in India. But Abdurrahman Khan (a grandson of Dost Mahommed, and an exile in Russia) was a pretender for the throne; and so was the warlike Ayoob Khan, a son of the ex-Ameer, Shere Ali. Ayoob was, moreover, marching from Herat against the British at Candahar with a force of fierce irregular troops.

When Mr. Gladstone’s Government took office they began by trying to{599} discover a Prince who could take Afghanistan off their hands, and for that purpose they tried to treat with Abdurrahman Khan. Unfortunately, Candahar was not only held by a weak force under General Primrose, but it had been decided by the Indian authorities to still further weaken it by sending General Burrows with a moiety of its garrison—some 2,000 men—to meet Ayoob Khan, and co-operate with the troops of the Wali of Candahar in checking the advance of the Heratees. The troops of the Wali, however, deserted to Ayoob Khan, and on the 27th of July Burrows and his small force were overwhelmed by the Heratees at Maiwand. The line of their retreat was covered with the bodies of those who perished by the way, and comparatively few survivors arrived to tell the tale of their terrible disaster. Of course Candahar was now at the mercy of Ayoob Khan, and it was known that the fall of that stronghold would shake the foundations of the British Empire in India. At this critical moment Sir Frederick Roberts saved the situation. He set forth from Cabul with a picked force of 10,000 men, and by a marvellous series of forced marches he arrived in time to defeat Ayoob Khan and rescue Candahar. Ere this crowning victory was won, it had been settled that Abdurrahman was to be the new Ameer of Afghanistan, and as the year closed the British Army of occupation had quitted Sherpore on its homeward march to India.

The mischievous policy of annexation which had been pursued in South Africa was now bearing fruit. When the Transvaal Republic was annexed Englishmen were told that the Boers desired annexation. As a matter of fact, the Boers never meant to submit to the loss of their independence. When the Boers in the Transvaal asked for the restoration of their rights, they were told by Sir Bartle Frere that England would never concede their claims; though, as a matter of fact, no sane Englishman had ever dreamt of holding the Transvaal Republic by an army of occupation against the will of its people. The effect of these misrepresentations was somewhat neutralised by Boer deputations who visited England, by Radicals like Mr. Courtney, and Home Rulers like Mr. Parnell and Mr. F. H. O’Donnell, who warned Englishmen that the Boers were discontented, and that they would rise in insurrection. Mr. Gladstone, too, in his election speeches kept alive Boer aspirations for independence, by condemning their enforced subjection to a British Colonial bureaucracy. The Boers ultimately rebelled, the occasion of the revolt being the refusal of a citizen at Pretoria to pay an illegal claim made on him by the Treasury. On the 13th of December, 1880, at Heidelberg, they proclaimed a Republic under the Triumvirate of Kruger, Joubert, and Pretorius. A collision between the insurgents and British troops under Colonel Anstruther occurred at Bronkhorst Spruit, which ended in the defeat of the latter; and as the year closed, General Sir George Pomeroy Colley was making a futile effort to quell the rising and reconquer the Transvaal.

The Ministerial programme of domestic legislation was popular, but it{600}

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took a long time to carry it out. At the end of July business was seriously in arrear, and yet Ministers said that they were determined to push on all their Bills. Towards the end of August no great progress had been made, and the proposal of a Session which might be prolonged into October was seriously discussed. The obstructive strategy devised by Mr. Parnell in Lord Beaconsfield’s Parliament was now developed with great success by the little band of Tories called the Fourth Party, under the leadership of Lord Randolph Churchill. Their method differed from Mr. Parnell’s in one point. He obstructed great measures in mass, so to speak. The Fourth Party organised persistent and systematic obstruction in detail, that is to say, they wasted small scraps of time all through a sitting at odd moments, the cumulative effect of which was most serious. Nor did they on this account refrain from obstruction on the system practised by Mr. Parnell when occasion served, only they carried it on without raising the clamant scandals that spring from prolonged and melodramatic sittings. At the end of August their efforts provoked Lord Hartington into revealing the fact that in the course of the Session Mr. Gorst had made 105 speeches and asked 18 questions, that Lord Randolph Churchill had made 74 speeches and asked{601} 21 questions, that Sir H. Drummond Wolff had made 68 speeches and asked 34 questions, while three Irish Members had delivered 160 speeches and asked 30 questions. In fact, six Members (Lord Randolph Churchill, Mr. Gorst, Sir H. D. Wolff, Mr. Biggar, Mr. O’Connor, and Mr. Finigan) had delivered during the Session 407 speeches. Still, the Government persevered and, after Lord Hartington’s exposure of the tactics of the Opposition, business progressed more rapidly. A Burials Bill, allowing Dissenting ministers to hold services in parish churchyards at the burial of their dead, was passed. Sir William Harcourt passed a Bill giving farmers an inalienable right to kill hares and rabbits. Mr. Dodson’s Employers’ Liability Bill was fiercely obstructed, but it passed and gave great satisfaction to the working classes. It made employers responsible for accidents to their work-people where the accident was traceable to the conduct of the master’s representative, or any workman or person who might reasonably be supposed to be his representative. In the House of Lords, it is true, Lord Beaconsfield succeeded in limiting the operation of the Bill to two years, but this period was extended to seven years by the Commons. The Supplementary Estimates had devoured the small surplus which Sir Stafford Northcote’s Budget showed in March. Hence on the 10th of June Mr. Gladstone brought in a Supplementary Budget, in which he abolished the Malt Tax, substituting for it a Beer Duty, reduced the duties on light foreign wines, increased and readjusted the licence duties on the sale of spirits, and added a penny to the Income Tax. The general result was that a final surplus of £381,000 could be shown on the year’s accounts.

Nothing could be more embarrassing than the condition of Ireland when Mr. Gladstone became Prime Minister. The Home Rulers returned sixty-eight members to the House of Commons, and, though a few of them were lukewarm Nationalists, they had organised themselves into a separate Party, under the leadership of Mr. Parnell. He plainly indicated that they would make use of the feuds between the Opposition and the Government to further their own cause. Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Forster first of all decided to rule Ireland without coercive legislation. But during the debates on the Address to the Crown it was made manifest that they had no clear idea of the extent to which agrarian distress prevailed in Ireland; that they ignored the alarming increase of harsh evictions, which were certain to excite the peasantry to savage deeds of retaliation; that they failed to understand how famine had been averted solely by the charitable funds raised during the previous year; and that they accordingly did not mean to reopen the Land Question. The Irish Party, therefore, at the outset ranged themselves with the Opposition, and even sat beside the Tories below the gangway on the left side of the Speaker’s chair. They began operations by bringing in a Bill to suspend evictions for non-payment of rent, which the Government opposed. But the case presented by the Irish Members seemed too serious to be put aside.{602}

It was at last admitted that there was a crisis in Ireland to be dealt with, and Mr. Forster therefore introduced a short Bill, which so far amended the Act of 1870 as to make disturbance for non-payment of rent, where the tenant was too poor to pay, a case for compensation. The Bill passed through the House of Commons after violent recriminatory debates, in the course of which Mr. Gladstone declared that in the distressed districts eviction was “very near to a sentence of death.”[164] The measure was promptly rejected by the House of Lords. Ministers acquiesced in this rebuff, and from that moment they lost their hold over rural Ireland. They had publicly declared that 15,000 persons were to be evicted that year, in circumstances which rendered eviction tantamount to a sentence of death. They had publicly admitted that it was wicked to extort rack rents from these persons by threats of eviction, and that, unless they were protected from the rapacity of their landlords, the peace of Ireland would be imperilled. And then they permitted the Peers to reject the protective Bill, which Mr. Forster had pressed forward as necessary for the preservation of tranquillity! Either the Government was wrong in introducing the Bill, or it was wrong to remain responsible for the peace of Ireland after the Bill had been rejected. All that Mr. Forster did in this crisis was to promise a new Land Bill next year, and appoint a Commission to inquire into Irish distress. Rural Ireland had by this time been completely organised into a Land League by Mr. Michael Davitt, and this Land League was really a gigantic trades-union, to promote a strike against rack rents. Incidentally, its organisation was also used to further the Home Rule cause. The leaders of the League advised the people to resist eviction, and Mr. John Dillon used words to which Sir W. Barttelot called attention in the House of Commons on the 17th of August, that seemed to advise a general strike against rent. Acrimonious debates followed day after day, in the course of which the hostility between the Parnellites and the Ministry deepened with every turn. Mr. Parnell’s cynical argument that as Ministers could not, because of a Parliamentary defeat, carry the Disturbance Bill, which they admitted was essential for the good government of Ireland, they ought, as men of honour, to free Ireland from the mischievous interference of the Imperial Parliament, seemed to cut Mr. Forster to the quick. At last, in Committee of Supply on the 26th of August, it was clear that an organised attempt to coerce the Government by obstruction was to be made. On the motion for going into Supply, Lord Randolph Churchill raised an irrelevant and discursive debate on the Irish policy of the Government, which had already been under bitter discussion for the best part of a fortnight. This set the Parnellites and the Ministerialists by the ears, and consumed a great part of the sitting. Then, when the vote for the Irish Police was moved, Lord Randolph Churchill and the Fourth Party vanished into the background, and left the work of obstruction to the{603} Parnellites, who kept it up till one o’clock in the afternoon of the following day (Friday, the 27th of August). The debate was at this stage adjourned till next Monday, when, after further discussion, the vote was carried. During these exciting and troublous scenes Mr. Gladstone was absent from the House of Commons. He had fallen ill on the 4th of July, and had gone for a cruise in one of Sir Donald Currie’s steamers, the Grantully Castle, to recover his health. During his absence his duties were taken up by Lord Hartington, who led the House till Mr. Gladstone was able to reappear on the 3rd of September. On the 6th of September Parliament was prorogued. But during the recess the condition of Ireland grew worse and worse. The landlords, dreading the forthcoming Land Bill, pressed on evictions. The Land League urged the people to refuse to pay rack rents, and the League had by this time become so powerful, that it could enforce its decrees almost as surely as if it had been the regular Government of the country. Its favourite weapon of coercion was to pronounce against bailiff or landlord, land agent or “land grabber”—i.e., a man who offered to take a farm from which the tenant had been unjustly evicted—sentence of social ostracism. The victim of this sentence was not assaulted or outraged, but he was treated as if he were a leper by his neighbours, and the system came to be known as “boycotting.”[165] Boycotting was indignantly assailed in England, and yet it was in itself a mark of progress. Just as slavery in primitive warfare was an improvement on cannibalism as a means of disposing of prisoners, so boycotting, carefully carried out within the law, was an improvement on assassination as a means of agrarian coercion. But the demand for retaliatory measures against the Parnellites was loud and strong among the upper and middle classes. Mr. Forster at last yielded to it, and it was in vain that Mr. Bright protested in one of his speeches that “force was no remedy.” Outrages increased in Ireland. The ladies of the Tory aristocracy, and some of the great Whig families, made arrangements for devoting their salons during the coming Session, to a social campaign against Mr. Chamberlain and the Radical section of the Cabinet. On the 2nd of November, 1880, the Irish Attorney-General filed an indictment of nineteen counts, against Mr. Parnell, Mr. Dillon, and various leaders of the Land League, for conspiring to incite tenants not to pay rent or take farms from which the occupiers had been{604} evicted, but the trial, after lasting for twenty days, broke down, because the jury could not agree on a verdict. Ere the year ended it was known that the Cabinet, though it had nearly been broken up by the decision, had at last consented to let Mr. Forster bring in a strong Coercion Bill next Session.

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The year was not an eventful one in the family life of the Court. Before Parliament was dissolved the Queen arranged to visit her relatives in Germany. The time had come when her granddaughters, the Princesses Victoria and Elizabeth of Hesse, were to be confirmed, and she desired to be present at the ceremony. Her Majesty and the Princess Beatrice (travelling as the Countess of Balmoral and the Countess Beatrice of Balmoral), attended by Sir H. F. Ponsonby, Viscount Bridport, and Lady Churchill, left Windsor Castle on the 25th of March, and embarked at one o’clock on the royal yacht Victoria and Albert. It was intended that the Queen should proceed to Darmstadt to visit the Grand Duke of Hesse and the tomb of Princess Alice. There the Queen would be joined by the Prince and Princess of Wales. On the 25th the Queen and her suite landed at five o’clock at Cherbourg, and entered their special train. The public were excluded from the stations on{605}

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the route, and every effort was made to respect the Queen’s incognito. The Royal party arrived at Baden-Baden at half-past three in the afternoon of the 27th, and the Queen drove immediately to the Villa Hohenlohe, which was to be her residence during her stay. As for her suite, they were lodged at the Hotel Europe. On the 30th her Majesty, the Princess Beatrice, and suite, left Baden-Baden by special train for Darmstadt, where they were received by the Grand Duke and the elder Princesses of Hesse. A carriage drawn by four horses was in waiting to convey the Royal party to the Castle, where the Queen occupied the Assembly Chamber, whilst apartments were allotted to the Princess Beatrice in the Clock Tower. The Prince and Princess of Wales, who had left Marlborough House three days before, arrived at Darmstadt on the 29th. On the 31st the Queen and Princess Beatrice, accompanied by the Grand Duke of Hesse, proceeded at half-past four to the mausoleum on the Rosenhöhe, where Princess Alice was buried. On the morning of the same day the Queen, with the Prince and Princess of Wales, and Princess Beatrice, the German Crown Prince, the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess, and the Hereditary Grand Duke of Baden, attended the confirmation of the Princesses Victoria and Elizabeth, daughters of the Grand Duke of Hesse. The Queen and Princess Beatrice then returned to Baden on the 1st of April. On April the 16th, on her return from Baden, her Majesty arrived at Laeken, and was received at the railway station by the King and Queen of the Belgians and Mr. Lumley, the British Minister. After visiting the park and grounds of the Palace, and partaking of luncheon, the Queen left for Flushing. On April the 17th her Majesty and suite left Flushing for Queenborough, en route for Windsor, where she arrived in safety, to find the station thronged with residents, who had gathered to welcome her on her return, while crowds of kindly spectators lined the way to the Castle. She returned just as the electoral crisis was over, to find the Ministry she had thought so stable overthrown, and public opinion not only clamouring for the dismissal of Lord Beaconsfield from office, but for the return of Mr. Gladstone to power. On the 27th of April she gave Lord Beaconsfield his farewell audience, and for the next fortnight was deeply absorbed in transacting the business incidental to the formation of a new Ministry amidst distracting intrigues which were not altogether friendly to the new Ministers.

On the 20th of May the Queen and the Princess Beatrice left Windsor for Balmoral, and the Prince and Princess of Wales discharged her Majesty’s social duties during her absence. On her way to her Highland home the Queen took part in a ceremony of which she was, in fact, the promoter. During a terrific storm on the 16th of February, a Swedish ship had been thrown on the rocks near Peterhead. The Coastguard succeeded in flinging a rocket over the wreck, but the crew were apparently unable to understand the working of the apparatus. And so, in all human probability, the vessel{607} would have been lost with all souls but for the bravery of George Oatley, one of the Coastguard. Oatley, disregarding every appeal to the contrary, resolved to swim out to the distressed ship. After a fierce conflict with the angry waves he gained the vessel, fixed the rocket appliance, saw the crew safely conveyed ashore, and was himself the last to take his place in the cradle. The Duke of Edinburgh having recommended him for the Albert Medal of the First Class, her Majesty presented it in person on the 22nd of May. The interesting ceremony took place at Ferry Hill Junction, where a platform had been erected for the occasion along the side of the line. The Queen and Princess Beatrice were greeted with the heartiest cheers as they left the saloon. Captain Best, R.N., Commander of the coastguard division to which the hero of the day belonged, having introduced him to her Majesty, the Queen attached the medal to Oatley’s breast, and expressed the pleasure it afforded her to decorate him for his gallant conduct. She then resumed her seat in the train, and her journey was continued. The Court returned to Windsor on the 23rd of June.

On the 13th of July a General Order was issued by the Duke of Cambridge, by command of the Queen, conveying her congratulations to the Volunteers on the completion of the twenty-first year of their existence, and expressing her regret that she was unable to hold a review of the citizen soldiers in Windsor Great Park. On the afternoon of the following day her Majesty reviewed 11,000 regular troops in Windsor Great Park. This was a brilliant affair, the 5th and 7th Dragoon Guards winding up the display with a most dashing charge. On the 19th of July the Queen and the Princess Beatrice left Windsor and took up their quarters at Osborne where, on the 28th, her Majesty received a party of eight officers and men of the 24th Regiment, who brought with them the colours of that corps, which had been rescued from the hands of the Zulus by two ensigns at the cost of their lives. Her Majesty inspected the colours, and spoke with brief and simple eloquence of the bravery and loyalty of the regiment, touching with manifest emotion on the death of the ensigns who had sacrificed their lives for their standards. Curiously enough, Indian telegrams published about this time in the newspapers showed that at the battle of Maiwand the majority of the officers of the 66th Regiment were killed in the vain attempt to defend their colours; in fact, the regiment lost 400 out of its strength of 500 in this action. The attention of military men was thus drawn to the practice of carrying colours into action, and it was argued that it was one more honoured in the breach than the observance. History hardly records a case where a regiment has been rallied on its colours. On the other hand, a hundred fights besides Isandhlwana and Maiwand testify that many valuable lives have been lost in defending them. Nor are colours necessary as incentives to bravery, for the Rifle regiments (whose record is one of unsullied glory) never carried any colours, though they fought fully as well as the{608} regiments that encumbered themselves with flaunting banners.[166] On the 21st of August the Queen crossed over to Portsmouth, and inspected the 1st battalion of the Rifle Brigade previous to its departure for India. The regiments were not drawn up in line in spick and span order, but were visited by her Majesty as they sat at mess in undress uniform on board the troopship, and, as she made a minute inspection of their quarters, the novelty of the scene apparently interested and amused her very much. The exceptional honour thus conferred on the Riflemen was due to the close connection of the corps with the Royal Family.[167]

On the 26th of August the Court went to Balmoral, from whence, just before Parliament was prorogued, she addressed to the Ministry a strong Memorandum drawing attention to the frequency with which railway accidents were occurring, and urging that steps should be taken to provide travellers with better security for safety. In October she held many anxious consultations with Lord Granville and Lord Hartington on the state of Ireland, where the increase in outrages, such as the savage murders of Mr. Boyd and Lord Mountmorres[168] gave her great pain. The result was that Lord Hartington, when he arrived in London from Balmoral on the 11th of October, was immediately visited by Mr. Gladstone and Lord Granville, and in political circles it was soon rumoured that the Irish Government was about to prosecute the leaders of the Irish Land League. On the 10th of October the Queen and Princess Beatrice went to spend a few days amidst the snowdrifts of the Glassalt Sheil. The Court returned to Windsor on the 17th of December, to find the world—for a time at least—talking of something else besides Irish outrages.

Lord Beaconsfield had just published his last brilliant and audacious political novel, “Endymion,” in what one of its characters describes as “the{609} Corinthian style, in which the Mænad of Mr. Burke was habited in the last mode of Almack’s.” The town was in raptures over a burlesque of Society, which blended together into amusing personalities such opposite characters as Cardinal Wiseman and Cardinal Manning; Lord Palmerston and Sidney Herbert; Poole the tailor, and Hudson the railway king; which made Prince Bismarck tilt with Napoleon III. at the Eglinton Tournament; which idealised the author as Endymion, Lady Beaconsfield as Imogen, and Napoleon III. as Prince Florestan; which travestied Lady Palmerston as Zenobia, caricatured Thackeray cleverly but spitefully as Mr. St. Barbe, and George Smythe cleverly but not spitefully as Waldershare.

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The year closed with a more serious event in the world of literature, the death (on the 22nd of December) of George Eliot, whose novels were ever a perennial source of pure enjoyment to the Queen. George Eliot was, at her death, the first of living novelists, and the womanhood of England in the Victorian period produced no genius that in culture, strength, tenderness, spiritual insight, and humour, could be compared with hers. The sombre fatalism of the Greek tragedians overshadows her “Mill on the Floss.” The humour of Shakespeare ripples through the taproom scenes in “Silas Marner.” In “Romola,” were{610} it not overweighted with psychological analysis, she would have defeated Scott in the glowing field of historical romance, and did defeat the author of “Esmond” in an arena in which he was supposed to be peerless among his contemporaries. In “Adam Bede,” which has probably been read more widely than any other story of our time by the English-speaking race, she revealed all the grace, sweetness, delicacy of feeling, nobility of intellect, and purity of heart, that formed her fascinating and sympathetic personality.


Lord Beaconsfield Attacks the Government—The Irish Crisis—The Coercion Bills—An All-night Sitting—The Arrest of Mr. Davitt—The Revolt of the Irish Members—The Speaker’s Coup d’État—Urgency—New Rules of Procedure—The Speaker’s Clôture—End of the Struggle against Coercion—Mr. Dillon’s Irish Campaign—Mr. Forster’s First Batch of “Suspects”—The Peers Censure the Ministry—Mr. Gladstone’s “Retort Courteous”—Abolition of the “Cat”—The Budget—Paying off the National Debt—The Irish Land Bill—The Three “F’s”—Resignation of the Duke of Argyll—The Strategic Blunder of the Tories—The Fallacy of Dual Ownership—Conflict between the Lords and Commons—Surrender of the Peers—Passing the Land Bill—Revolt of the Transvaal—The Rout of Majuba Hill—Death of Sir George Colley—The Boers Triumphant—Concession of Autonomy to the Boers—Lord Beaconsfield’s Death—His Career and Character—A “Walking Funeral” at Hughenden—The Queen and Lord Beaconsfield’s Tomb—A Sorrowing Nation—Assassination of the Czar—The Queen and the Duchess of Edinburgh—Character of the Czar Emancipator—Precautions for the Safety of the Queen—Visit of the King and Queen of Sweden to Windsor—Prince Leopold becomes Duke of Albany—Deaths of Dean Stanley and Mr. Carlyle—Review of Scottish Volunteers—Assassination of President Garfield—The Royal Family—The Highlands—Holiday Pastimes—The Parnellites and the Irish Land Act—Arrest of Mr. Parnell—No-Rent Manifesto.

The year 1881 confronted the Government with four difficulties. The Irish Question was growing more serious every day. With a heavy heart England not only saw herself committed to a war of reconquest in the Transvaal, but heard her most sanguine Imperialists admitting that Sir Bartle Frere’s scheme for a South African Confederation had utterly broken down. The Parliament of the Cape Colony would not even seriously discuss it, and Sir Bartle Frere had been recalled at the end of 1880. Victory had crowned British arms in Afghanistan, but Lord Beaconsfield’s policy of holding Candahar, and controlling the rest of the country by British Residents, was obviously impossible. Lord Lytton, who now called it an “experiment,” admitted that the murder of Cavagnari had proved it to be a failure. The claims of Greece to an increase of territory and a better frontier, had been admitted to be just by the Powers, but Turkey still refused to accept any compromise which Europe suggested, and Greece pressed her demands with growing impatience. The nation was therefore relieved to find that Parliament was to meet earlier than usual, and when it assembled on the 6th of January it was soon seen that the Session would be a stormy one. Among the upper and upper middle classes the Government was denounced with a bitterness{611} that had no parallel, for permitting Ireland to fall into “anarchy” under the dominion of the Land League.

In the debate on the Address in the House of Lords, Lord Beaconsfield, appealing to the prevailing sentiment of disappointment, sought to show that all these difficulties were due to Mr. Gladstone’s sudden reversal of the Conservative policy when he came into office. The speech was pitched in a strange, shrewish note of anger, and it failed to produce much effect. Men could not forget that only a few months before Lord Beaconsfield had taunted the Ministry with meekly and slavishly carrying out his policy. It was not easy to forget that Lord Beaconsfield had abandoned the Coercion Act and allowed the Land League to fix its grip on Ireland, that the troubles in Afghanistan were entirely due to his desire to govern that country without being at the expense of occupying it, that the alternative policy adopted by him after the murder of Cavagnari—that of detaching Candahar and putting it under a Wali, who was to be friendly and independent—ended in the fall of the Wali and the desertion of his troops to the enemy which produced the disaster of Maiwand. As for South Africa, even the Times, which had supported Lord Beaconsfield’s policy in that region, now wrote, “what a miserable business our whole connection with the annexation of the Transvaal has been from first to last. The original annexation of the country was a mistake, and it has been the parent of all the rest.” Knowing that Englishmen would never sanction a war for the conquest of a free European people who objected to come under British rule, Lord Beaconsfield’s agents supplied Parliament with no information on the subject, save that which indicated that the Boers would welcome absorption in the British Empire as the surest means of deliverance from native difficulties. The Greek difficulty obviously was an evil inheritance from the Treaty of Berlin by which Lord Beaconsfield conferred on England “Peace with Honour.”

But the domestic crisis in Ireland was far too serious to permit men to indulge in party recriminations, and Lord Beaconsfield showed his sense in urging his followers not to do anything to weaken the Government. Unfortunately, neither he nor Sir Stafford Northcote had much control over the aggressive Tories who were led by the Fourth Party, and the Fourth Party, when the Session opened, cemented more strongly than ever their alliance with the Parnellites for purposes of obstructive opposition. The Tory Party were ably led on two distinct lines of attack. One wing did what it could to goad the Ministry into scourging Ireland with coercive legislation. Another wing gave the Irish members all the help it dared give them publicly in obstructing the domestic legislation, and embarrassing the Foreign Policy of the Ministry. Coercion Bills were announced on the first day of the Session, and the consequence was that it was not till after eleven days’ wearisome wrangling that the debate on the Address ended on the 20th of January. On the 24th, Mr. Forster introduced his Protection of Persons and Property{612} (Ireland) Bill, giving the Lord-Lieutenant power to arrest by warrant persons suspected of treasonable intentions, intimidation, and incitement to violate the laws. If he had this power, said Mr. Forster, he could put under lock and key the “village ruffians” and outrage-mongers who attacked people that were obnoxious to the Land League, and then Ireland would be at peace.

The violence with which the Irish Members obstructed this Bill provoked Mr. Bright to attack them in a speech on the 27th of January, which rendered him and them enemies for life. Mr. Gladstone followed in the same vein, and on Monday, the 31st of January, a scene that became historic was enacted. The debate was prolonged all day and all night, and on through the dull, grey hours of the morning of the 1st of February, and still on all night without ceasing, till the enraged and exhausted House found itself at nine in the morning of the 2nd of February still in session and with no prospect of release. Then the Speaker interfered, saying that it was clear to him the Bill had been wilfully obstructed for forty-one hours. In order to vindicate the honour of the House, whose rules seemed powerless to meet the difficulty, he declared his determination to put the main question without further debate. This was done amidst loud shouts of “Privilege” from the Irish Members, who left the House in a body, and the motion for leave to bring in the Bill, a motion rarely obstructed by any debate, was carried by a vote of 164 to 19. For the first time in the history of Parliament, a debate had been closed by the personal authority of the Speaker.

Mr. Gladstone having announced that the Second Reading of the Bill would be taken that day at noon, the Irish Members returned to the charge. They attempted to challenge the action of the Speaker, and moved the adjournment of the House; but in spite of the support which they received from Lord Randolph Churchill, they were beaten on a division, though they succeeded in wasting the whole of the sitting. Next day (Thursday, the 3rd of February) the Irish Members began the attack by asking if it were true that Mr. Davitt had been arrested. “Yes, sir,” was the answer of Sir William Harcourt. Then, when Mr. Gladstone rose to move the adoption of the new Rule of Procedure, Mr. Dillon rose to a point of order. The Speaker requested him to be seated, but he refused. He was then “named” for wilfully disregarding the authority of the Chair, and, in conformity with the Standing Order, Mr. Gladstone immediately moved his suspension for the rest of the sitting. The motion was carried by a vote of 395 to 33, and, as Mr. Dillon declined to withdraw, he was removed by the Serjeant-at-Arms. After a futile attempt on the part of Mr. Sullivan to dispute the legality of the Speaker’s action, Mr. Gladstone again rose, whereupon The O’Donoghue moved the adjournment of the House. The Speaker ruled that Mr. Gladstone should proceed. Mr. Parnell now moved that Mr. Gladstone be not{613}

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(From a Photograph by William Lawrence, Dublin.)

heard.[169] The Speaker “named” Mr. Parnell, who was then suspended and removed like Mr. Dillon. Mr. Finigan next repeated Mr. Parnell’s offence, and was removed in the same manner. On this occasion twenty-eight Irish Members were reported as refusing to leave their seats when the Speaker ordered the House to be cleared for a division. The Speaker “named” them all, and though Mr. Balfour and Mr. Gorst, on behalf of{614} the Fourth Party, feelingly remonstrated against the vote for their suspension en bloc being put, the Speaker ruled that this was a question not of order but convenience, and the vote was carried by 410 to 4. Then the Speaker ordered them one by one to be removed. Five others, who were not included, procured their expulsion, and, after a struggle of three hours and a half, “the Speaker’s coup d’état,” as the Nationalists called it, ended.[170]

Mr. Gladstone now, pale and worn out with the excitement, delivered his speech in support of the new Rules of Procedure. Sir Stafford Northcote showed that he still shared the hostility of the Tory Party to any scheme for effectively crushing obstruction; but the conduct of the Irish Members had so incensed the House, that he had to limit his opposition to an amendment which but slightly weakened the force of Mr. Gladstone’s proposal. The Rule finally adopted declared that, when a Minister moved, after notice, that the state of public business was urgent, the Speaker was to put the question without debate. If this motion were carried by a majority of not less than three to one in a House of 300 Members, then the powers of the House for the regulation of its business should be transferred to the Speaker, who could enforce such rules as he pleased for its management, till the state of public business should be declared by him to be no longer urgent. A motion could be made by a Member to terminate urgency, but it must be put without debate. On the 9th of February the Speaker laid before the House the new Rules which he had drawn up for the state of urgency in which public business was now declared to be. They adopted the principle of the Clôture, which Sir Stafford Northcote deprecated and the Fourth Party abhorred, and gave the Speaker power, when supported by a three-fourths’ majority, to close a debate by putting the question without further discussion. No debate on a motion to go into Committee, or on postponing the preamble of a Bill under urgency, was to be allowed. Opportunities for moving adjournments were curtailed, and the Speaker was to have power to order a Member to stop talking when he became guilty of “irrelevance or tedious repetition.” In Committee the Clôture was not to be applied, but no Members (except those in charge of Bills or those who had moved amendments) were to be allowed to speak more than once to the same question.

Even under urgency the debate on the Coercion Bill in Committee went on slowly, and at one time (owing to Lord Randolph Churchill, who supported the Bill “with reluctance and distrust,” and Sir John Holker, who contended that “liberty was more precious than coercion,” displaying much sympathy with the opponents of the measure) it was feared that Ministers would lose the support of a large section of the Opposition. This fear was baseless, but the debate went on till the 21st of February, when the Speaker, on a motion summarily moved by Lord Hartington, suddenly terminated it under{615} the new Rules. All amendments not disposed of after seven o’clock on the 22nd were put and divided on without debate. The measure received the Queen’s assent on the 2nd of March. A Bill giving the Irish police power to search houses for arms was introduced by Sir William Harcourt on the 1st of March, read a third time on the 4th, and passed by the House of Lords on the 18th of March. The struggle against coercion thus lasted nine weeks, and the violence with which the Irish Party conducted it is defended by Mr. T. P. O’Connor on the grounds that it consolidated the Nationalist Party, and that the scenes in the House so roused the temper of the Irish people that the Peers were afraid to reject the Land Bill of 1881, as they did the Compensation for Disturbance Bill of 1880.[171] On the other hand, they permanently alienated from the Irish Party the sympathies of a large class of moderate Liberals in England, who were anxious to legislate for Ireland in a sympathetic spirit.

After the Coercion Bill had passed, Mr. Dillon carried on a passionate agitation against the Government in Ireland, and Mr. Forster retaliated by imprisoning him and several other Land Leaguers as “suspects” in May. Mr. Finigan was sent down to Coventry, where an election was taking place, to canvass the constituency on behalf of the Tory candidate, Mr. Eaton, a tangible expression of gratitude for the occasional sympathy that had been extended to the Parnellites by Lord Randolph Churchill, and some other Conservatives during the Coercion debates. There was a lull in the storm, however, during which the Peers censured the Government for refusing to occupy Candahar. A vote of the House of Commons on the 25th of March reversed this censure, for the House rejected by 336 to 216 a motion of Mr. Stanhope’s, blaming the Government for withdrawing from Candahar “at the present time.” When the Tories refused to commit themselves to the proposition that it was the duty of the Government to hold Candahar permanently, and merely demanded its occupation “at the present time,” their attack assumed the complexion of a party demonstration. If England were to leave Candahar at all the sooner she left it the better, for the longer her troops stayed the more difficult it would be to establish the native government of Abdurrahman in the Province. The Army Discipline Bill, abolishing flogging, passed through the House of Commons without much opposition from the Tories, and was read a third time by the House of Lords on the 7th of April. The Budget was introduced by Mr. Gladstone on the 4th of April, and on an estimated expenditure of £84,705,000, and an estimated revenue of £85,900,000, he showed a probable surplus of £1,195,000. This was reduced by £100,000, consumed in paying off a loan for building barracks. Mr. Gladstone, therefore, reduced the Income Tax to 5d. in the pound, and converted the deficit thereby incurred of £275,000, into a surplus of £295,000, by levying{616} an uniform surtax of 4d. a gallon on foreign spirits, in accordance with the test of standard strength applied to wines, and by minor changes in the Probate, Legacy, and Succession Duties. The most important part of his statement was that, during the past year, the National Debt had been reduced by £7,000,000. He also foreshadowed a great scheme for the extinction of £60,000,000 of debt, by the conversion of one-third of the short annuities terminating in 1885 into long annuities terminating in 1906. As this would make Consols scarce, it would put up their price, and enable him or his successor, in the course of ten years, to reduce the interest on the National Debt.

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The long-expected Irish Land Bill was introduced by Mr. Gladstone on the 7th of April. It gave tenants the right to go before a Land Court and have “fair rents” fixed for fifteen years, a fair rent being one that would let the tenant live and thrive. During these fifteen years eviction, save for non-payment of rent, was to be impossible. If a tenant wished to sell his tenant-right or goodwill, the landlord had the pre-emptive right of buying at the price fixed by the Court. The Court was to have power to advance to tenants desirous of buying their farms three-fourths of the purchase-money, or even the whole if need be, and these advances were repayable on easy terms. Advances could also be made to promote emigration. The Bill was well received on the whole by the country, but the landed gentry denounced it as an act of socialism and confiscation, and the Duke of Argyll resigned his office. On the 24th of April long and stormy debates on the Second Reading began, and it was not till the end of July that the Bill was sent up to the House of Lords. The Tory Party made a mistake in basing their opposition to the measure on the ground that it was socialistic, confiscatory, and{617}

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(From a Drawing by Harry Furniss.)

contrary to the laws of political economy. The principle of arranging the business relations of landlord and tenant in Ireland by Act of Parliament having been accepted by the country, the only practical method of attacking the Bill was to have shown that it would not arrange them to the mutual satisfaction of the parties interested. The theory of the measure was, that every Irish farm is owned by two persons—by the farmer, who owns the improvements he has made on the soil, by the landlord who owns everything else. The Bill gave the tenant additional means for protecting his share of the land from being devoured by the landlord. Did it do this effectively, and if effectively, in such a manner as to work no injustice to the landlord? From the Tory point of view, it would have been easy to argue that no system of dual ownership, which forces persons with hostile interests into partnership in husbandry, can work smoothly. If prices rise the landlord’s fixed rent will not rise with them. If prices fall the tenant will refuse to{618} pay the fixed rent, because it is no longer fair; and then the old weary path of agrarian warfare has again to be trod. A great scheme for establishing peasant proprietorship all over Ireland with the help of the State might have saved the Irish landlords at this juncture. But the Tories were led not by a Stein, but a Cecil, and the golden opportunity was lost. From the Irish point of view, the Bill bristled with weak points. It did nothing for leaseholders. It left tenants loaded with arrears, and therefore still exposed to eviction. Although Mr. Healy inserted a clause prohibiting the Courts from taking a tenant’s improvements into the valuation on which a fair rent was fixed, the Judges, by a decision in the case of Adams v. Dunseath, virtually nullified the clause.

It was not till the 29th of July that Mr. Gladstone carried the Third Reading of the Bill after a desperate struggle. The House of Lords mutilated it, so that it became worse than useless, and then there came a deep cry of indignation from the country. Mr. Gladstone sent the Bill back practically unaltered, and as the tempest of anger in the country rose the Peers surrendered and let the measure pass. The Ministry, however, had to drop all their other Bills, except those abolishing flogging in the Army and Navy. The only private Members who carried Bills of public interest were Mr. Hutchinson and Mr. Roberts. Mr. Hutchinson’s Bill protected newspaper reports of lawful meetings from prosecution for libel, and made it necessary to obtain the Attorney-General’s sanction before criminal proceedings for libel could be asked for. Mr. Roberts passed the Act closing public-houses during Sundays in Wales.

Mr. Bradlaugh’s case, however, again vexed the angry sea of political strife at intervals during the Session. The law courts ruled that he could not legally make an affirmation, and so Mr. Bradlaugh resigned his seat, and again got elected for Northampton. This time he presented himself on the 26th of April to be sworn as a new Member. Sir Stafford Northcote objected, and though no precedent exists for preventing a new Member from being sworn, the Speaker referred the matter to the House, which decided against Mr. Bradlaugh. Thereupon ensued a shocking scene, and Mr. Bradlaugh had to be removed by force. Nothing strikes the reader now as more absurd than the protestations of the Tories, that to concede this claim was to sanction sacrilege. The course they objected to was precisely the one which Mr. Bradlaugh adopted when they were in office in 1886, and which they and the Speaker found it expedient to permit. A Bill was now brought in to allow all Members to affirm who could not conscientiously take the oath. This was opposed and so successfully obstructed that it had to be dropped. After that Mr. Bradlaugh, on the 3rd of August, cheered by an immense crowd of sympathisers, attempted to enter the House in defiance of an order which Sir Stafford Northcote had carried excluding him from its precincts. There were some of his Radical sympathisers—Mr.{619} Fawcett was among the number—who did not quite approve of this proceeding. At all events Mr. Bradlaugh gained nothing by it, for he was flung into Palace Yard by the police hatless, dishevelled, and with his coat torn in the fray.

The recall of Sir Bartle Frere did not settle the South African difficulty. Sir G. P. Colley, in trying to avenge the defeat of Bronkhurst Spruit, was early in the year beaten by the Boers at Laing’s Nek and Ingogo. On the 26th of February, reinforced by Sir Evelyn Wood, he let the Boers out-manœuvre him, and spring upon the oddly variegated and composite force with which he had rashly occupied Majuba Hill. Though the enemy’s troops only consisted of raw levies of irregular sharpshooters, they soon dispersed the British host. It was a shameful rout, in which a kind fate doomed the luckless Colley to death. The unfortunate thing was that this fray should have happened at all. Negotiations were actually going on between the British and the Boers for a peaceful settlement.[172] Were they to be broken off? After admitting by opening up these negotiations, that the war was unjust, was a great and powerful Empire to go on with it for the sake of prestige? And was it, after all, British prowess that would be vindicated by victory? Was it not rather the fame of Sir George Pomeroy Colley that had alone been sullied? In other words, was England justified in slaughtering a few hundred Boer farmers, because Sir George Colley had let them beat his heroic but mismanaged troops in battle? It is impossible to say how the nation answered these difficult questions. But Mr. Gladstone’s reply was an emphatic “No,” although he had unfortunately declared, immediately after coming into office, that he would not grant the demands of the Boers, till they laid down their arms. The end of it was, that the Boers were allowed to set up an autonomous Republic under a British Protectorate, British interference being limited to controlling their foreign policy. It is curious to observe that this was the only act ever done by Mr. Gladstone which the European and American Press, with cordial unanimity, declared enhanced the prestige of England, as a State so confident of its giant’s strength, that it deemed it ignoble to use it like a giant.

In the spring the shadow of mourning fell over the nation. On the morning of the 19th of April Lord Beaconsfield, who had been ailing for some days, passed away peacefully to his last rest. Mr. Gladstone at once telegraphed to his relatives offering a public funeral in Westminster Abbey, but the executors were compelled to decline the honour. Lord Beaconsfield’s will directed that he should be buried beside his wife, and there were also legal obstacles that even the Queen’s personal wishes could not overcome.[173] His life,{620} to use a favourite phrase of his own, was “really a romance,” and his career a long and brilliant adventure. His strength lay in his freedom from prejudices, in his intellectual detachment from English insularity, in his consummate knowledge of the foibles of the lower middle class whom he enfranchised. He achieved success by skilfully avoiding the mistake of Peel, who led his Party without educating it. Lord Beaconsfield did both. His fame as a writer of sparkling political burlesques, his command of invective, his wit, and his audacity won for him the ear of a Senate which loves men who can amuse it. The defection of the Peelites left the Tory Party, in 1846, intellectually poverty-stricken, and though a proud aristocracy long refused to recognise their most brilliant swordsman as their leader, they had to accept him at last.

At this period of his career the chief obstacle in Mr. Disraeli’s path was believed to be the hostility of the Queen, who, however, nobly atoned for it by subsequently loading him with favours. With the exception, perhaps, of Lord Aberdeen, no Minister of the present generation has been more sincerely beloved as a friend by his Sovereign than Lord Beaconsfield. He had the subtle tact and the delicate refinement of a woman, with the stubborn courage and iron will of a man. As for his policy and his principles, the time has not yet come to judge them fairly. He was no more to blame for bringing his generous democratic impulses to the service of the Tory Party than the eldest son of a Whig Peer is to blame for limping after the Radicals on the crutch of Conservative instincts. In the one case it is the tyranny of chance and opportunity, in the other the accident of birth, that determines the choice. All through life Mr. Disraeli had to fight his battle from false positions, and this gave his efforts an air of gladiatorial insincerity. Not till 1874, when he came to power with a large majority, was he entirely a free agent; and then it was seen that, though comparatively indifferent to questions of administration and questions involving the mere forms of Government, he took an eager and practical interest in social reform. For nearly two years he was at the zenith of his power. The House of Commons he managed with bright urbanity, easy grace, conciliatory dexterity, and a light but firm touch which had never been seen before. Suddenly and without the least warning his spell seemed broken. His fine tact disappeared; his touch grew hard and was felt to be a little irresolute; faint traces of irritability ruffled the clear surface of his serene intelligence; and in a sudden emergency he seemed to grow maladroit. The change first became obvious when he attempted to deal with Mr. Plimsoll’s case in 1875, and, as it grew, his personal ascendency over the House of Commons slowly decayed. He seemed to live more and more in dreams, and to grow less and less sensitive to the pulse of popular opinion. It was in this mood that he fell into the two disastrous blunders of his life.{621}

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He tried to solve the Eastern Question by applying to it the obsolete ideas of Palmerston. When this mistake led him from one embarrassment to another, he tried to retrieve the situation by applying his own ideas to it. Unfortunately, when he went to find them he looked, not into the depths of his own clear intelligence, but into a romance written by one whom he had known in his youth, and who was styled “D’Israeli the Younger.” “Yes,” he said to a friend who put the question to him in those days, “I sometimes do read{622} ‘Tancred’ now—for instruction.” Because the stolid English people grew sick of vainly trying to shape their destinies according to the Tancredian scheme of the universe, Lord Beaconsfield fell from power at the moment when he was most fully persuaded that monarch and multitude were alike under the spell of his picturesque personality. Had he been ten years younger when he obtained the majority of 1874, the crash of 1880 would probably have been averted. There is a strange pathos in the close of this dazzling career. According to Sir Stafford Northcote, the last words he was understood to utter were these: “Is there any bad news in the Gazette?”[174]

On the 26th of April a spectacle, at once affecting and beautiful, took place in the church at Hughenden, where Lord Beaconsfield’s funeral was solemnised. His body had been transferred from London to High Wycombe, and thence conveyed to Hughenden Manor, without the slightest pomp or display of any kind. He, on whose accents the world was wont to hang breathlessly at supreme moments in its fate, received what is known in Bucks as “a walking funeral.” Nothing was to be seen of the ghastly mummery of undertakers. Only one feature in the simple obsequies gave any hint as to the place which the deceased had filled in the State. Before the bier walked his faithful servant, carrying on a cushion of crimson velvet an Earl’s coronet and the insignia of the Order of the Garter. Thus was he laid, as he wished, beside his wife. Notwithstanding his desire for privacy, nothing could prevent vast numbers of persons of wholly unofficial position, and in many cases indifferent to political partisanship, from attending to pay the illustrious dead the last homage of affection and respect. Uninvited guests in serried masses swarmed around the churchyard, and lined the road to Hughenden Manor. Royalty was present in the persons of the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Connaught, and Prince Leopold, the last-named representing the Queen.[175] Behind the Princes came the Ambassadors and representatives of foreign Powers, the friends of the deceased nobleman who were his colleagues in the Governments of 1868 and 1874, and the general body of invited friends. Among these Lord Beaconsfield left not a dry eye behind him. Not since the death of Fox had any Statesman been so affectionately mourned by the people to whom he had consecrated the powers of his brilliant genius.[176]

On the 30th of April the Queen and Princess Beatrice visited Lord{623} Beaconsfield’s tomb, every precaution having been observed to prevent the fact of the Royal movements from becoming known in the district. At four o’clock Lord Rowton and Sir Philip Rose, with the Vicar of Hughenden, completed the arrangements for her Majesty’s reception. At half-past four her outriders passed through the lodge gate of Hughenden Manor, being followed rapidly by her carriage, which proceeded to the wicket gate, and stopped immediately at the entrance to the churchyard. Here the Queen and Princess Beatrice were received by Lord Rowton, with whom they walked to the south porch of the church. Her Majesty proceeded to the tomb, and, with tearful eyes, placed a votive wreath and cross of white camellias and other flowers beside the other offerings, which completely covered the lid of the coffin. She then drove through the grounds to the Manor House, and partook of tea in the saloon; after which she inspected the late Earl’s study and other apartments, and left Hughenden for Windsor.

Although diplomatic controversies had created much ill-feeling between the Governments of England and Russia, the Queen and the Czar had ever maintained the friendliest personal relations. It was, therefore, with the deepest pain that her Majesty was informed, on the 14th of March, of the assassination of Alexander II. The Czar was returning from a military review near St. Petersburg on Sunday, the 13th of March, when a bomb was thrown, which exploded behind the Imperial carriage, killing several soldiers. The Czar jumped out of the carriage to see to the poor men who were hurt, and it was to this kindly act that he owed his death. Another bomb was flung at his feet, which exploded and mangled his body in the most cruel manner. The Queen did what she could to console the Duchess of Edinburgh, who was prostrated with grief by her father’s death. The Court was ordered to go into mourning for a month. Both Houses of Parliament addressed messages of condolence to her Majesty and the Duchess of Edinburgh. The nation, with hardly a dissentient voice, echoed the sentiments of their representatives, and the Press was filled with generous tributes of admiration and respect for the Czar Emancipator. It was now recognised that Alexander II. would live in history as one of the most enlightened and humane of European Sovereigns. The great act of his life, the liberation of the Serfs, had converted them into communal peasant proprietors, and put them in a more secure position than any other peasantry in Europe. His devotion to the highest interests of Russia knew no limits, and no European Sovereign has, in our time, excelled him in the skill and wisdom with which he guided and moderated the aspirations of his excitable subjects. It was notorious that he was forced into the Turkish War by a current of popular feeling he could not withstand. On the other hand, when engaged in the war he quitted himself like a man. Tales of his well-known kindness of heart and sympathy for suffering spread from the camps and hospitals through Russia, and invested him in the eyes of the Slav race with the mystic halo of a Divine Figure. His firmness and{624}

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(From a Photograph by W. and D. Downey.)

obstinacy in pressing on the war crushed the despondent party, who would have ended it at any price after the first disaster at Plevna. When his policy of forcing the Balkan passes triumphed, the same firmness and obstinacy enabled him to curb those who, flushed with success, would have abused their victory. It was by his orders that deference was paid to German and Austrian opinions in the settlement of peace. It was his moderation and loyal desire to live at peace with Britain that enabled Count Schouvaloff to build for Lord Salisbury the golden bridge of retreat which he crossed when he signed the Secret Agreement, that was afterwards expanded into the Treaty of Berlin. No foreign despot ever succeeded to the same extent in winning the personal respect of the most thoughtful portion of the British people. The assassination of the Czar called attention to the extraordinary destructive{625}

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(From a Photograph by W. and D. Downey.)

forces which modern science had placed in the hands of the political assassin. That the event produced a profound and prostrating effect on the nerves of the Court was soon seen. The Queen left Windsor for Osborne on the 6th of April, and the public were somewhat alarmed to find that for the first time in her career precautions were taken to protect her life, as if she were a despot travelling amidst a people who thirsted for her blood. The Royal train was not only as usual preceded by a pilot engine, but orders had been given to station patrols of platelayers, each within sight of the other, along the whole line. Every watchman was provided with flags and fog signals, so that on the least suspicion the train could be stopped. The time of the Queen’s departure had been announced for Tuesday. It was at the last moment altered to Wednesday. When she arrived at Portsmouth, the Alberta,{626} in which it was supposed she was to embark, was discarded for the Enchantress, which was suddenly ordered up; and from these and other circumstances it was inferred that the Queen was afraid she might be made the victim of a dark plot like that to which the Czar had succumbed. Fenianism, indeed, was beginning to raise its head again in Ireland under the stimulating application of repressive measures. Soon afterwards attempts which were made to blow up the Mansion House and the Liverpool Town Hall indicated that there was some justification for the Queen’s alarm.

Court life was not so dull during 1881 as it had been in previous years. The Queen was ever flitting to and fro between Windsor and Osborne, and almost every month during the season she held a Drawing Room in Buckingham Palace. State Concerts were not infrequent, and on the 17th of May the King and Queen of Sweden visited Windsor, and the King was invested with the Order of the Garter. On the 20th the Queen left Windsor and proceeded to Balmoral; and on the 24th it was announced that she had determined to revive the ancient Scottish title of Duke of Albany and confer it on Prince Leopold. It was a title of evil omen. The fate of the first prince who bore it supplies a dark and tragic episode to Scott’s “Fair Maid of Perth.” The second Duke of Albany died on the castle hill of Stirling. When conferred on the second son of James II. of Scotland it soon became extinct. Darnley wore it before he was married to Mary Stuart. The second son of James VI. and the second son of Charles I. bore it. Charles Edward Stuart was long known as Count of Albany. It was conferred on Prince Frederick, the second son of George II. Prince Leopold had, by his thoughtful and sagacious speeches in public, attracted to himself much admiration, and his feeble health and devotion to his mother had made him the object of kindly popular sympathy. The announcement of his elevation was therefore hailed with some expression of regret that he should be doomed to wear a title that had invariably brought ill-luck or misfortune to those on whom it was conferred.

On the 22nd of June the Queen returned to Windsor, where she was visited by the Crown Prince and Princess of Germany and their family in July. A brilliant Review of 50,000 Volunteers was held before her on the 9th of July in Windsor Great Park. On the 18th her Majesty lost one of the most cherished friends of her family, the amiable Dean Stanley, who died somewhat suddenly of erysipelas. Dean Stanley, it has been well said, was the impersonation of the “sweetness and light” which the disciples of Mr. Matthew Arnold strive to impart to modern culture. His biography of the great Dr. Arnold has an assured place among the classical works of the Victorian age. His influence on the Anglican Church was that of a leader at once conciliatory and tolerant, and singularly susceptible to popular impulses and aspirations. His relations to the Royal Family were always close and intimate, and, as the husband of Lady Augusta{627} Bruce, the Queen’s faithful personal friend and attendant for many years, his career was watched with great interest and sympathy by her Majesty. Churchmen and dissenters of all shades attended his funeral in Westminster Abbey, where he was buried in Henry VII.’s Chapel under a mountain of floral wreaths, one of the most superb being sent by the Queen. It was through Dean Stanley that the Queen made the personal acquaintance of Mr. Carlyle, who had died earlier in the year (the 5th of February), but without leaving behind him the sweet and sunny memories that cluster round Stanley’s name.

On the 24th of August the Queen arrived at Edinburgh, and took up her quarters at Holyrood Palace. In the afternoon she visited the Royal Infirmary, and on the following day she reviewed 40,000 Scottish Volunteers (who had come from the remotest parts of the country) in the great natural amphitheatre of the Queen’s Park. The spectacle was marred by the torrents of rain that fell all day, and the troops had to march past the saluting-point in a sea of slush and mud which reached nearly to their knees. The fine appearance and discipline of the men, the patience and hardihood with which they carried out their programme through all the miseries of the day, deeply touched the Queen. In spite of entreaties to the contrary, she persisted in sharing these discomforts with them, holding the review in an open carriage, in which she remained seated under a deluge of rain till the last regiment had defiled before her. From Edinburgh the Court proceeded to Balmoral. There the Queen received the melancholy news of the death of Mr. James A. Garfield, President of the United States, who had been shot by an assassin named Guiteau on the 2nd of July at the railway station at Washington. The wound was a mortal one, and, after lingering for many weeks in great pain, the President died on the 19th of September. The Queen sent a touching letter of sympathy to Mrs. Garfield, and ordered the Court to go into mourning, as if Mr. Garfield had been a member of the Royal caste. In this she had the concurrence of the people, who were profoundly moved by his tragic fate. His career, beginning in a log-hut in the backwoods of Ohio, and ending in the White House at Washington, was one of heroic achievement and independence, illustrating, in its various phases of vicissitude, the best qualities of Anglo-Saxon manhood.

At Balmoral the Royal holiday was marked by the appearance of the Queen at some of the local sports. The Prince and Princess of Wales were at Abergeldie, and the retainers of the two families were frequently in the habit of playing cricket matches with each other. One of these took place at Abergeldie in September, when the Queen and her family and a brilliant suite attended and witnessed the play, her Majesty taking a keen interest in the varying fortunes of the day, and eagerly stimulating her own people to strive for victory. After the cricket match there were “tugs of war.” In this struggle the Abergeldie team, who had lost the cricket match, retrieved their{628} defeat by conquering the Queen’s retainers. On the 23rd of November the Court returned to Windsor, and soon afterwards it was announced that the Duke of Albany was to be married to the Princess Hélène of Waldeck-Pyrmont. On the 16th of December her Majesty left Windsor for Osborne.

The political movements of the Recess had been followed with growing anxiety by the Queen. Bye-elections and municipal elections seemed to show, not only that the hold of the Government on the country was becoming feebler, but that a working alliance between the Tories and the Irish Party had been formed. Mr. Parnell’s followers had been divided in opinion as to how they should treat the Land Act, some declaring that they should impede its working, others urging that every advantage should be taken of it. Mr. Parnell, after some hesitancy, united his Party on the policy of “testing” the Act. The Land League was directed to push into the Land Courts a series of “test cases,” that is to say, of cases where average rents were levied, so that a clear idea might be gained of the practical working of the Act. At the same time, the Irish people were led to believe that, unless the Act reduced the rent of Ireland from £17,000,000 to £3,000,000, that is to say, unless it reduced rent to “prairie value,” it would not do justice. The tenantry were warned by the Land League not to go into Court, but to stand aside till the decisions on the test cases were given. When Mr. Gladstone visited Leeds in the first week of October, he fiercely attacked Mr. Parnell for interfering between the tenants and the Law Courts. Mr. Parnell retorted in an acrid and contemptuous speech at Wexford on the 9th of October. On the 13th of October Mr. Parnell was arrested in Dublin as a “suspect” under the Coercion Act, and all his more prominent followers were in quick succession lodged in Kilmainham Jail. Mr. Healy was in England, and Mr. Biggar and Mr. Arthur O’Connor escaped the vigilance of the police and joined him. This coup d’état was somewhat theatrically contrived. It was so timed that Mr. Gladstone was able to announce it at a municipal banquet at the Guildhall, where he declared that the enemy had fallen, amidst rapturous shouts of applause. The Land Leaguers retaliated by issuing a manifesto to the Irish people to pay no rent whilst their leaders were in prison—a false step, for, in view of the opposition of the clergy, a strike against rent was not feasible. The Land League was then suppressed by Mr. Forster as an unlawful association, and agrarian outrages began to increase every day. According to the Nationalists, this was the natural and necessary result of locking up popular leaders, who could alone restrain the people. Mr. Forster, however, regarded the growth of the outrages as an act of vengeance on the part of the League, whose leaders secretly encouraged them. In Ulster, however, the Land Act worked well, and rents were reduced from 20 to 30 per cent. all round. Every week fresh drafts of “suspects” were lodged in jail, and as the year closed it became evident that Ireland was fast falling under the terrorism of the old secret societies.{629}

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The Duke of Albany’s Marriage Announced—Mr. Bradlaugh Again—Procedure Reform—The Closure at Last—The Peers Co-operate with the Parnellites—Their Attacks on the Land Act—Mr. Forster’s Policy of “Thorough”—A Nation under Arrest—Increase in Outrages—Sir J. D. Hay and Mr. W. H. Smith bid for the Parnellite Vote—A Political Dutch Auction—The Radicals Outbid the Tories—Release of Mr. Parnell and the Suspects—The Kilmainham Treaty—Victory of Mr. Chamberlain—Resignation of Mr. Forster and Lord Cowper—The Tragedy in the Phœnix Park—Ireland Under Lord Spencer—Firm and Resolute Government—Coercion Revived—The Arrears Bill—The Budget—England in Egypt—How Ismail Pasha “Kissed the Carpet”—Spoiling the Egyptians—Mr. Goschen’s Scheme for Collecting the Debt—The Dual Control—The Ascendency of France—“Egypt for the Egyptians”—The Rule of Arabi—Riots in Alexandria—The Egyptian War—Murder of Professor Palmer—British Occupation of Egypt—The Queen’s Monument to Lord Beaconsfield—Attempt to Assassinate Her Majesty—The Queen’s Visit to Mentone—Marriage of the Duke of Albany.

The Parliament of 1882 was opened on the 7th of February, and the Queen’s Speech announced the approaching marriage of the Duke of Albany. Foreign affairs were hopefully touched on. Local self-government, London municipal reform, bankruptcy reform, corrupt practices at elections, the conservancy of rivers, and the codification of the Criminal Law, were the subjects of promised legislation. Very early in the Session Mr. Bradlaugh renewed his attempt to take the Parliamentary Oath, but was again excluded from the precincts of the House by a resolution moved by Sir Stafford Northcote. On the 21st of February the House refused to issue a new writ for Northampton, and Mr. Bradlaugh, after the division, proceeded to swear himself in at the Clerk’s table. Sir Stafford Northcote accordingly moved and carried a resolution expelling him from the House. This caused a fresh election to be held at Northampton, the result of which was that Mr. Bradlaugh was again returned by a triumphant majority. On the 6th of March Sir Stafford Northcote proposed a resolution excluding Mr. Bradlaugh from the precincts of the House, and then, sated with its saturnalia of intolerance, the Opposition permitted Ministers to get on with the most pressing question of the hour—the reform of Procedure. The proposals of the Government were, in the main, identical with those which the Speaker had designed to defeat obstruction in the previous Session; but they were to be of permanent application, and not dependent on the carrying of a vote of urgency. It was provided that a debate might be closed, on the Speaker’s initiation, by a bare majority, only there must, in that case, be at least two hundred Members voting in favour of closure if as many as forty members opposed it; but if fewer than forty opposed, at least one hundred would be required to carry it. Non-contentious business relating to Law and Commerce might be delegated to two Grand Committees. The Tories objected to closure by a bare majority, and they fortunately found a Liberal—Mr. Marriott, Q.C.—to move an amendment to this part of Mr.{631} Gladstone’s plan, and the debate began on the 20th of February. In the meantime the Irish Home Rulers, who had not scrupled to impede the working of the Land Act, found unexpected allies in the Conservative Peers. They attacked the Act as a failure, and carried a motion appointing a hostile Committee to inquire into its working. It has always been the practice of the Peers, when they dared not cut down the plant of Reform, to insist on pulling it up to see if its roots were growing, and in this case their strategy was ingeniously adapted to suit the policy of obstruction in the Commons. It was necessary to neutralise the hostile vote of the Peers by a Resolution in the Commons condemning the proposed inquiry as mischievous; and, though this was carried, it gave the Tory and Parnellite opponents of the Government an excellent chance of wasting time by re-opening and discussing the whole Irish Land Question. The Procedure debates were thus suspended for about a month, Mr. Marriott’s amendment being rejected on the 30th of March. Negotiations for a compromise between Sir Stafford Northcote and Mr. Gladstone were interrupted by a catastrophe which revolutionised the Irish policy of the Government, namely, the murder of Lord Frederick Cavendish and Mr. Thomas Burke in the Phœnix Park, Dublin.

During the first two months of the Session the Irish Party vied with the Conservatives in assailing the Land Act. Radicals began to murmur against the development of Mr. Forster’s coercive policy, every incident and detail of which was subjected by the Irish Members to bitter criticism and violent denunciation. In the meantime, Mr. Forster’s scheme for pacifying Ireland was not prospering, and it was seen that he had made a fatal mistake when he pledged himself to suppress agitation, if he were only empowered to arrest the leading agitators. From the day they were imprisoned, Ireland drifted towards anarchy and terrorism. Then the experiment was tried of arresting, not only the leaders, but their lieutenants. Finally Mr. Forster crowded the prisons with the rank and file of the Home Rule host. Men began to wonder whether the gaol accommodation of Ireland was adequate for Mr. Forster’s policy. But the more people he put in prison the worse the country grew, the more did evictions increase, and the less rent was paid. A bid for the Irish vote was now made by the Tories. They put up Sir John Hay to move that the detention of the “suspects” was “repugnant to the spirit of the Constitution.” Through Mr. W. H. Smith, in one of the debates on the Land Act, they offered the Nationalists a scheme for buying out the landlords at the expense of the State, and establishing peasant proprietorship in Ireland, such as had been advocated by Mr. Davitt and Mr. Parnell. It was clear that the Tory-Parnellite alliance was becoming a formidable combination, and the Radicals urged the Government to make terms with the Nationalist Party whilst there was yet time. But Mr. Gladstone hesitated, and then the Radicals moved without him. An intrigue, instigated by Mr. Chamberlain and Sir Charles Dilke, was set on foot to get{632} Mr. Forster removed from his place as Irish Secretary. Through Captain O’Shea as an intermediary, Mr. Parnell was approached. He had certainly seen with alarm the increase in evictions, and knew that if the struggle were prolonged the financial resources of the Leaguers must fail them. He was, therefore, disposed to come to terms. Letters were exchanged, in one of which Mr. Parnell said that a promise to deal with the question of arrears would do much to bring peace to Ireland, for the Nationalists would then be able to exert themselves, with some hope of success, in stopping outrages. But the Land Act would have to be extended to leaseholders, and the Purchase Clauses enlarged. If this programme were carried out, wrote Mr. Parnell on the 28th of August to Captain O’Shea, it “would enable us to co-operate cordially for the future with the Liberal Party in forwarding Liberal principles; and I believe that the Government at the end of the Session would, from the state of the country, feel themselves thoroughly justified in dispensing with future coercive measures.” This letter was shown to Mr. Forster, and it seems that the Cabinet was also put in possession of Mr. Parnell’s views. Mr. Forster was not of opinion that they justified his release. Mr. Chamberlain and Sir Charles Dilke thought that they displayed a reasonable spirit which would justify a new departure of conciliation in Irish policy. Mr. Parnell, Mr. Dillon, Mr. Davitt, and the other suspects were therefore released, and Lord Cowper, the Irish Viceroy, and Mr. Forster resigned office. Mr. Forster was of opinion that Mr. Parnell should have been compelled to promise publicly not to resist the law, or failing that, that a stronger Coercion Act should have been passed before he was set at liberty. Lord Spencer was appointed to succeed Lord Cowper, and Lord Frederick Cavendish succeeded Mr. Forster as Chief Secretary. On the 6th of May, within forty-eight hours of their appointment, Lord Frederick Cavendish and Mr. Burke, the Under-secretary for Ireland, were butchered by a band of assassins in broad daylight in the Phœnix Park, Dublin. Mr. Forster, in fact, had allowed a secret society of assassins, calling themselves “Invincibles,” to organise itself at his own doors, whilst he was scouring the country far and wide to arrest and imprison the patriotic but respectable bourgeoisie of Ireland as suspects. In his speech condemning the release of the suspects, whilst he maintained that Ireland was not yet quiet, he had declared that the country was quieter than it had been, that the Land League was crushed, and boycotting checked! He had never suspected that the place of the Land League had been taken by a secret society of desperadoes called the “Invincibles” and that assassination was to be substituted for boycotting. His administration had been indeed singularly ineffective. With power in his hands, as absolute as that of a Russian Minister of Police, he seems never to have suspected the existence of the band of murderers who had organised themselves in Dublin, and who had dogged his own steps in sight of the detectives who watched over him day after day seeking for a chance of slaying him. This tragic event upset the scheme for “a new{633} departure,” which Mr. Chamberlain had induced the Government to essay. Though Englishmen behaved with great calmness and self-restraint after the first shock of horror which the Phœnix Park murders sent through the nation had passed away, they were resolved to offer no more concessions to Ireland till the Government took fresh powers for enforcing law and suppressing outrages. Mr. Gladstone interpreted the national will accurately when he determined not to withdraw the conciliatory portion of his Irish programme. But he recast his plans, and gave his coercive precedence over his remedial measures.

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(From a Photograph by the London Stereoscopic Company.)

The Irish Party were probably sincere in regretting and in condemning the murders. The prestige of their Parliamentary policy was sullied when it ended in a new Coercion Bill for Ireland, and in the demonstration of their{634} impotence to control the forces which they pretended to have in hand. The Tories and Ministerialists were alike discredited by the untoward mishap. The alliance between the Tory Party and the Home Rulers had influenced every Parliamentary bye-election and every division in the House of Commons. The motion of Sir John Hay condemning the imprisonment of the “suspects” and the offer of Mr. W. H. Smith’s scheme for expropriating the landlords were palpable bids for the Parnellite vote. By releasing the “suspects,” promising to deal with the question of arrears, and to take the Land Purchase Question in hand, the Ministry outbade their rivals. But the Opposition and the Cabinet were alike guilty of intriguing and negotiating with men whom in people they pretended to denounce as irreconcilable enemies of the Empire; and the end of it all was the tragedy in the Phœnix Park! That affair had only a coincidental relation to the antecedent Party intrigues; but the people saw connection where there was only coincidence. Hence Englishmen for a time lost faith in their public men. They felt towards them as their forefathers did towards Charles I. when the Glamorgan Treaty was revealed, and towards Lord Melbourne and Lord John Russell when the “Lichfield House” compact between O’Connell and the Whigs was unmasked. For a time this feeling cowed partisans below the gangway on both sides who had been mainly responsible for the negotiations and intrigues with the Home Rulers. The Government tried to atone for its misfortune by continuing Lord Spencer as Irish Viceroy and appointing Mr. George Otto Trevelyan as Irish Secretary, Lord Spencer to be entirely responsible for Irish policy in the Cabinet. This was the best possible selection that could be made. Lord Spencer represented the type of Englishman who, from his courage, common sense, love of justice, business-like habits, administrative skill, and disinterested patriotism, was most likely to establish an enduring and endurable system in Ireland, if that were to be done by firm and resolute government tempered by strong popular sympathies. Mr. Trevelyan was patient, industrious, and courteous as an administrator, and his success as a man of letters rendered him in some degree a persona grata to the Irish Party, most of whose leaders were writers for the Press. The new Coercion Bill was introduced on the 11th of May, and read a second time on the 19th. It suspended trial by jury in certain cases and in proclaimed districts; gave the police fresh powers of arrest and search, and revived the Alien Act; it defined as punishable offences intimidation, incitement to crime, and participation in secret conspiracies and illegal assemblies; it rendered newspapers liable to suppression for inciting to violence, widened the summary jurisdiction of stipendiary magistrates, and levied fines of compensation on districts stained with murderous outrages. It was at once seen that the chief merit of the Bill lay in the fact that it frankly attacked and punished criminals, thereby reversing, and by implication condemning, the feeble and futile policy of Mr. Forster, who attacked and imprisoned at will persons who were merely{635} suspected of crime or of inciting to crime. Great doubts were expressed as to the utility of the Press clauses, Englishmen who are not political partisans being at all times sceptical as to the good that is done by suppressing newspapers and bottling up all their evil teaching in private manifestoes for secret circulation in disaffected districts. Some Radicals also thought the powers of arrest after nightfall given to the police were rather vague, and suggested too painfully a revival of Mr. Forster’s fatal principle of coercion on suspicion. But, on the whole, the Bill was well received by the best men of both parties, the responsible Tory leaders giving the Government much loyal support, though some of their followers carped at the measure.[177] The Bill was obstructed in the usual manner by the Irish Members, who had but few Radical allies. On the 16th of June only seven clauses out of thirty had gone through Committee. On the 29th it was clear a crisis had come, and on the 30th there was a disorderly all-night sitting, which ended in the suspension of sixteen Irish Members. Later in the day nine others were suspended, and, after sitting for twenty-eight hours, the Bill passed through Committee. Urgency was voted for its next stages, and the Bill read a third time on the 7th of July. The Lords passed it promptly, and it became law on the 12th of July.

Along with the Coercion Bill the promised Arrears Bill was introduced, and read a second time before Whitsuntide. It applied to holdings under £30 of rental, and empowered the Land Courts to pay half the arrears of poor tenants out of the Irish Church Surplus—but no payment was to exceed a year’s rent, and all past arrears were to be cancelled. After prolonged opposition from the Conservatives and from the House of Lords, the measure was passed on the 10th of August. These Bills exhausted the legislative energies of the Government; indeed, Mr. Fawcett’s Bill establishing a Parcel Post, and Mr. Chamberlain’s Bill enabling corporations to adopt Electric Lighting by obtaining provisional orders from the Board of Trade, were the only measures that had not to be abandoned. The Budget estimated expenditure at £84,630,000 and revenue at £84,935,000, a reduction of between £900,000 and £800,000 respectively on the preceding year’s disbursements and receipts. The surplus was small. The revenue was stagnant, and there was no scope for fiscal changes. A Vote of Credit for the Egyptian Expedition had to be provided, which caused Mr. Gladstone to raise the Income Tax to 6-3/4d. in the pound.

The Egyptian difficulty, in fact, during this Session, became acute. It was seized by the Fourth Party as a peg on which to hang an endless{636} series of questions to the Government, of an embarrassing character. From questioning, Lord Randolph Churchill proceeded to wage an irregular guerilla warfare, most harassing to Ministers engaged in delicate diplomatic negotiations on which depended the issues of peace and war. In this unusual course he and his friends were supported by Mr. Chaplin and Lord Percy, and aided by many fiery assaults made by Lord Salisbury. Sir Stafford Northcote and the majority of the ex-Ministers in the House of Commons disapproved, at first, of tactics which seemed to them an unprecedented violation of the decencies of English party warfare. But Sir Stafford’s reserve and prudence, though appreciated by the country, were so distasteful to his followers that ere the Session ended he found he had to submit to be their instrument in using the foreign complications of the nation for the interests of faction. Had he refused, the combatant section of his followers would have rebelled against his authority. It was part of the irony of the situation that the Egyptian difficulty was one of the evil legacies which the Foreign Policy of the Tory Party in 1879-1880 left the country to deal with. In fact, the Egyptian crisis of 1882 was the logical consequence of the system of Dual Control with which Lord Salisbury had afflicted Egypt when he went into partnership with France in managing the finances of that country for the benefit of its usurious foreign creditors. It was in 1866 that Ismail Pasha took the first step that gradually led to his downfall. To use his own phrase, he “kissed the carpet” at Constantinople—in other words, bribed the Porte to grant him the title of Khedive and confirm the succession of the Pashalik in his family. Again and again did he “kiss the carpet,” till in 1872 he was practically an independent Sovereign wielding absolute personal power over Egypt—the suzerainty of Turkey being marked only by the annual tribute, the Imperial cypher on the coinage, the weekly prayer for the Sultan in the Mosque, and the preservation of the jus legationis. In 1875 he abolished the Consular Courts before which suits between Egyptians and foreigners were tried, substituting for them the Mixed Tribunals on which representative judges of the Great Powers sat. At this period the crop of financial wild oats which Ismail Pasha had sown had ripened. He had spent money lavishly not only on the Suez Canal, but on every conceivable scheme that wily European speculators could persuade him was an improvement. He had borrowed this money on the principles that regulate the financial transactions of a rich young spendthrift and a usurer of the lowest class. In 1864 he borrowed £5,700,000. In the succeeding years loans for £3,000,000, £1,200,000, and £2,000,000 were added. In 1873 there was another loan for £32,000,000—which, according to Mr. Cave, swallowed up every resource of Egypt.[178] The Khedive’s private loans came to{637} £11,000,000, and the floating debt to £26,000,000 in 1876. How these last loans were to be met, seeing that the 1873 loan swallowed up all the resources of the country, was a perplexing point. The usurers would lend the Khedive no more money, and in 1875 England helped him to meet the interest on existing loans by giving him £4,000,000 for the Suez Canal Shares.

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Something might have been done for Egypt, even at this time, if England had occupied the country; but Mr. Disraeli lost the golden opportunity, which did not return till France and Russia were in a position to offer an effective{638} resistance which could not be bought off. The Khedive appealed for money to England, and Mr. Disraeli sent Mr. Cave to report upon his affairs. Mr. Cave said in effect that it was impossible to help the Khedive with money unless Englishmen were prepared to lose it. That report, however, did not touch the position of those who held with Mr. Edward Dicey that if England could establish a Protectorate in Egypt, and administer her affairs like an Indian Native State, it would be quite possible to extricate her from her financial difficulties without inflicting injustice on her creditors. In the meantime, the foreign bondholders sued the Khedive in his own Mixed Tribunals. They got judgment against him, but were unable to execute it. In May, 1876, his Highness met this judgment by a decree of repudiation, whereupon Germany indignantly protested, and France and England followed suit on behalf of the bondholders of their respective nationalities. It was here that Lord Salisbury first left the traditional lines of sound Foreign Policy. He interfered in Egypt, not on the ground that national interests had to be safeguarded, but—like Lord Palmerston in the case of Greece—to protect the interests of a few speculative individuals who had a bad debt to collect from Ismail Pasha. British national interests in Egypt, when really imperilled, can only be protected effectively in one way—by the occupation of the country, or its administration under a British Protectorate. They cannot be protected by entering into an ambiguous partnership for regulating the Khedive’s finances with Powers whose interests in Egypt are not national, but are represented by those of their subjects who have lent Egypt money on bad security. The Imperial interests of England demand that the government of Egypt shall be good and effective all round, so that the highway to India shall be through an orderly and contented people. The interests of the other Powers demand that the government of Egypt, whether good or bad, must be such as will enable her to give the Shylocks, whom they represent, their pound of flesh. It was for the interest of England to aim at a Protectorate, just as it was for the interests of the other Powers to aim merely at obtaining financial control over Egypt; and the fatal blunder which Lord Beaconsfield and Lord Salisbury made was in identifying England, not with British, but with foreign interests in Egypt. The French and English bondholders could not agree on the steps which should be taken to extort their money from the overtaxed Egyptian peasantry; and Mr. Goschen and M. Joubert were sent out to devise a scheme for consolidating the Egyptian debt in the common interests of all bondholders. By estimating the annual average revenue which could be extracted from the wretched fellaheen at £12,000,000 instead of £8,000,000, which would have been high enough, the Goschen-Joubert scheme showed in 1876 that the Khedive could pay, as interest and sinking fund, seven per cent. interest on a consolidated debt of £100,000,000. Ismail agreed to pay this at first, but soon resisted, on the ground that the estimate of revenue was erroneous. The French Government then determined to appoint a Commission to investigate the resources of Egypt, which{639} England was induced to join. This Commission reported that as the Khedive had appropriated to himself one-fifth of the land of Egypt,[179] the first thing he should do was to hand a million acres of it over to the creditors of the State.

The Khedive now formed a Ministry under Nubar Pasha, in which Mr. Rivers Wilson, the English Commissioner, was given the Ministry of Finance. The French Government displayed so much jealousy of this step, that Lord Salisbury, yielding to their demands, permitted the Khedive to appoint M. de Blignières as Mr. Wilson’s colleague. This was the beginning of the Dual Control of Egypt by two Governments with opposite interests, from which all subsequent mischief arose. The Khedive soon dismissed Nubar’s Ministry, and then France and England, on the threat of Germany to interfere, arranged with the Sultan to depose Ismail Pasha. He was succeeded by his son Tewfik, in whose Ministry the care of finance was entrusted to M. de Blignières and Mr. Baring, who was afterwards succeeded by Mr. Colvin. The effect of the Dual Control was very simple. It increased the bureaucracy but diminished its efficiency, for wherever an English official was appointed M. de Blignières insisted on planting a French colleague by his side to watch and hamper him. A similar vigilance was exhibited by the English Controller. But above the Dual Ministry of Finance there was established the International Commission of the Public Debt, representing England, France, Italy, Austria, and Germany. This Commission watched over the administration of the Dual Ministry of Finance. It was entitled, if it could agree on a course of action, to demand from the Ministry of Finance more efficient management, and of course it distributed the sum handed over by that Ministry for payment of the public creditors. The French and English Ministers or Controllers of Finance were not removable save by consent of their Governments. They had the right to seats in the Ministerial Council, and to advise on all measures of general importance. As nothing can be done in Egypt without money, nothing could be done without them. At first, Major Baring was the most active of the controllers. But he was removed, and Mr. Colvin, who took his place, played a subordinate part to M. de Blignières, who had more experience and force of character. Virtually De Blignières governed the country. History does not record the occasion on which England as a Great Power occupied a position more ignominious than the one she now held in. Egypt, where her influence had been paramount till Lord Salisbury consented to share it with France. The government of the Dual Control was conducted on simple principles. Egypt was managed not for the Egyptians, but for the bondholders. Everything and everybody were sacrificed for the Budget, and the Budget was constructed primarily with a view to securing the Debt and the payment of the European officials, who swarmed over the land like locusts. At the time when Cyprus was occupied it must now be stated that Lord Salisbury conciliated France, ever{640}

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(From the Portrait by Frederick Villiers in A. M. Broadley’s “How we Defended Arabi and his Friends.”)

jealous of her Syrian interests, by supporting an extension of her influence in Tunis. Tunis, however, in 1881 had, in spite of protests from England and Italy, become simply a French dependency, and the growing power of Blignières at Cairo forced acute observers to say of Egypt—

“Mutato nomine, de te
Fabula narratur.”
The natives now grew restless under the Dual Control, and this restlessness ended in a military revolt, headed by Colonel Arabi Bey, whose watchword was{641}

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(From a Photograph by Fradelle and Young.)

“Egypt for the Egyptians.” This rising the Khedive pacified by dismissing the Ministry of Riaz Pasha, who was succeeded by Cherif Pasha. But though Cherif reigned Arabi ruled, and it soon became evident that the partners in the Dual Control could not agree on the course that should be adopted towards him. The Egyptian Assembly of Notables, on the 18th of January, 1882, asserted their right to control the Budget. The French and English Controllers disputed this right, and then a new Ministry was formed, of which Mahmoud Samy was the nominal, but Arabi Bey, now Minister of War, the real head. M. Gambetta, who had vainly endeavoured to induce England to join France in coercing Arabi and the national party, fell from power; M. de Freycinet succeeded him, and his policy was one of non-intervention. The Chamber of Notables refused to withdraw from their position. M. de Blignières,{642} finding he could get no support from M. de Freycinet, resigned, and thus ended Lord Salisbury’s experiment of the Dual Control. Arabi was loaded with decorations. The rank and title of Pasha were given him, and he was virtually Dictator of the country, with no policy save that of “Egypt for the Egyptians.” Alarmed by menaced massacres of foreigners, France and England now sent their fleets to Alexandria. The English and French Consuls, in a Joint Note to the Khedive, advised the expulsion of Arabi, who had been intriguing with the Bedouins. Arabi resigned, but no new Ministry could be formed, and the army threatened to repudiate any authority save that of the Sultan, who sent Dervish Pasha to quiet the country. On the 11th of June there was a riot in Alexandria; the British Consul was injured, and many French and English subjects were slain. This was the signal for a stampede of the terrified foreign population of Alexandria, where the Khedive held his Court, and of Cairo. A Cabinet, patronised by Germany and Austria, under Ragheb Pasha, was formed; but Arabi was again Minister of War. In July Arabi ostentatiously strengthened the forts of Alexandria, but on the 10th Sir Beauchamp Seymour warned him that if the forts were not surrendered for disarmament, they would be bombarded by the British fleet. The French Government refused to join in this coercive measure, and sent their ships to Port Said. On the 11th the fortifications were shattered by the British cannonade; but as the town was not occupied, it was seized by a fanatical mob, who wrought havoc in it for two days. A force was then tardily landed by Admiral Seymour, who restored order, and brought back the Khedive from Ramleh, where he had fled, to Ras-el-tin. Arabi and the Egyptian army had taken up an entrenched position at Tel-el-Kebir, but were still professedly acting in the Khedive’s name. An English military expedition, under Sir Garnet Wolseley, was sent to disperse them, and secure the protection of the Canal.

A diplomatic mission under Professor Palmer of Cambridge, an accomplished Oriental scholar, who had acquired a great personal influence over the tribes of the Sinai, was sent to detach the Bedouins from Arabi, and engage them to assist in defending the Canal. The other members of the mission were Lieutenant Charrington, R.N., and Captain Gill, R.E., officers with a record of distinguished service which fitted them for their hazardous employment. They had no military escort, because the presence of one would have rendered their mission hopeless. A reconnaissance conducted with great skill by Professor Palmer, who travelled from Joppa through the Sinai desert disguised as a Syrian Mahometan of rank, had given every promise of success. But the members of the expedition were led by a treacherous guide into an ambuscade soon after starting from the Wells of Moses, and murdered and robbed by a band of brigands[180] (10th of August). But despite{643} this melancholy occurrence the safety of the Canal was secured. By a movement conducted in swift secrecy Sir Garnet Wolseley sailed with his force from Alexandria to Ismailia on the 19th of August, his plan being to advance on Cairo by the Freshwater Canal. On the 28th Arabi, after a repulse at Kassassin, retired to his entrenchments at Tel-el-Kebir, which were carried by the British, on the 13th of September, after a long march by night over the desert sands. General Drury Lowe and a small force of cavalry pushed on to Cairo, which surrendered to them at the first summons, Arabi Pasha and Toulba Pasha, his lieutenant, giving themselves up as prisoners. The Khedive was reinstated in Cairo by the British troops, who were paraded before him on the 30th of September.

By a unique stroke of fortune, Mr. Gladstone’s Government had thus been enabled to secure for England the position of ascendency in Egypt which had been sacrificed by the Dual Control. France and the other Powers, having cast on England the burden of supporting the Khedive’s authority, had to accept a fait accompli, and submit to see a British army of occupation of 10,000 men quartered in Egypt. But the occupation was emphatically declared by Mr. Gladstone to be temporary, and he pledged England to terminate it whenever the Khedive could maintain himself without foreign aid. The war cost England £4,600,000, and it did much to restore for the time the waning popularity of the Ministry. Rewards and decorations were showered upon the victors. Peerages were bestowed on Admiral Sir Beauchamp Seymour and Sir Garnet Wolseley. As for Egypt, her Government was really under the control of the British Consul-General. England forbade the restoration of the Dual Control, and set limits to the organisation of the native Army. The native Police was put under the command of Baker Pasha, and the English Government rescued Arabi and the leaders of the insurgents from the native court-martial, which would have doomed them to death. When tried, they pleaded guilty to a charge of treason, and were exiled to Ceylon.

On the 27th of February a monument, which the Queen had commissioned Mr. Belt to prepare for the perpetuation of the memory of Lord Beaconsfield, was erected in Hughenden Church. It was a touching record of rare friendship between Sovereign and subject. The centre of the memorial is occupied by a profile portrait carved in low relief. Beneath, is a tablet bearing the following dedication penned by the Queen herself:—

the dear and honoured Memory
Benjamin, Earl of Beaconsfield,
This memorial is placed by
his grateful and affectionate
Sovereign and Friend,
Victoria R.I.
“Kings love him that speaketh right.”—Proverbs xvi. 13.
February 27, 1882.


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The year was marked by an attempt to assassinate the Queen, which created much public alarm. On the 2nd of March her Majesty was driving from Windsor Station to the Castle, when a poorly-dressed man shot at her carriage with a revolver. Before he could fire again a bystander struck down his arm and he was arrested. He was a grocer’s assistant from Portsmouth, named Roderick Maclean; his excuse was that he was starving, and he probably desired to draw attention to his case. He was tried next month at Reading Assizes, where it was shown that he had been under treatment as a lunatic for two years in an asylum in Weston-super-Mare, but had been dismissed cured. He was acquitted on the ground of insanity, and ordered to be placed in custody during her Majesty’s pleasure. The sympathy which{645} was expressed by all classes with the Queen, when tidings of the outrage were published, was universal. On the night of Maclean’s arrest the National Anthem was sung in all the theatres, and from every quarter messages came pouring in congratulating her Majesty on her escape. These demonstrations caused her to address a touching letter of heartfelt thanks to the nation.

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Another outrage on the Queen has to be set down in the record of 1882. On the 26th of May a young telegraph clerk, named Albert Young, was tried before Mr. Justice Lopes, and found guilty of threatening to murder the Queen and Prince Leopold. He sent a letter, purporting to come from an Irish Roman Catholic priest and fifty of his parishioners who had been evicted by their landlords, warning the Queen of her peril, and saying that if paid{646} £40 a head these men would all emigrate. The money was to be sent to “A. Y.,” at the “M., S., & L.” Office, Doncaster. Young was sentenced to ten years’ penal servitude.

On the 14th of March her Majesty left Windsor for Portsmouth, accompanied by the Princess Beatrice. From thence she sailed to Cherbourg, and proceeded to Mentone, where she arrived on the 17th. The Chalêt des Rosiers, where the Queen lived, was a newly-built villa, standing on a small artificial plateau, fifty yards from the railway, and a hundred from the shore, about half-a-mile from the old town, and three-quarters of a mile from the ravine and bridge of St. Louis which divide Italy from France. Precipices, rugged steeps, abysmal ravines, and rocky beds of old torrents rise from behind the villa in wild confusion. Five miles away, mountains whose bases are traversed by terraces covered with orange groves, soar grandly into the sky. Her Majesty was soon joined by Prince Leopold, the King and Queen of Saxony, and Lord Lyons, and she made daily excursions in the neighbourhood. On the 21st of March there was a great fête, with splendid illuminations held in her honour, and she witnessed the scene from the balcony of her villa. Before leaving, on the 14th of April, the Queen thanked the authorities and the residents for contributing so cordially to the pleasure of her visit. As a memento of it, she presented the chief of the municipal band, who had composed a cantata in her honour, with a diamond breast-pin.

The marriage of the Duke of Albany was now approaching, and it was with deep regret that the Queen found it necessary to leave him at Mentone, as he had not recovered from the effects of an accident he had met with. The grant of £25,000 a year for his Royal Highness had been moved by Mr. Gladstone in the House of Commons on the 23rd of March, and carried by a vote of 387 to 42. Mr. Labouchere, however, opposed the vote, because he said the savings from the Civil List ought to be returned to the State by the Queen before any Royal grants were voted by Parliament. Mr. Broadhurst also thought that £25,000[181] a year was too much to vote for such a purpose in a country where the majority lived on weekly wages. Mr. Storey opposed voting public money save for public services, and described the House of Commons as “a large syndicate interested in expenditure.” But there was no new point raised in the debate, save Mr. Labouchere’s argument, based on the fact that George III., who had £1,000,000 a year of Civil List, maintained his own children. Mr. Gladstone, of course, challenged the precedent, by pointing out that Parliament had not entered into an implied contract with George III. to provide for his children. But for the first time he admitted that savings were hoarded up out of the Civil List. Only, he said, they were not large enough to provide for the maintenance of the Quee{647}n’s children, and he assured the House that after he had come to know the amount of them, his conclusion was that they were not more than were called for by the contingencies which might occur in such a family. As has been stated before, the Royal savings represent an insurance fund against family emergencies, which it would not be agreeable for the Queen to ask Parliament to meet for her.

On the 27th of April the marriage of the Duke of Albany with the Princess Hélène of Waldeck-Pyrmont was solemnised in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, with a sustained pomp and splendour rarely seen even in Royal pageants. Most extensive and elaborate arrangements had been made for the reception and processions of the Royal and illustrious guests, the Queen, the bridegroom, and the bride. On the morning of the 27th the earliest aspect of animation was lent to the peaceful tranquillity of the chapel by the arrival of a strong detachment of the Yeomen of the Guard, arrayed in their quaint Tudor costume, consisting of plaited ruff, low-crowned black velvet hat encircled by red and white roses, scarlet doublet embroidered with the Royal cognisance and initials in gold, purple sleeves, bullion quarterings, ruddy hose, and rosetted shoes. The Yeomen of the Guard were ranged at intervals throughout the length of the nave, and were speedily joined by a contingent of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms, resplendent in scarlet uniforms profusely laced with gold. After the opening of the doors the edifice soon filled with ladies of rank, nobles, statesmen, warriors, and diplomatists. The day was recognised by the decorated as “a collar day”—i.e., the Knights did not wear the robes of their Order, but only the ribbons of the Garter, the Bath, the Thistle, and St. Patrick, with the collars and badges of gold. Constellations of stars, crosses, and ribbons marked the uniforms of the English generals, foreign ambassadors, and Ministers present in the choir, and flashed light on the grey and timeworn walls associated with the memories of Anne Boleyn, Catherine of Arragon, and Jane Seymour. At noon the drapery veiling the door was thrown aside, and the first procession—that of the Queen’s family and their Royal guests from the Continent—entered. After this glittering group had passed into the choir, the Queen’s procession appeared at the west door, when the brilliant array in the nave stood up, and the organ burst into the strains of Handel’s Occasional Overture. Her Majesty, who was in excellent health and spirits, bowed her acknowledgments to the salutations of the assembled guests. She was clad in widow’s sables with long gauze streamers, and wore the broad riband of the Garter and a magnificent parure of diamonds. The Koh-i-noor sparkled on her bosom, while her head-dress was surmounted with a glittering tiara girt by a small crown Imperial in brilliants. On entering the choir the Queen was conducted to her seat close to the south of the altar. The bridegroom’s procession next made its appearance. The Duke of Albany wore the scarlet and gold uniform of a colonel of{648} Infantry. The Prince walked with some slight difficulty with the assistance of a stick. The bridegroom was supported by the Prince of Wales in the uniform of a Field Marshal, and by his brother-in-law, the Grand Duke of Hesse, also clad in scarlet. Last came the procession of the bride, heralded by the sound of cheering outside and the blare of trumpets. She was supported by her father, the Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont, and by her brother-in-law, the King of the Netherlands, her train being borne by eight unmarried daughters of dukes, marquises, and earls, decked in white drapery trimmed with flowers. The celebration of the marriage ceremony was performed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, assisted by an array of Church dignitaries ranged behind the altar rails. The service was brief, with no enlarged choral accompaniments, but the spectacle was unusually impressive. There was not a vacant spot in the chapel; it was gorgeous with diverse colours and flashing with jewels and with the insignia of many grand Orders of chivalry. The scene, too, was at intervals suddenly wrapped in gloom and as suddenly bathed in light as the fitful sunshine streamed through the painted windows. As the ceremony was being completed a cloud must have passed from the sun, for its beams darted through the stained windows, and revealed the bride and bridegroom in a tinted halo of radiance. After the ceremony the Queen affectionately embraced her son and daughter-in-law, whose united processions were formed and left the chapel whilst Mendelssohn’s Wedding March pealed forth from the organ and the cannon thundered in the Long Walk. Her Majesty interchanged salutations with her relatives, after which her own procession departed, and the regal pageant was suddenly dissolved. After the signing of the register, which took place in the Green drawing-room, the bride and bridegroom were conducted to the State drawing-room, where the Royal guests had assembled, and where the usual congratulations were exchanged. In the evening a grand State banquet was given in St. George’s Hall, at which the health of the bride and bridegroom and other toasts were honoured, Mr. John Brown, her Majesty’s Scottish gillie, standing behind the Queen and giving, as her toastmaster, the toast of the newly-wedded pair. Immediately after the toast of the Queen—the last of the list—had been honoured, two of the Royal pipers entered and marched twice round the tables playing Scottish airs, to the astonishment of some of the guests, who had never heard such music before. Then the Queen rose and left the hall, and the other guests quitted the scene. The Duke and Duchess of Albany drove from the Castle, amidst a shower of slippers and rice, to Claremont.

Unusual interest was taken in this wedding, partly on account of the splendour of the ceremony, and partly because it was understood that the Duke of Albany had won a bride admirably suited to be the companion of his refined and studious life. As he seemed destined to form a link between the Court and Culture, so it was hoped that the Duchess might become

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(From the Picture by Sir J. D. Linton, P.R.I., by Permission of the Glasgow Art Union.)


the social head of a growing school ambitious of showing the world that the lives of women of rank, need not necessarily be absorbed by frivolity and philanthropy.

After the marriage of Prince Leopold the Queen visited the East End to open Epping Forest, which had been saved from further enclosure by the efforts of the Corporation of London. On the 4th of December her Majesty also visited in State the Royal Courts of Justice.

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(From a Photograph by Frith and Co., Reigate.)

The death-roll of the year was a heavy one. On the 19th of April the death of Charles Darwin robbed not only England but Europe of a singularly original, painstaking, and conscientious scientific investigator. No man of his stamp has so profoundly affected the thought of the Victorian age or surveyed so wide a field of nature, in such a fair, patient, and humble spirit. His keenness of observation was only equalled by his wonderful fertility of resource. The caution with which he felt his way to just inductions, the unerring instinct with which his eye detected, amidst the maze of bewildering phenomena, the true path that led him to the secrets he sought to discover, and the masculine sagacity with which he reconciled, under broad generalisations, facts seemingly irreconcilable, confer immortality on the great work of his life. That work was his demonstration of the extraordinary effect produced on every living thing by the pressure of the conditions under which it lives—conditions which help or{650} hinder its existence or its reproduction. The organisms which are so formed that they most easily meet the strain of these conditions survive, and their offspring bend to the same destiny. In other words, those organisms that inherit peculiarities of form and structure and stamina that best fit them to survive in the struggle for life, live. Those that do not inherit these advantages die. Such was the Darwinian hypothesis of Evolution, or the doctrine of Survival of the Fittest, and it gave to Science an impetus not less revolutionary and far-reaching than that which it received from the Baconian system.

A trusted and valued friend and servant of the Queen passed away on the 3rd of December, when Dr. Tait, Archbishop of Canterbury, died after a long and painful illness. Though he was not a man of brilliant parts, or commanding intellect, he was the only Primate who, since the House of Brunswick ruled England, had left a distinct mark on the Anglican Church. He was in truth the only Primate, since the days of Tillotson, who had a definite policy, and a will strong enough to carry it out. Tait’s policy was to make the Church of England popular with the governing class of his day—that is to say, with the intelligent and respectable bourgeoisie. So long as they supported the Church it could, in his opinion, defy disestablishment; and it is but fair to say that he secured for it their support. He never alarmed the average Englishman by intellectuality, or irritated the middle classes by any obtrusive display of culture. He was careful not to offend them by indecorous versatility. They were never frightened by flashing wit, or bewildered by scholastic sophistry. He was faithful and zealous in the discharge of his pastoral duties, generous and tolerant to opponents, eager for what he called “comprehension,” slow in the pursuit of heresy. In every relation of life he was the incarnation of common sense and propriety. The Queen placed such unbounded confidence in his judgment that it was generally supposed Dr. Tait virtually nominated his successor. At all events, it was well known that Dr. Benson, Bishop of Truro, who succeeded to the Primacy, was the candidate specially favoured by the Sovereign, and that he was, of all the younger prelates, the one whom Dr. Tait most desired to see reigning in his stead.

The death of Garibaldi on June 2, and of M. Gambetta on December 31, profoundly moved the English people. Garibaldi’s life of heroic adventure, unselfish patriotism, and disinterested devotion to the cause of liberty, had endeared him to the masses. M. Gambetta’s amazing energy in endeavouring to lift France out of the mire of defeat in 1870 had won for him the admiration of the world. His tempestuous eloquence gave him an almost magical power over the French democracy, a power which he wielded for no sordid personal aims. If latterly his policy seemed to revive the restless aggressive spirit of his countrymen, it was admitted that he sought nothing save the glory of France. And yet for Europe it may be conceded that the death of Gambetta was not a mishap. Had he lived it would have been hard to have avoided a collision between France and England in Egypt. He encouraged those who, in Paris and St.{651} Petersburg, had for many years been intriguing for a Russo-French alliance against Germany.[182] His death and that of Garibaldi were followed by Signor Mancini’s disclosure to the Italian Senate, of the adhesion of Italy to the Austro-German Alliance, and the formation of the Triple League of Peace.[183]{652}

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The Married Women’s Property Act—The Opening of Parliament—Changes in the Cabinet—Arrest of Suspects in Dublin—Invincibles on their Trial—Evidence of the Informer Carey—Carey’s Fate—The Forster-Parnell Incident—National Gift to Mr. Parnell—The Affirmation Bill—The Bankruptcy and other Bills—Mr. Childers’ Budget—The Corrupt Practices Bill—The “Farmers’ Friends”—Sir Stafford Northcote’s Leadership—The Bright Celebration—Dynamite Outrages in London—The Explosives Act—M. de Lesseps and Mr. Gladstone—Blunders in South Africa—The Ilbert Bill—The Attack on Lady Florence Dixie’s House—Death of John Brown—His Career and Character—The Queen and the Consumption of Lamb—A Dull Holiday at Balmoral—Capsizing of the Daphne—Prince Albert Victor made K.G.—France and Madagascar—Arrest of Rev. Mr. Shaw—Settlement of the Dispute—Progress of the National League—Orange and Green Rivalry—The Leeds Conference—“Franchise First”—Lord Salisbury and the Housing of the Poor—Mr. Besant and East London—“Slumming”—Hicks Pasha’s Disastrous Expedition in the Soudan—Mr. Gladstone on Jam.

An unnoticed Act of Parliament came into force on New Year’s Day, 1883, which marked the progress of what may be termed the social revolution in England. This was the Married Women’s Property Act, which had been passed with very little debate in the previous Session. If it be true that the position which women hold in a State is an unerring test of its standard of civilisation, the reign of the Queen will be notable in history, as one in which the social progress of England has been most rapid. In England, said J. S. Mill, Woman has not been the favourite of the law, but its favourite victim. During the last quarter of a century, however, this reproach has been wiped{653}

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(From a Photograph by Elliott and Fry.)

away. Year by year new avenues of employment have been opened up to women. One of the first acts of Mr. Fawcett when he became Postmaster-General was to admit them to the service of the State. Parliament, under the wise guidance of Mr. Forster, decided to give them a fair share of the public endowments set aside for secondary education. They were afterwards admitted to the benefits of University education; one of the learned professions—that of medicine—was thrown open to them; and political enfranchisement is even within their reach. But in 1883 the law for the first time recognised the fact that married women could hold property, and abandoned the barbaric doctrine that for women matrimony implied confiscation. The Married Women’s Property Act, which was passed by Mr. Osborne Morgan, did for the women of the people by law, what was done for women of the{654} upper classes by marriage settlements. It gave a married woman an absolute right to her earnings, so that her husband could no longer seize them under his jus mariti. It gave her, in the absence of settlements, an indefeasible right to any property she might have before or that might come to her after marriage, so that she could use it as she pleased without her husband’s interference. It made her contract as regards her own estate, as binding as if she were a man, quite irrespective of her husband’s consent. On the other hand, it of course released the husband from liability for all his wife’s debts, unless she contracted them as his agent. That such an Act should have been passed by a Parliament in which women were not represented, and in which, till recently, arguments in favour of the emancipation of women from a state of tutelage were disposed of by coarse jokes, speaks well for the chivalry and high sense of justice that characterise British manhood.[184]

The autumn Session of Parliament (which opened on the 24th of October, 1882) had been spent in a struggle over the new Procedure Rules, the Ministry endeavouring to persuade the House of Commons to adopt the principle of Closure, which the Conservatives opposed with all their strength. In this struggle the Ministry won. They carried their Rules for checking obstruction, and so when Parliament met, on the 15th of February, 1883, it was expected that the Session would be a busy one. The composition of the Cabinet had been considerably changed during the previous year. Mr. Bright and Mr. Forster had left it, Mr. Bright’s secession being due to his disapproval of the bombardment of Alexandria; Lord Derby had now become Secretary to the Colonies; Lord Kimberley had gone to the India Office; Lord Hartington was Secretary for War; Mr. Childers, Chancellor of the Exchequer; and Mr. Dodson, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Sir{655} Charles Dilke entered the Cabinet as President of the Local Government Board. As Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs he was succeeded by Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice, a painstaking but unsteady Whig. The din of the extra-Parliamentary strife of the recess was stilled, and the House of Commons, like the country, was in a mood to welcome Liberal measures carried out in a conservative spirit. Among those announced in the Queen’s Speech were Bills for codifying the criminal law, for establishing a Court of Criminal Appeal, for amending the Bankruptcy, Patent, and Ballot Acts, for reforming Local Government, and for improving the government of London.

It was inevitable that Ireland should form the most prominent topic in the Debate on the Address, because the country had scarcely recovered from the tale of horror which had been unfolded by those who were tracking the murderers of Lord Frederick Cavendish and Mr. Burke to their lairs. On the 13th of January seventeen men were arrested in Dublin, and on the 20th they were, with three others, charged with conspiring to murder Government officials. For the most part they were artisans of the inferior order, but one, James Carey, was a builder and contractor, and a member of the Dublin Town Council. Under the pressure of examination two of these men, Farrell and Kavanagh, turned informers. Carey, finding that other members of the gang were going to save their necks, offered to betray the conspiracy of which he had been the guiding organiser. From his evidence, it appeared that after Mr. Forster had put all the popular leaders of the Irish people in gaol, a band of desperadoes, called “the Invincibles,” was formed for the purpose of “making history,” by “removing obnoxious Irish officials.” Though an attempt was made to show that the “Invincibles” were agents of the Land League, the only evidence in favour of this supposition rested on a statement which Carey admitted he had made. Two emissaries from America furnished the “Invincibles” with their funds, and Carey said that he thought they “perhaps” got the money from the Land League. He also said that the knives used for the Phœnix Park murders were delivered in Ireland by a woman, whom he took to be Mrs. Frank Byrne, wife of a Land League official. When, however, he was confronted with Mrs. Byrne he could not identify her. It is only just to add that the diary of Mullett, one of the accused, was full of expressions of scorn for the constitutional Home Rule agitators. We may therefore safely infer that after Mr. Forster had suppressed the Land League and put its chiefs in prison, what happened in Ireland is what has happened in every country. For open agitation were substituted secret societies, and midnight assassins took the place of constitutional leaders. The conspirators appear to have long dogged Mr. Forster’s steps, but failed to get a chance of killing him. They had no desire to attack Lord Frederick Cavendish; indeed, till he was pointed out to them, they did not know him by sight. He perished on the 6th of May because he defended his companion, Mr. Burke, who had been marked for “removal.” Carey was the man who had given the{656} signal for the advance of the murderers, and he was also base enough afterwards, at a meeting of the Home Manufacturers’ Association, to propose that a vote of condolence should be sent to Lady Frederick Cavendish. The end of it all was that five of the conspirators, Brady, Curley, Fagan, Caffrey, and Kelly, were hanged. Delaney, Fitzharris, and Mullett were sent to penal servitude for life, and the others to penal servitude for various terms. True bills were found against three individuals, Walsh, Sheridan, and Tynan, the last said to be the envoy who supplied the “Invincibles” with money, and who was only known to Carey as “Number One.” Carey was shot dead at the Cape of Good Hope by a man called O’Donnell, when on his way to a refuge in a British Colony, an offence for which O’Donnell was tried at the Old Bailey and hanged.

It was whilst the country was thrilled by Carey’s revelations that Mr. Gorst raised the Irish Question in an amendment to the Address, urging that no more concessions be made by the Government to Irish agitation. The House resounded with attacks on Mr. Parnell, who was reminded that Sheridan, against whom a true bill of murder had been found as the result of Carey’s evidence, was the same individual, whose aid in suppressing outrages he had promised to the Government. Mr. Parnell was accordingly charged with conniving at murder, the loudest of his accusers being Mr. Forster, who raked up the old story of the Kilmainham Treaty, when he delivered his indictment of Mr. Parnell on the 22nd of February. Mr. Parnell did not reply till next day. Then he contemptuously told the House that he could hold no commerce with Mr. Forster, whom he considered as an informer in relation to the secrets of his late colleagues, nay, as an informer who had not even the pretext of Carey, “namely, the miserable one of saving his own life.” The hauteur and bitterness of the speech, despite its closely-knit argument, disproving the allegation that the Home Rule leaders were consciously associated with the “Invincibles,” or could be held responsible for what was going on in Ireland after Mr. Forster had locked them up, greatly inflamed public opinion. Mr. Parnell stood charged with being the head of a constitutional agitation, some of the agents of which were now shown to be chiefs of secret societies of assassins. Without assuming that he had anything to do with the hidden lives or proceedings of these men, the public condemned Mr. Parnell because he did not, at a moment when their deeds had horrified the country, denounce their wickedness. In Ireland, however, his conduct excited the warmest admiration. Mr. Forster’s taunts he had met with supercilious disdain, and he had told Parliament that he did not care to justify himself to any one but the Irish people, who did not require him to prove that he was not an accomplice of Carey’s. A movement to present Mr. Parnell with a national testimonial was accordingly started, and the subscriptions to it ultimately reached £40,000. Mr. Forster’s attack on Mr. Parnell, at a moment when the House was excited by Carey’s evidence, may have been ungenerous. But it is to it that Mr.{657}

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Parnell owes the release of his family estate from the encumbrances that he inherited. Parliament soon grew sick of the Irish Question in 1883.

Mr. Bradlaugh, however, furnished the House of Commons once more with a personal diversion. Lord Hartington’s pledge that the Attorney-General would bring in an Affirmation Bill was followed by an undertaking from Mr. Bradlaugh, that he would not press his claim to be sworn till the fate of this measure had been determined. Though the arguments for and against such a project had already been thrashed out, it was debated for a fortnight, the Tories straining every effort to waste time over its discussion. Finally it was defeated by a vote of 292 to 289; and when Mr. Bradlaugh wrote to the Speaker claiming his right to take the oath, Sir Stafford Northcote carried a resolution prohibiting him from doing so. On the 9th of July, in reply to Mr. Bradlaugh’s threat to treat this decision as invalid, Sir Stafford revived the resolution excluding him from the precincts of the House. Mr. Bradlaugh then brought an action against the Serjeant-at-Arms for enforcing this order, which the Attorney-General was instructed to defend.

The only real progress made by the Government with business before Easter was with the Bankruptcy Bill, the main object of which was to provide for an independent examination into all circumstances of insolvency, to be conducted by officials of the Board of Trade. It was read a second time and referred to the Grand Committee on Trade, who sent it back to the House of Commons on the 25th of June. The House of Lords passed it without cavil, and Mr. Chamberlain, who had charge of the measure, was congratulated on the ability and tact which he had displayed in conducting it. The Patents Bill, which reduced inventors’ fees, had the same happy history as the Bankruptcy Bill, in whose wake it followed. The Law Bills of the Ministry were less fortunate. The Bill establishing a Court of Appeal in criminal cases was fiercely opposed by the Tories, under the leadership of Sir Richard Cross, Sir Hardinge Giffard, and Mr. Gibson. It was before the Grand Committee on Law from the 2nd of April till the 26th of June, when it was reported to the House and dropped by the Government. The Criminal Code Bill was read a second time on the 12th of April, in spite of the hostility of the Irish Party, who resisted one of the provisions enabling magistrates to examine suspected persons. In the Standing Committee, however, the Bill was so pertinaciously obstructed by Lord Randolph Churchill, Mr. Gorst, and Sir H. D. Wolff, that Sir Henry James abandoned it in despair. When Sir Henry James mentioned this fact in the House of Commons on the 21st of June, Sir H. D. Wolff asked Mr. Gladstone derisively “whether, having regard to the signal success of the principle of delegation and devolution,” he intended to refer any other Bills to Grand Committees. This question was accentuated by loud outbursts of mocking laughter from Lord Randolph Churchill, which, Mr. Gladstone declared, rendered it impossible for him even to hear the terms of the interpellation.{659}

The Budget was introduced on the 5th of April by Mr. Childers, who stated that his estimated revenue and expenditure for the coming year would be £88,480,000 and £85,789,000. This showed a comfortable surplus which he exhausted by taking 1-1/2d. off the Income Tax, by making provisions to meet an expected loss on the introduction of sixpenny telegrams, by reductions on railway passenger duty, and by slight changes in the gun licence and in tax-collection. He also carried, in spite of strenuous opposition, a Bill to reduce the National Debt. By this Bill Mr. Childers created £40,000,000 of Chancery Stock into terminable annuities for twenty years, to follow those expiring in 1885. Then he created £30,000,000 of Savings Bank Stock into shorter annuities. As each fell in, it was to be followed by a longer one, so as to absorb the margin between the actual interest on the Debt and the sum set aside for its permanent service, thus hypothecating the taxes of the future. Mr. Childers promised, by his system, to wipe out £172,000,000 of debt in twenty years.

The Corrupt Practices Bill was read a second time on the 4th of June, and it not only restricted expenditure on elections, but inflicted stringent penalties for bribery and intimidation in every form, making candidates responsible for the acts of their agents, prohibiting the use of public-houses as committee-rooms, and the payment of conveyances to bring voters to the poll. The Tories, the Parnellites, and one or two Radicals like Mr. Peter Rylands, fought hard to relax the stringency of the measure. It was obstructed in Committee, but ultimately passed both Houses with no important alterations. The Agricultural Holdings Bill was also strongly opposed. It gave tenants a right to compensation for improvements, which was to be inalienable by contract. The most important amendment, which was moved and carried by Mr. A. J. Balfour, limiting compensation to the actual outlay, represented the spirit in which the Opposition sought to destroy the utility of the Bill. As Mr. Clare Sewell Read (one of the Conservatives who represented the agricultural interests) observed, this amendment enabled the landlord to say to the tenant, “Heads I win; tails you lose. If your improvement succeeds, I get the profit out of it, and you only the outlay; if it does not succeed, you get the loss.” The amendment was struck out on Report, and, though the House of Lords tried to mutilate the Bill, their worst amendments were rejected by the Commons, and the measure passed. The controversy in the House of Lords was remarkable for Lord Salisbury’s failure to hold his Party at the end firm to the policy of resistance. A useful Bill prohibiting payment of wages in public-houses was also passed. Nor was Ireland neglected. The Tramways Act enabled Irish Local Authorities to construct, with the support of Government guarantees, tramways and light railways, and the Government further assented to provisions to promote by State aid a scheme for transferring labourers from “congested” to thinly-peopled districts. In August a Bill was passed setting apart a portion of the Irish{660} Church surplus to promote the building of fishing harbours. A useful Irish Registration Bill was rejected by the Peers, but Mr. T. P. O’Connor contrived to pass a Bill enabling Rural Sanitary Authorities to borrow money from the Government for the construction of labourers’ cottages. It cannot, however, be said that the Irish Members were grateful for these measures. They still pursued their favourite policy of exasperation, and their alliance with the Tories led to a more systematic and daring use of obstruction than had ever been seen in the House of Commons. At first Sir Stafford Northcote seemed unwilling to countenance obstructive tactics; but Lord Randolph Churchill’s bitter attacks on his leadership in the Times (April 2), and the impatience of the Tory Party, forced the hesitating hand of their leader in the Commons. The evil assumed such serious dimensions that Mr. Bright denounced at Birmingham, in terms of indignant eloquence,[185] “the men who now afflict the House, and who from night to night insult the majesty of the British people.” Thus it came to pass, as the Times said in its review of the Session, that “the main part of the legislation of the year, with the exception of one or two Bills, was huddled together, and hustled through in both Houses during the month of August, amidst an ever-dwindling attendance of Members.” There was only one Bill which was not obstructed—the Explosives Act; in fact, it was passed in a panic. The events that led to its production were somewhat startling. On the night of the 15th of March an attempt was made to blow up the Local Government Board Offices in Whitehall by dynamite, and about the same time a similar outrage was perpetrated on the offices of the Times in Printing House Square. Guards of soldiers and police were immediately posted at all places likely to be attacked, and the connection of these crimes with the seizures of dynamite which were from time to time made by the police in provincial towns, and the arrest of eight conspirators engaged in the “dynamite war” at Liverpool in March, could scarcely be doubted. On the 9th of April Sir William Harcourt’s Explosives Act was therefore carried through both Houses after{661} an unavailing protest from Lord Salisbury, who complained that the Peers were taken by surprise.[186] After the Bill had become law packages of dynamite were seized at Leicester and Cupar-Fife; four men were condemned at Liverpool as dynamitards; several arrests were made at Glasgow; and on the 30th of October there were two explosions in the tunnel of the Metropolitan Railway—between Westminster and Charing Cross, and between Praed Street and Edgware Road.

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Egypt furnished the Opposition with many opportunities for embarrassing the Ministry. Lord Hartington had seriously damaged the prestige of the Government by his pusillanimous declaration at the opening of the Session that the English troops would be recalled from Egypt in six months. Though Mr. Gladstone, on his return from Cannes, was compelled to throw his colleague over and explain that this statement was purely conjectural, the distrust which Lord Hartington had inspired could not be completely eradicated. A more{662} serious difficulty, however, arose out of the exorbitant tolls which the Suez Canal Company levied on the shipping trade. Yielding to the pressure of shipping and commercial interests, Mr. Gladstone sanctioned an agreement by which M. de Lesseps was to provide additional accommodation by digging a second canal. He was also to reduce the tolls gradually, and admit a few Englishmen to his Board of Management. In return the British Government were to procure him the concession of the land for the second canal, and enable him to raise a loan of £8,000,000 at 3-1/4 per cent. A storm of opposition was raised to this project, on the ground that it recognised M. de Lesseps’s monopoly to the canalisation of the Isthmus of Suez. The agreement, which was announced on the 28th of April, was abandoned on the 23rd of July.

In South Africa the policy of the Government was attacked during the Session on the ground that it connived at the oppression of the native chiefs by the Boers, who were not carrying out the Transvaal Convention. The restoration and overthrow of Cetewayo also provoked criticism, but the verdict of the country was that the debates all ended in demonstrating one point, which was this: the existing tangle of affairs in South Africa was entirely due to the policy of the late Government, and the existing Government had not been able to discover any way of satisfactorily neutralising the blunders of their predecessors. But no question arising in British dependencies created so much strife as the Indian Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill, popularly called the Ilbert Bill. Lord Lytton had laid down a rule whereby every year one-sixth of the vacancies in the Indian Civil Service must be filled up by natives. As they advanced in the Magistracy and became eligible for service as District Magistrates and Sessions Judges, a difficulty arose. Either they must, like European officials of the same grades, be allowed to try Europeans as well as native offenders against the Criminal Law, or they must be virtually wasted. Moreover, an offensive slight must be put on the Indian servants of the Empress, by prohibiting them from exercising all the functions pertaining to their grade and rank. In Presidency towns no difficulty arose. There native magistrates of this grade were allowed to have jurisdiction over Europeans, the theory being that they acted under the moral censorship of a European press. But in country districts it was alleged that they could not be trusted. In fact, European magistrates must, according to the opponents of the Bill, be found for every district in which even a handful of Europeans were living. Yet, as Lord Lytton had diminished the number of Europeans in the Service and put natives in their places, a serious administrative difficulty might be created if the native judges were not entrusted with the duties of the Europeans whom they had displaced. An explosion of race-hatred was the result of the Ilbert Bill, and the same class of Anglo-Indians who denounced “Clemency” Canning during the “White Terror” of 1857, now denounced Lord Ripon in the same violent language. They even attempted to induce the Volunteers to resign, and Sir Donald Stewart, the Commander-in-{663}Chief, who, like Sir Frederick Roberts, supported the measure, condemned the “wicked and criminal attempts” which the opponents of the Bill had made to stir up animosity against the Government in the Army. Ultimately a compromise was arrived at, by which a European when tried before a native judge could claim a jury, of which not less than one-half must consist of Europeans or Americans. Curiously enough, at the time this controversy was being developed into a fierce antagonism of races in India, tidings came to England to the effect that a tribe in Orissa had begun to worship the Queen as a goddess.[187] When the natives on the frontier elevated General John Nicholson to the dignity of a god, the stout soldier used to order his worshippers to be flogged for their idolatry. Whether any official steps were taken to discourage a cult that might have rendered the Queen-Empress ridiculous, was never known. The sect who took her for their deity seems to have vanished from Indian history.

The Queen played but a slight part in public life in the early part of 1883. Whilst at Osborne in January she awarded the Albert Medal to the survivors of the gallant exploring party who distinguished themselves by saving life at the Baddesley Colliery Explosion in May, 1882, and she sent to the Mayor of Bradford an expression of sympathy with the sufferers from the fall of a great chimney stack in that town at the end of the year—a disaster involving the sacrifice of fifty-three lives. On the 14th of February her Majesty held a Council at Windsor, and revised the Royal Speech for the opening of the Session. On the 19th of February she attended the funeral of Pay-Sergeant Mayo, of the Coldstream Guards, at Windsor, who had died suddenly whilst on duty at the Castle, and on the same day, owing to the Prince of Wales holding the opening levee of the season on her behalf, her Majesty was able to be present as one of the sponsors at the baptism of the infant son of the Duke and Duchess of Connaught at Windsor. On the 6th and 13th of March, however, her Majesty held Drawing Rooms at Buckingham Palace. On the 17th of March Lady Florence Dixie alleged that a murderous attack had been made on her in the shrubbery of her house at Windsor, by two men disguised as women. As her ladyship had been writing a good deal on the Irish Question, and as the town was in a panic over the dynamite war waged by the Fenians against public buildings, it was suggested that this outrage might have been planned by one of the Irish Secret Societies. Investigation, however, indicated that Lady Florence must have been labouring under a mistake, and the incident would have passed out of sight but for its effect on the Queen’s peace of mind. Lady Florence Dixie’s story had alarmed the Queen, showing her, as it did, that there was peril almost at the doors of Windsor Castle. Her Majesty sent Lord Methuen, Lady Ely, and Sir Henry Ponsonby with messages of sympathy to Lady{664} Florence Dixie, and finally the Queen’s personal attendant, Mr. John Brown, was despatched to examine the ground and report on the circumstances of the outrage. He caught a chill in the shrubbery of Lady Florence Dixie’s villa, and when he returned to Windsor Castle complained of being ill. He died of erysipelas on the 27th of March, the day after the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Albany was christened. Brown was the son of a tenant of Colonel Farquharson’s and began life as gillie to the Prince Consort. For nineteen years he was the personal attendant of the Queen, and no servant was ever so completely trusted by a royal master or mistress. “John Brown,” writes the Queen in a note to her “Leaves from the Journal of Our Life in the Highlands,” “in 1858 became my regular attendant out of doors everywhere in the Highlands. He commenced as gillie in 1859, and was selected by Albert and me to go with my carriage. In 1857 he entered our service permanently, and began in that year leading my pony, and advanced step by step by his good conduct and intelligence. His attentive care and faithfulness cannot be exceeded, and the state of my health, which of late years has been sorely tried and weakened, renders such qualifications most valuable, and, indeed, most needful upon all occasions. He has since most deservedly been promoted to be an upper servant and my permanent personal attendant (December, 1865). He has all the independence and elevated feelings peculiar to the Highland race, and is singularly straightforward, simple-minded, kind-hearted, and disinterested, always ready to oblige, and of a discretion rarely to be met with.” By all accounts Brown seems to have been an honest brusque sort of man, whose fidelity to his master and mistress won their entire confidence. Extraordinary stories were told in Society of his influence over the Queen, and of the almost despotic authority which he wielded over the Royal Family. Even the highest officers of the Royal Household had to speak him fairly, otherwise trouble came to them. He attended the Queen in all her walks and drives, and had the privilege of speaking to her with the rough candour in which he habitually indulged, on any subject he chose to talk about. He had often been engaged in services of a delicate nature for the Royal Family, and it was said that nothing could be said or done, no matter how secretly, at or about the Court, without his immediately knowing of it. Löhlein, the Prince Consort’s old valet, was the only person in the Household whom Brown never dared to meddle with. Through the Court Circular the Queen bewailed the “grievous shock” she felt at the “irreparable loss” of “an honest, faithful, and devoted follower, a trustworthy, discreet, and straightforward man,” whose fidelity “had secured for himself the real friendship of the Queen.” This grief was not only natural but eminently creditable to her. Brown had for years been the guardian of her life, and in the case of Connor’s attack he had defended her with the grim courage of his race. But for him her Majesty could not have enjoyed that freedom of movement out of doors which had been of{665}

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(From a Photograph by G. W. Wilson and Co., Aberdeen.)

vital consequence to her health and strength. Old servants, when possessed of Brown’s sterling qualities of manhood, in process of time gradually pass into the category of old friends. Their lives become intertwined in many ways with the life of the family to which they are attached. Their death leaves behind it in the hearts of their masters and mistresses the sting of a personal bereavement. This was, in a special sense, the case with the Queen, whose fate it has been to see the circle of old familiar faces round her contracting every year. Her expressions of sorrow over Brown’s grave, though they provoked rude criticism, merely gave expression to a sentiment of melancholy which was the natural outgrowth of her life of “lonely splendour.”[188]{666}

From the 18th of April to the 8th of May the Court was at Osborne, and the state of the Queen’s health was such as to cause her medical advisers some concern. The dynamite scare, a slight accident that had happened to her through slipping on the stairs at Windsor Castle, the deaths of her friend Mrs. Stonor[189] and her attendant, Brown—all contributed to produce an attack of nervous debility that could only be remedied by repose.

In the third week of April the Queen created quite a panic among the sheep farmers and the fashionable purveyors of the large towns. She had read many gloomy articles in the papers, lamenting the decrease in the number of English sheep. Instead of anticipating, by a few days, the appearance of Easter lamb at the Royal table, as did Napoleon I. on one occasion, her Majesty notified that no lamb would be consumed in her Household. The effect of the notice was magical. The price of lamb went down in a few hours to 4d. a pound, and farmers, who had at enormous expense bred and fed large stocks of lamb for the Easter market, saw bankruptcy staring them in the face. The economic fallacy was obvious. The Queen forgot that the slaughter of lambs which were bred for the butcher, and which but for the Easter market would not be bred at all, was not the cause of the scarcity of sheep. In a few weeks the notice was withdrawn.

Though the Queen was still unable to walk, yet on the 8th of May she was so much benefited by her holiday at Osborne, that she was able, under the care of the Princess Beatrice, to return to Windsor. On the 26th of May, though still in feeble health, she went to Balmoral. Extraordinary precautions were taken to prevent the time-table of the Royal train on this occasion from being published, and her Majesty sent orders from Windsor that spectators must be excluded from the stations at which she stopped. Railway directors were not even allowed to be present when her Majesty arrived at Ferryhill station, Aberdeen, from whence she drove to Balmoral by the road on the south side of the Dee—a road she had never taken before. Life at Balmoral was gloomy, for all the old festivities had been stopped, and everybody was in deep mourning for John Brown. The Queen hardly ever left her own grounds, and the Court gladly returned to Windsor on the 23rd of June. On the 3rd of July a shocking accident occurred near Glasgow, which deeply impressed the mind of the Queen. As a new steamer, the Daphne, was being launched from Messrs. Stephen’s Yard she heeled over and sank. A hundred and fifty lives were lost, and the Queen not only sent a message of sympathy to the survivors, but a subscription of £200 to a fund raised for their relief. The Court removed to Osborne on the 24th of July, where a few days later the{667} Queen received M. Waddington, the new French Ambassador. On the 24th of August her Majesty left Osborne for Balmoral, which she reached on the following day. She conferred the Order of the Garter on her grandson, Prince Albert Victor of Wales, on the 4th of September. It was thought strange that this distinction should be granted to the Prince whilst he was still a minor: George IV., for example, was not admitted to the Order till long after he had come of age. What was stranger still was that the investiture should have been a private function, conducted in the drawing-room at Balmoral, and not a public ceremonial in St. George’s Chapel. The exceptional character of the distinction was a proof of the high favour in which her Majesty held her grandson. Excursions to Braemar, Glassalt Shiel, Glen Cluny, and the neighbourhood were made during September. The Duke and Duchess of Connaught visited her Majesty in October on the eve of their departure for India, and the ex-Empress Eugénie, who was at Abergeldie, came to her almost every day, and long excursions in the bleak scenery of the Aberdeenshire mountains were organised for the Royal party. It was not till the 21st of November that the Court came back to Windsor—the same day on which the Duke and Duchess of Connaught landed at Bombay. After her return the Queen seems to have been engrossed with business to an unusual extent—much of it relating to troublesome private matters, and it was stated that her Majesty and Sir Henry Ponsonby during the first week had to work together for five and six hours at a stretch, ere they could overtake their task. Every day, however, the Queen drove in the Park, and every evening she gave a dinner-party, to which not more than fifteen guests were invited. On the 12th of December her Majesty received the Siamese Envoys, and it was intimated that she intended to raise the poet Laureate to the Peerage. On the 18th of December the Court removed to Osborne, where Christmas-tide was spent.

Politically and socially the Recess of 1883 was full of interest. Just as Parliament was prorogued Mr. Gladstone and Lord Granville brought an irritating controversy with France to a close. In the spring, Admiral Pierre had been sent with a squadron to enforce French claims of sovereignty over a portion of the north-west of Madagascar. In the course of operations at Tamatave the Admiral had behaved rudely to the British Consul. He had insulted the commander of H.M.S. Dryad, and he had illegally arrested and imprisoned Mr. Shaw, an English missionary. Mr. Gladstone had alluded gravely, but in terms of studied moderation and courtesy, to these events in the House of Commons. The Opposition, however, harried him with attacks; and all over the land Conservative writers and speakers denounced the Government for its cowardly subservience to France. The only effect which these indiscreet criticisms could have was obviously to convince France that she ran no risk in refusing reparation to the Englishmen whom her agents had injured. Fortunately the Government of the French Republic had a keen sense of{668} justice. It did not misunderstand the firm but temperate tone of the English Foreign Office; and the French Government accordingly offered an apology and compensation to Mr. Shaw. It turned out that Admiral Pierre, who died in France soon after his recall, had been suffering from an exhausting disease at the time he had offended Captain Johnstone of the Dryad. There was no disposition on either side, therefore, to exaggerate the personal aspect of the question, and the dispute ended in a manner highly creditable to the diplomacy of both nations.

In Ireland the National League, which had been founded in 1882 as a continuation of the old Land League, was extending its organisation. Mr. Healy’s electoral victory in Monaghan suggested that an attack should be made on the last stronghold of the Unionist Party in Ireland. League meetings were therefore held in Ulster; but the Orangemen, terrified by this invasion of Home Rulers into their loyal territory, attempted to repel it by force. They organised rival meetings, and planned armed attacks on the Leaguers. Occasionally Mr. Trevelyan had to suppress the demonstrations of both “Orange” and “Green” by proclamation. In England the Recess was one of stormy political agitation. The Liberal Party felt that it was necessary to submit some measure to Parliament in 1884, on which, if need be, they might risk an appeal to the constituencies. Hence, at Leeds, their provincial leaders and delegates resolved to press a measure of Parliamentary Reform on the country. A small minority, who urged that the reform of the Municipality of London and of County and Local Government should have the first place, were overruled by those who raised the famous cry of “Franchise first.” The Tory leaders, when they spoke on the subject, merely suggested that the problem of Parliamentary Reform was encumbered with difficulties. For some time the Liberal leaders rarely spoke save to contradict each other either as to the order of legislation in the coming Session, or as to whether, if Household Suffrage were extended to the counties, the Redistribution of Seats would be dealt with by a separate Bill. During the Recess, Sir Stafford Northcote roused the Conservatism of North Wales and Ulster. Lord Salisbury attempted to thrill his party with terror by an article in the Quarterly Review, bewailing the “disintegration” of English society under Mr. Gladstone’s malefic influence; and in another periodical—the National Review—he appealed strongly for popular support by a strong semi-Socialistic paper advocating the better housing of the poor. In fact, the end of 1883 and the beginning of 1884 will be long remembered for an outbreak of dilletante Socialism among the upper classes. The powerful pen of a gifted novelist had revealed, as by flashes of lightning, the unexplored regions of the East End of London. In fact, Mr. Walter Besant’s vivid pictures of its dull grey life of toil, varied only by hunger, and ending only in death, had seared the conscience, if they had not touched the heart, of a brilliant society of pleasure. Beneath the bright wit and mocking humour of the satirist,{669}

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there glowed the fire and fervour of the prophet; and when a voice which, like Mr. Besant’s, had the ear of a hundred millions of English-speaking people, preached in the most fascinating of parables the doctrine that Wealth owes, and ever will owe, an undischarged duty to Poverty—a mighty impetus was given to the cause of social reform. Hands swift to do good were stretched forth from the West End to the East End, and a movement destined to realise, in the Jubilee Year of the Victorian era, some of Mr. Besant’s ideals in “All Sorts and Conditions of Men,” was now initiated. Unfortunately it was vulgarised by much imposture at the outset. The pace of three London seasons had been unusually rapid, and Society at this juncture had exhausted its resources of amusement and its capacities for pleasure. The town was fuller than usual, for Cabinet Councils had been unwontedly early; and the great families who flock to London when they get the first hint that the autumnal period of political intrigue has set in, had abandoned their country houses sooner in the year than was customary. The theatres were unattractive. The Fisheries Exhibition had closed; and the world of fashion was hungry for some fresh object of interest. Like Matthew Arnold’s patrician, though{670} Society made its feast and crowned its brows with roses in the winter of 1883-4, it was still left lamenting that

“No easier and no quicker passed
The impracticable hours.”
The movement in philanthropy which Mr. Besant’s writings originated, and which Lord Salisbury’s essay on the Housing of the Poor stamped with the imprimatur of British respectability, was just what was needed to supply a stimulus to which the blunted nerves of the idlest pleasure-seeker would respond. In the days of Lord Tom Noddy and Sir Carnaby Jenks persons of quality in similar circumstances would have gone to see a man hanged. Some years later, as M. Henri Taine notes, they would have applied for an escort of police and inspected the thieves’ kitchens and other hideous lairs of crime. Now, under escorts of enchanted philanthropists, lay and clerical, male and female, curious parties were organised in the West End to visit the slums, just as they were arranged to visit the opera. These amateur explorers were, indeed, dubbed “slummers” by cynical writers in the Press; and the verb to “slum” almost made good its footing in the English vocabulary. Few of these strange visitors remained behind in the East End to help in the work of charity whose objects excited their morbid curiosity. It was also an untoward coincidence that of these few some of the most fussy and bustling subsequently figured conspicuously in the Divorce Court.

It had been the intention of the Government to reduce the number of the troops in Egypt, and some hint of this had been given by Mr. Gladstone at the Lord Mayor’s banquet in the Guildhall. But before the plan could be carried out a catastrophe happened in Egypt which interfered with it. It had always been the ambition of the Khedivial family to extend their dominion to the Equator. They had drained Egypt of men and money to conquer that vast and difficult region known as the Soudan, and under the pretext of suppressing the slave trade, they had endeavoured to sanctify their policy of costly conquest. When, however, disturbances broke out in Lower Egypt, the wild tribes of the Soudan, ever ready to revolt against the Egyptians or “Turks,” whom they regarded as brutal extortioners, joined the standards of a pretended prophet, called the Mahdi, and Colonel Hicks, a retired Indian officer, was sent with an Egyptian army to suppress the rising. The British Government sanctioned, but gave no aid to the expedition. By their foolish policy they made themselves morally responsible for its fate without taking steps to make its success a certainty. In November Hicks Pasha and his army were cut to pieces at El Obeid, and Egyptian authority in the Soudan was represented by a few beleaguered garrisons at such places as Khartoum, Suakim, and Sinkat. The British Government dissuaded Tewfik Pasha from trying to re-conquer the Soudan, but advised him merely to relieve the garrisons and hold the Red Sea coast and the Nile Valley as far{671} as Wady Halfa. By thus blocking the only outlets for its produce the insurrection in the province might be strangled. Here the Ministry delivered themselves into the hands of their enemies. If they tried to re-conquer the Soudan the Tories could denounce a blood-guilty policy that wasted the substance of Egypt to gratify Khedivial ambition. If they induced Tewfik Pasha to let the Soudan alone, they could be denounced for abandoning one of the conquests of civilisation to barbarism and the slave trade. But in the first weeks of 1884 there was a lull in political agitation, which was only partially broken by Mr. Gladstone’s address to his tenants at the Hawarden Rent Dinner on the 9th of January. It was in this speech that he advised farmers groaning under prolonged agricultural distress, aggravated by an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, to seek consolation in pensive reflection on the Hares and Rabbits Act, and in an energetic application of their industry to the production of jam.


Success of the Mahdi—Difficult Position of the Ministers—Their Egyptian Policy—General Gordon sent out to the Soudan—Baker Pasha’s Forces Defeated—Sir S. Northcote’s Vote of Censure—The Errors on Both Sides—Why not a Protectorate?—Gordon in Khartoum—Zebehr, “King of the Slave-traders”—Attacks on Gordon—Osman Digna Twice Defeated—Treason in Khartoum—Gordon’s Vain Appeals—Financial Position of Egypt—Abortive Conference of the Powers—Vote of Credit—The New Speaker—Mr. Bradlaugh Redivivus—Mr. Childers’ Budget—The Coinage Bill—The Reform Bill—Household Franchise for the Counties—Carried in the Commons—Thrown Out in the Lords—Agitation in the Country—The Autumn Session—“No Surrender”—Compromise—The Franchise Bill Passed—The Nile Expedition—Murder of Colonel Stewart and Mr. Frank Power—Lord Northbrook’s Mission—Ismail Pasha’s Claims—The “Scramble for Africa”—Coolness with Germany—The Angra Pequena Dispute—Bismarck’s Irritation—Queensland and New Guinea—Death of Lord Hertford—The Queen’s New Book—Death of the Duke of Albany—Character and Career of the Prince—The Claremont Estate—The Queen at Darmstadt—Marriage of the Princess Victoria of Hesse—A Gloomy Season—The Health Exhibition—The Queen and the Parliamentary Deadlock—The Abyssinian Envoys at Osborne—Prince George of Wales made K.G.—The Court at Balmoral—Mr. Gladstone’s Visit to the Queen.

Parliament met on the 5th of February, 1884. The Queen’s Speech admitted that the unexpected success of the Mahdi in the Soudan had delayed the evacuation of Cairo and the reduction of the British army of occupation. It also referred to the steps that had been taken to relieve Khartoum by the despatch of General Gordon—accompanied by Colonel Stewart—to that doomed city. An imposing programme of domestic legislation was put forward. There was to be a Reform Bill, a Bill to improve the government of London, and legislation was promised dealing with shipping, railways, the government of Scotland, education, Sunday Closing in Ireland, and intermediate education in Wales. The Egyptian Policy of the Government was naturally taken as the point for attack by the Opposition in the House of Lords and{672} in the House of Commons. The position of England in Egypt was now so peculiar and embarrassing that any policy open to the Government was open to objection. So far as the interests of the English and Egyptian people were concerned, the best thing that could have been done for them would have been to render the frontier at Wady Halfa impregnable, to forbid any further interference with the Soudan, and to leave the Egyptian garrisons and colonies there to make the best terms they could with the Mahdi. This would not have been a noble or heroic, but it would have been a sensible course, and it would have prevented the perfectly useless expenditure of precious blood and treasure. On the other hand, only a Minister unselfish enough to brave the obloquy which would be cast on him by his rivals for adopting a sordid policy in the interests of his country, could venture on such a policy. It would have been possible to a Bismarck, who can boast that he will never break the bones of a Pomeranian grenadier for the sake of the Eastern Question. It was not possible to Mr. Gladstone, some of whose colleagues were already in a bellicose mood. Assuredly, too, it would in 1884 have been unpopular with the electors. In foreign complications, involving the issues of peace or war, their

“Affections are
A sick man’s appetite, who desires most that
Which would increase his evil.”
Ministers therefore chose the course which, on the whole, divided the country least. They decided to cut the connection between Egypt and the Soudan, but at the same time to arrange for the safe return of the Egyptian garrisons and colonists to Lower Egypt. They selected General Gordon—better known as “Chinese” Gordon—who, as Gordon Pasha, had been Viceroy of the Soudan, to make the best arrangements he could for the future of the country, and bring back the garrisons and colonists in safety. Gordon’s great name and unbounded popularity caused this plan to be hailed with unalloyed delight by the people. He arrived at Cairo on the 23rd of January, and was permitted to receive from the Khedive a firman appointing him Governor-General of the Soudan, and vesting him, as the Khedive’s Viceroy, with absolute power. Gordon thus held two commissions—one from the English Government as the Agent of the Foreign Office, another from the Khedive as Viceroy of the Soudan. He crossed the desert without an escort, and was making his way to Khartoum when Parliament met. It was a dramatic coincidence that when the debate on Egypt was going on, news of a serious disaster from the Soudan came to hand. Baker Pasha had advanced from Trinkitat on the 4th of February, and near Tokar his force was attacked by the Mahdi’s followers and driven back to Suakim. By an accident the discussion collapsed without any Ministerial reply being given to the Tory attack. Then Sir Stafford Northcote, on the 7th of February, moved his vote{673}

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(From a Photograph by Adams and Scanlan, Southampton.)

of censure, on the ground that the disasters in the Soudan were due to “the vacillating and inconsistent policy” pursued by the Government. Possibly the disaster of the division in the Commons when this motion was rejected may have in turn been traceable to the “vacillating and inconsistent” tactics of the Opposition. They toiled with wearisome iteration to prove that England, having incurred responsibility for the government of Egypt after Tel-el-Kebir, was responsible for the massacre of Hicks Pasha and his army. So she was; but instead of drawing the logical inference from the facts, namely, that the English authorities in Egypt were to blame for not vetoing{674} Hicks’s expedition, Sir Stafford Northcote and Lord Salisbury blamed the English Government for not helping him with “advice,” and for not forcing the Khedive to make his army strong enough for its task. Here it became manifest to the House of Commons that the Opposition had only got up a sham faction fight. For when Sir Stafford Northcote hotly repudiated the notion that he would have sent a British army to reinforce Hicks or avenge his death, he gave up his whole case. It was then seen that the alternative policy of the Opposition was to have goaded the Egyptian Government to a war of re-conquest in the Soudan, and in the event of failure to leave it in the lurch. Alike in the Commons and in the Lords the responsible leaders of the Opposition admitted that Mr. Gladstone was right in advising Egypt to abandon the Soudan, and in refusing to send British troops there to conduct the evacuation. What they argued was that he was wrong in not telling the Khedive’s Cabinet how to get out of the Soudan, though he would in that event, according to them, have been quite right to refuse the Khedive aid, if, in acting on Mr. Gladstone’s suggestions, his Highness met with disaster in the rebellious province. It was a sad surprise to Lord Salisbury to find his censure carried in the Upper House only by a vote of 181 to 81—for the majority did not represent half of a Chamber two-thirds of which were his followers. It was, however, no surprise to Sir Stafford Northcote to find his motion rejected in the House of Commons, though he had the advantage of the Irish vote. As for the country, its verdict was that there was no difference between the two parties except on one point. The Tories would have pestered the Khedive with instructions, but would have repudiated responsibility for them if when acted on they had ended in failure. The Government had, through fear of incurring this responsibility, left the Khedive too much to his own devices, and when these brought trouble they found they could not get rid of all responsibility for it.

What ought to have been said was what neither Lord Salisbury nor Sir Stafford Northcote dared say. It was that England, after Tel-el-Kebir, should have boldly proclaimed a Protectorate over Egypt, the moral authority of which would have sufficed to hold her fretful and mutinous provinces in awe, till steps for their reconstruction could be taken.[190] Failure seemingly rendered{675} the Opposition reckless. Even the heroic and high-hearted envoy of the Government at Khartoum did not escape the shafts of their malice. He had proclaimed the Mahdi as Sultan of Kordofan in order to induce him to negotiate for the peaceful withdrawal of the garrisons. He had burned in public the archives of the Egyptian Government, in which the arrears of taxes were recorded, as a pledge that the oppressed people of Khartoum should be no longer the prey of corrupt extortioners. He had set free the prisoners who were unjustly pining in the gaols. He had proclaimed that the right of property in domestic slaves would be recognised—thereby neutralising the intrigues of the Mahdists, who were persuading the wavering people that if they remained true to Egypt, the Government would rob them of their household servants. Finding it impossible to discover a less objectionable native chief fit to undertake the task of keeping order at Khartoum, Gordon recommended for that purpose his old enemy, Zebehr Pasha, once known as “King of the Slave-Traders.”

The Tories now attacked Gordon and his policy with much bitterness. They jeered at him as a madman. They denounced him for sanctioning slavery—he who had given the best days of his life to the suppression of the trade. They tried to rouse public opinion against the Government for tolerating his proceedings. In fact, no effort was wanting to embarrass him and the Ministry in solving the difficult problem of extricating the military and civil population of Khartoum from their dangerous position. The factiousness of the Opposition had one bad result. It frightened the Government into refusing their sanction to Gordon’s proposal for handing over Khartoum to Zebehr Pasha. For at this time the Tories delighted to describe Zebehr as the kind of monster of savagery, with whom a statesman of Mr. Gladstone’s character naturally sought a close alliance.

When the tidings of General Baker’s defeat at Teb were followed by news of the massacre of the garrison of Sinkat, Ministers, in obedience to public opinion, decided to abandon their policy of inaction in the Soudan. On the 10th of February, Admiral Hewett took supreme command at Suakim. On the 18th a small British force under General Graham landed at that place. By this time Tokar had fallen, but Graham, advancing from Trinkitat, fought and beat the Arabs under Osman Digna at El Teb. Osman retired to Tamanieb, and was attacked there by Graham on the 13th of March. At first the British force wavered and broke under the impetuous shock of the Arab charge, but in the end the Arabs were defeated, and Osman Digna’s camp was destroyed. Gordon had made an unsuccessful sortie from Khartoum on the 16th of March, and he had found not only his army but the civil population of the city honeycombed with treason. In vain he implored the Government to send two squadrons of cavalry to Berber to aid the escape of two thousand fugitives whom he proposed to send down the Nile. The Government, on the contrary, recalled General Graham and his troops from{676} Suakim, thereby leading the Arabs to believe that Gordon was abandoned by his countrymen. His negotiations with the Mahdi proved to be a failure. In May his protests against the desertion of Khartoum were published in official form, and the Opposition then gave expression to popular opinion when they moved, though they did not carry, another vote of censure on the Ministry. The defence of the Government was that Gordon was in no danger, and that when he was, Ministers would quickly send him aid. The financial position of Egypt was now so bad that Mr. Gladstone resolved to ease the pressure of her debt at the expense of the bondholders. For this purpose it was necessary to summon a Conference of the Powers. France opposed the English project, and the diplomatic negotiations between England and France were seriously embarrassed by incessant interpellations from the Opposition in Parliament, and by their abortive votes of censure. In spite of these difficulties, however, Ministers were able, on the 23rd of June, to announce that they had come to an arrangement with France. She formally abandoned the Dual Control, which had really been destroyed by the Khedive’s decree in 1882, and bound herself not to send troops to Egypt unless on the invitation of England. England, on the other hand, agreed to evacuate Egypt on the 1st of January, 1888, unless the Powers considered that order could not be kept after the British troops were recalled. The question of the debt was virtually left to the Conference, but it was agreed that after the 1st of January, 1888, Egypt was to be neutralised and the Suez Canal put under international management. Even these arrangements were, however, to depend on the decisions of the Conference, which, Mr. Gladstone said, would in turn need Parliamentary sanction before they could be considered binding on the British Government. The Conference broke up owing to the impossibility of reconciling English and French interests, and Mr. Gladstone on the 2nd of August told the House of Commons that England had regained entire freedom of action. With this freedom the Government acquired fresh energy. They sent Lord Northbrook to Egypt to report upon its condition, and obtained from Parliament a Vote of Credit of £300,000 with which to send succour to Gordon if he required it. At this time, though Khartoum was isolated and surrounded by the Mahdi’s troops, Lord Hartington refused to admit that Egypt was in danger from an Arab invasion, or to give any definite promise to send Gordon aid.

The Egyptian Question sadly exhausted the energies of the House of Commons. Mr. Arthur Peel had been chosen as Speaker on the 26th of February, in succession to Sir Henry Brand, who was elevated to the Peerage as Viscount Hampden. Sir Stafford Northcote again succeeded in preventing Mr. Bradlaugh from taking his seat, and when Mr. Bradlaugh resigned it, and was again re-elected for Northampton, the resolution excluding him from the House was once more revived on the 21st of February.

The Budget was not presented till the last week of April, and Mr. Childers{677}

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then confessed that for the coming year he could not expect a surplus of more than £260,000,[191] which admitted only of a small reduction in the Carriage Duties. The unexpected costliness of the Parcel Post caused Mr. Childers to abandon in the meantime the scheme for introducing sixpenny telegrams; but he made proposals for the reduction of the National Debt and the withdrawal of light gold coin from circulation, that led to some controversy. Mr. Childers’ method of dealing with the Debt was to give holders of Three per Cent. Stock the option of taking Two and Three-quarters per Cent. or Two and a Half per Cent. Stock at the rate of £102 and £108 respectively for every £100 of Stock so exchanged. Mr. Childers argued that he would thus reduce the annual burden of the charge for the Debt (after providing for a Sinking Fund to cover the nominal increase in the capital cf the converted Stock) by £1,310,000. His Coinage Bill was lost because the Tories roused popular prejudice against it. Mr. Childers proposed to demonetise the half-sovereign by putting in it a certain amount of alloy and giving it a mere token-value. The charge that he was “debasing the currency” wrecked his project. A Bill strengthening the hands of the Privy Council in excluding diseased cattle was passed. But the great measure of the Session was the Reform Bill, which was introduced on the 28th of February. By it Mr. Gladstone extended household franchise to the counties, and a vigorous effort was made to compel him to introduce along with the Franchise Bill, a Bill for the Redistribution of Seats. The Second Reading of the Reform Bill was carried on the 7th of April, a majority of 340 to 210 having rejected the hostile amendment of the Conservatives, which was moved by Lord John Manners. The Tories then made many futile efforts to coerce{678} Mr. Gladstone into disclosing his Redistribution Scheme, which he had, however, sketched in outline in his speech introducing the Franchise Bill. Ultimately the Third Reading was carried on the 26th of June—nemine contradicente. The Bill was read a first time in the House of Lords on the 27th of June, where Lord Cairns and the Tory Peers opposed it by an amendment, in which they refused to assent to any extension of the Franchise, without any provision for a redistribution of seats. The country began to murmur against this attitude of the Tory Peers, many of whom even deprecated the policy of supporting Lord Cairns’s amendment. It was, however, carried by a majority of 205 against 146. After that the Peers, by way of conciliating public opinion, agreed, on the motion of Lord Dunraven, to assent “to the principles of representation in the Bill.” Ministers immediately announced that they would take steps to prorogue Parliament in order to hold an autumn Session for the reintroduction of the Measure. This involved the sacrifice of all their projects of legislation, including Sir William Harcourt’s Bill for reforming the Government of London, Mr. Chamberlain’s Merchant Shipping Bill (prohibiting shipowners from making a profit out of the wreck of over-insured ships), the Railway Regulation Bill (which prevented railway companies from burdening traders and farmers with extortionate transport rates), the Scottish Universities Bill, the Welsh Education Bill, the Police Superannuation Bill, the Medical Acts Amendment Bill, the Corrupt Practices at Municipal Elections Bill, the Law of Evidence Amendment Bill, the Irish Sunday Closing Bill, and the Irish Land Purchase Bill. These, as well as many useful measures, perished in the legislative holocaust of the 10th of July, which the opposition of the Peers had brought about.

The Recess was spent in violent agitation. Party leaders on both sides strove to rouse public opinion against or on behalf of the action of the House of Lords. The country, on the whole, seemed day by day to gravitate towards the Liberals, and the general opinion soon came to be that the time had come for settling the question of Parliamentary Reform, and that, the Peers having accepted the principle of Mr. Gladstone’s Bill, a compromise as to details ought to be effected. The monster procession which passed through London on the 21st of July, together with Mr. Gladstone’s political campaign in Midlothian, did much to strengthen the hands of the Reformers. As might be expected, the Radicals took advantage of the occasion to direct a fierce and violent attack against the House of Lords as an institution. When the Session opened on the 23rd of October party spirit ran high, and both sides took “No Surrender!” as their watchword. Lord Randolph Churchill attempted to fix on Mr. Chamberlain a charge of inciting a Radical mob to break up a great Conservative demonstration which had been held in Aston Park, Birmingham, on the 13th of October. Mr. Chamberlain proved his innocence by quoting affidavits made by certain men, who swore that “Tory roughs” had provoked the riot. The genuineness of those affidavits was{679} questioned, but to no purpose. When, however, they were made the basis of legal proceedings, it was noted as a curious coincidence that, with one exception, all the witnesses who had supplied Mr. Chamberlain with his exculpating affidavits, somehow vanished from the scene. The Franchise Bill was rapidly passed through the House of Commons, and the enormous majority of 140 in favour of the Second Reading brought the Tory Peers to a more reasonable state of mind. Moderate Conservatives began to build a golden bridge of retreat for their lordships. Nor was the task hard. It was soon discovered, as the result of private communications, that there was now no substantial difference of opinion between Conservatives like Sir Richard Cross and Liberals like Mr. Gladstone on the general principles of Redistribution. Nobody, in fact, had the courage to defend the continued enfranchisement of petty boroughs while large towns were not represented in Parliament save by the county vote. It was finally arranged by plenipotentiaries representing both parties that Mr. Gladstone’s draft Redistribution Bill should be submitted confidentially to Sir Stafford Northcote and his friends—that they should suggest, and in turn submit to Mr. Gladstone their amendments to it—that when both Parties agreed, Mr. Gladstone should receive from the Tories “an adequate assurance” that they meant to carry the Franchise Bill through the House of Lords, that upon the strength of this assurance Mr. Gladstone should introduce the Redistribution Bill in the House of Commons, and carry it to a Second Reading while the Peers were passing the Third Reading of the Franchise Bill. The whole understanding rested simply on an exchange of “words of honour” between the leaders on both sides, and it was loyally adhered to. Lord Salisbury, Sir Stafford Northcote, Mr. Gladstone, Lord Hartington, and Sir Charles Dilke, met and settled all serious disputes over the question of redistribution, and the Bill was introduced on the 1st of December. On the 4th of the month the measure was read a second time, the House of Lords having passed the Franchise Bill. On the 6th of December Parliament adjourned till the 19th of February, 1885, when the Redistribution Bill was to be finally dealt with in Committee, de die in diem.

The autumn Session did not close till the Government obtained a vote of credit of £1,000,000 for military operations in Egypt. The decision to send an expedition to Khartoum by way of the Nile was arrived at with manifest reluctance by the Ministry, and of all the courses open to them, including those which had been suggested by Gordon and rejected by Mr. Gladstone and Lord Granville, it was the most objectionable and hazardous.[192] Lord{680}

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(From a Photograph by Barraud, Oxford Street.)

Wolseley arrived at Cairo early in September, and the Mudir of Dongola not only held back the Mahdi, but furnished a base of operations to the English force. Down to the end of 1884 Lord Wolseley contrived to shroud his proceedings in a veil of mystery. Beyond the facts that he had railway transport to Sarras, that after that point, the expedition and its transport were conveyed up the falling river in whaleboats guided by Canadian boatmen,[193] that Lord Wolseley’s sanguine anticipation of a rapid advance had been falsified, that dangers and difficulties, which he ought to have foreseen, had been encountered, that it had been necessary to stimulate the{681}

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energies of the Army by offering a money reward to the first detachment which reached Debbeh, and that by the first week of January, 1885, Lord Wolseley would have about 7,000 men at Ambukol, of whom, perhaps, 2,000 might be ready to dash across the desert to Shendy, from whence the decisive blow at the Mahdi must be struck—beyond these facts and conjectures nothing was known. Dim rumours of Gordon’s futile sorties, of his feeling of disgust at being abandoned, and tidings that could not be doubted of the wreck of the steamer in which he had sent his gallant lieutenant, Colonel Stewart, and the British Consul at Khartoum, Mr. Frank Power, down to Berber, filled the minds of the people with the deepest anxiety. Gordon had sent Stewart to Berber with instructions to appeal to private munificence in the United States and British Colonies for funds with which to organise the relief expedition which he had ceased to beg from England. Stewart and his companions were murdered by natives after their steamer was wrecked. Hence the journals and diaries which Stewart carried were conveyed to the{682} Mahdi, who, finding from them that Gordon was in dire straits, pressed the siege with redoubled energy.

After the failure of the Conference to adjust the financial difficulties of Egypt, England “regained her freedom of action.” Lord Northbrook, as we have seen, was sent to Cairo to report on the situation, which in reality was a very simple one. Egypt could not pay the annual interest on her debt, and the Foreign Powers would not, in the interests of the bondholders, submit to have it reduced unless better security were given for the principal. The only course open, therefore, was either repudiation, or the acknowledgment of British responsibility for the financial administration of Egypt, which would have enabled Mr. Gladstone to have cut down, not only the bondholders’ interest, but also the taxes extorted from the Egyptian people. Lord Northbrook’s appointment was caustically criticised by the Tory Opposition, who connected his family name of Baring with a mission undertaken in financial interests. His mission thus did much to destroy the confidence of the populace in the Government, and when he returned, his recommendations, so far as they could be discussed, still further discredited Mr. Gladstone’s Government. For Lord Northbrook had discovered a third course open to him in Egypt. It was to leave the interest of Shylock untouched, but to meet the deficit in the Egyptian Budget, caused by the payment of Shylock’s bond, by transferring from Egypt to England the burden of supporting the Army of Occupation.[194] As for the existing emergency, Lord Northbrook suggested temporary repudiation, and his suggestion was adopted. The Law of Liquidation was suspended, and the creditors of Egypt were asked to be satisfied with less than their due, till matters could be set right. The Queen’s Government early in December attempted to meet the financial difficulty, by proposing to advance a 3-1/2 per cent. loan to Egypt on the security of the Domain lands,[195] or personal estate of the Khedive. The Powers did not receive this proposal cordially. Necessity, which knows no law, having compelled the Egyptian Government, with the sanction of England, to suspend for the moment the Sinking Fund of the Unified Debt, a distinct violation of the Liquidation Law, the Debt Commission prosecuted the Egyptian Government before the International Tribunals. They of course gave judgment in favour of the{683} Commission. Germany and Russia at this juncture insisted on their representatives sharing all the rights and powers of the Debt Commission, indeed, Germany, irritated by the Foreign and Colonial policy of England, showed signs of supporting certain inconvenient claims to the Domain lands which the ex-Khedive, Ismail Pasha, put forward.[196]

The coolness between Germany and England which marked the last half of 1884 arose out of what was at the time termed the “scramble for Africa.” The regions opened up by Mr. H. M. Stanley on the Congo had been practically occupied by an International Association, the head of which was the King of the Belgians. In fact, General Gordon was under an engagement to take up the government of this vast tract of land when he went to Khartoum. England, however, in order to exclude dangerous rivals, recognised the obsolete claims of Portugal to hold the outlet of the Congo; but, as Portuguese officials were alleged by commercial men to be obstructive and corrupt, this policy was not very popular. Germany, indeed, united the Powers in quashing it, and finally it was agreed that an International Conference should meet at Berlin to determine the conditions under which the outlet of the Congo should be controlled. But at this point Germany was sorely irritated by the provokingly vacillating policy of Lord Derby. There was a strip of territory, extending from Cape Colony to the Portuguese frontier on the Congo, in which a Bremen firm had established a trading settlement at Angra Pequena. They applied to Prince Bismarck for protection. He, in turn, asked Lord Granville if England claimed any sovereignty over this region (in which there was only a small British settlement at Walwich Bay), and whether the British Government could give the German traders the protection which they sought. Lord Kimberley, in his despatch to Sir Hercules Robinson of the 30th of December, had warned him that the Government refused to extend British jurisdiction north of the Orange River. But Lord Granville now told Prince Bismarck that, though English sovereignty had only been proclaimed formally at certain points along this coast, any encroachment on it by a foreign Power would be regarded by England as an encroachment on its rights. Again (31st of December, 1884) Prince Bismarck repeated his question—Did England propose to give the German traders protection, and, if so, what means had she at her disposal for that purpose? This despatch was referred to Lord Derby. He left it unanswered{684} for six months, whereupon Prince Bismarck, stung by the affront, answered it in his own way by annexing Angra Pequena to Germany. Englishmen were indignant; but what was there to be said? The British Government refused at first to recognise the annexation. Then they said they would recognise it if Germany would pledge herself not to establish a penal colony on the coast, a demand which Prince Bismarck bluntly refused. Finally, when Lord Derby induced the Cape Colony to retaliate by annexing the coast round Angra Pequena between the Orange River and the Portuguese frontier, Prince Bismarck declined to recognise such an act of annexation. After this event Germany, concealing her designs, despatched an expedition to seize the Cameroons, over which the British Government, in response to the desire of the native chiefs, had already decided to extend a British Protectorate. Disputed land-claims, which German subjects in Fiji preferred in 1874, were also revived. In 1874 England had refused even to investigate them. Now, however, Lord Granville agreed to submit them to a mixed Commission. The British Government surrendered to Germany on these questions, by a curious coincidence, at the very time they issued their invitations to the London Conference on Egypt, in which they were expecting the support of Germany for their Egyptian policy.[197] As a matter of fact, this support was not obtained. In the Conference Count Münster, on behalf of Germany, stood neutral between France and England, who were unable to reconcile their interests. But he persisted in thrusting before the meeting the question of the imperfect administration of quarantine in Egypt by English officials, and on the 5th of August Lord Granville abruptly dissolved the Conference, because this matter was beyond the scope of its discussion. Nor was Prince Bismarck wrathful against England merely because he imagined that Lord Derby had some deep design of thwarting the sudden desire of Germany for colonial expansion.

In a moment of weakness, and when the laurels of victory had not quite faded from the brows of the heroes of Tel-el-Kebir, the British Government had applied to Prince Bismarck for hints and suggestions as to what they should do in Egypt. According to Lord Granville, Prince Bismarck’s advice was “Take it.”[198] According to Prince Bismarck, whilst he assured Lord Ampthill that Germany would not oppose the British annexation of


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Egypt, his advice was that England should “establish a certain security of position in this connecting link between her European and Asiatic possessions” by administering Egypt as a leaseholder from the Sultan. In this way England, he thought, would attain her purpose, and yet escape a conflict with existing treaties, and “avoid putting France and other Powers out of temper.”[199] His counsel was not followed, which was the first affront. The feeble course actually adopted—that of attempting to govern Egypt by advice—had ended in a financial crisis that alarmed all the German bondholders, and they in turn put pressure on Prince Bismarck, that still further increased his irritation against England. Hence, when towards the end of 1884 he meditated a stroke of Colonial policy at the Antipodes, he showed little respect for British susceptibilities. In this new departure he was materially assisted by the incredible folly of Lord Derby. At the end of 1883 the Government of Queensland had sent a police magistrate to annex New Guinea, or rather that portion of it not claimed by the Dutch. It had already been annexed by wandering British navigators, but rumours of{686} foreign designs on the island had quickened the apprehensions and action of the Australians. Lord Derby repudiated this act of annexation. As Lord Derby had been sedulous in warning the Colonists that in war they must defend themselves, it was not easy to understand why he objected to their occupying a territory which, if held by a foreign enemy, would give him a good base of operations against Australia. Ultimately, he nerved himself to the hazard of annexing the southern portion of New Guinea, east of the Dutch possessions, provided the Australian Colonies would enter into a federal engagement to bear part of the expense of holding and governing the country. Lord Derby had not, however, taken care in proclaiming in October, 1884, his intention of annexation to warn foreign Powers off other portions of the island and adjacent archipelago. He virtually invited rival Governments to slip in and seize what he had left untouched. The end of the year, therefore, saw the German flag flying over the unoccupied portion of New Guinea, and the archipelago of New Ireland and New Britain, and all Australia was in an uproar. These events stirred the sluggish heart of Lord Derby. He promptly forestalled a project of German annexation in South Africa by hoisting the British flag at Saint Lucia Bay and over the region between Cape Colony and Natal, known as Pondoland.

On the 25th of January the Marquis of Hertford, one of the ornaments of the Queen’s Court in her happier days, passed away from the scene. Lord Hertford had distinguished himself as an ideal Lord Chamberlain from 1874 to 1879, and he had won the confidence of her Majesty whilst serving as Equerry to the Prince Consort. This, he used to say, was the most interesting part of his career, and among his friends he occasionally told many curious stories, brightly illustrative of Court life in the Victorian period. He had a profound and warm regard for the Prince Consort, who talked more freely to him than to most men, chiefly, he said, because he knew his Equerry kept no diary. Lord Hertford’s stories all tended to throw light on the singularly unselfish nature of his Royal master. One of them, for example, was to the effect that when the Queen and the Prince were crossing the Solent, Lord Hertford, on appearing on deck, found the Prince pacing about and enjoying the fresh breeze, whereas the Queen had been compelled to retire to her cabin. He said to the Prince he was surprised to find him on deck in such a breeze, as he had always heard that his Royal Highness was a bad sailor. The Prince replied, “I know people say that about me, and imagine that the Queen never suffers from sea-sickness. It is better it should be so. The English laugh so much at sea-sickness, that I prefer the laugh should be against me rather than against the Queen.”

In the second week in February the Queen published a continuation of her “Leaves from the Journal of a Life in the Highlands,” the dedication of which was in these words:—“To my loyal Highlanders, and especially to the memory of my devoted personal attendant and faithful friend, John Brown,{687} these records of my widowed life in Scotland are gratefully dedicated.”[200] In this volume she displayed much of the latent Jacobitism which one is apt to develop in the atmosphere of the northern mountains, and again and again, when she records her visits to the scenes, rich in the storied memories of “the ’15 and the ’45,” she expresses her feeling of pride and gratitude that she has inherited, not only the throne of the Stuarts, but the fervent loyalty that bound so many gallant hearts to the cause of “bonnie Prince Charlie.” Her reminiscences are somewhat tinged with melancholy, but the great and motherly loving-heartedness of the book is its chief charm, and secured for it an amazing popularity. It was said that the circulating libraries ordered copies by the ton, and the Press teemed with favourable reviews, in which her Majesty took great interest. As usual, however, she only read those that were marked for her perusal by her ladies. The cover was designed by the Princess Beatrice, and was in every way tasteful and artistic. But the portraits which embellished the work were badly reproduced. That of Brown, however, it may be noted, was an exception, for he was “flattered” by the artist out of all recognition.

The year 1884 was one that brought much sorrow to the Royal Family. During the months of January and February, whilst the Court was at Osborne, though her Majesty’s health had visibly improved, yet she was still suffering from the effects of her accident, and was quite unable to remain long in a standing position. On the 19th of February the Court removed to Windsor, and it was rumoured that the Queen would spend Easter in Germany. She was, in truth, desirous of being present at the marriage of her granddaughter, the Princess Victoria of Hesse, to Prince Louis of Battenberg. On the 26th of March she received Lieutenant W. Lloyd, R.H.A., at Windsor, when he presented to her one of the Mahdi’s flags which had been taken at Tokar, and just as preparations for the German tour were being made, the Royal Household was plunged into grief by sudden tidings of the death of the Duke of Albany, on the 28th of March. He had been living at Cannes for a few weeks. He had taken part with great glee in the festivities of the gayest season that had ever been witnessed in Nice. He returned to Cannes on the 27th, and it seems he had, in mounting the stairs of the Naval Club in the afternoon, fallen and hurt his right knee. He was attended to by Dr. Royle, and, though he went to bed, conversed quite gaily with those round him. At half-past two on the morning of the 28th Dr. Royle was roused by the sound of his stertorous breathing, and, on going to his bedside, found him dying in a fit. The news of his death reached Windsor at noon, and Sir H. Ponsonby broke it gently to the Queen, who was at first so prostrated with grief that her condition alarmed her attendants. As soon as she rallied her Majesty sent the Princess Beatrice to Claremont House to{688}

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comfort the Duchess of Albany, then in a delicate state of health. In the afternoon the ex-Empress Eugénie, clad in the deepest mourning, visited the Queen, and stayed till about seven in the evening. She informed those to whom she spoke when she left that her Majesty had apparently obtained some relief by giving expression to her anguish in the sympathetic presence of a friend who had herself suffered many sorrowful bereavements. To none did the sad news convey so severe a shock as to the Prince of Wales. The telegram was handed to him whilst he was chatting with some friends in Lord Sefton’s box on the Grand Stand at the Aintree Race-course, and at first the Prince seemed dazed with the message. He was only able to mutter to Lord Sefton in broken accents, “Albany is dead.” Having retired to his private room to compose his nerves, he drove off immediately to Croxteth. The rumour of the Duke’s death flew round the race-course, but at first was disbelieved. Then the sports were{689} stopped, and the stampede of the pleasure-seekers to Liverpool, where it was hoped that the news would be contradicted, will long be remembered. In London the event was the theme of sympathetic discussion in every train and omnibus and tramcar in the afternoon, as men were returning home from business. The workmen’s clubs at night adjourned their political debates as a mark of sympathy for the Queen. On the following day her Majesty and the Princess Beatrice visited the Duchess of Albany, and the meeting was most touching and mournful. All the details of the funeral arrangements were superintended by the Queen, but the body of the Prince was brought back to England under the personal direction and care of the Prince of Wales, and buried on the 5th of April with solemn pomp in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor. Six of the pall-bearers—Lord Castlereagh, Lord Brook, Lord Harris, Mr. Sidney Herbert, Mr. Walter Campbell, and Mr. Mills—were undergraduates with the dead Prince at Christ Church.

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The Duke of Albany once said, “I do not understand why people should always be so kind to me.” The reason was not far to seek. He was a young man with an interesting and amiable personality. He had a pensive turn that{690} recalled his father, but with a dash of gaiety of heart which rendered him more acceptable to society than the Prince Consort ever managed to become. His long life of suffering and pain secured for him the sympathies of the people. Despite his ill-health he was even in childhood a bright and promising boy. Professor Tyndall has spoken highly of his capacity at this period, and Dean Stanley, one of his early mentors, so deeply influenced him that at one time the Prince indicated a desire to take Orders in the Anglican Church. At Oxford he was prohibited by the physicians from reading for honours, and after he became a member of the House of Lords, the Queen, noticing his eager interest in politics, had some trouble in dissuading him from plunging into the debates, as a free lance who loved to “drink delight of battle with his peers.”

When he was thwarted in this design, the Prince suggested that his services might be utilised in another direction. At the time Lord Normanby resigned the Governorship of Victoria Prince Leopold applied to Mr. Gladstone for the post, and the Tory newspapers and orators of the period heaped the most extravagant abuse on Mr. Gladstone for refusing the offer. Mr. Gladstone was even challenged in the House of Commons on the subject, but his lips being sealed by the Queen, he was unable to defend himself, or do more than make an evasive and ambiguous statement. The truth, however, was that Mr. Gladstone did not refuse the Prince’s offer. He referred it to Mr. Murray Smith, Agent-General for Victoria in London, with a request for his opinion. Mr. Smith replied that the appointment would give great satisfaction in Australia, but when the matter was laid before the Queen she peremptorily vetoed the project, assigning as a reason her fear that the Prince’s ill-health unfitted him for the duties of the position to which he aspired. Obvious reasons of State have, however, always made the Sovereigns of the Hanoverian dynasty reluctant to permit Princes of the Blood-Royal to serve as satraps in distant colonies where aspirations to independence are not always dormant.

Prince Leopold was a pleasing and polished orator, and being the only member of his family who spoke the English tongue without any trace of a German accent, his platform performances were always successful. His addresses reflected the thoughtful, cultivated mind of a young man who had lived much in the companionship of books, and who had read discursively without studying deeply. He was never commonplace, and his merely formal utterances were usually marked by a distinction of style, that well became a princely scholar. In the singularly beautiful preface which the Princess Christian wrote for the “Biographical Sketch and Letters” of her sister, the Grand Duchess of Hesse (Princess Alice), she says that as the Duke of Albany was the last to see her gifted sister in life, so he was the first of the Queen’s children “to follow her into the silent land.” It is a curious fact that, as with her, the shadow of early death seems to have cast itself in the form of presentiment over his young life. Mr. Frederick{691} Myers, in his eulogistic reminiscences of the Duke of Albany, alludes to this circumstance in the following passage:—“The last time I saw him [the Duke of Albany] to speak to,” writes a friend from Cannes, March 30th, “being two days before he died, he would talk to me about death, and said he would like a military funeral, and, in fact, I had great difficulty in getting him off this melancholy subject. Finally, I asked, ‘Why, sir, do you talk in this morose manner?’ As he was about to answer he was called away, and said, ‘I’ll tell you later.’ I never saw him to speak to again, but he finished his answer to another lady, and said, ‘For two nights now the Princess Alice has appeared to me in my dreams, and says she is quite happy, and that she wants me to come and join her. That’s what makes me so thoughtful.’”[201]

The death of the Duke of Albany hushed the gaiety of a highly promising season, and West End tradesmen were full of lamentation when it was rumoured that the Court would shroud itself in gloom during the whole summer, though the official period of Court mourning was to end in May. But it was not alone in London that the Prince was mourned. His neighbours at Esher, rich and poor alike, felt his loss severely. They all spoke well of him and of his young wife, and recalled pleasant memories of his kindliness—how he joined the local chess club, sang at local concerts, and interested himself in the Duchess’s schemes for boarding out pauper children. After the death of the Duke the Queen announced her intention of maintaining Claremont as a residence for the widowed Duchess, a generous act, because Prince Leopold used to say that even with £20,000 a year to live on, Claremont kept him a poor man. But for the £20,000 which the Queen spent on the property during 1883 and 1884, this residence would in truth have seriously embarrassed him.[202] As a matter of fact, the favourite dwelling of the Duke of Albany was not Claremont but Boyton Manor, near Warminster in Wiltshire, of which place he was tenant when he died, and in the neighbourhood of which his memory is still lovingly cherished.[203]{692}

Soon after the funeral of the Duke of Albany the Queen was recommended by Sir William Jenner to go to Germany, and she thus resolved to visit her son-in-law and grandchildren at Darmstadt, where the marriage of the Princess Victoria of Hesse with Prince Louis of Battenberg was to be celebrated at the end of the month (April). Sir William believed that the change of scene and surroundings would do the Queen more good than a mournful sojourn at Osborne, where everything must recall reminiscences of her dead son. Her Majesty accordingly left Windsor on the 15th of April for Port Victoria, whence she embarked on the Osborne and arrived at Flushing next morning. Therefrom she went by rail to Darmstadt, arriving early on the morning of the 17th. The voyage was unpleasant, and the weather between the Nore and the Scheldt so heavy that the Queen had to remain in her cabin during the greater part of her journey. Only the Grand Duke of Hesse and his daughters were on the platform to meet her Majesty, who had desired her reception to be as private as possible. Ere she left England she forwarded to the newspapers through the Home Secretary a letter expressing her gratitude to the people for their loving sympathy with her and the Duchess of Albany in their bereavement.

On the 30th of April the marriage of the Queen’s granddaughter, the Princess Victoria of Hesse, with Prince Louis of Battenberg, was solemnised in the small whitewashed Puritanical-looking chapel at Darmstadt, which was thronged with a brilliant crowd of specially invited guests, among whom the Queen, in her sombre mourning, was one of the most striking figures. With the Queen there were present, besides the family of the bride and bridegroom, the young Princess of Wales. The German Crown Prince led in the Princess of Wales, and the German Crown Princess was escorted by her brother, the Prince of Wales; Prince William of Prussia led in the Princess Beatrice, and the dark, Jewish-looking Prince of Bulgaria (brother of the bridegroom) escorted with obsequious gallantry the Princess Victoria of Prussia. The ceremony was short, simple, and touching; but the sermon on the duties of marriage which the Court preacher delivered was long and prosy. The Queen, after the ceremony was over, retired to the Palace, and did not attend the wedding banquet in the Schloss. The weather, which had been cold and bleak when the Queen arrived, suddenly became fine and mild, and she was, therefore, able to amuse herself in the public gardens. She had gone to Darmstadt rather reluctantly, but was now glad that she had taken Sir William Jenner’s advice. By her own wish she was lodged in the Neue Schloss, which she had built, at a cost of nearly £25,000, as a palace for the Princess Alice and her husband, and in the beautiful grounds of this place she drove about every morning in a pony-carriage with the Princess Beatrice. She took long drives every afternoon, and visited Auerbach (the chief country seat of the Grand Duke) and his shooting-lodge at Kranichstein. The ex-Empress Eugénie had offered to lend Arenenberg (a{693} charming villa near Constance) to the Queen, but she did not desire to extend her tour beyond Darmstadt, and so the offer was not accepted. Accompanied by the Princess Beatrice, the Grand Duke, and the Princess Elizabeth of Hesse, her Majesty returned to Windsor on the 7th of May.

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THE LINN OF DEE. (From a Photograph by G. W. Wilson and Co.)

London was still dull and gloomy. Court mourning and the absence of the Prince of Wales (who was visiting his sister in Berlin) made the season of 1884 melancholy. On the 10th of May the Queen, the Grand Duke of Hesse, and the Princess Elizabeth paid a visit of condolence to the Duchess of Albany at Claremont, and on the 22nd her Majesty left Windsor for Balmoral. That she was much improved in health was evident, because not only were the public admitted to the railway-station at Perth, and Ferryhill, Aberdeen, but at the former she was able to walk from her carriage to{694} the reception-room with a firm step and without assistance. It was a lovely warm day when her Majesty and suite drove along the north side of the Dee from Ballater to Balmoral. The sixty-fifth anniversary of her Majesty’s birthday was observed in London officially on the 24th of May, but Ministerial State dinners were not given owing to the Royal Family being in mourning. The anniversary was not to be kept at Balmoral, but at last the Queen directed that her servants, with those from Abergeldie and Birkhall, should dine in the Ball Room of the Castle, under the presidency of her Commissioner, Dr. Profeit. In the morning Mr. Boehm’s life-size statue of John Brown arrived, and it was placed on a pedestal in the grounds of Balmoral at a spot about two hundred yards north-west of the Castle, the site being selected by the Queen. The great sculptor superintended the ceremony of unveiling his work. On the 15th of June the Queen attended Crathie Church, for the first time since October, 1882, greatly to the relief of her God-fearing neighbours, who had begun to entertain a shocking suspicion that she had given up attendance at “public worship.” On the 25th the Court returned to Windsor, after a delightful holiday spent in the brightest and sunniest of weather. Every afternoon the Queen had been able to drive about Deeside, and she had even visited, though she had not stayed at, her cottage at the Glassalt Shiel. Though the return of the Prince of Wales to town from Wiesbaden early in June had given a fillip to a chilling season, Society was dull in the summer of 1884. Lord Sydney and Lord Kenmare had gently suggested to the Queen that her refusal to permit Drawing Rooms and State Concerts to be held was causing much disappointment at the West End, but without avail. Her Majesty, however, showed much tenacity in forbidding these functions, the proposal of which by the great officers of the Household she deemed disrespectful to the memory of her dead son. Nor was she conciliated by being reminded that during the season of 1861, after the death of the Duchess of Kent, she had held Drawing Rooms herself, whereas now she had the Princess of Wales ready to relieve her of the burden of attending them. Londoners, however, had their compensations. They discovered, in the gay and glittering gardens of the Health Exhibition at South Kensington, with their English and German bands and their brilliant combinations of Chinese lanterns and electric lamps, a delightful al fresco lounge. Here in the summer evenings the pursuit of pleasure was combined with a chastened homage to the cause of scientific enlightenment and social improvement. This was one of a series of specialised exhibitions, the organisation of which had been the work of the Prince of Wales, who also earned the gratitude of the town at this time by persuading the Queen to let him hold two Levees on her behalf. On the 20th of July the Queen and Princess Beatrice were at Claremont, where the Duchess of Albany gave birth to a son; after which her Majesty proceeded to Osborne on the 30th of the month, where she was visited by the German Crown Prince and Princess. An interesting event{695} in the life of the Court in the season of 1884 was the reception given by the venerable Duchess of Cambridge at St. James’s Palace on the 25th of July to celebrate the completion of her eighty-seventh year. The season of 1884 virtually ended with the Garden Party which the Prince of Wales gave at Marlborough House on the same day. It ended, as it began, gloomily, and the social chroniclers lamented the poorness of the entertainments, the badness of the dinners, the mournfulness of the balls. They only brightened up when they recorded, with a transient gleam of joy, that, though all the “great houses” attended by Royalty had been closed, three had opened their doors since Easter, namely, Devonshire House, where Lord Hartington entertained guests twice; Norfolk House, where Lord and Lady Edmond Talbot gave a ball that was endurable; and Stafford House, where, at a small party in the middle of July, the Prince and Princess of Wales made their first appearance in Society since their mourning.

During August the Queen was much troubled as to the issue of the political crisis arising out of the Reform Bill debates, and the threatened conflict between the democracy and the House of Lords. She earnestly deprecated an attack on the Peers during the Recess, and Mr. Gladstone and his colleagues paid due deference to her opinions. She sent twice for Lord Rowton—better known, when Mr. Disraeli’s private secretary, as Mr. Montagu Corry—whom she regarded as the inheritor of Lord Beaconsfield’s ideas, to consult him on the situation. She made it clear to him that she was unwilling to use her Prerogative for the purpose of creating new Peers to force the Reform Bill through the Upper House. From this it was inferred that if the House of Lords resisted to the bitter end, the Queen would prefer to coerce them by a dissolution rather than by Prerogative. Lord Wolseley and Lord Northbrook were also summoned about this time to consult with her on the prospects of a campaign in Egypt. These anxious conferences were held after she had received the Abyssinian Envoys on the 20th of August. They had come to England bearing copies of a Treaty which had been concluded at Adowah with King John of Abyssinia. They were received by the Queen at Osborne, and at their audience they presented her Majesty with letters from King John and with various gifts, among which were a young elephant and a large monkey. Ere the Court left Osborne the Queen surprised the country by announcing her decision to confer the Order of the Garter on Prince George of Wales, for there was no precedent for giving the Garter to a junior member of the Royal Family in his minority. When the Queen came to the Throne there were only four Royal Knights of this Order, and pedants of heraldry now complained that there were twenty-eight, and that the Royal Knights outnumbered the ordinary ones.

On the 1st of September the Court proceeded to Balmoral, the Queen being accompanied by the Crown Princess and Princess Beatrice. The arrival of the Court at Balmoral, and the visit of Mr. Gladstone to Invercauld, had filled Braemar to overflowing. On the 18th of September the Queen held a Council at{696}

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Balmoral, at which Mr. Gladstone, Lord Fife, and Sir H. Ponsonby were present, Mr. Gladstone afterwards dining with her Majesty. Lord Ripon having resigned office as Viceroy of India, his successor, Lord Dufferin, visited the Queen at Balmoral in October. One by one the Royal guests fled southwards, and finally the Queen and Princess Beatrice left the Highlands for Windsor on the 20th of November—her Majesty’s return being hastened by grave political anxieties caused by the threatened collision between the two Houses of Parliament. Mr. Gladstone had at Balmoral so earnestly deprecated the obstinacy of the Peers, and so clearly pointed out to the Queen the difficulty of avoiding this collision whilst they persisted in their anti-Reform policy, that her Majesty subsequently used all her influence to bring about a compromise. It was with a view to renew her efforts in this direction that she returned to Windsor at the time when Lord Granville was offering to submit a draft Redistribution Bill for friendly but private inspection by the Tory leaders, provided the Peers would give a pledge to pass the Franchise Bill during the autumn Session. The appearance of Mrs. Gladstone’s name among the list of those who were at Lady Salisbury’s reception in Arlington Street on the 19th of November, was taken as an auspicious omen, and as indicating that the Conservative chiefs had not been insensible to the advice which the Queen had given to the Duke of Richmond in the Highlands. The supreme difficulty of bringing about the Reform compromise lay in breaking down the resistance of Lord{697} Salisbury and the Tory Peers, who were resolved to force a dissolution on the basis of the old franchise. This resistance gradually weakened after Mr. Gladstone’s visit to Balmoral. That it finally disappeared was mainly due to the firm but gentle pressure which the Queen put on the Duke of Richmond in order to induce him and his colleagues to accept a compromise. The actual details of the Treaty between Mr. Gladstone and the Peers were settled in London. But the preliminaries of Peace were really negotiated by the Queen and the Duke of Richmond in Aberdeenshire, after the memorable “gathering of the clans” at Braemar in the autumn of 1884. After the return of the Court from Scotland many guests were received at Windsor, among whom Lord Sydney—who audits her Majesty’s private accounts, and, since the death of the Prince Consort, has been her confidential adviser—was one of the most favoured. On the 17th of December the Court removed to Osborne.


An Annus Mirabilis—Breaking up of the Old Parties—The Tory-Parnellite Alliance—Mr. Chamberlain’s Socialism—The Doctrine of “Ransom”—Effect of the Reform Bill and Seats Bill—Enthroning the “Sovereign People”—Three Reform Struggles: 1832, 1867, 1885—“One Man One Vote”—Another Vote of Censure—A Barren Victory—Retreat from the Soudan—The Dispute with Russia—Komaroff at Penjdeh—The Vote of Credit—On the Verge of War—Mr. Gladstone’s Compromise with Russia—Threatened Renewal of the Crimes Act—The Tory Intrigue with the Parnellites—The Tory Chiefs Decide to Oppose Coercion—Wrangling in the Cabinet—Mr. Childers’ Budget—A Yawning Deficit—Increasing the Spirit Duties—Readjusting the Succession Duties—Combined Attack by Tories and Parnellites on the Budget—Defeat of the Government and Fall of Mr. Gladstone’s Ministry—The Scene in the Commons—The Tories in Power—Lord Salisbury’s Government—Places for the Fourth Party—Mr. Parnell Demands his Price—Abandoning Lord Spencer—Re-opening the Question of the Maamtrasna Murders—Concessions to the Parnellites—The New Budget—Sir H. D. Wolff sent to Cairo—The Criminal Law Amendment Act—Court Life in 1885—Affairs at Home and Abroad—The Fall of Khartoum—Death of General Gordon—Beginning of the Burmese Question—Rebellion in Canada—Marriage of the Princess Beatrice—The Battenbergs.

After the compromise had been arranged between the rival political leaders on the Franchise Bill and the Bill for the Redistribution of Seats, it has been said that Parliament adjourned to the 19th of February, 1885—an annus mirabilis in the Queen’s reign. It witnessed the final settlement of the Reform Question which the Whigs left unsettled in 1832. It witnessed the amazing development of the Home Rule movement in Ireland under two influences. The first was extended Franchise. The second was the alliance between the Parnellites and the Tory Party, which had grown out of the intrigues of Lord Randolph Churchill, Sir H. Drummond Wolff, and Mr. Rowland Winn, the Tory whip, with Mr. Justin McCarthy, and other Irish Nationalist leaders. Every day brought forth a new outward and visible sign of this alliance, and in Ireland, when it was bruited about that the{698} Tories were ready not only to attack and overthrow Lord Spencer, who was still upholding English authority at Dublin Castle almost in the same sense that General Gordon was upholding it at Khartoum, the result was inevitable. The large class of Irishmen who from motives of self-interest, business connection, or personal feeling were willing to stand by the English Government in Dublin so long as they felt sure that England would stand by them, began to waver in their allegiance. Like the same sort of people in the Soudan, and even in Khartoum when they saw Gordon abandoned by those who were supposed to be truest to him, they began to make terms with their Mahdi. If the Tories were buying the Parnellite vote to-day, the Liberals would soon be found bidding higher for it to-morrow, and Irishmen, whose interests and timidity alone served to keep them loyal to Dublin Castle so long as they felt absolutely certain of the support of both political parties in England, began in 1885 to stream over to Mr. Parnell’s camp. The stream was obviously swollen when a coalition of the Parnellites and Tories expelled Mr. Gladstone’s Government from office, and when it was known that the Parnellite vote had been obtained on the faith of a promise from the Tory leaders that they would not only abandon the Crimes Act if they came into office, but join Mr. Parnell in opposing Mr. Gladstone’s Government if it sought to renew it. The year also witnessed the end of the Egyptian tragedy, the conquest of Burmah, the semi-Socialistic propaganda of Mr. Chamberlain, the General Election which made Mr. Parnell master of Ireland, and shattered the English Party system that had been built up after 1846, and the rumoured adoption of Home Rule as a part of Mr. Gladstone’s programme.

During the first weeks of 1885—the winter recess, as it might be called—Mr. Chamberlain spread terror through the land by making a strong Socialistic appeal to the new Electors. He was evidently bent on breaking up the old Liberal Party—perhaps he saw his way to the formation of a new democratic faction into which many of the “Tory democracy,” created by Lord Randolph Churchill, might drift. Signs were not wanting that a coalition between these successful politicians was in certain circumstances quite a possible contingency. In the meantime, Mr. Chamberlain and his followers preached what he called the “doctrine of ransom.” This meant that when a man became rich he was to purchase the privilege of keeping his wealth by paying taxes now borne by the poor, and if need be by providing new taxes in order to give the poor a larger share of the comforts and enjoyments of life than fell to their lot. Mr. Chamberlain in fact offered to “ransom” the thrifty classes from confiscation provided they taxed themselves to give the poor free libraries, pleasure-gardens, education, improved dwellings at “fair rents,” allotments of land, and work and employment in time of distress. It was part of his scheme to abolish indirect taxation. His lieutenant, Mr. Jesse Collings, formulated the portion of{699} it which dealt with the land by popularising the idea that it was the duty of the ratepayers to set up agricultural labourers in the business of farming with “three acres and a cow” to start with. Government, in fact, was, according to Mr. Chamberlain and Mr. Collings, to act as a kind of glorified Cooperative Store, or “Universal Provider” for the proletariat.

When the House of Commons met on the 19th of February there was a general desire to make rapid progress with the Reform Bills. Efforts to secure the representation of minorities, to oppose an increase in the members of the House, to cut down the representation of Ireland, to disfranchise the Universities, were resisted, and the alliance of the two Front Benches crushed all opposition. One member only was successful in carrying an amendment. This was Mr. Raikes, who had been Chairman of Committees in Lord Beaconsfield’s Government, and who now succeeded in reducing the perpetual penalties inflicted on voters in corrupt boroughs. On the 11th of May the Seats Bill was read a third time, and when it went to the House of Lords it was speedily passed. The Tories, who objected to the compromise, found spokesmen in Mr. James Lowther, Mr. Chaplin, and Mr. Raikes. The opposition of the last-named was the most active, but it merely resulted in effecting a few changes in the nomenclature of the Bill, and in what the Times termed “his more than paternal solicitude for the leisurely progress of the measure.”

No measure of reform proposed in the Queen’s reign by a responsible politician was ever designed to produce such a mighty change in the British Constitution as the Reform Bill of 1885. Lord Grey and Lord John Russell, by their Bill in 1832, added not quite half a million voters to the Electorate of the United Kingdom. The Reform Bill of 1867 increased the Electorate from 1,136,000 to 2,448,000. In 1885 it had grown to be 3,000,000, and to this number Mr. Gladstone’s Bill added 2,000,000 new voters.[204] The Seats Bill, which distributed the 5,000,000 electors into electoral groups, was a much more complex measure. The chief difficulties were two in number. First, there was that of determining the standard by which the claim of a borough to separate representation could be conceded; secondly, there was the difficulty of discovering how votes should be cast in towns possessing more than one member. Here curious contrasts can be drawn between the old order and the new.{700}

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(From a Photograph by Theodor Prümm, Berlin.)

Redistribution of seats in 1832 meant the transfer of a vast body of power from the aristocracy to the middle-class, and the liberation of the Commons from the despotism of the Peers, who ruled it through the nominees who represented their pocket boroughs. Little wonder that the sweeping disfranchisement of these constituencies brought the country to the verge of revolution. In 1867 it was not the aristocracy but the middle-class which dreaded the kind of disfranchisement that proceeds from destroying the separate representation or reducing the redundant representation of a constituency. Hence, though the contest in 1867 was warm, it was not fierce. But in 1885, on the other hand, no popular excitement could be raised over the question of Redistribution, and the nation grew sick of the controversy as to whether a Seats Bill should be taken before, with, or after a Franchise Bill. And yet the redistribution of power proposed{701}

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(From a Photograph by Hughes and Mullins, Ryde.)

by Mr. Gladstone’s Bill in 1885, and which sprang from the compromise with the Opposition in December, 1884, effected changes vaster by far than those that shook Society to its foundation in 1832. In 1832, what nearly came to civil war was waged over 143 seats, liberated by disfranchisement for redistribution.[205] In 1885 Mr. Gladstone had 178 seats representing 26·5 per cent. of the representation of the country to redistribute. Of this number more than half—about 96—were given to the counties, whose Electorate had been enormously increased by the absorption of small boroughs, as well as by the extension of{702} household franchise, whereas in 1832, the counties only pulled 56 of the liberated seats out of the scramble. Of the boroughs which Mr. Gladstone disfranchised, 20 had their representation cut down to one member in 1832, and two, Kendal and Whitby—which Lord John Russell created as new boroughs—lost their separate representation in 1885. The great merit of the Bill was that, as far as possible, it created single-member constituencies on the basis of population, which was as close an approach to equal electoral districts as Mr. Gladstone could make. Large towns, instead of being treated as single electoral units with cumulative voting, were cut up into single-member constituencies as nearly as possible equal in point of population. The Bills for Scotland and Ireland were drawn on the same lines, but adapted to local circumstances.

Up to Whitsuntide Government business was sadly in arrears—foreign questions diverting attention from domestic legislation. The fall of Khartoum, the retreat of Lord Wolseley’s advance column in the Soudan, the defeats and disasters of the campaign, the deaths of Generals Gordon, Stewart, and Earle, together with wild rumours of an Arab invasion of Egypt, excited Parliament to a state of high tension. The Government called out the Reserves, announced that they would crush the Mahdi, and ordered the war against Osman Digna to be renewed. The Opposition in the last week of February brought forward a vote of censure on the Ministerial policy in Egypt, calling on Ministers to recognise British responsibility for Egypt and those parts of the Soudan which were necessary for the security of Egypt. Mr. Gladstone evaded any positive declaration of policy, and the Liberal party spoke with two voices, some being for complete withdrawal from Egypt, others being in favour of administering its affairs in the name of the Khedive, but none being bold enough to advocate any permanent course of action. The Ministry were saved from defeat by 302 votes to 288, and this narrow majority was a warning of their coming doom.

A dispute then arose as to the plan adopted for rescuing Egypt from a financial crisis. This plan was embodied in a convention with the Powers and assented to by the Porte, by which a loan of £9,000,000 under International guarantee was advanced to Egypt to save her from bankruptcy, in consideration of which the Powers agreed to suspend the Law of Liquidation and cut down the interest on all Egyptian securities by 5 per cent. That on the Suez Bonds payable to the English Government was, however, reduced by 10 per cent. The arrangement was to last for two years, and if Egypt was still bankrupt in 1887, then her affairs would be subject to an International inquiry. No care had been taken to prevent the International guarantee of the loan carrying with it the right of International intervention in Egypt, though Ministers repudiated the suggestion that it did. The Convention was, however, approved by the House of Commons by a vote of 294 to 246. Soon{703} after this the diplomatic hostility of France, Russia, and Germany, caused Mr. Gladstone’s Government suddenly to limit their responsibilities in Egypt. Operations in the Red Sea were countermanded, the Suakim-Berber railway was stopped, and it was decided to abandon Dongola and fix the Egyptian frontier at Wady-Halfa. Mr. Gladstone, or rather Lord Derby and Lord Granville, had produced the diplomatic isolation of England at a most inconvenient moment, when a dispute with Russia over the Afghan boundary reached a critical stage. The negotiations for settling the boundary had been delayed because the Russian Commissioners under various pretexts avoided meeting Sir Peter Lumsden, the British Commissioner, on the frontier. Meanwhile Russian troops were stealthily advancing and taking possession of the debateable land. English protests against these tactics ended in an announcement from Mr. Gladstone, on the 13th of March, that it had been agreed by Russia that no further advances should be made on either side—the Russians having then occupied Zulficar and Pul-i-Khisti, and entrenched themselves near Penjdeh. Early in April it seemed that the Russian General (Komaroff) on the Kushk, in defiance of the agreement, took Penjdeh. This was resented by Mr. Gladstone as an “unprovoked aggression” on the Ameer, and a violation of a binding pledge to the English Foreign Office. The Government, therefore, called out the Reserves, and asked and received a Vote of Credit for £11,000,000 sterling (27th of April), to enable them to defend the interests and honour of the country against Muscovite perfidy.[206] Mr. Gladstone’s passionate outburst of patriotism, in which he declared that till the aggression at Penjdeh were atoned for he could not “close the book and say we will not look into it any more,” silenced criticism. He was fortunate enough also to carry a large vote of credit for the Egyptian account through the House on the tide of excitement he had raised in asking for the vote against Russia. But his hot fit was soon succeeded by a cool one. He agreed to “close the book” in terms of a compromise by which Russia was permitted to hold all that she had furtively seized, pending a delimitation to be effected in London,[207] the understanding being, however, that Russia would surrender Zulficar to the Ameer. As to Komaroff’s attack on Penjdeh, Russia agreed to submit to the arbitration of the King of Denmark the question whether it constituted a breach of the agreement announced by Mr. Gladstone on the 13th of March, but the inquiry was to be conducted so as “not to place gallant officers on their trial.” The only gratifying incidents in this painful transaction were the generous offers of armed support that were made to England by her autonomous colonies, and by the princes and peoples of India.{704}

It was admitted by Mr. Gladstone that only non-contentious legislation could be taken during the Session. Still, he made one exception. He announced that he intended to renew certain “valuable and equitable provisions of the Irish Crimes Act.” This decision arrived at, after much discussion in the Cabinet, hurried the Ministry to their fate. The Parnellites privately obtained assurances from some of their influential Tory allies that if the Irish votes were so cast as to destroy Mr. Gladstone’s Government, the Tory Government that came after it would allow the Crimes Act to lapse, and would abandon Coercion. The Tory leaders, according to Lord Randolph Churchill, met and resolved to oppose any proposal to renew the Crimes Act or continue coercive legislation for Ireland.[208] But it was desirable for them to avoid the too open manifestation of their alliance with the Parnellites on a question of supporting the Government in upholding law and order in Ireland. Now that the Coalition was ready to strike, a side issue had to be discovered on which united action might be taken without scandal. This was furnished by Mr. Childers. It happened that, after Whitsuntide, the Cabinet was wrangling over something else besides Coercion—namely, the Budget—and the financial situation was not, it must be confessed, a pleasant one. A violent popular agitation in the autumn against the Admiralty, had produced a panic about the weakness of the Navy.[209] Lord Northbrook had then promised to make important additions to the Navy. Some steps were also to be taken to protect British coaling stations abroad—and all this helped to increase the Estimates. The Vote of Credit of £11,000,000 aggravated Mr. Childers’ difficulties. He had, in short, to face a deficit of a million in his accounts for 1884-85, and, with a falling revenue, an expenditure in the coming year of £100,000,000! The country remembering Mr. Gladstone’s furious denunciations of Lord Beaconsfield’s administration for running up public expenditure to £81,000,000 in 1879-80, was profoundly chagrined to find that under an economic Liberal Government, expenditure had been run up in 1885 to £100,000,000. The discussions in the Cabinet as to how the money should be raised ended in the adoption of the principle that Labour as well as Property must share the burden. Mr. Childers, therefore, raised the Income Tax to 8d. in the £, equalised the death duties on land and personal property, putting a special tax on Corporations instead of succession duty, and imposed a stamp duty on moveable securities. These changes, he explained in his Budget speech (April 30th), would

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(From the Photograph by Walery, Regent Street.)


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(From a Photograph by Elliott and Fry.)

bring him in £6,000,000 of fresh revenue. By adding two shillings a gallon to the duty on spirits, and a shilling a barrel to the duty on beer, he expected to obtain £1,650,000. But this still left him with a deficit of £15,000,000 to meet. He took £4,600,000 from the Sinking Fund to meet it—leaving a balance of £3,000,000 to be paid out of the annual revenue. The landed gentry attacked the Budget because it levelled up the succession duties on land till they were equal to those on personal property. The liquor trade attacked the changes in the duties on spirits and beer—so that an excellent opportunity had arisen for the Tory-Parnellite coalition to deal a fatal blow at the Government on another issue than that of continuing Coercion. Mr. Childers finding that only £9,000,000 of the Vote of Credit (£11,000,000) would be needed, offered to halve the increase on the spirit duty, and limit the increased beer duty to a year{706}—but without avail. Sir M. Hicks-Beach moved an amendment which united all the forces of the Opposition and the Parnellites, and defeated the Ministry on the 8th of June, by a vote of 264 to 252. Lord Randolph Churchill’s[210] speech at Bow on the 3rd of June, was taken as a good guarantee that the Irish Party need not fear a Coercion Bill from the Tories if they got into office. “But,” writes Mr. T. P. O’Connor, “even with so strong an assumption the cautious and realistic leader of the Irish Party was not satisfied; and the Irish Members did not go into the Lobby to vote against a Liberal Ministry about to propose coercion until there was an assurance, definite, distinct, unmistakable, that there would be no coercion from their successors.” The scene when the numbers were announced will never be forgotten by those who were present. When it was known that the Government was defeated, the pent-up excitement of the House found vent in a terrific uproar. “Lord Randolph Churchill,” writes Mr. Lucy, “leapt on to the bench, and, waving his hat madly above his head, uproariously cheered. Mr. Healy followed his example, and presently all the Irish members, and nearly all the Conservatives below the gangway, were standing on the benches waving hats and pocket-handkerchiefs and raising a deafening cheer. This was renewed when the figures were read out by Mr. Winn, and again when they were proclaimed from the Chair. From the Irish camp rose cries of ‘Buckshot! Buckshot!’ and ‘Coercion!’ These had no relevancy to the Budget Scheme; but they showed that the Irish members had not forgotten Mr. Forster, and that this was their hour of victory rather than the triumph of the Tories. Lord Randolph Churchill threatened to go mad with joy. He wrung the hand of the impassive Rowland Winn, who regarded him with a kindly curious smile, as if he were some wild animal. Mr. Gladstone had resumed his letter,[211] and went on calmly writing whilst the clerk at the table proceeded to run through the Orders of the Day as if nothing particular had happened. But the House was in no mood for business. Cries for the adjournment filled the House, and Mr. Gladstone, still holding his letter in one hand and the pen in the other, moved the adjournment, and the{707} crowd surged through the doorway, the Conservatives still tumultuously cheering.”[212]

On the following day (9th of June) Mr. Gladstone told the House that the defeat of the previous evening had caused the Cabinet to submit “a dutiful communication” to the Queen, then at Balmoral, but as an answer to it must take some time to reach London, he moved an adjournment till Friday (12th of June). Strangely enough, the resignation of the Ministry was unattended by any popular excitement. It was perfectly well known that the new Cabinet would be merely a stopgap Government, powerless to do anything except wind up the business of Parliament before the General Election. On the 12th of June the House was in quite a cheerful humour when it met to hear from Mr. Gladstone that the Queen had accepted the resignation of his Cabinet. It was curious that even this last act of his Ministerial life in the Parliament of 1880-85 was not free from blunder. “Her Majesty’s gracious reply,” said Mr. Gladstone, “was made upon the 11th accepting the resignation of Lord Salisbury” a slip of the tongue which the Premier had to correct amidst shouts of laughter. At first the Queen was unwilling to accept the resignation of the Government. She could not admit that Ministers were free to throw the State into confusion because of a defeat on an Amendment to a Budget. In fact, it is not quite Constitutional to coerce the free judgment of the Commons on the financial proposals of Government by threatening Ministerial resignation if these are not slavishly accepted in detail. Such a practice virtually ties the hands of the House of Commons as guardians of the public purse. The Queen, therefore, sought a personal interview with Mr. Gladstone, to hear his full justification for the course he had adopted, but on his instructing Lord Hartington to proceed to Balmoral, her Majesty’s request was withdrawn. It now became apparent to her that the crisis was too serious to be dealt with from Balmoral. In the last weeks of the Session Parliamentary time was so valuable that it could not prudently be wasted over a stagnant interregnum protracted by the journeyings to and fro of Royal couriers between Aberdeenshire and London. It was accordingly announced that the Queen would return to Windsor at once—following the course she adopted in 1866, when confronted with a similar inconvenience. Her Majesty arrived at Windsor on the 17th of June, when Lord Salisbury had an interview with her. On the following day he and Mr. Gladstone both waited on the Sovereign—Mr. Gladstone delivering up the seals of office. There was, however, a difficulty to be overcome in the transfer of power which had been created by a tactical blunder of Lord Salisbury’s. He had told the Queen that if he took office he must exact from Mr. Gladstone a pledge that the Opposition would not embarrass her new Ministry by{708} attacks, but loyally co-operate with it in the conduct of its business. Mr. Gladstone refused to waive his right of criticism, and he pointed out that he could not, even if he tried, arbitrarily dispose of the will of his supporters. All he could promise was that he would endeavour to give the new Cabinet “fair play,” and deal with it on its merits. But Lord Salisbury was not at first satisfied with this arrangement, and the country was soon startled by hearing that he had revived the crisis, and that even at the eleventh hour he would withdraw his consent to serve as Premier. The Queen here intervened and persuaded him to abandon his pragmatic objections to Mr. Gladstone’s assurances.[213]

The Ministry was formed after some fierce struggles in the Tory Party. Lord Randolph Churchill and his group not only insisted on having high offices, but they demanded the expulsion of Sir Stafford Northcote from the leadership of the House of Commons. Sir M. Hicks-Beach deserted his old chief, and not only went over to his enemies, but even offered himself as a candidate for his vacant post. The result was that Lord Salisbury became Premier and Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Sir Stafford Northcote became Earl of Iddesleigh, and was appointed First Lord of the Treasury. Sir Hardinge Giffard was made Lord Chancellor; Lord Cranbrook, President of the Council; Lord Harrowby, Lord Privy Seal; Sir Richard Cross, Home Secretary; the Duke of Richmond, President of the Board of Trade; Colonel Stanley, Colonial Secretary; Lord Randolph Churchill, Secretary of State for India; Mr. W. H. Smith, Secretary of State for War; Sir M. Hicks-Beach, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leader of the House of Commons; Lord Carnarvon, Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland; Lord John Manners, Postmaster-General; Lord George Hamilton, First Lord of the Admiralty; Mr. E. Stanhope, Vice-President of the Council of Education; Mr. A. J. Balfour, President of the Local Government Board; Sir W. Hart Dyke, Chief Secretary for Ireland; Mr. Ashmead Bartlett, a Civil Lord of the Admiralty; Mr. Webster and Mr. J. E. Gorst, Attorney-and Solicitor-General. Sir H. D. Wolff was sent on a special mission for no very well-defined purpose to Egypt, so that every member of the Fourth Party, who had organised the obstructive alliance between the Parnellites and the Tories, was handsomely rewarded with remunerative places. Sir H. D. Wolff’s appointment was severely criticised at the time, partly because of his intimate connection with the Anglo-Egyptian Bank. The only other striking incident in the crisis was that Mr. Gladstone was offered an earldom by the Queen—an honour which, however, he declined.[214]{709}

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Very soon after Ministers took office Mr. Parnell exacted his price, and they had to pay it. The Crimes Act was abandoned. It was announced that the Irish Labourers’ Act would be pressed on. Lord Ashbourne[215] promised to bring in a Land Purchase Bill. The Maamtrasna murders, and the cases of those condemned on account of them, were to be reconsidered—a somewhat momentous decision, for Lord Spencer’s refusal to revise the sentence in these cases had been upheld by both Parties as a crucial point in the policy of maintaining law and order in Ireland. When the Government threw over Lord Spencer, and not only refused to defend him from Mr. Parnell’s attacks, but through Lord Randolph Churchill disparaged his resolute Irish policy, it was clear that great Party changes were impending. Obviously no English Minister could again feel confident in governing Ireland with a firm and dauntless hand, after the Tories had flung Lord Spencer to the lions of Nationalism. Supported by Mr. Parnell and his followers, Ministers had no difficulty in hurrying through Supply. The Budget was revised in terms of the decision of the 9th of June, and Lord George Hamilton discovered a gross blunder in the accounts at the Admiralty, where Lord Northbrook had spent £900,000—part of the Vote of Credit—in excess of his estimates without having the faintest suspicion that he was doing anything of the sort.[216] Lord Ashbourne’s Land Bill stipulated that when all the money was advanced by the State to the purchasing tenants, one-fifth of it should be retained by the Land Commission till the instalments were repaid. The Scottish Sanitary Bill passed. So did a Bill brought in by Lord Salisbury to embody the non-contentious points of the recommendations of the Commission on Housing the Poor. A Bill was also passed to relieve electors from disqualification on the ground that they had obtained Poor Law medical relief, and the Session closed with the demoralisation of parties on the 14th of August.

No event in 1885 gave the Queen more concern than the failure of Lord Wolseley’s attempt to relieve Khartoum. The story of General Gordo{711}n’s mission to the Soudan has already been partially told. It was on the 18th of January, 1884, that he was instructed by the Cabinet to proceed to Khartoum to extricate the beleaguered garrisons. He writes, “It cannot be said I was ordered to go. The subject was too complex for any order. It was, ‘Will you go and try?’ and my answer was ‘Only too delighted.’”[217] The truth is that Gordon doubted whether 20,000 Egyptian troops and colonists could be got out of the Soudan by a process of pacific evacuation. Still, if any one might achieve the feat he could, and to please the Government, he consented to “go and try.” His and their idea was that by restoring the old native families to power he might buy a safe-conduct for the garrisons. On the 8th of February, when he arrived at Abu Hamed, he found that the country was less disorganised than he had supposed it to be when discussing its prospects with Cabinet Ministers in London. Therefore he suggested that a light suzerainty should be exercised over the Soudan, for a time at least, by the Khedive’s officers. This conviction grew stronger when he reached Berber. He then said that his mission could not be carried out with credit to England unless some form of government less heterogeneous than that of the native chiefs were established, in place of the Egyptian administration which he was sent to withdraw. Hence, he suggested that Zebehr Pasha should be appointed Ruler of the Soudan under certain conditions, and he chose Zebehr because he was not such an atrocious slave-trader as the Mahdi; because he might be more easily curbed, and because his high descent from the Abbasides enabled him to exercise real authority over the Soudanese. Sir Evelyn Baring and Nubar Pasha agreed with Gordon. So did Lord Wolseley. Mr. Gladstone and Lord Kimberley too, though they had no love for Zebehr, thought that Gordon’s opinion ought to be deferred to, but Lord Hartington only gave them a feeble, half-hearted support, and Lord Granville’s opposition to Gordon’s policy carried the Cabinet against Mr. Gladstone. Hence Zebehr was not sent. Zebehr naturally took this decision of the Cabinet as an insult, and forthwith, opened up a treasonable correspondence with the Mahdi, the discovery of which led to his arrest and deportation to Gibraltar on the 14th of March, 1885.

After the refusal to send Zebehr to the Soudan, the Government seem to have treated Gordon as if they desired to provoke him to take the bit in his mouth, and in a fit of indignation leave Khartoum without definite orders. Had he done so Ministers could have successfully argued that having deserted his post without authority, they were no longer responsible for him. This game was keenly played between Gordon at Khartoum and Mr. Gladstone’s Cabinet in London, aided by the Egyptian Government and its English advisers, Egerton and Baring, at Cairo. But every point in it was won by Gordon, who in March warned Egerton and Baring that they must decide quickly, for the sands were{712} running fast in the hour-glass. He also put in their hands a plan for getting the Government out of the difficulty without sending a relief expedition. He had not at that time so far committed the people at Khartoum against the Mahdi that it would be dangerous to leave them to make terms with the False Prophet. He had to prevent his armed steamers from falling into the Mahdi’s hands, and Khartoum from being utilised as a base of operations against Lower Egypt. He therefore told the Government that if they held Berber, and accepted his proposal as to Zebehr, it was worth while to keep him (Gordon) at Khartoum. But if not, then he warned his masters that it was useless to hold on to Khartoum, for, he wrote, “it is impossible for me to help the other garrisons, and I shall only be sacrificing the whole of the troops and employés here. In the latter case your order to me had better be to evacuate Khartoum.” On receipt of that order he proposed to send his intrepid lieutenant, Colonel Stewart, and the fugitives who wished to return to Egypt, down the Nile to Berber. He himself, and as many of his black troops as would go with him, were then to take the armed steamers, and the munitions of war from the arsenal of Khartoum, and make their escape southwards up the White Nile. He guaranteed, in that event, to hold the Bahr Gazelle country and Equatorial regions against the slave-traders, and pin the Mahdi in Khartoum by organising a negro State in his rear, which, like the Congo Free State, he suggested might be put under Belgian protection. But he warned the Government that if this plan were to be attempted he must get the order to quit Khartoum at once, for in a few days the way of retreat to Berber would be closed. The order never came. In fact, the only order he got from his superiors at this time, was to hold on to Khartoum till further notice. Had the instructions which he asked for been sent, there would have been no Nile Expedition with its many disasters, including the fall of Khartoum, and the massacre of its inhabitants.[218]

The tardy resolution to send a Relief Expedition to Khartoum has already been alluded to. On the 16th of December, 1884, Lord Wolseley joined the camp which had been pitched at Korti by Brigadier-General Sir Herbert Stewart, and received intelligence from Gordon, informing him that four steamers with their guns were waiting for the expedition at Metamneh, and that Khartoum could hold out with ease for forty days after the date of the letter (November 4th). It was not till the 30th of December that Stewart was able to dash into the desert with the Camel Corps to seize the wells of Gakdul. On the 31st a message from Gordon, dated the 29th of October, arrived, showing that Khartoum still held out, but that he was in dire straits, and, on the 1st of January, 1885, the first boats with the Black{713} Watch reached Korti. On the 3rd General Earle left to join his force which was proceeding up the river to Berber. On the 5th the Naval Brigade arrived, and Sir Herbert Stewart returned from Gakdul. On the 8th he began his march across the Bayuda Desert with a motley force of 120 officers and 1,900 men. The Mahdi, on hearing of the occupation of Gakdul on the 2nd of January, resolved to crush Stewart’s force at the end of its Desert march, and Lord Wolseley’s eccentric tactics gave him thirteen clear days in which to concentrate his forces at Abu Klea, where he barred the way to Metamneh.[219] It was not till the 16th of January that Stewart got touch of the enemy at Abu Klea. During the night our men were harassed by the Arab sharp-shooters, and next day Stewart was artfully drawn into a difficult position, and forced to march out in square formation and give his antagonist battle. When our skirmishers were within 200 yards of the enemy’s flags, the square was halted to let its rear close up. Then, to the amazement of everybody, the Arabs sprang forth from the ravine where they had been hiding, as Roderick Dhu’s warriors rose from the heather. Stewart’s skirmishers ran back in hot haste. The Arabs charged furiously, and, when slightly checked at a distance of about 80 yards, they suddenly swept round to the right and broke the rear face and angle of the British square. For a moment there was dreadful confusion, and had the camels not checked the Arab onset Stewart’s force would have been annihilated, like the army of Hicks Pasha at El Obeid. However, the enemy were beaten back with great loss of life, and the day was saved. It was in this affray that Colonel Fred Burnaby lost his life. The square was broken first, because the Gardner gun at the corner jammed, and was useless after the tenth round; secondly, because General Stewart foolishly trusted cavalry men and seamen to hold the exposed angles;[220] thirdly, because the cartridges of some of the rifles jammed, and shook the soldier’s confidence in his weapon.

Stewart’s losses, especially in camels, were so heavy that his first idea was to halt at Abu Klea for reinforcements. But he decided to push on, even at the risk of leaving his wounded behind him. The wells of Abu Klea were occupied, and it was then ascertained that the 10,000 Arabs who had been defeated, were but the advanced guard of a great army near Metamneh. Papers were discovered, among which was a letter from the Emir of Berber to the Mahdi, showing that Stewart’s occupation of Gakdul had caused the{714} concentration of the Arabs in force at Abu Klea. The expedition was thus at the outset marred by a fatal blunder in generalship. If Stewart had gone straight across the Bayuda Desert, without wasting time at Gakdul, he would have had no enemy barring his path to Metamneh. By letting the Mahdi’s troops concentrate at Abu Klea, he met with the check that delayed his progress till it was too late to save Khartoum.[221]

On the 18th of January Stewart made a forced night march towards the Nile, which he hoped to strike three miles above Metamneh. His column got into terrible disorder in the dark, for men and cattle were utterly exhausted from hunger and want of sleep. At 7 a.m. it came within sight of Metamneh—men and horses and camels being scarcely able to walk. It was resolved to rest for breakfast before attacking the town, but the Arabs closed round Stewart’s zareba, and poured in a dropping fire, which did serious execution. At 10.15 a.m. Stewart himself was shot, and the command was assumed by Sir Charles Wilson, Chief of the Intelligence Department, who happened to be the senior colonel on the field. Sir Charles Wilson, though an officer in the Royal Engineers, was really a scholar and diplomatist who had spent most of his life in civil employment. Still, he did not shrink from the task which an unforeseen accident imposed on him. He undertook the strategic direction of the column, but prudently handed over the tactical control to Colonel Boscawen of the Guards. Having fortified the zareba, Wilson quickly formed his main body into a square, and determined to make a dash for the Nile. Had he not ventured on this perilous step, the whole column must have perished from thirst. Every inch of the way had to be contested, but happily Wilson’s frigid temperament seemed to have in some degree communicated itself to his men. Hence, the same troops who at Abu Klea under Stewart’s showy but exciting leadership got out of hand and fired wildly, were soon calm and steady, and held in complete check by their officers. They had not proceeded far when swarms of Arabs, as at Abu Klea, charged down upon the square from a ridge at a place known as Abu Kru. At first Wilson’s troops began to fire at random as at Abu Klea, and no shot told. Then he ordered the bugles to sound “Cease firing,” and the officers coolly kept the men at rest for five minutes, which steadied their nerves. By this time the enemy had come within 300 yards of the square, from which volley after volley was now suddenly poured forth, and with such deliberation that{715} the Arab spearmen turned and fled, not one of them getting within fifty yards of Wilson’s position. This is the only instance where British troops in the Soudan won a complete victory without being themselves touched by sword or spear. The square now hastened on to the river, and camped for the night. Next day (20th) they carried water to their wounded comrades in the zareba. They then conveyed them down to the camp by the Nile,[222] where they found some of Gordon’s steamers waiting for them. Wilson’s force was now in a sorry plight, and before he took command discontent was smouldering in its ranks. It had been kept toiling and fighting for four days with little food and less sleep. It had lost in killed and wounded one-tenth of its number. And now with its General disabled, it found itself encumbered by a heavy train of wounded, without means of communication with its base, menaced by a formidable fortress, and assured that two great armies were closing on it from Berber and Khartoum. Little wonder that the soldiers murmured sulkily that they had been led into a trap. Wilson’s orders were, that on arriving at the river he must proceed to Khartoum with a small detachment, the mere exhibition of whose red coats Lord Wolseley imagined would cause the Mahdi to raise the siege. But Wilson was not to let his men even sleep in Khartoum, and he was only to stay there long enough to confer with Gordon! In plain English, Lord Wolseley ordered him to march twenty or thirty men into Khartoum and come away again, after telling Gordon, who was every day awaiting his doom, that he must expect no effective succour till far on in March. Wilson, however, resolved, like a loyal commander, not to desert his comrades until he had seen them safely entrenched—and till he had, by reconnoitring, allayed their dread of an attack from Berber. The Naval Brigade was so disabled that he was forced to use Gordon’s crews for the steamers, and, in obedience to Gordon’s instructions, he had to weed out of these crews all untrustworthy Egyptians. He had also to reconnoitre the fortress of Metamneh.

This work kept Wilson busy till the 24th of January, when he proceeded up the Nile, arriving on the 28th of January within a mile and a half of Khartoum. He found that the city had fallen on the 26th, when the Buri gate had been opened by treachery to the Mahdi’s troops, who had rushed in and made the streets of the doomed town run red with blood. Gordon it seems was killed, on refusing to surrender, by a small party of Baggarahs, who met him coming out of his palace. While reconnoitring Khartoum, Wilson’s two steamers were so hotly engaged with the enemy’s batteries that he was forced to turn back.[223] On the return voyage he adroitly{716} foiled the plans of some of his followers who attempted to betray him to the Mahdi, but unfortunately his steamers were wrecked, it is supposed, by the treachery of his pilots. He was, however, rescued by Lord Charles Beresford in one of the armed vessels from Gubat, to which Wilson brought back his party without loss of life.[224] Wilson found his force in safety, but sadly depressed because they had heard nothing from headquarters. He immediately proceeded thither in terms of his instructions, to report the fall of Khartoum to Lord Wolseley, and urge him to relieve Gubat without delay.

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Little need be said of the fall of Khartoum—the crowning disaster of the campaign. Gordon’s Journals show how, alone and unaided, in defending the city, during a siege that lasted 319 days, he kept at bay the swarming hordes of the Mahdi. The romantic record of his life amply illustrates his higher{717} qualities—the chivalry and loyalty; the sweet, gentle manners, the kindliness of heart, the stainless honour, the infinite self-abnegation, the patient endurance, the stubborn valour, the natural and acquired military skill that made him

“A soldier fit to stand by Cæsar
And give direction.”
His Khartoum “Journals” show more than that. They prove that from first to last through the long series of transactions that led up to the fall of the city, Gordon was the only man who kept his head cool, who acted from firm set purpose, who was not afraid to look on the facts with naked eyes, whose inexhaustible ingenuity in dealing practically with every fresh difficulty as it arose never failed him or his masters, and whose shrewd and sagacious prevision was never once ignored, save at the cost of cruel suffering to those who refused his guidance.[225] Valour and virtue such as his can indeed “outbuild the Pyramids.” Of the millions of English men and English women, who mourned over the heroic defender of Khartoum, none grieved more bitterly for his loss than the Queen. To his sister she wrote as follows:—

“Osborne, 17th February, 1885.
“Dear Miss Gordon,—How shall I write to you, or how shall I attempt to express what I feel! To think of your dear, noble, heroic Brother, who served his country and his Queen so truly, so heroically, with a self-sacrifice so edifying to the world, not having been rescued. That the promises of support were not fulfilled—which I so frequently and constantly pressed on those who asked him to go—is to me grief inexpressible!—indeed, it has made me ill! My heart bleeds for you, his Sister, who have gone through so many anxieties on his account, and who loved the dear Brother as he deserved to be. You are all so good and trustful, and have such strong faith, that you will be sustained even now, when real absolute evidence of your dear Brother’s death does not exist—but I fear there cannot be much doubt of it. Some day I hope to see you again to tell you all I cannot express. My daughter Beatrice, who has felt quite as I do, wishes me to express her deepest sympathy with you. I hear so many expressions of sorrow and sympathy from abroad; from my eldest daughter, the Crown Princess, and from my Cousin, the King of the Belgians, the very warmest. Would you express to your other Sisters and your elder Brother my true sympathy, and what I do so keenly feel—the stain left upon England for your dear Brother’s cruel, though heroic, fate!—Ever, dear Miss Gordon, yours sincerely and sympathisingly,

After Gordon’s death public interest in the “sad Soudan” slowly faded. The River Column under General Earle’s skilful guidance had won a brilliant little victory at Kirbekan, where, however, its gallant leader lost his life. He was succeeded by General Brackenbury, who ascended the river steadily to Abu Hamed. Suddenly, however, Lord Wolseley ordered both columns to retreat on Korti, and hold Dongola till his autumn campaign of vengeance against the Mahdi could be undertaken. Meanwhile, General Graham, with 9,000 men, and an Indian and Australian Contingent,[227] was to drive{718} back Osman Digna at Suakin, and lay a railway from that port to Berber. Graham defeated the Arabs in several engagements, though in one of them the skill with which the Arabs surprised a zareba almost reproduced the disaster of Isandhlwana. But the dispute with Russia afforded a plausible excuse for freeing England from the incubus of the Soudan, and in April Lord Wolseley evacuated Dongola and fell back on the line of Wady Halfa. The Suakin railway was abandoned, and when Lord Salisbury’s Government took office they, too, adhered to the policy of evacuation. The Mahdi died. Osman Digna became entangled in hostilities with the Abyssinian Ras Alula, who attempted to raise the siege of Kassala, and for a time it seemed as if all fears of disturbances on the Egyptian frontier were dispelled. Towards the end of the year, however, the Arabs attacked an advanced post beyond Assouan, where they were skilfully repulsed by General Stephenson at the battle of Kosheh.

Turning to the social events of 1885, the most remarkable was the sudden announcement on New Year’s Day of the betrothal of the Princess Beatrice to Prince Henry of Battenberg, the younger brother of Prince Louis, the husband of the Princess’s niece—Victoria of Hesse. For fourteen years the Princess Beatrice had been the close companion of the Queen, and their lives had in time become so closely intertwined that a separation could hardly be contemplated by either with equanimity. It was therefore quite natural that Prince Henry of Battenberg, whose fortune was hardly adequate to the maintenance of a separate establishment, should permit intimation to be made that he was to live with the Princess in attendance on the Queen. The announcement of the marriage was as surprising to the Royal Family as it was to the people. In the country the old prejudice against the marriage of a Princess who claimed a dowry from the State, with a person outside the Royal caste speedily manifested itself. Indeed, the feeling against the arrangement was even stronger than that which prevailed when the Princess Louise married the Marquis of Lorne. After all, the latter was the son of a great noble on whose birth no stain of ambiguity rested. Prince Henry of Battenberg, on the other hand, was the offspring of a “morganatic” marriage between Prince Alexander of Hesse and the Countess Hauke, the granddaughter of a Polish Jew, who had entered the service of the Hessian Court in a very subordinate capacity. It was difficult to get the populace to understand that a morganatic marriage was in a certain sense a legal union—not void, though possibly under pressure of State exigencies voidable by the Royal husband—that in fact there was nothing disreputable in such an alliance, save in the sense in which it is considered a social offence for a great noble to marry his mother’s scullery-maid. The hostility of the German Crown Princess and the Court of Berlin to the connection did much to create an erroneous impression in England as to the status of Prince Henry. The Prince’s lack of fortune did not redeem his lack of social position—and it was most unfortunate that his nearest connection{719} with Royalty was through his cousin the Grand Duke of Hesse. For the divorce suit raised by the Grand Duke against the Countess de Kalomine, a lady whom he had “morganatically” married in secret on the very night when his daughter, the Princess Victoria, was wedded to Prince Louis of Battenberg, had rendered his family extremely unpopular in England.

That some friction had been created in the Royal Family by the unexpected introduction of Prince Henry to its circle was soon made manifest. When Prince Albert Victor of Wales, the Heir-Presumptive to the Throne, came of age on the 8th of January, neither the Queen, nor the Princess Beatrice, nor Prince Henry of Battenberg—then at Osborne—graced with their presence the joyous celebrations at Sandringham, which were attended by all the other members of the Royal Family. It was also remarked that Prince Henry left England without receiving the congratulations of the Prince of Wales on his betrothal. At a Privy Council, which the Queen held at Osborne on the 26th of January, her Majesty’s formal consent to her daughter’s marriage was given.

Preparations had been made early in March for the Queen’s Easter visit to Darmstadt, but owing to the death of Princess Charles of Hesse, mother of the Grand Duke, her Majesty’s arrangements were altered, and it was decided that she should visit Aix-les-Bains first and take Darmstadt on the return journey. Her Majesty left Windsor on the last day of March for the Villa Mottet, a charming residence in the grounds of the Hôtel de l’Europe, Aix-les-Bains, while the Prince and Princess of Wales spent their Easter in paying a State visit to Ireland. The Queen’s holiday was sadly broken by the diplomatic controversy with Russia as to the Afghan frontier. Piles of despatch-boxes were given to her when she started, and as many as fifty telegraphic messages a day in cipher were sent to her and answered. Before proceeding to Darmstadt, her Majesty, who had been using her influence with the German Court in order to induce Russia to accept an honourable compromise, offered to return to Windsor if Ministers desired her presence. Mr. Gladstone was not of opinion that this sacrifice was necessary, and on the 23rd of April she accordingly proceeded to Darmstadt, where she again occupied the new Palace on the Platz which had been built for the Princess Alice. At this time her Majesty was much grieved at the reckless and bellicose tone of London Society. She was so anxious to counteract it that the Prince of Wales, knowing her feeling on the subject, was supposed to have dropped some hints at Marlborough House which suddenly imparted quite a pacific tone to the fire-eaters of Piccadilly. Couriers passed so frequently between the Queen and the German Emperor, who with the Crown Prince gave her Majesty much sympathetic aid and counsel throughout the crisis, that the German Press were alarmed lest the Emperor was about to intervene as a mediator between Russia and England. A war between the two nations would have been extremely inconvenient to the Royal{720} Family—in fact, it had been arranged in anticipation of such a calamity that the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh must break up their establishment in England, and retire to Coburg. Another circumstance forced a pacific policy on the Court. The Duke of Edinburgh had not concealed from the Sovereign the fact that the Fleet was effective solely on paper. Indeed, had Admiral Hoskins, who was ordered to hold himself in readiness to proceed with his squadron to the Baltic, attempted to carry out his instructions, he would have found himself paralysed, simply because he had neither efficient guns nor transport. On the 2nd of May the Queen, returned to Windsor, where she held an anxious consultation with Lord Granville next day. On the 12th of May her Majesty held a Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace, but as on previous occasions, she stayed only a short time, leaving the Princess of Wales as usual to complete the function.

On the 14th of May, Mr. Gladstone carried a resolution in the House of Commons that an annuity of £6,000 a year should be granted to the Princess Beatrice on her marriage; and, by way of conciliating the House, promised that in the next Parliament a Committee would be appointed to consider the plan on which what he called “secondary provisions” for the younger members of the Royal Family, should be made.[228] The proposed annuity was opposed on the old ground that the Queen was rich enough to support her own family, and Mr. Labouchere argued that as she never had a right to the hereditary revenues of the Crown, the plea that she had given up her income for a Civil List was invalid. But it is certain that in the Royal Speech, at the opening of Parliament in 1837 the Queen said, “I place unreservedly at your disposal those hereditary revenues which were transferred to the public by my immediate predecessor,” and in the Address the Queen was then not only thanked for her generosity, but promised an adequate Civil List in return. It was also forgotten that at least four impecunious princely families—those of the Duke of Albany, Prince Louis, Prince Henry of Battenberg, and Prince Christian—must be a charge on the private income of the Queen.[229]

On the 22nd of May the Court went to Balmoral. The Russian dispute was now compromised, so that the Queen was able to thoroughly enjoy her Highland visit. She spent much of her time in the cottages and homes of the peasantry, to whom she was unusually lavish this year with gifts commemorating her birthday. When she arrived she found that the celebrated cradle and rope bridge over the Dee at Abergeldie—which most of the Royal{721} personages in Europe had used at different times—was removed, and replaced by a substantial footbridge which had been put up at her expense. But the fall of Mr. Gladstone’s Government shortened the Queen’s sojourn in Scotland, and she had to return to Windsor on the 17th of June. Complaints were made that she was absent in Aberdeenshire when the Ministerial crisis occurred. But the crisis was unexpected, and since the Prince Consort’s death the Queen has always preferred Balmoral to Windsor during Ascot Race week. The death of Prince Frederick Charles (the “Red Prince”) of Prussia, at the comparatively early age of fifty-seven, deprived Germany of one of her ablest military tacticians, and sent the English Court into mourning. He was the father of the Duchess of Connaught, to whom he bequeathed a large part of his vast wealth. By a strange blunder which gave infinite annoyance to the Queen, not only did the Prince of Wales appear at Ascot after the event, but her Majesty’s order that Court mourning should begin on the 16th was not officially proclaimed till the 18th. The Royal procession at Ascot on the afternoon of the “Red Prince’s” death, caused much irritation at the Court of Berlin.

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On the 9th the Court removed to Osborne—the Queen being desirous of personally supervising the arrangements for the Princess Beatrice’s marriage, which was to take place in Whippingham Parish Church. As there was no precedent for a Royal marriage in a country parish church, Sir Henry Ponsonby and the Court officials had considerable trouble in ordering the ceremony. They were further perplexed by the various instructions which day after day came from the Queen and the Princess. On the 23rd of July the marriage was solemnised by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishop of Winchester, the Dean of Windsor, and Canon Prothero, Vicar of Whippingham. The ceremony was one of demi-state only; and, although the wedding procession was very pretty, especially when seen in the golden light of a July day, it was not brilliant. The nieces of the Princess Beatrice were her bridesmaids, and most of her near relations were present. The family of Hesse-Darmstadt was well represented; and, with the exception of Mr. Gladstone, most of the leading personages in English Society were present. Yet somehow the ceremony seemed to lack the courtly importance and dignity of other Royal marriages, and the absence of the German Crown Prince and Princess, who were not even represented by any of their family, was only too noticeable. The German Emperor, who had been deeply incensed by the de Kalomine scandal, had not yet been persuaded to look kindly on the Court of Darmstadt; but the German Empress, on the other hand, testified her interest in the bride by sending Princess Beatrice a Dresden china clock and bracket as a wedding gift. After the marriage the Queen conferred the Order of the Garter on Prince Henry of Battenberg—adding one more to the already crowded companionship of Royal Knights. This distinction had never before been given to a foreign personage not a monarch de facto, or born in the Royal caste, and there can be no doubt that the other Royal Knights of the family would have considered the Order of the Bath a more suitable distinction for Prince Henry.[230] It was also intimated in the Gazette (July 24th, 1885) that Prince Henry would forthwith assume the title of Royal Highness—a rank, however, which could not be conceded to him outside of English territory.[231]{723}

It is remarkable that no family objections were raised to the recognition of Lady Augusta Lennox, who had long been married to Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar, as the Princess Edward. Till 1885 she had only been received in Court as the Countess Dornburg, a title which had been “created” for her on her marriage, in spite of her high social position as daughter of the Duke of Richmond, to satisfy the exigencies of German etiquette.

After the close of the Parliamentary Session, the Court went from Osborne to Balmoral (August 25th), where the Princess Beatrice and her husband received a warm Highland reception. Life at Balmoral was somewhat dull, but in her walks and drives the Queen was now accompanied by Prince Henry of Battenberg as well as the Princess Beatrice. When not in attendance on the Queen, the Prince occasionally found amusement in deerstalking in the Balloch Pine and Abergeldie grounds. Her Majesty remained at Balmoral till the 18th of November, when she returned to Windsor to hold a Council, at which she sanctioned the dissolution of Parliament. On the 9th of December, accompanied by the Princess Beatrice and Prince Henry of Battenberg, the Queen presented medals for service in the Soudan to a number of Guardsmen at Windsor. On the 18th of December she left Windsor for Osborne. It was now plainly intimated to her Majesty that the royal rank and precedence conferred on Prince Henry of Battenberg would not be recognised at Berlin, Vienna, and St. Petersburg, the Courts at which capitals insisted on treating the marriage of the Princess Beatrice as a purely “morganatic” one. The difficulties which arose out of this incident were further aggravated when the Queen permitted the Count and Countess Gleichen to assume the rank and title of Prince and Princess Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenberg.[232]

In the spring of 1885 a rebellion of French half-breeds in the Canadian North-West, led by Riel, one of the pardoned insurgents who had been engaged in the Red River rising, was suppressed with great skill and ability by the Canadian Militia, under General Sir Frederick Middleton. Riel was tried and hanged for treason.

The misrule of Theebaw, the half-crazy King of Burmah, together with his intrigues with the French—then busy with the conquest of Tonquin—led to disputes between the Indian and Burmese Governments. The result was a war which ended in the deposition of King Theebaw and the annexation of Upper Burmah to the Indian Empire.{724}


Mr. Chamberlain’s Doctrine of “Ransom”—The Midlothian Programme—Lord Randolph Churchill’s Appeal to the Whigs—Bidding for the Parnellite Vote—Resignation of Lord Carnarvon—The General Election—“Three Acres and a Cow”—Defeat of Lord Salisbury—The Liberal Cabinet—Mr. Gladstone’s Home Rule Scheme—Ulster threatens Civil War—Secession of the Liberal “Unionists”—Defeat of Mr. Gladstone—Lord Salisbury again in Office—Mr. Parnell’s Relief Bill Rejected—The “Plan of Campaign”—Resignation of Lord Randolph Churchill—Mr. Goschen becomes Chancellor of the Exchequer—Riots in the West End of London—The Indian and Colonial Exhibition—The Imperial Institute—The Queen’s Visit to Liverpool—The Holloway College for Women—A Busy Season for her Majesty—The International Exhibition at Edinburgh—The Prince and Princess Komatsu of Japan.

The closing months of 1885 were devoted to preparations for the General Election. Mr. Chamberlain’s speeches developed his doctrine of “ransom” with a vigour of language and directness of purpose that terrified the Whigs. At Bradford he demanded Disestablishment, and thus concentrated the malice of the Church on the whole Liberal Party. Mr. Gladstone issued a moderate manifesto to his constituents, known as the “Midlothian Programme,” in which he attempted to neutralise Mr. Chamberlain’s “unauthorised programme.” The reform of Parliamentary procedure, and Local Government, the reform of the Registration Laws, and of land transfer were the famous “four points” on which he dwelt. As for Mr. Chamberlain’s suggestions for disestablishment, for education, graduated Income Tax, and the abolition of the House of Lords, he put them aside, refusing to peer “into the dim and distant courses of the future.” The Tory leaders professed themselves equally willing to reform Procedure, the Land Laws, and Local Government, and attacked the Whigs for their alliance with the Birmingham School of Radicals. Lord Randolph Churchill, in fact, appealed to the Whigs to coalesce with the Tories in resisting what Lord Hartington called “measures of a Socialistic tendency.” Both parties in the State made high bids for the Irish Vote. Mr. Chamberlain offered to Mr. Parnell a scheme of Home Rule, under which Ireland would be governed by Four Provincial Parliaments—in fact, he furbished up an old idea which the venerable Earl Russell had shed from his mind when it was in the last stage of decay. The Tories, through Lord Carnarvon, offered Mr. Parnell some form of Home Rule under which Ireland was to have a Legislature of her own with the right to levy Protective Duties on imported goods.[233] Though Lord{725}

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Salisbury’s Newport address was ambiguous in its references to Home Rule, it rather gave colour to the prevalent belief that if the Tories could win a majority by the Irish vote, they would hold power by giving Ireland Home Rule. At the same time, it is but right to say that Lord Salisbury and his colleagues never appear to have committed the Cabinet to Lord Carnarvon’s bargain with Mr. Parnell. Indeed, they even seem to have told Lord Carnarvon that, personally, they disapproved of his Irish policy. They, however, still retained his services as a Cabinet Minister, though Lord Salisbury had discovered that he was a Home Ruler.

Mr. Parnell issued a manifesto fiercely attacking the Liberal Party, and ordering all Irishmen to give their votes to the Government. The Liberals, on the other hand, appealed to the people for such a majority as would enable Mr. Gladstone to defy Mr. Parnell. The elections began on the 24th of November. They showed that in the boroughs the Liberal Party was shattered, though it had, through Mr. Chamberlain’s doctrine of ransom, won in the counties all along the line.[234] The new House of Commons it was found would contain 333 Liberals, 251 Tories, and 86 Parnellites, not one Liberal having been returned by Ireland. In the circumstances it was hopeless for the Ministry to attempt a settlement of the Irish Question on Lord Carnarvon’s lines.[235] They had, even with the Irish vote, only a majority of four. But then, if they dared to make concessions to Mr. Parnell, this majority of four would inevitably be converted, by the secession of the Ulster Tories, into a minority of eight. The Liberal Leaders, on the other hand, were in an equally difficult predicament. They, too, could not hope to govern the country save by the Irish vote. It was quite possible, moreover, for the Government, by conceding Home Rule, to detach from the Liberals a sufficient number of Radicals to more than counterbalance the Ulster secession. In these circumstances Mr. Gladstone towards the end of the year let it be known indirectly that he was in favour of giving Ireland Home Rule.

Ere Parliament opened on the 12th of January, 1886, the resignation of Lord Carnarvon indicated that Ministers had dissolved the connection between the Tory Party and the Parnellites. The House of Commons elected Mr. Peel as its Speaker, and when Mr. Bradlaugh appeared he took the Oath in the ordinary manner. The Queen’s Speech was read on the 21st of January by her Majesty in person, but its references to Ireland were vague,{727} though they foreshadowed the introduction of a Coercion Bill. In the preliminary skirmishes Mr. Gladstone threw out overtures to the Irish Party which Mr. Parnell and Mr. Sexton hailed with effusive delight. The Government, on the other hand, announced the introduction of a Coercion Bill, which would also suppress the National League. The Liberals and Parnellites now promptly united to support an Amendment moved by Mr. Jesse Collings, which censured the Ministry for refusing to bring in a Labourers’ Allotments Bill, and the Coalition defeated the Government by a vote of 329 to 258. The opposition of Lord Hartington and Mr. Goschen to the Amendment showed that the Whigs at least were afraid of Mr. Gladstone’s return to office, after his vague and ambiguous promises of concessions to the Home Rulers. Lord Salisbury resigned, and when Mr. Gladstone formed his Ministry it was seen that many of his old colleagues, such as Lord Hartington, Mr. Goschen, Mr. Forster, Lord Selborne, Lord Northbrook, the Duke of Argyll, Lord Cowper, and Sir Henry James, had refused to join him. The appointment of Lord Aberdeen as Irish Viceroy was not very significant. But that Mr. John Morley, the most pronounced of all the English advocates of Home Rule, should have been appointed as Chief Secretary for Ireland meant much. Lord Rosebery was made Foreign Secretary, and Mr. Campbell-Bannerman Secretary at War. Both were known to be Home Rulers. Lord Spencer, disgusted at his betrayal by the Tory Party, had also become a convert to Home Rule principles, and was appointed President of the Council. Oddly enough Mr. Chamberlain and Mr. Trevelyan, who were both pledged against Home Rule, had joined the Ministry. But they had been induced to do so on the assurance that, in the meantime, the policy of the Cabinet would be merely to examine and inquire into the Home Rule question.

During the spring nothing was done in the matter. The House of Commons refused to press Ministers upon their Irish policy, evidently deeming it reasonable that Mr. Gladstone should have time to work it out. Lord Hartington and the Whigs, however, adopted an attitude of independence which showed that Mr. Gladstone had failed to heal the divisions in the Liberal Party. Hence, when it was announced that Mr. Chamberlain and Mr. Trevelyan, on being informed of Mr. Gladstone’s proposals for the reform of the Irish Government, had resigned office, it was evident that the fate of the Ministry was sealed.

On the 8th of April Mr. Gladstone expounded the scheme, which set up in Ireland an Executive Government, responsible to an Irish Legislature, capable of dealing with all matters save the Crown, the Army and Navy, Foreign and Colonial Policy, Trade, Navigation, Currency, Imperial taxation, and the endowment of churches. The Lord-Lieutenant, on the advice of his Ministers, was to have a power of veto. The Irish Legislative Body was to consist of two Orders, voting apart, the first to comprise representative peers{728} and members elected under a £25 property qualification, and the second members chosen by household suffrage. In the event of collision between the two Orders, the measure in dispute was to be held in suspense for three years, or until a dissolution. The Irish contribution to the Imperial Revenue was fixed at £3,242,000. On the 13th of April Mr. Gladstone introduced a Land Bill as a complementary measure to his Home Rule Bill. He proposed to give every Irish landlord the option of selling his land to an authority appointed by the Irish Government, who would sell it to the tenants, the purchase-money being advanced through the Imperial Exchequer by an issue of Consols. These advances the tenant was to repay in instalments spread over forty-nine years, and twenty years’ purchase was taken as the basis of the price. The amount to be advanced at first under the Bill was to be £50,000,000, but in the original draft it was nearly £300,000,000. The repayments were to be secured on the Irish Revenue, and paid to a British Receiver-General in Ireland. The opponents of the whole scheme contended that it gave no effective guarantee for Imperial unity, that it put the loyal minority entirely in the power of the disloyal majority in Ireland, that it multiplied the risks of collision between Ireland and the Imperial Government, that, in point of fact, it was virtually a Bill to repeal the Union. Mr. Gladstone’s chief argument in favour of the scheme was that the English democracy could no longer be trusted to hold Ireland down by repressive legislation, and that Home Rule was the only alternative to Coercion. Moreover, as Coercion bred Irish disloyalty, it weakened the Imperial power of England in the world. Though the Orangemen of Ulster plainly declared that they would plunge into civil war rather than submit to a Home Rule Government in Ireland, Mr. Parnell accepted the Bill in principle as an adequate concession of the Nationalist claims.

The weak points in the scheme were soon detected. One of these was the exclusion of the Irish Members from the House of Commons—the only proposal of Mr. Gladstone’s which had been hailed with applause from both sides of the House when he expounded his Bill. The absence of the Irish Members from the House of Commons was taken as a visible sign, not only that the Parliamentary Union between Ireland and the United Kingdom was dissolved, but that the control and authority of the Imperial Parliament over Ireland was impaired. The Purchase scheme alarmed the taxpayers, who objected to pledge the credit of England in order to buy the Irish landlords out of Ireland. It is now known that, if Mr. Gladstone had made concessions by promising to reconsider the question of retaining the Irish Members at Westminster, and to remodel the Bill accordingly, the Second Reading would have been carried. A meeting of Liberals was indeed held at the Foreign Office to hear what concessions Mr. Gladstone would make. Subsequently, in explaining his speech at this meeting to the House of Commons, his phraseology seemed to the wavering Liberals so illusory that they refused to support him.{729} Lord Hartington and Mr. Chamberlain accordingly organised their followers (about fifty in number) into a separate Parliamentary party, describing themselves as Liberal Unionists, and at their first meeting a letter was read from Mr. Bright casting in his lot with theirs. They bound themselves to vote against the Second Reading of Mr. Gladstone’s Bills.

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(From a Photograph by H. H. H. Cameron, Mortimer Street, W.)

On the 7th of June the Home Rule Bill was rejected by a majority of 341 against 311. Mr. Gladstone obtained from the Queen permission to dissolve Parliament and appeal to the country. The Ministerial candidates, at the General Election which followed, relied mainly upon the contention that Home Rule was the only alternative to Coercion, and the Tories and Liberal Unionists, on the other hand, pledged themselves to govern Ireland without Coercion, and still retain the Parliamentary Union unbroken. The{730} Liberal Unionists and the Tories formed an alliance for electoral purposes similar to that which Lord Malmesbury, in 1857, had vainly attempted to cement between the Peelites and the Derbyites. The Irish vote failed to balance the votes of the Liberal Unionists, and when the new House of Commons was elected it was found to consist of 316 Tories, 76 Liberal Unionists, 192 Liberal Home Rulers, and 86 Parnellites. Mr. Gladstone resigned, and Lord Salisbury formed a Ministry, having unsuccessfully endeavoured to persuade Lord Hartington and the Liberal Unionist leaders to join a Coalition Cabinet. The services rendered by Lord Randolph Churchill in rousing the fanaticism of Ulster were rewarded with the Chancellorship of the Exchequer and the leadership of the House of Commons. Lord Iddesleigh became Foreign Secretary; Mr. Matthews, Q.C., who had carried one of the seats in Birmingham, became Home Secretary; Sir M. Hicks-Beach was deposed from the leadership of the Commons, and relegated to his old post of Chief Secretary for Ireland. As soon as Lord Salisbury assumed office he found that a fresh agrarian crisis was menacing Ireland. The Irish farmers were demanding a revision even of the fixed judicial rents in terms of the recent fall in prices. There seemed no end to the difficulty, and, in a pessimist mood, Lord Salisbury, at the opening of the Session, declared that he was now in favour of getting rid of the dual-ownership of land in Ireland. In fact, he accepted the principle of a great Land-Purchase scheme, but he also broached the theory that, if judicial rents were cut down, the State should recoup the landlords for their losses.

After the debates on the Address were over Mr. Parnell brought in a Relief Bill, allowing tenants who deposited half their rent in Court to claim from the Court a revision of their rents. The Bill was rejected by the combined vote of the Tories and Liberal Unionists. Mr. Dillon now advised the Irish tenants to refuse to pay more rent than they could afford. His suggestion was that they should combine on each estate, offer the landlord a fair rent, and if this was refused, deposit it in the hands of trustees, and use it to resist eviction. This was known as “The Plan of Campaign” against rack-renters, and it was widely adopted all over Ireland. Sir M. Hicks-Beach and Sir Redvers Buller, who had been sent to organise the police in Kerry, apparently discovered that there was much truth in Mr. Parnell’s contention, that the fall in prices had made judicial rents impossible. The Irish Government, at all events, now put pressure on rack-renting landlords, in order to prevent them from demanding full rents and from evicting if they were not paid. But Ministers declined to legislate for Ireland till the following Session, though they appointed Commissions to amass materials for legislation. Parliament was prorogued on the 25th of September.

During the autumn the schism between the Liberal Unionists and the Liberals widened. At Leeds the Liberals pledged themselves anew to adhere to Mr. Gladstone’s Home Rule policy. On the 7th of December Lord{731} Hartington’s followers held a Conference in London, at which further arrangements were made for completing their organisation as a distinct Party pledged to maintain the Union. As the year closed various rumours of dissensions in the Cabinet were promulgated. There had been a good deal of agitation against the wasteful extravagance and inefficiency of the spending departments of the State, and Lord Randolph Churchill was called on by public opinion to redeem the pledges in favour of economy which he gave at Blackpool on the 24th of January, 1884. In attempting to do this he found himself thwarted by his colleagues, and, to the astonishment of his Party, he resigned office. He was succeeded by Mr. Goschen, who entered the Cabinet, with Lord Hartington’s sanction, as a Liberal Unionist, thereby illustrating afresh the closeness of the coalition between the Dissentient Liberals and the Tories.

During the year there was some agitation raised as to the sad condition of the unemployed in London. The Tories had taken advantage of this to revive the Protectionist Movement under pretence of advocating Fair Trade at meetings held in Trafalgar Square. On the 8th of February, however, the Socialists followed suit, and organised a demonstration in favour of their panacea for poverty. The police arrangements were somewhat defective. A crowd of roughs and thieves who hovered round the fringe of the mob evaded the constabulary, rushed along Pall Mall and Piccadilly smashing the windows of the clubs and sacking the principal jewellers’ shops. The agitation proceeded, and a counter demonstration to the Lord Mayor’s Show on the 9th of November was even planned. It was, however, prohibited by the police.

As the celebration of the Queen’s Jubilee was now within measurable distance, already there were great manifestations of popular feeling in favour of Imperial Unity. In this year the Imperial Federation League was founded for the purpose of drawing closer the bonds between the Colonies and the Mother Country. The Indian and Colonial Exhibition at South Kensington was organised by the Prince of Wales on a scale of sumptuous splendour which attracted visitors to London from all parts of the globe. It was opened with great pomp and ceremony by the Queen in person on the 4th of May, in the presence of the more prominent members of the Royal Family, the great dignitaries in Church and State, and the representatives of India and the Colonies. This amazing display of the vast resources of the Empire soon degenerated into an evening lounge. But it brought together a vast number of able men from every quarter of the world interested in the problem of Imperial Federation, and the Prince of Wales dexterously seized the opportunity thus created for him to establish a centre and rallying-point for British Imperialism. He started the movement that ended in the foundation of the Imperial Institute. The Queen visited the Exhibition several times, paying special attention to the Indian Court, and conversing graciously with the Indian workmen.{732}

On the 11th of May her Majesty visited Liverpool to open the International Exhibition in that city. On the 13th she visited the Seamen’s Orphanage, and afterwards sailed down the Mersey, contrasting the scene with that on which she gazed when, in 1851, she made a similar excursion with the Prince Consort. Then the Queen was the guest of Lord Sefton; on this occasion she was the guest of the city of Liverpool, the Municipality having fitted up Newsham House for her accommodation. On the 15th she returned to Windsor, the effect of her visit having been to vastly increase her popularity in the North of England. On the 26th of May the Court proceeded to Balmoral. During the absence of the Court in Scotland the Prince and Princess of Wales stimulated the gaiety of the London Season. It was remarkable for the prevalence of Sunday re-unions, the patronage of which by the Heir Apparent soon made them fashionable even among serious Church-going people. On the 30th of June the Queen opened the Royal Holloway College for Women at Egham, an institution for the higher education of women founded by the vendor of the famous ointment and pills. As women had been among the chief buyers both of the ointment and the pills, there was a touch of irony in Mr. Holloway’s bequest that recalled the legacy left by Swift to found a madhouse for the use of the Irish people. On the 2nd of July her Majesty reviewed 10,000 troops at Aldershot, and on the 5th entertained a large number of the Indian and Colonial visitors at Windsor. She attended the brilliant garden-party given by the Prince and Princess of Wales at Marlborough House on the 10th; and on the 20th, accompanied by the Princess Beatrice and Prince Henry of Battenberg, left Windsor for Osborne, where she was soon absorbed in the business attendant on a change of Ministry. On the 17th of August her Majesty left Osborne for Edinburgh, where, on the 18th, she visited the International Exhibition. On the 20th the Queen went to Balmoral, where she remained till the 4th of November. On the 5th she visited the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch at Dalkeith Palace, and inspected the Hospital for Incurables at Edinburgh, returning to Windsor on the 6th. On the 22nd her Majesty received at Windsor, with much ceremony, their Imperial Highnesses the Prince and Princess Komatsu of Japan, and on the 29th the Court removed to Osborne.{733}

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The Fiftieth Year of the Queen’s Reign—Mr. W. H. Smith Leader of the Commons—Sudden Death of Lord Iddesleigh—Opening of Parliament—The Queen’s Speech—The Debate on the Address—New Rules for Procedure—Closure Proposed by the Tories—Irish Landlords and Evictions—“Pressure Within the Law”—Prosecution of Mr. Dillon—The Round Table Conference—“Parnellism and Crime”—Resignation of Sir M. Hicks-Beach—Appointment of Mr. Balfour—The Coercion Bill—Resolute Government for Twenty Years—Scenes in the House—Irish Land Bill—The Bankruptcy Clauses—The National League Proclaimed—The Allotments Act—The Margarine Act—Hamburg Spirit—Mr. Goschen’s Budget—The Jubilee in India—The Modes of Celebration in England—Congratulatory Addresses—The Queen’s Visit to Birmingham—The Laureate’s Jubilee Ode—The Queen at Cannes and Aix—Her Visit to the Grande Chartreuse—Colonial Addresses—Opening of the People’s Palace—Jubilee Day—The Scene in the Streets—Preceding Jubilees—The Royal Procession—The German Crown Prince—The Decorations and the Onlookers—The Spectacle in Westminster Abbey—The Procession—The Ceremony—The Illuminations—Royal Banquet in Buckingham Palace—The Shower of Honours—Jubilee Observances in the British Empire and the United States—The Children’s Celebration in Hyde Park—The Queen’s Garden Party—Her Majesty’s Letter to her People—The Imperial Institute—The Victorian Age.

It was on the 20th of June, 1886, that the Queen entered on the fiftieth year of her reign. But her Majesty naturally refused to assume that she would live to the end of it, and she accordingly determined that the actual celebration of her Jubilee should be put off till the 20th of June, 1887. Thus it came to pass that 1887 will be known as the Jubilee Year of the Victorian period. It was a year that opened badly for the Government. The sudden resignation of Lord Randolph Churchill at the close of 1886{734} rendered a reconstruction of the Cabinet necessary. Efforts were made in vain to induce some of the Whig Peers to join the Ministry, but, as we have seen, at last Mr. Goschen was persuaded to accept the office of Chancellor of the Exchequer. The leadership of the Commons was given to Mr. W. H. Smith, who was made First Lord of the Treasury; whilst Lord Salisbury, who held that office, assumed the Secretaryship of State for Foreign Affairs. This involved the enforced retirement of Lord Iddesleigh in somewhat painful circumstances, which were further heightened by his sudden death from heart-disease on the 13th of January. The discreditable intrigue, which began by deposing him from the Leadership of the House of Commons, thus ended tragically. Some of the leaders of the Liberal and Liberal Unionist Parties were also endeavouring to discover some means of reconciling these now hostile factions. Parliament was opened on the 27th of January, and the Speech from the Throne plainly foreshadowed the introduction of a Coercion Bill for Ireland. It hinted at a Land Bill as a possible measure; indeed, had it not done so the alliance between the Government and the Liberal Unionists would have been weakened. Other measures promised were Bills for reforming local government in England, Scotland, and, “should circumstances render it possible,” in Ireland, for cheapening private Bill legislation, and land transfer. An Allotments Bill, a Tithe Bill, a Railway Rates and Merchandise Marks Bill, were also in the programme, which was large and varied. But the debate on the Address showed that no opposed Bills were likely to pass unless the House of Commons reformed its procedure, and to this task the Tory Party had most grudgingly to apply itself. Six sittings were spent on the Address as a general subject of discussion. After that amendments relating to the evacuation of Egypt and the Irish policy announced in the Queen’s Speech were debated. Three Scottish amendments were next brought forward, so that when, at the sixteenth sitting of the House, Mr. Dillon began to denounce jury-packing in Dublin, the Speaker ruled him out of order. A motion for an adjournment was defeated, and a motion to consider the condition of unemployed labourers in England was declared by the Speaker to have been sufficiently discussed after two speeches were delivered. The Closure, so dreaded by the Tories in former Parliaments, was then applied by Mr. Smith, a vote taken, and the Address disposed of on the 17th of February.

The Government lost no time in preparing to meet the obstruction with which their Coercion Bill was already threatened. They circulated their new rules for debates, and on the 21st of February Mr. W. H. Smith moved the adoption of the Closure, vesting the initiative in applying it not in the Speaker, which was the old rule, but in a bare majority of the House, provided always that at least 200 Members voted for it. The Liberal Leaders supported the proposal on principle, but complained that the new rule was{735} still too weak, and that it ought to be applied unconditionally. Their view was confirmed in the following year, when Mr. W. H. Smith was forced to reduce the necessary quorum of 200 to 100. Meanwhile events had been moving apace in Ireland. The Chief Secretary, Sir M. Hicks-Beach, finding that the landlords were cruelly straining their rights against the poorer tenantry, urged them to be merciful for the sake of peace. He put upon them what he called “pressure within the law,” which practically meant that he hinted to them that he would refuse them the aid of the police in enforcing warrants of the Courts. In other words, he seemed to be exercising the “dispensing power” of the Executive, little more than a year after Mr. Morley had been forced to apologise for even suggesting its exercise. In Ireland evictions were resisted by force, and lurid pictures of the state of the country were drawn by the supporters of the Government. The prosecution of Mr. Dillon and other Irish leaders for a conspiracy to defeat the law, because they advocated the Plan of Campaign, broke down through the disagreement of a Dublin jury. The negotiations between the Liberal Unionists and Liberals at the “Round Table Conference” were said to be producing happy results, and it was soon noised abroad that the Government not only hesitated to demand a Coercion Bill, but that Sir Michael Hicks-Beach was ruling the Irish with a hand so light that they were lapsing into lawlessness. The Times published a series of articles designed to prove that Mr. Parnell and the Irish Home Rule Members were secretly in league with the Party of Assassination. Mutterings of mutiny were heard from the Irish Tories, and at this crisis Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, against whom these complaints were directed, suddenly resigned. This step, however, had been rendered necessary in consequence of his failing eyesight rather than from considerations of a political character. To his post Lord Salisbury appointed his nephew, Mr. Arthur James Balfour, pledged to carry out an unflinching policy of Coercion. Sir George Trevelyan, one of the secessionists from the Liberal Party, about this time showed by his public utterances that he had now returned to Mr. Gladstone’s party.

On the 23rd of March Mr. Smith moved that the Crimes Bill have precedence over all other orders—and then the battle began. It was not till the 28th that Mr. Balfour was able to move for leave to introduce the measure, in a speech which seemed to show either that his case was exceptionally weak, or that he had not been able to master it.[236] The Bill gave magistrates power to inquire into crimes where no person was charged. It gave two resident magistrates summary jurisdiction and power to inflict imprisonment up to six months in cases of criminal conspiracy, boycotting, rioting, assaults on the police, and in cases of inciting to these offences. It gave the Lord-Lieutenant power to “proclaim” certain associations as{736} dangerous, and to subject to the penal clauses of the Bill any one who after that took part in them. The Bill was to be a permanent measure, and not like former Coercion Bills, merely passed for a fixed period of time. Violent scenes occurred during the debates which led up to the Second Reading of the measure on the 28th of April, and the House was in an irritable mood because it had been forced to sacrifice most of its Easter holiday. In spite of the frequent use of the Closure, the first clause, which was scarcely a contentious one, was not carried in Committee till the 17th of May. When the fourth clause was reached, on the 10th of June, Mr. W. H. Smith moved a resolution that if the Bill were not reported at 10 p.m. on the 17th, the remaining clauses should be put to the vote without debate. When that hour struck Sir Charles Russell was speaking on the sixth clause. The Chairman stopped the debate, and put the question, the Irish Members leaving the House in a body. After the division the Liberal Members also left, and the rest of the Bill passed without any more opposition. It was read a third time on the 8th of July, and having been adopted by the Peers, it received the Queen’s assent on the 19th of July. The determination of the Government to carry the Coercion Bill was natural. It had been admitted by all clear thinkers that, unless Home Rule were granted to Ireland, she could only be governed under Coercion. Moreover, the introduction of the Bill before the Liberal Unionists and Liberals had been reconciled, forced the former to vote for Coercion, which rendered the gulf between them and the old Liberal Party practically impassable. But ere the Liberal Unionists thus burned their boats, they had induced the Ministry to bring in a conciliatory Irish Land Bill in the House of Lords. The Peers sent it down to the Commons on the 4th of July, when the Second Reading was moved on the 12th. The Bill adopted Mr. Parnell’s proposal of the previous year, to admit leaseholders to the benefit of the Land Act of 1881; it gave notice of eviction the same effect as the actual service of an ejectment writ, and gave the Courts power to stay execution, and arrange for payment of rent on easy terms when the tenants were in distress. But when insolvent, it provided for them relief from rent and all other debts by a process of bankruptcy, allowing them, however, to retain their farms. Mr. Campbell-Bannerman attacked the bankruptcy clauses, and demanded a revision of all Irish rents in terms of the fall in prices. To a general revision of rents the Government would on no account assent. But the revolt of one of the Liberal Unionists, Mr. T. W. Russell, compelled them to reconsider the bankruptcy clauses. The Tories argued that it was unjust to ask the landlord to accept a composition for rent from the farmer, when the tradesmen to whom he owed money were not expected to abate their claims. Mr. Parnell and Mr. T. W. Russell contended that no analogy could be drawn between rent and trade debts. The latter had never been disputed by the debtor. The former had been disputed. The tenant who owed money to his grocer or seed-merchant never denied that he had got value for it. But he did deny{737} that he had got value for the money his landlord claimed as rent, and he was able to prove this in court when the rent was cut down. To insist, as did Mr. Chamberlain, on relief from just and unjust claims being given with equal ease under a process of gentle bankruptcy, at which the State was asked to connive, was to make an attack on property and on credit from which even the leaders of the Paris Commune might have shrunk. It was tantamount to asserting that whenever a man was able to show that one creditor had overcharged him 30 per cent. he was entitled to refuse payment of his just debts to all creditors who had not overcharged him, unless they too took 30 per cent. off their bills. When this was made clear not even Mr. Chamberlain’s advocacy sufficed to save the bankruptcy clauses, which were accordingly dropped. But by way of conciliating the landlords the Government insisted on applying the vicious principle to arrears of rent. No relief from unjust arrears was to be given unless they were to be dealt with in bankruptcy alongside just and undisputed trade debts. The result was that when the Bill passed it had a fatal defect in it. It prohibited landlords from evicting for unjust rents, but by this clause it left them free to evict for the arrears which had accumulated under rents which the Courts decided to be unjust. On the 19th of August the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland “proclaimed” the National League as a dangerous association, thereby enabling Mr. A. J. Balfour to suppress any branch of it he thought fit under the Crimes Act.

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The Government were now compelled to abandon the bulk of their legislative programme. They, therefore, made no attempt to proceed with any{738} measures unless they were so democratic that the Liberals could not with decency oppose them. Hence they passed a Coal Mines Regulation Bill, an Allotments Bill—disfigured, however, by the obstacles in procedure which it put in the way of labourers who applied for allotments—and a Bill to prevent substitutes for butter known as “Margarine,” from being sold as butter. The success of this measure led to a demand for a similar Bill to prevent publicans from selling poisonous Hamburg spirit as “Fine Old” Cognac, or Scotch or Irish whisky. Baron de Worms, as representative of the Board of Trade, however, though eager to prohibit shopkeepers from selling a wholesome animal fat as butter, was shy of prohibiting the publicans—whose votes were of some value to the Tory Party—from selling poisonous Hamburg alcohol as old brandy. Mr. Goschen’s Budget was introduced on the 21st of April. He described it himself as a “humdrum” Budget—though as a matter of fact, as Lord Randolph Churchill said, if he had proposed it the country would have denounced it as a scheme full of financial depravity. The Estimates had been taken to show a revenue of £89,689,000, and an expenditure of £89,610,000. The actual receipts, however, for the past year had been £90,772,000, and the actual expenditure £88,738,000. In spite of supplementary estimates, amounting to £1,129,000, there was a surplus on the year’s accounts of £776,000. Mr. Goschen’s general statement showed that not only were the taxes yielding less than they ever did, but that, though the rich and the poor had suffered much from commercial and agricultural depression, the profits of the middleman had not been reduced. For the coming year he took the revenue to amount, on the existing lines of taxation, to £91,155,000, and the expenditure he set down at £90,180,000, leaving a surplus of £975,000. To this he added £100,000 by increasing the duty on the transfer of Debenture Stocks, and by minor changes in the Stamp Duty. He then added to it a further sum of £1,704,000, by reducing the charges for the public debt. His surplus was thus inflated to £2,779,000, of which he spent £600,000 in reducing the Tobacco Duty, £1,560,000 in taking a penny off the Income Tax, £280,000 in relieving Local Taxation, £50,000 in aid of Arterial Drainage in Ireland, leaving him a probable surplus of £289,000. To manufacture a surplus by the simple process of ceasing to pay off debt, would certainly not have secured for any other Chancellor of the Exchequer, except Mr. Goschen, the reputation of a financial puritan. Mr. Gladstone and Lord Randolph Churchill demonstrated by unanswerable arguments the unwholesomeness of the financial policy which reduced the payments for the National Debt by cutting down the Income Tax instead of by cutting down departmental expenditure. But Mr. Goschen’s Budget gave everybody a little relief all round, and was accepted quite irrespective of the unsound principles on which it was based. It was, in fact, the first illustration afforded by a Household Suffrage Parliament of the deteriorating influence of democracy on the financial policy of the nation. Parliament was prorogued on the 16th of September.{739}

But public interest in politics faded as the Session grew old. Indeed, from the beginning of the year, the attention of the country was more and more concentrated on the movements of the Queen. It was known that she had nerved herself to emerge from her seclusion, and, in some degree, discard the mourning weeds she had worn so long. The first note of the Jubilee was struck in India, where the great Imperial festival was celebrated on the 16th of February. In presidency towns, inland cities, the capitals of Protected States—even in Mandalay, the capital of the newly-conquered State of Upper Burmah, natives and Europeans vied with each other in acclaiming the event. Announcements of clemency, banquets, plays, the distribution of honours, reviews, illuminations, were not the only methods adopted for celebrating the Jubilee. At Gwalior all arrears of land-tax—amounting to £1,000,000—were remitted. Libraries, colleges, schools, waterworks, hospitals, and dispensaries were opened in honour of the Empress.

“These are Imperial works and worthy thee,”
might well be the comment of the chronicler on such celebrations. All over England preparations were now being made for the great anniversary. In every town meetings were held to decide as to the mode of its observance, and it was curious to notice that everywhere the people desired to localise their rejoicings. Public parks, libraries, town-halls, museums, hospitals—in a word, the foundation of works and institutions of public usefulness in each locality was universally regarded as the best means of honouring the occasion. There was only one Jubilee institution of national grandeur that won public favour—the Imperial Institute. It was originated, as has been noted, by the Prince of Wales, and it was to his energy and skill in appealing for public support that the enormous funds needed for its endowment were now collected. In March the congratulatory addresses began to come in—the Convocation of Canterbury, whose deputation headed by the Primate was received by the Queen at Windsor on the 8th of March, leading the way.

On the 23rd of March Birmingham, in spite of the boisterous weather, was en fête to receive her Majesty who arrived to open the new Law Courts in that town, and few who were present will ever forget the mighty shout of enthusiasm that rose up from the swarming throng, when the Queen’s procession turned into New Street. Never was Royalty more loyally received than in the Radical capital of the Midlands. The Democratic demonstration at Birmingham gave point to the passage in the Laureate’s Jubilee Ode, in which he wrote:—

“Are there thunders moaning in the distance?
Are there spectres moving in the darkness?
Trust the Lord of Light to guide her people,
Till the thunders pass, the spectres vanish,
And the Light is victor, and the darkness
Dawns into the Jubilee of the Ages.”
On the 29th of March her Majesty, accompanied by the Princess Beatrice and Prince Henry of Battenberg, left Windsor for Portsmouth, where they embarked in the Royal yacht for Cannes. On the 5th the Royal party went to Aix-les-Bains, where the Queen occupied her old rooms at the Villa Mottet. Aix was wonderfully free from visitors, and she, therefore, enjoyed almost complete privacy during her stay. By the special sanction of the Pope her Majesty, on the 23rd of April, was allowed to visit the Monastery of the Grande Chartreuse, within whose precincts no woman’s foot is permitted to tread. She returned to Windsor on the 29th of April. On the 4th of May she received at the Castle the representatives of the Colonial Governments, who presented her with addresses congratulating her on having witnessed during her reign her Colonial subjects increase from fewer than 2,000,000 to upwards of 9,000,000 souls, her Indian subjects from 96,000,000 to 254,000,000, and her subjects in minor dependencies from 2,000,000 to 7,000,000. On the 9th her Majesty held a court at Buckingham Palace, at which the Maharajah and Maharanee of Kutch Behar and the Maharajah Sir Pertab Sing were presented to her. On the 10th she held a Drawing Room, and afterwards visited a private performance of the feats of the American cowboys, and Indians, and prairie-hunters at the “Wild West Show” at Earl’s Court. On the 14th she opened the People’s Palace at Whitechapel, an institution which had grown out of a suggestion in Mr. Walter Besant’s romance of “All Sorts and Conditions of Men.” The route of procession from Paddington was seven miles long, and it was thronged with people, who gave the Queen as warm a welcome as she had received in Birmingham. On her return her Majesty visited the Lord Mayor at the Mansion House. This was a remarkable event, for her Majesty had not entered the Municipal Palace since she had visited it with her mother two years before her accession. Her Majesty partook of tea and strawberries with her Civic hosts, with whom she spent fully half-an-hour, charming the company with her affability. On the 20th the Court removed to Balmoral, where the Queen found her mountain retreat covered with snow. On the 17th of June the Court returned to Windsor, and on the 18th her Majesty received at the Castle the Maharajah Holkar of Indore, and several Indian princes and deputations from Native States.

The Jubilee itself was celebrated on the 21st of June. The chief streets of London were given over to carpenters and upholsterers, gasmen, and floral decorators, who transformed them beyond all possibility of recognition. On the night of the 20th the town was swarming with people, who had come out in the hope of seeing some of the illuminations tried. As the day dawned crowds began to stream into the metropolis, and in the forenoon every face wore a festal aspect. Fabulous prices had been paid for seats along the line of procession, and those who had secured places were in possession of them early in the morning. Everybody was in good humour, and the police were{741} exceptionally amiable. At the point of departure—Buckingham Palace—there were no decorations, but the presence of the Guards and of the seamen of the Fleet, who were on duty within the gates, gave animation to the scene. As eleven o’clock—the hour of starting—approached, a strange silence seemed to fall over the noisy, gossiping crowd, as if men and women felt awed and touched at the sight of their aged Sovereign proceeding in State from her Palace to the old Abbey to thank God for permitting her to see the fiftieth year of her reign. Only thrice in the history of England had a Jubilee been celebrated, and in none of these cases was there, as now, ground for unalloyed joy. But for the founding of our Parliamentary System, none would care to recall the distracted reign of Henry III. That of Edward III., glorious as it was at its beginning, was clouded with disaster at its end. That of George III. cost the dynasty, not a Crown, but a continent. On the Jubilee Day of Queen Victoria there was, however, no room for any feeling save that of gratitude and pride that, under her gentle sway, the English people had gained and not lost dominion upon earth. It was not till the head of the procession moved along, and the Royal carriages came in sight, that the pent-up feeling of the dense masses of spectators found utterance in volley after volley of cheers. The Queen’s face was tremulous with emotion, and yet there was triumph as well as grateful courtesy in her bearing as she bowed her acknowledgments to her subjects. Beside her were the Princess of Wales and the German Crown Princess, the latter beaming with happiness and delight to find that her countrymen still held her dear. The loyal tumult all along the line literally drowned the blare of bands and trumpets.

The first part of the procession consisted of carriages in which were seated the sumptuously apparelled Indian Princes, in robes of cloth of gold, and with turbans blazing with diamonds and precious gems, who had come from the far East to celebrate the Jubilee of their Empress. Following them came carriages with the Duchess of Teck, the Persian and Siamese guests of the Queen, the Queen of Hawaii, the Kings of Saxony, Belgium, and Greece, and the Austrian Crown Prince. Life Guards followed, and behind them came two mounted lacqueys of the Court. To them succeeded escorts of Hussars and Life Guards, followed by outriders in scarlet. In the first part of the procession were eleven carriages. Of these, five conveyed the Ladies-in-Waiting and the Great Officers of the Household. The sixth conveyed the Princess Victoria of Sleswig-Holstein, Princess Margaret of Prussia, and Prince Alfred of Edinburgh. In the seventh were seated the Princesses Victoria and Sophie of Prussia, Princess Louis of Battenberg, and Princess Irene of Hesse. The eighth conveyed the Princesses Maud, Victoria, and Louise of Wales. In the ninth were the Duchess of Connaught and the Duchess of Albany. In the tenth were the Duchess of Edinburgh, Princess Beatrice, Princess Louise, and Princess Christian. Between the eleventh carriage and the Queen’s rode the brilliant procession of{742} Princes, whose appearance all along the route gave the signal for an outbreak of cheering. In the first rank rode the Queen’s grandsons—Prince Albert Victor and Prince William of Prussia being among the most conspicuous. Following them came the Queen’s sons-in-law, the German Crown Prince, Prince Christian, the Grand Duke of Hesse, and Prince Henry of Battenberg. The Marquis of Lorne had started with the procession, but his horse took fright and threw him, about 300 yards from the Palace, whereupon he returned on foot, and, borrowing a charger from an Artillery officer, rode by himself to the Abbey by Birdcage Walk. Of this group, the central figure was that of the German Crown Prince, whose white uniform and plumed silver helmet attracted general admiration. Covered with medals and decorations, most of which he had won by his prowess in battle, he sat his charger as proudly as a mediæval knight, in whom the spirit of old-world German chivalry lived again. His fair, frank face became radiant with delight, when he found that peal after peal of applause greeted him whenever he appeared. Partly owing to his picturesque figure, partly to his manly and heroic character, and partly, no doubt, to honest sympathy with his sufferings under the disease that had suddenly smitten him in the very prime of life, the German Crown Prince received an ovation more effusive even than that bestowed on the ever-popular Prince of Wales, and almost equal to that which greeted the Queen herself. After her sons-in-law came her sons, the Duke of Connaught, the Prince of Wales, and the Duke of Edinburgh. They, too, were hailed with cheering that was prolonged, and that deepened in volume till her Majesty’s carriage passed. A gorgeous cavalcade of Indians brought the splendid procession to a close. Along the route, from the Palace up Constitution Hill, round Hyde Park Corner, on through Piccadilly, down Waterloo Place, past Trafalgar Square, along Whitehall to Westminster Abbey, every house was glowing with many-tinted draperies, with bunting, and with floral decorations, and every balcony and window were crowded with bright and happy faces framed in festoons of roses and laurel.

The scene in the Abbey was impressive. Municipal dignitaries, representatives of the Universities, civic functionaries of the higher order, representatives of the Church and the Law, Lords-Lieutenant and their deputies, High Sheriffs, Officers of the Auxiliary Forces, Diplomatists, Ministers of State in Windsor uniforms, Officers of the Household, Foreign Princes and Potentates, and their suites—in fact every invited guest privileged to wear robe or uniform, contributed to the mass of varied colour that, after a time, almost tired the eye. Among the earliest arrivals were the Princess Feodore of Saxe-Meiningen, the Prince Albert, and the Princess Louise of Sleswig-Holstein, the Princess Alice of Hesse, the Princesses Mary, Victoria, and Alexandra of Edinburgh, the Princess Frederica, Baroness Pawel von Rammingen, Baron Pawel von Rammingen, Prince and Princess Edward of Saxe-Weimar, the Prince and Princess of Leiningen, Prince and Princess{743} Victor of Hohenlohe, with the Countesses Feodora and Victoria Gleichen, and Count Edward Gleichen. Then entered the swarthy Chiefs and Princes of India, among whom the stately and resplendent Holkar was very prominent. The Queen of Hawaii followed, and after her came the Princess Victoria of Teck, and the Princes Adolphus, Francis, and Alexander of Teck, Prince Frederick of Anhalt, Prince Ernest of Saxe-Meiningen, the Duke and Duchess of Teck, the Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenberg, Prince Ludwig of Baden, Prince Philip of Saxe-Coburg, the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar, the Hereditary Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, G.C.B., Prince Ludwig of Bavaria, the Duke of Saxe Coburg-Gotha, the Infante Don Antonio of Spain, the Infanta Donna Eulalia of Spain, the Duc d’Aosta, the Crown Prince of Sweden, the Crown Prince and Princess of Portugal, the Austrian Crown Prince, the Grand Duke and Duchess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the King of Saxony, the King and Queen of the Belgians, Prince George of Greece, the Crown Prince of Greece, the King of Greece, and the King of Denmark.

Half-an-hour after the appointed time the silver trumpets announced the coming of the Queen’s procession, headed by the six minor and the six residentiary canons of Westminster, the Bishop of London, Archbishop of York, the Dean of Westminster,[237] the Primate, all attired in sumptuous canonicals. They were followed by heralds and other functionaries, who were followed by the members of the Royal procession walking in ranks of three, in the inverse order of precedence always enforced at Royal ceremonials. These were—

The Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Meiningen. Prince Christian Victor of Sleswig-Holstein. Prince Louis of Battenberg.
Prince Henry of Prussia. Prince George of Wales. The Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse.
The Grand Duke Serge of Russia. Prince Albert Victor of Wales. Prince William of Prussia.
Prince Henry of Battenberg. The Marquis of Lorne.
Prince Christian of Sleswig-Holstein. The German Crown Prince. The Grand Duke of Hesse.
The Duke of Connaught. The Prince of Wales. The Duke of Edinburgh.
The Queen, clad in black, but with a bonnet of white Spanish lace glittering with diamonds, and wearing the Orders of the Garter and Star of India, entered, escorted by the Lord Chamberlain, as the organ pealed forth the strains of the march from Handel’s “Occasional Oratorio.” The solemnity of the spectacle, and the reflection that the Queen-Empress is about to give thanks to God for the crowning triumph of her life, surrounded by the ashes of her predecessors, repress all manifestations of feeling. Reverently does her Majesty take her place on the Royal daïs, and, when the Princes and{744} Princesses in her train arrange themselves, the picture is one of imposing magnificence. Surrounding this shining group of Princes a vast throng, representing the genius, the rank, the wealth, and the chivalry of Britain, filled every nook of the sacred fane in which the Queen celebrated her golden wedding with her people. Towering high above all his peers the Imperial form of the German Crown Prince, clad in the white uniform of the Cuirassiers, stood forth as the most majestic figure in that magnificent pageant.

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(From a Photograph by Reichard and Lindner, Berlin.)

The Thanksgiving Service was brief and simple. The Primate and the Dean of Westminster officiated, and the music was largely selected from the compositions of the Prince Consort. Prayers and responses invoking a blessing on the Queen were intoned. The Prince Consort’s Te Deum was given. Three special prayers were offered up by the Archbishop of Canterbury,{745}

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(From a Photograph by Reichard and Lindner, Berlin.)

after which the people’s prayer—Exaudiat te Dominus—was intoned. The lesson (1 Pet. ii. 6-18) was next read by the Dean, and Dr. Bridge’s Jubilee anthem, “Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted in thee to set thee on the throne to be king for the Lord thy God,” a piece in which the theme of the National Anthem is suggested, was sung. Two simple prayers were then offered up, and the ceremony, impressive from the grandeur of the surroundings, and yet thrilling and pathetic by reason of its devotional earnestness and simplicity, ended with the Benediction. Here the Queen, who was several times overcome with emotion, is seen by the spectators to make a movement as if she would rise from her seat on the sacred Coronation Stone of Scone and kneel on the prie-dieu in front of her. But she cannot reach so far, and she sinks back into her place, veiling her bowed face{746} with her hands. She then glances round, and her eyes fill with tears when they rest on her sons and her daughters, and her sons-in-law and their children. The pent-up feeling of that dazzling group of Princes and Princesses can no longer be restrained, and the solemn pageant of State suddenly assumes the aspect of a family festival. The Prince of Wales bends forward and kisses the Queen’s hand, but her Majesty raises his face and salutes him affectionately on the cheek. The German Crown Prince pays his homage with chivalrous grace and stately courtesy, and the Grand Duke of Hesse follows him. But the emotion of the moment is too strong for Court ceremonial. The Queen with an impulsive gesture discards the Lord Chamberlain’s etiquette, and embraces the Princes and Princesses of her house with honest and unreserved motherly affection. Then she turns to the German Crown Prince with a loving smile, and as he comes forward she kisses him warmly on the cheek. The Grand Duke of Hesse is also saluted, and her Majesty, making a profound bow to her Foreign guests, which they return, quits the scene as the “March of the Priests” in Athalie peals forth from the organ. The procession was now formed again, and as the Sovereign returned to Buckingham Palace, it was noticed that the reception which was given to her was even more enthusiastic than that which greeted her on her way to the Abbey. It is, perhaps, only once in a generation that it falls to the lot of a monarch to be hailed in the streets of her capital with such passionate demonstrations of loyalty, and the Queen seemed to be filled with the emotion of the hour.

The rest of the day was kept as a public holiday by the people, and when the shades of night fell on the metropolis its streets were ablaze with light. The art of the illuminator was indeed exhausted in providing novel and varied designs, and gas jets and electric lamps, arranged so as to display every conceivable device expressive of loyalty, turned night into day. Nor were gas and electricity the only agents employed to give splendour to the festivity of the evening. In many places festoons of Chinese lanterns shed their soft and mellow radiance over a scene not unworthy of fairyland. The Queen, who had borne the fatigue and excitement of the Thanksgiving pageant wonderfully well, rested a little while after her return to Buckingham Palace, and there, as a special compliment to the “Senior Service,” she came out and held a review of the 500 seamen of the Fleet who had formed her guard of honour at the Palace doors. In the evening she gave a grand banquet, at which sixty-four royal personages were present.

All over England and in the North of Ireland the Jubilee was also celebrated as enthusiastically as in London. The illumination of the city of Edinburgh was said to be even more effective as a brilliant spectacle than that presented by the metropolis. It was only in Cork and Dublin that riotous demonstrations of disloyalty took place. Eight peerages, thirteen baronetcies, and thirty-three knighthoods were conferred in honour of the{747} event. A Royal amnesty to deserters from the army was also proclaimed. In the Colonies the day was celebrated even more joyously than in England. In foreign lands the British residents also held Jubilee festivals. But in the United States the citizens of the Republic freely joined the British residents, honouring the occasion as if it were one of as much interest to them as to their kith and kin in the old home of their race. The most glowing of all the Jubilee orations was in fact spoken by Mr. Hewitt, Mayor of New York, at the grand Thanksgiving Festival in the Opera House of that city, in the course of which he elicited the passionate enthusiasm of his countrymen by recalling the events of the Civil War. “In the hour of our trial,” he exclaimed, “when the flag under whose broad folds I was born was trailing in the dust, it was my fortune to journey to another land on matters of great moment. There I learnt—and I know whereof I speak—that we owed to the Queen of England the non-intervention policy which characterised the Great Powers of the world during our struggle for life and death. I had no purpose to open my lips here, but when you call on me for a testimony to her who was our friend, as she is your Queen, my lips ought to be palsied if I were such a coward as not to give it.” A speech so simple and unexpected, received as it was by a spontaneous outburst of enthusiasm from the American citizens in the audience, it need hardly be said produced a profound sensation.

But of all the Jubilee celebrations perhaps the most charming and novel was one which was held in Hyde Park. A few weeks before Jubilee Day it occurred to a kindly and generous gentleman, Mr. Edward Lawson, well known in society as the editor of the Daily Telegraph, that there was a fatal omission in the Jubilee programme. Elaborate arrangements had been made to interest all classes in the festival save one—the school-children of London—the boys and girls who must form the men and women of the next generation. Mr. Lawson contended that this defect should be remedied, and the whole town was immediately taken with his idea. Everybody wondered that nobody had put forward the suggestion before, and Mr. Lawson soon found himself honorary treasurer of the Children’s Jubilee Fund, to which he himself was one of the most prominent subscribers. Foolish efforts were made to check the movement, and people were warned that it was impossible to entertain 30,000 children in Hyde Park, as Mr. Lawson proposed, without accidents to life and limb. It was, however, in vain that he was denounced as the organiser of a juvenile Juggernaut. The fund was raised with ease, and Mr. Lawson, by skilful organisation, not only got 27,000 children into Hyde Park from all parts of London on the 22nd of June, but sent them back unhurt and happy to their homes. Great ladies of fashion helped him to carry out his arrangements. The little ones were entertained with the sports and shows dear to boys and girls of their age, and the Queen not only came out and greeted them in person, but she{748} was received with a delight that touched her profoundly. The Princes and Princesses and many of the foreign visitors also witnessed this strange but interesting incident in the Jubilee celebrations.[238]

On the 24th of June, an evening party was given at Buckingham Palace, which was attended by nearly all the members of the Queen’s family, by the foreign sovereigns and Princes then in London, and by a gay throng of distinguished persons. On the 25th of June, a singularly beautiful and touching letter, evidently straight from the Queen’s own pen, to the Home Secretary, thanking the nation for their display of loyalty and love, appeared in the London Gazette. In this communication it almost seems as if the Queen laid her heart open to the people with a frank and simple confidence rare in the relations that subsist between sovereigns and their subjects. On the 27th her Majesty received at Windsor Castle congratulatory deputations from municipalities, friendly societies, professional associations, and public bodies, representing almost every phase of English life, and thought, and enterprise. Her Garden Party at Buckingham Palace on the following Wednesday was a brilliant reunion at which were present several thousands of guests. On the 2nd of July the Queen from Buckingham Palace reviewed 28,000 Metropolitan Volunteers, and military men were amazed at the skill with which the troops were handled by their officers in the narrow and confined space. It was, however, unfortunate that at this review a slight was cast on the Royal Navy. As is natural in a seafaring nation, the naval forces of the Crown always take precedence of the land forces. Hence, the phrase “Senior Service” used to distinguish the Navy from the Army. But at this review the claim of the Royal Naval Volunteers for precedence over the grotesque and motley body known as the Honourable Artillery Company of London, a force which belongs neither to the Army, the Militia, nor the Volunteers, and which has been permitted even to repudiate the authority of the War Office, was disallowed.

On the 4th of July the crowning event of the Jubilee Festival occurred. On that day the Queen laid the foundation stone of the Imperial Institute in the Albert Hall. Noting the growing Imperialism which the Jubilee evoked, the Prince of Wales determined to fix it by embodying it in some permanent institution. In spite of distracted counsels, inter-Colonial jealousy, and much anti-monarchical opposition, the necessary funds for the purpose were raised, but it was universally admitted that had not the Prince toiled without ceasing the scheme must have collapsed. The Institute was and is meant to stand as an outward and visible sign of the essential unity of the British{749}

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Empire. It was to be a rallying-point for all Colonial movements, a centre of instruction for those who desire information as to Colonial trade and Colonial resources. In a word, what the Queen “inaugurated” on the 4th of July, at Kensington, as the culminating function of her Jubilee, was a vast and ubiquitous Intelligence Department for her far-stretching dominions. The decoration of the building in which the ceremony took place was chiefly floral, and, indeed, the scene suggested sylvan freshness and beauty. Eleven thousand people were seated in the chief pavilion.

When the Queen entered, preceded by the officers of her household and escorted by her family, she took her seat on the draped daïs, and found herself again surrounded by a majestic throng of Kings and Princes. The Prince of Wales read aloud to her Majesty the Address of the organising Committee of the Institute, describing its aims and its prospects. The ode, written for the occasion by Mr. Lewis Morris,[239] and set to music by Sir Arthur Sullivan, was performed by the Albert Hall Choral Society, aided by a full orchestra. After it was finished, the Queen, assisted by the Prince of Wales and the architect, Mr. Colcutt, laid the first solid block of the building—a piece of granite three tons in weight. Prayers, read by the Primate, followed, after which the Commissioners of the Exhibition of 1851 presented an Address, congratulating the Queen on the celebration of her Jubilee. Her Majesty then, leaning on the arm of the Prince of Wales, left the hall, while the band struck up “Rule Britannia.” The ceremonial differed from that which took place in the Abbey in one respect. The Thanksgiving Service threw the minds of Sovereign and subject back on the past, with all its trials and all its triumphs. But the function in the Royal Albert Hall invited speculation as to the future, and as to the part which the Monarchy must inevitably play in the evolution of the English-speaking race, and the development of their spreading dominion over strange lands and under strange stars. The Institute typified the inheritance of Empire which Englishmen had won during the reign by their toil and their enterprise. As Mr. Morris sang,

“To-day we would make free
The millions of their glorious heritage.
Here, Labour crowds in hopeless misery;
There, is unbounded work and ready wage.
The salt breeze calling, stirs our Northern blood,
Lead we the toilers to their certain goal;
Guide we their feet to where
Is spread, for those who dare,
A happier Britain ’neath an ampler air.
* * * * * *
First Lady of our British Race,
’Tis well that with thy peaceful Jubilee
This glorious dream begins to be.”
With this great function of State the record of the Queen’s career through half a century, and of the public affairs which her life influenced and which influenced it, may close for the present. A retrospective glance over that record suggests curious reflections.

Only seventeen years elapsed between the death of George III. and the accession of the Queen to the sovereignty of a people who had let a virgin continent slip from their grasp, and who were not only exhausted by wars, but whose wars had also exhausted the nations that trafficked with them. England had then but one hope of recovery. It was to bind the forces of Nature to the tarrying chariot-wheels of her Industry. To this end she bent the energies of her highest intellect and genius. For this reason, perhaps, the Victorian period, in which the Queen, stands out as the central figure, represents the triumph of the applied Sciences, rather than the apotheosis of the Arts and the Humanities. “The true founders of modern England,” says Mr. Spencer Walpole, “are its inventors and engineers.”[240] The mighty power which the British Empire now represents has therefore been built up under the Queen’s sceptre, not on the red fields of war, but in the laboratory, the workshop, and the mine. Three facts alone will serve to give the distinctive character of the Victorian age. When the Queen was crowned railway travelling was almost unknown; steam navigation had hardly emerged from the region of experiment; the telegraph was but a toy of the physicists. As we reflect on what the railway, the steamship, and the telegraph have done for England, we can measure the extent and discern the nature of the peaceful revolution in affairs over which the Queen has presided. The national resolve arrived at after the death of George IV. to recover the power and wealth which seemed to have vanished during the last years of his reign, and to recover it by gaining fresh dominion over the forces of Nature, naturally shaped the whole course of public policy. If England was to be resuscitated in the laboratory, the workshop, and the mine, the Sciences, rather than the Arts and Humanities, must be fostered. Capital must be set free. The dignity of Labour must be recognised. Commerce must be unshackled, and perfect freedom, combined with unbroken order, established in the land. The swift decay of privilege that marks the course of political reform during the last half century, the spread of popular education, the wide distribution of political power, the wise revision of the penal laws, the humane legislation designed to better and brighten the lot of Toil, the subjection of authority to opinion, the subjugation of Art to Industry, the absorption of literature by the Press, are but natural results of a struggle on the part of a masculine race to build up its power on the achievements of the inventor, the experimentalist, and the pioneer.

Nor can the harvest of its toil be deemed altogether unsatisfactory. The{752} poor we have still with us, but their condition has been vastly improved since the reign of William IV. Save in one respect, that of house rent in large towns, the necessaries of life have been cheapened, while the purchasing capacity of the people has been increased. As for the upper and middle classes, their wealth in comparison with their numbers has been multiplied twofold since the Queen ascended the throne.

So far as the public life of the Queen has affected her House, these pages prove that it has done so in one way. At her Accession the Crown had almost entirely lost its authority as a governing order in the State. At her Jubilee the Crown held a position of authority higher than any to which it has attained since the time of William of Orange. According to Mr. Gladstone, the success of the Queen’s dynastic policy has been due to her determination to acquire influence rather than power for the Monarchy. Imperium facile iis artibus retinetur, quibus initio partum est. But if the Roman historian be right in holding that power can be most surely kept by the means whereby it has been acquired, he who runs may read the lesson of the Queen’s life. Its record, showing how her influence has been won, must also show those who will some day take her place, how alone it can be retained and strengthened.{753}

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, Y, Z

Abdul Aziz, Sultan of Turkey, Visit of, to England, II. 293;
received at Windsor Castle, ib.;
entertainments in his honour, 294;
made Knight of the Garter, ib.

Aberdeen, Lord (Fourth Earl), appointed Foreign Secretary, I. 97;
his ready confidence in foreign powers, 199;
his opinion of Free Trade, 208, 209;
his adroit diplomacy with the United States, 231;
the high esteem in which he was held by the Queen, 238;
his attack on the foreign policy of the Russell Government, 394;
his wish to drive Palmerston from office, 395;
appointed Premier, 518;
his sympathy with Russia, 546;
three mistakes on the part of his Cabinet, 551;
his desire for peace before the Crimean War, 555;
confidence of the Queen in his policy, 563;
speech on the Prince Consort’s position, 576;
accusations against his Russian policy, 600, 617, 638;
letter from the Queen regarding his Russian policy, 601;
Prince Albert’s opinion of his war policy, 620;
defeat of his Ministry, 627;
his efforts to improve the condition of the army, 631;
his death, II. 72;
his character, ib.

Aberdeen, Lord (Seventh Earl), appointed Viceroy of Ireland, II. 727

Aberdeen, inauguration of a statue to the Prince Consort by the Queen, II. 182;
statue of the Queen unveiled by the Prince of Wales, 266;
opening of water-works by the Queen, 267

Abergeldie, The bridge over the Dee at, II. 720

Abu Hamed, Gordon at, II. 711;
the River Column at, 717

Abu Klea, Battle of, II. 713

Abu Kru, Battle of, II. 714

Abyssinia, the English expedition against King Theodore, II. 300, 312;
envoys to the Queen, II. 695;
the Treaty of Adowah, ib.

“Acres and a Cow, Three,” II. 726

Act, Bank Charter, its favourable effect, I. 182

Act, Corporation, Repeal of the, I. 23

Act, Test, The repeal of the, I. 23

Acts, Criminal Law Consolidation, The, I. 28

Adam, The Right Hon. W. P., appointed First Commissioner of Works, II. 594

Adelaide, Queen, her ball to the Princess Victoria, I. 14

Aden, its occupation by the British, I. 52;
the appearance of the town, ib.

Admiralty, The construction of ironclad ships for the British navy proposed by, II. 126;
reduction of its expenditure, 441;
issue of the Fugitive Slave Circular, 489;
violent popular agitation against, 704;
errors in the accounts of, 710

Adowah, Treaty of, II. 695

Adullamites, The, II. 256

Affirmation Bill brought in by the Attorney-General, II. 658;
efforts of the Tories to prevent it from coming into force, ib.;
defeated by a majority of three, ib.

Afghanistan, war declared by England on Shere Ali, II. 555;
Lord Lytton’s disagreement with Shere Ali, 556;
success of the British invasion, 567;
the murder of Sir Louis Cavagnari, 573;
unpopularity of Lord Lytton’s policy, 574;
capture of Cabul by General Roberts, ib.;
the affairs of the country in 1880, 598;
Mr. Gladstone’s policy, 599;
defeat of General Burrows, ib.;
splendid generalship of Sir Frederick Roberts, ib.;
rescue of Candahar, ib.;
Lord Beaconsfield’s policy impossible, 610;
dispute in Parliament as to the occupation of Candahar, 615;
controversy between England and Russia about the frontier of, 719

Africa, South, outbreak of the Caffre War, I. 254;
attack on the policy of the English Government in, II. 662;
contention between Liberals and Conservatives regarding, ib.

Agricultural Holdings Bill, the strong opposition to, II. 659;
its terms, ib.;
Mr. A. J. Balfour’s amendment, ib.;
Mr. Clare Sewell Read’s remark on, ib.;
Mr. Balfour’s amendment struck out on the Report, ib.;
attempt of the House of Lords to mutilate the Bill, ib.;
the amendments of the House of Lords rejected by the Commons, ib.;
the measure passed, ib.;
Lord Salisbury’s failure to hold his party firm to the policy of resistance, ib.

Aix-les-Bains, The Queen’s visit to, II. 719, 740

Akbar Khan, Treachery of, I. 118;
defeated, 121

Alabama Claims, The, II. 342;
settled by arbitration, 390;
discussion on the matter in the House of Commons, 421;
the story of the controversy, 422;
the award of the arbitrators, ib.;
Lord Chief Justice Cockburn’s opinion, 423

Albany, Duke of, the title conferred on Prince Leopold, II. 626;
a title of evil omen, ib.;
see also Leopold, Prince

Albert, Prince, his birth and parentage, I. 60;
his admirable disposition, ib.;
his visit to England, ib.;
his studies at Bonn, 61;
his suit accepted by the Queen, 62;
letters patent regarding his precedence, 66;
rumours as to his religious views, ib.;
letter to the Queen in regard to his Protestantism, ib.;
his arrival in England, 68;
his enthusiastic reception, ib.;
his marriage, ib.;
his trying position, 71;
his desire to abolish duelling, 72;
collision with Court functionaries, ib.;
his reforms in household economy, 74;
domestic life, 75;
appointed Regent, 83;
his study of English law, ib.;
a letter to his father, 91;
a royal tour, 94;
Lord Melbourne’s opinion of him, 103;
a remark of the Queen on his kindness, ib.;
his generous reception of Sir Robert Peel, ib.;
appointed Chairman of a Royal Commission on the Fine Arts, 104, 105;
his accurate knowledge of English, 105;
his first public speech, ib.;
lays the foundation stone of the London Association, ib.;
present at a ball in Buckingham Palace, 107;
visit to Scotland, 126;
his interest in English politics, 127;
the proposal to appoint him Commander-in-Chief, 128;
his irreproachable life, ib.;
his opinion of Sir Robert Peel, 140;
acting as representative of the Queen, 141;
his interest in Fine Art, 142;
receives the degree of D.C.L. from Oxford, 146;
visits Birmingham, 147;
distinction in the hunting-field, ib.;
his interest in agriculture, 148;
the model works in Windsor Park, ib.;
death of his father, 158;
visit to Germany, 159;
title of Consort proposed, 185;
visit to the Continent, 194;
attacked by Lord George Bentinck in the Corn Law debate, 226;
proposed assessment of Flemish Farm, 260;
visits the Isle of Wight, 261;
opens the Albert Dock at Liverpool, 262;
nominated Chancellor of Cambridge University, 307;
agrees to take office as Chancellor of Cambridge, 310;
his arguments for an Anglo-German alliance, 322;
appointed President of the society for the improvement of the working classes, 358;
impressive speech to the working classes, 359, 360;
his revised course of studies carried at Cambridge, 369;
speech to the Royal Dublin Society, 409;
his idea of the International Exhibition, 417;
speech on the International Exhibition, 450;
attacked by the press, 454;
his energy at the International Exhibition, 480;
anxieties in regard to the Exhibition, 520;
accusations against him as sympathising with Russia, 617;
visit to France, 621;
his plan for an Army Reserve at Malta, 623;
his opinion of Austrian policy, ib.;
efforts to improve the condition of the army, 631;
speech on the Russian War, 639;
present at a Council of War at Windsor, 651;
attacked by the Times for military jobbery, 667;
his scheme for a new military organisation, 694;
opens the Art Treasures Exhibition at Manchester, 739;
receives the title of Prince Consort by letters patent, 743;
his advice to the King of Prussia regarding German unity, II. 90;
his last illness, 92-96;
the widespread grief of the British people at his death, 98;
his character, 104-107;
his funeral, 107-110;
the interment at Frogmore, 146;
his memorandum regarding Turkey, 531

Albert Hall, Royal, laying the foundation stone of, II. 291;
opened by the Queen, 409

Albert Memorial, Scottish National, at Edinburgh, unveiled by the Queen, II. 503

Albert Victor, Prince of Wales, receives the Order of the Garter, II. 667;
the investiture a private function, ib.;
a proof of the high favour in which he was held by the Queen, ib.;
coming of age of, 719

{754}Alberto Azzo, his union with the House of Guelph, I. 4

Aldershot, Visit of the Queen to, II. 265

Alexander II. of Russia declared Emperor, I. 633;
his death, II. 623;
his humane character, ib.;
the liberation of the serfs accomplished by him, ib.;
his devotion to the highest interests of Russia, ib.;
his judicious management of the war with Turkey, 623-4

Alexandra, Princess of Denmark, her entry into London, II. 152;
her marriage to the Prince of Wales, 158

Alexandria, English and French fleets despatched to, II. 642;
riot in the city, ib.;
the British Consul injured, ib.;
French and English subjects slain, ib.;
a stampede of the foreign population, ib.;
Arabi Pasha strengthens the fortifications, ib.;
the forts bombarded by the British fleet, ib.;
the city seized by a fanatical mob, ib.

Alfred, Prince, his birth, I. 167;
his sponsors at christening, 171;
his successful preparation for the navy, II. 23;
his visit to Cape Town, 69;
attempted assassination by O’Farrel, 316;
his betrothal to the Duchess Marie of Russia, 451;
his marriage, 453

Alice, Princess, Marriage of, to Prince Louis of Hesse, II. 141-2;
her sedulous consolation to her mother, 143;
recipient of the Queen’s confidences, 228;
her death, 509;
the esteem in which she was held by the English people, 560;
her life in Germany, 561

Alliance, The new Holy, between Austria, Russia, and Prussia, II. 59

Allotments Bill passed, II. 738

Alma, The battle of the, I. 607

Alula Ras, leader of the Abyssinians, II. 718

America, the discovery of gold in California, I. 535

Amos, Mr., appointed the Queen’s tutor in Constitutional Government, I. 14

Angra Pequena annexed by Germany, II. 684

Arabi Pasha, the disagreement between the partners in the Dual Control as to the course that should be adopted towards him, II. 641;
he becomes the real Minister of War, ib.;
loaded with decorations, 642;
the rank and title of Pasha conferred upon him, ib.;
virtually Dictator of Egypt, ib.;
his policy of “Egypt for the Egyptians,” ib.;
French and English consuls advise his expulsion, ib.;
he resigns, ib.;
a second time Minister of War, ib.;
ostentatiously strengthens the forts of Alexandria, ib.;
takes up a position at Tel-el-Kebir after the bombardment of the Alexandrian forts, ib.;
English expedition sent against him, ib.;
defeated by General Wolseley at Kassassin, ib.;
the battle of Tel-el-Kebir, ib.;
to the British troops at Cairo, ib.;
saved from capital punishment by the English Government, ib.;
exiled to Ceylon, ib.

Argyle, Duke of, appointed Lord Privy Seal, I. 519;
his success at the India Office, II. 343;
appointed Lord Privy Seal, 594;
resignation on Mr. Gladstone’s Irish Land Bill, 616

Ascot Race Week, The Queen and, II. 721

Ashanti, Outbreak of war in, II. 461;
capture of Coomassie by Sir Garnet Wolseley, ib.

Ashbourne’s, Lord, Land Bill, II. 710

Ashley, Lord, see Shaftesbury

Ashley, Mr. Evelyn, his Life of Lord Palmerston, I. 395

Auckland, Lord, his negotiations with Dost Mahomed in Afghanistan, I. 112;
his unfortunate policy, ib.;
declares war against Dost Mahomed, 114;
created an Earl, ib.;
reversal of his policy in Afghanistan, 122

Australia, discussion in Parliament, as to its legislative constitution, I. 439;
the discovery of gold, 496;
the rush to the gold-fields, 535;
effect of the gold discovery on the colony, 538;
results of the gold discovery in England, ib.;
excitement on account of German annexation of New Guinea, II. 686

Australian Contingent, The, in the Soudan campaign, II. 717

Austria, Absorption by, of the Republic of Cracow, I. 259;
triumph over Italy, 422;
overthrow of Hungarian independence, 423;
General Haynau’s unpopularity in England, 457;
Lord Palmerston’s note on the Haynau incident, 457;
policy during the dispute between Russia and Turkey, 551, 553, 582, 623;
signature of the Protocol, 584;
makes terms with Prussia, 585;
treaty with Turkey, 586;
refuses to join with England against Russia, 639;
concessions made to Lord Cowley regarding Italy, II. 34;
declaration of war against Sardinia, 35;
defeated in the Italian War, 38;
proposal by the Emperor regarding Venetia, 56;
difficulties with Hungary, 79;
the war with Prussia, 280;
expelled from German unity, 281;
policy during the Russo-Turkish War, 530;
rumour as to its opposition to Mr. Gladstone, 596;
Mr. Gladstone’s reply to Austrian criticism, ib.;
political capital made out of Mr. Gladstone’s explanatory letter to Count Karolyi, 597


Baden, the institution of a Free Press, of a National Guard, and of Trial by Jury, I. 346

Baillie, Mr., his motion regarding Ceylon and Guiana, I. 382

Baines, Mr., his proposal regarding the vote for the boroughs, II. 214

Baker Pasha put in command of the Egyptian native police, II. 643;
defeated by the Mahdi at Tokar, 672

Balaclava, The Battle of, I. 611-613;
Campbell’s “thin red line,” 612;
charge of the Heavy Brigade, 613;
charge of the Light Brigade, 614

Balfour, Mr. A. J., one of the founders of the Fourth Party, II. 594;
his obstructionist tactics, 601;
becomes President of the Local Government Board, 708;
appointed Chief Secretary for Ireland, 735;
his Coercion Bill and its chief provisions, 735-6

Ballot Bill, Discussion in Parliament as to the conditions of the, II. 395;
passing of the Ballot Act, 423

Balmoral described by the Queen, I. 366;
visited by the Queen, 412, 458, 459, 487, 622, 660, 696; II. 293, 431, 606, 627, 666, 667;
Greville’s description of the Queen’s life at, 415

Balmoral, Countess of, the Queen’s assumed title during her visit to Italy, II. 580

Bank Charter Act, its favourable effect, I. 182

Bankruptcy Bill, The, carried in Parliament, II. 86;
real progress made with it, 658;
its main object to provide for an independent examination into all circumstances of insolvency by officials of the Board of Trade, ib.;
read a second time, ib.;
referred to the Grand Committee on Trade, ib.;
passed by the House of Lords without cavil, ib.;
Mr. Chamberlain’s ability and tact in conducting it, ib.

Bankruptcy Clauses of the Irish Land Bill, II. 736

Bannerman, Mr. Campbell-, attacks the Bankruptcy Clauses of the Irish Land Bill, II. 736

Baring, Mr., his budget, I. 90;
proposed alterations on the Sugar Duties, ib.

Battenberg, Prince Henry of, II. 718;
made Knight of the Garter, 722;
assumes title of His Royal Highness, ib.;
question of the legality of this assumption, ib.

Bavuda Desert, The march across the, II. 713

Beaconsfield, Lord, see Disraeli, Mr.

Beales, Mr., his leadership of the Reform League, II. 270

Bean, his attempt on the Queen’s life, I. 110

Beatrice, Princess, Betrothal of, II. 718;
unpopularity of her marriage, ib.;
annuity to her on her marriage, 720;
marriage of, 722;
welcome in the Highlands after her marriage, 723

Beer Duty instituted by Mr. Gladstone, II. 601

Belfast visited by the Queen and the Prince Consort, I. 410

Belgium, proposed visit of the Queen, I. 126

Belt, Mr., sculptor of the Queen’s monument to Lord Beaconsfield in Hughenden Church, II. 643

Beniowski, Major, his leadership of the Chartist rising in Wales, I. 329

Benson, Dr., Archbishop of Canterbury, nominated by Archbishop Tait as his successor, II. 650

Bentham, Jeremy, his exposure of the needless severity of the Criminal Code, I. 27

Bentinck, Lord George, attacks Prince Albert in a speech during a debate about the Corn Laws, I. 226;
his contention against Free Trade, 275;
his Bill for railways in Ireland, 278;
imprudent speech on the European Powers, 301;
his championship of the West
Indies planters, 350;
his death, 371;
his character, ib.

Beresford, Lord Charles, rescues Sir Charles Wilson, II. 716

Berlin, the rising against the Government, I. 346

Besant, Mr. Walter, his revelations of East London life, II. 668;
impetus to social reform by his novels, ib.;
his ideal in “All Sorts and Conditions of Men,” ib.;
the effect of his writings on London society, ib.;
practically the originator of the People’s Palace in East London, 740

Bessborough, Lord, his support of Wellington on Free Trade, I. 227;
appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, 245;
his death, 292

Beyrout bombarded by the European allies, I. 86

Biggar, Mr., his co-operation with Mr. Parnell, II. 488;
development of the policy of obstruction, 499

Bill, Education, introduced in the House of Commons, II. 355, 360;
its terms, 360;
criticism by Mr. Mill and Mr. Fawcett, 361;
passed by both Houses, 362;
adverse criticism by the Dissenters, 457;
Mr. Forster’s compromise to the Dissenters, 458

Birch, Mr., appointed tutor to the of Wales, I. 403

Birmingham, The Queen’s visit to, in 1858, II. 20;
Her Majesty opens Aston Hall and Park, ib.;
the Queen opens the Law Courts in, 739;
enthusiasm of her reception, ib.

Bismarck, Herr Von, his policy towards Russia, I. 554;
his mission to the German States, II. 495;
his view regarding the German conditions at the close of the Franco-German War, 403

Blignières, M. de, resigns his position on the Dual Control, II. 642

Bonaparte, Charles Louis, see Napoleon III.

Boniface, Duke of Tuscany, a supposed ancestor of the Queen, I. 4

Borneo, The work of Sir James Brooke in, I. 187, 188;
its defiance of English authority, 254;
proclamation of Sir J. Cochrane to the natives, ib.

Boscawen, Col., in tactical command of Sir Herbert Stewart’s column in the Nile Expedition, II. 714

Boycotting, origin of the term, II. 603

{755}Brackenbury, General, in command of the River Column, II. 717

Bradlaugh, Mr., his first attempt to take an affirmation on entering Parliament, II. 595;
opposition of the Fourth Party, ib.;
Mr. Labouchere’s motion in his favour, ib.;
imprisoned in the Clock Tower, ib.;
Mr. Gladstone’s motion to allow him to affirm at his own risk, ib.;
his re-election for Northampton, 618;
Tory opposition to his taking the seat, ib.;
attempt to force his way into the House of Commons, ib.:
renewed attempt to take the oath, 630;
his second return for Northampton, ib.;
excluded from the precincts of the House of Parliament, ib.;
his promise not to press his claim to be sworn till the Affirmation Bill had been determined, 658;
writes to the Speaker claiming his right to take the oath, ib.;
Sir Stafford Northcote’s resolution preventing him from taking the oath, ib.;
his threat to treat the resolution as invalid, ib.;
Sir S. Northcote’s resolution excluding him from the precincts of the House of Parliament, ib.;
his action against the Sergeant-at-Arms, ib.;
again prevented from taking his seat, 676;
excluded from the House of Commons, ib.;
takes the oath, 726

Brand, Sir Henry, Speaker of the House of Commons, elevated to the peerage, II. 676

Bright, Mr., his work with Cobden as leader of the Anti-Corn Law Movement, I. 88;
his championship of Free Trade, 201;
his powerful eloquence, 202;
his view of the Education Vote, 283;
his opposition to Shaftesbury’s “Ten Hours Bill,” 286;
his opinions on the Irish Question, 378;
his teaching regarding the colonies, 380;
his ineffectual efforts to preserve peace before the Crimean War, 578;
speech against the Russian War, 590;
his attacks on the propertied classes, II. 31;
his view regarding the Trent dispute, 122;
speech at Birmingham on the Irish Question, 302;
speech in the House of Commons on the Irish Question, 334;
his administration at the Board of Trade, 342;
resignation of office at the Board of Trade, 387;
appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, 439;
his opposition to Mr. Forster’s Education Bill, 458;
his proposal regarding the Ashanti War, 462;
his speech against the Beaconsfield Government, 583;
speech on the Irish Question, 603;
his withdrawal from the Cabinet because of the bombardment of the forts at Alexandria, 654;
his denunciation of the Obstructionists, 660;
joins the Liberal Unionists, 729

Broadfoot, Lieut., Murder of, at Cabul, I. 117

Broadhurst, Mr., opposes the vote to Prince Leopold on his marriage, II. 646

Brooke, Sir James, his services in Borneo, I. 187, 188;
his conduct impugned by Cobden, ib.

Brougham, Lord, his speeches on the revolt in Canada, I. 34;
his quarrel with the Whig leaders, 47;
his remarks on Roman Catholicism and the English Crown, 66;
remark on the Irish famine, 278;
his opposition to the “Ten Hours Bill,” 287;
his attack on the Rebellion Losses Bill, 383;
failure of his attack on Lord Palmerston, 396

Bruce, Mr. Austin (afterwards Lord Aberdare), the Habitual Criminals Act, II. 339

Buccleuch, the Duke of, the Queen’s Visit to, II. 732

Buckingham, Duke of, appointed President of the Council, II. 257

Buckingham Palace, great ball in 1842, I. 107

Budget Defeat, the Queen’s constitutional point about a ministerial resignation on a, II. 707

Bulgarian Atrocities, The, II. 506-511

Buller, Charles, his co-operation with Lord Durham in preparing a system of self-government for Canada, I. 35;
his distinction between colonisation and emigration, 283;
his condemnation of England’s colonial policy, 386

Bunsen, Baroness, description of the meeting of Parliament in 1842, I. 107;
account of a royal party at Buckingham Palace, 304;
description of the Prince Consort’s installation as Chancellor of Cambridge University, 311

Buol, Count, his suggestion at the Second Vienna Conference, I. 634

Burgoyne, Sir J., his opinion regarding the storming of Sebastopol, I. 609

Burmah, outbreak of war, I. 503;
blockade of Rangoon by the British, 504;
an embassy to the Queen, II. 429;
the conquest by Great Britain, 698

Burmah, Upper, annexed to the Indian Empire, II. 723

Burnaby, Colonel Fred, killed in the battle of Abu Klea, II. 713

Burnes, Sir Alexander, his mission to Cabul, I. 112;
the garbling of his , ib.;
appointed assistant secretary to Shah Soojah, 113;
massacred at Cabul, 117

Butt, Mr. Isaac, his leadership of the Home Rule Party, II. 426


Cabul, insurrection of the Afghans, I. 117;
entered by the British, 121;
Sir Frederick Roberts master of, II. 574

Caffre War, Outbreak of the, I. 254

Cairns, Lord, appointed Lord Chancellor, II. 304;
his resignation of the leadership of the Tory party, 358;
Lord Chancellor under Disraeli, 465;
his Judicature Bill, 484;
his amendment to Mr. Gladstone’s Reform Bill of 1884, 677

Cairo, stampede of the foreign population after the riot at Alexandria, II. 642;
capture of the city by General Drury Lowe, 643;
surrender of Arabi Pasha, ib.;
the Khedive reinstated, ib.

Cambridge, the Prince Consort’s installation as Chancellor of the University, I. 310-314;
its many pleasant associations with the Queen’s married life, 314;
Prince Albert’s revised course of studies, 369

Cambridge, Duke of, conveys the Queen’s congratulations to the volunteers on the coming of age of the force, II. 607

Campbell, Sir Colin, his plans at Sebastopol, I. 609;
his consummate skill at Balaclava, 611;
the confidence in his leadership, 671;
his lack of “interest,” 674;
his return to England and proposed resignation, 675;
an interview with the Queen, ib.;
his work in India, 735;
the relief of Lucknow, 737;
defeat of the rebels at Cawnpore, ib.;
the final capture of Lucknow, II. 2;
his regulations regarding the control of the Indian army, 26

Campbell, Sir John, his opinion in regard to Chartism, I. 58

Campbell, Lord, appointed Chancellor of the Duchy, I. 245;
a letter in regard to the Russell Ministry, 246;
an account of a Cabinet meeting, 277;
a visit to Windsor, 290;
a letter regarding an interview with the Queen, 291;
an amusing account of a banquet, ib.;
an account of a royal party at Buckingham Palace, 306;
the Crown Security Bill, 355;
his speech on the position of the Prince Consort, 576;
his opinion on Baron Parke’s life-peerage, 682;
the passing of the Divorce Bill, 713

Campbell-Bannerman, Mr., attacks the Bankruptcy Clauses of the Irish Land Bill, II. 736

Canada, its early discontents, I. 31;
resolutions in Parliament regarding reform, 32;
the serious condition of the Lower Provinces, ib.;
sympathisers in the United States, ib.;
seizure of Navy Island, ib.;
jealousy between the Upper and Lower Provinces, 34;
suppression of the revolt, ib.;
the Ashburton Treaty, 168;
opposition to Free Trade, ib.;
evil effects of Peel’s policy, 251;
riot in Montreal, 382;
the Rebellion Losses Bill, 383;
cordial welcome to the Prince of Wales, II. 67;
feeling of uneasiness in England in case of war between Canada and the United States, 234;
scandal regarding the Canadian Pacific Railway, 459;
rebellion of half-breeds in the North-West of, 723;
the rising put down by Sir F. Middleton, ib.

Cannes, the Duke of Albany dies at, II. 687;
the Queen’s visit to, 740

Canning, Lord, Viceroy of India, I. 724;
his vigorous policy during the Mutiny, 734;
Tory hostility to his policy, II. 7;
his recall petitioned for, 17;
supported by the Queen, ib.;
censured by Lord Ellenborough, ib.;
Lord Ellenborough resigns, 18

Canton, capture by the British, II. 4

Cardigan, Lord, and the charge of the Light Brigade, I. 614

Cardwell, Mr., his economic reforms in the army, II. 340;
his inefficiency as head of the War Department, 363;
his Army Bill 391;
the favourable reception of his Army Bill, 424

Carey, Lieutenant, tried by court-martial regarding the death of the Prince Imperial, II. 578;
restored to his rank by the Duke of Cambridge, ib.

Carlyle, Mr., his attacks on the governing classes of England, I. 358;
his interview with the Queen, II. 346

Carnarvon, Lord, Secretary for the Colonies, II. 257;
resignation of office, 275;
Secretary for the Colonies under Mr. Disraeli, 465;
his second resignation, 535;
his scheme of Home Rule, 724;
resigns the Viceroyalty of Ireland, 726

Cathcart, Lord, his speech to the Canadian Parliament, I. 250;
the amendment to his speech, ib.

Cavagnari, Sir Louis, Murder of, at Cabul, II. 573

Cavour, Count, his visit to England, I. 664;
his threats to Napoleon III., II. 34;
his protest against the conquest of the Sicilies, I. 54;
his death, 79

Cawnpore, the massacre of English residents by Nana Sahib, II. 731

Cetewayo, King of the Zulus, ally of England. II. 563;
fights at Isandhiwana, 564

Ceylon, Lord Torrington’s fiscal mistakes, I. 382

Chamberlain, Mr., his adverse criticism of Mr. Forster’s Education Bill, II. 458;
his reception as Mayor of Birmingham of the Prince and Princess of Wales, 478;
his opposition to the continuance of flogging in the army, 569;
his skill as a debater, 571;
his supposed Socialism, 593;
his distinction in Parliament, ib.;
Mr. Gladstone’s objection to his securing a place in the Cabinet, 594;
Whig antagonism to his Cabinet rank, ib.;
President of the Board of Trade, ib.;
social campaign against him and the Radical section of the Cabinet, 603;
his Bill enabling Corporations to adopt electric lighting, 635;
introduces a Merchant Shipping Bill, 678;
Lord Randolph Churchill’s accusation against him in regard to the Aston riots, ib.;
his Socialistic appeals to the electors, 698;
coalition with Lord R. Churchill, ib.;
the “doctrine of ransom,” ib.;
abolition of taxation part of his scheme, ib.;
his “ransom” doctrine and its effect on the country, 724;
his “unauthorised programme,” ib.;
his scheme of Home Rule, ib.;
his withdrawal from Mr. Gladstone’s Cabinet, 727;
joins the Liberal Unionists, 729

Chambers, Messrs., their petition against the Paper Duty, I. 391

Charles of Hesse, Death of the Princess, II. 719

Charles of Prussia, Prince, Death of, (the “Red Prince”), II. 721

Charrington, Lieutenant, his mission with Professor Palmer to detach the Bedouins from the side of Arabi Pasha, II. 642;
murdered at the Wells of Moses, ib.

Chartists, their hatred of the Queen, I. 38;
their demands, 48;
declaration of the “People’s Charter,” 49;
their meetings proclaimed, 50;
petition to the Government, 58;
riot at Birmingham, ib.;
the vigour of the movement, ib.;
their turbulent Socialism, 59;
alarm of the Government, ib.;
disturbances in 1842, 126;
demonstration on Kennington Common, 327, 331;
a secret society, 328;
in league with foreign revolutionists, 329;
sympathy from the Tories, ib.;
their political organisation, 330;
the two divisions, ib.;
their first check, ib.;
peaceful nature of the movement, 334;
reconstruction of the party by Mr. Ernest Jones, 335;
seizure of conspirators at Bloomsbury, 338;
collapse of the organisation, ib.;
effect of the rising on Parliament, 354

Chartreuse, the Queen visits the Grande, II. 740

Chelmsford, Lord, Lord Chancellor, II. 257

Childers, Mr., his economic reforms in the navy, II. 340;
his vigorous policy at the Admiralty, 365, 424;
War Secretary, 594;
Chancellor of the Exchequer, 654;
his Budget for 1883, 659;
reduces the Income Tax, ib.;
introduces a Bill to reduce the National Debt, ib.;
his Budget for 1884, 677;
rejection of his 1885 Budget, 706

Children’s celebration of the Queen’s Jubilee in Hyde Park, II. 747

China, war with England, I. 52;
the opium trade, ib.;
the peace of Nankin, ib.;
the treaty in regard to commerce, 53;
disturbances at Canton, 254;
completion of a treaty with England, ib.;
outbreak of war with England, 705;
hostilities with England, II. 47

Chobham, Experimental military camp at, I. 567

Christian, Mr. Edward, his view in regard to the constitution of the Cabinet Council, I. 26

Churchill, Lord Randolph, his foundation of the Fourth Party, II. 594;
his obstructionist tactics, 600;
attack on the Government in regard to the Egyptian Question, 636;
co-operation with the Parnellites, 706;
becomes Secretary of State for India, 708;
is appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leader of the House of Commons, 730;
resigns the Chancellorship of the Exchequer, 731

Circular, The, in regard to Fugitive Slaves, II. 489

Clanricarde, Marquis of, his Land Bill for Ireland, II. 286

Clarendon, Lord, a remark on Lord John Russell, I. 239;
his satisfaction with the Queen’s visit to Ireland, 410, 411;
Chancellor of the Queen’s University of Ireland, 415;
his impartial administration in Ireland, 443;
his policy during the Russo-Turkish War difficulty, 578;
his impetuous despatch of the ultimatum to Russia, 582;
his statement regarding the war between England and Russia, 591;
remarks on the Queen and Prince Albert, II. 5, 6;
the Queen’s confidence in his advice, 44;
appointed Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, 245;
his death, 366

Closure, The, proposed by the Tories, II. 734

Coal Mines Regulation Bill, The, passed, II. 738

Cobden, Mr., his birth and early career, I. 87;
his work in the repeal of the Corn Laws, ib.;
co-operation with Mr. Bright in the Anti-Corn Law Movement, 88;
enters Parliament, 98;
attack on Sir Robert Peel, 137;
his aims, 207;
receives a testimonial from Free Traders, 241;
rejection of his first scheme for international arbitration, 391;
his resolutions in favour of a general reduction of expenditure, 446;
his motion for general disarmament among European powers, 475;
his ineffectual efforts to preserve peace during the Russo-Turkish difficulty, 578;
challenges the whole policy of the Government in the Russo-Turkish Question, 587, 591;
his motion against the war with China, 706;
his Commercial Treaty, II. 48;
attack on Palmerston’s foreign policy, 207;
his death, 235;
the leading ideas of the Manchester School, ib.

Cochrane, Mr., his proposal regarding the Income Tax, I. 327

Cockburn, Sir Alexander, his eloquent speech on the foreign policy of the Russell Government, I. 435

Codrington, General, his inefficiency at Sebastopol, I. 671

Coercion for Ireland, Mr. Balfour’s permanent, II. 736

Colley, Sir George Pomeroy, Death of, II. 619

Collings, Mr. Jesse, defeats the Tory Government in 1886 on the question of allotments for labourers, II. 727

Colonisation, attention given to the question, I. 130;
a preliminary expedition to New Zealand, ib.

Connaught, Duke of, his marriage to the Princess Louise of Prussia, II. 578

Conolly, Captain Arthur, his mission to Persia, I. 123;
his death, 124

Constantine, the Grand Duke, his visit to England, I. 742

Constantinople, English protection of, II. 533

Conyngham, Marquis of, one of the messengers to the Queen announcing the death of King William IV., I. 1

Cooper, Thomas, his advocacy of Chartist principles, I. 58

Corn Laws, the association for their repeal, I. 87;
Cobden’s advocacy of repeal, ib.;
the Anti-Corn Law League, 88;
systematic spread of opinion against them, ib.;
Lord John Russell’s motion, 90, 91;
reference in the Queen’s Speech, 95;
bitter debate in Parliament, 223

Corporation Act, The repeal of the, I. 23

Corrupt Practices Bill read a second time, II. 658;
its stringent penalties, ib.;
opposed by Tories, Radicals, and Parnellites, ib.;
passed by both Houses, ib.

Corry, Mr., First Lord of the Admiralty, II. 275

Corry, Mr. Montagu, see Rowton, Lord

Cottenham, Lord Chancellor, administers the oath to the Queen, I. 19

Cotton, Sir Willoughby, in command in Afghanistan, I. 116

Cotton famine in Lancashire, The, I. 123

Cowan, Lord Mayor, the Queen’s visit at his inauguration, I. 31

Cowell, Lieutenant, tutor to Prince Alfred, I. 692

Cowper, Lord, Irish Viceroy, II. 632

Cranworth, Lord, Lord Chancellor, I. 519;
his bill for altering the punishment of transportation, 535

Crawford, Mr. Sharman, his motion in regard to Ireland, I. 354

Crimean War, the, Origin of, I. 540;
the declaration of war by England, 583;
review of the fleet at Spithead, 584;
Mr. Cobden’s advocacy of peace, 587;
the attitude of Prussia, 593;
Mr. Gladstone’s War Budget, 597;
operations in the Black Sea, 603;
the battle of the Alma, 607;
blunders of the Allies, 609;
the battle of Balaclava, 611;
the charge of the “Six Hundred,” 614;
the battle of Inkermann, 615;
the Austrian proposals, 623;
the Vienna Conference, 634;
death of Lord Raglan, 641;
the Queen decorates returned soldiers, 647;
the assault on the Redan, 671;
fall of Sebastopol, 673;
peace declared, 683

Crimes Act abandoned in 1885 by the Tory party, II. 710

Criminal Appeal, Court of, Bill for establishing, opposed by the Tories, II. 658;
Bill before the Grand Committee on Law, ib.;
the Bill dropped by the Government, ib.

Criminal Code Bill read a second time, II. 658 ;
opposition of the Irish Party, ib.;
obstructed by Lord Randolph Churchill and the Fourth Party, ib.;
abandoned by Sir Henry James, ib.;
Sir Henry Drummond-Wolff’s question regarding, ib.

Criminal Law Consolidation Acts, The, I. 28

Critic, British, its articles on the Tractarian Movement, I. 99

Croker, Mr. J. W., his attack on the Anti-Corn Law League, I. 211;
his opposition to the Russian War, 618

Cross, Mr. R. A. (afterwards Viscount Cross), Home Secretary, II. 465;
his Licensing Bill, 470;
his Artisans’ Dwellings Bill, 483;
passes the Prisons Bill, 518;
his opposition to the Bill establishing a Court of Appeal in Criminal Cases, 658

Crown Prince of Germany, see Frederick, Crown Prince

Cumberland, Duke of, the Orange plot for his accession to the throne, I. 37;
popular rejoicing at his departure from England, 38

Cupar-Fife, Seizure of packages of dynamite at, II. 661

Cyprus annexed by the British, I. 550


Dalhousie, Lord, denied a place in the Russell Cabinet, I. 244;
the annexation of Burmah, 506;
his viceregal government in India, 720, 722;
his system of education unpopular, 723

Dalkeith Palace, Visit of the Queen to, II. 732

Darmstadt, The Queen at (1885), II. 719

Darwin, Mr. Charles, his death, II. 649;
his skill as a scientific investigator, ib.;
his profound influence on the thought of the Victorian Age, ib.;
the great work of his life, ib.;
the impetus to science from his doctrine of Evolution, 650

Davis, Thomas Osborne, his connection with the Young Ireland Party, I. 339;
editor of the Nation newspaper, ib.;
his attack on English ideas, 340

Davitt, Michael, the organisation of the Land League, I. 602;
his arrest, 612

Davy, Sir Humphry, his discoveries in photography, I. 177

Delhi, outbreak of the Sepoy Mutiny, I. 730;
recaptured by the British, 734

Demerara, discontent in, 1849, I. 382

Denison, Mr., elected Speaker of the House of Commons, II. 254

Denman, Lord, his opinion on the Hampden ecclesiastical case, I. 300

Denmark, the dispute in regard to the Duchies of Sleswig-Holstein, II. 79;
{757}war with Germany, 187

Dickens, Mr. Charles, his death, II. 379;
his mission as a novelist, ib.;
his qualities as a writer, ib.;
the Queen’s admiration of his genius, 381;
invited to Buckingham Palace, 382;
refuses a baronetcy, 383

Derby, Lord (fourteenth Earl), his formation of a Protectionist Ministry, I. 499;
excellent practical work of his Government, 503;
resignation of office, 518;
attack on the Palmerston Government, 681;
support of Lord Canning’s policy in India, II. 7;
asked to form a Cabinet, ib.;
resignation of his Government, 36;
letter on the Italian Question, 46;
his Cabinet, 257;
resigns the Premiership, 303;
his death, 350;
his character, 351

Derby, Lord (fifteenth Earl), the Fugitive Slave Circular, II. 489;
proposals to Turkey in regard to Bulgaria, 507;
negotiations regarding Turkey, 508;
his policy during the Russo-Turkish War, 529, 530;
his objection to a Congress on the Turkish Question, 540;
his resignation, 542;
his commendable attitude during the Russo-Turkish crisis, 543;
Secretary to the Colonies, 654;
his vacillating policy regarding British territory in Africa, 683;
his mistaken policy in regard to Queensland and New Guinea, 685;
takes possession of territory at Saint Lucia Bay and Pondoland, 686

Dicey, Mr. Edward, urges the policy of establishing a British Protectorate in Egypt, II. 638, 674

Digna, Osman, defeated by General Graham, II. 718;
in conflict with the Abyssinians, ib.

Dilke, Sir Charles, Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, II. 594;
President of the Local Government Board, 655

Dillon, Mr., his passionate appeals against English government in Ireland, II. 615;
proposes the “Plan of Campaign,” 730;
abortive prosecution of, 735

Disraeli, Mr., his birth and parentage, I. 50;
his novels, ib.;
his dislike of the Whigs, ib.;
member for Maidstone, 51;
his personal appearance, ib.;
his maiden speech, ib.;
his attack on O’Connell, ib.;
the nature of his Conservatism, ib.;
the beginning of his influence, 190;
the pungency of his style, 191;
his opposition to Sir Robert Peel, ib.;
the “Young England” Party, ib.;
his speech against Peel on the Corn Laws, 223;
leadership of the Protectionists, 375;
the debate on the state of the nation, 399;
his amendment to the Queen’s Speech in 1850, 424;
his proposal to revise the Poor Law, ib.;
his advocacy of Imperial Federation for Australia, 439;
his tactics in regard to the motion on salaries, 445;
his motion for the relief of agricultural depression, 465;
Chancellor of the Exchequer, 499;
complaints against his leadership in the House of Commons, 500;
his Budget speech in 1852, 502;
his political tactics, 516;
his fatal Budget, ib.;
his leadership of the Tories at the Crimean crisis, 635, 679, 680;
his attacks on Lord Palmerston’s Italian policy, 696;
coalition with Mr. Gladstone, 700;
attack on the foreign policy of the Government, ib.;
his support of Lord Canning’s policy in India, II. 7;
his India Bill, 17;
his Reform Bill, 32;
support of Lord Palmerston’s Ministry, 75, 82;
his view in regard to the American Civil War, 119;
attack on Mr. Gladstone’s Budget of 1860, 125;
attack on Palmerston’s diplomacy with Denmark, 204;
moves a vote of censure on Palmerston’s policy with Denmark, 206;
Chancellor of the Exchequer, 257;
speech on Reform, 271;
his proposals in regard to Reform, 274;
“educating his party,” 278;
his Budget for 1867, 283;
Premier, 303;
a faulty electoral address, 314;
resigns office, 315;
his speech on the Disestablishment of the Irish Church, 331;
his amendment to Mr. Gladstone’s motion on the Irish Church, 332, 334-5;
his criticism of Mr. Gladstone’s Irish Land Bill, 357;
his opposition to Army Purchase, 392;
his effective opposition to Mr. Gladstone, 426;
his attacks on the Gladstone Government, 463;
his majority in 1874, 465;
First Lord of the Treasury, 465;
his chivalrous attitude towards Mr. Gladstone, 467;
disaffection of the High Church party, 472;
the Scottish Church Patronage Bill, 472;
decline of his reputation, 474;
the annexation of the Fiji Islands, 475;
the Merchant Shipping Bill, 485-7;
purchase of the Suez Canal shares, 492;
the Royal Titles Bill, 499;
created Earl of Beaconsfield, 503;
speech on the Bulgarian atrocities, 506;
national protest against Turkish policy, 511, 523, 526;
his dexterity in dealing with the Turkish Question, 539;
his final agreement with Russia in regard to Turkey, 547;
at the Berlin Congress, 549;
the Anglo-Turkish Convention, 550;
the Indian scientific frontier, 556;
his belief in Asiatic Imperialism, 587;
deserted by the Standard, 588;
his Manifesto to the country, 590;
his fall from power, ib.;
his novel of “Endymion,” 608;
his abandonment of the Coercion Act in Ireland, 611;
the failure of his policy in Afghanistan, ib.;
his error in annexing the Transvaal, ib.;
his death, 619;
his brilliant career, 620;
the secret of his success, ib.;
sincerely esteemed by the Queen, ib.;
his democratic impulses, ib.;
his skilful management of the House of Commons, ib.;
his declining years, ib.;
his mistaken policy on the Eastern Question, 621;
his last words, 622;
his funeral, ib.;
affectionately mourned by the people, ib.;
visit of the Queen to his tomb, ib.;
her Majesty’s monument to his memory in Hughenden Church, 643

Dixie, Lady Florence, the alleged attack on, II. 663;
alarm to the Queen by the story of the attack, ib.;
John Brown reports on the case to her Majesty, 664

Dodson, Mr., President of the Local Government Board, II. 594;
his Employers’ Liability Bill, 601

Dongola, Evacuation of, by Lord Wolseley, II. 718

Dost Mahomed, his territory, I. 112;
his anxiety for an English alliance, ib.;
virtual declaration of war against him by the British, 114;
his flight from Cabul, ib.;
again in arms, 115;
defeat of a British force, ib.;
surrender to the British Government, ib.;
set at liberty, 122

Drummond, Mr., his proposal for the reduction of taxation, I. 446

Dublin, visit of the Queen and the Prince Consort, I. 407;
second visit of the Queen, 571;
riotous proceedings in connection with the celebration of the Queen’s Jubilee, 746

Dufferin, Lord, appointed Viceroy of India, II. 696

Duffy, Sir Charles Gavan, his connection with the “Young Ireland” Party, I. 339;
his statement of his aims, 340;
his arrest, 342;
brought to trial, 343

Dunraven, Lord, his conciliatory motion on Mr. Gladstone’s Reform Bill, II. 677

Durham, Lord, his Liberal policy in Canada, I. 34;
his resignation of the Governorship of Canada, ib.;
recalled in disgrace by the Government, 35;
his system of self-government for Canada, ib.;
success of his policy, ib.;
his death, ib.

Duty, Paper, Mr. Milner Gibson’s motion for repeal of, I. 503;
rejection of his motion, ib.


Earle, General, Death of, II. 717

East India Company, occupation of Aden by its troops, I. 52;
its opposition to Napier’s command in India, 402;
annexation of the Punjaub, ib.

Ecclesiastical Titles Bill introduced by Lord John Russell, I. 464;
Mr. Cobden’s remarks on, 465;
opposition of the Peelites to its terms, 466;
the second attempt to introduce it, 470

Edinburgh visited by the Queen and the Prince Consort, I. 458, 487;
review of the volunteers by the Queen, II. 66;
third visit of the Queen and the Prince Consort, 91;
the unveiling of the Scottish National Albert Memorial, 503;
visited by the Queen, 627;
review of the volunteers by the Queen, ib.;
her Majesty opens the International Exhibition in 1886, 732

Edinburgh, Duke of, see Alfred, Prince

Edison, Mr., the effect of his discovery of the electric light on gas investors, II. 582

Education hardly existing in its popular sense at the Queen’s accession, I. 3;
Lord John Russell’s scheme for national education, 270;
vote on the subject in the House of Commons, 282, 283;
Mr. Lowe’s revised Code, II. 120;
Bill introduced in the House of Commons, 355, 360;
its terms, 360;
criticism of the Bill by Mr. Mill and Mr. Fawcett, 361;
the Bill passed by both Houses, 362;
adverse criticism of the Bill by the Dissenters, 457;
Mr. Forster’s compromise to the Dissenters in regard to the Bill, 458

Edward of Saxe-Weimar, Princess, II. 723

Egypt, vote of credit in Parliament for expedition, II. 635;
the sources of the Egyptian difficulty, 636;
Ismail Pasha’s policy, ib.;
the national borrowed money, ib.;
purchase of the Suez Canal shares by England, ib.;
Mr. Cave’s report on the Khedive’s money difficulties, 638;
Mr. Edward Dicey’s view of a Protectorate, ib.;
Lord Salisbury’s error in policy, ib.;
the Goschen-Joubert scheme for consolidating the Egyptian debt, ib.;
commission by France and England to investigate the resources of the country, ib.;
Nubar Pasha’s Ministry, 639;
beginning of the Dual Control, ib.;
arrangement by the Powers to depose Ismail, ib.;
Tewfik appointed Khedive, ib.;
inefficiency of the Dual Control, ib.;
ignominious position of England, ib.;
the supremacy of the bondholders, ib.;
restlessness of the natives under the Dual Control, 640;
revolt of Arabi Bey, ib.;
disagreement between the partners in the Dual Control as to the treatment of Arabi Pasha, 641;
determination of the Assembly of Notables to assert their right to control the Budget, ib.;
the right of the Assembly disputed by the French and English controllers, ib.;
the Chamber of Notables refuses to withdraw from its position, ib.;
M. de Blignières resigns his post on the Dual Control, 642;
Arabi made Dictator of the country, ib.;
“Egypt for the Egyptians,” ib.;
French and English fleets despatched to Alexandria, ib.;
French and English consuls advise the expulsion of Arabi, ib.;
a riot in Alexandria, ib.;
stampede of the foreign population of Alexandria and of Cairo, ib.;
formation of a Cabinet patronised by Germany and Austria, ib.;
safety of the Suez Canal assured, 643;
the battles of Kassassin and Tel-el-Kebir, ib.;
{758}the Khedive
reinstated in Cairo, ib.;
occupied by a British army, ib.;
Mr. Gladstone declares the occupation of the country temporary, ib.;
the cost of the war to England, ib.;
really under the control of the British Consul-General, ib.;
England forbids the restoration of the Dual Control, ib.;
Arabi and the insurgent leaders saved from capital punishment by the English Government, acting on the instigation of Mr. Wilfrid Blunt, ib.;
used as a subject for embarrassing the Ministry, 661;
Lord Hartington’s declaration about the recall of the British troops, ib.;
difficulty arising from the exorbitant tolls levied on ships by the Suez Canal Company, 662;
Mr. Gladstone’s agreement with M. de Lesseps, ib.;
intention of the English Government to withdraw the troops, 670;
the attempt to conquer the Soudan, ib.;
the appearance of the Mahdi, ib.;
the expedition under Colonel Hicks, ib.;
Hicks defeated at El Obeid, ib.;
the Egyptian garrisons in the Soudan, ib.;
the advice of the British Government in regard to the Soudan, 671;
the delay in the evacuation of Cairo, ib.;
steps taken to relieve General Gordon, ib.;
attack by the Conservatives on Mr. Gladstone’s policy, ib.;
the embarrassing position of England in regard to, 672;
the best policy for England, ib.;
the decision of the British Government, ib.;
General Gordon’s mission, ib.;
his arrival at Cairo, ib.;
General Gordon appointed Governor-General of the Soudan, ib.;
Baker Pasha’s death at Tokar, ib.;
Mr. Gladstone admitted to be right in advising the abandonment of the Soudan, 674;
how the situation had been affected by the battle of Tel-el-Kebir, ib.;
Gordon’s preliminary policy during his mission, 675;
the massacre of the garrison at Sinkat, ib.;
the battle of El Teb, ib.;
the battle of Tamanieb, ib.;
General Graham recalled from Suakim, ib.;
failure of Gordon’s negotiations with the Mahdi, 676;
the bad financial position of the country, ib.;
Mr. Gladstone’s policy to relieve the debt, ib.;
the Conference in regard to the country, ib.;
Lord Northbrook’s mission, ib.;
England’s freedom of action, ib.;
vote for military operations by the English Government, ib.;
the actual difficulties of the country, 682;
Lord Northbrook’s recommendations in regard to the debt, ib.;
financial proposal of the British Government, ib.;
prosecution of the Egyptian Government by the Debt Commission, ib.;
Prince Bismarck’s advice to England regarding, 684;
Mr. Gladstone’s policy, 702;
the plan adopted for rescuing the country from a financial crisis, ib.;
the diplomatic hostility of France, Russia, and Germany to England’s policy, 703;
the frontier fixed at Wady Halfa, ib.

Election, General, on the Home Rule Scheme of Mr. Gladstone, II. 729

Electric Telegraph, its progress at the date of the Queen’s accession, I. 3

Elgin, Lord, his policy in Canada, I. 382;
his admirable behaviour during the Canadian crisis in 1849, 383, 384;
his successful diplomacy with Japan, II. 2

Eliot, George, her death, II. 609;
the character of her novels, ib.;
her works especially enjoyed by the Queen, ib.;
the popularity of “Adam Bede,” 610

Ellenborough, Lord, his secret despatch to Lord Canning, II. 18;
resigns office, ib.

Elliot, Captain, his arrest by the Chinese Government, I. 52

El Obeid, Hicks Pasha and his army annihilated at, II. 670

Elphinstone, General, in command in Afghanistan, I. 116

El Teb, Defeat of Osman Digna at, II. 675

“Endymion,” Mr. Disraeli’s novel of, II. 608

England, development of the country since 1837, I. 3;
discontent among the masses, 48, 49;
the state of the country in 1839, 57;
disturbances in 1842, 126;
foreign policy during the difficulties between Russia and Turkey, 550-563;
the war against Russia, 583;
signature of the Protocol, 584;
a day of Fast, 599;
signature of the treaty with Russia, 683;
dispute with the United States, 688;
withdrawal of the legation from Italy, 698;
murmurings against taxation, 699;
war with Persia, 703, 704;
war with China, 705;
difficulties with Egypt, 660;
coolness with Germany, 683;
the rivalry with Germany regarding territory on the Congo, ib.;
surrender to Germany on questions of colonial policy, 684;
unable to reconcile her interests with those of France, ib.;
Prince Bismarck’s opposition, ib.;
Bismarck’s advice regarding Egypt, ib.;
annexation of territory at Saint Lucia Bay and at Pondoland, 686;
the Reserves called out, 702;
the difficulty of holding Egypt, ib.;
offers of support from her colonies and from the peoples of India at the Russian difficulty, 703;
controversy with Russia about the frontier of Afghanistan, 719

Este Guelphs, the name of the Royal Family of Great Britain, I. 5

Exchange, New Coal, founded by the Prince Consort, I. 418

Exhibition, International Industries, Prince Albert’s interest in, I. 449;
banquet of Commissioners at the Mansion House, 450;
attack by the Press on the Commissioners, 454;
completion of the building, 462;
energetic care of Prince Albert, 480,
adverse criticism of the scheme, ib.;
opened by the Queen, 452;
ball at the Guildhall, 486;
opening of the Exhibition of 1862, II. 135

Explosives Act, the one Bill not obstructed in the session of 1883, 660;
the events that led to its production, ib.;
the attempt to blow up the Local Board Government Offices, ib.;
outrage in the Times office, ib.;
the measure brought in by Sir W. Harcourt, ib.


Fair Trade Meetings, The, in Trafalgar Square, II. 731

Falkland, Lord, his Governorship of Nova Scotia, I. 251

Faraday, Mr., his researches in electricity, I. 270, 271;
his paper “On New Magnetic Actions,” 271

Farr, Dr., his investigation of the English Poor Law system, I. 362, 363

Fawcett, Mr., Postmaster-General, II. 594;
his Bill establishing a Parcels Post, 635;
his admission of women to the Post Office service, 653

Fenian Society, The, originated, II. 246;
its first name, ib.;
its founder in Ireland, ib.;
established in the United States, ib.;
the funeral of McManus, ib.

Ferdinand I., his rule in Austria, I. 343;
flight from Vienna, 345

Fielden, Mr. John, his “Ten Hours Bill,” I. 287

Finches, the, Earls of Nottingham, Mansion of, on the site of Kensington Palace, I. 8

Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond, Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, II. 655

Fitzwilliam, Earl, incident in the Queen’s early life at his residence, I. 12

Forster, Mr. W. E., his scheme of national education, I. 270;
his Endowed Schools Bill, 339;
introduces his Education Bill, 359;
his Ballot Bill, 395;
his compromise to the Dissenters on the Education Bill, 458;
his hesitancy regarding the War Vote, 538;
Chief Secretary for Ireland, 594;
his policy in Ireland, 601;
his Bill amending the Irish Act of 1870, 602;
his Coercion Bill, 604;
his Protection of Persons and Property Bill, 611;
violent opposition from Irish Members, ib.;
his Protection Bill, 612;
his suppression of the Land League, 628;
opposition from Radicals and Conservatives to his coercive policy, 631;
failure of his Irish policy, ib.;
his ineffective administration in Ireland, 632;
influences Parliament to give women a fair share of the public endowments for secondary education, 653;
his withdrawal from the Cabinet, 654;
his charges against Mr. Parnell, 656

Fortescue, Mr. Chichester (afterwards Lord Carlingford), Secretary for Ireland, II. 245;
support of Mr. Gladstone’s Irish Land Bill, 358;
appointed to the Board of Trade, 387

Fourth Party, The, founded, II. 594;
its members, ib.;
the reward of its efforts, 708

Fox, Mr. W. J., lecture against Corn Laws, I. 89

France, difficulties with England, I. 166;
dispute with England in regard to Otaheite, 167;
a letter from the Queen, 167;
visit of Louis Philippe to England, 172;
continued unfriendliness with England, 254;
protest of the English Government against the proposed Franco-Spanish marriage alliance, 258;
bad fruits of the dispute with England, 302;
diplomatic quarrel with England, 428;
the Second Empire, 523;
dispute with Turkey as to Roman Catholics in Jerusalem, 542;
a treaty with Turkey, 543;
zeal of the war party against Russia, 581;
declaration of war against Russia, 583;
occupation of Gallipoli by French troops, ib.;
signature of the Protocol, 584;
unpopularity of the war with Russia, 640;
collapse of the alliance with England, 675;
difficulties with Germany, II. 51;
angry feeling against England, 52;
an agreement with Italy, 218;
dispute with Prussia regarding Luxembourg, 282;
organisation of the military system, 344;
outbreak of the war with Prussia, 366;
nominal cause of the quarrel, 367;
proclamation of war against Prussia, 368;
Napoleon’s secret treaty regarding Belgium, 369;
battle of Worth, 370;
battle of Gravelotte, ib.;
capture of Sedan, ib.;
surrender of the French Emperor, ib.;
proclamation of a Republic, 371;
cession of Alsace and Lorraine to Germany, ib.;
unconditional surrender of the French army at Metz, ib.;
the campaign under Gambetta’s leadership, 372;
M. Thiers appointed President, 406;
the Commission by France and England to investigate the resources of Egypt, 638;
the Dual Control in Egypt, 639;
breaks up the Dual Control, 642;
her fleet withdraws during the bombardment of Alexandria by the British, ib.;
controversy with England, 667;
insolent behaviour of Admiral Pierre at Tamatave, ib.;
effect of the criticism of a factious Opposition, ib.;
the honourable reparation to the British Government, 668;
opposition to English diplomacy in Egypt, 676;
an arrangement with England in regard to Egypt, ib.;
formally abandons the Dual Control, ib.

Franchise Bill passed through the House of Commons, 679;
the loyal understanding between Liberals and Conservatives on this matter, ib.;
passed by the House of Lords, ib.

{759}“Franchise First,” the cry of a section of the Liberal Party in 1883, 668

Francis, John, attempt on the Queen’s life, I. 110

Fraudulent Trusts Bill passed in Parliament, I. 715

Frederick, Crown Prince, afterwards the Emperor Frederick III., of Germany, his betrothal to the Princess Victoria, I. 662;
his marriage, 740, 750-752;
his splendid appearance in the Jubilee procession, II. 742

Frederick the Wise, his relationship to the Queen, I. 5;
his Protestantism, ib.;
his kindness to Luther, ib.

Free Trade, concessions by the Melbourne Ministry, I. 94;
its rejection by Sir Robert Peel, 98;
its advances since 1841, 201;
bazaar in Covent Garden, 202;
effect of the potato disease on Ireland, ib.;
enthusiasm of the nation in its favour, 216;
Sir Robert Peel declares himself in its favour, 238;
its operation in Ireland, 273, 274;
disastrous effect in Ireland, 275;
development of Mr. Cobden’s plan, 387;
the strong feeling in its favour, 506

Frere, Sir Bartle, accompanies the Prince of Wales in his tour through India, II. 493;
his project of conquest in South Africa, 563

Freycinet, M. de, his policy of non-intervention in regard to Arabi Pasha, 641

Frost, John, his armed attack on the magistrates of Newport, I. 59;
his transportation, ib.

Fugitive Slave Circular, The, II. 489


Gakdul, Occupation of, II. 713

Gambetta, his vigorous administration of the French Republic, II. 372;
his vain attempts to induce England to join France in coercing Arabi Pasha and the Egyptian National Party, 641;
his death, 650;
endeared to the masses by his patriotism and unselfish devotion, ib.

Gardner, Mr. R., his sketch of industrial England, I. 282

Garfield, President, his assassination, II. 627;
the Queen’s letter of sympathy to Mrs. Garfield, ib.;
his heroic career, ib.

Garibaldi, his conquest of the Sicilies, II. 54, 55;
refuses a reward for his services, 56;
his second campaign of liberation, 128;
ovations in London, 194;
his departure from England, 198;
his death, 650

General Election on the Home Rule scheme of Mr. Gladstone, II. 729

George III., his determination to have an actual voice in the appointment of his Ministers, I. 26

George V., ex-King of Hanover, Death of, II. 558

Germany, the movement in favour of national unity, I. 343;
the Emperor Frederick’s aim, 346;
opposition of the Powers to its proposed unity, 422;
dispute with Denmark as to Sleswig-Holstein, 457;
her astute conduct at the Russo-Turkish difficulty, 582;
Bismarck’s work for the unity of the empire, II. 129;
the popular movement in favour of unity, 279;
an agreement between Russia and Italy, ib.;
rapid progress of its consolidation, 281;
the Congress at Berlin, 549;
irritated by the foreign and colonial policy of England, 683;
the cause of the coolness with England, ib.;
International Conference at Berlin to determine about the control of the Congo, ib.;
appeal of the settlement at Angra Pequena for protection, ib.;
annexation of Angra Pequena, 684;
expedition to seize the Cameroons, ib.;
alarm of Egyptian bondholders in, 685;
occupation of part of New Guinea, 686

Germany, Crown Prince of (afterwards Emperor Frederick III.), see Frederick Crown Prince

Gibraltar, Deportation of Zebehr Pasha to, II. 711

Gibson, Mr., his opposition to the Court of Appeal in Criminal Cases Bill, II. 658

Giffard, Sir Hardinge, his opposition to the Bill establishing a Court of Appeal in Criminal Cases, II. 658

Gill, Captain, R.E., his mission with Professor Palmer to detach the Bedouins from the side of Arabi Pasha, II. 642;
murdered at the Wells of Moses, ib.

Gladstone, Mr., member for Newark, I. 50;
his office under Sir Robert Peel, ib.;
his early Conservatism, ib.;
resigns on the Maynooth Grant, 183;
Secretary for the Colonies under Peel, 211;
his support of the scheme of Home Rule for the Colonies, 386;
support of Mr. Disraeli on the Poor Law, 425;
his proposal regarding the Australian colonies, 440;
letters on the State prosecutions of the Neapolitan Government, 475;
speech on Mr. Disraeli’s Budget, 518;
Chancellor of the Exchequer, 519;
his first Budget, 531;
his Budget for 1854, 596-598;
resigns office, 630;
his finance policy during the Crimean War, 643;
coalition with Mr. Disraeli, 700;
proposed reduction of the Income Tax, ib.;
attack on the Budget, 702;
his opposition to Disraeli’s Reform Bill, II. 32;
his anti-Austrian policy, 43;
explanation of the Commercial Treaty with France, 48;
remarks on the Fortification Scheme, 63;
repeal of the Paper Duty, 82;
attack on the Budget of 1862, 123;
his Budget for 1863, 171;
his mastery of finance, 212;
his Budget for 1864, ib.;
his proposal to extend the franchise to the working classes, 215;
his Budget for 1865, 236;
leader of the House of Commons, 245;
the Russell-Gladstone Reform Bill, 255, 256;
his Budget for 1866, 259;
speech on the Irish Church Question, 286;
resolutions in favour of the disendowment of the Irish Church, 307;
Premier, 315;
his motion to disendow the Irish Church, 330;
his Land Bill for Ireland, 357;
effective opposition from the Tories, 426;
his Irish University Bill, 432;
defeat of his Ministry, 435;
return to power, 436;
the elections of 1874, 463;
resignation of office, 465;
withdrawal from the leadership of the Liberal Party, 467;
his pamphlets on “Vaticanism,” 475;
his agitation against Turkey, 503, 506;
speech on the Turkish Question, 527;
his Edinburgh speech on finance, 582;
favourable opinion in England in regard to his Irish Land Act, 587;
his great popularity in 1880, 590;
his successful campaign in Scotland and the North of England, 591;
efforts to prevent him from becoming Prime Minister, 592;
entrusted with the power to form a Cabinet, ib.;
Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer, 594;
his Budget for 1881, 615;
his Irish Land Bill, 616;
success of his government in Egypt after the fall of the Dual Control, 643;
declares the occupation of Egypt to be temporary, ib.;
his agreement with M. de Lesseps in regard to the Suez Canal, 662;
brings the controversy with France to a close, 668;
an address to the tenants at Hawarden, 671;
recommends the production of jam as an industry, ib.;
his abandonment of the Soudan admitted to be right by the Opposition, 674;
the adverse view of his Soudan policy, ib.;
his Reform Bill of 1884, 677;
his campaign in Midlothian, 678;
introduces the Franchise Bill, 679;
the difficulties connected with the Reform Bill, 696;
the great changes to be effected by his Reform Bill, 702;
the Seats Bill, 699-702;
his patriotic speech against Russia, 703;
his compromise with Russia, ib.;
renews certain provisions of the Irish Crimes Act, 704;
increase of expenditure under his Government, ib.;
defeated on an amendment of Sir M. Hicks-Beach, 706;
resignation of (1885), 707;
offered an earldom, 708;
the Midlothian Programme, 724;
his Cabinet of 1886, 727;
loses the support of the Whigs, ib.;
his Home Rule scheme, 727-8;
his Land Purchase (Ireland) Bill, 728;
the objections which were taken to his Home Rule proposals, ib.;
his Home Rule Bill rejected, 729;
he appeals to the country on the subject, ib.

Glasgow visited by the Queen and the Prince Consort, I. 411;
arrest of dynamitards, 661;
the sinking of the Daphne, 666;
the Queen’s sympathy and subscription to the survivors of the Daphne disaster, ib.

Gleichen, Count, II. 723

Goodwin, General, capture of Martaban, I. 505;
capture of Rangoon, ib.

Gordon, General, steps taken to relieve him in Khartoum, II. 671;
his mission to the Soudan, 672;
his arrival at Cairo, ib.;
appointed Governor-General of the Soudan, ib.;
his double commission, ib.;
part of his policy adversely criticised by the Conservatives, 675;
denounced for sanctioning slavery, ib.;
the factiousness of the Opposition, ib.;
a sortie from Khartoum, ib.;
surrounded by treason, ib.;
entreats the Government to send help, ib.;
failure of his negotiations with the Mahdi, 676;
publication of his protests against the desertion of Khartoum, ib.;
instructed to go to the Soudan, 711;
recommends the appointment of Zebehr Pasha as ruler of the Soudan, ib.;
at Khartoum, ib.;
his advice as to the evacuation of the town, 712;
his plan for withdrawing the troops and the employés, ib.;
how he would have checked the Mahdi, ib.;
his position at Khartoum growing very critical, ib.;
death of, 715;
his defence of Khartoum, 716;
character of, 717

Gordon, Lord Advocate, his Scottish Church Patronage Bill, II. 472

Gordon, Miss, the Queen’s letter to, II. 717

Gorham, Rev. W., his case in the lay courts, I. 447

Gorst, Mr., one of the Fourth Party, II. 594;
his obstructionist tactics, 601

Gortschakoff, Prince, his reply to Lord Salisbury’s Circular Letter, II. 546;
at the Berlin Congress, 549;
death of, 651

Goschen, Mr., becomes Chancellor of the Exchequer, II. 731;
his Budget of 1887, 738

Gough, Lord, the disaster at Chillianwalla, I. 399;
movement for his recall, 400

Gough, Sir Hugh, his victory at Gwalior, I. 150;
his campaign against the Sikhs, 234;
the battle of Sobraon, 235

Goulburn, Mr., Chancellor of the Exchequer, I. 97;
threatened assassination, 138;
the Irish Coercion Bill, 230

Graham, General, his army at Suakim, II. 675;
defeats Osman Digna at El Teb, ib.;
the battle of Tamanieb, ib.;
at Suakim, 717

Graham, Sir James, Home Secretary, I. 97;
his views in regard to the Factories Act, 140;
masterly speech on the Navigation Laws, 374;
his reduction of the Admiralty expenditure, 390;
refuses to join the Russell Cabinet, 478;
his resolution on Free Trade, 515;
First Lord of the Admiralty, 519;
{760}resigns office, 630

Grants, Royal, Committee to “inquire into and consider,” promised, II. 720;
the promise repudiated by the Tory Party, ib.

Granville, Lord, President of the Council, I. 519;
his unpopular colonial policy, 342, 366;
Secretary for Foreign Affairs, 366;
his advice regarding the Premiership in 1880, 592;
Foreign Secretary, 594;
his efforts to get Turkey to fulfil her obligations, 598

Gravelotte, Battle of, II. 370

Gray, Mr. E. Dwyer, starts a relief fund for distress in Ireland, II. 586

Greece, the case of Mr. Finlay, I. 426;
Italian intrigues in regard to the throne, II. 128;
overthrow of King Otho, ib.;
cession of the Ionian Islands by England to Greece, ib.;
Turkey’s failure to fulfil her obligations, 598;
the justice of her claims admitted by the Powers, 610

Greville, Mr., description of the Queen’s coronation, I. 44;
the Queen’s affairs in 1847, 291;
political matters in 1849, 395;
the Queen’s life at Balmoral, 415;
Kossuth’s visit to England, 490

Grey, General, his death, II. 378;
his serious loss to the Queen as private secretary, 379;
his proposed Life of the Prince Consort, 481

Grey, Lord, his opposition to Lord John Russell, I. 206;
continued differences with Lord John Russell, 244;
enters the Whig Cabinet, ib.;
Secretary for the Colonies, 386;
his proposal to make the Cape of Good Hope a convict settlement, 402;
his protest against the Russian War, 590

Grey, Sir George, Home Secretary, I. 245;
suggestion regarding the Established Church in Ireland, 354;
the Crown Government Security Bill, 355;
his proposal on the Irish Question, 375;
Secretary for the Colonies, 626

Gubat, The British camp at, II. 715

Guelph, Este, the name of the Royal Family of Great Britain, I. 5

Guelph, House of, Representatives of the, in the eleventh century, I. 4

Guizot, M., mission to London regarding Egypt, I. 86;
his diplomacy in regard to the proposed marriage alliance between France and Spain, 255;
injury to his prestige, 256;
his pretext for the Franco-Spanish alliance, 257;
his friendship with Metternich, 302


Habeas Corpus Act, suspension during the Irish crisis, I. 342;
proposed suspension in Ireland in 1848, 353

Halifax, Lord, Chancellor of the Exchequer, I. 245;
his defects as a politician, 288, 289;
his financial statement for 1847, 290

Hamburg spirit, The sale of, II. 738

Hampden, Dr., his election to the See of Hereford, I. 299;
his supposed heterodoxy, ib.;
confirmation of his appointment by the Queen, 300

Harcourt, Sir William Vernon, Solicitor-General, II. 439;
his sarcastic assaults on the Tory Government, 583;
Home Secretary, 594;
his Hares and Rabbits Bill, 601;
his Bill for reforming the government of London, 678

Hardinge, Lord, his plan for a new army organisation, 694;
his death, 695

Hardy, Mr. Gathorne (afterwards Lord Cranbrook), President of the Poor Law Board, I. 257;
Home Secretary, 304;
War Secretary, 465;
his Regimental Exchanges Bill, 483

Harrison, Colonel, blamed in connection with the death of the Prince Imperial, II. 578

Hartington, Marquis of, Secretary for Ireland, II. 387;
leader of the Liberal Party, 482;
his motion on the Army Discipline Bill, 571;
his advice regarding the Premiership in 1880, 592;
in favour of Mr. Chamberlain receiving a place in the Cabinet, 594;
Secretary for India, ib.;
his exposure of the tactics of the obstructionists, 601;
his leadership of the Liberal Party, 603;
Secretary for War, 654;
his pledge that the Attorney-General would bring in an Affirmation Bill, 658;
damages the prestige of the Government by his declaration about the withdrawal of the British troops from Egypt, ib.;
his mistake as to Gordon’s position in Egypt, 676;
becomes leader of the Liberal Unionists, 729

Havelock, Sir Henry, his relief of Lucknow, II. 735

Hayward, Mr. Abraham, his account of English policy towards Turkey, II. 524;
letters from Mr. Gladstone regarding the Premiership in 1880, 592

Health Exhibition at South Kensington, The, II. 694

Helena, Princess, her birth, I. 262;
her marriage to Prince Christian, II. 262

Hennessey, Mr. Pope, his wish to revive Nationalist ideas in Ireland, II. 239

Henry of Battenberg, Prince, II. 718;
made Knight of the Garter, 722;
assumes the designation of “His Royal Highness,” ib.;
question of the legality of the assumption of the title, ib.

Herat attacked by the Persians, I. 113;
defended by Eldred Pottinger, ib.

Herbert, Mr. Sidney, refuses a place in the Russell Cabinet, I. 244;
his view of the Income Tax, 471;
War Secretary, 519;
resigns office, 630

Herries, Mr., his attack on the Russell Cabinet and on the Cobdenites, I. 390;
his proposal for a fixed duty on corn, 391;
President of the Board of Control, 499

Herschel, Sir Farrer (afterwards Lord Herschel), Solicitor-General, II. 594

Hertford, Marquis of, his death, II. 686;
an ideal Lord Chamberlain, ib.;
his interesting stories regarding Court life, ib.;
an incident in the life of Prince Albert, ib.

Hesse, Grand Duke of, his morganatic marriage with the Countess de Kalomine, II. 719

Hesse, Princess Charles of, Death of, II. 719

Hewett, Admiral, his command at Suakim, II. 675

Hewitt, Mr., Mayor of New York, striking speech on the Queen’s Jubilee, II. 747

Hicks-Beach, Sir M., defeats Mr. Gladstone’s Government, II. 706;
is appointed Chief Secretary for Ireland, 730;
resigns office, 735

Hicks Pasha and his army defeated at El Obeid, II. 670

Hill, Rowland, his parentage, 78;
Secretary to the South Australian Commission, ib.;
his pamphlet on the Postal System, ib.;
his plan for a Penny Postage, ib.;
opposed by Lord Lichfield and by the Rev. Sydney Smith, 79;
supported by Mr. Warburton and Mr. Wallace in the House of Commons, ib.;
Act of Parliament passed in favour of his plan, 80

Hohenlohe, Prince, account of vagabondage in Germany, I. 346

Hohenlohe-Langenberg, Prince Victor, II. 723

Holkar, Maharajah, at Windsor, II. 740

Holloway College for Women opened, II. 732

Holyoake, Mr. G. J., first employs the name of “Jingoes,” II. 530

Home Rule, its rise in Ireland, II. 426;
Mr. Parnell’s leadership, ib.;
Mr. Parnell and other Irish members suspended, ib.;
the struggle regarding Coercion, 614;
Mr. Parnell and the Land Act, 628;
Mr. Parnell and others imprisoned, ib.;
Mr. Forster and Mr. Parnell, 632;
Mr. Parnell charged with conniving at murder, 656;
Mr. Forster’s attack on the agitators, ib.;
warm admiration of Mr. Parnell in Ireland, ib.;
Mr. Chamberlain’s scheme of, 724;
Earl Russell’s, ib.;
Lord Carnarvon’s, ib.;
Mr. Gladstone’s, 727-8;
Mr. Gladstone’s Bill defeated, 728

Hong-Kong ceded to England, I. 53

Hook, Dean, his pamphlet on national education, I. 270

Horsman, Mr., his motion on the proposed reduction of official salaries, I. 446

Houghton, Lord, his motion in regard to “Essays and Reviews,” II. 215

Howick, Lord, his motion in regard to depression in manufacturing industry, I. 137

Howley, Archbishop of Canterbury, messenger to the Queen announcing the death of King William IV., I. 1

Hudson, Mr. George, his leadership in railway enterprise, I. 201;
his supposed advice regarding railways in Ireland, 278;
the railway craze in England, 279

Humboldt, Baron von, his unfavourable opinion of Prince Albert, I. 197

Hume, Mr. Joseph, his discovery of an Orange plot, I. 37;
the proposed provision for Prince Albert, 67;
his attack on the Portuguese policy of the Russell Government, 302;
the Parliamentary Reform Association, 338;
attack on the Russell Government Budget, 352;
his proposal for the extension of the franchise, 356, 426, 502;
his support of the Manchester School, 356;
demands the doing away with the Excise, 390;
his motion for Parliamentary Reform, 391;
his effort to limit the period of the Income Tax, 471

Hungary, its independence recognised, II. 282

Hunt, Leigh, verses to the Queen, I. 132

Huskisson, Mr., M.P., accidentally killed at the opening of the Liverpool Railway, I. 47

Hutchinson, Mr., his Bill for protecting newspaper reports of lawful meetings, II. 618

Hutt, Mr., his proposal to withdraw British war-ships from suppressing the West African slave trade, I. 438

Hyde Park, the riot in 1867, II. 270;
Children’s celebration in, of the Queen’s Jubilee, 747


Iddesleigh, Lord, see Northcote, Sir Stafford

Ilbert Bill, the great strife over its terms, II. 662;
an explosion of race-hatred regarding it in India, ib.

Imperial Federation League founded, II. 731

Imperial Institute, The, originated, II. 739;
laying the foundation stone of, 748

Income Tax, The, imposed by Sir Robert Peel, I. 133;
popular demonstration against its increase, 327;
Lord John Russell’s proposal, 351;
its continuance by Sir Charles Wood, 471;
proposed extension by Mr. Disraeli, 517;
Mr. Gladstone’s arrangement, 531;
Mr. Gladstone’s experiments, 598, 700; II. 237, 463, 601

Indemnity, Bill of, Application to Parliament for, II. 2

India, the Sikh outbreak, I. 399;
the India Government Bill, 530;
introduction of the India Bill by Sir Charles Wood, 533;
proposed change in the management of the country’s affairs, 534;
revolt of the Bengal army, 719;
probable cause of the great Mutiny, 720;
the misgovernment of Oudh, 721-723;
the difficulty as to the position of the royal family of Delhi, 724;
{761}dissatisfaction of the Sepoys with English rule, 725;
popular beliefs regarding the downfall of British power, 727;
Mutiny of the Sepoys, 728;
suppression of the Mutiny, II. 2-4;
failure of Lord Derby’s policy, 15;
Disraeli’s India Bill, 18;
cordial reception of Disraeli’s Bill in India, 25;
a Proclamation by the Queen, ib.;
the Queen’s new regulations regarding the Indian army, 26;
the Order of the Star of India, 40, 91;
the Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill, 662;
Lord Lytton’s rule as to the vacancies in the India Civil Service, ib.;
an explosion of race-hatred, ib.;
Jubilee celebrations in, 739

Indian and Colonial Exhibition opened, II. 731

Indian contingent, The, in the Soudan campaign, II. 717

Indies, West, distress in 1848, I. 350;
Lord John Russell’s policy, 351

Inkermann, The battle of, I. 615

“Invincibles,” The, II. 632

Ionian Islands, Cession of, to Greece, II. 128

Ireland, O’Connell’s agitation, 151-158;
meetings at Tara and Clontarf, 155;
O’Connell’s trial, 156;
beneficial measures passed, 158;
the potato disease, 202;
opening of Irish ports to foreign importation, 203;
Dublin memorialising the Queen, 216;
defeat of Peel’s Ministry on the Irish Question, 228;
prolongation of the Arms Act, 248;
the Great Famine, 272;
failure of industries, 273;
one safeguard in the English markets, 274;
fall of prices, ib.;
decrease of small holdings, ib.;
Free Trade a disaster, 275;
terrible state of the country, ib.;
gravity of the distress under-estimated by the Government, ib.;
Lord John Russell’s plans, 278;
Lord George Bentinck’s scheme for railways, 279;
the terrors of emigration, 285;
outrages and commercial panic, 295;
Coercion Bill, 297;
revolting crimes, ib.;
hostility of the priesthood to the Government, 298;
the Queen’s Colleges denounced by the Sacred Congregation, ib.;
the nature of the “Young Ireland” movement, 339;
the leaders of the “Young Ireland” Party, ib.;
first collision of the national party with the authorities, 342;
truculent attitude of the “Young Ireland” leaders, ib.;
distrust of the peasantry, ib.;
effects of the revolution, 343;
increased distress, 370, 372;
Parliamentary Bill against seditious clubs, 353;
the Encumbered Estates Act, 354;
the Crown Security Bill, 355;
proposed grant from the Imperial Exchequer, 375;
pitiful condition of the country, ib.;
pressure of the Poor Law on the Irish gentry, 378;
signs of improved feeling towards the English Government, 406;
visit of the Queen and the Prince Consort, 406, 407;
loyal manifestations by the people, 407-410;
good results of the royal visit, 410;
opening of the Queen’s Colleges, 414;
the Irish Franchise Bill, 442;
the Queen’s policy, 443;
a time of tranquillity, 498;
second visit of the Queen, 571;
Exhibition of Irish Industries, ib.;
outbreak of the Fenian Conspiracy in 1865, II. 245;
the rise of the Phœnix Society, 246;
the Revolutionary Brotherhood in America, ib.;
the Irish People established, ib.;
arrest of the Fenian leaders, 247;
the Fenian organisation in New York, ib.;
suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, 259;
Lord Naas’s Land Bill, 286;
the Church Question, ib.;
the spread of Fenianism, 287;
Irish riot at Manchester, ib.;
attack on Clerkenwell Prison, 288;
the Church Question in the House of Commons, 307-311, 327;
Mr. Gladstone’s motion upon the Disestablishment of the Irish Church, 330-338;
O’Donovan Rossa returned to Parliament, 353;
disaffection of the Orangemen, ib.;
a Land Bill introduced in the House of Commons, 355;
rise of the Home Rule Party, 426;
Mr. Gladstone’s University Bill, 432-435;
the elections of 1874, 464;
relaxation of Coercion Acts, 488;
the Intermediate Education Bill, 554;
abolition of the Queen’s University and substitution of the Royal University, 571;
second reading of the Irish Relief Bill, 586;
Major Nolan’s Seeds Bill, 586;
solid vote against the Tories in 1880, 591;
Mr. Forster Chief Secretary, 594;
its embarrassing condition in 1880, 601;
the Home Rule Party, ib.;
Mr. Parnell’s leadership and Mr. Gladstone’s policy, ib.;
Mr. Forster’s Bill amending the Act of 1870, 602;
rejection of Mr. Forster’s Bill by the House of Lords, ib.;
organisation of the Land League, ib.;
increase of evictions, 603;
influence of the Land League, ib.;
the system of boycotting, ib.;
increase of outrages, ib.;
the Queen’s anxieties regarding the state of the country, 608;
condemnation of Mr. Gladstone’s Irish policy in Parliament, 610;
Lord Beaconsfield’s speech against Mr. Gladstone’s policy, ib.;
a serious crisis, 611;
Mr. Forster’s Protection of Persons and Property Bill, 612;
Mr. Parnell and other Irish Members suspended, ib.;
the struggle in Parliament regarding Coercion, 614;
Mr. Dillon’s passionate agitation against the Gladstone Government in Ireland, 615;
Mr. Gladstone’s Land Bill, 616;
new rise of Fenianism, 626;
Mr. Parnell’s policy in regard to the Land Act, 628;
Mr. Parnell and others imprisoned in Kilmainham, ib.;
a “No Rent” Manifesto by the Land Leaguers, ib.;
suppression of the Land League, ib.;
success of the Land Act in Ulster, ib.;
the murder of Lord Frederick Cavendish and Mr. Burke, 631;
Radical and Conservative opposition to Mr. Forster’s coercive policy, ib.;
failure of Mr. Forster’s policy, ib.;
Tory bid for the Irish Vote, ib.;
Tory scheme for buying out the Irish landlords, ib.;
intrigue to remove Mr. Forster from the post of Chief Secretary, ib.;
release of Mr. Parnell and other leaders, 632;
Mr. Forster’s view of Mr. Parnell’s proposal, ib.;
the Society of “Invincibles,” ib.;
Mr. Forster’s ineffective administration, ib.;
a new Coercion Bill, 633;
the terms of the new Coercion Bill, 634;
the Arrears Bill introduced, ib.;
the prominent topic in the debate on the address of 1883, 655;
arrest of the “Invincibles,” ib.;
Carey betrays the “Invincible” conspiracy, ib.;
the object of the “Invincibles,” ib.;
the removal of obnoxious Irish officials, ib.;
funds received from America, ib.;
Mrs. Frank Byrne alleged by Carey to have been the bearer of the murderers’ knives from America, ib.;
open agitation substituted by secret societies, ib.;
failure of the conspirators to waylay Mr. Forster, ib.;
the cause of the attack on Lord Frederick Cavendish, ib.;
the baseness of Carey, 656;
five of the “Invincibles” hanged, ib.;
the death of Carey, ib.;
Mr. Gorst’s amendment that no more concessions be made by the Government to the agitators, ib.;
attacks on Mr. Parnell, ib.;
Mr. Parnell charged with conniving at murder, ib.;
Mr. Forster’s attack on the agitators, ib.;
warm admiration of Mr. Parnell’s conduct in, ib.;
the national testimonial to him, ib.;
the Prince and Princess of Wales’s visit to, 719;
the Land Purchase Bill of Mr. Gladstone, 728.
See also Dillon, Mr.; Home Rule; Parnell, Mr.

Irish Revolutionary Brotherhood of America, The, II. 246

Isandhlwana, The disaster at, II. 564

Ismail Pasha, visit to England, II. 347

Italy, the revolution of 1848, I. 347;
flight of the Pope, ib.;
success of Mazzini, 422;
misgovernment in 1856, 698;
convention with France, II. 218;
Florence made the capital, ib.;
annexation of Rome, 376;
opposed to the cession of French territory to Germany, 402;
adhesion to the Austro-German alliance, 651;
the Triple League of Peace, ib.


Jamaica, complications with England, I. 54;
the imprudence of Lord Sligo, ib.;
plan to suspend its constitution for five years, ib.;
virtual defeat of the Ministry’s proposal, ib.;
the second Bill in regard to, 56;
the negro insurrection in 1865, II. 247;
extenuating report by the Commissioners, 259

James, Sir Henry, Attorney-General II. 594

Japan, treaty with England, II. 4;
an embassy to the Queen, 429

Jellalabad, Defence of, by Sir Robert Sale, I. 121;
relieved by the British, ib.

Jephson, Mr., a letter on the state of Ireland, I. 274

Jews, The Bill for removing disability of, for municipal offices, I. 183;
their disability to enter Parliament removed, II. 18

Jingoes, The, so named by Mr. Holyoake, II. 530;
their war song, II. 529

Jingoism, a new political term, II. 530

John, King, of Abyssinia, sends envoys to the Queen, II. 695

Jubilee, the Queen’s, The year of the, II. 733;
the Jubilee Ode, 739;
the celebrations of, in India, ib.;
in Mandalay, ib.;
preparations for it in Britain, ib.;
Colonial addresses of felicitation presented at Windsor, 740;
the Indian princes at Windsor, ib.;
the street decorations in London on Jubilee Day, ib.;
the royal procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey, 741;
the procession of princes, 742;
the scene in Westminster Abbey, ib.;
the guests in the Abbey, 742-3;
the processions in the Abbey, 743;
the Thanksgiving Service, 744;
the scene in the Abbey after the ceremony, 745-6;
the illuminations in London, 746;
the celebrations in England and the North of Ireland, in Edinburgh, Dublin, and Cork, ib.;
the honours bestowed on the occasion, ib.;
observances in the Colonies and New York, 747;
the children’s celebration in Hyde Park, ib.;
the royal banquet in Buckingham Palace, 748;
the Queen’s letter to her people, ib.;
her Majesty’s garden-party, ib.;
review of metropolitan volunteers, ib.

Jubilees, The previous, of English history, II. 741


Kalomine divorce suit, The, II. 719

Kars, The heroic defence of, by General Williams, I. 673

Kassala, siege of, II. 718

Kassassin, The battle of, II. 643

Keane, Sir John, in command in Afghanistan, I. 114;
created a Baron, ib.;
return to England, 116

Kelso visited by the Queen, II. 295

Kensington, the Royal Albert Hall founded by the Queen, II. 291

Kensington Palace, scene of the Queen’s infancy, I. 9;
its early history, ib.;
{762}its brilliant Court in the eighteenth century, 10;
the sovereigns who died in it, ib.;
its disfavour with George III., ib.;
its furniture, ib.

Kent, Duchess of, the addresses of condolence from Parliament at her husband’s death, I. 8;
her care for the education of the Princess Victoria, 10;
additional grant to her income, 13;
her stay in the Isle of Wight, 15;
her reply to the Vice-Chancellor’s speech at Oxford, ib.;
her income fixed at £30,000, 28;
her position to the Queen, 30;
her death, II. 80

Kent, Duke of, his marriage, I. 4;
his support of popular Government, 6;
his personal appearance, ib.;
his character, ib.;
his strictness as a disciplinarian, ib.;
the liberality of his political views, ib.;
his residence abroad, ib.;
his return to England, 7;
his reconciliation with the Prince-Regent, ib.;
his residence at Claremont, ib.;
at Sidmouth, ib.;
his illness and death, ib.

Kertch, The Allied expedition against, I. 640;
evacuated by the Russians, ib.

Khartoum, steps taken for General Gordon’s relief, II. 671;
Gordon protests against being deserted, 676;
isolated and surrounded by the Mahdi’s troops, ib.;
the British Nile expedition to, 679;
siege of, closely pressed, 712;
fall of, 715;
Sir Charles Wilson arrives at, ib.;
defence of, by General Gordon, 716

Kilmainham Treaty, The, II. 632

Kimberley, Lord, Secretary for India, II. 654;
his despatch to Sir Hercules Robinson regarding British jurisdiction in South Africa, 683

King, Mr. Locke, his proposal to equalise the town and county franchise, I. 465;
rejection of his motion, 502;
second attempt to procure the extension of the franchise, II. 214

Kinglake, Mr., his account of the preparations for the Russian War, I. 604, 606

Kirbekan, The battle of, II. 717

Komatsu, Prince and Princess, of Japan, Visit of, to the Queen, II. 732

Korniloff, his bravery at Sebastopol, I. 610

Korti, The British camp at, II. 712;
the Black Watch at, ib.

Kosheh, Battle of, II. 718

Kossuth, Louis, his address to the Emperor Ferdinand of Austria, I. 344;
his flight to Turkey, 423;
his arrival in England, 479

Kutch Behar, The Maharajah and Maharanee of, at Windsor, II. 740


Labouchere, Mr., Chief Secretary for Ireland, I. 245.

Labouchere, Mr. Henry, opposes the grant to Prince Leopold, 646;
opposes the annuity to Princess Beatrice, 720

Lancashire, the sufferings during the Cotton Famine, II. 146;
revival of the cotton trade, 183;
expenditure during the Cotton Famine, 185

Land Bill (Ireland) of 1887, II. 736;
the Bankruptcy Clauses of, ib.

Lansdowne, Lord, Lord Privy Seal, I. 245

Lawrence, John (afterwards Lord Lawrence), his prompt action at the Indian Mutiny, I. 732;
his policy with the Sikhs, 734

Lawson’s, Mr. Edward, proposal of the children’s celebration of the Jubilee, II. 747

Layard, Mr. (afterwards Sir A. H.), his hostility to Russia, I. 590;
his dispute with Turkey regarding the seizure of an English missionary’s Mussulman assistant, II. 583;
granted an indefinite leave of absence, 594

Leeds, the Liberal leaders press a measure of Parliamentary reform on the country, II. 668;
Liberal Conference at, adopts Mr. Gladstone’s principle of Home Rule, II. 730

Leicester, Seizure of packages of dynamite at, II. 661

Lennox, Lady Augusta, II. 723

Leopold, King of Belgium, his marriage to the Princess Charlotte, I. 6;
his high character and abilities, ib.;
his election as King of the Belgians, 14;
the Queen’s confidence in his advice, ib.;
visit to England, 46;
his desire for the Queen’s marriage to Prince Albert, 60;
a letter from the Queen, 103, 106;
second visit to England, 262;
his death, II. 251;
his character, ib.

Leopold, Prince, a serious illness, II. 316;
popular admiration of his character, 626;
his marriage, 628;
a threat to murder him, 645;
accident at Mentone, 646;
granted £25,000 a year on his marriage, ib.;
married to the Princess Hélène of Waldeck-Pyrmont, 647;
the imposing ceremony at his marriage, ib.;
his death, 687;
his funeral, 689;
his amiable personality, ib.;
Prof. Tyndall’s high estimate of his ability, 690;
his eager interest in politics, ib.;
his wish to become Governor of Victoria, ib.;
the Queen’s opposition to his becoming Governor of Victoria, ib.;
his gifts as an orator, ib.;
his presentiment of early death, ib.;
his loss felt by rich and poor, 691;
his favourite residence, ib.

Lewis, Sir George Cornewall, a letter on Disraeli’s Budget, 519;
remarks regarding the political situation in 1854, 576;
Chancellor of the Exchequer, 630;
his first Budget, 644;
remarks on the collapse of the French alliance, 676, 678;
his Budget for 1856, 690;
his Budget for 1857, 701;
his death, II. 171;
the Queen’s estimate of his character, 172

Liberal Unionist Party formed, II. 729

Lincoln, Abraham, elected President of the United States, II. 114;
his proclamation regarding the abolition of slavery, 134

Lincoln, Lord, refuses a place in the Russell Cabinet, I. 244;
his address to the Queen on colonisation, 283;
address to the Crown on the Colonial Question, 387

Liston, Mr., and the use of ether as an anæsthetic, I. 271

Liverpool, visit of the Queen and the Prince Consort, I. 487;
condemnation of dynamitards at, 661;
visit of the Queen to the International Exhibition at, in 1886, 732

Livingstone, Dr., found by Stanley, II. 427;
the Queen’s interest in the explorer, ib.

Lloyd, Bishop, his influence on the Tractarians, I. 98

Lloyd, Lieut. W., presents one of the Mahdi’s flags to her Majesty, II. 687

London, a Chartist meeting on Kennington Common, I. 327;
Chartist meetings at Clerkenwell and Stepney Greens, 336;
the riots in 1855, 644;
Bill to improve the government of, II. 671;
riots in the West End of, 731

London, Bishop of, the Ecclesiastical Appeal Bill, I. 446

Lonsdale, Earl of, Lord Privy Seal, I. 499

Lorne, Marquis of, the Queen consents to his marriage with the Princess Louise, II. 378;
appearance at the ceremony, 407;
accident to, in the royal procession on Jubilee Day, 742

Louis Philippe, his visit to England, I. 172;
his cordial reception by the people, ib.;
honours from the Queen, ib.

Louise, Princess, her marriage, II. 407-8

Lowe, Mr. Robert, his Revised Education Code, II. 120;
attacked by Lord R. Cecil in regard to reports of inspectors of schools, 218;
his demand for national unsectarian education, 302;
his first Budget, 338;
his second Budget, 363;
opens the Civil Service to competition, ib.;
his Budget for 1871, 397;
the scandal in regard to the Zanzibar mail contract, 438;
Home Secretary, 439;
his popularity in 1874, 458;
created Lord Sherbrooke, 594

Lucan, Lord, and the Charge of the Light Brigade, I. 614

Lucknow, outbreak of the Sepoy Mutiny, I. 730;
relief by Havelock, 735;
second relief, 737

Lyell, Sir Charles, account of a visit to Balmoral, I. 367

Lyndhurst, Lord, Lord High Chancellor, I. 97;
Bill for the removal of the Jews’ disabilities, 183;
his violent speeches against Russia, 600, 602;
attack on Prussia and Austria, 634;
his defects as a debater on foreign, affairs, ib.

Lytton, Lord, Viceroy of India, II. 494;
his warlike policy in Afghanistan, 555;
dispute with Shere Ali, 556;
resigns office, 594;
contemptuous speech against Mr. Gladstone, 598;
his “Prosperity Budget,” ib.;
his rule on the vacancies in the India Civil Service, 662


Maamtrasna murders to be re-considered, II. 710

Macaulay, Lord, his sarcasm on the Maynooth affair, I. 183;
his account of Lord John Russell’s failure to form a Cabinet, 206;
appointed Postmaster-General, 245;
his opposition to the Education Vote, 283;
elected M.P. for Edinburgh, 586

Macdonald, Mr., his administration of supplies in the Crimea, I. 624

Maclean, Roderick, his supposed attempt to assassinate the Queen, II. 644

Macleod, Dr. Norman, his ministrations to the Queen at Balmoral, II. 139, 230;
account of the Queen’s life at Balmoral, 296;
his death, 428;
his character, ib.;
letter from the Queen on his death, 429

Macmahon, Marshal, surrounded at Sedan by the German army, II. 370

Macnaghten, Sir William, appointed Secretary to Shah Soojah, I. 114;
created a baronet for his services in Afghanistan, ib.;
appointed Governor of Bengal, 116

Madagascar, re-action against England, I. 190

Magee, Dr., speech on the Irish Church Question, II. 334

Mahdi, the, How General Gordon would have checked, II. 712;
death of, 718

Mahmoud Samy, nominal Minister of War in Egypt, II. 641

Maidstone, Mr. Disraeli member for, I. 51

Maiwand, The battle of, II. 599

Majuba Hill, Battle of, II. 619

Malakoff, Capture of the, by the French, I. 671

Malmesbury, Earl of, Foreign Secretary, I. 499;
account of the Queen’s life at Balmoral, 522;
remarks on the understanding between the Earl of Aberdeen and the Czar, 546

Malt Tax, Proposed repeal of the, II. 236;
Mr. Gladstone declines to reduce it, 237;
abolished by Mr. Gladstone, 601

Manchester, opening of the Art-Treasures Exhibition by Prince Albert, I. 739;
popularity of the Art-Treasures Exhibition, 746;
{763}visit of the Queen, ib.

Manchester School, The, its attack on Sir James Brooke in regard to Borneo, I. 474

Mancini, Signor, his disclosure to the Italian Senate of the adhesion of Italy to the Austro-German alliance, II. 651

Mandalay, Jubilee celebrations in, II. 739

Manners, Lord John, President of the Board of Works, II. 257;
Postmaster-General, 465;
his amendment to Mr. Gladstone’s Reform Bill of 1884, II. 677

Margarine Bill, The, passed, II. 738

Marlborough, Duchess of, starts a relief fund to avert distress in Ireland, II. 586

Marlborough, Duke of, Colonial Secretary, II. 275;
Lord Beaconsfield’s Manifesto to (1880), 90

Married Women’s Property Act comes into force, II. 652;
the benefit conferred by the Act, 654

Marriott, Mr., his amendment to Mr. Goschen’s Closure scheme, II. 630;
rejection of his Closure amendment, ib.;
counsel for Ismail Pasha in his claims to the Domain lands, 683

Martaban, Capture of by General Goodwin, I. 505

Martin, Sir Theodore, his Life of the Prince Consort, I. 238, 448, 545; II. 75, 480, 481;
his Life of Lord Lyndhurst, I. 239, 242

Match Tax, Proposed levy of, by Mr. Lowe, II. 397

Matthews, Mr. Henry, is appointed Home Secretary, II. 730

Maximilian, Archduke of Austria, created Emperor of Mexico, I. 743;
his death, ib.

Maynooth, the Parliamentary grant, I. 183;
Lord Macaulay’s criticism of the affair, ib.

Mayo, Lord, his government of India, II. 343;
his death, 427;
success of his Afghan policy, ib.

Mazzini, Joseph, his petition in regard to the detention of his letters in England, I. 164

Medical Acts Amendment Bill, II. 678

Meerut, outbreak of the Sepoy Mutiny, I. 730

Melbourne, Lord, his character, I. 23, 95, 370;
his moderate principles, 23;
his appointment to the Premiership, ib.;
his instruction of the Queen in the theory and working of the British Constitution, ib.;
the probable ill effects of his teaching, 24;
the personal regard of the Queen, 28;
his view of the revolt in Canada, 34;
Lord Durham’s suggestions carried out in regard to Canada, 35;
popular distrust of his authority, 36;
virtual defeat of his Ministry, 54;
a second Jamaica Bill, 56;
the Penny Postage Act, 80;
Act regarding chimney-sweeps, ib.;
growing unpopularity of his Ministry, 89;
prognostications of his fall, 91;
defeat of his Ministry, ib.;
a statement regarding Protection, 94;
resignation of office, 95;
his last years, 96;
his death, ib.;
his position in English history, 97;
his opinion of Prince Albert, 103;
the Queen’s regret at his death, 370

Menschikoff, Prince, his mission to Constantinople, I. 550;
his proposed Note of Agreement with Turkey, ib.;
his position at the Alma, 607;
his generalship, ib.;
his blunders at the Alma, 608, 609;
his tactics at Balaclava, 611;
his blunders at Inkermann, 615

Metamneh, Gordon’s steamers at, II. 712

Metternich, Prince, remark on the Franco-Spanish marriage alliance, I. 258;
his influence over Frederick I. of Austria, 343;
his resignation, 344

Metz, Surrender of the French army in, II. 371

Mexico, English policy in regard to, I. 127;
the French Emperor’s plan for a monarchy, 127, 163;
the Emperor Maximilian crowned, 218;
the Emperor Maximilian shot by order of the Mexican Republic, 283

Middleton, Sir Frederick, puts down the rebellion of half-breeds in the North-West of Canada, II. 723

Midlothian Programme (1885), The, II. 724

Mill, Mr. John Stuart, elected M.P. for Westminster, II. 243;
speech on the National Debt, 258;
rejected by Westminster, 315;
his Bill for supplying smoking carriages to railway trains, ib.;
his opposition to Mr. Forster’s Education Bill, 360;
remark on the position of women in England, 652

Milner, Mr. Gibson, representative of the Free Trade Party, I. 244

Mitchell, John, his violent teaching in the “Young Ireland” Party, I. 342;
editor of United Ireland, ib.;
arrested and condemned to transportation, ib.

Molesworth, Sir William, his opposition to the Education Vote, I. 283;
his proposal that the Colonies should be made autonomous, 474;
Chief Commissioner of Works, 519

Montpensier, Duc de, his marriage to the Spanish Infanta, I. 255

Morgan, Mr. Osborne, passes the Married Women’s Property Act, II. 653

Morley, Mr. John, his Life of Cobden, I. 216, 223;
is appointed Chief Secretary for Ireland, II. 727

Morris, Mr. Lewis, Jubilee Ode by, II. 750

Morse, Professor, his discoveries in electricity, I. 175

Muncaster, Lord, presents the Duke of Wellington’s banner to King William IV. on the anniversary of Waterloo, I. 3

Mundella, Mr., his Bill for consolidating the Factory Acts, II. 474;
Vice-President of the Council, 594

Mutiny, Indian, see India


Naas, Lord, Secretary for Ireland, II. 257;
his Land Bill for Ireland, 286
See also Mayo, Lord

Napier, Sir Charles, in command of the Baltic fleet against Russia, I. 583;
his blockade of the Gulf of Finland, 584;
his success against Russia in the last expedition, 602, 603

Napier, Sir Charles James, his defeat of the insurgents at Hyderabad, I. 150

Napoleon I., Removal of the body of, from St. Helena to Paris, I. 86

Napoleon III. elected President of the French Republic, I. 421;
his restoration of the Empire, 491;
his struggle with Parliament, 491, 492;
the vote in his favour, 494;
his installation as Emperor, 523;
the Czar’s slight, 526;
his marriage, 528;
visit to the Queen, 648-654;
invested with the Order of the Garter, 651;
private visit to the Queen, 717, 718;
his death, II. 444

Napoleon, Prince Louis, his murder by the Zulus, II. 575;
indignation among the French Bonapartists at his death, 578

National League (Ireland), The, proclaimed, II. 737

Navigation Laws, Proposed repeal of the, I. 374

Navy, Introduction of steam into the, I. 389

Nesselrode, Count, his assurances to the English Government of the peaceful policy of Russia before the Crimean War, I. 551;
his attitude during the Russo-Turkish difficulties, 579, 580, 595

Neufchâtel, the dispute with Prussia, I. 696

New Britain and the German annexations in the Pacific, II. 686

Newcastle, Duke of, Colonial Secretary, I. 519;
his alleged incompetence in office, 616;
Secretary of State for War, 626;
his efforts to improve the condition of the army, 631;
remarks on the elections, 1857, 709;
goes with the Prince of Wales on a visit to America, II. 67-69

New Guinea, the Queensland Government and annexation of, II. 685;
southern portion of, annexed by Lord Derby, 686;
German annexation, ib.

New Ireland and the German annexations in the Pacific, II. 686

Newman, Rev. J. H. (afterwards Cardinal), his entry into the Roman Catholic Church, I. 99-101;
“Tract No. 90,” 101;
his resignation as Vicar of St. Mary’s at Oxford, ib.;
his early intentions, ib.;
effect of his withdrawal on the Tractarian Movement, 102

Newport (Mon.), Lord Salisbury’s address at, II. 726

Nicholas, Emperor of Russia, his error in regard to Turkey, I. 579;
his obstinacy, ib.;
his death, 633

Nightingale, Miss, her labours in the Crimea, I. 624;
rewarded by the Queen for her heroic conduct in the Crimea, 692

Nile Expedition to relieve General Gordon, II. 712-4

Nile, Stewart’s night march to the, II. 714

Nolan, Major, his Seed Bill for Ireland, II. 586

Northbrook, Lord, his opposition to the purchase system in the army, II. 393;
resignation as Viceroy of India, 494;
First Lord of the Admiralty, 594;
his Egyptian mission adversely criticised by the Conservatives, 682;
his recommendations in regard to Egypt discredit the Gladstone Government, ib.;
his promise to make important additions to the navy, 702;
and the Admiralty accounts, 710

Northcote, Sir Stafford, President of the Board of Trade, II. 257;
Secretary for India, 275;
speech on the Irish Church Question, 332;
Chancellor of the Exchequer, 465;
his tame policy as Chancellor of the Exchequer, 470;
his Budget for 1875, 487;
his Budget for 1876, 502;
his leadership of the House of Commons, 515;
his denunciation of the terms of peace between Turkey and Russia, 536;
his Budget for 1878, 552;
his Budget for 1879, 571;
his Budget for 1880, ib.;
opposition from the Fourth Party, 595;
his motions in regard to Mr. Bradlaugh, 630;
his prudent policy distasteful to his followers, 636;
his resolution prohibiting Mr. Bradlaugh from taking the oath, 658;
Mr. Bradlaugh’s threat to treat this decision as invalid, ib.;
his resolution excluding Mr. Bradlaugh from the House of Commons, ib.;
his unwillingness to countenance obstructive tactics, ib.;
Lord Randolph Churchill’s bitter attacks on his leadership, ib.;
his hand forced to obstructive tactics, ib.;
speeches in North Wales and Ulster, 668;
moves a vote of censure on the Government for their vacillating policy, 673;
blames the Government for not helping Hicks Pasha, 674;
prevents Mr. Bradlaugh from taking his seat, 676;
created Lord Iddesleigh, 708;
sudden death of, 734


Oatley, George, presented with the Albert Medal by the Queen, I. 607

Obeid, El, Defeat of Hicks Pasha and his army at, II. 67

{764}O’Brien, William Smith, the rise of the Nationalist Party in Ireland, I. 327;
his leadership of the “Young Ireland” Party, 341;
collapse of his authority, 343;
transported to Van Diemen’s Land, ib.;
his death, ib.

O’Connell, Daniel, remarks in regard to the Queen’s popularity with the Irish, I. 38;
suggestion of the “People’s Charter,” 49;
early patron of Mr. Disraeli, 51;
his denunciation of Sir Robert Peel, 56;
the agitation in Ireland, 151;
his popularity with the Irish people, ib.;
his aims, ib.;
the secret of his success, 52;
the nature of his invective, ib.;
his puzzling methods, 154;
death of, 158

O’Connor, Feargus, his denunciation of Sir Robert Peel, I. 56;
an agitator by profession, 58;
his parentage, ib.;
his leadership of the Chartists, 327;
at the meeting on Kennington Common, 331;
his petition in favour of six points of the Charter, 354;
arrested by the Sergeant-at-Arms, 355

Odoacer, the Queen’s conjectural relationship to, I. 45

Odessa bombarded by the British fleet, I. 603

Orleans, Duke of, his death, I. 126

Osborne, Mr. Bernal, his motion on Portuguese affairs, I. 302;
his proposal in regard to Ireland, 354;
speech on the Austro-Hungarian Question, 399

Osman Digna defeated by General Graham, II. 718;
in conflict with the Abyssinians, ib.

Otho, King, driven from the throne of Greece, II. 128

Oudh, difficulties as to its government, I. 721;
its annexation by the East India Company, 722;
outbreak of the Sepoy Mutiny, 729;
Canning’s successful diplomacy, 734

Outram, Sir J., General, his victories over the Persians, I. 704;
his opinion regarding the government of Oudh, 721;
the annexation of Oudh, 722

Overland Route, its inauguration, I. 190

Oxford University, the Tractarian Movement, I. 98;
censure of Newman’s tract, 101;
Oxford University Bill passed by the Aberdeen Cabinet, 619;
proposed abolition of religious tests, II. 397


Pakington, Sir John, Colonial Secretary, I. 499;
First Lord of the Admiralty, II. 257;
Secretary for War, 275

Palmer, Professor, his mission to detach the Bedouins from the side of Arabi Pasha, II. 642;
murdered at the Wells of Moses, ib.

Palmer, Sir Roundell (afterwards Lord Selborne), his speech on the Irish Church Question, II. 334

Palmerston, Lady, her influence in Whig society, II. 351

Palmerston, Lord, his speech on the sugar duties, I. 94;
his condemnation of the Ashburton Treaty, 169, 170;
Foreign Secretary, 245;
antipathy of Louis Philippe, 258;
difficulties with the Church of Rome, 298;
deficiencies in his foreign policy, 320;
his view regarding an Anglo-German alliance, 322;
complaints against his policy by Louis Philippe, 326;
his rash interference with Spain, 347;
popular indignation against him, 345;
vote of censure in Parliament, 349;
an Ordnance Department scandal, 394;
annoyance to the Queen by his Austrian policy, 395;
the reckless character of his policy, 398;
difficulties with Greece, 427;
the Queen expresses her displeasure with his policy, 478;
discussion in Parliament as to his foreign policy, 430, 431;
a speech on the Greek dispute, 435;
dissatisfaction of the Queen with his administration at the Foreign Office, 437;
the Queen’s memorandum in regard to his foreign policy, 454, 455;
his plea to the Prince Consort, 455;
his cordial reception of Kossuth, 479;
his resignation as Foreign Secretary, 495;
he assails the Militia Bill, 499;
Home Secretary, 519;
resigns office, 565;
his return to the Cabinet, 566;
his zeal for war with Russia, 572;
a foolish speech at the Reform Club, 583;
his public-spirited behaviour at the Crimean crisis, 628;
his policy as Prime Minister, 638;
failure of the French alliance, 675;
his popularity at the Crimean War, 688;
the failure of his home policy, 690;
his victory at the elections, 708;
increase of confidence from the Queen, 715;
his false estimate of the Indian Mutiny, 747;
his waning popularity, II. 7;
his Bill to alter the Law of Conspiracy, 8;
vote of censure passed against him in Parliament, 37;
his anti-Austrian policy, 43;
his plan for the settlement of the Italian Question, 46;
the continued recklessness of his policy, 47;
his Fortification Scheme, 62;
distaste of the Radicals to his policy, 74;
mutilation of the Afghanistan Blue Book, 82;
his attack on Prussia, 83;
his sympathy with Poland, 160;
conflict with the Queen on the Danish Question, 166;
censured by the House of Lords, 167;
his policy at the Danish War, 191;
his diplomacy after the failure of the Sleswig-Holstein Conference, 193;
speech on the Irish Question, 233;
his death, 243;
the character of his statesmanship, 244;
his able management of the Commons, ib.

Panmure, Lord, his ridiculous despatch to General Simpson, I. 669

Papal Aggression Movement, the Pope’s Brief, I. 460;
indiscreet statements of Roman Catholic dignitaries, ib.;
Dr. Ullathorne’s explanation, ib.

Paris, the Conference in regard to the Russian War, I. 698;
the result of the Conference, 716;
the Congress of 1858, 719

Parker, Admiral, his blockade of the Piræus, I. 427

Parnell, Mr. Charles Stewart, enters Parliament, II. 488;
develops a policy of obstruction, 499;
his obstruction of the Prisons Bill, 515;
his skill in debate, 516;
his support of Radical members, 520;
his opposition to flogging in the army, 568;
the Attorney-General’s indictment against him, 603;
his policy in regard to the Land Act, 628;
Mr. Gladstone’s speech against his policy, ib.;
imprisoned in Kilmainham, ib.;
alliance of his Party with the Tories, 697;
additions to his followers, 698;
master of Ireland by the elections of 1885, ib.;
his Relief Bill is rejected, 730

“Parnellism and Crime,” II. 735

Parnellite alliance with the Tories, Success of, II. 706;
manifesto in support of the Tories, 726

Patents Bill, real progress made with it, II. 658

Paxton, Mr., his design for the International Exhibition building, I. 462

Peabody, Mr. George, his gift to the poor of London, II. 135;
his second gift, 323;
his statue unveiled by the Prince of Wales, 347

Pease, Edward, opening of the passenger line between Birmingham and London, I. 47

Peel, General, Secretary for War, II. 257

Peel, Mr. Arthur, chosen Speaker of the House of Commons, II. 676

Peel, Mr. F., his Bill to deal with clergy reserves in Canada, I. 534

Peel, Sir Robert, his financial statement for 1845, I. 182;
the establishment of the Queen’s Colleges in Ireland, ib.;
decline in his popularity, 190;
his support of the Queen, 191;
receives the distinction of the Order of the Garter, 192;
his able management of his party, 193;
his hesitation in regard to Free Trade, 203;
resigns office, 204;
re-accepts Premiership, ib.;
repeals the Corn Laws, 226;
praised by the Queen, 227;
fall of his Ministry in the Commons, 228;
resigns the Premiership, 238;
a letter from the Queen, 239;
his wise resolution, 241;
his independent attitude, 243;
his Bank Restriction Act, 279;
his opposition to the Education vote, 283;
assailed by High Church Tories, ib.;
his Bank Act assailed, 295;
attack on his Free Trade policy, 373;
his support of the Russell Ministry, 375;
his clear perception of the Irish difficulty, 378;
triumph of his fiscal policy, 399;
his last speech in Parliament, 435;
his death, 447;
his character, 447, 448

Pegu, Capture of, by the British, I. 506

Pélssier, Canrobert’s successor in the Crimea, I. 640;
his irresolution as a leader, 673

Pennefather, General, his command at Inkermann, I. 615

People’s Palace, the, in the East End of London, Opening of, II. 740

Perth, inauguration of a statue to the Prince Consort by the Queen, I. 227

Peterborough, Bishop of, his opinion on the Irish Universities Bill, II. 434

Philippe, Louis, his intrigue for the Franco-Spanish marriage alliance, I. 254;
his disreputable motives, 256;
his antipathy to Lord Palmerston, 258;
loss of reputation, 259;
estrangement of the Queen, ib.;
abdicates the throne, 325;
his flight to England, ib.;
generous reception by the Queen, 326;
his death, 458

Phœnix Park Murders, The, II. 632

Phœnix Society, The, II. 246

Pierre, Admiral, at Tamatave, II. 667

“Plan of Campaign,” The, II. 730

Plimsoll, Mr., and the shipknackers, II. 485;
creates a scene in the House, 486;
reprimand and apology, ib.

Playfair, Dr. Lyon, Postmaster-General, II. 439

Poland, rebellion in the country, II. 159;
the policy of Russia, 162;
Russian Imperial Ukase in favour of the peasantry, 218

Police Superannuation Bill, II. 678

Pondoland, British Protectorate established in, II. 686

Poor Law considered unnecessarily harsh, I. 48

Portsmouth, the laying of the submarine telegraph cable, I. 271

Portugal, discussion of its affairs in the British Parliament, I. 302

Postal system, its crudeness in 1837 compared with the present time, I. 3

Pottinger, Eldred, his defence of Herat, I. 113

Prison Ministers Bill, Introduction of the, II. 173

Pritchard, Mr., thrown into prison by the French at Otaheite, I. 167

Prome, Occupation of, by the British, I. 506

Protection, Agitation in regard to, at Manchester, I. 216;
Lord Stanley’s advocacy, 227;
the policy of its advocates in 1850, 423, 424;
a demand for retrenchment, 445;
views represented in the Queen’s Speech, 507;
success of arguments against Free Trade, 536

Prussia, the revolution of 1848, I. 346;
restoration of monarchical authority, 422;
signature of the Protocol, 584;
view regarding war with Russia, 592;
letter from the King to Queen Victoria, 593;
continuance of an adverse policy to England, 622;
dispute with Switzerland, 696;
{765}the war with Austria, II. 280

Prussia, King of, sponsor to the Prince of Wales, I. 106;
at a meeting of Parliament, 107

Punch, a cartoon of Russell and Peel, I. 239

Punjaub, its annexation by the East India Company, I. 402


Queensland Government and the annexation of New Guinea, II. 685

Queen Victoria, see Victoria, Queen


Ragheb Pasha at the head of the Egyptian Cabinet, II. 642

Raglan, Lord, his doubts about the success of invading the Crimea, I. 606;
his generalship at the Alma, 607;
disagreement with St. Arnaud, 608;
his demands for reinforcements, 623;
the silence of his despatches regarding the sufferings of the army, ib.;
censured in Parliament, 632;
his death, 641;
his character, 642, 643

Raikes, Mr., his opinion of Louis Philippe, I. 143

Raikes, Mr. H. C., reduces the perpetual penalties on voters in corrupt boroughs, II. 699

Railway, Opening of the London and Birmingham, I. 47

Rangoon, Capture of, by General Goodwin, I. 505

“Ransom,” Mr. Chamberlain’s doctrine of, II. 724

Redan, The British assault on the, I. 670, 671

Reform Bill, Good effect of the, on the middle class, I. 23;
Mr. Gladstone’s, II. 671, 699

Ricardo, Mr., his proposal in regard to the difficulties of Free Trade in the Colonies, I. 382

Richmond, Duke of, President of the Board of Trade, II. 275;
leader of the Tory Party, 358;
Lord President of the Council, 465

Riel, Louis, President of the “Republic of the North-West,” II. 384;
hanged for treason, 723

Riots, The, in the West End of London, II. 731

Ripon, Lord, denounced in regard to the Ilbert Bill in India, II. 662

Roberts, General, his brilliant generalship against Ayoub Khan, II. 599;
his support of the Ilbert Bill, 662

Roberts, Mr., his Act for closing public-houses during Sundays in Wales, II. 618

Roberts, Mr., his clever transport of artillery at Varna, I. 607

Roebuck, Mr., his Bill for the better government of the colonies, I. 385;
his support of Mr. Gladstone, ib.;
defeat of his colonial measure, ib.;
proposes a vote of confidence in the Russell Government, 435;
his motion regarding the mismanagement of the Russian War, 617, 626;
his Committee of Investigation, 630;
his motion in favour of recognition of the American Confederates by England, II. 176

Roman Catholic disabilities, Removal of, I. 23

Romilly, Sir Samuel, his proposal regarding the Criminal Code, I. 27

Rorke’s Drift, The defence of, II. 564

Rossa, O’Donovan, his real name, II. 246;
becomes a convert to Fenianism, ib.;
elected Member of Parliament, 353

Rothschild, Baron, his return for the City of London, I. 298;
Jews and the Parliamentary Oath, 299

Round Table Conference, The, II. 735

Rowton, Lord, consulted by the Queen on the political situation, II. 695

Royal Grants, Promise of Committee to “inquire into and consider,” II. 720;
promise repudiated by the Tory Party, ib.

Royal Titles Bill, The, II. 499

Russell, Lord John, his Act in regard to capital punishment, I. 28;
his measure for re-uniting Upper and Lower Canada, 35;
censured as Home Secretary, 39;
his attitude towards the Chartists, 48;
his vexation at the reduced pension to Prince Albert, 67;
his proposed duty on corn, 90;
withdrawal of the motion, 91;
dissolution of Parliament, ib.;
his opinion on Free Trade, 94;
his re-election for the City of London, 95;
his conversion to Free Trade, 203;
asked to form a Cabinet, 204;
the reason of his failure to form a Cabinet, 206;
distrusted by Cobden, 207;
his letter regarding the Roman Catholic hierarchy in England, 450;
the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill, 464;
introduces the Militia Bill, 498;
resignation as Prime Minister, 499;
fall from the leadership of the Liberal Party, 501;
his eulogium on the Duke of Wellington, 512;
Foreign Secretary, 519;
his scheme for a national system of public instruction, 530;
the main point of his Education Scheme, 534;
his scheme for reforming Parliament, 564;
his speech on the Prince Consort’s position, 576;
his unscrupulous policy before the Russian War, 591;
his speech against Russia, 602;
resigns office, 617;
his interference with the Aberdeen Cabinet arrangements, 626;
resigns office, ib.;
the Queen’s objection to his policy, 627;
Colonial Secretary, 630;
his humiliating position after the Second Vienna Conference, 634;
resigns office, ib.;
his Bill to remove the Parliamentary disability of the Jews, 711;
his amendment to Disraeli’s Reform Bill, II. 32;
conflict of opinion with the Queen, 41;
his Anti-Austrian policy, 43;
his proposal regarding the reduction of the franchise, 51;
raised to the peerage, 85;
his diplomacy in regard to Sleswig-Holstein, 199, 203;
appointed Premier 245;
an address to the Queen on the Irish Church Question, 287;
his scheme of Home Rule, 724

Russell, Mr. T. W., denounces the Bankruptcy Clauses of the Irish Land Bill, II. 736

Russia, Visit of Nicholas, Emperor of, to England, I. 160;
described by the Queen, ib.;
his opinion of the English Court, ib.;
his life in England, 161;
his jealousy of France, 162;
memorandum regarding Turkey, 162, 163;
his departure from London, 163;
his unpopularity with the English people, ib.;
diplomatic quarrel with England, 427, 428;
aggressive designs, 540;
geographical conditions, 541;
ultimatum to Turkey regarding the Greek Church, 550;
the points of contention with Turkey, 555;
probable offensiveness of Menschikoff’s Note to Turkey, 557;
the criminal blunder at Sinope, 578;
recall of the English ambassador, ib.;
rejection of the proposal of the Powers, 579;
defeat by the Turks at Silistria, 582;
war declared by England, 583;
the battle of the Alma, 607;
the battle of Balaclava, 611;
the battle of Inkermann, 615;
death of the Czar, 633;
proposals at the Second Vienna Conference, 634;
ready assent to terms of peace at the Crimean War, 678;
signing of the treaty with England, 683;
attempts to separate France and England, 696;
diplomacy in regard to Poland, II. 162;
Imperial Ukase in favour of the Polish peasantry, 218;
annexation of Circassia, ib.;
proposal regarding the Black Sea, 375;
outbreak of war with Turkey, 526;
the understanding between the Russian and Turkish Governments during the Russo-Turkish War, 528;
English despatch to prevent the Russian occupation of Constantinople, 541;
menacing India, 542;
secret agreement with England regarding Turkey, 547;
at the Berlin Congress, 549;
the assassination of Alexander II., 623;
dispute with England regarding the Afghan boundary, 703;
advance of troops on the Indian frontier, ib.;
occupation of Pendjeh, ib.;
controversy with England about the Afghan frontier, 719


Saint Lucia Bay, British Protectorate established at, II. 686

Sale, Sir Robert, repulsed by Dost Mahomed, I. 115;
his march to Jelalabad, 118;
his defence of Jelalabad, 121;
his death at Ferozeshah, 234

Salisbury, Marquis of, his remark regarding Russian aggression in European Turkey, I. 555;
his opposition to Mr. Gladstone’s Irish Land Bill, II. 359;
Secretary for India, 465;
his success at the India Office, 474;
his visit to Constantinople, 570;
his interview with Bismarck, ib.;
Foreign Secretary, 546;
his Circular to the Powers, ib.;
his secret agreement with Russia regarding Turkey, 547;
at the Berlin Congress, 549;
his policy in Afghanistan, 556;
an error in his Egyptian policy, 638;
article in the Quarterly Review bewailing Mr. Gladstone’s disintegration of English Society, 668;
article in the National Review advocating the better housing of the poor, ib.;
blames the Government for not assisting Hicks Pasha, 674;
censure of Mr. Gladstone’s Soudan policy, ib.;
his resistance to the Reform Bill of 1884, 697;
in office (1885), 707;
singular pledge exacted of Mr. Gladstone, ib.;
his address at Newport, 726;
in power (midsummer, 1886), 730;
his theory about a Land Purchase Bill for Ireland, ib.

Sandon, Lord, his Endowed Schools Bill, II. 474, 499

Sandwich Islands offered to Britain, I. 188;
Houses of Parliament established, ib.

Saxe-Weimar, Princess Edward of, II. 723

Schouvaloff, his secret treaty with Lord Salisbury, II. 547

Science, its marked progress since Queen Victoria’s accession, I. 175;
the electric telegraph, ib.;
the first telegraph line in England, ib.;
the beginnings of photography, 176;
the discoveries of Wedgwood, ib.;
the discoveries of Davy, Daguerre, and Talbot, 177;
practical applications of the telescope, ib.;
the Thames Tunnel, ib.;
Arctic discovery, 178;
voyages of Franklin and others, ib.

Scinde, Annexation of, by Britain, I. 150

Scotland, conflicting views as to the character of a Church, I. 102;
Act of Parliament in regard to Presbyteries, ib.;
decree of the General Assembly, ib.;
the Strathbogie case, ib.;
Dr. Chalmers and Reform, 103;
the beginning of the Free Church, ib.;
visit of the Queen and Prince Albert, 126;
the Queen’s impression of the country and people, 127;
passing of the Education Bill, II. 591;
the great Liberal victories of 1880, ib.;
proposed legislation by the Gladstone Government, 671;
the Universities Bill, 678;
the Sanitary Bill, 710

Seats Bill passed in the House of Commons, II. 699;
{766}its complex character, 699-701

Sebastopol at the mercy of the Allies, I. 608;
Todleben’s genius and activity, 610;
the beginning of the bombardment, 640;
capture of the Malakoff, 671;
abandoned by the Russians, 672

Secularism, its rise in England, I. 270;
Mr. Holyoake’s views, ib.

Sedan, Surrender of the French Emperor at, II. 370

Selborne, Lord, Lord Chancellor, II. 594.

“Senior Service,” The, II. 748

Sepoys, their dissatisfaction with British rule in India, I. 725, 726

Servants’ Provident and Benevolent Society, Founding of the, by Prince Albert, I. 363

Seymour, Admiral Sir Beauchamp (afterwards Lord Alcester), his warning to Arabi regarding the fortifications of Alexandria, II. 642;
bombards Alexandria, ib.;
takes possession of the town of Alexandria, ib.;
receives a peerage in return for his services in Egypt, ib.

Shaftesbury, Lord, his Commission of Inquiry on Mines and Collieries I. 139;
the Mines and Collieries Act, ib.;
his Factories Act, ib.;
the “Ten Hours Bill,” 286;
his undaunted courage, ib.;
his withdrawal from Parliament, ib.;
his speech against Russia, 587;
address to the Queen, asking her not to take the title of Empress, 502

Shah of Persia, The, visit to England, II. 446;
his reception, 447;
banquet in the Guildhall, 449;
his departure from London, 450;
the political element in his mission, ib.

Shah Soojah supported by the British for the throne of Afghanistan, I. 112;
his proposed rule, 114;
his unpopularity with the Afghans, 115;
his energy and integrity, 118;
his assassination, 121

Shaw-Lefevre, Mr., Secretary to the Admiralty, I. 594

Sheffield, the disastrous flood in 1864, I. 226;
outrages by artisans, 289

Siam, Envoys from, received by the Queen, II. 667

Sibthorp, Colonel, his motion as to Prince Albert’s pension, I. 67

Sikhs, the rebellion of 1849, I. 399;
the siege of Multan, ib.

Simpson, Dr. Young, his discovery of chloroform, I. 307

Simpson, General, his appointment to the command in the Crimea, I. 669;
his inefficiency, 671, 674

Sing, Maharajah Sir Pertab, at Windsor, II. 740

Sinkat, Massacre of the garrison of, II. 675

Sinope, The massacre of, I. 562

Slave trade, Speech on the, by Prince Albert, I. 105;
convention on the matter between England and France, 188

Sliding scale, Peel’s support of a, I. 98;
its introduction, 134

“Slumming,” II. 670

Smith, Mr. W. H., becomes First Lord of the Treasury and Leader of the House of Commons, II. 734

Smith, Sir Harry, defeat of the Sikhs at Aliwal, I. 235

Sobraon, Battle of, I. 235

Solomon, Alderman, disqualified as a Jew from taking his seat in Parliament, I. 476

Soudan, Campaigns in the, II. 712-18;
evacuation of, by the British, 718

Southey, his interview with the Princess Victoria, I. 15

Spain, the revolution of 1848, I. 347;
rising in Madrid, ib.;
dethronement of Queen Isabella, II. 323;
accession of King Amadeus, 376

Spencer, Lord, Lord President of the Council, II. 594;
Irish Viceroy, 632, 634;
his policy thrown over by the Tories, 710;
adopts Mr. Gladstone’s measure of Home Rule, 727

Spithead, Great naval review at, I. 569, 570

Stamp Duties, Discussion in Parliament on the, I. 444

Stanley, Dean, his death, II. 626;
his character, ib.;
his biography of Dr. Arnold, ib.;
his conciliatory influence on the Anglican Church, ib.;
his intimate relations to the Royal Family, ib.

Stanley, Lady Augusta, her admirable character, II. 511

Stanley, Lord, Secretary for the Colonies, I. 97;
resigns office, 207;
leader of the Protectionists, 227;
his attack on the Portuguese policy of the Russell Government, I. 352;
his discovery of an Ordnance Department scandal, 393;
proposes a vote of censure on the Russell Government, 431;
failure of his attempt to form a Cabinet, 466.
See also Derby, Earl of

Stanley, Mr., his discoveries on the Congo, 683

Stansfeld, Mr., his Public Health Bill, II. 423

St. Arnaud, Marshal, his plan for the battle of the Alma, I. 607;
his death, 609

Stephenson, General, Repulse of the Arabs by, II. 718

Stephenson, George, opening of the passenger line between Birmingham and London, I. 47

Stewart, Colonel, murdered by Arabs, II. 681

Stewart, Sir Donald, his support of the Ilbert Bill, II. 663

Stewart, Sir Herbert, at Korti, II. 712;
at Abu Klea, 713;
mortally wounded, 714

St. Leonards, Lord, Lord Chancellor, I. 499

Stockmar, Baron, his opinion as to the changes in the Prince Consort, I. 267;
his advice regarding the Russo-Turkish difficulty, 575

Stoddart, Colonel, his mission to Persia, I. 123;
his death, 124

Storey, Mr., his opposition to the vote to Prince Leopold on his marriage, II. 646

Stratford de Redcliffe, Lord, English ambassador at Constantinople, II. 549;
the nature of his negotiations, 550

Strutt, Mr. James, the Princess Victoria’s visit to his cotton mills at Belper, I. 15;
his son created a peer in 1856, ib.

Stuart-Wortley, Mr., his Bill to legalise marriage with a deceased wife’s sister, I. 392

Sturge, Mr. Joseph, his leadership of the Chartists, I. 330;
his aims, ib.

Suakim-Berber Railway, The, II. 718

Suez Canal, Purchase of the Khedive’s shares in, by the English Government, II. 492;
exorbitant tolls levied by the Company on the shipping trade, 662;
Mr. Gladstone’s agreement with M. de Lesseps, ib.;
Mr. Gladstone’s agreement abandoned, ib.

Sugar Duties, Lord John Russell’s proposal regarding the, I. 246

Sullivan, Mr. A. M., his description of Ireland during the famine, I. 275

Sullivan, Mr. T. D., his song of “God Save Ireland,” II. 288

Sunday reunions in London society, II. 732


Tait, Archbishop, his election to the See of Canterbury, II. 321, 322;
his Public Worship Regulation Bill, 471;
death of, 650

Tamanieb, The battle of, II. 675

Tay, Disaster on the railway bridge of the, II. 582

Tea Duty, Mr. Gladstone’s reduction of the, II., 238

Tel-el-Kebir, The battle of, II. 643

Tennyson, Alfred (Lord), his ode at the opening of the Great Exhibition, II. 135;
declines offer of baronetcy by Mr. Disraeli, 482

Test Act, Repeal of the, I. 23

Thanksgiving Day for recovery of Prince of Wales, II. 415;
the service of, on Jubilee Day, 744

Theebaw, King of Burmah, deposed, II. 723

Thom, Mr. John Nicholls, his religious mania, I. 39;
his murder of a constable, ib.;
his death, ib.

Thompson, General Perronet, his “Catechism of the Corn Laws,” I. 83

Thorburn, Mr., his portrait of Prince Albert, I. 159

“Three Acres and a Cow,” II. 726

Times, its opinion on the Corn Laws, I. 205;
its attack on the proposed marriage between the Princess Royal and Prince Frederick of Prussia, II. 663;
its attacks on the Parnellites, 735

Todleben, Colonel, his great ability, I. 610;
his splendid defence of Sebastopol, ib.

Tokar, Fall of, II. 675

Tractarian Movement, The, 98;
its principles, ib.;
its leaders, 99;
the “Tracts for the Times,” ib.;
opposition to its tenets, ib.;
the term “Anglican,” ib.;
its effect on the younger clergy, ib.;
the spirit of revivalism, ib.;
the apparent cogency of its arguments, 100;
its creditable qualities, 101;
letter by the Archbishop of Canterbury, 178;
Puseyite practices, 179

Trades Unions, their incentives to crime, I. 59

Trafalgar, Launch of the warship, at Woolwich, I. 94

Trafalgar Square, Fair Trade meetings in, II. 731;
the riots at, ib.

Tramways, Act enabling Irish Local Authorities to construct, II. 659

Transvaal, British occupation of the, II. 563;
misrepresentations regarding the Boer wish for annexation, 599;
Mr. Gladstone’s speeches in favour of Boer independence, ib.;
outbreak of rebellion, ib.;
proclamation of a Republic, ib.;
defeat of British troops at Bronkhorst Spruit, ib.;
futile attempt of British troops to quell the rising, ib.;
a war of re-conquest by England, 610;
defeat of Sir George Colley, 619;
defeat of the British at Majuba Hill, ib.;
a Republic under British Protectorate, ib.

Trevelyan, Mr. (afterwards Sir George Otto), his motion for abolition of purchase in the army, II. 387;
Irish Secretary, 634;
suppresses “Orange” and “Green” demonstrations in Ireland, 668;
resignation of, 727;
returns to the Gladstonian party, 735

Turkey, the quarrel with Russia, I. 540;
determination to strike a blow at Montenegro, 542;
the quarrel of the monks at Jerusalem, 544;
refuses to agree to the Vienna Note, 552;
the points of contention with Russia, 555;
Turkish modifications of the Vienna Note, 556;
suspected “shuffling” from the conditions of the Treaty of Kainardji, 557;
declares war against Russia, 559;
fleet destroyed by the Russians, 562;
defeats the Russians at Silistria, 582;
treaty with Austria, 586;
the terms of peace with Russia after the Crimean War, 685-687;
mutiny in Bosnia and Herzegovina, II. 494;
the Andrassy Note, 495;
advantages secured by the policy of England, 496;
the Bulgarian atrocities, 504-503;
Lord Beaconsfield’s policy during the Russian difficulty, 511, 523, 526;
the war against Russia, 526;
English neutrality during the war, 527;
the fall of Plevna, 528;
the Anglo-Turkish Convention, 550;
refusal of concessions to Montenegro and Greece, 597;
{767}the British fleet sent to Ragusa, 598


Ulundi, The battle of, II. 566

United States, controversy with England in regard to Oregon, I. 231;
a treaty with England ratified, 232;
the struggle on the Slave Question, II. 111;
decision of the Supreme Court regarding negroes, 114;
the contention between North and South, ib.;
secession of the Southern States, ib.;
outbreak of the Civil War, 115;
English sympathy with the North, ib.;
the battle of Bull’s Run, 116;
seizure of the English steamer Trent by the Federals, ib.;
settlement of the Trent dispute, 119;
progress of the war, 131;
the fight between the Merrimac and the Monitor, ib.;
the battle of Fredericksburg, 133;
embittered relations between England and America, ib.;
efforts in England in behalf of the South, 176;
capture of Vicksburg, 177;
continuance of the war, 178;
cruisers built in English dockyards, 211;
Grant’s leadership, 219;
Sherman’s success, 222;
complete defeat of the Confederates, 238;
assassination of Lincoln, 239;
the negotiations regarding the Alabama claims, 342;
celebration of the Queen’s Jubilee in, 747

Upper Burmah annexed to the Indian Empire, II. 723

Utrecht, Treaty of, its stipulations as to the French and Spanish crowns, I. 256


Van Buren, President of the United States, Proclamation of, regarding the rebellion, I. 33

Varna, The camp of the Allies at, I. 603;
a Council of War, ib.

Veto Law in the Church of Scotland, I. 102

Victor Emmanuel, his agreement with the French Emperor, II. 29

Victoria, Queen, birth and parentage of her Majesty, I. 4;
her illustrious descent, ib.;
christened at Kensington Palace, 7;
a previous monarch of her name in Britain, ib.;
her sponsors, ib.;
her early surroundings, 10;
her education, ib.;
grounded in languages, music, &c., ib.;
her general education entrusted to the Duchess of Northumberland, ib.;
her affability, 11;
influenced by Wilberforce, ib.;
her charity and kindness, ib.;
her appearance in public, ib.;
false reports regarding her health, ib.;
anecdotes regarding her studies, 11, 12;
the Regency Bill, 14;
her progress in her studies, ib.;
her fondness for music, ib.;
juvenile ball in her honour by Queen Adelaide, ib.;
additional income of £10,000 granted her by Parliament, 15;
stay in the Isle of Wight, ib.;
visit to the Belper Mills in Derbyshire, ib.;
visit to Oxford, ib.;
visit to Southampton, 18;
her confirmation at St. James’s, ib.;
an instance of her benevolence, ib.;
her coming of age, ib.;
her first Council, 19;
her address on the King’s death, ib.;
proclaimed Queen, 22;
the period of her accession fortunate, ib.;
instructed in the theory and working of the British Constitution by Lord Melbourne, 23;
residence at Buckingham Palace, 27;
addresses to the Houses of Parliament, ib.;
her income fixed at £385,000, 30;
her business precision, ib.;
her popularity at the beginning of her reign, 35;
foolish imputations against her, 36;
Chartist and other opponents, 38;
her generous disposition, 39;
coronation, 42, 43;
a letter to Sir R. Peel, 55;
affianced to Prince Albert, 62;
informing the Privy Council of her marriage, 63;
domestic life, 75;
fired at by Edward Oxford, 82;
birth of the Princess Royal, 83;
a royal tour, 94;
speech to Parliament, 95;
her dislike to the Tractarian Movement, 102;
birth of the Prince of Wales, 106;
attempts on her life, 110;
visit to Scotland, 126;
her impressions, 127;
departure from Edinburgh, ib.;
letter to the Lord Advocate, ib.;
birth of the Princess Alice, 132;
meeting with Louis Philippe, 143;
visit to Belgium, 146;
visit of the Emperor Nicholas of Russia, 159;
birth of Prince Alfred, 167;
visit to Scotland, 171;
residence at B