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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

FRONTISPIECE: “ SIXTY YEARS AGO."

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ABERDEEN, LORD

75 ABRAHAM LINCOLN ALBERT, PRINCE

54, 69, 78, 122 BANK OF ENGLAND

148, 149 BEACONSFIELD, LORT).

75 BEU'ST, COUNT

87 “ CLIPPER" OF 1837 ·

· 154 CORONATION CEREMONY

· 159 CORONATION OATH

90 CLYDE, LORD

44 DERBY, LORD

51, 74 DOWNING STREET

46 EMPIRE IN 1837 AND 1897

162 FRERE, SIR BARTLE .

43 GORDON, GENERAL

. 108 GEORGE II., III. IV. .

95 GLADSTONE, MR.

75 GREY, SIR G.

37, 39 IMPERIAL INSTITUTE .

· 139 KENT, DucHESS OF

116 KENT, DUKE OF

146 LYTTON, LORD

50 MAIL PACKET STEAMER OF 1897 154 MARRIAGE OF THE QUEEN IN THE

CHAPEL ROYAL MELBOURNE, LORD

74 MORIER, SIR ROBERT

59 PALMERSTON, LORD .

75 PEEL, SIR ROBERT

74 PRINCE ALBERT

54, 69, 78, 122 PRINCE OF WALES

127, 131 PRINCESS OF WALES .

IZI PRINCESS ROYAL

13, 124, 127

QUEEN ELIZABETH

28 1, 31, 58, 64, 66, 77,

80, 82, 90, 91, 101, QUEEN VICTORIA

103, 106, 118, 122,

127, 137, 140, 165 QUEEN VICTORIA RECEIVED

BY NAPOLEON III. . QUEEN VICTORIA REVIEWING TROOPS 9 RIVER BANK IN 1837.

152 ROSEBERY, LORD

76 ROYAL EXCHANGE

· 149 ROYAL FAMILY AT OSBORNE 4, 133

| 114, 128, 132, ROYAL FAMILY GROUPS

133, 135, 138 RUSSELL, LORD JOHN

74 SALISBURY, MARQUIS OF

77 SHAFTESBURY, EARL OF

98 SOUTH AFRICAN MAPS

34, 35 “ SUSANNAH AND THE ELDERS” : 66 TAIT, ARCHBISHOP

94 TRADE IN 1837 AND 1897

156 VICTORIA EMBANKMENT

153 WESTMINSTER ABBEY

27 WHERE IS BRITANNIA ?

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HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN.

INTRODUCTION.

HE Record Reign of the English Monarchy has this year been celebrated with

fitting spontaneity and enthusiasm in all parts of the world. The Sovereign

has done nothing to indicate that any such celebration would be pleasing to her ; indeed, the only Royal expression of opinion that has hitherto come to the ears of the lieges is rather negative than otherwise. The initiative of commemoration has

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been taken not by the Court but by the people—not by Queen Victoria but by King Demos. This year of 1897 is the popular Annus Mirabilis, in which the Englishspeaking people outside the United States will vie with each other in expressing their gratitude and satisfaction at the abundant answer to the prayer of the National Anthem

“ Send her victorious,

Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us,

God save the Queen.” The occasion is one without precedent in our history. No other British monarch has reigned so long, has reigned so well, and has continued so steadily to grow in the

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love and affection of the lieges to the very end. The English-speaking Race has in this closing century made a tolerably conspicuous mark for itself in the History of the World. It opened with the battle thunder of Trafalgar and Waterloo ; it is closing with the peaceful commemoration of a reign which, although darkened by the shadow of one war and one mutiny, has nevertheless for sixty years been a Reign of Peace.

The century has brought many ordeals, and our Race has been subjected to many tests. It has achieved many things, great and to previous centuries almost inconceivable. But without unduly exalting ourselves above neighbouring nations, or venturing to claim more than our due, it may be justly said that among all the garnered glories of the hundred years there are none to be regarded with more perfect and absolute satisfaction as recording the high-water mark of realised success in the Evolution of Humanity than the production of the supreme American man in the person of Abraham Lincoln and the supreme English woman in the person of Queen Victoria. It is easy to suggest how either might have been altered so as to make them conform more closely to the conventional type of the human ideal in person, in character and in capacity. Improvements might be suggested to bring them up to a more ideal standard. Lincoln was not a Shakespeare. The Queen is not a Raphael. But notwithstanding that, the Century has very little that is greater to show than the somewhat homely but familiar figures of that Man and this Woman-neither of them apparently of the stuff of which saints and sages and heroes are made, both modelled out of simple human clay, treading our common earth with average mortal feet, and yet both alike discharging “ the common round, the daily task” with fidelity and capacity, passing through ordeal after ordeal unvanquished, meeting great crises with undaunted heart,—who have stamped indelibly upon the mind of the race the conception of highest duty noblest done.

“Great captains with their guns and drums
Disturb our judgment for the hour,

But at last silence comes;
These all are gone, and standing like a tower
Our children shall behold his fame, -"

sang Lowell of his hero—"new birth of our new soil, the first American.” But we also may apply his lines to her whose same grows ever with the years, whose measure happily is still not filled. For the Queen has stood the test of life longer than the President. The fierce light that beats upon a throne was focussed on Lincoln for five years at mostterrible years, no doubt, when the foundations of the Republic were shaken, and a whole nation went down, its garments dripping with blood, to tread the winepress of the wrath of God; but still it was only for five years. The test, though severe, was brief. He, after five years, was swept in a moment from the stage. She, after sixty years, lives and reigns amidst the nations who speak the English tongue, more loved, more honoured, more reverenced than at any previous period of her history.

It is a happy coincidence that the only other reign in British annals which can for a moment be compared for splendour and romance with that of our gracious Queen was also the reign of a female sovereign. After the Elizabethan era, there is nothing to compare with the Victorian age, save, perhaps, the troubled glories of the Commonwealth, when England's ruler wore no crown. Elizabeth and Victoria will ever be the greatest names in our history, ranking side by side with those of Alfred, Edward the Third, and Oliver Cromwell.

England indeed has been fortunate in her Queens—with the solitary exception of Bloody Mary. The land has prospered more when the sceptre was in a female hand than when it was wielded by a man. If under Elizabeth we discomfited Spain, under Mary, the consort of William, we established our liberties ; under Anne, Marlborough

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broke the power of France, and under Victoria we have encompassed the world with nascent commonwealths. Many a time and oft has the idea recurred in these later years whether by some inversion of the Salic law our dynastic line could be made to pass only through female sovereigns. This being past praying for, we shall do well to make the most of our good Queens when we have them.

“To know the character of the leading actor in the contemporary drama,” I wrote in the first number of the Review of Reviews, " is essential to the right understanding of its history and its literature. Every number, therefore, will contain a character sketch of some man or woman who has figured conspicuously before the world in the previous month.” Yet although no man and no woman has ever figured so conspicuously any month before the world as the Queen has done every month every one of these seven years, I hesitated for seven years to undertake so serious a task as an attempt to present to my readers any adequate picture of the Sovereign.

This year, however, I felt that it would be unworthy of one privileged to live in this reign to shrink from a duty so plainly imposed by the founding of the Review. I therefore, not without much fear and trembling, due to a painful realisation of my own incompetence, decided to try what I could do. But within the compass of one Sketch it was manifestly impossible to survey the immense field of the Victorian era. I therefore devoted the Character Sketch for each month, till the sixtieth year of the reign was completed, to an original study of one or other of the many phases of Her Majesty's character and reign, and I now republish the six studies in a memorial volume on the anniversary of her accession to the Throne.

In preparing these Sketches I have eschewed the beaten path now worn so smooth by the heavy feet of innumerable chroniclers. I have attempted no history of the reign-no biography of Her Gracious Majesty. After all these things do the ordinary publishers seek. My readers have all probably been surfeited with them already, and to proffer my small contribution would be a work of supererogation indeed.

But it has occurred to me that I might in a humble way do some little service to historical truth, and contribute a little to a true appreciation of the Queen as she really is, the central figure of the whole English-speaking race, if I were to put on record some impressions and reminiscences of those who have been associated more or less intimately with the Queen either in the Court or in the Cabinet or in the Cottage, so as to preserve for the English-speaking world some of the ripest thoughts of the best informed as to the supreme woman of our century, who for sixty years has reigned as Sovereign of the realm and Empire of Britain.

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THE ROYAL FAMILY AT OSBORNE, IN 1857. (Photographed by command of Her Jajisty, by Lombardi and Co., 13, Pall Mall East.)

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