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HESE Studies, now collected and republished by the request of the highest
authority but one in the Realm, originally appeared in the Review of Reviews.
No one can possibly be so conscious of their shameless inadequacy than the writer, who nevertheless has received sufficient assurances from competent authorities to justify their republication. If it be true that they contribute to the better comprehension of the actual working of the modern Monarchy in a Democratic age, it may do the State some service amid the closing splendours of one reign to recall for the guidance of the next a realized ideal of a Sovereignity much more real and practical than is generally imagined.
Instead of undertaking this task myself, the proper person, who alone is competent adequately to set forth the usual history of the Reign, is the author of “The Life of the Prince Consort.” But it was impossible to induce Sir Theodore Martin to resume the pen with which he had so faithfully displayed the inner workings of the Crown and the Constitution down to 1861. He did me the honour to write me a letter, from which the following extract is at once an explanation of his position and the best introduction I could desire to these Studies of the Sovereign and the Reign.
“31, Onslow SQUARE, 23rd January, 1897. “DEAR SIR,—I have read your article on 'The Queen and Her Reign' with the greatest interest and am in fullest sympathy with the objects you have in view. But my position is a peculiar one. In · The Life of the Prince Consort'I have said all that I feel at liberty to say about Her Majesty's influence upon the national policy, domestic or foreign. Of course there is much else to tell of that influence both before and since the Prince's death. but of what I have learned about it I have purposely kept no memoranda of any kind, as it was given to me in confidence. It is only those who have been been Cabinet Ministers who could speak with authority of the everwakeful interest of the Queen in everything that concerns the welfare of the nation, of the immense value of Her Majesty's sagacity, of the importance of the knowledge accumulated during a long reign in a memory which forgets nothing, and of the truly royal courage and counsel which guides and strengthens the decisions of her Ministers in times of difficulty. Many of the men who could have borne the strongest testimony to these qualities are gone, but if their successors were free to speak I have no doubt they would have the same story to tell. I am not, and never have been, officially connected with the Court, and my position there has been, and is, one of perfect independence. But it has been my great privilege to have had unusual opportunities of studying Her Majesty's character, both as Woman and as Queen. All I can say is, you cannot in my opinion place it too high. It seems to me, if I may say so, that you have struck into the right line in the estimate you have formed of Her Majesty's qualities and of her influence. Well may other nations envy us a Sovereign who presides over the freest nation in the world, and whose whole life shows what Monarchy, worthily presented, can do for the good, not only of its own subjects, but also in helping on the cause of Christian brotherhood among the nations,
“ Believe me, dear Sir, truly yours,
" THEODORE MARTIN."
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
“ SIXTY YEARS AGO.”
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
• 75 ABRAHAM LINCOLN ALBERT, PRINCE
54, 69, 78, 122 BANK OF ENGLAND
148, 149 BEACONSFIELD, LORD.
75 BEUST, COUNT
87 " CLIPPER OF 1837
154 CORONATION CEREMONY
· 159 CORONATION OATH
90 CLYDE, LORD
44 DERBY, LORD
51, 74 DOWNING STREET 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
I 20 MELBOURNE, LORD
74 MORIER, SIR ROBERT
59 PALMERSTON, LORD
75 PEEL, SIR ROBERT
74 PRINCE ALBERT .
WHERE IS BRITANNIA ?
54, 69, 78, 122 PRINCE OF WALES
· 127, 131 PRINCESS OF WALES .
131 PRINCESS ROYAL
13, 124, 127
HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN.
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
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,
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
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
But at last silence comes;
sang Lowell of his hero—"new birth of our new soil, the first American.” But we also may apply his lines to her whose fame 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