Classic History Books

Great Britain and Her Queen

Anne E. Keeling

1897

 

CHAPTER I. THE GIRL QUEEN AND HER KINGDOM
CHAPTER II. STORM AND SUNSHINE
CHAPTER III. FRANCE AND ENGLAND
CHAPTER IV. THE CRIMEAN WAR
CHAPTER V. INDIA
CHAPTER VI. THE BEGINNINGS OF SORROWS
CHAPTER VII. CHANGES GOOD AND EVIL
CHAPTER VIII. OUR COLONIES
CHAPTER IX. INTELLECTUAL AND SPIRITUAL PROGRESS
CHAPTER X. PROGRESS OF THE EMPIRE FROM 1887 TO 1897
CHAPTER XI. PROGRESS OF WESLEYAN METHODISM UNDER QUEEN VICTORIA,
1837-1897. [Footnote]

 

 

CHAPTER I. THE GIRL QUEEN AND HER KINGDOM

Rather more than one mortal lifetime, as we average life in these later days, has elapsed since that June
morning of 1837, when Victoria of England, then a fair young princess of eighteen, was roused from her

tranquil sleep in the old palace at Kensington, and bidden to rise and meet the Primate, and his dignified

associates the Lord Chamberlain and the royal physician, who "were come on business of state to the

Queen" - words of startling import, for they meant that, while the royal maiden lay sleeping, the aged

King, whose heiress she was, had passed into the deeper sleep of death. It is already an often-told story

how promptly, on receiving that summons, the young Queen rose and came to meet her first homagers,

standing before them in hastily assumed wrappings, her hair hanging loosely, her feet in slippers, but in

all her hearing such royally firm composure as deeply impressed those heralds of her greatness, who

noticed at the same moment that her eyes were full of tears. This little scene is not only charming and

touching, it is very significant, suggesting a combination of such qualities as are not always found united:

sovereign good sense and readiness, blending with quick, artless feeling that sought no disguise - such

feeling as again betrayed itself when on her ensuing proclamation the new Sovereign had to meet her

people face to face, and stood before them at her palace window, composed but sad, the tears running

unchecked down her fair pale face.

That rare spectacle of simple human emotion, at a time when a selfish or thoughtless spirit would have
leaped in exultation, touched the heart of England deeply, and was rightly held of happy omen. The

nation's feeling is aptly expressed in the glowing verse of Mrs. Browning, praying Heaven's blessing on

the "weeping Queen," and prophesying for her the love, happiness, and honour which have been hers in

no stinted measure. "Thou shalt be well beloved," said the poetess; there are very few sovereigns of

whom it could be so truly said that they have been well beloved, for not many have so well

deserved it. The faith of the singer has been amply justified, as time has made manifest the rarer qualities

joyfully divined in those early days in the royal child, the single darling hope of the nation.

Once before in the recent annals of our land had expectations and desires equally ardent centred

 

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