excitement was still the same; the "babe of grace" was still the old man of indignation and battle, and he had not lost his zeal.
Queen Victoria's horizon did not spread across the Atlantic, especially when she was at Balmoral where she seemed remote from the rancour of the world. Affairs were less distressing at a distance, when they were reduced to bundles of documents in locked red boxes. The Queen had enjoyed one little storm of indignation before leaving London for her holiday. The Princess of Prussia asked if it were true that the friendship with France had caused British officers to efface Waterloo from their clasps and medals. "Most certainly not," answered the Queen. Then, with fine challenge she added, "It is there arid there it will remain and we hope ere long Sebastopol may be added."
Sebastopol fell on September 8, after a siege of three hundred and ninety-nine days. On a hill at Balmoral was a wood pile which had been waiting a year for this news. Prince Albert left his desk and walked out, to take a torch from one of the Highlanders and set the beacon alight. The Queen watched the blaze from a window; she could see her husband outlined against the flames, and the scattered population from the valley crowding up to dance about him. For half an hour the weight of years and duty left him. He joined the excited Scotsmen and danced "a veritable Witch's dance, supported by whiskey. "1
THE Queen and the Prince settled down to enjoy the promise of final victory and the problems of their children. When they walked over the moors, at least seven of the princes and princesses were with them, a chain of descendants whose careers had yet to be formed. The Queen did not always yield to motherly emotions. One day Prince Leopold was naughty and the Queen suggested he should be beaten. The Duchess of Kent pleaded that it would make her very sad to hear him cry. "Not when you have eight, Mama," answered the Queen; "that wears off. You could not go through that each time one of the eight cried. "1 The Queen was capable of hardness in watching the foibles of her children, and of astonishing honesty in admitting her limitations. She wrote,2 a year later, when Princess Augusta was
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: Reign of Queen Victoria. Contributors: Hector Bolitho - Author. Publisher: Macmillan. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1948. Page number: 141.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.