European frontier of the Empire, and its military and political rule by the Sultan."

The Queen's answer came back,

"It is all due to your energy and firmness."
Lord Beaconsfield defined the terms of his victory more fully to the Prince of Wales.
"European Turkey is again a fact . . . and now Russia is more hopelessly than ever excluded from that Mediterranean to gain which they embarked on the late war and on others before. ... We have made a book with Austria, and Turkey is in our pocket."
On July 6 he wrote again,
" England enters into a defensive alliance with Turkey as respects all her Asiatic dominions, and with the consent of the Sultan we occupy the island of Cyprus. It is the key to Asia, and is near to Egypt. Malta is too far for a military base for these purposes. "

Lord Beaconsfield and Lord Salisbury returned to the welcome London extends to its heroes. From the balcony of No. 10 Downing Street, the Prime Minister gave the cheering crowd the phrase,

"Peace with Honour,"
which rang through the country. He had to rest for a few days. Then, in "high spirits," he crossed to the Isle of Wight with the last of his many gifts to his Sovereign. It was a magnificent, final proof of his devotion, to be able to give her Cyprus, the island Richard the Lionhearted had conquered in the twelfth century. The Prime Minister refused all the honours the Queen offered him, except the Order of the Garter, of which the essential quality was chivalry. Then he returned to the "lone rambling house" 3 in Downing Street.

In Berlin, Prince Bismarck contemplated the only three photographs in his room. They were, he said, of his Sovereign, his wife, and his friend.


{114}

1878-1880

THE tumult over the Berlin Congress had barely passed when a new danger threatened British interests in India. In July, 1878, Russian troops advanced through Turkistan and paused on the borders of Afghanistan, dangerously near the Indian frontier. A Russian mission followed at the heels of the soldiers and a convention was signed with the Amir of Afghanistan. Britain proposed that the Amir should receive also a British mission. He was so bewildered at being sought by such majestical rivals that he not only refused to receive the British en

-285-

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