from the slopes that kept the story of eight hundred years of English history. Primroses from such a place were an agreeable gift to a man who had been romantic during seventy-seven years of life. One day he turned on his pillow and said to his secretary,

"I had rather live, but I am not afraid to die."

Lord Beaconsfield died on April 19, "without suffering, quite calmly, as if in sleep." His secretary wrote to the Queen four days later,

"There lies, and will ever lie, close to that faithful heart the photograph of the Queen he loved."

Perhaps courage was the greater part of the foundations in the relationship between the Queen and her friend. On March 2, 1882, when she was almost sixty-three years old, Queen Victoria wrote in her journal:

At 4.30 left Buckingham Palace for Windsor. Just as we were driving off from the station there, the people, or rather the Eton boys, cheered, and at the same time there was the sound of what I thought was an explosion from the engine, but in another moment I saw people rushing about and a man being violently hustled, people rushing down the street. I then realised that it was a shot, which must have been meant for me, though I was not sure, and Beatrice said nothing....

Took tea with Beatrice, and telegraphed to all my children and near relations. Brown came in to say that the revolver had been found loaded, and one chamber discharged. ... Nothing can exceed dearest Beatrice's courage and calmness, for she saw the whole thing, the man take aim, and fire straight into the carriage, but she never said a word, observing that I was not frightened. ...

Next day the Queen wrote:

I slept as well as usual, and never once thought of what had occurred. ... Brown brought the revolver for me to see. ... I saw the bullets. Was much relieved to hear that the missing one was found. ... Walked with Beatrice down to the Mausoleum, and here I knelt by my beloved one's tomb and offered up prayers of thanksgiving for my preservation to God our Heavenly Father.


{120}

1881-1882

IN MARCH, 1882, the Prince of Wales went to Dover to see the first borings for a Channel tunnel which was to link England with France;

-301-

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Reign of Queen Victoria
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