before, she had written,

" LordSalisbury knows what confidence she reposes in him. "
3


{130}

1886-1887

WHEN Queen Victoria saw Mr. Gladstone in May she remarked that he looked

"ill and haggard."
When Lord Salisbury arrived at Osborne, amid the elegance of June, his Sovereign thought he looked
"remarkably well."
Mr. Gladstone retired to
"an out-of-the-way place,"
in Bavaria, where he could be
"peaceful and silent,"
while Lord Salisbury was in London, forming his government. During the first months the task was not easy, and there was a storm in November, when Lord Randolph Churchill, Chancellor of the Exchequer, told the members of the cabinet that it was
"an idle schoolboy dream to suppose that Tories can legislate."
He said,
"I certainly have not the energy and courage to go on struggling against cliques, as poor Dizzy did all his life."
The Queen had revised her opinion of Lord Randolph: had thought her son's friend
"mad and odd,"
after he had said
"some strange things, "
1 at dinner. He resigned on December 23, thus ending his political career and leaving Lord Salisbury with a considerable embarrassment. There were other alarms before the government settled into its strength, but also an appointment that brought hope of solution to the Irish problem. Early in the new year, Mr. Arthur Balfour became Chief Secretary for Ireland, when Sir Michael Hicks-Beach resigned because of the failure of his eyes.

As these initial disorders passed and were solved, the government was rewarded by signs of improved prestige in Europe. Prince Bismarck showed his faith in the changes, when the British Ambassador said that he wished to hurry back to England because his wife was ill. The ambassador was worried lest his country's business might suffer during his absence, but Bismarck assured him that there was no need for anxiety while Lord Salisbury was at the Foreign Office. 2

Lord Salisbury had not acted as Foreign Secretary during the first months of his government, but he soon took over control of foreign policy, which interested him more than the duties and honour of being Prime Minister. The first considerable problem for the Foreign Office came in August when the Balkans staged a typical melodrama, inspired by Russian agents. Prince Alexander of Bulgaria, brother-in-law of

-323-

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