Colonial and Indian Exhibition in May, 1886, the Prince of Wales walked beside her, past the groups of Canadians, Australians, South Africans, and New Zealanders, who had come "Home" to see the land from which their fathers sailed. The Queen found the walk among the displays of her Empire
"very long and fatiguing, "6but her son was near, to help her
"up and down the steps."That night she dictated to Princess Beatrice,
"Dear Bertie, who was most kind throughout ... kissed my hand. "7
THE documents telling the story of 1887, when Queen Victoria celebrated her first Jubilee, reveal a tussle between glory and depression. The continuous problems of Ireland were in the hands of Mr. Balfour, whose appointment had surprised many people.
"It seems like breaking a butterfly on the wheel to extend Mr. Balfour on the rack of Irish politics,"one journal1 had said. He was
"an elegant, fragile creature, a prey to that aristocratic languor which prevents him from assuming any but the limpest attitude."The newspaper was as
"convinced of his inevitable failure"as of its
Mr. Balfour was a nephew of Lord Salisbury and had been with him at the congress in Berlin. Queen Victoria thought him
"singularly charming and agreeable"2 the first time he talked to her of Irish affairs.
" He believed that the cancer which was sapping away the vitality of Ireland was not so much political injustice as the extreme poverty and wretchedness of its people. He satisfied himself that the evils were mainly economic, and he determined to subordinate and direct his whole policy to the end of bringing a comfortable livelihood within the reach of the Irish peasantry. "3
This noble ambition was not to be realized under British government, but Mr. Balfour's first legislation, the Crimes Bill, which was opposed violently by Mr. Gladstone, brought good results. At the end of 1887, the Viceroy felt that he had waited long enough for the bill to be
"given a fair trial"and wrote an encouraging letter 4 to the Queen. He feared
"to take a too sanguine view,"but could not
"conceal from himself" that law and order were being "gradually restored even in the
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Publication information: Book title: Reign of Queen Victoria. Contributors: Hector Bolitho - Author. Publisher: Macmillan. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1948. Page number: 326.
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