of the souls of the million and a half of people who lost their lives by the misrule of the English Government during the fifty years' rule of Queen Victoria. " 2

In Britain, the first touches of mystery began to gather about the Queen's name. When ten thousand school children gathered in Hyde Park to celebrate the Jubilee, an immense balloon was released, bearing the name Victoria. One of the children was heard gravely telling another,

"That is the Queen, going up to Heaven. "
3


{134}

1887

THE first Jubilee induced Queen Victoria to throw off her dismal cloak of repining. Even before the celebrations began, she emerged from the hibernation of sorrow, and rediscovered the joys of living. A few days before her sixty-eighth birthday, when she held a drawing-room at Buckingham Palace, she broke down an old injustice by allowing certain "poor divorced ladies" to appear before her. She saw no reason why they should suffer social eclipse because they had divorced their husbands "owing to cruelty, desertion and misbehaviour." 1 Her energy was refreshed, with her mind, and after she had seen the plans for the service at Westminster, she drove to the Abbey, to make sure there would be "room for everybody and everything." She placed flowers on Lady Augusta Stanley's tomb and climbed among the timbers and scaffolding, with the Dean at her side. Then she received Lord Salisbury, to talk over more plans, and on the way back to Windsor she stopped at Earl's Court to see

"a very extraordinary and interesting sight a performance of Buffalo Bill's Wild West."
Three days later she had driven up to London again, to lead a procession through fifteen miles of London streets. This day her strength and joy were astonishing. She opened the People's Palace, paused to see the Albert Docks, and called at the Mansion House for tea. The gratitude and affection of an Empire seemed to enter her heart. After the Jubilee celebrations were over, the spirit of happiness remained. There were plans for actors to visit Windsor, and tableaux, to brighten the long winter evenings. Even when one of the ladies suggested that they might stage the execution of Mary Queen of Scots, the Queen merely said,
"How could you think of such a thing?"
When the lady blundered into fresh

-330-

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