THE Queen was immediately busy and watchful, as if the Liberals were a double challenge to her sense of duty. Every few days there was a short, crisp letter, for Mr. Gladstone, to show that her failing eyes did not miss a detail in the country's affairs. The Prime Minister was warned that Mr. Labouchere, owner of Truth, was not "a fit and proper person" for any appointment "which would bring him into personal communication with the Queen." 1 Two days later, the Queen "commanded" her secretary to write to Mr. Gladstone, expressing her "hope" that Lord Ripon would not be suggested "for the appointment of Secretary of State for India." 2 On August 22, the Queen thought there had been "some breach of confidence" 3 over her objection to Mr. Labouchere's appointment. Early in September, she suggested that no ships from Hamburg
"should be allowed to enter any of our ports"as the cholera was
"so very alarming there. "4
Behind these passing troubles was the old fear of Mr. Gladstone's dangerous ideas about the future of Ireland. The Prime Minister must have felt the full force of the Queen's resentment when he read her letter 5 from Balmoral, in October. The Chief Secretary for Ireland had mentioned
"the peace & order of that Country."The Queen observed to Mr. Gladstone that
"this satisfactory state of affairs"was the result of
"six years of firm & just Govt"and she wished him to know that she could not "but regret" fresh measures which seemed " uncalled for" and which might "encourage the lawless & fresh outbursts of crime." Mr. Gladstone's replies to the Queen's continuous questions about Ireland were polite and evasive. The concentration with which he was preparing the Home Rule Bill, to be presented again in February, 1893, was lively as ever.
IN SEPTEMBER, 1892, Queen Victoria had written1 to Lord Rosebery,
"The fate of Gordon is not, and will not be, forgotten in Europe, and we must take great care in what we do."One of the Queen's unique
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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: 346.
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