of papers that arrived each day. Their language was flowery but their meaning clear. Once he apologized for "a somewhat crude note" but said he was certain the Queen would prefer "a genuine report" to "a more artificial and prepared statement." Neither the Queen nor the Prince had liked "the Jew" at first, but a nearer view revealed his talents and his charm and they were delighted when he wrote that he was ready to "provide for the defence of the country."
BEFORE the year ended, there was a change in the Ministry, with such upheavals that Prince Albert wrote to his brother, "One almost fancies oneself in a lunatic asylum. " It had seemed that 1852 might close calmly, for there had been avowals of friendship from France. On October 9 Louis Napoleon had said, at Bordeaux, "Certain minds seem to entertain a dread of war; certain persons say the Empire is only war. But I say, the Empire is Peace, for France desires it."
Thus reassured, the British turned to their enterprises again and looked forward to a happy Christmas. But the "unable ministry" was still "dragging on its existence," weakened by the elections. On December 3, Mr. Disraeli introduced his budget with a brilliant speech that fascinated the Commons for five and a quarter hours. The debate which followed lasted four long nights, ending with a speech by Mr. Gladstone, of a different kind of brilliance, which helped to sway the vote that followed. The Ministry was outvoted and within a few hours the Prime Minister was at Osborne handing his resignation to the Queen. Power followed weakness. The Ministry formed by Lord Aberdeen, the Queen's "faithful friend," was, in her words, "brilliant and strong." She wrote to her uncle, "it is the realization of the country's and our most ardent wishes and it deserves success." She felt secure again with her "excellent Aberdeen" whose prejudices and opinions were much the same as her own. The Prince wrote to his brother that the new Ministry was one of "extraordinary talent, discipline and perseverance." The only disturbing member was Palmerston, once more moved from the shadows to the light. The Prince wrote, " ... if he is in a department in which he has to work like a horse, he cannot do any mischief."