being voted for defences, of his father's plans for another great exhibition, of the celebrations for King Leopold's thirty-ninth year on his throne, and of the growing strength of King Victor Emmanuel, whom the Prince had once liked 2 because he boasted that he could cut off the head of an ox with one blow of his sword. But these were all whispers from another world. The only news from home that touched the Prince was of the birth 3of a niece in Berlin. "Your telegram reached me in seven days," he wrote to his mother. It was "the quickest time ever known. " 4
DURING June and July, the terrible massacre of Christians in Syria stirred horror, then suspicion among the powers, for Napoleon III once more rose as protector of the persecuted and sent troops to Syria. Whitehall became alarmed, remembering how often the champion of martyred minorities had become the profiteer in the end. The Emperor was "hurt" by the mistrust in England, so he wrote to his ambassador in London, hoping that "a conversation in perfect frankness" with Lord Palmerston would "remedy the existing evil." He wrote, "Since the peace of Villafranca I have had but one thought, one object — to inaugurate a new era of peace." Whitehall received the assurance gratefully, but the suspicion remained.
Twelve days after the Emperor's letter was written from St. Cloud, Queen Victoria was in Edinburgh, reviewing 22,000 volunteers, with 200,000 civilians looking on from the noble hills. The acclamation from the slopes was terrific, to the delight of the Prince Consort who wrote to Stockmar, "This Review was magnificent." He added that the French were "out of humour," because of the demonstration.
From Edinburgh the Court went to Balmoral. One day the Queen and the Prince Consort climbed the highest mountain in Scotland, with two of the Princesses. A conversation on the way, between Queen Victoria and John Brown, the Scottish gillie, should be remembered, for it gives the beginning of a reason for the extraordinary, sympathetic friendship between the Sovereign and her servant, after the Prince Consort's death. The Prince had ridden ahead with John Grant, the other Scottish servant of whom they were both so fond. The Queen and Brown were following when they overheard the Prince