the marriage and the visit.... Do try what you can to set this business right. Nobody can have managed the lady better than you have. . . ." 4
The Prince of Wales, Lord Derby, and Mr. Disraeli appealed to the Queen, but failed to break down her stubbornness. On May 5, Disraeli wrote to Lady Bradford that he "fancied" the Queen "averted her head" from him, at the drawing-room, that day.
"I have no doubt I am not in favour. I can't help it,"he added. But the cloud passed, and two days later, the Queen wrote to him,
"It is for Mr. Disraeli's sake and as a return for his great kindness that she will stop till the 20th."The winter of her discontent was passing and kindness blossomed again. She sent him a letter almost every day and her favours were so plentiful that they embarrassed him. When she ordered the yacht Faery, to save him from the discomfort of crossing to the Isle of Wight in the public steamer, he declined the honour. He thought it would make "an injudicious distinction" from his colleagues, who were so "faithful to him. "
IN THE early years of her reign the colonies were romantic rather than real to Queen Victoria and she had sometimes looked upon them much as the Tudors looked upon the block: as a convenient way of being rid of disturbing people. As late as 1872 she wrote,1 of an official who had been "rude and tactless," that it might be best to find him a post
"in the colonies."The visits of the Queen's sons, to Canada, South Africa, and Australia, slowly changed this state of mind and the family talk was no longer cramped within Europe. The Princes came home from their "travel and sea-faring " and told their mother strange stories of new lands and new problems. For them, the Second British Empire was fat with opportunity, and reality.
In 1875, it was suggested that the Prince of Wales should visit India. The idea came at a time when he was restless, and he was delighted at the prospect, but the Queen thought the plan should be "very carefully considered and weighed in the Cabinet." She looked with "much anxiety and apprehension to so long and distant a voyage. " She might die while he was abroad; also, she thought her son was not robust enough for the ceremonies he would have to endure. Privately, she was still alarmed over his "passion for racing" for she had heard, "to her