by, the might of his conquerors. He went even into the presence of the Great White Queen. She wrote afterwards,
" Cetewayo is a very fine man in his native costume or rather no costume . . . unfortunately he appeared in a hideous black frock coat and trousers but still wearing the ring round his head denoting that he was a married man."The Queen's Empire was no longer a dream, but a reality, engaging her heart, her will, and her experience.
QUEEN VICTORIA'S descendants numbered eight children, forty grandchildren and thirty-seven great-grandchildren before she died. The fortunes of each one of this family seemed real to her; the choosing of their wives or husbands, their health, their education, their foibles of character and flashes of independent will were watched and advised upon, with increasing gentleness as the Queen mellowed with years. Grief, pride, and anxiety were continuously bred among this vast family so that the Queen's letters and journals reveal a pattern of family talk, mixed in with the greater affairs of government.
Queen Victoria had few interests beyond government, her jealousy for the authority of the crown, and the fortunes of her descendants. Science, literature, and scholarship passed her by. She was excited by the advent of the telephone, enough to receive Professor Bell at Osborne, in January, 1878, and stay up until midnight to hear a quartet singing over the wires from Cowes, a bugle playing at Southampton, and an organ in London. Such inventions came to her as novelties, not as miracles from the regions of science. It might be said that she gave her name to an age of great intellectual enterprises which she did not comprehend. She was a stateswoman of fiery will and considerable wisdom, and an ambitious, devoted mother. She limited her interests to three fields — monarchy, government, and family — and was formidable in each of them. Carlyle recorded the average view when he wrote, after sitting next to the Queen,
"Impossible to imagine a politer little woman; nothing the least imperious; all gentle; all sincere . . . makes you feel too (if you have any sense in you) that she is Queen."
Queen Victoria fully realized "the great inconvenience of a large family" in the late seventies and the eighties, when almost every