memory, and the once regretted interest in people rather than things became a merit. In January, 1885, the Prince wrote 5 to Lord Wolseley,
"Most sincerely do I trust that you will get safely to Khartoum ... and find Gordon safe and sound. ... I sincerely hope that we are not going to hurry away and leave the Sudan in the state you have found it. Not being a member of H. M.'s Govt., I can give no opinion on the subject."
When Lord Wolseley arrived in the country about Khartoum, on January 28, 1885, he found that the city had been attacked by the Mahdi's soldiers two days before. After eleven months of waiting General Gordon had been killed.
The "dishonourable affair" remained unsettled until 1898, when the British recaptured their pride through Kitchener's conquest in the Sudan. Not until then was Queen Victoria able to write of General Gordon,
"Surely he is avenged. "6
MR. GLADSTONE'S delay in sending an expedition to save Gordon removed even the "beautiful manners" from his relationship with the Queen. When he eventually decided to leave the Mahdi to form his own empire in the Sudan, the Queen looked upon it as one more sign of the "weakness and vacillation" that had lowered Britain's prestige in Europe. The German newspapers forgot the dignified figure of Lord Beaconsfield at the Berlin Congress and, to the distress of the Crown Princess, they published "rude and impertinent" articles, pouring contempt on the Liberal government. Queen Victoria was equally disgusted by some of Mr. Gladstone's followers. She now had
"no confidence in Lord Granville "1 and thought him
"weak as water. "She also feared that Lord Derby's influence was
" harmful. "
The weakness of Britain's position was emphasized when Mr. Gladstone said he was willing to yield to pressure from France and other powers and end the British occupation of Egypt after five years.
"Why are we to be bullied and frightened by other Powers?"wrote the Queen.2 She felt "much aggrieved and annoyed," and said she was
"never listened to, or her advice followed, and all she foretold invariably happened, and what she urged was done when too late!"It