most disaffected districts." He wrote,
"further improvement may be hoped for."It was all due to Mr. Balfour's act, which was being administered
In this year, the fiftieth anniversary of the Queen's accession, British politics seemed to pass from the hands of the old to the young. Lord Salisbury was the first Prime Minister to serve Queen Victoria who was younger than herself. Mr. Balfour was thirty-nine when he began his attempts at calming the Irish. His was not the only name
"shining with the first promise of success."On February 8, Sir Edward Grey
"made a maiden speech of much promise and interest, "5 and on March 24, Mr. W. H. Smith wrote to the Queen of Mr. Asquith, another new member who "spoke with considerable ability."
At home, in Ireland, and in Europe, the Queen could contemplate refreshing signs of change, signs of peace, and evidence of power. The most important step in foreign policy for the year was Lord Salisbury's secret understanding with Italy and Austria for common defence in the Mediterranean and Near East.
IN JULY, 1887, Letsie, Chief of the Basutos, wrote to the Qucen:
Many of my people don't understand that a person can live so many years as Queen, and many even go so far as to say that she must long ago have gone to her rest, and that it is her fame and glory which remain. ... For us, it is a curious thing that a woman should be a Queen....
The habits of half a century had led many of the Queen's subjects to forget that it was
"curious"for a woman to enjoy such power and influence. The generation was passed that could compare the shabby crown Queen Victoria had inherited, with the dazzling crown she had made, largely on the strength of her integrity and will. The celebrations of her Jubilee did not begin in Britain, but in far-away India, where some Hindus
"were shown fireworks far superior to any they had ever seen before."Lord Dufferin wrote to the Queen in February,
"The principal feature was the outline of Your Majesty's head, traced in lines of fire, which unexpectedly burst on the vision of the astonished crowd."He was able to add that the
"likeness was admirable."