error and said,
"Well, Ma'am, do you think we could do some scenes from the life of the Pretender?"the Queen reminded her,
"We never speak of the Pretender. You mean Prince Charles Edward. "2 But there was less acid in her chiding now, and she talked eagerly of the plans for evening entertainment, summoned the choir boys to act charades for her, and learned once more the delights of being amused.
IN MARCH, the old Emperor of Germany died, when he was almost ninety-one years old. The Queen wrote to the Empress, recalling that the Emperor had
"always been unfailingly kind"to her, to her children and her
"dear husband, "1 but her private opinion, in her journal, was that he had been
"a tool . . . for no good,"in the hands of Bismarck, "the unbearable tyrant." With the Queen's sympathy went a strong hope that her son-in-law,
"dear Fritz,"now Emperor, would sweep some of the old tyrannies aside and bring the light of Liberalism to Germany. It would not be the Liberalism of Mr. Gladstone, but the purer kind, preached so earnestly by the Prince Consort thirty years before, when he wrote to his prospective son-in-law of "essential principles."
The new Emperor had been ill for many months, with cancer of the throat, but he had written to Bismarck, on his accession,
"May I be destined thus to lead Germany and Prussia in a course of peaceful development to new honours. ... Not caring for the splendour of great deeds, nor striving for glory, I shall be satisfied if it be one day said of my rule that it was beneficial to my people, useful to my Country, and a blessing to the Empire."2 The Emperor was writing of his ideals, from his sick bed, to a healthy realist who smiled on such ineffectual visions. It was Prince William, the Emperor Frederick's son, who was to rule, with a very different set of ambitions, and as Queen Victoria wrote, he was already behaving " outrageously. "3
In April, there was still some hope that
"dear, darling Fritz"might live, although his cancer was spreading. Queen Victoria had been staying in Italy; so she travelled by special train to Berlin, on the way home, to see her daughter and son-in-law. The Queen arrived at the palace on April 24 and went to her rooms, which had been "charmingly ar