saying good-bye to old. One after another they had stood before her, each imagining that he held a surprising new key to problems that had become permanent and obvious to her. This was the last time she was to say farewell to a Prime Minister and hand the seals of office to his successor. Lord Rosebery withdrew, after fifteen months of power. For him it was an "immense relief." Lord Salisbury kissed hands and ushered in the closing years of the splendid century.
Lord Rosebery wrote 9 to the Queen,
"I can say with absolute truth that my only regret in laying down my office is the cessation of my personal relations with Your Majesty."Differences of opinion had not hurt his regard for his Sovereign. Lord Rosebery thanked her from the bottom of his heart for her "abundant and gracious kindness" and ended, "Whether in public or private life I shall always remember it with the deepest gratitude and pray for the continuance of Your Majesty's health and glorious reign."
The Queen was equally gallant. She addressed him as
"Dear Lord Rosebery,"and sent him a statuette as
"a little souvenir."She wrote at the end of her letter,
"I hope . . . that you will not forget me. "10
THE Conservatives gathered strength in the elections of July, 1895, and with the support of the Liberal Unionists they came in with a majority of 152. The Queen was able to enjoy the closing years of her reign with a Prime Minister she trusted, and a Conservative government that legislated according to her notion of what was right. Lord Salisbury was Foreign Secretary as well as Prime Minister, the Duke of Devonshire (leader of the Liberal Unionists) was President of the Council, and Mr. Balfour was First Lord of the Treasury. Mr. Chamberlain, once the user of "dangerous and improper language," and now thought by the Queen to be "very agreeable," was at the Colonial Office. On January 2, 1896, the Queen wrote,
"Beatrice read me telegrams after tea, as my sight is so bad, and I have not yet succeeded in getting spectacles to suit. "1 Five days later she complained again,
"So much to do, and my troublesome eyes make everything much more difficult. "2 There had been "much to do," apart from the domestic affairs of Westminster. Troubles came from south, east, and west. War between China