detrimental report on the behaviour of some of the officers at Ladysmith, she wrote of the
"lamentable want of direction and judgment"which was
"cruel and ungenerous"to men who had tried to do their duty. There was no rest, and when she was not reading, she made expeditions: to the zoo to see the lions, to the Meath hospital, and to a convent where the Mother Superior of the Sacred Heart kissed her hand. From the first to the last of the twenty-two days, Ireland was charming to her. Forty years of neglect were forgotten and, if there was hatred still for the iniquities of Westminster, there was none for the eighty-one-year-old monarch who had come all the way from her great castle in the Thames Valley, with her thanks. One of the arches under which the Queen drove told all the story, in the words that shone above her,
Blest for ever is she who relied
On Erin's honour and Erin's pride.
On April 26 the channel fleet escorted the Victoria and Albert back to England, but the Queen saw little on the way. She was "feeling very tired" and "soon went below to rest." She "slept the greater part of the time." She was sorry "that all was over . . . that this eventful visit, which caused so much interest and excitement, had, like everything else in the world, come to an end. ... " But the Queen admitted,
"I am very tired and long for rest and quiet."
THE cleavage between Britain and the European countries increased with the victories in South Africa. The Prince and Princess of Wales went to Denmark in April, by way of Brussels, and as the train moved out of the station a Belgian boy, fifteen years old, fired a pistol into the royal carriage. As the Prince wrote,1
"Fortunately Anarchists are bad shots. The dagger is far more to be feared than the pistol."The wild boy did no harm, but he had expressed the opinion of many Europeans, that the Prince of Wales was
"an accomplice of Chamberlain in killing the Boers. "2
Britons travelling in Europe during 1900 were greeted with cries of
" Vive les Boers. "And they had to suffer many disagreeable home