Queen Victoria eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 326 pages of information about Queen Victoria.
effort was made.  Yet, strange to say, the object of all this vigilance and solicitude continued to be unsatisfactory—­appeared, in fact, to be positively growing worse.  It was certainly very odd:  the more lessons that Bertie had to do, the less he did them; and the more carefully he was guarded against excitements and frivolities, the more desirous of mere amusement he seemed to become.  Albert was deeply grieved and Victoria was sometimes very angry; but grief and anger produced no more effect than supervision and time-tables.  The Prince of Wales, in spite of everything, grew up into manhood without the faintest sign of “adherence to and perseverance in the plan both of studies and life—­” as one of the Royal memoranda put it—­which had been laid down with such extraordinary forethought by his father.


Against the insidious worries of politics, the boredom of society functions, and the pompous publicity of state ceremonies, Osborne had afforded a welcome refuge; but it soon appeared that even Osborne was too little removed from the world.  After all, the Solent was a feeble barrier.  Oh, for some distant, some almost inaccessible sanctuary, where, in true domestic privacy, one could make happy holiday, just as if—­or at least very, very, nearly—­one were anybody else!  Victoria, ever since, together with Albert, she had visited Scotland in the early years of her marriage, had felt that her heart was in the Highlands.  She had returned to them a few years later, and her passion had grown.  How romantic they were!  And how Albert enjoyed them too!  His spirits rose quite wonderfully as soon as he found himself among the hills and the conifers.  “It is a happiness to see him,” she wrote.  “Oh!  What can equal the beauties of nature!” she exclaimed in her journal, during one of these visits.  “What enjoyment there is in them!  Albert enjoys it so much; he is in ecstasies here.”  “Albert said,” she noted next day, “that the chief beauty of mountain scenery consists in its frequent changes.  We came home at six o’clock.”  Then she went on a longer expedition—­up to the very top of a high hill.  “It was quite romantic.  Here we were with only this Highlander behind us holding the ponies (for we got off twice and walked about). . . .  We came home at half-past eleven,—­the most delightful, most romantic ride and walk I ever had.  I had never been up such a mountain, and then the day was so fine.”  The Highlanders, too, were such astonishing people.  They “never make difficulties,” she noted, “but are cheerful, and happy, and merry, and ready to walk, and run, and do anything.”  As for Albert he “highly appreciated the good-breeding, simplicity, and intelligence, which make it so pleasant and even instructive to talk to them.”  “We were always in the habit,” wrote Her Majesty, “of conversing with the Highlanders—­with whom one comes so much in contact in the Highlands.”  She loved everything about them—­their customs, their dress, their dances, even their musical instruments.  “There were nine pipers at the castle,” she wrote after staying with Lord Breadalbane; “sometimes one and sometimes three played.  They always played about breakfast-time, again during the morning, at luncheon, and also whenever we went in and out; again before dinner, and during most of dinner-time.  We both have become quite fond of the bag-pipes.”

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Queen Victoria from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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