Queen Victoria eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 262 pages of information about Queen Victoria.

Nevertheless, he could not quite give up all hope.  Another opportunity offered, and he made another effort—­but there was not very much conviction in it, and it was immediately crushed.  “My dear Uncle,” the Queen wrote, “I have to thank you for your last letter which I received on Sunday.  Though you seem not to dislike my political sparks, I think it is better not to increase them, as they might finally take fire, particularly as I see with regret that upon this one subject we cannot agree.  I shall, therefore, limit myself to my expressions of very sincere wishes for the welfare and prosperity of Belgium.”  After that, it was clear that there was no more to be said.  Henceforward there is audible in the King’s letters a curiously elegiac note.  “My dearest Victoria, your delightful little letter has just arrived and went like an Arrow to my heart.  Yes, my beloved Victoria!  I do love you tenderly...  I love you for yourself, and I love in you the dear child whose welfare I tenderly watched.”  He had gone through much; yet, if life had its disappointments, it had its satisfactions too.  “I have all the honours that can be given, and I am, politically speaking, very solidly established.”  But there were other things besides politics, there were romantic yearnings in his heart.  “The only longing I still have is for the Orient, where I perhaps shall once end my life, rising in the west and setting in the east.”  As for his devotion to his niece, that could never end.  “I never press my services on you, nor my councils, though I may say with some truth that from the extraordinary fate which the higher powers had ordained for me, my experience, both political and of private life, is great.  I am always ready to be useful to you when and where and it may be, and I repeat it, all I want in return is some little sincere affection from you.”

VI

The correspondence with King Leopold was significant of much that still lay partly hidden in the character of Victoria.  Her attitude towards her uncle had never wavered for a moment.  To all his advances she had presented an absolutely unyielding front.  The foreign policy of England was not his province; it was hers and her Ministers’; his insinuations, his entreaties, his struggles—­all were quite useless; and he must understand that this was so.  The rigidity of her position was the more striking owing to the respectfulness and the affection with which it was accompanied.  From start to finish the unmoved Queen remained the devoted niece.  Leopold himself must have envied such perfect correctitude; but what may be admirable in an elderly statesman is alarming in a maiden of nineteen.  And privileged observers were not without their fears.  The strange mixture of ingenuous light-heartedness and fixed determination,

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Queen Victoria from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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