Queen Victoria eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 326 pages of information about Queen Victoria.
pointing out the unconstitutional nature of Lord Melbourne’s proceedings and the unpleasant position in which the Queen might find herself if they were discovered by Peel; and he instructed Anson to take this memorandum to the ex-Minister.  Lord Melbourne, lounging on a sofa, read it through with compressed lips.  “This is quite an apple-pie opinion,” he said.  When Anson ventured to expostulate further, suggesting that it was unseemly in the leader of the Opposition to maintain an intimate relationship with the Sovereign, the old man lost his temper.  “God eternally damn it!” he exclaimed, leaping up from his sofa, and dashing about the room.  “Flesh and blood cannot stand this!” He continued to write to the Queen, as before; and two more violent bombardments from the Baron were needed before he was brought to reason.  Then, gradually, his letters grew less and less frequent, with fewer and fewer references to public concerns; at last, they were entirely innocuous.  The Baron smiled; Lord M. had accepted the inevitable.

The Whig Ministry resigned in September, 1841; but more than a year was to elapse before another and an equally momentous change was effected—­the removal of Lehzen.  For, in the end, the mysterious governess was conquered.  The steps are unknown by which Victoria was at last led to accept her withdrawal with composure—­perhaps with relief; but it is clear that Albert’s domestic position must have been greatly strengthened by the appearance of children.  The birth of the Princess Royal had been followed in November, 1841, by that of the Prince of Wales; and before very long another baby was expected.  The Baroness, with all her affection, could have but a remote share in such family delights.  She lost ground perceptibly.  It was noticed as a phenomenon that, once or twice, when the Court travelled, she was left behind at Windsor.  The Prince was very cautious; at the change of Ministry, Lord Melbourne had advised him to choose that moment for decisive action; but he judged it wiser to wait.  Time and the pressure of inevitable circumstances were for him; every day his predominance grew more assured—­and every night.  At length he perceived that he need hesitate no longer—­that every wish, every velleity of his had only to be expressed to be at once Victoria’s.  He spoke, and Lehzen vanished for ever.  No more would she reign in that royal heart and those royal halls.  No more, watching from a window at Windsor, would she follow her pupil and her sovereign walking on the terrace among the obsequious multitude, with the eye of triumphant love.  Returning to her native Hanover she established herself at Buckeburg in a small but comfortable house, the walls of which were entirely covered by portraits of Her Majesty.  The Baron, in spite of his dyspepsia, smiled again:  Albert was supreme.


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Queen Victoria from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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