Great Britain and Her Queen eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 157 pages of information about Great Britain and Her Queen.
lad of low station named Oxford, was shut up in a lunatic asylum.  For the second, a man named Francis, the same plea could not be urged; but the death-sentence he had incurred was commuted to transportation for life.  Almost immediately a deformed lad called Bean followed the example of Francis.  Her Majesty, who had been very earnest to save the life of the miserable beings attacking her, desired an alteration in the law as to such assaults; and their penalty was fixed at seven years’ transportation, or imprisonment not exceeding three years, to which the court was empowered to add a moderate number of whippings—­punishments having no heroic fascination about them, like that which for heated and shallow brains invested the hideous doom of “traitors.”  The expedient proved in a measure successful, none of the later assaults, discreditable as they are, betraying a really murderous intention.  It has been remarked as a noteworthy circumstance that popular English monarchs have been more exposed to such dangers than others who were cordially disliked.  It is not hatred that has prompted these assassins so much as imbecile vanity and the passion for notoriety, misleading an obscure coxcomb to think

                        “His glory would be great
   According to her greatness whom he quenched.”

CHAPTER III.

FRANCE AND ENGLAND.

[Illustration:  Buckingham Palace.]

It is necessary now to look at the relations of our Government with other nations, and in particular with France, whose fortunes just at this time had a clearly traceable effect on our own.

For several years the Court of England had been on terms of unprecedented cordiality with the French Court.  The Queen had personally visited King Louis Philippe at the Chateau d’Eu—­an event which we must go back as far as the days of Henry VIII to parallel—­and had contracted a warm friendship for certain members of his family, in particular for the Queen, Marie Amelie, for the widowed Duchess of Orleans, a maternal cousin of Prince Albert, and for the perfect Louise, the truthful, unselfish second wife of Leopold, King of the Belgians, and daughter of the King of the French.  It was a rude shock to all the warm feelings which our Queen, herself transparently honest, had learnt to cherish for her royal friends when the French King and his Minister, Guizot, entered into that fatal intrigue of theirs, “the Spanish marriages.”  Isabella, the young Queen of Spain, and her sister and heiress presumptive, Louisa, were yet unmarried at the time of the visit to the Chateau d’Eu; and about that time an undertaking was given by the French to the English Government that the Infanta Louisa should not marry a French prince until her sister, the actual Queen, “should be married and have children.”  The possible union of the crowns of France and Spain was known for a dream of French ambition, and was equally well known

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Great Britain and Her Queen from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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