At Delhi, the capital of the Great Mogul, the Prince was met by Lord Napier of Magdala at the head of fifteen thousand troops, and at Lucknow an address and a crown set with jewels were presented to him.
[Illustration: The Secret of England’s Greatness J.T. Baker Photo W.A. Mansell & Co.]
It was in the same year that Disraeli, on behalf of the British Government, purchased a very large number of shares in the Suez Canal, thus gaining for us a hand in its administration—a vitally important matter when one realizes how much closer India has been brought by this saving in time over the long voyage round the Cape.
To pass in review the growth and expansion of the Empire during the Queen’s reign would be a difficult task, and an impossible one within the limits of a small volume. The expressions of loyalty and devotion from the representatives of the great over-seas dominions on the occasion of the Queen’s Jubilee in 1887 were proof enough that England and the English were no longer an insular land and people, but a mighty nation with one sovereign head.
In the address which was presented to the Queen it was stated that during her reign her colonial subjects of European descent had increased from two to nine millions, and in Asia and India there was an increase of population from ninety-six to two hundred and fifty-four millions.
After the great ceremony of thanksgiving in St Paul’s Cathedral the Queen expressed her thanks to her people in the following message:
“I am anxious to express to my people my warm thanks for the kind, and more than kind, reception I met with on going to and returning from Westminster Abbey with all my children and grandchildren.
“The enthusiastic reception I met with then, as well as on those eventful days in London, as well as in Windsor, on the occasion of my Jubilee, has touched me most deeply, and has shown that the labours and anxieties of fifty long years—twenty-two years of which I spent in unclouded happiness, shared with and cheered by my beloved husband, while an equal number were full of sorrows and trial borne without his sheltering arm and wise help—have been appreciated by my people. This feeling and the sense of duty towards my dear country and subjects, who are so inseparably bound up with my life, will encourage me in my task, often a very difficult and arduous one, during the remainder of my life.
“The wonderful order preserved on this occasion, and the good behaviour of the enormous multitudes assembled, merits my highest admiration. That God may protect and abundantly bless my country is my fervent prayer.”
And in laying the foundation-stone of the Imperial Institute, she said:
“I concur with you in thinking that the counsel and exertions of my beloved husband initiated a movement which gave increased vigour to commercial activity, and produced marked and lasting improvements in industrial efforts. One indirect result of that movement has been to bring more before the minds of men the vast and varied resources of the Empire over which Providence has willed that I should reign during fifty prosperous years.