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She bowed to the Lords, took her seat, and then read her speech in a clear, distinct, and audible voice, without any appearance of fear or embarrassment. She was quite plainly dressed, and in mourning. ... Peel said how amazed he was at her manner and behaviour, at her apparent deep sense of her situation, her modesty, and at the same time her firmness. She appeared, in fact, to be awed but not daunted, and afterwards the Duke of Wellington told me the same thing, and added that if she had been his own daughter he could not have desired to see her perform her part better.'
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The state rooms at Kensington Palace have been carefully restored, and by command of her late Majesty are now open to the public. Here may be seen Queen Mary's privy chamber, Queen Anne's private dining room, the magnificent king's gallery, the cupola room, Queen Victoria's nursery, and many other apartments. But the most interesting of all, the room in which Queen Victoria was born, and the room in which she held her first Council, are not shown.
Buckingham Palace has been left to the last, for it possesses few historic memories and has the reputation of being the ugliest royal palace in Europe. The reputation is not altogether deserved, as those who have witnessed the gloomy and forbidding barracks which do duty as royal palaces in some of the capital cities of Europe can testify. From the garden front, at least, Buckingham Palace has a certain stateliness which is not unworthy of the principal London residence of the King. In the far-away days when the court disported itself at Whitehall the site of Buckingham Palace was known as the Mulberry Garden. This garden was a fashionable resort during the reign of Charles I. and of Charles II., and was the scene of many gay comedies. There was a house adjoining the Mulberry Garden known as Goring House, which was later purchased by Lord Arlington, and rebuilt on a larger scale, and styled Arlington House. This was demolished in 1703, and upon its site John Sheffield, the magnificent Duke of Buckingham, built a mansion and named it Buckingham House, situated, as he says, “in a little wilderness full of blackbirds and 'nightingales.' The Duke of Buckingham had no liking for the Hanoverian succession, and when George I. came from Hanover to take up his residence across the park at St. James's, the proud Duke remained aloof in splendid isolation at Buckingham House. He married secondly Catherine Darnley, natural daughter of James II., and the Duchess, after her lord's death, continued to live at Buckingham
House with pomp which was almost regal. This was the lady whom Queen Caroline dubbed · Princess Buckingham,' and of whom Horace Walpole wrote : ‘She is more mad
with pride than any mercer's wife in Bedlam. The duchess was a devoted adherent of the Stuarts; every year she made a pilgrimage to Paris to weep over the body of James II., and many were the plots in which she was engaged to bring back the king over the water. After her death Buckingham House was acquired by the Crown.
George III. and Queen Charlotte were looking about for a mansion which would serve them as a London residence in the place of St. James's Palace, which they both disliked. Buckingham House was therefore purchased by the King and settled upon Queen Charlotte as her especial property and called Queen's House. The royal pair entered in possession of their new London home, which was then a commodious red brick mansion surrounded with beautiful gardens. To make the grounds even larger a portion of the Green Park was added. Here 'Farmer George' and his queen lived the quiet domestic life they loved so well, all state functions taking place at St. James's Palace; but later, when the grand saloon at Buckingham House was fitted up as a throne-room, Queen Charlotte held her smaller drawing-rooms there. The etiquette of Queen Charlotte's dall court was rigid, but at first she was not such a martinet as she became in later years. In her early days in England she had great difficulty in conforming to the strict observance of the English Sunday. 'If I read all day,' she told Lady George Murray, 'my poor eyes get tired. I do not like to
go to sleep, so I lock my door (that nobody may be shocked) and take my knitting for a little while, and then I can read my good books again.' At Queen's House most of George IIJ.'8 many children were born, and we can picture the homely King and Queen sitting down to their frugal dinner there, with the numerous little princes and princesses ranged in order of age on either side, and forbidding them to touch the strawberries and other delicacies which made their appearance on the royal table only to be taken away. Queen Charlotte firmly believed in corporal punishment, and often gave her children a flogging, the King standing by and approving. On one occasion a great lady, moved by the cries of the youthful delinquent, ventured to plead for him.
Ah !' said the King, if all mothers in this country followed • the example of her Majesty, there would be better manners 'in England.' Fanny Burney bears witness at the time to
the good behaviour of the royal children. “How excellently
well,' she exclaims, are all these children brought up!' But the after results of this Spartan training can hardly be said to have justified it.
The King and Queen were at Queen's House the night when the Gordon Riots were raging, and the troops which guarded the palace had no straw to lie upon. “My lads,' said the King, 'my crown could not purchase straw for you to-night, but depend upon it I have given orders that a sufficiency shall be sent here by to-morrow noon. As a substitute for the straw my servants will instantly serve 'you with a good allowance of wine and spirits to make • your situation as comfortable as possible, and I shall my
self keep you company till to-morrow morning. He kept his word, and sat up all night with the officers in the Queen's Riding House, sending messengers every now and again over to St. James's Palace to report on the proceedings of the rioters who were trying to force an entrance there.
When George IV. came to the throne, the Queen's House' was in a very dilapidated condition, and the King determined to rebuild it. He had not long finished his grotesque pleasure house, the Pavilion at Brighton, and as there was a little difficulty about getting the necessary supplies from Parliament to build a new palace in London, he cunningly asked for a grant for the enlargement and
repair of the Queen's House and got it.' Nash, the architect, had the King's command to keep up the fiction of repair, but very soon the Queen's House was transformed into the King's Palace at Pimlico. George IV., with all his faults, had a sense of the magnificent, and he dreamed of a palace which should rival those of ancient Rome. The palace grew and grew, and a notable feature of the repairs' was the magnificent marble arch copied from that of Constantine at Rome, upon which an equestrian statue of the King was to stand. This statue was never placed there, and, shortly after Queen Victoria's accession, the Marble Arch was banished to the Oxford Street entrance of Hyde Park. The King's repairs and additions cost half a million of money, and by the time they were finished every trace of the original structure of Buckingham House was lost. The work was not ended when George IV. died, and his successor, William IV., swore that the palace was a monstrosity, and declared that nothing would induce him to live in it. So it remained uninhabited and deserted, surrounded by a wilderness of sandy gravel, until Queen Victoria came to the throne,
The young Queen declared that she liked neither Kensington nor St. James's, but would in the future make the King's Palace at Pimlico her London residence. The palace was soon finished and upholstered, and the Queen decided that she would call it in future Buckingham Palace. In July, 1837, she quitted Kensington and drove through cheering crowds to her new home, passing under the Marble Arch, whereon the Royal Standard floated for the first time. In the early years of Queen Victoria's reign Buckingham Palace was considerably altered and improved. The magnificent ball-room was built and the gardens were beautified under the direction of the Prince Consort. Though, after her husband's death, she resided in London but little, Buckingham Palace was always the centre of Queen Victoria's life in the metropolis during her long reign of sixty-three years. She drove from it to her coronation and her wedding, and here many of her children were born. From its windows she watched the funeral of the great Duke of Wellington passing to St. Paul's, and from the balcony she waved farewell to her Guards as they set forth to the Crimea. Through the great bronze gates of Buckingham Palace Queen Victoria passed to the thanksgiving of her Jubilee in Westminster in 1887, and ten years later they swung open again when the aged Queen went forth to celebrate with her people her Diamond Jubilee.
King Edward VII. was born at Buckingham Palace, and from its gates on June 26 last he and his gracious consort were to have driven to their coronation had not the King been prostrated by sudden and dangerous illness only a few hours before the date of the ceremonial. It was in Buckingham Palace that the operation was performed which it is the prayer of British subjects all the world over will have the effect of restoring their King to his former health and strength.
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ART. VIII.-Euvres complètes de Victor Hugo. Edition
définitive. Forty-seven volumes.* Paris : 1883. The too philosophic multitude, in its striving after unity
1 (which we know to be the goal of all philosophy), cannot be got to distinguish between a great writer and his formulated opinions, between his personality and his genius. When therefore the crowds of Paris acclaimed Victor Hugo on his return from exile in 1870; when in their thousands they followed his pauper hearse in 1885; or when once more the other day they assembled at the Panthéon to pay due honours to his tomb, they thought chiefly of the man who, brought up a Bonapartist and later turned Royalist, had in the end become an ardent champion of the popular cause, and had suffered for his creed. They forgot the inconsistencies of Victor Hugo's political career and saw its finer intentions, accepting the Hugo who is presented to us in the 'Actes et Paroles.' And, less consciously belike, they honoured him especially as a typical Frenchman, who displayed upon the larger canvas of genius most of their own characteristic good qualities and their defects.
For this last reason we on our side, regarding merely the man Victor Hugo, cannot give him unstinted admiration. His nature is alien from ours; of all lands he disliked most our country. And it is certain that we have been, we English upon the whole have been, very chary of recognition either to the man or to the poet. There exist other and subsidiary reasons for this want in us which must be touched upon presently. The English have not read (for the most part) Hugo's best things: they have judged him almost exclusively by his performances in two fields of literature where he did not beyond question excel, neglecting that one in which he stands supreme. One Englishman indeed has gone far to lift this reproach from the shoulders of all his countrymen. Mr. Swinburne, by his unmeasured praise of Hugo, may be thought to have filled up the defects and defections of the others. But no writer, it may be assumed, would ask for undue neglect tempered by unmeasured praise as a substitute for just appreciation. We make no profession here to fill the void : due space is utterly wanting for the criticism of so vast a production as Victor Hugo's. Before
* These forty-seven volumes, which are not numbered continuously, include the work · Victor Hugo raconté par un témoin de sa vie.' This is generally admitted to be in effect an autobiography.