Friday, January 09, 2009

07Apr1864, The Queen's Peculiar Desolation

LONDON, Thursday, April 7th, 1864.
—London feels oppressive and almost hot after Hagley : streets already a good deal blocked. The Saturday Review the other day had a disagreeable sort of threatening article about the Queen's maintaining her retirement ; and this (as is supposed) has led to her putting into the Times a statement of her determination to continue to delegate to others the matters of mere ceremonial, at the same time that she will never shrink from anything that may be beneficial to the people, of whose loyal affection she speaks warmly. She also says that the quantity of business that falls upon her in her loneliness and desolation has tried her health. Now all this should never have been allowed, as it is undignified for the Queen to defend herself in the Times against a wretched article in the Saturday Review ; but the expressions are most touching and pathetic, and I for one cd never bear to blame her. The country knows nothing of the Queen's peculiar desolation. It behoves us better to pray for her and to have pity, than to goad her, when she is devoting herself to duty and works of mercy, into Court gaieties. Aggie and I had the treat of going to hear the Budget, which took 3 hours, and was very interesting on the whole. A splendid surplus of 30,000, [FN: Sic ; but presumably a mistake for £3,000,000.] accordingly the income tax comes down from 7d. to 6d. and the sugar duties are greatly lowered.

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