From The Nineteenth Century. rounded by the ashes of the “ Venetian THE QUEEN AND LORD BEACONSFIELD. party, ,” but among the villagers of a

On the wall of Hughenden Church Buckinghamshire bamlet, under a memay be seen a memorial tablet, record- morial raised to him by the occupant ing the gratitude and affection of Queen of the throne, was a fit climax to the Victoria for the services and for the creed he professed in youth, and carmemory of a man who without ques- ried with him to almost supreme power, tion was the most interesting and and to the grave. If he began political striking figure of her reign. The in- life amid the contemptuous jeers of a scription which it bears was written by Tory House of Commons, he lived to the queen herself. “ To the dear and receive the profound adulation and honored memory, so it runs, “of enjoy the absolute confidence of the Benjamin, Earl of Beaconsfield, this Conservative party. If the first thirty memorial is placed by his grateful and years of his political existence were affectionate Sovereign and friend, Vic- passed in the cold shadow of royal toria R.I. 'Kings love bim that speak- disapprobation and dislike, he lived to eth right.' Prov. xvi. 13." This become the darling of the court and to inscription is in many ways note- earn the inscription which adorns his worthy. To find a memorial erected tomb. These variations of sentiment by a sovereign to a subject is in itself were in no way due to changes in sufficiently remarkable, but so rare an Disraeli himsell, but rather to the slow act of condescension is unique coupled appreciation by others of his rare perwith public expressions of gratitude sonality. His character never underand friendship.

went any marked development, while These qualities are not common in the ideas which well-nigh choked his kings accustomed to accept devotion or youth found expression in maturity service as their clue, and even from and old age. In his political enthuQueen Victoria such strong words siasms and hatreds he was alike conread strangely when it is remembered sistent and persevering. No one ever that they are from the hand of a queen suspected him of a weakness for the of England towards one whom her Whigs whom he hated, nor doubted his ancestors would have scorned as the sympathy for the people whom he son of a hated and despised race, whom trusted, and his regard for the throne to this day some of her relatives and which he upheld. As a Tory Demoregal cousins hound and persecute with crat he appeared an abnormal growth all the unenlightened fervor of the to the “ sublime mediocrity” of Peel Middle Ages. It was meet, bowever, and of bis party, yet he lived to estabthat in a Christian church such a me- lish household suffrage and to convert morial, raised by the supreme head of the diadem of the English kings into that Church, to a Jew by blood and by an imperial crown. every fibre of his nature, should be In youth Disraeli brooded over probrounded off by a quotation from the lems of statecraft,

and these very proverbial philosophy of the most problems he lived largely to solve as a famous ruler of his race, and fitter still minister. To those who read his pothat there should be found affixed to it litical tracts, cast by him into the origa signature, the novelty of which to inal form of the political novel, and English eyes recalls the fact that Lord who were familiar with his foppish Beaconsfield aspired to rank with Bis- appearance and his florid style of mark and Cavour as the consolidator specch, it appeared impossible that he of imperial rule.

should figure in any other character If in politics an opportunist, in char- than that of the political charlatan and acter 110

man could have exhibited social buffoon. Yet over these prejugreater consistency throughout a long dices, permanent in some minds, comlife ; and that Lord Beaconsfield should pletely overcome in others, Disraeli lie, not in Westminster Abbey sur-'triumphed by sheer force of talent and

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energy. With the dawn of a new era | reluctance that the Conservative party, in English politics, in 1832, bis strevu- under severe pressure from its chief, ous public life began ; and when, half yielded to his leadersbip, and eveu að a century later, he had had his fill of late as 1867 powerful Tory peers, like life and honor, men began to appre- Lord Lonsdale, were known to doubt ciate bow full the intervening years whether Disraeli would ever be loyally had been of indomitable strife, devoted accepted by the party in succession to to the gradual conquest of the ear of Lord Derby as their head. That the the House of Commons, of the confi- English people were far from placing dence of the Conservative party, of the trust in him was clear from the migood-will of the sovereign, and of the nority in which for twenty-two years support of the nation. All these were they left his following in Parliament; finally won, and this extraordinary and it was well known that in his office child of Israel, whose ancestors were of chancellor of the exchequer he had unhappy refugees hunted from Spain beeu unwillingly approved by the to Venice, whose immediate forbears queen, so violent was her prejudice were poor immigrants into a London against him, mainly on the ground that suburb, sat himself down in the seat the holder of that office

not of the chief of the house of Stanley, brought into personal contact with the dictated his will to the proudest aris- sovereign. By 1874 the English people tocracy on earth, posed as the repre- had been won over, and Mr. Disraeli sentative of the English race among was at last, after a prolonged and pathe assembled powers of Europe, took tient novitiate, entrusted with a large Great Britain into the hollow of bis majority in the House of Commons. hand, clothed a nation boutiquière with Thenceforth his task was easy, and the imperial purple, left behiud bima entire confidence of his party was his cause identified with his name, and a reward for the triumph they owed to party strong enough to defend it, and his adroit leadership. Mr. Disraeli finally sank into a grave smothered then stepped from the ranks of clever with flowers by the hands of the peo-politicians, and took his place among ple, and surmounted by a memorial European statesmen. It was at this inscribed by the hand of the queen. time that the last barrier between the The Napoleonic era of marvels fur- prime minister and the queen fell to nishes no example more romantic of the ground. Dislike, dating from a the triumplı of individual capacity over time when Disraeli's bitter invective hostile conditions.

was goading to fury Sir Robert Pecl's Although much has been made by fri ds, and among them the soverpolitical adversaries of the flattery by eign, had long since given way; but which Lord Beaconsfield is supposed to only half-confidence had supervened, have influenced the queen, there is not bred of mistrust in the alien and too il scrap of evidence to show that in his nimble politician. Now this in turu relations to the sovereign he employed was swept aside, and Lord Beaconsfield irts or adopted methods foreign to filled the place so long left vacant, and those used by Lord Aberdeen or by Sir became the “friend ” of the queen as Robert Peel. The secret of bis suc- well as first minister of the crown. cess lay not in subservience to the will Antipathies, to a far greater extent of the monarch, but in masculine ap- than is generally supposed, have a preciation of lier sex. It is noteworthy physical basis, and although Disraeli that among all his personal triumphs in youth possessed a certain weird that over the queen was the longest beauty, it was of a kind unlikely to deferred. In 1852, when he took office attract favorably either men or women as chancellor of the exchequer, his of a northern race. When he first rose position as leader of the House of Com- to address the House of Commons on mous was assured. Yet it was with the 7th of December, 1837, he was


very showily attired, being dressed in alin Parliament, which had provoked bottle-green frock coat and a waistcoat of alike uproarious mirth from an undiswhite, of the Dick Swiveller pattern, the criminating assembly, and the wellfront of which exhibited a network of glit- remembered threat from its victim that tering chains, large fancy-pattern panta- a day would come when they would be loons, and a black tie, above which no forced to give him a hearing. shirt collar was visible, completed the outward man. A countenance lividly pale, set

Certainly, when Bishop Wilberforce out by a pair of intensely black eyes and a

wrote, the time had long passed when broad but not very high forehead overhung Disraeli had need to crave a hearing by clustered ringlets of coal-black hair, from the House of Commons. In 1852

which, combed away from the right tem- his “pre-eminence in opposition bad --ple, fell in bunches of well-oiled small ring- given him an indisputable title " to lets over his left cheek.

the leadership of that assembly ; but, Then, again, his manner of speaking strangely enouglı, popularity had not

Four was not that to which the House of accrued to him with power. Commons was accustomed. He is thus years later his titular leader, Lord described by an eye-witness :

Derby, writing to Lord Malmesbury,

observed : 66 As to Disraeli's unpopuHis gestures were abundant ; he often larity, I see it and regret it, and espeappeared as if trying with what celerity he cially regret that he does not see more could move his body from one side to an- of his party in private ; but they could other, and throw his hands out and draw not do without him, even if there were them in again. At other times he flourished one hand before his face, and then any one ready and willing to take his

place.” Personal contact, according to the other. His voice, too, is of a very unusual kind : it is powerful, and had this practised and shrewd observer, every justice done to it in the way of exer

was the cure for the vehement prejucise ; but there is something peculiar in it dices of his party against their abnor. which I am at a loss to characterize. His nal political chief. 66 Disraeli has no utterance is rapid, and he never seemed at influence in the country,” observed a loss for words. On the whole, and not- Greville, about this time, “and a very withstanding the result of his first attempt, doubtful position in his own party.” I am convinced he is a man who possesses Yet personal contact rarely triumphs many of the requisites of a good debater. over prejudice, and proverbially seldom That he is a man of great literary talent

strengthens respect unless the latent few will dispute.

qualities in a man are of the loftiest To eyes by long usage inclined to order. That this was the case with gauge a man by the symmetry of his Mr. Disraeli seems not improbable, for top-boots and the stains on his hunting- certain it is that his foes were chiefly coat, or, as in the case of Casilereagh to be found among those to whom peror Althorp, to trust an orator in inverse sonally he was unknown, while few ratio to his intelligibility, Disraeli men have been so well served and so seemed untrustworthy and dangerous. well liked by those with whom he deSober men, too, looked askance at this sired and claimed intercourse. foreign-looking person who could fash- In the early years of her reign the ion an epigram as readily as they could queen can have heard but little of knock over a cock pheasant. Even so Disraeli. Although the chief of the cosmopolitan a bishop as Wilberforce, Young England party, and the author though he was fascinated, could not of novels that had a certain vogue, he recognize in him a countryman. “I and his following were not at that time enjoyed meeting Disraeli,” he wrote a serious factor in politics. To Disas late as 1867. “He is a marvellous raeli, however, to his romantic fond

Not a bit a Briton, but all over ness for women, and to his reverence an Eastern Jew; but very interesting for the stately aspect of the throne, the to talk to." Yet this was thirty years queen's personality already strongly later than that famous first appearance l appealed. Had he not felt strongly the.

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charm before which Lord Melbourne | absence of emotion, THE QUEEN anand Peel succumbed, the celebrated nounces her accession to the throne of her passage in “Sybil” could not have ancestors, and her humble hope that divine been written.

Providence will guard over the fulfilment

of her lofty trust. Hark! it tolls ! All is over.

The great

The prelates and captains and chief men bell of the metropolitan cathedral an- of her realm then advance to the throne, nounces the death of the last son of George and, kneeling before her, pledge their troth, the Third who probably will ever reign in and take the sacred oaths of allegiance and England. He was a good man : with feel- supremacy. ings and sympathies ; deficient in culture Allegiance to one who rules over the rather than ability ; with a sense of duty ; land that the great Macedonian could not and with something of the conception of conquer; and over a continent of which what should be the character of an English even Columbus never dreamed ; to the monarch. Peace to his manes !

queen of every sea, and of nations in every We are summoned to a different scene.

In a palace in a garden, not in a haughty It is not of these that I would speak; but keep, proud with the fame but dark with of a nation nearer her footstool, and which the violence of ages ; not in a regal pile, at the moment looks to her with anxiety, bright with the splendor, but soiled with with affection, perhaps with hope. Fair the intrigues of courts and factions ; in a and serene, she has the blood and beauty palace in a garden, meet scene for youth, of the Saxon. Will it be her proud destiny and innocence, and beauty, came a voice at length to bear relief to suffering millions, that told the maiden that she must ascend and, with that soft hand which might inher throne !

spire troubadours and guerdon knights, The council of England is summoned for break the last links in the chain of a Saxon the first time within her bowers. Therethraldom? are assembled the prelates and captains

It was in 1845 that “Sybil” was puband chief men of her realm ; the priests of lished, a year fertile with events which the religion that consoles, the heroes of the

for the first time brought Mr. Disraeli sword that has conquered, the votaries of the craft that has decided the fate of em

prominently to the notice of the queen pires ; men grey with thought, and fame, and of the prince consort, and to which and age ; who are the stewards of divine may be traced a hostile prejudice lastmysteries, who have toiled in secret cabi-ing in the case of the prince till bis nets, who have encountered in battle the death, and in the mind of the queen hosts of Europe, who have struggled in the for the space of a generation. less merciful strife of aspiring senates ; His attacks on Sir Robert Peel, virumen, too, some of them, lords of a thou- llent and unrelenting, were looked upon sand vassals and chief proprietors of prov- by the sovereigų, not as the legitimate inces, yet not one of them whose heart assault by one political opponent upon does not at this moment tremble as he awaits the first presence of the maiden who another, but as the stroke of an assassin

at the heart of a friend. The whole must now ascend her throne.

A hum of half-suppressed conversation, nature of the prince, his sanity, and which would attempt to conceal the excite-love of sober discussion, his loyalty ment which some of the greatest of them and respect for character, his economic have since acknowledged, fills that brilliant mind and hatred of claptrap, revolted assemblage ; the sea of plumes, and glitter- against the protectionist Ahithophel. ing stars, and gorgeous dresses. Hush! To his Teutonic eyes Peel was thie the portals open ; she comes ; the silence is noble, broad-minded English geuilleas deep as that of a noontide forest. At

man, slowly beaten down by the arts of tended for a moment by her royal mother this Satanic Jew. It was a sentiment and the ladies of her court, who bow and then retire, VICTORIA ascends her widely shared even by those glad to throne ; a girl, alone, and for the first time,

make use of any stick, effectually teniamid an assemblage of men.

pered, with which to beat one whom In a sweet' thrilling voice, and with a they feared as a despoiler and branded composed mien which indicates rather the as a traitor. The queen shared the absorbing sense of august duty than an prince's views, and when, six years

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later, she was obliged to receive Mr. | monument to Lord Beaconsfield. These Disraeli as a minister, her reluctance were his strong will, his long-sighted was well known and secretly condoned persistency of purpose, his remarkable by her subjects. “ Make them fear power of self-government, and last, not you, and they will kiss your feet," said least, his great parliamentary courage. some one to Vivian Grey; and Disraelis“I have known,” said Mr. Gladstone, invariably took his own sermons to some score of ministers, but never heart. He had made the House of any two who were his equal iu these Commons fear him, and the House of respects." Commons accepted the “ smile for a Had the prince consort lived, regard friend and the speer for the world ” on his side must have followed the with which he enforced his rule. That inevitable intimacy into which the two he, like his colleague George Smythe, men were thrown. To Mr. Disraeli the could prove a splendid failure he was prince's qualities were apparent from determined should not be ; and the the first. Although in 1854, when jealobstacles which hitherto had yielded to ousy of the prince's position near the his untiring courage he was resolved queen culminated in an attack upon should be surmounted to the last. him in Parliament, Disraeli remained

“ The only power,” said Coningsby, silent; he had written only a few days os that has no class sympathy is the before a strong expression of favorable sovereign ;' " and this thesis he was opinion. “ The opportunity,” he says, bent on proving, in spite of the sover- 66 which office has afforded me of beeign herself. It was a question of per- coming acquainted with the prince severance, high daring, and time. To filled me with a sentiment towards him him, a son of patriarchs whose span of which I may describe, without exaggerlife was counted by centuries, the flight ation, as one of affection.' That the of time appeared a small factor. He feeling was far from reciprocal is well was never hurried. It seemed as if he, known. The prince's was not a nature too, one of the chosen people, might to be taken by storm. That he would espect to live beyond the orilinary term have yielded, as the queen yielded ultiof man's life. After twenty years of mately, to the firm pressure of a powstrife for the lead of the House of erful character no one can reasonably Commons, he, an alien, was at length doubt. Partisanship has invested Lord the first man in that proud assembly. Beaconsfield in later days with the He could well wait, if necessary, attributes of those artful men who, as twenty more for the confidence of the it has been said, study the passions of English people and that of their sov- princes and conceal their own, in order ereign.

to acquire and retain influence. If With marvellous endurance and pa- Lord Beaconsfield, in his dealings with tient tenacity — those heroic qualities the sovereign, stooped to the employof his race he waited ; and he had ment of arts, they were of the simplest his reward. 6. The most wonderful kind. He once described his method thing," wrote Bislop Wilberforce, not to a friend. “I never contradict,” he a friendly witness, " is the rise of Dis- said ; “I never deny ; but I sometimes raeli. It is not the mere assertion of forget." To the bore or the Pharisee talent, as you hear so many say. It such maxims may seem degrading; seems to me quite beside that. He but there is many a man, under the has been able to teach the House of pressure of ministerial or domestic Commons almost to ignore Gladstone, sufferings, who will envy the serene and at present lords it over him." philosophy of Lord Beaconsfield.

It was to certain great qualities of Chance is often the determining faccharacter, as extraordinary as his in- tor in our likes and dislikes ; and it so tellectual powers, that Mr. Gladstone happened that the year 1874, which himself bore witness in asking the gave Mr. Disraeli his majority, estabHouse of Commons to vote a public lishing him a second time prime min.



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