Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed. — Joseph Stalin

Story of the English - Helene Guerber




The Jubilee

Great britain's wars in Africa have been numerous, for she has fought, north, south, east, and west, against many of the small tribes; and a large part of that continent is now under her rule. In one of these wars the French prince imperial, son of Napoleon III., was killed by the Zulus; in another brave "Chinese Gordon" fell at Khartum; and on his way to a third, the Prince of Battenberg, Victoria's son-in-law, lost his life from fever.

During the Civil War in America, in 1861, England and the United States pretty nearly came to blows; but a kindly message, suggested by the dying Prince Consort, and a prompt and graceful apology on the part of the United States, averted this catastrophe._ Later on, when other disputes occurred between the two nations, they were settled by arbitration, which is always the best method for civilized people to adopt as a means of settling disputes.

By all the wars which you have just read about, and by sundry others which we need not mention here, Great Britain has spread her territory farther and farther, and grown stronger and stronger. She has also planted many colonies without having to fight great battles, the most prosperous of these being in Australia, where gold was discovered in 1851. About one quarter of all the people on the globe now belong to Great Britain, for Victoria is said to rule over nearly four hundred million subjects.

The queen married in 1840, and had nine children. A careful mother, she watched over her children herself, praising them when they did right, correcting them when they did wrong, and always giving them clearly to understand that their exalted position demanded that they should set a good example to others.

One day the queen went out with the princess royal, her eldest daughter, to review some troops. Perhaps she was going to bestow "Victoria crosses," which are the medals given to soldiers or sailors for some of the brave deeds such as we love to hear about. The queen's carriage was escorted, as usual, by the magnificent Horse Guards, who stood a short distance off as if they were statues. But although they were so motionless, each man's eyes were fixed upon the royal carriage, and all were ready, at a mere sign, to spring forward to render any service.

Either to show her importance, or to attract the attention of the handsome guardsmen, or from a spirit of mischief, the princess royal, after dangling her handkerchief for a few moments over the side of the carriage, dropped it as if by accident. As it fluttered to the ground the guardsmen rushed forward to pick it up. But the queen, who had noticed her daughter's maneuvers, and who knew she had let her handkerchief fall intentionally, motioned the guards back to their post.

Then, turning to the princess royal, she bade her get out of the carriage and pick up her handkerchief herself, since she had dropped it only to give trouble. In the sight of guardsmen, troops, and the assembled crowd, "Vicky," as her parents affectionately called her, was obliged to wait upon herself. And you may be sure that this wholesome lesson, and the queen's explanation that it was vulgar to try to attract attention, made a deep impression on the princess, who later became Empress of Germany.

After the marriage of this daughter, and after a happy married life of more than twenty years, the Prince Consort, who had always worked very hard for his wife's subjects, fell suddenly and dangerously ill. In spite of the utmost care and skill, he sank rapidly, and died in the queen's arms, whispering loving words to her.

Prince Albert was such a good and noble man that he was mourned by the whole people. They erected a beautiful public monument for him in London, the Albert Memorial, while his sorrowing wife and children put up a private tomb for him at Frogmore.

Victoria's children have all married, and nearly all of them now have large families. Her eldest son, the Prince of Wales, is named Albert Edward. The queen, who is by this time a great-grandmother, is related to nearly all the crowned heads in Europe, and while one of her grandsons is Emperor of Germany, one of her granddaughters is Czarina of Russia.

Victoria has led a very quiet and retired life ever since the death of the Prince Consort. She lives part of the time in London or Windsor, where she has beautiful palaces. The rest of her time is spent in her seaside home at Osborne in the Isle of Wight, in her mountain home at Balmoral in the Scottish Highlands, or in travelling.

Victoria is always busy and is always striving faithfully to do her best for her people. When state affairs do not need her attention, she reads, writes, sews, and studies. When she was younger she used to practise on the piano, sing, and draw. And in spite of the fact that she already knew several languages, we are told that, although nearly sixty years old when she became Empress of India, she began to study Hindustanee, so that she could talk in their own language to her Indian servants and visitors.

Albert Edward, Prince of Wales.
ALBERT EDWARD, PRINCE OF WALES.


In 1887 Queen Victoria celebrated her "jubilee," or the fiftieth anniversary of her reign. In 1897 another imposing pageant took place to commemorate the longest and most prosperous reign of the best sovereign that England has ever seen. There was a magnificent procession, and the queen heard the Te Deum  sung in the big square before St. Paul's Cathedral; for there was no church big enough to contain the many important people who came to do her honour. There were princes and troops from every country, and in the huge crowd were many American children, who, remembering how good the queen has always been, joined the British in crying:

"God bless Queen Victoria!"



Contents

Front Matter
Review

Early Times
The Druids
The Britons
Caesar in Britain
Queen Boadicea
The Great Walls
The Great Irish Saint
The Anglo-Saxons
Brave King Arthur
The Laws of the Saxons
The Story of St Augustine
Three Great Men
The Danish Pirates
King Alfred and the Cakes
Alfred conquers the Danes
A King's Narrow Escape
The King and the Outlaw
The Monasteries
An Unlucky Couple
St Dunstan
King Canute and the Waves
A Saxon Nobleman
Lady Godiva's Ride
The Battle of Hastings
The Conquest
Lords and Vassals
Death of William
The Brothers' Quarrels
Arms and Armour
The "White Ship"
Matilda's Narrow Escapes
Story of Fair Rosamond
Thomas a Becket
Murder of Thomas a Becket
Richard's Adventures
Richard and the Saracens
The Faithful Minstrel
Death of Richard
The Murder of Arthur
The Great Charter
The Rule of Henry III
A Race
Persecution of the Jews
The Conquest of Wales
A Quarrel with France
The Coronation Stone
The Insolent Favourite
Bruce and the Spider
Death of Edward II
The Murderers punished
The Battle of Crecy
The Siege of Calais
The Age of Chivalry
The Battle of Poitiers
The Peasants' Revolt
Richard's Presence of Mind
A Tiny Queen
Henry's Troubles
Madcap Harry
A Glorious Reign
The Maid of Orleans
The War of the Roses
The Queen and the Brigand
The Triumph of the Yorks
The Princes in the Tower
Richard's Punishment
Two Pretenders
A Grasping King
Field of the Cloth of Gold
The New Opinions
Death of Wolsey
Henry's Wives
The King and the Painter
A Boy King
Lady Jane Grey
The Death of Cranmer
A Clever Queen
Elizabeth's Lovers
Mary, Queen of Scots
Captivity of Mary Stuart
Wreck of the Spanish Armada
The Elizabethan Age
Death of Elizabeth
A Scotch King
The Gunpowder Plot
Sir Walter Raleigh
King and Parliament
Cavaliers and Roundheads
"Remember"
The Royal Oak
The Commonwealth
The Restoration
Plague and Fire
The Merry Monarch
James driven out of England
A Terrible Massacre
William's Wars
The Duke of Marlborough
The Taking of Gibraltar
The South Sea Bubble
Bonny Prince Charlie
Black Hole of Calcutta
Loss of the Colonies
The Battle of the Nile
Nelson's Last Signal
The Battle of Waterloo
First Gentleman of Europe
Childhood of Queen Victoria
The Queen's Marriage
Wars in Victoria's Reign
The Jubilee