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THE QUEEN'S ACCESSION

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dressing-gown, and went, alone, into the room where the messengere were standing. Lord Conyngham feil on his knees, and officially announced the death of the King; the Archbishop added some pereonal details. Looking at the bending, murmuring dignitaries before her, she knew that she was Queen of England. 'Since it has pleased Providence', she wrote that day in her journal, 'to place me in this station, 1 shall do my utmost to fulfil my duty towards my country; I am very young, and perhaps in many, though not in all things, inexperienced, but I.am sure, that very few have more real good will and more real desire to do what is fit and right than I have.' But there was scant time for resolutions and reflections. At once, affairs were thick upon her. Stockmar came to breakfast, and gave some good advice. She wrote a letter to her uncle Leopold, and a hurried note to her sister Feodora. A letter came from the Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne, announcing his approaching arrival. He came at nine, in full court dress, and kissed her hand. She saw him alone, and repeated to him the lesson which, no doubt, the faithful Stockmar had taught her at breakfast,' It has long been my intention to retain your Lordship and the rest of the present Ministry at the head of affairs'; whereupon Lord Melbourne again kissed her hand and shortly after left her. She then wrote a letter of condolence to Queen Adelaide. At eleven, Lord Melbourne came again; and at half past el even she went downstairs into the red saloon to hold her first Council. The great assembly of lords and notables, bishops, generals, and Ministers of State, saw the doors thrown open and a very short, very slim girl in deep plain mourning come into the room alone and move forward to her seat with extraordinary dignity and grace; they saw a countenance, not beautiful, but prepossessing—fair hair, blue prominent eyes, a small curved nose, an open mouth revealing the upper teeth, a tiny chin, a clear com-

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