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WE open our New Volume with a record that will become historical. No more acceptable Christmas gift could have been bestowed upon a loyal and affectionate people than that which QUEEN VICTORIA has been pleased to present. It is the simple, warm, graceful expression of a Mother's "deep sense of the touching sympathy of the whole Nation on the occasion of the alarming illness of her dear son, the PRINCE OF WALES." Thus writes our Sovereign, dating, happily, from Windsor Castle :

"The universal feeling shown by her people during those painful, terrible days, and the sympathy evinced by them with herself and her beloved daughter, the PRINCESS OF WALES, as well as the general joy at the improvement in the PRINCE OF WALES's state, have made a deep and lasting impression on her heart which can never be effaced. It was, indeed, nothing new to her, for the QUEEN had met with the same sympathy when just ten years ago a similar illness removed from her side the mainstay of her life, the best, wisest, and kindest of husbands.

"The QUEEN wishes to express at the same time, on the part of the PRINCESS OF WALES, her feelings of heartfelt gratitude, for she has been as deeply touched as the QUEEN by the great and universal manifestation of loyalty and sympathy.

"The QUEEN cannot conclude without expressing her hope that her faithful subjects will continue their prayers to God for the complete recovery of her dear son to health and strength."

"What can he do that cometh after the King ?" is the language of the Book. He who cometh after the QUEEN will vainly seek to write worthy comment on these words. But comment will be supplied by all the hearts that are rejoicing in the happiness of a Mother and of a Wife, and in the deliverance of a Nation from a great sorrow.

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BENEATH the fading mistletoe in Time's wide-echoing Hall,-
The Yule-log's light still brisk and bright, on storied roof and wall-
The Spirits of the Nations, some strange, some kith and kin,
Are met to flout the Old Year out and fete the New Year in.
With war-stains dim on robe and limb, fresh scars on cheek and
France strives to look as though no pains could crush, no losses bow:
But her glance is quick and restless, and her hands are never still,
As one that, fevered inly, masks but masters not her ill.


As if in mock of Christmas wreaths,-their "peace, good-will to
What fierce hate in her eyes whene'er proud Prussia meets their ken!
Bears wary, so, 'tis hard to know if bare the blade, or sheathed.
Prussia that, stern and stately, her great sword, laurel-wreathed,

So light and lithe that stalwart frame in movement or at rest,
You scarce would deem you caught the gleam of steel below her
Beneath the wide imperial robe, that, fire-new, sweeps the ground,
With what now seems a diadem, and now a helmet, crowned.

But mark yon maid, of loveliness more radiant and more rare
For strength and grace to fit that face, what music but the tongue
Than all the showers of gems and flowers that star her night of hair;
Wherein stern DANTE chaunted, and silvery PETRARCH sung?

Queen among Queens! But never Queen full-robed and crowned

till now,

The double diadem of Rome on her exultant brow!
Who notes the dust, who recks the rust, that dulls or dims its sheen,
Or asks how she came by it, or through what mire it has been ?
From sleep or strife new roused to life that lights her antique face,
No monkish train nor slavish chain to cramp her strength and


What wonder if she hardly know in soberness to still.
The throbbing of late-loosened blood, the stir of waking will?

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