The extreme simplicity of the Queen’s life has long made some domestic of this sort necessary. In the Highlands, the Queen loves to roam about in perfect freedom from etiquette and ceremony, and yet it would not do to have her roam quite alone. She is no longer young; there are dangers by flood and field in such a region; and besides there are more fools than a passing stranger in the world.
Brown exactly supplies the want; he would lay down his life for her, not without requiring two or three in return, and, en attendant, he thinks nothing of carrying her in his arms, and perhaps a Princess or two to follow her, across a fordable stream. When she rides, he takes his place at the head of the pony, and if the pony were too troublesome, he probably would not make much difficulty about carrying him. Brown is not a lacquey—he wears no livery; on the other hand; he is not a gentleman by birth. He has a sort of undeterminate office as Strong Man. He is death on all intruders on the Queen’s privacy.
Once when he met some reporters whom he suspected of dogging her footsteps for “copy,” he ordered them off the public highway as though he held all the Highlands in fee. It was grossly illegal, but they went. He has saved the Queen in a greater strait. When young, mad O'Connor darted out on her from the shrubbery at Buckingham Palace, pistol in hand, he positively plucked the puny wretch up from the ground as if he had been an offending kitten, and held him out so, clawing the air with his paws, until the Queen had passed out of harm’s way. He is a true clansman in the character of his service; he worships the Queen. He thinks there never was such a Queen, and there never was such a woman in the wide world.
The Queen treats him with the condescending confidence which often subsists between the very great and the very little in our older society. She knows there can be no mistake about their positions; it is those who are nearer to her who are kept the farthest off. He is “the old servant” who is also the old friend of the family. He has seen most of “the children’’ grow up. He probably knows a good deal more about family affairs than many a minister of state. To do him justice, he lets nothing out to his more distinguished colleagues of the Cabinet. A true Scotchman, he is as close as the grave. It is rather through the Queen’s own frank avowal, that we may judge of the extent of her confidences to him. – Youth’s Companion, 1879
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