When the Prince of Wales was betrothed to the Princess Alexandria, Queen Victoria sent a letter to every sovereign of Europe, and to President Lincoln, announcing the fact. The ambassador of England then at Washington was Lord Lyons, and he was a bachelor. He requested an audience with President Lincoln in order that he might present the important letter in person.
He called at the White House in company with Secretary Seward and addressed the President as follows:
"May it please your Excellency, I hold in my hand an autograph letter from my royal mistress, Queen Victoria, which I have been commanded to present to your Excellency. In it she informs your Excellency that her son, his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, is about to contract a matrimonial alliance with her Royal Highness the Princess Alexandria of Denmark."
After the use of such diplomatic and high-sounding language one would naturally suppose Lincoln would require a few moments to collect his thoughts and reply in kind. Not so, however. His reply was short, simple and expressive, as follows:
"Lord Lyons, go thou and do likewise."
A witness of the above incident said: "It is doubtful if an English ambassador was ever addressed in this manner before, and it would be interesting to learn what success he met with in putting the reply in diplomatic language, when he reported it to her Majesty."óFrom Lincolnís Stories, by J. B. McClure.