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Earl of Beaconsfield, K.G. Photographed at Osborne by Command of H.M. The Queen, July 22, 1878 [Benjamin Disraeli (1804–1881)], 1878,

William Gladstone once observed that Benjamin Disraeli enjoyed an enviable reputation of being able to make a joke on any subject. Disraeli replied that it was indeed quite possible. "Then I challenge you," Gladstone said. "Make a joke about Queen Victoria."

"Sir," Disraeli replied. "Her Majesty is not a subject."

[Victoria's verdict of a 1898 meeting with Gladstone? "He addresses me as if I was a public meeting."]

[Gladstone was something of a cold fish. "Mr Gladstone read Homer for fun," Churchill once remarked, "which I thought served him right."]

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