. . . diabetes or perhaps indigestion, has snubbed Queen Victoria, and to balance the account, Lord Palmerston has given Napoleon a pretty smart knock on the knuckles. It happened this wise –
Acting under instructions of course, Lord Cowley, British Minister at Paris, had an audience with Napoleon, in which he intimated that, if his Imperial Majesty had any purpose of visiting London during the Great Exhibition, Queen Victoria desired to place Buckingham Palace at his disposal, though she could not even for him, deviate from her resolve not to receive strangers during her first year of widowhood. In the matter of this communication surely all was friendly and well meaning. Perhaps Lord Cowley’s manner made it less pleasant. At any rate the on dit is that Napoleon, having heard Lord Cowley out, curtly answered that he did not intend visiting London, and, with a short bow, turned on his heel and stalked out of the room, leaving the poor wretch of an Ambassador very much astonished and considerably incensed. Next day the Moniteur had a paragraph stating, rather contemptuously, that there was no foundation for the report that the Emperor intended to honor London with his presence. This was the cause, the story runs, of Palmerston’s making such a decided speech, just before Parliament adjourned, in favor of the whole of Italy, the popedom included, being under the scepter of Victor Emmanuel. Napoleon alone has stood in the way, since the war of 1859, of this unity of Italy being affected – Palmerston, if this be true, has cleverly paid off Napoleon’s want of manners.
– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, May 31, 1862, p. 1