By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Lady John Russell
Author: Desmond MacCarthy and Agatha Russell, - To be updated
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Lady John Russell" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.


A Memoir with Selections from Her Diaries and Correspondence







The manuscripts which have supplied the material for a memoir of my mother
deal much more fully with the life of my father than with her own life.
Mr. Desmond MacCarthy has therefore linked into the narrative several
important incidents in my father's career.

The greater part of the memoir is written by Mr. Desmond MacCarthy; the
political and historical commentary is almost entirely his work. The
impartial and independent opinion of one outside the family, both in
writing the memoir and in selecting passages from the manuscripts for
publication, has been of great value.

My grateful thanks are due to His Majesty the King for giving permission to
publish letters from Queen Victoria.

I am also grateful to friends and relations who have placed letters at my
disposal; especially to my brother, whose helpful encouragement throughout
the work has been most valuable.

Mr. Justin McCarthy, who many years ago recorded his impressions of my
mother in his Reminiscences, has now most kindly contributed to this book a
chapter of Recollections.

My cordial thanks are also due to Mr. George Trevelyan for reading the
proof sheets, and to Mr. Frederic Harrison for giving permission to publish
his Memorial Address at the end of this volume.



October, 1910


CHAPTER I. 1815-34

Early years--Paris--Lord Minto appointed Minister at Berlin--
Germany--Return to Minto

CHAPTER II. 1835-41

Lord Minto First Lord of the Admiralty--Life in London--Bowood--Mrs.
Drummond's recollections--Friendship with Lord John Russell--Putney
House--Minto--Admiralty--Her engagement


Marriage--Sketch of Lord John's career before marriage--His conversation
with Napoleon--Moore's "Remonstrance"

CHAPTER IV. 1841-45

Wilton Crescent--Endsleigh--Chesham Place--Birth of her eldest
son--Anti-Corn Law agitation--Her illness--Lord John's letter from
Edinburgh--He is summoned to Osborne--Attempts to form a Ministry

CHAPTER V. 1846-47

Illness in Edinburgh--Letters between Lord and
Lady John--Repeal of the Corn Laws--Ireland and coercion--Lord John Prime

CHAPTER VI. 1847-52

Pembroke Lodge--Difficulties of the Ministry--Revolution in France
--Chartism--Petersham School founded by Lord and Lady John--The Papal
Bull--Durham Letter--The Queen and Lord Palmerston--The _Coup
d'État_--Breach with Palmerston--Defeat of the Russell
Government--Literary friends

CHAPTER VII. 1852-55

Lord Aberdeen Prime Minister--Lord John joins Coalition Ministry--Lady
John's misgivings--Gladstone's Budget--Death of Lady Minto--Samuel
Rogers--The Reform Bill--The Crimean War--Withdrawal of Reform--Roebuck's
motion--Lord John's resignation


Defeat of Aberdeen Ministry--Lord John's Mission to Vienna--He accepts
Colonial Office in Palmerston Government--Vienna Conference--His
resignation--Lady John's diary and letters

CHAPTER IX. 1855-60

Retirement and foreign travel--Palmerston and China--City election
--Reception at Sheffield--Orsini's attempt upon Napoleon III--Italy and
Austria--Lord John's share in the liberation of Italy--Lady John's
enthusiasm--Garibaldi at Pembroke Lodge

CHAPTER X. 1859-66

Death of Lord Minto--Lord John accepts peerage--American Civil War--Death
of Lord Palmerston--Lord Russell Prime Minister--Reform Bill of 1866--Mr.
Lowe and the "Adullamites"--Defeat and resignation of the Russell

CHAPTER XI. 1866-70

Travel in Italy--Entry of Victor Emmanuel into Venice--Disraeli's Reform
Bill--Irish Church question--Gladstone Prime Minister--Winter at San
Remo--Paris--Dinner at the Tuileries--Return to England

CHAPTER XII. 1870-78

Franco-German War--Renens-sur-Roche--Education question--Cannes--Herbert
Spencer--Letters from Queen Victoria--Herzegovina--Death of Lord
Amberley--Nonconformist deputation at Pembroke Lodge--Death of Lord Russell


Lady Russell--Her love of children--Literary tastes--Friendships--
Correspondence--Haslemere--Death of Tennyson--England and Ireland--Last
meeting of Petersham Scholars--Illness and death


Letters from friends--Funeral at Chenies--Poem on Death






From a miniature by Thorburn. 1844



From a photograph


From a miniature by Sir William Ross. 1851


From a portrait by G.F. Watts. 1852


From a water-colour drawing by W.C. Rainbow. 1883


From a photograph by Frida Jones. 1902


From a water-colour drawing by Mary Severn. 1854


From a water-colour drawing by Fred Dixey. 1899


From an oil painting by Samuel Helstead. 1896


From a photograph. 1884




On November 15, 1815, at Minto in Roxburghshire, the home of the Elliots, a
second daughter was born to the Earl and Countess of Minto.

Frances Anna Maria Elliot, who afterwards became the first Countess
Russell, was destined to a long, eventful life. As a girl she lived among
those directing the changes of those times; as the wife of a Prime Minister
of England unusually reticent in superficial relations but open in
intimacy, in whom the qualities of administrator and politician overlay the
detachment of sensitive reflection, she came to judge men and events by
principles drawn from deep feelings and wide surveys; and in the long years
of her widowhood, possessing still great natural vitality and vivacity of
feeling, she continued open to the influences of an altered time,
delighting and astonishing many who might have expected to find between her
and them the ghostly barrier of a generation.

She died in January, 1898. The span of her life covers, then, many
important political events, and we shall catch glimpses of these as they
affect her. Though the intention of the following pages is biographical,
the story of Lady Russell's life, after marriage, coincides so closely with
her husband's public career that the thread connecting her letters together
must be the political events in which he took part. Some of her letters, by
throwing light on the sentiments and considerations which weighed with him
at doubtful junctures, are not without value to the historian. It is not,
however, the historian who has been chiefly considered in putting them
together, but rather the general reader, who may find his notions of past
politics vivified and refreshed by following history in the contemporary
comments of one so passionately and so personally interested at every turn
of events.

Another motive has also had a part in determining the possessors of Lady
Russell's letters to publish them. Memory is the most sacred, but also the
most perishable of shrines; hence it sometimes seems well worth while to
break through reticence to give greater permanence to precious
recollections. With this end also the following pages have been put
together, and many small details included to help the subject of this
memoir to live again in the imagination of the reader. For from brief and
even superficial contact with the living we may gain much; but the dead, if
they are to be known at all, must be known more intimately.

       *       *       *       *       *

Minto House, where Lady Fanny was born, is beautifully situated above a
steep and wooded glen, and is only a short distance from the river Teviot.
The hills around are not like the wild rugged mountains of the Highlands,
but have a soft and tender beauty of their own. Her childhood was far more
secluded than the life that would have fallen to her lot had she been born
in the next generation, for her home in Roxburghshire, in coach and
turnpike days, was more remote from the central stir and business of life
than any spot in the United Kingdom at the present time. Lady Fanny used to
relate what a great event it was for the household at Minto when on very
rare occasions her father brought from London a parcel of new books, which
were eagerly opened by the family and read with delight. Those were not the
days of circulating libraries, and both the old standard books on the Minto
library shelves and the few new ones occasionally added were read and
re-read with a thoroughness rare among modern readers, surrounded by a
multiplicity of books old and new.

They were a large, young family, five boys and five girls, ranging from the
ages of three years old to eighteen in 1830, when her diaries begin, all
eager, high-spirited children, and exceptionally strong and healthy. In her
early diaries, describing day-long journeys in coaches, early starts and
late arrivals, she hardly ever mentions feeling tired, and she enjoyed the
old methods of travelling infinitely more than the railway journeys of
later days, about which she felt like the Frenchman who said: "On ne voyage
plus; on arrive." Long wild country walks in Scotland and mountain-climbing
in Switzerland were particularly delightful to her.

This stock of sound vitality stood her in good stead all her life; only
during those years which followed the birth of her eldest son does it seem
to have failed her. Her life was an exceptionally busy one, and her strong
feelings and sense of responsibility made even small domestic affairs
matters for close attention; yet in the diaries and letters of her later
life there are no entries which betray either the lassitude or the
restlessness of fatigue. She was not one of those busy women who only keep
pace with their interests by deputing home management to others. This power
of endurance in a deeply feeling nature is one of the first facts which any
one attempting to tell the story of her life must bring before the reader's

There was much reading aloud in the fireside circle at Minto, and for the
boys much riding and sport. Many hours were spent upon the heather or in
fishing the Teviot. Lady Fanny herself cared little for sport, or only for
its picturesque side. Near the house are the rocks known as Minto Crags,
mentioned by Sir Walter Scott in the "Lay of the Last Minstrel," where many
and many a time Lady Fanny raced about on hunting days, watching the
redcoats with childish eagerness--intensely interested in the joyousness
and beauty of the sight, but in her heart always secretly thankful if the
fox escaped. Fox-hunting on Minto Crags must indeed have been a picturesque
sight, and there was a special rock overhanging a precipice upon which she
loved to sit and watch the wild chase, men and horses appearing and
disappearing with flashing rapidity among the woods and ravines beneath.
The pleasures of an open-air life meant so much to her that, in so far as
it was possible for one with her temperament to pine at all, she was often
homesick in the town, longing for the peace and freedom of the country.

There were expeditions of other kinds too.

    "Gibby [1] and I," she writes towards the end of one October, "up a
    little after five this morning and up the big hill to see the sun
    rise. It was moonlight when we went out, and all so still and
    indistinct--for it was a cloudy moon--that our steps and voices
    sounded quite odd. It was mild enough, but so wet with dew that our
    feet grew very cold. We waited some time on the top before he rose
    and had a long talk with the Kaims shepherd. It was well worth
    having gone; though there was nothing fine in the sky or clouds
    compared to what I have constantly seen at sunrise. But what I
    thought beautiful was the entire change that his rising made in
    everything. All we were looking at suddenly became so bright and
    cheerful, and a hum of people and noises of animals were heard from
    the village." "I wish people," she adds impetuously, "would shake
    off sleep as soon as the blushing morn does peep in at their

[1] Her brother Gilbert.

The entries in these early diaries show a quality of clear authentic
vision, which was afterwards so characteristic of her conversation. For
those who remember their own youthful feelings, even the stiff occasional
scraps of poetry she wrote at this time glow with a life not always
discernible in the deft writing of more experienced verse-makers.

The household was a brisk, cheerful, active one, and ruled by the spirit of
order necessary in a home where many different kinds of things are being
done each day by its different inmates. The children were treated with no
particular indulgence, and the elder ones were taught to be responsible not
only for their own actions, but for the good behaviour, and, in a certain
measure, for the education of the younger ones. As a girl she writes down
in her diary many hopes and fears about her younger brothers and sisters,
which resemble those afterwards awakened in her by the care of her own
children. A big family in a great house, with all the different relations
and contacts such a life implies, is in itself an education, and Lady Fanny
seems to have profited by all that such experiences can give. If she came
from such a home anticipating from everybody more loyalty and consistency
of feeling than is common in human nature, and crediting everybody with it,
that is in itself a kind of generous severity of expectation which, though
it may be sometimes the cause of mistakes, helps also to create in others
the qualities it looks to find.

The children had plenty of outlets for their high spirits. There are some
slight records left of the opening of a "Theatre Royal, Minto," and of a
glorious evening ending in an "excellent country bumpkin," with bed at two
in the morning; of reels and dances, too, and many hours laconically summed
up as "famous fun" in the diary. Then there were such September days as

    "Bob'm [2] and I went in the phaeton to meet the boys. They were
    very successful--about twelve brace. The heather was in full blow,
    and in wet parts the ground white with parnassia. I never felt such
    an air--it made me feel quite wild. The sunset behind the far hills
    and reflected in the lonely little shaw loch most beautiful. When
    we began our walk there was a fine soft wind that felt as if it
    would lift one up to the clouds, but before we got back to the
    little house it had quite fallen, and all was as still as in a
    desert, except now and then the wild cry of the grouse and
    black-cock. Bob'm mad with spirits, and talked nonsense all the way
    home. Not too dark to see the beautiful outline of the country all
    the way."

[2] Her sister Charlotte, afterwards Lady Charlotte Portal.

Such tired, happy home-comings stay in the memory; drives back at the end
of long days, when scraps of talk and laughter and the pleasure of being
together mingle so kindly with the solemnity of the darkening country;
drives which end in a sudden blaze of welcome, in fire-light and candles,
tea and a hubbub of talk, when everything, though familiar, seems to
confess to a new happiness.

Here is another entry a few days later:

    "Beautiful day, but a very high, warm _real Minto_ wind. We
    wandered out very late and sat under the lime, playing at being at
    sea, feeling the stem rock above us as we lent against it and
    hearing the roaring of the waves in the trees. No summer's day can
    be better than such a day and evening as this--there was a cloudy
    moon, too, above the branches. I wish I could express, but I never
    can, the sort of feeling I have at times--now more than I ever had
    before--which would sound like affectation if one talked of it. A
    fine day, or beautiful country, or very often nothing but the sky
    or earth or the singing of a bird gives it. One feels too much love
    and gratitude and admiration, and something swells my heart so that
    I do not know how to look or listen enough."

There was another kind of romance, too, in her young life, destined in
future to be at times a source of pain and anxiety, though also of keen
gratification and permanent pride. What can equal the romance of politics
when we are quite young, when "politics" mean nothing but "serving one's
country" and have no other associations but that one, when politicians seem
necessarily great men? The love-dreams of adolescence have often been
celebrated; but among young creatures whose lives give plenty of play to
their affections in a spontaneous way, such dreams seldom vie in intensity
with the mysterious call of religion or with the emotion of patriotism. It
stands for an emotion which seems as large as the love of mankind, and its
service calls for enthusiasm and self-devotion. The Mintos were in the
thick of politics and the times were stirring times. "Throughout the last
two centuries of our history," says Sir George Trevelyan in his Life of
Macaulay, "there never was a period when a man, conscious of power,
impatient of public wrongs, and still young enough to love a fight for its
own sake, could have entered Parliament with a fairer prospect of leading a
life worth living and doing work that would requite the pains, than at the
commencement of the year 1830." Her father was not only the most genial and
kindest of fathers, but he was to her something of a hero too. His
political career had not begun during these days at Minto; still he was in
the counsel of the leaders of the day--Lord Grey, Lord John Russell, Lords
Melbourne and Althorp--great names indeed to her. And the new Cabinet was
soon to appoint him Minister at Berlin.

The country was under the personal rule of the Duke of Wellington, who had
sorted out from his Cabinet any who were tainted with sympathy for reform;
but, as the election of July which resulted in his resignation showed, the
country, however one-sided its representation might have been in the House
of Commons, had been long in a state of political ferment. This state of
affairs, the gradual breaking up of the Tory party dating from the passing
of the Catholic Emancipation Bill, the brewing social troubles, and the
prospect of power crossing to the party which was determined on meeting
them with reform, made politics everywhere the most absorbing of themes.

In a country house like Minto, which was in close communication with the
statesmen of the time, discussions were of course frequent and keen. The
guests were often important politicians; and long before Lady Fanny saw her
future husband, she frequently heard his name as one whom those she admired
looked up to as a leader. In a girl by nature very susceptible to the
appeal of great causes, whose active brain made her delight in the
arguments of her elders, these surroundings were likely to foster a
passionate interest in public affairs; while other influences round her
were tending to increase in her a natural sense of the delicacy and
preciousness of personal relations. In the course of telling her story
occasions may come for remarking again on what was one of the chief graces
of her character; but in a book of this kind the sooner the reader becomes
acquainted with the subject of it, the more he is likely to see in what
follows. So let it be said of her at once that in all relations in which
affection was complicated on one side by gratitude, or on her side by
superiority in education or social position, she was perfect. She could be
employer and benefactress without letting such circumstances deflect in the
slightest degree the stream of confidence and affection between her and
another. She had the faculty of removing a sense of obligation and of
forgetting it herself. Such a faculty is only found in its perfection where
the mind is sensitive in perceiving the delicacy of the relations between
people; and it must be added that like most people who possess that
sensitiveness, she missed it acutely in those who markedly did not.

The life at Minto, with its many contacts, was a life in which such a
faculty could grow to perfection. The daughters, while sharing much of the
boys' lives at Minto, saw a great deal of the people upon the estate.

The intercourse between the family at the House and the people of Minto
village was of an intimate and affectionate nature. Joys and sorrows were
shared in unvarying friendliness and sympathy, and to the end of her life
"Lady Fanny" remembered with warm affection the old village friends of her
youth. Kindly, true-hearted folk they were, with a sturdy and independent
spirit which she valued and respected.

She only remembered seeing Sir Walter Scott on one occasion--when he came
to visit her parents. She was quite a child, and it was the day on which
her old nurse left Minto. She had wept bitterly, and when Sir Walter Scott
came she hardly dared even look at him with her tearful countenance. She
always remembered regretfully her indifference about the great man, whose
visit was ever after connected in her mind with one of the first sorrows of
her childhood. She regretted still more that in those days political
differences unhappily prevented the close and friendly intercourse which
would otherwise have undoubtedly existed between the Minto family and Sir
Walter Scott.

A word or two must be said upon the religion in which she was brought up,
for from her childhood she was deeply religious. Like her love for those
nearest to her, it entered into everything that interested or delighted her
profoundly; into her interest in politics and social questions and into her
enjoyment of nature.

The Mintos belonged to the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. The doctrines
of this Church are not of significance here, but an indication of the
attitude towards dogma, history, and conduct which harmonizes with these
tenets is necessary to the understanding of her life. For this purpose it
is only necessary to say that this Church belongs to that half of
Protestantism which does not lay peculiar stress upon an inner conviction
of salvation. It differs from the evangelical persuasions in this respect,
and again from the Church of England in finding less significance in
ecclesiastical symbols, in setting less store by traditional usages, and in
a more constant and uncompromising disapproval of any doctrine which
regards the clergy as having spiritual functions or privileges different
from those of other men. In the latter half of her life she came gradually
to a Unitarian faith, which she held with earnestness to the last; and the
name "Free Church" became more significant to her through the suggestion it
carried of a religion detached from creeds and articles. Many entries occur
in her diaries protesting against what she felt as mischievous narrowness
in the books she read and in the sermons she heard. She sympathized
heartily with Lord John Russell's dislike of the Oxford movement. There are
many prayers in her diaries and many religious reflections in her letters,
and in all two emotions predominate; a trust in God and an earnest
conviction that a life of love--love to God and man--is the heart of
religion. Her religion was contemplative as well as practical; but it was a
religion of the conscience rather than one of mystical emotions.

Of personal influences, her mother's, until marriage, was the strongest.
There are only two long breaks in the diary she kept, when she had no heart
to write down her thoughts; one occurs during the year of Lady Minto's long
and serious illness at Berlin, which began in 1832, and the other after
Lord John Russell's death in 1878.

Lady Minto was not strong; bringing many sons and daughters into the world
had tried her; and her delicacy seems to have drawn her children closer
round her. Lady Fanny's references to her mother are full of an anxious,
protective devotion, as though she were always watching to see if any
shadow of physical or mental trouble were threatening her. So in imagining
the merry, active life of this large family, the presence of a mother most
tenderly loved, from whom praise seemed something almost too good to be
true, must not be forgotten.

In November, 1830 (the year Lady Fanny's diaries begin), the Duke of
Wellington resigned, having emphatically declared that the system of
representation ought to possess, and _did_ possess, the entire
confidence of the country. He had gone so far as to say that the wit of man
could not have devised a better representative system than that which Lord
John Russell, in the previous session, had attempted to alter by proposing
to enfranchise Manchester, Leeds, and Birmingham. But the election which
followed the death of George IV on June 26th had not borne out the Duke's
assertion; it had gone heavily against him. Lord Grey, forming his Ministry
out of the old Whigs and the followers of Canning and Grenville, at once
made Reform a Cabinet measure. During the stormy elections of July the news
came from Paris that Charles X had been deposed, and unlike the news of the
French Revolution, it acted as a stimulus, not as a check, to the reforming
party in England.

The next entry quoted from Lady Fanny's diary, begun at the age of
fourteen, is dated November 22, 1830; the family were travelling towards
Paris, matters having almost quieted down there. Louis Philippe had been
recognized by England as King of the French the month before, and the only
side of the revolution which came under her young eyes was the somewhat
vamped up enthusiasm for the Citizen King which followed his acceptance of
the crown and tricolor. It is said that any small boy in those days could
exhibit the King to curious sightseers by raising a cheer outside the
Tuileries windows, when His Majesty, to whom any manifestation of
enthusiasm was extremely precious, would appear automatically upon the
balcony and bow. But there were traces of agitation still to be felt up and
down the country, and over Paris hung that deceptive, stolid air of
indifference which is so puzzling a characteristic of crises in France.

The Mintos travelled in several carriages with a considerable retinue, with
a doctor and servants, but not with a train which, in those days, would
have been thought remarkable for an English peer.

    MELUN, _November_ 22, 1830 [3]

    We left Sens at half past eight and did not stop to dine, but ate
    in the carriage. We passed through Fossard, Monteran, and got here
    about four. The doctor is quite grave about his tricolor and has
    worn it all day. We have had immense laughing at him. He was very
    much frightened at Sens, because Papa told him the people of the
    hotel were for the Bourbons and were angry with him for wearing the
    tricolor. A great many post-boys have it on their hats and all the
    fleurs-de-lis on the mile-posts are rubbed out.

[3] All extracts not otherwise specified are from Lady John Russell's

By this date Charles X, surrounded by his gloomy, ceremonial little court
of faithful followers, was playing his nightly game of whist in the
melancholy shelter of Holyrood, where he was to remain for the next two
years, an insipid, sorrowful figure, distinguished by such dignity as
unquerulous passivity can lend to the foolish and unfortunate. Meanwhile,
Paris was attempting to vamp up some interest in her new King, who walked
the streets with an umbrella under his arm.

    PARIS, _December_ 23, 1830

    We were in the Place Vendôme to-day, which was full of national
    guards waiting for the King. We stopped to see him. It looked very
    gay and pretty: the National Guard held hands in a long row and
    danced for ever so long round and round the pillar, with the people
    shouting as hard as they could. It looked very funny, but the King
    did not come whilst we were there. We heard them singing the
    Parisienne. The trial is over and the ministers are at Vincennes,
    going to be put in prison. There have been several mobs about the
    Luxembourg and the Palais Royal, but they think nothing more will
    happen now.

Who can hum now the tune of the "Parisienne"? It has not stayed in men's
memories like the "Marseillaise"; no doubt it expressed the prosaic,
middle-class spirit of the National Guard, which kept a King upon the
throne, in his own way just as determined as his predecessors to rule in
the interests of his family.

    PARIS, _February_ 5, 1831

    Mama, Papa, Mary, Lizzy, [4] Charlie, Doddy [5] and I have been to
    a children's ball at the Palais Royal. It was the most beautiful
    thing I ever saw, and we danced all night long, but no big people
    at all danced. We saw famously all the royal people; and Lizzy
    danced with two of the little princes. The Duke of Orleans and M.
    Duc de Nemours were in uniform and so were all the other gentlemen.
    The King and Queen are nice-looking old bodies. [6] It was capital fun
    and very merry indeed, the supper was beautiful. There was famous

[4] Her sisters Mary and Elizabeth, afterwards Lady Mary Abercromby and
Lady Elizabeth Romilly.

[5] Her brothers Charles and George.

[6] The next time she was to see the "old bodies" was on her own lawn at
Pembroke Lodge, where she heard from the King the unimpressive story of "ma

    PARIS, _February_ 15, 1831

    This is _Mardi gras_, the last day of the Carnival. We were
    out in the carriage this morning to see the masks on the
    boulevards; there were a great many masks and crowds of people,
    whilst there were mobs and rows going on in another part of the
    town. The people have quite destroyed the poor Archbishop's house,
    because on Sunday night the Duc de Bordeaux's bust was brought, and
    Mass was said for the Duc de Berry. They have taken all his books,
    furniture, and everything, and they wanted to throw some priests in
    the Seine, and they are breaking the things in the churches and
    taking down the crosses. All the National Guard is out.

These disturbances were the last struggles of the party who had not been
satisfied by the spectacle of the son of Philippe Egalité, with the
tricolor flag in one hand, embracing the ancient Lafayette on the balcony
above the Place de Grève. Their animosity against the Church was the
ground-swell of the storm which had washed away Charles X himself. The
Sacrilege Law introduced in 1825 had revived the barbarous mediaeval
penalty of amputating the hand of the offender. Charles's attempt to
reintroduce primogeniture by declaring the French principle of the equal
division of property to be inconsistent with the principle of monarchy had
irritated the people less than the encouragement he had given to monastic
corporations which were contrary to law. The controversy which followed
between the ecclesiastics and their opponents was the cause of the repeal
of the freedom of the Press; and when he had stifled controversy his next
step was the suspension of Parliament. Whence followed the events which so
abruptly disturbed his evening rubber at St. Cloud on July 25th.

These outbreaks of the republican anti-clerical party to which Lady Fanny
refers were soon calmed; a few weeks later the soldiers had no more work to
do, and a grand review was held in the Champ de Mars.

    PARIS, _March_ 27, 1831

    We all went in the carriage to the heights of the Trocadéro and
    there got out. It was very pretty to look down at the Champ de
    Mars, which was quite full of soldiers, who sometimes ranged
    themselves in lines and sometimes in nice little bundles and
    squares. In front of the Ecole Militaire was a fine tent for the
    Queen and Princesses. The King and the Duc de Nemours rode about,
    and there were some loud cries of "Vive le Roi." Less than a year
    ago in the same place we saw old Charles X reviewing his soldiers
    and heard "Vive le Roi" shouted for him and saw white flags waving
    about the Champs de Mars instead of tricolor. It seems so odd that
    it should all be changed in so short a time, and spoils the "Vive
    le Roi" very much, because it makes one think they do not care
    really for him.

    PARIS, _April_ 2, 1831

    We had a long walk with Mama to the places where the people that
    were killed in July were buried. There are tricolor flags over them
    all, and the flowers and crowns of everlastings were all nicely
    arranged about the tombs. Amongst them was the kennel of a poor dog
    whose master was one of the killed, which has come every day since
    and lain on his grave. The dog itself was not in. The poor Swiss
    are buried there, too, but without flowers or crowns or railings,
    or even stones, to show the place.

She had been "wishing horridly for fields and trees and grass" for some
time past; on June 16, 1831, they were all back again in England.

    DOVER, _June_ 16, 1831

    Everything seems odd here; pokers and leather harness, all the
    women and girls with bonnets and long petticoats and shawls and
    flounces and comfortable poky straw bonnets, and boys so nicely
    dressed, and urns and small panes (no glasses and no clocks),
    trays, good bread, and everybody with clean and fresh and pretty
    faces. We have been walking this evening by the sea, and all the
    English look very odd; they all look hangy and loose, so different
    from the Paris ladies, laced so tight they can hardly walk, and the
    men and boys look ten times better.

    ROCHESTER, _June_ 17, 1831

    We did not leave Dover till near twelve--the country has really
    been beautiful to-day; all the beautiful gentlemen's places with
    large trees, and the pretty hedges all along the road full of
    honeysuckle and roses; clean cows and white fat sheep feeding in
    most beautiful rich green grass; the nicest little cottages with
    lattice windows and thatched roofs and neat gardens, and roses,
    ivy, and honeysuckle creeping to the tops of the chimneys;
    everybody and everything clean and tidy.... The cart-horses are
    beautiful, and even the beggars look as if they washed their faces.

    _October_ 9, 1831, BOGNOR

    We heard this morning of the loss of the Reform Bill, and we were
    at first all very sorry, but in a little while rather glad because
    it gives us a chance of Minto. When the people of Bognor heard it
    was lost, they took the flowers and ribands off that they had
    dressed up the coaches with, thinking it had passed, and put them
    in mourning.

Lord John Russell had introduced the first Reform Bill on March 1, 1831;
this was carried by a majority of one; but in a later division the
Government was defeated by a majority of eight, and Parliament was
dissolved. The elections resulted in an emphatic verdict in favour of
Reform, and on June 24th Lord John introduced the second Reform Bill, which
was carried by a large majority in the House of Commons. He had proposed to
disfranchise partially or completely 110 boroughs; a proposition which had
seemed so revolutionary that it was at first received with laughter by the
Opposition, who were confident no such measure could ever pass. Lord Minto
had returned from France to support this Bill in the Lords, which on his
arrival he found had been rejected by them in a division on the 8th of
October. The rejection of the Bill was followed by disturbances throughout
the country. Several members of the House of Lords were mobbed, Nottingham
Castle was burnt down, and there was fighting and bloodshed in the streets
of Bristol. Before the third Reform Bill was brought forward and carried by
a huge majority in the Commons, the whole Minto family were on their way

Lady Fanny announces the fact of her arrival at her beloved home with many
ecstatic exclamation marks.

    _November_ 2, 1831, MINTO !!!!

    Between Longtown and Langham we passed the toll that divides
    England and Scotland. Harry and the coachman waved their hats and
    all heads were poked out at window.

    The moment we got into Scotland it felt much finer, the sun shone
    brighter and the country really became far prettier. We went along
    above the Esk, which is a little rattling, rumbling, clear, rocky
    river, prettier than any we ever saw in England....

    As we drove into Langham we were much surprised by a loud cheer
    from some men and boys at the roadside, who all threw off their
    caps as we passed. While we were changing, a man offered to Papa
    that they would drag him through the town; Papa thanked him very
    much but said he would rather not; so the man said perhaps he would
    prefer three cheers, which they gave as we drove off.... The whole
    town crowded round the carriages. Just as we were setting off,
    however, we were very much surprised to see numbers of people take
    the pole of the little carriage and run off with Papa and Mama with
    all their might. They spun all through the town at a fine rate, and
    did not stop for ever so long. There was immense cheering as we
    drove off, and the people ran after us ever so far.... The house
    all looked beautiful, and this evening we feel as if we had never
    left Minto.

But she was not to stay there long, for early in 1832 they went to
Roehampton House, near London, and the same year Lord Minto was appointed
Minister at Berlin.

At this time Berlin was not a capital of sufficient dignity to entitle it
to an embassy; but considering the state of European politics, the
appointment was one of some diplomatic importance.

Germany was at the beginning of her task of consolidation. The revolution
of July had not been without its effect on her. In the southern States the
cause of representative government was not wholly powerless; but it had
been weakened by the reaction after 1815. Since the government was no
longer an undisguised tyranny and since the people themselves were growing
richer, a strong sentiment of personal loyalty to the sovereign began to
spread among them. Constitutional changes were therefore indefinitely
postponed. The great work of the next few years for Prussian statesmen was
the removal of commercial barriers between the various German States, and
the establishment of a _Zollverein_ between them. In this way the sway
of Austria was weakened, and though political union as an aim was carefully
kept in the background, the foundation for the subsequent consolidation of
the German Empire was securely laid. During the two central years of this
process, 1832-4, Lord Minto was at Berlin. The manners of the time were far
simpler and the life at the court far more informal than they were soon to
become. Law and custom still preserved some lingering barbarities: during
their stay at Wittenberg they heard of a man being broken on the wheel.

They stopped at Brussels on the way. There is a characteristic entry in
Lady Fanny's diary describing a visit to the battle-field.

    NAMUR, _September_ 6, 1832

    We coach-people left Brussels much earlier than the others that we
    might have time to walk about Waterloo....

    They showed us the house where the Duke of Wellington slept the
    night before and the night after the battle and wrote home his
    dispatches; then after a long and fierce dispute between a man and
    woman which was to guide us, the man took us to the Church, where
    we saw the monuments of immense numbers of poor common soldiers and
    officers--then to the place where four hundred are buried all
    together and one sees their graves just raised above the rest of
    the ground. Then we drove to the field of battle, and the man
    showed us everything; it was very nice and very sad to hear all
    about, but as I shall always remember it, I need say nothing about
    it. We are quite in a rage about a great mound that the Dutch have
    put up with a great yellow lion on the top, only because the Prince
    of Orange was wounded there, quite altering the ground from what it
    was at the time of the battle. The monument to Lord Anglesea's leg
    too, which we did not of course go to see, makes one very angry, as
    if he was the only one who was wounded there--and only wounded too
    when such thousands of poor men were killed and have nothing at all
    to mark the place where they are buried; and I think they are the
    people one feels most for, for though they do all they can, after
    they are dead one never hears any more about them.

Soon after their arrival at Berlin, Lady Minto fell dangerously ill. From
September, 1832, there is a long gap in Lady Fanny's diary, for she had no
heart to set anything down. This long stretch of anxiety coming when she
was sixteen years old, if it did not change her nature, brought to light
new qualities which were to mark her character henceforward. There is a
little entry written down eight years afterwards on the birthday of her
sister Charlotte which shows that she, as well as others, looked back on
this time as a turning-point in her life.

    Bob'm sixteen to-day, just the age I began to be unhappy, because I
    began to think. Heaven spare her from the doubts and fears that
    tormented me.

During the months of her mother's gradual recovery she seems each day to
have been happier than on the one before.

    _June_ 6, 1833, POTSDAM

    At a little before eleven this morning, Mary, Ginkie, Henry, [7]
    Mr. Lettsom [8] and I set off from Berlin in a very curious rickety
    machine of a carriage, to leave Mama for a whole day and night,
    which feels very impossible, and is the best sign of her (health)
    that one could have. We were very happy and we thought everything
    looking very nice. We were sorry to see no friends as we left
    Berlin, for we looked so beautiful in our jolting little conveyance
    with four horses and a post-boy blowing the old tune on his horn.

[7] Her brother, afterwards Sir Henry Elliot.

[8] The tutor.

To escape the heat of Berlin they moved out to Freienwalde.

    _June_ 14, 1833, FREIENWALDE

    A beautiful morning, and at about 10 they all set off from Berlin,
    leaving Mama, Papa, Bob'm and I to follow after in the coach. After
    they went, there were two long hours of going backwards and
    forwards through the empty rooms, then having said a sad good-bye
    to Senden,[9] Hymen,[9] Mr. Lettsom and Fitz, though we know we
    shall see them again soon, we got into the coach with the squirrel
    in a bag and drove off. I could not help feeling very sorry to
    leave it all, though it will be so very nice to be out of it, but I
    knew we should never be all there again as we have been, and all
    the misery we have had in that house makes one feel still more all
    the happiness of the last month there.

    There is nothing to say of the country, for it is the same as on
    all the other sides of Berlin; the soil more horrid than anything I
    ever saw, and of course all as flat as water, but just now and then
    some rather nice villages.... After about two hours there we came
    on, first through nice, small Scotch fir woods, then quite ugly
    again till near here, when we got into really pretty banks of oak,
    beech, and fir, down a real steep road and along a nice narrow lane
    till we got here, where they were all standing on the steps of our
    mansion ready to receive us. Mama was carried to the drawing-room
    ... before the house is a wee sort of border all full of weeds, but
    nothing like a garden or place belonging to the house, but there
    seem very few people; then there is a terrace, which is very nice
    though it is public. Mama is not the least tired and quite pleased
    with it all. It is very, very nice to be here, able to go out
    without our things and expecting no company, and what at first one
    feels more nice than everything, not having any carriages or noises
    out of doors; for eight months and a half we have never been
    without that horrid, constant rumbling in the streets. It is
    _very_ odd to feel ourselves here; unlike any place I ever
    lived in. The bath house is close by, but that is the only house
    near us.

[9] German friends at Berlin.

There they lived all the summer the life that they liked best. They lost
themselves in the forest, they read aloud, and they enjoyed the rustic
theatre. The autumn brought visits to Teplitz and Dresden.

They were back in Berlin for the winter and early spring, when she began to
take more part in society.

    April 1, 1834, BERLIN

    Stupid dinner of old gentlemen. Mary still being rather silly[10] did
    not dine at table.... It was very awful to be alone, but at dinner
    I was happy enough as Löven sat on one side of me. Humboldt was on
    the other. Afterwards came Fitz for a moment and Deken and

    April 5, 1834, BERLIN

    I sat the second quadrille by my stupidity in refusing Bismarck.

[10] Scotch for unwell.

Early in May came "the hateful morning of good-byes" to friends in Berlin,
and at Marienbad. Lord Minto heard the news that Lord Grey had resigned
owing to Lord Althorp's refusal to agree to the Irish Coercion Bill. Lord
Melbourne succeeded him as Prime Minister. Lord Minto had not long returned
to England when the King summarily dismissed Lord Melbourne and a
provisional Government under the Duke of Wellington was patched together
until Sir Robert Peel should return from abroad. The governorship of Canada
had been offered meanwhile to Lord Minto, and the family started on their
home journey fearing they would have to leave England immediately for
Quebec. But this did not happen, and December found them at last once more
on the road to Minto. The girls wrote poems celebrating their return on the
journey, and tried every cure for impatience as the carriage rolled along.

    MINTO, Thursday, December 25, 1834

    We left Carlisle about eight, and for the three first stages were
    so slowly driven that our patience was nearly gone. To make it last
    a little longer Mary read some "Hamlet" aloud between Longtown and
    Langholme, and I had a nap.... As soon as we entered Hawick we were
    surrounded by an immense crowd.... The bells rang, there were flags
    hung all along the street, and fine shouting as we set off. Papa,
    which we did not know at the time, had to make a little speech, and
    contradict a shameful report of his having taken office. A few
    minutes on this side of Hawick we met the two boys and Robert
    riding to meet us, looking lovely. Our own country looked really
    beautiful; rocks, hills, and Rubers Law all seemed to have grown
    higher. We passed the awful ford in safety across our own lovely
    Teviot, and soon found ourselves at Nelly's Lodge, where old Nelly
    opened the gate to us.... The trees looked large and fine--in
    short, everything perfect. Catherine, Mrs. Fraser, and Wales
    received us at the door, and in a few minutes we were scattered all
    over the house. We spent a most happy evening.... This has really
    been a happy Christmas. It is wonderful to be here.

At this point Lady Fanny's early girlhood may be said to end. Her life in
London society and the events which led to her marriage will be told in the
next chapter.



While the Minto family were still on their way home from Germany a
startling incident occurred in English politics. One morning a paragraph
appeared in the Times announcing the fact that the King had dismissed Lord

We have no authority (it ran) for the important statement which follows,
but we have every reason to believe that it is perfectly true. We give it
without any comment or amplification, in the very words of the
communication, which reached us at a late hour last night. "The King has
taken the opportunity of Lord Spencer's death to turn out the Ministry, and
there is every reason to believe the Duke of Wellington has been sent for.
The Queen has done it all."

(The authority upon which the _Times_ was relying was that of the Lord

So on coming down to breakfast that morning the Ministers, having received
no private communication whatever, read to their amazement that they had
been already dismissed. Brougham had surreptitiously conveyed the
information in order to embarrass the Court. The general trend of political
gossip at the time was expressed by Palmerston, who wrote:

It is impossible to doubt that this has been a preconcerted measure and
that the Duke of Wellington is prepared at once to form a Government. Peel
is abroad; but it is not likely he would have gone away without a previous
understanding one way or the other with the Duke, as to what he would do if
a crisis were to arise.

As a matter of fact there had been no concerted plan. It was the first and
last independent step William IV ever took, and a most unconstitutional
instance of royal interference. The Duke, summoned by the King, expressed
his willingness to occupy any position His Majesty thought fit, but
considering the Liberal majority in the House of Commons was two to one,
and it was but two years since the Reform Bill passed, he did his best to
dissuade the King from dismissing all his Ministers. During the interview
the King's secretary entered and called the attention of the King to the
paragraph in the _Times_ that morning, which concluded with the
statement that the Queen had done it all. "There, Duke, you see how I am
insulted and betrayed; nobody in London but Melbourne knew last night what
had taken place here, nor of my sending for you: will your Grace compel me
to take back people who have treated me in this way?"

Thereupon the Duke consented to undertake a provisional Government, while
Mr. Hudson was sent off to Italy in search of Sir Robert Peel. He reached
Rome in nine days; at that time very quick travelling. "I think you might
have made the journey in a day less by taking another route," is said to
have been Peel's only comment upon receiving the Duke's letter. He returned
at once to England to relieve the temporary Cabinet, and formed a Ministry
in December. The same month Parliament was dissolved, and the Conservative
party went to the country on the policy of "Moderate Reform" enunciated in
Peel's Tamworth manifesto. "The shameful report" referred to by Lady Fanny
in the last chapter, and immediately contradicted by Lord Minto on his
return to Scotland, was that he had joined the Peel Ministry.

Thus Lady Fanny came home to find the country-side preparing for a
mid-winter election. Her uncle, George Elliot, was standing for the home
constituency against Lord John Scott, whom he just succeeded in defeating.
In most constituencies, however, the Liberals triumphed more easily, and
when the new Parliament met they were in a majority of more than a hundred.
In April Lord John Russell carried his motion for the appropriation of the
surplus revenues of the Irish Church to general moral and religious
purposes, so Peel resigned. Melbourne again became Prime Minister, and in
the autumn of the same year, 1835, Lord Minto was appointed First Lord of
the Admiralty.

This meant a great change in Lady Fanny's life; henceforward for the next
eight years more than half of every year was spent by her in London. There
is a change, too, in the spirit of her diaries. Her nature was the reverse
of introspective and melancholy, but at this time she was often unhappy and
dissatisfied for no definite reason; her diaries show it. It is not likely
that others were aware of this private distress. She was leading at the
time a busy life both at home and in society, and there were many things in
which she was keenly interested. The troubles confided to these private
pages were not due to compunction for anything she had done, nor were they
caused by any particular event; they expressed simply a general discontent
with herself and a kind of _Weltschmerz_ not uncommon in a young and
thoughtful mind. For the first time she seems glad of outside interests
because they distract her.

The months in London were broken by occasional residence at Roehampton
House and by visits to Bowood. At Bowood with the Lansdowne family she was
always happy. There she heard with delight Tom Moore sing his Irish
melodies for the first time. There was much, too, in London to distract and
amuse her: breakfasts with Rogers, luncheons at Holland House, and
dinner-parties at which all the leading Whig politicians were present. But
society did not satisfy her; she wanted more natural and more intimate
relations than social gatherings usually afford.

    LONDON, _May_ 9, 1835

    We went to Miss Berry's in the evening. I thought it very tiresome,
    but was glad to see Lord John Russell and his wife.

    BOWOOD, _December_ 26, 1835

    The evening was very quiet, there was not much to alarm one, and
    the prettiest music possible to listen to. Mr. Moore singing his
    own melodies--it was really delightful, and a kind of singing I
    never heard before. He has very little voice, but what he has is
    perfectly sweet, and his real Irish face looks quite inspired. The
    airs were most of them simply beautiful, and many of the words
    equally so.

    _January_ 31, 1836, ADMIRALTY

    I am reading "Ivanhoe" for the first time, and delighted with it,
    but things cannot be as they should be, when I feel that I require
    to forget myself in order to be happy, and that unless I am taken
    up with an interesting book there never, or scarcely ever, is a
    moment of real peace and quiet for my poor weary mind. What is it I
    wish for? O God, Thou alone canst clearly know--and in Thy hands
    alone is the remedy. Oh let this longing cease! Turn it, O Father,
    to a worthy object! Unworthy it must now be, for were it after
    virtue, pure holy virtue, could I not still it? Dispel the mist
    that dims my eyes, that I may first plainly read the secrets of my
    wretched heart, and then give me, O Almighty God, the sincere will
    to root out all therein that beareth not good fruit....

    _February_ 4, 1836, ADMIRALTY

    The great day of the opening of Parliament. Soon after breakfast we
    prepared to go to the House of Lords--that is to say, we made
    ourselves great figures with feathers and finery. The day has been,
    unfortunately, rainy and cold, and made our dress look still more
    absurd. The King did not come till two, so that we had plenty of
    time to see all the old lords assembling. Their robes looked very
    handsome, and I think His Majesty was the least dignified-looking
    person in the house. I cannot describe exactly all that went on.
    There was nothing impressive, but it was very amusing. The poor old
    man could not see to read his speech, and after he had stammered
    half through it Lord Melbourne was obliged to hold a candle to him,
    and he read it over again. Lord Melbourne looked very like a Prime
    Minister, but the more I see him and so many good and clever men
    obliged to do, at least in part, the bidding of anyone who happens
    to be born to Royalty, the more I wish that things were
    otherwise--however, as long as it is only in forms that one sees
    them give him the superiority one does not much mind. After the
    debate, several of Papa's friends came to dine here. Lord
    Melbourne, Lord Lansdowne, Lord Glenelg, and the Duke of Richmond,
    who has won my heart--they talked very pleasantly.

    _March_ 9, 1836, ADMIRALTY

    I wonder what it is that makes one sometimes like and sometimes
    dislike balls, etc. It does not always depend on whom one meets. I
    am sure it is not, as most books and people seem to think, from
    love of admiration that one is fond of them or else how should I
    ever be so, when it is so impossible for anybody ever to admire my
    looks or think me agreeable? I sometimes wish I was pretty. And I
    do not think it is a very foolish wish: it would give me courage to
    be agreeable.

All through this year there are many troubled entries:

    _March_ 28, 1836, ADMIRALTY

    Youth may and ought to have--yes, I see by others that it
    has--pleasures which surpass those of unthinking though lovely
    childhood: but have I experienced them? ... What makes the same sun
    seem one day to make all nature bright, and the next only to show
    more plainly the dreariness of the landscape? Oh wicked, sinful
    must be those feelings that make me miserable--selfish and
    sinful--and I cannot reason them away, for I do not understand
    them. Prayer has helped me before now, and I trust it will still do
    so. O Lord, forsake me not--take me into Thy own keeping.... Mama
    fifty to-day [March 30, 1836]. Oh the feelings that crowd into my
    heart as if they must burst it when I look to this day three years
    ago. I cannot write or think clearly of it yet. I can only
    feel--but what, I do not myself know--at one moment agony, doubts,
    and fears, as if it was still that fearful day; then joy almost too
    great to bear. When I think of her as she now is, then everything
    vanishes in one overpowering feeling of intense thankfulness. I
    have several times to-day seen her eyes fill with tears--every
    birthday of those one loves gives one a melancholy feeling, and the
    more rejoicings there are the stronger that feeling is.

    _June_ 27, 1836, ADMIRALTY

    It was decided that we should go to the Duchess of Buccleuch's
    breakfast. My horror of breakfasts is only increased by having been
    to this one, though I believe it was particularly pleasant.
    Certainly the day was perfect, and the sight and the music pretty;
    but I scarcely ever disliked people more or felt more beaten down
    by shyness. My only thoughts from the moment we went in were: How I
    wish it was over, and how I wish nobody would speak to me.

    _September_ 6, 1836, ROEHAMPTON

    Mama and I went to dine at Holland House.... The rooms are just
    what one would expect from the outside of the handsome old house,
    with a number of good pictures in the library, where we sat, all
    portraits. Lord Holland is perfectly agreeable, and not at all a
    man to be afraid of, in the common way of speaking, but for that
    very reason I always am afraid of him--much more than of her, who
    does not seem to me agreeable. I was very sorry Lord Melbourne did
    not come, as he would have made the conversation more general and

The impression she made on others in her girlhood will be seen by this
passage in the "Reminiscences of an Idler," by Chevalier Wyhoff: "I had the
honour of dancing a quadrille with Lady Fanny Elliot, the charming daughter
of the Earl of Minto. Her engaging manners and sweetness of disposition
were even more winning than her admitted beauty."

In July it was decided that her brother Henry should go out to Australia
with Sir John Franklin. The idea of parting troubled her extremely, and,
moreover, the project dashed all the castles in the air she had built for
him. August 21st was the day fixed for his sailing. The 20th came--"dismal,
dismal day, making things look as if they understood it was his last." Long
afterwards, whenever she saw the front of Roehampton House, where she said
good-bye to him, the scene would come back to her mind--the waiting
carriage and the last farewells. The autumn winds had a new significance to
her now her brother was on the sea. She was troubled too about religious
problems, but she found it difficult, almost impossible, to talk about the
thoughts which were occupying her. Writing of her cousin Gilbert Elliot,
afterwards Dean of Bristol, for whom she felt both affection and respect,
she says: "In the evening Cousin Gilbert talked a great deal, and not only
usefully but delightfully, about different religious sects and against the
most illiberal Church to which he belongs--but how could I be happy? The
more he talked of what I wished to hear, the more idiotically shy I felt
and the more impossible it became to me to ask one of the many questions or
make one of the many remarks (foolish very likely, but what would that have
signified?) which were filling my mind."

    _December_ 24, 1836, BOWOOD

    Mr. Moore sang a great deal, and one song quite overcame Lady
    Lansdowne. At dinner I sat between Henry [11] and Miss Fazakerlie,
    who told me that last year she thought me impenetrable. How sad it
    is to appear to every one different from what one is.

    I like both her and Henry better than ever, but oh, I dislike
    myself more than ever--and so does everybody else--almost. Is it
    vain to wish it otherwise?--no, surely it is not. If my manner is
    so bad must there not be some real fault in me that makes it so,
    and ought I not to pray that it may be corrected?

[11] Afterwards Lord Lansdowne and the father of the present Marquis.

She read a great deal at this time; Jeremy Taylor, Milton, and Wesley,
Heber, Isaac Walton, Burnet; Burns was her favourite on her happiest days.
She thought that work among the poor of London might help her; but her time
was so taken up both with looking after the younger children and by society
that she seems to have got no further than wondering how to set about it.

On June 20th, 1837, William IV died, and in July Parliament was dissolved.
On the 4th they were back again at Minto.

Her uncle John Elliot was successful in his candidature of Hawick.
"Hawick," she writes, "has done her duty well indeed--in all ways; for the
sheriff's terrible riots have been nothing at all. Some men ducked and the
clothes of some torn off. We all felt so confused with joy that we did not
know what to do all the evening." These rejoicings ended suddenly: Lady
Minto was called to the death-bed of her mother, Mrs. Brydone.

    _August_ 19, 1837, MINTO

    I feel this time as I always do after a great misfortune, that the
    shock at first is nothing to the quiet grief afterwards, when one
    really begins to understand what has happened.

    I cannot help constantly repeating over and over to myself that she
    is gone, and sometimes I do not know how to bear it and however to
    be comforted for not having seen her once more.

When the new Queen's Parliament met after the General Election the strength
of the Conservatives was 315 and of the Liberals 342. The Melbourne
Ministry was in a weaker position; they could only hold a majority through
the support of the Radical and Irish groups, and troubles were brewing in
the country. On the other hand, Peel's position was not an easy one; the
split among the Conservatives on Catholic Emancipation had left bitterness
behind, and in addition to this complication, his followers in the Commons
included both men like Stanley, who had voted for Parliamentary reform, and
its implacable opponents. But in spite of this flaw in the solidarity of
the Opposition, the Ministers were far from secure. There were the troubles
in Canada, which Lord Durham had been sent out to deal with (the Canadian
patriots had a great deal of Lady Fanny's sympathy), and in England the
grievances of the poor were in the process of being formulated into the
famous People's Charter. During the parliamentary sessions the Mintos
remained in London, with only occasional very short absences.

    ADMIRALTY, _December_ 26, 1837

    People all seem pleased with the news from Canada because we are
    beating the poor patriots--let people say what they will I must
    wish them success and pity them with all my heart.

    EASTBOURNE, _April_ 14, 1838

    It is not only the out of doors pleasures, the sea, the air, etc.,
    that we find here, but the way of living takes a weight from one's
    mind, of which one does not know the burden till one leaves London
    and is freed from it. "I love not man the less" from feeling as I
    do the great faults, to us at least, of our London society. It is
    because I love man, because I daily see people whose thoughts I
    long to share and profit by, that I am so disappointed in being
    unable to do so. Oh, why, why do people not all live in the
    country--or if towns must be, why must they bring stiffness and
    coldness on everybody?

    ADMIRALTY, _May_ 10, 1838

    Court Ball.... Beautiful ball of beautiful people dancing to
    beautiful music. Queen dancing a great deal, looking very happy.

    ADMIRALTY, _June_ 22, 1838

    Evening at a Concert at the Palace--all the good singers.... All
    the foreigners there, Soult and the Duke of Wellington shaking
    hands more heartily than any other two people there.

    ADMIRALTY, _June_ 28, 1838

    Day ever memorable in the annals of Great Britain! Day of the
    coronation of Queen Victoria! ... We were up at six, and Lizzy,
    Bob'm, and I, being the Abbey party, dressed in all our grandeur.
    The ceremony was much what I expected, but less solemn and
    impressive from the mixture of religion with worldly vanities and
    distinctions. The sight was far more brilliant and beautiful than I
    had supposed it would be. Walked home in our fine gowns through the
    crowd; found the stand here well filled, and were quite in time to
    see the procession pass back. Nothing could be more beautiful, the
    streets either way being lined with the common people, as close as
    they could stand, and the windows, house-tops, balconies, and
    stands crowded with the better dressed. Great cheering when Soult's
    carriage passed, but really magnificent for the Duchess of Kent and
    the Queen. The carriages splendid. Did not feel in the Abbey one
    quarter of what I felt on the stand.

    MINTO, _November_ 4, 1838

    This morning brought us the sad, sad news of the death of Lady John
    Russell. God give strength to her poor unhappy husband, and watch
    over his dear little motherless children.

The only event of importance which occurred in the family during 1838 was
the marriage of the eldest daughter, Mary, to Ralph Abercromby, son of the
Speaker and afterwards Lord Dunfermline. It was a very happy marriage, but
Lady Fanny missed her sister very much, and her accounts of the wedding and
the last days before it are mixed with regrets. She speaks of it as "an
awful day," though it seems to have ended merrily enough in dancing and

In May, 1839, the Government resigned in consequence of the opposition to
the Jamaica Bill. The object of the Bill was to suspend the constitution of
Jamaica for five years, since difficulties had been made by the Jamaica
Assembly in connection with the emancipation of slaves. The Radicals voted
with the Conservatives against the Government and the Bill was lost.

    ADMIRALTY, _May_ 7, 1839

    We are all out!!!!

    Papa was summoned to a Cabinet at twelve this morning. Mama and I
    in the meantime drove to some shops, and when we came home found
    him anxiously expecting us with this overpowering news. We bore,
    and are still bearing it with tolerable fortitude; but we are all
    very, very sorry, and every moment find something new to regret.
    Mama, notwithstanding all she has said, is not better pleased than
    the rest of us. Papa looks very grave, or else tries to joke it

    FRIDAY, _May_ 10, 1839, ADMIRALTY

    Agitating morning--one report following another every hour. Sir
    Robert Peel refused to form a Ministry unless the Queen would part
    with some of her household. To this she would not consent. To-day
    she sent for Lord Melbourne.... We went to the first Queen's ball,
    very anxious to see how she and other people looked, and to try to
    foresee coming events by the expression of faces.... I spoke to
    scarcely one Tory, but our Whig friends were in excellent
    spirits--the Queen also seemed to be so.

    TUESDAY, _May_ 14, 1839, ADMIRALTY

    Papa and Bill [12] came from the House of Lords quite delighted
    with Lord Melbourne's speech in explanation of what has
    passed--manner, matter, everything perfect.

[12] Her brother, Lord Melgund, afterwards third Earl of Minto.

Thus, within the week, the Whig Ministry had resigned and accepted office
again: this is what had happened.

On his return from Italy to take office Sir Robert Peel requested the Queen
to change the ladies of her household, and on her refusal to do so, the
Melbourne Ministry had come in again. Their return to power has been
generally considered a blunder, from the party point of view; but their
action in this case was not the result of tactical calculations. The young
Queen was strange as yet to the throne, and she could not bear to be
deprived of her personal friends. When Peel made a change in her household
the condition of accepting office, she turned to the Whigs, who felt they
could not desert her. "My dear Melbourne," wrote Lord John, "I have seen
Spencer, who says that we could not have done otherwise than we have done
as gentlemen, but that bur difficulties with the Radicals are not

They were, indeed, hard put to it to carry on the Government at all, and
they only succeeded in passing their Education Bill by a majority of two.

On August 12th the Mintos were still kept in London. "Oh for the boys and
guns and dogs, a heathery moor, and a blue Scotch heaven above me!" she
writes. When they did get away home, they remained there until the
beginning of the new year. At home she seems to have been much happier. She
taught her young brothers and sisters, she visited her village friends, and
rambled and read a great deal. In short, it was Minto!--all she found so
hard to part from when marriage took her away.

Many of the extracts from the diaries quoted in this chapter must be read
in the light of the reader's own recollections of the process of getting
used to life. They show that if Lady Russell afterwards attained a happy
confidence in action, she was not in youth without experience of
bewilderment and doubts about herself. Following one another quickly, these
extracts may seem to imply that she was gloomy and self-centred during
these years; but that was never the impression she made on others. Like
many at her age, when she wrote in a diary she dwelt most on the feelings
about which she found it hardest to talk. Her diary was not so much the
mirror of the days as they passed as the repository of her unspoken
confidences. "Looked over my journals, with reflections," she writes later;
"inclined to burn them all. It seems I have only written [on days] when I
was not happy, which is very wrong--as if I had forgotten to be grateful
for happy ones."

Mrs. Drummond, Lord John Russell's stepdaughter (who was then Miss Adelaide
Lister), has recorded, in a letter to Lady Agatha Russell, her
recollections of the Minto family at that time.

    I think (she writes) my first visit to the Admiralty, where I was
    invited to children's parties, must have been in the winter before
    my mother's death. I have no distinct first impressions of the
    grown-up part of the family, except perhaps of your grandmother,
    Lady Minto. Although children exaggerate the age of their elders,
    and seldom appreciate beauty except that of people near their own
    age, I did realize her great good looks. She had very regular
    features and a beautiful skin, with a soft rose-colour in her
    cheeks. Her hair was brown, worn in loops standing out a little
    from the face, and she always wore a cap or headdress of some kind.
    Her manner was most kind and winning, and she had a pleasant voice.
    I am sure she must have been very even-tempered; and as I recall
    her image now, and the peace and serenity expressed in her
    beautiful face, I think she must have had a happy life. I never saw
    her otherwise than perfectly kind and gentle and quite unruffled by
    the little contretemps, which must have befallen her as they do
    others. With this gentleness there was something that made one feel
    she was capable and reliable, that there was a latent strength on
    which those she loved could lean and be at rest. But in speaking of
    these things I am going far beyond the impressions of the small
    child skipping about the large rooms of the Admiralty.

    There came a time when I not only went to parties and theatricals
    at the Admiralty, but went in the afternoons to play with the
    children. One great game was the ghost game. To the delightful
    shudders produced by this was added some fear of the butler's
    interference, for it took place on the large dining-room table. The
    company was divided into two parties--the ghosts and the owners of
    the haunted house. At four o'clock in the afternoon (so as to give
    plenty of time to pile up the horror) the inmates of the house got
    into bed--that is, on to the table. The ghosts then walked solemnly
    round and round, while at intervals one of them imitated the
    striking of the clock; as the hours advanced the ghosts became more
    demonstrative and the company in bed more terror-stricken, and as
    the clock struck twelve the ghosts jumped on to the table! Then
    ensued a frightful scrimmage with ear-splitting squeals, and the
    game ended. I imagine it was this climax which used to bring the
    butler. We also had the game of giant all over the house. The yells
    in this case sometimes brought Lady Minto on the scene, who was
    always most good-natured. We were quieter when we got into
    mischief; as when we made a raid on Lord Minto's dressing-room, and
    each ate two or three of his compressed luncheon tablets and also
    helped ourselves to some of his pills. This last exploit _did_
    rather disturb Lady Minto; but, as it happens, neither luncheons
    nor pills took any effect on the raiders.

    There were often delightful theatricals at the Admiralty. The best
    of the plays was a little operetta written by your mother, called
    "William and Susan," in which Lotty and Harriet[13] sang
    delightfully in parts; but this must have been later on than the
    game period.

    I come now to my first distinct impression of your mother. It is as
    clear as a miniature in my mind's eye, and it belongs to a very
    interesting time. I think her engagement to Papa [14] must just
    have been declared. She came with Lord and Lady Minto to dine with
    him at 30, Wilton Crescent, the house he owned since his marriage
    to my mother. As she passed out of the room to go down to dinner,
    "Lady Fanny's" face and figure were suddenly photographed on my
    brain. Her dark and beautiful smooth hair was most becomingly
    dressed in two broad plaited loops, hanging low on the back of the
    neck; the front hair in bands according to the prevailing fashion.
    Her eyes were dark and very lustrous. Her face was freckled, but
    this was not disfiguring, as a rich colour in her cheeks showed
    itself through them. Her neck, shoulders, and arms were most
    beautifully white, and her slim upright figure showed to great
    advantage in the neat and simple dress then worn. Hers was of blue
    and silver gauze, the bodice prettily trimmed with folds of the
    stuff, and the sleeves short and rather full. I think she wore an
    enamelled necklet of green and gold. Mama [15] long afterwards told
    me that at this dinner she went through a very embarrassing moment;
    Papa asked her what wine she would have, and she, just saying the
    first thing that came into her head, replied, "Oh, champagne."
    There was none. Papa was sadly disconcerted, and replied humbly,
    "Will hock do?" I used to take much interest at all times in Papa's
    dinner-parties, and sometimes suggested what I considered suitable
    guests. I was much disappointed when I found my selection of Madame
    Vestris and O'Connell did not altogether commend itself to Papa.

[13] Lady Harriet Elliot, sister of Lady John Russell.

[14] Lord John Russell.

[15] The second Lady John Russell.

Mrs. Drummond, in another letter to Lady Agatha Russell, alluding to a
visit to Minto before Lord John Russell's second marriage, writes:

    Mama [then Lady Fanny Elliot] was very kind to me even then, and I
    took to her very much. I used to admire her bright eyes and her
    beautiful and very abundant dark hair, which was always exceedingly
    glossy, and her lovely throat, which was the whitest possible--also
    her sprightly ways, for she was very lively and engaging.

The winter of 1840 was spent between the Admiralty and Putney House, which
the Mintos had taken. Lady Fanny's description of Putney sounds to us now
improbably idyllic:

    Out almost till bedtime--the river at night so lovely, so calm,
    still, undisturbed by anything except now and then a slow,
    sleepy-looking barge, gliding so smoothly along as hardly to make a
    ripple. The last few nights we have had a little crescent moon to
    add to the beauty. Then the air is so delightfully perfumed with
    azalea, hawthorn, and lilac, and the nightingales sing so
    beautifully on the opposite banks, that it is difficult to come in
    at all.

    PUTNEY HOUSE, _April 30, 1840_

    Finished my beloved "Sir Samuel Romilly." It is a book that
    everybody, especially men, should immediately read and meditate

It was during the summer of this year, 1840, that she began to see more of
Lord John Russell. She had met him a good many times at "rather solemn
dinner-parties," and he had stayed at Minto. She had known him well enough
to feel distress and the greatest sympathy for him when his wife died,
leaving him with two young families to look after--six children in all,
varying in age from the eldest Lister girl, who was fourteen, to Victoria,
his own little daughter, whose birth in 1838 was followed in little more
than a week by the death of her mother. Lord John was nearly forty-eight.
Hitherto he had been a political hero in her eyes rather than a friend of
her own; but, as the following entries in her diary show, she began now to
realize him from another side.

    _June 3, 1840,_ PUTNEY HOUSE

    Lord John Russell and Miss Lister [16] came to spend the afternoon
    and dine. All the little Listers came. All very merry. Lord John
    played with us and the children at trap-ball, shooting, etc.

[16] Miss Harriet Lister was the sister of Lord John's first wife.

The next time they met was at the Admiralty: "Little unexpected Cabinet
meeting after dinner. Lords John Russell and Palmerston, who talked _War
with France_ till bedtime. I hope papa tells the truth as to its
improbability." Two days later she writes: "Lord John Russell again
surprised us by coming in to tea. How much I like him." The next evening
she dined at his house: "Sat between Lord John and Mr. E. Villiers. Utterly
and for ever disgraced myself. Lord John begged me to drink a glass of
wine, and I asked for champagne when there was none!"

On August 13th they left London for Minto:

    We had two places to spare in the carriage, which were taken by
    Lord John Russell and little Tom [his stepson, Lord Ribblesdale].
    We had wished it might be so, though I had some fears of his being
    tired of us, and of our being stupefied with shyness. This went off
    more than I expected, and our day's journey was very pleasant.

    MINTO, _August_ 14, 1840

    Actually here on the second day! From Hawick we had the most lovely
    moonlight, making the river like silver and the fields like snow.
    Oh Scotland, bonny, bonny Scotland, dearest and loveliest of lands!
    if ever I love thee less than I do now, may I be punished by living
    far from thee.

    MINTO, _August_ 30, 1840

    A great party to Church. Many eyes turned on Lord John as we walked
    from it. He was much amused by the remark of one man: "Lord John's
    a silly [17] looking man, but he's smart, too!"--which he, of
    course, would have understood as an Englishman. In the evening he
    gave me a poem he had composed on the subject of my letter from
    Lancaster to Mrs. Law [18] announcing ourselves for the next
    day.... In the morning [September 1] Lord John begged to sit in our
    sitting-room with us.... I told him the library would be more
    comfortable, and we were established there (he very kindly reading
    the "Lay" aloud), when two Hawick Bailiffs arrived to present him
    with the freedom of the town.... After dinner, Miss Lister asked me
    so many questions chiefly relating to marrying, that I began to
    believe that Lord John's great kindness to us all, but especially
    to me, meant something more than I wished. I lay awake, wondering,
    feeling sure, and doubting again.

[17] Delicate.

[18] Housekeeper.

    MINTO, _September_ 2, 1840

    Lord John, Miss Lister, Addy and I went to Melrose Abbey and
    Abbotsford.... It was his last evening, and in wishing me good-bye
    he said quite enough to make me tell Mama all I thought.... I could
    see that she was very glad I did not like him in that way. I am
    sure I do in every other.

    MINTO, _September_ 3, 1840

    Lord John set off before seven this morning. I dreamed about him
    and waked about him all night.... Mama gave me a note from Lord
    John to me which he had left.... I wrote my answer immediately,
    begging him not to come back; but also telling him how grateful I
    feel. Had a long talk and walk with Miss Lister, whose _great_
    kindness makes it all more painful to me.

Lady Fanny wrote to her sister, Lady Mary Abercromby:

    A proposal from Lord John Russell is at this moment lying before
    me. I see it lying, and I write to you that it is there, but yet I
    do not believe it, nor shall I ever.... Good, kind Miss Lister
    positively worships him.

    MINTO, _September_ 4, 1840

    Went to the village with Mama and my darling Addy [Lord John's
    stepdaughter], to whom I may show how I love her now that he is

    MINTO, _September_ 7, 1840

    Received a very, very sad note from Lord John in answer to mine--so
    kind, but oh! so sad.

The note ran as follows:

    _September_ 5, 1840

    DEAR LADY FANNY,--You are quite right. I deceived myself, not from
    any fault of yours, but from a deep sense of unhappiness, and a
    foolish notion that you might throw yourself away on a person of
    broken spirits, and worn out by time and trouble. There is nothing
    left to me but constant and laborious attention to public business,
    and a wretched sense of misery, which even the children can never
    long drive away. However, that is my duty, and my portion, and I
    have no right to murmur at what no doubt is ordained for some good
    end. So do not blame yourself, and leave me to hope that my life
    may not be long.

    Yours truly, J. RUSSELL

Miss Lister wrote to Lord John on September 9, 1840:

    Sad as your letters are, it is still a relief to have them. I
    _will_ hope for you though you cannot for yourself.... I
    cannot thank you as I wish and feel for all you are with regard to
    the children, for all you have been to them. I never can think of
    it without tears of gratitude.... You have been more than even an
    own father could have been. And by your example--an example of all
    that is good and pure and great in mind and conduct--you are doing
    for them more than any other teaching can do.

For a few days Lady Fanny seems to have felt that the matter was
irrevocably settled: "The more I think of what has happened, the more I
bewilder myself--I therefore do not think at all."

But on the following day she writes: "Though I do not think, I dream. I
dreamt of him last night on some of Catherine's bride cake, and that Miss
Lister wrote to me of him as one whose equal could not be found in the
whole world."

Of one thing she was certain, she did not want to leave her home: "The west
hills looking beautiful as we walked round the church. What a pleasure it
is to have a church in such a situation! One worships God the better from
seeing His beauty so displayed around.... Walked in the glen and wandered
about the burn and top of Mama's glen, wondering how anybody could ever ask
me to leave all that is so much too dear.

"Yesterday [October 23] received a letter from Miss Lister. Tells me a
great deal about him--the way in which he first named me since, and his
keeping the book, and much more that is very, very touching; but I will not
sentimentalize even to my journal, for fear of losing my firmness again."

Meanwhile, gossip was busy coupling her name with Lord John's, and the
Press published the rumour.

    _Lady Minto to Lady Mary Abercromby_

    MINTO, _November_ 9, 1840

    ... You will see in the papers the report of Fanny's marriage to
    Lord John Russell. It is very annoying to her, and I had a few
    lines (very touching) from him begging me to have it contradicted,
    which I had already done. If you ask me my reasons why, I cannot
    tell you, but I have a sort of feeling that she will marry him
    still. Gina says certainly not, and neither Lizzy nor I think her
    opinions or feelings changed, but I feel it _in my skin_!!!
    Still, these feelings are not infallible.... Will you tell me if
    I wish it or not? For I have now thought so much about it I don't
    know my own mind. If I knew that she would not marry _at all_,
    if she did not marry _him_, then I should most miserably
    lament that she refused him; but I also know as certainly, that if
    she told me that upon second thoughts she had accepted him, I
    should be too unhappy to be able to look as I ought to do. In
    short, dearest Mary, I heartily wish it had never happened. I was
    obliged to tell John [Elliot] of it, as the report was going to be
    made a subject of joking, which would have been very unpleasant for
    Fanny. He was very much surprised, and notwithstanding his great
    dislike to disparity of years, he regretted her refusal deeply. He
    is a great admirer of Lord John's, and was delighted with him when
    he was here. He says that in spite of the drawbacks he is clearly
    of the opinion that she has made a great mistake, and hopes that it
    may take another turn still. You may fancy how I am longing to talk
    to your Father about it. He says in his last letter that his eyes
    were only just opened to Lord John's being an old man, when he
    looked on him in this new light....

    MINTO, _November_ 15, 1840

    My birthday--it frightens me to be twenty-five. To think how days,
    months, and years have slipped away and how unfulfilled resolutions
    remain to reproach me. Long walk with Papa--talked to me about Lord
    John very kindly. Had a long letter from Miss Lister--tells me a
    good deal about him, and the more I hear the more I am forced to
    admire and like. Then why am I so ungrateful? Oh! why so obstinate?
    I can only hope for the sake of my character that Dryden is right
    that "Love is not in our choice but in our fate."

At the beginning of the new year the family moved up to London. The next
entry, dated from the Admiralty, expressive in its brevity, runs: "A
surprising number of visitors, one very alarming, no less than Lord
John--and I saw him." Then, a week later, on February 8: "The agitation of
last Monday over again.... After all, perhaps he only wished to show that
he is friendly still. It is like his kindness, but he did not look merry."

In March she wrote to her married sister, Lady Mary Abercromby, an account
of her feelings and perplexities.

    ADMIRALTY, _March_ 16, 1841

    DEAREST MARY,--Tho' it is not nearly my day for writing, a long
    letter from you to Mama, principally about myself, has determined
    me to do so--and to do so this minute, while I feel that I have
    courage for the great effort (yes, you may laugh, but it is a
    terrible effort) of saying to you all that you have the best right
    to abuse me for not having said before. If it was really
    _saying_, oh how happy I should be! but there is something so
    terribly distinct in one's thoughts as soon as they are on paper,
    and I have longed each day a thousand times to have you by my side
    to help me to read them and to listen to all my nonsense. I felt it
    utterly impossible to write them, altho' I also felt that my
    silence was most unfair upon you and would have made me, in your
    place, either very suspicious or very angry. It _has_ made you
    suspicious, but now let it only make you angry--as angry as you
    please--for I have _not_ changed and I do not suppose I ever
    shall. When we first came to town, nothing having taken place
    between us since my positive refusal from Minto, except the
    contradiction sent by us to the report in the papers, Miss Lister
    asked me if I was the same as ever; and when I said yes, and
    forbade her the subject for the future, she only begged that I
    would see him and allow myself to know him better. I said I would
    do so, provided she was quite sure he was ready to blame himself
    alone for the consequences, which she said he would. Accordingly,
    wherever we met I allowed him to speak to me. I begged Lizzy always
    to join in our talk, if she could, as it made me much happier, but
    this she has not done nearly as much as I wished. Whenever I knew
    we were to meet him, I also took care to tell Lizzy that it would
    be no pleasure to me, and that if it was at dinner, I hoped I
    should not sit next to him. I said these things to her oftener than
    I should naturally have done, because I saw that in her wish to
    disbelieve them she really did so, and I wished to make her
    understand me, in case either Papa or Mama or the boys should be
    speaking of it before her. You will say, why did I not speak more
    to Mama herself?--partly because I was afraid of bringing forward
    the subject, partly because I knew what I had to say would make her
    sorry, and partly because I was not at times so _very_ sure as
    to have courage to say it must all come to an end. However, after a
    dinner at Lady Holland's last week, when he was all the evening by
    me, I felt I _must_ speak--that it would be very wrong to
    allow it to go on in the same way, and that we had no right to
    expect the world to see how all advances to intimacy, since we came
    to town, have been made by him in the face of a refusal. I do not
    despise the gossip of the world where there is so much foundation
    for it, and I have felt it very disagreeable to know that busy eyes
    were upon us several times. It must therefore stop, but do not
    imagine that I have been acting without thought. I am perfectly
    easy about _him_--I mean that he will blame nobody but
    himself, as I have taken care never to understand anything that he
    has said that he might mean to be particular, and the few times
    that he ventured to approach the subject he spoke in so perfectly
    hopeless and melancholy a way as to satisfy me. I am also easy
    about Miss Lister, as only a week ago she said how sorry she was to
    see that I was happier in society without than with him; but both
    he and they must see that it cannot go on so. What a stone I
    am--but it is needless to speak of that. Only when I think of all
    his goodness and excellence, above all his goodness in fixing upon
    me among so many better fitted to him, I first wonder and wonder
    whether he really can be in earnest, then reproach myself bitterly
    for my hardness--and then the children: to think of rejecting an
    opportunity of being so useful--or at least of trying to be so! All
    these thoughts, turned over and over in my mind oftener than I
    myself knew before we left Minto, _did_ make me think that
    perhaps I had decided rashly. Now do not repeat this, dear Mary; I
    have said more to you than to anybody yet--but I am sorry it is
    time to stop, I have so much more to say. I cannot say how grateful
    I am to Papa and Mama for leaving me so free in all this, and to
    you for writing.

    Ever your most affectionate sister, FANNY

The day after this letter was written she saw Lord John again. "He called
and had a long conversation with Mama.... Mama liked him better than

    _Lady Minto to Lady Mary Abercromby_

    ADMIRALTY, _March_ 18, 1841

    ... I must now return to _the_ subject. I told you of the
    conversation I had with Fanny when she spoke so openly and so
    sensibly of her feelings.... She said she was too old to think it
    necessary to be what is called desperately in love, and without
    feeling that his age was an objection or that the disparity was too
    great, yet, she said, if he had been a younger man she would have
    decided long ago. And that is the truth. It is his age alone that
    prevents her at once deciding in his favour. It prevents those
    feelings arising in her mind, without which it would be a struggle
    to accept him, and this she never will do. She was therefore
    desirous that he should know the state of her feelings, that she
    might be again at her ease. He had seen her manner cold towards
    him, and wrote to say that he would call upon me yesterday. I was
    _horribly_ frightened, as I hate lovers, and you must allow
    that it was a difficult task to go through.... However, he put me
    so completely at my ease by his sensible, open, gentle manner, that
    my task was less difficult than I expected--except that I fell in
    love with him so desperately, he touched my heart so deeply that I
    could scarcely refrain from promising him Fanny whenever he chose.
    There is a depth of feeling and humility about him, and a candour
    and generosity in his judgments, that I never saw so strongly in
    anyone before, and every word that he spoke made me regret more and
    more the barrier that prevents him from becoming one of us. I said,
    of course, Fanny's wish and ours could only be for him to do what
    he considered best for his own happiness, and that half-measures
    did not answer; that he now knew the whole truth and it was for him
    to judge how to act. He said then, "I cannot have a doubt; I will
    visit you less frequently; I will speak very little to you in
    public, but I cannot, unless you positively forbid me, renounce the
    intimacy now established with your family." I said, of course, that
    it would be a great happiness to us all not to lose him, but that I
    was very doubtful of the wisdom of his decision, as it might only
    be rendering himself more unhappy. "That," he said, "is my affair,
    and I am willing to run the risk." ... Fanny, to whom I told
    everything, says she is now quite happy, and her mind at ease.

He seems, however, to have made up his mind to keep away from them for some
weeks. The next mention of him is on May 7th, more than a month later:

    Morning visit from Lord John. Said he had a great speech to make
    this evening on sugar.... Billy came to dinner full of admiration
    of the speech. Honest, noble, clever. Well, we shall go out with

This speech on sugar was made at a crisis of particular difficulty. The
debate was the first important discussion in Parliament on the new
principle of Free Trade. Greville describes Lord John's speech as an
"extraordinarily good one," and Lord Sydenham [19] wrote from Canada:

    I have read your speech upon opening the debate on the sugar
    question with feelings of admiration and pleasure I cannot
    describe. The Free Traders have never been orators since Mr. Pitt
    in early days. We have hammered away with facts and figures and
    some argument, but we could not elevate the subject and excite the
    feelings of the people. At last you, who can do both, have fairly
    undertaken it, and the cause has a champion worthy of it.

[19] Lord Sydenham said later, "Lord John is the noblest man it has ever
been my fortune to follow" (Spencer Walpole's "Life of Lord John Russell").

Mr. Baring, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, proposed to lower the import
duty on foreign and colonial timber and sugar. Lord John, before the Budget
speech, announced his intention of moving the House into a committee on the
Corn Laws. During the course of the eight days' debate he admitted that the
proposal of the Ministry would be a fixed duty of 8s. a quarter on wheat.
It was on the occasion of this proposal being discussed in the Cabinet that
Melbourne, at the close of the meeting, made his famous remark, "By the by,
there is one thing we haven't agreed upon; what are we to say? Is it to
make our corn dearer or cheaper, or to make the price steady? I don't care
which; but we had better all say the same thing."

On June 4th, the very evening Lord John had intended to introduce his
measure, the Government was just defeated on Peel's motion of a want of
confidence: "Bill woke me at four this morning with the sad words, 'Beaten
by one! Oh dear, oh dear! To expect a triumph and see it won by the enemy.
Never mind; our friends deserve success if they cannot command it.... Party
at Lady Palmerston's. He was there."

Four days later her hesitations came to an end, and they were engaged to be

Miss Lister wrote to Lord John on June 8th from Windsor Castle:

    Oh! I am happier than I can tell you. God knows you have deserved
    all the good that may come to you, and I always felt it must be
    because of that. I long to be with you and to see her. ... Oh! I am
    so happy, but I can scarcely believe it yet. I hope Lady Fanny will
    write and then I think I shall believe it.

    Ever yours affectionately, Harriet Lister

           *       *       *       *       *

    June 9, 1841 Could not write on Monday or Tuesday. Saw him on
    Monday morning ... it was a strange dream all that day and is so
    still.... As soon as he had left me Mama came in. Oh my own
    dearest and best Mama, bless your poor weak but happy child. Then I
    saw Papa. What good it did me to see his face of real
    happiness!--then my brothers and sisters--I never saw William so

    ADMIRALTY, _June_ 10, 1841

    Tried to be busy in the morning ... but nothing would do. Must
    think and be foolish. He came in the afternoon and evening--brought
    me an emerald ring.... Miss Lister came--both of us stupid from
    having too much to say, but it was a great pleasure. Children
    here to tea with ours (all but Victoria) and very merry and kind
    to me. Dear precious children.

    _Lady Minto to Lady Mary Abercromby_

    ADMIRALTY, June 11, 1841

    You must be longing so ardently for post-day that I hate to think
    of the uncomfortable letter this is likely to be; but as Fanny is
    writing to you herself, my letter will be of less consequence. Oh
    the volumes and volumes I could write and long to write and the wee
    miserable things that I do write! I must at once begin by saying
    that Fanny's happy face would, more than all I can write, convince
    you how perfectly satisfied and proud she is of the position she
    has put herself in; how it delights her to think of the son-in-law
    she has given to your Father, and the friend she has given your
    brothers. To me he is everything that my proudest wishes could have
    sought out for Fanny. You know as well as me that it was not an
    ordinary person that could suit her; and it really is balm to my
    heart to see the way in which he treasures every word she says, and
    laughs at the innocence and simplicity of her remarks, and looks at
    her with such pride when he sees her keen and eager about the great
    and interesting events of the day, which most girls would neither
    know nor care about. I don't mean that he is absurd in his
    admiration of her, but it is evident how fully he appreciates the
    singular beauty of her character. In short, to sum up all I can say
    of him, he is in many respects a counterpart of herself. She is
    very open and at her ease with him, and I am quite as much at my
    ease with him as I was with Ralph....

    _From Lady Mary Abercromby to Lord John Russell_

    GENOA, _June_ 19, 1841

    ... You will every day discover more the great worth of what you
    have won. You cannot have known her long without admiring the
    extreme truth and purity of her mind; it is sensitive to a degree
    which those with more of worldly experience can scarcely
    understand, yet I feel sure you will watch over it, for it has a
    charm to those who can appreciate it which must make them dread to
    see it disturbed. It is a great privation to me to be so little
    acquainted with you, but believe me I cannot think of you as a
    stranger now that you belong to my dearest Sister, and that I look
    to you for her happiness. If you could think of me as a sister and
    treat me as such it would be a delight to me.

    ADMIRALTY, _June_ 18, 1841

    Very happy day--every day now happier than the one before. Oh will
    it--can it last? O God, enable me to thank Thee as I ought--to live
    a life of gratitude to Thee.



"He served his country well in choosing thee." [20]

[20] From a sonnet to Lady John Russell by Lord Wriothesley Russel, written
after reading Lady Minto's ballad in which these words occur: "His country
and thee."

Parliament had been dissolved soon after Peel's motion of a want of
confidence had been carried. In the election which followed Lord John was
returned for the City of London on June 30th.

    ADMIRALTY, _June_ 26, 1841

    Day of nomination in the City. He says the show of hands was
    greatly in his favour.... Mama says he looked so calm, in the midst
    of the uproar.

    "True dignity is his, _his_ tranquil mind Virtue has raised
    above the things below!"

    And whether storms may await us in our journey together, even to
    the wreck of all earthly hopes, I know that he will rise superior
    to them--and oh! to think that I may be by his side to support him
    in adversity as well as to share in his prosperity and glorious
    fate, for which God enable me to be rightly grateful.

The family moved to Minto before the result was declared; from London Lord
John wrote the following letters:

    _Lord John Russell to Lady Mary Abercromby_

    WILTON CRESCENT, _June_ 25, 1841

    Your letters have filled us all with joy and completed what was
    wanting. I feel very grateful to you for the kindness with which
    you express yourself.... The happiness of possessing her has
    blinded me, I dare say, to her real interest; but when I find that
    you all approve and feel conscious that I shall do all in my power
    to make her life happy, I gain some confidence. Among many
    anxieties, Lady Minto naturally felt that the charge of so many
    children would be a very serious burthen to her, but the children
    themselves are so good, so much disposed to love her, and their
    health is at present so good, that I trust they will be to her as
    they are to me, a daily comfort, making the house cheerful with
    their merry and affectionate voices. The greatest fear perhaps is,
    that her generosity and devotion to others may make her undertake
    what is beyond her strength.

    _Lord John Russell to Lady Fanny Elliot_

    DOWNING STREET, _July_ 3, 1841

    If I am sorry that Saturday is come, I am much more glad that
    Tuesday is so near. I am not at all anxious for a merry party at
    Minto--the quieter the better for me. But I can understand that
    Lady Minto would like some gaiety to divert her spirits, when "Our
    dear Fanny" is gone. I cannot say how much I think on the prospect
    of finding you at Minto--and of Bowhill likewise. I hope I am not
    unworthy of the heart you gave me ... and I trust every day will
    prove how grateful I am to you.

    WILTON CRESCENT, _July_ 4, 1841

    I got your little note yesterday, after I had sealed my letter....
    My dearest Fanny, I am so happy at the thought of being soon at
    Minto. If you believe that I feel the strongest devotion to you,
    and am resolved to do all in my power to make you happy, you
    believe what is true.... This will reach you soon after your
    arrival. I can imagine how busy you will be ... and long to join

A few days later he reached Minto himself. Lady Fanny, writing to her
sister Mary, describes their days together, and adds: "They are all except
Gibby so much too respectful to Lord John. Not to me, for they take their
revenge upon me, and I am unsparingly laughed at, which is a great comfort.
I shall write once before it happens. I dare not think what I shall be when
you receive this."

    MINTO, _July_ 19, 1841

    My last day as a child of Minto. How fast it flew. How quickly
    good-night came--that sad, that dreaded good-night. But sadness may
    be of such a kind as to give rise to the happiest, the purest
    feelings--and such was this.... He and I sat in the Moss house.
    Never saw the glen more beautiful; the birch glittering in the sun
    and waving its feathery boughs; the burn murmuring more gently than
    usual; the wood-pigeons answering one another from tree to tree.
    Had not courage to be much with Mama.

They were married on July 20th in the drawing-room at Minto, and set off
for Bowhill, which had been lent them for the honeymoon by the Duke of
Buccleuch. Never did statesman on his wedding-day take away a bride more
whole-heartedly resolved to be all a wife can be to him in his career. Her
mother was now perfectly happy about the marriage, though the disparity of
age, and fears about the great responsibility her daughter was undertaking
in the care of a young family--one boy and five girls--had undoubtedly made
her anxious. Lady Minto felt very deeply the parting with her dearly-loved
child, and after the wedding she sent her the following little ballad:


  AIR: "_Saw ye my father_"

  Oh saw ye the robber
  That cam' o'er the border
  To steal bonny Fanny away?
  She's gane awa' frae me
  And the bonny North Countrie
  And has left me for ever and for aye.

  He cam' na wi' horses,
  He cam' na wi' men,
  Like the bauld English knights langsyne;
  But he thought that he could fleech
  Wi' his bonny Southron speech
  And wile awa' this lassie o' mine.

  "Gae hame, gae hame
  To your ain countrie,
  Nor come o'er the March for me."
  But sairly did she rue
  When he thought that she spak' true
  And the tear-drop it blinded her e'e.

  His heart it was sair
  And he lo'ed her mair and mair,
  For her spirit was noble and free;
  "Oh lassie dear, relent,
  Nor let a heart be rent
  That lives but for its country and thee."

  And did she say him nay?
  Oh no, he won the day,
  Could an Elliot a Russell disdain?
  And he's ta'en awa' his bride
  Frae the bonnie Teviot-side,
  And has left me sae eerie alane.

  Oh where's now the smile
  Used to cheer me ilk morn,
  Like a blink o' the sun's ain light;
  And where the voice sae sweet
  That aye gar'd my bosom beat
  When sae saftly she bade me gude-night.

  Now lang, lang are the nights
  And dowie are the days
  That sae cheerie were ance for me.
  And oh the thought is sair
  That she'll mine be never mair,
  I'm alane in the North Countrie.

    MARY MINTO, _July_, 1841

But before following the future, it will be well to look back. Lord John
himself must play so large a part in a biography of his wife that a sketch
of his life up to this point, and some reminders of the kind of man he was,
may interest the reader; not a review of his political achievements, but an
outline of the events which had left him at his second marriage a leader
among his countrymen.

Lord John Russell, born in 1792, was the third son of John, sixth Duke of
Bedford. He was only nine years old when he lost his mother, whom he
remembered to the end of his life with tender affection. He always spoke
gratefully of the invariable kindness and affection of his father, who
married again in 1803, and of his stepmother, but he felt that the shyness
and reserve which often caused him to be misunderstood and thought cold
were largely due to the loss of his mother in his childhood. He was
educated at Westminster, but he was not robust enough to stand a rough
life, and it was decidedly rough. His education was continued at Woburn
under a tutor. He was a book-loving boy, and the earliest exercise of his
powers was in verses, prologues, and plays. Going to the play was one of
the chief enjoyments of his childhood, and he never lost his liking for the
drama. Travelling was also a great delight to him, either by coach in
England or in foreign countries, and this enjoyment, with a wonderfully
keen observation of all that he saw of different places and peoples, lasted
to old age.

In 1835 Lord John married Lady Ribblesdale, widow of the second Lord

She had by her first husband four children; one son and three daughters.
[21] After her marriage with Lord John Russell she had two daughters,
Georgiana Adelaide, born in 1836, and Victoria, born in 1838. The marriage
had been a most happy one, and her death on November 1, 1838, was a severe
blow to Lord John.

[21] Lord Ribblesdale, Adelaide Lister (Mrs. Drummond), Isabel Lister (Mrs.
Warburton), Elizabeth Lister (Lady Melvill).

A slight sketch of the more public side of his career will be enough here.
A visit to Fox in June, 1806, was perhaps the first experience which turned
his interests and ambitions towards politics. All his life he looked up to
the memory of Fox. There was in Fox an element which made him more akin to
the Liberals, who succeeded him, than to the old Whig party. Lord John, as
different from Fox in temperament as a man could be, was the inheritor of
the spirit which leavened the old Whig tradition. In Lord John the
sentiments of Fox took on a more deliberate air. He was a more intellectual
man than his lavish, emotional, imposing forbear; and if it is remembered
that he had, in addition, the diffidence of a sensitive man, these facts go
far to explain an apparent contradiction in his character which puzzled
contemporaries. To the observer at a distance there seemed to be two John
Russells: the man who appeared to stand off coldly from his colleagues and
backers (he was certainly as incapable as the younger Pitt of throwing
round him those heartening glances of good-fellowship which made the
followers of Fox feel like a band of brothers); and again, the man who, to
the rapture of adherents, could lift debate at moments to a level where
passionate principles swept all hesitation away. It was surprising to find,
in one who commonly wore the air of picking his steps with care, the dash
and anger of the fighter. Bulwer Lytton has described such moments in "The
New Timon"--

   "When the steam is on,
  And languid Johnny glows to glorious John."

His speeches, if they had not the animated, flowing reasonableness of
Cobden's, resembled them in this, that they belonged to that class of
oratory which aims at convincing the reason rather than at persuading the
emotions. Lord John had, however, one quality likely to make him widely
popular--his pluck; at bay he was formidable. If there was a trace of
injustice or unreasonableness in his adversaries, though their case might
be overwhelmingly plausible, it was ten to one he routed them in confusion.
He was ready in retort. One example of this readiness Gladstone was fond of
quoting: Sir Francis Burdett had made a speech against the Whigs, in which
he spoke of the "cant of patriotism." "There is one thing worse than the
cant of patriotism," retorted Lord John, "and that is the recant of
patriotism." Again, when the Queen once asked him, "Is it true, Lord John,
that you hold that a subject is justified, in certain circumstances, in
disobeying his sovereign?" his answer to this difficult question could not
have been better: "Well, speaking to a sovereign of the House of Hanover, I
can only say that I suppose he is."

One more characteristic must be mentioned. Like most men scrupulous and
slow in determining what to do, his confidences often were withheld from
others till the last moment, and sometimes beyond the moment, when it would
have been wisest to admit his colleagues to his own counsel. In consequence
he often appeared disconcertingly abrupt in decision.

In 1808 he accompanied Lord and Lady Holland to Spain and Portugal, and on
his return he was sent by his father to Edinburgh University, the Duke
having little confidence in the education then procurable at either Oxford
or Cambridge. At Edinburgh he took part in the proceedings of the
Speculative Society, read essays to them and debated; and he left the
University still tending more towards literature than politics. There is no
doubt that Edinburgh helped to form him. His mind was one naturally open to
influences which are summed up as "the academic spirit"; dislike of
exaggeration, impatience with brilliancy which does not illuminate, and
distrust of enthusiasm which is not prepared to show its credentials at
every step. His own style is marked by these qualities, and in addition by
a reminiscence of eighteenth-century formality, more likely to please
perhaps future than present readers; accurate, a little distant, it pleases
because it conveys a sense of modesty and dignity. When he speaks of
himself he does it to perfection.

After leaving the University he served in the Bedford militia. In 1814 he
went to Italy, and crossed to Elba, where he saw Napoleon. Lord John was
always a most authentic reporter. His description of the Emperor, written
the next day, besides its intrinsic interest, is so characteristic of the
writer himself that it may be quoted here. It is as matter-of-fact as one
of Wellington's dispatches and as shrewd as a passage from one of Horace
Walpole's letters.

    PORTO FERRAJO, December 25, 1814 [22]

    At eight o'clock in the evening yesterday I went to the Palace
    according to appointment to see Napoleon. After waiting some
    minutes in the ante-room I was introduced by Count Drouet and found
    him standing alone in a small room. He was drest in a green coat
    with a hat in his hand very much as he is painted, but excepting
    this resemblance of dress, I had a very mistaken idea of him from
    his portrait. He appears very short, which is partly owing to his
    being very fat, his hands and legs being quite swollen and
    unwieldy; this makes him appear awkward and not unlike the whole
    length figures of Gibbon, the historian. Besides this, instead of
    the bold marked countenance that I expected, he has fat cheeks and
    rather a turn-up nose, which, to bring in another historian, made
    the shape of his face resemble the portraits of Hume. He has a
    dusky grey eye, which would be called a vicious eye in a horse, and
    the shape of his mouth expresses contempt and derision--his manner
    is very good-natured, and seems studied to put one at one's ease by
    its familiarity; his smile and laugh are very agreeable--he asks a
    number of questions without object, and often repeats them, a habit
    he has no doubt acquired during fifteen years of supreme
    command--to this I should also attribute the ignorance he seems to
    show at times of the most common facts. When anything that he likes
    is said, he puts his head forward and listens with great pleasure,
    repeating what is said, but when he does not like what he hears, he
    looks away as if unconcerned and changes the Subject. From this one
    might conclude that he was open to flattery and violent in his

    He began asking me about my family, the allowance my father gave
    me, if I ran into debt, drank, played, etc.

    He asked me if I had been in Spain, and if I was not imprisoned by
    the Inquisition. I told him that I had seen the abolition of the
    Inquisition voted, and of the injudicious manner in which it was

    He mentioned Infantado, and said, "II n'a point de caractere."
    Ferdinand he said was in the hands of the priests--afterwards he
    said, "Italy is a fine country; Spain too is a fine
    country--Andalusia and Seville particularly."

    _F. R._ Yes, but uncultivated.

    _N._ Agriculture is neglected because the land is in the hands
    of the Church.

    _F. R._ And of the Grandees.

    _N._ Yes, who have privileges contrary to the public

    _F. R._ Yet it would be difficult to remedy the evil.

    _N._ It might be remedied by dividing property and abolishing
    hurtful privileges, as was done in France.

    _F. R._ Yes, but the people must be industrious--even if the
    land was given to the people in Spain, they would not make use of

    _N._ Ils succomberaient.

    _F. R._ Yes, Sire.

    He asked many questions about the Cortes, and when I told him that
    many of them made good speeches on abstract questions, but that
    they failed when any practical debate on finance or war took place,
    he said, "Oui, faute de l'habitude de gouverner." He asked if I had
    been at Cadiz at the time of the siege, and said the French failed

    _F. R._ Cadiz must be very strong.

    _N._ It is not Cadiz that is strong, it is the Isle of
    Leon--if we could have taken the Isle of Leon, we should have
    bombarded Cadiz, and we did partly, as it was.

    _F. R._ Yet the Isle of Leon had been fortified with great
    care by General Graham.

    _N._ Ha--it was he who fought a very brilliant action at

    He wondered our officers should go into the Spanish and Portuguese
    service. I said our Government had sent them with a view of
    instructing their armies; he said that did well with the
    Portuguese, but the Spaniards would not submit to it. He was
    anxious to know if we supported South America, "for," he said, "you
    already are not well with the King of Spain."

    Speaking of Lord Wellington, he said he had heard he was a large,
    strong man, _grand chasseur_, and asked if he liked Paris. I
    said I should think not, and mentioned Lord Wellington having said
    that he should find himself much at a loss what to do in peace
    time, and I thought scarcely liked anything but war.

    _N._ La guerre est un grand jeu, une belle occupation.

    He wondered the English should have sent him to Paris--"On n'aime
    pas l'homme par qui on a été battu. Je n'ai jamais envoyé a Vienne
    un homme qui a assisté à la prise de Vienne." He asked who was our
    Minister (Lord Burghersh) at Florence, and whether he was
    _honnête homme_, "for," he said, "you have two kinds of men in
    England, one of _intrigans_, the other of _hommes très

    Some time afterwards he said, "Dites moi franchement, votre
    Ministre à Florence est il un homme à se fier?"

    He had seen something in the papers about sending him (Napoleon) to
    St. Helena, and he probably expected Lord Burghersh to kidnap
    him--he inquired also about his family and if it was one of

    His great anxiety at present seems to be on the subject of France.
    He inquired if I had seen at Florence many Englishmen who came from
    there, and when I mentioned Lord Holland, he asked if he thought
    things went well with the Bourbons, and when I answered in the
    negative he seemed delighted, and asked if Lord Holland thought
    they would be able to stay there. I said I really could not give an
    answer. He said he had heard that the King of France had taken no
    notice of those Englishmen who had treated him well in
    England--particularly Lord Buckingham; he said that was very wrong,
    for it showed a want of gratitude. I told him I supposed the
    Bourbons were afraid to be thought to depend upon the English.
    "No," he said, "the English in general are very well received." He
    asked sneeringly if the Army was much attached to the Bourbons.

    Talking of the Congress, he said, "There will be no war; the Powers
    will disagree, but they will not go to war"--he said the Austrians,
    he heard, were already much disliked in Italy and even at Florence.

    _F. R._ It is very odd, the Austrian government is hated
    wherever it has been established.

    _N._ It is because they do everything with the baton--the
    Italians all hate to be given over to them.

    _F. R._ But the Italians will never do anything for
    themselves--they are not united.

    _N._ True.

    Besides this he talked about the robbers between Rome and Florence,
    and when I said they had increased, he said, "Oh! to be sure; I
    always had them taken by the _gendarmerie_."

    _F. R._ It is very odd that in England, where we execute so
    many, we do not prevent crimes.

    _N._ It is because you have not a _gendarmerie_.

    He inquired very particularly about the forms of the Viceregal
    Court in Ireland, the _Dames d'honneur_, pages, etc.; in some
    things he was strangely ignorant, as, for instance, asking if my
    father was a peer of Parliament.

    He asked many questions three times over.

    He spoke of the Regent's conduct to the Princess as very impolitic,
    as it shocked the _bienséances_, by which his father had
    become so popular.

    He said our war with America was a _guerre de vengeance_, for
    that the frontier could not possibly be of any importance.

    He said, "You English ought to be very well satisfied with the end
    of the war."

    _F. R._ Yes, but we were nearly ruined in the course of it.

    _N._ Ha! le système continental, ha--and then he laughed very

    He asked who was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland at present, but made no
    remark on my answer.

    I asked him if he understood English; he said that at Paris he had
    had plenty of interpreters, but that he now began to read it a

    Many English went to Elba about this time; the substance of their
    conversations is still in my recollection--April 2, 1815. He said
    that he considered the great superiority of England to France lay
    in her aristocracy, that the people were not better, but that the
    Parliament was composed of all the men of property and all the men
    of family in the country; this enabled the Government to resist the
    shock which the failure of the Duke of York's expedition was liable
    to cause--in France it would have destroyed the Government. (This
    is an opinion rather tinged by the Revolution, but it is true that
    our House of Commons looks to final results.) They were strong, he
    said, by "les souvenirs attachants à l'histoire"; that on the
    contrary he could make eighty senates in France as good as the
    present; that he had intended to create a nobility by marrying his
    generals, whom he accounted as quite insignificant, notwithstanding
    the titles he had given them, to the offspring of the old nobility
    of France. He had reserved a fund from the contribution which he
    levied when he made treaties with Austria, Prussia, etc., in order
    to found these new families. "Did you get anything from Russia?"

    _N._ No, I never asked anything from her but to shut her ports
    against England.

    He wished, he said, to favour the re-establishment of the old
    families, but every time he touched that chord an alarm was raised,
    and the people trembled as a horse does when he is checked.

    He told the story of the poisoning, and said there was some truth
    in it--he had wished to give opium to two soldiers who had got the
    plague and could not be carried away, rather than leave them to be
    murdered by the Turks, but the physician would not consent. He said
    that after talking the subject over very often he had changed his
    mind on the morality of the measure. He owned to shooting the
    Turks, and said they had broken their capitulation. He found great
    fault with the French Admiral who fought the battle of the Nile,
    and pointed out what he ought to have done, but he found most fault
    with the Admiral who fought--R. Calder--for not disabling his
    fleet, and said that if he could have got the Channel clear then,
    or at any other time, he would have invaded England.

    He said the Emperor of Russia was clever and had "idées libérales,"
    but was a veritable Grec. At Tilsit, the Emperor of Russia, King of
    Prussia, and N. used to dine together. They separated early--the
    King of Prussia went to bed, and the two Emperors met at each
    other's quarters and talked, often on abstract subjects, till late
    in the night. The King of Prussia a mere corporal, and the Emperor
    of Austria very prejudiced--"d'ailleurs honnête homme."

    Berthier quite a pen-and-ink man--but "bon diable qui servit le
    premier, à me témoigner ses regrets, les larmes aux yeux."

    Metternich a man of the world, "courtisan des femmes," but too
    false to be a good statesman-"car en politique il ne faut pas étre
    _trop_ menteur."

    It was his maxim not to displace his Marshals, which he had carried
    to a fault in the case of Marmont, who lost his cannon by
    treachery, he believed--I forget where. The Army liked him, he had
    rewarded them well.

    Talleyrand had been guilty of such extortion in the peace with
    Austria and with Bavaria that he was complained against by those
    Powers and therefore removed--it was he who advised the war with
    Spain, and prevented N. from seeing the Duke d'Enghien, whom he
    thought a "brave jeune homme," and wished to see.

    He said he had been fairly tried by a military tribunal, and the
    sentence put up in every town in France, according to law.

    Spain ought to have been conquered, and he should have gone there
    himself had not the war with Russia occurred.

    Lord Lauderdale was an English peer, but not of "la plus belle
    race." England will repent of bringing the Russians so far: they
    will deprive her of India.

    If Mr. Fox had lived, he thought he should have made peace--praised
    the noble way in which the negotiation was begun by him.

    The Archduke Charles he did not think a man of great abilities.
    "Tout ce que j'ai publié sur les finances est de l'Evangile," he
    said--he allowed no _gaspillage_ and had an excellent
    treasurer; owing to this he saved large sums out of his civil list.

    The conscription produced 300,000 men yearly.

    He thought us wrong in taking Belgium from France--he said it was
    now considered as so intimately united that the loss was very
    mortifying. Perhaps it would have been better, he said, to divide
    France--he considered one great advantage to consist as I--(_End
    of Journal_.)

[22] This account is copied from the old leather-bound journal, in
which it was written by Lord John the day after the interview;
there is no gap in the account, but the last part appears to have
been written later, and is unfinished.

During the session of 1813 Lord John was returned for the family borough of
Tavistock. He was obliged, however, principally owing to ill-health, to
retire from active life at the end of three years, during which time he
made a remarkable speech against the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act.
It must have been at about this time that he thought of giving up politics
and devoting himself to literature, which brought the following
"Remonstrance" from his friend Thomas Moore:


(_After a conversation with Lord John Russell in which he had intimated
some idea of giving up all political pursuits_.)

  What! _thou_, with thy genius, thy youth, and thy name--
    Thou, born of a Russell--whose instinct to run
  The accustomed career of thy sires, is the same
    As the eaglet's to soar with his eyes on the sun.

  Whose nobility comes to thee, stamped with a seal,
    Far, far more ennobling than monarch e'er set,
  With the blood of thy race, offered up for the weal
    Of a nation that swears by that martyrdom yet I

  Shalt _thou_ be faint-hearted and turn from the strife,
    From the mighty arena, where all that is grand,
  And devoted and pure, and adorning in life,
    'Tis for high-thoughted spirits like thine to command?

  Oh no, never dream it--while good men despair
    Between tyrants and traitors, and timid men bow,
  Never think, for an instant, thy country can spare
    Such a light from her darkening horizon as thou.

  With a spirit as meek as the gentlest of those
    Who in life's sunny valley lie sheltered and warm;
  Yet bold and heroic as ever yet rose
    To the top cliffs of Fortune and breasted her storm;

  With an ardour for liberty, fresh as in youth
    It first kindles the bard and gives life to his lyre,
  Yet mellowed even now by that mildness of truth
    Which tempers, but chills not, the patriot fire;

  With an eloquence--not like those rills from a height,
    Which sparkle and foam, and in vapour are o'er;
  But a current that works out its way into light
    Through the filtering recesses of thought and of lore.

  Thus gifted, thou never canst sleep in the shade;
    If the stirrings of Genius, the music of fame,
  And the charms of thy cause have not power to persuade,
    Yet think how to Freedom thou'rt pledged by thy Name.

  Like the boughs of that laurel, by Delphi's decree,
    Set apart for the Fane and its service divine,
  So the branches that spring from the old Russell tree,
    Are by Liberty _claimed_ for the use of her shrine.

                                    THOMAS MOORE.

In spite of strong literary proclivities it would certainly have been a
wrench to Lord John to leave the stirring scenes of Parliamentary life, and
his feeling about it may be gathered from a letter written to his brother
in 1841:

    _Lord John Russell to the Duke of Bedford_

    ENDSLEIGH, _October_ 13, 1841

    Whatever may be said about other families, I do not think ours
    ought to retire from active exertion. In all times of popular
    movement the Russells have been on the "forward" side. At the
    Reformation the first Earl of Bedford, in Charles the First's days
    Francis the great Earl, in Charles the Second's William, Lord
    Russell, in later times Francis Duke of Bedford--my
    father--you--and lastly myself in the Reform Bill.

At the General Election in 1818 Lord John was again elected for Tavistock,
and began to make the furtherance of Parliamentary Reform his particular
aim. In 1820 he became member for Huntingdonshire. Henceforward, whenever
the question of Reform came before the House, Lord John was recognized as
its most prominent supporter. As early as 1822 he moved that "the present
state of representation of the people in Parliament requires the most
serious consideration of the House." In 1828 he succeeded in carrying the
repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts. He was also an ardent supporter of
the Catholic Relief Bill. Thus in religious, educational, and parliamentary
questions he stood up stoutly for liberty. When Lord Grey succeeded the
Duke of Wellington, Lord John took a large part in drafting the famous
measure of Reform, and the Bill of 1831 was introduced by him; after which
speech he became the most popular man in England. Beaten in Committee, the
Reform party appealed to the country and returned with a larger majority.
On June 24, 1831. he introduced the Bill for the second time.

This Bill, after being carried in the House of Commons, was rejected by the
House of Lords, and it was not till June, 1832. that the great Reform Bill
(the third introduced within twelve months) became the law of the land.
Lord John, who had been admitted to the Cabinet in 1831 during Lord Grey's
Government, became Home Secretary in Lord Melbourne's Government in 1835,
and in 1839 he was appointed Colonial Secretary, which office he held at
the time of his second marriage. Up to this point we have only followed his
career at a distance, but now through the letters and diaries of his wife
we shall be enabled to follow it more intimately to the end.



Lord and Lady John Russell stayed at Bowhill till the 31st of July. They
had a grand reception at Selkirk on their way back to Minto--a procession
headed by all the magistrates, a band of music, and banners flying. Lord
John was given the freedom of the burgh, and was received with enthusiasm
by the inhabitants. After a short visit to Minto they went to London, to
his house in Wilton Crescent.

    BOWHILL, _July_ 29, 1841

    I hardly know how to begin my journal again. I wrote the last page
    as Fanny Elliot; I am now Fanny Russell.... Forgive me, Almighty
    Father, for the manifold sins, errors, and omissions of my past
    life, [a life] to which I look back with deep gratitude for its
    countless blessings, especially for the affection of those with
    whom I spent it, so far beyond what I deserved. Enable me to think
    calmly of the Mother whom I have left.... I was, and still am, in a
    dream; but one from which I hope never to wake, which I trust will
    only grow sweeter as the bitter days of parting wear away, as I
    become more and more the companion and friend of him whose heart is
    mine as truly as mine is his, and in whom I see all the strength
    and goodness that my weak and erring nature so much requires.

    This is a perfect place and the days have flown--each walk lovelier
    than the last. Much as poets have sung Ettrick and Yarrow, they
    have not, and cannot, sing enough to satisfy me.... I am so sorry
    that to-morrow is our last day, though it is to Minto that we go,
    but I feel as if a spell would be broken--a spell of such

    _Lady John Russell to Lady Mary Abercromby_

    30, WILTON CRESCENT, _August_ 13, 1841 I say nothing of the
    day we left Minto, which could not help being of that kind that one
    hardly dares to look back to.... We were received with great
    honours at Hawick--bells ringing, flags flying, and I should think
    the whole population assembled to cheer us--it is very agreeable
    that people should be wise enough to see his merits, particularly
    as he does his best to avoid all such exhibitions of popular
    feeling. I like to see his shy looks on such occasions, as it gives
    him less right to abuse me for mine on many others.

    WILTON CRESCENT, _August_ 14, 1841

    We arrived here on Thursday evening. Lord John did all he could to
    make it less strange to me; but how strange it was--and still is.
    We had a visit from Papa and Henry; my first visitors in _my own
    house_. The children arrived from Ramsgate all well. Oh, Father
    in Heaven, strengthen me in the path of righteousness that I may be
    a mother to these dear children.

    WILTON CRESCENT, _August_ 15, 1841

    Dear Baby a great deal with me. She and Georgy call me Mama. It was
    too much--such a mixture of great happiness, anxiety, novelty,
    painful recollections, longing to make him happy--impossibility of
    saying all I so deeply feel from the fear of giving him pain. Oh! I
    thought I should quite fail.

    Oh, what a weight seemed to be taken off my heart when at night,
    after speaking about the children, he mentioned their mother. Now I
    feel that the greatest bar to perfect confidence between us is
    removed. God bless him for the effort.

In August, soon after the meeting of Parliament, Lord Melbourne's
Government was defeated on the Address and resigned.

    WILTON CRESCENT, _August_ 28, 1841

    Lord John dined at Lansdowne House--a last Cabinet dinner....
    Letter from the Queen to Lord John, which for a moment overcame
    him--she does indeed lose a faithful adviser, and deeply does he
    feel it for his country and her. Oh, I never loved him so well; his
    mind rises with reverse. It is no small matter for a man whose
    whole soul is intent on the good of his country to be stopt in his
    high career--to be, apparently at least, rejected by that
    country--but no, the people are still and will be more and more
    with him, and his career will still be great and glorious.... And
    to me he has never shone so brightly as now--so cheerful, so calm,
    so hopeful for the great principles for which he falls--and yet, as
    that moment showed, regretting the event so deeply.

They went down to stay a few days with the Duke of Bedford, and she notes
in her diary:

    Continued to like Woburn better and better. Some people went and
    others came, among the last, Lord Melbourne. Lord Melbourne did
    not, I thought, appear to advantage; he showed little wish for
    conversation with anybody, but seemed trying to banish the thoughts
    of his reverse by talking nonsense with some of the ladies.

The elections which followed the defeat of the Melbourne Ministry gave the
Tories a majority of over eighty seats. Peel was joined by Lord Ripon, Lord
Stanley, and others, who had supported Lord Grey during the Reform Bill.
The Whig Party were in a discomfited condition. They did not look back on
their past term of office with much satisfaction; they had been constantly
in a minority; and although such useful measures as Rowland Hill's Penny
Postage had been carried, nothing had been done to meet the most urgent
needs of the time.

The Duke of Bedford had placed Endsleigh at Lord John's disposal, and next
month he travelled down with Lady John to Devonshire. Endsleigh is one of
the most beautiful places in Devonshire; it is near the little town of
Tavistock, where Drake was born. The house looks down from a height on the
lovely wooded slopes of the River Tamar. In letters to his brother Lord
John had said of Endsleigh, "It is the place I am most fond of in the
world." "I think no place so beautiful for walks and drives." He and Lady
John always retained the happiest memories of their life there.

    ENDSLEIGH, _October_ 22, 1841

    Long delightful shooting walk with Lord John--delightful although
    so many songs, poems, and sentiments of my greatest favourites
    against shooting were running in my head to strengthen the horror
    that I and all women must have of it.

      "Inhuman man--curse on thy barbarous art."

    Inhuman woman to countenance his barbarity!

    ENDSLEIGH, _October_ 26, 1841

    Such a day! White frost in the morning, sparkling in the brightest
    sun, which shone all day. The trees looking redder and yellower
    from the deep blue sky beyond--the different distances of the hills
    so marked--the river shining like silver. Oh, what a day! We were
    prepared for it by the beauty of last night--such that I could
    scarcely bring myself to shut my window and go to bed. A snow-white
    mist over all except the garden below my eyes and the tops of the
    hills beyond, and a bright moon "tipping with silver every mountain

    ENDSLEIGH, _November_ 11, 1841

    With Lord John to hear an examination of the School at Milton
    Abbot. He gave prizes and made a little speech in praise of master
    and boys, which made him and, I think, me more nervous than any of
    the speeches I have heard from him in the House of Commons. I do
    not know why it should have been affecting, but it was so.... Walk
    with him in the dusk--his kindness, his tenderness are the joy of
    my life.

Her marriage had brought her greater happiness than she had thought
possible. Writing to her mother from Endsleigh on November 15th, she says:

    How little I thought on my last birthday how it would be before my
    next. I looked in my journal to see about it and found it full of
    _him_; but not exactly as I should write now--reproaching
    myself for not returning the affection of one whose character I
    admired and liked so much. I should have been rightly punished by
    his thinking no more about me; but then, to be sure, I should not
    have known what my loss was. He said a few days ago that he hoped
    it would be a happy birthday--said it as humbly as he always speaks
    of his powers of making me so--yet he must know that a brighter
    could not have dawned upon me, and that he is the cause....

    _Lord John Russell to Lady Minto_

    ENDSLEIGH, _November_ 23, 1841

    Fanny's own letters will have given you the best insight into her
    feelings since we came here. It has been the most fortunate thing
    for us all. Fanny herself, Addy, Georgy, Miss Lister, and indeed
    all of us, have had means of fitting and _cementing_ here,
    which no London or visiting life could have given us. I never can
    be sufficiently grateful for such a blessing as Fanny is to me; and
    I only feel the more grateful that she reconciles herself so well
    to the loss of the home she loved so well. Nor is this by loving
    you or any one she has left at all the less--far from it, every day
    proves her devotion to you and her anxiety for your happiness.

They could not take a long holiday, although Lord John was now in
Opposition. Early in February the great Anti-Corn Law League bazaar was
held at Manchester, and a few days later Peel carried his sliding scale:
20s. duty when corn was 57s., 12s. when the price was 60s., and 1s. when it
reached 73s. Lord John proposed an amendment in favour of a fixed duty of

    CHESHAM PLACE, [23] _February_ 14, 1842

    Beginning of Corn Law debate. Went to hear Lord John. He
    began--excellent speech--attacked the measure as founded on the
    same bad principle as the present corn laws; showed the absurdity
    of any corn laws to make us independent of foreign countries; the
    cruelty of doing nothing to relieve the distress of the
    manufacturing districts; the different results of a sliding scale
    and a fixed duty; the advantages of free trade, even with all
    countries, especially with the United States, etc., etc.; was much
    cheered. Answered by Mr. Gladstone, beside whose wife I was

[23] Lord John had built a house, 37, Chesham Place, which was henceforward
their London home.

Lord John's amendment was lost by 123 votes; Villiers' and Brougham's
amendments in favour of total repeal by over three hundred. This measure of
the sliding scale did not embody Peel's real conviction at the time; its
object was to discover how much the agricultural party would stand.
Gladstone himself was in favour of a more liberal reduction in the sliding
scale; and it appears from his journal that he very nearly resigned the
Presidency of the Board of Trade in consequence of Peel's measure. Peel
asked Gladstone to reply to Lord John Russell. "This I did," he says, "and
with all my heart, for I did not yet fully understand the vicious operation
of the sliding scale on the corn trade, and it is hard to see how an
eight-shilling duty could even then have been maintained."

During the next ten months Lord and Lady John were less at the mercy of
politics than they were destined to be for many years to come. They were
constantly together, either at Chesham Place or at Endsleigh. Lord Minto
was living near them in London.

    _Lord Minto to Lady Mary Abercromby_

    LONDON, _March_ 1, 1843

    MY DEAR MARY,--I think you will be glad to have my report of Fanny
    since I have been established almost next door to her, and the more
    so as it will be so favourable. For whatever misgivings I may have
    had from difference of age, or the cares of a ready-made nursery of
    children, have entirely gone off. I really never saw anybody more
    thoroughly or naturally happy, or upon a footing of more perfect
    ease and confidence and equality. I forget if you know Lord John
    well behind the scenes, but there is a simplicity and gentleness
    and purity in his character which is quite delightful, and it
    chimes in very fortunately with Fanny's. She has drawn prizes, too,
    in the children, who are really as nice a little tribe as can be
    imagined, and I reckon myself a good judge of such small stock.
    They are very comfortably housed, much better than I ever hope to
    be in London, and Fanny seems to govern her establishment very
    handily. I don't know that she has yet quite brought herself to
    believe that there is anybody in the world so wicked as really to
    intend to cheat, or to overcharge, or to neglect her work for their
    own pleasure, but I suppose she will make this discovery in

    Adieu, dearest Mary, I have such a craving to see you again that I
    hardly know how I shall keep myself within bounds on this side of
    the Channel.

    Your affectionate,


    _Lady Minto to Lord John Russell_

    MINTO, _March_ 5, 1842

    You can now be pretty well aware of what my delight will be to see
    my dear Fanny again, and to know her tolerably well; but you have
    not lived with her five-and-twenty years, and therefore memory has
    no place in your affection for her, and you cannot even now
    comprehend the blank she makes to me. But you can well comprehend
    the extent of my pleasure in reading her letters, which breathe
    happiness in every line, and in hearing from everybody of her good
    looks and cheerfulness. My only fear for her is an anxiety, natural
    considering the great change, that her cares and occupations may
    weigh at times too heavily upon her, and that she will not wish you
    to see she feels it. This is the only thing she would conceal from
    you; but as I know the sort of feelings she formerly endeavoured to
    conceal from me, it is but too probable she has the same fault
    still, and nothing but trying to extract her feelings from her will
    cure her, or at least mitigate the evil.

The next great event in their lives was the birth of their first-born son,
John, afterwards Lord Amberley.

    On the 10th of December, 1842, our dear little baby boy was born.
    He has been thriving ever since to our heart's content. It has been
    a happy, happy time to me, and to us all. And now I am a mother.
    Oh, Heavenly Father, enable me to be one indeed and to feel that an
    immortal soul is entrusted to my care.

On the 10th of December, a year later, she expressed the same thought in
the following lines:

  Rough winter blew thy welcome; cold on thee
    Looked the cold earth, my snowdrop frail and fair.
  Again that day; but wintry though it be,
    Come to thy Mother's heart: no frost is there.
  What sparkles in thy dark and guileless eye?
    Life's joyous dawn alone undimmed by care!
  Thou gift of God, canst thou then wholly die?
    Oh no, a soul immortal flashes there;
  And for that soul now spotless as thy cheek--
    That infant form the Almighty's hand has sealed--
  Oh, there are thoughts a mother ne'er can speak;
    In midnight's silent prayer alone revealed.

After Lady John had recovered, they went down to Woburn, and later to stay
with Lord Clarendon at The Grove. At both houses large parties were
assembled, and Greville notes in his diary that Lord John was in excellent
spirits. "Buller goes on as if the only purpose in life was to laugh and
make others laugh," and he adds, "John Russell is always agreeable, both
from what he contributes himself and his hearty enjoyment of the
contributions of others."

One of the principal events which had interested Lady John in the past year
had been the secession from the Scottish Church and the establishment of
the. Free Church of Scotland. Her feelings about it are expressed in this
letter to her sister, Lady Mary Abercromby:

    ENDSLEIGH, _September_ 11, 1842 The divisions in the Kirk
    distress me so much that I never read anything about them now. It
    is disagreeable to find people with whom one cannot agree making
    use of the most sacred expressions on every occasion where their
    own power or interests can be helped by them. You used not to be
    much of a Kirk woman; but surely you would regret seeing many of
    her children come over to the English. I have just been reading the
    Thirty-nine Articles for the first time in my life, and am
    therefore particularly disposed to prefer all that is simple in
    matters of religion. They _may_ be true; but whether they are
    so or not, is what neither I, nor those who wrote them, nor the
    wisest man that lives, can judge; that they are presumptuous in the
    extreme, all who read may see. In short, I hate theology as the
    greatest enemy of true religion, and may therefore leave the
    subject to my betters.... I need hardly tell you that we are
    leading a happy life, since we are at Endsleigh and _alone_.
    Did I ever tell you that we are becoming great botanists? I have
    some hopes of equalling you before we meet, as I feel new light
    breaks upon me every day, and every night too, for I try so hard to
    repress my ardour during the day for fear of being tiresome to
    everybody, that my dreams are of nothing else. John, of course, is
    very little advanced as yet, but he finds it so interesting, to his
    surprise, that I hope even Parliament will not quite drive it out
    of his head.

Early in February she was back again in London, where social and political
distractions, together with the care of a young family of stepchildren,
were soon to prove too much for her strength.

    _Lady John Russell to Lady Mary Abercromby_

    _February_ 7, 1843

    ... How you must envy me and how I am to be envied for having my
    own people within reach. I am hourly thankful for it.... Yet for
    one thing I envy you--great lady as you are, you lead a quiet life;
    how far from quiet mine is and always must be, and how intensely I
    long that it could be more so, how completely worn out both mind
    and body often feel at the end of a common day, none can imagine
    but those who have become in one moment mother of six children,
    wife of the Leader of the House of Commons, and mistress of a house
    in London. You will suppose that I wish husband and children at the
    world's end, and you will call me a sinful, discontented creature;
    you will do anything but pity me, since my only complaint is that I
    have not as much leisure as so much happiness requires to be
    enjoyed. Well, say and think what you please; I must let you into
    my secret follies, in the hope of curing myself in so doing.
    London, hateful London, alone is at fault. Anywhere else my duties
    and occupations would be light, and my _pleasures_ would be so
    not in name only.... How _could_ I beg Mama, as I used to do,
    to have more parties and dinners and balls! I cannot now conceive
    the state of mind which made me actually wish for such things. Now
    I have them in my power without number, and I detest them all. The
    world has passed its judgment on me. I am reckoned cold, dull, and
    unworthy of such a husband; and it is quite right, for I never
    appear anything else. In short, I doubt my capacity for everything
    except making husband and children happy--_that_ I have not
    yet begun to doubt. When I do, I will instantly bid them all adieu
    and "find out some peaceful hermitage." ... Darling Baby was
    brought in to be seen in his christening dress, the gift of Mama,
    and such a little love you never saw.... Papa is the best of
    Grandpapas, as you may imagine from his love of babies, and I
    delight in seeing him nurse it and speak to it....

    Do not think this quite a mad letter. I wrote as the spirit, good
    or evil, prompted me. I must do so or not write at all....

    Ever, my dearest Mary, your most affectionate sister.

Lady Minto was evidently afraid that her daughter was shutting herself up
too entirely with her family, and not amusing herself as much as was good
for her.

    "My dearest Mama," she answers (on July 5, 1843)--... I hope to
    make you laugh at yourself for your fears about me, and to convince
    you that the seclusion of Belgravia, though great, is not quite
    like that of Kamschatka; that John's pleasure is not my pleasure,
    that the welfare of the children is not my happiness, and that far
    from constantly devoting my time to them, one whole afternoon this
    week was devoted to the world and the fine arts in Westminster
    Hall. I will name to you a few of the friends I met there, by all
    of whom I was recognized, in spite of my long banishment, my
    wrinkles, and my grey hair.... [Thirty names follow.]

    The evening before I had been _without_ John to a tea at Mr.
    W. Russell's. To-night we are to dine with the Duke and Duchess of
    Buccleuch; to-morrow to breakfast with the Duchess Dowager of
    Bedford; on Thursday go to the Drawing-room and give our banquet;
    and so on to the end of the session and season. Seriously, dear
    Mama, if I had more of the pleasures of my age, I should dislike
    them very much; those of a more tender age suit me better; and if
    you do not think it unbecoming, I will have a swing and a
    rocking-horse in our own garden. You ought rather to scold Papa for
    shutting himself up; he has seen hardly anybody but ourselves,
    which has been very agreeable for us--so agreeable that I do not at
    all like his going away, tho' of course I do not try to keep him
    longer when he so much wishes to go, and you so much wish to have

    You think I did not know what I was undertaking when we married,
    and you are right. The hope, humble as it was, of lightening the
    duties and cheering the life of one--the wish, God knows how
    sincere, of being a mother to those who had none, outweighed all
    other considerations. But if I did not know and have sometimes been
    overpowered by the greatness of my duties, if I have sighed for the
    repose and leisure with which marriage generally begins, neither
    did I know the greatness of my rewards--so far beyond what I
    deserve. The constant sympathy, encouragement, and approbation of
    John can make everything easy to me; and these I trust I shall
    always have; these will keep me young and merry, so do not distress
    yourself about me, my own dear Mama, and believe me ever your most
    affectionate child,


The year 1843 was one of increasing difficulty for the Tories. Peel's
followers began to suspect more and more strongly that he was not sound on
the question of the corn taxes; outside Parliament, Cobden and Bright were
battering Protection at their great monthly meetings in Covent Garden
Theatre. The troubles in Ireland were growing acute, and the arrest of
O'Connell and the Repeal leaders made matters worse. The Government had
been forced to abandon their Bill for the education of factory children
through the bitter opposition of Dissenters and Radicals, who thought the
Bill increased the already too great influence of the Church. At the
beginning of the year the Government had been strong enough to throw out
Lord Howick's motion for a committee of inquiry into the causes of
distress, which would have entailed a division upon the Corn Laws; but the
strength of the Ministry was now seriously diminished. Parliament was
prorogued late in August; on the 5th Lord John left London, hoping that he
had done with politics till next year. The whole family moved down to
Endsleigh, where, soon afterwards, his eldest stepdaughter fell ill of a

Lady John caught the infection. She had been living up to the limit of her
energies, and her case proved a grave one. They moved to Minto in October,
and never again used Endsleigh as their country house. By the beginning of
1844 she was sufficiently recovered to attend the House of Commons and to
hear her husband speak upon the Irish question. In this speech he declared
himself in favour of putting Catholics, Anglicans, and Dissenters on an
equality; not by disestablishing the English Church in Ireland, but by
endowing the Catholics. He summed up the political situation by saying: "In
England the government, as it should be, is a government of opinion; the
government of Ireland is notoriously a government by force."

    _February_ 15, 1844

    O'Connell arrived from Dublin--much cheered by the crowd outside
    and by the Irish and Radical members inside the House. John shook
    hands with him. O'Connell said: "I thank you for your admirable
    speech. It makes up to us for much that we have gone through."

Lady John's next Diary was lost, and the first entry in her new Diary was
written after serious illness.

    LONDON, _February_ 2, 1845

    I have found in illness even more than in health how much better I
    am loved than I deserve to be. To say nothing of the unwearied care
    and cheerful watching of my dearest John, the children have given
    me such proofs of affection as gladdened many an hour of pain or
    weariness. One day, while I was ill in bed, and Georgy by me, I
    told her how kind it was of God to send illness upon us at times,
    as warnings to repent of past faults and prepare for death. Upon
    which she said: "But, Mama, _you_ can't have done anything to
    be sorry for." No self-examination, no sermon, could have made me
    feel more humble than these words of a little child.

During the early part of the year, while Lord John was supporting in the
House of Commons the endowment of the Maynooth College for priests and the
establishment of colleges in other important Irish towns, Lady John was
living at Unsted Wood, near Godalming, a house they had taken for the year.

Their constant separation was painful to both, and as soon as Parliament
rose they decided to go to Minto. There the state of her health became so
alarming that, to be within reach of medical advice, they moved to

The distress of the poorer classes throughout the country during this
autumn was terrible. It was to meet this distress, unparalleled since the
Middle Ages, that Lord John wrote from Edinburgh his famous Free Trade
letter to his London constituents, urging them to clamour for the only
remedy, "to unite to put an end to a system which has proved to be the
blight of commerce, the bane of agriculture, the source of bitter divisions
among classes, the cause of penury, fever, mortality, and crime among the

Shortly afterwards he was called to London by the sudden death of his old
friend Lady Holland, and he had hardly returned when the news of Peel's
resignation reached him. Peel, thoroughly alarmed, had called a Cabinet
Council to consider the repeal of the Corn Laws. Lord Stanley, afterwards
Lord Derby, had strongly dissented, and carried several Ministers with him,
thus compelling Peel to resign.

    _Lady John Russell to Lady Mary Abercromby_

    EDINBURGH, _December_ 2, 1845

    I wonder what Ralph and William will say to John's letter to his
    electors. It is what I have long wished, and I am delighted that
    the chief barrier between him and the Radical part of the Whig
    party should be knocked down by it. In short, _patriotically_
    I am quite pleased, but _privately_ far from it; I dread its
    being a stepping-stone to office, which, not to mention myself,
    would kill him very soon. He has already quite as much work as his
    health can stand, so what would it be with office in
    _addition?_ However, I do not torment myself with a future
    which may never come, or which, if it does, I may never see. I
    forget whether I have written since poor Lady Holland's death,
    which John felt very much. It is sad that her death should have
    startled one as only that of a young person generally does; but,
    old as she was, she never appeared so, and she belonged as much to
    society as she ever did. Poor woman, it is a comfort that she died
    so calmly, whatever it was that enabled her to do so.

Lord John had hardly returned to Edinburgh when the event which she had
been trying to think remote and unlikely was upon them.

    EDINBURGH, _December_ 8, 1845

    Evening of utter consternation. A message from the Queen requiring
    John's attendance at Osborne House immediately.... John set out at
    ten this morning (December 9th) on his dreary and anxious journey,
    leaving a dreary and anxious wife behind him. Baby not well towards
    evening. Sent for Dr. Davidson. Oh, Heavenly Father, preserve to me
    my earthly treasures, and whatever be my lot in life, they will
    make it a happy one. Forgive me for such a prayer. The hope of
    happiness is too strong within me.

    _Lord John to Lady John Russell_

    LONDON, _December_ 10, 1845

    It is very sad, this moment, when many will think me at the height
    of my ambition. But when I think of you and your many trials, and
    the children with their ailments to disturb you, when I cannot
    share your anxieties--it is all very sad. I doubt, too, of the will
    of the country to go through with it--and then I shall have done
    mischief by calling upon them. I saw Mr. Bright at one of the
    stations. He spoke much of the enthusiasm. God save and preserve us

    _Lord John to Lady John Russell_

    OSBORNE HOUSE, _December_ 11th, 1845

    Well, I am here--and have seen Her Majesty. It is proposed to me to
    form a Government, and nothing can be more gracious than the manner
    in which this has been done. Likewise Sir Robert Peel has placed
    his views on paper, and they are such as very much to facilitate my
    task. Can I do so wild a thing? For this purpose, and to know
    whether it is wild or not, I must consult my friends.... There end
    politics--I hope you have not suffered from anxiety and the
    desolation of our domestic prospects.... I stay here to-night, and
    summon my friends in London to-morrow--Ever, ever affly., with love
    to all,


    _Lady John to Lord John Russell_

    EDINBURGH, _December_ 13, 1845

    I have just read your note which I so anxiously expected from
    Osborne House. No, my dearest, it is not a wild thing. It is a
    great duty which you will nobly perform; and, with all my
    regrets--with the conviction that private happiness to the degree
    we have enjoyed is at an end if you are Prime Minister--still I
    sincerely hope that no timid friend will dissuade you from at least
    trying what you have yourself called upon the country to help you
    in. If I liked it better, I should feel less certain it was a duty.
    If you had not written that letter you might perhaps have made an
    honourable escape; but now I see none.

She wrote again on the 14th:

    I am as eager and anxious lying here on my sofa--a broken-down,
    useless bit of rubbish--as if I were well and strong and in the
    midst of the turmoil. And I am proud to find that even the prospect
    of what you too truly call the "desolation of our domestic
    prospects," though the words go to my very heart of hearts, cannot
    shake my wish that you should make the attempt. My mind is made
    up.... My ambition is that you should be the head of the most moral
    and religious government the country has ever had.

    _Lady John Russell to Lady Mary Abercromby_

    EDINBURGH, _December_ 14, 1845

    DEAREST MARY,--All you say of your dreams for me in days gone by is
    like yourself. You were always thinking more of my happiness than
    your own. What a strange world it is, where the happiest and
    saddest events are so often linked together--for instance, the
    marriage and absence of those one would wish to have always by one.
    I certainly never wish either of our marriages _undone;_ but
    "Seas between us braid hae roared sin auld Lang-syne" more than
    either of us could have borne to look forward to. If ever I did
    wish myself freed from my husband, it has been for the last five
    days, since the highest honour in the land has been within his
    reach. Oh dear! how unworthy I am of what to many wives would be a
    source of constant pride, not only for their husband's sake, but
    their own; whereas, proud as I _am_ of so public a mark of his
    country's good opinion, and convinced as I am that he ought not to
    shrink from the post, still to myself it is all loss, all
    sacrifice--every favourite plan upset--London, London, London, and
    London in its worst shape--a constant struggle between husband and
    children, constant anxiety about his health and theirs, added to
    that about public affairs. But I will not begin to count up the
    countless miseries of office to those who have, I will not say a
    love, but a passion for quiet, leisure, and the country.

    As I said before, I am so convinced that he ought to make the
    trial, unless the difficulties are much greater than I have wisdom
    to see, that I should be positively disappointed if I found he had
    given it up.

    Besides, I see many bright sides to it all. You will think I have
    lost all my old patriotism, but it is not so; and the prospect of
    seeing my husband repeal the Corn Laws, and pacify and settle
    Ireland, is one that repays me for much private regret. You see, if
    he does undertake to govern, I expect him to do it successfully,
    and this in spite of many a wise friend. He went off looking so
    miserable himself that I long to hear from somebody else how he
    looks now. You cannot think what a thunderbolt it was to us both.
    We were reading aloud, about an hour before bedtime, when the
    messenger was announced--and he brought the Queen's fatal letter.
    Oh! how difficult I found it not to call the man every sort of
    name! The next morning John was off, and though he flattered
    himself he would be able to come back to me in any case, _I_
    flatter myself no such thing.

    Poor baby made his resolution falter that morning--he would not
    leave him for a moment, clinging round his neck and laying his
    little cheek on his, coaxing him in every possible way. He does not
    conceal either from himself or me how entire the sacrifice must be
    of private happiness to public duty, of which this parting was the
    first sample; and he writes of the desolation of domestic prospects
    in so sad a way that I am obliged to write like a Spartan to him.

What her feelings were at this time the above letter shows. What was
happening in London may be gathered from Lord John's letters and the
following letter from Macaulay to his sister: [24]

    "... Lord John has not consented to form a Ministry. He has only
    told the Queen that he would consult his friends, and see what
    could be done. We are all most unwilling to take office, and so is
    he. I have never seen his natural audacity of spirit so much
    tempered by discretion, and by a sense of responsibility, as on
    this occasion. The question of the Corn Laws throws all other
    questions into the shade. Yet, even if that question were out of
    the way, there would be matters enough to perplex us. Ireland, we
    fear, is on the brink of something like a civil war--the effect,
    not of Repeal agitation, but of severe distress endured by the
    peasantry. Foreign Politics look dark. An augmentation of the Army
    will be necessary. Pretty legacies to leave to a Ministry which
    will be in a minority in both Houses. I have no doubt that there is
    not a single man among us who would not at once refuse to enlist,
    if he could do so with a clear conscience. Nevertheless, our
    opinion is that, if we have reasonable hope of being able to settle
    the all-important question of the Corn Laws in a satisfactory way,
    we ought, at whatever sacrifice of quiet and comfort, to take
    office, though only for a few weeks. But can we entertain such a
    hope? This is the point; and till we are satisfied about it we
    cannot positively accept or refuse. A few days must pass before we
    are able to decide.

    "It is clear that we cannot win the battle with our own unassisted
    strength. If we win it at all, it must be by the help of Peel,
    Graham, and their friends. Peel has not seen Lord John; but he left
    with the Queen a memorandum, containing a promise to support a Corn
    Bill founded on the principles of Lord John's famous letter to the
    electors of London."

[24] Trevelyan's "Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay."

    _Lord John to Lady John Russell_

    CHESHAM PLACE, _December_ 14, 1845

    Well, my friends agreed with me that, unless I could have a very
    good prospect of carrying a grand measure about corn, I had better
    decline the Queen's Commission. So we are to have all the old
    Cabinet men here on Tuesday, and try to ascertain whether we are
    agreed on a measure, and whether Sir Robert Peel would support such
    a measure as we should propose. On Wednesday evening, or Thursday,
    I hope the matter will be cleared up, and if you ask me what I
    think, I should say it is most probable that we shall be made into
    a Ministry. How very strange and incomprehensible it seems; and
    much as I have had to do with public affairs, I feel now as if I
    knew nothing about them, and was quite incompetent to so great an
    office--to rule over such vast concerns, with such parties. With so
    many great things and so many little things to decide it is quite

    Many of our friends say I ought to decline; but I feel that to do
    so would be mean and dastardly while I have a prospect of such
    great good before me--possible if not probable, but I think even
    probable. It would seem that most of the Cabinet thought I should
    have a better chance of preventing bitter attacks than Peel would.
    This may be so, or not.

    _Lord John to Lady John Russell_

    CHESHAM PLACE, _December_ 17, 1845

    I want a security that I shall be able to carry a total repeal of
    the Corn Laws without delay, and that security must consist in an
    assurance of Sir Robert Peel's support. Unless I get this, I give
    up the task.

    _Lady John to Lord John Russell_

    MINTO, _Sunday, December_ 21, 1845

    It is difficult to write while our suspense lasts.... It does not
    seem unlikely that Lord Grey [25] will have yielded, and all be
    smooth, or _smoother,_ again. Papa tells me not to wish it
    even on public grounds. On private ones I certainly do not; but I
    should be ashamed if at such a time my anxieties were not chiefly
    for you as a _statesman,_ not as my husband, and for my
    country more than for myself. If it turns out that the interests of
    the statesman and the country and the wife agree, why then let us
    be thankful; if not, why then let us be thankful still that we can
    make some sacrifice to duty. You see that my "courage mounteth with
    occasion"; and though I have low and gloomy fits when I think of my
    ill-health and its probable consequences, I am sure that, on the
    whole, I shall not disgrace you. Oh, what a week of toil and
    trouble you have had, and how gladly I would have shared them with
    you to more purpose than I can do at this _terrible_
    distance.... It is so pleasant to write to you. When I have
    finished my letter I always grow sad, as if I was really saying
    good-bye to you. How have you been sleeping? and eating? and have
    you walked every day? ... Good-bye, Heaven bless you, my dearest
    love. I trust that this has been a day of rest to you, and that God
    hears and accepts our prayers for one another.

[25] Third Earl Grey, son of the Prime Minister.

Lord John wrote daily to his wife, and the following three letters to her
show what he felt during this anxious time:

    CHESHAM PLACE, _December_ 19, 1845

    It is all at an end. Howick [Lord Grey] would not serve with Lord
    Palmerston as Foreign Secretary, and it was impossible for me to go
    on unless I had both. I am very happy ... at the result. I think
    that for the present it will tend much to our happiness; and power
    may come, some day or other, in a less odious shape.

    CHESHAM PLACE, _December_ 20, 1845

    I write to you with a great sense of relief on public affairs. Lord
    Grey's objection to sitting in a Cabinet in which Palmerston was to
    have the Foreign Office was invincible. I could not make a Cabinet
    without Lord Grey, and I have therefore been to Windsor this
    morning to resign my hard task. The Queen, as usual, was very
    gracious.... I have left a paper with her in which I state that we
    were prepared to advise free trade in corn without gradation and
    without delay; but that I could support Sir Robert Peel in any
    measure which he should think more practicable.

    CHESHAM PLACE, _December_ 21, 1845

    The desponding tone of your letter, yesterday, although I do not
    believe it was otherwise than the effect of weakness, makes me
    rejoice at my escape a thousand times more than I should otherwise
    have done. I reflect on the misery I should have felt with every
    moment of my time occupied here in details of appointments, while
    my thoughts were with you.... The Queen and the Prince have behaved
    beautifully throughout.

    _Lady John Russell to Lady Mary Abercromby_

    MINTO, _December_ 24, 1845

    You will not be surprised that a great deal of the time which I
    meant to devote to you this morning has run away in talk to my
    husband. You will see by the _Times_ what the _cause_ of
    the failure is: Lord Grey's refusal to belong to the Ministry if
    Lord Palmerston was at the Foreign Office--a most unfortunate
    cause, we must all agree, but in the opinion of Papa and many other
    wise people, a most fortunate occurrence on the whole, as they
    considered it next to impossible that such a Ministry as John could
    have formed would have been strong enough to be of use to the

    My husband, who is no coward, sees it differently, and thinks that
    with a united Cabinet he _might_ have gone on successfully and
    carried not only Corn Law Repeal, but other great questions; though
    the probability was that they would only have carried that and then
    gone out. But even that would have been something worth doing, and
    better and more naturally done by Whigs than Tories. One good thing
    is that John has returned in excellent spirits. _All_ his
    personal wishes and feelings were so against taking office at
    present, and the foretaste he had of it in this lonely and most
    harassing fortnight was so odious to him that his only feeling at
    first when he gave it all up was pure delight; and he slept, which
    he had not been able to do before. It certainly was a terrible
    prospect to us both--one immovable in Edinburgh, the other equally
    immovable in London--and it required all my patriotism to wish the
    thing to go on.

If it had gone on, the name of Lord John Russell would be now more often on
men's lips. Peel's popular fame rests upon the abolition of the Corn Laws,
Lord John's upon the first Reform Bill. It was but an accident--Lord Grey's
objection to Palmerston at the Foreign Office--which prevented the name of
Lord John Russell from being linked with those of Cobden and Bright, and
imperishably associated with both the great measures of the nineteenth



After Lord John's failure to form a Ministry, Peel returned to power;
Gladstone replaced Stanley at the War and Colonial Office, and Stanley
became the acknowledged leader of the protectionist Opposition. Having Lord
John's assurance that the Whigs would support anti-Corn Law legislation,
Peel set about preparing his famous measure. But before it could be
discussed in Parliament, the usual explanations with regard to resignation
and resumption of office had to be gone through. In his speech on this
occasion, Lord John tried to shield Lord Grey as far as possible from the
unpopularity which he had incurred by refusing to work with Palmerston in
the same Cabinet. Feeling on both sides of the House was against Lord Grey;
for both Free Traders and Protectionists thought that Repeal ought to have
come from the Whigs, and that it was Lord Grey who had made this

Lady John remained in Edinburgh, too ill to move. While her husband was
helping Peel at Westminster, the following letters passed between them:

    _Lord John to Lady John Russell_

    LONDON, _January 23,_ 1846

    I did not write to you last night, as I thought I could give you a
    clearer account to-day. Sir Robert Peel gave up Protection
    altogether on the ground that he had changed his opinion.... I dine
    with the Fox Club [to-day?] and at Lansdowne House to-morrow. I
    have rather startled Lord Lansdowne this morning by some of my
    views about Ireland.

    _Lady John to Lord John Russell_

    EDINBURGH, _January_ 25, 1846

    I never doubted that you were as noble by nature as by name; and I
    am now more happily convinced of it than ever. Your whole speech
    was plain and excellent, but the part that I dwell upon with the
    greatest pleasure is that about Lord Grey.... I generally think
    your speeches a curious contrast to Sir Robert's, and it does not
    fail on this occasion. His humble confession of former errors, his
    appeal to our sympathies, and his heroic tone at the close, all got
    rather the better of my reason while I read; but the more I think
    over his conduct, the less becomes the effect of his words. Yours,
    on the contrary, as usual, only gain in force the more they are
    reflected on, simply because they are true. And now, having
    congratulated you quite as much as is good for your vanity, I must
    praise myself a little for the way in which I have hitherto borne
    your absence. What with its present pain, the uncertainty as to
    when it may end, and my varying and wearying state of health, I
    have many a time been inclined to lie and cry; and if ever I
    allowed myself to dwell in thought on the happy days which sad
    memory brings to light, I _should_ lie and cry; those days
    when neither night nor day could take me from your side, and when
    it was as difficult to look forward to sickness or sorrow as it now
    is to believe that health and happiness--such happiness as
    that--are in store for us. But I do _not_ dwell upon past
    enjoyments, but upon present blessings, and I _do_ lie and
    talk and read and write and think cheerfully and gratefully.

    Dearest, I know you cannot see much of the children, but when you
    do, pray be both Papa and Mama to them. Do not let their little
    minds grow reserved towards you, or your _great_ mind towards
    them. Help them to apply what they hear you read from the Bible to
    their own little daily pleasures and cares, and you will find how
    delightfully they take it all in.

    God bless you, my dearest. Pray go out every day, and take Isabel
    and Bessy or one of the small ones with you sometimes to enliven

    _Lady John to Lord John Russell_

    EDINBURGH, _January_ 26, 1846

    Your mention of the dreams which you had had of happiness for
    Ireland made me sad, and you know how I shared in those dreams....
    I like the way in which politics are talked here, it is far enough
    from the scene of action for them to lose much of their
    personality, and for all the little views to be lost in the
    greater--and yet the interest is as great as in London.

    _Lady John Russell to Lady Mary Abercromby_

    EDINBURGH, _January 28_, 1846

    Well, I wonder what you will say to the debate or rather the
    explanations in Parliament. Are not John's and Sir Robert's
    speeches a curious contrast? and is not John a generous man? and is
    not Sir Robert a puzzling one? and was there ever such a strange
    state of parties? What an unhappy being a real Tory must be, at
    least in England, battling so vainly against time and tide, and
    doomed to see the idols of his worship crumbled to dust one after
    another. In _your_ benighted country [Italy] their end is
    further off; but still it must come. I am reading a book on Russia
    that makes my blood boil at every page. It is called "Eastern
    Europe and the Emperor Nicholas," and I am positively ashamed of
    the reception we gave that wholesale murderer in our free country.

    _Lord John to Lady John Russell_

    CHESHAM PLACE, _February_ 1, 1846

    The Ministry will carry their Corn Measure, but will hardly last a
    month after it. What next? I think the next Government will be
    Whig, as the Protection party have no corps of officers in the
    House of Commons. So that their only way of avenging themselves
    upon Peel is to bring in a Liberal Ministry.

    _Lady John to Lord John Russell_

    MINTO, _February_ 7, 1846

    I am glad you have a satisfactory letter from the doctor. A
    volunteered letter from him, as this was, must be a good sign.... I
    shall all my life regret not having been with you at this most
    interesting period in our political history; for the longest
    letters can but barely make up for the loss of the hourly chats
    upon each event with all its variations which are only known in
    London. Then, I think how sad it is for you to have nobody to care,
    as I should care, whether you had spoken well or ill. But all this
    and much more we must bear as cheerfully as we can; and I am glad
    to think that though _one wife_ is far from you, your other
    wife, the House of Commons, leaves you little time to spend in
    pining for her. I think you quite right in your intention of voting
    for Sir Robert's measure as it is, in preference to any amendment
    which would not be carried, and might delay the settlement of the
    question. Not, as you well know, because I am not heart and soul a
    Free Trader, but because I think it a more patriotic, as well as a
    more consistent, course for you to take. Then if you come into
    office, as seems probable, you may make what improvements you like,
    and especially put an end to the miserable trifling about
    slave-grown sugar; a question in which I take a sentimental
    interest, as your first gift to me was your great sugar speech in

    _Lord John to Lady John Russell_

    HOUSE OF COMMONS, _February_ 9, 1846

    Here I am in the House of Commons, on the important night of Corn,
    having just introduced Morpeth as a new Member. It all makes me
    very nervous--I mean to speak to-night, and I must take care not to
    join in the bitterness of the Tories, and at the same time to avoid
    the praise of the Ministry, which I see is the fashion. ... I am
    glad you all take such interest in the present struggle--it would
    be difficult not to do so. Our majority will, I hope, be eighty. As
    matters stand at present no one feels sure of the Lords.

    _Lord John to Lady John Russell_

    CHESHAM PLACE, _February_ 16, 1846

    The events of the last few days have been remarkable. There has
    been no move, no agitation in the counties; but wherever a contest
    is announced the Protection party carry it hollow.... In London the
    Protectionists have created in a fortnight a very strong and
    compact party, from 220 to 240, in the Commons, and no one knows
    how many in the Lords--thus we are threatened with a revival of the
    real old Tory party. Of course they are very civil to us, and they
    all say that we ought to have settled this question and not Sir
    Robert. But how things may turn out no one can say.

    _Lord John to Lady John Russell_

    CHESHAM PLACE, _February_ 21, 1846

    I trust the feelings you have, and the enjoyment you seem to take
    in the flowers and buds of the garden, show that you have before
    you the opening Paradise of good health.

    Baby's letter is very merry indeed. I long to see his little face
    and curly locks again.

    I am going to have a meeting at twelve and of twelve on the affairs
    of Ireland. It is a thorny point, and vexes me more than the Corn
    Laws. Lord Bessborough and Lansdowne are too much inclined to
    coercion, and I fear we shall not agree. But on the other hand, if
    we show ourselves for strong measures without lenitives, I fear we
    shall entirely lose the confidence of Ireland.

    _February_ 22, 1846

    We are much occupied with the affairs of Ireland--I am engaged in
    persuading Lansdowne to speak out upon the affairs of that unhappy
    country, where a Bill called an Insurrection Act seems the ordinary

    _Lady John to Lord John Russell_

    Minto, _February_ 23, 1846

    You were quite right to send the children out in spite of the
    remains of their coughs, but how hard it is for you to have all
    those domestic responsibilities added to your numerous public ones.
    It is more than your share, while I linger away my hours on the
    sofa, without so much as a dinner to order for anybody. Your
    Coercive measures for Ireland frighten me. I do not trust any
    Englishman on the subject except yourself, and you cannot keep to
    your own opinion in favour of leniency and act upon it. I often
    think how unfortunate it is that there should be that little
    channel of sea between England and Ireland. It prevents each
    country from considering itself a part of the other, and a bridge
    across it would make it much more difficult for Orange or Repeal
    bitterness to be kept up. I send you Lord William's [26] letter.
    But first I must tell you that in a former letter from him he
    compared you to Antony throwing away the world for Cleopatra.... I
    read one of Lord Campbell's Lives aloud yesterday evening--Sir
    Christopher Hatton--a short and entertaining one; but from which it
    would appear that a man can make a respectable Lord Chancellor
    without having seriously studied anything except dancing....

[26] Lord John Russell's brother.

    _Lord William Russell to Lady John Russell_

    Genoa, _February_ 12, 1846

    My dear Sister--I thank you much for your letter of the 4th from
    Minto, but regret to find my letters make you not only angry, but
    very angry. If I was within reach I should have my ears well
    cuffed, but at this distance I am bold.... You will not have to get
    into a towering passion in defending your husband from my
    accusation of loving you too much and dashing the world aside and
    bid it pass, that he might enjoy a quiet life with his Fanny. I
    begin by obeying you and asking pardon and saying you did quite
    right not to think me in earnest, and to "know that I often write
    what I do not mean," a fault unknown to myself, and one to be
    corrected, for it is a great fault, if not worse. The letter just
    received pleases me much, for I find in it a high tone of moral
    rectitude, a noble feeling of devotion to your husband's calling,
    an unselfish determination to fulfil your destiny, an abnegation of
    domestic comfort, a latent feeling of ambition tempered with
    resignation, such as becomes a woman, that do you the highest
    honour.... I think the crisis we are going through in England very
    alarming ... a frightful system of political immorality is
    stalking through the land--the Democracy is triumphant, the
    Aristocracy is making a noble and last effort to hold its own,
    unfortunately in so bad, so unjust, so selfish, so stupid a cause,
    that it must fall covered with shame.... The hero of the day,
    Cobden, is a great man in his way, the type of an honest
    manufacturer, but for the moment all-powerful. I am domiciled with
    your brother and sister, [27] under the same roof, dine daily at
    their hospitable table, sit over the fire and cose and prose with
    them, sometimes alone with your sister, who thinks and talks very
    like you, that is, not only well but very well.

    I am very affectionately yours,


    P.S.--You say it would be unworthy of John to _pine_ for
    office. I think the difficulties of a Prime Minister so great and
    the toil so irksome that the country ought to be full of gratitude
    to any man that will undertake it. I am full of gratitude to Sir
    Robert Peel for having sacrificed his ease and enjoyment for the
    good of his country, and to enable us to sit in the shade under our
    own fig-trees. Glory and gratitude to Peel.

[27] Lady Mary Abercromby.

    _Lord John to Lady John Russell_

    CHESHAM PLACE, _February_ 15, 1846

    I have been to St. Paul's to-day. Mr. Bennett enforced still
    further obedience to the Church, and what was strange, he said
    Papists and Dissenters were prevented by the prejudices of
    education from seeing the truth--as if the same thing were not just
    as true of his own Church. I do not see how it is possible to be
    out of the Roman Catholic pale and not use one's own faculties on
    the interpretation of the Bible. That tells us that our Saviour
    said, he who knew that to love God with all our soul and to love
    our neighbour as ourself were the two great commandments, was not
    far from the kingdom of God. This surely can be known and even
    followed without a priest at all.

    _Lady John to Lord John Russell_

    MINTO, _February_ 27, 1846

    You seem to have had a very pleasant dinner at the Berrys, and I
    wish I had been at it. I wonder sometimes whether the social
    enjoyments of life are for ever at an end for me: and in my hopeful
    moods I plan all sorts of pleasant little _teas_ at Chesham
    Place--at home from nine to eleven on certain days, in an easy way,
    without smart dressing and preparation of any sort beyond a few
    candles and plenty of tea. I feel and always have felt ambitious to
    establish some more popular and rational kind of society than is
    usual in London. But the difficulty in our position would be to
    limit the numbers: however, limiting the hours would help to do
    this; and I do not think one need be very brilliant or agreeable
    oneself to make such a thing succeed well. But what a foolish
    presumptuous being I am, lying here on my sofa, not even able to
    share in the quiet amusements of Minto, making schemes for the
    entertainment of all the London world! However, these dreams and
    others of a more serious nature as to my future life, if God should
    restore me to health, help to while away my hours of separation
    from you, and make me forget for awhile how long I have been
    debarred from fulfilling my natural duties, either to you, the
    children, or the world. This, believe me, is the hardest of the
    many hard trials that belong to illness, or at least, such an
    illness as mine, in which I have mercifully but little physical

    _Lady John Russell to Lady Mary Abercromby_

    MINTO, _March_ 1, 1846

    What pleasant times we live in, when the triumph of right
    principles brings about one great and peaceful change after another
    in our country; each one (this from Free Trade in a great degree)
    promising an increase of happiness and diminution of war and
    bloodshed to the whole world. No doubt, however, its good effects
    will be but slowly perceived, and I fear there is much
    disappointment in store for the millions of poor labourers, who
    expect to have abundance of food and clothing the moment the Bill
    becomes a law. Poor creatures, their state is most deplorable and
    haunts me day and night. The very best of Poor Laws must be quite
    insufficient. Indeed, wherever there is a necessity for a Poor Law
    at all there must be something wrong, I think; for if each
    proprietor, farmer and clergyman did his duty there would be no
    misery, and if they do _not_, no Poor Law can prevent it. You
    cannot think how I long for a few acres of _our own_, in order
    to know and do what little I could for the poor round us. It would
    not lessen one's deep pity for the many in all other parts of the
    country, but one's own conscience would be relieved from what,
    rightly or wrongly, I now feel as a weight upon it; and without a
    permanent residence one does not become really acquainted with poor
    people in their prosperity as well as adversity; one only does a
    desultory unsatisfactory sort of good. I have not seen Dickens's
    letter about the ragged schools of which you speak. What you say of
    the devotion of the Roman Catholic priests to the charities of
    religion reflects shame on ours of a purer faith, but is what I
    have always supposed. The Puseyites are most like them in that as
    well as in their mischievous doctrines; but then a new sect is
    always zealous for good as well as for evil.

    _Lord John to Lady John Russell_

    CHESHAM PLACE, _March_ 3, 1846

    I am so happy to find you have had a good night and are stronger in
    feeling. If you had not told me how weak and ill you have been I
    should have been beyond measure anxious; but, as it is, and with
    your letters, I have been very unhappy and exceedingly
    disappointed. For my hopes are often extravagant, and I love to
    look forward to days of health and happiness and gratitude to God
    for His blessings.... Need I say after all I have suffered on your
    account that while I am conducting my campaign in Italy [28] my
    thoughts are always with you? ... I cannot bear your absence. The
    interest of a great crisis, and the best company of London cannot
    make me tolerably patient under the misfortune of your being away;
    and it is you, and you alone who could inspire me with such deep

[28] An allusion to Napoleon's letters to Josephine from Italy, which she
had been reading.

Peel had taken the first step towards feeding the poor at home. He had also
done his best to relieve the immediate distress of Ireland. Shiploads of
Indian corn had been landed, and public works for the help of the destitute
established up and down the country. But the chief grievance of the Irish,
which was at the bottom of half the agrarian crime, had not been remedied.
The House of Lords, by having thrown out Peel's Bill for compensating
outgoing tenants for improvements their own money or exertions had created,
was largely responsible for the violence and sedition now threatening life
and property throughout Ireland. The true remedy having been rejected by
the Lords, the Government had to meet violence by violence. No sooner had
the Corn Bill been passed in the House of Commons than Peel brought in a
stringent Sedition Bill for Ireland. Lord John and the Whigs disliked the
Bill because it was extremely harsh.

    _Lady John to Lord John Russell_

    EDINBURGH, _March_ 12, 1846

    Nothing that I read in the speeches in favour of the Coercion Bill
    convinced me that it would do the slightest good.... It must
    embitter the Irish against England, for which there is no need.
    Nothing can be more shocking than the continual outrages and
    murders in Ireland; but it is the penalty we pay for a long course
    of misgovernment, and from which nothing but a long course of mild
    and good government can set us free; certainly not severe
    indiscriminate measures which mark out Ireland still more as an
    unhappy conquered province, instead of a part of the nation. Such
    are my sentiments, dearest, on this subject, which always makes my
    blood boil.... I read the "Giaour" two nights ago to Addy--it has
    as great and as numerous beauties as any poem Byron ever wrote--but
    I find I am not old enough, or wise enough, or good enough to
    _bear_ Byron, and left off feeling miserable, as he always
    contrives to make one; despair is what he excels in, and he makes
    it such beautiful despair that all sense of right or wrong is
    overwhelmed by it. I said to Addy that one always requires an
    antidote after reading Byron, and that she and I ought instantly to
    go and hem pocket-handkerchiefs, or make a pudding--and that is
    what she has illustrated in the newspaper I send.

    _Lord John to Lady John Russell_

    HOUSE OF COMMONS, _March_, 1846

    Your views about the Irish Coercion Bill are very natural; but
    Bessborough, who is the best authority we have about Irish matters,
    thinks it will tend to stop crime--and especially the crime of
    murder. I should be loath to throw out a Bill which may have this
    good effect; but I shall move a resolution which will pledge the
    House to measures of remedy and conciliation. This may lead to a
    great debate.... The little girls look very nice, but Toza [29] is,
    if possible, thinner than ever. However, she laughs and dances like
    a little fairy. I dined with Mrs. Drummond yesterday. Macaulay [30]
    was there--entertaining, and not too much of a monopolist--I mean
    of talk--which, like other monopolies, is very disagreeable.

[29] Victoria.

[30] Lord John had written to his wife in April, 1845: "Macaulay
made one of his splendid speeches again last night.... He is a
wonderful man, and must with the years before him be a great

    _Lady John to Lord John Russell_

    EDINBURGH, _March_ 19, 1846

    After dinner we drove to Portobello sands and there got out and
    walked for an hour; the sea was of the brightest blue, covered with
    sails; Inchkeith and the opposite coast so clear that every
    inequality of hill or rock was seen; Arthur's Seat, grand and
    snowy, was behind us, and the glittering sands under our feet--the
    whole beautiful far beyond description and beyond what I have yet
    seen it in any weather; for the east wind and bright sun are what
    it requires. How I did wish for you! I need not say that I only
    half enjoyed it, as I only half enjoy anything without you. My
    comfort in your absence is to think that you are not taken from me
    for nothing, but for your country's service; and that even if we
    could have foreseen four years ago all the various anxieties and
    trials that awaited us, we should have married all the same. As it
    was, we knew that ours could not be a life of quiet ease; and it
    was for me to decide whether I was able to face the reverse--and I
    _did_ decide, and I _am_ able--

      "Io lo cercai, fui preso
       Dall' alta indole sua, dal suo gran nome;
       Pensai dapprima, oh pensai che incarco
       E l'amor d'un uomo che a gli' altri e sopra!
       Perchè allor correr, solo io nol lasciai
       La sua splendida via, s' io non potea
       Seguire i passi suoi?"

    Now I am sure you do not know where those lines are from. They are
    a wee bit altered from Manzoni's "Carmagnola"; and they struck me
    so much, when I read them to-day, as applicable to you and me, and
    made me think of your "splendida via" and all its results.

    _Lady John to Lord John Russell_

    EDINBURGH, _March_ 23, 1846

    Thanks for your precious letter of Saturday. You need not grieve at
    having brought cares and anxieties ... upon me. You have given me
    a love that repays them all; and such words as you write in that
    letter strengthen me for all that our "splendida via" may entail
    upon us, however contrary to my natural tastes or trying to my
    natural feelings. What a delightful hope you give of your getting
    away on the 2nd--but I am too wise to build upon it.

    _Lady John to Lord John Russell_

    EDINBURGH, _March_ 25, 1846

    .... There is a calmness and fairness and _depth_ in
    conversation here which one seldom meets with in London, where
    people are too much taken up by the present to dwell upon the past,
    or look forward to the future--and where consequently passion and
    prejudice are mixed up with most that one hears. Dante, and Milton,
    and Shakespeare, etc., have little chance amid the hubbub of the
    great city--but with all its faults, the great city is the place in
    the world I most wish to see again.... At poor Lady Holland's one
    _did_ hear the sort of conversation I find here, and surely
    you must miss not only her but her house very much.

    _Lord John to Lady John Russell_

    _April_ 3, 1846

    At all events pray do not distress yourself with the reflexion that
    you will not be a companion to me during my political trials. You
    have been feeling strong, ... that strength will, I trust, return.
    I see no reason why it should not--and there is no one in existence
    who can think so well with my thoughts and feel so truly with my
    feelings as yourself. So in sickness and in sorrow, so in joy and
    prosperity, we must rely on each other and let no discouraging
    apprehensions shake our courage.

Meanwhile in Parliament the Irish Coercion Bill was dragging on. Lord
Bessborough and other Whig peers had changed their mind about its value,
and Lord John, instead of proposing an amendment, definitely opposed it.
The Protectionists, eager to revenge themselves upon Peel, who, they felt,
had betrayed them, caught at the opportunity and voted with the Whigs. The
Government was defeated by a large majority on the very day the Repeal of
the Corn Laws passed the House of Lords, and the Queen sent for Lord John,
who became Prime Minister in July, 1846.

This time, beyond the usual troubles in the distribution of offices, he had
no difficulty in forming a Ministry; but when formed it was in an unusually
difficult position. They were in power only because the Protectionists had
chosen to send Peel about his business, and the Irish problem was growing
more and more acute. The potato crop of 1846 was even worse than that of
1845, and Peel's system of public works had proved an expensive failure,
more pauperising than almsgiving. The Irish population fell from eight
millions to five, and those who survived handed down an intensified hatred
of England, which lives in some of their descendants to this day.

In the autumn of 1846 Lord John, little thinking that a home would soon be
offered to him by the Queen, bought a country place, Chorley Wood, near

    _Lady John Russell to Lady Mary Abercromby_

    CHORLEY WOOD, RICKMANSWORTH, _December_ 12, 1846

    About the 10th January we all go back to town for good, as John
    must be there some time before the meeting of Parliament. Oh that
    meeting of Parliament! It is so different from any I have ever
    looked forward to; and though it has always been awful, this is so
    much _more_ so. I shall then first really feel that John is
    Minister, and find out the _pains_ of the position, having as
    yet little experience of anything but the pleasures of it. Then
    will come the daily toil beyond his strength, the daily abuse to
    reward him, and the daily trial to us both of hardly meeting for a
    quarter of an hour between breakfast and bedtime. In short, I had
    better not begin to enumerate the evils that await us, as they are
    innumerable. However, I feel very courageous and that they will
    appear trifles if he succeeds; and if he is turned out before the
    end of the session, I shall never regret that he has made the
    attempt. It is a fearful time to have the government in his hands;
    but for that very reason I am glad that _he_ and no other has
    it. The accounts from Ireland are worse and worse, and what with
    the extreme misery of the unfortunate poor and the misbehaviour of
    the gentry, he is made very miserable. As he said this morning, at
    times they almost drive him mad.

During Lady John's long illness in Edinburgh, Francis Lord Jeffrey had been
one of her kindest friends, and had helped to brighten many a weary hour by
his visits and conversation.

    _Lord Jeffrey to Lady John Russell_

    EDINBURGH, _December_ 21, 1846

    It is very good in you to remember my sunset visits to you in the
    hotel. I never pass by its windows in these winter twilights
    without thinking of you, and of the lessons of cheerful magnanimity
    (as well as other things) I used to learn by the side of your
    couch. The Murrays and Rutherfords are particularly well; the
    latter will soon be up among you, and at his post for the opening
    of a campaign of no common interest and anxiety. For my part, I am
    terribly frightened--for the first time, I believe I may say, in my
    life. Lord John, I believe, does not know what fear is! _sans
    peur_ as _sans reproche_. But it would be a comfort to know
    that even he thinks we can get out of the mess in Ireland without
    some dreadful calamity. And how ugly, in fact, do things look all
    round the world!

One of the first acts of Lord John's Government was to vote £10,000,000 for
the relief of Ireland. In July, 1847, Parliament was dissolved. When it met
again Lord John was reluctantly compelled to ask for its votes in support
of an Irish Bill resembling the one on which the Liberals had defeated Peel
the year before.

A bare enumeration of the difficulties which beset the new Prime Minister
brings home a sense of his unenviable position. Ireland was on the verge of
starvation and revolt; everywhere in Europe the rebellions which culminated
in 1848 were beginning to stir, seeming then more formidable than they
really were in their immediate consequences; in England the Chartist
movement was thought to threaten Crown and Constitution; and, in addition,
the country had taken alarm at the weakness of its military defences.
Lastly, for power to meet all these emergencies Lord John was dependent, at
every juncture, upon the animosity between the Protectionists and Peelites
proving stronger than the dislike which either party felt for the
Government. There were 325 Liberals in the House; the Protectionists
numbered 226; the Conservative Free Traders 105; so the day Protectionists
and Peelites came to terms would be fatal to the Government. Such were the
troubles of the Prime Minister, who was a man to take them hard. As for his
wife, her diaries and letters show that, however high her spirit and firm
her principles, her nature was an intensely anxious one.

In December, 1846, they both went down for a short holiday to Chorley Wood,
where, on the last night of the year, they held a "grand ball for children
and servants. All very merry. John danced a great deal, and I not a little.
Darling Johnny danced the first country dance, holding his Papa's hand and



On January 1, 1847, Lady John wrote in her diary that the year was
beginning most prosperously for her and those dearest to her. "Within my
own home all is peace and happiness." About a month later she became
dangerously ill in London.

    LONDON, _February_ 21, 1847

    I have been very ill since I last wrote.... I felt that life was
    still dear to me for the sake of those I love and of those who
    depend on me.... I saw the look of agony of my dearest husband; I
    thought of my heart's treasure--my darling boy; I thought of my
    other beloved children; I thought of those still earlier loved--my
    dear, dear Papa and Mama, brothers and sisters. But I was calm and
    ready to go, if such should be God's will.... Dr. Rigby has been
    not only the most skilful doctor, but the kindest friend.

In the spring of this year, 1847, the Queen offered Pembroke Lodge to the
Prime Minister. He accepted with thankfulness, and throughout life both he
and Lady John felt deep gratitude to the Queen for their beautiful home.

Pembroke Lodge is a long, low, irregular white house on the edge of the
high ground which forms the western limit of Richmond Park. Added to and
altered many times, it has no unity of plan, but it has kept a character of
its own, an air of cheerful seclusion and homely eighteenth-century
dignity. On the eastern side it is screened from the road by shrubs and
trees; on the other side, standing as it does upon the top of the steep,
wooded ridge above the Thames Valley, its windows overlook a thousand
fields, through which the placid river winds, now flowing between flat open
banks, now past groups of trees, or by gardens where here and there the
corner of an old brick house shows among cedars. The grounds are long
rather than wide, and comprise the slope towards the valley and the stretch
along the summit of the ridge, where beech, oak, and chestnut shade with
their green and solemn presences a garden of shorn turf and border flowers.
Walking beneath them, you see between their stems part of some slow-sailing
cloud or glimpses of the distant plain; as you descend, the gardens,
village, and river near below. There is a peculiar charm in these steep
woods, where the tops of some trees are level with the eye, while the
branches of others are overhead. As the paths go down the slope they lose
their garden-like trimness among bracken and brambles. An oak fence
separates the grounds of Pembroke Lodge from the surrounding park.

It was indeed a perfect home for a statesman. When wearied or troubled with
political cares and anxieties, the fresh breezes, the natural beauties, and
the peace of Pembroke Lodge often helped to bring calm and repose to his
mind. What better prospect can his windows command than the valley of the
Thames from Richmond Hill, the view Argyll showed Jeanie Deans, which drew
from her the admission "it was braw rich feeding for the cows," though she
herself would as soon have been looking at "the craigs of Arthur's Seat and
the sea coming ayont them, as at a' that muckle trees." Certainly no home
was ever more appreciated and loved than Pembroke Lodge, both by Lord and
Lady John Russell and their children. Long afterwards Lady John wrote:

    In March, 1847, the Queen offered him Pembroke Lodge for life, a
    deed for which we have been yearly and daily more grateful. He and
    I were convinced that it added years to his life, and the happiness
    it has given us all cannot be measured. I think it was a year or
    two before the Queen offered us Pembroke Lodge that we came down
    for a few days for a change of air for some of the children to the
    Star and Garter. John and I, in one of our strolls in the park, sat
    under a big oak-tree while the children played round us. We were at
    that time often in perplexity about a country home for the summer
    and autumn, to which we could send them before we ourselves could
    leave London.... From our bench under the oak we looked into the
    grounds of Pembroke Lodge, and we said to one another that would be
    the place for us. When it became ours indeed we often thought of
    this, and the oak has ever since been called the "Wishing Tree."
    [31] ... From the time that Pembroke Lodge became ours we used only
    to keep the children in town from the meeting of Parliament till
    Easter, and settle the younger ones at Pembroke Lodge, and we
    ourselves slept there Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays with as
    much regularity as other engagements allowed. This obliged us to
    give up most dinner engagements in London, and we regretted the
    consequent loss of society. At the same time he always felt the
    need of those evenings and mornings of rest and change and country
    air (besides those welcome and blessed Sundays) after Parliamentary
    and official toil, rather than of heated and crowded rooms and late
    hours; and he had the happy power of throwing off public cares and
    giving his whole heart to the enjoyment of his strolls in the
    garden, walks and rides in the park, and the little interests of
    the children. [32]

[31] When Pembroke Lodge was offered to them they remembered--with surprise
and delight at its fulfilment--the wish of that day, known to themselves

[32] Appendix at end of chapter.

The short Whitsuntide holiday was spent in settling in at Pembroke Lodge.

    _Lady John Russell to Lady Mary Abercromby_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _October_ 29, 1847

    ... You would not wonder so much at his [Lord John's] silence
    lately, if you knew what nobody but English Ministers' wives
    _can_ know or conceive, how incessantly either his mind or
    body or both have been at work on financial affairs.

    He has gone to town every morning early, Sunday included; worked
    hard the whole day in Downing Street, writing long letters and
    seeing one man and one deputation after another, on these most
    difficult and most harassing subjects--only returning here for tea,
    and with no time for any other correspondence but that between tea
    and bed, when a little rest and amusement is almost necessary for
    him--then waking in the night to think of bullion and Exchequer
    Bills till time to get up. Now this great anxiety is partly over;
    for when once he has taken a resolution, after all the reflection
    and consideration he can give to a subject, he feels that he has
    done his best, and awaits its success or failure with comparative
    ease of mind.

The difficulties of this Ministry have been briefly stated at the close of
the last chapter; working with a precarious majority, they had to cope with
starvation and revolt in Ireland, Chartism in England, and disturbances

In December, 1847, they passed their Irish Coercion Bill. [33] The passing
of this Bill was one of the few occasions on which Lady John could not
convince herself that her husband's policy was the wisest one.

[33] "The state of Ireland was chaotic, and Lord Clarendon (Lord
Lieutenant) was demanding a stringent measure of coercion. He did not get
it.... The two Bills [Sir Robert Peel's in 1846 and the Bill of 1847] were
so entirely different that to call them by a common name, though perhaps
inevitable, is also inevitably misleading" ("History of Modern England,"
Herbert Paul, vol. i, chap. iv. See also Walpole's "Life of Lord John
Russell," vol. i, chap, xvii.)

Subsequently, during the enforcement of the Act, the bitterness of the
attacks upon her husband, who, she knew, wished Ireland well, and the sight
of his anxiety, made her for a time less sympathetic with the Irish; but
she did not, and could not, approve of the Government's action at the time.
Among Irishmen, a Government which had first opposed a Tory Coercion Bill,
and when in power proposed one themselves, might well excite indignation.
Ireland was already in a state so miserable that the horrors of a civil war
with a bare chance of better things beyond must have seemed well worth
risking to her people, now the party which had hitherto befriended them had
adopted the policy of their oppressors.

On February 26, 1848, the news that Louis Philippe had been deposed reached
the House of Commons. "This is what would have happened here," said Sir
Robert Peel, "if these gentlemen [pointing to the Protectionists] had had
their way." The astonishment was great, and the fear increased that the
Chartist movement and Irish troubles would lead to revolution at home.

The immediate cause of the revolution in France had been Louis Philippe's
opposition to electoral reform; only one Frenchman in about a hundred and
fifty possessed a vote under his reign. "Royalty having been packed off in
a hackney coach," the mildest of Parisian mobs contented itself with
smashing the King's bust, breaking furniture, and firing at the clock of
the Tuileries that it might register permanently upon its face the
propitious moment of his departure. He had embarked the next day for
England, shaven and in green spectacles, and landed upon our shores under
the modest pseudonym of "William Smith." England did not welcome him. His
Spanish marriage intrigues had naturally not made him a favourite, and his
enemy, Palmerston, was at the Foreign Office. Two days afterwards Louis
Napoleon Bonaparte left England to pay his respects to the Provisional
Government. "I hasten," he wrote in memorable words, "I hasten from exile
to place myself under the flag of the Republic just proclaimed. Without
other ambition than that of being useful to my country, I announce my
arrival to the members of the Provisional Government, and assure them of my
devotion to the cause which they represent." He was, however, courteously
requested to withdraw from France, since the law banishing the Napoleon
family had not yet been repealed, a circumstance which enabled him to
return to England in time to enrol himself in the cause of law and order as
a special constable at the Chartist meeting.

    LONDON, _February_ 26, 1848

    We and everybody much taken up with the startling and in some
    respects terrible events in France. The regency of the Duchess of
    Orleans rejected by the Chambers, or rather by the Côté Gauche, and
    a republic proclaimed. Sad loss of life in Paris--the King and
    Queen fled to Eu--Guizot, it is said, to Brussels. We dined at the
    Palace, and found the Queen and Prince, the Duchess of Kent, Duke
    and Duchess of Saxe Coburg, thinking of course of little else--and
    almost equally _of course_, full of nothing but indignation
    against the French nation and Guizot, nothing but pity for the King
    and Queen and royal family, and nothing but fears for the rest of
    Europe from the infection of such an example. I sat next the Duke
    of Coburg, who more particularly took this _class_ view with
    very little reasoning and a great deal of declamation. Said he
    should not care if Guizot lost his head, and much in the same
    spirit. The Queen spoke with much good sense and good feeling, if
    not with perfect impartiality.

    _Lady John Russell to Lady Mary Abercromby_

    LONDON, _March_ 3, 1848

    How anxious you must be as to the effect which the extraordinary
    events in France will have upon Italy. They have been so rapid and
    unexpected that all power of reasoning upon them has been lost in
    wonder. Some pity must inevitably be felt for any man "fallen from
    his high estate"; but if, as I trust, the report of Louis
    Philippe's safety and arrival in England is true, his share of it
    will be as small as ever fell to the lot of a King in misfortune;
    for the opinion that he has deserved it is general. It is seldom
    that history gives so distinct a lesson of retribution. You know
    what London is in a ferment of exciting events, and can therefore
    pretty well imagine the constant succession of reports, true and
    false, from hour to hour, the unceasing cries of the newsmen with
    2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th editions of all the newspapers, the running
    about of friends to one another's houses, the continual crossing of
    notes in the streets, each asking the same questions, the hopes and
    fears and the conjectures one hears and utters during the course of
    the day, and the state of blank, weary stupidity to which one is
    reduced by the end of it. What _I_ mind most in it all is the
    immense additional anxiety and responsibility it brings upon my
    poor husband, who feels it even more than he would have done any
    other year from being still, I grieve to say, less strong and well
    owing to his influenza still hanging about him.

    _Lady John Russell to Lady Minto_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _March_ 29, 1848

    John returned to dinner, but some hours later than I expected him,
    which in times like these, when each hour may bring an account of a
    _new_ revolution _somewhere_, or worst of all, of a
    rebellion in Ireland, is a trial to a Minister's wife. However, the
    reason was simply that Prince Albert had detained him talking. ...
    Of course we talked a great deal with our visitors of France,
    Italy, Germany, and Ireland; but happily, engrossing as these
    topics are, the bright sun and blue sky and shining river and
    opening leaves and birds and squirrels _would_ have their
    share of attention, and give some rest to our minds.

    _Lady John Russell to Lady Mary Abercromby_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _March_ 31, 1848

    The preparations for rebellion in Ireland are most alarming, and
    John's usually calm and _hopeful_ spirit more nearly fails him
    on that subject than any other. The speeches and writings of the
    Young Ireland leaders are so _extravagantly_ seditious, and so
    grossly false as to the behaviour of England generally, and the
    present Ministry in particular to Ireland, that I cannot but hope
    they may defeat their own objects.... Poor people, the more deeply
    one feels for the starving and destitute millions among them and
    admires their patience and resignation, and the more bitterly one
    resents the misgovernment under which the whole nation suffered for
    hundreds of years, the fruits of which we are now reaping, the less
    one can excuse those reckless ones who are now misleading them, who
    must and _do_ know that the present Ministers have not looked
    on with indifference and let famine and fever rage at will; that
    the subject of Ireland is _not_ one to which the Houses of
    Parliament never give a day's or an hour's thought, but that on the
    contrary, _her_ interests and happiness are daily and nightly
    the object of more intense anxiety and earnest endeavours on the
    part of her rulers than any portion of the Empire. We have had a
    week of such real spring with all its enjoyments, and to-day is so
    much finer and milder than ever, that the notion of streets and
    smoke and noise is odious. However, we have enough to go for,
    private and public. May God prosper the good cause of peace and
    freedom all over Europe.

The European revolutionary movement of 1848 did not prove serious in
England. What actually took place was a mild mass meeting on Kennington
Common, well kept within the bounds of decorum by an army of citizen
police. In Ireland, a rough-and-tumble fight between Smith O'Brien's
followers and the police was all that came of the dreaded rebellion. But
before these events took place the future looked ominous, especially to
those responsible for what might happen.

    _Lady John Russell to Lady Mary Abercromby_

    _April_ 8, 1848

    John had a late night in the House, and made two speeches on the
    unpleasant subjects of the Chartist meeting next Monday and Sir
    George Grey's "Security of the Crown" Bill; both of which ought to
    do good, from their mild and _whiggish_ tone, in spite of the
    sadly _un_-whiggish nature of the topics; the very, last to
    which one would wish a Whig Government to have to turn its
    attention. All minds are full of next Monday, and at this moment we
    have not a manservant in the house, as they are summoned to a
    meeting to learn their duties as special constables for that day. I
    find it difficult to be in the least frightened, and I trust I am
    right. The only thing I dread is being long without knowing what
    John is about, and as he would be equally unwilling to know nothing
    about me, in case of any march upon this house or any other
    disagreeable demonstration against the Prime Minister, we have
    arranged that I am to go to Downing Street with him in the morning
    and remain all day there, as that is the place he will most easily
    come to from the House of Commons. My spirits have been much
    lowered about the whole thing this morning, as Mr. Trevelyan has
    been here and persuaded John that it would be madness for me either
    to remain in this house or go to Downing Street, both of which
    would be _marks_ in case of a fight.

    Mr. Trevelyan is very seriously alarmed, and talks of the effect
    the sound of the _cannon_ might have upon me, and has
    persuaded Lady Mary Wood to go to his house on Clapham Common. I do
    not yet know what the other Ministers' wives are going to do, but I
    _do_ know that I think Milton quite right in saying:

      "The wife, where danger or dishonour lurks,
      Safest and seemliest by her husband bides."

    However, I must do as I am bid, or at least I must do what makes
    _him_ easiest.

    LONDON, _April_ 9, 1848

    Hardly knew how much I had been thinking of to-morrow till I had to
    read aloud the prayers for Queen, country, and Parliament.

    _Lady John Russell to Lady Mary Abercromby_

    DOWNING STREET, _Monday_, 3 _o'clock_

    Well, here we are after all, Lady Grey, Lady Mary Wood, and I, with
    much easier minds than we have had for many days.

    Everything has ended quietly; the meeting has dispersed at the
    persuasion of its leaders, who took fright. Fergus O'Connor
    especially has shown himself the most abject blusterer, and came
    pale and haggard and almost crying to speak to Sir George Grey--and
    told him how anxious he was that all should come to a peaceable

    It seems too good to be true, after the various alarming reports
    and conjectures. Of course there will still be _some_ anxiety
    until the night is well over, and till we see whether the Chartist
    spirit rises again after this failure. To begin at the beginning, I
    ought to tell you that hearing a great clattering at six this
    morning I got up, and looked out, and saw immense numbers of
    Lancers ride from the West into Belgrave Square, which they left to
    go to their destination somewhere about Portland Place, after
    performing many pretty manoeuvres which I did not understand. Many
    foot soldiers passed by. I admired the sight, but silently prayed
    that their services might not be required. We packed the brougham
    full of mattresses and blankets, as it seemed likely that we should
    have to sleep here. Now we have little doubt of getting home.

    _Lady John Russell to Lady Mary Abercromby_

    LONDON, _April_ 12, 1848

    Yesterday was chiefly spent in receiving visits and congratulations
    without end, and very welcome they were. John and I had also a good
    long walk to freshen him up for a hard day in the House of

    _April_ 13, 1848

    Again many notes and visits of congratulation and mutual rejoicing
    yesterday. God grant that this triumph of the good cause may have
    some effect on unhappy, misguided Ireland; there is the weight that
    almost crushes John, who opens Lord Clarendon's daily letters with
    an uneasiness not to be told.

    _Queen Victoria to Lord John Russell_

    OSBORNE, _April_ 14, 1848

    The Queen has received Lord John Russell's letter of yesterday
    evening. She approves that a form of prayer for the present time of
    tumult and trouble be ordered. She concludes it is for _peace_
    and _quiet_ GENERALLY, which indeed we _may well_ pray
    for. A thanksgiving for the failure of any attempts like the
    proposed one last Monday, the Queen would not have thought
    judicious, as being painful and unlike thanksgiving for
    preservation from _foreign war_.

    Our accounts from Germany yesterday, from different quarters, were
    very distressing and alarming. So much fear of a _total_
    subversion of _all_ existing things. But we must not lose
    courage or hope.

In the midst of these troubles and forebodings, on the day that the Queen
wrote the above letter to Lord John, their second son, George William
Gilbert, was born.

Lady John was touched by the following letter from Dr. James Simpson (the
eminent physician, later Sir James Simpson), under whose medical care she
had been in Edinburgh some years before.

    EDINBURGH, _March_, 1848

    I heard from two or three different sources that your Ladyship was
    to be blessed by an addition to your family....

    I _once_ made a pledge, that I would gladly leave all to watch
    and guard over your safety if you desired me. I have not forgotten
    the pledge, and am ready to redeem it--but not for fee or
    recompense, only for the love and pleasure of being near you at a
    time I could possibly show my gratitude by watching over your
    valued health and life.... With almost all my medical brethren here
    I use chloroform in all cases. None of us, I believe, could now
    feel justified in _not_ relieving pain, when God has bestowed
    upon us the means of relieving it.

    _May_ 16, 1848

    With a thankful heart I begin my diary again. Another child has
    been added to our blessings--another dear little boy. John was with
    me. Oh! his happiness when all was safely over. This child has done
    much already to restore his health and strength. Summer weather and
    the success of all his political measures for the last anxious
    months have also done much.

But the Irish troubles were by no means over; on July 21st Lord John
introduced a Bill for the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act in Ireland.
His case rested on Lord Clarendon's evidence that a rebellion was on the
point of breaking out, and circumstances seem to have justified this
precautionary measure. The Bill was passed without opposition and with the
support of all the prominent men in Parliament.

    _July_ 21, 1848

    Irish news much the same. A Cabinet at which it was determined to
    propose suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act. John accordingly gave
    notice of it in the House. I had hoped that a Whig Ministry would
    never be driven to such measures. I had hoped that Ireland would
    remember my husband's rule for ever with gratitude.

    _Lady John Russell to Lady Mary Abercromby_

    LONDON, _July_ 28, 1848

    I have another letter to thank you for. You really must not
    describe the beauties of that place to me any more. It must so
    perfectly satisfy the longing for what, after some years of such a
    life as ours, seems the height of happiness--repose. I struggle
    hard against this longing, but I doubt whether I should do so
    successfully without that blessed Pembroke Lodge, from which I
    always return newly armed for the turmoil. After all, I am much
    more afraid of my husband being overpowered by this longing than
    myself. He can so much seldomer indulge in it. He is so much older,
    and it is so much more difficult for him to portion out his
    employments with any regularity, which is his best preservative
    against _fuss_. Yesterday was a most trying day for him, and
    the more so as he had looked forward to it as one of rest and
    enjoyment. It was Baby's christening-day, and we meant to remain at
    Pembroke Lodge after the ceremony to luncheon; but just as we were
    going to church came a letter from Sir George Grey with news of the
    whole South of Ireland being in rebellion, with horrible additions
    of bloodshed, defection of the troops, etc. As it has, thank God,
    turned out to be a hoax, a most wicked hoax, of some stockjobbing
    or traitorous wretch at Liverpool, I shall not waste your time and
    sympathies by telling you of the anxious hours we spent till seven
    in the evening, when the truth was made out.

    And now let us trust that real rebellion may not be in store. It is
    dreadful to think of bloodshed, of loss of life, of the desolation
    of one's country and of the many, many imaginable and unimaginable
    miseries of civil war; but one thing I feel would be more dreadful
    still, weak and womanly as I may be in so feeling--to see one's
    husband unable to prevent the miseries, perhaps accusing himself of
    them, and sinking, as I know mine _would_, by degrees under
    his efforts and his regrets. Let us trust and pray, then, that we
    are not doomed to see the reality of so gloomy a picture. It is
    always difficult to me to look forward to great political failures
    and national misfortunes, perhaps because I have never known any;
    but the alarm of yesterday has made them seem more possible.

    _Lady John Russell to Lady Mary Abercromby_

    LONDON, _August_ 3, 1848

    ... I do not care for my country or my husband's success a bit more
    than is good for me, and I often wonder at and almost blame myself
    for not being more disturbed about them.

    I know that he does his best, and that is all I care very deeply or
    very permanently about; though there may now and then be a more
    than commonly anxious day. If I thought him stupid, or mean, or
    ignorant, or thoughtless, or indifferent in his trade, I should not
    be satisfied with his doing his best even; but as I luckily think
    him the contrary of all these things, I am both satisfied and calm,
    and his own calm mind helps me to be so. Sometimes I think I care
    much more about politics at a distance than when I am mixed up in
    them. The fact is that I care very much for the questions
    themselves, but grow wearied to death of all the details and
    personalities belonging to them, and consequently of the
    conversation of lady politicians, made up as it is of these details
    and personalities. And the more interested I am in the thing
    itself, the more angry I am with the nonsense they talk about it,
    and had rather listen to the most humdrum domestic twaddle. Mind, I
    mean the regular hardened lady politicians who talk of nothing
    else, of whom I could name several, but will not.

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _November_ 24, 1848

    We have just had a visit from Louis Philippe. He spoke much of
    France--said that his wishes were with Louis Bonaparte rather than
    with Cavaignac for the presidency.

    John expressed some fear of war if Louis Bonaparte should be
    elected; the King said he need have none, that France had neither
    means nor inclination for war. His account of the dismissal of
    Guizot's Ministry was that he said to Guizot "What's to be
    done?"--that Guizot gave him three answers: "Je ne peux pas donner
    la Réforme. Je ne peux pas laisser dissoudre la garde nationale. Je
    ne peux pas laisser tirer les troupes sur la garde nationale." Upon
    this he had said to Guizot that he must change his Ministry: "Cela
    l'a peut-être un peu blessé--ma foi, je n'en sais rien. Il a dit
    que non, que j'étais le maitre."

    When he heard that the National Guard said, if the troops fired on
    the mob, _they_ would fire on the troops, he knew that "la
    chose était finie," and when he went out himself among the National
    Guard, to see what the effect of his presence would be, La
    Moricière called out to him, "Sire, si vous allez parmi ces gens-là
    je ne réponds pas de votre vie. Ils vont tirer sur vous." He
    answered whatever might come of it he would "parler à ces braves
    gens"; but they surrounded him, grinning and calling out "La
    Réforme, nous voulons la Réforme," pointing their bayonets at him
    and even over his horse's neck.

    _Lady John Russell to Lady Mary Abercromby_

    WOBURN ABBEY, _December_ 10, 1848

    The great question of the French Presidency is decided, whether for
    good or for evil to other countries none can foresee, but certainly
    to the disgrace of their own. For here is a man, known only by a
    foolish attempt to disturb France, to whom no party gives credit
    for either great or good qualities, raised to the highest dignity
    in the new Republic, one of the advantages of which was to be that
    men should rise by their own merits alone. The common language of
    Frenchmen, or at least of French Royalists on the subject, is that
    they consider his election as a step to the restoration of
    Monarchy--but it is a shabby way of making the step, or it may
    prove a false one. You know we have had Louis Philippe and his
    family as near neighbours at the Star and Garter for some weeks,
    and we have seen him several times, to thank us for our inquiries
    after the poor Queen and Princes while they were so ill. Only think
    how strange to see this great King, this busy plotter for the glory
    of his own family and the degradation of England, taking refuge in
    that very England, and sitting in the house of one of those very
    Ministers whom he had been so proud of outwitting, giving the
    history of "ma chute." This he did with great bitterness;
    representing the whole French nation as a mass of place-hunters,
    without patriotism and without gratitude, and with no tenderness to
    Guizot. There is nothing noble and touching in his manner or
    conversation, or I am sure he would have inspired me with more pity
    in his fallen state, in spite of many faults as a King. [34]

[34] In later years Lord and Lady John had much friendly intercourse with
the Due d'Aumale, son of Louis Philippe, and with the Comte de Paris and
the Due de Chartres (grandsons of the King), who were neighbours and
welcome visitors at Pembroke Lodge.

During the earlier part of 1849, Lord John suffered from the effects of
overwork, and like most tired statesmen he began to think of taking a
peerage. On July 11th their third son, Francis Albert Rollo Russell, was
born at Pembroke Lodge. The parliamentary recess was an easier period than
they had known since taking office, and they had time to attend to other
projects, although the difficulties with Palmerston at the Foreign Office
were meanwhile coming to a climax.

In August Lord and Lady John founded a school at Petersham, over which she
watched with unflagging interest till her death. They were amused by the
remark of an old gentleman in the neighbourhood, who said that to have a
school at Petersham "would ruin the aristocratic character of the
village"--education and aristocracy being evidently, in his eyes, opposing

The classes were held at first in a room in the village; the present
building was not erected till 1852.

On August 32nd Lady John wrote in her diary:

    Our little school, which had long been planned, was opened in a
    room in the village the day before Baby's birthday, July 10th, and
    goes on well. We celebrated John's birthday last Saturday by giving
    the school-children a tea under the cedar, and a dance on the lawn
    afterwards, and very merry they were.

In August and September the Prime Minister spent some weeks at Balmoral,
and wrote as follows on his last day there:

    _Lord John Russell to Lady John Russell_

    BALMORAL, _September_ 6, 1849

    I leave this place to-morrow.... No hostess could be more charming
    or more easy than the Queen has been--or more kind and agreeable
    than the Prince, and I shall leave this place with increased
    attachment to them.

The Queen had been to Ireland in August, and Lord Dufferin wrote an
interesting account of her visit in a letter to Lady John.

    _Lord Dufferin to Lady John Russell_

    _September_ 10, 1849

    As the newspaper reporters have already described all, nay more
    than was to be seen on the occasion of the Queen's visit to
    Ireland, I need not trouble you with any of my own experiences
    during those auspicious days--suffice it to say that the people
    were frantic with loyalty and enthusiasm. Indeed, I never witnessed
    so touching a sight as when the Queen from her quarter-deck took
    leave of the Irish people. It was a sweet, calm, silent evening,
    and the sun just setting behind the Wicklow mountains bathed all
    things in golden floods of light. Upon the beach were crowded in
    thousands the screaming bother-headed people, full of love and
    devotion for her, her children, and her house, surging to and fro
    like some horrid sea and asking her to come back quick to them, and
    bidding her God-speed.... It was a beautiful historical picture,
    and one which one thought of for a long time after Queen and ships
    and people had vanished away. I suspect that she too must have
    thought of it that night as she sat upon the deck and sailed away
    into the darkness--and perhaps she wondered as she looked back upon
    the land, which ever has been and still is, the dwelling of so much
    wrong and misery, whether it should be written in history
    hereafter, that in _her_ reign, and under _her_ auspices,
    Ireland first became prosperous and her people contented. Directly
    after the Queen's departure, I started on a little tour round the
    West coast, where I saw such sights as could be seen nowhere else.
    The scenery is beautiful and wild.... But after one has been
    travelling for a little while in the far West one soon loses all
    thought of the scenery, or the climate, or anything else, in
    astonishment at the condition of the people. I do most firmly
    believe that in no other country under the sun are there to be
    found men so wretched in every respect.... All along the West
    coast, from North to South, there has been allowed to accumulate on
    land utterly unable to support them a dense population, the only
    functions of whose lives have been to produce rent and children.
    Generation after generation have grown up in ignorance and misery,
    while those who lived upon the product of their labours have
    laughed and rioted through life as though they had not known that
    from them alone could light and civilization descend upon these
    poor wretches. I had often heard, as every one has, of the evils of
    absenteeism, but till I came and saw its effects I had no notion
    how great a crime it is.... They [the absentee landowners] thought
    only of themselves and their own enjoyments, they left their people
    to grow up and multiply like brute beasts, they stifled in them by
    their tyranny all hope and independence and desire of advancement,
    they made them cowards and liars, and have now left them to die off
    from the face of the earth. Neither can any one living at a
    distance have any notion of the utter absence of all public spirit
    among the upper classes.... Legislation can do nothing when there
    is nothing for it to act upon. Parliament to Ireland is what a
    galvanic battery is to a dead body, and it is in vain to make laws
    when there is no machinery to work them. A people must be worked up
    to a certain point in their dispositions and understandings before
    they can be affected by highly civilized legislation.... It is only
    individual exertions, and the personal superintendence of wise and
    good men, that can ever drill the Irish people into a legislatable
    state.... One or two things, however, seem to me pretty certain--

    1. That under proper management the Irish peasant can be made
    anything of.

    2. That, generally speaking, the present class of proprietors must
    and will be swept from off the surface of the earth.

    3. That in the extreme West the surface is overcrowded, but not at
    all so a few miles inland.

    4. That reclaiming waste lands and bogs at present is to throw
    money away.

    I begin to fear I have written a strange rigmarole, but still I
    will send it, for though Irish matters cannot interest you as they
    do me, yet still a letter is always a pleasant thing to receive,
    even only that one may have the satisfaction of looking at the
    Queen's head and breaking the seal.

The next entry from Lady John's Diary is dated October 9, 1849.

    After tea John told me that he had informed the Cabinet of his plan
    for the extension of the suffrage--to be proposed next session. All
    looked grave. Sir Charles Wood and Lord Lansdowne expressed some
    alarm.... To grant an increase of weight to the people of this
    country when revolutions are taking place on all sides, when a
    timid Ministry would rather seek to diminish that which they
    already have, is to show a noble trust in them, of which I believe
    they will nobly prove themselves worthy.

Lord John's determination to carry through this measure himself, rather
than to leave it in the hands of others, was afterwards the cause of the
first defeat of the Whig Government.

    _Lady John Russell to Lady Mary Abercromby_

    LONDON, _February_ 19, 1850

    The weeks are galloping past so much faster even than usual that
    there is no keeping pace with them.

    I neither read, write, teach, learn, nor do anything--unless indeed
    revising visiting books and writing invitations is to be called
    something. I want to be with my Mama, to be with my husband, to be
    with my children, to be with friends, and to be alone, all at the
    same time. I want to read everything, and to write to everybody,
    and to walk everywhere, in no time at all. And what is the result?
    Why, that I lose the very _power_ not only of _doing_, but
    of _thinking_, to a degree that makes me seriously uneasy and
    unfits me to be a companion to anybody older or wiser than Wee-wee,
    or Baby, whose capacities exactly suit mine. All this sounds as if
    I led a life of bustle, which I do _not_--but it is _too
    full,_ and there is an end of it. I dare say it is mistaken
    vanity to suppose that if it was emptier I should do anything
    worthier of record in the political, literary, or educational
    line--and at all events it would be hard to find a happier or, I
    trust, more thankful heart than mine, my troubles being in fact the
    result of many blessings.

The next session opened with the Greek crisis, which Greville described as
"the worst scrape into which Palmerston has ever got himself and his
colleagues. The disgust at it here is universal with those who think at all
about foreign matters: it is past all doubt that it has produced the
strongest feelings of indignation against this country all over Europe, and
the Ministers themselves are conscious what a disgraceful figure they cut,
and are ashamed of it."

Palmerston had ordered the blockade of the Piraeus to extort compensation
from the Greek Government on behalf of Mr. Finlay (afterwards the historian
of Greece), whose land had been commandeered by the King of Greece for his
garden, and on behalf of Don Pacifico, a Maltese Jew (and therefore a
British subject), whose house had been wrecked by an Athenian mob. The
Greek Government had been prepared to pay Compensation in both cases, but
not the figure demanded, which turned out, indeed, on investigation, to be
in gross excess of fair compensation. Palmerston's action nearly threw
Europe into war; Russia protested, and France, who had offered to mediate,
was aggravated by a diplomatic muddle to the verge of breaking off
negotiations. A vote of censure was passed by the Opposition in the House
of Lords, which had the effect of making Lord John take up the cause of
Palmerston in the Commons. The question was discussed in a famous four
days' debate. "It contained," says Mr. Herbert Paul, "the finest of all
Lord Palmerston's speeches, the first great speech of Gladstone, the last
speech of Sir Robert Peel, and the most elaborate of those forensic
harangues, delivered successively at the Bar, in the Senate, and on the
Bench, by the accomplished personage best known as Lord Chief Justice
Cockburn." Lord John, who was always good at a fighting speech, spoke also
with great force. Mr. Roebuck's motion of confidence in the Ministry was
carried, but this success was largely due to the fact that a coalition
between the Peelites and the Protectionists seemed impossible. Had it not
been carried the Whigs would have resigned, and neither of the other two
parties feeling strong enough to succeed them, they did not oppose in force
the motion of confidence.

The day after Peel made his speech he was thrown from his horse on
Constitution Hill, and on July 2nd he died.

    _Lady John Russell to Lady Mary Abercromby_

    _June_ 20, 1850

    ... Day of great political excitement. After dinner I took John to
    the House and have utterly regretted since that I did not go up to
    hear him--for he made what I am quite sure you and Ralph will agree
    with me and all whom I have yet spoken to, was a most perfect
    answer; and I should have dearly liked to hear the volleys of
    cheering which he so well deserved. Now we shall either go out with
    honour or stay in with triumph--welcome either.

    _Lord Charles Russell [35] to Lady John Russell_

    _July_ 13, 1850

    As you were not here to hear John move the monument [of Sir Robert
    Peel], I must tell you that he succeeded in the opinion of all.
    Dizzy has just, in passing my chair, said, "Well, Lord John did
    that to perfection. My friends were nervous, I was not; it was a
    difficult subject, but one peculiarly fitted for Lord John. He did
    as I was sure he would, and pleased all those who sit about me."

[35] Lord John's stepbrother.

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _July_ 17, 1850

    For the first time since the session began John spent a whole
    weekday here, and such a fine one that we enjoyed it thoroughly.
    Our roses are still in great beauty, but it is a drying blaze. In
    the evening we cried over "David Copperfield" till we were ashamed.

    _Lady John Russell to Lady Melgund_

    MINTO, October 5, 1850

    This whole morning having been spent fox-hunting, and the afternoon
    doing something else, I do not exactly remember what, I am obliged
    to write to you at the forbidden time (after dinner), instead of
    making myself agreeable. What a quantity I have to say to you, and
    what a pity to say it all by letter, or, rather, to say a very
    small part of it by letter, instead of having you here, as I had
    hoped and looked forward to, enjoying daily _gloomy_ talks
    with you, such as we always find ourselves indulging in when we are
    together.... Though I have scarcely walked a step about the place
    from obedience to doctors, I have driven daily with Mama--and such
    lovely drives! Oh! the place is in such beauty. I think its
    greatest beauty--the trees red, yellow, green, brown, of every
    shade, so that each one is seen separately, and the too great
    thickness on the rocks is less perceived. This was one of the
    brightest mornings, and you know what a hunt is on the rocks when
    the sun shines bright, and the rocks look whiter against a blue
    sky, and men and horses and hounds place themselves in the most
    picturesque positions, and horns and tally-hos echo all round, and
    everybody, except the fox, is in spirits. The gentlemen had no
    sport, but the ladies a great deal, and I saw more foxes than I had
    ever seen before....

    Our time here is slipping away fearfully fast--there are so many
    impossibilities to be done. I am hungry to see every brother and
    sister comfortably and alone, and hungry to be out all day seeing
    every old spot and old face in the place and village, and hungry to
    be always with Papa and Mama, and hungry to read all the books in
    the library--and none of these hungers can be satisfied. We are all
    much pleased with Mr. Chichester Fortescue. He is agreeable and
    gentlemanlike and good, and Lotty and Harriet got on very well with
    him, which is more than I am doing with my letter, for they are
    singing me out of all my little sense--"Wha's at the window" was
    distracting enough, but "Saw ye the robber" ten times worse.

In September the Papal Bull dividing England into Roman Catholic sees threw
the country into a state of needless excitement. The year had been a very
critical one for the Church of England. The result of the Gorham case,
which marked the failure of the High Church clergy to get their own way
within the Church, hastened the secession to Rome of Manning, James Hope,
and other well-known men. Lord John's letter to the Bishop of Durham, in
which he expressed his own strong Protestant and Erastian principles,
increased his popularity; but it was unfortunate in its effect. It
encouraged the bigoted alarmist outcries which had been started by the
Papal Bull, although his own letter differed in tone from such protests.
The Ecclesiastical Titles Bill, which the Government brought forward in
response to popular feeling, seems to have been one of the idlest measures
that ever wasted the time of Parliament. It remained a dead-letter from the
day it passed, yet at the time no Minister had a chance of leading the
country who was not prepared to support it.

The Budget made the Ministry unpopular at the beginning of the session; and
in February Mr. Locke King succeeded in passing, with the help of the
Radicals, a measure for the extension of the franchise, in spite of
opposition from the Government. Lord John had a measure of his own of a
similar nature in view, as we have seen; but, in spite of his assurance
that he would introduce it during the following year, the Radicals voted
against him on Mr. King's motion, and on February 20th he resigned.

The state of parties was such that no rival coalition was possible. Lord
Stanley was for widening the franchise, but being a Protectionist he could
not work with the Peelites; while Lord Aberdeen would not consent to the
Ecclesiastical Titles Bill, and was impossible as a leader so long as the
anti-Catholic hubble-bubble continued. Lord John was therefore compelled to
resume office.

    _Lady John Russell to Lady Mary Abercromby_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _November_ 22, 1850

    I am very glad you and Ralph liked John's letter to the Bishop of
    Durham. It was necessary for him to speak out, and having all his
    life defended the claims of the Roman Catholics to perfect
    toleration and equality of civil rights with the other subjects of
    the Queen, I should hardly have expected that they would take
    offence because he declares himself a Protestant and a despiser of
    the superstitious imitation of Roman Catholic ceremonies by
    clergymen of the Church of England. Such, however, has not been the
    case: and Ireland especially, excited by her priests, has taken
    fire at the whole letter, and most of all at the word "mummeries."
    The wisest and most moderate of them, however, here, and in Ireland
    with Archbishop Murray I hope at their head, will do what they can
    to put out the flame. No amount of dislike to any creed can,
    happily, for a moment shake one's conviction that complete
    toleration to every creed and conviction, and complete charity to
    each one of its professors, is the only right and safe rule--the
    only one which can make consistency in religious matters possible
    at all times and on all occasions. Otherwise it _might_ be
    shaken by the new proofs of the insidious, corrupting,
    anti-truthful nature and effects of the Roman Catholic belief.

    They have shown themselves for ages past in the character and
    conditions of the countries where it reigns, and now the Pope's
    foolish Bull is the signal for double-dealing and ingratitude among
    his spiritual subjects--and consequently for anger and intolerance
    among Protestants--wrong, but not quite inexcusable.

    _Lady John Russell to Lady Mary Abercromby_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _November_ 29, 1850

    Far from wondering at your vacillations of opinion about John's
    letter, both he and I felt, on the first appearance of Wiseman's
    pastoral letter, that the whole scheme was so ridiculous, the
    affectation of power so contemptible, the change of Vicars
    Apostolic into Bishops and Archbishops, so impotent for evil to
    Protestants, while it might possibly be of use to Roman Catholics,
    that ridicule and contempt were the only fit arms for the occasion.
    But when he came to consider the chief cause of the measure--that
    is, the great and growing evil of Tractarianism--of an established
    clergy becoming daily less efficient for the wants of their
    parishioners, and more at variance with the laity and with the
    spirit of the Church to which they outwardly belong; when the whole
    Protestant country showed its anger or fear; when such a man as the
    Bishop of Norwich (Hinds), a man so tolerant as to be called by the
    intolerant a latitudinarian, came to him to represent the necessity
    for some expression of opinion on the part of the Government, and
    the immense evils that would result from the want of such an
    expression; when, after a calm survey of the state of religion
    throughout the country, he thought he saw that it was in his power
    to prevent the ruin of the Church of England, not by assuming
    popular opinions, but merely by openly avowing his own--then, and
    not till then, he wrote his letter--then, and not till then, I felt
    he was right to do so.

    It has quieted men's fears with regard to the Pope, and directed
    them towards Tractarianism. And we are told that a great many (I
    think one hundred) of the clergy omitted some of their "mummeries"
    on the following Sunday. That word was perhaps ill-chosen, and he
    is willing to say so--but I doubt it. Suppose he had omitted it,
    some other would have been laid hold of as offensive to men sincere
    in their opinions, however mistaken he may think them.

    The letter was a Protestant one, and could not give great
    satisfaction to Roman Catholics, except such as Lord Beaumont, who
    prefers the Queen to the Pope. John has all his life showed himself
    a friend to civil and religious liberty, especially that of the
    Roman Catholics--and would gladly never have been called upon to
    say a word that they could take as an insult to their creed. But it
    was a moment in which he had to choose between a temporary offence
    to a part of their body and the deserved loss of the confidence of
    the Protestant body, to which he heart and soul belongs. He could
    scarcely declare his opinion of the Tractarians, who remain in a
    Church to which they no longer belong, without indirectly giving
    offence to Roman Catholics. But it is against their practices that
    his strong disapprobation is declared, and of the mischief of those
    practices I dare say you have no idea. I believe many of them, most
    of them, to be as pious and excellent men as ever existed; but
    their teaching is not likely to make others as pious and excellent
    as themselves; and their remaining in the Church obliges them to a
    secrecy and hesitation in their teaching that is worse than the
    teaching itself, which would disappear if they became honest
    Dissenters. I could write pages more upon the subject but have no
    time, and I will only beg you not to confound John's letter with
    the bigotry and intolerance of many speeches at many meetings. I am
    keeping the collection of letters, addresses, etc., that he has
    received on the subject--a curious medley, being from all ranks and
    degrees of men, some really touching, some laughable.

    _Lady John Russell to Lady Mary Abercromby_

    LONDON, _February_ 11, 1851

    I wonder what you will think of John's speech last Friday. I am
    quite surprised at the approbation it meets with here--not that I
    do not think it deserved, for surely it was a fine high-minded one,
    and at the same time one at no word of which a Roman Catholic, as
    such, could take offence--but so many people thought more ought to
    be done, and so many others that nothing ought to be done, that I
    expected nothing but grumbling. However, the _speech_ is by
    most persons distinguished from the _measure_. I have not yet
    quite succeeded in persuading myself, or being persuaded, that we
    might not have let the whole thing alone; treating an impertinence
    _as_ an impertinence, to be met by ridicule or indignation as
    each person might incline, but not by legislation. This being my
    natural and I hope foolish impulse, I rejoice that the Bill is so
    mild that nobody can consider it as an infringement of the
    principle of religious liberty, but rather a protest against undue
    interference in temporal affairs by Pope, Prelate, or Priest of any
    denomination. Lizzy and I went to the House last night. I never
    heard John speak with more spirit and effect. Do not you in your
    quiet beautiful Nervi look with amazement at the whirl of politics
    and parties in which we live? I am sometimes ashamed of the time I
    consume in writing invitations and other matters connected with
    party-giving--quite as much as John takes to think of speeches,
    which affect the welfare of so many thousands. But after all it is
    a part of the same trade, one which, though most dangerous to all
    that is best in man and woman, may, I trust, be followed in safety
    by those who see the dangers. I am sure I see them. God grant we
    may both escape them.

In a letter written to Lady Mary Abercromby, more than two years before,
she had expressed her feelings with regard to religious ceremonies. It is
interesting that the word _mummeries_, which excited so much
indignation in Lord John's Durham letter, occurs in this letter.

On January 13, 1848, she wrote:

    Many thanks to you for the interesting account of the great
    ceremony on Christmas Day in St. Peter's, and of your own feelings
    about it. I believe that whatever is _meant_ as an act of
    devotion to God, or as an acknowledgment of His greatness and
    glory, whether expressed by the simple prayer of a Covenanter on
    the hill-side or by the ceremonies of a Catholic priesthood, or
    even by the prostrations of a Mahometan, or by the self-torture of
    a Hindoo, may and ought to inspire us with respect and with a
    devout feeling, at least when the worshippers themselves are pious
    and sincere. Otherwise, indeed, if the _mummery_ is more
    apparent than the solemnity, I do not see how respect can be felt
    by those accustomed to a pure worship, the words and meaning of
    which are clear and applicable to rich and poor, high and low....

    _Lady John Russell to Lady Mary Abercromby_

    LONDON, _April_ 11, 1851

    I wonder what you will do with regard to teaching religion to
    Maillie when she is older. I am daily more and more convinced of
    the folly, or worse than folly, the mischief, of stuffing
    children's heads with doctrines some of which we do not believe
    ourselves (though we may think we do), others which we do not
    understand, while their hearts remain untouched.... Old as Johnny
    is, he does not yet go to church. I see with pain, but cannot help
    seeing, that from the time a child begins to go to church, the
    truth and candour of its religion are apt to suffer.... Oh, how far
    we still are from the religion of Christ! How unwilling to believe
    that God's ways are not our ways, nor His thoughts our thoughts!
    How willing to bring them down to suit not what is divine, but what
    is earthly, in ourselves! Yet, happily, we do not feel or act in
    consistency with all that we repeat as a lesson upon the subject of
    our faith--for man cannot altogether crush the growth of the soul
    given by God--and I trust and believe a better time is coming, when
    freedom of thought and of word will be as common as they are now

In May Lady John writes of a dinner-party in London where she had a long
conversation with the Russian Ambassador (Baron Brunow) on the Governments
of Russia and England; she ended by hoping for a time "when Russia will be
more like this country than it is now, to which he answered with a start,
and lifting up his hands, 'God forbid! May I never live to see Russia more
like this country! God forbid, my dear Lady _Joan!'"_

To follow the events which led to the fall of the Ministry it is necessary
to look abroad. The power of the Whigs in the House of Commons, such as it
was, was the result of inability of Tories to combine, owing to their
differences concerning Free Trade. The strength of Lord John's Ministry in
the country depended largely upon the foreign policy of Palmerston, who was
disliked and mistrusted by the Court. While Palmerston was defending his
abrupt, highhanded policy towards Greece in the speech which made him the
hero of the hour, a war was going on between Denmark and
Schleswig-Holstein, in which the Prince Consort himself was much
interested. It was a question as to whether Schleswig-Holstein should be
permitted to join the German Federation. Holstein was a German fief,
Schleswig was a Danish fief; unfortunately an old law linked them together
in some mysterious fashion, as indissolubly as Siamese twins. Both wanted
to join the Federation. Holstein had a good legal claim to do as it liked
in this respect, Schleswig a bad one; but the law declared that both must
be under the same government. Prussia interfered on behalf of the duchies;
England, Austria, France, and the Baltic Powers joined in declaring that
the Danish monarchy should not be divided.

The Prince Consort had Prussian sympathies, and he therefore disapproved of
the strong line which Palmerston took up in this matter. It was not only
Palmerston's policy, however, but the independence with which he was
accustomed to carry it out, which annoyed the Court. He was a bad courtier;
he domineered over princelings and kings abroad, and his behaviour to his
own Sovereign did not in any way resemble Disraeli's. He not only "never
contradicted, only sometimes forgot"; on the contrary, he often omitted to
tell the Queen what he was doing, and consequently she found herself in a
false position.

At last the following peremptory reproof was addressed to him:

    _Queen Victoria to Lord John Russell,_ [36]

    Osborne, _August_ 12, 1850

    ... The Queen requires, first, that Lord Palmerston will distinctly
    state what he proposes in a given case, in order that the Queen may
    know as distinctly to what she has given her royal sanction;
    secondly, having once given her sanction to a measure, that it be
    not arbitrarily altered or modified by the Minister. Such an act
    she must consider as failing in sincerity towards the Crown, and
    justly to be visited by the exercise of her constitutional right of
    dismissing that Minister. She expects to be kept informed of what
    passes between him and Foreign Ministers before important decisions
    are taken, based upon that intercourse: to receive foreign
    dispatches in good time; and to have the drafts for her approval
    sent to her in sufficient time to make herself acquainted with
    their contents before they must be sent off. The Queen thinks it
    best that Lord John Russell should show this letter to Lord

[36] "Letters of Queen Victoria," vol. ii, chap. xix.

Palmerston apologized and promised amendment, but he did not resign, nor
did the Prime Minister request him to do so. His foreign policy had
hitherto vigorously befriended liberty on the Continent, and although the
Queen and Prince Consort never strained the constitutional limits of the
prerogative, these limits are elastic and there was a general feeling among
Liberals that the Court might acquire an overwhelming influence in
diplomacy, and that certainly at the moment the Prince Consort's sympathies
were too largely determined by his relationship to foreign royal families.
It is clear, however, that as long as the Crown is an integral part of the
Executive, the Sovereign must have the fullest information upon foreign
affairs. Palmerston had gone a great deal too far.

    _Lady John Russell to Lady Mary Abercromby_

    LONDON, _March_ 14, 1851

    We have now heard from you several times since the _crisis_,
    [37] but not since you knew of our reinstatement in place and
    power, toil and trouble.... I should hardly have thought it
    possible that Ralph, hearing constantly from Lord Palmerston, had
    not discovered the change that has come over him since last year,
    when he took his stand and won his victory on the principles that
    became a Whig Minister, of sympathy with the constitutionalists and
    antipathy to the absolutists all over Europe. Ever since that great
    debate he has gradually retreated from those principles.... I am
    not apt to be politically desponding, but the one thing which now
    threatens us is the loss of confidence of the House of Commons and
    the country....

[37] The defeat of the Government on Mr. Locke King's motion for the
equalization of the county and borough franchise.

She was not right, however, in her estimate of the dangers which threatened
the Ministry; they came from the Foreign Office and the Court, not from the

Kossuth, the leader of the Hungarian Revolution, had been received in
England with great enthusiasm. He made a series of fiery speeches against
the Austrian and Russian Governments, urging that in cases in which foreign
Powers interfered with the internal politics of a country, as they had done
in the case of the Revolution in Hungary, outside nations should combine to
prevent it. This was thoroughly in harmony with Palmerston's foreign
policy. He wished to receive Kossuth at his house, which would have been
tantamount to admitting to a hostile attitude towards Austria and Russia,
who were nominally our friends. Lord John dissuaded him from doing this;
but he did receive deputations at the Foreign Office, who spoke of the
Emperors of Austria and Russia as "odious and detestable assassins." The
Queen was extremely angry.

    Windsor Castle, _November_ 13, 1851

    The Queen talked long with me about Lord Palmerston and about

    After accusing Lord Palmerston of every kind of fault and folly,
    public and private, she said several times, "I have the very worst
    opinion of him." I secretly agreed with her in much that she said
    of him, but openly defended him when I thought her unjust. I told
    her of his steadiness in friendship and constant kindness in word
    and deed to those he had known in early life, however separated
    from him by time and station. She did not believe it, and said she
    knew him to be quite wanting in feeling. This turned out to mean
    that his political enmities outlasted the good fortune of his
    enemies. She said if he took the part of the revolutionists in some
    countries he ought in all, and that while he pretended great
    compassion for the oppressed Hungarians and Italians, he would not
    care if the Schleswig-Holsteiners were all drowned. I said this was
    too common a failing with us all, etc. I allowed that I wished his
    faults were not laid on John's shoulders, and John's merits given
    to him, as has often been the case--and that it was a pity he
    sometimes used unnecessarily provoking language, but I would not
    grant that England was despised and hated by all other European

The Kossuth incident was soon followed by a graver one. On December 1,
1851, Louis Napoleon carried out his _coup d'état._ The Ministry
determined to maintain a strict neutrality in the matter, and a short
dispatch was sent to Lord Normanby instructing him "to make no change in
his relations to the French Government." When this dispatch was shown to
the French Minister, he replied, a little nettled no doubt by the
suggestion that England considered herself to be stretching a point in
recognising the Emperor, that he had already heard from their Ambassador in
London that Lord Palmerston fully approved of the change. In a later
dispatch to Lord Normanby, which had not been shown either to the Queen or
to the Prime Minister, Palmerston repeated his own opinion. Now this was
precisely the kind of conduct for which he had been reproved: in
consequence he was asked to resign. When it came to explanations before
Parliament, Palmerston, to the surprise of everybody, made a meek, halting
defence of his independent conduct. But he bided his time, and when the
Government brought in a Militia Bill, intended to quiet the invasion scare
which the appearance of another Napoleon on the throne of France had
started, he proposed an amendment which they could not accept, and carried
it against them. Lord John Russell resigned and Lord Derby undertook to
form a Government.

Lady John wrote afterwards the following recollections of this crisis:

    The breach between John and Lord Palmerston was a calamity to the
    country, to the Whig party, and to themselves. And although it had
    for some months been a threatening danger on the horizon, I cannot
    but feel that there was accident in its actual occurrence. Had we
    been in London, or at Pembroke Lodge, and not at Woburn Abbey at
    the time, they would have met and talked over the subjects of their
    difference. Words spoken might have been equally strong, but would
    have been less cutting than words written, and conciliatory
    expressions on John's part would have led the way to promises on
    Lord Palmerston's to avoid committing his colleagues in future, as
    he had done in the case of the coup d'état, and also to avoid any
    needless risk of irritating the Queen by neglect in sending
    dispatches to the Palace. It was characteristic of my husband to
    bear patiently for a long while with difficulties, opposition,
    perplexities, doubts raised by those with whom he acted, listening
    to them with candour and good temper, and only meeting their
    arguments with his own; but, at last, if he failed to convince
    them, to take a sudden resolution--either yielding to them entirely
    or breaking with them altogether--from which nothing could shake
    him, but which, on looking back in after years, did not always seem
    to him the best course. My father, who knew him well, once said to
    me, half in joke and half in earnest: "Your husband is never so
    determined as when he is in the wrong." It was a relief to him to
    have done with hesitation and be resolved on any step which this
    very anxiety to have done with hesitation led him to believe a
    right one at the moment. This habit of mind showed itself in
    private as in public matters, and his children and I were often
    startled by abrupt decisions on home affairs announced very often
    by letter.

In the case of the dismissal of Lord Palmerston, there was but Lord
Palmerston himself who found fault. The rest of the Cabinet were unanimous
in approbation. But there was not one of them whose opinions on foreign
policy were, in John's mind, worth weighing against those of Lord
Palmerston. He and John were always in cordial agreement on the great lines
of foreign policy, so far as I remember, except on Lord Palmerston's
unlucky and unworthy sanction of the _coup d'état_.

They two kept up the character of England as the sturdy guardian of her own
rights against other nations and the champion of freedom and independence
abroad. They did so both before and after the breach of 1851, which was
happily closed in the following year, when they were once more colleagues
in office. On matters of home policy Lord Palmerston remained the Tory he
had been in his earlier days, and this was the cause of many a trial to
John. Indeed, it was a misfortune to him throughout his public career that
his colleagues almost to a man hung back when he would have gone forward;
and many a time he came home dispirited from a Cabinet at which he had been
alone--or with only the support of my father, who always stood stoutly by
him while he remained Cabinet Minister--in the wish to bring before
Parliament measures worthy of the Whig banner of Civil and Religious
Liberty, Progress and Reform. Nothing could exceed John's patience under
the criticisms of his colleagues, who were, most of them, also his friends,
some of them very dear friends--nothing could exceed his readiness to admit
and listen to difference of opinion from them; but it was trying to find
the difference always in one direction, and that a direction hardly
consistent with the character of a Whig Ministry.

The spirit which pervaded the foreign policy of Lord John Russell is shown
in a letter from him to Queen Victoria dated December 29, 1851 [38]:

    The grand rule of doing to others as we wish that they should do
    unto us is more applicable than any system of political science.
    The honour of England does not consist in defending every English
    officer or English subject, right or wrong, but in taking care that
    she does not infringe the rules of justice, and that they are not
    infringed against her.

[38] "Letters of Queen Victoria," vol. ii, chap. xx.

Lord and Lady John often regretted that the duties of political life
prevented them from having fuller intercourse with literary friends. There
are short entries in her diaries mentioning the visits of distinguished men
and women, but she seldom had time to write more than a few words. Her
diaries--like her letters--were written with marvellous rapidity, and were,
of course, meant for herself alone. In March, 1852, she writes: "Thackeray
came to read his 'Sterne' and 'Goldsmith' to us--very interesting quiet
evening." And a little later at Pembroke Lodge: "Dickens came to luncheon
and stayed to dinner. He was very agreeable--and more than agreeable--made
us feel how much he is to be liked." Rogers they also saw occasionally, and
the letter which follows is a reply to an invitation to Pembroke Lodge. The
second letter refers to a volume of poems in manuscript, written by Lady
John and illustrated by Lord John's stepdaughter, Mrs. Drummond. He had
lent it to Rogers.

    MY DEAR LADY JOHN,--Yes! yes! yes! A thousand thanks to you both! I
    need not say how delighted I shall be to avail myself of your
    kindness. I would rather share a crust with you and Lord John in
    your Paradise then sup in the Apollo with Lucullus
    himself--yes--though Cicero and Pompey were to be of the party.

    Yours most sincerely,


    _Mr. Samuel Rogers to Lord John Russell_

    _April_ 15, 1852

    MY DEAR FRIEND,--How could you entrust me with anything so
    precious, so invaluable, that when I leave it I run back to see if
    it is lost? The work of two kindred minds which nor time nor chance
    could sever, long may it live a monument of all that is beautiful,
    and long may _they_ live to charm and to instruct when I am
    gone and forgotten.

    Yours ever,


The next entry from Lady John's diary is dated March 14, 1852:

    Yesterday John read a ballad in _Punch_ giving a very
    unfavourable review of his conduct in dismissing Lord Palmerston,
    in bringing forward Reform--indeed, in almost all he has done in
    office. He felt this more than the attacks of graver and less
    independent papers, and said, "That's hard upon a man who has
    worked as I have for Reform"; but the moment of discouragement
    passed away, and he walked up and down the room repeating Milton's
    lines with the spirit and feeling of Milton:

      "Yet hate I not a jot of heart or hope,
      But steer right onward."



My brother and I have here added a few recollections of our old home.


Pembroke Lodge, an old-fashioned house, long and low, surrounded by thickly
wooded grounds, stood on the ridge of the hill in Richmond Park overlooking
the Thames Valley and a wide plain beyond. It was approached by a drive
between ancient oaks, limes, and evergreens, and at the entrance was a
two-roomed thatched cottage, long occupied by a hearty old couple employed
on the place, so careful and watchful that an amusing incident occurred one
day when our father and mother were away from home. A lady and gentleman
who were walking in the Park called at the Lodge, and asked for permission
to walk through the grounds. The old lodge-keeper refused, saying she could
not give access to strangers during the absence of the family. The lady
then told her they were friends of Lord and Lady John, but still the old
guardian of the place remained suspicious and obdurate; till, to her
surprise and discomfiture, it came out that the visitors to whom she had so
sturdily refused admission were no other than Queen Victoria and Prince
Albert walking incognito in the Park.

Just outside the Lodge the Crystal Palace on the height of Sydenham could
be seen glittering in the rays of the setting sun. In front of the house,
eastward, were two magnificent poplars, one 100 feet, the other about 96
feet high, rich and ample in foliage, and most delicately expressive of
every kind of wind and weather. They could be seen with a telescope from
Hindhead, about thirty miles south-west. Grand old oaks, of seven hundred
to a thousand years, grew near the house and made plentiful shade;
southwards the grass under them was scarcely visible in May for the
glorious carpet of wild hyacinths, all blue and purple in the chequered
sunlight. Nearly every oak had its name and place in the affection of young
minds. There were also many fine beech-trees in the grounds. On the western
slopes were masses of primroses and violets, also wild strawberries. West
and south, down the hill, was a wilderness, the delight of children,
untended and unspoiled, where birds of many kinds built their nests, where
squirrels, rabbits, hedgehogs, weasels, snakes, wood-pigeons, turtle-doves,
owls, and other life of the woods had never been driven out, and where
visitors hardly ever cared to penetrate. Outside, in Petersham Park, was a
picturesque thatched byre where the cows were milked. Petersham Park was
then quiet and secluded, before the time came for its invasion by London
school treats.

East of the house was a long lawn, secluded from the open Park by a
beautiful, wildly growing hedge of gorse, berberis, bramble, hawthorn, and
wild roses. Further north was a bowling-green, surrounded by hollies,
laburnums, lilacs, rhododendrons, and forest trees; at one end was a
rose-trellis and a raised flower garden. The effect of this bright flower
garden with its setting of green foliage and flowering shrubs, and majestic
old trees surrounding the whole, was very beautiful. At one end, shaded by
two cryptomereas, planted by our father--said by Sir Joseph Hooker to be
among the finest in England--was a long verandah where our mother often sat
in summer with her basket of books, and in winter spread oatmeal for the
birds, which grew very tame and would eat out of her hand. Close by was a
picturesque old thatched summer-house, covered with roses; on each side
were glades of chestnut, hornbeam, and lime trees, and looking westward
Windsor Castle could be seen on the far horizon.

Near the house was a noble cedar, with one particularly fine bough under
the shade of which the Petersham School children and the "Old Scholars" had
their tea on festive occasions, followed by merry games in the grounds. The
view from the house and the West walk, and also from King Henry's Mount,
was most beautiful, especially in the spring and autumn, with the varied
and harmonious tints of the wooded foreground fading away into the soft
blue distance.

It was a glorious Park to live in. The great oaks, the hawthorns, the tall
dense bracken, the wide expanses of grass, the herds of red and fallow
deer, not always undisturbed, made it a paradise for young people. The boys
delighted in the large ponds, full of old carp and tench, with dace and
roach, perch, gudgeons, eels, tadpoles, sticklebacks, and curious creatures
of the weedy bottom. There was the best of riding over the smooth grass in
the open sunny expanses or among the quiet and shady glades. Combe Wood, a
little south of the Park, was then an island of pure country, quite
unfrequented, and an occasional day there was a treat for all.

Pembroke Lodge, the house, was entered by a porch overhung with wistaria;
the walls on each side were covered with laburnums and roses; a long
trellised arch of white roses led to the south lawn, which was sheltered
from the east by holly, lilacs, and a very fine crataegus. From here was
one of the loveliest views in the place, for our mother had made a wide
opening under the arched bough of a fine elm-tree which stood like a grand
old sentinel in the foreground. The bow room on the south side of the house
was occupied by our father during his later years. Here stood the statue of
Italy given by grateful Italians and the silver statuette given by the
ladies of Bedford in recognition of Reform. The West room next the
dining-room had been our father's study during many of his most strenuous
years of office. The floor was heaped high with pyramids of despatch-boxes.
One day some consternation was caused by our pet jackdaw, who had found his
way in and pulled off all the labels, no doubt intending, in mischievous
enjoyment, to tear to shreds despatches of European importance.

Above the bow room was our mother's bedroom; the view from here was
exceedingly beautiful, both near and far, and she was never tired of
standing at the open window looking at the loveliness around her, and
listening to the happy chorus of birds--and to the nightingales answering
each other, and singing day and night, apparently never weary of trying to
gladden the world with their glorious melody.

It was indeed impossible to have a happier or more perfect home; the
freedom, the outdoor life, the games and fun, in which our father and
mother joined in their rare moments of leisure; the hours of reading and
talk with them on the high and deep things of life--all this, and much more
that cannot be expressed, forms a background in the memory of life deeply
treasured and ineffaceable.



Although the Russell Ministry had been defeated upon the Militia Bill ("my
tit-for-tat with John Russell," as Palmerston called it), the victors were
very unlikely to hold office for long. In spite of Disraeli's praise of
Free Trade during the General Election, a right-about surprising and
disconcerting to his colleagues, the returns left the strength of parties
much as they had been before. The Conservatives did not lose ground, but
they did not gain it; they remained stronger than any other single party,
but much weaker than Whigs, Peelites, and Irish combined. When Parliament
met it was obvious that they would soon be replaced in office by some kind
of coalition. Defeat came on Disraeli's Budget. The question remained, who
could now undertake to amalgamate the various political groups, which,
except in Opposition, had shown so little stable cohesion? Since the
downfall of the Derby Government had been the work of a temporary alliance
between Peelites and Whigs, the Queen sent for representatives of both
parties; for Lord Aberdeen as the leader of Peel's followers and for Lord
Lansdowne as the representative of the Whigs. Naturally she did not wish to
summon Palmerston after what had happened; and to have charged Lord John,
the other Whig leader, with the formation of a Ministry would have widened
the discrepancies within the Whig party itself; for Lord John was unpopular
with the Protestant Nonconformist section of the party, who were indignant
with him for not strictly enforcing the Ecclesiastical Titles Act, and he
had alienated the numerous believers in Palmerston by having forced him to
resign. Lord Lansdowne was universally respected, and since he belonged to
the rear-guard of the Whig party there seemed a better chance of his
coalescing with the Conservatives. When he declined, pleading gout and old
age, the task devolved upon Lord Aberdeen, who accepted the Queen's
commission knowing that Palmerston was willing to take office and work
_with_, though never again (he said) _under_, [39] Lord John. It
was most important that both the leaders of the Whig party, Palmerston and
Russell, should come into the Cabinet; for if either stayed outside a
coalition, which by its Conservative tendencies already excluded Radicals
of influence like Cobden and Bright, it could not have counted upon steady
Whig support. Would Lord John consent to take office? Upon his decision
depended, in Lord Aberdeen's opinion, the success or failure of the
coalition. He had some talk with Lord John before accepting the Queen's
commission, which persuaded him that he could rely upon Lord John's
consent; but it is clear that at that time Lord John did not consider the
matter decided.

[39] Although he asserted at the time that he would never serve under Lord
John again, yet it appears that he was the only one of Lord John's
colleagues who was willing to serve under him, when Lord John attempted to
succeed Lord Aberdeen. Morley's "Life of Gladstone," vol. i, p. 531.

    _Lady John Russell to Lady Mary Abercromby_

    LONDON, _December_ 24, 1852

    God grant our present good accounts may continue. [Lady Minto had
    been and was then alarmingly ill.] The two last letters have made
    me as little unhappy as is possible, considering how much there is
    still to dread.

    Whenever my thoughts are not with Mama, they are wearying
    themselves to no purpose in threading the maze of ravelled
    politics, or rather political arrangements, in which we are living.
    Since I have been in _public life_, I never spent a week of
    such painful _public anxiety_. When I say that the possibility
    of John taking office under Lord Aberdeen was always an odious one
    to me, and one which seemed next to an impossibility, don't for one
    moment suppose that I say so on the ground of personal claims and
    personal ambition, which I hold to be as wrong and selfish in
    politics as in everything else. And I shall feel a positive
    pleasure, far above that of seeing him _first,_ in seeing him
    give so undoubted a proof of disinterestedness and patriotism as
    consenting to be _second_, if that were all. But oh, the
    danger of other sacrifices--sacrifices as fatal as that one would
    be honourable to his name--and oh, the infinite shades and grades
    of want of high motives and aims which, at such a time, one is
    doomed to find out in the buzzers who hover round the house--while
    the honest and pure and upright keep away and are silent. At times
    I almost wish I could throw away all that is honest and pure and
    upright, as useless and inconvenient rubbish of which I am half
    ashamed. I never felt more keenly or heavily the immeasurable
    distance between earth and heaven than now, when after the day has
    been spent in listening to the plausibilities of commonplace
    politicians, I open my Bible at night. It is going from darkness
    into light.

    And now you have had enough of my grumpiness, and I shall only add
    that all has not been pain and mortification. On the contrary, some
    men have come out bright and true as they were sure to do, and have
    shown themselves real friends to John and the country, and redeemed
    the class of politicians from a sweeping condemnation which would
    be most unjust.

After much hesitation Lord John determined to serve under Lord Aberdeen. He
was persuaded to do so, in spite of strong misgivings, by the Queen, who
was anxious to avoid the last resort of calling in Palmerston; her request
was backed by the appeals of his most trusted political friends.

    _Queen Victoria to Lord John Russell_

    OSBORNE, _December_ 19, 1852

    The Queen has to-day charged Lord Aberdeen with the duty of forming
    an Administration, which he has accepted. The Queen thinks the
    moment to have arrived when a popular, efficient, and durable
    Government could be formed by the sincere and united efforts of all
    parties professing Conservative and Liberal opinions. The Queen,
    knowing that this can only be effected by the patriotic sacrifice
    of personal interests and feelings to the public, trusts that Lord
    John Russell will, as far as he is able, give his valuable and
    powerful assistance to the realization of this object.

Lord John's hesitation seems to have been not unnaturally interpreted by
many contemporaries as the reluctance of an ex-Prime Minister to take a
subordinate position, and some records of this impression have found their
way into history. We have Lady John's assurance that "this never for one
moment weighed with him," and that his hesitation was entirely due to "the
improbability of agreement in a Cabinet so composed, and therefore the
probable evil to the country." His true feeling was shown by a remark made
at that time by Lady John, that her husband would not mind being "shoeblack
to Lord Aberdeen" if it would serve the country. [40]

[40] Stuart Reid's "Life of Lord John Russell," p. 205.

It may be pointed out in corroboration that three years later Lord John was
willing to serve under Palmerston himself, both in the House of Commons and
the Cabinet, though the latter had thwarted him at every turn in the
previous Ministry, and hardly hoped for such generous support. A man in
whom scruples of pride were strong emotions would have found far greater
cause for standing out then, than at this juncture. Indeed, such an
interpretation of his motives does not agree with the impression which Lord
John's character leaves on the mind. From his reserved speech, shy manner,
and uncommunicative patience under criticism, from the silent abruptness of
his decisions, his formidable trenchancy in self-defence when openly
attacked, and his aloofness from any attempts to curry favour with the
Press, it may be inferred that his character was a dignified one; but he
was dignified precisely in the way which makes such actions as taking a
subordinate political position particularly easy. He foresaw that his
position would be one of extreme difficulty, but not--here lay his
error--that it would prove an impossible one. It must be remembered that by
subordinating himself he was also in a certain measure subordinating his
party. The Whigs were contributing the majority of votes in the House of
Commons, and they demanded that they should be proportionately powerful in
the Cabinet. He was therefore forced to arrogate to himself an exceptional
position in the Cabinet as the leader and representative of what was in
fact a separate party. The Whigs kept complaining that he did not press
their claims to office with sufficient importunity, while the Peelites
reproached him with refusing to work under his chief like every other
Minister. Whenever he subordinated the claims of the Whigs for the sake of
working better with Lord Aberdeen, he laid himself open to charges of
betraying his followers, and when he pressed their claims, he was accused
of arrogance towards his chief. This, however, was a dilemma, the vexations
of which wore off as places were apportioned and the Ministry got to its
work; there was a more fatal incongruity in his position. He was
technically a subordinate Minister, pledged to reform (as Prime Minister he
had opposed a Radical Reform Bill on the ground that he would introduce his
own), and the representative of the strongest party, also pledged to
reform, in a coalition Cabinet anxious for the most part to seize the first
excuse to postpone it indefinitely. In ordinary circumstances, if thwarted
by his colleagues he would have resigned; but as it turned out, their
excuse for thwarting him was at the same time the strongest claim on his
loyalty. They made Crimean difficulties at once an excuse for postponing
reform and for urging him to postpone his resignation.

At first, however, as far as those who were not behind the scenes could
see, all went smoothly with the Coalition. The work of the session was
admirably carried out. Lord John entered the Cabinet as Foreign Secretary;
but as the duties of that office combined with the leadership of the House
of Commons were too much for one man, he resigned, remaining in the Cabinet
without office until 1854, when he became Colonial Secretary. The great
event of the session was Gladstone's famous first Budget.

    _Lord John to Lady John Russell_

    _April_ 19, 1853

    Gladstone's speech was magnificent, and I think his plan will
    do.... I think we shall carry this Budget, as Gladstone has put it
    so clearly that hardly a Liberal can vote with Disraeli to put him
    in our place. It rejoices me to be party to a large plan, and to
    have to do with a man who seeks to benefit the country rather than
    to carry a majority by concessions to fear.

    _Lady John to Lord John Russell_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _April_ 20, 1853

    I am delighted with Gladstone's Budget. I don't pretend to judge of
    all its details, but such of its proposals as I understand are all
    to my mind, and the spirit and temper of the whole speech
    admirable; so bold, so benevolent, so mild, so uncompromising. I
    read it aloud to Lizzy and the girls, and we were in the middle of
    it when your letter came telling us how fine it had been.... Surely
    you will carry it? I feel no fear, except of your allowing it to be
    damaged in the carrying.

    _Mrs. Gladstone to Lady John Russell_

    _April_, 1853

    MY DEAR LADY JOHN,--I thank you heartily for your very kind note.
    You know well from your own experience how happy I must be now.

    We have indeed great reason to be thankful: the approbation of such
    men as your husband is no slight encouragement and no slight
    happiness. I assure you we have felt this deeply. After great
    anxiety one feels more as if in a happy dream than in real life and
    you will not laugh at the relief to me of seeing him well after
    such an effort and after such labour as it has been for weeks....

    We have often thought of you in your illness and heard of your
    well-doing with sincere pleasure.

    Once more thanking you, believe me, dear Lady John,

    Yours sincerely,


    I must tell you with what comfort and interest I watched Lord
    John's countenance during the speech.

On March 28, 1853, Lady John's daughter, Mary Agatha, was born at Pembroke
Lodge. Lady Minto was well enough to write a bright and happy letter of
congratulation on the birth of her granddaughter, but her health was
gradually failing, and on July 21st she died at Nervi, in Italy.

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _August_ 3, 1853

    The world is changed to me for ever since I last wrote. My dear,
    dear Mama has left it, and I shall never again see that face so
    long and deeply loved. Tuesday, July 26th, was the day we heard.
    Thursday, July 21st, the day her angel spirit was summoned to that
    happy home where tears are wiped from all eyes. I pray to think
    more of her, glorious, happy and at rest, than of ourselves. But it
    is hard, very, very hard to part. O Mama, Mama, I call and you do
    not come. I dream of you, I wake, and you are not there.

    _Lord John to Lady John Russell_

    MINTO, _August_ 10, 1853

    You will feel a melancholy pang at the date of the place from which
    I write. It is indeed very sorrowful to see Lord Minto and so many
    of his sons and daughters assembled to perform the last duties to
    her who was the life and comfort of them all.... The place is
    looking beautiful, and your mother's garden was never so lovely. It
    is pleasant in all these sorrows and trials to see a family so
    united in affection, and so totally without feelings or objects
    that partake of selfishness or ill-will.

The old poet Rogers, who had been attached to Lady John since her earliest
days in London society, now wrote to her in her sorrow. His note is worth
preserving. He was past his ninetieth year when he wrote, and it reveals a
side of him which is lost sight of in the memoirs of the time, where he
usually appears as saying many neat things, but few kind ones. Mrs. Norton,
in a letter to Hayward, gives an authentic picture of him at this time. She
begins by saying that no man ever _seemed_ so important who did so
little, even said so little:

    "His god was Harmony," she wrote; "and over his life Harmony
    presided, sitting on a lukewarm cloud. He was _not_ the 'poet,
    sage, and philosopher' people expected to find he was, but a man in
    whom the tastes (rare fact!) preponderated over the passions; who
    defrayed the expenses of his tastes as other men make outlay for
    the gratification of their passions; all within the limit of

    "... He was the very embodiment of quiet, from his voice to the
    last harmonious little picture that hung in his hushed room, and a
    curious figure he seemed--an elegant pale watch-tower, showing for
    ever what a quiet port literature and the fine arts might offer, in
    an age of 'progress,' when every one is tossing, struggling,
    wrecking, and foundering on a sea of commercial speculation or
    political adventure; when people fight over pictures, and if a man
    does buy a picture, it is with the burning desire to prove it is a
    Raphael to his yielding enemies, rather than to point it out with a
    slow white finger to his breakfasting friends."

    _Mr. Samuel Rogers to Lady John Russell_

    _August_ 13, 1853

    MY DEAR FRIEND,--May I break in upon you to say how much you have
    been in my thoughts for the last fortnight? But I was unwilling to
    interrupt you at such a moment when you must have been so much

    May He who has made us and alone knows what is best for us support
    you under your great affliction. Again and again have I taken up my
    poor pen, but in vain, and I have only to pray that God may bless
    you and yours wherever you go.

    Ever most affectionately yours,


In the autumn of 1853 Lord John took his family up to Roseneath, in
Scotland, which had been lent them by the Duke of Argyll. They had been
there some weeks, occasionally making short cruises in the _Seamew_,
which the Commission of Inland Revenue had placed at their disposal, when
threatening complications in the East compelled Lord John to return to
London. The peace of thirty-eight years was nearly at an end.

    ROSENEATH, _September_ 2, 1853

    My poor dear John set off to London, to his and my great
    disappointment. The refusal of the Porte to agree to the Note
    accepted by the Emperor makes the journey necessary.

Lady John soon followed him.

    _Lady John Russell to Lady Elizabeth Romilly_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _October_ 21, 1853

    MY DEAREST LIZZY,--... I have never ceased rejoicing at my sudden
    flight from Roseneath, though its two causes, John's cold and the
    Czar's misdeeds, are unpleasant enough--but his presence here is so
    necessary, so terribly necessary, that neither he nor I could have
    stayed on in peace at Roseneath.... What he has accomplished is a
    wonder; and I hope that some day somehow everybody will know
    everything, and wonder at his patience and firmness and
    unselfishness, as I do.... I trust we may be very quiet here for
    some time, and then one must gather courage for London and the
    battle of life again. Our quiet here will not be without
    interruption, for there will be early in November a week or so of
    Cabinets, for which we shall go to town, and at the end of November
    Parliament may be obliged to meet....

    Your ever affectionate sister,


    _Lady John to Lord John Russell_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _December_ 9, 1853

    Your letter just come, dearest ... I don't think I am tired by
    colds, but indeed it is true that I think constantly and uneasily
    of your political position, _never, never_, as to whether this
    or that course will place you highest in the world's estimation. I
    am sure you know all I care about is that you should do what is
    most right in the sight of God.

It may be well to remind the reader at this point of the diplomatic
confusions and difficulties which led to the Crimean War. The Eastern
Question originally grew out of a quarrel between France and Russia
concerning the possession of certain holy places in Palestine; both the
Latin and the Greek Church wanted to control them. The Sultan had offered
to mediate, but neither party had been satisfied by his intervention. In
the beginning of 1853 it became known in England that the Czar was looking
forward to the collapse of Turkey, and that he had actually proposed to the
English Ambassador that we should take Crete and Greece, while he took the
European provinces of Turkey. In Russia, hostility to Turkey rose partly
from sympathy with the Greek Church, which was persecuted in Turkey, and
partly from the desire to possess an outlet into the Mediterranean. The
English Ministers naturally would have nothing to do with the Czar's
proposal to partition Turkey. Russia's attitude towards Turkey was
attributed to the aggressive motive alone. Nicholas then demanded from the
Sultan the right of protecting the Sultan's Christian subjects himself, and
when this was refused, he occupied Moldavia and Wallachia with his troops.
England's reply was to send a fleet up the Dardanelles.

A consultation of the four great Powers, England, France, Austria, and
Prussia, for the prevention of war, ended in the dispatch of the "Vienna
Note," which contained the stipulation that the Sultan should protect in
future all Christians of the Greek Church in his kingdom. The Czar accepted
the terms of the Note, but the Sultan, instigated by Sir Stratford Canning,
the British Ambassador at Constantinople, refused them. The Czar then
declared war, and though the Turks were successful on the Danube, he
succeeded in destroying the Turkish fleet at Sinope. This success produced
the greatest indignation in England and France, and in March, 1854, they
declared war upon Russia together.

Before these events Palmerston had resigned on the ground that the attitude
of the Government towards Russia was not sufficiently stiff and peremptory;
for, from the first, Lord Aberdeen had never contemplated the possibility
of war with Russia. But before the month was out Palmerston had resumed
office. It will be seen from the following letter, written by Lord John's
private secretary, Mr. Boileau, that disapproval of the Government's
negotiations with Russia was not the only motive attributed by Whigs to
Palmerston in resigning. Lord John had joined the Ministry on the condition
that he should bring forward his measure of reform; from the first most of
his colleagues were very lukewarm towards it, but Palmerston was
definitely, though covertly, antagonistic,

    _Mr. John Boileau to Lady Melgund_

    FOREIGN OFFICE, _December_ 19, 1853

    You will be glad to know something about Pam's resignation and the
    _on dits_ here--if, as I hope, you are safely arrived at
    Minto.... His own paper, the _Morning Post_, will do him more
    harm than good, I think. It will not allow that Reform has anything
    to do with his resignation--swears he is an out-and-out
    Reformer--and that his differing from the policy of the Cabinet on
    the Eastern Question is the only reason. Now this, in my humble
    judgment, I believe not to be the case. I feel certain, in fact I
    feel sure, that he goes out solely on the question of Reform,
    having been opposed to it _in toto_ from the first moment of
    the discussion on it in the Cabinet, and though he went on with
    them for a time, they came to something that he could not swallow.
    As to the question of the East, if he does differ from the Cabinet
    it is no more than Lord John or several others might say if they
    went out to-morrow.... The _Times_ of to-day has a very severe
    article against him. The _Daily News_ is very sensible and
    implies great confidence in Lord John. The _Chronicle_ is calm
    in its disapprobation of Pam--the _Morning Advertiser_, of all
    papers! is the most in favour, and is crying Pam up for Prime
    Minister already, and gives extracts from county papers to show how
    popular he is. The _Morning Herald_ is silent on the subject.
    I send you these flying remarks, as I dare say you will see nothing
    at Minto except perhaps the _Times_, and any news in the
    country goes a great way.... London is very cold and painfully dull
    without 24 Chester Square, and you must write to me very often. You
    see _I_ have begun very well....

Lord John, however, insisted on bringing forward his Bill in spite of
opposition from his colleagues and many of the Government's supporters. He
felt that the party was bound to keep its promise to the country, while his
colleagues urged that the House of Commons was so much occupied by the war
that they had no time to consider such a Bill. As the House of Commons was
not conducting the war itself the excuse was shallow. Lord John threatened
to resign unless he was allowed to introduce his measure, for he considered
the honour of the Ministry and his own honour at stake. From the following
letters it will be seen how hard he fought for this measure, and with what
poignant regret he found himself compelled at last to choose between
letting it drop and resignation. His resignation would have meant a serious
shock to a Ministry already in disgrace through their mismanagement of the
war; rather than embarrass them further at such a crisis he chose the
lesser evil of abandoning his Bill. But by yielding to the urgent appeals
of his colleagues and continuing in office, his position became from day to
day increasingly difficult. Finally, he resigned abruptly, for reasons
which have been interpreted unfavourably by almost every historian who has
written upon this period.

    _Lady John Russell to Lady Mary Abercromby_

    LONDON, _February_ 14, 1854

    I remember almost crying in Minto days, when you were twelve,
    because I thought it past the prime of life. What shall I do now
    that you are striking forty-three? I believe you have long ago made
    up your mind to the changing and fading and ending of all things
    here below, joys as well as sorrows, childhood, youth and age, hope
    and fear and doubt, and that you have learnt to look forward rather
    than back; but to me this is often a struggle still; and when the
    struggle ends the wrong way, how much there is to make my heart
    sink within me! Chiefly, as you may guess, the deepening lines on
    the face of the dearest husband that ever blessed a home, and the
    comparison of him as he now is with him as he was when we married.

    Yesterday was a great day to us; the Reform Bill was brought in. I
    suppose I should be better pleased if there was more enthusiasm. I
    should certainly have a better opinion of human nature, if those
    who have cried out most loudly for Reform did not set their
    cowardly faces against it now; but at the same time there is a
    happy pride in seeing John's honest and patriotic perseverance in
    what he is convinced is right, through evil report and good report,
    in season and out of season.

    _Lady John Russell to Lady Elizabeth Romilly_

    _February_ 28, 1854

    DEAREST LIZZY,--To get out of my difficulty as to which of my other
    three correspondents to write to, I give my half-hour to you this
    morning. I must begin by thanking you all with all my heart for
    your most welcome congratulations on all that John has said and
    done since Parliament met, and especially his great speech in
    answer to Layard. It is indeed a happiness to hear such praise from
    people whose praise is worth having; but I have now learned, if I
    had not long ago, how worthless many of the congratulations are,
    which I receive after a good speech which has set the Ministers
    firmer in their seats. It may be right the week after to make one
    which has a contrary effect, and then the congratulators become
    revilers. I knew when I began to write that I should be
    disagreeable, but had hoped not to be so as early as the second
    page. However, having got into the complaining mood, I will not
    hurry out of it; and I shall be surprised if you do not admit that
    I have some reason for my complaints.

    For the last ten days John has been urged and pressed and
    threatened and coaxed and assailed by all the various arts of every
    variety of politician to induce him to give up Reform! Mind,
    _I_ say give up, where _they_ say put off, because I know
    they mean give up; though cowards as they are in this as in
    everything else, they _dare_ not say what they mean. Will you
    believe that the language poured into my pained and wounded and
    offended but very helpless ears, day after day, by official
    friends, is to the effect that the country is apathetic on Reform,
    and that therefore it should not be proceeded with; that Reform is
    a measure calculated to produce excitement, conflict, disturbance
    in the country, and therefore it should not be proceeded with; that
    John having given a pledge was bound, "oh yes, certainly," to
    redeem it, and that all the world will agree he _has_ most
    nobly redeemed it, if he lets his Bill fall on the floor of the
    House of Commons to-morrow, never to be picked up again; that if he
    proceeds with it, he will be universally reproached for allowing
    personal hostility to Lord Palmerston to influence him to the
    injury of the country; that his character is so high that if he
    gave it up, it would be utterly impossible for any creature to
    raise a doubt of his sincerity in bringing it forward; that
    dissolution or resignation are revolution and ruin and disgrace;
    that the caballers are wrong, quite wrong, but that we must look at
    the general question and the possible results (a hackneyed
    expression which may sound wise but of which I too well know the
    drift); that it may often be very honourable to abandon friends and
    supporters with whom we agree, to conciliate the shabbies with whom
    we differ; that, of course, they would be too happy to be out of
    office, but people must not consult their own wishes; that I must
    be aware that Lord John is supposed sometimes to be a little
    obstinate, etc. In short, it all comes to this, that many M.P.'s
    are afraid of losing their seats by a dissolution, and many others
    whose boroughs are disfranchised hate the Reform Bill, and many
    more are anti-Reformers by nature, and all these combine to stifle
    it.... And to tell Lord John that really he has such a quantity of
    spare character that it can bear a little damaging! I am ashamed
    and sick of such things, and should think my country no longer
    worth caring for, but for those brave men who have gone off to
    fight for her with a spirit worthy of themselves, and but for those
    lower classes in which Frederick [41] tells me to put my faith....
    I must stop, not without fear that you may think me blind to the
    very real evil and danger of dissolution or resignation at the
    beginning of a great war. Indeed I am not--but those who see
    nothing but these dangers are taking the very way to lead us into
    them.... Lord Aberdeen is firm as a rock; it is due to him to say
    so. How shall I prevent my boys growing up to be cowards and
    selfish like the rest? You see what a humour I am in.... I never
    _let out_ to anybody. When my friends give all this noble
    advice I sit to all appearance like Patience on a monument, but not
    feeling like her at all--keeping silence because there is not time
    to begin at the first rudiments of morality, and there would be no
    use in anything higher up. Good-bye, poor Lizzy, doomed to suffer
    under my bad moods. God bless you all.

    Yours ever, F.R.

[41] Colonel Romilly, husband of Lady Elizabeth Romilly, and son of
Sir Samuel Romilly.

    _Lord Granville to Lady John Russell_

    _February_ 28, 1854

    I have just heard that Lord John has consented to put off Reform
    till after Easter. It must have been a great personal sacrifice to
    him, but I am delighted for his own sake and the public cause that
    he has done it. There is no doubt but that nearly all who cry for
    delay are at bottom enemies to Reform. Reform is not incompatible
    with war, and it is not clear that a dissolution would be dangerous
    during its continuance, but an enormous majority of the House of
    Commons have persuaded themselves of the contrary.

    In all probability the apathetic approved of the Reform Bill only
    because it was out of the question for the present. Newcastle
    agrees with me in thinking that a wall has been built which, at
    present, could not have been knocked down by the few who really
    desire Reform.

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _April_ 8, 1854

    Painfully anxious day. Cabinet to decide on Reform or no Reform
    this session.

    Came here early with the children, wishing to be cheerful for
    John's sake, and knowing how much power Pembroke Lodge and the
    children have to make me so. Found this place most lovely; the day
    warm and bright as June; the children like larks escaped from a
    cage. At half-past seven John came looking worn and sad--no Reform,
    and no resignation! Not a man in the Cabinet agreed with him that
    it would be best to go on with Reform; though several would have
    consented had he insisted, but he did not. Not one would hear
    either of his resignation or of Lord Palmerston's. In short--the
    present Ministry at any price. John dissatisfied with his
    colleagues, and worse with himself. May God watch over him and
    guide him.

    LONDON, _April_ 11, 1854

    The great day is over, and thank God John has stood the trial, and
    even risen, I believe, in the estimation of his followers and of
    men in general. The regrets, disapprobation, despair, reproaches
    that assailed him from the various sections of his party, on the
    rumours of his resignation, were of a kind that would have made it
    wrong in him to persist; for they proved that the heartiest
    reformers were against it, and would uphold him in remaining in the

    There was deep silence when he rose. It was soon plain that the
    disposition of his supporters was good; and throughout his noble,
    simple, generous, touching speech he was loudly cheered by them,
    and often by all sides.

    At the close there were a few words about his own position: he said
    that the course he was taking was open to suspicion from those who
    supported him--that if he had done anything--Here his voice failed
    him, and there burst forth the most deafening cheers from all parts
    of the House, which lasted for a minute or two, till he was able to
    go on. If he had done anything for the cause of Reform he still
    hoped for their confidence. If not, his influence would be weakened
    and destroyed, and he could no longer lead them. This was the
    substance--not the words. It was a great night for him. He risked
    more than perhaps ought to be risked, but he has lost nothing, I
    trust and believe, and I hope he has gained more than the
    enthusiasm of a day. May God ever guide and bless him.

    _Mr. George Moffatt, M.P., to Lady John Russell_

    103 EATON SQUARE, _April_ 12, 1854

    DEAR LADY JOHN RUSSELL,--Pardon my saying one word upon the
    touching event of last evening. A parliamentary experience of nine
    years has never shown me so striking an instance of respectful
    homage and cordial sympathy as was then elicited. I know that the
    unbidden tears gushed to my cheeks, and looking round I could see
    scores of other careless, worldly men struck by the same
    emotion--and even the Speaker (as he subsequently admitted to me)
    was affected in precisely the same manner. The German-toy face of
    the Caucasian was of course as immovable as usual, but Mr. Walpole
    wept outright. I sincerely trust that the kindly enthusiasm of this
    moment may have in some measure compensated for the vexations and
    annoyances of the last two months.

    Believe me, your faithful servant,


    _Mr. John Boileau to Lady Melgund_

    LONDON, _April_ 12, 1854

    I wish I could write you a long letter giving an account of last
    night in the House of Commons.... I would not have missed last
    night for the world. It was a melancholy instance of what a public
    servant in these days may have to go through, at the same time such
    a noble example of patriotism and self-sacrifice as I believe there
    is not another man in England capable of giving--and though I
    cannot yet resign my feeling that it would have been better in the
    end both for Lord John and the Liberal party had he resigned, at
    present I have nothing to do but to admire, love, and respect more
    than ever the man who could, for the sake of his country and what
    he believes in his judgment to be the best for her, go through as
    painful a struggle as he has.... The scene in the House itself I
    shall never forget--the sudden pause when he began to speak of
    himself and his position--the sobs, and finally the burst of tears,
    and the almost ineffectual attempt to finish the remaining
    sentences, and at last obliged to give it up and sit down exhausted
    with the protracted struggle and the strain of nerve. He was loudly
    cheered from both sides of the House.

    _Lord John Russell to Mr. John Abel Smith_ [42]

    _April_ 12, 1854

    DEAR SMITH,--As I find some rumours have been mentioned to Lady
    John, false in themselves and injurious to me, I beg to assure you
    that it has been the greatest comfort to me to find that I received
    from her the best encouragement and support in the course which I
    ultimately adopted. She could not fail to perceive and to
    sympathize in the deep distress which the prospect of abandoning
    the Reform Bill caused me, and it was my chief consolation during a
    trying period to find at home regard for my fame and reputation as
    a sincere and earnest reformer. That regard has now been shown by
    the House of Commons generally, but there is no man in that House
    on whose friendship I more confidently rely, and with good reason,
    than yourself.

    Yours ever truly,


[42] Lord John's election agent.

    _Lord Spencer to Lady John Russell_

    LEAMINGTON, _April_ 14, 1854

    DEAR LADY JOHN,--I cannot resist giving you the trouble to read a
    few lines from me on Lord John's speech the other night.
    Remembering the conversation we had on the subject of the proposed
    Reform Bill, when I ventured, perhaps too boldly and too roundly,
    to let out my unworthy opinion in a contrary sense, I think I ought
    to tell you that I had arrived some time ago at the same conclusion
    which Lord John announced to the House of Commons the other night,
    and I really believe if I had not, his reasons would have made me.
    I never read a more convincing speech, and I never read so
    affecting a one. No man living, I believe, could have made that
    speech but your husband, and it gives me great pleasure to offer
    you my heartfelt congratulations upon it.... Pray forgive me, dear
    Lady John, for intruding thus on your time, and believe me,

    Very faithfully yours,


    _Lady John Russell to Lord Minto_,

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _April_ 24, 1854

    MY DEAREST PAPA,--... I must dash at once into my subject, having
    only a quarter of an hour to spend on it. It is that of John's
    position; he has, I believe, raised his character in the country by
    the withdrawal of the Reform Bill. His motives are above suspicion
    and unsuspected; whereas, owing to the singular state of the public
    mind, it seems pretty sure that they _would_ have been, though
    most unjustly, suspected, had he persisted in his resignation. But
    in the Cabinet I do _not_ think his position improved, rather
    the reverse. The policy of the timid and the shabby and the
    ambitious and the cunning and the illiberal triumphed; and all
    experience teaches me that John, having made a great sacrifice,
    will be expected to make every other that _apparent
    expediency_ may induce his colleagues to require. He will always
    be pressed and urged and taunted with obstinacy, etc., and told
    that he will ruin his reputation, if for the sake of one question
    on which he may happen to differ with them, he exposed his country
    to the awful danger of a change of Ministry.... It is for the
    avowed purpose of carrying on the war with vigour that Reform and
    other things are thrown aside. The Ministry has not asked the House
    of Commons or the country to declare, but has declared itself
    indispensable to the country, and the only possible Ministry
    competent to carry on the war. But if it has already proved, and if
    it daily goes on to prove, itself incompetent in time of peace to
    carry on measures of domestic improvement, and more specially
    incompetent either to prepare for or prosecute a great war, has
    John done right, has he done what the welfare of the country
    requires, in lending himself so long as its indispensable prop? It
    is not incompetent from want of ability, but of unity.... He is
    considered by them to have wedded himself to them for better for
    worse more closely than ever by the withdrawal of Reform.... The
    wretched fears and delays and doubts which have, I firmly believe,
    first produced this war, and then made its beginning of so little
    promise, have had no effect as warnings for the future.... There
    will probably soon be great pressure put upon him to take
    office.... Nothing but the fact of his having no office, of his
    only part in the Government being _work,_ has made him
    struggle along a very dangerous way unattacked and unhurt.... With
    his opinion of Lord Aberdeen's Ministry he would be _doing
    wrong,_ though from no worse motives than excess of deference to
    those with whom he acts, were he, after giving up Reform, to give
    up the degree of independence which he now has.... You can now
    partly conceive how doubtful I feel (and he does too) whether the
    withdrawal of Reform will ultimately be an advantage, though it is
    obvious that a break-up on that was more to be deprecated than on
    almost any other subject. John said this morning of his own accord
    that he feared he had been wrong in ever joining this Ministry. I
    wake every morning with the fear of some terrible national disaster
    before night, of disasters which could be borne if they were
    unavoidable, but will be unbearable if they could have been
    avoided. Do _not,_ pray, think me a croaker without good
    reason for croaking. The greatness of the occasion is not

    Ever, my dearest Papa,

    Your affectionate child,


Matters were coming to a crisis in the Cabinet. The autumn and early winter
of 1854 brought the victories of Alma, Balaclava, and Inkerman. As the
country grew prouder of its soldiers its indignation at the way the civil
side of the war had been organized increased. The incompetence of the War
Office made the Government extremely unpopular, and a motion was brought
forward in the House of Commons charging them with the mismanagement of the
war. Directly after Mr. Roebuck had given notice of a motion for a
Committee of Inquiry, Lord John wrote to Lord Aberdeen that since he could
not conscientiously oppose the motion, he must resign his office. The view
which most historians have taken of this step is that it was an act of
cowardly desertion on his part. As a member of the Government, he was as
responsible as his colleagues for what had been done, and by resigning he
was admitting that they deserved disgrace. Quotations from two important
historical books will show the view which has been generally taken of his

Lord Morley, in his "Life of Gladstone," says:

    ... When Parliament assembled on January 23, 1855, Mr. Roebuck on
    the first night of the session gave notice of a motion for a
    Committee of Inquiry. Lord John Russell attended to the formal
    business, and when the House was up went home, accompanied by Sir
    Charles Wood. Nothing of consequence passed between the two
    colleagues, and no word was said to Wood in the direction of
    withdrawal. The same evening, as the Prime Minister was sitting in
    his drawing-room, a red box was brought in to him by his son,
    containing Lord John Russell's resignation. He was as much amazed
    as Lord Newcastle, smoking his evening pipe of tobacco in his
    coach, was amazed by the news that the battle of Marston Moor had
    begun. Nothing has come to light since to set aside the severe
    judgment pronounced upon this proceeding by the universal opinion
    of contemporaries, including Lord John's own closest political
    allies. That a Minister should run away from a hostile motion upon
    affairs for which responsibility was collective, and this without a
    word of consultation with a single colleague, is a transaction
    happily without precedent in the history of modern English
    Cabinets. [43]

[43] Morley's "Life of Gladstone," vol. i, p. 521. See also Lord Stanmore's
"Earl of Aberdeen," chap. X.

Mr. Herbert Paul, in his brilliant "History of Modern England," gives a
version of this occurrence, which, on the whole, is hardly less harsh
towards Lord John.

Well might Lord Palmerston complain of such behaviour as embarrassing. It
was crippling. It furnished the Opposition with unanswerable arguments.
"Here," they could say, "is the second man in your Cabinet, in his own
estimation the first, knowing all that you know, and he says 'that an
inquiry by the House is essential. How then can you deny or dispute it?'"
In a foot-note he adds, "Lord John offered to withdraw his resignation if
the Duke of Newcastle would retire [from the War Office] in favour of
Palmerston. It had been settled before Christmas between Lord Aberdeen and
the Duke that this change should be made. But no one else was aware of the
arrangement, and Lord Aberdeen, though he had assented to it, declined to
carry it out as the result of a bargain with Lord John."

Now both these versions leave out an important fact in the private history
of the Aberdeen Cabinet. Lord John had on two occasions at least,
subsequent to giving way upon the question of the Reform Bill, tried to
resign. Only the entreaties of the Queen and his colleagues had induced him
to remain in the Ministry; and then, it was understood, only until some
striking success of arms should make his resignation of less consequence to
them. But Sevastopol did not fall, and Lord John hung on, urging in the
meantime, emphatically and repeatedly, that the efficiency of the war
administration must be increased, that the control must be transferred from
the hands of the two Secretaries of War to the most vigorous Minister,
Palmerston. At the Cabinet meeting of December 6th, Lord John desisted from
pressing this particular change, owing to Palmerston having written to him
that he thought there were "no broad and distinct grounds" for removing the
Duke of Newcastle, and confined himself, after criticizing the general
conduct of the war, to announcing his intention of resigning in any case
after Christmas. When it was objected that such an announcement was
inconsistent with his remaining leader of the House of Commons till then,
he offered to resign at once. He would have gladly done so had they not
implored him to remain. On December 30th he drew up a memorandum of his
criticisms upon the conduct of the war; and on January 3rd he wrote to Lord
Aberdeen: "Nothing can be less satisfactory than the result of the recent
Cabinets. Unless you will direct measures for yourself, I see no hope for
the efficient prosecution of the war...."[44]

[44] For a full account of these incidents the reader must be referred to
Sir Spencer Walpole's "Life of Lord John Russell," chap. xxv.

When, therefore, on January 23rd, the Opposition demanded an inquiry, he
was in a very awkward position. He had either to bar the way to changes he
had been urging himself all along, or he was obliged to admit openly that
he agreed with the critics of the Government. Had he chosen the first
alternative he would have been untrue to his conviction that a change of
method in conducting the war was absolutely essential to his country's
success; yet in choosing the second he was turning his back on his
colleagues. No doubt the custom of the Constitution asks either complete
acceptance of common responsibility from individual Ministers or their
immediate resignation. Lord John had protested and protested, but he had
_not_ resigned; he was therefore responsible for what had been done
while he was in the Cabinet. He had not resigned because he thought it bad
for the country that the Government should be weakened while the war was at
its height, and he had hoped that by staying in the Cabinet he would be
able to induce the Ministry to alter its methods of conducting the war.
When he discovered that, in spite of reiterated protests, he could not
effect these all-important changes from within, and when the House of
Commons began to clamour for them from without, he decided that no
considerations of loyalty to colleagues ought to make him stand between the
country and changes so urgently desirable. It may be said that since he had
acted all along on the ground that in keeping the strength of the
Government intact lay the best chance of helping to bring the war to a
successful and speedy conclusion, he was inconsistent, to say the least, in
deserting his colleagues at a juncture which made their defeat inevitable.
But the inconsistency is only superficial; when he once had lost hope that
the Government could be got to alter their methods of conducting the war,
their defeat and dissolution, which he had previously striven to prevent,
became the lesser of two evils. It was not an evil at all, as it turned
out, for the dissolution brought the right man--Palmerston--into power.
Lord John's mistake was in thinking that his long-suffering support of a
loose-jointed, ill-working Ministry, like the Aberdeen Ministry, could have
ever transformed it into a strong one.

Lord Wriothesley Russell, [45] whom Lady John wrote of years before as "the
mildest and best of men," sent her a letter on February 8, 1855, containing
the following passages:

    It is impossible to hear all these abominable attacks in silence.
    It makes me sad as well as indignant to hear the world speaking as
    if straight-forward honesty were a thing incredible--impossible. A
    man, and above all a man to whom truth is no new thing, says simply
    that he cannot assent to what he believes to be false, and the
    whole world says, What can he mean by it--treachery, trickery,
    cowardice, ambition, what is it? My hope is that our statesmen may
    learn from John's dignified conduct a lesson which does not appear
    hitherto to have occurred to them--that even the fate of a Ministry
    will not justify a lie. We all admire in fiction the stern
    uprightness of Jeanie Deans: "One word would have saved me, and she
    would not speak it." ... Whether that word would have saved them is
    a question--it was their only chance--and he would not speak it;
    that word revolted his conscience, it would have been false. I know
    nothing grander than the sublime simplicity of that refusal.

[45] Lord John's stepbrother.

Nearly two years later, Lord John Russell, in a letter to his brother, the
Duke of Bedford, said:

    ... The question with me was how to resist Roebuck's motion. I do
    not think I was wrong in substance, but in form I was. I ought to
    have gone to the Cabinet and have explained that I could not vote
    against inquiry, and only have resigned if I had not carried the
    Cabinet with me. I could not have taken Palmerston's line of making
    a feeble defence.

How absurd it is to suppose that cowardice could have dictated Lord John's
decision at this time, his behaviour in circumstances to be recounted in
the next chapter shows. Unpopular as his resignation made him with
politicians, it was nothing to the storm of abuse which he was forced to
endure when he chose, a few months later, to stand--now an imputed
trimmer--for the sake of preserving what was best in a policy he had not
originally approved.

The troubles and differences of the Coalition Ministry did not lessen Lord
John's regard for Lord Aberdeen, of whom he wrote in his last years: "I
believe no man has entered public life in my time more pure in his personal
views, and more free from grasping ambition or selfish consideration."

Mr. Rollo Russell, on the publication of Mr. John Morley's "Life of
Gladstone," wrote the following letter to the _Times_ in vindication
of his father's action with regard to Mr. Roebuck's motion:

    DUNROZEL, HASLEMERE, SURREY, _November,_ 1903

    SIR,--In his admirable biography of Mr. Gladstone, Mr. Morley has
    given, no doubt without any intention of injury, an impression
    which is not historically correct by his account of my father's
    resignation in January, 1855, on the notice of Mr. Roebuck's motion
    for a Committee of Inquiry. I do not wish to apply to his account
    the same measure which he applies by quoting an ephemeral
    observation of Mr. Greville to my father's speech, but I do
    maintain that "the general effect is very untrue."

    Before being judged a man is entitled to the consideration both of
    his character and of the evidence on his side. In the chapter to
    which I allude there is no reference to the records by which my
    father's action has been largely justified. There is no mention, I
    think, of these facts: that my father had again and again during
    the Crimean War urged upon the Cabinet a redistribution of offices,
    the more efficient prosecution of the war, the provision of proper
    food and clothing for the Army, which was then undergoing terrible
    privations and sufferings, a better concert between the different
    Departments, and between the English and French camps, and,
    especially, the appointment of a Minister of War of vigour and
    authority. "As the welfare of the Empire and the success of the
    present conflict are concerned," he wrote at the end of November to
    the head of the Government, "the conduct of the war ought to be
    placed in the hands of the fittest man who can be found for the
    post." He laid the greatest stress on more efficient

    The miseries of the campaign increased. On January 30, 1855, Lord
    Malmesbury wrote: "The accounts from the Crimea are dreadful. Only
    18,000 effective men; 14,000 are dead and 11,000 sick. The same
    neglect which has hitherto prevailed continues and is shown in

    He held very strong views as to the duty of the House of Commons in
    regard to these calamities. "Inquiry is the proper duty and
    function of the House of Commons.... Inquiry is at the root of the
    powers of the House of Commons."

    He had been induced by great pressure from the highest quarters to
    join the Cabinet, and on patriotic grounds remained in office
    against his desire. He continually but unsuccessfully advocated
    Reform. Several times he asked to be allowed to resign.

    When, therefore, Mr. Roebuck brought forward a motion embodying the
    opinion which he had frequently urged on his colleagues, he could
    not pretend the opposite views and resist the motion for inquiry.

    The resignation was not so sudden as represented. On the 6th of
    December, 1854, when the Cabinet met, he declared that he was
    determined to retire after Christmas; after some conference with
    his colleagues, he wrote on December 16th to Lord Lansdowne: "I do
    not feel justified in taking upon myself to retire from the
    Government on that account [the War Office] at this moment." It is
    not the case that a severe judgment was pronounced upon these
    proceedings by the "universal" opinion of his contemporaries. His
    brother. Lord Wriothesley Russell, wrote: "It makes one sad to hear
    the world speaking as if straightforward honesty were a thing
    incredible, impossible." And the Duke of Bedford: "My mind has been
    deeply pained by seeing your pure patriotic motives maligned and
    misconstrued after such a life devoted to the political service of
    the public." But the whole world was not against him. Among many
    letters of approval, I find one strongly supporting his action with
    regard to the Army in the Crimea and his course in quitting the
    Ministry, and quoting a favourable article in _The Examiner;_
    another strongly approving, and stating: "I have this morning
    conversed with more than fifty gentlemen in the City, and they
    _all_ agree with me that in following the dictates of your
    conscience you acted the part most worthy of your exalted name and
    character.... We recognize the importance of the principle which
    you yourself proclaimed, that there can be no sound politics
    without sound morality." Mr. John Dillon wrote: "To have opposed
    Mr. Roebuck's motion and then to have defended what you thought and
    knew to have been indefensible would have been not a fault but a

    Another wrote expressing the satisfaction and gratitude of the
    great majority of the inhabitants of his district in regard to his
    "efforts to cure the sad evils encompassing our brave countrymen;"
    and another wrote: "The last act of your official life was one of
    the most honourable of the sacrifices to duty which have so
    eminently distinguished you both as a man and a Minister."

    There was no doubt a common outcry against the act of resignation
    at the time, but the outcry against certain Ministers of the
    Peelite group was still louder, and their conduct, as Mr. Morley
    relates, was pronounced to be "actually worse than Lord John's."
    "Bad as Lord John's conduct was," wrote Lord Malmesbury on February
    22, 1855, "this [of Graham, Gladstone, and Herbert] is a thousand
    times worse."

    The real question, however, is not what the public thought at the
    time, but what a fuller knowledge of the facts will determine, and
    I contend that my father's dissatisfaction with the manner in which
    the war was conducted, and his failure to induce the Cabinet to
    supply an effective remedy, justified if it did not compel his

    Mr. Roebuck's motion accelerated a resignation which the Prime
    Minister knew had been imminent during the preceding ten weeks.

    My father himself admitted that he made great mistakes, that for
    the manner of his resignation he was justly blamed, and that he
    ought never to have joined the Coalition Ministry. He had a deep
    sense, I may here say, of Mr. Gladstone's great generosity towards
    him on all occasions. At this distance of time the complication of
    affairs and of opinions then partly hidden can be better estimated,
    and the conduct of seceders from the Government cannot in fairness
    be visited with the reprobation which was natural to
    contemporaries. The floating reproaches of the period in regard to
    my father's action seem to imply, if justified, that he ought to
    have publicly defended the conduct of military affairs which he had
    persistently and heartily condemned. It appears to me that not only
    his candid nature, but the story of his life, refutes these
    reproaches, as clearly as similar reproaches are refuted by the
    life of Gladstone.

    Yours faithfully,




The debate upon Roebuck's motion of inquiry lasted two nights, and at its
close the Aberdeen Ministry fell, beaten by a majority of 157. Historians
have seen in this incident much more than the fall of a Ministry.

Behind the question whether the civil side of the Crimean campaign had been
mismanaged lay the wider issue whether the Executive should allow its
duties to be delegated to a committee of the House of Commons. "The
question which had to be answered," says Mr. Bright in his "History of
England," "was whether a great war could be carried to a successful
conclusion under the blaze of publicity, when every action was exposed not
only to the criticism and discussion of the Press, but also to the more
formidable and dangerous demands of party warfare within the walls of

After both Lord John and Lord Derby had failed to form a Government, the
Queen sent for Lord Palmerston.

Lady John, when her husband was summoned to form a Government, wrote to him
from Pembroke Lodge on February 3, 1855:

    All the world must feel that the burden laid upon you, though a
    very glorious, is a very heavy one.... Politics have never yet been
    what they ought to be; men who would do nothing mean themselves do
    not punish meanness in others when it can serve their party or
    their country, and excuse their connivance on that ground. That
    ground itself gives way when fairly tried. You are made for better
    days than these. I know how much better you really are than me....
    You have it in your power to purify and to reform much that is
    morally wrong--much that you would not tolerate in your own
    household.... "Whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are
    lovely, whatsoever things are honest," on these things take your
    stand--hold them fast, let them be your pride--let your Ministry,
    as far as in you lies, be made of such men, that the more closely
    its deeds are looked into, the more it will be admired.... Pray for
    strength and wisdom from above, and God bless and prosper you,

But Lord John failing to find sufficient support, Lord Palmerston became
Prime Minister. His first Cabinet was a coalition. It included, besides
some new Whig Ministers, all the members of the previous Cabinet with the
exception of Lord John, Lord Aberdeen, and the Duke of Newcastle. But on
Palmerston accepting the decision of the last Parliament in favour of a
Committee of Inquiry, Gladstone, Sidney Herbert, and Sir James Graham
resigned; their reason being that the admission of such a precedent for
subordinating the Executive to a committee of the House was a grave danger
to the Constitution.

It looked as though the Ministry would fall, when Lord John, who had
previously refused office, to the surprise and delight of the Whigs,
accepted the Colonies. His motives in taking office will be found in the
following letters. He had already accepted a mission as British
Plenipotentiary at the Conference of Vienna, summoned by Austria to
conclude terms of peace between the Allies and Russia. He did not therefore
return at once to take his place in the Cabinet, but continued on his
mission. Its consequences were destined to bring down on him such a storm
of abuse as the careers of statesmen seldom survive. When Gladstone and the
Peelites resigned, Palmerston's Ministry ceased to be a coalition and
became a Whig Cabinet. The fact that Lord John came to Palmerston's rescue,
that he accepted without hesitation a subordinate office and served under
Palmerston's leadership in the Commons, shows that Lord John's reluctance
to serve in the first instance under Lord Aberdeen could not have been due
to a scruple of pride; nor could his obstinate insistence upon his own way
inside the Cabinet, of which the Peelites had complained in the early days
of Lord Aberdeen's Ministry, have been caused by a desire to make the most
of his own importance.

    _Lord John to Lady John Russell_

    PARIS, _February_ 23, 1855

    I have accepted office in the present Ministry. Whatever objections
    you may feel to this decision, I have taken it on the ground that
    the country is in great difficulty, and that every personal
    consideration ought to be waived. I am sure I give a Liberal
    Government the best chance of continuing by so acting. When I come
    home, I shall have weight enough in the Cabinet through my
    experience and position. In the meantime I go on to Vienna.... I
    shall ascertain whether peace can be made on honourable terms, and
    having done this, shall return home.

    The office I have accepted is the Colonial; but as I do _not_
    lead in the Commons, it will not be at all too much for my health.

    _Mr. John Abel Smith to Lady John Russell

    February_ 24, 1855

    I received this morning, to my great surprise, a letter from Lord
    John announcing his acceptance of the Seals of the Colonial
    Department.... I believe it to be unquestionably the fact that by
    this remarkable act of self-sacrifice he has saved Lord
    Palmerston's Government and preserved to the Liberal party the
    tenure of power.... I never saw Brooks's more thoroughly excited
    than this evening, and some old hard-hearted stagers talking of
    Lord John's conduct with tears in their eyes.

    _Lord John to Lady John Russell_

    BRUSSELS, _February 25,_ 1855

    The wish to support a Whig Government under difficulties, the
    desire to be reunited to my friends, with whom when separated by
    two benches I could have had no intimate alliance, the perilous
    state of the country with none but a pure Derby Government in
    prospect, have induced me to take this step. No doubt my own
    position was better and safer as an independent man; but I have
    thrown all such considerations to the winds.... I am very much
    afraid of Vienna for the children; but if you can arrive and keep
    well, it will be to me a great delight to see you all.... I have
    just seen the King, who is very gracious and kind. He thinks I may
    make peace.

    _Lady John to Lord John Russell_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _February 26,_ 1855

    Mr. West called yesterday, and was full of admiration of the
    magnanimity of your conduct, but not of its wisdom. J.A. Smith
    writes me a kind letter telling me of the delight of your late
    calumniators at Brooks's. Frederick Romilly says London society is
    charmed. He touched me very much. He spoke with tears in his eyes
    of the generosity of your motives, and of the irreparable blow to
    yourself and the country from your abandonment of an honourable and
    independent position for a renewal of official ties.... Papa is
    very grave and unhappy, doing justice of course to your motives,
    but fearing that in sacrificing yourself you sacrifice the best
    interests of the country.

    _Lord John to Lady John Russell_

    BERLIN, _March 1,_ 1855

    It was necessary in order to have any effect to decide at once on
    my acceptance or refusal of office. I considered the situation of
    affairs to be a very serious one. I had hoped that Lord Palmerston,
    with the assistance of the Peelites, might go through the session.
    Suddenly the secession took place, producing a state of affairs
    such as no man ever remembered. Confidence in the Government was
    shaken to a very great extent by the mortality and misery of our
    Army in the Crimea. I could not resist inquiry; but having yielded
    that point, it seemed dastardly to leave men, who had nothing to do
    with sending the expedition to the Crimea, charged with the duty of
    getting the Army out of the difficulty. Yet it was clear that Lord
    Palmerston's Government without my help could hardly stand, and
    thus the Government of 1854 would have been convicted of deserting
    the task they had undertaken to perform. There remained the
    personal difficulty of my serving under Palmerston in the House of
    Commons; for my going to the House of Lords would have been only a
    personal distinction to me and would not have helped Palmerston in
    his difficulty. In the circumstances of the case I thought it right
    to throw aside every consideration of ease, dignity, and comfort.
    If I had not been responsible for the original expedition to the
    Crimea, I would certainly not have taken the office I have now
    accepted. Still, it brings the scattered remnants of the Liberal
    party together and enables them to try once more whether they can
    govern with success.... Lord Minto is now satisfied that I have
    followed a public call; for public men must sacrifice themselves in
    a great emergency. It was not a time to think of self.... We had an
    account of the serious illness of the Emperor of Russia. If he
    should die, I should have good hopes of peace....

    March 2nd. News come of the Emperor's death. I hope it may be a
    good event for Europe, but it makes me sad at present. "What
    shadows we are and what shadows we pursue" constantly occurs to my
    mind.... My mission may perhaps be more successful in consequence,
    but no one can say. At all events you will come to Vienna....

    Poor little boys and poor little Agatha! I should feel more
    responsible with those children on a journey than with my mission
    and the Colonies to boot.

In Paris his conversations with the Emperor confirmed his previous opinion
that the best hope of peace lay in winning Austria over to the policy of
the Allies.

Lady John joined him at Vienna early in March. In order to understand the
following extracts it is necessary to recall the history of the whole

Lord John had been dispatched with vague general instructions, and it must
not be forgotten that Palmerston was privately much more in favour of
continuing the war than Lord John appears to have understood at the time.
Palmerston, like Napoleon III, wished to take Sevastopol before making
peace; Lord John did not therefore receive during his negotiations the
backing he ought to have had from the Government at home. A hitch occurred
at the outset of the negotiations owing to the delay of instructions from
the Sultan. This delay was engineered by Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, who
was determined that Russia should be still further humiliated, and felt
sure of Palmerston's sympathy in doing everything that tended to prolong
the war. Lord John might complain justly that he was being hindered; but
the English Ambassador at Constantinople, who knew Palmerston's mind, felt
safe in ignoring Lord John's remonstrances. The first two Articles which
formed the subject of discussion dealt with the abolition of the Russian
Protectorate over Servia and the Principalities, and with the question of
the free navigation of the Danube. These Articles were accepted by Russia.
On the third Article, which concerned the Russian power in the Black Sea,
the representatives of the Western Powers could not agree. Gortschakoff,
the Russian emissary, admitted that the Treaty of 1841 would have to be
altered in such a way as would prevent the preponderance of the Russian
power off the coast of Turkey. This could have been secured in two ways:

  1. By excluding Russian vessels from the Black Sea altogether;
  2. By limiting the number of warships Russia might be permitted to keep

but to neither of these methods would Russia at first agree.

Two other alternative proposals were then made by the Austrian Minister,
Count Buol. The first was based on the principle of counterpoise, which
would give the Allies the right to keep as many ships as Russia in the
Black Sea. The second was a stipulation that Russia should not increase her
fleet there beyond the strength at which it then stood.

The representatives of the Allies were instructed from home not to accept
the proposal of counterpoise. So the second alternative of the Austrian
Chancellor was the last remaining chance of Austria and the Allies agreeing
upon the terms to be offered to Russia. Lord John wrote to the Government
urging them to accept this compromise; for in his opinion the only chance
of peace lay in the Allies acting in concert with Austria. At this juncture
he received a telegram from home saying that the Government were in favour
of a proposal, which had reached them from Paris, for neutralizing the
Black Sea.

Prince Gortschakoff at once pointed out that such a plan would leave Russia
disarmed in the presence of Turkey armed. Lord John considered this a
perfectly just objection on the part of Russia, while the proposal had the
unfortunate effect of detaching Austria from the Allies, who considered
neutralization to be out of the question. M. Drouyn de L'Huys, the French
representative, held the same opinion as Lord John, and when his advice was
not accepted by the Emperor, he sent in his resignation. Lord John likewise
wrote to Lord Clarendon, then Foreign Secretary, tendering his own.

    _March 31,_ 1855, VIENNA

    Private letters from Lord Clarendon and Lord Lansdowne full of
    distrust and disapprobation of the proceedings here, though not
    openly finding fault with John. Lord Clarendon's more especially
    warlike, and anti-Austrian and pro-French; the very reverse of
    every letter he wrote in the days of Lord Aberdeen.

    _April 1,_ 1855, VIENNA

    More letters and dispatches making John's position still worse;
    representing him as ready to consent to unworthy terms, whereas he
    was endeavouring to carry out what had been agreed on by the
    Government. No doubt Lord Clarendon's present tone is far better
    than his former; but that is not the question. John naturally
    indignant and talked of giving up mission and Colonies. This I
    trust he will not do unless there is absolute loss of character in
    remaining, for another breach with Lord Palmerston, who is far less
    to blame than Lord Clarendon, would be a great misfortune--besides,
    it might lead to the far greater evil of a breach with France. I
    rejoice therefore that John has resolved to wait for Drouyn de
    L'Huys and do his utmost to bring matters to a better state.

On April 5, at Vienna, when he wished to resign, she wrote: "Anxious he
should delay this step till he hears again from home, as he might repent
it, in which case either retracting or abiding by it would be bad. Having
regretted his acceptance of office it seems inconsistent to discourage
resignation, but is not really so. His reputation cannot afford a fresh
storm, and he must show that he did not lightly consent to belong to a
Ministry of which he knew the materials so well."

At the end of April they came back to England.

    _May 5,_ 1855, LONDON

    After all the Emperor rejects the plan [the proposal to limit the
    Russian fleet in the Baltic to its strength at the close of the
    war] on the plea that the army would not bear it. John disturbed
    and perplexed.

    _May 6,_ 1855, _Sunday_

    John went to town for a meeting at Lord Panmure's on Army
    Reform--found here on his return a letter from Lord Clarendon
    telling him that the Emperor had sent a telegram through Lord
    Cowley and the Foreign Office to Walewski, offering him Foreign
    Affairs and asking whether the Queen would agree to Persigny as
    French Ambassador. Thus the dismissal or resignation of Drouyn
    obliged John to resolve on his own resignation unless the Cabinet
    should accept his own view.

    _Lord John Russell to Lord Clarendon_ [46]

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _May_ 6, 1855

    MY DEAR CLARENDON,--I was at Panmure's when your box arrived here,
    and did not get back till past eight. I am very much concerned at
    the removal or resignation of Drouyn. I cannot separate myself from
    him; and, having taken at Vienna the same view which he did, his
    resignation entails mine. I am very sorry for this, and wished to
    avoid it. But I have in some measure got Drouyn into this scrape,
    for at first he was disposed to advise the Emperor to insist on a
    limitation of ships, and I induced him not to give any advice at
    all to the Emperor. Afterwards we agreed very much; and, if he had
    stayed in office there, I might have gulped, though with
    difficulty, the rejection of my advice here. However, I shall wait
    till Colloredo has made a definite proposal, and then make the
    opinion I shall give upon it in the Cabinet a vital question with
    me. It is painful to me to leave a second Cabinet, and will injure
    my reputation--perhaps irretrievably. But I see no other course. Do
    as you please about communicating to Palmerston what I have
    written. I fear I must leave you and Hammond to judge of the papers
    to be given.... But I hope you will not tie your hands or those of
    the Government by giving arguments against what the nation may
    ultimately accept. I hold that a simple provision, by which the
    Sultan would reserve the power to admit the vessels of Powers not
    having establishments in the Black Sea, through the Straits at his
    own pleasure at all times, ... and a general treaty of European
    alliance to defend Turkey against Russia, would be a good security
    for peace. If the Emperor of the French were to declare that he
    could not accept such a peace, of course we must stick by him, but
    that does not prevent our declaring to him our opinion. Walewski
    spoke to me very strongly at the Palace in favour of the Austrian
    plan, but I suppose he has now made up his mind against it.

    I remain, yours truly,


[46] Spencer Walpole's "Life of Lord John Russell," chap, xxvi.

Lord Clarendon replied:


    MY DEAR LORD JOHN,--... I am very sorry you did not come in just
    now, as I wanted most particularly to see you. I now write this
    _earnestly to entreat_ that you will say nothing to anybody at
    present about your intended resignation. The public interests and
    your own position are so involved in the question, and so much harm
    of every kind may be done by a hasty decision, however honourable
    and high-minded the motives may be, that I do beg of you well to
    weigh _all_ the points of the case; and let me frankly add
    that you will not act with fairness, and as I am sure you must wish
    to act, towards your colleagues, if you do not hear what some of
    them may have to say.

    As you allowed me to do as I pleased about informing Palmerston, I
    did not think it right to leave him in the dark upon a matter which
    seems to me of vital importance. I need not tell you that your
    intention causes him the deepest regret, and he feels, as I do, how
    essential it is that nothing should be known of it at present. We
    are not even in possession of the facts that led to Drouyn's

    Yours sincerely,


"Moved by this appeal," says Sir Spencer Walpole, "and by Lord Palmerston's
personal entreaties, thrice repeated, Lord John withdrew his resignation.
Its withdrawal, however convenient it may have seemed to the Government at
the time, was one of the most unfortunate circumstances of Lord John's
political career. It directly led to misunderstandings and to obloquy, such
as few public men have ever encountered."

    LONDON, May 8, 1855

    John given up thoughts of resignation. Glad of it, since he can
    honourably remain. I know how his reputation would have
    suffered--not as an honest man, but as a wise statesman.

This was the second time in Lord John's career that his loyalty to the Whig
party involved him in a false position. On May 24th Disraeli proposed a
vote of censure on the Government for their conduct of the war and
condemning their part in the negotiations at Vienna. Lord John made, in
reply to Gladstone and Disraeli, an extremely forcible speech, urging that
the limitation of the number of Russian ships in the Black Sea did not give
sufficient guarantee to the safety of Turkey. Shortly afterwards the
Austrian Chancellor, Count Buol, published the fact that Lord John had been
in favour of this very compromise, which Austria had proposed at the
Congress. He was at once asked whether this was true, and he admitted that
it was. He could not explain that he had taken a different line on his
return because, had he stuck to his opinion, the French alliance would have
been endangered. The Emperor was persuaded that the fall of Sevastopol was
necessary to the safety of his throne. Marshal Vaillant had said to him, "I
know the feelings of the Army. I am sure that if, after having spent months
in the siege of Sevastopol, we return unsuccessful, the Army will not be
satisfied." [47] Since this was the case, Lord John had had to choose
between resigning on the strength of his own opinion that the Austrian
terms were good enough, thus bringing about the fall of the Ministry and a
possible breach with France, or relinquishing his own opinion and defending
the view of the Government and the Emperor in order to preserve a good
understanding with the French. Of course, to all the world it looked as
though, for the sake of office, he had belied his own convictions. Seldom
has any Minister of the Crown been placed in a more painful position. The
Cabinet knew the true circumstances of the case, and the reason why he
could give no explanation for his inconsistency: but many of his friends
did not. A motion of censure was proposed against him, and now that his
presence in the Ministry had ceased to be a support, and had actually
become a source of weakness through the condemnation passed on him by the
country at large, he offered to resign.

[47] Kinglake, "Invasion of the Crimea," vol. iii, p. 348.

    _Lady John to Lord John Russell_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _June_ 8, 1855

    All is more beautiful than ever this morning. I am on my pretty red
    sofa looking out from my middle window in lazy luxury at oak, ivy,
    hawthorn, laburnum, and blue sky; not very much to be pitied, am I?
    except, my dearest, for the weary, weary separation that takes away
    the life of life--and for my anxiety about what is to be the result
    of all this, which, however, I do not allow to weigh upon me. We
    are in wiser hands than our own, and I should be a bad woman indeed
    if so much leisure did not give some good thoughts that I trust
    nothing can disturb.... Pray tell dear Georgy not to think any but
    cheerful thoughts of me, and that she can do a great deal for me by
    asking my friends--Cabinet and ex-Cabinet and all sorts--to visit
    me whenever they are inclined for a drive into the country and
    luncheon or tea among its beauties.

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _July_ 5, 1855

    John to town and back. He is so much here now that my life is quite
    different, and as I know he neglects no duty for the sake of
    coming, I may also allow myself to enjoy it as he does.

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _July_ 7

    Read John's speech and the bitter comments of Cobden and Roebuck.
    Whether he was right or wrong in his views of peace, or in not
    resigning when they were rejected by the Cabinet, he has nobly told
    the simple truth without gloss or extenuation.

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _July_ 10

    John writes that he saw Lord Palmerston and told him that he had
    thought the Austrian proposals ought to be accepted at the time;
    but that he did not think they ought now, after the late events of
    the war. He proposed resignation if it would help the Government.
    Lord Palmerston of course begged him to remain, which he will do.
    The subject is more painful to me the more I think of it.

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _July_ 12

    An anxious parting with John. He was to go straight to Lord
    Clarendon, to find out what portion of the dispatches Lord
    Clarendon was prepared to give. His explanation to be made to-night
    of a sentence in his Friday's speech, by which some of his
    colleagues understood him to declare his opinion to be that he
    thought the Austrian proposal ought _now_ to be accepted. He
    did _not_ say so, and such an explanation is much to be
    lamented. His position is very painful, and my thoughts about him
    more so than they have ever been, because now many of his best and
    truest friends grieve and are disappointed. God grant he may have
    life, strength, and spirit to work on for his country till he has
    risen again higher than ever in her trust, esteem, and love.

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _July_ 13

    A very anxious morning, thinking of my dear and noble husband,
    doomed to suffer so much for no greater fault than having committed
    himself too far without consultation with his colleagues to a
    scheme which higher duties persuaded him not to abide by when he
    failed to convince them. Anxiety to know his determination and the
    state of his spirits made me send a note up to town early, to which
    I received his answer about four, that he had written his
    resignation last night and sent it to Lord Palmerston this morning.

    _Lady John to Lord John Russell_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _July_ 13, 1855

    We are all well, but I am too anxious to be all day without hearing
    from you; besides, and chiefly, I want to cheer you up and beseech
    you not to let all this depress you more than it ought. Don't
    believe the _Daily News_ when it says you have committed
    political suicide--that need not be a bit more true than that there
    was _trickiness_ or _treachery_ in your course, which it
    also asserts. Depend upon it, it is in your power and it is
    therefore your duty to show that you can still be yourself. You
    will rise again higher than ever if you will but think you can--if
    you will but avoid for the future the rocks on which you have
    sometimes split. There is plenty to do for your country, plenty
    that you can do better than any other man, and _you must not
    sink._ You made, I believe, a great mistake in surrendering your
    own judgment to that of those who surrounded you at Vienna; but who
    can dare to say you were favouring any interest of your own, or
    what malice or ingenuity can pretend to find the shadow of a low or
    unworthy motive? Remember Moore's lines:

      "Never dream for a moment thy country can spare
       Such a light from her darkening horizon as thou."

    As to your immediate course, what have you resolved? Surely your
    own resignation is the most natural--you might persuade your
    colleagues, if they require persuasion, to let you go alone, as you
    alone are responsible, that you think a change of Ministry would be
    a misfortune, and that you would be unhappy to find that added to
    your responsibility.... The feeling that the Ministry may be
    sacrificed to you is a very painful one, and I earnestly hope your
    wisdom may find some means of averting this.... Now, my dearest,
    farewell--would that I could go to you myself. I am told that the
    expectation of the Whips is that you will be beat. Tell me as much
    as you can and God speed you.... Good-bye, and above all keep up a
    good heart for your country's sake and mine.

Lord Palmerston replied to his offer to resign in the following terms [48]:

    PICCADILLY, _July_ 13, 1855

    MY DEAR LORD JOHN,--I have received, I need not say with how much
    regret, your letter of this morning, and have sent it down to the
    Queen. But, whatever pain I may feel at the step you have taken, I
    must nevertheless own that as a public man, whose standing and
    position are matters of public interest and public property, you
    have judged rightly. The storm is too strong at this moment to be
    resisted, and an attempt to withstand it would, while unsuccessful,
    only increase irritation. But juster feelings will in due time
    prevail. In the meantime I must thank you for the very friendly and
    handsome terms in which you have announced to me your

    Yours sincerely, PALMERSTON

[48] Spencer Walpole's "Life of Lord John Russell."

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _July_ 15, 1855

    John and I agreed that we felt almost unaccountably happy--there
    is, however, much to account for it--much that cannot be taken from

    _Lady John Russell to the Duke of Bedford_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _July_ 16, 1855

    MY DEAR DUKE,--You will like to hear how John has borne his new
    trouble, and I am very glad to tell you that he is in good spirits,
    and as calm as a clear conscience can make him. The week before his
    resignation was a very anxious one, reminding me of that sad and
    anxious day at Woburn when he determined to dismiss Lord
    Palmerston, and of that other when he resolved not to speak to any
    of his colleagues before sending his resignation to Lord Aberdeen.
    Those occasions were so far like this that it was impossible even
    for me, though unable to judge of the questions politically, not to
    foresee painful consequences in the altered relations of old
    friends, and therefore not to lament his decisions; though he had,
    as he was sure to have, high and generous reasons in both cases.
    Here again, there has been much to lament in all that led to his
    resignation and fresh separation from many with whom he has acted
    during half his political life, many so highly valued in public and
    private. One cannot but feel all this, nor do I pretend
    indifference to what is said of him, for I do think the next best
    thing to deserving "spotless reputation" is possessing it. But
    there are many comforts--first and foremost, a faith in him that
    nothing can shake; then a firm hope that the country will one day
    understand him better--besides, the relief was immense of finding
    that he would be allowed to resign without breaking up the
    Government. In short, we agreed yesterday that after all our pains
    and anxieties we both felt strangely and almost unaccountably
    happy. Of course, seeing him so was enough to make me so, and
    perhaps there is something too in the unexpected freedom of body
    and soul which loss of office has given him. This state of mind, in
    which he has just left me for London, gives me good hope that he
    will get well through his hard task to-night....

    Ever yours affectionately,


    _Lady John Russell to Lord Minto_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _July_ 18, 1855

    MY DEAREST PAPA,--I feel very guilty in not having written to you
    since all these great events occurred, but you are pretty well able
    to guess what I felt about them ... and the newspapers are much
    better chroniclers of facts, though not of motives, than I can
    be.... Of course, he proposed resignation immediately after he had
    made his speech, but it was not then thought the Ministry would be
    beat on Bulwer's motion, and Lord Palmerston and the rest begged
    him to remain. Very soon, however, there was no doubt left as to
    what would be the result of the motion, and as neither John nor
    Doddy, the only other person I saw, had a hope that any fresh
    resignation would be accepted, we had the painful prospect of the
    destruction of the Ministry by his means.... But the surprise was
    great as the relief when we found that not one man had the
    slightest difficulty in making up his mind, ... and that one and
    all felt it a paramount duty "not to shrink from the toils and
    responsibilities of office." ... His _spirits_ have not sunk
    and his _spirit_ has risen, and the feeling uppermost in his
    mind is thankfulness that he is out of it all, and has regained his
    freedom, body and soul.... There is plenty left for him to do, and
    I trust he will do it as an independent member of Parliament, and
    in that position regain his lost influence with the country. I am
    most anxious he should not think his political life at an end,
    though his official life may go forever without a sigh.... I ought
    to add that he is on perfectly friendly terms with all his late
    colleagues, ... anxious to help them when he can, but pledged to

    Ever, dearest Papa,

    Your affectionate child,


    PEMBROKE LODGE, _July_ 23, 1855

    Thunderstorm during which I sat in the Windsor summer-house writing
    and thinking many sad thoughts; chiefly of my own ill-performance
    of many duties on which my whole heart and soul were bent. Had I
    but known when we married as much of the world as I know now,
    though I should have been far, far less happy, I should have done
    better in many ways.... Came in; went to my room with Georgy and
    took Baby on my lap. Baby looked at me, saw I had been sad, and
    said gravely, "Poor Mama," adding immediately, "Where is Papa?" as
    if she thought my sadness must have to do with him. On my
    answering, "He is gone to London," she put her dear little arms
    round my neck and kissed and coaxed me, repeating over and over,
    "Never mind, never mind, my dear Mama," and again, "Never mind, my
    poor Mama."

The state of Lady John's health prevented her from leaving home, but Lord
John left Pembroke Lodge with two of the children on August 9th, for a much
needed holiday in Scotland.

    _Lord John to Lady John Russell_

    EDINBURGH, _August_ 10, 1855

    We got here safely yesterday an hour after time, which made about
    fourteen hours from Pembroke Lodge.... Dearest, it is a very
    melancholy journey; without you to comfort me I take a very gloomy
    view of everything; but I hope the Highland air will refresh me
    with its briskness.... I have a letter from Lord Minto, disturbed
    at my not coming sooner, and supposing I shall be abused for my
    Italian speech, in which he is quite right; but I may save some
    poor devil by my denunciation of his persecutors.

    _Lady John to Lord John Russell_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _August_ 12, 1855

    It grieves me to have to write what will grieve you, but it would
    be wrong and useless to hide it from you--I was taken ill suddenly
    yesterday.... What I bear least well is the thought of you. I did
    so hope that after all your political troubles you might be spared
    anxieties of a worse kind; but it was not to be.... I hope,
    dearest, you will not hurry home immediately. I should be so sorry
    to think you only had the fatigue of two long journeys, instead of
    some weeks of Highland air. I know how sadly your enjoyment will be
    damaged, but do not--I beg you, dearest--do not let your spirits
    sink. Nothing would make your poor old wife so sad. Georgy is the
    best and dearest of children and nurses; I am so sorry for her.
    Yesterday she was quite upset, far more than I was, but to-day she
    has taken heart. God bless you. Think what happy people we still
    are--happy far beyond the common lot--in one another and all our

When Lord John heard of her illness, he wrote that he could not be a moment
easy away from her, and came home at once.

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _September_ 8, 1855

    Thank God! though in bed, I have generally been able to read and
    talk, and for the last two days have given Johnny and the little
    boys their lessons.... Cannot but hope I am a little less impatient
    of illness, a little less unreasonably sorry to be debarred from
    air and liberty and all I care for most in this world, than I used
    to be.... I pray with my whole heart for the true faith and
    patience that can never fail. I pray that, since I cannot teach my
    children how to _do,_ I may teach them how to _bear,_ so
    that even in illness I may not be wholly useless to them.



During the next four years Lord John remained out of office. He devoted
much time to literary work. Besides writing his "Life of Fox" and editing
the papers of his friend Thomas Moore, he delivered three important
addresses. The first was a lecture on the causes which have checked moral
and political progress. As will be seen from Lady John's diary, he was
still so unpopular that she felt some dread of its reception at the hands
of a large public audience.

    LONDON, _November_ 13, 1855

    Great day well over.... At-half-past seven set out for Exeter Hall.
    John well cheered on his entrance, but not so warmly as to make me
    quite secure for the lecture. It was, however, received exactly as
    I hoped--deep attention, interrupted often by applause, sometimes
    enthusiastic, and generally at the parts one most wished applauded.
    A few words from Montague Villiers [49](in asking for a vote of
    thanks), his hope that the whole country would soon feel as that
    audience did towards a man whose long life had been spent in the
    country's service, brought a fresh burst, waving of hats and
    handkerchiefs, etc. Went to bed grateful and happy.

[49] Afterwards Bishop of Durham.

In 1855, Lord John bought a country estate, Rodborough Manor, near Stroud
in Gloucestershire, as he wished to have a place of his own to leave to his
children. It was in the parish of Amberley, from which he afterwards took
his second title and his eldest son, Lord Amberley, made Rodborough his
home for some years after his marriage.

    _Lady John Russell to Lord Dufferin_

    RODBOROUGH MANOR, STROUD, _November_ 16, 1855

    DEAR LORD DUFFERIN,--Thanks for your letter. I began to think you
    meant to disclaim all connection with your fallen chief. We have
    just been, he and I alone, spending a week in London. In that
    little week he underwent various turns of fortune--hissed one night
    (though far less than the papers said), cheered the next day by
    four thousand voices, while eight thousand hands waved hats and
    handkerchiefs. I was not at Guildhall, but was at Exeter Hall,
    which was just as it should be; for, in spite of a great many noble
    and philosophical sentiments, which I always keep in store against
    the hissing days, and find of infinite service, I prefer being
    present on the cheering days. I hope you will think his lecture
    deserved its reception. His squiredom agrees with him uncommonly.
    He rides and walks, and drinks ale and grows fat. As for me, I have
    not been at all strong since I came here, but I hope I am reviving
    now, and shall soon be able thoroughly to enjoy a life happy and
    pleasant beyond expression--such peace of mind and body to us both,
    such leisure to enjoy much that we both do enjoy with all our
    hearts and have been long debarred from, are blessings of no small
    value, and when people tell me, by way of cheering me up under a
    temporary disgrace, that he is sure to be in office again soon,
    they little know what a knell their words are to my heart. However,
    _che sara, sara_, and in the meantime we are very happy.
    Yesterday I required some excitement, I must say, to carry me
    through the day, for alas! I struck forty! Accordingly the children
    had provided for it unknown to me, and acted Beauty and the Beast
    with rapturous applause to a very select audience. ... We are much
    pleased with our new home, green and cheerful and varied and pretty
    outside, snug and respectable inside.

    Ever sincerely yours,


    P.S.--I hear you are going to be married to a great many people;
    please let me know how many reports are true.

In 1856 Lady John and the children went abroad. They visited Lady Mary
Abercromby, whose husband was British Minister at the Hague, and later on
they joined Lord John at Antwerp. Thence they travelled to Switzerland,
where they remained till the end of September in a villa beautifully
situated above the Lake of Geneva, near Lausanne. The early part of the
winter was spent in Italy, where Lord John came into personal contact with
Cavour and many other Italian patriots, whose cause he so staunchly
supported during the next few years. The Villa Capponi, where they lived at
Florence, became the meeting-place of all the Liberal spirits in Tuscany;
and the Tuscan Government, who thought that Lord John had come to Florence
to estimate the probable success of the revolutionaries, set spies upon his

    _Lord John Russell to Lady Melgund_

    VILLA CAPPONI, _December_ 19, 1856

    We have passed our time here very agreeably. Besides the
    Florentines and their acute sagacity, we have had here many of
    those whose wits were too bright or their hearts too warm to bear
    the Governments of Naples and Rome.... As for the French
    newspapers, it is the custom at Paris and Vienna to let the
    newspapers attack everything but their own Government, which is
    their notion of the liberty of the Press!

    _Lady John Russell to Lady Mary Abercromby_

    VILLA CAPPONI, FLORENCE, _January_ 1, 1857

    MY DEAREST MARY,--You have my first date for the New Year.... God
    grant it may be a happy one to us all. We began it merrily. Mrs. E.
    Villiers, who, with her daughter, is spending the winter here, gave
    a little dance. Twelve struck in the middle of a quadrille, which
    was accordingly interrupted by general shaking of hands among
    chaperons, dancers, and all. There is a cordiality and ease in
    society abroad, the charm of which goes far with me to make up for
    the absence of some of the merits of society in England. The
    subjects of conversation among men are queer, no doubt; but what
    people have in them is much easier to get at--and to me it is a
    relief not to hear all the ladies talking politics, or rather
    talking political personalities, as they do in London.

    _January_ 2.--I am afraid, after having been abused as
    unworthy of Italy (not so much, however, by you as by Lotty and
    Lizzy) you will now charge me with the far worse sin of being a bad
    Briton--but _that,_ depend upon it, I am not, whatever
    appearances may say--on the contrary, a better one than ever, only
    grieving that with such materials as we have at home we do not
    manage to make social life pleasanter.... Yesterday we had our
    usual Thursday party; and before more than five or six had come, I
    went into the girls' sitting-room, which opens out of the
    drawing-room, and played reels while the girls and two young
    Italians danced--but they had not danced long before our frisky
    Papa followed with Count Ferretti, and not only joined in a reel,
    but _asked_ for a waltz, and whirled round and round with
    Georgy and then with me, and made the old Count do the same. It all
    reminded me of our Berlin evenings, except that Papa, though
    twenty-four years younger then, was not inspired by the German as
    he is by the Italian atmosphere, and never, to my recollection,
    joined us in our many merry unpremeditated dances. It was hardly
    less a wonder to see Henry follow the example yesterday, and add to
    the confusion of the most confused "Lancers" I ever saw danced....
    It is impossible to say how this letter has been interrupted....
    The weather being too bright and beautiful to allow us to spend the
    morning indoors, the first interruption was a drive to San Miniato,
    where there is one of the finest views of Florence, and since we
    came home I have been jumping up every five minutes from my
    writing-table to receive one visitor after another--whereas many an
    afternoon passes without a single one--and since they all
    disappeared I have been called upon to help in a rehearsal for a
    second representation of our "Three Golden Hairs," [50] which is to
    take place to-morrow on purpose for Lady Normanby.... The gaiety
    and noise of the rehearsals, the fun of the preparations, and the
    shyness, which effectually prevents any good acting, all reminds me
    of our dear old Minto plays. How very, very long ago all that
    seems! Not long ago in time only, but the changes in everybody and
    everything make the recollection almost like a dream. I was sorry
    to say good-bye to poor old fifty-six, for though not invariably
    amiable to us he has been a good friend on the whole, and one
    learns to be more than grateful for each year that passes without
    any positive sorrow, and leaves no blanks among our nearest and
    dearest. God bless you, dearest Mary; pray attribute blots and
    incoherences to my countless interruptions.

    Yours ever affectionately,


[50] A children's play written by herself.

On his return, Lord John continued to give independent support to the
Ministry until circumstances arose which forced him to oppose Palmerston's
foreign policy. In March Cobden brought forward a motion condemning the
violent measures resorted to against China. Palmerston had justified these
measures on the ground that the British flag had been insulted and our
treaty rights infringed by the Chinese authorities at Canton. A small
coasting vessel called _The Arrow_ (sailing under British colours, but
manned by Chinamen, and owned by a Chinaman) had been boarded while she lay
in the river, and her crew carried off by a party from a Chinese warship in
search of a pirate, who they had reason to think was then serving as a
seaman on board _The Arrow_. Sir John Bowring, Plenipotentiary at
Hong-Kong, demanded that the men should be instantly sent back. It was true
that _The Arrow_ had at the time of the seizure no right to fly the
British flag, for her licence to trade under British colours had expired
the year before; but he argued that since the Chinese could not have known
this when they raided the vessel, they had deliberately insulted the flag
in doing so, and afterwards infringed the extradition laws by refusing to
restore the crew immediately. Upon the British fleet proceeding to bombard
the forts, the men were released, but the apology and indemnity demanded in
addition were not forthcoming. More forts were then bombarded and a number
of junks were sunk. The real motive of these aggressive proceedings lay in
the fact that the English traders had not yet been able to get a free
entrance into Canton, in spite of treaties permitting them to trade there.
Sir John Bowring made the refusal of apologies an excuse for forcing the
Chinese to admit them. Not unnaturally the Chinese retaliated by burning
foreign factories and cutting foreign throats. Meanwhile Palmerston at home
characteristically supported Sir John Bowring through thick and thin, and
the upshot was a long war with China.

Lord John detested aggressive and violent proceedings of this kind. His
speech on Cobden's motion was one of his finest. The following passage from
it expresses the spirit in which later on he conducted the foreign policy
of England himself:

    We have heard much of late--a great deal too much, I think--of the
    prestige of England. We used to hear of the character, of the
    reputation, of the honour of England. I trust, sir, that the
    character, the reputation, and the honour of this country are dear
    to us all; but if the prestige of England is to be separated from
    those qualities ... then I, for one, have no wish to maintain it.
    To those who argue, as I have heard some argue, "It is true we have
    a bad case; it is true we were in the wrong; it is true that we
    have committed an injustice; but we must persevere in that wrong;
    we must continue to act unjustly, or the Chinese will think we are
    afraid," I say, as has been said before, "Be just and fear not."

Palmerston was defeated by sixteen votes, and went to the country on a
"Civis Romanus" policy, or, as we should say now, with a "Jingo" cry, which
was immensely popular. Its popularity was so great that there seemed no
chance that Lord John would retain his seat for the City. Even Cobden and
Bright were defeated in their constituencies, and the country returned
Palmerston with a majority of seventy-nine. Unpopular since his apparent
change of front regarding the Vienna treaty, it would have been small
wonder if Lord John had taken the advice of his committee and retired from
the contest; but he was bent on taking his one-to-hundred chance, and, as
it turned out, his courage won the seat.

    LONDON, _March_ 7, 1857

    J.A. Smith called on me to know whether John had determined what
    to do. Said I thought he meant to fight the battle. He looked most
    woeful, and said, "As sure as I stand here, he will not be the
    member for the City."

    I said I believed he thought it best at all events to stand. "Ah,
    that's all very well if he had seen a chance of a tolerable
    minority--but if he has only _two or three_ votes!" He also
    said John had as much chance of being Pope as of being M.P. for the

Although a lack of the faculty which conciliates individuals was one of the
criticisms most constantly brought against Lord John as a political leader,
he certainly possessed the power of overcoming the hostility of a popular
audience, without abating one jot of his own independence or dignity. A
bold, good-tempered directness is always effective in such situations. He
never lacked the tact of an orator. In this election the Liberal Committee,
on the first rumour of his resignation, without verifying it, or notifying
their intentions to Lord John, substituted Mr. Raikes Currie, late member
for Northampton, as their Liberal candidate. Lord John at once called a
meeting to protest against the action of the committee. The following
passage in his speech was received with enthusiastic applause, and did much
to secure a favourable hearing for his anti-Palmerstonian views during the
campaign. It must be remembered that he had represented the City for
sixteen years.

    "If a gentleman were disposed to part with his butler, his
    coachman, or his gamekeeper, or if a merchant were disposed to part
    with an old servant, a warehouseman, a clerk, or even a porter, he
    would say to him, 'John, I think your faculties are somewhat
    decayed; you are growing old, you have made several mistakes; and I
    think of putting a young man from Northampton in your place.' I
    think a gentleman would behave in that way to his servant, and
    thereby give John an opportunity for answering. That opportunity
    was not given to me. The question was decided in my absence; and I
    come now to ask you, and the citizens of London, to reverse that

His success won back for him some of the general admiration which he had
forfeited by his loyalty to the Ministers in 1855. Many of the best men in
England rejoiced in his triumph; among them Charles Dickens wrote his

    _Lord John Russell to Lady Melgund_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _April_ 1, 1857

    ...The contest has brought out an amount of feeling in my favour
    both from electors and non-electors which is very gratifying. ...It
    is the more pleasant, as all the merchant princes turned their
    princely backs upon me, and left me to fight as I could (the two
    Hankeys alone excepted)....Fanny has not been very well since the
    election ... but this blessed place will, I hope, soon restore her.

    _Lady John Russell to Lord Minto_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _April_ 4, 1857

    The City election engrossed my thoughts for many days, and made it
    difficult to write to anybody who cared as much about it as you
    till it was over. I have since spent my life in answering letters
    and receiving visits of congratulation, most of them very hearty
    and sincere, and accordingly very pleasant. I thought my days of
    caring for popular applause were over, but there was something so
    much higher than usual in the meaning of the cheers that greeted
    John whenever he showed himself, that I was not ashamed of being
    quite delighted. There was obviously a strong feeling among the
    electors and non-electors, in Guildhall and in the streets, that
    John had been unfairly and ungratefully set aside, which far
    outweighed the effect of his unpopular opinions on ballot and
    church rates. Altogether there was a good tone among the people (by
    which I don't mean only one of attachment to John) which made me
    proud of them. Next to the pleasure of seeing and hearing with my
    own eyes and ears how strong his hold upon his countrymen still is,
    was the pleasure I was wicked enough to feel at the reception which
    greeted the unfortunate Raikes Currie.

    The repose of Pemmy Lodge, which I hope you will by and by share
    with us, is very welcome after our noisy triumph.

    _Mr. Charles Dickens to Lady John Russell_

    _May_ 22, 1857

    DEAR LADY JOHN,--Coming to town yesterday morning out of Kent, I
    found your kind and welcome note referring to the previous day. I
    need not tell you, I hope, that although I have not had the
    pleasure of seeing you for a long time, I have of late been
    accompanying Lord John at a distance with great interest and
    satisfaction. Several times after the City election was over I
    debated with myself whether I should come to see you, but I
    abstained because I knew you would be overwhelmed with
    congratulations and I thought it was the more considerate to
    withhold mine.

    I am going out of town on Monday, June 1st, to a little
    old-fashioned house I have at Gad's Hill, by Rochester, on the
    identical spot where Falstaff ran away, and as you are so kind as
    to ask me to propose a day for coming to Richmond, I should very
    much like to do so either on Saturday the 30th of this month or on
    Sunday the 31st.

    I heard of you at Lausanne from some of my old friends there, and
    sometimes tracked you in the newspapers afterwards. I beg to send
    my regard to Lord John and to all your house.

    Do you believe me to remain always yours very faithfully,


    _Lady John Russell to Lord Minto_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _September_ 27, 1857

    John's reception at Sheffield equalled anything of the kind I had
    ever seen in our "high and palmy" days. So little had we expected
    _any_ reception, that when we arrived at the station and saw
    the crowds on the platform I could not think what was the matter,
    and it was not till there was a general rush towards our carriage
    and shouts of John's name that I understood it was meant for him.
    From the station we had to drive all through the town to Alderman
    Hoole's villa; it was one loud and long triumph. John and Mr. Hoole
    and I were in an open carriage, the children following in a closed
    one. We went at a foot's pace, followed and surrounded by such an
    ocean of human beings as I should not have thought all Sheffield
    could produce, cheering, throwing up caps and hats, thrusting great
    hard hands into the carriage for John to shake, proposing to take
    off the horses and draw us, etc. Windows and balconies all thronged
    with waving women and children, and bells ringing so lustily as to
    drown John's voice when, at Mr. Hoole's request, he stood up on the
    seat and made a little speech. All this honour from one of the most
    warlike towns in the kingdom will surprise you, no doubt; indeed, I
    am not sure that you will quite approve.

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _December 25, 1857_

    A bright and lovely Christmas.... Sat more than an hour in the
    sunny South summer-house, listening to birds singing and boys and
    little May [51] talking and laughing.... Dear, darling children,
    how I grudge each day that passes and hurries you on beyond blessed
    childhood.... I am too happy--there can hardly be a change that
    will not make me less so.... A glorious sunset brought the glorious
    day to an end.

[51] Mary Agatha.

    _Lady John Russell to Lady Charlotte Portal_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _December_ 26, 1857

    I cannot remember a happier Christmas than ours has been, and I am
    sure nobody can remember a milder or brighter Christmas sky. I sat
    more than an hour yesterday in the sunny South summer-house,
    listening to the songs of the blackbirds and thrushes, who have
    lost all count of the seasons, and to the merry voices of the boys
    and little May, and thinking of many things besides, and wishing I
    could lay my hand on old Father Time and stop him in his flight,
    for he _cannot_ bring me any change for the better, and he
    must very soon take away one of the best joys of my daily life,
    since he must take away childhood from my bairnies.

    In the meantime I know I am not ungrateful, and when the little
    boys in their evening prayer thanked God for making it "such a
    happy Christmas," oh! how I thanked Him too. We have had a
    Christmas-tree, and for many days before its appearance the
    children were in a state of ungovernable spirits, full of
    indescribable fun and mischief, and making indescribable uproar.
    John has been by no means the least merry of the party, and seeing
    a game at "my lady's toilet" going on yesterday evening, could not
    resist tacking himself to its tail and being dragged through as
    many passages and round as many windings as Pemmy Lodge affords.

Although the Palmerston Ministry seemed firmly seated in power and were
certainly capable of carrying out the spirited and aggressive foreign
policy on which they had so successfully appealed to the country, an
unexpected event occurred during the recess of 1857 which led to their
downfall. On the night of January 14th some Italian patriots threw three
bombs under Napoleon's carriage as he was driving to the Opera. The Emperor
and Empress had a narrow escape, and many spectators were killed or
wounded. The outrage was prompted by a frantic notion that the death of
Napoleon III was an indispensable step towards the freedom of Italy.
Orsini, the leader of the conspirators, was not himself of a crazy criminal
type. He was a fine, soldier-like fellow, who had fought and suffered for
his country's independence, and he had many friends in England among lovers
of Italy who never suspected that he was the kind of man to turn into an
assassin. When it was discovered that the plot had been hatched in London
and the bombs made in Birmingham, a feverish resentment seized the whole
French Army. Addresses were sent by many regiments congratulating Napoleon
on his escape, in which London was described as _ce repaire
d'assassins_ and much abusive language used. The Press, of course, on
both sides, fanned the flame, and for some days the two nations were very
near war. The French Ambassador requested the Government to make at once
more stringent laws against refugee aliens, and in answer to this request
Palmerston brought in a Conspiracy to Murder Bill. Lord John informed the
Government that he, for his part, would oppose any such measure as an
ignominious capitulation to a foolish outcry.

    _Lady John Russell to Lady Mary Abercromby_

    LONDON, _February_ 4, 1858

    I have never seen John more moved, more mortified, more indignant,
    than on reading a letter from Sir George Grey yesterday announcing
    the intention of the Ministry to make an alteration in the
    Conspiracy Laws under the threats of an inconceivably insolent
    French soldiery. He had heard a rumour of such an intention, but
    would not believe it. He thinks very seriously of the possible
    effects of debates on the measure, and feels the full weight of his
    responsibility; but he is nevertheless resolved to oppose to the
    utmost of his power what he considers as only the first step in a
    series of unworthy concessions. . . .

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _February_ 20, 1858

    John woke me at two with the news of a majority for the amendment
    (234 to 215)--the country spared from humiliation, the character of
    the House of Commons redeemed. But, privately, what will become of
    our victory? Lay awake with the nightmare of coming office upon
    me--went to sleep only to dream that John was going to the scaffold
    (being interpreted, the Treasury Bench).

Although the division was taken in a very small house, as the above figures
show, Palmerston resigned, and after some hesitation the Queen charged Lord
Derby with forming a Government. This was the second time Lord Derby had
attempted to govern with a majority against him in the House of Commons.
The first task of the new Ministry was to patch up the quarrel with France,
and, thanks to the good sense and dignity of the Emperor, it was managed in
spite of the scandalous acquittal by an English jury of the Frenchman, Dr.
Bernard, who had manufactured Orsini's bombs. The Duc de Malakoff, whose
conduct in the Crimea made him a popular hero in England, replaced M.
Persigny at the French Embassy. His presence helped to remind Englishmen
that it was not many years since they had fought side by side with French
soldiers, and resentment against the Emperor's army died away.

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _October_ 30, 1858

    Dinner at Gunnersbury. Met Malakoffs, D'lsraelis, Azeglio. Never
    before had opportunity for real conversation with D'lsraeli--a sad
    flatterer and otherwise less agreeable than so able a man of such
    varied pursuits ought to be.

Although these years of comparative leisure had been welcome to them both,
the issues at stake in Europe were so important that Lord John could not
help wishing he again had an opportunity of directly influencing events.

He writes to his wife on December 15, 1858:

    When I reflect that a Reform Bill and the liberation of Italy are
    "looming in the distance," it gives me no little wish to be in
    office; but when I consider what colleagues I should have, I am
    cured of any such wish. I can express my own opinions in my own

He feared that he would not have hearty support from his colleagues in his
views on Italy and Reform, which accounts for the above allusion.

In March the Ministry were defeated on Disraeli's Reform Bill, and
Parliament was dissolved. Meanwhile Italy's struggle against Austria was
exciting much deeper interest than franchise questions. On June 24, 1859,
the battle of Solferino was fought. Although the Austrians were beaten, the
cost of victory to the Italians and French was very heavy. The fortunes of
the whole campaign, indeed, had hitherto been due more to the incompetence
of Austrian generalship than either to the strength of the allies or to the
weakness of the Austrian position. Though Solferino was the fifth victory,
the others had been also dearly bought, and the allies still remained
inferior in numbers. Besides, should Austria go on losing ground there was
more than a chance that Prussia would invade France, when the prospects of
Italy would have been at an end, and England too, in all probability,
involved in a general war. Napoleon, who knew the unsoundness of his own
army, dreaded this contingency himself; though the English Court
supposed--and continued to suppose, strangely enough--that to provoke a war
with Prussia was the ultimate end of his policy. Generally speaking, the
English people were enthusiastically Italian, while the Court and
aristocracy were pro-Austrian. "I remarked," wrote Lord Granville to Lord
Canning at this time, "that in the Lords, whenever I said anything in
favour of the Emperor or the Italians, the House became nearly sea-sick,
while they cheered anything the other way, as if pearls were dropping from
my lips."

The elections did not strengthen Lord Derby sufficiently, and in June he

    "Lord Derby's Government was beaten this morning," writes Lord
    Malmesbury, [52] "by a majority of 13.... The division took place
    at half-past two, and the result was received with tremendous
    cheers by the Opposition. D'Azeglio (the Piedmontese Minister) and
    some other foreigners were waiting in the lobby outside, and when
    Lord Palmerston appeared redoubled their vociferations. D'Azeglio
    is said to have thrown his hat in the air and himself in the arms
    of Jaucourt, the French attaché, which probably no ambassador, or
    even Italian, ever did before in so public a place."

[52] "Memoirs of an Ex-Minister."

It was not easy to choose Lord Derby's successor, since the Liberal party
was divided; but its two leaders, Palmerston and Lord John, agreed to
support each other in the event of either of them being charged with the
formation of the new Government. The Queen, either because she was
reluctant to distinguish between two equally eminent statesmen, or because
she did not know of their mutual agreement, or more likely because she did
not wish the foreign policy of England to be in the hands of Ministers with
professed Italian sympathies, commissioned Lord Granville to make the
attempt, who, though he felt some sympathy for the patriots, considered the
peace of Europe far more important than the better government of Italy.
After he had failed she sent for Palmerston, under whom Lord John became
Foreign Secretary. This change of Government had a happy and instant effect
upon the prosperity of the Italian cause. Technically, England still
maintained her neutrality with regard to the struggle between Austria and
Victor Emmanuel, backed by his French allies; but the change of Ministry
meant that instead of being in the hands of a neutral Government with
Austrian sympathies, the international negotiations upon which the union
and freedom of Italy depended were now inspired by three men--Palmerston,
Russell, and Gladstone--who did all in their power, and were prepared,
perhaps, to risk war, in order to forward the policy of Victor Emmanuel and

Lady John unfortunately lost her diaries recording events from May, 1859,
to January, 1861; but it is known that she was in close sympathy with her
husband's policy, and she looked back upon the part he played in the
liberation of Italy with almost more pride than upon any other period of
his career. Italian patriots and escaped prisoners from the Papal and
Neapolitan dungeons found a warm welcome at Pembroke Lodge. She was never
tired of listening to their stories, and she felt an enthusiastic ardour
for their cause.

    PEMBROKE LODGE, May 9, 1859

    Farewell visit from Spaventa and Dr. Cesare Braico, [53] who goes
    to Piedmont Wednesday. Spaventa full of eager but not hopeful talk
    on Neapolitan prospects, Dr. Braico very quiet, crushed in spirits,
    but not in spirit.

    "For me the illusions of life are past," he said. "I have given the
    flower of my youth to my country in prison--what remains to me of
    life is hers."

    In answer to some commonplace of mine about hope he replied, "To
    those who have suffered much the word hope seems a lie.... While I
    was in prison my mother died--my only tie to life." Said he left
    England with regret, and should always gratefully remember the
    sympathy he had found here. Told him I thought there was not
    enough. "More than in my own country. We passed through four
    villages on our way to the port after leaving the prison; not one
    person looked at us or gave us a word of kindness; not a tear was
    in any eye; not one blessing was uttered." I wondered. I supposed
    the people (the Neapolitans) were _avilis_. "More than
    _avilili--sono abbruttati_." All these sad words, and many
    more, in beautiful Italian, would have touched any heart, however
    shut to the great cause for which he and others have given their
    earthly happiness, and are about to offer their lives. As I looked
    at that fine countenance, so determined, so melancholy, and
    listened to the words that still ring in my ear, I felt that,
    though he did not say so, he meant to die in battle against
    tyranny. He gave me some verses, written with a pencil at the
    moment, to little May, who ran into the room while he was here.
    Farewell, brave, noble spirit. May God be with thee!

[53] Spaventa and Braico had been prisoners in Italy for about ten years.

To get clear what Lord John's share was in the creation of Italy, we must
remember what hampered him at home and what difficulties he contended with
in the councils of Europe.

The Palmerston Cabinet, as far as ability went, was exceptionally strong.
Lord Granville, himself a member of it, had failed in his own attempt,
because Lord John had stipulated that he should lead the Commons, and that
foreign affairs should be in no other hands but Palmerston's; while
Palmerston, who was as necessary as Lord John to any strong Whig
Government, had declined to serve unless he led the Commons. The motive of
Lord John's demand that Palmerston should be Minister for Foreign Affairs
is clear; he did not trust Lord Granville where Italy was concerned. He
thought extremely well of his qualifications as Foreign Minister--he had
previously appointed him his own Foreign Secretary--but Lord Granville had
objected shortly before to Lord Clarendon's dispatch to Naples, in which
Ferdinand II's misrule had been condemned in terms such as might have
preceded intervention. This dispatch had had Lord John's ardent sympathy,
while Lord Granville had disapproved of it on the grounds that in diplomacy
threatening language should not be addressed to a small State which
prudence would have moderated in dealing with a powerful one, and that the
whole tenor of the dispatch was calculated to draw on a European war.

It was these views upon Italian questions--namely, that peace was
all-important and that little kingdoms, however corrupt and despotic,
should not be browbeaten, which made Lord Granville so acceptable to the
Court. Throughout the next two years he was the principal agent through
whom the Queen and the Prince Consort attempted to mitigate the pro-Italian
policy of Lord John and Palmerston. The Cabinet itself was divided on the
subject; the "two old gentlemen," as Sidney Herbert called them, were for
stretching England's "neutrality" to mean support of every kind short of
(and even at the risk of) committing us to intervention; while the rest of
the Cabinet, with the important exception of Gladstone, were more or less
in favour of abstaining from any demonstration on one side or the other.
When Palmerston came into power the matters stood thus: Austria, after
losing the battle of Solferino, was securely entrenched within her four
strong fortresses of Verona, Mantua, Peschiera, and Legnago, but her
Emperor was already disheartened and disgusted by the fighting.

Napoleon, too, on his side was anxious for peace--most anxious, in fact, to
extricate himself as soon as possible from the dangerous complications in
which his alliance was likely to land him. On the eve of Solferino he had
heard that Prussia, ready for war, was concentrating at Coblenz and
Cologne, and he knew well there was no army in France capable of much
resistance. He began, too, to realize that success pressed home might lead
to the formation on the south-east border of France of a new--and perhaps
formidable--Italian power; a possibility he had not considered when he
planned with Cavour at Plombières their secret alliance against Austria.
The war was now becoming unpopular with far-sighted Frenchmen precisely
because its success plainly tended towards this issue; and, in addition,
the formation of such a kingdom, by implying the confiscation of the Papal
territories, was most distasteful to his Catholic subjects, with whom
Napoleon already stood badly and wished to stand better. After a brief
armistice, he proposed terms of peace to Austria, which were signed at
Villafranca on July 9th. They ran as follows:

Lombardy was to be surrendered to France and then handed over to Italy; the
Italian States were to be formed into a Federation under the honorary
presidency of the Pope (this was intended to soothe French Catholics);
Venetia, while remaining under Austrian rule, was to be a member of the
Federation, and the Dukes of Tuscany and Modena were to resume their
thrones. Napoleon wished to add a further stipulation that neither side
should use their armies to secure this latter object, but over this there
rose so much haggling that the outcome was only an understanding between
the two Emperors (not committed to paper) that Austria would not oppose the
establishment of constitutional government in those States, should they
themselves desire it, but at the same time she retained by her silence her
right to interfere for other reasons; while France on her side asserted
that she would neither restore the Dukes by force of arms herself nor--and
here lay a point of great importance--allow Austria to interfere should she
act upon the right she had reserved.

As may be imagined, to men who had set their hearts on a free united Italy,
such a treaty was exasperating. However aware Victor Emmanuel might be that
he owed much to France, he could not but be bitterly disappointed by
Napoleon withdrawing his help when the struggle had just begun and when the
freedom of Lombardy alone had been won. Cavour resigned in a passion of
resentment that Victor Emmanuel should have countenanced such a peace.
"Siamo traditi" was the cry at Milan and Turin. Yet Napoleon had already
done much for the union of Italy; in fact, he had done more than he knew,
and far more than he ever intended. Though no one at first fully realized
it, the stipulation that Austria should not attempt to use force to restore
the fugitive Dukes, and that France should abstain from similar
interference, really opened a path for the union of Italy. This was the
first important juncture at which Lord John brought valuable assistance to
the cause of "Italy for the Italians," since he kept Napoleon to his
promise, after he had good reasons to regret it, and bent the whole weight
of England's influence towards persuading reluctant Austria to accept on
her side the principle of complete non-intervention.

It must be remembered that the terms of Villafranca, in so far as the
question of armed intervention was concerned, had never been finally
ratified; and it was Napoleon's wish that the European Powers should form a
Congress at Zürich, at which the Convention would acquire the stability of
a European treaty, and the nature of the proposed Italian Federation be
finally defined. Lord John and Palmerston, while protesting against the
clause of the treaty which, by including Venice in the Federation, still
left Austria a preponderating influence in Italian affairs, refused to take
part in this Congress unless Napoleon promised beforehand to withdraw his
army from Italy as soon as possible, and to join England in insisting that
no Austrian troops should be allowed in future to cross the borders of
their own Venetian territory.

At home the English Court did its best to prevent its Ministers exacting
these promises. It was the Queen's strong wish that the Federation of Italy
and the restoration of the Dukes of Parma and Modena should stand as
Austria's compensation for yielding Lombardy to Italy, and that the
Congress at Zürich should insist upon these conditions forming part of the
ultimate European treaty. She objected to the pressure which Lord John was
applying to France, on the ground that in making England's presence
conditional upon an assurance that Napoleon would consider terms more
favourable to Italian independence than those already signed at
Villafranca, her Ministers were abandoning neutrality and intervening
deliberately upon the side of Victor Emmanuel. The contest between the
Court and the Foreign Office was obstinate on both sides; at one time it
seemed likely that Palmerston and Lord John would be forced to resign. Lord
John succeeded, however, in obtaining a favourable assurance from Napoleon
to the effect that if it should prove impossible to construct an Italian
Federation in which Austria _could_ not predominate, he would accept a
proposal for an Italian Federation from which Austria was excluded
entirely. On these terms England consented to appear; but after all these
intricate delays the Congress, dated to meet in January, 1860, never sat.
In December a pamphlet, inspired by Napoleon himself, entitled "Le Pape et
le Congrès," had appeared, which advocated the Pope's abandonment of all
territory beyond the limits of the patrimony of St. Peter, and declared
that the settlement of this important matter should lie not with the
Congress, but in the hands of Napoleon himself. If these were the Emperor's
own views, Austria pronounced that she could take no part in the Congress;
for she would then be denied a voice in decisions very near her interests
as a Catholic Power and the first enemy of Italian union. The Congress
consequently fell through.

Meanwhile events had been moving rapidly in Italy. Relieved from the
immediate fear of Austrian coercion, the Tuscan Assembly had voted their
own annexation to the kingdom of Piedmont, and the duchies of Modena and
Parma and the Romagna soon followed suit. The question remained, could
Victor Emmanuel venture to accept these offers? He had the moral support of
England on his side, and in his favour the threat of Napoleon that should
Austria advance beyond her Venetian territory, the French would take the
field against her; but on the other hand, Austria declared that if the King
of Piedmont moved a single soldier into these States she would fight at
once, and Napoleon, while he threatened Austria, did not wish Victor
Emmanuel to widen his borders. Cavour was now again at the head of the
Piedmontese Government, and the problem of British diplomacy was to propose
terms so favourable to Italian liberty that Cavour would not be tempted to
provoke another war as a desperate bid for a united Italy, and yet of a
kind that France and Austria would accept. The terms Lord John offered
were: (1) that Austria and France should both agree to abstain from
intervention, except at the invitation of the five Great Powers; (2) that
another vote should be taken in those States which had desired to
amalgamate with Piedmont before the King should be free to enter their
territories. The other provisions dealt with the preservation of the
_status quo_ in Venetia and the withdrawal of the French troops from
Rome and Northern Italy.

It will be seen that the first clause was merely a reiteration, a
reinforcement with Europe to back it, of the clause which Napoleon, blind
to its results, had attempted to induce the Emperor of Austria to put upon
paper at Villafranca. Having failed then, he had contented himself with
announcing that he would not interfere himself, nor allow Austria to
interfere, by force of arms in Italy, a promise to which English diplomacy
had from that moment firmly held him. We have seen, too, that before Lord
John had consented to take part in the Zurich Congress, he had exacted from
Napoleon an assurance that he would consider, as an alternative to the
Federation proposed at Villafranca, the formation of an Italian Federation
in which Venice (or in other words Austria) should have no part whatever.
Such a Federation would not have been very different from the amalgamation
with Piedmont which the other States had just proposed of their own accord;
and consequently the Emperor of the French could not well protest against
Lord John's proposals without repudiating all his earlier negotiations.
Thus England and Italy now held France on their side, an unwilling ally in
diplomacy, and Austria, on whom Lord John had endeavoured all along to
force the principle of non-intervention, at last gave way. She refused,
however, to commit herself for the future, or to admit that she had not the
right to interfere at any time in Italy's affairs; but she let it be known
that, for the present, reluctance to renew war with France and Piedmont
would determine her actions. Of course the people of the States confirmed
their vote in favour of annexation, and on April 2, 1860, the first
Parliament representing Piedmont and Central Italy met at Turin.

This was the first stage in the making of Italy. When it was completed
there remained only three independent Powers (excluding Austrian Venice)
dividing the peninsula among them--in the north the new kingdom of
Piedmont; in the centre the diminished Papal States; in the south the
kingdom of Naples. Lord John, as the spokesman of England, by playing off
Napoleon, who was no friend to Italian unity, against Francis Joseph, who
was the prime enemy of Italian freedom, had secured for Italy an
opportunity to work out her own salvation. He and Cavour together had
forced Napoleon to prevent Austria from checking what Napoleon himself
would have liked to prevent.

Subsequently it came to light that Napoleon's surprising readiness in
agreeing to the annexation of Central Italy in April had been due to a
private arrangement between him and Cavour in the previous month. It was
agreed between them in March that Savoy and Nice should be handed over to
France as the price of her acquiescence. In the secret treaty of
Plombières, Napoleon's reward for helping the Piedmontese, should the war
leave Venice, Lombardy, and the Romagna in Victor Emmanuel's hands, had
been fixed as the cession of these territories to France. But since
Napoleon had withdrawn and made peace when, as yet, only Lombardy had been
wrested from Austria, he had waived his claim upon Nice and Savoy at
Villafranca, and claimed in exchange a contribution towards his expenses in
the war. But the moment Piedmont proposed to annex Tuscany, the Romagna and
the Duchies, he returned to his original claim. His action had two
important results: one which immediately added to the complication of
Italian politics, and one which affected the diplomatic relations of the
Great Powers for the next eleven years. In Italy his demand made a lasting
breach between Cavour and Garibaldi. The latter never forgave the cession
of Nice, his native town, to France, and never could be convinced that the
sacrifice of Italian territory was a necessary step towards uniting Italy.
In his eyes the agreement with Napoleon had been a kind of treason on the
part of Cavour. Among the European Powers, on the other hand, Napoleon's
action created an impression, which was never effaced, that he was a
predatory and treacherous power.

In England the news was received with the greatest indignation. Lord John
was extremely angry, and practically threatened war. He, like Garibaldi,
did not realize that Cavour was driven to the concession, nor that Napoleon
was, in truth, compelled on his side to demand what he did. The following
letter from Sir James Hudson, the English Minister at Turin--"uomo
italianissimo," as Cavour called him--is particularly interesting, because,
though addressed to Lady John, it reads as though it were also intended for
the eyes of the Foreign Secretary, from whom indignation had temporarily
concealed the truth that this sacrifice was the only compensation which
would have induced Napoleon to look on quietly while the new kingdom of
Italy was consolidating on his frontier. The last event Cavour desired was
a war between the two Powers whose unanimity forced neutrality upon
Austria. Napoleon on his side was practically obliged to demand Savoy and
Nice as a barrier against Italy, and because the acquisition of territory
alone could have prevented his subjects from feeling that they had lost
their lives and money only to further the aims of Victor Emmanuel.

    _Sir James Hudson to Lady John Russell_

    TURIN, _April_ 6, 1860

    MY DEAR LADY JOHN,--I have seen Braico--Poerio brought him to me
    after I had offered my services to him in your name, and we have
    combined to dine together and to perform other feats, besides
    gastronomic ones, in order to cheer him whilst he resides in these
    (to a Parthenopean) Boeotian regions.

    You mention in your letter the name of that scandal to royalty,
    Louis Napoleon. What can I say of him? Hypocrite and footpad
    combined. He came to carry out an "idea," and he prigs the silver
    spoons. "Take care of your pockets" ought to be the cry whenever he
    appears either personally or by deputy.

    But do not, I beg of you, consider and confound either the King of
    Sardinia or Cavour as his accomplice. Think for a moment on the
    condition of Sardinia, who represents the nascent hope of Italy.
    Think of the evil that man meant--how he tried to trip up the heels
    of Tuscany, establish a precarious vicarial existence for the
    Romagna, and plots now at Naples. Not to have surrendered when he
    cried "stand and deliver" would have been to have risked all that
    was gained--would have given breathing time to Rome, reinforced and
    comforted Rome's partisans in the Romagna--have induced doubt,
    fear, and disunion throughout Italy. Judging by the experience of
    the last eight years, I must say I saw no means of avoiding the
    rocks ahead save by a sop to Cerberus. But do not lose confidence
    in the National party--Cavour or no Cavour, Victor Emmanuel or
    another, that party is determined to give Italy an Italian
    representation. I regret that the Nizzards (who have a keen eye to
    the value of building lots) are wrenched from us by a French
    _filou_; but I cannot forget that the Savoyards have
    constantly upheld the Pope, and have been firm and consistent in
    their detestation of Liberal Government in Sardinia. _I am not
    speaking of the neutral parts_, please remember.

    Your most devoted servant,


Meanwhile the reign of Francis II of Naples and the Two Sicilies, who had
succeeded Ferdinand, was proving if anything worse than his father's. Early
in 1860 insurrections began to break out in Sicily, and on May 5th
Garibaldi, on his own initiative, set sail from Genoa to help the rebels.
"I go," he said, "a general without an army, to fight an army without a
general." His success was extraordinarily rapid. At the end of May he had
taken Palermo from 24,000 regular troops with his volunteers and some
Sicilian help, thus making the dictatorship of Sicily, which he had
declared on landing, a reality. It soon became known that he intended to
recross to the mainland to free the people of Naples itself. Piedmont, of
course, wished Garibaldi to succeed in this further undertaking. His cause
was her cause. Though this action was entirely independent, his
dictatorship had been avowed as a preliminary step to handing over the
island to Victor Emmanuel. The King could not, therefore, oppose him nor
prevent him re-embarking for Naples without separating himself from the
cause of United Italy and making an enemy of almost every patriot in the
country; but both he and Cavour were afraid either that Garibaldi might
fail, in which case the union of Italy would have been postponed for many
years, or that the pace at which changes were coming would lead France or
Austria to interfere again.

France, of course, was most anxious to stop the further increase of the
power of Piedmont, and therefore to check Garibaldi. Napoleon's idea of
"United Italy" was a federation of separate States under the presidency of
the Pope, who in his turn would be under the influence of France. He at
once put pressure upon Cavour and Victor Emmanuel, compelling the latter to
write to Garibaldi, telling him to stop in Sicily. Thus, in spite of her
desire that Garibaldi should sail and succeed, Piedmont was compelled
publicly to express disapproval of his intention. In England it was
supposed that Cavour meant what he made the King say in his letter to
Garibaldi, and in addition Palmerston, who was glad enough to see the old
Governments of the little States tumbling to the ground, was rather alarmed
at the prospect of a United Italy, which would also be a Mediterranean
Power. Hitherto the honour of assisting Italy had belonged equally to him
and to Lord John. Henceforward, however, Lord John, who had been brought up
in the Fox tradition, and whose Italian sympathies had been fortified by
his wife's enthusiasm, definitely took the lead in determining England's

The aim of Cavour was to help the revolution as much as possible without
making it obvious to Europe that he was doing so; but, like everybody else,
Lord John had taken him at his word, and thought that the liberation of
Italy might be retarded by Garibaldi's departure from Sicily for the
mainland, till information reached him that in reality Piedmont was most
anxious nothing should hinder Garibaldi's attack upon Naples. It reached
him apparently in the following manner.

Cavour determined to appeal to the Russells personally through a secret
agent. With this object Mr. Lacaita [afterwards Sir James Lacaita], who had
been exiled from Naples for having helped Gladstone to write his famous
letters upon the state of the Neapolitan prisons, which Lacaita knew from
inside, was instructed to call upon Lord John in London and to tell him
that in spite of her official declaration, Piedmont was desperately anxious
that Garibaldi should drive the King of Naples from the throne; for
Garibaldi's extraordinary success in Sicily had made his failure on the
mainland far less likely, and Cavour was now certain that there was not
much power of resistance left in the Neapolitan kingdom. Lacaita, though
ill in bed, got up and went to deliver his message. He was told that Lord
John was closeted with the French and Neapolitan ambassadors and could not
see him. Lacaita guessed that Lord John was at that very moment talking
over the means of preventing Garibaldi's expedition, and he immediately
decided to ask for Lady John. When informed that she was seriously ill, he
insisted upon being taken up into her bedroom, and adjured her for the love
of Italy to get Lord John away from the ambassadors at once. A scribbled
note begging her husband to come to her immediately brought him upstairs in
some alarm. And there he learnt from Lacaita that Victor Emmanuel's letter
of July 25th was a blind, that united Italy must be made now or never, and
that he would never be forgiven if England stopped Garibaldi.

This incident is recorded by several persons to whom Mr. Lacaita told the
story. [54] It explains the sudden right-about of English diplomacy at this
juncture, which, as Persigny shows in his memoirs, puzzled and astonished
him. For Lord John having received this information, refused to act with
France in preventing Garibaldi from crossing the Straits of Messina. This
he accordingly did, and marched straight on to Naples, where he was
welcomed as a deliverer; the royal troops deserted or retreated to Capua,
and Garibaldi made his entrance into Naples, as was said in the House of
Commons, "a simple traveller by railway with a first-class ticket." Before
the end of October the King of Sardinia and Garibaldi met near Teano and
Garibaldi saluted Victor Emmanuel as King of Italy.

[54] Lady John's diaries of 1860 being lost, this incident is given here on
the sole authority of the late Sir James Lacaita.

On October 27, 1860, Lord John wrote a dispatch, in which he said that--

    Her Majesty's Government can see no sufficient grounds for the
    severe censure with which Austria, France, Prussia, and Russia have
    visited the acts of the King of Sardinia. Her Majesty's Government
    will turn their eyes rather to the gratifying prospect of a people
    building up the edifice of their liberties and consolidating the
    work of their independence....

Lord John also quoted from "that eminent jurist Vattel" the following
words: "When a people from good reasons take up arms against an oppressor,
it is but an act of justice and generosity to assist brave men in the
defence of their liberties."

    _Mr. Odo Russell to Lord John Russell_

    ROME, _December_ 1, 1860

    MY DEAR UNCLE,--Ever since your famous dispatch of the 27th, you
    are blessed night and morning by twenty millions of Italians. I
    could not read it myself without deep emotion, and the moment it
    was published in Italian, thousands of people copied it from each
    other to carry it to their homes and weep over it for joy and
    gratitude in the bosom of their families, away from brutal
    mercenaries and greasy priests. Difficult as the task is the
    Italians have now before them, I cannot but think that they will
    accomplish it better than we any of us hope, for every day
    convinces me more and more that I am living in the midst of a
    _great_ and _real_ national movement, which will at last
    be crowned with perfect success, notwithstanding the legion of
    enemies Italy still counts in Europe.

    Your affectionate nephew,


Such was the second important juncture at which the British Ministry came
to the rescue of the Italian nationalists. If after Villafranca the
negotiations which secured the safety of Italy were the work of three men,
Palmerston, Lord John, and Gladstone, contending against an indifferent and
timid Cabinet and the opposition of the Court--it is clear that when the
success or failure of Italian unity was a second time at stake, the
decision and initiative were Lord John's.

After his retirement, when he was travelling with his family in 1869, they
took a villa at San Remo. The ceiling of the _salon_ was decorated
with those homely frescoes so common in Italy, which in this case consisted
of four portraits--Garibaldi, Cavour, Mazzini, and--to their surprise--Lord
John himself. Next to the national heroes he was associated closest in the
minds of the people with the achievement of their independence.

When Garibaldi came to England in the spring of 1864, and received a more
than royal welcome, Pembroke Lodge was, naturally, one of the first houses
he visited. On April 21, 1864, Lady John writes in her diary:

    All looked anxiously to the sky on getting up--all rejoiced to see
    it bright. Sunshine the whole day. Garibaldi to luncheon at
    Pembroke Lodge. Our school children, ranged alongside of approach
    with flags, cheered him loudly. All went well and pleasantly.

    John gave him a stick of British oak. Garibaldi gave John his own
    in exchange.

    Agatha gave him a nosegay of green, red, and white--he kissed her
    on the forehead. Much interesting conversation with him at
    luncheon. Told him he would be blamed by many for his praise of
    Mazzini yesterday. He said that he and Mazzini differed as to what
    was best for Italy, but Mazzini had been his teacher in early
    youth--had been unjustly blamed and was _malheureux_. "Et j'ai
    cru devoir dire quelque chose," and that he (Garibaldi) had been in
    past years accused of being badly influenced by Mazzini: "Ceux qui
    ont dit cela ne me connaissent pas." That when he acts it is
    because he himself is convinced he ought. Inveighed bitterly
    against Louis Napoleon, whom he looks upon as _hors la loi_.
    Simple dignity in every word he utters.

    Park full of people. Richmond decorated with flags.



Since only political events in which Lady John was herself deeply
interested or those which affected her life through her husband's career
are here to the purpose, the other international difficulties with which
Lord John had to deal as Secretary for Foreign Affairs in this Government
may be quickly passed over. And for the same reason the domestic politics
of these years require only the briefest notice. Palmerston's Ministry
produced very little social legislation, and the fact that Lord John was at
the Foreign Office, while the Prime Minister led the Commons, increased the
legislative inactivity of a Government which, with Palmerston at its head,
would in any case have changed little in the country. Gladstone's budgets
and Cobden's Free-Trade Treaty with France were the important events.
Between 1860 and 1864 the taxation of the country was reduced by twelve
millions, the National Debt by eleven millions, and the nation's income
increased by twenty-seven millions, while foreign trade had risen in two
years by seventy-seven millions. These were the most splendid results a
Chancellor of the Exchequer has ever been able to show; but the changes by
which it had been achieved had been far from welcome to Palmerston himself.
It had required great resolution on Gladstone's part to carry the Prime
Minister with him.

Many comments have been made on the indifference which the country showed
to domestic reform during these years of Liberal Government; but it is not
very surprising. It is a familiar fact that when foreign affairs are
exciting the people are not eager about social or political reform, a fact
upon which Governments have always been able to count. And foreign affairs
had been very exciting. Under Lord John and Palmerston our own foreign
policy had been bold and peremptory; the policy of France was directed by
Napoleon, whose head, as Palmerston said, was as full of schemes as a
rabbit-warren is of rabbits; and the quarrel of 1852 between Prussia and
Denmark had arisen again in a far acuter form. It was, therefore, natural
that popular attention should be constantly turned abroad.

The deaths of those who linked Lady John with her childhood now came
quickly. Her father, Lord Minto, died a month after Lord John had taken
office. He had been ailing for some time.

    LONDON.--PEMBROKE LODGE, _May_ 2, 1859

    John at 7 a.m. to Huntingdon to propose Mr. Heathcote at
    nomination; back to Pembroke Lodge about five, having been very
    well received, but chiefly by the _ill-dressed_. Papa
    surprisingly well--saw him on my way out of town; far the happiest
    sight I had yet had of him. Dear Papa, he looked so pleased, smiled
    so brightly when he saw me. "Ah, dear Fanny! How glad I am to see
    you! How fresh and well you look." Held my hand all the time I was
    with him.... I said I hoped in his place I should be as
    patient--that he was an example to us all, as he always had
    been.... Said few daughters could look back at my age without being
    able to remember having heard from their father one word but of
    love and kindness....

He died on July 31, 1859. His keen interest in public questions continued
to the end, with a firm belief in the ultimate triumph of good. "Magna est
veritas et prevalebit" were almost the last words he spoke on his

During the autumn of 1860 Lord John accompanied the Queen to Coburg, where
boar-shooting with the Prince Consort and Court-life (he never liked its
formalities) failed to console him for absence from wife and children.

    _Lady John to Lord John Russell_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _October_ 11, 1860

    I found two letters from you here.... So you are fairly on your
    journey and safe so far. And here I am with my large detachment,
    all well and merry, and all at dear beloved home again after our
    wanderings. I am so thankful, and I hope to be still more so in
    five days, when I am no longer doomed to sing "There's nae luck
    about the house," as I have done daily for three weeks.... That you
    should have killed a wild boar is all but incredible, and makes me
    expect to see you with a long moustache and green _Fäger_

In April, 1861, Lord John's second daughter, Victoria, married Mr.
Villiers, son of the Bishop of Durham. Lady John wrote some verses to her
on her marriage which are published in Walpole's "Life of Lord John

In May the Duke of Bedford died. The Duke had been Lord John's close
friend, and had often advised him at the beginning of his career. He was
one of those influential noblemen who watch politics with unflagging
interest, but without the smallest desire to take an active part in them.
It was his pride and pleasure to know the ins and outs of a situation
perhaps even better than some of the principal actors in it, and his
judgment was always at his brother's service. On his death Lord John
inherited the Ardsalla estate in Ireland. The loss of his brother
precipitated perhaps an intention he had considered for some time of saving
his strength by accepting a peerage, and exchanging the strenuous life of
the House of Commons for the lighter work of the House of Lords. The
exchange was effected in July, when Lord John became Earl Russell.

    "Very dismal about the peerage," writes Lady John in her diary,
    "and seeing only the sad side of it.... John made a fine speech on
    Sardinia, perhaps his last in the House of Commons."

    _Lady Minto [55] to Lady John Russell_

    _July_ 20, 1861

    ...It is impossible not to feel _very sad_ in parting with a
    name which has so long been the rallying point of the Liberal
    party, the watchword of all those who in our day have fought the
    good fight, and, whatever name he may bear, it will never carry to
    English ears the same sound as "Lord John." People older than
    ourselves had looked to it with hope; and in our time, whenever
    Liberty has been in danger, or truth or justice or the national
    honour has been attacked, the first question which rose to men's
    lips was, "What will Lord John do?"....I remember his first speech
    on the China War in 1856. How empty the House was when he rose, how
    rapidly it filled to overflowing; then the intense silence which
    followed the rush, and lastly the overpowering cheers from all
    sides as he went on. To leave the scene where he has so long
    wielded at will the, alas! _not fierce_ "democracie" (and it
    will be milder still without him!) must require immense
    self-control and self-denial.

[55] Formerly Lady Melgund. Her husband had now succeeded his
father as third Earl of Minto.

    _Lord John Russell to Lady Minto_

    LONDON, _July_ 23, 1861

    MY DEAREST NINA,--It seems very bad of us not to have explained
    duly and deliberately that I have the project resolved upon and
    decided of accepting a peerage. But there have been many changes in
    my mind before the final leap was resolved upon. Forty-seven years
    of the House of Commons are enough for any man, and imply a degree
    of wear and tear which those who read the speeches listlessly at
    the breakfast table have little conception of. A reply which is to
    go to Paris, Petersburg, Turin, and Washington requires much
    presence of mind, and often much previous thought, work, etc. A
    calmer atmosphere will suit better my old age, but I could not
    leave my companions on the Treasury Bench while any change was
    impending, and if I were to wait till 1862 I might again find the
    ship in a storm, and be loath to take to the boat. About a title
    for Johnny there is still some doubt, but I shall be Earl Russell,
    and make little change in the signature of

    Your affectionate brother,


In August Lord and Lady Russell and their children went to Abergeldie
Castle, which had been lent to them for several successive autumns. Their
free and happy life in the Highlands was delightful to them all. In October
Lady Russell writes: "Left our beautiful Highland home.... Very very
thankful for all our happy Abergeldie days."

In the April of this year the American Civil War had broken out, and the
Ministry had been obliged to decide the question whether England should
recognize the Southerners as "belligerents" or accept the Northern view of
them as "rebels." The touchiness of the Northerners, and the fact that in
England many people sympathized loudly with the South, made it difficult
for the Ministry to maintain the attitude of neutrality, which, while
recognizing the Southern Confederacy as a belligerent Power, they had
officially declared in May. In November two Commissioners, sent by the
Confederacy to put the case of the South before the Courts of Europe, were
forcibly seized on board the _Trent_, an English, and therefore a
neutral, vessel. This was a breach of international law, and the resentment
it provoked in England was increased by the truculent attitude of the North
in the face of our demand for the restoration of the Commissioners. The
Congress, instead of apologizing, proceeded to pass a vote of thanks to
Captain Wilks for having intercepted the _Trent_.

    _Lady Russell to Lady Dunfermline_ [56]

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _December_ 13, 1861

    When the account of the seizure of the Southern Commissioners first
    reached us I was afraid of the effect on John's health and spirits,
    as you may well believe; but, as you say, he could not but feel
    that there had been no fault on our side, that not a word had been
    spoken, not a deed done by him but what showed the friendliest
    feeling to the United States, and the strongest wish to remain at
    peace with them. I wish the newspapers were blameless; but there
    was a sneering, exulting tone in many of them after the military
    disasters of the North which was likely to irritate. Mr. Motley
    said long ago that the _Times_ would, if possible, work up a
    war between the two countries, and though I can't speak from my own
    knowledge, as I have seldom looked at its articles, I have no doubt
    from what John and others say that he was right.... There can be no
    doubt that we have done deeds very like that of Captain Wilks--not
    exactly like, because no two cases ever are so--but I wish we had
    not done them, and I suppose and hope we shall admit they were very
    wrong. It is all terrible and awful, and I hope and pray war may be
    averted--and whatever may have been the first natural burst of
    indignation in this country, I believe it would be ready to
    execrate the Ministry if all right and honourable means were not
    taken to prevent so fearful a calamity.

[56] Her husband, Mr. Ralph Abercromby, was now Lord Dunfermline.

    _December_ 19, 1861

    John to town to see Mr. Adams [57].... John's interview with Mr.
    Adams encouraging. Mr. Adams showed him a dispatch from Mr. Seward
    declaring Government to be quite uncommitted as to opinion on
    seizure of Commissioners.

[57] American Minister in London.

In December the Prince Consort died. Almost his last public act was to
modify the dispatch sent in reply to the vote in Congress, so that it
offered the North an opportunity of relaxing with dignity their
uncompromising attitude.

    _Lady Russell to Lady Charlotte Portal_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _December_ 24, 1861

    I know you, like everybody, must have been thinking much of our
    poor desolate Queen. Her anguish, her loneliness of heart on that
    pinnacle of human greatness, must weigh on all who have known how
    happy she was; but to us who have often seen that lost happiness,
    it is almost like a grief of our own. I don't believe I have ever
    seen her take his arm without the thought crossing my mind: "There
    is the real blessing of your life--that which alone makes you as
    happy a woman as others in spite of your crown." Everybody must
    have been full of dread of the effect upon her, but she has borne
    up nobly--or rather, she has bowed humbly to God's will, and takes
    comfort in her children. It must be soothing to her that his rare
    worth is now fully acknowledged and gratefully felt by the whole

    _January_ 7, 1862

    John to town at twelve, back at half-past six; dispatches and
    letters from Lord Lyons of December 26th discouraging, cabinet
    still considering our demands. Surrender possible, but in Lord
    Lyons's opinion very unlikely.

    _January_ 8, 1862

    Telegram to John at 6 p.m. Commissioners surrendered! Thank God.
    General rejoicing in the House.

    _Lady Russell to Lady Dunfermline_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _January_ 13, 1862

    Well, what do you say to our American triumph? It ought to go far
    to cure you all. It is long since any political event has given me,
    my particular self, such unmixed pleasure. For my country, for my
    husband, and for the other country too, with all its sins, I
    rejoice with all my heart and soul. John is delighted. He was very
    anxious up to the last moment.

    ...We "Plodgians" were all so delighted that it has been a surprise
    to us to hear of the very tempered joy, or rather the ill-concealed
    disappointment, of _London society_; but John says London
    society is always wrong, and I believe the country to be all right.

    _Lady Russell to Lady Dunfermline_

    LONDON, _February_ 10, 1863

    You ask me about Kinglake's book--everybody except ourselves is
    reading or has read it.... With regard to the sleepy Cabinet dinner
    at Pembroke Lodge he has from what we hear fallen into great
    inaccuracy.... John says that the despatch, having been circulated
    in the Cabinet before that dinner, was already well known to them
    all. As far as he remembers none but Sir William Molesworth went to
    sleep. I remember perfectly how several of them told me afterwards
    about Sir William sleeping and falling from his chair, and we have
    often laughed about it, but I do not remember being told of anybody
    else going to sleep. I suppose I shall read the book, but I cannot
    tell you how I shrink from anything that must recall and make one
    live over again those terrible months of vacillation and weakness,
    the consequence of a Coalition Cabinet, which "drifted" us into a
    most terrible war--a war from which consistency and firmness would
    have saved us. A thoroughly Aberdeen Ministry would have maintained
    peace. A thoroughly Russell or Palmerston Ministry would have
    maintained peace and honour too.

    _Lord Russell to Lady Minto_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _July_ 9, 1863

    Parliament is coming to an end, most people being tired of talking
    and everybody of listening.... Lord Chelmsford says in honour of
    the House of Lords: "The Commons have a great deal to do and they
    don't do it--the Lords have nothing to do and they do it."

In 1863 relations between England and America were again strained. English
vessels were perpetually running the blockade to bring cotton to England
and goods to the Southern ports--a risky but highly profitable business.
They were often captured by Northern cruisers and forfeited. There were
complaints on our side that the Federal courts were not always careful to
distinguish in their decisions between cases of deliberate blockade-running
and legitimate trading with ports beyond the Southern frontier. The North,
besides blockade-running, had a further cause of complaint. The
Confederates were getting cruisers built for them in neutral ports. The
most famous case of the kind was that of the _Alabama_, which was
built in the Mersey. The English Government had information of its
destination, but failed to prevent it sailing--a failure which eventually
cost us an indemnity of £3,000,000. The speech referred to in the following
letter was made in the midst of these troubles. It was a defence of
England's good faith in the matter of the _Alabama_ and an assertion
that Americans should be left to settle their own difficulties without
European mediation. At this time the French Government and a strong party
in England were in favour of European intervention. By securing the
independence of the South, they hoped to diminish the power of the United
States in the future. Such an idea could only be entertained while the
struggle between North and South seemed evenly balanced. The next year
showed the hopelessness of such a project and vindicated the wisdom of the
English Government in having refused to attempt to divide America into two
independent Powers.

    _Mr. William Vernon Harcourt (later Sir William) to Lady

    _September_ 28, 1863

    I hope you will excuse my taking the liberty to write you a line of
    admiration and satisfaction at Lord Russell's speech at Meiklour
    [in Scotland], which I have just read. I take so deep and lively an
    interest in the great American question and all that concerns it
    that I looked forward to the authorized exposition of English
    policy by the Foreign Secretary with the greatest anxiety. Lord
    Russell's speech, will, I am sure, be of immense service both to
    Europe and to America. It has the _juste milieu_, and withal
    does not suppress the sympathy which every good man must feel for
    the cause of freedom, in a manner which more than ever justifies
    the Loch Katrine boatman's opinion of his "terrible judgment."

    I cannot help feeling that this speech has for the first time
    publicly placed the position of England in its true light before
    the world, and I with many another one am very grateful for it.
    Among all Lord Russell's many titles to fame and to public
    gratitude, the manner in which he has steered the vessel of the
    State through the Scylla and Charybdis of the American War will, I
    think, always stand conspicuous.... Now I am going to ask a great
    favour. I saw at Minto a copy of verses written for the
    summer-house at Pembroke Lodge, of which I formed the highest
    opinion. May I have a copy of them? I should really be most
    sincerely grateful and treasure them up amongst the things I really

These are the lines referred to by Mr. Harcourt:

    To J.R. PEMBROKE LODGE, _June_ 30, 1850

      Here, statesman, rest, and while thy ranging sight
      Drinks from old sources ever new delight
      Unbind the weary shackles of the week,
      And find the Sabbath thou art come to seek.
      Here lay the babbling, lying Present by,
      And Past and Future call to counsel high;
      To Nature's worship say thy loud Amen,
      And learn of solitude to mix with men.
      Here hang on every rose a thorny care,
      Bathe thy vexed soul in unpolluted air,
      Fill deep from ancient stream and opening flower,
      From veteran oak and wild melodious bower,
      With love, with awe, the bright but fleeting hour.
      Here bid the breeze that sweeps dull vapours by,
      Leaving majestic clouds to deck the sky,
      Fan from thy brow the lines unrest has wrought,
      But leave the footprint of each nobler thought.
      Now turn where high from Windsor's hoary walls,
      To keep her flag unstained thy Sovereign calls;
      Now wandering stop where wrapt in mantle dun,
      As if her guilty head Heaven's light would shun,
      London, gigantic parent, looks to thee,
      Foremost of million sons her guide to be;
      On the fair land in gladness now gaze round,
      And wish thy name with hers in glory bound.
      With one alone when fades the glowing West,
      Beneath the moonbeam let thy spirit rest,
      While childhood's silvery tones the stillness break
      And all the echoes of thy heart awake.
      Then wiser, holier, stronger than before,
      Go, plunge into the maddening strife once more;
      The dangerous, glorious path that thou hast trod,
      Go, tread again, and with thy country's God.


    WOBURN ABBEY, _August_ 18, 1864

    My dear, dear husband's birthday. [He was seventy-two.] I resolved
    not to let sad and untrustful thoughts come in the way of gratitude
    for present happiness, and oh! how thankfully I looked at him with
    his children around him. They made him and me join them in a match
    at trap-ball that lasted two hours and a half. He, the boys, Johnny
    and Agatha rode, Mademoiselle and I drove in the same direction. He
    and his cavalcade were a pleasant sight to me. He looked pleased
    and proud with his three sons and his little daughter galloping
    beside him. The day ended with merry games.

In September, 1864, came the news of Lord Amberley's engagement to Lord
Stanley of Alderley's daughter. He was at that time only twenty-one. Lady
Russell's feeling about it is shown in the following letter:

    _Lady Russell to Lady Georgiana Russell_

    NORTH BERWICK, _September_ 21, 1864

    MY DEAREST GEORGY,--Your long and dear letters were a great
    pleasure to me, showing how you are thinking and feeling with us
    about this event, so great to us all. Whatever pangs there may be
    belonging to it, and of course there are some, are lost and
    swallowed up to me in great joy and gratitude. We might have wished
    him to marry a little later, to have him a little longer a child of
    home. But, on the other hand, there is something to me very
    delightful in his marrying while heart and mind are fresh and
    innocent and unworldly, and I even add inexperienced--for I am not
    over-fond of experience. I think it just as often makes people less
    wise as more wise. There is more real truth in their "Ideale" than
    in what follows.... God bless you, dear child.

    Your very loving MAMA

In July, 1865, Parliament was dissolved, the Ministry having held office
for six years. They had lost prestige over the Schleswig-Holstein
negotiations. Lord Derby, with justification, denounced their policy as one
of "meddle and muddle," and Palmerston only escaped a vote of censure in
the Commons by being able to point to the prodigious success of the
Ministry's finance. His personal popularity and ascendancy, however, were
as great as ever; the Liberals were returned by a majority of sixty-seven.
Although this majority must have been more than they looked for, the
election disappointed Lord Russell in two respects: Gladstone lost his seat
at Oxford and Lord Amberley was beaten at Leeds. Before Parliament met
Palmerston fell seriously ill.

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _October_ 19, 1865

    Letter from the Queen at Balmoral to John telling him she means to
    ask him to carry on the Government in case of Lord Palmerston's
    death. Dearest John very calm and without the oppressed look and
    manner I always dread to see.

On the 18th of October Palmerston died. Had he taken the precautions usual
at the age of eighty, he might have lived longer, but in private as in
public life, he despised caution. He was one of those statesmen whom modern
critics, on the watch for the partially obsolete and with the complexity of
present problems always before them, tend to depreciate. He had the first
quality which is necessary for popularity: he was readily intelligible. In
addition he was prompt, combative, and magnanimous; shrewd, but never
subtle; sensible, but not imaginative. He had no ideas which he wished to
carry out; he did not like ideas. He wanted England to dominate in Europe
and to use her power good-naturedly afterwards; to be, in fact, what a
nobleman may be in his home-country, where he is universally looked up to
and ready to take immense trouble to settle fairly disputes between
inferiors. Opposition from a direction making it savour of impertinence he
stamped upon at once, without imagining the provocation or ideas from which
it might possibly spring; he could not understand, for instance, that there
might be two sides to the Chinese War. It is probable, too, that had not
the Prince Consort intervened to soften the asperity of the Government's
protest against the seizure of the Confederate emissaries on board the
_Trent_, we should have had war with the Northern States. This
menacing, peremptory attitude in diplomacy served him well, till Bismarck
crossed his path. In the encounter between the man with a great idea to
carry out, who had taken the measure of the forces against him, and the man
who had only, as it were, a dignified attitude to support in the eyes of
Europe, the odds were uneven, and Palmerston was beaten.

Lord Russell, though he must have been among the few who knew the Prime
Minister had been failing lately, writes that his death came with a shock
of surprise, he was so full of heart and health to the last.

Lord Russell now became Prime Minister, and Lord Clarendon took his place
at the Foreign Office.

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _November_ 2, 1865

    John to town at twelve, back at half-past five, having taken leave
    of the dear old Foreign Office and left Lord Clarendon there.
    Happy, happy days, so full of reality--the hours of work so
    cheerfully got through, the hours of leisure so delightful.
    Sometimes when I walk with my dear, dear husband and see my lovely
    Agatha bounding along with sparkling eyes and rosy cheeks, and the
    bright sun shining on the red and yellow trees, I can only feel the
    sunshine of life and forget its autumn leaves. Or when we sit
    together by our evening fire and talk, as our moods or fancies lead
    us, of things grave or gay, trifling or solemn, my heart seems to
    leap within me from the sense of happiness, and I can only utter
    silent and humble thanks to the Almighty Giver. It must end, oh,
    fearful thought!--parting and death must come; fearfully yet not
    despairingly I think of that end. Come when or how it will, it
    cannot take all away--this happiness, this unutterable gratitude is
    not for time only, but is mine for ever.

The succession of Lord Russell to Palmerston's place at the head of the
Government implied a change in its character and policy. It was not merely
a continuation of an old, but practically the formation of a new
Government. Lord Russell was bent upon introducing a Reform Bill, and thus
closing his career in forwarding the cause in which he had won his earliest
and most famous laurels, and for which he had on two other occasions
striven without success. But though the country was now in a mood for such
measures, and Gladstone's speeches in favour of an extension of the
franchise had been well received, the party which had been elected in
support of Palmerston was largely composed of men who shared his
indifference, if not his dislike, to all such proposals. In all probability
the Ministry was therefore doomed to a short life. "Palmerston," wrote Lord
Clarendon to Lord Granville, "held a great bundle of sticks together. They
are now loosened and there is nobody to tie them up." [58] In any case such
a Bill would require very careful steering. The first ominous sign of a
split occurred when it became necessary to fill the vacancy caused by the
retirement of Sir Charles Wood. A place in the Cabinet was offered to Mr.
Lowe, but he refused on the ground that he could not support Reform. Lord
Russell, with characteristic abruptness and without consulting his
colleagues, then offered the place to Mr. Goschen, who was quite unknown to
the public; he had only been three years in Parliament, and held a
subordinate office. [59] The choice was an admirable one, but to those who
had not read Mr. Goschen's book upon Foreign Exchanges the appointment
might well seem inexplicable.

[58] "Life of Lord Granville," by Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice.

[59] Promotion so rapid has only occurred once or twice in Parliamentary
history. See note, Morley's "Life of Gladstone," vol. ii, p. 156.

    LONDON, _February_ 3, 1866

    Sir Charles Wood [60] called--wished to see me alone--chiefly in
    order to talk about John, his occasional sudden acts without
    consulting colleagues, and the bad effect of so acting. He gave
    some instances, in which he was quite mistaken, some in which he
    was right. The subject was a difficult one for me--but his
    intentions were very kind, and as I heartily agree with him in the
    main, we got on very well, and as a wife I was glad to have the
    opportunity of saying some things of my dearest, dearest John, who
    is not always understood. Sir Charles took my hand, kissed it, and
    said: "God bless you."

[60] Sir Charles Wood retired with the title of Lord Halifax.

Early in March Lady Russell writes to her son Rollo, at Harrow, of a very
agreeable evening at Chesham Place, when Mr. Froude and Mr. Bright were
among her guests.

    _Lady Russell to Mr. Rollo Russell_

    _March_ 1, 1866

    I wish you had been here at the Friday dinner.... It was such a
    pleasant little dinner. Bright was between Johnny and me; ... his
    conversation is interesting; he is warm hearted and very much in
    earnest. We talked of Milton, Shakespeare, and poetry in general;
    he has intense admiration for Milton, as a man and as a poet, as he
    ought to have; but agreed with me that it is less improbable that
    the world should produce another Milton than another Shakespeare.
    He said reading poetry was the next to the greatest pleasure he had
    in life--the greatest was little children. These refined and
    amiable tastes are not what the common world would attribute to
    Bright, who is better known for determination and pugnacity.

Although Lord Russell and Lord Derby were the two leaders of their
respective parties, they were no longer the principal men on either side.
The centre of interest lay in the House of Commons, and Gladstone and
Disraeli were now the antagonists whom everybody watched. On March 12th the
Government's Reform Bill was introduced in a speech by Gladstone, which was
chiefly remarkable for lacking his usual fervour. The cause of this want of
ardour on his part lay in the nature of the Bill itself. In order to
conciliate the apathetic or hostile section of the party, the Cabinet,
against the advice of Lord Russell and the inclinations of Gladstone had
separated the franchise question from their redistribution scheme, which
ought to have been an integral part of any Reform Bill capable of meeting
the needs of the country. The grievances which such a Bill would aim at
mitigating, although less gigantic than those which called for removal at
the time of the first Reform Bill, were still serious enough. In 1865
"there was not one elector for each four inhabited houses, and five out of
every six adult males were without a vote." [61] But in addition to this
the large increase in population had been very unevenly distributed, with
the result that large towns like Liverpool were palpably under-represented.
The franchise had been fixed by the first Reform Bill at £10 a year rental.
The Bill which Gladstone brought forward in the Commons proposed to reduce
the county franchise from £50 to £14, and the borough franchise from £10 to
£7 rental. Gladstone wished to make the payment of rates qualify a man for
a vote; but this change was thought to be too radical, and any lowering of
the qualifying sum of £7 rental would, it was found, place the
working-classes in command of a majority in the towns--a result which the
Cabinet was not ready to face. Moderate as the measure was, it was received
with bitter hostility, while its half-heartedness roused little enthusiasm
among the keener Liberals of the party. The debates upon the first and
second readings were remarkable for energy of attack from the disaffected
section of the old Palmerstonian party, nicknamed the "Adullamites." Mr.
Lowe's speeches from "the cave of Adullam," "to which every one was invited
who was distressed, and every one who was discontented," are still [62]
remembered as among the most eloquent ever delivered in the House of
Commons. The second reading passed by so narrow a majority that the
Government thought it prudent to rally their reliable supporters, and meet
just criticisms upon the inadequacy of their Bill, by bringing forward a
redistribution measure and incorporating it with their franchise proposals.
For a time this served to help them. By declaring that they would also
stand or fall by the redistribution clauses of their Bill, they at any rate
showed a better front to the Opposition. Towards the end of June, however,
they were beaten in committee by eleven; their defeat being principally due
to the attacks and manoeuvres of Mr. Lowe and Mr. Horsman, who had been
Irish Secretary in Palmerston's first Ministry.

[61] Spencer Walpole, "The History of Twenty-five Years."

[62] John Bright's speech.

    _Lady Russell to her two sons at Harrow_

    _March_ 15, 1866

    ...Horsman and Lowe are both Liberals; Horsman used, I think, to be
    reckoned Radical. But both have taken a violent dislike to
    Parliamentary Reform, and certainly one would not guess by their
    speeches that they were liberal in anything. Mr. Lowe's was a very
    clever speech; Bright's very clever too, and very good. Of course
    the Bill does not satisfy him; but his honest support of it, being
    all in the right direction, is creditable to him and very useful to
    the measure. Your Papa is much pleased with the whole debate,
    thinking it a very good one (excellent speeches for and against the
    measure), and the result probably favourable to it. As to the
    likelihood of its passing, opinions vary. I hear that Lord Eversley
    (the late Speaker) says he would take a good big bet that it won't
    pass. Your Papa says he is ready to bet against him that it will.
    Will Ministers dissolve Parliament if beaten? To that I must answer
    I don't know. I heard Mr. Gladstone's speech. As Willy says, the
    latter part was very eloquent. It was all good; but the details of
    a Suffrage Act are tiresome, and the apparent indifference, or even
    apathy, of our side of the House allowed even the striking passages
    with which the speech was interspersed to fall dead. The passages
    were striking, but nobody seemed to be struck. I don't believe the
    real feeling is one of dislike to Reform; but that, of course, they
    don't like to show, as the greater part of them, in spite of
    dislike, will support it. Your classical hearts must have enjoyed
    Mr. Gladstone's "ligneus equus" quotation; but I am afraid Mr.
    Lowe's continuation was better. I never, or seldom, like quotations
    that merely illustrate what the subject of discussion does
    _not_ resemble--they are forced and without much point; but
    when Mr. Lowe _likens_ our Reform Bill to the "monstrum
    infelix," and hopes it will not succeed in penetrating the "muros"
    of the Constitution (isn't that pretty nearly what he said?) there
    is wit and point in the quotation. [63]

[63] Gladstone, in his apologetic introductory speech, had declared that no
one could regard the Bill as a Trojan horse, which the Government was
introducing surreptitiously within the citadel of the Constitution. "We
cannot say:

  "'Scandit fatalis machina muros
  Foeta armis.'"
  (The fated engine climbs our walls, big with arms.)

Mr. Lowe retorted:

    "That was not a very apt quotation; but there was a curious
    felicity about it which he [Mr. Gladstone] little dreamt of. The
    House remembers that, among other proofs of the degree in which
    public opinion is enlisted in the cause of Reform, is this--that
    this is now the fifth Reform Bill which has been brought in since
    1851. Now, just attend to the sequel of the passage quoted by the
    right honourable gentleman:

    "'O Divum domus Ilium et inclyta bello
    Mcenia Dardanidum! Quater ipso in limine portae
    Sustitit, atque utero sonitum quater arma dedere.'
    (O Troy, house of gods and Dardanian city famous in war! four times in
    the very gateway it stood, and four times the clash of arms sounded
    in its womb.)

    "But that is not all:

    "'Instamus tarn en immemores, caecique furore,
    Et monstrum infelix sacrata sistimus arce.'
    (Yet we, thoughtless and blind with enthusiasm, urged it on, and in our
    hallowed citadel stationed the ill-omened monster.)"

    _Mr. Charles Dickens to Lady Russell_

    GLASGOW, _April_ 17, 1866

    MY DEAR LADY RUSSELL,--...In sending my kindest regards to Lord
    Russell, let me congratulate you on the culminating victory before
    him, and on the faith and constancy with which the country carries
    him in its great heart. I have never felt so certain of any public
    event as I have been from the first that the national honour would
    feel itself stung to the quick if he were in danger of being

    Dear Lady Russell,

    Ever faithfully yours,


    LONDON, _April_ 19, 1866

    Political prospects not brightening. John and his Ministry will be
    in such an honourable position, whether they stand or fall, that no
    serious danger threatens the country if they fall. My only anxiety
    is lest John should be disappointed and depressed; and it was with
    a sense of relief of which he was little aware that I heard him say
    yesterday of his own accord, as he looked out of window at the
    bright sunshine, "I shall not be very sorry--it's such fine weather
    to go out in."

    LONDON, _June_ 19, 1866

    At 7.30 a note was brought to John from Mr. Gladstone. Government
    beaten by eleven. Happily Gladstone, though ambiguous in one
    sentence as to the importance of the vote, was not so in others--or
    at all events was understood to mean "stand or fall."

    Cabinet at 2.30 resolved that John should write to the Queen to
    offer resignations. Queen meantime writes from Balmoral, foreseeing
    the defeat, that she will not accept the resignations.

    Dearest John not depressed, though very sorry for this defeat of
    his hopes. He will stand well with the country, and that he feels.

The Queen could not understand the necessity of her Ministers' resignation.
The amendment upon which they had been defeated by so small a majority
seemed to her a matter of small importance compared with events which made
continuance in office desirable. For Bismarck had just declared war upon
Austria, and the failure of Overend and Gurney had thrown the City into
confusion. After a delay of more than a week, however, she was compelled to
accept their resignations, which had been tendered as early as June 19th.

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _June_ 28, 1866

    John so well and happy that my joy in his release becomes greater
    every hour. There is a sense of repose that can hardly be
    described--abounding happiness in his honourable downfall that
    cannot be uttered.

    _Lady Russell to Lady Dunfermline_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _June_ 30, 1866

    As I wrote to you last in a doubting and disagreeable state of
    mind, I am in a hurry to write again, being now perfectly certain
    that the blessings of the resignation far outweigh its pains. I do
    not care for the charge of fickleness which may with justice be
    made against me. I can only confirm it. The defeat made me very
    sad. I hoped for many days that John could honourably remain in
    office.... On the day of the resignation he was serious--perhaps
    sad--and so was I. The next day everything, including his face,
    looked brighter, and has gone on brightening; so that now I am only
    afraid of being too much uplifted by our downfall, and hardly have
    words enough to describe my relief and joy. All the best men are
    full of approbation of his conduct. He and Mr. Gladstone have given
    an example to the country worth more than a Reform Bill. A short
    Tory reign will strengthen the Whig party; a good strong Whig
    Opposition will prevent much Tory mischief, so that there is little
    regret on public grounds to mix with my unbounded joy on our
    private account. Seven years of office had made me aware of its
    advantages and its interest, and I saw that John liked it, and I
    thought I did; but now I see that he has had enough of it, and any
    fear I may have had that he might regret it is for ever gone, and I
    have found out how entirely it was an acquired taste with me. I
    can't say how often we have already said to one another, "Now that
    we are out," as a preface to something pleasant to be done. He said
    to me this morning, "The days will not be long enough now." That
    "now" would surprise those people who may imagine that time will
    hang heavy on his hands. He is in excellent spirits.... We feel as
    if fetters had been struck off our minds and bodies. If God grants
    us health, how happy we may be, dearest Mary! I have said far too
    much on this subject, but you will understand how I have reason to
    be both sadder and gladder than other Ministers' wives.

Prussia and Italy had declared war against Austria, Hanover, Bavaria, and
Hesse on the day the Russell Government was defeated. At Custozza the
Italians were badly beaten by the Austrians, under the Archduke Charles.

    Alas, alas! for poor Italy! Alas for everybody engaged in this most
    wicked and terrible German war! Surely it is all wrong that two or
    three bad, ambitious--men should be able to cause the death and
    misery of thousands upon thousands. Our day at Harrow, Agatha with
    us, was very happy. I never had heard John so heartily cheered by
    the boys.

He was in his seventy-fourth year, and he was never again to bear the cares
of office. That summer they went down to Endsleigh, which they had not
visited since the first years of their marriage,

    ENDSLEIGH, _August_ 4, 1866

    John, Georgy, and I here about 7.30, after a beautiful journey.
    Lovely Endsleigh! it is like a dream to be here.... Thoughts of the
    old happy days haunting me continually. To church, to Fairy Dell.
    Places all the same--everything else altered.



During 1866 Lord Russell finished his "Life of Fox." In the autumn and
winter he and his family travelled in Italy, where they were often
_fêted_ by the people of the towns through which they passed. At the
close of the seven weeks' war Austria had ceded Venetia to Italy, and on
November 7th they witnessed the entry of Victor Emmanuel into Venice as
King of all Italy. It was a magnificent and most impressive sight. Lord
Russell was full of thankfulness and joy at the deliverance of Venetia from
foreign rule, and the triumph of a free and united Italy.

In the memoir of Count Pasolini by his son (translated by the Countess of
Dalhousie) the following passage occurs:

Lord John Russell was then in Venice, and came to view the pageant from our
windows in Palazzo Corner. When my mother saw this old friend appear with
the tricolor upon his breast, she said, "Fort bien, Milord! nos couleurs
italiennes sur votre coeur!" He shook her by the hand, and answered, "Pour
moi je les ai toujours portées, Comtesse. Je suis bien content de vous
trouver ici aujourd'hui; c'est un des plus beaux jours de notre siècle!"

Somebody then said to Lord Russell what a pity it was that the sun of Italy
did not shine more brightly to gild the historical solemnity. "As for
that," said he, "England shows her sympathy by sending you her beloved fog
from the Thames."

    _Lady Russell to Lady Dunfermline_

    VENICE, November 8, 1866

    We are all enchanted with this enchanting place.... Thursday
    (yesterday) was the grand and glorious sight--_how_ grand and
    glorious nobody who has not been here and probably nobody who has
    can conceive.... Newspapers will tell you of the countless gondolas
    decorated with every variety of brilliant colours--alike only in
    the tricolor flag waving from every one of them--and rowed by
    gondoliers in every variety of brilliant and picturesque garb--and
    they will tell you a great deal more; but they cannot describe the
    _thrill_ of thousands and thousands of Italian hearts at the
    moment when their King, "il sospirato nostro Re," appeared, the
    winged Lion of St. Mark at one end of his magnificent gondola, a
    statue of Italy crowned by Venice at the other. So spirit-stirring
    a celebration of so great an event we shall never see again, and I
    rejoice that our children were there.

    _Lord Russell to Lady Minto_

    VENICE, _November_ 11, 1866

    ... We have been delighted with this place, but especially with
    being here to see the crowning of the edifice of Italian
    Independence. The people have rather their hearts full than their
    voices loud. When the Italian flag was first raised none of the
    crowd could cheer for weeping and sobbing. It is a mighty
    change.... We have seen many pictures. I am exceedingly struck with
    the number of fine pictures, the magnificent colouring, and the
    large conceptions of the Venetian painters--faulty in drawing very
    often, as Michelangelo said long ago, but wonderfully satisfying to
    the imagination.

They returned to England early in 1867.

It was a critical time in the history of the franchise. Neither Lord Derby
nor his followers liked Reform, but the workmen of England were at last set
upon it, and Disraeli realized that only a party prepared to enlarge the
franchise had any chance of power. Unlike his colleagues, he had no fear or
dislike of the people. His imagination enabled him to foresee what hardly
another statesman, Conservative or Radical, supposed possible, that the
power of the Democracy might be increased without kindling in the people
any desire to use it. He divined that the glamour which wealth and riches
have for the majority of voters would make it easy to put a hook in the
nose of Leviathan, and that the monster might be ultimately taken in tow by
the Conservative party. His first move in the process of "educating his
party" was to offer the House a series of Resolutions upon the principles
of representation. These were intended to foreshadow the nature of the
Government's proposals and also to prepare their way. By this device he
hoped to raise the Bill above party conflict, and to lead the more
Conservative of his followers up a gently graduated slope of generalities
till they found themselves committed to accepting a somewhat democratic
measure. His plan was frustrated by the determination of the Opposition to
force the Government to show their hand at once.

He consequently placed before his colleagues a measure which based the
franchise on the occupation of houses rated at £5, coupled with several
antidotes to the democratic tendencies of such a change in the shape of
"fancy franchises," which gave votes to men of certain educational and
financial qualifications. His proposals seem to have been accepted by the
Cabinet with reluctant and hesitating approval. On examining more carefully
the effects of the £5 franchise upon town constituencies Lord Cranborne
(afterwards Lord Salisbury) retracted his previous assent, and Lord
Carnarvon followed his lead.

On the very day that Lord Derby and Disraeli were pledged to define their
measure they found themselves threatened with the resignation of two most
important members of the Government. At a hasty Cabinet Council, held just
before they were to speak, it was agreed, after about twenty minutes'
discussion, that the borough rental should be raised to £6. The Opposition,
however, declared a £6 franchise to be still too high, and they were now
backed by a considerable section of the Conservative party itself, who felt
that when once they were committed to Reform it would at least be wise to
introduce a measure likely to win them popularity as reformers. Lord Derby
and Disraeli yielded to pressure from within their party, and Lord
Cranborne, Lord Carnarvon, and General Peel resigned. The subsequent
history of the Bill consisted in a series of surrenders on the part of
Disraeli. All the clauses and qualifications which had originally modified
its democratic character were dropped, and Gladstone succeeded in carrying
nearly all the amendments his first speech upon the Bill had suggested.

When the Bill finally passed Lord Salisbury described it as a measure based
upon the principles of Bright and dictated by Gladstone; and what many
Conservatives thought of Disraeli's conduct is reflected in the speeches of
their ally Lowe: "Never, never was tergiversation so complete. Such conduct
may fail or not; it may lead to the retention or loss of office; but it
merits alike the contempt of all honest men and the execration of
posterity." [64] Gladstone, writing to Dr. Pusey at the end of the year,
said: "We have been passing through a strange, eventful year: a deplorable
one, I think, for the character and conduct of the House of Commons; but
yet one of promise for the country, though of a promise not unmixed with
evils." The feeling of romantic Tories in the country is expressed in
Coventry Patmore's poem "1867," which begins:

  In the year of the great crime,
  When the false English Nobles and their Jew,
  By God demented, slew
  The Trust they stood twice pledged to keep from wrong.

[64] Morley's "Life of Gladstone," vol. ii, p. 235.

The last and longest struggle took place over the compound householder. On
May 17th Mr. Hodgkinson proposed and carried an amendment that in a
Parliamentary borough only the occupier should be rated, thus basing, in
effect, the franchise upon household suffrage, and forcing upon Disraeli a
principle which he had begun by announcing he would never accept. To make
the following letters intelligible it is only necessary to add that in 1866
Lord Amberley had been returned to Parliament as Radical member for

    _Lord Russell to Lady Georgiana Russell_ [65]

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _January_ 22, 1867

    MY DEAREST GEORGY,--I have been very negligent in not writing to
    you before, as I meant to do, but laziness after exertion is very
    pleasant. My exertion was not small, as, besides speaking at the
    beginning of the evening, I sate up for the division, and did not
    get home till near four in the morning. The triumph was very great;
    Derby and Cairns and the foolish and wicked Tories were beat, and
    the wise and honest Tories, like Salisbury and Carnarvon, helped
    the Liberals to defeat them.... We shall have a great fight in
    Committee; but I still trust in a reasonable majority for not
    pushing amendments too far, and then the Bill will be a great
    triumph of sense over nonsense.... We had Dickens Saturday and
    Sunday--very agreeable and amiable....

    Your affectionate father, R.

[65] This letter ought to be dated July 22, 1869, and addressed to
Lady Georgiana Peel. It refers to the debate on the Irish Church Bill.

    _Lady Russell to Mr. Rollo Russell_


    _February 21, 1867_

    ... Your Papa and I dined yesterday with Lord and Lady Cork. I
    heard some funny stories of Mrs. Lowe.... Here's the best. Mr. Lowe
    was talking of the marriage service, of the absurdity of making
    everybody say, "With all my worldly goods I thee endow"--"For
    instance, I had not a penny." _Mrs. L_.: "Oh, but Robert, you
    had your brains!" _Mr. L. (sharply)_: "I'm sure I didn't endow
    you with _them_." Very funny; but very cruel, too, in answer
    to what was meant so affectionately.... Now, I must get ready to
    walk with your Papa. He keeps well and strong, in spite of the
    cloudy political atmosphere (hazy, perhaps, rather than
    cloudy)--nobody thinking or feeling anything clearly or warmly,
    except him and Gladstone and a score or two of others. He feels
    that the Government has so discredited itself and the Tory party
    generally, that the Whig party might be in a capital position if it
    chose. But the general indifference of Whig M.P.'s to Reform, and
    their selfish fear of dissolution, come in the way of public spirit
    and combined action.

    Your Papa is writing to Mr. Gladstone, from whom he has just
    received an account of the debate. Disraeli's clever and artful
    speech appears to have had more effect on the House (and even on
    our side of it) than is creditable.... Johnny has made a very good
    impression--so we hear from Mr. Brand, Hastings, [66] Mr.
    Huguesson, and Gladstone--by his maiden speech. All these, except
    Gladstone, heard it, and concur in warm praise, both of matter and
    manner. It is a great event in his life, and I am so thankful it is
    well over.

[66] Afterwards Duke of Bedford.

    _Lord Russell to Lady Minto_

    LONDON, _May 21_, 1867

    MY DEAR NINA,--As you have been so much bothered with the compound
    householder, you will be glad to learn that he is dead and is to be
    buried on Thursday. It was supposed he was the last and best
    product of civilization; but it has been found out that he was a
    son of Old Nick, and a valiant knight of the name of Hodgkinson has
    run him through the body.

    The Duke of Buccleuch, with whom Fanny and I have been having
    luncheon, says that Dizzy is like a clever conjuror. "Is that the
    card you wished for, sir?-and is that yours, and yours, and yours?"
    But politics are rather disgusting than otherwise. ... Fanny and I
    went yesterday to see the Queen lay the first stone of the Hall of
    Science and Art. [67] It was a grand sight--great respect, but no
    enthusiasm, nor occasion for it.

    Lotty is going to give us dinner to-morrow. I call her and Mary,
    L'Allegra e la Penserosa. _Fanny_: "And what am I?" "L'Allegra
    e Penserosa." I have no more nonsense to tell you. I should like to
    go to Paris in July or August, but can we? Let me know when you
    will be there.

    Your faithful


[67] The Albert Hall.

A few weeks later he wrote again to Lady Minto: "Our Reform Bill is now
brought to that exact shape in which Bright put it in 1858, and which he
thought too large and democratic a change to be accepted by the moderate
Liberal party. However, nothing is too much for the swallow of our modern

In August, 1867, Lord Russell's eldest daughter, Georgiana, married Mr.
Archibald Peel, [68] son of General Peel, and nephew of the statesman, Sir
Robert Peel.

[68] The marriage service was at Petersham, in the quaint old village
Church, hallowed by many sacred memories.

The daughters, who had now left the old home, were sadly missed, but
intimate and affectionate intercourse with them never ceased. Lady
Russell's own daughter, the youngest of three families--ten in all--thought
in her early childhood that they were all real brothers and sisters, a
striking proof of the harmonious happiness of the home. In November, 1867,
Lady Victoria Villiers wrote to Lady Russell: "How I long to make our home
as pure, as high in its tone and aims, as free from all that is low or even
useless for our children, as our dear home was to us."

On Lord Russell's birthday, August 18, 1867, Lady Russell wrote in her

    My dear, dear husband's birthday. Each year, each day, makes me
    feel more deeply all the wonderful goodness of God in giving me one
    so noble, so gentle, so loving, to be my example, my happiness, my
    stay. How often his strength makes me feel, but try to conquer, my
    own weakness; how often his cheerfulness and calmness are a
    reproach to my anxieties. Experience has not hardened but only
    given him wisdom. Trials have taught him to feel for others; age
    has deepened his religion of love. All that so often lowers
    commoner natures has but raised his.

In February, 1868, Lord Derby resigned, owing to ill health. "With Lord
Derby [says Sir Spencer Walpole [69]] a whole race of statesmen
disappeared. He was the last of the Prime Ministers who had held high
office before the Reform Act of 1832; and power, on his fall, was to be
transferred to men not much younger in point of years, but whose characters
and opinions had been moulded by other influences. He was, moreover, the
last of the Tories. He had, indeed, by his own concluding action made
Toryism impossible; for, in 1867, he had thrown the ramparts of Toryism
into a heap, and had himself mounted the structure and fired the funeral
pile." Disraeli succeeded him as Prime Minister.

[69] "The History of Twenty-five Years," vol. ii, p. 287.

    _Lady Russell to Mr. Rollo Russell_

    CHESHAM PLACE, _February_ 18, 1868

    ...Lord Derby is supposed to be dying, I am sorry to say. It is
    horrible to hear the street criers bawling out in their catchpenny
    voices, "Serious illness of Lord Derby." I feel for his wife and
    all belonging to him without any of the flutter and anxiety about
    your father which a probable change of Ministry would have caused a
    few years ago. He will never accept office again. This is right, I
    know, and I am thankful that on the conviction of its being so he
    has calmly made up his mind--yet there is deep sadness in it. The
    newspapers are not favourable to his pamphlets on Ireland [three
    pamphlets published together afterwards under the title, "A letter
    to the Right Hon. Chichester Fortescue"]. He does not care much
    about this, provided men in Parliament adopt his views or something
    like them.

    We find London very sociable and pleasant ... people all looking
    glad to meet, and fresh and pleasant from their country life, quite
    different from what they will be in July....

Lady Russell, as well as her husband, was always anxious to encourage
perfect freedom and independence of thought in her children. The following
passages are from a letter to her daughter on her fifteenth birthday:

    37 CHESHAM PLACE, _March_ 28, 1868

    ... Every day will now bring you more independence of mind, more
    capacity to understand, not merely to adopt the thoughts of others,
    to reason and to form opinions of your own. I am the more sure of
    this, that yours is a thoughtful and reflective mind. The voice of
    God may sometimes sound differently to you from what it sounds even
    to your father or to me; if so, never be afraid to say so--never
    close your mind against any but bad thoughts; for although we are
    all one in as far as we all partake of God's spirit, which is the
    breath of life, still the communion of each soul with Him is, and
    must be, for that soul alone.... Nothing great is easy, and the
    greatest and most difficult of all things is to overcome
    ourselves.... Life is short, and we do well to remember it, but
    each moment is eternal, and we do still better to remember that....
    Heaven bless you and guide you through the pleasures and
    perplexities, the sorrows and the joys, of this strange and
    beautiful world, to the source of all light, and life, and
    goodness, to that Being whose highest name is Love.

The everlasting Irish question had been coming again to the front. During
1867 the Fenians had attempted to get the grievances of Ireland redressed
by adopting violent measures. There had been an attempt upon the arsenal at
Chester, numerous outrages in Ireland, an attack at Manchester upon the
prison van, in which two Fenian leaders were being taken to prison, and a
subsequent attempt to blow up Clerkenwell jail. The crisis had been met by
suspending the Habeas Corpus Act in Ireland. Lord Russell, when Prime
Minister, had replaced Sir Robert Peel, as Chief Secretary, by Mr.
Chichester Fortescue, who later received the same office from Mr.
Gladstone. In February, 1868, Lord Russell published his letter to Mr.
Fortescue advocating Disestablishment in Ireland, but declaring himself in
favour of endowing the Catholic Church with part of the revenues of the
disestablished Church. In April Gladstone succeeded in carrying three
Resolutions against the Government on the Irish Church question, and though
Disraeli tendered his resignation, dissolution was postponed until the
autumn. The same month Lord Russell presided at a meeting in St. James's
Hall in support of Disestablishment. At the general election in the autumn
the Liberals came in with a large majority; Gladstone became Prime
Minister, and in the following year carried his Bill for the
Disestablishment of the Irish Church. [70] Lady Russell's views on the
question of Church and State are shown in the following letter:

    _Lady Russell to Lady Dunfermline_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _May_ 20, 1868

    MY DEAREST MARY,--...How can one write letters in such weather as
    we have had? A fine May is surely the loveliest of lovely things,
    and the most enjoyable, at least to lucky mortals like ourselves
    who are not obliged to be "in populous city pent"--and those who
    have never seen Pemmy Lodge in its May garments of lilac, laburnum,
    wild hyacinth, hawthorn, and the tender greens of countless shades
    on trees and shrubs, are not really acquainted with it.... I have
    been going through the contrary change from you as regards Church
    and State. I thought _I_ was strongly for the connection (at
    least of _a_ Church with the State, certainly not _the_
    Church of England as it now is), but reflection on what the history
    of our State Churches has been, the speeches in St. James's Hall of
    the Bishops fostered by the State, and Arthur Stanley's pamphlet,
    which says the best that _can_ be said for connection, and yet
    seems to open my eyes to the fallacy of that best, and the
    conversations I hear, have opened my eyes to the bad principle at
    the very root of a State Church. If _all_ who call themselves
    teachers of religion could be paid, it might be very well, best of
    all perhaps; but I'm afraid there are difficulties not to be got
    over, and the objections to the voluntary system diminish on
    reflection.... This new political crisis raises John's hopes a
    little; but he has small faith in the public spirit of the Liberal
    party, and even now fears some manoeuvre to keep Dizzy in.

    Ever, dearest Mary, your most affectionate sister,


[70] Mr. Froude, in a talk with an Irish peasant on the grievances
of his country, remarked that one cause of complaint was removed by
Disestablishment of the Church. "Och, sure, your honour, that is
worse than all. It was the best gravance we had, and ye've taken it
away from us!"

    _Lady Russell to Lady Dunfermline_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _December_ 3, 1868

    MY DEAREST MARY,--Yesterday's _Pall Mall_ and Sir David
    Dundas, who dined with us, set us all agog with the news that the
    Ministry are to resign at once, probably have now resigned;
    certainly much the wisest course for themselves, and John rather
    thinks the best for everybody.... How different this change of
    Ministry is to us from any there has been before since we were
    married, and for John since long before! There is now only a keen
    and wholesome interest for the country's sake--none of the
    countless agitations which at all events on the formation of the
    three last Ministries, of which John was either the head or a
    prominent member, more than overpowered satisfaction and pride,
    perhaps not to himself, but to his wife in her secret heart. As to
    pride, I never was prouder of him in one position than in another,
    _in_ than _out_, applauded than condemned; and I had
    learned to know the risks, not to health only or chiefly, for that,
    precious as it was, seemed a trifle in comparison with other
    things, but to the power of serving his country, to friendship, to
    reputation in the highest sense, which are involved in the
    formation of a Government. These are matters of experience, and in
    1846 I was inexperienced and consequently foresaw only good to the
    country and increase of fame to him from his acceptance of the
    Prime Ministership. I now know that these seldom or never in such a
    state of parties as has existed for many years and still exists,
    can be the _only_ consequences of high office for him,
    although, thank God, they have always been _among_ the
    consequences, and my only reasonable and permanent regret (for I
    don't pretend to the absence of passing and unreasonable regrets)
    is for the _cause_ of office being over for him. What a letter
    full of _John_, and just when I ought to be talking of
    everybody else except _John_; but you will guess that if he
    were not perfectly cheerful--and he is more, he is full of
    patriotic eagerness--I could not write all this.... Thanks for your
    sympathy about Johnny--we were _very_ sorry, I need not
    say[71].... I don't at all mind the beating, which has been a
    glorious one in every way, but I _immensely_ mind his not
    being in Parliament....

    Your most affectionate sister, F.R.

[71] Lord Amberley was defeated in the General Election.

    Mr. Charles Dickens to Lady Russell


    Saturday, December 26, 1868

    MY DEAR LADY RUSSELL,--... I cannot tell you how highly I esteem
    your kind Christmas remembrances, or how earnestly I send all
    seasonable wishes to you and Lord Russell and all who are dearest
    to you. I am unselfishly glad that Lord Russell is out of the
    turmoil and worry of a new Administration, but I miss him from it
    sorely. I was saying only yesterday to Layard (who is staying
    here), that I could not get over the absence of that great Liberal
    name from a Liberal Government, and that I lost heart without it.

    Ever faithfully yours,


    _Lady Russell to Lady Victoria Villiers_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _February_ 4, 1869

    We have had such a gay time of it--that is, from Saturday to Monday
    only; but we have had such a quiet life in general that that seems
    a great deal. The Gladstones with daughter Mary to dine. Gladstone
    was unanimously pronounced to be most agreeable and delightful. I
    never saw him in such high spirits, and he was as ready to talk
    about anything and everything, small and great, as if he had no
    Ministerial weight on his shoulders. He carries such fire and
    eloquence into whatever he talks about that it seems for the moment
    the most important subject in the world.

    _Lady Russell to Mr. Rollo Russell_

    37 CHESHAM PLACE, _March_ 2, 1869

    London is extremely agreeable now, not rackety, but sociable--at
    least to the like of us who do not attempt to mix in the very gay

    Arthur Russell called last night after hearing Gladstone's great
    speech [on Irish Disestablishment], well pleased himself and
    expecting the country to be so--_the_ country, Ireland, more
    especially. _On_ the whole your father is satisfied, but not
    _with_ the whole; he does not approve of the churches being
    left to the Protestants for ever, as there is nothing granted to
    the Roman Catholics. Neither does he like the appropriation of
    national money to charities. [72]

[72] The Bill transferred to the new disestablished Episcopal Church all
the churches, all endowments given since 1660, while the remaining funds
were to be handed over to the Government for the relief of poverty and

Lord Russell had followed up his first letter to Mr. Chichester Fortescue
by two more letters, in which he again advocated both the disestablishment
and disendowment of the Irish Church. He warmly supported Gladstone's
measure; though he again insisted that the funds of the Irish Church should
be used to endow the other Churches. He was in constant attendance at the
House of Lords, and during the same session he proposed, without success, a
measure which would have added a limited number of life peers to the Second
Chamber. These incursions into politics seem in no way to have taxed his

    _Lady Russell to Mr. William Russell_

    _June_ 3, 1869

    It is a great misfortune that we have so few really eminent men
    among the clergy of England, Scotland, or Ireland--in any of the
    various communities. Such men are greatly needed to take the lead
    in what I cannot but look upon as a noble march of the progress of
    mankind, the assertion of the right to think and speak with
    unbounded freedom on that which concerns us all more deeply than
    anything else--religion. I believe that by the exercise of such
    unbounded freedom we shall reach to a knowledge of God and a
    comprehension of the all-perfect spirit of Christianity such as no
    Established Church has ever taught by Creeds or Articles, though
    individuals of all such Churches have forgotten Creeds and
    Articles, and taught "true religion and undefiled" out of the real
    Word of God and their own high and holy thoughts.

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _August_ 18, 1869

    My dear husband seventy-seven this day. God be thanked for all that
    has made it a calm and bright and blessed one to us.

    Our happiness now is chiefly in the past and present as to this
    world, in memory more than hope. But the best joys of the past and
    present are linked to that future beyond the grave to which we are
    hastening.... Bright and beautiful day. We sat long together in
    bowling-green and talked of the stir in men's minds on
    Christianity, on all religions and religion, our own thoughts, our
    hope, our trust.

    _Lord Russell to Lady Georgiana Peel_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, RICHMOND PARK, _August_ 18, 1869

    MY DEAREST GEORGY,--... Your very kind and warm congratulations
    delight me. It is sad that the years pass and make one older and
    weaker and sillier, but as they will pass all the same, it is well
    to have one bright day in each year when one's children can recall
    all the past, and feel once again gratitude to the Giver of all

    Your affectionate Father, RUSSELL

    _To Mr. Archibald Peel_

    MY DEAR ARCHIE,--Thanks for your good wishes. Happy returns I
    always find them, as my children are so affectionate and
    loving--many I cannot expect--but I have played my part, and think
    the rest will be far easier than my task has been.

    Your affectionate F.I.L. (Father-in-Law)


On October 26th they left home for Italy, travelling across France in deep
snow. They reached the Villa Garbarino, at San Remo, on November 3rd, and
remained there till April, 1870. "The five months," Lady Russell writes,
"were among the very happiest of our lives, and we reckon it among the
three earthly paradises to which our wanderings have taken us--La Roche,
St. Fillans, and San Remo. It was a very quiet life, but with a pleasant
amount of society, many people we much liked passing through, or staying
awhile, or, like ourselves, all the winter."

They also became friendly with several of the Italians of San Remo, whom
they welcomed at little evening gatherings at their villa. Their landlord,
the Marchese Garbarino, was an ardent patriot. He it was who had decorated
the ceiling of his drawing-room with the four portraits: Cavour, Garibaldi,
Mazzini, and Lord John Russell, so it was to him a delightful surprise to
have Lord John as his tenant.

    _Lord Russell to Lady Minto_

    SAN REMO, _November_ 23, 1869

    I am very sorry that headache and neuralgia should have been added
    to illness and dislike of writing, as your reason for not inquiring
    how we were going on. We sit here in the receipt of news without
    any means of reciprocity, but we can speculate on France, Italy,
    and Ireland. Of those, the country which most interests and most
    concerns me, is Ireland.... I have heard much of Lady and Lord
    Byron, and from good sources. I can only conclude that he was half
    mad and loved to frighten her, and that she believed in the stories
    she circulated. [73] The Duke of Wellington said of George IV's
    story that he was at the Battle of Waterloo, "At first it was a
    lie, than a strong delusion, and at last downright madness."

    Brougham's conversation with William IV on the dissolution was
    another delusion, and so on in perverse, wicked, contradictory
    human nature. Those who like to probe such systems may do so--the
    only wise conclusion is Swift's, "If you want to confute a lie,
    tell another in the opposite direction." Madame de Sévigné tells of
    a curate who put up a clock on his church. His parishioners
    collected stones to break it, saying it was the Gabelle. "No, my
    friends," he said, "it was the Jubilee," on which they all hurrahed
    and went away. If he had said it was a machine to mark the hour,
    his clock would have been broken and himself pelted.

    I hope your second volume is coming out soon. [74] There are no
    lies in it, and therefore you must not expect a great sale. I must
    stop or you will think me grown a misanthrope. Fanny and Agatha are
    well. If the day had been fine the Crown Princess and her sister
    would have come here to tea, and you would have had no letter from
    me. Do send me a return, when your mankind is gone a-hunting.

[73] The publication of "Astarte," by the late Lord Lovelace,
containing the documents and letters relating to Byron's separation
from his wife, has now made it quite clear that the grounds for
separation were real.

[74] The second volume of "Life and Letters of Sir Gilbert Elliot,
First Earl of Minto."

    _Lady Russell to Lady Dunfermline_

    SAN REMO, _December_ 1, 1869

    Your letter of November 24th found the Amberleys here.... They were
    preceded by the Crown Princess of Prussia and Princess Louis of
    Hesse, announced by telegram in the morning, and a young Prince
    Albert of Prussia, son of the Prince Albert of our Berlin days, and
    a suite of two gentlemen and a lady, who came from Cannes, where
    they are living, on Friday, to pay us a visit, dined with us, slept
    at the nearest hotel, and were off again Saturday morning, we going
    With them as far as Bordighera; and on Monday arrived the Odos [75]
    for one night only, sleeping at an hotel. You see that our usual
    quiet life was for a while exchanged for one of--... Well, I beg
    pardon for this interruption and go back to our illustrious and
    non-illustrious visitors. The illustrious were as merry as if they
    had no royalty about them, and as simple, too, dining in their
    travelling garments, brushing and washing in my room and John's,
    enjoying their dinner, of which happily there was enough (although
    the suite was unexpected owing to my not having received a letter
    giving details), chatting and laughing afterwards till half-past
    eight, when they walked in darkness, and strange to say, mud! but
    with glorious stars overhead, the five minute' distance to their
    hotel, accompanied by Agatha and me. The drive to Bordighera next
    morning was the pleasantest part of the visit to us all--John,
    Princess Louis, and Prince Albert in their carriage, Crown
    Princess, Agatha, and I in ours. It is wonderful to hear Princesses
    express such widely liberal opinions and feelings on education,
    religion, nationality, and if we had talked politics I dare-say I
    should add that too. Their strong love for their Vaterland in spite
    of their early transplantation is also very agreeable.

    The Amberleys had been ten days with Mill at Avignon--a good
    fortification, I should imagine, against the wiles and
    blandishments of priests of all degree to which they will be
    exposed at Rome.... Little Rachel [76]is as sweet a little
    bright-eyed lassie as I ever saw, hardly saying anything yet, but
    expressing a vast deal.

[75] Mr. Odo Russell (afterwards Lord Ampthill) and his wife.

[76] Daughter of Lord and Lady Amberley, born in February, 1868.

    _Lord Russell to Colonel Romilly_

    SAN REMO, _December_ 4, 1869

    MY DEAR FREDERICK,--I had understood from you that you wished to
    propose some alterations in my Introduction to the Speeches, and I
    was much obliged to you for so kind a thought. But it appears by a
    letter from Lizzy that she and you think that all discussions of
    the future (which are announced in my preface) ought to be omitted.
    In logical and literary aspects you are quite right; but I must
    tell you that since 1832 Ireland has been a main object of all my
    political career.... I am not without hope that the House of
    Commons will pass a reasonable Land Bill, and adhere to the plan of
    national education, which has been in force now for nearly forty
    years. At all events, the present government of Ireland gives no
    proofs of the infallibility of our rulers. Tell Lizzy that it is
    not a plate of salted cherries, but cherries ripe, without any
    salt, which I propose to lay before the Irish.

    Yours affectionately,


In the closing passage of the "Introduction" referred to in the above
letter Lord Russell gives a modest estimate of his own career: "My capacity
I always felt was very inferior to that of the men who have attained in
past times the foremost place in our Parliament, and in the Councils of our
Sovereign. I have committed many errors, some of them very gross blunders.
But the generous people of England are always forbearing and forgiving to
those statesmen who have the good of their country at heart; like my
betters, I have been misrepresented and slandered by those who knew nothing
of me, but I have been more than compensated by the confidence and the
friendship of the best men of my own political connection, and by the
regard and favourable interpretation of my motives which I have heard
expressed by my generous opponents, from the days of Lord Castlereagh to
those of Mr. Disraeli."

    _Lady Russell to Mr. Rollo Russell_

    SAN REMO, _February_ 17, 1870

    How awful Paris will be after the easy, natural, unconventional
    life of San Remo, one delight of which is the absence of all
    thought about dress! Whatever may be and are the delights of
    Paris--and I fully intend that we should all three enjoy
    them--_that_ burden is heavier there than in all the world
    beside--and why? oh, why? What is there to prevent human nature
    from finding out and rejoicing in the blessings of civilization and
    society without encumbering them with petty etiquettes and fashions
    and forms which deprive them of half their value? Human nature is a
    very provoking compound. It strives and struggles and gives life
    itself for political freedom, while it forges social chains and
    fetters for itself and wears them with a foolish smile. And with
    this fruitless lamentation I must end.

    _Lady Russell to Lady Dunfermline_

    SAN REMO, _February_ 23, 1870

    I don't know a bit whether we shall be much in London during the
    session--it will be session, not season, that takes us there....
    The longer I live the more I condemn and deplore a rackety life for
    _any_ girl, and therefore if I do what I myself think right by
    her and not what others may think right, she shall never be a
    London butterfly. Would that we could give our girls the ideal
    society which I suppose we all dream for them--that of the wise and
    the good of all ages, of the young and merry of their own. No
    barbarous crowds, no despotic fashions, no senseless omnipotence of
    custom (see "Childe Harold," somewhere).[77] I wonder in this age
    of revolution, which has dethroned so many monarchs and upset so
    many time-honoured systems of Government and broken so many chains,
    that Queen Fashion is left unmolested on her throne, ruling the
    civilized world with her rod of iron, and binding us hand and foot
    in her fetters.

[77] A favourite stanza of Lady Russell's in "Childe Harold":--

    What from this barren being do we reap?
    Our senses narrow, and our reason frail,
    Life short, and truth a gem which loves the deep,
    And all things weighed in custom's falsest scale;
    Opinion an omnipotence, whose veil
    Mantles the earth with darkness, until right
    And wrong are accidents, and men grow pale
    Lest their own judgments should become too bright,
  And their free thoughts be crimes, and earth have too much light.


    _Lady Russell to Lady Dunfermline_

    SAN REMO, _March_ 2, 1870

    I am writing in my pretty bedroom, at an east window which is wide
    open, letting in the balmiest of airs, and the spring twittering of
    chaffinches and larks and other little birds, and the gentle music
    of the waves. Below the window I look at a very untidy bit of
    nondescript ground, with a few white-armed fig-trees and a number
    of flaunting Italian daisies--a little farther an enclosure of
    glossy green orange-trees laden with fruit; then an olive
    plantation, soft and feathery; then a bare, brownish, pleasant
    hill, crowned by the "Madonna della Guardia," and stretching to the
    sea, which I should like to call blue, but which is a dull grey. Oh
    dear, how sorry we shall be to leave it all! You, I know,
    understand the sort of shrinking there is after so quiet, so
    spoiling, so natural and unconventional a life (not to mention
    climate and beauty) from the thought of the overpowering quantity
    of people and business of all sorts and the artificial habits of
    our own country, in spite of the immense pleasure of looking
    forward to brothers and sisters and children and friends.

    _Lady Russell to Mr. Rollo Russell_

    SAN REMO, _March_ 17, 1870

    ... No doubt we must always in the last resort trust to our own
    reason upon all subjects on which our reason is capable of helping
    us. On a question of _language_, Hebrew for instance, if we
    don't know it and somebody else does, we cannot of course dispute
    his translation, but where nobody questions the words, everybody
    has a right--it is indeed everybody's duty--to reflect upon their
    meaning and bearing and come to their own conclusions; listening to
    others wiser or not wiser than themselves, eagerly seeking help,
    but never, oh never fettering their minds by an unconditional and
    premeditated submission to _anybody_ else's, or rather
    _pretending_ so to fetter it, for a mind will make itself
    heard, and there's much false modesty in the disclaimer of all
    power or right to judge--that very disclaimer being in fact, as you
    say, an exercise of private judgment and a rebellion or protest
    against thousands of wise and good and learned men.

    _Lady Russell to Lady Dunfermline_

    SAN REMO, _March_ 23, 1870

    You must take John's second letter to Forster, [78] which will
    appear in the _Times_ and _Daily News_, as my letter to
    you for to-day, as I had already not left myself much time for you,
    so that copying them, although they are not long, has left me
    hardly any. I think you will agree with him that now, when the
    moment seems come for a really national system of education, it
    would be a great pity not to put an end to the teaching of
    catechisms in rate-supported schools. People may of course always
    have their little pet, privately supported sectarian schools, but
    surely, surely, it's enough that the weary catechism should be
    repeated and yawned over every Sunday of the year, where there are
    Sunday schools. I wonder whether you are in favour of compulsory
    attendance. I don't like it, but I do like compulsory rating, and I
    wish the Bill made it general and not local, and I also want the
    education to be gratis.

[78] In February Mr. Forster introduced the Elementary Education
Act. It passed the second reading without a division. In Committee
the Cowper-Temple Clause was admitted by the Government.

    _Lady Russell to Lady Dunfermline_

    SAN REMO, _April_ 6, 1870

    We go on discussing the Education Bill and all that is written
    about it with immense interest, but oh, the clergy! they seem
    resolved to fulfil the prophecy that Christ came not to bring peace
    on earth, but a sword.... How true what you say of want of
    earnestness in London society and Parliament!

On April 7th they left San Remo, "servants [79] all in tears," she writes,
"and all, high and low, showering blessings on us, and praying for our
welfare in their lovely language." At Paris they stayed with Lord Lyons at
the British Embassy. The Emperor Napoleon and Empress Eugénie showed them
much kindness during their visit to Paris. One evening Lord and Lady
Russell and their daughter dined at the Tuileries, Lady Russell sitting
next the Emperor and Lord Russell next the Empress. It has been told since
that at this dinner the Emperor mentioned a riddle which he had put to the
Empress, and her reply.

  _Emperor._ Quelle est la différence entre toi et un miroir?
  _Empress._ Je ne sais pas.
  _Emperor._ Le miroir réfléchit; tu ne réfléchis pas.
  _Empress._ Et quelle est la différence entre toi et un miroir?
  _Emperor._ Je ne sais pas.
  _Empress._ Le miroir est poli, et tu ne l'es pas.

[79] Their Italian servants.

On April 27th, after six months' absence, Lord and Lady Russell were once
more at Pembroke Lodge.

    _Lady Russell to Mr. Rollo Russell_

    37 CHESHAM PLACE, _May_ 26, 1870

    ... We came up, your father and I, on Tuesday to dine with
    Clarendons, and stayed all yesterday to dine with Salisburys. Many
    things strike me on returning to England and English society: the
    superiority of its best to those of any other nation; the larger
    proportion of vulgarity in all classes; ostentatious vulgarity,
    aristocratic vulgarity, coarse vulgarity; the stir and activity of
    mind on religion, politics, morals, all that is most worthy of
    thought. What is to come of it all? Will goodness and truth
    prevail? Is a great regeneration coming? I believe it in spite of
    many discouraging symptoms. I believe that a coming generation will
    try to be and not only call itself Christian. God grant that each
    of my children may add some little ray of light by thought, word,
    and deed to help in dispelling the darkness of error, sin, and
    crime in this and all other lands.

    _Lady Russell to Mr. Rollo Russell_

    _June_ 2, 1870

    I wish most earnestly for legal and social equality for women, but
    I cannot shut my eyes to what woman has already been--the equal, if
    not the superior, of man in all that is highest and noblest and
    loveliest. I don't at all approve of any appearance of setting one
    against the other. Let equal justice be done to both, without any
    spirit of antagonism.... I can well believe in all the delights of
    Oxford, and envy men that portion of their life.



In July, 1870, public attention was abruptly distracted from Irish and
educational questions by the outbreak of the Franco-German War, which
followed immediately upon the King of Prussia's refusal to promise France
that he would never, under any circumstances, countenance his cousin Prince
Leopold's candidature for the Spanish throne. War came as a surprise to
every one, even to the Foreign Office, and its real causes were little
understood at the time. The entire blame fell on Napoleon. Only some, who
had special information, knew that Bismarck had long been waiting for the
opportunity which the extravagant demand of France had just given him; and
very few among the well-informed guessed that he might have had a hand in
contriving the cause of dispute itself. Napoleon, since his annexation of
Savoy, had so bad a reputation in Europe, a reputation which Bismarck had
managed to blacken still more in their recent controversy over Luxembourg,
that people were ready to take it as a matter of course that Napoleon
should be the aggressor. Finally, by publishing through the _Times_
the secret document in M. Benedetti's own hand, which assured help to
Germany in annexing Holland, if Germany would help Napoleon to seize
Belgium, Bismarck destroyed all remaining sympathy for France.

Now, however, that the inner history of events has come to light, we know
that it was Germany who fomented the quarrel, though both Austria and
France must be held responsible for the conditions which made the policy of
Germany possible. The significant suppression of the part of Bernhardi's
memoirs dealing with his secret mission from Bismarck to Spain, and the
fact that a large sum of Prussian money is now known to have passed to
Spain, [80] while the Cortes was discussing the question of succession,
make it probable that Bismarck not only took advantage of French hostility
to Prince Leopold's candidature, but deliberately instigated the offer of
the Spanish throne to a German prince, because he knew France was certain
to resent it.

[80] Lord Acton, "Historical Essays and Studies."

Napoleon, however, must be held responsible, inasmuch as since the close of
the Seven Weeks' War, he had intrigued with Austria to induce her to
revenge herself by a joint attack with him upon Germany, hoping that he
might win with Austria's help those concessions of territory along the
Rhine, which Bismarck had peremptorily refused him as a _pour-boire_
after Sadowa. Austria, too, must take a share of the responsibility, since
through the secret negotiations of the Archduke Albrecht she had encouraged
Napoleon in this idea. Both Napoleon and the Archduke were convinced that
those South-German States which had been annexed by Prussia for siding with
Austria would rise, if their attack on Prussia could be associated with the
idea of liberation. Bismarck's cleverness in picking the quarrel over the
question of the Spanish succession, a matter which did not in the least
concern South-Germany, proved fatal to their expectations. This triumph of
diplomacy, together with the success of his master-stroke of provocation,
the Ems telegram, decided the fate of France. As edited by Bismarck, the
King of Prussia's telegram describing his last interview with the French
Ambassador at Ems, infuriated the French to the necessary pitch of
recklessness, while to Germans it read like the account of an insult to
German-speaking peoples, and tended to draw them together in resentment.

    _Lady Russell to Lady Dunfermline_

    SALTBURN, _August_ 24, 1870

    Don't you sometimes feel that a few weeks' delay in beginning this
    horrible war might have given time to Europe to discover some
    better means than war for settling the dispute? We are full of
    schemes for the prevention of future wars. The only compensation I
    see for all these horrors is the conviction they bring of the
    amount of heroism in the world and of the progress made in humanity
    towards enemies--especially sick and wounded.

    _Lady Russell to Lady Dunfermline_

    SALTBURN, _August_ 30, 1870

    Poor Paris! You may well say we must be sorry for it, having so
    lately seen it in all its gay spring beauty--and though no doubt
    the surface, which is all we saw of its inhabitants, is better than
    the groundwork, how much of good and great it contains! How the
    best Frenchmen everywhere, and the best Parisians in particular,
    must grieve over the deep corruption which has done much to bring
    their country to its present dreary prospects. I did not mean that
    any mediation or interference of other Powers would have prevented
    this war, but that there ought by this time to be a substitute
    found for all war.

    _Lady Russell to Lady Dunfermline_

    SALTBURN, _September_ 7, 1870

    Don't you find it bewildering to be hurried at express speed
    through such mighty pages of history? And if bewildering and
    overpowering to us, who from the beginning of the war could see a
    probability of French disaster, what must it be to Paris, to all
    France, fed with falsehood as they have been till from one success
    to another they find their Emperor and an army of 80,000 men
    prisoners of war! But what a people! Who would have supposed by
    reading the accounts of Paris on Sunday, the excess of joy, the
    _air de fête_, the wild exultation, that an immense calamity,
    a bitter mortification had just befallen the country! that a
    gigantic German army was on its way to their gates! I should like
    to know whether many of those who shouted "Vive l'Empereur" when he
    left Paris, who applauded the war and hooted down anybody who
    doubted its justice or attacked Imperialism, are now among the
    shouters of "Vive la Republique" and the new Democratic Ministry.
    Let us hope not. Let us hope a great many things from the downfall
    of a corrupt Court, and the call for heroism and self-sacrifice to
    a frivolous and depraved city--frivolous and depraved, and yet
    containing so much of noble and good--all the nobler and better,
    perhaps, from the constant struggle to remain so in that
    atmosphere. Even if, as God grant, there is no siege, the serious
    thoughts which the prospect of it must give will perhaps not be
    lost on the Parisians. I, like you, long that the King of Prussia
    may prove that he spoke in all sincerity when he said that he
    fought against the Emperor, not France, and be magnanimous in the
    conditions he may offer--but what does that precisely mean? John
    says he is right to seek for some guarantee against future French
    ambition. Hitherto he has acted very like a gentleman, as John in
    the House of Lords declared him to be, and may still be your model

    _Lady Russell to Mr. Rollo Russell_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _November_ 3, 1870

    Your letter is so interesting and raises so many serious thoughts
    that I should like to answer it as it deserves, but can't do so
    to-day as I am obliged to go to London on business, and have hardly
    a moment. The kind of "gigantic brains" which you mention are, I
    agree with you, often repulsive--there is a harshness of
    _dissent_ from all that mankind most values, all that has
    raised them above this earth, which cannot be right--which is the
    result of deficiency in some part of their minds or hearts or both,
    and not of excess of intellect or any other good thing. If they are
    right in their contempt of Christian faith and hope, or of all
    other spiritual faith and hope, they ought to be "of all men most
    miserable"; but they are apt to reject Christian charity too, and
    to dance on the ruins of all that has hitherto sustained their
    fellow-creatures in a world of sin and sorrow. That they are not
    right, but wofully wrong, I firmly believe, and happily many and
    many a noble intellect and great heart, which have not shrunk from
    searching into the mysteries of life and death with all the powers
    and all the love of truth given them by God to be used, not to lie
    dormant or merely receive what other men teach, have risen from the
    search with a firmer faith than before in Christ and in the
    immortality which he brought to light. I believe that many of those
    who deem themselves sceptics or atheists retain, after all, enough
    of the divine element within them practically to refute their own

    _Lady Russell to Lady Dunfermline_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _January_ 4, 1871

    I wonder whether the solemn thoughts which must belong to the end
    of a year, and the solemn services by which it has been celebrated
    both by Germans and French, will lead them to ask themselves in all
    earnestness whether it is really duty, really what they believe to
    be God's will, which guides them in the continuance of a fearful
    war--whether earthly passions, earthly point of honour, do not
    mingle with their determination. If they do ask themselves such
    questions, what will be the answers? I, too, am often tempted to
    wish peace at any price, yet neither you nor I would act upon the
    wish were we the people to act. It was the peace at any price
    doctrine that forced us into the Russian war.

    _Lady Russell to Lady Dunfermline_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _January_ 25, 1871

    Hopes of peace at last, thank God! I can think of little else--the
    increasing and accumulating horrors, miseries, and desolation of
    this wicked war have been enough to make one despair of mankind.
    France alone was in the wrong at first, but both have been wrong
    ever since Sedan, so at least I think, but it is too long a matter
    to discuss in a letter. If the new Emperor [81] does not grant most
    honourable terms to Paris, I shall give him up altogether as a
    self-seeking, hard-hearted old man of fire and sword. I dare say
    you have not heard as many sad stories as we have of the losses and
    disasters and unspeakable sorrows of people in Paris, known to
    other people we have seen. I won't repeat any of them, as it can do
    no good. I am glad to know that the Crown Prince _hates_ the
    war, _hates_ the bombardment, and opposed it strongly, and
    then again opposed sending shells into the town, and was very angry
    when it began to be done. Indeed, everything that we hear of him is
    highly to his credit, and one may hope much for the welfare and
    good government of United Germany from him and his wife.

[81] King William of Prussia had just taken the title of German

    _Lady Russell to Mr. Rollo Russell_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _January_ 26, 1871

    ... We are rejoicing and thanking God for the blessed news of the
    coming surrender of Paris. Alas for all the wasted lives--wasted,
    _I_ think, on both sides, for I cannot perceive that it was on
    either side one of those great and holy causes in which the blood
    shed by one generation bears fruit for the next. The _Times_
    was too quick in drawing conclusions from Jules Favre being at
    Versailles, but there can be little doubt that terms are under
    consideration, and I hope the Germans will show that they are not
    so spoiled by success as to be ungenerous in their demands. As to
    Alsace and Lorraine, I fear that it is a settled point with them.
    If so, they ought to be all the more ready to grant terms
    honourable in other respects. Do you see that a brave man in the
    Berlin Parliament raised his voice against annexation of French
    provinces, on the discussion of address to the new Emperor on his
    new dignity? ... What wonderfully interesting lectures Tyndall is

    LONDON, _July_ 12, 1871

    We lunched yesterday, all three, with Bernstorffs, [82] to meet
    Crown Prince and Princess--best of Princes and Princesses. It was
    interesting and agreeable. John and I had the luck to sit beside
    her and him. I was delighted to hear him say, "I hate war," with an
    emphasis better than words.

[82] Count Bernstorff was German Ambassador in London.

    _Lady Russell to Lady Dunfermline_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _July_ 27, 1871

    ... I suppose Agatha told you of the Emperor of Brazil's visit to
    us at 7 a.m.--it was amusing to get up at six to receive an
    Emperor, impossible to put on much ceremony with one's garments at
    that unceremonious hour, and fortunately unnecessary, for His
    Majesty was chatty and easy. He took a turn along West walk,
    admired the view, had a cup of chocolate, thanked us for our
    courtesy, and was off again before eight with his sallow-faced,
    grimy gentleman in waiting, who looked as if the little sleep he
    ever had was with his clothes on. We tried to see another Emperor
    [83] on Tuesday, having at last made out our journey to
    Chislehurst. Unluckily he and his son had gone to town, but we
    found the Empress. How unlike the splendid, bejewelled,
    pomp-and-gloryfied Empress of the Tuileries: her dress careless and
    common, her face little, if at all, painted, and thereby to my eye
    improved--but so altered. She seemed, however, in good spirits. She
    did not talk of France, but feared for England anything tending to
    diminish authority of "powers that be."

[83] Napoleon III and the Empress Eugénie were living at Chislehurst.

On August 18, 1871, Lord Russell's seventy-ninth birthday was celebrated at
Pembroke Lodge by the school children under the cedar in the garden. "His
serene and cheerful mind, a greater blessing year by year as enjoyments one
by one drop away. He looks back with gratitude, he accepts the present with
contentment. He looks forward, I think, without dread." In September they
went abroad, and took for the second time the house at Renens-sur-Roche, in
Switzerland, where they had stayed in 1855. Lady Russell's mind was still
full of horror of the recent war.

The first morning at Glyon (she writes to her sister, Lady Dunfermline) was
one of merciless rain, but the afternoon did well enough for Chillon, to
which use we all put it, and very interesting, grimly and horribly so, we
found it. Men are less wicked and less cruel, tyrants are less tyrannical
nowadays than when so-called criminals, often the best men in their
country, were chained by iron rings to dungeon stones for years and years,
or fastened to pillars and tortured by slow fires, or thrown down
"oubliettes" into the lake below, falling first on a revolving machine
stuck full of sharp blades--of all which horrors we were shown the scene
and the remains. But I hope that some centuries hence travellers will
wonder at even the present use to which Chillon is put, that of an arsenal,
and thank God that they did not live in an age when sovereigns and rulers
could command man to destroy his brother-man.

From Switzerland they moved down to the South of France to get to a warmer
climate. They had taken a villa for the winter at Cannes, where they had a
happy time, brightened during the Christmas vacation by the visits of their
sons with friends from Oxford. In his old age Lord Russell seemed to enjoy
more and more the companionship of the young, and entered with spirit into
their merry jests and their eager conversations on great subjects,
discussed with the freshness and enthusiasm of youth.

Lord Russell, as the following letters show, was still taking keen interest
in education questions:

    _Lord Russell to Colonel Romilly_

    RENENS, _September_ 27, 1871

    I see the Bishop of Manchester has been speaking in favour of "a
    very moderate form of dogmatism" to be imposed on Dissenters who
    wish their children to have religious teaching. I am quite against
    this moderate form, which consists in making a Baptist child own
    that he is to believe what his godfathers and godmothers promised
    for him--he having neither godfathers nor godmothers. Every form of
    persecution is in my eyes detestable, so that I shall have to fight
    a new fight for freedom of education.

    _Lord Russell to Lady Minto_

    CANNES, _January_ 6, 1872

    MY DEAREST NINA,--Your New Year's Day letter shows that you write
    as well as a volunteer as on compulsion.... I am sorry to have
    annoyed Maggie by my allusion to the Hertfordshire incumbent. Here
    is my case. Sixty-three years ago my father, with others founded a
    Society to teach the Bible to young boys and girls, which they
    called "Schools for all." One should have thought there was no harm
    in the project, and that they might have been left alone. Not so.
    The clergy were furious. Sixty years ago they founded the National
    Society, and ever since they have libelled our schools.... Last
    year or the year before the H.I. [Hertfordshire Incumbent] attacked
    my proposals. I left him alone, but I carried the day, and excluded
    formularies from schools provided by rates. Still the bishops and
    clergy fulminate against us, shut out Baptists from the schools
    where they have influence, and declaim against us. Now I happen to
    have a great respect for the Bible, and while I have life will not
    cease to defend our Bible schools. You will say, if I do not, that
    in time the world will come round to Christianity, which is at a
    low ebb at present. Men will understand at last that they ought to
    love God and to love their neighbour as themselves, not to steal,
    or commit murder, or cheat their neighbours. The Athanasian Creed
    is making a pretty hubbub. It was invented as a substitute for
    Christianity, and taken from Aristotle....

    Ever yours affectionately,


    _Lady Russell to Lady Dunfermline_

    CANNES, _November_ 29, 1871

    What is to be the result of the Republican ferment in our country?
    It may not be widespread, and it certainly hardly exists above the
    working classes, yet I feel that the germ is there--and who can say
    how far it is doomed to flourish, or whether it will die away....
    Ours has been so free and independent and prosperous a nation, that
    the notion of any fundamental change in the Constitution is awful.
    Yet when we boast of our freedom and prosperity we should not
    forget the enormous mass of misery, vice, filth, and all evil which
    disgraces all our large towns--nor the brutish ignorance and apathy
    which pervades much of our rural population. And it is well worth
    the most earnest thought and study, on the part of all Englishmen
    and women, to find out whether our form of government has or has
    not any share of the blame and to act accordingly. I have great
    confidence in the British people. They have never liked hasty,
    ill-considered changes; they hate revolution; and I hope I am not
    too trustful in believing that we shall go on in the wise and the
    right path, whatever that may be, and in spite of the freaks and
    follies of many a man whose aims are more selfish than patriotic.

While at Cannes Lord and Lady Russell saw a great deal of Princess
Christian, who was living near them, and was in great anxiety and sorrow
about the illness of her brother, the Prince of Wales, who nearly died in
December, 1871. His illness was the occasion of a display of loyalty and
sympathy from thousands of British subjects. Lady Russell received the
following reply to a letter she wrote from Cannes to the Queen:

    _Queen Victoria to Lady Russell_

    OSBORNE, _January_ 22, 1872

    DEAR LADY RUSSELL,--I meant ere this to have thanked you for your
    very kind letter of the 1st, but my dear son's illness brought with
    it much writing besides much to do, in addition to which, there is
    the correspondence with _four_ absent married daughters, which
    is no light task. I thank you now _both_ most warmly for the
    great kindness of your expressions about my own long and severe
    illness, when you so kindly wrote to Lady Ely to inquire, and
    relative to this last dreadful illness of my dear son's, coming, as
    it did, when I was far from strong myself. Thank God! I was able to
    be near him and with my _beloved_ daughter, the Princess of
    Wales (who behaved so beautifully and admirably), during that
    terrible time, when for nearly a week his life hung on a thread.
    Indeed, for a whole month _at least,_ if not for five weeks,
    his state was one of the greatest anxiety and indeed of danger.
    Since the 4th we may look on his progress as steady and good, and I
    hear that he was able to drive out yesterday for a little while.
    But great quiet will be necessary for a long while to come. You are
    very kind in your accounts of Helena, who no doubt must have
    suffered much from being so far off.... I hear that she is really
    better and stronger. She speaks often of the pleasure it is to her
    to see you and Lord Russell, of whom I am delighted to hear so good
    an account. Though not very strong and not free from rheumatic
    pains at times, I am much better and able to walk again out of
    doors, much as usual.

    With kind remembrances to Lord Russell and Agatha,

    Ever yours affectionately, V.R.

In the spring they all came back to England. Lord John had benefited in
health by wintering abroad; he was still vigorous enough to resist in the
House of Lords the claim of the United States for the _Alabama_
indemnity, and to give a presidential address to the Historical Society;
but the years were beginning to tell on him.

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _April_ 18, 1872

    John did not venture out--still looks tired and not as he did when
    we arrived, but no cold. Sad, most sad to me, that when I take a
    brisk turn in the garden, it is no longer with him--that his
    enjoyments, his active powers, yearly dwindle away--that it is
    scarcely possible he should not at times feel the hours too long
    from the difficulty of finding variety of occupation. Writing,
    walking, even reading very long or talking much with friends and
    visitors all tire him. He never complains, and I thank God for his
    patience, and oh! so heartily that he has no pain, no chronic
    ailment. But alas for the days of his vigour when he was out and in
    twenty times a day, when life had a zest which nothing can restore!

    _Lady Russell to Lady Dunfermline_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _August_ 8, 1872

    Filled with wonder, shame, remorse, I begin on a Thursday to write
    to you. What possessed me to let Wednesday pass without doing so I
    can't tell, but I think it happens about once a year, and I dare
    say it's a statistical mystery--the averages must be kept right,
    and my mind is not to blame--no free will in the matter. This
    brings me to an essay in one of the magazines for August--I forget
    which--on the statistics of prayer. Not a nice name (perhaps it's
    not correct, but nearly so), and not a nice article, it seemed to
    me--but I only glanced at it; produced, like many other faulty
    things of the kind, by illogical superstition on the part of
    Christian clergy, most of whom preach a half-belief, some a whole
    belief, on the efficacy of prayer for temporal good. Then comes the
    hard unbeliever, delighted to prove, as any child can do, that such
    prayer cannot be proved to avail anything. He is incapable of
    understanding the deeper and truer kind of prayer, but he convinces
    many that all communion with God is fruitless, or perhaps that
    there is no God with whom to hold it. This may not be the drift of
    the article, for, as I said, I have not read it, but it _is_
    the drift of much that is talked and written nowadays by men and
    women of the author's school. I wish there were no schools in that
    sense. They always have done and always will do harm, and prevent
    the independence of thought which they are by way of encouraging.

    _Lady Russell to Lady Dunfermline_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _Christmas Day,_ 1872

    I do indeed feel with you how wonderful the goodness and the
    contented spirit of many thousands of poor, pent-up, toiling human
    beings, who live in God's glorious world and leave it without ever
    knowing its glories, whose lives are one struggle to maintain life;
    and I think with you how easy it ought to be for us who have
    leisure for the beauty of life, in nature and in books, in
    conversation and in art. And yet, it was to the rich that Christ
    gave His most frequent warnings. Is it then, after all, easiest for
    the poor to do His will and love Him and trust Him in all things?

The summer and autumn and winter had been spent almost entirely at Pembroke
Lodge, but when Parliament met early in 1873 they moved to London, where
they had taken a house till Easter.

    _Lady Russell to Lady Dunfermline_

    LONDON, _February_ 19, 1873

    Scene--a drawing-room; hour 11.30 a.m. A young lady playing the
    pianoforte by candle-light. An old lady writing, also by
    candle-light. An old gentleman five minutes ago sitting reading
    also by candle-light, but now doing the same in a room below. Three
    large windows through which is seen a vast expanse of a
    semi-substantial material of the hue of a smoked primrose; against
    it is dimly visible an irregular and picturesque outline, probably
    of a range of mountains, some rocky and pyramidal, others
    horizontally banked. Altogether, a mystery replete with grandeur in
    the effect--none of your Southern transparency leaving nothing for
    the imagination. _Seriously,_ it's laughable that human beings
    should congregate so as to produce these effects, and that we among
    others should by preference be among the congregators. Your day at
    Napoule is like something in a different world altogether.

    You are rather hard, John says, and he is not disposed to be
    otherwise, on Parliamentary sayings and doings. I can say nothing
    from myself, as I have not read one single speech, except that I
    cannot bear the humiliating exclusion of _any_ kind of useful
    knowledge from a University out of false consideration for
    religious or irreligious scruples. [84] Surely young men had better
    be taught boldly to face the fact that men differ than be dealt
    with in this ridiculously tender and most futile manner.

[84] The Irish University Bill was being discussed in the Commons, one
clause of which proposed to exclude theology, philosophy, and history from
the curriculum of the New University.

In August, 1873, after the publication of Lord Russell's book, "Essays on
the History of the Christian Religion," they spent some six weeks at
Dieppe, where Lord Russell's health again considerably improved.

    _Mr. Disraeli to Lord Russell_


    MY DEAR LORD,--I have just finished reading your book, which I was
    much gratified by receiving from the author.... I cannot refrain
    from expressing to you the great pleasure its perusal gave me. The
    subject is of perpetual interest, and it is treated, in many
    instances, with originality founded on truth, and with wonderful
    freshness. The remarks suggested by your own eminent career give to
    the general conduct of the theme additional interest, like the
    personal passages in Montaigne. I wish there had been more of them,
    or that you would favour the world with some observations on men
    and things, which one who is alike a statesman, a philosopher, and
    a scholar could alone supply. In your retirement you have the
    inestimable happiness of constant and accomplished sympathy,
    without which life is little worth. Mine is lone and dark, but
    still, I hope I may send my kindest remembrances to Lady Russell.

    Yours with sincere respect and regard,


    _Lady Russell to Lady Dunfermline_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _July_ 3, 1873

    You will not be disappointed, I do believe, with John's book, high
    as your expectations are. The spirit of it at all events is that of
    your letter: that of love and reverence for what you truly call the
    wonder of wonders--the Bible--as well as that of perfect freedom of
    thought. Had that perfect freedom always been allowed to mankind by
    kings, rulers, and priests, in all their disguises, we should never
    have had the "trash" of which you complain inundating our country
    and thinking itself a substitute for the simple lessons and
    glorious promises of Christ. Whereas in proportion as it is less
    "trashy," it approaches more nearly, though unconsciously, to what
    He taught, borrowing what is best in it from Him, only giving an
    earthly tone to what He made divine. I have, perhaps, more
    indulgence than you for some of the anti-Christian thinkers and
    writers of the day--those who love truth with all their souls, who
    would give their lives to believe that--

      "Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
       Was not spoken of the soul,"

    but who seek a kind of proof of this which never can be found. They
    are very unhappy in this world, but I believe they are nearer
    heaven than many comfortable so-called believers, and will find
    their happiness beyond that death upon which they look as

    _Lady Russell to Lady Dunfermline_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _October_ 22, 1873

    Louisa [85] writes in such warm admiration of Minto indoors and
    out, it did me good to read it, and such joy in meeting you. Shall
    I ever be there again, I wonder?--a foolish wonder, and foolisher
    still when let out! Dear old oak-room--to me too Granny Brydone is
    always present there. I _cannot_ think of it without her image
    rising before me. How perfect she was! How far above the common
    world she and Mama, and yet both spending their lives in the
    discharge of common, and what many would call, petty duties! How
    little it signifies what are the special duties to which we are
    called, how much the spirit in which we do them! I don't think I
    ever longed so much for long talks day after day with you. Don't
    say such hopes are visionary, though, alas! they have over and over
    again vanished before our eyes.

[85] Lady Louisa Howard, formerly Lady Louisa Fitzmaurice (daughter
of Lord Lansdowne), one of Lady Russell's earliest friends.

    _Lady Russell to Lord Amberley_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _October_ 28, 1873

    DEAREST JOHNNY,--... Rollo bought Mill's autobiography, and I
    have read the greater part of it. Deeply interesting it is, and his
    lovableness comes out in it as much as his intellect--but deeply
    sad too, in more ways than one. I live in dread of the possible
    effect on you and Kate of the account of his education by his
    father--the principles right, the application so wofully wrong.
    Mill was a learned scholar, a great thinker, a good man, partly in
    consequence, partly in spite of it.... Happily you have more Popes
    than one, as good for you as it was for the world in days of old.
    Happily, too, there's such a thing as love, _innate, intuitive,
    instinctive_ (oh, horrible!), which is wise in proportion to its
    depth, and will be your best and safest guide. How strange Mill's
    utter silence about his mother I How beautiful and touching the
    pages about his wife! How melancholy to know that such high natures
    as his and hers generally fail to meet in close intimacy here
    below, and therefore live and die more than half unknown, waiting
    for the hereafter. God bless you, my very dear children.

    Your loving MOTHER

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _November_ 9, 1873

    Visit from Mr. Herbert Spencer, who stayed to dinner. Long, deep,
    interesting conversation; all amounting to "we know nothing," he
    assuring me that the prospect of annihilation has no terrors for
    him; I feeling that without immortality life is "all a cheat," and
    without a Father in heaven, right and wrong, love, conscience, joy,
    sorrow, are words without a meaning and the Universe, if governed
    at all, is governed by a malignant spirit who gives us hopes, and
    aspirations never to be fulfilled, affections to be wasted, a
    thirst for knowledge never to be quenched.

"1874 opened brightly and peacefully on our dear home," she writes; but it
was to prove one of the saddest years in their lives. Only some of the
heavy trials and sorrows that they were called upon to bear from this time
onward will be touched upon here. They were borne by Lord and Lady Russell
with heroic courage and unfaltering faith.

    _Lady Russell to Lady Dunfermline_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _February_ 25, 1874

    I am now just finishing the "Heart of Midlothian," and with more
    intense admiration for it than ever--the beauty and naturalness of
    every word spoken by Jeanie and Effie _before_ the last
    volume, of a great deal of Davie Deans, of many of the scenes
    scattered through the book are, I think, not to be surpassed. More
    tenderness and depth and heart-breakingness I should say than in
    any of Sir Walter's.... I turned to Sir Walter from "The
    Parisians." I doubt whether I shall finish it, a false, glittering,
    disagreeable atmosphere.

    _Lady Russell to Lord and Lady Amberley_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _March_ 2, 1874

    MY DEAR CHILDREN,--... We had a charming visit from Sir Henry
    Taylor a few days ago, a long quiet real "crack" about many books
    and many authors, with a little touch of the events of the
    day-change of Ministry, causes of our utter defeat, which he thinks
    obscure, so do I--not creditable to the country, so do I--in so far
    as Disraeli can hardly be reckoned more trustworthy or consistent
    than Gladstone, and Gladstone's untrustworthiness and inconsistency
    are supposed to have caused his overthrow. The Queen made Sir John
    Cowell write me a note to find out whether John would be disposed
    to go to the great banquet next Tuesday and sleep at Windsor.
    Kindly done of her--of course he declines. I read Herbert Spencer
    on "The Bias of Patriotism," yesterday--much of it truly excellent.
    To-day I am at "Progress" in the Essays ... of which I have read
    several here and there. Whenever I have the feeling that _I_,
    not Herbert Spencer, have written what I am reading, I have the
    delightful sensation of complete agreement and unqualified
    admiration of his (or _my_) wisdom. When I have _not_
    that feeling, I stop to consider, but even then have sometimes the
    candour to come to his conclusions; while at some passages, less
    frequent, I inwardly exclaim, "I never did, I do not now, and I
    never shall agree." The want of what Sir Henry Taylor calls "the
    spiritual instinct" is striking in him. It is strange to turn to
    him as I have done from "Memorials of a Quiet Life," which raises
    me into an atmosphere of heavenly calmness and joy, or ought to do
    so, although nobody ever felt the trials and sorrows of life more
    keenly than Mrs. Hare....

    Good-bye, dearest children, your pets [86] are as well and as dear
    as pets can be.

    Your loving, MOTHER.

[86] Rachel and Bertrand, who stayed for the winter at Pembroke Lodge while
their parents were abroad.

In April Lady Russell lost her sister, Lady Dunfermline, who died in Rome.
In May, Lord and Lady Russell's second son, who was dearly loved for his
generous and noble nature, was seized with dangerous illness. He lived, but
never recovered. In the summer, Lady Amberley and her little daughter
Rachel, who was only six years old, died of diphtheria within a few days of
each other.

There is a touching reference to Lord Russell in a letter, written many
years after his death, from Miss Elliot, daughter of the Dean of Bristol,
to Lady Russell.

    One of the very last times I saw him you were out, and he sent word
    that he would see me when he knew I was at the door; when he
    literally bowed his head and said, "The hand of the Lord has been
    very heavy on us--very heavy," and spoke of little Rachel. I never
    remember being more touched and awed by the reverence I felt for

    _Queen Victoria to Lady Russell_ [87]

    WINDSOR CASTLE, _June_ 29, 1874

    DEAR LADY RUSSELL,--I cannot remain silent without writing to
    express to you my deep and sincere sympathy with you both, and
    especially with your poor son on this most sad event, which has
    deprived him of his wife, and his little children (whom I saw so
    lately) of an affectionate mother, in the very prime of life! I saw
    the sad announcement in the papers this morning and could hardly
    believe it, never having heard even of her illness. This sad event
    will, I know, be a terrible blow to you, and to Lord Russell, and I
    know that _you have_ had much sorrow and anxiety lately. Dear
    Lady Russell, I have known you both too long not to feel the truest
    and deepest interest in all that concerns you and yours--in weal
    and woe--and I would not delay a moment in writing to express this
    to you. You will, I know, look for support and for comfort where
    _alone_ it can be found, and I pray that God may support and
    comfort you and your poor bereaved son.

    Ever yours affectionately,


    I should be very grateful if you would let me have any details of
    poor Lady Amberley's illness and death.

[87] On several occasions Lord Russell had been prevented by the
state of his health from accepting invitations to Windsor. In
April, 1874, he and Lady Russell were touched by the Queen's
kindness in coming to visit them at Pembroke Lodge, and she had
then seen Lord Amberley's children.

    _Queen Victoria to Lady Russell_

    WINDSOR CASTLE, _July_ 3, 1874

    DEAREST LADY RUSSELL,--Your two sad and touching letters have
    affected me deeply, and I thank you much for writing to me. It is
    too dreadful that the dear little girl whose bright eyes and look
    of health I so well remember at Pembroke Lodge should also be
    taken. May God support your poor unhappy son, for whom your heart
    must bleed, and whose agony of grief and bereavement seems almost
    too much to bear. But if he will but trust our Father in Heaven,
    and feel all is sent in love, though he may have to go through
    months and years of the bitterest sufferings, and of anguish
    indescribable, he will find peace and resignation and comfort come
    at last--when it seems farthest. _I_ know this myself. For
    you, dear Lady Russell and dear Lord Russell, I do feel so deeply.
    Your trials have been so great lately.... I shall be really
    grateful if you would write to me again to say how Lord Russell
    bears this new blow, and how your poor son Amberley is. Agatha, who
    is so devoted a daughter, will, I am sure, do all she can now to
    help and comfort you, but she will be deeply distressed herself.
    And poor dear Lady Clarendon is dying I fear, and poor Emily
    Russell only just confined, and unable to go and see her. It is

    With fervent prayers that your health may not suffer, and that you
    may be mercifully supported.

    Ever yours affectionately,


    _Lord Russell to Lady Minto_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _July_ 3, 1874

    MY DEAR NINA,--We are struck down by the death of my dear pet,
    Rachel, who was taken from us to stay with her parents at
    Ravenscroft. It was but too natural that Kate should wish to have
    her child with her, but the event is heart-breaking--such a
    darling, so bright, so pretty.

      "Elle a duré ce que durent les roses,
       L'espace d'un matin."

    I am always touched by those French verses, and now I apply them

    Ever yours affectionately,


In the summer of 1874 Lord Russell took Aldworth, Tennyson's beautiful home
near Haslemere, where they remained for some months.

    _Lady Russell to Lord Amberley_

    ALDWORTH, HASLEMERE, _November_ 10, 1874

    We have been going on in a happy humdrum way since I last
    wrote--humdrum as regards events, and all the happier that it
    should be so--but with no lack of delightful occupation and
    delightful conversation, and that intimate interchange of thought
    which makes home life so much fuller than society life. However, it
    would not do to go on long cut off from the world and its ways and
    from the blessing of the society of real friends, which unluckily
    can't be had without intermixture of wearisome acquaintances.

    Rollo's reader is reading Molesworth's "History of England for the
    last Forty Years," and Agatha takes advantage and listens, and I
    read it by myself, and as your father knows it all without reading
    it and likes to be talked to about it, we have been living a good
    deal in the great events of that period, and we find it a relief to
    turn from the mazy though deeply interesting flood of metaphysics
    which this age pours upon the world, to facts and events which also
    have their philosophy, and a deep one too.

    PEMBROKE LODGE, December 28, 1874

    Finished "Life of Prince Albert." It is seldom that a revelation of
    the inner life of Princes would raise the mind to a higher region
    than before--although we all know that they _have_ an inner
    and a real life through the tinsels and the trappings in which we
    see them. But this book can hardly fail to raise any mind, warm any
    heart, brace any soul. Would that we all, in all conditions of
    life, kept truth and duty ever before us, as he did even amid the
    pettinesses of a Court--the solemn trifles of etiquette which would
    have stifled the nobleness of a less noble nature. Would that all
    Princes had a Stockmar, [88] but there are not many Stockmars in
    the world; if there were, there would soon not be many Princes of
    the kind which now abounds, beings cut off from equality,
    friendship, freedom, by what in our supreme folly we call the
    "necessary" pomp and fetters of a Court. Noble as Prince Albert
    was, those things did him harm, and as Lady Lyttelton says, nobody
    but the organ knew what was in him.... The Queen appears in a
    charming light--truthfulness, humility, unbounded love for him.

[88] "One of the best friends of the Queen and the Prince Consort
was Baron Stockmar. This old nobleman, who had known the English
Court since the days of George III, and loved Prince Albert like a
son, was a man of sturdy independence, fearlessly outspoken, and
regarded with affectionate confidence both by Queen Victoria and
her Consort."--_Daily News_, May 7, 1910. This was what Lady
Russell felt about him; his fearless outspokenness at Court always
impressed her.

    _Lady Russell to Lord Amberley_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _December_ 29, 1874

    M. d'Etchegoyen [89] has given me Mill's three essays. I have read
    "Nature," a great deal of which I like much, but were it to be read
    by the inhabitant of some other planet, he would have a very false
    notion of this one; for Mill dwells almost entirely on the ugly and
    malevolent side of Nature, leaving out of sight the beautiful and
    benevolent side--whereas both abound, and suggest the notion of two
    powers at strife for the government of the world. If you bring the
    "Conscious Machine Controversy," I may read it, although I feel
    very uncharitable to the hard, presumptuous unwisdom of some modern

[89] The Comte and Comtesse d'Etchegoyen (_née_ Talleyrand)
were intimate friends of Lord and Lady Russell. He was a French
Republican, who had been obliged to leave Paris at the _Coup

    _Lady Russell to Lord Amberley_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _March_ 28, 1875

    This is our Agatha's birthday, and the spirit moves me to write to
    you. Every marked day, whether marked by sorrow or by joy, turns my
    heart, if possible, more than usual to you, and makes me feel more
    keenly how all the joy and perfect happiness once yours has been
    turned to bitter sorrow and desolation. I find it is far, far more
    difficult to bear grief for one's children than for oneself, and
    sometimes my heart "has been like to break" as I have followed you
    in thought on your long and dreary journey, and remembered what
    your companionship was when last you went to the sunny South, to so
    many of the same places. You have indeed been sorely tried, my
    child, and you have not--would that I could give it to you--the one
    and only rock of refuge and consolation, of faith in the wisdom and
    mercy of a God of love. But I trust in Him for you, and I know that
    though clouds hide Him from your sight, He will care for you and
    not forsake you--and even here on earth I look forward to much
    peaceful happiness for you, in your children, in books, in nature,
    in duties zealously done, in the love and sympathy of many--"Mutter
    Treu ist ewig neu," and that you may find some rest to your aching
    heart in that Mutter Treue, which is always hovering round you,
    wherever you are, and to which every day seems to add fresh
    strength and renewed longing to give you comfort, is my daily,
    nightly hope and prayer. May this letter find you well and cheerful
    and able to enjoy the loveliness of sea and sky and mountain; if
    so, I know it will not sadden you to get this drop out of the ocean
    of my thoughts about you--thoughts which the freshness of the
    wounds makes it intensely difficult for me to utter.... Kiss my two
    precious little boys and keep us in their memory. Is Bertrand as
    full of fun and merriment as he used to be? Poor pets! they look to
    you for all the tenderness of father and mother combined in order
    to be as happy as children ought to be. Give it them largely, my
    child, as it is in your nature to do.... God bless you all.

In August, 1875, Lady Russell notes in her diary that her husband had
written a letter to the _Times_ giving his support to the Herzegovina
insurgents. During the few years preceding 1876 he had become convinced
that the days of Turkish misrule in the Christian provinces must be ended.
[90] He frequently spoke with indignation of the systematic murders
contrived by the Turkish Government and officials, and felt that the cause
of the oppressed Christians deserved support, and that the time for
upholding the rule of the Sultan as a cardinal principle in our policy had
passed. He threw himself with the greatest heartiness into a movement for
the aid of the insurgents. Though in his eighty-third year he was the first
British statesman to break with the past and to bless the uprising of
liberty in the near East. In the following letter, written from Caprera on
September 17, 1875, the generous sympathy between him and Garibaldi found
fresh expression.

[90] In 1874 he wrote that from Adrianople to Belgrade all government
should be in the hands of the Christians.

    MON ILLUSTRE AMI,--En associant votre grand nom au bien-faiteurs
    des Chrétiens opprimés par le Gouvernement Turc, vous avez ajouté
    un bien precieux bijou a la couronne humanitaire qui ceint votre
    noble front. En 1860 votre parole sublime sonna en faveur des
    Rayahs Italiens, et l'Italie n'est plus une expression
    géographique. Aujourd'hui vous plaidez la cause des Rayahs Turcs,
    plus malheureux encore. C'est une cause qui vaincra comme la
    premiere, et Dieu bénira vos vieux ans.... Je baise la main à votre
    precieuse épouse, et suis pour la vie votre devoué G. GARIBALDI.

[91] "MY ILLUSTRIOUS FRIEND,--In associating your great name with the
benefactors of the Christians oppressed by the Turkish Government, you have
added a most precious jewel to the crown of humanity which encircles your
noble brow. In 1860 your sublime word was spoken in favour of the Italian
Rayahs, and Italy is no longer only a geographical expression. To-day you
plead the cause of the Turkish Rayahs, even more unhappy. It is a cause
which will conquer like the first, and God will bless your old age. I kiss
the hand of your dear wife, and remain for life your devoted G. GARIBALDI."

About a year later Lady Russell writes: "Great meetings at the Guildhall
and Exeter Hall--fine spirit-stirring speech of Fawcett at the last. The
feeling of the nation makes me proud, as it does to remember that John was
the first to foresee the magnitude of the coming storm, when the first
grumblings were heard in Herzegovina--the first to feel sympathy with the
insurgents.... Many a nation may be roused to a sense of its own wrongs,
but to see a whole people fired with indignation for the wrongs of another
and a remote country, with no selfish afterthought, no possible prospect of
advantage to what are called 'British Interests,' is grand indeed."

The last entry calls to mind a passage by Mr. Froude in the Life of Lord
Beaconsfield [92]:

"The spirit of a great nation called into energy on a grand occasion is one
of the noblest of human phenomena. The pseudo-national spirit of Jingoism
is the meanest and the most dangerous."

[92] "Life of the Earl of Beaconsfield," J.A. Froude, p. 251.

At the beginning of 1876 Lord Russell still retained so much health and
vigour that his doctor spoke of him as being in some respects "like a man
in the prime of life." But another great sorrow now befell them. Their
eldest son, Lord Amberley, died on January 9th. He was only thirty-three.
In his short life he had shown great independence of mind and unusual
ability. His two boys [93] now came to live permanently at Pembroke Lodge.
Something of his character may be gathered from the following letter from
Dr. Jowett, who had known him well at Oxford.

    _Professor Jowett to Lady Russell_

    _January_ 14, 1876

    I am grieved to hear of the death of Lord Amberley; I read it by
    accident in the newspaper of yesterday. I fear it must be a
    terrible blow both to you and Lord Russell.

    I will not intrude upon your sorrow, but I would like to tell you
    what I thought of him. He was one of the best men I ever knew--most
    truthful and disinterested. He was not of the world, and therefore
    not likely to be popular with the world. He had chosen a path which
    was very difficult, and could hardly have been carried out in
    practical politics. I think that latterly he saw this and was
    content to live seeking after the truth in the companionship of his
    wife, whose memory I shall always cherish. Some persons may grieve
    over them because they had not the ordinary hopes and consolations
    of religion. This does not add to my sorrow for them except in so
    far as it deprived them of sympathy and happiness while they were
    living. It must inevitably happen in these times, when everything
    is made the subject of inquiry with many good persons. God does not
    regard men with reference to their opinion about Himself or about a
    future world, but with reference to what they really are. In
    holding fast to truth and righteousness they held the greater part
    of what we mean by belief in God. No person's religious opinions
    affect the truth either about themselves or others. One who said to
    me what I have said to you about your son's remarkable goodness
    (while condemning his opinions) was Lady Augusta Stanley,[94] who
    herself, I fear, has not long to live.

[93] Frank (afterwards Earl Russell), who was then ten years old,
and Bertrand, three years old.

[94] Wife of Dean Stanley.

    _Dean Stanley (Dean of Westminster) to Lady Russell_

    DEAR LADY RUSSELL,--Will you allow one broken heart to say a word
    of sympathy to another?--the life of my life is ebbing away--the
    hope of your life is gone. She, I trust, will find in the fountain
    of all Love the love in which she has trusted on earth. He, I
    trust, will find in the fountain of all Light the truth after which
    he sought on earth. May God help us both in His love.

    Ever yours most truly,


    _Queen Victoria to Lady Russell_

    OSBORNE, _January_ 11, 1876

    DEAR LADY RUSSELL,--My heart bleeds for you. A new and very heavy
    blow has fallen upon you, who were already so sorely tried! Most
    deep and sincere is my sympathy with you and Lord Russell, and I
    cannot say how I feel for you. It is so terrible to see one's
    children go before one! You will be a mother to the orphans and the
    fatherless, as I know how kind and loving you were always to them.

    Trusting that your health will not suffer, and asking you to
    remember me to Agatha, who will be a great comfort to you, as she
    has ever been, believe me always,

    Yours affectionately,


In March they began once more to see their friends. "Seeing those I have
not yet seen," she writes, "is like meeting them after years--so changed is
our world."

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _March_ 15, 1876

    The dear old beech-tree in the wood blown down, and with it
    countless recollections of happy hours under its shade with merry
    boys climbing it above our heads, and little Agatha playing at our
    feet, and her elder sisters chatting with us and looking for nests
    and flowers. All, all gone. The bitter gales of sorrow have blown
    down our fair hopes and turned our joys to sorrow. Poor old
    beech-tree! Like us, it had lost its fair boughs; like it, we shall
    soon lay down our stripped and shattered stems.

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _April_ 25, 1876

    The loveliness of early spring--its nameless, countless tints, its
    music and its flowers, never went deeper into my soul--but oh! the
    happy springtide of life, where is that?

    _Lady Russell to Lady Charlotte Portal_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _January 27_, 1877

    Do not grieve too much over all our trials, dear Lotty. We have not
    long to bear them now, and all will be made clear by and by. All
    the sorrows of all the world will be seen in their true light, and
    tears will be wiped from all eyes for ever. I often think, though I
    try to drive away the thought, how unspeakably soothing and happy
    it would have been to look back upon blows as must fall to the lot
    of all who live long, instead of to a life of many strange and
    unexpected and terrible shocks of many kinds. But oftener, far
    oftener, I feel the brightness and blessedness of my lot; so bright
    and so blessed in many wonderful ways; and never, never at any
    moment would I have exchanged it for another. Dearest Lotty, your
    loving letter has brought all this upon you, and it shall go with
    all its selfishness to Laverstoke, and not into the fire, where I
    am inclined to put it.... God bless you, dear Lotty.

    Your loving sister,


    _Lady Russell to Lady Charlotte Portal_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _January_ 4, 1878

    I am reading the third volume of Prince Albert, and love and admire
    him more and more--but am very angry with the book as regards John:
    the unfairness from omission of all particulars which he alone
    could have given with regard to his resignation on Roebuck's
    motion, and his non-resignation after Vienna, is something I cannot

Early in this year, 1878, Lady Russell writes of a dinner-party at Lord

    Agatha and I dined in town, with the Selbornes. I between Lord
    Selborne and Gladstone, who was as usual most agreeable and most
    eloquent, giving life and fervour to conversation whatever was the
    subject. "The Eastern Question," the "Life of Prince Albert," the
    comedy of "Diplomacy," the different degrees of "parliamentary
    courage" in different statesmen, etc. He said that in his opinion
    Sir Robert Peel, my husband, and, "I must give the devil his due,"
    Disraeli, were the three statesmen whom he had known who had the
    most "parliamentary courage."

In the summer of 1877 Lord Russell had taken a house overlooking the sea
near Broadstairs. But he was falling into a gradual decline, the
consequence of great age, and after they came home from Broadstairs, he
never again left Pembroke Lodge.

    _Lady Russell to Lady Charlotte Portal_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _January_ 11, 1878

    Do not think too much of the pain to me, but of the mercy of there
    being none to him, in this gradual extinction of a mind which gave
    light to so many, of affections which made home so happy. My worst
    pain is over--was over long ago--the pain of first acknowledging to
    myself my own loneliness, without the guide, the example, the
    support, which so long were mine--without those golden joys of
    perfect companionship which made the hours fly when we sat and
    talked together on many an evening of blessed memory, or strolled
    together among our trees and our flowers, or snatched a few moments
    together from his days and nights of noble toil in London. All this
    is over, all this and much more, but gratitude that it _has
    been_ remains, and the bright hope of a renewal of companionship
    hereafter gives strength and courage for present duties and passing

Mr. George W.E. Russell, in the closing passage of an article on his
uncle, [95] wrote of these last years of his life: "... Thus in peace and
dignity that long life of public and private virtue neared its close; in a
home made bright by the love of friends and children, and tended by the
devotion of her who for more than five-and-thirty years had been the good
angel of her husband's house."

[95] _Contemporary Review_, December, 1889.

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _April_ 19, 1878

    I have just been sitting with my dearest husband; he has said
    precious words such as I did not expect ever to hear from him, for
    his mind is seldom, very seldom clear. We were holding one
    another's hands: "I hope I haven't given you much trouble." "How,
    dearest?" "In watching over me." Then by and by he said, "I have
    made mistakes, but in all I did my object was the public good."
    Again, "I have sometimes seemed cold to my friends--but it was not
    in my heart." He said he had enjoyed his life. I said, "I hope you
    enjoy it now." He said, "Yes, except that I am too much confined to
    my bed.... I'm very old--I'm eighty-five." He then talked of his
    birthday being in July. I told him it was in August, but our
    wedding-day was in July, and it would be thirty-seven years next
    July since we were married. He said, "Oh, I'm so glad we've passed
    it so happily together." I said I had not always been so good to
    him as I ought to have been. "Oh yes, you have, very good indeed."
    At another moment he said, "I'm quite ready to go now." Asked him
    where to? "To my grave, to my death." He also said, "Do you see me
    sometimes placing my hands in this way?" (he was clasping them
    together). "That always means devotion--that I am asking God to be
    good to me." His voice was much broken by tears as he said these

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _April_ 20, 1878

    Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone to tea. Both most cordial and kind. Mr.
    Gladstone in his most agreeable mood. Eastern Question only
    slightly touched. Other subjects: increase of drunkenness;
    Northumberland election, which has raised his spirits, whether
    Albert Grey be returned or not; Life of Prince Albert, whom he
    admires heartily, but who according to him (and John) did not
    understand the British Constitution. Called Stockmar a "mischievous
    old prig." Said "Liberty is never safe," that even in this country
    an unworthy sovereign might endanger her even now. John sent down
    to say he wished to see them. I took them to him for a few
    minutes--happily he was clear in his mind--and said to Mr.
    Gladstone, "I'm sorry you are not in the Ministry," and kissed her
    affectionately, and was so cordial to both that they were greatly

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _May_ 9, 1878

    Great day. Nonconformist deputation presented address to John on
    the fiftieth anniversary of Repeal of the Corporation and Test
    Acts. Alas! that he could not see them. All cordial and friendly,
    and some with strikingly good countenances. Edmond Fitzmaurice
    happened to call, stayed, and spoke admirably. Lord Spencer also
    called just before they came to congratulate him, but I stupidly
    did not think of asking him to stay. Those of the deputation who
    spoke did so extremely well. It was a proud and a sad day. We had
    hoped some time ago that he might perhaps see the deputation for a
    moment in his room, but he was too ill for that to be possible.

Lord Russell died on May 28, 1878, at Pembroke Lodge.

    _Queen Victoria to Lady Russell_

    BALMORAL, _May_ 30, 1878

    DEAR LADY RUSSELL,--It was only yesterday afternoon I learnt
    through the papers that your dear husband had left this world of
    sorrows and trials peacefully, and full of years, the night before,
    or I would have telegraphed or written sooner! You will believe
    that I truly regret an old friend of forty years' standing, and
    whose personal kindness in trying and anxious times I shall
    _ever_ remember. "Lord John," as I knew him best, was one of
    my first and most distinguished Ministers, and his departure
    recalls many eventful times. To you, dear Lady Russell, who were
    ever one of the most devoted of wives, this must be a terrible
    blow, though you must have for some time been prepared for it. But
    one is such trials and sorrows of late years that I most truly
    sympathize with you. Your dear and devoted daughter will, I know,
    be the greatest possible comfort to you, and I trust that your
    grandsons will grow up to be all that you could wish.

    Believe me always, yours affectionately,


    _Mr. John Bright to Lady Russell_

    _June_ 1, 1878

    DEAR LADY RUSSELL,--... What I particularly observed in the
    public life of Lord John--you once told me you liked his former
    name and title--was a moral tone, a conscientious feeling,
    something higher and better than is often found in the guiding
    principle of our most active statesmen, and for this I always
    admired and reverenced him. His family may learn from him, his
    country may and will cherish his memory. You alone can tell what
    you have lost....

    Ever very sincerely yours,


    _Lady Minto to Lady Russell_

    _June_ 4, 1878

    I have been thinking of you all day, and indeed through many hours
    of the night.... I rather wished to hear that the Abbey was to have
    been his resting place--but after all it matters little since his
    abiding place is in the pages of English history.... What none
    could thoroughly appreciate except those who lived in his intimacy
    was the perfect simplicity which made him the most easily amused of
    men, ready to pour out his stores of anecdote to old and young--to
    discuss opinions on a level with the most humble of interlocutors,
    and take pleasure in the commonest forms of pleasantness--a fine
    day, a bright flower. Nor do I think that the outside world
    understood from what depth of feeling the tears rose to his eyes
    when tales of noble conduct or any high sentiment touched some
    responsive chord--nor how much "poetic fire" lay under that
    _calm,_ not cold manner.... I remember often going down to you
    when London was full of some political anger against him--when
    personalities and bitterness were rife--and returning _from_
    you with the feeling of having been in another world, so entire was
    the absence of such bitterness, so gentle and peaceful were the
    impressions I carried away.

Lady Russell went with her family early in July to St. Fillans, in
Perthshire, for a few months of perfect quiet among the Scotch lakes and
mountains. Queen Victoria's kindness in asking her to remain at Pembroke
Lodge was a great comfort to her.

    _Lady Russell to Lady Charlotte Portal_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _June_ 30, 1878

    Just a word with you, my own Lotty, before leaving home. Oh the
    blessing of being still able to call it home, darkened for ever as
    it is, for the multiplying memories with which it is thronged make
    it dearer as well as sadder every day of my life! Lotty, shall I
    ever believe that he has left me, quite left me, never to return?
    Will the fearful silence ever cease to startle me? Whenever I came
    in from a walk or a drive I used to know almost before I opened his
    door, by the sound of his voice, or of _something,_ whether
    all was well with him, and now there is only that deadly silence.
    And yet, I often feel if I had but courage to go in, surely I
    _must_ find him, surely he _must_ be waiting for me and
    wanting me. But how foolish to talk of any _one_ form of this
    unutterable blank, which meets me at every turn, intertwined with
    everything I say or do, and taking a new shape every moment, and
    the yearning and the aching which have been my portion for four
    years--the yearning for my other lost loved ones, for my dear, dear
    boys, seems more terrible than ever now that this too has come upon
    me.... I pass my husband's sitting-room window--there are the roses
    he loved so well, hanging over them in all their summer beauty, but
    he does not call me to give him one. I come in, and there on the
    walls of my room are pictures of the three, but not one of them
    answers me--silence, nothing but deadly silence! I know all is
    well, and I feel in my inmost heart that this last sorrow is a
    blessed one, saving us from far worse, and taking him to his rest,
    and I never for a moment forget what treasures beyond price are
    left to my old age still.



Lady Russell survived her husband nearly twenty years. From the time of
Lord Russell's death in May, 1878, till 1890, she kept no diary, but not
long before her death she wrote for her children a few recollections of
some of the events during those twelve years.

In May, 1880, Lady Victoria Villiers died, leaving a widowed husband and
many children. Her death was a great sorrow to Lady Russell, who wrote of
her as "a perfect wife and mother."

In the summer of 1883 her son Rollo bought a place--Dunrozel--near
Haslemere, and from this time till 1891 Lady Russell spent a few months
every year at Dunrozel.[96] In 1891 and 1892 she took a house on
Hindhead--some miles from Haslemere--for a few months. She enjoyed and
loved the beautiful wild heather country, which reminded her of Scotland,
but after 1892 she felt that home was best for her, and never again left
Pembroke Lodge.

[96] They named it Dunrozel after Rozel in Normandy, supposed to be the
original home of the Russells.

In 1885 the marriage of her son Rollo to Miss Alice Godfrey was a great
happiness to her. But in little more than a year, soon after the birth of a
son, Mrs. Rollo Russell died, and again Lady Russell suffered deeply, for
she always found the sorrows of her children harder to bear than her own.

To retire more and more from the world of many engagements and important
affairs was easy to her, easier than it proves to many who have figured
there with less distinction. Playing a prominent part in that world does
not make people happy; but, as a rule, it prevents them from being
contented with anything else. It was not so with her; in the days most
crowded with successes and excitements her thoughts kept flying home. She
had always felt that a quiet, busy family life was the one most natural to
her. When she was a girl at Minto, helping to educate her younger brothers
and sisters, she had written in her diary:

    _August_ 26, 1836

    Chiefly unto children, O Lord, do I feel myself called; in them I
    see Thy image reflected more pure than in anything else in this
    sinful though beautiful world, and in serving them my love to Thee

Her wish was fulfilled to an unusual degree. One of a large family of
brothers and sisters, she was still helping in the education of the younger
ones when she married, and her marriage at once brought her the care of a
young family; soon, too, children of her own; while her old age brought her
the charge of successive grandchildren. During the lifetime of Lord and
Lady Amberley their children often spent many months at Pembroke Lodge
while their parents were abroad, and when both father and mother had died
the two boys came to live with their grandparents. Ten years later her
youngest son's boy was brought to her on the day of his mother's death,
when he was two months old, and remained with her till her son's second
marriage in 1891. The children of her stepdaughters were also loving
grandchildren to her, and often came for long visits to Pembroke Lodge.

Lady Russell had sometimes thought that when days of leisure came, she
would give some of her time to literary work, and write reminiscences of
the many interesting men and women she had known and the stirring events
she had lived through; but the unexpected and daily cares and duties which
came upon her made this impossible. [97] She was one who would never
neglect the living needs of those around her, and she gave her time and
thoughts to the care of her grandchildren with glad and loving devotion.

[97] The only book Lady Russell published was "Family Worship"; a small
volume of selections from the Bible and prayers for daily use. It was first
published in 1876.

One of her greatest pleasures was to see her own ideals and enthusiasms
reflected in the young; and next to the care of her family the prosperity
of the village school at Petersham was perhaps nearest her heart. It grew
and flourished through her devotion. In 1891 it was generously taken over
by the British and Foreign School Society, but the change made no
difference to her interest nor to the time she gave to it. The warm
affection of the people of Petersham was a great happiness to her; after
long illness and enforced absence from the village she wrote to her
daughter: "You can't think what good it did me to see a village friend

The feeling among the villagers may be gathered from two brief passages in
letters written after her death: a gardener in Petersham alluded to her as
"our much-loved friend, Countess Russell," and another man--who had been
educated at Petersham School--wrote: "She was really like a mother to many
of we 'Old Scholars.'"

Lady Russell's letters will show that her interest in politics remained as
keen as ever to the end; and she eagerly watched the changes which affected
Ireland. To the end of her life she retained the fervour of her youthful
Radicalism, and with advancing years her religious opinions became more and
more broad. To her there was no infallibility in any Bible, any prophet,
any Church. With an ever-deepening reverence for the life and teaching of
Jesus, she yet felt that "The highest Revelation is not made by Christ, but
comes directly from the Universal Mind to our minds." [98] Her last public
appearance in Richmond was at the opening of the new Free Church, on April
16, 1896, which she had joined some years before as being the community
holding views nearer to her own than any other.

[98] Rev. F.W. Robertson, of Brighton. Sermons, 1st Series.

There is a side of Lady Russell's mind which her letters do not adequately
represent. She was a great reader, and in her letters (written off with
surprising rapidity) she does not often say much about the books she was so
fond of discussing in talk. Among novelists, Sir Walter Scott was perhaps
the one she read most often; Jane Austen too was a favourite; but she also
much enjoyed many of the later novelists, especially Charles Dickens and
George Eliot.

In poetry her taste was in some respects the taste of an earlier
generation; she could not join, for instance, in the depreciation of Byron,
nor could she sympathize with the unbounded admiration for Keats which she
met with among the young. Milton, Cowper, Burns, Byron, and Longfellow were
among those oftenest read, but Shakespeare always remained supreme, and as
the years went by her wonder and admiration seemed only to grow stronger
and deeper with every fresh reading of his greatest plays; and the
intervals without some Shakespeare reading, either aloud or to herself,
were short and rare. She had not an intimate knowledge of Shelley, but in
the later years of her life she became deeply impressed by the beauty and
music of his poetry, which she liked best to hear read aloud.

Tennyson she loved, and latterly also Browning, with protests against his
obscurity and his occasionally most unmusical English. The inspiration of
his brave and optimistic philosophy she felt strongly. She was extremely
fond of reading Dante, and she was better acquainted with German and
Italian poetry than most cultivated women. But though she read much and
often in the works of famous writers, this did not prevent her keeping
abreast with the literature of the day. She was strongly attracted by
speculative books, not too technical, and by the works of theologians whose
views were broad and tolerant of doubt. In 1847 she mentions reading some
of Dr. Channing's writings "with the greatest delight"; and some years
afterwards she wrote: "Began 'Life of Channing'; interesting in the highest
degree--an echo of all those high and noble thoughts of which this earth is
not yet worthy, but which I firmly believe will one day reign on it
supreme." In later years she was deeply impressed by the writings of Dr.
Martineau, and read many of his books. But she was not interested in
philosophical inquiry for its own sake; it was the importance of the moral
and religious issues at stake in such discussions that attracted her.
History and biography it was natural she should read eagerly, and it was
characteristic of her to praise and condemn actions long past with an
intensity such as is usually excited by contemporary events. Until a few
years before her death she rose early to secure a space of time for reading
and meditation before the duties of the day began. Unless ill-health could
be pleaded, fiction and light reading were banished from the morning hours.
She believed in strict adherence to such self-imposed sumptuary
regulations, whether they applied to the body or to the pleasures of the

In the course of her long life she became personally acquainted with nearly
all the principal writers of the Victorian era, and some of them she knew

Among the earliest friends of Lord and Lady John Russell were Sydney Smith,
Thomas Moore, and Macaulay. There is a note in verse written by Lady John
to Samuel Rogers, which will serve at least to suggest how readily her
fancy and good spirits might run into rhyme on the occasion of some family
rejoicing or for a children's play.

    _To Mr. Rogers, who was expected to breakfast and forgot to


      When a poet a lady offends
        Is it prose her forgiveness obtains?
      And from Rogers can less make amends
        Than the humblest and sweetest of strains?

      In glad expectation our board
        With roses and lilies we graced;
      But alas! the bard kept not his word,
        He came not for whom they were placed.

      Sad and silent our toast we bespread,
        At the empty chair looked we and sighed;
      All insipid tea, butter, and bread,
        For the salt of his wit was denied.

      Now in wrath we acknowledge how well
        He the "Pleasures of Memory" who drew,
      For mankind from his magical shell
        Gives the "Pains of Forgetfulness" too.

Rogers wrote in answer:--

    CARA, CARISSIMA, CRUDELISSIMA,--If such is to be the reward for my
    transgressions, what crimes shall I not commit before I die? I
    shall shoot Victoria to-day, and Louis Philippe to-morrow.

    But to be serious, I am at a loss how to thank you as I ought. How
    I lament that I have hung my harp upon the willow!

    Yours ever,


In later years Thackeray and Charles Dickens were welcome guests, and the
cordial friendship between Lord and Lady John and Dickens lasted till his
death in 1870. Dickens said in a speech at Liverpool in 1869 that "there
was no man in England whom he respected more in his public capacity, loved
more in his private capacity, or from whom he had received more remarkable
proofs of his honour and love of literature than Lord John Russell."

Among poets, Tennyson and Browning were true friends; Longfellow also
visited Pembroke Lodge, and impressed Lady Russell by his gentle and
spiritual nature; and Lowell was one of her most agreeable guests. With Sir
Henry Taylor, whose "Philip van Artevelde" she admired, the intercourse
was, from her youth to old age, intimate and affectionate.

Mr. Lecky, a faithful friend, gave a picture of the society at Pembroke
Lodge, which may be quoted here:

For some years after Lord Russell's retirement from ministerial life he
gathered around him at Pembroke Lodge a society that could hardly be
equalled--certainly not surpassed--in England. In the summer Sunday
afternoons there might be seen beneath the shade of those majestic oaks
nearly all that was distinguished in English politics, and much that was
distinguished in English literature, and few eminent foreigners visited
England without making a pilgrimage to the old statesman. [99]

[99] "Life of Lord John Russell," by Stuart J. Reid, p. 351.

Mr. Frederic Harrison was one of Lady Russell's best friends in the last
years of her life, and her keen interest in the Irish Question brought her
into close and intimate intercourse with Mr. Justin McCarthy, who knew her
so well in these days of busy and sequestered old age that his
recollections, given in the last chapter of this volume, are valuable.

Among the men of science she knew best were Sir Richard Owen, a near
neighbour in Richmond Park, Sir Joseph Hooker, and Professor Tyndall, one
of the most genial and delightful of her guests.

There is a passage in Sir Henry Taylor's autobiography which speaks of her
in earlier times, but it expresses an impression she made till her death on
many who met her:

I have been rather social lately, ... and went to a party at Lord John
Russell's, where I met the Archbishop of York.... A better meeting was with
Lady Lotty Elliot, the one of the Minto Elliots who is now about the age
that her elder sisters were when I first knew them some sixteen or eighteen
years ago.... They are a fine set of girls and women, those Minto Elliots,
full of literature and poetry and nature; and Lady John, whom I knew best
in former days, is still very attractive to me; and now that she is
relieved from the social toils of a First Minister's wife, I mean to renew
and improve my relations with her, if she has no objection.... She is very
interesting to me, as having kept herself pure from the world with a fresh
and natural and not ungifted mind in the world's most crowded ways. I
recollect some years ago going through the heart of the City, somewhere
behind Cheapside, to have come upon a courtyard of an antique house, with
grass and flowers and green trees growing as quietly as if it was the
garden of a farm-house in Northumberland. Lady John reminds me of it.

The charm of her company, apart from the kindliness of her manner, lay in
an immediate responsiveness to all that was going on around her, and the
sense her talk and presence conveyed of a life controlled by a homely,
dignified, strenuous tradition. It was the spontaneity of her sympathy
which all her life long drew to her defenders, dispirited or hopeful, of
struggling causes, and so many idealists, confident or resigned, shabby or
admired. Any with a cause at heart, an end to aim at beyond personal ends,
found in her a companion who seemed at once to understand how bitter were
the checks or how important the triumphs they had met, and to them her
company was a singular refreshment and inspiration, amid the polite or
undisguised indifference of the world. She could listen with ardour; and if
this sympathy was there for comparative strangers, still more was it at the
service of those who possessed her affection. She reflected instantaneously
their joys and troubles; indeed, she made both so much her own that those
she loved were often tempted at first to hide their troubles from her. Such
natures cannot usually disguise their emotions, and though she could
conceal her own physical sufferings so as almost to mislead those with whom
she lived, her feelings were plainly legible. If anything was said in her
presence which pained her, her distress was visible in a moment; and as a
beautiful consequence of this transparent expressiveness, her gaiety was
infectious and her affection shone out upon those she loved with tenderest

       *       *       *       *       *

After Lord Russell's death political events can no longer be used as a
thread to connect her letters and other writings together; but the
following passages, chosen over many years, will, it is hoped, give to
those who never knew her some idea of her as she is remembered by those who

On Lady Georgiana Peel's first birthday after the death of her father Lady
Russell sent her the following verses:


    _For her Birthday, February 6, 1879._

    TUNE: _"Lochnagar."_

      What music so early, so gently awakes me,
        And why as I listen these fast falling tears;
      And what is the magic that so swiftly takes me
        Far back on my road, o'er the dust of dead years?

      Voice of the past, in thy sweetness and sadness
        Thy magic enthralling, thy beauty and power,
      Oh voice of the past! in thy deep holy sadness,
        I know thee and yield to thee one little hour.

      Once more rings the birthday with merry young laughter,
        Our bairnies once more are around us at play;
      Their little hearts reck not of what may come after,
        As lightly they weave the fresh flowers of to-day.

      Now to thy father's loved hand gaily clinging,
        To ask for the kiss he stoops fondly to gi'e;
      To his care-laden spirit once more thou art bringing
        The freshness of thine, bonny winsome wee Gee![100]

      Thy rosy young cheek to my own thou art pressing,
        Thy little arms twining around me I feel.
      And thy Father in Heaven to thank for each blessing,
        I see thee beside me in innocence kneel.

      When the dread shadow of sickness is o'er me,
        I see thee, a lassie all brightness and bloom;
      Still, still through thy tears strewing blossoms before me,
        Still watching beside me through silence and gloom.

           *       *       *       *       *

      Hushed now is the music! and hushed be my weeping
        For days that return not and light that hath fled.
      No more from their rest may I summon the sleeping,
        Or linger to gaze on the years that are dead.

      Fadeth my dream--and my day is declining,
        But love lifts the gloamin' and smooths the rough way;
      And I hail the bright midday o'er thee that is shining,
        And think of a home that will ne'er pass away.

[100] The name she was called by in her childhood.

Early in 1879 Lady Russell began again to have more intercourse with her
friends in London, and in May she went with her son and daughter to the
Alexandra Hotel for a short stay in town. She writes in her Recollections:

    In May (1879) we spent ten days at the Alexandra Hotel, in the
    midst of many kind friends and acquaintances. It was strange to be
    once more in "the crowd, the hum, the shock of men" as of old--and
    all so changed, so solitary within.... We there first saw Mr.
    Justin McCarthy--he has since become a true friend, and his
    companionship and conversation are always delightful; as with so
    warm a heart and so bright an intellect they could not fail to be.

In April, 1880, when Mr. Gladstone's candidature in Midlothian was causing
the greatest excitement and enthusiasm, Lady Russell received this letter
from Mrs. Gladstone.

    120, GEORGE STREET, EDINBURGH, _April_ 4, 1880

    MY DEAR LADY RUSSELL,--We are so much touched by your letter and
    all the warmth and kindness you have shown to ourselves and Mary
    and Herbert. How can I thank you enough? I see in your letter all
    the memories of the past, and that you can throw your kind heart
    into the present moment lovingly. The old precious memories only
    make you more alive to what is going on, as you think of _him_
    who had gone before and shown so noble an example to my husband. No
    doubt it did not escape you, words of my husband about Lord
    Russell.... All here goes on splendidly; the enthusiasm continues
    to increase, and all the returns have thrown us into a wild state
    of ecstasy and thankfulness. It is, indeed, a blessing passing all
    expectations, and I look back to all the time of anxiety beginning
    with the Bulgarian horrors, all my husband's anxious hard work of
    the past three or four years--how he was ridiculed and
    insulted--and now, thank God, we are seeing the extraordinary
    result of the elections, and listening to the goodness and
    greatness of the policy so shamefully slandered; righteous
    indignation has burst forth.... I loved to hear him saying aloud
    some of the beautiful psalms of thanksgiving as his mind became
    overwhelmed with gratitude and relieved with the great and good
    news. Thank you again and again for your letter.

    Yours affectionately,


    _Sir Mount Stuart Grant Duff [101] to Lady Russell_

    _June_ 8, 1883

    As to the public questions at home--alas! I can say nothing but
    echo what you and some other wise people tell me. One is far too
    much _out_ of the whole thing. I do not fear the Radical, I
    greatly fear the Radical, or crotchet-monger.... Your phrase about
    the division on the Affirmation Bill [102] rises to the dignity of
    a _mot,_ and will be treasured by me as such. "The triumph of
    all that is worst in the name of all that is best."

[101] At that time Governor of Madras.

[102] In the April of 1881 Gladstone gave notice of an Affirmation
Bill, to enable men like Mr. Bradlaugh to become members of
Parliament without taking an oath which implied a belief in a
Supreme Being. But it was not till 1883 that the Bill was taken up.
On April 26th Gladstone made one of his most lofty and fervid
speeches in support of the Bill, which, however, was lost by a
majority of three.

    _Lady Russell to Lady Agatha Russell_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _June,_ 1883

    ... I have been regaling myself on Sydney Smith's Life and
    Letters--the wisdom and the wit, the large-hearted and wide-minded
    piety, the love of God and man set forth in word and deed, and the
    unlikeness to anybody else, make it delightful companionship.... I
    long to talk of things deep and high with you, but if I once began
    I should go on and on, and "of writing of letters there would be no
    end." That is a grand passage of Hinton's [on music]. I always feel
    that music means much more than just music, born of earth--joy and
    sorrow, agony and rapture, are so mysteriously blended in its
    glorious magic.

    _Lady Russell's Recollections_

    In July, 1883, I went with Agatha to see Dunrozel for the first
    time ... I was simply enchanted--it was love at first sight, which
    only deepened year after year.... We had a good many pleasant
    neighbours; the Tennysons were more than pleasant, and welcomed us
    with the utmost cordiality, and we loved them all.

    At that time Professor Tyndall and Louisa [103] were almost the
    only inhabitants of Hindhead. They were not yet in their house, but
    till it was built and furnished lived in their "hut," where they
    used to receive us with the most cheering, as well as cheerful,

[103] Mrs. Tyndall.

    _Lady Russell to Miss Lilian Blyth_ [104] _[Mrs. Wilfred

    DUNROZEL, HASLEMERE, _November_ 16, 1883

    Your letter is just like you, and that means all that is dear and
    good and loving.... Indeed, past years are full of happy memories
    of you all, not on marked days only, but on all days. At my age,
    however, it is better to look forward to the renewal of all earthly
    ties and all earth's best joys in an enduring home, than to look
    back to the past--to the days before the blanks were left in the
    earthly home which nothing here below can ever fill, and this it is
    my prayer and my constant endeavour to do. We go home to dear
    Pembroke Lodge next Tuesday ... going there must always be a
    happiness to us all, yet this lovely little Dunrozel is not a place
    to leave without many a pang.

[104] Daughter of the Rev. F.C. Blyth, for many years curate at

    _Lady Russell to Miss Bühler_ [105]

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _December_, 1883

    ... I find my head will not bear more than a certain amount of
    writing without giddiness and dull headache ... and there are so
    _many_ correspondents who must be answered; friends,
    relations, business people, that I am often quite bewildered; ...
    so, please, understand that I shall always write _when I can_,
    but not nearly always when I _would like_ to do so. Go on
    letting yourself out whether sadly or happily, or in mingled
    sadness and happiness, and believe how very much I like to see into
    your thoughts and your heart as much as letters can enable me to do
    so.... As for Scotland, oh! Scotland, my own, my bonny Scotland! if
    you associate that best and dearest of countries with your present
    _ennui_ and unhappiness, I shall turn my back upon you for
    good and all and give you up as a bad job! So make haste and tell
    me that you entirely separate the two things, and if you don't
    admire "mine own romantic town" and feel its beauty thrill through
    and through you, you must find the cause in anything rather than in
    Edinburgh itself! Such are my commands.... In the meantime let it
    be a consolation and a support to you to remember that it is by
    trials and difficulties that our characters are raised, developed,
    strengthened, made more Christ-like.... Good-bye, good-bye. God
    bless you.

[105] Miss Bühler (who died some years ago) had been governess to
Lady Russell's grandson Bertrand. She was Swiss, and only nineteen
when she came, and Lady Russell gave her motherly care and

    _Lady Russell to Sir Henry Taylor_

    _February_ 29, 1884

    I have just been reading with painful interest "Mémoires d'un
    Protestant condamné aux Galères" in the days of that terribly
    little great man Louis XIV. I ask myself at every page, "Did man
    really so treat his fellow-man? or is it all historical nightmare?"
    I never can make the slightest allowance for persecutors on the
    ground that "they thought it right to persecute." They had no
    business so to think.

    _Mr. Gladstone to Lady Russell_

    _December_ 14, 1884

    I thank you for and return Dr. Westcott's interesting and weighty
    letter.... A very clever man, a Bampton lecturer, evidently writing
    with good and upright intention, sends me a lecture in which he
    lays down the qualities he thinks necessary to make theological
    study fruitful. They are courage, patience, and sympathy. He omits
    one quality, in my opinion even more important than any of them,
    and that is reverence. Without a great stock of reverence mankind,
    as I believe, will go to the bad....

During the strife and heat of the controversy on Home Rule, Lady Russell
received the following letter from Mr. Gladstone:


    _June_ 10, 1886

    MY DEAR LADY RUSSELL,--I am not less gratified than touched by your
    most acceptable note. It is most kind in you personally to give me
    at a critical time the assurance of your sympathy and approval. And
    I value it as a reflected indication of what would, I believe, have
    been the course, had he been still among us, of one who was the
    truest disciple of Mr. Fox, and was like him ever forward in the
    cause of Ireland, a right handling of which he knew lay at the root
    of all sound and truly Imperial policy. It was the more kind of you
    to write at a time when domestic trial has been lying heavily upon
    you. Believe me,

    Very sincerely yours,


    _Lady Russell to Lady Agatha Russell_

    DUNROZEL, HASLEMERE, _August_ 30, 1886

    ... Our Sunday, mine especially, was a peaceful, lovely
    Sabbath--mine especially because I didn't go to any church built
    with hands, but held my silent, solitary worship in God's own
    glorious temple, with no walls to limit my view, no lower roof than
    the blue heavens over my head. The lawn, the green walk, the Sunday
    bench in the triangle, each and all seemed filled with holiness and
    prayer--sadness and sorrow. Visions of more than one beautiful past
    which those spots have known and which never can return, were there
    too; but the Eternal Love was around to hallow them....

    _Lady Russell to Miss Bühler_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _November_ 24, 1886

    MY DEAREST DORA,--I am afraid you will say that I have forgotten
    you and your most loving and welcome birthday letter, but as I know
    you will not _think_ it, I don't so very much mind. Nobody at
    seventy-one and with many still to love and leave on earth, can
    hail a birthday with much gladness.... The _real_ sadness to
    me of birthdays, and of all marked days, is in the bitterly
    disappointing answer I am obliged to make to myself to the
    question: "Am I nearer to God than a year ago?" ... I never answered
    your long-ago letter about your doubts and difficulties and
    speculations on those subjects which are of deepest import to us
    all, yet upon which it sometimes seems that we are doomed to work
    our minds in vain--to seek, and _not_ to find--to exult one
    moment in the fullness of bright hope and the coming fulfilment of
    our highest aspirations, and the next to grope in darkness and say,
    "Was it not a beautiful dream, and only a dream? Is it not too good
    to be true that we are the children of a loving Father who
    stretches out His hands to guide us to Himself, who has spoken to
    us in a thousand ways from the beginning of the world by His
    wondrous works, by the unity of creation, by the voices of our
    fellow-creatures, by that voice, most inspired of all, that life
    and death most beautiful and glorious of all, which 'brought life
    and immortality to light,' and chiefly by that which we feel to be
    immortal within us--_love_--the beginning and end of God's own
    nature, the supreme capability which He has breathed into our
    souls?" No, it is _not_ too good to be true. Nothing
    perishes--not the smallest particle of the most worthless material
    thing. Is immortality denied to the one thing most worthy of it?

    I sent you "The Utopian," because I thought some of the little
    essays would fall in with all that filled your mind, and perhaps
    help you to a spirit of hopefulness and confidence which
    _will_ come to you and abide with you, I am sure. You will
    soon receive another book written by several Unitarians, of which I
    have only read very little as yet, but which seems to me full of
    strength and comfort and holiness.... Good-bye, and God bless you.

    Your ever affectionate,


    _Lady Charlotte Portal to Lady Russell_

    _January_ 26, 1887

    DEAREST FANNY,--I wonder if you are quite easy in your conscience,
    or whatever mechanism takes the place with you of that rococo old
    article. Do you think you have behaved to me as an elder ought?--to
    me, a poor young thing, looking for and sadly requiring the
    guidance of my white-headed sister? Our last communications were at
    Christmas-time--a month ago. Are you all well? Are you all entirely
    at the feet of the dear baby boy? [106] Or have your republican
    principles begun to rebel against his autocratic sway? ... I have
    been amusing myself with an obscure author named William
    Shakespeare, and enjoying him _immensely_. Amusing myself is
    not the right expression, for I have been in the tragedies only. I
    had not read "Othello" for ages. How wonderful, great, and
    beautiful and painful it is (oh dear, why is it so coarse?). Then I
    also read "Lear" and "Henry VIII," and being delightfully ignorant
    I had the great interest of reading the same period (Henry VIII) in
    Holinshed, and in finding Katharine's and Wolsey's speeches there!
    Then I have tried a little Ben Jonson and Lord Chesterfield's
    letters. What a worldling, and what a destroyer of a young mind
    that man was. Can you tell me how the son turned out? I cannot find
    any information about him. The language is delightful, and I wish I
    could remember any of his expressions.... Now give me a volume of
    Pembroke Lodge news in return for this. Public matters, the fear of
    war, the arming of all nations, make me sick at heart. How
    wonderful and admirable the conduct of that poor friendless little
    Bulgaria has been. Then Ireland, oh me! but on that topic I won't
    write to the Home Ruler!

    Your affectionate sister,


[106] Arthur, son of Mr. Rollo Russell.

    _Lady Russell to Lady Charlotte Portal_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _January_ 27, 1887

    DEAREST LOTTY,--It was but yesterday that there rose dimly to my
    memory the vision of a lady with the initials--C.M.P., and who
    knows how long I might have remained in the dark as to who and what
    she might be but for this letter, in which she claims me as a
    sister! and moreover an elder and a wiser sister! one therefore
    whose doings and not-doings, writing and not-writing, must not be
    questioned by the younger....

    We have imagined ourselves living in a state of isolation from our
    fellow-creatures, but yours far exceeds ours and makes it almost
    into a life of gaiety. I'm most extremely sorry to hear of it,
    though most extremely glad to hear that your minds to you a kingdom
    are. What good and wholesome and delightful food _your_ mind
    has been living on. Isn't that Shakespeare too much of a marvel to
    have really been a man? "Othello" is indeed all you say of it, and
    more than anybody can say of it, and so are _all_ the great
    plays. I am reading the historical ones with Bertie.... Alas,
    indeed, for the coarseness! I never can understand the objections
    to Bowdlerism. It seems to me so right and natural to prune away
    what can do nobody good--what it pains eyes to look upon and ears
    to hear--and to leave all the glories and beauties untouched....
    The little Autocrat is beginning to master some of the maxims of
    Constitutional Monarchy--for instance, to find out that we do not
    always leave the room the moment he waves his hand by way of
    dismissal and utters the command of "Tata." I waste too much time
    upon him, in spite of daily resolutions to neglect him.... I don't
    at all know whether Lord Chesterfield succeeded in making his son
    like his own clever, worldly, contemptible self, but will try to
    find out. _Have_ you read "Dean Maitland"? [107] Now, Fanny,
    do stop, you know you have many other letters to write....

    Ever thine,


[107] "The Silence of Dean Maitland," by Maxwell Grey.

    _Lady Russell to Lady Georgiana Peel_

    DUNROZEL, HASLEMERE, SURREY, _September_ 9 [1887]

    ... Your account of the Queen and her visit interested us much....
    I often wish she could ever know all my gratitude to her and the
    nation for the unspeakable blessing and happiness Pembroke Lodge
    has been, and is; joys and sorrows, hopes fulfilled, and hopes
    faded and crushed, chances and changes, and memories unnumbered,
    are sacredly bound up with that dear home. Will it ever be loved by
    others as we have loved it? It seems impossible....

    _Lady Russell to Lady Charlotte Portal_

    DUNROZEL, HASLEMERE, _September_ 12, 1887

    DEAREST LOTTY,--I don't think I am writing because your clock is on
    the stroke of Sixty-three, for these clocks of ours become
    obtrusive, and the less they are listened to the better for our
    spirits. I wonder whether it's wrong and unnatural not to rejoice
    in their rapid movements as regards myself. I often think so. There
    is so much, or rather there are so many, oh, so many! to go to when
    it has struck for the last time, and the longing and the yearning
    to be with them is so unspeakable--and yet, dear Lotty, I cling to
    those here, not less and less, but more and more, as the time for
    leaving them draws nearer. God grant you many and many another
    birthday of happiness, as I trust this one is to you and your
    home.... Your letter was an echo of much that we had been saying to
    one another, as we read our novel--not only does nobody, man or
    even woman, see every change and know its meaning in the human
    countenance, and interpret rightly the slight flush, the hidden
    tremor, the shade of pallor, the faint tinge, etc.; but we don't
    think there _are_ perceptible changes to such an extent except
    in novels.... I think a great evil of novels for girls, mingled
    with great good, is the false expectation they raise that
    _somebody_ will know and understand their every thought, look,
    emotion.... How glad I am that you have a rival baby to
    worship--ours is beyond all praise--oh, so comical and so lovely in
    all his little ways and words....

    Your most affectionate sister,


    _Lady Russell to Lady Georgiana Peel_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _November_ 28, 1887

    ... We have been having such a delightful visit from Lotty ... we
    _did_ talk; and yet it seems as if all the talk had only made
    me wish for a great deal more. Books and babies and dress and
    almsgiving and amusements and the nineteenth century, its merits
    and its faults, high things and low things, and big things and
    trifles, and sense and nonsense, and everything except Home Rule,
    on which we don't agree and couldn't spare time to fight. We did
    thoroughly agree, however, as I think people of all parties must
    have done, in admiration of a lecture, or rather speech, made at
    our school by a very good and clever Mr. Wicksteed, a Nonconformist
    (I believe Unitarian) minister on Politics and Morals. The
    principle on which he founded it was that politics are a branch of
    morals; accordingly he placed them on as high a level as any other
    duty of life, and spoke with withering indignation of the too
    common practice, and even theory, that a little insincerity, a
    little trickery, is allowable in politics, whereas it would not be
    in other matters. [108] We were all delighted.

[108] Lady Russell often quoted a saying attributed to Fox,
"Nothing which is morally wrong can ever be politically right."

    _Lady Russell to Lady Charlotte Portal_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _March_ 7, 1888

    "Adam Bede" was as interesting a sofa companion as you could have
    found; a very lovely book--wit and pathos almost equally good,
    pathos quite the best though, to my mind. We are reading aloud
    another charming book of Lowell's, "Democracy," and other essays in
    the same volume; and I flutter about from book to book by myself,
    and have still two books of "Paradise Lost" to read, and am
    wondering what is going to happen to Adam and Eve. I was very
    miserable when I found she ate the forbidden fruit. She had made
    such fair promises to be good. Alas, alas! why did she break them?
    That story of the Fall, though I suppose nobody thinks it verbally
    true, is always to me most full of deep meaning, and seems to be
    the story of every mortal man and woman born into this wondrous

    _Lady Russell to Lady Charlotte Portal_

    DUNROZEL, HASLEMERE, _October_ 3, 1888

    Agatha gone yesterday to Pembroke Lodge--Rollo gone to-day to join
    her, so my wee bairnie and I are "left by our lone," as you used to
    say. "Einsam nein, dass bin ich nicht, denn die Geister meiner
    Lieben, Sie umschweben mich." [109] I think it's good now and then
    to let the blessed and beautiful memories of the past have their
    way and float in waking dreams before our eyes, and not be forced
    down beneath daily duties and occupations and enjoyments, till the
    pain of keeping them there becomes hard to bear. Yet, "act, act in
    the living present" is very, very much the rightest thing; though I
    don't think I quite like the past to be called the _dead_
    past, when it is so fearfully full of keenest life.

[109] "Lonely--no, that am I not, for the spirits of my loved ones,
they hover around me."

    _Lady Russell to Lady Georgiana Peel_

    DUNROZEL, HASLEMERE, SURREY, _October_ 8, 1888

    ... We have had Rollo's old Oxford friend, Dr. Drewitt, here for
    two nights--the very cheerfulest of guests. He is head of the
    Victoria Hospital for Children, and what with keen interest in his
    profession, and intense love of nature, animate and inanimate, I
    don't think he would know how to be bored. Hard-worked men have far
    the best of it here below, although we are accustomed to look upon
    "men of leisure" as those to be envied; but how seldom one finds a
    man or woman, who lives a life in earnest, and who has eyes to see
    and observe, taking a gloomy view of human nature and its
    destinies. I wonder what you have been reading? I have taken up
    lately that delightful book, Lockhart's "Life of Sir Walter Scott,"
    and dipping into many besides.... Some of our pleasantest
    neighbours have paid us good-bye visits; Frederic Harrisons, and
    the charming and wonderful old Miss Swanwick [110]....

[110] Miss Anna Swanwick.

    _Lady Russell to Lady Charlotte Portal_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _March_ 13, 1889

    How could you, could you, could you think that my mental vow not to
    write on the all-absorbing political catastrophe was because I sing
    "God save, Ireland" in one sense, and you in another! The vow was
    made because if once the flood-gates of my eloquence are let loose
    on that subject, there is a danger that the stream will
    Tennysonially "go on for ever." It is, however, a vow made to be
    broken from time to time, when I allow a little ripple to flow a
    little way and make a little noise, and then return to the usual
    attitude towards non-sympathizers; and, like David, keep silence
    and refrain even from good words, though it is pain and grief to
    me, and my heart is hot within me. I am speaking of the mere
    acquaintance non-sympathizers, or those known to be too bitter to
    bear difference of opinion; but don't be afraid, or do be afraid,
    as you may put it, and be prepared for total removal of the
    flood-gates when _you_ come. Don't you often feel yourself in
    David's trying condition, knowing that your words would be very
    good, yet had better not be spoken? I don't like it at all.

    _Lady Russell to Lady Charlotte Portal_

    DUNROZEL, _September_ 4, 1889

    DEAREST LOTTY,--It was nice to hear from you from Minto. What a
    strange sensation it always gives me to write or to hear that word
    of _Minto._ [111] I am sure you know it too--impossible to
    define, but like something beautiful and holy, not belonging to
    this world. I like to hope that such memories have been stored up
    by the younger spirits who have succeeded us, while "children not
    hers have trod our nursery floor." But in this restless, fly-about
    age can they ever be quite the same? ... I see that luckily I have
    no room to go on about lovely, lovable, sorrowful Ireland. Alas!
    that England has ever had anything to do with her; but better times
    are coming, and she will be understood by her conquerors at last,
    and be the better for them. Hush! Fanny, no more; even that is too
    much. God bless thee.

    Ever thine,


[111] Lady Russell had written in 1857 to her father about Minto: "I can
well imagine the loveliness of that loveliest and dearest of places. There
is now to us all a holy beauty in every tree and flower, in rock and river
and hill that ought to do us good." Later, in a letter to her sister, Lady
Elizabeth Romilly, she writes of "the Minto of old days, that happiest and
most perfect home that children ever had."

In 1889 the "Life of Lord John Russell" by Mr. Spencer Walpole, was

    _Mr. Gladstone to Lady Russell_

    HAWARDEN CASTLE, CHESTER, _October_ 30, 1889

    MY DEAR LADY RUSSELL,--The week which has elapsed since I received
    from Mr. Walpole's kindness a copy of his biography has been with
    me a busy one; but I have now completed a careful perusal of the
    first volume. I cannot help writing to congratulate you on its
    appearance. It presents a beautiful and a noble picture. Having so
    long admired and loved your husband (and the political characters
    which attract love are not very numerous), I now, with the fuller
    knowledge of an early period which this volume gives me, both
    admire and love him more. Your own personal share in the
    delineation is enviable. And the biographer more than vindicates
    the wisdom of your choice; his work is capital, but it could not
    have been achieved except with material of the first order. O for
    his aid in the present struggle, which, however, is proceeding to
    _our_ heart's content. Believe me always most sincerely yours,

A little later Mr. Gladstone sent Lady Russell a proof copy of an article
by him on the Melbourne Ministry, [112] from which the following passages
are here quoted:

    ... He [Lord John Russell] brought into public life, and he carried
    through it unimpaired, the qualities which ennoble manhood--truth,
    justice, fortitude, self-denial, a fund of genuine indignation
    against wrong, and an inexhaustible sympathy with human
    suffering.... With a slender store of physical power, his life was
    a daily assertion of the superiority of the spirit to the flesh.
    With the warmest domestic affections, and the keen susceptibilities
    of sufferings they entail, he never failed to rally under sorrow to
    the call of public duty. There were no bounds to the prowess or the
    fellow-feeling with which he would fling himself into the breach on
    behalf of a belaboured colleague; ... in 1852 an attack upon Lord
    Clarendon's conduct as Viceroy of Ireland stirred all the depths of
    his nature, and he replied in a series of the noblest fighting
    passages which I have ever heard spoken in Parliament ... At the
    head of all these qualities stands the moral element. I do not
    recollect or know the time in our own history when the two great
    parties in the House of Commons have been led by men who so truly
    and so largely as Lord John Russell and Sir Robert Peel identified
    political with personal morality. W.E. GLADSTONE

[112] _Nineteenth Century_, January, 1890.

    _Lady Charlotte Portal to Lady Russell, after reading Mr.
    Walpole's "Life of Lord John Russell" December 26, 1889_

    ... I long that every one should know as we do what the
    extraordinary beauty of that daily life was. I always think it was
    the most perfect man's life that I ever knew of; and that could
    better bear the full flood of light than any other.

In January, 1890, after nearly twelve years' break in her diary, Lady
Russell began writing again a few words of daily record. On the 6th she
mentions a "most agreeable" visit from Mr. Froude; the same day she
received Mr. Justin McCarthy to dinner, and adds that the talk was "more
Shakespeare than Ireland."

    _Lady Russell to Mr. Justin McCarthy_ [113]

    _November_ 19, 1890

    DEAR MR. MCCARTHY,--I hardly know why I write to you, but this
    terrible sin and terrible verdict make us very, very unhappy, and
    we think constantly of you, who have been among his closest
    friends, and of all who have trusted him and refused to believe in
    the charge against him. You must, I know, be feeling all the
    keenness and bitterness of sorrow in the moral downfall of a man
    whose claims to the gratitude and admiration of his country in his
    public career nothing can cancel. It is also much to be feared that
    the great cause will suffer, at least in England, if he retains the
    leadership. It ought not, of course; but where enthusiasm and even
    respect for the leader can no longer be felt, there is danger of
    diminution of zeal for the cause. Were he to take the honourable
    course, which alone would show a sense of shame--that of
    resignation--his political enemies would be silenced, and his
    friends would feel that although reparation for the past is
    impossible, he has not been blinded by long continuance in
    deception and sin to his own unworthiness, and to the fact that his
    word can no longer be trusted as it has been, and as that of a
    leader ought to be. I dare not think of what his own state of mind
    must be; it makes me so miserable--the unlimited trust of a nation
    not only in his political but in his moral worth must be like a
    dagger in his heart. Were he to retire, the recollection of the
    great qualities he has shown would revive, and the proof of remorse
    given by his retirement would draw a veil over his guilt, and the
    charity, which we all need, would not be withheld from him. I know
    that numerous instances can be given of men in the highest
    positions who have retained them without opposition in spite of
    lives tainted with similar sin; but this has not been without evil
    to the nation, and I think there is a stronger sense now than there
    used to be of the value of high private character in public men, in
    spite of a great deal of remaining Pharisaism in the difference of
    the measure of condemnation meted out to different men. I think too
    that the unusual and most painful amount of low deception in this
    case will be felt, even more than the sin itself, by the English
    people. Pray forgive me, dear Mr. McCarthy, for writing on this sad
    topic; but I have got into the habit of writing and speaking freely
    to you, even when it can, as now, do no earthly good to anybody.

    There is one consolation in the thought that should he retire
    Ireland is not wanting in the best and highest to succeed him. Pray
    do not write if you prefer not, though I long to hear from you, or
    still better see you.

    Yours most sincerely,


[113] Written after the Parnell O'Shea divorce case.

    _Lady Russell to Mr. Justin McCarthy_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _November_ 22, 1890

    DEAR MR. MCCARTHY,--I cannot rest without telling you how very
    sorry I shall be if my letter gave you one moment's pain. I knew
    how close and true a friend you were of Mr. Parnell, and how
    unchanging your friendship would be; but I did not know which
    course that unchanging friendship would lead you to take. Not a
    doubt can ever cross our minds of the patriotism which has dictated
    your action and that of your Irish colleagues. Do not allow any
    doubt to cross yours or theirs, that it is the intensity of love
    for the great cause which led many in England to wish for a
    different decision. Nothing would be more terrible, more fatal,
    than any coldness between the friends of Ireland on the two sides
    of the Channel. May God avert such a misfortune, and whatever
    happens, believe me always most sincerely yours,


    _Mr. Justin McCarthy to Lady Russell_

    _November_ 24, 1890

    DEAR LADY RUSSELL,--I ought to have answered your kind letter
    before, for I value your sympathy more--much more--than I can tell
    you in words. I am afraid the prospect is dark for the present. Mr.
    Gladstone sent for me to-day and I had some talk with him. He was
    full of generous consideration and kindness, but he thinks there
    will be a catastrophe for the cause if Parnell does not retire. The
    Irish members _cannot_ and _would not_ throw over
    Parnell, but he may even yet decide upon retiring. All depends on
    to-morrow, and we have not seen him. I have the utmost faith in his
    singleness of public purpose and his judgment and policy, but it is
    a terrible crisis.

    With kindest regards, very truly yours,


    _Lady Russell to Mrs. Warburton_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _November_ 23, 1890

    MY DEAREST ISABEL,--... Yes, dearie, it _was_ a delightful
    visit, leaving delightful memories of all kinds; chats gay and
    grave trots long and short, drives, duets--will they ever come
    again? I am very glad this heart-breaking Irish thunderclap did not
    fall while you were here. It makes us so unhappy. Poor Ireland! her
    hopes are always dashed when about to be fulfilled. Nothing can
    palliate the fearful sin and almost more fearful course of
    miserable deception; but he might, by taking the one right and
    honourable course of resigning his leadership--if only for a
    time--at least have given a proof of shame, and have saved England
    and Ireland from the terrible pain of discussion and disagreement,
    and from the danger to Home Rule which his retention of the post
    must cause. His Parliamentary colleagues have done immense harm by
    their loud protestations in his favour. There is much to excuse
    them, but not him, for this course. Our poor Davitt is miserable,
    and is braving a storm of unpopularity by writing strongly against
    his (Parnell's) retention of the leadership. His whole thought is
    for Ireland, and he knows that his advice is that of a true friend
    to her--as well as to the wretched man himself....

    Your ever affectionate,


Mr. Michael Davitt had taken a house in Richmond, and was living there at
this time. Some years earlier Lady Russell had read his "Prison Diary," and
had written the following poem. She did not know him at that time.

_Written after reading Michael Davitt's "Leaves from a Prison Diary"_

  DUNROZEL, _September,_ 1887

  Man's justice is not Thine, O God, his scales
  Uneven hang, while he with padlocked heart
  Some glittering shred of human tinsel sees
  Outweigh the pure bright gold of noblest souls,
  Who from the mists of earth their eyes uplift
  And seek to read Thy message in the stars.

  Thou hearest, Lord, beneath the felon's garb
  The lonely throbbing of no felon's heart,
  The cry of agony--the prayer of love
  By agony unconquered--love, heaven-born,
  That fills with holy light the joyless cell,
  As with the daybreak of his prayer fulfilled,
  The glorious dawn of brotherhood for man,
  And freedom to the sorrowing land that bore him,
  For whose dear sake he smiles upon his chains.
  Thou gatherest, Lord, his bitter nightly tears
  For home, for face beloved and trusted hand,
  For the green earth, the freshly blowing breeze,
  The heaven of Liberty, all, all shut out.

  His vanished dreams, his withered hopes Thou knowest,
  The baffled yearnings of his heart to snatch
  From paths unhallowed childhood's tottering feet,
  And lay a rosy smile on little lips
  With homeless hunger pale, to curses trained,
  Whereon no kiss hath left a memory sweet.

  His chainless spirit, bruised by prison bars,
  Wounded by touch of fellow-men in whom
  Thy image lost he vainly sought, Thou seest
  Unsullied still, lord of its own domain,
  Soar in its own blue sky of faith and hope.

  Such have there been and such there yet will be,
  From whom the world's hard eye is turned in scorn,
  But still for each a nation's tears will fall,
  A nation's heart will be his earthly haven,
  And when no earthly stay he needeth more,
  Will he not, Father, feel Thy love enfold him,
  And hear Thy voice, "Servant of God, well done."

    _Lady Russell to Lady Charlotte Portal_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _November 26, 1890_

    Alas! alas! the last fortnight has indeed been one of darkness and
    sorrow over the country; railway and ocean horrors breaking many
    hundreds of hearts, disgrace to England in Africa, disgrace to a
    trusted leader dashing down the hopes of Ireland and bringing back
    disunion between the two nations. We made ourselves miserable over
    last night's news of the determination of his parliamentary
    followers to stand by him, and his acceptance of their re-election.
    Poor old Gladstone! I am sure you must admire his letter to Mr.
    Morley. To-day we are told to have a little hope that it may have
    influence in the right direction, but we hardly feel any. We
    heartily agree with every word you say on this most painful matter.
    The one consolation is to see such an increase of opinion that a
    leader must be a man of high private, as well as public, character.
    How often I have deplored the absence of any such opinion!

    _Lady Russell to Mr. Justin McCarthy_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _November 27, 1890_

    DEAR MR. MCCARTHY,--Your most kind letter was a relief to me as
    regarded the spirit in which you had taken what I wrote, but also
    made us very, very sad, and nothing that we have heard or read in
    newspapers since has given more than a mere ray of hope. And why
    should this be? Surely the path of honour and duty is plain. It
    cannot be taken without pain; but such moments as this are the test
    of greatness in men and nations. Gratitude untold is due to Mr.
    Parnell. Those who have been his friends will not withdraw their
    friendship; but surely that very friendship ought to resolve that
    the vast good he has done in the past should not be undone for the
    future, to his own eternal discredit, by encouragement to him to
    retain the leadership. Surely the claims of your country stand
    first; and is not the impending breach between English and Irish
    Home Rulers a misfortune to both countries, too terrible to be
    calmly faced? Already there is a tone in the Freeman's Journal
    which I could not have believed would be adopted towards men like
    Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Morley, who have identified themselves heart
    and soul with Ireland. Of course, they are far above being turned
    for a moment from their course by any such comments, but it must be
    a pain to them nevertheless. It almost seems aberration of mind in
    Mr. Parnell to be deaf to Mr. Gladstone's words of true patriotism,
    echoed as they are throughout England and Scotland, and I cannot
    but believe in thousands of Irish hearts besides. Surely this must
    have gone far to convince his friends that they would be more than
    justified in convincing him that retirement for awhile is his duty,
    or, if they cannot convince him, in acting upon their own
    convictions, if these are such as I hope. Indignation against the
    terrible revelations of his guilt has driven some English
    newspapers into language deeply to be deplored; but on the whole
    the feeling, as shown in speeches and in the Press, has been
    healthy and just. Sir Charles Russell's words struck us as among
    the very best. It is the deepest and highest love for Ireland that
    makes men speak and write as they do.

    Dear Mr. McCarthy, I think you can do much, and I know how firm, as
    well as how gentle, it is your nature to be. Save us all, for God's
    sake, from the dreaded disunion and the ruin of the cause. Do not
    let England and Ireland be again looked upon as separated in their
    hopes, interests, aspirations. May Mr. Dillon and Mr. O'Brien help
    to the good work; but too much can hardly depend on men at a
    distance, excellent and patriotic as they are.

    Good-bye, dear Mr. McCarthy. May God guide and unite our two
    countries on the road of justice and truth and happiness. Pray,
    pray forgive me once more for writing.

    Ever most sincerely yours,


In 1891 Mr. Rollo Russell married Miss Gertrude Joachim, niece of the great
violinist, Dr. Joachim, and Lady Russell found new joy in his happiness.

    _Queen Victoria to Lady Russell_

    _January_ 1, 1891

    DEAR LADY RUSSELL,--You are indeed right in thinking that I should
    always take an interest in anything that concerned you and your
    family, and I rejoice to hear that your son is going to make a
    marriage which gives you pleasure, and trust it may conduce to your
    comfort as well as to his happiness. It is a long time since I have
    had the pleasure of seeing you, dear Lady Russell, and I trust that
    some day this may be possible. Past days can never be
    forgotten--indeed, one loves to dwell on them, though the thought
    is mingled with sadness. Pray remember me to Agatha, and believe me

    Yours affectionately,


    _Lady Russell to Mr. Rollo Russell_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _January_ 14, 1892

    ... Most truly do you say that, while we can shelter ourselves from
    the demands that assail our physical being, no defence has been
    found against the bitter blasts which batter against our mental and
    spiritual structure--no _defence_, only endurance, in hope and
    faith and endeavour after Marcus Aurelius's "Equanimitas," and the
    knowledge that the higher man's mental and moral capacity the
    greater is his capacity for suffering.... And nobody has shown more
    than you do in "Psalms of the West" that sorrow is not
    _all_ sorrow, but has a heavenly sacredness that gives
    strength to bear its burden "in quietness and confidence" to the
    end. How entirely I feel with you that this has been a glorious
    century. Not all the evil and the misery and the vice and the
    meanness and pettinesses which abound on every side, as we look
    around, can blind me to the blessed truth that the eyes of mankind
    have been opening to see and to deplore these things, and to give
    their lives to the study of their causes, and the discovery and
    practice of means to put an end to them. The wonderful intellectual
    strides, which my long life enables me not only to be aware of, but
    to remember as they have one by one been made, are in close
    connection with this moral and religious development; and all these
    together will, I believe, raise the education of the people
    (already so far above the standard of fifty, much more of a hundred
    years ago) to something of the kind to which you look
    forward--"more high, more wide, more various, more poetic, more
    inspiring, more full of principles and less full of facts "--a
    consummation devoutly to be wished.

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _June_ 22, 1892

    Day of much weakness. The sense of failing increases rapidly. May
    the short time that remains to me make me less unfit to meet my
    God. Oh, that I could begin life again! How different it would be
    from what has been. I have had everything to help me upward; joys
    and sorrows, encouragement and disappointment, the love and example
    of my dearest husband and children in our daily companionship and
    communion, the never-failing and precious affection and help of
    brothers, sisters, and friends--and yet my life seems all a failure
    when I think what it might have been.

    _Lady Russell to Lady Charlotte Portal_


    Yes, elections are hard tests of character, and there are too, too
    many excellent people on both sides who are led on to say hard,
    unjust, untrue things of their opponents.... But there _is_
    another side to elections--a grand and noble one--which makes me
    feel to my inmost soul the greatness and the blessed freedom of
    this dear old country, and always brings to my mind what John used
    to say with something of a boy's enthusiasm, "I _love_ a
    contested election."

    THE GRANGE, HINDHEAD, _October_ 6, 1892

    Tennyson died about one o'clock a.m. A great and good light

    _October 7th_

    Agatha and I early to Aldworth. Went in by Hallam's wish to the
    room where he lay. I dread and shrink from the sight of death, and
    wish to keep the recollection of the life I have known and loved
    undisturbed by its soulless image. But in this case I rejoice to
    have seen on that noble face the perfect peace which of late years
    was wanting--it was really "the rapture of repose." A volume of
    Shakespeare which he had asked for, and the leaves of which he had
    turned over yesterday, I believe to find "Cymbeline," at which
    place it was open, lay on the bed. His hands were crossed on his
    breast, beautiful autumn leaves lay strewn around him on the
    coverlet, and white flowers at the foot of the bed.

    _Lady Russell to Lady Charlotte Portal_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _November_ 2, 1892

    Oh, Lotty, how is it that, standing as I am on the very brink of
    the known, with the unknown about to sweep me into its depths, how
    is it that there is still such intense interest in the course of
    this wondrous world, in all the problems now floating about
    unsolved, in all the social, moral, political work going on around
    us. It is true that these things are of eternal moment, and
    therefore links between earth and heaven. Yet it often seems to me
    foolish to care about them very much when the solution of all
    enigmas is so near at hand.

    _Lady Russell to Mrs. Rollo Russell_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _March_ 17, 1893

    ... The chief Pembroke Lodge event since I wrote is that I went on
    Monday to Windsor Castle to luncheon; after which morning meal with
    the household, almost all strangers to me, I saw the Queen alone
    and had a good long and most easy and pleasant conversation with
    her. She was as cordial as possible, and I am _very_ glad to
    have seen her again; although there was much sadness mingled with
    the gladness in a meeting after a period of many, many years, which
    had brought their full number of changes to me--and some to her.

    _Lady Russell to Mr. Rollo Russell_


    I feel intensely all you say about laying aside, if it were
    possible, one's own personality and seeing the silent growth of all
    truth and goodness, without the disturbance of names and parties;
    but the world being as it is for the present, we can only keep our
    minds fixed on the good and the true, with whomsoever and with
    whatsoever party we may find it, and follow it with honest
    conviction. If I could, I would put an end to Party Government
    to-morrow, and my great wish for M.P.'s is that each one should,
    upon each subject, vote exactly according to his opinion, and no
    Ministry be turned out except upon a vote of want of confidence. I
    honour and love Mr. Gladstone, and while ardently sympathetic with
    him on Home Rule and all other Liberal measures, I am no less
    antipathetic on Church matters. Happily, however, they have become
    with him matters chiefly of personal attachment to Anglicanism, and
    no longer (I believe) likely to affect his legislation.
    "Gladstonian" is a word he does not admit, nor do those of whom it
    is used.

    _July_ 9, 1893.--Well, to go on with our politics: "a new
    policy" Home Rule undoubtedly is, a new departure from the
    "tradition" of any English party; but _not_ a departure from
    Liberal principles, only a new application of old ones, and I think
    it is a pity to speak of it as being against Liberal principles,
    for is there anybody of average intelligence who would not have
    predicted that if it should ever be adopted by any party it would
    be by the Liberals? Exactly the same thing was said about Turkey:
    the Whig tradition was to support her, Liberals were forsaking
    their principles by taking part with Bulgaria against her. It is
    the proud distinction of Liberals to _grow_ perpetually, and
    to march on with eyes open, and to discover, as they are pretty
    sure to do, that they have not always in the past been true to
    their principles. There is no case exactly parallel with that of
    Ireland; but there are some in great measure analogous, and it is
    the Liberals who have listened to the voice of other countries,
    some of them our own dependencies, in their national aspirations or
    their desire for Parliaments of their own, expressed by
    Constitutional majorities. I admire the Unionists for standing by
    their own convictions with regard to Home Rule, and always have
    done so; but I cannot call it "devotion to the Union _and to_
    Liberal principles," and I am not aware of there being a single
    Home Ruler not a Liberal. The Unionists, especially those in
    Parliament, have been, and are, in a very dangerous position, and
    have yielded too readily to the temptation of a sudden transference
    of party loyalty upon almost every question from Liberal to Tory
    leaders. But for those, whether in or out of Parliament, who have
    remained Liberals--and I know several such--I don't see why, after
    Home Rule is carried, they should not be once more merged in the
    great body of Liberals, and have their chances, like others, of
    being chosen to serve their country in Parliament and in office....

    I am reading a book by Grant Allen, "Science in Arcady." ... He
    brings wit and originality into these essays on plants, lakes,
    spiders, etc.

    _Lady Russell to Lady Agatha Russell_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _September_ 22, 1893

    ... With regard to the modern attraction of ugly subjects
    (_not_ when the wish to remedy gross evils makes it a duty to
    study and live among them; but as common talk between young men and
    young women), I feel very strongly that the contemplation of God,
    and all that is God-like in the souls that He has created, is our
    best safeguard against evil, and that the contemplation of the
    spirit of evil, and all the hideous variety of its works, gradually
    taints us and weakens our powers of resistance.

    _Lady Russell to Lady Agatha Russell_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _October_ 21, 1893

    ... I entirely agree with you, that poetry and music "teach us of
    the things that are unseen" as nothing else can do. Music
    especially, which is an unseen thing, not the product of man at
    all, but found from man as a gift from God's own hand. I don't know
    what at some periods of my life I should have done without these
    blessed sympathizers and outlets and uplifting friends.

    _Lady Russell to Mrs. Drummond_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _December_ 16, 1893

    Your long interesting letter is most welcome. You are very good and
    brave to do so much for the good of others, while suffering
    yourself. How much harder it is to _bear_ patiently, and keep
    up sympathy and fellow-feeling within us in spite of illness, than
    to do any amount of active work while in health. I always find my
    highest examples in those who know how to "suffer and be strong,"
    because it is my own greatest difficulty.

    Oh, my dear child, what opinions _can_ poor I give on the
    almost insoluble problems you put before me? I wish I knew of any
    book or any man or woman who could tell me whether a Poor Law, even
    the very best, is on the whole a blessing or a curse, and how the
    "unemployed" can be chosen out for work of any useful or productive
    kind without injury to others equally deserving, and what are the
    just limits of State interference with personal liberty. The House
    of Lords puzzles me less. I would simply declare it, by Act of the
    House of Commons, injurious to the best interests of the nation and
    for ever dissolved. Then it may either show its attachment to the
    Constitution by giving its assent to its own annihilation, or
    oblige us to break through the worn-out Constitution and declare
    their assent unnecessary. It is beyond all bearing that one great
    measure after another should be delayed, or mutilated, year after
    year, by such a body, and I chafe and fret inwardly to a painful
    degree. Oh for a long talk with you! I will not despair of going to
    you, "gin I be spared" till the days are reasonably long.

    _Lady Russell to Lady Agatha Russell_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _October_ 10, 1894

    ... Alas! for our dear Oliver Wendell Holmes! He has left the world
    much the poorer by his death, but much the richer by his life and
    works.... Lord Grey gone too, and with him what recollections of my
    young days, before and after marriage, when he and Lady Grey and we
    were very much together. We loved them both. He was a very trying
    political colleague to your father and others, but a very faithful
    friend. The longer I live the more firmly I am convinced that in
    most cases to know people well is to like them--to forget their
    faults in their merits. But no doubt it is delightful to have no
    faults to forget.

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _March_ 3, 1894

    Touching accounts of meeting of the Cabinet--the last with dear
    noble old Gladstone as Minister. Tears in the eyes of his
    colleagues. He made his last speech as Minister in the House of
    Commons, a grand and stirring one.

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _January_ 23, 1895

    Finished "Erasmus" a few days ago--a great intellect, much wit,
    clear insight into the religion "falsely so-called" of monks and
    clergy, but a soul not great enough to utter his convictions aloud
    in the face of danger, or to perceive that conciliation beginning
    by hypocrisy must end in worse strife and bitterness. He saw the
    evil of the new dogmas and creeds introduced by Luther, of
    _any_ new creed the rejection of which was penal, but he did
    not or would not see the similar evil of the legally enforced old
    creeds and dogmas.

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _May_ 15, 1895

    Armenian refugees here to tea--a husband and wife whose baby
    _she_ had _seen_ murdered by Turkish soldiers, and a
    friend who is uncertain whether his wife is alive or
    murdered--these three in native dress; hers very picturesque, and
    she herself beautiful. The three refugees, all of whom had been
    eye-witnesses of massacres of relations, looked intensely sad. She
    gave an account of some of the hardships they had suffered, but
    neither they nor we could have borne details of the atrocities.
    What they chiefly wished to express, and did express, was deep
    gratitude for the sympathy of our country, veneration for the
    memory of John as a friend of the Christian subjects of the Sultan,
    and thanks to ourselves.... They kissed our hands repeatedly, and
    the expression of their countenances as they looked at us, though
    without words, was very touching.

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _February_ 24, 1896

    Visit from Mr. Voysey, earnest, interesting, and pathetic in
    accounts of Whitechapel experiences. His Theism fills him with the
    joy of unbounded faith in a perfect God; but his keen sense of the
    evil done by the worship of Jesus as another and equal God leads
    him to a painful blindness to that divine character and teaching.

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _August_ 5, 1897

    Sinclair [115] has been reading a great deal to me since my illness
    began. Miss Austen's "Emma," which kept its high ground with me
    although I had read it too often to find much novelty in the
    marvellous humour and reality of the characters. Then "Scenes of
    Clerical Life" ... the contrast between the minds and the
    brain-work of Jane Austen and George Eliot very striking. Jane
    Austen all ease and spontaneousness and simplicity, George Eliot
    wonderful in strength and passion, and fond of probing the depths
    of human anguish, but often ponderous in long-drawn philosophy and
    metaphysics, and with a tediously cynical and flippant tone
    underlying her portraits of human beings--and a wearisome lingering
    over uninteresting details. Her defects are, I think, far more
    prominent in this than in her best later books.

[115] "While in Norfolk Street (in 1882) engaged Sinclair, my good and
faithful Sinclair, as maid and housekeeper" (_Recollections_). She
remained with Lady Russell till her death, and served her with devotion to
the end.

In the summer of 1897 she had a severe illness, from which, as the
following letter shows, she partially recovered.

    _Mrs. Warburton to Lady Agatha Russell_

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _October_ 11, 1897

    You can't imagine, or rather you can, what a happiness it is to be
    able to record a perfect drive round the Park again with Mama this
    most beautiful day, she enjoying it as of yore, and as full of
    pleasure and observation as I ever remember. In short, it is quite
    difficult to me to realize how ill she has been since I saw her in
    June. She seems and looks so well. She is a marvellous person, so
    young and fresh in all her interests, sight and hearing betraying
    so little sign of change. She says she is out of practice, and her
    _playing_ is not as easy or as vigorous as it was, I thought;
    but how few people of her age would return to it at all after such
    a long illness. (There are the sounds of music overhead as I sit
    here in the drawing-room--how she enjoys it!) ... About the
    reading--Dr. Gardiner [116] was against her being prevented from a
    little--she enjoys it so much. Sinclair reading to her is a great

[116] Medical attendant and valued friend for over twelve years,
partner to Dr. Anderson, of Richmond, with whom he attended Lady
Russell till her death.

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _November_ 15, 1897

    Eighty-two this day. God be praised for all he has given to
    brighten my old age. God be praised that I am still able to love,
    to think, to rejoice, and to mourn with those dear to me. But the
    burden of wasted years of a long life, in which I see failure on
    every side, is weighty and painful, and can never be lightened. I
    can only pray that the few steps left to me to take may be on a
    holier path--the narrow path that leads to God. My own blessings
    only brought more vividly to my mind the masses of toiling,
    struggling, poverty-stricken fellow-creatures, from whom the
    pressure of want shuts out the light of life.

    My Agatha well, weather beautiful, and seventy very happy boys and
    girls from the school to see a ventriloquist and his acting dolls
    (drawing-room cleared for the occasion). The children's bursts and
    shouts of laughter delightful to hear.

Lady Russell was wonderfully well that day--her last birthday on earth--and
joined in the fun and laughter as heartily as any of the children. Old age
had not lessened her keen enjoyment of humour, nor dimmed the brightness of
her brave spirit.

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _December_ 11, 1897

    A beautiful day for old scholars' meeting. Ninety-four came, a
    larger number than ever before; table spread in drawing-room and
    bow-room. Not able to go down to see them, but all went well and
    merrily. I was able to get to my sitting-room in the afternoon, and
    all came up to me by turns for a hand-shake. It was pleasant to see
    so many kindly, happy faces.

    PEMBROKE LODGE, _January_ 1, 1898

    What will 1898 bring of joy or sorrow, good or evil, life or death,
    to our home, our country, the world? May we be ready for all,
    whatever it may be.

Six days later she was attacked by influenza, which turned to bronchitis,
and very soon she became seriously ill. There was for one day a slight hope
that she might recover, but the rally was only temporary, and soon it was
certain that death was near.

The last book that her daughter had been reading to her was the "Life of
Tennyson," by his son, which she very much enjoyed. She begged her daughter
to go on reading it to her in the last days of her life, and her keen
interest in it was wonderful, even when she was too ill to listen to more
than a few sentences at a time.

For some years Lady Russell had found great amusement and delight in the
visits of a little wild squirrel--squirrels abounded among the old trees at
Pembroke Lodge--which gradually became more and more tame and friendly. It
used to climb up to her windows by a lilac-bush or a climbing rose-tree and
look brightly in at her while enjoying the nuts she gave it on the
window-sill. Before long it became very venturesome, and would enter the
room daily and frisk about, or sit on her writing-table or on the tea-table
in perfect content, taking food from her hand. On the last day of her life
the doctor [117] was sitting by her bedside when suddenly he noticed the
beautiful little squirrel bounding in at her window. It was only a few
hours before she died, but her face lighted up at once, and she welcomed
her faithful little friend, for the last time, with her brightest smile.

[117] Dr. Anderson, who had been for nearly thirty years a true and devoted

During her illness she had spoken confidently of recovery, but the night
before her death she realized quite clearly that the end was near. Her son
and daughter were with her; and just before she sank into a last sleep she
spoke, in a firm clear voice, words of love and faith. Her mind had
remained unclouded, and her end was as calm and peaceful as those who loved
her could have wished. She died on January 17, 1898.


The immense number of letters received by Lady Russell's son and daughter,
from men and women of all classes and creeds, bore striking testimony to
the widespread and reverent devotion felt for her memory. Only very few
selections will be given here. The first letter--written on the day of her
death--is from Mr. Farrington, the respected minister of the Richmond Free
Church, who had known Lady Russell intimately for many years.

    _Rev. Silas Farrington to Lady Agatha Russell_

    _January_ 17, 1898

    To me your mother has become more and more an inspiration--a kind
    of tower of cheerful courage and strength. By her steadfast mental
    and moral bravery, by the sunshine she has been beneath the heavy
    clouds that have been sweeping over her, she has made one ashamed
    of the small things that troubled him and rebuked his petty
    discontent and repining. No one can ever be told how much I both
    have honoured and loved her for the very greatness of her noble

    _Rev. Stopford A. Brooke to Lady Agatha Russell_

    _January_ 18, 1898

    How little I thought when I saw Lady Russell last [118] that I
    should see her no more! She looked so full of life, and her
    interest in all things was so keen and eager that I never for a
    moment thought her old or linked to her lite the imagination of
    death. It is a sore loss to lose one so fresh, so alive, so ardent
    in all good and beautiful things, and it must leave you in a great
    loneliness.... How well, how nobly she lived her life! It shames us
    to think of all she did, and yet it kindles us so much that we lose
    our shame in its inspiration.

[118] On October 31, 1897.

    _Mr. Frederic Harrison to Lady Agatha Russell_

    _February_ 16, 1898

    ...The news of the great sorrow which has fallen on you came upon
    my wife and myself as a dreadful surprise.... Over and over again I
    tried to say to the world outside all that I felt of the noble
    nature and the grand life of your mother, but every time I tried my
    pen fell from my hand. I was too sad to think or write; full only
    of the sense of the friend whom I had lost, and of the great
    example she has left to our generation. She has fulfilled her
    mission on earth, and all those who have known her--and they are
    very many--will all their lives be sustained by the memory of her
    courage, dignity, and truth. She had so much of the character of
    the Roman matron--a type we know so little nowadays--who, being
    perfect in all the beauty of domestic life, yet even more
    conspicuously raised the public life of her time. I shall never,
    while I have life, forget the occasions this last summer and autumn
    when I had been able to see more of her than ever before, and
    especially that last hour I spent with her, when you were away at
    Weston, the memory of which now comes back to me like a death-bed
    parting. To have known her was to ride above the wretched party
    politics to which our age is condemned. I cannot bear to think of
    all that this bereavement means to you. It must be, and will
    remain, irreparable.

    _Mr. James Bryce [119] to Lady Agatha Russell_

    _March_ 10, 1898

    Your mother always seemed to me one of the most noble and beautiful
    characters I had ever known--there was in her so much gentleness,
    so much firmness, so much earnestness, so ardent a love for all
    high things and all the best causes. One always came away from
    seeing her struck afresh by these charms of nature, and feeling the
    better for having seen how old age had in no way lessened her
    interest in the progress of the world, her faith in the triumph of

[119] The Right Hon. James Bryce, British Ambassador at Washington.

    _Mrs. Sinclair to Mr. Rollo Russell_

    _January_, 1900

    I loved and honoured my dear lady more than any one I ever served.
    In my long life of service, where all had been good and kind to me,
    she was the dearest and best.

The funeral service was held on the 21st of January in the village church
at Chenies, where her husband had been buried among his ancestors. The
Burial Service of the Church of England, the solemnity and beauty of which
she had always deeply felt, was read in the presence of many friends and
relations assembled to pay their last tribute of respect to her memory.

Not long before her death Lady Russell had written these lines:

  O shadowy form majestic, nearer gliding,
  And ever nearer! Thou whose silent tread
  Not ocean, chasm, or mountain can delay,
  Not even hands in agony outstretched,
  Or bitterest tears of breaking hearts, that fain
  Would stay thy dread approach to those most dear.
  Vainly from thee we seek to hide; thou wield'st
  A sceptred power that none below may challenge;
  Yet no true monarch thou--but Messenger
  Of Him, Monarch supreme and Love eternal,
  Who holdeth of all mysteries the key;--
  And in thy dark unfathomable eyes
  A star of promise lieth.
  Then O! despite all failure, guilt and error,
  Crushing beneath their weight my faltering soul,
  When my hour striketh, when with Time I part,
  When face to face we stand, with naught between,
  Come as a friend, O Death!
  Lay gently thy cold hand upon my brow,
  And still the fevered throb of this blind life,
  This fragment, mournful yet so fair--this dream,
  Aspiring, earth-bound, passionate--and waft me
  Where broken harmonies will blend once more,
  And severed hearts once more together beat;
  Where, in our Father's fold, all, all shall be fulfilled.



Some of the dearest and most treasured memories of my lifetime are those
belonging to the years during which I had the honour of being received
among her friends by the late Countess Russell.

That friendship lasted more than twenty years, and its close on this earth
was only brought about by Lady Russell's death.

There hangs now in my study, seeming to look down upon me while I write, a
photograph of Lady Russell with her name written on it in her own
handwriting. That photograph I received but a short time before her death,
and it is to be with me so long as I live and look upon this earth.

I had some slight, very slight, acquaintance with the late Earl Russell,
ever best known to fame as Lord John Russell, some years before I became
one of his wife's friends. I met Lord John Russell for the first time in
1858, when he was attending a meeting of the Social Science Association,
held in Liverpool, where I was then a young journalist, and I had the good
fortune to be presented to him. After that, when I settled in London, I met
him occasionally in the precincts of Westminster Palace, and I had some
interesting conversations with him which I have mentioned in published
recollections of mine. During all that time I had, however, but a merely
slight and formal acquaintanceship with his gifted wife.

When I came to know her more closely she had settled herself in her home at
Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park, and it is with that delightful home that
my memories of her are mainly associated. She received her friends and
acquaintances in general there on certain appointed days in each week. I
need hardly say how gladly I availed myself of every opportunity for the
enjoyment of such a visit, and especially for the enjoyment of Lady
Russell's conversation and companionship.

I have known many gifted women, among them many gifted authoresses, but I
have not known any woman who could have surpassed Lady Russell in the
varied charms of her conversation. Most of us, men and women, have usually
the habit of carrying our occupations with us, metaphorically at least,
wherever we go, and therefore have some difficulty in entering with full
appreciation into conversational fields in which we do not find ourselves
quite at home.

Lady Russell was not like most of us in that quality. Her chief natural
interest, one might readily suppose, would have been centred in questions
belonging to the domain of politics, national and international, she having
been for so great a part of her life the wife and the close companion of
one of England's leading statesmen.

But Lady Russell was endowed with a peculiarly receptive mind, and she felt
an interest quite natural and spontaneous in every subject which could
interest educated and rational human beings--in art, literature, and
science; in the history and the growth of all countries; in the condition
of the poor and the struggling throughout the world; in every effort made
by knowledge, benevolence, and enlightened purpose for the benefit of
humanity. She had evidently also a strong desire to add to her own large
stock of information, and she appears to have felt that whenever she came
into converse with any fellow-being she was in communication with one who
could tell her something which she did not already know.

In this characteristic she reminded me strongly of William Ewart Gladstone.

There is, or there used to be, a common impression throughout many social
circles in this country, that when Gladstone in private was the centre of
any company, he generally contrived to keep most of the talk to himself.
This always seemed to me an entire misconception, for I had many
opportunities of observing that Gladstone in social companionship seemed
much more anxious to get some new ideas from those around him than to pour
out to them from his own treasures of information.

Lady Russell loved to draw forth from the artist something about his art,
from the scholar something about his books, to compare the ideas of the
politician with her own, to lead the traveller into accounts of his
travels, to get from the scientific student some of his experiences in this
or that domain of science, and from those who visited the poor some
suggestions which might serve her during her constant work in the same

Even on subjects concerning which the greatest and sharpest divisions of
opinion might naturally arise--political questions, for instance--Lady
Russell seemed as much interested in listening to the clear exposition and
defence of a political opponent's views as she might have been in the
cordial exchange of sympathetic and encouraging opinions. When I first
began to make one of Lady Russell's frequent visitors, there was, of
course, between us a natural sympathy of political opinion which was made
all the stronger because of momentous events that had lately passed, or
were then passing, in the world around.

The great Civil War in the North American States had come to an end many
years before I began to visit Lady Russell at her home, and I need hardly
remind my readers that by far the larger proportion of what we call
"society" in England had given its sympathies entirely to the cause of the
South, and had firmly maintained, almost to the very end, that the South
was destined to have a complete victory over its opponents. Lady Russell
gave her sympathies to the side of the Northern States, as was but natural,
seeing that the success of the North would mean the abolition of that
system of slavery which was to her heart and to her conscience incapable of
defence or of palliation.

I had paid my first visit to the United States not many years after the end
of the Civil War--a visit prolonged for nearly two years and extending from
New York to San Francisco and from Maine to Louisiana. I had therefore a
good deal to tell Lady Russell about the various experiences I had had
during this my first visit to the now reunited States, and the lights which
they threw for me on the origin and causes of the Civil War.

I may say here that Lady Russell was always very anxious that the public
should fully understand and appreciate the attitude taken by her late
husband with regard to the Civil War. In a letter written to me on October
20, 1879, Lady Russell refers me to a speech made by her husband on March
23, 1863, and she goes on to say:

It shows unanswerably how strong was his opinion against the recognition of
the Southern States, even at a moment when the tide of battle was so much
in their favour that he, in common, I think, with most others, looked upon
separation as likely to be the final issue. As long as the abolition of
slavery was not openly announced, as he thought it ought to have been, as
one of the main objects of the war on the part of the Federals, he felt no
warm sympathy with their cause. But after President Lincoln's proclamation
it was quite different, and no man rejoiced with deeper thankfulness than
he did at the final triumph of the Northern States, for no man held slavery
in more utter abhorrence.

I have thought it well to introduce this quotation just here because it is
associated at once with my earliest recollections of Lady Russell, and at
the same time with a subject of controversy which may almost be said to
have passed out of the realms of disputation since that day.

The American States have now long been absolutely reunited; there is no
difference of opinion whatever in this country with regard to the question
of slavery, and yet it is quite certain that during the American Civil War
a large number of conscientious, humane, and educated Englishmen were
firmly convinced that the American Republic was about to break in two, and
that the sympathies of England ought to go with the rebelling Southern
States. It is well, therefore, that we should all be reminded of Lord
Russell's attitude on these subjects.

I had much to tell Lady Russell of the various impressions made on me
during my wanderings through the States, and by the distinguished American
authors, statesmen, soldiers--Emerson, Longfellow, Bryant, Oliver Wendell
Holmes, Charles Sumner, Wendell Phillips, General Grant, General Sherman.
With the public career of each of these men Lady Russell was thoroughly
acquainted, but she was much interested in hearing all that I could tell
her about their ways of life and their personal habits and characteristics.

Then there were, of course, political questions at home concerning which
there was deep sympathy between Lady Russell and me, and on which we had
many long conversations. She had the most intense and enlightened sympathy
with the great movements going on in these countries for the spread of
political equality and of popular education.

Every statesman who sincerely and actively supported the principles and
measures tending towards these ends was regarded as a friend by this
noble-hearted woman.

I had been for many years a leader-writer and more recently editor of the
_Morning Star_, the London daily newspaper which advocated the views
of Cobden and Bright, and I had more recently still been elected to the
House of Commons as a member of the Irish Nationalist Party, and thus again
I found myself in thorough sympathy with the opinions and the feelings of
my hostess.

Lady Russell had long been an advocate of that truly Liberal policy towards
Ireland which is now accepted as the only principle by all really
enlightened Liberal English men and women; and she thoroughly understood
the condition, the grievances, the needs, and the aspirations of Ireland.
The readers of this volume will see in some passages extracted from Lady
Russell's diaries and letters how deep and strong were her feelings on the
subject. She followed with the most intense interest and with the most
penetrating observation the whole movement of Ireland's national struggle
down to the very close of her life. Her letters on this question
alone--letters addressed to me--would in themselves serve to illumine even
now the minds of many English readers on this whole subject. Lady Russell
was in no sense a partisan on any political question--I mean she never gave
her approval to everything said or done by the leaders of any political
party merely because the one main object of that party had her full
sympathy and approval. Reading over many of her letters to me on various
passages of the Home Rule agitation inside and outside Parliament, I have
been once again filled with admiration and with wonder at the keen
sagacity, the prophetic instinct, which she displayed with regard to this
or that political movement or political man.

All through these letters it becomes more and more manifest that Lady
Russell's devotedness was in every instance to principle rather than to
party, to measures rather than to men. By these words I do not mean to
convey the idea that her nature led her habitually into any cold and
over-calculating criticism of political leaders whom she admired, and in
whom she had been led to feel confidence.

Her generous nature was enthusiastic in its admiration of the men whose
leadership in some great political movement had won her sympathy from the
first; but even with these her admiration was overruled and kept in order
by her devotion to the principles which they were undertaking to carry into
effect, and by the fidelity with which they adhered to these principles.
Even among intelligent and enlightened men and women we often find in our
observation of public affairs that there are instances in which the
followers of a trusted leader are carried away by their personal devotion
into the championship of absolute errors which the leader is
committing--errors that might prove perilous or even, for the time, fatal
to the cause of which he is the recognised advocate.

Lady Russell always set the cause above the man, regarding him mainly as
the instrument of the cause; and if the alternative were pressed upon her,
would have withdrawn from his leadership rather than tacitly allow the
cause to be misled. This, however, would have been done only as a last
resort and after the most full, patient, and generous consideration of the
personal as well as the public question.

We men do not expect to find in an enthusiastic, tender, and what may be
called exquisitely feminine woman the quality of clear and guiding
discrimination between the policy of the leader and the principles of the
cause which he undertakes to lead. We are inclined to assume that the woman
in such a case, if she has already made a hero of the man, will be apt to
think that everything he proposes to do must be the right thing to do, and
that any question raised as to the wisdom and justice of any course adopted
by him is a treason against his leadership.

Lady Russell never seemed to me to yield for a moment to any such sentiment
of mere hero-worship. She set, as I have said, the cause above the man, and
she measured the man according to her interpretation of his policy towards
the cause.

But at the same time she was never one of those who cannot be convinced
that some particular course is not the wisest and most just to adopt
without at once rushing to the conclusion that the leader who makes any
mistakes must be in the wrong because of wilfulness or mere incapacity, and
is therefore not worthy any longer of admiration and trust.

I have many letters from her, written at the time of some serious crisis in
the fortunes of the Irish National movement, which show the keenest and the
earliest intelligence of some mistake in the policy of the party on this or
that immediate question without showing the slightest inclination to
diminish her confidence in the sincerity and the purposes of its leaders,
any more than in the justice of the cause. I can well recollect that in
many instances she proved to be absolutely in the right when she thus gave
me her opinion, and that events afterwards fully maintained the wisdom and
the justice of her criticism. The reason why so many of Lady Russell's
opinions were conveyed to me by letter was that I had to be, like all my
companions of the Irish Parliamentary Party, a constant attendant at the
debates in the House of Commons, and that many days often passed without my
having an opportunity to visit Lady Russell and converse with her on the
subjects which had so deep an interest for her as well as for me. I
therefore was in the habit of writing often to her from the House of
Commons in order to give her my own ideas as to the significance and
importance of this or that debate, of this or that speech and its probable
effect on the House and on the outer public. Lady Russell never failed to
favour me with her own views on such subjects, and the views were always
her own, and were never a mere good-natured and friendly adoption of the
opinions thus offered to her.

Then, when I had the opportunity of visiting her at Pembroke Lodge, we were
sure to compare and discuss our views in the conversations which she made
so delightful and so inspiring.

One of her marvellous qualities was that her interest and her intellect
were never wholly absorbed in the passing political questions, but that she
could still keep her mind open to other and entirely different subjects.
The chamber of her mind seemed to me to be like one of those mysterious
apartments about which we read in fairy stories, which were endowed with a
magical capacity of expansion and reception.

I have come to her home at a time when, for those whose lives were mainly
passed in political work, there was some subject then engaging the
attention of all politicians in these countries--some subject in which I
well knew that Lady Russell was deeply and thoroughly interested.

But it sometimes happened that there were friends just then with her who
did not profess any interest in politics, and who were mainly concerned
about some new topic in letters or art or science, and I often observed
with admiration the manner in which Lady Russell could give herself up for
the time to the question in which those visitors were chiefly interested,
and could show her sympathy and knowledge as if she had not lately been
thinking of anything else. About this there was evidently no mere desire to
please her latest visitors, no sense of obligation to submit herself for
the time to their especial subject, but a genuine sympathy with every
effort of human intellect, and a sincere desire to gather all that could be
gathered from every garden of human culture.

Many of Lady Russell's letters to me on the events and the fortunes, the
hopes and the disasters of our Irish National movement have in them an
actual historical interest, such as the one dated November 27, 1890, which
is quoted in this volume. It was written during the crisis which came upon
our Irish National party at the time when the hopes of Mr. Parnell's most
devoted friends in England as well as in Ireland were that after the result
of a recent divorce suit Parnell would resign, for a time at least, the
leadership of the party and only seek to return to it when he should have
made what reparation was in his power to his own honour and to public
feeling. In a letter of December 26, 1891, Lady Russell says: "Your poor
country has risen victorious from many a worse fall, and will not be
disheartened now, nor bate a jot of heart or hope."

Lady Russell's letters not merely illustrate her deep and noble sympathy
with the cause and the hopes of Ireland, but also they are evidence of the
clear judgment and foresight which were qualities at once of her intellect
and of her feeling. Scattered throughout her letters to me are many other
evidences of the same kind with regard to other great political and social
questions then coming up at home or abroad. I wish to say, however, that
her letters do not by any means occupy themselves only with political
questions, with Parliamentary debates, and with legislative measures. To
paraphrase the words of the great Latin poet, whatever men and women were
doing in arts and letters, in social progress, and in all that concerns
humanity, supplied congenial subjects for the letters written by this most
gifted, most observant, most intellectual woman to her friends.

One certainly has not lived in vain who has had the honour of being
admitted to that friendship for some twenty years.

I have no words, literally none, in which to express adequately the
admiration and the affection and the devotion which I felt for Lady
Russell. No higher type of womanhood has yet been born into our modern

Lady Agatha Russell is rendering a most valuable service to humanity in
preparing and giving to the world the records of her mother's life which
appear in this volume. A monument more appropriate and more noble could not
be raised over any grave than that which the daughter is thus raising to
the memory of her mother.




After Lady Russell's death a few friends decided--unknown to her family,
who were touched by this mark of respect--to put up a tablet to her memory
and hold a Memorial Service in the Free Church at Richmond, Surrey. The
tablet, which is of beaten copper, beautifully worked, bears the following

In memory of Frances Anna Maria, daughter of Gilbert, second Earl of Minto,
and widow of Lord John Russell, who was born November 15, 1815, and died
January 17, 1898. In gratitude to God for her noble life this tablet is
placed by her fellow-worshippers.

The Memorial Service was held on July 14, 1900, when the tablet was
unveiled and the following address was delivered by Mr. Frederic Harrison.

    Now that our gathering of to-day has given full scope to the loving
    sorrow and filial piety of the children, descendants, and family of
    her whom we meet to commemorate and honour--now that the minister,
    whom she was accustomed to hear, and the worshippers, with whom she
    was wont to join in praise and prayer, have recorded their solemn
    union in the same sacred memory, I crave leave to offer my humble
    tribute of devotion as representing the general circle of her
    friends, and the far wider circle of the public to whom she was
    known only by her life, her character, her nobility of soul, and
    her benefactions.

    I do not presume to speak of that beauty of nature which Frances
    Countess Russell showed in the sanctity of the family, in the close
    intimacy of her private friends. Others have done this far more
    truly, and will continue to bear witness to her life whilst this
    generation and the next shall survive. My only title to join my
    voice to-day with that of her children and of this congregation
    resides in the fact that my memory of her goes back over so long a
    period; that I have known her under circumstances, first, of the
    highest public activity, and then again, in a time of severe
    retirement and private simplicity; that I have seen her in days of
    happiness and in days of mourning; at the height of her influence
    and dignity in the eyes of our nation and of the nations about us,
    as well as in her days of grief and disappointment at the failure
    of her hopes, and the break up of the causes she had at heart. And
    I have known her always, in light or in gloom, in joy or in misery,
    the same brave, fearless, natural, and true heart--come fair or
    foul, come triumph or defeat.

    Yes! it was my privilege to have known Lady Russell in the lifetime
    of the eminent statesman whose name she bore, and whose life of
    toil in the public service she inspired; I knew them
    five-and-thirty years ago, when he was at the head of the State
    Government and immersed in public cares. And I am one of those who
    can bear witness to the simple dignity with which she adorned that
    high station and office, and the beautiful affection and quiet
    peace of the home-life she maintained, like a Roman matron, when
    her husband was called to serve the State. And it so happened that
    I passed part of the last summer that she lived to see, here in
    Richmond, within a short walk of her house. There I saw her
    constantly and held many conversations with her upon public
    affairs; and perhaps those were amongst the last occasions on which
    her powerful sense and heroic spirit had full play before the fatal
    illness which supervened in that very autumn.

    I do not hesitate to speak of her powerful sense and her heroic
    spirit, for she united the statesman-like insight into political
    problems with the unflinching courage to stand by the cause of
    truth, humanity, and justice. She was not impulsive at all, not
    hasty in forming her decisions, still less did she seek publicity
    or take pleasure in heading a movement. But, with the great
    experience of politicians and of political things which in her long
    life and her rare opportunities she had acquired, she saw straight
    to the heart of so many vexed problems of our day; and when once
    convinced of the truth, she held fast to it with a noble
    intrepidity of soul. In a life more or less conversant with public
    men now for forty years past, I have rarely known either man or
    woman who had a more sound judgment in great public questions. And
    I have known none who surpassed her in courage, in directness, and
    in fixity of purpose. No sense that she and her friends had to meet
    overwhelming odds would ever make her faint-hearted. No desertion
    by friends and old comrades ever caused her to waver. No despair
    ever touched that stalwart soul, however dark the outlook might
    appear; for it was her faith that no right or just cause was ever
    really lost, however for the time it were defeated and contemned.

    Lady Frances Elliot, as she was before marriage, came of a race of
    soldiers, governors, and tried servants of the State, and she
    married into a race which has long stood in the front rank of the
    historic servants of the Crown and of the people. But neither the
    house of Elliot nor that of Russell in so many generations ever
    bred man or woman with a keener sense of public duty, a more
    generous nature, and a more magnanimous soul. In the annals of that
    famous house, whose traditions are part of the history of England,
    there has been no finer example of the old motto, _noblesse
    oblige_, if we understand it to mean--those who have high place
    inherit with it heavy responsibilities. That idea was the breath of
    her life to Countess Russell, as assuredly it was also to her
    husband, and she whose memory we keep sacred to-day is worthy to
    take her place beside that Rachel Lady Russell of old, who, more
    than two centuries ago, suffered so deeply in the cause of freedom
    and of conscience; she whose blood runs in the veins of the
    children who to-day revere the memory of their mother.

    The Italians call a man of heroic nature--a Garibaldi or a
    Manin--_uomo antico_--"one of the ancient type"--one whom we
    rarely see in our modern days of getting on in the world and
    following the popular cry. I have never heard the phrase applied to
    a lady, and, perhaps, _donna antica_ might be held to bear a
    double sense. But we need some such phrase to describe the fine
    quality of the spirit which lit up the whole nature of Frances
    Countess Russell. She had within her that rare flame which we
    attribute to the martyrs of our sacred and secular histories--that
    power of inspiring those whom she impressed with the resolve to do
    the right, to seek the truth, to defend the oppressed, at all cost,
    and against all odds.

    It has been my privilege to have listened to many men and to some
    women who in various countries and in different causes have been
    held to have exerted great influence, and to have forced ideas,
    principles, and reforms on the men of their time. But I have
    listened to none in our country or abroad who seemed to me to
    inspire the spirit more purely with the desire to hold fast by the
    right, to thrust aside the wrong, to be just, faithful,
    considerate, and honourable, to feel for the fatherless and the
    poor, and not to despise the humble and the meek. I know that all
    my remaining term of life there will remain deeply engraven on my
    memory all that she said, all that she felt, in the last
    conversation I ever held with her at the very commencement of her
    last fatal illness. Weak and suffering as she was, unable to rise
    from her invalid chair, she asked me to come and tell her what I
    knew, and to hear what she felt about the public crisis of that
    time (I speak of the end of 1897). The storm of South Africa was
    even then rising like a cloud no bigger than a man's hand out of
    the southern seas. I listened to her: and her deep and thrilling
    words of indignation, shame, pity, and honour sank into my mind, as
    if they had been the last words of some pure and higher spirit that
    was about to leave us, but would not leave us without words of
    warning and exhortation to follow honour, to serve truth, to eschew
    evil and to do good, to seek peace and ensue it. I knew well that I
    was listening to her for the last time; for her life was visibly
    ebbing away. But I listened to her as to one who was passing into a
    world of greater permanence and of more spiritual meaning than our
    fleeting and too material world of sense and sight. And for the
    rest of my life I shall continue to bear in my heart this message
    as it seemed to me of a nobler world and of a higher truth.

    Yes! she has passed into a nobler world and to a higher truth--the
    world of the good and just men and women whose memory survives
    their mortal career, and whose inspiring influence works for good
    ever in generations to come. In this Free Church I can speak
    freely, for I too profoundly believe in a future life of every good
    and pure soul beyond the grave, in the perpetuity of every just and
    noble life in the sum of human progress and enlightenment. And in a
    sense that is quite as real as yours, even if it differ from your
    sense in form, I also make bold to say, this corruptible must put
    on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality--Death is
    swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave,
    where is thy victory? Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye
    steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of Humanity, for
    as much as ye know that your labour is not in vain in Humanity.

    Surely we have before us a high example of what it is to be
    steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in good work, in the memory
    of Frances Elliot Countess Russell, who united in herself
    principles typified in the historic mottoes of her own house and
    that of her husband's--who kept her high courage under all
    adversities and opposition, in the spirit of _che sarà sarà_,
    "stand fast come what may"--in the spirit of that other motto of
    the Elliots, _suaviter el fortiter_, "with all the gentleness
    of a woman and all the fortitude of a man."


Abercromby, Lady Mary (_see also_ Dunfermline, Lady)--
  letters from Lady John Russell
  letters from Lady Minto
  correspondence with Lord John Russell
  letter from Lord Minto
  visit of Lady John Russell
  _mentioned_ in the letters
Abercromby, Mr. Ralph, afterwards Lord Dunfermline
  Minister at the Hague
Aberdeen, Lord--
  The Ecclesiastical Titles Bill
  consents to form a Ministry
  and Lord John Russell
  and the Eastern Question
  and Reform
  Lord John's resignation
  Lord John's appreciation of
Abergeldie Castle
Acton, Lord, "Historical Essays and Studies"
Adams, Mr.
Adelaide, queen of William IV
Admiralty, the,
  Lord Minto at
  Mrs. Drummond's description
"Adullamites," the
Affirmation Bill, Gladstone's
_Alabama_, case of the
Albert Hall, foundation stone laid
Albert, Prince Consort--
  and Lord John
  Prussian sympathies
  visit to Pembroke Lodge
  and Italy
  at Coburg
  "Trent" affair
  "Life of Prince Albert,"
  _otherwise mentioned_
Allen, Grant, "Science in Arcady"
Althorp, Lord
  and the Irish Coercion Bill
Amberley, Lady
  death of
Amberley, Lord, _see also_ Russell, John--
  defeated at Leeds
  returned for Nottingham
  maiden speech
  defeat in 1868
  letters from Lady Russell
  death of
  _otherwise mentioned_
American Civil War, the--
  England's position
  seizure of the Southern Commissioners
  Lord Russell's speech on
  feeling in England
Anderson, Dr., of Richmond
Anti-Corn Law League bazaar at Manchester
Armenian refugees at Pembroke Lodge
_Arrow_, the, coasting vessel
Athanasian Creed, the
Aumale, Duc d'
Austen, Jane
  Influence in Germany
  unpopularity of the Government
  and Denmark
  Palmerston's policy towards
  Conference of Vienna
  proposals of, and resignation of Lord John Russell
  and Italy
  after Solferino
  Peace of Villafranca
  and the proposed Congress at Zurich
  Prussian war on
  cession of Venetia
  cause of the Franco-German War
Azeglio, Marquis d', Piedmontese Minister

  Lord John Russell at
Baring, Mr., Chancellor of the Exchequer
  tariff proposals
Beaumont, Lord
Bedford, (6th) Duke of
Bedford, (7th) Duke of,
  letters from Lord Russell
  visit of Lord and Lady John Russell
  on the attacks on Lord John
  letter from Lady John
Bedford, (9th) Duke of
Bennett, Rev. W.J.E., of St. Paul's
Berlin, Lord Minto appointed Minister
Bernard, Dr., acquitted
Bernstorff, Count
Berrys, the Miss
Bessborough, Lord, Irish opinions
  on the Coercion Bill
  bombs manufactured in
Bismarck, Count--
  In Berlin
  and Palmerston
  declares war on Austria
  the Franco-German War
Blyth, Miss Lilian [Mrs. Wilfred Praeger]
  letter from Lady Russell
Blyth, Rev. F.C.
Bognor, news of Reform at
Boileau, Mr., letters to Lady Melgund
Bonaparte, Louis
Bourbons, the
  Napoleon's questions concerning
Bowood, Lady John Russell at
Bowring, Sir John, cause of the war with China
Braico, Dr. Cesare
Brazil, Emperor of, at Pembroke Lodge
Bright, John--
  Defeat of
  at Chesham Place
  and Reform
  letter to Lady Russell
  _otherwise mentioned_
British and Foreign School Society
Broadstairs, visit of the Russells
Brooke, Rev. A. Stopford,
  letter to Lady Agatha Russell
  news of Lord John's acceptance of the Colonial Seals
Brougham, Lord--
  and Lord Melbourne's dismissal
  and the Corn Law
  and William IV
Browning, Robert
Brunow, Baron, Russian ambassador
Bryant, W.C.
Bryce, Mr. James, letter to Lady Agatha Russell
Brydone, Mrs., death
Buccleuch, Duke of
  lends Bowhill to Lord John
  on Disraeli
Bühler, Miss
  letters from Lady Russell
Buller, Charles
Buol, Count, Austrian Minister
Burdett, Sir Francis, and Lord John Russell
Burnet, Bishop
Burns, Robert
Byron, Lady
Byron, Lord
  "Childe Harold," _quoted_

Cairns, Lord, _mentioned_
Campbell, Lord, "Lives"
  Governorship offered to Lord Minto
  Lady Fanny and the Patriots
Cannes, Lord and Lady Russell at
Canning, Lord Granville's correspondence with
Canning, Sir Stratford, British Ambassador at Constantinople
Carnarvon, Lord, resignation
Castlereagh, Lord
Catholic Emancipation Bill
  and Napoleon III
  the terms of unity
  and Garibaldi
  _otherwise mentioned_
Ceremonies, religious,
  Lady John Russell's opinion concerning
Channing's, Dr., writings
Charles X
Chartist movement
Chartres, Duc de
Chelmsford, Lord, saying of
Chenies, Lady Russell's funeral at
Chester, Fenian attempt on the arsenal
Chesterfield, Lord, "Letters"
Chinese War, the
  Lord John Russell's speech
  Palmerston's policy
Chorley Wood, Rickmansworth
Christian, Princess, at Cannes
_Chronicle_, the, and the Eastern Question
Church of England
  the Gorham case
Clarendon, Lady
Clarendon, Lord--
  Viceroy of Ireland
  at the Foreign Office
  letter to Lord Russell
  letter from Lord Russell
  despatch to Naples
  letter to Lord Granville
Coalition Ministry, the
Cobden, Richard--
  Lord William Russell on
  comments on Lord John,
  motion regarding the China measures
  defeat in 1857
  Free Trade Treaty with France
  _otherwise mentioned_
Cockburn, Lord Chief Justice, speech
Coercion (Ireland) Bill
Coombe Wood, Richmond
Conservative Party, the--
  "Moderate Reform"
  split on Catholic Emancipation
  position in 1852
Conspiracy to Murder Bill
Corn Laws, the--
  Lord John Russell's proposal
  repeal of
  Macaulay on
  Peel's measure
  repeal passed
Cowley, Lord
Cowper, William
Cranborne, Lord, resignation of
  (_see also_ Salisbury, (3rd) Marquis)
Crimean War--
  Events leading to
  Lord Malmesbury's report
  Bright's History _cited_
  French alliance
Currie, Mr. Raikes

_Daily News_, the--
  and the Eastern Question
  attack on Lord John
  Lord Russell's letters
  on Baron Stockmar, article _quoted_
Davitt, Michael, "Leaves from a Prison Diary"
Denmark, war with Schleswig-Holstein
Derby, (14th) Earl of--
  Ministry, 1851
  fails to form a Government, 1855
  cabinet, 1858
  resignation in June
  denounces the Government's policy
  and the franchise
  resignation, 1868
  _otherwise mentioned_
Derby, (15th) Earl of (_see_ Stanley, Lord)
Dickens, Charles--
  On the ragged schools
  "David Copperfield,"
  at Pembroke Lodge
  congratulates Lord John Russell
  letters to Lady John Russell
  Lady Russell's preference for
  on Lord John Russell, _quoted_
Dieppe, the Russells at
Dillon, John, on Lord John's resignation
Dillon, John, and Parnell
Disraeli, Benjamin (Earl of Beaconsfield)--
  and Free Trade
  Lady John Russell, on
  on Lord John Russell's motion
  his Franchise Bill
  the Duke of Buccleuch on
  succeeds Lord Derby
  letter to Lord Russell
  Parliamentary courage
  _otherwise mentioned_
Drewitt, Dr. F.D.
Drouyn, M. de L'Huys, resignation of
Drummond, Mrs. (_see also_ Lister, Adelaide)
  on the Minto family, _quoted_
  letter from Lady Russell
Duff, Sir Mount Stuart Grant, letter to Lady Russell
Dufferin, Lord, letter to Lady John Russell
  letter from Lady John Russell
Dunfermline, Lady (_see also_ Abercromby, Lady Mary)
  letters from Lady Russell
  death in Rome
  Dunrozel, Haslemere
Durham, Bishop of, letter from Lord John Russell
Durham, Lord, in Canada

Eastern Question, the, events leading to the Crimean War
  Lord Palmerston's policy
  Gladstone on
Ecclesiastical Titles Bill, the
Edinburgh University
Education, Lord Russell and
Education Bill
  Mr. Forster's Act
Elba, Napoleon in, Lord John Russell's account
Eliot, George
  "Adam Bede,"
  Lady Russell on,
Elliot, Charles [Lady Russell's brother]
Elliot, George [Lady Russell's brother]
Elliot, George [uncle of Lady Russell]
Elliot, Gilbert [brother of Lady Russell]
Elliot, Gilbert, afterwards Dean of Bristol
Elliot, Henry [brother of Lady Russell]
  _mentioned_ in the letters
  goes to Australia
  visit of
Elliot, John [uncle of Lady Russell]
  member of Parliament for Hawick
Elliot, Lady Fanny, quotation from "Reminiscences of an Idler"
  description of, (_see_ Russell, Lady John)
Elliot, Lady Charlotte (_see_ also Portal)
  _mentioned_ in the letters
  Sir Henry Taylor and
Elliot, Lady Harriet
Elliot, Miss, daughter of the Dean of Bristol, a reference to Lord Russell
Emerson, R.W.
English society, Lady Russell on
Etchegoyen, Comte d'
Eugénie, Empress, and the Russells at Chislehurst
Eversley, Lord
_Examiner, the, on Lord John Russell's resignation
Exeter Hall, lecture by Lord John at

Factory children, education of, Bill for
Farrington, Rev. Silas, letter to Lady Agatha Russell
Fawcett, Professor, speech
Fazakerlie, Miss
Fenians, movement of 1867
Fitzmaurice, Lord
  "Life of Lord Granville" _quoted_
Florence, robbers of
  the Russells in
Foreign Exchanges, Mr. Goschen's book on
Forster, W.E.
  the Elementary Education Act
Fortescue, Chichester, Chief Secretary for Ireland
  Lord Russell's three pamphlets
Fox, Charles James--
  and Lord John Russell
  Napoleon on
  foreign policy
  _otherwise mentioned_
Fox Club, the
  The July revolution
  deposition of Louis Philippe
  and the Greek crisis
  and Denmark
  the _coup d'état_ of December, 1851
  events leading to the Crimean War
  Cobden's Free Trade Treaty
Franchise, Mr. Locke King's motion
Franco-German War, outbreak
Franklin, Sir John
"Free Church," the
Free Church of Scotland, establishment
Free Church, Richmond, the memorial tablet
Free Trade, the new principle
  Lady John and
  number of Free Traders in 1846
Froude, J.A., at Chesham Place
  on removal of Irish grievances
  "Life of Lord Beaconsfield," passage _quoted_

Garbarino, Villa
Gardiner, Dr.
  Cavour and
  and the Sicilian rebels
  attack on Naples
  at Pembroke Lodge
  letter to Lord John
  _otherwise mentioned_
George III
  Napoleon on
George IV, death
  Napoleon on
  story of
  The _Zollverein_
  influence of French affairs on
  the Crown Princess
  the Franco-German War
  the Crown Prince and the war
Gibbon, historian, appearance
Gladstone, Right Hon. W.E.--
  and Lord John Russell
  and the Corn Laws
  at the War and Colonial Office
  his first great speech
  his first Budget
  Italian sympathies
  letters regarding the Neapolitan prisoners
  defeated at Oxford
  and the Franchise
  introduces the Reform Bill, March, 1866
  reports Government defeat to Lord John
  and Disraeli's Franchise Bill
  letter to Dr. Pusey _quoted_
  the Irish Church question, 1868
  visits to Pembroke Lodge
  speech on Irish Church disestablishment
  conversation on Parliamentary courage
  the Affirmation Bill
  letters to Lady Russell
  his article on the Melbourne Ministry
  and Parnell
  Lady Russell on
  "Gladstonian," the term
  his last Cabinet
  _mentioned_ in the letters
  Justin McCarthy on
Gladstone, Mrs.
  letter to Lady John Russell
  at Pembroke Lodge
Glenelg, Lord
Godfrey, Miss Alice (_see_ Russell, Mrs. Rollo)
Gortschakoff, Prince, Russian emissary
Goschen, Mr., appointment
Graham, Sir James
Grant, General
Granville, Lord--
  Letter to Lady John
  correspondence with Canning
  sent for by the Queen
  and Italy
  correspondence with Lord Clarendon
Gray, Maxwell, "The Silence of Dean Maitland"
Greece, the crisis of 1850
  Russian policy
Greville, Charles--
  _Cited_ on Lord John Russell
  on the Greek crisis
Grey, Lady
Grey, (2nd) Earl--
  Prime Minister
  resignation, May, 1834
Grey, (3rd) Earl,
Grey, Sir George,
  "Security of the Crown" Bill
  and Fergus O'Connor
  rumoured Irish rebellion
  and the Conspiracy laws
  and Louis Philippe
  dismissal and his reply to Louis Philippe

Habeas Corpus Act, suspension
Harcourt, Sir William Vernon, letter to Lady Russell
Harrison, Frederic--
  Friendship with Lady Russell
  letter to Lady Agatha Russell
  the Memorial address
Hatton, Sir Christopher, life
  freedom presented to Lord John Russell
Herbert, Sidney
  on the Italian question
Herzegovina, insurgents of
Hill, Rowland, Penny Postage
Hodgkinson, Mr., amendment
Holland House
  dinners at
Holland, Lady,
  in Portugal
  death, 1845
Holland, Lord
  in Portugal
  Napoleon on
Holmes, O.W.
  death of
Home Rule Controversy, the
  Lady Russell on
Hooker, Sir Joseph
Hoole, Alderman
Hope, James
Horsman, Mr., opposition to Reform
Howard, Lady Louisa
Howick, Lord, motion of, thrown out
  (_see also_ Grey, (3rd) Earl)
Hudson, Mr., mission to Italy
Hudson, Sir James, letter from Turin to Lady John
Huguesson, Mr.
Humboldt, friend in Berlin
Hume, appearance
Hungary, Kossuth's revolution

  The Viceregal Court
  situation in 1843
  Lady John Russell on the Irish question
  state of, 1845
  condition in 1846
  Peel's measures for, 1846
  Lady John Russell on the condition of
  measures for relief
  the rebellion of 1848, preparations
  suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act
  rumoured rebellion in the South
  visit of the Queen, 1849
  reception of Lord Russell's letter to the Bishop of Durham
  Lord Russell's pamphlets
  the Fenian movement, 1867
  the Irish Church question, 1868
  Gladstone's measure
  Lord Russell's sympathy towards
  Lady Russell and the Irish movement
Irish University Bill
  and Austria
  Lord John Russell and united Italy
  Lord Granville and
  first Parliament
  defeat at Custozza
  cession of Venetia
  the Russells in
  visit of Lord Russell, 1869

Jamaica Bill, 1839
Jaucourt, attaché
Jeffrey, Francis, Lord, letter to Lady John Russell
Joachim, Dr.
Joachim, Miss Gertrude (_see_ Russell, Mrs. Rollo)
Josephine, Empress
Jowett, Dr., letter to Lady Russell

Keats, John
Kent, Duchess of
King, Mr. Locke, franchise motion
Kinglake, _cited_
  his book
Kossuth, reception in London

Lacaita, Mr. (afterwards Sir James Lacaita), mission to the Russells
Lansdowne House, Lord John Russell at
Lansdowne, Lady
Lansdowne, Lord--
  and Lord Minto
  Lord John Russell and
  Irish views
  and the suffrage
  refuses office
  and Lord John's resignation
  letters to Vienna
Layard, Henry
Lecky, W.E.H., a picture of Pembroke Lodge _quoted_
  Position in 1837
  number in 1846
  Lady Russell on
Lincoln, President
Lister, Adelaide (_see also_ Drummond, Mrs.)
Lister, Elizabeth (Lady Melvill)
Lister, Isabel (_see also_ Warburton, Mrs.)
Lister, Miss
  letters to Lord John Russell
Lister, Tom (_see_ Ribblesdale, Lord)
Lockhart, "Life of Sir Walter Scott"
  Lady John Russell's life in
  London society, Lady John Russell on
  news of the revolution in France
  Lord John Russell returned for
  Italian conspirators in
Longfellow, H.W.
Lords, the House of--
  On the Corn question
  Peel's Irish Land Bill thrown out
  vote of censure on Lord Palmerston
  Lord Russell's proposition
  Lady Russell on
Louis XIV
Louis XVIII, Napoleon's opinion regarding
Louis Philippe,
  and the Parisians
  deposition in 1848
  visits Pembroke Lodge
Louis, Princess, of Hesse
Lovelace, Lord, "Astarte"
Lowe, Robert--
  On Disraeli, _quoted_
  opposition to Reform
  his retort on Gladstone
  _otherwise mentioned_
Lowell, J.R.
Lyons, Lord,
  on the American situation
  in Paris, 226
Lyttelton, Lady, on Prince Albert
Lytton, Bulwer, "The New Timon," _quoted_

McCarthy, Justin--
  Friendship with Lady Russell
  correspondence with Lady Russell
  "Recollections of Frances, Countess Russell"
Macaulay, letter to his sister
  _otherwise mentioned_
Malakoff, Duc de, French Ambassador
Malmesbury, Lord,
  accounts of the Crimea
  reports fall of the Derby Government
  Anti-Corn Law League Bazaar
  attack on the prison van
Manchester, Bishop of, and education
Manning, Cardinal
Manzoni, "Carmagnola"
Martineau, Dr., writings
Maynooth College, endowment of
Melbourne, Lord--
  Dismissal, 1834
  Ministry, 1837
  return to power
  his famous remark
  Government of 1835
  defeat in 1841
  at Woburn
  _otherwise mentioned_
  Mr. Gladstone's article on the Melbourne Ministry
Melgund, Lady (see also Minto, Lady)--
  Letter from Lady John Russell
  letters from Mr. Boileau
  letters from Lord John Russell
Melgund, Lord
Melrose Abbey
Militia Bill, the
  Lord John Russell defeated on
Mill, J.S.,
  "Nature," Lady Russell's remarks
  _otherwise mentioned_
  "Paradise Lost"
Minto House--
  return to in 1831
  in 1834
  the home at
  Lord John Russell at
  visit of Lord and Lady John Russell
Minto, Lady (mother of Lady Russell)--
  Home influence of
  illness in Berlin
  death of her mother
  a description
  arrival of Lord John Russell
  letters to Lady Mary Abercromby
  "A Border Ballad"
  letters written from Endsleigh
  letter to Lord John Russell
  letters from Lady John Russell
  illness, 1852
  _mentioned_ in the letters
Minto, Lady (Lady Melgund)--
  Letters to Lady Russell
  letters from Lord Russell
Minto, Lord--
  At Minto
  and Reform
  appointed Minister in Berlin
  and the Peel Ministry
  First Lord of the Admiralty
  Mrs. Drummond's recollections _quoted_
  and Lord John Russell
  visits to Lady John Russell
  in London
  on Lord John Russell
  death of Lady Minto
  letters from Lady John Russell
  on Lord John Russell's acceptance of the Colonial Seals
  _otherwise mentioned_
Minto village
Moffatt, George, letter to Lady John Russell
Moore, Thomas--
  Songs at Bowood
  lines _quoted_ by Lady John Russell
  papers of, edited by Lord John Russell
  _otherwise mentioned_
Morley, Lord--
  "Life of Gladstone" _cited_ on Lord Russell's resignation
  Mr. Rollo Russell's letter to _The Times_
  _cited_ on the conduct of other Ministers
  _otherwise mentioned_
Motley, J.L., on _The Times_
_Morning Advertiser_, and the Eastern Question
_Morning Herald_, and the Eastern Question
_Morning Post_, and Palmerston's Eastern policy
_Morning Star_, the

Napoleon I--
  in Elba, Lord John Russell's account
  story of the poisoning
  letters to Josephine
Napoleon III--
  and the Provisional Government
  his _coup d'état_ of December, 1851
  Orsini outrage on
  peace of Villafranca
  Le Pape et le Congrès
  and Cavour
  Sir James Hudson on
  his idea of "United" Italy
  Garibaldi on
  and Lord Russell
  and the Franco-German War
  prisoner of war
  at Chislehurst
National debt, reduction
National Guard of Paris
  singing the "Parisienne"
  Louis Philippe and the
Neapolitan prisoners at Pembroke Lodge
Newcastle, Duke of, at the War Office
  _otherwise mentioned_
Nice, cession to France
Nicholas, Emperor
  partition of Turkey proposed
Nonconformist deputation to Lord Russell
Norton, Mrs., description of Rogers, _cited_
Norwich, Hinds, Bishop of
Nottingham Castle, burning of

O'Brien, Smith
O'Brien, William, and Parnell
O'Connell, Daniel
  arrest in 1843
  and Lord John Russell
O'Connor, Fergus, and the Chartists
Owen, Sir Richard
Oxford movement, the, Lord John Russell and

Pacifico, Don, compensation
Palmerston, Lady
Palmerston, Lord--
  On the dismissal of Lord Melbourne, _cited_
  and Grey
  at the Foreign Office
  the Greek crisis, 1850
  his finest speech
  the Queen's letter to Lord John Russell
  reception of Kossuth
  the Militia Bill
  and the _coup d'état_
  and Lord John Russell
  resignation on the Eastern Question and resumption of office
  return to power, his first Cabinet
  Lord John in the Colonial Office
  policy in the Crimea
  his appeal to Lord John Russell
  his reply to Lord John's offer to resign
  China policy
  general election of 1857
  Conspiracy to Murder Bill
  resignation on the Conspiracy Bill amendment
  Ministry of 1859
  Italian policy
  the Cabinet of 1859
  social legislation under
  illness in 1865
  _otherwise mentioned_
Panmure, Lord
Papal Bull, September, 1850
  Louis Philippe and
  deposition of Charles X
  Wellington in
  life in
  visit of the Russells
  horrors of the war
Paris, Comte de
"Parisienne," the
Parliament, opening in 1836, description
Parnell, C.S.
Party Government, Lady Russell on
Pasolini, Count, memoir _quoted_
Patmore, Coventry, "1867"
Paul, Herbert, on Coercion Bill
  _cited_ on the Commons' debate on the Greek crisis
  on Russell's resignation
Peel, Archibald
  letter from Lord Russell
Peel, General
Peel, Lady Georgiana,
  letter from Lord Russell
  verses to
  letter from Lady Russell
Peel, Sir Robert--
  The Ministry of 1835
  his Tamworth manifesto
  his position in 1837
  return from Italy
  Ministry of 1841
  the Corn Law
  position in 1843
  resignation, 1845
  and Russell
  gives up Protection
  return to power, 1846
  Lady John Russell on his speech
  Lord William Russell on
  his measures for Ireland
  revenge of the Protectionists
  and the revolution in France
  his last speech and death
  Parliamentary courage
  Gladstone on
  _otherwise mentioned_
Peel, Sir Robert, Chief Secretary for Ireland
Peelites, alliance with the Whigs
Pembroke Lodge--
  Offered by the Queen to Lord John
  the "Wishing Tree"
  the home at
  visit of Louis Philippe
  other French visitors
  literary visitors
  a few recollections
  Windsor summer-house
  visit of Garibaldi
  a Cabinet dinner
  verses written for the summer-house
  visit of Queen Victoria
  children at
  a picture by Lecky
  Armenian refugees at
  _otherwise mentioned_
People's Charter, the, 1837
Persigny, M.
  church at
  school at
Petersham Park
Phillips, Wendell
Pitt, William
  secret treaty of
Poor Laws, Lady John Russell on
Pope, Napoleon's designs concerning the
Portal, Lady Charlotte,
  letters from Lady John
  letter to Lady Russell
  Walpole's "Life of Lord John Russell"
Presbyterian Church of Scotland
  abandoned by Peel
  and the Coercion Bill
  and the Peelites
  and Denmark
  Napoleon and
  war on Austria
Prussia, Crown Prince of
Prussia, Crown Princess of
_Punch_, ballad on Lord John Russell
Pusey, Dr., letter from Gladstone, _quoted_
Puseyites, the
Putney House, Lady Russell's description

Redcliffe, Lord Stratford de, policy
Reform, Lord John Russell and
Reform Bill of 1831
  Lord John Russell's Bill
  Disraeli's Bill,
Reid, Stuart, _cited_
  the Russells at
Revolutionary movement of 1848
Ribblesdale, Lady, 1st Lady John Russell
  marriage with Lord John Russell
  her death
Ribblesdale, (2nd) Lord
Ribblesdale, (3rd) Lord
Richmond, visit of Garibaldi
Richmond, Duke of (1836)
Richmond Free Church
Richmond Park
Rigby, Dr.
Ripon, Lord
Robertson, Rev. F.W.
Rodborough Manor, purchased by Lord John
Roebuck, Mr.--
  Motion of confidence
  motion for a Commission of Inquiry
  the debate on
  comments on Lord John
Roehampton House
Rogers, Samuel--
  Letters to Lord and Lady John Russell
  note to Lady John, written in his ninetieth year
  Lady Russell's verses to
  his reply
Roman Catholics, Lady John Russell on
  the Papal Bull, September, 1850
Romilly, Colonel
  on Lord John accepting the Colonial Seals
  letters from Lord Russell
Romilly, Lady Elizabeth,
  letters from Lady John Russell
  _otherwise mentioned_
Romilly, Sir Samuel
Roseneath, Lord John Russell's stay at
Russell, Lord Arthur
Russell, Arthur, son of Mr. Rollo
Russell, Bertrand, son of Lord Amberley
Russell, Earl (Frank, son of Lord Amberley)
Russell, Lady Emily
Russell, George William Gilbert
Russell, George W.E., on his uncle, _quoted_
Russell, John (_see also_ Amberley, Lord)
Russell, Lady Agatha
  _Letters from_--
    Mrs. Drummond
    Lady Russell
    Mrs. Warburton
    Mr. Farrington
    the Rev. Stopford Brooke
    Mr. Frederic Harrison
    Mr. James Bryce
Russell, Lady Georgiana (_see also_ Peel, Lady Georgiana)
  letter from Lady Russell
  letter from Lord Russell
  married to Mr. Archibald Peel
  _otherwise mentioned_
Russell, (1st) Lady John (_see_ Ribblesdale, Lady)
Russell, Lady John--
  Birth and early life at Minto
  beginning of her Diaries
  visit to the Continent
  return to Minto
  at Roehampton House
  in Berlin
  return to Minto, 1834
  at the Admiralty
  description by Mrs. Drummond
  visits of Lord John
  her engagement
  at Endsleigh
  birth of John
  lines to her son
  at Woburn
  illness in Edinburgh
  on the government of Ireland
  at Chorley Wood
  illness in 1847
  birth of George William Gilbert
  the Petersham School
  birth of Francis Albert Rollo
  recollections of the crisis in December, 1851
  book of poems
  and Samuel Rogers
  birth of Mary Agatha
  death, of her mother
  in Vienna
  Italian sympathies
  visit of Mr. Lacaita
  relations with her father
  lines for the summer-house at Pembroke Lodge
  return to Endsleigh
  in Venice
  on Irish Church disestablishment
  Visit to Italy, 1869
  her views on elementary education
  in Paris
  in Switzerland
  at Cannes
  sorrows of 1874
  death of Lord Amberley
  the "Life of Prince Albert"
  death of Lord Russell
  her subsequent life
  "Family Worship"
  her love of children
  her religion
  favourite authors
  lines on Samuel Rogers
  his reply
  "Lines to Georgy"
  sympathy for Ireland
  on the home at Minto
  lines written after reading "Leaves from a Prison Diary"
  visit to the Queen
  on Home Rule
  illness in 1897
  last illness and death
  "Lines on Death"
  "Recollections" by Justin McCarthy
  memorial address by Frederic Harrison
Russell, Lady Victoria (_see also_ Villiers, Lady Victoria)
Russell, Lord Charles, letter to Lady John Russell
Russell, Lord John--
  and the Oxford movement
  efforts for Reform
  loss of the first and introduction of the second Reform Bill
  his engagement to Lady Fanny Elliot
  at Minto
  _mentioned_ in the earlier letters
  his speech on sugar
  returned for the City of London
  early life and career
  his account of Napoleon
  the "Remonstrance" of Thomas Moore
  character and personality
  and the Queen
  on Endsleigh, _quoted_
  and the Corn Laws
  speech on the Irish question
  his Free Trade letter
  called to office
  letters from Lady Russell
  the first Reform Bill
  Irish views
  opposes the Coercion Bill, 1846
  his Ministry, 1846
  measures for the relief of Ireland
  the offer of Pembroke Lodge
  his Irish Coercion Bill
  suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act
  school founded at Petersham
  at Balmoral
  his letter to the Bishop of Durham
  resignation and resumption of office
  events leading to the fall of the Ministry
  and the dismissal of Palmerston
  foreign policy
  defeated on the Militia Bill
  and the Protestant Nonconformists
  his attitude towards Lord Aberdeen
  and Palmerston
  in the Coalition Cabinet
  the Reform Bill withdrawn
  the attack, on
  fails to form a Government
  British Plenipotentiary at Vienna
  in the Colonial Office
  his policy at Vienna
  "Life of Fox"
  lecture at Exeter Hall
  in Italy
  his speech on the Chinese question
  returned for the City
  reception at Sheffield
  the amendment to Lord Palmerston's Conspiracy Bill
  Italian sympathies
  Foreign Secretary under Palmerston
  his share in the creation of Italy
  determines England's Italian policy
  despatch of 27th October, 1860, _quoted_
  becomes Earl Russell
  speech on the American War
  Prime Minister
  the Reform Bill
  in Venice
  his pamphlets on Ireland
  character from the Diary
  visit to Italy, 1869
  the "Introduction," _quoted_
  in Paris
  opinion on education
  at Cannes
  "Essays on the History of the Christian Religion"
  sorrows of 1874
  the Herzegovina insurgents
  his last years
  Nonconformist deputation to
  Gladstone on
  recollections of Justin McCarthy
  and the American Civil War
  _otherwise mentioned_
  _Letters to_--
    Lord Melbourne
    Lady Mary Abercromby
    Lady Russell
    Duke of Bedford
    Lady Minto
    the electors of London
    Lord Clarendon
    Lady Minto (Lady Melgund)
    Lady Georgiana Russell
    Archibald Peel
    Colonel Romilly
Russell, Lord William, letter to Lady John,
Russell, Lord Wriothesley,
  letter to Ladyl John,
  on the attacks on Lord John,
Russell, Odo (afterwards Lord Ampthill),
  letter to Lord John,
Russell, Rollo--
  his letter to The Times,
  letters from Lady Russell,
  letter from Mrs. Sinclair,
  otherwise mentioned,
Russell, Mrs. Rollo (Miss Alice Godfrey), death of,
Russell, Mrs. Rollo (Miss Gertrude Joachim),
  letter from Lady Russell,
Russell, Rachel, daughter of Lord Amberley,
Russell, Rachel, Lady,
Russell, Sir Charles, and Parnell,
Russell, William, Lord,
  Napoleon and,
  and England,
  Napoleon on,
  and the Greek Crisis,
  Baron Brunow's wish for,
  Palmerston's policy towards,
  events leading to the Crimean War,
  Lord John's negotiations,

St. Fillans, the Russells at,
Salisbury, (2nd) Marquis of--
  On Disraeli's Franchise Bill, _quoted_,
  and Reform,
Salisbury, (3rd) Marquis of,
San Remo, portrait of Lord John at,
  the Russells at,
Sardinia, the King of, and Garibaldi,
  Lord John's speech on,
Savoy, Napoleon's designs,
  cession of,
Schleswig-Holstein, war with Denmark,
Scotland, Lady Russell's love for,
Scott, Sir Walter--
  "Lay of the Last Minstrel,"
  "Heart of Midlothian,"
  _otherwise mentioned_,
Scottish Church, the, secession from,
Security of the Crown Bill,
Sedition Bill, Ireland,
Selborne, Lord,
Sévigné, Mme. de, story related by,
Sheffield, reception given to Lord John Russell,
Sherman, General,
Shooting, Lady Russell on,
Simpson, Sir James, letter to Lady John Russell,
Sinclair, Mrs.,
  letter to Rollo Russell,
Slave question, the,
  the Jamaica Bill,
Smith, John Abel--
  Letter from Lord John,
  letters to Lady Russell,
  his fears for Lord John's seat,
Smith, Sydney,
  "Life and Letters,"
Soult, Marshal,
  at the coronation,
South Africa,
  Napoleon on,
  Napoleon's policy towards,
  Prince Leopold's candidature,
Spaventa, in England,
Speculative Society of Edinburgh University,
Spencer, Herbert,
  "The Bias of Patriotism,"
Spencer, (2nd) Earl, death,
Spencer, (4th) Earl, Letter to Lady John,
Spencer, (5th) Earl,
Stanley, Dean, pamphlet,
  letter to Lady Russell,
Stanley, Lady Augusta,
Stanley, Lord, afterwards 15th Lord Derby,
  and the franchise,
Stockmar, Baron,
  Gladstone's estimation,
Sugar question, Lord John Russell's speech
Sumner, Charles
Swanwick, Miss Anna
Swift, Dean, on lies, _quoted_
  visits of the Russells
Sydenham, Lord, on Lord John Russell's sugar speech

Talleyrand, Napoleon and
Taylor, Jeremy
Taylor, Sir Henry--
  Visit to Pembroke Lodge
  "Philip van Artevelde"
  a picture of Lady Russell
  letter from Lady Russell
Tennyson, Alfred
  Aldworth taken by Lord Russell
  death of
  "Life of Tennyson" his son
Test and Corporation Acts, repeal
Thackeray, "Sterne" and "Goldsmith"
_Times, The_--
  Lord Melbourne's dismissal
  and Palmerston
  Rollo Russell's letter
  on the state of America
  Lord Russell's letter
  publication of the secret document
Tory Party--
  Breaking up of
  position in 1843
  influence of Lord Derby on
_Trent_, the, Confederate emissaries seized
Trevelyan, Mr., and the Chartists
Trevelyan, Sir George, "Life of Macaulay," _cited_
Tuileries, the clock incident
  a dinner at
Turin, the Parliament of 1860
  Events leading to the Crimean War
  the Herzegovina insurgents
  Lady Russell on
Tyndall, Mrs.
Tyndall, Professor

Unionists, Lady Russell on the
United States, European policy towards
Unsted Wood, 70

Vattel, jurist, _quoted_
Venetia, and the Federation
  cession to Italy
Vestris, Mme.
Victor Emmanuel--
  and the Peace of Villafranca
  and Garibaldi
  King of Italy
  entry into Venice
Victoria, Queen--
  First Parliament
  and Peel
  Court balls
  and Lord John Russell
  on events in France
  the Chartist movement
  letter to Lord John Russell regarding the public prayer
  at Balmoral
  visit to Ireland, 1849
  and Palmerston, the letter to Lord John Russell
  conversation with Lady John Russell on Palmerston
  visits to Pembroke Lodge
  sends for Lords Aberdeen and Lansdowne
  letter to Lord John Russell asking him to serve under Lord Aberdeen
  Palmerston's return to power
  Lord Derby's Cabinet, 1858
  sends for Granville and afterwards for Palmerston
  and Italy
  visit to Coburg
  death of the Prince Consort
  letter to Lord Russell on Palmerston's illness
  refuses Lord Russell's resignation, 1866
  lays foundation stone of the Albert Hall
  letter to Lady Russell at Cannes
  invitation to Lord Russell
  letter to Lady Russell on death of Lady Amberley
  letter to Lady Russell on death of Lord Amberley
  letter to Lady Russell on death of Lord Russell
  requests Lady Russell to remain at Pembroke Lodge
  letter to Lady Russell on marriage of her son
  visit of Lady Russell to Vienna
  Conference of
  "Vienna Note," the
Villafranca, peace of
Villiers, Lady Victoria--
  Letter to Lady Russell
  letter from Lady Russell
  death of
  _otherwise mentioned_
Villiers, Montagu, Bishop of Durham,
  vote of thanks to Lord John Russell
Villiers, Mrs. E.
Voysey, Mr.

Wales, Prince of, illness, 1871
Wales, Princess of
Walpole, Sir Spencer
  _cited_ on Lord John's resignation
  "Life of Lord John Russell"
  "The History," _quoted_
Walton, Isaac
War Office incompetence
Warburton, Mrs. (_see also_ Lister, Isabel)--
  Letter from Lady Russell
  letter to Lady Agatha Russell
  Lady John Russell's impressions,
  George IV and
Wellington, Duke of--
  resignation in 1830
  the temporary Cabinet
  personality from the letters
  Napoleon on
  and George IV
Westcott, Dr.
Westminster Abbey, coronation of Queen Victoria
Westminster School
Whigs, the--
  Position in 1841
  and the Corn Laws
  and Peel's Sedition Bill
  alliance with the Peelites
  and Russell
Wicksteed, Rev. Philip H., speech of
William IV--
  Dismisses Melbourne
  opening of Parliament, February, 1836
  and Brougham
Windsor Castle
  Lady John Russell at
Wiseman, pastoral letters (1850)
Woburn Abbey
War, Lady John Russell on
Woman, Lady John Russell on her position
Wood, Lady Mary
Wood, Sir Charles
Wyhoff, Chevalier, "Reminiscences of an Idler"

Young Ireland party

Zürich, Congress at, Napoleon's plans

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Lady John Russell" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.