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Title: - To be updated
Author: Charles Cavendish Fulke Greville, - To be updated
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The Third Part of The Greville Memoirs contains two volumes, of which

All spellings are as they appeared in the original text save for those
that were obviously printer's errors.

All phrases that are in languages other than English have been
italicised for consistency. The oe ligature is replaced by the separate
letters oe.

There are two styles of footnotes used in this work. Footnotes enclosed
in square brackets [ ] are by the editor. Footnotes not enclosed in
square brackets are by the author.

1 [This note is by the editor.]

2 This note is by the author.



  VOL. I.



  FROM 1852 TO 1860




  _All rights reserved_


It appears to be unnecessary and inexpedient to delay the publication of
the last portion of these papers, which contain some record of the
events occurring between the year 1852 and the close of the year 1860, a
period already remote from the present time, and relating almost
exclusively to men of the last generation. I have little to add to the
notices prefixed by me to the two preceding portions of this work, but I
am grateful for the length of days which has enabled me to complete the
task confided to me by Mr. Greville three and twenty years ago, and to
leave behind me a record of that delightful company to which I was bound
by the closest ties of intimacy and friendship. On looking back upon the
first half of the present century, I believe that we were too
unconscious of the exceptional privileges we enjoyed, and that we did
not sufficiently appreciate the remarkable gifts of the statesmen, the
orators, the historians, the poets, and the wits who shed an
incomparable lustre on the politics, the literature, and the social
intercourse of those years. Of these personages some traces are to be
found in the preceding volumes and in these pages.

Nor am I less grateful for the reception this publication has met with
from the world, which has far surpassed the modest expectations of the
author, and has at last conveyed to the reader a just estimate of the
integrity and ability with which these Journals were written. They bear
evident marks of the changes which are wrought in a man's character and
judgements by the experience of life and the course of years; and they
fall naturally into the three periods or divisions of Mr. Greville's
life which I was led from other causes to adopt. In the first part he
appears as a man of fashion and of pleasure, plunged, as was not
inconsistent with his age and his social position, in the dissipation
and the amusements of the day; but he was beginning to get tired of
them. In the second part he enters with all the energy of which he was
capable, though shackled by his official position, upon the great
political struggles of the time--the earnest advocate of peace, of
moderation, of justice, and of liberal principles--regarding with a
discriminating eye and with some severity of judgement the actions of
men swayed by motives of ambition and vanity, from which he was himself
free. This was the most active period of his life. But years advanced,
and with age the infirmities from which he had always suffered withdrew
him more and more from society, and deprived him of many of those
sources of intelligence which had been so freely opened to him. Hence it
is possible that the volumes now published contain less of novelty and
original information than the preceding portions of the work. But on the
other hand, the events recorded in them are of a more momentous
character--the re-establishment of the French Empire, the Imperial
Court, the Crimean War, the Indian Mutiny, and the Italian War, are more
interesting than the rise or fall of a Ministry; and it is curious to
note precisely the effect produced at the time on the mind of a
contemporary observer. No one was more conscious of the incompleteness
of these Journals, and of a certain roughness, due to the impromptu
character of a manuscript hastily written down, and rarely corrected,
than the author of them. He was more disposed to underrate their merit,
as appears from his concluding remarks, than to exaggerate their
importance. But the public have judged of them more favourably; and if
he entertained a hope that he might contribute some pages to the record
of his times and the literature of his country, that hope was not
altogether vain.


  _January 1887_.



Divisions of the Liberal Party--Lord Lansdowne as Head of a Liberal
Government--Hostility of the Radicals--National Defences--Lord John
Russell's Literary Pursuits--The Queen's Speech--The
Peelites--Protection abandoned--Duke of Wellington's Funeral--Mr.
Villiers' Motion--Disraeli's Panegyric on Wellington--Death of Miss
Berry--The Division on the Resolution--Disraeli's Budget--Lord
Palmerston's Position--The Division on the Budget--Lord Derby
resigns--Liberal Negotiations--Formation of Lord Aberdeen's
Government--Lord St. Leonards--Tone of the Conservatives--Lord
Clanricarde and the Irish Brigade--Violence of the Tories--Lord
Palmerston agrees to join the Government--The Aberdeen Cabinet--First
Appearance of the New Ministry--Irritation of the Whigs _page 1_


A Royal Commission on Reform--M. de Flahault on the Emperor
Napoleon--Lord John's Blunder--Disraeli's Negotiation with the Irish
Members--Lord Beauvale's Death--Lady Beauvale's Grief--Napoleon III. and
Mdlle. de Montijo--Parliament meets--The Emperor's Marriage--Disraeli's
Attack on Sir C. Wood--Dislike of Mr. Disraeli--Lord John Russell leaves
the Foreign Office--Lord Stanley's Liberal Votes--Disraeli's Opinion of
his Colleagues--The Government in Smooth Water--England unpopular
abroad--Massimo d'Azeglio--The Austrians in Italy--The Bishop of
Lincoln--The Duke of Bedford's Papers--Lord Palmerston leads the
House--Social Amenities--Rancour of Northern Powers against
England--Friendly Resolution of the Emperor Napoleon III.--Difficulties
at Home--The India Bill--The Eastern Question--The Czar's
Proposals--Russian Assurances--The Royal Family _page 30_


Weakness of the Government--Gladstone's Budget--A Conversation with
Disraeli--Suicidal Conduct of the Tories--Their Irritation--A Charge
against Mr. Gladstone defeated--The Stafford Committee--Harmony of the
Government--Electoral Corruption--Impending War--Success of the
Government--Macaulay's Speech on the Judges' Exclusion Bill--Erroneous
Predictions from Paris--Unsettled Policy as to the War--Lord John's
Anti-Catholic Speech--The English and French Fleets sail for the
Dardanelles--Conduct of Austria--Russia means War--Attacks by the
Opposition--Explanations desired--Attempted Mediation--Lord Aberdeen's
Confidence shaken--Divisions of Opinion--Terms of Accommodation--Lord
Palmerston's Views--Prospect of Peace--Division in the Lords on the
Succession Duties Bill--Friendly Relations of Lord Palmerston and Lord
Clarendon--Fears of War--Hopes of Peace--Lord Palmerston and Mr.
Cobden--Rejection of the Vienna Note--Lord Palmerston courted by the
Tories--Lord John Russell's Position--The Duke of Bedford's part in the
last Crisis--Dangers at Constantinople--Lord Stratford's
Influence--Suspected Intrigue of France and Russia--Lord Palmerston goes
to Balmoral--Sir James Graham's View--Lord Stratford's
Conduct--Importance of the Vienna Note--A Cabinet summoned _page 58_


The Conference at Olmütz--The Turks declare War--Lord Palmerston's
Views--Lord Palmerston lauded by the Radicals and the Tories--Failure of
the Pacific Policy--Lord Aberdeen desires to resign--Lord John to be
Prime Minister--Obstacles to Lord John's Pretensions--Danger of breaking
up the Government--Lord John's Wilfulness and Unpopularity--Alliance of
the Northern Powers defeated by Manteuffel--Conflict of the two
Policies--Meeting of Parliament discussed--French Refugees in
Belgium--General Baraquay d'Hilliers sent to Constantinople--Mr. Reeve
returns from the East--Lord John's Reform Bill--The Emperor of Russia
writes to the Queen--Sir James Graham's Views on Reform, &c.--Opponents
of the Reform Scheme--Abortive Attempts at Negotiation--The Four Powers
agree to a Protocol--Lord Palmerston threatens to secede--Lord
Palmerston resigns on the Reform Scheme--Lord Palmerston opposed to
Reform--Effects of Lord Palmerston's Resignation--Conciliatory
Overtures--Lord Lansdowne's Position--Lord Aberdeen's Account--Lady
Palmerston makes up the Dispute--Lord Palmerston withdraws his
Resignation--Baraquay d'Hilliers refuses to enter the Black Sea--War
resolved on--Review of the transaction _page 92_


Lord Palmerston's Return--The Czar's Designs--Uncertain Prospects--A
Dinner of Lawyers--Preparations for War--The Reform Scheme
modified--Russian Preparations for War--Entry of the Black
Sea--Intrigues of France with Russia--Attacks on Prince
Albert--Virulence of the Press--Attitude of Russia--Reluctance on both
sides to engage in War--Prince Albert's Participation in Affairs of
State--Opening of Parliament--Vindication of Prince Albert--Offer of
Marriage of Prince Napoleon to Princess Mary of Cambridge--Publication
of the Queen's Speech--The Hesitation of Austria--Justification of the
War--The Blue Books--Popularity of the War--Last Efforts for Peace--The
Emperor Napoleon's Letter--Lord John's Reform Bill--Difficulties
arising--The Greeks--Objections to the Reform Bill--Postponement of the
Reform Bill _page 121_


Dinner to Sir Charles Napier--A Ministerial Indiscretion--Doubts as to
the Reform Bill--Discontent of Lord John Russell--The Secret
Correspondence with Russia--War declared--Weakness of the
Government--Mr. Greville disapproves the War--Divisions in the
Cabinet--Withdrawal of the Reform Bill--Blunder of the Government--The
Fast Day--Licences to trade in War--Death of the Marquis of
Anglesey--Mr. Gladstone's Financial Failures--Dissolution of
Parties--Mr. Gladstone's Budget--Lord Cowley's Opinion of the Emperor's
Position--The House of Commons supports the War--Disraeli attacks Lord
John Russell--A Change of Plans--Lord John Russell's
Mismanagement--Attacks on Lord Aberdeen--Popularity of the
War--Government Majority in the Lords--Attitude of the German Powers--A
meeting of the Liberal Party--An Appointment cancelled--Expedition to
the Crimea--English and French Policy united in Spain--Close of the
Session--The Character of Lord Aberdeen's Government--Effect of the
Quarrel with Russia--Lord Palmerston's Resignation--Waywardness of the
House of Commons _page 145_


Difficulties of the Campaign--Prince Albert and the King of Prussia--The
Prince goes to France--Military Commanders--Critical Relations of the
Ministers--The Crimea--The Emperor Napoleon and Prince Albert--Austria
and the Allies--The Landing in the Crimea--The Battle of the Alma--Royal
Invitations--The Crimean Expedition--Lord John's Hostility to his
Colleagues--False Report from Sebastopol--The Crimean
Campaign--Anecdotes of Lord Raglan--The Russian Defence--Trade with the
Enemy--Anecdote of Nesselrode--John Bright's Opinion of the War--Defence
of Sebastopol--The Balaklava Charge--The Judges at the Nomination of
Sheriffs--Lord John takes more moderate Views--The Battle of
Inkerman--Impolicy of the War--Inkerman--Spirit of the Nation--Military
Enthusiasm--Parliament summoned--Want of Foresight--Accounts of the
Battle--Lord Raglan as a General--Sufferings of the Army--Agreement with
Austria--Opponents of the War--Meeting of Parliament--The Government
attacked--The Foreign Enlistment Bill--Foreign Enlistment Bill
passed--Mr. Bright's Speech on the War--Review of the Year _page 182_


Lord John's Views on the Ministry--Gloomy Prospects--Attacks on Lord
Raglan--Russian and Prussian Diplomacy--Lord Palmerston more in
favour--French View of the British Army--Russian Negotiations--Lord John
Russell in Paris--Conference at Vienna--Lord Raglan unmoved--Terms
proposed to Russia--Failure of the Duke of Newcastle--Hesitation of
Austria and France--Deplorable State of the Armies--Chances of
Peace--Meeting of Parliament--Further Negotiations--Lord John Russell
resigns--Ministers stay in--The Debate on Roebuck's Motion--Resignation
of Lord Aberdeen--Lord John Russell's real Motives--Lord Derby sent
for--and fails--Wise Decision of the Queen--Ministerial
Negotiations--Lord Palmerston sent for--The Peelites refuse to
join--Lord Palmerston forms a Government--Lord Palmerston's
Prospects--Lord John Russell sent to Vienna--Lord Palmerston in the
House of Commons--General Alarm--Difficulties of Lord Palmerston--The
Peelites secede--Lord John accepts the Colonial Office--Sir George Lewis
Chancellor of the Exchequer--Death of the Emperor Nicholas of
Russia--Lord Palmerston supposed to be a weak Debater--Weakness of the
Government--Fresh Arrangements--The Budget--The Press _page 217_


The Vienna Conference--Literary Occupations--A Roman Catholic Privy
Councillor--Negotiations at Vienna--The Emperor Napoleon in London--The
Emperor's brilliant Reception--Russia refuses the Terms offered--The
Sebastopol Committee--Debate on the War--Visit to Paris--Resignation of
M. Drouyn de Lhuys--The Emperor's Journey to the Crimea--The Repulse at
the Redan--Visit to Thiers--A Dinner at the Tuileries--Conversation with
the Emperor--M. Guizot on the War--Death of Lord Raglan--A Dinner at
Princess Lieven's--The Palace of Versailles--Revelations of Lord John
Russell's Mission--Dinner with the Emperor at Villeneuve l'Étang--Lord
John Russell's Conduct at Vienna--Excitement in London--Lord John's
Resignation--Lord John's Conduct explained--'Whom shall we
Hang?'--Prorogation of Parliament _page 253_


The Queen's Visit to France--Sir George C. Lewis on the
War--Inefficiency of Lord Panmure--The Queen and the Emperor--Lord John
Russell's Estrangement from his Friends--The Fall of Sebastopol--The
Queen on the Orleans Confiscation--The Prince Regent's Letter on the
Holy Alliance--Ferment in Italy--The Failure at the Redan--Lord John's
Defence--General Windham--Lord John Russell's Retirement--Death of Sir
Robert Adair--Adieu to the Turf--Progress of the War--Colonial Office
proposed to Lord Stanley--Lord John Russell's Position--Relations with
Mr. Disraeli--Mr. Labouchere Colonial Secretary--Negotiations for
Peace--The Terms proposed to Russia--The King of Sardinia and M. de
Cavour at Windsor--The Demands of the King of Sardinia--Lord Palmerston
presses for War--Lord Macaulay's History of England--An Ultimatum to
Russia--Death of the Poet Rogers--French Ministers--The Emperor's
Diplomacy--Sir George C. Lewis's Aversion to the War--Quarrels of
Walewski and Persigny--Austria presents the Terms to Russia--Baron
Seebach mediates--The Emperor's Difficulties and Doubts _page 281_

  FROM 1852 TO 1860.


 Divisions of the Liberal Party--Lord Lansdowne as Head of a Liberal
 Government--Hostility of the Radicals--National Defences--Lord John
 Russell's Literary Pursuits--The Queen's Speech--The
 Peelites--Protection abandoned--Duke of Wellington's Funeral--Mr.
 Villiers' Motion--Disraeli's Panegyric on Wellington--Death of Miss
 Berry--The Division on the Resolution--Disraeli's Budget--Lord
 Palmerston's Position--The Division on the Budget--Lord Derby
 resigns--Liberal Negotiations--Formation of Lord Aberdeen's
 Government--Lord St. Leonard's--Tone of the Conservatives--Lord
 Clanricarde and the Irish Brigade--Violence of the Tories--Lord
 Palmerston agrees to join the Government--The Aberdeen
 Cabinet--First Appearance of the New Ministry--Irritation of the

_October 22nd, 1852_.--As usual a long interval, for since the Duke's
death I have had nothing to write about. The distribution of his offices
and honours has not given satisfaction. The appointment of Fitzroy
Somerset would have been more popular than that of Hardinge to the
command of the army, especially with the army; but I have no doubt the
Court insisted on having Hardinge, who is a great favourite there.


Matters in politics remain much as they were. There has been a constant
interchange of letters between Lord John Russell and his leading
friends and adherents, and conversations and correspondence between
these and Palmerston, the result of the whole being a hopeless state of
discord and disagreement in the Liberal party, so complete that there
appears no possibility of all the scattered elements of opposition being
combined into harmonious action, the consequence of which can hardly
fail to be the continuance in office of the present Government. The
state of things may be thus summed up: Lord John Russell declares he
will take no office but that of Premier, considering any other a
degradation; but he says he does not want office, and if a Liberal
Government can be formed under anybody else he will give it his best
support. He resents greatly the expressed sentiments of those who would
put him by and choose another Prime Minister, and this resentment his
belongings foster as much as they can. Palmerston professes _personal_
regard for Lord John, but declares he will never again serve _under_
him, though he would _with_ him, and his great object has been to induce
Lord Lansdowne to consent to put himself at the head of a Government (if
this falls) under whom he would be willing to serve, and he would
consent to Lord John's leading the House of Commons as heretofore. This
he communicated to the Duke of Bedford in conversation at Brocket, and
he afterwards wrote a detailed account of that conversation to Lansdowne
himself, which was an invitation to him to act the part he wished to
allot to him. Lord Lansdowne wrote him an answer in which he positively
declined to put himself at the head of a Government, stating various
reasons why he could not, and his conviction that John Russell was the
only man who could be at the head of one hereafter. With regard to other
opinions, Graham is heart and soul with Lord John, and decidedly in
favour of his supremacy. The Whig party are divided, some still adhering
to him; others, resenting his conduct in the past Session and
distrusting his prudence, are anxious for another chief, but without
having much considered how another is to be found, nor the consequences
of deposing him. The Radicals are in an unsettled and undecided state,
neither entirely favourable nor entirely hostile to Lord John; the
Peelites are pretty unanimously against him, and not overmuch disposed
to join with the Whig party, being still more or less deluded with the
hope and belief that they may form a Government themselves. Graham has
always maintained (and, as I thought, with great probability) that it
would end in Palmerston's joining Derby, and at this moment such an
arrangement seems exceedingly likely to happen. There were two or three
articles not long ago in the 'Morning Post' (his own paper), which
tended that way. I have just been for two days to Broadlands, where I
had a good deal of talk with him and with Lady Palmerston, and I came
away with the conviction that it would end in his joining this
Government. He admitted it to be a possible contingency, but said he
could not come in _alone_, and only in the event of a remodelling of the
Cabinet and a sweep of many of the incapables now in it. Sidney Herbert,
who was there, told me he had talked to him in the same tone, and spoke
of eight seats being vacated in the Cabinet, and as if he expected that
nobody should _certainly_ remain there but Derby, Disraeli, and the
Chancellor. It is evident from this that it depends on Derby himself to
have him, and if he frames measures and announces principles such as
would enable Palmerston with credit and consistency to join him, and if
he will throw over a sufficient number of his present crew, he may so
strengthen his Government as to make it secure for some time. It may,
however, be a matter of considerable difficulty to turn out a great many
colleagues, and not less so for Palmerston to find people to bring in
with him; for though he is very popular, and can excite any amount of
cheering in the House of Commons, he has no political adherents
whatever, and if Derby was to place seats in the Cabinet at his disposal
he has nobody to put into them, unless he could prevail on Gladstone and
Herbert to go with him, which does not seem probable.[1]

[Footnote 1: A list of the members of Lord Derby's Administration will
be found in the third volume of the Second Part of this Journal, p.

_November 3rd._--Since writing the above, circumstances have occurred
which may have an important influence on future political events. John
Russell, whether moved by his own reflexions or the advice or opinions
of others I know not, has entirely changed his mind and become more
reasonable, moderate, and pliable than he has hitherto shown himself. He
has announced that if it should hereafter be found practicable to form a
Liberal Government under Lord Lansdowne, he will not object to serve
under him, only reserving to himself to judge of the expediency of
attempting such an arrangement, as well as of the Government that may be
formed. The letter in which he announced this to Lord Lansdowne was
certainly very creditable to him, and evinced great magnanimity. He
desired that it might be made known to Palmerston, which was done by
Lord Lansdowne, and Palmerston replied with great satisfaction, saying,
'for the first time he now saw daylight in public affairs.' Lord
Lansdowne was himself gratified at Lord John's conduct to him, but he
said that it would expose him to fresh importunities on the part of
Palmerston, and he seems by no means more disposed than he was before to
take the burden on himself, while he is conscious that it will be more
difficult for him to refuse. He has been suffering very much, and is
certainly physically unequal to the task, and _le cas échéant_ he will
no doubt try to make his escape; but, from what I hear of him, I do not
think he will be inexorable if it is made clear to him that there is no
other way of forming a Liberal Government, and especially if Lord John
himself urges him to undertake it.

The other important matter is a correspondence, or rather a letter from
Cobden to a friend of his, in which he expresses himself in very hostile
terms towards John Russell and Graham likewise, abuses the Whig
Government, and announces his determination to fight for Radical
measures, and especially the Ballot. This letter was sent to Lord
Yarborough, by him to the Duke of Bedford, and by the Duke to Lord John.
He wrote a reply, or, more properly, a comment on it, which was intended
to be, and I conclude was, sent to Cobden; a very good letter, I am
told, in which he vindicated his own Government, and declared his
unalterable resolution to oppose the Ballot, which he said was with him
a question of principle, on which he never would give way. The result of
all this is a complete separation between Lord John and Cobden, and
therefore between the Whigs and the Radicals. What the ultimate
consequences of this may be it is difficult to foresee, but the
immediate one will probably be the continuation of Derby in office. Lord
John is going to have a parliamentary dinner before the meeting, which
many of his friends think he had better have left alone. He wrote to
Graham and invited him to it. Graham declined, and said he should not
come up to the meeting. To this Lord John responded that he might do as
he pleased about dining, but he assured him that his absence at the
opening of the Session would give great umbrage to the party and be
injurious to himself. Graham replied that he would come up, but he has
expressed to some of his correspondents his disapproval of the dinner.
Charles Villiers agrees with him about it, and so do I, but the Johnians
are very indignant with Graham, and consider his conduct very base,
though I do not exactly see why.


The question of national defence occupies everybody's mind, but it seems
very doubtful if any important measures will be taken. The Chancellor
told Senior that the Government were quite satisfied with Louis
Napoleon's pacific assurances, and saw no danger. It is not clear that
John Russell partakes of the general alarm, and whether he will be
disposed (as many wish that he should) to convey to Lord Derby an
intimation that he will support any measure he may propose for the
defence of the country, nor is it certain that Derby would feel any
reliance on such assurances after what passed when he came into office.
On that occasion Derby called on Lord John (who had just advised the
Queen to send for him) and said on leaving him, 'I suppose you are not
going to attack me and turn me out again,' which Lord John assured him
he had no thoughts of, and directly after he convoked his Chesham Place
meeting, which was certainly not very consistent with his previous
conduct, nor with his engagement to Derby.

_London, November 11th_, 1852.--I passed two days at The Grove with
John Russell the end of last and beginning of this week, when he was in
excellent health and spirits, and in a very reasonable composed state of
mind. There were Wilson, Panizzi, George Lewis, and the Duke of Bedford;
very little talk about politics, except in a general way. Lord John has
been engaged in literary pursuits, as the executor of Moore and the
depositary of Fox's papers, and he is about to bring out two volumes of
Moore and one of Fox, but in neither is there to be much of his own
composition; he has merely arranged the materials in each.

There has been great curiosity about the Queen's Speech, and a hundred
reports of difficulties in composing it, and of dissensions in the
Cabinet with regard to the manner in which the great question should be
dealt with. As I know nothing certain on the subject, I will spare
myself the trouble of putting down the rumours, which may turn out to be
groundless or misrepresented. A great fuss has been made about keeping
the Speech secret. They refused to communicate it to the newspapers, and
strict orders were given at the Treasury to allow nobody whatever to see
it. Derby, however, wrote to Lord John that as he had always sent it to
him, he should do the same, and accordingly Lord John received it, and
read it at his dinner, but those present were bound on honour not to
communicate the contents of it. Lord John and his friends have been all
along determined, if possible, to avoid proposing an amendment.

There was a Peelite gathering at a dinner at Hayward's the day before
yesterday, at which Gladstone, Sidney Herbert, Newcastle, Francis
Charteris, Sir John Young, and others were present; and Hayward told me
they were all united, resolved to act together, and likewise averse to
an amendment if possible; but from the manner in which they have dealt
with Free Trade, it is very doubtful whether Cobden at least, if not
Gladstone, will not insist on moving an amendment. A very few hours
will decide this point.[1]

[Footnote 1: The new Parliament was opened by the Queen in person on
November 11.]

_November 12th._--The question of Protection or Free Trade, virtually
settled long ago, was formally settled last night, Derby having
announced in terms the most clear and unequivocal his final and complete
abandonment of Protection, and his determination to adhere to, and
honestly to administer, the present system. His speech was received in
silence on both sides. There has not yet been time to ascertain the
effect of this announcement on the various parties and individuals
interested by it.


_November 16th._--I went yesterday to the lying in state of the Duke of
Wellington; it was fine and well done, but too gaudy and theatrical,
though this is unavoidable. Afterwards to St. Paul's to see it lit up.
The effect was very good, but it was like a great rout; all London was
there strolling and staring about in the midst of a thousand workmen
going on with their business all the same, and all the fine ladies
scrambling over vast masses of timber, or ducking to avoid the great
beams that were constantly sweeping along. These public funerals are
very disgusting _meâ sententiâ_. On Saturday several people were killed
and wounded at Chelsea; yesterday everything was orderly and well
conducted, and I heard of no accidents.

Charles Villiers' motion, after much consultation and debate, whether it
should be brought on or not, is settled in the affirmative, and was
concocted by the Peelites at a meeting at Aberdeen's, Graham present.
Nothing could be more moderate, so moderate that it appeared next to
impossible the Government could oppose it. Yesterday morning there was a
Ministerialist meeting in Downing Street, when Derby harangued his

_November 21st._--I saw the Duke's funeral from Devonshire House. Rather
a fine sight, and all well done, except the car, which was tawdry,
cumbrous, and vulgar. It was contrived by a German artist attached to
the School of Design, and under Prince Albert's direction--no proof of
his good taste. The whole ceremony within St. Paul's and without went
off admirably, and without mistakes, mishaps, or accidents; but as all
the newspapers overflow with the details I may very well omit them here.

Now that this great ceremony is over, we have leisure to turn our
thoughts to political matters. I have already said that Villiers
proposed a mild resolution which was drawn up by Graham at Aberdeen's
house, and agreed to by the Peelites.[1] Then came Derby's meeting,
where he informed his followers that he must reserve to himself entire
liberty of dealing with Villiers' resolution as he thought best, but if
he contested it, and was beaten, he should not resign. He then requested
that if anyone had any objection to make, or remarks to offer, on his
proposed course, they would make them then and there, and not find fault
afterwards. They all cheered, and nobody said a word; in fact they were
all consenting to his abandonment of Protection, many not at all liking
it, but none recalcitrant. After this meeting there was a
reconsideration of Villiers' resolution. Cobden and his friends
complained that it was too milk and water, and required that it should
be made stronger. After much discussion Villiers consented to alter it,
and it was eventually put on the table of the House in its present more
stringent form. Lord John Russell was against the alteration, and
Gladstone and the Peelites still more so; but Charles Villiers thought
he could not do otherwise than defer to Cobden, after having prevailed
on the latter to consent to no amendment being moved on the Address.
There is good reason to believe that the Government would have swallowed
the first resolution, but they could not make up their minds to take the
second; and accordingly Disraeli announced an amendment in the shape of
another resolution, and the battle will be fought on the two, Dizzy's
just as strongly affirming the principle of Free Trade as the other, but
it omits the declaration that the measure of '46 was 'wise and _just_.'
At this moment nobody has the least idea what the division will be, nor
how many of the most conspicuous men will vote, nor what the Government
will do if they are beaten. Moderate men on the Liberal side regret that
the original resolution was changed, deprecate the pitched battle, and
above all dread that the Government may resign if they are beaten, which
would cause the greatest confusion, nothing being ready for forming a
government on the Liberal side, and the Government would go out with the
advantage of saying that they were prepared with all sorts of good
measures which the factious conduct of their opponents would not let
them produce. Things have not been well managed, and I expect the result
of all these proceedings will be damaging to the Liberal interest, and
rather advantageous to Lord Derby.


An incident occurred the other night in the House of Commons, which
exposed Disraeli to much ridicule and severe criticism. He pronounced a
pompous funeral oration on the Duke of Wellington, and the next day the
'Globe' showed that half of it was taken word for word from a panegyric
of Thiers on Marshal Gouvion de St. Cyr. Disraeli has been unmercifully
pelted ever since, and well deserves it for such a piece of folly and
bad taste. His excuse is, that he was struck by the passage, wrote it
down, and, when he referred to it recently, forgot what it was, and
thought it was his own composition. But this poor apology does not save
him. Derby spoke very well on the same subject a few nights after in the
House of Lords, complimenting the authorities, the people, and foreign
nations, particularly France. It is creditable to Louis Napoleon to have
ordered Walewski to attend the funeral.[2]


On Saturday night, about twelve o'clock, Miss Mary Berry died after a
few weeks' illness, without suffering, and in possession of her
faculties, the machine worn out, for she was in her 90th year.[3] As she
was born nearly a century ago, and was the contemporary of my
grandfathers and grandmothers, she was already a very old woman when I
first became acquainted with her, and it was not till a later period,
about twenty years ago, that I began to live in an intimacy with her
which continued uninterrupted to the last. My knowledge of her early
life is necessarily only traditional. She must have been exceedingly
goodlooking, for I can remember her with a fine commanding figure and a
very handsome face, full of expression and intelligence. It is well
known that she was the object of Horace Walpole's octogenarian
attachment, and it has been generally believed that he was anxious to
marry her for the sake of bestowing upon her a title and a jointure,
which advantages her disinterested and independent spirit would not
allow her to accept. She continued nevertheless to make the charm and
consolation of his latter days, and at his death she became his literary
executrix, in which capacity she edited Madame du Deffand's letters. She
always preserved a great veneration for the memory of Lord Orford, and
has often talked to me about him. I gathered from what she said that she
never was herself quite sure whether he wished to marry her, but
inclined to believe that she might have been his wife had she chosen it.
She seems to have been very early initiated into the best and most
refined society, was a constant inmate of Devonshire House and an
intimate friend of the Duchess, a friendship which descended to her
children, all of whom treated Miss Berry to the last with unceasing
marks of attention, respect, and affection. She had been very carefully
educated, and was full of literary tastes and general information, so
that her conversation was always spirited, agreeable, and instructive;
her published works, without exhibiting a high order of genius, have
considerable merit, and her 'Social Life in England and France' and 'The
Life of Rachel, Lady Russell,' will always be read with pleasure, and
are entitled to a permanent place in English literature; but her
greatest merit was her amiable and benevolent disposition, which secured
to her a very large circle of attached friends, who were drawn to her as
much by affectionate regard as by the attraction of her vigorous
understanding and the vivacity and variety of her conversational powers.
For a great many years the Misses Berry were amongst the social
celebrities of London, and their house was the continual resort of the
most distinguished people of both sexes in politics, literature, and
fashion. She ranked amongst her friends and associates all the most
remarkable literary men of the day, and there certainly was no house at
which so many persons of such various qualities and attainments, but all
more or less distinguished, could be found assembled. She continued her
usual course of life, and to gather her friends about her, till within a
few weeks of her death, and at last she sank by gradual exhaustion,
without pain or suffering, and with the happy consciousness of the
affectionate solicitude and care of the friends who had cheered and
comforted the last declining years of her existence. To those friends
her loss is irreparable, and besides the private and individual
bereavement it is impossible not to be affected by the melancholy
consideration that her death has deprived the world of the sole survivor
of a once brilliant generation, who in her person was a link between the
present age and one fertile in great intellectual powers, to which our
memories turn with never failing curiosity and interest.

[Footnote 1: On November 23, Mr. Charles Villiers moved Resolutions in
the House of Commons, declaring the adherence of Parliament to the
principles of Free Trade and approving the Repeal of the Corn Laws. Mr.
Disraeli moved an amendment, not directly adverse. But this amendment
was withdrawn in favour of one more skilfully drawn by Lord Palmerston.
On this occasion Lord Palmerston rendered an essential service to Lord
Derby's Government.]

[Footnote 2: Count Walewski, then French Ambassador in London,
expressed some reluctance to attend the funeral of the conqueror of
Napoleon I., upon which Baron Brunnow said to him, 'If this ceremony
were intended to bring the Duke to life again, I can conceive your
reluctance to appear at it; but as it is only to bury him, I don't see
you have anything to complain of.']

[Footnote 3: Miss Mary Berry was born at Kirkbridge, in Yorkshire, on
March 16, 1763; her sister Agnes, who was her inseparable companion for
eighty-eight years, fourteen months later. Her father, Robert Berry, was
the nephew of a Scotch merchant named Ferguson, who purchased the estate
of Raith, in Fifeshire. William Berry, the brother of Robert, and uncle
of these ladies, succeeded to this property, and took the name of
Ferguson. The Miss Berrys first made the acquaintance of Horace Walpole
in 1788, when he was seventy years of age, and they became the objects
of his devoted attachment and regard. See 'National Biography,' vol. iv.
p. 397.]

_December 4th._--Last week the House of Commons was occupied with the
'Resolutions,' the whole history of which was given by Graham, and
which need not be repeated here.[1] The divisions were pretty much what
were expected, and the only interesting consideration is the effect
produced, and the influence of the debate on the state of parties.
Palmerston is highly glorified by his small clique, and rather smiled on
by the Tories, but he has given great offence to both Whigs and
Radicals, and removed himself further than ever from a coalition with
John Russell and the Liberal party. Lord John himself, who made a very
good speech, rather gained reputation by his behaviour throughout the
transaction, and is on better terms both with Cobden, Bright, and his
own party, than he has been for some time past. Disraeli made a very
imprudent speech, which disgusted many of his own adherents, and exposed
him to vigorous attacks and a tremendous castigation on the part of his
opponents, by Bernal Osborne in the coarser, and Sidney Herbert in more
polished style. The Protectionists generally cut a very poor figure, and
had nothing to say for themselves. 'If people wish for _humiliation_,'
said Sidney Herbert, 'let them look at the benches opposite.' But all
the dirt they had to eat, and all the mortification they had to endure,
did not prevent the Derbyites from presenting a compact determined
phalanx of about three hundred men, all resolved to support the
Government, and to vote through thick and thin, without reference to
their past or present opinions. The Ministerial papers and satellites
toss their caps up and proclaim a great victory, but it is difficult to
discover in what the victory consists. It certainly shows that they are
strong and devoted if not united.

After the division there was a good deal of speculation rife as to
Palmerston's joining the Government, which his friends insist he will
not do. I am disposed to think he will. Since that we have had
Beresford's affair in the House of Commons, and Clanricarde's folly in
the Lords.

Cockburn produced a strong _primâ facie_ case against Beresford, and the
committee has been appointed on his case, and proceeds to business on
Monday.[2] Clanricarde chose _de son chef_ to propose a resolution like
that of the Commons, which Derby refused to take and offered another in
its place, which Clanricarde has accepted. He gave Derby the opportunity
he wanted of setting himself right with his own party, who, albeit
resolved to support him, are smarting severely under his complete
abandonment of Protection, and the necessity to which they are reduced
of swallowing the nauseous Free Trade pill. He will make the dose more
palateable by soothing their wounded pride. Clanricarde went to Lord
Lansdowne and told him what he proposed to do. Lansdowne objected, but
Clanricarde said he did it individually and would take all the
responsibility on himself, on which Lansdowne very unwisely ceased to
object. His purpose is to take no responsibility on himself.

[Footnote 1: After three nights' debate, the Resolutions moved by Mr.
Villiers were negatived by 256 to 236, and the motion adroitly
substituted for them by Lord Palmerston in favour of 'unrestricted
competition' was carried by 468 against 53, being accepted by the

[Footnote 2: This related to proceedings with reference to the recent
election at Derby.]


_December 6th._--Ever since the termination of the 'Resolutions' debate
the world has been in a state of intense curiosity to hear the Budget,
so long announced, and of which such magnificent things were predicted.
The secret was so well kept that nobody knew anything about it, and not
one of the hundred guesses and conjectures turned out to be correct. At
length on Friday night Disraeli produced his measure in a House crowded
to suffocation with members and strangers. He spoke for five and a half
hours, much too diffusely, spinning out what he might have said in half
the time. The Budget has been on the whole tolerably well received, and
may, I think, be considered successful, though it is open to criticism,
and parts of it will be fiercely attacked, and he will very likely be
obliged to change some parts of it. But though favourably received on
the whole, it by no means answers to the extravagant expectations that
were raised, or proves so entirely satisfactory to all parties and all
interests as Disraeli rather imprudently gave out that it would be. The
people who regard it with the least favour are those who will be
obliged to give it the most unqualified support, the ex-Protectionists,
for the relief or compensation to the landed interest is very far from
commensurate with their expectations. It is certainly of a Free Trade
character altogether, which does not make it the more palateable to
them. He threw over the West Indians, and (Pakington, their advocate,
sitting beside him) declared they had no claim to any relief beyond that
which he tendered them, viz. the power of refining sugar in bond--a drop
of water to one dying of thirst. I think it will go down, and make the
Government safe. This I have all along thought they would be, and every
day seems to confirm this opinion. They have got from three hundred to
three hundred and fifteen men in the House of Commons who, though
dissatisfied and disappointed, are nevertheless determined to swallow
everything and support them through thick and thin, and they have to
encounter an opposition, the scattered fractions of which are scarcely
more numerous, but which is in a state of the greatest confusion and
disunion, and without any prospect of concord amongst them.

The Duke of Bedford came to me yesterday, and told me he had never been
so disheartened about politics in his life, or so hopeless of any good
result for his party, in which he saw nothing but disagreement and all
sorts of pretensions and jealousies incompatible with any common cause,
and Aberdeen, whom I met at dinner yesterday, is of much the same
opinion. The principal object of interest and curiosity seems now to be
whether Palmerston will join them or not. On this the most opposite
opinions and reports prevail. Just now it is said that he has resolved
not. At all events, if he does, he will have to go alone, for he can
take nobody with him, as it certainly is his object to do. But it does
not appear now as if there was the least chance of Gladstone or Sidney
Herbert joining him. The Duke of Bedford told me that both Derby and
Palmerston were in better odour at Windsor than they were, and that the
Queen and Prince approve of Pam's move about the Resolutions, and think
he did good service. Aberdeen also thinks that though the Whigs and
Radicals are angry with Lord Palmerston, and that his proceeding was
unwarrantable, he stands in a better position in the country, and has
gained credit and influence by what he did. Abroad, where nobody
understands our affairs, he is supposed to have played a very great
part, and to have given indubitable proof of great political power.

_December 9th._--Within these few days the Budget, which was not ill
received at first, has excited a strong opposition, and to-morrow there
is to be a pitched battle and grand trial of strength between the
Government and Opposition upon it, and there is much difference of
opinion as to the result. The Government have put forth that they mean
to resign if beaten upon it. Derby and Disraeli were both remarkably
well received at the Lord Mayor's dinner the night before last, and this
is an additional proof that, in spite of all their disreputable conduct,
they are not unpopular, and I believe, if the country were polled, they
would as soon have these people for Ministers as any others. Nobody
knows what part Palmerston is going to take.


_December 18th._--The last few days have been entirely occupied by the
interest of the Budget debate and speculations as to the result. We
received the account of the division at Panshanger yesterday morning,
not without astonishment; for although the opinion had latterly been
gaining ground that the Government would be beaten, nobody expected such
a majority against them.[1] Up to the last they were confident of
winning. The debate was all against them, and only exhibited their
weakness in the House of Commons. It was closed by two very fine
speeches from Disraeli and Gladstone, very different in their style, but
not unequal in their merits.

[Footnote 1: The division on the Budget took place on December 16 after
five nights' debate, the numbers being--for the Government, 286;
against, 305; adverse majority, 19.]

_Panshanger, December 19th._--I went to town yesterday morning to hear
what was going on. Lord Derby returned from Osborne in the middle of the
day, and the Queen had sent for Lords Lansdowne and Aberdeen. She had
been gracious to Derby, and pressed him to stay on, if it were only for
a short time. I saw Talbot, and from the few words he let drop I
gathered that they have already resolved to keep together, and to enter
on a course of bitter and determined opposition. Not that he said this,
of course, but he intimated that he had no idea of any new Government
that might be formed being able to go on even for a short time, and that
they would very speedily be let in again. The language of the Carlton
corresponds with this, and I have no doubt they will be as virulent and
as mischievous as they can. It remains to be seen, if a good Government
is formed, whether some will not be more moderate, and disposed to give
the new Cabinet a fair trial.

Clarendon writes me word that the meeting at Woburn between John
Russell, Aberdeen, Newcastle, and himself has been altogether
satisfactory, everybody ready to give and take, and anxious to promote
the common cause, without any selfish views or prejudices. Newcastle is
particularly reasonable, disclaiming any hostility to John Russell, and
only objecting to his being at present the nominal head of the
Government, because there is rightly or wrongly a prejudice against him,
which would prevent some Liberals and some Peelites joining the
Government if he was placed in that position; but he contemplates his
ultimately resuming that post, and he (Newcastle) is ready to do
anything in office or out. There is no disposition to take in Cobden and
Bright, but they would not object to Molesworth.

I went over to Brocket just now, and found the Palmerstons there. He is
not pleased at the turn matters have taken, would have liked the
Government to go on at all events some time longer, and is disgusted at
the thought of Aberdeen being at the head of the next Ministry. This is
likewise obnoxious to the Whigs at Brooks's, and there will be no small
difficulty in bringing them to consent to it, if Lansdowne refuses.
Beauvale said if Palmerston had not been laid up, and prevented going to
the House of Commons, he thinks this catastrophe would not have
happened, for Palmerston meant to have done in a friendly way what
Charles Wood did in an unfriendly one, and advised Disraeli to postpone
and remake his Budget, and this advice so tendered he thinks Dizzy would
have taken, and then the issue would have been changed and deferred till
after the recess. But I don't believe this fine scheme would have taken
effect, or that Dizzy would or could have adopted such a course.
Beauvale says he is pretty sure Palmerston will not take office under
Aberdeen's Premiership; on the other hand, Aberdeen has no objection to
him, and will invite Palmerston, if the task devolves upon him. Ellice
fancies Lansdowne will decline, and that Aberdeen will fail, and that it
will end in Derby coming back, reinforced by Palmerston and some
Peelites. The difficulties are certainly enormous, but by some means or
other I think a Government will be formed. The exclusions will be very
painful, and must be enormous. Lord Derby met Granville and others at
the station on Friday, and he said he calculated the new Cabinet could
not consist of less than thirty-two men, and many then left out. It will
be a fine time to test the amount of patriotism and unselfishness that
can be found in the political world.


_London, December 21st._--I came to town yesterday morning, and heard
that the day before (Sunday) a very hostile feeling towards Aberdeen had
been prevailing at Brooks's, but no doubt was entertained that the
Government would be formed. In the afternoon Clarendon came to me on his
way to the House of Lords, and told me all that had passed up to that
time. On receiving the Queen's summons, a meeting took place between
Lansdowne and Aberdeen at Lansdowne House, at which each did his best to
persuade the other to accept the commission to form a Government.
Lansdowne pleaded absolute physical inability, and his friends seem to
be quite satisfied that he really could not undertake it. Accordingly
Aberdeen gave way, and departed for Osborne on a reiterated summons,
and, after telling the Queen all that had passed between Lansdowne and
himself, undertook the task. Nothing could be more cordial all this time
than the relations between himself and John Russell; but as soon as it
became known that Aberdeen was to form the new Government, certain
friends of John Russell set to work to persuade him that it would be
derogatory to his character to have any concern in it, and entreated him
to refuse his concurrence. These were David Dundas and Romilly, and
there may have been others. This advice was probably the more readily
listened to, because it corresponded with his original view of the
matter and his own natural disposition, and it produced so much effect
that yesterday morning he went to Lansdowne and told him that he had
resolved to have nothing to do with the new Government. Lansdowne was
thunderstruck, and employed every argument he could think of to change
this resolution. It so happened that he had written to Macaulay and
asked him to call on him to talk matters over, and Macaulay was
announced while Lord John was still there. Lansdowne told him the
subject of their discussion, and the case was put before Macaulay with
all its pros and cons for his opinion. He heard all Lansdowne and Lord
John had to say, and then delivered his opinion in a very eloquent
speech, strongly recommending Lord John to go on with Aberdeen, and
saying that, at such a crisis as this, the refusal of his aid, which was
indispensable for the success of the attempt, would be little short of
treason. Lord John went away evidently shaken, but without pronouncing
any final decision. Clarendon then called at Lansdowne House, and heard
these particulars, and Lansdowne entreated him to go and see Lord John
and try his influence over him. Clarendon had the day before given him
his opinion in writing to the same effect as Macaulay. He went, saw him,
and repeated all he had before written. Lord John took it very well,
and, when he left him, said, 'I suppose it will be as you wish,' and
when I saw Clarendon he seemed reassured, and tolerably confident that
this great peril of the whole concern being thus shipwrecked _in limine_
had passed away. After the House of Lords where I heard Derby's strange
and inexcusable speech, we again discussed the matter, when he said Lord
John had raised another difficulty, for he said he would not take the
Foreign Office, alleging, not without truth, that it was impossible for
him or any man to perform the duties of so laborious an office and lead
the House of Commons. Lord John also signified to Clarendon that he
should insist on _his_ being in the Cabinet, which Clarendon entreated
him not to require. Newcastle, who was there, suggested that Lord John
might take the Foreign Office for a time, and if he found the two duties
incompatible, he might give it up, and Clarendon seemed to think this
might be done, and at all events he means to persuade Lord John (as no
doubt he will) to make up his mind to take it, for his not doing so
would certainly be very inconvenient. Should Lord John prove obstinate
in this respect, I have no doubt Clarendon will himself be put there.


We talked about the Great Seal, and Senior had been with Lord Lansdowne,
who appears to incline very much to getting Lord St. Leonard's[1] to
stay if he will, but Senior thinks he will not; certainly not, unless
with the concurrence of his present colleagues, which it is doubtful if
Derby in his present frame of mind would give. The Chancellor was at
Derby's meeting in the morning, which looks like a resolution to go out
with them. It will be a good thing if he will remain, but it will do
good to the new Government to invite him, whether he accepts or refuses.
We talked of Brougham, but Clarendon, though anxious to have Brougham in
as President of the Council, thinks he would not do for the woolsack,
and that it will be better to have Cranworth if Lord St. Leonard's will
not stay. There is a great difficulty in respect to the retiring
pension. There can only be four, and Sugden's will make up the number,
so that a fresh Chancellor could have none except at the death of one
of the others. The worst part of the foregoing story is, that Lord John
will not join cordially and heartily, and it is impossible to say,
during the difficult adjustment of details, what objections he may not
raise and what embarrassments he may not cause.

There was a meeting at Lord Derby's yesterday morning, at which he told
his friends he would continue to lead them, and he recommended a
moderation, in which he probably was not sincere, and which they will
not care to observe. Lord Delawarr got up and thanked him. Nothing can
be more rabid than the party and the ex-ministers, and they are
evidently bent on vengeance and a furious opposition. I fell in with
Lord Drumlanrig and Ousely Higgins yesterday morning, one a moderate
Derbyite (always Free Trader), the other an Irish Brigadier. Drumlanrig
told me he knew of several adherents of Derby who were resolved to give
the new Government fair play, and would not rush into opposition, and
Ousely Higgins said he thought the Irish would be all right, especially
if, as the report ran, Granville was sent to Ireland; but there is no
counting on the Irish Brigade, whose object it is to embarrass every
Government. If they could be friendly to any, it would, however, be one
composed of Aberdeen, Graham, and Gladstone, the opponents of the
Ecclesiastical Titles Bill.

[Footnote 1: Sir Edward Burtenshaw Sugden was one of the most eminent
equity lawyers of the day, distinguished as an advocate in the Court of
Chancery and by his important legal writings. He was twice Lord
Chancellor of Ireland under the two Administrations of Sir Robert Peel,
and he received the Great Seal of England on the formation of Lord
Derby's Administration in 1852, with a peerage under the title of Baron
St. Leonards. But he owed his celebrity and his promotion to his
eminence as a lawyer, far more than to his activity as a politician.]


_December 22nd._--On going to The Grove yesterday afternoon, I found a
letter Clarendon had received from Lansdowne in bad spirits enough. He
had seen Aberdeen, who had received no answer from John Russell, and
Aberdeen was prepared, if he did not get his acceptance the next
morning, to give the thing up. Lansdowne was greatly alarmed and far
from confident Lord John would agree, at all events, that he would not
take the Foreign Office, in which case Lansdowne said he (Clarendon)
must take it. Nothing could look worse. This morning Clarendon received
a letter from Aberdeen announcing that Lord John had agreed to lead the
House of Commons, either without an office or with a nominal one, and
asking Clarendon to take the Foreign Office. We came up to town
together, he meaning to accept unless he can prevail on Lord John to
take it, if it be only for a time, and he is gone to see what he can do
with him. He told me last night that when he was at Woburn last week,
the Duke informed him that he had had a confidential communication from
Stockmar, asking for his advice, whom the Queen should send for if the
Government was beaten and if Derby resigned. He had just received this
letter, and had not answered it, and consulted Clarendon what he should
say. Clarendon advised him to recommend Lansdowne and Aberdeen, and he
wrote to that effect. The very morning after the division, just as they
were going hunting, the hounds meeting at the Torr, a Queen's messenger
arrived with another letter, requesting he would communicate more fully
his sentiments at the present crisis. The messenger was ordered to keep
himself secret, and not to let his mission transpire. The Duke, under
Clarendon's advice, wrote a long letter back, setting forth in detail
all that had, not long ago, passed about Palmerston and Lansdowne, and
his notions of the difficulties and exigencies of the present time. He
said that it was evident Lord John could not make a Government, and that
he was himself conscious of it.

_December 23rd._--It appears that on Tuesday (21st) Aberdeen went to
Palmerston, who received him very civilly, even cordially, talked of old
times, and reminded him that they had been acquainted for sixty years
(since they were at Harrow together), and had lived together in the
course of their political lives more than most men. Aberdeen offered him
the Admiralty, saying he considered it in existing circumstances the
most important office, and the one in which he could render the greatest
service to the country, but if he for any reason objected to that
office, he begged him to say what other office he would have. Palmerston
replied that he had no hostile feeling towards him, but they had for so
many years been in strong opposition to each other, that the public
would never understand his taking office in Aberdeen's Government, and
he was too old to expose himself to such misconceptions. And so they
parted, on ostensibly very friendly terms, which will probably not
prevent Palmerston's joining Derby and going into furious opposition. In
the course of the day yesterday both Clarendon and Lansdowne called on
Palmerston, and he expressed great satisfaction at Clarendon's
appointment to the Foreign Office.

In the afternoon I called on Lady Clanricarde, who gave me to understand
that Clanricarde was likely to become a personage of considerable
influence and power (and therefore worth having), inasmuch as the Irish
Band had made overtures to him, and signified their desire to act under
his guidance. She said this was not the first overture he had received
of the kind from the same quarter; that for various reasons he had
declined the others, but she thought at the present time he might very
well listen to it; that they were very anxious to be led by a gentleman,
and a man of consideration and station in the world. All this, to which
I attach very little credit, was no doubt said to me in order to be
repeated, and that it might impress on Aberdeen and his friends and
colleagues the importance of securing Clanricarde's services and
co-operation; and I am the more confirmed in this by receiving a note
from the Marchioness in the evening, begging I would not repeat what she
had told me.

There was nothing new yesterday in the purlieus of Whiggism, but I think
somewhat more of acquiescence, and a disposition to regard this
combination as inevitable. The Derbyites quite frenzied, and prepared to
go any lengths. Lonsdale told me the party were delighted with Derby's
intemperate speech in the House of Lords, which seems to have been
rehearsed at his own meeting the same morning; and the other day twenty
ruffians of the Carlton Club gave a dinner there to Beresford, to
celebrate what they consider his acquittal! After dinner, when they got
drunk, they went upstairs, and finding Gladstone alone in the
drawing-room, some of them proposed to throw him out of the window. This
they did not quite dare to do, but contented themselves with giving some
insulting message or order to the waiter, and then went away.


_Hatchford, Friday, 24th._--The great event of yesterday was
Palmerston's accession to the Government. Lord Lansdowne had called on
him the day before, and had, I suspect, little difficulty in persuading
him to change his determination and join the new Cabinet. He said he
would place himself in Lord Lansdowne's hands, and yesterday morning I
heard as a secret, though it was speedily published, that he had agreed
to take the Home Office. The next thing was Lord John's consent to take
the Foreign Office. This he was persuaded to do by Clarendon, who
engaged to help him in the work, and relieve him by taking it himself
the moment Lord John should find himself unequal to it, and on these
conditions he consented. It was settled that Gladstone should be
Chancellor of the Exchequer, but Delane went to Aberdeen last night for
the purpose of getting him to change this arrangement on the ground of
the difficulty there would be about the Income Tax.

The important part of forming the Cabinet is now done, and nothing
remains but the allotment of the places. It will be wonderfully strong
in point of ability, and in this respect exhibit a marked contrast with
the last; but its very excellence in this respect may prove a source of
weakness, and eventually of disunion. The late Cabinet had two paramount
chiefs, and all the rest nonentities, and the nominal head was also a
real and predominant head. In the present Cabinet are five or six
first-rate men of equal or nearly equal pretensions, none of them likely
to acknowledge the superiority or defer to the opinions of any other,
and every one of these five or six considering himself abler and more
important than their Premier. They are all at present on very good terms
and perfectly satisfied with each other; but this satisfaction does not
extend beyond the Cabinet itself; murmurings and grumblings are already
very loud. The Whigs have never looked with much benignity on this
coalition, and they are now furious at the unequal and, as they think,
unfair distribution of places. These complaints are not without reason,
nor will it make matters better that John Russell has had no
communication with his old friends and adherents, nor made any
struggle, as it is believed, to provide for them, although his adhesion
is so indispensable that he might have made any terms and conditions he
chose. Then the Radicals, to judge from their press, are exceedingly
sulky and suspicious, and more likely to oppose than to support the new
Government. The Irish also seem disposed to assume a menacing and half
hostile attitude, and, having contributed to overthrow the last
Government, are very likely (according to the policy chalked out for
them after the election) to take an early opportunity of aiding the
Derbyites to turn out this. Thus hampered with difficulties and beset
with dangers, it is impossible to feel easy about their prospects. If,
however, they set to work vigorously to frame good measures and remove
practical and crying evils, they may excite a feeling in their favour in
the country, and may attract support enough from different quarters in
the House of Commons to go on, but I much fear that it will at best be a
perturbed and doubtful existence. Such seems the necessary condition of
every Government nowadays, and unfortunately there is a considerable
party which rejoices in such a state of things, and only desires to
aggravate the mischief, because they think its continuance and the
instability of every Government will be most conducive to the ends and
objects which they aim at.

_London, December 28th._--The remonstrances against Gladstone's being
Chancellor of the Exchequer were unavailing, but he says he is not tied
up by anything he said about the Income Tax. This will nevertheless be a
great difficulty, for Graham and Wood, though not perhaps so much
committed as Gladstone, are both against the alteration, which the
public voice undoubtedly demands. Last night the new Ministers took
their places on the Treasury bench, and the Tories moved over to the
opposite side. Aberdeen made his statement, which was fair enough and
not ill received, but it was ill delivered, and he omitted to say all he
might and ought to have said about Lord Lansdowne, nor did he say enough
about John Russell. He said, on the other hand, more than enough about
foreign policy, and gave Derby a good opportunity of attacking that part
of his speech. Derby was more moderate and temperate than on the first
night, and made a pretty good speech. He was wrong in dilating so much
on what had passed in the House of Commons, and he made very little of
the case of combination; he was severe on Graham and his speech at his
election at Carlisle, and Graham heard it all. Nobody else said a word.


The Government is now complete, except some of the minor appointments
and the Household. It has not been a smooth and easy business by any
means, and there is anything but contentment, cordiality, and zeal in
the confederated party. The Whigs are excessively dissatisfied with the
share of places allotted to them, and complain that every Peelite
without exception has been provided for, while half the Whigs are
excluded. Though they exaggerate the case, there is a good deal of
justice in their complaints, and they have a right to murmur against
Aberdeen for not doing more for them, and John Russell for not insisting
on a larger share of patronage for his friends.[1] Clarendon told me
last night that the Peelites have behaved very ill, and have grasped at
everything, and he mentioned some very flagrant cases, in which, after
the distribution had been settled between Aberdeen and John Russell,
Newcastle and Sidney Herbert, for they appear to have been the most
active in the matter, persuaded Aberdeen to alter it and bestow or offer
offices intended for Whigs to Peelites and in some instances to
Derbyites who had been Peelites. Clarendon has been all along very
anxious to get Brougham into the Cabinet as President of the Council,
and he proposed it both to Lord John and Aberdeen, and the latter
acquiesced, and Clarendon thought it was going to be arranged that
Granville should be President of the Board of Trade, and Brougham
President of Council; but Newcastle and Sidney Herbert not only upset
this plan, but proposed that Ellenborough should be President of
Council, and then, when he was objected to, Harrowby. They also wanted
that Jersey should remain Master of the Horse, Jonathan Peel go again to
the Ordnance, and Chandos continue a Lord of the Treasury. With what
object they wished for these appointments I have not an idea, but the
very notion of them is an insult to the Whigs, and will be resented

Lord Lansdowne seems to have taken little or no part in all this. He
hooked Palmerston, and, having rendered this great service, he probably
thought he had done enough. The Whigs at Brooks's are very angry, and
Bessborough told me that he thought his party so ill used, that he had
implored Lord John to withdraw even now rather than be a party to such
injustice. Lord John seems to have been very supine, and while the
Peelites were all activity, and intent on getting all they could, he let
matters take their course, and abstained from exercising the influence
in behalf of his own followers which his position and the
indispensability of his co-operation enabled him to do. This puts them
out of humour with him as much as with Aberdeen and his friends.

We had a great reunion here (at Lord Granville's) last night, with half
the Cabinet at dinner or in the evening. I told Graham what the feelings
of the Whigs were. He said they had a very large and important share,
the Chancellors of England and of Ireland, etc., and he defended some of
the appointments and consequent exclusions on special grounds. They have
made Monsell, an Irish Catholic convert, Clerk of the Ordnance, together
with some other Irish Catholic appointments, and he said that these were
necessary in order to reconquer in Ireland what had been lost by the
Ecclesiastical Titles Bill, and that it was of more consequence to
conciliate that large part of the Empire than to provide for the Ansons
and the Pagets; and on the same ground he justified the appointment of
St. Germans instead of Lord Carlisle as Lord Lieutenant. All this may be
very true, but the Whigs to be left out to make room for these
substitutes will not be convinced or pacified by the political
expediency which Graham sets forth, nor will such appointments be at all
popular here. If, however, they really should be the means of rallying
the Irish Brigade to the support of the Government, it may be patronage
well bestowed. But this makes it a disagreeable start, and may be
hereafter productive of serious consequences. Nothing can be more
shortsighted, as well as unfair, than the conduct of the Peelites in
trying to thrust their own people instead of Whigs into the offices, for
they can only hope to keep their places at all by the zealous support of
the whole Whig force, themselves bringing next to nothing in point of
numbers, and to encounter such a numerous and compact Opposition will
require the zealous co-operation of all who wish well to the Liberal
cause, and who are against Derby. Newcastle talked to me last night
about Aberdeen's speech, acknowledged its deficiencies, and said he had
told Aberdeen what he thought of it. Aberdeen acknowledged it all, said
he was so unaccustomed to make such statements, that he had forgotten or
overlooked it, and wished he could have spoken it again to repair the
omission. They all seem _at present_ very harmonious in their


After dinner last night John Russell and Charles Wood went off to meet
Aberdeen, for the purpose, I believe, of settling some of the
arrangements not yet fixed. Clarendon told me that Charles Wood had been
of use in stimulating John Russell to interfere and prevent some of the
proposed changes which the Peelites wished Aberdeen to make in the list
as originally settled between him and Lord John, and it is very well
that he did. It is impossible not to see that Lord John himself, though
now willing to co-operate and do his best, has never been hearty in the
cause, nor entirely satisfied with his own position; and this has
probably made him more lukewarm, and deterred him from taking a more
active and decided part in the formation of the Government. We are just
going down to Windsor, the old Government to give up seals, wands, etc.,
the new to be sworn in. They go by different railways, that they may
not meet. It is singular that I have never attended a Council during the
nine months Lord Derby was in office, not once; consequently there are
several of his Cabinet whom I do not know by sight--Pakington, Walpole,
and Henley. With my friends I resume my functions.

[Footnote 1: It was, however, Lord John who prevented Mr. Cardwell, the
President of the Board of Trade, from having a seat in the Cabinet, on
the ground that there were already too many Peelites in it.]

_December 29th._--I went down to the Council yesterday at Windsor with
the _ins_, and we saw nothing of the _outs_, who went by another train
and railway. Palmerston was there, looking very ill indeed. They all
seem on very cordial terms. Graham told me he had had a very friendly
conversation with Palmerston, and was greatly rejoiced at being again
united to his old colleague. He acknowledged that it was a great mistake
in Aberdeen to have offered the Mastership of the Horse to Lord Jersey.
Aberdeen has now proposed the Lord Steward's place to Carlisle, which he
will probably not take, and possibly be offended at the offer. I suppose
Aberdeen has been subjected to pressure from various quarters, but might
have made a better selection and distribution than he has done.


_January 5th_, 1853.--The elections are all going on well, except
Gladstone's, who appears in great jeopardy. Nothing could exceed the
disgraceful conduct of his opponents, lying, tricking, and shuffling, as
might be expected from such a party. The best thing that could happen
for Gladstone would be to be beaten, if it were not for the triumph it
would be to the blackguards who have got up the contest; for the
representation of Oxford is always an embarrassment to a statesman, and
Peel's losing his election there in 1829 was the most fortunate event
possible for him. The only speech of the new Ministers calling for
special notice is Palmerston's at Tiverton, which appears to me to
conceal an _arrière-pensée_. He spoke in civil, even complimentary,
terms of the Derby Government, so much so, that if any break-up or
break-down should occur in this, and Lord Derby return to office, there
appears no reason why Palmerston should not form a fresh coalition with
him; and it looks very much as if he was keeping this contingency in
view, and putting himself in such an attitude as should enable him with
some plausibility to join the camp of such a restoration.

The Cabinet of Lord Aberdeen's Administration consisted of the following

  Earl of Aberdeen                  First Lord of the Treasury
  Lord Cranworth                    Lord Chancellor
  Earl Granville                    Lord President of the Council
  The Duke of Argyll                Lord Privy Seal
  Mr. Gladstone                     Chancellor of the Exchequer
  Viscount Palmerston               Home Secretary of State
  The Duke of Newcastle             Secretary for Colonies and War
  Lord John Russell (and later
    the Earl of Clarendon)          Foreign Secretary
  Sir James Graham                  First Lord of the Admiralty
  Mr. Sidney Herbert                Secretary at War
  Sir Charles Wood                  President of the Indian Board
  Sir William Molesworth            First Commissioner of Works
              The Marquis of Lansdowne without office.


 A Royal Commission on Reform--M. de Flahault on the Emperor
 Napoleon--Lord John's Blunder--Disraeli's Negotiation with the
 Irish Members--Lord Beauvale's Death--Lady Beauvale's
 Grief--Napoleon III. and Mdlle. de Montijo--Parliament meets--The
 Emperor's Marriage--Disraeli's Attack on Sir C. Wood--Dislike of
 Mr. Disraeli--Lord John Russell leaves the Foreign Office--Lord
 Stanley's Liberal Votes--Disraeli's Opinion of his Colleagues--The
 Government in Smooth Water--England unpopular abroad--Massimo
 d'Azeglio--The Austrians in Italy--The Bishop of Lincoln--The Duke
 of Bedford's Papers--Lord Palmerston leads the House--Social
 Amenities--Rancour of Northern Powers against England--Friendly
 Resolution of the Emperor Napoleon III.--Difficulties at Home--The
 India Bill--The Eastern Question--The Czar's Proposals--Russian
 Assurances--The Royal Family.

_Bowood, January 12th,_ 1853.--I came here on Monday to meet the
Cannings, Harcourt,[1] and Lady Waldegrave, the Bessboroughs,
Elphinstone, Senior, and the family. Senior talked to me about the
Government and Reform, and the danger of their splitting on the latter
question and propounded a scheme he has for obviating this danger. He
wants to have a Royal Commission to enquire into the practice of bribery
at elections and the means of preventing it, or, if possible, to have an
enquiry of a more extensive and comprehensive character into the state
of the representation and the working of the Reform Bill. We talked it
over, and I told him I thought this would not be a bad expedient. He had
already spoken to Lord Lansdowne about it, who seemed not averse to the
idea, and promised to talk to Lord John Russell on the subject. Senior,
when he went away, begged me to talk to Lord Lansdowne also, which I
attempted to do, but without success, for he seemed quite indisposed to
enter upon it.

[Footnote 1: George Granville Harcourt, Esq., M.P., eldest son of the
Archbishop of York, and third husband of Frances, Countess of


_Beaudesert, January 19th._--To town on Saturday and here on Monday,
with the Flahaults, Bessboroughs, Ansons, my brothers and the family.
Lord Anglesey and M. de Flahault talk over their campaigns, and compare
notes on the events of Sir John Moore's retreat and other military
operations, in which they have served in opposing armies. Flahault was
aide-de-camp to Marshal Berthier till the middle of the Russian
campaign, when he became aide-de-camp to Napoleon, whom he never quitted
again till the end of his career. His accounts of what he has seen and
known are curious and interesting. He says that one of the Emperor's
greatest mistakes and the causes of his misfortunes was his habit of
ordering everything, down to the minutest arrangement, himself, and
leaving so little to the discretion and responsibility of his generals
and others that they became mere machines, and were incapable of acting,
or afraid to act, on their own judgements. On several occasions great
calamities were the consequence of this unfortunate habit of Napoleon's.

_London, January 24th._--The Duke of Bedford called here this morning. I
had not seen him for an age; he was just come from Windsor with a budget
of matter, which as usual he was in such a hurry that he had not time to
tell me. I got a part of it, however. I began by asking him how he had
left them all at Windsor, to which he replied that the state of things
was not very satisfactory. The Queen disapproved Lord John's arrangement
for giving up the seals of the Foreign Office on a given day (the 15th
February) which had not been previously explained to her Majesty, as it
ought to have been. She said that she should make no objection if any
good reason could be assigned for what was proposed, either of a public
or a private nature, any reason connected with his health or with the
transaction of business, but she thought, and she is right, that fixing
beforehand a particular day, without any special necessity occurring, is
very unreasonable and absurd. Then they are all very angry with Lord
John for an exceeding piece of folly of his, in announcing to the
Foreign Ministers, the day he received them, that he was only to be at
the Foreign Office for a few weeks. This, as the Duke said, was a most
unwise and improper communication, particularly as it was made without
any concert with Aberdeen, and without his knowledge, and, in fact,
blurted out with the same sort of levity that was apparent in the Durham
letter and the Reform announcement, with both of which he has been so
bitterly reproached, and which have proved so inconvenient that it might
have been thought he would not fall again into similar scrapes. The
Foreign Ministers themselves were exceedingly astonished, and not a
little annoyed. Brunnow said it was a complete mockery, and they all
felt that it was unsatisfactory to be put in relation with a Foreign
Secretary who was only to be there for a few weeks.

The Queen is delighted to have got rid of the late Ministers. She felt,
as everybody else does, that their Government was disgraced by its
shuffling and prevarication, and she said that Harcourt's pamphlet
(which was all true) was sufficient to show what they were.[1] As she is
very honourable and true herself, it was natural she should disapprove
their conduct.


Yesterday Delane called on me, and gave me an account of a curious
conversation he had had with Disraeli. Disraeli asked him to call on
him, which he did, when they talked over recent events and the fall of
the late Government, very frankly, it would seem, on Disraeli's part. He
acknowledged that he had been bitterly mortified. When Delane asked him,
'now it was all over,' what made him produce such a Budget, he said, if
he had not been thwarted and disappointed, he should have carried it by
the aid of the Irish Brigade whom he had _engaged_ for that purpose.
Just before the debate, one of them came to him and said, if he would
agree to refer Sharman Crawford's Tenant Right Bill to the Select
Committee with the Government Bill, they would all vote with him. He
thought this too good a bargain to miss, and he closed with his friend
on those terms, told Walpole what he had arranged, desired him to carry
out the bargain, and the thing was done. No sooner was the announcement
made than Lord Naas and Sir Joseph Napier[2] (who had never been
informed) came in a great fury to Disraeli and Walpole, complained of
the way they had been treated, and threatened to resign. With great
difficulty he pacified or rather silenced them, and he was in hopes the
storm had blown over, but the next day he found Naas and Napier had gone
to Lord Derby with their complaints, and he now found the latter full of
wrath and indignation likewise; for Lord Roden, who had heard something
of this compromise (i.e. of the Tenant Right Bill being referred to
Committee), announced his intention of asking Lord Derby a question in
the House of Lords. Added to this, as soon as the news reached Dublin,
Lord Eglinton and Blackburne testified the same resentment as Naas and
Napier had done, and threatened to resign likewise. All this produced a
prodigious flare up. Disraeli represented that it was his business to
make the Budget succeed by such means as he could, that the votes of the
Brigade would decide it either way, and that he had made a very good
bargain, as he had pledged himself to nothing more, and never had any
intention of giving any _suite_ to what had been done, so that it could
not signify. He did not succeed in appeasing Lord Derby, who, a night or
two after in the Lords, repudiated all participation in what had been
done, and attacked the Irishmen very bitterly. Disraeli heard this
speech, and saw at once that it would be fatal to the Budget and to
them, as it proved, for the whole Brigade voted in a body against the
Government, and gave a majority to the other side. He seemed in pretty
good spirits as to the future, though without for the present any
definite purpose. He thinks the bulk of the party will keep together.
Delane asked him what he would have done with such a Budget if he had
carried it.

He said they should have remodelled their Government, Palmerston and
Gladstone would have joined them (_Gladstone_ after the debate and their
duel!); during the intervening two or three months the Budget would have
been discussed in the country, what was liked retained, what was
unpopular altered, and in the end they should have produced a very good
Budget which the country would have taken gladly. He never seems to have
given a thought to any consideration of political morality, honesty, or
truth, in all that he said. The moral of the whole is, that let what
will happen it will be very difficult to bring Lord Derby and Disraeli
together again. They must regard each other with real, if not avowed,
distrust and dislike. Disraeli said that Derby's position in life and
his fortune were so different from his, that their several courses must
be influenced accordingly. It is easy to conceive how Lord Derby,
embarked (no matter how or why) in such a contest, should strain every
nerve to succeed and fight it out; but the thing once broken up, he
would not be very likely to place himself again in such a situation, and
to encounter the endless difficulties, dangers, and mortifications
attendant upon the lead of such a party, and above all the necessity of
trusting entirely to such a colleague as Disraeli in the House of
Commons without one other man of a grain of capacity besides. As it is,
he will probably betake himself to the enjoyment of his pleasures and
pursuits, till he is recalled to political life by some fresh excitement
and interest that time and circumstances may throw in his way; but let
what will happen, I doubt his encountering again the troubles and
trammels of office.[3]

[Footnote 1: Mr. William Harcourt published a pamphlet at this time on
'The Morality of Public Men,' in which he censured with great severity
the conduct of the late Ministers.]

[Footnote 2: Lord Naas was Chief Secretary for Ireland, and Sir Joseph
Napier Attorney-General for Ireland, in Lord Derby's Administration of
1852. Lord Eglinton was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and the Right Hon.
Francis Blackburne Irish Lord Chancellor.]

[Footnote 3: A singularly unfortunate prediction! The alliance of Lord
Derby and Mr. Disraeli remained unbroken, and continued long enough to
enable them (after a second failure) to bring the Conservative party
back to power.]


_January 30th._--Yesterday morning Frederic Lamb, Lord Beauvale and
Melbourne, with whom both titles cease, died at Brocket after a short
but severe attack of influenza, fever, and gout. He was in his
seventy-first year. Lady Palmerston thus becomes a rich heiress. He was
not so remarkable a man in character as his brother William, less
peculiar and eccentric, more like other people, with much less of
literary acquirement, less caustic humour and pungent wit, but he had a
vigorous understanding, great quickness, a good deal of general
information, he was likewise well versed in business and public affairs,
and a very sensible and intelligent converser and correspondent. He took
a deep and lively interest in politics to the last moment of his life,
was insatiably curious about all that was going on, and was much
confided in and consulted by many people of very different parties and
opinions. He never was in Parliament, but engaged all his life in a
diplomatic career, for which he was very well fitted, having been
extremely handsome in his youth, and always very clever, agreeable, and
adroit. He consequently ran it with great success, and was in high
estimation at Vienna, where his brother-in-law, Palmerston, sent him as
Ambassador. He was always much addicted to gallantry, and had endless
liaisons with women, most of whom continued to be his friends long after
they had ceased to be his mistresses, much to the credit of all parties.
After having led a very free and dissolute life, he had the good fortune
at sixty years old, and with a broken and enfeebled constitution, to
settle (as it is called), by marrying a charming girl of twenty, the
daughter of the Prussian Minister at Vienna, Count Maltzahn. This Adine,
who was content to unite her May to his December, was to him a perfect
angel, devoting her youthful energies to sustain and cheer his
valetudinarian existence with a cheerful unselfishness, which he repaid
by a grateful and tender affection, having an air at once marital and
paternal. She never cared to go anywhere, gave up all commerce with the
world and all its amusements and pleasures, contenting herself with such
society as it suited him to gather about them, his old friends and some
new ones, to whom she did the honours with infinite grace and
cordiality, and who all regarded her with great admiration and respect.
In such social intercourse, in political gossip, and in her untiring
attentions, his last years glided away, not without enjoyment. He and
his brother William had always been on very intimate terms, and William
highly prized his advice and opinions; but as Frederic was at heart a
Tory, and had a horror of Radicalism in every shape, he was not seldom
disgusted with the conduct of the Whig Government, and used sorely to
perplex and mortify William by his free and severe strictures on him and
his colleagues. He nominally belonged to the Liberal party, but in
reality he was strongly Conservative, and he always dreaded the progress
of democracy, though less disturbed than he would otherwise have been by
reflecting that no material alteration could possibly overtake him. His
most intimate friends abroad were the Metternichs and Madame de Lieven,
and his notions of foreign policy were extremely congenial to theirs.
Here, his connexions all lying with people of the Liberal side, he had
nothing to do with the Tories, for most of whom he entertained great
contempt. Brougham, Ellice, and myself were the men he was most intimate
with. He was very fond of his sister, but never much liked Palmerston,
and was bitterly opposed to his policy when he was at the Foreign
Office, which was a very sore subject between himself and them, and for
a long time, and on many occasions, embittered or interrupted their
intercourse; but as he was naturally affectionate, had a very good
temper, and loved an easy life, such clouds were always soon dispersed,
and no permanent estrangement ever took place. He was largely endowed
with social merits and virtues, without having or affecting any claim to
those of a higher or moral character. I have no doubt he was much more
amiable as an old man than he ever had been when he was a young one; and
though the death of one so retired from the world can make little or no
sensation in it, except as being the last of a remarkable family, he
will be sincerely regretted, and his loss will be sensibly felt by the
few who enjoyed the intimacy of his declining years.


_February 8th._--Yesterday I went to see the unhappy Lady Beauvale, and,
apart from the sorrow of witnessing so much bodily and mental suffering,
it is really a singular and extraordinary case. Here is a woman
thirty-two years old, and therefore in the prime of life, who has lost a
husband of seventy-one deprived of the use of his limbs, and whom she
had nursed for ten years, the period of their union, with the probable
or possible fatal termination of his frequent attacks of gout constantly
before her eyes, and she is not merely plunged in great grief at the
loss she has sustained, but in a blank and hopeless despair, which in
its moral and physical effects seriously menaces her own existence. She
is calm, reasonable and docile, talks of him and his illness without any
excitement, and is ready to do everything that her friends advise; but
she is earnestly desirous to die, considers her sole business on earth
as finished, and talks as if the prolongation of her own life could only
be an unmitigated evil and intolerable burden, and that no ray of hope
was left for her of any possibility of happiness or even peace and ease
for the future. She is in fact brokenhearted, and that for a man old
enough to be her grandfather and a martyr to disease and infirmity; but
to her he was everything; she had consecrated her life to the
preservation of his, and she kept his vital flame alive with the
unwearied watching of a Vestal priestess. She had made him an object and
an idol round which all the feelings and even passion of an affectionate
heart had entwined themselves, till at last she had merged her very
existence in his, and only lived in, with, and for him. She saw and felt
that he enjoyed life, and she made it her object to promote and prolong
this enjoyment. 'Why,' she says, 'could I not save him now, as I saved
him heretofore?' and not having been able to do so, she regards her own
life as utterly useless and unnecessary, and only hopes to be relieved
of it that she may (as she believes and expects) be enabled to join him
in some other world.[1]

[Footnote 1: She lived, however, and married Lord Forester, _en
secondes noces_, in 1856.]

_February 9th._--Yesterday Clarendon told me a curious thing about the
Emperor Napoleon and his marriage, which came in a roundabout way, but
which no doubt is true. Madame de Montijo's most intimate friend is the
Marchioness of Santa Cruz, and to her she wrote an account of what had
passed about her daughter's marriage and the Emperor's proposal to her.
When he offered her marriage, she expressed her sense of the greatness
of the position to which he proposed to raise her. He replied, 'It is
only fair that I should set before you the whole truth, and let you know
that if the position is very high, it is also perhaps very dangerous and
insecure.' He then represented to her in detail all the dangers with
which he was environed, his unpopularity with the higher classes, the
_malveillance_ of the Great Powers, the possibility of his being any day
assassinated at her side, his popularity indeed with the masses, but the
fleeting character of their favour, but above all the existence of a
good deal of disaffection and hostility in the army, the most serious
thing of all. If this latter danger, he said, were to become more
formidable, he knew very well how to avert it by a war; and though his
earnest desire was to maintain peace, if no other means of
self-preservation should remain, he should not shrink from that, which
would at once rally the whole army to one common feeling. All this he
told her with entire frankness, and without concealing the perils of his
position, or his sense of them, and it is one of the most creditable
traits I have ever heard of him. It was, of course, calculated to engage
and attach any woman of high spirit and generosity, and it seems to have
had that effect upon her. It is, however, curious in many ways; it
reveals a sense of danger that is not apparently suspected, and his
consciousness of it; and it shows how, in spite of a sincere wish to
maintain peace, he may be driven to make war as a means of
self-preservation, and therefore how entirely necessary it is that we
should be on our guard, and not relax our defensive preparations. I was
sure from the conversations I had with M. de Flahault at Beaudesert,
that he feels the Emperor's situation to be one of insecurity and
hazard. He said that it remained to be seen whether it was possible that
a Government could be maintained permanently in France on the principle
of the total suppression of civil and political liberty, which had the
support of the masses, but which was abhorred and opposed by all the
elevated and educated classes. The limbs of the body politic are with
the Emperor, and the head against him.

_February 11th._--Parliament met again last night. Lord Derby threw off
in the Lords by asking Lord Aberdeen what the Government meant to do,
which Aberdeen awkwardly and foolishly enough declined to give any
answer to. The scene was rather ridiculous, and not creditable, I think,
to Aberdeen. He is unfortunately a very bad speaker at all times, and,
what is worse in a Prime Minister, has no readiness whatever. Lord
Lansdowne would have made a very pretty and dexterous flourish, and
answered the question. Lord John did announce in the House of Commons
what the Government mean to do and not to do, but they say he did it
ill, and it was very flat, not a _brilliant_ throw-off at all.


_February 16th._--Yesterday Cowley arrived from Paris. He called on me,
and gave me an account of the state of things there and some curious
details about the Emperor's marriage and his abortive matrimonial
projects. He confirms the account of Louis Napoleon's position set forth
in Madame de Montijo's letter. The effect of his marriage has been very
damaging everywhere, and the French people were not at all pleased at
his calling himself a 'parvenu,' which mortified their vanity, inasmuch
as they did not like to appear as having thrown themselves at the feet
of a parvenu. For some time before the marriage was declared, Cowley,
from what he saw and the information he received, began to suspect it
would take place, and reported it to John Russell. Just about this time
Walewski went to Paris, and when Cowley saw him he told him so. Walewski
expressed the greatest surprise as well as mortification, and imparted
to Cowley that a negotiation had been and still was going on for the
Emperor's marriage with the Princess Adelaide of Hohenlohe, the Queen's
niece, at that time and still with the Queen in England. This was begun
by Lord Malmesbury, and the Emperor had regularly proposed to her
through her father. A very civil answer had been sent by the Prince, in
which he said that he would not dispose of his daughter's hand without
her consent, and that he had referred the proposal to her, and she
should decide for herself. The Queen had behaved very well, and had
abstained from giving any advice or expressing any opinion on the
subject. They were then expecting the young Princess's decision. This
being the case, Cowley advised Walewski to exert his influence to stop
the demonstrations that were going on between the Emperor and Mlle. di
Montijo, which might seriously interfere with this plan. The next day
Walewski told Cowley that he had seen the Emperor, who took him by both
hands, and said, 'Mon cher, je suis pris,' and then told him he had
resolved to marry Mlle. de Montijo. However, on Walewski representing
the state of the other affair, he agreed to wait for the Princess
Adelaide's answer, but said, if it was unfavourable, he would conclude
the other affair, but if the Princess accepted him he would marry her.
The day following the answer came: very civil, but declining on the
ground of her youth and inexperience, and not feeling equal to such a
position. The same day the Emperor proposed to the Empress. Cowley says
he is evidently much changed since his marriage, and that he is
conscious of his unpopularity and the additional insecurity in which it
has involved his position.

_February 19th._--Lord Cowley told me something more about the marriage.
He saw the Queen on Thursday (17th), who told him all about it. The
first step was taken by Morny, who wrote to Malmesbury, and requested
him to propose it, stating that the Emperor's principal object in it was
to 'resserrer les liens entre les deux pays.' Malmesbury accordingly
wrote to the Queen on the subject. She was annoyed, justly considering
that the proposal, with the reason given, placed her in a very awkward
situation, and that it ought not to have been mentioned to her at all.
The result was what has been already stated, but with this difference,
that the Queen set her face against the match, although the girl, if
left to herself, would have accepted the offer. However, nobody knows
this, and they are very anxious these details should not transpire. The
two accounts I have given of this transaction seem to me to afford a
good illustration of the uncertainty of the best authenticated
historical statements. Nothing could appear more to be relied on than
the accuracy of Cowley's first account to me, and if I had not seen him
again, or if he had not imparted to me his conversation with the Queen,
that account would have stood uncorrected, and an inaccurate version of
the story would have been preserved, and might hereafter have been made
public, and, unless corrected by some other contemporaneous narrative,
would probably have been taken as true. The matter in itself is not very
important, but such errors unquestionably are liable to occur in matters
of greater moment, and actually do occur, fully justifying the
apocryphal character which has been ascribed to almost every historical

The Queen seems to be intensely curious about the Court of France and
all details connected with it, and on the other hand Louis Napoleon has
been equally curious about the etiquette observed in the English Court,
and desirous of assimilating his to ours, which in great measure he
appears to have done.


Last night there was the first field day in the House of Commons,
Disraeli having made an elaborate and bitter attack on the Government,
but especially on Charles Wood and Graham, under the pretence of asking
questions respecting our foreign relations, and more particularly with
France.[2] His speech was very long, in most parts very tiresome, but
with a good deal of ability, and a liberal infusion of that sarcastic
vituperation which is his great forte, and which always amuses the House
of Commons more or less. It was, however, a speech of devilish
malignity, quite reckless and shamelessly profligate; for the whole
scope of it was, if possible, to envenom any bad feeling that may
possibly exist between France and England, and, by the most exaggerated
representations of the offence given by two of the Ministers to the
French Government and nation, to exasperate the latter, and to make it a
point of honour with them to resent it, even to the extent of a quarrel
with us. Happily its factious violence was so great as to disgust even
the people on his own side, and the French Government is too really
desirous of peace and harmony to pay any attention to the rant of a
disappointed adventurer, whose motives and object are quite transparent.

[Footnote 1: Further details with reference to the marriage of the
Emperor will be found in Lord Malmesbury's _Memoirs_, vol. i. pp. 374
and 378, which confirm Mr. Greville's narrative.]

[Footnote 2: Sir Charles Wood, President of the Board of Control, made
a speech to his constituents at Halifax on February 3, in which he
commented in severe language on the despotic character of the Imperial
Government of France. The speech was thought to be unbecoming in the
mouth of a Cabinet minister, and Sir Charles apologised for it. But Mr.
Disraeli made it the subject of a fierce attack in the House of

_February 20th._--Disraeli's speech on Friday night was evidently a
political blunder, which has injured him in the general opinion, and
disgusted his own party. It is asserted that he communicated his
intention to his followers, who disapproved of it, but he nevertheless
persisted. The speech itself was too long; it was dull and full of
useless truisms in the first part, but clever and brilliant in the last;
and his personalities were very smart and well aimed; but there was not
a particle of truth and sincerity in it; it was a mere vituperation and
factious display, calculated to do mischief if it produced any effect at
all, and quite unbecoming a man who had just been a Minister of the
Crown and leader of the House of Commons, and who ought to have been
animated by higher motives and more patriotic views. This was what the
more sensible men of the party felt, and Tom Baring, the most sensible
and respectable of the Derbyites, and the man of the greatest weight
amongst them, told me himself that he was so much disgusted that he was
on the point of getting up to disavow him, and it is much to be
regretted, as I told him, that such a rebuke was not administered from
such a quarter. It does not look as if the connexion between Disraeli
and the party could go on long. Their dread and distrust of him and his
contempt of them render it difficult if not impossible. Pakington is
already talked of as their leader, and some think Disraeli wants to
shake them off and trade on his own bottom, trusting to his great
abilities to make his way to political power with somebody and on some
principles, about neither of which he would be very nice. Tom Baring
said to me last night, 'Can't you make room for him in this Coalition
Government?' I said, 'Why, will you give him to us?' 'Oh, yes,' he said,
'you shall have him with pleasure.'


Lord John Russell has taken leave of the Foreign Office, and has had an
interview with the Queen and Prince, satisfactory to both. She has been
all along considerably annoyed at the arrangement made about his taking
the Foreign Office only to quit it, and his leading the House of Commons
without any office, which she fancies is unconstitutional, and the
arrangement was announced in the newspapers without any proper
communication to her. The consequence has been some little soreness on
both sides, but this has now been all removed by explanations and
amicable communication. The Queen attacked him on the constitutional
ground, but here _elle l'a pris par son fort_, and he easily bowled over
this objection.[1] Then she expressed her fear lest it should be drawn
into a precedent, which might be inconvenient in other cases, to which
he replied that he thought there was little fear of anybody wishing to
follow the precedent of a man taking upon himself a vast amount of
labour without any pay at all. Then she said that a man independent of
office might consider himself independent of the Crown also, and
postpone its interests to popular requirements; which he answered by
saying that he did not think any Minister, as it was, thought very much
of the Crown as contradistinguished from the people, and that he was not
less likely to take such a part as she apprehended by holding an office
of 5,000_l._ a year, from which a vote of the House of Commons could at
any moment expel him.

[Footnote 1: The objection taken by Her Majesty was to Lord John
Russell's proposal that he should retain his seat in the Cabinet and the
leadership of the House of Commons without holding any special office in
the Government. But in fact, as a Privy Councillor of the Crown, a
Minister, with or without office, is under precisely the same
obligations to the Sovereign and to Parliament. He appears to have
satisfied them both, and to be satisfied himself, which is still more

_February 25th._--The Jew question and the Maynooth question have been
got over in the House of Commons without much debate, but by small
majorities. The most remarkable incident was young Stanley[1] voting
with the majority in both questions, and speaking on Maynooth, and well.
As he is pretty sure to act a conspicuous part, it is good to see him
taking a wise and liberal line. Disraeli voted for the Jews, but did not
speak, which was very base of him. Last night I met Tomline at dinner,
who is a friend of his, and told me a great deal about him. He has a
good opinion of him, that is, that he has a good disposition, but his
personal position perverts him in great measure. He says he dislikes and
despises Derby, thinks him a good 'Saxon' speaker and nothing more, has
a great contempt for his party, particularly for Pakington, whom they
seem to think of setting up as leader in his place. The man in the House
of Commons whom he most fears as an opponent is Gladstone. He has the
highest opinion of his ability, and he respects Graham as a statesman.
Tomline told me that his system of attacking the late Sir Robert Peel
was settled after this manner. When the great schism took place, three
of the seceders went to Disraeli (Miles, Tyrrel, and a third whom I have
forgotten), and proposed to him to attack and vilify Peel regularly, but
with discretion; not to fatigue and disgust the House, to make a speech
against him about once a fortnight or so, and promised if he would that
a constant and regular attendance of a certain number of men should be
there to cheer and support him, remarking that nobody was ever efficient
in the House of Commons without this support certain.[2] He desired
twenty minutes to consider of this offer, and finally accepted it. We
have seen the result, a curious beginning of an important political
career. Now they dread and hate him, for they know in his heart he has
no sympathy with them, and that he has no truth or sincerity in his
conduct or speeches, and would throw them over if he thought it his

[Footnote 1: The present Earl of Derby, who succeeded his father as
fifteenth Earl in 1869. He entered public life as Under Secretary of
State for Foreign Affairs in 1852.]

[Footnote 2: This anecdote is related on the authority of Mr. Tomline
as stated in the text. It was mentioned in the lifetime of Lord
Beaconsfield, and in justice to him it must be said that he altogether
denied the truth of the story.]


_March 1st._--The Government seem upon the whole to be going on
prosperously. They have at present no difficulty in the House of
Commons, where there is no disposition to oppose their measures, and an
appearance of moderation generally, which promises an easy Session. John
Russell has spoken well, and seems to have recovered a great share of
the popularity he had lost. Aberdeen has done very well in the House of
Lords, his answers to various 'questions' having been discreet,
temperate, and judicious; in short, up to this time the horizon is
tolerably clear. On the other hand the divisions have presented meagre
majorities, and the Government have no _power_ in the House of Commons,
and live on the goodwill or forbearance of the several fractions of
which it is composed. John Russell is in his heart not satisfied with
his present position, and not animated with any spirit of zeal or
cordiality, though he is sure to act honestly and fairly the part he has
undertaken. There is still a good deal of lurking discontent and
resentment on the part of those who were left out, and of the Whig party
generally, who are only half reconciled to following the banner of a
Peelite premier; of the malcontents the principal are Carlisle and
Clanricarde, who are both in different ways very sore; Normanby is
dissatisfied, Labouchere, Seymour, and George Grey not pleased, but
except Clanricarde none have shown any disposition to withhold their
support from the Government, or even to carp at them. Aberdeen seems to
have no notion of being anything but a _real_ Prime Minister. He means
to exercise a large influence in the management of foreign affairs,
which he considers to be the peculiar, if not exclusive, province of
himself and Clarendon. Palmerston does not interfere with them at all,
but he must do so, if any important questions arise for the Cabinet to
decide, and then it is very likely some dissension will be the
consequence. There are four ex-Secretaries for foreign affairs in this
Cabinet, all of whom will naturally take part in any discussion of
moment. Argyll began rather unluckily, running his head indiscreetly
against Ellenborough on an Indian petition. He is burning with
impatience to distinguish himself, and broke out too soon, and out of
season; but he was not unconscious of his error, and it will probably be
of use to him to have met with a little check at his outset, and teach
him to be more discreet. He spoke again last night, and very well, on
the Clergy reserves, when there was a brilliant passage of arms in the
Lords, in which Lord Derby and the Bishops of Exeter and Oxford
distinguished themselves.

News came by telegraph last night that the dispute between Turkey and
Austria is settled, which will relieve us from a great difficulty. If it
had gone on, we should have had a difficult part to play, and unluckily
the good understanding that was reviving between us and Vienna has all
been upset by the late attempt on the Emperor's life,[1] which has
thrown the Austrians into a ferment, and renewed all their bitter
resentment against us for harbouring Kossuth and Mazzini, to whom they
attribute both the _émeute_ at Milan and the assassination at Vienna
severally. They are no doubt right about Mazzini and wrong about
Kossuth, but fortunately for us the first is not in England and has been
abroad for some time, and it will probably be impossible to bring any
evidence against Kossuth to connect him with the Hungarian assassin. But
these troubles and attempts, the origin of which is attributed to men
residing here, and, though neglected by the Government, more or less
objects of popular favour and sympathy, render all relations of amity
impossible between our Government and theirs, and the disunion is
aggravated by our absurd meddling with such cases as the Madiai and
Murray at Florence and at Rome, which are no concern of ours, and which
our Government does in compliance with Protestant bigotry. What makes
our conduct the more absurd is that we do more harm than good to the
objects of our interest, for no Government can, with any regard to its
own dignity and independence, yield to our dictation and impertinent
interference. The Grand Duke of Tuscany said that the Madiai would have
been let out of prison long ago but for our interference. John Russell's
published letter on this subject, which was very palateable to the
public, was as objectionable as possible, and quite as insolent and
presumptuous as any Palmerston used to write.


Last night the Marquis Massimo d'Azeglio came here. He was Prime
Minister in Piedmont till replaced by Count Cavour, and is come to join
his nephew, who is Minister here. He is a tall, thin, dignified looking
man, with very pleasing manners. He gave us a shocking account of the
conduct of the Austrians at Milan in consequence of the recent outbreak.
Their tyranny and cruelty have been more like the deeds in the middle
ages than those in our own time; wantonly putting people to death
without trial or even the slightest semblance of guilt, plundering and
confiscating, and in every respect acting in a manner equally barbarous
and impolitic. They have thrown away a good opportunity of improving
their own moral status in Italy, and completely played the game of their
enemies by increasing the national hatred against them tenfold. If ever
France finds it her interest to go to war,[2] Italy will be her mark,
for she will now find the whole population in her favour, and would be
joined by Sardinia, who would be too happy to revenge her former
reverses with French aid; nor would it be possible for this country to
support Austria in a war to secure that Italian dominion which she has
so monstrously abused.

[Footnote 1: The Emperor of Austria was stabbed in the neck on February
18, by Joseph Libeny, on the ramparts of Vienna, fortunately without
serious consequences. The assassin had not the remotest connexion with
anyone in this country.]

[Footnote 2: Remarkable prediction, verified in 1859.]

_March 3rd._--Lord Aberdeen has gained great credit by making Mr.
Jackson, Rector of St. James's, Bishop of Lincoln. He is a man without
political patronage or connexion, and with no recommendation but his
extraordinary merit both as a parish priest and a preacher. Such an
appointment is creditable, wise, and popular, and will strengthen the
Government by conciliating the moderate and sincere friends of the

The Duke of Bedford writes to me about his papers and voluminous
correspondence, which he has been thinking of overhauling and arranging,
but he shrinks from such a laborious task. He says: 'With respect to my
political correspondence, it has been unusually interesting and
remarkable. I came so early into public life, have been so mixed up with
everything, have known the political chief of my own party so
intimately, and of the Tory party also to a limited extent, that there
is no great affair of my own time I have not been well acquainted with.'
This is very true, and his correspondence, whenever it sees the light,
will be more interesting, and contribute more historical information,
than that of any other man who has been engaged in public life. The
papers of Peel and of the Duke of Wellington may be more important, but
I doubt their's being more interesting, because the Duke of Bedford's
will be of a more miscellaneous and comprehensive character; and though
his abilities are not of a very high order, his judgement is sound, his
mind is unprejudiced and candid, and he is a sincere worshipper of

For the last few days John Russell has been kept away from the House of
Commons by the death of the Dowager Duchess of Bedford, when Palmerston
has been acting as leader, taking that post as naturally and undoubtedly
belonging to him, and his right to it being entirely acquiesced in by
his colleagues of both camps. They say that he has given great
satisfaction to the House, where he is regarded with the same favour and
inclination as heretofore, and _personally_ much more acceptable than
Lord John. Cobden dined with John Russell the other day, and, what is
more remarkable, Bessborough told me he met Roden at dinner the other
day at the Castle at Dublin, St. Germans and he on very goodhumoured
terms. These are striking examples of the compatibility of the strongest
political difference with social amenities. Cobden, however, is not in
regular opposition to the Government, but in great measure a supporter.


_March 10th._--I met M. de Flahault last night, just returned from
Paris. He said that he found there a rancour and violence against us
amongst the Austrians, and Russians and Prussians no less, quite
inconceivable. He talked to them all and represented to them the
absurdity of their suppositions and exigencies, but without the
slightest effect; he found the Emperor, however, in a very different
frame of mind, understanding perfectly the position of the English
Government, and completely determined to maintain his alliance with us,
and not to yield to the tempting cajolery of the Continental Powers, who
want him to make common cause with them against us. Such is their
madness and their passion, and such the necessity, real or fancied, in
which they are placed by the revolutionary fire which is still
smouldering everywhere, and their own detestable misgovernment (at least
that of Austria, which the others abet), that they are ready to
cooperate with France in coercing and weakening us, and to sacrifice all
the great and traditional policy of Europe, in order to wage war against
the stronghold and only asylum of constitutional principles and

Flahault said that the Emperor has had an opportunity of placing himself
in the first year of his reign in a situation which was the great object
of his uncle's life, and which he never could attain. He might have been
at the head of a European league against us, for these powers have
signified to him their willingness to follow him in such a crusade, the
Emperor of Russia and he being on the best terms, and a cordial
interchange of letters having taken place between them. But Napoleon has
had the wisdom and the magnanimity to resist the bait, to decline these
overtures, and to resolve on adherence to England. Flahault said that he
had had an audience, at which he frankly and freely told the Emperor his
own opinion, not being without apprehension that it would be
unpalateable to him, and not coincident with his own views. While he was
talking to him, he saw him smile, which he interpreted into a sentiment
that he (Flahault) was too _English_ for him in his language and
opinions, and he said so. The Emperor said, 'I smiled because you so
exactly expressed my own opinions,' and then he told him that he took
exactly the same view of what his true policy was that Flahault himself
did. Flahault suggested to him that, in spite of the civilities shown
him by the Northern Powers, they did not, and never would, consider him
as one of themselves, and they only wanted to make him the instrument of
their policy or their vengeance; and he reminded him that while England
had at once recognised him, they were not only in no hurry to do so, but
if England had not recognised him as she did, he would not have been
recognised by any one of those Powers to this day, all which he
acknowledged to be true.


The prevailing feeling against England which Flahault found at Paris has
been proved on innumerable occasions. Clarendon is well aware of it, and
does his best, but with very little success, to bring the foreign
Ministers and others to reason. Madame de Lieven writes to me in this
strain, and even liberal and intelligent foreigners like Alfred Potocki,
who has been accused of being a rebel in Austria, writes that we ought
to expel the refugees. At Vienna the people are persuaded that there is
some indirect and undefinable participation on the part of the British
Government in the insurrectionary and homicidal acts of Milan and
Vienna, and they have got a story that the assassin Libeny had a letter
of Palmerston's in his shoe. Unreasonable as all this is, we ought to
make great allowance for their excited feelings, for they have a case
against us of a cumulative character. It goes back a long way, and
embraces many objects and details, and is principally attributable to
Palmerston, partly to his doings, and perhaps more to his sayings. They
cannot forget that he has long been the implacable enemy of Austria,
that he advised her renunciation of her Italian dominions, and that he
and his agents have always sympathised with, and sometimes aided and
abetted most of the revolutionary movements that have taken place. Then
there was the Haynau affair, and the lukewarmness and indifference
which the Government of that day, and Palmerston particularly, exhibited
about it; then the reception of Kossuth, the public meetings and his
speeches, together with the speeches at them of Cobden and others of
which no notice was ever taken, and finally the transaction about
Palmerston's receiving Kossuth and his famous answer to the addresses
presented to him from Finsbury and Islington. All these things satisfy
the foreign Governments that we are not only politically but nationally
their enemies, and that we harbour their rebellious subjects out of
hatred to them, and that we regard with sympathy and a secret
satisfaction the plots which they concoct in safety here and go forth to
execute abroad. And when they are told that our laws afford these people
an asylum, which no Government has the power to deny them, and that
Parliament and public opinion will not consent to arm the Government
with the powers of restraint or coercion they do not possess, they only
explode the more loudly in denunciations against that free and
constitutional system which is not only a perpetual reproach, but, as
they think, a source of continual danger to their own. So much for
foreign affairs.

At home, while the political sky is still serene enough, there are some
rocks ahead, and I think the Government in peril from more than one
cause. First and foremost there is the Indian question. There is
something ominous in the conjunction between a Coalition Government and
an India Bill, and if they don't take care, they will get into a
scrape.[1] The Opposition is broken and disorganised, and at present
there is no disposition on the part of the extreme Liberals to join in
any strong measures against the Government; but this is a question on
which all the scattered fractions might be made easily to combine, and
there are already symptoms of a possible combination _ad hoc_ in the
Indian Committee of the House of Commons. Lowe is very much
dissatisfied with Charles Wood, and with the intentions of Government,
and even talks of resigning; and the 'Times' is going into furious
opposition on the Indian question, and is already attacking the
Government for their supposed intentions. This, therefore, is assuming a
serious aspect. There is besides the Budget and the difficulty of the
Income Tax, and these two questions are enough to put them in great

[Footnote 1: The Charter of the East India Company being about to
expire, Sir Charles Wood, the President of the Board of Control,
introduced in an elaborate speech a Bill for the future government of
India by the Company, which changed the constitution and limited the
patronage of the Court of Directors. The Bill was finally passed on July

_March 19th._--The question of Indian government and the renewal of the
Charter is every day increasing in importance and attracting more and
more of public attention. It is a matter of great difficulty for the
Government to deal with. They are threatened by enemies, and pressed by
friends and half friends, who want them to postpone any measure for
another year or two years. They, on the contrary, stand pledged, and
think they ought to propose something this year. It presents a field on
which the various fractions of hostility and semi-hostility to the
Government may meet and combine, and perhaps place them in great
difficulty. The Committees are going on taking evidence with the
knowledge that the Government will probably not wait for their several
reports before proceeding to legislation. Granville has got the
management of the Government measures in the House of Lords, and is
working very hard at Indian affairs. Yesterday I met at dinner at
Ellice's two able men just arrived from India for the purpose of giving
evidence, a Mr. Halliday and a Mr. Marchmont. They are for maintaining
the present system, but with many reforms and alterations; they spoke
highly of Lord Dalhousie as a man of business.


_March 24th._--As I never see Clarendon now, who is entirely absorbed in
the duties of his office, he engaged me to go and dine with him alone
yesterday, that we might have a talk about all that is going on, and he
told me a great deal of one sort or another. I learnt the state of our
relations with France and Russia in reference to the Turkish business,
and he gave me to read a very curious and interesting despatch
(addressed to John Russell) from Seymour, giving an account of a long
conversation he had had with the Emperor Nicholas about Turkey and her
prospects and condition, and his own intentions and opinions, which were
amicable towards us, and very wise and moderate in themselves,
contemplating the dissolution of the Turkish Empire, disclaiming in the
strongest terms any design of occupying Constantinople--more than that,
declaring that he would not do it--but supposing the event to happen,
not thinking the solution of the problem so difficult as it is generally
regarded. He threw out that he should have no objection, if a partition
was ever to take place, that we should appropriate Egypt and Candia to
ourselves. He seems to have talked very frankly, and he said one curious
thing, which was that Russia was not without a revolutionary substratum,
which was only less apparent and less menacing than in other parts
because he possessed greater means of repression, but nevertheless that
the seeds were there. It is lucky Dundas is a prudent man, and refused
to carry his fleet up to the vicinity of the Dardanelles at Rose's
invitation, or mischief might have ensued. As it is, we disapprove of
Rose's proceedings and have approved Dundas's, at the same time ordering
him not to move without express orders from home, and moreover Clarendon
refused to give Stratford Canning any discretionary authority to send
for the fleet (though it was afterwards given), which he had asked to be
entrusted with. Clarendon is much dissatisfied with the conduct of the
French Government, who were in a great hurry to send off their fleet,
and they sent orders to sail on the mere report of what Rose had done,
and without waiting to learn the result of his application to the
Admiral; and they did this, although they knew the despatches were on
the road, and that a very few hours would put them in possession of the
actual state of the case. Moreover, Cowley moved heaven and earth to
induce Drouyn de Lhuys to withdraw the order to sail, but without
effect. They persisted in it, after they knew we were not going to stir,
and Cowley could not see the Emperor, who he says was evidently avoiding
any communication with him. Still very friendly language continues to
pass between us, and our Government are inclined to attribute this
unwise proceeding to the vanity of the French, their passion for doing
something, and above all the inexperience and want of _savoir faire_ in
high matters of diplomacy of the Emperor and his ministers. There is not
one amongst them who is fit to handle such delicate and important
questions, the Emperor, who governs everything by his own will, less
than any; and Drouyn de Lhuys, who has been for many years engaged more
or less in the Foreign Office, is a very poor and inefficient minister.


Clarendon told me he had seen Brunnow, and after recapitulating to him
all the various causes for alarm, resting on facts or on rumours,
especially with regard to Russia and her intentions, he said that our
Government had received the word of honour of the Emperor that he had no
sinister or hostile intentions, and disclaimed those that had been
imputed to him, and that on his word they relied with such implicit
confidence that he had not the slightest fear of disquietude. Brunnow
was exceedingly pleased, and said that was the way to treat the Emperor,
who would be excessively gratified, nothing being dearer to him than the
confidence and good opinion of this country, and he said he would send
off a courier the next day, and Clarendon should dictate his despatch.
The instructions given to Menschikoff have been enormously exaggerated,
the most serious and offensive parts that have been stated (the
nomination of the Greek Patriarch, &c.) being totally false.[1] I asked
what they were, and he said nothing but a string of conditions about
shrines and other ecclesiastical trifles. Walewski seems to have done
well here, condemning the conduct of his own Government, and not
concealing from them his own opinion, and entirely going along with us.
It was on Saturday night that the courier arrived with Rose's and
Dundas's despatches, and a few of the Cabinet met on Sunday at the
Admiralty to talk the matter over. Clarendon sent for John Russell from
Richmond, and he thought it advisable to summon Palmerston to this
conciliabule, to keep him in good humour, which it had the effect of
doing. There were himself, Palmerston, John Russell, Aberdeen, and
Graham. He had written to Lord John on Saturday night, and sent him the
despatches; he got an answer from him, full of very wild talk of strong
measures to be taken, and a fleet sent to the Baltic to make peremptory
demands on the Emperor of Russia. This, however, he took no notice of,
and did not say one word to Aberdeen about it, quietly letting it drop,
and accordingly he heard no more about it, nobody, he said, but me,
knowing what Lord John had proposed. I asked him what were Palmerston's
views. He replied that he did not say much, and acquiesced in his and
Aberdeen's prudent and reserved intentions, but he could see, from a few
words that casually escaped him, that he would have been ready to join
in more stringent and violent measures if they had been proposed. His
hatred of Russia is not extinguished, but as it was, there was no
expressed difference of opinion, and a general agreement. He said he had
had a prejudice against Gladstone, but he now liked him very much, and
Granville had already told me the same thing.

Aberdeen likes his post and enjoys the consciousness of having done very
well in it. He is extremely liberal, but of a wise and well-reasoned
liberality. As it has turned out, he is far fitter for the post he
occupies than Lansdowne would have been, both morally and physically.

The Queen is devoted to this Government, and expressed to Aberdeen the
liveliest apprehension lest they should get themselves into some scrape
with the India Bill, and entreated he would run no risks in it.
Aberdeen, in announcing this one day to the Cabinet, said that the best
thing for them to do was to bring forward a measure of so liberal and
popular a character as to make any serious opposition impossible.
Clarendon agreed in this, and I told him that this had long been my own
idea, and that what they ought to do was to throw open the civil and
military appointments to competition, and to grant appointments after
examination to qualified candidates, just as degrees are given at the
universities. We passed the whole evening together, talking over all
matters of interest, and he told me everything he knew himself.

[Footnote 1: Whilst these pacific assurances were given in London,
Prince Menschikoff arrived in Constantinople on March 2, and commenced
that arrogant and aggressive policy which led in the course of the year
to hostilities between Russia and the Porte. It has, however, only
recently transpired, by the publication of Lord Malmesbury's _Memoirs_
(vol. i. p. 402), that when the Emperor Nicholas came to England in
1844, he, Sir Robert Peel, then Prime Minister, the Duke of Wellington,
and Lord Aberdeen, then Foreign Secretary, drew up and signed a
Memorandum, the spirit and scope of which was to support Russia in her
legitimate protection of the Greek religion and the holy shrines, and to
do so without consulting France. To obtain this agreement was doubtless
the object of the Emperor's journey. It bore his own personal signature.
The existence of this Memorandum was a profound secret known only to the
Queen and to those Ministers who held in succession the seals of the
Foreign Department, each of whom transmitted it privately to his
successor. Lord Malmesbury received the document from Lord Granville,
and on leaving office in 1853 handed it to Lord John Russell. This fact,
hitherto unknown, throws an entirely new light on the causes of the
Crimean War. The Emperor of Russia naturally relied on the support of
the very ministers who had signed the agreement and were again in power,
whilst Lord Aberdeen was conscious of having entered into an engagement
wholly at variance with the course of policy into which he was
reluctantly driven.--H. R.]

_April 4th._--I went to Althorp last week, and returned for a Council on
Friday. After it Graham and I stayed behind, when he talked about the
Government and their prospects, which he thought pretty good; they were
going on in great harmony, and the greater, he thought, because they had
originally had such diversities of opinion. This led to a disposition to
mutual concession, and feelings of delicacy towards each other. The
Queen is extremely attached to Aberdeen, more than to any minister she
had ever had. Lord John's position anomalous and unsatisfactory, and
always a question whether he would not become disgusted and back out.
Graham said that Clarendon was doing admirably--better than he had


Lady Lyttelton, whom I met at Althorp, told me a great deal about the
Queen and her children; nothing particularly interesting. She said the
Queen was very fond of them, but severe in her manner, and a strict
disciplinarian in her family. She described the Prince of Wales to be
extremely shy and timid, with very good principles, and particularly an
exact observer of truth; the Princess Royal is remarkably intelligent. I
wrote this because it will hereafter be curious to see how the boy grows
up, and what sort of performance follows this promise, though I shall
not live to see it. She spoke in very high terms of the Queen herself,
of the Prince, and of the simplicity and happiness of her private and
domestic life.


 Weakness of the Government--Gladstone's Budget--A Conversation with
 Disraeli--Suicidal Conduct of the Tories--Their Irritation--A
 Charge against Mr. Gladstone defeated--The Stafford
 Committee--Harmony of the Government--Electoral
 Corruption--Impending War--Success of the Government--Macaulay's
 Speech on the Judges' Exclusion Bill--Erroneous Predictions from
 Paris--Unsettled Policy as to the War--Lord John's Anti-Catholic
 Speech--The English and French Fleets sail for the
 Dardanelles--Conduct of Austria--Russia means War--Attacks by the
 Opposition--Explanations desired--Attempted Mediation--Lord
 Aberdeen's Confidence shaken--Divisions of Opinion--Terms of
 Accommodation--Lord Palmerston's Views--Prospect of Peace--Division
 in the Lords on the Succession Duties Bill--Friendly Relations of
 Lord Palmerston and Lord Clarendon--Fears of War--Hopes of
 Peace--Lord Palmerston and Mr. Cobden--Rejection of the Vienna
 Note--Lord Palmerston courted by the Tories--Lord John Russell's
 Position--The Duke of Bedford's Part in the last Crisis--Dangers at
 Constantinople--Lord Stratford's Influence--Suspected Intrigue of
 France with Russia--Lord Palmerston goes to Balmoral--Sir James
 Graham's View--Lord Stratford's Conduct--Importance of the Vienna
 Note--A Cabinet summoned.

_London, April 21st_, 1853.--I have had such a bad fit of gout in my
hand, that I have been unable for some time past to write at all, though
there has been plenty to write about. The Government has been sustaining
defeats in the House of Commons on detached questions of taxation, much
to their annoyance and embarrassment, and which were more serious from
the inference to be drawn from them than for their intrinsic importance.
They were caused by the meddling and absurd crotchets of some of their
friends, and the malignity and unprincipled conduct of their enemies:
the first bringing forward motions for reduction of certain items,
merely to gratify clients or constituents, and the Tories joining with
the Radicals in voting for things which they opposed when they were
themselves in office, reckless of consistency or of consequences. But
the whole affair was unpleasant, as it displayed strikingly how little
authority the Government has over the House of Commons, and the
difficulty, if not impossibility, of carrying on the service of the


These little battles were, however, of little moment compared with the
great event of Gladstone's Budget, which came off on Monday night. He
had kept his secret so well, that nobody had the least idea what it was
to be, only it oozed out that the Income Tax was not to be
differentiated. He spoke for five hours, and by universal consent it was
one of the grandest displays and most able financial statement that ever
was heard in the House of Commons; a great scheme, boldly, skilfully,
and honestly devised, disdaining popular clamour and pressure from
without, and the execution of it absolute perfection. Even those who do
not admire the Budget, or who are injured by it, admit the merit of the
performance. It has raised Gladstone to a great political elevation,
and, what is of far greater consequence than the measure itself, has
given the country assurance of a _man_ equal to great political
necessities, and fit to lead parties and direct governments.

_April 22nd._--I met Gladstone last night, and had the pleasure of
congratulating him and his wife, which I did with great sincerity, for
his success is a public benefit. They have been overwhelmed with
compliments and congratulations. Prince Albert and the Queen both wrote
to him, and John Russell, who is spitefully reported to have been
jealous, has, on the contrary, shown the warmest interest and
satisfaction in his success. The only one of his colleagues who may have
been mortified is Charles Wood, who must have compared Gladstone's
triumph with his own failures. From all one can see at present, it
promises certain success, though many parts of the Budget are cavilled
at. It will be difficult, if not impossible, to find any common ground
on which Radicals or Irish can join the Derbyites to overthrow it, and
the sanguine expectations which the latter have been entertaining for
some time, of putting the Government into some inextricable fix, have
given way to perplexity and despondency; and they evidently do not know
what to do, nor how to give effect to their rancour and spite. Lord
Derby had a great meeting not many days ago, at which he recommended
union, and cheered them on in opposition, of course for form's sake,
talking of _moderation_ and _principles_, neither of which he cares a
fig for. Mischief and confusion, vengeance against the coalition, and
taking the chance of what may happen next, are all that he and Disraeli
are bent upon. I met the latter worthy in the street just before the
Budget, a day or two previous. He asked me what I thought of the state
of affairs, and I told him I thought it very unpleasant, and it seemed
next to impossible to carry on the Government at all, everybody running
riot in the House of Commons, and following his own fancies and
crotchets; nor did I see how it could be otherwise in the present state
of parties and the country; that since Peel's administration, which was
a strong Government, there had been and apparently there could be none.
The present Government was not strong, and they were perpetually
defeated, on minor points indeed, but in a way that showed they had no
power to work through Parliament. I said of course they would dissolve
if this continued, but that Gladstone's Budget might make a difference
one way or the other. Disraeli scouted the idea of a dissolution, by
which, he said, they would certainly gain nothing. Why, he asked, did
not the Peelites join us again, as they might have done, and got as good
terms as they have now, and then there would have been a strong
Government again? As I don't want to quarrel with anybody, I restrained
what it was on my lips to say--'You could not possibly expect them to
join you'--but I did tell him that, even if the present Government could
not maintain itself, of all impossible things the most impossible was
the restoration of his Government _tale quale_, to which he made no
reply. To be sure, the Protectionist seceders from Peel have now drunk
the cup of mortification, disgrace, and disaster to the very dregs. They
are a factious and (as I hope) impotent Opposition, under the
unprincipled guidance of men, who, clever and plausible though they be,
are totally destitute of wisdom, sincerity, and truth. They have not
only lost all the Protection for the maintenance of which they made such
struggles and sacrifices, but they have likewise brought upon themselves
the still heavier blow to the landed interest which is going to be
inflicted in the shape of the legacy duty. Had they possessed more
foresight, and been less violent and unreasonable, this would not have
happened to them; for if Peel's original Government had held together,
and they had been content to accept his guidance, no Budget would have
contained this measure. Schemes might have been devised to lighten their
burdens, or to increase the compensations they really have obtained in
other ways; but, be this as it may, they would certainly have been saved
from this direct impost, which I doubt if Peel himself ever
contemplated, but which he would certainly have spared them if they had
not deserted him, nor would his successors have departed from his policy
in this respect. But from first to last their conduct has been suicidal
in every respect.


_May 3rd._--The Government is going on very flourishingly. A capital
division in the House of Lords on the Canada Clergy Reserves Bill,[1] on
which occasion there was a scene between Derby and Clarendon, in which
both were, to my mind, in the wrong. The whole affair appears in all the
newspapers, but what does not appear is the rather absurd termination of
it, when, after much excitement and strong language interchanged, the
belligerents ended by drinking each other's healths in water across the
table. The victory in the Lords has been followed up by one still more
important in the House of Commons on the Income Tax, which was carried
by 71, a great many of the Opposition voting with Government, much to
the disgust of their friends. These divisions have filled the Derbyites
with rage and despair, and nothing can exceed their depression and their
abuse of the Budget and its authors. What vexes and provokes them so
much is the ascendency and triumph of the Peelites. They could endure
it in the Whigs, but their hatred of the name and party of Peel is

[Footnote 1: This was a Bill abolishing the title of the Protestant
Clergy to certain portions of waste lands in the Colony.]

_May 15th._--At Newmarket last week, during which the Budget was making
its way very successfully through the House of Commons, where Gladstone
has it all his own way. The Speaker told me he was doing his business
there admirably well. While I was at Newmarket came out the strange
story of Gladstone and the attempt to extort money from him before the
police magistrate.[1] It created for the moment great surprise,
curiosity, and interest, but has almost entirely passed away already,
not having been taken up politically, and there being a general
disposition to believe his story and to give him credit for having had
no improper motive or purpose. Nevertheless it is a very strange affair,
and has not yet been satisfactorily explained. It is creditable in these
days of political rancour and bitterness that no malignant attempt has
been made to vilify him by his opponents or by the hostile part of the
press. On the contrary, the editor of the 'Morning Herald' wrote him a
very handsome letter in his own name and in that of the proprietor,
assuring him of their confidence in his purity and innocence, and that
nothing would induce them to put anything offensive to him in the paper,
and they had purposely inserted the police report in an obscure part of
the paper. It is very fortunate for Gladstone that he was not
intimidated and tempted to give the man money, but had the courage to
face the world's suspicions and meet the charge in so public a manner.

[Footnote 1: An attempt had been made to extort money from Mr.
Gladstone on a spurious charge, which he met by instantly giving the
delinquent into custody and meeting the case at a police office.]


The Stafford Committee has at length closed its proceedings, after
exposures of the most disgraceful kind, which are enormously damaging
not only to Augustus Stafford himself but to Lord Derby and his
Government. The Duke of Northumberland comes clear out of it as to
corruption, but cuts a wretched and ridiculous figure, having failed to
perform the duties or to exercise the authority of a First Lord while he
was at the Admiralty. Disraeli's evidence was nothing but an attempt to
shirk the question and involve it in a confusion of characteristic
verbiage which only excited ridicule. This affair has done great harm to
them as a party, and served to make them more odious and contemptible
than they were before.[1] They are now irretrievably defeated, and
though they may give much trouble and throw difficulties and
obstructions in the way of the Government, it is all they can do. Every
day adds to the strength and consistency of the Government, both from
their gaining favour and acquiring influence in the country, and from
the ruin in which the Tory party is involved, and the total
impossibility of their rallying again so as to form another Government.
This latter consideration has already produced the adhesion of some
moderate and sensible men who take a dispassionate view of affairs and
who wish for a strong and efficient Government, and it will produce
still greater effects of the same kind.

[Footnote 1: Charges of misconduct in the department of the Admiralty
were brought against Mr. Augustus Stafford, who had held office under
the late Government. They were investigated by a Select Committee of the
House of Commons.]

_May 22nd._--I met in a train a day or two ago Graham and the Speaker,
not having seen Graham for a long time. Since my friends have been in
office I have hardly ever set eyes on them or had any communication with
them. Graham seemed in excellent spirits about their political state and
prospects, all owing to Gladstone and the complete success of his
Budget. The long and numerous Cabinets, which were attributed by the
'Times' to disunion, were occupied in minute consideration of the
Budget, which was there fully discussed, and Gladstone spoke in the
Cabinet one day for three hours, rehearsing his speech in the House of
Commons, though not quite at such length. Graham again said Clarendon
was doing admirably. Palmerston he thinks much changed and more feeble,
his energy much less, and his best days gone by. He thinks Lord John's
position without office an unfortunate one, and regrets he did not stay
at the Foreign Office or take another; he thinks his influence impaired
by having none. He talked of a future Head, as Aberdeen is always ready
to retire at any moment, but it is very difficult to find anyone to
succeed him. I suggested Gladstone. He shook his head and said it would
not do; and he was for John Russell, but owned there were difficulties
there too. He considered Derby and the Tories irretrievably ruined,
their characters so damaged by Stafford's Committee and other things; he
spoke of the grand mistakes Derby had made. Gladstone's object certainly
was for a long time to be at the head of the Conservative party in the
House of Commons, and to join with Derby, who might in fact have had all
the Peelites if he would have chosen to ally himself with them instead
of with Disraeli; thus the latter had been the cause of the ruin of the
party. Graham thought that Derby had committed himself to Disraeli in
George Bentinck's lifetime in some way that prevented his shaking him
off, as it would have been his interest to do. The Peelites would have
united with Derby, but would have nothing to do with Disraeli. Bad as
the cases were that had come forth at the election committees, that of
Liverpool was worse than any of them, and would create a great scandal.
Forbes Mackenzie could not face it, and would probably retire; but it is
doubtful if this would prevent an enquiry and exposure, and when
boundless corruption appeared at such a place as Liverpool, with its
numerous constituency, it was a blow to the representative system
itself, and showed the futility of attempts to destroy bribery and
improper influence.


_May 30th._--Great alarm the last two or three days at an approaching
rupture between Russia and Turkey, as, if it takes place, nobody can
pretend to say what the consequences may be. Vast indignation of course
against the Emperor of Russia, who certainly appears to have departed
from the moderate professions which he made to Seymour a short time ago,
and the assurances that were given to us and France. But Clarendon, whom
I saw yesterday, is rather disposed to give him credit for more moderate
and pacific intentions than his conduct seems to warrant. He says that
he is persuaded the Emperor has no idea of the view that is taken of his
proceedings here, and that he thinks he is requiring no more than he is
entitled to; and it is only the other day that Nesselrode congratulated
Seymour on the prospect of everything being satisfactorily settled,
having no doubt of the Turks accepting the last proposals made to them,
a copy of which Nesselrode showed him. Still, though matters look very
black, Clarendon is not without hopes of war being averted and some
means found of patching up the affair, the Emperor having promised that
he will in no case resort to _ulterior measures_ without giving us
notice of his intention. The difficulty for him now is to recede with
honour, as it would be to advance without danger. He has once before
receded after to a certain degree committing himself, and he may not
choose to do so a second time. Then he is naturally provoked with the
French, who are in fact the real cause of this by their intrigues and
extortions about the holy places; and we suspect that he is, besides
this, provoked at the Montenegrin affair having been settled by Austria
without his having a finger in that pie. All these considerations
combined make great confusion and difficulty. Brunnow is in mortal
agony, dreading above all things the possibility of his having to leave
this country.

The Government continues to go on very well; the Opposition got up a
debate on the legacy duties in the House of Lords the other night, which
only served to prove how entirely Derby's influence has declined even
there. They had thought themselves sure of beating the Government, but
not only were they defeated, but accident alone (people shut out and
absent) prevented their being defeated by a considerable majority. The
Cabinet is going on in the greatest harmony, and the men who were
strangers up to the time of its formation have taken to each other
prodigiously. Aberdeen unfortunately wants the qualities which made Lord
Lansdowne so good a leader, and is rather deficient in tact and temper
in the House of Lords as he used to be formerly, when he attacked Lord
Grey's Government and Palmerston's administration of foreign affairs
always with too much asperity; but in spite of these defects he has not
done ill even there, and in the Cabinet he is both liked and respected,
being honest, straightforward, and firm, very fair, candid, and
unassuming. Granville tells me that of the whole Cabinet he thinks
Aberdeen has the most pluck, Gladstone a great deal, and Graham the one
who has the least. He speaks very well of Molesworth, sensible,
courageous, and conciliatory, but quite independent and plain spoken in
his opinions.

_June 1st._--John Russell made an imprudent speech the night before last
on the Irish Church, giving great offence to the Irish and the
Catholics. He could not help, as leader of the Government, opposing a
proposition having for its object the destruction of the Irish Church,
but he might have done it with more tact and discretion, and not in a
way to elicit the cheers of the Tories. The Tail will pay him off for
this whenever they can. _Quantum mutatus ab illo_, who broke up a
Government for the sake of an appropriation clause.

Last night Macaulay reappeared in the House of Commons, and in a speech
of extraordinary power and eloquence threw out the Judges' Exclusion
Bill.[1] It was the first time he had spoken, and though his physical
strength is impaired he showed that his mental powers are undiminished.


Senior called on me a day or two ago, just returned from Paris, where he
has been living and conversing with all the notabilities (principally of
the Liberal party), and he tells me there is but one opinion amongst
them, that this Empire cannot last, and they only differ as to the time
it may last. Most of them think it will be short. Thiers gives it only a
year, Duchâtel alone thinks it will go on for some years. The
unpopularity of Louis Napoleon increases and his discredit likewise,
and as soon as the unpopularity shall extend to the army, it will be all
over with him. The Opposition which has sprung up, which has increased
rapidly and will increase still more in the Corps Législatif, is deemed
to be very important and significant, and they think it will be
impossible for him to go on with such a body so constituted and
disposed, and he will have to decide upon suffering the embarrassment it
will cause him, or having recourse to a _coup d'état_, a measure which
would be hazardous. There are no fresh adhesions to the Court beyond the
half dozen men of rank or name who have already joined it, and who are
hated and despised for having done so. While such is the opinion of the
people of mark at Paris, they are nevertheless sensible of the danger
which would accompany a counter revolution, and of the uncertainty of
what might follow, what influences might prevail, and what form of
government be adopted; but they seem generally to think that while in
the first instance there would be a succession of provisional
arrangements and fleeting transitory governments, it would end in the
restoration of the monarchy under Henri V., but that this would not take
place by the acceptance and triumph of any divine hereditary right, but
must be adopted by the nation and ratified by a national vote.

[Footnote 1: A Bill was before Parliament which would have excluded the
Master of the Rolls from the House of Commons, he being the only Judge
who could sit there. The Judge of the Admiralty Court had already been
excluded. Macaulay opposed the Bill with such force and eloquence that
he changed the opinion of the House, and defeated the measure. An
unusual occurrence.]

_June 5th._--I saw Clarendon on Friday morning for a few minutes; he
takes a very gloomy view of the Russo-Turkish question, and is greatly
disgusted at having been deceived by the Emperor; he says he is harassed
to death with the whole affair, and with the multiplicity of business he
has besides; he has a difficult task to perform, taking a middle
position in the Cabinet between the opposite opinions of those who are
for more stringent measures and those who, like himself, are for
patience and moderation. Palmerston, in whom his ancient Russian
antipathies are revived, is for vigour, and as in former times 'leading
John Russell by the nose,' Clarendon and Aberdeen for moderation; but he
is beset by different opinions and written suggestions and proposals,
and all this worries him exceedingly. I asked him how the Court was,
and he said very reasonable, their opinions being influenced of course
by Aberdeen.

He talked with great disgust of John Russell's speech on the Irish
Church, how unfair it was as well as unwise, and how reckless of the
damage it caused to the Government, and the embarrassing and awkward
situation in which he thereby placed many of their supporters. These are
the general sentiments with regard to that speech, which was neither
more nor less than speaking the Durham letter over again, and,
considering what that famous letter cost him, he might have been
expected to steer clear of such a scrape. But he is more than ever the
creature of impulse and of temper, and he seems to have lost a great
deal of his tact and discretion, and certainly he is no longer fit to be
either head of a Government or leader of the House of Commons, and
perhaps the latter position in such a Government as this suits him still
less than the former would. When I came to town yesterday morning I
found that several of the Irish Roman Catholic members of the
Government, occupying subordinate offices (Messrs. Keogh, Monsell, and
Sadleir), had resigned in consequence of Lord John Russell's speech, but
an hour afterwards I learnt that they had been induced to remain by an
assurance from Lord Aberdeen that Lord John did not express the
sentiments of the Government on this subject.

Charles Wood brought on the India Bill on Friday night in a speech of
unexampled prolixity and dulness. There is not yet time to ascertain how
the plan is likely to be received, but I suspect it will meet with a
great deal of opposition, although, as it is more favourable to the
existing interests than was expected, it will very likely pass, as, if
Leadenhall Street was to go further, it would certainly fare worse.

_St. Leonards, June 7th._--I am here for Ascot, a lovely place and
divine weather. The affair with the Irish has ended as harmlessly as
anything so awkward could do. Mr. G. H. Moore asked some rather
impertinent questions in the House of Commons on Monday, which Lord
John answered in an easy, nonchalant, jesting manner. The House laughed,
nobody said anything, and there it ended, but the Brigade will probably
seek opportunities of showing their teeth and of revenging themselves on
Lord John. It has been rather mortifying for him, but he has taken it
very quietly, and Aberdeen's letter to Monsell was shown to him and
received his assent. The French are behaving very well about the Eastern
question, and I begin to think that it will in the end blow over, as
diplomacy will probably hit upon some expedient for enabling the Emperor
of Russia to do what his real interests evidently point out.


_June 13th._--I came back from Ascot on Friday, having met Clarendon on
Thursday on the course, who gave me an account of the state of affairs.
On Saturday I met Walewski at dinner, and had much talk with him, and
yesterday I saw Clarendon again. The great event has been the sailing of
our fleet from Malta to join the French fleet at the mouth of the
Dardanelles, to the unspeakable satisfaction of the French Government,
who desire nothing so much as to exhibit to all Europe an _entente
cordiale_ with us; and Walewski said to me that, however the affair
might end, this great advantage they had at all events obtained.[1] The
Emperor of Russia will be deeply mortified when he hears of this
junction; for besides that it will effectually bar the approach of his
fleet to Constantinople, if he ever contemplated it, there is nothing he
dislikes and dreads so much as the intimate union of France and England.
His Majesty is now so greatly excited that nothing can stop him, and he
told Seymour the other day that he would spend his last rouble and his
last soldier rather than give way. Still he professes that he aims at no
more than a temporary occupation of the Principalities, and renounces
all purpose of conquest. The Russian army will therefore certainly march
in, and it will be the business of the other Governments to restrain
the Turks and prevent a collision, which Walewski thinks they can
certainly do.

Austria holds the same language that we do, but will not act. Clarendon
sent for Count Colloredo on Saturday (who never hears from Buol), and
set before him in detail all the dangers with which Austria is menaced
by the possibility of war breaking out in the East, and above all by
that of France being brought into the field in hostility with Austria.
In such a case the French would be quite unscrupulous, and excite all
the revolutionary spirit, which, though now repressed, is thickly
scattered over every part of the Austrian Empire, from Milan to Hungary.
Colloredo acknowledged the truth of the representation, and promised to
report textually to Buol what Clarendon said.

All now depends on the Emperor Nicholas himself. If he adheres to his
determination not to advance beyond the Principalities, time will be
afforded for negotiations, and some expedient may be found for enabling
him to recede without discredit, and without danger to his own
_prestige_ at home. The French and English feel alike on this point, and
are conscious that the Emperor has gone too far to recede. He is pushed
on by an ardent and fanatical party in Russia, and is not entirely his
own master. Both Governments are therefore willing to make allowance for
the exigencies of his position, and to assist him to the uttermost of
their power in getting honourably out of the scrape into which he has
plunged himself and all Europe.

[Footnote 1: Orders were sent to Admiral Dundas on June 2 to sail for
the Dardanelles, and the fleet proceeded to Besika Bay, together with
the French fleet.]


_June 22nd._--The Opposition papers (especially the 'Morning Herald' and
the 'Press,' Disraeli's new journal) have been making the most violent
attacks on Aberdeen and Clarendon, calling for their impeachment on the
ground of their conduct in this Eastern quarrel, particularly charging
them with having been cognisant of and approved of Menschikoff's
demands, which have occasioned all the hubbub. At last it was thought
necessary to make a statement in reply, which was done by the 'Times' on
Thursday last. The article was a good one, but contained an inaccuracy,
about which Brunnow wrote a long but friendly letter of complaint to
Clarendon. The day after this, another article was inserted to set the
matter right, with which Brunnow was quite satisfied; but the
explanations of the 'Times' failed to stem the torrent of abuse, and the
Tory papers only repeated their misrepresentations with greater
impudence and malignity than before. It was thought necessary a stop
should be put to this, and it was proposed to Clarendon to let
discussions come on in both Houses, moved by Layard in the Commons, and
Clanricarde in the Lords, which would afford an opportunity for the only
effectual contradiction, Ministerial statements in Parliament. Last
night I met him at the Palace, when we talked the matter over. He is
still of opinion that it is essential to delay the explanations and put
off all discussion till the matter is decided one way or another. He
thinks so in reference to the case itself, leaving out of consideration
the convenience of the Government; he thinks that any discussion in the
House of Commons will elicit a disposition for peace _à tout prix_,
which would seriously embarrass affairs, and only confirm Russia in the
course she is pursuing. I do not think so, but his opinions are founded
on what he hears Cobden has said, and on the _animus_ of the peace
party. He told me again what a task his is in the Cabinet, standing
between and mediating between Aberdeen and Palmerston, whose ancient and
habitual ideas of foreign policy are brought by this business into
antagonism, and he says the difficulty is made greater by Aberdeen's
unfortunate manner, who cannot avoid some of that sneering tone in
discussion which so seriously affects his popularity in the House of
Lords. He is therefore obliged to take a great deal upon himself, in
order to prevent any collision between Palmerston and Aberdeen. It
appears that Palmerston proposed on Saturday last that the entrance of
the Russians into the Principalities should be considered a _casus
belli_, in which, however, he was overruled and gave way. The Cabinet
did not come to a vote upon it, but the general sentiment went with
Aberdeen and Clarendon, and against Palmerston. He seems to have given
way with a good grace, and hitherto nothing has occurred of a
disagreeable character; on the contrary, both Clarendon and Granville
tell me Palmerston has behaved very well. Clarendon thinks (and in this
I concur) that the country would never forgive the Government for going
to war, unless they could show that it was absolutely necessary and that
they had exhausted every means of bringing about a pacific solution of
the question, and nobody here would care one straw about the Russian
occupation of Moldavia and Wallachia.

That all means have not been exhausted is clear from this fact. The
Austrians, who are more interested than anybody, have moved heaven and
earth to effect a settlement, and the Emperor of Russia has himself
asked for their '_bons offices_' for that end. They have entreated the
Turks on the one hand to strike out some _mezzo termine_ compatible with
their dignity and with their previous refusals of Menschikoff's terms,
promising that they will urge its acceptance on the Emperor with all
their force, and on the other hand they have implored the Emperor to
delay the occupation of the Principalities, so that by temporising,
mediation, and a joint action and a judicious employment of diplomatic
resources and astuteness, it is still possible some mode may be hit upon
of terminating the quarrel.

_July 9th._--For the last fortnight or three weeks little has occurred
which is worth noting. The Eastern Question drags on, as it is likely to
do. Aberdeen, who ten days ago spoke very confidently of its being
settled, now takes a more desponding view, and the confidence he has
hitherto reposed in the Emperor of Russia is greatly shaken. Clarendon
has long thought the prospect very gloomy, but they are still
endeavouring to bring about an accommodation. The question resolves
itself into this: what are the real wishes and views of the Emperor? If
his present conduct is the execution of a long prepared purpose, and he
thinks the time favourable for the destruction of Turkey, no efforts
will be availing, and he will listen to no proposals that we can
possibly make. If, on the contrary, he is conscious that he has got into
a dilemma, and he wishes to extricate himself from it by any means not
dishonourable to himself, and such as would not degrade him in the eyes
of his own subjects, then, no doubt, diplomatic astuteness will sooner
or later hit upon some expedient by which the quarrel may be adjusted.
Which of these alternatives is the true one, time alone can show.
Meanwhile the expense to which the Turks are put in the wretched state
of their finances will prove ruinous to them, and, end how it may, the
fall of the Turkish dominion has been accelerated by what has already
taken place. There has been a great deal of discussion about bringing on
debates on the Eastern Question in both Houses, but all the leading men
of all parties have deprecated discussion, and it was finally determined
last night that none should take place. Disraeli alone, who cares for
nothing but making mischief, tried to bring it on, but in the House of
Lords Derby took a different and more becoming course, and recommended
Clanricarde to give it up. Disraeli urged Layard to persevere. Granville
told me yesterday that while he lamented that Aberdeen was not a more
judicious and conciliating leader in the House of Lords, and was so
inferior in this respect to Lord Lansdowne, he liked him very much,
thought he was a very good Prime Minister, and, above all, anything but
deficient in political courage, in which respect he was by no means
inferior to Palmerston himself.


The Government have been going on well enough on the whole. Their
immense majority on the India Bill was matter of general surprise, and
showed the wretched tactics of Disraeli, as well as his small influence
over his party, for he could not get one hundred of the Tories to go
with him. A few small holes have been made in Gladstone's Budget, but
nothing of consequence. Tom Baring, however, told me he thought
Gladstone had made some great mistakes, and that Graham would have been
a better Chancellor of the Exchequer; but this I much doubt. Popularity
is very necessary to a Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Graham would
never have been so persuasive with the House as Gladstone.


_July 12th._--The 'Times' newspaper, always famous for its versatility
and inconsistency, has lately produced articles on the Eastern Question
on the same day of the most opposite characters, one warlike and firm,
the next vehemently pacific by some other hand. This is of small
importance, but it is indicative of the difference which exists in the
Cabinet on the subject, and the explanation of the inconsistency of the
'Times' is to be found in the double influence which acts on the paper.
All along Palmerston has been urging a vigorous policy, and wished to
employ more peremptory language and stronger measures towards Russia,
while Aberdeen has been very reluctant to do as much as we have done,
and would have been well content to advise Turkey to accept the last
ultimatum of Russia, and so terminate what he considers a senseless and
mischievous quarrel. Clarendon has had to steer between these two
extremes, and while moderating the ardour of Palmerston, to stimulate
Aberdeen, and persuade him to adopt a course congenial to public opinion
in this country, which, however inclined to peace and abhorrent of war,
is not at all disposed to connive at the aggrandisement of Russia, or to
submit to the insolent dictation of the Emperor. The majority of the
Cabinet have supported Clarendon, and approximate more nearly to the
pacific policy of Aberdeen than to the stringent measures of Palmerston.
When the two articles appeared in the 'Times,' to which I particularly
allude, Clarendon approved of the first, and found great fault with the
other, while Aberdeen wrote to Delane and expressed his strong
approbation of the second, and his conviction that the public would
sooner or later take the views therein set forth. Clarendon tells me
that he has no doubt Aberdeen has on many occasions held language in
various quarters that was not prudent under the circumstances, and was
calculated to give erroneous impressions as to the intentions of the
Government, and he thinks that the Emperor himself has been misled by
what he may have heard both of the disposition and sentiments of the
Prime Minister, and of the determination of the House of Commons and
the country at large to abstain from war in every case except one in
which our own honour and interests were _directly_ concerned.

I had a long talk with Clarendon on Sunday, when he told me that the
chances of peace were a little better than they had been, inasmuch as
there seemed to be a disposition at St. Petersburg to treat, and the
Austrian Government was now in earnest bringing to bear all their
influence on the Emperor to accept reasonable terms of accommodation.
Colloredo brought him the copy of a despatch to St. Petersburg, which he
said was excellent, very frank and free in its tone. Austria seems more
fully sensible of the danger to herself of any war, which would
inevitably let loose the revolutionary element all over the world.
Clarendon has drawn up the project of a Convention which embraces all
the _professed_ objects of the Emperor, and which the Turks may agree
to; he sent it to Paris, whence Drouyn de Lhuys has returned it, with
the full concurrence and assent of the French Government, and it went to
Petersburg yesterday. The reception of this proposal will determine the
question of peace or war.

_July 14th._--G-- said to me this morning that Palmerston is beginning
to stir up matters afresh. I saw him yesterday morning at Holland House
in close confabulation with Walewski, with whom I have no doubt he
interchanged warlike sentiments, and complained of the lukewarmness of
Aberdeen and Clarendon. It is evident that he is _at work_, and
probably, according to his ancient custom, in some underhand way in the
press. His flatterers tell him that a majority of the House of Commons
would support _him_ and a warlike policy, and though he may wish to
believe this, and perhaps does, he will hardly go the length of trying
to break up this Cabinet, with the desperate hope of making another
Government himself, based on the policy of going to war. Certain
newspapers are always asserting that the Cabinet is divided and in
dissension, and at the same time accusing it of timidity and weakness,
urging strong measures, and asserting that, if we had employed such long
ago, Russia would have been frightened, and never have proceeded to
such lengths. But the Government are resolved, and wisely, to avoid war
as long as they can, and if driven on to it, to be able to show the
country that they had exhausted all means of preserving peace.

_July 18th._--At last there appears a probability of this Turkish
question being amicably settled. On Saturday I was told that despatches
were just come from Sir Hamilton Seymour of a more favourable character,
and representing the Imperial Government as much more disposed to treat,
with a real disposition to bring the negotiations to a successful issue.
My informant added that Palmerston predicted that none of the projects
and proposals which have emanated from the different Courts would be
accepted at Petersburg, which he thought they all would. Yesterday I saw
Clarendon, and found matters even in a still more promising state. After
the Cabinet Walewski went to him, and communicated to him very important
news (of a later date than Seymour's letters) from St. Petersburg, which
to my mind is decisive of the question of peace. It appears that both
France and Austria have been concocting notes and projects of a pacific
tendency to be offered to the Emperor. There have been several of these,
some framed at Constantinople, others at Paris. A short time ago the
French Government prepared one, which it submitted to ours; Clarendon
thought it would not answer, and told them so. They asked whether he had
any objection to their sending it off to St. Petersburg and Vienna and
making the experiment. He replied, none whatever, and though he did not
think it would succeed, he should rejoice if it did, as, provided the
affair could be settled, it did not matter how. In the meantime he drew
up his own project of a Convention, which went to Paris, and received
the cordial approbation of the Emperor; and this document is now on its
way to Petersburg. In the meantime the French project was sent there,
Castelbajac took it to Nesselrode, who read it very attentively, and
said that he liked it very much, but that he could give no positive
answer till he had submitted it to the Emperor. The same afternoon he
saw the French minister again, and told him that he had laid the project
before the Emperor Nicholas, and that His Majesty was not only
satisfied, but grateful for it, 'non seulement satisfait, mais
reconnaissant,' and that the only reason he did not at once close with
it was that his ally, the Emperor of Austria, had also submitted a
proposal, and he did not like to take another from another Court
exclusively without previous communication with him. Clarendon thinks
that his proposal will be still more agreeable to the Emperor than the
French one, and that he will probably end in taking it; nor will there
be any difficulty in this, because our's is so fully concurred in by
France as to be in fact her's as much as our's.


_July 31st._--Having been at Goodwood the last week, I have not troubled
myself with politics, either home or foreign, nor have any events
occurred to excite interest. The most important matter here has been the
division in the House of Lords on Monday last on the Succession Duties
Bill, on which the Opposition were signally defeated. For a long time
the Government were very doubtful of obtaining a majority, but their
whippers-in were more sanguine at last. Great exertions were made on
both sides, the Derbyites whipped up all the men they could lay their
hands on, and the Government fetched their ministers from Paris and
Brussels, and the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. The majority was greater
than either side expected, and Derby and his crew were exceedingly
disconcerted, and Derby himself much out of humour. When Bessborough
went over to him after the division, and said 'Lord Aberdeen wants to
know if you will object to the Bill being read a third time on Thursday
next,' he pettishly replied, 'The Bill may go to the devil for all I
care; I shall take no further trouble about it.'

_August 1st._--I saw Clarendon as usual yesterday (Sunday), when he read
to me a letter from Sir Hamilton Seymour, giving an account of his
delivering to Nesselrode the Convention which Clarendon sent over, as
well as reading to him Clarendon's private letter, which was a stinging
one, but very good. Nesselrode said of all the projects he liked that
the best, and if it was tendered to them _from Vienna_, he thought it
might do as the basis of an arrangement, but he could give no positive
answer till he had submitted it to the Emperor. At the Cabinet on
Saturday Clarendon read Seymour's letter, when his colleagues begged
they might see the private letter of his which was alluded to, and he
produced and read that likewise. It was generally approved of, but the
next day Palmerston wrote a note to Clarendon, in which he expressed the
warmest approbation of his note, and added that he had only refrained
from saying all he thought of it at the Cabinet lest _his_ approval
might make others think it was too strong. He added that he rejoiced
that the management of our foreign affairs was in such able hands, and
that, in fact, he (Clarendon) could do and say what Palmerston himself
could not have done. It was a very handsome letter, very satisfactory
both to Clarendon personally and as showing that there is no
disagreement on the Eastern Question in the Cabinet, or at least between
Palmerston and Clarendon, which is the essential point. Their union and
friendship are remarkable when we recollect their past antagonism and
Palmerston's jealousy of Clarendon, and the persuasion of both himself
and Lady Palmerston that Clarendon was always waiting to trip up his
heels and get his place. All these jealousies and suspicions were,
however, dissipated when Clarendon refused the Foreign Office last year,
since which time they have been the best of friends, and Palmerston was
quite satisfied at his having the Foreign Office. With regard to the
chances of a pacific settlement, the assurances from St. Petersburg are
all very favourable, but the acts of the Russian generals in the
Principalities are quite inconsistent with them, and between these
conflicting manifestations Clarendon is in no small doubt and
apprehension as to the result.


_London, August 8th._--Ever since last Monday, when Clarendon made a
speech in the House of Lords on which a bad interpretation was put in
reference to the question of peace or war, there has been a sort of
panic, and the public mind, which refused at first to admit the
possibility of war, suddenly rushed to the opposite conclusion, and
everybody became persuaded that war was inevitable. The consequence was
a great fall in the funds, and the depreciation of every sort of
security. So matters remained till the end of the week. On Saturday
afternoon I met Walewski, who told me he had that day received a letter
from Castelbajac (the French Ambassador at St. Petersburg), informing
him that the Emperor had signified his willingness to accept the
proposal which was then expected from Vienna, and last night fresh news
came that the proposal had arrived, and he had said he would take it, if
the Turks would send an ambassador with it, exactly as it had been
submitted to him. This I heard late last night, and Granville considered
it conclusive of an immediate settlement. But this morning I went to
Clarendon and found him not so sure, and not regarding the pacific
solution as so indubitable; there still remain some important matters of
detail to be settled, though certainly the affair wears a much more
favourable aspect, and there is every reason to hope it will all end
well. But while this proposal was concocted at Vienna, the Cabinet here
(last Saturday week) made some small verbal alterations in it, so that
ultimately it will not be presented for the Emperor's formal acceptance
word for word the same, and if he wants a pretext to back out of his
present engagement, he can therein find one, as he only agreed to take
it if it was word for word the same. Then it has not yet been submitted
to the Turks, and it is by no means sure they may not make difficulties,
or that Stratford Canning may not raise obstacles instead of using all
his influence to procure their agreement, so that Clarendon does not
consider that we are _out of the wood_, though he expects on the whole
that it will end well. If it does it will be the triumph of diplomacy,
and a signal proof of the wisdom of moderation and patience. Granville
says it will be principally owing to Aberdeen, who has been very staunch
and bold in defying public clamour, abuse, and taunts, and in resisting
the wishes and advice of Palmerston, who would have adopted a more
stringent and uncompromising course.

_August 9th._--At Court yesterday Aberdeen was quite confident of the
settlement of the Eastern affair, and Brunnow, who was there with the
Duchess of Leuchtenberg to see the Queen, very smiling. Clanricarde
interrupted Clarendon in the House of Lords, and made a violent speech.
Clarendon answered very well, without committing himself. The Government
are in high spirits at the prospect of winding up this prosperous
Session with the settlement of the Eastern Question: nothing else is
wanting to their success.

_August 11th._--I saw Clarendon yesterday. Nothing new, but he said he
fully expected Stratford Canning would play some trick at
Constantinople, and throw obstacles in the way of settlement. This seems
to me hardly possible, unless he behaves foolishly as well as
dishonestly, and it can hardly be believed that his temper and Russian
antipathies will betray him into such extravagant conduct. It is,
however, impossible to consider the affair as '_settled_.'

Yesterday all the world went to the great naval review at Portsmouth,
except myself. It appears to have been a fine but tedious sight, for
Granville set off at 5.30 A.M., and only got back at one in the morning.

_August 27th._--Since the 11th I have been absent from town, at
Grimstone for York races, then at Hatchford, and since that gouty. While
at York the Session closed with _éclat_ by a speech of Palmerston's in
his most flashy and successful style. John Russell gave a night at last
for the discussion of the Turkish question, and made a sort of
explanation, which was tame, meagre, and unsatisfactory. After some
speeches expressive of disappointment and disapprobation, Cobden made an
oration in favour of peace at any price, and this drew up Palmerston,
who fell upon him with great vigour and success. The discussion would
have ended languidly and ill for the Government but for this brilliant
improvisation, which carried the House entirely with it. It was not,
however, if analysed and calmly considered, of much use to the
Government as to their foreign policy, for it was only an answer to
Cobden, and Palmerston did not say one word in defence of the policy
which has been adopted, nor identify himself with it, as he might as
well have done. Though there was nothing in it positively indicative of
dissent and dissatisfaction, any one might not unfairly draw the
inference that, if Palmerston had had his own way, he would have taken a
more stringent and less patient course. However, nothing has been made
of this, and on the whole his speech did good, because it closed the
discussion handsomely, and left the impression of Palmerston's having
cast his lot for good and all with his present colleagues, as is really
the case.


The Session ended with a very flourishing and prosperous speech from the
Throne, and nothing was wanting to the complete success of the
Government but the settlement of the Turkish question, which, however,
seems destined to be delayed some time longer; for the Turks have
refused to accept the Vienna note, except with some modifications,
though these are said to be so immaterial that we hope the Emperor will
not object to them. But all this is vexatious, because it reopens the
whole question, causes delay and uncertainty, and keeps the world in
suspense and apprehension. Granville told me that what had occurred
showed how much more sagacious Aberdeen had been as to this affair than
Palmerston, the former having always maintained that there would be no
difficulty with the Emperor, but if any arose it would be from the
Turks; whereas Palmerston was always sure the Turks would make none, but
that the Emperor would refuse all arrangements.

_August 28th._--It seems the Turks, after a delay of ten days from
receiving the proposition, sent it back to Vienna, asking for some not
important alterations; but immediately afterwards they required a
stipulation for the evacuation of the Principalities, and guarantees
that they should not be occupied again. It is very improbable that the
Emperor will listen to such conditions. Nesselrode has all along told
Seymour that they (the Russians) mean in fulfilment of their pledges to
evacuate the Principalities, as soon as they have got the required
satisfaction, but that it must not be made _a condition_, and entreated
him to abstain from any demand which might give an air of compulsion to
the act, much in the same way as we have told Nesselrode he must not
attempt to make any stipulation about the withdrawal of our fleet.
Clarendon thinks that the Emperor is certain to reject the Turkish
terms, and that the Turks are very capable of declaring war thereupon;
for in their last communication they said that they were prepared for
'toutes les éventualités,' and he suspects that Stratford has not _bonâ
fide_ striven to induce them to accept the proffered terms. Their
rejection is the more unreasonable because the proposal is a hash-up of
Menschikoff's original Note, and that which the Turks proposed in lieu
of it, but in which the Turkish element preponderates, so that not only
are their honour and dignity consulted, but in refusing they recede from
their own original proposal.

The Queen is gone to Ireland, and Lord Granville with her, who is
afterwards to attend her to Balmoral. This is new, because hitherto she
has always had with her either the Premier or a Secretary of State.
Granville is to be relieved when circumstances admit, but at present
there is no other arrangement feasible. Aberdeen and Clarendon are both
kept in town till the question is settled. Newcastle got leave to go to
Clumber for his boys' holidays, and Her Majesty does not desire to have
the Home Secretary.

But Charles Villiers told me last night that Lord Palmerston's influence
and popularity in the House of Commons are greater than ever, and if
this Government should be broken up by internal dissension, he would
have no difficulty in forming another, and gathering round him a party
to support him. This is what the Tories are anxiously looking to,
desiring no better than to serve under him, and flattering themselves
that in his heart he personally dislikes his colleagues, and in
political matters agrees with themselves. They pay him every sort of
court, never attack him, and not only defer to him on all occasions, but
make all the difference they can between him and the rest of the
Government; nor does he discourage or reject these civilities, though he
does not invite them, or say or do anything inconsistent with his
present position, but he probably thinks the disposition towards him of
that large political party enhances his value to his own friends and
increases his power, besides affording to him a good alternative in case
anything should happen to break up the present Government or separate
him from it.

_September 2nd._--For the last week the settlement of this tedious
Turkish question has appeared more remote than ever, and Clarendon was
almost in despair when I saw him a few days ago, and the more so because
he suspected that Lord Stratford was at the bottom of the difficulties
raised by the Divan. However, according to the last accounts it would
seem that Stratford was not to blame, and had done what he could to get
the Turks to comply with the terms of the Conference. At this moment the
affair wears rather a better aspect, and my own belief is that it will
be settled. It is a great bore that it drags on in this way, creating
alarm and uncertainty, shaking the funds, and affecting commerce.


The Duke of Bedford, of whom I have seen nothing for a long time, called
on me a few days ago, and talked over the present state of affairs, and
the position of Lord John Russell. He said Lord John was now quite
satisfied with it, and rejoiced at his own comparative freedom, and his
immunity from the constant attacks of which he used to be the object;
and he is now conscious that, by the part he has acted in waiving his
own pretensions, he has not only not degraded himself, but has greatly
raised himself in public estimation and acquired much credit and
popularity, besides rendering the country a great service. He is very
well with his colleagues, and gratified at the deference shown him, and
the consideration he enjoys in the House of Commons. There, however, I
know from other sources, all the popularity is engrossed by Palmerston
and by Gladstone, and Lord John has foolishly suffered Palmerston to
take his place as leader very often, because he chose to stay away at
Richmond, and not come near the House.

The Duke took this opportunity of telling me what is now a very old
story, but which he said he thought he had never told me before, and I
am not sure whether he did or not. It was what happened to him at the
time of the formation of this Government last year, of which he was
evidently very proud. Just before the Derby Government broke down, and
before that reunion at Woburn of which so much was said, the Prince gave
him to understand that they should look to him for advice if anything
occurred, which they were every day expecting. The Duke was at Woburn,
and one morning when the hounds met there and half the county was at
breakfast in the great hall, word was brought him that a messenger had
come from Osborne with a letter for him. He found it was a letter from
the Prince, in which he informed him that this was despatched by a safe
and trustworthy hand, and nobody was to know of its being sent; that the
Derby Government was at an end, and the Queen and Prince were anxious
for his opinion on the state of affairs, the dispositions of public men,
and what course they had better take. The Duke had recently been in
personal communication with all the leaders, with Aberdeen and Lord
John, Newcastle, Clarendon, Lansdowne, Palmerston, and others, and he
was therefore apprised of all their sentiments and in a condition to
give very full information to the Court. He sat himself down and with
the greatest rapidity (his horse at the door to go hunting) wrote four
or five sheets of paper containing the amplest details of the sentiments
and views of these different statesmen, and ended by advising that the
Queen should send for Lords Lansdowne and Aberdeen--as she did. Lord
John had already told him he did not wish to be sent for. After this of
course he could not resent the advice the Duke gave; and happily Lord
John was firm in resisting the advice of some of those about him, and
acted on the dictates of his own conscientious judgement and the sound
advice of his friends.


_September 3rd._--I dined last night _tête-à-tête_ with Clarendon and
heard all the details of the state of the Turkish question, and read the
interesting correspondence of Cowley, with his accounts of his
conversations with the Emperor, and many other things. Clarendon is
very uneasy because he thinks the Emperor Nicholas' pride will not let
him accept the Note as modified by _the Turks_, though he would have
accepted the same Note if it had been presented originally by the
Conference. This is one danger. The next is one at Constantinople, where
there is a strong bigoted violent party for war, disposed to dethrone
the Sultan and replace him by his brother. This brother (of whom I never
heard before) is a man of more energy than the Sultan, and is connected
with the fanatical party. The Sultan himself is enervated by early
debauchery and continual drunkenness, and therefore in great danger
should he by any unpopular measures provoke an outbreak from the violent
faction. Clarendon thinks that Stratford has encouraged the resistance
of the Divan to the proposals of the Conference, and that he might have
persuaded the Turks to accept the terms if he had chosen to do so and
set about it in a proper manner; but Clarendon says that he has lived
there so long, and is animated with such a personal hatred of the
Emperor, that he is full of the Turkish spirit; and this and his temper
together have made him take a part directly contrary to the wishes and
instructions of his Government. He thinks he wishes to be recalled that
he may make a grievance of it, and come home to do all the mischief he
can. Westmorland wrote word the other day that Stratford's language was
very hostile to his Government and the Ministers of all the other Powers
at Constantinople, thought he had actually resigned, and reported the
fact to Vienna.

The most important question now pending is what to do with the fleets.
They cannot remain much longer in Besika Bay, and must either retire to
Vourla or enter the Dardanelles. The Emperor Napoleon wishes they should
enter the Dardanelles, but only a little way, and not go on to
Constantinople; and Clarendon takes the same view, proposing a _mezzo
termine_. The Emperor professes an earnest desire for a peaceful
solution, and the strongest determination to act in concert with England
to the end, and his views seem very sensible and proper. But,
notwithstanding this disposition, in which he probably is sincere,
there is reason to believe that he is all the time keeping up a sort of
secret and underhand communication with Russia, and the evidence of this
is rather curious. It appears that he has recently written a letter to
the Duchess of Hamilton, in which he says that he believes the Russians
will not evacuate the Principalities, and that he does not care if they
stay there. This letter the Duchess showed to Brunnow, and he imparted
it to Aberdeen, who told Clarendon, but none of the other Ministers know
anything of it. Clarendon wrote word of this to Cowley, and told him to
make what use of it he thought fit. In the first instance he said
something to Drouyn de Lhuys of the Emperor's entertaining views
different from our's, which Drouyn repeated to the Emperor, who spoke to
Cowley about it, and protested that he had no separate or different
objects, when Cowley, without mentioning names, told him what he had
heard of his having written. The Emperor made an evasive answer to this,
but gave many assurances of his determination to act with us heartily
and sincerely. This incident seems to have made a great impression both
on Cowley and Clarendon, particularly as both know something more.
Cowley says he knows that the Emperor has a private correspondence with
Castelbajac, of which Drouyn de Lhuys is ignorant, and Seymour writes to
Clarendon that he has observed for some time past a great lukewarmness
on the part of the French Minister in pressing the Russian Government,
and an evident leaning to them. As the Duchess of Hamilton has no
intimacy with Brunnow, it appears very extraordinary that she should
communicate to him a letter of the Emperor's, and such a letter, which
would be a great indiscretion unless he had secretly desired her to do
so; and all these circumstances taken together look very like a little
intrigue between the Emperor and the Russian Court, which would also be
very consistent with his secret, false, and clandestine mode of
conducting his affairs. It is probable enough that he may wish to keep
on good terms with Russia and at the same time maintain his intimate
connexion with England. That he is bent on avoiding war there can be no
doubt, and for very good reasons, for France is threatened with a
scarcity, and he is above all things bent on keeping the people supplied
with food at low prices; and for this object the French Government is
straining every nerve and prepared to make any amount of pecuniary
sacrifice; but the necessity for this, which absorbs all their means,
renders it at the same time particularly desirable to maintain peace in


There never was a case so involved in difficulties and complications of
different sorts, all the particulars of which I heard last night; but
the affair is so tangled, that it is impossible to weave it into an
intelligible and consistent narrative, and I can only jot down
fragments, which may hereafter serve to explain circumstances connected
with the _dénouement_, whenever it takes place. John Russell and
Palmerston are both come to town, so that a little Cabinet will discuss
this matter. Palmerston is extremely reasonable, does not take the part
of the Turks, but on the contrary blames them severely for making
difficulties he thinks absurd and useless, but is still for not letting
them be crushed. He is on the best terms with Clarendon, and goes along
with him very cordially in his policy on this question. Both Palmerston
and Lord John seem to agree with Clarendon on the question of the
disposal of the fleet better than Aberdeen, who is always for trusting
the Emperor, maintaining peace, and would be quite contented to send the
fleet to Vourla or Tenedos, and would see with regret the more energetic
course of entering the Dardanelles. However, there is no chance of any
material difference on this score, and I have no doubt, if the question
is not settled before the end of the month, the fleets will anchor
within the Straits and there remain.

I was glad to find that the Queen has consented to let Palmerston take
his turn at Balmoral, and Aberdeen has informed him that he is to go
there. It was done by Aberdeen speaking to the Prince at Osborne, who
said he thought there would be no difficulty. The Queen acquiesced with
the good sense she generally shows on such occasions, being always open
to reason, and ready to consent to whatever can be proved to her to be
right or expedient.


_September 4th._--I went to Winchester yesterday, and fell in with
Graham in the train, so we went together and had a great deal of talk,
mostly on the Eastern Question. He thinks the Emperor of Russia will not
accept the Turkish alterations, and he is very hot against Stratford, to
whom he attributes all the difficulties. He has heard that Stratford has
held language hostile to the Government, and he is inclined to think not
only that he has acted treacherously towards his employers, but that
proofs of his treachery might be obtained, and he is all for getting the
evidence if possible, and acting upon it at once, by recalling him; he
thinks the proofs might be obtained through the Turkish Ministers, and
if they can be, he would not stop to enquire who might be displeased, or
what the effect might be, but do it at once. He acknowledges, however,
that it would not do to act on surmises or reports, and that nothing but
clear proofs of Stratford's misconduct, such as will satisfy Parliament,
would render such a step justifiable or safe. With regard to the fleets,
he says there is no reason why they should not remain in Besika Bay, and
it is a mistake to suppose they could not, and he is very decidedly
against their entering the Dardanelles in any case, because it would be
contrary to treaty and afford the Emperor of Russia a just _casus
belli_; and he maintains that his having (contrary to treaties and
international rights) occupied the Principalities affords no reason why
we should infringe them in another direction. When this question comes
to be discussed, his voice will evidently be for not entering the
Dardanelles, though he acknowledges that we cannot retreat while the
Russians remain where they are. He talked a great deal about Palmerston,
of whom he has some distrust, and fancied he has been in communication
with Stratford, and that he would concur with him in his proceedings,
and he expressed great satisfaction when I told him that Palmerston and
Clarendon were on the most cordial and confidential terms, and that the
former entirely disapproved of the conduct of the Turks (which is that
of Stratford) in regard to the Note. He thinks Palmerston looks to being
Prime Minister, if anything happened to Aberdeen, but that neither he
nor John Russell could hold the office, as neither would consent to the
elevation of the other. On the whole, he inclines to the opinion that
Palmerston has made up his mind to go on with this Government and his
present colleagues, that he means to act fairly and honestly with and by
them, and has no _arrière pensée_ towards the Tories, though he is not
sorry to have them always looking to him, and paying him, as they do,
excessive court. It ensures him great support and an easy life in the
House of Commons, where, however, he says Palmerston has done very
little this year, and he does not seem much impressed with the idea of
his having gained very considerably there, or obtained a better position
than he had before.

_September 8th._--I saw Clarendon on Sunday. There is nothing new, but
he said he would lay two to one the Emperor does not accept the modified
Note; it will be a contest between his pride and his interest, for his
army is in such a state of disease and distress that he is in no
condition to make war; on the other hand, he cannot without extreme
humiliation accept the Turkish Note. What will happen, if he refuses,
nobody can possibly divine. The four Ministers met to discuss the
matter, and were very harmonious; Palmerston not at all for violent
measures, and Clarendon said he himself was the most warlike of the
four. I told him of my journey with Graham and all that he had said. He
replied that he knew Graham was very violent against Stratford, but that
it would be impossible to make out any case against him, as he certainly
had read to the Turkish Minister all his (Clarendon's) despatches and
instructions, and he gave the most positive assurances, which it would
be difficult to gainsay, that he had done everything in his power to
induce the Turkish Government to give way to the advice of the
Conference, and whatever his secret wishes and opinions might be, there
was no official evidence to be had that he had failed in doing his duty
fairly by his own Government; therefore it would be out of the question
to recall him.

_September 20th._--At Doncaster all last week; I found Clarendon
yesterday very much alarmed at the prospect in the East. He thinks it
will be impossible to restrain the Turkish war party; he told me that
the Conference at Vienna had imparted their Note to the Turkish
Ambassador there, and both he and his dragoman had expressed their
entire approbation of it. They had considered this to afford a strong
presumption that it would not be unpalateable at Constantinople, but it
was not sent there because this would have occasioned so much delay, and
it was desirable to get the Russians out of the Principalities as
speedily as possible. The Russian generals had actually received orders
to prepare for the evacuation, which the Emperor would have commanded
the instant he heard that the Turks were willing to send the Vienna
Note. The Emperor Napoleon has again given the strongest assurances of
his determination in no case whatever to separate his policy from ours,
his resolution to adhere to the English alliance, and to maintain peace
_à tout prix_, which he frankly owns to be indispensably necessary to
the interests of his country. The Austrians are already beginning to
hang back from taking any decided part in opposition to Russia, and
while still ready to join in making every exertion to maintain peace,
they are evidently determined if war breaks out to take no part against
Russia, and this disposition is sure to be improved by the interview
which is about to take place between the Emperors of Russia and Austria.


_September 26th._--I have been at Hatchford all last week. I saw
Clarendon on Thursday before I went there, and heard that two ships of
each fleet were gone up the Dardanelles,[1] and that the rest would
probably soon follow, as the French were now urging that measure. He was
then going to Aberdeen to propose calling the Cabinet together, the
state of affairs becoming more critical every hour, and apparently no
chance of averting war. The prospect was not the brighter from the
probability of a good deal of difference of opinion when they do meet.
He showed me a letter from Palmerston, in which he spoke very coolly of
such a contingency as war with Russia and Austria, and with his usual
confidence and flippancy of the great blows that might be inflicted on
both Powers, particularly alluding to the possible expulsion of the
Austrians from Italy, an object of which he has probably never lost
sight. Meanwhile the violence and scurrility of the press here exceeds
all belief. Day after day the Radical and Tory papers, animated by very
different sentiments and motives, pour forth the most virulent abuse of
the Emperor of Russia, of Austria, and of this Government, especially of

[Footnote 1: The British vessels were steamers, the 'Retribution' and
another. There was at that time only one line-of-battle ship in each
fleet having steam power; all the other vessels of the line were sailing


 The Conference at Olmütz--The Turks declare War--Lord Palmerston's
 Views--Lord Palmerston lauded by the Radicals and the
 Tories--Failure of the Pacific Policy--Lord Aberdeen desires to
 resign--Lord John to be Prime Minister--Obstacles to Lord John's
 Pretensions--Danger of breaking up the Government--Lord John's
 Wilfulness and Unpopularity--Alliance of the Northern Powers
 defeated by Manteuffel--Conflict of the two Policies--Meeting of
 Parliament discussed--French Refugees in Belgium--General Baraguay
 d'Hilliers sent to Constantinople--Mr. Reeve returns from the
 East--Lord John's Reform Bill--The Emperor of Russia writes to the
 Queen--Sir James Graham's Views on Reform, &c.--Opponents of the
 Reform Scheme--Abortive Attempts at Negotiation--The Four Powers
 agree to a Protocol--Lord Palmerston threatens to secede--Lord
 Palmerston resigns on the Reform Scheme--Lord Palmerston opposed to
 Reform--Effects of Lord Palmerston's Resignation--Conciliatory
 Overtures--Lord Lansdowne's Position--Lord Aberdeen's Account--Lady
 Palmerston makes up the Dispute--Lord Palmerston withdraws his
 Resignation--Baraguay d'Hilliers refuses to enter the Black
 Sea--War resolved on--Review of the Transaction.

_October 4th._--I went to The Grove on Saturday, and spent great part of
the afternoon on Sunday reading the Eastern Question despatches, printed
in a Blue Book to be laid by-and-by before Parliament. On Sunday came
Westmorland's account of his interviews with the Emperor of Russia and
Nesselrode at Olmütz, which sounded very satisfactory, for the Emperor
was very gracious and pacific, and Nesselrode in his name disclaimed in
the most positive terms any intention of aggrandising himself at the
expense of Turkey or of claiming any protectorate, or asserting any
claims inconsistent with the sovereignty and independence of the Sultan,
and moreover signified his willingness to make a declaration to that
effect in such form and manner as might be hereafter agreed upon. All
this was very well, and served to confirm the notion that, if some
sensible men, really desirous of settling the question, could be
brought together, the accomplishment would not be difficult; but the
distance which separates the negotiating parties from each other, and
the necessity of circulating every proposition through so many remote
capitals, and the consequent loss of time, have rendered all conferences
and pacific projects unavailing.


Yesterday morning a messenger arrived, bringing the telegraphic despatch
from Vienna, which announced the determination of the Turks to go to
war, and that a grand Council was to be assembled to decide on the
declaration, news which precluded all hope of adjustment;[1] and
yesterday afternoon the further account of the decision of the Council
was received. Such of the Ministers as are in town met in the afternoon,
and it was decided that all the rest should be summoned, and a Cabinet
held on Friday next.

It will be no easy matter to determine what part we shall take, and how
far we shall mix ourselves up in the quarrel as belligerents. It will be
very fortunate if the Cabinet should be unanimous on this question.
Palmerston has hitherto acted very frankly and cordially with Clarendon,
but the old instincts are still strong in him, and they are all likely
to urge him to recommend strong measures and an active interference.
Granville told me last night he thought Palmerston was not at all
displeased at the decision of the Turks, and as he still clings to the
idea that Turkey is powerful and full of energy, and he is quite
indifferent to the danger to which Austria may be exposed, and would
rejoice at her being plunged in fresh difficulties and threatened with
fresh rebellions and revolutions, he will rather rejoice than not at the
breaking out of hostilities. He will not dare to avow his real
propensities, but he will cloak them under other pretences and pretexts,
and give effect to them as much as he can. He has been speechifying in
Scotland, where, though he spoke very handsomely of Clarendon, he did
not say one word in defence of Aberdeen, or anything calculated to put
an end to the notion and repeated assertions that he and Aberdeen had
been at variance on the Eastern Question. I find Aberdeen feels this
omission very much, and it would certainly have been more generous, as
well as more just, if he had taken the opportunity of correcting the
popular error as to Aberdeen, after having been reaping a great harvest
of popularity at his expense.

Palmerston's position is curious. He is certainly very popular, and
there is a high idea of his diplomatic skill and vigour. He is lauded to
the skies by all the Radicals who are the admirers of Kossuth and
Mazzini, who want to renew the scenes and attempts of 1848, and who
fancy that, if Palmerston were at the head of the Government, he would
play into their hands. On the other hand, he is equally an object of the
flattery and praise of the Tories, who cannot get over their being
succeeded by a Peelite Prime Minister, and they cling to the belief that
there can be no real cordiality, and must be complete difference of
opinion, between Aberdeen and Palmerston, and they look forward to the
prospect of their disunion to break up this odious Government, and a
return to office with Palmerston at their head. These are the political
chimeras with which their brains are filled, and which make them take
(for very different reasons) the same part as the Radicals on the
Eastern Question. My own conviction is that both parties reckon without
their host. Palmerston is sixty-nine years old, and it is too late for
him to look out for fresh political combinations and other connexions,
nor would any object of ambition repay him for the dissolution of all
his personal and social ties. He will, therefore, go on as he does now,
accepting such popularity as is offered him as a means of enhancing his
own importance in this Cabinet; and, in the event of any accident
happening to it, of making his own pretensions available.

[Footnote 1: The declaration of the Turkish Council or Divan, held on
October 3, was to the effect that, if the Principalities were not
evacuated in fifteen days, a state of war would ensue. To this the
Emperor of Russia responded on October 18 by a formal declaration of
war. War being declared, the Straits were opened, and, at the request of
the Sultan, the allied fleets entered the Dardanelles on October 22.]

_October 6th._--Delane was sent for by Lord Aberdeen the night before
last, when they had a long conversation on the state of affairs, and
Aberdeen told him that he was resolved to be no party to a war with
Russia on such grounds as the present, and he was prepared to resign
rather than incur such responsibility. This was the marrow of what he
said, and very important, because not unlikely to lead to some
difference in the Cabinet, and possibly to its dissolution.


_October 7th._--Clanricarde called here yesterday morning; he is very
strong against the Government and their policy, and maintains that if we
had joined France and sent the fleet up when she did, the Emperor of
Russia would then have receded, as his obstinacy was entirely caused by
his conviction that France and England would never remain united, and
that nothing would induce the latter to make war on Russia. He said this
idea had been confirmed by the language of Aberdeen, who had continually
spoken of his determination to avoid war to Brunnow and others, and in
his letters to Madame de Lieven--_la paix à tout prix_. Clanricarde,
however, himself said he would not declare war against Russia, and we
might defend Turkey without going that length. I went and told Clarendon
all he had said (in greater detail), and he owned that it was more than
probable that Aberdeen had held some such language as was attributed to
him; indeed, he had more than once had occasion to remonstrate with him
upon it. Clarendon was very uneasy at the prospect of the discussion
about to take place, and contemplates as extremely probable the
breaking-up of the Government on the question of war. Palmerston has
been very reserved, but always on the same friendly terms with his
colleagues, and Clarendon in particular; but Lady Palmerston as usual
talks _à qui veut l'entendre_ of the misconduct of the whole affair, and
affirms that, if Palmerston had had the management of it, all would have
been settled long ago. As matters have turned out, it is impossible not
to regret that we were perhaps too moderate and patient at first; for as
the course we have adopted has not been successful, it seems unfortunate
we did not try another, which might have been more so. But this is
judging _après coup_, and nothing is so easy as to affirm that, if
something had been done, which was not done, success would have
attended it.

_October 8th._--The Cabinet went off very well yesterday, no serious
difference of opinion about anything, and a good concurrence both as to
what had been done and what ought to be done hereafter. Lord Aberdeen is
well pleased.

_Newmarket, October 12th._--This morning I met the Duke of Bedford on
the heath, who told me he wanted very much to speak to me about certain
communications he had received which made him extremely uneasy, and full
of apprehension of coming difficulties, threatening the very existence
of the Government. It seems that a short time ago Lord Aberdeen imparted
to John Russell his wish to resign, and to place the Government in his
hands. He said that he had only taken his present post because his doing
so was indispensable to the formation of the Government, and had always
contemplated Lord John's eventually succeeding him, and he thought the
time was now come when he might very properly do so. He did not
anticipate any insurmountable opposition in any quarter, and he should
himself speak to Gladstone about it, who was the most important person
to be consulted, and he was in fact only prevented doing so, as he had
intended, by not being able to go to Scotland, where he had expected to
meet Gladstone. Whether Aberdeen had spoken to Gladstone since his
return to London, the Duke of Bedford did not know. No steps appear to
have been taken with regard to Palmerston, nor does it appear that any
progress was made in accomplishing this change. The Queen had been
apprised of Aberdeen's intentions. Such was the state of things when a
short time ago the Duke received a letter from Lord John, in which he
said that matters could not go on as they were, and that there must be
some changes; and that very soon he could no longer act without being
primarily responsible for the policy of the Government--in other words,
without resuming his post of Prime Minister. This is all the Duke knows,
as Lord John entered into no explanations or details, and he is in total
ignorance of the grounds of his brusque determination, and of what can
have occurred to produce it. He sees, however, all the difficulties and
embarrassments that in consequence of it are looming in the distance,
and how very possible it is that the Government may be broken up. All
this we very fully discussed, but without either of us being able to
guess what it all means, or what the result will be of Lord John's
putting his intentions into execution.


_October 16th._--I came to town yesterday morning, and in the afternoon
went to the Foreign Office, and saw Clarendon, to whom I imparted what
the Duke of Bedford had told me. He said he knew it all, Aberdeen having
told him what had passed between John Russell and himself; but having
made Clarendon give his word of honour that he would not say a word of
it to anybody, so he said, 'I would not mention it even to you, to whom
I tell everything.' He then, however, went into the whole question, and
told me what had passed, which did not exactly agree with the Duke's
story. According to Clarendon, Lord John went to Lord Aberdeen before
Parliament was up, and told him he could not consent to go on in his
present position, to which Aberdeen replied, 'Very well, you only meet
my own wishes, and you know I always told you that I should be at any
time ready to resign my place to you.'

Nothing more seems to have taken place at that time, nor till lately,
when Lord John went again to Aberdeen, and repeated his determination
not to go on; but this time the communication does not seem to have been
received by Aberdeen with the same ready acquiescence in the proposed
change, and some plain speaking took place between them. I infer, but as
Clarendon did not expressly say so I put it dubiously, that Aberdeen had
spoken to Gladstone and ascertained that he would by no means agree to
the substitution of John Russell, and should go with Aberdeen if he
retired. At all events, while Aberdeen told him that he was prepared, if
he wished it, to broach the matter to his colleagues, he intimated to
him that it was evident he wanted to turn him out, and put himself in
his place, but that he (Aberdeen) could not agree to retire at this
moment, and before Parliament met, and that Lord John had better well
consider the step he was about to take, as it would in all probability
break up the Government, and asked him if he was prepared to encounter
the odium of doing so, more especially as he must remember that he had
only consented to form this Government on Lord John's own assurance to
him that he was himself unable to form one. He asked him if he was
secure of Palmerston's concurrence in the change he proposed, and he
replied that he did not expect to find any difficulty in that quarter.
This was the substance of what passed between them, Aberdeen being
evidently a good deal nettled, and thinking Lord John is behaving very
ill. This is Clarendon's opinion also, and he thinks, if Lord John
persists, the Government will be inevitably broken up, for a
considerable part of the Cabinet will certainly not consent to have Lord
John again placed at the head of the Government. Clarendon does not
believe a word of Palmerston's being a party to it, and he knows that
both Gladstone and Newcastle would resign. Graham he is not sure of, but
inclines to think he would retire with Aberdeen, especially if Aberdeen
has any compulsion or ill-usage to complain of. For the moment, however,
this storm has blown over, as Lord John has signified to Aberdeen that
he does not mean to press the matter again for the present. The Queen,
when it was mentioned to her, was anything but approving of or
consenting to the change.


In all this matter there is little doubt that Lord John has been
instigated by his connexions, and they none of them, Lord John himself
included, have sense enough to see that the course he is adopting is
quite suicidal, and would be not less fatal to his own reputation and
popularity than to the Government he belongs to. He failed as Prime
Minister, and no credit attended his Administration, and no regret his
fall. The popularity he lost, he in good measure regained by his conduct
on the formation of this Government, when he waived his own pretensions,
and for the public good consented, after having held the first place, to
accept the second; but the world does not know how reluctantly and
grudgingly he did this, and how sorely his pride and vanity suffered on
that occasion. The position he occupied of leader of the House of
Commons without an office was anomalous, and many thought it
objectionable, but he himself insisted on it, and it proved successful.
The House of Commons not only accepted it, but were pleased to see a man
so eminent eschewing office with its functions and emoluments, and
gratuitously devoting himself to the service and the business of
Parliament. He became popular again in the House, and would have been
more so if he had not chosen to quit the Treasury Bench early every
afternoon, and go down to Richmond, leaving Palmerston to do his work,
and ingratiate himself with the House. Aberdeen reminded Lord John that
this position, which he now found intolerable, was one he had chosen to
make for himself; that he had not only declared he could not form a
Government, but that every office had been at his disposal, and he had
been invited to take the greatest offices, or, if he preferred it, any
smaller one, but that he had insisted on holding none. Aberdeen is quite
right not to resign now, or before Parliament meets, where he must
appear as Minister to defend his own policy.

I expect that Lord John will not renew his demands for some time, if at
all; but if he does, this is what will probably take place. The
Government will be broken up, Lord John will try to form one and will
fail, and the Government will again be constituted minus Lord John.
Nobody would, I think, go out with him. This is supposing (which I think
certain) that Palmerston would not make common cause with him, but
prefer to remain with the rest. There would then remain the great
difficulty of the lead of the House of Commons and the part Palmerston
would play; but, dangerous as it would be, it would probably be found
necessary to trust him with the lead, most distasteful though it would
be both to Aberdeen and to the Queen.

_October 18th._--The Emperor of Russia moved heaven and earth to bring
about a new Holy Alliance between himself, Austria, and Prussia, in
which he would have succeeded if it had not been for the wisdom and
firmness of Manteuffel,[1] who was proof against all his seductions.
Austria consented, but only on condition that Prussia did likewise. The
King of Prussia would have given way with his characteristic weakness,
but Manteuffel would not hear of it, and contrived to keep his master
straight. In an interview of two hours between the Emperor and
Manteuffel _tête-à-tête_, the Emperor employed all the means he could
think of to prevail on the Prussian Minister, but all in vain; he
refused positively to allow Prussia to depart from her neutrality. This
had the effect of keeping Austria neutral also, and that of making the
Emperor more inclined to peace; but the Turkish declaration of war and
peremptory summons to him to quit the Principalities leave him no
alternative but that of taking up the gauntlet thus thrown down.

[Footnote 1: Count Manteuffel was the Prussian Minister for Foreign
Affairs, and the leading member of the Prussian Cabinet. He was accused
of sacrificing Prussian interests to those of Austria at the Conference
of Olmütz; but in fact he succeeded in defeating what would have been a
very formidable confederacy of the German Powers with Russia.]


_November 2nd._--All last week at Newmarket, during which nothing of
moment occurred but the renewed attempts at negotiation, and the consent
of the Turks to defer the commencement of hostilities. I saw Clarendon
the day before yesterday, who told me how matters stood, and showed me a
despatch just received from Vienna with a copy of a very moderate and
pacific Note from Nesselrode to Buol, showing that there is every
disposition at St. Petersburg to patch matters up. Clarendon told me
that he was heartily sick of the whole question, in which the double
trouble and difficulty were cast upon him of reconciling the Russians
and the Turks and of preserving agreement in the Cabinet, where Aberdeen
was always opposing measures of hostility towards Russia, and Palmerston
for pushing them forward. He said he steered between the two, and that
he and John Russell were more nearly agreed than any of the others; he
told me at the same time a characteristic trait of Palmerston. The Turks
having determined to plunge into war against the advice of their
protectors, especially against our's, and it having been made known to
us that the Sultan and his Ministers were not disinclined to be guided
by us, but that they were themselves overruled and driven to this
extreme course by the Grand Council, it became necessary in Clarendon's
opinion to notify to the Turkish Government that, since they had thought
fit to take their own independent course, we should reserve to ourselves
the right of acting according to our own discretion, and not consider
ourselves bound to be dragged into a war at the heels of the Grand
Council, which is an assembly of ruffians and fanatics, by whom it would
be utterly inconsistent with the dignity of our Crown that our policy
should be governed and influenced. It seems too that this is a point on
which the Queen feels very strongly, and is exceedingly anxious that the
honour and dignity of the Crown should not be compromised. Accordingly
Clarendon drew up a despatch to this effect, to which the Cabinet
acceded, and Palmerston also, though with some reluctance. However, he
not only saw the proposed despatch, but he made some alteration in it
with his own hand, thereby of course subscribing to it. Just after this
Clarendon went to Windsor, and submitted the despatch to the Queen and
the Prince; they objected to it that it was not strong enough in their
sense, but Clarendon prevailed upon them to waive their objections, and,
as it had been agreed to in the Cabinet, to let it go. But before it was
gone Clarendon received a letter from Palmerston, strongly objecting to
the despatch altogether, and desiring Clarendon to inform Lord Aberdeen
that he would be no party to such a communication. This was extremely
embarrassing. Clarendon spoke to Aberdeen, and afterwards (at Aberdeen's
suggestion) informed the Queen what had occurred. Her Majesty said, 'I
advise you not to attach much importance to this communication. I know
Lord Palmerston from much experience, and it is probably only an attempt
to bully, which, if you take no notice of it, you will hear no more of.'
The result justified the Queen's sagacity, for Clarendon sent off the
despatch, and at the same time wrote word to Palmerston that he had done
so, giving him sundry reasons why he could not do otherwise, to which
he received in reply a very good-humoured letter, merely saying that, as
it was gone, it was useless to say any more about it, and probably it
would do no harm.

There has been talk abroad and discussion in the Cabinet about the
meeting of Parliament. Lord John and Lord Aberdeen both wished
Parliament to meet, the first because he is always hankering after the
House of Commons, the latter because he wished Parliament to decide on
the question of peace or war, so that in the one alternative his hands
might be strengthened, or in the other he might have a pretext for
resigning. But both Clarendon and Palmerston were much against it, and
now that there is a fresh prospect of peace, it is rendered more
unnecessary and undesirable.

King Leopold is here, still uneasy (though less than he was) upon the
subject of his _démêlés_ with the Emperor of the French. The cause of
them is the libellous publications of the French refugees in Belgium.
They compose the most outrageous attacks of a personal nature on him and
the Empress, which they have printed in Belgium, and get these papers
smuggled into France, and disseminated amongst the lower classes, and
particularly the troops. This naturally gives the Emperor great offence,
and Leopold would afford him redress if he could; but the Constitution
was made by journalists, and the unrestrained liberty of the press is so
interwoven with the Constitution, that the Legislature itself has no
power to deal with the case, nor any power short of a Constituent
Assembly. All this Leopold has submitted to his powerful neighbour, and
their relations seem to be more amicable; for very civil letters have
passed between the two monarchs, through the Prince de Chimay, whom
Leopold sent to compliment the Emperor when he went lately to Lille.


_November 10th._--All attempts at settling the Eastern Question by
_Notes_ have been rudely interrupted by the actual commencement of
hostilities. Meanwhile the Notes sped their way, but at Vienna it was
deemed no longer possible to settle it in this manner, but that there
must now be a regular treaty of peace, the terms of which the Allies
might prescribe, and there is now a question of having a Congress or
Conference here, to carry on the affair. It is, however, difficult to
make out what the French are at, and, with all our intimacy, we must
keep on our guard against all contingencies on the part of our Imperial
neighbour. Nobody knows what is his real motive for sending Baraguay
d'Hilliers to Constantinople. Francis Baring, when I told him of this
appointment, said it could be only for the purpose of quarrelling, for
he was the most violent of men, and was certain to quarrel with
whomsoever he had to deal. If this be so, his quarrelling with Lord
Stratford is inevitable, and it is by no means improbable that Louis
Napoleon is tired of playing second fiddle to us, and sends this General
there for the express purpose of counteracting our superior influence,
and, by the tender of military counsel and aid, to substitute his own
for ours.

Reeve is just returned from the East, having spent some time at
Constantinople, and he came home by Vienna. Lord Stratford treated him
with great kindness and hospitality, and talked to him very openly. He
says that Stratford exercised a great but not unlimited influence and
control over the Turkish Government, and of course is very jealous of
the influence he possesses; for example, he boasted to Reeve that he had
carried a great point, and had procured the appointment of the candidate
he favoured as Greek Patriarch, an interference which, if it had been
made by the Emperor of Russia, whose concern it is much more than our's,
would have excited in us great indignation. Such an exercise of
influence and in such a matter, of which the Russians are well aware, is
calculated to exasperate them, and it is not unnatural that the Emperor
should feel that, if any foreign influence is to prevail in Turkey, he
has a better right than any other Power to establish his own. Reeve has
a very poor opinion of the power, resources, and political condition of
Turkey, and does not doubt the military success of the Russians. He says
that the corruption is enormous--everybody bribes or is bribed. The
Greek Patriarch whom Stratford got appointed had to pay large sums to
Redschid Pasha and his son. The whole State is rotten to the core.


_November 12th._--This morning John Russell breaks ground on the Reform
plan, by referring his scheme to a Committee of the Cabinet, which is to
meet at his house, consisting, besides himself, of Granville, Newcastle,
Graham, Charles Wood, and Palmerston. I am afraid he will propose a
lower franchise, probably 5_l._, in spite of many warnings and the signs
of the times, which are very grave and alarming--nothing but strikes and
deep-rooted discontent on the part of the working classes. I am in
correspondence with Ellesmere on the subject, and have sent his letters
to John Russell, who does not appear disposed to admit the force of his
reasoning against lowering the franchise. This Committee will probably
be on the whole favourable to a democratic measure, Lord John from old
prejudices and obstinacy, Graham from timidity, Newcastle because he has
espoused Liberal principles; Granville will be inclined to go with Lord
John, and Palmerston alone is likely to stand out against a democratic
scheme, unless Charles Wood should go with him, of whose opinions on the
question of Reform I know nothing. Aberdeen is himself a Reformer, but I
hear he is resolved not to consent to a 5_l._ franchise. I confess to
great misgivings about this project in the present state of the country,
and dread the further progress of democratic power. The success of the
great Reform Bill and the experiences of twenty years without any of the
apprehensions of the anti-Reformers having been realised, are now in my
opinion sources of danger, as they create an opinion that progress, as
it is called, is not only necessary, but perfectly safe. It consoles me
for growing old that I shall not live to see the confusion in which this
well-ordered State is likely to be involved, the period of peril and
suffering it will have to go through, and the reaction, which will
restore order and tranquillity at the expense of that temperate and
rational freedom, which we alone of all the nations of the earth are in
possession of. I see no reason why, if we choose recklessly, and without
any cause, to cast away the good we enjoy, we should be exempted from
paying the penalty which our folly and wickedness would so richly
deserve. The above question in all its ramifications is infinitely more
important than the Russian and Turkish quarrel, but there is no saying
how the former may be indirectly and consequentially affected through
the latter by means of the political differences which may arise out of
it. Everything now looks black in the political horizon, and the war
which has begun between the principals can hardly fail to extend itself
sooner or later to the collateral parties.

_November 15th._--Yesterday morning having met Clarendon on the railway,
he from Windsor, I from Hillingdon, I got into the carriage and went
home with him. He told me all he had to tell, of what he had to go
through with the conflicting proposals of Palmerston and Aberdeen in the
Cabinet: the latter as averse as ever to any strong measures, and always
full of consideration for the Emperor; the former anxious for war, and
with the same confidence and rashness which were so conspicuous in him
during the Syrian question, insisting that nothing will be so easy as to
defeat Russia, and he now goes the length of urging that none of the old
treaties between her and the Porte should be renewed. All this
_jactance_, however, does not go much beyond words, for he evinces no
disposition to separate from his colleagues or to insist on any course
which the majority of the Cabinet object to.

The Emperor of Russia has taken the unusual step of writing an autograph
letter to the Queen. Brunnow, who was rather puzzled, took the letter to
Aberdeen, and asked what he was to do with it. Aberdeen told him to take
it to Clarendon, who sent it to the Queen. She sent it to him to read,
and he suggested certain heads of an answer, but did not communicate the
letter, nor the fact of its having been received, to any one but
Aberdeen. The Queen wrote an answer in French, and he says a very good

Cowley has sent him an account of a conversation he lately had with the
Emperor Napoleon, in which he said that the condition of France and the
rise in the price of provisions, so deeply affecting the working
classes, made him more than ever bent upon preserving peace, and he
proposed that the Powers should be invited to concur with England and
France in drawing up a scheme of pacification and arrangement, which
should be tendered to the belligerents, and whichever should refuse to
accept it should be treated as an enemy. Clarendon said that there were
many objections to this plan, but he seemed to believe in the sincerity
of the Emperor's desire for peace, in spite of the opposite presumption
afforded by Baraguay d'Hilliers' mission, and its accompaniment of
French officers. He attributes that mission to the wounded vanity of
France, and the determination of the Government to send some man who
shall dispute the influence of Stratford, and assert that of France. The
character of Stratford had been fully explained to Baraguay d'Hilliers,
and he went, ostensibly at least, with instructions and an intention to
act with him in harmony, but this the character of the two ambassadors
will probably render quite impossible.

The Queen told Clarendon an anecdote of Palmerston, showing how
exclusively absorbed he is with _foreign_ politics. Her Majesty has been
much interested in and alarmed at the strikes and troubles in the North,
and asked Palmerston for details about them, when she found he knew
nothing at all. One morning, after previous enquiries, she said to him,
'Pray, Lord Palmerston, have you any news?' To which he replied, 'No,
Madam, I have heard nothing; but it seems certain the _Turks have
crossed the Danube_.'


In the afternoon I called on Graham at the Admiralty, and had a long
talk with him about the Government and its prospects, and the
disposition and intentions of John Russell and of Palmerston. He is,
contrary to custom, very cheerful and sanguine on these points; he was
apprised of all that Lord John has said and done, but except on one
occasion, just about the time of the prorogation, has had no
communication with Lord John himself on the subject. He is now satisfied
that Lord John has abandoned his designs, and has made up his mind to go
on as he is, and he infers this from his frank and friendly conduct
about the Reform Bill, which he has not kept to himself, but submitted
to a Committee for the purpose of bringing it before all his colleagues
in a very good spirit, and quite willing to have Palmerston on this
Committee, from whom the greatest opposition was to be expected. Graham
said their first meeting had gone off very pleasantly, and Palmerston
had urged much less objection than he had expected; he thinks therefore
that his own reflexions and his knowledge of the difficulties which
would oppose themselves to his purpose have determined Lord John to
acquiesce in his present position, nor is he afraid of Palmerston
separating himself from this Cabinet, thinking that at his age he will
not speculate so deeply for the chance of greater power and a higher
place, to be purchased at the certain sacrifice of all his social
relations and personal connexions, and he therefore expects Palmerston
will conform to the general sentiments and decisions of his colleagues,
both as to foreign policy and to Reform. Graham said he approved
entirely of Lord John's scheme, and thought his proposed measure good
and safe.

_November 27th._--Council at Windsor on Friday 25th. The Queen was
afflicted by the Queen of Portugal's death, though they never saw each
other but once when they were children. I heard the particulars of the
Reform Bill, which (if there is to be one at all) seems as little
mischievous as can be. It seems to have encountered little or no
opposition in the Cabinet, and Lord John considers it as having been
accepted and settled there. Lord Lansdowne has not pronounced himself
positively; but though, no doubt, he dislikes it exceedingly, they think
he will not retire upon it, and up to the present time he has indicated
no such intention. Graham, who is always frightened, told me on Friday
he was very uneasy lest Lansdowne should decline to be a party to it.

Palmerston has written a letter to Lord John, strong in the beginning,
denouncing the measure as unnecessary and unwise, and complaining of his
having originally committed his colleagues to it, by declaring his own
opinion without any previous consultation and concert with them. Then,
after criticising the Bill (ably, as I am told), he ends by announcing
that he shall consent to it. He sent copies of this letter to Aberdeen
and to Lansdowne.

I brought Clarendon from the station to Downing Street, when he told me
that he had begun some fresh attempts at renewing negotiations. The
proposal of the Emperor Napoleon to force terms on the two parties would
not do, but he had sent a proposal of some sort (I could not exactly
make out what), which, contrary to his expectation, Buol had agreed to;
but he did not seem very sanguine about any result from this beginning.
He said nothing could exceed the difficulties of the case, nor the
embarrassments of his own position. The Turks are now indisposed to
agree to anything, or to make any concessions whatever, and of course
the Emperor of Russia neither will nor can make peace and withdraw,
without some plausible satisfaction. Then at home the difficulty is just
as great between Palmerston, who is all for going ahead, and wants
nothing less than war with Russia, and Aberdeen, who is in the other
extreme--objecting to everything, and proposing nothing. John Russell is
very reasonable, and agrees almost entirely with Clarendon; but whenever
he thinks he is going to be outbid by Palmerston, is disposed to urge
some violent measures also. He said he had a regular scene with Aberdeen
the other day. After this Note (or whatever it was) had been discussed
and agreed to in the Cabinet, and all settled, Aberdeen came into his
room, and began finding fault with it, and raising all sorts of
objections, when Clarendon, out of all patience, broke out: 'Really,
this is too bad. You come now, after it has all been settled in the
Cabinet where you let it pass, and make all sorts of objections. And
this is the way you do about everything; you object to all that is
proposed, and you never suggest anything yourself. What is it you want?
Will you say what you would have done?' He declares he said all this
with the greatest vivacity, being really exasperated. Aberdeen had
nothing to say, and knocked under. The truth seems to be that the
attacks upon him in the newspapers (though they don't know it) are
pretty well justified, and very little exaggerated; nor is the idea of
Palmerston's real inclination much mistaken. They have by accident very
nearly hit upon the truth. Aberdeen, it seems, objects particularly to
have any Conference _here_, and if there is to be anything of the kind,
it seems likely to take place at Vienna, where, however, somebody would
be sent to assist, if not to supersede, Westmorland.


_December 10th._--The Protocol just signed at Vienna brings the four
Powers together again, and Austria not only signed it with alacrity, but
Buol told Westmorland, if the Emperor of Russia was found unmanageable,
'Nous irons avec vous jusqu'au bout.' The Turks are now desired to say
on what terms they will make peace, and I expect they will reply that
they will not make peace at all till the Principalities are evacuated.
It seems very doubtful whether this fresh opening will lead to any
result between two Powers so impracticable as the belligerents.

The Duke of Bedford has been endeavouring to persuade Lord John to
reconsider the franchise in his Reform Bill, and Lord John tells him not
to be afraid of its going too low, and that there is more chance of its
appearing too niggardly. Aberdeen said it was not yet settled.
Meanwhile, the Bill is drawn and privately printed. Lord John considers
it to have been accepted by the Cabinet, and that he is sure of the
acquiescence of the two principal dissentients--Lansdowne and
Palmerston. The former went out of town, only saying that he hoped the
landed interest would have its due share of influence. Palmerston's
letter I have already mentioned; but the other day Lady Palmerston held
forth to the Duke against the Bill, and said that it was not settled at
all, but was still under the consideration of the Cabinet; from which he
infers that Palmerston is still making or prepared to make objections
and difficulties. Between Reform and the Eastern Question, I think this
Government would infallibly be broken up but from the impossibility of
another being formed. I am still persuaded Palmerston will not try a new
combination, and break with all his old friends and associates for the
purpose of putting himself at the head of some fresh but unformed
combination. Great as his ambition is, he will not sacrifice so much to
it, and risk so much as this would oblige him to do.

_December 12th._--I begin to think that I am after all mistaken as to
Palmerston's intentions, and that his ambition will drive him to
sacrifice everything and risk everything, in spite of his age and of all
the difficulties he will have to encounter. I have said what passed
between the Duke of Bedford and Lady Palmerston about Reform. This
morning the Duke of Bedford came here, and told me he had called on
Clarendon on Saturday, when he said to Clarendon that he was very uneasy
about Palmerston, and thought he was meditating something, though he did
not know exactly what he was at. Clarendon interrupted him--'Certainly,
he is meditating breaking up the Government; in fact, he told me so.' At
this moment it was announced that two or three foreign Ministers were
waiting to see him, when he abruptly broke off the conference, and they
parted. I said, 'Depend upon it, what Clarendon alluded to was not the
Reform Bill, but the Eastern Question; and it is on that that Palmerston
is making a stir.' The Duke said he thought so too; indeed, he was sure
of it, because Clarendon did not trouble himself about Reform, and he
had already told him more than once what excessive trouble and annoyance
he had had between the widely opposite views and opinions of Aberdeen
and Palmerston, and that he had only been able to go on at all from the
agreement between Lord John and himself. However, Lord John is to see
Aberdeen this morning, and his brother afterwards; and before the day is
over we shall learn something more of this disagreeable matter. My
belief is that the differences between Aberdeen and Palmerston have
arrived at a height which threatens a break up, and that, with reference
to this occurring, Palmerston is also going back on the Reform question;
that if he does separate from the Government, he may reserve to himself
to work _both_ questions. But I refrain from further speculations, as in
a few hours they will be resolved into certainty of some sort.


_Panshanger, December 14th._--It turned out that Palmerston had _struck_
on account of Reform, and not (ostensibly, at least) about foreign
affairs. John Russell was indignant, and inveighed to his brother
against Palmerston in terms of great bitterness, saying he was
absolutely faithless, and no reliance to be placed on him. Of this fact
these pages contain repeated proofs, but I own I am amazed at his making
this flare up on the question of Reform. But his whole conduct is
inexplicable, and there is no making out what he is at. The news of the
Turkish disaster in the Black Sea is believed, but Government will do
nothing about it till they receive authentic intelligence and detailed
accounts of the occurrence.[1] So Clarendon told Reeve on Monday, but he
is disposed to take a decisive part if it all turns out to be true; and
yesterday Delane had a long conversation with Aberdeen, who owned that
if the Russians (as they suppose) attacked a convoy of transports at
anchor, it is a very strong case, and he thought war much more probable
than it was a few days ago, and he did not speak as if he was determined
in no case to declare it. This does not surprise me, in spite of his
previous tone; for he has gone so far that he may be compelled in common
consistency to go farther.

[Footnote 1: The Russian fleet in the Black Sea attacked and destroyed
the Turkish squadron in the harbour of Sinope on November 30. This
decisive event, which was at variance with the previous declarations of
the Emperor of Russia, compelled the British and French Governments to
order their fleets to enter the Black Sea and occupy it. The Russian
fleet withdrew within the harbours of Sebastopol.]

_London, December 17th._--Yesterday morning the news of Palmerston's
resignation was made public. It took everybody by surprise, few having
been aware that he objected to the Reform measure in contemplation. I
received the intelligence at Panshanger, and as soon as I got to town
went to Clarendon to hear all about it. He had been quite prepared for
it, Palmerston having told him that he could not take this Bill.
Clarendon says Palmerston behaved perfectly well, and in a very
straightforward way from first to last. When he was invited to join the
Government, he told Aberdeen and Lansdowne that he was afraid the
Reform Bill would bring about another separation between them. When the
time arrived for discussing the Bill, and John Russell proposed to him
to be on the Committee, he said that he accepted, because, although he
saw no necessity for any Reform Bill, and he entirely disapproved of
John Russell's having committed himself to such a measure, he would not
(as matters stood) absolutely object to any measure whatever, but would
join the Committee, discuss it, state all his objections, and endeavour
to procure such alterations in it as might enable him to accept it.
Finding himself unable to do this with the Committee, he still waited
till the measure had been brought before the whole Cabinet; and when he
found that his objections were unavailing, and that the majority of his
colleagues were resolved to take Lord John's scheme, nothing was left
for him but to retire. He said he might have consented to a smaller
measure of disfranchisement, and the appropriation of the disposable
seats to the counties, but to the enlarged _town_ representation, and
especially to the proposed franchise, he could not agree; and moreover
he said he was not prepared, _at his time of life_, to encounter endless
debates in the House of Commons on such a measure. The first time,
Clarendon said, he had ever heard him acknowledge that he had _a time of
life_. Clarendon showed me a very friendly letter Palmerston had written
to him, expressing regret at leaving them, and saying he (Clarendon) had
a very difficult task before him, and, 'as the Irishman said, I wish yer
Honner well through it.' He has never hinted even at any dissatisfaction
as to foreign affairs as forming a part of his grounds for resigning.

Clarendon said he thought it would ere long be the means of breaking up
the Government, and I thought so too; but, on reflecting more
deliberately upon the matter, I am disposed to take a different view of
the political probability, and of the part which Palmerston will play.
As I have been so constantly opposed to him, and have both entertained
and expressed so bad an opinion of him on a great many occasions, I feel
the more both bound and inclined to do justice to his conduct upon this
one, in which, so far as I am informed, he really has been
irreproachable. The first thing which seems to have suggested itself to
everybody is that he has resigned with the intention of putting himself
at the head of the opponents of Reform, of joining the Derbyite party,
and ultimately coming into office with Derby, or forming, if possible, a
Government of his own. I doubt all this, and judge of his future conduct
by his past. If he had been actuated by selfish and separate objects of
ambition, and really contemplated transferring himself from the Whig to
the Tory party, or setting up an independent standard, instead of
breaking with this Cabinet on the question of Reform, he would certainly
have done so upon the Turkish war, as he easily could. He would then
have gone out amidst shouts of applause; he would have put the
Government into an immense difficulty, and he would have reserved to
himself to take whatever course he thought fit about Reform. He has
acted much more honestly, but less cunningly for his own interest,
supposing that he has the views and projects that are attributed to him.
Lord Lansdowne is placed in great embarrassment, for he agrees entirely
with Palmerston; and if he acts consistently on his own convictions, he
will retire too--that is, cease to form a part of the Cabinet. Clarendon
expects he will do so.


_Hatchford, December 21st._--On Monday when I came to town from
Goodwood, where I went on Sunday, I found a letter from Lady Palmerston,
very friendly indeed. She said her son William had told her what I had
said to him about Palmerston and his resignation, which had gratified
her. She then went on to explain why he had resigned, and why at this
moment instead of waiting longer; she said he would have accepted a
Reform Bill, but wanted Lord John's to be altered, had proposed
alterations, and written to Aberdeen to urge them, and upon Aberdeen's
reply that his suggestions could not be taken, he had no alternative but
to resign, and he had thought it fairer to the Government to do so at
once, and give them time to make their arrangements, than to put it off
till the last moment, when Parliament was on the point of meeting. I
confess I think he was right in so doing, and I was greatly provoked
with the 'Times' for attacking him, twitting and sneering at him, and
finding fault with him for his desertion; so provoked that I wrote a
letter to the 'Times,' which appeared on Tuesday, with my opinion

On Tuesday morning I was surprised at receiving a letter from Lord
Lansdowne, entreating I would tell him what was said, and what was the
state of public opinion about Palmerston's resignation, giving me to
understand that he was as yet undecided what course he should adopt, and
should not decide at all events till he had seen the Queen next Friday;
he also said that he had been greatly surprised at this happening '_so
soon_, whatever might have been the case later, having occurred
(marvellous to say) before there had been any decision taken by the
Government as such on the whole matter, or any ground for me at least to
think that issue would be joined upon it without that apparently
essential preliminary.' I wrote to him in reply all I had heard of the
reports and notions floating about, and said I hoped his determination
would eventually be not to withdraw, and I sent him Lady Palmerston's
letter to me, which I said seemed to me somewhat at variance with his
statement, in as much as Palmerston evidently considered that the matter
was settled. I don't understand, however, why he wrote to Aberdeen, if
the question was still before the Cabinet, and not yet definitively
settled. Assuming Lord Lansdowne's statement to have been correct,
Palmerston ought to have disputed the matter in the Cabinet, and if
overruled there, he might have resigned, and not till then.

Delane went to Aberdeen, and asked him for his version of the affair,
when he said at once he had no hesitation in saying that the Eastern
Question was the cause and the sole cause of Palmerston's resignation;
that he had all along been opposing what was done, and might have
resigned upon it any time for months past, and that but for that
question he would have swallowed the Reform Bill. Delane observed, if
this was true, Palmerston had acted a very highminded and disinterested
part. It has been imprudent of the Government papers to insist so
strenuously that Palmerston resigned solely on account of Reform, and
that there was no difference on foreign policy, because this elicited a
violent article in the 'Morning Post,' insisting in turn that the
Eastern Question was the real cause of his retirement, and everybody
will believe that this was inserted or dictated by himself. It is
strange to find myself the advocate and apologist of Palmerston, when
the preceding pages are brimful of censure of his acts and bad opinion
of his character; but, whatever prejudices I may have or have had
against him, they never shall prevent my saying what I believe to be
true, and doing him ample justice, when I think that he is acting
honourably, fairly, and conscientiously. This letter of Lord Lansdowne's
has a little shaken my convictions, but still I am struck with the fact
of his having refrained from resigning on the Eastern Question, when by
so doing he might have damaged the Government immensely, and obtained
for himself increased popularity and considerable power if these were
his objects.


_London, December 22nd._--I went to town this morning, called on Lady
Palmerston, found her in good spirits and humour, and vastly pleased at
all the testimonies of approbation and admiration he has received. She
exclaimed with exultation, 'He is always in the right in everything he
does,' a position I could not confirm, and which I did not care to
dispute. We then talked of the present crisis, when to my no small
amazement she said that she saw no reason now why it should not be made
up, and he should not remain, that he left the Government with regret,
liked his office, and had no wish to quit his colleagues, but could not
consent to such a measure as Lord John had proposed. She then
recapitulated what she wrote to me, and complained of Aberdeen's having
replied to Palmerston's note in such a style of peremptory refusal; if
he had only expressed regret at the difference, and proposed a fresh
reference to the Cabinet, it might have been avoided. Still, she thought
if they were disposed to be reasonable it was possible to repair the
breach. Palmerston had never had any answer to his letter of
resignation, no notice had been taken of it, nor had the Queen's
acceptance of his resignation ever been conveyed to him. She talked with
bitterness of the articles in the 'Times,' and of his resignation having
been so hastily published, and said he had all along been very much
dissatisfied with the conduct of the Eastern Question, and convinced
that, if his advice had been taken at first, we should not be in our
present dilemma and embarrassing position, and he had only consented to
stay in the Government, when overruled in his suggestions, because he
thought he could nevertheless effect some good by remaining, and tender
essential aid to Clarendon. I expressed the strongest desire that the
matter might be patched up, and entreated her to try and bring it about.
Palmerston was gone out, so I did not see him.

I then went to the Office, and directly wrote to Graham, who was at the
Cabinet, begging him to see me, and telling him I had reason to believe
Palmerston was not disinclined to stay. Meanwhile Bessborough called on
me, and told me all the reports from Marylebone and other parts of the
metropolis, as well as the country; all represented Palmerston's
popularity to be immense, great enthusiasm about the Eastern Question,
and profound indifference about Reform; and he said there was a report
that Palmerston was not unlikely to stay in, and that it was of the
greatest importance that he should. He also said that Hayter declared
there was no chance whatever of their carrying the Reform Bill in the
House of Commons, especially if Palmerston headed the opposition to it.

He was hardly gone when Graham came to me. I told him all that had
passed between Lady Palmerston and me, and entreated him to see if
something could not be done. He said he himself should be too happy to
bring it about if possible, and he had no personal ground of complaint,
but he did not know how Lord John might be disposed, particularly as
Palmerston in one of his letters had spoken in very uncourteous terms of
him and Aberdeen. He said it was wonderful how Palmerston, quite unlike
most men, was often intemperate with his pen, while he was always very
guarded in his language. In reply to some of the things Lady Palmerston
had said, he told me that the difficulty was that Palmerston's
objections went to the _principle_ of the measure, and though the
details might still be open to discussion, it was impossible they could
concede the principles of the measure without dishonour, and this was
not to be thought of. That with regard to fresh reference to the
Cabinet, Palmerston had stated all his objections to the Cabinet, when
they had been considered and overruled, therefore another reference to
the _Cabinet_ would have been useless. He asked me if Palmerston was
prepared to give up his objections. I said I presumed not, but he must
understand that I did not know what he was prepared to concede or
require, only what I had repeated, that he was not disinclined still to
remain if the matter admitted of adjustment. He said the office was
still open, and that the Cabinet then going on was not about filling it
up, but entirely on the Eastern Question. After a good deal of talk we
parted, he promising to see what could be done to bring about a
compromise and reconciliation.


I then wrote to Lord Lansdowne telling him what had passed, and
suggested that, as he is to see the Queen tomorrow, he should invoke her
assistance to settle this affair, and so the matter stands. I am
satisfied that at this moment Palmerston would prefer staying where he
is to anything else, present or prospective, and he does not wish to
embark in fresh combinations; but it is impossible to say what he may
not do under fresh circumstances, and if he is exposed to all the
attractions of excessive flattery and the means of obtaining great
power. If this Government should be overthrown, I see no other man who
could form one. Derby is in such a deplorable state of health that I do
not think he could possibly undertake it, and though Palmerston's
difficulties would be great, they would not be insurmountable, and the
very necessity of having a Government, and the impossibility of any
other man forming one, would give him great facilities, and draw a great
many people from various parties to enlist under him. It is, therefore,
of immense importance that there should be a compromise now, for I am
strongly of opinion that if there is not the Government will not be able
to go on. What I fear is that, if a negotiation should be begun, the
parties will not come to terms, and neither be disposed to make
sufficient concessions. Lady Palmerston hinted at Aberdeen's going out,
which she said he had always professed his readiness to do, but I gave
her to understand that if he did, Lord John would insist on taking his
place, which would not, I apprehend, be more palateable to Palmerston
than the present arrangement.

_December 24th._--I went to town this morning to hear what was going on.
I found Granville who told me there was a negotiation on foot, conducted
by Newcastle, who had been to Palmerston yesterday and discussed the
matter. Palmerston was to give his answer at twelve to-day; Granville
did not think any concessions about Reform were to be made to him, and
nothing more than an agreement that the whole question should be
reconsidered. He was to write a letter, saying there had been 'a
misunderstanding,' said he was evidently dying to remain, full of
interest in foreign politics, and could not bear to be out the way of
knowing and having a concern in all that is going on, and probably by no
means insensible to the difficulties of another position, that of being
the leader of an Opposition, and still more to the having to form and
carry on a Government should that Opposition be successful. All this I
think exceedingly probable. I then went to Clarendon, where I learnt
that Palmerston had given his answer, and that he meant to stay. He had
written a letter, not exactly such a one as they could have wished, but
which must do; and though it was not yet formally settled, it had gone
so far that it could not fail now. Both Clarendon and Granville told me
John Russell had behaved admirably, which I was glad to hear. Granville
thinks Palmerston has no _rancune_ against Aberdeen, but a good deal
against John Russell. Granville said I had made a bad selection in
writing to Graham on Thursday about Palmerston's staying in, as of all
the Cabinet he was the man most against him, and most opposed to his
return; but Clarendon said for that very reason he was very glad I had
addressed myself to Graham, and that I had since written him a strong
letter, as I did yesterday, setting forth as forcibly as I could the
expediency of a reconciliation and the danger of Palmerston's separating
himself from them, and the infallible consequences thereof.


Walewski has been making a great flare up about the article in the
'Times,' stating that Dundas wanted to pursue the Russian fleet after
Sinope, and that Baraguay d'Hilliers put his veto on the operation.
Clarendon assured him the statement was inserted without his privity,
and he had nothing to do with it. Walewski then asked him to authorise a
formal contradiction in the 'Globe,' or to let it be officially
contradicted in the 'Moniteur.' Clarendon declined the first, and
advised against the latter course. I offered to speak to Delane about
contradicting it in the 'Times,' which I afterwards did. He said the
fact was true, and he had received it from various quarters, and it was
useless to contradict it; but there was no reason the 'Moniteur' should
not do so if they liked, so I sent him to Clarendon to talk it over and
settle what was to be done to smooth the ruffled plumage of the French.

On Thursday at the Cabinet the resolution was taken which amounts to
war. The French sent a proposal that the fleets should go into the Black
Sea, repel any Russian aggression, and force any Russian ships of war
they met with to go back to Sebastopol, using force in case of
resistance. We assented to this proposal, and orders were sent
accordingly. This must produce hostilities of some sort, and renders war
inevitable. It is curious that this stringent measure should have been
adopted during Palmerston's absence, and that he had no hand in it. It
will no doubt render the reconciliation more agreeable to him. This
incident of his resignation and return, which has made such a hubbub not
only here but all over Europe for several days, is certainly
extraordinary, and will hardly be intelligible, especially as it will
hereafter appear that he has withdrawn his resignation with hardly any,
or perhaps no, conditions. On looking dispassionately at it, it seems to
me Palmerston and Aberdeen have both been somewhat to blame. Lord
Lansdowne left town ten days or a fortnight ago, with a distinct
understanding, as he affirms, that the question of the Reform Bill was
not to be definitively settled till after Christmas, and though he was
aware of Palmerston's objections, he had no idea he would take any
decisive step till then. A few days after he was gone to Bowood,
Palmerston wrote to Aberdeen, a most unnecessary and ill-judged act.
Aberdeen--instead of referring in his answer to the above-named
understanding, and giving no other answer, replies that he has consulted
John Russell and Granville, who think that nothing can be proposed that
will remove his objections, and that he agrees with them, on which
Palmerston sends in his resignation in a letter described to be brief
and peremptory in its tone. All these letters were wrong, and none of
them ought to have been written. I see they (his colleagues or some of
them) think Palmerston never had really any intention of quitting his
post, but _more suo_ tried to bully a little, not without hopes that he
might frighten them into some concessions on the Reform Bill, and
meaning, if he failed, to knock under, as he has so often done upon
other occasions. I am much inclined to suspect there is a great deal of
truth in this hypothesis, being struck by Lady Palmerston's mildness and
abstinence from violence and abuse, and the evident anxiety of both of
them for a reconciliation, and again by the very easy terms on which he
has been induced to stay. There has been no exaction or dictation on his
part, but, so far as appears at present, something very like a


 Lord Palmerston's Return--The Czar's Designs--Uncertain
 Prospects--A Dinner of Lawyers--Preparations for War--The Reform
 Scheme modified--Russian Preparations for War--Entry of the Black
 Sea--Intrigues of France with Russia--Attacks on Prince
 Albert--Virulence of the Press--Attitude of Russia--Reluctance on
 both sides to engage in War--Prince Albert's Participation in
 Affairs of State--Opening of Parliament--Vindication of Prince
 Albert--Offer of Marriage of Prince Napoleon to Princess Mary of
 Cambridge--Publication of the Queen's Speech--The Hesitation of
 Austria--Justification of the War--The Blue Books--Popularity of
 the War--Last Efforts for Peace--The Emperor Napoleon's
 Letter--Lord John's Reform Bill--Difficulties arising--The
 Greeks--Objections to the Reform Bill--Postponement of the Reform


_Bowood, December 26th._--I came here to-day through town, where I saw
_en passant_ Granville and Clarendon; received a letter this morning
from Graham, telling me everything was arranged and Palmerston would
stay, which of course I knew long before. Clarendon thought Newcastle
had managed it exceedingly well, inasmuch as by this mixture of
conciliation and firmness he had got Palmerston to write and withdraw
his resignation, without any conditions; indeed, Clarendon considers
that Palmerston has virtually acceded to all the provisions of Lord
John's Bill to which he had objected. Whether his actions correspond
with this idea we shall see hereafter. The letter he has written they
say is 'artful and cunning,' but Aberdeen does not appear dissatisfied
with it; and as it is a considerable concession in him to write any
letter at all, they are right not to quarrel about the expressions. On
the whole, I am now of opinion that Palmerston will be damaged by this
proceeding. Nothing could justify his resignation at such a crisis but a
case of urgent necessity, and if he really was urged to it by such a
necessity, he clearly could not be justified in recalling his
resignation five or six days afterwards, finding himself exactly in the
same situation as he was in before it. It seems to me that he is
certainly on the horns of this dilemma, that he was either wrong in
resigning or wrong in returning. I told Lord Lansdowne so, but he did
not say much in reply; and I find the language of this place is all
favourable to Lord Palmerston, which I presume to be from their
sympathising in his objections to Reform; and they throw most of the
blame on Aberdeen for writing to him the letter he did, in which no
doubt he erred. However, they are all very glad it is made up, and
justly think that the less that is said about it hereafter the better. I
think now that some steps had been taken towards a reconciliation even
before the Thursday when Lady Palmerston spoke to me, and the Queen knew
on Thursday that the reconciliation was highly probable; for she wrote
to Lord Lansdowne that evening, and told him he need not come to Windsor
on Friday, which letter he received just as he was going to set off. The
Tories and the Radicals are equally puzzled, perplexed, and disgusted,
and do not know what to say. They accordingly solace themselves with
such inventions and falsehoods as it suits their several purposes to

Clarendon received a letter from Cowley while I was with him, in which
he said he sent him a paper tending to show that the Emperor of Russia
was bent upon the destruction of Turkey, and prepared to run every risk,
and encounter any enemy, in the pursuit of that object. This is, I
think, very likely; and what is equally likely that, _per damna per
coedes_, and with much danger and damage to himself, he will
accomplish the ruin of the Turk. But all speculation must be vague and
fallacious as to the results of such a war as is now beginning.

_January 3rd_, 1854.--I returned from Bowood on Saturday, having had
no conversation whatever on politics with Lord Lansdowne--and of course
I sought none. News came there that the Turks had accepted the proposal
of the Allied Powers to enter into a negotiation, and we are now
waiting to see what the Emperor of Russia will be disposed to do; but
almost everybody thinks he will refuse to treat, and certainly he will
never admit, as the preliminary condition of negotiation, that no former
treaties shall be revived. The Cabinet meets to-day for the purpose, I
conclude, of resuming the consideration of the Reform Bill. The only
thing Lord Lansdowne did say to me was, that he had had several
conversations with John Russell when he was at Bowood, and that he
thought he had made an impression on him; he evidently expected that
Lord John would make concessions in his Bill which might satisfy, or
partly so, him and Palmerston.


_January 5th._--I dined on Tuesday with the Chancellor, Lord Cranworth:
an array of lawyers, the Chancellor of Ireland (a coarse, vulgar-looking
man, with twitchings in his face), Lord Campbell, Alderson, Coleridge,
and the Solicitor-General (Bethell); besides these Aberdeen, Graham, and
one or two more men.

I sat next to Graham and had much talk. He said the Cabinet that morning
had gone off easily, and he thought matters would proceed quietly now.
Palmerston is quite at his ease and just as if nothing had happened,
which was exactly like him. Graham thinks the Emperor of Russia is
determined on war, and will not consent to negotiate; he said he had
been as anxious as any man to maintain peace, but if we were driven to
go to war, he was for waging it with the utmost vigour, and inflicting
as much injury as we could on Russia, and that we might strike very
severe blows. It was commonly supposed Sebastopol was unassailable by
sea, but he was not satisfied of that, as they are not in possession of
sufficient information to be at all sure about it, but that he did not
know what a powerful fleet with the aid of steam could not accomplish.
He was inclined to believe that such a fleet might force the entrance to
the place and destroy the Russian fleets, but that it would probably
cost many ships to effect such an operation. In discussing the
probability of Russia and Turkey being brought to terms we agreed that
the conditions accepted by the Turks should prove a sufficient basis.
When I asked him whether this would not satisfy even Palmerston, and
whether he would not be desirous of peace if it could be so brought
about, he said he thought not, that Palmerston's politics were always
personal, and that nothing would satisfy him now but to _humiliate_ the

Yesterday afternoon I saw Clarendon at the Foreign Office. He said the
Cabinet went off smoothly enough, and Palmerston did not appear
dissatisfied; confirmed what Graham said of his easy manner--no
awkwardness or reserve. Aberdeen had written to him in answer to his
letter recalling his resignation, saying he wondered he should have
thought the matter of the Reform Bill _final_; and John Russell, when it
was all over, called on him. The alterations in the Reform Bill were
principally these: to extend somewhat the disfranchisement and to give
more of the seats to the counties (which was what both Lord Lansdowne
and Palmerston wished), and to reduce the county franchise from 20 to
10, taking Locke King's plan, the town franchise to be 6_l._, with three
years' rating, as originally proposed. This is intended to admit the
working classes; as Clarendon said, the _principle_ of the last Reform
Bill having been to _exclude_ them, and this to _admit_ them. It seems
now that Lansdowne and Palmerston will not dissent from this plan,
though they do not like it. The various propositions were put to the
vote _seriatim_ in the Cabinet and carried _nem. diss._, so that,
instead of everything having been conceded to Palmerston (as the lying
newspapers proclaimed), nothing has been; and he has, on the contrary,
knocked under.

Clarendon showed me the Note submitted to the Turkish Government with
the proposals as the basis of negotiations, to which we have not yet
received a formal answer; but from a confused telegraphic message they
think the Turks have accepted them. These terms will then have to go to
St. Petersburg. But meanwhile the notification to the Emperor of the
orders to our fleets was to reach St. Petersburg this day, and Clarendon
thinks it exceedingly likely this will produce an immediate declaration
of war on his part. His warlike preparations are enormous, and it is
said that the Church has granted him a loan of four and a half millions
to defray them. I told Clarendon what Graham had said to me of
Palmerston's disposition. He said he did not know, but it was not
unlikely, and quite true about personal motives always influencing his
conduct; and that he had always pleased himself with the reflexion that
the downfall of Louis Philippe might be traced to the Montpensier
marriage, which had really been the remote cause of it. Graham had told
me that Stratford was now really anxious for peace, for he began to see
the possibility of war bringing about the substitution of French
influences at Constantinople in place of Russian, and of the two he
infinitely preferred the latter. Clarendon confirmed this.


_January 6th._--All going on very amicably in the Cabinet, and Pam and
Johnny the best friends possible, cutting their jokes on each other, and
Palmerston producing all his old objections to the Reform Bill just as
if it was discussed for the first time. From what has been settled in
regard to the fleets at Constantinople I think we are running an
enormous risk of some great catastrophe.[1] It appears that Admiral
Hamelin declared it was impossible to enter the Black Sea with safety,
and Baraguay d'Hilliers agreed with him. Dundas was of the same opinion,
but said he was ready to go if ordered. Stratford was not convinced of
the danger as Baraguay d'Hilliers was. Before the opinion of the French
Admiral could reach Paris orders were sent out for the fleets to enter,
and though some discretion is left to the Admirals, the orders are so
precise that it is extremely probable they will obey them in spite of
the danger, great as it is; for the Black Sea is so dark they can take
no observations, and so deep it cannot be sounded, perpetual fogs (which
make the darkness), and no harbour where the fleets can take refuge. If
the fleets should meet with any serious disaster, the indignation and
clamour here would be prodigious, and the most violent accusations would
be levelled at the Government. It would be said that they would not let
the fleets go during the summer and safe seasons, when they could have
done anything they pleased; but, having allowed the Sinope affair to
take place, and failed to bring about peace, they now send the fleets
when they can do no good and prevent no mischief, and only expose them
to damage or destruction.

[Footnote 1: On November 30 the Russian fleet from Sebastopol attacked
the Turkish squadron in the harbour of Sinope and destroyed it. It was
this violent action on the part of Russia that at once decided the
British and French Governments to occupy the Black Sea with their
fleets. The Russian ships withdrew within the harbour of Sebastopol,
which they never left again. I believe that Admiral Dundas and Admiral
Lyons proposed to enter the Black Sea at once and intercept the Russian
vessels before they could reach Sebastopol, but this proposal was
overruled by the French officers, who were disinclined to act until they
received peremptory orders from the Emperor.]

_Broadlands, January 8th._--I came here on Friday; nobody is here but
the Flahaults and Azeglio; I walked with Palmerston yesterday and talked
of the Turkish question. He thinks the Emperor will not declare war on
receiving news of the orders to the fleets, but send some temporising
answer. He said that if these orders had been sent four months ago, the
whole thing would have been settled, which may or not be true; he is
very confident of the success of our naval operations, and of the damage
we may do to Russia; he has never alluded to Reform or anything
connected with it, and is in very good humour.


_January 15th._--I have never yet noticed the extraordinary run there
has been for some weeks past against the Court, more particularly the
Prince, which is now exciting general attention, and has undoubtedly
produced a considerable effect throughout the country. It began a few
weeks ago in the press, particularly in the 'Daily News' and the
'Morning Advertiser,' but chiefly in the latter, and was immediately
taken up by the Tory papers, the 'Morning Herald' and the 'Standard,'
and for some time past they have poured forth article after article, and
letter after letter, full of the bitterest abuse and all sorts of lies.
The 'Morning Advertiser' has sometimes had five or six articles on the
same day all attacking and maligning Prince Albert. Many of these are
very vague, but the charges against him are principally to this effect,
that he has been in the habit of meddling improperly in public affairs,
and has used his influence to promote objects of his own and the
interests of his own family at the expense of the interests of this
country; that he is German and not English in his sentiments and
principles; that he corresponds with foreign princes and with British
Ministers abroad without the knowledge of the Government, and that he
thwarts the foreign policy of the Ministers when it does not coincide
with his own ideas and purposes. He is particularly accused of having
exerted his influence over this Government to prevent their taking the
course which they ought to have done with regard to Turkey, and of
having a strong bias towards Austria and Russia and against France. Then
it is said that he is always present when the Queen receives her
Ministers, which is unconstitutional, and that all the papers pass
through his hands or under his eyes. He is accused of interfering with
all the departments of government, more particularly with the Horse
Guards, and specifically with the recent transactions and disagreements
in that office, which led to the retirement of General Brown, the
Adjutant-General. Then he and the Queen are accused of having got up an
intrigue with foreign Powers, Austria particularly, for getting
Palmerston out of office last year; that she first hampered him in the
Foreign Office, by insisting on seeing his despatches before he sent
them off, and then that she compelled John Russell to dismiss him on the
ground of disrespectful conduct to herself, when the real reason was
condescension to the wishes of Austria, with which Power the Prince had
intimately connected himself. Charges of this sort, mixed up with
smaller collateral ones, have been repeated day after day with the
utmost virulence and insolence by both the Radical and the Tory
journals. For some time they made very little impression, and the Queen
and Prince were not at all disturbed by them; but the long continuance
of these savage libels, and the effect which their continual refutation
has evidently produced throughout the country, have turned their
indifference into extreme annoyance. I must say I never remember
anything more atrocious or unjust. Delane went to Aberdeen and told him
that immense mischief had been done, and that he ought to know that the
effect produced was very great and general, and offered (if it was
thought desirable) to take up the cudgels in defence of the Court.
Aberdeen consulted the Prince, and they were of opinion that it was
better not to put forth any defence, or rebut such charges in the press,
but to wait till Parliament meets, and take an opportunity to repel the
charges there. One of the papers announced that a Liberal member of
Parliament intended to bring the matter forward when Parliament meets,
but I do not expect he will make his appearance. At present nobody talks
of anything else, and those who come up from distant parts of the
country say that the subject is the universal topic of discussion in
country towns and on railways. It was currently reported in the Midland
and Northern counties, and actually stated in a Scotch paper, that
Prince Albert had been committed to the Tower, and there were people
found credulous and foolish enough to believe it. It only shows how much
malignity there is amongst the masses, which a profligate and impudent
mendacity can stir up, when a plausible occasion is found for doing so,
and how 'the mean are gratified by insults on the high.' It was only the
other day that the Prince was extraordinarily popular, and received
wherever he went with the strongest demonstration of public favour, and
now it would not be safe for him to present himself anywhere in public,
and very serious apprehensions are felt lest the Queen and he should be
insulted as they go to open Parliament a fortnight hence. In my long
experience I never remember anything like the virulence and profligacy
of the press for the last six months, and I rejoice that Parliament is
going to meet and fair discussion begin, for nothing else can in the
slightest degree check it, and this, it may be hoped, will.


_January 16th._--The attacks on the Prince go on with redoubled
violence, and the most absurd lies are put forth and readily believed.
It is very difficult to know what to do, but the best thing will be a
discussion in the House of Commons, if possible in both Houses. It is
now said that Sir Robert Peel is going to raise one. Clarendon told me
yesterday that he should not be surprised if the Emperor of Russia were
to recall Brunnow and not Kisseleff, as he is more particularly incensed
against England, knowing very well that we have acted consistently and
in a straightforward direction throughout, while the French have been
continually vacillating, and have kept up a sort of coquetry with him;
for example, Castelbajac congratulated the Emperor on the Sinope affair,
and said he did so as a Minister, a soldier, and a Christian. A pretty
Government to depend on, and which our stupid and ignorant press is
lauding to the skies for its admirable and chivalrous conduct as
compared to ours.

_January 21st._--For some days past the Tory papers have relaxed their
violence against the Court, while the Radical ones, especially the
'Morning Advertiser,' have redoubled their attacks, and not a day passes
without some furious article, and very often five or six articles and
letters, all in the same strain. It is not to be denied or concealed
that these abominable libels have been greedily swallowed all over the
country and a strong impression produced. The press has been infamous,
and I have little doubt that there is plenty of libellous matter to be
found in some of the articles, if it should be deemed advisable for the
Attorney-General to take it up. There can be little doubt that the Tory
leaders got alarmed and annoyed at the lengths to which their papers
were proceeding, and have taken measures to stop them. The Radical
papers nothing can stop, because they find their account in the libels;
the sale of the 'Advertiser' is enormously increased since it has begun
this course, and, finding perfect immunity, it increases every day in
audacity and virulence. One of the grounds of attack (in the 'Morning
Herald' and 'Standard' principally) has been the illegality of the
Prince being a Privy Councillor. In reply to this I wrote a letter (in
my own name) showing what the law and practice are, but incautiously
said the argument had been advanced by a member of the _Carlton Club_,
whereas it was in fact a member of the _Conservative_, and I had
imagined the two Clubs were the same. This mistake drew down on me
various letters, attacking and abusing me, and for several days the
'Morning Herald' has been full of coarse and stupid invectives against
me, supplied by correspondents, who, from the details in their letters,
must be persons with whom I live in great social intimacy. They are,
however, of a very harmless description, and too dull to be effective.

_January 25th._--I wrote a letter in the 'Times' (signed Juvenal),
showing up the lies of the 'Morning Advertiser,' and how utterly
unworthy of credit such a paper is. I find Palmerston and Aberdeen have
come to an understanding as to what shall be said in the way of
explanation, which is a good thing. It is not to be much, and they will
tell the same story. One faint ray of hope for peace has dawned. The
Emperor on receiving our Note has not recalled Brunnow, but ordered him
to ask for explanations, and he is only to withdraw if the answer is of
a certain tenor. Clarendon told him he could not give him an answer at
the moment, and Seymour had said in the P.S. to his last despatch, 'For
God's sake don't give Brunnow any answer for three days.' It is clearly
one of two things--the Emperor meditates making peace, or he wants to
gain time. The fact is, _he has got the answer_, for our instructions to
the Admirals (which were communicated to him) explain our intentions. In
a few days more we must receive his reply to the pacific overture.


_January 29th._--Brunnow has not received his answer, but is to have it
on Tuesday, when I imagine he will announce his departure. Kisseleff has
not had his either, and there is some disagreement as to the answers
between us and the French Government. Clarendon has sent to Paris the
answer he proposes to give, but the French wish not to give Kisseleff
any answer at all, nor even to tell him what it is, but to send their
answer through their Ambassador at Petersburg, to which Clarendon
strenuously objects. This is only for the purpose of delay, the Emperor
Napoleon being so reluctant to go to war, and anxious to put off the
evil day as long as he can. It is not wonderful, for the accounts of the
distress in France, the stagnation of trade, and the financial
embarrassments, and the consequent alarm that prevails as well as
suffering, make it very natural that the Government should shrink from
plunging into a war the duration of which is doubtful, but the expense
certain. Colloredo told me the other day that he thought Orloff's
mission to Vienna afforded a good prospect of peace, because he was sure
Orloff would not have accepted the mission unless he had really expected
to bring it to a successful issue, but Clarendon told me last night that
Orloff is only empowered to propose the same conditions which the
Emperor originally insisted on, and that his real object is to detach
Austria and Prussia from the alliance, by any means he can and by
offering them any terms they please.

The attacks on the Prince are subsiding, except from the 'Morning
Advertiser,' which goes doggedly on in spite of its lies being exposed.
John Russell told me the other day that soon after the Queen's marriage
she asked Melbourne whether the Prince ought to see all the papers and
know everything. Melbourne consulted him about it, and he thinks that he
consulted the Cabinet, but is not quite sure of this. However, Melbourne
and Lord John (and the whole Cabinet if he did consult them) agreed that
it was quite proper she should show him and tell him everything, and
that was the beginning of his being mixed up in public affairs. Why he
did not then begin to be present at her interviews with her Ministers I
do not know, but that practice began when Peel came in, and Lord John
said he found it established when he came back, and he saw no objection
to it. He told me last night that the Queen had talked to him about the
present clamour, which of course annoyed her, and she said, if she had
had the Prince to talk to and employ in explaining matters at the time
of the Bedchamber quarrel with Peel, that affair would not have
happened. Lord John said he thought she must have been advised by
somebody to act as she did, to which she replied with great candour and
naïveté, 'No, it was entirely my own foolishness.' This is the first
time I have heard of her acknowledging that it was 'foolishness,' and is
an avowal creditable to her sense. Lord John said, when Lord Spencer was
consulted on the matter he replied, 'It is a bad ground for a _Whig_
Government to stand on, but as gentlemen you can't do otherwise.'

_February 1st._--Parliament met yesterday, a greater crowd than usual to
see the procession. The Queen and Prince were very well received, as
well as usual, if not better; but all the _enthusiasm_ was bestowed on
the Turkish Minister, the mob showing their sympathy in his cause by
vociferous cheering the whole way. The night went off capitally for the
Government in both Houses. In the Lords Derby made a slashing speech,
but very imprudent, and played into Aberdeen's hands, who availed
himself thereof very well, and made a very good answer, which is better
to read than it was to hear. Derby afforded him a good opportunity of
vindicating the Prince, which he did very effectively, and then Derby
followed him and joined in the vindication, but he clumsily allowed
Aberdeen to take the initiative. Clarendon answered Clanricarde, who was
hostile, but not very bitter; the former showed how much he suffers from
want of practice and facility. I thought he would have failed in the
middle, but he recovered himself and went on. Derby was put into a great
rage by Aberdeen's speech, and could not resist attacking _me_ (whom he
saw behind the Throne). He attacked my letter (signed C.), in which I
had pitched into the Tories for their attacks on the Prince. I saw his
people turn round and look towards me, but I did not care a fig, and was
rather pleased to see how what I wrote had galled them, and struck home.
In the Commons the Government was still more triumphant. The Opposition
were disorganised and feeble; all who spoke on that side took different
views, and very little was said. John Russell made a very good speech,
and took the bull by the horns about the Prince, entered at once on the
subject, and delivered an energetic vindication of and eulogium on him
in his best style. It was excellent, and between his speech and
Aberdeen's and all those who chimed in, that abomination may be
considered to be destroyed altogether, and we shall probably hear no
more of it.


This evening ---- told me a secret that surprised me much. I asked him
casually if he knew for what purpose Prince Napoleon was gone to
Brussels, when he told me that he was gone to try and get King Leopold
to use his influence here to bring about his marriage with the Princess
Mary, the Duke of Cambridge's sister; that for a long time past
Palmerston had been strongly urging this match with the Queen, and had
written heaps of letters to press it, having been in constant
communication about it with Walewski and the Emperor himself. They had
made such a point of it that the Queen had thought herself obliged to
consult the Princess Mary herself about it, who would not listen to it.
The negotiator did not make the proposal more palateable, and he did not
recommend himself the more, by suggesting that such a match was very
preferable to any little German prince. It is incredible that he should
have mixed himself in an affair that he could hardly fail to know must
be very disagreeable to the Queen, besides that the Princess is not
likely to sacrifice her country and her position for such a speculation,
so hazardous and uncertain at best, and involving immediate obligations
and necessities at which her pride could not fail to revolt.

_February 2nd._--The above story, put together with some other things,
leads to strange conjectures about Palmerston, which seem to justify the
suspicions and convictions of the Court and others about him. I have
before alluded to his intimate connexion with Walewski, and the
notorious favour with which he is regarded by the Emperor, who considers
him as his great _appui_ here.

Before proceeding I must, however, refer to another matter, which seems
to have no connexion with it. There is always great anxiety on the part
of the press to get the Queen's Speech, so as to give a sketch of it the
morning of the day when it is made, and those who do not get it are
very jealous of those who do. There has been great bother about it on
some former occasions, once particularly, because one of the Derbyites
gave it to their paper, the 'Morning Herald,' it having been
communicated in strict confidence, and according to recent custom, to
the leaders of the party. The other day Aberdeen refused to give it even
to the 'Times,' and of course to any other paper, and he begged
Palmerston not to send it to the 'Morning Post,' which is notoriously
his paper. Nevertheless, the Speech appeared in the 'Times,' and what
seemed more extraordinary, in the 'Morning Advertiser,' the paper which
has been the fiercest opponent of the Government, and the most
persevering and virulent of the assailants of the Prince. How these
papers got the Speech nobody knows, but as there were four dinners, at
which at least a hundred men must have been present, it is easy to
imagine that some one of these may have communicated it. Delane has
friends in all parties, and he told me that he had no less than three
offers of it, and therefore he had no difficulty. But how did the
'Morning Advertiser' come by it? It is politically opposed to both the
Ministry and the Derbyites; but it must have got the Speech from some
person of one or the other party, with whom it has some community of
interest or object. The run upon the Prince was carried on equally by
the 'Morning Herald' and the 'Morning Advertiser' till within ten days
of the meeting of Parliament, when the former was stopped; the latter
never ceased. I have heard it surmised more than once that these attacks
proceeded from Paris, and were paid for by the Emperor Louis Napoleon,
but I never could believe it. The other day I met M. Alexandre Thomas at
dinner at Marble Hill, and we came to town together. He told me he had
no doubt the abuse of the Prince was the work of the Emperor, and paid
for by him. It did not make much impression on me at the moment; but
now, putting all these things together, I cannot help partaking in the
opinion that the whole thing has been got up, managed, and paid for by
Louis Napoleon, Walewski, and another person here. Brunnow received his
answer yesterday, with many civilities and regrets, _de part et
d'autre_. Orloff as we hear has failed in his mission to cajole the
Austrian Government, but _non constat_ that Austria will act a firm part
against Russia. If she would only announce her intention to do so, the
matter would probably be settled; for Russia would, as we believe,
certainly come to terms, if she was sure of Austria acting against her,
so that, in fact, Austria holds the decision in her own hands, and the
greatest service she can do to Russia herself would be to compel her to
surrender, as she may still do with an appearance of credit and dignity.


_February 9th._--Nobody now thinks of anything but of the coming war and
its vigorous prosecution. The national blood is up, and those who most
earnestly deprecated war are all for hitting as hard as we can now that
it is forced upon us. The publication of the Blue Books has relieved the
Government from a vast amount of prejudice and suspicion. The public
judgement of their management of the Eastern Question is generally very
favourable, and impartial people applaud their persevering efforts to
avert war, and are satisfied that everything was done that the national
honour or dignity required. I have read through the thick volumes, and
am satisfied that there is on the whole no case to be made against the
Government, though there are some things that might perhaps have been
better done; but what is there of any sort, or at any time, of which as
much may not be said when we have been made wiser by experience and
events? These Books are very creditable in the great ability they
display. As Lord Ellenborough said in the House of Lords, the case had
been most ably conducted, both by Government and its agents. Clarendon's
despatches are exceedingly good, and in one respect greatly superior to
Palmerston's when he was at the Foreign Office: they are very measured
and dignified, and he never descends to the scolding, and the taunts,
and sarcasms in which the other delighted. Palmerston always wrote as if
his object was to gain a victory in a war of words, and have the best of
an argument; Clarendon, on the contrary, keeps steadily in view a great
political object, and never says a word but with a view to attain it.
Stratford's despatches are very able, and very well written, but they
leave the impression (which we know to be the truth), that he has said
and done a great deal more than we are informed of; that he is the real
cause of this war, and that he might have prevented it, if he had chosen
to do so, I have no doubt whatever. His letters have evidently been
studiously composed with reference to the Blue Book, and that he may
appear in a popular light. I find he has been all the time in
correspondence with Palmerston, who, we may be sure, has incited him to
fan the flame, and encourage the Turks to push matters to extremities. I
should like to know what Palmerston would have said, when he was at the
Foreign Office, if one of his colleagues had corresponded with any one
of his Ministers abroad, in a sense differing from that in which he
himself instructed him. The wonderful thing is the impunity which he
continues to enjoy, and how, daring and unscrupulous as he is, and
determined to have his own way, he constantly escapes detection and
exposure. The good case which the Government has put forward, and the
approach of war, have apparently extinguished or suspended all
opposition, and the Session, which everybody expected to be so stormy
and dangerous, bids fair to be as easy as possible. Great difference of
opinion exists as to the wisdom of committing our Baltic fleet to
Charles Napier. It was, however, decided at the Cabinet yesterday that
he should have it,[1] and we have got a very powerful squadron ready.
The war is certainly very popular, but I don't think its popularity will
last long when we begin to pay for it, unless we are encouraged and
compensated for our sacrifices by some very flattering successes.

[Footnote 1: There was a question of appointing Lord Dundonald, a far
abler man; but he was seventy-nine, and besides he made it a condition
that he should be allowed to destroy Cronstadt by some chemical process
of his own invention.]

_February 15th._--Several days ago there was a short discussion in the
House of Lords, in which the Government did not cut a good figure.
Aberdeen made a declaration in favour of peace, saying 'war was not
inevitable,' which produced an explosion against him, and it was so
imprudent _in him_, and so calculated to mislead, that Clarendon
insisted on his rising again and saying that no negotiations were going
on, threatening to do so himself if Aberdeen did not. He complied, but
the whole thing produced a bad effect, although there are no
negotiations to which we are a party. Austria is making a new attempt
with the Emperor, to which she was encouraged by Orloff before he went.
We are satisfied with the conduct of Austria, but though she has
rejected the Russian overtures, she will not engage to join us against
Russia in certain contingencies. If she would do this, it would most
probably settle the affair, and make the Emperor agree to reasonable


This morning appears in all the newspapers the autograph letter of the
Emperor Napoleon to the Emperor Nicholas, which has been so much talked
of. If the Emperor of Russia at once closes with it, he will place us in
a great dilemma, but it may produce peace. On Sunday Clarendon told me
all about this letter. The Emperor took it into his head to write it,
and sent a copy here for the approval of our Government. Clarendon made
many objections, particularly to the suggestion of a simultaneous
withdrawal of the Russian troops and the Allied fleets, and to the
separate negotiation of Turkey, two points we had all along laid great
stress upon. Walewski returned the letter with the objections raised by
us, and soon after informed Clarendon that the letter had been altered
according to our suggestions, and the objectionable parts omitted; but
he did not bring him the amended letter. Clarendon wrote to Cowley, and
said what had passed, and that he was glad the alterations had been
made, but was surprised the letter, as altered, had not been shown to
him. Cowley told Drouyn de Lhuys, who said they had sent the letter to
Walewski, and he could not think why Clarendon had not seen it, and he
wrote to Walewski desiring him to take it to Clarendon. He did so, when,
much to his annoyance as well as surprise, he found that they had only
made a few verbal alterations, and left the really objectionable parts
nearly the same as before. This may put us in a very awkward position.
If the Emperor Nicholas agrees, we must either agree also to what we
entirely disapprove, or disavow the French, and perhaps separate from
them; and it will be very embarrassing if the Government are asked in
Parliament whether they were a party to this letter and its proposals.
Clarendon told me this was only one of many instances in which the
conduct of the French had been very _louche_ and insincere. He thinks
this more attributable to Drouyn than to his master, and Walewski has
behaved with great loyalty and straightforwardness; but hardly a week
has passed that he has not had to complain of something done by the
French Government in a separate or clandestine manner, or of some
proposal which they ought not to make, and this makes one of the
difficulties of the position of which nobody is aware--a fine prospect
to be married to such a people on a great question; but what can be
expected from the Government of such a Sovereign and such Ministers? It
confirms my long settled opinion, that we are always in extreme danger
of being thrown over by them. With regard to the whole question (and
omitting these details) the Emperor Napoleon has behaved well enough to
us; for he has adhered steadily to the joint policy, though it is his
interest to maintain peace, and public opinion in France runs as
strongly that way as here it runs in the opposite direction.

The day before yesterday John Russell introduced his Reform Bill, having
resisted the most urgent representations and entreaties to postpone it.
His speech was very tame, and nothing could be more cold than its
reception. The few remarks that were made were almost all against it, or
particular parts of it, and it has excited no enthusiasm in any quarter.
The prevailing impression is that it will not pass if it is persisted
in. If any Reform Bill were to be proposed at all, this does not seem to
be a very bad measure, and some points in it are good; but nobody wanted
any measure, and the few Radicals who do, do not care for the
particular measures Lord John proposes, and ask for other things which
he will not hear of, so that he offends and alarms the Conservatives
without conciliating the Liberals, and he disgusts and provokes his own
adherents by his refusal to defer his Bill. Palmerston and his clique
are sure to abuse it, and to employ all the underhand means they can to
stir up opposition to it.


_February 20th._--John Russell answered the questions put in the House
of Commons about the Emperor Napoleon's letter very dexterously, telling
the truth, but in a way not offensive to the Emperor. He also made an
excellent speech on the debate on the Blue Books, brought on by Layard
in a bitter speech very personal against Clarendon. The House of Commons
as well as the country are so excessively warlike that they are ready to
give any number of men and any amount of money, and seem only afraid the
Government may not ask enough. I expect we shall have had quite enough
of it before we have done with this question, and that our successes and
the effect produced on Russia will not be commensurate with the
prevailing ardour and expectation here. The most serious of all
difficulties seems to be rapidly coming, the insurrection of the Greek
population; and this is a matter which has already caused a good deal of
difference of opinion and debate in the Cabinet, one half wanting to
assist in putting down the Greeks, the other half opposing this scheme.
The danger of attacking the Greeks is, that we should thereby throw them
at once into the arms of Russia, whereas the true policy is to persuade
them if possible to be quiet, and induce them to look up to us for
protection and future support. It is an element in the question of great
importance, and very difficult to deal with. It is disgusting to hear
everybody and to see all writers vying with each other in laudation of
Stratford Canning, who has been the principal cause of the war. They all
think that, if he had been sincere in his desire for peace, and for an
accommodation with Russia, he might have accomplished it, but on the
contrary he was bent on bringing on war. He said as much to Lord Bath,
who was at Constantinople. Lord Bath told him he had witnessed the
fleets sailing into the Black Sea, when he replied, 'You have brought
some good news, for that is _war_. The Emperor of Russia chose to make
it a personal quarrel with me, and now I am revenged.' This Lord Bath
wrote to Lady Ashburton, who told Clarendon. I asked John Russell
yesterday why he sent Stratford back to Constantinople. He said when he
sent him the quarrel was between France and Russia, and only about the
Holy Places; they knew nothing there of Menschikoff's demands, and
nobody was so qualified as Stratford to assist in settling the original


_February 25th._--Last night Clarendon made a capital speech in the
House of Lords, far superior to any he ever made before, and the best
that has yet been made in defence of the Ministerial policy. He has got
on wonderfully since the Session began, each of his speeches being much
better than the preceding one, till at last he has made one of very
great merit and power, as all admit. It was spirited, dignified and
discreet. I began to fear he would never get over the misfortune of his
want of early practice, and never excel as a speaker; but this speech
was so good, that I now hope he will, having acquired confidence and
facility, speak up to the level of his ability. The rage for this war
gets every day more vehement, and nobody seems to fear anything, but
that we may not spend money and men enough in waging it. The few sober
people who have courage enough to hint at its being impolitic and
uncalled for are almost hooted down, and their warnings and scruples are
treated with indignation and contempt. It does now appear as if Austria
had made up her mind to act with us, and that we may depend upon her.
The French made known to the Austrian Government some time ago that, in
the alternative of her taking a hostile part, she must expect to be
attacked in Italy, and Clarendon early in the business pointed out to
Colloredo all the serious consequences his Government had to apprehend
in all parts of her dominions if she abetted Russia. With a war so
popular, and supported cordially by Parliament, and a flourishing
revenue and trade, Government would look round on a cloudless horizon,
if it were not for the Reform Bill, which is a matter replete with
uncertainty, difficulty, and danger. Nobody has an idea whether it will
be carried in the House of Commons; almost all the friends of Government
want Lord John to withdraw it, and the Cabinet is divided on the
subject, Lord John, Graham, and Aberdeen being strongly in favour of
pressing it on at all hazards, Palmerston violently against. He has now
reproduced all his own objections and arguments against the Bill itself,
as well as against forcing it on now, quite justified in the latter, but
unjustifiable in the former course. Having once knocked under, and come
back to office, consenting to swallow it, however reluctantly, it is too
late to cavil at the Bill itself; but he may consistently and properly
unite his voice with the voices of all prudent and moderate men, and
strenuously resist its being persevered in at this moment against a
feeling and opinion which are all but universal. On the whole, I rather
expect (but with much doubt) that Lord John will yield to the general
sentiment, and consent to postpone it.

_February 27th._--We are on the very verge of a Ministerial crisis. John
Russell will listen to no reason about his Reform Bill, he insists on
going on with it, and will have it that his honour and character demand
that he should, and he says, 'When the honour of public men is
preserved, the country is safe.' Clarendon dined here yesterday, and
told me he thought Lord John would break up the Government. It is, in
fact, a political duel between Lord John and Palmerston. ---- thinks,
and probably he is right, that at the last moment Palmerston will give
way, but in the meantime he himself and all his followers and admirers
are moving Heaven and earth to defeat the measure, and to set up
opposition to it--none more active than Hayter, Secretary to the
Treasury, whose borough is one of those to be disfranchised. Everybody
thinks Sir Edward Denny's motion will be carried, and if it is that Lord
John will retire. If it were not for the difficulty about leading the
House of Commons, this would not signify. I do not see how any
arrangement is possible but that Palmerston should take the lead, but I
do not know if this will not lead to other resignations. Clarendon is
indignant at the state of things brought about by Lord John's obstinacy.
He told me that Graham supported Lord John vehemently, but that Aberdeen
took no strong part, and had behaved very well. Having accepted Lord
John's Reform measure, and pledged himself to it, he was ready still to
abide by that pledge. There never was such a _mess_ as it all is.
Clarendon is now very hot on this war, which he fancies is to produce
great and uncontemplated effects. He says for very many years past
Russia has been the great incubus on European improvement, and the real
cause of half the calamities that have afflicted the world, and he
thinks a great opportunity now presents itself of extinguishing her
pernicious influence, and by liberating other countries from it, the
march of improvement and better government will of necessity be
developed and accelerated, and in this way civilisation itself may be
the gainer by this contest. The Emperor Napoleon has earnestly pressed
that our contingent should be put under the command of the French
Marshal, to which we have altogether objected, and he has acquiesced,
though reluctantly. We have agreed on a sort of _mezzo termine_, viz.
that, in the event of a battle in which both forces are engaged, they
should be under one Commander-in-Chief, who must be the Frenchman.
Clarendon lamented that he had got no better Minister at Vienna than
Westmorland just now, who though well meaning is nearly useless, as
Colloredo is here, who will take nothing on himself. He says Castelbajac
at St. Petersburg has really not represented the French Government at
all, nor acted in any way in conjunction with Seymour, but been all
along a base courtier of the Emperor Nicholas. Clarendon has again and
again remonstrated through Cowley with Drouyn de Lhuys on this
inconsistency, and Drouyn has always replied that he is quite aware of
it, and has been at least as much annoyed at it as we could be, but that
the Emperor would never allow him to be recalled. I asked Clarendon
whether, now that war really was inevitable, Aberdeen was more
reconciled to it, and he said not at all; he yielded to the necessity,
but very sulkily, and in the discussions relating to it in the Cabinet
he took no part, and evinced a total indifference, or rather disgust.
However, he expressed great admiration of Clarendon's speech, which he
said was the best he ever heard. Lord John has sent to his brother to
come to town, telling him a crisis is at hand. Granville, who is all
with Lord John, personally and politically a Reformer, and highly
approving of this Bill, is going to him to-day to see if he can prevail
on him to give way to the general opinion, and at all events to put him
in possession of what is said and thought on the subject.


_March 6th._--After a great struggle John Russell was persuaded to put
off his Reform Bill, but only till the end of April, so that in a few
weeks the same embarrassment will begin again. The satisfaction at its
being deferred at all is great and general, and everybody thinks that
some expedient will be devised for putting it off again, when the time
comes, and so that we shall be rid of it for this year. All the Cabinet
was for putting it off, except Graham and Aberdeen. The former has
devoted himself to Lord John, and goes heart and soul with him. Why
Aberdeen took that view I cannot imagine, unless he wished to bring
about a crisis, and to make his escape by favour of it. My own opinion
at present is, that on April 27 Lord John will insist on bringing it on,
and abide the consequences. The tenour of his speech and still more that
of Aberdeen, the same night, lead me to that conclusion. The Radicals
with old Hume at the head of them, approved of the course Lord John
took, but expressly with the understanding that he really meant and
would bring it on at the period to which it was postponed; and as he is
sure to be incessantly urged on by his _entourage_ to be firm when the
time comes, and he will be very reluctant to encounter the indignation
and reproaches of his reforming friends and adherents, the chances seem
to me to be in favour of the battle taking place. I think his speech on
putting it off was not at all good, nor what he ought to have said. He
laid himself open to an attack from Disraeli, which was very just, and
he could not answer it. It was quite absurd to ground the postponement
on the war and its exigencies, and it was moreover not the real and true
reason. He put it off because he was importuned by everybody to do so,
because Hayter proved to him that he would infallibly be defeated, and
because there was no other way of preventing a break-up of the
Government. He might have anticipated Disraeli's philippic by reverting
to what he had before said, repeating his own conviction that the war
afforded no reason for not going on with the Bill; but that he found so
many of his own friends and such a general concurrence of feeling in the
House of Commons on the other side, added to great indifference in the
country, that he had thought it right to defer to those opinions, and
give up his own to them. Such a defence of his conduct as this would
have been more effective and more consistent with the truth, but it
would have involved something like an acknowledgement of error, from
which it is probable that his pride and obstinacy revolted, so he made
what I think was a very bad speech. If he does bring it on again in
April, I expect he will be defeated, and then retire. In any case his
retirement will lead to Palmerston's elevation, as leader of the House
of Commons if Lord John goes alone, as Prime Minister if Graham and
Aberdeen go with him, and there seems no alternative, unless Lansdowne
can be induced to replace Aberdeen, which some think not impossible,
though it would only be for a short time.


 Dinner to Sir Charles Napier--A Ministerial Indiscretion--Doubts as
 to the Reform Bill--Discontent of Lord John Russell--The Secret
 Correspondence with Russia--War declared--Weakness of the
 Government--Mr. Greville disapproves the War--Divisions in the
 Cabinet--Withdrawal of the Reform Bill--Blunder of the
 Government--The Fast Day--Licences to trade in War--Death of the
 Marquis of Anglesey--Mr. Gladstone's Financial
 Failures--Dissolution of Parties--Mr. Gladstone's Budget--Lord
 Cowley's Opinion of the Emperor's Position--The House of Commons
 supports the War--Disraeli attacks Lord John Russell--A Change of
 Plans--Lord John Russell's Mismanagement--Attacks on Lord
 Aberdeen--Popularity of the War--Government Majority in the
 Lords--Attitude of the German Powers--A Meeting of the Liberal
 Party--An Appointment cancelled--Expedition to the Crimea--English
 and French Policy united in Spain--Close of the Session--The
 Character of Lord Aberdeen's Government--Effect of the Quarrel with
 Russia--Lord Palmerston's Resignation--Waywardness of the House of


_London, March 13th_, 1854.--The only event of recent occurrence was
the dinner given last week to Sir Charles Napier at the Reform Club,
with Lord Palmerston in the chair. Everybody disapproves of the whole
proceeding, which is thought to have been unwise and in bad taste. The
only Ministers there besides Palmerston were Graham and Molesworth, and
the former made an excessively foolish, indiscreet speech, which has
been generally censured, and to-night he is to be called to account for
it in the House of Commons. It is marvellous that a man of mature age,
who has been nearly forty years in public life, should be so rash and
ill-judged in his speeches.[1] There seems now to be a better chance of
John Russell's again putting off his Reform Bill next month. There are
not two opinions, except among the extreme Radicals, of the expediency
of his doing so, and his best friends (including his brother) greatly
regret that he did not put it off _sine die_ instead of to another fixed

[Footnote 1: At this dinner at the Reform Club, Sir James Graham made
an intemperate speech in which he said: 'My gallant friend (Napier) says
that when he goes into the Baltic he will declare war. I, as First Lord
of the Admiralty, give my free consent to do so. I hope the war may be
short, and that it may be sharp.' Sir Charles Napier's subsequent
performances in the Baltic did not at all correspond to this heroic
language, and did not add to his former reputation.]

_March 20th._--There has been a little episode, not very important, but
which being entirely personal caused some noise in the world. About a
week ago, or perhaps more, appeared the Petersburg 'Gazette' with a sort
of manifesto, complaining bitterly of the conduct of the British
Government, which was said to be the more inexcusable as a confidential
correspondence had taken place between the two Governments, and we had
been all along informed of their views and intentions. The 'Times'
published this (as did all the other papers), and with it a peremptory
denial of its truth, stating that John Russell, then Foreign Secretary,
had sent an indignant refusal to the proposals made to us. Derby took
this up in the House of Lords, complaining of State secrets having been
imparted to the 'Times,' and insinuating his belief that Aberdeen had
communicated them. Aberdeen denied the imputation with some resentment,
and said that a flagrant breach of confidence had been certainly
committed, and he had reason to believe that the culprit was a man
formerly in the Foreign Office as clerk, though now out of it, who had
been appointed by Lord Malmesbury. On this Malmesbury flared up, and
desired to know his name, which Aberdeen said he did not know. On a
subsequent night Malmesbury again took the matter up, and challenged
Aberdeen to give the name and produce his proof. Aberdeen said he had
received the information in a way which left no doubt on his mind of its
truth, and he was willing to leave the matter to the gentleman himself,
and if he denied it, he would acknowledge that he was mistaken and had
been misinformed. By this time everybody was aware that a young man of
the name of Astley was the accused party. He wrote a letter to
Malmesbury denying the charge, but his letter was not very distinct.
However, Malmesbury read it in the House, and called on Aberdeen to
retract the charge, which he immediately and completely did, and there
the matter ended; but though the man is thus acquitted, and the
Opposition papers abuse Aberdeen (who in fact was very imprudent to
mention it), there seems no doubt that he really did babble about this
matter, though it is very certain it was not from him the 'Times' got
its information.[1] The story told is this: Astley talked of the
correspondence to some person in a railway carriage. That person told it
to Lady Ashburton, who repeated it to Clarendon. When thus talked of, it
might easily get to the 'Times;' and the only wonder is, it did not get
into many other papers besides.


Lord John Russell continues in a very perplexed and uncertain state
about his Reform Bill, and hesitates whether to bring it on or not next
month. On one hand he is urged to do so by his little knot of domestic
adherents, by Graham vehemently, and to a certain degree by Aberdeen; on
the other he is entreated and argued with by all the rest of his
colleagues, by his brother, by Hayter, and by an immense majority of his
political friends and supporters. Still he hesitates. He has got a
notion, and others tell him so, that his character is concerned in
bringing it on, and that he is bound to risk everything to maintain it.
Graham is quite inconceivable; always rash at one moment and cowardly at
another, he is now, and on this question, in his rashest mood, and he
has persuaded himself, and tries to persuade Lord John, that if he
perseveres and is beaten (which he cannot disguise from himself is
probable, if not certain) he will only have to go out in order to return
in triumph as Prime Minister. If a dissolution is proposed, and the
Cabinet consent to it, he fancies a new Parliament will give him
everything; if the Cabinet will not dissolve, Lord John, Graham and
Aberdeen would retire, the Government be broken up, and Lord John would
have Parliament and the country with him in forming another. All this I
believe to be pure delusion. By persisting in his course he may, and
probably would, break up the Government, but he would destroy himself,
he would never be forgiven by his party or by the country at large for
breaking up the Government at such a moment as this, and all his visions
of success and power would soon be dispersed. Whatever else might
happen, he would be excluded from office, probably for ever. His
discontent with his present position the more inclines him to take this
hazardous step, because he wants a change of some sort.

The Duke of Bedford came to me the other day to tell me Lord John was
determined no longer to go on as he now is, and it seems that he is
moved principally by pecuniary considerations.[2] He is poor and has a
large family. While he is in office he is obliged to incur expenses by
giving dinners and parties, and this additional expense is defrayed by
the Duke, but in a very unsatisfactory way. Lord John sends him a sort
of estimate or account of his extra expenses, and the Duke pays the
money. It is not surprising that Lord John dislikes such assistance as
this, and though he never complains, he is probably mortified and
provoked that his brother does not once for all give him a sum of money
or a large annuity. Everybody else is amazed that he does not do this;
but though he is much attached to Lord John, admires and is proud of
him, his love of money is so great that he cannot bring himself, even
for his brother, to do a generous thing on a great scale. His colossal
fortune, which goes on increasing every day, and for which he has no
use, might well be employed in making his brother easy, and in buying
golden opinions for himself; but the passion of avarice and the pleasure
of accumulation outweigh all such considerations, and he falls in
readily with Lord John's notion of taking an office for the sake of its
emoluments. The present idea is to have this matter settled before
Easter, to turn out Mr. Strutt from the Duchy of Lancaster, and put
Lord John in the place, with an increased salary during his occupation
of it. Nothing, however, is settled about it yet.

The publication of the secret correspondence with Russia has excited
great interest, and does great credit to the Government, but it
increases the public indignation against the Emperor, because it exposes
the extreme duplicity of his conduct; and as he must have been aware
that such would be the inevitable result of publicity, it is difficult
to conceive what induced him to provoke it, unless Walewski's conjecture
is the true one. He thinks that the Emperor thought it would make bad
blood between us and France, fancying that we had not imparted the
correspondence to the French Government, in which he was mistaken, as we
had done so.

[Footnote 1: The indiscretion, such as it was, appears to have been
that of Lord Aberdeen himself, and Lord Malmesbury quoted with a good
deal of wit and _à propos_, in the House of Lords, Sancho Panza's
saying, 'that a cask may leak at the top as well as at the bottom.']

[Footnote 2: Lord John at this time had a seat in the Cabinet and led
the House of Commons without any office in the Ministry and without any


_March 29th._--The die is cast, and war was declared yesterday. We are
already beginning to taste the fruits of it. Every species of security
has rapidly gone down, and everybody's property in stocks, shares, &c.,
is depreciated already from twenty to thirty per cent. I predict
confidently that, before many months are over, people will be as
heartily sick of it as they are now hot upon it. Nobody knows where our
fleets and armies are going, nor what they mean to attempt, and we are
profoundly ignorant of the resources and power of Russia to wage war
against us. As the time for action approaches, Austria and Prussia grow
more reluctant to engage in it. The latter has proclaimed her
neutrality, and unless some events should make a change in her policy, I
do not believe the former will ever be induced to _act_ with us and
against Russia. The Government here are in a very weak unsatisfactory
state. They are supported in carrying on war, but in every other respect
they are treated with great indifference, and appear to have very little
authority or influence either in Parliament or in the country. Nobody
seems to have risen in estimation, except perhaps Clarendon, who has
done his work well and got credit for it. Palmerston and Graham have
positively disgraced themselves by their dinner to Napier, and the
foolish speeches they made both there and in the House of Commons
afterwards. I do not know what Palmerston's popularity might turn out to
be if it should be tested by some change which brought him forward, but
he certainly has greatly lost ground this year by his whole conduct from
his resignation down to this time. Gladstone, the great card of the
pack, has forfeited by the failure of his financial schemes a good deal
of the credit he had obtained. John Russell has offended everybody by
his obstinacy about his ill-timed Reform Bill, so that the Government
does not stand very high, and is only strong in the weakness of all
other parties. They are constantly beaten on small matters in the House
of Commons, which produces a bad effect. Up to this moment nobody knows
what John Russell means to do about the Reform Bill; if he puts it off
again, he ought to do so to-morrow, when the discussion will take place
about the declaration of war.

_April 2nd._--The debates in both Houses were marked by great bitterness
on the part of the Opposition, by Derby in one House, and by Disraeli
and Layard in the other. The war fever is still sufficiently raging to
make it impossible for any man who denounces the war itself to obtain a
patient hearing. Nobody ventures to cry out against it but Bright in the
House of Commons, and Grey in the House of Lords, but already I see
symptoms of disquietude and alarm. Some of those who were most warlike
begin to look grave, and to be more alive to the risks, difficulties,
and probably dangers of such a contest. I cannot read the remonstrances
and warnings of Bright without going very much along with him; and the
more I reflect on the nature of the contest, its object, and the degree
to which we are committed in it, the more uneasy I feel about it, and
the more lively my apprehensions are of our finding ourselves in a very
serious dilemma, and being involved in great embarrassments of various
sorts. Amongst other misfortunes, one is the discredit into which
Gladstone has fallen as a financier. Notwithstanding his extraordinary
capacity, most people who are conversant with the subject of finance
think he has greatly mismanaged his affairs, and suffered his notions or
crotchets to get the better of his prudence, and consequently that he
has prepared for himself as Chancellor of the Exchequer very great
difficulties. His Budget last year was so popular, and his wonderful
readiness and skill in dealing with everything relating to finance
excited so much admiration, that his reputation was prodigious, and he
was not only the strength of the Government, but was marked out as the
future Prime Minister whenever changes took place. All this _prestige_
is very much diminished; and although his failures are in great measure
attributable to accidents over which he had no control, many who are not
unfriendly to him think he has been rash, obstinate, and injudicious,
and no longer feel the same confidence in him which they did a short
time ago.


_April 3rd._--The Duke of Bedford has just been here, as uneasy about
the state of affairs and as disgusted and alarmed at the war as I am. He
does not know what Lord John will do about the Reform Bill, but fears
rather than hopes as to his intentions. Aberdeen had desired that there
should be a Cabinet before Easter, and that Lord John should _then_
determine what he would do, but Palmerston requested that the final
decision should only be made on the 26th, the day before that on which
it is to come on. What his object is, they do not know. The Duke in
talking to Lord John suggested the certainty of his breaking up the
Government by bringing on his measure, and the enormous evil this would
be, to which Lord John replied that if he knew what the internal state
of the Government was, he would perhaps not think the evil of the
dissolution so great. The fact is, that when the Opposition, as is their
wont, taunt the Government with their internal disagreement and want of
cordiality and union, they are much more right than they themselves are
aware of. The Duke told me that the Queen told him the other day that
she had herself written to Lord John urging him to give up bringing on
his Bill. Not long ago the Queen was in favour of proceeding with it,
but circumstances were very different at that time.

_April 15th._--This has been a week of excitement. It had been settled
that on Monday last John Russell should announce his intention with
regard to the Reform Bill. His uncertainty still prevailed, and he got
into such a state of mind about it that it made him ill. He could not
sleep, and was in a terrible state of vexation and perplexity. Aberdeen
then proposed to him to give up the Bill, but to obtain from the Cabinet
a unanimous consent to his pledging them to go on with it hereafter at
some indefinite time. On Saturday there was a Cabinet, at which he made
this proposal, but Palmerston and Lansdowne both refused their consent,
and Lansdowne was in conversation with his friends very vehement about
it. Graham appears to have been reasonable at this Cabinet, and ready to
adopt the course proposed to Lord John. It was eventually settled that
he should announce the abandonment of the Bill, and make the best
statement he could, not pledging the _whole_ Cabinet as he had intended;
but before this he urged them to accept his resignation, which they
refused, and then Palmerston begged he might resign, which they refused
equally. So matters stood on Saturday night, and everybody believed it
was settled. On Sunday Lord John's doubts and fears returned, his mind
became unsettled again, and he was inclined to withdraw from his
agreement and to go on. To the surprise of the whole House of Commons,
when Monday came, Lord John only said he would make his statement the
next day. Everybody saw something was wrong, and the curiosity and
excitement were very great. All Monday and Tuesday mornings were passed
in conferences and going backwards and forwards, the Duke of Bedford
being called in to work upon Lord John. He did his best, and at last on
Tuesday morning he and others finally persuaded Lord John to adhere to
what had been determined and withdraw his Bill. This he did in a very
good speech, full of an emotion and manifestation of sensibility which
succeeded completely with the House, and he was greeted with prodigious
cheering and compliments and congratulations on all sides. Nothing could
in fact go off better, or in a way more gratifying to him, and the
Government appears to have been strengthened by the operation. His
emotion was sincere, because he is no actor, but it was in my opinion
totally uncalled for; and as there is but a step between the sublime and
the ridiculous, it might just as well have appeared ridiculous; but
fortunately for him his audience were disposed to take it _au grand
sérieux_. Even his brother, partial as he is to him, takes the same view
of this that I do, and has written to me that as Lord John has often
been abused when he did not deserve it, so he has now been overpraised.


_April 24th._--When this Government was formed, its principal merit was
supposed to be its great administrative capacity, and the wonderful way
in which the business of the country was to be done. It has turned out
just the reverse of what was expected, for they commit one blunder after
another, and nothing can be more loose, careless, and ignorant than the
way in which their business is conducted. All sorts of mistakes and
embarrassments are continually occurring in the House of Commons, and I
have had occasion to see ample proofs of what I say, in all that has
been done and is doing about licences and trade permissions, consequent
on the recent declarations and Orders in Council.[1] Now another matter
has occurred, discreditable from the carelessness which has been
evinced. When it was thought necessary to order a fast day for the war,
the Queen set her face against it. She thought it very absurd (as it is)
and objected _in toto_. Aberdeen with some difficulty overcame her
objections, setting forth that it had been done by George III., and that
the religious part of the community would make a clamour if it were not
done. So she gave way, but still insisted it should not be a 'fast,' so
they settled it should be a day of 'humiliation.' The Archbishop of
Canterbury fully concurred, and the proclamation was issued accordingly.
But the other day the merchants took alarm, and represented that, as the
word 'fast' was omitted, the case would not come within the provisions
of Masterman's Bill, and that bills of exchange, &c., would be payable
on the day itself, and not the day before as provided by that Act, and
that all sorts of confusion would arise. The Bank of England took the
Solicitor General's opinion, who thought that such would be the law. A
great difficulty arose, for time pressed. The Chancellor thought the
case would stand, and was for taking the chance, but the Cabinet on
Saturday decided that it would be safer to correct the error even thus
late. Aberdeen went to the Queen and told her, and this afternoon there
is to be a Council to turn the 'day of humiliation' into a 'fast day,'
in order that 'merchants' bills may be presented on one day instead of
another, and that banking operations may not be deranged. The ridicule
this throws on the religious part of the question is obvious, and the
effect it ought to have is to discontinue these preposterous
observances, which all sensible people regard as a mockery and a
delusion. But all this ought to have been provided for, and the law
officers ought to have foreseen the consequences and advised
accordingly. In Peel's time this never would have happened; but with a
nominal Premier, a Home Secretary who will give himself no trouble about
the details of his office, and an Attorney General who does nothing,
knows nothing of law, and won't attend to anything, it is no wonder that
such things and many others occur.

To return to the question of trading licences. When we went to war, the
Government, I believe very wisely, resolved to relax belligerent rights
and give all possible latitude to trade, with no more restrictions and
reservations than were essentially necessary for carrying on the war.
But this resolution involved a revolution of the old system and the
necessity of completely constructing a new one, and as they long ago
knew war was inevitable, they ought to have well considered all this,
and framed their regulations before they issued their orders. But not a
bit of this was done, and the consequence was a state of unparalleled
confusion and embarrassment, applications from all sides, and hosts of
petitions for leave to export goods of different descriptions. The
Government at last set to work to deal with these cases, but in a very
irregular, unbusinesslike way. Some two or three of them met in
Committee at the Council Office, and with the help of Cardwell,
President of the Board of Trade but not in the Cabinet, and Dr.
Lushington, who has nothing to do with the Government, they have
contrived to scramble through the business; but the _laches_ and
indifference of those who ought to be most concerned, and the loose way
of proceeding, have been very striking. Some would not come at all, some
came for a short time, different people attended on different days, so
that different opinions prevailed, and no regular system was
established. The other day, on Cardwell's saying these questions would
be taken up as soon as Parliament met and Government called to account,
I suggested to ---- that, such being the case, he ought to get Lord John
Russell to attend the Committee. He said he would ask him, 'but John
Russell could not bear details; he doubted if he would come, and, if he
did, would be of no use, as he would be sure to go to sleep;' and this
is the way business of the greatest importance is transacted.

[Footnote 1: On the outbreak of the war a Committee of Council was
summoned to consider and frame divers Orders with reference to the
prohibition of the export of military and naval stores, the detention of
Russian ships, and questions of trade in Russian produce. Dr.
Lushington, the judge of the Admiralty, was a member of this Committee,
besides several Cabinet Ministers. The French Government proposed to
revert to the old system of licences to trade with the enemy; but this
proposal was not agreed to by Great Britain. The Russian trade was left
open, except when stopped by blockade. Licences were issued by the Privy
Council for the export of military and naval stores to neutral ports.]


_May 3rd._--The death of Lord Anglesey, which took place a few days ago,
has removed one of the last and the most conspicuous of the comrades of
the Duke of Wellington, who all seem to be following their commander
very rapidly. I have lived with Lord Anglesey for so many years in such
intimacy, and have received from him such constant kindness, that I
cannot pass over his death without a brief notice.

A more gallant spirit, a finer gentleman, and a more honourable and
kindhearted man never existed. His abilities were not of a very high
order, but he had a good fair understanding, excellent intentions, and a
character remarkably straightforward and sincere. In his youth he was
notoriously vain and arrogant, as most of his family were, but as he
advanced in age, his faults and foibles were diminished or softened, and
his virtues and amiable disposition manifested themselves the more. He
distinguished himself greatly in the command of the cavalry in Sir John
Moore's retreat, but was not employed in the Duke's army during the
subsequent years of the Peninsular war. In the Waterloo campaign he
again commanded the cavalry, not, as was supposed, entirely to the
Duke's satisfaction, who would have preferred Lord Combermere in that
post. He lost a leg at the battle of Waterloo; for this wound Lord
Anglesey was entitled to a very large pension, of which he never would
take a shilling. He was a great friend of George IV., and exposed
himself to unpopularity by taking the King's part in the Queen's trial;
but their friendship came to an end when Lord Anglesey connected himself
with the Whig party, and when he went to Ireland as Lord Lieutenant he
deeply offended the King by his open advocacy of the Roman Catholic
cause in 1829. The Duke of Wellington, then Minister and about to give
up the Catholic question, quarrelled with Lord Anglesey and recalled
him. For some years past they had not been on very friendly terms. Lord
Anglesey was jealous of the Duke, and used to affect to disparage his
capacity both as a general and a statesman, and this political
difference completed their mutual estrangement. These hostile feelings
did not, however, last long; Lord Anglesey had a generous disposition,
and was too fair and true to do permanent injustice to the Duke. I do
not know how the reconciliation between them was brought about, but
their temporary alienation was succeeded by a firm and lasting
friendship, and the most enthusiastic admiration and attachment
entertained by Lord Anglesey towards the Duke. For many years before the
death of the latter, the two old warriors were the most intimate friends
and constant companions, and every vestige of their former differences
and antipathies was effaced and had given way to warm sentiments of
mutual regard. When the regiment of Guards became vacant, King William
sent for Lord Anglesey and announced to him that he was to have it; he
of course expressed his acknowledgements; but early the next morning he
went to the King and said to him that he felt it his duty to represent
to him that there was a man worthier than himself to have the regiment,
that Lord Ludlow had lost his arm at their head, and that he could not
bear to accept that to which Lord Ludlow was so justly entitled. This
remonstrance, so unselfish and honourable, was accepted, and the
regiment was conferred on Lord Ludlow.[1]

[Footnote 1: George James, 3rd Earl of Ludlow in the peerage of
Ireland, and created a baron of the United Kingdom in 1831, was born
December 12, 1758, and died April 16, 1842, when the titles became
extinct. He served with distinction in the army, and was colonel of the
38th regiment of foot.]


_May 7th._--The failure of Gladstone's Exchequer Bill scheme has been
very injurious to the Government, and particularly to him. The
prodigious applause and admiration with which he was greeted last year
have given way to distrust and apprehension of him as a finance
minister, and the repeated failures of his different schemes have in a
very short time materially damaged his reputation, and destroyed the
prestige of his great abilities. All practical men in the City severely
blame him for having exposed himself to the risk of failure, and
reproach him with the folly of trying to make too good a bargain, and by
so doing exposing himself to the defeat he has sustained. The
consequences will not probably be serious, but the Government is
weakened by it, and the diminution of public confidence in Gladstone is
a public misfortune.

Next in importance to the financial difficulty is the Oxford Bill, with
which Government have got into a mess, and they are struggling through
the measure with doubtful and small majorities, having been beaten on an
important point, and now quite uncertain if they shall be able to carry
it. I fell in with Graham yesterday, and spoke to him about these
things, when he replied that Gladstone's failure was very unfortunate,
but he had no doubt he would make a great speech in his own defence on
Monday night. With regard to Oxford, he said it was quite true that they
could not depend on carrying the clauses of their bill, but that was
because in the present state of the House 'they could not carry a
turnpike bill,' they were absolutely without power, and 'it was a state
of things that could not go on.'[1] Last night I had a talk with Charles
Wood on the same subject, and he said that the truth was, a revolution
had silently been effected. Parties were at an end, and the House of
Commons was no longer divided into and governed by them; and that the
predicament in which this Government is placed would be the same with
every other, and business could no longer be conducted in Parliament in
the way it used to be. All this is in my opinion quite true, and what
has long struck me. Whether the extreme elasticity of our institutions,
and the power of adaptation to circumstances which seems to pervade
them, will enable us to find remedies and resources, and that the
apparent derangement will right itself, remains to be seen. But it is a
condition of affairs full of uncertainty, therefore of danger, and which
makes me very uneasy whenever I think of it. It is evident that this
Government is now backed by no great party, and that it has very few
independent adherents on whom it can count. It scrambles on with casual
support, and its continuing at all to exist is principally owing to the
extreme difficulty of forming any other, and the certainty that no other
that could be formed would be stronger or more secure, either more
popular or more powerful.

[Footnote 1: Lord John Russell introduced a bill to make further
provision for the good government of the University of Oxford and the
colleges therein, which passed both Houses, with some amendments, in the
course of the session.]


_May 7th._--It is scarcely a year ago that I was writing enthusiastic
panegyrics on Gladstone, and describing him as the great ornament and
support of the Government, and as the future Prime Minister. This was
after the prodigious success of his first Budget and his able speeches,
but a few months seem to have overturned all his power and authority. I
hear nothing but complaints of his rashness and passion for experiments;
and on all sides, from men, for example, like Tom Baring and Robarts,
one a Tory, the other a Whig, that the City and the moneyed men have
lost all confidence in him. To-morrow night he is to make his financial
statement, and intense curiosity prevails to see how he will provide the
ways and means for carrying on the war. Everybody expects that he will
make an able speech; but brilliant speeches do not produce very great
effect, and more anxiety is felt for the measures he will propose than
for the dexterity and ingenuity he may display in proposing them.
Parliament is ready to vote without grumbling any money that is asked
for, and as yet public opinion has not begun to waver and complain; but
we are only yet at the very beginning of this horrible mess, and people
are still looking with eager interest to the successes they anticipate,
and have not yet begun to feel the cost.

_May 10th._--Gladstone made a great speech on Monday night. He spoke for
nearly four hours, occupying the first half of the time in an elaborate
and not unsuccessful defence of his former measures. His speech, which
was certainly very able, was well received, and the Budget pronounced an
honourable and creditable one. If he had chosen to sacrifice his
conscientious convictions to popularity, he might have gained a great
amount of the latter by proposing a loan, and no more taxes than would
be necessary for the interest of it. I do not yet know whether his
defence of his abortive schemes has satisfied the monetary critics. It
was certainly very plausible, and will probably be sufficient for the
uninformed and the half-informed, who cannot detect any fallacies which
may lurk within it. He attacked some of his opponents with great
severity, particularly Disraeli and Monteagle, but I doubt if this was
prudent. He flung about his sarcasms upon smaller fry, and this
certainly was not discreet. I think his speech has been of service to
his financial character, and done a good deal towards the restoration of
his credit.

_May 12th._--Cowley called on me yesterday, when we talked over the war
with all its etceteras. He said the Emperor had been most reluctant to
go into it, but was now firmly resolved to pursue it vigorously, and
not to desist till he had obtained fair terms of peace; above all things
he is bent on going on with us in unbroken amity. Cowley thinks his
political position as secure as any position can be in France, and
certainly the country seems satisfied with his rule. His social position
is unimproved and rather worse; his marriage was a fatal measure; he
would have done far better if he could have married the Hohenlohe girl,
who was dying to be Empress, and Cowley thinks the Queen was wrong to
prevent the match. In that case the Court might have been very
different. In the beginning, after his marriage, he attempted to purify
it as well as he could, and to get rid of all the disreputable women
about it; but by degrees they have all come back again, and now they are
more _encanaillées_ than ever.

The French Government have given a strong proof of their goodwill to us
by recalling Baraguay d'Hilliers from Constantinople, and not sending
another ambassador, as they find none can possibly live on good terms
with Stratford. Cowley says the war might have been prevented, he
thinks, and particularly if Stratford had not been there. The Emperor
would have made greater concessions if Stratford had not been at
Constantinople, and another ambassador would have striven to preserve
peace instead of being, as he was, bent on producing a war.

Edward Mills tells me Gladstone's recent speech has immensely raised
him, and that he stands very high in the City, his defence of his
measures very able, and produced a great effect; he said he lately met
Walpole, who told him he had the highest admiration of Gladstone, and
thought he had more power than ever Peel had even at his highest tide.


_May 28th._--I have been so much occupied with the very dissimilar
occupations of preparations for Epsom races in the shape of trials,
betting, &c., and the finishing and correction of an article in the
'Edinburgh Review' on King Joseph's Memoirs, that I have had no leisure
to think of politics, or to record what has been going on in the
political world, nor in truth has much material been furnished either by
domestic or foreign transactions. The last fortnight in Parliament has
been going on much in the way in which the present Government always
goes on, and Gladstone, whom I met at dinner the other day, repeated to
me very much what Graham had said some time before, about their utter
inability to carry their measures in the House of Commons. There is,
however, one important exception to this rule, and that is one of vital
importance. On everything which relates to the war, and on all questions
of supply, they can do whatever they please, and have no difficulty, and
encounter no opposition. Tom Baring's motion on Monday last exhibited a
striking proof of this; he introduced it by an able speech, and he
mustered all the support that could be got, and yet he was defeated by
above 100. I met Disraeli in the street the next day, when he said,
'Your Government is very strong.' I said, the war which was supposed to
be their weakness turns out to be their strength. They can carry
everything which appertains to that, and nothing else. And so it is; no
sooner do they get a great majority on some important question than they
find themselves in a minority, perhaps more than one, on something else.
John Russell got beaten on his Oaths Bill the other night, a victory
which was hailed with uproarious delight by the Opposition, though
leading to nothing, and only mortifying to John Russell personally.
These defeats, however, do not fail to be morally injurious to the
Government, and to shake their credit. It was an ill advised measure,
which drew down upon itself those who are against the Jews and those who
are against the Catholics. Palmerston has been showing ill humour in the
House of Commons, and has ceased to be so very popular as he used to be
there. They have great difficulty in getting on with the University
Bill, and Gladstone told me the other night he was very doubtful if they
should be able to bring it to a successful end. All the Tories and High
Churchmen are against it of course, and the Dissenters regard it with no
favour because it does not do for them what they desire; so it is left
to the support of the friends of Government and those who sincerely
desire a good measure of reform for those bodies.

_June 5th._--I was at Epsom all last week. In the beginning of it or the
week before there was a great passage of arms in the House of Commons
between John Russell and Disraeli, not a very creditable exhibition, but
which excited greater interest than more important matters. Though
Disraeli began the attack, Lord John threw the first stone of offence,
which he had better have let alone. In reply to this Disraeli broke out
with inconceivable violence and made the most furious assault upon John
that he could, saying everything most offensive and provoking. Lord John
made a rejoinder, and was followed by Bright, whose speech was very
hostile and spiteful, and much more calculated to annoy Lord John than
that of Disraeli, though much less vituperative. Disraeli seems inclined
to have recourse to his old tactics against Peel, and to endeavour to
treat John Russell, and Gladstone when he can, in the same way, hoping
probably to re-ingratiate himself with his own side by giving them some
of those invectives and sarcasms against their opponents which are so
congenial to their tastes. This course will not raise him either in the
House or in the country, and he will not find in Lord John a man either
so sensitive or so vulnerable as Peel, and he can make out nothing
against a man who refuses place, patronage, and emolument, and gives his
gratuitous services at a great personal sacrifice because he thinks it
his public duty to do so. There is nothing new in the condition of the
Government; they are very firmly seated in their places, the House of
Commons supporting them by large majorities in all their great measures
and those which involve a question of confidence; but having no
dependable majority on miscellaneous questions, nor even knowing whether
they can carry any measure or not, it is idle to twit them with being a
Government on sufferance and Lord John with not 'leading' the House of
Commons. A revolution has taken place in the conditions of the political
existence of governments in general and their relations with Parliament,
and there is at present no likelihood that any government that can be
formed will find itself in different circumstances, or that the old
practice by which a government could command the House of Commons on
almost everything will ever be restored. Whether the new system be
better or worse than the old may be doubtful, but governments must make
up their minds to conform to it for the present at least. In the course
of the next few days the division of the Colonial from the War
Department will take place. There seems little doubt that Newcastle will
elect to take the War Department, and Clarendon told me yesterday he
thought he would be the best man for it, warmly praising his energy,
industry, and ability, and his popular and conciliatory qualities. Their
great object is to prevail on Lord John to take the Colonial Office,
which I expect he will eventually do, but not without much reluctance
and hesitation. Granville tells me he is in a dissatisfied state of
mind, in which he will probably long remain, especially as his
_entourage_ will always do their best to foment his discontent.


_June 11th._--Yesterday and the day before the world was made acquainted
with the recent arrangements and appointments, which have been received
with considerable disapprobation.[1] Nobody can understand what it all
means, and why John Russell, if he was to take office, was to insist on
so strange an arrangement, and such a departure from the invariable
practice of putting a peer in the office of President of the Council.
Nothing can be more ungracious than the air of the whole proceeding: he
turns out Granville to make room for himself, and turns out Strutt to
make room for Granville. It seems that they wanted him to be Colonial
Secretary, but this he would not hear of on the score of his health, and
as it is now admitted as an axiom that the leader in the House of
Commons has enough to do, and cannot efficiently discharge the duties of
a laborious department, it was reasonable enough that Lord John should
decline the Colonies; but there seems no sufficient reason for his not
taking the Duchy of Lancaster, for the more completely the office is a
sinecure, the more consistent his taking it would appear. However, he
would be President of the Council or nothing. I have been amazed at his
indelicacy and want of consideration towards Granville, who deserved
better treatment at his hands. Granville has always been his steady and
stout adherent, defending his Reform Bill, holding himself his especial
follower in the Coalition Cabinet, and ready to support him or go out
with him if necessary. It was therefore particularly odious to insist on
foisting himself into Granville's place, and inflicting on him the
mortification of going downstairs. Granville behaved very well about it,
with great good humour, only anxious to do whatever was best for the
general interest, and putting aside every personal consideration and
feeling; and his conduct is the more meritorious, because he dislikes
the arrangement of all things. Aberdeen behaved very kindly to him, and
told him, if he objected to the change, he would not consent to it, and,
cost what it might, would tell John Russell he could not and should not
have the place. Granville proposed to go out, at least for a time, but
Aberdeen said he could not spare him, and nothing could be more
flattering than all he expressed of his usefulness in the House of
Lords, and of the value of his services. Personally, therefore, he loses
nothing; for though he preferred the Council Office to the Duchy, his
conduct has raised him in everybody's estimation, and he will play a
part even more prominent than he did before.


One reason why Lord John should not have come to the Council Office was
the embarrassment he will be sure to find himself in about questions of
education, his reputation and his antecedents, as well as his political
connexions, making him peculiarly unfit to be at the head of the
Education Department; and I am inclined to agree with Vernon Smith, who
said to me the other day that it would infallibly end in Lord John's
bringing in next year an impracticable Education Bill and withdrawing
it. George Grey's coming into office will be of use to the Government.
Newcastle's being War Minister is sure to be attacked, and all the
Palmerstonians are indignant that Palmerston is not in that place, which
never was offered him, nor was he consulted about the arrangement. I
think there is still a considerable opinion that he would make a good
War Minister, though everybody is aware he makes a very bad Home one,
and the _prestige_ about him and his popularity are greatly worn out.
They have been obliged to go back to the reign of Henry VIII. to find a
precedent for a commoner being President of the Council, when they say
there was one, but I don't know who he was.

[Footnote 1: Lord John Russell insisted on taking the office of Lord
President of the Council, which has always been held by a peer, and to
effect this change Earl Granville was removed from the higher office of
Lord President to that of Chancellor of the Duchy. The Right Honourable
Edward Strutt, who had been Chancellor of the Duchy with a seat in the
Cabinet, was dismissed from office, but he was subsequently raised to
the peerage with the title of Lord Belper. This transaction reflected no
credit on the author of it, who consulted nothing but his own dignity
and convenience.]

_June 21st._--At St. Leonards last week for Ascot races, where I got
wet, and have been ever since confined with the gout. The 'Times,'
though by way of supporting the Government, went on violently attacking
John Russell about the recent changes. Lord John was very well received
in the City at his election, and at the opening of the Crystal Palace he
was more cheered than anybody. This morning the Duke of Bedford came
here and told me he had had a good deal of conversation with his brother
about this business, to which he (the Duke) had been a stranger while it
was going on. Lord John said that when the Government was formed he had
proposed to Aberdeen that he should be President of the Council, but
Aberdeen had objected on the score of its being so unusual, therefore he
was only going back to his original design. He had an invincible
repugnance to taking the Duchy of Lancaster or any inferior office. Both
when the Government was formed and now, he would have much preferred to
have kept aloof, and to have led in the House of Commons that section of
the Whig party which would have followed him, but he found this
impossible, and as the Government could not have been formed without
him, and could not now go on without him, he was obliged to sacrifice
his own inclination. I said I could not conceive why he could not go on
as he was till the end of the session, and then settle it, that his
pushing out Granville had a very ungracious appearance, and he would
have done much better to take the sinecure office of the Duchy, it being
quite absurd to suppose that he could be degraded by holding any office,
no matter what. The Duke owned it would have been better to wait till
Parliament was up before anything was done, and he regarded the question
of the particular office much as I do.

There was a discussion in the House of Lords on Monday night on the war,
when Lyndhurst made a grand speech, wonderful at his age--82; he spoke
for an hour and a quarter with as much force and clearness as at any
time of his life: it was greatly admired. Clarendon spoke well and
strongly, and elicited expressions of satisfaction from Derby, after
whom Aberdeen rose, and imprudently spoke in the sense of desiring
peace, a speech which has been laid hold of, and drawn down upon him a
renewal of the violent abuse with which he has been all along assailed.
I see nothing in his speech to justify the clamour, but it was very ill
judged in him with his antecedents to say what he did, which malignity
could so easily lay hold of.


_June 25th._--There never was such a state of things as that which now
exists between the Government, the Party, and the House of Commons. John
Russell made such a hash of it last week, and put himself and his
Government in such a position, that nothing but the war, and the
impossibility which everybody feels there is of making any change of
Government in the midst of it, prevents the immediate downfall of this
Administration. Last week John Russell opposed the motion for the
abolition of Church rates in a flaming High Tory and Church speech. The
motion was rejected by a slender majority, but his speech gave great
offence to the Liberal party and his own friends. Immediately afterwards
came on the motion in the University Bill for admitting Dissenters to
the University. This John Russell opposed again, although in his speech
he declared he was in favour of the admission of Dissenters, but he
objected to the motion on various grounds. The result was that he went
into the lobby with Disraeli and the whole body of the Tories, while the
whole of the Liberal party and all his own friends and supporters went
against him and defeated him by a majority of 91. He took with him six
or seven of his colleagues, and two or three of the underlings.
Molesworth, Bernal Osborne, and some more stayed away, and some others
voted in the majority. In the majority were found Christopher and a few
Tories besides, who, however, only voted with the object and hope of
damaging the bill itself and procuring its rejection in the House of
Lords. Never was man placed in so deplorable and humiliating a position
as John Russell, and nothing can exceed his folly and mismanagement in
getting himself into such a scrape. The indignation and resentment of
the Liberals are boundless, and I think he has completely put an
extinguisher on himself as a statesman and as the leader of a party;
they never will forgive him or feel any confidence in him again. There
was a capital article on him and his proceedings in the 'Times'
yesterday, which was not acrimonious, like some others on him, and was
perfectly just and true.

The victorious Liberals managed their affairs very ill. Instead of
resting satisfied with a victory which must have been decisive (for
after all the House of Commons had affirmed the principle of admitting
the Dissenters by so large a majority, neither the House of Lords nor
the University would have ventured to oppose it), they imprudently
pressed on another division[1] in which they were beaten, though by a
small majority, and this of course does away with a good deal of the
effect of the first division. Between the recent changes which were
universally distasteful, and his extraordinary maladroitness in these
questions, Lord John is fallen prodigiously in public favour and
opinion, and while he is, or has been till very recently, dreaming of
again being Prime Minister, it is evident that he is totally unfit to be
the leader of the Government in the House of Commons even in a
subordinate post. He communicates with nobody, he has no confidence in
or sympathy with any one, he does not impart his intentions or his
wishes to his own political followers, and does not ask to be informed
of theirs, but he buries himself at Richmond and only comes forth to say
and do everything that is most imprudent and unpopular.

The House of Commons is in a state of complete anarchy, and nobody has
any hold on it; matters, bad enough through John Russell, are made worse
by Aberdeen, whose speech the other night has made a great, but I think
unnecessary clamour; and Layard, who is his bitter enemy, took it up in
the House of Commons, and has given notice of a motion on it which is
equivalent to a vote of censure. Almost at the same moment Aberdeen,
with questionable prudence and dignity, gave notice in the Lords that on
Monday he should explain the speech he made the other night. Layard's
design can hardly be matured, because they never can permit a speech
made in one House of Parliament to be made the subject of a motion and
debate in the other. It is, however, incontestable that clamour and
misrepresentation have succeeded in raising a vast prejudice against
Aberdeen, and that he is exceedingly unpopular.

The people are wild about this war, and besides the general confidence
that we are to obtain very signal success in our naval and military
operations, there is a violent desire to force the Emperor to make a
very humiliating peace, and a strong conviction that he will very soon
be compelled to do so. This belief is the cause of the great rise which
has been taking place in the public securities, and all sorts of stories
are rife of the terror and dislike of the war which prevail in Russia,
and of the agitation and melancholy in which the Emperor is said to be
plunged. But the authentic accounts from St. Petersburg tell a very
different tale. They say, and our Consul just arrived from St.
Petersburg confirms the statement, that the Emperor is calm and
resolute, that his popularity is very great, and the Russians of all
classes enthusiastic in his cause, and that they are prepared to a man
to sacrifice their properties and their lives in a vigorous prosecution
of the war.

Footnote 1: It seems it was Mr. Walpole who insisted on the second
division, which he did for the express purpose of neutralising the
effect of the first, hoping to get a majority, which he did, and it was
rather dexterously done.


_July 9th._--It is remarkable that the Government are unquestionably
stronger in the House of Lords than in the House of Commons, as has been
clearly proved by the result of the Oxford University Bill. Derby
endeavoured to alter it, and was completely defeated. There were several
divisions, in all of which the Government obtained large majorities, and
at last Derby said it was evidently useless to propose any alterations,
as the Government could do what they pleased in that House. The session
is drawing to a close; that is, though it will last a month longer, all
important business is over. The Government will end it much in the same
condition as they were in at the beginning of it, only that their
weakness and want of popularity have been manifested in a thousand ways
during the session. Aberdeen's explanatory speech and the publication of
his despatch of 1829 have given rather a turn to the current against
him; for though his violent opponents still snarl at him and abuse him,
the impartial people begin to think he is not so bad as he has been
represented, and the excessive absurdity of the charges with which he
has been assailed begins to strike people. There is still, however, a
strong prejudice against him, particularly amongst the extreme Liberals,
and I saw a long letter from Sir Benjamin Hall to the Duke of Bedford
setting forth the discontent of the Liberal party and vehemently urging
that the Government should be immediately modified, Aberdeen retire, and
Lord John Russell again be Minister, with Palmerston as War
Minister--perfectly absurd and impracticable, but showing what the
notions are of the ultra-Radicals. The Tories, agreeing in nothing else,
concur with the Radicals in hating Aberdeen because he represents the
Peel party, and is Minister as the successor of Sir Robert Peel, for
whose memory their hatred is as intense as it was for his person when he
was alive. The war goes on without any immediate results, and without,
as far as can be seen, a probability of the attainment of any signal or
important successes. The foolish public here, always extravagant and
impatient, clamour for attacks upon Sebastopol and Cronstadt, and are
very indignant that these places are not taken, without knowing anything
of the feasibility of such operations. We now begin to believe that
Austria is going to side actively with us, but we do not feel certain of
it, nor shall we till she actually enters on the campaign.

_July 19th._--Within a few days everything is changed. In respect to
Austria, the intrigues of Russia with Prussia, and the determination of
the King to do everything that he can or that he dares to assist his
imperial brother-in-law, have had the effect of paralysing the Austrian
movements, and suspending the operation of her Treaty with Turkey. She
cannot venture to declare war against Russia and to march her army into
the Principalities while there is a large Russian force on the borders
of Galicia, and the Prussians are in such an ambiguous attitude and
disposition, that she can not only not depend upon Prussia to execute
their defensive Treaty by protecting her dominions in the event of their
being attacked by Russia, but she cannot depend upon not being taken in
flank by Prussia as the ally of Russia. Clarendon told me on Sunday that
it was impossible to make out what Austria was about, or what she really
means to do. There is no doubt about Prussia, and he still inclines to
believe that Austria's disposition to act with us is unchanged, but that
she is compelled to act a cautious and dilatory part by her uncertainty
as to Prussia.

On Monday John Russell convoked his supporters and quasi-supporters to a
gathering in Downing Street, when he harangued them on the state of
affairs and the difficulties of the Government, intimating the necessity
of being better supported if the Government was to go on at all. There
are differences of opinion as to the way in which the meeting went off,
and whether it was on the whole satisfactory. The principal speakers
were Bright, Vernon Smith, and Horsman, the two latter bitter enough
against the Government. Bright, rather hostile, spoke well and alluded
to Aberdeen in a friendly spirit, as did Hume. The meeting gradually
melted away, so that Lord John had no opportunity of making a reply,
which was a pity, as he might have answered the objectors. The best
proof, however, that on the whole it was successful, was afforded by the
fact that there was neither debate nor division on the War Secretary's
estimate moved for by Lord John that night. All went off with the
greatest ease. I am in hopes therefore that the Government is somewhat
in better plight than it was.


_August 4th._--I have been out of town for the greater part of the time
since the 19th ultimo, at Goodwood, nearly ten days. Nothing very
important has occurred in politics. As the session has drawn towards a
close, the Government have, on the whole, done rather better in
Parliament, that is, the Opposition have been quite incapable of
striking any blows or doing them any injury. The points that were
expected to be made against them entirely failed, and, with the
exception of one personal matter, they have had no difficulties or
annoyances to vex them. This matter was the case of----, the
_dénouement_ of which took place two days ago; after being Gladstone's
private secretary for two years, this gentleman was appointed by
Newcastle, just before he gave up the Colonies, to be Governor of South
Australia. The appointment was criticised, but about ten days ago it was
called in question in the House of Commons, and at the same time rumours
were rife that he had been gambling in the funds and had lost money; he
denied, and authorised his friends to deny the imputation, but some of
the Carlton runners got scent of his transactions and followed it up
with such perseverance that he became alarmed and thought himself
obliged to prevent the shame and odium of detection by confessing the
fact. The consequence was that the appointment was cancelled, and the
whole matter explained and discussed on Thursday night in the House of
Commons, when George Grey made a long statement. The discussion upon it
was very creditable to the House, for there was no personal animosity
and no coarseness or inhumanity displayed, but, on the contrary,
forbearance and good nature towards the individual. Any expectation of
being able to wound Gladstone through him has quite failed. He is a
clever fellow enough and well educated, but he has been very imprudent,
and contrived at once to lose his place of private secretary, his
government, his seat in Parliament, his character, and his money.

At last it does now appear as if Austria was going to join us completely
against Russia, and the invasion of the Crimea is about to take place in
complete ignorance of the means of resistance and defence possessed by
Russia, and whether it will be a nearly impossible or comparatively easy

Clarendon, when I saw him last Sunday, expressed great alarm at the
state of affairs in Spain, from the weakness of Espartero, the
difficulty of any cordial union between the military chiefs, so long
rivals, and above all from the republican element which is so rife in
Spain, and which may produce effects extending far beyond that country.
He said that the French Government were acting in complete harmony and
concert with us; the Emperor is much alarmed at the state of Spain, but
resolved to go with us in the policy of non-interference, and to take no
part but such as we should take also. If he adheres to this wise course,
it will cement the alliance between the countries, and bind us to him
more than anything that could happen, and it will form a great and happy
contrast to the policy of Louis Philippe and the conduct of Palmerston
and Guizot.


_August 14th._--The session closed on Saturday, and, all things
considered, the Government wound it up tolerably well. Clanricarde, true
to the last to his spiteful opposition, gave Clarendon an opportunity of
making a parting speech on foreign affairs, of which he acquitted
himself very successfully, and placed himself and the Government in a
very good position as respects our diplomacy and the conduct of the war.
But though all immediate danger is removed from the Government, and,
unless they fall to pieces during the recess by any internal
dissensions, they will probably go on unscathed, the state of affairs is
very unsatisfactory, and pregnant with future troubles and difficulties.
The Government in its relations with the House of Commons throughout the
past session has been extraordinary, and I believe unprecedented. From
the Revolution to the time of the Reform Bill, that is during 150
years, the system of Parliamentary government had been consolidating
itself and was practically established; the Sovereign nominally, the
House of Commons really, appointed the ministers of the Crown, and it
was settled as an axiom that when the Government was unable to carry its
measures, and was subjected to defeats in the House of Commons, its
resignation was indispensable--not indeed that any and every defeat was
necessarily fatal, because governments have often been beaten on very
important questions without being ruined or materially weakened, but it
was supposed that repeated defeats and Government measures repeatedly
rejected implied the withdrawal of the confidence and support of
Parliament so clearly that in the aggregate such defeats were equivalent
to an absolute vote of want of confidence, which is in itself a sentence
of political death. In former times the Crown was a power, and the House
of Commons was a power, generally blended and acting harmoniously
together, but sometimes resolving themselves into their separate
elements, and acting independently, perhaps antagonistically, towards
each other. In modern times, and more entirely in our own, this separate
and independent action ceased, the Crown became identified with the
majority of the House of Commons, and no minister, when he could no
longer command that majority so as to be certain of carrying out all, or
nearly all, his measures of government and legislation, could continue
to be minister, and was obliged as a matter of course to surrender
office to those who were in possession of, or could count upon, that
command. The ministers were taken from the ranks of the Parliamentary
majority, and when once appointed it was considered indispensable and
certain that the same majority would place confidence in them, accept at
their hands all the measures they should concert and propose, and
support them against all hostile attacks, the spirit of party and
combination suppressing all individual prejudices, crotchets, fancies,
and partial or local influences. The Government and the party were bound
by a sort of mutual allegiance to each other, and supposed to be, and
usually were, animated by the same spirit and a communion of opinion
and interest. Such were the general relations and such the normal state
of things, liable to occasional variations and disturbances, bringing
about various political changes according to circumstances. But the
system was complete, and practically it worked well, and conduced to the
prosperity and progress of the country.


When the great measure of Reform in Parliament was introduced in 1831,
apart from all question of party struggles there was the still greater
question considered by many reflecting people, whether the new
Parliamentary and electoral system would be found compatible with the
old practice of government by means of party and steady Parliamentary
majorities. The Duke of Wellington in particular expressed his
apprehension that it would not, and he put the question which has so
often been quoted and referred to, 'How is the King's Government to be
carried on?' He did not, so far as I remember, develope his thoughts at
the time, and argue the matter in detail, but it is very evident that
what he anticipated was some such state of things as that at which we
now appear to have arrived. For a long time his apprehensions appeared
to be groundless, and certainly they were not realised by the course of
events. In consequence of political circumstances which I shall not stop
to specify and explain, notwithstanding all the changes which were
effected, the governments contrived to go on without any insuperable
difficulties, and without any striking difference from the way in which
governments had been previously conducted. The popularity of the Reform
Bill Administration supported them for a few years, and the Tory
reaction, together with the great abilities of Sir Robert Peel,
supported the Conservative Government for a few years more. Matters went
on better or worse, as might be, till the great Conservative schism in
1846, which completely broke up that party, and produced a final
separation between the able few and the numerous mediocrity of the
party. Ever since that time the House of Commons has been in a state of
disorganisation and confusion: the great party ties had been severed.
After the repeal of the Corn Laws and the establishment of Free Trade it
was difficult to find any great party principles which could be
converted into bonds of union, and every day it became obviously more
and more difficult to form any government that could hope to be strong
or permanent. John Russell succeeded on the fall of Peel, but the
Peelites warmly resented the conduct of the Whigs in Peel's last
struggle, and, though they hated Derby and his crew much more, never
gave Lord John's Government a cordial support.

Next came the quarrel between Palmerston and Lord John and the fall of
the Whig Government. Many people, and Graham especially, were of opinion
that a Derby Government _for a time_ was an inevitable but indispensable
evil, and after one abortive attempt at length a Derby Government was
formed. From the beginning nobody thought it could last; the wretched
composition of it, its false position, and the mixture of inconsistency
and insincerity which characterised it, deprived it of all respect,
authority, and influence, and it was the more weak because divided and
dissatisfied within, and because all the more honest and truthful of the
party were disgusted and ashamed of the part they were playing. Thus
feeble and powerless, despised by the public and detested by the Court,
the first moment that the different parties and sections of parties
combined to overthrow them, their destruction was inevitable, and after
enjoying office for one year they fell.

It was easier to turn them out than to find a good and strong government
to replace them. It was obvious that neither the Whigs nor the Peelites
could form a government, still less Palmerston or the Radicals, and it
became a matter of absolute necessity to attempt a coalition, which,
whatever objections there might be to coalitions, would at least have
the advantage of filling the several offices with able men.

When the Queen had a short time before, in anticipation of the event,
consulted the Duke of Bedford as to whom she should send for when Derby
resigned, he had advised her to send for Lord Lansdowne and Lord
Aberdeen, being himself conscious that Lord John could not again form a
government, at least not at that time. She did send for them, and each
of them very sincerely and earnestly endeavoured to persuade the other
to accept the post of Prime Minister, and the task of forming a
Government. Lansdowne was ill at the time, and while it is very doubtful
whether anything would have induced him to come forward, his attack of
gout was enough to ensure his peremptory refusal, and nothing remained
but that Aberdeen should make the attempt. The task was difficult and
unpleasant, for it was impossible not to make many people discontented
and mortified, inasmuch as places could not be found for all who had
previously been in office, or who aspired to it, and it was no easy
matter to decide who should be taken in, and who left out. Aberdeen
resolved to make the coalition very comprehensive, and as much as
possible to form a government which should represent the Opposition
which had turned Derby out, but he put almost all the Peelite leaders
into good offices, and the exclusions were principally on the Whig side.
For a long time it was very doubtful whether John Russell would enter
the Government at all, but Aberdeen was so well aware that he could not
do without him that he announced his determination to throw up the
Government unless Lord John consented to join. After much hesitation,
and a struggle between his family and some malcontent hangers on who
wished him to keep aloof, on one side, and the wisest of his political
friends and colleagues who urged that it was his duty to come forward on
the other, Lord John consented to lead the House of Commons, but without
an office. He proposed indeed to take the Presidency of the Council, to
which Aberdeen objected, but gave him the choice of every other office.
He said that if he could not be President of the Council he would be
nothing at all, and so it was settled. Next came the negotiation about
Palmerston, who first refused, and afterwards, at the pressing
solicitation of Lansdowne, agreed to join. Molesworth came in to
represent the Radicals; Monsell and Keogh (not in the Cabinet)
represented the Irish, and so the Coalition Government was completed.


Very strongly composed, it never, however, was so strong as it looked.
The Ministers, Aberdeen, John Russell, Palmerston, having consented to
act together, were too sensible, too gentlemanlike and well-bred, not to
live in outward good fellowship with each other, but their respective
and relative antecedents could not be forgotten. There could be no real
cordiality between Palmerston and Aberdeen, or between Palmerston and
John Russell, and both the latter all along felt uncomfortable and
dissatisfied with their respective positions. Lord John fancied he was
degraded, and his flatterers endeavoured to persuade him he was so, by
joining a government of which he was not the head, and by serving under
Aberdeen. Palmerston could not forget the long and bitter hostility
which had been carried on between himself and Aberdeen upon foreign
policy, and still less his having been turned out of the Foreign Office
by John Russell. The Whigs were dissatisfied that the Peelites, who had
no party to bring to the support of the Government, should have so large
a share of the offices, and above all the great bulk of the Whig party
could not endure that a Peelite should be at the head of the Government,
and of all the Peelites they most particularly disliked Aberdeen, so
that they yielded a reluctant allegiance, and gave a grudging and
capricious support to the coalition.

Nevertheless, the first session of Parliament was pretty well got
through, principally owing to Gladstone's successful Budget, the great
ability he displayed in the House of Commons, and the efficient way in
which the public business was done, while the numerous measures of
improvement which were accomplished raised the reputation of the
Government, and gave them security if not strength. The session of 1853
closed in quiet, prosperity, and sunshine, but during the recess clouds
began to gather round the Government; they were beset with internal and
external difficulties. John Russell became more and more discontented,
and at last he announced to Aberdeen that he was resolved not to meet
Parliament again in his present position, and intimated his intention to
be once more Prime Minister or to quit the concern. In the meantime the
Turco-Russian quarrel had begun, the hostile correspondence with Russia
was in full activity, the public mind in a high state of excitement,
the press bellowed for war and poured forth incessant volleys of abuse
against the Government, but more particularly against Aberdeen, who was
singled out as the object of attack, and the persevering attempts to
render him unpopular produced a certain amount of effect. The Cabinet
became divided as to the mode of carrying on the dispute and the
negotiations, some being for what were called vigorous measures, that
is, for threats and demonstrations of force which could only lead to
immediate war, while others were for exhausting every attempt to bring
about an accommodation and preserve peace. Something was known or
suspected of these divisions, they were published and commented on with
enormous exaggerations and the most unscrupulous violations of truth,
and the Tory and Radical newspapers vied with each other in the violence
of their denunciations of Aberdeen, and, in a less degree, of Clarendon.

When this fury was at its height, the world was startled and astounded
by the news of Palmerston's resignation. It is needless to state here
the history of that affair, which I have already recorded in ample
detail. It was in vain that the 'Times' proclaimed that it was the
Reform Bill and not the Eastern Question which was the cause of it. The
statement was scouted with the utmost scorn, and the public incredulity
was confirmed when the 'Morning Post,' which was notoriously devoted to
Palmerston, asserted the direct contrary. Everybody imagined that the
Government would go to pieces, that when Parliament met there would be
prodigious revelations, and that the Eastern Question with its supposed
mismanagement would prove fatal to the Coalition Cabinet. The Derbyites
were in raptures, and already counted on Palmerston as their own. Great
as had been the public surprise and the exultation of the Carlton Club
at Palmerston's resignation, greater still was that surprise and the
mortification and disappointment of the Carlton, when a few days
afterwards it was announced that Palmerston had changed his mind and was
not going to resign. Nobody could comprehend what it all meant, and
ample scope was afforded to every sort of conjecture, and to all the
statements and inventions that anybody chose to circulate. But as about
the same time the Eastern affair progressed a step or two, and some
energetic measures were adopted, the most plausible explanation was,
that Palmerston had resigned because enough was not done, that the
Government had been frightened into doing what he had before advised,
and that, on their adopting his suggestion, he had consented to remain.
In process of time the truth began to ooze out, but it never was
completely known till Parliament met, and even then many people
continued to believe that though the Reform Bill was the pretext, the
Eastern Question was the real cause of Palmerston's conduct.


These threatening clouds cleared away. Aberdeen told Lord John nothing
should induce him to resign after all the attacks that had been made on
him, and he would meet Parliament and defend himself. Lord John gave up
his demands, and consented to go on leading the House of Commons.
Palmerston agreed to swallow the Reform Bill, and at length Parliament
met. Everybody was ravenous for the Blue Books, which as soon as
possible were produced. Their production was eminently serviceable to
the Government, and though some criticisms were made, and there were
some desultory attacks in both Houses, and the press continued to be as
scurrilous and abusive as ever, the general impression was extremely
favourable. Clarendon's despatches were highly approved of, and all fair
and candid observers, including many who had found fault with the
Government before, declared that they were perfectly satisfied that our
policy had been wise and proper, and the whole of the negotiations very
creditable to all who had been concerned in carrying them on. So little
did the event correspond with the general expectation, that the Eastern
Question, which had been considered to be the weak part of the
Government, turned out to be its greatest strength; and the war which
eventually broke out has been the principal cause of their being able to
maintain themselves in power. It is now the fashion to say that if it
were not for the war, they would have been turned out long ago. It is
certainly true that their power in the House of Commons has been limited
to all that concerns the war, in respect to which they have had no
difficulty to contend with. The estimates have been granted without a
semblance of opposition, and they have received hearty and unanimous
support in every measure and every demand requisite for carrying on the
war, nor, though exposed to some adverse criticism, have they been
seriously assailed with regard to their diplomacy or their warlike

But while this, which is the most essential, has also been their
strongest point, on everything else, without exception, they have been
almost powerless, and the House of Commons has run riot with an
independence and waywardness and a caprice of which it would be
impossible to find an example. The Government has had no majority on
which it could depend, and it has never brought forward any measure
which it could count upon carrying through. Obliged to withdraw many
measures altogether, and to submit to the alteration of others till they
became totally different from what they originally proposed, their
defeats have been innumerable, and nobody seems to have the smallest
scruple in putting them in a minority upon any occasion; at the same
time it was very evident that the House of Commons was determined that
they should continue in office, for whenever any vital question arose,
or any vote which could be construed into a question of confidence, and
therefore involved the existence of the Government, they were always
sure of a majority, and the Derbyite opposition, while they were able to
worry and insult them by partial defeats and by exposing their general
weakness, found themselves miserably baffled whenever they attempted
anything which had a tendency to place the Government in serious
embarrassment. The whole conduct of the Session, and the relations of
the Government with the House of Commons, presented something certainly
very different from what had ever been seen before in the memory of the
oldest statesman, implied a total dissolution of party ties and
obligations, and exhibited the Queen's Government and the House of
Commons as resolved into their separate elements, and acting towards
each other in independent and often antagonistic capacities. Disraeli
was always reproaching the Government with holding office on what he
termed the unconstitutional principle of not being supported by a
majority of the House of Commons, and of living from hand to mouth; but
though this was a plausible topic, he knew very well that no other
government could be formed which could exist otherwise, and that the
House of Commons, while it buffeted the Government about _au gré de ses
caprices_, was quite determined to keep it alive, and not to allow any
other to be substituted for it. At present it is difficult to see how
this state of things is to be altered, and time alone can show whether
great parties will again be formed, and governments be enabled to go on
as in times past, powerful in a consistent and continual Parliamentary
support, or whether a great change must be submitted to, and governments
be content to drag on a precarious existence, taking what they can get
from the House of Commons, and endeavouring to strengthen themselves by
enlisting public opinion on their side.


With regard to the prospects of this Government, much depends on the
progress of the war; for though they have done their part and are not
responsible for failure or success, they are sure to be strengthened by
success or weakened by failure. But much depends also upon what passes
in the Cabinet. John Russell, whose mind is in a state of chronic
discontent which was suspended for a time, is again becoming uneasy and
restless, and will soon begin making fresh difficulties. Then his Reform
Bill, which he gave up so reluctantly, is still in his thoughts, and he
will most likely insist upon bringing it forward again, a proposition
which is sure to produce dissension in the Cabinet.


 Difficulties of the Campaign--Prince Albert and the King of
 Prussia--The Prince goes to France--Military Commanders--Critical
 Relations of the Ministers--The Crimea--The Emperor Napoleon and
 Prince Albert--Austria and the Allies--The Landing in the
 Crimea--The Battle of the Alma--Royal Invitations--The Crimean
 Expedition--Lord John's Hostility to his Colleagues--False Report
 from Sebastopol--The Crimean Campaign--Anecdotes of Lord
 Raglan--The Russian Defence--Trade with the Enemy--Anecdote of
 Nesselrode--John Bright's Opinion of the War--Defence of
 Sebastopol--The Balaklava Charge--The Judges at the Nomination of
 Sheriffs--Lord John takes more moderate Views--The Battle of
 Inkerman--Impolicy of the War--Inkerman--Spirit of the
 Nation--Military Enthusiasm--Parliament summoned--Want of
 Foresight--Accounts of the Battle--Lord Raglan as a
 General--Sufferings of the Army--Agreement with Austria--Opponents
 of the War--Meeting of Parliament--The Government attacked--The
 Foreign Enlistment Bill--Foreign Enlistment Bill passed--Mr.
 Bright's Speech on the War--Review of the Year.

_August 29th_, 1854.--I have been out of town since the above was
written; at Grimston for York races, where Lord Derby was in high force
and spirits, carrying everything before him at the races, and not a word
was ever uttered on politics. There is no news, but dreadful accounts of
the health of both armies and of the prevalence of cholera both abroad
and at home. The French particularly, who have lost the most, are said
to be completely demoralised and disheartened, and to abhor the war
which they always disliked from the beginning. My present impression is
that we shall come to grief in this contest; not that we shall be beaten
in the field by the Russians, but that between the unhealthy climate,
the inaccessibility of the country, and the distance of our resources,
Russia will be able to keep us at bay, and baffle our attempts to reduce
her to submission.


_September 4th._--At The Grove for a couple of days, where I had much
talk with Clarendon, and he showed me a great many papers about
different matters: a very good letter written by Prince Albert to the
King of Prussia, who had written to him a hypocritical letter, asking
where the English and French fleets were going to winter, and whether he
might depend on them in case he was attacked by Russia in the Baltic,
which Clarendon said was a mere artifice to obtain knowledge of our
plans, that he might impart them to the Emperor Nicholas, as he well
knew he was in no danger of being attacked by Russia. The Prince wrote
an excellent answer, giving him no information, and entering into the
whole question of Prussian policy without reserve. He starts to-day to
Boulogne, invited by a letter from the Emperor himself, beginning 'Mon
cher frère,' replied to very well and civilly by Prince Albert who
began, 'Sire et mon cher frère.' Clarendon said Aberdeen was as hot as
any one upon the Crimean expedition.

They are not at all satisfied with Lord Raglan, whom they think
oldfashioned and pedantic, and not suited to the purpose of carrying on
active operations. They wanted him to make use of the Turkish light
cavalry, Bashi-Bazouks, who under good management might be made very
serviceable, but he would have nothing to say to them; and still more
they are disgusted with his discouragement of the Indian officers who
have repaired to the army, and who are, in fact, the most efficient men
there are. They look on General Brown as the best man there, and have
great expectations of Cathcart. It is very curious that neither the
Government nor the commanders have the slightest information as to the
Russian force in the Crimea or the strength of Sebastopol. Some
prisoners they took affirmed that there were 150,000 men in the
peninsula, but nobody believes that, except Dundas who gives credit to
it. They are impatient for the termination of Dundas's period of
service, which will be in December, when Lyons will command the fleet.

_September 11th._--I went to The Grove on Friday, but was brought up on
Saturday by gout, and detained in London ever since. We had much talk
about a variety of things. The Prince is exceedingly well satisfied
with his visit to the Emperor. The invitation to Windsor appears to have
been publicly given in an after dinner speech. Clarendon said a great
deal about the Government, its prospects and its difficulties, and of
the conduct and dispositions of different men in it, that the Peelites
had all behaved admirably, and he has a very high opinion of Newcastle,
who is able, laborious, and fair. He does not see so much of Aberdeen as
he did last year while the question of peace or war was still pending.
He and Aberdeen do not very well agree, and therefore Aberdeen does not
come to the Foreign Office as he used to do. I asked him in what they
differed, and what it was Aberdeen now wanted or expected. He said that
Aberdeen was quite of opinion that a vigorous prosecution of the war
afforded the best chance of restoring peace, and that he was as eager as
anybody for the expedition of Sebastopol, but he was out of humour with
the whole thing, took no interest in anything that was done, and instead
of looking into all the departments and animating each as a Prime
Minister should do, he kept aloof and did nothing, and constantly raised
objections to various matters of detail. In the Cabinet he takes hardly
any part, and when differences of opinion arise he makes no effort to
reconcile them, as it is his business to do. In short, though a very
good and honourable man, he is eminently unfitted for his post, and in
fact he feels this himself, has no wish to retain it, but the contrary,
and only does so because he knows the whole machine would fall to pieces
if he were to resign. John Russell Clarendon thinks a necessity as
leader of the House of Commons, but he is disgusted with his perpetual
discontent and the bad influence exercised over him by his confidants,
and he thinks he has not acted a generous part towards Aberdeen in
suffering him to be attacked and vilified as he has been by his (John's)
followers and adherents, who endeavour to make a distinction between him
and Aberdeen, which is equally unconstitutional on principle and false
in fact. The same thing applies to Palmerston, and they have neither of
them stood forward as they ought to have done in Aberdeen's defence,
and claimed a joint responsibility with him in every act of the
Government. We talked over what could possibly be done if Aberdeen did
retire, and I suggested that he (Clarendon) might take his place, and
that the rest would be more willing to accept him for the head of the
Government than any other man. He expressed the greatest disinclination
to this idea, to which he never could consent, but owned his present
office was extremely agreeable to him and deeply interesting.
Nevertheless, I do not think, if the case occurred and the place was
offered to him _consensu omnium_, that his scruples would be

So certain are they of taking Sebastopol that they have already begun to
discuss what they shall do with it when they have got it. Palmerston
wrote Clarendon a long letter setting forth the various alternatives,
and expressing his own opinion that the Crimea should be restored to the
Turks. Clarendon is dead against this, and so, he told me, is Stratford.
At Boulogne the Emperor and Newcastle agreed that the best course will
be to occupy the Crimea and garrison Sebastopol with a large force of
English and French, and hold it _en dépôt_ till they can settle
something definitive; and Clarendon leans to this arrangement, which
will at least be a gain of time.


_London, September 19th._--At The Grove again last week, where as usual
I heard a great deal of miscellaneous matters from Clarendon and read a
great many despatches from different people. I asked him what the Prince
had told him of his visit to Boulogne, and what his opinion was of the
Emperor. He said the Prince had talked to him a great deal about it all
at Osborne, and this is the substance of what he said as far as I
recollect it: The Prince was very well satisfied with his reception; the
Emperor took him in his carriage _tête à tête_ to the great review, so
that they conversed together long and without interruption or witnesses.
The Emperor seems to have talked to the Prince with more _abandon_ and
unreserve than is usual to him. The Prince was exceedingly struck with
his extreme apathy and languor (which corresponds with what Thiers told
me of him) and with his ignorance of a variety of matters which it
peculiarly behoved him to know. He asked the Prince a great many
questions about the English Constitution and its working, relating to
which the Prince gave him ample and detailed explanation, and Clarendon
said that all that he repeated as being said to the Emperor was as good,
sound, and correct as it possibly could be. The Emperor said that he
felt all the difficulties of his own position, and enlarged upon them
with great freedom, particularly adverting, as one of them, to the
absence of any aristocracy in France. The Prince, in reply to this,
seems to have given him very judicious advice; for he told him that any
attempt to _create_ an aristocracy in France resembling that of England
must be a failure, the conditions and antecedents of the two countries
being so totally dissimilar; that he might confer titles and
distinctions to any amount, and so surround himself with adherents whom
he had obliged, but that he had better confine himself to that and not
attempt to do more. When they parted, the Emperor said he hoped it would
not be the last time he should have the pleasure of seeing His Royal
Highness, to which the Prince replied that he hoped not, and that he was
charged by the Queen to express her hope that he would pay her a visit
at Windsor, and give her an opportunity of making the Empress's
acquaintance, to which the Emperor responded 'he should be very glad to
see the Queen at Paris.' This _insouciant_ reception of an invitation
which a few months before he would have jumped at is very unaccountable,
but it meant something, for it was evidently a _mot d'ordre_, because
when the Prince took leave of Marshal Vaillant, he said he hoped he
would accompany the Emperor to Windsor, where, though they could show no
such military spectacle as the Emperor had shown him, they would do what
they could, to which Vaillant replied, 'We hope to see Her Majesty the
Queen and Your Royal Highness at Paris.' There seems no disposition at
present to give him the Garter which is supposed to be the object of his
ambition, and which Walewski is always suggesting.

Clarendon is extremely disgusted at the conduct of Austria and her
declaration of neutrality, and he said that the complaints of the doings
of the Austrians in the Principalities were not without foundation.
Drouyn de Lhuys spoke very openly to Hübner on the subject, and pitched
into the Austrian Government without stint or reserve, and Cowley sent a
despatch in which all he said was detailed, with the addition that it
was Drouyn de Lhuys' intention to embody it in a formal despatch to
Bourqueney to be communicated to the Austrian Government.


_September 22nd._--The army has landed in the Crimea without opposition.
It is difficult to conceive that the Russians should have been so
utterly wanting in spirit, and so afraid to risk anything, as to let the
landing take place without an attempt either by land or sea to obstruct
it. They have a great fleet lying idle at Sebastopol, and though, if it
had come out, its defeat and perhaps destruction would have been
certain, it would have been better to perish thus, _vitam in vulnere
ponens_, and inflicting damage on its enemy as it certainly might have
done, than to remain ingloriously in harbour and wait to be taken or
destroyed, as it infallibly will be when the town itself shall fall.
Great indignation is expressed at the prospect of Napier's returning
from the Baltic without making any attempt on Cronstadt, or to perform
any exploit beyond the Bomarsund affair. He is detested by his officers,
and they one and all complain that he has been so little adventurous,
and maintain that more might have been done. The justness and
correctness of this, time will show.

_October 2nd._--At The Grove on Saturday, where I generally pick up some
scraps of information from Clarendon on one subject or another. On
Saturday came the news that Sebastopol had been taken, which we did not
believe a word of, but after dinner the same evening we got the
telegraphic account of the victory gained on the 20th on the heights
above the Alma, and yesterday Raglan's telegraphic despatch was
published. It is nervous work for those who have relations and friends
in the army to hear of a 'desperate battle' and severe loss, and to
have to wait so many days for the details and casualties. The affair
does not seem, so far as we can conjecture, to have been very decisive,
when only two guns and a few prisoners were taken. If it had depended on
St. Arnaud, the expedition would have put back even after it had sailed;
while actually at sea, St. Arnaud, who stated himself to be ill and
unable to move, summoned a council of war on board the 'Ville de Paris.'
The weather was so rough that it was determined that it would not be
safe for Raglan to go, as with his one arm he could not get on board; so
Dundas went, and General Brown, and some other officers deputed by
Raglan to represent himself, together with the French Admiral. A
discussion took place which lasted several hours. St. Arnaud strongly
urged that the expedition should be put off till the spring, and he
objected to all that was proposed as to the place of landing--in short,
threw every obstacle he could in the way of the whole thing. Dundas and
all the English officers vehemently protested against any delay and
change of plan, and represented the intolerable shame and disgrace of
putting back after having actually embarked, and their opposition to the
French general's proposal was so vehement that he ended by giving way,
rose from his sick bed, and consented to go on. He declared that he only
agreed to the place proposed for landing in consequence of the urgent
representations of his allies, and this he wrote home to his own
Government. He is a very incapable, unfit man, and Clarendon told me
that his own army recognised the great superiority of Raglan to him, and
that the French were all delighted with the latter.


It seems that there was some misunderstanding as to the invitation given
by the Prince to the Emperor at Boulogne, and the latter gives a very
different account of what passed from that given by the Prince. The
Emperor says that when he took leave of the Prince, he said, 'I have not
been able to give you such a reception as I could have wished, but you
see I am only occupying an hotel; if you will come to Paris, where I
should be delighted to receive the Queen, I could give her and yourself
a more fitting reception;' and then, he says, the Prince invited him to
Windsor, which he only seems to have taken as a civility unavoidable
under the circumstances. It is impossible to say which account is the
true one, but I rather believe that of the Emperor to be correct.
Clarendon wrote this to the Queen, whose answer I saw; she said the
intention was to make the invitation something between a cordial
invitation and a mere civility, which the Emperor might avail himself of
or not, according to his convenience. However, Her Majesty says she
thinks the matter stands very well as it is, and she desires it may be
notified to the Emperor that the most convenient time for his visit, if
he comes, will be the middle of November.

The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Napoleon have both been strongly
opposed to the Crimean expedition; the latter, they say, does nothing
but cry, and is probably a poor creature and a poltroon. I am surprised
the Duke should be so backward; however, I hope to hear he has done his
duty in the field. The clamour against Dundas in the fleet is
prodigious, and the desire for his recall universal, but he will stay
out his time now, which will be up in December. It is the same thing
against Napier in the Baltic; he will come away as soon as the ice sets
in, and next year Lyons will be sent in his place, as the war will then
be principally carried on in the north.

I think a storm will before long threaten the Government from the
quarter of John Russell, who has been for some time at Minto. He wrote
to Clarendon the other day, and alluded to the necessity of having an
autumn session, to which Clarendon replied that he was not so fond of
Parliament as Lord John was, and deprecated very much any such measure.
To this Lord John sent as odious and cantankerous an answer as I ever
read, and one singularly illustrative of his character. He said that he
was not fonder of Parliament than other people, and his own position in
the House of Commons had not been such as to make him the more so, and
that it had been rendered more disagreeable by the fact of the two
morning papers which professed to support the Government being always
personally hostile to him; but, he went on, if we were fortunate enough
to obtain a complete success in the Crimea, he did not see why he should
not be at liberty to retire from this, which he thought the very worst
government he had ever known. Of course, if there was any failure, he
must remain to bear his share of the responsibility of it. Clarendon was
immensely disgusted, but wrote back a very temperate answer. He said
that it was equally difficult to go on with him and without him, for the
Whigs, though often very angry with him, would follow him and would not
follow anybody else. He thinks, however, that he is in a state of mind
to create all sorts of embarrassments, and particularly that he will
propose to bring forward his Reform Bill again, the consequences of
which nobody can foresee. He says Palmerston has behaved much better,
for though he might complain, having been disappointed in certain
objects he had (such as being War Minister), he has made no
difficulties, and been very friendly. Clarendon confirmed what I had
heard, that Aberdeen is in a state of great dejection and annoyance at
the constant and virulent attacks on him in the press; his mind is
dejected by the illness of his son, whom he never expects to see again,
and this renders him sensitive and fretful, and he is weak enough to
read all that is written against him instead of treating it with
indifference and avoiding to look at the papers whose columns are day
after day full of outrageous and random abuse.

_October 8th._--The whole of last week the newspapers without exception
(but the 'Morning Chronicle' particularly), with the 'Times' at their
head, proclaimed the fall of Sebastopol in flaming and triumphant
articles and with colossal type, together with divers victories and all
sorts of details, all which were trumpeted over the town and circulated
through the country. I never believed one word of it, and entreated
Delane to be less positive and more cautious, but he would not hear of
it, and the whole world swallowed the news and believed it. Very soon
came the truth, and it was shown that the reports were all false.
Anybody who was not run away with by an exaggerated enthusiasm might
have seen the probability that reports resting on no good authority
would probably turn out untrue, but the press took them all for gospel,
and every fool follows the press. When the bubble burst, the rage and
fury of the deluded and deluding journals knew no bounds, and the
'Times' was especially sulky and spiteful. In consequence of a trifling
error in a telegraphic despatch they fell on the Foreign Office and its
clerks with the coarsest abuse, much to the disgust of Clarendon.

_October 20th._--At Newmarket all last week; very successful on paper,
but won very little money. I am every day more confirmed in my
resolution to get rid of my racehorses, but shall do it gradually and as
opportunities occur, and then confine myself to breeding. The two
objects I now have in view are this, and to get out of my office. I want
to be independent, and be able to go where and do what I like for the
short remainder of my life. I am aware that 'man never is, but always to
be blest,' and therefore when I have shaken off racing and office I may
possibly regret both; but my mind is bent on the experiment, and I fancy
I can amuse myself with locomotion, fresh scenes, and dabbling in
literature _selon mes petits moyens_. Of politics I am heartily sick,
and can take but little interest in either governments or the
individuals who compose them; with the exception of Clarendon I am on
intimate and confidential terms with no one.


Ever since the news came of the battle of the Alma, the country has been
in a fever of excitement, and the newspapers have teemed with letters
and descriptions of the events that occurred. Raglan has gained great
credit, and his march on Balaklava is considered a very able and
judicious operation. Although they do not utter a word of complaint, and
are by way of being fully satisfied with our allies the French, the
truth is that the English think they did very little for the success of
the day, and Burghersh told some one that their not pressing on was the
cause (and not the want of cavalry) why the Russian guns were not taken.
The French, nevertheless, have been well disposed to take the credit of
the victory to themselves.

Burghersh tells two characteristic anecdotes of Raglan. He was extremely
put out at the acclamations of the soldiers when he appeared amongst
them after the battle, and said to his staff as he rode along the line,
in a melancholy tone, 'I was sure this would happen.' He is a very
modest man, and it is not in his nature any more than it was in that of
the Duke of Wellington to make himself popular with the soldiers in the
way Napoleon used to do, and who was consequently adored by them. The
other story is that there were two French officers attached to
headquarters, very good fellows, and that the staff were constantly
embarrassed by the inveterate habit Raglan had of calling the enemy 'the
French.' He could not forget his old Peninsular habits.

In this war the Russians have hitherto exhibited a great inferiority in
their conduct to that which they displayed in their campaigns from 1807
to 1812, when they fought the battles of Eylau and Borodino against
Napoleon. The position of Alma must have been much stronger than that of
Borodino, and yet how much more stoutly the latter was defended than the
former. Then their having allowed the allies to land without molestation
is inconceivable, and there is no doubt that they might have attacked
Raglan with great effect as he emerged from the wood on his march to
Balaklava, but all these opportunities they entirely neglected. I
expect, however, that they will make a vigorous defence at Sebastopol,
and that the place will not be taken without a bloody struggle and great
loss of life.


Within the last few days a very important question has arisen, the
decision of which is a very difficult matter. It has been found that the
commerce of Russia has not been materially diminished, as their great
staples (hemp, &c.) have passed regularly through the Prussian ports,
being brought there by land, and it is now desired to devise some means
of putting an end to this exportation. Clarendon has written to Reeve
about it, and Granville has obtained returns of the amount of hemp and
linseed imported from Russia in past years and in the present, from
which it appears that though there is a diminution it is not a very
considerable one. The effect produced is only the inevitable consequence
of the policy that was adopted deliberately and after great
consideration at the beginning of the war; and how that policy is to be
adhered to, and the consequences complained of prevented, is the problem
to be solved. A blockade of the Prussian ports in the Baltic has been
suggested--a measure, as it seems to me, very questionable in point of
right and political morality, and certain to be attended by the most
momentous consequences. Such a measure may not be without precedent, or
something resembling precedent; but no Power with anything like
self-respect or pride could tamely submit to such an outrage and such an
insult, and as it would certainly afford a _casus belli_, Prussia could
hardly, without abandoning all claim to be considered a great Power,
abstain from declaring war _instanter_; and, whatever may be the
sentiments of the Prussian nation and of the Germans generally with
regard to Russia, it is by no means unlikely that such an arbitrary and
imperious proceeding would enlist the sympathies and the passions of all
Germans without exception in opposition to us, and to France if she
became a party to it.

_Newmarket._--Granville told me on Saturday morning that he was much
alarmed at the disposition evinced by John Russell, and he expects an
explosion sooner or later.

_London, October 30th._--I returned last night and found a meeting of
the Committee of Council settled for to-day, to consider the question of
stopping Russian trade. Wilson has drawn up a paper in which he
discusses the various modes of accomplishing this object, and recommends
that the Queen should forbid all trade with Russia, and prohibit the
importation of Russian produce, and require certificates of origin for
tallow, hemp, &c. John Russell writes word that he cannot attend the
meeting, but is ready, though reluctant, to vote for Wilson's proposal.
Granville and Cardwell are both dead against it, after a discussion at
the Council Office at which the majority were against the proposal.

_November 4th._--At The Grove from Wednesday to Saturday; the Walewskis,
Lavradios, Granvilles, Azeglio, and Panizzi were there, a pleasant party
enough. Walewski told me a curious thing which he said he knew to be
true. We were talking of Nesselrode, and I asked if he knew what his
present position was with his Emperor. He said he had been out of
favour, but latterly had resumed all his influence and was very well at
Court; that although in the beginning of the quarrel he had done his
best to moderate the Emperor and to preserve peace, it was nevertheless
true that he was perhaps the immediate cause of the war, which had
turned upon the acceptance or refusal of the Turkish modifications of
the Vienna Note; that when they arrived the Emperor was inclined to
accept them, and that Nesselrode dissuaded him from doing so, advising
him to adhere to the unaltered Note, not to listen to the modifications,
and insisting that, if he did so, the allies would compel the Turks to
waive their demands and to accept the Note in its original shape.
Walewski also said that the Emperor was exceedingly incensed when the
fatal circular, which made the Vienna Note an impossibility, was
published. He said it was never intended for publication, and he found
great fault with the document itself, insisted on knowing by whom it had
been composed, and ordered the author to be brought before him. The man
(whose name I forget) was not to be found, and events which pressed on
drove it out of His Majesty's mind.

In the 'Times' of yesterday appeared a very able letter of Bright's with
his view of the war, and the faults committed by our Government in
respect to it, which letter as nearly as possible expresses my own
opinion on the subject. I have never agreed with those who fancy that by
mere bluster we might have averted the war, but I think by more firmness
towards not only Russia but towards Turkey, and still more towards the
press and the public excitement here, together with a judicious
employment of the resources of diplomacy, we might have prevented it.
However, we are in for it, and I not only see no chance of getting soon
out of it, but I do not feel the same confidence that everybody else
does, that we are certain to carry it to a successful end.


_London, November 13th._--At Worsley all last week; nothing was thought
of but the war, its events and vicissitudes. The tardiness of
intelligence and the perplexity and agitation caused by vague reports
and telegraphic messages drive everybody mad; from excessive confidence,
the public, always nose-led by the newspapers, is fallen into a state of
alarm and discouragement. There is no end to the mischief which the
newspapers and their correspondents have done, are doing, and no doubt
will continue to do. There does not seem at this moment more reason to
doubt that we shall take Sebastopol than there ever was, but the
obstinate defence of the Russians indicates that its capture will not be
effected without a tremendous struggle and great sacrifice of life. On
the other hand, the Russians, instead of despairing of being able to
hold the place, are full of confidence that they will be able to
protract their defence, till our losses, and still more the weather,
will compel us to raise the siege, and then they expect to compel us to
abandon the Crimea altogether, and to make our re-embarkation a
dangerous and disastrous operation. It is to be hoped that such a
calamitous result is not in store for us, but there is no disguising
from ourselves that we have got a much tougher and more difficult job on
our hands than we ever contemplated, and that our success is by no means
such a certainty as we have all along flattered ourselves that it would
be; for supposing we succeed in entering the place by storm, our work
will then be not nearly done. Sebastopol is not invested, and when the
Russian garrison finds itself no longer able to hold the place, there is
nothing to prevent its evacuating it on the other side and effecting a
junction with the main Russian army. We shall then have to reduce the
forts on the northern side, to put the place in a state of defence, and
commence a fresh campaign against Menschikoff in the centre of the
Crimea. All this presents an endless succession of difficulties,
demanding large supplies and resources of all sorts which it will be no
easy matter to afford. We are now talking of sending every soldier we
possess to the scene of action, and expending our military resources to
the last drop, leaving everything else at home and abroad to take care
of itself, a course which nothing but an extreme necessity can justify,
while at the same time it cannot be denied that having gone so far we
cannot stop halfway, and having committed so large a part of our gallant
army in this unequal contest, we are bound to make the greatest
exertions and sacrifices to prevent their being overwhelmed by any
serious disaster. But this very necessity only affords fresh ground for
condemning the rashness with which we plunged into such a war and
exposed ourselves to such enormous dangers, and incurred such large
sacrifices for so inadequate an object.

It is not very easy to ascertain what the feeling is in Russia about the
war, but there is reason to believe that the nobles are getting very
sick of it, and are very discontented with the Emperor, not so much for
having engaged in it as for the manner in which it has been carried on.
At St. Petersburg there prevails an intense hostility to us, and great
wrath against Austria, and instead of yielding, or any thought of it,
the notion is that they mean to redouble their efforts next year, and
bring into the field far greater forces than they have yet done. I
perceive that the question of the disposal of the Crimea (when we get
it) is still undecided. Some fancy that we ought to hold it, as a great
advantage to have the power of offering it back to Russia when the
question of peace arises. I am more inclined to the other view, of
destroying the place, and if possible the harbour, and, after carrying
off or destroying all the ships, to abandon the peninsula and leave the
Russians to reoccupy it if they please. This would be very consistent
with the object with which the war was professedly undertaken, and the
Crimea, without Sebastopol and without a fleet, would be no longer
formidable to Turkey for many a year to come; but no doubt there would
be difficulty in this as in any arrangement, and much difference of
opinion, not unlikely to produce dissension, amongst our allies and
ourselves. There is good reason to believe that our late naval attack on
the forts was a blunder, and that it did no good whatever. If Lyons had
been in command, he probably would have declined to make it, and he
could have ventured to exercise his own discretion, which Dundas could
not. Then it was very badly arranged, and this was the fault of the
French Admiral, who at the last moment insisted on altering the plan of
attack, and (contrary to the advice of all his officers) Dundas gave way
to him. In this, however, it is not fair to blame the English Admiral,
who may have acted wisely; for his position was delicate and difficult,
and he had to consider the alliance of the countries and the harmonious
action of the two fleets, as well as the particular operation.


_November 14th._--Yesterday morning we received telegraphic news of
another battle, from which we may expect a long list of killed and
wounded. The affair of the 25th, in which our light cavalry was cut to
pieces, seems to have been the result of mismanagement in some quarter,
and the blame must attach either to Lucan, Cardigan, Captain Nolan who
was killed, or to Raglan himself. Perhaps nobody is really to blame,
but, if any one be, my own impression is that it is Raglan. He _wrote_
the order, and it was his business to make it so clear that it could not
be mistaken, and to give it conditionally, or with such discretionary
powers as should prevent its being vigorously enforced under
circumstances which he could not foresee, or of which he might have no

It is evidently the plan of the Russians to wear out the allied armies
by incessant attacks and a prolonged defence, sacrificing enormous
numbers of men which they can afford, but considering that they gain on
the whole by the disproportionate, but still considerable, losses they
inflict upon us. It is quite on the cards, if they can keep up the
spirit of their men, who show great bravery though they cannot stand
against our's, that they may _cunctando restituere rem_, and compel us
at last to raise the siege, and at St. Petersburg they are very
confident of this result. Here, though people are no longer so confident
and elated as they were, no human being doubts of our ultimately taking
the town.

Yesterday we had rather an amusing scene in the Court of Exchequer at
the nomination of sheriffs, which does not often supply anything lively.
The Head of Caius College, Cambridge, and this year Vice-Chancellor,
was on the list, and Judge Alderson vehemently protested against his
remaining there. A long discussion ensued, in which almost everybody
took part, whether his name should be kept on or not, and if he should
be struck off the roll. At last Alderson moved he should be struck off,
to which somebody moved as an amendment (a course I suggested) that he
should be omitted, but not struck off. It was to be put to the vote,
when I asked if Alderson himself could vote, whether it was not a
meeting of the Privy Council, at which the judges _attended_ to give in
names for sheriffs, and that Privy Councillors only could vote as to the
choice of them. Alderson vehemently denied this view, and asserted that
it was no meeting of the Privy Council, the proof of which was that the
Chancellor of the Exchequer took precedence of the Lord President, and
that the puisne judges had a right to vote. They then desired to see the
Act of Richard II., which the Chancellor examined and read out, and
afterwards he gave it as his opinion that the judges could vote, and
this opinion was acquiesced in by the rest. Ultimately they all agreed,
Alderson included, to accept the course I had proposed, and the Doctor's
name was omitted from the list, but not struck off the roll.

_November 15th._--The Duke of Bedford tells me that Lord John is in a
better frame of mind than was apprehended not long ago, by no means
satisfied with his own situation, and complaining of much that
appertains to the Government, but conscious that his position cannot be
altered at present, and not at all disposed by any captious conduct to
break up or endanger the Government itself. With regard to Reform he is
extremely reasonable, feeling the difficulty of his own antecedents in
regard to the question; he is ready to conform himself to the
necessities of the case, and does not think of urging anything
unreasonable and impracticable. He is naturally enough very anxious that
the Government should manage their affairs in Parliament better this
year than last, and not expose themselves to so many defeats and the
mortification of having their measures rejected or spoilt, and his
notion seems to be that they should introduce and announce fewer
measures, only such as are urgent and generally desired, and such as
they may reasonably expect to carry, and, having taken that course, to
stand or fall by them; this is the wisest and most becoming course, and
I hope it will be adhered to and succeed. Its success depends very much
on Lord John's own conduct, and the way in which he treats the Whig and
Liberal party. I hear nothing of the intentions and expectations of the
Opposition, but Lyndhurst tells me he considers them extinct as a party
and in no condition to get into power. He spoke very disparagingly of
Disraeli, and said his want of character was fatal to him, and weighed
down all his cleverness.


_November 16th._--A telegraphic despatch arrived from Raglan with
account of the battle of the 5th,[1] from which we learn only that we
were entirely successful in repulsing the Russian attack, but that our
loss was very great. Another long interval of suspense to be succeeded
by woe and mourning; but besides the private misery we have to witness,
the aggregate of the news fills me with the most dismal forebodings.
Raglan says the Russian force was even greater than at Alma, and vastly
superior to his own. Menschikoff says that he is assembling all his
forces, and preparing to take the offensive, that their numbers are very
superior, and he confidently announces that he shall wear us out, and
that our army _cannot escape him_. I do not see how the siege is to be
continued by an army itself besieged by a superior force and placed
between two fires. The reinforcements cannot possibly arrive in time,
and even if they were all there now, they would not be sufficient to
redress the balance. I dread some great disaster which would be besides
a great disgrace. Whether every exertion possible has been made here to
reinforce Raglan, or whether anything more could have been done, I
cannot pretend to say; but if matters turn out ill there will be a fine
clamour, and principally from those rash and impatient idiots who were
so full of misplaced confidence, and who insisted on precipitating our
armies on the Crimea, and on any and every part of the Russian
territory, without knowing anything of the adequacy of our means for
such a contest. To overrate the strength and power of the allies, and to
underrate that of Russia on her own territory, has been the fault and
folly of the English public, and if they find themselves deceived in
their calculations and disappointed in their expectations, their rage
and fury will know no bounds, and be lavished on everybody but
themselves. In the height of arrogance few exceptions were found to
those who imagined it would be quite easy to crumple up Russia, and
reduce her to accept such terms as we might choose to impose upon her.
All the examples which history furnishes were disregarded, and a general
belief prevailed that Russia would be unable to oppose any effectual or
prolonged resistance to our forces combined. When the successes of the
Turks at the beginning of the war became known, this confidence not
unnaturally became confirmed, and boundless was the contempt with which
the Russians were treated; and the bare idea of granting peace to the
Emperor except on the most ruinous and humiliating terms was scouted. We
now see what sort of a fight the Russians can make; and though the
superhuman valour and conduct of our troops still inspire confidence and
forbid despair, it is evident that we have rashly embarked in a contest
which from the nature of it must be an unequal one, and that we are
placed in a position of enormous difficulty and danger.

[Footnote 1: The battle of Inkerman was fought on November 5.]

_November 23rd._--Last week at Savernake and at The Grange; came back on
Tuesday; and yesterday morning arrived the despatches with an account of
the furious battle of Inkerman, in which, according to Raglan's account,
8,000 English and 6,000 French resisted the attack of 60,000 Russians,
and eventually defeated and drove them back with enormous loss, our own
loss being very great. The accounts of Raglan and Canrobert do not quite
agree as to the numbers engaged, but, admitting that there may be some
exaggeration in the estimate of the numbers of the Russians and of their
loss, it still remains one of the most wonderful feats of arms that was
ever displayed; and, gallantly as our troops have always behaved, it
may be doubted if they ever evinced such constancy and heroism as on
this occasion--certainly never greater. My brother lost his youngest and
favourite son in this battle--a boy of 18, who had only landed in the
Crimea a few weeks before, and who was in a great battle for the first
and last time. This is only one of innumerable instances of the same
kind, and half England is in mourning. It is dreadful to see the misery
and grief in which so many are already plunged, and the universal terror
and agitation which beset all who have relations engaged in the war. But
the nation is not only as warlike as ever, but if possible more full of
ardour and enthusiasm, and thinking of nothing but the most lavish
expenditure of men and money to carry on the war; the blood that has
been shed appears only to animate the people, and to urge them to fresh
exertions. This is so far natural that I, hating the war, feel as
strongly as anybody that, now we are in it, and our soldiers placed in
great jeopardy and peril, it is indispensable to make every possible
exertion to relieve them; and I am therefore anxious for ample
reinforcements being sent out to them, that they may not be crushed by
overwhelming force.


In reading the various and innumerable narratives of the battle, and the
comments of the 'correspondents,' it is impossible to avoid coming to
some conclusions which may nevertheless be erroneous; and I have always
thought that people who are totally ignorant of military matters, and
who are living at ease at home, should not venture to criticise
operations of which they can be no judges, and the conduct of men who
cannot explain that conduct, and who are nobly doing their duty
according to their own judgement, which is more likely to be right than
any opinions we can form. With this admission of fallibility, it still
strikes me that there was a lack of military genius and foresight in the
recent operations. It is asserted that our position was open and
undefended, that General Evans had recommended that precautions should
be taken and defences thrown up, all of which was neglected, and nothing
done, and hence the sad slaughter which took place. This was Raglan's
fault, if any fault there really was. It is admitted that no tactical
skill was or could be displayed, and the battle was won by sheer courage
and firmness. Then Cathcart seems to have made a false and very rash
move which cost his own life and 500 men besides. These are melancholy
reflexions, and the facts prove that we have no Wellingtons in our army

_November 26th._--Government have determined to call Parliament together
on the 12th of December, though it stands prorogued to the 14th. This is
done under the authority of an Act, 37th George III. ch. 120. In the
present state of affairs they are quite right, and it is better for them
to have fair Parliamentary discussion than clamour and the diatribes of
the press out of doors. The 'Times,' as usual, has been thundering away
about reinforcements, and urging the despatch of troops that do not
exist and cannot be created in a moment. I had a great battle with
Delane the other day about it, and asked why he did not appeal to the
French Government, who have boundless military resources, instead of to
our's who have none at all, and accordingly yesterday there was a very
strong article entirely about French reinforcements.


In the course of our talk he did, I must confess, make some strong
charges against the Government, and particularly Newcastle. He
complained that after the expedition was sent to the Crimea they
remained idle, and made no attempt to form an army of reserve or to send
continual reinforcements to supply the casualties which everybody knew
must occur, and this is true. Again, when he returned from the East[1]
he went to Newcastle and urged him to make an immediate provision of
wooden houses against the winter, which would in all probability be
required, and he suggested that this should be done at Constantinople,
where, all the houses being built of wood and the carpenters very
skilful, it might easily be done at a comparatively small expense, and
whence the conveyance was expeditious and cheap. His advice was not
taken; nothing was done, and now that the winter is come, and the
troops are already exposed to dreadful suffering and privation, the work
is begun here, where it will cost four times as much and, when done,
will require an enormous time to convey the houses to the Crimea,
besides taking up the space that is urgently required for other
purposes. I was obliged to confess that this was inexcusable negligence
and blundering, and I repeated what had passed to Granville last night,
who could make no defence, and only said that Newcastle, with many
merits, had the fault of wishing to do everything himself, and therefore
much was not done at all; and that the fact was, nobody ever imagined we
should be reduced to such straits, and there was a universal belief that
all would have been over in the Crimea before this, and that such things
would not be required. I am afraid Newcastle, who is totally ignorant of
military affairs of every sort, is not equal to his post, and hence the
various deficiencies; nor is Sidney Herbert much better--very well both
of them in ordinary times, but without the ability or the resource
necessary to deal with such an emergency as the present.

I saw a letter yesterday from Charles Windham, a Q.-M.-General on poor
Cathcart's staff, with an account of the battle, and he says that if,
directly after the march on Balaklava, Sebastopol had been assaulted, it
must have been taken. This corresponds with the reports of Russian
deserters, who declare that there were only 2,000 men in the place after
the battle of Alma. There is always so much difference of opinion and
fault finding in such affairs that it is not easy to come to a sound
conclusion thereupon.

[Footnote 1: Mr. Delane had gone to the theatre of war in the autumn,
and was there with Mr. Kinglake, the brilliant historian of the Crimean

_November 29th._--My surviving nephew arrived from the Crimea yesterday
morning. He gave me an account of the battle, and denies that General
Cathcart ever refused, or was ever offered, the aid of General Bosquet,
as has been stated. He says that Cathcart was not in command, and it was
not therefore to him that the offer would have been made, and that
Cathcart did not go into action till he was sent for by General
Pennefather, when he got his Division out, and went on the field. He was
killed quite early, about twenty minutes after he reached the field of
battle. My nephew confirms what has been said about the
non-fortification of the position, which seems to have been an enormous
blunder, against which most of the Generals of Division remonstrated. He
says Cathcart was opposed to the expedition to the Crimea, not thinking
they were strong enough, and he strongly advised, and in opposition to
Raglan, that the place should be attacked immediately after the battle
of Alma, while the Russians were still panic struck, and before they had
time to fortify the town on the south side. He says he left the army in
good health and spirits, but not expecting to take Sebastopol this year.
Their sufferings had not been very great, though it was a hard
life--plenty to eat, but mostly salt meat. He thinks, though the French
behaved very gallantly and their arrival saved the army, that they might
have done more than they did; and a body of them that came late on the
field actually never stirred and did nothing whatever.

In the evening I met Clarendon at the Travellers', and had a long talk
with him about all sorts of things. He has been much disturbed at the
'Times,' especially as to two things--its violent abuse of Austria and
its insertion of a letter from the Crimea, reflecting severely on Prince
Napoleon. With regard to Austria it is peculiarly annoying, because we
are now on the point of concluding a tripartite Treaty which is actually
on its way to Vienna, and in a day or two it will be decided whether she
signs it or not; and nothing is more calculated to make her hang back
than such articles in the 'Times.' Then as to Prince Napoleon, it has
annoyed the Emperor and all his family beyond expression, and to such a
degree that Drouyn de Lhuys has written an official letter to Walewski
about it--a very proper and reasonable letter, but still expressing
their vexation, and entreating that such attacks may, if possible, be
prevented for the future.

We talked over Lord Raglan and his capacity for command, and we both
agreed that he had given no proofs of his fitness for so mighty a task.
Clarendon said he was struck with the badness of his private letters,
as he had been from the beginning by those from Varna, showing that he
had evidently not a spark of imagination and no originality. We both
agreed that it would never do to hint a doubt about his merits or
capacity, and at all events that he is probably equal to anybody likely
to be opposed to him. His personal bravery is conspicuous, and he
exposes himself more than he ought. It is said that one of his
aides-de-camp remonstrated with him and received a severe rebuff, Raglan
telling him to mind his own business, and if he did not like the fire to
go to the rear. Clarendon says there is no chance of taking Sebastopol
this year, nor of taking it at all till we have an army strong enough to
drive the Russians out of the Crimea. For this, 150,000 men would be
required to make it a certainty; but with this force, no Russian army,
however numerous, could resist the allies, and then the place would
fall. This is a distant prospect. I expressed my wonder at the Russians
being able to obtain supplies, and he said they got them from the Don
and from Kertch.


_December 5th._--I was at Middleton on Saturday and returned yesterday.
There I saw a letter from Stafford, who is at Constantinople tending the
sick and wounded, writing for and reading to them, and doing all the
good he can--a very wise and benevolent way of re-establishing his
reputation and making his misdeeds at the Admiralty forgotten.[1] He
says he had heard so much of the sufferings and privations of the
soldiers, and of the bad state of the hospitals, that he resolved to go
there and judge for himself of the truth of all that had been written
and asserted on the subject; that he did so, and found the very worst
accounts exceeded by the reality, and that nothing could be more
frightful and appalling than it all was. It had greatly improved, but
still was bad enough. The accounts published in the 'Times,' therefore,
turn out to be true, and all the aid that private charity could supply
was no more than was needed. I believe there has been no lack of zeal
and humanity here, but a great deal of ignorance and inexperience, and,
above all, culpable negligence on the part of Lord Stratford, who had
_carte blanche_ from the Government as to expense, and who, after having
done his best to plunge us into this war, might at least have given his
time and attention to provide relief for the victims of it; but it seems
that from some fit of ill-temper he has chosen to do nothing, and
evinced nothing but indifference to the war itself and all its incidents
ever since it broke out. This I am assured is the case. His wife has
been very active and humane, and done all she could to assist Miss
Nightingale in her mission of benevolence and charity. But to return to
Stafford's letter. He says that while nothing could exceed the heroism
of our soldiers, the incapacity of their chiefs was equally conspicuous,
and that the troops had no confidence in their leaders; he adds, it is
essential to give them a good general if the war goes on. This, and much
more that I have heard, confirms the previous impression on my mind that
Raglan is destitute of military genius or skill, and quite unequal to
the command of a great army. It does not appear, however, that the enemy
are better off than we are in this respect, and we do not know that in
England a better general would now be found. The man, Stafford says, in
whom the army seem to have the greatest confidence is Sir Colin
Campbell. All this is very serious, and does not tend to inspire a great
expectation of glorious results. From what Clarendon said to me it is
evident that _he_ does not think much of Raglan, but it would never do
to express any doubt of his ability or of his measures in public. Delane
told me yesterday that he had received letters without end in this
sense, and that he entertained the same doubts that I did, but should
take care not to give utterance to them in the 'Times.' This reserve is
the more necessary and even just because, after all, the opinions may
not be well founded; and, as it is impossible to change the command, it
is very desirable not to weaken the authority and self-confidence of
the General by casting doubts upon his conduct of the war.

[Footnote 1: Mr. Augustus Stafford had been Secretary to the Admiralty
under Lord Derby's first Administration, where he was supposed not to
have done well; but when the accounts arrived of the sufferings and
privations of the army in the dreadful winter of 1854-5, Mr. Stafford
was one of the first persons to go out and endeavour to relieve the
deplorable condition of the troops.]

_December 11th._--For the last week the Austrian Treaty has occupied
everybody's thoughts, though, as the exact terms of it are not yet
known, people do not very well know what to expect from it. The great
question that lies behind it is, whether Prussia will follow in the wake
of Austria, and the rest of Germany with her. If all Germany joins the
Allies it seems absolutely impossible that Russia should offer any
effectual resistance to such a combination of forces; and it will then
be to be seen what impression can be made on an Empire which, with many
political deficiencies, nature has made so strong for defensive
purposes, and, if the contest continues, whether the opinions and object
of the Allies will not diverge and ultimately break up the alliance.


Bright has published his letter in a penny form (or somebody has done it
for him) with _pièces justificatives_ extracted from the Blue Books and
from other sources, and in my opinion he makes out a capital and
unanswerable case. He does not, indeed, prove, nor attempt to prove,
that the Emperor of Russia is in the right absolutely, but he makes out
that he is in the right as against England and France, and he shows up
the conduct of the Western Powers very successfully. But in the present
temper of the country, and while the war fever is still raging with
undiminished violence, all appeals to truth and reason will be totally
unavailing. Those who entertain such opinions either wholly or in part
do not dare to avow them, and all are hurried along in the vortex. I do
not dare to avow them myself; and even for holding my tongue, and
because I do not join in the senseless clamour which everywhere
resounds, I am called 'a Russian.' The progress of the contest has
changed the nature of public opinion, for now its principal motive is
the deep interest taken in the success of our arms and the safety of the
band of heroes who have been fighting in the Crimea. This is, of course,
right and patriotic, and a feeling which must be common to those who
have been against, and those who have been for the war.

_Panshanger, December 14th._--The debates on Tuesday night were on the
whole satisfactory, and not bad for the Government. Derby made a
slashing, effective philippic on the text of 'Too late,' asserting that
the fault of the Government had been that they had done everything too
late. Newcastle answered him, but was dull and feeble, totally unequal
to meet Derby in debate. His case was not bad, but he could not handle
it with effect. Government did better in the Commons, where Sidney
Herbert made a capital speech, and produced a very good case in a very
complete and satisfactory manner. He proved that reinforcements had been
sent out month after month, and that they had never folded their hands
and stood still as Derby charged them with having done. All the rage for
the war which is apparent in the country was manifested in both Houses.
According to present appearances, there will be very little done on the
part of the Opposition against the Government during this short session.

_December 17th._--These smooth appearances were deceitful, for the
Government met with an unexpected and violent opposition to their
Foreign Enlistment Bill, and only carried the second reading by a
majority of 12. Ellenborough, puffed up with conceit and soured by
disappointment and the nullity of his position, commenced a furious
attack on this bill in an able speech replete with bitterness and
sarcasm. Derby, too happy to join in any mischief, brought the support
of his party, and a debate ensued, in which, as usual, the speaking of
Ellenborough and Derby gave them the advantage, but the Government got a
majority enough for their purpose. The bill itself is very unpopular,
nobody can tell why, except that all sorts of misrepresentations were
made about it the first night, and people have not yet been undeceived.
I doubt if it was worth while to bring in such a bill, but it is certain
if they had not done so, and immediately, they would have been furiously
reproached by those who oppose them now, and above all accused of being
'too late.' The imprudent speech which John Russell made about Austria
the first night elicited a violent attack on him in the 'Times,' which
is sure to have put him in very bad humour. The speech and the attack
were equally unjustifiable and mischievous. I have no idea why he said
what he did, unless it was for the sake of appearing to fall in with the
vulgar prejudice against Austria.


_December 18th._--The dislike of the Foreign Enlistment Bill is very
general, but nobody can give any reason for their opposition to it.[1]
It is, however, so great that it is not certain that it can be carried
through the House of Commons, and so little is the Government cared for
that I doubt many being found who will incur the resentment of their
constituents or give an unpopular vote to save them. If they should be
beaten, I think they must go out. John Russell is in a bad disposition
of mind, as may be gathered from his _entourage_, who are in rabid
opposition. Lord John, however, will probably do what he can to make
this measure go down, as I find he is himself the author of it; but I
much doubt if he would care for the Government being broken up, and he
is not unlikely to regard such a catastrophe as the event best
calculated to restore him to the post he so much covets. It is certainly
possible that Derby, conscious he could not make a Government himself,
would offer to support the Whig section of this Cabinet with all the
Peelites eliminated from it, and that an attempt might be made to form a
Government with Lord John, Palmerston, and perhaps Ellenborough.
However, all this is vague speculation, and not worth following out.

[Footnote 1: The object of the Foreign Enlistment Bill was to enable
the Government to enlist 15,000 foreigners in the British army to be
drilled in this country. It was denounced and opposed especially in the
House of Lords as a dangerous and unconstitutional measure, but it
eventually passed, and a considerable number of Germans were enlisted
under it.]

_December 20th._--Government got a majority of 39, better than was
expected. Lord John threatened to resign if he was beaten. The debate
will not do them much good when it is read, nor serve to render their
measure more popular. Everybody thinks the whole affair has been grossly
mismanaged, and that, instead of making a mystery of their intentions,
they ought to have thrown out such intimations of them as would have
elicited public opinion; but the truth is, not one of them had the least
suspicion that the measure would meet with any resistance or even
objection, nor would there have been any if Ellenborough had not started
the hare, and then Derby and his party joyfully availed themselves of
the opportunity to do mischief, and joined in the cry. When the bill was
announced, Derby never dreamt of opposing it. The arguments against the
measure seem to me very plausible, except the constitutional one, which
is all stuff, and in which none of those who urge it are sincere; on the
other hand, the former precedents do not apply in this case. The best
argument for it is, that Raglan wants trained men as soon as possible,
and complains that they send nothing but boys, who are of little use at
first, and who die in great numbers under the hardships and privations
the climate and the operations inflict on them. Not only were the
Government totally unconscious of the opposition they should encounter,
but, when they found the steam was getting up, they neglected to enter
into such explanations and make out such a case as might, if well done,
have extinguished dissension in the beginning. All this displays a want
of prudence and foresight, for in a matter of such importance it is not
enough to say that they did not expect any fault to be found with their
proposal, and they ought to have employed some means to see what was
likely to be thought of it before they committed themselves to it. They
ought to have ascertained how it was to be carried into effect, and if
they could count upon its success, and to be able to give Parliament
some assurance of it, instead of saying they had taken no initiative
steps out of affected deference to constitutional scruples, and knew not
how they were to get the men they are asking for. It seems the general
opinion of their own friends that they have mismanaged their case, and
plunged into a difficulty they might have avoided.


The best way of avoiding it would have been to raise a regiment or two
without applying to Parliament at all, mustered and arrayed them at
Malta or at Heligoland, or wherever they pleased out of England, and
sent them off as an experiment to the Crimea. Then, if they had done
good service, and Raglan had expressed his satisfaction and asked for
more, they might have raised any number and landed them here without
cavil or objection; but to have adopted this course they must have seen
the necessity of feeling their way, which not one of them did. The great
complaint now is the want of organisation and good arrangement in the
Crimea and generally at and about the seat of war, the confusion that
has taken place in forwarding and distributing supplies, and the want of
all expedients for facilitating the service in its various branches.
There is much truth in all this, but the responsibility for it rests
upon Raglan, who, if he had been of a prompt and energetic character,
would have looked to these things, seen what was wanting, and have taken
care to provide everything and set the necessary machinery in motion. He
had _carte blanche_ from the Government as to money and everything else,
and, if he had concerted what was necessary with Stratford, and insisted
on his exerting himself, I believe none of the complaints would have
been made, and none of the deficiencies have been found. This is what
the Duke of Wellington would have done, and his despatches are full of
proofs that it is what he was always doing.

_December 24th._--The third reading of the Enlistment Bill carried by
38, after a very fine speech from Bright, consisting of a part of his
letter with its illustrations. In my opinion this speech was
unanswerable, and no attempt was made to answer it. He was very severe
on both Lord John and Palmerston. It is impossible that such reasoning
as Bright's should not make _some_ impression in the country; but I do
not think any reasoning however powerful, or any display of facts
however striking, can stem the torrent of public opinion, which still
clamours for war and is so burning with hatred against Russia that no
peace could be deemed satisfactory, or, even tolerable, that did not
humble Russia to the dust and strip her of some considerable territory.
Yesterday the 'Times' ventured on an article against Raglan as the
cause of the disorder and confusion and consequent privations which
prevail in the army. Delane wrote to me about it, and said he was aware
he should be bitterly reviled for speaking these truths. I agree
entirely with what he said, and see no reason why the saddle should not
be put upon the right horse.

_The Grove, December 31st_, 1854.--The last day of one of the most
melancholy and disastrous years I ever recollect. Almost everybody is in
mourning, and grief and despair overspread the land. At the beginning of
the year we sent forth an army amidst a tumult of joyous and triumphant
anticipation, and everybody full of confidence and boasting and
expecting to force the Emperor Nicholas in the shortest possible time
humbly to sue for peace, and the only question was, what terms we should
vouchsafe to grant him, and how much of his dominions we should leave
him in possession of. Such presumptuous boasting and confidence have
been signally humbled, and the end of this year sees us deploring the
deaths of friends and relations without number, and our army perishing
before the walls of Sebastopol, which we are unable to take, and, after
bloody victories and prodigies of valour, the Russian power hardly as
yet diminished or impaired. All last week I was at Hatchford with Lord
Grey, when we did nothing but talk over the war, its management and
mismanagement, Raglan, etc. Grey's criticisms are clever and not unfair,
far from favourable to the Government, but detesting Derby, of whom he
has the worst opinion, formed from a very ancient date and upon long
experience of his character and conduct. Grey's idea is that there has
been much mismanagement here and still greater on the spot, and that
Raglan is quite incompetent and, as far as we can see, nobody else any
better. The opinion about Raglan appears to be rapidly gaining ground,
and the Ministers have arrived at the same conclusion.


I came here yesterday to meet Cowley, come over for a few days from
Paris, and to have a talk with him and Clarendon. Cowley says that the
alliance between the two countries is very hollow, and in fact there is
nobody in France really friendly to us except the Emperor, Persigny,
and perhaps Drouyn de Lhuys. The Emperor is bent on pursuing the war
with vigour, and is sensible of the importance to himself of the French
flag being triumphant. I asked him what they thought of our armies and
our generals; he said from the Emperor downwards they had the highest
admiration for the wonderful bravery of the troops, but the greatest
contempt for the military skill of the commanders, and for all our
arrangements and _savoir faire_. He told us the following anecdote as a
proof of the blundering way in which our affairs are conducted.
Newcastle wrote to him lately to beg he would ask the French Government
to give us a model of certain carts their army used in the Crimea, the
like of which our people there had applied to him for. The French
Minister replied that he could give drawings, but had no model; but at
the same time he advised us not to think of having similar ones, as
these carts are so ill adapted for the purpose that they had discarded
them, and had ordered others and better ones to be made, which were now
in course of construction _at Malta_. So that we propose to get these
machines without finding out whether they are suitable or not, while the
French supply themselves with the proper article _in our own territory_.

I find from Clarendon that he is not only fully alive to Raglan's
inefficiency, but has all along suspected it, and now the Government
seem to have the same conviction; still they can take no step in the
matter, for he has done nothing and omitted nothing so flagrantly as to
call for or justify his recall, and if they were to recall him they do
not know where to look for a better man to replace him. The war has
hitherto failed to elicit any remarkable abilities or special aptitude
for war, except in one instance, that of Captain Butler, the defender of
Silistria, a young man of remarkable promise who, if he had lived, would
probably have done great things and have risen to distinction.

Canrobert writes to his Government that he hopes soon to attempt the
assault, but the Emperor and M. Vaillant by no means approve of it, and
have sent him orders not actually prohibiting it, but enjoining caution
in such a manner as will most probably effectually deter him from doing
anything. They all think that the capture of the place could only be
achieved (if at all) at a great cost of life, and that the captors could
not hold it for many hours, as they would be pounded from the Northern
forts which entirely command the place.

We discussed Austria and what she will do when the Russian answer comes
to the last communication of the Conference at Vienna, and what she can
do. Even if she recalls her ambassador from St. Petersburg and declares
war, Cowley thinks she will never cross bayonets with the Russians or
fire a shot unless attacked; and he believes, on what appear good
grounds, that if any fighting takes place between the Austrians and the
Russians, the former will get beaten, and that the Russian army is much
the best of the two. This is the reverse of the general notion, but it
seems that the Austrian officers themselves are of that opinion. It is
no wonder, therefore, that they have no mind to go to war and to
encounter this danger to accommodate us, whom they still cordially hate
on many accounts, but especially for the Haynau affair, which still
rankles in their hearts and in which they think their uniform was
insulted. _À propos_ of this, Clarendon told me that the Queen was
talking to him very lately about this affair, and told him that she had
entreated Palmerston at the time to write some expression of regret to
the Austrian Government, but that nothing would induce him to do it, and
he never did.


I asked Clarendon what was Palmerston's present tone about the war. He
said he was very uneasy about the army and its condition, but just as
confident as ever as to the final result of the war, and as lofty in his
ideas of the terms of peace we should exact from Russia. He is all for
restoring the Crimea to Turkey, and, what is more, he has persuaded the
Emperor Napoleon to embrace that opinion. As usual, he never sees any
difficulty in anything he wishes to do. I told Cowley and Clarendon what
Grey said--viz. that he agreed entirely with Bright's letter, and that
the war might have been avoided by either of the two courses--to have
told the Emperor of Russia in the beginning we would make war on him if
he persisted, and compelled to understand that we really meant it, or to
have forced the Turks to accept the Vienna Note; and, in either case,
war would have been avoided, but that, the Cabinet itself being divided,
everything was done in a spirit of compromise, and a middle course
adopted which led to all the mischief. Cowley answered the first
alternative and Clarendon the second. Cowley said that one of the great
difficulties of the British Government was to secure concert with the
French, and to explain their own conduct without hurting the
susceptibility of their allies or divulging what passed between the two
Governments. The French were perpetually blowing hot and cold, with a
false air of vigour superior to our's at one moment, and at another
wanting to do what our Ministers would have been torn to pieces for
consenting to. For instance, in spite of us they would send their fleet
to the Dardanelles to support the Turks, and afterwards they proposed to
send the two fleets to Constantinople to compel the Sultan to sign the
Vienna Note. Cowley told me this war in its present shape and with these
vast armaments had gone on insensibly and from small beginnings, nobody
could well tell how. In the first instance, the Emperor told Cowley he
had no intention of sending any land forces to the East, and when we
proposed to him to despatch there a small corps of 5,000 English and
10,000 French he positively declined. Soon after Sir John Burgoyne was
sent to examine and report on the state of the country, and he gave an
opinion that it would be desirable to send such a force to occupy a
fortified position at Gallipoli in case of the Russians making a sudden
attack with their fleet on Constantinople, in which case our fleets
might be in some danger. Cowley took him to the Emperor, to whom he told
his story. The Emperor said he thought his reasons good, and this was a
definite and tangible object, and he would send the troops. When Raglan
was offered the command of the forces we were to send out, he said he
would not go with less than 20,000 men; and when we agreed to send this
force, the French said if we sent 20,000 they must send 40,000, and so
the expedition began, and it has since swelled to its present
magnitude--our's in consequence of the clamour here and pressure from
without, and their's to keep pace with our's in relative proportions.
With regard to the Vienna Note, Clarendon said Stratford never would
have let the Turks sign it, and if they had recalled him the Cabinet
here would have been broken up, Palmerston would have gone out,
Stratford would have come home frantic and have proclaimed to the whole
country that the Turks had been sacrificed and betrayed, and the uproar
would have been so great that it would have been impossible to carry out
the intention. I think the first answer is more weighty than the last,
and that the popular clamour and Palmerston's secession ought to have
been encountered at whatever hazard rather than persist in the fatal
course which could hardly fail to lead, and did eventually lead, us into
this deplorable war.


 Lord John's Views on the Ministry--Gloomy Prospects--Attacks on
 Lord Raglan--Russian and Prussian Diplomacy--Lord Palmerston more
 in favour--French View of the British Army--Russian
 Negotiations--Lord John Russell in Paris--Conference at
 Vienna--Lord Raglan unmoved--Terms proposed to Russia--Failure of
 the Duke of Newcastle--Hesitation of Austria and France--Deplorable
 State of the Armies--Chances of Peace--Meeting of
 Parliament--Further Negotiations--Lord John Russell
 resigns--Ministers stay in--The Debate on Roebuck's
 Motion--Resignation of Lord Aberdeen--Lord John Russell's real
 Motives--Lord Derby sent for--and fails--Wise Decision of the
 Queen--Ministerial Negotiations--Lord Palmerston sent for--The
 Peelites refuse to join--Lord Palmerston forms a Government--Lord
 Palmerston's Prospects--Lord John Russell sent to Vienna--Lord
 Palmerston in the House of Commons--General Alarm--Difficulties of
 Lord Palmerston--The Peelites secede--Lord John accepts the
 Colonial Office--Sir George Lewis Chancellor of the
 Exchequer--Death of the Emperor Nicholas of Russia--Lord Palmerston
 supposed to be a weak Debater--Weakness of the Government--Fresh
 Arrangements--The Budget--The Press.


_January 2nd,_ 1855.--I received yesterday a letter from the Duke of
Bedford relating to the views and position of Lord John Russell. He had
talked over his position with the Duke, disclaimed any wish to be again
Prime Minister, but desired Lord Lansdowne should be in the post; that
he liked personally both Aberdeen and Newcastle but thought them unfit
for the emergency. He had proposed that Palmerston should be War
Minister but was overruled, and now (the Duke asks) what is he to do if
a vote of censure on the management of the war is proposed in the House
of Commons, thinking as he does that it has been mismanaged? He would
willingly break up this Government, which he really thinks a very bad
one (what he wrote to Clarendon being his deliberate opinion), if he
could see a chance of a better being substituted, and if he thought
Derby could carry on the war more efficiently, which he does not. This
letter is a complete reply to the objection Clarendon urged against
Palmerston's being War Minister, for if Lord John himself wished it,
nobody else could well object. He ought to have insisted on it, and, if
he had, it must have been done.

Nothing can wear a gloomier aspect than affairs do at home and
abroad--the Government weak, unpopular, dispirited, and divided, the
army in the Crimea in a deplorable state, and the prospects of the war
far from brilliant, no confidence in the commanding officers there, and
no likelihood of finding more competent ones, everybody agreeing that
till we have 150,000 men in the Crimea we cannot count on taking
Sebastopol, and the difficulty of ever assembling such a force appearing
very great. So far as I can collect, the violent articles which the
'Times' emits day after day have excited general resentment and disgust.
They overdo everything and, while they are eternally changing their
course, the one they follow for the moment they follow with an
outrageous violence which shocks everybody. But as those who complain
most of the 'Times' still go on reading it, the paper only gets more
rampant and insolent, for as long as its circulation is undiminished it
does not care what anybody thinks or says of it.

_January 4th._--I wrote the Duke an answer with my opinion on Lord
John's position and obligations, which has elicited another from him
this morning. He says that it was a few weeks ago that John made a
formal proposal to Aberdeen that Palmerston should replace Newcastle at
the War Department. Aberdeen desired time to consider, and then refused.
Subsequently the matter was renewed, when Palmerston himself objected,
and then it necessarily ended. The Duke thinks that Lord John will not
now stir it again, and will make up his mind to go on, and to defend his
Government in the House of Commons. He consulted Sir George Grey, Lord
Lansdowne, and Panmure, and they all advised him not to resign. It is
strange that while this is imparted to me 'very confidentially,' and I
had heard nothing of it before, it is currently reported, and stated
positively in the 'Morning Herald,' that Lord John and others,
mentioned by name, have insisted on Newcastle's being turned out. That
some part of what has occurred has got out is clear, and I incline to
think that some of his satellites have set to work, and that, by way of
assisting Lord John's object, they have given notice of what was going
on to some of the Derbyites. There is a mysterious allusion to some
impending event in the 'Press' on Saturday last, which looks very like


The 'Times' goes on against Raglan with greater vehemence every day, and
will not be restrained by any remonstrances. Evans has put himself in
communication with Delane (though certainly having no hand in these
attacks) and has sent him an account of his having addressed a letter to
Canrobert many days before the battle of Inkerman for the purpose of
getting him to assist in taking precautionary measures to resist the
attack he was persuaded the Russians would make, and Canrobert's answer,
in which he says that his means are curtailed by the necessity of
providing for the defence of Balaklava, and of extending his line and
making dispositions 'dans l'intérêt de la situation commune,' but that
he has ordered Bosquet to move nearer to Evans' division, and to be in
readiness if anything should happen. There was a passage omitted in the
printed letter of Evans to Raglan in which he alludes to the neglect of
the precautionary measures he had recommended.

Gortschakoff has declared the Emperor of Russia will accept the first,
second, and fourth articles of the four points, and will consider of the
third. This may mean that he really wishes to make peace, or only be
done for the sake of Austria, and to give her a pretext for not
declaring against him. Clarendon is satisfied with Usedom, but not at
all with his proposals. He says the King of Prussia has sent him to try
and make a treaty with France and England entirely out of jealousy and
mortification at Austria having made one, but he does not propose one
similar to the Austrian Treaty, only a _defensive_ one. Clarendon says
the King in his heart hates Russia and winces under the influence he
submits to, that he is indignant at the insults which have been heaped
on him by his Imperial brother-in-law, and the contumely with which he
has been treated, but, being physically and politically a coward, he has
not energy to shake off the yoke he has suffered to be imposed on him.

_Aldenham, January 6th._--I came here to-day. I saw Cowley yesterday,
who has been to Windsor, and tells me that he finds by conversations he
has had with Stockmar that the Queen is much softened towards Palmerston
and no longer regards him with the extreme aversion she did. On the
other hand, she is very angry with John Russell, and this is, of course,
from knowing what he has been doing, and resentment at his embarrassing
and probably breaking up the Government. This relaxation in her feelings
towards Palmerston is very important at this moment, and presents the
chance of an alternative which, if this Government falls, may save her
from Derby and his crew, whom she cordially detests. I hear Newcastle is
very low, as well he may be, for no man was ever placed in so painful a
position, and it is one from which it is impossible for him to extricate
himself. When the Government goes to pieces, as I am persuaded it will,
the Queen is very likely to send for Palmerston, and he and
Ellenborough, as War Minister, might make a Government that would
probably stand during the war, and which in present circumstances the
House of Commons and the country could not but support. My notion is
that Lord John would not take any office, but would support Palmerston,
and advise all his friends and followers to do so. I know no reason why
Ellenborough should not act with anybody, and many of the present
Government might stay in, and certain changes be made which would let in
more Whigs, and so conciliate that party, while the Conservatives would
abstain from supporting any Government which did not contain Aberdeen
and Newcastle. Gladstone might be a difficulty; Clarendon would be none,
for he and Palmerston have pulled very well together, and I have no
doubt Palmerston would be very happy to keep him. This opens a new
prospect, and one very preferable to having Derby and his friends in
office again.


I asked Cowley about Canrobert's confidential letters to his Government
on the state of our army of which I had heard. He said it was very true,
and he had seen several of these letters, in which Canrobert said that
nothing could exceed his admiration of the British soldiers, but he was
convinced the army would disappear altogether, for their organisation
and management were deplorable; and he entreated his Government, if they
possibly could, to interpose in the interest of the common cause to
procure some amelioration of the organisation, without which nothing
could save the army from destruction. The Emperor, Cowley said, never
mentioned our troops or commanders to him except in terms of respect and
with expressions of his admiration, but he knew that to others he spoke
in a very different tone, and said that our army was commanded by an old

_January 12th._--I returned to town last night. The Emperor of Russia's
acceptance of the four points, as interpreted by us, of course excites
hopes of peace, but I think few people are sanguine as to the result. It
is suspected to be only a dodge to paralyse the action of Austria, but
unless there was some secret concert with Austria, which is not likely,
I cannot see what Russia is to gain by accepting conditions which she
does not really mean to abide by. Such conduct could only deceive the
Allies for a short time, and, as there is no question of any suspension
of military operations, nothing would be gained in that respect, while
as soon as some decisive test of the Emperor's sincerity was applied,
his real meaning must be made manifest, and then not only would the
_acharnement_ of the Western Powers be increased, but it would be quite
impossible for Austria not to join the Coalition, and to act verily and
indeed against Russia. These reasons would induce me to put faith in the
Russian announcement; on the other hand, it is barely credible that the
Emperor should consent to the sacrifice of Sebastopol in the present
state of the campaign, and with the almost certainty that we cannot take
it for many months to come, if at all.

John Russell is gone to Paris, not for any political object, but merely
to see one of his wife's sisters; but his journey there and
conversations with the Emperor may not be without some consequences. I
hear almost daily from the Duke of Bedford on the subject of John's
conduct, the conduct of the war, and the state of the Government. For
the present he appears to desist from doing anything to make an
explosion. The curious thing is that the public, and particularly the
Derbyite, newspapers should be so well informed as they are of what is
going on. Though the immediate danger of a break up seems to be over, I
still think the _animus_ Lord John exhibits, the manifold difficulties
of the Government, and their undoubted though unjust unpopularity, will
before long break them to pieces.

_January 14th._--I met Clarendon last night and had a talk about affairs
at home and abroad. John Russell at Paris is satisfied with his
conversation with the Emperor, who agreed that we could make no peace
but one which would be glorious for us. Clarendon does not believe the
Emperor of Russia really means to sacrifice Sebastopol, and thinks when
he sent his acceptance of the four points he was not apprised of what
had passed in the Conference, which was merely verbal. Gortschakoff, in
a passion, said, 'I suppose you mean to limit our naval force, or to
dismantle Sebastopol, or both;' to which they replied, 'Yes'; but
nothing was put in writing to this effect. This makes a great
difference, but I do not despair. There is a great question about a
negotiator, and the Queen and Prince want Clarendon himself to go. He
refused point blank; he does not like to leave it to Westmorland alone.
I suggested Canning, but he thought Canning had not had experience
enough, and that it ought to be a Cabinet Minister, and asked, 'Why not
Palmerston?' I objected the difficulty of relying on him, his hatred of
Austria, and the terror he would inspire; and I said Granville might do,
but that I saw no reason why he should not go himself if he had reason
to think it was likely to succeed, though I would not go merely to
return _re infectâ_. We then talked of Lord John and of Newcastle. He
said that Newcastle is exceedingly slow, and has a slow mind, but that
there is no case whatever for turning him out, and he cannot be blamed
for the failures in matters of detail, and as for the great measures the
responsibility belongs alike to all. Lord John never is and never will
be satisfied without being again Prime Minister, which is impossible. I
said the Duke of Bedford assured me that his brother did not _now_ want
to be Prime Minister. 'What does he want then?--to retire altogether?'
'Yes,' said Clarendon, 'that is his intense selfishness; utterly
regardless of the public interests, or of what may happen, he wants to
relieve _himself_ from the responsibility of a situation which is not so
good as he desires, and to run away from his post at a moment of danger
and difficulty. If we had some great success--if Sebastopol were taken,
for example--we should hear no more of his retirement.' As matters are,
however, Clarendon thinks very ill of them abroad and at home. This
disposition of Lord John's keeps the Government in constant hot water,
and no confidence can be placed in Raglan, while it is impossible to
find anybody who would, as far as we can judge, do any better.


The Court are exceedingly annoyed and alarmed at Raglan's failure; the
Prince showed Clarendon (or told him of) a letter from Colonel Steele,
who said that he had no idea how great a mind Raglan really had, but
that he now saw it, for in the midst of distresses and difficulties of
every kind in which the army was involved he was perfectly serene and
undisturbed, and his health excellent! Steele meant this as a panegyric,
and did not see that it really conveyed a severe reproach. The
conviction of his incapacity for so great a command gains ground every
day; he has failed in those qualities where everybody expected he would
have succeeded best, even those who thought nothing of his military
genius. But, having learnt what he knows of war under the Duke, he might
at least have known how _he_ carried on war, and have imitated his
attention to minute details and a general supervision of the different
services, seeing that all was in order and the merely mechanical parts
properly attended to on which so much of the efficiency as well as of
the comfort of the army depended.[1]

[Footnote 1: It may be proper to remark that a different and far more
favourable view of Lord Raglan's capacity as a General will be found
_infra_ at the beginning of Chapter XII. of this Journal, upon the
evidence of Sir Edmund Lyons, who was entirely in the confidence of the

_January 19th._--We are still uncertain as to the real intentions of the
Emperor of Russia, and whether he means to accept the terms offered by
the Allies; but my own impression is that he will not accept them _in
our sense_, and that he never will consent to the sacrifice of
Sebastopol till we have taken the place and destroyed the
fortifications, thereby rendering its dismantling a _fait accompli_.
There is certainly nothing in the present state of our affairs which
warrants our lofty pretensions, and the proposal of terms so humiliating
to the Emperor. The only possible grounds that can be imagined for his
acceptance are, his own knowledge of the state of his own country and of
the resources he can command for carrying on the war, and a
dispassionate and farsighted calculation of the disposition and of the
resources of his opponents. It is not impossible that he may foresee
that he must eventually succumb in a contest so unequal and in which the
number of his enemies increases every day. He may deem it better to make
certain sacrifices now, with the view of being able before long to
retrieve his losses, than to expose himself to the chance and great
probability of being obliged to make much greater sacrifices hereafter,
and such as it will be more difficult for him to repair. The Duke of
Bedford tells me that Aberdeen and Clarendon are both hopeless of peace,
and that Lord John and Palmerston do not consider it so absolutely
hopeless; Aberdeen says the negotiations will not last half an hour.


The accounts from the army are as bad as possible; one-third of it is in
the hospitals, and the quays of Balaklava are loaded with enormous
stores of every kind, which it was impossible to transport to the camp.
Very intelligent people therefore entertain the greatest apprehension of
some catastrophe occurring whenever the severity of the winter, which
has hitherto been comparatively mild, sets in. The best security is in
the equally distressed state of the Russians, and in fact nothing but
this can account for their having left us alone so long.

The Duke of Bedford and I talked over the state of affairs here, and the
political possibilities in the event of this Government falling to
pieces or being compelled to resign. We both desire any arrangement
rather than another Derby Government, and we agree in thinking that on
the whole the best would be for Lord Lansdowne to undertake the
formation of a Government, if he can be persuaded to do so, which does
not appear wholly impossible. This would satisfy Lord John, who would
then remain in his present office, half a dozen of the present Cabinet
would go out, some Whigs might replace them, and the thing would
undoubtedly go on for a time. It is impossible for Newcastle to continue
to conduct the war, with the universal clamour there is against him and
the opinion of his own colleagues (at least of such of them as I know
the opinions of) that he is unfit for the post. He has two very great
faults which are sufficient to disqualify him: he is exceedingly slow,
and he knows nothing of the qualifications of other men, or how to
provide himself with competent assistants; nor has he any decision or
foresight. He chose for his under-secretaries two wholly incompetent men
who have been of no use to him in managing and expediting the various
details of the service, and he has a rage for doing everything himself,
by which means nothing is done, or done so tardily as to be of no use.
Then all the subordinate Boards are miserably administered, and the
various useless, inefficient, or worn out officers have been suffered to
remain at their posts, to the enormous detriment of the service. The
genius of Lord Chatham or the energy and will of the Duke of Wellington
would have failed with such a general staff here, and with such a
Commander-in-Chief as Hardinge, and with the _fainéantise_ of Raglan.

_January 20th._--It is only by degrees one can unravel the truth in
political affairs. John Russell told me last night that Austria has
never given in her adhesion to our condition of making the destruction
of Sebastopol a _sine quâ non_ of peace. She joins us in insisting on
the '_faire cesser la prépotence_,' but the means of accomplishing this
remain to be discussed. This is very different from what I had imagined,
and makes it anything but certain that she will join her forces to
our's, if the negotiations fail in consequence of our demands. We are
now endeavouring to bring the Court of Vienna into an agreement with us
as to the conditions to be required, and it is no easy matter to get the
Cabinet to agree upon the wording of the communications we make to her.
This arises from the necessity of looking to the effect of what will
appear in the Blue Books. Blue Books, Parliamentary discussions, and the
Press tie up the hands of a Government, fetter its discretion and
deliberate policy, and render diplomatic transactions (especially with
Governments whose hands are more free) excessively difficult. Granville
told me yesterday morning that the course of Russia had been more
straightforward than that of England and France, and this morning he
reminded me of having said so, and added that we were in a great
diplomatic mess, France always finessing and playing a game of her own;
and I infer from what he said that, having got all she can out of us,
she is now coquetting with Austria, and disposed to defer to her wishes
and objects, and to be less _exigeante_ towards Russia. This is only of
a piece with what Clarendon has often said to me about France and her
way of dealing with us; however, if France will only insist on making
peace on plausible terms, and with the semblance of its being an
honourable and consistent peace, we cannot do otherwise than acquiesce
in her determination, and if we only follow the lead she takes the
public here must needs be satisfied. This is Granville's own idea, as it
is mine, and God grant that affairs may take this turn, and so we may
get out of the tremendous scrape we are in, the escape from which will
be cheaply purchased by the fall of the Government--a consequence that
is almost certain if it does not happen before anything can be done.

Day after day the accounts from the Crimea represent a more deplorable
state of things, entirely confirmative of Canrobert's statements to his
own Government, and it is difficult to read them and not apprehend some
fatal catastrophe. We know nothing of the state of the Russians either
within or without Sebastopol, and this ignorance is not one of the least
remarkable circumstances in this war, but we must conclude either that
their condition is as bad as our's, and that they are unable to attack
us, or that their policy is to let the winter do its work, and that they
do not think it necessary for them to fight sanguinary battles with very
doubtful results when disease is ravaging the allied army and producing
effects as advantageous for them as the most complete victories could
do, as surely, only more gradually.


_January 22nd._--Every day one looks with anxiety to see and to hear
whether the chances of peace look well or ill, and at present they look
very ill. Clarendon seems to set his face against it--that is, he
considers it hopeless; and it is not promising that the negotiations
should be under the management of one who has no hopes of bringing them
to a successful issue, and whose despair of it evidently arises from his
determination to exact conditions that there is no chance of obtaining.
I hear, too, this morning, that the instructions to Bourqueney are to be
as _exigeant_ as possible--not very wise pretensions anyhow, but they
rather indicate the tone adopted by England than the real intentions of
France, for it is one thing to make great demands and another to persist
in them. It is, however, idle to speculate on the progress of a
negotiation which must be so largely influenced by the operations and
events of the war. Parliament meets tomorrow, and I think a very short
time will elapse before the fate of the Government is decided by some
vote about the conduct of the war. I think the Government themselves
desire it, and, conscious of the state of public opinion and of the
deplorable state of affairs, and most of them thinking there has been
great and fatal mismanagement, they wish the question to be decided,
would not be sorry to be driven out by an adverse vote, and consider
that it would be a better and more respectable way of ending than by
those internal dissensions, which, like a cancer, are continually
undermining them. John Russell sees nothing but difficulties in the
formation of another Government of a Whig complexion including a large
portion of the present Ministers, and says that he does not think Lord
Lansdowne _would_, or that he or Palmerston _could_ accomplish it. He
means now to stand by his colleagues, to accept his share of
responsibility, and defend what has been done.

_January 23rd._--Parliament meets to-day, and probably no time will be
lost in attacking the Government, but it is impossible yet to know
whether they will be harassed by a continual succession of skirmishes
and bitter comments on details, or whether some grand and decisive
assault will be made. The general impression is that the War Department
cannot remain in Newcastle's hands, and if he cannot be got rid of
without the whole Ministry going to pieces it must so end. I think this
is pretty much the opinion of the Ministers themselves; and though I
believe they all, or most of them, personally like him, they seem, so
far as I can see, to be agreed that he is unequal to his post.

With regard to peace, the prospect looks anything but bright. The
negotiations will not begin till we receive positive information as to
the meaning of the Emperor of Russia in accepting the four points. Some
weeks ago Clarendon wrote a despatch to Westmorland, in which he stated
explicitly the meaning we attached to the four points, but this has
never been put officially before the Emperor, that we know of. Buol
acquiesced, as I understood, in our explanation, but John Russell
distinctly told me that Austria had never signified her concurrence in
making the demolition of Sebastopol a _sine quâ non_ condition. Now,
however, some fresh communication has been made by Austria to Russia,
and we will not begin the negotiation until Austria shall have signified
to us that the Emperor's acceptance is such as will warrant us in
negotiating. I am not sufficiently acquainted with all the details to
form a conclusive opinion, but, as far as I can see, we have been
hanging off from being perfectly explicit, and have never yet come to a
complete understanding with Austria, much less with Russia, and I am
afraid of our Ministers committing themselves in Parliament by some
declarations and professions of intentions which may make peace
impossible and break up the negotiations at once, for as to Russia
consenting to dismantle Sebastopol, I look upon it as impossible, and
absurd to expect it. I earnestly hope that Bourqueney may be instructed
to come to an understanding with Austria, and that, if we insist on
terms impossible to obtain, our two Allies may compel us to give way, or
leave us to fight the battle alone. The only thing quite certain is that
we are in a state of the utmost doubt, danger, and perplexity at home
and abroad, all of which is owing to our own egregious folly and
unskilfulness, and the universal madness which has pervaded the nation.


_January 24th._--The Government is at an end, or at least it probably
will be before the end of the day. The Duke of Bedford has just been to
me to tell me that last night, after returning from the House of
Commons, Lord John wrote a letter to Aberdeen to resign his office, and
he will not attend the Cabinet to-day. Nobody knows it but Aberdeen
himself, and I am not permitted to tell Granville even, but it will be
announced to the Cabinet this morning. The immediate cause of Lord
John's resignation is Roebuck's motion, of which he gave notice last
night, for a Committee to inquire into the conduct of the war; it is
intended as a hostile motion, and would have been turned into a vote of
censure and want of confidence. Besides this, it seems Hayter had told
Lord John that the aspect of the House was bad, and members of the
Government party disinclined to attend. Accordingly, he said he could
not and would not face the motion; Graham and Sidney Herbert might
defend the conduct of the war, but _he_ could not. Heaven only knows
what will occur. Lord John took no time to consider, but sent his
resignation at once, the moment he returned from the House. I told the
Duke that I thought he had made himself obnoxious to very just reproach,
running away from such a motion, and explaining (as he must do) that he
could not defend the conduct of the war. He will naturally be asked how
long he has been dissatisfied with its management, and why he did not
retire long ago. The Duke said he was aware of this, but he endeavoured
to make out that the case bore some analogy to that of Lord Althorp in
1834, when he resigned in consequence of a motion of O'Connell's. But
this was altogether different. Nothing can, in my opinion, justify Lord
John, and his conduct will, if I am not mistaken, be generally
condemned, and deprive him of the little consideration and influence he
had left. It has been vacillating, ungenerous, and cowardly, for after
all, in spite of errors and mistakes, the conduct of the war admits of a
defence, at least as to many parts of it, and it would have been far
better to stand up manfully and abide the result of the battle in
Parliament, than to shirk the fight and leave his colleagues to deal
with the difficulty as best they may, trying to escape from the
consequences of a responsibility which nothing he can say or do can
enable him to shake off.


_January 26th._--Yesterday morning the Cabinet met, and after some
discussion they resolved unanimously not to resign, but to encounter
Roebuck's motion. Aberdeen went down to Windsor, and there is another
Cabinet this morning. I saw John Russell in the afternoon, and told him
in very plain terms what I thought of his conduct, and how deeply I
regretted that he had not gone on with his colleagues and met this
attack with them. He looked astonished and put out, but said, 'I could
not. It was impossible for me to oppose a motion which I think ought to
be carried.' I argued the point with him, and in the middle of our talk
the Duke of Bedford came in. I asked him if he did not think the
remaining Ministers were right in the course they have taken, and he
said he did. I then said, 'I have been telling John how much I regret
that he did not do the same,' when John repeated what he had said
before, and then went away. After he was gone the Duke said, 'I am very
glad you said what you did to John.' The town was in a great state of
excitement yesterday, and everybody speculating on what is to happen,
and all making lists of a new Government according to their
expectations or wishes; most people place Palmerston at the head. In the
House of Lords Derby asked me what it all meant. Clarendon came up while
we were talking, and gave Derby to understand that he would probably
have to take office again, expressing his own eagerness to quit it. I
now hear that Lord John has been leading the Cabinet a weary life for
many months past, eternally making difficulties, and keeping them in a
constant state of hot water, determined to upset them, and only doubting
as to what was a fit opportunity, and at last taking the worst that
could be well chosen for his own honour and character. He is not,
however, without countenance and support from some of his adherents, or
from those who were so impatient for the destruction of this Government
that they are satisfied with its being accomplished, no matter how or by
whom or under what circumstances; and as he has been long accustomed

    to sit attentive to his own applause

from a little circle in Chesham Place, so he will now be told by the
same set that he has acted a very fine and praiseworthy part, although
such will not be the verdict of history, nor is it, as far as I can see,
of the best and wisest of his own contemporaries. Nobody entertains a
doubt of Roebuck's motion being carried by a large majority against the

_January 30th._--For the last three days I have been so ill with gout
that I could not do anything, or follow the course of events. John
Russell made a cunning and rather clever speech in explanation of his
resignation, George Grey a good one and strong against Lord John.
Opinions fluctuated about the division, some, but the minority, fancying
Government would have a majority because the proposed Committee is so
excessively difficult and in all ways objectionable; but when it became
known that the Derbyites meant to vote in a body for the motion, no one
doubted the result, and it became only a question of numbers.[1] Lord
John seems to have felt no regret at what he has done, and at exciting
the resentment and incurring the blame of all his colleagues; and he
goes so little into society, and is so constantly patted on the back at
home, that the censure of the world produces no effect on him. They tell
me he is in high spirits, and appears only to be glad at having at last
found the opportunity he has so long desired of destroying the
Government. Everybody appears astonished at the largeness of the
majority. Gladstone made a very fine speech, and powerful, crushing
against Lord John, and he stated what Lord John had never mentioned in
his narrative, that he had been expressly asked in December whether he
still wished the change to be made which he had urged in November, and
he had replied that he did not, that he had given it up. This
_suppressio veri_ is shocking, and one of the very worst things he ever

Aberdeen went down to Windsor this morning to resign. It is thought that
the Queen will send for Lansdowne, and ask him if he can make a
Government, or will try, and, if he declines, that he will advise her to
send for Palmerston; if Palmerston fails, then she can do nothing but
take Derby. It seems likely now that we shall have either a Whig or a
Derbyite Government, and that the Peelites will be left out altogether.
The difficulties are enormous, and though everybody says that at such a
crisis and with the necessity of attending to the war, and the war only,
no personal prejudices or antipathies should prevent anybody from taking
office if their services can be of use, men will not be governed by
motives of such pure patriotism; and, whoever may make the Government, I
expect there will be many exclusions and many refusals to join. Some say
that, if Derby comes in, and with the same or nearly the same men as
before, he ought to be kicked out at once, but I do not think so, and,
much as I should abhor another such Government, I think in present
circumstances it must be allowed the fairest play, and be supported
unless and until it commits some flagrant errors.

[Footnote 1: Mr. Roebuck's Motion for a Committee of Enquiry was
carried on the 29th of January by a majority of 157 in a House of 453
members present.]

_January 31st._--The division was curious: some seventy or eighty
Whigs, ordinary supporters of Government, voted against them, and all
the Tories, except about six or seven who voted against the motion;
Cobden and Bright stayed away. John Russell's explanation, had he spoken
the truth, would have run in these terms: 'I joined the Government with
great reluctance, and only at the earnest entreaty of my friends,
particularly Lord Lansdowne. From the first I was disgusted at my
position, and I resolved, unless Lord Aberdeen made way for me, and I
again became Prime Minister, that I would break up the Government. I
made various attempts to bring about such a change, and at last, after
worrying everybody to death for many months, I accomplished my object,
having taken what seemed a plausible pretext for doing it.'


_February 1st._--Contrary to general expectation, the Queen did not send
either for Lansdowne or Palmerston, but at once for Derby. He went
directly to Palmerston, who declined to join him. He is trying to form a
Government, and I see the Whigs are chuckling over the probability of
his failing and being obliged to give it up, when they evidently flatter
themselves that it will fall again into the hands of John Russell.
Rather than this should occur, I would prefer that Derby should succeed,
and, if he can get no foreign aid, that he should reconstitute the
wretched Government he had before. My disgust at the conduct of my Whig
friends is intense. Although they were to the last degree indignant at
the conduct of John Russell, they have, ever since the interregnum
began, been dancing attendance on him, evincing every disposition to
overlook the enormity of his conduct and to reform the party with a view
of carrying him again to the head of affairs and making another pure
Whig Government. I confess I thought that nobody could refuse to serve
at the present crisis, and, if the Queen sent for Derby, Palmerston, if
invited, could not help joining, and taking the War Department; but I
was wrong. I see in no quarter, as far as I have been able to observe
and judge, any disposition to discard prejudices, antipathies, and
personal feelings and interests, and to make every consideration yield
to the obligations which the present emergency imposes. However, the
game is not half played out yet. Meanwhile we are exhibiting a pretty
spectacle to Europe, and I don't think our example will tempt other
nations to adopt the institutions of which we are so proud; for they may
well think that liberty of the Press and Parliamentary government,
however desirable they may be when regulated by moderation and good
sense, would be dearly purchased at the expense of the anarchy and
confusion which they are now producing here.


_February 2nd._--The Queen herself decided to send at once to Derby, and
the result proves how wise her decision was, for she is relieved from
the annoyance of having him, and he is placed in such a position that he
cannot embarrass her new Government when it is formed. Derby went to
Palmerston, invited him to join and to bring Gladstone and Sidney
Herbert with him. On their declining he gave it up, and Her Majesty then
sent for Lord Lansdowne.

Last night the Duke of Newcastle defended himself in the House of Lords
against John Russell, and replied to his statements in the House of
Commons, and did it very successfully, carrying the House with him. The
whole affair, as it is gradually evolved, places John Russell in a
disgraceful and odious light, and ought to demolish him as a public man,
for he has shown himself to be actuated by motives of pique, personal
ambition, and mortified vanity, and to have been insincere, vacillating,
uncandid, and untruthful. The Duke's statement was crushing, and appears
to me not to admit of a rejoinder. It ought to cover him and his
wretched clique with confusion; but they will probably attempt to brazen
it out, and doggedly to insist that John was justified in all he did.
The discussion last night was very characteristic of Derby. If ever
there was an occasion in which seriousness and gravity seemed to be
required of a man in his position, it would seem to be that of last
night; but his speech was nothing but jeering at the late Cabinet and
chaffing Newcastle; it was really indecent, but very smart and funny, if
it had not been so unbefitting the occasion.

_February 4th._--No one can remember such a state as the town has been
in for the last two days. No Government, difficulties apparently
insurmountable, such confusion, such excitement, such curiosity,
everybody moving about craving for news, and rumour with her hundred
tongues scattering every variety of statement and conjecture. At last
the crisis seems to be drawing to a conclusion. The Queen has behaved
with admirable sense of her constitutional obligations. When Aberdeen
took down his resignation, she told him she had made up her mind what to
do, that she had looked at the list of the division, and found that the
majority which had turned out her Government was composed principally of
Lord Derby's adherents, and she should therefore send for him. Aberdeen
said a few words rather discouraging her; but she said, though Lord
Palmerston was evidently the popular man, she thought, according to
constitutional practice, Lord Derby was the man she ought to send for.
It has been seen how Derby failed; then she sent for Lord Lansdowne,
whom she desired to consult different people and see what their opinions
and inclinations were, and report them to her. This was on Friday. He
did so and made his report, after which, on the same principle which had
decided her to send for Derby, she resolved to send for John Russell,
his followers having been the next strongest element of the victorious
majority. Accordingly, on Friday night or early yesterday morning, she
placed the formation of a Government in his hands. He accepted it, and
began by applying to Palmerston, offering him any office he chose to
take. Palmerston did not refuse, but his acquiescence seems to have been
of a hesitating and reluctant kind, and nothing was definitely settled
between them. Gladstone and Sidney Herbert, and afterwards Graham,
decidedly refused; Clarendon desired to have some hours to consider of
it. However, the result of his applications was so unfavourable that
last night he considered his attempt virtually at an end, though he had
not actually given it up this morning, and some further communication
was taking place between him and Clarendon, which was to be decisive. As
soon as this is over, the Queen will play her last card, and have
recourse to _the man of the people!_--to Palmerston, whom they are
crying out for, and who, they fondly imagine, is to get us out of all
our difficulties. From all I hear, I think he will make a Government,
because he really wishes and is determined to do it, and many of the
most important who would not join John Russell will join him. In the
course of to-day I imagine it will all be settled. The impression made
by Newcastle's speech against Lord John has been prodigious, far greater
and more general than I imagined, and it is confidently affirmed that,
if he had taken office and stood again for the City, he would have been
beaten. He still shows fight against Newcastle, and intended to have
answered him and vindicated himself in the House of Commons yesterday,
if he had not been detained so long by the Queen that the hour was up
when he got there. He means to return to the charge to-morrow. In the
course of all these transactions he urged Lansdowne himself to take the
Government, and offered to continue at the Council Office and lead the
House of Commons, or to take no office at all, and give him independent
support in the House of Commons, or to go to the House of Lords and give
him his best assistance there; but Lord Lansdowne declined all these

_February 5th._--I have often had occasion to remark on the difficulty
of avoiding making false or erroneous statements in affairs like those I
am treating of, for the reports which we hear from different people
generally vary considerably, and sometimes the same thing repeated by
the same person varies also; not that there is any intention to
misrepresent or mislead, but circumstances apparently trifling are
narrated differently according as the narrator has been impressed by, or
remembers them, and thus errors creep in and accumulate, and at last it
becomes difficult to reconcile statements that have become conflicting
by degrees. However, I can only jot down what I hear, and reconcile the
accounts afterwards as well as I can. Yesterday afternoon I saw
Clarendon, who confirmed his refusal to join Lord John, but with some
slight difference as to the details. He said he had spoken very openly
to him, but so gravely and quietly that he could not take offence, and
he did not. It was not till he received Clarendon's final refusal that
he wrote to the Queen and threw up his commission.


Her Majesty had seen Palmerston the day before, and told him if Lord
John failed she should send for him, and accordingly she did so
yesterday evening. Palmerston had told Lord John, as soon as he received
the commission he should go to him. At present he has only invited
Clarendon and Charles Wood (Whigs) to join him. Clarendon of course is
ready, but Charles Wood demurs, and insists that unless Lord John will
take office in the Government he cannot join, and that the whole thing
will be a failure. Lord John is very averse to take office, and the more
averse because he must then go to the House of Lords, for of course he
cannot remain in the Commons, not leading it. The Duke of Bedford has
been here in a grand quandary, seeing all sorts of difficulties, and in
fact they spring up on every side. He agrees with Lord John, but was
shaken by the arguments of Wood, which are backed up by George Grey and
Panmure. I argued vehemently against Wood's view, and strongly advised
Lord John's not taking office, and I convinced the Duke, who is gone
back to Lord John to talk it all over with him again. On the other hand,
the Peelites want the Government to be restored, with Aberdeen again at
the head of it, and it is very questionable whether they will join at
all, and, if they do, not without much difficulty and negotiation, which
will at least consume valuable time. In short, at this moment the
formation of a Palmerston Government, which was to be so easy, is a
matter of enormous difficulty. The Queen wrote a civil and even kind
answer to Lord John's note giving the task up.

_February 6th._--Great disappointment and dismay yesterday, the Peelites
having refused to form part of Palmerston's Government. Graham,
Gladstone, and Sidney Herbert all declined unless Aberdeen formed a part
of it. Sidney Herbert was very willing to join, but would not separate
himself from Gladstone, who was deaf to all entreaties and
remonstrances. It is believed that Graham is the one who has persuaded
Gladstone to take this course. Aberdeen is anxious, or pretends to be
so, that they should join, and Newcastle certainly is. What Gladstone
says is, that unless Aberdeen is in the Cabinet he can have no security
that his (Aberdeen's) principles will be acted on, and that he may not
be called upon to be a party to measures, relating either to war or
peace, of which he disapproves. However, I have only heard second hand
what he says in conversation with others. It has been in vain
represented to him that there will be an explosion of indignation
against them all in the country for refusing their aid at such a crisis,
and their conduct will never be forgiven. All this, he says, he is aware
of, but his objections stand on too high ground to be shaken. Palmerston
means not to be baffled, and, failing the Peelites, to turn to the Whigs
and make the best Government he can. His popularity, which is really
extraordinary, will carry him through all difficulties for the present.
It was supposed that his popularity had been on the wane, but it is
evident that, though he no longer stands so high as he did in the House
of Commons, and those who know him can easily see he is not the man he
was, in the country there is just the same fancy for him and sanguine
opinion of him as ever. John Russell made a rejoinder to Newcastle in
the House of Commons last night--a plausible speech enough, and it
served to set his friends and the Brooks's Whigs crowing again, and
saying he had made out a complete case; but I do not see that it made
his case a bit better than before. All who are at all behind the scenes
are aware of the fallacies and deceptions in which his statements
abound, and that they are of a nature that may not be exposed.


_February 7th._--Yesterday Aberdeen and Newcastle, particularly the
latter, renewed their endeavours to prevail on Gladstone to give up his
scruples and to join the Government, and at last they succeeded, and in
the evening Palmerston was able to announce that he had accomplished his
task and the Government was formed. John Russell, on his side, pressed
all his Whig friends to unite with Palmerston, and by these means the
difficulties were gradually overcome. Lord Lansdowne would not take the
Council Office, but agreed to be the organ of the Government in the
House of Lords, though he seems afraid this should be thought to have
committed him to more trouble and responsibility than he is inclined to
take, and it is only a sort of quasi-leadership that he will own to. I
find the Queen did propose to him to form a Government, and under
certain conditions he was not unwilling to undertake it, but of course
he much prefers the present arrangement. It is admitted on all hands
that both Aberdeen and Newcastle have behaved very well, and done all in
their power to facilitate Palmerston's arrangements. It is, however,
much to be regretted that these Peelites have acted in concert and _as a
party_, and I see from the fact a vast deal of embarrassment and
opposition to the Government in prospect. Already the Derbyites are
sulky and angry to the greatest degree, and the Whigs not a little
indignant that so much anxiety has been shown to get Gladstone and his
friends, and such a high price paid for them; and the fact of their
forming so large and important a part of the Government will secure the
fierce hostility of the Derbyites, and make the support of the Whigs
very lukewarm. The latter, too, will be influenced by John Russell, who,
in spite of his present professions of amity and promises of support, is
sure to be very soon a _frondeur_, and then in open and direct
opposition. He told Clarendon 'he meant to give his best support to the
Government.' Clarendon said, 'You do; well, at what do you think I value
your support?' 'What?' he asked. 'Not one sixpence.' '_At first_
Palmerston will meet with no opposition to signify; if he does, he has
only to dissolve, and the country will give him a majority. But
opposition will gather about him soon enough; extravagant expectations
are raised of the good he is to do and the great acts he is to perform,
all which will only lead to disappointment and mortification. If the
luck which for many years accompanied him should do so still, and some
unexpected success crown his administration, he may thus gain a great
position; but it is idle to depend on the chapter of accidents and,
according to all human probability, he is destined to carry on a
disastrous war or to make a peace (the wisest thing he can do) which
will be humiliating, because so wholly incommensurate with our
extravagant expectations and ridiculous pretensions. However, if any man
can make such a peace it is Palmerston, and it is much better that
Aberdeen should have no concern with the Government, for it would be
much more difficult if he was in the Cabinet, and supposed to have any
hand in it.[1]

[Footnote 1: The Administration formed by Lord Palmerston was composed
as follows:--

  First Lord of the Treasury         Viscount Palmerston
  Lord Chancellor                    Lord Cranworth
  Lord President                     Earl Granville
  Lord Privy Seal                    Duke of Argyll
  Home Secretary                     Sir George Grey
  Foreign Secretary                  Earl of Clarendon
  Colonial Secretary                 Right Hon. Sidney Herbert (and, on
                                       his resignation, Lord John
  Secretary at War                   Lord Panmure
  Chancellor of the Exchequer        Mr. Gladstone (and, on his
                                       resignation, Sir G. Cornewal
  Board of Control                   Sir Charles Wood
  First Lord of the Admiralty        Sir James Graham (and, on his
                                       resignation, Sir Charles Wood,
                                       who was replaced at the Board of
                                       Control by Mr. Vernon Smith)
  Board of Trade                     Right Hon. E. Cardwell (and, on
                                       his resignation, Lord Stanley of
  Postmaster General                 Viscount Canning
  Lord Lieutenant of Ireland         Earl of Carlisle
  Woods and Forests                  Sir Benjamin Hall.]

_February 8th._--Now that all is settled there is a momentary lull, and
people are considering what sort of an arrangement it is, and how it is
likely to succeed. Many of those who know better what Palmerston really
is than the ignorant mob who shout at his heels, and who have humbugged
themselves with the delusion that he is another Chatham, entertain grave
apprehensions that the thing will prove a failure, and that Palmerston's
real capacity will be exposed and his _prestige_ destroyed. Some wish
for a dissolution while his popularity is still undiminished, fancying
it will give him a sure majority and will protect him against any
change of opinion; but, unless the Derbyites give him an opportunity by
some vexatious opposition, he can hardly dissolve, and if he did, though
he would gain by it for a time, any change of opinion that might take
place would be found no less in the House of Commons than in the


_February 13th._--The political wheel turns rapidly round, and strange
events occur, none more remarkable than John Russell's career during the
last month, and the unexpected positions in which he successively
appears. A few weeks ago breaking up his own Government, deeply
offending colleagues and friends, and making himself generally odious,
then trying to form a Government and finding nobody willing to act with
him; he appeared to be in the most painful position of isolation, and
everybody expected that his anomalous and unsatisfactory state would
render him mischievous, and soon conduct him into a troublesome
opposition to the Government. Very differently have matters turned out.
He began by evincing a good and friendly spirit, and scarcely is the
Government formed, when Clarendon proposes to him to go to Vienna as
Plenipotentiary to treat for peace, and John at once accepts the offer,
and yesterday morning his mission was publicly announced. It was a happy
stroke of Clarendon's in all ways, and it was wise in Lord John to
accept it, for it has all the appearance of a patriotic and unselfish
act, will cause his recent misdeeds to be forgotten, and replace him in
the high situation from which he was fallen. It is a very good thing for
him to be thus withdrawn from Parliament for a time. There he is always
in danger of saying and doing something foolish or rash, and it will
leave his followers in a condition to attach themselves to the
Government without abandoning their allegiance to him, which will
relieve all parties from embarrassment.[1]

[Footnote 1: The Conference of the Great Powers which was to open at
Vienna, to which Lord John Russell was sent as British Plenipotentiary,
had been convoked for the purpose of negotiating on the basis of the
four points which contained the demands of the belligerent Allies and
had been accepted as a basis of negotiation by the Emperor of Russia.
These points were as follows:--

1. That Russia should abandon all control over Moldavia, Wallachia, and

2. That Russia should relinquish her claims to control the mouths of the

3. That all Treaties calculated to give Russia a preponderance in the
Black Sea should be abrogated.

4. That Russia should renounce the claim she made to an exclusive right
to protect the Christians in the Ottoman Dominions.

It was on the third of these points that the principal difficulty of the
negotiation arose, and that the Conference failed to conclude a

_February 17th._--Palmerston presented himself to the House of Commons
last night for the first time as Minister, and not apparently with a
very brilliant prospect of success. He made a tolerable speech, giving a
rather meagre account of the formation of his Government, with the usual
promises of vigour. The great point he had to handle was the disposal of
Roebuck's Committee, which he is determined, if he can, to get rid of.
The success of this, his first great operation, seems very doubtful. One
man after another got up and declared he should vote for its going on.
Roebuck insists on it; and Disraeli announced his determined opposition
to any attempt to quash it. If Palmerston fights the battle and is
beaten, he must try what a dissolution will do for him; and I think the
success of it would be very doubtful, for, in spite of all the clamour
that was raised by his name, and his apparently vast popularity in the
country, it looks as if it was of a very shadowy, unsubstantial kind,
and would very likely be found wanting at a general election. The temper
of the House seems to be anything but good, and unless we are very soon
cheered and encouraged by much better accounts from the Crimea, this
Government will not fare much better than the last. The 'Times' is going
into furious opposition, and Palmerston will soon find the whole press
against him except his own paper, the 'Morning Post,' and the 'Morning
Chronicle,' neither of which have any circulation or any influence in
the country. The whole conduct of the 'Times' is a source of great
vexation to me, for I am to the last degree shocked and disgusted at its
conduct and the enormous mischief that it is endeavouring to do; and I
have for many years had intimate personal relations with its editor,
which I do not well know how to let drop, and I am at the same time not
satisfied that their unbroken maintenance is consistent with the
feelings I entertain, and which ought to be entertained, towards the


_February 19th._--The Government have determined to knock under about
Roebuck's Committee, and they would have done much better to have done
so at first. What they are now doing will not strengthen them or avert
future attacks; but the state of the House of Commons is such that
nothing but some very unexpected turn can enable them to go on long.
Palmerston has no authority there, the House is in complete confusion
and disorganisation, and, except the Derbyites, who are still numerous
and act together in opposition, in hopes of getting into power, nobody
owns any allegiance or even any party ties, or seems to care for any
person or any thing. There seems a general feeling of distrust and
dissatisfaction, and, except the scattered Radicals and Revolutionists,
who wish to upset everything, nobody seems to know what he would be at,
or what object he wishes to attain. For the first time in my life I am
really and seriously alarmed at the aspect of affairs, and think we are
approaching a period of real difficulty and danger. The press, with the
'Times' at its head, is striving to throw everything into confusion, and
running a muck against the aristocratic element of society and of the
Constitution. The intolerable nonsense and the abominable falsehoods it
flings out day after day are none the less dangerous because they are
nonsense and falsehoods, and, backed up as they are by all the regular
Radical press, they diffuse through the country a mass of inflammatory
matter, the effect of which may be more serious and arrive more quickly
than anybody imagines. Nothing short of some loud explosion will make
the mass of people believe that any serious danger can threaten a
Constitution like our's, which has passed through so many trials and
given so many proofs of strength and cohesion. But we have never seen
such symptoms as are now visible, such a thorough confusion and
political chaos, or the public mind so completely disturbed and
dissatisfied and so puzzled how to arrive at any just conclusions as to
the past, the present, or the future. People are furious at the untoward
events in the Crimea, and cannot make out the real causes thereof, nor
who is to blame, and they are provoked that they cannot find victims to
wreak their resentment on. The dismissal of Aberdeen and Newcastle seems
an inadequate expiation, and they want more vengeance yet, hence the cry
for Roebuck's absurd Committee. Then, after clamouring for Palmerston
from a vague idea of his vigour, and that he would do some wonderful
things, which was founded on nothing but the recollection of his former
bullying despatches and blustering speeches, they are beginning to
suspect him; and the whole press, as well as the malignants in the House
of Commons, tell them that they have gained very little, if anything, by
the change, and they are told that it is not this or that Minister who
can restore our affairs, but a change in the whole system of government,
and the substitution of plebeians and new men for the leaders of parties
and members of aristocratic families, of whom all Governments have been
for the most part composed. What effect these revolutionary doctrines
may have on the opinions of the people at large remains to be seen; but
it is evident that the 'Times,' their great propagator, thinks them
popular and generally acceptable, or they would not have plunged into
that course.

I sat next to Charles Wood at dinner yesterday and had much talk with
him on the state of affairs, and found that he takes just the same view
that I do, and for the first time he is alarmed also, and so, he told
me, is Sir George Grey. He talked much about Raglan, and said that the
Government had been placed in the most unfair position possible, it
being impossible to throw the blame of anything that had occurred on
him, or even to tell the truth, which was that, so far from his making
any exertions to repair the evils so loudly complained of, and sending
away inefficient men, he never admitted there were any evils at all, or
that any of his people were inefficient, or anything but perfect; and he
said that Raglan had never asked for anything the want of which had not
been anticipated by the Government here, and in no instance was anything
required by him which had not been supplied a month or more before the
requisition came. Palmerston, too, said to me that nothing could exceed
the helplessness of the military authorities there; that they seemed
unable to devise anything for their own assistance, and they exhibited
the most striking contrast to the navy, who, on all emergencies, set to
work and managed to find resources of all sorts to supply their
necessities or extricate themselves from danger.


_February 20th._--Nothing certainly could be more mortifying than the
reception Palmerston met from the House of Commons on the first night
when he presented himself as Minister, nothing more ungracious or more
disheartening. His entreaty to _postpone_ the Committee was received
with a sort of scorn and manifestation of hostility and distrust. His
position was at once rendered to the last degree painful and difficult.
He cannot avert the Committee, he cannot submit to it without deep
humiliation; many of his colleagues are supposed to shrink from the
disgrace of such a submission and to prefer any alternative to it.
Already there is a general impression that this Government cannot last
long; nobody thinks they would gain anything by a dissolution, the
result of one would be uncertain; but the probability seems to be that
the Conservatives would gain and the Radicals likewise, while the Whigs
would lose, and Peelites and Moderates would be scattered to the winds.
We should most likely see a Parliament still more ungovernable than
this, unless a widespread alarm in the country should rally the whole
Conservative and anti-revolutionary element to Derby and his party,
which would bring them all into office for a time. Palmerston spoke much
better last night than the first night, and with a good deal of spirit
and force; but he has a very uphill game to play, and must already be
aware how fleeting his popularity was, and on what weak foundations it
was built.

_February 23rd._--Graham, Gladstone, and Sidney Herbert have resigned,
greatly to the disgust and indignation of their colleagues, to the
surprise of the world at large, and the uproarious delight of the Whigs
and Brooks's Club, to whom the Peelites have always been odious. These
stupid Whigs were very sorry Palmerston did not leave them out when he
formed his Government, and take whomever he could get instead of them;
and they are entirely indifferent to the consideration that the greater
part of the brains of the Cabinet is gone out with these three, that it
is exceedingly difficult to fill their places, and that we exhibit a sad
spectacle to all Europe, with our Ministerial dissensions and
difficulties and the apparent impossibility of forming anything like a
stable Government. The first thing done was to send off for John Russell
at Paris, and ask him if he would come back and join the Government.
Cardwell was offered the Chancellorship of the Exchequer, which he
refused. It is much to be regretted that these Peelites do not now
dissolve themselves as _a party_ and make up their minds to act
independently and according to their several opinions and circumstances.
Aberdeen much disapproves of the exodus of the three, and was very
anxious Cardwell should accept; but he does not choose to separate
himself from the rest.

_February 24th._--Never was I more surprised than when I heard that John
Russell had accepted the Colonial Office and joins the Government, still
continuing in the House of Commons, and of course acting under
Palmerston. When we think of all he has been doing for the last two
years, his discontent at being in a subordinate capacity though still
leader of the House of Commons, and the various pranks he has played in
consequence thereof, it is inconceivable that he should consent not only
to take office under Palmerston, but to serve under him in the House of
Commons. But it is impossible not to give him credit for patriotic
motives in making such a sacrifice of personal pride and vanity. What
his conduct may be if the Government lasts long enough to allow him to
come home and take his place in it, may be considered doubtful. Last
night the retiring Ministers gave their explanations--Graham in a very
good speech; Gladstone was too diffuse, and Sidney Herbert feeble, but
coming after Graham they had nothing new to say. There is much to be
said for and much against their conduct. If they had accepted office
under Palmerston with the condition that he should try and get rid of
the Committee and that they should retire in case he failed, there would
have been nothing to say, because without doubt they ought not to hold
high offices while a Committee of the House of Commons is sitting in
judgement on their conduct; but the whole course of proceeding is so
anomalous, and the exigencies of the time are so great and peculiar,
that on the whole I think they ought to have stayed in. Palmerston
speaks almost every night, and his speeches do not read amiss; but
everybody says they are feeble and flat, and nothing at present
indicates anything like stability or a long existence to the present
Government. The tone of the House of Commons last night was on the whole
rather pacific than not. Bright made an admirable speech, the peroration
of which was very eloquent.


_February 25th._--This morning George Lewis came to me very early and
told me Palmerston had proposed to him to be Chancellor of the
Exchequer; he set forth very fairly all the reasons for and against
accepting. We discussed the whole subject, and I asked him whether he
felt sufficient confidence in himself to undertake an office of such
vast importance, whether he had sufficiently turned his attention to
financial matters and had mastered the principles and details of
finance. He said he thought he was sufficiently versed therein to
undertake it, having given much attention to taxation and its
principles, and to political economy generally, though he did not know
much about the Funds, but supposed sufficient knowledge about them was
easily attainable. Finally I advised him to accept, and he said he
should make up his mind to do so. So the Admiralty, Colonial Office, and
Exchequer are settled. There is much difficulty and much discussion and
difference of opinion about some of the other places. They are very
wisely going to take in Laing, but very unwisely will not give a place
to Lowe, who, if left out, will contrive to do them some damage.
Granville has moved Heaven and earth to get Lowe an office, but
Palmerston and others set their faces against him. Lansdowne has most
unreasonably and unwisely insisted on Vernon Smith being taken in, and
it is at present intended to make him President of the Board of Control.
He is very unpopular and totally useless, and just the man they ought
not to take in; while Lowe is just the man they ought, to meet the
prevailing sentiment about old connexions and new men.


_March 2nd._--News just arrived that the Emperor of Russia is dead. John
Russell had telegraphed from Berlin that he was given over. This great
and unexpected event must have the most important consequences whether
for peace or for war. A disputed succession is not impossible, as it has
long been reported that the Grand Duke Constantine was disposed to
contest the succession with the Cesarewitch, but this will probably turn
out to be a fable. It is supposed that the new Emperor has been all
along inclined to peace, and that he was in disgrace with his father on
that account. If this be true, it renders it still more probable that he
will be anxious to put an end to this destructive and dangerous war, and
the Allied Powers may be less exacting with him than they were disposed
to be with the late Emperor. On the other hand, should the war unhappily
continue, the death of Nicholas is likely to damp the ardour of the
Russians and to relax their exertions, so that we can hardly fail to
profit by it. Clarendon is gone over to Boulogne to confer with the
Emperor Napoleon.

There seems something like a lull here for the moment, and less of
excitement and violence than there was. Palmerston has not been in
office a fortnight, and already he is enormously _baissé_; his speeches
night after night are miserable. The truth is, he never had any power as
a debater, and he is out of his element as leader in the House of
Commons, where he has to answer everybody, to speak on every subject,
and to be continually debating more or less. He has made a few great
speeches, prepared, and on his own subject of foreign affairs, and every
now and then a smart chaffing retort which excited the hilarity of the
House, and that has been all he could do. Then he seems supine and
undecided; he does not fill up the vacant places or seemingly endeavour
to do so, and he does not put good men in the places he does fill up,
all of which does him harm in general estimation. Clarendon has told
Lady Palmerston very frankly that he will soon ruin himself in public
opinion if he goes on in this way. Few things are more extraordinary
than the notion that was abroad of Palmerston's fitness and efficacy.
Never was there a greater delusion, and never one that is so rapidly
being dissipated.

_March 10th._--It is remarkable that, though seven days have elapsed
since the news of the death of the Emperor of Russia reached us, and
that we heard of it by electric telegraph the very day it happened, we
are still without authentic and detailed information of what has since
occurred at St. Petersburg; and of the manifesto of the new Emperor,
which is looked for with so much curiosity, we have only a partial
extract or imperfect summary, so that we have still no means of judging
whether the chances of peace are improved by the accession of Alexander

Palmerston's Government does not seem to take root or gain much
strength; every day seems to prove the more clearly that he is unfit for
the task he has taken on himself. He inspires neither respect nor
confidence, and is totally unable to manage the House of Commons; his
speeches are feeble and bad, and he is not always prudent and
conciliatory, but, on the contrary, pettish and almost offensive. He
finds great difficulty in filling the vacant offices, and he evinces
much want of tact and good management in his endeavours to do so,
offering and retracting his offers in a very loose way. For example, he
offered Sir Robert Peel the Clerkship of the Ordnance, which he
accepted; and then he found Monsell did not mean to resign it, so he had
to withdraw the offer. Then he told him he should be Colonial
Under-Secretary if John Russell would consent. John Russell would not
consent, and then he offered him a seat at the Admiralty. Sir Robert in
some dudgeon demurred, and Palmerston, inferring from his ill humour
that he would not take this place, offered it to Henry Brand, who
accepted, desired his writ might be moved for, and went to the railway
station to go down to the place he represented. Just as he was starting,
a messenger arrived with a letter from Palmerston saying Sir Robert Peel
had taken the Admiralty, so he could not have it, and the gentleman had
to return home without any office at all. This is a sad way of doing
business, and will not make him more popular. Grenville Berkeley
(whipper-in) told me he thought Palmerston was doing rather better
latterly and that there was a better disposition in the House of
Commons; but Jonathan Peel, who is a shrewd, dispassionate observer, and
tolerably impartial, though with no good will to the present Government,
told me a different story. He says the Government is as weak as
possible, Palmerston wretched, and the House of Commons ill disposed and
unruly, and he thinks it absolutely impossible that this concern can
last many weeks. The Derbyites are quite confident of forcing their way
to office, and quite determined to do so; but it is their game to damage
the present Government as much as possible, and they will do everything
in opposition but what may recoil upon themselves after they have got
into office, and no other consideration will restrain them. I regard
with the utmost dislike the prospect of their return, because I think
their conduct so monstrously unprincipled. I hear Gladstone is very much
out of humour, and expect soon to see him and his small band in overt
opposition to the Government. Many fancy that it will end in his joining
Derby, but so do not I. I am not sure that he would be indisposed if a
proper occasion presented itself, but I do not believe any consideration
or any circumstances whatever would induce the Derbyites to admit him
again into their party. Their indignation--that is, of a great many of
them--was unbounded at Derby having offered him office the other day,
and at the great meeting at Eglinton's such manifestations of resentment
were made on that account as to make it nearly impossible (for in these
days nothing is quite impossible) for any future attempt at
reconciliation and reunion to be made.

_March 11th._--A fresh shuffling of the cards is being arranged by which
Frederick Peel is to go to the Treasury, _vice_ Wilson, Vice President
of the Board of Trade; Sir Robert to the War Department, _vice_ his
brother; and Henry Brand to the Admiralty. Palmerston seemed to consider
all the blunders he made about these offices rather a good joke than a
mischievous _gaucherie_. 'Ha, ha!' he said, 'a Comedy of Errors.' George
Lewis told me this morning he thinks the temper of the House of Commons
more favourable, and, if he can succeed in producing a palateable
Budget, that they may get on; he told me the revenue was extremely
flourishing and the country very rich, but the expenses are enormous. He
means to meet them by a loan, but the question is of what amount, and
how much of the additional expense shall be provided by it. He will want
ninety millions to cover the whole.


Clarendon was much pleased with his visit to the Emperor, who talked to
him very frankly and unreservedly about everything. They lit their
cigars and sat and talked with the greatest ease. He said the Emperor
spoke to him about the English press, and all he said was sensible and
true; that he was aware that a free press was a necessity in England,
and as indispensable as the Constitution itself, and that he had
hitherto believed that the editors of the principal newspapers had the
good of their country at heart, and always acted from conscientious
motives; but that he could no longer entertain that opinion. The press
during the past months, and the 'Times' particularly, had done an
incalculable amount of mischief to England and to the alliance between
us. The effect produced by their language in Germany was most injurious,
and of service only to Russia. When the English papers talked of their
own country in the way they did, of its degradation and disgrace, its
maladministration, the ruin of its military power, and the loss of all
that makes a nation great and powerful, though he (the Emperor) knew
what all this meant, and how much or how little of truth there was in
such exaggerated statements, yet in France they were generally believed,
and it became very difficult for him to reconcile the nation to an
alliance for which he was reproached with making sacrifices and shaping
his policy in accordance with our's, when it was evident from our own
showing that our alliance was not worth having, and our impotence was so
exposed that, whenever peace should put an end to the necessity of the
alliance, we should be entirely at their mercy; and while such was the
feeling in France, in Germany it was still stronger, and there the
'Times' had succeeded in creating a universal conviction that we are in
the lowest condition of weakness and inefficiency: at all of which he
expressed the greatest regret. I was surprised to hear Clarendon say
that he did not believe the resources of Russia to carry on the contest
to be in any sensible degree exhausted, that her commerce had not
suffered at all, and as to her finances she could go on for a good while
with her paper money and the gold which, in a certain quantity, she drew
from the Ural Mountains.[1]

[Footnote 1: In justice to the conductors of the 'Times' it must be
said that although the language of the paper was violent and extremely
annoying to the Government and its Allies, yet it was by the power and
enterprise of the press that the deplorable state of the army was
brought to the knowledge of the public and even of Ministers themselves;
and it was by the 'Times' that the first steps were taken to supply the
deficiencies of the Administration. The fund raised by voluntary
contributions for this purpose amounted to 25,000_l._ and competent
persons were sent out to apply it to the most pressing wants of the


 The Vienna Conference--Literary Occupations--A Roman Catholic Privy
 Councillor--Negotiations at Vienna--The Emperor Napoleon in
 London--The Emperor's brilliant Reception--Russia refuses the Terms
 offered--The Sebastopol Committee--Debate on the War--Visit to
 Paris--Resignation of M. Drouyn de Lhuys--The Emperor's Journey to
 the Crimea--The Repulse at the Redan--Visit to Thiers--A Dinner at
 the Tuileries--Conversation with the Emperor--M. Guizot on the
 War--Death of Lord Raglan--A Dinner at Princess Lieven's--The
 Palace of Versailles--Revelations of Lord John Russell's
 Mission--Dinner with the Emperor at Villeneuve l'Étang--Lord John
 Russell's Conduct at Vienna--Excitement in London--Lord John's
 Resignation--Lord John's Conduct explained--'Whom shall we
 Hang?'--Prorogation of Parliament.

_March 31st_, 1855.--Three weeks have passed away and I have had
nothing to say; nor indeed have I anything now of the least importance,
and can only glance at the general aspect of affairs. The Government, on
the whole, seems in a somewhat better condition. They say Palmerston
speaks better than he did, and his good humour and civility please. At
last the offices, except the Under-Secretaryship to the Colonies, are
filled up. Lord Elgin and Lord Seymour successively refused the Duchy of
Lancaster, and after going a begging for many weeks Lord Harrowby has
taken it. Laing and Wilson, and I think somebody else, declined the Vice
Presidency of the Board of Trade, and they have got Bouverie.

Within these few days the hopes of peace have waxed faint. The fatal
third point is an insurmountable obstacle, and it seems likely that we
shall be condemned to fight it out more fiercely than ever, and without
Austria, who, as I all along expected, will not join us in forcing hard
conditions on Russia. It remains to be seen whether we or Austria are
in fault, assuming the rupture of the negotiations to be inevitable. If
Austria recedes from what she had already agreed to, she is; if we
require anything more, we are. Drouyn de Lhuys has been here for
twenty-four hours, and goes on to Vienna directly to bring things to a
conclusion one way or another. Clarendon is pleased with him. The
Emperor is to be here in three weeks.

Having no public events nor any secret information to record, I must put
down my own private concerns, uninteresting as they are. I am busy on
the task of editing a volume of Moore's correspondence left to me by
John Russell, and finishing the second article upon King Joseph's
Memoirs.[1] These small literary occupations interest and amuse me, and,
being quite out of the way of politics, and seeing nobody, except
Clarendon at rare intervals, who can or will tell me anything, it is
well I can amuse myself with them; and now that I am growing old (for I
shall be sixty-one the day after to-morrow) it is my aim to cultivate
these pleasures more and more, and make them my refuge against the
infirmities which beset me, and the loss of youth. My great fear is lest
my eyesight should fail, and I earnestly hope I may die before such a
calamity should befall me.

The war goes languidly on, and I hear Raglan and Canrobert are
squabbling instead of acting, and that it seems to be more the fault of
Canrobert; but the melancholy truth is that there are two incompetent
generals in command, who have no skill or enterprise, and are letting
the opportunity for attacking the enemy slip away. A divided command and
two independent armies are in themselves an immense drawback, but when
they begin to disagree it becomes fatal. We have now an enormous force
there, and yet they seem incapable of doing anything and of striking any
great and serious blow.

[Footnote 1: Mr. Greville wrote the review of the Memoirs of King
Joseph Bonaparte which appeared in two successive articles of the
_Edinburgh Review_.]


_April 1st._--I went to a Council yesterday and got into a difficulty.
Without any previous notice, Mr. Monsell, a Roman Catholic, came to be
made a Privy Councillor. I had never sworn a Roman Catholic and did not
know what to do, so I proposed to Monsell to put it off till another
day, and meanwhile I would ascertain how he was to be sworn. The
difficulty was told to the Queen, and the Prince set about finding what
was to be done. He looked out the 10th George IV. (Emancipation Act),
and, just as we were summoned into the Queen's presence, Granville
brought the volume, put it into my hands, and told me I must administer
to Monsell the oath set forth there, in lieu of the oaths of abjuration
and supremacy. I was sure it was a mistake; but there was no time to
remonstrate, and I was compelled to bring him in and administer the
oath. As soon as I got back to my office and looked into the matter I
found it was all wrong, and that he had not, in fact, been sworn at all.
What he ought to have done was to take this oath in one of the Law
Courts, and then to have the Privy Councillor's oath administered to
him, and so I sent him word.

Afterwards I met Sidney Herbert, and he told me what he believed to be
the cause of Drouyn de Lhuys' coming here, and the actual state of
affairs at Vienna. We have proposed the reduction of the fleet; the
Russians refuse. The Emperor Napoleon would like, if possible, to obtain
some great success in the Crimea, and is not indisposed to continue the
war if he can see a reasonable hope of such an achievement; but when he
despairs of this his mind inclines to the other alternative, to make
peace (which would be popular in France), and he does not care very much
about the terms and is not averse to waive the condition as to the
fleet. But our Government want to insist on it, or go on with the war,
and Sidney Herbert believes they have succeeded in talking over Drouyn
de Lhuys and persuading him to join us in this determination, and to
carry it off to Vienna. However, he is very likely to be talked over
again there, and it remains to be seen whether the Emperor, if he really
wishes for peace, will not join with Austria in opposing us, and
accepting some other conditions. I always fancied that we had come to a
regular unmistakeable agreement with Austria what we should ask of
Russia, and that she had bound herself to join in the war if the terms
agreed in were refused, but, according to Sidney Herbert, this has never
been done. Clarendon did, indeed, _at last_ state distinctly to Austria
the terms on which France and England meant to insist, and Austria
expressed her concurrence in them as a matter of opinion, and her desire
to obtain them, consenting also to unite her efforts to theirs in
attempting to obtain them; but she never consented to go to war if they
were not conceded, therefore we have no reason to complain of her if the
negotiations break off on these grounds, and she refuses to depart from
her neutrality. She has all along said, she wished with all her heart we
could succeed in taking Sebastopol, but as we had not succeeded, and
apparently could not, it was impossible to press very stringent terms on
Russia; and she has never held out any expectation to us of joining in
the war against Russia, unless Russia refuses such reasonable and not
humiliating terms of peace as she herself thinks indispensable for the
objects to the attainment of which she has all along been a party. The
best chance of peace now is that the Emperor Napoleon may think he is
not likely to do any great things in the Crimea and that peace is his
best policy, and he is the real arbiter of peace and war. If he prefers
following in the wake of England, and to defer to our war policy, peace
will ascend to Heaven, and the odious war will be resumed with more fury
than ever, and no one can guess how long it will last, nor what will be
the end of it.


_April 17th._--Yesterday I went out 'with all the gazing town' to see
not the least curious of the many curious events I have lived to
witness, the entry of the Emperor and Empress of the French into London.
The day was magnificent, the crowd prodigious, the reception not very
clamorous, but cordial and respectful. A fine sight for them to see such
vast multitudes, so orderly and so prosperous, and without a single
soldier except their own escort. The Queen received them with the utmost
cordiality, and omitted none of the usual forms practised between
Sovereigns. She met the Imperial pair at the entrance to the Castle,
embraced the Emperor and then the Empress when she was presented to

_April 20th._--The visit of the Emperor has been one continued ovation,
and the success of it complete. None of the Sovereigns who have been
here before have ever been received with such magnificence by the Court
or by such curiosity and delight by the people. Wherever and whenever
they have appeared, they have been greeted by enormous multitudes and
prodigious acclamations. The Queen is exceedingly pleased with both of
them; she thinks the Empress very natural, graceful, and attractive, and
the Emperor frank, cordial, and true. He has done his best to please
her, talked to her a great deal, amused her, and has completely
succeeded. Everybody is struck with his mean and diminutive figure and
vulgar appearance, but his manners are good and not undignified. He
talked a very long time to Lord Derby on Tuesday at Windsor and to Lord
Aberdeen on Wednesday. This last was very proper, because he had a great
prejudice against Aberdeen, and fancied he was his enemy, which Aberdeen
knew. When he was invested with the Garter, he took all sorts of
oaths--old feudal oaths--of fidelity and knightly service to the Queen,
and he then made her a short speech to the following effect:--'I have
sworn to be faithful to Your Majesty and to serve you to the best of my
ability, and my whole future life shall be spent in proving the
sincerity with which I have thus sworn, and my resolution to devote
myself to your service.' The fineness of the weather brought out the
whole population of London, as usual kept in excellent order by a few
policemen, and in perfect good humour. It was a beautiful sight last
night when the Royal and Imperial party went to the Opera in state; the
streets lit by gas and the houses illuminated and light as day,
particularly opposite the Travellers' Club, where I was. I am glad the
success of the visit has been so great, and the contentment of all the
parties concerned so complete, but it is well that all will be over
tomorrow, for such excitement and enthusiasm could not last much longer,
and the inconvenience of being beset by crowds, and the streets
obstructed, is getting tiresome.

I saw Cowley for a moment yesterday. He told me the Russians refused any
conditions which imposed loss of territory or limitation of naval
forces, and they declined to offer any counter project, though they are
ready to discuss anything we propose. He therefore considers the
continuance of the war unavoidable, and does not believe Austria will
join in it, though Drouyn de Lhuys still writes his own expectation that
she will. He said they had never said or done anything which bound them
to join, and that their diplomacy had been much more adroit and
successful than our's, but that this was principally the fault of the
French, who never would consent to take a peremptory course so as to
compel them to be explicit. The consequence of this is, that it will be
impossible to produce the diplomatic correspondence, and its retention
will put Parliament and the press in a fury, and expose the Government
to attacks which they will find it very difficult to repel or to
silence. They cannot give the reason why, and their enemies and
detractors will believe, or at least insist, that they do not dare
disclose their own share in the transaction. I asked Clarendon how it
was that the French Government in their last paper in the 'Moniteur'
said so positively that they had secured the cooperation of Austria if
the last conditions were refused by Russia; he replied that he supposed
they said so in order to make it the ground of an accusation against
Austria when the Conference broke up and she refuses to declare war.
Clarendon thinks we shall get the better of Russia, but that it will be
by blockading her ports and ruining her commerce, and not by military
operations, and that this may take two or three years or more, but is
certain in the end.[1]

[Footnote 1: The failure or suspension of the negotiations for peace at
Vienna was formally announced to Parliament on May 21, and the protocols
of the Conference laid upon the table.]


_May 24th._--The Sebastopol Committee is finished, and the result proves
that it is a very good thing to have had it, for no ill consequences
have come of it, and the evidence has benefited instead of injuring both
the Government and those who were most bitterly abused, especially
Hardinge and Newcastle, about the latter of whom there has been a
considerable reaction of opinion. In Parliament nothing has taken place
of much consequence. Ellenborough gave battle in the Lords and was
signally defeated. Layard had announced a hostile motion in the House of
Commons, which he has since given up to Disraeli, who brings forward a
regular want of confidence motion tonight, which will decide the fate of
the Government. Sir Francis Baring has moved an amendment which the
Peelites will not vote for, because it pledges the House to support the
war, they having now become furiously pacific; as if they were not
unpopular enough already, they are now doing all they can to mar their
own efficacy by giving their enemies a plausible case for attacking and
abusing them, and by breasting the tide of warlike zeal and passion,
which, though very absurd and very mischievous, is too strong and too
general to be openly and directly resisted at present. It is quite fit
and becoming to reason with it, and to endeavour to bring the public to
a more reasonable frame of mind, but great tact, caution, and good
management are required in doing this. It is very difficult to make out
what Gladstone and his friends (for it would be ridiculous to call them
a party) are at, and what they expect or desire in reference to their
political future. Palmerston is said to have done better in the House of
Commons lately than he did at first, but it is curious to see how
completely his popularity has evaporated. All the foolish people whose
pet he was, and who clamoured for him with the notion that he was to do
every sort of impossible thing, now that they find he can do no more
than other men, and that there never was any real difference between him
and his colleagues, are furious with him because they so deceived
themselves, and want to break the idol they set up.

_May 30th._--The division last Friday night gave Government a larger
majority than anybody expected,[1] and if it did not give them
permanent strength it averted immediate danger. Gladstone made a fine
speech, but gave great offence to all who are not for peace, and exposed
himself to much unpopularity. The discussion is only suspended till
Parliament meets again, when the amendments will be debated, and there
will no more divisions; but in the meantime the news which has arrived
of the successes in the Crimea, and the fair prospect there appears of
still greater advantages, must serve to silence the advocates of peace
and encourage those who are all for war, and to render a contest popular
which is likely to be crowned with brilliant results, and, as many
imagine, to give us the means of dictating peace on our own terms. I
believe in the prospect of success, but not that it will reduce the
Russians to make peace on our terms, particularly as the conditions will
infallibly be harder than before. But I do marvel that they did not make
peace at Vienna on the terms which were there offered them, when they
must have known that all the chances of war were against them. The
Emperor of Russia might have taken warning from the history and fate of
Napoleon, who constantly refused the terms he could have obtained, and
continually insisted on something more than his enemies would give him,
and by this obstinacy lost his crown. The most interesting incident
which occurred last week was the scene at the end of the debate between
Graham and John Russell, who had a fight of considerable asperity; and
according to all appearances the Peelites and the Whigs are completely
two. When Graham was reconciled to Lord John two or three years ago, he
vowed that nothing should separate them again, but 'quam parum stabiles
sunt hominum amicitiæ,' and now they appear to be as antagonistic as
ever. But, to be sure, Graham could not contemplate or foresee all the
tricks which Lord John played during the whole time he was a member of
Aberdeen's Government.

Notwithstanding the success of Government in the House of Commons and of
the armies in the Crimea, things are in a very unsatisfactory and
uncomfortable state here, and nobody knows what will happen. There is no
confidence in any party or any men, and everybody has a vague
apprehension of coming but undefined evil and danger. The world seems
out of joint.

[Footnote 1: Mr. Disraeli's Motion condemning the Government for their
misconduct of the war was rejected by 319 to 219. Lord John Russell
made a warlike speech in the course of this debate.]


_Paris, June 17th._--Having resolved to go to Vichy for my health, here
I am on the road; I crossed over yesterday morning, a very disagreeable
but short passage from Folkestone, good journey by rail, and got here at
nine o'clock, being lodged very hospitably at the Embassy. French
carriages on the railway are much better than ours, particularly the
second class; the country between Boulogne and Paris looks well and
thriving. I had some talk with Cowley last night before we went to bed,
when he gave me an account of the circumstances of Drouyn de Lhuys'
resignation.[1] He also descanted on the difficulties of the Government
here and of the maintenance of the alliance, which he attributes up to
this time entirely to the good faith and fairness of the Emperor
himself, and his determination that nothing shall interrupt the good
understanding between the two countries, on which he is above all things
bent. The Emperor says it is a great misfortune that there are no men of
capacity or character whose services he can command, nor in fact any
men, if he could command their services, in whom the public would be
disposed to place confidence. Cowley had no very good opinion of Drouyn
de Lhuys, and said no reliance could be placed in him; but in some
respects he is a loss, because he has a certain capacity and clean
hands, he is enormously rich, and guiltless of any peculation or
jobbery. When Drouyn announced that he meant to go to Vienna, Lord
Cowley urged him to go to England first and come to an understanding
with the Cabinet there as to the terms which should be proposed at the
Conference. He consented and went, and Cowley urged Clarendon to have
the agreement put down in writing that there might be no mistake about
it. This was done, and Drouyn went to Vienna. When he took upon himself
to make the proposition he did, it was in direct opposition to his
agreement with us, but he thought he should bring the Emperor to concur
with him and to sanction it. The Emperor seemed at first disposed to do
so, and when he saw Cowley intimated as much to him. Cowley submitted
that it was quite contrary to the understanding with us, and objected on
every ground to the proposal. The Emperor said he really got quite
confused in the intricacies and details of this affair, but he would see
Drouyn again and speak to him upon it. Cowley requested (a very strange
request as he owned) that he might be present at the interview. The
Emperor seemed somewhat surprised, but acquiesced. When Cowley came he
found Drouyn had been there an hour, and that Marshal Vaillant was also
present. They went over the ground again and Drouyn said what he had to
say, when Cowley merely said he would not go into the general question
and would only ask whether M. Drouyn's proposal was in conformity with
what had been settled in London, and he appealed to Marshal Vaillant
whether the termination of the war on such terms would be advisable. It
was impossible to maintain that the terms were consistent with the joint
agreement, and Vaillant declared that if the French army was brought
away, and a peace made on conditions which would appear to tarnish the
honour of their arms, he would not answer for the consequences. This put
an end to the discussion. Drouyn de Lhuys retired, and as soon as he got
home sent his resignation to the Emperor, who wrote him back a very
goodhumoured answer advising him to recall it, and expressing a wish
that he would come and talk the matter over with him, when he had no
doubt they should come to a satisfactory understanding. Drouyn
persisted, and then the Emperor accepted his resignation and sent for
Walewski. I asked Cowley how Walewski was likely to do, and he said
wretchedly, and that he was not of a calibre to fill such a post.


He told me all about the intended journey of the Emperor to the Crimea
and why it was given up. The Emperor was bent on it, while all the
Ministers deprecated it and did all they could to prevent it. They
suggested that, if any misfortune occurred while he was there, he could
not quit the army; if any success, he would infallibly stay to pursue
it, so that his speedy return could not be counted on. This failed to
move him. The intention was that Jérome should be, not Regent, but Chief
of the Council of Ministers, and they advised Jérome only to consent to
take this office on condition that he was invested with the same
despotic power as the Emperor himself. This His Majesty would not
consent to, as the Ministers foresaw, and this was the reason why the
expedition was given up.

[Footnote 1: At the Conference at Vienna M. Drouyn de Lhuys departed
from the conditions of peace agreed to between the French and British
Governments, and was disposed to accept the more favourable terms which
were supported by Austria. This led to his disavowal and resignation on
his return to Paris. It turned out that Lord John Russell, the British
envoy to the Conference, had taken a similar course.]

_Paris, June 23rd._--I came here to pass through to Vichy, and
accordingly on Tuesday last to Vichy I went. I arrived there in the
evening, found a detestable apartment without a fireplace; the weather
was intolerable, it never ceased raining, and the cold was intense.
Finding that it was useless to take the waters or baths in such weather,
and being disgusted with the whole thing, I resolved to return to Paris,
which I did on Friday, and here I am comfortably established in the
Embassy again.

On my arrival I was greeted with the painful intelligence of the repulse
sustained by the French and English on the 18th in the attack on the
Mamelon and Redan batteries, and of the great losses which both armies
had suffered. This failure has cast a great gloom over Paris and London,
and the disappointment is greater because we had become so accustomed to
success that everybody regarded failure in anything as impossible.
Cowley told me that the Emperor was excessively annoyed, and the more
because they entirely disapprove of Pélissier's proceedings. Without
tying him down or attempting from hence to direct the operations of the
campaign, they had given Pélissier the strongest recommendations to
abstain from assaults which they had reason to believe would not be
decisive and would cost a vast number of lives, and they were very
anxious the operations against the Russians in the field should be
pressed instead. There had been some half angry communications between
the Government and Pélissier, who had talked of resigning the command.
The opinions of the Government had been principally formed from those of
General Niel, who had constantly reported his conviction to the above
mentioned effect, and had earnestly deprecated these assaults. Then
there is reason to apprehend that such unsuccessful attempts may produce
bad blood and mutual accusations between the allied forces. Already
Pélissier and Raglan have begun to cast the blame of the failure on each
other, though apparently the difference has not yet swelled to any
serious amount. I have always thought that it would have been better to
have no divided command, but to place an English corps under a French
commander-in-chief, and a French squadron under an English admiral. This
was what the Emperor proposed, and he wrote a letter himself on the
subject, which Cowley promised to show me. We have had much conversation
about the Emperor, his character and his capacity, and I am puzzled how
to understand and to do justice to the latter. Being such as he is
represented to be, and having the defects he has, it is difficult to
comprehend his having accomplished the great things he has, and raised
himself to such a situation and such a height of personal power.

_June 24th._--Last night I went to Thiers', where I found Mignet, Roger
du Nord, and others of his adherents, none of whom I recollected, nor
they me. This morning I called on Achille Fould, who told me the Emperor
knew I was here and would like me to be presented to him, and it was
settled that this should be done. I am nothing loth, for I have a
curiosity to see this remarkable man and to converse with him. Madame de
Lieven told me this morning that not long before the Revolution of '48
Jérome Bonaparte had entreated her to exert her influence to get him
made a peer.


_June 26th._--Yesterday morning arrived an invitation to dine at the
Tuileries the same evening. I went there, was ushered into a room with
eight or ten men in it, none of whom I knew except Count Bacciochi,
whom I had met at Fould's the day before--three in uniform, the rest in
plain clothes. A man, whom I suppose to be the _aide de camp de
service_, came forward to receive me and invited me to sit down.
Presently the same or another man came and said 'Milord' (they all
milorded me), _'vous vous mettrez à table, s'il vous plaît, à côté de
l'Empereur à sa droite._' I was then taken into the next room, which
adjoins the cabinet of the Emperor. In a few minutes His Majesty made
his appearance; he immediately came up to me, bowed very civilly, and
asked me the usual questions of when I came to Paris, etc. In a minute
dinner was announced and we went in. As we walked in he said to me,
'L'Impératrice sera bien fâchée de ne vous avoir pas vu.' At dinner,
which did not last above twenty-five minutes, he talked (a sort of
dropping conversation) on different subjects, and I found him so easy to
get on with that I ventured to start topics myself. After dinner we
returned to the room we had left, and after coffee, seeing me staring
about at the portraits, he said all his family were there, and he told
me who they all were and the history of these portraits, which, he said,
had made the tour of the world.

After this he asked me to sit down, which I did at a round table by his
side, and M. Visconti on the other side of me, and then we had a
conversation which lasted at least an hour and a half on every
imaginable subject. It was impossible not to be struck with his
simplicity, his being so natural and totally without any air or
assumption of greatness, though not undignified, but perfectly _comme il
faut_, with excellent manners, and easy, pleasant, fluent conversation.
I was struck with his air of truth and frankness, and though of course I
could not expect in my position and at this first interview with him
that he should be particularly expansive, yet he gave me the idea of
being not only not reserved but as if, when intimate, he would have a
great deal of _abandon_. It was difficult to bring away all the subjects
he discussed, and I do not know that he said anything wonderfully
striking, but he made a very favourable impression on me, and made me
wish to know more of him, which I am never likely to do.

He talked of the war and its conduct, of the faults committed, and of
the characters and talents of the generals engaged, comparing them, much
to their disadvantage, with the generals of the Empire. I asked him
which were the best, and he said all the African generals were much of
the same calibre: Changarnier, Lamoricière, St. Arnaud, Canrobert,
Pélissier--very little difference between them. The war they waged in
Africa was of a peculiar character, and did not render them more capable
of conducting great strategical operations in Europe. He talked of
Thiers and Odilon Barrot, and described scenes with the latter in
Council when Barrot was his Minister; of the 'Times' and its influence;
of Spain; in short, of a vast variety of subjects; of the Exhibition
here, and with some appearance of disappointment that the people will
not go to it. His simplicity and absence of all _faste_ were remarkable;
thus, I asked him what he thought of the Hango affair, when he said it
was not so bad as had been reported. 'I have had an account of it from
Admiral Penaud to-day; should you like to see it?' I said 'Yes,' when he
got up, went into his cabinet, and came back with the letter in his
hand; and a little while after, when we were talking of the siege of
Sebastopol, he asked if I had ever seen a very good engineer's map of
the whole thing; and when I said I had not, he said, 'Then I will show
you one;' and he again went into his cabinet and brought it out. After
this long palaver he took leave of me, shaking hands with much apparent

_June 27th._--Bosquet has written to the Emperor that these assaults on
the Russian works are only a useless waste of time. Marshal Vaillant has
told Cowley that they agree in this, but they must either recall their
general or let him go on in his own way, and if they interfere, the
blame of any disaster will inevitably fall on them, no matter what might
be the cause. I dined with Flahaut yesterday; in the morning rode round
all the boulevards, a grand promenade by which Paris is well seen; and I
met Guizot at Madame de Lieven's, who talked of the war and asked how
it was ever to end. 'People go to war,' he said, 'to make conquests or
to make peace; you profess not to intend the first, how do you propose
to effect the second? By reducing Russia to accept your terms--can you
do so? will she yield? If not, what then?--you may wound her, but you
can't strike her in a vital part; and the more barbarous she is, the
more she will consent to suffer and the less she will be disposed to
yield.' He gave me an account (in short) of the bother about the Academy
and the Emperor's interference. They do not mean to give way, but they
think he will; if he does not, he will have to dissolve them.


_Paris, July 5th._--One of my attacks of gout came on this day week and
disabled me from going anywhere, doing anything, and still more from
writing anything. In the meanwhile we received the news of Lord Raglan's
death.[1] Though they do not care about it here, there has been a very
decent display of sympathy and regret, and the Emperor wrote to Cowley
with his own hand a very proper letter. There is good reason to believe
that the fatal termination of Lord Raglan's illness was in some (perhaps
in great) measure produced by vexation and disappointment at the failure
of the 18th, and annoyance at the many embarrassments of his position.
It is certain that for a considerable time great disunion and poignant
differences existed between him and the French generals. Canrobert wrote
home a very unhandsome letter, in which he gave as one of his reasons
for resigning the impossibility of going on with Raglan. I believe
Raglan complained of Canrobert with much better reason. On the 18th
Pélissier changed the plan of attack that had been agreed on between
them; and, besides all the mistakes that occurred in the French
operations, there seems to have been a want of continual and active
concert between the two commanders-in-chief during the operations.
Raglan proposed a general attack on the town when the assaults failed,
which Pélissier refused to agree to. There is a fair probability this
would have succeeded, as an English force did get into a part of the
town, stayed there some time, and got away unobserved. There is now a
bad feeling, a disposition to recrimination, between the two armies
which may have very bad effects, and it is awful to think our army is
under an untried man of whom nothing is known, and who is not likely to
have more weight with, and receive more consideration from, the French
generals than his predecessor. However desirable unity of command may
be, in the present temper of the troops and after all that has occurred
it would be impossible. General Torrens, who is here, speaks in high
terms of Raglan, especially of his magnanimity in bearing all the blame
which has been thrown upon him and never saying one word in his own
vindication, which might have entirely exonerated him but have done some
injury to the cause. Torrens thinks that in all or almost all in which
he has appeared most obnoxious to censure he could have triumphantly
excused himself, and have proved that the causes were attributable to
others and not to himself. His must have been a painful as it was an
ungrateful service, and it was a melancholy and untimely end.

[Footnote 1: Lord Raglan died in the Crimea on June 28.]

_Paris, July 6th._--I went yesterday to the Exhibition in the morning;
then to Notre Dame and the Luxembourg Gardens and drove about Paris;
dined _en trio_ with Madame de Lieven and Guizot, when there was of
course nothing but political talk. Guizot thinks there has been not only
a series of diplomatic blunders, but a wonderful want of _invention_,
not to strike out some means of adjusting this quarrel, in which I agree
with him. This morning Labouchere and I went to Versailles. Fould had
given me a letter to the Director of the Museum there, M. Soulié, whom
we found very intelligent, well informed, and obliging. We told him our
object was to avoid the _giro regolare_ of the endless rooms fitted up
with bad pictures by Louis Philippe, and to see the apartments full of
historical associations from the time of Louis XIV. down to the
Revolution. We were completely gratified, and he took us over everything
we wished to see, being admirably qualified as a cicerone by his
familiarity with the localities and the history belonging to them. We
saw all the apartments in which Louis XIV. lived, and what remains of
those of Madame de Maintenon. The Palace has been so tumbled about at
different times, and such alterations made in it, that it is not always
easy to ascertain correctly where the rooms of certain personages were,
but our guide proved to our complete satisfaction that certain rooms he
showed us were those which really did belong to Madame de Maintenon. We
saw too in minute detail the apartments of Louis XVI. and Marie
Antoinette, and the passages through which she fled to escape from the
irruption of the mob on the 5th of October. The whole thing was as
interesting as possible.


_Paris, July 9th._--I meant to have left Paris last night, but, an
invitation arriving to dine with the Emperor at St. Cloud today, I put
off going till tomorrow. I went yesterday to Versailles to see the
_grandes eaux_ and was disappointed, and dined there with the
Ashburtons. This morning telegraphic news came of a Russian sortie last
night; no details of course. Yesterday we were thrown into consternation
by the intelligence from London of the revelations of John Russell in
the House of Commons and the discussion thereupon. Le Marchant wrote to
Labouchere and told him the effect was as bad as possible, and the whole
case very deplorable. My own opinion is that nobody could have acted
more indiscreetly and unjustifiably than John Russell has done, and he
has sacrificed his character and authority in a way which he will find
it difficult to get over. But I am disposed to agree with him that the
terms proposed by Austria, if they could have been brought to maturity
and carried out, were quite sufficient to make peace upon, and that the
negotiations ought to have continued in order to endeavour to bring
about this result. The effect of this public announcement to the whole
world, that the English Minister at the Congress as well as the French
one was willing to accept the terms proposed by Austria, will not fail
to make a great sensation, and produce a considerable effect both in
Germany and in France. In England it is doubtful whether it will have
any other result than to damage John Russell himself, and increase the
vulgar prejudice against public men. My own idea is that it will render
the war still more unpopular in France, and the English alliance
likewise, because it will encourage the prevailing notion that the war
is carried on for English interests and in deference to the wishes of
England. Though John Russell declared that the resolution of the Emperor
to part with Drouyn de Lhuys and reject the Austrian proposal had been
made before the intention of the English Cabinet was known, this will
not be believed, or at all events everybody will be convinced that he
knew what the sentiments of England were, and that he really acted in
conformity with them, as was beyond all doubt the case.


_July 10th._--I dined at Villeneuve l'Étang. We went to the Palace of
St. Cloud in Cowley's carriage, where we found an equerry and one of the
Emperor's carriages, which took us to Villeneuve. A small house, pretty
and comfortable enough, and a small party, all English--Duke and Duchess
of Hamilton, Lord Hertford, Lord and Lady Ashburton, General Torrens and
his _aide de camp_, Cowley and myself, the Duc de Bassano, Comte de
Montebello, the _aide de camp de service_, and M. Valabrègue, _écuyer_,
that was the whole party. The Emperor sat between the two ladies, taking
the Duchess in to dinner. It lasted about three quarters of an hour, and
as soon as it was over His Majesty took us all out to walk about the
place, see the dairy and a beautiful Bretonne cow he ordered to be
brought out, and then to scull on the lake, or _étang_, which gives its
name to the place. There were a number of little boats for one person to
scull and one to sit, and one larger for two each; the Emperor got into
one with the Duchess, and all the rest of the people as they liked, and
we passed about half an hour on the water. On landing, ices, etc., were
brought, and the carriages came to the door at nine o'clock, a _char à
banc_ with four _percherons_ and postillions exactly like the old French
postboy, and several other open carriages and pair. The two ladies got
into the centre of the _char à banc_, Cowley, Hertford, and I were
invited to get up before, and the Emperor himself got up behind with
somebody else, I did not see who. We then set off and drove for some
time through the woods and drives of Villeneuve and St. Cloud, and at
last, at about ten o'clock, we were set down at the Palace. There we all
alighted, and, after walking about a little, the Emperor showing us the
part which Marie Antoinette had built and telling some anecdotes
connected with Louis XVIII. and Louis Philippe, and the Château, he
shook hands with all of us very cordially and dismissed us. His Majesty
got into the _char à banc_ and returned to Villeneuve, and we drove back
to Paris. When we were walking about the court of the Château (it was
quite dark) the sentinel challenged us--'Qui va là?' when the Emperor
called out in a loud voice, 'L'Empereur.'

Of course, in this company there was nothing but general conversation,
and I had no opportunity of having any with His Majesty; but he was
extremely civil, offering me his cigars, which I declined, and
expressing anxiety that I should not catch cold. He made the same
impression on me as before as to his extreme simplicity and the easiness
of his intercourse; but I was struck with his appearance being so very
_mesquin_, more than I thought at first.

Lady Ashburton told me she had received a letter from Ellice, telling
her that the affair in the House of Commons had produced the most
serious effect, and that it would probably end in the retirement of John
Russell, and eventually to a change of Government. He had got a story,
which I utterly disbelieve, that Milner Gibson had been instigated by
John Russell himself to give him this opportunity of saying what he did,
which was certainly more than he need have said.[1] Lord John seems for
some time past to have been bereft of his senses, and to commit nothing
but blunders one after another. What has been passing in his mind, and
what his real objects are or have been, it would puzzle anybody to say.
If he had personal views and wanted to regain the station and power
which he had lost, never did any man take such false steps and pursue so
erroneous a course to obtain his ends. He had in some measure retrieved
the character and consideration which he forfeited by his conduct at the
beginning of this year; but I do not see how he is ever to get over
this, nor how his followers can any longer have any confidence in him,
and I do not believe the country at large ever will. As to his opinion
on the terms of peace, I agree with it, and think it would have been
wiser to close with Buol's proposal, and to continue to negotiate; but
this makes no difference as to his conduct in the affair, for which
there is no excuse. He never ought to have committed himself at Vienna;
his instructions were clear and precise and quite inconsistent with
Buol's proposition. He might have engaged to bring it before his
Government, but should, especially as he was a Cabinet Minister, have
abstained from expressing any opinion of his own upon it. He appears at
Vienna to have been easily talked over, and to have been exceedingly
wanting in diplomatic finesse and penetration; but all I have picked up
here in conversation proves to me that there have been errors
innumerable and the greatest mistakes in the conduct of these affairs
throughout, and the exigencies of the alliance and the necessity of
concerting everything to the most minute particular with both Cabinets
have produced results not less unfortunate in diplomacy than in war. The
affair before Sebastopol the night before last turns out to have been of
no importance, only a demonstration against the English lines.

[Footnote 1: On July 6, Lord John Russell declared in the House of
Commons, in answer to a question put by Mr. Milner Gibson, that he was
personally convinced that the terms proposed at Vienna by the Austrian
Government gave a fair prospect of the termination of hostilities, but
that on his return to England the Government declined to accept them. M.
Drouyn de Lhuys, the French envoy, had also been in favour of these
terms. This declaration appeared to be wholly inconsistent with the
warlike speech which Lord John had made, on his return, on May 24. Sir
E. B. Lytton then gave notice of a motion condemning the conduct of the
Ministers charged with negotiating at Vienna; but Lord John Russell
anticipated the inevitable vote of censure by resigning office, and he
was succeeded in the Colonial Department by Sir William Molesworth. This
transaction was held to reflect deep discredit on Lord John Russell's
conduct, and justifies the severe language applied to him in the text,
but this was somewhat mitigated by Mr. Greville in a subsequent


_London, July 13th._--I left Paris on Tuesday night at 7.30, got to
Calais at three; low water and steamer three miles out at sea; went out
in a boat in a torrent of rain which had lasted the whole journey and
all day. Train was just gone when we got to Dover, but we arrived in
town about eleven. I found a precious state of affairs, all confusion
and consternation, Bulwer having given notice of a motion of want of
confidence on account of John Russell, whose affair has brought himself
and the Government to the very brink and almost to the certainty of
ruin. There is as much excitement against Palmerston's Government, all
on account of Lord John, as there was a few months ago against Aberdeen.
I found Brooks's in a state of insurrection, and even the
Attorney-General (Cockburn) told me that the Liberal party were resolved
to go no further with John Russell, and that nothing but his resignation
could save the Government, even if that could; that they might be
reconciled to him hereafter, but as long as the war lasted they
repudiated him. Meanwhile he has not resigned. There was a long Cabinet
the day before yesterday in which they discussed the state of affairs,
and what measures could be taken. Lord John offered to resign, but they
would not hear of it, and came to a resolution to stand or fall
together. I saw Clarendon yesterday, who was fully aware of the
imminence of the danger and of the probability of their being out on
Monday; he said Lord John's whole conduct was inconceivable, and he knew
not to what to attribute his strange speech, in which he had made for
himself a much worse case than the circumstances really warrant and
given to the world impressions which are not correct; for in point of
fact he did not urge Buol's proposal upon the Cabinet, but when he laid
it before them and found it not acceptable, he at once yielded to all
the arguments against it, and instead of making any attempt to get peace
made on those terms, he joined with all his colleagues in their
conviction of the necessity of carrying on the war vigorously; and this
conviction induced him to make the warlike speech with which he is now
reproached as being inconsistent with the opinions he was entertaining
(as it is said) at the time he made it. Yesterday he attempted to make
something of an explanation, but he only floundered further into the
mire, and was laughed at. Everybody thinks he made his case worse
rather than better, but he really seems to have lost his head. His whole
conduct at Vienna and here has exhibited nothing but a series of
blunders and faults, and he has so contrived it, that no explanations he
can possibly make will extenuate them, or place him in a tolerable light
in the eyes of the public. In the morning yesterday I had occasion to
call on Disraeli about some business, when he talked over the state of
affairs very freely and gave me to understand that he intended and
expected to turn out the Government and to come in with his party, but
he owned that their materials for forming a tolerable Government were
very scanty, that he would not attempt their old Government over again,
but, except Lytton Bulwer, of whom he spoke in terms of high praise, he
knew not where to find any fresh men worth anything.

_Bath, July 19th._--I came here on Saturday night. In the course of
Friday morning I met Drumlanrig, who told me the subordinate place men
had caused John Russell to be informed that if he did not resign they
should, and vote for Bulwer's motion on Monday. This produced his
resignation, but under circumstances as mortifying as possibly could be,
and which must have made him deeply regret that he did not resign at
first, although he is not to be blamed for having yielded to the wishes
of his colleagues, and I am satisfied he did so from the best motives.
It was no sooner known that he had resigned than the excitement began to
subside, and everybody thought that Bulwer would withdraw his motion,
and at all events nobody doubted that it would come to nothing. The
motion was withdrawn but the debate took place, and such a debate!--it
was impossible to read it without indignation and disgust. Bulwer's
speech was a tissue of foul abuse with the grossest and most wilful
misrepresentations and endeavours to draw inferences he knew to be false
and fallacious, with the hope and purpose of damaging the characters of
the Ministers. In these times, when the great evil is the bad opinion
which the public has been led to entertain of public men, Bulwer
endeavours, for a mere party purpose, to aggravate that hostile feeling
and to make the world believe that, in a great party and a Cabinet
composed of men whose characters have never been impugned, there is
neither truth, sincerity, nor good faith, and by producing such an
impression to bring the aristocracy into greater disrepute. Disraeli, of
course, spoke in the same tone, Palmerston was very bad, and his speech
was quite unbecoming his position. John Russell's defence was not
calculated to relieve him from the weight of obloquy and unpopularity he
had brought on himself, and the whole thing was unsatisfactory, except
that it denoted the end of the contest and the disappointment of the
Opposition, whose hopes had been so highly raised.


After much consideration of John Russell's conduct, I think it is not
obnoxious to the severe censure with which it has been visited, and
though he has committed errors, they are venial ones and admit of a fair
explanation. Had not Buol's publication revealed to the world what had
passed between them confidentially, nothing of it would have been known,
and he would have been left to the enjoyment of the popularity he had
gained by his anti-Russian speech. The statement about him in Buol's
Circular naturally led to questions, and then it was necessary to tell
everything and lay bare the arcana of Cabinets and Conferences; and when
he endeavoured to explain his own conduct it became, amidst all the
complexities of the case itself, its endless variety of details and
confusion of dates, next to impossible to unravel it satisfactorily, and
quite impossible to protect himself from the imputations which an
unscrupulous and malignant assailant could easily contrive to bring
against him; and in this great difficulty he displayed no tact and
ingenuity in extricating himself from the dilemma in which he was
placed; on the contrary, he went blundering on, exposing himself to many
charges, all plausible and some true, of inconsistency, inaccuracy, and
insincerity, and he made in his speeches a case against himself which
left very little for his enemies to do. It might be strange in any other
man, but is perhaps only consistent in him, that he is now more
indignant with the friends who refused to follow and support him on
this occasion than either ashamed or angry with himself for having
blundered into such a scrape. He writes, meanwhile, to his brother, who
has sent me his letter, in these terms:--'I have endeavoured to stand by
and support Palmerston, too much so, I fear, for my own credit, but had
I resigned on my return from Vienna, I should have been abused as
wishing to trip him up and get his place: in short, the situation was
one of those where only errors were possible. I have acted according to
my own conscience; let that suffice.' False reasoning and wounded pride
are both apparent in this letter, but he is quite right when he says
that 'only errors had become possible.' There is no course he could have
taken that would not have exposed him to bitter attacks and reproaches,
and these unavoidable errors were not confined to himself.


The first thing that strikes me is that the Cabinet ought to have
accepted his resignation when he first tendered it; but there were no
doubt difficulties and objections to that course, and their reluctance
to let him throw himself overboard was not unnatural and was generous.
The defence which his conduct really admits of may be (to state it very
briefly) thus set forth. I put it loosely, and as it strikes me, taking
a general view of the case; to make it more accurate and complete, the
dates and the documents should be before me, which they are not. He went
to Paris with instructions precisely corresponding with what was
verbally arranged in London between Drouyn de Lhuys and the Cabinet, and
they were conjointly to propose the conditions which the two Governments
had agreed to require from Russia; but still they were not the bearers
of an Ultimatum, they did not go to give law to Russia, or as judges to
pronounce sentence upon her. They went to confer and to negotiate, to
endeavour to obtain the precise terms which would be entirely
satisfactory to their two Governments, and failing in this to see what
they could obtain. If they were instructed to insist on the limitation,
just as they proposed it at the Conference, and to accept nothing else,
nothing either short of it or varying from it, then the very idea of a
Conference and a negotiation was a mockery and a delusion. It was a
mockery to invite the Russian plenipotentiary to make proposals, and the
conduct of the Allies was disingenuous and deceitful. Certainly Austria
never contemplated, still less would she have been a party to, such a
course of proceeding; and her notion was, and, of course, that of Russia
also, that there should be a _bonâ fide_ negotiation, and an attempt to
bring about an understanding by the only way in which an understanding
ever can be brought about--mutual concessions. We proposed the
limitation scheme, and Austria backed us up in it cordially, sincerely,
and forcibly, at least to all appearance. Russia rejected it on the
ground of its incompatibility with her honour and dignity. Then Russia
made proposals, which the Allies, Austria included, rejected as
insufficient. John Russell and Drouyn de Lhuys appear to have fought
vigorously in the spirit of their instructions, but when they found
there was no chance of the Russians consenting to the limitation, they
both became anxious to try some other plan, by which peace might
possibly be obtained, and they each suggested something. At last, when
the Conference was virtually at an end, as a last hope and chance Buol
produced his scheme. John Russell had already committed himself to an
approval of the principle of it, by the plan he had himself suggested,
and, when he found that both his French and Turkish colleagues were
willing to accept it, it is not surprising that he should have told Buol
privately and confidentially that he acquiesced in it, and would urge it
on his Government. As it has turned out, this was a great indiscretion
for which he has been severely punished. As he had every reason to
believe that Buol's plan would not be acceptable to his own Government,
what he ought to have done was to give notice to Clarendon that such a
proposal had been made, and to beg it might be considered before any
final resolution was taken, and to tell Buol that he had done so; to
promise that he would submit to the Cabinet all the arguments that had
been used in its favour, but to abstain from any expression of his own
opinion, and shelter himself from the necessity of giving any by the
tenour of his own instructions. When he found the French Minister for
Foreign Affairs consenting, he might very well suppose that the French
Government would not reject the proposal, and that he should not be
justified in putting a peremptory veto on what France was disposed to
accept as sufficient. Besides, although he has never put forward such an
argument in any of his speeches, he may have thought, as I do, that
'counterpoise' and 'limitation' were the same thing in principle, and
the only difference between them one of mode and degree. Buol's
counterpoise involved limitation, our limitation was to establish a
counterpoise; therefore, even in the spirit of the instructions and
arguments of the French and English Governments, their plan of
limitation having failed, Buol's plan of counterpoise was entitled to
consideration,[1] and the only question ought to have been whether it
would have been effectual for the purpose common to all, and whether it
would be an honourable mode of terminating the war.

John Russell's fault was committing himself to Buol as approving his
plan before he knew how it would be viewed at home; but I see neither
impossibility nor inconsistency in his having regarded it favourably at
Vienna, and being biassed by all the arguments in its favour which there
beset him on all sides, and when he returned to England and found the
opinions of all his colleagues adverse to it, and heard their reasons
for being so, that he should have been convinced by them, have
subscribed to the general decision, and joined cordially with them in
the vigorous prosecution of the war. Having come finally to this
conclusion, his warlike speech was not unnatural, and he made it
probably very much to prove to his own colleagues that he was in earnest
with them. There was no necessity for his proclaiming what had passed at
Vienna, as nothing had happened in consequence, and the question was not
what impression had been made on his mind there in the course of the
negotiations, but what was the opinion and what the resolution at which
he finally arrived when all was over. But he has repeatedly in the
course of his career contrived to do a vast deal of mischief by a very
few words, and so it was in this instance. When he was driven to
_confess_ that he had endorsed Buol's proposal, and said that he was
still of the same opinion, his opponents were able with every appearance
of truth to say that he had intended to conceal what he had done at
Vienna, and to deceive the country, both as to his past conduct and his
present opinions; and as it was obvious from his own avowal that he
still was of the same opinion as at Vienna, his war speech was
hypocritical and insincere, and he was unfit to be in a Cabinet pledged
to carry on the war earnestly and vigorously. Against such an attack it
was very difficult to make a good defence, and I doubt whether the most
lucid and circumstantial statement and the most natural explanation of
his own motives and sentiments at different periods of the transaction
would have received a patient hearing and dispassionate consideration.
The House of Commons and the public were in that frame of mind that will
not listen, and cannot be fair and just, and he became, and could hardly
avoid becoming, the victim of his own want of caution and prudent
reserve and the excessive complication of the circumstances and details
of the case.

[Footnote 1: The proposal submitted to the Conference by Count Buol was
that each of the Powers should have the right to maintain a limited
naval power in the Black Sea. The whole discussion turned upon
suppression of the naval supremacy of Russia in the Black Sea and the
manner in which it was to be effected.]


_London, July 28th._--I returned from Bath yesterday; went to Newmarket
in the evening and returned this morning. There is nothing new at home
and abroad; to all outward appearance the siege standing still, but they
say it is going on in a safe and judicious manner calculated to bring
about success. General Simpson wants to resign, but no man fit to
succeed him can be found.[1] I have read the pamphlet 'Whom shall we
Hang?' and think it makes a very good case for the late Government,
especially Newcastle, but it is so long that few people will read it;
and though it may convince and satisfy some one here and there, it will
not suffice to stem the torrent which is so swollen by ignorance and
malice. At Brooks's this afternoon I met Fitzroy, who said a great deal
to me about the condition of the Government, of the state and
disposition of the House of Commons, and Palmerston's management there,
and his conduct as a leader.

[Footnote 1: Upon the death of Lord Raglan General Simpson, an officer
of whom little was known, succeeded, as senior in rank, to the command
of the army. He retained the command but a short time, General
Codrington having been appointed by the Government to succeed him.]

_London, August 14th._--Since my last date I have been to Goodwood, and
since then here, having had nothing to note beyond what has appeared in
all the newspapers. Parliament was prorogued yesterday, after a session
of average duration, but marked by a great many incidents of a
disagreeable character, and exhibiting a downward tendency as regards
the future tranquillity and prosperity of the country. The last few days
were marked by an angry contest provoked by Lord Grey in the Lords, not
altogether without cause: the Limited Liability Bill came up so late
that, according to the Standing Order, it could not be considered.
Government moved the suspension of the Order, which was carried, but
there was no time to discuss properly the provisions of the bill, and it
was hurried through the House by force, probably in an incomplete form.
Grey was very angry, and fought it tooth and nail, declaring his
opposition to a Government which had, he insisted, behaved so ill. Mr.
Monsell was made a Privy Councillor, the oath having been altered to
meet his scruples, in spite of all the remonstrances I could offer
against such an unworthy compliance as this appears to me.


 The Queen's Visit to France--Sir George C. Lewis on the
 War--Inefficiency of Lord Panmure--The Queen and the Emperor--Lord
 John Russell's Estrangement from his Friends--The Fall of
 Sebastopol--The Queen on the Orleans Confiscation--The Prince
 Regent's Letter on the Holy Alliance--Ferment in Italy--The Failure
 at the Redan--Lord John's Defence--General Windham--Lord John
 Russell's Retirement--Death of Sir Robert Adair--Adieu to the
 Turf--Progress of the War--Colonial Office proposed to Lord
 Stanley--Lord John Russell's Position--Relations with Mr.
 Disraeli--Mr. Labouchere Colonial Secretary--Negotiations for
 Peace--The Terms proposed to Russia--The King of Sardinia and M. de
 Cavour at Windsor--The Demands of the King of Sardinia--Lord
 Palmerston presses for War--Lord Macaulay's History of England--An
 Ultimatum to Russia--Death of the Poet Rogers--French
 Ministers--The Emperor's Diplomacy--Sir George C. Lewis's Aversion
 to the War--Quarrels of Walewski and Persigny--Austria presents the
 Terms to Russia--Baron Seebach mediates--The Emperor's Difficulties
 and Doubts.

_London, August 21st._--The Queen as usual has had magnificent weather
for her Paris visit, and all has gone well there except that unluckily
she arrived after her time at Boulogne and still more at Paris,
consequently the Emperor was kept waiting at Boulogne, and the whole
population of Paris, which turned out and waited for hours under a
broiling sun, was disappointed, for they arrived when it was growing
dark. However, in spite of this, the scene appears to have been very
fine and animated. Clarendon, who is not apt to be enthusiastic, writes
so to Palmerston, and tells him that Marshal Magnan said he had known
Paris for fifty years, and had never seen such a scene as this, nor even
when Napoleon returned from Austerlitz.

George Lewis called on me yesterday. I have hardly seen him during the
session, and, having advised him to take his present office, I was glad
to be able to congratulate him on his success. He was very natural
about it, and owned that he had every reason to be satisfied with his
reception both by the House of Commons and the City. I found that his
sentiments about war and peace were identical with my own. He had been
all along against the war, and thought it ought to have been prevented,
and might have been in the outset, and that peace ought to have been
made the other day; but, as he was in no way responsible for the war, he
had nothing to do but to submit to the _fait accompli_ and to do his
best to raise the necessary supplies in the most advantageous manner. It
is evident that, if there could have been a potential peace party in the
Cabinet, he would have been one of them, but as it is he kept his real
sentiments to himself and subscribed to the decision of the majority. We
talked of the session and its incidents. He said history recorded
nothing like the profusion with which the present House of Commons was
inclined to spend money. It was impossible to ask for too much; their
only fear seemed to be lest the war should not be conducted with
sufficient vigour, and to accomplish this they were ready to vote any
amount of money. Lewis thinks the rage for war as violent as ever, and
the zeal of the country not at all diminished, he sees no symptoms of
it. The wealth and resources which the crisis has developed are most
curious; thus, he reduced the interest on Exchequer Bills not long
ago--an operation he believes never before attempted in time of war. War
has had little or no effect on trade, which is steady and flourishing;
but he thinks, unless some great successes infuse fresh animation into
the public mind, that before long they will begin to tire of the
contest, and to reflect that it is being carried on at an enormous cost
for no rational object whatever, and merely from motives of pride and
vanity and a false notion of honour. Charles Villiers thinks
differently, and that there is already a manifest change of opinion, and
that opposition to the war has already begun. I wish I could see some
symptoms of it, but, though there may be some, I think they are slight.
Lewis thinks John Russell has completely done for himself by his last
speech. He was recovering from the effects of his first; there was a
reaction in his favour; his friends were anxious to be reconciled to him
and to renew their support and confidence, when he played into the hands
of his enemies and made his own position worse than it was before.

Lewis told me that he was much struck with the mediocrity of Panmure,
who was one of the dullest men he ever knew, and that he was by far the
least able man in the Cabinet, and as bad as possible as Minister of
War--prejudiced, slow, and _routinier_. It is evident that Newcastle was
a much abler man, and if he had happened to have come after Panmure, he
would have been as much belauded as he has been abused.


_September 5th._--A complete stagnation in every way; no news whatever
since the battle of the Tchernaya,[1] and nobody has the least idea,
Ministers included, of the state and progress of the war. I asked
Granville, who is just come from Paris, if he knew anything, and he said
he did not, and that the Emperor, whom he had seen a day or two ago,
complained of being equally in the dark. His Majesty, Granville said,
was very low about the war, and complained that none of the expeditions
and diversions had been undertaken which might have advanced the cause
more rapidly. Pélissier seems to be very much _déconsidéré_ and thought
worth very little as a general.

I saw Clarendon one day last week for a short time, but had no
opportunity of hearing the details of his sojourn at Paris. He said the
Queen was delighted with everything and especially with the Emperor
himself, who, with perfect knowledge of women, had taken the surest way
to ingratiate himself with her. This it seems he began when he was in
England, and followed it up at Paris. After his visit the Queen talked
it all over with Clarendon, and said, 'It is very odd; but the Emperor
knows everything I have done and where I have been ever since I was
twelve years old; he even recollects how I was dressed, and a thousand
little details it is extraordinary he should be acquainted with.' She
has never before been on such a social footing with anybody, and he has
approached her with the familiarity of their equal positions, and with
all the experience and knowledge of womankind he has acquired during his
long life, passed in the world and in mixing with every sort of society.
She seemed to have played her part throughout with great propriety and
success. Old Jérome did not choose to make his appearance till just at
the last moment, because he insisted on being treated as a king, and
having the title of _Majesté_ given him--a pretension Clarendon would
not hear of her yielding to.

[Footnote 1: The battle of the Tchernaya was fought on the 16th August,
when General Liprandi attacked the French and Sardinian armies in their
lines, with a large force, but was repulsed with great loss.]

_September 7th._--I had a long visit from the Duke of Bedford this
morning, who came to talk to me about his brother John, his position and
prospects. He has seen John and heard from him in great detail all his
case, and he has likewise seen Clarendon and heard his and the
Government's case. He tells me that he has never in his life suffered
more pain than at hearing these cases and witnessing the bitter feelings
which exist and the charges which are mutually made, especially between
Clarendon and Lord John. The latter thinks he has been very ill-used by
most of his former colleagues, but especially by Clarendon, whose
conduct he thinks both unjust and ungrateful. Clarendon wrote to him
while he was at Vienna in such a tone and language that Lord John had
determined to resign his embassy and return home, and had actually
written a letter to Clarendon for the purpose, but he gave up doing so
partly because he felt that it would make a prodigious noise all over
Europe and partly because, having consulted his brother-in-law, George
Elliot, he prudently advised him against such a step; but he felt
deeply, and resented what he thought bad conduct towards himself. I read
to the Duke all that I had written about John in the preceding pages,
against which he had nothing to say. He asked his brother how he came to
speak so ill _for himself_ in the House of Commons, and he replied that
he was embarrassed by the impossibility of saying everything that he
knew, especially the fact, which I have mentioned, of the way in which
the Emperor Napoleon determined to throw over Drouyn de Lhuys and to
reject the Vienna proposals. This was told to John by Baudin; and one of
the things he complains of is that the Cabinet never was informed of
what had passed, and its members were allowed to suppose, like the
public, that the Emperor's rejection had been spontaneous, instead of
having been suggested and urged upon him by us. John bitterly feels his
own position, his estrangement from his old friends, and, above all, the
unkindness and ingratitude he thinks they have been guilty of towards
him. He is now intent upon his own vindication, and is preparing to
compose it with a view of giving it to the world, though he does not
know, and it is difficult to determine, in what shape. He seems less
dissatisfied with his old enemy Palmerston than with any of the others,
and says he thinks Palmerston is the best man there is at present to be
Prime Minister. After Clarendon he most reproaches Charles Wood.


_September 17th._--Went to The Grove with Clarendon last Saturday
sennight; on Monday to Doncaster, where I had no time to write anything
but bets in my betting-book, all of which I lost. On the Saturday we
heard from General Simpson by telegraph that the assault was to take
place that day. We were kept in suspense all Sunday, but on Monday
morning read in the 'Times' that the Malakoff was taken, but we had no
idea then that the city with all its vast defences would fall
immediately after, but I heard it the same night at the Huntingdon

I heard a great deal from Clarendon about the royal visit to Paris, and
details connected with it, and we talked over the quarrel with John
Russell, at which he expressed great regret, though not without
bitterness. Clarendon said nothing could exceed the delight of the Queen
at her visit to Paris, at her reception, at all she saw; and that she
was charmed with the Emperor. They became so intimate, and she on such
friendly terms with him, that she talked to him with the utmost
frankness, and even discussed with him the most delicate of all
subjects, the confiscation of the Orleans' property, telling him her
opinion upon it. He did not avoid the subject, and gave her the reasons
why he thought himself obliged to take that course; that he knew all
this wealth was employed in fomenting intrigues against his Government,
which was so new that it was necessary to take all precautions to avert
such dangers. She replied that, even if this were so, he might have
contented himself with sequestrating the property and restoring it when
he was satisfied that all danger on that score was at an end. I asked
Clarendon what he thought of the Emperor himself, and he said that he
liked him, and he was very pleasing, but he was struck with his being so
indolent and so excessively ignorant. The Prince of Wales was put by the
Queen under Clarendon's charge, who was desired to tell him what to do
in public, when to bow to the people, and whom to speak to. He said that
the Princess Royal was charming, with excellent manners, and full of
intelligence. Both the children were delighted with their _séjour_, and
very sorry to come away. When the visit was drawing to a close, the
Prince said to the Empress that he and his sister were both very
reluctant to leave Paris, and asked her if she could not get leave for
them to stay there a little longer. The Empress said she was afraid this
would not be possible, as the Queen and the Prince would not be able to
do without them; to which the boy replied, 'Not do without us! don't
fancy that, for there are six more of us at home, and they don't want
us.' The Emperor himself proposed to the Queen to go to the Chapel
consecrated to the memory of the Duke of Orleans upon the spot where he
met with his fatal accident and expired. It is creditable to her that
she talks without _gêne_ or scruple to the Emperor about the Orleans
family, making no secret of her continued intimacy with them, and with
equal frankness to them of her relations with him. She wrote to the
Queen Marie Amélie an account of her going to the Chapel and of the
Emperor taking her there, and received a very amiable reply. The first
thing she did on her return was to receive the Duc and Duchesse de

Clarendon told me a few things besides of no great importance, and which
I am not sure that I recollect: about Spain, he said that matters were
going on better there and the Government had contrived to get money--the
Spaniards were very anxious to take part in the war, but he had
discouraged it entirely. As to Naples, that we were calling the
Neapolitan Government to account for their recent impertinence to us,
but that Palmerston and he had disagreed as to what should be done,
Palmerston, according to his old habit, wanting to send ships of war to
Naples and to proceed to violence, while he was opposed to having
another Pacifico affair on our hands, and proposed to proceed with
caution and quietly.


While they were in the yacht, crossing over, Prince Albert had told him
that there was not a word of truth in the prevailing report and belief
that the young Prince of Prussia and the Princess Royal were _fiancés_,
that nothing had ever passed between the parents on the subject, and
that the union never would take place unless the children should become
attached to each other. There would be no mere political marriage. The
Prince showed Clarendon all the correspondence which had taken place
between the Emperor of Russia and the Prince Regent about the Holy
Alliance, which he said was very curious, and George IV.'s letter
declining to be a party to it very good indeed. These documents were
left in Lord Liverpool's papers, and fell into the hands of Harcourt,
who married his daughter. Harcourt lent them to the Prince to read, but
exacting a promise that he would not take a copy of them, and he had
since repeatedly pressed the Prince to return them. I told Clarendon
they ought not to be returned, or at least that Harcourt ought to be
desired to give them to be preserved in the Government Archives, for
they can in no way be considered as private property. Lord Liverpool's
papers were for the most part destroyed, but these were preserved. This
is all I can recollect of what he told me.

[Footnote 1: The final bombardment of Sebastopol commenced on the
morning of September 5th, and continued without intermission until the
8th, when the Russians blew up their magazines and in the night
evacuated the southern portion of the city. The intelligence of the fall
of Sebastopol reached England on the afternoon of Monday, September 10,
and was received with great enthusiasm throughout the country.]

_September 23rd._--At The Grove from Saturday to Monday; nobody there
but Reeve; nothing very particular. Clarendon said Prussia was very
anxious to interpose to renew negotiations, but they would not hear of
her interference, and if anything was done it could only be by Austria.
He showed me a paper sent by Hudson with an account, very brief, of the
state of Italy, which is in fermentation though not in open disturbance.
The Sicilian malcontents sent to the King of Sardinia an offer of their
crown for one of his sons. He replied, 'You have need of a man, and a
boy will be of no use to you.' This they took for a refusal, and they
are now thinking of a Coburg; in no case will they have a Murat. I
forget what the Neapolitan Liberals want, but I doubt if the country
will have either the courage or the power to emancipate itself.


_September 28th._--No fresh news, but a letter from Charles Windham (the
hero of the Redan), in which he gives an account of that affair which
corresponds very closely with the report of Russell, the 'Times'
Commissioner. He gives a poor character of the generals in the Crimea,
and says the troops, except some of the old soldiers, behaved by no
means well. The whole thing seems to have been grievously mismanaged on
our part.[1]

I have had much correspondence with the Duke of Bedford about Lord John
and his case, which the Duke says, now that he has heard it all and seen
the correspondence, he thinks much better than he had supposed, and that
John was meditating the publication of a defence of himself, but could
not determine in what shape it should be. I earnestly advised him to
dissuade his brother from publishing anything, as he could not make an
effectual defence of his conduct without making revelations that would
be held unjustifiable and cause all sorts of ill humour and
recriminations, and render his position, both personal and political,
worse than it now is. Some communications in a friendly spirit have
taken place between Lord John and Clarendon, but I can see that there is
still existing a great deal of soreness and a not very cordial feeling
between them. I have been reading Lord Grey's speech on the war, which
he has published in a pamphlet, and I think it excellent and
unanswerable. I long to write something on the subject and to add to
Grey's argument on other parts of the case. I do not care about the
unpopularity of doing so, and am only deterred from taking so much
trouble by feeling that it would be unavailing, and that to attempt to
make the public listen to reason and take a dispassionate view of the
various questions connected with the war on which they have been so
completely bamboozled and misled, would be like Mrs. Partington and her

[Footnote 1: The British attack on the Redan failed, whilst the French
attack on the Malakoff succeeded, to the extreme annoyance of the
British army and public: but in his assault Colonel Charles Windham (as
he then was) displayed the most signal bravery, which in some measure
redeemed the credit of the British forces. This circumstance gave him an
amount of popularity and distinction which his rank in the army and his
previous services did not altogether justify.]

_October 2nd._--I have been in correspondence for a long time with
Charles Windham, and had a letter from him written a few days after his
great exploit at the Redan. I showed his letter to Granville, and he to
Palmerston and Clarendon. I was glad to find every disposition to reward
his bravery and conduct, and Henry Grenfell told me they had made him a
general and were going to give him a division, as Markham and Bentinck
are both coming home. This was no more than was reasonable to expect;
but great was my astonishment when I was told yesterday morning that
they were thinking of making Windham _Commander-in-Chief_, and I was
asked to give any of his letters to me, from which extracts might be
made to show to the Cabinet to enable them to judge of his character and
talents. I offered to get his journal and letters, from his wife and
others, which I did; but at the same time I said I thought it a
hazardous speculation to raise him _per saltum_ from being a colonel and
brigadier to the command of a great army. B---- said this was true, but
the matter pressed and they did not know where to find a man. This
morning I gave him some papers, and he then told me Simpson had
resigned, and it was necessary to come to some immediate decision.
Codrington would have been undoubtedly chosen if he had not apparently
(for as yet we know very little) failed in what he had to do on the 8th.
With regard to Windham what the Cabinet will do I know not. I suggested
that it would be better to try him first in his command of a division
and go on if possible for some time longer, but Simpson's resignation
compels them to come to some immediate decision, and they do not like to
appoint another man _pro tempore_. I still incline to the opinion that
Windham's extraordinary promotion from so low to so high a rank, and his
passing over the heads of such multitudes of officers, will occasion
great jealousy, envy, heart-burning, and resentment, besides casting a
slur on the whole service in the eyes of the world; for when every
general in the service is passed over, and a colonel appointed who has
never done any but subordinate work, and shown extraordinary bravery and
coolness, but no aptitude for command, because he has had no opportunity
of so doing, every general and superior colonel now on service will feel
himself insulted and a stigma cast upon him. I am not at all sure
Windham may do better than any other man would do, but to justify such
an appointment he ought to do far better; and, though he is a sharp
fellow enough, I have never seen anything in him which indicates real
genius or a superior intellect.

_October 7th._--At Woburn, where the Duke and I had much conversation
about Lord John and his position, and he showed me a great many of
John's letters to him about his quarrel with the Government and the
conduct of Clarendon to him, which he cannot forgive, though they are
again corresponding with ostensible amity. The Duke owns that he does
not see how John can take any prominent part in public life, at least
for the present, and indeed considers it probable that his career as a
statesman is closed; and, what is more, John seems to consider it so
himself and to acquiesce in his position, though what his secret
aspirations may be none can tell. He has, however, determined to give
up his house in town, which looks like retirement. I strongly advised
that John should go to the House of Lords, where he might still act a
dignified and useful part; his position in the House of Commons would be
very anomalous and disagreeable, and it is not at all certain that he
would not lose his seat in the event of an election--very doubtful
whether he would be returned again for the City; and the thing most to
be deprecated is that he should stand and be defeated for that or any
other place. The Duke neither agreed nor dissented, but he owned what I
said of John's position was true, though he still thought he would be
very reluctant to quit the House of Commons for ever, and retire to the


On Tuesday last, after a few days' illness, Sir Robert Adair died at the
age of 93, having preserved his faculties, and especially his remarkable
memory, quite to the last. He was the last survivor of the intimate
friends of Fox and of the political characters of his times. He had
entertained a warm affection for Fox, and he preserved a boundless
veneration for his memory; and the greatest pleasure he had was in
talking of Fox and his contemporaries, and pouring forth to willing
circles of auditors anecdotes and reminiscences of the political events
with which he had been mixed up, or of which he had been cognisant in
the course of his long life. This he did in a manner quite remarkable at
so advanced an age, and he never had any difficulty in finding listeners
to his old stories, which were always full of interesting matter, and
related to the most conspicuous characters who flourished during the
reigns of George III. and George IV.

_October 29th._--All last week at Newmarket, and probably very nearly
for the last time as an owner of racehorses, for I have now got rid of
them all, and am almost off the turf, after being on it more or less for
about forty years. I am sorry that I have never kept any memoranda of my
turf life, which might have been curious and amusing; for I have known
many odd characters, and lived with men of whom it would have been
interesting to preserve some record. Perhaps I may one day rake together
my old recollections and trace the changes that have taken place in this
racing life since I first knew it and entered into it, but I cannot do
so now.

Since I last wrote, the war has proceeded without any great events, but
with the same progress and success on the side of the Allies which have
marked the contest throughout and have excited my wonder. The most
important of these successes has been the defeat of Mouravieff at Kars
by the Turks under English officers, which, after what Clarendon told
me, was the very last thing I expected. The death of Molesworth has made
a difficulty for Palmerston; I knew so little of him that I cannot
pretend to say anything about him. That of Lord Wharncliffe touches me
more nearly; but this is more matter of private regret than of public
concern, as the part he played in life was never important, though very
honourable. The appointment of Codrington seems to be well taken, more
perhaps because nobody can suggest a better choice than from any
peculiar merits of the new Commander-in-Chief.[1]

[Footnote 1: The Right Hon. Sir William Molesworth, Secretary of State
for the Colonial Department, died on October 22, 1855, aged 45. John,
2nd Baron Wharncliffe, also died on the 22nd. General Sir William
Codrington had been appointed to the command of the British forces in
the Crimea, on the resignation of General Simpson.]


_London, November 7th._--The event of the last few days has been the
offer of the Colonial Office to Lord Stanley and his refusal to take it.
When Palmerston proposed it to him he said that he could not give an
answer without consulting his father, which _implied_ that he would
accept if his father gave his consent. He posted down to Knowsley, from
whence he had just come, and entered the room where Derby was playing at
billiards, and much to his astonishment saw his son suddenly return.
'What on earth,' he cried out, 'has brought you back so soon? Are you
going to be married, or what has happened to you?' Stanley said he
wanted to speak to him, and carried him off. What passed is not known,
but of course he advised his son to refuse office. He wrote to
Palmerston in very becoming terms, and, I hear, a very good letter. He
had, if not consulted, certainly imparted to Disraeli what passed, for
Disraeli told me so. I think he judged wisely in declining, for it would
have been an awkward thing to pass at once from the Opposition side of
the House to the Treasury Bench, and take high office in a Cabinet
without having any political or personal connexion with a single member
of it, and to which he has hitherto been opposed generally, although
upon many subjects his opinions have much more coincided with theirs
than with those of the party to which he still nominally belongs. He is
young and can afford to wait, and his position and abilities are certain
before long to make him conspicuous and to enable him to play a very
considerable part. He is exceedingly ambitious, of an independent turn
of mind, very industrious, and has acquired a vast amount of
information. Not long ago, Disraeli gave me an account of him and of his
curious opinions--exceedingly curious in a man in his condition of life
and with his prospects. Last night Lord Strangford (George Smythe)
talked to me about him, expressed the highest opinion of his capacity
and acquirements, and confirmed what Disraeli had told me of his notions
and views even more, for he says that he is a real and sincere democrat,
and that he would like if he could to prove his sincerity by divesting
himself of his aristocratic character and even of the wealth he is heir
to. How far this may be true I know not: if it be true, it may possibly
be ascribed in some degree to his own consciousness that the realisation
of his ideology is impossible, and at all events time will show whether
these extreme theories will not be modified by circumstances and
reflexions. Nothing appears to me certain but that he will play a
considerable part for good or for evil, but I cannot pretend to guess
what it will be. At present he seems to be more allied with Bright than
with any other public man; and, as his disposition about the war and its
continuance is very much that of Bright, it would have been difficult
for him to take office with Palmerston, whose whole political existence,
or at least his power, rests on the cry for war and its active and
energetic prosecution.

_London, November 12th._--I saw John Russell on Saturday morning to have
a talk with him about the state of affairs and the questions of peace
and war. There still exists a great deal of bitterness between him and
Clarendon, he thinking that he has been very ill used by Clarendon and
others of his former colleagues. He is particularly sore about their
allowing so many things to be said to his disadvantage concerning the
Vienna negotiations which they know to be untrue, without saying a word
to contradict them and cause justice to be done to him, particularly in
reference to the matter of Austria having engaged to join if Russia
refused her last proposals. George Grey denied that Austria had so
engaged, and none of the others ever admitted it, whereas it was
perfectly true. Lord John and I do not agree as to the earlier part of
the question, because he was originally a party to the war while I was
always against it. He was, however, rather against it quite at first,
being, as he told me, with Aberdeen, and against Clarendon and
Palmerston, who were all along inclined to go to war. He had been at the
Mansion House dinner the night before, where he was very ill received,
though he would not allow it; he prefers to flatter himself that the
signs of his unpopularity were not so strong and marked as everybody
else who was present thought them.

I likewise saw Disraeli and had some talk with him. He told me that he
had now nothing whatever to do with the 'Press,' and that the series of
articles in that paper on the war and in favour of peace were all
written by Stanley. He said he had received a letter from Stanley to
this effect: 'My dear Disraeli,--I write to you in confidence to tell
you that I have been offered and have refused the Colonial Office. As it
is due to Lord Palmerston to keep his offer secret, I have told nobody
of it but yourself and my father, and I beg you not to mention it to
anybody.' On receiving this he said he began to concoct an answer in his
mind of rather a sentimental kind, and conveying his approbation of the
course he had taken, but before he put pen to paper he got the 'Times'
with Stanley's letter to Sir----, which was tantamount to a disclosure
of the whole thing, on which he wrote instead, 'Dear Stanley,--I thank
you for your letter, but I had already received your confidential
communication through your letter to Sir----.'

I have occasion to see Disraeli very often about ----'s affairs, about
which he has been wonderfully kind and serviceable, and on these
occasions he always enters on some political talk, and in this way we
have got into a sort of intimacy such as I never thought could have
taken place between us.


_London, November 24th._--After his failure with Stanley, Palmerston
applied to Sidney Herbert, who went to Broadlands, but, finding that he
and Palmerston could not agree upon the subject of war and peace (the
details of their disagreement I do not know), he declined the offer of
the Colonial Office. Palmerston then sent for Labouchere, who
accepted.[1] He called on me the day after and told me he had been to
Broadlands, that Palmerston had told him everything about the state of
affairs and his own views and opinions, and, as he could find nothing
therein to object to, he had accepted the office. As Labouchere is
certainly moderate, this would indicate more moderation on the part of
Palmerston than Sidney Herbert found in him, unless Labouchere and
Sidney Herbert take totally dissimilar views of affairs.

After this, a few days ago, I had a long conversation with George Lewis,
who told me that France and Austria were endeavouring to bring about
peace, and that communications were going on between France and our
Government on the subject, and he said, moreover, that Palmerston was by
no means so stiff and so bent on continuing the war as was generally
supposed. This intelligence appeared to me to explain what I could not
understand in his communications with Sidney Herbert and Labouchere;
for, if the Emperor has really intimated to our Government his
determination to try and make peace, Palmerston must needs come down
from his very high horse and evince a disposition to go along with our
Imperial ally, who has got the whole game in his own hands, and whom we
must perforce follow when he is determined to take his own course. Then
our warlike propensities may be probably restrained by the alarming
prospect of financial difficulties which Lewis sees looming in the
distance. He said to me, 'I am sure I do not know how I shall provide
ways and means next year, for the enormously high prices will be a great
blow to consumption, and the money market is in a very ticklish state.'
I said, 'You will have to trust to a great loan, and ten per cent.
income tax;' to which he assented. They have now patched up the
Government, by getting Baines to take the Duchy of Lancaster with a seat
in the Cabinet--a very respectable man, who cannot speak, and who will
be of no use to them. Neither he nor Labouchere will add much to their
strength, but they are both very unexceptionable appointments. I think
that, in spite of the undiminished violence of the press, the prevailing
opinion is that there is the beginning of a change in the public mind,
and an incipient desire for peace; and I agree with Disraeli, who thinks
that, when once the current has fairly turned, it will run with great
rapidity the other way.

[Footnote 1: The Right Hon. Henry Labouchere, born in 1798, a highly
respected member of the Whig party, who filled many offices in Liberal
Governments. He was created Baron Taunton on his retirement from office
in 1859, and died in July 1869.]


_November 27th._--At length there really does appear to be a prospect of
putting an end to this odious war, and my conjectures of a few days ago
are assuming the shape of realities. Yesterday morning I met George
Lewis in the Park and turned back and walked with him to the door of his
office, when he told me the exact state of affairs. I had received a
letter from the Duke of Bedford in the morning, who said that Charles
Wood, who was at Woburn, had told him the statement in the 'Press' a
week ago was so substantially accurate that they must, he thought, have
received their information from some French official source. This was in
itself confirmatory of all I had already inferred and believed. Lewis's
story was this: The Austrians have framed a proposal for peace which
they offer to send to Russia, and, if she refuses it, Austria engages
to join the Allies and to declare war. The Emperor Napoleon agrees with
Austria, and is resolved not to go on with the war if peace can be
arranged on the Austrian terms. This resolution he has communicated to
us, and invited us to accede thereto; Walewski's letters are not merely
pressing, but even peremptory. It is in fact a second edition of the
Vienna Conference and proposals, with this difference, that, while on
the last occasion the Emperor knocked under to us and reluctantly agreed
to go on with the war, he is now determined to go on with it no longer,
and requires that we should defer to his wishes. Our Government are
aware that they have no alternative, and that nothing is left for them
but to acquiesce with a good grace and make the best case they can for
themselves here, the case being that the Emperor is determined to make
peace, and that we cannot carry on the war alone. This was the amount of
Lewis' information, to which he added the expression of his disgust at
the pitiful figure we cut in the affair, being obliged to obey the
commands of Louis Napoleon, and, after our insolence, swagger, and
bravado, to submit to terms of peace which we have already scornfully
rejected; all which humiliation, he justly said, was the consequence of
our plunging into war without any reason and in defiance of all prudence
and sound policy. Afterwards I saw Charles Villiers and had a talk with
him. He told me Clarendon had been sent for on Sunday to Windsor in a
great hurry to meet Palmerston there. The Queen had received a letter
from the Emperor, brought by the Duke of Cambridge, which no doubt
contained in a private and friendly shape to her the communications
which Walewski had already made officially to the Government and she
wanted to know what answer she should send to it. Charles Villiers told
me that Palmerston had already thrown out a feeler to the Cabinet to
ascertain if they would be willing to carry on the war without France,
but this was unanimously declined. I can hardly imagine that even
Palmerston really contemplated such a desperate course.

_November 29th._--I met Sidney Herbert last night. He seems to know
what is going on and thinks we shall have peace; he only doubts whether
the terms will be such as Russia will accept, for he is not convinced,
as I am, that Austria has already settled that with Russia. He told me
that, when Palmerston offered him office, he had not received the French
communication, and was ignorant that it was coming.

_December 4th._--At The Grange the last four days, where I found
everybody in total ignorance of what is passing about peace, except
Sidney Herbert, who told me that the plan is _neutralisation_. On coming
back yesterday I met Lord Malmesbury just come from Paris; he is
supposed to be the person who supplied all its information to the
'Press' paper, and I believe it was he. He confirmed the Emperor's
desire for peace, but thought it very doubtful whether Russia would
accept the terms of the Allies. He told me likewise that Pélissier has
sent word he is in a fix, as he cannot advance or expel the Russians
from their positions; and James Macdonald told me the Duke of Cambridge
is going again to Paris to represent us at a grand council of war to be
held there, to decide on future operations. If it were not that the
Allies seem infallible and invincible, and the Russians unable to
accomplish anything, offensive or defensive, I should augur very ill
from this council of war, for nothing can be worse than to have a set of
men at Paris forming plans to be executed by another set in the Crimea
who have had no share in the deliberations.

This morning the Duke of Bedford writes me word that Westmorland tells
him he has heard from Clarendon the state of affairs, and the answer we
have sent to France, and he augurs ill of peace, as he thinks there can
be no agreement with Russia on such terms; and the 'Morning Post,' which
has long been quite silent about war or peace, has this morning an
article which is evidently a regular Palmerstonian manifesto, decidedly
adverse to any hope of peace, for it is certain that Russia will
continue the war, _coûte que coûte_, rather than submit to such
conditions as the 'Morning Post' says we are to impose on her. I am
persuaded Palmerston and Clarendon will do all they can to prevent
peace being made on any moderate terms, and the only hope is that the
Emperor Napoleon may take the matter into his own hands and employ a
_douce violence_ to compel us to give way.


_December 5th._--I met Charles Villiers last night, who told me a good
deal of what is going on, and cleared up some matters. The Austrian
proposal transmitted here by the Emperor Napoleon was considered by the
Cabinet and sent back with amendments--that is, it was made more
stringent. The Emperor consented to send it so amended to Vienna, and it
remains to be seen what course Austria will take--whether she will send
it in its present shape to Russia or adhere to her own edition, and
whether, if she does send it, she will (supposing it to be rejected)
join the Allies and declare war. The latter, I think, she will not do,
nor be bound to do. Next is the question what the Emperor Napoleon will
do if Austria declines to adopt the amended version, or if Russia should
reply she would take the original proposal, but not our amendments. The
Emperor is certainly very anxious to make peace, and when he is bent
upon a thing he generally does it, and my own opinion and hope is that
he will refuse to give way to us _now_ as he did last May. It is
universally admitted that every man in France desires peace ardently.
There is, Charles Villiers tells me, great uneasiness amongst
Palmerston's adherents, and some idea that, if peace cannot be had on
the terms he has insisted on, he will be no party to making it, and if
the majority of the Cabinet are for taking the original terms proposed,
supposing the Emperor Napoleon again to press their acceptance, that he
will resign, throw himself on the popular enthusiasm for the war, and
leave his colleagues to make an unpopular peace. If Palmerston was forty
instead of seventy he would probably do this; but he has not time to
wait for fresh combinations and to speculate on distant chances, so he
will probably consent to make peace if he is obliged by France to do so,
and trust to fortune to enable him to reconcile Parliament and the
country to it. This is rendered more likely by Disraeli having made a
communication to the Government that he and Stanley will be ready to
support any peace they may now make.

_December 6th._--I saw George Lewis yesterday, who told me the state of
affairs so far as he recollects it; but it is evident that he takes but
a secondary interest in the details of diplomacy, however anxious he may
be about the results, and what passed shows the extreme difficulty of
keeping clear of mistakes, even when one's information is derived from
the best sources. He said he did not think Russia would accept the
offered terms, and Clarendon thought not also. The terms which it will
be most difficult for her to swallow are the neutralisation of the Black
Sea, which as worked out is evidently worse than limitation, for she is
to have no fortress and no arsenal there, so that she will, in fact, be
quite defenceless, while the other Powers can at any time collect fleets
in the Bosphorus and attack her coasts when they please. Then she is to
cede half Bessarabia to the Turks, including the fortress of Ismail, the
famous conquest of Souvaroff when he wrote to the Empress Catherine,
'_L'orgueilleuse Ismailoff est à vos pieds_;' and they are not to repair
Bomarsund, or erect any fortress on the Aland Isles. The alterations we
made in the scheme sent to us were not important, and what surprised me
much was, the terms, instead of being tendered by Austria, were
concocted at Paris by Walewski and the Emperor--at least so Walewski
asserts, but there must I think be some incorrectness in this, for it is
impossible to doubt that the Emperor and Austria really concerted them
between themselves, though Walewski may have had a hand in the matter in
some way. However, the terms are gone or going directly to St.
Petersburg. I earnestly hope they may be accepted, be they what they
may. Russia is to be asked whether she will take them Yes or No, and,
upon the preliminaries being signed, hostilities will cease. I asked if
Russia might not accept as a basis, and negotiate as to modification and
details, but Lewis professed not to understand how this is, or whether
her acceptance generally would or not bind her to _all_ the conditions
precisely as they are set forth. He knows nothing in fact of diplomacy
and its niceties and operations.


Lord John Russell met Clarendon at Windsor Castle,[1] but refused to
hear what Clarendon offered to tell him of the state of the negotiation;
he thought he should compromise his own independent action if he did. He
says, 'Were peace to be made on the four points newly explained and
enlarged, I would do nothing but applaud and support.' The only men Lord
John communicated with at Windsor were Cavour and Azeglio. He writes: 'I
asked Cavour what was the language of the Emperor of the French; he said
it was to this effect: France had made great efforts and sacrifices, she
would not continue them for the sake of conquering the Crimea; the
alternative was such a peace as can now be had by means of Austria, or
an extension of the war for Poland,' etc. The Sardinians, Ministers and
King, are openly and warmly for the latter course. I suspect Palmerston
would wish the war to glide imperceptibly into a war of nationalities,
as it is called, but would not like to profess it openly now. I am
convinced such a war might suit Napoleon and the King of Sardinia, but
would be very dangerous for us in many ways. Cavour says if peace is
made without anything being done for Italy, there will be a revolution
there. Clarendon is incredulous.

[Footnote 1: The King of Sardinia, Victor Emmanuel, arrived in England
on the 30th November, accompanied by his Minister, M. de Cavour. Lord
Clarendon and Lord John Russell were invited to Windsor to meet the


_London, December 11th._--I met Clarendon at the Travellers' on Friday
evening, and had a talk with him. He did not seem inclined to enter much
into the question of peace and war, but he told me that Buol declared
most solemnly that he had had no communication with Russia about _the
terms_, and that he had only slight hopes that peace might be made. Of
the terms themselves Clarendon did not say a word. He talked a great
deal about the King of Sardinia, and gave me an account of his
conversations both with the King and Cavour. He thinks well of the King,
and that he is intelligent, and he has a very high opinion indeed of
Cavour, and was especially struck with his knowledge of England, and our
Constitution and constitutional history. I was much amused, after all
the praises that have been lavished on Sardinia for the noble part she
has played and for taking up arms to vindicate a great principle in so
_unselfish_ a manner, that she has after all a keen view to her own
interest, and wants some solid pudding as well as so much empty praise.
The King asked Clarendon what the Allies meant to do for him, and
whether he might not expect some territorial advantage in return for his
services. Clarendon told him this was out of the question, and that, in
the state of their relations with Austria, they could hold out no such
expectation; and he put it to the King, supposing negotiations for peace
were to take place, and he wished his pretensions to be put forward by
us, what he would himself suggest that a British Minister could say for
him; and the King had the candour to say he did not know what answer to
give. Cavour urged the same thing, and said the war had already cost
them forty millions of francs, instead of twenty-five which they had
borrowed for it and was the original estimate, and they could only go on
with it by another loan and fresh taxes, and he did not know how he
should propose these to the Chambers without having something
advantageous to offer to his own country, some Italian acquisition. They
would ask for what object of their's the war was carried on, and what
they had to gain for all their sacrifices and exertions. Clarendon said
they must be satisfied with the glory they had acquired and the high
honour their conduct had conferred on them; but Cavour, while he said he
did not repent the part they had taken, thought his countrymen would be
very little satisfied to have spent so much money and to continue to
spend more without gaining some Italian object. They complained that
Austria had, without any right, for a long time occupied a part of the
Papal territory, and suggested she should be compelled to retire from
it; but Clarendon reminded him that France had done the same, and that
this was a very ticklish question to stir.

The King and his people are far better satisfied with their reception
here than in France, where, under much external civility, there was very
little cordiality, the Emperor's intimate relations with Austria
rendering him little inclined towards the Piedmontese. Here the Queen
was wonderfully cordial and attentive; she got up at four in the morning
to see him depart. His Majesty appears to be frightful in person, but a
great, strong, burly, athletic man, brusque in his manners, unrefined in
his conversation, very loose in his conduct, and very eccentric in his
habits. When he was at Paris his talk in society amused or terrified
everybody, but here he seems to have been more guarded. It was amusing
to see all the religious societies hastening with their addresses to
him, totally forgetting that he is the most debauched and dissolute
fellow in the world; but the fact of his being excommunicated by the
Pope and his waging war with the ecclesiastical power in his own country
covers every sin against morality, and he is a great hero with the Low
Church people and Exeter Hall. My brother-in-law said that he looked at
Windsor more like a chief of the Heruli or Longobardi than a modern
Italian prince, and the Duchess of Sutherland declared that, of all the
Knights of the Garter she had seen, he was the only one who seemed as if
he would have the best of it with the Dragon.

My hopes of peace wax fainter. Everybody seems to think there is no
chance of Russia accepting our terms, or of her proposing any that the
Allies would accept. Lewis told me yesterday evening that he expected
nothing, and that Russia had now made known (but in what way he did not
say) that she was disposed to treat. Meanwhile Palmerston continues to
put articles in the 'Morning Post' full of arrogance and _jactance_, and
calculated to raise obstacles to peace. I told Lewis so, and he said it
was very foolish, and that he held very different language in the
Cabinet, but this is only like what he did in '41, when he used to agree
to certain things with his colleagues and then put violent articles in
the 'Morning Chronicle' totally at variance with the views and
resolutions of the Cabinet. Labouchere told me that he thought the
condition of the cession of Ismail ought never to have entered into the
terms proposed to Russia.

_December 14th._--My hopes of peace, never very sanguine, are now
completely dashed, for Lewis told me last night that he thought the
terms were at last pretty well agreed upon between England, France, and
Austria. I was greatly surprised, for I thought they had been agreed
upon long ago and must be by this time on their way to St. Petersburg. I
said so; and he replied, 'Oh no, they are only just on the point of
being settled.' It was quite extraordinary, he said, how eager
Palmerston was for pursuing the war. I gathered from him that our
Government has been vehemently urging that of France, through Cowley, to
be firm in pressing the most stringent terms on Russia, and particularly
not to consent to any negotiation, and to compel her to accept or
refuse. I said this was not reasonable, and that we had no right to
propose the terms as an ultimatum. That, he replied, was exactly what we
were doing, that Cowley was very urgent with the Emperor, who appeared
to be intimidated by him, and that he was evidently very much in awe of
England and afraid of having any difference with us. I said I could not
believe that the Emperor would not leave himself a loophole, and if, as
was most probable, Russia declined the terms, but offered to negotiate,
that he would agree to that course, which, however, Lewis clearly
thought he would not do against our inclination. I was greatly surprised
to hear this, because I had a strong impression that the Emperor, when
he really desired anything very much (as I believe that he did this
peace), would obstinately persevere in it; and it seems so obviously his
interest to gratify his own people rather than to be led by this
country, that I was persuaded he never would consent to this proposal
being _un dernier mot_, and thus to ensure the failure of the attempt.
Palmerston, who is the most obstinate man alive in pressing any object
he has once set his mind upon, was sure to press the French Government
with the utmost vehemence and pertinacity as soon as he found there was
a chance of making them yield to his will.


_December 17th._--This morning the two new volumes of Macaulay's History
came forth. The circumstances of this publication are, I believe,
unprecedented in literary history; 25,000 copies are given out, and the
weight of the books is fifty-six tons. The interest and curiosity which
it excites are prodigious, and they afford the most complete testimony
to his immense popularity and the opinion entertained by the world of
his works already published. His profits will be very great, and he will
receive them in various shapes. But there is too much reason to
apprehend that these may be the last volumes of his history that the
world will see, still more that they are the last that will be read by
me and people of my standing. Six years have elapsed since the
appearance of the first volumes, and these two only advance about ten
years. He announced at the outset that he meant to bring down the
history of England to a period within the memory of persons still
living, but his work has already so much expanded, and of course will do
so still more from the accumulation of materials as he advances, that at
his present rate of progress he must live much beyond the ordinary
duration of human life, and retain all his faculties as long, to have
any chance of accomplishing his original design; and he is now in such a
precarious state of health that in all human probability he will not
live many years. It is melancholy to think that so gifted an intellect
should be arrested by premature decay, and such a magnificent
undertaking should be overthrown by physical infirmities, and be limited
to the proportions of a splendid fragment. He is going to quit
Parliament and to reside in the neighbourhood of London.

This morning the 'Morning Post' has published the terms which are
offered by the Allies and are now on their way from Vienna to St.
Petersburg. They were already pretty well known, but it is the first
time that Palmerston (for the article is evidently his own) has
announced them so openly and distinctly, and they state _totidem verbis_
that it is an Ultimatum which is sent to St. Petersburg. I believe this
course to be unprecedented, and it is certainly unfair. If Russia had
applied to the Allies and expressed a desire for peace, if she had asked
them on what terms they would consent to terminate the war, it would
have been quite fair and reasonable that they should have stated the
precise conditions, adding if they pleased that they would consent to no
others and to no change whatever in them, though it may be doubted if it
would be wise to be thus peremptory. But to send to Russia and propose
to her to make peace, and accompany the proposal with an Ultimatum and
an announcement that they would listen to no remonstrances or
suggestions, much less any alterations, and that she must say Yes or No
at once, is a stretch of arrogance and dictation not justified by the
events of the war and the relative conditions of the belligerents, or by
any usage or precedent that I ever heard of.

Reports are very rife of the distressed state of Russia and of her
inability to make head any longer against the Allies, but very little is
really known of the condition of the country, of its remaining
resources, and of the disposition of the people. Nobody can doubt that
the terms are deeply humiliating to the pride of such a Power, which has
been long accustomed to stand in so high a position and hold such lofty
language; and if she consents to accept the offered terms, it must be
that her enormous losses have really incapacitated her for going on with
the war, and that her Government is conscious that the next campaign
will be still more disastrous to her than the two preceding ones have
been. I have very little doubt that Palmerston has hastened to publish
these terms in hopes that they may find acceptance with a considerable
part of the public here, and that they may the more tightly bind the
Emperor Napoleon, and, in the event of Russia sending any conditional
acceptance and proposing to treat, that he may be unable to enter into
any negotiation whatever. It has surprised me that he should have so
completely given way to Palmerston as he has done.


_December 21st._--The poet Rogers died two days ago at the age of 93. I
have known him all my life, and at times lived in a good deal of
intimacy with him, but for some years past he had so great an aversion
to me that I kept away from him and never saw anything of him.[1] He was
an old man when I first made his acquaintance between thirty and forty
years ago, or probably more. He was then very agreeable, though peculiar
and eccentric; he was devoured by a morbid vanity, and could not endure
any appearance of indifference or slight in society. He was extremely
touchy, and always wanted to be flattered, but above all to be listened
to, very angry and mortified when he was not the principal object in
society, and provoked to death when the uproarious merriment of Sydney
Smith or the voluminous talk of Macaulay overwhelmed him and engrossed
the company; he had a great friendship nevertheless for Sydney Smith,
but he never liked Macaulay. I never pretended, or could pretend, to be
a rival to him, but I was not a patient and attentive listener to him,
and that was what affronted him and caused his dislike to me as well as
to anyone else of whom he had the same reason to complain. His voice was
feeble, and it has been said that his bitterness and caustic remarks
arose from the necessity of his attracting attention by the pungency of
his conversation. He was undoubtedly a very clever and accomplished man,
with a great deal of taste and knowledge of the world, in the best of
which he had passed his life. He was hospitable, generous, and
charitable, with some weaknesses, many merits, and large abilities, and
he was the last survivor of the generation to which he belonged.

[Footnote 1: Samuel Rogers, the author of the _Pleasures of Memory_
(which was published in 1792), was born at Stoke Newington in 1762. His
father was a banker, and he remained a partner in the bank all his life.
He died on December 18, 1855.]

_The Grove, December 23rd._--Came here for Christmas. No other guests
but the family. We have had some talk about the peace propositions and
other odds and ends. Clarendon told me that Walewski and Persigny are
bitter enemies, and their estrangement the greater because Walewski is a
corrupt jobber and speculator, and Persigny an honest man. When Drouyn
de Lhuys resigned the Foreign Office, much to the Emperor's annoyance
and regret, he did not know where to find a man, and he determined to
appoint Walewski because he knew not whom else to take. Not choosing to
send the offer to him through Drouyn, he employed Cowley, and requested
him to telegraph in cypher to Clarendon a request that Cowley would send
for Walewski and communicate to him the Emperor's intentions. A curious
shift to be reduced to, but throughout the Eastern Question Cowley has
acted the part of Foreign Minister to the Emperor almost as much as that
of Ambassador.

Lewis this morning recapitulated to me the exact circumstances of the
overtures from France about peace. It arrived here on a Saturday; was
submitted to the Queen on Sunday, who approved of it; on Monday (or
Tuesday) it was read to the Cabinet, when no discussion took place, but
Palmerston shortly said, without giving any reasons, that he thought we
must agree to the proposal, which was generally concurred in. The next
day there was another Cabinet, when they examined in detail all the
articles and discussed them. A few alterations were made, none of which
were of any importance except the Bomarsund question. The cession of
Bessarabia and the neutralisation of the Black Sea both formed part of
the original proposal, and the latter was particularly insisted upon,
and reasoned out at considerable length by France, for it turns out that
the Emperor has never had so much in view the object of _making peace_
(not expecting, nor ever having expected, that these proposals would be
accepted) as the object of securing the active cooperation of Austria,
which he expects to do. Austria engages, if Russia refuses the
conditions, to put an end to diplomatic relations between the two
Empires, and Napoleon thinks this cannot fail to end in hostilities, and
to this extension of the alliance he looks for bringing the war to a
conclusion. He thinks, moreover, that, when Austria has declared war,
Russia will attack her defenceless frontier, and that as any attack upon
Austria will compel the whole of Germany to assist her and to take part
in the war against Russia, this offer will lead to Prussia and the whole
of the German States being engaged on the side of the Allies, and that
such a confederacy cannot fail to bring the war to a successful issue,
because Russia would be absolutely incapable of offering any resistance
to it. This is a new view of the policy and motives of France, but I
very much doubt if the whole of the Emperor's scheme will be realised.
Even though Austria may take up arms, it is probable that Russia will
act strictly on the defensive, and will avoid giving any cause to the
German States to depart from their neutrality. We both agreed that the
conduct of Austria is quite inexplicable, and that Russia will never
forgive her for the part she has acted and is acting now.


_The Grove, December 24th._--George Lewis and I have been walking and
talking together all the morning. He is fully as pacific as I am, and
entertains exactly the same thoughts that I do, of the egregious folly
of the war, of the delusion under which the English nation is labouring,
and of the wickedness of the press in practising upon the popular
credulity in the way it has done. He seems to like to talk to me on this
subject, because he can talk freely to me, which he could hardly do with
any of his own colleagues, still less in any other society. This morning
he again recurred to the circumstances of the negotiations now going on,
and he gave me an account of the transaction which puts the whole thing
in a very ridiculous light, which would be very comical if it were not
so very tragical. 'Think,' he said, 'that this is a war carried on for
the independence of Turkey, and we, the Allies, are bound to Turkey by
mutual obligations not to make peace but by common consent and
concurrence. Well, we have sent an offer of peace to Russia of which the
following are among the terms: We propose that Turkey, who possesses one
half of the Black Sea coast, shall have no ships, no ports, and no
arsenals in that sea; and then there are conditions about the Christians
who are subjects of Turkey, and others about the mouths of the Danube,
to which part of the Turkish dominions are contiguous. Now in all these
stipulations so intimately concerning Turkey, for whose independence we
are fighting, Turkey is not allowed to have any voice whatever, nor has
she ever been allowed to be made acquainted with what is going on,
except through the newspapers, where the Turkish Ministers may have read
what is passing, like other people. When the French and Austrian terms
were discussed in the Cabinet, at the end of the discussion someone
modestly asked whether it would not be proper to communicate to Musurus
(the Turkish Ambassador in London) what was in agitation and what had
been agreed upon, to which Clarendon said he saw no necessity for it
whatever; and indeed that Musurus had recently called upon him, when he
had abstained from giving him any information whatever of what was going
on. Another time, somebody suggesting in the Cabinet that we were bound
to Turkey by treaty not to make peace without her consent, Palmerston,
who is a great stickler for Turkey, said very quietly that there would
be no difficulty on that score; in point of fact, the Turk evidently

    'Stands like a cypher in the great account.'

_The Grove, December 26th._--Since I have been here Clarendon has
resumed all his old habits of communication and confidence with me, has
told me everything and shown me everything that is interesting and
curious. I wish I could remember it all. Such fragments as have remained
in my memory I will jot down here as they recur to me. Here are letters
from Seymour at Vienna describing his good reception there, gracious
from the Court, and cordially civil from the great society, especially
from Metternich who seems to have given the _mot d'ordre_. Metternich
talked much to Seymour of his past life and recollections, complimented
him for his reports of conversations with the Emperor Nicholas, and said
that many years ago the Emperor had talked to him (Metternich) about
Turkey in the same strain, and used the same expression about '_le
malade_' and '_l'homme malade_,' when Metternich asked him '_Est-ce que
Votre Majesté en parle comme son médecin ou comme son héritier_?' Also
letters from Bloomfield (Berlin) and from Buchanan (Copenhagen) with
different opinions as to the probability of Russia accepting or
refusing--the former for, the second against; some curious letters from
Cowley, full of his indignation against Walewski; the quarrels of
Persigny and Walewski; the perplexity of the Emperor, his desire for
peace, his hopes that Russia may lend a favourable ear to the proposals;
Cowley's suspicions of Walewski, and in a smaller degree of the Emperor
himself, especially of His Majesty's communications with Seebach, the
Saxon Minister, and not impossibly through him with St. Petersburg.

A curious anecdote showing the strange terms the parties concerned are
on: One day Cowley was with Walewski (at the time the question of terms
was going on between France and Austria) and the courier from Vienna was
announced. Walewski begged Cowley, who took up his hat, not to go away,
and said he should see what the courier brought. He opened the
despatches and gave them to Cowley to read, begging him not to tell the
Emperor he had seen them. In the afternoon Cowley saw the Emperor, who
had then got the despatches; the Emperor also gave them to Cowley to
read, desiring him not to let Walewski know he had shown them to him!


There has been a dreadful _rixe_ between Walewski and Persigny. I have
forgotten exactly the particular causes, but the other day Persigny went
over to Paris partly to complain of Walewski to the Emperor. He would
not go near Walewski, and told the Emperor he should not; the Emperor,
however, made them both meet in his Cabinet the next day, when a violent
scene took place between them, and Persigny said to Walewski before his
face all that he had before said behind his back; and he had afterwards
a very long conversation with the Emperor, in which he told him plainly
what danger he was in from the corruption and bad character of his
_entourage_, that he had never had anything about him but adventurers
who were bent on making their own fortunes by every sort of infamous
_agiotage_ and speculation, by which the Imperial Crown was placed in
imminent danger. 'I myself,' Persigny said, 'am nothing but an
adventurer, who have passed through every sort of vicissitude; but at
all events people have discovered that I have clean hands and do not
bring disgrace on your Government, like so many others, by my profligate
dishonesty.' 'Well,' said the Emperor, 'but what am I to do? What remedy
is there for such a state of things?' Persigny replied that he had got
the remedy in his head, but that the time was not come yet for revealing
his ideas on the subject.

As we went to town, we talked over the terms proposed to Prussia.
Clarendon said he could not understand the policy of Austria nor what
she was driving at. She had entered very heartily into plans of a
compulsory and hostile character against Russia, who would never forgive
her, especially for proposing the cession of Bessarabia. I said I
thought the most objectionable item of their propositions (and I
believed the most unprecedented) was the starting by making it an
Ultimatum. He replied that it was Austria who tendered the Ultimatum,
and that it was not exactly so, the sharp edge having been rounded off
by the mode to be adopted, which was as follows: Esterhazy was to
communicate the project to the Cabinet of St. Petersburg, and say he had
reason to believe that the Allies would be willing to make peace on
those terms; he was then to wait nine days. If in that time the Russian
Government replied by a positive negative, he was, as soon as he got
this notification, to quit St. Petersburg with all his embassy; if no
answer was returned at the end of nine days, he was to signify that his
orders were to ask for an answer in ten days, and if at the end thereof
the answer was in the negative, or there was no answer, he was to come
away, so that there was to be no Ultimatum in the first instance. 'But,'
I said, 'what if Russia proposed some middle course and offered to
negotiate?' 'His instructions were not to agree to this.' 'Well,' said
I, 'but when you abstain from calling this an Ultimatum, it is next to
impossible that Russia should not propose to negotiate, and if she does
beg that her proposal may be conveyed to the Allies before everything
is closed, it will be very difficult to refuse this; and is it not
probable that France and Austria will both vote for entering into
_pourparlers_; and, if they do, can you refuse?' He seemed struck with
this, and owned that it was very likely to occur, and that, if it did,
we should be obliged to enter into negotiation. So probable does this
contingency appear, that there has already been much discussion as to
who shall go from hence to the Congress, if there is one. I said he had
much better go himself. He expressed great dislike to the idea, but said
the Queen and Prince wished him to go, and that Cowley urged him also,
and was desirous of going with him. I see he has made up his mind to
prevent any negotiation if he can, and, if it is unavoidable, to take it
in hand.


This afternoon Persigny arrived from Paris and came directly to the
Foreign Office. The Emperor had given him an account of his interview
with M. de Seebach,[1] who had gone off directly afterwards _viâ_ Berlin
to St. Petersburg. The Emperor told him to do all he could to induce the
Russian Government to consent to the terms, and to assure them that, if
they did not, it would be long enough before they would have any other
chance of making peace; that he wished for peace, but that above
everything else he was desirous of maintaining unimpaired his alliance
and friendship with England; that England had most fairly and in a very
friendly spirit entered into his difficulties and his wishes; that she
was a constitutional country with a Government responsible to
Parliament, and that he was bound in honour to enter in like manner into
the obligations and necessities of this Government. They had had some
differences of opinion which were entirely reconciled; they were now
agreed as one man, and no power on earth should induce him to separate
himself from England or to take any other line than that to which he had
bound himself in conjunction with her. This announcement, which the
Emperor made with great energy, carried consternation to the mind of
Seebach, and he resolved to lose no time in getting to St. Petersburg
to make known the Emperor's intentions.

It is thus evident that the Emperor's mind is divided between his
anxiety to make peace and his determination to have no difference with
England; but his desire for peace must be great when, as Clarendon
assures me, it was not without difficulty that he was deterred from
ordering his army away from the Crimea. The feeling here towards the
Emperor seems to be one of liking and reliance, not unaccompanied with
doubt and suspicion. He is not exempt from the influence of his
_entourage_, though he is well aware how corrupt that is, and he listens
willingly to Cowley and to whatever the English Government and the Queen
say to him, but his own people eternally din into his ears that we are
urging him on to take a part injurious to his own and to French
interests for our own purposes, and because our Government is itself
under the influence of a profligate press and a deluded people; and
although he knows that those who tell him this are themselves working
for their own private interests, he knows also that there is a great
deal of truth in what they say. His own position is very strange,
insisting upon being his own Minister and directing everything, and at
the same time from indolence and ignorance incapable of directing
affairs himself, yet having no confidence in those he employs. The
consequence is that a great deal is ill done, much not done at all, and
a good deal done that he knows nothing about, and he is surrounded with
quarrels, jealousies, and struggles for influence and power both between
his own Ministers and between them and the foreign diplomatists at his


We have had a good deal of talk about Palmerston. Clarendon says nothing
can go on better than he and Palmerston do together. They seldom meet
except in the Cabinet, and their communications go on by notes between
Downing Street and Piccadilly. Palmerston, much more moderate and
reasonable than he used to be, sometimes suggests things or expressions
in despatches, which Clarendon always adopts or declines according to
his own ideas, and Palmerston never insists. Palmerston is now on very
good terms with the Queen, which is, though he does not know it, greatly
attributable to Clarendon's constant endeavours to reconcile her to him,
always telling her everything likely to ingratiate Palmerston with her,
and showing her any letters or notes of his calculated to please her;
but he says it is impossible to conceive the hatred with which he is
regarded on the Continent, particularly all over Germany. An agent of
his (Clarendon's) who, he says, has supplied him with much useful
information, has reported to him that he finds the old feeling of
antipathy to Palmerston as strong and as general as ever, and that it is
as much on the part of the people as of the Governments, both thinking
they have been deceived and thrown over by him.

[Footnote 1: M. de Seebach was the Saxon Minister in Paris, through
whom many of these communications passed.]



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