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Title: A Journal of the Reign of Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1852 (Volume 2 of 3) - The Greville Memoirs (Second Part)
Author: Greville, Chares C. F.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Journal of the Reign of Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1852 (Volume 2 of 3) - The Greville Memoirs (Second Part)" ***

[Transcriber's Note:

There are two styles of footnotes used in this work:

Footnotes text enclosed in square brackets are by the editor.

Footnotes text not enclosed in square brackets are by the author.

Examples of footnotes:

[Footnote 1: [This note is by the editor]]

[Footnote 2: This note is by the author]]


  VOL. II.




  FROM 1837 TO 1852




  _All rights reserved_





    Dissolution of Parliament discussed by Ministers--Death of Mr.
    Barnes--Impending Dissolution--Mdlle. Rachel in Hermione--Ladies
    of the Bedchamber--Question of Dissolution--Defeat of the
    Government--Vote of Want of Confidence--Government defeated on
    Peel's Resolution--Ascot Races--Dispute of Lord Stanley and Mr.
    Handley--Impending Elections--Conservative Reaction--The Queen
    at Oxford--The Queen at Chiswick--Whig Confidence--Parliament
    prorogued--Lord Campbell made Chancellor of Ireland--The Prince
    declines to dine at the Waterloo Banquet--Visit to North
    Wales--Conway Castle--Penrhyn Castle--Carnarvon--Beddgelert and
    Llanberis--Result of the Elections--Results of the Dissolution--A
    decided Tory Majority--Wise Conduct of Lord Melbourne--The
    Speakership--Sir Robert Peel's Liberal Views--Dr. Wiseman--The
    Queen at Woburn--Lord John Russell's Moderate Views--Judgement on
    Wood's Will--Last Council of the Whigs _page_ 1


    Debate on the Address in the Lords--Conservative Majority in the
    New Parliament--Sir R. Peel's Audience of the Queen--Auspicious
    Policy of Peel--Council at Claremont--Change of Ministry--Lord
     Melbourne's Message to Sir R. Peel--What Sir R. Peel said to
    the Queen--Lord Melbourne's View of the recent Appointments at
    Court--The Duke of Wellington on the recent Appointments--A
    Party at Windsor--Future Course of Events predicted--Visit to
    Woburn--Junius--Jobbing at the Foreign Office--Contempt for the
    late Government--Summary--Louis Philippe--Forgery of Exchequer
    Bills--The Tower Fire--Birth of the Prince of Wales--Delicate
    Questions--Prince Albert receives the Keys of the Cabinet
    Boxes--Charles Elliot--Strength of the Government--Lord Ripon and
    John Macgregor--French Intrigues in Spain 31


    Anecdotes about the Exchequer Bill Forgery--M. de St. Aulaire
    Ambassador in London--Morbid Irritability of the Duke--Macaulay
    on Street Ballads--Sir Edmund Head, Poor Law Commissioner--The
    Duke's Delusion--The Lord Chief Justice closes the Term--Armorial
    Bearings of the Prince of Wales--Relations of Ministers with
    the Queen--Lord William Russell recalled from Berlin--Arbitrary
    Appointment of Magistrates--Anecdote of Sarah, Duchess of
    Marlborough--Lord Spencer on the Corn Laws--Lord Lieutenancy of
    Northamptonshire--Visit to Bowood--Mrs. Fanny Kemble--Macaulay's
    Conversation--Macaulay's Departure--Lord Ashburton's
    Mission--The Chinese War--Unpopularity of Lord Palmerston--A
    Diplomatic Squabble--Prussian Treatment of Newspapers--Fire
    at Woburn Abbey--Duke of Wellington himself again--King of
    Prussia arrives--Proceedings of the Government--The Duke of
    Buckingham resigns--Relations with France--Opening of the
    New Parliament--King of Prussia's Visit--The Speech from the
    Throne--Lord Palmerston's Hostility to France--The Queen and Her
    Ministers--Dispute about a Scotch Judge--Corn Laws--A Letter
    from Jellalabad--The Corn Law Debate--The Battersea Schools--A
    Calm--Sir Robert Peel's Budget--The Disaster at Cabul--Death and
    Funeral of the Marquis of Hertford--Sir Robert Peel's Financial
    Measures--The Whig View of Peel--Archdeacon Singleton--Lord
    Munster's Death--Colonel Armstrong--Theatricals at Bridgewater
    House--Summary of the Session--The Occupation of Afghanistan--Lord
    Wellesley's Opinion--Afghan Policy of the Government--Lord
    Ashburton's Treaty--The Missing Map _page_ 55


    Visit to Broadlands--The American Treaty--Lord Palmerston on the
    American Treaty--The Stade Dues--The Withdrawal from Cabul--The
    Queen at Sea--Woburn--Baroness Lehzen--Lord Ponsonby--Turkey--The
     Grove, Lord Clarendon--Public Scandals--Bishop Blomfield's
    Charge--Puseyism--Mr. Thomas Grenville--Anecdote of Porson--Death
    of Mr. Irby--Anecdote of Lord North--Lord Melbourne
    ill--Macaulay's Lays of Rome--Canadian Affairs--A Council--Bad
    State of the Country--Mr. Grenville's Conversation--A Happy
    Family--The Reform Bill of 1832--End of the China War--Judge
    and Jury Court--Lord Ellenborough's Proclamation--Lord John
    Russell on the American Treaty--Madame d'Arblay's Journal--Lord
    Ellenborough--Manuscript of Antonio Perez--Lord Palmerston and
    the 'Morning Chronicle'--Moderate Whig Views--The Whigs and
    O'Connell--The Bedchamber Dispute--Sir David Dundas--Summary of
    the Year 1842 104


    The Duke of Wellington on the Afghan War--Charles Buller--Lord
    Ellenborough's Extravagance--Assassination of Edward
    Drummond--Nomination of Sheriffs--Opening of the Session
    of Parliament--Lord Ellenborough's Position--Disclosure of
    Evidence on the Boundary Question--Debate on Lord Ellenborough's
    Proclamation--Lord Ellenborough vindicated--Lord Brougham's
    Activity--Lord Palmerston attacks the American Treaty--Lord
    Althorp's Accession to Office in 1830--Death of John Allen--Death
    of the Duke of Sussex--Death of Mr. Arkwright--Death of Lady
    William Bentinck--Death of Lord Fitz Gerald--Lady W. Bentinck's
    Funeral--The Temple Church--Racing--State of the Country--The
    Privy Council Register--Ascot; the King of Hanover--Difficulties
    of the Government--A Tour on the Continent--The Rothschilds _page_


    Results of this Tour--Ireland--The Irish Church--Decline
    of Sir Robert Peel's Popularity--Position of Sir Robert
    Peel--King of Hanover in London--The Duke of Wellington on
    the Duke of Marlborough--Anecdote of Talleyrand--Debates on
    Ireland--Parliament prorogued--The Queen's Yacht--Review of the
    Session--The Queen at Eu--Agreement there--The Queen of Spain's
    Marriage--Miss Berry and Lord Orford--Ranke and Macaulay at
    Kent House--A Council on Crutches--Chatsworth--Prosecution of
    O'Connell--Society--O'Connell--Lord Brougham's Action against
    Fonblanque--Death of Hon. Edward Villiers--The Irish Trials--Law
    against Betting--The Education Question--The Duc de Bordeaux's
    Visit--Lord Melbourne after his Illness--King George II.
    robbed--Royal Visit to Chatsworth--The 'Times' on the Duc de
    Bordeaux's Visit--The Westminster Play--Lord Melbourne--Our
    Relations with Rome--The Dublin Jury Lists--Lord Ellenborough and
    the Court of Directors--O'Connell's Remedies for Irish Discontent.


    Opening of Parliament--State of Parties--The Duke of
    Wellington's Health--The Duke's Correspondence with Lord
    Haddington--Constitution of the Judicial Committee--Debate
    on the  State of Ireland--Lord Hertford's Will--A Pun of
    Jekyll's--Lord Melbourne--The Irish Church--The Privy Council
    Bill--Anecdote of Mr. Pitt's Peers--Cambridge--Lord Ellenborough's
    Recall--Lord Brougham's Hostility--The Factory Bill--Lord Hardinge
    Governor-General of India--Lord Brougham on Lord Hertford's
    Case--The Emperor of Russia in London--Government Defeat on the
    Sugar Duties--Sir Robert Peel resolves to resign--The Opening
    of Letters at the Post Office--The Case of 'Running-Rein'--Lord
    Brougham's Privy Council Bill--Summary of Events--The Tahiti
    Quarrel with France--The O'Connell Judgement--Lord Stanley goes to
    the Upper House 222


    'The Policy of England to Ireland'--Ministers object to
    the Publication--Could the Book be delayed and published
    anonymously?--Visit to the Grange--Buckland--Visit to
    Broadlands--Visit to Woburn--Prince Albert complains of want
    of Secrecy--Visit to Ampthill--Baron Rolfe--The Master of the
    Rolls to sit at the Judicial Committee--The Queen knew nothing
    of the Irish Book--Reconciliation of Thiers and Palmerston--Mr.
    Gladstone resigns on the Maynooth Endowments--Changes in
    the Cabinet--Sidney Herbert--Lord Lincoln--Precarious
    Position of French Ministry--Mr. Gladstone's Resignation
    transpires--Sensitiveness of the French Government--Debate in the
    House of Commons--Gladstone's Resignation unintelligible--Mr.
    Duncombe's Letters--Death of Rev. Sydney Smith--Publication of
    the 'Policy to Ireland'--Death of Robert Smith (Bobus)--Death
    of Miss Fox--Visit to Althorp--Effects of the Irish Book--Whig
    and Tory Opinions--The Maynooth Grant--Meeting of Thiers and
    Guizot--Debate on the Maynooth Grant--Macaulay's Speech--Divisions
    in the Tory Party--Possibility of a Whig Government--Break-up
    of Parties--Birkenhead--Depression--Visits to the Grove and to
    Broadlands--Lord Melbourne--Opinions on the Irish Book--Sir Robert
    Peel's Improved Position--Embarrassment caused by the Queen's
    Absence from England--A Queer Family _page_ 258


    Death of Earl Spencer--His Character--M. Thiers in
    England--Fever of Speculation--Cabinets on the Corn Laws--'Every
    Man in his Humour'--Dickens on the Stage--'Alarm' wins a
    great Stake--Visit to Worsley--Manchester--Death of Lady
    Holland--Bretby--Southwell--Sherwood Forest--Announcement of the
    Repeal of the Corn Laws--A Ministerial Crisis--Sir Robert Peel
    resigns--Lord John Russell sent for--Lord Wharncliffe's account
    of the Crisis--Proceedings of the Whigs--The Court--Attempts
    at an Understanding--Sir Robert Peel's Position--Lord Grey
    disagrees--Communication to Sir Robert Peel--Lord John undertakes
    to form a Government--Dénouement of the Crisis--Lord Howick
    refuses--Lord John Russell gives up the task 295


    Sir Robert Peel returns to Office--Death of Lord Wharncliffe--Tory
    View of the Whig Failure--Views of Sir Robert Peel and his
    Colleagues--Favourable Position of the Cabinet--Lord Howick's
    Statement--Lord John defended by his Friends--The Letters
    of Junius--True Causes of the Whig Failure--The Corn Law
    Measure under consideration--A Vindication of Peel--Irritation
    of the Duke of Wellington and the Tories--Lord Melbourne's
    Vehemence--Lord Granville--Lord Bessborough in favour of
    Coercive Measures in Ireland--Consequences of Lord John's Letter
    on Corn Law Repeal--The Peelite Party--Sir Robert's Peel's
    Speech--Disclosure of Sir Robert Peel's Measure--Lord John's
    View of it--Sir James Graham's View--The Movement for immediate
    Repeal--The League press for immediate Repeal--Lord John's
    Engagement--Hesitation on the subject of immediate Repeal--Lord
    Stanley's growing Opposition--Mr. Sidney Herbert's Views and
    Conduct--More moderate Counsels--Approaching Fate of the Peel
    Ministry--No Dissolution--Inconsistency of Ministers--The
    Westminster Election--Lord Stanley heads the Protectionist
    Opposition--Lord John Russell's Inconsistency--Mr. Disraeli
    leads the Protectionists in the Commons--The Conquest of the
    Punjaub--Division on the Corn Bill--Lord George Bentinck's
    Speech--Lord Hardinge blamed _page_ 334


    Signs of the Weakness of Government--The Irish Coercion
    Bill--Lord John Russell on Ireland--Protectionist Opposition--The
    Oregon Question--Lord Brougham canvassed--Weakness of the
    Protectionists--Embarrassments of the Government--Violence of the
    Protectionists--The Victories in India--Change of Opinion amongst
    the Farmers--State of Ireland--Intentions of the Government--Lord
    Palmerston visits Paris--A Scheme of Alliance with the
    Protectionists--Lord John Russell's Resolution--Lord Stanley's
    Violence--The Duke of Wellington's Dissatisfaction--Anecdote of
    the Father of Sir Robert Peel--Sir Robert Peel and Disraeli--Lord
    Palmerston in Paris--Irish Coercion Bill--The Protectionist
    Alliance--Conversation with Sir Robert Peel--Conversation with Sir
    James Graham--The Factory Bill--The last Debate in the Commons
    on the Corn Bill--Intrigues with the Protectionists--Defeated by
    Lord John Russell--Meeting at Lansdowne House--Fine Speech of
    Lord Stanley--'Alarm' wins the Emperor's Cup--Violent Attacks
    on Sir Robert Peel--The Conduct of Sir Robert Peel to Mr.
    Canning--Brougham and Stanley in the Lords--Opposition of the
    Whigs to the Coercion Bill--Anxiety of Lord John Russell to get
    back to Office--Mr. Disraeli renews the Attack on Peel--Lord
    George Bentinck and Disraeli worsted by Peel 374


    Fall of Sir Robert Peel--Lord John's Interview with
    Peel--Lord John and the Duke--Lord Clarendon and Lord
    Aberdeen--Favourable Position of the new Ministry--Lord
    Melbourne's Disappointment--Smooth  Water--Generous Conduct
    of Lord Aberdeen--Restoration of Magistrates removed from
    the Commission as Repealers--The Irish Arms Bill--Distrust
    of Lord Palmerston--The Arms Bill given up--The Bishop of
    Oxford's Exhortations--Differences with France--An Exchange of
    Appointments--Squabble between Lord George Bentinck and Lord
    Lyndhurst--Macaulay on Junius--Lord Chesterfield--Bretby and
    Woburn--Lord John Russell's Moderation--The Spanish Marriage--Bad
    Faith of the French Government--Unanimous Censure of the Spanish
    Marriages--Lord Bessborough in Ireland--Correspondence on the
    Spanish Marriages--Council of the Duchy--The Annexation of Cracow
    to Austria--Action of Lewis Ferrand--Strange Intrigue imputed to
    Louis Philippe--Conversation with Count Jarnac on the Spanish
    Marriages--The Queen and Sir Robert Peel--M. Guizot's Note on the
    Spanish Marriages--Decoration of the Peninsular Soldiers--State of
    Ireland _page_ 401




  FROM 1837 TO 1852.


    Dissolution of Parliament discussed by Ministers--Death of Mr.
    Barnes--Impending Dissolution--Mdlle. Rachel in Hermione--Ladies
    of the Bedchamber--Question of Dissolution--Defeat of the
    Government--Vote of Want of Confidence--Government defeated on
    Peel's Resolution--Ascot Races--Dispute of Lord Stanley and Mr.
    Handley--Impending Elections--Conservative Reaction--The Queen
    at Oxford--The Queen at Chiswick--Whig Confidence--Parliament
    prorogued--Lord Campbell made Chancellor of Ireland--The Prince
    declines to dine at the Waterloo Banquet--Visit to North
    Wales--Conway Castle--Penrhyn Castle--Carnarvon--Beddgelert and
    Llanberis--Result of the Elections--Results of the Dissolution--A
    decided Tory Majority--Wise Conduct of Lord Melbourne--The
    Speakership--Sir Robert Peel's Liberal Views--Dr. Wiseman--The Queen
    at Woburn--Lord John Russell's Moderate Views--Judgement on Wood's
    Will--Last Council of the Whigs.

_May 7th_, 1841.--All the world thinks and talks of nothing but the
division next week and its consequences. The Whig masses are clamorous
for a dissolution, and are every day growing more so, endeavouring
to make out that the gain is sure; some for one purpose and some
for another are stimulating the Government to make this desperate
plunge. Lord Melbourne, however, is exceedingly averse to it. In
the Cabinet, Duncannon, Normanby, and Palmerston are all strongly
and unhesitatingly for it. Clarendon, who is against a dissolution,
set before Melbourne, the other day, all the reasons _for_ such a
measure, in order to elicit his opinion, and see if those reasons
shook his previous convictions; but Melbourne said that he could not
find anything in them to make him change his mind, and he thought
the Crown ought never to make an appeal to public opinion unless
there were solid grounds for believing that it would be responded
to by the public voice. Yesterday there was a Cabinet, at which the
question was fully discussed, and the result was satisfactory and
creditable. The general opinion was that nothing should be decided
till the state of public opinion in the country was seen, and the most
careful investigation had been made into the electioneering prospects
of the Government, so that a reasonable and probable conclusion might
be arrived at as to the result; and unless it should appear that
there is a strong probability of Government acquiring a majority by
a fresh election, the notion of a dissolution will be given up. This
deliberation is undoubtedly due to the Queen and to the party, and I
am assured there is a prevailing disposition to deal fairly with the
evidence that will be before them. The Queen, though very unhappy,
acquiesces in this view of the matter. From what Lady Palmerston told
me last night, Her Majesty is prepared, in the last necessity, to
resign herself to her fate.

_May 8th._--Mr. Barnes died yesterday morning, suddenly, after having
suffered an operation. His death is an incalculable loss to the
'Times,' of which he was the principal editor and director; and his
talents, good sense, and numerous connexions gave him a preponderating
influence in the affairs of the paper. The vast power exercised by the
'Times' renders this a most important event, and it will be curious to
see in what hands the regulating and directing power will hereafter
be placed. Latterly it must be owned that its apparent caprices and
inconsistency have deprived it of all right and title, and much of
its power, to influence the opinions of others, but this has been
the consequence of the extraordinary variety of its connexions and
the conflicting opinions which have been alternately, and sometimes
almost, if not quite, simultaneously, admitted to discharge themselves
in its columns. Barnes was a man of considerable acquirements, a
good scholar, and well versed in English, especially old dramatic

    [Footnote 1: [Mr. Barnes was succeeded in the Editorship of the
    'Times' by Mr. John Delane, then a young man of about four and
    twenty. It is unnecessary to remind the present generation with
    what assiduity, tact, and success he fulfilled the duties of
    his important position for more than thirty years. The friendly
    relations which had for some time subsisted between Mr. Greville
    and Mr. Barnes were strengthened and consolidated under the
    administration of his successor. Mr. Delane was well aware that he
    could nowhere meet with a more sagacious adviser or a more valuable
    ally. He owed to Mr. Greville his first introduction to political
    society, of which he made so excellent a use, and where he
    gradually acquired the esteem of men of all parties and a position
    which no editor of a newspaper had before enjoyed. The influence
    of the 'Times' newspaper during the ensuing ten or fifteen years
    can hardly be exaggerated, and, as compared with the present state
    of the press, it can hardly be conceived. Not a little of this
    influence was due to those who assisted the staff of the paper by
    information and counsel, derived from the best and highest sources
    both at home and abroad, and amongst these the author of these
    Diaries played an active and important part, some traces of which
    will from time to time be discovered in the pages of this work.]]


_May 9th._--The debate on the sugar duties began on Friday night by an
extraordinarily good speech from John Russell, as was admitted by his
opponents, who qualified the praise, as usual, by calling it a good
_party_ speech. Handley and Lushington declared against Ministers--one
on Corn, the other on Sugar. The certainty of a majority against
Government is now generally admitted, and it is expected to be large.
The question of dissolution gains ground. The strong supporters of
Government are more and more urgent, and they say that they must
choose between the dissolution of Parliament or the dissolution of the
party; that Ministers had no right to bring forward such measures and
then shrink from appealing to the country on them; that if they do not
dissolve, many of their old Whig supporters will retire in disgust,
and not contest their seats when the dissolution under another
Government takes place. I see clearly that all this is making a strong
impression, and that the resolution of those who think and feel they
ought not to dissolve is waxing faint. Meanwhile the Queen is behaving
very well. She is very unhappy at the situation of affairs, and at the
change with which she is menaced, but she is acting with dignity and
propriety. She says she will express no wish and no opinion; whatever
she is advised to do she will do, but she remains perfectly passive,
and makes no attempts to urge Melbourne to take any course which
his own judgement does not approve. This the Duke of Bedford told
me yesterday, and it is to her credit. The Tories will not believe
that the Government have any thought of dissolving. Wharncliffe and
Ellenborough both told me that they had not the slightest idea of
their venturing on such a measure. Besides other objections there is a
great technical difficulty in the shape of the sugar duty, which will
expire in the beginning of July, before Parliament could meet again.
Ellenborough said that the merchants would keep back their sugar
(which they would be able to do in great measure), and then pour it in
after the day had expired, free of duty, to the loss to the revenue
probably of a million, and that the only way to counteract this would
be by an Order in Council, which they would never dare pass merely for
a party purpose as this would be.


_May_ 11_th._--The question of dissolution is still contested, and
the Whigs of Brooks's and the young and hot-headed are making such a
clatter, and talking with so much violence and confidence, that they
have produced a strong impression that the measure is intended. I
have had long conversations with Clarendon, Normanby, and the Duke of
Bedford. The second, to my great surprise, talked very reasonably and
moderately, and told me distinctly he was opposed to a dissolution;
that he saw no way of getting over the difficulty about the sugar
duties, and that if they attempted it and failed, they should go out
with discredit. From the other two I learned that Melbourne is in a
state of great agitation and disquietude, labouring under a sense
of the enormous responsibility which rests upon him, embarrassed on
one side by the importunities of his friends, and, on the other,
alarmed at the danger of taking so desperate a step; and he says
very truly and sensibly that in his opinion the Queen should never
make an appeal to the people which was not likely to be successful,
and that he does not like to take upon himself the responsibility
of carrying on the Government (while such important questions are in
agitation) during the interval, with the almost certainty of meeting
at the end of the term a hostile majority of the House of Commons. Of
the Government with different shades of opinion, and each influenced
by different motives and considerations, I think the most decided
for a dissolution is Palmerston (who has never any doubts or fears,
and is for fighting everybody), and the most against it Macaulay.
The violent dissolutionists make light of the sugar difficulty, and
talk of bringing in a Bill to meet the emergency, which they flatter
themselves the Opposition would suffer to pass, because they would not
venture, as they call it, to stop the supplies; and I was surprised
to hear that John Russell, on whom the idea of the party being broken
up seems to have made a great impression, partook of this notion.
But in the midst of all this apparent doubt, I have none how it will
end, and that they will not venture to dissolve when the moment for
decision arrives. They are in fact preparing for resignation, for
the Duke of Bedford came to me yesterday morning to consult me as
to the course which the Ladies ought to adopt, a matter which is
occupying the serious attention both of Melbourne and Lord John; and
to do them justice, they seem only anxious to put matters in train
for averting any repetition of the embarrassment which proved fatal
to Peel two years ago, and which might again be productive of a good
deal of difficulty and some unpleasant feeling. They want to make
things go on smoothly, and to reconcile the dignity of the Queen
with the consistency of Peel. Their own feelings, and those of the
Ladies themselves, would suggest resignation, but then they shrink
from the idea of deserting the Queen. Nice questions of conduct
present themselves, which require much consideration. I told him I
did not think the difficulty was now so great, for the question of
an exclusively political household had been settled by the recent
appointments of Tory Ladies, and that Peel might very well consider
the circumstances as having changed, and that he is thereby himself
released from the obligation of doing the same thing over again. But
I advised the Duke of Bedford to go and talk the matter over with the
Duke of Wellington, which he agreed to do. I think this will pave the
way to some satisfactory arrangement, and at all events it will show
a good disposition on the part of the present Ministers to aid rather
than embarrass their successors. I rode with the Duke of Wellington
yesterday, and had a little, but very little, talk with him about the
present crisis. He does not talk as he used to do, and he struck me as
miserably changed. His notion was that they would neither resign nor
dissolve, but endeavour to go on as they have heretofore done.

I went to see Mdlle. Rachel make her _début_ last night, which she
did in Hermione.[2] As far as I could form an opinion, with my little
habitude of French tragedy, and difficulty of hearing and following,
I thought her very good--a clear and beautiful voice, graceful, with
dignity, feeling, and passion, and as much nature as French tragedy
admits of, I wish we had anything as good. The creatures who acted
with her were the veriest sticks; and the concluding scene of the
madness of Orestes excited the hilarity of the audience far more than
Laporte's Mascarille, which came after it, though that was very good.
Rachel was received with great applause, and when called on at the end
of the piece, was so overcome that she nearly fainted, and would have
fallen had not somebody rushed on the stage to support her. Charles
Kemble, Young, the actor, and Mrs. Butler were there, and greatly
admired her; but the latter told me she would go home and act over
there the last scene of Orestes, which tickled her fancy more than
Hermione had struck her imagination.

    [Footnote 2: [The chief part in Racine's tragedy of 'Andromaque.']]


_May 12th._--The Duke of Bedford communicated with the Duke of
Wellington yesterday morning through Arbuthnot. After some hesitation,
because Melbourne had come to the conclusion that the Ladies had
better all resign, the Duke of Wellington said he had never talked
upon the subject to Peel, and he could say nothing himself; but he
knew that there was an earnest desire to avoid any renewal of the
old dispute, and that the circumstances were now in every respect so
different, from the Queen's being married and the appointments of Tory
Ladies, that he did not think there would be any occasion for it.
Indeed, he thought, and so did Peel, that much of what had occurred
before had arisen from mistake, and that if John Russell had in the
first instance communicated with the Queen, instead of Melbourne, all
would have been cleared up. It was agreed that what had passed should
be communicated by the Duke of Wellington to Peel, and to Peel only,
whenever (if at all) he thought it right and advisable to make the
communication. This puts the affair in a good train. Melbourne means
to advise the Queen to send for Peel himself at once, and without any
intermediate, which is very wise, and will facilitate an amicable
adjustment of delicate points. Lord John has written the Queen a
letter, setting before her the actual state of the case, but giving no
opinion of his own.

_May_ 16_th._--The debate was again adjourned on Friday night, having
lasted a week, very languidly carried on, and up to the present time
with very few good speeches since John Russell's; Sir George Grey, the
Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Labouchere on one side; Gladstone
and Stanley the best on the other. All is speculation, and nobody
has any certainty what will be done. The Government people say, that
everything tends to sanction a dissolution: that the reports from the
country are in favour of their measures, and the Anti-slavery cry a
failure. But the truth is, there is no great feeling in the country
one way or the other, but an extraordinary apathy or indifference.
The Whigs persist that Peel would not venture to thwart their attempt
to get the necessary supplies passed; the Tories maintain that Peel
will never make himself the accomplice of a dissolution under the
pretence of not opposing the supplies. But while the majority of the
Cabinet seem now not indisposed to dissolve if they can, Melbourne's
objections continue the same, and he will have to determine upon his
own course, supposing the majority of his colleagues declare for
dissolving. It is, I think, impossible that he as Prime Minister
should give way upon a point of such vital importance. He must tell
the Queen what his opinion is, and then the question will arise,
whether she will consent to anybody else attempting to carry on the
Government without him, and whether John Russell (the only possible
alternative) will undertake it. Probably neither she, nor he, would
try the experiment. Of the Government, the man most resolute, and
desirous of trying a dissolution, is the Chancellor (Lord Cottenham),
and Macaulay the most decided the other way. This is what few
uninformed people would imagine, but there is no stronger political
partisan than the Chancellor, or any man more prepared to go all
lengths for his party.

I talked to Arbuthnot the other day about the Ladies, and the
communication he had had with the Duke of Bedford. He said Peel
was well disposed to do everything to conciliate the Queen; but
now Melbourne has got a notion that he means to insist upon three
resignations; and though he means to advise the Queen to consent to
them, John Russell is much disturbed at the idea of what he thinks
would be mortifying and derogatory to her. The Duke of Bedford told me
this, and he fancies that some indirect communication has taken place,
through some women, between Melbourne and Peel, by which the former is
apprised of the latter's intentions.


_May 19th._--They divided yesterday morning at three o'clock; division
pretty much what was expected.[3] A very fine speech, three hours
long, from Peel, which John Russell said he thought remarkably able
and ingenious, but not statesmanlike. He has, however, always a
prejudice against his great antagonist, and a bad opinion of him.
Palmerston answered him in a speech, of smart, daring, dashing
commonplaces, not bad, but very inferior to Peel. Yesterday morning
the Cabinet met, and they resolved not to resign, but to make an
attempt at dissolution. John Russell had asked Peel the night before
to let a day pass, that they might consult before they stated to the
House of Commons the course they meant to pursue. Thus Melbourne's
weak vacillating mind has been over-persuaded, and he consents to
what he so highly disapproves. Clarendon has likewise been brought
round, for he was also for resignation, and against dissolution.
Feeble resolves, easily overthrown, and here are both, these Ministers
consenting to a measure, upon the pretext of its being required by
public opinion, when in point of fact it is only insisted upon by the
most violent of their own adherents, who think any evil tolerable but
that of their party being weakened, and who would create confusion,
and stir up excitement merely for the sake of embarrassing their
opponents on their accession to office.

In the midst of all this, and while the decision of Ministers
was doubtful, a _tracasserie_ was very near growing out of the
communications which have taken place concerning the Ladies. After I
had been told by the Duke of Bedford that Peel was going to insist
on certain terms, which was repeated to me by Clarendon, I went to
Arbuthnot, told him Melbourne's impression, and asked him what it all
meant. He said it was all false, that he was certain Peel had no such
intentions, but, on the contrary, as he had before assured me, was
disposed to do everything that would be conciliatory and agreeable to
the Queen.

    [Footnote 3: [This division was taken on Lord Sandon's motion
    against the reduction of the duty on foreign sugars, which
    was carried against the Government by a majority of 36 in a
    House of 598. On May 24 Sir Robert Peel moved a direct vote of
    non-confidence in Ministers, which was carried on June 4 by a
    majority of _one_--312 for the motion, 311 against it. On June 7
    the intended dissolution of Parliament was announced by Lord John

_May 25th._--After the great division the Whigs were all in high
spirits at thinking they had so quietly carried their point of
dissolution, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer immediately
introduced the Sugar Duties without comment and in the regular way.
Nothing was said, but all the Tories were desirous of doing something,
though the greatest doubt prevailed among them as to the steps it
would be proper and feasible to take. They were content, however, to
leave the matter in the hands of their leaders, and yesterday morning
Peel convened a meeting at his house, made them a speech, in which
he told them all the objections there were to meddling with the
supplies, and proposed the resolution of which he gave notice last
night, which was hailed with general satisfaction.[4]

    [Footnote 4: [The terms of Sir R. Peel's Resolution were that 'Her
    Majesty's Ministers do not sufficiently possess the confidence of
    the House of Commons to enable them to carry through the House
    measures which they deem essential to the public welfare, and that
    their continuance in office under such circumstances is at variance
    with the spirit of the Constitution.']]

_May 30th._--Having been at Epsom the whole week, I had no time to
write, nor could I turn my mind to politics or from the business of
the place to any other subject. I never saw greater difference of
opinion than exists about Peel's resolution, the debate on which is
dragging its slow length along. It was at first supposed (though by
no means universally) that he was sure of a majority, and that unless
he had such certainty it was a very false move. As the discussion
proceeds it seems pretty clear that all the Corn and Sugar Whigs will
rally round the Government again on the vote of confidence, and the
prevailing opinion is at the present moment that Peel will be beaten
by a very slender majority. But people seem now to think that it does
not much signify what the result may be. The Whigs are determined to
dissolve, and the Tories now aver that they wish for a dissolution as
speedily as may be, and they think that this division will prevent
the Government from doing what they suspect was their intention, viz.
to linger on through the Session and dissolve in the autumn. Then
they consider that another great advantage will be obtained from this
fight--that of ascertaining once for all whom they are to regard as
friends or enemies, and it settles the question of opposition to those
Corn Law supporters, who merely went against this Budget, but who have
no intention of changing sides altogether.


_June 6th._--The division took place on Friday night, and there was
a majority of one against the Government. For the last day or two it
was a complete toss-up which side won, and it evidently depended on
the few uncertain men who might or might not choose to vote. As it
was, it all turned on an accident. John Russell wrote to Sir Gilbert
Heathcote (who never votes), and begged him to come up on Thursday,
and to vote. Sir Gilbert did come, but, as there was no division that
night, he went home again, and his vote was lost. They left no stone
unturned to procure a majority, and brought down a lord who is in a
state of drivelling idiotcy, and quite incapable of comprehending what
he was about. This poor wretch was brought in a chair; they got him
into the House, and then wheeled him past the tellers. Charles Howard,
Melbourne's private secretary, told me he thought it a monstrous and
indecent proceeding. The Government people now want them to bring on a
debate about Corn, and John Russell is to announce to-morrow what he
means to do; but it would be so strong a case to convert the House of
Commons into a mere debating society for their party purposes, that I
don't think they can attempt it.

_June 12th._--All the past week at a place called Harewood Lodge
with the Beauforts for Ascot races. Dined at the Castle on Thursday;
one hundred people in St. George's Hall; very magnificent, blazing
with gold plate and light, and very tiresome. In the evening Mdlle.
Rachel came to recite, which she did _à trois reprises_ on a sort of
stage made in the embrasure of the window, from 'Bajazet,' 'Marie
Stuart,' and 'Andromaque.' It is so much less effective than her
acting (besides my unfortunate inability to follow and comprehend
French declamation) that it was fatiguing, but it served to occupy the
evening, which is always the great difficulty in Royal society. The
Queen was pretty well received on the course, and her party consisted
in great measure of Tory guests.

On Monday John Russell announced very properly that after the vote
last week he should not go on with any business but that which was
indispensable, and Peel extorted from him an engagement to dissolve
and reassemble Parliament as soon as possible. This latter point
was, I think, contrary to their intentions, and that they would have
delayed to call Parliament together as long as they decently could
if Peel had not urged it. It was a great mistake, after Lord John's
announcement on Monday, to bring on the Chancery Reform Bill, on which
they got beaten, and suffered a severe and just rebuke from Peel. It
was, in fact, inconsistent with their own declaration, and probably
merely attempted for the sake of the patronage.

On the other hand, Peel and Stanley each were betrayed into great
blunders, very unworthy of them, but each of them curiously
illustrative of the characters of the two men. In the debate last week
Stanley attacked Handley with great asperity, and, at the moment,
with signal success, accusing him of manifold inconsistencies and
tergiversations, and how he had at the period of Peel's attempt
in '35 consulted him, and attended meetings at his house. Handley
afterwards wrote to Stanley, and the correspondence appeared in
the newspapers, from which it is clear that Stanley's statement
of facts was altogether incorrect. He had dashed it all out from
imperfect recollection; doubtless not meaning to say anything untrue,
but not giving himself the trouble to verify the accuracy of his
recollections, and consequently he is exposed to the mortification
of being compelled to acknowledge that his facts and his charges
are unfounded. This damages a man like Stanley, and takes from the
confidence which his word ought always to inspire. It would not have
happened to Peel, who would never have attacked any man without
carefully ascertaining that his facts were correctly stated, nor
would he have brought forward charges upon any loose and random

On the other hand, Peel committed a blunder in repeating the absurd
charge of the double Budget, which was no doubt put into his head by
some of the low hangers-on of his party, and to which, if he had a
more generous mind, or a greater knowledge of mankind, or more free
communication with other men, he could never have given one moment's
credit. It afforded the Government an opportunity once for all of
denying this stupid charge, and in a manner which extorted from Peel
an expression of his own conviction that it was not true, and this
sets the matter for ever at rest. Stanley would not, I think, have
fallen into this mistake; he would not have suspected anything of the
kind, nor would Peel have got into such a scrape as Stanley.


All the world is now preparing for the elections, and all, as usual,
sanguine in their expectations of the result, but I don't believe the
Government really expect much gain, and they feel that their days are
numbered. Normanby told me the day before yesterday that he expected
none, but that they were obliged to pretend to expect it.

_June_ 18_th._--Everybody occupied with the approaching elections,
but no excitement in the country, no enthusiasm for any party or
men, no feeling for any measures, but as far as one can judge
(appearances being always fallacious in electioneering matters) the
current steadily running in the Conservative interest. There seems
every probability of Peel's having a large majority, and it is very
desirable that he should, that we may at last have a Government
clearly and positively supported by the House of Commons, which can
act with something like freedom and confidence instead of living as it
were from hand to mouth, never knowing whether Ministers are to be in
a majority or minority on any one question. John Russell had a great
meeting in the City the other day, was rapturously received, and Jones
Lloyd made a very fine speech in proposing him to the meeting as their

The Queen went to Nuneham last week for Prince Albert's visit to
Oxford, when he was made a Doctor. Her name was very well received,
and so was the Prince himself in the theatre; but her Ministers,
individually and collectively, were hissed and hooted with all the
vehemence of Oxonian Toryism. Her Majesty said she thought it very
disrespectful to the Prince to hiss her Ministers in his presence;
but she must learn to bear with such manifestations of sentiment and
not fancy that these Academici will refrain from expressing their
political opinions in any presence, even in her own. They will think
it quite sufficient to be civil and respectful to her name and her
Consort's person, and will treat her obnoxious Ministers just as they
think fit.

_June 20th._--At Chiswick yesterday morning a party for the Queen and
Prince Albert, who wished to see the place. The Duke of Devonshire,
who had resolved to give no entertainment on account of Lady
Burlington's death last year, only invited his own relations, and
Normanby and John Russell, the two Secretaries of State, were the only
exceptional guests. It rained half the time and it was very formal.

Duncannon told me that he could not believe in the great Tory gains,
for his accounts represented matters as very favourable to his party,
and he only wanted to know the truth and not be flattered into any
false expectations: in fact, both sides are equally confident, and
apparently one upon as good grounds as the other.

_June 23rd._--Parliament was prorogued yesterday with a very short
speech. Nothing new about the elections, but unabated confidence on
both sides, though the Whigs cannot expect to counterbalance the loss
of almost all the counties. They start with a loss of fifteen seats,
given up without contest. Everybody is wondering at the numerous
changes they are making, shuffling their cards at a great rate when
the game is all but over, and the greatest disgust is expressed at the
removal of Plunket and the appointment of Campbell.[5] Nobody would
believe it at first, and when I told Clanricarde of it, he said if it
were done and a vote of censure were moved upon it in the House of
Lords, he would support the motion. But it is now said that he accepts
the office with an engagement not to take the pension. He told Sheil
so, but who will believe there is not some juggle in this, or that he
would give up a business worth 10,000_l._ a-year to hold the Irish
Seal for two months, and be left without any emolument at the end of
that time?


Prince Albert would not go to the Duke's Waterloo dinner. The Duke
invited him when they met at Oxford, and the Prince said he would send
an answer. He sent an excuse, which was a mistake, for the invitation
was a great compliment, and this is a sort of national commemoration
at which he might have felt a pride at being present.

    [Footnote 5: [The Ministry, being on the verge of dissolution,
    compelled Lord Plunket to resign the office of Lord Chancellor
    of Ireland in order to bestow it, with a peerage, on Sir John
    Campbell, the English Attorney-General. He went to Ireland and sat
    in Court a few times and then retired without a pension. But this
    was justly considered as one of the most outrageous jobs which any
    Government ever sanctioned. Lord Campbell afterwards filled much
    higher offices in England, and he presided for several years in the
    Court of Queen's Bench, and died Lord Chancellor.]]

_Chester, June 24th._--Parliament having been dissolved yesterday,
all the world are off to their elections, and I resolved to start
upon an excursion to North Wales, which I have long been desirous of
seeing, and which I can now do with great facility and convenience
in consequence of Lord Anglesey's having established himself for a
short time at Plas Newydd, so there I am bound. I was induced to make
this expedition partly by my wish to see the scenery of North Wales
and the Menai Bridge, and partly from a desire to stimulate my dull
and jaded mind by the exertion and the object. I think of all the
tastes and interests I have ever had, of all sources of pleasure, that
which adheres to me the most, which is still the least impaired and
dulled, is my pleasure in fine scenery and grand objects whether of
nature or art, and it is to rouse me to the contemplation of better
things and give if possible a wholesome stimulus to my thoughts that
I am making this experiment. I could not procure a companion, but was
very near getting Landseer, who would have come with me if he had not
been obliged to paint every day this week at the Palace; and I also
proposed the trip to Dr. Kay, who was prevented by his avocations from
accepting the offer. I started by the six o'clock train and arrived
here at three o'clock; set off to Eaton, where I saw the outside of
the house only, a vast pile of mongrel Gothic, which cost some hundred
thousands, and is a monument of wealth, ignorance, and bad taste. I
did not see the gardens, nor the front towards the Dee, which are, I
believe, the best part. The woody banks through which the Dee runs and
the reach of the river are very pretty. Walked afterwards round the
walls and through the arcades, so to call them, of the curious old
city, unlike any English town I ever saw, and not unlike Bologna.

Some polyglot poet has cut these lines on the window of the room I
occupy in this inn (the Royal Hotel):

  In questa casa troverete
  Toutes les choses que vous souhaitez:
  Vinum, panem, pisces, carnes,
  Coaches, chaises, horses, harness.

In the evening Robert Grosvenor[6] came to me, who is here for his own
election, and to assist in the desperate contest which they expect
between Wilbraham and Tollemache. He told me (which I doubt) that if
Palmerston had gone to Liverpool he would certainly have come in.

    [Footnote 6: Lord Robert Grosvenor, brother of the first Marquis of
    Westminster, afterwards Lord Ebury.]

_Plas Newydd, Sunday, June 27th._--Left Chester at half-past eleven
on Friday morning, having stopped to hear service at the Cathedral,
a poor, but very ancient building, with fine chanting, which I
particularly like. A rainy day, nothing particular in the road till
Conway, where the Castle is very fine, a most noble ruin, and the old
walls of the town, with their numerous towers, so perfect, that I
doubt if there is anything like them to be seen anywhere. It presents
a perfect fortress of those times (the end of the thirteenth century),
and Conway is so well worth seeing, that it alone would repay the
trouble of the journey. The Castle appears to have been habitable and
defensible till after the Civil Wars, the great epoch of the ruin of
most of these ancient edifices. From Conway a fine and striking road
along the seashore, and round the base of Penmaen Mawr, a mountain
nearly as high as Snowdon; crossed the Menai Bridge at dusk, with
barely light enough to see the wonderful work, and arrived at this
place between ten and eleven o'clock. Nobody here; Lord Anglesey
not yet arrived in his yacht, which was beaten about on her passage
by stormy weather. This is a most delightful place on the margin of
the Menai Strait, with the mountains in full view, presenting as the
clouds sweep round and over them, and as they are ever and anon lit
up by the sun, glorious combinations and varieties of light and
shade. All day yesterday wasted in looking out for Lord Anglesey (who
arrived in the afternoon), or occupied in dipping into travels in, and
accounts of North Wales, and in making out excursions for the few days
I have to spend here.


We all went down to-day in the boats of Lord Anglesey's cutter to
Bangor to attend the service in the Cathedral, passing under the
Menai Bridge, which I had not been able to see well on my way to Plas
Newydd. A poor Church at Bangor, Cathedral service, but moderate
music. The Church is divided into two, half for the English and half
for the Welsh; the nave is made the parish Church, and there the
service is done in Welsh. There were very few, if any, of the common
people at the English afternoon service; in fact, few of them speak
anything but Welsh. It has an odd effect to see the women with their
high-crowned, round hats on in church; the dress is not unbecoming.
After the service we were followed by a crowd to our boats, and they
cheered Lord Anglesey when he embarked.

_June 28th._--We walked to the Menai Bridge, where we got into a car
and drove to Penrhyn Castle, a vast pile of building, and certainly
very grand, but altogether, though there are fine things and some good
rooms in the house, the most gloomy place I ever saw, and I would
not live there if they would make me a present of the Castle. It is
built of a sort of grey stone polishable into a kind of black marble,
of which there are several specimens within. It is blocked up with
trees, and pitch dark, so that it never can be otherwise than gloomy.
We then went to the ferry, and got a boat in which we sailed over
to Beaumaris, and went up to Baron's Hill (Sir Richard Bulkeley's),
with which I was delighted. The house is unfinished and ugly, but the
situation and prospect over the bay of Beaumaris are quite admirable.
Nothing can be more cheerful, and the whole scene around, sea, coast
and mountains, indescribably beautiful. They compare this bay to
that of Naples, and I do not know that there is any presumption in
the comparison. Just below the house is the old Castle of Beaumaris,
a very remarkable ruin, in great preservation, both the Castle and
the surrounding wall. Drove home in another car; these cars are most
convenient conveyances and in general use in these parts.

_June 29th._--This morning at eight o'clock went with Lord Anglesey in
the 'Pearl' to Carnarvon, where he was, as Constable of the Castle,
to receive an address. All the town assembled to receive him, and
he was vociferously cheered and saluted with music, firing of guns,
procession of societies, and all the honours the Carnarvonites could
show him. After the ceremony we went to see the Castle, which is much
finer and larger, as well as in better preservation, than Conway, but
not in so grand a situation. Both Conway and Carnarvon were tenable,
if not habitable, till after the Civil Wars, and I do not know why
they were suffered to decay any more than Warwick, which has survived
the general wreck. Carnarvon must have been much more magnificent
than Warwick, but it has no surrounding domain, and is actually in
the town. We then sailed about in the cutter, and saw Snowdon and the
other Snowdonian mountains very advantageously.


_July 2nd._--On Wednesday I went on an excursion with Augustus Paget
to see the country. We set off at eight in the morning in a boat to
Carnarvon, where we breakfasted, got into a car, which took us to
Beddgelert, walked to Pont Aberglasslyn and back, then in another
car to Llanberis, saw the cascade, changed cars, and went to Moyldon
Ferry, where we hired the boat of a _slater_, in which we were
rowed home. We then went all round Snowdon; but the weather got so
bad in the afternoon that ascending the mountain was out of the
question. Nothing can be finer than the scenery between Beddgelert
and Llanberis, and the latter is very wild and picturesque, though
I was a little disappointed with the lakes. Yesterday and to-day it
did nothing but rain, so any more exploring was out of the question,
but I hope to come again into North Wales. I have never travelled
in any country which appeared more completely foreign. The road
from Beddgelert is perfectly Alpine in character, and the peasantry
neither speak nor understand anything but Welsh, so that it is
impossible to hold any communication with them. The women, in point
of costume, have no resemblance to English women. Besides the round
hats which they almost all wear, and which, though not unbecoming,
give them a peculiar air, many, though not all of them, wear a sort
of sandal on their feet, without soles I believe, but with something
bound round their naked feet, the nature and purpose of which I could
not exactly make out. The women are generally good-looking, with a
vigorous frame, and a healthy cheerful aspect; all the common people
are decent in their appearance, and particularly civil and respectful
in their manner. The cars, which have in great measure taken the
place of postchaises, are very convenient, though, being totally
uncovered, are only fit for fine weather. The horses which draw
them--one horse--are excellent, and they go very fast; but the charge
for them is enormous--a shilling a mile. It is really extraordinary
that the English language has not made its way more among the mass
of the people. It is spoken at all the inns, but, with the exception
of people employed about the house or grounds of a proprietor, very
few speak it, and many of those in his actual employment are wholly
ignorant of it. A lad of eighteen years old here, who works about
the house or on the water, and is in Lord Anglesey's service, cannot
speak a word of English. The country seems to be very ill-provided
with schools, nor is English taught at all in those which do exist.
Nothing can be less advanced than education in these parts. The
Welsh are generally poor and wages are low; their food consists
principally of potatoes and buttermilk; the average wages of labour
is about nine shillings a week. The people, however, are industrious,
sober, contented, and well-behaved; they do not like either change or
locomotion, and this makes them indifferent about learning English.
They would rather remain where they have been accustomed to work, and
live upon smaller wages, than go a few miles off to Carnarvon, where
they might earn a couple of shillings a week more. The new Poor Law
is only in partial operation here. There is a workhouse at Pwlhelly,
and there are Boards of Guardians and all the machinery requisite; but
the law is unpopular, and it has never been rigidly and universally
enforced. The people are extremely averse to its establishment, and
the old system works well enough, for which reason its operation has
not been much meddled with, and they hope that some expedient will be
found to prevent its being carried into effect here.

_Llangollen, July 3rd._--Left Plas Newydd this morning, and came to
this place, stopping to see Pennant's slate works--a beautiful road,
certainly, for the greater part of the way.

_London, July 9th._--I slept at Llangollen on Saturday night. On
Sunday morning early clambered up to the ruin--a mere heap of
rubbish--of the Castle of Dinas Bran, and after breakfast walked
to Val Crucis Abbey, where there are inconsiderable remains of a
Cistercian convent in a delightful spot. Then set off in magnificent
weather, and, travelling through a beautiful country, arrived at
Shrewsbury, only stayed there an hour, and slept at the place between
that and Wolverhampton. Next morning went on to Newmarket, and got
there on Monday night: very pleasant expedition, and in some measure
answered my purpose--at least, for the time. However, I have tried
travelling and scenery, and I will go again.


_July 11th._--I find London rather empty and tolerably calm. The
elections are sufficiently over to exhibit a pretty certain result,
and the termination of the great Yorkshire contest by the signal
victory of the Tories--a defeat, the magnitude of which there is no
possibility of palliating, or finding any excuse for--seems to have
had the effect of closing the contest. The Whigs give the whole thing
up as irretrievably lost; and though some of them with whom I have
conversed still maintain that they did right to dissolve, they do not
affect to deny that the result has disappointed all their hopes and
calculations, and been disastrous beyond their worst fears. They now
give Peel a majority of sixty or seventy. The most remarkable thing
has been the erroneous calculations on both sides as to particular
places, each having repeatedly lost when they thought the gain most
certain. The Whigs complain bitterly of the apathy and indifference
that have prevailed, and cannot recover from their surprise that
their promises of cheap bread and cheap sugar have not proved more
attractive. But they do not comprehend the real cause of this apathy.
It is true that there has not been any violent Tory reaction, because
there have been no great topics on which enthusiasm could fasten, but
there has been a revival of Conservative influence, which has been
gradually increasing for some time, and together with it a continually
decreasing confidence in the Government. They have been getting more
unpopular every day with almost all classes, and when they brought
forward their Budget the majority of the country, even those who
approved of its principles, gave them little or no credit for the
measure, and besides doubting whether the advantages it held out were
very great or important, believed that their real motives and object
were to recover the popularity they had lost, and to make a desperate
plunge to maintain themselves in office. It was all along my opinion
that their dissolution was a great blunder, that they would have
consulted their own party interests better, and still more certainly
the success of the fiscal measures they advocate, by resigning. But
they thought they could get up excitement, and by agitation place
matters in such a state that their successors would be unable to
govern the country. This their understrappers and adherents kept
dinning into their ears, and by urging the Cabinet one day in the
name of the Queen, another in that of the Party, and setting before
them the most exaggerated and erroneous representations of the state
of public opinion, they at last persuaded Melbourne, Clarendon, and
the two or three others who were originally against dissolution,
to acquiesce in that desperate and, as it has turned out, fatal
experiment. They richly deserve the fate that has overtaken them, for
their conduct has been weak and disgraceful, and as no Ministry ever
enjoyed less consideration while they held power, so none will ever
have been more ignominiously driven from it. They have tenaciously
clung to office, and shown a disposition to hold it upon any terms
rather than give it up; and when at last they have made a formal
appeal to the country, and demanded of public opinion whether they
should stay or go, they have been contemptuously and positively bid to
go. They have done their utmost to make the Queen the ostensible head
of their party, to identify her with them and their measures, and they
have caused the Crown to be placed in that humiliating condition which
Melbourne so justly deprecated when the question was first mooted. In
no political transaction that has ever come under my notice have I
seen less principle and more passion, selfishness, absence of public
spirit, and less consideration for the national weal. Rage for power,
party zeal, and hatred of their antagonists have been conspicuous in
the whole course of their language and conduct.

_August 4th._--It is nearly a month ago that I wrote the above, and
in the meantime the elections progressed in favour of the Tories, and
ended by giving them a majority of above eighty. Nothing was left
for the Whigs but to comfort themselves with reflexions upon the
united state of their minority, and hopes of the disunion that would
prevail among the Tories; and upon these considerations, and upon the
distresses and embarrassment of the country, which they trust and
believe will make Peel's Government very difficult, they build their
sanguine expectations of being speedily restored to office. Above all,
they look to Ireland as a great and constant source of difficulty,
and they evidently hope that O'Connell's influence will now be
successfully exerted to render the government of Ireland impossible.
And they insist upon the certainty, almost the necessity, of the
Orangemen being so _exigeants_ that Peel will have as much difficulty
in dealing with them as with the O'Connellites, and between both that
he will be inevitably swamped. In these fond anticipations I believe
they will find themselves egregiously disappointed, especially in
what they expect from the Orangemen. My own expectation is that the
Orangemen will no longer aspire to an exclusiveness and ascendency
which are unattainable, and that with the protection, justice, and
equality which they will obtain under a Conservative Government they
will rest satisfied, and will not be fools enough to quarrel with
Peel, and open a door to the restoration of the Whigs, because he does
not do for them what it would be unreasonable to require, and what he
never can have the power to do.


The next thing from which the Whigs hope to derive benefit is the
hostile disposition of the Queen towards the Tory Government, and this
they do their utmost to foster and keep up as far as writings and
speeches go; but I do not believe that Melbourne does any such thing,
and he alone has access to the Queen's ear and to her secret thoughts.
With him alone she communicates without reserve, and to none of his
colleagues, not even to John Russell, does he impart _all_ that passes
between them. The best thing she can possibly do is to continue in her
confidential habits with him as far as possible, for I am persuaded
he will give her sound and honest advice; he will mitigate instead of
exasperating her angry feelings, and instruct her in the duties and
obligations of her position, and try at least to persuade her that
her dignity, her happiness and her interest are all concerned in her
properly discharging them. He has faults enough of various kinds, but
he is a man of honour and of sense, and he is deeply attached to the
Queen. He will prefer her honour and repose to any interests of party,
and it is my firm conviction that he will labour to inspire her with
just notions and sound principles, and as far as in him lies will
smooth the difficulties which would be apt to clog her intercourse
with his successors.

_August 10th._--The Tories were beginning to quarrel about the
Speakership, some wanting to oust Lefevre but the more sensible and
moderate, with Peel and the leaders desiring to keep him. The latter
carried their point without much difficulty. Peel wrote to four or
five and twenty of his principal supporters and asked their opinions.
All, except Lowther, concurred in not disturbing Lefevre, and he said
that he would not oppose the opinions of the majority. So Peel wrote
to Lefevre, and gave him notice that he would not be displaced. The
Whig papers, which were chuckling at the prospect of an early schism,
were very sulky, and much disappointed at this settlement of the
question. It would have been a very bad beginning for Peel if he had
been overruled by the violence of the Ultra Tories. If he takes a high
line, taking it moderately and discreetly but firmly, if he evinces
his resolution to lead and not be driven, to govern the country
according to his own sense of its necessities and rights, and to moral
and political fitness, he may be a great and powerful Minister; but if
the party he leads is so disunited, or so obstinate and unreasonable,
that they will not consent to be led on these terms, if they will
put forward their wants and wishes, and insist upon his deferring
to their notions, prejudices, and desires, contrary to his own
judgement, and to the sense and sentiment of the country, his reign
will be very short. The party will be broken up, and the Government
soon become paralysed and powerless. To this consummation, in full
reliance upon his weakness, and the exactions of his party, the hopes
of the defeated Whigs are anxiously directed, but I think they will
be disappointed. All Peel's conduct for some time past, his speeches
in and out of the House of Commons, upon all occasions, indicate his
resolution to act upon liberal and popular principles, and upon them
to govern, or not at all. That many will be dissatisfied, and many
disappointed, there can be no doubt; but on the whole I think the
dissidents will, with few exceptions, come into his terms; and as to
the conscientious few, who on certain points will inflexibly maintain
their opinions or principles, he will be able to afford to lose them.
No man ever acquires greatness of mind, which is innate; but a man may
acquire wisdom, and one may act from prudence as another would do from
magnanimity. Peel's mind is not made of noble material, but he has an
enlarged capacity and has had a vast experience of things, though from
his peculiar disposition a much more limited one of men. If he takes
a correct and a lofty view of his own situation--and to be correct
it must be lofty--he will succeed, and the really essential thing is
that he should have a deep and determined feeling that possession of
office is utterly worthless if it is to be purchased by concessions
and compromises which his reason condemns, and that he should enter on
the Government with an unalterable determination to stand or fall by
the principles he professes.

[Sidenote: DR. WISEMAN.]

_August 12th._--The day before yesterday I met Dr. Wiseman at dinner,
a smooth, oily, and agreeable Priest. He is now Head of the College at
Oscott, near Birmingham, and a Bishop (_in partibus_), and accordingly
he came in full episcopal costume, purple stockings, tunic and gold
chain. He talked religion, Catholicism, Protestantism, and Puseyism,
almost the whole time. He told us of the great increase of his
religion in this country, principally in the manufacturing, and very
little in the agricultural districts. I asked him to what cause he
attributed it, if to the efforts of missionaries, or the influence of
writings, and he replied that the principal instrument of conversion
was the Protestant Association, its violence and scurrility; that
they always hailed with satisfaction the advent of its itinerant
preachers, as they had never failed to make many converts in the
districts through which they had passed; he talked much of Pusey and
Newman, and Hurrell Froude whom Wiseman had known at Rome. He seems
to be very intimate with Dr. Pusey, and gave us to understand not
only that their opinions are very nearly the same, but that the great
body of that persuasion, Pusey himself included, are very nearly ripe
and ready for reunion with Rome, and he assured us that neither the
Pope's supremacy nor Transubstantiation would be obstacles in their
way. He said that the Jesuits were in a very flourishing state, and
their Order governed as absolutely, and their General invested with
the same authority and exacting the same obedience, as in the early
period of the institution. As an example, he said that when the Pope
gave them a College at Rome, I forget now what, the General sent for
Professors from all parts of the world, summoning one from Paris,
another from America, and others from different towns in Italy, and he
merely ordered them on the receipt of his letters to repair forthwith
to Rome. He invited me to visit him at Oscott, which I promised, and
which I intend to do.

Yesterday I went to Windsor for a Council, and there I found the Duke
of Bedford. After the Council I went into his room to have a talk.
He gave me an account of the Queen's visit to Woburn, which went off
exceedingly well in all ways. She was received everywhere with the
greatest enthusiasm, and an extraordinary curiosity to see her was
manifested by the people, which proves that the Sovereign as such
is revered by the people. I asked him if she was attentive to the
Duke of Wellington, but he said that the Duke kept very much in the
background, and his deafness, he thought, deterred the Queen from
trying to converse much with him. However, though it is clear that she
showed him no particular attention, the Duke was highly satisfied,
for he told the Duke of Bedford so, and said he thought this progress
a very good thing. The Duke had no conversation on politics with
Melbourne. He told me that Melbourne had worked hard to reconcile the
Queen's mind to the impending change, and to tranquillise her and
induce her to do properly what she will have to do; and the Prince has
done the same, and that their efforts have been successful. The Ladies
mean to resign, that is, the Duchesses of Sutherland and Bedford and
Lady Normanby. He gave me to understand with reference to what passed
some time ago between Peel, Arbuthnot, and himself, that Peel had had
some sort of private communication on the subject, but he would not
tell me all he had to say, making the mysterious for no reason that I
could discover, and promising a fuller explanation in a short time.


But what was of much greater importance than any questions about
these Ladies was a letter which he showed me from his brother John
written a day or two before his marriage, in which he told him what
his political intentions were. He said that while he would be in his
place to support what he considered the good cause (a somewhat vague
phrase), he would adhere to a moderate course, and he was aware in so
doing that he should run the risk of giving great offence to many of
his party, and probably of determining his own exclusion from office.
This declaration is in exact conformity with his intentions, when the
Tories were on the point of coming in two or three years ago, and when
he published his famous Stroud letter. I believe he will adhere to
this resolution, which cannot fail to have an important influence upon
the prospects and the position of the Opposition party. It proves how
fallacious is their reckoning of the union that is to prevail among
them, and how much greater elements of disunion exist among the Whigs
than among the Tories, though they have not yet of course begun to
exhibit the symptoms of it. But Lord John, besides his intention to
adopt the passive course of moderation, has a mind to make an attack
upon O'Connell. He has been lately reading over O'Connell's speeches
at different places, and is so disgusted and exasperated at them that
he told the Duke of Bedford he felt exceedingly inclined to attack him
in the House of Commons. This, however, the Duke means to dissuade him
from doing. It would be unnecessary, and such an open and early schism
would throw the whole Whig party into confusion, and excite their
indignation, against their leader. But when such are his sentiments,
and when the three hundred men who compose the Opposition consist of
three distinct sections of politicians,--the great Whig and moderate
Radical body, owning Lord John for their leader, the Ultra Radicals
following Roebuck, and the Irish under O'Connell,--and when the Whig
leader abhors the Roebuck doctrines, can hardly be restrained from
attacking O'Connell, and is resolved to be meek and gentle with his
Tory antagonists, it does seem as if Peel's difficulties, whatever may
be their nature or magnitude, would not be principally derived from
the compact union of his opponents. Lord John said that they should
leave the country to the Tories in a very good condition, excepting
only the financial distress, _which their measures would have
relieved_--a tolerably impudent assertion in both respects.

_August 14th._--The letter of John Russell's to which I have alluded
was a very amiable and creditable production. As it was written
in habitual confidence to his brother, it is impossible to doubt
his sincerity. After speaking of his political intentions, and his
probable exclusion from office, he proceeded to say that he looked
forward with delight to his establishment at Endsleigh and to the
opportunity of resuming some long neglected studies, and he said
that he should be under the necessity of attending to those domestic
economies which he had also not had time to think of; that he cared
not for poverty; should have a sufficiency for comfort, and could
always by writing and publishing add a few hundreds to his income. I
was struck with the calm philosophy and the unselfish patriotism which
his letter breathed, and with the grateful feelings he expressed at
the happiness which seemed yet to be reserved for him. It is pleasant
to contemplate a mind so well regulated, at once so vigorous, honest,
and gentle; it cannot fail to be happy because it possesses that
salutary energy which is always filling the mind with good food, those
pure and lofty aspirations which are able to quell the petty passions
and infirmities which assail and degrade inferior minds, and, above
all, those warm affections which seek for objects round which they may
cling, which are the best safeguard against selfishness, and diffuse
throughout the moral being that vital glow which animates existence
itself, is superior to all other pleasures, and renders all evils
comparatively light.

[Sidenote: JAMES WOOD'S WILL.]

_August 18th._--The day before yesterday the Judicial Committee gave
judgement in the great case of James Wood's Will, reversing the
whole of Sir Herbert Jenner's judgement both as to the will and the
codicil. The surprise was great and general, for everybody expected
that the judgement would have been affirmed, and this impression was
the stronger, because they had had so little discussion and so few
meetings on the matter. They seem to have made up their minds as the
cause went on, and they kept the secret so well, that nobody had the
least notion what their decision would be, everybody guessing at it
from their own opinions, or the circumstance I have alluded to.
Brougham was there,[7] and arrived long before the appointed hour. He
told me that Lyndhurst would deliver the judgement, and, he concluded,
would affirm. Soon after Lyndhurst arrived, when he took Brougham
aside, and told him what they were going to do. I never saw a man so
pleased. He came up to me and, giving me a great poke in the side,
whispered: 'See how people may be deceived; they are going to reverse
the whole judgement.' Lord Lyndhurst read the judgement, the delivery
of it lasting about an hour. It was, I think, very superficial, and
when he reversed so elaborate a judgement as Jenner's, it was due to
the character of the Judge below, as well as to the importance of
the cause, to go into much greater detail, and to reason the case
more, and reply to those legal grounds on which Jenner's judgement
was grounded. On these they did not touch at all. Having satisfied
their minds that the documents were authentic, and that it was the
intention of the testator that the four executors should have his
money, they decided accordingly, stepping over the technical objection
which arose upon the disjunction of the papers A and B, and discarding
from their minds, as they were right in doing, all consideration of
the misconduct of the parties interested. But it struck me as very
extraordinary that they should not have expressed a stronger opinion
on that point, and that they should have allowed Alderman Wood to take
his 200,000_l._, and Philpotts his 40, or 50,000, without one word of
animadversion upon their behaviour. The Chancellor had said on the
Saturday preceding that he thought the judgement would be reversed.

    [Footnote 7: [Lord Brougham had not heard the appeal, nor did Dr.
    Lushington sit on it, on account of their supposed intimacy with
    Alderman Wood, who was one of the principal legatees.]]

_August 24th._--On Saturday at Windsor for a Council, for the Speech:
the last Council, I presume, which these Ministers will hold. Nothing
particular occurred. I believe that the Queen is extremely annoyed at
what is about to take place, and would do anything to avert it; but
as that is impossible, she has made up her mind to it. She seemed to
me to be in her usual state of spirits. The truth is, when it comes
to the point, that it is very disagreeable to have a complete change
of decoration, to part with all the faces she has been accustomed to,
and see herself surrounded with new ones. That, however, is a very
immaterial matter in comparison with the loss of Melbourne's society,
and of those confidential habits which have become such an essential
part of her existence.



    Debate on the Address in the Lords--Conservative Majority in the
    New Parliament--Sir R. Peel's Audience of the Queen--Auspicious
    Policy of Peel--Council at Claremont--Change of Ministry--Lord
    Melbourne's Message to Sir R. Peel--What Sir R. Peel said to
    the Queen--Lord Melbourne's View of the recent Appointments at
    Court--The Duke of Wellington on the recent Appointments--A
    Party at Windsor--Future Course of Events predicted--Visit to
    Woburn--Junius--Jobbing at the Foreign Office--Contempt for the
    late Government--Summary--Louis Philippe--Forgery of Exchequer
    Bills--The Tower Fire--Birth of the Prince of Wales--Delicate
    Questions--Prince Albert receives the Keys of the Cabinet
    Boxes--Charles Elliot--Strength of the Government--Lord Ripon and
    John Macgregor--French Intrigues in Spain.

_London: August 25th, 1841._--The Duke of Bedford has just come here
with an account of the House of Lords last night.[8] Lord Spencer
was good; Lord Ripon very good indeed, the best speech he ever heard
him make. The amendment to the Address was admirably composed, most
skilful and judicious. Melbourne was miserable; he never made so bad
a speech, mere buffoonery, and without attempting an answer to Ripon.
The Duke of Richmond was strong both in manner and matter, threatening
if the new Government did anything, _as some said they would_, that
they would turn them out likewise. The Duke of Wellington complimented
Melbourne handsomely on the judicious advice and the good instruction
he had given the Queen. Lord Lansdowne was good, and quoted with
effect a speech of Mr. Robinson's in favour of a fixed duty. Brougham
was very bitter; he voted with the Government, but attacked Melbourne,
and taunted him with not having answered Ripon's speech. Lord John had
communicated the Queen's Speech to Peel on Monday, in order that he
might have time to frame his amendment. He behaved very well about
this. He said that it was a very extraordinary occasion: that as the
Speech was one which invited an amendment, it was fair to give the
other side an opportunity of framing it in the most advisable manner,
his great object being that the Queen's dignity and _position_ should
be consulted and cared for. Accordingly he proposed to the Cabinet
that he should be authorised to send the Speech to Peel, to which they
would not agree. On this he took it upon himself to do so, and he
wrote to Fremantle, and told him if Peel would like to see the Speech
he would send it him. Peel was very glad to have it, so Lord John
sent it through Fremantle, and this gave them time to consider their
amendment, and excellently done it is. The Duke of Wellington wrote
to Lord John during the debates, to offer to adjourn the House till
Friday. All these proceedings are decorous and graceful, and when such
a spirit animates the Leaders, one feels that the great interests must
be safe.

In the other House a very bad debate, Roebuck making a clever speech,
and attacking John Russell and the Whigs, which shows how little
union there is likely to be in the Opposition. Lord John has been in
communication with Lord Stanley for a good while. When he found how
the elections were going, and that the Government was virtually at
an end, he began communicating with Stanley about certain colonial
matters which, he thought, had better be left to the discretion of his
successor; and they seem to have been corresponding very amicably on
the subject for some time.

The Duke of Bedford has sent in the Duchess's resignation, as he found
that Peel meant to require the retirement of the three Ladies of the
Household connected with the Government--Sutherland, Bedford, and

    [Footnote 8: [The first Session of the New Parliament opened on
    August 24, the Whigs being still in office. Lord Ripon moved an
    Amendment to the Address in the House of Lords, which was carried
    by a majority of 72 against Ministers. In the House of Commons
    Ministers were defeated on the Address upon the 28th August by a
    majority of 91.]]


_August 28th._--The House divided last night, and gave the Opposition
a majority of ninety-one, almost all the Conservatives attending, and
some of the others being absent. Peel seems to have spoken out, and
to have announced to friend and foe that he will resolutely follow
his own course. If he adheres to this and takes a bold flight, he
may be a great man. Yesterday morning Arbuthnot told me that the Duke
certainly would not come to the Council Office. He does not like it,
says he knows nothing of the business, and won't have anything to do
with it; but he told me what surprised me more, and that is, that
two years ago, when everybody supposed he was to have been President
of the Council, he was in fact to have been Secretary for Foreign
Affairs; and it would not much surprise me if he were to take the
Foreign Office again, for whatever others may think, he fancies
himself as fit as ever to do the business of any office.

The answer to the Lords' Address was given yesterday and was
satisfactory; but there is some perplexity as to the answer to the
Commons, whether Melbourne can give it, or if it must be left to
Peel. To show how difficult it is to get at the truth on any subject,
Clarendon told me yesterday that John Russell never had proposed to
the Cabinet to send the speech to Peel; that it was after the Cabinet
on Friday that he (Clarendon) suggested it to Lord John, who at first
objected to it, but afterwards did it, and told his colleagues at
Windsor that he had done so. Lord John also sent to Peel and offered
to bring in the Poor Law Bill for a year, if he liked it. Peel sent
him word he was much obliged to him for the offer, but that he must
exercise his own discretion in the matter. They thought this very
_Peelish_ and over-cautious, but I don't know that he could do
otherwise. It is creditable and satisfactory to observe the good tone
and liberal feeling mutually evinced between the Leaders. The other
night Goulburn made a really excellent speech in reply to Baring, and
after the debate Baring came over and shook hands with him, saying,
'You have made an admirable speech to-night.'

_September 1st._--On Monday morning Peel went down to Windsor. He was
well enough satisfied with his reception. The Queen was civil, but
dejected; she repeated (what she said two years ago) the expression
of her regret at parting with her Ministers. Peel, with very good
taste, told her that, as he had never presumed to anticipate his
being sent for, he had had no communications with anybody, and was
quite unprepared with any list to submit to her, and must therefore
crave for time. It was settled that he should have another audience
this morning. Up to this time no appointment is known but that of Lord
de Grey as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Peel sent for Francis Egerton
and told him that he should have proposed that post to him, had he not
known that it would not suit him to go to Ireland; and Francis said he
was quite right, and that it was not his wish to take any office. If
Peel had any occasion for his assistance, he would readily afford it,
but he apprehended that his difficulty would be found rather in the
abundance than the lack of candidates for office. Peel shook his head,
and said it was so indeed, and added that he had not had a single
application for office from anybody who was fit for it. It seems clear
that the Duke will hold no office. In June he wrote a letter to Peel
urging all the reasons why he should not hold office, but expressing
his readiness to do anything he might think most serviceable to his
Government. Among other reasons he said that a war was not improbable
in the unsettled state of European politics, and in the event of its
breaking out he should most likely have to take the command of an
allied army in Germany, thus exhibiting his own reliance on his moral
and physical powers. I did not know (what I heard yesterday) that
last year the King of Prussia sent to the Duke, through Lord William
Russell, to know if he would take the command of the Forces of the
German Confederation in the event of a war with France. He replied
that he was the Queen of England's subject, and could take no command
without her permission; but if that was obtained, he felt as able as
ever, and as willing to command the King's army against France.


It is impossible for Peel to have begun more auspiciously than he has
done. I expected that he would act with vigour and decision, and he
has not disappointed my expectations. His whole conduct for some time
past evinced his determination. Those liberal views, which terrified
or exasperated High Tories, High Churchmen, and bigots of various
persuasions; those expressed or supposed opinions and intentions which
elicited the invectives of the 'British Critic,' or the impertinences
of 'Catholicus,' were to me a satisfactory earnest that, whenever he
might arrive at the height of power, he was resolved to stretch his
wings out and fly in the right direction. He must be too sagacious a
man not to see what are the only principles on which this country can
or ought to be governed, and that, inasmuch as he is wiser, better
informed, and more advanced in practical knowledge than the mass of
his supporters, it is absolutely necessary for him immediately to
assume that predominance over them, and to determine their political
allegiance to him, without establishing which his Government would be
one of incessant shifts and expedients, insincere, ineffective, and
in the end abortive. I never doubted that, if he had the boldness and
the wisdom to take a high line, and assume a high tone at the outset,
they would all, _bon gré, mal gré_, succumb to him, and follow and
support him on his own terms. He has now a grand career open to him,
and the means of rendering himself truly great. The mere possession
of office and the dispensation of patronage can be nothing to him;
worse than nothing, to hold office on terms he could not but feel
to be humiliating, which would not lead to fame, and would probably
in the end entail downfall and disgrace. It is not worth his while,
with his immense fortune, high position, and great reputation, to be
a mere commonplace Minister, struggling with the embarrassments and
the prejudices of his own party. This would be mere degradation and
loss of character. He must therefore contemplate the illustration
of his administration by the establishment of principles at once
sound and popular, combining the essence both of Conservatism and
Reform, scrupulously preserving from all assaults the Constitution
in all its purity, and carefully extending every sort of improvement
and reform that the wants of the people or the imperfections of
particular institutions may require. He must reconcile Conservatism
with Reform, and prove to the world that instead of their being
antagonistic principles, they only appear to be, or are rendered so
by the exaggerations and perversions with which interested or bigoted
men invest them both. He must satisfy the people of this country, that
by the maintenance of the ancient Constitution, and the suppression
of Radicalism, their real and permanent interests will be promoted
and secured, and animate and invigorate the sentiment of loyalty and
attachment to the Crown and Constitution, by teaching the universal
lesson, that under its protecting shade the greatest attainable
amount of happiness and prosperity may in all human probability be
obtained. The Opposition fondly hope that Peel's followers will desert
him rather than subscribe to his more liberal and generous maxims of
government. I do not believe it. If success attends him, and they see
his policy producing prosperity and tranquillity, they will be too
happy to 'increase the triumph and partake the gale,' and, after all,
their greatest object must be to secure the Constitution from Radical
inroads, and exclude from power a Government which they believe could
only retain it, if restored, by enormous concessions of a democratic
tendency. I think, therefore, Peel is in no danger of being abandoned
by the great body of the Conservatives, and if the liberality of some
of his measures entails the loss of some Ultra Tories, it will be so
much the better for him. What he has to do is to make himself popular
with the country--not with 'the uninformed mob that swells a nation's
bulk,' but with 'those who are elevated enough in life to reason and
reflect, yet low enough to keep clear of the venal contagion of a
Court,'--as Burns terms them, 'a nation's strength.'


_September 4th._--Went yesterday to Claremont for the Council, at
which the new Ministers were appointed--a day of severe trial for the
Queen, who conducted herself in a manner which excited my greatest
admiration and was really touching to see.[9] All the Members of the
old Government who had Seals or Wands to surrender were there (not
Melbourne), and in one room; the new Cabinet and new Privy Councillors
were assembled in another, all in full dress. The Household were in
the Hall. The Queen saw the people one after another, having already
given audience to Peel. After this was over she sent for me to inform
her in what way the Seals were to be transferred to the new men. I
found her with the Prince, and the table covered with bags and boxes.
She desired I would tell her what was to be done, and if she must
receive them in the Closet, or give them their Seals in Council.
I told her the latter was the usual form, and it was of course
that which she preferred. Having explained the whole course of the
proceeding to her, she begged I would take the Seals away, which I
accordingly did, and had them put upon the Council table. She looked
very much flushed, and her heart was evidently brim full, but she
was composed, and throughout the whole of the proceedings, when her
emotion might very well have overpowered her, she preserved complete
self-possession, composure, and dignity. This struck me as a great
effort of self-control, and remarkable in so young a woman. Taking
leave is always a melancholy ceremony, and to take leave of those who
have been about her for four years, whom she likes, and whom she
thinks are attached to her, together with all the reminiscences and
reflexions which the occasion was calculated to excite, might well
have elicited uncontrollable emotions. But though her feelings were
quite evident, she succeeded in mastering them, and she sat at the
Council Board with a complete presence of mind, and when she declared
the President and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland her voice did not falter.
Though no courtier, I did feel a strong mixture of pity and admiration
at such a display of firmness. The Household almost all came to
resign, but as Peel had not got their successors ready, she would not
accept their resignations, and she was right. They came to me to know
what was to be done. I went to Peel, who wrote down the only people
he had to name--Master of the Horse, Steward, and Vice-Chamberlain. I
gave the paper to the Queen, and it was settled that Errol and Belfast
should alone resign. Lord Jersey kissed hands as Master of the Horse,
and the rest continued to discharge their functions as before. Peel
told me that she had behaved perfectly to him, and that he had said to
her that he considered it his first and greatest duty to consult her
happiness and comfort; that no person should be proposed to her who
could be disagreeable to her, and that whatever claims or pretensions
might be put forward on the score of parliamentary or political
influence, nothing should induce him to listen to them, and he would
take upon himself the whole responsibility of putting an extinguisher
on such claims in any case in which they were inconsistent with
her comfort or opposed to her inclination. I asked him if she had
taken this well, and met it in a corresponding spirit, and he said,
'Perfectly.' In short, he was more than satisfied; he was charmed with
her. She sent to know if any of the new Ministers wished to see her,
but the only one who did so was the Duke of Wellington, who had an
audience of a few minutes. He told me afterwards that she reproached
him for not taking office, and had been very kind to him. He told her
that she might rely on it he had but one object, and that was to serve
her in every way that he possibly could; that he thought he could be
more useful to her without an office than with one; that there were
younger men coming on whom it was better to put in place; and in or
out, she would find him always devoted to her person in any way in
which he could render himself useful to her. So that everything went
off very well, plenty of civilities, and nothing unpleasant; but, for
all these honeyed words, affable resignation on her part, and humble
expressions of duty and devotion on theirs, her heart is very sore,
and her thoughts will long linger on the recollections of the past.


In the evening I dined at Stafford House and met Melbourne. After
dinner he took me aside and said, 'Have you any means of speaking to
_these chaps_?' I said, 'Yes, I can say anything to them.' 'Well,'
he said, 'I think there are one or two things Peel ought to be told,
and I wish you would tell him. Don't let him suffer any appointment
he is going to make to be talked about, and don't let her hear it
through anybody but himself; and whenever he does anything, or has
anything to propose, let him explain to her clearly his reasons. The
Queen is not conceited; she is aware there are many things she cannot
understand, and she likes to have them explained to her elementarily,
not at length and in detail, but shortly and clearly; neither does
she like long audiences, and I never stayed with her a long time.
These things he should attend to, and they will make matters go on
more smoothly.' I told him I would certainly tell Peel, and then I
told him how well she had behaved in the morning, and all Peel had
said to me, and that he might rely on it Peel wished and intended
to consult her comfort in every way, and that he had spoken to me
with great feeling of the painful situation in which he was placed,
and how impossible it was for any man with the commonest feelings of
a gentleman not to be annoyed to the greatest degree at being the
instrument, however unavoidably, of giving her so much pain. I told
him that I knew Peel, so far from taking umbrage at the continuance of
his social relations with her, was desirous that they should not be
broken off. Melbourne said, 'That was a very difficult matter, not on
Peel's account, for he had never imagined he would feel otherwise,
but from other considerations.' This morning I called on Peel and
told him word for word what Melbourne had said to me. He said, 'It
was very kind of Lord Melbourne, and I am much obliged to him; but do
you mean that this refers to anything that has already occurred?' I
said, 'Not at all, but to the future.' Melbourne, knowing the Queen's
mind better than Sir Robert possibly could, wished to tell him these
things in order that matters might go on more smoothly. He said that
he had hitherto taken care to explain everything to her, and that he
should not fail to attend to the advice. I then repeated to him pretty
much of the conversation I had had with Melbourne, and added that I
had told him I was sure from what I had heard from others (not from
Peel himself), that so far from taking umbrage at any continuance of
the social intercourse between him and the Queen, he was perfectly
content it should continue. He said that 'it was ridiculous to suppose
he could have any jealousy of the kind, that he had full reliance on
the Queen's fairness towards him, and besides he knew very well how
useless it would be to interfere, if there were any disposition to act
unfairly towards him, as he was sure there would not be. Nothing he
could do could prove effectual to prevent any mischief, and therefore
implicit confidence was the wisest course. People told him that Mr.
M---- was a person to be guarded against, but he treated all such
intimations with the greatest contempt. The idea of a Prime Minister
having anything to fear from Mr. M--, or anybody in his situation, was


He then talked of his communications with the Queen. He said that
he had told her that if any other Ministerial arrangement had been
possible, if any other individual could have been substituted for him,
as far as his personal inclinations were concerned, he should have
been most ready to give way to such person; but it was impossible
for him not to be aware that no man but himself could form the
Government, and that he had taken on himself responsibilities, and
owed obligations to his Party, which compelled him to accept the task.
The Queen had agreed upon this necessity, and upon the impossibility
of anybody else being substituted for him. He said a great deal to me
of his own indifference to office, of the enormous sacrifices which it
entailed upon him; and as to power, that he possessed enough of power
out of office to satisfy him, if power was his object. He had told the
Queen that his present position enabled him to make concessions to her
which it was impossible for him to do in '39, when he was so weak and
in a minority in the House of Commons; that now he could consult her
wishes in a manner that was then out of his power, and with regard to
her Household she should have no one forced upon her contrary to her
own inclination. As to her Ladies, he hoped, under the circumstances,
she would take Conservatives, but he had no desire to suggest any
particular individuals. Those who were most agreeable to her would be
most acceptable to him, and he begged her to make her own selection.
As to the men, she had said she did not care who they were, provided
they were of good character; but every appointment had been made in
concert with her, and it so happened that they were all exactly such
as he had wished to make, as well as such as she liked to have. He
then repeated that he would not suffer her to be annoyed with the
pretensions of any people who would be disagreeable to her. He knew
that there were many expectations, and would be many disappointments,
but he could not help that, and if Conservatives were not ready to
make some personal sacrifices--if for the advantage of having their
Party placed in power they would not postpone their claims--he could
not help it, and must take the consequences whatever they might be.

He was a good deal disappointed at the Duchess of Buccleuch's refusal
to be Mistress of the Robes. Besides the extreme difficulty of finding
a fit person for the office, it is awkward and mortifying to have
so much difficulty in filling up these high places; and the Duke of
Rutland's refusal to be Chamberlain, and the subsequent offer to Lord
Exeter (who had not given his answer), made it more mortifying to
those candidates to whom no offers are made. He has, in fact, deeply
offended and mortified a great many expectants of office, and first
and foremost the Duke of Beaufort, who, after having received the
Queen at his house, and been distinguished with rather peculiar marks
of favour, fully expected that he would have been selected as one
especially agreeable to Her Majesty, instead of finding himself in
a manner proscribed, he cannot tell why. The Irish lords, Glengall
and Charleville, are also furious, and consider Ireland--that is,
Orange Ireland--insulted and neglected in their persons; the Beauforts
are only sulky. Wilton is another disappointed aspirant; but the
Irish lords are open-mouthed and abusive. On the other hand, his
Whig enemies accuse him of endeavouring to shift the odium of these
exclusions on the Queen, which is certainly not true; but in these
times bitterness and disappointment never fail to engender swarms of

With regard to Peel and his conduct, I think he is doing well,
and acting a fair, manly, and considerate part. He was wrong, I
think, to ask her to name Conservative Ladies. The principle of a
mixed household having been admitted, he had better have placed no
limitation on her discretion, and she would probably have taken
Conservatives. While he was talking to me, I felt some surprise--some
at his tone about office and power, some at what he said about M--,
and all that. I thought to myself, 'You are a very clever man; you
are not a bad man; but you are not great.' He may become as great
a Minister as abilities can make any man; but to achieve real
greatness, elevation of mind must be intermingled with intellectual
capacity, and this I doubt his having. There is a something which
will confine his genius to the earth instead of letting it soar on
high. I dare say he can be just, liberal, generous and wise, but he
has been so long habituated to expedients, to partial dissimulation,
to indirect courses, and has such a limited knowledge of the world
and human nature, and so little disposition or desire for reciprocal
confidence with other men, that I doubt his mind ever expanding
into a true liberality and generosity of feeling. However, he has
never before been in possession of real and great power, his course
has been impeded and embarrassed by all sorts of obstructions and
difficulties. It remains to be seen how he will act in his new
capacity, and whether he will assert his independence to its fullest
extent; above all, whether he will elevate his moral being to 'the
height of his great argument.'

    [Footnote 9: Sir Robert Peel's Administration was composed as

      First Lord of the Treasury    Sir Robert Peel
      Lord Chancellor               Lord Lyndhurst
      Lord President                Lord Wharncliffe
      Lord Privy Seal               Duke of Buckingham (and, on his
                                      retirement, the Duke of Buccleuch)
      Chancellor of the Exchequer   Right Hon. H. Goulburn
      Home Secretary                Sir James Graham
      Foreign Secretary             Earl of Aberdeen
      Colonial Secretary            Lord Stanley
      Secretary at War              Sir Henry Hardinge (and, on his
                                      departure for India, Right Hon.
                                      Sidney Herbert)
      Board of Control              Lord Ellenborough (and, on his
                                      departure for India, Lord
                                      FitzGerald--on his death, Earl of
      Board of Trade                Earl of Ripon (and subsequently Mr.
      Duchy of Lancaster            Lord Granville Somerset
      Postmaster-General            Lord Lowther
      First Lord of the Admiralty   Earl of Haddington
      Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland    Earl de Grey
      Woods and Forests             Earl of Lincoln]


_September 6th._--Yesterday I called on Melbourne and told him what
had passed between Peel and myself. We had a great deal of talk about
things and people connected with the Court, about the appointments and
the exclusions which were producing so much heartburning. The woman
the Queen would prefer for her Mistress of the Robes is Lady Abercorn.
She said Peel was so shy, that it made her shy, and this renders their
intercourse difficult and embarrassing, but Melbourne thinks this may
wear off in time. I said it might be eased by his cultivating the
Prince, with whom he could discuss art, literature, and the tastes
they had in common. After a good deal of loose talk, we parted, he
saying that if anything else occurred to him he thought desirable
to communicate, he would send to me. So here am I strangely enough
established as the medium of communication between the present and the
past Prime Ministers, and have got the office of smoothing away the
asperities of royal and official intercourse. If I can do any good,
and prevent some evil, above all destroy the effects of falsehood and
malignity, and assist in making truth prevail, I shall be satisfied.

_September 7th._--I fell in with the Duke of Wellington yesterday
coming from the Cabinet, and walked home with him. He seemed very
well, but totters in his walk. The great difference in him is his
irritability, and the asperity with which he speaks of people.
Everybody looks at him, all take off their hats to him, and one
woman came up and spoke to him. He did not seem to hear what she
was saying, but assuming as a matter of course that, she wanted
something, he said, 'Do me the favour, Ma'am, to write to me,' and
then moved on as quickly as he could. Not that by her writing she
would get much, for he has answers lithographed, to be sent to his
numerous applicants, which is rather comical because characteristic.
I had some talk with him about the applicants, when he told me, in
confirmation of what Melbourne had said, that it was the Prince who
insisted upon spotless character. He said it was impossible to explain
all this, and he was aware how mortified and angry these people are,
but he said some means must be found of pacifying them in other ways,
and he talked in such terms of Beaufort's capacity that I began to
think he was contemplating an embassy for him. They have been very
fortunately delivered from the embarrassment of Lord Londonderry by
the extravagance of his pretensions. They offered him Vienna, which he
rejected with disdain; he wanted Paris, and not getting this, he went
off in high dudgeon, and they were too happy to make him their bow
and have done with him. In my opinion they were very wrong to offer
him anything at all. It was a great blunder six years ago to have
proposed to send him to Petersburg. He is neither useful abroad nor
dangerous at home, and might very properly be left to his fate and his

_September 8th._--Peel's troubles about the Household are drawing to
a close, as he has prevailed on the Duchess of Buccleuch to take the
Robes, and most of the others are named--on the whole pretty well, but
with some exceptions.


_September 17th._--A Council at Windsor on Wednesday, the first
since the change. It went off very well, all the new Ministers being
satisfied with their reception. The Queen was very gracious and
good-humoured. At dinner she had the Duke next to her (his deaf ear
unluckily) and talked to him a good deal. After dinner she spoke to
Aberdeen and then to Peel, much as she used to her old Ministers. I
saw no difference in her manner. She talked for some time to Peel,
who could not help putting himself into his accustomed attitude
of a dancing master giving a lesson. She would like him better if
he would keep his legs still. When we went into the drawing-room
Melbourne's chair was gone, and she had already given orders to the
Lord-in-waiting to put all the Ministers down to whist, so that there
was no possibility of any conversation, and she sat all the evening
at her round table with Lady De la Warr on one side and Lady Portman
on the other, perhaps well enough for a beginning, but too stupid
if intended to last. There was no general conversation. The natural
thing would have been to get the Duke of Wellington to narrate some
of the events of his life, which are to the last degree interesting,
but this never seems to have crossed her mind. Peel told me that
nobody could form an idea of what he had had to go through in the
disposal of places, the adjustment of conflicting claims, and in
answering particular applications, everybody thinking their own case
the strongest in the world, and that they alone ought to be excepted
from any general rule. I take it the examples of selfishness and
self-sufficiency have been beyond all conception. A few I heard of:
old Maryborough at seventy-nine years old is not content with passing
the few years he may have to live in repose, and is indignant that
nothing was offered to him. Lefroy, Peel told me, was with him for
an hour consuming his precious time, and he had been forced to tell
him that he must and would make his judicial appointments according
to his own sense of their fitness and propriety. Chin Grant wanting
to be Chairman of Ways and Means; everybody, as Peel said, fancying
that to any office they had ever held they had a sort of vested right
and title, and forgetting that younger men must be brought forward. I
told him that he had had a great escape in Londonderry's refusal to
go to Vienna, and that the appointment would have done him infinite
mischief. The Duke of Beaufort has now applied for the Embassy at
Vienna by letter to Peel.

_September 22nd._--Peel is going on skirmishing in the House of
Commons, where a Whig or a Radical every now and then fires a little
shot at the new Government. John Russell is gone into the country.
The grand topic of complaint is the refusal of Government to bring
forward any measures of relief to the suffering interests, and any
financial projects, before the usual period of meeting next year.
But the Opposition have made no case, though perhaps Peel would
have done wisely to call Parliament together again in November. The
appointments are most of them completed, except the diplomatic posts,
which are still uncertain, and the Governor-Generalship of India.
This was offered to Haddington, who refused it, and it is a curious
circumstance that a man so unimportant, so destitute not only of
shining but of plausible qualities, without interest or influence,
should by a mere combination of accidental circumstances have had at
his disposal three of the greatest and most important offices under
the Crown, having actually occupied two of them, and rejected the
greatest and most brilliant of all. He has been Lord Lieutenant of
Ireland, he refuses to be Governor General of India, and he is First
Lord of the Admiralty. To the list of the discontented I find one may
be added in the person of Chief Justice Burke, who came over here to
bargain for his retirement and solicit a peerage. He has held on that
a Conservative Government might dispose of his office, and he thinks
he has a good claim to be made a peer. But he has not only not got
what he wants, but complains that Peel has been wanting in courtesy in
not having any personal communication with him. He expected Peel would
send for him, but he did not, and the Chief is gone back to Ireland
with a strong sense of neglect and ill-usage.


_September 27th._--Went on Friday to Woburn, and returned yesterday.
Nobody there but Sir George Seymour and his wife, and old Lord
Lynedoch, who is ninety-six, and just going to Italy for the winter.
Not much talk on politics, but, with reference to the sanguine
expectations of Palmerston of a speedy restoration to office, the
Duke confirmed what I before thought, that, even if the road was
again open, the old Government never could be reconstituted, and
that, whatever others might do, Lord John never would consent to its
restoration _tale quale_, for example, with Melbourne at its head,
with all his vacillation and weakness. But as the Queen has no notion
of a Whig Government except that of Melbourne, and cares for nobody
else, it would not at all meet her wishes and expectations to propose
the formation of a Cabinet with any other Chief. I suspect Lord John
would agree to no plan which did not make himself Prime Minister, and
he would be quite right. Palmerston would agree to anything which
took him back to the Foreign Office; but he would find the Foreign
Office under Lord John a very different thing from the Foreign
Office under Melbourne; and as the vindictive nature of Palmerston
will never forgive Lord John for the part he took in the Eastern
business, and as Lord John, though with a strange facility he became
reconciled to Palmerston, has no confidence in him, I do not see how
they could possibly go on.[10] It is very pleasant to be at Woburn,
with or without society, a house abounding in every sort of luxury
and comfort, and with inexhaustible resources for every taste--a
capital library, all the most curious and costly books, pictures,
prints, interesting portraits, gallery of sculpture, garden with the
rarest exotics, collected and maintained at a vast expense--in short,
everything that wealth and refined taste can supply.

I read there a Diary of John Duke of Bedford (Junius's Duke), which
is not at all interesting, but it affords strong evidence to show the
injustice of Junius, and that he was a very good sort of man instead
of being the monster that Junius represents him. The Duke told me that
the intimacy in which Sir Philip Francis had lived with his uncle,
and his having been an habitual guest at Woburn, was quite enough to
account for his concealing and denying that he was the author. It
would certainly have drawn a host of enemies upon him, as all the
Russells and Fitzroys would have felt in duty bound to resent the
fierce and savage attacks of Junius upon their grandfather and father.
He had every motive for concealment, and none for disclosure, and as
to his vanity, that must have been amply gratified by the general
suspicion and acknowledgement (implied by the suspicion) that he was
_capable_ of writing Junius. I never had a doubt that Francis was
Junius, and that belief is growing very general.

Nothing new in politics. Lord John is gone to Endsleigh, but
Palmerston sticks to his place in the House of Commons. There is a
good deal of skirmishing, and Peel's opponents have done him great
service by making very feeble and ineffective attacks on him, which
just enabled him to make good speeches in reply, and to put forth his
case to the country, for the course he is pursuing, in the manner most
likely to make an impression. His answer last Friday to a pert speech
of Patrick Stewart's was excellent.

    [Footnote 10: [This is precisely what did occur, though it was
    many years afterwards. Lord John Russell returned to office as
    Prime Minister in 1846, and Lord Palmerston resumed the direction
    of Foreign Affairs; but, after innumerable disputes, which will
    be related here _en temps et lieu_, his colleagues could endure
    it no longer and turned him out in December, 1851; but this event
    led shortly afterwards to the dissolution of Lord John Russell's
    Government as is here foretold.]]

_September 29th._--Mellish gave me an account, last night, of
Palmerston's last doings at the Foreign Office. He created five new
paid attachés without the smallest necessity, and all within a few
days of his retirement. This was done to provide for a Howard, an
Elliot, and a Duff, and a son of Sir Augustus Poster, whose provision
was made part of the conditions of another job, the retirement of Sir
Augustus to make way for Abercromby, Lord Minto's son-in-law,--all
foul jobbing at the public expense, and to all this useless waste the
austere and immaculate Francis Baring, Chancellor of the Exchequer,
the Cerberus who growls at every claimant on the Treasury, no matter
how just his claims may be, gave his consent, complacent to his daring
and unscrupulous colleague. Mellish told me another anecdote of
Palmerston, that eleven thousand pounds (I put it in letters, because
in figures some error might have been suspected) had been spent in
_one year_, at the Foreign Office, in chaises and four conveying
messengers to overtake the mail with his private letters, which never
were ready in time. Nothing ever equalled the detestation in which
he is regarded at that Office; still, they do justice to his ability
and to his indefatigable industry, and they say that any change
of Government which would take place must include him in the new


Last night Charles Buller told me he did not think Peel's Government
would last, because he did not go the way to make it last, but that
he thought Peel himself had done admirably well in every respect;
and he must own the Government, as far as they had gone, had
behaved properly and handsomely, especially about the Poor Laws and
Canada--better than the late would have done as to the last. It is
remarkable that the very people belonging to the late Government had
no respect for it and no confidence in it. He owned to me that it was
time such a miserable apology for a Government as the late Cabinet was
(these were my words, not his) should come to an end: a government
of departments, absolutely without a chief, hating, distrusting,
despising one another, having no principles and no plans, living from
hand to mouth, able to do nothing, and indifferent whether they did
anything or not, proposing measures without the hope or expectation
of carrying them, and clinging to their places for no other reason
than because they had bound themselves to the Queen, who insisted on
their continuance in spite of their feelings of conscious humiliation
and admitted impotence, merely because she loved to have Melbourne
domesticated at Windsor Castle, and she could not have him there on
any other terms.

_November 8th._--Above a month since I have written anything in this
book. I left London the second week in October; went to Burghley,
thence to Newmarket, to Thornhill's; Newmarket again, Charles
Drummond's, and London this day week. In this interval my history is
very brief and uninteresting. The principal events consist of the
affair at Canton, and the failure of the Spanish Christina plot, the
Exchequer Bill business, the burning of the Tower, and now we are
occupied with the approaching delivery of the Queen, and the probable
death of the Queen Dowager.

Elliot[11] is expected home any day. There is a mighty clamour against
him, but he confidently asserts, and his friends fondly hope, that
he will be able to make his case good. The Government will treat him
impartially, for Lord Wharncliffe said to me the other day that he was
not at all sure it would not turn out that Elliot was quite right in
what he had done at Canton; but the disappointment, and disapprobation
of the General and the Admiral have naturally damaged him in public
opinion here, and people are so sick of this silly, inglorious, but
mischievous war, that they are exasperated at any opportunity having
been lost of terminating it by a decisive blow.

In the Spanish business Louis Philippe has been intriguing up to
the chin, without the participation, but not at least without the
knowledge of Guizot. Everybody knows this, and our press has let
loose against him without reserve; but we must screen his delinquency
as well as we can, and pretend not to see it. It is a marvellous
thing that so wise a man can't be a little honest, and, as has been
remarked, a striking fact that, notwithstanding his great reputation
for sagacity, he is constantly engaged in underhand schemes, in which
he is generally both baffled and detected; and it is also remarkable
that, though a humane and good-natured man, and both brave and
politic, and felt to be necessary to France and Europe, he is both
disliked and despised. His history and his character afford materials
for a fine moral essay.

The Exchequer Bill business is very disagreeable, coming in the midst
of our other embarrassments, and the depth of it is not yet fathomed.
The Government were very much dissatisfied with Monteagle,[12] who,
they thought, did not evince a disposition to act cordially and
effectually with them: not that they suspected him of any improper
motive or culpable conduct, but he made difficulties, and stood on
absurd punctilios, which provoked and annoyed them; but latterly they
have been better satisfied.


The Tower will cost money,[13] but there is no great loss sustained
except that of some new percussion muskets, about 11,000. The old arms
were useless and unsaleable, so that they are rather glad to have got
rid of them.

    [Footnote 11: [Captain, afterwards Sir Charles Elliot, had been
    the diplomatic agent of the Government in the ports of China at
    the time of the seizure of opium by the Chinese Government. He was
    blamed at the time, but subsequent events showed him to have been

    [Footnote 12: [Lord Monteagle was Comptroller of the Exchequer
    when this great forgery of Exchequer Bills took place, to a very
    large amount, which the Treasury lost. These bills were put into
    circulation by a man named Rapallo, the same who advanced money to
    Louis Napoleon for his Boulogne expedition in 1840. It is probable,
    therefore, that there was some connexion between the two events.]]

    [Footnote 13: [A fire broke out in the Tower of London, Oct. 31,
    which consumed the grand storehouse and small armoury. The total
    loss in stores and buildings was estimated at 200,000_l._]]

_November 11th._--The Queen was delivered of a son at forty-eight
minutes after ten on Tuesday morning the 9th. From some crotchet of
Prince Albert's, they put off sending intelligence of Her Majesty
being in labour till so late that several of the Dignitaries, whose
duty it was to assist at the birth, arrived after the event had
occurred, particularly the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lord
President of the Council. At two o'clock a Council was held, and the
usual thanksgiving ordered. Last year the Prince took the chair, which
was all wrong; and this time I placed him at the top of the table
on the left, the Archbishop next him. None of the Royal Dukes were
summoned. 'God save the Queen' was sung with great enthusiasm at all
the theatres, and great joy manifested generally. The event came very
opportunely for the Lord Mayor's dinner. It was odd enough that the
same day Peel had been engaged with two or three more to dine at the
Palace, and had been forced to send excuses to the Lord Mayor, though
the Queen must have known it was Lord Mayor's Day. Melbourne under
similar circumstances would have gone to the Mansion House, but these
people are forced to stand rather more on ceremony than he was.

A curious point has arisen, interesting to the Guards. It has been the
custom for the officer on guard at St. James's Palace to be promoted
to a majority when a Royal Child is born.[14] The guard is relieved at
forty-five minutes after ten. At that hour the new guard marched into
the Palace Yard, and at forty-eight minutes after ten the child was
born. The question arises which officer is entitled to the promotion.
The officer of the fresh guard claims it because the relief marched
in before the birth, and the keys were delivered over to him; but the
other officer claims it because the sentries had not been changed when
the child was actually born, his men were still on guard, and he
disputes the fact of the delivery of the keys, arguing that in all
probability this had not occurred at the moment of the birth. The case
is before Lord Hill for his decision.

It is odd enough that there is a similar case involving civic honours
at Chester. The Prince being Earl of Chester by birth, the Mayor of
Chester claims a Baronetcy. The old Mayor went out and the new Mayor
came into office the same day and about the same hour, and it is
doubtful which functionary is entitled to the honour. The ex-Mayor was
a Whig banker, and the new one is a Tory linendraper.

I find that, during the Queen's confinement, all the boxes and
business are transmitted as usual to the Palace, and the former opened
and returned by the Prince. He established this practice last year. At
first orders were given to the Foreign Office to send no more boxes to
the Palace; but two days after, fresh orders were received to send the
boxes as usual, and to furnish the Prince with the necessary keys.

    [Footnote 14: They found on enquiry that there was no precedent for
    the promotion but they have given it notwithstanding. The old guard
    got it.]

_November 19th._--Met Captain Elliot at dinner yesterday, who was
very amusing with his accounts of China. He seems (for I never saw
him before) animated, energetic, and vivacious, clever, eager,
high-spirited, and gay. He, of course, makes his own case very good,
and, whatever may be the merit or demerit of his conduct, taken as a
whole, I am inclined to think he will be able to vindicate his latest
exploit at Canton. He casts as much blame on the Admiral and General
as they did on him--that is, he treats them, and their notions and
censures, with great contempt. He also disapproves of the course we
are meditating, and says that we are all wrong to think of waging war
with China in any way but by our ships, and, above all, to wish to
establish diplomatic relations with her.


All is quiet enough here. The new Ministers tell me they are strong in
the country, and that a general feeling of satisfaction and security
is diffused by the substitution of a real working Government for the
last batch. They are certainly working very hard, and mean to allow
themselves no repose. Cabinets have been constantly held, and in the
beginning of December they are to meet for the purpose of regular and
unbroken consultation. As yet, whatever Peel may contemplate, he has
proposed nothing to his colleagues, so that no dissensions can have
taken place among them, for the simple reason that there has been no
discussion. I asked Lord Wharncliffe what the Duke of Buckingham would
do when they came to discuss the Corn Laws, etc. He said he did not
know; hitherto he had given no indications, and had, in fact, done
nothing but apply to all the Ministers for places, being exceedingly
greedy after patronage. He describes him as a very ordinary man, and
apparently without any habits of, or taste for, business. Such as he
is, however, he is at the head of a powerful interest, and they did
well to take him in, end as it may. If Peel proposes Liberal measures,
and can prevail on Buckingham to go along with him, his task will
be much easier. If he is obstinate, and they turn him out, it will
tell well with the country. I never contemplate the other alternative
of Peel's succumbing to the Duke of Buckingham and the Corn Law

Meanwhile, Lord Ripon's conduct with regard to Macgregor is not
calculated to excite favourable expectations with reference to Free
Trade,[15] only it may have arisen more from personal than political
motives. As soon as he came into office he told Macgregor that, after
his evidence (on the Import Duties), he could have no confidence in
him, and it was better frankly to tell him so. Macgregor expressed
his regret, said that his opinions were unaltered, and that he was
confident time would prove their correctness, and that Lord Ripon
himself, or whoever might be Minister, would in the end be obliged to
adopt the principles he had propounded. Some days afterwards Ripon
again spoke to him in the same strain, informed him that he had no
confidence in him, and could not, therefore, with any satisfaction
transact business with him. To this Macgregor responded that it was
better he should once for all make known to his Lordship that he had
no intention of resigning, that he should give his best assistance
to him as President of the Board of Trade, without reference to any
political considerations, and that if he chose to turn him out in
consequence of the evidence he had given before the Committee of the
House of Commons, he was of course at liberty to do so. This silenced
Ripon, and he has never since returned to the subject. The truth seems
to be that he wants the place for H. Ellis, and thought he could make
Macgregor resign by what he said to him.

My brother writes me word that Louis Philippe has been plunging
chin-deep into the Spanish intrigues, and is now furious at having
been detected, and at the abuse which is lavished on him. We seem to
have taken a very proper course, keeping matters quiet, and without
any interference, giving the most cordial and amicable assurances to
the Spanish Government. Guizot is supposed to have had no concern in
these underhand dealings, but he can hardly avoid being mixed up in
them, and he will probably in the end be forced to become an unwilling
party to the King's manoeuvres, or to give up his office to Molé, who
will be glad to take it on any terms, and the King too happy to have

    [Footnote 15: [Lord Ripon was President of the Board of Trade and a
    Protectionist; Macgregor a strong Free Trader, and it is due to him
    to add that he contributed considerably as Secretary of the Board
    of Trade to the triumph of Free Trade principles, though he was a
    very inferior man to his colleague, Mr. Porter.]]


    Anecdotes about the Exchequer Bill Forgery--M. de St. Aulaire
    Ambassador in London--Morbid Irritability of the Duke--Macaulay
    on Street Ballads--Sir Edmund Head, Poor Law Commissioner--The
    Duke's Delusion--The Lord Chief Justice closes the Term--Armorial
    Bearings of the Prince of Wales--Relations of Ministers with
    the Queen--Lord William Russell recalled from Berlin--Arbitrary
    Appointment of Magistrates--Anecdote of Sarah, Duchess of
    Marlborough--Lord Spencer on the Corn Laws--Lord Lieutenancy of
    Northamptonshire--Visit to Bowood--Mrs. Fanny Kemble--Macaulay's
    Conversation--Macaulay's Departure--Lord Ashburton's
    Mission--The Chinese War--Unpopularity of Lord Palmerston--A
    Diplomatic Squabble--Prussian Treatment of Newspapers--Fire
    at Woburn Abbey--Duke of Wellington himself again--King of
    Prussia arrives--Proceedings of the Government--The Duke of
    Buckingham resigns--Relations with France--Opening of the
    New Parliament--King of Prussia's Visit--The Speech from the
    Throne--Lord Palmerston's Hostility to France--The Queen and Her
    Ministers--Dispute about a Scotch Judge--Corn Laws--A Letter
    from Jellalabad--The Corn Law Debate--The Battersea Schools--A
    Calm--Sir Robert Peel's Budget--The Disaster at Cabul--Death and
    Funeral of the Marquis of Hertford--Sir Robert Peel's Financial
    Measures--The Whig View of Peel--Archdeacon Singleton--Lord
    Munster's Death--Colonel Armstrong--Theatricals at Bridgwater
    House--Summary of the Session--The Occupation of Afghanistan--Lord
    Wellesley's Opinion--Afghan Policy of the Government--Lord
    Ashburton's Treaty--The Missing Map.

_November 24th, 1841._--If I do not vary the nature and enlarge
the scope of this Journal, I shall very soon be completely aground
and have nothing whatever to put down, for I am placed in very
different circumstances with the present and the late Government. I
have no intimacy or social habits with any of these people, and the
consequence is that I know little or nothing of what is going on. I
have, for a long time past, accustomed myself to what is, I believe,
a very foolish, unprofitable way of writing. I have almost entirely
given up entering anything except such scraps of political information
as I have picked up by one means or another, and consequently have
grown very idle, and my entries have often had long intervals between
them. Somebody remarked the other day what innumerable things were
lost for want of some curious observer and chronicler, who would
be at the trouble of recording and hoarding them in something less
voluminous, and therefore more accessible than the columns of a
newspaper. I was struck with the truth of this, and thought how many
anecdotes, verses, _jeux d'esprit_, and miscellanies of various kinds
I might have rescued from oblivion, but had never thought of doing so,
because they had appeared in newspapers. Partly, therefore, because
it may be more or less interesting and amusing, and partly because I
think I shall have no political facts or circumstances to record, I
have resolved to fill my pages with more general matter, although,
such is the inveterate force of habit, I am anything but sure that I
shall adhere to my resolution.

The other night I heard how the Exchequer Bill affair was first
discovered. Some merchant in the City wrote to the Chancellor of the
Exchequer, and told him that there was some great negligence in the
Exchequer Bill Office, for he was in possession of two bills, both of
the same number. Goulburn sent for Maule, and told him to go to the
Exchequer and enquire into this. He went and told his errand, on which
Smith asked him to go with him into the next room. He went, when Smith
said, 'The fact is, one of these bills is forged. There has been a
system of forgery going on for many years, and I am guilty of being
concerned in it.' Maule asked him if he had any objection to repeat
this confession in the presence of his clerk, who was below, and he
said, none whatever. He might easily have got away, but now they think
his confession was a stroke of policy, and that he made it, believing
that no law will reach him.


Another curious thing has happened. Lord Sudeley went with his brother
to some sparring exhibition, where their pockets were picked. The
brother had had the precaution to clear his of everything valuable,
but Lord Sudeley lost three Exchequer bills of 1,000_l._ each. He gave
notice of his loss, and the usual means were adopted for recovering
the bills, the numbers stopped, and so forth. Not long ago a man
came into a banker's at Liverpool, and said he was going abroad, and
wanted money, and would be much obliged if they would give him some
in exchange for an Exchequer bill. He handed the bill in, when the
banker, on looking at it, thought it was the same number as one of the
advertised bills, and he told the gentleman that such was the case.
The man expressed ignorance and surprise, but said that of course he
could not expect the money under such circumstances, and begged he
would give him back the bill. The other said he was sorry he could
not do that, as he was bound to detain it. 'Well, then,' said the
man, 'if that is the case, I will call again to-morrow, and you will
be able, in the meanwhile, to enquire further into the business.' But
the banker replied he could not allow him to go either, and was under
the necessity of detaining him as well as the bill. A police-officer
was sent for, and the gentleman was led into another room. Having
secured his person, they concluded that the other Exchequer bills
were probably not far off, and that somebody would call in the course
of the day to make enquiry about the person in custody, and for this
expected visit they set a watch. In a short time a man did come and
enquire, when they told him the gentleman had been obliged to go off
to London. The officer followed the enquirer to his lodging and into
his room, where he explained the object of his visit. The man said
he might make any search he pleased, which he immediately did, but
without success. He was therefore preparing to leave the room, but as
he passed the bed his eye fell upon a waistcoat, which the man had
just taken off and thrown upon it. He had already searched the pockets
before the man had taken it off, but nevertheless was tempted to take
the waistcoat up again, when suddenly the man flew upon him, and
seized him by the throat. A violent struggle ensued, but eventually
the officer was able to examine the waistcoat closely, and concealed
therein were the other two Exchequer bills. Thus all three were
recovered, but they turned out to be all three forged.

I have had a letter from M. Guizot, desiring I would make M. de St.
Aulaire's acquaintance, and be civil to him, and St. Aulaire told
Reeve that he had been desired by Guizot to cultivate him and me as
the two most valuable acquaintances he could make.[16] I have been
presented to him, and we had a long palaver the other night, in which
he was extremely civil and cordial; but I am so out of the habit of
speaking French, that I find myself floundering terribly when I get
into great talk, which is very stupid and mortifying. I have written
to Guizot, and told him I should be very happy to do anything I could
for St. Aulaire, and especially to render any assistance in my power
to _him_, but that I must candidly tell him I do not know half so much
of what was going on now as I had done when the late Government were
in office.

They tell me that Aberdeen is doing very well, working very hard,
taking up every question, writing well on them all, and displaying
much greater firmness than he did before.


The Duke of Wellington is remarkably well. I saw him yesterday for
the first time since the Council at Windsor, and he said he never
was better. But he is altered in character strangely. He has now a
morbid aversion to seeing people, which nearly amounts to madness.
Nobody can get access to him, not even his nearest relations. When
anybody applies for an interview, he flies into a passion, and the
answers which he dictates to letters asking for audiences, or asking
for anything, are so brutally uncivil and harsh that my brother
Algy constantly modifies or alters them. The Duke fancies he is so
engaged that he cannot spare time to see anybody. This peculiarity
is the more remarkable, because formerly his weakness was a love of
being consulted by everybody, and mixed up with everything. Nobody
was ever in a difficulty without applying to him; innumerable were
the quarrels, _tracasseries_, scandals, intrigues, and scrapes which
he had to arrange and compose. He has for a long time past kept up a
correspondence with Raikes, encouraging him to write at great length,
and punctually answering his letters. Raikes came over here to see
what he could get, and the Duke interested himself in his favour, and
spoke to Aberdeen; but although they have so long been correspondents,
Raikes has never been able to obtain an audience at Apsley House,
for though he solicited that favour as soon as he came, the Duke has
never once admitted him. I was yesterday with Messrs. Sidebottom, in
Lincoln's Inn, for the purpose of settling the disputes between Lord
de Mauley and Lord Kinnaird, when they told me what had passed about
the Duke's personal property, when a bill was brought in, upon Douro's
marriage, to settle a jointure on Lady Douro. They urged him to take
that opportunity to entail on the title all the curious and valuable
things which had been given him by emperors and kings, and to have a
clause inserted in the Bill for that purpose. He consented, but when
he saw it, he said he did not like it; he thought the enumeration
_flashy_, and he would have it expunged. At last they hit on an
expedient, and they introduced a clause to the effect that anything
which he should appoint by deed within two years should be entailed on
the title for ever, and they prevailed on him to sign the deed on the
very last day of the two years. The value of the property is said to
amount to half a million, and a great number of things were brought
to light which he did not know that he possessed. If his two sons
die without issue, which is very probable, the disposal of all these
valuables reverts to him.[17]

    [Footnote 16: [The Marquis de St. Aulaire arrived about this
    time as Ambassador of France at the Court of St. James'. He was
    the finished type of a French nobleman and diplomatist of the
    old school, remarkable for the elegance of his manners and the
    _finesse_ of his conversation. Nor was he devoid of literary
    accomplishments. His 'History of the Fronde' was regarded as one of
    the best works of the period.]]

    [Footnote 17: [The then Marquis of Douro lived to succeed his
    father, and became the second Duke of Wellington, dying in 1884
    without issue. His brother, Lord Charles Wellesley, died before
    him, and the title descended to his son, the third and present Duke
    of Wellington.]]

_November 27th._--On Thursday I dined with Milman,[18] to meet
Macaulay, Sydney Smith, and Babbage. Pretty equal partition of talk
between Sydney and Macaulay. The latter has been employing his busy
mind in gathering all the ballads he can pick up, buying strings
of them in the streets, and he gave us an amusing account of the
character of this species of literature, repeating lines and stanzas
without end. The ballad writers, who may be supposed to represent
the opinions and feelings of the masses for whose delectation they
compose, do not, according to Macaulay, exhibit very high moral
sentiments, as they evince a great partiality for criminals, and
are the strenuous opposers of humanity to animals. We dined at the
Prebendal House, once Ashburnham House, very handsome, and with one
of the most elegant staircases I ever saw anywhere, the work of Inigo
Jones. Yesterday I dined with Bingham Baring, Henry Taylor, John Mill
(son of the historian and a very clever man), and Emerson Tennent,
agreeable enough. The day's newspapers announced the sudden death
of Chantrey, the most eminent of contemporary sculptors, but not, I
suspect, for I am no judge, of a high order of genius. His busts were
very happy, but I am not aware of any great work of imaginative art
which he has produced, and his two children in Lichfield Cathedral
have always been quoted as the greatest proof of his power.[19]

    [Footnote 18: [Dr. Milman was at this time a Prebendary of
    Westminster Abbey, afterwards Dean of St. Paul's.]]

    [Footnote 19: [The Lichfield monument was designed by Stothard, and
    executed in sculpture by Chantrey.]]


_November 30th._--Graham has made Sir Edmund Head Poor Law
Commissioner, an appointment very creditable to him. The Government
are certainly going on well, and Tufnell, as strong a Whig as any,
told me last night he thought their appointments excellent, and that
they were doing very well. This appointment of Head is what Normanby
was urged, but was afraid, to make. He shrank from it, however, for
very poor reasons, not honourable to himself or to others concerned.
First of all, John Russell's trying to thrust Rich upon him, a man not
for one moment to be compared with Head, and then because Chadwick was
against him. Accordingly he left it to the Tories, fully expecting
they would appoint Colonel A'Court; but Graham has thrown over all
party considerations, and having, after strict enquiry, satisfied
himself that Head is the ablest and the fittest man, he has given him
the situation.

A correspondence has just appeared in the papers between the Duke of
Wellington and the Paisley deputation, which is exceedingly painful
to read, calculated to be very injurious to the Government, whom
their enemies are always accusing of indifference to the public
distress, and which, in my opinion, exhibits a state of mind in the
Duke closely bordering on insanity. This deputation is come up to
represent the distress prevailing at Paisley, and they ask for an
interview to lay the case before the Duke. He refuses to see them,
and writes a letter much in the style of his printed circulars,
alleging that he has no time, and that he holds no office, and has no
influence. They remonstrate temperately and respectfully, still press
for the interview, and then he makes no reply whatever. All this is
lamentable; it is a complete delusion he is under; he has nothing to
do, and he has boundless influence. When we reflect upon his habits
at the time he was Prime Minister, still more when he was in Spain,
with such weight on his Atlantean shoulders, when he would find time
for everything and for everybody's affairs, and when we compare the
language of his despatches, and the conduct they exhibit, with his
present querulous tone and pertinacious seclusion, we are painfully
struck with the great change that has come over his noble spirit, and
it becomes impossible not to regret that in his seventy-third year,
and after three epileptic fits, he was not permitted to hold himself
free from the trammels, cares, and duties of Executive Government.
He might and would have been a great _amicus curiæ_, aiding with his
moral influence the Government, adjusting differences and disputes,
ready to be appealed to, to advise and assist in any case of
necessity, but not wearing himself out by real or imaginary business,
and neither committing the Government by his strange fancies, nor
injuring his own popularity by his mortifying and almost savage
behaviour to the various people who approach him.


_December 3rd._--I dined again with Bingham Baring yesterday and
met Lord FitzGerald, with whom I had a long talk, the first time
I have seen him since he came into office. We discussed the Duke
of Wellington's Paisley correspondence, and he fully confirmed my
impression of the vexation it would cause the Government. It is clear
enough that they would be very glad to be without him; and after
talking of the unhappy and increasing infirmity of his temper, he
expressed his apprehension of the probable consequences in the House
of Lords,[20] and that the Government may be seriously compromised
by some imprudent or intemperate expressions of the Duke; that,
last year, nothing but the extreme forbearance of Brougham, and his
good-nature, had prevented some disagreeable results of this kind;
and it was now the more serious, when the Duke was to be the organ
of the Government, and from his habits and his deafness it would be
impossible for anybody to check or restrain him, Lyndhurst placed afar
off on the woolsack, and the Duke sitting with his head buried in his
chest, and neither consulting with, nor attending to, anyone. In 1835,
he said, it had been the Duke's wish to do what he is now doing--to
lead the House of Lords without a place; but Peel had then thought
this was open to constitutional objections. Why he did not raise the
same objections now, I don't know, unless it was that he found the
Duke bent on forming part of the Government, and that he would have
insisted on the Foreign Office again, if he was not permitted to lead
without one. This, however, is mere conjecture. FitzGerald owned that
it would have been better if he had retired, and kept aloof from
Government. It has been his great misfortune never to have people
about him who ventured to oppose his opinions, and he has always liked
the society of those who applauded to the skies everything he said and
did. As long as his faculties were unimpaired, it is difficult not to
believe that if he had had candid and intelligent friends he would
have listened to and considered their opinions, for his obstinacy is
not the result of pride or vanity, from both of which he is singularly
free, but arises from the habit, become inveterate, of trusting
entirely to himself and to his own judgement. FitzGerald told me that
he had never been more struck by anything than by the despatches and
State-papers of Lord Auckland, and that he had no sort of idea he was
so able a man; that he was, with the sole exception of John Russell,
by far the ablest man of his party. His views most statesmanlike, and
his government of India particularly just. I never heard a warmer
panegyric than he passed upon Auckland.[21]

There has been a great sensation in the courts of law, in consequence
of Lord Denman's suddenly closing the term, on the last day of it, in
consequence of the absence of the counsel. He did it in a passion, and
though there is much difference of opinion, on the whole he is blamed
for it. The evil required a remedy, and the Judges would have done
right to lay down some rules for the future; but they have punished
the innocent suitors by what they did, and most people think it was
wrong in the Chief Justice to vindicate the dignity of his court at
their expense.

    [Footnote 20: [The Duke of Wellington took office in Sir Robert
    Peel's Government without any department or salary; but he led the
    House of Lords. At this very time, however, and long afterwards,
    his judgement and power of dealing with public affairs were great
    if not unabated. His correspondence with Lord Ellenborough in 1843
    and 1844 shows that he paid particular attention to the affairs of
    India, read all the papers, and was much more than Lord Ripon the
    Minister for India; in 1845 and 1846 it was his influence which
    carried the repeal of the Corn Laws in the House of Lords; and in
    1848 at the time of the disturbances on April 10, he astonished the
    Cabinet by the masterly arrangements he made for the defence of

    [Footnote 21: [Lord FitzGerald was at this time President of the
    Board of Control.]]

_December 5th._--The difficulties and trouble that may be caused by
trifles may be well illustrated by a matter which is now pending. Peel
sent for me the day before yesterday, to talk to me about the armorial
bearings of the Prince of Wales, a matter apparently very simple and
insignificant, but not at all so in fact. The Queen and Prince are
very anxious to allot to this baby his armorial bearings, and they
wish that he should quarter the arms of Saxony with the Royal arms of
England, because Prince Albert is alleged to be _Duke of Saxony_. The
Queen gave the Princess Royal armorial bearings last year by warrant,
but it is conceived that more formal proceedings are necessary in the
case of the Heir Apparent. The last precedent is that of 1714, when
George the First referred to the Privy Council the question of the
Prince of Wales's arms, who reported to His Majesty thereupon. On that
occasion the initiative was taken by the Deputy Earl Marshal, who
transmitted to the Council a draft, which was afterwards approved.
Then, however, the case admitted of no doubt; but now the Heralds, and
others who have considered the matter, think that the Saxon arms ought
not to be foisted upon the Royal arms of England. It is Her Majesty's
predilection for everything German which makes her insist on this
being done, and she wants it to be done offhand at the next Council
without going through the usual forms of a reference and report.
Peel, however, is not disposed to let the thing be thus hurried over;
he thinks that it is a matter in which the dignity of the Crown is
concerned, and that whatever is done should be done with deliberation,
and that if the Privy Council are to advise, they ought to advise what
is right and becoming, and not merely what she and the Prince wish.
The difficulty, therefore, is, how to set the matter going. The Earl
Marshal will not stir without an order to do so. If the Home Office
order him to submit a draft of the armorial bearings of the Prince of
Wales, they can only order him to make out what is right according to
the rules and laws of heraldry, and the Earl Marshal is of opinion
that what the Queen and Prince wish to be done is inconsistent with
those rules. The matter therefore remains in suspense. I have sent to
Lord Wharncliffe, by Peel's desire, to come up from Wortley to meet
Graham, in order that they may put their heads together and settle
this delicate and knotty affair. Melbourne would have made very light
of it; he would have thought it did not signify a straw, which,
in fact, it does not, and that any fancy the Queen had should be
gratified in the most summary way.


_December 8th._--This foolish business of the coat of arms has cost
more trouble than many matters a thousand times more important. Peel
has had to write at least a dozen long letters about that and the
alteration in the Liturgy, and whether _His Royal Highness_ should
be inserted before Prince of Wales. Yesterday Wharncliffe, Graham,
and I had a conference at the Home Office, when Graham produced a
letter from Peel, with one from the Queen to him, pressing for the
speedy arrangement of the affair, and treating it as a thing settled.
Graham said it was not worth while to squabble about it, and better
to gratify her, and he proposed to take it on himself, and let the
Council have nothing to do with it, but, on his own responsibility,
order the Earl Marshal to draw out a coat of arms, with the
achievement according to her wishes, no matter whether right or
wrong. We agreed this was the best way. Peel had written to me about
the Liturgy, and I wrote him word that when Prince Albert's name was
inserted, the Archbishop particularly desired there might be no 'Royal
Highness,' and so it was left out.

_December 9th._--I saw Graham again yesterday about this business.
They have gazetted the child 'Duke of Saxony,' which is very absurd,
and at Lady Holland's, last night, the precedence given to that title
over the English titles was much criticised. It was amusing to hear
Lady Palmerston finding fault, and when I told her it was a particular
fancy of the Queen's, to which she clung very tenaciously, she said
'that it was the duty of the Ministers to tell her it was wrong, but
they had not the courage to do so.' I asked Graham how they were going
on with the Queen. He said, 'Very well. They sought for no favour,
and were better without it. She was very civil, very gracious, and
even, on two or three little occasions, she had granted favours in a
way that was indicative of good will.' He said that they treated her
with profound respect and the greatest attention. He made it a rule to
address her as he would a sensible _man_, laying all matters before
her, with the reasons for the advice he tendered, and he thought this
was the most legitimate as well as judicious flattery that could be
offered to her, and such as must gratify her, and the more because
there was no appearance of flattery in it, and nothing but what was
fit and proper. He said Ellenborough had immediately ingratiated
himself with her, by giving her very good summaries of Indian
intelligence, and explaining everything to her in his own very good
style, so that the moment Peel proposed him to go to India, she said
he was the fittest man he could select. I told him that Ellenborough
might thank me for this, for I had advised him, the day we went to
Windsor, to do so, and told him that she liked to have this done.

_Woburn Abbey: December 15th._--Came here last Thursday. A foolish
party of idle people; no serious man but Lord Spencer, who came the
day before yesterday. I had some talk with the Duke about Lord John's
speech at Plymouth, which he does not approve of any more than I
do, but he can't venture to say so; also about his other brother
William, who is very angry at being recalled from Berlin, though so
far from being angry, he ought to be ashamed of himself for not having
resigned, for with his violent politics and his bitterness against,
and abuse of, the present Government, he ought not to have thought of
staying there. Aberdeen has treated him with great civility, and has
accompanied his recall with many expressions of regret and personal
kindness, for which he ought to be grateful. Palmerston had ordered
all his diplomatic tribe to stick to their places, but William Russell
should have felt in his case that it was impossible. The Duke of
Bedford, however, disapproves of his conduct, and thinks he should
have resigned when the Government was changed.


I have seen here a correspondence between the Chancellor and Lord
Carrington about the appointment of Buckinghamshire magistrates,
which is very discreditable to the former, and exhibits an example of
authority exercised directly in the teeth of all the principles laid
down by the Tories in a case very analogous three years ago. On this
occasion the Chancellor, almost immediately after he got the Great
Seal, peremptorily appointed fifteen magistrates, which Carrington of
course knew very well was a list of the Duke of Buckingham's. He was
very angry, and expressed his resentment, but the Chancellor would
not give way, and could not satisfy him. Three years ago Lord Howard
complained, in the House of Lords, of Lord Cottenham for appointing
eight magistrates at Leeds. On that occasion the Duke of Wellington
made a speech, in which he laid down what the Lord Chancellor ought to
do, and what he ought not to do, and if he had made it in reference to
this case, it could not contain a stronger and more applicable censure
of the conduct of Lord Lyndhurst. The circumstances, too, make this a
much stronger and more odious case than the other.

I have been employed in reading the Duchess of Marlborough's
correspondence with her two granddaughters, successively Duchesses
of Bedford, and most amusing it is. I have urged the Duke to publish
it, and, if Lord John, who is going to publish a volume or more of
Bedford papers, does not choose to take the Duchess of Marlborough's
letters in hand, to let me arrange them for the press, which he has
promised to do. I hardly ever read any letters more expressive of
character, and more natural than these, and they abound in shrewd
observation and knowledge of human nature, besides a very good
sprinkling of anecdotes, some very entertaining. I took Lord Spencer
down with me to the librarian's room to look at them, when he told
me two anecdotes of John Spencer, her grandson, to whom, after
quarrelling with him violently, as she did with everybody else, she
left all the property at her disposal.[22] The first was about the
cause of their quarrel. She gave a great dinner on her birthday to
all her family, and she said that 'there she was, like a great tree,
herself the root, and all her branches flourishing round her;' when
John Spencer said to his neighbour that 'the branches would flourish
more when the root was under ground.' This produced great hilarity,
which attracted the notice of old Sarah, who insisted on knowing
the cause, when John Spencer himself told her his own _bon mot_, at
which--and no wonder--she took great offence. She afterwards forgave
him, and desired him to marry. He expressed his readiness to marry
anybody she pleased, and at last she sent him a list, alphabetically
arranged, of suitable matches. He said he might as well take the first
on the list, which happened to be letter C, a Carteret, daughter of
Lord Granville's, and her he accordingly married. Lord Spencer told
me that his father and mother had destroyed a good many papers of old
Lady Spencer's, some of which he much regretted, particularly a series
of gossiping letters of old Lord Jersey's, who was a great friend of
hers, and wrote to her all that was passing in the world every day.
He has kept all his own correspondence while in office, and, since
he went out, that with Brougham on various subjects, which he says
is very voluminous, and will be very curious. It is, however, all in
confusion at present.

We talked a little about Corn Laws and politics. He said that he had
always been persuaded, and was still, that the present Corn Laws could
not be maintained, but that he thought the prevailing distress would
pass away. He had been surprised that no stronger Anti-Corn Law spirit
had been got up during the elections, but people had been indifferent
about it, and still were so. They did not think the distress was owing
to these laws, or that their repeal would bring relief; and though he
thinks Peel must be conscious that in the end they must go, the fact
of there being no pressure on him for change, and very considerable
pressure for standing still, will prevent his doing anything

    [Footnote 22: He was father of the first Lord Spencer.]

[Sidenote: A PARTY AT BOWOOD.]

_Bowood:_[23] _December 20th._--Came to town on Saturday, and here
to-day. Saw Graham yesterday and told him what a scrape the Chancellor
has got into about the Buckinghamshire magistrates, and discussed
the whole matter with him, not mincing my opinion. He owned it was
bad, but had no better excuse to suggest than that Lord Cottenham had
established a bad principle, and _they_ must therefore carry it out.
He said he should tell Peel. I found they are not going to give the
Northamptonshire Lieutenancy to Lord Spencer, but to Lord Exeter, who
lives in a corner of the county, takes no part in its affairs, and
is already Lieutenant of Rutlandshire. The party would without doubt
have been offended if Lord Spencer had had it, but the question, was
whether so good an opportunity might not and ought not to be taken to
relax the rigorous practice of conferring these appointments always
on political adherents. I found a very different party here from what
I left at Woburn. There nothing but idle, ignorant, ordinary people,
among whom there was not an attempt at anything like society or talk;
here though not many, almost all distinguished more or less--Moore,
Rogers, Macaulay, R. Westmacott, Butler and Mrs. Butler, Dr. Fowler
and his wife, Lady H. Baring, Miss Fox. Mrs. Butler read the three
last acts of 'Much Ado about Nothing,' having read the first two
the night before. Her reading is admirable, voice beautiful, great
variety, and equally happy in the humorous and the pathetic parts.

    [Footnote 23: The seat of the Marquis of Lansdowne in Wiltshire.]

_December 23rd._--Three days passed very agreeably. Charles Austin
came yesterday, Dundas and John Russell to-day. Last night Mrs. Butler
read the first three acts of the 'Hunchback,' which she was to have
finished to-night, but she ran restive, pretended that some of the
party did not like it, and no persuasion could induce her to go on.
Another night, Moore sang some of his own Melodies, and Macaulay has
been always talking. Never certainly was anything heard like him. It
is inexhaustible, always amusing and instructive, about everybody
and everything. I had at one time a notion of trying to remember and
record some of the conversation that has been going on, and some
of the anecdotes that have been told, but I find it is in vain to
attempt it. The drollest thing is to see the effect upon Rogers, who
is nearly extinguished, and can neither make himself heard, nor find
an interval to get in a word. He is exceedingly provoked, though
he can't help admiring, and he will revive to-morrow when Macaulay
goes. It certainly must be rather oppressive after a certain time,
and would be intolerable, if it was not altogether free from conceit,
vanity, and arrogance, unassuming, and the real genuine gushing
out of overflowing stores of knowledge treasured up in his mind. We
walked together for a long time the day before yesterday, when he
talked of the History he is writing. I asked him if he was still
collecting materials, or had begun to write. He said he was writing
while collecting, going on upon the fund of his already acquired
knowledge, and he added, that it was very mortifying to find how much
there was of which he was wholly ignorant. I said if he felt that,
with his superhuman memory and wonderful scope of knowledge, what must
ordinary men feel? He said that it was a mistake to impute to him
either such a memory or so much knowledge; that Whewell and Brougham
had more universal knowledge than he had, but that what he did possess
was the ready, perhaps too ready, use of all he knew. I said what
surprised me most was, his having had time to read certain books over
and over again; _e.g._ he said he had read Don Quixote in Spanish,
five or six times; and I am afraid to say how often he told me he had
read 'Clarissa.' He said that he read no modern books, none of the
novels or travels that come out day after day. He had read 'Tom Jones'
repeatedly, but 'Cecil a Peer,' not at all; and as to 'Clarissa,' he
had read it so often that, if the work were lost, he could give a
very tolerable idea of it, could narrate the story completely, and
many of the most remarkable passages and expressions. However, it
would be vain, nor is it worth while, to attempt to recollect and
record all his various talk. It is not true, as some say, that there
is nothing original in it, but certainly by far the greater part is
the mere outpouring of memory. Subjects are tapped, and the current
flows without stopping. Wonderful as it is, it is certainly oppressive
after a time, and his departure is rather a relief than otherwise.
Dundas, who is very agreeable, and very well informed, said to-day
that he was a bore; but _that_ he is not, because what comes from him
is always good, and it comes naturally, and without any assumption
of superiority. Perhaps the most extraordinary thing is the quantity
of trifling matter which he recollects. He gave us verses of James
Parke's,[24] and others of Laurence Peel's,[25] ludicrous lines,
written on different occasions. His memory treasures up all sorts of
trash and nonsense, as well as the most serious and most important
matter; but there is never any confusion.


_December 26th._--Macaulay went away the day before Christmas Day, and
it was wonderful how quiet the house seemed after he was gone, and it
was not less agreeable. Rogers was all alive again, Austin and Dundas
talked much more than they would have done, and Lord Lansdowne too,
and on the whole we were as well without him. It does not do for more
than two or three days; but I never passed a week with so much good
talk, almost all literary and miscellaneous, very little political, no
scandal and gossip. And this is the sort of society which I might have
kept instead of that which I have. I have had all the facilities I
could desire for adopting either description of society, for spending
my time among the cultivated and the wise, or among the dissipated,
the foolish, and the ignorant; and with shame and sorrow I must admit
that by far the largest proportion of my time has been wasted on and
with the latter.[26]

    [Footnote 24: [Baron Parke, afterwards Lord Wensleydale.]]

    [Footnote 25: [Sir Laurence Peel, formerly Chief Justice of Bengal.
    He died in 1884.]]

    [Footnote 26: At Bowood there were people professing six, if not
    more, different religious opinions: Moore, Catholic; Lady John
    Russell, Presbyterian; Mrs. Butler, Unitarian; Butler, Independent;
    Rothschilds, Jews; then Church of England people, and what besides
    I know not, but the assemblage was uncommon.]

_January 2nd, 1842._--On Monday last I left Bowood, Rogers and I
together, and went to Badminton, where I found a party and habits as
diametrically opposite as possible from that which we left behind.
The stable and the kennel formed the principal topic of interest. On
Saturday came to town.

_January 8th._--Lord Ashburton's appointment to America[27] to settle
all our disputes was much praised at first, but now the public mind
is changed, and there is a general disposition to find fault with it.
People reflect on his vacillation and irresolution, and think age and
absence from affairs are not likely to have cured the defects of his
character; however, it is creditable to him to make the sacrifice.

Accounts from China of fresh successes, but the capture of Amoy is
like an operation in a pantomime rather than in real war. Nobody is
killed or wounded, nothing found in the place, which was directly
after evacuated. Sir George Grey,[28] who called on me yesterday (and
though a ridiculous-looking, not at all a stupid man), said that we
had now gone so far, and made such an exposure of the weakness of the
Chinese Government, that we had no alternative, and must proceed to
the conquest of China, and the foundation or establishment of another
Indian Empire; for if we did not, some other Power (probably the
French) infallibly would. I hope this prediction will not prove true,
but it is worth recording. The only chance, he said, was the timely
submission of the Emperor, and the sagacity of the Chinese Government
being sufficient to enlighten them as to the magnitude and imminence
of their danger.

    [Footnote 27: [One of the first measures of Sir Robert Peel
    was to send Lord Ashburton to the United States, to settle
    the long-pending dispute on the boundary of Maine, which he
    accomplished by a compromise, or, as it was termed by Lord
    Palmerston, a capitulation; but it was approved by the country.]]

    [Footnote 28: [Sir George Grey, formerly Chief Justice of Bengal,
    not to be confounded with his namesake the Minister. _This_ Sir
    George Grey was a somewhat ludicrous person, and was commonly known
    as 'Mr. Pickwick.' He wore a brown coat; but he had some reputation
    for wit, and was a member of 'The Club.']]

_January 11th._--I dined with Lady Holland on Sunday, and had a
talk with Dedel, who said that Palmerston had contrived to alienate
all nations from us by his insolence and violence, so that we had
not now a friend in the world, while from the vast complication of
our interests and affairs we were exposed to perpetual danger--of
which much is true, but it is not true that we are without friends
absolutely. We are very well with Spain and with Austria. Yesterday
I saw Bidwell,[29] who agreed with Dedel about Palmerston, for all
the Foreign Office abhor him. He said that Palmerston's tone on every
occasion, and to every Power, not only had disgusted them all, but
made it very difficult for his successor to adopt another tone without
some appearance of weakness. However, Aberdeen is doing well, avoiding
Palmerston's impertinence of manner, and preserving his energy as to
matter. He has taken a very fair and impartial part in the squabble
between Salvandy and Espartero, and is urging the latter not to insist
upon what is untenable, and contrary to precedent. He is also trying
to get Austria to send a Minister to Madrid, and would probably have
succeeded but for this French quarrel.

    [Footnote 29: [Mr. Bidwell was Chief Clerk in the Foreign Office
    for many years.]]


_January 13th._--While waiting for the greater interest to be excited
by the meeting of our Parliament on the 3rd of next month, all Europe
is thrown into a state of agitation, and the gravest statesmen are
occupied with the quarrel between Espartero and Salvandy, or rather
Louis Philippe, for there seems no doubt that it originates with
him, animated by spite and hatred of the Spanish Regent. This mighty
and important question is neither more nor less than whether the
French Minister shall deliver his credentials to the Regent at once,
or whether he shall deliver them to the Infant Queen, by her to be
placed in the hands of the Regent. On this momentous difference the
political and diplomatic world is divided, a vast deal of irritation
is produced, and, in consequence of it, very important negotiations
are suspended and delayed. Aberdeen is vainly attempting to negotiate
a compromise, and has opposed the pretensions of Espartero (after
disapproving of the original demands of France) in a manner to draw
down a very bitter and able attack upon him, evidently from the pen
of Palmerston, in the 'Morning Chronicle' yesterday. To this the
'Times' has responded this morning very well, and the contest will
be carried on between these not very unequal antagonists. Besides
the question of Salvandy, it embraces several minor and collateral
points. It is impossible for an attack to be more virulent, bitter,
and contemptuous than that of Palmerston upon Aberdeen, and it
becomes rather amusing when we recollect Aberdeen's approbation and
support of Palmerston's anti-Gallican policy in the Syrian campaign.
All Aberdeen's predilections are anti-French, and he never forgets
his old connexion with the Allies, but this does not save him from
the lash of Palmerston, and from the most sarcastic gibes upon his
supposed subserviency to France. It certainly surprises me that
Aberdeen should have adopted the French rather than the Spanish view
of the question, for I cannot but think Espartero in the right, and
the argument in his favour appears to me unanswerable. I agree in
this with Palmerston: the appointment of a Regent presupposes the
incapacity of the Sovereign to discharge the functions of Royalty,
and the Regent is consequently invested with all the authority of the
Crown. All its rights, privileges, and duties appertain to the Regent,
who can and must do everything which the Sovereign would do if of full
age. The age of the Sovereign can make no difference; the incapacity
must be absolute, and the rule, whatever it be, equally applicable
to a baby in arms and to a person within a month of her majority. It
is impossible to determine that the infant Sovereign becomes at some
indefinite period capable of discharging one or more specific acts,
but no others; for who is to decide what acts the infant can do, and
what not, and at what particular age the incapacity shall partially
cease? Supposing the Queen of England now to die, and Prince Albert
become Regent, no Foreign Minister could commit the absurdity of
insisting upon delivering his credentials into the hands of the Prince
of Wales, who is barely two months old; yet the same _principle_ must
be applied in both, and in all cases of minority. It is true that
matters of etiquette admit of great variety, and different precedents
more or less analogous may be brought to bear on the question; but
in this, the last precedent ought to be conclusive, and that is the
practice during the Regency of Christina, when no difficulty was ever
made, and the Ministers presented their credentials at once to her. It
is clear that this could not be in virtue of her own Royal dignity,
for that can have nothing to do with it. Espartero, or whoever may
happen to be Regent, be his rank whatever it may, is entitled to the
same privileges, and to be treated exactly in the same manner as the
Queen Dowager of Spain. Whatever she did, and whatever was done to
her, was done in and to her character of the representative of the
Crown, and had no reference to her own status. But whatever may be
the result, there is no danger of our quarrelling with Spain on the
question, for the Spanish Government know that we are trying to assist
them in a much more important affair, their recognition by the three
Great Powers, which we should probably have brought about already,
but for this untoward dispute. It is not very clear that Palmerston
(though partly well-informed) is aware of this; but his hatred of
Guizot is so great, aggravated by his refusal to sign the Slave Treaty
with _him_, and signing it immediately after with Aberdeen,[30] that
he could not resist any opportunity of flinging out his venom against
France. However, the war that is waged by him, and against him, is
very entertaining; he is an adversary well worth battling with, a
_magnus Apollo_ of newspaper writers.


A ridiculous thing happened the other day. B--, who corresponds with
the editor of the 'State Gazette' at Berlin, sent him a very bitter
philippic against Palmerston, and a severe critical examination of
his _modus operandi_ in the Foreign Office. The article hinted at
a project of his, under certain contingencies, to stay in office
with a Tory Government and a Whig Household, and talked of doing
this with the aid of 'a woman not less able and ambitious than
himself,' evidently alluding to Lady Palmerston. When the article was
translated into German and appeared, it produced a great sensation,
but Burghersh, who does not understand German, and to whom it was
translated, very stupidly fancied that the woman meant the Queen, and
he hurried off to make his complaints of the audacity and insolence
of the article. A great hubbub ensued, and, to satisfy the English
Minister, the order for the dismissal of the editor was signed; but
in the meantime the matter was brought before the King, who had the
good sense to see at once what the real meaning was, put a stop to
the proceedings, and exonerated the editor. Burghersh had, however,
written home on the subject, and told the story to the Foreign Office.
The next day (at Berlin) a softener appeared in the 'State Gazette,'
with some civilities to Palmerston, and the article has fortunately
never found its way into our newspapers.

    [Footnote 30: [A Treaty had been negotiated with France to regulate
    the Right of Search, which M. Guizot signed on the accession of the
    Conservatives to office. But no good came of this, for the Treaty
    being violently attacked in the French Chambers, M. Guizot declined
    to ratify what his Ambassador had signed.]]

_January 19th._--Went on Friday to Woburn. Charles Austin, Charles
Buller, Le Marchant, Standish, and myself in the train. The house
had been very nearly burnt down the night before, and was saved by a
miracle. It happened in a maid-servant's room. A gown was ignited (as
they supposed); the chair on which it hung was burnt, but the fire
did not reach bed or window-curtains, only attacked the floor. The
smoke was so dense they could not penetrate into the room, but the
servants threw buckets of water in, which went to the right place,
and extinguished the fire. Curiously enough, just before we came away
on Monday morning, there was another alarm from a chimney being on
fire. This was in the librarian's room, where, by accident, I had
gone with some of the men to show them the manuscripts, and while we
were there we discovered it, otherwise there is no saying what damage
might not have been done, for the chimney communicated with others.
However, in half an hour all danger was over. Lord John was there in
great force. He is arranging the Bedford papers for publication, but
he has persuaded the Duke not to let the Duchess of Marlborough's
correspondence be published, because it is so personal and abusive,
which is a very superfluous piece of squeamishness, for it is just
what people enjoy, and as all the objects of her venom, and their
immediate descendants, have long been dead, it can't signify. It was
very agreeable, for Austin, Buller, Clarendon, and Lord John made
excellent society.


Came to town on Monday, and yesterday saw the Duke of Wellington. He
came into my brother's room while I was there, and took me into his
own. He was in excellent health, spirits, and humour; talked about the
Spanish quarrel, but did not say much to the purpose, only that both
parties had gone too far, and that with patience and good sense it
might finally be settled. I told him about Lyndhurst and Carrington,
and he spoke like himself. He blamed the Chancellor without reserve,
repeated what he had said before in his speeches, said nothing should
induce him to contradict himself and hold language different from
what he had held before, therefore he should hold his tongue, and the
Chancellor must get out of his scrape as he could. He told me he never
himself made a clergyman a magistrate if he could help it.

_January 24th._--The King of Prussia landed on Saturday at
Greenwich,[31] and was met by the Duke of Wellington in Prussian
field-marshal uniform, with the Black Eagle. The King instantly seized
both his hands and said, 'My dear Duke, I am rejoiced to see you. This
is indeed a great day.'

Met Graham yesterday and walked with him; talked about different
things. He said he thought they were going on well, but trade was
very bad and distress very great, the people very enduring and
well-behaved. He talked of Ireland, and said the Government were
resolved to act upon liberal and impartial principles; that the idea
of restoring the old Orange or any other domination was impossible,
and he only regretted that they had not got some offices of profit
that they might now bestow upon Catholics. They are reproached for
diminishing the number of stipendiary magistrates, but they are strong
enough on that point. As to the Lieutenancy of Northamptonshire, he
said he thought Exeter was the best man on the whole; that Cardigan
was very angry that he had not got it. I told him I thought Exeter
was not a good man, took no part in the business of the county, and
merely lived at a corner of it. 'To whom would you have given it?' I
said, 'To Lord Spencer; by far the fittest man _omnium consensû_.'
He said it was impossible; the party would not have stood it; the
Whigs had never done any such thing when they were in office. A low
view of the matter; but if they are not strong enough to act more
wisely and liberally than their opponents, if they cannot, under any
circumstances, appoint men with reference to their fitness, instead
of to their political connexion, and if the former consideration must
invariably prevail over the latter, why, all one can say is, that
they are to be pitied, and we must hope the time may come when better
maxims and practices can be established.

Met Sutton Sharpe the other night, who told me some amusing stories of
Lord Ellenborough and his treatment of counsel. A man was opening his
speech, and said, 'My Lord, my unfortunate client,' and then repeated
the words again. 'Go on, sir,' said Lord Ellenborough, 'the Court
is with you so far.' Another man said, 'And now, if your Lordship
pleases, I will proceed so and so.' 'Sir, we sit here not to court,
but to endure arguments.'

    [Footnote 31: [The King of Prussia came over to be present at
    the christening of the Prince of Wales. He was godfather to the

_February 1st._--For the last week the King of Prussia and his
activity have occupied the world. He has made a very favourable
impression here. In person he is common-looking, not remarkable in any
way; his manners are particularly frank, cordial, and good-humoured;
he is very curious, and takes a lively interest in all he sees, and
has, by all accounts, been struck with great admiration at the conduct
and bearing of the people, as well as the grandeur and magnificence
he has found both at Court and elsewhere. Whether the order, and
more especially the loyalty, he has witnessed, will induce him to
entertain with more complacency the idea of a free constitution for
his own kingdom, remains to be seen, not that what he finds here ought
necessarily to imply that results equally happy would follow the
concession of liberal constitutions in Prussia. He has been in London
almost every day from Windsor, one day breakfasting with Peel, who
collected the men of letters and science and the most distinguished
artists to meet him. On Sunday he went to church at St. Paul's, and
then lunched with the Lord Mayor. Another day he went to Westminster
Abbey, when he evinced great curiosity to learn all the local details
of the Queen's coronation. Yesterday he went in the morning and paid
a visit to Mrs. Fry, with whom he went to Coldbath Fields prison;
in the evening to Drury Lane. He wanted to see one of Shakespeare's
plays, and had no other opportunity, so he got the play acted at six
instead of seven, and made the Duke of Sutherland, with whom he was to
dine, have his dinner at nine. He asked for 'Macbeth,' but they told
him it would take a month to get it up. They gave him the choice of
the 'Merchant of Venice' or the 'Two Gentlemen of Verona,' and he took
the latter. Nothing could exceed the magnificence of the _fête_ the
Duke of Sutherland gave him, dinner and party after it.


But an interest greater than any which the King of Prussia could
make was produced by the intelligence of the Duke of Buckingham's
resignation. I had been dining at Wharncliffe's Sheriffs' dinner,
where all the Ministers were, except the Duke of Wellington and
Aberdeen (who both dined at Stafford House), Goulburn, who was ill
in bed, and the Duke of Buckingham. I was rather surprised at his
absence, for which no excuse was made, but nobody said anything about
it. They had been concocting the speech all the morning, and as soon
as we had done with the sheriffs, they made me and my colleague
withdraw, and resolved themselves into a Cabinet. Still I suspected
nothing; but the moment I got to Stafford House I heard the news, and
immediately understood the cause of his absence from the dinner, and
saw that it must be true; and directly after it was confirmed. The
time, however, is so near for the Ministerial announcement of their
intentions, that it is not worth while to torment one's self with
speculation. A few hours will show what it is the Duke can't swallow.
All that is now known is that he has not resigned angrily, and that
he promises his general support and continued goodwill. For a long
time speculation has been rife as to the intentions of Peel, and the
Government secret has been so well kept that not a single person seems
to have been apprised of them; indeed, the matter was not, in all
probability, definitively settled before yesterday. The Opposition
papers have been labouring to persuade the world that Peel, though
not unwilling, had proved himself unable to do anything, and that what
they called the Buckingham or landed interest had prevailed. I never
thought this, and a few words that casually fell from Wharncliffe one
day, convinced me it was not true. So thought most of the sensible men
on both sides, when they were staggered by the intelligence that Lord
March was to move the address, which, after the Duke of Richmond's hot
speech last year, was taken as a proof that nothing serious in the
Anti-Corn Law line could be contemplated. This fact, now followed by
the Duke of Buckingham's resignation, sadly perplexes men's minds, and
everybody asks what it can be at which the Duke of Buckingham strains,
but which the Duke of Richmond swallows. The Duke of Bedford, however,
thinks that the Duke of Richmond does not know what is meant, for it
is certain Lord Abercorn, who moves the Address in the House of Lords,
does not. He asked Aberdeen to give him some hints from which he might
frame his speech, and he told him he was unable to do so.

The Dublin election has gone off with remarkable quiet. Dan was not
very violent, and some say he did not wish Morpeth to succeed where he
had failed. The worst thing that has happened lately is the exhibition
of bad feeling towards us in the French Chamber. Guizot has spoken
admirably well, and magnificently defended himself, but he was obliged
to allude coldly to us, and to disavow any _intimacy_ between the two
countries. The close alliance with France is therefore at an end,
and we must count upon her readiness to seize any occasion that may
present itself of injuring our interests and crippling our power. This
we owe to Palmerston's famous diplomacy, who, thinking it a fine thing
to gain a diplomatic advantage over a rival and hostile Government,
overlooked the consequence of exasperating a powerful, susceptible,
jealous, but not _then_ unfriendly nation. He did what neither man,
woman, or nation can forgive: he deeply wounded their vanity and their


_February 5th._--Parliament met on Thursday: a great crowd, and
the Queen well enough received. The King of Prussia went down in
state, and sat in the House of Lords on a chair near the woolsack.
On Friday he went away, having made a short but uncommonly active
visit, mightily pleased with his reception by Queen and all classes
of people, from highest to lowest; splendid entertainments from the
rich, and hearty acclamations from the poor. All the world has been
struck with his intelligence, activity, affability, and _appetite_,
for since Louis XIV. I have never heard of a monarch who eats so
copiously and frequently. The oddest thing he did was to go and
lunch with Mrs. Fry, and the way of going not less odd, but that was
the vagary of his rude, unmannered attendant, Lord Hardwicke. After
visiting some prison, Mrs. Fry asked him to lunch at her house some
four or five miles off, through the City, and he agreed. The coachman
represented that the horses could not accomplish this jaunt, when it
was proposed to send for post-horses; but Hardwicke would not have
four, and insisted on a pair being attached as outriggers to the
Queen's coach-horses, to the unspeakable disgust of the coachman, who,
if the spirit of Vatel had been in him, would have cast himself from
his box rather than submit to such an indignity. They say that nothing
has struck the King so much as the behaviour of the people, their
loyalty, orderly, peaceable demeanour, and he is naturally gratified
at the heartiness and cordiality of his own reception. Some think that
what he has witnessed will incline him to grant a free constitution
to his own subjects; but as he can't create the foundations on which
our constitutional system rests, and the various and complicated
safeguards which are intertwined with it, he will hardly be induced to
jump to any such conclusion. He made magnificent presents at parting
to all the officers of the Royal Household: snuff-boxes of 500 guineas
apiece to the Lord Chamberlain, Master of Horse, and Lord Steward;
boxes and watches to others, and he left 1,500_l._ with Charles Murray
to be distributed among the three classes of servants at the Palace.

The Queen's speech was much like all others, but derived an interest
from the notice about Corn.[32] The secret of the measure has been so
well kept, that up to this time nobody knows what they are going to
propose. The Opposition, people affect to consider it a great triumph
for them, and that the Government are disgraced by the adoption of
measures so similar to those by which their predecessors fell; but
they treat the question as if nothing else had ever been laid to
the charge of the late Government, and pass over (as they are quite
right, in a party sense, to do) the fact that they were at their last
gasp when they flung down their Budget, and that there were plenty of
other causes for turning them out. It must be owned, however, that
what is now going to happen is another exemplification of what I have
long seen to be an established fact in politics--viz. that the Tories
only can carry Liberal measures. The Whigs work, prepare, but cannot
accomplish them; the Tories directly or indirectly thwart, discourage,
and oppose them till public opinion compels them to submit, and then
they are obliged to take them up, and to do that which they can do,
but the Whigs cannot do. Francis Baring, who is come over from Paris
to see Lord Ashburton before he goes, tells me that if Palmerston
had continued for a year or two more at the Foreign Office, nothing,
he is persuaded, could have prevented a war between us and France,
for that he intrigued against France in every part of the world, and
with a tenacity of purpose that was like insanity; he was constantly
engaged in thwarting, counteracting, and insulting her, so that the
exasperation against him and against this country was so great and
universal that a collision would have been inevitable.

    [Footnote 32: [The paragraph in the speech which foreshadowed Sir
    Robert Peel's great commercial reforms, was a recommendation to
    Parliament to consider the laws relating to the importation of corn
    and other articles the produce of foreign countries. It was this
    clause which had caused the Duke of Buckingham to quit the Cabinet.
    He was succeeded as Lord Privy Seal by the Duke of Buccleuch.]]

[Sidenote: SIR R. PEEL'S CORN BILL.]

_February 11th._--On Wednesday night Peel produced his modification of
the Corn Law in an elaborate speech (which bored everybody very much)
of nearly three hours long.[33] The expectation, raised by the Duke of
Buckingham's resignation, had been already brought down by a few words
which Peel said on Tuesday, when he was taunted with adopting all
the late Government's measures. His plan was received with coldness
and indifference by his own people, and derision by the Opposition,
and they all cried out that it was altogether useless, and would in
reality effect no change at all. There are, however, a great many
very different opinions on the subject, the result of the whole being
that the measure is preferable to the present scheme; that it will
be quite harmless to the producer, and may be of some service (but
not much) to the consumer; that the settlement of the question is as
remote as ever, this being no approximation to one. That inasmuch as
it satisfies the landed interest it will keep Peel in office, but that
eventually repeal either total or with a fixed duty must come, but in
how many years must depend on the chapter of accidents, the course of
events, and the temper of the people. Wharncliffe owned to me that it
was a mountain producing a mouse, and that he thought it must end in a
fixed duty, but that it would have been absolutely impossible for Peel
to do anything more now, and that time must be given to bring round
the minds of the landed interest to acquiesce in further measures.
Macgregor, who is a man of violent opinions, told me he considered
this plan worse than the present one. Charles Villiers said it was
worthless and not so good as Canning's in 1827. Brougham said it was
worth something as an instalment, an improvement on the old Corn Law,
and might and must be taken as an instalment. Peel's did not seem to
me a good speech; it was too long, and wearied his hearers; too highly
coloured, and the speech of an advocate rather than of a statesman.
But if he could speak his mind, he would no doubt admit that he was
arguing against his own opinion and convictions.

Last night I met Melbourne at dinner, whom I had never seen since our
conversations at Stafford House and at his own home. I asked him what
he knew of the state of matters between the Queen and her Ministers.
He said he believed they were going on very well, that he knew nothing
to the contrary. They seemed to pay great court to the Prince, whom
the Queen delights to honour and to elevate, and that he would
probably acquire greater influence every day. Of all the Ministers she
likes Aberdeen the best. She likes the Duchess of Buccleuch extremely,
and Charles Wellesley is a great favourite. By his account she prefers
her present great officers to their predecessors. Melbourne then
talked to me about Palmerston, of the aversion he had inspired not
only in France, but in all Germany, and said that his notion had been
that everything was to be done by violence; that by never giving way
or making any concession, and an obstinate insistence, every point was
sure to be gained. This was _à propos_ of the French refusal to ratify
the Slave Treaty, and Guizot having delayed to sign it, because he
would have nothing to do with Palmerston.

Last night, in the House of Commons, John Russell exposed himself
miserably and unaccountably in an attack he made on Bushe and Lord
Corehouse on their retirement from the Bench. He got a severe retort
from Peel, and cut a disreputable figure.

    [Footnote 33: [Sir Robert Peel's measure established a sliding
    scale of corn duties, descending from 20_s._ to 1_s._ as the price
    rose. It was ill-received by the Anti-Corn Law League, and in the
    end signally failed.]]


_February 12th._--The Opposition were silly enough to renew the
question of the Scotch judge last night. It was Fox Maule's doing, I
fancy, for John Russell was not there.[34] There is but one opinion
among his own friends of the folly of his conduct. Ben Stanley told me
so, and said he did it _ex mero motu_, and he could not imagine what
induced him. Nothing weakens the authority of a leader so much as any
exhibition of want of tact and judgement. Castlereagh would never have
made such a blunder as this, but he was reckoned the best leader any
party ever had. I have a great liking for Lord John, but have for
some time discovered that with high qualities and great abilities he
is not a great man or anything like it. But where are we to look for
great men? The generation of them has passed away.

The Corn Law question seems already beginning to settle down into an
admission that this is only the advance of a stage, and that we are
and must be progressing to final repeal. Such is Lowther's opinion: a
Tory, an interested party, but a shrewd and cool observer.

    [Footnote 34: After having rolled themselves in the mud, the
    Government picked the Opposition out the next night and almost
    washed them clean. Fox Maule moved for a return of the late Judge's
    sittings in the Jury Court. The Lord Advocate impudently said he
    had never been absent. Graham refused the papers, and on a division
    Government had only a majority of twenty-six, and not a very
    successful debate. Folly on both sides.]

_February 16th._--John Russell made a very good speech on Monday
night, and so did Gladstone. The Government declare that their plan is
well received in the country, and the Opposition assert that it has
excited great indignation. The landed interest are certainly satisfied.

I read yesterday a letter from Mrs. Sale, at Cabul,[35] to her
husband, the General, with an account of the events there, and the
heroic conduct of Captain Sturt: a most remarkable letter, exhibiting
an interesting mixture of masculine courage and understanding of
military details, with touches of feminine nature. The agony of
apprehension, apparent in the despatches, and the pressing entreaties
to Sale to march back to their relief, show the magnitude of the
danger they were in. The feelings of the General must have been bitter
when he could not obey the summons, and was obliged to refuse to make
any attempt to relieve his comrades and his wife.

    [Footnote 35: [This is the first reference made by the author of
    this Diary to the events in Afghanistan, which most deeply affected
    the public during this winter. The disastrous retreat from Cabul
    began on January 6th; on the 13th Dr. Brydon reached Jellalabad
    alone. They are, however, adverted to later on. The full account
    of the disaster at Cabul only reached England on the 7th March, a
    singular contrast with the hourly communications of later times.]]

_February 19th._--The Corn Law debate closed very successfully for
the Government; a greater majority than anybody expected, and an
excellent speech from Peel, putting the whole question in the best
possible form, taking the right tone, and giving the right reasons
for doing what he has done, and as he has done it. Palmerston made
a good slashing speech, and Roebuck a very clever one. The question
is now considered by everybody to be settled for a few years; but how
many, and when another change will take place, depends on a thousand
contingencies, idle to argue upon. Everybody admits that it is in a
state of transition, and though the landed interest will fondly hope
that the next steps never will be taken, the prudent among them (a
great minority, I fear) will open their eyes to the reality of their
position, and act accordingly.

I went on Wednesday with Lord and Lady John, Charles Howard and
Macaulay, to the Battersea Schools, Robert Eden's and Dr. Kay's. We
put forward Macaulay to examine the boys in history and geography,
and Lord John asked them a few questions, and I still fewer. They
answered in a way that would have put to shame most of the fine
people's children. These schools are admirable, and the wonderful
thing is, that when people see what can be done by good management at
small expense, and by setting about the work of education in earnest,
they do not turn their thoughts to the adoption of a similar scheme
for the upper classes, who go through a certain process miscalled
education, which leaves boys at the end of it nearly as ignorant as at
the beginning, with the exception of the rudiments of Greek and Latin.
At Eden's school they learn reading, writing, arithmetic, drawing,
history, geography, and certain matters connected with statistics.
At Dr. Kay's the same things, with the higher branches of mechanics,
and especially music, in which they are great proficients. There is
one striking contrast between the boys at Eden's school, and the
aristocratic schoolboys: while the latter consider learning as an
irksome employment, going to school an event full of misery and woe,
and never think of anything but how to shirk their lessons, and find
time for play and idleness, the poor boys rejoice in their school,
love the instruction they receive, and no punishment is so great to
them as exclusion from the schoolroom. Much of this may be accounted
for by the difference of their circumstances and condition of life,
but the necessary result is a far greater aptitude to learn on the
part of the poor than the rich.

[Sidenote: SIR R. PEEL'S BUDGET.]

_March 5th._--Nothing written for many days, principally because I had
nothing particular to say. If I wrote a Journal, and chose to insert
all the trash of diurnal occurrences, the squabbles of the Jockey
Club, and things which had better be forgotten, because they ought
not to happen, I might fill books full in no time, but I can't and
won't do this. There have been no political events. The Government
goes on quietly and safely enough, with no storm in the horizon
at all threatening their political existence. The most alarming
circumstance in our position is the state of affairs in India, where
we are expecting every hour to hear of some catastrophe; but as the
Government are not responsible for this, it will do them no damage,
however disastrous it may be to the country.

_March 13th._--On Friday night in the midst of the most intense and
general interest and curiosity, heightened by the closeness and
fidelity with which the Government measures had been kept secret, Peel
brought forward his financial plans in a speech of three hours and
forty minutes, acknowledged by everybody to have been a masterpiece
of financial statement. The success was complete; he took the House
by storm; and his opponents, though of course differing and objecting
on particular points, did him ample justice. A few people expected an
income tax, but the majority did not. Hitherto the Opposition have
been talking very big about opposing all taxes, but they have quite
altered their tone. It is really remarkable to see the attitude Peel
has taken in this Parliament, his complete mastery over both his
friends and his foes. His own party, _nolentes aut volentes_, have
surrendered at discretion, and he has got them as well disciplined and
as obedient as the crew of a man-of-war. This just measure, so lofty
in conception, right in direction, and able in execution, places him
at once on a pinnacle of power, and establishes his Government on
such a foundation as accident alone can shake. Political predictions
are always rash, but certainly there is every probability of Peel's
being Minister for as many years as his health and vigour may endure.
Only a few weeks ago I heard from my Whig friends of nothing but his
weakness and embarrassments, and of all the difficulties his own
supporters would cause him, what a poor figure he cut, &c.; but now
they have not a word to say, and one of them who had been loudest in
that strain brought to the Travellers', where I was dining, an account
of Peel's speech, and said, 'One felt, all the time he was speaking,
"Thank God, Peel is Minister!"' There can be no doubt that he is now
a very great man, and it depends on himself to establish a lasting
reputation. Wharncliffe told me that the principle of their measure,
the imposition of an income-tax, was settled six weeks after they came
into office, which makes the wonder greater that nothing of it got out.

_March 14th._--The manner in which Peel's measure was received was
creditable to the Opposition; but they are beginning to recover from
their quiescent state, to ask one another what they think of it,
to suggest objections, and to speculate on its unpopularity. There
is, however, a general disposition to accept the measure, and to
acknowledge that Peel is entitled to a fair trial of what must be
considered a great political and financial experiment. Labouchere
owned this to me last night, though he thinks that he might have taken
another and a better course; he might have raised a revenue, according
to their plan, out of sugar, timber, and corn, not have made so great
a sacrifice for Canadian timber, and have found means to get all the
rest that they wanted by some tax less odious than his income-tax.
Great differences of opinion of course there will be, and it remains
to be seen how the country will take it. The press has been hitherto
almost universally acquiescent. All men now admit Peel's power, and
his superior fitness as a Minister. He has taken a very high line,
and acted his part with great dignity as well as dexterity; he is
also singularly favoured by fortune, for the misfortunes which are
now befalling us, the disastrous events in India, are useful to his
political power. In times, too, of difficulty, men feel the mighty
advantage of having a strong Government with a real efficient head
to direct its energies, and predominate in its councils; and the
perpetual contrast which presents itself between the present and
the late, both as to the leaders, composition of the Cabinets and
condition of the parties by which each was supported, extends and
strengthens the impression in favour of Peel. It will be necessary for
him to make some changes. Gladstone has already displayed a capacity
which makes his admission into the Cabinet indispensable, and he must
find some means of getting rid of Knatchbull. The very look of the
man, which is that of a twaddler approaching to the ridiculous, is
enough to make his exclusion an object, and as he is entirely useless
and has fallen into universal contempt in the House of Commons, the
sooner some decent retreat is found for him, the better for himself as
well as for the Government.


The great interest excited by the Budget has in some degree absorbed
that which the melancholy Indian news would otherwise produce, and we
are still so imperfectly informed of the history of these transactions
that we know not what to think of them. The Duke of Wellington told
me at Court on Friday that there must have been either the grossest
treachery, or the most inconceivable imbecility, and very likely a
mixture of both, as they often go together. Auckland, who writes,
as is natural, in great despondency, says that the whole thing is
unintelligible to him, for, as far as they know, the 5,000 British
troops at Cabul were never assailed by above 10,000 or 12,000 Afghans,
irregularly armed with matchlocks and spears, while our force was
provided with artillery, and all the appurtenances of war. According
to all our notions and all former experience, a British force could
always put to flight or destroy native tribes ten times more numerous.
The Duke said that the captivity of the women would produce an effect
from one end of Asia to the other, such as Europeans would form no
idea of. But what reflexions this event gives rise to as to the
uninterrupted current of our past successes, which has been so great
that we had got to fancy no reverse of any sort, or in any quarter,
could possibly befall us! It is a grievous thing to lose 5,000 men,
cut off by a sudden insurrection and perishing, because circumstances
beyond the control of man prevented their obtaining succour; but when
we hear that such a disaster as this has not befallen us for above
fifty years, and we think of all the tremendous defeats, wholesale
destructions of men, and miseries inflicted on other lands and other
nations, we may well, instead of repining, feel grateful for the
impunity we have enjoyed from the evils and afflictions which have
been so abundantly poured upon almost every other nation in the world.


_March 19th._--This day Lord Hertford[36] is buried at Ragley, a man
whose death excited much greater interest than anything he ever did
in his life, because the world was curious to learn the amount of
his wealth, and how he had disposed of it. A pompous funeral left
Dorchester House three days ago, followed by innumerable carriages
of private individuals,[37] pretending to show a respect which not
one of them felt for the deceased; on the contrary, no man ever lived
more despised or died less regretted. His life and his death were
equally disgusting and revolting to every good and moral feeling.
As Lord Yarmouth he was known as a sharp, cunning, luxurious,
avaricious man of the world, with some talent, the favourite of
George IV. (the worst of kings) when Lady Hertford, his mother, was
that Prince's mistress. He was celebrated for his success at play,
by which he supplied himself with the large sums of money required
for his pleasures, and which his father had no inclination to give
him, and the son had none to ask of him. He won largely, not by any
cheating or unfairness, but by coolness, calculation, always backing
the best players, and getting the odds on his side. He was a _bon
vivant_, and when young and gay his parties were agreeable, and he
contributed his share to their hilarity. But after he became Lord
Hertford and the possessor of an enormous property he was puffed
up with vulgar pride, very unlike the real scion of a noble race;
he loved nothing but dull pomp and ceremony, and could only endure
people who paid him court and homage. After a great deal of coarse
and vulgar gallantry, generally purchased at a high rate, he formed
a connexion with Lady Strachan, which thenceforward determined all
the habits of his life. She was a very infamous and shameless woman,
and his love after some years was changed to hatred; and she, after
getting very large sums out of him, married a Sicilian. But her
children, three daughters, he in a manner adopted; though eventually
all his partiality centred upon one, Charlotte by name, who married
Count Zichy-Ferraris, a Hungarian nobleman. She continued to live
with Hertford on and off, here and abroad, until his habits became
in his last years so ostentatiously crapulous that her residence in
his house, in England at least, ceased to be compatible with common
decency. She was, however, here till within a week or ten days of his
death, and her departure appears curiously enough to have led to the
circumstances which immediately occasioned it. There has been, as
far as I know, no example of undisguised debauchery exhibited to the
world like that of Lord Hertford, and his age and infirmities rendered
it at once the more remarkable and the more shocking. Between sixty
and seventy years old, broken with various infirmities, and almost
unintelligible from a paralysis of the tongue, he has been in the
habit of travelling about with a company of prostitutes, who formed
his principal society, and by whom he was surrounded up to the moment
of his death, generally picking them up from the dregs of that class,
and changing them according to his fancy and caprice. Here he was
to be seen driving about the town, and lifted by two footmen from
his carriage into the brothel, and he never seems to have thought it
necessary to throw the slightest veil over the habits he pursued.
For some months or weeks past he lived at Dorchester House, and the
Zichys with him; but every day at a certain hour his women, who were
quartered elsewhere, arrived, passed the greater part of the day, and
one or other of them all the night in his room. He found the presence
of the Countess Zichy troublesome and embarrassing to his pleasures,
and he made her comprehend that her absence would not be disagreeable
to him, and accordingly she went away. He had then been ill in bed
for many days, but as soon as she was gone, as if to celebrate his
liberation by a jubilee, he got up and posted with his seraglio down
to Richmond. No room was ready, no fire lit, nevertheless he chose
to dine there amidst damp and cold, drank a quantity of champagne,
came back chilled and exhausted, took to his bed, grew gradually
worse, and in ten days he died. And what a life, terminating in what a
death! without a serious thought or a kindly feeling, lavishing sums
incalculable on the worthless objects of his pleasures or caprices,
never doing a generous or a charitable action, caring and cared for
by no human being, the very objects of his bounty only regarding him
for what they could get out of him; faculties, far beyond mediocrity,
wasted and degraded, immersed in pride without dignity, in avarice and
sensuality; all his relations estranged from him, and surrounded to
the last by a venal harem, who pandered to the disgusting exigencies
_lassatæ sed nondum satiatæ libidinis_. He left vast sums to the
Strachan family, a considerable legacy to Croker, to whom he had been
formerly under obligations, largely provided for his servants, and,
with the exception of a few bequests to his executors and one or two
other people, and a very large property to an old mistress (formerly
Lady Strachan's maid), he left everything to his son Lord Yarmouth,
with whom he had always been on very moderate terms.

    [Footnote 36: [Francis Charles, third Marquis of Hertford, born
    March 11, 1777; married Maria Fagniani in 1798; died March 1,

    [Footnote 37: The Duke of Bedford wrote to me: 'I see Peel's
    carriage followed Lord Hertford's remains out of London! What is
    the use of character and conduct in this world, if after such a
    life, death and will as Lord Hertford's, such a mark of respect is
    paid to his memory by the First Minister of this great country, and
    this not "the loose and profligate Lord Melbourne," but the good
    and honest and particular Sir Robert Peel?']


_March 20th._--Peel's financial measures are, of course, discussed in
every quarter, but the general feeling in the country about them is
not yet known. The Opposition, who, at first, had not made up their
minds what to do, have now resolved to oppose the whole scheme, and
they took the field in force on Friday night, and flatter themselves,
so John Russell told me, that they had the best of the debate. The
'Times' opposes the income-tax and supports the tariff. Various
objections are raised in different quarters with more or less reason,
the principal one with regard to the income-tax being the unfairness
of taxing incomes derived from temporary to the same extent as those
which are derived from permanent sources, and there is a great
disposition to criticise his measure with regard to timber, and the
sacrifice he has made for the sake of Canadian timber. As to sugar,
it is pretty clear that he is preparing for a great measure, and if
it succeeds, it will be a very fine stroke of policy. He will make
a treaty with the Brazils, imposing conditions (which they will not
keep) for the abolition of slavery, and then let in their sugar. This
will give him all the advantage of the plan of the late Government,
without compromising his own consistency or the character of the

_March 23rd._--Dined on Sunday at Lady Holland's, with Melbourne and
a number of Whigs. Much talk about Peel and his measures, and what
would be the conclusion. Melbourne, to do him justice, is destitute
of humbug, does not see things through the medium of his wishes or
prejudices, but thinks impartially, and says what he thinks. He said
Peel would carry all his points, and that there would be no serious
opposition in the country, for if any public meetings were called,
the Chartists would be sure to outvote any resolution against the
income-tax. Then he thought the regular war which the Opposition had
declared was very useful to him, as it was the very thing which would
keep his own party together, silence their objections, and make them
come down and vote steadily with him. The rest would not gainsay
this, though they don't like such a view of the state of the case.
They all said Peel lost his temper the other night, and so he seems
to have done. He has certainly taken a very imposing attitude, but he
ought carefully to avoid any appearance of domineering, and to keep
his temper under constant restraint. They will do all they can to
provoke him. On Monday night the Opposition were very troublesome and
factious, but that, however inconvenient to public business, will do
him no harm, and he was so well aware of it that he never lost his

Death has been busy here of late, sweeping away men of very different
estimation, and leaving behind them very unequal regrets. A few days
ago died Archdeacon Singleton, a man who will be more remembered as
the correspondent of Sydney Smith in his inimitable letters on Church
Reform than for any acts of his own; but he was nevertheless a very
excellent and valuable man. He was the intimate friend and counsellor
of the Duke of Northumberland; and if that dullest of all bores was
enabled to get through the Irish Lieutenancy with credit, it was
because Singleton's sense informed him, and directed every act of his
official career.

On Sunday Lord Munster[38] shot himself. He had been in low spirits
for some time, and was tainted with the hereditary malady. He was a
man not without talent, but wrongheaded, and having had the folly to
quarrel with his father, and estrange himself from Court during the
greater part of his reign, he fell into comparative obscurity and real
poverty, and there can be no doubt that the disappointment of the
expectations he once formed, together with the domestic unhappiness of
a dawdling, ill-conditioned, vexatious wife, preyed upon his mind, and
led to this act. The horror of the deed excited a momentary interest,
but he will be soon forgotten.

Last night died very suddenly Colonel Armstrong, a man who will leave
many social regrets behind him. He was formerly A.D.C. to the Duke of
York, and equally a favourite of his and of the Duchess. He had very
little general knowledge, and had never received much education, but
he was very quick and intelligent, with a strong turn for humour and
drollery, and perfectly good-humoured, inoffensive, and well-bred.
Nobody ever heard him say a spiteful or ill-natured thing, and he was
always lively and agreeable without ever being obtrusive in society.
He was an excellent specimen of a man of the world, who lived upon its
passing events without mixing himself up in its malignities and its
quarrels, and who was universally respected and esteemed. The regrets
of the world are of a very light and transitory nature, but Armstrong
leaves a void in the society which he frequented, and this is all
the sensation which anybody without public importance can expect to

    [Footnote 38: [George Fitzclarence, the eldest of the illegitimate
    sons of King William IV., was raised to the Peerage soon after
    his father's accession to the throne, with the title of Earl of
    Munster. He was born January 22, 1794, and married a daughter of
    the Earl of Egremont in 1819. He died by his own hand March 20,


_June 5th._--I have not written one line since March 23--a longer
interval, I think, than has ever passed since I first began to
journalise. The principal reason for this cessation has been that my
mind has been disquieted and unsettled. The racing and racehorses, and
all things appertaining thereto, the betting, buying, selling, the
quarrels and squabbles, the personal differences and estrangements,
the excitement and agitation produced by these things, have had the
effect on my mind of withdrawing my attention from public affairs,
from literature, from society, from all that is worth attending to and
caring for, from everything that is a legitimate object of interest,
and wasting my thoughts, faculties, and feelings on all that is most
vile, most worthless, and most morally and mentally injurious. This is
the confession that I am obliged to make, for this is the true cause
why I have left unnoticed and unrecorded every event or circumstance
that has occurred for many weeks past. It is also, in some degree,
owing to the circumstance of my knowing very little of what is going
on. While the late Ministry were in office, my intimacy with so many
of them or their near connexions put me in the way of information; but
I have no intimacy with any of these people, and consequently I know
nothing but what everybody else knows. The history of the last two
months may be very briefly told, and a short sketch will suffice for
all that is essential of it.

Peel's government has been acquiring fresh power and solidity every
day till now; there is hardly any opposition to it in Parliament
or out. The whole country is prepared, if not content, to take his
measures, and let him have his own way without let or hindrance. For
the last few weeks bribery and fancy balls have excited much greater
interest than income-tax and tariff. The distress in the country
does not diminish, but its miseries are neither seen nor felt amidst
the 'fumum et opes, strepitumque Romæ;' and as nobody thinks that
the 'sanguine cloud' has 'quenched the orb of day,' that it arises
from any other than temporary and accidental causes, the world waits
patiently for some beneficial change.

Last week the Queen was shot at, very much in the same manner and
on the same spot as two years ago. She was aware that the attempt
had been meditated the day before, and that the perpetrator was at
large, still she would go out, and without any additional precautions.
This was very brave, but imprudent. It would have been better to
stay at home, or go to Claremont, and let the police look for the
man, or to have taken some precautionary measures. It is certainly
very extraordinary, for there is no semblance of insanity in the
assassin, and no apparent motive or reason for the crime. This young
Queen, who is an object of interest, and has made no enemies, has
twice had attempts made on her life within two years. George III.,
a very popular king, was exposed to similar attempts, but in his
case the perpetrators were really insane; while George IV., a man
neither beloved nor respected, and at different times very odious and
unpopular, was never attacked by anyone.

The night before last, the play of 'The Hunchback' was acted at
Bridgewater House by Mrs. Butler, Adelaide Kemble, Vandenhoff (instead
of Sheridan Knowles, who was to have done it), my brother Henry, and
some other amateurs. The dining-room made but a middling theatre, the
actors and audience being too near each other. This materially injured
the effect, still it went off well, and Mrs. Butler acted as well as
Fanny Kemble did ten or twelve years ago, but, with all her power,
genius, and voice, she is not a first-rate actress.


Last night I went to Hullah's choral meeting, at Exeter Hall, where
the Queen Dowager appeared. It was fine to see, and fine and curious
to hear; but the finest thing was when the Duke of Wellington came
in, almost at the end. The piece they were singing stopped at once;
the whole audience rose, and a burst of acclamation and waving of
handkerchiefs saluted the great old man, who is now the idol of the
people. It was grand and affecting, and seemed to move everybody but

_September 1st._--During the whole of the past Session, besides
having been occupied with other things than politics, I have had
no communication with politicians, and have seen nothing of public
affairs. My knowledge, therefore, is no greater than that of any
casual observer, and all I could have done was to note and record the
various floating opinions which have come across me in my intercourse
with society.

Peel began the Session with his great financial measures, which were
received, on their first appearance, with considerable applause by the
Opposition, and with a sulky acquiescence on the part of the Tories.
The former, however, soon began to change their note and to pick
holes, but probably this rather was of service to him than otherwise,
for the semblance of an Opposition--and it was no more--kept together
the masses of the Government party, and the tone of superiority and
even supremacy which he assumed from the beginning has imposed upon
both friend and foe, and enabled him to get through a very laborious
and troublesome session without any serious difficulty. John Russell
not only showed no disposition to lead his party in regular attacks on
the Government, but he very soon became impatient to go and seek rural
recreation, and some time before the close of the session he abandoned
them to their fate. Before his departure, however, a sort of guerilla
warfare had begun, which afterwards became more desultory, but more
brisk and incessant. Charles Buller, Tom Duncombe, Hawes, and Vernon
Smith took different departments, and, Palmerston taking the post of
leader, they all kept up an incessant fire upon the Treasury Bench.
The Whigs were exceedingly provoked with Lord John for quitting his
post, and equally delighted with Palmerston for retaining his with
such constancy and for taking so active a part. Nothing, however,
occurred very remarkable in the way of debate till the last night of
the session, when Palmerston made a grand attack upon the Government,
_à la_ Lyndhurst, in a speech of great ability, as his opponents
themselves allow. Peel, however, replied to him in a still abler
speech, and, with this brilliant single combat, which took place in a
very empty House, the session ended.

Parliament was no sooner up, than the riots broke out,[39]
sufficiently alarming but for the railroads, which enabled the
Government to pour troops into the disturbed districts, and extinguish
the conflagration at once. The immediate danger is over, but those
who are best informed look with great anxiety and apprehension to the
future, and only consider what has recently happened as the beginning
of a series of disorders. It is remarkable that whilst England and
Scotland have been thus disturbed, Ireland has been in the profoundest
tranquillity, and when everybody, themselves included, feared that
Ireland would be hardly governable under Tory rule, they have not
had the slightest difficulty in that quarter. O'Connell has been
much quieter since Peel came into office than he was before, and is
evidently doing all he can to keep the country quiet. The Queen, too,
is to all appearance on just as good terms with the present Government
as she was with the last. There is no such intimacy with anybody as
there was with Melbourne, but she is very civil to all her Ministers,
invites them constantly to her house, and, what is curious, hardly
ever takes any notice of those members of the late Government and
Household whom she appeared not to be able to live without; even
Melbourne is very rarely a guest either at Windsor or Buckingham

    [Footnote 39: [On August 4 serious disturbances broke out at
    Staleybridge and Manchester. Troops were sent down and a conflict
    took place. At Preston and at Burslem some persons were killed. The
    riots were caused by a threatened reduction of wages.]]


_September 3rd._--One of the topics on which Palmerston attacked the
Government with the greatest bitterness was the supposed abandonment
of Auckland's policy with respect to Afghanistan, and the withdrawal
of the troops from that country. He asserted that such was Lord
Ellenborough's intention, but that he had been compelled to change or
suspend it, by instructions from home, and then he thundered away on
the disgrace of a retreat, the advantages of a permanent occupation,
and asked, but without eliciting any reply, what Government really
meant to do. Just after this speech and the close of the session,
Lord Auckland arrived in England. He had an interview with Peel,
with which both seemed satisfied. Auckland said that Peel received
him with great civility and cordiality; and Graham told me that Peel
had found Auckland by no means disposed to adopt and countenance
all Palmerston's views and opinions; that he had been very guarded,
and said nothing indicative of any difference of opinion between
himself and his political friends, but that he had spoken like an
honest man, looking to the true interests of the country under
actual circumstances, and not to any mere party purpose. It was the
impression of Peel, clearly, that Auckland does not contemplate the
reoccupation of that country, unless it be merely for the purpose of
recovering our honour and restoring our supremacy. A few days ago
I met Sir Charles Metcalfe, the greatest of Indian authorities. He
was decidedly opposed to the expedition originally, and he told me
he never could understand how Auckland could have been induced to
undertake it. But, he thinks that we have now no alternative, and
must reoccupy Cabul, and re-establish our authority. When we have
done so, he says, we ought to leave to the Afghans the choice of
their ruler, and then make a treaty with him, whoever he may be, and
such a one as it is his interest to keep, for he will not keep any
other. The Opposition continually taunt the present Government with
having approved of Auckland's policy, when it appeared likely to be
successful, and now finding fault with it, when unexpected failure and
disaster have occurred. Graham, however, told me that his party had
all along disapproved of it, that the four greatest authorities on
Indian affairs had been opposed to it; viz. the Duke of Wellington,
Lord Wellesley, Sir Charles Metcalfe, and Mountstuart Elphinstone,
and that he had got up the whole question with the intention of
bringing it before the House of Commons, and had only been prevented
by the Duke of Wellington, who would not suffer it to be done. The
Duke, who, from the moment when any question has assumed a national
character, sets aside every party object, said that we had now gone
so far, and the country was so completely committed in this measure,
that nothing must be done calculated to mar its execution, and that
it would produce a very serious and prejudicial effect if a large
minority of the House of Commons should pronounce a condemnation of
it. Accordingly Graham was obliged to be silent, and the consequence
of that silence is, to afford the Opposition a fair pretext for saying
that their policy met with no opposition and no objections, while
success appeared likely to crown it. When Graham was getting up this
case, he saw Lord Wellesley two or three times, who on one occasion
had dressed himself with great care, and delivered a very eloquent
oration on the subject, which lasted upwards of two hours, and was
very good indeed. This is what he delights in doing. He continually
talks of taking his seat in the House of Lords, and of the speeches
he will make there, but it is only talk. In his own room he will hold
forth, and though he requires a great deal of preparation and getting
up, all those who hear him say that he exhibits wonderful ability and
remarkable powers of memory in these _tête-à-tête_ displays, for he
never makes his speeches to more than one auditor at a time.


_September 11th._--A day or two after I wrote the above, I dined
with Auckland to meet General Ventura, the General of Runjeet Singh,
where there was a great deal of Indian talk. Ventura thought that
if Pollock had pushed on at once to Cabul after he had joined Sale,
he would have occupied the place without resistance, and met with
no obstacles in his march; but Willoughby Cotton, who was there,
said they could not move for want of camels, and that it was quite
impossible for any force to proceed without the means of transport,
which were totally wanting. Auckland differs with Metcalfe, and
thinks we ought to reoccupy Cabul with the intention of establishing
our authority permanently in these countries. The Whig papers are
attacking Ellenborough with the greatest asperity, and doing all they
can to divert public attention from the original expedition and its
subsequent disasters, and to fix the general indignation upon him
for the policy he is disposed to adopt. It is still, however, very
little known to the world what has occurred, and what is meditated,
but I cannot doubt from the tenor of the few observations I have heard
from both Graham and FitzGerald, that Government have made up their
minds to renounce all idea of permanent conquests and establishment
in Afghanistan. The English public will be satisfied if we get back
the prisoners, which is what they think most about, and though they
will be dissatisfied and disappointed if some sort of vengeance is
not executed upon Akbar Khan, they will on the whole be happy to be
extricated from such an embarrassing and expensive scrape.

There is a very general feeling of satisfaction at the termination of
the boundary dispute with the Americans,[40] and it will be impossible
for Palmerston, who is ready to find fault with everything the Foreign
Office does, to carry public opinion with him in attacking this
settlement. He showed his disposition in a conversation he had lately
with M. de Bacourt (just come over from America), to whom he said
that we had made very important concessions. But Charles Buller, who
was with me when M. de Bacourt told me this, said he for one would
defend Lord Ashburton's Treaty, let Palmerston say what he would. He
never would quarrel with any tolerable arrangement of such a question
as that. I heard yesterday a curious thing relating to this matter.
Lemon, of the State Paper Office, called on me, and told me that about
three months ago they were employed by the Foreign Office in searching
for documents relating to the original discussions on the Boundary
question. There was a great deal of correspondence, much of which was
copied for the use of Government. While thus occupied, he recollected
that there was an old map of North America, which had been lying
neglected and tossed about the office for the last twenty-five years,
and he determined to examine this map. He did so, and discovered a
faint red line drawn all across certain parts of it, together with
several pencil lines drawn in parallels to the red line above and
below it. It immediately occurred to him that this was the original
map supposed to be lost (for it never could be found), which was used
for marking and settling the Boundary question, and he gave notice to
the Foreign Office of what he had discovered. The map was immediately
sent for and examined by the Cabinet, who deemed it of such importance
that they ordered it to be instantly locked up and that nobody should
have access to it. First, however, they sent for the three most
eminent and experienced men in this line of business, Arrowsmith and
two others, and desired them to examine closely this map and report
their opinions, separately and without concert, upon certain questions
which were submitted to them. These related principally to the
antiquity of the red and pencil lines, and whether the latter had been
made before or after the former. They reported as they were desired to
do. They all agreed as to the age of the line, and they proved that
the pencil marks had been made subsequently to the red line. I forget
the other particulars, but so much importance was attached to the
discovery of this map, which was without doubt the original, that an
exact account of its lines and marks was made out for Lord Ashburton,
and a messenger despatched to Portsmouth with orders to lay his hands
on the first Government steamer he could find, no matter what her
destination or purpose, and to go off to America forthwith. As soon
afterwards as possible the Boundary question was settled, and it is
certainly reasonable to suppose that this discovery had an important
effect upon the decision.

    [Footnote 40: [The Treaty signed at Washington on August 9, 1842,
    by Lord Ashburton and Mr. Webster, settled the disputed question
    of the north-east boundary between Canada and the State of Maine,
    and terminated some other differences between Great Britain
    and the United States. It was denounced by Lord Palmerston as
    'a capitulation,' but generally accepted and applauded by both

[Sidenote: THE MISSING MAP.]


    Visit to Broadlands--The American Treaty--Lord Palmerston on the
    American Treaty--The Stade Dues--The Withdrawal from Cabul--The
    Queen at Sea--Woburn--Baroness Lehzen--Lord Ponsonby--Turkey--The
    Grove, Lord Clarendon--Public Scandals--Bishop Blomfield's
    Charge--Puseyism--Mr. Thomas Grenville--Anecdote of Porson--Death
    of Mr. Irby--Anecdote of Lord North--Lord Melbourne
    ill--Macaulay's Lays of Rome--Canadian Affairs--A Council--Bad
    State of the Country--Mr. Grenville's Conversation--A Happy
    Family--The Reform Bill of 1832--End of the China War--Judge
    and Jury Court--Lord Ellenborough's Proclamation--Lord John
    Russell on the American Treaty--Madame d'Arblay's Journal--Lord
    Ellenborough--Manuscript of Antonio Perez--Lord Palmerston and
    the 'Morning Chronicle'--Moderate Whig Views--The Whigs and
    O'Connell--The Bedchamber Dispute--Sir David Dundas--Summary of
    the Year 1842.

_Broadlands: September 17th, 1842._--I came here on the 14th, to
meet Rogers and Baron Rolfe. Palmerston complains that our Foreign
affairs are all mismanaged from first to last, and that _we give up
everything_; universal concession the rule of action, and that there
can be no difficulty in settling questions if we yield all that is in
dispute. He is particularly dissatisfied with the Boundary Treaty, in
which he says we have been over-reached by the Americans; that Lord
Ashburton was a very unfit man to send there, having an American bias,
besides a want of firmness in his character. He thinks the territorial
concessions we have made very objectionable and quite unnecessary,
and that we had already _proved_ our right to the disputed land; that
since the King of Holland's award, evidence (which was then wanting)
has been adduced, which clearly establishes our rights. It is evident
that he means to fall foul of this arrangement upon the first suitable
occasion. He also complains of the treaty with the King of Hanover,
and says we have allowed him to levy duties twice as high, as he has
any right to.[41] Lady Palmerston talked to me for a long time about
the old disputes on the Syrian question, and lauded his wonderful
equanimity and good humour during those stormy and difficult times.
She said Lord Holland's death was in great measure attributable
to the vexation and excitement he underwent, and the recollection
of the opposition Palmerston met with still rankles deeply in her
mind. She declares that he is very happy out of office, and in no
want of occupation; on the contrary, has his hands full of business,
private and public. There is a very beautiful specimen of old Norman
architecture in the church at Romsey, in very good preservation and of
great antiquity.

    [Footnote 41: [The Treaty between Great Britain and Hanover for the
    settlement of the Stade tolls was not signed until July 22, 1844.
    Lord Palmerston seems to have anticipated by nearly two years the
    terms of this arrangement in his eagerness to attack it.]]


_September 24th._--From Broadlands I went to Canford[42] through the
New Forest, which I never saw before. There I stayed two nights,
having had some curiosity to see a place the creation of which has
caused violent family quarrels, which I have been engaged in making
up. On Monday I came to London, which contains a good sprinkling
of people for this time of year, who congregate generally at Lady

The 'Morning Chronicle' opened a fire upon the American Treaty in the
beginning of last week, which has been well sustained in a succession
of articles of very unequal merit. To these the 'Times' has responded,
and in my opinion successfully. It was amusing to me to read in the
columns of the 'Chronicle' all that I had been hearing Palmerston
say, _totidem verbis_; his articles were merely a repetition of his
talk, and that as exactly as if the latter had been taken down in
shorthand. As far as I can judge, he will, however, fail to carry
public opinion with him; he will not be entirely supported by the
writers on his own side, nor by his political adherents. Sir James
Kemp, an excellent authority, both civil and military, approves of the
Treaty and attaches no importance to the objections that are urged
against it. The 'Examiner' writes in its favour. The Ministers think
they stand on very strong grounds, and the fact is that Palmerston's
determination to find fault with everything that is done in the
Foreign Office, and the indiscriminate abuse which he heaps upon
every part of our foreign policy, deprives his opinion of the weight
which it would be entitled to, if he was only tolerably impartial. I
never saw so much political bitterness as that which rankles in the
hearts of himself and his wife. He abuses the acts of the Government,
but he always does so with an air of gaiety and good humour, and, to
do him justice, he never expresses himself with any coarseness or
asperity, never so as to make social intercourse impossible, or even
disagreeable, between him and his opponents, but under this gay and
gallant exterior there burns a fierce hostility, and a resolution to
attack them upon every point, and a more unscrupulous assailant never
took the field. She talks a great deal more than he does, and it is
easy to see, through her graceful, easy manner and habitual urbanity,
how impatient they are of exclusion from office, and how intolerant of
any dissent from or opposition to his policy and opinions. They have
never forgiven Lords Holland and Clarendon for having thwarted him
on the Syrian question. She alluded, at Broadlands, to the supposed
desire of the latter to supplant him at the Foreign Office, which she
said she did not believe, though she evidently does, and she said
that Clarendon had done himself an injury which he would never get
over. She talked of their opposition as if they had been the only
dissentients in the Cabinet, and then, forgetting this, she discussed
the conduct of others, particularly of Melbourne, and John Russell,
both of whom she described as alarmists, and the former as all along
disinclined to the bold course which Palmerston was pursuing.

[Sidenote: THE STADE DUES.]

Besides the American Treaty, Palmerston is venting his indignation
on the Stade Treaty with Hanover, and his conduct with reference to
that matter is very illustrative of the manner in which he carries
on the war. He told me at Broadlands that the King of Hanover had
not a shadow of right to the duties which he levied, though he had
to much smaller duties, the amount of which was regulated by an old
treaty with Denmark, and that, instead of formally conceding to him
what he had no right to require, we ought to resist his claim, and
compel him by force, if remonstrance failed, to abandon it. The case
is this. Hanover has no right to the tolls she takes, but she has
levied them for above 100 years, and has thus acquired a prescriptive
or _quasi_ right. Complaints were formerly made, but George III.
refused to give them up, so did George IV. William IV. was the first
king who was disposed to make any sacrifice. He died before anything
was settled, and King Ernest succeeded. Fresh discussions arose, and
the Whig Government were willing to purchase of him the abandonment
or modification of his claims, and Palmerston made a formal proposal
to Ompteda[43] to that effect. But when he found he was going out of
office, a very little while before their resignation, he put forth
a protest against the King of Hanover's claims, and this he did (as
I am told and as seems highly probable) for the express purpose of
embarrassing the question, and rendering its settlement more difficult
to his successor, besides providing himself with materials for
attacking such an arrangement as he foresaw would probably be made,
and which he would have made had he remained in office.

The other topic on which they are most eloquent and indignant is
Ellenborough's order to retreat from Cabul, of the real truth of which
very little is at present known. FitzGerald, however, told me the
other day, he did think Ellenborough had not acted _discreetly_ in
the outset of his administration. He avers, however, distinctly, that
it was Auckland's intention to withdraw the troops after the massacre
at Cabul, which was what Peel alluded to in his speech. Auckland
apparently does not admit this, and both parties are anxious to enlist
his opinions and intentions on their side.

We had a Council at Windsor yesterday, where I met Peel for the
first time since his return from Scotland. We now go to the Council
and return to town after it, instead of being invited to remain
there, which is a very great improvement. This custom has gradually
superseded the other without the appearance of anything offensive or
uncivil, and is no doubt much more agreeable to the Queen, who has no
mind to have more of the society of her present Ministers than she
can help. Peel described the Scotch tour as very nervous, inasmuch as
they went through all the disturbed districts, but that loyalty and
interest in seeing the Queen triumphed over every other feeling and
consideration, and all went off as well as possible.[44]

Adolphus FitzClarence told me nothing could be more agreeable
and amiable than she was, and the Prince too, on board the yacht,
conversing all the time with perfect ease and good humour, and on all
subjects, taking great interest and very curious about everything in
the ship, dining on deck in the midst of the sailors, making them
dance, talking to the boatswain, and, in short, doing everything that
was popular and ingratiating. Her chief fault, in little things and in
great, seems to be impatience; in sea phrase, she always wants to _go
ahead_; she can't bear contradiction nor to be thwarted. She was put
out because she could not get quicker to the end of her voyage, and
land so soon as she wished. She insisted on landing as soon as it was
possible, and would not wait till the authorities were ready and the
people assembled to receive her. An hour or two of delay would have
satisfied everybody, and though it might be unreasonable to expect
this, as Peel said it was, it would have been wise to have conceded
it. Adolphus says there was very alarming excitement in the town for a
little while, and much discontent among the crowds who had come from
distant parts, and who had paid large sums for seats and windows to
see her go by.

    [Footnote 42: [Canford, near Wimborne, then belonged to Lord de
    Mauley. It had come to the Ponsonbys from the Ashley family, and
    was sold after Lord de Mauley's death, to Sir John Guest.]]

    [Footnote 43: [The Hanoverian Minister in London.]]

    [Footnote 44: [The Queen and Prince Albert made their first visit
    to Scotland by sea, embarking at Woolwich on August 29, and landing
    at Granton pier on September 1. Her Majesty was received by the
    Duke of Buccleuch and accompanied by Sir Robert Peel. The Court
    stayed in Scotland fourteen days. Lord Aberdeen was instructed to
    write to the Lord Advocate in the following terms: 'The Queen will
    leave Scotland with a feeling of regret that her visit on this
    occasion could not be further prolonged. Her Majesty fully expected
    to witness the loyalty and attachment of her Scottish subjects;
    but the devotion and enthusiasm evinced in every quarter, and by
    all ranks, have produced an impression on the mind of Her Majesty
    which can never be effaced.' Seldom has an official assurance and
    prediction been more amply justified than this by the experience of
    forty years.]]


_October 4th._--There has been a continual discussion of the Boundary
Treaty, kept up by Palmerston's articles in the 'Morning Chronicle,'
which have been well replied to in the 'Times,' 'Standard,' and still
more the 'Spectator' and 'Examiner.' Palmerston has certainly not
acted wisely as one of the leaders of his party. He ought to have felt
the public pulse, and ascertained how his own friends would be likely
to view the question, before he plunged into such violent opposition
to it. It is now evident that he will not carry the public nor even
his own party with him. John Russell is satisfied; he thought at first
that we had conceded too much, but on further examination he changed
his opinion, and he now thinks the settlement on the whole a good one,
and this will in all probability be the general opinion. Everybody
was alive to the inconvenience of having this question left open, and
there was a universal desire to settle our various differences with
America upon such terms as would conduce to the restoration of good
humour and good will.

_October 5th._--There was a very clever letter in the 'Morning
Chronicle' yesterday from some Whig, attacking the paper for the
line it has taken, which produced a furious defence and retort. This
morning I have got a letter from the Duke of Bedford informing me
that his brother John has gone back to his original opinion about the
Treaty. First, he thought we had made too great concessions, then that
we had not, and now he thinks again that we have. It is probable that
Palmerston has been at him, and he thinks it better to sacrifice his
own opinion than to have a difference with his colleague.

I have been at Woburn for a couple of days. The Duke told me there
that all the people he had conversed or communicated with agreed in
rejoicing that the question was settled, and were not disposed to
cavil at the terms. The Duke is well and wisely administering his
estate and improving his magnificent place in every way. I never saw
such an abode of luxury and enjoyment, one so full of resources for
all tastes. The management of his estate is like the administration
of a little kingdom. He has 450 people in his employment on the
Bedfordshire property alone, not counting domestic servants. His
pensions amount to 2,000_l._ a year. There is order, economy,
grandeur, comfort, and general content.

The Baroness Lehzen has left Windsor Castle, and is gone abroad
for her health (as she says), to stay five or six months, but it
is supposed never to return. This lady, who is much beloved by the
women and much esteemed and liked by all who frequent the Court, who
is very intelligent, and has been a faithful and devoted servant
to the Queen from her birth, has for some time been supposed to be
obnoxious to the Prince, and as he is now all-powerful her retirement
was not unexpected. I do not know the reason of it, nor how it has
been brought about; Melbourne told me long ago that the Prince would
acquire unbounded influence.

I met yesterday Lord Ponsonby and sat next to him at dinner at
Palmerston's, for although I have always been so opposed to
Palmerston, and he knows it, and no doubt dislikes me, I live with
them as much as if we were the greatest friends. Lord Ponsonby is
a most remarkable-looking man for his age, which is seventy-two or
seventy-three. He exhibits no signs of old age, and is extremely
agreeable. His account of Turkey was very different from my ideas
about the state of the country, but I fancy all he says is _sujet à
caution_. He describes the Sultan to be intelligent, liberal, and
independent, that is, really master, and not in the hands of any
party; the Turkish public men as very able, the country improving in
its internal condition, especially its agriculture, and its revenue
flourishing--five millions a year regularly collected, not a farthing
of debt, and the whole military and civil service of the State
punctually paid.


_October 12th._--The controversy about the American Treaty is
vigorously maintained. The letter in the 'Morning Chronicle' was
written by John Mill, and now Charles Buller has taken the field (in
the 'Globe'). John Russell says 'it is advantageous and honourable
to America, but not disadvantageous to us.' But he thinks it has
been clumsily managed and that we might have got better terms; that
Aberdeen and Everett might have settled it here more favourably for
us. This is mere conjecture and worth nothing. The truth is, he does
not disapprove, but finds Palmerston has taken such a violent part
that he must, out of deference to his colleague, find as much fault as
he possibly can. The account of the revenue came out yesterday, and a
very sorry account it is.

_October 18th._--On Wednesday last I went to the Grove; on Friday
to Gorhambury[45] to meet the Bishop of London, who came there in
the course of his visitation; yesterday back to London. It is always
refreshing, in the midst of the cold hearts and indifferent tempers
one sees in the world, to behold such a spectacle of intimate union
and warm affection as the Grove presents. A mother, with a tribe of
sons and daughters, and their respective husbands and wives, all knit
together in the closest union and community of affections, feelings
and interests--all, too, very intelligent people, lively, cheerful,
and striving to contribute to each other's social enjoyment as well as
to their material interests. I have always thought Clarendon the least
selfish, most generous, and amiable man with whom I am acquainted.

Edward Villiers, who is just come from Germany, told me nothing could
exceed the disgust excited all over that country by the publication of
Lord Hertford's trial,[46] and that there was a universal impression
there that the state of society in England and the character of its
aristocracy were to the last degree profligate and unprincipled.
We are mighty proud of our fine qualities, and plume ourselves on
our morality; but it must be owned that a German public, which can
know nothing of English society but from the specimens it sees of
Englishmen, or what it reads in the press of English doings, may well
entertain a less exalted idea of our perfections, and we need not
wonder at the impressions which we think so unfair, and which are not
in fact correct.

The Bishop of London was, and is still, going about his diocese,
delivering a very elaborate Charge, which has excited a good deal
of notice, and parts of which have been well enough quizzed in the
'Morning Chronicle.' To the surprise of many people, his Charge, like
those of the Bishops of Exeter and Oxford, contained some crumbs of
compliment to the Puseyites, and an endeavour to prescribe some formal
observances half-way in advance towards their opinions. There is an
evident desire on the part of these dignitaries to conciliate the
Tractarians, probably because they are aware of, and alarmed at, their
remarkable superiority in everything which relates to ecclesiastical
learning. It is curious, too, to see the 'Times,' which certainly
exercises no small or limited influence, become decidedly Puseyite.
Its Catholic tendencies are intermingled with its Poor Law crotchets,
and both are of a highly democratic character. The present object
of attack is the pew system, which certainly appears obnoxious to
censure. I asked the Bishop of London what the law was with regard
to pews, and he owned that the whole thing was an anomaly, in some
respects doubtful, but in many regulated by ancient usage, or by
local Acts of Parliament. The Bishop is an agreeable man in society,
good-humoured, lively, a little brusque in his manner. He sang a
duet with Lady Jane Grimston on Friday evening, when there was no
company. Though he is intemperate and imperious, he has always been
distinguished for great liberality and a munificent disposition, and
from an anecdote I heard of him at the Grove, he must be of a generous
mind, and capable of forgiving an enemy, and casting aside feelings
of resentment and wounded pride. William Capel, brother of the late
Lord Essex, a disreputable, good-for-nothing parson, and Rector of
Watford, neglected his clerical duties, and incurred the displeasure
of the Bishop, who insisted on Capel's appointing a curate, which he
refused to do, on which the Bishop, who became very angry, appointed
one himself, and sent him down there. Capel resisted stoutly, and on
one occasion the rector and the curate had a race for the reading-desk
in church. He refused to receive the curate or to pay him, and forbad
him at his peril to execute any clerical function. The end of it was
a trial at the Hertford Assizes, when the parson beat the Bishop, who
in his angry haste had failed to comply with all the forms which the
law requires. The trial cost the Bishop near a thousand pounds, and
Capel was triumphant. I don't know what happened in the interim, but
a few years afterwards they had become such good friends that the
Bishop came down to preach a charity sermon at Watford, when he was
the guest of William Capel, dining and sleeping at his house. Upon
that occasion such was his want of common decency, that, having the
Bishop for his guest, and under circumstances which demanded more
than ordinary respect and attention, he came down to breakfast in an
old grey dressing-gown and red slippers, much to the surprise and
something to the discomposure of his Diocesan. Nobody would believe
Capel when he told them that the Bishop was going to be his guest.
'The Bishop of London!' said Clarendon to him, when he told him, 'how
on earth did you contrive to get the Bishop of London to come to your
house?' 'How,' said the other, 'why I gave him a good licking and
that made him civil. We are very good friends now.' The only pity is,
that having the quality of generosity and forgiveness of wrongs--for
successful resistance is the same as a wrong--those virtues did not
find a more estimable subject for their exercise.

    [Footnote 45: [The seat of the Earl of Verulam in Hertfordshire,
    formerly the residence of Lord Bacon.]]

    [Footnote 46: [Lord Hertford's will was disputed and the litigation
    occasioned some scandalous disclosures of his past life.]]


_October 23rd._--To the Grove on Thursday; came back yesterday to
dine with Mr. Grenville; passed the whole morning of Saturday at the
British Museum, where I had not been for many years, but where I
propose to go henceforward very often. The number of readers is now
on an average three hundred a day; in the time of Gray, as may be
seen by his letters, it was not half a dozen. I had never dined with
Mr. Grenville before, though he has more than once asked me, and I
was glad to go there. He is a man whom I have always looked at with
respect and pleasure. It is a goodly sight, to see him thus placidly
and slowly going down the hill of life, with all his faculties of
mind and body, not unimpaired, but still fresh and strong. One would
rejoice to procure a new lease for such a man. He may well look round
him, as he sits in his unrivalled library and surrounded by his
friends, serene and full of enjoyment, and say, like Mazarin, 'Et il
faut quitter tout cela!' but no reflexions or anticipations seem to
overcast the mild sunshine of his existence. I certainly never saw
so graceful and enviable an old age; and though he is eighty-six,
and I am forty-eight, I would willingly change lives with him. I
would much rather be approaching the end of life as he is approaching
it, than live any number of years that I may yet chance to have in
store as I am likely to live them. Mr. Grenville is rather deaf,
and he complains of loss of memory, but he hears well enough for
social purposes, and he is full of recollections of former times and
remarkable people. He only laments his own infirmities on account of
the trouble or inconvenience they may cause to others; not that he
does not hear all that is said, but he pities those who are obliged to
exert their voices to make him hear. No old man was ever less selfish
and querulous. He told a story of Porson, which I will put in his own
words: 'When I was a young man, which is now about seventy years
ago, I used to live with Cracherode and other literary men of that
day, who were good enough to allow me to come among them, and listen
to their conversation, which I used to take great delight in doing,
and I remember one day going into the room, and finding Cracherode
and another person disputing about language, and whether a certain
English word had ever been used by any good authority. In the middle
of the dispute, one of them said, "But why do we go on talking here,
when that little fellow in the corner can tell us in a moment which
of us is in the right?" The little fellow was Porson, who was on his
knees poring over a book. They called him up, told him what they
were disputing about, and asked if he knew of the word having been
used, and by whom. He at once replied, "I only know of one instance,
and that is in Fisher's funeral sermon on the death of Margaret of
Richmond, the mother of Henry VII., and you will find it about the
third or fourth page on the right-hand side;" and there accordingly
they did find it.'


_October 26th._--Poor Irby died on Monday last at Newmarket, the place
where he had passed all the pleasantest hours of his life. He was an
honourable, inoffensive man, who never made an enemy, and with whom
I have passed my _racing_ life. That was a sort of man who devoted
himself to the turf without any misgivings of shame and regret, and he
was, accordingly, happy. He strolled through life, without ambition or
vanity, was what he seemed, and did not aspire to be thought better or
wiser than he was. He had friends to whom he was attached, one sister
whom he loved, and few or no other relations to annoy or trouble
him. He was affluent in circumstances, respected in character, and
contented in disposition: and such a man is to be envied, living or

Yesterday morning I called on Mr. Grenville, and sat with him for an
hour, while he told me many old stories of bygone times, and showed me
some of his books, particularly his 'Julio Clovio,' which was what I
went on purpose to see. He is a remarkable man, with his mind so fresh
and firm, and teeming with recollections, a sort of link between the
living and the dead, having been forward enough in his youth to mix
with the most distinguished characters, literary and political, more
than half a century ago, and still vigorous enough to play his part
with those of the present time. He had often dined with Horace Walpole
at his grandmother's in Grosvenor Square (before it was planted), and
he describes him as effeminate in person, trifling in conversation,
and much less amusing and _piquant_ than might be expected from his
letters. He talked much of Lord North, whose speaking he thinks would
not be admired now. It was of a sing-song, monotonous character.
His private secretary used to sit behind him, and take notes of the
debate, writing down every point that it was necessary for him to
answer, with the name of the speaker from whom it proceeded. When he
got up he held this paper in his hand, and spoke from it, sometimes
blundering over the sheets in a way Mr. Grenville imitated, and
which would certainly be thought very strange now, but he had great
good humour and much drollery. He told me a story of Lord North and
his son Frank, afterwards Lord Guildford, of whom he was very fond,
though he was always in scrapes and in want of money. One day, Frank
seemed very much out of spirits, and his father asked him what was
the matter. With some hesitation, real or pretended, he at last said,
'Why, father, the truth is, I have no money, and I am so distressed
that I have even been obliged to sell that little mare you gave me the
other day.' To which Lord North replied, 'Oh, Frank, you should never
have done that; you ought to have recollected the precept of Horace,
"_Æquam_ memento rebus in arduis servare mentem."' Mr. Grenville
talked of the elder Pitt, whom he did not admire, but had never heard
him except as Lord Chatham. Rigby was a very agreeable speaker, in
style not unlike Tierney.

_October 29th._--Lord Melbourne has had an attack of palsy, very
slight, and he is recovering, but it is of course alarming. He is
not himself aware of the nature of the seizure, and asks if it was
lumbago. This shows how slight it was. Macaulay's book, which he calls
'Lays of Ancient Rome,' came out yesterday, and admirable his ballads
are. They were composed in India and on the voyage home. He showed
them to Dr. Arnold, who advised him to publish them, but probably
while he was in office he had not time to think about them, and the
publication is the result of his leisure. He has long been addicted to
ballad-writing, for there is one in the American edition of his works,
and there is a much longer one written when he was at Cambridge (or
soon after), upon the League, and one of Henry IV.'s battles, which
is very good indeed. He is a wonderful fellow altogether.


Canadian affairs and Bagot's proceedings have lately occupied the
world for want of something better.[47] The Whigs are pleased that
he has so fully admitted and acted on the principle of Parliamentary
control, and carried out practically the theory of the Constitution
which they gave the provinces, while the Tories are indignant that he
should have been dictated to by men whom they consider disaffected to
this country, and who were looked upon as quasi-traitors till a very
short time ago, and as they have no taste for the independence and
supremacy of a Canadian Parliament, there is no triumph of a principle
to console them for what they consider dangerous in practice. But
both parties, and everybody without exception, blame the manner in
which Bagot has acted, which was indiscreet, undignified, and gives
a poor idea of his qualifications for government. He is certainly
not a strong man, and he has succeeded one who undoubtedly was.
Sydenham turns out to have been a man of first-rate capacity, with
great ability, discrimination, judgement, firmness, and dexterity.
His whole administration in Canada fully justified the choice which
Lord John Russell made of him, and the confidence he reposed in him.
It is to the credit of Lord John Russell that he discovered and
appreciated the talents of a man who was underrated here; but occasion
and circumstance draw out the latent resources of vigorous minds. He
was always known to be a man of extraordinary industry, but nobody
knew that he had such a knowledge of human nature and such a power of
acquiring influence over others as he evinced when he went to Canada.
Murdoch, who was his secretary, and himself a very clever man, gave me
a remarkable account of him. He was in the habit of talking over the
most inveterate opponents of his Government, so much so, that at last
it became a matter of joking, and the most obstinate of his enemies
used to be told that if they set foot in Government House they would
be mollified and enthralled whether they would or no, and so it almost
always was. Though of a weak and slender frame, and his constitution
wretched, he made journeys which would have appeared hard work to the
most robust men. On one occasion he travelled, without stopping, an
immense distance, and the moment he got out of his carriage he called
for his papers, and went at his business as if he had only returned
from a drive. This is something very like greatness; these are the
materials of which greatness is made--indefatigable industry, great
penetration, powers of persuasion, confidence in himself, decision,
boldness, firmness, and all these jumbled up with a finikin manner,
and a dangling after an old London harridan; but, as Taylor says so
well, 'The world knows nothing of its greatest men,' and half mankind
know nothing of their own capacity for greatness. The mistakes made
by ourselves and by each other with respect to moral qualities are
incessant and innumerable.

    [Footnote 47: [The Right Hon. Poulett Thomson, Lord Sydenham,
    died on September 19, 1841, from lockjaw, caused by a fall from
    his horse. He was then Governor of Canada, and was temporarily
    succeeded by Sir Charles Bagot but Sir Charles Metcalfe was
    appointed to that post in January 1843.]]


_November 2nd._--At Windsor yesterday for a Council; almost all the
Cabinet went together in a special train. A Whig engineer might have
produced an instantaneous and complete change of Government. The Royal
consent was given to the marriage of the Princess Augusta with the
Prince of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. The Chancellor was there, looking
very ill and broken, but evidently wishing to be thought strong and
capable.[48] He not only affected to be very merry, but very active,
and actually began a sort of dancing movement in the drawing-room,
which reminded me of Queen Elizabeth and the Scotch ambassador;
seventy years of age, ten years of idleness, and a young wife will
not do for the labour of the Great Seal. The Ministers are all come
to hold Cabinets, and lay their heads together with, God knows,
plenty to occupy them. Lord Wharncliffe and Kay Shuttleworth, who
are both come from the north, have given me an account of the state
of the country and of the people which is perfectly appalling. There
is an immense and continually increasing population, deep distress
and privation, no adequate demand for labour, no demand for anything,
no confidence, but a universal alarm, disquietude, and discontent.
Nobody can sell anything. Somebody said, speaking of some part of
Yorkshire, 'This is certainly the happiest country in the world, for
_nobody wants anything_.' Kay says that nobody can conceive the state
of demoralisation of the people, of the masses, and that the only
thing which restrains them from acts of violence against property is a
sort of instinctive consciousness that, bad as things are, their own
existence depends upon the security of property _in the long run_.
It is in these parts that the worst symptoms are apparent, but there
are indications of the same kind more or less all over the country,
and certainly I have never seen, in the course of my life, so serious
a state of things as that which now stares us in the face; and this,
after thirty years of uninterrupted peace, and the most ample scope
afforded for the development of all our resources, when we have been
altering, amending, and improving, wherever we could find anything to
work upon, and being, according to our own ideas, not only the most
free and powerful, but the most moral and the wisest people in the
world. One remarkable feature in the present condition of affairs is
that nobody can account for it, and nobody pretends to be able to
point out any remedy; for those who clamour for the repeal of the
Corn Laws, at least those who know anything of the matter, do not
really believe that repeal would supply a cure for our distempers.
It is certainly a very dismal matter for reflexion, and well worthy
the consideration of the profoundest political philosophers, that
the possession of such a Constitution, all our wealth, industry,
ingenuity, peace, and that superiority in wisdom and virtue which we
so confidently claim, are not sufficient to prevent the existence of
a huge mountain of human misery, of one stratum in society in the
most deplorable state, both moral and physical, to which mankind can
be reduced, and that all our advantages do not secure us against the
occurrence of evils and mischiefs so great as to threaten a mighty
social and political convulsion.

    [Footnote 48: [Lord Lyndhurst survived, however, more than twenty
    years. He died in 1863.]]

_November 17th._--Went to Cromer on Monday week, and returned on
Monday last. I am fond of that wild and bleak coast with its 'hills
that encircle the sea,' the fine old tower of the church and the
lighthouse, whose revolving light it is impossible not to watch
with interest. I went one day to Felbrigg,[49] and looked into the
library--a fine old-fashioned room containing Mr. Windham's books,
all full of notes and comments in his own hand, but library and books
equally neglected now that they have fallen into the hands of a rough,
unlettered squire.

    [Footnote 49: [Felbrigg-Hall, near Cromer, was the residence of the
    Windham family, and was then occupied by Mr. William Windham, the
    brother of Mrs. Henry Baring, one of Mr. Greville's most intimate

_November 18th._--Called on Mr. Grenville yesterday morning. He told
me he was eighty-eight, and had never been ill in all his life; had
colds, but never been ill enough to keep his bed a whole day since
he was born. His memory, he said, failed as to dates and names. He
told me a curious anecdote of Wolfe. In Pitt's (Lord Chatham's)
administration, when Wolfe was going out to take the command of the
army in America, at that time a post of the greatest importance, Mr.
Pitt had him to dinner with no other person present but Lord Temple
(Mr. Grenville's uncle). After dinner Wolfe got greatly excited, drew
his sword, flourished it about, and boasted of the great things he
would do with it in a wonderfully braggart style. Lord Temple and Mr.
Pitt were horror-struck, and when the General was gone, they lifted
up their hands and eyes, and said what an awful thing it was to think
that they were about to trust interests so vital to the discretion of
a man who could talk and bluster in such a way. Mr. Grenville said he
had never liked to repeat this anecdote, and had never done so till
very lately, for he had been reluctant to say anything which might,
by possibility, throw a slur on the reputation of Wolfe. But I told
him it was too curious to be suppressed; curious as a peculiar trait
of character, and that the heights of Abraham had secured the fame of
Wolfe beyond the possibility of being injured by anything that could
now be said.

[Sidenote: THE REFORM BILL OF 1831.]

_November 22nd._--At Hillingdon from Saturday till Monday. I never
go to that place without looking with envy and admiration at a scene
of so much happiness. There is certainly nothing to admire but the
result. There are none of the qualities which are generally desirable;
but if happiness is the aim and object of life, by which I mean
something active, sentient and intelligent, not the happiness of an
oyster or an opium-eater, then these people have attained it, subject
only to its disturbance from the ordinary and unavoidable accidents
and vicissitudes of existence. I suppose that happiness depends on,
as wit has been described by, negatives. They are happy because they
are without avarice, or ambition, or vanity, or envy. They have
no extravagant or unreasonable pretensions, and therefore are not
subject to perpetual mortifications and disappointments. They lead an
easy, placid, semi-sensual but not vicious life, with a full flow of
affection for each other, and a natural ever-springing cheerfulness
and content.

Dined yesterday with Lady Holland, John Russell, Charles Austin, and
Lady Charlotte Lindsay. Lord John told us some things about the Reform
Bill, interesting enough. The first he heard of it was by a letter
from Althorp, who told him Lord Grey and he wished him (Lord John) to
bring in the Bill although he was not in the Cabinet. He wrote back
that he could not agree to bring in the Bill without having a share in
its concoction, which they agreed he was entitled to. He came to town
and Lord Grey begged him to put himself in communication with Durham.
He went to Durham and had a long conversation with him, and they
agreed that a Committee should be formed which should meet constantly
and settle the terms of the Bill. The first person suggested was the
Duke of Richmond, but Lord John objected to him, and then they settled
to have Graham and Duncannon. They used to meet at Durham's every day
and discuss the details of the Bill. Among these was the question of
Ballot, Graham and Durham being strongly for it, John Russell against,
and Duncannon neuter. The point was, however, referred to the Cabinet,
and immediately negatived. Lord John said that the only chance they
had of carrying such a Bill was the preservation of impenetrable
secrecy. If once the plan got out, their own friends would be alarmed,
and their success infallibly compromised. Accordingly they contrived
to keep their plan secret till the last moment. So little did their
opponents expect anything of the kind, that Peel, in a speech about a
fortnight before, taunted them in these terms: 'You came into power
avowedly to promote peace, retrenchment, and reform. Your peace
is in the greatest danger of being broken; your estimates are not
less than ours were; and as to your reform, I predict that it will
be some miserable measure, with all the appearance of a change in
the Constitution, without the reality of any improvement.' When the
measure came out, many of the friends of Government were exceedingly
frightened, and thought it would not fail to be their ruin. Hardinge
told Graham in the lobby that 'Of course they had made up their minds
to resign.' Allen said that there had always existed a strong opinion
that Peel might have crushed it at first, if he had refused leave
to bring in the Bill, but Lord John denied that this was feasible.
He said, let Peel do what he would, they would have got a debate of
several nights, and he had always told his timorous and desponding
friends, that when the plan went forth to the country it would be
responded to by such great and enthusiastic approval and so supported
that it would be impossible for the Opposition to resist it. And this
was what happened. The debate of eight nights gave time for the press
to act, and the country to declare itself. Allen then said they had
done wrong in giving way as they had on some points, particularly as
to the freemen; they had gained nothing by that, and had injured the
Bill. But Lord John said that they had got all they expected. This
sacrifice was made to Lords Harrowby and Wharncliffe, who had in
consequence of it carried the second reading in the House of Lords,
which could not have been done without them; and this had prevented
the creation of Peers. Lord Grey was so determined to make Peers,
if the second reading was not carried, that Lord John had himself
given notice to some of his Tory friends, that if they wished to
prevent this evil, they had better vote for it. We then discussed
the communications which afterwards took place between Lord Grey
and Palmerston and Harrowby and Wharncliffe, and Lyndhurst's famous
motion, which produced such momentous results. I said that Harrowby
and his friends had always accused Lord Grey of acting unfairly, but
that I had always said that no man could act a more straightforward
and consistent part than he did. I told Lord John he ought to write a
history of the Reform Bill, which would be a very curious narrative.


_November 23rd._--A torrent of Indian news and successes arrived
almost all at once,[50] an important and agreeable budget of
intelligence, though without much glory in it. It is a delightful
thing to finish the Chinese war anyhow. We were ashamed of our
successes, and the reports of victories gained and towns taken never
gave any satisfaction, or excited a particle of pride or triumph. We
now see our way out of two difficult quarrels which we never ought to
have got into. The only good we shall have gained will have been a
very imposing exhibition of our power and resources, and it will have
cost us many millions of money, and many thousand lives to make it.

    [Footnote 50: [The same mail brought the news (November 22) of the
    Treaty of Peace with China, the recapture of Ghuznee and Cabul,
    and the release of the prisoners taken in the Afghan War. Lord
    Ellenborough, then Governor-General of India, issued a ridiculous
    proclamation, in which he said that the insult of 800 years was
    avenged by the carrying off the gates of the Temple of Somnauth as
    a trophy.]]

_November 25th._--I went last night to a place called 'The Judge and
Jury Court'--Bingham Baring, Charles Buller, Frederic Leveson, and
myself--and there we found several others of our acquaintance who had
been attracted to the same place. It is difficult to imagine anything
more low and blackguard than this imitation of and parody on a court
of justice, and if the proceedings of last night are to be taken as
a fair example of the whole it is not very amusing. There is a long
low room opposite Covent Garden Theatre, in Bow Street, lit with
tallow candles and furnished along its length with benches; opposite
these benches is a railed-off space for the Bar and the Jury, and an
elevated desk for the Judge. You pay one shilling entrance, which
entitles you to a cigar and a glass of rum or gin and water or beer,
a privilege of which almost every man availed himself. The room was
pretty well filled and in a cloud of smoke, and there was a constant
circulation of these large glasses of liquid; smoking and drinking
were, indeed, the order of the day. The judge, the counsel, and the
jury, all had their cigars and gin-and-water, and the latter, as a
recompense for their public services, were entitled to call for what
they pleased gratis. Here they try such notorious cases as have been
brought in any shape, complete or incomplete, under public notice,
and last night we had 'Chesterfield v. Batthyany,' the names being
slightly changed, but rendered sufficiently significant to leave no
doubt of who and what is meant. _Maidstone_, for example, was examined
as a witness under the title of Lord _Virgin Rock_, and twenty of the
others which, however, I don't remember. The Chief Baron is a big
burly fellow, editor of a paper which I never heard of before, called
the 'Town,' and the jury are sworn upon _The Town_. I don't know who
the counsel were, but there was one fellow who was a caricature of
Brougham, certainly like him, and he attempted an imitation of him
in manner, gesture, and voice, which was not very bad, and therefore
rather amusing. But though the man had some humour, there was not
enough or of sufficiently good quality to support the length of his
speech. He opened the case for the plaintiff; the counsel for the
defendant seemed very dull, and we would stay no longer. They say the
charge of the judge is generally the best part of it. They deal in
very gross indecencies, and this seems to amuse the audience, which
is one of the most blackguard-looking I ever saw congregated, and
they just restrain their ribaldry within such limits as exclude _les
gros mots_. Everything short of that is allowed, and evidently the
more the better. On the whole it was a poor performance. It bore, in
point of character and decency, about the same relation to a court of
justice that Musard's balls do to Almack's.


_November 27th._--The Palmerstons came through town the other day in
their way to Brocket, and I met them at dinner at Lady Holland's.
They are both very much provoked at the Indian and Chinese successes,
as their remarks showed; _she_ complained that it was Elliot's
fault that all this was not done two years ago, as he had the same
instructions and the same means of executing them that Pottinger had,
and _he_ harped again upon the old tune of Ellenborough's orders and
counter-orders, and tried to make out that it was his fault that
the reoccupation of Cabul had been delayed so many months; and the
'Morning Chronicle' has been labouring to make out that all the glory
of these successes is due to Palmerston alone.

_November 30th._--Ellenborough's Proclamation, which has just
appeared, is fiercely attacked by the Whig Palmerstonian press, but
the purport of it seems to be pretty generally approved. Ellenborough
is certainly not happy in his measures, his manners, or his phrases.
He began by his much-abused orders for retreat, he lost no time in
quarrelling with his Council and making himself personally obnoxious,
and his present Proclamation is very objectionable in many respects,
though it appears to me perfectly clear half the world thinks he meant
to censure the policy of his predecessor, and though he certainly
meant no such thing, he ought not to have left room for any doubt on
that point. He enters into reasons for his measures, which is never
advisable in such a document as this, and especially in India. In
the midst of all our successes, however, the simple truth is that
Akbar Khan and the Afghans have gained their object completely. We
had placed a puppet king on the throne, and we kept him there and
held military possession of the country by a body of our troops.
They resolved to get rid of our king and our troops and to resume
their barbarous independence; they massacred all our people civil
and military, and they afterwards put to death the king. We lost all
hold over the country except the fortresses we continued to occupy.
Our recent expedition was, in fact, undertaken merely to get back the
prisoners who had escaped with their lives from the general slaughter,
and having got them we have once for all abandoned the country,
leaving to the Afghans the unmolested possession of the liberty they
had acquired, and not attempting to replace upon their necks the yoke
they so roughly shook off. There is, after all, no great cause for
rejoicing and triumph in all this.


On Sunday morning I called on Lord John Russell, and we had an
argument about Lord Ashburton and his Treaty, which he abused very
roundly, saying all that I had before heard of his writing to his
brother against it, but still owning that it was not very injurious.
I have a great respect for Lord John, who is very honest and clever,
but in this matter he talks great nonsense. Palmerston is much more
consistent and takes a clear and broad view of it. He says, 'We are
all in the right, and the Americans all in the wrong. Never give up
anything, insist on having the thing settled in your own way, and if
they won't consent, let it remain unsettled.' But Lord John merely
says you might have got better terms if you had held out for them,
that _he thinks_ Lord Aberdeen and Mr. Everett would have arranged
it here more favourably for us than Lord Ashburton did there; that
if Lord Aberdeen had proposed such and such terms to Everett they
would have been agreed to in America, and that Lord Ashburton gave up
certain things for which he did not obtain a just equivalent--all of
which is mere gratuitous assumption, and may be true or maybe false.
However, he owned that the public was disposed to be satisfied with
the Treaty, and he did not deny any assertion that Palmerston had
committed a blunder in attacking it with such violence.

The fifth volume of Madame d'Arblay's journal or memoirs is just
come out. I have read the first three volumes, and then could read
no more, it was so tiresome; but I returned to the fifth because
I found everybody was amused by it. It is certainly readable,
for there are scattered through it notices of people and things
sufficiently interesting, but they are overlaid by an enormous
quantity of trash and twaddle, and there is a continuous stream of
mawkish sentimentality, loyalty, devotion, sensibility, and a display
of feelings and virtues which are very provoking. The cleverest
part of it is the remarkable memory with which she narrates long
conversations and minute details of facts and circumstances. It is
true she generally makes her people converse in a very ordinary
commonplace style, and she hardly ever tells any anecdote or any event
of importance or of remarkable interest. Nevertheless her rambling
records are read with pleasure, for there is and ever will be an
insatiable thirst for familiar details of the great world and the
people who have figured in it. Anecdotes of kings, princes, ministers,
or any _celebrities_ are always acceptable. I have often thought that
my journal would have been much more entertaining if I had scribbled
down all I heard and saw in society, all I could remember of passing
conversations, jokes, stories, and such like, instead of recording
and commenting on public events, as I have often, though irregularly,
done. To have done this, however, and done it well, required a better
memory and more diligence than I possess, to be more _Boswellian_ than
I am. I believe, however, there is and can be no general rule for
journalising. Everybody who addicts him- or her-self to this practice
must follow the dictates of his taste and fancy or caprice. It is a
matter in which character operates and shows itself, for people are
open and confidential or reserved with their blank page, in the same
way as with their living friends. Some, indeed, will pour forth upon
paper, and for the edification or amusement of posterity, what they
never would have revealed to living ear; but the majority of those
who indulge in this occupation probably only tell what they desire to
have known. Few write for themselves only as a sort of moral exercise,
or for the refreshment of their own memories, or because they feel a
longing to give utterance to, and record the feelings and thoughts
that are rising and working and fighting in their minds. It is
curious that so many great men, as well as so many small ones, have
written journals, and an essay on the subject would be interesting
enough if well done. Johnson, Walter Scott, Wilberforce, Windham,
Byron, Heber, Gibbon, all kept journals, and many others, no doubt,
whom I don't recollect at this moment. I omit Pepys and Evelyn, as men
of a different sort.

_December 6th._--The general and impartial opinion of Lord
Ellenborough's Proclamation is, that he is quite right to have
withdrawn the army from Afghanistan, and to have announced a pacific
policy for the future, but that he is much to blame in having adopted
such a tone as the paper is couched in, to have cast an indirect
slur on the policy of Auckland, and condemned in such unqualified
terms the errors of men who are not alive to defend themselves, or
of the survivors who are going to be tried by a court of enquiry. On
the whole Ellenborough has not given satisfaction to any party or
set of men. Conservatives complain of him as well as Whigs. He has
given personal offence in India, and political offence here, and the
appointment, from which such great things were expected, has turned
out ill. The Duke of Wellington, however, is perfectly satisfied with
what he has done, and as the Government meant to support him before
all these successes, much more will they do so now.

_December 8th._--I saw Emily Eden[51] yesterday, and found they were
full of bitterness against Ellenborough, and no wonder. In the first
place, he and Auckland had always been friends. When Ellenborough came
into office, he wrote to Auckland a friendly letter, in which he said
what was tantamount to an invitation to him to stay in India. On his
arrival at Calcutta, he was Auckland's guest for the first three days,
till he was sworn in, and then Auckland was his, and when Auckland's
sisters wanted to leave Government House and go and pay a visit to a
friend of theirs, Ellenborough would not hear of it, and made such a
point of their remaining there till their departure that they did so.
He lived with them morning, noon, and night, on terms of the greatest
cordiality, and repeatedly expressed his regret that they were going
away. This renders his Proclamation particularly odious, and the more
so because she told me that during the last months of his Government,
Auckland had done everything he could not to compromise or embarrass
his successor, and had taken great pains to provide for any future
military operations on which he might determine, which was a matter
of considerable financial difficulty. All this makes them feel very
sore, and they are besides of opinion that it is a grievous fault for
a Governor to proclaim to the world that errors have been committed,
and that the policy of the Indian Government is going to be altered. I
am not so surprised at Ellenborough's _animus_, knowing that when he
was at the Board of Control he never lost an opportunity of letting
the Queen know his opinion as to the errors and blunders of his
predecessor and his colleagues.

    [Footnote 51: [Lord Auckland's sister, an old friend of Mr.
    Greville's. She had been with Lord Auckland in India.]]


_December 9th._--Francis Baring told me yesterday a curious anecdote
relating to a Spanish MS. which would be interesting to bibliomaniacs.
Sampayo, a half Portuguese, half Englishman, at Paris, was a great
book-collector, particularly of Spanish and Portuguese, both books and
MSS. He was aware of a MS. of Antonio Perez, relating to the wars of
Granada, in the public library at Seville, and he desired Cuthbert,
who has been living at Seville for some time, to ask leave to have
it copied, and if he could get leave to find somebody to copy it. He
got leave, and it was copied in a fair round hand for some sixteen
dollars. After the copy was made, the librarian said to Cuthbert, 'You
may take away which you please, the copy or the original.' He jumped
at the offer, and sent the original MS. to Sampayo. His library was
sold the other day, and Francis Baring said he believed this MS. was
bought by the Royal Library of France, and it probably fetched a great
deal of money.[52]

    [Footnote 52: [This MS. has lately been discovered in Paris

_December 14th._--At Windsor for a Council on Saturday. Sir Robert
Peel is staying there, but nobody else was invited. Ellenborough's
Proclamation is still occupying general attention. My brother writes
me word from Paris that it is generally blamed there, for the same
reasons that it is here; and the Duke of Bedford tells me that Lord
Spencer's political apathy has been excited very highly, and that he
is so full of indignation that he talks of coming down to the House
of Lords to attack it. They speak of it as a document deserving
impeachment, which is going to very absurd lengths. The Palmerstonians
are still screaming themselves hoarse in their endeavours to get the
credit of the success. Lady Palmerston wrote to Madame de Lieven (dear
friends who hate one another cordially) in a rage, because the latter
said to her that she was sure, setting all party feelings aside, as
a good Englishwoman, she must rejoice at the successes in the East.
The other lady replied, that she did not know what she meant, and
that all the merit of the success was due to Palmerston and the late
Government. To this Madame de Lieven responded as follows: 'Je vous
demande bien pardon de ma légèreté, mais je vous assure que moi et
toutes les personnes que je vois, ont été assez niaises pour croire
que les grands succès de l'Orient étaient dus à Sir Robert Peel et à
son gouvernement. Apparemment nous nous sommes trompés, et je vous
demande mille excuses de notre légèreté.'


_December 20th._--Went to the Grove on Friday, and came back
yesterday. Nobody there but Charles Buller and Charles Villiers.
Clarendon told me that when he was at Bowood there was a sort of
consultation between him, Lord Lansdowne, and John Russell, about the
'Morning Chronicle' and Palmerston, Lord John having been already
stimulated by the report (which his brother, the Duke, had made him)
of the opinions of himself, Lord Spencer, and other Whigs, who had
met or communicated together on the same subject. The consequence was
that John Russell wrote a remonstrance to Palmerston, in which he told
him what these various persons thought with regard to the tone that
had been taken on foreign questions, especially the American, and
pointed out to him the great embarrassment that must ensue as well as
prejudice to the party, if their dissatisfaction was manifested in
some public manner when Parliament met. To this Palmerston replied in
a very angry letter, in which he said that it was useless to talk to
him about the Duke of Bedford, Lord Spencer, and others, as he knew
very well that Edward Ellice was the real author of this movement
against him. He then contrasted his own services in the cause with
that of Ellice, and ended, as I understood, with a tirade against
him, and a bluster about what he would do. Lord John wrote again,
temperately, remonstrating against the tone he had adopted, and
telling him that the persons whose sentiments he had expressed were
very competent to form opinions for themselves, without the influence
or aid of Ellice. This letter elicited one much more temperate from
Palmerston, in which he expressed his readiness to co-operate with
the party, and to consult for the common advantage, but that he must
in the course of the session take an opportunity of expressing his
own opinions upon the questions of foreign policy which would arise.
He and Ellice, it seems, hate each other with a great intensity, and
have done for many years past, since Palmerston suspected Ellice of
intriguing against him; and latterly Ellice has taken an active and a
noisy part against Palmerston's foreign policy generally, so that he
is, and has been for some time, Palmerston's _bête noire_.

_December 28th._--Went to Woburn on Saturday morning to breakfast,
with Dundas, and returned yesterday. Lord John Russell was there, in
very good spirits, more occupied with his children than with thoughts
of politics and place. The Duke and he discussed the prospects of
their party, when the former advised him to take a moderate course,
considering what was right and nothing else, and adhere to that,
whether it led him to support or oppose the measures of Government.

We were talking about the false statements which history hands
down, and how useful letters and memoirs are in elucidating obscure
points and correcting false impressions. The Duke said that it
was generally believed, and would be to the end of time, that the
influence exercised by O'Connell over the late Government had been
very great, and it never would be believed that the three great
Irish measures which they adopted were opposed vehemently, instead
of being dictated, by O'Connell, and yet this was the case. One of
these measures everybody knows he opposed--the Poor Law--but the
other two, the Appropriation Clause, and the Irish Municipal Bill,
have always been supposed by the world at large to have been his own
measures. I have, I think, somewhere else noticed his opposition to
the first of these, and his vain attempts to induce John Russell
(who was the author of this very indiscreet measure) to give it up.
The truth of the matter, as regards the Corporation Bill, is rather
more complicated and curious. The Lords made amendments in this
Bill, and the question arose whether Government should take them
or reject them. O'Connell strenuously urged their acceptance, and
asked if it was not a good thing to get rid of the old corporations
on any terms; but the Government, after much discussion, resolved
to reject them, not, however, making their determination known to
O'Connell or to anybody else. While matters were in this state,
O'Connell had some communication with Normanby, from which he inferred
that Government had resolved not to take the Bill, upon which he
immediately determined to anticipate this decision, and to proclaim
his own hostility to the amended Bill, in order that its rejection
might appear to be attributable to him; and accordingly he published
a violent letter in the newspapers, in which he said that the Bill
ought to be indignantly kicked off the table, or some such words. The
Duke of Bedford, who read his letter, and was aware of his previous
opinion, was exceedingly disgusted at what he thought a flagrant
instance of duplicity and hypocrisy, and, happening to meet him one
day alone at Brooks's, he asked him how he reconciled this letter
with the opinions he had previously expressed on the subject, to
which appeal he had no satisfactory reply to make, but only some very
lame excuses in his usual civil and fawning manner. The fact is, that
it suited his purpose to have it supposed that his influence over
the Government was very great, and that he could make them do what
he pleased; and as he gave every colour, by his conduct, to the
accusation of the Tories, it is no wonder that the representation of
his power was much greater than the reality. It was the interest of
the Tories to make this out, as it was O'Connell's own, and it was
vain for the Whigs to deny what facts appeared to prove, and which he
himself tacitly admitted.


The Duke also gave us an account (which was not new to me) of his
interview with the Duke of Wellington at the time of the Bedchamber
quarrel. The day on which the Cabinet was held at which they resolved
to stand by the Queen and stay in office, the Duke of Bedford had
been with the Duke of Wellington on other business, after concluding
which, the Duke of Wellington began on that. He said there appeared
to be a difference, which he regretted to find was not likely to be
adjusted; that he gave no opinion upon the matter itself, and merely
gave it upon the principle involved; that Lord Melbourne was now
Minister, and it was for him to advise the Queen; and then he stood
up, and with great energy said, 'and if he will take upon himself
the responsibility, he may rely upon me, and I will put myself in
the breach.' The Duke of Bedford asked him if he might go to Lord
Melbourne and tell him this. He said he might. The Duke of Bedford
went to the Palace, but Melbourne was in Downing Street, the Cabinet
sitting. He wrote what had passed, and sent it in to him. The letter
was read and a long discussion ensued on it, but they finally resolved
to return to office, and a more fatal resolution for themselves never
was taken.

David Dundas was very agreeable at Woburn. I think I have seldom
seen any man more agreeable in society. He is a great talker, but
his manner and voice, and general style of conversation are all
attractive; he knows a great deal, his reading has been extensive and
various, and his memory appears retentive of such things as contribute
to the amusement and instruction of society; remarkable passages,
curious anecdotes, quaint sayings, and a general familiarity with
things worth hearing, and people worth knowing, render his talk very
pungent and attractive.

_January 16th, 1843._--It was my intention at the end of last year to
draw up a sort of general summary of the principal events by which
it was marked in its course, both public and private; but I never
executed this purpose, partly, I fear, from inveterate laziness, and
partly on account of certain objections which occurred to me on both
heads. With regard to the history of the world for the last year,
I bethought me that my private information has been too scanty to
enable me to throw much light upon those things which are doubtful
or obscure, and that it was very little worth my while to write an
abridgement of those notorious events which have been already detailed
in all the newspapers, and will be more compendiously recorded
hereafter in the 'Annual Register;' in short, that I abstained from
saying anything, simply because I had nothing in my head that it was
worth while to say. So much for the public. As to my own particular
matters, so deeply interesting to myself, but which never can be very
interesting to anybody else, except inasmuch as they may be mixed up
with the concerns of worthier persons, or serve to illustrate objects
of general and permanent interest, I can only say that I shrank from
the task of recording _here_ all that I must say if I spoke the plain
truth, and I am quite resolved either here or elsewhere, now or at any
other time, not to say anything which I do not believe to be true; and
after this exordium, and thus setting forth my reasons for not saying
more, I shall subjoin the few remarks upon the year that has just
expired which I feel disposed to make.


Politically it has gone off with a tolerably equal mixture of good
and evil, difficult foreign questions, and awkward _quasi_ wars have
been settled and concluded. Great discontent and great distress
have prevailed at home, and we have the uncomfortable spectacle of
this distress neither diminished nor diminishing, and of its most
lamentable and alarming manifestation in the shape of our unproductive
revenue. As to the Ministry, if ever they had any popularity, they
have none now left, but their power as a Government, and their means
of retaining office, don't seem to be at all diminished. People are
aware we must have a Government, and though they feel no great
affection for Sir Robert Peel and Co., they cannot look round and
descry anybody else whom they would prefer to him, and on the whole I
believe there is a pretty general opinion that he is more capable of
managing public affairs than any other man. The popularity which the
Tory Government has lost has not by any means been transferred to the
account of the Whig Opposition, who seem to be in a very prostrate
and paralytic state as far as their prospects of recovering power
are concerned. The public has not returned to them, and the Queen,
their great supporter, has certainly fallen away from them. She has
found, after a year's experience, that she can go on very happily and
comfortably with the objects of her former detestation. She never
cared a farthing for any of the late Cabinet but Melbourne, and
besides having apparently ceased to care very much about him, now that
his recent attack has made his restoration to office impossible, she
will have no motive whatever for desiring all the trouble and risk
attending a change of Government, and I have no sort of doubt she
would infinitely prefer that matters should remain as they are.

Without going into any of the events which have occurred in the
course of this year, I cannot help noticing the state of public
opinion and feeling which appears at its close. Questions which not
long ago interested and agitated the world have been laid upon the
shelf; the thoughts of mankind seem to be turned into other channels.
It is curious to look at the sort of subjects which now nearly
monopolise general interest and attention. First and foremost there
is the Corn Law and the League; the Corn Law, which Charles Villiers
(I must do him the justice to say) long ago predicted to me would
supersede every other topic of interest, and so it undoubtedly has.
Then the condition of the people, moral and physical, is uppermost
in everybody's mind, the state and management of workhouses and
prisons, and the great question of education. The newspapers are full
of letters and complaints on these subjects, and people think, talk,
and care about them very much. And last, but not least, come the
Church questions--the Church of Scotland, the Church of England, the
Dissenters, the Puseyites. Great and increasing is the interest felt
in all the multifarious grievances or pretensions put forth by any
and all of the above denominations, and much are men's minds turned
to religious subjects. One proof of this may be found in the avidity
with which the most remarkable charges of several of the Bishops
have been read, the prodigious number of copies of them which have
been sold. Of these, the principal are the charges of the Bishops of
London (Blomfield), Exeter (Phillpotts), and St. David's (Thirlwall),
especially the second. This charge, which is very able, contains
_inter alia_ an attack upon Newman for Tract No. 90, and a most
elaborate argument, very powerful, in reply to a judgement delivered
by Brougham at the Privy Council in the case of Escott v. Mastyn on
Lay Baptism.

The circumstances attending the termination of the war in Afghanistan
have elicited a deep and general feeling of indignation and disgust.
Ellenborough's ridiculous and bombastic proclamations, and the
massacres and havoc perpetrated by his armies, are regarded with
universal contempt and abhorrence. An evil fate seems to have attended
this operation from first to last. Every individual who has been
concerned in it, almost without exception, has rendered himself
obnoxious to censure or reproach of some sort. Civil and military
authorities appear to have alike lost all their sense and judgement,
and our greatest successes have been attended with nearly as much
discredit as our most deplorable reverses. Auckland and Ellenborough,
Burnes and M'Naghten, Keane, Elphinstone, Pollock, and Nott, are all
put on their defence on one account or another. On the whole, it is
the most painful and disgraceful chapter in our history for many a
long day.



    The Duke of Wellington on the Afghan War--Charles Buller--Lord
    Ellenborough's Extravagance--Assassination of Edward
    Drummond--Nomination of Sheriffs--Opening of the Session
    of Parliament--Lord Ellenborough's Position--Disclosure of
    Evidence on the Boundary Question--Debate on Lord Ellenborough's
    Proclamation--Lord Ellenborough Vindicated--Lord Brougham's
    Activity--Lord Palmerston attacks the American Treaty--Lord
    Althorp's Accession to Office in 1830--Death of John Allen--Death
    of the Duke of Sussex--Death of Mr. Arkwright--Death of Lady
    William Bentinck--Death of Lord Fitz Gerald--Lady W. Bentinck's
    Funeral--The Temple Church--Racing--State of the Country--The
    Privy Council Register--Ascot; the King of Hanover--Difficulties
    of the Government--A Tour on the Continent--The Rothschilds.

_January 19th, 1843._--I went to Apsley House yesterday to see my
brother,[53] and while I was in his room the Duke came in. He was
looking remarkably well, strong, hearty, and of a good colour. He was
in very good spirits and humour, and began talking about everything,
but particularly about Lieut. Eyre's book, the recent Indian campaign,
the blunders committed, and Ellenborough's strange behaviour. He said
that Lord Auckland had been unfortunate in having lost successively
all his commanding officers, first Sir Henry Fane, then Lord Keane,
who, when he had done the job on which he was employed, had come home;
then Sir Willoughby Cotton, who would have done well enough, for he
had marched his men up very well, and why he came away, he never had
understood. So at last the command devolved on Elphinstone, who was
unfit, and the end was that there was not one head amongst them. 'I
know,' he said, 'very well what they ought to have done, and how all
these disasters might have been avoided, if they had acted as they
should have done, in time; but if you ask me what they ought to have
done, or what I should have done myself at a later period, about the
middle of November, I could not give you any answer. I do not know
what they could have done and I do not know what I should have done
myself; I cannot tell you. What they ought to have done at first,
was this: the moment Burnes was murdered, and the first symptom of
an outbreak appeared, they should have occupied the Bala Hissar with
500 or 600 men, instantly taken military possession of Cabul, and of
all the forts in the neighbourhood of the entrenchment, calculated
the amount of stores and provision requisite, and set about their
collection in Cabul itself; and if this had been promptly done they
would have been able to maintain themselves without any difficulty,
and none of these events would have occurred. But the great error
they committed was in the breach of a fundamental rule universally
established in our intercourse with the Native Powers, that no troops
should be employed in the collection of the revenue. They sent Shah
Soojah into the country with what they called his own army--in
which there was not a single Afghan soldier, for it was collected
in Hindostan, and officered by officers borrowed from the British
Government--and these troops were employed in collecting tribute
and revenue, and this produced all that animosity and hostility to
us which were the causes of what afterwards happened.' He said very
little about the original policy, but expressed his strong opinion
of the neglect which had occasioned the partial disgrace inflicted
on our rear-guard in the retreat. He said Pollock had taken all the
necessary precautions with his division, crowning the heights which
overlooked the defiles, and if the last corps had done the same thing,
this would not have happened. He then went off about Ellenborough and
his Proclamations, which he did not spare. My brother had just before
shown me a letter which Lady Colchester, Ellenborough's sister, had
written to the Duke, complaining of the attacks made upon her brother
by the press, and asking him what could be done, with a great deal
about Ellenborough's veneration for him. The Duke's answer was to this
effect: that it had always been the lot of those who served their
country and rendered great services to be maligned and assailed, as
he had been; that it had happened to the Duke himself, and he knew
no remedy for it but patience; that he had constantly written out
to him expressing his approbation of the orders he had given; and
when Parliament met, an opportunity would probably be afforded to
the Ministers of expressing their sense of his Lordship's conduct.
This letter was written not above a week ago; it was therefore not
very consistent with the opinion he expressed to me of Ellenborough's
recent proceedings, for he was undoubtedly acquainted with them all
at the time he wrote it. I told him that there was but one sentiment
of indignation and ridicule at all Lord Ellenborough had been saying
and doing. He lifted up his hands and eyes, and admitted that this
was only to be expected. I told him that a friend of mine had seen a
letter from Ellenborough in which he gave an account of the review
he was going to have, when he meant to arrange his army in the form
of a star, with the artillery at the point of each ray, and a throne
for himself in the centre. 'And he ought to sit upon it in a strait
waistcoat,' said the Duke.


He then talked of the Proclamations pretty much as everybody else
does; he said that as soon as he had received that one about the
Gates, he had perceived all the mischief it was likely to produce;
that it would shock the religious feelings and prejudices of the
people of this country; while in India it was the greatest imprudence
to meddle with questions involving the religious differences of the
Hindoos and Mahomedans; that if he chose to carry off the Gates, and
send them back to the place from whence they had been taken, he might
have done it without allusions calculated to offend the religious
prejudices of any sect. He dwelt on the subject for a long time, and
talked on various others, but there was nothing very remarkable; he
praised Eyre's book exceedingly, and said it was evidently all true,
and was not unfair towards others.

I afterwards saw Wharncliffe, and told him what had passed. I found
there had not been any discussion in the Cabinet about the way of
dealing with Ellenborough; and he imagined that the Duke was so great
a protector and favourer of him that he would be all for defending
him in Parliament, the mere notion of which, he told me, had already
half killed FitzGerald with nervousness and apprehension, as the task
must devolve more particularly on him. I told him I could not conceive
that the Duke had any such intention from what he had said to me, and
that he could not attempt it. If they proposed a vote of thanks to
Ellenborough, I did not believe they would carry it in the House of
Commons, whatever they might do in the Lords. Wharncliffe owned to me
that they were by no means sure they should not receive a requisition
from the Court of Directors to recall him. I told him they must recall
him whether they received it or not.

    [Footnote 53: [Mr. Algernon Greville was the Duke's Private


_January 24th._--Went to the Grove on Friday, returned yesterday; Lord
Auckland, Emily Eden, John and Lady John Russell, Charles Buller,
and Charles Villiers; pleasant enough. Charles Buller very clever,
amusing, even witty; but the more I see of him the more I am struck
with his besetting sin, that of turning everything into a joke, never
being serious for five minutes out of the twenty-four hours, upon
any subject; and to such a degree has he fallen into this dangerous
habit, in spite too of the remonstrances and admonitions of his best
friends, that when he is inclined to be serious, and to express
opinions in earnest, nobody knows what he is at, nor whether he means
what he says. He goes on as if the only purpose in life was to laugh
and make others laugh. He perpetually seeks to discover and point
out what is ridiculous or what can be made so in other people, and
his talk is an incessant banter and sarcasm, certainly very lightly
and amusingly mixed and dished up. John Russell is always agreeable,
both from what he contributes himself and his hearty enjoyment of
the contributions of others. We talked a good deal, of course, about
Ellenborough and his proceedings. Auckland told us that he had been
convinced he was mad from the moment of his landing, for he seemed to
have worked himself up during the voyage to a pitch of excitement,
which immediately broke forth. The captain of the ship he went in was
so shocked at the violence he occasionally exhibited, and the strange
things he said, that he on several occasions sent his youngsters away,
that they might not hear him, and he was strongly impressed with the
conviction that he was not in his right mind. He said to Auckland,
'that he should come Aurungzebe over them,' and repeatedly he used to
say, 'what a pity it was he had not come to that country twenty years
before, and what he should have made of it if he had.' This, too,
spoken with perfect complacency to the man who had been governing it
for seven years, and after the many eminent men who had preceded him!
He told Auckland he intended to turn out the Royal Family from the
Palace at Delhi and convert it into a residence for himself. Auckland
suggested to him that the fallen representative of the Mogul Emperors
had long occupied this vast habitation, which was rather the portion
of a town than merely a palace; that there the family had increased
till they amounted to nearly 2,000 souls, besides their innumerable
followers and attendants, and it would not be a very easy or advisable
process to disturb them. Ellenborough answered that it did not
signify, out they must go, for he should certainly install himself in
the Royal residence of Delhi. Since their departure from India, the
letters they have received confirm the impression his conduct made.
His talk is inflated with vanity and pride. He says he is not like an
ordinary Governor of India, but a Minister, a President of the Board
of Control, come there to exercise in person the authority with which
he is invested.

It was just as I was starting for the Grove that I heard of the
assassination of Edward Drummond,[54] one of the most unaccountable
crimes that ever was committed, for he was as good and inoffensive
a man as ever lived, who could have had no enemy, and who was not
conspicuous enough to have become the object of hatred or vengeance
to any class of persons, being merely the officer of Sir Robert Peel,
and never saying or doing anything but in his name, or as directed by
him. It is almost impossible that in his official capacity he can have
offended, or even apparently injured, anybody, and as the man assigns
no reason for what he has done, and does not appear in the slightest
degree deranged, it quite baffles conjecture to account for the
commission of such an enormity.

    [Footnote 54: [Mr. Edward Drummond, Private Secretary to Sir Robert
    Peel, was shot in Whitehall by a man named Daniel Macnaghten, on
    January 20.]]

_January 26th._--Poor Drummond died yesterday morning, and I never
remember any event which excited more general sympathy and regret.
He was informed the night before of his hopeless condition, which he
heard with great composure, and he was sensible almost to the last.
There never was a man who, according to every rule of probability, was
safer from any chance of assassination. He was universally popular,
much beloved and esteemed by numerous friends, and without an enemy
in the world; of moderate but fair abilities, a cheerful, amiable
disposition, and, entirely without vanity or ambition, he was content
to play a respectable but subordinate part in life, which he did to
the perfect satisfaction of all those with whom he was connected. The
extreme strangeness of the event, and the absence of any apparent
cause for the commission of such a crime, have given rise to various
conjectures, the most prominent of which is the notion that he was
taken for Peel. I utterly rejected this at first, because I thought
the assassin could so easily have made himself acquainted with the
person of Peel that it could not be true; but a circumstance of which
I was reminded yesterday (for I had before heard it from Drummond
himself, but forgotten it), has changed my opinion. When the Queen
went to Scotland, Peel went with Lord Aberdeen, or in some other
way, no matter how, but not in his own carriage. He sent Drummond in
his carriage, _alone_. In Scotland Peel constantly travelled either
with the Queen, or with Aberdeen, and Drummond continued to go about
in his carriage. I well remember his telling me this, and laughing
at the idea of his having been taken for a great man. It has been
proved that this man was in Scotland at the time; and if he saw, as
he probably did, Drummond in a carriage which was pointed out to him
as Sir Robert Peel's, he may have very naturally concluded that
the man in it was the Minister, and he may therefore have believed
that he was acquainted with his person. For many days before the
murder he was prowling about the purlieus of Downing Street, and the
Duke of Buccleuch told me that the day he was expected in town, and
when his servants were looking out for him, they observed this man,
though it was a rainy day, loitering about near his gate, which is
close to Peel's house. If therefore he saw, as he must have done,
Drummond constantly passing between Peel's house and Downing Street,
and recognised in him the same person he had seen in the carriage in
Scotland, and whom he believed to be Peel, he would think himself so
sure of his man as to make it unnecessary to ask any questions, and
the very consciousness of his own intentions might make him afraid to
do so. This appears to afford a probable solution of the mystery, but
if it should turn out to be true, it still remains to discover what
his motive was for attacking the life of Peel.


_January 29th._--The man who shot Drummond, it now appears,
acknowledged that it was his intention to shoot Peel, and thought
he had done so. He said so more than once. Graham, whom I sat by at
dinner yesterday, told me that he considered it a very doubtful case,
very doubtful what view the jury would take of the question of his
insanity. He has certainly been under a sort of delusion that the
Tories have persecuted him, but in no other respect is he mad. If the
law as laid down by Chief Justice Mansfield in Bellingham's case, and
as it was laid down in that of Lord Ferrers, prevails now, he will
not escape; but unfortunately Denman (in ignorance probably of these
dicta) laid down very different and very erroneous law in the case
of Oxford, and though his authority is worthless when compared with
the others alluded to, it is the most recent, and that is by no means
unimportant. It will be a very serious thing if he escapes, and Graham
agreed with me, that if this happens sooner or later some dreadful
catastrophe will occur. Some man or other will be sacrificed of much
greater consequence than poor Drummond. It would be a great evil too,
as well as a great absurdity, that the law on such an important
question should be decided by such a man as Denman, who, though very
honest and respectable, has not the slightest authority or weight as
a lawyer. There never was in all probability a Chief Justice of the
King's Bench held in such low estimation. It is one of the greatest
evils of the way in which political influences work in this country,
that we have never any security for having the ablest and fittest men
promoted to the judicial office. We have seen in this century Erskine,
Brougham, and now Lyndhurst, Chancellors; for the latter is _now_ not
much more competent than the other two were; and we have a man at the
head of the Common Law with hardly a smattering of law in his head,
and not looked up to by a single man in the profession.

We had our Sheriffs' dinner last night at Lord Wharncliffe's, and,
what does not often happen, a great dispute about one nomination.
Three men were named for Bucks, none of whom made excuses, but the
Duke of Buckingham wrote a private letter to the Lord President,
stating that the first two were unfit, and the first a mere grazier,
who had been put on the list by the Lord Lieutenant (Carrington)
and his lawyer as a mere job; the third man was unobjectionable.
Wharncliffe and Lyndhurst proposed to pass over the two first, as
the Duke suggested, and take the third. Peel, Graham, and Stanley
remonstrated, and said that it was improper and irregular to pass over
a man whose name was given in the usual way, and who made no objection
to serve, on account of the interference of a person who had no right
or business to interfere. It appeared too that the Duke had made the
same objection to the Judge (Alderson), who had nevertheless given in,
or left on the roll, the name of the gentleman. After a great deal of
discussion it was resolved to pay no attention to the Duke's letter,
and to appoint the first on the list, very much to my satisfaction,
because this was the proper and the regular course, and I was glad to
see the Duke of Buckingham treated as he ought to be. He is resolved,
as he is not Lord Lieutenant in title, to make himself so in reality.
Under Lyndhurst's administration of the Great Seal, he has succeeded
as far as the magistracy is concerned, and he tries to do the same
with respect to every other department. I was glad to hear Peel treat
his interference so properly as he did.


_February 7th._--The Parliament opened last week tamely enough. The
Speech was like all other speeches, saying nothing, and the Opposition
had already resolved not to propose an amendment. The Duke of
Wellington spoke with extraordinary vigour, and surprised everybody.
He is certainly a much better man in all respects this year than he
was two years ago, mind and body more firm. He boldly announced his
intention to defend Ellenborough against all assailants, and declared
that he approved of every _act_ he had done. Auckland spoke remarkably
well, in a very gentlemanlike and creditable style, and succeeded in
putting himself well with the House without going at all into his
case. At present everything promises an uneventful session. There
will of course be a certain amount of skirmishing and a vast deal of
talking, but it is very unlikely that there will be anything seriously
to embarrass the Government.

_February 9th._--Wharncliffe told me the day after the Speech that
he thought they should have no trouble about anything but about
Ellenborough, whose case would embarrass them, and he expected the
vote of thanks to him would be contested. He added, however, that
he expected Ellenborough would come home. 'Why?' I asked. 'Because
he would not think that they supported him sufficiently.' 'What
more could they say or do than they had done?' 'Yes,' he said, but
he would not be satisfied, nor think they supported him as he had a
right to expect, and though they should not recall him, he thought
it exceedingly likely he would come away in the summer. From this
I inferred that, while they took up the cudgels for him in public,
privately they had sent him a reprimand, and told him what all the
world thought of his conduct here. On consideration, I think they
could not help supporting him, unless they could find serious fault
with any of his acts, and of them they highly approve, except indeed
the Gates of Somnauth, which is an act, as it has proved, of no
small consequence, for it has done just what the Duke of Wellington
apprehended, exasperated the Mahomedan population. They were placed
in a very difficult position, and perhaps the best thing they could
do was to defend him and reprove him. But whether they have done this
latter as strongly as they ought or not, I have no idea that he will
resign and come home. Melbourne says they were quite right to defend
him as they did. I saw yesterday the copy of a long letter which the
Duke has written to him, in which he rather hints than expresses
his own disapprobation, but leaves him to infer it, when he tells
him how his Proclamations will be assailed here, and earnestly begs
him to be extremely cautious as to what he says and writes for the
future. He does not mince the matter with respect to Pollock, of
whose proceedings he highly disapproves, and he says that he thinks
they shall have much greater difficulty in proposing the vote of
thanks to him than to Ellenborough, on account of the atrocities he
perpetrated and permitted, and which were done against the advice
and opinion of Nott. He mentions especially the storming of Istalif
and the destruction at Cabul. With regard to this latter, he says he
ought to have known that no such havoc could be made without every
kind of disorder and outrage being committed by the troops, and that
if Pollock chose to order such a thing to be done, he ought to have
attended with one half of his army, in order to keep the other half
within the bounds of discipline. He was also very angry with them for
not having taken all the necessary precautions to prevent the insult
that was offered to the rear-guard on its retreat. He entered into
great details about various matters of Indian policy, and he alluded
to the probability of the Governor-General's having very soon to
counteract some French intrigue or other, for he said that the French
Government were now busily employed in attacking our influence and
undermining our interests in every quarter of the globe when they
could find the means of doing so; that they despatched agents for this
purpose (of various descriptions) in every direction, and he had no
doubt Ellenborough would before long hear of some French agent in
the regions about the Indus, probably attempting to establish some
relations with the Sikh Government. He expressed some suspicion (I
fancy without any cause) of General Ventura, and alluded to his having
recently seen Louis Philippe at Paris. When he talked of the necessity
of Ellenborough's caution in his public documents and private talk,
he inveighed very bitterly against the free Press of India, and said,
with an exaggeration to which he has been latterly rather prone, that
this Press had produced a tyranny more insupportable than the Spanish
Inquisition in its worst times. It was, on the whole, a remarkable
letter, though not quite so good as he would have written in his best


A great sensation has been made here by the publication of the
proceedings in the secret session of the Senate at Washington, when
the Treaty was ratified. This brought out the evidence of Jared
Sparks, who told them of Franklin's letter to Vergennes, and of the
existence of the map he had marked, with a boundary line corresponding
precisely with our claim. People cry out lustily against Webster,[55]
for having taken us in, but I do not think with much reason. Lord
Ashburton told me it was very fortunate that this map and letter
did not turn up in the course of his negotiation, for if they had,
there would have been no Treaty at all, and eventually a scramble, a
scuffle, and probably a war. Nothing, he said, would ever have induced
the Americans to accept our line, and admit our claim; and with this
evidence in our favour, it would have been impossible for us to have
conceded what we did, or anything like it. _He_ never would have done
so, and the matter must have remained unsettled; and after all, he
said, it was a dispute _de lanâ caprinâ_, for the whole territory we
were wrangling about was worth nothing, so that it is just as well
the discovery was not made by us. At the same time, our successive
Governments are much to blame in not having ransacked the archives at
Paris, for they could certainly have done for a public object what
Jared Sparks did for a private one, and a little trouble would have
put them in possession of whatever that repository contained.

    [Footnote 55: [The American Secretary of State.]]

_February 12th._--The discussion in the House of Commons the other
night on Vernon Smith's motion was very damaging to Ellenborough. Peel
made a very clever speech, in which he said all that could be said for
him; but no wonder that public opinion is so strong and unanimous,
when Henry Baring, Lord of the Treasury and whipper-in, wrote to me:
'I was in the House of Commons listening to the best speech Peel ever
made with the worst cause.' Wharncliffe told me the next morning that
he did not think he would stay in India, that he already thought he
was not sufficiently supported, and when he received the letter which
Government had written to him, he would of course think so still more,
but that it was not his Proclamations or the nonsense about the Gates
of Somnauth which made the most serious part of the case, but that
which related to the Ameer of Scinde, to which John Russell alluded
in his speech. The Directors are extremely disgusted with him, though
they will not do anything hostile to the Government; but with such a
general impression as there is on the public mind, with the opinion
of the Government itself, and the universal feeling in India, it is
difficult to see how he can remain.


_February 17th._--Since the Blue Book with all the Indian papers has
appeared, there has been a considerable reaction in Ellenborough's
favour. I have been at the trouble of mastering it, because I desired
to know the truth and see that justice was done, and it is impossible
to trust to the partial extracts and comments which appear in the
newspapers on either side. I believe the opinion which I have formed
is that which has been generally arrived at by those who have taken
the trouble to read the papers in an impartial spirit. I think
his case is completely made out (not of course including the last
Proclamations). His despatches are very able, and exhibit great
caution, industry, and discretion; his views seem to have been very
sound, and he took a comprehensive survey of the whole state of India,
and of the dangers and difficulties by which he was surrounded.
The various objects which he had to accomplish were arranged in his
mind in a due and very proper subordination to each other, and his
measures for their accomplishment seem to have been the most judicious
that he could have adopted. All the charges with which he has been
so pertinaciously and violently assailed for many months past, such
as cowardice, meanly retiring from the contest, ordering troops to
withdraw against the wishes and advice of the generals, indifference
to the fate of prisoners, fall to the ground at once. There is not
a shadow of a case against him on any of these points. I can't
comprehend why the Government allowed such attacks to go unanswered in
any way for such a length of time. The impression to his disadvantage
was made, and it is always difficult to turn the public mind when
once it has received a bias, no matter what. Wharncliffe told me that
the Government were greatly alarmed when they received his despatches
announcing his resolution to withdraw at the earliest moment; that
they doubted the correctness of his decision, and represented to him
how loudly the people of this country and the press were clamouring
for vengeance and the recovery of the prisoners; but the Duke of
Wellington alone maintained all along that Ellenborough was right.

_March 19th._--For a month past I have been laid up with a painful and
tiresome fit of the gout, which has left me neither spirits nor energy
to write, and I have had nothing to say of the slightest importance if
I had been possessed of either. Nothing can have been more dull than
the march of public affairs. The Whigs made a great mistake in having
a second debate about Ellenborough in both Houses. In the Lords, the
Government had much the best of it, and the Duke of Wellington spoke
marvellously well. Nothing is more extraordinary than the complete
restoration of that vigour of mind which for the last two or three
years was visibly impaired. His speeches this Session have been as
good, if not better than any he ever made. In the House of Commons the
Opposition had the best of the speaking, and Macaulay in particular
distinguished himself. Auckland has emerged from this scuffle very
well. He is considered by people of all parties to have taken a
very temperate, dignified, and becoming part in the discussions,
and he has been treated with uniform respect and forbearance. There
was a meeting at John Russell's at the beginning of the Session, to
determine whether the vote of thanks to Ellenborough should be opposed
or not. It was attended by the most conspicuous of the Opposition of
both Houses, and they resolved, with only two dissentients (Minto and
Clanricarde), that the vote should not be opposed. Auckland took no
part, of course, but he entirely concurred. His sister, Emily Eden,
however, who has great influence over him, and who is a very clever
but wrongheaded woman, was furious, and evinced great indignation
against all their Whig friends, especially Auckland himself, for being
so prudent and moderate, and for not attacking Ellenborough with all
the violence which she felt and expressed.

If it were not for Brougham, who keeps enlivening the world from
time to time with his speeches and correspondence and quarrels with
one person or another, the political dullness and stagnation would
be complete. This singular being is in an incessant state of morbid
activity, never silent, never quiet; the _âme damnée_ of Lyndhurst,
he grossly and incessantly flatters the Duke, and calls Peel his
'right honourable friend;' he hates his 'noble friends' and former
colleagues with an intensity which bursts out on every occasion when
he can contrive to vilify or assail them. He began the campaign with
his squabble with M. de Tocqueville, which he had the best of, and
this was eventually made up and civil messages were exchanged through
the mediation of Reeve.[56] Next came his comical reconciliatory
intercourse with the Queen. He has been for a long time by way of
being in a sort of disgrace. He always has spoken disrespectfully
or disparagingly of the Court and of 'Albertine,' and he has said
uncivil things in sundry pamphlets. He behaved very ill one night
when he dined at the Palace, and has never been to Court nor invited
since. The other day the Queen said to the Chancellor, 'Why does Lord
Brougham never come to Court?' This he repeated to Brougham, who
considered it an overture, and by way of meeting it, he sent a copy
of one of his books to the Queen, and another to Prince Albert. He
received acknowledgements from both, and the Queen thanked him by an
autograph letter. This was deemed a singular honour, and made a great
sensation, and it was thought the more curious as he had just before
made a most virulent speech, in which he had talked of 'vipers' in a
way not to be mistaken, and which was levelled at her former Minister,
and his friend, Lord Palmerston. The next thing was his squabble with
Lord Lynedoch, who, though very near a hundred and stone blind, called
him to account for saying something offensive about him in one of his
speeches. On this, heaps of correspondence and many interviews took
place between him and William Russell on the part of old Lynedoch, and
he promised an explanation in the House of Lords, but they never could
get him to make it, and at last Lord Lynedoch put something himself in
the 'Morning Chronicle,' not very intelligible. His last appearance
in public is in the shape of a correspondence with an Anti-Corn Law
Leaguer and Quaker of the name of Bright, which is long and not very
intelligible either, but it is amusing inasmuch as it exhibits the
slyness of the Quaker, who contrives to baffle his angry 'friend' by a
good deal of cunning, and rather disingenuous verbiage.

    [Footnote 56: [Lord Brougham in the House of Lords publicly
    accused M. de Tocqueville, then a Member of the Opposition in the
    French Chamber of Deputies, of exciting differences between France
    and England on the Right of Search Question. A somewhat angry
    correspondence ensued between them, but I had the good fortune to
    settle the dispute to the mutual satisfaction of these two eminent


_Brighton, April 5th._--The gout which tormented me a month ago
continued, and is only now going off. I went to Winchester for two
days, and have been here three; sent by the doctors. I have had all
this time an invincible repugnance to writing anything in the way
of journal, and I now take up my pen for little else than to enter
the fact of having nothing of the slightest interest to say. I know
nothing of politics, and believe there is nothing to know. Palmerston
delivered his anti-Ashburton philippic a fortnight ago, in a speech
of three hours and a half duration, which was universally allowed to
be most able. It certainly raised his reputation as an orator, but
his friends would have much preferred his having let it alone. The
immediate consequence was, that Hume in one House, and Brougham in the
other, gave notices of motions for votes of thanks to Lord Ashburton,
much to the annoyance of everybody. Clarendon got me to make a
communication to the Duke of Wellington, through Arbuthnot, to the
effect that they (Lord Lansdowne and himself) were very anxious not to
attack Ashburton and his Treaty, and if they were not compelled to do
so, by the language of the Government, they would not. Arbuthnot spoke
to the Duke, and wrote me word that he had no desire to say anything
to provoke a discussion, and that he regretted the motion altogether,
which had been brought forward without any concert with the Government.

In the course of conversation with Arbuthnot the other day on various
matters, he told me something about Lord Spencer's taking office in
'30, which I thought rather curious. Lord Spencer told it him himself.
When Lord Grey was sent for by King William to form an administration,
he went to Althorp and asked him what place he would have. Althorp
said he would not have any. Lord Grey said, 'If you won't take office
with me, I will not undertake to form the Government, but will give
it up.' 'If that's the case,' said the other, 'I must; but if I do
take office, I will be Chancellor of the Exchequer and lead the House
of Commons.' 'Lead the House of Commons?' said Lord Grey; 'but you
know you can't speak!' 'I know that,' he said, 'but I know I can be
of more use to you in that capacity than in any other, and I will
either be that or nothing.' He became the very best leader of the
House of Commons that any party ever had. Peel said that he never
failed on every question to say a few words entirely to the point, and
no argument open to reply escaped him. The whole House liked him, his
own party followed him with devoted attachment. This was a curious
piece of confidence and self-reliance in a very modest man. There
is an anecdote of him, exemplifying the reliance placed in his word
and on his character, which has often been told, and may probably be
recorded elsewhere. I forget the particulars of the story, but the
gist of it is this. During the discussion of some Bill, a particular
clause was objected to, and by his own friends. Althorp said that he
knew when the Bill was framed, very cogent reasons were produced in
favour of this clause, but to say the truth he could not at the moment
recollect what they were. He invited them to waive these objections in
deference to these excellent but unknown reasons, and they did so at
his request. It would be long enough before Canning or Peel would have
obtained such a mark of confidence from their supporters.


_Good Friday, April 14th._--Came back from Brighton on Sunday evening.
The same night John Allen died, after a week's illness, much regretted
by all the friends of Holland House. He was seventy-two years old, and
had lived for forty years at Holland House, more exclusively devoted
to literary pursuits and abdicating his independent existence more
entirely than any man ever did. It is rather remarkable that no great
work ever was produced by him; but perhaps his social habits, and
still more the personal exigencies of Lady Holland, are sufficient
to account for this. He was originally recommended to Lord Holland
as a physician, being at that time a distinguished member of that
remarkable literary circle at Edinburgh which contained Brougham,
Horner, Jeffrey, and Sydney Smith, who revered Dugald Stewart as
their master, and who originated the 'Edinburgh Review.' Allen does
not seem to have been considered for any length of time as belonging
to Holland House in a medical capacity. He soon was established
there permanently as a friend, and looked upon (as he was) as an
immense literary acquisition. From that time he became an essential
and remarkable ingredient of the great Holland House establishment,
the like of which we shall never see again. Allen became one of the
family, was in all their confidence, and indispensable to both Lord
and Lady Holland. Lord Holland treated him with uniform consideration,
affection, and amenity; she worried, bullied, flattered, and cajoled
him by turns. He was a mixture of pride, humility, and independence;
he was disinterested, warm-hearted, and choleric, very liberal in his
political, still more in his religious opinions, in fact, a universal
sceptic. He used for a long time in derision to be called 'Lady
Holland's Atheist,' and in point of fact I do not know whether he
believed in the existence of a First Cause, or whether, like Dupuis,
he regarded the world as _l'univers de Dieu_. Though not, I think,
feeling quite certain on the point, he was inclined to believe that
the history of Jesus Christ was altogether fabulous or mythical, and
that no such man had ever existed. He told me he could not get over
the total silence of Josephus as to the existence and history of
Christ. It was not, however, the custom at Holland House to discuss
religious subjects, except rarely and incidentally. Everybody knew
that the House was sceptical, none of them ever thought of going to
church, and they went on as if there was no such thing as religion.
But there was no danger of the most devout person being shocked or
offended by any unseemly controversy, by any mockery, or insult
offered to their feelings and convictions. Amongst the innumerable
friends and habitual guests of the House were many clergymen, very
sincere and orthodox, and many persons of both sexes entertaining
avowedly the strongest religious opinions, amongst them Miss Fox, Lord
Holland's sister, and his daughter, Lady Lilford. Allen's learning and
still more his general information were prodigious, and as he lived
amongst books, the stock was continually increasing. He was the oracle
of Holland House on all literary subjects, and in every discussion
some reference was sure to be made to Allen for information, upon
which he never was at fault. He was not accustomed to take much part
in general conversation, but was always ready to converse with anybody
who sought him, and when warmed up would often argue away with great
vigour and animation, and sometimes with no little excitement. After
Lord Holland's death, which he felt with an intensity of grief that
showed the warmth of his affections, he devoted himself entirely to
Lady Holland, and never left her for a moment. His loss is, therefore,
to her quite irreparable. He was for twenty-two years Master of
Dulwich College, but he never was allowed to live there, or to absent
himself from Holland House, except for the few hours in each week
when his attendance at Dulwich was indispensable. Allen was engaged
in writing a review of Horner's correspondence when he died, and he
had promised to write one on the Bedford papers, which John Russell
is now publishing, and in which he was to have vindicated John,
Duke of Bedford, from the malice of Junius, a pious duty which his
great-grandson seems to consider as peculiarly incumbent on him. In
no respect is the loss of Allen more important, than with reference
to the Holland House papers, the collection of Lord Holland and Mr.
Fox, probably the most curious and interesting mass of manuscripts,
literary and political, which exists anywhere. They were in Allen's
hands, and being in Lady Holland's power, and subject to her caprice,
nobody can say what will become of them.


_April 23rd._--The Duke of Sussex died yesterday, and his memory
has been very handsomely treated by the press of different shades
of politics. He placed the Court in great embarrassment, by leaving
directions that he should be buried at the Cemetery in the Harrow
Road; and there was a grand consultation yesterday, whether this
arrangement should be carried into effect, or whether the Queen should
take on herself to have him buried with the rest of the Royal Family
at Windsor.

_May 7th._--Went to Newmarket for the benefit of my health, and to
get rid of gout by change of air, and succeeded. Came back on Friday.
I have serious thoughts of giving up this journal altogether, and yet
I am reluctant to do so, for it has been for many years an occasional
and sometimes a constant and brisk amusement to me, but I feel that
it is neither one thing nor another, and not worth the trouble of
continuing. I have no inclination, like some diarists, to put down day
by day all the trifles they see, hear, or do, a great mass of useless
and uninteresting matter, into which some few things here and there
creep that are just worth preserving, and I really am so ignorant of
the events and history of the time, and so little in communication
with public men of any party, that I can give no account of that
under-current which escapes general observation, but which so often
throws an eventual light upon contemporary history, and corrects many
otherwise unavoidable errors. It is very true that what I call trifles
are often read with curiosity and avidity a hundred years later,
even though the writer may be a very commonplace, ordinary person
like myself, and this may be the case although his manuscript should
contain nothing very recondite or important. But it is a record and
a picture of manners, customs, and fashions which are perpetually
changing, and as establishing points of comparison and exhibiting
contrasts and dissimilarities it may be curious and amusing. Still,
though I am aware of this, I am reluctant to spoil a quantity of
paper with more trash, which, whatever accident may make it, or what
value it may possibly acquire by age, is too trivial now to be set
down without a feeling of mixed shame and disgust. In the meantime,
however, as I have got my pen in my hand, I will scribble down a few
things that I have picked up, and have not yet forgotten.

It is unnecessary to say that the discussion about the Duke of
Sussex's funeral ended by his being buried with Royal honours at
Kensal Green. It all went off very decently and in an orderly manner.
Peel and the Duke, in both Houses, spoke of him very properly and
feelingly. He seems to have been a kind-hearted man, and was beloved
by his household. On his death-bed he caused all his servants to be
introduced to his room, took leave of them all, and shook hands with


About the same time old Arkwright died at the age of eighty-seven. The
world had long been looking for his death, with great curiosity to
know what he was worth. It was generally reported that his property
exceeded seven millions sterling, but it now turns out to have
been much less than that. He seems to have made a just, wise, and
considerate will. I never saw him, but he was no doubt a very able
man, as his father was before him.

Death, which has been so busy this year, and striking so
indiscriminately, took off a person of a very different description
on Sunday last. On that day, after a protracted and painful illness,
my uncle's widow, Lady William Bentinck, was released from her
sufferings.[57] A more amiable and excellent woman never existed
in the world. She was overflowing with affections, sympathies, and
kindness, not only perfectly unselfish, but with a scrupulous fear,
carried to exaggeration, of trespassing upon the ease or convenience
of others. Though she had passed all her life in the world, been
placed in great situations, and had mingled habitually and familiarly
with eminent people, she never was the least elated or spoiled by
her prosperity. Her mind was pure, simple, natural, and humble.
She was not merely charitable, but was charity itself, not only in
relieving and assisting the necessitous, but in always putting the
most indulgent constructions on the motives and conduct of others,
in a childlike simplicity, in believing the best of everybody, and
an incredulity of evil report, which proceeded from a mind itself
incapable of doing wrong. To parody part of a couplet of Dryden--

                 ...innocent within,
 She thought no evil, for she knew no sin.

Hers was one of those rare dispositions which nature had made of its
very best materials. She was gentle and cheerful, and without being
clever, was one of those people whom everybody likes, and whose
society was universally agreeable, from a certain undefinable charm
of sympathy and benevolence which breathed in her, and which was more
potent, attractive, and attaching than great talents or extensive
information, to neither of which she had any pretension. With the
death of her husband all her happiness was clouded, never to admit
of sunshine again, and she passed two years of mild and moderated
grief with alternations of partial ease and severe bodily pain, but
nothing ever disturbed the serenity of her temper; her uncomplaining
gentleness, her warm and considerate affections, and her unaffected
piety, continued to the last, manifesting themselves in a thousand
touching instances, and inspiring the deepest feelings of compassion,
respect, and attachment among the small circle of friends and
relations who had the grief of witnessing the last distressing weeks
of her illness, and the severe pains from which, though courageously
endured, she earnestly desired to be released. At length her prayers
were heard, and on Sunday, the 30th of April, having been vouchsafed
'patience under her sufferings,' she obtained 'a happy issue out of
all her afflictions.'

    [Footnote 57: [Lady William Bentinck, Mr. Greville's aunt by
    marriage, was the second daughter of Arthur, first Earl of Gosford.
    She married Lord William, 1803.]]

_May 14th._--Lord FitzGerald died on Friday morning,[58] 12th inst.,
suddenly, inasmuch as he was at the Cabinet on Tuesday; but having
been long in a very bad state of health, he never ought to have
taken office, for his constitution was unequal to its anxieties
and fatigues, and he was too nervous, excitable, and susceptible
for the wear and tear of political life. He did not contemplate,
when he accepted Ellenborough's place, that his predecessor would
render it one of the most troublesome, embarrassing, and important
in the Government, and accordingly nothing could exceed FitzGerald's
annoyance at finding himself in such a cauldron of boiling water as
that into which Ellenborough with his Proclamations had plunged him.
I remember that Wharncliffe at the beginning of the session said
to me in joke, 'Ellenborough will be the death of FitzGerald,' and
this turned out in earnest to be very near the truth. There is no
doubt that his constant nervous apprehension and unceasing anxiety
materially contributed to undermine his constitution and occasion
his death. He is a great loss in all ways, and few men could be more
generally regretted. He was clever, well-informed, and agreeable,
fond of society, living on good terms with people of all parties, and
universally popular. He was liberal in his opinions, honourable, fair,
and conciliatory, and personally on such good terms with his political
opponents, and so much respected and esteemed for his candour,
sincerity, and integrity, that his death is a public misfortune. He
began public life with Peel, having been appointed to an office in
Ireland when Peel was made Secretary in the Irish Administration of
the Duke of Richmond. They continued intimate friends ever after, and
FitzGerald was a faithful adherent of Peel's during the whole of his
political career. His greatest fault was a disposition to despond, and
to look at affairs in the gloomiest point of view. In history he will
be for ever associated with that famous Clare election when O'Connell
turned him out and got himself returned, that great stroke which led
immediately to Catholic emancipation.

    [Footnote 58: [Lord FitzGerald and Vesey, President of the Board of
    Control in Sir Robert Peel's Ministry.]]


_May 16th._--I attended Lady William Bentinck's funeral this morning,
which was conducted in the plainest manner possible, without any crowd
or any show, just as all funerals should be in my opinion, for of all
disgusting exhibitions the most so to me is the hired pomp of a costly
funeral with all the business-like bustle of the undertaker and his
men. This good woman was consigned to the grave in a manner suitable
to the simplicity of her character, without a particle of ostentation,
and decently and reverently attended by a few relations and intimate

Went on Sunday to the Temple Church. Most beautiful to see, though
perhaps too elaborately decorated. The service very well done, fine
choir. Benson preached on justification by faith, not a good sermon,
though a fine preacher. I listened attentively, but found it all waste
of attention. He ended by a hit at the Puseyites (as he often rejoices
to do), and an extract from one of the Homilies, which was the best
part of his sermon. Brougham was there and brought Peel with him.

_June 6th._--Nothing written for a long time, and for the old reason,
the Derby and the race-course.... I have been very slightly concerned
in this great speculation, but larger sums have been wagered on it
than ever were heard of before. George Bentinck backed a horse of
his called Gaper (and not a good one), to win about 120,000_l._ On
the morning of the race the people came to hedge with him, when he
laid the odds against him to 7,000_l._; 47,000 to 7,000, I believe,
in all. He had three bets with Kelburne[59] of unexampled amount. He
laid Kelburne 13,000 to 7,000 on Cotherstone (the winner) against
the British Yeoman, and Kelburne laid him 16,000 to 2,000 against
Gaper. The result I believe was, to these two noble lords, that
George Bentinck won about 9,000_l._ and the other lost 6,000_l._ or
7,000_l._ I have never much inclination to record racing details,
though these particulars may not be unamusing or uninteresting many
years hence. George Bentinck may eschew racing, and be found in his
latter days addicted to some very different pursuit, and it may appear
as strange to hear of his thousands lost and won, as it is to read of
Wilberforce's gaming at the fashionable clubs, or to be told of the
mild and respectable Tom Grenville heading the mob in the demolition
of the Admiralty windows in the Keppel riots. Or times may change,
and the value of money, or the usages and habits of the world. These
sums may appear contemptibly small or alarmingly large. After all,
when the letters and diaries with which the press now teems make their
appearance, we always read with more or less interest the familiar
details of the vices and follies, the amusements and pursuits of
our forefathers; even their winnings and losings are attractive; so
that if I chose to tell more stories of the turf, somebody would be
found to read them in times remote; but I always feel so ashamed of
the occupation, and a sort of consciousness of degradation and of
deterioration from it, that my mind abhors the idea of writing about
it; in fact, I often wonder at my own sentiments or sensations, and
my own conduct about the business and the diversion of racing. It
gives me at least as much of pain as pleasure, and yet so strong is
the habit, such a lingering, lurking pleasure do I find in it, such
a frequent stimulus does it apply to my general indifference and
apathy, that I cannot give it entirely up. One effect of that sort of
active concern with the turf, which is unavoidable during the spring
campaign, is an almost complete suspension of attention to political
matters, and to what is passing in the world: and as I have learnt
nothing but what everybody else knows, I have not thought it worth
while to waste pen and ink in making my own observations on passing
events. I have been too idle and too busy for that. If I had been
used to write in the common diarial form, I should have put down
something of this sort: On Tuesday in Epsom week I went to Bingham
Baring's at Addiscombe, with the Clanricardes, Damers, Ben Stanley,
Levesons, Poodle Byng; very agreeable people, but the women brimful
of ill-nature. Clanricarde and his wife excellent members of society;
both of them extremely clever, quick, light in hand.


The King of Hanover arrived on Friday, too late for the Royal
christening, and all the world is asking why he did not arrive in
time, or why they did not wait for him. The political world is all
out of joint. Peel is become very unpopular. Ireland is in a flame.
The whole country is full of distress, disquiet, and alarm. Religious
feuds are rife. The Church and the Puseyites are at loggerheads here,
and the Church and the Seceders in Scotland; and everybody says it
is all very alarming, and God knows what will happen, and everybody
goes on just the same, and nobody cares except those who can't get
bread to eat. Somehow or other, it does seem very strange, that after
thirty years of peace, a thing unprecedented, during which time all
the elements of public prosperity have been in full activity and had
ample scope, while we have been reforming and improving, and fancying
that we have been getting wiser and better, we find ourselves to all
appearance in as bad a condition, with as much difficulty for the
present, and as much alarm for the future, as we have often been in.
This is a great problem, which I cannot pretend to solve, and which it
would task most men's philosophy satisfactorily to explain.

    [Footnote 59: [Viscount Kelburne, afterwards fourth Earl of
    Glasgow, was a distinguished patron of the Turf; he died in 1869.]]


_June 7th._--I forget if I have ever touched upon my squabble with
the British Museum about one of our Council Books, and it is too
much trouble to look back and see whether I have or not. Until I
came into office very little attention had been paid to the old
Council Registers, and though they are replete with curious matter,
interesting to the historian, the antiquary, and persons engaged in
almost every sort of literature, they were nearly inaccessible in
consequence of the deficiency of indexes, or the very incomplete and
imperfect character of those which there are. I therefore resolved to
set about the great work of indexing these books, which I may call
great, because it involves great labour and great expense, and because
the utility and convenience of it are already found to be very great.
I first employed a certain William Augustus Miles, who pretended to
be a natural son of one of the Royal Family, I forget which, and who
turned out a scamp and vagabond, and who cheated me. This man got
into prison, and I lost sight of him. I then, by the advice of Amyot,
employed Mr. Lemon, son of old Lemon of the State Paper Office, a very
excellent and competent man, who has been at work on these indexes for
several years; he is very intelligent, industrious, and well-informed,
and has done his work in a very satisfactory way. It occurred to me in
the progress of this design to ascertain whether any of the lost books
could be found and recovered, and I learned that there was one in the
State Paper Office, and another in the British Museum.[60] I wrote a
letter to the Secretary of State, requesting he would order the book
in the State Paper Office to be given up to the Clerk of the Council,
with which request he immediately complied. On one or two occasions,
when I went to the Museum, I told Sir Henry Ellis that I meant to have
back that book, but which, I dare say, he regarded as a joke. However,
at last I resolved to apply for it formally, and I wrote a letter
to the Secretary, Mr. Forshall, in the name of the Lord President,
demanding the book. I received no answer whatever; so, after the lapse
of some weeks, I complained of having received none. Mr. Forshall then
wrote to say the matter was under the consideration of the Trustees,
and I should have an answer. At the expiration of three months I got a
long letter (which I now hear the Trustees and their Secretary think
a very fine production), setting forth all sorts of very poor reasons
involved in a prodigious verbiage, why we should not insist on having
our book, and why they should retain possession of it. To this I
responded that the President of the Council considered that he had no
option in the matter, that he was bound to insist on the restitution
of the lost books of the Council, wherever he could find them, and
that he was very sorry he could not comply with the request of the
Trustees that he would desist from his claim. There the matter stands
at the present moment. When I found that the Trustees were resolved
to resist our demand, I asked the Attorney-General, whether we had or
had not a right to enforce it; and he said most undoubtedly we had,
that it was impossible for the British Museum to resist it, and that
he, who was _ex officio_ a Trustee, should tell them so. These matters
are always settled by a few active persons who take the lead and the
trouble, and I fancy Hallam, William Hamilton, and one or two more,
are the men who are fighting this battle. I wrote to Hamilton, begging
him to mediate, and get the matter amicably settled; and he sent me a
very absurd answer, the gist of which was that as we had done without
this book for two hundred years we might do without it still, and
that we had better send the rest of our books to the British Museum,
instead of requiring the restoration of this one. The other night I
spoke to Lord Ashburton, who is a very active Trustee, and though I
found he had been fully consenting to Forshall's letter, and to the
purpose of retaining the book, I believe I satisfied him that it ought
to be given up.

    [Footnote 60: [At the fire in Whitehall which occurred in 1618, the
    volumes of the Council Register belonging to the preceding years
    of the reign of James I. were lost in the confusion or possibly
    destroyed in the fire. An Order in [Council was passed directing
    the clerks of the Council to recover possession of these important
    Records of State wherever they could be found. The volumes referred
    to in the text are two of the missing registers, but that which
    is in the British Museum has never been restored to the Council
    Office. The remainder of the series from the last years of Henry
    VIII. to the present date is perfect and complete.]]

_June 14th._--Yesterday at Ascot. A melancholy sight indeed, torrents
of rain, no company; the Court had announced its intention not to
be present, which was a heavy discouragement, and the miserable
weather put a finishing stroke to the prosperity of the meeting. The
determination of the Queen and Prince not to go is attributed by some
to their dislike of all racing, and by others to the presence of the
King of Hanover, who would have obliged her, if she had had the usual
party at Windsor, to invite him there. Probably there is a mixture
of both reasons in the matter. The King of Hanover must be rather
astonished to find himself received as he has been here. Although
supposed to be extremely unpopular, he is feasted, invited, and
visited by all manner of men. Everybody seems to think it necessary
to treat him with dinners and balls, and he is become the lion of the
season with this foolish, inconsistent world.

The war between us and the British Museum still goes on. On Saturday I
got Lord Wharncliffe to go there in person and demand the book, which
he did in full conclave of the Trustees. I had drawn up a paper, which
he caused to be read there, and gave it to the Archbishop. After the
Lord President had departed they discussed the matter, and came to a
resolution that they had not the power to give up the book, and this
they communicated to me in an official letter yesterday.


_June 15th._--Yesterday we sent a case to the Attorney-General for him
and the Solicitor to report on about the Council book.

On Saturday I am going abroad, partly for health and partly in
search of amusement, and to get away from the London season. Lord
Wharncliffe said to me yesterday, 'You are going away, and I shall
not see you for some time. You leave us in a strange state, with many
difficulties around us. Our friends are angry because we don't do more
and come down to Parliament about Ireland, but we have _no case_ to
act upon. What can we do about O'Connell? He may go great lengths, and
at some of these meetings may expose himself to a prosecution, but
when would you find an Irish jury to convict him?' All this is true
enough; the question of Ireland is very difficult, but the Government
have done all they can do; they take precautions and are in readiness
if anything happens. Lord Wharncliffe said that the dismissal of the
Repeal magistrates had been done in concert with the Government here,
but that Sugden[61] had done the mischief by writing such a foolish
letter. Then he is very uneasy about Scinde, on which I must say that
he told me, before Parliament met, that he was not afraid of the
Afghanistan part of Ellenborough's conduct, but that he was afraid
of the Scindian part, and he has proved in the right. He says that,
though it is rendered palateable by the brilliant victories Napier
has gained, the conduct of both Napier and Ellenborough has been to
the last degree arbitrary and tyrannical, and such as nothing can
justify. Add to these things the distress in this country, the Corn
Law quarrels, and the religious dissensions both in Scotland and in
England, and the cauldron is surely bubbling and fizzing as merrily as
need be; yet we shall scramble through all these difficulties, as we
have done so many before _pejora passi_.

    [Footnote 61: [Sir Edward Sugden was Lord Chancellor of Ireland.]]

_Liège, Monday, June 19th._--I set off at eleven o'clock, on Saturday
morning, from London Bridge, by the 'Earl of Liverpool' steamer, which
was loaded with passengers and machinery, and a slow bad boat, so
that we were seventeen and a half hours crossing over. The weather
was fine, and it was pleasant enough going down the river. All the
people were very merry and very hungry during this part of the voyage,
but most of them very sad and very sick when they got out to sea.
It was ludicrous to see the disappearance of their hilarity and to
contrast it with their woebegone faces when they were heaved about
in the Channel. Having secured what is called the state cabin (a box
with two beds in it, one over the other), I turned in and slept very
comfortably. On each side of this apartment were the men's and the
women's rooms, and as the doors of both were left open for air, I saw
them, all lying huddled together, in every variety of attitude and
costume, as thick as plums in a box, without any appearance of motion
or life. It was a foggy, misty night, but suddenly at break of day
the fog was drawn up like a curtain, and we ran into Ostend harbour
on a fine morning at half-past four o'clock. The people at the Custom
House were very civil and expeditious, and we found a tolerable hotel,
though not so good as it ought to be for such a place as Ostend, which
is now become a flourishing town on account of the great number of
people who flock to it as a bathing-place, not only from Belgium, but
Germany. The sands are excellent, and there is a magnificent promenade
overlooking the sea, half a mile long. We started at eleven o'clock
on the railroad and came to Liège. The carriages and arrangements are
superior to ours, and much cheaper as to fare, but very dear in the
article of luggage. For example, my fare was fifteen francs, and the
charge for my baggage was fourteen.

_Cologne._--I was obliged to leave off, to set out in a hired
carriage, which took us to Aix-la-Chapelle in six and a half hours.
I saw nothing at Liège but the vast building which was once the
palace of the Prince Bishop, and must have been exceedingly grand.
It reminded me of Venice with its superb colonnade and richly carved
pillars. The road is extremely pretty (by Chaude Fontaine) from Liège
to Aix, and exhibits every appearance of prosperity. It keeps almost
constantly in sight of the new railroad--a stupendous work--making
its way along a country which is all hill, valley, and stream. The
difficulty, the labour, and the cost must all be enormous; vast
tunnels and magnificent viaducts present themselves at every turn,
and I doubt if there is a similar work in any part of Europe to be
compared with this. We only stopped to dine at Aix-la-Chapelle, and
while dinner was getting ready I walked up to look at the Hôtel de
Ville and the outside of the Cathedral, and in the evening we came on
to this place, where we arrived just as it was dark. On the whole, my
expedition has answered perfectly as far as it has gone. The weather
has been delightful, the travelling neither tedious nor disagreeable,
no difficulties nor discomforts, and though I have not seen much, I
have been well amused with the aspect of the country through which I
have passed, and with the glimpses of the curious old towns.


_Coblentz, June 20th._--This morning went to see the Cathedral at
Cologne, which it is useless to describe. I was greatly struck with
its grandeur, but do not like the quantity of painting and gilding
which deface the choir, nor do I think the frescoes which are now
being painted on the walls suitable to a Gothic church. They are doing
a great deal, but it is out of the question to think of finishing
such a building.[62] Afterwards to two or three churches, all of
which were tawdry, service going on in all of them, and some were
very full. Set off at half-past ten in the steamboat. The morning was
grey and cold, and it soon began to rain heavily, but by the time we
reached Bonn, where the beauties of the Rhine open, it became fine,
and the day continued to improve, only with occasional showers, till
in the afternoon the weather was beautiful. Certainly nothing can
be more agreeable than this voyage on the Rhine. The boats spacious
and comfortable, an excellent dinner very cheap, and the people very
civil and obliging. With regard to the scenery, I was disappointed in
particular spots, but very well pleased on the whole. The beauties of
the Rhine are not near so striking as I fancied they were; the scenery
of the Wye is infinitely finer; in fact, there is not a single object
of grandeur, but it is all excessively pretty; the river itself is
noble, and the constant succession of towns, villages, palaces, ruins,
and the various objects which the Rhine presents, renders the voyage
very interesting and enjoyable. The approach to Coblentz is beautiful,
and it was set off by all the effulgence of a magnificent sunset. The
inns here are so crowded that it was with the greatest difficulty we
found apartments in the largest of them. On the whole I am delighted
with the expedition and with all I have seen, though the banks of the
Rhine are not to be compared to the scenery of Monmouthshire or North
Wales. 'The castled Crag of Drachenfels' is not so striking a ruin
as the castle of Dinas Bran; Dover Castle is much more imposing than
Ehrenbreitstein; but then there is the Rhine instead of the Wye--the
grandest of rivers instead of a slimy streamlet. It is an intolerable
bore not being able to speak German, for though waiters and innkeepers
speak French and English almost universally, the mass of the people
only speak German, and one feels miserably stupid and helpless at
hearing a language clattering around one in every direction without
being able to comprehend a word of it. I am much struck with the
gaiety of the people and a certain style of joyous familiarity
they have among one another; all the people on board the steamer
(belonging to it), from the man in authority down to the cabin boy,
seeming so free and easy with each other, and though very civil and
particularly obliging, they have a certain air more of independence
than familiarity with the passengers.

    [Footnote 62: [Some thirty years later the edifice was completed.]]

_Frankfort, June 23rd._--I left Coblentz by the ten o'clock steamer
on Wednesday morning. The scenery from thence to Bingen is by far the
finest and certainly very beautiful and interesting, not that there is
anything on either bank so grand or romantic as in Italy, Switzerland,
or Wales, but altogether it is very charming, and the attention is
never allowed to flag. The Rhine is noble, and its turnings and
windings exhibit a perpetual variety of prospect, the same objects
being presented in so many different aspects. It would be ridiculous
to attempt to describe what has been already described by a hundred
tourists and artists. A man in the steamboat, who was evidently
concocting a journal, very sensibly copied out what he wanted to
describe from Murray's handbook; probably he could not do better.

[Sidenote: MAYENCE.]

The Princes of Prussia have caused two of the ruined castles on the
left bank to be repaired, and have made residences of them; but the
destroyers of castles have done more for the picturesque than the
restorers, for the ruins are out of all comparison more romantic
objects than the perfect buildings. The amazing solidity with which
they are built is proved by the facility with which they have been
restored, besides which there is one that has continued perfect, and
another which was allowed to go to decay only a few years ago, when
the roof was taken off to save the expense of keeping it in repair.

We reached Mayence about nine o'clock. The next morning early I
sallied forth, as usual, and poked about the town. I went into the
cathedral, where there are a vast number of monuments, not very
remarkable, of the Archbishops of Mayence--great men in their time.
There was one tomb with which I was struck. It represents in the upper
part the whole history of Christ, or at least, of His sufferings and
death, in bas-relief, and underneath He is lying in His tomb, with
figures at the head, the feet, and on one side, all as large as life,
and by no means ill-done. A bronze statue of Gutenberg (for whom the
invention of printing is claimed) was raised a few years ago by the
town of Mayence; a fine figure enough, but they have inscribed upon
the pedestal four of the most execrable Latin lines that ever were
written, and if these are the best verses Mayence can produce, poets
must be scarce in the town. If Gutenberg could come to life again he
would be ashamed to see his types employed in recording such poetry
as they have written in his praise. At eleven o'clock the railroad
brought me in an hour to this place. This is an extremely pretty town;
gay and prosperous in appearance, the streets are so wide, houses so
handsome, and shops so smart. I soon found Francis Molyneux, with
whom I dined. Mr. Koch, the Consul and banker, gave me a card which
admitted me to a club, and I amused myself very well, looking about
the town and gardens, and in the Bohemian glass shop. This morning
I consulted Dr. Kop, a physician who lives at Hanau, and has a
reputation in the country, about the waters. He advised me not to go
to Wiesbaden, which he said was too strong for such a case as mine,
but to drink the waters of Wildbad in Würtemberg. I had, however,
already pretty well made up my mind not to drink any waters at
present, but merely to hear what the medical authorities said on the
subject, and reserve them for a future occasion.

_Frankfort, June 24th._--Walked about the town, and went into the
shops, where I cannot resist buying prints, Bohemian glass, and the
deer's-horn things. Went to Mr. Bethmann's garden to see Dannecker's
Ariadne, which is one of the great sights of this place. We (Francis
Molyneux and I) found a French family, father, mother, and extremely
pretty young daughter about sixteen, wanting to get in, and not able
to make themselves understood, not speaking German. Francis Molyneux
got the custos to come, and we entered. The first _salle_ is furnished
with a number of casts of gladiators and Apollos, which, however, so
terrified the young innocent, who, it seems, has not been long out of
a convent, that she started back, and nothing could get her into the
museum. We passed on to the sanctum in which the Ariadne is placed,
and the father went off to try and get his girl to pass through these
formidable statues, but all in vain. I was amused with the _naïveté_
with which he said, shrugging up his shoulders, 'Non, ma fille ne veut
pas venir. Le fait est qu'elle n'a jamais rien vu de pareil.' The
Ariadne statue is fine, the attitude easy and graceful, but the face
is deficient in expression, and it has an impudent look.

[Sidenote: FRANKFORT.]

At three o'clock I got on the railroad, and went over to Mayence,
to hear the military bands, which play every Friday. This is a
great lounge, attended by all the people of the town, and many
from Frankfort and Wiesbaden. I was delighted. The music is really
magnificent. It was an Austrian band, about sixty or seventy in
number, admirably conducted. The garden in which they play, just
beyond the fortifications of the town, is very pretty, and the people
sit at tables drinking chocolate or eating ice; the men mostly walking
about and almost all smoking. There I fell in with Lord Westmoreland
and Frederick FitzClarence from Wiesbaden, and we dined together
afterwards, and at half-past eight returned home by railroad. This
morning I have been wandering about and exploring. It is a fine town,
and remarkable for the frequent intermixture of handsome modern houses
with buildings of a very antique but generally decayed appearance; the
place has a great look of well-doing, and one sees no beggars, and no
miserable objects. I understand that there is a good system of relief
for the poor, and no pauperism of the miserable and degraded character
that shocks one so in England. Frankfort is not very gay or amusing.
There is very little society; the rich people here live very quietly,
and only display their wealth in occasional banquets, which are
splendid, but long and tiresome. The old mother of the Rothschilds,
the grandmother of the present generation, is here, living in the
Jews' quarter in the old home of the family, which she will not be
persuaded to quit. It is miserable-looking on the outside, but is
said to be very different within. The old woman, who is ninety-four
years old, drives about and goes constantly to the opera or play. The
greatest man of the place is Count Münch-Bellinghausen, who has been
for many years President of the Diet, and who, some think, will be one
day Metternich's successor.

_Wiesbaden, Monday, June 26th._--I dined with Strangways,[63] on
Saturday; drove after dinner round the town and into the forest.
Yesterday afternoon came here by railroad, very ugly country, but very
pretty town. The weather was very fine, and a gayer sight I never
saw than the crowd of people--eating, drinking, smoking, walking,
listening to the band in the garden in front of the gambling palace
(for such it is). I dined with Lord and Lady Frederick FitzClarence
and Lord Westmoreland, and went to the Casino, or whatever they call
it, in the evening. There play was going on (with crowds at the
tables), as it does from morning till night, but the stakes appeared
to be very small. The Grand Duke is residing here, and I saw his
equipages returning from taking him and his suite to the theatre,
evidently intended for an imitation of an English turn-out, but
very poor and ridiculous. He is the richest of all the small German
Sovereigns, and has got a very pretty territory. It is impossible
not to be struck with the great appearance of ease and comfort in
all these parts. I have seen no beggars, or hardly any, no miserable
objects or wretched hovels. I asked Garg, the Master of the Hôtel de
Russie at Frankfort, and a very intelligent man, and he told me the
town was not so flourishing as it had been before they joined the
Prussian League. However, all these places thrive without doubt by
the immense number of travellers, especially English, who come to
them. The inns are everywhere very superior to ours. Instead of the
dirty, vulgar, noisy houses that most of our inns and hotels are, they
are generally great and fine establishments, very clean, very well
furnished, the service much better performed and incomparably cheaper.
The town of Frankfort is divided between Protestants and Catholics,
but the only religious squabbles or dissensions seem to have arisen
among the English residents and the English clergyman. The dispute
began about the management of the funds. A feud arose, two parties
were formed, duels were fought, every sort of violence exhibited,
volumes written on either side, and no end of trouble given to the
legation here and the Foreign Office at home.

    [Footnote 63: [The Hon. William Fox Strangways, afterwards Earl
    of Ilchester, was at this time British Minister accredited to the
    German Diet at Frankfort.]]

_Wiesbaden, Wednesday, June 28th._--Lord Westmoreland agreed to go
with me to Baden-Baden, if I would wait a day or two, so I agreed to
do so. We went to the play on Monday evening, and found an extremely
pretty theatre; a Mdlle. Herz, or some such name, the best actress at
Berlin, appeared; the house was very thin. She reminded me of Rachel,
and I should think she must be a very good actress, but as I did not
understand a word, I can't pronounce confidently on her merits. I only
know that her voice is sweet and expressive, her action graceful,
her manner excellent; she is rather good-looking, and though I did
not comprehend what was said, I got sufficiently interested in the
action of the piece to sit out five acts without fatigue, which I
have often not been able to do at pieces I do understand. Yesterday
in the morning I followed a long walk through the garden, and through
shrubberies and fields, to a village and ruined castle, about a mile
and a half or two miles off. After breakfast went with Westmoreland
and his son, and G. Berkeley, to the Duke's hunting-place at the top
of a hill three miles off. A tolerable house, fitted up with memorials
of the chase, and all over stags' horns. A grand view from it of the
Rhine, and all the country as far as Darmstadt. Two magnificent bronze
stags at the entrance.


_Mannheim, June 29th._--I went to Frankfort yesterday; went to see the
Jews' street, the most curious part of the town. It is very narrow,
the houses all of great antiquity, and not one new or modern in the
whole street. This street exhibits a perfect specimen of a town of
the fifteenth or sixteenth century. The houses are very lofty, a
good deal ornamented, but they look dark and dirty, and as if their
interior had undergone as little alteration as the exterior. Strange
figures were loitering about the street, standing in the doorways or
looking out of the windows. There was a man who might have presented
himself on the stage in the character of Shylock, with the gaberdine
and the beard; and old crones of the most miserable and squalid, but
strange aspect. We had the good luck to see the old mother of the
Rothschilds, and a curious contrast she presented. The house she
inhabits appears not a bit better than any of the others; it is the
same dark and decayed mansion. In this narrow gloomy street, and
before this wretched tenement, a smart _calèche_ was standing, fitted
up with blue silk, and a footman in blue livery was at the door.
Presently the door opened, and the old woman was seen descending a
dark, narrow staircase, supported by her grand-daughter, the Baroness
Charles Rothschild, whose carriage was also in waiting at the end of
the street. Two footmen and some maids were in attendance to help the
old lady into the carriage, and a number of the inhabitants collected
opposite to see her get in. A more curious and striking contrast I
never saw than the dress of the ladies, both the old and the young
one, and their equipages and liveries, with the dilapidated locality
in which the old woman persists in remaining. The family allow her
4,000_l._ a year, and they say she never in her life has been out of
Frankfort, and never inhabited any other house than this, in which
she is resolved to die. The street was formerly closed at both ends,
and the Jews were confined to that quarter. The French took away the
gates and they have never been replaced. The Jews now live in any
part of the town they please. The Rothschilds, of whom there are
several residing at Frankfort, are said to do a great deal of good
both to Christians and Jews. There was very near being an _émeute_ the
other day, in consequence of the high price of corn; the poor people
are starving, and can't buy bread at the price it now fetches. The
Government is obliged to assist them; to buy wheat or bread, and sell
it to the people at half-price.

I left Frankfort at half-past eleven, and got to Mayence just in time
to dine at the _table-d'hôte_ at the Hôtel d'Angleterre: one long
table, half of which was occupied by the Austrian officers, who kept
up an incessant fire of talk; the other half by casual visitors,
not one of whom said a word. The jabber of the military men sounded
strangely in my ears, and as the formidable gutturals jostled each
other, I fancied it must have been very like the confusion of Babel,
when every man began to speak in a different tongue. The oddest part
of the dinner business was the master of the hotel sitting down to
table with us, with an air of perfect, but not impudent familiarity;
and at the same time acting the part of host by constantly getting
up from his seat, going to inspect the dishes, and occasionally
serving some of them himself. At half-past two the steamboat arrived,
I went on board, and got here at half-past eight. The Rhine is very
uninteresting in this part of its course, the banks flat, and the
river often very narrow. The only town of any importance we passed
was Worms, which is interesting from the historical recollections
associated with it; but it has miserably fallen from the days when
Charles V. and Luther met within its walls, while all Germany, in
the highest state of excitement, was watching the progress of the
conflict that was producing such mighty results. It is amusing, on
board the steamer, to stop and exchange passengers, and we gave up
some odds and ends of people at Worms, and got a whole school in
return, some twenty specimens of the rising youth of Germany, and not
bad ones on the whole--stout, active, intelligent-looking boys, with
caps on their heads, very long hair, and satchels on their backs.

[Sidenote: HEIDELBERG.]

_Baden-Baden, July 2nd._--I set off from Mannheim by railroad on
Friday morning about ten, and got to Heidelberg in an hour. It began
to rain as soon as we started, and poured torrents almost the whole
day. I sat very disconsolately in my inn, hearing the rain pattering
down, till a momentary cessation took place, of which I instantly
availed myself, and set forth to the Castle. I went all over the ruins
under the usual guidance, and then made the tour of the adjoining
grounds, but the rain again fell in torrents and the opposite hills
and surrounding country were immersed in dense masses of vapour. After
braving the rain for some time, I descended, but had hardly got down
before it cleared up, on which I crossed the bridge, and strolled down
the road on the banks of the Neckar, and thence had a variety of views
of the Castle from different points as well as of the course of the
river, which is very pretty. Yesterday morning it was fine, so I went
early up to the Castle, and wandered about for an hour or two in all
directions. The statues of the Electors in the building in the inner
court, the facade of which is nearly perfect, are very curious, and
it is surprising how some of them have resisted such rude assaults
of time and weather as they must have been exposed to. The town is
swarming with students, wild-looking creatures, with long hair, open
collars, and every variety of beard in cut, colour, and length. Their
practice of duelling, though forbidden, still goes on, but the combats
don't seem to be very dangerous, as the first wound or scratch decides
it. They told me that serious mischief rarely occurred. I went to see
nothing but the Castle. The library is, I believe, fine and curious,
but it is mere waste of time to look at the outside of books, or hear
their titles enumerated.

At eleven o'clock the railroad took me to Carlsruhe, where I was
obliged to hire a carriage to bring me here. Nothing could exceed the
indignation of my servant at seeing the deplorable old rattle-trap
which was produced for my use. It seemed to be dropping to pieces,
and could not have been cleaned, within or without, for many years.
Such as it was, I was forced to take it, and at the next stage I was
shifted into another of precisely the same description. At Rastadt,
the last stage, Thomas implored me to demand a more presentable
vehicle, and piteously remonstrated on the disgrace it would be to
make my entry into Baden in such an equipage. The Fates, however, had
decreed that this disgrace should befall me, for there was no carriage
better or worse to be had in Rastadt, and I was obliged to come on
with the same, horse and all; and, to fill the cup to overflowing,
I arrived at the hotel door in presence of a numerous assemblage of
smart people who were just going to dinner at the _table-d'hôte_. The
figure I must have cut was certainly not brilliant, but I could not
help being amused at it, and especially at the despair of my faithful
valet, who felt much more for my dignity than I did myself. There was
no room whatever at the hotel I stopped at, so I went to look for a
lodging elsewhere, and addressed myself to the Hôtel de l'Europe,
a grand-looking establishment. I asked if they had rooms, and they
said yes; but I suppose my appearance was not prepossessing (what
would they have thought if they had seen my carriage?) for they took
me to some miserable looking apartments in an adjoining outhouse. I
rejected these with indignation, and said I would look elsewhere, when
they ran after me, and offered me others; but I said, as they had not
chosen to do so at first, I would have nothing to say to them, and I
went on to the Hôtel de Russie, where I got very good rooms. In the
evening I went to the promenade and the gaming rooms, which are as
fine as the saloons in any palace I know of, and splendidly fitted up,
but the amount of play, which is to defray the expense, seemed to me
very small. It is, however, a very bad season, the long continuance
of bad weather having diminished the number of visitors. I did not
see one individual I knew, except a Colonel O'Meara whom I had known
a little in England, and who volunteered to be my cicerone, and was
very civil and obliging. This morning I walked before breakfast
through a delightful shady avenue to a village about a mile and a
half off, stopping to drink some water at a famous spring; then came
home and wrote my letters, and started to walk up to the old Castle,
which, after losing my way just outside the town, I successfully
accomplished, and a most glorious view it is from the top. I certainly
have never seen a more lovely landscape, and am rejoiced to have seen
it, to feed my memory with for the future.


_July 3rd._--Dining at the _table-d'hôte_ with just half a dozen
people whom I don't know, with whom I have no conversation or
communication, and not knowing whether they are French, Russians, or
what, is a bore. I have done this twice, but will have no more of
it. After dinner yesterday went to the usual place of resort, which,
being Sunday, was crowded with people. There was a concert in the
great room, and the whole thing was gay and amusing. It is totally
unlike anything that can be seen in England, or I suppose anywhere
but at some of these Baths. The society is extremely promiscuous,
and completely democratic in its character, nevertheless perfectly
respectable in appearance and behaviour. The locality is charming, the
open booths round the garden exhibiting every variety of merchandise,
and the numerous tables in the open air round which little parties
are sitting, talking, drinking, eating, and smoking, while others
are parading up and down, present a scene of remarkable gaiety, and
when the concert began all the world flocked into the magnificent
rooms, where everybody ranges about from high to low without paying
anything. The early hour admits of children being there, and the
little wretches are scampering about in great numbers. All the time
the _rouge-et-noir_ and _roulette_ are going on, with crowds round the
tables, but not much money staked. I found at last some people I knew,
the two Hannah Colmans (the youngest now Madame de Porbeck and wife
to a Baden officer), Mrs. Herbert with Sir Francis Vincent and her
daughter Lady Vincent. It is wonderful how glad one is to see anybody
in such a solitude of unknown faces, and how people who scarcely ever
notice each other at home strike up a sudden but brief intimacy under
circumstances productive of a momentary attraction. Sometimes these
accidental associations lead to permanent intimacies, and sometimes
one discovers in a moment that people whom one has been acquainted
with all one's life, without knowing anything of them, are full of
merits of which one had no sort of notion.

_July 4th._--Madame de Porbeck, who is gay, good-natured, and
agreeable, proposed to me to go to Eberstein Castle, one of the most
celebrated excursions from hence, which I gladly accepted, and we went
after dinner. I have no talent for description of scenery, and, if I
had, it would be superfluous, to describe these noted spots. Suffice
to say that I never was so enchanted in my life as with this Castle
and the panorama it commands. I cannot figure to myself anything more
lovely, and it wants nothing to make it perfect. There is a mixture of
everything that can interest, astonish, and delight; the magnificent
pine forests, feathering up the sides of the mountains; the vast chaos
of hills cast into every variety of form; the river winding, rushing,
sparkling, and murmuring in its course; the innumerable villages with
which the banks are studded; the patches of cultivation striping the
hill-sides, so curiously subdivided, diversified between corn-fields,
potatoes, and vineyards, looking so minute in the vast space; the
bridges; the curling smoke; the moving objects, like Lilliputians, in
the distance; the sounds and the smells wafted by the air--altogether
make a combination which affords inexpressible pleasure. Above all,
I must not forget the lights and shadows, and the glorious effects
of the setting sun in the calm and clear evening. The afternoon is
the time for visiting such spots as these, when the noonday heats are
past, and the blaze of the sun is softened and harmonised into a
milder but a clearer light; and as the shadows lengthen and produce
constant variety of shape, and draw fresh outlines on the opposite
hills and in the valleys, and colours bright and changing like those
of a rainbow dye the whole horizon, lighting up the course of the
Rhine, and painting with purple hues the mountains of the Vosges,
I looked and thought that nothing on earth could surpass this in
beauty, and I thanked God for the faculty of enjoying it so much as
I do. We went over the Castle, from which the views are charming. It
is perched like an eagle's nest on the top of a conical hill; it was
once a fortress of a feudal lord, and is now a small hunting-lodge,
the new part curiously grafted on the old, and the interior prettily
and comfortably arranged, but with hardly any accommodation. The Grand
Duke comes here sometimes for a little while to shoot in the forest.
The road up to it is like the Simplon, and has been recently made by
the town. As we descended, we overtook some of the huge pines, which
looked as if they were hewn 'to be the mast of some great ammiral.'
They are put upon wheels at a great distance from each other, and
drawn by oxen, and the way in which they contrive to get them round
the turnings is really wonderful. We came on one at the turn, and
it so completely barred the way, and seemed itself at such _a fix_,
that I thought no one would have been able to pass; but by shifting,
and moving, and dragging, between the men and the oxen, they managed
it, I can hardly tell how. These are the vast pines that are floated
down the Rhine; but those that we fell in with are used for domestic


_July 5th._--Yesterday went to dine at Gersbach, a small village just
below the Castle of Eberstein. Went by the circuitous but flat road
that leads through the valley of the Murg; but the beauties of the
valley only begin at Gersbach itself, so that there was not much good
got by taking this broiling roundabout route. There we met a party
of people I never saw before, and after dinner we sat by the side of
the river enjoying the fine weather and fine scenery in luxurious
repose. Returned by a new and beautiful road over the mountain. My
companion in the carriage, Mr. de Porbeck, an officer in the Baden
army, a well-conditioned and intelligent man, gave me some scraps
of information about what may be called German politics, some of
which I was not prepared for. I asked him about the Chambers of his
Grand-Duchy, and he told me they exercised a very real and effectual
control over the finances and internal administration generally;
that they sat long, debated a good deal, and there are some men of
great ability and very good speakers in them. The particulars of the
discussions of a Baden Parliament are not very interesting, but he
told me that there is a great and growing desire on the part of the
smaller States to form one nation with one or other of the great
Powers, and that before long they would all be thus absorbed by their
own desire. I said surely none of them could desire to belong to
Austria. He said this feeling was more prevalent in the north, and
he thought eventually all the Rhenish and Protestant States, Baden,
Nassau, Würtemberg, Saxony, would be united to Prussia; that the first
war which broke out would produce this revolution; that the fate
of the Catholic parts of Germany might be different: that Bavaria
might survive and possibly unite other provinces to herself. But as
to Austria, he was convinced that the death of Metternich would be
the signal for a great movement in that country; that everything was
preparing for it, and that event would bring the projects which were
spreading more and more every day to maturity. While this desire to
make Germany a nation, or to merge the petty independencies in one or
two great German Powers, is, according to him, becoming strong and
general, there is also a great wish to have colonies and a navy, all
of which he deems feasible, and says Prussia is already beginning
to build ships of war. Whether there is truth in all this, or these
are my friend's reveries, I know not; but as I had never before
heard of such aspirations, I was struck by what he told me. We had a
great deal of talk besides, about the condition of the people, and
he expressed with some pride his satisfaction that while they had
nothing of the grandeur of English opulence to boast of, they had
not the afflicting spectacle of English misery and destitution. The
subdivision of land (the effects of which I saw in the minute stripes
of cultivated land on the hill-sides) caused all the agricultural
population--much the greatest part of Baden--to be removed above want,
and he assured me that the whole of the people are tolerably educated.
No soldier, for instance, is allowed to enlist without being able
to read and write. I remarked that on Sunday, though all the shops
were shut in the town, labour was going on in the fields--that is,
haymaking; I won't answer for any other. There is certainly a degree
of social equality which is very foreign to our habits, and yet it
is not subversive of the respect which is due from persons in one
station to those in another. To me it has nothing offensive. I see it
as a trait of national character and manners. At the _table-d'hôte_
here the master of the hotel did not sit down as at Mayence, but he
conversed with the guests. Both he and all the waiters, who are very
obliging and attentive, talk to me continually when I go out or come
in. There is something of independence mixed with kindness in their
way of doing these things, which quite reconciles me to what anybody,
thoroughly imbued with English customs and prejudices, would probably
be affronted or provoked at. As far as I can ascertain, nothing
can go on more harmoniously than the Catholics and Protestants do
here. Two-thirds of the people are Catholics, the reigning family
Protestants; clergy of both persuasions paid by the State, education
in common, and the schools open to teachers who give separate
religious instruction. Go where one will, it seems to me that one
finds a more satisfactory and harmonious state of things with regard
to religion than in England. There is more intolerance, bigotry,
obstinacy, and _déraison_ at home than in all the world besides. In
what I have written here I am well aware that there is very little but
the merest superficial view of the condition of the country, picked
up in one or two casual conversations, and I value it at no more than
it is worth. With regard to what De Porbeck told me of the German
movement, it is not to be suspected as proceeding from an enemy of the
Court, for he is on very good terms with the Royal Family, and appears
to be something of a favourite.


_July 7th._--On Wednesday evening we drove up an avenue of poplars
to a Gasthaus, whence there is a view over the whole country through
which the Rhine runs, bounded by the Vosges. There we saw the sunset,
lighting up the Rhine till it shone like silver along its devious
course, and the mountains and sky were bathed in tints of yellow and
afterwards of purple, presenting a picture such as Claude delighted
to paint. Last night to the old Castle and to the rocks above it,
and afterwards to the Conversation-house garden to enjoy the cool
air. The life here is the most idly luxurious I ever led, but however
enjoyable, and much as I delight in the scenery, I begin already to
feel that it would not do for long. It seems here as if everybody
was enjoying one vast holiday, and had nothing to do but to amuse
themselves. I get up between six and seven, walk for a couple of
hours--yesterday to the top of the hill to see the view; this morning
along the new road and back--then go into a cold bath, and dress,
breakfast, and read and write for about two hours; go to the Club to
read the newspapers, make visits and stroll about till dinner, dine
at some of the _tables-d'hôte_ or in my own room at something between
four and five, then drive wherever I fancy to go, returning home when
the sun is gone down and the moon and the stars are out, and repair
to the garden. Then I sit with any friends I find at a little round
table, in the cool of a delicious evening, eating ice and drinking
what I please, a band of music playing, and the odours of new-mown
hay, orange trees, limes, and roses, wafted on every gale. It is true
that with these sweets the fumes of tobacco are very often mingled,
for almost all the men smoke. There are crowds of men and women doing
the same thing that I do, some repairing to the newspaper-room,
some flirting with the young lady who superintends it. Every now
and then one saunters into the magnificent rooms where the eternal
play goes on, and the monotonous voice of the _croupier_, 'Le jeu,
est-il fait?'--'Messieurs, faites vos jeux,' wearies the ear. These
creatures sit hour after hour, peddling with their florin stakes, and
assiduously making cards with pins, till between ten and eleven the
gardens are gradually deserted, and at eleven a kind of curfew tolls
the knell of day departed and gambling ends. A bell rings, which is
the signal for general dispersion and the closing of houses of resort.
The lights in the rooms are extinguished, and the weary _croupiers_
retire. The police drive people even out of the hotels, and long
before midnight no sound is heard in Baden but the waters of the river
gurgling over their pebbled bed.


_Baden, July 9th._--On Friday dined with Lady Aldborough and Mrs.
Murchison, wife of the geologist, at an hotel _table-d'hôte_, where
Lady A.'s screaming and strange gestures alarmed me for the effect
they would produce on the company, and lest she should come out with
some of those extraordinary things which she does not scruple to say
to almost everybody she talks to. She is eighty-seven years old, still
vigorous, and has all her wits about her, only her memory is gone, for
she tells a story, and, forgetting she has told it, begins it again
almost directly after. I remarked that all the women who dined with us
ate almost everything with their knives, which was very disagreeable
to see. A boy was stuck up on a chair who gave us several recitations
in German, and then came round to lay us under contribution, though
it was hard upon me to be forced to pay for hearing what I did
not understand, and what only interrupted my conversation with my
neighbour. Yesterday, Westmoreland, his son and I, went to see the New
Castle, which the Grand Duke is repairing and fitting up. He has given
the Grand Duchess Stéphanie, to whom it belonged for her life, a house
in the town in exchange for it, and he is going to make it a residence
for himself, and very handsome and agreeable it will be. The dungeons
are curious and exhibit in perfection the local details of feudal
tyranny and oppression. There are the long passages and dark chambers,
the thick walls and stone doors, the shaft down which the wretches
were lowered, the hall in which they were judged, and the well or
oubliette into which by a trap-door they were precipitated, never to
be heard of more. After seeing the Castle, we drove to La Favorite,
a very curious place. It is not quite deserted, for the present
Grand Duchess occasionally takes up her abode there. The house is,
however, exactly in the state in which it was left by the Margravine
Sybilla, who built it. Everything is faded, but nothing altered, and
it exhibits a perfect specimen of a residence of the great people of
that period, about 120 years ago. It is curiously but richly adorned
with gilding, painting, glass, mosaic, and inlaid marble, all the
furniture of silk or velvet, and an immense collection of portraits
in miniature, half a hundred at least of Sybilla herself, and her
husband, the Margrave Louis, in every variety of costume, some the
most grotesque possible, besides those of curious worthies, let into
the mirrors on the walls. Downstairs there is a quantity of Venetian
and Bohemian glass, exceedingly fine, and a strange dinner service of
delft, very well done, in which there are turkeys, woodcocks, bones,
asparagus, cabbages, &c., the dishes representing the animals or the
vegetables which are to be served up in them. The most extraordinary
thing is the chapel which the old Margravine built in the garden in
the days of her penitence, to which she used to retire during Lent,
lying on a mat, lacerating herself with a scourge, wearing iron
spikes under her clothes, and dining with three wooden figures (of
Christ, the Virgin Mary, and St. John), who continue to sit at the
table, though they have no longer any meat served up to them as they
used to have. The whole place is so exactly as it was, that anybody
who chose to go and live there would be in a condition to assume her
state or her austerities, as they might feel inclined. A part of the
road along which we passed was strewn with grass, with boughs of
trees planted on each side, and arches raised of flowers and moss.
This was in honour of the Bishop, who is going about confirming the
people. He seems to be received with great marks of reverence and
joy, and I have never been in any country where I have seen so many
crucifixes, figures of the Saviour, or the Virgin, or other members
of the hierarchy of Heaven. The Bishop made his entry into Baden a
few days ago, preceded by a band of music, and detachments of the
National Guard both infantry and cavalry, by whom he was escorted to
the Convent at Lichtenthal, where he took up his abode. He arrived
in a wretched berline with four post-horses, and attended by two
still more miserable vehicles in which his clerical attendants were
seated. The convent--which is said to be very rich, and where there
are still eighteen nuns, who educate girls--was gaily decorated with
flowers and fanciful emblems to receive him. The churches all seem
well attended on Sundays, and the people are very smartly dressed,
but work does not cease, at least not necessarily and universally. I
saw last Sunday the people haymaking, and this morning the shoemaker
brought me home a pair of shoes. Notwithstanding the beauty of this
place, I am beginning to feel that the life of it would be intolerable
for any length of time. To ramble among the hills and valleys and feed
one's eyes on such unrivalled prospects is delightful, and to loiter
about inhaling sweet odours and listening to pretty music is pleasant
enough; but lassitude and languor remain in the background, ready to
pounce on the wretch who does and can do nothing but revel in such
luxuries as these.


_July 14th._--Since Sunday I have been leading the same sort of life,
only extending more widely the circle of my acquaintance: one night
to a play or vaudeville, the next to an opera, acting, dancing, and
singing, all performed by the same people. On Monday to a ball, of
which there are three every week; the company was very select, not
above forty people; the room beautiful and very well lit; gay enough
and unceremonious, everybody in morning dress. The people walk in
and out from the promenade; almost all dance; it begins at half-past
eight and is all over at eleven. The ballroom was decorated with
orange-trees. Yesterday morning I started at seven, with a party on
horses and donkeys, and rode to Yburg Castle to breakfast. There was
nothing to eat when we got there, and we had to send to the nearest
village, where we procured sour bread and bad coffee. This morning I
set off again at seven and rode up to Mercuriusberg. This is by far
the finest of all the views I have seen; the panorama is grand beyond
description, infinitely more diversified and more beautiful than that
of Yburg. The ways and habits, the mode of life of this place, are
certainly unlike those of any other, except, I suppose, the other
German Baths. There is a freedom and ease, a liberty, an intermixture
of various nations and unequal ranks, which surprises a fresh-comer.
Everybody lives in the open air, the promenade is full of round tables
at which little parties congregate; here, two men playing at chess;
there, two men at dominoes. At one round table are Russians, Germans,
English, French, all puffing away in one another's faces. At a second,
we see the two Princesses de Béthune, Lady Aldborough, the Princess
Troubetzkoi, and Madame de Bacellos, known better as Marchioness de
Loulé. Close by is Madame Spindler, the wife of a great German author,
smoking her cigar, and spreading her huge bulk over two or three



    Results of this Tour--Ireland--The Irish Church--Decline
    of Sir Robert Peel's Popularity--Position of Sir Robert
    Peel--King of Hanover in London--The Duke of Wellington on
    the Duke of Marlborough--Anecdote of Talleyrand--Debates on
    Ireland--Parliament Prorogued--The Queen's Yacht--Review of the
    Session--The Queen at Eu--Agreement there--The Queen of Spain's
    Marriage--Miss Berry and Lord Orford--Ranke and Macaulay at
    Kent House--A Council on Crutches--Chatsworth--Prosecution of
    O'Connell--Society--O'Connell--Lord Brougham's Action against
    Fonblanque--Death of Hon. Edward Villiers--The Irish Trials--Law
    against Betting--The Education Question--The Duc de Bordeaux's
    Visit--Lord Melbourne after his Illness--King George II.
    robbed--Royal Visit to Chatsworth--The _Times_ on the Duc de
    Bordeaux's Visit--The Westminster Play--Lord Melbourne--Our
    Relations with Rome--The Dublin Jury Lists--Lord Ellenborough and
    the Court of Directors--O'Connell's Remedies for Irish Discontent.

_London, August 1st, 1843._--With this tableau of Baden life and
manners my journalising ended. There certainly was no such variety
in it as to require any further notice, and there was no necessity
for my describing the beautiful scenery amidst which I continued to
wander. I stayed on at Baden to meet the Granvilles, who arrived
from Switzerland on Friday 14th, to my great joy. I remained till
Wednesday 19th, when I took the diligence to Iffetsheim, steamed
down the Rhine, embarked at Ostend on Saturday 22nd, had a rough,
disagreeable passage to Dover, and got to London on Sunday morning. On
Monday went to Goodwood, which was very good, and returned to take up
my abode in London on Saturday 29th. This expedition answered to me
even better than I had any idea it would. There were no difficulties
or drawbacks of any kind. It acted on my mind as a moral alterative;
the new scenes, the constant movement and occupation, did me a world
of good. I felt in all ways better and happier while I was there, and
I hope that it will not be without a certain beneficial effect for the
future. The interest and the pleasure produced by this short excursion
confirm my resolution to do something of the same sort in some
direction or other every year, and always, if I can, to avoid _the
season_ in London. I continued to the last to enjoy the beauties of
Baden, and it was only the day but one before I left it that I walked
under and over the rocks by the old Castle, one of the most striking
and beautiful of all the celebrated localities. The scenery of the
Rhine appeared to me exceedingly tame and uninteresting after that
around Baden. There was nobody in Germany for me to discuss politics
with; but at Baden the English newspapers arrived so regularly that I
could follow the march of affairs here, and read all the debates.

I left the Irish Arms Bill[64] in the House of Commons, and there I
found it on my return. In the packet going out, I read John Russell's
first speech with regret and indignation, and I afterwards read all
the debates and speeches on both sides with extreme disgust. I think
the Opposition have behaved very ill, in trying to turn the alarming
state of Ireland to a mere party account, and doing their utmost to
render it embarrassing and injurious to the present Government. On
the other hand, the low tone taken by Peel, and the determination
announced by him and Stanley to maintain the Irish Church, are both
very distasteful to me; and the conduct of the Opposition leaders
appears not only mischievous, but most inconsistent and absurd, when
they jabber about the grievances of Ireland, and abuse the Government
for not applying remedies to them, and at the same time say that they
will not themselves consent to remove the monster grievance of the
Church. The only man who spoke sense and truth was Rous, who, Tory as
he is, told them that they never would do any good till they settled
that question, but that they did not dare attempt it, because the
bigotry of England and Scotland were opposed to it, and none of them
would venture to encounter the unpopularity of proposing to reform the
Protestant, and establish the Catholic Church. However, the language
of John Russell and Palmerston has been a good deal modified since
the opening of these debates, and they have both ventured to suggest
some measures of Church Reform, without exactly explaining how far
they would go; and now they are about to vote for Ward's motion.


In the course of the Irish battles the Government has been fiercely
attacked from the most opposite quarters, and on the most opposite
grounds, both in Parliament and out, in all societies, and by the
whole of the press, the 'Times' especially having turned against
them in articles of extraordinary violence; and on arriving here I
find a universal opinion, just as strong among the friends as among
the enemies of Government, that Peel has fallen immensely in public
opinion, and has so signally failed in his general administration of
affairs as to have shown himself unequal to a great emergency and
extraordinary difficulties and dangers. I think there is exaggeration
and unfairness in this sentiment, though it is not without some
foundation. He took the government with a grand flourish of trumpets,
great things were expected of him, and now people compare his
performances with their own expectations, and give vent to their
disappointment in reproaches of a very vague character, and with an
acrimony which he does not deserve; for, in the first place, he took
on himself to play a very difficult part, that of steering a middle
course, which was sure to offend one extreme without conciliating
the other, and this, superadded to his cold and unsocial character,
speedily made him very unpopular. But the worst that can be said is
that he took the reins of government when various causes of distress
and difficulty were in active operation, and he has not been able
to find universal remedies for every evil. On the other hand, it
must be owned that his measures have not been as well concerted and
arranged, not as firmly and vigorously executed, as they might have
been. They have many of them failed, very little has been done, and
latterly, especially, he has not taken that high and commanding tone
which befits a great Minister. At all events, with whatever measure
of justice, I find an impression greatly unfavourable to him, and the
prestige of his Government is gone. Arbuthnot, sitting at Apsley
House, and in constant communication with the Duke of Wellington,
holds this language, and laments over the falling off of Peel.
Not that there is any dissension or difference of opinion in the
Government, both he and Wharncliffe assure me to the contrary; but he
thinks Peel has spoken very ill, and has degraded his Government by
the low tone which he has adopted. The Opposition are all cock-a-hoop
about it: the sanguine among them fondly hoping that a door will be
thereby opened for their return to office; the others, from a spirit
of vengeance and rivalry, rejoicing in the discredit of their great

    [Footnote 64: [The Government had brought in a Bill in June to
    restrict the purchase of arms in Ireland. It was vehemently opposed
    by the Liberal Party.]]

    [Footnote 65: [It appears from letters published in the 'Life of
    the Prince Consort' that Sir R. Peel began about this time to doubt
    the duration of his own Administration.]]

_August 6th._--Since I have had time to look about me and hear what
people say, I am of opinion that no serious injury has been done
to the stability of the Government, whatever blows may have been
inflicted on its credit; no other party, no other individuals, have
gained, whatever they may have lost, on the score of popularity and
character. The Court is entirely on their side. The Queen never
cared for any individual of her old Government but Melbourne, and
she knows that his political life is closed; she feels that her
own personal comfort is much greater with Peel's Government and
large majority, than it ever was, or is likely to be again, with
the Whigs. She remembers what a state of continual agitation she
was kept in, when they never knew from day to day whether they
should not be beaten and turned out, and she infinitely prefers her
present state of security and repose, especially as the present
Ministers do all they can to please her, and her husband is their
strenuous and avowed friend. I see nothing to alter my opinion that
the principle on which Peel resolved to act, and has acted, was the
wisest and best he could adopt--that of steering between extreme
parties, of guiding, regulating, and restraining forward movements,
the advance of which was, he knew, inevitable, and which he did not
deem undesirable. He might have foreseen that this was a difficult
part to play well. It was pretty sure to make him unpopular with his
friends, as it has done, and it was equally sure not to conciliate
his enemies, who, on the contrary, rejoiced to see him weakened by
dissensions with his allies, and hastened to place him between two
fires, and by embarrassing his march as much as they could to cast
universal discredit upon him. The way to meet these difficulties
was, in the first place, to be perfectly single-minded; to be open,
bold, and resolute; and with his friends frank and conciliatory.
Unhappily, Peel's character is not such as enabled him to display
these qualities. He acts rather like the cautious leader of a party,
than like a great and powerful Minister determined to do what he
thinks right, casting himself upon public opinion, and trusting to its
bearing them out in the long run. Then he is so cold, so reserved, and
his ways are so little winning and attractive, that he cannot attach
people to him personally, and induce them to bear with the Ministers
for the sake of the man. Although I think his general views are sound,
his way of working out his measures is not happy, and therefore the
clamour against him is very general, and he finds very few defenders,
admirers, and friends.


Nevertheless the Opposition pretenders to power are mistaken if they
think he is at all near his downfall, or themselves likely to succeed
him. The Tories and landlords do not want to turn him out; none of the
great interests which support him and look to him for protection have
begun to turn their thoughts and wishes to any other quarter; and if
the 'volvenda dies' brings about a better state of things, if trade
revives, and Irish agitation stagnates, it will be found that the
clamour against Peel's Government had no great foundation of facts to
rest upon. Ward's motion about the Irish Church revenues fell to the
ground in such a ridiculous way, and in one so little creditable to
the Opposition, that they will not be anxious to fight any more this
year; and Lord John Russell is gone out of town. It would have been so
inconvenient to the leaders to express any opinion on this question,
that everybody will believe they contrived to let it drop as it did,
or, at all events, rejoiced in its sudden conclusion.

Since I have been away nothing very interesting has occurred. The
King of Hanover has been the great lion of London, all the Tories
feasting and entertaining him with extraordinary demonstrations of
civility and regard; but not so the Court, for the Queen has taken
hardly any notice of him. He seems to have behaved very well, taking
great pleasure in the attentions he has received, but giving no cause
for complaint by any indecorous or imprudent language; in fact, he
seems not to have meddled with politics in any way whatever. They
tell a story of him, that one day at Buckingham Palace he proposed to
Prince Albert to go out and walk with him. The Prince excused himself,
saying he could not walk in the streets, as they should be exposed to
inconvenience from the crowd of people. The King replied, 'Oh, never
mind that. I was still more unpopular than you are now, and used to
walk about with perfect impunity.'

_August 8th._--Yesterday morning I found the Duke of Wellington in my
brother's room and in high good-humour. I began talking to him about
the discovery lately made at Woodstock of the Duke of Marlborough's
correspondence, which Sir George Murray had told me of; and this led
him to talk of the Duke of Marlborough, of his character and military
genius, and so on to other things. He said that he considered the
principal characteristic of the Duke of Marlborough to have been his
strong sound sense and great practical sagacity. That it was a mistake
to say he was illiterate. People fancied so because of the way in
which his words were misspelt, but in his time they spelt them as they
were pronounced. He thought the errors he had committed were owing to
his wife. As to his character, we must not judge of it according to
the maxims by which men in our time were governed; besides that, they
were less strict in his day; the condition of affairs itself produced
a laxity; and though it was true he communicated with the Pretender
and acted a double part, that was no more than many men in France did
during Napoleon's reign, and he told a curious anecdote of Talleyrand.
He said that at the Congress held at Erfurt, not long before
Napoleon's marriage, he and the Emperor Alexander met for the purpose
of discussing what should be done with Austria, Napoleon being anxious
to plunder and degrade her to a great extent. He brought Talleyrand
with him to this meeting, and Talleyrand completely threw him over.
Every evening there was a meeting at the house of the Princess of
Thurn and Taxis, between Alexander, Talleyrand, and Vincent, the
Austrian Minister, at which they concerted what should be said to
Napoleon the next day, and how they should parry his propositions. The
Duke said that both Vincent and the Emperor Alexander had given him
an account of all this transaction. He added, that though it was a
sort of treachery on the part of Talleyrand towards Napoleon, he had
no doubt he was really of opinion that it was very fit he should be
thwarted, and that it was inexpedient to destroy the Austrian empire.
He said many men, and respectable ones, in employment under Napoleon
had been in constant communication with the Duke of Orleans, and he
mentioned Royer Collard and some other names I have forgotten.


The Duke then talked of the military genius of Marlborough, and
said that though he was a very great man, the art of war was so far
advanced since his time that it was impossible to compare him with
more modern generals; and unquestionably Napoleon was the greatest
military genius that ever existed; that he had advantages which no
other man ever possessed in the unlimited means at his command and
his absolute power and irresponsibility, and that he never scrupled
at any expenditure of human life; but nevertheless his employment of
his means and resources was wonderful. I told him that I remembered to
have heard him say that he considered Napoleon's campaign of '14 to
have been one of the greatest, if not the greatest, of his exploits,
and that he was then ruined by his own impatience. He said it was
quite true, and then repeated (what he had once before told me) that
nothing could exceed the ability of Napoleon's operations, and if he
had continued to act for a little longer in the same way, he would
have forced the Allies to retreat, which they were in fact preparing
to do. He said _he_ should not have had time to get up, but his
intention had been to act upon the Loire. If this retreat had taken
place, it would not have been disastrous, and they would have had
their choice of renewing the invasion in another campaign, or making
peace on the Rhine, which he thought they would have done. From this
we got to Espartero and Spain, and the recent bombardment of Seville,
which he said was inexcusable, and he told us that he never had fired
off a single mortar while he was in Spain. He also mentioned, that
though he had taken about 3,000 pieces of cannon of different sorts,
he had never in his life lost a single gun.


_August 11th._--The other night, in the House of Lords, Lord Roden
brought forward a motion about the law prohibiting Orange processions,
and proposed either that it should be repealed or extended to the
Catholics. He made a very good speech, in such an impressive tone
that Wharncliffe told me it was very affecting. The Duke made a very
good reply, in which he showed that Roden had mistaken the meaning
of the Act, and on the part of the Government he declined to adopt
either alternative. Brougham made one of his most effective speeches.
This debate did good. There was another in the House of Commons on
the third reading of the Irish Arms Bill; also a discussion on the
landlord and tenant question, which were not without their separate
utility. Peel made a pretty good speech, considerably better than he
has lately been doing; but still he might have been more vigorous,
have taken a loftier tone, vindicated himself and his acts in a more
triumphant way, and have lashed his various opponents in the manner
they deserve. The remarkable thing was the bitterness and insolence
of his _soi-disant_ friends and the civility of his adversaries.
Moore O'Farrell and Morgan John O'Connell were even complimentary in
what they said on the landlord question, while Disraeli and Smythe,
who are the principal characters, together with John Manners, of the
little squad called 'Young England,' were abusive and impertinent.
As the session is drawing to a close, the clamour subsides, and as
it really had no foundation in truth, justice, or sense, it will
not have done Peel any material injury. People will find out that
he has after all taken the wisest course about Ireland, and that
the 'do-nothing policy,' which has excited so much indignation on
one side and sneering on the other, is that which will be the least
dangerous and most conducive to ultimate tranquillity. The Opposition
leaders have disgraced themselves by the part they have acted through
this session, both upon the Education Bill and the Irish questions.
They began by supporting the former, but when they found that the
Dissenters were getting up an opposition to it, which would render
its success difficult, instead of helping the Government, they began
finding fault, increased the difficulty, and finally compelled them
to give the Bill up. Then, on the Irish question, instead of joining
the Government against the repealers, and giving all the strength they
could to the supporters of the Union, they joined in the senseless and
unmeaning rant about Irish insults and injuries, and went on railing
at the Government without ever accusing them of having done anything
they ought not to have done, or left undone anything which they
ought to have done. It is satisfactory to see that this conduct has
brought no profit with it of any kind on either side of the Channel.
England does not approve of those who sympathise with Irish repealers,
and O'Connell, so far from being mollified or propitiated by this
miserable following in his wake, only heaps contumely and abuse upon
them, and in his very last speech he told his mob that he would rather
have twenty Tories than one Whig, and of all the Whigs that the most
pitiful and contemptible was Lord John Russell. This is all Johnny
has got by coming down to the House of Commons, and opposing his own
bills, and talking at the Government in a strain which is not sincere.
How different is this from the conduct of the Duke of Wellington on
all great national questions! But he is the only really great man.

_August 26th._--The day before yesterday the Queen prorogued
Parliament. She was received much as usual--that is, with
indifference; the Speech was reckoned good, well written, and Ireland,
the principal topic, properly alluded to. I reserve for another day
to speak about the session and its events. On Wednesday I went with
Adolphus FitzClarence on board the new yacht 'Victoria and Albert,'
and steamed as far as Gravesend. It is luxuriously fitted up, but
everything is sacrificed to the comfort of the Court, the whole ship's
company being crammed into wretched dog-holes, officers included.
I breakfasted with one of the lieutenants, and he showed me their
berths. They are packed two officers in one berth, about seven feet by
five at most, and, as he said, they have not room to move, or dress
themselves. There is a large room, a sort of waiting-room allotted to
the pages, who are in fact footmen, and round this on both sides their
berths, one to each. It was pointed out that the room for the officers
was insufficient, and suggested that one half of these berths should
be allotted to them and the other half to the pages; the other pages
they proposed to put on board the attendant steamers. This proposal,
which was only to put the officers and the royal footmen on the same
level as to accommodation, was rejected, because it might possibly be
inconvenient not to have _all_ the servants together. The Admiralty
are much to blame for suffering the officers to be used with such
indignity, but flattery seems to be the order of the day.


The Queen is to embark on Monday, and she is going to pay Louis
Philippe a visit at the Château d'Eu. It is odd enough that till
yesterday the Duke of Wellington knew nothing of this, for though it
is an event in its way, and rather remarkable, it seems never to have
been even incidentally discussed. On Thursday I happened to mention
it to Arbuthnot, who said it could not be true. He asked the Duke the
same day, who told him he had never heard a word of any such thing.
On this Arbuthnot contradicted it to me in the most positive way;
but yesterday he saw Peel, and asked him. Peel said it was so, and
expressed his surprise that the Duke should not know it, as he thought
he had told him. He, however, wrote to the Duke, and gave him a whole
account of it. The Duke was surprised, but not at all angry. This is
rather curious, because it shows how little they are in the habit of
talking over the various miscellaneous matters that occur. It is the
more remarkable in this instance, because a question arose whether
she could go to a foreign land without appointing a Regency, and the
lawyers have been consulted thereupon. The last interview between
the Sovereigns of England and France was that between Henry VIII.
and Francis I., and that, they say, took place within the English
territory; the only occasion on which the King of England quitted his
own dominions was when he went to Gravelines to pay a visit to the

    [Footnote 66: [This remark applies to Henry VIII. In later times it
    is notorious that William III. frequently visited the Continent,
    and George I. and George II. their Hanoverian dominions.]]

_September 10th._--I had intended to take something of a review of
the session, and of the state of the Government at the end of it, but
on looking back at what I have written, I do not know that I can add
anything material to the opinion I have already expressed. The clamour
against Peel has subsided, because people cannot go on for ever
harping on the same tune, especially when there is really very small
foundation for their reproaches and complaints. The Duke of Bedford,
who has been in Ireland, and has conversed, he tells me, with people
of all descriptions, and done his utmost to procure useful information
about the state of the country, says he is quite convinced that Peel's
_do-nothing policy_ has been wise, but that Lord John was not pleased
when he told him so. In a correspondence between them on the subject
(which I saw) Lord John had, however, nothing to urge against Peel's
Government more serious than this, that he might have made some more
popular, and abstained from some unpopular, appointments. But Lord
John hates Peel, thinks ill of him, and sees bad motives in all he
does. He still remembers the Catholic question and his conduct to
Canning, and latterly on the Irish Registration, which he considers a
proof of his insincerity and disposition to trifle with principles
for party purposes. I think Peel might make out a case for himself
about the Registration, as to everything but prudence; but when he
must himself have thought that his advent to office was not distant,
he ought not to have hampered himself with a measure which he could
neither abandon without disgrace, nor carry without danger. He had
not sufficiently considered all the bearings and circumstances of the
question, and he yielded with too great facility to the impetuosity of
Stanley, whose measure it was, and to the blind zeal of his party. It
cannot be denied that in so doing he evinced a want of prudence and
foresight, for he was compelled to give up when in office what he had
urged on when in opposition.


To return, however, to the Duke of Bedford, he thinks O'Connell is
extremely puzzled to know what to do next. He sent various civil
messages to him through Blake, and he said if the aristocracy had
anything to propose, he should be ready to listen to it. The Duke
thinks that the Church question is of less importance than the
landlord and tenant question, and that, difficult as it is to do
anything on the latter, something must be attempted. Both he and
Stradbroke, who has lately returned from visiting his Irish estates,
told me that, with few exceptions, the absentee landlords were the
best in Ireland; and the latter said that his tenants were in the
greatest alarm lest he should sell his property, and that they paid
him his rents very regularly, because he always threatened to sell
it if they did not. The Duke of Bedford thinks that the sooner Lord
de Grey quits the Government of Ireland the better, for he is not
popular, and his Church appointments are supposed to be influenced
by his wife. They have been, at all events, very hostile to the
Education system, and in so far very injurious to the Government,
who are accused, with some show of reason, of not being hearty in
the cause which ostensibly they support. Eliot[67] too, though
well-meaning and liberal, and not wanting in ability, is timid. He
told the Duke that the temper of England would not allow of any
provision for the Roman Catholic clergy. A more solid difficulty
presents itself in the fact which Stradbroke told me, viz., that the
emolument which the clergy derive from voluntary contributions is so
large, that no State endowment they could obtain would be anything
like an equivalent, and therefore they never would consent to the
measure; but it is suggested in reply to this, that in the first
place they would accept glebes, and if the State would liberally
endow the Church, the people would leave off paying, and the priests
would in the end be obliged to acquiesce. Stradbroke said that the
priest of his parish told him he got 500_l._ a year; some get as much
as 800_l._ A great part of their emoluments is made up of marriage
fees, and when a rich man is married, the priest gets presents from
all the relations, sometimes to the amount of above 100_l._ There is
certainly a wide field open for improvement, enough to do to allay
discontent, relieve distress, reform abuses, improve establishments,
to mitigate the ferocity and soften the animosities of the people;
but the difficulties are enormous, because all the remedies that calm
and dispassionate prudence suggest would infallibly raise a storm of
antagonist interests and of sectarian hatred, and produce a frenzy
of national and religious violence. On the other hand there is a
growing disposition to look the great evils of Ireland in the face,
and to try some remedies to cure them. Peel's policy appears to me to
be in everything continually to advance, but to do so by such slow
and insensible degrees, that existing interests, or rather existing
powers, may be as little frightened and as little hurt as possible. I
do not think, whatever sins he may have committed on former occasions,
that he is acting dishonestly now, or that the principle which he has
laid down for his own guidance is unwise or unfair. It is not to do
nothing, but to do gradually and safely all he can venture to do, to
feel his way; not to shock and alarm old prejudices which have long
been cherished and deferred to, and old interests which have long been
fostered and protected, but to reconcile those prejudices and those
interests by degrees to the changes which times and circumstances and
the progress of sound systems have put in motion, and the advance of
which it is, he well knows, neither desirable nor possible to arrest.

    [Footnote 67: [Lord Eliot, afterwards Earl St. Germans, was Chief
    Secretary for Ireland from 1841 to 1845.]]

_September 15th._--There has just appeared in the 'Quarterly Review' a
defence of Peel's policy, supposed to be by Croker, but which is very
feeble and ill-done, and has been lashed by the 'Times' with great
severity and in a most contumelious tone.

The Queen's visit to Eu went off with complete success, and she left
a good impression. On her return she stopped a few days at Brighton
and then went off to Ostend. Aberdeen had a great deal of conversation
with Louis Philippe and with Guizot, mostly on the affairs of Spain.
The King declared that he considered the late revolution and fall
of Espartero the greatest evil that could have happened, repudiated
the idea of having any purpose of marrying one of his own sons to
the Queen, and they came to a regular agreement that neither France
nor England should interfere, or endeavour to influence the choice
of a husband for her in any way.[68] As soon as Aberdeen returned to
London, and before he started again for Ostend, he sent for Delane
and told him this, for, notwithstanding the hostile and offensive
tone which the 'Times' has adopted towards the Government generally,
particularly Peel and Graham, this formidable paper is in a sort of
alliance with the Foreign Office, and the communications between Lord
Aberdeen and Delane are regular and frequent.

    [Footnote 68: [This was the memorable agreement afterwards so
    signally violated by the French Government. It is remarkable that
    it should be recorded here, but the terms in which it is stated are
    not strictly accurate. Indeed, it is corrected in the next page.
    The French Government always declared that they held the Queen free
    to marry any of the descendants of Philip V. The idea of a Carlist
    marriage was a mistake. It never was entertained at all.]]


_September 19th._--I made a mistake about Aberdeen's communication
with Delane. The circumstances of this are rather singular. Delane
says that instead of an agreement not to meddle with the Queen of
Spain's marriage, they had agreed upon the person to whom she should
be married, but that he was under an engagement to Lord Aberdeen
not to say to anybody who that person is. From all this I should
be disposed to infer that Aberdeen and Louis Philippe have pitched
upon Don Carlos's son as the future husband of the Queen. I told
Clarendon this, who scouts the idea of the Spaniards allowing France
and England to dispose of her hand, and, notwithstanding the anarchy
and dissension which prevail in that country, their pride is probably
unabated, and the whole nation would oppose any such pretension. It
is abundantly probable that Aberdeen was cajoled and deceived by
the King and Guizot. It seems that Marliani, who was here the other
day, saw Aberdeen, who told him what the King had said, and how much
he regretted the late revolution. Marliani replied, 'On joue bien
la comédie à Paris, et je ne suppose pas qu'on la joue moins bien
an château d'Eu.' Why, he asks, did the French Government, if they
considered the downfall of Espartero as a misfortune, do all in their
power to weaken his Government and undermine his authority? It is
certainly curious enough to see that the French Consul Lesseps, who
exerted himself to prevent the bombardment of Barcelona when the city
was in rebellion against the Regent, shows no such sympathy for the
Junta which is opposing the Government of the insurrection.[69]

On Sunday I went to Richmond to call on Miss Berry,[70] and found her
in great indignation at Croker's recent article in the 'Quarterly'
upon the series just published of Lord Orford's letters to Mann, angry
on his account and on her own. Croker says, what has been often
reported, that Lord Orford offered to marry Mary Berry, and on her
refusal, to marry Agnes. She says it is altogether false. He never
thought of marrying Agnes, and what passed with regard to herself
was this: The Duchess of Gloster was very jealous of his intimacy
with the Berrys, though she treated them with civility. At last her
natural impetuosity broke out, and she said to him, 'Do you mean to
marry Miss Berry or do you not?' To which he replied, 'That is as
Miss Berry herself pleases;' and that, as I understood her, is all
that passed about it. She said nothing could be more beautiful and
touching than his affection for her, devoid as it was of any particle
of sensual feeling, and she should ever feel proud of having inspired
such a man with such a sentiment. She is angry with Bentley for having
published these two volumes without having them prepared for the
press by some competent hand, and his excuse is that it would have
been too expensive. The truth is, he thought the letters sufficiently
attractive, and did not care about anything but the profit. I think
they are at least as amusing, if not more amusing than any of the
other volumes, but I agree with Croker in his estimate of the
character of the man. It is difficult to believe that he cared a straw
about Sir Horace Mann himself, and there is no doubting that though he
pressed him to come to England, he was very glad when he found he did
not mean to come.

    [Footnote 69: [An insurrection broke out in Catalonia in the month
    of June against the Government of Espartero, then Regent of Spain.
    Barcelona was bombarded from the citadel, though without much
    serious damage. The insurrection, headed by General Narvaez, spread
    to other parts of Spain, and on July 30 Espartero was compelled to
    fly from Seville and take refuge on a British vessel off Cadiz.
    It was believed, at the time, that the French Government, which
    had always been very hostile to Espartero, had favoured this

    [Footnote 70: [Miss Berry and her sister Agnes, who both died
    at a very advanced age in 1852, were the last surviving friends
    of Horace Walpole, who called them his 'Strawberries,' and had
    established a great intimacy between their youth and his own age.
    Miss Berry's house in Curzon Street was one of the last _salons_
    that existed in London, and the most agreeable. It was frequented
    by all the rank, beauty, and talent of those times. Whenever the
    lamp over the hall door was lit, any _habitué_ of the house was
    welcome. Of the two sisters, Mary Berry was born in March 1763, and
    died in November 1852; Agnes Berry was born in May 1764, and died
    in January 1852. They were buried in Petersham Church, where Lord
    Carlisle placed an inscription to their memory.]]


_October 16th._--I have been laid up with the gout more or less during
the last three weeks, and when that is upon me I am always disinclined
to write. Just before I was attacked I went to breakfast with George
Lewis to meet Ranke, the author of 'The Popes of the Sixteenth and
Seventeenth Century.' He had got Macaulay, who had reviewed his
book, to meet him, Sir Alexander Duff Gordon and his wife (daughter
of Mrs. Austin, his translator), and Sir Edmund Head. I went prepared
to listen to some first-rate literary talk between such luminaries
as Ranke and Macaulay, but there never was a greater failure. The
professor, a vivacious little man, not distinguished in appearance,
could talk no English, and his French, though spoken fluently, was
quite unintelligible. On the other hand, Macaulay could not speak
German, and he spoke French without any facility and with a very vile
accent. It was comical to see the abundance of his matter struggling
with his embarrassment in giving utterance to it, to hear the torrent
of knowledge trying to force its way through the impediment of a
limited acquaintance with the French language and the want of habit of
conversing in it. But the struggle was of short duration. He began in
French, but very soon could bear the restraint no longer, and broke
into English, pouring forth his stores to the utterly unconscious and
uncomprehending professor. This babel of a breakfast, at which it was
impossible for seven people to converse in any common language, soon
came to an end, and Ranke was evidently glad to go off to the State
Paper Office, where he was working every day. After he was gone,
Macaulay held forth, and was as usual very well worth listening to.

A day or two after this my gout began, and unluckily I was obliged
to go down to attend a Council at Windsor, which was held ostensibly
for proroguing Parliament, putting forth a proclamation against the
Welsh rioters, and other ordinary matters, little aware of the much
more important affair which had brought the whole Cabinet together.
I was obliged to go down with my crutches, and to crave the Queen's
permission to go into her presence upon them, which Lord Wharncliffe
did for me. She was exceedingly gracious, and the Prince very civil.
She seemed considerably amused to see me come in on my crutches, and
both she and the Prince said some civil things to me, and I flatter
myself I contrived to sidle out, so as not to turn my back on Her
Majesty, with no inconsiderable dexterity.

It was on a Monday I attended the Council, and the Sunday following
I went to Newmarket, where I only stayed two days, for on Wednesday
I went to Chatsworth. On Tuesday, however, the newspapers announced
the declaration of war against O'Connell in the shape of the
Proclamation,[71] much, I must own, to my surprise. This was, of
course, the matter which brought all the Ministers together the week
before. It seems to have been successful thus far, but whether it will
turn out to have been a judicious measure remains to be proved. I am,
however, not acquainted with their reasons for doing it when they did,
and not doing it before, and I really have no decided opinion about it.

On Wednesday I set off, and reached Chatsworth on Thursday. There
my gout began again, and I was only able, and that with difficulty,
to get to the new conservatory in the garden, which is very fine in
its way, and contains, I suppose, an unlimited collection of curious
plants, the value of which I could not appreciate, as I know nothing
of such things. Chatsworth is very magnificent, but I looked back with
regret to the house in its unfinished state, when we lived in three
spacious cheerful rooms looking to the south, which are now quite
useless, being gorgeously furnished with velvet and silk, and marble
tables, but unoccupied, and the windows closed lest the sun should
spoil the finery with which the apartments are decorated. The comfort
we had then has been ill exchanged for the magnificence which has
replaced it, and the Duke has made the house so large that he cannot
afford to live in it, and never remains there above two or three
months in the year.


While I was there Lady Georgiana Fullerton gave me to read so much
as she has written of the novel she has been for some time about. It
is a very extraordinary performance, and if the second part of it is
as good as the first, it will be excellent; as it is, it is deeply

I came to town yesterday, and in a 'Times' which I bought at Derby I
read of the arrest of O'Connell and others of his followers. A trial
of O'Connell in Ireland seems a desperate measure, and it is not easy
to see how a conviction is to be procured from an Irish jury; but I
suppose all this has not been done without great deliberation, and the
Ministers must fancy they see their own way more clearly than I do.

_October 31st._--I was laid up for two or three days in London, and
then went to Riddlesworth for two or three more. I arrived at night,
and on going into the drawing-room I found four people playing at
whist, eight others at a round game, and one asleep in an armchair.
And this is called society; and amongst such people I have lived, do
live, and shall live--I who have seen, known, and had the choice of
better things. Eating, drinking, and amusement is the occupation of
these people's lives, and I am ashamed to say such has been mine.
I was reading Charles Lamb's letters in the carriage, and very
remarkable they are, among the very best I think I ever read. I was
struck by one passage, which I applied to myself: 'I gain nothing by
being with such as myself; we encourage one another in mediocrity.'
This is it. We go on herding with inferior companions, till we are
really unfit for better company. However, this is a sore subject,
and I will say no more on it here and now. On Sunday week I went to
Newmarket, where there was an unusual quantity of racing. The Queen
took it into her head to come to Cambridge that week, but this made no
difference to us.

I had some talk with the Duke of Bedford about Ireland. He told me
that Lord John and Palmerston were both disposed to approve of the
Government measures in Ireland, but thought they had been done in
a bungling manner, and that Lord John took much the same view that
I do of it, which is, that O'Connell is in all probability highly
delighted at what the Government have done, and that it answers his
purpose perfectly; but what then? There was not and there could be
no collusion with him, but it was very wise to compel him to do
what he was dying to do, but did not dare. Clarendon, who knows the
man well from Sheil, wrote me word that the clue to all his conduct
was his inconceivable cowardice, that he is the greatest coward on
earth, and has an indescribable dread of imprisonment, or any sort
of coercion or punishment. It is impossible to doubt that he desired
nothing so much as to scramble, if possible, out of the scrape he had
got himself into. But certainly the conduct of Government has been
most extraordinary. It is difficult to imagine why they put off their
Proclamation till the eleventh hour, when there was scarcely time
to stop the meeting; why they did not prevent the meeting at Tara,
and why Lord de Grey and Sugden were both absent. They certainly
mismanage their affairs in various quarters. They suffered the Welsh
disturbances to go on unchecked, and the grievances there unremedied,
when they ought to have interfered with a strong hand long ago; they
have made miserable work of the Scotch Church quarrel.[73] Nothing
is so bad as complimenting away what they believe to be right, and
acquiescing in what they believe to be wrong, to meet the prejudices
of individuals. This is what they did. Aberdeen, who has been all
along almost, but not quite, a non-intrusionist, got into the hands
of a few people at Edinburgh who wanted an excuse for not seceding,
and who persuaded him to bring in his Bill, which was neither more
nor less than an indignity put on the House of Lords. Nobody was
more disgusted, or more opposed to this Bill than Lyndhurst. He
abused Aberdeen for it, but it is generally believed that the latter
threatened, if Government would not support him, to resign, and
so they knocked under. Lyndhurst said to Clarendon while Aberdeen
was speaking: 'Damn the fellow, what does he bring in such a Bill
as this for; I don't see why I should support anything so absurd!'
He did, however, support it, and so did Brougham, who had himself
been concerned in the Auchterarder judgement, but whose concurrence
was obtained by some trifling alteration of detail, which made no
difference in the principle of the Bill. The Bill did no sort of good,
and only seemed to drag the House of Lords through the dirt. I wonder
the Duke of Wellington stood it.

    [Footnote 71: [On October 7th a proclamation was issued by the
    Lord Lieutenant of Ireland prohibiting the great Repeal Meeting
    which was to take place on the following day at Clontarf. O'Connell
    then abandoned the meeting, but gave the people of Ireland
    fresh assurances of Repeal. On October 14th he and his son were
    called upon to enter bail against any charge of conspiracy and
    misdemeanour which might be brought against them. Such was the
    commencement of the prosecution of O'Connell.]]

    [Footnote 72: [This was Lady Georgiana Fullerton's first novel,
    entitled 'Ellen Middleton.' It was published in 1844.]]

    [Footnote 73: [The House of Lords, having decided in the
    Auchterarder case in favour of the right of patronage in the Church
    of Scotland, the Disruption which led to the establishment of the
    Free Church took place on May 18th, 1843. Lord Aberdeen brought a
    bill into the House of Lords on June 13th to remove doubt as to the
    rights of patrons, but it was then too late to heal the breach.]]


_November 3rd._--A characteristic trait of Brougham has just come
under my notice. Full of wrath and vengeance against Fonblanque for
his reiterated attacks, he is pursuing the action which he long ago
threatened against the 'Examiner.' He is gone off to France, having
first arranged everything with Vizard for the cause. He thought it
necessary to obtain from Reeve an affidavit about the practice in the
Privy Council, by which he might prove that he could not be cognisant
of a case before it was judicially brought before him. He desired
Reeve to attend at Vizard's office, which he did, and found there
an affidavit prepared for him according to Brougham's instructions.
When Reeve read it over, he found that there was hardly one word of
truth in it, and he said he would not sign it. He then proceeded
to explain what the practice is, and what the facts were in this
particular case, by which it was evident that Reeve's evidence would
be prejudicial instead of serviceable to Brougham. They therefore gave
up all thought of getting any affidavit from him; but it seems to have
occurred to Brougham's restless mind, that it was just possible the
other party might enquire into the practice, and call upon Reeve to
make an affidavit, which would suit their purpose very well, though
not his. To avert this danger, he had the folly and the baseness to
write to Reeve on the eve of his departure, telling him that in case
any application was made to him of this nature by the opposite party,
he must remember that it was a voluntary act on his part, that he
was not obliged to comply, and that it would not be becoming in him
to render any assistance to a party in litigation with one of the
Judges of the Court to which he belonged. This letter Reeve brought
to me, and he said that though it was not very probable they would
apply to him, after receiving it he should decline to do anything on
his own responsibility, and if called upon, should come to me for
instructions. I told him to do so, and I would take it all on myself.
This is as thorough a _Broughamism_ as can be found in the history of
his strange, discreditable life.


_November 7th._--Last night came intelligence from Nice that Edward
Villiers was dead. He went there in a hopeless state, was worse
after his arrival; then an abscess in his lungs broke, which gave a
momentary gleam of hope, but he expired very soon after. I had a great
regard for him, and he deserved it. He was a man little known of the
world in general, shy, reserved to strangers, cold and rather austere
in his manners, and being very shortsighted, made people think
he meant to slight them when he had no such intention. He was not
fitted to bustle into public notice, and such ambition as he had was
not of the noisy and ostentatious kind. But no man was more beloved
by his family and friends, and none could be more agreeable in any
society when he was completely at his ease. He was most warm-hearted
and affectionate, sincere, obliging, disinterested, unselfish, and
of scrupulous integrity, by which I mean integrity in the largest
sense, not merely that which shrinks from doing a dishonourable or
questionable action, but which habitually refers to conscientious
principles in every transaction of life. He viewed things with the
eye of a philosopher, and aimed at establishing a perfect consistency
between his theory and his practice. He had a remarkably acute
and searching intellect, with habits of patient investigation and
mature deliberation; his soul was animated by ardent aspirations
after the improvement and the happiness of mankind, and he abhorred
injustice and oppression in all their shapes and disguises with
an honest intensity which produced something of a morbid sentiment
in his mind, and sometimes betrayed him into mistaken impressions
and erroneous conclusions. The expansive benevolence of his moral
sentiments powerfully influenced his political opinions, and his deep
sympathy with the poor not only rendered him inexorably severe to the
vices of the rich, but made him regard with aversion and distrust
the aristocratic elements of our institutions, and rendered him an
ardent promoter of the most extensive schemes of progressive reform.
But while he clung with inflexible constancy to his own opinions, no
man was more tolerant of the opinion of others. In conversation he
was animated, brilliant, amusing, and profound, bringing sincerity,
single-mindedness, and knowledge to bear upon every discussion.
His life, though short, uneventful, and retired, was passed in the
contemplation of subjects of the highest interest and worthiest to
occupy the thoughts of a good and wise man, and the few intimacies
he cultivated were with congenial minds, estimable for their moral
excellence or distinguished by their intellectual qualities and
attainments. The world at large will never know what virtues and
talents have been prematurely snatched away from it, for those only
who have seen Edward Villiers in the unrestraint and unreserve of
domestic familiarity can appreciate the charm of his disposition and
the vigour of his understanding. No stranger would have divined that
under that cold and grave exterior there lay concealed an exquisite
sensibility, the most ardent affections, and a mind fertile in every
good and noble quality. To the relations and friends, who were
devotedly attached to him, the loss is irreparable and will long
be deplored, and the only consolation which offers itself is to be
found in the circumstances of his end. He was surrounded by kind and
affectionate friends, and expired in the arms of a wife whose conduct
he himself described to have been that of a heroine as well as an
angel. He was in possession of all his faculties, and was free from
bodily pain. He died with the cheerfulness of a philosopher, and the
resignation of a Christian, happy, devout, and hopeful, and joyfully
contemplating death in an assured faith of a resurrection from the

_November 14th._--I broke off to go and attend my poor aunt's funeral,
who was buried in the most private way possible at Kensal Green. I
never saw the place before, and liked the appearance of it, for I
have never seen any reason why none but gloomy images and symbols
should be accumulated round the graves of our departed friends. I
am not surprised that people who go to visit this spot, and see the
cheerfulness and the beauty it exhibits, feel a longing to take their
last rest in it. Such was her case, poor soul. A more kind-hearted
being never lived, one more inoffensive, or who passed a more
uneventful and innocent life. She was one of the

  Unlettered Christians who believe in gross,
  Plod on to Heaven and ne'er are at a loss--

and so much the better for her. I suppose few people ever had fewer
sins to repent of, none probably, unless some infirmities of temper
amounted to such. For the last two years she was afflicted with a
cancer, and under the exhaustion produced by this disease she at last
sank. She died full of devout sentiments, and uttering that language,
at once self-accusing, humble, and grateful, which the orthodox forms
of religion indiscriminately prescribe. God only can judge how far
they are sincere.

_November 25th._--We are all occupied with the trials in Ireland.
It was very generally thought by the lawyers here that the plea of
abatement put in by O'Connell would be admitted, and the indictment
quashed; but the judges unanimously admitted the demurrer, and
overruled the plea. Baron Parke told me on Saturday last that the plea
was certainly good, and that was Rolfe's opinion also. The majority of
the lawyers, though there was much difference of opinion, I believe
inclined that way, and the Irish judges seem to have decided it rather
in conformity with the practice of their predecessors, than upon their
own construction of the statutes. There are many speculations as
to the duration of the trial, various calculations from a fortnight
to two years, and a strong belief that there is small chance of a
conviction. However, as far as the business has gone, the measures
taken by the Government seem justified by the results, and public
opinion goes with them.


It is now decided, I suspect after much doubt and discussion, that the
Queen is not to receive the Duc de Bordeaux, which will give rise to
a great deal of chatter and abuse and many conflicting opinions.[74]
I have always thought she ought to receive him, and think so still.
The Whigs are provoked, at least some of them, at the Queen's visit
to Peel, and try hard to persuade themselves and others that it is
no mark of favour to him, and that she is still very fond of them.
It won't do, however; they will persuade nobody else, if they can
themselves; she cares really for nobody but her husband. The Tories
have got fast hold of him, and through him of her, and this provokes
the Whigs to death.

A rascally attorney has brought actions against a parcel of people
for penalties for excessive gaming under an old statute of Anne,
which has never been acted upon, at least as to bets on horse-races.
The penalties are laid at a great amount, and the object is supposed
to be vindictive. They have threatened me, but not served me with a
writ. All the lawyers say that it is necessary to bring in a Bill to
repeal the Act, or as much of it as may be necessary, and quash the
proceedings. I suppose there is no doubt of its passing, but there
will be found people to oppose it, and who would think it right to
leave jockeys and bettors to their fate, under any circumstances, in
order to put down gambling, and, if it were possible, horse-racing
itself, although it is the policy of the Legislators to encourage the
latter, and it does so by annual votes of money for prizes to be run

    [Footnote 74: [The visit of the Duc de Bordeaux to England led
    to a great demonstration of the Legitimist party, who flocked to
    Belgrave Square where he had taken a house. It had been intended to
    receive the Prince at Windsor, but when his visit assumed a strong
    political character, which gave great umbrage to the French Court,
    this design was abandoned, and he was not presented to the Queen.]]

_November 29th._--Yesterday Lord Wharncliffe told me the present state
of the Education question, and the intentions of Government. They will
not burn their fingers with any more bills, but are going to extend
the present system and dispense more money. But they are quarrelling
with the British and Foreign School Society, who kick at the
appointment of an inspector independent of themselves, and claim that
he shall be removeable at their pleasure. The Government, in order to
conciliate them, have removed Mr. Tremenheere, who is an excellent
man, but who was on bad terms with them; but the fact is, they are not
to be conciliated. Their success in defeating the Government measure
last session has increased their notions of their own consequence,
and nothing will satisfy them now but being put on a level with the
Church. I have for some time past expected that the Government would
be driven to cast themselves entirely on the Church, and it would be
no bad thing for them if they were. With fair and liberal intentions,
they give satisfaction to no party at present; they would then at
least act on an intelligible principle, and would have the support
of the most powerful and influential interest there is. Wharncliffe
is mightily pleased with his own management of the Council Office,
the principal part of which is the Education Department. He really
has reason, for he has taken great pains, and has shown fairness,
liberality, and, I believe, firmness too. His intentions are certainly
good, and I am inclined to think that justice is done to him. He
really too does the business _himself_.


_December 7th._--There has been a great botheration about the Duc
de Bordeaux. When he came here the question arose whether the Queen
should receive him or not, and most people thought she ought, for
his friends declared that he came without any political object or
pretension, merely to amuse and inform himself. When the Queen was
at Eu, the Duke's intended visit to England was known and discussed,
and at that time Guizot told Aberdeen that, so far from objecting,
it was their wish that every civility should be shown him. But it
subsequently appeared that, whether with or without his cognisance,
his adherents intended to make his residence in London instrumental
to a great political demonstration, and they had previously
endeavoured to negotiate for his reception by the Emperor of Russia
at Berlin through M. de St. Priest, who went there for that purpose.
This entirely changed the nature of the case, and Guizot wrote to
Aberdeen, stating these facts, and expressing a wish that under such
circumstances the Queen would not receive him, and it was decided
that she should not. The Prince began by a tour in the provinces, and
a visit to Alton Towers, where he was very royally treated. He went
to Chatsworth and Trentham to see the places, and wrote his name in
the books of visitors as _Henri de France_, which might mean anything
or nothing. About a week ago he arrived in London, and at the same
time every Carlist in France, to the number of several hundred,
flocked over to attend his Court. The town has ever since swarmed with
monstrous beards of every cut and colour, and every night he receives
a succession of them. A few days ago three hundred gentlemen waited on
old Chateaubriand, and harangued him through the Duke de FitzJames,
whom they unanimously elected as their mouthpiece. He began in these
terms: 'These gentlemen who have been to render their homage _to the
King of France_,' &c. Soon after this ceremony was concluded, the Duc
de Bordeaux came into the room, and made a speech, in which he talked
of looking towards the throne of his ancestors, and if he did so, it
was for the good he might do to France. Such language as this was sure
to make a great sensation; it showed what the pretensions and objects
of these very foolish people were, and how indispensable it was that
the Queen should have nothing whatever to say to him. The French Court
were well pleased that they had thrown aside the mask, and committed
him and themselves so entirely, and they immediately resolved to
attack such of the Carlist faction as are members of the Chamber of
Deputies, as soon as the Chambers shall meet. St. Aulaire told me this
the other night at Lady Holland's, where I had a long conversation
with him on the whole subject, and Guizot took the trouble to write
a letter to Reeve of two sheets of paper, in which he went at great
length into the conduct of the party, and the feelings and intentions
of the French Government in regard to it. St. Aulaire told me that the
Queen is annoyed at the Duc de Bordeaux's having come here without her
consent, and at his making London the theatre of this absurd Carlist

_December 13th._--Here I am laid up with the gout again, never having
been free from it for nearly three months. I dined with Lady Holland
the other day, and met Melbourne for the second time only since his
illness. He looked tolerably well in the face, but was feeble and out
of spirits. He had been at the Queen's party at Chatsworth, which
excited him, and was bad for him. At first he attempted to talk in
his old strain; but it was evidently an effort, he soon relapsed
into silence, and was in a hurry to get away the moment dinner was
over. I have no doubt he chafes and frets under the consciousness of
his decay. Duncannon was there, and talked of Ireland and the trial.
Melbourne, by the way, justified the Government, and said, 'I must say
they have been consistent, they always said it was a conspiracy; they
said so to me in the House of Lords. I used to hold that there could
be no conspiracy where there was no concealment, which was a mistake.
I was quite wrong about that, and acted on that principle.' 'Why did
you?' said Lady Holland. 'Oh, I don't know, it was a blunder.' There
was a sort of candour in all this, like Melbourne and peculiar to him.
He is a great disdainer of humbug, and values truth _quand même_, as
the French say.

Duncannon said the popularity of O'Connell, the Liberator, as they
all call him, is unbounded, and the Rent this year will be 25,000_l._
He asked the people in his neighbourhood what they were making the
great fires for, and they said. 'Because the Liberator has _bet_ the
Attorney-General.' He asked them why they wished for Repeal, and they
said, 'Because the Liberator said it would be a great thing for them.'


Duncannon in the evening told me the story of George II.'s robbery
in Kensington Gardens, which I had heard before, but remembered
imperfectly. He was walking with William IV., he said, in Kensington
Gardens one day, and when they got to a certain spot the King said to
him, 'It was here, my Lord, that my great-grandfather, King George
II., was robbed. He was in the habit of walking every morning alone
round the garden, and one day a man jumped over the wall, approached
the King, but with great respect, and told him he was in distress, and
was compelled to ask him for his money, his watch, and the buckles in
his shoes. The King gave him what he had about him, and the man knelt
down to take off his buckles, all the time with profound respect.
When he had got everything, the King told him that there was a seal
on the watch-chain of little or no value, but which he wished to
have back, and requested he would take it off the chain and restore
it. The man said, 'Your Majesty must be aware that we have already
been here some time, and that it is not safe for me to stay longer,
but if you will give me your word not to say anything of what has
passed for twenty-four hours, I will place the seal at the same hour
to-morrow morning on that stone,' pointing to a particular place. The
King promised, went the next morning at the appointed hour, the man
appeared, brought the seal, and then jumped over the wall and went
off. 'His Majesty,' added King William, 'never afterwards walked alone
in Kensington Gardens.' His Majesty's attendants must have been rather
surprised to see him arrive at the palace _minus_ his shoe-buckles!

All the people who have been at the Royal progress say there never was
anything so grand as Chatsworth; and the Duke, albeit he would have
willingly dispensed with this visit, treated the Queen right royally.
He met her at the station and brought her in his own coach and six,
with a coach and four following, and eight outriders. The finest sight
was the illumination of the garden and the fountains; and after seeing
the whole place covered with innumerable lamps and all the material of
the illuminations, the guests were astonished and delighted when they
got up the following morning not to find a vestige of them left, and
the whole garden as trim and neat as if nothing had occurred. This
was accomplished by Paxton, who got 200 men, set them to work, and
worked with them the whole night till they had cleared away everything
belonging to the exhibition of the preceding night. This was a great
exploit in its way and produced a great effect. At Belvoir the Prince
went hunting, and acquitted himself in the field very creditably.
He was supposed to be a very poor performer in this line, and, as
Englishmen love manliness and dexterity in field sports, it will have
raised him considerably in public estimation to have rode well after
the hounds in Leicestershire.

It is amusing to see the sensation which the article in the 'Times' a
few days ago on the Duc de Bordeaux has made both here and in France.
Every French newspaper copied it _in extenso_, and, considering
the prodigious number of people who take their opinions ready made
from that paper, there is little doubt that it will have put an
extinguisher upon him here. Great effects these, and if the world
could but see and know what the machinery is which produces them,
how such crushing philippics are planned and executed, they would
be surprised. The article was written by Henry Reeve, and when he
was presented to the King shortly afterwards at the Tuileries, Louis
Philippe, who had been told by M. Guizot that the article was written
by Reeve, said to him, 'I regret, Mr. Reeve, that I cannot more fully
express in this place the obligation which I feel for the service you
have done us.' The English circle at the French Court looked on with
amazement when this speech was made.

_December 20th._--On Monday night I went to the Westminster Play,
'Phormio,' admirably acted by three of the boys. It was very amusing,
much more than I thought possible on reading the play. It is the work
of an accomplished playwright, full of good situations and replete
with stage effect. They ought to leave off the vile custom of encoring
the prologue and epilogue. We had to listen to ninety-six lines of the
latter repeated twice over, when the audience was tired and, however
well entertained, impatient to disperse.


_Broadlands, December 29th._--I came here to-day, having passed the
previous week at Brighton with the Granvilles; found nobody but
Melbourne and the Beauvales; the former in pretty good force, more
grave, more silent than formerly, but with intervals of talkativeness
in his usual tone and manner. Things drop from him now and then,
curious or interesting. We were talking about newspapers and their
contributors, and he told us that the famous article in the 'Times'
about bludgeons and brickbats during the rage of the Reform Bill was
written by Lord Dover, and that nothing was too strong for him to put
in a newspaper. I asked him about a thing he had once before told me,
which is the connexion which subsisted between our Government and the
Court of Rome, and a particular appointment which he had solicited the
Pope not to confer. It was that of Dr. M'Hale as Archbishop of Tuam.
Melbourne caused a request to be made to the Pope not to sanction it,
but the Pope would not comply, and appointed M'Hale. He observed on
that occasion, that ever since the Relief Bill had passed, the English
Government never failed to interfere about every appointment as it
fell vacant. On another occasion Melbourne begged the Pope to confer
some piece of preferment on a priest, whose name I forget, who had
supported the Government candidate very zealously in some election.
This state of things and such communications between the Holy Father
and the English Minister are curious. Palmerston said that there was
nothing to prevent our sending a Minister to Rome; but _they_ had not
dared to do it, on account of their supposed Popish tendency; Peel
might. Talking about the Corn Laws, Melbourne said he had prevented
any measure being proposed for above three years, and that if he
had done it sooner his Government would have fallen sooner. Many
were earnest in favour of a proposition; John Russell particularly;
Thomson, though the most strenuous free trader, was against it,
foreseeing the consequences.

_January 14th, 1844._--Everybody is full of the trial of O'Connell in
Dublin--this unhappy trial, which has been one continual course of
blunders and mismanagement from first to last. There is now an immense
uproar about the jury list, and, as if fate had determined that the
worst appearance should be given to the whole proceeding, Shaw the
Recorder is implicated in a manner which can easily be made to look
very suspicious. The Sheriff sent a list of some seventy-eight names
to the Recorder; instead of remaining in Dublin, as he ought to have
done, he must needs come to England to visit Lord Talbot. He went
over for one day to Drayton, and it happened that on the same day
he received the Sheriff's list; he returned it, but by some mistake
did not return two slips, as they are called, containing sixty and
odd names. The list, therefore, from which the jury was taken was an
imperfect list, and they will say, and all the Irish will believe,
that the mutilation was a concerted affair between Peel and Shaw.
They also affirm that the excluded were mostly Catholics, which is, I
believe, the reverse of the truth. This was an accident, but it was an
awkward blunder to add to the long list of those already committed.
Then the striking off all the Catholics from the jury is inveighed
against here as an act of madness, there as of intolerable injustice
and insult. It does appear to me an enormous blunder, and none of the
excuses made for it seems even plausible. The Government ought to
look far beyond the event of this trial. It would be a thousand times
better to have O'Connell acquitted by a mixed jury than convicted by
one all Protestant. I do not know whether such an acquittal would not
be on the whole the best result; if he should be convicted, the whole
process would be considered as a monstrous outrage against justice,
and Government will be terribly puzzled to know how to deal with him.
His conviction would produce the worst possible effect in Ireland,
and render the exasperation and hatred of the people more bitter and
unappeasable. If he is acquitted by a Protestant jury the triumph of
the Catholics will be much greater, their resentment not less, and in
England his acquittal by a jury formed of both persuasions would only
be attributed to the determination of the Catholics not to convict
him; supposing that a strong case is really made out, and Ministers
should appear to be justified in requiring any fresh powers they
thought necessary, they would find it difficult to ask for any if he
was acquitted by a Protestant jury--in short, it is an inextricable
_mess_, and how they will get out of it, God only knows. They have
missed the great opportunity that was afforded them of giving a
convincing proof to the Irish people that they wish O'Connell to have
a fair trial. If they had begun by doing this, and then exhibited
to the world a good case, they might have felt easy enough as to
the result. If the Catholic jurors had cast their mantles over him,
it would soon have been known; the Irish might have sung universal
jubilations and lit bonfires on every hill; but it would have been no
real triumph, and the value of a moral conviction in the eyes of the
people of England would have been unappreciable. All this has been
overlooked in a stupid, narrow-minded, shortsighted, professional
eagerness to ensure a conviction.

[Sidenote: O'CONNELL'S TRIAL.]

Yesterday Lord Wharncliffe showed me a despatch from Lord Ellenborough
to Lord Ripon, on the subject of his position with respect to the
Secret Committee of the Directors, which is admirable, both in
sentiment and expression. I knew already that the Court and the
Government were at variance about his Indian policy, and that the Duke
of Wellington not only strongly supported him, but wrote to him (I saw
one of his letters) in cordial terms of approval and encouragement;
but I did not know that the differences between Ellenborough and the
Court were so serious as it appears they were, and I suppose are. The
Secret Committee passed a resolution condemnatory of his proceedings
in Scinde, couched in very strong and even offensive language,
and to this resolution he responds in terms full of dignity and
determination. He tells them that ever since he took the Government
in India, which was at a time of unparalleled difficulty, they had
thrown every obstacle in his way, and embarrassed his course by
their want of co-operation and encouragement. He asks why, if such
was their opinion, they did not exercise the power with which they
are invested, censure and recall him; that he should not be provoked
to resign, because he believed that his doing so at this moment would
be productive of more evil than his endeavouring to administer the
Government with such crippled means as they left to him, and he should
therefore cast upon them the whole responsibility of withdrawing him
if they pleased, and continue to discharge his duty, fully relying
upon his possessing the confidence of the Crown, though he might not
possess theirs. I believe he is doing well in India now. How, by
the by, in all his letters, the Duke of Wellington inveighs against
'the licentious Press' both in India and here! He hates the press
everywhere, but he knows that here it is, if an evil, a necessary and
unavoidable evil; but in such a country as India, he cannot forgive
those who introduced the pernicious anomaly of a free press, and in
this I entirely agree with him. It was done by Sir Charles Metcalfe,
a man of extraordinary ability, and considered as one of the greatest
authorities, if not the greatest, on Indian affairs.


_January 26th._--At Hatchford for three or four days. O'Connell's
trial moves heavily along; nobody takes much interest in it,
or expects any serious result from it. The Opposition mean to
begin the session with an attack on the Government _de rebus
Hibernicis_--rather dangerous warfare. Charles Buller wrote to
O'Connell in his own name and Hawes's, asking him if anything could be
done, and what. He wrote a very civil answer, saying he was happy to
communicate with them, though it was quite useless; he could not give
up Repeal, and England hated Ireland with too much intensity to render
her real justice, especially John Russell, who was the bitterest
enemy of the Catholic religion, his hatred to which he had proved on
innumerable occasions. However, he said, he would never do anything to
obstruct any practical results, if they were possible, and he would
tell them how his influence might be annulled and his political power
put an end to. He then told him some half-dozen, items of 'justice,'
the principal one of which was the Church. He said that the Irish
never would be satisfied as long as the Protestant Church stood in
all its predominance amongst them, a badge of their servitude and
oppression, hateful, offensive, and mortifying to the Irish people;
that what they wanted was perfect religious equality, and this could
only be obtained by sweeping away all Church establishments, and
paying neither. The rest of his recommendations were pretty much the
same as when he has been in the habit of holding forth in his speeches
and writings. There was nothing new in his letter, and nothing to lay
hold of; he passed over the real evils which weigh down the people,
and their causes--poverty, hunger, nakedness, no employment, no
capital flowing there to set them to work. We shall have plenty of
wrangling and violence, but no good will come of it all. The Irish
question is a mighty maze, it is a vast babel of conflicting opinions,
and hostile passions and prejudices. In the great divisions of party
there are innumerable sub-divisions upon all Irish matters; there are
vast masses of opinions, jostling with other masses, intermingling in
a confused conflict, not arranged in one compact body against another
compact body, with one distinguishing banner over each; and out of
all this confusion it is impossible to look for any satisfactory and
reasonable solution of all the difficult questions that are afloat.


    Opening of Parliament--State of Parties--The Duke of
    Wellington's health--The Duke's Correspondence with Lord
    Haddington--Constitution of the Judicial Committee--Debate on the
    state of Ireland--Lord Hertford's Will--A Pun of Jekyll's--Lord
    Melbourne--The Irish Church--The Privy Council Bill--Anecdote of
    Mr. Pitt's Peers--Cambridge--Lord Ellenborough's Recall--Lord
    Brougham's hostility--The Factory Bill--Lord Hardinge
    Governor-General of India--Lord Brougham on Lord Hertford's
    Case--The Emperor of Russia in London--Government Defeat on the
    Sugar Duties--Sir Robert Peel resolves to resign--The Opening
    of Letters at the Post Office--The Case of 'Running Rein'--Lord
    Brougham's Privy Council Bill--Summary of Events--The Tahiti
    Quarrel with France--The O'Connell Judgement--Lord Stanley goes to
    the Upper House.

_London, February 2nd, 1844._--Parliament opened yesterday; as usual
with a Speech saying nothing, the Government apparently pretty
confident, and the Opposition bent on mischief.

_February 8th._--The session has opened favourably enough for
Ministers. The first night Peel made a decided speech, and he has
taken a decided attitude. He declared that he did not mean to make
any alteration at all in the present Corn Law, either as to duty or
scale. This was such an agreeable announcement to his friends, that
it put them at once into good humour, and they will now fight with
him cordially and vigorously, and we shall at least have a clear
line of demarcation, and good fair stand-up party contests. While
he has made himself strong and his party united _for the present_,
the Opposition have no unity of opinion, Howick and John Russell
being evidently opposed to each other, and probably all of them
entertaining all sorts of shades and gradations of opinion. Peel
evidently means to give up the notion of appealing to the reason of
the country, and the moderation which he hoped would help him through
his _juste milieu_ course, and thinks only of rallying the great Tory
body round him, and exhibiting himself as the master of certain and
willing majorities. As long as this Parliament lasts, it makes him as
firm as a rock, after which, God knows what will happen. The Irish
trials are almost over. O'Connell made a miserable speech; Sheil and
Whiteside were very good, especially the latter. The episode of the
Attorney-General's challenge came very opportunely for the first
night's debate, and the Government stood by him gallantly, which they
probably were right in doing, for no Government will be well and
heartily served, unless it throws its shield over its people when they
fall into difficulties.


_February 9th._--As everything is interesting that relates to the
Duke of Wellington, it is so to hear the observations of those whose
situation enables them to watch the descending course of this great
luminary. Nobody has such opportunities as my brother. I was telling
him yesterday what Lord Wharncliffe had said to me, that it was
pleasant to see the extraordinary deference and attention which are
shown to him by his colleagues at the Cabinet. He always sits in the
same place, and each person who has anything to say or any subject
to bring forward invariably goes and sits next to him, to enable him
to hear better the material part of what is going forward, and the
greatest respect is evinced to his opinions on all subjects. He told
me that this was also very apparent in the correspondence of his
colleagues, who addressed him in the most deferential manner, and
often expressed their readiness to give up propositions which did not
meet with his concurrence. But he said that he grew more and more
irritable, and often expressed himself even to his colleagues with an
asperity which was matter of great regret to him (Algernon Greville),
and that frequently he felt the strongest desire to alter and
soften the tone of his letters, but that this was quite impossible:
nobody ever dared say anything to him, _he_ could not, and it would
be useless if he did, as it was not an accidental ebullition, but
proceeded from the increased and increasing irritability of his mind.
He instanced two cases lately, one of a letter to Sir Robert Peel,
and another to Lord Haddington, not on very material subjects, but in
which a tone of ruffled temper and something like pique was apparent,
very unlike his old disposition. The only person who sees his letters
is Arbuthnot, who never ventures to object, or to criticise them; and
if he did, Algy much doubts whether the Duke would take the trouble
to alter what he has once written. However, he is a wonder, be his
infirmities what they may.

_February 11th._--Yesterday Algy showed me the Duke's correspondence
with Haddington,[75] which is a terrible rigmarole, lengthy, angry,
mistaken, and altogether sadly demonstrative of a falling off in his
great mind. The subject is so insignificant that it would be waste
of time to say a word on it, if it were not for the interest which
attaches to the great man to whom it relates. Admiral Parker wrote a
warm panegyric on his nephew, Captain Wellesley, which he wound up by
saying, he spoke cautiously and reservedly (or some such expression)
for fear his motives should be misunderstood. The sentence was an
awkward one, but the sense was clear, and could only mean that he
was afraid it might be thought he praised the nephew in order to pay
court to the uncle, and therefore he in reality said rather less
than more than he deserved. The Duke chose to take it in an exactly
opposite sense, and insisted that it could only mean that _he_ was so
obnoxious that even his relative was not to receive his just meed of
praise--a thing not only quite improbable and absurd, but absolutely
unmeaning. On this he descanted very angrily, and then went off on
his own services, and that he never asked for anything for any of his
belongings, and a great deal of very pitiful balderdash. Haddington
seems to have _tombé de son haut_, at getting this extraordinary
ebullition, and wrote back what he meant to be a soother, assuring
the Duke that he had never thought of taking it in that sense, far
from it, and he added all that was respectful and obliging of himself
and his nephew, as well as what was reasonable and true; but the old
hero's blood was up, he had got his head the wrong way, and the devil
would not get it right again. He insisted on his own version of the
Admiral's letter, declared nobody could possibly read it in any other
sense (nobody could possibly see it in his), and fired back another
sulky broadside upon the First Lord of the Admiralty.


The night before last Brougham came down to the House of Lords and
announced a bill which he is going to bring in to _amend!_ the working
of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, or, as he called it,
to 'remedy its imperfections.' Yesterday Wharncliffe gave me the
history of this transaction, which, if he is allowed successfully
to carry on, will be one of the most impudent jobs that ever was
perpetrated, and assuredly the Government must be strong which can
afford to be a consenting party to it. In the state of incessant
activity he has long been in he has, it seems, an ardent longing to
do something for _himself_. Money I do not believe he cares about,
though probably not averse to be well furnished with the means of
feasting his numerous clients, and the noble, honourable, learned and
fashionable friends with whom he cultivates or affects intimacies
in all ranks and all parties; but he wants some distinction, and
something which at least may give him the air of having authority
somewhere and a kind of official right to be still more meddling and
intrusive and dictatorial than he already is. Who knows, too, whether
his excursive mind does not look to the possibility of his making any
official or quasi-official situation a stepping-stone to the Woolsack,
under certain circumstances or contingencies, which may glimmer to
his mind's eye in the distant future? Be this as it may he has been
pestering the Chancellor to make him Vice-President of the Judicial
Committee. The Chancellor, who is very anxious to retain him in his
service, has already committed himself to an opinion expressed in the
House of Lords that it would be a good thing to give the Judicial
Committee a vice-president (_i. e._ a judicial head), and he has also
said that those who come and work there ought to be paid for their
services, and without such pay nobody ought to be required or expected
to attend. This last _dictum_ was purely selfish and to excuse
himself from giving his own services during the many years he was out
of office and doing nothing. When the Judicial Committee was first
constituted Brougham intended to make a job of it, and framed several
provisions accordingly; but meeting with some resistance (which I
contrived to spirit up Lord Lansdowne to make), and finding that if
there was any patronage the disposal of it would not be allotted to
him (then Chancellor), he became indifferent on that score, and no
provision was made for the payment of any members of the committee not
deriving emoluments from other sources. For many years accordingly the
clause which empowered the Queen to appoint certain persons who had
not held judicial offices in England to be members was not acted upon
at all. By arrangements made from time to time a quorum was always
secured consisting of persons either in office or holding judicial
pensions. These arrangements were not free from difficulties and
objections, still with a little trouble and occasional obstacles the
business went on pretty well; latterly, however, in consequence of
certain new duties which have been imposed on the Common Law judges,
we have in great measure lost the services of those of the judges
who are members of our Court. On the other hand, as soon as Campbell
relinquished the Great Seal in Ireland, he consented to be appointed
a judge in the Privy Council (though having no pension), and he has
ever since attended as a volunteer, punctually, generously, and
efficiently. His aid has been the principal support of the Court, and
it has lately obtained the equally important aid of Pemberton Leigh,
who was made a Privy Councillor when he was appointed Chancellor of
the Duchy of Cornwall on the express condition of his sitting in the
Judicial Committee, which he declared his readiness to do, and he was
appointed accordingly. There never was any question of Pemberton's
receiving a salary; indeed, if it had been contemplated that whoever
was named to the vacant seat in the Judicial Committee should be
paid, Peel would probably have looked for some man to whom the salary
would have been an object, and to whom it would have been an object
to him to give it, instead of throwing away a lucrative office on
one who is so rich that he has no occasion for it. However, Brougham
was resolved to get himself made Vice-President, which is, in fact,
President of this Court; but he was aware that it would be by no means
palatable to some of the other members, especially Campbell, and
probably Pemberton, that he should put himself over their heads, and
as there is not the slightest occasion for any such change, and no
reason to believe that either of the two volunteers desires or expects
any salary, the matter was not very easy. Still he made such a bother
about it that the Chancellor had a meeting with Lord Wharncliffe, the
Duke, and Peel, to consider of it. The Duke said if there was any
honorary appointment which would gratify him, and which they could,
not improperly, confer on him, he thought, _considering the way he
worked for them_, it would be as well to let him have it; but they
agreed that they could not propose anything in the way of emolument,
and at last it was settled that he should be made Vice-President.
It occurred to them, however, that as the Judicial Committee was a
Parliamentary creation it was not quite certain that the Queen had
power to make the appointment, and that it would be right to consult
the Attorney and Solicitor-General thereupon. The law officers said
they would not assert that the Queen had not the power, but as it
was in the nature of a change they thought it would be safer to do
it by Act of Parliament. The Ministers therefore told Brougham they
could not do it, and they declined bringing in any Bill; on which he
said, with some reflexions on their want of spirit, that he would
himself bring in a Bill, and accordingly he gave this notice the
other night. I have not yet seen the Bill, and I don't know whether
he has communicated with any of his colleagues on the subject, and
in what light they regard the matter; but I am exceedingly desirous
of defeating such a job, as it appears to be, if I can, and most
assuredly I will endeavour to do so.

    [Footnote 75: [Lord Haddington was First Lord of the Admiralty, a
    circumstance which gave rise to this correspondence.]]


_February 15th._--Nothing could exceed the satisfaction of the
Government at the result of the trial at Dublin, which, after all
the blunders and accidents, ended very well indeed for them, and far
better than they ever expected.[76] The unanimity of the judges they
scarcely hoped for; then the jury were unanimous and determined, and
yet considerate, and not violent. The poor devils were locked up,
without any necessity, from Saturday night till Monday morning, for
there would have been no risk in taking the verdict on Sunday. The
Chief Justice's charge was more like an advocate's speech than a
judicial charge, stronger by far than any of our judges would have
thought of delivering. This verdict arrived very opportunely for the
debate which began on Monday, and was a heavy blow and discouragement
to the Opposition. Most people regard it with satisfaction and think
it will do a world of good. The agitation which has been suspended
will not now be renewed. The notion of O'Connell's infallibility which
had got hold of the people has been destroyed, and the Irish have
seen that the Government is resolved to put the law in force, and
that the law is able to smite those who violate it. The display of
talent on this trial appears to have excited general admiration. Mr.
Justice Burton said that he remembered the days of Ireland's forensic
eminence, of Flood and his contemporaries, but that he had never seen
such ability displayed as upon this trial. The speeches of Sheil and
Whiteside, and the summing-up of the Solicitor-General, have been the
most admired.

Lord John Russell opened the debate in a speech three and a half hours
long, the greater part of which was very good.[77] His attack upon
Lyndhurst was imprudent, unfair, and in bad taste, and his notice of
Bradshaw pitiful. Graham made a very good speech in reply to him.
The most important circumstance in these speeches was the respective
declarations of the speakers about the Irish Church. John Russell went
further, and spoke more decisively than he had ever done before,
and declared for a complete equality between Catholics, Anglicans,
and Presbyterians; Graham, that he would not consent to touch the
Protestant or endow the Catholic Church.

    [Footnote 76: [On February 12th, after a trial which lasted
    twenty-five days, O'Connell was found guilty on all the eleven
    counts of the indictment relating to conspiracy; an appeal was
    entered, and judgement deferred. The verdict was subsequently set
    aside, as will shortly be seen, on a purely technical ground.]]

    [Footnote 77: [On February 13th Lord John Russell moved for a
    Committee of the whole House to enquire into the state of Ireland.
    It was rejected by a majority of ninety-nine.]]


_February 17th._--The debate has moved on heavily. The most remarkable
speeches have been Howick's, Sir George Grey's, Disraeli's, and
Stanley's. Howick spoke out and declared at once he would make the
Catholic the established religion of Ireland. Disraeli made a very
clever speech, not _saying_ so much, but implying it, and under
the guise of compliment making an ingenious and amusing attack on
Peel, Stanley, and Graham. Stanley's speech satisfied his people and
elicited their cheers, one of his slashing harangues, and perhaps he
gave a sufficient reply to John Russell; for the fact is, that such
speeches as theirs are quite useless and unmeaning, do not advance
the question, or tend in the slightest degree to a solution of the
enormous difficulties of our position; for it cannot be denied
that to whatever plan, or rather experiment, any man may lean, the
difficulties of execution are such as to terrify and embarrass the
clearest head and the boldest heart. The debate will last some
days more, but what may be said of it is this, that it will be the
commencement of a new war of principles. The Opposition, however, are
still divided and subdivided into many shades of opinion, and nothing
but the necessity of union for party purposes will bring about those
mutual concessions, without which no union can be accomplished. There
is a long interval still between Howick and John Russell. The fear
is, that this new Catholic question will be met by a new 'No Popery'
cry; though the Tory leaders will prevent this if they can, still it
is clear that their declarations must draw them closer to the Church,
and cement the alliance between them; whilst the Dissenters and the
Scotch, however they may prefer a Whig connexion, will be pretty sure
to join in opposition to the Catholics, and to anything like the
establishment or endowment of the Catholic Church. Dundas told me
to-day that hardly any Scotch Member could safely vote for a Catholic

_February 22nd._--The debate is still going on. By far the most
remarkable speech that has yet been made was Macaulay's--an essay
perhaps it may be called, but still a brilliant oration, and the end
of it, with his reply to Stanley and his appeal to Peel, admirable.
He reserved himself for another occasion to speak about the Church,
which meant that he was in dread of his constituents. Follett followed
him, but disappointed everybody. Tuesday night was entirely occupied
by Wilde, and last night by Smith, the Irish Attorney-General, both
very able. Wilde was supposed to have made a very damaging assault on
the trial and its incidents, to a great part of which Smith replied
very successfully, and his speech was very well received. I met Lady
Palmerston at dinner on Tuesday, and asked her if Palmerston was
going to speak. She said he would not if he could help it. After
dinner I talked to her about the strange condition of the question,
when she said that 'everybody was agreed.' I said I thought no two
people were agreed and pointed out how John Russell said one thing,
Howick another, and so of all the rest, none seeming to have any
fixed opinion what should be done, though all insisted that something
must. She said John Russell had better not have said what he did, and
they did not mind what Howick said, that Palmerston agreed with the
Government, and that, in fact, their plan (of giving glebes to the
Catholic clergy) was his, and that he had not only suggested it, but
had acted on it as far as the law permitted. Peel is certainly acting
very shrewdly in letting this debate go on as long as anybody chooses
to continue it, for _quot homines, tot sententiæ_, and nothing can
better excuse the Government for not adopting some decisive measures
than the manifestation of such a chaos of sentiment and opinion as the
opposite benches afford. Stanley's speech a few nights ago, which was
delivered in his best style, and much praised by his adherents, is
severely censured by all but his adherents. It seems to have exhibited
all that acrimony and disposition to bigotry which it is so desirable
to get rid of, and though it may have been exhilarating to the spirits
of his friends, it was much less suitable to his station, and less
adapted to the great purposes of Government than Graham's.


All day yesterday I was listening to law in the Privy Council. Follett
made a very able reply in the appeal of Croker against Lord Hertford.
After which the Court proceeded to discuss the judgement. There were
two points: one, whether Lord Hertford's codicil confirming all
former codicils made good those which were not properly attested; the
other, whether the will having been executed at Milan, and being good
according to the _lex loci_, it was good here. If the first point
was decided in favour of the appellant, the second would not arise,
so they agreed to begin by considering the first. Dr. Lushington,
Vice-Chancellor Knight Bruce, Baron Parke, and Lord Campbell concurred
with the judgement; Abinger, Denman, and Brougham were against it;
Tindal, who heard the first part of the case but not the last, was
not there. After a great deal of talk they agreed to meet again and
reconsider the case. They held the second point to be very difficult,
but very little passed about it. Nothing can exemplify more the
objection there would be to the Judges in our Court giving their
opinions _seriatim_ than this case. It would be very unsatisfactory
to have so close a division made public; if Tindal should incline to
the side of Brougham, Denman, and Co., I see that Knight Bruce will
go over to them in all probability, and turn the scale the other way.
In that case, if the Judges were to deliver their opinions, it is
abundantly probable that the arguments of the minority would appear
the soundest law, and it would be a curious anomaly that such a case
would be decided by the casting vote of a man whose real opinion was
at variance with that which he would have to express. The parties had
better have tossed up for the money at first.

The other day (_ut misceam dulcia utilibus_) Bobus Smith gave us at
dinner at Lady Holland's a good pun of Jekyll's (I so regret never
having met him). He was asked to dine at Lansdowne House, but was
engaged to the Chief Justice. It happened that the ceiling of the
dining-room at Lansdowne House fell in, which when Jekyll heard, he
said he had been invited to 'ruat cælum,' but was engaged to 'fiat

_Sunday, February 25th._--On Friday night, after nine nights' debate,
the longest since the Duke of York's case, the division took place,
with 99 majority for the Government. The Attorney-General, Roebuck,
O'Connell, and Peel occupied the last night: the Attorney-General
very good; O'Connell spoke well, temperately, becomingly, was well
received, and made a favourable impression; Peel an able speech
of nearly four hours, very successful in repelling his opponent's
attacks, a very good party speech, but in my opinion not well argued
as to the Church question, and certainly containing nothing definite
or satisfactory. Some thought it indicated a consciousness of the
frail tenure by which the Church maintains itself, but he evinced no
disposition under any circumstances to be a party to the alienation
of its revenues. The general opinion is that the debate has reflected
great credit on the House of Commons; the Speaker says he never heard
one so good. There has been a great display of ability on both sides;
the lawyers, the statesmen, and the orators have equally distinguished
themselves; and, what is almost higher praise, the temper, the taste,
and the tone have been excellent, just what becomes a discussion upon
a subject so important and delicate. The best speeches have been those
of John Russell, Sir George Grey, Howick, Macaulay, Wilde, and Sheil;
Peel, Graham, Stanley, and the two Attorney-Generals; Disraeli very
clever and original, full of _finesse_, in some respects the most
striking of all. I think that on the whole it will do good: as far as
the Government are concerned, it will strengthen them for a time; but
from this moment a new Catholic question will begin, though it would
be indeed rash to predict when it will end. The Opposition all cry
out that O'Connell has not had a fair trial, and the Government were
extremely annoyed at Wilde's speech, which they felt was damaging. But
the imputed unfairness amounts at most to this, that although the
case was clearly proved against him, it is just possible, if the jury
list affair had not occurred, that some strong Catholic or Repealer
might have been on the jury, by means of whose obstinate determination
not to consent to a verdict of guilty he might have got off.


I dined at Palmerston's yesterday; Melbourne was there. He could not
say O'Connell had not had a fair trial; and Luttrell said, which
seemed to hit off Melbourne's own notion, that he had had a _fairish_
trial. Melbourne said an odd thing which showed that he has not
abandoned all idea of taking office again, though I hardly think
he would if it came to the point. It was this, 'There is not much
chance of the House of Commons coming to a vote against Government;
but still such a thing is possible, and I was kept awake half the
night thinking, suppose such a thing did occur, and I was sent for
to Windsor, what advice I should give the Queen'--'it kept me long
awake,' he repeated, 'and I determined that I would advise her not to
let Mr. O'Connell be brought up for judgement.' It was very strange,
and everybody looked amazed. He has been a very curious man all his
life, and he is as strange as ever now, in the sort of make-believe
with which he tries to delude himself and others. Whilst all indicates
the decay of his powers, and his own consciousness of it, he assumes
an air and language as if he was the same man, and ready to act his
old part on any stage and at any time. His friends are, I think, vexed
and pained, and think it, as it is, a rather melancholy spectacle.

_March 9th._--During the last fortnight there has been a great deal of
discussion about the great debate, and there is a general impression
that it will prove productive of good. Peel's speech is much commented
on, and considered to signify his own opinion that the Irish Church
must be dealt with sooner or later, but also his resolution to have
no hand in the arrangement. At all events it is thought that his
sentiments, as set forth in his speech, are very different from
Stanley's, and even from Graham's. Some days ago John Russell called
on me, and talked the thing over. He said this about Peel, whom he
so dislikes that whatever he says of him is always rather tinged with
bitterness; and with regard to his own notions, he said that he was
not opposed to the establishment of the Catholic religion, provided
the Protestant was preserved. He is in fact prepared to go farther
than I was aware of.

Last night Brougham brought in his Privy Council Bill. I dined at
Lansdowne House. Lord Lansdowne had been at the beginning of the
discussion, and Melbourne and Normanby came in later, having stayed
it out. They all thought it was impossible such a Bill could pass.
Cottenham made a very good speech. The only point on which there
seemed any agreement was on the expediency of naming a President of
the Court, and Lyndhurst, who was appealed to, limited his opinion to
this alone. Brougham pretended that the precedence he claimed was only
intended to be _in_ the Court--which was a mere pretence, because by
putting in the Lord Privy Seal, who is not a member of the Court, he
showed what he wanted. It is to be hoped that his trickery will fail
altogether and the Bill be thrown out.


_March 16th._--Brougham has been outdoing himself about his Bill.
He begins by naming a committee, very numerous, but containing
hardly any of the Whigs or of those who would be likely to oppose
him, none at least that he could possibly help naming. On Monday
an article appeared in the 'Morning Chronicle,' very bitter and
smart, and written by Clarendon, which stung him to the quick. He
got up the next day in the House of Lords, and alluding to his
having been accused of bringing in this Bill with personal views,
rejected the accusation with vehement indignation, and in the most
extravagant language, 'amidst loud laughter,' as the report said,
'in which the Lord Chancellor heartily joined.' None but Brougham
himself can be his parallel; no other man would have dared to get
up, and, in the presence of at least half a dozen men who knew the
whole truth, deliberately and vehemently tell a parcel of impudent
lies--lies too which, if he succeeds in his object, must be exposed
to the whole world. But one of the most curious characteristics
is his utter shamelessness. With an inordinate vanity and a morbid
activity, which prompts him to be eternally doing and talking, he
has lost all care for his serious reputation, and for the applause
and approbation of the best part of the world. To flourish away, and
become Cock-of-the-Walk among silly and dissolute people of fashion,
to talk incessantly in a strain of boisterous levity, and make free
and frivolous men and women roar with laughter at his coarse, but not
witty pleasantries, seems now the height of his ambition. He passes
days and hours at Chesterfield House and Gore House; his most intimate
associate is D'Orsay; and from the nonsense and idleness of such
houses as these, he rushes away to mix in the high matters of politics
and legislation, in an eternal whirl and bustle of alternate business
and gossip, a sad spectacle to those who remember what he once was;
and he has not even the merit of success in his new vocation, for
whereas he was once more brilliant and amusing than anybody, he is now
become an arrant bore. He has frittered down his really great powers
to the level of his new friends and companions, but he has no notion
how to converse or 'live with ease,' and nothing can be more awkward
and ungraceful than the exhibition he makes of himself as a man of
fashion. What a contrast it is, when one turns from the vagaries of
this impure and degraded buffoon, who has been guilty of debasing
and rendering useless the rare talents with which Nature endowed
him, to the dignified old age and mild wisdom of Mr. Grenville--who
counts only twenty years more than Brougham--so inferior in genius
and intellectual power, so superior in moral worth, in rectitude of
understanding, and in all the graces and proprieties of social life.

Writing of Mr. Grenville, I must mention an anecdote he told me the
other day, illustrating the facility with which Pitt gave peerages to
anybody who had a fancy for the honour. Mr. Grenville one day asked
his cousin, Lord Glastonbury, what had induced him to get made a peer,
for he could not think he had ever cared much for a title. He said,
'God, Devil!' (for such it seems was his queer habit of expressing
himself) 'I'll tell you. I never thought of a peerage; but one day I
took up the newspaper, and I read in it that Tommy Townshend was made
a peer. Confound the fellow, said I, what right had he to be made a
peer I should like to know. Why, I am as rich again as he is, and have
a much better right. So I resolved to write to Pitt and tell him so. I
wrote, and was made a peer the following week.'


_March 31st._--I never remember so much excitement as has been
caused by Ashley's Ten Hours Bill,[78] nor a more curious political
state of things, such intermingling of parties, such a confusion
of opposition; a question so much more open than any question ever
was before, and yet not made so or acknowledged to be so with the
Government; so much zeal, asperity, and animosity, so many reproaches
hurled backwards and forwards. The Government have brought forward
their measure in a very positive way, and have clung to it with great
tenacity, rejecting all compromise; they have been abandoned by nearly
half their supporters, and nothing can exceed their chagrin and
soreness at being so forsaken. Some of them attribute it to Graham's
unpopularity, and aver that if Peel had brought it forward, or if a
meeting had been previously called, they would not have been defeated;
again, some declare that Graham had said they were indifferent to the
result, and that people might vote as they pleased, which he stoutly
denies; then John Russell voting for 'ten hours,' against all he
professed last year, has filled the world with amazement, and many
of his own friends with indignation. It has, I think, not redounded
to his credit, but, on the contrary, done him considerable harm. The
Opposition were divided, Palmerston and Lord John one way, Baring and
Labouchere the other. It has been a very queer affair. Some voted,
not knowing how they ought to vote, and following those they are
accustomed to follow; many who voted against Government afterwards
said they believed they were wrong. Melbourne is all against Ashley;
all the political economists, of course; Lord Spencer strong against
him. Then Graham gave the greatest offence by taking up a word of the
'Examiner's' last Sunday, and calling it a _Jack Cade legislation_,
this stirring them to fury, and they flew upon him like tigers. Ashley
made a speech as violent and factious as any of O'Connell's, and old
Inglis was overflowing with wrath. Nothing could be so foolish as
Graham's taunt; he ought to have known better how much mischief may be
done by words, and how they stick by men for ever. Lyndhurst rubbed
his hands with great glee, and said, 'Well, we shall hear no more of
'aliens' now, people will only talk of Jack Cade for the future,' too
happy to shift the odium, if he could, from his own to his colleague's
back. The Ministers gave out, if they were beaten last Friday, they
would resign; but they knew there was no chance of it. Some abused
Ashley for not going on and fighting again, but he knew well enough
it would be of no use. The House did certainly put itself in an odd
predicament, with its two votes directly opposed to each other. The
whole thing is difficult and unpleasant. Government will carry their
Bill now, and Ashley will be able to do nothing, but he will go on
agitating session after session; and a philanthropic agitator is more
dangerous than a repealer, either of the Union or the Corn Laws. We
are just now overrun with philanthropy, and God knows where it will
stop, or whither it will lead us.

    [Footnote 78: [The Government had brought in a Bill limiting the
    hours of labour in factories. Lord Ashley moved amendments in the
    House of Commons and carried them against the Government, of which
    he was a warm supporter. But eventually Lord Ashley's substantive
    proposal was also defeated. The Committee was discharged and a new
    measure introduced.]]

_May 1st._--This interval I passed at Newmarket (two weeks), where
I took my books and papers, resolving to write, and go on with my
pamphlet on Ireland; but it does not signify, I find it impossible at
that place to put pen to paper or to open a book. It is one incessant
course of active idleness, which with me at least utterly precludes
all occupation, and even thought. The last day of the last week I
went over to Cambridge to my nephew George Egerton, and took a look
at some of the lions, none of which, strange to say (though I have
frequented Newmarket so many years), with the exception of King's
College Chapel, I had ever seen. I walked over the gardens, through
the University Library, saw Lord Fitzwilliam's pictures, and looked
at the Fitzwilliam Museum; but nothing is to be compared to King's
College Chapel, which I beheld again, as one always does really great
and perfect works, with increased admiration and delight.

On arriving in town, I found the world had been rattled out of its
torpor by the astounding news of Ellenborough's recall by the Court
of Directors, admitted by Ministers in both Houses, in reply to
questions asked of them. I was astonished, because after the letter
which Wharncliffe showed me some weeks ago, in which he had, as it
were, dared the Directors to recall him, and their not doing so at the
time, I thought the quarrel had blown over; and as his great measures
are accomplished, I concluded they would make up their differences
by some means. Therefore I was anything but prepared for this _coup
d'état_. There is a strong feeling of exasperation on the side of the
Government, as well as on that of the Court. The Duke of Wellington is
particularly incensed. He has all along taken Ellenborough under his
especial protection, and encouraged and supported him with his praise
and approbation. All his irritability is therefore stirred up on this
occasion, and he expressed himself in the House of Lords the night
before last in reference to the Directors in very strong terms, which
was not very becoming, and still less prudent. Peel in the other House
was much more reserved and discreet. At present nobody knows exactly
the merits of the case, although the Directors and their friends give
out theirs, and to a certain degree the Government do the same. But
as the papers must shortly be produced (for the public will insist on
having materials wherewith to form its judgement, and that speedily),
it is better to see what they contain, instead of guessing, and
forming opinions on hypothetical cases and imaginary circumstances.
The Government must have a very strong case indeed to exonerate them
from the reproach of having allowed matters to come to this extremity;
and having had full knowledge of the feelings, and ample notice of the
intentions of the Directors, they ought to have made some arrangement
with them, instead of exhibiting to the world an open breach. They
say, however, that they could not be parties to Ellenborough's recall,
or in any way consent to it, lest they should stultify themselves,
having already approved of all his acts. But this strikes me to be
very bad reasoning. They were bound to deal with the case as they find
it. They may think it a bad thing that the Directors should have such
a power, and a worse that they should exercise it; it was the duty of
the Government to adopt such measures as should provide against the
exercise of it becoming injurious to the public interests. The safety
and prosperity of India are of infinitely greater consequence than
the consistency, real or apparent, of the Ministry, and it would have
been far better to have had Ellenborough recalled quietly, with some
management and arrangement as to time and circumstance, than to suffer
matters to be pushed to such extremities, and establish such hostile
feelings between the Court of Directors and the Government as has now
been done; nor can I see how the consistency of the Government could
be affected by their deference to a power, created by the Legislature,
and which they have no means of controlling. They have protested
against its exercise, they have argued and remonstrated, but all in
vain; and that being the case, they might with perfect consistency
have taken some measures in concurrence with the Court as to the
manner and time of his recall, while protesting against the measure
itself, and repudiating all responsibility.


The town is full of speculation as to Ellenborough's successor, and
nothing can exceed the difficulty of finding one who is competent. All
sorts of men are mentioned, most of them the most unfit and incapable
that can be imagined. Metcalfe is in Canada, and could not be got home
in time; Lord Elgin in Jamaica, to whom therefore the same objection
applies. They talk of Lord Seaton, Fitzroy Somerset, Lincoln, Clare,
Gladstone, and I know not whom besides. Graham will not go; he would
have gone some time ago, but he will not now. My own opinion is, and
I record it on this 1st of May, that Haddington will be sent. He is
not a very brilliant, but a sensible, right-minded man, who has gained
credit by his fairness and courtesy at the Admiralty. I declare I do
not see where they could find a better man.

I find Brougham is come back from Paris in a very peevish humour
with everybody. He wrote a letter to the Duke of Bedford last week,
complaining bitterly of the attack (as he called it) which John
Russell had made upon him in the House of Commons, boasting that
nobody had ever gained anything by attacking him, and then proceeded
(as he said) to give an account of the transaction to which this
attack referred. This account was as usual a tissue of lies, and
there were in it two statements which I have not the least doubt are
lies also. One was, that this Government had recently offered him a
judicial office of 7,000_l._ a year; and the other, that the Duke of
Wellington had employed Lord Wellesley to prevail upon him to take
office with them. He is nearly as angry with Peel as he is with John
Russell, for what he said in his speech in reply to the latter, and
wrote to Peel on the subject. Meanwhile he is flourishing about, and
was at the Temple Church on Sunday, with a tail of fashionables.


_May 4th._--When I told Lord Wharncliffe that I thought Haddington
would be the man for India, he told me he was quite out of the
question, and would on no account go. He said Hardinge might possibly
go, and I inferred from his manner of speaking of such an appointment
that it was the most probable.[79] Lord Aberdeen says that the
Government and the East India Directors are going to make their
matters up, and that the Duke of Wellington's speech had been a great
cause of embarrassment and annoyance to them. The papers will not be
produced, because they are really not producible. Aberdeen owns that
Ellenborough's conduct and language to the Directors had been such as
it was impossible for them to endure, and he said both they and the
Government were sensible how inexpedient it would be to publish such a
correspondence. Accordingly these belligerents will agree to bury the
past in oblivion, and make it all up. The greedy and curious public,
and the eager and malicious Opposition, will be cheated of the banquet
of political scandal they are both so anxiously expecting.

    [Footnote 79: [Lord Hardinge was shortly afterwards appointed
    Governor-General of India.]]

_May 12th._--The Indian affair went off very quietly; all was made
up; Peel made a very skilful and temperate speech; the Duke himself
made a sort of apology in the House of Lords, saying he did not mean
to offend the Directors, and everybody was obliged to be satisfied.
The Duke's wrath is, however, by no means mitigated, and his _fidus
Achates_, Arbuthnot, poured forth to me the other day a torrent of
abuse of the Directors. Peel has gained immense credit by his measure
(and speech) about the Bank Charter. His Government is unquestionably
strengthened prodigiously by such measures as these, such good
business done, and accordingly he is invulnerably strong, and, barring
accidents, one does not see when the Government is to be brought to an

_May 26th._--The usual occupation of this time of the year has
prevented my writing anything in this book, and now I will briefly
bring up the arrears of all I have to notice. I was at Gorhambury when
the division on the Factory Bill took place, and Government got the
extraordinary and unexpected majority of 135. Nothing could exceed the
universal astonishment, and many of their supporters grumbled much
at having been compelled to vote with them or stay away, without any
necessity. But they were wrong, for it was of great consequence to
get such a majority as should put an end to the question, which this
has done. It was a great triumph to Graham, who deserves it; for his
conduct on this occasion, and the ferocious personality with which
he has been assailed, have conciliated the sympathies of many, even
of his enemies and opponents. But no man ever rose so much as he has
latterly done. His capacity and administrative powers are admitted by
all to be first-rate, and he has evinced so much more of temper and
moderation, avoiding giving offence by a bitter and sarcastic tone,
that he has disarmed a great deal of hostility and aversion, and there
is a general disposition to do justice to his firmness, ability, and
honesty on this occasion. This division is also a pregnant proof
of the strength and power of the Government, when they choose to
exert it; and when their position now is compared with that in which
they were placed at the end of last session, everybody must see how
enormously they have gained.

The Indian storm has quite blown over. Hardinge's dinner at the
India House went off with a profusion of compliments and civilities
exchanged between the Directors, the Ministers, and the new
Governor-General, and no more allusion was made to Ellenborough than
if he never had existed.

Meanwhile Brougham has been signalising himself both in the House
of Lords and in the Judicial Committee. His railroad job in the
former produced an exposure to the last degree discreditable, and
not the less deplorable because the Duke of Wellington and the Tory
Lords who were present were mean enough to vote with him. He was,
nevertheless, beaten by one, after making _eleven_ speeches. In the
Judicial Committee he made a desperate effort to get a hearing for
Madame Zichy (which was in fact a rehearsing of Croker's cause), but
we had taken care to make use of the authority of the Lord President
in convoking the Committee, and he was overruled by the majority,
after a smart discussion. The circumstances of this case are quite
sufficient to prove to me that the paramount authority of the Lord
President is indispensable to make this machine work well, certainly
so long as Brougham attends it, and I believe will be always useful
to prevent jealousies and dissensions among the Judges. The Lord
President is above them, and while he never would think of exercising
his own authority, except for purposes of regulation, for composing
differences and taking care that no injustice is done, he never can
himself come into legal competition with, or be himself an object of
jealousy to, any of them.


_June 10th._--For the last week this town has been kept in a fever by
the brief and unexpected visit of the Emperor of Russia. Brunnow told
me he was at Petersburg, and had given up all idea of coming here, and
the very next day the telegraph announced that he was at the Hague,
and would arrive in London in twenty-four hours. Nobody knows now what
was the cause of this sudden and rapid expedition, for he travelled
without stopping, and with extraordinary rapidity, from Petersburg,
with the exception of twenty-four hours at Berlin, and forty-eight
hours at the Hague. He alighted at the Palace, embraced the Queen,
and after his interview went to establish himself at Brunnow's. He
immediately visited all the Royal Family, and the Duke of Wellington.
The Duke attired himself in the costume of a Russian Field-Marshal to
receive the Emperor. On Monday he went to Windsor, Tuesday to Ascot,
Wednesday they gave him a Review, which went off very badly, owing
to mistakes and bad arrangement, but with which he expressed himself
very well satisfied. The sight was pretty, glorious weather, 3,000 or
4,000 Guards, Horse, Foot, and Artillery in the Park, the Queen _en
calèche_ with a brilliant suite. It was striking when the Duke went
and put himself at the head of his regiment, marched past, and saluted
the Queen and Emperor. The air resounded with acclamations as the old
warrior passed, and the Emperor rode up to him and shook him by the
hand. He did the same by the Prince and Duke of Cambridge as they
respectively marched by at the head of their regiments, but neither
of them was so cheered as the Duke. There was a blunder about the
artillery. The Queen cannot endure firing, and the Duke had ordered
that the guns should not be fired till she left the ground. By some
mistake contrary orders were given, and they advanced and fired not
far from Her Majesty. The Duke was furious, and would not be pacified,
though Emperor, Queen, and Prince did their best to appease him; he
blew up, and swore lustily, and ordered the luckless artillery into
the rear. It was a mighty small concern for the Emperor, who reviews
100,000 men, and sees 15,000 mount guard every day; but he expressed
his satisfaction, and when the Queen said her troops were few in
number, he told her that she must consider his troops at her disposal
exactly the same as her own.

On Thursday they went to Ascot again, where they were received very
well by a dense multitude; on Friday to London, where they gave him
a party at the Palace, omitting to ask half the remarkable people,
especially of the Opposition. On Saturday a breakfast at Chiswick,
a beautiful _fête_, and perfectly successful. Everything that was
distinguished in London was collected to see and be seen by the
Emperor. All the statesmen, fine ladies, poets, artists, beauties,
were collected in the midst of a display of luxury and magnificence,
set off by the most delicious weather. The Emperor lunched in a room
fitted up with his arms and ensigns, and afterwards held a sort of
circle on the grass, where people were presented to him, and he went
round talking to one after another. His appearance on the whole
disappointed me. He is not so tall as I had heard he was--about 6
feet 2, I should guess; and he has no remains of the beauty for which
he was once so celebrated, and which at his age, forty-eight, need
not have so entirely faded away; but the cares of such an Empire
may well have ravaged that head on which they sit not lightly. He
is become bald and bulky, but nevertheless is still a very fine and
grand-looking personage. He accepts his age and its consequences, and
does not try to avert them by any artificial appliances, and looks
all the better for so doing. Though he has a very imposing air, I
have seen much nobler men; he does not bear the highest aristocratic
stamp; his general appearance is inferior to that of Lord Anglesey
or Lord Granville (both twenty-five years older), and to others. He
gives me more the idea of a Thracian peasant raised to Empire, than
of the descendant of a line of kings; still his head, and especially
his profile, is very fine, and his manners are admirable, affable
without familiarity, cordial yet dignified, and particularly full
of deference and gallantry to women. As he moved round the circle
all smiling and urbane, I felt a sensation of awe mixed with that of
curiosity at reflecting that I saw before me a potentate so mighty and
despotic, on whose will and pleasure or caprice depended the fortune,
the happiness, and the lives of millions of creatures; and when the
condition of these subject millions and the frequent exercise of such
unbounded power flitted over my mind, I felt a pleasant consciousness
that I was beyond the sphere of its influence, free as the birds in
the air, at least from him, and I enjoyed that involuntary comparison
of my freedom with the slavery of his subjects, which is in itself
happiness, or something like it.


The Emperor seems to have a keen eye for beauty, and most of the
good-looking women were presented to him. He was very civil to M. de
St. Aulaire (and so he had been to Van de Weyer the night before),
and very civil to Lord Harrowby, Lord Granville, Lord Lansdowne,
to Clarendon, whom he had known in Russia, and to Palmerston. Lord
John Russell was not presented to him, which was very wrong and
ill-managed. Of all men he ought to have made acquaintance with the
remarkable leader of the Whig party; but the Queen had not asked
him to her party the night before, so that he never approached the
Emperor at all. His Majesty thanked Lord Melbourne for having come
to the breakfast, and afforded him the opportunity of making his
acquaintance. He went away early, and the departure was pretty; the
Royal equipages, the escort of Lancers with their pennons glancing
in the sun, the steps and balcony clustered over with women to speed
the parting guest; and as he bade the Duke of Devonshire a kind
farewell, and mounted his carriage, while the Russian Hymn struck up,
and he took his departure for ever from the gay scene and brilliant
assemblage, proceeding on the march of his high and hard destiny,
while we all turned to our humble, obscure, peaceful, and uneventful
occupations, it was an exhibition to stir the imagination and excite
busy thoughts.


_June 21st._--While we were still gossiping about the Emperor's visit
and discussing in great tranquillity all its incidents, we were roused
by a rumour, which, as it swelled into importance, soon consigned
his Imperial Majesty to oblivion. On Friday night the Government
were defeated on the Sugar duties by a majority of 20.[80] A meeting
had taken place previously at Peel's, at which some strong language
was held by Sir John Rae Reid and some of the West Indians; and many
of the Government people expected they should be beaten, without
apparently attaching much consequence to their defeat, if it occurred.
On Saturday afternoon vague rumours were afloat of resignation,
to which nobody paid any attention. In the course of Sunday these
rumours acquired consistency and importance, and it became known that
there really was something in it. The town became curious, busy, and
bustling; the clubs were full; and little knots of anxious politicians
were to be found at the corner of every street. There had been a
Cabinet on Saturday, the Queen came to town, and there was another
Cabinet on Monday; still on Sunday night nobody believed Peel would
really seriously meditate resigning. The Tories went about saying
it was settled and made up; and the Whigs, who were anything but
prepared to take office, cried out against the notion of resignation
quite as lustily as the Tories themselves. On Monday it gradually
came out that matters were in a very critical and alarming state.
Peel, long dissatisfied with his party, had been exceedingly incensed
at the language held at the meeting, and the adverse vote made him
resolve to stand it no longer. He accordingly convened a Cabinet on
Monday, and then they agreed, with the full concurrence of Graham
and Stanley, who, Wharncliffe told me, were quite as decided as Peel
himself to adhere to their measure, to signify their resolution to the
House of Commons, and, if beaten again, to resign. Peel went down
and made a speech which appeared to everybody very injudicious. It
was long and dull. It put forth pretensions which men of all parties
said were not to be tolerated, for they construed what he said into
an intimation that if the House of Commons did not do all he chose
to insist upon, he would throw the government up; and with much bad
taste and without any necessity, he lugged in the House of Lords also,
in reference to the Bangor Bishopric Bill. His speech was determined
enough, but it was very offensive and dictatorial, and people of all
parties were exasperated and disgusted with it. For some time the
fall of the Government was considered inevitable; nobody saw any
prospect of their getting a majority, and it was thought that many
people would be so shocked and offended at his speech that they would
vote against him, for no other reason than to mark their opinion of
it. The dissatisfaction was universal; however, he got a majority
of twenty-two, and the storm blew over. Many who had not voted at
all on Friday came and voted with him now; some went away, and the
Leaguers remained firm and voted with Government again. But it was
their doing so that saved him, and a capital speech of Stanley's is
supposed to have done a great deal of good; but Peel's own moderate
friends severely blamed both his conduct and language--men, for
example, like Sandon and Francis Egerton--and the multitude were still
more bitter and angry than before. It is generally admitted that the
Government has been excessively weakened by this transaction, and
that it will be very difficult for them to go on at all when such
mutual feelings of estrangement and aversion are entertained by the
leader of the party. Peel's personal reputation has suffered severely.
He is thought to have been injudicious and unjust, and to have been
influenced by personal motives and a morbid sensitiveness unworthy
of a great man and of one who took on himself to govern the country.
Those who admit that he has received great provocation, and that his
party have been insulting in their tone and lukewarm or hostile in
their conduct, still maintain that his party have equal reason to
complain of him. They complain that he is unsocial and reserved, that
he never consults their wishes and opinions, and that their feelings
towards him are in a great measure attributable to himself. There
are, no doubt, grave faults on both sides, and it is not improbable
that fresh subjects of disagreement will occur, and that some fresh
crisis will bring his Government to an end. On the other hand, there
is so much reluctance to see any change, and such a dread of a general
election, that it is just possible this breeze may have alarmed the
Tory malcontents, and that the necessity for a better understanding
may tend to produce it. Peel is at the head of a weak, discontented
party, and both Lords and Commons are animated towards him with an
unfriendly spirit, and merely look upon him as a necessary evil. One
striking circumstance is his forgetfulness of the Queen's condition,
so near her confinement, and his not shrinking from exposing her to
the difficulty and embarrassment into which his resignation must have
thrown her. This indicates a predominance of selfish feeling, and a
want of gallantry. He ought to have made every personal sacrifice, not
absolutely incompatible with his public duty, rather than do anything
to annoy her at such a moment, and nobody accepts the excuse he makes
as a sufficient apology for the course which he adopted.

    [Footnote 80: [A Bill regulating the duties on sugar at different
    rates from different countries had been introduced by the
    Chancellor of the Exchequer. On June 14th, Mr. Miles carried an
    amendment against Government lowering the duties on both British
    and foreign sugar not the produce of slave labour. But this vote
    was rescinded on the 17th by a majority of 255 to 233, under the
    pressure of a threat of resignation of Ministers.]]

_June 22nd._--Peel found an opportunity of making a sort of apology
to his party in the House of Commons two nights ago. Tom Duncombe
attacked him and them in one of his buffoon speeches, and Peel took
advantage of it especially to disclaim the arrogant pretension of
insisting on his party adopting every measure he thought fit to
propose. The ground on which he took the decided part he did last
week was the coalition between his people and the Opposition. He said
he should not have minded the adverse vote; this might have been got
over; but it was the agreement by which it had been brought about
which so deeply offended him. This, together with the personal conduct
and language of many, indicated such a want of confidence in him, and
proved to him that he was in such danger, and must be thrown into
such difficulty, by the possibility of future coalitions of a similar
kind, that he was resolved not to put up with it. It is now made up;
but nothing can repair the mischief that has been done; nothing can
restore that mutual confidence and goodwill which are so necessary
between a Government (especially the leader) and the party which
supports them; nothing can recover for Peel the estimation which he
has forfeited. The dislike of many of his supporters to him will not
be less, their distrust will be greater, and he has now lost their
respect in great measure. His conduct has not been that of a great
man, nor even that of a prudent and judicious man.


_July 5th._--Since I last wrote the political atmosphere has been
getting clearer, and Peel and his party seem to have made it up
pretty well. It is likely enough that he will take more pains to keep
them in good-humour, and that they will be afraid of provoking him
again. However, this affair had hardly subsided before another storm
was raised about opening letters at the Post Office. Tom Duncombe,
indefatigable for mischief, and the grand jobman of miscellaneous
grievances, brought forward the case of M. Mazzini, whose letters had
been opened by Sir James Graham's warrant. This matter, in itself most
ridiculous, inasmuch as Graham had done no more than what every other
Secretary of State did before him, soon acquired a great and undue
importance. The press took it up; the Whig press as a good ground of
attack on the Government, and especially Graham; and the 'Times,'
merely from personal hatred of Graham, whom they are resolved to write
down if they can on account of his honest support of the Poor Law. No
man ever distinguished himself more than Graham has done during this
session, and none ever was so fiercely and unscrupulously assailed and
bitterly vilified on all sides. The question was brought before the
House of Commons, and bruited abroad in such a manner, and with such
comments, that it lit up a flame throughout the country. Every foolish
person who spoils paper and pens fancied his nonsense was read at
the Home Office. The Opposition took it up, and supported Duncombe.
Graham did not deal with the matter very judiciously. He might have
said more or less than he did; he might have said something more for
the necessary irresponsibility of the power, and something less as to
the manner in which it had actually been exercised. But whatever he
said, it was very wrong and very unfair of John Russell not to make
common cause with him, not to vindicate the law and its exercise, and
to say manfully at once that he had done the same thing when he was
in office; instead of this, he both spoke and voted against Graham,
and I am positively assured that no Secretary of State ever was less
scrupulous in the exercise of this power than himself. Palmerston was
more prudent, for he said nothing at all on the subject. It seems Lord
Lichfield left all the warrants which he had received in the office,
and they can be produced. When Graham found himself thus attacked and
reviled, he resolved to cast off all the official reserve in which he
had at first wrapped the question, and to vindicate himself by showing
that he had merely followed the example of his predecessors; and I
conclude he found that he should lose nothing by a comparison of his
proceedings with theirs, so he moved for a Secret Committee, who are
to take evidence and make a report. He has composed it of five Whigs
and four Tories, excluding all who are or have been in office, and
Tom Duncombe the accuser. This concession by no means disarmed his
opponents, and the 'Times' particularly has continued to attack him
with the utmost virulence, but so coarsely and unfairly as quite to
overshoot the mark.


On Monday and Tuesday last I was in the Court of Exchequer, to hear
our great cause of 'Orlando' and 'Running Rein,'[81] which ended very
triumphantly by their withdrawing the record early on the second
morning. Our case was admirably got up, owing in great measure to
the indefatigable activity and the intelligence and penetration of
George Bentinck, who played the part both of attorney and policeman
in hunting out and getting up the evidence. The opposite party had
no idea we had got up our case so perfectly; but the trial was over
before we had half developed it in evidence. The whole circumstances
from the beginning to the end are very curious, and it has been
equally interesting and amusing to all concerned in it. We have all
worked hard in different ways, _palmam qui meruit ferat_; and though
there is a feud between George Bentinck and myself, and we do not
speak to each other, I must acknowledge all his great services on this
occasion. The counsel on the other side, Cockburn, made a very violent
attack on him in his speech, and accused him of being party, attorney,
policeman; that he had tampered with the witnesses, clothed, fed, and
paid them. This he was specifically instructed to say, and a great
deal of it was true; but I think he said more than he need or ought to
have done, though the Judge (Alderson) said he had only done his duty.
On this occasion George Bentinck did no more than he was justified in
doing, and he certainly did not tamper with any witnesses, or employ
any unfair means to procure testimony. He wrote on the evening of
the first day a letter of indignant but courteous remonstrance to
Cockburn, to which he alluded in Court on the second. The object of it
was to entreat him to put him in the box, and give him an opportunity
of vindicating himself and telling all he had done in the matter. Some
explanatory civilities were bandied about between George Bentinck,
Cockburn, and the Judge, and it ended amicably.

Brougham has withdrawn the obnoxious clauses of his Privy Council
Bill, making at the same time an asseveration that the judicial
appointment in it was never intended for himself; and he appealed to
his 'noble friends,' who nodded or remained silent, _three_ of whom at
least (the Duke, the Chancellor, and Wharncliffe) knew the contrary,
but they think it worth while to humour him, and to allow him to play
his antics in the House of Lords _ad libitum_. The Duke of Wellington
has lent himself to the sort of tacit compact which exists between him
and the Government, to a degree I never thought he could have done;
but he does not seem to hold the House of Lords in hand in the way he
used to do.

    [Footnote 81: [A horse called 'Running Rein' had come in first for
    the Derby, 'Orlando' being second. It was proved that 'Running
    Rein' was a four-year-old horse, and consequently disqualified.
    'Orlando' thereupon took the stakes. This horse 'Orlando' was
    afterwards purchased by Mr. Greville for his stud; but he did not
    belong to Mr. Greville in 1844.]]

_Bretby, September 8th._--Considerably more than two months have
elapsed since I have written anything in this book. When I have taken
up my pen it has always been occupied in the thing I am writing on
Ireland. But I am reluctant altogether to forsake my old companion
of so many years, and to give up noticing public events; so I have
brought this book down here with me, for the purpose of bringing up
the arrear (briefly and cursorily indeed) to the present time. The
session of Parliament was suspended, though for all active purposes
virtually closed, when the Judges went on the circuit, with, an
understanding that it was to assemble again for the judgement in
O'Connell's case, and then to be prorogued. It ended very differently
for the Government from the last; notwithstanding the severe shock
they had in the middle of it, they left off strong, and with more of
reputation than last year. A good deal had been done, and some of it
well done; and, what is of still greater importance, the country is
peaceful and flourishing.


During the recess, however, the dispute which had some time before
begun between us and France took a threatening aspect, and for
some time it was a toss-up whether we went to war or not. Peel
had announced to the House of Commons in very lofty language that
Government would exact an ample reparation for the outrage perpetrated
on Pritchard at Tahiti, while Guizot evinced no disposition to make
any. A long series of semi-diplomatic negotiations ensued. Aberdeen
very prudently did not demand anything specific, but laid the case
before the French Government, expressing his conviction that they
would do everything that justice and propriety demanded. The press
in both countries blew the coals with all their might and main, and
for a long time Guizot refused to make any such _amende_ as we could
possibly take. What we wanted (not demanded) was that some _act_
should be done to mark the sense of the French Government of what
was due to us,--the recall of D'Aubigny or of Bruat, or of both; but
Guizot said, 'Je ne rappellerai personne,' and all he offered was to
express 'regrets et improbation.' This, which was a mere scintilla of
apology, we could not accept as a sufficient reparation for so gross
an outrage, and at one moment up to the day, Tuesday last, when the
Council was held for the prorogation, it looked very bad. That day
Aberdeen told me he thought Guizot's Ministry was on its last legs,
that he did not despair of an amicable settlement, but that he thought
Guizot must fall, and he looked for an arrangement being made by Molé
or Thiers, whichever of them might succeed him. But when matters
appeared nearly desperate, a suggestion was thrown out (I believe by
Jarnac),[82] but in conversation between Jarnac and Aberdeen, and
therefore either made by him or accepted by him, that, besides the
verbal apology, a compensation in money should be made to Pritchard.
On Wednesday the Cabinet met to decide whether they should accept the
final offers of France to the above effect or refuse them; and the
result was that they agreed to accept them. They were very anxious
to be able to announce the pacification in the Queen's Speech, and
they felt that it would be preposterous and absurd to go to war for
so small a matter, and when the principle of making an apology was
on the other side admitted, to haggle about the words of it; and
therefore, though it was slender, they thought it better to take it.
It is, I think, not impossible that the decision of this Cabinet was
in some degree quickened by the reversal of O'Connell's judgement,
which took place the same morning, much to their disgust.[83] I think
they were right, especially as we have certainly done enough to make
the French Government see that we do not intend to submit to any more
impertinence on their part. Our case, too, was one of much complexity
and difficulty, for Pritchard had been turbulent and mischievous, and
had, with the sectarian zeal of a missionary, given all the trouble
and embarrassment he could to the French; they, therefore, had a case
against him, though the French officers were by no means justified in
the violence they exercised. I called one day at Apsley House, saw the
Duke, and found him in a talkative humour on this affair. He has been
for some time urging the Government to make themselves stronger; and
very much in consequence of his advice, measures had been in rapid
progress for equipping ships and preparing a formidable force at sea.
The Duke said that the disposition of the French was to insult us
whenever and wherever they thought they could do so with impunity,
and that the only way to keep at peace with them was to be stronger
in every quarter of the globe than they were; that he had told Lord
Melbourne so when he was in office, and that this was his opinion now.
Wherever they had ships we ought to have a naval force superior to
theirs; and we might rely on it, that as long as that was the case we
should find them perfectly civil and peaceable; and wherever it was
not the case, we should find them insolent and troublesome.

The judgement on O'Connell's case came on the world like a clap of
thunder; though Ministers were aware of it, for Lyndhurst told them
it would be so. Wharncliffe had the greatest difficulty in preventing
the Tory Peers from voting; Redesdale and Stradbroke were especially
anxious, and the former in the highest possible dudgeon. If they had
voted it would have been most injurious to the House of Lords, and
Government must have immediately let O'Connell out of prison.

    [Footnote 82: [It was by Lord Aberdeen himself, as now appears by
    the published correspondence. But it is worth while to record,
    as a matter of fact, that this pecuniary indemnity to Pritchard
    _was never paid_. The British Government had resolved, if no
    satisfaction was obtained from France to send Mr. Pritchard out in
    the 'Collingwood,' and a very strong despatch had been drafted, but
    it was never sent to Paris.]]

    [Footnote 83: [On August 4th judgement was given by the House of
    Lords in the case of O'Connell, and the sentence of the Irish Court
    reversed. The law Lords only voted, in consequence of an appeal
    made to the House by Lord Wharncliffe to decide the point on legal
    grounds only and by the votes of the law lords exclusively.]]


_The Grange, September 14th._--O'Connell, as soon as he got out of
prison, made a long speech, full of sound and fury, threatening
and abusing everybody, but evidently desirous of finding plausible
pretences for suspending all active movements, and for abstaining from
doing anything that may bring him again into collision with the law
or the Government. The high Tories and their press are exceedingly
indignant with Wharncliffe for having interposed to prevent the lay
Lords voting and overruling the law Lords; and much to my surprise I
found Lord Ashburton rather leaning to that opinion, and talking a
great deal of nonsense on the subject; but it is still more curious
that this notion of his has been either produced or confirmed by
a letter from 'that indescribable wretch Brougham,' as O'Connell
calls him. In the House of Lords he backed up Wharncliffe, as it
seemed, with great propriety and good sense, and now he writes to
Lord Ashburton that for the first time in his life he lost his
presence of mind, and takes blame to himself for not having opposed
Wharncliffe, indeed for having supported him. If he had opposed him,
unless the Chancellor had had the good sense and prudence to desire
these Lords not to vote, they infallibly would have voted; indeed,
I do not know if Brougham had urged them on, if they would not have
done so even if the Chancellor had dissuaded them; and if they had,
what a clamour would have been raised in Ireland, and what disgrace
would have fallen on the House of Lords! This has certainly been a
most unfortunate business from the beginning to the end, between the
blunders and the accidents, the various untoward circumstances in
the course of the trial, the unavoidable fact of a wholly Protestant
jury, the undoubted partiality of the Chief Justice; then the division
of opinion among the Judges, and the political character which
the judgement itself displays, all ending with the triumph of the
criminals and the mortification of the Government. But, in spite of
all this, the great end of arresting agitation was accomplished; and
in all probability, notwithstanding his escape, O'Connell has had a
lesson sufficiently severe to deter him from renewing the system of
monster meetings. It is pretty evident that he does not know what to
do next, and the Government is much in the same predicament; nor am I
sure that what has occurred will not prove favourable for an attempt
at conciliation and a reasonable settlement. He has seen the danger
of agitation, and they have seen the difficulty of coping with it;
nor are there wanting some indications of a disposition on his part
to pause, and conditionally to give up Repeal. He makes advances for
a reconciliation with the Whigs, who, he knows, are opposed firmly
to Repeal, and he talks of going round England to make an appeal
to the people, and if this fails, then to work Repeal all the more
strenuously. However, everybody goes on lamenting the state of things,
and saying they don't see what is to be done.

The last day of the session a writ was moved for Stanley, who is going
to the House of Peers; they found they could not go on there any
longer, and Stanley would stay no longer in the House of Commons. He
had taken a disgust to it, and fancied his health was breaking down,
and he gave notice that he would rather resign than remain there.
Brougham was disgusted at Stanley's translation. Graham told me this
about Stanley, and said what a weight it cast on himself and Peel,
and what a loss he was to them there. Ripon is done up; the Duke
of Wellington is grown so much deafer lately that he can no longer
lead the House; Wharncliffe does but moderately; the Chancellor does
nothing at all; and Aberdeen confines himself to his own business.
The Government was therefore left in the degrading position of being
constantly nursed and dandled by Brougham, who sat on the Woolsack
and volunteered to speak for them on all occasions. This position of
his, which was sufficiently anomalous, placed them in one which they
now feel to be very humiliating and ridiculous, and it is to cure this
evil that Stanley has been translated to the other House. He said to
me it was high time somebody should go there, and when he was there
he should make the Chancellor take a more active part. Brougham will
be highly disgusted at his advent because his own occupation will
be gone. Stanley will fight the Government battles himself, and not
suffer Brougham to take the Ministerial bench under his dangerous and
discreditable protection.



    The Policy of England to Ireland--Ministers object to
    the Publication--Could the Book be delayed and published
    anonymously?--Visit to the Grange--Buckland--Visit to
    Broadlands--Visit to Woburn--Prince Albert complains of want
    of Secrecy--Visit to Ampthill--Baron Rolfe--The Master of the
    Rolls to sit at the Judicial Committee--The Queen knew nothing
    of the Irish Book--Reconciliation of Thiers and Palmerston--Mr.
    Gladstone resigns on the Maynooth Endowments--Changes in
    the Cabinet--Sidney Herbert--Lord Lincoln--Precarious
    Position of French Ministry--Mr. Gladstone's Resignation
    transpires--Sensitiveness of the French Government--Debate in the
    House of Commons--Gladstone's Resignation unintelligible--Mr.
    Duncombe's Letters--Death of Rev. Sydney Smith--Publication of
    the 'Policy to Ireland'--Death of Robert Smith (Bobus)--Death
    of Miss Fox--Visit to Althorp--Effects of the Irish Book--Whig
    and Tory Opinions--The Maynooth Grant--Meeting of Thiers and
    Guizot--Debate on the Maynooth Grant--Macaulay's Speech--Divisions
    in the Tory Party--Possibility of a Whig Government--Break-up
    of Parties--Birkenhead--Depression--Visits to the Grove and to
    Broadlands--Lord Melbourne--Opinions on the Irish Book--Sir Robert
    Peel's Improved Position--Embarrassment caused by the Queen's
    Absence from England--A Queer Family.


_London, January 12th, 1845._--More than four months have elapsed
since I wrote anything in this book, and I have not much hope
either of finding materials or having sufficient application to
make it interesting or amusing. When people kept diaries in former
times, there were no such newspapers as the 'Times' with its volume
of letterpress, and dozens of Sunday papers all collecting and
retailing the public events and the private anecdotes of the day,
and the memoranda of very inconsiderable persons consequently became
interesting and amusing; but now it requires that a writer should
either have access to stores of hidden information, or live in
intimacy with remarkable people and become the chronicler of their
words, thoughts, and actions, or that he should have a strong original
genius of his own, and to none of these can I lay any considerable
claim. I say _considerable_ (I have none at all to the last), because,
though I know very few State secrets, I do every now and then acquire
the knowledge of curious and interesting facts; and I live more or
less with conspicuous people, both literary and political, though much
more, I am sorry to say, with the common herd. Certainly, however,
the principal reason which has prevented my writing in this Journal
has been the absorbing occupation of writing my book upon Ireland;
and though the one need not have prevented the other, somehow it did,
and whenever I was disposed to write, I always went to my manuscript
and not to my red book. Having done that, I now turn to my Journal
again, and am especially tempted to do so because I have something to
say about my book. I will travel backwards up to the time when I last
left off, as far as my memory serves me. But first of my book.[84] The
first idea of writing it laid hold of me after Lord John Russell's
motion in February last, and I then began very slowly, and reading
much more than I wrote, because I was obliged to plunge into books on
Ireland, and grope my way through Irish history. When I had finished
the first part, which brought down the history of Ireland to the
Rebellion or near it, I showed what I had written to Clarendon, and
he gave me so much encouragement that I resolved to go on with it,
which I had by no means determined on before. I went on but slowly,
and often interrupted by racing and other occupations, and by October
I had finished the historical part and most of the statistical, or,
indeed, I believe, all of it. It was then that I showed what I had
written to George Lewis, who read and approved of it, and gave
me a great many suggestions, of which I made use afterwards. His
criticisms were very serviceable to me, and he wrote not less than a
hundred pages of Irish matter which I made use of in the argumentative
part of my composition. It is not above three weeks or a month ago
that I finished the whole, and the last person who read it all in
manuscript was Sheil, who also gave me encouragement and many useful
hints. Besides these, the Duke of Bedford saw a part, Lady Georgiana
Fullerton the whole, Normanby some, Dundas a very little at Ampthill,
and Charles Buller some more proofs at the Grange. All these people
expressed approbation and gave me encouragement. Reeve read the
manuscript and helped me in correcting the press. He also approved,
but in some respects criticised and disagreed. Henry Taylor saw part
of it, but I don't think he did approve of anything but the style,
which he liked. So much for friendly critics and previous inspection.

    [Footnote 84: [Mr. Greville's attention had long been directed
    to the subject of the relations of the Roman Catholic Church to
    the States in other Protestant countries, and he was strongly of
    opinion that no permanent union could he established between Great
    Britain and Ireland which did not deal in a liberal and tolerant
    spirit with the religion of the majority of Irishmen. This was the
    starting-point of the work referred to in the text on 'the Policy
    of England to Ireland.' It seemed not impossible that the Ministry
    of Sir Robert Peel might adopt those views and propose the payment
    of the Roman Catholic clergy. Peel himself made a step in that
    direction when he proposed the permanent endowment of Maynooth. But
    the result of the experiment was not encouraging. Peel was intent
    on other great designs. He always said that a Minister should have
    but one great work in hand at a time, and added, 'the payment of
    the Roman Catholics may one day be carried, but it will be fatal to
    the Minister who carries it.']]


_January 15th._--About six weeks ago I told Lord Wharncliffe what
I was about, who made no observation and suggested no objection of
any sort or kind, and I told him partly for the purpose of giving
him an opportunity of suggesting objections, if any occurred to him.
Frequently the subject was alluded to at his house, but nothing
particular was ever said. Some three weeks ago I told Graham. He
laughed, and begged to have a copy when it came out. I went on with
the work, and sent it to the press; and meanwhile, making no secret
of it, everybody became aware that such a book was forthcoming,
and it began to excite a good deal of interest and curiosity. On
Saturday last Lord Wharncliffe wrote a note to Reeve from the Cabinet
'immediate,' desiring he would not leave the office till he saw him.
On his return he began to talk about my book and of the objections
there might be to its publication. Reeve said he had much better speak
to me himself, and accordingly he came into my room and began, 'I want
to talk to you about your book. Do you think it is prudent in you to
publish such a book?' I said I did not know why not. He did not, he
said, know the exact nature of it, but supposed it was a pamphlet,
and, as he gathered from my conversation, that the object of it was to
recommend measures far beyond anything they could do. The Government
were desirous of doing all the good they could, but that a book
published by a person in my situation, connected as I was with the
Government and in a position so conspicuous, might expose them to much
misapprehension as to their intentions and greatly embarrass them.
A great deal more conversation followed, in which he endeavoured to
convince me of the reasonableness of giving up publishing my book, and
I endeavoured to convince him that it could not do the Government any
harm, and that I had a right to publish it. It ended by his begging
me to reconsider the matter, which I engaged to do. I must add that
there was no intimation of any threat, or of a positive prohibition.
On Sunday I went and consulted Clarendon and George Lewis, and after
our conference I wrote a long letter to Wharncliffe, which was
intended for his colleagues as well as himself, explaining the nature
of the work and the circumstances in which I was placed, and urging
the reasons which I thought ought to reconcile the Government to the
publication the consequences of which they appeared to apprehend. We
went to Windsor on Monday for a Council, but on Monday evening I sent
him this letter. He had, however, in the meantime come into my room
and asked me if I had considered what he said. I replied that I would
not then discuss it, as I had written him a letter; but after he had
read it, and made what use he pleased of it, I would discuss it with

Yesterday, however, George Lewis went to Graham, and had a
conversation with him about the publication, which he communicated to
me last night, and which immediately determined me to abandon all idea
of publishing it _at all_. From a conversation which Lord Wharncliffe
had with Reeve in the morning, I gathered that the Government would
be satisfied if I would delay the publication for a short time,
till Easter perhaps; and I had entirely made up my mind to do this,
and really flattered myself that such a compromise would settle the
question. But the tenor of Graham's language has convinced me that
neither now, nor at Easter, nor at any other time, can I with anything
like safety or future peace of mind venture on this publication,
and that no course is left me but to suppress it. Whether Graham
had seen my letter to Wharncliffe I do not know, but Lewis found
him very serious on the subject. He repeated all the objections and
apprehensions that had been already urged, dwelt much on my position,
and ended with this very ominous and intelligible hint, that _there
were persons who would be deeply offended by_ (_or would resent_, I
forget which expression) any comments on their conduct either present
or past. He had heard, too, that a leading Member of the Opposition in
the House of Commons who had read this book said it was very violent.
All this and more, Lewis told me (Graham having authorised him to do
so), and the moment I heard it my mind was made up. It is certainly
mortifying after so much time and labour have been expended upon a
work, which my friends tell me would be creditable to me and amusing
or interesting to the world, to consign my book to oblivion; but the
wisest thing to do is not to dwell on the disagreeable side of the
question, but to look out for some topic of consolation, and there
is a shape in which this presents itself to my mind. The _persons_
(in the plural) of whom Graham spoke may be one or more, but of one
I feel as sure as if I had heard what passed in the Cabinet, and
that one is Peel. Of this I have no doubt, for who else can care for
his _past_ conduct being canvassed? If I am now vexed by this little
mortification and disappointment, I must consider that it is entirely
my own fault, and that if I had reflected on the exigencies of my
position I should have employed my time more profitably, and not have
exposed myself to this annoyance. However, it has been an interest to
me for many months past; it has not unpleasantly occupied my mind; and
the habit of writing may perhaps lead me to do something more in the
same way.[85]

    [Footnote 85: [It will he seen shortly that these penitential
    reflexions were thrown away. The obstacles to the publication were
    soon removed. The book was published, nobody was offended, and it
    had a deserved success. Ministers, in fact, had attached far too
    much importance to a thing of no importance at all.]]


_January 16th._--Yesterday Wharncliffe came into my room and began
again about the book. He said it was the particular _time_ which made
the great objection; would I delay it? When the struggle had begun
and they were able to speak out, it would not so much signify, and if
I would postpone the publication for a certain time. I said at once
that I could not hesitate to keep it back, and that _sine die_; that
I had told him it was far from my wish to embarrass the Government,
and when he told me it might have that effect, I would stop the
publication, and would not bring it out without further communication
with him. He said, very well, that would be perfectly satisfactory
and adjust everything; and rather to my surprise, because it showed
the importance he attached to it, he really seemed quite relieved
and overjoyed. He then asked, would I publish it without my name,
which, having very nearly made up my mind not to publish it at all, I
promised without any difficulty. As he went away, he told Reeve that
all was amicably settled. He anticipates the publication later; indeed
wishes it, because he sees that the Government would be in a scrape if
they were supposed to have suppressed it, and I did not tell him what
Graham had said. I met Sheil in the afternoon, and told him what had
occurred. He greatly comforted me for the disappointment by telling me
that when he read it he did think that it would prove so annoying to
Peel that he wondered how I could venture to publish it.

_January 18th._--The more I reflect on the affair of this book, the
more satisfied I am with having suppressed it, and only dissatisfied
with having spent so much time and trouble on the abortive production.
I have written a note to Miss Berry, whom I had told that it was
coming out, to account for its not appearing, and I have done this
that no doubt may exist as to the reason I have given for its

I must now look back and pick up such scraps worth remembering as I
have neglected to notice in the last few months, though they amount
to very little. I returned a few days ago from the Grange, where I
met Dr. Buckland and Archdeacon Wilberforce; the latter a very quick,
lively, and agreeable man, who is in favour at Court,[86] and has the
credit of seeking to be Preceptor to the Prince of Wales, an office
to which I should prefer digging at a canal, or breaking stones in
the road, so intolerable would be the slavery of it. Buckland gave
us a great dose of geology, not uninteresting, but too much of it.
Lord Ashburton was in great force, and it is droll to see the supreme
contempt which he and Palmerston entertain for each other.

I went there from Broadlands, where I left the Viscount full of vigour
and hilarity, and overflowing with diplomatic swagger. He said we
might hold any language we pleased to France and America, and insist
on what we thought necessary, without any apprehension that either
of them would go to war, as both knew how vulnerable they were,
France with her colonies and America with her slaves, a doctrine to
which Lord Ashburton by no means subscribes. Before these places I
was at Woburn and at Ampthill. At Woburn the Duke of Bedford told me
a good deal about his communications with Prince Albert, who seems
to talk to him very openly. One day he took him in his carriage to
shoot at Bagshot, when he spoke about Ireland, of the long course of
misgovernment, and the necessity of doing something, in such a strain
that the Duke was convinced Peel has some serious intentions, or
the Prince would not have said what he did; and we agreed that when
my book came out he should advise the Prince to read it. He told me
that Prince Albert complained of the manner in which the proceedings
and motions of the Court were publicly known and discussed, and
how hard it was; that on the Continent the Government knew by its
secret agents what the people were about, but here they knew nothing
about other people's affairs, and everybody knew about theirs; that
whatever they did, or were about to do, was known. The Duke told him
he wondered he had not discovered that everything was and must be
known here about them, and that it was the tax they paid for their
situation; that the world was curious to know and hear about them, and
therefore the press would always procure and give the information, and
the only reason why more was known about them than about anybody else,
was because there was not the same interest about others, and that,
as it was, all conspicuous people were brought into public notice in
the same manner. He owned this was true, and seemed struck by it. It
is the misfortune of princes never to hear the language of truth and
sense. They have men about them whose business it is to bow and smile
and agree, and they hardly have any one with independence and force of
mind enough to tell them what it would be good that they should hear,
and what they would attend to.


At Ampthill I met Dundas, Baron Rolfe,[87] and Empson. Nobody is
so agreeable as Rolfe: a clear head, vivacity, information, an
extraordinary pleasantness of manner without being either soft or
affected, extreme good-humour, cheerfulness, and tact make his
society on the whole as attractive as that of anybody I ever met.
The conversation and the anecdotes of these lawyers would be well
worth recording, but it is too late now. One hears in this way things
which go to prove how many false notions take root in public opinion,
and acquire all the solidity of undisputed facts. One, for example,
which struck me was the concurrent opinion of Parke and Rolfe (both,
it may be presumed, competent judges) of Eldon's value as a great
lawyer and Chancellor. They rate it astonishingly low, and think that
he did nothing for the law and for the establishment of great legal
principles, which surprised me.

When I came to town I found that the Chancellor had got Lord Langdale
to sit at the Privy Council, and all the other members of the Court
were very anxious that it should be a permanent arrangement; and so
it would be made but for Brougham. Langdale will not sit there if
Brougham does, because Brougham would take precedence of him; and
though everybody is satisfied that the permanent establishment of
the Master of the Rolls at the head of the Judicial Committee would
expedite the business, the Chancellor does not dare so settle it
for fear of offending Brougham. I spoke to him about it and so did
the others--'But what are we to do with Brougham?' he said. He did,
however, half promise that he would make the arrangement if it was
pressed upon him by the Committee; but nothing has been done.

    [Footnote 86: [Dr. Samuel Wilberforce, afterwards Bishop of
    Oxford, and finally of Winchester, a man not more distinguished
    for his zeal, activity, and eloquence as a prelate than for his
    brilliant social qualities. He became one of the most distinguished
    members of society in London. The Bishop was unhappily killed by
    a fall from his horse on July 19th, 1873, whilst riding with Lord
    Granville over the Surrey Hills.]]

    [Footnote 87: [Afterwards Lord Chancellor Cranworth, an excellent
    judge, and a most agreeable member of society.]]

_January 28th._--Went out of town on Wednesday last to Lord
Barrington's at Beckett; I saw the Duke of Bedford just before he went
to Strathfieldsaye, where he undertook to speak to the Prince about my
book. He did so, and found that they knew nothing about it, so that
Peel had not said anything; but the Queen expressed the great interest
she felt about the Irish measures to be proposed to Parliament, and
her satisfaction that the book had been suppressed, which the Duke
of Bedford was desired to convey to me. This he wrote to me, and
to-day I have another letter from him in which he says again that 'Her
Majesty could not wish to see anything published that would embarrass
her Government, and was glad the work had been suppressed if it had
not the sanction of Sir Robert Peel,' _or words to that effect._
Meanwhile Lewis has seen Graham again, who said that I had been very
reasonable, and talked of a month or two hence as the time when it
might be published. I sent it to Lord Lansdowne, who wrote me a very
encouraging letter on it.

The debates on the address in the French Chamber have ended after
great alarm well for Guizot, who is safe for the present. The most
curious incident in French politics is the flirtation struck up
between Thiers and Palmerston, which is matter of notoriety and
amusement in Paris. It was brought about by the intermediation of
Easthope, and some civil letters passed between the quondam rival
statesmen; at least Palmerston wrote something to Thiers at which his
friend Victor Cousin said he was extremely gratified.[88]

    [Footnote 88: [This was the result of their common hatred of M.
    Guizot. I find in my letters from Paris of the time, mention is
    made of Lord Palmerston's graceful and flattering overtures to
    M. Thiers. From that time forth Lord Palmerston's influence and
    that of his Ambassador, Lord Normanby, were actively employed in
    opposition to the King's Government; and the quarrel which broke
    out in the following year may be traced back to this point.]]


_January 30th._--Yesterday Lord Wharncliffe told me he had a secret to
tell me. This was Gladstone's resignation, which has been in agitation
nearly a year, ever since Peel gave notice that he would do a great
deal more for Irish education and improve Maynooth. Nor does Gladstone
really object to these measures; but he thinks that he has so deeply
and publicly committed himself by his books to the opposite principle
that he cannot without a great appearance of inconsistency be a party
to them.[89] His resignation, just after Stanley's removal to the
House of Lords, is a serious loss to the Government, and they have
endeavoured to repair it by means which appear very inadequate. Sidney
Herbert and Lord Lincoln come into the Cabinet, and Dalhousie becomes
President of the Board of Trade, not in the Cabinet. They proposed to
Sandon to be President of the Board; but he declined, I suppose not
thinking it worth while to vacate his seat at Lord Harrowby's age.
Sidney Herbert is a smart young fellow, but I remember no instance of
two men who had distinguished themselves so little in Parliament being
made Cabinet Ministers.[90] Herbert has done very neatly the little he
has done; Lincoln is a sensible man enough, but rather priggish and
solemn, with very little elasticity in him, and it appears a great
absurdity that the Commissioner of Woods should be in the Cabinet and
the President of the Board of Trade not, especially when there are no
reasons of personal distinction to account for such an incongruity.
But they mean to get Knatchbull out as soon as they can, and then to
bring in Dalhousie; meanwhile no Government ever was weaker in point
of speakers in the House of Commons, nor was there ever a Cabinet in
my recollection so staffed with mediocrity. They have lost Stanley,
Gladstone, and Follett, and the whole weight will fall on Peel and
Graham. It remains to be seen what Sidney Herbert and Cardwell can
do. In the Cabinet there are fifteen men (much too numerous), of whom
four able, Peel, Graham, Stanley, and the Chancellor. The Duke must be
considered as a man by himself, always great, _clarum et venerabile
nomen_; and then comes a mass of mediocrity and rubbish--some men
fair, sensible, and competent for the routine of business, not
brilliant, but respectable; and some very ordinary, and admitted
Heaven knows why into the Cabinet.[91] Buccleuch, Knatchbull, and
Lincoln[92] are more than useless; Wharncliffe, Aberdeen, Haddington,
and Goulburn respectable, the latter a very good man of business;
Granville Somerset, hard-headed, narrow-minded, and better adapted to
the second rank than the first; Ripon always inefficient when wanted.
The reason assigned for putting Lincoln in the Cabinet was that they
could not put in Sidney Herbert without putting him in also, which
seems a very bad one.


It was this impending resignation of Gladstone, and the reason for it,
which made them wish to suppress my book. They foresaw it would make a
stir, as no doubt it will, and they dreaded any fresh ingredient being
cast into the cauldron. Wharncliffe asked me to let him see it now;
but I told him he had better not, as it would be better (in case Peel
did not like it) that he should be able to say he had not seen it, and
he acquiesced in this. I saw John Russell yesterday, who likes the
book, all but the compliment to Peel at the end. But he dislikes Peel,
and is hardly fair to him.

Guizot is again tossed up in the air to come down heads or tails. I
doubted his being safe, from the conversation Dedel told me he had
with the King before he left Paris, when His Majesty told him that
he hoped Guizot would be able to maintain himself, and if a _crise
ministérielle_ came he would prolong it as much as he could, but that
at all events he might tell his friends in England that no change that
could occur would make the least difference in the relations of the
two countries.

    [Footnote 89: [The Maynooth endowment had been proposed to the
    Cabinet by Peel a year before, and postponed out of deference to
    Mr. Gladstone's scruples. It was this circumstance, which was
    unknown to Mr. Greville, that rendered the publication of his views
    on Irish endowments so critical at that time.]]

    [Footnote 90: [Sidney Herbert, second son of the eleventh Earl of
    Pembroke, by his marriage with Catherine Countess Woronzow; born
    September 16th, 1810; who, after a brilliant political career in
    the House of Commons, was created, in January 1861, Lord Herbert of
    Lea, but died in August of the same year.

    Henry Pelham-Clinton, afterwards fifth Duke of Newcastle; born May
    22nd, 1811; died October 18th, 1864.

    These two eminent and accomplished statesmen were the most
    illustrious followers of Sir Robert Peel. They belonged to that
    remarkable circle of Oxford men which gave the country Lord Elgin,
    Lord Canning, Mr. Gladstone, Lord Cardwell--all originally members
    of the Tory party, but who all became Liberal Ministers. Most of
    them unhappily died young, but not before they had done enough to
    be remembered with honour in the annals of England.]]

    [Footnote 91: [Mr. Greville acknowledges that these disparaging
    remarks were precipitate and unjust. Sir Robert Peel's Cabinet was
    by no means a weak one, and though he exercised in it a paramount
    influence, he was always desirous to bring forward as much as
    possible the statesmen of the future. Dalhousie, Lincoln, Sidney
    Herbert, Cardwell, and Elgin were his political progeny.]]

    [Footnote 92: Lincoln has turned out worth a dozen Sidney Herberts,
    and is the most rising man we have. So much for hasty judgements on
    untried or half-tried men.--C.C.G., January 1848.]

_February 4th._--I attended yesterday the Council for the Queen's
Speech; the new Cabinet Ministers were there, Sidney Herbert and
Lincoln. There is general disapprobation of the arrangements, the
Ministers wondering how the information of Gladstone's resignation
reached the 'Times' and became known,[93] and all suspecting and
accusing each other. It appears, however, that Gladstone wrote word of
it to his brother-in-law, who read his letter out to sixteen people,
and that is enough to explain it.

At the Council Graham and I had some talk about my book. He said he
had heard it was very strong, and after some hesitation gave Charles
Buller as the person _he had heard_ had said so; he said Peel and the
Duke would dislike any allusion to the whole history; let it be done
as it might, it must be unpalateable to them.

My brother came from Paris yesterday charged by Madame de Lieven
to entreat that nothing might be said in the Queen's Speech or in
Parliament to injure Guizot, whose fate depends materially on this.
All they fear is that Peel may say something; and all they want is
that we should not claim anything like a triumph over them, but that
we should acknowledge a perfect equality. I went to Aberdeen and
told him. He said Peel would say all he could, but could not do the
impossible; he had seen St. Aulaire; that nobody in England was so
anxious as himself to keep Guizot in, more so than Peel; but that if
they were so anxious about what we said they should be more cautious
what they said themselves, and when Guizot said that we had recalled
Pritchard at their desire we _must_ deny this to be true. However,
he thought that Peel would be able (even if attacked by Palmerston)
to explain the matter with safety to Guizot. Both Governments are
aware of the intrigues of Thiers and Palmerston, and that they have
coalesced to do all the injury they can to both. Thiers, indeed,
cannot do much towards helping Palmerston into office again, but
Palmerston may do a great deal towards helping Thiers. Madame de
Lieven wanted Guizot to resign, and for two days he was himself
inclined to do so. She thought if he did that he would come back very
soon, and stronger than ever.

    [Footnote 93: [The _Times_ newspaper announced Mr. Gladstone's
    resignation on the following morning, the fact having been
    mentioned by one of the Ministers, and indeed by Mr. Gladstone

_February 6th._--On Tuesday night, for the first time for some years,
I went to the House of Commons, principally to hear Gladstone's
explanation. John Russell called on me in the morning and told me that
he and Palmerston had talked over French politics, and were both of
one mind, and both disposed to say nothing offensive or hostile to
France or to Guizot. Lord John spoke, but not at all well, in a bad
spirit, taunting and raking up all subjects of bitterness, accusing
the Government of inconsistency, without much reason, and not very
wisely or fairly, and casting in their teeth expressions which he
had culled out of old files of the 'Times.' His speech disappointed
me, but it afforded Peel an opportunity of which he availed himself
remarkably well, and his retort gave him all the advantage of the
night. What he said of France was perfect, excellent in tone and
manner, all that Guizot could require, without being at all servile or
even accommodating. Gladstone's explanation was ludicrous. Everybody
said that he had only succeeded in showing that his resignation was
quite uncalled for.


Peel put an end to any mystery about his measures, and stated in
general terms all he intended to do. The Government, however, expect a
good deal of opposition and excitement from the religious part of the
community, Dissenters and Scotch. Ashley has put himself at the head
of the Low Church party, and will make a great clatter. Sandon did not
dare accept the Board of Trade and seat in the Cabinet, for fear of
disgusting the Liverpool Protestants. Such is the fear that men have
of avowing their real sentiments on these delicate questions. Neither
Gladstone nor Sandon have really any objection to the Government
measures; were they unfettered and uncompromised they would support
and defend them. As it is, they do not dare do so, and thus they
mislead others. They overlook the undoubted fact that inferences will
be drawn by others as to their opinions the reverse of the truth,
and that those inferences have a material influence upon the conduct
of those who draw them. Peel told Gladstone beforehand that his
explanation would be considered quite insufficient to account for his
conduct. However, in his speech he lavished praise and regrets upon
him in a tone quite affectionate. He was in a very laudatory vein,
for he complimented the mover and seconder (Frank Charteris and Tom
Baring) with unusual warmth.

_Hatchford, February 25th._--Here I am come to recruit my strength
after being confined for a fortnight with gout and fever, more than
usually severe. While I was laid up, the Parliamentary campaign
proceeded very briskly: first, with Peel's financial statement in a
very able speech, more than three hours long, which was much admired
for its clearness and force. His financial reforms are considered
very bold and skilful, but the Tories hail them with anything but
satisfaction, though they are too crestfallen to resist, or even to
murmur, except an odd agriculturist here and there. Everybody regards
this measure as a great wedge thrust in, and as the forerunner of
still more extensive changes, and above all that the income tax is to
be permanent. After this came Tom Duncombe[94] and his attack on the
Post Office, three nights' debate, some clever speeches, a very good
one from Sidney Herbert, which was a capital thing for the Government,
and very promising for his future success. The whole Opposition
rallied round an amendment of Howick's, and fought a pitched battle
on the question of a fresh Committee to enquire into the supposed
opening of Tommy's letters in 1842. My Whig friends behaved as ill as
they could, and all out of spite to Graham, and because they could not
resist seizing the opportunity of flinging dirt upon the Government.


All this they did, well knowing, and not pretending to deny, that
Graham had done nothing but what every other Secretary of State
without exception had done, and though the Committee had fully
absolved him of any blame in the execution of his office; still
they endeavoured to pick holes, and by dint of insinuations and
imputations, and torturing any circumstance they could find into
something like a charge, to excite prejudice and raise or prolong
clamour. The Whig members of the Post Office Committee bore their
testimony fairly, and Ward, the Radical member for Sheffield, had the
honesty and candour to denounce the scandalous set that was made at
Graham, and to speak out in the language of truth and justice. Both
John Russell and Howick behaved very shabbily, but Palmerston took no
part in the debate. I don't think the question was fully argued on the
Government side, and the most simple and obvious answer given and
pressed with all the force it might have been.

Yesterday we heard of the death of Sydney Smith, which took place on
Sunday. His case had for some time been hopeless, and it was merely a
question how long he could be kept alive by the remedies applied to
stop the water on his chest. It is the extinction of a great luminary,
such as we shall hardly see the like of again, and who has reigned
without a rival in wit and humour for a great length of time. It is
almost impossible to overrate his wit, humour, and drollery, or their
effect in society. Innumerable comical sayings and jokes of his are or
have been current, but their repetition gives but an imperfect idea
of the flavour and zest of the original. His appearance, voice, and
manner added immensely to the effect, and the bursting and uproarious
merriment with which he poured forth his good things, never failed
to communicate itself to his audience, who were always in fits of
laughter. If there was a fault in it, it was that it was too amusing.
People so entirely expected to be made to die of laughing, and he
was so aware of this, that there never seemed to be any question of
conversation when he was of the party, or at least no more than just
to afford Sydney pegs to hang his jokes on. This is the misfortune of
all great professed wits, and I have very little doubt that Sydney
often felt oppressed with the weight of his comical obligations, and
came on the stage like a great actor, forced to exert himself, but
not always in the vein to play his part. It is well known that he was
subject at home to frequent fits of depression, but I believe in his
own house in the country he could often be a very agreeable companion,
on a lower and less ambitious level, for his talk never could be
otherwise than seasoned with his rich vein of humour and wit, as the
current, though it did not always flow with the same force, was never
dry. He was full of varied information, and a liberal, kind-hearted,
charitable man. The favourite objects of his jokes were the men of
his own cloth, especially the bishops, among whom he once probably
aspired to sit. I do not suppose he had any dogmatic and doctrinal
opinions in respect to religion, and that in his heart of hearts he
despised and derided all that the world wrangles and squabbles about;
but he had the true religion of benevolence and charity, of peace and
goodwill to mankind, which, let us hope (as I firmly believe) to be
all-sufficient, be the truth of the great mystery what it may.

    [Footnote 94: [On February 19th Mr. Thomas Duncombe moved for the
    appointment of another Select Committee to enquire into the alleged
    opening of his own letters at the Post Office; but the House was
    tired of the subject, and the motion was defeated.]]

_March 15th._--At last I have settled my difficulties, and my book is
coming out. Finding the Government measures could not be introduced
before Easter, I wrote to Graham to ask if they wanted it kept back
any longer. His answer determined me to seek an interview with him.
I saw him, talked the matter over, and found that they would not
much object, if I did not put my name to the work. I agreed to this
at once, and without the least hesitation. He then said, 'Oh, then I
see no reason why you should not publish as soon as you please, and
the sooner the better. Don't quote me, or say you have authority from
me; but as your friend I tell you, I advise you now to publish it.'
He gave me to understand that the Duke of Wellington was one of the
persons who would have most resented the publication _with my name_;
but he considered its appearance without my name as a very different
matter, which removed all objections. So now it will come out, and I
must abide the result, criticisms and resentments. It has bothered and
perplexed me much, and I am glad to be delivered of the burthen.

A few days only after Sydney Smith's death, Bobus Smith died also,
two remarkable brothers. Bobus was perhaps more agreeable and more
cultivated than Sydney, though without his exuberant wit and drollery;
still he had great _finesse d'esprit_, and was very amusing, but in
a quieter and less ambitious style. He was a fine scholar and great
reader, latterly reading seldom modern books, but living with his old
favourites. He was a year older than Sydney.

[Sidenote: DEATH OF MISS FOX.]

The day before yesterday Miss Fox died, a most amiable woman, with
excellent abilities; but she really died six months ago, when she was
attacked by paralysis at Bowood. Thus are dropping off the yellow
leaves of that great tree which adorned Holland House, and so long
afforded shelter to the crowd of all that was eminent and attractive
in political, literary, and social life which gathered under its
branches. What an interesting biography would the life of Holland
House be for half a century; but hardly anybody is now left alive
who could write it; and Macaulay, whose genius is alone capable of
illustrating the subject, came too late into the circle to have
sufficient personal knowledge of those who shone at the earliest part
of the period.

_March 29th._--I went on Monday to Althorp, and was very well amused
among the pictures and books, though as there are 50,000 volumes of
the latter, it was only possible to look at the outside of them, and
here and there examine some remarkable book or fine edition. They are
kept in admirable condition, and the present Lord, without being a
bibliomaniac like his father, keeps the collection up, and buys from
time to time anything in the market that may be necessary to complete
it. The portraits are numerous, curious, and interesting. While there
I received a letter from Graham, in which he told me that he had read
the greater part of my book, and could find nothing to which anybody
could take any just exception. This was a great relief to my mind, and
now I don't care who likes or dislikes it. I continue to receive from
my Whig friends many expressions of approbation, very obliging and
gratifying; yesterday from Macaulay. I told him I was afraid of his
reading it, for fear of his detecting blunders in it; but he said not
at all, and that he was in fact more ignorant of Irish history than he
ought to be, and had got information from it.

_March 30th._--The effect which my book has produced is now beginning
to appear, and, as far as it has gone, it amounts to this. With
the Whigs of all descriptions its success is complete; I receive
compliments and felicitations on all sides; I could not have
desired, and certainly I did not expect, such complete success; so
far from it, that all the time I was writing it I was doubting if
it ever would be worth publishing. With the Tories, as far as I can
ascertain, it is far different; they are to the last degree angry
and indignant; and as these little details and records of personal
opinions become curious and interesting by the lapse of time and the
change of circumstances and opinions, I will note down what I hear.
Then moderate men, not belonging to any party, and men of sense and
capacity have approved, which is, of course, very satisfactory to
me; in this category Stephen, his brother-in-law Mr. Dicey, Senior
(though he is a Whig), George Lewis, Amyot. Lord Clare, a Conservative
and Irishman, has written me a letter, in which he thanks me for the
good he thinks the book will do. Alvanley, on the other hand, has
written me a criticism full of disapprobation, but not a good or
clever letter, nor, critically, worth anything. I should have expected
a better written letter, and objections more acutely raised and more
ably put from him, but he only affords a proof that men who may be
brimful of drollery, and able to keep the table in a roar from morning
to night, may be utterly unfit to handle serious subjects when their
reasoning faculties bear no proportion to their imaginative. I had
expected greater concurrence of opinion in Alvanley, who a little
while ago wrote a pamphlet on the same subject and with the same
object. When _he_ takes the objection that he does, it is no wonder
that the foolish Tory mob fall on me tooth and nail. Accordingly I
heard yesterday that Lady Jersey refused to read 'such a blackguard
book.' She said so to Bessborough, who told me, and Cecil Forester
would not read it, because Lady Jersey told him it was 'abominable.'


_April 5th._--Peel brought on his Maynooth Bill on Thursday
night.[95] Strong symptoms had already appeared of opposition brewing
in different parts of the country, and there was a good deal of
ill-humour here. He made an excellent and judicious speech, and had
a majority of 102, but a queer one, for above 100 of his own people
voted against him, and above 100 of the Whigs with him. Without them
the division would have been nearly even. The Carlton Club was in a
state of insurrection afterwards and full of sound and fury. Sandon
made a strong bold speech; with him in the minority were Inglis, and
the zealots, of course--Hastie and some of the Scotch, Tom Duncombe,
Disraeli--a motley combination. It is a very odd state of things, and
may be productive of great events before long. The disgust of the
Conservatives and their hatred of Peel keep swelling every day, and
what the Ministers expect is, that on some occasion or other they
will play Peel a trick, stay away, and leave him to be beaten on some
trumpery question. Indeed it is not impossible that they may become
reckless, and grow to think that it does not signify to them whether
_he_ is in power or the Whigs, and that they have as much to fear from
the one as from the other. Some people in office did not vote on this
occasion--for instance, Granby and Meynell.[96]

    [Footnote 95: [On April 3rd Sir Robert Peel brought in a
    Bill for granting 30,000_l._ a year to the Roman Catholic
    College of Maynooth. The measure was fiercely combated by the
    ultra-Protestants, and long remained to be a bone of contention.]]

    [Footnote 96: [It was in the course of this Session that Mr.
    Disraeli began his violent and sarcastic attacks on Sir Robert
    Peel, which assumed a tone of intense personal hostility.]]

_April 6th._--Everybody is talking of the great stir that is making
in the country against the Maynooth grant and the large increase to
Peel's unpopularity which it has produced. Some even fancy that he
will have difficulty in carrying the measure through, but I incline
to think the difficulty indoors and the excitement without are both
overrated, and certainly will not be enough to arrest the progress
of the measure; but that it disgusts the Tory party and creates
fresh sources of dislike and disunion between the great body of the
Conservatives and the Government is indubitable, and Peel and his
colleagues are so well aware of this, that they think something
must, before long, occur to break up the Government. Wharncliffe
told me Peel was quite sensible of this danger, and that he himself
had for above a year been likewise sensible of it, and he showed me
a paper which he drew up last year on the situation and prospects
of the Government, which is very sensible and very true. It was to
the effect that they could not possibly go on much longer, as they
clearly had not the confidence of the mass of those who were called
their supporters; that they were placed in a false position, and
that their measures appeared to be more suitable to the principles
of their opponents than to those of their own party; that in all the
great questions--agricultural, fiscal, educational, and Irish--this
was evidently the case, and that on all of them the Tories or
Conservatives were years behind their leaders. The truth is that the
Government is Peel, that Peel is a reformer and more of a Whig than
a Tory, and that the mass of his followers are prejudiced, ignorant,
obstinate, and selfish. In his speech the other night he certainly
said nothing calculated to coax or soothe his angry people, and still
less did he utter a word about finality, or give out that this was
to be the limit of concession; and everybody is now beginning to see
that this beginning of endowment must lead to still larger measures,
and eventually to the complete establishment of the Roman Catholic
Church; in short (as I hope and believe) to the measures which my book
contemplates and recommends.

A meeting has just taken place at Paris between Guizot and Thiers,
of a very amicable nature. It was Thiers who sought it. He called
on Madame de Lieven (whom he had latterly left off visiting) before
the time he knew Guizot always came, and then said, 'I suppose I had
better go away now.' She said, 'Oh no, why should you?' So he stayed.
Guizot arrived, and the conversation very appropriately began about
Thiers's History, which Guizot praised very highly; and then they
got upon politics, and had a conversation of two hours. Thiers said
his book would occupy him for a year or more, and he did not want to
come into office, besides he was ten years younger than Guizot, and
could afford to wait. He ridiculed the idea of Molé, who, it seems,
is gone into the country, having retired from the field. This is a
very curious scene between these two rival chiefs, and, at all events,
will probably serve to keep Guizot on his legs for some time longer.
Lady Clanricarde told me yesterday that there was no premeditation
in this interview, and that Thiers came at an hour when he thought
Guizot would not be there. There was surprise and embarrassment at
first, then Madame de Lieven laughed, so did the rival statesmen, and
they got soon into talk on politics. Guizot told Thiers, in clever
phraseology, that he (Thiers) had thrown Molé between his (Guizot's)
legs, but that he, Guizot, had done Thiers better service, for he had
disembarrassed him of Molé, and now nobody but Thiers himself could
succeed him (Guizot).


_April 22nd._--I was at Newmarket all last week, while the Maynooth
debate was going on. The steam had been getting up in the country, and
the table of the House of Commons was loaded with petitions against
the Bill from all parts. The 'Times' newspaper kept pegging away
at Peel in a series of articles as mischievous as malignity could
make them, and by far the most disgraceful that ever appeared on a
political subject in any public journal; the ultra-Tories grew more
and more rabid, and Disraeli made one of his bitterest attacks on
Peel, which was loudly cheered in the House, and well bepraised out of
it by Whig and Tory papers and all the haters of Peel, who now compose
a large majority of the world. Then came the speech of Macaulay, which
was very fine, and ended also with a severe, but grave and dignified
philippic against Peel. This too was hailed with much satisfaction by
the same persons, but it was reprobated and deplored by moderate men,
who thought this was not the time nor the occasion for throwing stones
at Peel, nor for reproaching him, even though the reproaches might
be justifiable and true. Such was the opinion of Lord Spencer and of
the Duke of Bedford, with the former of whom I had much conversation
last week at Newmarket. He highly disapproved of Macaulay's speech. On
the last night John Russell and Peel spoke. The former made a speech
which has excited universal admiration and applause. It was perfect,
not for its eloquence or any remarkable display of ability, but for
its tone, temper, discretion, and propriety. It was exactly what it
ought to have been, neither more nor less; it was calculated to do
good, and it has raised him immensely in public estimation. Peel's
speech, which was looked for with great curiosity and expectation,
disappointed most people, and by the generality was considered low in
tone, and imprudent in its admissions. But there was much in it that
was judicious. He declined noticing any of the attacks on himself, and
with much gravity and seriousness urged the necessity of passing the
measure; but he alluded to America as if a quarrel was really to be
apprehended, and he spoke of the disposition of Ireland, in reference
to such a contingency in a tone which everybody said was a recognition
of the truth of what O'Connell had so recently said in his very clever
and ingenious speech at Dublin. Peel's speech too was considered as
clearly indicative of a consciousness that his party was broken up,
and the termination of his tenure of office approaching. The division
gave him a better majority than was expected (147). I came to town
on Friday, and on Saturday morning I saw Wharncliffe, and asked him
what he thought of it. He said it was a large majority, and so far
well, but that it made no difference in their position, and he did
not think they should be in office a month hence. There is in fact
all the excitement and expectation which usually precede events and
changes, and certainly the state of affairs never was more curious
and extraordinary than at present, nor more calculated to baffle and
perplex all speculation and conjecture. Everybody knows that the Tory
party has ceased to exist as a party; that Peel's unpopularity is at
this moment so great and so general that there is no knowing where to
find any interest friendly to him, scarcely any individual. On the
other hand, his disgust at the position in which he finds himself,
and at being thus made the object of so much obloquy and reproach,
is equally strong, and no one doubts that he really contemplates,
and anxiously desires resignation. But then what is to come next?
The Tories wish Peel out, the Whigs wish themselves in; but when
people, whatever their persuasion or desires, look at the condition
of affairs, no practicable arrangement, no safe alternative present
themselves. If Peel resigns, everybody asks who is to come in, and
how is the government to be carried on by the Whigs, if they return
to power? To this question nobody can give an answer, and the extreme
difficulty makes many think that there will be no change, and that
Peel, partly out of regard to the difficulty into which the country
would be plunged, and partly from consideration to those persons (of
both sides) who have placed themselves in great danger by supporting
him, will consent to remain. Then it is not impossible that when this
question is settled as it will be, and as no other question of equal
importance will probably arise, the malcontent Tories may again be
induced to support him, and their ill-humour and resentment may in
some degree subside. But the prospect of a change is sufficiently near
and probable to induce the persons principally concerned to begin to
arrange their thoughts, and mature their plans of action.


I asked Wharncliffe what they contemplated. He said, if Peel resigned,
the Queen would probably in the first instance consult Melbourne,
but he thought she would send for Lord Spencer. I told him I was
sure nothing would induce Lord Spencer to take office; but from a
conversation I have since had with the Duke of Bedford, I think
this is by no means so certain. He told me that Lord John wrote him
word last week, that if any change occurred, and he was applied
to, he should want him and Lord Spencer to come up to town to talk
matters over with him. And the Duke had accordingly a great deal of
conversation with Lord Spencer, who said that nothing but a sense of
duty so strong and imperative as to amount to a religious obligation,
as well as a political necessity,[97] could induce him to take office.
This, however, was enough to prove that he might be induced to do so,
if the pressure was sufficiently strong. Lord Spencer, however, looks
to the possibility of a coalition, which the Duke of Bedford does not,
because he knows how difficult, if not impossible, this would be, with
Lord John's sentiments towards Peel. The Duke's notion is, that the
Whigs could not coalesce with Peel, but could not go on without his
support; and that before they attempted to form a Government, they
should make up their minds what they would do on the great questions
in agitation, lay their intentions before Peel, and ask him if he
would support them. This certainly presents the most eligible course,
but there is this difficulty in it: first, whether Peel would act with
sufficient candour and cordiality with them, and if he should be so
disposed, whether he could carry with him sufficient strength to make
them safe. I doubt whether the Whig leaders would ever feel complete
confidence in him.

    [Footnote 97: He made use of a curiously strong expression, for he
    said amounting to a question of _salvation_.]

_April 25th._--Macaulay made another magnificent speech the night
before last--a slashing attack on and exposure of the Irish
Church--very fine. Graham and Peel spoke, but both poorly. Ward's
motion was defeated by a large majority last night, and the Bill will
go more smoothly on; but the feeling grows stronger that great changes
are at hand, a breaking up of parties with changes of measures. Nobody
ventures to predict what will happen, or how it will happen, but all
are agreed that whether for good or evil, a good deal will happen out
of the ordinary course. The condemnation of Peel's speech last week is
general. His colleagues admit the imprudence and unbecomingness of his
allusion to Ireland and America. Lyndhurst told Clarendon the paper
dropped from his hands when he read it, and he could hardly believe
what he read.

[Sidenote: BIRKENHEAD.]

_May 10th._--These are my holidays--exclusively devoted to the turf,
passed in complete idleness, without ever looking into a book, or
doing one useful or profitable thing. I was at Newmarket all last
week, and I have been at Horton for Chester all this. One day I did
give up the races, and Stradbroke and I went over to Birkenhead,
meaning to see that place and then cross over to Liverpool, and make a
day of sight-seeing, but we found enough at Birkenhead to occupy the
whole day. A very obliging person, a Mr. Jackson, one of two brothers,
who are great men there, and the principal agents in promoting the
greatness and prosperity of this rising town, did us the honours
and took us all about. It certainly is a very astonishing creation,
and most interesting to see the growing and youthful state of a
town, which in a few years will probably be a vast city. The present
managers of this thriving concern are projecting establishments and
expending vast sums of money on various works, with an undoubting
confidence that the town will go on in an increase corresponding
to the magnitude of their plans. Not many years ago the ground was
an unprofitable marsh. They showed us a small white house, which
was the first that was built, and which stood alone for some time.
The property belonged to a Mr. Price, and when first the notion of
speculating in building there occurred to the late Mr. Laird (I think
it was), and a negotiation took place for the purchase of land,
50,000_l._ was the sum offered Mr. Price for his property. Not long
after he was offered 100,000_l._, and this time a bargain was nearly
completed, and the only difference between the parties was whether
it should be pounds or guineas. Luckily for Mr. Price it went off
upon this, and such was the rapid increase in the value of the land,
that he has since sold it for considerably above a million. We went
to see the pier and the place where the docks are to be; then to Mr.
Laird's ship-building establishment, and saw the iron steam frigate
they are building; then to the park, and then to the new market-place.
Everything is well done, and no expense spared. The present population
is 16,000, but they are building in every direction. I know little
or nothing about politics for some time past. The last divisions on
Maynooth in the Commons, and on the Welsh Bishoprics in the Lords,
have been serviceable to the Government. There is a sort of lull for
the present after so much excitement, and no immediate danger of any

_Ghent, June 16th._--More than a month and not a line. The truth is,
that I was so absorbed with the Derby and the speculations I was
concerned in so deeply, that I could not think of or look at politics
at all, and now I must leave everything a blank, for I can't go
backwards and write about the current events of the last month. All
London was engaged for some weeks with the Queen's ball, and could
think of nothing else, all the elderly folks of both sexes dressing
themselves up and learning to dance minuets.[98] There was nothing but
practising going on at one house after another. At last the eventful
night arrived, and everybody said it was a very brilliant and amusing
sight. Brougham was not asked, and was furious. He flared up in the
House of Lords and twitted Prince Albert _à propos_ of Barry and the
Houses of Parliament, so they shortly after asked him to dinner to
appease him. The Government seems gradually to have got itself firmly
seated in the saddle again; all notion of change has vanished. With
all Peel's unpopularity and the abuse that is showered on him from
various quarters, there is an admission, tacit or express, that he is
the fittest and the only man to be Minister. I met him at Ascot, and
he was very civil and cordial; it was the first time since my book
came out. His newspaper (the 'Morning Herald') attacked me in very
bitter terms; the 'Morning Post' more civilly; the 'Times' was very
complimentary, but made a feint attack on me for the sake of making a
real one on Peel.

I have had terrible misfortunes on the turf and sad disappointment.
'Alarm'[99] was jumped upon at the post by 'Libel;' Nat dragged off
the saddle and tumbled off the horse; the horse ran away, fell head
over heels over the chains, cut and bruised himself dreadfully.
After running away half a mile, the horse was caught, and in this
state--cut, battered, frightened, and blown, and jockey with only one
hand--he ran, and ran very well. I believe he would have won if this
had not happened, and I should have won 20,000_l._ Misfortunes never
come singly, and the Oaks, in a smaller way, was nearly as bad as the
Derby. 'Lady Wildair' ought to have won.

[Sidenote: WIESBADEN.]

At last I escaped from racing and politics, and, on Saturday evening,
left London by the mail train, arrived at Dover at half-past twelve,
crossed at four, and reached Ostend at a quarter-past nine, came on to
Bruges at twelve, passed the day there, and this day up to a quarter
to four, when I came by rail to this place; spent yesterday and to-day
in seeing Bruges and Ghent, and whatever is best worth visiting in
both, and a good deal there is of one sort or another; but I am too
sleepy now to go on with the subject.

    [Footnote 98: [The Queen gave a fancy ball on June 6th, at which
    all the persons invited appeared in costumes of the time of George

    [Footnote 99: [Mr. Greville's horse 'Alarm' was first favourite
    for the Derby, and but for this accident would probably have won
    the race. It was a painful scene, when the horse was seen rushing
    wildly, without his rider, across the Downs. Mr. Greville never won
    the Derby.]]

_Wiesbaden, June 22nd._--Bruges and Ghent are both fine old towns,
particularly the latter, containing many ancient and curious
buildings, and Ghent some very fine modern ones, particularly the
new Palais de Justice and the theatre, which, with its saloons, is
the most magnificent _salle de spectacle_ I ever saw. But the most
remarkable objects are the pictures of Van Eyck and Memling, the merit
of which nobody knows who does not go there to look at them. The
finest are those by the former master in the hospital of St. John,
but there are a great many of both masters at both places. From Ghent
I came to Cologne, thence to Coblentz, and then here on Thursday
last, this being Sunday. The Rhine, which disappointed me the first
time, appeared to the last degree tiresome, and a more languid and
uninteresting journey I never made. There is nobody here I know, and
I am bored to death. If I were not ashamed, I would throw myself into
the steamboat and go home directly. In my whole life I never felt such
a painful sensation of solitariness as here, from morning to night
having nobody to speak to, and nothing on earth to do. It weighs on my
spirits intolerably; the books I read--and I can do nothing else--only
half amuse and instruct me; I breathe an atmosphere of languor and
sadness. It is only a case of great necessity which can compel one to
go through this. I did not know what it was, or I never would have
come here, and I am in a hundred minds whether I shall not cut it at

_London, August 7th._--From the last date at Wiesbaden I never could
bring myself to take up my pen to the present moment. The task of
writing in this book has become intolerably irksome. At Wiesbaden I
had nothing whatever to record; one day told another; no society, no
events, and I have an invincible repugnance to converse with myself on
paper. Still, though reluctant to go on with this MS. (for journal it
is not, and memoirs still less), I am likewise reluctant entirely to
abandon a habit of so many years' standing, and thus from time to time
I force myself to resume my entries, though languidly, dully, and with
a conviction that the pages I write never can be worth reading. This
acknowledgement, fully and sincerely made, must be taken once for all
as an excuse by any one who may hereafter look into this book; and to
the observation they will not fail to make, 'What vapid, useless stuff
all this is,' they may consider my voice as replying from the grave,
'I know it is.'

After this exordium I resume where I left off. I was in great disgust
at Wiesbaden the first days of my abode there, but I soon fell into
the way of life, and made up my mind to it more easily and more
completely than I ever expected to do. This was, in fact, rendered
more easy by the growing disinclination which is creeping over me for
society, and the almost dread and dislike I feel more and more every
day for conversation--in fact, I feel utterly incompetent to sustain a
part in conversation, and a sense of this inability, and a conviction
that it must be as apparent to others as it is to myself, weighs me
down, destroys my animal spirits, and turns into reality that which
might possibly at first be in great measure the result of a morbid
fancy. Be it, however, caused by the one or the other, it is now with
me a disease, and one which must and will in the end incapacitate
me for social intercourse.[100] One great cause is undoubtedly my
deafness, which prevents my hearing what passes around me, makes
me slow of apprehension, and is productive of both melancholy and
embarrassment. However, to return to my history.

[Sidenote: EMS AND ANTWERP.]

I remained at Wiesbaden till the latter end of July, making no
acquaintance, and doing nothing but read such books as I got
from Frankfort, going nowhere. The only excursion that I made
was to the Château de Herrenheim, near Worms, where I found the
Duchesse Dalberg, Lady Leveson, the Mariscalchis, and the D'Arcos.
A comfortable house in a wretched country. I went to see Worms, a
decayed old town, full of historical recollections, and I gazed at the
great tree under which, according to tradition, Luther took shelter
on his way to the Diet. From Wiesbaden I went to Ems for two nights,
which was as full as Wiesbaden was empty. There I saw the old Elector
of Hesse gambling on a great scale, and was presented to the Princess
of Orange,[101] an intelligent woman. At Ems I met Francis and my
sister,[102] who entered the place like pilgrims rather than like
millionary aristocrats. They came over the mountains from Coblentz,
she mounted on a sorry jade of a horse, the two girls on donkeys,
Francis stoutly walking by their side, and all dressed in rough and
inelegant habiliments, suited to work and not to show. From Ems I came
on to Malines, when I diverged to Antwerp, and spent half a day there
looking at the pictures, and was well repaid. The fine works of Rubens
in the Cathedral are in such a bad light that it is difficult to see
them satisfactorily, but the pictures in the Museum are very grand;
crossed the water in one of the old boats, eight hours, and arrived in
town on Tuesday morning, July 22.

The Monday after I went to Goodwood, where we had the usual party,
with the addition of the King of the Netherlands, who was in high
glee, and full of enjoyment with his old friends, his cordial
reception here, and the gaieties with which he has been saluted on all
sides. On coming back to town I found Madame de Lieven arrived, and
had a talk with her about politics and what not. She gave me the real
account of the interview between Thiers and Guizot at her house, which
was not exactly as I had heard it. She sent for Thiers, to speak to
him about some mention he had made of the Empress Dowager of Russia
in his history, which was unfair and inexact. He came, and then she
ordered her doors to be closed to everybody while he was there. He
asked why she did so, and why Guizot, who was always let in, should be
excluded. She said it was on his account. He repeated, 'Why, as he did
not object.' After some talk, she said, 'If you really wish it, I will
withdraw my order.' He said he saw no reason why she should retain
it. She then desired him to ring the bell, and said, 'I am at home
to nobody but M. Guizot.' Presently Guizot came, not knowing Thiers
was there. He started with amazement; she burst out laughing; Thiers
laughed; Guizot laughed too. This hilarity ended, she told Guizot for
what object she had sent for Thiers, and then they talked over the
book, and the subject of the meeting. This ended, there was a pause,
when she said to Thiers, 'I have had a message to carry to you from
M. Guizot. He says he has behaved better to you than you have done to
him, for you threw M. Molé between his legs, and he has disembarrassed
you of M. Molé, and now there are only two political possibilities
left, You and Himself.' Guizot said, 'Yes, it is true; I begged the
Princess to say so.' They then began to talk politics, and discussed
persons and things, external and internal policy, peace and war,
all contingencies and probabilities. Thiers asked Guizot, 'Are you
determined to remain Minister?' He said, 'Decidedly yes.' Then they
discussed everything, and on every point were agreed, except on that
of peace and war; Guizot maintaining that peace might be preserved,
and Thiers insisting that in the long run it could not, and that
difference of opinion was what alone made them the representatives of
opposite principles, and influenced their conduct accordingly. She
says they talked over everything, very frankly, very civilly, and that
it was impossible for anything to be more interesting and more curious
than such a conversation between two such men, or more worth writing
down, if there had been a possibility of reporting it. She told me
Thiers' book was not thought much of in France, that the style was
criticised, and it was such a continual panegyric of Napoleon, as to
be rather an apology than a history.

    [Footnote 100: This feeling is now ten times greater than it was
    then. I had forgotten that I had it so long ago, and within the
    last two years it is enormously and painfully increased (1854).]

    [Footnote 101: [Afterwards Sophia, Queen of Holland, one of the
    most accomplished and agreeable women of her age.]]

    [Footnote 102: [Lord and Lady Francis Egerton, afterwards Earl and
    Countess of Ellesmere.]]


_Broadlands, August 21st._--I went last Saturday week to the Grove;
very pleasant party. Palmerstons, Lady Morley, Lady Holland, Macaulay,
Bessborough, Luttrell, Henry Bulwer. Macaulay subdued in talk, but
still talking more and better than anybody else. Came here on Monday,
Lady Holland, Clanricardes, Luttrell, Melbourne, Beauvales. Melbourne
by way of being very well, but there are only gleams left of his
former self. He seems to bear on his face a perpetual consciousness
of his glory obscured, and looks grave and stern, while he sits for
hours in silence. At times he talks in the way he used, but though
in the same strain, more feebly; always candid as usual. In talking
over the Post Office affairs of this and last year, and the attacks on
Graham, he said that he remembered having signed warrants for opening
O'Connell's letters, and Freeling bringing him the warrants back, and
saying he thought the best thing to do with them was to thrust them
into the fire, which was done. He said they never found anything in
them; he then said that he had urged Normanby to open the King of
Hanover's letters, but that he never could get him to do it; he was
afraid. A curious avowal to make. I believe if anybody could pass some
time with him, so as to put him quite at his ease, and then tap him on
one subject after another, they might get almost anything out of him,
and he would supply a fund of matter, historical and anecdotic, which
would be of the greatest value and interest.

I received yesterday a very gracious and obliging letter from Guizot
about my book. I sent it him when it came out, and he apologised for
not acknowledging and reading it before, on account of his illness
and his affairs. It is remarkable that every one of the Ministers has
preserved the same silence and reserve to me upon the subject. The few
of them I have occasionally seen have not said a word. Peel I fell in
with one day in the Park, and walked by his horse some time, but he
did not allude to it. Graham has avoided seeing me, but I have never
heard that any fault has been found, or any complaint made in any

The Session of Parliament has ended, leaving Peel quite as powerful,
or more so, than he was at the beginning of it. Everybody says affairs
are in a strange state, but nobody foresees, and few seem to desire
any change. The world seems weary of what are called politics, there
is not a spark of party spirit visible. The Whigs see no prospect
of coming into office, or making a Government that would be able to
stand, and people will not make exertions and spend money without a
reasonable expectation of some tangible result. On the other hand,
everything like enthusiasm for Peel is extinguished; the Tories
hate, fear, but do not dare oppose him. If the Whigs cannot see any
alternative, the Tories can see still less: and odious as Peel's
conduct is to them, and alarming as his principles are, they still
think they are better off, and on the whole in less danger with him
than with any other Ministry that could be formed. He has completely
succeeded in getting the Court on his side, so that between the
support he gets from one side on account of his liberality, and
that which he continues to receive from the other on account of a
combination of motives, habit, fear, hope and patronage, he is in
fact, though very unpopular, still very powerful. Everybody expects
that he means to go on, and in the end to knock the Corn Laws on the
head,[103] and endow the Roman Catholic Church; but nobody knows
how or when he will do these things. He in the meantime proceeds
with extreme caution and reserve, and to some his conduct appears
the height of prudence, and the exercise of a sound discretion;
while others regard it as pusillanimous and impolitic, and that in
holding back so long as he does, he is committing the old error of
delaying till the moment passes away when concession can be beneficial
and effectual. It is clear that his object is to do everything
gradually, if possible to reconcile his own reluctant friends to his
changes, and draw them along with him, partly by reason and partly
by influence, so that he may still find himself at the end of each
successive stage with his party unbroken, and his power unshaken.
He probably believes sincerely that great good will ensue from his
measures, and that if he can avoid a quarrel and a break-up, the
manifestation, clear and indubitable, of the good effects he has
produced will reconcile those whom no reasoning can reconcile or
propitiate beforehand. He therefore endeavours to combine his two
objects, and it is certainly by a profound calculation, be it wise
or not, that he is acting and temporising as he does. Nobody perhaps
represents so correctly the state of public opinion, which is itself
unsettled, and in a state of transition.


I have said that what are called politics are out of fashion; there
is no public man a jot more popular than another; nobody cares about
parties, for there is no party distinguished by any peculiar badge
of principle, with a distinct colour, and standing in open and
defined antagonism to any other; none which has any great object to
advance--constitutional, political, or commercial--in opposition to
another party ranged against it. All is confusion, intermingling of
principles and opinions, political rivalry and personal antipathy,
the working of which produces, from time to time, something brisk and
exciting, and a good deal of clever speaking and writing, interesting
enough to the immediate actors, but which the mass of the country
does not care a straw about. The world is absorbed by its material
interests, railroads, and speculation in its multiform aspect, and
it is in vain that John Russell reviews the session and delivers
philippics against Peel; still more in vain that Palmerston harangues
upon the Right of Search, Texas, Greece, or Spain, and endeavours
to rouse the public indignation or contempt against Aberdeen and
his foreign policy. It all falls dead and flat, and nobody takes
the slightest interest in orations, though they are prepared with
indefatigable industry and delivered with extraordinary skill.

    [Footnote 103: Thus coming events cast their shadows before.
    Peel says: 'I had adopted at an early period of my public life,
    _without, I fear, much serious reflexion_, the opinions generally
    prevalent at this time among men of all parties as to the justice
    and necessity of protection to British agriculture....'--_Memoirs_,
    p. 98. 'Between the passing of the Corn Bill in 1842 and the close
    of the Session in 1845 the opinions I had previously entertained
    had undergone a great change.'...(101).]

_London, August 28th._--I came from Broadlands last Saturday; went
to see Lord Granville at Roehampton; to Hinchinbrook on Monday, and
returned yesterday. I had no conversation with Melbourne himself at
Broadlands, who was generally taciturn, but Frederic Lamb told me
Melbourne was dissatisfied because they had not appointed a Regency
when the Queen went abroad, and fancied if they had explained to
her the necessity or propriety of it, she would not have objected.
Melbourne never can speak of the Queen without tears coming into his
eyes; he is, however, in a very nervous, lachrymose state. I met him
at dinner yesterday, and he said that the Queen had a regard for Lady
Conyngham, and felt grateful to her for her conduct to her mother and
herself in George IV.'s time. It was through her influence that they
were invited to his Court, and that any civilities were shown them.

_August 30th._--I was just setting off to Tottenham Park yesterday,
when Graham sent for me. It was about the affair of the Guernsey
duties, concerning which the Government have got into a scrape.
The whole revenue of the island is derived from a duty on wine and
spirits, which is imposed by an Act of the States, confirmed by an
Order in Council, and it is imposed for a year more or less, and from
time to time continued by subsequent Acts and Orders. The last Act
expires the day after to-morrow. The Queen is in Germany, and there is
no power to renew it by Order in Council till she returns. The people
in Guernsey are aware of the blot, and intend to avail themselves of
it to introduce spirits duty free. In this dilemma Graham sent for me,
to desire I would search the Council books and see if there was any
analogous case and any precedent for continuing the duty without an
Order, and he had already sent to the Law Officers for their opinion
whether an Order could be passed with a retroactive effect--meaning,
if it could, to order an account to be taken meanwhile, and to levy
the duty afterwards. I found him and the Chancellor of the Exchequer
together. I told him that this matter would be infallibly taken up as
proving the necessity there had been for a Regency, and that those
who had argued for one would, of course, triumph in the proof thus
afforded that they were right. He said he was well aware of this. I
then told him Melbourne's opinion, and that he thought if the matter
had been properly explained to the Queen, there would have been no
difficulty in satisfying her. Goulburn said Peel was much annoyed,
as he had particularly desired that everything there was to be done
should be brought to the last Council, and notice be served on all the
offices to that effect, and he thought the fault lay with the Council
Office. This I denied, and Graham at once said it was _his_ fault if
anybody's. The fault really lies with the people of Guernsey, whom it
immediately concerns. I looked into the books, and found there was an
analogous case, in which the same duties had expired, and orders were
sent to levy them, with a notification that an Order in Council would
be passed as soon as a Council could be held. It was a case exactly
in point as to the principle, but differed in some of the official
details. I went to Graham and found the Attorney-General there. He had
brought the opinion of himself and the Queen's Advocate, which, much
to my surprise, was, that an Order in Council might be made with a
retroactive effect, and accordingly Graham determined to act upon this
opinion, and to signify, by a letter to the Government, that an Order
would be passed to renew the duties as soon as the Queen came home. I
proposed to him to let the communication go from the Council Office,
following the former precedent, and suggesting that they would be more
disposed to defer to the authority of the Privy Council, to which they
are used to look up, than to that of the Secretary of State, against
which they are disposed to kick, but he said it was impossible to
summon a committee. I said three were enough, and there were himself,
Goulburn, and Haddington. He said Haddington would be frightened out
of his senses at the notion of the responsibility, and he would rather
take it all upon himself, and so he had the letter written. This is,
however, enough to prove that no foresight can provide against all the
contingencies which may require the exercise of the Royal authority;
that it would have been safer and wiser _stetisse super antiquas
vias_, to have followed former precedents, and not to have departed
from them.

_September 3rd._--I read in the newspapers the day before yesterday an
account of a lad brought up for not supporting his child. The father
was fifteen or sixteen years old, the mother a year or two less, and
the grandmother of the child--the girl's mother--appeared, who was
twenty-nine years old, and had had fourteen children. This seems to me
curious enough to be worth recording. There appear from time to time
many odd and remarkable things, which would be well worth noticing,
and which are hurried down and lost in the stream of events. If I
were not too idle I would record them, for really I have no political
transactions to speak of, as I am not in the way of knowing anything
secret or interesting.



    Death of Earl Spencer--His Character--M. Thiers in
    England--Fever of Speculation--Cabinets on the Corn Laws--'Every
    Man in his Humour'--Dickens on the Stage--'Alarm' wins a
    great Stake--Visit to Worsley--Manchester--Death of Lady
    Holland--Bretby--Southwell--Sherwood Forest--Announcement of the
    Repeal of the Corn Laws--A Ministerial Crisis--Sir Robert Peel
    resigns--Lord John Russell sent for--Lord Wharncliffe's account
    of the Crisis--Proceedings of the Whigs--The Court--Attempts
    at an Understanding--Sir Robert Peel's Position--Lord Grey
    disagrees--Communication to Sir Robert Peel--Lord John undertakes
    to form a Government--Dénouement of the Crisis--Lord Howick
    refuses--Lord John Russell gives up the task.

_September 7th, 1845._--A complete absence of events, till a few days
ago, when after a very short illness Lord Spencer died at his house
near Doncaster. My own acquaintance with him was not intimate, but I
had a great respect and esteem for him, and no man ever died with a
fairer character, or more generally regretted. In his county he was
exceedingly beloved and respected, not less by those who differed from
him, than those who agreed with him in politics, and his personal
friends and former colleagues, who were warmly attached to him,
highly valued his opinions upon public matters, and on all important
occasions anxiously sought, and placed great reliance on his advice.
The career of Lord Spencer presents few materials to the biographer,
for he had neither the brilliant nor even plausible exterior which
interests and captivates vulgar imaginations, but he had sterling
qualities of mind and character which made him one of the most useful
and valuable, as he was one of the best and most amiable men of his
day. He was the very model and type of an English gentleman, filling
with propriety the station in which fortune had placed him, and
making the best use of the abilities which Nature had bestowed upon
him. Modest without diffidence, confident without vanity, ardently
desiring the good of his country, without the slightest personal
ambition, he took that part in public affairs which his station and
his opinions prompted, and he marched through the mazes of politics
with that straightforward bravery, which was the result of sincerity,
singleness of purpose, the absence of all selfishness, and a true,
genuine, but unpretending patriotism. His tastes, habits, and turn, of
mind were peculiarly and essentially English; he was a high-minded,
unaffected, sensible, well-educated English gentleman, addicted to all
those rural pursuits and amusements which are considered national, a
practical farmer and fond of field sports, but enjoying all things
in moderation, and making every other occupation subordinate to the
discharge of those duties to his country, whether general or local,
the paramount obligation of which was ever uppermost in his mind. In
his political principles he was consistent, liberal, and enlightened,
but he was too much of a philosopher, and had too deeply studied the
book of life to entertain any wild notions of human perfectibility,
or to countenance those extravagant theories of popular wisdom and
virtue which are so dangerous to peace, order, and good government. He
observed, therefore, a just proportion, and a perfect moderation in
his political views and objects, firmly believing in the capacity of
the Constitution to combine the utmost extent of civil and religious
liberty with the predominance of law, and a safe and vigorous
administration of public affairs. His whole life, therefore, was
devoted to the object of widening and strengthening the foundations
of the Commonwealth, of abrogating exclusive and oppressive laws, of
extending political franchises, of giving freedom to commerce, and
by the progress of a policy at once sound and safe, to promote the
welfare and happiness of the mass of the people, and the power and
prosperity of the country.


Lord Spencer came into office as Chancellor of the Exchequer and
leader of the House of Commons with Lord Grey's Government in 1830;
on the death of his father in 1834, his elevation to the House of
Lords obliged him to relinquish that office, upon which, as is well
known, King William dismissed the Whig Government, on the pretext
that it was so weakened as to be unworthy of public confidence and
incapable of carrying on the business of the State. This was indeed
only a pretext for getting rid of an obnoxious Ministry; but the
King's venturing upon so bold a step upon such grounds affords a
convincing proof of the high consideration which Lord Spencer enjoyed
in the House of Commons and in the country. Nor, indeed, was it
possible to exaggerate that consideration. The greatest homage that
ever was rendered to character and public virtue was exhibited in his
popularity and authority during the four eventful years when he led
the Whig Government and party in the House of Commons. Without one
showy accomplishment, without wit to amuse or eloquence to persuade,
with a voice unmelodious and a manner ungraceful, and barely able
to speak plain sense in still plainer language, he exercised in the
House of Commons an influence and even a dominion greater than any
leader either after or before him. Neither Pitt the father, nor Pitt
the son, in the plenitude of their magnificent dictatorships, nor
Canning in the days of his most brilliant displays of oratory and
wit, nor Castlereagh, returning in all the glory of an ovation from
the overthrow of Napoleon, could govern with the same sway the most
unruly and fastidious assembly which the world ever saw. His friends
followed this plain and simple man with enthusiastic devotion, and
he possessed the faculty of disarming his political antagonists of
all bitterness and animosity towards him; he was regarded in the
House of Commons with sentiments akin to those of personal affection,
with a boundless confidence and a universal esteem. Such was the
irresistible ascendency of truth, sincerity, and honour, of a probity
free from every taint of interest, of mere character unaided by the
arts which captivate or subjugate mankind. This is the great practical
panegyric which will consecrate the memory of Lord Spencer, and
transmit it nobly to the latest posterity; but it is a panegyric, not
more honourable to the subject of it than to the national character
which is susceptible of such impressions, and which acknowledges such
influences. We may feel an honest pride and a happy confidence in
the reflexion that it is by such sterling qualities, by the simple
and unostentatious practice of public and private virtue that men may
best recommend themselves to the reverence, the gratitude, and the
affection of their countrymen, and be remembered hereafter as the
benefactors of mankind.


_London, November 16th._--I have passed the last two months in
locomotion and amusement, without anything worth noticing but a visit
to the Grange, where I went purposely to meet M. Thiers. He came to
England in his way from Spain, and passed about a fortnight here. He
was extremely well received, invited to Bowood and to the Grange,
dined with Lady Holland in London, and had interviews with Palmerston
and Aberdeen. I had met him some years ago at Talleyrand's, in
London, but he of course had forgotten me, nor do I know whether he
recollected or not my connexion with Guizot during his administration
in 1840. Whether he did or not, he was extremely civil and disposed
to talk to me, though unfortunately the extraordinary rapidity of his
utterance and the thickness of his articulation, added to my deafness,
rendered half of what he said unintelligible. He was very agreeable
and very loquacious, talking with a great appearance of _abandon_ on
every subject, politics general and particular, and his own History,
which he was ready to discuss, and to defend against all objections
and criticisms with great good humour. On the Sunday morning he took
me aside, and talked for a long time about his position and practice,
and he then said that it was to be regretted that Lord Aberdeen had
evinced such a preference for one political party in France, and it
was a mistake; and, for his part, he considered that he had nothing
to do with Whigs or Tories here, but that it was his business to
be equally well with public men of all parties; that he had called
on Palmerston, and he should have called on Peel and Aberdeen, if
they had been in town, and he expressed a wish that I would make his
sentiments known to them. I said I certainly would, and regretted
that they were not in London to receive him. Soon after I learnt
that Aberdeen was to be in town the next day on his way to the Grove,
where I was to meet him, when I resolved to write to him and tell him
what Thiers said, and to suggest that he should see him. We all went
to town the next morning by rail, and on arriving at the station a
messenger met me with a note from Aberdeen, saying he should be very
glad to see Thiers if he would call at the Foreign Office. I told
him, and he was extremely pleased. I took him there and introduced
him to Aberdeen, who received him very cordially, and their interview
lasted an hour and a half. When Lord Aberdeen came to the Grove he
told me he was much obliged to me for bringing Thiers to him and
very glad to receive him. He thought him very agreeable, but not so
fair to Guizot as Guizot was to him, for the latter always spoke
handsomely of Thiers, while Thiers spoke very disparagingly of him;
in fact, Thiers speaks of Guizot with the greatest contempt. He says
he is great in the tribune, but good for nothing elsewhere, neither a
statesman nor a man of business, which is certainly doing his great
antagonist much less than justice. We had a great battle in the train
about many points of his History, and with a self-delusion, which
is marvellous if sincere, he said that nobody could accuse him of
any want of candour towards our country and of not having rendered
us ample justice! I am sorry now that I did not at the time write
down some particulars of his conversation and opinions about men
and things, which would not be devoid of interest. The only thing
of any consequence I recollect now is the fact, which he asserted
on the evidence of letters now in existence, of Talleyrand's having
advised the Spanish war, whereas it has always been supposed that
he opposed it, and that his opposition to it was a principal cause
of his disgrace with the Emperor.[104] He spoke of Talleyrand with
great bitterness and dislike. Nothing would persuade him that our
Government had not been implicated in Georges' conspiracy and his
plots of assassination, but he entertains the most vulgar and mistaken
notions about us, our affairs, and our national character. I take it,
however, that he was not more surprised than pleased at his reception
here, so frank, cordial, and dignified, received and entertained
at Whig and Tory houses with equal cordiality, with the attention
due to his celebrity as a writer and a statesman, and without the
slightest appearance of resentment (or anything but the most perfect
indifference) at his anti-English prejudices and violence. All this
must have struck him with no small respect as well as wonder. I have
heard since that the Queen said she should have been glad to receive
him if he had expressed any desire to be presented to her; that she
was not in the habit of receiving foreigners (passing through) at
Windsor, but would have made an exception in his favour.

It has been during the last two months that the rage for railroad
speculation reached its height, was checked by a sudden panic in full
career, and is now reviving again, though not by any means promising
to recover its pristine vigour. I met one day in the middle of it the
Governor of the Bank at Robarts', who told me that he never remembered
in all his experience anything like the present speculation; that the
operations of '25, which led to the great panic, were nothing to it,
and that there could not fail to be a fearful reaction. The reaction
came sooner than anybody expected, but though it has blown many of
the bubbles into the air, it has not been as yet so complete and so
ruinous as many of the wise men of the East still expect and predict.
It is incredible how people have been tempted to speculate; half the
fine ladies have been dabbling in stocks, and men the most unlikely
have not been able to refrain, from gambling in shares, even I myself
(though in a very small degree), for the warning voice of the Governor
of the Bank has never been out of my ears. Simultaneously with all
this has grown up to a gigantic height the evil of the potato failure,
affecting in its expected consequences the speculations, and filling
with fear and doubt every interest.[105] That the mischief in Ireland
is great and increasing is beyond a doubt, and the Government are
full of alarm, while every man is watching with intense anxiety the
progress of events, and enquiring whether the Corn Laws will break
down under this pressure or not.


There have been Cabinets held, with long and anxious consultations,
and (as it is believed) debates,[106] but as I do not know what
passed with anything approaching to certainty, I shall say but little
about them. It has been said that Peel was not indisposed to take
this opportunity of doing away with the Corn Laws, and again that he
was resolved not to abandon his sliding scale; that Aberdeen was the
strongest of any against the Corn Laws; the Duke most determined to
support them. I am inclined to believe the two latter suppositions
to be true, and I lean to the belief that Peel is waiting for a case
sufficiently strong to lay before his agricultural friends, before
he tells them that he must throw the ports open. There have not been
wanting circumstances significant of Peel's disposition, especially
a speech which Dr. Buckland made at Birmingham of a very Free Trade
complexion; and he went there from Drayton, and has since been made
Dean of Westminster. However it is idle to speculate on intentions,
which a short time must develop and explain.

All the world went last night to the St. James's Theatre to see the
second representation of 'Every Man in his Humour,' by Dickens and
the 'Punch' people. The house was crammed full. I was in a bad place,
heard very ill, and was so bored that at the end of the third act I
went away. Dickens acted Bobadil very well indeed, and Douglas Jerrold
(the author of the Candle Lectures in 'Punch') Master Stephen well
also; the rest were very moderate and the play intolerably heavy. A
play 200 years old, a comedy of character only, without plot or story,
or interest of any sort or kind, can hardly go down. The audience were
cold as ice, because, it was said, they were too fine; but I believe
because they were not at all amused.[107]

I have said nothing of Newmarket. My horse 'Alarm' proved himself the
best going (to all present appearance) and won the great stake of the
Houghton Meeting; but I won very little on him, not daring to back
him. I had the mortification of seeing it proved that he would, beyond
all possibility of doubt, have won the Derby but for his accident.
That would have been worth winning; it would have rendered me
independent, enabled me to relinquish my office when I pleased and be
my own man, and given me the power of doing many an act of kindness,
and assisting those I care for. Such a chance will probably never
occur again.

    [Footnote 104: [The _Memoirs of Madame de Rémusat_ (published in
    1879) prove that M. de Talleyrand was strongly opposed to the
    Spanish policy of Napoleon. But M. Thiers was always disposed to
    judge Talleyrand harshly.]]

    [Footnote 105: [It was in the middle of August that the alarm
    first began, and the Ministers became uneasy, as is stated in _Sir
    R. Peel's Memoirs_, p. 111. In October the accounts from Ireland
    became alarming. On October 17th Graham first started the question
    of a suspension of the Corn Laws. The Cabinet assembled on October
    31st and November 1st, because immediate decision had become
    necessary on these questions: 'Shall we maintain unaltered, or
    modify, or suspend the operation of the Corn Laws?' 'Can we vote
    public money for the sustenance of the people on account of actual
    or apprehended scarcity, and maintain the existing restrictions
    against importation of grain?' 'I am bound to say my impression is
    we cannot.' (_Sir R. Peel's Memoirs_, p. 145.)]]

    [Footnote 106: [From what passed at the Cabinet of October 31st it
    became clear there was no chance of a common accord as to the means
    to be adopted. At another Cabinet on November 6th, Peel proposed
    to issue an Order in Council remitting duty on grain in bond to
    one shilling, and to open the ports at a smaller rate of duty till
    a day named; to call Parliament together and declare an intention
    of proposing a modification of existing laws. The Cabinet rejected
    these proposals by a large majority. Sir Robert Peel was only
    supported by Aberdeen, Graham, and Sidney Herbert.]]

    [Footnote 107: [I went to see this performance with Lord Melbourne,
    Mrs. Norton, and my cousin Lady Duff Gordon, who gave me a place
    in their box. Lord Melbourne said before the curtain rose that it
    was a dull play, 'with no mythos in it,' that was his expression.
    Between the acts he exclaimed in a stentorian voice, heard across
    the pit, 'I knew this play would be dull, but that it would be so
    damnably dull as this I did not suppose!'--H.R.]]


_Worsley, November 22nd._--I came here, for the first time, on Monday
last, to see the fine new house Francis Egerton has built. It is a
very handsome specimen of Blore's architecture, rather spoilt by
alterations made while the building was in progress; comfortable
enough, but with many faults. The place is miserable; no place at
all; no trees worth looking at, and a wet clay soil; no extent, and
everything to make. The house stands on an eminence, and commands a
very extensive prospect of a rich flat country, the canal running
beneath, not a quarter of a mile off, while a little further off the
railroad crosses Chat Moss and all day long the barges are visible
on the one, and continual trains snort and smoke along the other,
presenting a lively exhibition of activity and progress. But it
is a miserable country to live in; so wet and deep that the roads
all about are paved, and the air is eternally murky with the fire
and smoke vomited forth from hundreds of chimneys and furnaces in
every direction; no resources, such as hunting and shooting, and no
society but the rare visitants from distant parts. In such a place
as this they have expended 100,000_l._ in a fine house, with all the
appendages of gardens, &c, and they have done this and much more
from a sense of duty, from fully recognising the authority of the
maxim that 'property, has its duties as well as its rights.' The
Duke of Bridgewater created this vast property, and his enterprise
and perseverance were crowned with a prodigious success. He called
into activity and gave employment to an immense population, and
he occasionally resided at Worsley, to have the satisfaction of
witnessing the astonishing results which he had obtained; but with
this he was contented. He bequeathed the canal and the collieries to
his agent Bradshaw, with unlimited power of management, in trust for
the late Duke of Sutherland, and after him to Francis Egerton. During
the long reign of Bradshaw and the Duke the property continued to
increase in value. Bradshaw was a profligate old dog, who feathered
his own nest, and lived a dissolute life. The Duke touched the
proceeds, and never troubled himself about the source from which he
derived them. At length he died. The trust remained unaltered, but the
new _cestui que trust_ came to the enjoyment of his enormous fortune
with other ideas and a more stringent sense of obligation. He and
his wife thought it behoved them to enquire into the condition of
the population in their employment, and to do their best to improve
it. They found that it was very bad; that the mass of the people was
in the lowest state of ignorance and degradation, and that there was
plenty for their beneficence to do. They soon set about the task,
and began by making a bargain with Bradshaw to get him out of the
trust. He made it over to a man of the name of Sotherton, who had
been for some time employed in the canal office, and who was believed
to be a fit and proper person. Sotherton no sooner found himself in
power (for the power of the trustee is almost unlimited) than he
began to play all sorts of pranks and to quarrel with the Lord. They
endeavoured to oust Sotherton, and went to law with him, but found the
difficulties so great that they ended by compounding with him, and
gave him 45,000_l._ to relinquish the trust and appoint a nominee of
Francis's in his room. He selected Mr. James Loch, who is now trustee.
This done, they set to work in earnest. This house was erected, and
they have built churches and established schools and reading-rooms
in various places; they have done all they could, sparing neither
pains nor money to civilise and improve the population, to diffuse
education, and encourage habits of sobriety and order, and a taste
for intellectual occupations. They have evinced a solicitude for the
welfare of the people under their influence that has produced a very
beneficial effect, and they are gradually improving their condition
and purifying their morals without, however, entertaining any
extravagant expectations of superhuman success.

[Sidenote: MANCHESTER.]

I have passed these few days in seeing this place and some of the
manufacturing wonders at Manchester. On Tuesday I went over the house
and place; and then to Francis' yard, a sort of small dockyard and
manufactory; then on the canal in the Trust boat--a luxurious barge
fitted up with every convenience and comfort, with a fireplace, and
where one may write, read, and live just as in the house; a kitchen
behind. The boat is drawn by two horses with postilions in livery, and
they trot along at a merry pace, all the craft (except, by compact,
'the Swift boats,' as they are called) giving way to the Trust boat.
On Wednesday I went through the subterraneous canal, about a mile and
a half long, into the coalpit, saw the working in the mine, and came
up by the shaft; a black and dirty expedition, scarcely worth the
trouble, but which I am glad to have made. The colliers seem a very
coarse set, but they are not hard worked, and, in fact, do no more
than they choose. There are many miles of this underground canal. On
Thursday I went to Manchester, and saw one of the great cotton and
one of the great silk manufactories; very curious even to me, who am
ignorant of mechanics, and could only stare and wonder, without being
able to understand the niceties of the beautiful and complicated
machinery by which all the operations of these trades are performed.
The heat of the rooms in the former of them was intense, but the
man who showed them to us told us it was caused by the prodigious
friction, and the room might be much cooler, but the people liked the
heat. Yesterday I went to the infant school, admirably managed; then
to the recreation ground of the colliers and working hands--a recent
establishment. It is a large piece of ground, planted and levelled
round about what is called the paying-house, where the men are paid
their wages once a fortnight. The object is to encourage sports
and occupations in the open air, and induce them not to go to the
alehouse. There are cricket, quoits, and football, and ginger-beer and
coffee are sold to the people, but no beer or spirits. This has only
a partial success. Afterwards to Patricroft, to see Messrs. Nasmyth's
great establishment for making locomotive engines, every part of which
I went over. I asked at all the places about the wages and habits of
the workpeople. In Birley's cotton factory 1,200 are employed, the
majority girls, who earn from ten to fourteen shillings a week. At
Nasmyth's the men make from twenty to thirty-two shillings a week.
They love to change about, and seldom stay very long at one place;
some will go away in a week, and some after a day. In the hot factory
rooms the women look very wan, very dirty, and one should guess very
miserable. They work eleven hours generally, but though it might
be thought that domestic service must be preferable, there is the
greatest difficulty in procuring women-servants here. All the girls go
to the factory in spite of the confinement, labour, close atmosphere,
dirt, and moral danger which await them. The parents make them go,
because they earn money which they bring home, and they like the
independence and the hours every evening, and the days from Saturday
to Monday, of which they can dispose.

_Worsley, November 24th._--To Manchester this morning; to the
Collegiate Church; good chanting and an excellent reader; to the
Athenæum (or the Institute), and saw Dr. Dalton's statue, a good work
of Chantrey's; then to Messrs. Hoyle's calico-printing establishment;
extremely well worth seeing, interesting, and the more so because
intelligible. People know very little how many processes the calico
they wear so cheaply goes through, and what a mighty business its
preparation is. They told us 800 men were employed here, the highest
wages two guineas a week. The room containing the copper cylinders
has in it a capital of 100,000_l._, the cost of these cylinders. I
was surprised to hear that the price of labour (the wages) is not
affected by the more or less irksome nature of the employment. The
workman at the calico printing, which is much more agreeable than the
cotton-weaving business, is as highly paid as the latter, perhaps more
highly; indeed the lowest rate of wages seems to be at the mill.


The day I came here Lady Holland died, that is, she died at two
o'clock in the preceding night. She evinced during her illness a very
philosophical calmness and resolution, and perfect good humour, aware
that she was dying, and not afraid of death. The religious people
don't know what to make of it. She never seems to have given the least
sign of any religious feeling or belief. She has made a curious will,
leaving the greater part of the landed property at her disposal to
John Russell for his life, and her jewels to Lady Elizabeth Grey, a
poor parson's wife--bequests severely blamed and justly. The legatees
ought not to accept what she has bequeathed to them, but give all up
to her daughter who wants it. Though she was a woman for whom nobody
felt any affection, and whose death therefore will have excited no
grief, she will be regretted by a great many people, some from kindly,
more from selfish motives, and all who had been accustomed to live at
Holland House and continued to be her _habitués_ will lament over the
fall of the curtain on that long drama, and the final extinction of
the flickering remnant of a social light which illuminated and adorned
England and even Europe for half a century. The world never has seen
and never will again see anything like Holland House, and though it
was by no means the same thing as it was during Lord Holland's life,
Lady Holland contrived to assemble round her to the last a great
society, comprising almost everybody that was conspicuous, remarkable,
and agreeable. The closing of her house, therefore, will be a serious
and an irreparable loss, especially to those old friends who are
too old to look out for new places of resort and to form new social
habits. She was a very strange woman, whose character it would not
be easy to describe, and who can only be perfectly understood from a
knowledge and consideration of her habits and peculiarities. She was
certainly clever, and she had acquired a great deal of information
both from books and men, having passed her whole life amidst people
remarkable for their abilities and knowledge. She cared very little
for her children, but she sometimes pretended to care for them, and
she also pretended to entertain strong feelings of friendship for
many individuals; and this was not all insincerity, for, in fact,
she did entertain them as strongly as her nature permitted. She was
often capricious, tyrannical, and troublesome, liking to provoke, and
disappoint, and thwart her acquaintances, and she was often obliging,
good-natured, and considerate to the same people. To those who were
ill and suffering, to whom she could show any personal kindness and
attention, among her intimate friends, she never failed to do so. She
was always intensely selfish, dreading solitude above everything, and
eternally working to enlarge the circle of her society, and to retain
all who ever came within it. She could not live alone for a single
minute; she never was alone, and even in her moments of greatest
grief it was not in solitude but in society that she sought her
consolation. Her love and habit of domination were both unbounded, and
they made her do strange and often unwarrantable things. None ever
lived who assumed such privileges as Lady Holland, and the docility
with which the world submitted to her vagaries was wonderful. Though
she was eternally surrounded with clever people, there was no person
of any position in the world, no matter how frivolous and foolish,
whose acquaintance she was not eager to cultivate, and especially
latterly she had a rage for knowing new people and going to fresh
houses. Though often capricious and impertinent she was never out
of temper, and she bore with good humour and calmness the indignant
and resentful outbreaks which she sometimes provoked in others, and
though she liked to have people at her orders and who would defer to
her and obey her, she both liked and respected those who were not
afraid of her and who treated her with spirit and freedom. Although
she was known to be wholly destitute of religious opinions she never
encouraged any irreligious talk in her house. She never herself spoke
disrespectfully or with levity of any of the institutions or opinions
which other people were accustomed to reverence, nor did she at any
time, even during periods of the greatest political violence, suffer
any disloyal language towards the sovereign, nor encourage any fierce
philippics, still less any ribaldry against political opponents. It
was her great object, while her society was naturally and inevitably
of a particular political colour, to establish in it such a tone
of moderation and general toleration that no person of any party,
opinion, profession, or persuasion might feel any difficulty in coming
to her house, and she took care that no one who did should ever have
reason to complain of being offended or annoyed, still less shocked
or insulted under her roof. Never was anybody more invariably kind to
her servants or more solicitous for their comfort. In this probably
selfish considerations principally moved her; it was essential to her
comfort to be diligently and zealously served, and she secured by her
conduct to them their devoted attachment. It used often to be said in
joke that they were very much better off than her guests.


_Ossington, December 3rd._--Left Worsley on Wednesday last; went to
Bretby, stayed there till Saturday, not a creature there, nothing to
do but look at horses in the morning and go to sleep in the evening.
What would the last Lord Chesterfield but one, the celebrated peer,
say, if he could see into what hands his title has fallen, and the
half of his estate which has not been squandered away? Came here
on Saturday, stopped at Southwell to see the church, a beautiful
specimen of Norman architecture. It is quite a cathedral, though only
a collegiate church, and with no higher dignitaries than prebends. It
has been shorn of its splendour by the Ecclesiastical Commission, and
with some difficulty enough of its revenues was saved for its handsome
maintenance. The Chapter-house is exceedingly beautiful, especially a
gateway erected or adorned by Wolsey, who sometimes resided here, as
it was formerly a church in the diocese of York, though now removed
to that of Lincoln. On Monday we rode all over the Forest, through
Thoresby, Clumber, and Clipston, and by the Duke of Portland's
water-meadows. Twenty years have elapsed since I saw this country in
which so much of my youth was passed, and I had forgotten, or never
sufficiently remembered, how grand it is.

_London, December 5th._--I came to town yesterday, and find political
affairs in a state of the greatest interest and excitement. The
whole town had been electrified in the morning by an article in the
'Times,' announcing, with an air of certainty and authority, that the
discussions and disputes in the Cabinet had terminated by a resolution
to call Parliament together early in January, and propose a total
repeal of the Corn Laws, and that the Duke had not only consented, but
was to bring forward the measure in the House of Lords. Nobody knew
whether to believe this or not, though all seemed staggered, and the
more so because the 'Standard,' though affecting to disbelieve the
'Times,' and treating it as a probable fiction, did not contradict
it from authority, as might naturally have been expected if it had
been untrue. This morning I heard the whole matter precisely as it
stands, and the affair, including the way it comes to my knowledge,
presents a curious under-current in politics. On this question of the
Corn Laws Aberdeen has taken a very strong and decided part, and he
has been Peel's most strenuous supporter in the contest he has had to
maintain in his Cabinet, for it now appears that Peel has all along
been for repealing the Corn Laws, and has not, as I was once led to
believe, been disposed to stand by his own sliding scale. It appears
that before the appearance of John Russell's letter, the free-trading
Ministers were disposed to take the course now determined on, and
Aberdeen thinks it was a great error and misfortune that they did
not do so in November, and so appear to have taken the initiative,
rather than to be goaded to it. Lord John's letter, however (which
was written without concert with, or the knowledge of, anybody), fell
like a spark on a barrel of gunpowder. The effect it produced was far
greater than he even could have expected, greater probably than he is
yet aware of. It struck despair into the hearts of the Protectionists,
but it really was of service to Peel, though it appeared to put him
in fresh difficulty. The publication of the letter was followed by
an article in the 'Times,' alluding to this difficulty, and the
day this article appeared Aberdeen sent for Delane, and told him
that Peel considered the letter mischievous, but the article far
more mischievous than the letter. In the course of this and other
conversations he gave Delane to understand what his own opinions were,
and told him pretty clearly what sort of a contest was going on in
the Cabinet. The Duke was at first decidedly against repeal;[108]
and Ripon and Wharncliffe were, as far as I can make out, the most
strenuous opponents besides. On Tuesday last the decisive Cabinet was
held, at which it was finally to be determined which party should
prevail, and if Peel could not carry his views, it was his intention
to resign, and Aberdeen with him. On Wednesday, Aberdeen sent again
for Delane, and after talking to him about all sorts of matters
connected with foreign policy, and many other things, and when Delane
was preparing to leave him, he began upon the Corn Laws, and told him,
in fact, the substance of what appeared in the article yesterday,
together with many details which did not appear. He told him that
the Duke of Wellington had offered to resign, but that Peel said, if
he resigned, he himself would also, for he could not undertake to
carry the measure without the Duke's concurrence and support, and at
last the Duke gave way, and agreed to stay in, and use his influence
to carry it through the House of Lords. Peel was aware that without
this it would have been impossible, and as it is, he expects great
opposition, and several resignations in the Cabinet.[109] These
resignations will, however, materially strengthen the Government,
as the men who go out will probably be replaced by Ellenborough,
Dalhousie, and Gladstone, a great improvement in point of capacity.


When the article appeared yesterday morning, Lord Wharncliffe was
in a great state of agitation, and told Reeve (as he had done
before) that it was not true, that the 'Times' was mystified, and
had been all along. Reeve said that certainly the editor of the
'Times' thought he had good authority for what he had put forth,
and would not have risked his credit so far without strong grounds,
but that if Lord Wharncliffe really meant to declare that to his
knowledge the statement was false, he would, if he pleased, send
for Delane and tell him so. He hung back on this, and said he did
not wish to appear. Reeve said he need not appear, but if he would
_authorise_ the contradiction, it should be contradicted. He would
not, however, but said that 'nothing was settled.' I have no doubt
that though everything is virtually settled, the matter remains to
be formally arranged. The Chiefs are agreed, but the whole Cabinet
is not yet agreed, and this is what he means, while any hopes he may
have entertained of staving off the blow are defeated by this rapid
publication. There can be very little doubt that it was Aberdeen's
object that Delane should publish what he did, though he did not
tell him to do so, and the reason is very obvious. Yesterday the
American Mail went off, and it took with it the morning papers, and
consequently this article in the 'Times.' It was exactly what Aberdeen
wanted. As Foreign Secretary his most earnest desire is to get over
the Oregon affair as well as he can, and he knows that nothing will
have so great an effect in America, nothing tend so materially to the
prevalence of pacific counsels, as an announcement that our Corn Laws
are going to be repealed.

    [Footnote 108: All this was true as to the Duke, Ripon, and
    Wharncliffe, but it is odd no mention was made of Stanley and his
    opposition: _vide_ letters of the Duke, Ripon, and Wharncliffe.]

    [Footnote 109: [Such was the information we had at the time of what
    had occurred, but from the _Memoir_ since published by Sir Robert
    Peel this turns out to be a very incorrect and imperfect statement.
    A Cabinet took place on Tuesday, December 2nd, at which Peel read
    to the Cabinet a Memorandum (p. 214), in which he said: 'I wish
    to reconcile the gradual approach towards sound principles with a
    full and cautious consideration of the relations which have been
    established, and the interests that have grown up under a different
    system;...from the principle...that protective duties are in
    themselves evils, I cannot withhold my assent, but the retrospect
    from a system long established requires caution and great
    consideration.... If, in order to meet an unexpected calamity, the
    import duties on foreign grain were suspended, it would become
    necessary to avow the course we intended to pursue with reference
    to the state of the law, when suspension would expire.... It would
    be quite out of my power, consistently with my recorded opinions
    and present convictions, to guarantee the existing amount of
    protection...on the termination of the suspension.... The choice
    in my opinion is between resistance to alteration in the existing
    law, and the proposal of a new law that involves...the principle of
    progressive reduction of protective duties.... I will undertake to
    propose such a law, and should hope to...to carry it, if it meets
    with the cordial and unanimous sanction of my colleagues.' The
    discussions in the Cabinet lasted from November 25th to December
    5th. At length Lord Stanley and the Duke of Buccleugh declined
    to support such a measure, while all the other members of the
    Government waived their objections. On December 5th Peel resigned,
    and Lord John Russell was sent for the same day.]]


_December 6th._--It is impossible to describe the agitation into
which all classes of persons have been thrown by the announcement
about the Corn Laws--the doubts, hopes, and fears it has excited,
and the burning curiosity to know the truth of it. Some deride and
scout it; others believe it, partly or entirely. Yesterday morning
I went to the office and saw Wharncliffe. 'His face was as a glass,
where men might read strange matters;' it was easy to see his state of
agitation. Assuming it was all true, I said I hoped he did not mean
to resign, and that whatever his opinions might be, if the Duke did
not, he surely need not either, and any break-up of the party would
be an evil. He acknowledged nothing, but replied, very lugubriously,
that he was seventy years old! I did my best to encourage him, and he
did his best to make me doubt the accuracy of the 'Times' statement,
telling me nothing, but mysteriously saying a very short time would
reveal the truth. In the afternoon he went to a Cabinet. Meanwhile
the 'Standard' appeared with a contradiction of the 'Times' in large
letters. Wharncliffe came into my room from the Cabinet much excited,
but apparently rather hilarious. I asked him if he had seen the
'Standard.' He said no, he wanted to see it. He read it, and then
said, 'What do you say to that?' I said, I laughed at it, and had
not a doubt that the 'Times' was right. 'Very well,' he replied, 'it
will soon be seen who is right; but I tell you the "Times" has been
mystified, and neither you nor Reeve know anything of what is going
on.'[110] I was enough staggered by his manner to write to Reeve
and tell him this, and he went to Delane. They went over all that
had passed with Aberdeen, which was too clear, too precise, and too
decisive to admit of any mistake. After his communication to Delane,
Aberdeen asked him what he meant to do with what he had told him.
'Publish it,' he answered, 'to be sure!' A pretty strong proof that
he told it him for no other purpose. Palmerston hit the right nail on
the head, for William Cowper told me last night he had guessed that
Aberdeen had got this information put into the 'Times,' that it might
go over to America and influence the Oregon question; only he did not
seem certain it was true, and was not without a suspicion that it was
done with an intention to deceive, and not to enlighten the American

    [Footnote 110: [This was quite true; we did not know what was going
    on, for the Government had resigned the day before.]]

_December 9th, Tuesday._--On Saturday afternoon Wharncliffe came
to the office and sent for me. I found him walking about the room,
when he immediately broke out, 'Well, I must say the impudence of
the "Times" exceeds all I ever knew.' 'What's the matter?' I asked,
'what have they done?' 'Why, notwithstanding the contradiction in
the "Standard" last night, they have not only neither qualified nor
withdrawn their assertion, but have repeated the statement more
positively than before. I must say this beats every other impudence.'
'Well,' I said, 'don't you see the reason, namely, that the "Times"
does not care for the denial of the "Standard," and thinks its own
authority for the statement better than any the "Standard" can have
for denying it.' I then told him that everybody believed the 'Times,'
go where you would people canvassed which was the most credible, and
all believed the 'Times,' Lord Carnarvon, whom I met in the morning,
for instance; and I myself believed it, that is, I believed it to be
substantially correct, though perhaps not so in all its details. 'Very
well,' he said, 'a short time will show the truth; but I tell you
again that the "Times" knows nothing about it, has been mystified, and
you will soon see that you are all wrong.' On this I said, 'Am I then
to understand you that the facts put forth by the "Times" are really
untrue, that no resolution has been come to by the Cabinet, and that
the Duke of Wellington in one House and Peel in the other are _not_
going to bring forward a measure which, without quibbling or splitting
of hairs, is a virtual abandonment of the principle of protection?' He
said, 'Well, I do mean to say that all this is untrue, it is not the
fact; I positively tell you so, and I mean it without any quibbling
whatever.' 'Very well, of course you know and I cannot, and I am bound
to believe you. May I then contradict it on your authority?' 'No, I
will not have my name used. I tell you not to believe it, and you may
say what you please as from yourself, but I will not have my authority
mentioned, and events will contradict it soon enough.' We had a great
deal more talk. He complained of the mischief that the report had
done, and the speculation it had set afloat. After this contradiction
so positive, specific, and peremptory, I knew not what to believe.
On Monday I looked with anxiety for the article in the 'Times,' and
found only a calm adhesion to its story. Delane had seen Aberdeen
the evening before, who said to him that he had not said a bit too
much, except that his statement the second day, that 'the heads of
the Government had agreed,' was more correct than that of the first,
which said that 'the Cabinet' had. He desired him to go on in the same
strain, reasoning on it as a fact. He gave him, however, to understand
that the publication had created considerable agitation. Delane in the
course of conversation said that the whole thing turned on the Duke of
Wellington, whether he was consenting or not, but Aberdeen would not
tell him which way the Duke was.


In the afternoon I saw Delane himself. Peel went down to the Queen on
Saturday, came up yesterday afternoon, and there was a Cabinet at five
o'clock. Wharncliffe told me that Peel was very angry at the article
in the 'Times,' and sent a messenger to the Queen thereupon. There
is no doubt that Delane, in the excitement of the moment, said more,
much more than he ought to have said, and that Wharncliffe's statement
to me was really true, for the Cabinet, so far from being agreed
on a measure, was in a state of disagreement, amounting almost to
dissolution.[111] Delane was very imprudent, for he might have guarded
his statement and yet produced precisely the same effect. My own
belief is that yesterday evening decided the fate of the Government,
and that all turned on the Duke. However, a very short time will clear
up everything. Meanwhile the agitation, excitement, and curiosity are
universal and intense. The rising wrath of the Tories and landlords is
already muttering at the bare suspicion of the intended act, and it
will be awful when all the truth breaks upon them. Peel's situation is
very curious, and though many will think he has done a great service,
he has so played his cards from first to last that his reputation will
be irretrievably damaged by it, for men of both, or indeed of all,
parties will unite in condemning him. He is now going to reap the
fruits of the enormous error he committed in coming into office on the
principle of Corn Law protection and the sliding scale, an error the
more unpardonable because it was quite unnecessary.

    [Footnote 111: [The article in the _Times_ was not skilfully
    expressed, and would have been equally effective in more guarded
    language. I am not sure who wrote it, but I am inclined to think
    it was Mr. Delane himself (though he seldom wrote anything), and
    I afterwards heard him express dissatisfaction with it. To a
    certain extent he was misled, for though Lord Aberdeen made known
    to him the intentions of the Free Trade party in the Cabinet, he
    omitted to communicate the all-important fact that the Ministry had
    resigned on the day after their first conversation, and that the
    Free Trade party was for the moment defeated.]]

_Thursday, 11th._--On Tuesday afternoon Lord Wharncliffe sent for
me, and told me Parliament was to be prorogued, but not called for
despatch of business. This was enough: it satisfied me that the
Ministers were out; there was no other solution of so strange a fact.
Yesterday morning we went down to the Council at Osborne; the Duke
joined us at Basingstoke. Nothing was said. I never saw the Cabinet
in such a state of hilarity. Peel was full of jokes and stories,
and they all were as merry (apparently and probably really) as men
could be. Peel and Aberdeen alone had long audiences of the Queen;
nothing transpired there. When I got back to town I found the reports
of resignation current, and at dinner at George Harcourt's it was
treated as a thing certain, and my conversation with James Wortley
and then with Sir R. Gordon and Canning quite satisfied me that my
conjectures the day before had been fully realised. When we returned
from Osborne I had no idea the Ministers had already resigned some
days before, for they none of them took leave, and Peel and Aberdeen
only had audiences. Not one of them hinted to me what was going on,
and the only thing said about it was a joke of Stanley's, who said to
a Bishop, who was of the party, that the right reverend prelate had
probably often seen as much patience, but never could have seen so
much resignation.


_Friday, 12th._--Yesterday all was known. Peel had resigned on
Saturday, and Lord John was sent for the same day, but the Ministers
kept that secret, nor did Aberdeen tell Delane the state of the case;
I suppose he was afraid to tell him any more. Lord John was at Osborne
yesterday, and has called his friends together to-day. The Whig talk
at Brooks's is that the Government about to be formed can not stand,
that they will be able to do nothing with the House of Lords, and
assuming that the Duke of Wellington's opposition has broken up the
Government, which was totally untrue, they conclude that he will
head the Tories in support of the Corn Laws in the Upper House. I
met Macaulay at dinner at Milman's yesterday (for the Westminster
Play), and he told me this was the tone at Brooks's. I said I did not
think they would have so much difficulty as they imagine, that Peel
would support them, and the Duke, so far from leading on the landed
interest, would keep them quiet if he could and help the Government.

It is now more than ever to be regretted that Lord John is not on
better terms with Peel, and that he should have allowed himself to
twit him so offensively as he did in his letter the other day, for it
is essential that there should be some concert between them; and as
Lord John's Government must in fact depend for its existence on Peel's
support, it would have been far more becoming and more convenient that
their personal relations should be amicable, and that they should
not be separated from each other by a barrier of mutual antipathy.
I believe, however, that Lord John's feelings towards Peel are not
at all reciprocated by the latter. The Tories will now bitterly
regret that they rejected the eight-shilling duty, and how true have
been the prognostics that they never would have again so good an
opportunity of making a compromise. I doubt whether their rage and
fury against Peel will be the least diminished by his resignation; on
the contrary, they will think he has cast them into the lion's mouth.
Everybody asks first of all what is the crisis, what the necessity
which compelled him to insist on throwing over the Corn Laws, and
making it the condition of his remaining in office; and next, when the
majority of the Cabinet would have supported him, why he did not let
the dissentients go and fight his battle out. These questions will be
answered in time.

Lord John gave considerable offence to some of his colleagues by his
letter; two only, however, objected (in letters to him) to what he
said--Lansdowne and Palmerston. Clarendon objected to his firing off
such a letter without consulting anybody, but did not write to him
at all; he wrote to the Duke of Bedford. However, as Palmerston's
objection was grounded on an assumption that it would _strengthen_
Peel, now that Peel is out, and the doors of the Foreign Office are
thrown open to him, he will be no doubt reconciled to it; for I don't
imagine he cares about corn, fixed duty, sliding scales, or anything
else, except so far as they may bear upon his return to that abode of

_Saturday, 13th._--Yesterday morning I called on Wharncliffe, who
was still ill in bed, and very low. He complained of the 'Times' for
saying that the Duke of Wellington had broken up the Government by
changing his mind, first consenting and then withdrawing his consent;
that 'it was hard upon the old man,' who had behaved admirably
throughout, never having flinched or changed, but he had said to Peel
that he (Peel) was a better judge of this question than himself, and
he would support him in whatever course he might take. I said 'the
old man' would probably not see the paper, and certainly not care a
straw if he did. I told him everybody asked why they had resigned,
and when the day of explanation came, that it would be difficult to
give a satisfactory answer to the question. He said he thought so too;
that he never could see any sufficient reason (it being now clear
that the supposed deficiency of food would furnish none); but that
from the beginning Peel and Graham, especially Graham, had appeared
_panic-struck_, and would hear no reasons against the course they had
resolved upon; that Lord Heytesbury had contributed to this panic by
his representations; that the original statement in the 'Times' was
the most extraordinary, because _on the very day_ when it appeared,
Thursday, the Government was virtually broken up. Peel resolved to
repeal the Corn Laws, but only to attempt it provided he could do
so with a unanimous Cabinet. This he found was impossible, and that
very Thursday he determined to resign. They begged him not to be in
a hurry. He said he would not, and would take twenty-four hours to
consider it. He did so, and on Friday he announced to his colleagues
that he persisted in his resolution, and should go down the next day
to Osborne to resign. All this, which I had from Wharncliffe's lips,
is unquestionably true.


There was a meeting at John Russell's in the morning; no one was
present but Palmerston, Cottenham, Clarendon, and Macaulay, who came
in at the end. The letters convening his other friends had not reached
them in time. X---- came to me afterwards and told me what had passed.
The Queen wrote to Lord John, and summoned him to her presence. Sir
Robert Peel had resigned, and she had thought it expedient to send
for him to assist her. He asked her why Peel had resigned? She said
that since November last he had been satisfied that the time was
arrived when the Corn Laws must be repealed, but that the difficulty
he had found with his Cabinet had at length induced him to resign.
Lord John then said that, before he could undertake anything, he
must know what would be Peel's course in respect to the measures he
should propose, and what chance he should have of being able to carry
them. The Queen told him that Peel had given her every assurance
of his support. He left her without anything being settled, and he
is in fact not yet Minister. At the meeting yesterday, Cottenham
alone was against undertaking it; but Lord John was pretty well
determined, only they all agreed that he must feel his way and obtain
some positive information as to the sort and amount of support which
Peel would and could give him. Clarendon urged this very strongly,
and Lord John quite agreed. This morning, at eleven o'clock, they
are all to assemble at his house, and in the afternoon Lord John and
Lord Lansdowne are to go down to Windsor together. Nothing will, I
apprehend, be definitively settled till some communication, direct
or indirect, has taken place between Peel and John Russell, so that
the latter may have some certain knowledge of the intentions of
the former. Lord John has, however, already had some communication
with Graham, but I do not know what.[112] The language at Brooks's
is generally that of extreme despondency; but I have done my best
to encourage them, and have told all those I have communicated with
(and most of them come to me for information or an opinion) that
the new Government will not fail. I met Lord Lansdowne last night,
and I found that he meant to come back to his old office. However,
the distribution of places will be a very difficult matter, the
adjustment of claims and expectations, and making these square with
the exigencies of the crisis.

Yesterday afternoon Graham met Lord Lansdowne and John Russell; the
conversation was frank and amicable. Lord John said he must ask
'what was the measure which Peel had intended to propose.' Graham
said he could not tell him without Peel's consent. This morning he
received a letter from Graham recapitulating what had passed, but
informing him Peel declined to tell him what his intended measure was.
It seems, however, that it was a measure of Repeal, or leading to
ultimate Repeal, accompanied with certain other measures of relief;
that in November he announced to his Cabinet that he thought this
necessary; but that it was received with such opposition that _he
never laid before them his measures_, and the Cabinet has actually
broken up without knowing what they were. Strange and incredible as
this appears, it must be true, for Graham told Lord John so.[113] His
and Peel's motives were, that the state of Ireland is so awful, with
famine and complete disorganisation, and a social war probable, that
money and coercive laws must have been called for; and these they
could not demand of Parliament, and leave the Corn Laws as they are.


There was another meeting at Lord John's house at eleven to-day;
present, the same as before, and the Duke of Bedford and Francis
Baring. Lord John produced Graham's letter. Lord Lansdowne said that
certainly he could not say there was anything in it at variance with
what he had said at their interview, but that there was an appearance
of drawing back in it, and something in the tone that he did not like.
The feeling of this meeting was, that Peel and Graham were not going
to deal fairly and frankly with them, and they would not hear of
Peel's excusing himself from divulging his intentions, and giving as
the excuse for his refusal that he could not tell them a plan which
he had not told his colleagues. They unanimously agreed that great
caution and determination were necessary, and that they must see their
way more clearly before they committed themselves to taking office.
It was settled that Lord Lansdowne and Lord John should go together
to Windsor and tell Her Majesty what they proposed. This was, that
Peel should again be invited to state frankly what sort of measure he
contemplated and would be prepared to support; and if he refused to
do this, Lord John was to commit to paper a project, which was to be
sent to Peel, desiring at the same time that he would say whether he
would support it, and what amount of support he calculated on being
able to bring with him. They will have no appearance of intrigue or
underhand dealing, but an open, frank proceeding which may enable
them to see the exact condition in which they stand. I saw the Duke
of Bedford soon after the meeting, who gave me precisely the same
account that Clarendon had done; he said that Lord John had acted with
great judgement in his communication with the Queen, not pressing
her or asking for details about the differences in the late Cabinet,
taking what she chose to tell. She wrote to Melbourne, and told him
she had sent for Lord John, knowing that the state of his health would
not admit of his assisting her. He wrote back word that a voyage from
Southampton to Cowes would be as bad for him as to cross the Atlantic.

The Queen spoke to Lord John immediately about Lord Palmerston, and
expressed great alarm at the idea of his returning to the Foreign
Office, and her earnest desire that he would take the Colonial Office
instead, and that Lord John would propose it to him. She had already
talked to Aberdeen about it, who told her she must make up her mind to
Palmerston's returning to the Foreign Office, as he would certainly
take nothing else. They agreed (Lord John and those whom he consulted)
that it would never do to propose any other office to him, and it was
much better to avoid any appearance of reluctance or distrust, and
to give it him at once. But they mean that the Queen should herself
express to Palmerston her earnest desire that nothing may be said or
done to interrupt the amicable relations which subsist between her and
the King of the French, and that Palmerston should be at once made
to understand that the Foreign Office is to be a department of the
Government, the affairs of which are to be considered in common, and
not dealt with according to his good will and pleasure. He will not
like this, but with or without a struggle he will no doubt conform to
it; and John Russell is not a man to surrender the proper functions
of a head of the Government, or to be either tricked or bullied into
letting Palmerston be independent and arbitrary. Clarendon told Lord
John not to think about him in making his arrangements. Lord John
threw out a hint about Ireland; but he at once said he could not go
there at the expense of the certain ruin of his health. He asked his
brother, the Duke of Bedford, if he would take office, but he said it
was out of the question. I try to persuade him to be in the Cabinet
without an office, and to this he seems rather inclined. There will
be great difficulties about the offices, between the necessity of
inviting new men, such as Cobden and Charles Villiers; the claims of
men once but not last in office, such as Grey, Auckland, Charles Wood,
George Grey, Clanricarde, &c.; and adjusting the pretensions of the
men turned out by Peel. There was an admirable article in the 'Times,'
giving the whole _rationale_ of Peel's four years of office, of his
conduct, motives, and the feelings and sentiments which he engendered,
excellently done and perfectly true.

    [Footnote 112: [There was a correspondence between them with Peel's
    consent. _Vide Memoir_, p. 227.]]

    [Footnote 113: [It is very remarkable that in the course of this
    narrative, derived from the most authentic sources, Lord Stanley's
    name is never mentioned; yet it is now well known that Lord Stanley
    was the most energetic opponent of the measures contemplated by
    Sir R. Peel on the Corn Question, whatever they might be. It is
    stated in the _Edinburgh Review_ (vol. clviii. p. 556), on the
    authority of the Aberdeen Correspondence, that Sir Robert Peel
    did not propose to his Cabinet the repeal or abandonment of the
    Corn Laws, but the suspension of them in consequence of the Irish
    famine. The real question was whether the suspension should be
    temporary or otherwise. Sir James Graham says in a letter in
    that Correspondence, that 'after Lord John's failure to form
    a Government when they returned to office, Stanley would have
    consented to a suspension of the Corn Laws if Peel would have
    pledged himself to reimpose them when the suspension ceased.
    The question was not brought to an issue till then, and Stanley
    seceded, not because Peel proposed repeal, but because Stanley
    insisted on a pledge to reimpose them after a fixed period, in
    circumstances which could not be foreseen.']]


_Tuesday, December 16th._--Nothing is settled; Lord Lansdowne and
Lord John Russell went to Windsor on Saturday. The first novelty that
struck them was the manner of their reception; all is changed since
they went out of office. Formerly the Queen received her Ministers
alone; with her alone they communicated, though of course Prince
Albert knew everything; but now the Queen and Prince were together,
received Lord Lansdowne and John Russell together, and both of them
always said _We_--'We think, or wish, to do so and so; what had _we_
better do, &c.' The Prince is become so identified with the Queen
that they are one person, and as he likes business, it is obvious
that while she has the title he is really discharging the functions
of the Sovereign. He is King to all intents and purposes. I am not
surprised at this, but certainly was not aware that it had taken such
a definite shape. However, they told the Sovereigns that they thought
it necessary to obtain a positive assurance that the dissentient
section of the Cabinet was unable, and would in no case undertake, to
form a Government, and suggested that they should either send for or
write to Peel, and ask him the question. The Prince wrote, and last
night John Russell got from him Peel's answer, which was a distinct
declaration that those persons could not and would not attempt to form
a Government. This morning there is another and more numerous meeting,
for now the scattered Whigs have had time to arrive. Peel having
refused to disclose his intentions in his Cabinet, it now remains
for Lord John to tell him what he is inclined to propose, and to ask
him if he will support it. What this shall be will be discussed this
morning. The greatest doubt prevails in the town about the formation
of the Government. If Peel and Graham would communicate frankly with
John Russell, and really try to come to some understanding or fair
compromise; if they would consider the difficulties together and make
a joint attempt to remove them, the work would not be difficult; but
there is always a great difficulty when it is necessary to deal with
such men as Peel and Graham--the one cold, reserved, suspicious, and
insincere, the other slippery.

Certainly the contrast between Peel's position and his reputation
on his coming into office four years ago, and at this moment of his
quitting it, is most remarkable and curious. Never was any Minister
so triumphant as he was then. He had routed his opponents, reduced
them to a miserable state of weakness, and heaped unpopularity and
discredit upon them. With his own party he was like a general who
had just led his troops on to victory; they looked up to him with
admiration, and obeyed him implicitly; all the world was admiring
and applauding him, abroad and at home. And what has been his career
before the world? Successful to the uttermost of general expectation;
personally he vanquished the dislike of the Queen and ingratiated
himself entirely with her. He terminated dangerous contests and
embarrassing disputes, he restored peace, he put the finances in
good order. It would be difficult to point out any failure he
suffered, and easy to show that no Minister ever had to boast of four
more prosperous years, or more replete with public advantage and
improvement. His majority in both Houses of Parliament has certainly
not been diminished; and if he had met Parliament as Minister next
session, he would in all probability have found himself supported
by majorities quite as large as when he took possession of the
Government. And the end of all this triumph, popularity, prosperity,
and power is a voluntary fall, a resignation of office in the midst
of such a storm of rage, abuse, and hatred as no other Minister was
ever exposed to. His political opponents are not disposed to give him
credit for either wisdom or patriotism, while his followers (friends
he has none) heap reproaches upon him, in which they exhaust the
whole vocabulary of abuse, and accuse him of every sort of baseness,
falsehood, and treachery. And what is the cause of this mighty change?
It is because he is wiser than his people, that he knows better than
they do what are the true principles of national policy and national
economy; because, amidst a chaos of conflicting prejudices and
interests, amidst the clashing of mighty powers, he entertains sound
views and wants to give effect to them. It was well said that it was
his purpose 'to _betray_ the country into good measures.' The tendency
of his measures has been good. If he had had time, he would have
accomplished much good; but he was unfortunately 'cribbed, cabined,
and confined' by his antecedent conduct, and he has been obliged to
work his way by the employment of means destructive of his character,
subversive of his influence, and, in the end, fatal to the objects
which he had in view. The history of Peel's four years is well worth
a close study. There is so much in it in connexion with the past to
blame, so much in connexion with the future to praise, and all well
worth pondering upon and fit to point a moral.


_Afternoon._--The meeting of the Whigs took place this morning,
fourteen or fifteen present. The day before Howick[114] had
arrived, and immediately began squabbling with and dissenting from
everybody. He and Ellice were with Lord John together, and Lord John
so much disagreed with Howick's violent views (for he was all for
extreme measures, immediate repeal, no compensation, trampling on
adversaries), that Howick said pettishly, 'I see it would be useless
for me to attend your meeting to-morrow.' Ellice interfered and said,
'Oh, nonsense, you had better come,' and he did. Lord John said he was
very sorry Ellice had prevailed on him to come, as he should much have
preferred taking him at his word.

Lord John had written to the Queen, and begged her to obtain a more
positive answer whether the Protectionist part of the Cabinet would
or could form a Government; and the Queen wrote to Peel accordingly.
Peel's answer Lord John received this morning; it was a long letter,
four sides of paper. After stating positively that the dissentients
would not make the attempt, he went on to say that he was disposed
to support the measures of the new Government, but that he thought
it better there should be no direct communication between them;
that it would give offence to many people, and not be relished by
Parliament; that he could say that there were many Peers who, whatever
their opinions might be about the Corn Laws, would be anxious that
any measure which passed the House of Commons should pass the House
of Lords, and would do all they could to assist it. This letter was
first read separately, and then when Lord Lansdowne arrived late (from
Bowood), and they all took their places, it was read aloud. After
considerable discussion upon it, some thinking it was not enough,
Clarendon proposed that another letter should be written to the Queen,
requesting that she would ask Peel whether he would be opposed to a
measure of immediate and total repeal, accompanied by other measures
of compensation, but entering into no details, and not saying what
measures of compensation they meant. This was supported by Howick,
and finally agreed to. They now know that Peel intended to propose
immediate suspension and final abolition, but with a short period of
revival. The Whigs think this will never do; they do not indeed see
any great cause for the immediate suspension; but to say so would
be inconsistent with all they have been lately urging, and would
make them appear less liberal than Peel. Then they do not think the
Corn Laws, once suspended, can ever be allowed to revive; so on the
whole they prefer immediate and total repeal, with other measures
of a compensatory character. His letter was to be despatched to the
Queen to-night, who would, of course, send it to Peel directly, and
on his answer the formation of the Government depends. The Queen in
sending Peel's letter expressed her concurrence with his reasoning,
and her hope that it would be found satisfactory, and begged to have
the letter back again directly. X--, from whom I heard all this, told
me the meeting went off very well, and on the whole harmoniously. I
wanted Clarendon to contrive that there should be some communication
made through Graham to Peel, that he may understand how much depends
on the answer he may think fit to send. He ought to be frank and
candid, but it is not in his nature, and there are many people who
fancy he wants to have the Government thrown back upon him, and to go
on. I do not believe this.

    [Footnote 114: [Charles, second Earl Grey, the head of the
    Government of 1830, died on July 17th, 1845, and was succeeded
    by Henry George Grey, his son, the third Earl. This statesman,
    therefore, was about to take his seat in the House of Lords for
    the first time as Earl Grey. But he was so much better known by
    his former courtesy title of Lord Howick, and the title to which
    he had just succeeded was still so unfamiliar, that throughout the
    narrative of these transactions he is styled Lord Howick by Mr.
    Greville, though Earl Grey is meant.]]


_Friday, December 19th._--Yesterday morning the die was cast. John
Russell accepted the Government. As I have already said, he wrote a
letter to the Queen, and a remarkably good one, setting forth that
he did not think Sir Robert Peel's plan would be sufficient, and his
reasons why, and begging to know whether he would have insuperable
objections to total and immediate repeal. It was certainly understood
by his whole conclave that on Peel's reply to this appeal to him was
to depend the question of taking or refusing the Government. The
Queen sent it to Peel, and all day on Wednesday he and Graham sat
in consultation upon it. On Wednesday evening he sent his reply,
and yesterday morning there was another meeting at Lord John's,
where the reply was read. It was very cold, declined to enter into
any discussion or give any pledges, and expressed a hope that Her
Majesty would not consider him wanting in respect if he referred
her to his former letter. On this being read there was a silence,
when Clarendon first said, 'There, you now see the wisdom of having
required a positive assurance from Peel. It is evident that he will
not support us, and there can be no question that it will not do
for us to take the Government upon it.' Howick instantly interposed
that he did not see that at all, quite disagreed with him, thought
Peel could not say more, and that it was quite as much as they could
expect. Then ensued a quantity of conversation and discussion, all
the pros and the cons, Peel's peculiar character and position, and,
in short, whether they should go on or give it up. At length Lord
John, who had stood with folded arms and let this go on for some time
in silence, said, 'If you wish to know my opinion, I think we ought
to take the Government.' He did not enter into any argument, but
thus pronounced his opinion, and at last it was put to the vote. Ten
were for taking, five were for declining: Lord Lansdowne, the Duke
of Bedford, Clarendon, and two others whom I do not yet know, were
against; all the others for. On the whole I think they did right.
The only awkward part of it is that they seemed at first to announce
a determination only to accept it provided they could get a certain
assurance from Peel. To ask for that assurance--to be refused by
him--and then to draw back from their announced resolution--to submit
to his refusal--and take the Government without it as they could not
have it with it--there is something in this rather mortifying and
a little undignified. But though Peel would not pledge himself to
any particular course, there is one very important feature in his
conduct. If he has not said that he had no insuperable objection to
the measure they contemplate, neither has he said that he has; and he
has, after learning the extent to which they mean to go, given the
same assurance of a disposition to support them which he gave before
he knew it. I think, therefore, that he means to act fairly by them,
to give them his support, and that he really does think that it is
better for them as well as for himself that he should not say more
or pledge himself more, and that he should be able to tell the House
of Commons and his friends that he is unfettered, and that there is
neither arrangement nor understanding between them. I should certainly
have voted for accepting if I had been there. It is obviously Peel's
interest to act a fair and honourable part. In no other way can he
stand well with the country; and in spite of the hatred of the Tory
landlords and his political followers, and the abuse of the press,
there is a very strong impression throughout the country amongst the
well-informed and business-like middle classes that Peel is the ablest
of our public men, that his intentions are good, his principles sound,
and his measures wise and skilful; that on the whole, in spite of
prejudice and obloquy, he has governed the country well and supplied
correction and improvement in every department and direction. Peel's
conduct at the present moment seems to me to be inconsistent with any
design of acting unfairly by the new Government. There is such an
inveterate distrust and suspicion of him that many people cannot be
persuaded he is not hatching some secret and cunning plot to overthrow
them in the end; but if his object had been to recover power and
reconcile himself with the Tories, he had now in his hands a better
opportunity than he can ever expect to find again; if he had only
said one word, the Government fell back at once into his hands; if he
had said he had insuperable objections to total and immediate repeal,
John Russell would at once have declined, and the Queen would have
sent for him again. He would have reformed and reinforced his Cabinet,
and he would have told the Tories he came back to save them from the
extreme measure of John Russell; he would have invited them to support
his safer and more moderate measure instead of appearing as their
destroyer; he would represent himself as standing between them and
destruction, as their defender against ruin. That with his dexterity
he might have turned this to account and have assuaged the fury of
many of them can hardly be doubted. But he has done nothing of the
kind; and in not taking this advantage and rejecting the Government
thus placed within his grasp, I think there is far greater assurance
of his fair intentions than reason to doubt them because he will not
give specific and definite pledges and assurances. All this I have
said to one of my friends this morning who has been all along disposed
to take a different view of the case and has been the principal
advocate for caution and non-acceptance.


_December 20th._--No novel or play ever presented such vicissitudes
and events as this political drama which has been for ten days acted
before the public. Yesterday, when I went to dinner at Lord Foley's,
Leveson whispered to me that 'everything was at an end.' I had seen
nobody in the afternoon and knew nothing, but after dinner he told me
Charles Gore had told him this. I went off to Kent House and there
heard the whole story. Yesterday morning they met at John Russell's
as usual, and first began by a discussion of the compensations, Lord
Lansdowne and others thinking it advisable to come to an agreement
as to the general principles on which they should proceed in this
important particular. Howick as usual argued, disputed, and battled,
but at last this question was settled. Then John Russell said, 'Now,
if you please, I want to see you singly, and I will begin with
Howick.' Accordingly the rest went into the next room. Howick remained
there forty minutes, at the end of which he stalked out, head in the
air, and, without saying a word to anybody, took himself off. John
Russell then called in one or two more and told them what had passed.
He had offered Howick the Colonies. Howick accepted, but begged to
know the other arrangements, and particularly who was to have the
Foreign Office. He told him 'Palmerston.' Then said Howick, 'I will
not be in the Cabinet.' He argued with him, told him all the reasons
for this arrangement, said everything he could think of, but all in
vain. So they parted. Then Bear Ellice, whom John Russell called
into council, said it was intolerable; and he and Sir George Grey,
who was to have the Home Office, went after him, and it was settled
there should be another meeting in the evening. They could not find
him for a long time, and when they did he would hear of nothing. It
appears that some days ago John Russell did sound Palmerston about
taking another office, hinted that people were alarmed at him, but
said he would not offer him anything else, and that the Foreign Office
was at his disposal. Palmerston did not bite the least, but treated
the alarms as fictitious or ridiculous, said he knew nothing of any
other office, eulogised his own administration, and said he would
take nothing else. Howick had on his side written a letter to John
Russell, not objecting to Palmerston, but intimating that he should
expect to be informed how the offices were to be allotted: something
indicative of a possible breeze, but not of the storm which has burst
forth. In the middle of the day John Russell wrote to Palmerston and
told him a difficulty had arisen, and that _one_ of their colleagues
objected to his taking the Foreign Office. Palmerston very properly
replied that 'this was an additional reason for his accepting no
other.' In the afternoon John Russell, finding Howick would come to no
terms, declared that he would throw the whole thing up, that he could
not do without Grey in the Lords, and that the breach with him would
produce difficulties and embarrassments that would materially impair
his chance of success. Peel was to go down to Windsor this morning
to resign, and John Russell wrote to the Queen to inform her of what
had occurred, and begged her to put Peel off till the afternoon,
and meanwhile he would himself go down to Windsor, where he is, in
fact, gone, to resign. I find that most of his colleagues concur in
this resolution: Auckland, who was at Kent House, Clarendon and Lord
Lansdowne, both of whom have always been against taking office, and
I know not who besides. I think they are wrong. It may be a question
whether they ought to have accepted or refused upon Peel's letter,
whether they had then grounds enough; but it seems to me pusillanimous
and discreditable to suffer Howick to break up the Government they had
consented to form, upon a purely personal question, unmixed with any
political one. Such is the state of things this day at twelve o'clock;
but from hour to hour it is impossible to say or guess how it may all
be changed. The Government is really like a halfpenny whirling in the
air, with John Russell's head on one side and Peel's on the other.


_Sunday, December 21st._--John Russell went down at eleven o'clock,
resigned, and the Queen accepted his resignation. He gave her a
Minute, setting forth his difficulties (but without naming Grey and
Palmerston) and explanatory of his motives; exceedingly well done,
I am told, terse and clear. This he left with her to show to Peel.
She behaved very graciously to him, thanked him for his exertions,
approved of his conduct, particularly in supporting Palmerston, on
whom she pronounced a high eulogy; praised his talents and industry,
and said she was sure he would have ably and faithfully discharged
his duty. She showed John Russell a letter from Louis Philippe, very
judicious and expressive of his confidence that the change in her
Government would in no way affect the good understanding which existed
between the two countries. Nothing could be more satisfactory than
this interview.

At two o'clock Peel arrived, and upon her informing him that John
Russell had resigned, giving him the Minute to read, and requesting
him to retake the Government, he immediately and without making any
difficulties consented to do so, saying, however, that he would have
supported John Russell if he had formed his Government. The Queen
wrote to John Russell and told him what had passed, which he announced
to us at dinner at Palmerston's. I never saw people so happy, as most,
perhaps all of them, are to have got out of their engagement; even
Lady Palmerston said she did not wish for the Foreign Office again. It
was known yesterday that Howick was the cause of this sudden break-up,
and what he had done, and there was a general disposition to blame him
severely, but also to blame them for not having let him depart and
gone on without him. If they had been really anxious to come in, and
if they had had an entire confidence in Peel's intentions, they no
doubt would have done so; but the Peers of the party, who were all of
them opposed to taking office on Thursday, were still more decidedly
against it when they found Howick was to leave them. They had counted
upon him as their principal speaker in the House of Lords, and when
they found that the whole burthen was to fall on them, and that they
were very likely to have Howick against them instead of for them,
urging impossible measures, they vehemently pressed John Russell to
give it up; and this disinclination on the part of so many members
of his Cabinet to face these difficulties determined him to resign.
If Peel's engagement to support them had been more definite and
positive, they would probably not have cared for Howick's secession;
but, already dissatisfied with Peel, they were too happy to take
the opportunity which Howick afforded them to draw back altogether.
Peel's reserve was really then the cause of the failure, and I have
a strong suspicion that he was reserved and abstained from pledging
himself because he thought John Russell would very likely not be able
to accomplish his task, that in case of failure the Government would
fall back into his hands, and that he was resolved all the time to
retake it if it was offered to him again. At all events he has shown
his prudence, and it is very fortunate for him that he did not pledge
himself to any particular course, and that he has kept himself at
liberty to do exactly what he pleases. He is not the least pledged
either for or against total repeal. The conversation I had with Sidney
Herbert some nights ago gave me a suspicion that they were looking
forward to the possibility, if not the probability, of their immediate
resumption of office. I think, on the whole, Lord John had sufficient
reason for giving it up, but that the world--that is, the Whig
world--and those who desired his success, who cannot know what was
passing in his green-room, will think he ought, after going so far, to
have gone on to the end. The last scene will not appear to have been
well played out. It will be thought that if they saw cause enough on
public grounds to undertake it, they ought not to have been deterred
from proceeding because one unreasonable member of the Cabinet raised
objections and difficulties of a purely personal nature, and which had
no reference to the great measure which it was their mission to carry
through. This is, as far as one can see, the general opinion.



    Sir Robert Peel returns to Office--Death of Lord Wharncliffe--Tory
    View of the Whig Failure--Views of Sir Robert Peel and his
    Colleagues--Favourable Position of the Cabinet--Lord Howick's
    Statement--Lord John defended by his Friends--The Letters
    of Junius--True Causes of the Whig Failure--The Corn Law
    Measure under Consideration--A Vindication of Peel--Irritation
    of the Duke of Wellington and the Tories--Lord Melbourne's
    Vehemence--Lord Granville--Lord Bessborough in favour of
    Coercive Measures in Ireland--Consequences of Lord John's
    Letter on Corn Law Repeal--The Peelite Party--Sir Robert Peel's
    Speech--Disclosure of Sir Robert Peel's Measure--Lord John's
    View of it--Sir James Graham's View--The Movement for immediate
    Repeal--The League press for immediate Repeal--Lord John's
    Engagement--Hesitation on the subject of immediate Repeal--Lord
    Stanley's growing Opposition--Mr. Sidney Herbert's Views and
    Conduct--More moderate Counsels--Approaching Fate of the Peel
    Ministry--No Dissolution--Inconsistency of Ministers--The
    Westminster Election--Lord Stanley heads the Protectionist
    Opposition--Lord John Russell's Inconsistency--Mr. Disraeli
    leads the Protectionists in the Commons--The Conquest of the
    Punjaub--Division on the Corn Bill--Lord George Bentinck's
    Speech--Lord Hardinge blamed.

_London, Monday, December 22nd, 1845._--Yesterday there was an
interval of repose, and the world is now looking with great curiosity
for Peel's proceedings, and what changes, if any, will be made in
the Cabinet. I met Monteagle at dinner at Palmerston's last night,
when we talked over the rise and fall of Lord John's attempt, and he
expressed a strong opinion that they ought to have gone on; that Lord
John ought not to have argued with Howick at all, but have said at
once, 'I am sorry to lose you, but since this is your resolution, I am
afraid we must be deprived of your aid, but I trust you will support
us.' He says he knows the man, and if Lord John had taken this course
Howick would have given way. It is now said that he desired Edward
Ellice to impart to Lord John his objections to Palmerston, and that
Ellice never did it; but, be this as it may, he ought not to have left
the matter in doubt, but have had a clear explanation with Lord John
at first. Sidney Herbert told me they came back with great regret,
but could not do otherwise, situated as the Queen was by Lord John's
retiring. At this moment all speculation and all conjecture about
what will happen, what Peel will propose, and what will be the event,
must be so wild and uncertain, that though these questions are in
everybody's mouth and occupy everybody's thoughts incessantly, I shall
not now say anything on the subject.


I have been so engaged in the narration of passing events that I
have not said a word on the sudden death of Lord Wharncliffe, who,
after an illness of ten days, was struck on Thursday last by a stroke
of apoplexy, and died on Friday morning, none of his family having
supposed him to be in any danger. He was not a popular man in general
society; his manners were ungracious, and to those who knew little
of him, or who had occasional relations with him, he generally gave
offence; but he was deservedly loved and esteemed by his family and
his friends. He was kind-hearted, affectionate, hospitable, and
obliging, an excellent, well-meaning man, and those who disliked him
at first, on a more intimate acquaintance grew to regard and respect
him. He was very far from being a man of first-rate capacity, but he
had good strong sense, liberal opinions, honesty, straightforwardness,
and courage--rather more perhaps of physical than of moral courage,
for a braver man never existed; but in political action he was checked
by a consciousness of his insignificance in comparison with his
compeers, and he did not assert his independence and put forth his
opinions with the confidence which an abler and more indispensable
man would have done. He gave unquestionable proofs of his physical
courage by braving a mob in a very dauntless manner upon I forget now
what occasion, but I think in Yorkshire during some of the Reform
riots; and he showed a want of moral courage in submitting so meekly
to join the Tories in their mad attempt upon the Reform Bill, after
the second reading had been carried, when Lyndhurst proposed to
postpone Schedule A, one of the greatest political blunders that ever
was made. Wharncliffe's place in the political scale was that of the
most conspicuous and important of the country gentlemen, with a large
property, considerable local influence, fair talents, a respectable
education, active, resolute, and honest. Upon two occasions he
played a prominent part: first, when he moved the resolution which
overturned the Ministry after Perceval's death, though that Ministry
speedily recovered and had a long reign; and, secondly (by far the
most important), when he, in conjunction with Lord Harrowby, collected
that small band, in derision termed Waverers, whose junction with
Lord Grey enabled him to carry the second reading of the Reform Bill
in the House of Lords. In that Lord Wharncliffe did good service,
but unhappily he had not resolution enough to persevere to the end,
and was in such a hurry to reconcile himself to the Tories (who
never forgave him) that he undid the merit of his first exploit, and
contrived to render himself odious to both parties. The pages of this
Journal are, however, full of the details of that transaction.[115]
On Peel's Government being formed in '35, he came into office; and
again in 1841 Peel invited him to join, but he was disappointed in
not having a more important office. He grew, however, to like the
Council Office well enough, and he addressed himself to the Education
Department with great zeal and ardour. He conducted it very fairly and
liberally, too liberally for the High Churchmen, who regarded him with
distrust and dislike, and who were deeply offended at the plainspoken
way in which he rebuked them for their obstinate and illiberal
counteraction of the beneficent intentions of the Government. He had
not weight enough, however, in the Cabinet to obtain as great an
extension of the system as he would have desired. During the last
struggle in Peel's Cabinet he took the Protectionist side, and was one
of the sturdiest opponents of Repeal. He would, however, probably have
returned with the Duke of Buccleuch and others, and Peel counted upon
his disposition to have done so, and expressed his regret, in a letter
to his son, that he had lost the aid of his courage and honesty at
this trying time. Perhaps the moment of his life when he appeared to
the greatest advantage was when he stood up in the House of Lords and
prevented the Tory Peers from swamping the decision of the Law Lords
in O'Connell's case. He was for above twenty years Chairman of the
Quarter Sessions, and for four years Lord-Lieutenant of his county,
and in both capacities acted with credit and approbation. In public
life thus playing a secondary, but an honourable and useful part; in
private life he was irreproachable, amiable, and respected. He had a
warmth of affection and steadiness of friendship, and a simplicity
both of manners and character, which endeared him to his family and
his friends, and no man ever died with fewer enemies, with more
general goodwill, and more sincerely regretted by every one belonging
to or intimate with him.[116]

    [Footnote 115: [These details will be found in the first part of
    these Journals, vol. ii. pp. 211-220.]]

    [Footnote 116: [On the death of Lord Wharncliffe the Duke of
    Buccleuch took the office of Lord President of the Council.
    Lord Stanley resigned office, and Mr. Gladstone became Colonial


_December 23rd._--Yesterday morning Lord Aberdeen stated that they
did not mean to make many changes; hinted that the measure they
contemplated would not be a decisive one; said the Queen had been much
astonished at John Russell's conduct of the recent affair--first, at
his taking so much time to consider, and secondly, throwing it up so
soon after he had decided to take office, and on such grounds; and
that she had contrasted the alacrity with which Sir Robert Peel retook
it, with the hesitation of his opponents. In the afternoon Graham
sent for me. He began to talk over the Whig failure, expressed his
amazement at the want of firmness and resolution of John Russell,
qualities for which he had always given him unlimited credit, and in
which he seemed to have been strangely wanting on this occasion. He
expatiated on this at great length, and said pretty much what all
the Whigs are themselves saying; he said he regretted it on Lord
John's account, for whom he felt regard and admiration; that he was
sensible of the great advantage it had given to them; that if John
Russell had resigned on the public grounds he might have alleged, they
should have been placed in great difficulty, and have incurred great
odium and suspicion; but that as it was, the Whigs would appear to
have failed discreditably, their leader to have evinced weakness and
vacillation, and they were only doing what, under the circumstances,
they could not avoid, and accepting a task that was forced upon them.
He evidently considered that the Lord had delivered his opponents
into the hands of himself and friends. I told him what the real cause
of the failure was, the fears and scruples of the Whig Peers, and
how this last difficulty revived and strengthened the objections and
doubts before felt and expressed, and that John Russell would not
attempt to drag on to the battle a Cabinet half of which was reluctant
and frightened. Graham did not think these reasons at all sufficient,
and still more that as they were such as could not be put forth, the
case must appear a very bad one to the world in general--a lame and
unaccountable conclusion. He then remarked upon the want of resource
as well as of firmness of John Russell, said the remedy was obvious,
that he should have let Howick go at once, and have called Palmerston
up to the House of Peers; that Palmerston would then have had a fine
position; that he could not have declined, as John Russell, after
having stood by him, would have had a right to require him to lend his
aid to the Government in whatever manner it could be rendered most
efficient; that if it was not enough to call up Palmerston, he would
have called up Morpeth, Macaulay, or any member that might have been
necessary--anything rather than recede, after having advanced so far.
He said that such infirmity of purpose was so unlike John Russell
that he could not help thinking something had in some degree unnerved
him. He said the Whigs could have carried this question better than
they could, and that his and Peel's support would have enabled them
to do so; gave me to understand that this support might have been
counted upon; alluded to the extraordinary and unprecedented course
of applying to them (without touching on particulars), but admitted
that the circumstances of the case were extraordinary, and excused a
deviation from ordinary practice. He told me nothing of the plans of
his own Government; expressed in the outset of the conversation some
apprehension lest there might be some hidden and unexplained motive
for the extraordinary break-up, and some ingredient of distrust or
suspicion of them. I told him that there was no reason but that which
had appeared, and certainly no distrust of them. After I left him, he
saw George Lewis, and went over pretty much the same ground with him
also. At night I met Morpeth at Miss Berry's, who talked it all over,
and acknowledged his disgust and disappointment. He said he could
not help thinking that some domestic anxiety had had a considerable
effect on Lord John's mind, and unstrung his nerves; that when he had
seen him after the _finale_ he (Morpeth) had expressed himself rather
strongly, and the next day he called on Lord John and said he was
afraid he had done so. Lord John said he had felt a little hurt, and
then pulled out of his pocket a letter, and desired him to read it. He
burst into tears, and said he rejoiced for himself to be out of it.
This corresponded with Graham's impression. So far as I have seen, all
the strong men of the party are of Morpeth's opinion. Le Marchant,
wishing to extract sweet from bitter, said, 'Well, after all, it
may do us good. It will show that the Whigs are not so greedy after
office, and it will wipe out the recollection of those two years when
we stayed in too long.' Macaulay replied, 'I don't know that at all,
it may only increase the blame. We stayed in when we ought to have
gone out, and now we stay out when we ought to have gone in.'


_London, December 24th._--Yesterday I attended a Council at Windsor;
Stanley out, and Gladstone in. There I had a great deal of talk with
Graham, Aberdeen, and Peel; nothing fresh with the former. Aberdeen
expressed, like everybody else, his astonishment at the conduct of the
Whigs; said they would have carried their measure, and that Peel would
have unquestionably given them every support. They could not doubt
that, after what he had said. I told him they were not satisfied with
what he had said, that they had indeed resolved to go on and to trust
to him, but that there was a strong minority who thought his reply
not explicit enough, and that it was not expedient to make the attempt
upon so vague a promise of support. He expressed the greatest surprise
at this, and that they, knowing the character of Peel, should expect
anything more explicit from him, and that they should not see in the
answer, such as it was, an unmistakeable indication of his resolution
to support them. We then talked a little of _his_ measure and
_their_ measure, and he said that, desirable as it was to settle the
question once for all and put an end to the League, it might be very
difficult for Peel to propose, what the Whigs might very properly and
consistently do, and that he might have supported out of office, and
under present circumstances, a measure which he could not himself have
proposed as Minister. He hinted, however, that the change in the state
of affairs enabled him now to do _more_ (at least so I understood him)
than he had contemplated doing before the break-up of his Cabinet. He
talked very fairly of Palmerston, and said that he and Peel too had
done all they could to reconcile the Foreign Ministers and others to
Palmerston's return to the Foreign Office, and assured them that they
had nothing to apprehend from it. He then talked of Oregon, treated
the President's message with great indifference, and said he was
quite certain to settle the question in the course of the year, and
confident there was no disposition to go to war in America.

Peel afterwards talked about Lord John's failure, and expressed his
astonishment and (with what sincerity is best known to himself) his
regret, inasmuch as it lowered John Russell, for whom he felt great
consideration and esteem; that he ought, when sent for, at once to
have taken or at once to have refused office; that when the Queen told
him (Peel) how she was situated, he at once said he would resume the
Government; from that moment he was her Minister. He was evidently
elated at the advantage that had been thrown into his hands, and
chuckling mightily at the pitiful figure which the Whigs cut, and
at the contrast so favourable to himself which the whole case will


Coming back, Graham said to me, 'You see we have only one resignation.
The whole Cabinet remains except Stanley.' The Duke of Wellington
said that it was no longer a question of Corn Laws, but a question
of Government: whether the Queen should be without a Government, or
be placed in the alternative of a Government of Lord Grey and Mr.
Cobden and a Government of Sir Robert Peel; and the Duke of Buccleuch
also said that in such circumstances he would not desert the Queen's
service. Upon this fresh ground Peel has put the question, and the
paramount necessity of providing the Queen and the country with a
Government has silenced all objections, composed all differences, and
reunited the Cabinet. Thus Peel is placed in a far more advantageous
situation than he would have been in if he had never resigned.
Whether there was a good case originally for what he did, between the
blunders of the other party and his own good fortune, the way has been
marvellously cleared for him and a vast load of difficulty removed;
and though plenty of difficulty remains behind, and the framing of his
measures is a nice and delicate matter, and embraces many and various
considerations, I am inclined to think that he will work them out
successfully, and that his power will be strengthened and confirmed.

At night I met Howick at the Travellers', who said he wanted very
much to talk to me, that he heard I had abused him violently. I told
him I had not done that, because I never condemned anybody without
knowing first what they had to say; but that, like most others, I
had certainly been unfavourably impressed with what I had reason to
believe were the facts in respect to his conduct. He begged me to
tell him what I supposed the facts to be, and I did so. He then said
that he wished me to be acquainted with the true state of the case,
the substance of which was as follows. He came up to town with Edward
Ellice, and he then told him his insuperable objection to Palmerston's
being at the Foreign Office. He did not, indeed, desire Ellice to tell
John Russell, but knowing that he would be confidentially consulted
by John Russell, he made sure he would tell him, as he intended that
he should. He did not himself in the first instance say anything to
Lord John on the subject, nor Lord John to him. It was on a Monday
they first met, and entered on discussion. There was then a difference
of opinion about the measure to be proposed, which John Russell
wanted to be less decisive than was afterwards settled, an intention
which Howick opposed, and in which he prevailed. There were other
discussions on various matters, but none on the composition of the
Cabinet; but on Wednesday Howick wrote a long letter to John Russell,
in which he expressed his sentiments and his wishes in respect to the
Irish Church and one other matter, which I have forgotten, and then
went at large into the question of the Cabinet. He said that he would
much rather not take office at all, and that if he could do without
him he would engage to give him every support out of office; but if he
considered him indispensable, he must tell him upon what understanding
he would consent to serve; that he considered that they should be
very weak, do what they would, and that it was therefore of paramount
importance that the Cabinet should be framed in such a manner as to
command the confidence of the country; that the different offices
should be filled by the men who were the best fitted for them, and
that no considerations of interest or favour, but especially that no
claims upon the ground of former possession, should be listened to.
He dwelt upon the importance of this, and desired that the rule he
proposed to lay down should be applied to everybody without exception.
He said that it was impossible John Russell could have any doubt
about his meaning, that he had indeed purposely abstained from naming
Palmerston, because it was an invidious thing to do, and because he
wished to put it on general rather than personal grounds; that to
have named Palmerston would have greatly embarrassed Lord John; and,
moreover, he knew that the objection he felt, and which he meant thus
to convey, was felt by him in common with many other members of the
new Government, and especially by John Russell himself. He said that
he knew Palmerston's appointment would be regarded with the greatest
alarm by the great interests and the public generally here, and with
dismay all over the Continent, and that he considered it of vital
importance not to begin their difficult task by an appointment which
all the world would consider so unwise and so dangerous. Having thus
discharged his mind, he said no more. John Russell wrote him an answer
in which he replied to the other topics, but did not say a word upon
this. Then came the Thursday, the day John Russell resolved to accept;
and he came to this resolution without any explanation with Howick. On
Friday came the explosion. Howick said that the objection he raised
was only what he had already intimated in his letter on Wednesday;
but while he felt so strongly upon it that he could not give way, he
offered to make every concession in his power to adjust the matter.
Having been offered the Colonial Office, and the lead in the House of
Lords, he offered to resign both to Palmerston if he would take them;
to act under him if he would go to the Lords, and to take any other
office which John Russell thought him fit for. He said he thought
these were great concessions, that he had been extremely dissatisfied
with other arrangements, particularly Hobhouse going back to the
Board of Control, and Charles Wood having a sinecure, and not in the
Cabinet; but these he had submitted to, and had given way on certain
other matters which had not satisfied him; but that to Palmerston's
being at the Foreign Office he could not and would not consent. This
was the substance of his explanation to me, interlarded with many
comments and much miscellaneous matter. I told him that this certainly
altered the case very much, and put it in a very different light;
but I would not conceal from him that in so important a matter he
ought not to have left anything to chance, or have suffered an hour
to elapse without coming to a clear understanding with John Russell;
that he should not have trusted to Edward Ellice telling him, and that
since he regarded it as a matter of such consequence that his consent
or refusal to join depended on it, he ought to have cleared everything
up at once; on the other hand, that I must own his letter ought to
have been intelligible, and that after receiving it Lord John was
also much to blame in not bringing on an explanation. In fact, both
were to blame; but I think John Russell was most to blame, because it
was his business to see his way clearly before him, to reconcile and
adjust rival pretensions and incompatible opinions; and most assuredly
he had had warning enough on Wednesday not to pass the Rubicon on
Thursday without settling so important a matter. Howick knows that
Lord John tried to get Palmerston to take the Colonies, and he knows
how many of the Whig leaders in their hearts thought as he did. He
means to make his own defence in the House of Lords, and it is evident
that he counts upon general sympathy with himself as to the cause of
the dispute, whatever may be thought of the manner of conducting it.
But whatever may be thought of Howick or Palmerston, it will add to
the discredit which already attaches to Lord John as a statesman and
leader of a great party; it will afford fresh evidence of a deficiency
of the qualities requisite for his post and the task he undertook.
There were no resource and adroitness, none of those arts of
conciliation and persuasion, none of that commanding and insinuating
influence which are so necessary in the conduct of transactions of
such a difficult and delicate nature.


_December 26th._--I receive daily letters from the Duke of Bedford, to
whom all sorts of people write upon the subject of the late affair.
He is exceedingly anxious to make out that Lord John and his friends
acted well and wisely, but he evidently labours all the time under a
consciousness that their case is not defensible, and that in public
opinion they cut a very poor figure. He endeavours to comfort himself
with the approbation which is expressed by many who may be sincere,
but who may also only say to him what they think it would be agreeable
to him to hear. Meanwhile the news of the return of Peel has been
received abroad with transports of joy, and here the funds and all
securities have risen with extraordinary rapidity. My letters have
been read at Paris by Guizot and Madame de Lieven with the greatest
avidity, and by the former taken to the King, under a promise that
he would say nothing about them in his own correspondence with


The other day Mr. Woodfall, grandson of the original publisher of
'Junius' Letters,' came to me to ask me if I would edit a new edition
of 'Junius.' He said he had nothing new to furnish, and the only scrap
that never has been published is one which never could be, a copy of
very indecent verses upon the Duke of Grafton and Nancy Parsons in
Junius' handwriting, and sent to Woodfall. He told me that his father
never had an idea who Junius was, but never would believe that Francis
was the man.

    [Footnote 117: [I was myself in Paris during this crisis in the
    British Government, and I received from Mr. Greville day by day
    the narrative of the singular vicissitudes occurring in London,
    related by him in almost the same words in which he recorded them
    in his journal. This information was of great value at the time,
    because the future relations of France and England were supposed to
    be affected (and were in fact affected) by the possible transfer of
    the Foreign Office from the hands of Lord Aberdeen to those of Lord
    Palmerston. This event, therefore, excited the liveliest interest
    in Paris, and was even of a nature to shake the stability of M.
    Guizot's administration and to encourage the opposition, of M.
    Thiers. I therefore communicated the information I received to M.
    Guizot and Lord Cowley (the first Lord Cowley, who was afterwards
    succeeded in the Embassy by his son). Some of the letters were
    also shown to the King, who was pleased to say that they were
    'du Saint-Simon tout pur.' To complete the picture of the effect
    produced abroad by the anticipated return of Lord Palmerston to
    the Foreign Office, I shall here venture to insert a few extracts
    from the letters addressed by me to Mr. Greville in answer to his

    24 Rue de la Paix, Paris: December 20th, 1845.

    I think the apprehension with which the possibility of Lord
    Palmerston's return to office was at first viewed here is somewhat
    allayed among the leading politicians, but it prevails in its
    fullest extent at the Bourse and in the country. Rothschild says:
    'Lord Palmerston est un ami de la maison. Il dîne chez nous à
    Francfort. Mais il a l'inconvénient de faire baisser les fonds de
    toute l'Europe sans nous en avertir.'

    The King's repugnance to Lord Palmerston is however insurmountable.
    He has spoken of him within the last few days as 'l'ennemi de ma
    maison,' upon which I took the liberty of replying to the person
    who told it me, that such a speech indicated a gross forgetfulness
    of the services rendered by Lord Palmerston in the time of Lord
    Grey to his house. But the Spanish affair still rankles, and for
    this reason Lord Clarendon would perhaps be less fit for this
    Embassy than Lord Beauvale or one or two other persons. Lord
    Clarendon, on the contrary, would be the best possible ambassador
    if Thiers returned to office. That event, however, is by no means
    probable. The Opposition is powerless and divided; the Conservative
    body rather alarmed, and therefore compact. The Ministers are in
    good spirits.

    When Lord Palmerston meant to come here, he employed the Cowleys
    through Madame de Lieven to enquire of the King how he would be
    received at the Tuileries. The King coldly replied that he would
    give him a dinner.

    Thiers and his friends, who derive all they know about English
    affairs from Edward Ellice, are still in high spirits, and affect
    to believe that Lord Palmerston's first object will be to restore
    them to power. I am going to see Thiers to-morrow (having purposely
    deferred my visit), and I shall certainly endeavour to undeceive
    him. I do not think Guizot has any fear of treachery or hostility
    on the part of the Whig Government, for he entertains the highest
    respect for its members, and the common interest and object of the
    two Cabinets is too obvious to be doubted....

    Paris, December 20th, 3 o'clock.

    Since I despatched my other letters, yours of Thursday have
    arrived, and I have communicated their contents to M. Guizot and
    Lord Cowley.

    My conversation with the former was highly satisfactory as regards
    the maintenance of the most amicable relations with the new
    Government. He said again and again, 'Je serai exactement de même
    pour Lord Palmerston que je l'ai été pour Lord Aberdeen,' and that
    he confidently relied on Lord John's good disposition towards
    France and himself.

    The alarm occasioned by the change all over the Continent, and
    especially in this country, is far greater than it is in the French
    Cabinet; but this alarm strengthens M. Guizot's administration,
    because the Conservative party rely on his prudence and temper as
    their chief safeguard, and the Opposition would not allow their
    leaders to be more conciliatory to England than M. Guizot has been.

    For many reasons Lord Beauvale is the best Ambassador who can be
    sent here. In all the highest quarters that opinion prevails,
    and Lord Cowley also entertains it most strongly. The presence
    of Lord Beauvale here would give strength to M. Guizot; and if
    circumstances of difficulty should arise, there is no one in whom
    the King would have so much confidence.

    At this moment, with the Deputies arriving in a state of alarm, it
    certainly is desirable for Guizot to have as much as possible the
    appearance of a good understanding with the English Government, and
    the sooner an effectual and official representative arrives the

    Ever yours faithfully, H. REEVE.

    C.C. Greville, Esq. Paris, December 22nd, 1845.

    I was sitting last night alone with Princess Lieven in her
    boudoir before her usual reception began, when the doors were
    thrown open and M. Guizot entered. His manner was more rapid and
    emphatic than I had seen it since I have been here. He turned
    to me and began: 'Vous avez vu combien j'étais raisonnable à
    l'endroit de Lord Palmerston quand vous êtes arrivé. Je le suis
    encore, et je vous disais bien en vous parlant de son caractère
    que j'en concevais moins d'alarme que les autres. Mais vous ne
    vous faites pas d'idée de l'effet de ce nom-là sur ce pays et sur
    mon parti. Je sors d'un dîner avec la grosse Banque--des gens
    dont le plus mince avait certainement cinq millions--je les ai
    trouvés dans la consternation. On est venu vers moi me prendre la
    main en me disant: "Mais, Monsieur le Ministre, que ferez-vous
    de cet homme-là? En six mois nous sommes en lutte ouverte avec
    l'Angleterre. Il vous fera des difficultés partout--en Espagne,
    en Orient, à Tahiti--c'est terrible." J'ai voulu les rassurer,'
    continued Guizot, 'mais c'est frappant--c'est frappant. Tenez,
    Princesse, vous ne m'avez pas vu ces jours-ci aussi ému que je le
    suis à cette heure.' He was really agitated.

    I replied that if the Whig Cabinet were not resolved to conduct its
    foreign policy with moderation, it would obviously augment tenfold
    its internal difficulties; that the Exchange of London would be
    as much frightened by the prospect of war as that of Paris; that,
    in short, I firmly believed Lord John was resolved to restrain
    Palmerston, and would do it. I said I knew that a strong effort had
    been made to prevent him from returning to the Foreign Office, and
    that he himself was perfectly aware of the difficulty, which must
    lead to his ultimate secession from the Cabinet if he was disposed
    to thwart Lord John's views on foreign policy. In short, that he
    and the French must look to the policy of _the Cabinet_, not to the
    character of the Minister. He was pacified, but the scene was a
    curious one.

    The Deputies are coming to town, and I have seen several leaders of
    the Opposition. Their opinion is that the change in England will
    be followed by the fall of Guizot, not as an immediate, but an
    ultimate consequence. I assured them, as I do the Conservatives,
    that the Whigs can entertain no desire to bring about a change of
    Ministry here, which they think quite natural. Their candidate for
    the Presidency of the Chamber is Dufaure, but Sauzet will beat him
    by 30 or 35 votes.

    Yours, &c. H. REEVE.

    It will be seen in the next volume of these Journals how far these
    apprehensions and speculations were or were not realised. Lord
    Palmerston returned to the Foreign Office, not in December, but
    in the following July, when Lord John Russell's administration
    was formed. Lord Normanby, and not Lord Beauvale, was sent to
    Paris as British Ambassador in the place of Lord Cowley, with
    the most deplorable results, for he threw himself into the arms
    of the Opposition and quarrelled with the Ministers. The fatal
    question of the Spanish marriages immediately arose to embroil the
    two Cabinets, and Lord Normanby remained long enough in Paris to
    witness the fall, not only of the Ministry, but of the dynasty in
    1848. These great events are foreshadowed by the incidents I have
    attempted to describe.--H.R.]]


_January 1st, 1846._--I went to the Grove last Saturday; nothing
new, but the agitation of the famous ten days still leaves a ruffled
surface, and the world is full of talk about the past and speculation
about the future. John Russell, who was much disquieted at the effect
produced by the sudden explosion of his concern, has got into good
spirits again from the encouragement and approbation with which he
has been comforted from his own adherents and friends. I have had a
controversy with his brother about it, who, partly from conviction
and partly from affection, highly approves of the resignation, while
regretting it did not take place before, or rather that he ever
accepted. He has satisfied me, now that I see even more than I did
before of the extreme reluctance of some of his leading men, not
merely to take office, but to the measure for which it was to be
taken, that it ought to have been given up at once. Lord John was
right to make the attempt for the Queen's sake, but he might and
ought at once to have told her after the first meeting he could not
undertake it. Instead of putting the matter upon the issue of Peel's
answer, he ought not to have applied to Peel at all, but have given
it up on the ground of difference among his own friends. If they had
been united and cordial, then he might have communicated with Peel,
and under the extraordinary circumstances he would have been justified
in doing so. When I told the Duke of Bedford what Graham said about
Palmerston's going to the House of Lords, he said, and repeated
afterwards that it was impossible. I asked him why. In a letter to-day
he tells me. He says that Palmerston was so much against the measure
(the repeal of the Corn Laws), and so disapproved of Lord John's
letter, that he made a great sacrifice in joining the Government at
all, wished not to have done so, and that the most that could be
expected from him was his vote; that to require him to go to the
Lords, for the purpose of taking the lead in introducing and arguing
for a measure of which in his heart he disapproved, would have been
disgraceful to all parties, and he expressed the strongest feelings
upon such a hypothetical case. His letter is a very good one, and
his sentiments are just and honourable and do him credit. I entirely
agree in this view of the case; but though I was aware of Palmerston's
opinions, I did not know they were so strong and decided as he tells
me that they are. Melbourne's are the same.[118] It is pretty clear
that if Lord John had not so publicly and so irrevocably pronounced
himself in his famous letter, there would have been disputes in his
Cabinet on the measure they should propose which would have made the
formation of any Government impossible. As it was, the different
members had only to make up their minds whether they would subscribe
to his declaration or not. Lord Aberdeen states that Peel had received
many assurances of support from Conservatives, and many from quarters
where he had reckoned upon opposition; that the plan for the Repeal of
the Corn Laws is not yet matured, but that it was to be something of
this sort--an immediate reduction of duty to the amount of two-thirds,
a total abolition in three years.

    [Footnote 118: [Both Lord Melbourne and Lord Palmerston were
    strongly opposed to the Repeal of the Corn Laws, and never
    comprehended or embraced the entire theory of Free Trade.]]


_January 7th._--I have had some communication with Clarendon and
Charles Villiers about the supposed plan of the Government. Both
are very reasonable and moderate, and disposed to support it if it
so turns out, and to prevail on others to do so. Charles Villiers
wrote to Cobden; but his answer was evasive and unsatisfactory,
disinclined to say what he would do, and hinting at uniting with
the Protectionists to throw out Peel and his measure. Against this
Charles Villiers is resolved to contend, and, if necessary, openly
and publicly. I believe his disposition to be good, and without doubt
he has no love for Cobden, who has taken the wind out of his sails,
and got all the glory of a case of which Charles Villiers worked the

Yesterday I went to Graham, to talk to him about the state of
affairs, and to tell him what might interest him. I told him what
the two brothers said, and about Cobden. He said, 'What I should
like to know is, what John Russell says, and how he is disposed. I
have the greatest confidence in his capacity and his honour; he is
by far the ablest man, and I consider that everything now depends
upon him. We made a tender of the Government to those who we thought
had a better right than we had to settle this question. I believe
he is not dissatisfied with our conduct to him. It remains for us to
propose a measure, the best we can devise, and such as we think ought
to be accepted. We shall, as soon as Parliament meets, declare what
we propose. We think it better that there should be no concert or
communication between us and anybody; but when we have announced our
plan, it will be for John Russell to consider it, and if he thinks,
all things considered, that it is such a plan as we can and ought to
propose, and as it would be expedient to accept, if it is a plan to
which he thinks he can conscientiously give his assent (and if he does
think so, I know his support will be given with effect), then I have
no doubt we shall succeed. I consider everything depends upon this. I
have never given myself the trouble of counting noses, nor should I,
for I hold it quite impossible that any measure concurrently supported
by Peel and John Russell can fail.' He said that as far as they could
see at present the agriculturists would present 'an unbroken phalanx'
in the House of Commons. I asked him about adhesions, and he shook his
head and gave me to understand there were none of any consequence.
They have asked Francis Egerton to move the address.

_January 13th._--I wrote the Duke of Bedford word what Graham had
said, and he sent my letter to Lord John. I have occupied myself for
the last week in writing a pamphlet, which I call 'Sir Robert Peel
and the Corn Law Crisis,' and the title describes the subject. I have
attempted a vindication of Peel's _general policy_, and have done so
because I sincerely believe he has been acting a disinterested and
public-spirited part.


Clarendon received Henry Pierrepoint at the Grove a few days ago,
who came from Strathfieldsaye, and his account of the Duke, and of
what he said, is not without interest, so I transcribe it from his
letter. 'Henry Pierrepoint has been very willing to communicate all
he knew, which did not amount to much. It is clear that the Duke of
Wellington resents the whole of Peel's conduct, that he dislikes him,
feels he has never had his whole confidence, and has foreseen for the
last six months that he was preparing to overthrow the Corn Laws.
Pierrepoint considers this to be the cause of the unapproachable
state of irritation in which he has been during the autumn. The Duke
says, "rotten potatoes have done it all; they put Peel in his d--d
fright;" and both for the cause and the effect he seems to feel equal
contempt. When he found that Peel was determined to meddle with the
Corn Laws, he wrote a long paper against it, but said that he should
defer to Peel, and certainly not leave the Government, if the majority
of the Cabinet were in favour of the measure. He was not, however,
sorry to be released by the majority being dissentient. When they
all shuffled back to their places by the Queen's command, he looked
on himself as one of the rank and file, ordered to _fall in_, and he
set about doing his duty, and preparing for battle. He has written
a great many letters to Tory Lords, such as Rutland, Beaufort,
Salisbury, Exeter, and has received some very stiff and unsatisfactory
answers, particularly from Beaufort, who tells him that when they all
sacrificed their opinions on the Catholic question, they had at the
head of the Government a leader on whose honour they relied and whose
conscientious motives they could not but respect; but that the case
was very different now, when they had for their leader a man who had
violated every principle and pledge, and in whom no party could put
any trust.' I have little doubt that Alvanley, who has long been laid
up at Badminton, dictated this letter, for he is very violent, and
says 'Peel ought not to die a natural death.'

There has been a curious scene with Melbourne at Windsor, which was
told me by Jocelyn, who was present. It was at dinner, when Melbourne
was sitting next to the Queen. Some allusion was made to passing
events and to the expected measure, when Melbourne suddenly broke out,
'Ma'am, it is a damned dishonest act.' The Queen laughed, and tried
to quiet him, but he repeated, 'I say again it is a very dishonest
act,' and then he continued a tirade against abolition of Corn Laws,
the people not knowing how to look, and the Queen only laughing. The
Court is very strong in favour of Free Trade, and not less in favour
of Peel. Jocelyn told me that he went one day to covert with the
Prince, when he asked him if he did not think John Russell had lowered
himself very much by his conduct in the crisis, by taking so many
days to consider whether he should take the Government, and then so
suddenly giving it up for such a cause. Jocelyn said he did not think
so, and added what occurred to him about the difficulties of the case,
when the Prince said 'he acted very differently from Sir Robert Peel
in 1835, and again the other day. _He_ took no time to consider, but
at once undertook it without any hesitation or delay.'

Leveson has asked me to write something about his father, and I am
going to attempt to do so. He was a very amiable man, and a good
friend to me always; his life was long and prosperous beyond that of
most men; he never made an enemy, and had the art of making more and
warmer friends than any man I have known, which, as he was reserved in
his manners, is a proof of the excellence and the attractive qualities
of his character. This is really the amount of what is to be said
of him, for he was not concerned in any great events, or even took
an active part in party politics, although he was engaged in many
diplomatic missions of importance. But a just tribute may be paid to
those high and honourable qualities which secured to him so much real
regard and consideration from all who became intimately acquainted
with him, not less in France than in this country, and a devoted
affection from his nearest and dearest relations which nothing could

    [Footnote 119: [Earl Granville, the youngest son of the first
    Marquis of Stafford, died on January 6th, 1846, at the age of
    seventy-one. He had filled for many years with great ability the
    post of British Ambassador at the Court of France.]]


_January 14th._--I saw Lord Bessborough[120] last night, just
come from Ireland, talked over present affairs, respecting which
he is, like most other people, in a state of great uneasiness and
uncertainty; he regrets that he was not here while Lord John's
Government was forming, and does not doubt that if he had been he
should have prevented what has occurred; for Howick would have told
him _at first_ his intentions, when he should have gone at once to
John Russell and got everything cleared up before they proceeded
further. His impression seems rather to be, that he should have
prevented the acceptance; but he is clear that first taking it without
seeing their way, and then giving it up, was all wrong. He says that
he is sure Howick would have been reasonable and have given way. He
has had a great deal of communication with him now, and he told me
a part of Howick's case which I had not heard before. It seems that
after his interview with Lord John on Friday, he went home and wrote
him a letter, setting forth his reasons for objecting to Palmerston.
This letter Lord John put into Ellice's hands, who went to Howick and
asked him if it was final. Howick said it was, and asked him if he
thought he was wrong. Ellice replied, 'I don't say I think you are
wrong; but I tell you, if you persist, you will break up the attempt
to form a Government,' and then he left him. Howick says that he
did not believe the Government would have been thus thrown up, and
that if an opportunity had been given him he would have referred the
question to his colleagues, and if they had been of opinion that
Palmerston ought to be at the Foreign Office, he would have deferred
to that opinion and waived his own objection. This, however, is very
well to say now; he should have said so at once, as he might have
done. Bessborough says Howick cannot be excused for not speaking out
to John Russell at once the first moment he saw him. I told him what
I believed the Corn Law measure was to be, and he said that this
would carry the support of the Liberal party, but not without some
exceptions; he doubts if the Irish will come over. He says there
will be no deficiency of consequence in the potato crop, none of the
potatoes are _entirely_ spoiled; but the state of Ireland is very bad
in parts, and requires coercive measures. He wants the Proclamation
Act to be renewed; the Conciliation Hall has its agents everywhere,
and governs Ireland more than the Government does. If he had been
Lord Lieutenant he would not have consented to divide authority with
that body, but would have insisted on curbing it in some way, and he
thinks the Proclamation Act would be the most effectual.

I forgot to say that at the Grove we were talking over John Russell's
letter _inter alia_, when Clarendon said that Lord John, in the first
instance, thought of proposing a measure like that of '92 (it must
have been '91 or '93), but that it was found this would not square
with his letter, and they were obliged to spread it out on the table
before them during their consultation, in order to see whether the
plans that appeared eligible would be consistent with it! So that he
had so fettered himself and his colleagues, that they were no longer
free to consider what was the best and most desirable measure, but
what this letter would allow them to do.

    [Footnote 120: [John William, fourth Earl of Bessborough, born in
    1781; died May 16th, 1847--an active and able member of the Whig

_January 22nd._--Parliament meets to-day, and the truth will soon
be out. My pamphlet has been generally read and bitterly attacked.
It displeases the Whigs for its defence of Peel, and the Tories for
its hostility to the Corn Laws; but Peel and his friends are highly
delighted with it, and Graham sent me a note which Peel had written
him (evidently to be shown to me), in which he said that 'he had
rarely seen so much truth told with so much ability in the compass of
the same number of pages.' His friends like it, but as they are in a
miserable minority it may be considered to be generally unpopular.[121]


During these last days the Whig and Peelite (for now there are
Peelites, as contradistinguished from Tories) whippers-in have been
making lists, and they concur in giving Peel a large majority. They
reckon Protectionists 200, Peelites 180, and then there are the Whigs
and Liberals 200 or 300; but Bessborough, who is very experienced,
says these lists are very loose and not to be depended on at all.
Francis Egerton tells me Peel is in very good spirits--better than his
colleagues--and thinks he has a very good case to make for himself.
He tells me that he wrote to Peel to tell him he had changed his
own opinion on the Corn Laws, and that the time was arrived when
protective duties must be abolished. He wrote this letter knowing
nothing of what was going on, and he sent it the very day before the
famous article in the 'Times' appeared. He did not get an answer till
after the resignations. He also told me that they would have made him
Earl of Bridgewater and President of the Council, which he declined.

I met John Russell at dinner on Tuesday night. No particular talk; but
Young, the Secretary of the Treasury, had been with him, which looked
well enough for concert. Clarendon told me after dinner that Lord
John was bitter against Peel, more so than when he left town; this
is very unfortunate. He is very clever, but his mind is little. It
is difficult not to think that he is jealous of Peel. He is probably
provoked that a man of whom he has so bad an opinion should have
outstripped him in popularity and public consideration; for, without
doubt, if the country were to be polled whether he or Peel should be
Minister, there would be a great majority for Peel.

    [Footnote 121: [It is a striking proof of Mr. Greville's love of
    truth and justice, that although he had no personal regard for
    Sir Robert Peel, or intimacy with him, and sometimes judged his
    actions and his motives with severity, yet at this crisis he took
    the trouble to write a pamphlet in defence of the Minister, whom
    he conceived to be unfairly traduced and assailed, not only by his
    political opponents, but by some of his former friends.]]

_January 23rd._--Went to the House of Commons last night. Francis
Egerton moved the Address very well, and his speech was admired.
Immediately after the seconder, Peel rose and spoke for about two
hours. A very fine speech in a very high tone. He owned to a change
of opinion which had been going on for two years; was confirmed by
the statistical result of his Free Trade experiment, and urged on
to action by the potato failure in November, when he wanted to call
Parliament together and open the ports, but was overruled in the
Cabinet, where he had only three others with him. His statistical
results were very curious. He declared himself indifferent to office,
which was too much for him bodily and intellectually, but while he
could be of use to the Queen and the country he would stay there. His
peroration was fine, in a tone of great excitement, very determined,
and full of defiance. He did not get a solitary cheer from the people
behind him, except when he said that Stanley had always been against
him and never admitted either the danger or the necessity, and then
the whole of those benches rang with cheers. He made two mistakes.
He went on too long upon his Conservative measures, in a strain
calculated to offend those in conjunction with whom he must now fight
this battle; and he talked of 'a proud aristocracy,' which was an
unlucky phrase, though clear from the context that he did not mean
anything offensive in it. It certainly was not a speech calculated
to lead to a reconciliation between him and the Tories; and it is
difficult to see how he will be able to go on after this session,
supposing him to settle the Corn Bill. Lord John rose after him, and
spoke very well; gave his explanation (Peel had explained everything
up to Lord John's being sent for), and read all the correspondence
that had passed. It was very full and open; very moderate about
Howick, for whom he expressed strong feelings of regard; very civil
to Peel, and altogether proper and well done. Then came an hour of
gibes and bitterness, all against Peel personally, from Disraeli,
with some good hits, but much of it tiresome; vehemently cheered by
the Tories, but not once by the Whigs, who last year used to cheer
similar exhibitions lustily. I never heard him before; his fluency is
wonderful, his cleverness great, and his mode of speaking certainly
effective, though there is something monotonous in it. In the Lords
the Duke of Wellington absurdly enough said he had not got the Queen's
leave to enter into any explanations, and this prevented the others
from doing so. In the end Howick will be sure to explain, but they
have moved heaven and earth to get him to hold his tongue. Bessborough
has passed hours and written volumes in this attempt.


_January 28th._--Last night Peel brought forward his plan, amidst the
greatest curiosity and excitement: the House was crammed, and Prince
Albert there to mark the confidence of the Court. On Sunday I had seen
Charles Villiers and Bessborough, who both told me that there was a
bad disposition among the Whigs, many indisposed to attend, and many
only anxious to embarrass the Government, and they both thought the
difficulties were increasing. Charles Villiers told me, moreover, that
John Russell had asked him whether he meant to propose the _immediate
abolition_, supposing Peel did not make it part of his plan, adding
that if he would not, he himself should; and Charles Villiers thought
Peel ought to be made aware of this. I accordingly went to Graham
and told it him. He seemed struck by it, and then talked of the
measure; that at all events they would not 'die in a ditch,' but
would put before the world a great scheme such as no Minister ever
before brought forward; that it was an attempt to do by legislation
what Mr. Pitt had attempted to do by commercial treaties, and a great
deal more in the same strain expressive of his opinion that the plan
ought to be taken by the country, and his confidence that, however it
might be received now, hereafter it would be regarded with admiration
and applause, and that its principles could not fail in the end to
be adopted. I waited at the Travellers' for the result, and between
eight and nine the people came flocking in from the House of Commons,
full of very different sentiments and opinions. The Protectionists
were generally angry and discontented, none reconciled, and some who
had cherished hopes of better things very indignant. The Liberals
generally approved, though with some qualifications, and there was
less of admiration than I had expected from Graham's magnificent
description of the measure.[122]

    [Footnote 122: [Sir Robert Peel's proposal was to effect the total
    repeal of the Corn Laws in three years. During that interval the
    duties on corn were to be governed by a sliding scale, beginning
    at 10_s._ when the price of corn was below 48_s._, and falling to
    a minimum of 4_s._ as the price rose. The Anti-Corn Law League and
    the Free Traders at once pronounced themselves strongly in favour
    of immediate and total repeal. As the price of wheat was at that
    moment 55_s._ to 57_s._ a quarter, the minimum of the duty would
    have come into immediate operation.]]

_January 29th._--Went to Clarendon's yesterday morning, and in a few
minutes John Russell came in; he was going to Lord Lansdowne, so I
walked away with him. He praised Peel's measure, though very coldly,
and finding many faults; not, however, that any enthusiasm was to be
expected from him. I told him that it appeared to have given great
satisfaction as far as I could see, except among the Tories, who
were furious, and would now be irreconcileable; that the Government,
therefore, could not last, and he would inevitably be sent for and
in office in a very short time. (I ought to have said that he began
by intimating that they would very likely still give way about
immediate repeal.) Without, therefore, any allusion to what he had
said to Charles Villiers, I said that I hoped he would so shape his
opposition, or (if it were not to be called opposition) his course, as
not to indispose Peel towards him; that if he came into office he must
be intrinsically weak, and that it would be of vital importance to him
to have Peel's support, which I had no doubt under the circumstances
he would receive. He said very little in reply, but something about
Peel's having very few people with him. I said possibly his support,
his numerical support, might not be very considerable, but that his
hostility would be very dangerous; and I again earnestly entreated him
not to do anything that would offend or estrange him now. He did not
controvert what I said, but I got nothing from him in reply to it, and
at the end of the Park we parted.

As I proceeded I fell in with other people--Charles Buller, Hawes, Sir
Charles Lemon, Fonblanque, and of the other faction, Lord Carnarvon.
The Liberals were full of praise, and Fonblanque said, 'I don't
hesitate to say it is the grandest scheme any Minister ever propounded
to Parliament. I look upon it as greater than the Reform Bill.' He
said, however, they must (the Liberals) propose immediate abolition;
Hawes said the same; Lord Carnarvon, one of the cleverest of the
Protectionists, seemed softened, and not indisposed (as I thought,
though he did not say so) to lay down his arms.


I saw Graham afterwards, and told him what the impression was, with
which he was excessively pleased. He had heard the same thing from
Warburton. He then talked of John Russell and the possibility of his
moving immediate repeal, said it would very likely drive them out if
he did; but 'what,' he said, 'can he want? He might have taken the
Government the other day, and carried his own measure, and Peel and
I should have given him all the support we could. He knew that; he
could not doubt it; and he knew what we meant to propose. When he
asked me to tell him officially what the Cabinet measure was to have
been, I could not tell him; but I did the same thing, for I told him
what I was myself prepared to do; therefore he knew perfectly well our
intentions. We could not do otherwise than we are doing; we must in
some degree defer to the wishes and opinions of those members of the
aristocracy in our Cabinet, like the Duke of Wellington and the Duke
of Buccleuch, whose aid and co-operation is of such importance to us.'
And then he talked of Lord John's letter to the Queen, which he (very
justly) thinks inconsistent with any such course as he supposes him to
meditate. I told him I thought the general opinion would be against
attacking their measure.

In the evening we all dined at the Duke of Buccleuch's for the
Sheriffs, and then I told him there had been a meeting at Lord John's
in the morning, where they had come to a resolution (twenty people
being present) to determine on nothing for the present; they are, in
fact, waiting to see how public opinion pronounces itself. Charles
Villiers wanted to get up in the House of Commons on Tuesday night and
declare his approbation of the plan, but Cobden would not let him.
Not, however, that this was unfair, for Peel begged people not to
express any opinion till they had had time to reflect upon it. I met
Peel at dinner yesterday, but he did not say one word to me about my
pamphlet, nor on any other subject. But Aberdeen came to me, and said
he had long wanted to see me to thank me for it, and then praised it
with a warmth and strength of expression that I was not prepared for.

_January 30th._--Yesterday morning Charles Villiers called on me to
say that there had been a meeting the night before at Ricardo's,
where Cobden, Wilson (Chairman of the London League), himself, and
some others dined; and Lord Grey came in the evening. Cobden was very
bitter against Peel, and Lord Grey, urgent for proposing immediate
repeal. This Cobden decided upon also, and Wilson went down to
Manchester yesterday morning to stir up public opinion there the same
way. Charles Villiers said it certainly would be proposed, and that
John Russell would as certainly support it. He asked whether there was
not a possibility of the Government giving way; and if, as appeared
lately, the Protectionists themselves were content to take it, whether
immediate repeal could not be substituted for the sliding scale. I
told him it was impossible; he said Lord Grey was going 'to break
ground' in the House of Lords last night. I went out soon after and
met Charles Wood, with whom I walked for half an hour. He was also
full of proposing immediate repeal, and talked in the same strain of
the preference of the Tories for it, rather than for the plan as it
is. I told him as strongly as I could what the risk and difficulty
would be of taking this course, implored him to accept the compromise
that was offered, and at all events that he would well weigh the
probable consequences of doing otherwise, and give my representations
some consideration. He seemed somewhat struck by what I said. I
then went to Graham, and told him of the meeting at Ricardo's, and
Wilson's journey, and Grey's intention, and that it was now clear
immediate repeal would be proposed, and that probably, though nothing
was settled, Lord John and the Whigs would support it. He said that
Ashley had just thrown in his Ten Hours Bill, availing himself of the
weakness and distracted state of the Government, and they were at
that moment (he and Peel) considering how they should deal with that
question; he then talked of the meditated assault upon them, and of
John Russell's conduct. I said that, looking at his last letter to the
Queen, I thought she would resent such an attack if he made it, and
consider it inconsistent with his engagement to her.[123] He said,
'I'll tell you what. You know I have a weakness for John Russell,
that from old recollections I have a great regard for him, as well as
admiration for his talents; but you may rely on it that if he takes
this course the Queen will never forgive him, and that she will send
for Lord Grey or for any man in her dominions rather than for him, if
she has to choose a new Minister, and that nothing but compulsion will
make her take him, for she will think that his engagement to her was a
trick, and that he has shamefully deceived her.'


In the afternoon Charles Villiers came to me again, and told me
that Cobden had received a great many letters from Manchester and
elsewhere full of approbation of the scheme, and that it was very
evident (though the sliding scale was disliked very much) that there
would be a general manifestation of opinion in its favour, and such a
one that the Whigs would have a very good excuse for not supporting
the League, who must propose immediate repeal. What Charles Villiers
wants is that it should be proposed and be defeated. He is quite
content to take the plan as it is, but he cannot separate from his
friends, and Cobden considers himself obliged to propose it. After
all these communications I wrote to the Duke of Bedford, who is gone
to Belvoir, begging him to come up to town, telling him matters
were in a serious state, and that his moderating influence was very
necessary. In all this affair, so far, and since his speech the first
night which was very good, John Russell does not shine; but he is a
very clever, ingenious, but _little_ man, full of personal feelings
and antipathies, and not, I suspect, without something of envy, which
galls and provokes him and makes him lose his head and his temper
together. However, it is very necessary to keep him out of such a
scrape as he is getting himself into by his intended attack on the
Government measure, and in which the only safety for him would be in
defeat; not but what the attempt would do him irretrieveable mischief.

    [Footnote 123: [Lord John Russell had stated in a letter to the
    Queen (which was read in Parliament), on December 20th, that
    'although he found it impossible to form an Administration, he
    should he ready to do all in his power, as a Member of Parliament,
    to promote the settlement of the question.']]

_February 2nd._--I dined with George Harcourt on Saturday, and sat
next to Macaulay at dinner, when we talked about the measure, and what
the Whigs should do. He was all for urging immediate repeal. I told
him they must take care not to put the measure itself in jeopardy, and
suggested my own view of what Peel might do, and what Lord John ought
to do after his letter to the Queen. He said, on the first point, that
he certainly would rather give up pressing for immediate repeal than
endanger the measure, but that if Peel would consider a vote carried
against him on that point so seriously as to induce him to throw it
up or resign, he ought to say so; he ought to take an opportunity of
giving them notice as to what he would regard in so serious a light,
that they might at least understand what they were about. As to the
second point, he said he was sure John Russell did not see it as I
did, and that not one of the eighteen or twenty persons who were
assembled the other day at his house took that view of it; that he
apprehended all Lord John meant was to intimate to the Queen that if
he did not succeed in improving the Bill in committee (which he was
entirely at liberty to do as he thought best), he should be content to
take it as the Government might have framed it. I said that I could
not possibly put any such construction on it, and that it seemed
hardly worth his while to tell the Queen that if he could not alter
it he would take it unaltered, which he could not help doing; and I
argued that taking it with the context of the letter, and with what
had previously passed, I thought nothing but the greatest sophistry
could put any other meaning on it than this--that though Peel's
measure might not be the same as his would have been, nevertheless he
would support it; that he would not insist as the condition of his
support that it should be exactly the same: and, therefore, to attack
it in an essential part, and the part he had specified as that which
he should not insist upon, would be a hostile move, and if successful
might have very serious consequences.


In the evening I met Monteagle at Lady Palmerston's, when he took me
aside and said, 'I want to say something to you. If Peel will consider
an attempt to substitute immediate repeal fatal to his measure, he
ought to say so, he ought to give some notice of his intentions.' I
merely said, 'I understand you,' and we parted. Yesterday morning
I called on Graham and had a long conversation with him, telling
him precisely what had passed. I was not prepared for what he said
in reply, inasmuch as it indicated a possibility at least of their
adopting the immediate repeal instead of their own plan. He said
it would be very difficult for Peel to give any such intimation as
they required, and very inexpedient to fetter himself in any way, as
it was quite impossible to say what course it might eventually be
expedient to adopt; that if, as there seemed some reason to believe,
the agriculturists themselves should clearly manifest a preference
for immediate repeal, it might be advisable to alter the measure; and
he then told me of a letter Sidney Herbert had received from a large
farmer, one of his constituents, approving the measure, but regretting
it was not immediate; and he then enlarged on all the objections to
Peel's committing himself before he knew what turn affairs might take.
I said Peel was quite right, and that it was not necessary he should
do so at present, and all that was necessary was that before they came
to any important vote he should let the Whigs know what might be the
consequences of such a vote. In the debate itself, or just before it,
would be time enough to speak, that they might know what his feelings
were. He acquiesced in this, and said it might be done. He then talked
of Cobden's letter, and how able it was; of their position, and the
difficulties with their own Cabinet. It is perfectly clear that he
and Peel would both gladly propose immediate repeal, but cannot do
so unless the two Dukes (Wellington and Buccleuch), and the others
who are unwilling repealers, will consent, and with them it is more
an affair of pride than anything else. He said a great deal of the
importance of getting the Duke of Buccleuch's assistance on this
occasion, which carried or neutralised Scotland. This he repeated very
often, making it of more importance than I thought it was. He then
talked of the resignations of seats, which he thought very serious,
injurious, and wrong, the recognition of a democratic principle,
and he expressed great apprehension lest these examples should lead
others to do the same; then about Stanley and his bitterness, thought
that he would be disposed to advise the Lords to pass the Bill if it
went up to them, but that he would hardly be able to restrain himself
from making strong speeches, and if he got warmed up and poured forth
all his feelings and opinions, he would find an audience ready to
sympathise with him, and that without intending it he would become
the leader of a Protectionist party, and nobody could tell what might
be the consequences if he did put himself at their head. He said
Stanley disliked the manufacturing interest, and its progress and
power in Lancashire and all round about him at Knowsley, where his
territorial power was diminished by the contact. I asked him why they
had not resigned (he and Peel) early in November, which would have
been much better as it had turned out. He said it would, but that he
had been acting for twenty years with Stanley and Peel, for a still
longer time with the Duke, and they could not break up the Government
without making an attempt to bring them round to their views and
giving them time for consideration. He talked again of John Russell,
and said he was disappointed at the spirit he evinced, and repeated
that the Queen's feelings would be very strong and her resentment
considerable if he took a part inconsistent with what she considered
his engagement to her. I strongly urged him, if possible, to make the
repeal immediate, suggesting how desirable it was to take away all
pretext for the continuance of the League; and telling him, which he
was disposed to doubt, that Cobden certainty did wish to close his
own career of agitation and settle the whole question, but that there
were others who wanted to keep it open and to tack on other objects
to Corn Law agitation, who would therefore rejoice that the sliding
scale was still continued. We had a very long talk, which I have put
down _anyhow_, and of course have omitted a great many particulars. He
ended by saying I must be very cautious in what I said to those with
whom I had been conversing in reference to what had passed between
him and me; and I replied that I should say nothing, that almost
anything would perhaps give rise to misconceptions and expectations,
and that I should simply say I had made known what they wished Peel to
know. He read me some extracts from his own and Peel's speeches, to
show that they had said enough to satisfy everybody they had changed
their opinions some time ago; but these extracts were very vague. He
did this on my lamenting that Peel had not been more explicit, and
had not better prepared his party for the change which he must have
been contemplating, however undecided he might have been as to time.
He also read me the letter which he wrote to Peel in October last,
stating his opinion that the ports must be opened, and this must lead
to a settlement of the Corn Laws. I always supposed he had taken the
initiative on this occasion.


_February 8th._--It is thought that the violence of the Protectionists
is somewhat abated, and giving way to despondence. The resignations
of seats still continue, but Peel is in high spirits, not at all
dejected or dismayed. Francis Egerton went to Graham the other day and
strongly advised him to give up the three years' delay. Meanwhile the
Whigs have become perfectly reasonable, and mean to yield anything
rather than risk the success of the measure. Clarendon had a long
conversation with John Russell, and urged on him the expediency of
moderation, and pointed out how he had bound himself by his letter to
the Queen. He denied this, but yielded to the general argument, not
however failing to display his bitterness towards Peel. He said since
he had read my pamphlet he had a worse opinion of him than ever, and
he saw no reason why he should do anything to assist him; that he
(Peel) had no claim on him. I told Clarendon that the real truth was
that he was jealous of Peel and envious, he could not bear Peel's
popularity and the prevailing opinion that he was the best man. It
is all very small, but he _is_ small, and since I have looked more
narrowly into past transactions, and his career, I am the more struck
with it.

Yesterday I had Delane to dine with me, and Foster, the 'Times'
Commissioner in Ireland, a very intelligent man, with plenty to say
and no difficulty in saying it. My banquet to these potentates of the
press did very well.

_February 12th._--The debate in the House of Commons has been going on
two nights, and will go on two or three more; very dull and languid.
Graham and Sidney Herbert made speeches which have not been well
received, and there is no disguising the fact that they cannot wriggle
themselves out of a very awkward position, and no boldness or candour
prevents their cutting a very sorry figure. However right the measure
may be, and however pure their motives in acting as they do, it is
vain to attempt to persuade people that there has not been something
very wrong somewhere, and at some time. Nobody now doubts that the
question will be carried, and that Peel will go out soon after. Ellice
told me last night he had been doing all he could with John Russell
to induce him to conciliate Peel, and to prepare when he came in to
form a junction with some of Peel's people, such as Lincoln, Sidney
Herbert, and Dalhousie, and to take them in as guarantees of the
principles of his Government, and to ensure Peel's support. The advice
is not bad, but I doubt his following it; he hates Peel so cordially
that I doubt his doing anything which would savour of an alliance with
him of any sort. But Lord John has behaved very well and very wisely
about this measure, and spoke on Monday just as he ought.


_February 14th._--I saw Aberdeen yesterday. He told me Peel was
full of spirits and determination; he (Aberdeen) thought they could
not go on long, though he believed they would not be beaten on the
Sugar Duties, and he did not know on what question they would be
defeated; and then they would have to decide whether they should try
a dissolution, for which the Queen would press vehemently, for (he
said) she was quite as anxious to keep Peel as ever she had been
to keep Melbourne. I told him I hoped they would never think of
dissolving unless pretty sure of success; that the Whigs had disgraced
themselves and lost everything by this measure in 1841, and nothing
but success could justify such an appeal. He said he quite agreed with
me; and though he evidently wishes to stay in, he is prepared to go
out, and would prefer doing so with credit rather than sticking to
place dangerously and disreputably.

_February 16th._--The debate in the House of Commons (the dullest
on record) lasted all last week, and will probably last all this.
Meanwhile affairs grow daily more uncomfortable and perplexed. The
Government measure will certainly pass the House of Commons by a
majority under one hundred, and most people think it will pass the
House of Lords. Then will come the dissolution of the Government and
the advent of John Russell; but how he is to get on, or what is to
happen afterwards, nobody has an idea. Though the Tories have made
up their minds to be defeated, they show no symptom of mitigated
feelings towards Peel and the Government, but the contrary. The debate
presents hardly any argument on their side, but bitter lamentations
and reproaches, and quotations from former speeches or addresses of
the Ministers who are now abandoning them. On the other hand, the
Liberals, while they support Peel, encourage and confirm the Tories
in their indignation and resentment, and they abuse the Government
quite as lustily, not for what they are doing now, but for all they
have been saying and doing for the last four years. The whole of the
press takes the same line, the Tory and Whig papers naturally; and the
'Times' chuckles and sneers, and alternately attacks and ridicules
Whigs, Protectionists, and Peelites.

There was a comment on my pamphlet in defence of Peel in Ward's paper,
the 'Weekly Chronicle,' yesterday; very well done, with much truth in
it. The real fact is that Peel is not obnoxious to blame for what he
has _done_; it is very fair for party men to attack him on this score,
but he is easily defensible on it. But nothing can excuse all that
he and his colleagues have _said_. When the best excuse their conduct
admits of is made for them, it will be found that their language,
the opinions and the arguments they have put forth do not correspond
with the excuse. This is the first point against them, and the second
is that they have made out no adequate case for doing now what they
have done. The case which Graham put forth really is no case at all.
All this does unquestionably give their friends and supporters a
just cause of complaint; and though as a Free Trader I rejoice at
the repeal of the Corn Laws, I must own that if I belonged to Peel's
party I should feel the same disgust and indignation they all do.
Then there is no denying the immensity of the moral mischief that has
been done. It is very remarkable that I am the only person who has
defended Peel and made any apology for him whatever. It is impossible
that hundreds of people, members of both Houses of Parliament, and the
whole press should go on day after day crying out against treachery
and deceit and a violation of public honour, and not produce a deep
and strong impression. When one hears the apologies the Ministers
make for themselves, one cannot but feel how insufficient they are.
There is no getting over the speeches that are flung in their faces;
they are unquestionably _now_ conscientious in what they are doing;
but what were they before? If they were sincere before, if they did
not anticipate the changes they are now (as they think) compelled
to make, they were blind and unsafe guides, deficient in sagacity
and foresight. I must say that, on calm reflexion, I think Peel has
shown throughout this matter a considerable want of skill and wisdom.
His scheme of gradual alteration and step by step Reform was wise,
and probably was the only one practicable; but by his speeches he
has counteracted his own object. He was so afraid of saying too much
at first, and of prematurely frightening his friends, that he ran
into the opposite danger of confirming them in the convictions and
expectations which it was his object to loosen; and at all events, if
he did say enough to alarm them with a vague alarm, he said so little
as to give them the right they are now exercising of reproaching him
for the deceit he practised. He would have done much better to have
proclaimed boldly at first that the principle of Free Trade was sound,
but that its application was difficult, and could only be made safely
by being made gradually and slowly. In this way he might have availed
himself of what he calls his three years' experiment; but when he puts
it forward as the ground of his conversion, everybody laughs at it and
knows he is not speaking the truth. For my part, I earnestly wish to
see this question settled, and the Government out; they cannot remain
in either advantageously or creditably. If they can redeem their
credit, it must be out of office, and through the success of their
measure. To have sacrificed themselves to it is the only atonement
that can be accepted for their former disingenuous professions. Their
position is now very mortifying and embarrassing; their people who
vacate can none of them be re-elected.


Rous will be beaten for Westminster, which will be a great slap on
the face to the Government. This is the result of bad management; he
never ought to have resigned without being pretty sure of re-election;
neither he nor the Government took any pains to ascertain his
chance. He fancied himself secure, told Peel so, and Peel believed
him. The tardy and reluctant resignations of seats of some, and the
clinging to seats of others, have excited a good deal of derision and
disapprobation; in short, there is no shutting one's eyes to the fact,
that this measure, so salutary in itself, is making its way through
much that is deplorable and injurious to public morals. It matters not
that by a very minute analysis it may be proved that the men who are
accused are not really so much to blame as they appear, that it is
difficult to show clearly what they ought to have done at different
periods instead of what they have done; the loud and general clamour
produces an effect which cannot be prevented, and they have furnished
out of their own mouths materials for any condemnation their enemies,
old or new, are disposed to pass on them.

_February 18th._--The night before last Peel made a very grand speech,
vindicating himself in a very high tone, making out a very good case
for his measure _at this time_, and dealing in details with his usual
skill. It was certainly one of his most successful efforts, and
Charles Villiers told Clarendon it was one of the finest speeches he
ever heard in Parliament. It served, however, to widen the breach
between himself and the Tory party. Clarendon told me that he had been
very unfair to John Russell in one point, when he said that he thought
he would have carried the measure if he had taken office; that he must
know this was not the case, for Peel would not have been able to bring
twenty people with him when out of office.

While Peel was making this great speech in the House of Commons,
Stanley was making a very different sort of speech in the Lords. There
he denounced the measure in strong terms, exhibited a bitter feeling,
and a disposition to put himself at the head of the Protectionists and
throw out the measure. Such was the impression he gave, and his speech
was rapturously hailed both there and elsewhere. It filled with alarm
all the moderate people, and encouraged the violent. It is, however,
quite impossible to conjecture what he will do when it comes to the
point. It is difficult to decide whether his object is ambition and
power, or only sport and mischief. As to his forming a Government,
he is himself quite as unfit as the rest are incompetent. There is
probably not a public man in the country who inspires so little
confidence. His speech, however, has made the cauldron boil more hotly
than ever, and increased the doubt whether the measure will pass.


I have had a long correspondence with the Duke of Bedford about people
and things connected with this affair, and as he was always drawing
comparisons between the purity and consistency of Lord John, and the
dishonesty and inconsistency of others, I at last resolved to show him
what Lord John's own course had been (though without finding fault
with him), but letting him see that he was just as obnoxious to the
charge of inconsistency or insincerity, if an enemy wished to urge
it, as Peel or anybody else. I proved to him that between 1828 when
he became (by his own avowal) the advocate of a fixed duty and 1839,
during eleven years, he never opened his lips in favour of it; and on
every occasion when it was brought forward by anybody else, he voted
against it or stayed away. Then he advocated a fixed duty in 1841; and
having done so with cogent reasons up to June 1845, in November of the
same year he blurted out his famous letter declaring for total Repeal.
The only excuse that his conduct admits of is that of expediency,
the very same that is demanded, on grounds at least as strong, for
Peel; but circumstances place the one man beyond the necessity of an
apology, and render the other incapable of making the real and true
one. Peel's best excuse for not having done before what he is doing
now is afforded by the actual state of affairs. In spite of four or
five years of discussion, of the dissemination of sound principles, of
the diffusion of knowledge, of numerous and respectable conversions,
of the success of his partial experiments in Free Trade, and of his
having the potato famine as a base for his operation, he cannot do
what he does now without entirely breaking up his party, and he has to
encounter difficulties almost insurmountable--_si argumentum requiris

_February 25th._--The debate drags on, this being the third week of
it. The Protectionists are very proud of the fight they have made,
which in point of fact has been plausible and imposing enough, though
for the most part consisting of sarcasms and assaults upon the
Ministers and their supporters, and with a very slender portion of
argument mixed therewith. Their great hero, Disraeli, spoke on Friday
for two hours and a half, cleverly and pointedly; it was meant to be
an argumentative speech, and to exhibit his powers in the grave line.
Accordingly there was very little of his accustomed bitterness and
impertinent sarcasms on Peel, but a great deal of statistical detail
and reasoning upon it. The Protectionists thought it very fine, but
in reality it was poor and worthless; and on Monday night Sir George
Clerk, who is no great orator, made a very complete exposure of the
fallacy of his arguments and the inaccuracy of his facts. Nobody has
the least idea what the Lords will do, whether they will pass it, or
throw it out altogether, or adopt Lord Ashburton's proposal of making
the reduced sliding scale permanent.

These last few days we have been occupied with the Indian news, which
has superseded the interest of the debate. Nobody knows what to think
of it, the slaughter so dreadful, the success so equivocal, and the
conduct of the authorities so questionable. At all events it was a
great feat of arms as far as bravery and resolution go; but we seem to
have been surprised, and it appears monstrous that a Sikh army should
be provided with a _matériel_ so superior to ours, an artillery with
which ours could not cope.[124]

    [Footnote 124: [The battle of Aliwal was fought on January 28th by
    Sir Harry Smith against the Sikhs. This action was followed by the
    battles of Moodkee and Ferozeshah, and the final defeat of the Sikh
    army on February 10th at Sobraon. These were the fiercest and most
    sanguinary battles ever fought by the British in India, The Sikh
    army had 30,000 men, Khalsa troops, and seventy pieces of cannon,
    and they were ably commanded. The result of these victories was the
    annexation of the Punjaub to the British Empire.]]


_March 1st._--On Friday night at three o'clock, after twelve nights'
debate, the House divided and the Government measure was carried by
97; but for the delay and some casualties the majority would have
topped 100. George Bentinck, who had all along threatened to speak,
and had gone through a most laborious preparation, and was armed at
all points with statistical details, wound up the debate in a speech
of three hours' length, which was listened to with great impatience,
restrained only by consideration for a speaker so unused to address
the House. As his speech consisted entirely of statistical details,
it was, as might have been expected, intolerably tiresome, and he
committed an enormous error in judgement in rising at twelve o'clock
at night on the last day, when everybody was weary, exhausted, sick
of the debate, and eager for the division. Nothing would have then
gone down but a smart, brilliant, Israelitish philippic, if even
that would. It was wonderful that the House was so enduring as it
was, but everybody I have seen acknowledges that it was, all things
considered, a very remarkable performance, exhibited great power of
mind, extraordinary self-possession and clearness, and proving beyond
a doubt that if he had for the last twenty years devoted himself to
business instead of to horse-racing, if he had cultivated his mind and
practised himself in the business of the House of Commons, he might
have taken a high place in political life. My testimony as regards him
is beyond suspicion, for we are not friends, and I have no doubt it is
true that he has wasted energies and misused talents which, properly
exercised, would have conferred on him an honourable fame, and made
his career creditable and useful.

Cobden made an extraordinary speech last night, but one of the ablest
I ever read, and it was, I am told, more striking still to hear,
because so admirably delivered. The general opinion at Brooks's
yesterday was, that this division would make the Lords pass the bill.
On the whole, but with much hesitation, I incline to think so too; but
it is very doubtful.

Now that we have got the whole of the Indian news, it is clear that
Hardinge's mismanagement has been very great.[125] He was in a
continual cloud of error, not believing that would happen which did,
though with every reason for its probability, and consequently making
none of the preparations for encountering the danger, till so late
that there was just a possibility of meeting and repelling it, and no
more. From all these negligences and errors we have suffered such a
loss as we never experienced in India before, so great as to take away
all the pleasure and exultation we should naturally feel at a military
exploit the brilliancy and bravery of which never was surpassed.

    [Footnote 125: [This stricture has not been borne out by public
    opinion. If Lord Hardinge was not fully prepared for the emergency,
    it was owing to his extreme reluctance to go to war; but the
    magnanimity and gallantry of his conduct in the field, and the
    splendour of these victories, silenced all criticism, as is fairly
    stated by Mr. Greville a little further on.]]


    Signs of the Weakness of Government--The Irish Coercion
    Bill--Lord John Russell on Ireland--Protectionist Opposition--The
    Oregon Question--Lord Brougham canvassed--Weakness of the
    Protectionists--Embarrassments of the Government--Violence of the
    Protectionists--The Victories in India--Change of Opinion among
    the Farmers--State of Ireland--Intentions of the Government--Lord
    Palmerston visits Paris--A scheme of Alliance with the
    Protectionists--Lord John Russell's Resolution--Lord Stanley's
    Violence--The Duke of Wellington's Dissatisfaction--Anecdote of
    the Father of Sir Robert Peel--Sir Robert Peel and Disraeli--Lord
    Palmerston in Paris--Irish Coercion Bill--The Protectionist
    Alliance--Conversation with Sir Robert Peel--Conversation with Sir
    James Graham--The Factory Bill--The last Debate in the Commons
    on the Corn Bill--Intrigues with the Protectionists--Defeated by
    Lord John Russell--Meeting at Lansdowne House--Fine Speech of
    Lord Stanley--'Alarm' wins the Emperor's Cup--Violent attacks
    on Sir Robert Peel--The conduct of Sir Robert Peel to Mr.
    Canning--Brougham and Stanley in the Lords--Opposition of the
    Whigs to the Coercion Bill--Anxiety of Lord John Russell to get
    back to Office--Mr. Disraeli renews the Attack on Peel--Lord
    George Bentinck and Disraeli worsted by Peel.

_London, March 11th, 1846._--There has been nothing very remarkable
these last few days, except on Friday night, when the Corn Bill went
on rapidly, and the two amendments that had been announced were
disposed of by being severally withdrawn. Early in the evening,
however, the Government suffered a defeat, which was very significant
for the future. It was on a Poor Law question, which Graham thought
fit to fight. The majority against him was composed principally of
malignant Tories. John Russell voted with the Government, but could
not get the Whigs to stay for it; the Protectionists were uproarious
at beating the Government; the Whigs desired no better than that
they should be beaten; and so it will inevitably be. I do not think
anything can prevent a change of Government very soon, whatever may
happen afterwards. If Peel is wise, he will court this change, and let
people see how matters can be managed by others, and without him.


_March 18th._--Few events or matters worth recording. John Russell,
without consulting anybody, according to his custom, gave notice of a
motion upon Ireland, having made up his mind, though very reluctantly,
not to oppose the Coercion Bill.[126] I met him one morning at Lord
Clarendon's, and talked to him about this Bill. His first intention
had been to oppose the Transportation clause, and he said O'Connell
had asked him what he meant to do. He replied he did not know. We
discussed the matter; and I told him I did not see how he could take
on himself the responsibility of opposing it; and he acknowledged
that he did not see it very well either; but he then broke out with a
bitterness beyond description against the Government, which he said
was the greatest curse to Ireland, and that while they were in office
no good was possible there. I did not think it worth while to dispute
with him; but just asked him what it was they had done or left undone?
He said, 'Their policy of first truckling to the Orangemen, insulting,
and then making useless concessions to, the Catholics, without
firmness or justice.' Nothing, in short, but what was vague and
unmeaning. I said, that, as to the Orangemen, I did not know what the
Government had done to them; but that if they had been favoured, they
were very ungrateful, for they abhorred and abused the Government with
all their strength. It was just after this, and I believe while the
bile was still flowing, that he gave his notice. It made a great stir.
The Protectionists eagerly hailed it as something that was to disable
and unseat Peel, while his own friends were excessively annoyed and
discomposed at what they thought a useless and dangerous move. The
dissatisfaction was so great that it threatened to embroil him with
his party, and the end was that the other night he put it off, which
is tantamount to giving it up. The Duke of Bedford does not approve of
it. I asked him why Lord John could not say what he wanted to say in a
speech on the Bill itself, and he said he would ask him.

In the House of Commons, the Protectionists are bent on delay, and on
not allowing the Bill to go up to the House of Lords before Easter.
They are now _the_ Opposition; they have elected George Bentinck their
leader, and Beresford and Newdegate whippers-in. Stanley, by all
accounts, declares himself more and more their leader in the Lords;
and means to urge them on. He has also two whips of his own, Eglinton
and Malmesbury. In the House of Commons they fix beforehand the day on
which they will divide, and generally a very distant one. They settled
some time ago to divide on the second reading next Friday week; ten
days hence. Meanwhile, as the debates go on, the arguments which go
forth to the country, the statistical details, and the progress of
famine and pestilence in Ireland, strengthen the Government case, and
produce effects on the public mind. The farmers in many places are
more and more anxious for a settlement, and Peel's fame and the notion
of his capacity for affairs extend.

Last night in the Lords a little scene was got up between Clarendon
and Aberdeen about Oregon. The former asked for papers and
information, and the latter made a speech, giving some papers,
refusing others, and declaring his confidence in the final
arrangement. It was not only amicable, but concerted. Aberdeen asked
Clarendon to do this, in order to give him an opportunity of saying
something. Means were at the same time taken to prevent anything
being said in the House of Commons, where Aberdeen dreads Peel saying
anything, for he is almost sure to say something he had better not.
His forte is not in dealing with foreign affairs, with which it seems
that it is always dangerous for anybody to meddle who is not in _the
trade_. The division of labour seems as essential in politics as in
matters of commerce and manual industry.


I was told the other day by Baring Wall, who had it from Labouchere,
that John Russell was not disinclined to take in Brougham. I was
surprised, for I thought Lord John disliked and distrusted him; so I
asked the Duke of Bedford. He said that he was not surprised at the
report; that Lord John had never objected to Brougham so much as some
others; that in 1835 he was not one of those who wanted to get rid of
him, and that at one of his meetings, at the crisis, he had thrown
out a word about him, and said, 'What do you think about Brougham?'
or something to that effect, on which somebody (he did not say who,
and I did not ask him), vehemently opposed the idea of taking him
in; when Lord John at once put an end to the discussion, by saying,
'Oh, very well,' and proceeding to something else, passing as it were
to the order of the day, seeing it would not take, and probably not
caring himself. But this was enough for Labouchere to think and to say
that Lord John would not be averse to taking Brougham in. There is no
doubt that he is ready to join any party--Whigs, Protectionists, or
Peelites--who would have him, and they are all rather anxious to keep
on good terms with him; but--except perhaps the Protectionists, who
would be glad of an ally so powerful, though so perilous--not at all
disposed to include him in any ministerial arrangement, or to form
any close connexion with him. He is giving dinners to everybody, and
keeping himself as open as possible for any engagement that may be
offered to him.

    [Footnote 126: [The state of Ireland at this time was appalling. A
    Coercion Bill was introduced by Lord St. Germans in the House of
    Lords, when he stated that during the years 1844-1845 there had
    been 242 cases of firing at the person, 1,048 cases of aggravated
    assult, 710 robberies of arms, 79 bands of men appearing in arms,
    2,306 cases of threatening letters, and 737 of attacking houses.
    The Bill gave the Lord-Lieutenant power to proclaim the disturbed
    districts, to apprehend persons out of their houses between sunset
    and sunrise, and to make provision out of the rates for the
    families of persons murdered.]]

_March 21st, 1846._--Yesterday I went to Chiswick, where the Duke
of Devonshire showed me his manuscripts, which he has got very well
arranged. He gave me four boxes full of letters, written by his mother
to her mother, Lady Spencer; the beginning of a long correspondence
from the time of her marriage. These I am going to look over. He
talked to me of Devonshire House in the old time, and the strange
connexion that existed between the Duke, the Duchess, and Lady
Elizabeth Foster.[127] Lady Elizabeth, without great talents or great
beauty, seems to have been one of those women, of whom there are
rare instances, who are gifted with an undefinable attraction--or
perhaps attractiveness is the word--which none can resist. Everybody
was in love with her, and she exercised an influence of one sort or
another up to the end of her life. In youth she drew to her lovers
and friends, and made _la pluie et le beau temps_ in society. In old
age, Popes and Cardinals, savants and artists, attended her _levées_,
rendered her an unceasing homage, and were obedient to all her wishes
or commands.

The Tariff was got through last night; George Bentinck making a speech
of two hours and a quarter. From never having spoken, he never now
does anything else, and he is completely overdoing it, and, like a
beggar set on horseback, riding to the devil. Stanley, in the House
of Lords, declared his intention to oppose the Bill; but he tells his
friends he will neither lead an Opposition nor make a Government.
As the time advances, the division in the House of Lords looks more
promising for Government. The delay which the Protectionists have
caused has been of great service to the measure, for the longer the
debates continue, the more effect is produced by the speeches in
Parliament, the statistics published, and the able articles in the
press. On the other hand, the new Opposition have cut a poor figure in
point of reasoning and argument. Abstracting their abuse and charges
of treachery and perfidy, very little is left in their speeches. The
Court seem now to be convinced that Peel will eventually be obliged to
go out, and that Lord John must come in.

    [Footnote 127: [William, fifth Duke of Devonshire, born in 1748,
    married Georgiana, daughter of John, Earl Spencer, in 1774. Upon
    the death of this lady in 1806, his Grace married in 1809 Lady
    Elizabeth Foster, a daughter of the Earl of Bristol and widow of
    John Thomas Foster, Esq., to whom he had long been attached, and to
    whom, singularly enough, the late Duchess had been as much attached
    as the Duke, for she made her a bosom friend, and dreaded nothing
    so much as the loss of her society. This Duke died in 1811; the
    second Duchess lived till 1824, spending the latter years of her
    life in Rome, where she enjoyed an immense popularity and social


_March 29th._--Everything here is in a disturbed, doubtful, and uneasy
state; people angry, perplexed, and dissatisfied. The second reading
was carried on Friday night, after four nights' debate, by 88--nine
less than the first great division. Graham and Peel both spoke. The
first made an attack on Shaw, who deserved to be attacked; but it
was so clumsily, so savagely done, that it only recoiled on himself.
Peel was heavy, but he was explicit enough about his intentions and
expectations as to office. He said he knew that with 112 men he
could not go on, and they could turn him out when they would. It is,
however, said he is resolved to cling to office as long as he can.
I believe he will only resolve not to quit it till he has carried
through the Corn Bill. To-night there is the devil to pay about the
Irish question. The Whigs and Irish are going to move the previous
question, and postpone the Coercion Bill. If the Protectionists stay
away in any numbers (much more if they vote), the Government will be
beaten. It is, however, not expected that Peel will resign if he is
beaten, but everything that has been and is done with regard to this
Bill is wrong. In the first place, the Government are much to blame in
not having had the Bill ready when Parliament met. They ought to have
laid it on the table the first night, and urged it through as quickly
as possible, instead of waiting for a month before they brought it
in, and letting three months elapse before its passing. Then, as it
is brought in, and the Whigs don't mean to oppose it, it is very
absurd and very wrong to prevent the first reading; for the delay will
not expedite the Corn Bill, and the Coercion Bill is of more urgent
importance than the other. Bessborough and many of the party are very
much against this move, and the whole Irish question is proving a
serious cause of disagreement among them.

The state of parties is curious and full of difficulty. The
Protectionists are bent upon turning Peel out, and if possible
grow more, rather than less, bitter. On Friday this was especially
apparent; no Prime Minister was ever treated as Peel was by them
that night, when he rose to speak. The Marquis of Granby rose at the
same time, and for five minutes they would not hear Peel, and tried
to force their man on the House, and to make the Prime Minister sit
down. The Speaker alone decided it, and called on Peel. When he said
he knew they could turn him out, they all cheered _savagely_. Then
the Whigs are just as eager to be in active opposition again; so that
between the two parties--the rage and vengeance of the one, and the
habitual rivalry of the other--his fall is certain. But the other
night George Bentinck, the Protectionist organ, told the Whigs he
would oppose them, so that when the Whig Government is formed, though
it may be suffered to go on for a time, it will be intrinsically very
weak and powerless, for the ultra-Liberals rather lean to Peel than to
John Russell. Such a state of things, so confused, so uncertain, so
at the sport of events and circumstances, never was seen before. Many
people fancy that Peel will not go out, though they are quite unable
to show how he is to stay in; but everybody sees clearly enough that
parties are so divided and power so scattered, that any Government
that can be formed must hold office by a very feeble and doubtful
tenure. At present, however, Peel holds office for the sole purpose
of carrying _the_ Bill. The Whigs are guarding him, while he is doing
this work, ready to turn against him the moment he has done it, and
then, this great contest over, the Protectionists will either join the
Whigs in their first onset, or leave him to his fate. _They_ do not
care what happens so long as they can break up this Government; they
do not care how public business can be carried on, or by whom; whether
a strong or a weak Government can be formed. Revenge is their sole

_April 4th._--The Government would have been beaten on the Irish
question if the division had taken place earlier than it did. John
O'Connell would speak, and the time he gave saved a defeat. We are
now involved in a maze of endless delays, but the news of the great
victory at Sobraon and termination of the Sikh war has put the world
in such good spirits, and filled everybody with such joy, that for the
time everything else has been almost forgotten. There certainly never
was anything more complete than this piece of Indian history, so grand
and so dramatic, such a glorious mixture of bravery and moderation,
and such a display of national dignity and power. Auckland said to
me last night that it was impossible to pick a fault if you wished
to do so. He approves of everything that Hardinge has done. The Duke
was very energetic in the House of Lords on the thanks; and it is a
fine thing for him to have lived to see his military children covering
themselves with glory on the scene of his own first achievements
half a century ago, and himself still hale, fresh, and his intellect
vigorous and unclouded.


The delay that the Protectionists have contrived to make in the Free
Trade measures is proving fatal to their cause, for it is now past
a doubt that a great change has been produced over all the country
_among the farmers_. They do not care for, do not dread, the repeal of
the Corn Laws, but they do most particularly wish to have the question
settled. The evidences of this change are not to be mistaken, and
many of the Protectionists admit it. They find to their astonishment
that there is no depreciation in landed property, that there is no
difficulty in letting farms, and that rents are generally rising
rather than falling.

_April 23rd._--I was all last week at Newmarket, and as a matter of
course utterly disabled from writing, reading, or thinking about
politics or anything else. Came back on Friday night, went to Bath on
Monday, and returned yesterday. Nothing can be more deplorable than
the state of affairs, or less promising in reference to the existence
or formation of a strong Government and the improvement of Ireland,
the present paramount object of interest. The unhappy Irish Coercion
Bill still lingers on in the House of Commons; and Monday night, when
there seemed to be a chance of the Irish consenting to divide, there
was no House. This had a very bad appearance, and was the fault of the
Whippers-in; but probably they have a difficult duty to discharge, for
their numbers are scanty and their people are indifferent, thinking
the Government itself on its last legs. Peel is said to have been much
annoyed. After all, it is more than probable that the Irish Bill will
not pass. The Duke of Bedford told me yesterday that Bessborough and
Clanricarde, the two Whigs who most strenuously supported it, have
now entirely changed their minds and are convinced it will do more
harm than good, and that in fact it has already done a great deal
of harm. Clanricarde has been in Ireland, and is come back of this
opinion. Blake, who has also been there, and had much conversation
with the Lord-Lieutenant, says that he never remembers Ireland in so
bad a state, political and social. The consequence of all this is that
John Russell is gone into the country, and does not mean to come back
and vote on the Bill. Still, as the Protectionists mean to vote for
the first reading, it will probably be carried, but it will hardly
make its way through the other stages in the midst of such vehement
opposition and lukewarm support. In my opinion, they deserve every
distress and difficulty in which they may be placed, for their conduct
about this Bill. If it was necessary at all, the necessity was urgent
and admitted of no delay; if the country can go on without it for
three or four months (three have already elapsed), it may as well go
on for ever. The moment Parliament met, it ought to have been ready;
and when they let week after week pass away without doing anything,
and only did it at last when _poked_ by Brougham, they lost their best
title to general support. However, the final decision on this Bill
will probably not take place till the Corn Law has got through the
House of Lords, and then if Ministers are beaten upon it, it will be
a good opportunity for their resigning. This I find they are quite
prepared to do.

The Duke of Bedford gave me some information the other day which
exhibits the present views and animus of the different parties. The
Peelites and the Protectionists equally contemplate the speedy advent
of John Russell, and both have made overtures, direct or indirect, to
him. Aberdeen called on Lord John the other day about some private
business, after discussing which he talked on politics. He said that
it was impossible they could go on, that Peel was well aware of it,
and quite determined not to dissolve Parliament; that he did not know
on what question they would have to go out; that he was told it would
not be on the sugar duties, and that they should carry them; but that
it was clear they would be beaten on something else if not on that;
that a Whig Government must be formed, which must rely upon Peel and
his friends for support, and would receive it. He told him that he had
been wrong in not giving Peel credit for a real intention to support
him before, and that he must look to that support for the future.
John Russell would not distrust Aberdeen's sincerity, but it would be
difficult to make him place reliance on that of Peel.


On the other hand, the Duke of Bedford came up with George Bentinck
in the train the other day, and had much talk with him. George
Bentinck said that they were aware Lord John must come in, and were
not indisposed to support him; that they wanted to turn Peel out, and
that if he was to move a vote of want of confidence he could now keep
all his people together for it, but that they were afraid the Whigs
would come to Peel's support and defeat them. He beat about the bush
to find out whether this was probable, or whether the Whigs would
be disposed to accept the support of the Protectionists. All this
the Duke told his brother. He said that Lord John was not tempted by
this bait, and very properly said, 'The question is, Do we agree with
the Protectionists?' But he said that, though this was Lord John's
feeling, there were many of the party (and 'I should surprise you,'
he said, 'if I told you who they are') who are inclined to coalesce
with the Protectionists for the purpose and to accept their support.
This is certainly a most curious political entanglement, full of
uncertainty and affording an open field for intrigues of all kinds.

Palmerston has been preparing for his return to the Foreign Office
by a visit to Paris, where his name has been held in terror and
execration for some years; and the intelligence of his probable
restoration to power created universal dismay. Nevertheless, his
visit has been triumphantly successful. The Court, the Ministers, the
Opposition, the political leaders of all shades, have vied with each
other in civilities and attentions. He has dined with the King, with
Guizot, with Thiers, with Broglie, with Molé; he met with nothing but
smiles, _prévenance_ and _empressement_. Brougham was furious; he did
all he could to prevent the Palmerstons going to Paris, abused them
for going, and everybody whom he thought instrumental to their going,
and when they arrived fawned upon them and insisted on doing the
honours of them everywhere. He is now come back, but he had written
to Le Marchant a letter full of spite, and desiring that nobody would
believe what they heard of Palmerston's reception, which was by no
means cordial and sincere; and that in their hearts they disliked his
coming there, and hated him as much as ever.

_Newmarket, Sunday._--For once in a way I sit down to write something
at this place where I never do anything; but I have got the gout, and
that, by disabling my foot, sets my hand to work. Yesterday morning
I saw Clarendon and had a long talk with him on the subject of the
Duke of Bedford's communication to me, which he had likewise had
from the Duke even with more details. He told him (which he had not
done me) the names of the people who wanted the Whigs to coalesce
with the Protectionists. These are Lords Anglesey and Bessborough.
The former, I hardly know why, except from a fancy he seems to have
to join what he considers the most aristocratic party; the second is
taken in by all the wonderful things the Protectionists offer to do
for Ireland, and which have been conveyed to him through Duncannon by
George Bentinck. Accordingly, Bessborough wrote off to John Russell,
urging this strange and disgraceful alliance. It seems that the
Protectionists profess to be ready to do anything the Irish please,
provided they will not be expected to destroy the Irish Church; but
even any reform in that they are prepared for. It was evidently in
pursuance of this scheme that the ridiculous farce was got up between
Smith O'Brien and George Bentinck in the House of Commons on Friday
night. Hearing now what has already passed with Bessborough, it is
impossible to doubt that this scene has been concocted and concerted
after considerable preparation, though at present I have no idea how
or with whom it originated; it smells of the same shop, however.
Clarendon said he did not imagine there would be any hesitation or
doubt on the subject, or that any of the leading Whigs are in the
least disposed to connect themselves with a party with whom they
have no community of principle or opinion, by whom they know they
are detested, and whom they heartily despise. This eccentricity of
Bessborough's shows how unfit he is to take the lead and to direct
affairs. His forte is in patching up quarrels, finding expedients for
especial cases, and acting as a general go-between and negotiator, in
which minor matters he displays a good deal of tact and temper.


Clarendon told me that Lord John had resolved, if sent for again, to
take the government at once, and not make any difficulties. He and
I both agreed that he must rely on Peel, and take his chance of his
reliance being well placed. It is the straightforward, intelligible,
and honourable course, and he had far better fall by that than succeed
by such a monstrous and discreditable connexion as that with the
Protectionists would be. The latter have now but one object, which
is to turn out Peel, to wreak their vengeance on him, and they do
not care what happens after, whether there is a good or bad, a weak
or strong Government, nor what confusion or difficulty may occur.
They are ready to join the detested Whigs, and to concur in the whole
of those Liberal measures, by a partial adoption of which Peel had
already rendered himself so obnoxious to them. No considerations of
consistency, no care for the public interests, in the slightest degree
influence their minds. It is impossible, however, to suppose that this
party, now breathing nothing but rage and revenge, can be long held
together for such an end. They entertain some glimmering of hope that
events may open the way to their accession to office, and they want to
hold together for this chance. Bessborough, however, who seems to have
taken a very _low_ view of the matter all along, urged John Russell to
connect himself with the Protectionists rather than with Peel, for
this reason: that Peel was all staff, and no rank and file; men who
would want offices and high ones, and bring little strength; whereas
the others would bring great numbers, and be satisfied with very few
and very subordinate offices! A very likely matter with a party of
which George Bentinck and Disraeli are the leaders in the Commons and
Stanley in the Lords! _À propos_ of Stanley, he is supposed to be by
this time identified with the Protectionists, and embarked in vehement
opposition to the Government, in direct contradiction of all his
promises and professions when he left them. Sidney Herbert told me the
other day that when he went out he was still on excellent terms with
them, and told them that he was well aware the Bill must pass, and
that now he considered it best that it should; and he intimated his
intention to prevent opposition as much as he could. Graham said long
ago his moderation never would continue.

The Duke of Bedford has lately had a great deal of conversation with
Arbuthnot, who talked to him very openly and told him a great many
things about Peel, all unfavourable. I don't believe he (Arbuthnot)
has ever liked him, and now, with others of the Duke of Wellington's
friends, he is full of resentment against him for breaking up the
party, and for dragging the Duke, much against his inclinations and
opinions, through all this mire. Arbuthnot, as an old Tory deeply
imbued with Tory principles and the _alter ego_ of the Duke, whose
disgust and annoyance he well knows at the whole state of affairs, is
naturally very bitter against Peel. He told him that the Duke never
knows anything of what is going on. They never tell him, and he is
so deaf that in the Cabinet he does not hear. When they want him to
know or to do something, Peel sends for Arbuthnot and tells it to him,
well knowing he will report it to the Duke. Then he sends for papers,
reads what is necessary for his information, and without concert or
communication with anybody goes down to the House of Lords and speaks;
hence the strange things he says, and the confusion that is often made
between the apparent opinions of the Duke and his colleagues.


Arbuthnot told the Duke of Bedford an anecdote, which I have great
difficulty in believing. It is this: that when he was at the Treasury
one day, old Sir Robert Peel called on him and said, 'I am come to you
about a matter of great importance to myself, but which I think is
also of importance to your Government. If you do not speedily confer
high office on my son he will go over to the Whigs, and be for ever
lost to the party.' He told Lord Liverpool this, who immediately made
young Peel Irish Secretary. If it is true, never did any father do
a greater injury to a son, for if Peel had joined a more congenial
party he might have followed the bent of his political inclination,
and would have escaped all the false positions in which he has been
placed; instead of the insincere career that he has pursued, which
must have been replete with internal mortification, disgust, and
shame, he might have given out his real sentiments and acted upon
them. He would neither have fettered nor perverted his understanding,
and he would have been an abler, a better, and a happier man, besides
incomparably more useful to the country. As it is, his whole life
has been spent in doing enormous mischief, and in attempts to repair
that mischief. It will be a curious biography whenever it comes to be
written, but not a creditable one.

On Friday night there was a breeze between Peel and Disraeli which at
first appeared menacing, but ended amicably enough, though amicable
is hardly a word to be used between these two men. But there was
very near being something more serious out of the House owing to the
excitement of Jonathan Peel. Disraeli had commented on Peel's cheering
a certain part of Cobden's speech in his usual tone of impertinence
and bitterness, and he said that Peel had by his cheer expressed his
concurrence with such and such sentiments. Peel interrupted him,
saying, 'I utterly deny it,' on which Disraeli said he had given him
the lie, and sat down. Then came all that is reported, which ended as
I have said, but in the meantime Jonathan Peel went over to Disraeli,
sat down by him and said, 'What you have just said is false.' He
repeated it, and then went to George Bentinck and told him what he
had just said. Disraeli was so astonished that he said nothing at
first, but soon went to George Bentinck, told him also, and placed
the matter in his hands. This made a referee necessary on Jonathan
Peel's side, and he went and fetched Rous and put him in communication
with George Bentinck. As soon as Rous heard the story he saw that
his principal could not be justified, and he consented to an apology
which was agreed on between him and George Bentinck, who seems to have
acted with becoming moderation. The apology was not abject, but it
was ample. Peel is a man of quick passions and excitable temper, but
he generally has great command over himself, which he lost on this

_May 3rd._--At Newmarket all last week. Stanley was there, joking and
_chaffing_ all the time, but I could not hear that he talked seriously
upon politics; he was always with George Bentinck. The Palmerstons
are come back from Paris, after a successful visit, excepting only
his foolish letter to Louis Philippe.[128] They say, however, now
that he wrote it because it was suggested to him by _somebody_
(meaning somebody about the Court) that it would be well taken; but
it was a great mistake of his, and is thought very ridiculous here.
Madame de Lieven writes me word 'that his language was _très-mesuré
et très-convenable_,' but Normanby, who is just come over, says the
French were beginning to ask themselves why they were so civil and
_empressés_, and could not answer the question, and that in a few
more days the tide would have turned, and something disagreeable
would have been said or done. Normanby, who had made Ibrahim Pacha's
acquaintance at Florence, took Palmerston to see him; and when he
presented him, the Pacha was so diverted at finding himself thus face
to face with the great enemy of his house, that he burst out into an
uncontrollable fit of laughter, but he received him very well.


On Friday night the first reading of the Coercion Bill was at last
carried; the minority large. It is generally supposed, by the very
distant day Peel has fixed for the second reading, that he has no
notion of passing it eventually. It is not improbable that by the end
of the month he may be out of office.

    [Footnote 128: [King-Louis Philippe had been fired at by a man
    named Lecomte, who was executed for the crime, whilst Lord and Lady
    Palmerston were in Paris, upon which Lord Palmerston wrote a letter
    to the King congratulating him on his escape. This was considered
    impertinent from a foreign minister casually at Paris.]]

_May 4th._--There has been something unpleasant between Peel and John
Russell (not personal, but political), which was set right through
Arbuthnot. Peel was annoyed at Lord John's not coming up during the
last week's debate on the Coercion Bill, and they believed, as they
thought on good grounds, that he had made a case against Lord John
with the Queen thereupon. The Duke of Bedford went to Arbuthnot and
desired him to speak to Peel, explaining that Lord John really had
business in the country, that his wife's health required his presence,
and that he had left word that he would come whenever he was sent
for. Arbuthnot communicated this to Peel, who wrote a letter that
was perfectly satisfactory to Lord John's friends. The Duke told
me the other day that Bessborough was the man most anxious for the
Protectionist alliance, and that Normanby, who is come over, takes the
same line.

_May 7th._--The day before yesterday I met Sir Robert Peel in the
Park, and for the first time for many years had some communication
with him. He was in high spirits; asked me what I heard and what
I thought of the Lords. I told him I believed they were prepared
to pass the second reading of his Corn Bill, and meant to muster
their strength in Committee to perpetuate the 5_s._ duty. He said he
believed so too, but thought they would not carry it, because he did
not think Stanley would be a party to it, and that he is not prepared
to accept office and make a Government, as he must be if he did this.
I told him that the Protectionists had no object or desire but to
drive him out, and if they could only succeed in this, they cared
not who came in, whether there was a good or bad, or strong or weak
Government. He said he was quite aware of it, and that they could have
no difficulty in getting him out; that there never had been known
in the history of this country such a state of things, with three
parties, neither of which had sufficient strength to stand alone.
The case it most resembled was that of Lord Shelburne's Government
before the Coalition, a state of things which was brought about by
its weakness; that what was wanting was _a man_, and if Lord John had
been what last year he believed him to be, there would have been no
difficulty. This was remarkable enough from him, and I have no doubt
it is what he tells the Queen; there is a great deal of truth in it.
I told him that overtures had been made to the Whigs, that there were
men in the Whig party who wanted to have them accepted, but that John
Russell, like a man of honour and sense, had at once declared he would
have nothing to do with people with whom he had no agreement. Lord
John had in fact spoken the night before, and well, in a corresponding
sense, and Peel must have been pleased with his speech. I was not
sorry to let him know that the Whigs could get other support than his
if they chose. He replied to this, 'Yes; Lord John would rather rely
on my support than on theirs.' I told the Duke of Bedford this, and
desired him to tell Lord John.

_May 11th._ I was with Graham for two hours yesterday, and talked
about the whole state of affairs, telling him their real condition
and the strenuous endeavours that were making to retain a fixed duty.
He said, come what might, he and Peel would be no parties to it. He
is convinced that Stanley will and must take the Government if he
succeeds in making this alteration in the Committee of the Lords. I
told him I was convinced he did not mean to try to form a Government.
Graham thinks he would be lost as a public man if he shrank from it.
I said Lord Derby with 60,000_l._ a year, and the finest debater in
Parliament, could never be lost. I suggested the possible case of
this alteration accepted as a compromise by all the Protectionists in
the House of Commons, and what then? It had not struck him so much
before; but he thought, if Palmerston could be got to join Stanley,
a Government on this basis might be formed and stand, though there
would then be a strong Opposition with Peel and John Russell acting in
concert if not united, and a good stand-up fight. He said he should
like to see such a combination and such a Government, and he thinks
now that there is no solution of the present difficulties but through
the attempt and the failure of a Protectionist Ministry; that is, of
course, supposing the Bill to be mutilated.


But a great part of our conversation turned on the Factory Bill on
Wednesday next, and on John Russell's vote on it, together with
the votes of those who go with him. He thinks this a matter of the
greatest importance, and one which will have a most serious effect on
future events. John Russell's extraordinary change of opinion on this
question is now producing the most disastrous effects. It will not
improbably determine the resignation of the Government, if carried
against them, though they will not stir till the Corn Law question is
decided; but as the Protectionists will vote against Government in
a body merely to turn out Peel, if they are beaten it will be by a
union of John Russell with them, the majority avowedly being animated
(though he may not be) by mere hostility to the Minister. Graham said
that this would be most unfortunate in every way for the Whigs, the
disunion of the leaders on such a vital question, the separation of
the manufacturing interest from them, and the difference it could not
fail to make in Peel's future relations with the Government of John
Russell if he did come in; he added that their conduct indeed would be
the same in reference to the measures of the Government, but that the
feeling would be necessarily different.

_May 21st._--Last week the debate in the House of Commons came to a
close at last, wound up by a speech of Disraeli's, very clever, in
which he hacked and mangled Peel with the most unsparing severity,
and positively tortured his victim. It was a miserable and degrading
spectacle. The whole mass of the Protectionists cheered him with
vociferous delight, making the roof ring again; and when Peel spoke,
they screamed and hooted at him in the most brutal manner. When he
vindicated himself, and talked of honour and conscience, they assailed
him with shouts of derision and gestures of contempt. Such treatment
in a House of Commons where for years he had been an object of
deference and respect, nearly overcame him. The Speaker told me that
for a minute and more he was obliged to stop, and for the first time
in his life, probably, he lost his self-possession; and the Speaker
thought he would have been obliged to sit down, and expected him to
burst into tears. They hunt him like a fox, and they are eager to run
him down and kill him in the open, and they are full of exultation at
thinking they have nearly accomplished this object. It is high time
such a state of things should finish. To see the Prime Minister and
leader in the House of Commons thus beaten and degraded, treated with
contumely by three-fourths of the party he has been used to lead,
is a sorry sight, and very prejudicial to the public weal. He is no
longer able to conduct the business of the country in Parliament. It
matters not what the Government proposes; the Protectionists are ready
to oppose anything and everything for the mere pleasure of beating
it, and defeats are only prevented by the grudging, lukewarm, casual
support of the Whigs, who, many of them, desire no better than to see
the Government in difficulties. Such is the deplorable state of things
in the House of Commons. Meanwhile the greatest doubt and anxiety
prevail among the friends of the Bill as to its success in Committee,
and the Protectionists are full of confidence that they shall succeed
in making the alterations they contemplate. There is an active
attempt going on to bring about this end by a coalition of a part
of the Whigs with the whole of the Protectionists, and the greatest
lies are unscrupulously told to advance it. Among others, stories
are circulated of the Duke of Wellington's undisguised wish that
the Bill may not pass. It is true enough that he dislikes the whole
concern, and laments over the breaking up of his party, but it is
false that he has ever said anything to induce anybody to oppose the
measure; and having consented to act in the cause, he is sure to prove
faithful to it. It is from conversations here and there one gathers
the secret wishes of different parties. Lady Ashley, who of course
speaks the sentiments of Palmerston House, told me the other night
that she was convinced this would be the end of the contest, and that
John Russell would be induced to acquiesce in the compromise, which
would be agreeable to many of the Whigs, and would bring about a union
between them and the Protectionists. She said that Palmerston would
not separate from John Russell and take this line alone; but that Lord
John would (she was persuaded) go with him. Last night Cecil Forester,
who passes every evening with Bessborough at Mrs. Lane Fox's, told me
the same thing; and he said that the Whig party was not less disunited
than the Tory party; so that there is a sort of intrigue on foot
adding to the general confusion, and indicating the discordance of
opinions and objects which undoubtedly prevails among the Whigs. The
Ministers, however, are confident the Bill will pass; and Aberdeen
told Delane the other day that they have made up their minds to employ
all the means the forms of Parliament will admit of, and, if beaten in
Committee, to restore the integrity of the measure on the report. This
design is already bruited about, but the Protectionists maintain that
it is impossible; that the Government will not attempt it, and would
not succeed if they did.


_June 1st._--So entirely occupied with Epsom all last week, that I
had not a moment of time to attend to politics. I must, therefore,
now that I have an interval of leisure, narrate briefly what I ought
to have recorded at the time more in detail. On May 21, I mentioned
the sanguine hopes and expectations of the Protectionists, which were
suddenly and entirely overthrown by a bold, judicious, and successful
move of John Russell's. It reached his ears, from various quarters,
that certain proceedings, very like intrigues, were going on,
principally hatched at Palmerston House, and that it was confidently
asserted by Protectionists and by Whigs who wanted to coalesce with
the Protectionists, that a compromise and a coalition would certainly
be brought about, to which he (John Russell) would be a party. He
resolved at once and decisively to crush these hopes, and put an end
to such reports. He accordingly begged Lord Lansdowne to convoke a
meeting of Whig Peers at Lansdowne House, for the purpose of deciding
what they should do. This was very unpalateable to the malcontents;
but Lord Lansdowne did it. The meeting was attended by about sixty
Peers, all who were in London, and by John Russell, Labouchere,
and Palmerston. Lord John made a very stout speech, announcing his
intention to support the measure _in toto_, saying he had once been
for a fixed duty, which would then have settled the question, but
would not do so now; and after the course Peel had taken, it would be
inconsistent with his personal and political honour to be a party to
any attempt to alter or mutilate it. Lord Fitzwilliam spoke, and said
he had always been for a fixed duty, but that the time was come when
he thought he ought to waive his own opinion and join in promoting
the success of the measure as it was, and that he was ready to make
this sacrifice. Melbourne made a bitter speech against Peel, and said
that as he saw everybody was resolved to take what he considered a
very mischievous course, he should not separate from his friends, but
would assist in doing the mischief. There was some discontent evinced,
but little or no disunion. Lord De Mauley declared he would vote in
Committee against the Bill; but the rest were nearly unanimous. Lord
Clarendon said that it was very desirable they should be apprised
of the intentions of the Government, and that he was authorised to
make them known to the meeting. He had had a conversation with the
Chancellor, who had told him that the Government were resolved,
in the event of any alteration being made in Committee, to have
recourse to the expedient of restoring the original clauses on the
report, and that he was at liberty to communicate to his friends
this determination. Normanby protested in strong terms against such
a course, and declared he would oppose it. On this, Lord Cottenham
rose, and made a speech, setting forth that it was justifiable both
on precedent and principle, and he was supported by Lord Campbell
so strongly that the meeting generally acquiesced in their views.
This meeting and the result of it was speedily bruited through the
town, and nothing could exceed the despair and mortification of the
Protectionists at the news. It at once extinguished the hopes even of
the most sanguine. The Duchess of Beaufort, of all men or women the
most violent, owned to me that their game was up; their depression was
in exact proportion to their previous elation.


On the Monday came on the debate in the Lords, very creditably
conducted. Stanley made, by the acknowledgement of everybody, a
magnificent speech. Palmerston told me it was far the best he ever
made, and that nobody could make a better. Lord Lansdowne told
somebody it was the finest speech he ever heard in Parliament.
He spoke for three hours--with the exception of a few strong
expressions--restraining his temper, and speaking of his former
colleagues in decent and respectful terms. Ashburton spoke well
on his side; on the other, the two best speeches were Clarendon's
and Dalhousie's;[129] both very good, particularly the latter. He
will be a very leading man, for he is popular, pleasing, and has a
virgin, unsoiled reputation, nothing to apologise for, and nothing to
recant; and he is a good man of business and an excellent speaker.
The majority was pretty much what was expected, and is considered
conclusive as to the Committee.

    [Footnote 129: [James Andrew, tenth Earl of Dalhousie, born
    in 1812. This prediction was amply verified. He was appointed
    Governor-General of India by the Whig Government in 1847, and
    continued to fill that great office with consummate ability till
    1856. He was raised to the rank of Marquis of Dalhousie in 1849,
    but he returned from India in broken health and died in 1860, at
    the early age of forty-eight.]]

_June 14th._--All last week at Ascot at a house of Lady Mary
Berkeley's with a racing party. I won the Emperor's Cup with Alarm,
but won little more than 2,000_l._ on it: small compensation for the
loss of the Derby last year, which would have made me independent
and allowed me to quit office and be my own master. It was a moment
of excitement and joy when I won this fine piece of plate, in the
midst of thousands of spectators; but that past, there returned the
undying consciousness of the unworthiness of the pursuit, filling my
thoughts, hopes, and wishes to the exclusion of all other objects and
occupations, agitating me, rendering me incapable of application,
thought, and reflexion, and paralysing my power of reading or busying
myself with books of any kind. All this is very bad and unworthy of a
reasonable creature. I ought to throw off these trammels, and abandon
a pursuit so replete with moral mischief to me. Ibrahim Pacha was at
Ascot on the Cup day, and desired to shake hands with me when I won
the Cup. He is a coarse-looking ruffian, and his character is said not
to belie his countenance.

The past week has been occupied by the Irish Coercion Bill in the
House of Commons, on which George Bentinck made a furious and
outrageous speech, attacking Peel with a coarseness and virulence
which disgusted all but those to whom scurrility and insolence are
particularly palateable. Stanley was very much annoyed at it, and
nothing could be more injurious to the Protectionist party than such
a speech from their elected leader. The gist of it was an accusation
of his having 'hunted Mr. Canning to death' nineteen years ago. Peel
replied on Friday night with a moderation that savoured of lowness of
tone, and, as the House was with him, he had a fine opportunity for
annihilating George Bentinck, if he had chosen to do so. He treated
him much too leniently, but he vindicated himself in the matter of
Canning with great success, and he is really indebted to his opponent
for having given him the opportunity of doing so. I had myself been
always under the impression that he had behaved very ill to Canning,
and that he had avowed a change of opinion antecedent to his refusal
to join him when he formed his Government in 1827; but he certainly
proved that this was not the case, and made out that his refusal
to join Canning was almost inevitable in his position. It was his
misfortune to be the leader and advocate of a cause which was rapidly
declining, but which it was becoming dangerous to sustain any longer.
It should not be forgotten that when Canning took office it was with
the understanding, probably with a stipulation, that he should not
urge the Catholic question, and he never attempted to advance it.


Stanley got a tremendous dressing on Friday night from Grey, and still
more from Brougham, who spoke, they say, in his very best House of
Commons style, cutting up Stanley with admirable wit, and keeping
the House of Lords in a roar at his expense for three-quarters of an
hour, the very thing that would annoy him the most. He had been very
arrogant about his own speech, talking of nobody having answered it,
though the many fallacies it contained had been exposed and refuted
over and over again. There are now again all sorts of reports and
speculations about Peel's destiny and his intentions. Some fancy that,
notwithstanding the declared opposition of George Bentinck and John
Russell, the Coercion Bill will be carried, and again, that if it
is lost, he will dissolve instead of resigning. I think nothing of
either report, and am persuaded he will be beaten and will resign.
The best thing for him would be to resign without being beaten, and
if the Corn Bill passes the Lords in the next few days he may still
do this. But I cannot make out that he and his friends are taking
the right and dignified view of their position. They are very angry
with the Whigs for opposing the Coercion Bill, and a very bitter and
acrimonious conversation took place at Lady Peel's the other evening
between Aberdeen and Clarendon, the former attacking the party of
the latter and their conduct in respect to this Bill in terms wholly
unwarrantable. It was a curious outbreak of temper, because Aberdeen
and Clarendon have always been great friends, and the latter has
constantly abstained from any opposition to his foreign policy, and
lent himself on all occasions to any explanation he desired to make
in the House of Lords, a forbearance and assistance not palateable to
many of his own friends. Clarendon was very indignant, and poured in
a broadside in reply; but they cooled afterwards, parted amicably, and
Aberdeen next day wrote him a friendly note.

Clarendon told me yesterday that John Russell had done himself an
injury by letting it be seen how anxious he is to go back into office,
and that what the Speaker had said to me about his cold and uncordial
support of Peel was felt and disliked by many others. He is not aware
how little he is regarded in the country in comparison with Peel, or,
if aware of it, the consciousness rankles in his mind, and embitters
his naturally sour feelings against Peel. While Peel is thus tottering
and about to fall, there is a disposition in the great towns, London
included, to get up a manifestation in his favour, and to present
addresses to him begging him not to resign.

_June 19th._--A day or two after Peel's speech in reply to George
Bentinck, Disraeli came down and renewed the fight not without effect,
treating Peel's defence of himself as an attack on George Bentinck,
who could not speak again. Dizzy undertook to speak for him. It
was a labour of love to him, and he accordingly delivered a bitter
philippic against Peel, reviewing the charge of George Bentinck and
supporting it with a mass of fresh evidence culled out of Hansard,
and worked very adroitly into a plausible and formidable attack, and
again putting Peel on his defence. It was to the last degree virulent,
but very able, and considerably effective. Peel rose (as it was said
very much annoyed), begged the House to suspend its judgement, and
promised a future and full explanation. The Protectionists have ever
since been uproarious, and their papers have teemed with articles
abusive of Peel. The Whigs, though more reserved and decorous in their
language, are not indisposed to chime in, and treat the matter as a
serious blow very damaging to Peel, and in short rejoice greatly in
the injury which they think his character sustains, and whisper to the
same effect as the Protectionists go bawling about. Meanwhile Peel
has buckled on his armour, and declared that to-night he will make
his defence. It is certainly a great occasion, and he has always
rejoiced in personal altercation. If he has a clear conscience and
a good case, this is the moment for his firing with effect upon his
assailants, and he ought to take a far higher tone than he has ever
yet done. It is at all events a curious and exciting exhibition, and
wonderfully interesting to see how he comes out of it. There are
generally in all matters of this sort various important details which
it is impossible to produce, and I have little doubt that such is the
case here. The real reason why so many of Canning's colleagues refused
to serve under him in 1827 was that they had a bad opinion of him, and
would not trust him. They knew of his intriguing, underhand practices,
and though for the sake of not breaking up the party they would have
gone on with him, some other person being head of the Government,
they would not consent to his assuming that powerful and responsible
post. This was a reason they did not and could not give at the time,
and which it would be still more impossible to give now; and it is
exceedingly possible that they, Peel as well as others, may have given
reasons for their refusal which, though containing a part of the
truth, did not contain the whole truth. Nothing is so difficult as to
analyse such a case at such a distance of time, and, where something
must be concealed, to present it in a perfect shape to public
discussion. I well remember the correspondence between the Duke and
Canning at the time, and how very much the Duke had the best of it,
the sincerity and straightforwardness of the one appearing to great
advantage against the finessing of the other. They knew very well that
Canning was secretly negotiating with Brougham and Wilson.


_June 20th._--Though ill with the gout, I made shift to hobble down
to the House of Commons to hear Peel's defence last night. It was
very triumphant, crushing George Bentinck and Disraeli, and was
received with something like enthusiasm by the House. George Bentinck
rose, in the midst of a storm of cheers at the end of Peel's speech,
which lasted some minutes, in a fury which his well-known expression
revealed to me, and, with the dogged obstinacy which super-eminently
distinguishes him, and a no less characteristic want of tact and
judgement, against all the feelings and sympathies of the House,
endeavoured to renew and insist upon his charges. Nothing could be
more injurious to himself and his party. I never heard him speak
before, and was induced to stay for five minutes out of curiosity. I
was surprised at his self-possession and fluency, and his noise and
gesticulation were even greater than I was prepared for. John Russell
spoke handsomely of Peel, and so did Morpeth, which was very wise of
them and will be very useful. Nothing could be more miserable than
the figure which the choice pair, George Bentinck and Disraeli, cut;
and they got pretty well lectured from different sides of the House,
but not half so well as they ought and might have been. However, this
affair has been of great service to Peel, and sheds something of
lustre over his last days. The abortive attempt to ruin his character,
which has so signally failed and recoiled on the heads of his
accusers, has gathered round him feelings of sympathy which will find
a loud and general echo in the country.



    Fall of Sir Robert Peel--Lord John's Interview with
    Peel--Lord John and the Duke--Lord Clarendon and Lord
    Aberdeen--Favourable Position of the new Ministry--Lord
    Melbourne's Disappointment--Smooth Water--Generous Conduct
    of Lord Aberdeen--Restoration of Magistrates removed from
    the Commission as Repealers--The Irish Arms Bill--Distrust
    of Lord Palmerston--The Arms Bill given up--The Bishop of
    Oxford's Exhortations--Differences with France--An Exchange of
    Appointments--Squabble between Lord George Bentinck and Lord
    Lyndhurst--Macaulay on Junius--Lord Chesterfield--Bretby and
    Woburn--Lord John Russell's Moderation--The Spanish Marriage--Bad
    Faith of the French Government--Unanimous Censure of the Spanish
    Marriages--Lord Bessborough in Ireland--Correspondence on the
    Spanish Marriages--Council of the Duchy--The Annexation of Cracow
    to Austria--Action of Lewis Ferrand--Strange Intrigue imputed to
    Louis Philippe--Conversation with Count Jarnac on the Spanish
    Marriages--The Queen and Sir Robert Peel--M. Guizot's Note on the
    Spanish Marriages--Decoration of the Peninsular Soldiers--State of

_London, July 4th, 1846._--The day after I went to the House of
Commons, I was much worse, and an attack of fever and gout came on,
such as I never had in my life before. It was during the worst of
my illness that the divisions took place in both Houses, and Peel's
resignation.[130] I need not fatigue myself with writing details which
are generally known, and will be recorded in a hundred places. A few
of the general impressions either less known or more evanescent, it
will suffice to notice. Peel fell with great _éclat_, and amidst
a sort of halo of popularity; but his speech on the occasion,
and a great occasion it was, if he had made the most of it, gave
inexpressible offence, and was, I think, very generally condemned.
Almost every part of it offended somebody; but his unnecessary
panegyric of Cobden, his allusion to the selfish monopolists, and his
clap-trap about cheap bread in the peroration, exasperated to the last
degree his former friends and adherents, were unpalateable to those he
has kept, were condemned by all parties indiscriminately, and above
all deeply offended the Duke of Wellington. He might have wound up
with something much more becoming, dignified, and conciliatory; but
his taste, or his temper, or his judgement, were completely in fault,
and he marred all the grace and dignity of his final address, and
left a bad, when he might so easily have stamped a good, impression.
With this exception his conduct has been admirable, and has won the
esteem of his successors. Such a transfer of power from one Minister
to another the world never saw before--no rivalry, no mortification,
no disappointment, no triumph, no coldness; all has been civility,
cordiality, and the expression of feelings, not merely amicable, but


Lord John Russell went to Peel and was with him an hour. The Duke of
Bedford told me the conversation was most curious; on Peel's part,
cordial and unreserved, open beyond anything that Lord John could
have expected, telling him everything that it could be useful to
him to know, much more than he need have done; unqualified promises
of support, and, in short, everything that was most handsome and
satisfactory. He said he would tell me more details another day. Not
long after, Lord John called on the Duke of Wellington, who received
him with equal frankness and cordiality, talked over everything that
had passed, said that his own political career was at an end, that
his age and the progress of events would deter him from ever taking
a part any more, that he should speak no more in the House of Lords,
except upon matters relating to his own department, or such questions
as Gough's and Hardinge's pensions; talked of Peel, and said he did
not believe he contemplated ever coming back to office, and did not
think he ever could. This conversation was just as satisfactory as
the other. About the same time Clarendon had a conversation with
Aberdeen similar in spirit and meaning. Aberdeen told him that they
might count upon both his support and Peel's; that though it was
impossible to foresee every political contingency and necessity that
might occur, both he and Peel quitted office with a resolution never
to take it again; that they were no longer young, and the labours and
anxieties of office were so great that they had no desire ever again
to encounter them. He told Clarendon, moreover, that, of all the new
Cabinet, it was to _him_ that the Queen and the Prince looked with
the greatest confidence. They cared little for any of the others, but
had a great opinion of him, and a great reliance on him, and mainly
counted on his judgement and influence to make matters go on smoothly
abroad. He said that Peel entertained the same opinion, and had said
that Clarendon in the Cabinet was the best security for peace. This,
for which Clarendon was not at all prepared, it was very kind of
Aberdeen to tell him, and it is certainly very important, and gives
him a fund of secret strength and influence, which may hereafter be
very valuable and important to him. To me it is all intelligible
enough. The Queen and Prince care more about foreign affairs than
anything else, and have always had more to do with Aberdeen than
any of the Ministers, except Peel. Throughout Aberdeen's foreign
administration, Clarendon has constantly acted in concert with him,
and has made his position in the House of Lords a bed of roses. Never
was there a Minister for Foreign Affairs who had such an easy time
of it. He no doubt talked often of Clarendon to the Queen, praised
his sense and moderation, and acknowledged his constant obligations
to him. This (added probably to a liking for his society) created
a favourable impression. Small as is the direct authority of the
Sovereign, it is by no means inconvenient or unimportant to have her
preference and good will. It is a source of strength, and it may often
turn a balance; in short, it is a very good thing and may possibly
hereafter be turned to great account. In spite of small difficulties,
rival pretensions, dissatisfactions, and disappointments here and
there, the formation of the Government has gone on smoothly. Lord
Grey made no difficulties, but, on the contrary, was conciliatory, and
apologetical. He said everything was changed since last December, and
he owned that he had often been in the wrong when he had disturbed the
harmony of the Cabinet in Lord Melbourne's time.

The Protectionists don't seem to know what to do; they are more
indignant than ever with Peel; they are disgusted at their overtures
not being accepted by the Whig Government; they are provoked
exceedingly at places having been offered to Dalhousie, Sidney
Herbert, and Lincoln, thus marking more strongly the determination of
John Russell to look for support to Peel and his friends, and not to
them. Nevertheless their organ and whipper-in, Major Beresford, told
one of the Whig people (to be told to Lord John) that after having
contributed to drive Peel out, and thereby forced the Government on
Lord John, they should not feel justified in raising any opposition
to his Government, so that, in fact, for the present there is no
Opposition of any sort or kind; everybody seems to be acquiescent, and
the swords are universally sheathed. So curious a change in so short a
time was never seen. A few weeks ago hundreds of people fancied Peel
would never go out, they could not tell why, but they insisted that
the difficulty of forming another Government, and its weakness when
formed, would be insurmountable. If Lord John came in, how was he to
stay in? everybody asked, and the most sanguine Whigs did not pretend
to answer and explain how, and generally professed no wish to turn out
Peel. Well, Lord John comes in, forms a very strong Government with
unparalleled facility, receives every assistance and every assurance
of support from the Ministers he has turned out, finds himself not
only without an organised Opposition in Parliament, but without an
enemy or a malcontent in any quarter. His advent to power is received,
in the country at least, with acquiescence, if not with delight; he
has no difficulties to encounter, no legacy of embarrassments to
perplex him, and as far as all appearances go, his Government is, and
for some time at least promises to be, the strongest the country has
ever seen.[131]

    [Footnote 130: [The third reading of the Corn Bill was carried in
    the House of Lords on June 25; but on the same night the Ministers
    were defeated in the House of Commons on the second reading of the
    Irish Coercion Bill by a majority of 292 to 219. Sir Robert Peel
    announced to the House on June 29 that he had resigned office, and
    that Lord John Russell had undertaken to form a new Administration.
    It was on this occasion that Sir Robert Peel delivered his
    celebrated eulogy of Richard Cobden. The concluding words of his
    speech on that night were afterwards inscribed on the base of one
    of the numerous statues raised in honour of this great Minister.]]

    [Footnote 131: [Lord John Russell's Administration, which lasted
    from June 1846 till February 1852, was composed as follows:

      First Lord of the Treasury            Lord John Russell.
      Lord Chancellor                       Lord Cottenham.
      Lord President of the Council         Marquis of Lansdowne.
      Lord Privy Seal                       Earl of Minto.
      Chancellor of the Exchequer           Sir Charles Wood.
      Home Secretary                        Sir George Grey.
      Foreign Secretary                     Viscount Palmerston.
      Colonial Secretary                    Earl Grey.
      Secretary at War                      Right Hon. Fox Maule.
      Board of Control                      Sir John Hobhouse.
      Board of Trade                        Earl of Clarendon.
      Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster  Lord Campbell.
      Postmaster-General                    Marquis of Clanricarde.
      First Lord of the Admiralty           Lord Auckland.
      Lord Lieutenant of Ireland            Earl of Bessborough.
      Chief Secretary for Ireland           Mr. Labouchere (who afterwards
                                            succeeded Lord Dalhousie as
                                            Vice-President of the Board
                                            of Trade).]]


_July 9th._--The Duke of Bedford comes here most days and tells me
what is going on, but the only thing worth recording is what he told
me about Melbourne, which is curious. It seems he was mortified at
not having a place offered him in the new Cabinet! It came out thus.
The Duke was with George Anson, when the latter showed him a letter
he had received from Melbourne, in which he said that nothing had
been offered to him; and though he could not have taken a very active
employment (such as Secretary of State, for instance), that there were
places he might have held, and of which he should have liked at least
to have had the offer. The Duke told Lord John, and Lord John took an
opportunity, without appearing to know anything of this letter, to
write to Melbourne and tell him the arrangements he had made, and then
added that he had not proposed to him to take any office, because he
knew that it was essential to his health that he should abstain from
taking any active part in politics, and this alone had deterred him
from proposing to him to be Privy Seal. This pacified him; but how
extraordinary his thinking of office, and, after having been Prime
Minister, to wish to join his old colleagues in a subordinate capacity
and under another head!

_July 14th._--All things have apparently gone very smoothly with
the new Government. They have been everywhere re-elected without
difficulty, and there seems universal contentment in the country. Lord
John Russell was extraordinarily well received in the City the other
day at a great dinner given to Ibrahim Pasha, and they have concluded
an alliance with the leviathan of the press--the 'Times'--which
gives them a temperate, judicious, but very useful support. The
'Morning Chronicle' is furious at seeing the position of the 'Times'
_vis-à-vis_ of the Government, and the editor went to John Russell
to remonstrate, but he got no satisfaction. He merely replied he did
not wish to have any _Government_ paper, but could not repudiate the
support of the 'Times.' He remembers that the 'Morning Chronicle' was
the paper of Palmerston, devoted exclusively to him, and not that of
the Government. Aberdeen has behaved beautifully to Palmerston. He
desired to have an interview with him, when he said, 'When I came
into office five years ago, you wanted to come back again and turn me
out, and you accordingly attacked me in every way you could, as you
had a perfect right to do. Circumstances are very different now. I do
not want to turn you out, and I never mean to come into office again,
and I am therefore come to tell you that I am ready to give you every
information that may be of use to you, and every assistance I can. I
have been so long in office that there are many matters of interest,
on which it may be of great use to you to receive information from me;
and if you will ask me any questions, I will tell you all I can that
you may desire to know, and everything that occurs to me as desirable
you should know.' Palmerston was exceedingly touched at this frank
and generous behaviour, and they had a conversation of two hours.
Nothing can be more honourable and more patriotic than this. One feels
a pride and satisfaction in such examples among our public men. It is
peculiarly generous in Aberdeen, because Palmerston has incessantly
assailed him with great bitterness, and (though he failed) endeavoured
to bring his administration of Foreign Affairs into discredit and


_Brighton, July 18th._--The Government have begun very well; they got
a large majority on Gough's and Hardinge's annuities in the House of
Lords; the Duke of Wellington very friendly and speaking very well. In
the House of Commons, in reply to interpellations of Tom Duncombe's
and Denison's, Lord John made a very clever and judicious speech,
declaratory of his principles and intentions. However, there is a
question now in agitation, which, I think, will be very injurious
to the Government; it is that of restoring the Repeal magistrates
removed by the late Government. They propose to restore the Orangemen
also, but there are only four of the latter and sixty of the former.
It was to be discussed in the Cabinet yesterday, and, I fear, would
be decided in the affirmative, for all the Irish Government and a
majority of the English seem to be for it. I can conceive nothing so
calculated to excite and knit together the Tories in opposition, and
I believe it would have a very bad effect here; besides, it would
make it impossible for them to dismiss any man again, no matter how
violent his language or conduct. It will infallibly be represented as
an indication of the intention of the Government to administer Irish
affairs through and in conjunction with Conciliation Hall; and it is
impossible it should not give encouragement to Repeal, when it is
found that the profession of Repeal principles is no longer considered
as a disqualification, but is, to say the least of it, tolerated
by the Government. The Protectionists, while professing amicable
sentiments towards the new Government, disclaiming all desire to turn
them out, and talking of a fair trial, are all the time very busy in
rallying and remodelling the party, and desire nothing better than a
good and popular ground of opposition. I do not know any that could be
offered to them more plausible and available than this.

_August 13th._--I had no inclination to write while I was at Brighton
and Goodwood, and have had little or nothing to say since I came to
town. At Goodwood, Lord Stanley was laid up with the gout; the Duke
of Richmond was as violent and talkative as usual, and incessantly
clamouring against Peel, the renegades, and the Bill, and arranging
'Cabinets' to be held in Stanley's bedroom, with his Protectionist
friends--George Bentinck, Beaufort, Stradbroke, and Eglinton,
Stanley's new friends! The Government got a much better division in
the House of Commons on the sugar duties than they expected, but the
Lords were very near playing them a very shabby trick. Lord Stanley
and his party had a meeting, at which they resolved not to divide in
the Lords. This resolution Stanley imparted to Bessborough, and begged
him to arrange matters in such a manner as to enable him to get away
to Scotland as soon as possible. This Bessborough did, and he got the
House of Commons to sit on Saturday (very unusual), in order to send
the Bill up to the Lords on Monday, and then to take the debate (also
unusual) on the _first_ reading. Meanwhile, Brougham, who had gone
to Westmoreland, returned, intending to speak and to divide on the
Bill. The debate came on with a general understanding there should
be no division. Stanley made a speech, and so did Brougham, and, at
the end of the night, Stanley said that though he had no intention of
dividing the House, if anybody else did, he should vote with them.
The Government was in a minority in the House, and in a great fright
they sent emissaries all over the town to bring Peers down. The Duke
of Devonshire was brought from the Opera, and Granville from his bed,
and they got enough to make it not worth while for the Opposition to

This matter is settled, but there is another still pending, much
more serious, and which has occasioned great discontent among the
friends of Government, great perplexity to the Government itself, and
done much mischief. This is the Irish Arms Bill, which Labouchere
has proposed to renew for nine months. The resolution to do this
was hastily taken, without much consideration on the part of the
Government, without consulting their friends, and in consequence of
the unanimous opinion of the Irish Government, law officers and all,
that it is necessary. When this opinion was notified to John Russell,
he at once assented to the renewal, though not liking it. It was very
ill-received by his adherents, and has thrown the Government into
great embarrassment. They are now trying to make it palateable by
cancelling some of the strongest clauses, the effect of which is to
exasperate Bessborough[132] (who talks of not going unless they are
retained) without much conciliating others. It is not yet settled how
it is to end, but everybody connected with the Government feels that
it has been a very unfortunate and damaging occurrence.


X---- has been here this morning to talk of this and many other things.
He says that already many disagreeable things are occurring, and
there are elements of disunion and causes of danger in operation. The
first of these originates with Palmerston. The French complain that
Palmerston has already begun to disturb the harmony which subsisted
in Aberdeen's time, and to alter the amicable relations which the
latter had established. They complain of his tone and manner, and of
what he was saying and doing at Madrid in reference to Louis Philippe,
who was in a state of violent excitement on the subject, so much so
that he had suddenly sent for Guizot, who was one hundred miles off,
and ordered Jarnac[133] to repair to Paris. Jarnac asked if he might
see Lord John and speak to him on the subject. He said he knew how
jealous Palmerston was of any diplomatic communications with anybody
but himself. Lord John, however, consented to receive him; but Jarnac
being meanwhile ordered off to Paris, did not see Lord John till his
return. He then told him several things, I know not what, which it
seems Lord John was not previously aware of, and he promised to speak
to Palmerston on the subject. X---- said Lord John was well disposed
to interfere in foreign affairs, and indeed as a Prime Minister
ought in every department; but what he feared was that he would not
find time, and that he would be overwhelmed with the multifarious
functions that were heaped upon him, the endless correspondence, the
innumerable deputations, and the attendance in the House of Commons,
where, for example, he was kept yesterday from twelve in the morning
to twelve at night. All this he thinks will be too much for his
health and strength, and above all will baffle his good intention of
overlooking and controlling the other departments. It appears that
he has got on very good terms with the Queen, whose displeasure has
subsided. The Ministers, however, find the Prince in a very different
situation from that in which they left him, more prominent, more
important, with increased authority. This was the result of Peel's
and Aberdeen's administration, and their continual care and attention
to all his wishes and the Queen's. They must take things as they
find them. These details show that even in so short a time, under
all the apparent smoothness on the surface, there are jealousies and
suspicions rankling, and difficulties preparing, which may at any time
break out and shake the Government to pieces. If this catastrophe
happens, Palmerston will be the cause of it; he is evidently
dissatisfied and suspicious, and his colleagues are suspicious of him.
The Protectionists are dying to entice him on their side; his family
desire no better, and would like of all things to see the Whig Cabinet
fall to pieces, and a Protectionist Cabinet formed, with Palmerston
its leader in the House of Commons. Such a combination is by no means
impossible, hardly improbable.

    [Footnote 132: [Lord Bessborough had just been declared
    Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. Not long before he had declared that
    Ireland could not be governed without restrictive measures; but it
    was on the Irish Coercion Bill that the Whigs had turned out the
    late Government.]]

    [Footnote 133: [Philippe de Rohan Chabot, Comte de Jarnac, was at
    this time First Secretary of the French Embassy in London.]]

_August 18th._--Last night John Russell gave up the Arms Bill
altogether. It was the best course he had left; but it has been an
unlucky affair altogether. Very bad accounts of potatoes all over the
country, nearly total destruction, in Ireland, and now the disease is
ravaging Scotland and England.


Wilberforce, Bishop of Oxford, made a very brilliant speech a few
nights ago on the Sugar Bill. As his father's son he thought it
necessary to make an Anti-Slavery oration; it was very able and
eloquent, and in tone and manner so well regulated as to show that
he has profited by the criticisms which were made on his former
speeches. He is certainly a remarkable man, full of cleverness and
vivacity, very unlike a Churchman in society and in Parliament, and
yet he must be deficient in that worldly tact which it might be
thought he would most surely have acquired. I judge of this from what
has passed between him and myself, which is certainly extraordinary.
I met him for the first time the year before last at the Grange,
where I spent a couple of days with him, and afterwards I dined once
or twice in his company, but never had much conversation with him.
One morning I met him at breakfast at Macaulay's (this year), and
shortly afterwards he asked me to breakfast with him, which I did.
This is all the intercourse I ever had with him, never amounting to
anything like intimacy. Just as I was recovering from my illness, Lord
Lansdowne sent me a letter from the Bishop about the Eton College
case,[134] which was pending before the Privy Council, entreating
an early decision of it. I put the matter in train, and a few days
after I went to Brighton. Just before I went the Bishop called at my
house, but I was out, and after I got to Brighton I heard that he had
called again, and expressed some disappointment at not having seen me.
Meanwhile I learnt that a day was fixed for the hearing of his case.
Never imagining that he had called on me for any other purpose than
to urge this matter, by no means giving him credit for any especial
interest in my health, but wishing to be very civil to him, I wrote
him a letter from Brighton, saying that I concluded he had called on
me about the Eton College case, and that I therefore wished to inform
him that a day was fixed for the argument. I received a letter from
him by return of post, in which he told me that that was not his
object in calling on me; that he had heard I had been dangerously ill,
and that he had called to tender his spiritual advice and aid, and
(in a rather commonplace style of writing) he urged me to listen to
his religious exhortations. In the whole course of my life I never
was so astonished, for he was about the last clergyman from whom I
should have expected such an overture, and my acquaintance with him
was so slight, that I could not conceive why he had selected me as
the subject of a spiritual experiment. I was not a little puzzled
how to reply to him. I determined, however, to take his letter in
excellent part, to give him credit for the best motive, to express
much gratitude, but to decline entering with him into any religious
discussion; and to give him to understand, though with great civility,
that his proposal was extraordinary and uncalled for. I think I
succeeded tolerably well; but he never took any notice of my answer,
so I do not know what he felt upon it, and I have not seen him since.

    [Footnote 134: [Eton College was a peculiar of the diocese of Ely.
    A scheme had been prepared by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners to
    transfer it to the diocese of Oxford, which Bishop Wilberforce was
    very anxious to promote. Ely objected, and the case was argued
    before the Privy Council.]]

_August 19th._--I asked Clarendon yesterday what it is they complain
of in Palmerston. He said 'Something about Spain, that we do not put
an absolute veto on a Coburg.'[135] He said the King had a monomania
on this subject, and that Guizot rather encouraged him than not, in
order that by humouring him on this point he might have his own way
on all others. As to matters going on just as they did with Aberdeen,
that is impossible, nor is it desirable, for Aberdeen transacted the
business of the two countries by private letters between himself and
Guizot, not employing his own agents at all, and consequently there is
no record whatever of this correspondence in the Foreign Office.


There was a curious occurrence in the House of Commons yesterday
morning and the evening before. George Bentinck, who employs what
is left of the Session in collecting matter for assailing the late
Government, and has brought forward divers cases of jobs or blunders
against them, made a furious attack upon the appointment to an Indian
judgeship, &c., which was a job of Lyndhurst's and Brougham's, and,
in a smaller way, of Ripon's, though after all not a very flagitious
one.[136] He fired, however, into the Treasury Bench, not caring
whom he hit provided his shot told on some of them; but Disraeli,
who has his own reasons for courting Lyndhurst, was determined to
throw a shield over him, so he got up, and (though there could be no
doubt that the real jobber, for whose pleasure it was all done, was
Lyndhurst)[137] pronounced a flaming panegyric on the ex-Chancellor,
and said there could be no doubt he would come quite clear out of the
affair. This was ridiculous enough, but in the course of the night
George Bentinck found out, as he thought, that he had made a mistake,
and that the living which he accused Ripon of having got from the
Chancellor was not in the Chancellor's gift, but in the gift of one
of Ripon's relations. Down he went to the House of Commons in a great
hurry, and begged the Speaker to call on him as soon as he took the
Chair. He got up, and retracted what he had said with all sorts of
expressions of regret, for which he got mighty credit and praise. But
he had hardly sat down when a letter was brought him with information
that he had been quite right in his original statement, that the
'Clergy List' was wrong, and the living was in the gift of the
Chancellor, and that there was nothing for him to retract.

    [Footnote 135: [Lord Palmerston had not been many days in office
    before the disputes, which culminated in the great and fatal
    quarrel about the Queen of Spain's marriage, began. The French were
    informed, and believed, that Sir Henry Bulwer, our Minister at
    Madrid, was intriguing to bring about the Queen's marriage with a
    Coburg Prince, which was a departure from the understanding entered
    into at the Château d'Eu; and the language of Lord Palmerston
    led them to believe also that the British Secretary of State was
    supporting Bulwer.]]

    [Footnote 136: [Lord Lyndhurst was accused of having made an
    exchange with Lord Ripon of an Indian judgeship for a living on
    Lord Ripon's estate; but both appointments were in themselves open
    to no sort of objection.]]

    [Footnote 137: The living was in Lord Ripon's own park, and close
    to his house. It was no more a job than when Lord Lyndhurst gave
    the living of Kenilworth to Lord Clarendon's brother, because it
    was on his own property also.]

_August 20th._--Last night Lyndhurst came down to the House of Lords,
and in a towering passion delivered a tremendous philippic against
George Bentinck for his attack on him. It was extraordinarily powerful
and eloquent, but language so bitter was hardly ever heard in the
House of Lords. The matter when sifted and explained does not after
all appear to have been much of a job, if at all. The most that can
be said is that there was something wrong in the mode of appointment;
but this appears to have been an error sanctioned by usage, and common
to all Governments.

_August 23rd._--George Bentinck, who has a sort of bulldog resolution
that nothing daunts or silences, made a reply to Lyndhurst's terrific
attack on him the previous night. He reiterated the charges and
attempted to make them out, just as he did in Peel's case, but not
very successfully. The most curious part of his speech was a strange
story he told of Lyndhurst having sent his secretary and an eminent
merchant to him on the morning of the 10th of July, with a proposition
to join Lyndhurst and certain of his colleagues in the formation of a
Government. As the speech is reported it does not appear very clearly
how, or by whom, or with what object this Government was to be formed.
This revelation, however, adds to the interest of the squabble, and
will probably elicit something more from Lyndhurst or somebody.
Disraeli, who must look and feel very foolish between his old and his
new friend, said not a word.

Yesterday morning I had a visit from Jarnac, who brought me a letter
addressed by the King to Guizot, in answer to one I had sent to Madame
de Lieven--avowedly in answer, for he says, 'I return you the letter,'
and then proceeds to comment on it. His Majesty defends himself from
the charge (which he considers as conveyed in my letter) of having
originated the article upon Clarendon, complains of his having been
misrepresented, boasts of his having refused to allow either of his
sons to marry the Queen of Spain, though it was the wish of both
Queens and of the country (I think he added of the country, but am
not quite certain), and gave many assurances of his good opinion of
Clarendon. This letter was sent over to be shown to Clarendon and to
me, and Jarnac had been with him already. Such an elaborate answer,
which the King himself took the trouble to write, shows how keenly
he felt the charge. I had a long conversation with Jarnac about this
matter, about Palmerston, the relations of the two countries and the
press, touching which he laboured to convince me that the 'Journal
des Débats' was not in the confidence of the French Government, and
that though Guizot did occasionally cause an article to be inserted
in it, the connexion of the Government with the paper was by no means
so close as I supposed. He expressed himself well satisfied with
Palmerston, and admitted that matters could not go on exactly as they
had done with Aberdeen, but might, nevertheless, be conducted very


_August 25th._--On Saturday morning Lyndhurst replied to George
Bentinck's speech, and explained the circumstances of his message,
a very clear statement, and telling a story entirely at variance
with that of George Bentinck. He produced the evidence of his
messenger (which he said he had written down from his dictation) in
corroboration of his own statement. Up to this time George Bentinck
has made no rejoinder to this. Yesterday Lyndhurst read a letter
he had received from Peel on this matter, which, though ostensibly
written to correct a misrepresentation in the 'Standard,' seems really
to have been for the purpose of making known to the world that he
refused to be any party to an attempt to reconcile the quarrel and
reconstruct the Tory party.

_The Grove, September 7th._--Went to Panshanger on Monday to meet
Rogers, Milnes, Morpeth, W. Cowper, Lady Sandwich, and some others,
pleasant enough.

There was an _Alliance_[138] meeting at Hertford on Tuesday with some
French and German orators, who harangued in English. I did not go.

I came here on Friday; half the Cabinet are here. John Russell, the
Woods, the Greys, Macaulay, very agreeable; capital talk, Macaulay
in great force. If it were possible to recollect all the stories,
anecdotes, jests, and scraps of poetry and prose he has given us, it
would all be well worth writing down. Nothing is so rare as to find
something he does not know; but he was not aware that there had
been a contest for ecclesiastical supremacy between the Archbishops
of Canterbury and York. He told me this morning that when he was in
the War Office he found what he considers a piece of corroborative
evidence to prove that Francis was Junius, or rather he found a
difficulty done away with. In one of his letters to Draper he asks him
if he did not swear that he received no other pension before he could
take his other appointments. Draper replied he took no such oath. As
Francis was a chief clerk in the War Office he must have had official
knowledge of the practice, and it seemed strange he should charge
Draper with what he must (or might) know to be untrue. But it turned
out that Draper received his pension from the Irish establishment,
where no oath was required. Francis might very well suppose that the
custom was the same in Ireland, and knowing very well what it was in
England, he would naturally think that he had caught Sir W. Draper
tripping. Macaulay said he had not a shadow of doubt that Francis was
Junius. We have been doing our best to persuade John Russell to induce
the Queen to go to Ireland, but he is very obstinate and will not hear
of it; he gives the worst reasons in the world, but there is no moving

    [Footnote 138: 'Alliance' of all Christian sects.]

_Woburn Abbey, September 16th._--To London last Monday week, on
Wednesday to Bretby, on Monday to this place. It makes me sad to see
Bretby and the mode of life there: idleness, folly, waste, and a
constant progress to ruin; a princely fortune dilapidated by sheer
indolence, because the obstinate spoiled owner will neither look
into his affairs, nor let anybody else look into them. He lies in
bed half the day, and rises to run after pleasure in whatever shape
he can pursue it; abhors business, and has no sense of duty; suffers
himself to be cheated and governed by an agent, and thus drifts away
to destruction. Such is the heir of the famous Lord Chesterfield,
and the destiny of his great estate. Here we have a very different
prospect. This great and magnificent place, which is like a kingdom,
is regulated with an order and an economy, without parsimony, which
is worthy and pleasant to behold. When the details are looked into,
the whole thing is truly vast and grand. Such magnificence in house,
park, and gardens, such buildings all over the estate, farmhouses
fit for gentlemen and intended for men of education and knowledge,
vast workshops where everything is done that is required for the
property, carpenters, ironmongers, painters and glaziers, three
hundred artificers in the employment of the Duke, and paid every
Saturday night. All this presents a striking contrast to the other
establishment, and the consequence is that the Duke of Bedford is
every day making his colossal fortune greater and greater.


Lord John went away the day I came. He is in high spirits, on good
terms with the Queen, and well satisfied with the political aspect of
his affairs. He seems very honourably and wisely disposed, meaning
well and conscientiously, with no rash designs and extravagant
projects, but, on the contrary, desirous of doing nothing but what
public opinion and public necessity really demand, and determined
to avoid all extremes, such as might rouse any great interest to
a furious opposition against him. He resists a dissolution, which
is strenuously urged upon him by Ellice and others. He seems to be
wonderfully free from any spirit of jobbing and favouritism in his
appointments of all sorts, and, without losing sight of party and
political ties and obligations, to be resolved to do what is right and
just and good for the public service. It is curious to see what good
terms he is on with the Duke of Wellington, who is much more cordial
and communicative with him than he was with his former colleagues. But
Lord John is very civil and deferential to him, and he has no reason
to find fault with the Whig Minister who always has been a Whig; he
could not forgive his old friends for their new Whiggism, which was
odious to him, and in which he found himself involved against his

They are all very much annoyed at the Montpensier marriage, and the
way in which Louis Philippe has carried his point. They say that he
has effected it by a long course of duplicity and intrigue, but that
Aberdeen had suffered the marriage question to go so far, that they
had not time or power to stop it. But Clarendon, who told me this,
had just before told me that a proposition had come from France for
some joint action about the Queen's marriage, and that Palmerston
left this unanswered for above a month. At last Clarendon received
a letter from William Hervey,[139] complaining of this, and saying
how mischievous it was, which letter he took to John Russell, and
resolved to urge him to press Palmerston to send an answer. Lord John
pulled out of his pocket one he had received from Normanby to the same
effect. He did speak to Palmerston after (or, indeed, it may have
been before) Palmerston wrote a despatch to Bulwer, which Clarendon
said was quite admirable; but long before this reached Madrid the
mischief was done. Now I find there is a difference between Palmerston
and Jarnac about some matter of fact, and on the whole matter our
Government considers that they have been deceived and ill-used, and
that the independence of Spain, in which we have an interest, is about
to be completely sacrificed. It is, however, now too late for us to
take any energetic steps to prevent this marriage, and Palmerston,
however angry, seems to take a very dispassionate and prudent view of
the situation. But there is and must be an end of the intimacy between
the two Governments, and probably between the two Courts, for the
Queen and Prince Albert partake of the indignation and resentment of
her Ministers. I confess I can feel none of the apprehensions that my
friends do. I don't believe the influence of France will be increased
in Spain by the marriage; more likely the reverse; and if it were,
I do not see how it ever can be exercised in a manner injurious to
us. There never can be a renewal of the family compact. Spain has no
colonies except Cuba and no navy, nor will have any for many years
to come; the old dangers that excited the alarm and indignation of
Chatham have long ceased to exist or to be possible. I believe that
it will be attended with no greater evil (but that is a great one)
than the revival of jealous, semi-hostile feelings between France
and England, and the termination of that state of cordiality and
confidence which have been, and would be, instrumental in maintaining
the peace of the world.

    [Footnote 139: [Lord William Hervey was then First Secretary of the
    Embassy in Paris.]]


_September 24th._--Went to Broadlands on Friday last. Palmerston
was so engaged, messengers arriving all day long, that there was
no possibility of conversing with him for some time; but on Sunday
morning, after breakfast, he gave me a very clear and succinct account
of the Spanish marriage question. He is very much disconcerted, and
very indignant at all that has taken place, and he thinks that the
consequences will be, sooner or later, very mischievous. It seems that
the question of the Montpensier marriage had been touched upon some
time ago, but Guizot gave assurances to Aberdeen, and Louis Philippe
did the same to the Queen, that there should be no question of it
till the Queen of Spain was married and had got children (in the
plural[140]). It was therefore impossible not to rely on an engagement
so positive as this. Meanwhile the different actors in this drama seem
to have been pulling different ways, and all sorts of intrigues were
going on both at Paris and Madrid. Christina wanted the Queen to marry
the Coburg Prince, and urged us to support this marriage. We refused.
Louis Philippe was violently against this match, which he affected
to consider as an English object, besides that he is not a Bourbon.
The French Government instructed Jarnac to go on offering to settle
the matter in concert with us, but at the same time, and without any
instruction to us, they were concerting the scene that was acted at
Madrid, and preparing for the simultaneous announcement of the two
marriages. Palmerston told Jarnac that we would have no concern with
the Coburg candidate as Christina wished. If we had chosen to consent
to this, and to connive at his being sent at once to Madrid and the
match concluded, Palmerston says we could have made a bargain with
Christina, and got her to prevent the Montpensier marriage, but this
would have savoured of intrigue on our part, and have been false
and underhand, the same sort of conduct that we now reproach France
for having been guilty of. Palmerston therefore said to Jarnac, 'Why
don't you at once take one of the Spanish princes, Don Francisco's
sons? Of the two, Don Enrique seems the least objectionable, and would
be preferred by Queen Isabella to his brother, whom she dislikes.
We are quite ready to concur with you in this settlement and to
communicate with the Spanish Government accordingly.' Jarnac appeared
to acquiesce, but Palmerston says that it is quite clear that this did
not suit Louis Philippe, and that he thought Enrique so much _better
a man_, better endowed morally and physically, than his brother, that
as soon as he found we were ready to join in settling such a marriage,
he sent off orders to Madrid at once to clinch the affair with the
Duke of Cadiz. All this was done without any intimation to us of his
designs; on the contrary, Jarnac was deceiving Palmerston here, at
the very time all this intrigue was working at Madrid. The nocturnal
Council was held, and the young Queen compelled, much against her
inclination, to accept as her husband a miserable creature, whom
she dislikes and despises. They told her if she did not take him
she should not be married at all. He is known to be imbecile, and
supposed to be impotent; but it is possible in this latter respect
the world may be mistaken, and that he may be the means, after all,
of continuing a race of imbeciles, of which the Royal family of Spain
has generally consisted. As to the other child, though policy would
forbid the banns, she is well enough off. The Duc de Montpensier is
probably a far better husband in all ways than she would have found
elsewhere, and to be transplanted to Paris and made a member of such a
family as that of Louis Philippe, people who have brains and hearts,
is a blessed lot for her in comparison with that of her elder sister.
But without any question the manner in which all this has been done
is odious and offensive to the last degree, and of necessity puts an
end to all the intimacy which has existed between the two Governments
and the two Courts. It has been a great damper to the Queen's
_engouement_ for the House of Orleans, for she fully enters into the
feelings and sentiments of her Ministers upon the whole question. She
wrote to the Queen of the French a letter, in which (though I suppose
in very measured terms) she made known her thoughts. We have done all
we can do with propriety and dignity in such a case. The long and
short of it is that we have been tricked and deceived, but we cannot
quarrel outright about it. We have remonstrated and given our opinion
upon it, but the matter has now proceeded too far to be stopped, and
Louis Philippe would not be such a fool as not to clutch the prize,
when he has subjected himself to all the odium, nor could he now
retract if he would.


At Madrid and in Spain the French alliance is very unpopular, but the
Government is sold to Christina; the Cabinet is nothing but a knot
of her satellites; Munoz, Isturitz, Mon, and Pidal are all leagued
together with Bresson, the French Ambassador; the Cortes is packed,
the Press is gagged; the people cannot make themselves heard. The
elements of disorder are, however, scattered about. In the midst of
a chaos of intrigue and anger and dissatisfaction, the Pretender
has escaped from France, and Narvaez has been recalled to Madrid.
He goes with the privity of the King, and the two worthies have an
understanding together; but while the wily King thinks to make the
brutal Spaniard his tool, the Spaniard, not less wily, quite as
unscrupulous, more passionate and vindictive, and swelling with an
ambition of his own, is gone back with a resolution to play a very
different part from what is expected of him--to throw over Louis
Philippe and Christina, rouse the sentiment of national independence
and hatred of France, and deliver his country from the yoke of French
domination or influence.

I saw Clarendon for a few minutes on Tuesday, who showed me a very
curious and by no means ill-written letter from Narvaez, setting forth
these designs, but saying that he must proceed with great caution
in order to ensure success. This letter was written in Spanish to
Madame Marliani at Paris (from whom and her husband he seems to
have no secrets), and she translated it into French and sent it to
Clarendon. It will be exceedingly curious to watch the progress of
these complicated affairs. Louis Philippe, while accomplishing his
darling scheme, may find that he has over-reached himself and plunged
into a sea of troubles. Both Palmerston and Clarendon attach far
greater political importance to the Montpensier marriage than I am
disposed to do; they think it will rivet French influence on Spain.
I think (though it _may_ do so) that it is more likely to arouse and
keep alive the jealousy of French influence. There can be no doubt
that it is the interest of Louis Philippe to prevent the triumph of
constitutional principles in Spain, and to make the Government as
arbitrary as he can; while it is ours to promote their ascendency,
because the more free the nation becomes, the less will they endure
the domination of France. He has seen this all along, and I have not
much doubt that what Palmerston told me about the Quadruple Alliance
is true. He said that when he proposed it to Talleyrand, the latter
jumped at it. He said, 'This is the very thing we most desire. What I
want is to sign something, no matter what, with you, that our names
should appear together in some public act demonstrative of our union.'
Accordingly the Quadruple treaty was signed. It answered the end. The
other Governments took alarm at the union between France and England,
and began to make advances to France. Then Louis Philippe, having got
all the good he expected out of this treaty, turned his thoughts to
the object of improving his relations with the other Powers who had
hitherto treated him so coldly. Pozzo went to him and remonstrated
with him on the Quadruple treaty, and he replied (so Palmerston says),
'Mon cher, je vous donne ma parole d'honneur que je n'ai signé le
traité que pour ne pas l'exécuter.' It seems hardly credible that
he should have so broadly announced his intentions, but whether he
said it or no, he acted in exact conformity with the speech that is
attributed to him, for it was nothing but the connivance of the French
Government in the transport of stores from France to the Carlists
which kept the war alive so long, and as soon as that connivance
ceased the war was brought to an end. Jarnac tells people here that
Palmerston wanted the Coburg alliance, which is certainly false, and
he must know it to be so. He went down to Broadlands the other day
with M. Dumont, and on that occasion Palmerston is said to have told
him that 'it was the first time a King of France had broken his word,'
but it is hardly possible he should have said this, though it may be


Between this Spanish question and the increasing destitution in
Ireland, the Government are very uneasy, and Lord John particularly
is very nervous and alarmed. They are now discussing the question of
calling Parliament together in order to ask for money, for the Irish
are clamorous for money, and Lord John is indisposed to make any
considerable advances without the sanction of Parliament, but it would
be very unpopular and very impolitic to assemble Parliament, and for
such a purpose.

    [Footnote 140: They say 'had issue,' which means _a_ child.]

    [Footnote 141: It was true.]

_October 7th._--At the Grove the last two days, with Lord
and Lady Lansdowne, Panizzi, and a Spaniard with a name like
this--Buschenthal,[142] really an Alsatian, I believe, and the
Hollands. Clarendon told me some things I had not heard before
relating to the Spanish and other questions; among others about the
Queen and Palmerston, which is remarkable, because it proves two
things: one, that the Queen takes a more serious and prominent part
in business than I was aware of; and the other, that Palmerston's
independent action in the Foreign Office has received a complete and
final check. It is pretty clear that although John Russell is so
different from Melbourne, Palmerston had resolved to make an attempt
to go on in his old way. It was about the end of August that he
wrote a despatch to Bulwer of a very important character, both with
regard to the sentiments of England on the marriage question and the
relations which he wished Bulwer to establish with the Progressista
party. This despatch he sent to John Russell, requesting it might
be immediately returned that he might send it off. It reached John
Russell on a Sunday morning as he was going to church. He was not at
all pleased at the hour and the day on which it was sent to him, and
he kept it till the next day. He then returned it to Palmerston with
an intimation that such a despatch could by no means go without being
previously submitted to the Queen. He sent it to the Queen, who kept
it two days and then returned it with her own comments and objections.
Her letter was remarkably well written, and all the objections
concisely but ably put, and it exhibited a very correct knowledge of
the state of parties in Spain. The consequence of the Queen's letter
was that John Russell assembled Palmerston, Lord Lansdowne, and
Clarendon at his house, where they discussed the matter for two hours,
and finally agreed on a letter to be written in place of that which
Palmerston had first composed. It was divided into two parts and into
two separate despatches. Though they did not separate till past twelve
at night, Palmerston re-wrote these despatches before he went to bed,
and the next morning they were again sent to the Queen, who returned
them with her approbation. But on my expressing my surprise at this,
Clarendon told me that the Baroness Lehzen had told him long ago that
the Queen kept a journal in which she entered everything remarkable
that came under her notice, with her own observations and thoughts
thereupon, and that after every important debate she consulted all
the newspapers, and taking what appeared to her the best reports of
the most remarkable speeches, she made a _précis_ from them of the
whole. Nothing, it appears, can exceed her indignation and that of
the Prince at the conduct of the King of the French, and she spoke of
it to Clarendon in the most unmeasured terms. The _entente cordiale_
is at an end, and can hardly be revived. 'He did not write to me
himself,' she said, 'but made the Queen write. I don't think they will
be much pleased with my answer.' I heard also a miserable subterfuge
of Guizot's, for which I feel quite sorry and ashamed. He gave
(either to Normanby or to William Hervey) a positive assurance that
there was no design of making the marriages simultaneous, of marrying
the Infanta at the same time as the Queen. When he was subsequently
called to account for this fresh piece of falsehood and deceit, he was
not ashamed to descend to so paltry a subterfuge as to say that he
never intended anything but that they were not to be married by _one
ceremony_, that they were not to stand at the altar _together_![143]
He had much better have brazened it out, and said that it had not been
originally intended, but that they had changed their minds. Peel met
John Russell at Windsor. He came one day and Lord John went away the
next, which was a judicious way of managing their invitations. He told
Palmerston that he and Aberdeen and Graham were as indignant at what
had passed and at the conduct of the King and Guizot, as any of the
Ministers could be, and I saw a letter from Graham to George Lewis in
the same strain.

    [Footnote 142: [More probably Bergenroth, who was employed in
    deciphering his collection of Spanish State Papers.]]

    [Footnote 143: I have very little doubt that this is not true.]


_London, November 4th._--The last month has as usual been spent in and
about Newmarket, and left neither time nor inclination for anything
but racing occupations. I have not much to say about politics. The
last month or two have been occupied with the Spanish marriages, Irish
distresses and disturbances, and the question of the opening of the
ports and the meeting of Parliament. In respect to the first, the King
and Guizot, having accomplished their end, are now anxious to make it
up with us, but they find this not so easy. All sorts of conciliatory
attempts have been made through Jarnac, Madame de Lieven, myself, and
others, which have been very coldly met. Jarnac sent to John Russell
a letter of Guizot's, in which he spoke slightingly of Palmerston.
Lord John wrote an answer expressing his own entire concurrence with
Palmerston, and his view of the conduct of the French Government, an
excellent letter, I am told. Madame de Lieven wrote to me, begging me
to go to Paris, where I might do a great deal of good. I wrote her a
long letter telling her all I thought, and how unanimous all parties
and public men were here, and showed my letter to the Palmerstons,
who were very well pleased with it.

In Ireland Bessborough has done admirably well, with a mixture
of wisdom and firmness which has gained him great applause. Even
Lord Roden says he is the best Lord-Lieutenant they ever had. The
state of Ireland meanwhile is most deplorable, not so much from the
magnitude of the prevailing calamity as from the utter corruption and
demoralisation of the whole people from top to bottom; obstinacy,
ignorance, cupidity, and idleness overspread the land. Nobody thinks
of anything but how they can turn the evil of the times to their own
advantage. The upper classes are intent on jobbery, and the lower
on being provided with everything and doing nothing. It sickens and
disgusts me, and it is necessary to bear constantly in mind how much
we have to reproach ourselves for letting Ireland become so degraded
and corrupt to endure the spectacle with any sort of patience.

_November 20th._--Some days ago Lady Palmerston got from Palmerston
the correspondence between him and Guizot, which was printed for the
Cabinet, and gave it me to read. There were three notes: Palmerston's
first against the marriage before it took place; Guizot's case for
himself and against us; and Palmerston's elaborate reply to the
latter, which is certainly very able and conclusive, and exposes
with great force the shuffling, tricking, and unfair conduct of the
French Cabinet. I presume when Parliament meets these papers will
appear, when the world may judge of them. The point on which I think
Palmerston fails to make a case, and which he was imprudent in putting
forward, was that of the Treaty of Utrecht. I think he has there no
_locus standi_, and such is Aberdeen's opinion. It is the more to
be regretted that he brought this forward, because it was of great
importance that he and Aberdeen should be of one mind throughout the
matter, besides which I have very little doubt that when Parliament
meets, and the question is discussed, Brougham will come down to the
House of Lords and make a very powerful speech against the Government
on this point of the case. If he does, there is nobody to answer
him, and Clarendon takes the same view of it that I do. Brougham has
written a long, rambling, absurd letter to Clarendon, the object
of which is to complain of Normanby's conduct in not going to the
reception, and generally of the impolicy of quarrelling with the
French Government, of course written _for_ Louis Philippe and Guizot.
Clarendon wrote him a very good answer.


A great uproar has been made here by the appointment of a council for
the Duchy of Lancaster, Graham and Lincoln being on it. Both Whigs and
Protectionists were very angry, and fancied it was a political move
and a sign of coalition. It has been misunderstood, but it is a pity
the thing was done at all, and there is an awkwardness about it. It
seems very absurd that Graham should be selected to be a sort of land
steward to the Duchy of Lancaster. The simple truth, however, is that
it was a fancy of the Queen's, or rather of the Prince's, and nothing
more. They found that a council had worked well in the Duchy of
Cornwall, and that the revenue was improved, and they thought similar
machinery might produce similar effects in the other duchy; and next
they took it into their heads that nobody would do their business
so well as Graham, so John Russell, willing to please them, made no
objection. Graham, however, when appealed to, refused, and was only
induced to accept the office by very pressing entreaties from George
Anson, and its being made a matter of personal favour to the Queen and
Prince. The Duke of Bedford was the man they wanted to appoint, but he
declined, because the management of his own affairs left him no time
to attend to any others.

_November 23rd._--The Cracow affair[144] has made a great sensation
in France, and puzzled Guizot not a little. He now feels the
embarrassment of having quarrelled with us, and is obliged to make
overtures to us, which is rather mortifying to him, and in which our
Government find great matter for exultation. It was suspected here
that Guizot, in order to conciliate the Northern Courts, would give
in to their violation of the Treaty of Vienna, but it turns out quite
otherwise. Probably he does not dare; but be this as it may, Jarnac
came down to the Foreign Office on Saturday when the Cabinet was
sitting, and sent in a note stating that the matter was sufficiently
urgent to induce him to 'poursuivre Palmerston même dans le sein du
Conseil,' and stating that he was ordered by Guizot to go forthwith
to him, and beg to know his sentiments on the transaction, and to
convey to him those of the French Government; in short, to invite
confidential intercourse with a view to joint action. The Cabinet were
mightily pleased at Guizot's being reduced to the necessity of thus
appealing to us. They resolved, however, to take a somewhat dry and
stately, though civil tone. Palmerston had received an intimation from
Metternich of what the three Northern Courts had resolved to do, in
rather a peremptory style, and he had already written an answer and
submitted it to the Cabinet. It was to the effect that he was bound
to protest against this violation of the treaty, and that 'jusqu'à
présent' he had not seen any evidence of the facts on the strength
of which they had grounded the necessity for what they had done.
The answer was as strong as it is advisable to make any document,
which there is no intention of following up by any action. This note
was to be submitted to the Queen, and on its return from her to be
sent off to Vienna. The answer to Jarnac was to be that we entirely
disapproved of what had been done, and he was to be furnished with a
copy of Palmerston's note, informing him that it had been already
despatched to Vienna, thus concurring in opinion with Guizot, but
acting independently. There seemed to me to be too much disposition to
exhibit marked coldness, and to repulse any attempt at reconciliation;
and I told Clarendon that as we must make it up sooner or later, I
thought it much better to deal with the Cracow question in such a
manner as to enable its being made the means of a _rapprochement_.
The fear is that Palmerston will say or write twitting and irritating
notes, and so keep alive the feud.

    [Footnote 144: [The independence of the city of Cracow was the
    subject of a special Convention between the Northern Courts at
    Vienna in 1815, and it was incorporated in the General Treaty of
    Vienna. Some political disturbances having occurred there, the
    Northern Powers took the opportunity to annihilate the independence
    of Cracow, the last vestige of Polish nationality, by handing it
    over to Austria, and this was done without consulting France and
    England. This was the first direct and open violation of the Treaty
    of Vienna, accomplished by some of the Powers in defiance of the
    others. It therefore gave rise to serious protests. Lord Palmerston
    declared that the interests and good faith of Europe were as much
    concerned in the maintenance of small States as of large ones; and
    Prince Albert, who took a strong interest in the question, caused
    his views to be expressed in an article in the 'Edinburgh Review'
    on the Fate of Cracow.]]


_November 27th._--On Tuesday I passed the day in the Court of Queen's
Bench to hear the case of Lewis _v._ Ferrand,[145] and had the
pleasure of hearing Ferrand get a severe drubbing. Thesiger made a
capital speech for Lewis, and the Court refused to hear his junior,
and gave judgement directly, condemning Ferrand very strongly and
absolving Lewis completely. It was particularly satisfactory, because
I was the instigator of the motion for a criminal information, and but
for me Lewis would not have done it. He was afraid to move, and his
friends and relations were afraid for him. I alone put pluck into him
and '_brought him to the scratch_.'

    [Footnote 145: [Mr. George Cornewall Lewis, then a Poor Law
    Commissioner, filed a criminal information against Mr. Ferrand for
    a libel charging him with conspiracy and falsehood in connexion
    with the Keightley Union enquiry in 1842.]]

_November 28th._--Yesterday I heard a great deal about foreign
politics. Clarendon brought me a letter from Howden, who writes to him
constantly from Paris. There is an idea now taken up by the French
papers that the King has been all along cognisant of the intentions of
the three Courts about Cracow, and has himself conducted an underhand
intrigue with Flahault about it; that Flahault got leave of absence
in order not to be placed in the false position of _not objecting_,
the King having secretly instructed him to _laisser faire_, and give
them to understand that he must talk big, but that they were not to
mind that, and to count on his _doing_ nothing. This Howden does not
believe, but Clarendon does. He saw yesterday a M. Grimblot, a violent
partisan of Thiers, who hates the King and Guizot, and who told him
he believed this story to be true; and, moreover, that if Guizot lost
his place in the scramble that is likely to take place, and Thiers
and Co. come in, there was nothing they would not do and no sacrifice
they would not make to renew the English alliance, that all France
wished for it, and that the estrangement had frightened them: 'nous
avons peur' he said. This Clarendon swallowed down, though it seems
to me so base and despicable an avowal that it must be false. It is
an attempt at cajolery, coarse and overdone, to ingratiate the Thiers
party with our Government. Clarendon thinks, however, that the above
story of the King is true, and he rests his belief on the fragment
of an intercepted letter from Princess Metternich; but it requires
more confirmation than this. Delane arrived with a long letter he had
received from Aberdeen, very just, sound, and sensible, very moderate
towards Palmerston, and urging Delane to support him. He declared
his belief in the sincerity of the _convictions_ on which Guizot had
acted, was satisfied that if he (Aberdeen) had remained in office the
marriage would not have taken place, or at least not in the manner it
did. He repudiated the construction put on the Treaty of Utrecht, and
regretted its having been brought forward.


Last night, at the Duchess of Gloucester's ball, I met Jarnac and had
at least an hour's conversation with him. He was in low spirits at the
state of affairs, much disappointed at the rejection of his overture
for a joint action about Cracow, complained of the inconvenience and
the impolicy of it, that it was more our interest than theirs, that
they were proposing to us to assist in tying up their own hands, and
that such articles as had recently appeared in the 'Chronicle,' taken
in conjunction with this _rebuff_, as it must be considered (this was
not his word), would make a great sensation in France, be regarded as
indicative of a hostile feeling, and seriously widen the breach. He
admitted that Palmerston's personal communication with him had been
very civil. Palmerston had asked him if he had any remark to make on
our despatch to Lord Ponsonby, and seemed to expect some, but he said
he had none. We discussed all the questions at issue, and in a great
deal that he said I was quite disposed to agree with him. He dwelt on
the difficulty of getting over the deliberate and repeated demands
for renunciation made both to France and Spain, where it must be well
known that a compliance with such demands was utterly impossible and
not to be expected. However, even in this point the French Court is
trying to amuse us, for Clarendon received a letter from Billing
(an _âme damnée_ of Louis Philippe and Guizot) suggesting that we
should open a negotiation with Spain for a renunciation there, and
confirmation by the Cortes of a resignation of the eventual rights
of the Infanta and her family, an absurdity too gross to impose on
anybody. I told Jarnac that if the French Court had gone about their
designs with something more of boldness and frankness, and in a more
direct and straightforward manner, they would have accomplished all
their ends without any risk or difficulty, and have averted the
consequences that have followed. If the King had acted in _bonâ fide_
concert with us about the marriage of the Queen, and from the first
declared his intention to marry his son to her sister, making no
engagements and conditions, but merely acting openly and honourably,
all would have gone well, and everything he desired would have been
accomplished, for so little did people here care about or object to
the Montpensier marriage that it would have been impossible to get
up the steam of public opinion, or to goad the nation into a quarrel
on the marriage itself. Jarnac said, with an affected _naïveté_,
'You mean if the Queen had been married to Prince Leopold?' I said,
'I mean no such thing; why, you know perfectly well that we never
had any such design or wish, that not even the Court wished it. The
Queen and the Prince did not wish for it, and the Government have all
along discouraged and repudiated it. Your case, in fact, involves of
necessity a charge against us, which we say is unfounded, and you
attempt to defend your own good faith by impugning ours. You admitted
the obligation you contracted, but affirm that it was conditional;
that we bound ourselves by a reciprocal obligation, which we broke,
and that this breach of ours released you from yours. You are half
an Englishman yourself, and you know enough of the state of opinion
in England and of the morality of public men to be aware that any
underhand proceeding or intrigue, any conduct different from that
which is avowed, is absolutely impossible here. The publicity which is
given to everything, and the responsibility of public men to public
opinion, render such conduct out of the question; therefore when we
told you, as we have done all along, that we did not encourage this
marriage, you knew it to be true.' I then recapitulated all that
had passed, to which he could only reply that he could tell me a
great deal more, but that was not the place and the moment, for Lady
Palmerston was then sitting very near us. I told him, however, that
though under existing circumstances we could not consent to a joint
action, we did not want to _bouder_; that he must not regard the
'Morning Chronicle' as the exponent of the sentiments of the Cabinet,
still less of the country; that the articles were much disapproved of,
and that if they would have patience the cogent interests of the two
nations to be on good terms would infallibly bring the Governments
together likewise, though the same sort of intimacy could never exist


_Bowood, December 12th._--Came here on Tuesday; on Monday saw the Duke
of Bedford, who told me a scrap or two of information not very new,
but which he imparts in this way when he thinks of it. He was just
come from Arundel; the Queen and Prince Albert have got on vastly good
terms with Lord John. He had lately met Lord Hardwicke, who told him
that in September he had called on Peel in his way from Longshawe,
and had a great deal of conversation with him, in the course of which
Peel told him that when he went to the Queen to take leave of her on
quitting office, he said he had a request to make to her which she
must beforehand promise him to grant, that he must not be denied.
She said she should be glad to comply with any request of his if
she could. He then said that the request he had to make to her was
that she would never again at any time or under any circumstances
ask him to enter her service. He did not say what Her Majesty's
answer was. That Peel meant this as he said it I have no doubt, but
his remaining in the House of Commons is rather inconsistent if
such is his determination, and the best thing he could have done
would have been to go to the House of Peers; that would have been a
dignified retirement from political power. The Duke of Wellington is
on excellent terms with these Ministers, and better satisfied with
them than with his old colleagues in respect to the defences of the
country. It seems that not very long ago such angry communications
took place between the Duke and Peel on that subject, that the
Government was very near being broken up, and would have been if
Arbuthnot had not interfered and set it right. So at least Arbuthnot
told the Duke of Bedford.

Since I came here I have read Guizot's last note in reply to
Palmerston's long one. It is a very poor performance, and a shuffling
as well as insufficient answer. Clarendon says that this note is
very different from the one which Guizot wrote and submitted to his
Cabinet; that his note was so mutilated and altered that Guizot was
excessively angry, and disposed to refuse to send it, but that he was
induced to let it go by the extravagant eulogiums that were passed
upon it by the King and the rest, and by their assurances that it
was a masterpiece of diplomatic reasoning. Madame de Lieven had told
my brother that she understood all who had seen it thought it most
convincing and triumphant. Prince Albert told this story to John
Russell, who supposes that he got it from Leopold.

Lord John also told Clarendon how cleverly he had managed to get the
Duke of Wellington to do a gracious and popular act, which he has
hitherto always roughly refused, the bestowal of decorations on the
Peninsular soldiers. He advised the Queen to write to the Duke and
express her own wish that it should be done. He replied with great
alacrity, and expressed his readiness to carry her commands into
execution. She then wrote again, and said she wished his name to be
connected with the decoration in some way or other. He replied again
in a very good letter that he Carnarvonites hoped to be allowed to
decline this distinction, that he had already been honoured and
rewarded far beyond his deserts, and that he was only too happy to
have been deemed to have rendered any service to his sovereigns
and his country. Lord John, however, is resolved that his name and
exploits shall in some way be introduced into the inscription,
whatever it may be.

But the subject that has most occupied everybody here is Ireland.
Charles Wood brought down all his papers, and has been constantly
doing business with his two colleagues. He showed me a very good paper
he had drawn up for the Cabinet, setting forth all that had been done,
the present state of things, and the remedies he proposes to adopt,
the legislative measures to be submitted to Parliament. His views
are very sound, and I expect his measures will be well received. But
the state of Ireland is to the last degree deplorable, and enough to
induce despair: such general disorganisation and demoralisation, a
people with rare exceptions besotted with obstinacy and indolence,
reckless and savage--all from high to low intent on doing as little
and getting as much as they can, unwilling to rouse and exert
themselves, looking to this country for succour, and snarling at the
succour which they get; the masses brutal, deceitful, and idle, the
whole state of things contradictory and paradoxical. While menaced
with the continuance of famine next year, they will not cultivate
the ground, and it lies unsown and untilled. There is no doubt that
the people never were so well off on the whole as they have been
this year of famine. Nobody will pay rent, and the savings banks are
overflowing. With the money they get from our relief funds they buy
arms instead of food, and then shoot the officers who are sent over
to regulate the distribution of relief. While they crowd to the
overseers with demands for employment, the landowners cannot procure
hands, and sturdy beggars calling themselves destitute are apprehended
with large sums in their pockets. We are here all of opinion that some
tremendous catastrophe is inevitable. The evil is not in course of
diminution, and what will happen, and when it will happen, God only
knows; but there must and will be some tremendous convulsion, and that
before very long.


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[Transcriber's Note:

Spelling regularized.

Punctuation normalized.]

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