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Title: A Journal of the Reign of Queen Victoria 1837-1852 - Part 2 Vol 3
Author: Greville, Charles 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 1837-1852 - Part 2 Vol 3" ***

[Transcriber's Note:


There are two styles of footnotes used in this work.

Footnotes enclosed in square brackets are by the editor

Footnotes not enclosed in square brackets are by the author.

So example footnotes would be:

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

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









  FROM 1837 TO 1852





  _All rights reserved_





    Death of Mr. Thomas Grenville--Russian Measures in Poland--French
    Overtures to England--The Confidential Correspondence on the
    Spanish Marriage--Relations with France--Hostility of Lord
    Palmerston to France--Visit to Paris--Princess Lieven's Version
    of the Transaction--Lord Cowley's Opinion--Conversation with
    M. Guizot--M. Duchâtel's Opinion--The exact Truth as to the
    Spanish Marriage--Conversation with M. Thiers--A Dinner at M.
    Thiers'--Further Argument with M. Guizot--Character of Queen
    Christina--Papers laid before the Chamber--Relations of the
    British Embassy with the French Opposition--At the Tuileries--Mr.
    Baring's Opinion--Debate in the Chamber of Deputies--Mrs.
    Austin's Salon in Paris--Debates in England--Bad Effect of Lord
    Normanby's Intrigues with Thiers--Another Misunderstanding--M.
    de Tocqueville--Ball at the Hôtel de Ville--Animosity of Guizot
    and Lord Palmerston--A Call at the Sorbonne and at the Hôtel
    Lambert--Change of Government in Spain--Farewell Visit to M.
    Guizot--Effect of the English Blue Book--Conversation with M.
    Thiers _page_ 1


    Return to Paris--Possibility of a Tory Government--Hostility
    to Lord Palmerston--Lord Aberdeen's Dissatisfaction--The
    Duke's short View of the Case--Sir Robert Peel's Repugnance
    to take Office--Lord John Russell--Further Disputes of Guizot
    and Lord Normanby--The Quarrel with the Embassy--Lord Stanley
    attacks the Government--The Normanby Quarrel--Lord Palmerston
    threatens to break off Diplomatic Relations with France--Sir
    Robert Peel's Opinion of Lord Palmerston--Mr. Walter--The
    'Times'--The Normanby Quarrel made up--Mr. Greville's Opinion
    of his own Journals--Income of the Royal Family--Lord George
    Bentinck--Lord Normanby's _Étourderies_--The Government gains
    Strength--The Irish Poor Law--The Czar places a large Sum with
    the Bank of France--State of Ireland--Lord George Bentinck
    as a Leader--Foreign Affairs--Archbishop Whately--Birthday
    Reflexions--Lord Dudley's Diary--Power of the Press--Mr.
    Disraeli and Mr. Moxon--The Defence of the Country--Troubles
    in Portugal--Illness of Lord Bessborough--The Duke of
    Wellington on the Army--Spain and Portugal--Abolition of the
    Lord-Lieutenancy contemplated by Lord John--Difficulty of
    abolishing the Lord-Lieutenancy--Deaths of Lord Bessborough
    and of O'Connell--Lord Clarendon's Appointment--The End of
    O'Connell--The Governor-Generalship of India--Sir James Graham
    thought of--Failure of Debates on the Portuguese Question--The
    Duke's Statue--The Governor-Generalship of India offered to
    Sir James Graham--Sir Robert Peel's Position--Failures of the
    Government--The Duke of Wellington's Popularity--Opinion in
    Liverpool--Bitter Hostility of Mr. Croker to Peel _page_ 50


    Panic in the Money Market--The Bank Act--Sir Robert Peel's
    Authority--Suspension of the Banking Act of 1844--Death of
    the Archbishop of York--Meeting of Parliament--Irish Coercion
    Bill--Opinion of the Lord-Lieutenant--Weakness of the Irish
    Measures--Sir Robert Peel on the Bank Charter Act--The Duke of
    Wellington on the Defences of the Country--English Catholic
    Affairs at Rome--Illness of Lord Chancellor Cottenham--Bishop
    Hampden's Appointment'--Chloroform--Lamartine's 'Girondins'--The
    Hampden Dispute--Death of Lord Harrowby--Taxation--Leadership of
    the Opposition--The Hampden War--Scenes in Spain--Visit to Lord
    Melbourne--Lord Melbourne at Windsor--Burnham Beeches--Letter to
    Cobden--Leadership of the Opposition--Views of Sir James Graham
    on the Colonies--Archbishop Sumner--Baron Alderson--Diplomatic
    Relations with Rome--Weakness of the Government--Bad Effects of
    Lord John's Speech 99


    The Revolution in France--Princess Lieven's Narrative--Lamartine's
    Position--M. Guizot in London--Proposed Addition to the Income
    Tax--Sir Robert Peel spoken of--The State of Paris--The
    King's Narrative to Lady Granville--The State of France--The
    Convulsion in Europe--State of Ireland--Lord Palmerston invites
    Guizot to Dinner--M. Delessert on the State of France--The
    Revolution in Vienna--Fall of Metternich--State of England
    and Ireland--Lamartine's Reply to the Irish--The Duke's
    Preparations--Contemplated Measures of Repression--Lord John
    Russell's Coldness--Defence of the Public Offices--Failure of
    the Chartist Demonstration--Scene on April 10th--Effect of
    April 10th abroad--Measures of the Government--Measures of
    Relief for Ireland--Louis Philippe's Defence of the Spanish
    Marriages--Lord Palmerston's Conduct in Spain--Lord Clarendon
    on Ireland--Lord Palmerston's Affront in Spain--The West India
    Interest--Conversation with Sir James Graham _page_ 132


    Anarchy in France--Another Omission of Lord Palmerston's--His
    Spanish Interference attacked--Sir H. Bulwer's Account of his
    Expulsion from Madrid--Conviction of John Mitchell--Lord Grey
    objects to Palmerston's Conduct--Mirasol's Mission--Death
    of Princess Sophia--Weakness of the Spanish Case--Further
    Evasions of Palmerston--The Queen's Attachment to the Orleans
    Family--Blunders and Weakness of the Government--Danger
    of a Tory Government and a Dissolution--Disturbed State
    of London--The Spanish Debate--Measures taken against the
    Chartists--Perturbation of Society--Abolition of the Navigation
    Laws--The Oaths Bill--Chartist Demonstration--Lord John's
    West India Bill--Isturitz leaves England--Sir Henry Bulwer's
    Intrigues in Madrid--Lord Clarendon's Distrust of the Irish
    Catholics--Dangerous Position of the Government--Prospect
    of a Tory Government--Attitude of the Peelites--Lord Grey's
    Defence--Defeat of Sir J. Pakington's Amendment--Ferocious
    Contest in Paris--Improved Position of the Government--Louis
    Philippe's Opinion of the French Generals--Endsleigh--The West
    of England--State of Ireland--State of England--Suspension
    of the Habeas Corpus Act in Ireland--Collapse of the Irish
    Insurrection--Sir Robert Adair--Lord Hardinge's Appointment
    to Ireland as Commander-in-Chief--Lord Hardinge in India--The
    Sikh Battles--A Chartist Establishment--Capture of Smith
    O'Brien--Sicilian Independence--The Sale at Stowe--Anecdote of
    Peel and Huskisson--Lord Clarendon on Ireland--Lord Palmerston's
    Conduct to Austria and Italy--Debate on Foreign Affairs--State
    of France--Irish Troubles--Charles Buller's Schemes for
    Ireland--Close of the Session--Death of Lord George Bentinck--Lord
    George Bentinck's Political Career--At the Jockey Club 177


    Louis Blanc on France--The Catholic Priesthood--Failure of
    Scheme for Ireland--Evils of Total Repeal of Duties--Reaction
    in Prussia--A Message from M. Thiers--Conversation of Louis
    Philippe with Lord Clarendon--Dinner at Mr. Reeve's--Death of
    Lord Melbourne--Death of Charles Buller--Their Characters--Plans
    for Ireland--A Dinner of Historians--Election of Louis
    Napoleon as President of the French Republic--Death of Lord
    Auckland--The Saturnalia of 1848--The Admiralty offered to
    Sir James Graham--Graham declines--Lord Palmerston's Attacks
    on Austria--Grounds of Sir J. Graham's Refusal--Opening of
    Parliament--Debate in the Lords--Debate in the Commons--Mr.
    Disraeli the Leader of the Tories--The Irish Policy of the
    Government--Lord John Russell limits the Suspension of the
    Habeas Corpus Act to Six Months--The Irish Grant--Dreadful State
    of Ireland--Admiral Cécille Ambassador in London--The Ceylon
    Committee--Affair of the Sicilian Stores--The Fall of Hudson,
    the Railway King--Sir Charles Napier's Appointment to command in
    India--The Sicilian Arms _page_ 235


    Difficult Position of the Government--A Cloud in the East--Italian
    Affairs--Suppression of a Despatch--Sir Charles Napier goes
    to India--Sir James Graham's Alarms--Lord John Russell's
    Position--Battle of Novara--Opposition to the Repeal of the
    Navigation Laws--Sir James Graham's Pusillanimity--State of
    France--Conflicting Views on Irish Relief--Lord John contemplates
    a Peerage--Interview of Lord Clarendon with Sir Robert Peel--The
    Navigation Bill--Maiden Speech of Sir R. Peel's second Son--An
    omission of Lord Palmerston's--Lord Palmerston's Opponents--Lord
    Palmerston's Defence--A Trip to Scotland--Dr. Candlish's
    Sermon--History of the Debates on Foreign Affairs--Extension
    of the Suffrage--The Queen's Visit to Ireland--A Council
    at Balmoral--Prince Albert's Conversation--Lord Aberdeen's
    Views--Lord John's Defence of Lord Palmerston 278


    The Case of Gorham _v._ the Bishop of Exeter--Death of Lord
    Alvanley--The Session opened--State of Parties--Clouds
    arise--The Greek Affair--The Ceylon Committee--The Removal of
    Lord Roden--The Pacifico Affair--Lord Clarendon arrives--The
    Dolly's Brae Debate--The Irish Encumbered Estates Act--The Greek
    Affair--Conversation with Sir Robert Peel--The Roden Affair--The
    Queen's View of Lord Palmerston's Foreign Policy--Debate on Mr.
    Disraeli's Motion--Mr. Gladstone's Equivocal Position--Grillon's
    Club--Precarious Position of the Government--The Gorham
    Judgement--The African Squadron--Ministerial Troubles--The Greek
    Dispute--Lord Campbell Lord Chief Justice--Negotiation between
    the Branches of the House of Bourbon--The French Ambassador
    recalled from London--Lord Palmerston's Prevarications--The Case
    of the French Government--Intention to remove Lord Palmerston
    from the Foreign Office--First Speech of Mr. Stanley--Sir James
    Graham's Schemes of Reform--Debate in the Lords on the Greek
    Dispute--Effects of the Division--Lord Palmerston's Great Speech


    Accident to Sir Robert Peel--Triumphant Success of Lord
    Palmerston--Death of Sir Robert Peel--Sir James Graham's
    Position--Lord Palmerston's Policy--Lord Palmerston's
    Ovation--Death of Mr. Arbuthnot--Death of King Louis
    Philippe--The Papal Hierarchy in England--German Affairs--Papal
    Aggression--General Radowitz invited to Windsor--Papal
    Aggression--Conversation with Lord John Russell--And with
    Lord Palmerston--Mr. Green's Lecture--Visit to Brocket--Bear
    Ellice--Lord Melbourne's Papers _page_ 347


    Difficulties ahead--Lord John Russell resigns--Conduct of
    the Opposition--Lord Stanley waits on the Queen--Sir James
    Graham's Views--Ministerial Negotiations--Lord Stanley attempts
    to form a Ministry--Lord Stanley fails--The Whig Ministry
    returns to Office--Sir James Graham stands aloof--Dislocation
    of Parties--Embarrassments arising from the Papal Aggression
    Bill--Weakness of the Government--Relations of Sir James Graham
    and the Whigs--Debate on the Papal Aggression Bill--A Measure
    of Chancery Reform--Lord Stanley at Newmarket--Hostility of
    the Peelites--Opening of the Great Exhibition--Defeats of the
    Ministry--The Exhibition saves the Government--M. Thiers in
    London--Close of the Season--The Jew Bill--Overture to Sir James
    Graham--Which is declined--Autumn Visits and Agitation--Lord
    John Russell's Reform Bill--The Creed of a Capuchin--Kossuth's
    Reception in England--The Kossuth Agitation in England--Mr.
    Disraeli on Lord George Bentinck--Sir James Graham's Fears of
    Reform--Dangers from Lord Palmerston's arbitrary Conduct--Case of
    Greece--Case of Sicily--The Coup d'État of the 2nd December 377


    Disraeli's Life of Lord George Bentinck--An approaching
    Storm--Peel's Conduct on the East Retford Franchise in 1830--Death
    of Mr. Luttrell--Dismissal of Lord Palmerston--Lord Clarendon
    declines the Foreign Office--Lord Granville takes the Foreign
    Office--Causes of Lord Palmerston's Dismissal--Effects of the
    Change--The Complete Story--Lord John negotiates with the
    Peelites--Whigs and Peelites--Lord Normanby's Relations with
    Louis Napoleon--Foreign Policy of the Country--Thiers' Account of
    the Coup d'État--Further Details on Palmerston's Dismissal--Lord
    Normanby's Recall--Lord John's Explanations--Change of
    Government--Lord Derby's First Ministry--Lord Palmerston's
    Position--Discredit of the Derby Government--Disraeli's Speech on
    the Budget 423


    The Trial of Strength--Defeat of the Government--Shuffling of
    Ministers--The No-Popery Cry--Dissolution of Parliament--Character
    of the Derby Government--The Ministers--The Opposition--A
    Difficult Situation--Public Indifference--Results of the
    Elections--Macaulay's Election--Policy of the Opposition--Scheme
    of a Coalition under Lord Lansdowne--Lord Derby at
    Goodwood--The Herefordshire Election--Sir James Graham's
    View of the Situation--Death of Count D'Orsay--Difficulties
    of Reconciliation--Lord John Russell's Position--A Divided
    Opposition--Lord Granby's Dissatisfaction--Lord John Russell
    on Reform--Lord Cowley's Proxy--A Plan to catch Lord
    Palmerston--Death of the Duke of Wellington _page_ 452

       *       *       *       *       *




    INDEX 493


    OF THE


    FROM 1837 TO 1852.


    Death of Mr. Thomas Grenville--Russian Measures in Poland--French
    Overtures to England--The Confidential Correspondence on the
    Spanish Marriage--Relations with France--Hostility of Lord
    Palmerston to France--Visit to Paris--Princess Lieven's Version
    of the Transaction--Lord Cowley's Opinion--Conversation with
    M. Guizot--M. Duchâtel's Opinion--The exact Truth as to the
    Spanish Marriage--Conversation with M. Thiers--A Dinner at M.
    Thiers'--Further Argument with M. Guizot--Character of Queen
    Christina--Papers laid before the Chamber--Relations of the
    British Embassy with the French Opposition--At the Tuileries--Mr.
    Baring's Opinion--Debate in the Chamber of Deputies--Mrs.
    Austin's Salon in Paris--Debates in England--Bad Effect of Lord
    Normanby's Intrigues with Thiers--Another Misunderstanding--M.
    de Tocqueville--Ball at the Hôtel de Ville--Animosity of Guizot
    and Lord Palmerston--A Call at the Sorbonne and at the Hôtel
    Lambert--Change of Government in Spain--Farewell Visit to M.
    Guizot--Effect of the English Blue Book--Conversation with M.


_December 19th, 1846._--On Thursday evening at seven o'clock Mr.
Grenville died, after a week's illness which was no more than a severe
cold or influenza. If he had lived till the 31st of this month, he would
have completed his ninety-first year. I had only known him with any sort
of intimacy for the last five or six years, during which I saw a good
deal of him. He was a remarkable man, not so much from great ability as
from a singular healthiness of mind and body and the greenness of his
old age. I never saw so old a man in possession of such mental and
bodily faculties; his only infirmity was deafness; till about a year ago
he used to walk vigorously; he never had an illness till the one with
which he was attacked the year before last, and from which he recovered
entirely though with strength somewhat impaired. His memory was
remarkable; his cheerfulness, vivacity, and kindness of disposition
delightful. He evinced an affection for his relations and a cordiality
to his friends that were pleasant to behold, and he was not only
entirely free from the moroseness and captiousness which so often attend
old age, but he blended an extreme suavity of manner and sweetness of
temper with the high-bred politeness of the more ceremonious age in
which he had flourished. He was certainly the most amiable and engaging
specimen of an old man I ever beheld. I do not conceive that his
abilities were ever first-rate, and latterly (whatever may have been the
case early in life) he entertained very strong prejudices and often very
unreasonable ones; these prejudices caused him to act in some instances
in a manner inconsistent with the urbanity of his disposition. He never
could endure the Reform Bill or forgive its authors; he never would set
his foot in Holland House after that measure; and he estranged himself
from all his old political friends, even those with whom he had been the
most intimate, not indeed absolutely quarrelling with them, but
desisting from all intimacy. He was a scholar and a well-informed man,
and he retained till the last all his literary tastes and habits; he
loved the society of literary men, and to the last entered with zest and
spirit and unimpaired intelligence into all questions both of literature
and politics. It is difficult to say what the exact colour of his
political opinions was. He used to be a Whig; but he was, at all events
latterly, a moderate anti-reforming Whig, with a horror of organic
changes and not fond of any changes, disliking free trade and disliking
Cobden more; favourable to Catholic emancipation and the establishment
of a Catholic Church, but abhorring O'Connell who was his _bête noire_,
and in his eyes the incarnation of all evil and mischief. He never was
married, but when he was young he was desperately in love with the
Duchess of Devonshire, and he never married because her image remained
enthroned in his breast, and he never could find any other woman to be
compared with her. For many years he was a poor man, and he never became
a rich one till the death of Lord Glastonbury, who left him an estate
and a great deal of money; the estate, which was entailed on his nephew
George Neville, he generously gave up to him at once. He lived
hospitably and handsomely, and was, I am told, very generous and
charitable. His greatest expense was in books; he had collected a
library of extraordinary value, and which for the size of it has always
been reckoned the most complete of any private collection. It continued
to interest and occupy him to the last, and he never ceased to add to it
as occasion offered; he was, indeed, one of the last of the great
collectors, of the bibliomaniacs; he collated every book himself, and
placed in the title-page of each, in his own handwriting, an account of
the book, where purchased, and its history when of any interest. His
society in latter years was restricted, and he was not fond of making
new acquaintances unless he fell in with them by accident, when he was
easily approachable and always disposed to carry them on. He had
constantly dinners and very agreeable ones, and it was wonderful to see
him at ninety years old doing the honours of his table with all the
energy, gaiety, and gallantry of a man in the prime of life. A happier
life and an easier death it would be difficult to discover; his life was
extended to nearly a century without any intermission of bodily health,
any decay of mental faculties, and, what is more extraordinary and more
valuable, without any deadness or coldness of human affections. He was
blessed with affluence, with the love of rational and elevating
pursuits, and with ample leisure and power to enjoy them. He was a
philosopher, a gentleman, and a Christian, and he lived in constant
social intercourse with the relations to whom he was attached, or the
friends of his predilection, to all of whom he was an object of the
deepest respect and affection. A life so tranquil and prosperous was
terminated by a death no less easy and serene; his indisposition was not
such as to interfere with his usual habits; he rose at his accustomed
hour and dressed himself to the last, even on the day of his death. He
had always a book, latterly the Prayer Book, before him, and his mind
was undisturbed and unclouded. He dined and went to sleep in his chair,
and from that sleep he never awoke.

_December 20th._--On Friday morning an article in the 'Times' announced
that the Emperor of Russia was going to annex Poland to his empire,
putting an end to the last vestige of Polish nationality. Yesterday
morning the 'Chronicle' declared this report was exaggerated, if not
erroneous, and that all that was contemplated was the abrogation of
custom-house regulations between the Russian and Polish frontiers. The
history of these contradictory articles is this: On Wednesday at the
Cabinet dinner Palmerston brought this piece of news, communicated to
him by Bunsen, who was in a great state of alarm and indignation, and
said that Metternich was equally alarmed and eager to do something. The
Austrian and Prussian proposals were severally these: Metternich wished
for a declaration that the annexation of Cracow should not be used as a
precedent, but considered as an exceptional case. Bunsen suggested that
a naval demonstration should be made in the Baltic by us, of course in
conjunction with Austria and Prussia. These two Powers now begin to see
what an egregious folly they have committed in the Cracow affair, and
are filled with shame and terror. The next morning, Friday, Palmerston
saw Brunnow, and he asked him whether this story was true. Brunnow said
he was glad he had asked him, and that he could assure him he had never
heard one word of it and did not believe it, that he believed it to be a
mere fiscal regulation which would be advantageous to the Poles and not
agreeable to the Russians, but that the reported political move he
disbelieved. He had, however, written to Nesselrode to ask what the
real truth was. Palmerston, without doubt, on this sent the article to
the 'Morning Chronicle;' there is a phrase at the end of it about Guizot
quite Palmerstonian. It is amusing to see the two papers moved by
different ministerial interests. John Russell told me at Windsor
yesterday that he believed the first account. It certainly seems to me
that it is a very bad piece of policy of the Emperor's, if true; he has
accomplished the absorption of Poland already in fact, and what can it
signify to him to do so in form? By degrees he has stripped the Poles of
almost all national distinctions, and he has only to go on as he has
been doing for some time past to complete his work; nobody opposed,
nobody remonstrated with him at each successive violation of those
privileges which all Europe guaranteed; and now the Powers, who
patiently and tamely endured the most flagrant violations in fact, are
ready to explode with indignation at an announcement of them in form.


James Rothschild is come over here, partly on his own concerns, and
partly on Louis Philippe's, who is very intimate with him and talks to
him often and confidentially. He has been with our Ministers, at least
with Lord Lansdowne and Lord Clarendon (I do not know if he has been
with any others), and said a great deal about the King's intense desire
to be well with England again, asked if we wanted to get rid of Guizot,
and intimated that if his fall would facilitate the reconciliation he
would be sacrificed without scruple. They have no doubt whatever that he
is authorised by the King to convey this to our Government. Clarendon
told him that Palmerston would not walk across the room to get rid of
Guizot, and did not care one farthing whether he was in or out; but that
he was not surprised that they should fancy he might desire it, knowing
as he did that they had left no stone unturned to bring about his
removal from the Foreign Office, so far as they were able to say or to
do anything to that end.

_December 24th._--Jarnac was with me for three hours yesterday, and I am
going to him to-day to see some of his papers. The whole of our
conversation resolves itself into this: he said that they really had
believed that the Coburg marriage was _imminent_; that they had given
ample and repeated notice (especially in the note of February 27) that,
if ever they saw this, they should act accordingly, consider the Eu
engagement at an end, and take their own line; that they never could get
Palmerston to put on paper distinctly that we did not and would not
encourage this match. This, involved in a vast deal of phraseology, and
many minute details, with a great deal of false reasoning, and facts
contradictory of each other, made up his whole discourse. I endeavoured
to pin him down to one or two points, from which he was always trying to
escape, and to cover his retreat by verbiage.

I have made up my mind to go to Paris, Lady Normanby having offered to
take me in at the Embassy: this temptation decides me.

_December 25th._--Yesterday I was with Jarnac for three hours and a
half, reading papers. He showed me everything: the copy of the famous
despatch of July 19 (Palmerston to Bulwer), which was (as they say) the
_fons et origo mali_; all Guizot's private letters to him, and his to
Guizot; _ditto_, between him and the king; his _procès-verbaux_ of
conferences with Palmerston; copy of the note of February 27 (on which
they so much rely); the letter of Guizot's which was sent to John
Russell, and John's admirable answer; Jarnac's own rejoinder; Guizot and
the King on this correspondence: in short, he gave me to read all that
was material, and that I had time to read in these three or four hours.
At all events, I believe I am now as completely in the possession of the
case on both sides as it is possible to be, and all this information and
knowledge has not changed my opinion.

It is clear that we have been jockeyed by France in a very shabby,
uncandid, underhand way. Guizot's private letters, admirably written,
bear on them all the stamp of sincerity and conviction, and are
calculated to impress anybody with the belief that he was sincere, and
that he thought he was doing what he had a right to do as regarded
England, and what it was his duty to do as to France. But where rights
and duties are clear, there is no need of concealment; everything may
be, and ought to be, open and above board; and besides the object of
defeating a Coburg scheme and securing the Spanish bride, there was that
of preserving the _entente cordiale_, which he could not expect to do,
acting as he did.


When disentangled from all its envelopments of verbiage and mutual
insinuations, the case resolves itself into one of two very simple
points, and lies in a very narrow compass:--The new ministers came into
office about July 7; it was then about a fortnight afterwards that
Jarnac spoke to Palmerston about the Queen of Spain's marriage (not a
word about the Infanta _de part ou d'autre_). Palmerston had written to
Bulwer on the 19th, and he read this despatch to Jarnac, and gave him a
copy of it (confidentially) to send to Paris. This was the despatch on
which they ground their whole case. It treated of two subjects: the
marriage of the Queen, and the internal government of Spain. It was very
able, very sound, but it was extremely imprudent to communicate it to
the French Government. The substance of it was this: that we always had
considered the marriage as a Spanish question, in which no foreign power
had any right to interfere. That there were three candidates left in the
field (Trapani and young Carlos being out of the field), 'Prince of
Coburg and two sons of Don Francisco;' that we only desired that the
Queen might take whichever of them would most conduce to her own
happiness and the good of Spain. We neither supported nor objected to
any of them; that therefore there were no instructions to be given to
Bulwer, as it was only necessary to refer to those of his predecessor,
on which he would continue to act. Then came a severe criticism on the
Spanish Government, and the overthrow of all law and constitutional
rights, still desiring Bulwer not to interfere in any way, but not to
conceal the sentiments of the English Government thereupon. This was
very strong, very bitter, and necessarily very offensive to the Spanish
Government, and to their abettors and protectors at Paris; however
true, and however fit to be written by Palmerston to Bulwer, it was not
wise to put it in the hands of the French Minister.

After the communication of this despatch, various letters and
conversations passed with remonstrances, and not without some vague
threats. Jarnac at once objected to what was said about the Prince of
Coburg, complained it was different from the understanding with
Aberdeen, and asked if it could not be _reconsidered_. The reply was
that it was already gone. Guizot's reply to the receipt of this despatch
was confirmatory of Jarnac's objections, and the latter made various
attempts to obtain from Palmerston something on paper to the same effect
as the verbal assurances which Palmerston gave him. Palmerston replied
(as Jarnac reported) that he could not do this without consulting his
colleagues. In the meanwhile (I don't exactly recollect the date),
Jarnac spoke to the Duke of Bedford and Clarendon, and had an interview
with John Russell. From all of these he admits, as well as from
Palmerston himself, he received the most positive assurances that we did
not, and would not, support the pretensions of the Prince of Coburg, and
that we had no thoughts of departing from the principle laid down by
Lord Aberdeen. It was certainly very imprudent of Palmerston to show
this despatch of the 19th, and it is clear to me that he did it for the
pleasure of provoking the French Government, and showing them what we
thought of the whole management of Spanish affairs. It was, in fact, a
covert and indirect but a bitter attack on them. Next, he was
inexcusable for not giving them in writing that which they required, and
for allowing nearly five weeks to pass away after their urgent demand
for it, before he wrote (on August 28) the despatch, which did not reach
Madrid till long after the marriages had been settled and proclaimed.
The despatch of the 19th, which Bulwer was not desired to communicate to
the Court of Spain, having been placed in Guizot's hands, he forthwith
sent it to Bresson, who lost no time (but without Bulwer's knowledge) in
communicating it to the Spanish Ministers, to whom it was sure to be
most offensive. Taking dates into consideration, it is difficult to
doubt that at the same time, or very shortly after, Bresson was ordered
to settle the marriages of both princesses, for this despatch is dated
July 19, and on August 28 the 'Gazette' at Madrid published the Royal
announcement of the Queen's marriage. Not one word, however, was ever
hinted to our Government of any such instructions being given or being
contemplated. In one of Guizot's letters to Jarnac he gives him to
understand that, much as he is dissatisfied, he shall do nothing fresh;
and, during the whole of this interval, Jarnac continued to press
Palmerston for some positive and written disclaimer--that is, he did
when he had the opportunity, for during a considerable part of this time
Palmerston was sailing with the Queen. There was, indeed, one letter of
Guizot's hinting at his taking a line of his own, 'une politique
isolée;' but this was too vague (if it were communicated, which is not
clear) to excite any serious apprehension in anybody's mind. It is,
however, clear that well-informed persons did think it imprudent of
Palmerston not to give the French Government at once the satisfaction
they demanded, and, as I have before said, both Normanby and William
Hervey wrote over very strongly on the subject.


At last, early in September, the news came like a thunderclap that both
the marriages were settled and declared; and then began the feeling of
indignation and resentment which broke up the intimacy between the two
Courts, and infused such bitterness into our diplomatic relations. The
war of notes began, and the world will judge whether Palmerston or
Guizot had the best of it. The flimsiness of their pretext for breaking
an engagement they admit to have made is the more obvious the more it is
considered; and that it was a pretext, and one of which they wanted to
avail themselves, is evident from the care they took to make no previous
allusion to the note of February 27, which they have since endeavoured
to turn to so much account. This was a note not delivered but read to
Aberdeen, in which they said that, if the Coburg marriage appeared to be
imminent, they should hold themselves disengaged from their pledges.
They now pretend that they forgot this note was not delivered, and did
not know that Palmerston was not cognisant of it, but they never took
any opportunity of finding out whether he was, nor of renewing to him
the menace or intimation it contained. This omission and their secret
instructions to Bresson, while they not only kept us in the dark, but
did their best to blind us, are sufficient to convict them of duplicity
and bad faith. Palmerston, on his side, may be blamed for imprudence and
negligence. The way in which it was taken up here, and especially the
things Palmerston said, exasperated Guizot prodigiously, and no doubt
the King still more; and it was under this irritation that he wrote his
letter (September 15) to Jarnac, containing a bitter philippic against
Palmerston, his whole character and policy, and a comparison between him
and John Russell, much to the advantage of the latter. This letter
Jarnac was instructed to send to John Russell. He told me that he was so
well aware of its imprudence that he remonstrated against the order, and
delayed several days to obey it. His remonstrance was disregarded, and
he was desired to give the letter to John Russell. He took it, however,
to Palmerston, told him he had a letter which he was charged to show to
John Russell, but, as it contained matter relating to him (Palmerston),
he thought it right to place it in his hands that he might read it first
and forward it to Lord John after. Palmerston said he did not want to
see it, and would not look at it. On this he sent it to Lord John, who
showed it to Palmerston, and wrote Jarnac an admirable but very severe
answer, commenting in strong terms on the conduct of France, and
expressing his entire concurrence with Palmerston in every particular.
This reply must have been gall and wormwood to Louis Philippe, and very
disagreeable to Guizot. Jarnac wrote an answer to Lord John, rather a
rigmarole, but defending the King. This answer seems to have had great
success at Paris, whatever it may have had here, for there were letters
from both the King and Guizot; the first thanking his champion in very
warm terms, and the latter praising his zeal and eloquence.

[Sidenote: THE RUPTURE.]

The estrangement was now complete, and resentment openly testified. The
two Courts were _brouillés_; the Ministers collectively, Palmerston
individually, and Normanby at Paris, all put themselves in a cold and
forbidding attitude. Our refusal to join with France in the Cracow
affair was received as a hostile expression, and it is evident that the
King and Guizot have been getting more and more uneasy at the
estrangement, in which we persist. It is, however, not easy to discover
how far the Monarch and the Minister are acting in real conjunction, and
whether the former is faithful or false to the latter. Guizot's conduct
and the tone of his letters do not entirely correspond; the latter
evince a strong desire to obtain a sufficient security about the Coburg
alliance, and certainly strenuous efforts were made by Jarnac to extract
some document which might have been so considered; while, if we judge by
his acts, it would seem that all the French wanted was a pretext for
concluding the marriage, and such a written assurance as he kept
demanding would have counteracted their clever scheme of deception and
fraud. It strikes me as very possible that the King and Guizot were not
acting together; that the intrigue was the King's, which Guizot did not
dare or could not defeat or obstruct, but that while he was obliged to
work out the King's design, he would have been really glad if we had
given such clear and formal assurances as would have rendered the
execution of the plan impossible. I did not conceal from Jarnac my
opinion that he had failed to make his case any better; he was not a
little mortified at the admiration I expressed of John Russell's letter,
in which I in vain attempted to get him to join.

The next morning, just as I was setting off to Badminton, he came to me
in consequence of letters he had received from Paris, in which he was
informed that Normanby had openly said that the two countries could
never be on good terms again till Guizot was turned out and we had
obtained a renunciation from the Duchess de Montpensier; this they
believed, and that it was the echo of sentiments entertained here. I
told him I did not believe a word of it, either that Normanby had said
it, or that anybody here wanted to turn Guizot out; that lies of this
sort were always rife on such occasions, and I had just heard a story of
Louis Philippe's abusing our Queen at the tea-table at Neuilly, which I
had no doubt was just as false as the one he had told me, and they might
be set against one another. He then asked if our Government were not
going to lay papers before Parliament in which Guizot would be
implicated, and if so, if they would not first give him a copy of them,
and he glanced at the printed papers to which I had referred in my
conversation with him. He said in Aberdeen's time such things were
always done in concert, and each Government previously communicated to
the other everything it meant to publish, but of course this could not
be the case now. I told him I did not believe anything was decided about
papers; I knew of none, and what he saw in my hands was nothing but the
notes of the recent correspondence printed at the Foreign Office by the
Government press for the exclusive use of the Cabinet, to whom it would
have been too long a process to send written copies; that such was the
practice here with regard to all important papers of any length.

_Broadlands, December 30th._--I came to town on Monday from Badminton,
where I went to spend Christmas. When I got back I wrote a long letter
to the Duke of Bedford giving him an account of my communications with
Jarnac and my opinion of Palmerston's conduct of the affair. I told him
I was going to Paris, begged he would show Lord John my letter, and said
that if he (Lord John) wished me to say anything or to take any
particular tone, to let me know. I received an answer this morning, cold
enough. Lord John only replied that as I was coming here it was not
necessary for him to see me. There was a very foolish passage about our
relations with France, 'that there could be no reconciliation, and the
spirit of Lord John's letter to Jarnac must be maintained.' The sort of
disposition they evince, half desirous to make it up, and half to
_bouder_ on, seems to me exceedingly little and unwise.


Yesterday I found Clarendon at the Board of Trade, and had a very long
conversation with him; he is now all for trying to make something of the
proposal to get the Salic Law re-established in Spain, having in the
first instance scouted it. It was first proposed to him by Baron Billing
as a solution of the difficulty; he at once rejected it as impossible.
Now he has changed his mind, and he wrote to Palmerston and Lord John to
say so, and to propose writing to Billing to ask whether he had made
this proposal with the knowledge and assent of Guizot, and if the French
Government was prepared to assist in procuring such a settlement at
Madrid. Lord John expressed doubts, and thought nothing would come of it
but some fresh falsehood and deceit. Palmerston thought the plan a good
one, and that it was worth while to write to Billing, which Clarendon
had done, and he showed me the letter. I think the scheme utterly
chimerical, and so I told him; in fact, it strikes me as one of the most
absurd and impracticable that ever entered the mind of man. I stated the
different objections that occurred to me, one (not the least) being that
no Spaniard would be likely to support a measure almost sure eventually
to produce another civil war. He said that before Olozaga left Paris he
had been to William Hervey, who asked him if he would be willing to
support such a measure. He replied that he would, and he thought all the
Progressista party would likewise; but while he now looks to this as a
possible solution of our difficulty, Clarendon is very anxious by some
means to restore a good understanding, and he begged me to tell Guizot
that if his language in the King's Speech and in the Chambers was
moderate, he would compel a corresponding moderation here, but at the
same time he informed me that it was Palmerston's intention to supply
Thiers with information to use against Guizot; and he said this without
any expression of disapprobation. It was at the end of our conversation,
but the next day, upon reflecting on this, I wrote him a very strong
letter denouncing the impolicy and the danger of such a communication to
such a man. I might have also urged the immorality of it, and its
inconsistency with the profession of not wanting to injure Guizot or
turn him out; the more I think of this the more shocked I am. If it is
done, and Thiers exhibits good information, the French Government will
know well enough how he came by it.


Here I have had a long conversation with Lady Palmerston, from which I
infer that Palmerston's fixed idea is to humble France and to make her
feel her humiliation, and, in order to do so, to connect himself more
closely with the three Powers, who appear to be ready to do anything for
him if he will break with France. She abused Aberdeen, and said he had
made his agents all over the world act in subserviency to the French;
this system Palmerston considers it his mission to put an end to, and I
gather that he means on the contrary to thwart and oppose France
whenever and wherever he can. She told me that these Powers were now
better disposed than ever to us, and regarding France as the most
encroaching Power, only wanted to join us in keeping her down. I took an
opportunity of telling Palmerston that Bunsen and Prince Albert want to
have a pamphlet written about Cracow and German affairs, and that the
former had proposed to Reeve to write it; Reeve said he had no objection
provided Palmerston was first consulted and approved, and this he wrote
to Bunsen.[1] I told Palmerston that Reeve wished him to be apprised of
this. He said he was much obliged to me for giving him an opportunity of
thinking of it, but that his impression was that it would be better not
to write anything, as Cracow was now an affair settled and done, and it
was not desirable to say anything offensive to the three Powers, whose
co-operation with us was essential in the far more important concern of
the Spanish marriages. From this I infer that he means to continue to
wage war on the Montpensier marriage, and to form a sort of preparatory
league against France. I am greatly alarmed at the spirit he evinces,
and fully expect we shall sooner or later get into some scrape. This
evening (31st) I had a long conversation with him, in which he discussed
Jarnac's communications with me (which I had told Lady Palmerston) and
with him. He declares he gave him the verbal assurances he asked for as
strongly as possible, and he does not believe anything else he might
have done would have produced any effect in arresting the progress of
the intrigue at Madrid. The French pretend that the Spanish Court
insisted on having Montpensier, and that the Queen only consented to
marry her cousin on condition that the King gave his son to the Infanta;
that this match was therefore a Spanish and not a French object. He said
that Villa Franca (Montemolin's man) told him that when he was at Paris
Louis Philippe said to him that he wished the Count de Montemolin to
marry the Queen; that he had only to renounce his claims, which would be
a mere form, as he would declare himself King as soon as he was married,
and that he contemplated the restoration of the Salic Law, which at all
events he should insist on, as far as the Infanta was concerned,
whenever the Duke de Montpensier married her. Palmerston's present idea
is that this restoration of the Salic Law may be effected, and that the
Spaniards will adopt such a course. I pointed out the difficulty and the
levity of such a proceeding: enacting a law one day which cuts off the
contingent rights of Don Carlos and his family and lets in Ferdinand's
two daughters; then abrogating this law and restoring the former course
of succession, but preserving only one of the sisters thus let in and
excluding the other, and excluding also the heir under the abrogated law
now again to be restored, thus re-establishing the law but not
re-establishing the rights which that law conferred. All this would make
such a mass of confusion and contradictions, and abrogating some rights
and creating others so partially, arbitrarily, and capriciously, that
the certain result would be a future state of uncertainty, rivalry, and
strife. He did not say a word to me of my journey to Paris, nor I to

[Footnote 1: [No pamphlet was written, but the substance of the Prince's
views on the seizure of Cracow was published in an article in the
'Edinburgh Review,' vol. lxxxv. p. 261.]]

_London, January 2nd, 1847._--Returned from Broadlands yesterday; I had
written from thence to Clarendon, and told him my impressions. He
thinks that part of what was said of Aberdeen is true. English agents
everywhere _were_ made subservient to the French, and to such an extent
that they did not dare complain of any French misconduct, because they
knew they should be reproved and run the risk of being humiliated in
their public capacities, and he attributes to this _laissez faire_ of
Aberdeen's much of Louis Philippe's success in his intrigues, and the
uncomfortable state of things in Europe. He had been over to John
Russell at Chorley Wood, and found him in no state of bitterness, but
sick of foreign affairs and the plots and intrigues he had been so
troubled with, and so absorbed with the much more important subject of
Ireland that he could take no interest in the former. In short,
Clarendon has in great measure succeeded in dissipating my alarm. He
recommends that I should advise moderation, and give the French
Government to understand that a moderate tone there will secure one
here, and he has sent me a letter for Duchâtel, with whom he wishes me
to communicate confidentially.[2]

[Footnote 2: He endeavoured to tranquillise me about the information to
Thiers, and said of course it would be given with great caution. It did
not tranquillise me, however, and my soul was prophetic. What mischief
has resulted from this false and profligate step! (February 21st).]

_January 3rd._--I saw M. de St. Aulaire and Jarnac yesterday, and had
much conversation with both. St. Aulaire said he saw he had nothing to
do but remain _les bras croisés_, and say as little as possible.

I go to-night.


_Paris, January 6th._--Arrived here yesterday morning at half-past
twelve o'clock, travelling all night from Boulogne. I had no sooner got
here than Normanby put into my hands a box of papers, copies of his
despatches to Palmerston, containing details he was anxious I should
know, and filling up gaps in the history of the Spanish affair. The most
essential of these papers are despatches to Palmerston, giving an
account of two interviews with Guizot, and as to which there could be no
mistake, as he read to Guizot his letter, giving the details of one of
them (the most important). Guizot acknowledged its general accuracy, and
made a verbal amendment or two in it. I take for granted these papers
will be published. Normanby is very anxious they should, and justly
considers that unless they are, the strength of our case will never be
known. There are certain things contained in them which Guizot never can
explain away satisfactorily, and which must leave a stain on his candour
and good faith. On August 28 Normanby formally proposed to Guizot a
joint action in favour of Enrique; he replied that this would suit him
perfectly, and that he would write to Bresson and instruct him
accordingly. On that very day the announcement of the two marriages
appeared in the Spanish Gazette. Normanby of course subsequently asked
for an explanation of this extraordinary conduct. Guizot seems to have
lost his head in the excitement of his exploit, for he replied that
hearing nothing to satisfy him, and on the strength of his note of
February 27, 'J'ai agi'--that is, that he had already acted
independently and hostilely long before the day on which he pretended
that he would give instructions to Bresson to act conjointly with us. He
endeavoured to excuse this duplicity by saying that Bresson had acted on
general, not on particular instructions; but this was inconsistent with
his 'J'ai agi.' Then about the time of the celebration of the marriages,
he had said they would not take place at _the same time_; again, on
being pressed on this point, he said he had meant that they would not
take place _together_, and that such had not been the intention when he
said so. Jarnac told me the other day that he had heard great stress was
laid on this by us, and that we meant to make it a matter of grave
charge. I said I did not believe it was so seriously considered, and
doubted that much more was thought about it, though at first it had been
considered as a proof of insincerity; but I find that it is of
importance, for upon the expectation thus conveyed by Guizot rests
Palmerston's defence for one of the weakest points of his case, his long
silence after hearing of the marriages being settled. Palmerston's
conduct and his delays throughout have been quite inconceivable, and
certainly will, if not weaken his case, draw considerable censure upon
him if it all comes out. There was, in the first place, his neglect and
obstinacy in not giving in writing the assurances he had given verbally;
next, as to the proposal of joint action, Jarnac came to him, intending
to make the proposal, but in consequence of the despatch of July 19 he
did not make it. He then went to Paris, and on his return he did make
it. He could get no answer, and none was sent till August 22. Bulwer was
then instructed to propose Enrique, and the French Government was
invited to instruct Bresson to co-operate, but he allowed a month to
elapse before he wrote this instruction; then when the conclusion of the
marriages was imparted to him, he suffered three weeks to elapse before
he took any notice, and then sent his protest. It never would have been
effectual, but the only chance for him would have been an instantaneous
remonstrance by return of post. All these delays, such tardiness,
coupled with other slight circumstances, give some colour to the
proceedings of the French Government, and, to a certain degree, help out
their case. Normanby is fully conscious of the damage thus done to ours,
and the only excuse for the last delay is, that Palmerston was reposing
on the assurance that the marriage of the Infanta was not to take place
at the same time with that of the Queen; but this, when examined, will
appear hardly any excuse.


I called yesterday afternoon on Madame de Lieven, who was very glad to
see me, and we forthwith broke into the subject, without, however, any
sort of agreement. She abused Palmerston, and said if Aberdeen had been
in office it would not have happened. As to argument, she really had
none to offer, but repeated over and over that 'we had departed from the
agreement with Aberdeen;' and if not, 'pourquoi nommer le Cobourg?' She
said all Europe was against us, that we had with little dignity knocked
at the doors of the three Powers who turned their backs on us, and that
we had done good to France and harm to ourselves by this useless appeal,
as they were now more alienated from us and better inclined to the
French, and that they all thought us in the wrong. She said much about
Normanby, his _greenness_ as ambassador, and the follies he committed;
asking advice of different people, and very incompetent people too; and
she repeated the story Jarnac had told me of his saying we never should
have harmony restored till Guizot was turned out and the Infanta had
renounced, which, she said, had been told her by Apponyi, who had heard
it from Normanby himself. She had got other stories of the same kind,
and a heap of little charges of holding communications with Thiers,
Molé, and others hostile to the Government. She said that the King was
very angry with our Queen for having said that he had broken his word,
and never would be reconciled to her till she had withdrawn that
accusation. I said that between his word and hers I could not for a
moment doubt, and that I suspected he would have a long time to wait if
he did so till she withdrew the charge she had made. She said Guizot was
very strong, the King very firm, the marriage very popular, and that
they all desired nothing so much as to make known all that had passed,
secure that in so doing they should have public opinion all the world
over on their side. We parted wide as the poles asunder, but very good

_January 7th._--Guizot appointed me at four o'clock yesterday, but when
I went there he was not returned from the Council. I called again and
saw him for a moment; but as he said he had his courier to despatch, and
'avait à me parler sérieusement,' he begged me to go to him to-day at
half-past four.

I called on Lord Cowley,[3] and had a long conversation with him. He is
impatient for a reconciliation, and thinks that far too great importance
has been attached to the question itself. He blames Palmerston severely
for his despatch of July 19, and thinks that more warning and menace
were held out than I had conceived;[4] that _his_ communications ought
to have satisfied Palmerston that the French Government were in an
excited state and prepared to do something unless he prevented them.
This makes his delays still more inexcusable. He also fancies that it
would never have happened if Aberdeen had remained in office.

[Footnote 3: [Henry, Lord Cowley, younger brother of the Duke of
Wellington (born 1773), had been Ambassador at the Court of France under
the late Government. He resigned on the fall of Sir Robert Peel's
Administration, but remained as a private gentleman in Paris until his
death, which took place in April 1847, shortly after this interview.]]

[Footnote 4: Miraflores came to Paris for (see _post_) the purpose of
getting something settled. He told the King that Trapani was out of the
question, the two sons of Don Francisco de Paula almost impossible from
the Queen's dislike of both, especially of Don Enrique, on account of
his insolent letter to her from Bayonne. If, therefore, His Majesty
would not give them his own son, he entreated him to leave them alone
and let them choose for themselves. The King answered very angrily, said
he would not give the Duke de Montpensier, still urged one of the
Spanish Princes, but above all recommended delay, and to take time for
consideration. This Miraflores told to Lord Cowley, who wrote it home to
Palmerston. This is the communication which Palmerston alludes to in his
long note, but he is very incorrect in his allusion.]

At night to the Opera, where I met Thiers and was introduced to Molé. I
am to call on Thiers to-morrow afternoon. Molé told Normanby that he was
very uneasy about two things,--the arrest of Olozaga in Spain, and the
intervention of the Austrians in Italy, which he expected to take place.
Molé, by Normanby's account, speaks very disparagingly of Guizot, and,
by Madame de Lieven's, very contemptuously of Normanby. It is amusing
enough to hear all the stories the people here tell and the opinions
they express of one another.


_At night._--This morning I called on Madame de St. Aulaire, whom I
found, and Madame de Gontaut, whom I did not; then, Madame de Lieven.
Much talk on the old subject, and the fire of my tongue extinguished the
fire of hers, for, without the least convincing her, I reduced her to
silence. The great gun I brought to bear on her was Aberdeen's despatch
to the Duke de Sotomayor, which proved that Palmerston had in no way
departed from the system of conduct pursued by Aberdeen. From her I went
to Guizot, and was with him for an hour and a half. We began with an
agreement that we should be mutually frank and sincere. He went through
the whole case and exhibited all his causes of complaint and suspicion
against Palmerston, that when he came into office he never said a word
(in public or private) expressive of a desire to be on good terms with
France, neither in his speech at Tiverton, nor in the House of Commons,
nor to Jarnac; that he never alluded to the Spanish question nor sought
to establish or confirm an understanding thereupon with France; that the
despatch he wrote to Bulwer (19th), which contained instructions for his
conduct, was not imparted to the French Government; and that when Jarnac
spoke to him, and Palmerston showed him the despatch, it was already
gone. All this apparent reserve and uncommunicativeness excited
suspicions that he was not well disposed and, above all, not going to
tread in the footsteps of Aberdeen. I defended him by saying that he
ought to have considered Palmerston's situation--just come into office,
encumbered with business, occupied with questions of much more urgent
importance in the House of Commons. Nothing new having occurred about
Spain, he contented himself with desiring Bulwer to abide by his
predecessor's instructions, and really had nothing to say on the
subject; that it was his habit to write in a rather familiar, offhand
style, and his despatch to Bulwer, which was not intended to be
published or communicated, was of that description, but that it meant
nothing; and when asked, and the objection urged to the obnoxious
passage, he gave the most positive assurance that no change of policy
was contemplated. Guizot insisted that it did not signify what he meant;
that the question was, what impression it was calculated to convey. Then
he went into the various delays, and the impossibility of getting an
answer from him; all of which served to confirm his suspicions that a
different and hostile policy was already in active operation, that the
note of February 27 gave him a right to act, _le cas échéant_, and that
in a letter to Jarnac (which he gave me to read) he plainly indicated
his intention by saying that if England adopted _une politique isolée_,
he would adopt one also, and he asked me whether I would not have
understood what this meant--and that it meant, what he afterwards did. I
said I did not mean to acquit Palmerston of much negligence and
tardiness; that I thought he ought to have at once come to a
satisfactory understanding with France about the marriages; that he was
greatly to blame in all his delays, but that he did him less than
justice; that Palmerston was not the bitter enemy of France which he
supposed, and that he was reposing all along on the faith of the
engagements which Aberdeen had communicated to him, never thought the
matter pressed, nor had the least idea that they took it so seriously;
that he must remember we did not regard Spanish affairs with the deep
interest and attach to them the same importance they did. He said he was
convinced that Palmerston came into office with a resolution to overturn
French influence all over the world; that he fancied (as many others
did) that Aberdeen had sacrificed the interests or the dignity of
England to the French Government, while he himself had continually been
charged with doing the same thing in France: charges which destroyed
each other. But that this was Palmerston's idea, and that he was
resolved to oppose France everywhere, to display his independence; that
this was especially his object in Spain, where he wanted to raise the
Progressista and depress the Moderado party as the most effectual means
of substituting English for French influence; that the real reason he
supported Don Enrique, and called him 'the only fit husband,' was that
he was the head of the Progressista party, and his being chosen as the
Queen's husband would be a great encouragement and triumph to it; that
this party was the enemy of Christina and of the present government, and
for this reason our choice was obnoxious to them; that except for these
reasons he had no objection to Don Enrique, and long ago had desired
Bresson to get him recalled in a despatch which he showed me; that he
was convinced that Palmerston not only had determined to act in the way
he had stated, but that he thought he could intimidate France.[5]

[Footnote 5: I said that the idea of _intimidating_ France had never
entered his head, that he was _un homme de coeur_ himself, and knew
that France was too great and too powerful to be intimidated by anyone.]


I replied that he was entirely mistaken: that he exaggerated
Palmerston's disposition and mistook his position; that in Melbourne's
time he did what he chose in his own department, but that was not now
the case; that all important affairs were decided by the Government, and
that John Russell was far from having any bitter feeling against France,
and had always entertained sentiments of esteem towards Guizot
personally; that neither he nor anyone else (not even Palmerston) wished
to see him out of office. It was true that they did think there had been
on different occasions and in various places an undue succumbing to
France, but that there was no desire to commence a general struggle
against French interests; that they would certainly see with pleasure
the Liberal party in Spain again lift up its head, and some such
reaction as should promise a Government disposed to act in a
constitutional manner, and put an end to the despotism that now
prevailed. He said that he considered this the best and most
constitutional Government that Spain had ever had; that it was far more
so than Espartero's; that every change had been effected in a legal,
constitutional manner by the Cortes itself; while all former changes,
especially the expulsion of Queen Christina, had been effected by
violence. I said I was amazed to hear him say so, and begged to ask him
how the Cortes itself was constituted, and whether it had not been
packed by stratagem and force, and by the most unscrupulous use of
despotic power--the municipalities having been suppressed and all free
opinion overborne. He only replied that the municipal question was made
the instrument of the Queen's deposition, and that it had been voted by
the Cortes.

It is very difficult to record accurately a conversation in which we
often diverged and then returned to the same topic. I pressed him hard
on his want of openness and confidence, and urged that when the two
countries had been so long on such terms of amity, and the two
Sovereigns also, that before he proceeded to act in so serious and
decisive a manner and which could not fail to offend England, he ought
to have left nothing vague, but have said distinctly and at once what he
intended to do. He ought, if he took the note of February 27 as his
justification, to ascertain that Palmerston was cognisant of that note.
Why did he not as soon as he came into office renew to Palmerston the
notice he had thought it necessary to convey to Aberdeen, and why not
say frankly that he regarded the state of the case to be such that,
acting on the right he had reserved to himself, he should send
instructions to Bresson to conclude the marriages. His answers to this
were very weak. He said that it was not his business to look after
Palmerston's affairs, and that he had a right to conclude, since
Aberdeen had communicated with him, that he had imparted to him this
note; that he showed confidence to those who showed confidence to him,
and that he did not think Palmerston had acted towards him in such a
manner as to require such confidential communication on his part. His
real reason was (though I did not think it necessary to charge him with
it), that if he had given notice to Palmerston, the latter would have
sent off to Madrid and probably counteracted his scheme. He insisted
that his letters to Jarnac, and the conversation he had had with Lord
Cowley (which he repeated to me word for word as Lord Cowley had done),
were warning enough and were sufficient indication of his intentions.
Besides that Bresson's instructions were general, he had had them above
a year with a discretionary power to act upon them whenever he had
reason to believe the Coburg marriage was _imminent_, which case he
contended had arrived. I said if its imminence arose from our despatch,
Bresson had himself created it, inasmuch as he had shown it to the
Spanish Government. He said that was not true, that Bresson had given
him his most positive assurance that though he had spoken of it to
different people he had never shown it to the Spanish Ministers. He
spoke with great energy of the King's feelings and of his own,
especially at the strong language that had been applied to him
personally, and of his having been accused in a formal document as well
as in a letter, of _bad faith_; that it was impossible to transact
business with any confidence and in a useful manner with those who
charged him with bad faith. Such accusations were intolerable. He then
spoke of his letter to John Russell; that he had only intended to call
his attention to the difficulty of going on with Palmerston while he put
such a tone into the discussions; that it was absurd to suppose that he
had ever thought or dreamt of effecting Palmerston's removal from
office. He excused this letter very clumsily, and said he had not
expected any answer to it (being evidently to the last degree nettled at
that which he had received). I admitted that this letter was very
imprudent, that it was very strong, and spoke of Palmerston in terms he
was likely to feel and not easily to forgive; that he should have
recollected what a situation he placed John Russell in, who really was
compelled to answer it as he did, or to quarrel outright with
Palmerston; that if he had not answered it as he did, the indignation
and resentment of Palmerston would have been very great, and he would
probably have resigned; and that he might have found means of conveying
his sentiments in some manner less dangerous and offensive. He insisted
on the clear intention of Palmerston, from the despatch, the delays, and
various circumstances, to depart from the engagement with Aberdeen. I
said that we could prove that Aberdeen himself had laid down precisely
the same rule of conduct on which Palmerston had acted, and expressed
the very same sentiments; that they were recorded in a former despatch
addressed to the Duke de Sotomayor for the information of the Spanish
Government; that this was very different from the letter to Bulwer which
was neither to be shown nor any thing done upon it, but was a reply to
two important questions: the first, whether if the Spaniards chose a
husband for the Queen not a Bourbon prince, such choice would be
displeasing to England; and secondly, if France attempted to coerce
their choice, whether England would support them. His reply was plain
and decisive: viz. that their choice would not be objected to by
England, whatever it might be; and that while it was impossible to
conceive that France ever would attempt coercion, if she did, Spain
would have the 'sympathy' of England and of all Europe. He said he had
no copy of this despatch, and did not well recollect its contents. I
said, 'But you have seen it.' He 'had not had it in his hands, it had
been read to him.' He was evidently much put out by the citation of it.


After a great deal more talk he spoke of his intentions. First, however,
he complained of our refusal to join with him in the Cracow affair, and
that we had done so in an offensive manner, giving him to understand
that his breach of the Treaty of Utrecht made it improper to join with
him in enforcing that of Vienna, but that, nevertheless, he was resolved
to observe the greatest moderation and to evince no _rancune_; that he
should lay the papers he thought necessary before the House of Peers,
and make such a statement of the whole case as he was convinced would
prove to demonstration to France, to Europe, and even to many people in
England itself, that he was clear and blameless in the transaction; that
he might deceive himself, but that such was his sincere belief; that he
should, however, do this in language of moderation and with an earnest
desire to avoid furnishing any fresh matter for irritation; that he
should continue his endeavours to act towards England in a friendly
spirit, and he should not be deterred by her past conduct from offering
to communicate and consult with her on all those subjects which it was
desirable they should consider with reference to their mutual or common
interests. He said he had a great deal more to say to me, hoped to see
me again, and that I would dine with him, and so we parted.

_January 10th._--On Friday I called by appointment on Duchâtel. There is
nothing of much interest to record of my conversation with him. He
talked in the same strain as Guizot, expressed great desire for
reconciliation, confidence in the goodness of their case, said their
majority was stronger and more secure than ever, and any change of
government impossible.


Yesterday morning I went to Lord Cowley, who showed me his letters to
Palmerston giving him an account of the state of the Spanish question
and of his conversations thereupon with the King and Guizot. These
communications ought certainly to have drawn Palmerston's attention to
the subject, and have induced him to lose no time in coming to some
understanding with the French Government. At the same time the anxiety
of the King to gain time, and his urgent recommendations to Miraflores
to have patience, may have misled Palmerston and made him think there
was no danger. It is clear to me that what they took alarm at was
Miraflores' communication; that they really did believe the Coburg
alliance was _imminent_, and that when it was followed up by
Palmerston's despatch of the 19th their fears were still more increased.
They all along suspected both Palmerston and Bulwer; and they did, in
truth, think that between Christina's impatience, the difficulty of
finding an eligible Bourbon, the probable intrigues of Bulwer, and the
suspected co-operation of Palmerston, unless they settled the matter
themselves _somehow_ it would be settled in the way they most dreaded.
They knew, or at least they thought, that their difficulty would be very
agreeable to Palmerston, and that it was not likely he would help them
out of it. In this state of things I have no doubt that Guizot wrote to
Bresson and told him to settle the affair if he could, and that Bresson
was furnished with fresh instructions on which he did act, and not on
the old discretionary ones on which they now pretend that he acted. Lord
Cowley thinks Christina told Bresson that if he would at once strike a
bargain and give the Duke de Montpensier for the Infanta, Don Francisco
should have the Queen; that he instantly accepted this proposal, sent it
off to Paris by telegraph, where it was confirmed at once. Whether this
was the exact mode or not, or whoever took the initiative, I believe
this is the way it was done; certainly the King seemed anxious to put
the question off. Lord Cowley thinks he expected to be able to bring
back Trapani. Guizot's vehemence (for he spoke much more strongly than
the King) ought to have alarmed Palmerston. The mischief has arisen from
Palmerston being careless and thoughtless, Guizot suspicious and

Yesterday morning at two o'clock I called on Thiers by appointment,
found him in a very pretty apartment full of beautiful drawings, copies
of Italian frescoes, pictures, bronzes, books and _cahiers_ of MS., the
sheets (much corrected and interlined I could see) of his work. These he
told me were his 'seul délassement,' and that politics never interrupted
his literary labour. We then talked about the present state of affairs,
and very amusing he was, sparing nobody and talking with his usual
abundance and openness. He said he had read the notes that had passed
between Palmerston and Guizot; that his own opinion was that Guizot
would break down on the _procédés_, but that at all events it was a
quarrel _à outrance_; that each accused the other of bad faith, and
could only justify himself by fixing that imputation on his antagonist;
that moderation became impossible when such charges were bandied, and he
had read with astonishment the strong things contained in these notes;
that if Guizot had the worst of this encounter he would fall, not
however by the desertion of the majority, not by this Chamber, but
through the King. 'You must not,' he said, 'believe what you hear of the
strength of the Government and of its security; don't believe all Madame
de Lieven tells you; c'est une bavarde, une menteuse, et une sotte; vous
l'avez beaucoup connue, vous avez été son amant, n'est-ce pas?' I
defended myself from the imputation, and assured him that though she had
had lovers when first she came to England I never had had the honour of
being one of them. He then said he would tell me what would happen: the
King _se faisait illusion_ that the Whig Government could not stand; but
when he found out that this was an error _il aurait peur_; and if we
continued to refuse to be reconciled, he would get rid of Guizot. The
present Chamber would not overthrow him, but the King would. 'Savez-vous
ce que c'est que le Roi? Le mot est grossier, mais vous le comprendrez.
Eh bien, c'est un poltron.'[6] I said I was surprised to hear this, for
we thought he was _un homme de coeur_, and had given proofs of his
courage very often. 'Non, non, je vous dis qu'il est poltron, et quand
il se trouvera définitivement mal avec vous il aura peur; alors il
suscitera des embarras à Guizot; il y a quarante ou cinquante hommes
dans la Chambre, je les connais, qui tourneront contre lui, et de cette
manière il tombera, pas par la Chambre, encore moins par vous.' He said
the accusations had been so strong that each Minister was bound to prove
his own case and the _mauvaise foi_ of his adversary, and Guizot would
stand or fall by the result of the explanations. 'Vous pouvez être sûr
que ce que je vous dis est la vérité, d'autant plus que ce n'est pas moi
qui lui succéderai, c'est Molé. Cependant je vous parle franchement, et
je vous avoue que je serais enchanté de sa chute; d'abord parce que je
le déteste, et après, parce que l'alliance anglaise est impossible avec
lui; c'est un traître et un menteur qui s'est conduit indignement envers
moi, mais je ne serai pas ministre.' However, he could afford to wait;
he was forty-eight years old, and his health excellent. As long as the
King was in no danger he would never send for him; as soon as he was he
would send for him. The King could endure nobody who would not consent
to be his tool; he would never take office without being his master, _et
j'en viendrai à bout_; he would rather continue in his independence than
take office on any other terms. He told me he had seen the notes, and
was amazed at the sharpness of their contents. We then went out
together, and walked to the Faubourg St. Honoré, talking about his book,
Napoleon, etc.

[Footnote 6: [Louis Philippe was certainly not wanting in physical
courage, but in moral courage he appeared in his later years to be
deficient. M. Thiers was in the habit of using exaggerated language, and
he disliked the King; for M. Thiers' great defect was that he could not
_serve_ anyone. The Revolution of February 1848 proved that there was a
good deal of truth in these predictions. But the want of resolution
which M. Thiers imputed to the King arose solely from his honourable and
consistent aversion to violence and war.]]


_At night._--I have been dining with Thiers, and met Odilon Barrot,
Cousin, Rémusat, Duvergier de Hauranne, Mignet, and several others I
can't remember. They were all prodigiously civil to me, and with Cousin
and Mignet I had a great deal of conversation. Palmerston's note arrived
this morning. It is very clever and well done, but too long, and his
_polémique_ about the Treaty of Utrecht in my opinion _déplacée_ and
mischievous. But he is determined to urge this point, and is
endeavouring to get the Allied Powers to join with him in a protest or
some formal expression of opinion upon it. I don't believe they will
ever do this; but if they did, it would probably produce most serious
consequences. His policy in this is perfectly inconceivable to me.
Normanby read it to Guizot this afternoon, and at the same time offered
him the despatch of the 19th July (to Bulwer), and Aberdeen's to
Sotomayor to publish with the other pieces, _both or neither_, but he
refused them. I had another furious set-to with Madame de Lieven, who is
the most imprudent woman I ever saw; but we always part friends.
Normanby has shown Thiers several papers, and Molé _many more_ he tells
me. I have begged him to be cautious.


_January 12th._--I called on Guizot yesterday by appointment; found him
more stiff and reserved than the first time, and not apparently in good
sorts. He did not appear to have anything particular to say, but
reverted to the old topics; that he would not go again over the same
arguments; but it was clear that from the beginning Lord Palmerston had
a fixed policy which he had immediately begun to carry out: to raise the
Progressista party in Spain, and destroy the Moderado and French
influence with it; that we fancied ourselves obliged to substitute
English for French influence there as an indispensable security for our
power in the Mediterranean; and we appealed to the Treaty of Utrecht;
that great changes had taken place since that time. It was true France
had acquired Algeria, and through it a certain power in the
Mediterranean; but that we had acquired Gibraltar, Malta, and Corfu,
which we had not been possessed of before, and which were quite
sufficient to secure our power there. He said a great deal more of
Palmerston, for he still insists, and either believes, or at all events
pretends to believe, that Palmerston was bent on the Coburg marriage,
and doing his utmost to bring it about. He really thinks it was sound
policy on his part, and for that reason was pursuing it. I again and
again assured him he was mistaken. 'You forget,' I said, 'that when this
affair began, Palmerston had not been ten days in office, was
overwhelmed with business, and had many other things more pressing to
occupy his attention. He had found an understanding concluded with
Aberdeen, which he accepted. He had no thoughts of doing anything; he
knew of nothing urgent that had occurred, and the truth is, _il n'y
pensait pas_.' 'Comment!' he said, rather angrily, 'il n'y pensait pas?
Est-ce que vous nous prenez pour dupes que vous voulez nous faire croire
cela? 'I said I believed it was so; that this Spanish question which was
of such deep interest to them was of much less interest to us; and
'why,' I said, 'if you considered the matter so urgent, if you knew what
was going on in Spain (which Lord Palmerston did not), and considered
the marriage you so feared to be _imminent_, why did not you go at once
to Palmerston and tell him so?' 'Ce n'était pas à moi,' he replied, 'de
faire l'éducation de Lord Palmerston.' 'No,' I said; 'mais c'était à
vous de faire vos propres affaires, and to communicate frankly with him
when you wanted his assistance.' He would not allow this. I said, since
I had been here and had seen and heard a great many things I did not
know before, I had become convinced that his alarm about the Coburg
marriage was perfectly sincere, that he really did believe it was likely
to take place, and that the real object of the King had been to get the
Spanish Court to wait and not insist on an immediate marriage; that it
was not the despatch of July 19, but the mission of Miraflores and what
he had said to the King which had really alarmed them. He said this was
not exact; it was not that which had given them the alarm, but from
various circumstances they were convinced that the Coburg marriage would
have been settled offhand if they had not taken decisive steps to
prevent it; that this marriage it was impossible for France to tolerate.
There was already a Coburg in England, another in Portugal, and to have
had a third at Madrid would have been to make Spain a part of Portugal,
and to have exhibited to all the world the triumph of English over
French influence; that this combination which we wanted to bring about,
they were bound to defeat, and then again assuming that _our Court_ was
bent on it, he said: 'Le fait est que vous êtes meilleurs courtisans que
nous.' I told him that I was assured the Court had never sought this
alliance, and that Prince Albert had long ago written to his cousin to
say that he must not think of it, as it was impossible.

I then asked him why Christina had been so impatient to conclude a
marriage of some sort, and why she could not wait as the King had
advised. He said, for reasons partly personal and partly political; that
Queen Christina was a very extraordinary woman--'très habile, avec un
esprit très impartial'--that she had no prejudices, and he had heard her
talk of her greatest enemies, of Espartero even, without rancour and
with candour; that she had great courage, patience and perseverance, and
never quitted a purpose she had once conceived; that royalty was irksome
to her, and government and political power she did not care about except
so far as they were instrumental to the real objects of her life, which
were to live easily, enjoy herself, and amass money for her children,
who were numerous, and whom she was very anxious to enrich; that she was
aware of the precarious nature of her influence, and felt the necessity
of connecting herself with, and obtaining the support of, one of the
great Powers--England or France--the latter by preference, but the
former if not the latter; that she had, therefore, always wanted the
King to give her his son for the Queen, and when he refused this, she
had got angry and turned to the Coburg alliance and the English
connexion; that besides, the young Queen was impatient to be married,
and that if they had not found her a husband, she would infallibly have
taken a lover. 'Vous ne savez pas ce que c'est que ces princesses
Espagnoles et Siciliennes; elles ont le diable au corps, et on a
toujours dit que si nous ne nous hâtions pas, l'héritier viendrait avant
le mari.' For these reasons she was impatient to conclude, and she
infallibly would have concluded the marriage with the Prince of Coburg
if we had persisted in refusing the Duke de Montpensier, and had not
effected some other arrangement. She trusted that the King, her uncle,
would have accepted _the fait accompli_, and at all events that she
should have been secure of English support.


I then said that after all what was now most important was to look to
the future, that our quarrel must be fought out, but that a short time
would bring those discussions to an end. What was to happen then? I
believed and hoped that he was not likely to be _renversé_ here, and I
was satisfied Lord Palmerston would not be in England, and how were the
affairs of the two Governments to be conducted between them? If Spain,
which had once been a military _champ de bataille_, was henceforward to
be a political _champ de bataille_ between the two countries, I did not
see how any _entente_ was possible. Must this last for ever? or was it
impossible that the two Governments should unite in bringing about a
better state of things in Spain, and giving to her in reality something
of the freedom and independence which she possessed in name? He seemed
by no means disposed to enter on this subject, and as I thought I
observed in his manner some symptoms of a desire that our conversation
should terminate, I rose and took leave of him. He was very civil, but
rather formal and ceremonious on my going away.

_Paris, January 13th._--This morning we read in the newspapers the
_pièces remises_ by Guizot to the Chamber of Peers, and among them, to
our great surprise, an extract of Palmerston's despatch to Bulwer of
July 19, Guizot having refused Palmerston's offer to place it (with
Aberdeen's to Sotomayor) at his disposal. Normanby immediately wrote him
a very strong note complaining of this publication after what had passed
between them. In the afternoon I saw Madame de Lieven, who made very
light of it, and treated it as a frivolous complaint. Bacourt, who was
there, endeavoured to find excuses for Guizot, but was obliged to
confess that he had no right to use this without our permission. When I
got home I found Guizot's reply had come. He said he had given nothing
more than he had quoted in one of his notes, and had done no more than
produce the English version of what he had quoted in French, and he
asserted his right to do this. He finished, however, by saying that if
Normanby would send him the two despatches, he would add them to the
other documents. Normanby wrote back word that he regretted he should
have produced this extract in a manner calculated to give a false
impression of the tenor of the despatch, sent him the documents, and
hoped, as he was going to publish more, he would produce Palmerston's
last note. There has been a schism here in the Opposition; Billault,
Dufaure, and thirty or forty deputies have separated from Thiers, and
are preparing to join Molé if Guizot falls. It seems clear that neither
party will take our side on the marriage question, and that the
Government will not be attacked at all in the Peers, and very probably
very feebly in the Deputies.

_January 16th._--For the last two days I have been sightseeing, Hôtel
Cluny, Churches, Notre-Dame, Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois, the Gallery of
the Louvre, and all day yesterday was at Versailles. I had not seen it
for above thirty years, and was struck with the vast dimensions and the
ugliness of the building; it is, however, interesting on the whole.

I dined with Guizot on Friday; had very little talk on politics. He came
into one of the rooms where Bacourt and I were talking and joined us. I
then said that though I had come here without any mission I had come not
without the hope of being able to take back with me something which
promised a renewal of good understanding. Guizot said he was ready to be
on good terms with us, but he could _do_ nothing of any sort or kind,
and this he repeated in a very peremptory tone. He was probably (though
very civil to me) not in the best of humours in consequence of the
article which had appeared that morning in the 'Constitutionnel'
(Thiers's paper), with a circumstantial and quite accurate account of
what has recently passed between Guizot and Normanby about the
despatches. This, which could only come from the Embassy, has shocked I
suppose everybody, and made Guizot and his friends indignant. Normanby
was himself very much annoyed when he read the article, and at once
perceived the bad effect it would have. He said he did not know how it
got there, but he suspects Thiers who probably sent it or caused it to
be sent; however, both William Hervey and Craven are so hot and so
unreserved that the Opposition paper might very easily get over it.
Normanby has told Thiers and Molé everything, and Thiers came twice in
three days to the Embassy. All this is well known, and Normanby passes
for an ambassador in constant and confidential communication with the
enemies and rivals of the Ministers. In spite of all this, within the
last two days I have found a less excited tone. We had, however, our own
complaint to make, which probably kept them more quiet about the
'Constitutionnel.' When all the papers came out it appeared that Guizot
had published another fragment that he had no right to do of one of
Palmerston's despatches, about 'the only fit husband.' This had been
read to him, but no copy given to him, and he took the words down with
his pencil at the time. These words he published in a formal official
shape. His excuse is the same, that the words had been quoted in one of
his notes.


_January 19th._--Went last night to the Tuileries; the King was very
civil, but did not talk to me on any subject. We were there only twenty
minutes. I saw all the Princesses, the Duchesse de Montpensier decidedly
the best; she is a pretty, plump little thing, and looks three or four
years older than she is. The Duchesse d'Orléans is still in mourning.
The King looks very well, and is grossly caricatured by 'Punch;' he is a
very good-looking old gentleman, and seems to have many years of life in
him still.

Normanby saw Guizot on Sunday about the affairs of the Plate, when he
took the opportunity to speak to him about his second extract (from the
despatch which was not communicated to him); he made the same sort of
excuse as for the other, and reminded him that he had taken the words
down in pencil.

Went last night to a ball at the Duchesse de Galiera's, where I met
Francis Baring,[7] who told me a good deal about French politics. He
says Thiers is quite out of the question, and that his own errors and
the schism in his party hare demolished him. Billault and Dufaure are
making a second opposition. He thinks Guizot has more to fear from the
effects of the very grave financial embarrassment which exists, and that
if he got the country into any political difficulty in the midst of it
he might be sacrificed, but Molé is a man without courage; the majority
is the King's majority on the whole, but still Guizot has many followers
and is not without power. It would not, therefore, be quite so simple
and easy to dismiss Guizot unless some good opportunity presented
itself. Everybody here will support the Government in its present
contest with us. He said he should not dare to speak a contrary language
to his wife, who would tear both his eyes out if he did. He thinks we
were right to decline joint operation in the affair of Cracow, but that
it is an enormous blunder to make so much of the Treaty of Utrecht; that
it would have been wise to have made a protest, the more vague and
general the better, but reserving to ourselves to take any course we
thought fit in respect to Spanish marriages and successions, keeping all
treaties and laws bearing on the subject in reserve, to be used or not
according to our discretion. This is what I have always thought: the
Treaty of Utrecht, the renunciations, the laws of Spain, and the other
treaties between Spain and Austria furnish materials for a very good
argument such as an astute counsel might turn to excellent account; but
Palmerston has made the Treaty so prominent, and has been so decisive
and peremptory, that he has got into a position where he can neither
advance without danger nor recede without discredit. I saw the other day
his protest at Madrid against the marriage in which he declared that
England would _never_ acknowledge the issue of the Duchesse de
Montpensier as heirs to the crown of Spain.

[Footnote 7: [Mr. Francis Baring had married Clara, the daughter of
Maret, Duc de Bassano, and was well versed in French affairs.]]


_January 21st._--Was at Madame de Lieven's on Tuesday afternoon when
Guizot came in from the Chamber. He said the Duc de Broglie had spoken
for an hour and a half _avec un grand succès_. The next morning I read
this successful speech, which was as bad as it well could be, and
calculated to make matters worse with us. The Queen's Speech arrived
yesterday, and was thought very moderate, as it is, but very ill
written. In consequence of the passage about Cracow none of the
Ambassadors of the three Courts would appear at the _séance royale_.
Yesterday Guizot spoke for two hours, and certainly very adroitly in
reference to his position and his object; being quite sure of whatever
he said being accepted as all-sufficient by the Chamber, he could afford
to glide over the difficult points and not attempt to grapple with them,
and he carefully abstained from saying anything irritating or offensive
to us, sparing even Palmerston as much as he could. I went to Madame de
Lieven to-day, when she asked me what I thought of the debate. I said,
'If you want my candid opinion, I will give it you. Le discours du Duc
de Broglie a été mauvais; il est indigne de lui et de la réputation
qu'il s'est acquise; il n'est ni juste, ni vrai, ni sage. S'il avait eu
le désir d'envenimer l'affaire, ce que je ne crois pas, il n'aurait pas
pu parler autrement.' I then said that the speech of M. Guizot was of a
very different character, that I did not attach much value to his
argument, and that he had eluded all the real difficulties of the
question, but that he had contrived to make a defence which was quite
sufficient for his purpose here (though if it had been addressed to an
English Parliament or court of justice it might have been easily
answered), and to do so with a perfect reserve and moderation, and
without allowing one word to escape him of a violent or offensive
character; that it was very clever, very adroit, admirably adapted to
the occasion, and I thought would produce a salutary effect _chez nous_.
She was much pleased, and expressed her satisfaction that I thought
this; when I said she must not forget that I said so always with a
reserve as to the argument, and that I only meant to speak of the tone;
that as to the value of the speech in reference to the question at
issue, I agreed entirely with the 'Constitutionnel.' She laughed at
this, affected to treat it with derision, and said that all the world
knew the articles in that paper came from the Embassy, which I treated
with derision in my turn. Guizot then came in, but only stayed a moment;
she told him that I admired his speech, but would tell him more of what
I had said when he came to her in the evening. I then told her of the
absence of the Ambassadors at the House of Lords, which struck her
prodigiously, and she would hardly believe it. We afterwards talked of
the future and how matters could be got right, and we both agreed that
where 'la confiance avait été ébranlée' entirely, it was very difficult
to restore it. I said the only way I knew was to act with mutual truth
and good faith, to have no _dessous des cartes_ on either side, and then
by degrees each party would discover that the other really was doing so,
and by degrees confidence might revive. But the notion of Palmerston's
hatred of Guizot is so strong, of his independent power in the
Government and his disposition to use it, that it is very difficult to
bring them into anything like a quiet and confiding state of mind. I
told her it was an error to suppose Palmerston was so powerful and that
he could drag his colleagues with him unreasonably, and that if they
found him wantonly and unfairly endangering the peace of the two
countries, they would force him to desist or to go. Guizot's speech
seems to have been received very favourably by most people for one
reason or another, and it certainly was very able and judicious.

I dined to-day with Madame Graham (a dull party), and went afterwards to
Mrs. Austin's, where I met M. de Tocqueville, Mignet, Alfred de Vigny,
M. de Circourt, Mr. Wheaton, and several others whose names I cannot
recollect. There was also a Mr. Schwabe, who has been travelling all
over Spain with Cobden, and has a great deal to say about the country
and the people. He says there is a sprinkling of Free Trade tendencies,
but not at Barcelona. They were well received everywhere, and by nobody
better than by the French consuls (especially Lesseps at Barcelona),
whom they found advocates of Free Trade. The country appeared miserably
desolate and depopulated, but they were told that the improvement within
the last ten or twelve years was prodigious. The Infanta's marriage was
unpopular, French influence on the wane, and he is convinced that if the
country is only left alone, the feeling of Spanish independence will be
enough to provide an opposition to French influence.


_January 24th._--On Friday the newspapers brought the English debate on
the Address, which has made a great sensation here. The speeches,
especially Lord Lansdowne's, all so moderate and expressive of an
earnest desire for a reconciliation with France. Everybody, those who
hoped and those who feared, were astonished; Guizot delighted, but
taking it coolly. We think that Lansdowne's tone was too low, that he
was too _empressé_, and that it will be misunderstood at Paris. Then the
'Times' has been writing articles abusing Palmerston and giving out that
public opinion is all against him, and inclines to Guizot, doing all the
mischief it can. These articles were received with a great deal of
chuckling by Guizot and his people, and the low tone taken by Government
and others corroborated their impressions. John Russell spoke very
properly, very conciliatorily, but with more of firmness. There was a
ball here on Friday night, where I had some conversation with Molé,
Cousin, Duvergier, and Francis Baring. All are struck with our
discussion. Molé, who wishes for reconciliation and rejoices at the
spirit that has been evinced, told me he thought Broglie's speech very
bad, and Guizot's very good and discreet, but that the latter was
already triumphing. 'Avez-vous vu,' he asked him, 'les journaux anglais?
Eh bien, vous voyez qu'on recule.' Cousin said that it was impossible
for them to say anything for us in the Chamber when we did not seem
disposed to say anything for ourselves. Duvergier said the same thing,
and he with Thiers and his people are excessively disgusted and
disappointed at the ground appearing to be taken from under their feet.
M. de Beaumont said to me last night, 'Il paraît que vous avez mis bas
les armes.' They now write from England that it is probable there will
be no discussion in either House, a conclusion so impotent and
discreditable that I hope it will not end thus. Palmerston can never
permit this; both he and the Embassy and Thiers will cut a ridiculous
figure enough.

With great imprudence and impropriety, in my opinion, Normanby, with
Palmerston's concurrence, has been in confidential communication with
Thiers for the purpose of enabling the latter to attack the Government
in the Chamber, it being of course expected and understood that we were
to make a strong case against Guizot at home. All the world here knows
of this connexion and blames it. Guizot is of course indignant at it,
and it renders all communication between him and Normanby as cold and
distant as possible. Thiers is as sulky as a bear; he knows that his
alliance with the Embassy has done him no good, and now it seems
unlikely to enable him to do anybody else any harm. It is clear to me
that we are in great danger of cutting a contemptible figure and
something more, for nothing can be so impolitic as to create a belief
here that the people of England are resolved to submit to anything
rather than go to war, and that the French Government may follow their
own devices without hindrance, for if the Minister for Foreign Affairs
(especially Palmerston) remonstrates and complains he will probably not
be supported at home. The fact is, Palmerston's mismanagement of his
case and his most unwise persistence in his argument about the Treaty of
Utrecht have ruined him and given _gain de cause_ to Guizot. I must say
that I begin to think no reliance is to be placed on him, and that he
really is a very bad and dangerous Minister. It appears that before the
Session opened Lansdowne wrote to Palmerston and desired to know what he
meant to do, what to insist on, and, in short, how they stood. He wrote
back word that he had no thoughts of insisting on any renunciations, as
it was clearly impossible to obtain them, and that he was ready to go on
with France amicably and frankly on all matters of common interest,
though of course there could not be the same confidence as heretofore.
On this Lansdowne made his speech. But yesterday morning in the midst of
all these honeyed words there arrives a letter from Palmerston to
Normanby desiring him to go and complain formally of the affair of the
extracts, and particularly that what he did publish was not textually
correct, and that Guizot's _excuses_ were not satisfactory. Normanby
never told me of this till the evening when he had done it. He went to
him and read the letter, and Guizot was very angry and said _excuses_
was not a proper word between gentlemen, and that it was difficult to
carry on communications when such expressions were used. Normanby said
he could only answer for the English word in which sense he ought to
have understood it.

[Sidenote: M. DE TOCQUEVILLE.]

_Evening._--I saw the despatch this morning; it was short enough, but it
would have been better not to have read it to Guizot. This evening,
however, Normanby met him at Madame de Lieven's, when he told him he
thought it not worth while to write to Palmerston what had passed
between them yesterday, as he had misunderstood the meaning of the
_English_ word. Guizot said as that was the case he had nothing to say,
and thought too it would be as well to say nothing to Palmerston about
it. So this matter is in a manner blown over, but the same _animus_ will
probably generate fresh things of the same kind.

This morning I called on Tocqueville and sat some time with him and his
wife, an Englishwoman. He looks as clever as he is, and is full of
vivacity, and at the same time of simplicity, in his conversation. He
gave me an account of the state of parties in France substantially the
same as I had heard before; the schism of Billault and Dufaure, to whose
section he belongs; they could not go on any longer with Thiers, who, he
says, does not command above twenty or thirty votes, and is out of the
question. He had formerly belonged rather to Odilon Barrot than to
Thiers; said the marriage question was most decidedly popular in France,
because considered as having given us a check which had paid off old
scores, and that the being now _quits_ had rendered a future good
understanding more easy; and never did he remember so general a
disposition to be on friendly terms with us, and to act in concert with
us; he thinks the King could turn out Guizot and make another
Government, but that he is not likely to do it.

I went last night to a ball at the Hôtel de Ville, where amongst many
fine people were all the _bourgeoisie_. It was a magnificent ball and
very well worth seeing, many of the women very good-looking and all well
dressed. There must have been two thousand people there, and the house
extraordinarily fine. From thence to a ball at Madame Pozzo di Borgo's,
the most beautiful house I ever saw, fitted up with the greatest luxury,
and _recherché_ and in excellent taste. There were to be seen all the
exquisitely fine people, the cream of Parisian society, all the Faubourg
St. Germain, the adherents of the old and _frondeurs_ of the new dynasty
who keep aloof from the Court, and live in political obedience to, but
in social defiance of, the ruling powers. They are knit together by a
sort of compact of disloyalty to the _de facto_ sovereign, and if any
one of them suffers himself or herself to be attracted to Court the
offender immediately loses caste, is treated with the utmost scorn and
indignation, and if a man very probably does not escape without some
personal quarrel and is sure to be deserted by his friends.


_January 26th._--Yesterday morning the 'Morning Chronicle' came with a
bitter and violent article against Guizot's speech in the Chamber; the
courier at the same time brought copies of our printed papers, and I
took one to Madame de Lieven. There I found Guizot furious at this
article, which he said he was sure had been dictated by Palmerston
himself. I said I was as much shocked at it as he was, and that Normanby
regretted it very much, but that I was persuaded Palmerston had had no
hand in it, and no knowledge of it; that he had written to Lord
Lansdowne the day after his speech saying he entirely approved of it and
agreed in all he said, and it was impossible he should have at the same
time written such a letter and sanctioned such an article, but that I
was sorry he had not taken means to prevent such diatribes, and inspired
the 'Chronicle' with a better spirit. It was preaching to the winds. His
dislike of Palmerston is so great, and his conviction of the reciprocity
of the sentiment so rooted, that he will not allow himself to doubt. I
left them because I was engaged, and promised to return in the
afternoon to her. When I did return I found the perusal of the papers
had made a great impression on her. She said there were many curious
things she did not know before. I said 'Certainly, so I told you,' and I
then pointed out to her certain letters and asked her if they did not
prove to demonstration, first, that the proposal of a Coburg came
entirely from Madrid and was the desire of the Spanish Court; secondly,
that we had constantly refused to lend ourselves to it; and thirdly,
that if we had answered the appeal to us according to the disposition
they always had imputed to us, the marriage might have been made. She
was obliged to own that it was so, but then again returned to the old
question 'Why, then, did you name him?' I said once more for the
fiftieth time that it never had entered into the head of Palmerston or
of anybody else that _the mention of his name_ would have raised such a
notion or suspicion in them or in anybody, and that it was wonderful
they would not see that if he had had the intention and that this letter
contained the expression of it, the last thing he would have done would
have been to show it to them. She then talked again about the
'Chronicle' and the difficulty of going on, of the unsatisfactory
relations between the Foreign Office and the Embassy, and of the great
difficulty of ever restoring them to such a condition as they ought to
be in for any useful purpose. 'How,' she asked, 'could M. Guizot open
his mind to Normanby, or talk confidentially to him, when he knows he is
intimately connected with the Opposition, and that what he says may be
repeated the next moment to Thiers and appear in the "Constitutionnel"
on the following morning?' This is the real embarrassment, and it is not
easy to see how it is to be got over. Guizot and Normanby are on civil
terms, and that is all. When they meet on business they discuss the
particular matter in hand, and never anything more; to William Hervey
Guizot does not speak at all; when they meet at Madame de Lievens,
Guizot appears not to see him. She says that I am the only Englishman to
whom he can talk openly, and consequently they are very sorry for my

After I left her in the morning I drove all over Paris: to the
University to see Cousin, who lives up a staircase just like a Bencher
or a Collegian. He was not at home, nor anybody there to answer the
bell, so I stuffed my card through a crevice in the door. He is a Peer.
Then to Prince Czartoryski's, who lives in a great old house in the Isle
St. Louis, close to the Pont d'Austerlitz. The establishment is curious
and interesting. The Princess told me she wanted a house which was
spacious and cheap, and not therefore in the fashionable and dear part
of the town. They were fortunate enough to find this, which exactly
suits them. It was the hotel of the Duc de Sully, and there was formerly
a subterraneous passage with a communication to the Arsenal. It
afterwards fell into the hands of Lambert, a great financier, and is
still called the Hôtel Lambert. Madame du Châtelet had it, and they show
the apartment which Voltaire occupied for many years. At the Revolution
it became a shop or _magasin_, I forget of what, but no change was made
in the building. The Czartoryskis found it all _délabré_ and dirty,
bought it very cheap, and spent twice as much as the purchase-money in
restorations. It is a great fine house, handsome staircase and gallery,
very vast, with court and garden, and a delightful airy prospect towards
the river and the Jardin des Plantes. The thick coat of dirt which was
cleared away had preserved the original painting and gilding, which have
come out, not indeed bright and fresh, but still very handsome, and they
have furnished it in a corresponding style. It is not, however, for the
purpose of being well lodged that they have thus provided themselves,
but to perform a great work of beneficence and charity. The Princess has
converted the whole of the upper stories into a great school for the
daughters of distressed Polish officers and gentlemen, where they are
lodged, fed, clothed, and educated, and what is left of their fortune
they spend in this manner. She took me all over the apartments; they are
like those in a very well-regulated pauper school, clean to an extreme
nicety, but modest and economical. The girls crowded about her to kiss
her hand. There they are prepared to become governesses; the Princess's
daughter is their 'Professeur d'Anglais,' she told me. It is a very
striking sight and well worth support. I went from thence to the Place
Royale; then to where the Bastille formerly stood, and down the whole
length of the Boulevards, which is the way to see this curious town.


_Wednesday._--Yesterday morning news came that the Spanish Ministry was
out; a majority in the Cortes on the question of the Presidency,
composed of Progressistas and discontented Moderados, turned them out.
The movement is anti-French and said to be brought about by a coalition
of the two brothers against the Queen-mother. Guizot is evidently
disconcerted by it; Madame de Lieven affects a supreme indifference; she
told me that Sotomayor was making a Government, a _Moderado_ Government,
that he had proposed to Mon to remain. Mon would not without Pidal (his
brother-in-law), and the others were willing to have Mon, but would not
have Pidal, because the two would make the Cabinet too French. They now
acknowledge that 'sans contestation vous n'avez jamais voulu ni rien
fait pour le Cobourg.' I asked her whether this was Guizot's opinion,
and she said 'parfaitement.' This is incomparably cool. After having had
the most reiterated assurances _before the fact_, which they utterly
disregarded, and did not choose to believe, now that the fact is
accomplished, and it suits their purpose to make it up, they acknowledge
that they were in error, and acted on a mistaken notion.

I went last night to Madame de Circourt, who has a brilliant salon, but
I knew none of the people; then to Madame de Girardin, where were people
of a totally different description.

_Thursday._--I prevented Normanby from going to Thiers' salon the night
before last, and yesterday morning I gave him to understand as
delicately as I could that all his communications with him and others in
opposition to the Government were noted, reported, and much resented. He
is, however, still impressed with the notion that Guizot may be got out,
and that his connexion with his opponents may conduce to that object,
in my opinion a dangerous error.

Kisseleff gave me an account of what had passed between him and Guizot
about the despatch which he read in the Chamber. Kisseleff said it was
very irregular and improper, but he did not think it had done any harm.
Kisseleff received it the morning of the debate in the Peers, and took
it to Guizot, telling him it might be of use to him to know the
contents. Kisseleff left it with him to read at his ease, and begged him
to return it directly, giving him no authority to produce it. Guizot
read it _in extenso_. He said afterwards that he believed it was the
best thing he could do for France and Russia too. Strange that a man so
formal should be so loose in his transaction of business.

_Friday._--I saw Guizot yesterday, my last day; he is very sorry I am
going, being the only Englishman he could speak to; he does not see how
he can go on with Normanby in his notorious relations _avec tous ses
ennemis_; then as to the press, the 'Morning Chronicle;' Palmerston's
connexion with it is so notorious that one might as well try and
persuade him day was night as that Palmerston was not concerned in the
'Morning Chronicle.' I told him frankly that I regretted both the
appearance and the existence of intimacy between the Embassy and the
Opposition, that it was exaggerated, but that I could not be surprised
at its producing an effect on him. I did not think it worth while to go
again into the case or to triumph over the effect produced by our blue
book; I only said 'that he now admitted himself that he had been wrong
about Palmerston before, and that this might inspire him with more
confidence for the future;' but he said, 'No, he did not admit it; that
Palmerston had come into office with the resolution of attacking him
anywhere; that the Marriage question in Spain was merely subsidiary to
that object, and he had only put forward Don Enrique in order to set up
the Progressista party against him and French influence.' He said the
greatest danger proceeded from _les agents subalternes_; that he had
given a proof of his resolution to act justly by at once recalling the
French Consul at the Mauritius, for which he was well aware he should
be attacked here, but that it was right, and he had therefore done it.
He said he would communicate with me, but he thinks the disposition of
the other Ministers of little consequence so long as Palmerston's are
what they are. All our conversation ran on this; his on the difficulty
of going on after all that had passed, mine on the necessity of trying.
I said what I could for Normanby, and assured him he would find him
personally easy to deal with. I then went to Madame de Lieven, who
followed in the same strain, and said what is true enough, that
Normanby, once having let himself drop into Thiers' hands, will find it
difficult to get out again. This has always struck me. I have said what
I could to Normanby, but I came too late for that. I am certain they are
very uneasy at the effect produced both in England (even in the midst of
its apathy) and here by the publication of our papers. Here it is
unquestionably great, although they have not yet been distributed fully.
I met Cousin last night, who was vehement on the subject, and told me,
if he had been aware of their contents, nothing should have prevented
his replying to the Duke de Broglie. Tocqueville told me that they had
produced a very great effect; that men like himself who approved of what
had been done were inexpressibly shocked at the way in which it had been
done, and at the revelation of so much that was false and dishonourable
in the conduct of the French Government.


_Saturday._--Just setting off to London and not sorry to leave Paris,
where I am, after all, a fish out of water. I have been most kindly and
hospitably entertained, interested, and amused, but the excitement of
the particular question once over, I feel that I have no business here,
that I am not fit for the society, and should never take root in it; the
exertion required, the stretch and the continual alacrity of attention,
would be intolerable. I have fallen in here with Scrope Davies, a social
refugee, whom I have not seen these twenty-five years, almost the last
remnant of a circle of clever men of the world, and once the intimate
friend of B.

Yesterday I went about taking leave and went to both the clubs: with
Mrs. Austin to M. de Triqueti's studio, and then of course to Madame de
Lieven. At the clubs I learnt the confirmation of what I had been led to
believe the day before, the extraordinary impression made here by the
publication of our blue book. It quite surprised me, not because I do
not think it very strong; but having been myself long ago convinced and
familiar with most of the details, I did not know that people here were
so little prepared for what they had seen. There can be no doubt of the
reality and vivacity of the impression. Francis Baring told me that men
who had before told him they thought Guizot had the advantage, now came
to tell him how entirely their opinions were changed; in short, if it be
any advantage, it has done our case infinite good and prodigiously
disconcerted the Government. I found Madame de Lieven very low and full
of resentment, especially for the publication of Normanby's conversation
with Guizot, which she said must make their personal relations still
more difficult and unpleasant. It is, however, this document which has
produced the strongest effect of all. I told her all I had heard, and
that Guizot must make up his mind to be bitterly attacked in the Chamber
by Lamartine, Billault, and Thiers. She said that she had no doubt of
his coming triumphantly out of the fight.


Last night there was a party at the Embassy, at which Thiers and
Duvergier were present. Thiers had been with Normanby in the morning. He
made an attack on me for believing all Madame de Lieven told me; said I
was 'une éponge trempée dans le liquide de Madame de Lieven,' and tried
his best to persuade me that Guizot was weak, his majority not worth a
rush, and that the King could and would get rid of him whenever he found
himself in any sort of danger. 'Tell Lord Palmerston,' he said, 'when he
speaks, to say "beaucoup de bien de la France, et beaucoup de mal de
Monsieur Guizot."' I said I should give him one-half the advice and not
the other, and that Palmerston's wisest course would be to hold moderate
language, tell his story, and leave everybody to draw the inferences. I
have no doubt he will make a very powerful speech and present an
admirable _résumé_ of the whole question. But this new vigour infused
into the Opposition, which will bring on an acrimonious debate, though
it may cover Guizot with mud, will not shake him from his seat. I told
Thiers he was quite mistaken in supposing that I took my opinions from
Madame de Lieven or believed one half she told me, but nevertheless I
could not believe that the King would part with Guizot if he could
possibly help it, for he would look in vain for so supple an instrument,
and one so well able to defend him and his measures in the Chambers.
However, Thiers thinks of nothing but mischief, of gratifying his own
personal passions and resentments. He has evidently persuaded Normanby,
and I have no doubt Normanby tries to persuade Palmerston of the same.
The cool people here meanwhile tell me that Guizot will not be turned
out, and I am inclined to believe it. I leave the Embassy in certainly a
very painful and unbecoming condition. Normanby seems not to care who
sees his intimacy with Thiers, and he has none whatever with Guizot.
They do not and cannot converse on anything but the merest matters of
business, and their relations get worse, and seem likely to do so; the
obstacles to an understanding sufficiently frank to be useful appear
almost insurmountable. Thiers, having got Normanby into his clutches,
will not easily let him go again, and the resentment of Guizot will
hardly be appeased, nor do I see any chance of their ever being on
really good terms. So ends my _mission_, and it only now remains for me
to give the truest account I can of the state of affairs here to those
whom it most concerns to know it; but then it will be very difficult for
them to adopt any decisive and satisfactory course.


    Return from Paris--Possibility of a Tory Government--Hostility
    to Lord Palmerston--Lord Aberdeen's Dissatisfaction--The
    Duke's short View of the Case--Sir Robert Peel's Repugnance
    to take Office--Lord John Russell--Further Disputes of Guizot
    and Lord Normanby--The Quarrel with the Embassy--Lord Stanley
    attacks the Government--The Normanby Quarrel--Lord Palmerston
    threatens to break off Diplomatic Relations with France--Sir
    Robert Peel's Opinion of Lord Palmerston--Mr. Walter--The
    'Times'--The Normanby Quarrel made up--Mr. Greville's Opinion
    of his own Journals--Income of the Royal Family--Lord George
    Bentinck--Lord Normanby's _Étourderies_--The Government gains
    Strength--The Irish Poor Law--The Czar places a large Sum with
    the Bank of France--State of Ireland--Lord George Bentinck
    as a Leader--Foreign Affairs--Archbishop Whately--Birthday
    Reflexions--Lord Dudley's Diary--Power of the Press--Mr.
    Disraeli and Mr. Moxon--The Defence of the Country--Troubles
    in Portugal--Illness of Lord Bessborough--The Duke of
    Wellington on the Army--Spain and Portugal--Abolition of the
    Lord-Lieutenancy contemplated by Lord John--Difficulty of
    abolishing the Lord-Lieutenancy--Deaths of Lord Bessborough
    and of O'Connell--Lord Clarendon's Appointment--The End of
    O'Connell--The Governor-Generalship of India--Sir James Graham
    thought of--Failure of Debates on the Portuguese Question--The
    Duke's Statue--The Governor-Generalship of India offered to
    Sir James Graham--Sir Robert Peel's Position--Failures of the
    Government--The Duke of Wellington's Popularity--Opinion in
    Liverpool--Bitter Hostility of Mr. Croker to Peel.

_London, February 3rd, 1847._--I got to town on Monday; one hour and
fifty minutes crossing the sea, which was like a duck-pond. Saw Lord
Clarendon the same night for a long time, and Lord Lansdowne yesterday
for a shorter. Told the first all I knew and thought, and gave the
latter a succinct account of affairs in France, but did not say a word
of Normanby and Guizot. He has heard of it, however, as I find others
have likewise; and he asked Clarendon if I had said anything to him
about Normanby's goings on at Paris. But Clarendon said he had not asked
me, as living as I had done in Normanby's house I should not like (if
it were the case) to say anything about it. I have not yet had time to
look round me and see the state of things here. It is determined not to
have any discussion on foreign affairs if they can possibly prevent it.


_February 6th._--I called on Graham yesterday, and sat with him for two
hours and a half, discussing _res omnes_. He is not very well satisfied
with the Government, though wishing to keep them in rather than let in
the Protectionists; but he thinks they are inclined to curry favour with
the Protectionists, and they are disgusted (he and Peel) at the soft
sawder that is continually bandied backward and forward between John
Russell and George Bentinck, which nettles Peel very much; and they both
think, considering the avowed sentiments of George Bentinck towards him
and his conduct, that it is very insulting to Peel. He thinks they don't
take an independent line enough, and ominously hinted that if they meant
to try to obtain the support or the forbearance of George Bentinck and
Co. they must abide by the consequences as far as Peel and his friends
were concerned. He thinks the aspect of affairs very threatening both
abroad and at home, Stanley evidently looking to the Government and
ready to try and form one, but saying 'he does not desire it.' After a
sort of estrangement between him and Stanley ever since their Government
broke up, they met in the House of Commons the night of George
Bentinck's Railroad motion, when Stanley very cordially proposed they
should walk home together, and then talking over the state of affairs
Stanley said, 'This can't go on.' Graham: 'Well, perhaps not; and then
it must fall on you.' Stanley: 'I do not desire it.' The event is by no
means impossible, for this Railroad question may turn the Government
out; everything, however, indicates that Stanley, as head of his party,
is endeavouring to work his way into office. He is all for moderation
and conciliation, and wants to allure back the mass of the Conservatives
to his standard. Goulburn they count upon; Aberdeen says they have
secured him; Gladstone they expect to get. But it is endless to
speculate on all the possible or imaginary contingencies by which they
think they can form a Government. Stanley must now be ready to tear his
hair at having quitted the House of Commons, for with all his great
power of speaking (never greater than now) he is lost in the House of
Lords where it is all beating the air. Then in the House of Commons he
must trust to George Bentinck and Disraeli: the former with an
intemperance and indiscretion ever pregnant with dangerous dilemmas; and
the other with a capacity so great that he cannot be cast aside, and a
character so disreputable that he cannot be trusted. The Duke of
Wellington would give Stanley every support, and would bring Dalhousie
with him if Dalhousie was not afraid of embarking in such a concern and
with such associates. What Stanley and his party would like best would
be to get Palmerston to join them and be leader in the House of Commons,
which Palmerston would himself delight in if he dared run the risk. At
this moment, however, everything is in a fearful state of uncertainty,
and the weakness of the Government and their total want of power are
lamentably apparent.

Aberdeen is in a state of violent indignation at the brutal and stupid
attacks on him in the 'Morning Chronicle,' which he attributes to
Palmerston; and he is so provoked that he says he is disposed to bring
on a foreign discussion after all, that he may vindicate himself. He
says that nothing could exceed the abhorrence in which Palmerston was
held all over Europe, at the small courts more than at the great ones,
from Washington to Lisbon but one sentiment. I sat next to Palmerston at
the Sheriffs' dinner, and told him a great deal about Paris, and
especially the mischief which the 'Morning Chronicle' had done there. He
said, 'I dare say they attribute the articles to me.' I told him (since
he asked me) that they did, and that it was difficult to convince them
that they did not emanate from him. He affected to know nothing about
them, but I told him it really would be well to find means to put a stop
to them. Meanwhile, the attacks on Aberdeen have drawn down on
Palmerston two vigorous articles in the 'Times,' which may teach him
that he has everything to lose and nothing to gain by such a contest;
the very inferior articles in the 'Chronicle' not being read by a fifth
part of those who read the far better ones in the 'Times.' I met
Beauvale[8] last night at Palmerston's, and found he took precisely the
same view of foreign affairs (especially of the Spanish question of
succession and renunciations) that I do, and it is pretty evident that
he has as little respect as anybody for his brother-in-law's foreign
policy. He said he could do no good, and therefore held his tongue, but
that he had written to John Russell in the beginning, and told him he
did not think the case on the Treaty of Utrecht could be maintained.
Lady Palmerston had told me that Beauvale had examined the matter, _and
entirely concurred in their view of it_!

[Footnote 8: [Sir Frederick Lamb, Lady Palmerston's brother, had
recently been created Lord Beauvale.]]


_February 8th._--With Aberdeen yesterday for a long time. He complained
much of the articles in the 'Chronicle' against him, and said he had
acted towards Palmerston throughout in the most amicable manner. He
still is reluctant to believe Guizot so false as our case against him
tends to prove, and thinks that he was sincere in his distrust of
Palmerston and in his conviction that the Coburg marriage was
_imminent_; and he cannot believe he was so _stupid_ as to say what
Normanby represents about _en même temps_, &c. Nevertheless, he blames
much that Guizot has done, thinks his letter to John Russell the height
of indiscretion, and has not a word to say for the secret despatch to
Bresson of December 10, which he never saw and which never was
communicated to him. He said it was written just when the Government
appeared about to break up and Palmerston to be coming in; but he
acknowledged that as long as he remained in he was left in complete
ignorance of it. He said he was the more surprised at Palmerston's
delays because he had told him (and John Russell too) that the French
Government were positively insane on the Marriage question; that great
as their confidence was in him, they were in a state of continual
suspicion and alarm, and always _at_ him about it; that the memorandum
of February 27 was no more than they had repeated verbally fifty times,
and he had told Palmerston that they always said they should hold
themselves free from their engagement if they saw this danger, but that
he (Aberdeen) had constantly told them nothing was doing or intended,
and that they need not alarm themselves. I asked him what necessity
there was for this memorandum at that particular time? He said that
about that time Prince Leopold did go to Lisbon, and they fancied he was
going to Madrid, and the danger therefore increasing.

Aberdeen declared that Peel would never take office; it had been
suggested to him that the country was in such a state that he might be
called for by a great public cry. Peel replied, 'Let them call, but I
will not respond.' There is great doubt and uncertainty about the
Railroad measure of Thursday next. John Russell is thought to have acted
very weakly not to have made up his mind till so late. He sent word to
George Bentinck in the middle of his speech that he meant to let him
bring in his bill. Now it is suspected he means to give way in whole or
in part; if he does, I think it will be fatal to his Government. Lincoln
said last night that it would be handing it over to the Protectionists,
nothing else.

I dined with M. de St. Aulaire last night, who talked much of Guizot and
Normanby, and of Guizot's _heroism_ in foregoing the temptation to speak
in the Chamber (as if he had meant to forego it), and to vindicate
himself from the aspersions thrown on him by Normanby's despatch, which
he was aware had done him the greatest injury here. However, he will not
have done himself much good by his speech, which seems only to make bad
worse. The result, too, of all the intimacy between Thiers and Normanby,
by Palmerston's desire, is amusing when Thiers does not make half a case
against Guizot, and announces to the Chamber that Palmerston is odious
to all Europe and hateful to the three Northern Courts.


_February 15th._--Called on Friday morning at Apsley House and had a
long talk with Arbuthnot. The Duke came into the room, stayed a very
little while, but excited himself talking about Spain and the Treaty of
Utrecht, the pother about which he declared was 'all damned stuff.'
Arbuthnot told me he was most anxious for the prosperity of this
Government. Arbuthnot did not confirm what Graham said about the Duke's
leaning to Stanley; on the contrary, he talked of Stanley's being lost
amongst such associates as he has; he talked with bitterness of Peel's
conduct and the breaking up of the party, and said he was quite sure he
would never come into office again; he gave me a more detailed account
of his parting request to the Queen, when he said, after begging her
never to ask him to take office again, that he could not help
remembering that Mr. Pitt, Mr. Fox, and Mr. Canning had all died in
office, and victims of office; that he did not dread death, and this
recollection would not deter him; but when he recollected also that Lord
Castlereagh and Lord Liverpool had also died in office, the one a maniac
and the other an idiot, that recollection did appal him, and he trembled
at the idea of encountering such a fate as theirs.

Yesterday morning John Russell sent for me, and I told him all about
Paris and the state of affairs there. I did not conceal from him my
opinion of Palmerston's conduct, though I had done all I could to defend
him. He said in many respects Guizot's was as bad, especially as to the
newspapers. I found fault with the negotiations with other Powers to
join with us in a demonstration about the Treaty of Utrecht, but that he
defended. I told him we totally differed on the question; but we had no
time to discuss it, indeed, little to discuss anything, for he was going
to a deputation, so we walked together from his house to the office. I
told him I had intended to urge him to do something, but that Guizot's
speech made it almost impossible to do anything. He begged me to see St.
Aulaire and talk to him about it, and to tell him the Queen had a great
regard for him, and did not mean to do anything neglectful by him. He
gave me an account of the strange state of things at Madrid, and of the
confusion and quarrels which have followed this fine marriage the French
have effected.

_February 16th._--I saw Jarnac yesterday and had a long conversation
with him. He defends Guizot, of course, but a great deal that he says is
reasonable enough. Normanby took up Guizot's speech with a very
unnecessary display of resentment, and fancied that he intended to
impeach his veracity in respect to his second report of conversation.
Accordingly he wrote an angry letter home, to which Palmerston
immediately wrote an answer. Both these letters (_Normanby's altered
here_) were laid before Parliament, and at the same moment published in
the 'Morning Chronicle.' This was quick work, and on the whole
irritating and offensive, but Normanby says all Paris considered that he
was affronted by Guizot, and he was obliged to take it up. Here no one
individual that I have seen construed what Guizot said in that sense.
Such is the difference of the respective atmospheres of the two towns.
There all fire, here all ice. It seems that Normanby made no
communication on the subject to Guizot, but that the latter became aware
of the resentment he had caused and made some sort of indirect offer to
say something in the newspapers. This Normanby would not hear of, and
said the reparation must be made in the tribune where the affront was
given. There the matter stands. Jarnac thinks the appearance of the two
last letters will rouse great indignation at Paris and complicate
matters still more. He denies that there was any intention on the part
of Guizot to impeach Normanby's veracity, and that his very vague and
guarded intimation that the report was not accurate by no means implies
such a charge. I think it very questionable whether any report of a
_conversation_ ought to be published without the party being referred
to, and having an opportunity of admitting or denying the accuracy of
such a report. It is a very nice matter, especially when the
conversation passes in one language and the report is made in another.
But Jarnac complains (and not without reason) of the tone of
Palmerston's letter. He says he was quite right to support his
Ambassador, but he has done so in terms unnecessarily offensive to
Guizot, and when he says that he has no doubt, notwithstanding what
passed in the Chambers, of the perfect accuracy of the report, he
transgresses the bounds of courtesy, and speaks positively to that of
which he cannot by possibility have any knowledge. This criticism
appears well founded. He said that similar circumstances had occurred
here about reports of conversations, and that Palmerston himself had
denied the accuracy of a report he had made of a conversation, and that
his denial was admitted.


Jarnac says if Guizot had been informed by Normanby or by any common
friend that what he had said was offensive to Normanby, he is sure he
would have given a sufficient explanation, but unluckily none of the
Embassy are on such terms with him as admit of an amicable remonstrance.
I told him what had passed between John Russell and myself, and that he
wished me to see St. Aulaire. We agreed, however, that it was no use
saying anything more till we saw how this matter proceeded at Paris.
Matters are now as bad as possible there, and the French Embassy here
think that the King alone can make them up. He is, however, exasperated,
it seems, for Howden attempted to talk to him the other night, when he
got excited and flew out, especially about the attempts to assail
Guizot. Of course this squabble renders his position only the more
secure, for his removal now on any pretext would be a dastardly
concession to England which nobody in France would endure.

_February 19th._--George Bentinck's railway scheme was signally defeated
on Tuesday night: he had 118 with him, many less than he expected. He
made a great exposure of himself in a reply full of bad taste, bad
judgement, and impertinence. Peel made a very able speech, his attempts
to reply to which were pitiable; the minority consisted of sad rubbish.
Yesterday morning I was with Lord Lansdowne, and took the opportunity of
pouring a broadside into him about the management of foreign affairs,
and the necessity of his taking some decisive steps to prevent that
everlasting _petite guerre_ that Palmerston will wage. I spoke very
strongly indeed, and told him what the real state of affairs was at
Paris. He made great grimaces and seemed vastly struck with what I said,
and I hope something may come of it. This morning I have a letter from
Normanby bitterly complaining of the article in the 'Times,' in which he
is accused of holding communication with the enemies of the Government,
and says it came at a very critical moment and prevented Guizot making
the _amende_ he otherwise would have done.

_February 20th._--Matters get blacker and blacker at Paris, and Normanby
has got himself into a deplorable fix from which at present there seems
to be no exit. I have letter upon letter on the subject, all full of
grief and confusion. Normanby himself writes to complain of the harm the
'Times' has done him (a second letter), but seems still unconscious that
it is his own precipitancy and Palmerston's violence that have got him
into the scrape. The agitation at Paris is extreme, and the whole
Embassy now seem frightened and to be recovering (now that it is too
late) from their hallucinations about getting rid of Guizot, and their
being able to carry everything with a high hand. William Hervey even now
writes something like sense; and Howden tells Clarendon the truth, and
just what I have been saying all along. Craven writes to me and
anticipates nothing but Normanby's return and eventually war.

_February 22nd._--On Friday Lord Lansdowne called me into his room, and
told me I should be glad to hear that there was a probability of the
quarrel at Paris being settled, as the King had undertaken to mediate
between the parties. I went up to St. Aulaire directly after, but he had
heard nothing of it. He expressed joy, and said it had all along been
the only solution he had looked to. He then showed me a letter from
Guizot to him, written two days after the debate, in which he said that
he had spoken of Normanby with the greatest reserve, and avoided saying
anything which could impugn his veracity or the intentional
incorrectness of his report. I asked him whether Guizot would have said
this to Normanby if he had applied to him, and he said certainly he
would, he had no doubt of it. He then told me that a fresh ingredient
had been cast into the cauldron from the foolish incident of the
invitation to Guizot, and he read me a letter from M. de Cazes with an
account of it. Normanby gave a great assembly on the 19th, and amongst
the invitations, one was sent _by mistake_ to Guizot. Nothing ought to
have been done but to let it alone; but very foolishly they made a great
noise about it, and in a manner which was considered personally
insulting to Guizot; they proclaimed all over Paris that they never
intended to invite him. It had been settled in the first instance that
the Ministers and others belonging to the Government should go to this
party, and Guizot wished them to go; but after this incident M. de Cazes
said it was thought impossible to go, and he believed none would. So
much for _gaucherie_ and _maladresse_.


On Friday there was a fight and a division, in which the Government beat
Stanley by eight. He probably did not make great exertions, but, on the
other hand, not one of the Peelite peers, members of the late
Government, voted with this. The whole affair was characteristic of
Stanley, and, as such, is worth recording. He had resolved to attack the
Sugar measure of the Government by proposing to refer it to a committee,
and he sent for his peers to come up and support him. Clarendon asked
him if he really intended to do this, and suggested he had better inform
himself of the merits of the question before he decided. He agreed, and
they sent Wood, the Chairman of the Excise, to him, who was with him for
two hours, explained everything, and satisfied him the measure was
unobjectionable. After this Clarendon asked him again if he still meant
to bring on his motion. 'Oh yes,' he said, 'I mean to give you a gallop.
It is a long time since you have had one, and it will do you good.
Besides, I have brought my people up, and I must give them something to
do now they are come.' If he had got a majority he would have been more
perplexed than the Government, and this is the man the peers are ready
to follow and to make Prime Minister. The Railway debate and the speech
of George Bentinck have thrown the Protectionists into consternation
and dismay. Any remaining illusion about him has been entirely
dissipated by the display of his intemperance and incapacity, but they
have got him mounted on their backs, and they don't know how to shake
him off. It is pretty clear too that there is no cordiality between him
and Stanley, and that the Carlton dinner scene is still rankling in the
mind of George Bentinck, as was sure to be the case, for he never
forgets or forgives anything or anybody. He held forth the other night
to Charles Villiers against Stanley's folly for bringing forward this
sugar affair; said he had no case, and that he was 'a pretty fellow to
find fault with him for proposing the advance of public money he had
done: he who had proposed first a loan of twelve, and then a gift of
twenty millions to the West Indians.'

_February 23rd._--The Normanby quarrel is not made up: very far from it.
The King had an interview with Normanby, but does not seem to have
attempted a reconciliation. Lord Lansdowne, it seems, fancied he was
going to do so from something which Howden had written. I had a long
letter yesterday from Normanby full of futilities and excitement, and
still fancying that Guizot is weak. Normanby's assembly on Friday was
attended by none of the Government or Court people, and Guizot's (for it
was one of his nights) was crammed full. The _corps diplomatique_ went
to both. Nothing can be more deplorable than the state of the affair,
and Normanby seems quite unconscious of the poor figure he is cutting.
Jonathan Peel came to me yesterday fresh from Paris, and says the spirit
rising there and the excitement are very great, and matters have got
into such a state, that the least collision anywhere, or any difference
however slight, would produce an explosion and most likely a war. He
says the people most against Guizot are now still more against England.
One man (he would not tell me his name) said to him, 'M. Guizot has rode
his race in a manner that gives us great satisfaction, but there seems
to have been a little crossing and jostling in it.' The King
_insinuated_ to Normanby the other day that he did not approve of
Guizot's conduct, and that though he must support him _now_, he might
get rid of him by and by--at least it appears Normanby put this
construction on what he said, and continues in the miserable delusion
that Guizot will fall. This cauldron is now boiling furiously: the
bitterest resentment, immense excitement, continual mischief-making,
passion, incapacity, falsehood, treachery, all mingling in the mass, and
making a toil and trouble which everybody looks at with dismay and
disgust, except probably Palmerston himself. The Chancellor of the
Exchequer introduced his Budget last night with the loan, and was very
well received. I was sure it would take.


_February 24th._--Went to John Russell yesterday morning to talk to him
about French affairs; found him just going to Cambridge House, so walked
there with him. I told him all I thought and all I heard from Paris. He
said it was all very bad, but that Guizot's conduct had been atrocious.
He let it be said all over Paris that he had given the lie to Normanby
and never made any explanation. I said I was not inclined to defend
Guizot, but that he was not just in this respect. We had not much time
to talk it over, and he ended at the gate by saying, 'Well, I think they
have both behaved as ill as possible.' 'There,' I answered, 'I entirely
agree with you: but what is to be done?' He said he would do what he
could, but he knew not what could be done. I suggested that Normanby had
better come away for a time to get a break or a pause. He said Normanby
wished this, but they were against it, and so we parted. I see that it
will be very difficult to whip him up to any sustained exertion, and
everything will probably go on _au jour la journée_.

_February 25th._--I did not think anything could surprise me about
Palmerston or his colleagues--the audacity of the one or the endurance
of the other; but I was surprised yesterday. In the morning I went to
the Euston Station to meet the Duke of Bedford and bring him to Belgrave
Square. I then told him the state of affairs at Paris, what I had said
to Lord John and Lord Lansdowne, and entreated him to try and do
something and get something done. On Saturday last there was as usual a
dinner at Palmerston's, where John Russell dined. At night, Clarendon
had some talk with Beauvale who asked him how long this state of things
was to go on, and if he was not aware of the danger of it; that it was
no use to speak to Palmerston, but he thought _he_ (Clarendon) might do
something, and that he had been just talking to St. Aulaire on the
subject. There they parted; but on Sunday morning he received a note
from Beauvale saying that he found matters were much more serious than
he had been aware of, and by a communication he had had from St. Aulaire
that morning he learnt that Palmerston had formally announced to him
that _unless Normanby received an immediate and satisfactory reparation
the intercourse between the two countries should cease_. This was done
by Palmerston without any concert with, and without the knowledge of,
his colleagues; and though John Russell, _the Prime Minister_, dined
with him the same day, he did not think proper to impart to him what he
had done. Clarendon then resolved to act without loss of time, but he
first went to call on Charles Wood, where he found John Russell. He
opened on the subject of the state of the French quarrel and its
possible consequences, and said, 'What should you say if Palmerston was
to make a communication to St. Aulaire that unless reparation was
offered to Normanby, all intercourse between France and England should
cease?' 'Oh no,' said John, 'he won't do that. I don't think there is
any danger of such a thing.' 'But he has done it,' said Clarendon; 'the
communication has been made, and the only question is whether St.
Aulaire has or has not forwarded it to the French Government.' This at
once roused Lord John, and he instantly wrote to St. Aulaire requesting
him, if he had not sent this communication to his Government, to suspend
doing so. Fortunately it was not gone. What passed between Lord John and
Palmerston I do not know, but the result has been a more moderate
instruction to Normanby from both of them.


Lady Palmerston had a letter from Madame de Lieven last night,
expressing her hopes that it would be arranged, which looks as if
Guizot would not reject the overture. She told me in the morning that
St. Aulaire had asked Palmerston to get Normanby away, and whether they
could not _send him out to India_!!! All this supplies very serious
matter for reflexion. It exhibits in the first place in the most
striking manner the character and the determination of Palmerston, and I
have not the least idea that the check he has received will either
discourage or deter him for the future. He will soon begin again on this
or some other matter. It exhibits likewise the tameness of his
colleagues, who will submit to this and anything else he may choose to
do. Most of his colleagues, indeed, will never be aware of what has
occurred. Lord John, Charles Wood, Clarendon, and probably Lord
Lansdowne know it; but most likely the others will remain in ignorance.
Lansdowne may tell Auckland. It strikes me that there is something base
and false in the transaction. Palmerston, in a manner which ought not to
be forgiven, takes this important and violent step by his own authority,
and without the knowledge of any of his colleagues. He is found out,
baffled, and he ought to be mortified, and to think himself to a certain
degree dishonoured. To have a communication of his[9] countermanded,
without his knowledge, by the Prime Minister, is a sort of affront which
any high-spirited man would naturally resent; but he is too much in the
wrong to resent it; so he submits. An honourable, straightforward man
would not have acted as he did; a high-spirited one would not have
endured such a rebuff and mortification. But a Prime Minister who was
sensible of the right and the duty of his position would not endure such
conduct as Palmerston's, would not be satisfied with interfering in this
particular case, but would at once assert his authority, loftily,
firmly, and with a determination that it should be permanently
respected. This I am pretty sure Lord John has not done.[10] How he has
settled the affair with Palmerston I know not, but it is certain that
he has done no more than stop this attempt, and has left everything to
go on as it may. The consequence is a state of things at once dangerous
and disgraceful: he dissatisfied with Palmerston and entirely
distrusting him; Palmerston dissatisfied and angry with him; the rest of
the Cabinet either ignorant of what is going on, or disinclined and
afraid to interfere. I have not the least idea of Palmerston's changing
his conduct or his policy. His fixed idea is to humble France, and to
wage a diplomatic war with her on the Spanish marriages, and to this
object to sacrifice every other. He is moving heaven and earth to
conciliate the Northern Courts. Ponsonby is doing everything he can at
Vienna, and holding the most _despotic_ language. While there is the
finest field open for us in Italy, and a noble part to be played,
Palmerston is ready to truckle to Austria, and to abandon or counteract
the Pope.[11]

[Footnote 9: It was verbal.]

[Footnote 10: [He did not do it in 1847; but in 1850 a similar
transaction led to Lord Palmerston's expulsion from the Foreign Office,
to which he never returned, though he subsequently filled other and
higher offices of State.]]

[Footnote 11: [Pius IX., who had recently been elected to the Papal See,
signalised the commencement of his reign by liberal measures, which were
vehemently opposed by the Austrian Government.]]

I met Sir Robert Peel yesterday and walked with him some time. I have
not had so much conversation with him for years. He praised the Budget,
lamented the state of foreign affairs, and talked of Palmerston as
everybody else does. I said we were always in danger from him, and he
must know how difficult it was to control him. He said, 'I am only
afraid that Lord John does not exert all the authority and determination
which, as Prime Minister, he ought to do'. I said, he did it _by
flashes_, but not constantly and efficiently.

Yesterday young Mr. Walter was brought to the office and introduced to
me. Old Walter is dying, and his son is about to succeed (in fact has
succeeded) to the throne of the 'Times,' and to all the authority,
influence, and power which the man who wields that sceptre can exercise.
He seems mild, sensible, and gentlemanlike. Though it was the first time
we ever met, he talked to me with great openness about the affairs of
the paper and the people connected with it. I was surprised to hear
from him that my original friend Barnes, who left behind him a great
reputation, was (though a good scholar) an idle boy, who never wrote a
line in the paper, and never had anything to do with any one of the
articles which all the world attributed to him.


_February 28th._--At Court yesterday to make Lord Grey Lord-Lieutenant
of Northumberland. They were in high spirits at the Prince's election at
Cambridge.[12] Lord John Russell told me that the work of reconciliation
at Paris was going on favourably. He asked St. Aulaire to give him a
copy of what Guizot had written to him about his speech as to Normanby,
which he did, and then asked him to write it officially to Palmerston.
St. Aulaire said he could not do this without Guizot's consent, but he
would ask him, and had no doubt he would give it. St. Aulaire read me a
letter from Guizot, in which he said that he had no desire to get rid of
Normanby, and begged me to write to Normanby and tell him so, which I
did. Palmerston was at the Council yesterday with his usual gay and
_dégagé_ air. The day before _for the first time_ the matter was
mentioned in the Cabinet, but in Palmerston's most offhand and dashing
style. I found, however, that Grey was acquainted with what had passed,
for he spoke to me about it. I did what I could to inspire him with a
security I do not myself feel. There have been reports abroad of a
dissension in the Cabinet about the Irish Poor Law, but it is not true.
They have been all agreed, and in fact there has been no disagreement on
any subject hitherto.

[Footnote 12: [Prince Albert was elected Chancellor of the University of
Cambridge on February 27, 1847.]]

I always forget to notice a thing I heard many months ago, but which has
never been known or talked of. A man (whose name and history I have now
forgotten), who thought he had some claims on the Government for
remuneration or employment, made several applications to John Russell,
who would not attend to them. The fellow turned savage, and was heard to
utter threats of personal violence, which from his determined character
gave great alarm to the friends and adherents who heard of them. Great
uneasiness prevailed for a time, and many consultations were held, and
the matter was deemed so serious, that at last they resolved to get the
man out of the country, and to purchase his forbearance, though not with
public money. In this emergency the Duke of Bedford came forward and
agreed to pay him a pension of 300_l._ a year, with which he was
satisfied, and went abroad. The Duke, intimate as I am with him, never
mentioned the matter to me in any way, and he does not know I am aware
of it. I think it was Le Marchant who settled this affair, and I do not
believe Lord John himself has ever been informed of it.

_March 2nd._--Accounts came yesterday that this miserable quarrel of
Normanby's was made up, but the end answered to the beginning, and
nothing could be more pitiful than the reconciliation. Howden wrote
Clarendon an account of it, in which he said very truly that Normanby
was like the month of March--coming in like a lion, and going out like a
lamb. He got the worst terms he possibly could, very different from his
first pretensions. Apponyi managed it, and they met at his house. Guizot
gave Apponyi a verbal assurance that he never intended to impugn
Normanby's veracity, and he received one that Normanby had not intended
any incivility in the matter of the card, nothing more, and this after
Normanby had proclaimed that he would accept nothing but an apology in
the Tribune of the Chamber of Deputies, and Palmerston had informed St.
Aulaire that if such an apology was not made, the diplomatic relations
should cease, and that it was for Guizot to consider whether he should
establish between England and France the same state of things as existed
between France and Russia--the business of the two Governments being
transacted by Chargés d'Affaires. A most lame and impotent conclusion
indeed. Normanby feels this acutely, for he writes to me a querulous
letter, in which he says that, 'if he had obtained less than he had a
right to expect, and if his position _there_ should not be quite as good
as if he had insisted on more, it would be owing to the cavils and
criticisms of those over-candid friends who allowed their opinions of
the probability that there must have been some _indiscretion_ on his
part to be known through Jarnac or some one of that description exactly
in the quarter where it was calculated to do the most mischief.' It is
really a comical instance of self-delusion, to see Normanby going on
even to me, protesting his innocence of the charge of indiscretion and
of communication with the French Opposition, _notamment_ Thiers. It
really is incredible that he can so deceive himself, and fancy he can
deceive others.


_March 8th._--At the Stud House on Thursday and Friday. There I read one
evening a part of one of my journal books, and I am glad I made the
experiment, because I discovered how trivial, poor, and uninteresting
the greater part of it is. I had read it over myself the night before,
and did not find this out; but when I came to read it aloud, I saw at
once that such was the case, with a few things worth hearing scattered
about it, but on the whole dull. This has satisfied me that a very
careful revision of the whole is necessary, and a selection of such
parts as may hereafter be deemed readable.

George Anson told me yesterday that the Queen's affairs are in such good
order and so well managed, that she will be able to provide for the
whole expense of Osborne out of her income without difficulty, and that
by the time it is furnished it will have cost 200,000_l._ He said, also,
that the Prince of Wales when he came of age would not have less than
70,000_l._ a year from the Duchy of Cornwall. They have already saved
100,000_l._ The Queen takes for his maintenance whatever she pleases,
and the rest, after paying charges, is invested in the funds or in land,
and accumulates for him.

_March 13th._--On Thursday night 'Cracow'[13] came on again, when George
Bentinck made a long, violent, foolish speech, running counter to
everybody's sentiments, and extravagantly praising the three Great
Powers who had perpetrated the deed. Peel followed in a speech full of
sense and judgement, and very good for the Government, the whole of
whose conduct in this matter he warmly supported. Nothing can exceed the
disgust and despair of the Protectionists at the extravagance and folly
of their leader, but they have got him, and cannot get rid of him; they
are in a regular fix, and every day becoming more disorganised and
discontented. Meanwhile he, by all accounts, improves in manner and
facility, which only makes him the more dangerous because he is full of
increased confidence in himself, and pours forth with the utmost
volubility the nonsense with which his head is full. I met Lyndhurst at
dinner the other day, whom I have not seen for a long time, and he began
talking in his usual offhand style: said that George Bentinck had ruined
the party, and, if it was not for him and for Peel, that the
Conservatives would all come together again. If this Government would
now avoid all extremes, he thought they were in for a long time. He had
told Stanley that, unless they could make some great exertion before the
next election, the party was at an end. Stanley said 'they should do
very well.' I asked Lyndhurst what could be expected of any party of
which Stanley was the head, to say nothing of George Bentinck, and he
owned he was utterly unfit; still, Lyndhurst has a hankering after
patching up the party. He insists that Brougham has persuaded himself
that this Government cannot go on, and that in any fresh combination a
Chancellor will be wanted, and that somehow the Great Seal will fall
into his hands. Brougham made a display of more than usual violence and
indecency in the House of Lords last night, and proved (if there was any
doubt) how necessary it is to have a Speaker to keep order there. He has
really made the House of Lords a bear-garden.

[Footnote 13: [The conduct of the British Government with reference to
the annexation of Cracow was again discussed by Lord George Bentinck.
Eight or ten years before it had been proposed, and even promised, to
send a British Consul to Cracow, but this design being strongly opposed
by the three Northern Powers, Lord Palmerston abandoned it.]]


Normanby writes from Paris out of humour: he has lost his senses and his
temper; he harps querulously upon the details of his miserable quarrel,
and thinks the Government have used him ill by not supporting him. He is
writhing under the consciousness of cutting a poor figure, and of the
triumph Guizot has gained over him, but there is no end of his
_gaucheries_. When the quarrel was made up, and he invited Guizot to
dinner, he selected the day on which Guizot himself always receives his
friends. Guizot accepted, and announced that he should not receive that
day, but of course the invitation was attributed either to stupidity or
to impertinence. St. Aulaire asked me, 'Est-ce que c'était une
étourderie, ou l'a-t-il fait exprès?' I assured him it must have been an
_étourderie_, but an unpardonable one. What was graver, however, was
that the first night of Guizot's reception after the reconciliation,
when he ought to have taken care to go there, he went to Molé instead,
and never went to Guizot at all. However, John Russell is now alive to
foreign affairs, and his brother is keeping him up to it. The Duke told
me he wrote him six sheets on the subject of our foreign relations,
especially with France, '_very confidential_.' The Government here are
going on very well. Lord John speaks excellently; the Speaker says he
never saw any Government do their business so well. Charles Wood's
success is an immense thing for them; a good Chancellor of the Exchequer
is a tower of strength to a Government. Goulburn was only Peel's chief
clerk; Wood is taking a flight of his own. Every day strengthens the
Government by exhibiting the utter incapacity of the Opposition, and the
impossibility of any other Government being formed; and people who have
no party heat or prejudices will have the best workmen; but there is a
disposition to _fronder_ in some quarters. I observed to Lincoln, whom I
met, that the Government were going on very well, but he would not admit

_March 14th._--Saw Graham yesterday, and had a long talk with him. He
said John Russell's speech on the Irish Poor Law was the best thing he
had done since he was Minister, and proved his competence for his high
office; that he viewed with the deepest alarm the measure itself, but
that, in the temper of the House of Commons and the country, it was
inevitable; the Government could have done nothing but what they have,
and, having come to that resolution, nothing could exceed the skill and
judgement with which John Russell has dealt with it, and his speech had
carried the question. He thinks the consequence will be a complete
revolution of property, the ruin of the landed proprietors, and the
downfall of Protestant ascendency and of the Church. He expects that the
first to abandon the Church will be the Protestant proprietors
themselves; that a tremendous ordeal is to be gone through, involving
vast changes and social vicissitudes, but that on the whole, and at a
remote period, it will produce the regeneration of Ireland. This, much
elaborated, was the substance of his opinion. I do not pretend to
enunciate any opinion as to the solution of this tremendous problem
which gives rise to so many thoughts--social, political, and
religious--perplexing the mind upon all. How those devout persons who
are accustomed to find in everything that happens manifestations of
divine goodness and wisdom, and are always overflowing with thanksgiving
and praise, accommodate this awful and appalling reality with their
ideas and convictions, I do not divine. To me no difficulty is
presented, because I never have allowed my mind to be exposed to the
hazard of any such perplexity. I do not pretend to define the
attributes, nor to pass judgement on the counsels of God; 'meâ
ignorantiâ et debilitate me involvo,' and I submit and resign myself,
with an implicit and unrepining humility, to all things that are
decreed, public or private, without venturing to pronounce an opinion,
and without wishing to give vent to a feeling on things which are far
beyond the reach of any human comprehension.

_March 23rd._--Last week the political and commercial world were struck
with astonishment at the sudden and unexpected announcement of a
financial arrangement between the Emperor of Russia and the Bank of
France, of which nobody, either politicians or financiers, could make
head or tail, nor up to this moment has any light been thrown upon
it.[14] Excursive and eager political minds, however, instantly jumped
to very vast conclusions, and beheld deep political designs, a monstrous
union between France and Russia, French divisions crossing the Pyrenees,
and Russian the Balkan.

[Footnote 14: [The Emperor of Russia placed a sum of two millions
sterling in the hands of the Bank of France. The motive of this
investment was never discovered, but it proved that the finances of
Russia were then in a flourishing condition.]]


For the last week the accounts from Ireland have been rather better, but
the people are, without any doubt, perishing by hundreds. The people of
this country are animated by very mixed and very varying feelings,
according to the several representations which are put before them, and
are tossed about between indignation, resentment, rage, and economical
fear on the one hand, and pity and generosity on the other; and the
circumstances of the case, which will appear fabulous to after ages,
will account for this. There is no doubt whatever that, while English
charity and commiseration have been so loudly invoked, and we have been
harrowed with stories of Irish starvation, in many parts of Ireland the
people have been suffered to die for want of food, when there was all
the time plenty of food to give them, but which was hoarded on
speculation. But what is still more extraordinary, people have died of
starvation with money enough to buy food in their pockets. I was told
the night before last that Lord de Vesci had written to his son that,
since the Government had positively declared they would not
furnish seed, abundance of seed had come forth, and, what was more
extraordinary, plenty of potatoes; and Labouchere told me there had been
three coroner's inquests, with verdicts 'starvation,' and in each case
the sufferers had been found to have considerable sums of money in their
possession, and in one (if not more) still more considerable sums in the
savings bank: yet they died rather than spend their money in the
purchase of food.

_March 31st._--George Bentinck made another exhibition in the House of
Commons the night before last in the shape of an attack on Labouchere
more violent and disgusting than any of his previous ones. He seems to
have lost all command over his temper, and his indiscretion and
arrogance have excited a bitterness against him not to be described.
The Protectionists are overwhelmed with shame and chagrin, and they know
not what to do: he has ruined them as a party; he was hooted even by
those who sat behind him, and all the signs of disapprobation with which
he was assailed only excited and enraged him the more. The Government
are now anxious to dissolve as soon as they possibly can, justly
thinking that the time is very ripe for them. There is at this moment
certainly no party spirit, no zeal and animation in any quarter, and
there are neither great principles nor measures in dispute to serve as
war cries or rallying points. The only party, therefore, that has any
interest in exerting itself is that of the Government, who naturally
wish to keep the power of which they have got possession. The Irish Poor
Law Bill is going through the House of Commons with hardly any
opposition, and everybody, willingly or unwillingly, has made up his
mind that the great experiment must be tried.


The Government meanwhile are in a state of great uneasiness at the
condition of foreign affairs[15] in almost every quarter of the
world--in Spain, Portugal, and Greece particularly; in Switzerland, in
Italy, and Germany to a less degree; and they are not only in a state of
uneasiness, but in one of extreme perplexity, because they by no means
clearly see their way or have any accurate knowledge of the designs and
objects of the different European Powers; they think, however, that
France is now willing to let the _entente_ with England drop, and is
disposed to form connexions with Russia and Austria in a sort of
semi-hostility to England, and by a mutual connivance at each other's
objects. They suspect, without being sure of it, that the recent
financial operation has a deeper political significance, and that the
object of France is to secure the neutrality of Russia and Austria in
the affairs of Spain, and to repay it by suffering the Austrians to
coerce the Pope and put down the rising spirit of Italian improvement.
Then the condition of Spain and Portugal excites the greatest
apprehension, and the more because it is evident we do not know what we
can or what we ought to do. I never saw people so perplexed and with so
little of fixed ideas or settled intentions on the subject.

[Footnote 15: [The effect of the quarrel arising out of the Queen of
Spain's marriage, and the squabble between M. Guizot and Lord Normanby,
began to bear fatal consequences on the politics of Europe. The amicable
relations which had subsisted between France and England until Lord
Palmerston returned to power were at an end. Lord Normanby, though
ostensibly reconciled to M. Guizot, remained in close alliance with M.
Thiers and the leaders of the French Opposition, and his efforts to
overthrow the Government to which he was accredited contributed to the
overthrow of the Monarchy. M. Guizot, at variance with the English
Minister of foreign affairs, and assailed by the English Ambassador in
Paris, drew nearer to the policy of the Northern Courts, and especially
of Prince Metternich. Such were the signs of the approaching tempest
which broke over Europe in the following year.]]

I met the Archbishop of Dublin, Whately, at dinner yesterday at Raikes
Currie's. I don't think him at all agreeable; he has a skimble-skamble
way of talking as if he was half tipsy, and the stories he tells are
abominably long and greatly deficient in point.

_April 2nd._--My birthday: a day of no joy to me, and which I always
gladly hasten over. There is no pleasure in reaching one's fifty-third
year and in a retrospect full of shame and a prospect without hope; for
shameful it is to have wasted one's faculties, and to have consumed in
idleness and frivolous, if not mischievous pleasures that time which, if
well employed, might have produced good fruit full of honour and of
real, solid, permanent satisfaction. And what is there to look forward
to at my time of life? Nothing but increasing infirmities, and the
privations and distresses which they will occasion. I trust I shall have
fortitude and resignation enough to meet them, and I pray that I may be
cut off and be at rest before I am exposed to any great trials. When we
have no longer the faculty and the means of enjoyment in this life, it
is better to quit it. With regard to that great future, the object of
all men's hopes, fears, and speculations, I reject nothing and admit

  Divines can say but what themselves believe;
  Strong proof they have, but not demonstrative.

I believe in God, who has given us in the wonders of creation
irresistible--to my mind at least irresistible--evidence of His
existence. All other evidences offered by men claiming to have divine
legations and authority, are, to me, imperfect and inconclusive. To the
will of God I submit myself with implicit resignation. I try to find out
the truth, and the best conclusions at which my mind can arrive are
really _truth_ to me. However, I will not write an essay now and here.
Sometimes I think of writing on religious subjects amongst the many
others which it occurs to me to handle. Ever since I wrote my book on
Ireland, I have been longing to write again, and for more than one
reason: first, the hope of again writing something that the world may
think worth reading; secondly, because the occupation is very
interesting and agreeable, inasmuch as it furnishes a constant object
and something specific to do; and thirdly, because I find that nothing
but having a subject in hand which renders enquiry and investigation in
some particular line necessary is sufficient to conquer idleness. Mere
desultory reading does not conquer it, and there is a want of
satisfaction in reading without an object. Why then do I not write, when
I am conscious that I have a very tolerable power of expressing myself?
It is because I am also conscious that I want knowledge, familiarity
with books, recollection sufficiently accurate of the little I have
read, and that facility of composition which extensive information and
the habit of using it alone can give. It is when this struggle is going
on in my mind between the desire to write and the sense of incapacity,
that I feel so bitterly the consequences of my imperfect education, and
my lazy, unprofitable habits. But no more of this now. To-morrow I am
going to Newmarket to begin another year of the old pursuits.


I dined with David Dundas the Solicitor-General the day before yesterday
at the Clarendon Hotel: splendid banquet; twenty miscellaneous friends.
Labouchere there told me that Lord Hatherton had not long ago shown him
Dudley's diary, which is very curious.[16] It was very regularly kept,
and told of everything he did, giving minute details of his adventures
both in high and low life. Certainly nothing could be more injudicious
than to commit to paper and to leave behind him such memorials as these,
and accordingly Labouchere advised Hatherton to commit the MS. to the
flames. Dudley speaks of his friends, and even of his acquaintances
generally, in a very good-natured spirit, and of himself with modesty
and diffidence. He was in a dreadful state of nervousness whenever he
had to make a speech in Parliament. He felt very bitterly against his
father, who, he thought, had ruined his prospects and character by the
way he had brought him up. I hope Hatherton will not burn this MS., and
that I shall some day manage to see it.

[Footnote 16: [Lord Hatherton and the Bishop of Exeter (Phillpotts) were
Lord Dudley's executors. This diary never saw the light.]]

Yesterday Le Marchant told me an anecdote illustrative of the power of
the press. He called late one night many years ago on Barnes at his
house, and while there another visitor arrived whom he did not see, but
who was shown into another room. Barnes went to him and after a quarter
of an hour returned, when Le Marchant said, 'Shall I tell you who your
visitor is?' Barnes said yes, if he knew. 'Well, then, I know his step
and his voice; it is Lord Durham.' Barnes owned it was, when Le Marchant
said, 'What does he come for?' Barnes said he came on behalf of King
Leopold, who had been much annoyed by some article in the 'Times,' to
entreat they would put one in of a contrary and healing description. As
Le Marchant said, here was the proudest man in England come to solicit
the editor of a newspaper for a crowned head!

Moxon told me on Wednesday that some years ago Disraeli had asked him to
take him into partnership, but he refused, not thinking he was
sufficiently prudent to be trusted. He added he did not know how Dizzy
would like to be reminded of that now.

_April 10th._--Just before I left town last week I saw Arbuthnot, who
entreated me, if I had any influence with the Government, to get them to
take up the subject of the defence of the country. He said it haunted
the Duke of Wellington, and deprived him of rest, and night and day he
was occupied with the unhappy state of our foreign relations, the danger
of war, and the defenceless state of our coasts. He afterwards wrote to
the Duke of Bedford on that, as well as about the Enlistment Bill, the
provisions of which he does not approve of. The Duke of Bedford spoke to
me about these things, and we agreed that it was desirable Lord John
should see the Duke of Wellington very soon, and come to some
understanding with him. On the defences, Lord John agrees in the
propriety of doing what the Duke wants, but he thinks the danger of war
is not imminent, and that it is better to do what is necessary gradually
and without noise.

_April 18th._--In consequence of the communications between the Duke of
Bedford, Arbuthnot and me, Lord John saw the Duke of Wellington and has
come to an agreement with him. The Duke will support their Enlistment
Bill, and they give way to him in what he wished about the pensioners.
Arbuthnot told me that the Duke was rather surprised that Lord John did
not mention the subject of the defence of the country, nor tell him if
he had seen the letters he has lately written to Lord Anglesey on that
subject. It is impossible to describe his anxiety or his indignation at
the supineness of the Government and the country in reference to this
matter. What he wants is that the militia shall be called out, and
20,000 men added to the regular army, but this latter he knows he cannot
hope for. His letters to Lord Anglesey are very strong. The Duke knows
that some of the Cabinet entirely take his views; the subject has been
brought before them, and Clarendon and Palmerston are as strong in this
sense as the Duke himself. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is against
anything expensive. Lord John seems to have been rather neutral. The
Duke attributes all the obstacles his plans encounter to Grey; however,
it seems probable that something will be done. Lord John will act,
though not so rapidly or decisively as the Duke wishes.


Amongst other troubles the state of affairs in Portugal has exceedingly
perplexed the Government, and a great diplomatic blunder seems to have
been committed in regard to them. Some time ago Clarendon wanted to
propose to France a joint interference and mediation with Spain, to
settle the miserable quarrel which is ruining the country. The Cabinet
would not agree to it, Palmerston being always against France, and the
others disinclined to make any proposals to the French Government; but
now they find out that they are wrong and that they had better have done
this at first, for France has offered the Portuguese Government its
assistance or interference, and the knowledge of this has induced us to
make the proposal now which we had better have done long ago. It was an
excellent opportunity for renewing amicable relations with France,
properly, prudently, and without affectation.[17]

[Footnote 17: [An insurrection had broken out in Portugal in October
1846 against the authority of Queen Donna Maria. In the following month
the British fleet entered the Tagus to support the Queen. The contest
continued for some months, and in May 1847 a conference was held in
London between the representatives of Great Britain, France, Spain, and
Portugal--the original parties to the Quadruple alliance--to settle the
disorders which had broken out in the last-mentioned kingdom.]]

_April 30th._--Troubles and difficulties of various kinds have not
diminished since I wrote last. The state of Ireland continues not only
as bad, but as unpromising as ever, and, in addition, there is the great
misfortune, public and private, of the approaching death of Lord
Bessborough, the Lord Lieutenant. His illness was very sudden, at least
the dangerous symptoms were, and he is dying amidst universal sympathy
and regret. Lord John has made up his mind as to his successor, but
without telling his colleagues his intentions; he may have told some,
but certainly not all, for he has not told Clarendon, with whom he is on
very confidential terms.[18] The Duke of Bedford told Clarendon Lord
John had talked it all over with him, and had settled what to do, but
that he was not at liberty to reveal his intentions. This is acting
independently and _en maître_.

[Footnote 18: [The successor was Lord Clarendon himself.]]

The other night the Enlistment Bill was debated in the House of Lords,
and the Government got a small majority by the aid of the Peelite peers.
The Opposition were full of eagerness and heat on this Bill and quite
persuaded that the Duke of Wellington was with them. He had certainly
given them to understand that he was so. Last week Stanley and Richmond
were at Newmarket, and one day after dinner at the Duke of Rutland's we
talked it over. I said they would find the Duke was not opposed to the
Bill. 'Then,' said Stanley, 'he must be very much changed since I talked
to him about it. There can be no secret as to what passed, because three
or four people were present. I said to him, "Pray, sir, what is the
necessity for this Bill?" and he said, "I'll tell you: they have got a
d----d good army, and they want to make it a d----d bad one."' This,
which was very characteristic, might very well convince Stanley and the
rest that he was against Grey's measure, as, in fact, and in spite of
this support, he really is, but he came to an agreement with the
Government and promised to speak in favour of the Bill. So he did, but
he spoke in such a way that though the Opposition were surprised and
vexed at his supporting it at all, they saw pretty clearly that he did
not like it, and they accordingly were not deterred from voting against
it. Ellesmere told me yesterday that the Government must not attempt to
try any fresh experiments with the army, for if they did the Duke would
certainly resign.


Affairs in Spain and Portugal are in a very strange state. The young
Queen of Spain exhibits some character and some talent, but she is
unsteady and uneducated. The turn matters have taken at Madrid is,
however, enough to provoke and annoy the French, while every day
exhibits more and more the infamy and disgrace of the marriage which the
French Government forced upon the Queen. Her husband is a wretched
imbecile sulky fanatic, who passes his life in trying to make
embarrassments for the Queen, and in praying to the shade of his mother
to forgive him for having married the usurper of his cousin's throne.
They have been endeavouring to effect the semblance of a reconciliation
between them, but he is incurably sulky, and will not make it up. Not
long ago he sent for Pacheco, and told him it was his desire that a
Council should be convened forthwith. Pacheco said very well, but begged
His Majesty would be so good as to tell him for what purpose he wished
for it. The King replied that his object was to lay before the Council
proofs of the Queen's infidelity to him. Pacheco said if that was his
object he must beg to decline to summon the Council. On this he
announced that he had prepared a manifesto to the nation setting forth
his wrongs, and that it should be immediately published. They persuaded
him to desist from this scandalous intention, and as a sort of
compromise they got Serrano to quit Madrid. It appears that the
Queen-mother, seeing how matters were going on, intended to return; but
her daughter had no mind she should, and told her Ministers they had
better look to it. It was their affair, but that if Mama came back
matters would go ill. On this they sent Concha to Paris to stop her.
Christina wrote Isabella a lecture on her proceedings, and told her that
she was too little educated to know how to conduct herself properly, to
which she replied, 'Mama knows that I did not educate myself.' However,
everything is in a state of the greatest doubt and uncertainty there,
and the French are sure to begin their intrigues again and to create as
much confusion as they can.

In Portugal, the other Queen continues as obstinate as ever, yielding
inch by inch as the danger approaches her more nearly, and is supported
in her obstinacy by the security she is still able to find in foreign
intervention. We have anchored our ships close to the town, and are
prepared to land our Marines to protect her person, and, thus knowing
she is personally safe, she is emboldened to refuse or demur to the
terms of accommodation which Palmerston has suggested, and to try on the
chances of war totally regardless, of course, of the misery of
prolonging the contest. The natural course for us to take would be to
offer our mediation, and if she refused it to withdraw our ships and
leave her to her fate. But we cannot do this, because if we were to
desert her the Spaniards and French would instantly step in and
reconquer her kingdom for her. Such is the _nodo sviluppato_ in which
these wretched affairs are involved. Lisbon is ready to rise in
insurrection the moment the army of the Junta makes its appearance.
Southern writes very curious accounts to Clarendon of the state of the
town. The jealousy and aversion of the Queen of Portugal to him have
compelled him to withdraw altogether from the affairs of the mission,
though he is still Secretary of Legation. Our Court continues to take
the same interest in the Lisbon Coburgs, and would willingly interfere
in their favour with more vigour if the Ministers would consent to do
so. Palmerston's defects prove rather useful in his intercourse with the
Court. To their wishes or remonstrances he expresses the greatest
deference, and then goes on in his own course without paying the least
attention to what they have been saying to him.

_May 2nd._--Yesterday morning the Duke of Bedford called on me, and told
me Lord John's secret intentions about Ireland, which he said he had not
yet imparted to any of the Cabinet, and only discussed with him. I
believe, however, that Lord John has told Labouchere, and nobody else.
He thinks of taking this opportunity of abolishing the office of
Lord-Lieutenant and making a Secretary of State for Ireland, who is not
to reside permanently but go there occasionally, and he destines this
office for Clarendon. This is his plan, which, however, he has by no
means determined on, and they both think it doubtful if it would do. The
moment, however, seems propitious for effecting this alteration; there
is no O'Connell either to inveigh against it or to seize any power that
may be, or appear to be, relinquished, and the difficulty of selecting a
successor to Lord Bessborough is so great as to be almost insuperable.
Meanwhile the town is full of reports about a new Lord-Lieutenant,
nobody dreaming of what Lord John is resolving in his mind. Everybody
has got some story (_from the best authority_) of the post having been
offered to this person, and pressed upon that. Bessborough still lingers
on, and a more striking and touching deathbed has seldom been seen. He
is surrounded by the whole of his numerous family, overwhelmed with
affliction, a general manifestation of sympathy and regret, and the deep
sense which is entertained of the loss which the country will sustain by
his death, afford the best and most feeling testimony to his capacity
and his merit. He is perfectly aware of his condition, and in full
possession of his faculties. Duncannon wrote to John Russell yesterday,
as I am told, an admirable letter, which was sent to the Queen.
Bessborough was bent upon writing himself to John Russell before he
died, and was preparing to do so. Certainly a greater loss both public
and private has seldom occurred.


_May 3rd._--The Duke of Bedford came here this morning. They now find
there are immense difficulties in the way of abolishing the office of
Lord-Lieutenant at present; they are assured that if it was proposed the
Repealers would raise a furious clamour and be joined by the Orangemen.
Some Irishman (he did not tell me who), a sensible man and favourable to
the abolition, tells him and Lord John this, consequently Lord John has
told the Duke that _his_ going there would be the only solution of the
difficulty. This difficulty, he says, is enormous and increasing; that
everything tends to prove that dangers are thickening round them, and
that next year they will have to propose measures that will be very
unpopular. Bessborough has dictated to Lord John a most affecting
letter; his daughter, Lady Emily, wrote also, saying that her father was
so weak that he was scarcely intelligible, and she was not sure she had
quite faithfully written what he had dictated, but that she had given
the substance of it as well as she could. He tells Lord John that the
dangers and difficulties are very great, and that he foresees their
increase, and he expects him to appoint a man to succeed him who shall
be firm and bold, and, above all, who will not seek for popularity. I
found the Duke most unwilling, and almost, but not quite, decided not to
go. He will go if Lord John insists on it, but he dreads and shrinks
from it; neither his health, nerves, nor spirits are equal to such a
task. The principal reason for his going is, that he alone can go
temporarily, and Lord John does not contemplate his remaining. Lord
John says he cannot ask Clarendon to go on account of the expense,
unless he was to stay there for three years. He says that not one of the
men who have been mentioned will do for the office, especially Morpeth;
and he thinks Bessborough's warning as to the sort of man they ought to
choose was intended to point at Morpeth as the one they ought not to
appoint. Morpeth himself is longing to go. 'It is now come to this,' the
Duke said: 'it must be either Clarendon, myself, or Lords Justices.' He
went from me to Clarendon to talk it over with him. Grey and Labouchere
are the only members of the Cabinet to whom he has mentioned the matter.
The Duke has had a long confidential letter from Arbuthnot about the
Duke of Wellington, and his dread of Grey and his reforms, the object of
it being to deter the Government from attempting anything else. It is
clear they have dragged the Duke with them as far as he can be persuaded
to go, and if they try anything more, and make any further attempts on
his patience or condescension, he will then turn restive and resign.


_June 7th._[19]--More than a month has elapsed since I have written
anything, and from the usual cause, that of having been occupied with
Epsom, Ascot, and Newmarket. The principal events which have occurred
have been the deaths of Bessborough and O'Connell, which took place
almost at the same time, within a day or two of one another. The
departure of the latter, which not long ago would have excited the
greatest interest and filled the world with political speculations, was
heard almost with unconcern, so entirely had his importance vanished; he
had in fact been for some time morally and politically defunct, and
nobody seems to know whether his death is likely to prove a good or an
evil, or a mere matter of indifference. The death of Bessborough excited
far greater interest, and no man ever quitted the world more surrounded
by sympathy, approbation, respect, and affection, than he did. During
his last illness, which he himself and all about him knew to be fatal,
he was surrounded by a numerous and devoted family, and the people of
Dublin universally testified their regard for him, and their grief at
losing him. He continued in the uninterrupted possession of his
faculties almost to the last hour of his existence, and he calmly
discussed every matter of public and private interest, in conversation
with his children and friends, or dictating letters to John Russell and
his colleagues at home. He expired at eleven o'clock at night; at nine
he felt his pulse and said he saw the end was approaching. He then sent
for all his family, seventeen in number, saw them and took leave of them
separately, and gave to each a small present he had prepared, and then
calmly lay down to die; in less than two hours all was over. They say
that his funeral was one of the finest and most striking sights possible
from the countless multitudes which attended it, and the decorum and
good feeling which were displayed. Clarendon has kept the whole of
Bessborough's staff and household, with one exception; and he told them
that he kept them on account of their attachment to his predecessor.

[Footnote 19: [In this interval Lord Clarendon consented to accept the
Lord-Lieutenancy of Ireland from a sense of public duty. He remained
there five years, and, during a very stormy period, proved himself one
of the best Viceroys who ever governed Ireland.]]

The reputation which Bessborough had acquired, which at the time of his
death and since his Irish administration was very considerable, affords
a remarkable example of the success which may be obtained by qualities
of a superior description, without great talents, without knowledge and
information, and without any power of speaking in Parliament. He had
long been addicted to politics, and was closely connected by
relationship or friendship with the most eminent Whig leaders. His
opinions had always been strongly Liberal, and he seemed to have found
the place exactly adapted to his capacity and disposition when he became
the Whig whipper-in of the House of Commons; he was gradually initiated
in all the secrets of that party, and he soon became a very important
member of it from his various intimacies and the personal influence he
was enabled to exercise. He had a remarkably calm and unruffled temper
and very good sound sense. The consequence was that he was consulted by
everybody, and usually and constantly employed in the arrangement
of difficulties, the adjustment of rival pretensions, and the
reconciliation of differences, for which purposes some such man is
indispensable and invaluable in every great political association. He
continued to acquire fresh weight and influence, and at length nothing
could be done without Duncannon as he then was. Everybody liked him, and
King William, when he hated the rest of the Whigs, always testified good
humour and regard for him. He took office and became a Cabinet Minister,
and he contrived to do a vast deal of Parliamentary business, especially
in the House of Lords, and carry bills through Parliament without ever
making the semblance of a speech. In this way by his good nature and
good sense, and an extreme liveliness and elasticity of spirits, which
made him a very pleasant and acceptable member of society, he continued
to increase in public reputation and private favour, and when the
Government was formed last year, his appointment to the Lord-Lieutenancy
of Ireland was generally approved of. He had almost always been on good
terms with O'Connell, indeed he never was on bad terms with anybody; and
as an Irishman he was agreeable to the people. In his administration,
adverse and unhappy as the times were, he displayed great industry,
firmness, and knowledge of the character and circumstances of the Irish
people, and he conciliated the good will of those to whom he had been
all his life opposed. Lord Roden, the head of the Orange party, who has
all along acted a very honourable and patriotic part, afforded ample
testimony to his merits, and gave him a very frank and generous support.


There was a great pother for some time before his death about a
successor. The candidates soon became reduced to three, though
candidates they must not be called; that is, the choice lay between the
Duke of Bedford, Clarendon, and Morpeth. Lord John communicated with the
Duke and with Labouchere upon the subject, and perhaps with Lord
Lansdowne, and, for a long time, he rather leant to the Duke's going,
and tried to persuade him, not, however, without misgivings; but he
thought it not fair to ask Clarendon, and he had no mind to send
Morpeth, who was dying to go. The Duke was rather tickled at the idea of
the appointment, somewhat encouraged by the numerous invitations he
received to take it, but desperately afraid of it all the time. To my
surprise he did not absolutely reject it, as I thought he would have
done. In this wavering and uncertain state of mind he broached the
matter to Clarendon, who affected to repudiate it and to dread and
dislike it, and urged the Duke to go himself. I say _affected_, because
it soon became very clear to me, as it did to the Duke, that Clarendon
had no disinclination to go, and would in fact be excessively mortified
and disappointed if anybody went but himself. The play of human nature
was amusing; the Duke was not quite willing to give it up, but much more
afraid to go, and he enjoyed mightily all the expressions of a desire
that he should be Lord-Lieutenant, which were addressed to him from
various quarters; on the other hand, Clarendon treated it as a sacrifice
and a misfortune; hesitated, objected, and did everything to make it
appear as if it were a painful burthen cast upon him, but he was all the
time in a great fright lest the Duke should be persuaded to accept it,
and he said, and made me say to him, that one of his principal motives
for accepting it himself was his desire to save the Duke from a burthen
which would, he was sure, break him down with anxiety and labour. A
great deal of time was wasted and much useless talk expended in
fictitious fears and scruples, but at last it was settled that he should
go, as it might just as well have been without any fuss or difficulty,
for the truth is that he is the fittest man, and is universally
considered so. Nothing can be more flattering and gratifying than the
reception he has met with from all ranks and all parties, and he is now
(whatever doubts or misgivings he may have had, and, in spite of his
secret wishes, he probably had some) quite satisfied with his

The death of O'Connell, I have said, made little or no sensation here.
He had quarrelled with half of his followers, he had ceased to be the
head of a great party animated by any great principle, or encouraged to
pursue any attainable object; the Repeal cause was become despicable and
hopeless without ceasing to be noisy and mischievous. O'Connell knew not
what to say or what to do; he had become bankrupt in reputation and in
power, and was no longer able to do much good or much harm; broken in
health and spirits, and seeing Ireland penetrated by famine and
sickness, and reduced to a condition of helpless dependence on England,
having lost a great part of his _prestige_ in Ireland without having
gained respect or esteem in England, he went away unregretted and
unnoticed to breathe his last in a foreign land. He was received
everywhere on his route with the marks of respect and admiration which
were considered due to his wonderful career and to the great part he had
played in the history of his country, and his memory has been treated
with some appearance of affection in Ireland, and with a decent respect
and forbearance here. History will speak of him as one of the most
remarkable men who ever existed; he will fill a great space in its
pages; his position was unique; there never was before, and there never
will be again, anything at all resembling it. To rise from the humblest
situation to the height of empire like Napoleon is no uncommon destiny;
there have been innumerable successful adventurers and usurpers; but
there never was a man who, without altering his social position in the
slightest degree, without obtaining any office or station whatever,
raised himself to a height of political power which gave him an enormous
capacity for good or evil, and made him the most important and most
conspicuous man of his time and country. It would not be a very easy
matter to do him perfect justice. A careful examination of his career
and an accurate knowledge of his character would be necessary for the
purpose. It is impossible to question the greatness of his abilities or
the sincerity of his patriotism. His dependence on his country's bounty,
in the rent that was levied for so many years, was alike honourable to
the contributors and the recipient; it was an income nobly given and
nobly earned. Up to the conquest of Catholic Emancipation his was
certainly a great and glorious career. What he might have done and what
he ought to have done after that, it is not easy to say, but undoubtedly
he did far more mischief than good, and exhibited anything but a wise,
generous, and patriotic spirit. In Peel's administration he did nothing
but mischief, and it is difficult to comprehend with what object and
what hope he threw Ireland into confusion, and got up that Repeal
agitation, the folly and impracticability of which nobody must have
known so well as himself.


_June 14th._--The Duke of Bedford has been telling me what has been
going on about India and the appointment of Hardinge's successor. In the
first place Normanby has been making desperate attempts to get it, but
Lord John will not hear of it, and believes the Directors would object
to him if he was proposed. Lord John is resolved that this great
appointment shall not be made an affair of party, and he desired the
Chairs to furnish him with a list of the persons they would consider
most eligible for the office of Governor-General without distinction of
party. They sent him four or five names--Clarendon, Graham, I think
Dalhousie, and the others I forget, but Normanby's was not among them.
Lord John has made up his mind to offer the post to Graham, and has
communicated his intention to the Duke of Wellington, at the same time
consulting him about the military appointment. The Duke approves of
Graham, and proposes Sir George Napier for Commander-in-Chief, to which
Lord John agrees. Normanby, who had a suspicion that Graham was thought
of, from something the Duke of Bedford had said to him, wrote him a long
letter, strongly arguing against this appointment, and not a very bad
argument either. Meanwhile I have seen Graham, and had a long
conversation with him. It began about the Portuguese question, which is
now going on in the House of Commons; but after discussing this and some
electioneering matters, I asked him what his own projects were. He said
he was indifferent about them and had settled nothing. I said, 'You know
that it is reported in the world that you are likely to go to India.' He
said he had three times refused to go there; that it would always be a
matter of much doubt and deliberation, both on private and public
grounds, whether he should accept it if offered; but at present it was
out of the question, for Lord John Russell was evidently animated by
very implacable sentiments towards him, and he never would take an
office from him while he was in such a disposition, and when the
appointment would be clearly offered at the suggestion of others, and
not by his own free will. He then talked a great deal about the feeling
which subsisted between himself and the Whigs--of their resentment
towards him; of the way in which he had been persecuted by them; of Lord
John's sending for him in the autumn of 1845; about the change of
government; how gratified he had been; how frankly he had behaved; how
desirous he had been to give every aid in his power to his successor;
how generally friendly to the Government, of which he gave instances;
and then how hurt he had been at the bitterness and severity of Lord
John's attack upon him in reply to his speech objecting to the exclusion
of Catholics from the grant; that that speech had proved to him that
Lord John's dislike of him was unmitigated and unappeasable. This is a
very brief summary of a long discourse he made to me on the subject. I
told him he was mistaken in Lord John's sentiments, which were by no
means so bitter and hostile as he imagined, and on the occasion he
alluded to, Lord John had spoken under great irritation and with strong
resentment, thinking that Graham had made a most offensive and unjust
speech, and that he had most unfairly done his best to embarrass the
Government; that such was the general opinion of Lord John's friends,
and I would not conceal from him my own opinion; that his speech had
been calculated to produce that effect; that it had appeared to many
people, to me amongst them, that Peel had been conscious of the effect
produced by his (Graham's) speech, and had spoken, as he did, in a very
different tone to repair the effect of it. He must not therefore infer
from the vivacity of Lord John's tone on that occasion that he was
animated by such sentiments as he ascribed to him; that I did not mean
to say he had any feelings of extreme cordiality; but I had reason to
know that he rendered ample justice to his public character and
capacity, and felt no bitterness towards him; that some day I would give
him proofs of the truth of what I said, but that in the meantime I must
beg him to take my word for it; and I entreated him not to deceive
himself by the exaggerated, and, I was convinced, unfounded notion he
entertained of Lord John's disposition. A great deal passed on this
subject, and I found that he was very low and very much vexed, both on
the above ground and about a very mortifying communication that had been
made to him about Cumberland.


Aglionby had informed him they were going to put up Charles Howard and
William Marshall, which was an intimation that that they would not have
him. He replied that he would not pledge himself about the two
candidates, but would support Howard, saying civil things about Lord
Carlisle and the whole family. The other day he got a letter, not very
judiciously worded--cold, but intended to be civil--from Morpeth,
announcing that he was going to support the _two_ candidates on his own
side of the House, accompanied with some expression of regret that his
support could not rather have been given to him. Graham took this very
ill, and was evidently excessively hurt at the way in which he was thus
excluded from the representation. All these things were evidently
souring his mind, and I strongly suspect stimulating him to act an
unfriendly part in the Portuguese discussion, and I was therefore very
glad that I had an opportunity of saying what I did, for I said quite
enough to let him see that India is full in view, and I do not think he
will now do anything to mar this prospect. He would not tell me what he
or Peel meant to do, and Peel happens to be exceedingly out of humour in
consequence of young Campbell's speech at Cambridge; so is Graham.
Graham told me he never saw Peel so put out and so angry with anything,
and they are the more so because old Jack (Lord Campbell) went down,
they say, to Cambridge with his son.

_June 19th._--I was obliged to break off in the midst of the above
conversation, and have since been out of town. I told the Duke of
Bedford all that had passed between Graham and me, and advised that Lord
John should show him some civility, which he undertook that he should
do. On Tuesday evening the Portuguese discussion was resumed in the
Commons and came on in the Lords. I went down to hear Stanley speak,
never having heard him before. His style and manner, fluency and
expression, are admirable, and he speaks with an appearance of
earnestness, even of dignity, that is marvellously striking; but nothing
could be more injudicious than his speech, and I was as much
disappointed with the matter of it as I was charmed with the manner.
Never was there so ridiculous and contemptible an ending to an affair
begun with such a flourish of trumpets and note of preparation, and
which for a moment put the Government into a state of alarm. The
whippers-in in both Houses had collected all their forces, and when the
House of Lords met, a long night and a doubtful division were announced.

The first thing that happened was that Peel made an admirable speech in
the House of Commons, strong in defence of Government, and without any
'buts' or drawbacks. He spoke very early. Very few people were there,
and many went away after; so, finding the House in this state, George
Bentinck made Newdigate count it out, and the whole thing thus fell to
the ground. This he considered a very skilful piece of jockeyship,
apparently unconscious of the ridicule which it cast on the whole
affair. Great was the astonishment in the Lords when news was brought
that the House of Commons had been counted out. Stanley had gone home to
dinner, and after a few insignificant speeches (the Duke of Wellington
having spoken strongly for the Government) nobody seemed disposed to go
on. Clarendon went to Ellenborough and to Brougham, and asked them if
they would not speak: both declined; the latter said it was very dull
and he should say nothing. Accordingly they divided, many on both sides
absent, and Government had a majority of twenty. Stanley was not
present, and when he came back to the House found it all over. So ended
this solemn farce. Stanley would have beaten the Government if he could,
and have thought it very good fun, trusting to the majority he knew they
would have in the Commons to induce them to put up with a defeat. Lord
John, however, was not disposed to take it so quietly, and there can be
very little doubt that Brougham and the rest saw that a division against
Government in the Lords without any division for them in the Commons
would make matters very different, and the sudden termination of the
debate in the other House greatly cooled their ardour.


The other day I met John Russell in the Park as he was going to Apsley
House by appointment with the Duke. He said he was going on important
business (it was about the Indian appointments), and he asked me if I
thought he had better say anything to him or not about the Statue.[20] I
said 'Better not.' The Duke of Bedford told me after that it was very
fortunate advice I gave Lord John, for if he had said anything there
would have been an explosion. The Duke said to Arbuthnot, when Lord John
wrote to say he wished to see him, 'What can he want? what can he be
coming about? do you think it is about the Statue?' and then he went off
on that sore subject, and said he should place his resignation in Lord
John's hands! However, Lord John said nothing about it, and the Duke was
put into great good humour by being consulted about the Indian affairs;
and he said afterwards that he only wished they would get the pedestal
made, put the Statue up, and have done with it. But it is curious, as
showing how sensitive and irritable he is become, how the strong mind
is weakened. He is, however, very happy on the whole, in excellent
health, and treated with the greatest deference and attention by
everybody. The Queen is excessively kind to him. On Monday his
grand-daughter was christened at the Palace, and the Queen dined with
him in the evening. She had written him a very pretty letter expressing
her wish to be godmother to the child, saying she wished her to be
called Victoria, which name was so peculiarly appropriate to a
grand-daughter of his. All these attentions marvellously please him.

[Footnote 20: [About this time the proposal was made, chiefly by Sir
Frederic Trench, to place the equestrian statue of the Duke of
Wellington (by Wyatt) on the top of the archway opposite Apsley House.
Most people thought that it was absurd and in bad taste to place a
statue there. It was, however, agreed to erect it provisionally; but,
once there, the Duke showed great irritation at the idea of removing it,
which he declared would be an indignity: so there the statue stood until
it was removed to Aldershot in 1884. It was the first instance of an
equestrian statue erected in London to a subject.]]

_June 20th._--The Duke of Bedford told me he wanted to speak to me. I
called on him, and he said, 'I wish you would see Graham again; a good
deal has passed; I won't tell you what now, but I am curious to know
what he will say to you in reference to his last conversation.' I
accordingly called on Graham; he talked incessantly _de omnibus rebus_,
but never alluded to Lord John or himself, or India, or to what I had
before said to him. I had considerable difficulty in getting anything
in, but at last, just as I was going and seeing he was resolved to say
nothing, I said 'I hope you have thought on what I said to you the other
day, for I am quite certain I was right.' He broke in 'Oh, no, that is
quite impossible,' and then began again upon Ireland, evidently
determined to avoid the former subject. I returned to the Duke and told
him what had passed between us, when with some difficulty I got him to
tell me what had occurred. As soon as the Portuguese debate was over,
Lord John wrote to Graham a very kind and handsome letter, and offered
him India, saying that he wished to forget all their differences and
only to remember that they had been colleagues in Lord Grey's
Government. Graham asked leave to consult Peel, who at once put an
extinguisher upon it, entreated him to decline it, and said that their
support of the Government would be considered to have been given in
reference to this appointment. Peel gave many reasons, which I now
forget, against his taking it, and (as I suspect very reluctantly)
Graham did decline the offer, of course with many expressions of
gratitude and gratification. Peel himself said nothing could be
handsomer than the offer. Lord John, however, would not accept the
refusal as final, and caused Graham to be informed that he should not
appoint anybody else, but wait and see what might occur. Graham might
not get a seat in the next Parliament, or the reasons which now
influenced him might cease to exist; he would, therefore, not fill up
the office till Sir John Hobhouse told him it was absolutely necessary
to do so. So the matter stands at present. It is a profound secret only
communicated 'to _some_ of the Cabinet,' and Graham has not even told
his wife. No wonder he was so reserved with me, though the Duke thinks
he might as well have said that he was satisfied my opinion of Lord
John's sentiments towards him was correct. Graham, who is always in the
garret or in the cellar, was in such spirits the other day as compared
with the day before, that it was easy to see something agreeable had
happened to him. He talked of all sorts of things: poor laws, railroads,
abolition of Lord-Lieutenancy, very good sense and friendly to the
Government; said that they had been unlucky in Strutt's appointment, of
which great things had been expected and which was a complete failure,
and he strongly advised the Government should not persist in their Bill
this year.[21] I told the Duke of Bedford this, and I find the Bill was
withdrawn last night.

[Footnote 21: [The Right Hon. Edward Strutt, afterwards Lord Belper, was
a distinguished member of the advanced Liberal Party. He brought in a
Bill at this time for the regulation of railways, which the Government
soon withdrew.]]


It is very curious how jealously and anxiously Peel's actions and
disposition are scanned, and amusing to hear what people say of them.
Bonham went to Arbuthnot the other day, and told him Peel was getting up
a party, and expected to have 250 people in the next Parliament. Then
Lady Westmorland went and told him that Peel had told her he had 120
followers in the House of Commons, and that he alone kept the Government
in office. They put these things together, and inferred all sorts of
deep designs and ambitious projects on his part. Arbuthnot told the Duke
of Bedford, who told me. I laughed at them, and said that probably what
Bonham and Lady Westmorland reported was false or exaggerated, and it
was better to look at Peel's acts and see how they corresponded with
such supposed intentions. He disclaims being the leader of any party at
all, _totidem verbis_, and the other day he did not tell anybody what he
was going to do. His speech was calculated to strengthen the Government,
and to render them independent, whereas his policy would be to weaken
them, if he had such designs as are imputed to him. I told Graham what I
had heard, and what I had said. He said, 'Peel's position is a very
extraordinary one, and he is determined to enjoy it. He has an immense
fortune, is in full possession of his faculties and vigour, has great
influence and consideration in Parliament and in the country; he has
shown the world that he is _capax imperii_. In this position he will not
retire from public life to please any man; he does not want to be the
head of a party, still less to return to office, but he will continue to
take that part in public affairs which he considers best for the public
service, reserving to himself the faculty of acting according to
circumstances in any political contingency.' I forget the exact
phraseology he used, but what he conveyed was that Peel had made no
positive resolution never to enter into the public service again, and
that circumstances might occur to induce him to do so, but that he
neither desired nor expected anything of the kind, nor would do anything
to bring it about. At present he is certainly acting a very creditable
and a very useful part, and one, if he persists in it, which will
redound to his honour, and greatly enhance his reputation. But it is
difficult to feel entire confidence in a man who is not really
high-minded. If he once begins to shuffle and intrigue, he is lost. The
best security for his good conduct is that it is not only his best
policy, but it is almost his only possible policy. His influence and his
power depend upon his great abilities, and upon his judicious and
honourable employment of them; he has no party at his back, he has few
political and still fewer personal adherents, nor does he seem to make
any exertions to acquire either the one or the other.


_June 28th._--The last week was a bad one for the Government. One
incident was ridiculous, one unfortunate. Strutt came down to the House
on Monday, made a speech of two hours on his Railroad Bill, developing
the whole plan, and ended by withdrawing it: a mountain and a mouse.
Great was the surprise, and great the ridicule. The _dessous des cartes_
was that Strutt had got up his speech with much labour, and was only
told just before the House met that Government had resolved to withdraw
the Bill. All this comes of having an inefficient man and a bad measure;
thence vacillation, uncertainty, failure, and mortification. This was
bad. Then they suffered a defeat on the Poor Law. The clause for
prohibiting the separation of old people was carried against them; it
was a mistaken piece of humanity, for the old people would be better off
as the Bill was. All this shows that it is high time the session should
be brought to a close.

_July 13th._--The session is drawing to a close, but far from
satisfactorily for the Government, who have lost ground in public
estimation. Bill after bill has been thrown over, and, after a great
deal of time entirely wasted, the session will end with hardly anything
having been done. The last two measures given up were the Health of
Towns and the Irish Estates Bills, and then the affair of the Wellington
Statue came to crown all, in which the Government were bullied and
tricked by Croker and Trench, who contrived to enlist the passions or
prejudices of the Duke in their cause, made him their cat's-paw, and so
accomplished their ends. The vexatious opposition to the Health of Towns
Bill by George Bentinck, Hudson, and Co., made it very difficult to
carry it, but the truth is they were wrong to bring in such measures so
late in the session, and the measures were not framed in a manner to get
through with short discussions. It is easy to say 'What could they do?'
and 'They could not help it,' but the public does not analyse but looks
to results, and therefore sees in the whole conduct of affairs proofs of
weakness, vacillation, and mismanagement. This discredits the
Government; they had before no popularity, and were accepted as a
necessity under circumstances rather than as desirable. Ellesmere, who
is very friendly to them, tells me they have no credit or fame so far as
his observation goes in the country, and people say 'this can't go on,'
though without any fixed idea what is to be done. All this is very
deplorable. Then Lord John does not make up by his personal qualities
for his political mistakes or shortcomings; he is not conciliatory, and
sometimes gives grievous offence. The other night in the House of
Commons he was so savage with Hume, without any cause, that he enlisted
all sympathies in Hume's favour, and was generally blamed for his tone
and manner. He is miserably wanting in amenity, and in the small arts of
acquiring popularity, which are of such incalculable value to the leader
of a party, still more of a Government; then, while he has the
reputation of being obstinate, he is wanting in firmness. His conduct
about his own election has been very unwise, and has given great
offence; he has suffered himself to be persuaded to stand for the City
of London in conjunction with three other Liberals, including
Rothschild, and to make a great contest, instead of coming quietly in by
a compromise, which all moderate men desired, and none more than Lord
John himself. He was so opposed to a contest, and especially to
Rothschild's standing (which is a great piece of impertinence, when he
knows he can't take his seat), that he threatened to resign himself if
they persisted in their scheme of bringing in all four, and then he was
over-persuaded to consent to the contest. They offered to pay his
expenses; this he refused, and the Duke will have to pay them. In short,
on the whole, the Government is not in good odour: they don't inspire
confidence; they are neither popular nor respected, but they are
indispensable, and have the strength of circumstances. If the country
was polled, nineteen out of twenty would vote for Peel's being minister;
the Queen would be enchanted to have him back; but Peel has no party,
and can have none unless circumstances and necessities make one for him.
The great Tory party is acephalous, or rather they are weak from the
utter incompetence of their leaders, so that matters are in that sort
of lock which prevents any other combination and any change, but which
renders the present Government very powerless.


The Cambridge installation went off with prodigious _éclat_, and the
Queen was enchanted at the enthusiastic reception she met with; but the
Duke of Wellington was if possible received with even more enthusiasm.
It is incredible what popularity environs him in his latter days; he is
followed like a show wherever he goes, and the feeling of the people
_for him_ seems to be the liveliest of all popular sentiments; yet he
does nothing to excite it, and hardly appears to notice it. He is in
wonderful vigour of body, but strangely altered in mind, which is in a
fitful uncertain state, and there is no knowing in what mood he may be
found; everybody is afraid of him, nobody dares to say anything to him;
he is sometimes very amiable and good-humoured, sometimes very irritable
and morose. About this affair of the Statue, Croker and Trench contrived
to work him up to a state of frenzy; he was as near as possible
resigning upon it. When Lord John wrote to him the other day in
consequence of what passed in the House of Commons, he wrote a long
rigmarole of an answer, which Lord John did not read yesterday, but gave
the substance of it. All this is very unlike him. Then he is astonishing
the world by a strange intimacy he has struck up with Miss ---- ----,
with whom he passes his life, and all sorts of reports have been rife of
his intention to marry her. Such are the lamentable appearances of decay
in his vigorous mind, which are the more to be regretted because he is
in most enviable circumstances, without any political responsibility,
yet associated with public affairs, and surrounded with every sort of
respect and consideration on every side--at Court, in Parliament, in
society, and in the country.

_July 22nd._--All last week at Croxteth for Liverpool races, on Saturday
to Worsley, passing four hours at Liverpool to see sights; went to the
docks, town hall, &c.; and met Cardwell canvassing. I was told there
that Peel is very unpopular in Liverpool on account of the heavy losses
that have been sustained this year by mercantile men, all of which they
attribute to his Currency Bill, consequently the Peelite Conservatives
are very few; but my informant added that nevertheless everybody, even
those who were most angry with him on account of this Bill, would be
glad to see him in office again. I expressed surprise at this; he said
they all thought him the best workman, and found when they approached
him on business that he knew everything about the subjects which
interested them. Liverpool is increasing enormously in trade, which is
now greater than in London. Last week appeared Peel's letter to the
electors of Tamworth, and John Russell's speech in the City. The latter
was very good, and the former not bad in its way; but Peel's case for
himself, however well put, is no answer to the accusations which have
been elaborated in the 'Quarterly Review' with all the malignity and
virulence of ungovernable hatred. There is some truth in the article,
which is, however, revolting from its coarse and savage spirit.
Arbuthnot told me yesterday an anecdote about that article. It was a
review of a pamphlet called 'Pitt and Peel Policy.' Croker contrived to
get hold of a copy of the proof-sheets of it, and sent it to the Duke of
Wellington, pointing out a passage rather offensive to him, and
informing the Duke he meant to review it. The Duke in sending it back
advised Croker if he did review it to do so in terms of decency and
moderation, and asked to see the review before it was printed. The
passage about the Duke was struck out in the process of correction, and
Croker had to alter his review in consequence; but he disregarded the
Duke's advice, and published the article without letting the Duke see
it. He gave as his reason for this that he wished the Duke to be able to
say that he had never read a word of it. It seems that after some of his
former attacks he tried to put himself on his former footing of intimacy
with Peel, and wrote to him 'My dear Peel.' Peel would not hear of it,
wrote to him a dry, formal answer, and told him in so many words that
their intimacy was at an end. Croker was furious, and has been
overflowing with gall and bitterness ever since.[22]

[Footnote 22: [These letters have been published in the Croker Papers,
vol. iii. p. 94.]]



    Panic in the Money Market--The Bank Act--Sir Robert Peel's
    Authority--Suspension of the Banking Act of 1844--Death of
    the Archbishop of York--Meeting of Parliament--Irish Coercion
    Bill--Opinion of the Lord-Lieutenant--Weakness of the Irish
    Measures--Sir Robert Peel on the Bank Charter Act--The Duke of
    Wellington on the Defences of the Country--English Catholic
    Affairs at Rome--Illness of Lord Chancellor Cottenham--Bishop
    Hampden's Appointment--Chloroform--Lamartine's 'Girondins'--The
    Hampden Dispute--Death of Lord Harrowby--Taxation--Leadership of
    the Opposition--The Hampden War--Scenes in Spain--Visit to Lord
    Melbourne--Lord Melbourne at Windsor--Burnham Beeches--Letter to
    Cobden--Leadership of the Opposition--Views of Sir James Graham
    on the Colonies--Archbishop Sumner--Baron Alderson--Diplomatic
    Relations with Rome--Weakness of the Government--Bad Effects of
    Lord John's Speech.

_London, October 23rd, 1847._--After many weeks, or months, during which
from idleness or unexplainable repugnance I have never written a line, I
at last resume my pen, less for the purpose of writing the history of
these past weeks than to begin again to record what occurs to me.
Stirring weeks they have been, and full of interest of the most lively
and general description. In the midst of all the agitation that has
prevailed at home and abroad, intrigues and quarrels and wars begun or
threatened in various countries, we have been absorbed by the great
panic in the money market, which is still at its height, and of which no
man ventures to predict, or thinks he can see, the termination. There
never was a subject on which such diversified opinions prevail. Men are
indeed pretty well agreed as to the cause of the present distress, and
in admitting that it is the result of over-speculation, and of the
Railway mania which fell upon the country two years ago. But the great
contest is as to the share Peel's Bill of 1844 has had in aggravating
and keeping up the state of distress and difficulty in which trade and
commerce are involved, and whether this Bill ought to be presently
relaxed by the authority of Government or not. On these points the
greatest disputes and varieties of opinion exist. Charles Wood has,
however, been stout and resolute from the first, and quite determined
not to consent to any interference. There have been some different
opinions, and some shades of difference, some doubts, amongst the
members of the Cabinet, though I do not know the particulars of them;
but yesterday the Cabinet broke up, having terminated their
deliberations, and resolved _as matters now stand_ not to do anything.
My own belief is that this will prove a sound resolution, and that they
would only have aggravated the evil by interference. I shall not,
however, write anything more now on this subject. I have nothing secret
or curious or interesting to record, and the details of it will be found
in a hundred publications.

The most remarkable circumstance is the intense interest and curiosity
which are felt about Peel's opinions and intentions. Everybody asks with
anxiety what he says, what he thinks, what he will do. His vanity may
well be gratified by the immense importance which is attached to his
opinions and to the course he may take and recommend; his power seems to
be as great out of office as it ever was in office; nothing was ever so
strange or anomalous as his position. Half the commercial world
attributes the distress and danger to his Bill; he is liked by nobody.
The Conservatives detest him with unquenched hatred, and abuse him with
unmitigated virulence. The Whigs regard him with a mixture of fear,
suspicion, and dislike, but treat him with great deference and respect.
There is a party which is called by others and by itself, but not
(publicly at least) acknowledged by him as his party; it is far from
numerous, and too weak for substantive power. He has never opened his
lips on the great questions of the day, and is an oracle shrouded in
mystery. It would seem as if a man thus abandoned by the majority of his
former political friends and adherents, without personal attachments and
following, an object of hatred to one party and of suspicion to the
other, the country at large or a great proportion of it attributing to
his financial measures the distress by which all are afflicted or
endangered, could by no possibility occupy any great and important
position in the country: nevertheless he does. All eyes are turned upon
him as if by a sort of fascination. If the country could be polled to
decide who should be Minister, he would be elected by an immense
majority. There is a prevalent opinion that he _must_ return to power;
nobody knows when or how, but the notion is that the present men are
weak, that the public necessities and perils are great, and if a crisis
of difficulty and danger should arrive, that Peel is the only man
capable of extricating the country from it. The consequence of all this
is that his _prestige_ and his influence are enormous.


_Newmarket, November 1st._--I came here last Saturday week. On Friday I
believed it to have been _settled_ that nothing should be done by the
Government to relieve the panic. On that day, however, George Glyn and
other bankers had had an interview with John Russell, and they came from
it with a persuasion that he would do something.[23] The same evening
Peel came to town on his way to Windsor. Charles Wood went to him, laid
before him the state of affairs, telling him all the accounts they had
received from the country, all the pressure they were undergoing, and
explained their views and intentions. On the next day, Saturday, still
more urgent demands were made, and still more alarming representations
arrived. On Sunday, a Cabinet (or half Cabinet) was held, and there it
was resolved to grant the relief that has been seen. The Duke of Bedford
was bidden to Windsor to meet Peel, who went there on Saturday. At
dinner on Sunday the Queen received Lord John's box with the result of
the deliberations of the Cabinet, which he requested Her Majesty to
communicate to Peel. The next day the Duke of Bedford had a long
conversation with Peel, very amicable and very satisfactory. He spoke in
high terms of Lord John Russell and commended the Government, expressed
his acquiescence under the peculiar circumstances of the case in the
resolution they had come to, and declared his intention to support them.
He appears to have talked very openly, and in a very friendly and even
generous spirit. The Duke happened to have with him a letter which Lord
John had written to him at the time of Peel's bill passing through
Parliament, in which he had expressed his approval of the general
principle, but found fault with some of the details. This letter the
Duke showed to Peel, who was exceedingly pleased, and told him his
brother was quite right, and that his bill had been faulty in the
details which he had remarked upon.

[Footnote 23: [It was on October 25 that the Government authorised the
Bank of England to issue paper in excess of the limit imposed by the Act
of 1844. This measure led to the immediate meeting of Parliament to pass
a Bill of Indemnity, though the power was revoked on November 23.]]

_London, November 8th._--The Archbishop of York is dead.[24] He was in
no way remarkable except for the wonderful felicity of his whole life
from first to last. It would perhaps be difficult to find a greater
example of uninterrupted prosperity. He was not a man of great capacity
nor of profound learning, but he had peculiarly the _mens sana in
corpore sano_. He was nobly born and highly allied. He enjoyed robust
health, had a vigorous frame with a sound understanding, and he was
cheerfully obliging, good-tempered, and sociable; his profession, his
tastes, pursuits, and the quality of his mind cast him into the best and
choicest society, where he played his part not brilliantly but with an
amiable and graceful prosperity. He had many friends and no enemies, was
universally esteemed and respected, and beloved by his own family. He
was the most prosperous of men, full of professional dignities and
emoluments, and the inheritor of a large private fortune; he was the
father of a numerous family, whom he saw flourishing around him in
opulence and worldly success; he lived in the exercise of a magnificent
hospitality, and surrounded with social enjoyments. No misfortunes or
sorrows disturbed the placid current of his life, and his mental and
bodily faculties continued unimpaired to the last; his illness, which
lasted only a few hours, was without pain, and no more than the natural
exhaustion of ninety-one accomplished years. Such a life and such a
death so irreproachable and fortunate may well excite envy and
admiration. He and Mr. Grenville so conjoined in life died at the same
age, each having reached his ninety-first year, and within eleven months
of each other--men in their different ways equally prosperous, virtuous,
and happy.

[Footnote 24: [The Hon. Edward Harcourt, Archbishop of York, died on
November 5, in his ninety-first year.]]


_November 21st._--Parliament met on Thursday. There are very
queer-looking people among the new members, particularly Mr. Fox.[25] I
was introduced to him many years ago, when I went to Finsbury Square to
hear him preach; he was a very fine preacher, but I never have seen him

The state of Ireland is awful. I have written to Clarendon repeatedly,
urging him to ask for great powers. He was reluctant, and wanted to try
the force of the law as it is, and the Cabinet were not disposed to
adopt strong coercive measures; but the public voice loudly demands
coercion and repression, and Lord Lansdowne told me yesterday he was
resolved to act in accordance with the general feeling. Parliament never
met in more difficult and disturbed times: complete disorganisation,
famine and ruin in Ireland, financial difficulty, general alarm and
insecurity here, want of capital, want of employment. It requires all
one's faith in the general soundness and inherent strength of 'the
thing' (as Cobbett called it) to silence one's apprehensions. Then
Colonial distress is impending, by which I am likely to be personally
affected to the extent perhaps of half what I possess. I thank God that
I regard this contingency with the utmost tranquillity or insensibility.
I should not like it, but if the necessity arises I hope and believe I
can make the necessary sacrifices and changes in my habits without
repining outwardly or inwardly. I have not heard or known much lately
that is worth recording, and I am in one of my fits of disinclination to

[Footnote 25: [William Fox had entered life as a Unitarian Minister, and
he continued to preach for several years at the Finsbury Chapel of that
persuasion. But he subsequently quitted the pulpit, and was returned to
Parliament for the borough of Oldham in 1847. He became an active member
of the Radical Party, but his eloquence was less admired in the House of
Commons than it had been in his chapel.]]


_December 1st._--I went to the House of Lords the night Parliament
opened, and heard Stanley's speech. It lasted above two hours, was a
declaration of war, very slashing and flashing, and drew forth vehement
cheers from the Lords behind him. It was a regular Stanleyan speech,
just like himself, and exhibits all his unfitness for the great
functions of government and legislation: not but what there was much
truth in a great deal he said, especially about Ireland. The next day
George Bentinck bellowed and gesticulated for two hours in the House of
Commons with the same violence but without the same eloquence as
Stanley. Everybody looked with impatience for the Irish measures, and
everybody expected (most people earnestly desiring) that they should be
as strong as they could be made. In the House of Lords I had seen the
Duke of Bedford for a moment, who told me they were the result of a
compromise between Clarendon and the Government, the latter refusing to
give all he had required, and the former having resolved not to stay
with less than he eventually obtained. The night before last Sir George
Grey introduced the Government measures, which appeared to almost
everybody insufficient for the object. Peel however supported them in a
very dexterous speech. He said he felt bound to support the Government
in whatever they thought fit to propose, and that it was not for
Parliament to force upon them greater powers than they in their
discretion required; but he hinted his apprehensions lest some of the
provisions of the Bill, or rather its deficiencies, would be found
obstructions of the objects in view. The Irish were evidently surprised
and had expected more stringent measures, and in truth it would have
been just as easy to carry a really efficient measure as this, which
will probably prove abortive. This morning I have a letter from
Clarendon, who tells me what took place between himself and the Cabinet
on the subject. He says, 'I expect the Bill will prove unsatisfactory to
all parties...nevertheless I hope it will answer not so much by its
own provisions as by the evidence it will afford that Parliament and the
Government are in earnest.... In the present temper of England fancy
what a figure the Government would have cut if they had opened
Parliament without any repressive measure and announced that the
ordinary law would prove sufficient, and that _to it_ things were left!
they would have been looked on as little better than accessories or
instigators, and at all events I have the satisfaction of having saved
them from this very serious scrape, which really would have caused an
immediate increase of murder here. No one could be more desirous than
myself to avoid Coercion Bills, or indeed to ask for any increased
powers; but when I found that the ordinary law was insufficient to
protect life and property, I sent over the heads of two Bills, both of
which I meant should be permanent--one for punishing districts in which
crimes were committed; the other for registering arms, &c.--a sort of
police regulation proper for any country and especially required for
Ireland. _These Bills were ignored by the Cabinet_, for which various
utterly inexplicable reasons were given, and Lord John Russell said he
hoped at least to get through the winter without any extraordinary
measures. I then wrote both to Lord Lansdowne and John Russell to say
that though I did not wish to cause them any embarrassment, and would
get on here as well as I could for as long as I could, yet that nothing
should induce me to remain an hour after I thought my power of
usefulness was gone, as I was sure it would be unless my hands were
strengthened. This produced an immediate change, and the only question
then was what would be the best form of repression. A good deal of time
was lost on this, and Sir George Grey at length proposed as a model one
of the Six Acts (1819). I did not like it very much, but I had no wish
obstinately to adhere to my own Bills, which perhaps might not have been
stringent enough, as they were proposed before things had got so bad and
the spirit of combination was so manifest, and they were moreover
intended to be permanent. So, after amending the Bill a little with the
law officers here, I consented to it, and hope it will not be a failure
when put into operation.' So that if Lord John and his Cabinet had been
left to themselves they would have done nothing, and have let the Irish
murderers do their worst with no other hindrance than the ordinary
course of law! Clarendon saved the Government by insisting; for if they
had met Parliament and proposed nothing, they would have been swept away
in a whirlwind of indignation. Addresses would have been proposed in
both Houses and carried by immense majorities, and the Government would
have been at an end.

_December 7th._--The Irish measures were introduced, and everybody was
surprised they were not stronger. Peel supported the Government, and
there was hardly any opposition. The Government people tell everybody
that Clarendon is satisfied with the measures, thinks they will prove
effective, and his name and authority silence objections. The day after
Grey's speech I met Peel in the Park. He was in high force and good
humour, and looking very fresh and well. After talking of some other
things, I said, 'You supported the Government very handsomely in their
Irish measure.' He replied, 'Yes, and I mean to support them; but they
have made a great mistake and missed a great opportunity; Parliament and
the country would have confided to the Lord Lieutenant any powers the
Government chose to ask for; they have totally misunderstood the state
of Ireland and the feeling and opinion of this country.' In short, he
entirely agreed with me that they ought to have asked for much stronger
coercive power. There are people nevertheless who think it of greater
importance to pass a measure quickly, and with nearly general
concurrence, and therefore that this is better than one more vigorous,
but which would be more strenuously opposed.


On Friday last Peel made a great speech on Wood's statement _in re_ the
Bank Charter. It was very able, and the Government were delighted
because he supported them so cordially; the Opposition cut a very
miserable figure and showed how wavering and uncertain they are, without
plan, object, or tactics. They divided on a question of adjournment, and
sent their weakness forth to the country, but did not move an amendment
on which they might have united all their force and caught many stray
votes. I saw Graham two days ago; he was chuckling over their
mismanagement, said that if they had moved that it should be an
instruction to the Committee to report at once on the Bill of 1844, they
would have put the Government into difficulties and might have divided a
large number; but he sees how disorganised and inefficient they are. He
talked about a great many things in an amicable strain towards the
Government, and a great deal on the defences of the country, about which
the Duke of Wellington is in such a perturbed state of mind.

The Duke wrote a very long and able letter to Sir John Burgoyne some
time ago on this subject; this letter Lady Burgoyne and her daughters
copied and distributed among their friends. Pigou, a meddling zealot,
who does nothing but read Blue Books and write letters to the 'Times'
and 'Chronicle,' contrived to get hold of a copy, and fired off a letter
to the 'Morning Chronicle,' with a part of its contents. The Duke was
not pleased at this, and Lord John Russell was very angry; it has made a
noise in the world. The Duke always accuses his old colleagues of doing
nothing about the defences, and turning a deaf ear to his remonstrances.
Graham says this is not true, and he showed me a very elaborate paper he
had drawn up for the Cabinet, with various recommendations, which he
left with Sir George Grey when he left the Home Office, and the copy of
a Bill for calling out the militia, which was also left with Fox Maule.
He talked about Ireland, and said that the Master of the Rolls (Smith)
had drawn up a Bill for the sale of entailed estates, which he
recommended Clarendon to look at. He told me that Peel thought this an
excellent Parliament, promising to be practical and business-like,
serious listeners and men intent on not letting the time of the House
be wasted as it has lately been by eternal talkers, and continual early
adjournments. Everybody was alarmed at the aspect of this Parliament at
first, even the Speaker, who thought it would be unmanageable. I laughed
at their fears from the first, and now everybody says it is an excellent

A few days ago I met Dr. Wiseman, and had much talk with him about Rome
and the Pope's recent rescript about the colleges in Ireland. He said it
was all owing to there being no English Ambassador at Rome, and no
representative of the moderate Irish clergy; Irish ecclesiastical
affairs were managed by Machale through Franzoni, head of the
Propaganda, and Father Ventura, who has the Pope's ear, and he strongly
advised that Murray and his party should send an agent to Rome, and that
Lord Minto[26] should communicate with Father Ventura, who is an able
and a good man, deeply interested in Irish affairs, and anxious for
British connexion. He talked a great deal about the Pope, who, he said,
had not time to enquire into these matters himself, and took his
inspirations from the above-named personages; that he is of unbending
firmness in all that relates to religion, but liberal and anxious to
conciliate England. He thinks the rescript may be early got rid of by a
little management, and he mentioned an instance of the Pope's good sense
and fairness in a matter relating to a Scotch educational establishment
in which a Dr. Gillies was concerned. I am going to speak to Lord John
Russell about these things, and to try and persuade him to send Normanby
as Ambassador to Rome; he is ready to go, and it would be a very good
appointment, besides the great advantage of getting him away from Paris,
where he is very uncomfortable, and feels the _gêne_ and mortification
of his position.

[Footnote 26: [Lord Minto, then Lord Privy Seal, had been sent in the
course of this autumn on a roving mission to Italy. Pius IX. had been
elected Pope in June 1846.]]


_December 15th._--I called on Lord John Russell three days ago and told
him what Wiseman had said, and also about Normanby and Rome. He said he
had ordered a Bill to be drawn up to legalise our intercourse with the
Pope. I told him also what Graham desired me to do. He said he had read
his paper at the time, but made no further remarks on Graham's
communication. Last night in the House of Lords Stanley made a speech
about Minto and his mission, when Lord Lansdowne made a very good reply
and spoke out about our diplomatic relations with the Pope.

The Chancellor is very ill and not likely ever to sit again on the
Woolsack. Great speculation, of course, about his successor (which
people fancy will be Campbell or Rolfe), and Brougham is evidently not
without hopes of clutching the Great Seal himself. He has been attending
assiduously at the Judicial Committee and behaving marvellously well, so
attentive, patient, and laborious, everybody is astonished; but the Duke
of Bedford writes me word he has had letters from him expressing the
utmost anxiety to see him and talk to him _on a matter of great
importance which he can speak of to nobody else_, not even to Lord John
or to Lord Lansdowne, and signing himself, 'Your's most affectionately,
H. B.'! This is very amusing.

Hampden's bishopric has made a great stir after all:[27] thirteen
protesting bishops, a stout answer from Lord John, a long, very clever
rejoinder from the Bishop of Exeter, and a sensible protest the other
way from Bishop Stanley. There never was a greater piece of folly than
Lord John's bringing this hornet's nest about his ears, nothing could be
less worth while. It is not over yet, and there will be more kicking and
clamouring; but Lord John, however foolish he was in making the
appointment, must of course go through with it now, and then like
everything else it will be soon forgotten.

[Footnote 27: [Dr. Hampden, who was accused of heterodox opinions, and
whose appointment to a Canonry at Oxford had already occasioned an
explosion of bigotry and intolerance in the Church, was raised to the
See of Hereford by Lord John Russell, chiefly, as it would seem, as an
act of defiance to the Clerical party. Hampden was a dull, heavy man,
who made more noise in the world than he deserved, but he was not a bad

_December 22nd._--On Sunday to the Temple Church; divine music and a
very good preacher--a Mr. Hawes. Monday night I dined with Milman and
went to the Westminster Play; pretty well done. The Hampden controversy
flares away. Hampden himself has written a long, querulous, ill-composed
letter to Lord John Russell, which he had better have let alone; if he
did write, he should have written a shorter, more pithy and more
dignified letter. Every day makes the fault of having appointed him more

_December 24th._--Lord John Russell wrote an answer to the Bishop of
Exeter, correcting a mistake in the Bishop's letter, and assuring him of
his persuasion that he had conscientiously fulfilled his duty in
writing, and his respect for his talents and his position in the Church.
This brought a rejoinder which is a curiosity, written in a state of
delight at the politeness of Lord John, and abounding in suavities of
the most juicy description. Lord John persists that he has done a very
wise thing, and predicts that before long everybody will admit it, and
this opinion is grounded on the knowledge he has of the dangerous
progress of Tractarianism, which this appointment is calculated to

I went yesterday to St. George's Hospital to see the chloroform tried. A
boy two years and a half old was cut for a stone. He was put to sleep in
a minute; the stone was so large and the bladder so contracted, the
operator could not get hold of it, and the operation lasted above twenty
minutes, with repeated probings by different instruments; the chloroform
was applied from time to time, and the child never exhibited the
slightest sign of consciousness, and it was exactly the same as
operating on a dead body. A curious example was shown of what is called
the _étiquette_ of the profession. The operator (whose name I forget)
could not extract the stone, so at last he handed the instrument to
Keate, who is the finest operator possible, and he got hold of the
stone. When he announced that he had done so, the first man begged to
have the forceps back that he might draw it out, and it was transferred
to him; but in taking it he let go the stone, and the whole thing had to
be done over again. It was accomplished, but not of course without
increasing the local inflammation, and endangering the life of the
child. I asked Keate why, when he had got hold of the stone, he did not
draw it out. He said the other man's 'dignity' would have been hurt if
he had not been allowed to complete what he had begun! I have no words
to express my admiration for this invention, which is the greatest
blessing ever bestowed on mankind, and the inventor of it the greatest
of benefactors, whose memory ought to be venerated by countless millions
for ages yet to come. All the great discoveries of science sink into
insignificance when compared with this. It is a great privilege to have
lived in the times which saw the production of steam, of electricity,
and now of ether--that is, of the development and application of them to
human purposes, to the multiplication of enjoyments and the mitigation
of pain. But wonderful as are the powers and the feats of the
steam-engine and the electric telegraph, the chloroform far transcends
them all in its beneficent and consolatory operations.


_December 26th._--Lamartine's 'Histoire des Girondins' is the most
successful book that has been published for many years. He is the Jenny
Lind of literature; his book is on every table and in every mouth; it
just suits the half-informed and the idle, whom it dazzles, amuses, and
interests; but his apparent partiality shocks the humanity of the age;
and the generality of readers are unable to comprehend his philosophical
analysis, and psychological theories of Robespierre's character. One of
his most striking anecdotes is the conversation he gives between Louis
Philippe and Danton, in which, according to Lamartine, Danton predicts
to the young Duc de Chartres that he will one day be King, and tells him
when that happens to remember the prophecy of Danton. I last night asked
the Duc de Broglie[28] if that anecdote is true. He said it was not
true: the King indeed had had a conversation with Danton, when the
latter said to him, 'Young man, what do you do here? Your place is with
the army.' So much of it is true, but the rest--the essential part, the
prediction--is all false. The Duke told me he had read the King's own
account of the conversation in his own journal, where it is recorded as
he described. He said the King had kept a copious journal from a very
early period. He afterwards talked a great deal about him, of his great
industry and activity, of the quantity he read and wrote, and that he
read and commented upon all the documents submitted to him for his
signature. I regret not having made more acquaintance than I have done
here with the Duke de Broglie, and Jarnac gives me to understand that he
had rather expected me to cultivate him more than I have, and was
disposed to receive my advances. The chief reason for my not doing so
was that I found the greatest difficulty in understanding what he says.

[Footnote 28: [Victor, Duc de Broglie, was at this time French
Ambassador in London.]]

_January 1st, 1848._--The Hampden affair is still _boring_ on with
prejudicial effects to everybody concerned in it. Dean Merewether, who
is piqued and provoked at not having got the bishopric himself (which
William IV. once promised him), wrote a foolish, frothy letter to Lord
John Russell, who sent an equally foolish, because petulant, reply--only
in two lines. The Bishop of Oxford has recanted, and he of Salisbury has
apologised for their respective parts; the former in a very ridiculous
letter, not calculated to do him any credit. Everybody will believe that
he found his conduct unpalatable at Court, so took a pretext for
shuffling out of it.


Last week, after a few days' illness, without pain or trouble, Lord
Harrowby died at Sandon, having just completed his eighty-fifth
year.[29] The three old friends, Tom Grenville, the Archbishop of York,
and Lord Harrowby, thus died all three of old age, peacefully and
painlessly, within twelve months. Lord Harrowby survived Mr. Grenville
exactly a year, and the Archbishop three months. He was the last of his
generation and of the colleagues of Mr. Pitt, the sole survivor of those
stirring times and mighty contests. He had all along such bad health
that half a century ago his life was considered a very bad one, and yet
he reached his eighty-sixth year with his faculties very little
impaired. He was at the top of the second-rate men, always honourable
and straightforward, generally liberal and enlightened, greatly esteemed
and respected. No man ever passed through a long political life more
entirely without blemish or suspicion. It is curious that in the
biographical notices of him, which according to the custom of the
present day have appeared in the newspapers, no mention, or hardly any,
has been made of by far the most remarkable transaction in which he ever
was engaged, that of procuring the passing of the second reading of the
second Reform Bill in the House of Lords--one of the most important
services, as it turned out, that any man ever rendered to his country.
In conjunction with Lord Wharncliffe he accomplished this, his conduct
being perfectly disinterested, for he had long before resolved never
again to take office, and had refused to be Prime Minister on the death
of Canning. I was in their confidence, and much concerned in the whole
of that transaction, as fully appears in my Journal of that period. His
speech on the first Reform Bill was very celebrated, exceedingly able,
and superior to any other he ever made. He was remarkably well informed.
Madame de Staël speaks of him somewhere as Lord Harrowby, 'qui connaît
notre littérature un peu mieux que nous-mêmes;' but his precise manner
and tart disposition prevented his being agreeable in society. He was
very religious, very generous, and a man of the strictest integrity in
private and in public life. I lived a great deal with him, but all my
intimacy was with his admirable wife, whose virtues and merits I have
elsewhere recorded.

[Footnote 29: Dudley, second Baron and first Earl of Harrowby, born
December 22, 1782; died December 26, 1847.]

_Bowood, January 7th._--I came here on Tuesday to meet the Duke of
Bedford, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord Devon, Lord Auckland, &c.
Wood talked to me about his scheme of taxation; he has been in great
doubt how he should apportion and increase (as he must) the income-tax,
whether _income_ or _property_. After much consideration he appears to
have nearly made up his mind to impose three per cent. on Ireland, and
to raise it in England to five, or perhaps something less; to announce
that the increase is to be temporary, but the three per cent. to be
permanent; and then, on the strength of the extension to Ireland, to
propose a grant to that country, without which Clarendon cannot get on.
Peel will concur in this plan.

Great talk here of George Bentinck's resignation of the leadership of
the Opposition. John Russell and his colleagues are very sorry for it;
nobody can think of a successor to him, and, bad as he is, he seems the
best man they have. It seems they detest Disraeli, the only man of
talent, and in fact they have nobody; so much so, that Wood thinks they
will be obliged to go back to George Bentinck: a very strange state of
things! George Bentinck and Stanley disagree on many points, especially
on taxation; nevertheless this party, thus acephalous and feeble, have
really been fancying they could come into office, and their notion is
that if the dissolution had been delayed they would have had a majority,
and would have come in. The Duke of Beaufort told Bessborough so very
seriously, and Lady Jersey told me the same thing, and that George
Bentinck had promised her son Francis a place at the India Board! These
things are hardly credible, but they are nevertheless true.


The Hampden war has been turning greatly to the advantage of the Doctor;
his enemies have exposed themselves in the most flagrant manner, and
Archdeacon Hare has written a very able pamphlet also exposing the
rascality (for that is the proper word) of his accusers, and affording
his own valuable testimony to Hampden's orthodoxy; above all things, Sly
Sam of Oxford (my would-be director and confessor) has covered himself
with ridicule and disgrace. The disgrace is the greater because
everybody sees through his motives: he has got into a scrape at Court
and is trying to scramble out of it; there, however, he is found out,
and his favour seems to have long been waning. The Duke of Bedford tells
me the Queen and Prince are in a state of hot zeal in this matter. The
Prince writes to Lord John every day, and urges him to prosecute Dean
Merewether, which of course Lord John is too wise to do. That Dean is a
very paltry fellow, and has moved heaven and earth to get made a bishop
himself; besides memorialising the Queen, he wrote to Lord Lansdowne and
suggested to him to put an end to the controversy by making him a bishop
now, and Hampden at the next vacancy. The whole proceeding reflects
great discredit on the great mass of clergymen who have joined in the
clamour against Hampden, and on the Oxonian majority who condemned him,
for it is now pretty clear that very few, if any, of them had ever read
his writings. Now that they are set forth, and people see his
unintelligible jargon about dogmas themselves unintelligible, there must
be some dispassionate men who will be disgusted and provoked with the
whole thing, and at the ferocity with which these holy disputants
assault and vituperate each other about that which none of them
understand, and which it is a mere mockery and delusion to say that any
of them really believe; it is cant, hypocrisy, and fanaticism from
beginning to end. There is that old fawning sinner, the Bishop of
Exeter; it appears that a dozen years ago he called on Hampden at Oxford
to express to him the pleasure with which he had read his Bampton
Lectures, and to compliment him on them. The Archbishop of Dublin was
present on this occasion.

_January 12th._--From Bowood to Middleton on Saturday, to town on Monday
10th. The morning I left Bowood, Senior showed me the correspondence
(not published) between the Bishop of Oxford and Hampden. It is
creditable to the latter; the former really very despicable. The Bishop
put a parcel of questions to him as to his belief on points of faith and
doctrine, some of which were the most ordinary matter of belief, others
unintelligible. Hampden said he might have regarded such questions on
the most elementary points of doctrine as an insult, but he would accept
his assurances that they were put in a friendly spirit (though he must
say much of his conduct was at variance with such professions) and would
therefore say 'Yes' to all of them. To his last letter announcing his
having withdrawn the charges and read his works, Hampden merely sent a
dry acknowledgement of having received the letter.

_January 17th._--Still this Hampden affair. Kelly got a rule in Queen's
Bench, and it will be argued in a few days. Tractarians hope from the
known Puseyism of Coleridge and Patteson that the rule may be made
absolute; but the lawyers don't expect it and think a _strong_ Court
would not have given a rule. However, it shows the anomaly (not to say
worse) of the whole ecclesiastical proceeding under the Act of Henry
VIII. The High Churchmen, who want a separation of State from Church,
though it does not seem clear what it is they contemplate, are all on
the _qui vive_, and fancy their projects are put in a fair train by all
these proceedings; but though some of my friends think very seriously of
these crotchets, I believe they are very despicable and harmless. This
morning I got a letter from the Duke of Bedford enclosing one from
William Cowper to him, informing him what took place when Hampden was
made Regius Professor. William Cowper had given me some account of it at
the time, which I inserted in my journal, and I copied it out for the
Duke of Bedford during our discussion. I don't find that this more
detailed account varies much from the other, though it contains several
more particulars, and one relating to the Archbishop's nominees curious
enough. His account of the transaction is this, saying he got it from
Lord Melbourne, and by reference to letters which passed at the time:
'The Archbishop of Canterbury came to Lord Melbourne to announce the
death of Dr. Burton. In the conversation that ensued my uncle requested
the Archbishop to send him the names of the persons that occurred to him
as best qualified for the situation, and begged him not to confine the
list to a small number. The Archbishop sent a list including Pusey,
Newman, and Keble; and if it was, as I believe, the list of the
Archbishop which is now before me, it contained the names; but it is
possible he may have sent only six, and that the other three were added
from another quarter. Lord Melbourne sent the nine names to the
Archbishop of Dublin (Whately) without mentioning who had recommended
them, and he justified the confidence reposed in him by giving a full
and impartial statement of what he conceived to be the qualifications of
each. But previous to this he had been consulted by Lord Melbourne, and
asked whom he would recommend, and had written, on 22nd January, 1836, a
long letter in which he said: "The best fitted for a theological
professorship that I have any knowledge of are Dr. Hampden and Dr.
Hinds, afterwards Principal of Alban Hall; the qualifications I allude
to, and which they both possess in a higher degree than any others I
could name, are, first, sound learning; secondly, vigour of mind to
wield that learning, without which the other is undigested food; and
thirdly, the moral and intellectual character adapted for conveying
instruction. Both Hinds and Hampden are what are considered of liberal
sentiments, but agree with me in keeping aloof from parties political
and ecclesiastical."... Lord Melbourne doubted for some time between
Arnold and Hampden, but, thinking the former rather too rash and
unsettled in his opinions for so responsible a post, decided in favour
of the latter; and it was not till after he had made up his mind that
Hampden was the fittest person that he asked Dr. Copleston to give him
his opinion of him, which opinion was so favourable that it confirmed
him in his choice; he did not send any list to Copleston. You may rely
on the accuracy of this statement as far as it goes.' The Duke also told
me in his letter that there had been a very curious correspondence
between Prince Albert and the Bishop of Oxford.


_January 18th._--I have this morning received a copy of the Archbishop
of Canterbury's letter to Lord John about making Hampden Bishop of
Manchester. Lord John wrote to him for his opinion, and here is his

    My dear Lord,--During the ten years which have passed since Dr.
    Hampden was appointed Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford,
    I have no reason to believe that he has taught from the Chair
    any doctrines at variance with the Articles of our Church; and
    in justice to him I must say that I have discovered nothing
    objectionable in the few publications of his which I have seen and
    which are ably written; of his discretion or talents for business
    I have no means of judging. These qualifications may be more
    than ordinarily required in the first Bishop of such a place as
    Manchester. I have the honour to be, &c.


This is his letter, which certainly warranted Lord John in saying 'he
received no discouragement from the Archbishop of Canterbury.' It
amounts very nearly to a sanction of the appointment; and nothing but
the Archbishop's age, and the timidity, both natural to him and
belonging to his age, can excuse his not having taken a more active part
in allaying the irritation than he has done. So far as the Archbishop
was concerned, Lord John understated his case.

_January 21st._--Dined on Wednesday with Baron Rolfe--Campbell,
Langdale, Wilde, and Solicitor-General (Dundas); much talk about the
rule in Queen's Bench (in Hampden's case), and whether the law must be
altered. Campbell against alteration, the rest thinking there must be
some, and the old law of Edward VI. making the bishoprics donative
restored. This is what Lushington told me must be done.[29]

[Footnote 30: [On December 11 an attempt was made to arrest the
confirmation of Dr. Hampden as Bishop of Hereford in the church of St.
Mary-le-Bow. But this was overruled by the Commissioners. On December 24
the Attorney-General showed cause against a rule _nisi_ granted on the
14th by the Court of Queen's Bench, for a mandamus against the
Archbishop of Canterbury. Judgement was given on February 1. Mr. Justice
Coleridge and Mr. Justice Erle were in favour of granting the mandamus;
Lord Denman, C. J., and Mr. Justice Patteson against it. The Court being
equally divided, no mandamus was issued.]]


_January 22nd._--Aston[31] called on me yesterday, and told me a great
deal about Spain and Spanish affairs. He thinks it is the object of
Queen Christina to destroy the Queen, her daughter, and that she will
accomplish it; that she has always hated her, and prefers (without
caring much for her) the Infanta; he thinks that by medical treatment
the cutaneous disease with which the Queen has been always afflicted has
been thrown in, and hence the epileptic fits by which she has been
recently attacked; he says that they have lately put about her a French
doctor, since which all her Spanish physicians have declined to attend
her. I own I cannot believe anything so horrible as this implies, but it
accords with suspicions from other quarters. He told me that Espartero
before he left England showed him a letter he had received from the
Queen's music-master, a devoted adherent of his who had continued to
correspond with him. This man was an eye-witness of the scene which took
place when the Queen was forced by Serrano to take Narvaez for her
Minister, having been by accident in the adjoining apartment. The
details are revolting, and show, if true, that the Queen is nearly under
duresse and incapable of any freedom of action. She has, however, one
chance of emancipation, and that is in the attachment to her of the
people of Madrid, which is general and enthusiastic. She has all the
Manolas to a woman, and through them their lovers, brothers, and
friends; they would rise _en masse_ for her if called upon. Christina is
universally unpopular and yet remains there; she is gorged with riches
and in possession of uncontrolled power. When she left Spain in 1843 she
stripped the palace of all the plate and all the crown jewels of
enormous value; of all the gold and silver services there were not six
spoons left. Espartero appointed a committee to enquire into the
disappearance of the crown jewels, but they begged leave not to report
to avoid the scandalous exposure of the Queen's mother, and she was left
in possession of her spoil. The young Queen was found without clothes to
her back; the Marchioness of Santa Cruz told Aston she had only six
pairs of darned cotton stockings which hurt her legs, then sore with her
cutaneous disease. Aston said that Bulwer was constantly intriguing,
foiled, found out, and not trusted by any party or any individual.

[Footnote 31: [Sir Arthur Aston was Secretary of Legation in Spain.]]

_Brocket, January 22nd._--I came here this afternoon, Melbourne having
at last invited me. I have been intimately acquainted with him for
thirty-five years, and he never before (but once to dinner) asked me
into his house. He expects people to come, and at dinner to-day he
proclaimed his social ideas and wishes. 'I wish,' he said, 'my friends
to come to me whenever they please, and I am mortified when they don't
come.' I told him he ought to send out circulars to that effect. He is
well and in good spirits, and ready to talk by fits and starts, very
anti-Peel and anti-Free-trade, rattled away against men and things,
especially against several of his old friends in particular. As usual,
he put forth some queer sayings, such as that 'Nobody ever did anything
very foolish except from some strong principle,' he had remarked that.
He said very little about the Hampden quarrel, only that he 'thought
Lord John might have avoided it.' He said he had wished to make Arnold a
bishop, but somebody told him if he did he thought the Archbishop would
very likely refuse to consecrate him; so he gave up the idea without
finding out what the Archbishop thought of it. Beauvale was very strong
against Palmerston and delighted with the articles in the 'Times'
attacking his administration and his letter to the Greek Government; he
thought it very lucky he had not gone to Paris, where he must have
quarrelled with Palmerston for not obeying his absurd instructions, and
said _qu'il avait passé par là_ at Vienna. When he was there, Lady
Westmorland told him she had been commissioned to give him a hint that
he would not be able to remain there and oppose Palmerston as he often
did. He asked her who told her this; she said _Melbourne_! This was the
way the Prime Minister tried to prevent a rupture between his brother
and his brother-in-law, not daring to face Palmerston, though
disapproving of his policy and his ways. Well might Beauvale say
Palmerston would always have his way, for he was bold, resolute, and
unscrupulous; he would not yield to others, and would make all others
yield to him; and he is unchecked by public opinion here, nobody knowing
or caring anything about foreign affairs. Lady Beauvale told me some
anecdotes of the Royal children, which may some day have an interest
when time has tested and developed their characters. The Princess Royal
is very clever, strong in body and in mind; the Prince of Wales weaker
and more timid.


_January 26th._--Came back from Brocket on Monday. Melbourne not much
inclined to talk; he dines at a quarter-past seven, and he went to bed,
or at least to his room, at half-past eight. He is as anti-Palmerstonian
as his brother, agreed with me that Palmerston had all along greatly
exaggerated the importance of the Spanish marriage. Much talk with
Beauvale, particularly about Palmerston; he told me an anecdote of him
which shows the man and how difficult he is to manage. During the
Spanish discussions Beauvale was at Windsor, and one day when the Prince
was in his room the draft of a despatch from Palmerston arrived to Lord
John Russell, which he wanted to show to the Prince, and afterwards to
submit to the Queen for her sanction. Finding the Prince was in
Beauvale's room, he came there and read out the despatch. There was a
paragraph in it saying the succession of the Duchesse de Montpensier's
children would be inadmissible by the constitutional law of Spain (or
words to this effect). Lord John said he thought this ought to be
expunged; that we might say what we pleased as to the effect of
treaties, but it did not become _us_ to lay down the constitutional law
of Spain; the Prince and Beauvale both concurred, and Lord John said he
would strike out this passage, and submit it so amended to the Queen. He
did so, and Her Majesty took the same view. It was returned so altered
to Palmerston; but when the despatch was published, it was found that
Palmerston had re-inserted the paragraph, and so it stood. What more may
have passed I know not, but it is clear that they all _stood_ it, as
they always will.

Lady Beauvale gave me an account of the scene at dinner at Windsor when
Melbourne broke out against Peel (about the Corn Laws). She was sitting
next Melbourne, who was between her and the Queen; he said pretty much
what I have somewhere else stated, and he would go on though it was
evidently disagreeable to the Queen, and embarrassing to everybody
else. At last the Queen said to him, 'Lord Melbourne, I must beg you not
to say anything more on this subject now; I shall be very glad to
discuss it with you at any other time,' and then he held his tongue. It
is however an amiable trait in her, that while she is austere to almost
everybody else, she has never varied in her attachment to him, and to
him everything has always been permitted; he might say and do what he
liked. Now she constantly writes to him, never forgets his birthday.

The Attorney-General[32] has got into a scrape about his son's election,
but it remains to be seen if he will not get out of it; there was a
petition against young Jervis, and they gave the petitioners 1,500_l._
to drop it. The bargain was discovered, and other parties presented a
petition just in time. Dundas would be thrown into a great embarrassment
by anything that removed the Attorney-General; he _could_ not succeed;
the Government would not have him, nor would he undertake it; he has no
briefs, a thing unheard of for a Solicitor-General, and the Government
found him so useless that they ceased to consult him, and desirous of
getting somebody more efficient, they proposed to him to be
Judge-Advocate, which however he refused: he hardly could have accepted
it. He has many good qualities, is agreeable, and I like him; he is
honourable, high-minded, proud, charitable, generous, accomplished,
well-informed, and clever; but he is weak, timid, fastidious, affected,
sentimental and very often absurd, and in no small degree a _humbug_.
Altogether he is unfit for rough work and active life, either forensic
or political.

[Footnote 32: [Sir John Jervis was at this time Attorney-General,
afterwards Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas. Sir David Dundas was


_February 8th._--A fortnight ago on Saturday week I went to the Grotes,
at Burnham Beeches; Mrs. Butler and Prandi, a Piedmontese patriot, and
formerly refugee, now restored by the adoption of liberal principles in
Piedmont. He was condemned to death above twenty years ago, and escaped
with great difficulty. He has lived ever since in London.

On Monday we received news of the revolution in Sicily, of the
concessions extorted from the King, and since of the promulgation of a
constitution at Naples.

On Saturday week I read in the newspapers the speech Cobden made at
Manchester abusing the Duke of Wellington, and scouting the national
defences. On Wednesday I wrote a letter to him in the 'Times,' which has
had great success.[33] I have received innumerable compliments and
expressions of approbation about it from all quarters, and the old Duke
is pleased. I had no idea of making such a _hit_, but the truth is,
everybody was disgusted at Cobden's impertinence and (it may be added)
folly. His head is turned by all the flattery he has received, and he
has miserably exposed himself since his return to England, showing that
he is a man of one idea and no statesman.

[Footnote 33: [This letter is reprinted in the Appendix to this

There was a meeting yesterday at Lord Stanley's to choose a leader, but
they parted without doing anything. Stanley said it was not for him to
point out a leader to the members of the House of Commons, and he
eulogised George Bentinck, who has taken his place on the back benches.
They are to meet again to-morrow, and it is supposed Granby[34] will be
their choice! Except his high birth he has not a single qualification
for the post; he is tall and good-looking, civil and good-humoured, if
these are qualifications, but he has no others; and yet this great party
can find no better man.

[Footnote 34: [The Marquis of Granby, born May 16, 1815, succeeded his
father as Duke of Rutland in 1857.]]

_February 10th._--The Protectionists met yesterday and elected Granby,
all the world laughing at their choice. It appears that the reports of
George Bentinck's easy and good-humoured retirement are not true.[35]
There was an angry correspondence, much heat, and considerable doubt
about the successor; some being for Stafford, the majority for Granby,
in the proportions of 60 to 40.

[Footnote 35: [Lord George Bentinck threw up the leadership of the
Protectionist party in a fit of ill-humour, caused by some reflections
of Major Beresford, which showed, he said, that he had not the
confidence of the party. Mr. Disraeli called him 'a wrong-headed man,'
although they had for some time worked together with apparent

_February 13th._--On Friday I was with Graham for a long time, who
talked of everything, affairs at home and abroad. He expressed a doubt
if the Ministers were up to their work and capable of coping with all
their difficulties, said Peel was 'more _sullen_ than he had seen him,'
and had the same doubts, but nevertheless was more than ever resolved
never to take office. He hoped, however, that Lord John might bring
forward the state of the nation on Friday, and by making a great speech
upon it show he was up to his situation; talked a good deal of colonial
matters, and said the change in our commercial policy brought about the
necessity of a great one in our colonial policy, that we ought to limit
instead of extending our colonial empire, that Canada must soon be
independent. He condemned the Caffre war, and extension of the Cape
Colony, that we ought only to have a _Gibraltar_ there, a house of call;
condemned New Zealand and Labuan and Hong Kong; considered the West
India interest as gone, and dilated at great length (and very well) on
these points. Then on foreign affairs, which he thinks very critical,
especially estranged as we are from France, he wants Beauvale to be sent
to Paris and Vienna to concert measures, and try to avert the dangers he
apprehends. He is for 'defence,' but says the only way is to draw our
troops home which are scattered over our useless and expensive
dependencies. He is entirely against the squadron on the African coast
and keeping up that humbug, which he says costs directly and indirectly
a million a year. I told him Auckland said it only cost 300,000_l._; he
replied, it was not so, and that including indirect expenses it cost a
million. The Caffres cost another million, and now that we were going to
add to the income-tax, it would only be endured by showing that we had
made or would make every practicable reduction, and that we maintained
no establishments that were not really necessary. He highly approved of
my letter.


_February 18th._--Dr. Sumner, Bishop of Chester, is appointed Archbishop
of Canterbury, a great mortification to the Tractarians, and great joy
to the Low Church; but he is so excellent a man, and has done so well in
his diocese, that the appointment will be generally approved. I went
last night to the Lords to hear Lord Lansdowne bring in the Diplomatic
Bill (with Rome); he made a very good speech.

I could not stay out the debate, being engaged to dine with Chief
Justice Wilde, where we had a great party almost all lawyers, Parke,
Alderson, Lushington, Talfourd. I sat next to Alderson, and found him a
very agreeable man, Senior Wrangler, Senior Medallist, a judge (and
really a lawyer), a wit; a life all of law and letters, such as I might
have led if I had chosen the good path. I always think of this when I
meet such men who have 'scorned delights, and lived laborious days,' and
now enjoy the benefit thereof. He told me he had been writing an
exercise in the morning for one of his sons at Oxford, a dialogue
between Erasmus and More, on the preference of the Latin to the Greek as
a universal language. There is a good saying going about of the Court of
Exchequer and its Barons; it runs thus--Parke settles the law, Rolfe
settles the fact, Alderson settles the bar, Platt settles nothing,
Pollock unsettles everything. Campbell is anxious to write again, and
talked to me of writing the history of the Reform Bill. I told him I
could give valuable materials, but that it is not yet time. He wants me
to write memoirs of the last twenty years, and was pleased to say no man
was so well qualified to do it. This is not true, but I have some
qualifications from personal acquaintance with the actors and knowledge
of the events of that period, and I might have had, and ought to have
had, much more, but my habits and pursuits have prevented me, and only
left me mere snatches of such real knowledge as could be turned to

_February 20th._--At the House of Lords on Friday night, for the
Committee on the Diplomatic Bill. Government beaten by three, and all by
bad management; several who ought to have been there, and might easily
have been brought up, were absent: the Duke of Bedford, Duke of
Devonshire, Lord Petre, a Catholic, dawdling at Brighton, and Beauvale.
The Duke of Wellington, with his deafness, got into a complete
confusion, and at the last moment voted against Government. It was a
melancholy thing to see Stanley with Beaufort on one side of him, and
Buckingham on the other, now going into a corner with the Bishop of
Exeter, now earwigging Lord Kenyon, thus prostrating his fine talents to
the folly and bigotry of the titled, tinselled mob, in the midst of whom
he sits. Aberdeen behaved very ill, and spoke against admitting
ecclesiastics; indeed, against any Nuncio, which was all wrong and
untrue as to fact, and which he was crammed with by Bunsen. I did not
stay it out, but went away to dinner, where I met Dr. Logan, head of
Oscott; a very able man, very pleasing and good-looking, and neither in
manner nor dress resembling a Roman Catholic priest. He is supposed to
be the writer of Lord Shrewsbury's letters. He told Panizzi, however,
that he was sorry to find that the English Catholics were very indignant
with Lord Shrewsbury for having written these letters, which is very
strange and very lamentable, for it has always been believed that they
were more liberal and well-disposed than the Irish, and regarded with
horror the excesses of MacHale and Co.

On Friday night Lord John Russell brought forward his financial
statement, in a speech which has been much criticised. He seems to have
treated the subject of defence, and to have alluded to the military
establishments of France, in a style far from judicious; his speech and
his plan were very ill received, and the state of the House was
considered to be ominous and alarming; dissatisfaction was expressed in
all quarters, and opposition threatened upon the most opposite grounds.
Disraeli and Cobden both spoke against him, and the former vehemently
attacked the latter, and made a very clever speech. Cobden's tone and
spirit were bad, and, so far as can be judged of his intentions, he
means to go to work in the line of pure democracy, and with the object
of promoting the power of the middle classes over that of the
aristocracy. The most serious blow to the Government was the speech of
Francis Baring, which told mightily. On the whole, the impression is
very bad; people are gloomy, frightened, and angry; the Government
inspires no confidence; the great monetary and commercial interests do
not think Lord John and Charles Wood equal to their situation, and they
cast back longing eyes towards Peel. This Macgregor told me yesterday,
and it is confirmed by various signs.


Yesterday morning John Russell sent for me, and asked me to go to Graham
and speak to him about the 'Godless' Colleges, and the payment of
professors, giving me a letter of Clarendon's about it, which I was to
show Graham with Clarendon's scheme, and ask if it was in accordance
with their Bill, and if he and Peel would approve of it. Graham said he
did approve, and would support the scheme, but he advised a different
mode of paying the professors (by a vote in the estimates instead of
paying them out of the 7,000_l._ a year given by the Act), which Lord
John agreed to adopt. We had much talk about the House of Commons and
the state of things. Graham thought the appearance of the House very
alarming, said Lord John spoke well in a very difficult position, rather
defended him, found fault with some of the details of the estimates, and
thought they might have adjusted their taxation differently. Neither he
nor Peel said a word on Friday. Peel went away after Lord John's speech.
I can see that the Whigs are in a state of continual uneasiness about
Peel and Graham and the Peelites. They hear it constantly repeated that
Peel will not take office, and has announced that he will be no leader
of a party, but they look with great apprehension towards Lincoln, who
is certainly ambitious of playing a great part, and preparing to do so;
and they suspect Peel is secretly aiding and encouraging him. The
'Morning Chronicle' is believed by the Government people to have been
bought by Lincoln.[36] It is certain that its tone is quite altered.
Old Delane (father of the 'Times' editor) has got the management of it,
and a Mr. Cook, who was employed for two years under Lincoln in the
Duchy of Cornwall, is editor. When Easthope sold it, he tried to bargain
for its continued support of Palmerston, which was flatly refused. Young
Delane told me the paper meant to support the Government, but it has
begun by an attack on Grey, and has evinced no very friendly feeling to
Lord John himself. The state of affairs is to the last degree
extraordinary and perplexing.

[Footnote 36: [The 'Morning Chronicle' newspaper was sold by Sir John
Easthope, and purchased by Lord Lincoln, Sidney Herbert, and the other
followers of Sir Robert Peel. It was conducted with ability, but it
failed to command public support, and after a few years, and the loss of
a great deal of money, the old Whig organ sank altogether.]]


Delane came to me yesterday morning to talk over the ministerial
_exposé_ and its effects. He said nothing could be worse, that it was
_fatal_, that there was no use in attempting to defend them. He found
people in the City all against the plan, that it could not pass; and he
talked of nothing but defeat and resignation, without being able to
suggest any possible alternative. He says, however, that people don't
care for this, that they are reckless, that the Government must not look
to be carried through, _for fear they should resign_, and because there
is nobody to take their places; that nobody will be frightened by this,
but that their measure will be opposed, let what may come of it. Others
think differently, and Tom Baring told me last night that he thought,
notwithstanding the discontent, they would find support enough for their
purpose. It is difficult, however, as yet, in the midst of the
uncertainty, excitement, and discontent that prevail, to form any
plausible conclusion as to their prospect. There can be no doubt that,
as a Government, their position is very unenviable; they are not strong
in numbers--that is, they have not an absolute majority of the House of
Commons--and they are in a minority in the House of Lords. They enjoy no
confidence, and no favour; neither collectively nor individually
are they strong in public confidence and attachment. There is no
enmity to them, and they have a sort of negative support, as being
well-intentioned, honest, tolerably capable, and, from the state of
parties, the only possible Government. But they are surrounded with
cavilling, discontented people, and fragments of parties, all animated
with particular objects and designs of their own, which are not yet
ripe--people biding their time, and looking for their overthrow. There
are the Protectionists, without any leader, and absolutely unable to
find one; the Peelite staff, with a dozen men fit to lead, and most of
them willing, but still kept asunder by the old film of political
repulsion, the ever-burning hatred of Peel and Peelites on one side, and
the honour and feeling which forbids any desertion of, or disrespect to,
Peel on the other; and these feelings will still keep the two
Conservative sections in this antagonistic state, till events and common
interests, Heaven knows how or when, bring them together. There are,
however, enormous difficulties, inherent in such a state of things, and
aggravated by their continuance, and among them none greater than
Stanley's position, and the egregious folly of his conduct. This is, in
truth, the great security which the present Government has for keeping
in office. If they are defeated, and offer to resign, no other
Government will be found possible, and they will be forced to stay in;
but I doubt much, even in such a contingency, if they would be able to
do so entirely on their own terms, and they would never dare to make
public opinion, if unmistakeably expressed, surrender at discretion.

_February 23rd._--On Monday night Wood came suddenly down to the House
of Commons, and proposed to refer the Army and Navy Estimates to a
secret Committee, and then the miscellaneous estimates. This scheme was
violently attacked, particularly the secrecy. Disraeli spoke forcibly
against it. Peel came to the rescue. The effect was very bad: a
confession of weakness and perplexity, and the Government lost credit.
Last night Wood again proposed the Committees, owned he was wrong about
their being _secret_, and asked for 'select.' Disraeli attacked him very
severely; Peel came forward handsomely, spoke for the Committees, but
defended the estimates, and talked very sensibly about them and
defences, ridiculing Ellesmere's letter very much. Delane had a long
interview with the Chancellor of the Exchequer the day before yesterday,
who told him he had been driven to his present expedient by the
deplorable effect of Lord John's speech, which appears to have inflicted
_tortures_ on his colleagues all the time he was delivering it. He not
only (Wood said) said all that he ought not to have done, and made great
mistakes in his way of dealing with the subject, but he omitted a great
part of what he was to have said, two points especially: Ireland, and
what had been done there, and the Spanish marriage question, _which it
had been his intention to throw over_! It certainly is remarkable that
he showed none of the tact and dexterity which usually pre-eminently
distinguish him; he had not been well, and was oppressed with the
subject. The effect was very bad, and, as usual, his meaning
ridiculously distorted and misrepresented. All the friends of the
Government are exceedingly alarmed, and we do certainly appear to be
very near a deadlock.


In reference to the Spanish marriage question, I have had some concern
in stopping what would have been a very mischievous publication. William
Hervey, who is mad on it, has written an elaborate _polémique_ in the
shape of a pamphlet, or rather book. He sent this over last summer to
Clarendon, who, not having time to read it, asked George Lewis to
prepare it for, and correct, the press; but first it was sent to
Palmerston. He kept it some months, and about Christmas sent it to
Lewis, with his imprimatur; Lewis, by accident, mentioned it to me just
as he was correcting the last sheets. I thought it so objectionable that
I begged him not to let it be published without John Russell's knowledge
and approval. Lord John said he would not let it appear, for such a
publication, at the moment when the Duchesse de Montpensier's
_grossesse_ is announced, would be irritating to the last degree, and
nothing could be more indiscreet.[37]

[Footnote 37: [Lord William Hervey, then First Secretary of Embassy at
Paris, had taken up the question of the Spanish Marriages with extreme
warmth. He it was who mainly disinterred and relied upon the
renunciations annexed to the Treaty of Utrecht, which were designed to
exclude any other branch of the House of Bourbon from the Spanish
throne. Lord Palmerston adopted these arguments, but without effect, as,
indeed, the whole state of Europe had changed; and Lord John Russell
never thought there was much weight in them. Lord William Hervey was a
highly accomplished and honourable diplomatist, third son of the Marquis
of Bristol. His health was bad, and he died in May 1850, at the age of


    The Revolution in France--Princess Lieven's Narrative--Lamartine's
    Position--M. Guizot in London--Proposed Addition to the Income
    Tax--Sir Robert Peel spoken of--The State of Paris--The
    King's Narrative to Lady Granville--The State of France--The
    Convulsion in Europe--State of Ireland--Lord Palmerston invites
    Guizot to Dinner--M. Delessert on the State of France--The
    Revolution in Vienna--Fall of Metternich--State of England
    and Ireland--Lamartine's Reply to the Irish--The Duke's
    Preparations--Contemplated Measures of Repression--Lord John
    Russell's Coldness--Defence of the Public Offices--Failure of
    the Chartist Demonstration--Scene on April 10th--Effect of
    April 10th abroad--Measures of the Government--Measures of
    Relief for Ireland--Louis Philippe's Defence of the Spanish
    Marriages--Lord Palmerston's Conduct in Spain--Lord Clarendon
    on Ireland--Lord Palmerston's Affront in Spain--The West India
    Interest--Conversation with Sir James Graham.


_London, February 28th, 1848._--The French Revolution has driven for the
time every other subject out of thought, and so astounding has the event
been, so awful and surprising from its inconceivable rapidity and the
immensity of the operation, that every mind has been kept in a restless
whirl and tumult incompatible with calm reflexion; while from the quick
succession of events crowding on each other, all dashed with lies, false
reports, exaggerations, and errors, it has been almost impossible to sit
down and give a clear, connected, and true account of what has happened;
to jot down from hour to hour all that one hears would only have been to
say one moment what must have been unsaid the next. By degrees the facts
develope themselves and the fictions are cast aside; but the time is not
yet arrived for completing this historical process. There are people
alive who remember the whole of the first Revolution, and we of middle
age are all familiar with the second; but this, the third, transcends
them both, and all other events which history records, in the
astonishing political phenomena which it displays. The first Revolution
was a long and gradual act, extending over years, in which the mind
traces an elaborate concatenation of causes and effects. The second was
not unexpected; the causes were working openly and ominously; and at
last the great stroke so rashly attempted, and by which the contest was
provoked, was only the concluding scene of a drama which for a long
preceding time had been in a state of representation before the world.
In 1789 everybody saw that a revolution was inevitable; in 1830
everybody thought that it was probable; but in 1848, up to the very
moment at which the explosion took place, and even for a considerable
time after it (that is, considerable in reference to the period which
embraced the whole thing from first to last), no human being dreamt of a
revolution and of the dethronement of the King. The power of the
Government appeared to be immense and unimpaired. The King was still
considered one of the wisest and boldest of men, with a thorough
knowledge of the country and the people he ruled; and though his
prudence and that of his Ministers had been greatly impugned by their
mode of dealing with the question of Parliamentary reform, the worst
that anybody anticipated was the fall of Guizot's Cabinet, and that
reform of some sort it would be found necessary to concede. But no one
imagined that the King, defended by an army of 100,000 men and the
fortifications of Paris (which it was always said he had cunningly
devised to give himself full power over the capital), was exposed to any
personal risk and danger. There was a strong reforming and, it might be,
a strong republican or revolutionary spirit abroad, but the principal
leaders of Opposition were understood to have no designs against the
monarchy, and it was believed by those who had good opportunities of
knowing that the _bourgeoisie_ of Paris were comparatively indifferent
to political questions, averse to revolutionary movements, and the
determined advocates of order and tranquillity. For some time before the
day appointed for the Reform banquet, much anxiety prevailed for the
peace of the capital; but when it was announced that the Government did
not mean to interfere, and that the question of the legality of the
meeting was to be referred to a judicial decision, all apprehension
subsided; and when the proclamation of Odilon Barrot and the chiefs of
the Banquet appeared, it was regarded as a false and imprudent step,
which by putting the Ministers in the right would only seem to
strengthen their authority and avert their downfall, which otherwise had
been probable. Duchâtel made a very good speech in the Chamber of
Deputies, and proved that this last act was so clearly illegal and
mischievous that the Ministers were bound to take the course they did;
and as the banqueters showed a disposition to obey the Government,
nobody doubted that the whole affair would end quietly.

When therefore this great and sudden insurrection took place, sweeping
everything before it with the irresistible speed and violence of a
hurricane, everybody here stood aghast; but for the first two days no
one anticipated the final catastrophe. At Paris, from the King
downwards, all seem to have lost their presence of mind and judgement.
The state of things proved the fallacy of their former calculations and
expectations, and their minds seemed incapable of keeping up with the
march of events, of embracing the magnitude of the danger, and of
discerning the means by which it could be met. Everything was involved
in perplexity and confusion; the roar of insurrectionary Paris
affrighted the ears and bewildered the senses of the inmates of the
Tuileries. At the moment I am writing we are still ignorant of the
minute details of all that passed, of what the King said and did, and
how others played their several parts. We know that Guizot resigned,
that Molé was appointed--a capital fault, for Molé was another Guizot,
and the selection only proved how unconscious the King was of the
precipice on the brink of which he was standing. Some precious hours
were lost in Molé's abortive attempt. Then came Thiers and Odilon
Barrot, Ministers of a few hours, who, seduced by the deceptive applause
of the rabble, fancied they could command and restrain the people of
Paris, and who persuaded the King to withdraw the troops, telling him
they would answer for the people. This fatal advice cost him the Crown,
which, perhaps, he could not have kept on his head. The tide swept on; a
host of people, and among them Emile Girardin, rushed to the Tuileries,
told the King his life was menaced, and advised him to abdicate; he
refused. The people about him, and his own son amongst them (Duc de
Montpensier), pressed him, and he signed the act of abdication. Still
the crowd pressed on, and the palace was unprotected. He resolved, or
was persuaded, to fly; and with the Queen and such of his family as were
with him he quitted the palace with such precipitation that they had no
time to take anything, and they had scarcely any money amongst them.
They proceeded to Dreux, where they separated, and as yet no one knows
where the King is, or where those of his family are who are not yet
arrived in England.


The Duchesse d'Orléans, after the terrible scene in the Chamber of
Deputies, was taken to some house in or near Paris, where she now lies
concealed. All these events passed with the velocity of an express
train; hardly an interval was placed between circumstances and
conditions of the most opposite description. No monarchy or monarch ever
fell with such superhuman rapidity. There is something awful and full of
fear and pity in the contemplation of such a tremendous vicissitude: of
a great King and a numerous and prosperous family, not many hours before
reposing in the security of an apparently impregnable power, suddenly
toppled down from this magnificent eminence and laid prostrate in the
dust, covered with ignominy and reproach, and pursued by terror and
grief. All at once the whole edifice of grandeur and happiness fell to
the ground; it dissolved, and, like the baseless fabric of a vision,
left not a rack behind. The flight was undignified. It would be hard to
accuse Louis Philippe of want of courage, of which he has given on
various occasions many signal proofs; but he certainly displayed no
resolution on this occasion. It is very doubtful whether his person
would have been injured; the people have evinced no thirst for blood.
It was then, indeed, too late for resistance, for the means had been
withdrawn; but it may fairly be asked if it would not have been the more
becoming and the wiser course to affront the danger of popular rage, and
to have tried what might have been done by firmness, by reason, and by
concession at the same time. All this is speculation. It may be that his
life and that of his Queen would have been sacrificed; but on a more
terrible occasion, when the same palace was invaded by a more formidable
mob, a King still more unpopular and a detested Queen were left
uninjured; and it is far more probable that the abdication of Louis
Philippe would have satisfied and disarmed the wrath and fury of the
people. At all events it is certain that he descended from the throne in
a manner which, if it is cruel to call it ignominious, was not rendered
captivating or affecting by any of those touching or striking
circumstances which often environ and decorate the sacrifice of fallen

There is a strong impression that if they had unsparingly used the
military means at their disposal while it was still time, the monarchy
would have been saved and the tumult suppressed. The recollection of the
13th Vendémiaire and the Place St. Roch, when the troops of the
Convention defeated the Sections of Paris, produces this notion. But
when the time was given to the _émeute_ to grow and expand, and when the
National Guards took part in it, all was over; for the troops of the
line, who would have repressed the mob, would not fight against the
National Guards. Between blunders, bad advice, and delay, the
insurrection sprang at once into gigantic proportions, and the world has
seen with amazement a King who was considered so astute and courageous,
with sons full of spirit and intelligence, sink without striking a blow
for their kingdom, perishing without a struggle, and consequently
falling dishonoured and unregretted. The end of Charles X. was far more
dignified than that of his cousin, and the survivors of that shipwreck
may see with a melancholy satisfaction their successful competitor
'whelmed in deeper gulfs' than themselves. Louis Philippe has been
seventeen years on the throne; in many respects a very amiable man, and,
though crafty and unscrupulous as a politician, and neither beloved nor
respected, he has never done anything to make himself an object of the
excessive hatred and bitter feelings which have been exhibited against
him and his family. The mob, though, on the whole, moderate and
good-humoured, have been violent against his person, and they plundered
the Palais Royal, invaded the Tuileries, and burnt Neuilly to show their
abhorrence of him. This manifestation is a cruel commentary on his reign
and his character as King.


_London, March 5th._--The fugitives have all arrived here day by day
with the exception of the Duchesse d'Orléans and her children, who are
supposed to be in Germany. The King and Queen came yesterday from
Newhaven, where they landed; Madame de Lieven and Guizot the day before,
the one from Paris, the other through Belgium; they were in the same
train (leaving Paris at seven o'clock on Thursday night), but neither
knew the other was there. The King, as soon as he reached England, wrote
a letter to the Queen, in which he gave her to understand that he
considered all as over with him, and he said that it was the _Comte de
Neuilly_ who thanked her for all her past and present kindness to
himself and his family. It was a very good letter (Lord Lansdowne tells
me), and the Queen was much moved by it. Her personal resentment had
long ceased; Aberdeen told me last night that she had told him so not
long ago, and that though the political question was another thing, her
personal feelings towards the French Royal Family were what they had
ever been.

Yesterday I saw Madame de Lieven, and heard her narrative, both personal
and historical. With the sufferers, as with the spectators, the
predominant feeling is one of intense astonishment amounting to a sort
of incredulity; every one repeats (as well they may) that nothing that
history has recorded, or fiction invented, ever approached this
wonderful reality, wonderful in every way, in its whole and in all its
parts, There is nothing in it that is not contrary to every antecedent
probability, to all preconceived notions of the characters of the
principal actors, and to the way in which almost everybody concerned
might have been expected to act. The beginning, the middle, and the end
of the contest have been equally wonderful: the conduct of the old
Government and the conduct of the new; the events of months or years
crammed into a few days or hours; the whole change so vast and complete,
made as at the stroke of an enchanter's wand. France, on Monday,
February 22nd, a powerful, peaceful, and apparently impregnable
Monarchy; on Wednesday, 24th of the same month, the whole of her Royalty
scattered over the face of the earth, and France become a Republic no
less powerful and peaceful; the authority of the latter form of
government as generally acknowledged as that of the former was a week
before; and an able, vigorous, and despotic Government established in
the name of the people, which was, with universal consent and
approbation, and the admiration even of those whom it had displaced,
discharging every legislative as well as executive function.


Madame de Lieven's story runs thus. On Sunday--that is, this day
fortnight--she had a reception as usual. No alarm prevailed, but she was
a little struck by Delessert telling her that there was a good deal of
agitation amongst some of the lower orders of workmen, and those who
were known to the Government as Communists; still he did not appear to
attach much importance to it. On Monday evening Guizot told her that it
was possible there might be some rioting and disturbance in the streets
the following day, and he advised her to go out of her house for a few
hours in the morning, which she did, ordering her dinner and meaning to
return. That same day the commotions began, but still the Ministers were
unterrified; and though the affair began to be serious, they never
doubted that they should be able to suppress the tumult and restore
order. Everything went on, as is well known, up to Wednesday morning,
when Guizot saw the King, told him all would go right, and went to the
Chamber. While there Duchâtel called him out, and told him the King
wanted him directly at the Tuileries. He was surprised, asked for what,
and proposed they should go together, which they did. When they got
there they found the King much disturbed; he said the Commandant of a
Legion of the National Guard had been to him and told him they must have
reform, and he was afraid the rest of the National Guard would follow
the example. 'Well,' said Guizot, 'if they do, we shall have no
difficulty in putting down such a demonstration.' 'Oh, but,' said the
King, 'that will produce bloodshed, and may lead to lamentable events;'
and then, after beating about the bush a good deal, and with many
expressions of personal attachment to Guizot, he said, 'Perhaps a change
of Ministers might settle everything, and relieve him from his
embarrassment.' Guizot at once said that the mere suggestion of such a
thing made it 'une affaire résolue,' and if His Majesty thought that by
taking any other Ministers he could improve the state of his affairs,
he, of course, ought to do so. The King then talked of his regrets, and
that he would rather abdicate than part with him. Guizot said abdication
was not to be thought of. The King then talked of sending for Molé, and
Guizot assured him of his readiness to support Molé, or any other man
who would maintain Conservative principles. He then returned to the
Chamber, and announced that the Ministers were out. The Conservatives
were struck with astonishment and alarm; crowded round Guizot, and asked
him if he had resigned. He said 'No; that he had been dismissed.' Molé
was sent for, and said he would try and form a Government. The King said
he had only one exclusion to insist on: that Bugeaud should not command
the troops. Molé said it was the very first appointment he should
propose to His Majesty. The King wanted to keep the command in the hands
of his sons. Molé went away to try his hand. Meanwhile the agitation of
Paris increased. At night, hearing nothing of Molé, the King sent
Pasquier to him; he found him alone. 'Well, is your Government formed?'
'No, not yet; but I expect to see Passy to-morrow morning.' He was told
this would not do, and while he had been thus wasting time, the
movement was swelling and advancing. So Molé went to the Palace at ten
at night, and threw the thing up. Then the King sent for Thiers and
Odilon Barrot. Thiers made it a condition that the troops should not act
for twelve hours, and said he would meanwhile answer for the people. The
King consented, and he and Odilon Barrot went out into the streets on
horseback to harangue the mob, announce their Ministry, and send them
home satisfied; they were received with menaces and shots, and sent
about their business. They went back to the Tuileries and said all was
over, and they could do nothing. Early in the morning (Thursday morning)
the state of affairs having become more and more formidable, a host of
people came to the Tuileries (Emile Girardin amongst them), and all
urged the King to abdicate. He asked Thiers what he advised. Thiers had
lost his head, and said he was not his Minister, and could give no
advice; all the rest (none more urgently than the Duc de Montpensier)
pressed the King to abdicate. The King was reluctant, and Piscatory
alone entreated him not to do so. 'Il ne faut jamais abdiquer, Sire,' he
said to him; 'voilà le moment de monter à cheval et de vous montrer.'
The Queen behaved like a heroine. She who was so mild and religious, and
who never took any part in public affairs, alone showed firmness and
resolution; she thanked Piscatory for his advice to the King, and said,
'Mon ami, il ne faut pas abdiquer; plutôt mourez en Roi.' But the more
disgraceful counsel prevailed. He abdicated, and hurried off, as we
know. Piscatory was with him to the last, and the Queen, on parting from
him, told him to tell Guizot that she owed to him all she had enjoyed of
happiness for the last six years. Thus fell the Orleans dynasty,
_pitoyablement, honteusement_, without respect or sympathy. 'Where,' I
asked, 'were the sons, and what did they do?' Madame de Lieven only
shook her head. She herself had taken refuge at St. Aulaire's, then at
Apponyi's, then at an Austrian attaché's; then Pierre d'Aremberg took
her under his care, and hid her at Mr. Roberts', the English painter,
who brought her to England as Mrs. Roberts, with gold and jewels
secreted in her dress. Guizot was concealed one day at Piscatory's, the
other at the Duc de Broglie's.


In all this great drama Lamartine stands forth pre-eminently as the
principal character; how long it may last God only knows, but such a
fortnight of greatness the world has hardly ever seen; for fame and
glory with posterity it were well for him to die now. His position is
something superhuman _at this moment_; the eyes of the universe are upon
him, and he is not only the theme of general admiration and praise, but
on him almost alone the hopes of the world are placed. He is the
principal author of this Revolution; they say that his book has been a
prime cause of it;[38] and that which he has had the glory of directing,
moderating, restraining. His labour has been stupendous, his eloquence
wonderful. When the new Government was surrounded by thousands of armed
rabble, bellowing and raging for they knew not what, Lamartine contrived
to appease their rage, to soften, control, and eventually master them;
so great a trial of eloquence was hardly ever heard of. Then from the
beginning he has exhibited undaunted courage and consummate skill,
proclaiming order, peace, humanity, respect for persons and property.
This improvised Cabinet, strangely composed, has evinced most curious
vigour, activity, and wisdom; they have forced everybody to respect
them; but Lamartine towers above them all, and is the presiding genius
of the new creation. He has acted like a man of honour and of feeling
too. He offered the King an escort; he wrote to Madame Guizot and told
her her son was safe in England, and caused the report of this to be
spread abroad that he might not be sought for; and, moreover, he sent to
Guizot to say if he was not in safety where he was he might come to his
house. When he first proposed the abolition of the punishment of death
he was overruled; but the next day he proposed it again, and declared if
his colleagues would not consent he would throw up his office, quit the
concern, and they might make him if they pleased the first victim of
the law they would not abolish. All this is very great in the man who
the Duc de Broglie told me was so bad, 'un mauvais livre par un mauvais
homme,' and consequently all France is praying for the continuation of
the life and power of Lamartine; and the exiles whom he has been
principally instrumental in driving from their country are all loud in
praise and admiration of his humanity and his capacity.

[Footnote 38: 'The Girondins,' and still more Dumas' play of the
'Chevaliers de la Maison Rouge.']

Aberdeen saw Guizot yesterday; he is in good health and spirits, and
wants for nothing. He told Aberdeen that for the last two years he
thought there was a considerable alteration in the King's mind; that he
was _occasionally_ as vigorous as ever, but on the whole that he was
changed for the worse. This makes Guizot's conduct during these two
years only the more inexcusable. He thinks (as everybody else does) that
this fine fabric which has risen like an exhalation will not last long,
and he said, 'You English bet about everything; if I was compelled to
bet, I should for choice take the Duchesse d'Orléans and her sons as the
most probable eventuality where everything is so uncertain.'


_March 6th._--I called on Guizot yesterday; found several people there,
and Delessert, who was telling his story and all that had happened to
him. Then Guizot told us his, which, though it is essentially the same
as what Madame de Lieven told me, as it is more circumstantial and in
some respects different I will not pass over. He began with the morning
of Wednesday, when he went to the Tuileries and transacted business with
the King as usual; thence to the Chambers. Duchâtel called him out, and
they went to the Tuileries together. In the way there Duchâtel told him
that the King was very uneasy and alarmed at the reform petitions which
had been presented to him by the National Guards, and had been talking
of changing the Government and sending for Molé. When they arrived the
King addressed Guizot in this sense, said that he had received petitions
from this and that officer of the Garde Nationale, and that all the rest
would follow their example; that they all asked for Reform, and for the
dismissal of the Ministers. Guizot said he was quite ready to face the
difficulty, having the support of the Chambers; but that he must have
that of the King also. The King then sent for the Queen and the two
Dukes of Nemours and Montpensier, and they all joined with the King in
urging on Guizot the necessity of a change of Ministers to appease the
clamour that had been raised. Guizot said that from the moment the King
and the Royal Family signified such an opinion and such a desire to him,
it was 'une affaire résolue,' and it was his duty to submit to their
pleasure. The King asked him if he thought Molé could form a Government.
He said, 'Yes, he might;' and that he should certainly have his best
support if he made the attempt. The King appears not to have been quite
decided; but while they were still conversing some one arrived from the
Chamber and informed Guizot that he must return there directly, as an
_interpellation_ was going to be made to him. He said to the King that
he must return and tell the Chamber what the state of things was, and on
what His Majesty thought fit finally to decide. The King said that he
might announce that he had sent for Molé to form a Government. Guizot
returned to the Chamber and made the announcement, which was received
with astonishment and indignation by the Conservative deputies, who
crowded round him and enquired if he had resigned, crying out, 'Nous
sommes abandonnés.' He replied that he had not resigned, but had been
dismissed. From the Chamber he returned to the Tuileries, and told the
King what had passed there. The King said he had sent for Molé who had
undertaken to try and form a Government. Meanwhile affairs were getting
worse in the town, and the concession of the King had of course
encouraged the factious. Guizot, who could not return home, went to the
Duc de Broglie and went to bed. Not long after, at one in the morning,
he was called up by a message desiring him to come to the Tuileries
forthwith; he went, when the King told him he had just heard from Molé
that he had tried Passy, Dufaure, and Billault, who had all refused, and
consequently that he could not form a Government. His Majesty said that
he was now disposed to give the command of the troops to Marshal
Bugeaud, and that of the National Guard to Lamoricière, and let them put
down the _émeute_. Guizot said it was the best thing he could do, and he
would sign the decree if he would make it. This was immediately done.
Meanwhile the King had sent for Thiers, who came, accepted the office of
forming a Government, but desired that Odilon Barrot might be joined
with him, to which the King agreed. Thiers and Barrot then insisted that
for some hours the military should not be allowed to act, and they
undertook to pacify the people and put an end to the _émeute_. The King
having consented to this, they mounted on horseback and went off in
different directions to harangue the people and announce their Ministry.
They were severally received with hisses, uproar, and in some instances
shots, and returned to the palace and announced their failure. By this
time there was an affluence of people at the Tuileries; the storm
without increased and approached; the military, who were without orders,
did nothing, and all was over. I asked Delessert whether the troops were
well disposed. He said, 'Perfectly.' Guizot said, 'My entire conviction
is, that if Bugeaud had acted the moment he took the command, everything
would have been over before nine o'clock.' When the King was pressed to
resign, Piscatory said to him, 'Sire, si vous signez votre abdication,
vous n'aurez pas régné.' Guizot told me that the Government had long
been aware of the secret societies, but never could ascertain who were
their chiefs; that their intention had been to delay their republican
attempt till the death of the King, but that they had changed this plan
on the Tuesday night, and resolved to seize the present occasion. I told
him we had always supposed the _bourgeoisie_ of Paris, composing the
bulk of the National Guard, to be disposed to order, and that they would
have maintained it. He said the great majority of them were so, but that
the well-disposed had not come forth, while the factious minority had.
Moreover, 'you English cannot conceive what our lowest class is: your
own is a mere mob without courage or organisation, and not given to
politics; ours on the contrary, the lowest class, is eager about
politics and with a perfect military organisation, and therefore most
formidable.' I said Lamartine had done very well. He said yes, and
praised him, though not very cordially; and he added that he was a man
who had always wanted to be in the first place, and had never been able
to accomplish it. He had tried it in the Legitimist party, and had found
Berryer; in the Conservatives, and had found him (Guizot); and in the
Opposition, where he was met by Thiers. On the present occasion (he
might have added) he had found Odilon Barrot, but he managed to give him
the go-by. He and Odilon Barrot were at the meeting on Tuesday when the
attempt was determined on, and Odilon Barrot wanted to try the
intermediate measure of the Regency and the Duchess of Orleans; but
Lamartine flung himself at once into the Republic, and thus crushed his
colleague and placed himself without a rival at the head of the
movement. Guizot said all this could not last; that France had no desire
for a Republic; everybody had adhered from fear or prudence. He
expected, however, that there would be a great battle in the streets of
Paris within a few days between the Republicans and the Communists, in
which the former would prevail, because the National Guard would support
the former.[39]

[Footnote 39: His prediction was exactly accomplished, only a good deal

[Sidenote: M. GUIZOT'S ESCAPE.]

He gave us an account of his own personal adventures, which were very
simple. He left the Ministry of the Interior with Madame Duchâtel, Duc
de Broglie, and two other people; and he was first taken to a house
where he was told he would be safe, and conducted by the _portière au
cinquième_. She entered the room after him and said, 'You are M.
Guizot.' He said, 'I am.' 'Fear nothing,' she said; 'you are safe here.
You have always defended honest people, and I will take care nobody
comes near you.' In the evening he went to the Duc de Broglie's; he was
one day at Piscatory's; and on Wednesday night he left Paris as
somebody's servant. He said he was never in danger, as the Government
would have been sorry to apprehend him.

_March 7th._--The French Revolution has been so absorbing as well as
exciting that I have never found time to write about domestic affairs,
so what I have now to say must be put in narrative form instead of that
of journal. I have been in continual communication with Graham for some
time past, especially during Charles Wood's income tax agony. Graham,
who is by way of being very friendly to the Government (but is evidently
not sorry to see their mismanagement and unpopularity), said so much of
the difficulty they would have in carrying the two per cent. that I went
to Charles Wood and told him what I had heard. I found him very uneasy,
and he owned to me that he had received similar opinions from many other
quarters. The same night (a Saturday) I met him at Lady Palmerston's,
when he asked me to find out from Graham what substitute he would
propose. I saw Graham on Sunday, when he more strongly urged the
necessity of abandoning the addition, saying nothing would enable them
to carry it; and he said, in answer to my enquiry, that he should take
the money the Chancellor wanted from the reserve in hand--in short, just
what the Government eventually did. I saw Charles Wood the same night,
and told him what Graham recommended, and this advice they took.


After this, and indeed before it too, Graham and I had many
conversations about the Government, its state and prospects, John
Russell and his health, Peel and political probabilities and
possibilities. We agreed that the Government was much damaged, weak and
unpopular, and would have difficulty in going on, especially if, as
seemed most likely, Lord John's health gave way, and he should be forced
to retire. I said nothing would then be possible but Peel. On this he
made me a speech, declaring Peel was impossible. He was, in the first
place, determined not to take office; Lady Peel, who has great influence
with him, doing her best to dissuade him; but, besides personal
reluctance and objections, his position puts him out of the question.
The Protectionists hate him as much as ever, and he hates them with
equal intensity; he abhors what he considers their ingratitude as well
as their folly, and nothing would induce him to have anything to do
with them, even if they would with him; therefore he has no party. In
the House of Lords he has not ten followers: how then, in a country
which can only be governed by party, can he become Minister? That to
think of putting himself at the head of a Whig party would be absurd: at
sixty years old to begin such a strange career would be ridiculous. He
said a great deal more in the same strain, all very plausible and not
easy to answer; and the conclusion from which was that, for various
reasons, Peel would not under any circumstances be Minister again. But
in the meantime the reports of Lord John's declining health gained
ground; the weakness of the Government became more apparent; the
Radicals declared war against them; and one person after another began
to turn his eyes towards Peel. There was some talk about sending for
Clarendon, which I wrote to him; and in reply he entreated me to
extinguish any such idea if I met with it; and he then demonstrated that
Peel was a necessity and the only alternative. So many people in
different ways said the same thing to me, that I told Graham. He was (or
affected to be) still impressed with all the insuperable obstacles to
Peel's return, amongst which he himself and Aberdeen were considerable,
as Peel would never return without both of them, and they were
particularly odious to the Whigs. I said _he_ was not popular with them,
but neither was he so odious; and they knew very well that if Peel
returned, he must and would return with him. As to Aberdeen it was
different, because he had behaved so ill ever since he left office, and
opposed the Government in the most unfair and ungenerous manner. He said
Peel never would have Palmerston at the Foreign Office, and would want
Aberdeen there, in whom all his confidence was placed: not but what
Aberdeen would be very ready to make any sacrifice. I told him that it
was evident there was but one way by which Peel could return to office,
and that was the arrival of a state of things which at once rendered him
a great public necessity, and the urgency of which would make his
refusal impossible; that he must be invited by the whole Whig party, not
as a favour due to him but as a sacrifice exacted from him; and that
this must be done heartily, sincerely, and in a spirit of unselfishness,
and on public and patriotic grounds. Since this Lord John Russell has
taken himself off to Hastings to try and get well. As Graham tells Peel
everything I say, the latter now knows well what is thought and
expected, and he has only so to conduct himself as to make the adhesion
and overtures of the Whig party possible and not difficult when the time
and occasion are ripe. The matter is replete with difficulties, and
nothing but a great exigency can smooth them away. At present there are
too many jealousies and animosities afloat; there is too much of
suspicion, distrust, and old dislike lingering in men's minds to admit
of the desired amalgamation; and unhappily the characters of the
principal actors, both of John Russell and Peel, are extremely ill
suited to deal with such a delicate and difficult state of affairs.

[Sidenote: STATE OF PARIS.]

_March 10th._--Lord John Russell is better, and writes word confidently
from Hastings that he shall return convalescent. Yesterday I saw
Southern and Mrs. Austin, both just arrived from Paris. They have each
been writing letters the last two or three days in the 'Times,' which
are excellent descriptions of the state of affairs in France. Nothing
can be more deplorable than it all is, and daily getting worse: no
confidence, no work, and everything threatening frightful financial and
commercial difficulties, and a general expectation of confusion,
violence, and bloodshed. Southern told me that the dissensions in the
Provisional Government were great, and the discussions violent;
Lamartine often in a minority; no regular parties formed, but a
continual dividing and crossing on different subjects. Lamartine wanted
to omit what he said in his Circular about the Treaties of 1815, but was
overruled. Southern thinks the Provisional Government will quarrel and
break up before the Chambers can meet. They both agree that all France
abhors this Revolution, but notwithstanding the bitter and universal
regret that it has occasioned, and will still more hereafter, that
nobody thinks of endeavouring to restore the monarchy in any way or
under any head. The King was not so unpopular as Guizot, and they
confirm all previous impressions, that not only he might have been
saved, but that nothing but a series of fatal and inconceivable blunders
and the most deplorable weakness could have upset him. The causes of
this prodigious effect were ludicrously small. Southern declares there
were not above 4,000 armed men of the populace actually employed; but
the troops were everywhere paralysed, boys carried off the cannon from
the midst of them without resistance. No one has the slightest
conception what turn matters will take, but all seem to be of opinion
they will have nothing to do with the Bonapartes. The Orleanses are now
detested, and even the Legitimists do not look to the Duc de Bordeaux,
because he is a poor creature, has no children, and they believe is not
likely to have any; therefore it would not be worth while to restore a
dynasty which would end with him.

_March 11th._--Guizot received a letter from the Duc de Broglie
yesterday, in which he said that Paris was quiet on the day he wrote,
but such was the state of things that any day it might be the scene of
confusion and rapine. I asked Madame de Lieven what the policy of the
Government had been about Reform. She said, King, Duchâtel, and Guizot
had all been determined against Reform; the latter willing to concede a
very little, but always resolved to keep the Conservative majority, with
which Reform was incompatible. I asked why, after having allowed the
banquets in the provinces, they would not suffer that in the capital?
The reply was very insufficient: because they did not like to stop the
expression of public opinions in the country generally; but at Paris,
when and where the Chambers were assembled, those opinions might have
been expressed in them. I met Guizot at dinner at the Hollands'; he goes
about everywhere, is very cheerful, and puts a good face on it;
everybody is very civil to him, and he feels the kindness of his
reception, especially as he knows he has been personally obnoxious since
the Spanish marriages. He said last night, that he considered the
payment of the members of the Convention fatal to the composition of
that Assembly. The old revolutionary Assemblies never paid their
members. Napoleon was the first who introduced that custom: his Senators
were paid 30,000 fr.; his Deputies 10,000 fr. Guizot went to see the
King and Queen two days ago: the interview was very affecting; both
threw themselves on his neck; the King is the most _abattu_ of the two;
he has no money.


_March 12th._--Yesterday Lady Granville and Lady Georgiana Fullerton
went to Claremont to see the Royal Family. The Queen was gone to town,
but they were received by the King, who talked to them for an hour and
gave them a narrative of his adventures, which they related to me last
night. It was very carious, that is, curious as an exhibition of his
character. He described his flight, and all his subsequent adventures,
his travels, his disguises, his privations, the dangers he incurred, the
kindness and assistance he met with, all very minutely. They said it was
very interesting, and even very amusing; admirably well told. He was
occasionally pathetic and occasionally droll; his story was told with a
mixture of the serious and the comic--sometimes laughing and at others
almost crying--that was very strange. It struck them that he was very
undignified, even vulgar, and above all that he seemed to be animated
with no feeling towards his country, but to view the whole history
through the medium of _self_. He said of the French, 'Ils ont choisi
leur sort; je dois supporter le mien.' He gave a very different account
of what passed from that of Guizot. He said he was in personal danger
when he was on horseback reviewing the National Guard on Thursday
morning; that they pressed round him, shouting for reform. He cried out,
'Mais vous l'avez, la réforme; laissez-moi passer donc;' and that he was
obliged to spur his horse through the mob, and got back to the Tuileries
with difficulty. He said he had _posé la question_ of resistance to
Guizot, who had refused to entertain it, said that he could not give
orders to fire on the National Guards. Their two statements are quite
irreconcileable, and thus occur historical perplexities and the errors
and untruths which crowd all history. I have always said that it is
nothing but a series of conventional facts. There is no _absolute_
truth in history; mankind arrives at probable results and conclusions in
the best way it can, and by collecting and comparing evidence it settles
down its ideas and its belief to a certain chain and course of events
which it accepts as certain, and deals with as if it were, because it
must settle somewhere and on something, and because a tolerable _primâ
facie_ and probable case is presented. But when one sees how the actors
in and spectators of the same events differ in narrating and describing
them; how continually complete contradictions are discovered to facts
the most generally believed; there is no preserving the mind from a
state of scepticism, nor is it possible to read or hear anything with
entire satisfaction and faith. It appears that the Royal Family have no
money, the King having invested his whole fortune in France, and beggary
is actually staring them in the face. The King evinced no bitterness
except in speaking of the English newspapers, especially the 'Times;'
and he attributed much of his unpopularity, and what he considers the
unjust prejudices against him, to the severity of their _personal_
attacks on him! Curious enough this; but as he felt these philippics so
acutely, why did he not take warning from them?

John Russell made his appearance in the House on Friday, but as they
were not to divide he did not stay. Wilson (of the 'Economist') made a
very fine speech; Disraeli very amusing, and Gladstone very good. It was
a great night for Free Trade, which Wilson and Gladstone vindicated with
great ability. The Government have been sadly vexed at an article in the
'Times' on Friday, speaking of them, and Lord John especially, very
contemptuously. The truth is, the 'Times' thinks it has sniffed out that
they cannot go on, and wants, according to its custom, to give them a
shove; but matters are not ripe for a change yet, nor anything like it.
It is evident that the notion of the weakness and incapacity of the
Government is spreading far and wide, and nothing can exceed Charles
Wood's unpopularity, nor is any confidence felt in Lord John himself.
Palmerston is the most in favour at this moment; he has done well and
gained some credit. Peel still holds the same language about not taking
office, and treats it as a thing that is quite out of the question; but
his friends see well enough that matters are moving on to this
inevitable consummation.

_March 14th._--The Government had a capital division last night, and
Lord John made a very good and stout speech. In France everything is
going down hill at railroad pace. This fine Revolution, which may be
termed the madness of a few for the ruin of many, is already making the
French people weep tears of blood. Hitherto there has been little or no
violence, and fine professions of justice and philanthropy; up to this
time, not a month from the beginning, the account may be thus balanced:
they have got rid of a King and a Royal Family and the cost thereof;
they have got a reform so radical and complete, that it can go no
further; they have repealed some laws and some taxes which were
obnoxious to different persons or different classes, but none of which
were grievous or sensibly injurious to the nation at large. In short, it
is difficult to point out any considerable advantage either of a
positive or a negative character which they have obtained, or have got
the prospect of obtaining. However, it remains to be seen whether they
can work out any advantage from their new institutions.


Meanwhile, the other side of the account presents some formidable items
for a political balance sheet. They have got a Government composed of
men who have not the slightest idea how to govern, albeit they are men
of energy, activity, and some capacity. The country is full of fear and
distrust. Ruin and bankruptcy are stalking through the streets of the
capital. The old revolutionary principles and expedients are more and
more drawn forth and displayed by the present rulers; they are assuming
despotic power, and using it without scruple; they confer it on their
agents; they proclaim social and political maxims fraught with ruin and
desolation, and incompatible with the existence of any Government. The
different Ministers vie with one another in the extravagance of their
several manifestoes. Louis Blanc holds a parliament of operatives, whom
he feeds with soft sawder and delusive expectations, giving them for
political truths all the most dangerous absurdities of his book. Garnier
Pagès, in his frank _exposé_ of the finances of the country, approaches
to the very verge of national bankruptcy, and is evidently prepared for
the next step. Carnot instructs the people to elect for their
representatives (who are to be the unchecked masters of the Empire), not
men of property and education, but any men who have republican ideas;
and Ledru Rollin desires his agents to act in the same spirit, and with
all the authority (which means despotism) that a revolutionary
government always assumes it to be its right to exercise. In short, all
is terror, distress, and misery, both material and moral; everybody
fleeing away from the turbulent capital, and hiding what money he can
collect; funds falling, everything depreciated in value, the shops
unfrequented, no buyers, tranquillity still doubtfully preserved by
factitious means, but the duration of which no one counts upon. As the
embarrassment and suffering increase, so will the clouds continue to
gather, and at last the storm will burst--but how, when, and where, with
what fury, whom it will spare, or whom sweep away, none can venture to
predict. Such, however, is the state of the capital, the heart of
everything; while the provinces are motionless, and seem to wait with
patient resignation the unfolding of events. All the letters that arrive
here, whether they come from Legitimists, or Liberals, or Orleanists, or
indifferents to all parties, tell the same tale of disgust, distress,
and dread.

_March 16th._--I dined with Madame de Lieven _tête-à-tête_ the day
before yesterday. Our talk, of course, was almost entirely about French
affairs. I asked her whether she thought, as many here do, that if the
_émeute_ had been put down by violence, the throne must have fallen, as
the King could not have reigned in the midst of bloodshed. She said the
Ministers would have gone out, but the throne would have been safe. She
told me Guizot was not indisposed to give some _parliamentary_ reform
(not electoral), and was sensible that the great number of functionaries
in the Chamber was shocking to public opinion. He proposed to begin
with his own department, and render all diplomatic agents incapable of
sitting--a very small concession! She said something to me (as Lord
Campbell did) about writing memoirs, and that my curious position--so
intimate with so many persons of all parties and descriptions, and being
so much in the confidence of all--gave me peculiar advantages for doing
so. She knew I had written Journals, and I told her it was so, but in a
very loose and casual way, and I asked her if she had not written. She
said, 'Beaucoup.'

Lord John Russell had a great success the other night, and his speech
got many votes. It was one of the best he ever made, and in all respects
judicious and becoming his position.

_March 20th._--There has been all sorts of botheration about Louis
Philippe and his affairs, particularly about his remaining at Claremont.
Soon after he came, a notification was made to him _by Palmerston_ that
he was not to remain there permanently.[40] He complained of this to all
the people he saw (talking very loosely and foolishly), and it got wind
and made a noise. Soon after, the Duke of Wellington went to see him,
and told him that Claremont was the fit place for him, and the other day
a letter arrived from Leopold telling him he might stay there as long as
he liked; he is therefore to stay. So many different versions have been
put forth of the details of what passed concerning this matter, that it
is next to impossible to ascertain the exact truth. Everything in France
gets more serious and alarming every day. The clubs of Paris are
omnipotent, the National Guards are _écrasés_, the Provisional
Government makes a show of independence, and Lamartine makes fine
speeches; but they are at the mercy of the Parisian mob, whose
organisation is wonderful. The playing out of the game will be very
curious. At present, this mob of the capital seems resolved to dictate
to the provinces, and to set aside the army.

[Footnote 40: [Lord Palmerston made an unsuccessful attempt to remove
Louis Philippe from Claremont, although it was not even an English royal
palace at that time, but belonged to the King's own son-in-law, Leopold,
King of the Belgians. Lord Palmerston's design was signally defeated,
and only excited the disgust of all those who knew the circumstances;
but it was characteristic of his virulent personal animosity to the
Orleans family, which, indeed, appears to have dated from a much earlier
period, even before the Restoration in 1815.]]


_March 25th._--Nothing is more extraordinary than to look back at my
last date and see what has happened in the course of _five days_. A
tenth part of any one of the events would have lasted us for as many
months, with sentiments of wonder and deep interest; but now we are
perplexed, overwhelmed, and carried away with excitement, and the most
stupendous events are become like matters of every-day occurrence.
Within these last four or five days there has been a desperate battle in
the streets of Berlin between the soldiers and the mob; the flight of
the Prince of Prussia; the King's convocation of his States; concessions
to and reconciliation with his people; and his invitation to all Germany
to form a Federal State; and his notification of what is tantamount to
removing the Imperial Crown from the head of the wretched _crétin_ at
Vienna, and placing it on his own.

Next, a revolution in Austria; an _émeute_ at Vienna; downfall and
flight of Metternich, and announcement of a constitutional _régime_;
_émeutes_ at Milan; expulsion of Austrians, and Milanese independence;
Hungary up and doing, and the whole empire in a state of dissolution.
Throughout Germany all the people stirring; all the sovereigns yielding
to the popular demands; the King of Hanover submitting to the terms
demanded of him; the King of Bavaria abdicating; many minor occurrences,
any one of which in ordinary times would have been full of interest and
importance, passing almost unheeded. To attempt to describe historically
and narratively these events as they occur would be impossible if I were
to attempt it; and it is unnecessary, because they are chronicled in a
thousand publications, from which time and enquiry will winnow out the
falsehoods, and leave a connected, intelligible, and tolerably accurate
story. It is only therefore left to me to save some small fragments of
facts or sentiments which would otherwise be swept down the stream and
lost for ever, whenever such come across me.

France marches on with giant strides to confusion and ruin; Germany
looks better; and there still appear to be some influences whose
strength and authority are unimpaired, and the passion for
reconstituting a German nationality may still save her from anarchy. It
is very surprising that as yet in no country have single master-minds
started forward to ride on these whirlwinds and direct the storms. In
the midst of the roar of the revolutionary waters that are deluging the
whole earth, it is grand to see how we stand erect and unscathed. It is
the finest tribute that ever has been paid to our Constitution, the
greatest test that ever has been applied to it, and there is a general
feeling of confidence, and a reliance on the soundness of the public
mind, though not unmixed with those doubts and apprehensions which the
calmest and the most courageous may feel in the midst of such stupendous
phenomena as those which surround us.

Our most difficult task is to deal with Irish disaffection and Irish
distress: the former has never been so bold, reckless, and insolent.
Clarendon, after enduring much and allowing the agitators to go on
unchecked, at last attacked them in the persons of O'Brien, Mitchell,
and Meagher. The general opinion here was that they were not worth
attacking, and were so contemptible, and had so entirely failed to work
upon the people, that they might be let alone; but he judged otherwise,
and there is a great disposition to defer to his judgement. No sooner
had they been held to bail, than others of the same party not only
renewed the seditious language the first had used, but broke out with
far greater fury and indecency; in plain language, they called on the
people to arm for the purpose of overturning the Constitution, and they
said they would have no more kings or queens. I thought this must amount
to high treason; but George Grey told me yesterday that the lawyers here
hold that to make it treason it must be followed by some overt act.
However, whether Clarendon was right or wrong in attacking the rebel
Repealers, it is clear that he ought now to throw away the scabbard, and
war having been declared to wage it vigorously and unflinchingly. The
confidence in him is unbounded, both there and here. It is a good
feature in the case that the Roman Catholic clergy have on the whole
behaved exceedingly well, and Clarendon has written to Lord John Russell
that something must be done for them; but the difficulties of doing this
something are next to insurmountable. No amount of danger, no policy
however urgent, no considerations of justice, are sufficient to overcome
the testimony and bigotry of the people of England and Scotland on this


_March 26th._--I dined yesterday with Palmerston to meet Guizot and
Madame de Lieven! Strange dinner, when I think of the sentiments towards
each other of the two Ministers, and of all that Guizot said to me when
I was at Paris last year! However, it did all very well. I thought
Palmerston and Guizot would have shaken each other's arms off, and
nothing could exceed the cordiality or apparent ease with which they
conversed. There was not the slightest symptom of embarrassment; and
though Guizot's manner is always stiff, pedantic, and without the least
approach to _abandon_, he seemed to me to exhibit less of these defects
than usual. There were the Granvilles, Clanricardes, and Harry Vane;
Temple, Holland, and Beauvale came in the evening. I am glad Palmerston
asked him to dinner, especially after what passed in reference to _the
exiles_, and the impertinent remonstrances from Paris.

_March 31st._--Nothing new these last few days; Ireland getting more and
more serious, and a strong opinion gaining ground that there will be an
outbreak and fighting, and that this will be on the whole a good thing,
inasmuch as nothing will tame the Irish agitators but a severe drubbing.
Last night I met M. Delessert[41] at dinner; he talked of the recent
events in France and the state of the country; hopeless about the
latter, and gave a character of his countrymen which he said he was
ashamed to give, but it was the truth. He said they were not to be
governed, for they had no sense of religion or of morality, or any
probity among them; he said he had been faithful to the Government to
the last, and it did not become him now to speak against Guizot and his
policy, but that his unpopularity was immense, and he had committed the
great fault of staying in power in spite of it and for so many years,
when the French could not bear anything that lasted long; he was always
aware of the fatal mistake Guizot had made about the Spanish marriages,
and the consequences of the rupture of the English alliance; and he said
Duchâtel was of the same mind as himself, and had communicated to him
the conversation I had had with him when I was in Paris, and all I had
said on the subject. I was not aware before that I was _prêchant un
converti_ so entirely, though I suspected it. Delane told me yesterday
that Leopold saw their correspondent the other day, and asked him if
England would give him a subsidy to assist in repelling the French and
Belgian republicans who threaten his territory; and Van de Weyer told
him they were in a great dilemma, as the French Government were letting
loose these ruffians upon them, affording them all sorts of assistance
underhand; and if the Belgian Government repelled them, it was very
likely the mob and clubs at Paris would compel the Provisional
Government to support them and swallow up Belgium. Everybody now thinks
there must be a war somewhere, out of such immense confusion and

[Footnote 41: [M. Delessert had been Préfet de Police under the late
French Government, and was one of the most judicious and respected
members of the Conservative Party in France.]]


_April 2nd._--There is nothing to record but odds and ends: no new
revolution, no fresh deposition. Madame de Lieven told me yesterday what
she had heard from Flahault of the outbreak at Vienna and the downfall
of Metternich. When the people rose and demanded liberal measures, they
were informed that the Council would be convened and deliberate, and an
answer should be given them in two hours. The Council assembled,
consisting of the Ministers and the Archdukes. The question was stated,
when Metternich rose and harangued them for an hour and a half without
their appearing nearly to approach a close. On this the Archduke John
pulled out his watch and said, 'Prince, in half an hour we must give an
answer to the people, and we have not yet begun to consider what we
shall say to them.' On this Kolowrath said, 'Sir, I have sat in Council
with Prince Metternich for twenty-five years, and it has always been his
habit to speak thus without coming to the point.' 'But,' said the
Archduke, 'we must come to the point, and that without delay. Are you
aware, Prince,' turning to Metternich, 'that the first of the people's
demands is that you should resign?' Metternich said that he had promised
the Emperor Francis on his deathbed never to desert his son, the present
Emperor, nor would he. They intimated that his remaining would be
difficult. Oh, he said, if the Imperial Family wished him to resign, he
should feel that he was released from his engagement, and he was ready
to yield to their wishes. They said they did wish it, and he instantly
acquiesced. Then the Emperor himself interposed and said, 'But, after
all, I am the Emperor, and it is for me to decide; and I yield
everything. Tell the people I consent to all their demands.' And thus
_the Crétin_ settled it all; and the great Minister, who was in his own
person considered as _the Empire_, and had governed despotically for
forty years, slunk away, and to this hour nobody knows where he is
concealed. But in this general break-up of the Austrian Monarchy there
seems still some vitality left in it, and we hear that those provinces
which demand liberal governments do not want to get rid of the dynasty;
and in the midst of the confusion there is no small jealousy of the King
of Prussia, and disgust at his attempt to make himself _Sovereign of
Germany_. The condition of Prussia is disquieting; and the King, who has
acted a part at once wavering and selfish, has raised up a host of
enemies against his pretensions.

There has been, however, something of a pause on the Continent for some
days, which gives us leisure to look inwards and consider our own
situation. We are undisturbed in the midst of the universal hubbub, and
the surface of society looks smooth and safe: nevertheless there is
plenty of cause for serious reflexion and apprehension. It is the
fashion to say that this country is sound; that the new-fangled theories
which are turning continental brains find no acceptance here; but the
outward manifestations are not entirely to be relied upon. Ireland never
was in so dangerous a state; not the less so because the Repealers and
Republicans are so mad or so wicked, and the masses so ungrateful and
stupid. It is in vain that we prove to demonstration that the Irish
would gain nothing by separation from England, and that we point to our
superhuman exertions in the famine as a proof of our good feeling. Our
remonstrances and the violent appeals of the Irish leaders are addressed
to vast masses who, in spite of all we have done for them, are in the
lowest state of misery and starvation; it is not surprising that
millions who are in this state should listen to the pernicious orators
who promise to better their condition by the Repeal of the Union and the
overthrow of English power. When men are so low and miserable that they
cannot be worse off, and they see no prospect of being better off under
the existing state of things; when they are ignorant and excitable, and
continually acted upon by every sort of mischievous influence, it would
be strange indeed if they were not as turbulent and disaffected as we
find them.


_April 5th._--I broke off the other day, and now resume. Lord John
Russell, in reply to a question put by Jocelyn to him in the House of
Commons, said the Government would come to Parliament for powers as soon
as they deemed it necessary, and gave him to understand that they were
preparing measures, but declined to say what. His answer did not give
satisfaction. Everybody here wants something to be done to stop this
torrent of sedition. I saw Graham this morning for a short time; he is
greatly alarmed at the aspect of affairs both at home and abroad; he
thinks the temper of the masses here very serious. The Chartist meeting
on Monday next makes him uneasy, and he has talked much to George Grey
and the Speaker about precautions. The state of the law is very
doubtful, and it is a nice question whether to prevent a procession to
the House of Commons or not. The expressions of the Act about seditious
assemblies are ambiguous. Then he strongly deprecates the Queen's going
out of town on Saturday, which he thinks will look like cowardice in her
personally, and as indicative of a sense of danger which ought not to be
manifested. I advised him (and Peel, who thinks so likewise) to tell the
Government this; he said Peel would tell the Prince. He spoke very
bitterly of Lord John Russell's having allowed the Irish Arms Bill to
expire, and showed me his speech in which he engaged, if necessary, to
come down and ask for fresh powers. I said, 'Why don't they come now?'
He said it would be very difficult now; that the forms of the House,
which enabled anybody to obstruct, would infallibly be seized on, and no
Bill allowed to pass; every sort of delay would be interposed. I said,
'They ought not to endure this, and should suspend the Standing Orders.'

_J. G._--How was this to be done? They would never allow the question to
be put.

_C. G._--Surely the House of Commons never will allow itself to be
turned into a Polish Diet with a _liberum veto_ to any man who chose to
obstruct the business of the country. If there is no other way, it will
be a time for the Speaker to interfere; he alone can do it; refuse to
put the question of adjournment, and cast himself on the House for
support. A brave Speaker will do this.

_J. G._--This is a very serious matter: our forms are admirable, and
with gentlemen are everything that is useful and desirable. If once you
set them aside, all freedom of debate will be gone, and from such a
_coup d'état_ there would be an appeal out of doors.

_C. G._--The appeal would not be successful in such a case; the English
abhor the Irish and their proceedings, and will never endure that the
House of Commons shall be dictated to by Irish Repealers and agitators.

Here somebody came in, and we were obliged to leave off.

The reply of Lamartine to the Irish deputation, which has been so
anxiously expected, came yesterday, and excellent it was. He gave a
lecture to the Irish much stronger than any they have had here; and if
his speech does no good, it will certainly do no harm. There is now an
increasing opinion that the French will be driven to go to war somewhere
as a relief from the intolerable distress in which the country will soon
be plunged. Beggary and anarchy are striding on at a fearful rate, and
the present bloodless but most agitated and frightened state will in all
probability soon be changed into scenes of violence brought about by the
ferocity of every kind of unchained passion.

_April 6th._--Ireland now absorbs all other interests. I saw Grey
yesterday, who told me they did not mean to do anything till after
Monday next, but then they would. It has not yet been determined whether
they should stop the Chartists from entering London or not, but a
Cabinet was to be held to decide the matter to-day.[42] He thought they
should prevent their crossing the bridges. I saw the Duke in the morning
at Apsley House in a prodigious state of excitement; said he had plenty
of troops, and would answer for keeping everything quiet if the
Government would only be firm and vigorous, and announce by a
proclamation that the mob should not be permitted to occupy the town. He
wanted to prevent _groups_ from going into the Park and assembling
there, but this would be impossible.

[Footnote 42: [These were the preparations for the Great Chartist
meeting announced to be held by Feargus O'Connor on Kennington Common on
April 10, when a Chartist Petition, signed by five millions of persons,
was to be presented by a huge procession of the people to the House of

On April 7 Sir George Grey brought in a Bill for the better security of
the Crown and Government of the United Kingdom, directed against all
persons who sought to accomplish seditious ends by open speaking.

The Duke of Wellington explained to the Cabinet on the 6th, with
admirable lucidity, the details of his preparations.]]


This morning I had another conversation with Graham. He told me he sat
next to Hobhouse at Hardinge's dinner[43] at the India House last night,
and had much very open talk with him. He understood from Hobhouse that
Government did not intend to do anything, and he told him that he was
afraid that they would find great difficulty in surmounting the
obstacles that the forms of the House would enable the Opposition to
throw in their way. Subsequently, however, he had a conversation with
Peel, who he found took a very different view of the matter, and the
same that I do. He said that the Government ought to act as if they had
no doubt of obtaining all they required from Parliament; to consider
well what that was; to choose their time, not delaying it long, and then
to have a call of the House and ask for all the powers they require. If
they find themselves thwarted by a minority moving successive
adjournments, to sit there for any number of hours; to divide twenty or
thirty times; and at last, when they had sufficiently proved to the
country that their efforts were vain, and that they had exhausted all
legitimate means, to give up the contest, instantly hold a Cabinet, and
then a Council, by which they should do by Order in Council what they
wished to do by Act of Parliament, and trust to public opinion and
Parliament to support and sanction their proceedings. He told me he had
expressed to Hobhouse the strong opinion he has of the inexpediency,
even the danger, of the Queen's quitting town at this juncture, and that
if these strong measures are to be adopted, her presence would of course
be indispensable. The Speaker told him that an Act of Parliament was not
necessary, as by an old Act (21 & 22 George III.) the Lord Lieutenant
could in case of rebellion (of the existence of which he was himself the
judge) proclaim martial law and suspend the Habeas Corpus; but Peel is
against having recourse to such a measure, and prefers the application
to Parliament. He thinks, too, that if the Government do not soon adopt
such a course, they will be incurring a responsibility far more fearful
than any they can incur by its adoption--the responsibility of all the
blood that will be shed and the mischief that will ensue. Graham again
spoke of John Russell's conduct in giving up the Arms Act, and said that
he had so great a regard for him that he would not say one word against
him on that score; but that he must expect to hear of it in case of
extremities, and that he would be called to a severe account if there
should be an outbreak, and if torrents of blood were shed by the
instrumentality of those arms which but for him would not have been put
into every man's hands. In my conversation with Grey yesterday, he told
me that the Church question must be brought forward--not now, because
the moment of rebellion and armed resistance was not that in which it
would be wise or dignified or right to make concessions and introduce
remedial measures; but that when peace was restored, and in another
year, this great question must be faced and dealt with; the details,
however, it is no use as yet to enter into.

[Footnote 43: [A dinner was given to Lord Hardinge on April 5, on his
return from India.]]

_April 9th._--After I had seen Graham the other morning, I thought it of
such importance that John Russell should know what he and Peel thought,
that I went to him and told him. He received me with one of his coldest
and most offensive manners, said nothing, and did not vouchsafe to tell
me that they had made up their minds to do something, and that Grey was
going to give notice of a Bill in a few minutes from that time. Nothing
could be more ungracious, and I mentally resolved never to go near him
again to tell him anything of use to him. I wrote to the Duke of Bedford
and told him all this; and he wrote me back word that he was not
surprised, and that nobody had more to suffer from John's manner than he
himself; that John is very obstinate and unmanageable, and does not like
to be found fault with or told things which run counter to his own
ideas--all which he owned was very unfortunate, and a grievous fault in
his character.

All London is making preparations to encounter a Chartist row
to-morrow: so much that it is either very sublime or very ridiculous.
All the clerks and others in the different offices are ordered to
be sworn in special constables, and to constitute themselves into
garrisons. I went to the police office with all my clerks, messengers,
&c., and we were all sworn. We are to pass the whole day at the office
to-morrow, and I am to send down all my guns; in short, we are to take
a warlike attitude. Colonel Harness, of the Railway Department, is our
commander-in-chief; every gentleman in London is become a constable,
and there is an organisation of some sort in every district.


_Newmarket, April 13th._--Monday passed off with surprising quiet, and
it was considered a most satisfactory demonstration on the part of the
Government, and the peaceable and loyal part of the community. Enormous
preparations were made, and a host of military, police, and special
constables were ready if wanted; every gentleman in London was sworn,
and during a great part of the day, while the police were reposing, they
did duty. The Chartist movement was contemptible; but everybody rejoices
that the defensive demonstration was made, for it has given a great and
memorable lesson which will not be thrown away, either on the
disaffected and mischievous, or the loyal and peaceful; and it will
produce a vast effect in all foreign countries, and show how solid is
the foundation on which we are resting. We have displayed a great
resolution and a great strength, and given unmistakable proofs, that if
sedition and rebellion hold up their heads in this country, they will be
instantly met with the most vigorous resistance, and be put down by the
band of authority, and by the zealous co-operation of all classes of the
people. The whole of the Chartist movement was to the last degree
contemptible from first to last. The delegates who met on the eve of the
day were full of valour amounting to desperation; they indignantly
rejected the intimation of the Government that their procession would
not be allowed; swore they would have it at all hazard, and die, if
necessary, in asserting their rights. One man said he loved his life,
his wife, his children, but would sacrifice all rather than give way.

In the morning (a very fine day) everybody was on the alert; the parks
were closed; our office was fortified, a barricade of Council Registers
was erected in the accessible room on the ground-floor, and all our guns
were taken down to be used in defence of the building. However, at about
twelve o'clock crowds came streaming along Whitehall, going northwards,
and it was announced that all was over. The intended tragedy was rapidly
changed into a ludicrous farce. The Chartists, about 20,000 in number,
assembled on Kennington Common. Presently Mr. Mayne appeared on the
ground, and sent one of his inspectors to say he wanted to speak to
Feargus O'Connor. Feargus thought he was going to be arrested and was in
a terrible fright; but he went to Mayne, who merely said he was desired
to inform him that the meeting would not be interfered with, but the
procession would not be allowed. Feargus insisted on shaking hands with
Mayne, swore he was his best of friends, and instantly harangued his
rabble, advising them not to provoke a collision, and to go away
quietly--advice they instantly obeyed, and with great alacrity and
good-humour. Thus all evaporated in smoke. Feargus himself then repaired
to the Home Office, saw Sir George Grey, and told him it was all over,
and thanked the Government for their leniency, assuring him the
Convention would not have been so lenient if they had got the upper
hand. Grey asked him if he was going back to the meeting. He said No;
that he had had his toes trodden on till he was lame, and his pocket
picked, and he would have no more to do with it. The petition was
brought down piecemeal and presented in the afternoon. Since that there
has been an exposure of the petition itself, covering the authors of it
with ridicule and disgrace. It turns out to be signed by less than two
millions, instead of by six as Feargus stated; and of those, there were
no end of fictitious names, together with the insertion of every species
of ribaldry, indecency, and impertinence. The Chartists are very
crestfallen, and evidently conscious of the contemptible figure they
cut; but they have endeavoured to bluster and lie as well as they can in
their subsequent gatherings, and talk of other petitions and meetings,
which nobody cares about.


_London, April 15th._--Every account from every quarter proves the
wonderful effect produced by the event of Monday last. Normanby writes
me word that it has astonished and disappointed the French more than
they care to admit; and it has evidently had a great effect in Ireland,
where Smith O'Brien is gone back in doleful dumps at his rebuff at
Paris, and his reception in the House of Commons. Clarendon writes word
that if there is any outbreak, which he now doubts, it will probably be
after a great tea-party they were about to have on Smith O'Brien's
return. The Government have gained some credit and some strength by this
affair, as well as by their (at last) bringing fresh measures of a
protective character into Parliament. The Conservatives are very angry
with them for giving way on the clause about 'words spoken,' in the new
Bill, and for consenting to make it temporary. Graham told me he had
great doubts about that clause, but he would support whatever they
proposed. It is certainly true that their concessions are not well
managed; they do not come down and make them as if on mature
consideration; but they suffer themselves to be bullied out of them by
their Radical opponents, and this gives them an air of vacillation and
irresolution which is very prejudicial. Lord John made a very good
speech on this Bill, and George Grey by common consent does his work
very well indeed.

I had some talk with the Duke of Bedford at Newmarket about Ireland, and
told him my plan of operations, that is, the idea that has presented
itself to my mind. It consists of two parts--one as to the land, the
other the Church. I propose that the Government should become a great
proprietor and capitalist, raising whatever funds are necessary, and
expending them in productive works and the employment of labour. I have
observed that all who have written, spoken, or thought on this subject,
agree that the indispensable thing for Ireland is the application of
capital to the developement of the resources of the country and the
employment of its people. Nobody will invest capital there in its
present state; consequently those resources remain undeveloped, and the
people are in a state of idleness and starvation; that which it is
desirable that everybody should do, but which nobody will do, must be
done by the Government itself. I have only as yet formed the idea,
without having deeply considered it, still less attempted to work
out its details. The other question, the Church, that eternal
stumbling-block, does not present less difficulty, but is equally
urgent. This morning the Duke of Bedford came here and told me he had
spoken to Lord John about my ideas, but without going into any detail,
or even explanation, and Lord John said he should like to talk to me
about it himself; he said, moreover, that they not only mean to propose
something about the Church, but have got a plan half prepared. They will
not, however, attempt to bring anything forward this year, and they
would be very wrong if they did.

There has just appeared in all the newspapers a long letter of Louis
Philippe's to the Queen of the Belgians, giving his whole case about the
Montpensier marriage, with certain other letters from Guizot and
Salvandy on the same subject. These papers were found at the Tuileries,
and have been published at Paris. The history of this letter is this.
When the King had concocted the marriage he made his Queen write to
ours, and after mentioning all his family by name, and telling her all
they were severally about, she mentioned this marriage in the same
casual way, as a happy event in the family. Our Queen wrote an answer,
in which she expressed her satisfaction at the happiness and prosperity
of the different members of her family whom Queen Marie Amélie had
enumerated, excepting the last topic, that of the marriage. This she
said was a _political_ matter, on which she entertained very different
sentiments. It was then that Louis Philippe wrote this long epistle
which the Queen of the Belgians sent to our Queen, who wrote a very
laconic reply, saying that it had not altered her opinion, and that she
considered that the King had forfeited the word he had given her. These
letters she showed to Lord John Russell and Palmerston. The King was
furious, and from that moment no more communication took place between
them till the letter the Queen wrote to him (or to Queen Marie Amélie)
on the death of Madame Adélaïde. The Duchess of Gloucester sent the
Duchess of Bedford a letter of the Queen's to her on the present state
of affairs and her own situation, which exhibits her in a very amiable
light. She talks with such sympathy of the sufferings of others in whom
she is interested, and with such thankfulness for the many blessings
which she herself enjoys, and which she says she almost 'grudges' when
she looks round and sees the afflictions of so many whom she loves. The
expression is faulty, but the idea is clear.


_April 30th._--While I was at Newmarket the newspapers published the
correspondence between Palmerston, Bulwer, and Sotomayor, which excited
great interest and no small animadversion even there.[44] It was a
choice specimen of Palmerston's spirit of domination, which, so far from
being moderated by all that was said about his Greek correspondence,
seems only to have broken out with fresh virulence on this occasion. It
remains to be seen whether John Russell and his colleagues will once for
all make a stand against his arbitrary and independent administration of
the Foreign Office, or submit to it: this must be the crisis. The Duke
of Bedford told me he had read it in the papers with much annoyance,
because he foresaw the difficulties it would produce; that he had known
of it some time ago, and of what had occurred relating to it; that
Palmerston had shown John Russell the despatch, and that Lord John had
objected to it, stating his reasons for so doing. According to his
custom, Palmerston made no reply; but they parted, Lord John naturally
concluding that after he had stated his objection the despatch would not
be sent. Shortly after he was with the Queen, and in conversation on
this subject he told her what had passed between Palmerston and
himself, and what he had said. 'No; did you say all that?' said the
Queen. He said, 'Yes.' 'Well then,' she replied, 'it produced no effect,
for the despatch is gone. Lord Palmerston sent it to me; I know it is
gone.' What more passed I do not know. The only difference Palmerston
made was that he divided his despatch to Bulwer into two, but he did not
omit or alter a word of what Lord John had objected to. When I first
heard this my impression was that this was such a daring defiance of the
Prime Minister and such an insulting indifference to the sentiments of
his colleagues that it must lead to a quarrel, and that Palmerston would
be forced to resign. I anticipated discussions in both Houses of
Parliament, in which Palmerston's colleagues would be obliged to speak
out, especially John Russell, and that they would throw him over, which
if they did it would be impossible for him to stay in. Lord Stanley, who
was at Newmarket all last week, told the Duke of Bedford that it was
very much against his inclination to attack Palmerston, who was so
good-natured and agreeable, but that it was impossible to pass this
over. Still on consideration I suspect that Palmerston's audacity and
good fortune, his rare dexterity, and total absence of sensitiveness
will carry him through. They will probably knock under to him, they will
not venture to throw him over in public, and will content themselves
with some timid remonstrance in private, which he will receive with
perfect good humour and treat with sovereign contempt. He has not
evinced the slightest disposition to give way, for I heard yesterday
that he has written to Bulwer fully approving of his letter. He has
replied to Sotomayor in a tone of sarcasm, and he has taken this
opportunity to make Bulwer K.C.B. Of course he will not hear of
recalling him, and I begin to think that it will end in his dictating to
everybody, Spanish Cabinet and his own colleagues, and he will march on
triumphant in the midst of ineffectual grumblings and abortive efforts
to restrain him.

[Footnote 44: [On March 16 Lord Palmerston addressed a despatch to Sir
Henry Bulwer, British Minister at Madrid, in which he directed him to
represent to the Queen of Spain that she would do well to change her
Government. Sir Henry not only communicated this despatch to Queen
Christina and the Duc de Sotomayor, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, but
caused it to be published in the Opposition journals. The Spanish
Government returned the despatch with a haughty answer. Lord Palmerston,
however, approved the conduct of Sir H. Bulwer, and the consequence was
that on May 19 the British Minister was ordered to leave Spain in
forty-eight hours.]]


_May 3rd._--Palmerston and John Russell seem to have made up this matter
(if ever they quarrelled about it, which they probably did not), for I
hear of Lord John expressing joy that it is taken up by Urquhart in the
House of Commons rather than by any more formidable opponent. Ben
Stanley tells me that it is all Bulwer's fault, and that he was
instructed only to interfere if a suitable opportunity presented itself,
and then verbally; but as Palmerston will not throw over Bulwer, it is
an _imbroglio_, and will make a bother; but it is clear that Palmerston
is in no danger. Ben Stanley also says that the Spanish Government are
very anxious to make it up; however, we shall have something elicited by
the discussions.

I had a long letter from Clarendon yesterday, and saw Southern[45] in
the morning, just come from Dublin, where he has been staying several
weeks. The former wrote to me on the subject of the Irish Church, and
says that he is all against touching it, for that the Protestants are
now the sole link between the two countries, and that they from feelings
of pride and old associations cling to that Establishment with
unconquerable tenacity, and any attempt to invade it would alienate the
whole Protestant body and render them repealers also. He writes at
considerable length on this topic, and what he says may be true; but if
it be, and if it is always to be acted on, peace never can be
attainable. Southern says everything is better so far as the chance of
any immediate outbreak is removed, but that the state of the country is
not improved, and that the chronic agitation and disaffection will only
go on the more in every district under the priests. Clarendon says not a
Roman Catholic in Ireland is to be trusted, and gives a deplorable
picture of the condition of landed property and proprietors; the
inveterate habit of selfishness and indifference to the state of the
masses, which has so long distinguished the landowners, makes it
impossible to get them to act on the principles which regulate the
relations of landlord and tenant here; and he assures me that there are
many who contemplate in the most cold-blooded way the relief from a
starving and redundant population by the operation of famine. Then the
tricks and jobbing of those who are concerned in the administration of
the poor laws produce infinite mischief, and in short the whole
material, high and low, is so corrupt that it is an Herculean task for
anybody to introduce order into such a chaos, and to try and weed out
its manifold evils. He complains that his plans and schemes for
employing the people and developing the national resources do not meet
with the attention he has a right to expect from the Government, and he
doubts if Lord John Russell comprehends, or even reads them.

[Footnote 45: [Mr. Southern had been Lord Clarendon's private secretary
when he was Minister in Spain, and had just paid him a long visit in
Ireland. Southern entered the diplomatic service, and eventually became
British Minister at Rio Janeiro, where he died.]]

Yesterday arrived the news of Smith O'Brien's affair at Limerick,[46]
which was hailed with great satisfaction. Ever since the Bill passed
there has been a manifest falling off in the violence and determination
of the Patriots; they have quailed under the force of Government, and
nothing can be more paltry than the figure they are now cutting compared
with their boastings and menaces the other day. Mitchell, Meagher, and
O'Brien were near being killed at Limerick by an O'Connellite mob, and
were saved by the interposition of the Queen's troops. Smith O'Brien was
severely beaten, and has renounced the country, and says he will retire
into private life. Mitchell, who meant to meet the law and the
Government face to face, and dared them to the fight, has recourse to
every sort of chicanery, and avails himself of all the technical pleas
he can find to delay his trial. All these things have drawn both
ridicule and contempt on these empty boasters, who began by blustering
and swaggering, and who now crouch under the blows that are aimed at

[Footnote 46: [On April 29 an affray took place at Limerick between the
Old and Young Irish Repealers. Meagher delivered one of his most
impassioned speeches. But the 'moral force' O'Connellites attacked and
beat the other party.]]


_May 7th._--The Limerick affair and discomfiture of the Young Irelanders
has given a great blow to the whole rebellious faction, put Clarendon
in spirits, and for the time cleared the horizon, and dispelled all
chance of disturbance or outbreak. People jump to the conclusion (and
the press takes that line) that the agitation is entirely at an end, and
Ireland about to become peaceable if not satisfied. I have had a letter
from Bessborough,[47] who tells me what Clarendon and Crampton said to
him about Catholic endowment, and of the impossibility of it. The
latter, he says, mixes with people of every denomination and
description, and his opinion upon it he thinks entitled to much
attention. Bessborough also thinks everything is looking better in
Ireland, and more promising for future prosperity and tranquillity; he
anticipates, in short, a very prosperous year.

[Footnote 47: [John George Ponsonby, fifth Earl of Bessborough,
succeeded his father (the late Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland) in 1847. He
died in 1880.]]

Meanwhile everything is improving here. Within the last week there is a
manifest revival of trade both in Lancashire and Yorkshire, and the
magnificent weather which has succeeded the long course of rain and cold
promises as good a harvest as the farmers can desire.

On Friday evening Stanley made his attack on Palmerston in a very
brilliant speech, which Guizot was there to hear. He made a strong case,
and Lord Lansdowne a very weak defence, and that only by throwing over
Bulwer, and casting the blame on him. It will all end in nothing, as
usual, and Palmerston will not care a straw. It is, however, damaging,
for everybody thinks that he has been flippant, and that there was
neither motive nor occasion for his interferences, or that it has been
well done if there had been. In short, it is an ill-judged unskilfully
conducted proceeding.

_May 9th._--Palmerston got another drubbing last night in the Lords,
which will be a lesson to him, if anything can. Stanley made a second
speech, still more effective than his first, and Aberdeen followed him.
Lord Lansdowne was miserably feeble in reply, as he might well be,
having no case. I never saw public opinion more strongly or generally
pronounced, and it may be of use in moderating Palmerston for the
future. If he were not the man he is, there would be no doubt of it,
but he is apparently incurable. The whole affair is very discreditable
to the Government. It looks bad enough as it is; but what would people
think of it if they knew that Lord John Russell had seen these offensive
despatches, had objected to them, and that they had gone in spite of
him; and now he and his colleagues are obliged to come down to
Parliament and to defend them?

_May 13th._--Palmerston's affair has not failed to produce certain
consequences. Lord Lansdowne was in a state of great indignation and
disgust; he told the Duke of Bedford he never had in all his life been
placed in such a situation, that he had not cared for Stanley's first
speech, but that when he made his second, he was conscious he had not a
word to say. He had never read the despatches, and had not a notion how
far Palmerston had committed himself in approval of Bulwer. He said that
he had been to Lord John and told him this must never happen again, and
it was arranged between them (he little knows how vainly) that for the
future Lord John at least should see Palmerston's despatches before they
go. Hobhouse spoke to me about it, and in reply to my remarks saying how
unfair it was to place such a man as Lord Lansdowne in such a position,
he very comically said, 'I wish _you_ would say all this to Palmerston.'
This was too good a joke, as I told him, that he a Cabinet Minister, his
colleague and sharing his responsibility, could not tell him his mind,
and should ask me to tell Palmerston the truths it behoved him to know.
Both Labouchere and Charles Wood also spoke to me about it. I said to
the latter, '_Unless Palmerston is quite incorrigible_ all this will be
a lesson to him, and restrain him for the future.' He replied, 'You are
quite right to put in that proviso.' Such is the state of things in this

Charles Wood asked me to go to Graham and find out what his views were
about the West Indian question, and whether he was prepared to grant the
West Indians any relief, and to meddle with the Bill of 1846. I went to
him yesterday morning, and was with him for two hours, talking about
everything and everybody.


_May 14th._--Graham said about the West Indians that the old proprietors
must be ruined, nothing could save them. New purchasers who went out and
cultivated these estates might do well, but men _here_ could no longer
derive incomes from sugar duties; he would not disturb the arrangement
of 1846, though he thought the Government had been wrong in making it,
and he and Peel had only supported them because if they had been beaten
they would have gone out. Nor would he give any money; said that the
Committees now sitting would recommend doing away with the African fleet
and the whole of our anti-slavery machinery, and that all that could be
done for the West Indians was to authorise a sort of regulated slave
trade, procuring labourers and making them free; the people of this
country had tasted cheap sugar, and would not now go back to dear; he
anticipated no difficulty from the French Government in doing away with
the Treaty, but much from Palmerston, who would hardly be brought to
propose it. We talked much of the Spanish correspondence, of Palmerston,
John Russell, and the rest; Graham could not understand how Lord Grey
stood it, seeing that everything that had happened had justified him in
his original objections. He told me a story of John Russell's having sat
by somebody (I found out afterwards it was Ellice), just after the
suppression of the insurrection at Madrid, to whom he expressed his
satisfaction at the Government having put it down, and added, 'Think of
that fool Bulwer having taken that opportunity to make an attempt in
favour of the Progressista party,' which Graham said was a proof that he
had not known anything of Palmerston's instructions. I did not tell him
what the real state of the case was. He said that he and Peel did not
want to turn the Government out, nor embarrass them, and therefore gave
me to understand that they should not take any part against Palmerston;
but he severely criticised his conduct, and was evidently very glad at
his getting into such a scrape. His general views were very apparent to
me; he has a great contempt for the Government, thinks nobody has done
well but Sir George Grey and Clarendon, but is biding his time and
acting on the policy which I long ago saw was the true one, of making a
junction with the Whigs possible hereafter. He is very much provoked
with Lincoln and Gladstone, who he said were 'impatient,' and acting in
a spirit of most injudicious half hostility and annoyance to the
Government; he sees all the inconvenience of this course, but he does
not choose to interfere, and I perceive he does not like Lincoln nor
think highly of him. His object is to have as many doors open to himself
and Peel as is possible by-and-by, and he looks to govern upon such
popular principles, and at the same time safe ones, as may enable them
to raise a standard that will have attraction for all moderate,
sensible, and liberal people. He anticipates a great part to be played
by Francis Baring, of whose talents and influence he thinks highly; that
he is greatly improved in speaking; and being now head of the great
family of Baring, opulent, with a strong mind and will, very rigid and
severe in his principles, he must be a very conspicuous and powerful man
in public life. I have no doubt he would like to coalesce with Baring
by-and-by, and have him for Chancellor of the Exchequer in their
Government when they make one; he talked of Aberdeen and the way he was
'cottoning' himself to Stanley; owned that these times of universal
revolution were unsuitable to the genius and taste of Aberdeen, who was
an excellent foreign minister with Peel, adopting his free trade
principles, and dealing with monarchical Europe; but now the scholar of
Castlereagh, whose inclinations all lay towards Metternich and Guizot,
was disgusted and disheartened at the spectacle Europe presented. I
hinted that this might in some degree prove convenient, which he
perfectly understood.


    Anarchy in France--Another Omission of Lord Palmerston's--His
    Spanish Interference attacked--Sir H. Bulwer's Account of his
    Expulsion from Madrid--Conviction of John Mitchell--Lord Grey
    objects to Palmerston's Conduct--Mirasol's Mission--Death
    of Princess Sophia--Weakness of the Spanish Case--Further
    Evasions of Palmerston--The Queen's Attachment to the Orleans
    Family--Blunders and Weakness of the Government--Danger
    of a Tory Government and a Dissolution--Disturbed State
    of London--The Spanish Debate--Measures taken against the
    Chartists--Perturbation of Society--Abolition of the Navigation
    Laws--The Oaths Bill--Chartist Demonstration--Lord John's
    West India Bill--Isturitz leaves England--Sir Henry Bulwer's
    Intrigues in Madrid--Lord Clarendon's Distrust of the Irish
    Catholics--Dangerous Position of the Government--Prospect
    of a Tory Government--Attitude of the Peelites--Lord Grey's
    Defence--Defeat of Sir J. Pakington's Amendment--Ferocious
    Contest in Paris--Improved Position of the Government--Louis
    Philippe's Opinion of the French Generals--Endsleigh--The West
    of England--State of Ireland--State of England--Suspension
    of the Habeas Corpus Act in Ireland--Collapse of the Irish
    Insurrection--Sir Robert Adair--Lord Hardinge's Appointment
    to Ireland as Commander-in-Chief--Lord Hardinge in India--The
    Sikh Battles--A Chartist Establishment--Capture of Smith
    O'Brien--Sicilian Independence--The Sale at Stowe--Anecdote of
    Peel and Huskisson--Lord Clarendon on Ireland--Lord Palmerston's
    Conduct to Austria and Italy--Debate on Foreign Affairs--State
    of France--Irish Troubles--Charles Buller's Schemes for
    Ireland--Close of the Session--Death of Lord George Bentinck--Lord
    George Bentinck's Political Career--At the Jockey Club.

_Stud House: May 22nd and 25th, 1848._--In these times a hiatus of ten
days leaves an immense arrear of events and circumstances of different
sorts. The principal one last week was the strange scene in the French
Chamber and the conspiracy against its independence which was so
completely frustrated. It is never worth while to describe scenes which
are better and more circumstantially narrated in the newspapers. The
spirit of order was completely victorious, but the conduct of those who
have got the upper hand is still very unaccountable.[48] People go on
wondering that Lamartine should be so irresolute, and that he should
endure Ledru Rollin as a colleague. Madame de Lieven supplied me with
the solution of this question which I dare say is the true one. She told
me that Roberts the painter (who brought her away from Paris) came to
her the other day and told her that the Revolution found Lamartine as
well as Ledru Rollin ruined men, and that they formed a compact to
feather their nests, which both have accomplished. While they have been
ostensibly (and perhaps really) the heads of different sections of the
Government and the promoters of different principles, they have always
been connected by a secret understanding and a common interest, and
therefore they cannot break with each other, and accordingly whenever
the moderate party appear to have the upper hand and cry out to
Lamartine to come forward and crush his colleague, Lamartine, on the
contrary, shuffles, temporises and compromises, and so he and Ledru
Rollin go on together. The consequence of all this is that there is no
Government in France, and all the material interests of the country keep
getting worse and worse, and ruin stares everybody in the face.

[Footnote 48: [On May 15 another insurrection occurred in Paris. The mob
forced its way into the Chamber of Deputies, and declared the
Government, of which Lamartine was the head, to be dissolved. But the
National Guard turned out with spirit, and, with the aid of the troops
of the line, quelled the sedition and reinstated Lamartine.

The passage that follows is certainly incorrect. Lamartine did not act
with Ledru Rollin, and undoubtedly did not feather his nest, for he fell
from power as poor a man as he was when he assumed it.]]


On Monday morning before I came here I learnt that there had been a
fresh matter of complaint against Palmerston, which had given Lord John
great annoyance. It seems that several days ago Brunnow communicated to
Palmerston that the Emperor of Russia had determined to make common
cause with the King of Denmark, and at the same time he made this known
to the Prince of Prussia.[49] The next day the Prince went to pay a
visit to the Queen, when he alluded to this important communication; the
Queen was excessively embarrassed, for she had never heard a word about
it, Palmerston having omitted to tell her. As soon as the Prince was
gone, she sent for Lord John Russell, who was at Richmond. He came up to
town and went to the Queen, who told him what had passed, describing her
embarrassment, but said that she thought it better not to let the Prince
know she was in ignorance of such a matter, and she had therefore
pretended to be aware of it. By mere accident John Russell himself had
received a box from Palmerston with this communication a few minutes
before he went to the Queen; if it had arrived ten minutes later he
would have known nothing about it either. This coming after the Spanish
affair, and so soon, does not improve Palmerston's position with the
Queen or his colleagues.

[Footnote 49: [The Prince of Prussia--brother to the King, and
afterwards King Wilhelm and Emperor of the Germans--had taken refuge in
London from the mob of Berlin, and was residing with Chevalier Bunsen at
the Prussian Embassy in Carlton Gardens.]]

I found the Duke of Bedford, who had sent for me, much disturbed at a
communication he had received from Arbuthnot, who told him that the
Government would be very hard pressed on Friday upon Bankes' motion on
the Spanish correspondence;[50] that the motion had been settled by
Bankes and Lincoln together, and approved by Stanley; that all the
Protectionists would support it; and if Hume and the Radicals did so
likewise, the Government would be beaten. All this Arbuthnot had learnt
from a Protectionist friend, who added that he did not know what Peel
and Graham and their friends would do. This latter point I undertook to
ascertain, and I forthwith called on Graham and asked him. He told me
that both he and Peel would support the Government, not approving
Palmerston's conduct, but not wishing to damage the Government, and not
thinking it fair or proper to inflict upon Palmerston a Parliamentary
censure. He told me what he should say on the occasion, which I need not
say here, as he will say it himself. We had a great deal of talk about
the state of affairs. I told him what was said about Lincoln and Bankes,
and what the effect of Lincoln's conduct was; he deplored it very much,
and said that it was not only very imprudent but very unfair to others,
but that he could do nothing about it. If Peel was like other men he
would keep Lincoln straight, and it behoves him especially to do so, as
Lincoln is supposed to be his favourite adherent.

[Footnote 50: [On June 5 Mr. Bankes moved in the House of Commons a
resolution censuring the conduct of Lord Palmerston and Sir Henry Bulwer
at Madrid. After a debate the motion was withdrawn, and the discussion
turned out quite differently from what was expected. See _infra_, June

Yesterday I rode to the course at Epsom with Clanricarde, and we talked
about Palmerston and John Russell. He said that such things as had
lately happened were not to happen again, but that he thought there had
not been enough of common consultation and understanding in their
Cabinet upon important matters; he did not think Palmerston had done
_many_ objectionable things, but owned that John Russell was not fit to
be the _head_ of a Government, was admirable in the House of Commons,
but wanting in the qualities that a Prime Minister ought to have.

While this Spanish debate is impending, the difficulty of the case is
greatly increased by the news of Bulwer's having been driven out of
Madrid, his passport sent him, and he himself ordered to quit it in
forty-eight hours; and last night I received a letter from him
announcing his arrival and begging to see me. I saw Stanley at Epsom,
who said that this event had rendered it very difficult to know what
course to pursue; he concludes that Narvaez could not have taken such a
step without having sufficient evidence to prove that they had a good
case against Bulwer, and that this evidence must have been transmitted
to our Government. I am going to London to see Bulwer to hear his story.


_May 30th._--I called on Bulwer on Thursday, found him with Delane, and
soon after Hayward came in, so had no opportunity of questioning him. He
told his story in a long, rambling style, pretty much as the Spanish
papers give it; he said he had originally sent a long account to
Palmerston of the state of parties in Spain, and the character of the
principal men, and advised him to be on good terms with Narvaez and his
Government. He did not say what answer Palmerston sent, but I inferred
that it did not meet his views. The thing that struck me was the
knowledge which he betrayed of the plots or intrigues that were going on
against the Government, and it does not appear either from these papers
or from what he said to me that he ever gave the benefit of his
information to the Spanish Ministers. For example, he knew of the
military insurrection, the day on which, the place at which, it was to
take place, who was to command it, and, in short, particulars which
implied familiarity, if not complicity, with the conspirators. Then
there appears to have been a system of offensive and injudicious
interference, and in the functions discharged by the English Minister
one searches in vain for any international interest, or anything in
which we are concerned, and he seems only to have existed at Madrid to
meddle and give officious, unrequired, and unwelcome advice. The whole
affair is at present in a very embarrassing state, but the man who takes
it the most lightly is Palmerston himself. Everybody condemns the spirit
of meddling which Palmerston has exhibited in this as in so many
instances, and even those who think his interference warrantable, admit
that his tone and manner have been very injudicious and in exceeding bad
taste. At present his colleagues show no disposition to give him up, and
his will is so strong and he is so daring and reckless, while they are
all so feeble and yielding, that he will probably harness them all to
his car and make them assist in lugging him out of the difficulty. This
affair will, however, prove a source of discredit out of the Cabinet,
and of weakness and dissension within it. There is not a Minister who
does not feel more or less disgusted and alarmed at Palmerston's
proceedings, and still more at his character. Out of doors the
reprehension is universal. Graham, who had announced his opposition to
Bankes' motion and his intention to assist the Government, has now
communicated to them (through me) that he can pledge himself to no
course till he shall have seen all the papers and heard all the
explanations on the subject. Bulwer and Isturitz met at Palmerston's
dinner on the Queen's birthday, and accosted each other very cordially.
It was remarked that the Queen was very civil to Isturitz at the Levée.

The account of Mitchell's conviction[51] has given great satisfaction
here, and compensated for the defeats in the other cases. The good of it
is that the Government have proved to the Irish and to the world that
they have the means of punishing these enormous offenders, and that they
will not be able to pursue their turbulent and factious course with
impunity. The three hundred imitators whom Mitchell announced as ready
to encounter similar martyrdom will probably not be forthcoming. So far
as the system of terror is concerned, which is the only one we can now
employ, it is a great and happy event, but it will not contribute to the
regeneration of the country, and will probably augment the fund of
accumulating hatred against English connexion. Still, anything is better
than political impotence, and, before any attempt can be made to
introduce those practical improvements which may disarm the Irish of
their prejudices and animosities, the power of the law and the
Government must be firmly asserted and enforced. An incident has,
however, accompanied these trials which is not pleasant to the
Government. The Whigs, and Lord John Russell at the head of them, when
in opposition, bitterly attacked the conduct of the Law Officers in
their jury challenges in the political trials. On this occasion, the
Whig Law officers found they must either do exactly as their
predecessors had done, or connive at their own defeat. They wisely and
properly chose the former alternative, but of course at the cost of
exposing the present Government to charges of gross inconsistency. Last
night in the House of Commons the subject was touched upon, and John
Russell had the imprudence to read part of a private letter from
Clarendon, referring to the conduct of the late Government in striking
the jury in O'Connell's case as open to reproach. This brought up
Graham, who affirmed that the instructions given by his Government and
those given by the present Government were precisely the same, which
John Russell was obliged to admit. The allusion, however, gave offence
both to Graham and to Peel. The former has written me a note about it
this morning, by which I see that he is a good deal nettled.

[Footnote 51: [On May 24 Mitchell, one of the leaders of the Young
Ireland Party, was convicted of felony under the Act for the better
security of the Crown and Government, and sentenced to be transported
for fourteen years. The sentence was immediately carried into effect. It
occasioned some commotion and disturbance amongst the Chartists and
Irish in London and elsewhere.]]


_May 31st._--Yesterday Lord Grey called on the Duke of Bedford to talk
over the Spanish affair, at which he is beginning to kick, though very
gently. The present state of the case is this: from all that appears in
public, the Spanish Government has been wholly unjustifiable, and we are
not likely to know more as yet, for Mirasol[52] having brought no
credentials, Palmerston refuses to receive him, and has desired him to
convey what he has to say through Isturitz; but he came away in such a
hurry (running a race with Bulwer) that he left all his papers behind
him, and accordingly he has nothing to show. What between the
awkwardness of the Spaniards, the artfulness of Palmerston, and the
reluctance there is on all sides to push the Government to extremities,
it appears most likely that the discussions in Parliament will produce
no other result than a good deal of talk, and some expression of an
opinion that the Spanish Government has been very impertinent. But
nobody cares about the affront they have offered us, for the simple
reason that it is universally considered as aimed at Palmerston and
Bulwer, and that both have provoked it by their own insolent and
unbecoming interference, the matter and the manner of which are equally
condemned. It is now reported that Palmerston means to insist on sending
Bulwer back to Madrid, for no other reason, of course, than to make the
Spaniards eat humble pie; and, for the sake of achieving a personal
triumph, he will not mind making the English Government and country
odious in Spain. Every day the difficulties of the Government increase,
and its weakness becomes more apparent, but without any tolerable
alternative presenting itself. The friends and subordinates of the
Government acknowledge this. There is a general sense of rottenness, and
a consciousness that they inspire no confidence. Hawes told me yesterday
that 'he was nobody, and could only shrug up his shoulders at all he
saw.' They were beaten last night (on small matters, it is true) in both
Houses,[53] and now there appears a very good chance of their being
beaten on the resolutions of the West Indian Committee, which has
reported to the House in favour of a duty on sugar of ten shillings for
six years. Lord John at once declared he should oppose it. The division
in the Committee was a very curious one; this resolution was carried by
seven to five, and by a strange crossing over of opposite parties.
Goulburn and Cardwell did not vote; two or three Whigs voted for it.

[Footnote 52: [The Spanish Minister in London, Isturitz, was not
withdrawn, but Mirasol was sent on a special mission to London, to
explain the course adopted by the Spanish Government. He was
unsuccessful, and on June 14 Isturitz received his passports and left
the country. Diplomatic relations were thus suspended between England
and Spain.]]

[Footnote 53: [Ministers were beaten in the House of Lords by a majority
of six on the Irish Poor Law Bill, and by a majority of one in the House
of Commons on a motion relating to the Public Accounts.]]

The Princess Sophia[54] died a few days ago, while the Queen was holding
the Drawing-room for her Birthday. She was blind, helpless, and suffered
martyrdom; a very clever, well-informed woman, but who never lived in
the world. She was the intimate friend of the Duke of York while he
lived, and of the Duchess of Gloucester up to the last. The Princess
left a letter for the Queen, which was delivered to her in the garden of
Buckingham Palace by Andrew Drummond on Monday morning.

[Footnote 54: [The Princess Sophia, fifth daughter of King George III.,
born Nov. 3, 1777; died May 27, 1848.]]


_June 1st._--Isturitz has sent in Mirasol's case, which, he admits
himself, is no case at all, flimsy and weak, and unsupported by proofs.
This, however, though it puts the Spanish Government in the wrong, does
not thereby relieve our embarrassment; for, while it imposes on us the
necessity of requiring some reparation for so gross an affront, it is
very difficult to know what to demand; and if the Spaniards don't
comply, what are we to do next? There seems to be very little doubt
that the coals have been blown by Louis Philippe and Guizot, the latter
of whom is in constant correspondence with Madrid, as our Government
have ascertained, and both are animated with the strongest desire to do
Palmerston an ill turn.

Meanwhile, the affair has become more serious here. Lord Grey has at
last been to John Russell, and in very temperate terms told him matters
cannot any longer go on as they have done, and he afterwards went to the
Duke of Bedford, and told him what he had done. Grey learnt for the
first time, when he spoke to Lord John, what had happened about the
despatch to which Lord John had objected. The Duke wrote his brother a
very long letter, setting forth all the danger and discredit which
accrued to the Government from their proceedings, and the discontent
which was produced amongst their friends. Lord John took this letter in
good part, and he told the Duke that if they got over this affair
something must be settled for the future. He at the same time gave him
another anecdote as an example of Palmerston's way of doing business,
which fortunately ended without mischief, but might have had a very
different result. One day when the Duc de Broglie was with Palmerston,
he asked him if there was any news. Palmerston said he had just got a
box, which he had not yet opened, but he would open it then. He did so,
found a despatch from Howden on the subject of the Monte Video business,
and gave it to the Duc de Broglie to read. The Duc read it, said that
its contents were not pleasant, and remonstrated against them, whatever
they were, which I do not know, and, for the point of the story, does
not signify. Immediately after, Palmerston joined the Queen in Scotland,
leaving the conduct of this affair in the hands of John Russell. Lord
John and the Duc de Broglie came to an understanding, but in the
meanwhile Palmerston wrote a despatch to Normanby on the subject, which
passed through London without being communicated to Lord John Russell.
This, which Normanby was instructed to read to Guizot, surprised him
very much, and he told Normanby that it was different from what the Duc
de Broglie had given him reason to expect. This annoyed Normanby very
much, and as it placed him in a very awkward situation, he complained of
it. The matter was then explained, and eventually Guizot acted with so
much moderation that it was adjusted amicably. Palmerston when urged on
the subject threw the blame on the Foreign Office, which they say he is
constantly in the habit of doing.

I learn to my great astonishment that all the Queen's former attachment
to Louis Philippe and the French Royal Family has revived in greater
force than ever; she says the marriages are not to be thought of any
more. Nothing but the extraordinary good sense of Prince Albert and the
boundless influence he has over her keeps her affectionate feelings
under due restraint; but for him she would have made all her household
go to Claremont, and when the French Royal Family have come to visit her
she has received them as King and Queen, and one day one of the children
went up to Louis Philippe and called him 'Your Majesty,' which had no
doubt been done by the Queen's commands. I take for granted that they
have persuaded the Queen that their ruin has been the work of
Palmerston, for this is what they always say, and possibly they believe


_June 3rd._--Yesterday morning I saw Graham. He said matters were going
on worse and worse; the Government seemed to be paralysed, and to have
lost their understandings. They had such a night on Tuesday in the House
of Commons as he never witnessed. He then enumerated their defeats and
their blunders and mismanagement, without bitterness but with great
contempt. They sustained a defeat on Bowring's motion about the
collection of taxes, a very important matter, not having got their
people down. I found out afterwards that they did not expect a division,
and thought to prevent one by counting out the House, and to aid this
Sir George Grey told people who were waiting there they had better go
away. This was blundering. Then they made a great mistake in fighting
the Derby writ, in which they, in conjunction with the Protectionists,
got beaten by the Liberals and the Peelites. On Anstey's Roman Catholic
Relief Bill none of the Government were present. On Thursday night Lord
John came down with two very foolish notices, one for our alteration of
the Oath (which is only a new Jew bill in a fresh form), and another to
relieve voters from disqualification on account of non-payment of the
assessed taxes, which was intended as a sop to Hume before his Reform
motion. Both these Graham denounced as weak and unwise. I asked him what
they thought of the resolution of the West India Committee.[55] He said
it was very awkward. He was as strong as ever against the proposition,
and the best reason he gave was that it would be of no service to the
West Indians if it was carried; that if all foreign sugar was prohibited
they would be as much swamped by Mauritius and the East as by Cuba and
Brazil. He will, therefore, oppose it; but he is not sure the Government
may not be in a minority, and I told him if Lord John was defeated on it
I really believed he would resign. He said he thought the Protectionists
were prepared to form a Government if they carried the resolution. I do
not, however, believe any such thing, and I reminded him that such a
division, composed as the majority would be of the most heterogeneous
materials, would be no test of their strength as a party; and that if
they were mad enough to attempt it, and the Queen would consent (which
she never would) to let them, they would not stay in three days. He said
they must dissolve; they had no other course, and that revolution would
be the inevitable consequence of a dissolution and a fresh election at
such a time as this; that such a Parliament would be returned as we had
never seen; Hume's reform and the four points would be carried, and the
Monarchy swept away. However, though he believes these results would
follow from the formation of a Stanley Government, he does not, I am
sure, for a moment, contemplate such a contingency as within the limits
of possibility. I told the Duke of Bedford all Graham had said, and that
he might make any use of the knowledge this gave him of the Government
proceedings to put matters if he could in a better train. He said he
would talk to Lord John, though he hates doing so, for he is always
suffering under that deplorable infirmity of Lord John's--his
disinclination to hear unpalatable truths, and above all to be found
fault with. The consequence of this is that he receives everybody ill
who goes to him to tell him what he does not like to hear, and nobody
now but the Duke (and he very reluctantly) will go to him to tell him
what he ought to hear. The Duke said he agreed with Graham as to the
consequences of a Protectionist Government, but that it was out of the
question, and if Lord John was forced to resign, Peel must take the
Government, and the Whig party must join and support him; and between
some of the present Cabinet and some of the late a very strong
Government might be formed.

[Footnote 55: [A strong attempt was made on behalf of the West India
interest to exclude slave-grown sugar from this country. On June 16 Lord
John Russell proposed to reduce the sugar duty from 13_s._ to 10_s._,
which was ultimately carried by a majority of 260 to 245.]]

I afterwards saw Lord Grey, who talked to me about the state of the
Government, and what had passed between Lord John and him touching
Palmerston. He said that he only came into office with a distinct
understanding that Lord John should exercise a control over the Foreign
Office and secure the Cabinet against any imprudence of Palmerston's.


The Government are now getting seriously uneasy about the Chartist
manifestations in various parts of the country, especially in London,
and at the repeated assemblings and marchings of great bodies of men. Le
Marchant told me that two or three months ago, when he was at the Home
Office, he received accounts he thought very alarming of the
wide-spreading disaffection of the people, and particularly of the
enormous increase of cheap publications of the most mischievous and
inflammatory character, which were disseminated among the masses and
eagerly read; and lately, accounts have been received from well-informed
persons, whose occupations lead them to mix with the people,
clergymen--particularly Roman Catholic--and medical men, who report
that they find a great change for the worse amongst them, an increasing
spirit of discontent and disaffection, and that many who on the 10th of
April went out as special constables declare they would not do so again
if another manifestation required it. The speeches which are made at the
different meetings are remarkable for the coarse language and savage
spirit they display. It is quite new to hear any Englishmen coolly
recommend assassination, and the other day a police superintendent was
wounded in the leg by some sharp instrument. These are new and very bad
symptoms, and it is impossible not to feel alarm when we consider the
vast amount of the population as compared with any repressive power we
possess. The extent and reality of the distress they suffer, the
impossibility of expecting such masses of people to be eternally patient
and forbearing, to restrain all their natural impulses, and endure
tamely severe privations when they are encouraged and stimulated to do
otherwise, and are thus accessible to every sort of internal and
external temptation,--all these considerations may well beget a serious
presentiment of danger. But though many do feel this and brood much over
it, there appears to be a fatal security amongst the majority, whose
sluggish minds cannot be awakened to the possibility of a great
convulsion here, notwithstanding the continental conflagration that
stares them in the face. What we principally want is a strong Government
which shall obtain public confidence and respect, and which may have a
chance of conciliating, satisfying, and keeping in check public opinion.
This the divisions and subdivisions of parties, and the enduring
enmities and vindictive feelings of the Conservatives, effectually
prevent. The only strong Government that could be formed would be a
Liberal one under Peel, and the Protectionists would rather encounter
the chances of revolution than see the man whom they detest so bitterly
at the head of affairs again. They are so blind to their own interest,
or so insane in their resentment, that they would prefer to run the risk
of all that Radicals or Chartists could do than owe their safety to
Peel, whom they affect to think the enemy of their best interests, and
a man not to be trusted; and this they go on harping upon, although half
of them now admit that it is the greatest blessing to them to have been
saved by his measures from the dangerous predicament in which they would
now otherwise be.

_June 10th._--At Ascot all last week. The Spanish debate went off just
as might have been expected; all fought in muffled gloves, and as the
outrageous conduct of the Spanish Government rendered it a national
affair, it was impossible to attack either Palmerston or Bulwer; but the
latter was not only not _attacked_, but he was bepraised by everybody to
an extent that now seems ridiculous. Peel said all that Graham told me
he should say, praising Bulwer and quizzing Palmerston, while he
_affected_ to defend him. Guizot saw all this farce with considerable
vexation, mixed with disdain, but it could not take any other turn all
circumstances considered.


The Government have at last taken strong measures against the Chartists;
but in spite of the arrest of some of their leaders, another
demonstration is expected on Monday, for which great preparations are to
be made. These demonstrations are getting a great bore, besides being
very mischievous. The townspeople, who are thus perpetually alarmed, are
growing very angry, and the military are so savage that Lord Londonderry
told the Duke of Wellington he was sure, if a collision took place, the
officers of his regiment would not be able to restrain their men. Many
people think that a severe chastisement of these mobs will alone put a
stop to their proceedings, and that it will be better the troops should
be allowed to act and open fire upon them. This is an extremity which
must be avoided if possible, but anything is better than allowing such
an evil as this to go on increasing. But if these multitudes of
discontented men can be daunted into submission, fearful considerations
remain behind. We have an enormous overgrown population, a vast
proportion of which are in undeniable misery and distress, and are
soured and exasperated by their sufferings. To expect such beings to be
reasonable, and still more to be logical, is to expect a moral
impossibility. While the minds of the masses are in a combustible state,
and they are ready to listen to anybody who appears to sympathise with
them, and who pretends to be able to put them in the way of mending
their condition, there are not wanting agents who strive with all their
might, and not without success, to inflame and mislead them. The
suffering people are prompt to believe that that cannot be a sound and
just condition of society in which they are abandoned to starvation and
destitution, while other classes are revelling in luxury and enjoyment.
They have confused notions that this is all wrong, and that under some
different political dispensation their interests would be better cared
for, and according to their necessities they would be comforted and
relieved. They are neither able to comprehend nor disposed to listen to
the long processes of argument by which it might be demonstrated to them
that all the prevailing misery and distress are attributable to causes
over which Government has no control, and which no legislation can
counteract: the unhappy state of the world, the confusion which prevails
everywhere, the interruption of regular industry, the disturbance of the
ordinary course of social life, and the universal poverty and suffering
react upon this country and to a certain degree undermine the broad
foundations on which our social and political fabric stands. We are not
indeed yet shaken from our equilibrium, but there is a restlessness, an
apprehension, a heaving and struggling, which appear like warnings and
forerunners of a possible earthquake. We seem to have got into another
stage of existence, our world is almost suddenly altered, we deal with
new questions, men seem to be animated with fresh objects; what are
called politics, international questions and the strife of parties, sink
into insignificance; society is stirred up from its lowest depths, and
we are obliged to turn our eyes and thoughts and faculties to the vast
spectacle that is laid bare before us--and an appalling and awful
spectacle it is which may well make the most thoughtless reflect, and
turn levity and indifference into seriousness and fear.[56]

[Footnote 56: [Military precautions were taken against a rising of the
Chartists in London on June 11. But the Chartist demonstration was a
total failure.]]

_June 11th._--A very good debate on Friday night on the Navigation Laws,
and a good division and majority. Peel made an excellent speech.

_June 13th._--John Russell was highly delighted with Peel's speech on
Friday, says he behaved most handsomely, and that he is not like the
same man. The virulence and immortal hate of his quondam friends was
exhibited in the most indecent manner on this occasion. When he rose to
speak they tried to hoot and bellow him down, and at the head of these
vulgar clamourers was a Judge, the Recorder Law; it was a very
disgraceful scene, and shows what an incorrigible faction they are.

It seems that Lord John's proposition about altering the oaths, has had
the effect of preventing a fresh election in the City, which was viewed
with great dread by everybody, but which would otherwise have taken
place. Lord John will now make a speech and announce his plan, but not
attempt to carry any Bill this year. This will satisfy Rothschild, who
will not stir, but wait to see the result of the measure in the next
session. The Oaths are very absurd and want altering. There are two
Peers--Lord Bradford and Lord Clancarty--who will not take them, nor
consequently their seats in the House of Lords; and the Duke of Bedford
told me, that though he had taken them, as a matter of course, he
doubted if he could bring himself to do so again.


The expected Chartist demonstration yesterday ended in smoke, both here
and in the provinces; nevertheless great preparations were made of
military, police, and special constables. It rained torrents the whole
day, which probably would have been enough to prevent any assemblages of
people; but the determined attitude of the Government and the arrests
that have taken place intimidated the leaders. Everybody had got bored
and provoked to death with these continued alarms, but it is now thought
that we shall not have any more of them. The Chartists themselves must
get tired of meeting and walking about for nothing, and they can hardly
fail to lose all confidence in their leaders, whose actions so ill
correspond with their promises and professions. A man of the name of
MacDougal, who appears to be the chief of the London Chartists,
harangued his rabble a few days ago, declared the meeting should take
place in spite of Government, and announced the most heroic intentions.
He went to the ground (at one of the _rendezvous_), and finding a
magistrate there, asked him if the meeting was illegal, and if the
Government really intended to prevent it. The magistrate referred him to
the printed placard, by which he would see that it was illegal, and that
the Government did intend to prevent it; on which he made a bow, said he
did not mean to oppose the law, would go away, and advise his friends to
do the same; and off he went. The failures have been complete
everywhere, and nobody feels any alarm; nevertheless the spirit and the
sour disaffection, and the vast numbers that are infected with it, are
dangerous, and may some day be productive of serious consequences.

_June 18th._--On Friday the Government had a bad night in the House of
Commons. John Russell brought forward his West India plan (concocted by
Wilson), which was very ill received on all sides, and met by objections
from the most opposite quarters and on the most opposite grounds; he
made a very bad opening speech, but a very good reply. The
Protectionists were very violent, and Hawes was furiously attacked about
a despatch of Sir Charles Grey's, which he had not produced to the West
India Committee, and which he was accused of unfairly suppressing. It
was a very ugly case, and afforded George Bentinck and Disraeli
materials for much triumph and abuse, of which they largely availed
themselves. These personal affairs, which have a discreditable look, are
always very damaging, and there is again a notion abroad of Lord John's
feebleness, and of the impossibility of his conducting the Government
when the times are so difficult and his health so frail. The Government
are very confident that they shall carry their West India measure,
notwithstanding the storm of reproach with which it is assailed.

The curtain has fallen on another act of the Spanish drama, Isturitz
having been civilly sent out of this country. The papers present a case
all to our advantage. Bulwer's despatch of May 30, in vindication of
himself, was very well done, and Palmerston's last note to Isturitz
excellent. The Spaniards have played their cards (not bad ones
originally) so miserably ill, that they have given the game to our
Foreign Office, though it is difficult to say what the stake is worth;
they are, however, like people who had a very good hand, but revoked at
a critical moment, and so lost the game. Bulwer and Palmerston are
triumphantly curvetting about, completely smashing their antagonists in
argument, partly because the latter are blunderers who have deceived
themselves and been misled by others, and partly because they cannot put
forth their true case and the reasons which have influenced them. They
know perfectly well that Palmerston and Bulwer have all along moved
heaven and earth to keep or drive Narvaez out of office, and Montpensier
out of Spain, while Sotomayor has put forward frivolous or unsustainable
pretexts for the violent and rash course they have adopted. Narvaez is
compelled to keep back the real case he had against Bulwer, and the
cause of his animosity towards him. He knows that Bulwer tried to
prevent his coming into power; that he was the life and soul, the leader
and director of the faction opposed to him, whom he instigated to adopt
the most violent measures. I read in Bulwer's own handwriting an account
of his proceedings and of the failure of his schemes. It was through
Serrano all this was to be done, but Serrano was under the influence of
his mother, and Narvaez of his doctor, and these were both corrupted by
the other side. This was the cause of failure. Then Serrano, as all the
world knows, was himself brought over, and he has since given to Narvaez
in writing a detailed account of his communication with Bulwer, and of
the conduct of the latter, but in which the Queen is so implicated and
compromised, that it is impossible for Narvaez to make any use of it.
This Guizot (who knows everything that passes at Madrid) told Reeve, and
I have no doubt it is true, because it corresponds with that letter of
Bulwer's which I myself saw. This is the secret history of the matter.


I find Clarendon's views in respect to the government of Ireland are
becoming known, and producing no small sensation.[57] Lord Barrington
asked me the other night if it was true that his opinions had undergone
a great change, and that he was now convinced Ireland could only be
governed in connexion with and by the support of the Orangemen. I told
him there was, I apprehended, much exaggeration in this, but some truth;
that I conceived a man of his penetration could not have governed
Ireland for a year without seeing that the whole Catholic body were
either disaffected and dangerous, or so timid as to be useless, and that
in fact the Protestants alone were to be depended upon for attachment to
the British connexion, and resolution to support it, but that I was
convinced he would not suffer the ingratitude and misconduct of the
Catholics to interfere with his determination to render equal justice to

[Footnote 57: [When Lord Clarendon went to Ireland in 1847, he was
animated by an earnest desire and hope to conciliate the Irish Catholic
body. He invited their prelates and their leaders to the Viceregal
Lodge, opened his mind to them freely, and expressed with perfect
sincerity his liberal intentions towards them. But the experience of a
year, and more especially the conduct of the Roman Catholics during the
agitation which had prevailed in Ireland, convinced Lord Clarendon that
no reliance at all could be placed on the loyalty of the Catholic
population or of its chiefs. He arrived most reluctantly at this
conclusion, but it never altered his determination to treat the
Catholics with perfect courtesy and justice.]]

_June 24th._--We are on the brink of a crisis and one of a most fearful
nature. This sugar question is going to destroy this Government, as
former sugar questions have destroyed former Governments. Until
yesterday I was satisfied that Government would not think it necessary
to resign if beaten on Pakington's amendment, and Hobhouse, whom I met
the other day, seemed to think they need not. Many of them, however,
thought differently, and yesterday there was a Cabinet, at which they
came to a unanimous resolution to resign. The Duke of Bedford thought as
I had done, and strongly urged Lord John not to resign; this he told me
yesterday morning, but that he had not been able to convince him. After
I saw him I went to Graham; I found him in great alarm at the state of
affairs and the prospect of the country. He said that he expected the
Government would be beaten, and that he did not see how they could go on
if they were; he approved of their resigning; that it was a vote of
censure or want of confidence, and that in fact they had lost all hold
of the House of Commons; that they had done so in great measure by their
own blunders and follies; and he then enumerated many of these; and he
was satisfied they had so lost credit and power that they could not go
on, and therefore if they survived this vote they would fall by some
other. He then told me that Peel's friends had separated themselves from
him, and would vote with the Protectionists; he and Peel should support
the Government, but he did not know for certain of any others who would
go with them; he should do so with great reluctance he owned, but he
would not turn them out. The rest of the Peelites are angry with Peel
for supporting the Government as he had done; they were impatient, could
no longer be restrained, and were resolved to join the Protectionists.
Graham had had no communication with any of them, but he concluded they
were and must be ready to join Stanley and take office under him if he
invited them. He looked on Stanley's coming into office as inevitable. I
asked him what his Cabinet would be: he supposed principally Peel's old
Cabinet with George Bentinck and Disraeli; and he then descanted on all
the evils and dangers to be apprehended from their assumption of power
however brief, much as he did in our former conversation; the great
impetus it would give to reform, and the vast power the Radical and
subversive interest would acquire; in fact, his anticipations are of the
most serious and gloomy character--foreseeing the downfall of the
Church, the House of Lords, and the Crown itself. In the afternoon I
told the Duke of Bedford what he had said of the defection of the
Peelites from their chief, and that this event would be openly
manifested in the course of the present debate. The Duke was to dine at
the Palace, where I knew he would have a great deal of conversation with
the Queen, so I called on him this morning to hear what had passed. She
and the Prince entered into it all, and were aware of what was
impending, for Lord John had prepared her for it. She said she was very
sorry, as everything had gone on very smoothly with one exception. Lord
John has made up his mind to advise her to send for Stanley, and she is
prepared to do so. Nobody now doubts that Stanley, if sent for, means to
undertake it, and this is the state of affairs up to this time. There
was a most scandalous scene in the House of Commons last night,
originating in the virulence of George Bentinck's attack on Hawes; but I
know nothing of it as yet but from the newspaper report.[58]

[Footnote 58: [A fierce discussion took place in the House of Commons on
May 23 on the postponement of Mr. Hume's motion on Reform. The motion
came on, however, on June 20, and after several adjournments was
defeated on July 6 by 358 to 84 votes. But the scene here referred to
took place on a subsequent debate on Lord John Russell's Sugar Bill.]]


_June 25th._--Everybody was full of the scene in the House of Commons,
which seems to have been to the last degree deplorable and disgraceful,
calculated to bring the House of Commons into contempt. Everybody
behaved ill; nothing could exceed the intemperance of George Bentinck's
attack on Grey and Hawes, accusing them in terms not to be mistaken of
wilful suppression of documents, and then the most disgraceful shuffling
and lying to conceal what they had done and escape from the charges
against them. On the other hand, John Russell lost his temper; and as
gentlemen in that predicament usually do, at the same time lost his good
taste and good sense. He twitted George Bentinck with his turf pursuits,
and managed to make what he said appear more offensive than it really
was intended to be. This brought Disraeli to the defence of his friend,
and he poured forth a tide of eloquent invective and sarcasm which was
received with frantic applause by his crew; they roared and hooted and
converted the House of Commons into such a bear-garden as no one ever
saw before. When Hawes got up to defend himself they would not hear him,
and attempted to bellow him down with groans and 'ohs,' spurning all
sense of justice and decency. It was grief and scandal to all reasonable
men. Peel sat it out and never uttered a word, but he cheered Hawes when
he was speaking.


_June 26th._--The state of the Government is like that of a sick man,
the bulletins of whose health continually vary, one hour better with
good hopes, another worse.[59] Yesterday it looked up. Tufnell's list
presented a chance of success; he had sixty-nine doubtfuls, and they now
think a good many of these will vote with Government. Graham told me
yesterday he had thought Government sure to be beaten, but he now found
more people were disposed to go with Peel than he had believed, and that
he now rather expected a majority. Many are waiting to hear Peel's
speech, and will be guided by him. Everybody is talking, however, of
what is to be done, and whom the Queen is to send for. The Duke of
Bedford has persuaded Lord John not to say anything about resigning in
his speech, and instead of at once advising the Queen to send for
Stanley, to consult Peel as to the advice he shall give her. Melbourne
has written to her and advised her to send for Peel. Beauvale told me
this, and his notion is that a Government may be formed with Aberdeen at
the head of it. It is incredible what harm Lord John's foolish speech on
Friday night has done; it will very likely influence the votes, and
certainly will prove very injurious to the Government; everybody thinks,
let this end as it may, that we have got to the beginning of the end. At
night I met Jocelyn, who told me that he meant to vote with Lincoln and
Sidney Herbert against Government. I asked him how they could all be so
foolish as not to follow Peel's example and do as he did. He then
informed me that these Peelites have no intention whatever of joining
Stanley and taking office with him; their notion is that this
Government is so weak and inefficient that it cannot stand, and that it
will be found so impossible to form any other, that it cannot fail to
fall into Peel's hands, and they expect by a sort of gentle violence to
compel him to take it, having persuaded themselves that he will find a
general support, though they can't well say how or where. Such are the
tactics of the _impatients_; they hate the Whigs, and imagine they can
become a Government and be recruited by moderate Conservatives and
moderate Radicals, setting aside Whigs and Protectionists. He hinted to
me that _Peel might have prevented their taking this course_ if he
disapproved of it. I told him they were plucking the fruit before it was
ripe. On the other hand Graham discoursed largely on the impossibility
of Peel's coming into office, and repeated what he has so often said
before about party governments; the hatred of the Whigs, of Peel, and
still more of himself; Peel's fear for his health, and the impression
made on him by the fact that nobody had ever led the House of Commons
after sixty, which Macaulay told him. I wasted a great deal of time in
arguing with him against objections which were all simulated on his
part. Every now and then he let out in the way of admissions certain
things which showed how ready and anxious he really is to come in again
whenever he can. I asked him why Peel had not endeavoured to keep his
youngsters straight, and at all events given them good advice for their
conduct. He declared that he had done so. His conduct is not very clear,
and I have not that opinion of his purity and singleness of purpose that
would make me believe his course has been altogether candid,
straightforward, and fair, not such as the Duke of Wellington's would
have been, but it is very difficult to know what he has really said and
done, and impossible to know what he really thinks, wishes, and means.
We were kept all yesterday in a state of intense curiosity by the news
of the fighting in the streets of Paris.[60]

[Footnote 59: [Lord John Russell brought in his Bill for reducing the
Sugar Duties on June 16. On the 19th, Sir John Pakington proposed an
amendment, condemning the scheme of the Government. It was on this point
that the fate of the Ministry turned. Lord George Bentinck envenomed the
debate by accusing the Colonial Office (in which Mr. Hawes was Under
Secretary) of the suppression of documents. Lord John Russell replied
that such tricks were not resorted to by men high in office, but were
rather characteristic of men engaged in the pursuits the noble lord had
long followed. Upon this, Mr. Disraeli retorted that Lord George
Bentinck was not to be bullied either in the ring or from the Treasury
Bench. Sir John Pakington's amendment was rejected on June 29 by 260 to

[Footnote 60: [The great uprising of the revolutionary party in Paris
took place on June 23. The city was declared in a state of siege, and
General Cavaignac commanded the operations of the troops. The battle
(for such it was) lasted three days, and the losses on both sides were
enormous. The Archbishop of Paris was killed in front of a barricade,
and several general officers fell. This was one of the most sanguinary
contests which had till then occurred in the whole course of the French
Revolution. In the end the troops were victorious, and General Cavaignac
was placed at the head of the Government.]]

_June 30th._--On Tuesday I went to the House of Lords to hear Lord Grey
in the matter of the suppressed despatches, and his defence against the
various charges brought by George Bentinck and others. He had been
exceedingly excited and was resolved to bring the matter forward, though
many people thought he had better leave it as it was, and rest satisfied
with what had passed in the House of Commons. He promised himself,
however, a signal vindication and triumph, and the pleasure of severely
chastising his accusers, but it turned out a very unfortunate night, and
a painful one to those who heard the discussion. Grey made a long and
not judicious speech. He entered into too many details, and said much
that he had better have let alone. Then Stanley rose, and after a
complimentary exordium set heartily to work, made a _réchauffé_ of
George Bentinck's and Disraeli's speeches with his own peculiar sauce of
style and diction, and made as bitter, ill-natured, and (all things
considered) as ill-timed an attack as ever was heard. But he wound it up
with a charge in reference to the memorial of certain planters, which
was certainly well founded and made a very disagreeable impression. On
this point Lord Grey was clearly in the wrong and could make no
sufficient defence for himself; it has damaged him very much, and the
Government through him; and this affair has altogether turned out very
unhappily, for it has not only wounded the credit and character, and
thereby impaired the strength of the Government, but it has struck at
the honour of public men, and this is in these times a great evil. There
was a very severe article in the 'Times' yesterday morning on Grey,
which was, however, not more than the truth. This affair coming at a
time when Government has nothing to spare in point of credit and
authority is peculiarly disastrous.


In the meantime, however, the division on Pakington's motion was
generally known to be safe, and accordingly there was a majority of
fifteen against it last night, which was ten or fifteen less than was
expected; on Sunday last Graham told me that he thought there would be a
majority, as he found many people meant to wait for Peel's speech and
would probably vote as he did. We then discussed what should be done if
the Government should be in a minority, and consequently resign. The
same evening I wrote him a note and told him that I thought if this did
happen Lord John would consult Peel before he gave the Queen any advice.
I am sure he told Peel this, for on Monday night I got a note from him
(Graham) begging to see me the next morning. I went to him, when he said
with great earnestness that he wanted to impress upon me that it was of
the greatest consequence that the Queen (in case the necessity occurred)
should send for Stanley forthwith, and that without consulting anybody
Lord John should give her this advice. It was very desirable that there
should be no appearance of any concert between him and Peel, while a
consultation between them would certainly be known to Stanley, and would
take away much of the grace of sending for him; that Stanley should have
no excuse for declining, and the Queen should tell him she was left
without a Government and that she placed herself in his hands, giving
him _carte blanche_, and telling him she was prepared to agree to
everything he proposed to her. He said he did not believe Stanley would
be able to form a Government, still less to carry it on if he did form
one; but he thought it of the greatest consequence that his failure
should be complete, and that every opportunity and advantage should be
given to him. He urged this with an unction which showed me clearly
enough, if I had before had any doubt, which I had not, what his secret
thoughts and intentions are, and that he is quite prepared, and Peel
too, to come into office provided circumstances turn out favourably for
Peel's resumption of power. I promised I would take care that this
should be done, and yesterday morning I told the Duke of Bedford, who
was just going off to Endsleigh. Every day I find more evidence of the
way in which people's minds are turning towards Peel and anticipating
his return to power. Emily Eden told me that Auckland was very anxious
for a junction, and quite ready to give up his own office to facilitate
it. Matters are not yet ripe for such a consummation, but it must end in
this manner.


The details which reach us of the extraordinary contest which has just
taken place at Paris are equally horrible and curious. Hitherto we have
been struck by the absence of that ferocity which distinguished the
first Revolution, and the little taste there seemed for shedding blood;
but the ferocity of the people broke out upon this occasion in the most
terrible examples. There was a savage rancour about this exceeding the
usual virulence of civil contests; the people not only murdered, but
tortured, their prisoners. Since the victory the prisoners have been
executed by hundreds, and with hardly any form of trial; indeed, no
trial was possible or necessary, they were rebels taken _en flagrant
délit_, at once rebels and prisoners of war. One man, when he was going
to be shot, said he did not care, for he had had his revenge already,
and he pulled out of his pocket twenty tongues that had been cut out.
All agree that the organisation, the military skill displayed, and the
vast resources the insurgents possessed in the material of war, were as
extraordinary as unaccountable. The preparations must have been long
before made, for the houses of their principal fortifications were
perforated for the purpose of communication and escape, the staircase
removed, and there were telegraphic signals arranged by lights on the
tops of the buildings. There certainly was a commander-in-chief who
presided over the whole, but nobody knows who he was; and the Government
have never yet been able to ascertain who the leaders were. Although
distress and famine were the prime causes of this great struggle, it is
remarkable that there was no plundering or robbery; on the contrary,
they were strictly forbidden and apparently never attempted. It is the
only example, so far as I know, that history records of a pitched battle
in the streets of a great capital between the regular army and the
armed civil power on one side, and the populace of the town militarily
armed and organised also on the other, nobody knowing how the latter
were organised or by whom directed. Colonel Towneley, who came from
Paris last night, told me that it is believed that the old Municipal
Guard, who were disbanded by the Provisional Government after the
Revolution, had a great deal to do with it, but that the skill with
which the positions had been chosen or fortified was perfect. Prodigies
of valour seem to have been performed on both sides, and the incidents
were to the last degree romantic. An Archbishop appearing as a minister
of peace in the midst of the fray, and mounting the barricades to exhort
the living and to bless the dying amidst the din and fury of the
contest, and then perishing a martyr to his attempt to stop the effusion
of blood; women mixing in the contest, carrying ammunition and supplies,
daring everything, their opponents shrinking from hunting these Amazons,
and at last being obliged to fire upon them in self-defence; the strange
artifices employed to convey arms and cartouches. The Garde Mobile,
composed of the _gamins de Paris_, signalised themselves with peculiar
heroism, and it is fortunate that they were on the side of the
Government instead of on that of the people. There was one boy, not
above fifteen or sixteen, a frightful little urchin, who scaled three
barricades one after another and carried off the colours from each;
Cavaignac embraced him and gave him the Legion of Honour from his own
person, and he was carried in triumph and crowned with laurels to a
great banquet of his comrades. But it would be endless to write down the
particulars of a contest which fills the columns of every newspaper now,
and will be recorded in innumerable books hereafter.

_July 5th._--Since the division on Pakington's motion the Government
stock has considerably risen, and they are now generally considered safe
for the present and for some indefinite time to come; they will probably
get their Sugar Bill through. The loud complaints that have been made of
this waste of time in Parliament have not been without effect, and
there is an appearance of getting on with business. Then the Chancellor
of the Exchequer's announcement that the deficit of 2,000,00_l._ will be
reduced to 500,000_l._, and that no new taxes will be wanted, has put
people in better humour. The funds are rapidly rising, the harvest
promises to be good, and on the whole our prospects are considerably
improved within the last week. The state of the Continent, though still
bad enough, is somewhat more promising; there appears to be something of
a lull from exhaustion and perplexity, there is a chance of the Danish
quarrel being arranged. The great victory in Paris, the establishment of
a strong military Government, and the evident determination of the
Assembly to promote the cause of law and order, and to put down all the
wild theories which have been in the ascendant for the last three
months, have largely tended to brighten the political sky; and this
example may encourage others to act with the same vigour and in the same
spirit. The whole world is influenced by all that is done at Paris. But
in the midst of this improved prospect we have enough to disturb our
tranquillity; it will be impossible for a long time for the Continent to
be restored to a healthy state, and its disturbed and impoverished
condition fearfully reacts upon us, and paralyses that foreign trade on
which not merely the prosperity but the subsistence of vast masses of
our population depends. We cannot therefore look forward to anything but
great distress and suffering in our manufacturing population; and this,
together with Ireland, are enough to keep us in hot water.


The Government, though safer, are not stronger, and nobody thinks they
can go on very long, though without any clear idea what is to turn them
out, or what is to succeed. It is pretty generally understood now that
Stanley has never had the least notion of forming a Government, nor even
of making the attempt. Had the event occurred he would have made a
pirouette and whisked off; having done his mischief and had his fun, he
would have considered his work over. It was very significant that while
all the world was fancying he meditated becoming Prime Minister, he
accepted the office of Steward of the Jockey Club, to which high
dignity he is this day to be promoted. I told Charles Wood this the
other day, when he said he had never believed Stanley seriously
contemplated being Minister, and that it was clear there were only two
men in the country who could be--John Russell and Peel.

Meanwhile the Peelites are playing an odd game: they appear to be
disengaging themselves from their chief, without joining the Tories, and
they are so conducting themselves as to make any junction with the Whigs
very difficult. It is never easy to know what Peel himself is _at_, and
what his real sentiments are. If I may judge from a few words which
dropped from Graham the last time I saw him, he and Peel (who are man
and wife politically) are provoked with their followers and resent their
conduct. What he said was something about 'letting them see the
consequences of their insubordination,' or some such expressions. It was
the _tone_ in which it was said that struck me. I do not know to which
of them they were meant especially to apply, but I suppose to Lincoln
and Sidney Herbert.

Brougham told me yesterday that he had been to see Louis Philippe, who
had described to him the military men who are now ruling France. He said
Cavaignac was a brave and good soldier who had been very rapidly
promoted, that he was a downright but honest Republican. When he went
with the King's sons to Algiers, he told them, he would serve their
father with fidelity, but not from conviction, for his sentiments were
republican. He is not a man of great ability; Bedeau, Lamoricière, and
Changarnier are all abler men, but they are thoroughly imbued with ideas
of military despotism. Everybody believes that the late Government
connived at the _émeute_. Gabriel Delessert told me it was impossible
such preparations could be made, and that they should be so organised
and abundantly provided without the knowledge of the police.

_Endsleigh,_[61] _July 14th._--I escaped from the 'fumum strepitumque
Romæ,' from racing and politics, on Monday last, and came down with De
Mauley to this place. We have passed four days here pleasantly enough;
it is exquisitely beautiful, so is the country round about it; a mass of
comfort and luxury; house perfection, and everything kept as English
houses alone are. This place was a creation of the Duke's. The house,
which is a cottage, cost between 70,000_l._ and 80,000_l._, and the
grounds, laid out with inimitable taste, must have cost thousands more.
There are sixty miles of grass rides and gravel walks. Yesterday we went
to see a farmhouse, once one of the hunting seats of the Abbot of
Tavistock, a great man whose ample domains were granted to the Earl of
Bedford, who was gorged with ecclesiastical spoils here and at Woburn.
We then went to see the great copper mine discovered three or four years
ago, the best and most profitable in the West of England. The ground was
leased three and a half years ago to certain adventurers, who covenanted
to give the Duke one-fifteenth of the _gross_ produce; and as soon (if
ever) as they made 30,000_l._ a year from it, one-twelfth. After some
fruitless attempts they came upon this lode very near the surface, and
found it of the best copper. A fortune was made _instanter_. The shares
were at one time worth 700,000_l._, i.e. 700_l._ apiece; since that
there has been a great fall, but they are now worth 200_l._ apiece. The
expense of working is, however, so much increased, that the Duke's agent
told me he got nearly one-half the _net_ profits. All this country is
full of copper, but the Duke told me he was resolved not to grant any
more leases for mining, although he had applications every day and could
make a great deal of money by giving them; but he does not want the
money, and he is averse to promote the spirit of gambling, which money
speculations very generally excite among the people, often greatly to
their loss and always to the detriment of the agriculture of the
country; the latter is neglected for the chances of the former; the
farmers let their carts and horses to the miners instead of employing
them on their own farms; and though mining is both a profitable and a
popular employment, the Duke deems it so mischievous that he will not
suffer any more of his ground to be broken up for the chance of the
copper that may be found underneath it. I have not heard a word here in
the way of politics.

[Footnote 61: [The Duke of Bedford's residence in Devonshire.]]


_London, July 21st._--Left Endsleigh on Saturday and went to Plymouth;
received by two Admirals to whom Auckland recommended us, and we saw
everything--the breakwater, the new docks, a magnificent work, and Mount
Edgecumbe. On Sunday, after church, went on board the 'Caledonia' (120),
and visited every part of the ship; then to the citadel, the whole thing
well worth seeing. On Sunday afternoon went on to Exeter; in the morning
saw the Cathedral and went to church; a beautiful choir, church handsome
inside, poor in monuments. Then De Mauley and I separated. I went to
Wells; was delighted with the Cathedral and with the Bishop's palace. On
Tuesday to John Thynne's parsonage, Walton, near Glastonbury; on
Wednesday returned to town, having seen a great deal and passed the time
very agreeably.

When I got here, found that Clarendon, whose arrival had been announced
to me, and who was to have come on Monday, had been obliged to give up
coming in consequence of the threatening aspect of affairs in Ireland,
and he himself writes word that he does not think an outbreak can be
prevented.[62] The disgust felt here at the state of Ireland and the
incurable madness of the people, constantly worked upon by the
agitators, is now so great that most people appear to think the sooner
the collision takes place the better, and that nothing is now left to be
done but to fight it out and reconquer the country. I have certainly
arrived at a conviction that no political measures can now avail to
restore peace and to cement the Union, which in point of fact only now
exists in name. There is no union for any of the real purposes of a
union. What makes the Irish question, the more dreadful is that the
potatoes are again failing, and starvation will be the inevitable lot of
the people. In that emergency, when it arrives, the Irish will look in
vain to England, for no subscriptions or parliamentary grants or aid of
any sort, public or private, will they get; the sources of charity and
benevolence are dried up; the current which flowed last year has been
effectually checked by the brutality and ingratitude of the people, and
the rancorous fury and hatred with which they have met our exertions to
serve them. The prospect, neither more nor less than that of civil war
and famine, is dreadful, but it is unavoidable.

[Footnote 62: [On July 18 the Lord Lieutenant issued a Proclamation
against the treasonable proceedings of the Repeal Clubs in Dublin,
Waterford, Cork, and Drogheda. On July 21 Lord John Russel announced
that the Habeas Corpus Act would be suspended in Ireland. The Bill was
brought in on the 22nd, and carried through the House of Commons in one
day, and passed the House of Lords on the 24th. It came into operation
in Dublin on the 26th.]]

John Russell gave notice the other night of the measures he meant to go
on with, and those he meant to abandon; nobody expected anything more,
so no great complaints were made. The Government is safe enough, but
they fall more and more into discredit. There has been a blunder about
the sugar duties, which makes Ministers look ridiculous, and it is in
fact the constant repetition of small things which damages their credit,
and makes them so miserably weak. The funds have been rapidly rising and
trade improving little by little, but this Irish affair has checked the
rise and produced alarm. Then the potatoes are failing in England, and
we have every chance of low prices of agricultural produce without
abundance, and if this should happen we shall have an unquiet winter. So
far as I can form an opinion from what I heard in my tour, the state of
the country is not satisfactory. Chartism seems to increase, and the
masses, the operatives in villages, are restless, ill-disposed, and want
they know not what. It is a great evil that while education is
sufficiently diffused to enable most people to read, they get either
from inclination or convenience nothing but the most mischievous
publications, which only serve to poison their minds, to render them
discontented, and teach them to look to all sorts of wild schemes as
calculated to better their position. The best part of the press (the
'Times,' for instance) seldom finds its way to the cottages and
reading-rooms of the lower classes, who are fed by the cheap Radicalism
of the 'Weekly Dispatch,' and other journals, unknown almost to the
higher classes of society, which are darkly working to undermine the
productions of our social and political system. The lessons of
experience which might be so well taught by the events now passing in
France and elsewhere, are not presented to the minds of the people in a
manner suggestive of wholesome inferences, but on the contrary they are
only used as stimulants and for purposes of misrepresentation and


_July 22nd._--Last night Lord John Russell gave notice of a Bill to
enable the Lord Lieutenant to apprehend any suspected persons, and Lord
Lansdowne did the same in the House of Lords. Lord Lansdowne made a very
animated speech, but it was impossible not to think that all he said and
was going to do might as well have been said and done long ago. Brougham
said as much; Stanley spoke very well; and the announcement was hailed
with universal satisfaction. It would have been still better in my
opinion if they had suspended the Habeas Corpus at once.

_July 24th._--The House of Commons was wonderful on the 22nd; nobody had
the least idea of it, not the Cabinet. It was an inspiration of John
Russell's; he began by making an excellent speech, an hour and a half.
When they divided he made a speech in the lobby, begged the people not
to go away, and said he meant to propose to go on with the Bill. To his
own amazement as much as anybody's, he found no opposition, and carried
the Bill through at the sitting. By seven o'clock it was completed and
he was on his way to Richmond, where I dined with him. He was in high
spirits; Sheil and Ward were there, and we talked over the payment of
the priests, which we all agreed (Lord John included) must be soon done,
or at least attempted. Yesterday was spent in searching for precedents,
to see if it was possible to pass the Bill to-day through the Lords. The
Chancellor, Duke of Wellington, and others, said it was impossible, as
notice must be given of the suspension of the Standing Orders. Lord
Lansdowne said if only _one_ precedent could be found he would take it,
and carry the Bill through; but if not, they must wait till to-morrow. I
should have _made_ the precedent: a more fitting occasion could not be.
However, what was done in the House of Commons will infallibly produce
all the effect that is required, and will strike terror into the Irish
rebels. It was a great event, for which neither the Lord Lieutenant nor
anybody in Ireland will have been the least prepared.


_July 31st._--At Goodwood all last week, but I found no time to write or
do anything there. The day after we arrived we were startled by the
intelligence of the rebellion in Ireland having actually broken out; it
was not, however, believed, and turned out to be a mere hoax.[63]
Instead of breaking out, it has not shown a symptom of vitality, and all
the swaggering and boasting and the dreadful threats and exhibition of
physical force have absolutely shrunk into nothing and evaporated before
the formidable preparations and determined attitude of the Government.
The leaders are skulking about nobody knows where; the clubs are either
suppressed or self-dissolved; the people exhibit no disposition to rise;
the sound and fury which were echoed and re-echoed from the clubs and
meetings, and through the traitorous press, have been all at once
silenced. The whole thing is suddenly become so contemptible as to be
almost ridiculous. My own conviction was that there would be no
outbreak; but I did not contemplate that all these mighty preparations,
this club organisation and universal arming would all at once dwindle
into nothingness and general submission just as easily as the Chartist
demonstrations did here some weeks ago; but so it is, and it is now
pretty clear that in a short time Ireland will be just as quiet and
submissive as if Conciliation Hall had never existed. The most
satisfactory part of the business is the good conduct of the Catholic
clergy, who appear to have very generally used their influence over the
people to deter them from their rebellious courses. It is to be hoped
that the recollection of their behaviour on this trying occasion will
have a considerable effect in paving the way for the payment of the
Irish clergy, when that vital question comes on, as very soon it must.
George Grey declared himself in favour of it in a speech which he made
on Saturday last, and it is clear that as soon as Ireland is thoroughly
pacified, this question must be regularly taken up by the Government,
and in spite of all the opposition which pride, prejudice, and bigotry
will throw in its way, it must be forced through. It seems at first
sight as if the best thing which could happen was the bloodless
suppression of this talking rebellion, but I am not sure that it would
not have been better in the end if the leaders had succeeded in bringing
together a body of insurgents, and if a signal chastisement and
ignominious dispersion of them had taken place. There would be a great
advantage in letting them see the fearful consequences of a collision,
and as far as England is concerned, the people of this country would be
better disposed to clemency and conciliation after they had severely
punished the Irish for their turbulence and folly. As matters are,
though there will be no outbreak, no bloodshed, and an easy triumph, it
will leave the great chronic disease of the country just where it was;
the disaffection, the hatred of the Union, the enmity to law, will
remain the same; the people will be subdued but not reconciled; and
these feelings will be the stronger because the distress will be greater
than ever. No country can be so shaken to pieces without enormous
distress to the masses; and if the potato crop again fails (as it has
threatened to do) the misery will be appalling and irremediable. By what
has passed and is still passing, England will not be softened towards
Ireland, but contempt will be added to resentment.

[Footnote 63: [Upon the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act in Ireland,
Smith O'Brien and the other leaders of the Repeal movement fled to
Ballingarry, where they were ignominiously hunted down by a party of
fifty policemen and soon afterwards captured. The crisis had arrived,
and the whole agitation collapsed.]]

Clarendon will, I take it, have been astonished at the result
corresponding so little with the beginnings of this Irish manifestation.
He evidently considered an outbreak as imminent and almost certain. The
Duke of Bedford showed me a letter from him which he received at
Goodwood, bitterly complaining of the Government for not having at an
earlier period furnished him with the powers he demanded, and saying
that though he had repeatedly asked both John Russell and George Grey to
do so, they never would. He said he had never to any human being
disclosed what had passed between himself and the Government on this
matter, but he evidently feels deeply hurt both at their not attending
to his request, and at the blame of stronger and earlier measures not
having been applied for, being thrown upon him. It is certainly true
that the Government have allowed it to be believed that they have all
along been ruled by his advice, and that they have done at each
successive stage of the business all that he desired. Even Lord
Lansdowne in the House of Lords the other night declared that there had
been the most perfect agreement all along between the Government and the
Lord Lieutenant.


I dined at Holland House yesterday, and sat next to old Sir Robert
Adair, eighty-five years old, but with mind very fresh. He lived in
great intimacy with all the 'great of old, who still rule our spirits
from their own,' and I believe possesses a great store of anecdotes of
bygone days. He gave me an account of young Burke's preventing the
reconciliation between his father and Fox, which, however, is too well
known to require repetition; but he told me how the Duke of Portland[64]
came to be put at the head of the Whig party on the death of Lord
Rockingham in 1782, which I had not heard before. There was a meeting of
the party to choose their chief; the Duke of Richmond put forth his
pretensions, but he was so great a Radical (having views of
Parliamentary Reform not only far beyond those of any man of that day,
but beyond the Reform we have actually got), that they were afraid of
him; and Charles Fox got up and said that he thought he, as leader of
the House of Commons, had claims at least as good as the Duke of
Richmond's, but that they ought both of them to waive their own claims,
and in his judgement the man they ought to place at their head was the
Duke of Portland. This compromise was agreed to, but the Duke of
Richmond was so disgusted that he joined Lord Shelburne. My grandfather
was a very honourable, high-minded, but ordinary man; his abilities were
very second-rate, and he had no power of speaking; and his election to
the post of leader of the great Whig party only shows how aristocratic
that party was, and what weight and influence the aristocracy possessed
in those days; they would never have endured to be led by a Peel or a
Canning. Adair told me that old Lord George Cavendish expressed the
greatest indignation at their party being led by Burke in the House of
Commons, and it was this prevalent feeling, together with the
extraordinary modesty of Burke, who had no vanity for himself, though a
great deal for his son, which accounts for the fact, so extraordinary
according to our ideas and practice, that though Burke led the Whig
party in the House of Commons for four or five years, when that party
came into power he was not offered a place in the Cabinet, but put in a
subordinate office, which he condescended to accept, seeing men so
immeasurably inferior to himself occupying the highest posts.

[Footnote 64: [William Henry Cavendish, third Duke of Portland, born
April 14, 1738; died October 30, 1809, haying been twice Prime Minister.
He was the father of Mr. Greville's mother, Lady Charlotte Greville.]]

_August 5th._--In Ireland there has hardly been a semblance of
resistance; flight and terror and sulky submission have been the order
of the day. Meanwhile the military preparations and arrangements have
not been relaxed, and the arrests have been multiplied. Hitherto the
search for O'Brien and the other leaders has been fruitless, and it is
currently reported that the former has escaped; letters have been
written with detailed accounts of his escape, but this is believed to be
only a trick to facilitate it. The rebellion is effectually suppressed,
but the state of Ireland is lamentable, and a great and long futurity of
difficulties and evils may be expected. Very few arms have been taken;
they are all hid by the peasantry, to be drawn forth when occasion
offers itself.

Brougham in the House of Lords delivered a flaming panegyric on
Hardinge's patriotism in going to Ireland, and the Duke of Wellington's
wisdom in appointing him; but the real truth is that he was selected
for this post by the Queen and Lord John Russell, without the knowledge
and not entirely to the satisfaction of the Duke. Hardinge himself,
though he evinced a proper readiness and immediately consented to go,
begged he might be released as soon as possible. Arbuthnot told the Duke
of Bedford that it was a pity Lord John had not consulted the Duke about
sending Hardinge, instead of only telling him after it was settled,
which sufficiently shows the Duke's feeling; and Clarendon, though he
made no objection, evidently did not like it. If they had known how
little there would be to do, he probably would not have been sent to
Ireland at all. The Duke does not think very highly of Hardinge's
military talents. The two men whom he places his confidence in are Sir
Charles Napier and Sir Harry Smith; he was asked the question, and this
was his answer; and moreover he thinks that on one occasion in India
Hardinge committed a dangerous military blunder which Gough repaired;
whereas all the world believes that Gough, though a very brave soldier,
was a very inefficient commander, and that to Hardinge was attributable
the success of the Sikh campaign.


The true history of that campaign is as yet little known, but whenever
it is fairly put before the world it will exhibit one of the most
striking and extraordinary examples of the chances and accidents on
which the fate of empires depend that has ever been recorded. I have
often heard that the events of those Sikh battles were very precarious,
but it was only the other day that I heard on what a marvellous accident
the last great battle depended. Hardinge considered the battle lost, and
the destruction of his army inevitable. Not expecting to survive the
defeat, he gave his watch and some other things about him to one of his
officers, desiring him to have them conveyed to his wife, with the
assurance that his last thoughts were with her. At this juncture a staff
officer (whose name I did not hear), who from nervousness or fear had
lost his head, went to the commander of our cavalry, and told him that
he was the bearer of an order to him to retire; that officer asked if he
had no written order, he said he had not, but he spoke so positively as
to the instruction with which he was charged, that the other believed
him and began to draw off his men. This movement was seen by the Sikhs,
and, mistaking its purport, they fancied it indicated a disposition to
take them in flank and cut off their communications. They were seized
with a sudden panic, and immediately commenced their retreat: it was
thus that this victory was won when it was all but lost, and won by the
mistake or the invention of an officer who in terror or confusion had
communicated an order which never was given to him, and which he had
himself invented or imagined. It is universally agreed that if we had
been defeated in that action our Eastern Empire would have been lost to
us, for the prestige of our power would have been lost, and all India
would have risen to cast off our yoke. After the action the question
arose how this officer was to be dealt with, but it was not considered
prudent to bring him to a court-martial, when the consequences of his
conduct had been such as they were, and the inquiry might have revealed
the magnitude of the peril from which we had escaped.

_August 8th._--At Latimers from Saturday till Monday. Called on
Wriothesley Russell at Chenies, and Lady Wriothesley told me that there
is not far off a Chartist establishment; a society of Chartists located
and living on land bought by Chartist subscriptions; a sort of communist
society. It has existed some years, but is now falling into decay.
Feargus O'Connor spoke to Charles Russell about it, and said he wished
his brother would take some notice of them, _for they liked to be
noticed by people of rank_; and, he added, 'Collectively they are with
me, but individually they are with you.' In these words a great lesson
and significant fact are contained well worth attention.

On arriving in town yesterday found the news of Smith O'Brien's capture,
which some think a good thing and some a bad one; some say he is mad,
some are for hanging him, some for transporting, others for letting him
go; in short, _quot homines tot sententiæ_. He is a good-for-nothing,
conceited, contemptible fellow, who has done a great deal of mischief
and deserves to be hung, but it will probably be very difficult to
convict him.

_August 10th._--On Tuesday evening Stanley made a brisk attack on the
Government for their Sicilian policy; Lord Lansdowne made a moderate
defence.[65] They refused to say whether they had or had not instructed
Admiral Parker to prevent the Neapolitan fleet from attacking Sicily,
from which it is of course inferred that such instructions have been
given him in violation of the principle of non-intervention and the law
of nations. The man in the Cabinet who has been most strenuous for
intervention, after Palmerston, has been Grey.

[Footnote 65: [An insurrection broke out in Naples on May 16, and soon
afterwards the people of Sicily declared their independence. This
movement was much favoured and indirectly aided by the British

_August 16th._--Went on Saturday with Lord Lansdowne and Granville to
Stowe:[66] it was worth seeing, but a sorry sight; a dull, undesirable
place, not without magnificence. The garden front is very stately and
palatial; the house full of trash mixed with some fine things;
altogether a painful monument of human vanity, folly, and, it may be
added, wickedness, for wickedness it is thus recklessly to ruin a great
house and wife and children.

[Footnote 66: [The Duke of Buckingham being ruined, all the contents of
the great house of the Grenvilles at Stowe were sold by auction. All
London went to see the place, the furniture, and the curiosities. Even
the deer in the park were for sale.]]


Thence to Nuneham, a charming place, and on Monday to London. I heard an
anecdote at Nuneham which was new to me: Harcourt gave it on the
authority of Sir Robert Peel. He said that when the discussion took
place about the East Retford question during the Duke of Wellington's
Government, _in the Cabinet_ Peel was for giving the representation to
one of the great towns, and Huskisson against it; that Peel was
overruled by a majority of his colleagues and consequently took the part
he did in Parliament; while Huskisson was induced to change his opinion
and to take in Parliament the opposite line from that which he had taken
in the Cabinet; he and Peel, in fact, both changing sides. His
colleagues were naturally very indignant with Huskisson, and this
accounts for the bitterness which the Duke of Wellington evinced, and
for his celebrated 'No mistake.' This seemed to me a strange story,
though some people there wondered I had never heard it before. If it be
true, it is equally discreditable to both Peel and Huskisson; in the
former it was both a fault and a crime; it was a great error in
judgement and very wrong in itself.

I found a letter from Clarendon when I got to town, telling me he had
been 'much bothered by the vacillation and timidity of our rulers on
this occasion as on the preceding ones, when I was compelled to insist
on further power for the protection of life and the maintenance of law
and order. It is not pleasant to have to poke a Cabinet into a sense of
duty, or to extract by threats as if for a personal favour that which
should be readily acceded to when the public necessity for it was proved
and manifest. However, that has been my task, and I don't much care if
the thing is achieved and nobody knows it.... Against the clubs a law of
some kind was necessary. No one could doubt that, and so I insisted,
making _for the third time_ my remaining here conditional upon it. So
they succumbed, but not with a good grace.' All along the Government
have been afraid to adopt a vigorous and decided course, and have been
fencing with Clarendon, who has insisted on it. The consequences of
endeavouring to make the law work are now apparent in the failure of the
first of the trials. It is trying to make bricks without straw; the
people will not work the machinery of the law, but, on the contrary,
abhor and will oppose the law itself; everybody sees that and still the
Government do not dare openly say so, and adopt the measures that are
necessary to cope with the difficulty. There was an excellent article in
the 'Morning Chronicle' yesterday in this sense. I pointed it out to
Lord Lansdowne, who expressed his concurrence with it. However, for the
present I believe Clarendon is in possession of power enough to keep the
country in order. He can imprison everybody and put down the clubs by so
doing, but he will never be able to obtain convictions. Indeed, it
would probably be better they should all fail at first than have one
succeed every now and then, just enough to prevent their having recourse
to another system.

The brilliant success of the Austrians and the disgraceful termination
of Charles Albert's campaign[67] has produced a fresh interest in
foreign affairs and great anxiety as to the result of the offered
mediation of England and France. Palmerston's conduct throughout the
Milanese war has been very extraordinary, but I will pronounce no
positive opinion on it till I am better informed of all the hidden
circumstances in which the question has been involved. What appears is
this: some time ago the Austrians invited our mediation, sent Hummelauer
over here for that purpose, and were prepared to make great sacrifices
to settle the question. Palmerston refused; he thought the Austrian
cause was irretrievably ruined, that all Italy would be lost to them,
and he wished that result to take place. Old Radetzky _cunctando
restituit rem_, and the tide of war was on a sudden victoriously rolled
back, and the King of Sardinia completely baffled. Then Palmerston
stepped in with his offer of mediation when there were no longer any
parties to mediate between, or matters to mediate about, losing sight of
his own conduct in the Swiss affair, when after the defeat of the
Sunderbund he declared that the quarrel was decided and no mediation was
necessary. He is now on the best possible terms with Cavaignac, and
acting cordially with France. Cavaignac seems to have behaved with great
frankness and good sense; he sent M. de Beaumont here with the most
amicable professions;[68] he said that his object was to preserve peace,
did not attempt to disguise the fact of the deplorable state of his
finances, and the great object it therefore was to abstain from war;
but he appears to have assumed that the honour of France was in some way
concerned in delivering by fair means or foul the Milanese from the
Austrian yoke. How far Palmerston has admitted this pretension remains
to be seen, and we do not yet know whether he has come to an
understanding with France as to what is to be done by her in the event
of the joint mediation being declined; whether or no he has tacitly or
expressly assented to the invasion of Italy by the French, and their
making war on Austria to expel her from Lombardy. It would hardly appear
possible that he should have done so, if it were not for his conduct in
reference to Naples and Sicily, for if it turns out to be true that the
British Admiral is ordered to prevent the King of Naples from making any
attempt to reconquer Sicily, he cannot object to the French Government's
interfering in the affairs of the North of Italy. But if the Austrians
reject the mediation (as they probably will), and Cavaignac sends an
army across the Alps with our connivance and consent, we shall not play
a very dignified part, and I question if such policy will find general
acceptance here.

[Footnote 67: [On July 25 the Piedmontese army was defeated by the
Austrians under Marshal Radetzky, near Verona, and again three days
later at Gotto. Milan capitulated on August 5, and thus ended, for the
time, the hopes of independence of Italy.]]

[Footnote 68: [M. Gustave de Beaumont came to London as French
Ambassador under Cavaignac. His accomplished wife was a grand-daughter
of M. de Lafayette.]]


_August 20th._--On Wednesday night Disraeli made a very brilliant speech
on foreign affairs in the House of Commons, and Palmerston a very able
reply which was received with great applause and admiration. It was,
however, only a simulated contest between them; for Dizzy, while
pretending to attack Palmerston with much fire and fury, did not in
reality touch him on difficult points. In reference to the mediation,
Palmerston had with his usual good luck received on the morning of the
debate a communication from the Austrian Minister stating the desire of
his Court to avail itself of our mediation, which he employed with great
effect. His speech was certainly very dexterous, and all the more so
because he contrived to glide undetected over the weak points, and to
satisfy the House of Commons without giving them any information

All the people who come from Paris represent the state of affairs there
and in France in a curious light. The tranquillity is complete, the
submission general, and there is little probability of any fresh
outbreak, none of a successful one. The Republic is universally
despised, detested, and ridiculed, but no other form of Government and
no Pretender is in much favour or demanded by public feeling or
inclination. They hate the Republic because they are conscious that the
Revolution which turned France into one has inflicted enormous evils
upon them. The best chance at the present moment seems to me to be that
of the Duc de Bordeaux, Henry V., not because anybody cares about _him_,
for he is almost unknown in France, and what is known of him does not
make him an object of interest to Frenchmen, nor (what is by no means
unimportant) to Frenchwomen; but he represents a principle, and there
still lingers in many parts of France, and reigns in some, a sentiment
of attachment and loyalty to the elder branch and the legitimate cause.
This gives him a chance, but nobody seems to have any idea what sort of
monarchy could be restored, if to a monarchy the French eventually
recur. But I was told last night by Bulwer, who is just come from Paris,
a fact which if it be true is of great importance, namely, that there
has sprung up in France a great respect for station and position, a
sentiment that did not exist before, indicating a revolution in the
minds of men of a very reactionary and beneficial character.


Bessborough, who is just come back from Ireland, brings a very bad
account of the state of the country, and Clarendon seems to have talked
to him very openly upon all matters connected with Irish administration,
and the views and conduct of the Government here. Though the rebellion
is put down, the whole animus of the people is as bad as ever; they
brood over their defeats, and only long for revenge and action at some
future time. The outbreak was within an ace of taking place, and seems
to have been prevented by an accident and by the pusillanimity or
prudence of the clubs. They had established a very perfect club
organisation and were in a state of great preparation, but had resolved
not to rise till September. When the suspension of the Habeas Corpus
was proposed, Smith O'Brien and the other leaders saw that they must
proceed to action instantly or that they should be taken up, and they
proceeded to Carrick, addressed the people, and asked them if they were
ready; they said they were, but the clubs must be consulted; he sent to
the clubs, but a small body of troops having marched into Carrick the
same day, the clubs were intimidated and refused their consent to the
rising. This put an extinguisher on the whole thing; if the clubs had
consented many thousands would have poured down from the hills, and the
country would everywhere have been up. He says Clarendon does
everything in Ireland himself, and directs judges, law-officers,
commander-in-chief, stipendiary magistrates, police constables--his work
enormous. He wants to come over here that he may see the Cabinet
collectively and explain his own views and opinions; he is evidently
disgusted to the greatest degree at the impossibility of getting them to
move out of the beaten track, and face the difficulties of the case by
measures of a decisive character.

_September 5th._--On Saturday to the Grange, where Charles Buller showed
me a paper he has drawn up with suggestions of measures for Ireland,
which are very sound and good on the whole, though I do not know that I
should agree as to all the details. He proposes strong government,
abolition of jury unanimity in criminal cases, emigration on a large
scale--particularly to the Cape of Good Hope, and the constitution of a
Board of employment and cultivation, who are to borrow money and invest
it just as an individual capitalist might do. He adds to this, payment
of the Catholic clergy by funds to be raised in Ireland, not asking
imperial aid nor touching the Protestant Church; he only allots to this
purpose 350,000_l._, not enough. He very justly says, however, that
unless Government do something bold, new, comprehensive, and on a great
scale, they will incur disgrace and ultimately ruin.

We had a Council yesterday for the parting Speech, and to-day this long
session, the longest and most tedious ever known, closes. On Wednesday
last, Disraeli with a great flourish of trumpets and note of
preparation delivered an oration _à la_ Lyndhurst, of three hours long,
to which John Russell made a pretty good reply. Dizzy's speech was very
sparkling and clever, but it was, after all, nothing but a theatrical
display, without object or meaning but to show off his own powers. It
was prefaced by a sort of advertisement that the great actor would take
his benefit that morning on the stage of St. Stephen's; an audience was
collected, and he sent word to Delane that he was going to speak in
order that he might have one of his best reporters there. He quizzed
Charles Wood unmercifully, and showed up a good many of the blunders and
really stupid things which the Government did in the course of the

_September 22nd._--No sooner was Parliament up than every creature took
flight, and London became more empty and deserted than ever I saw it.


_September 28th._--I was about to record my own proceedings and such
other scraps as occurred to me, when my mind was diverted from all other
topics by the intelligence of the death of George Bentinck.[69] This
event was so strange and sudden, that it could not fail to make a very
great sensation in the world, and so it did. It would be false and
hypocritical were I to pretend that it affected me personally with any
feeling of affliction, but I can say with truth that I was much shocked,
and that I was sincerely sorry for it. I was sorry for the heavy blow
thus inflicted on his father and his family, and it was impossible not
to regard with compassion and something of regret the sudden termination
of a career which promised to be one of no small prosperity and success.
He was in truth a very remarkable man, of very singular character and
disposition, and his history is one very much out of the common way. I
am in one respect better, and in another worse, fitted to describe him
than any other person, for nobody knew him so intimately and so well as
I once did, nobody is so well acquainted with his most private thoughts
and feelings as well as with his most secret practices; but, on the
other hand, I should never be deemed an impartial biographer of a man
from whom I had been so long and completely estranged, and between whom
and myself there existed such strong feelings of alienation and dislike.
Nevertheless, I will try to describe him as I think he really was,
nothing extenuating, and nothing setting down in malice. The world will
and must form a very incorrect estimate of his character; more of what
was good than of what was bad in it was known to the public; he had the
credit of virtues which he did not possess, or which were so mixed with
vices that if all had been known he would have been most severely
reproached in reference to the matters in which he has been the most
loudly and generally bepraised; but his was one of those composite
characters, in which opposite qualities, motives, and feelings were so
strangely intermingled that nothing but a nice analysis, a very close
and impartial inspection of it, can do him justice. His memory has been
kindly and generously dealt with; he was on the whole high in favour
with the world; he had been recently rising in public estimation; and
his sudden and untimely end has stifled all feelings but those of
sympathy and regret, and silenced all voices but those of eulogy and
lamentation. He has long been held up as the type and model of all that
is most honourable and high-minded; 'iracundus, inexorabilis, acer,'
indeed, but the lofty and incorruptible scorner of everything mean and
dishonourable, and the stern exposer and scourger of every species of
delinquency and fraud, public or private. Oh for the inconsistency of
human nature, the strange compound and medley of human motives and
impulses, when the same man who crusaded against the tricks and
villanies of others did not scruple to do things quite as bad as the
worst of the misdeeds which he so vigorously and unrelentingly attacked!
But it is only possible to make his character intelligible by a
reference to certain passages of his life, especially to his
transactions and connexions with myself.

[Footnote 69: [Lord George Bentinck died very suddenly on September 21,
1848. He was Mr. Greville's first cousin, and they had been in early
life intimate friends, but circumstances had led to a complete
estrangement between them.]]

He was brought up at home under a private tutor, was not studious in
early life, and very soon entered the army. I do not remember whether he
went to a public school. He soon distinguished himself in the army by
his great spirit and courage, and by that arrogance which was his
peculiar characteristic, and which never deserted him in any situation
or circumstance in which he was placed. I well remember his getting into
a quarrel which would have led to a duel, if his father had not got me
to go to the Duke of York, by whose interposition the hostile collision
was prevented.[70] I have, however, forgotten both the name of his
antagonist and the merits of the case. He very soon quitted the army,
and when Mr. Canning became Prime Minister he made George his private
secretary. It has been said that Canning predicted great things of him
if he would apply himself seriously to politics, but I do not know
whether this is true. It is certain that after Canning's death, although
by no means indifferent to public affairs, he took no active or
prominent part in them, and the first development of his great natural
energy took place in a very different field. He fell desperately in
love, and he addicted himself with extraordinary vivacity to the turf.
At this time and for a great many years we were most intimate friends,
and I was the depositary of his most secret thoughts and feelings. This
passion, the only one he ever felt for any woman, betrayed him into
great imprudence of manner and behaviour, so much so, that I ventured to
put him on his guard. I cannot now say when this occurred, it is so long
ago, but I well recollect that as I was leaving----after the races I
took him aside, told him it was not possible to be blind to his
sentiments, that he was exposing himself and her likewise; that I did
not mean to thrust myself into his confidence in so delicate a matter,
but besought him to remember that all eyes were on him, all tongues
ready to talk, and that it behoved him to be more guarded and reserved
for her sake as well as his own. He made no reply, and I departed, I
think I repeated the same thing to him in a letter; but whether I did or
no, I received from him a very long one in which he confessed his
sentiments without disguise, went at great length into his own case,
declared his inability to sacrifice feelings which made the whole
interest of his existence, but affirmed with the utmost solemnity that
he had no reason to believe his feelings were reciprocated by her, and
that not only did he not aspire to _success_, but that if it were in his
power to obtain it (which he knew it was not), he would not purchase his
own gratification at the expense of her honour and happiness; in short,
his letter amounted to this--

  'Let me but visit her, I'll ask no more;
  Guiltless I'll gaze, and innocent adore.'

I allude to this to show the terms of intimacy on which he and I were,
and likewise to do justice to the purity and unselfishness of his
devotion, for I am certain that all he said to me was true. He was,
however, not of a very warm temperament, and this may perhaps materially
diminish the virtue and the value of his high-flown and self-immolating
sentiments; but let them pass for what they are worth.

[Footnote 70: He had a great many quarrels, and at last he fought a
duel, in which Admiral Rous was his second, who knows all the details of


The first time I ever knew him much occupied with politics was during
the great Reform battles in 1831 and 1832, when he was member for Lynn.
He took much the same views that I did, and was very anxious to modify
the Reform Bill and render it a less Radical measure. The people of Lynn
wanted a member and commissioned him to find one, and he exerted himself
greatly for that purpose. By his desire I applied to Kindersley, then a
man of some eminence at the Chancery bar, but he declined. I remember
that he and his father did not coincide in their opinions. The Duke was
frightened out of his wits, dreaded the loss of his vast property, and
thought that the only safe policy was unconditional submission to the
roar for Reform. Hating the measure in his heart, he was against any
endeavour to arrest its progress; and he was not at all pleased with
George for the part which he took. The latter, however, to do him
justice, was never afraid of anybody or anything; and he sturdily but
deferentially adhered to his own opinion in opposition to the Duke's.
Meanwhile, he constantly attended Newmarket, and it was not long before
he began to have horses of his own, running them, however, in my name.
The first good racehorse he possessed was 'Preserve,' which I bought for
him in 1833, and she, alas! was the cause of our first quarrel, that
which was made up in appearance, but in reality never. Of course in this
quarrel (which took place in August 1835) we both thought ourselves in
the right. Till then not an unkind word had ever passed between us, nor
had a single cloud darkened our habitual intercourse; but on this
occasion I opposed and thwarted him, and his resentment broke out
against me with a vehemence and ferocity that perfectly astounded me,
and displayed in perfection the domineering insolence of his character.
I knew he was out of humour, but had no idea that he meant to quarrel
with me, and thought his serenity would speedily return. I wrote to him
as usual, and to my astonishment received one of his most elaborate
epistles, couched in terms so savage and so virulently abusive, imputing
to me conduct the most selfish and dishonourable, that I knew not on
reading it whether I stood on my head or my heels. I was conscious that
his charges and insinuations were utterly groundless, but what was I to
do? I could not tamely endure such gross and unwarrantable insults, and
I could not challenge my uncle's son. In this dilemma I consulted a
friend, and placed the letter in his hands; he went to him, and (not I
believe without great difficulty) he persuaded him to _ask_ to withdraw
it. It was agreed that the letter should be destroyed, and that there
should be no ostensible quarrel between us; but it was evident that our
turf connexion could no longer subsist, and accordingly it was instantly
dissolved, and other arrangements were made for his stud.


Then commenced his astounding career of success on the turf; he soon
enlarged the sphere of his speculations, increased his establishment,
and ultimately transferred it all to John Day at Danebury, where he
trained under all sorts of different names, it being a great object
with him to keep his father in ignorance of his proceedings.[71] He and
I met upon civil but cool terms, according to the agreement; but in
about two years we began to jumble into intimacy again, and at length an
incident happened which in great measure replaced our relations on their
former footing. My horse Mango was in the St. Leger, and I wanted to try
him. John Day told me he was sure Lord George would gladly try him for
me. I proposed it to him, and he instantly assented. We went down
together and tried the horse. Mango won his trial, won the St. Leger,
and George won 14,000_l._ on the race. All this contributed to efface
the recollection of past differences, and we became mutually cordial
again.[72] With me the reconciliation was sincere. I had forgiven his
behaviour to me, and desired no better than to live in amity with him
for the rest of my life; whether it was equally sincere on his part he
alone knew, but I very much doubt it. We continued, however, to live
very well together up to the time when he brought out the famous
'Crucifix,' when, without any fresh quarrel, our intimacy became
somewhat less close in consequence of my perceiving a manifest intention
on his part to keep all the advantage of her merits to himself without
allowing me to participate in them. Still we went on, till the
occurrence of the notorious 'Gurney affair,' on which he and I took
opposite sides, and in which he played a very conspicuous and violent
part. While this was going on we were brought into personal collision at
Newmarket in a matter relating to the revision of the rules of the
Jockey Club, when his arrogance and personal animosity to me broke out
with extraordinary asperity. There was still no regular and avowed
quarrel till the spring following, when at a meeting of the Jockey Club
I made a speech in opposition to him which he chose to construe into an
intentional insult, and the next time he met me he cut me dead. I made
several attempts, as did our mutual friends, to do away with this
impression and to effect a reconciliation, but he refused to listen to
any explanation or overture, and announced his resolution not to make it
up with me at all. From that time our estrangement was complete and
irreparable. He was now become the leviathan of the turf; his success
had been brilliant, his stud was enormous, and his authority and
reputation were prodigiously great.

[Footnote 71: Some years before he had lost 11,000_l._ at Doncaster,
which he could not pay. The Duke was greatly annoyed, but paid the money
for him, exacting a promise that he would not bet any more on the turf.
Of course, he never dreamt of his keeping racehorses.]

[Footnote 72: It was not long after this that a very important incident
in his turf life occurred. The Duke, his father (the most innocent of
men), had his curiosity awakened by seeing a great number of horses
running in the names of men whom he never saw or heard of. These were
all his son's aliases. He asked a great many questions about these
invisible personages, to the amusement of all the Newmarket world. At
last it was evident he must find out the truth, and I urged George to
tell it him at once. With reluctance and no small apprehension he
assented, and mustering up courage he told the Duke that all those
horses were his. The intimation was very ill received; the Duke was
indignant. He accused him of having violated his word; and he was so
angry that he instantly quitted Newmarket and returned to Welbeck. For a
long time he would not see George at all; at last the Duchess contrived
to pacify him; he resumed his usual habits with his son, and in the end
he took an interest in the horses, tacitly acquiesced in the whole
thing, and used to take pleasure in seeing them and hearing about them.]

In 1844 he became still more famous by his exertions in detecting the
'Running Rein' fraud, and in conducting the 'Orlando' trial. There can
be no doubt that the success of that affair was in great measure
attributable to his indefatigable activity, ingenuity, and perseverance.
The attorney in the cause was amazed at the ability and dexterity he
displayed, and said there was no sum he would not give to secure the
professional assistance of such a coadjutor. He gained the greatest
credit in all quarters by his conduct throughout this affair, which was
afterwards increased by his manner of receiving a valuable testimonial,
subscribed for the purpose of honouring and rewarding his exertions: he
refused to accept anything for himself, but desired the money might be
applied towards the establishment of a fund to reward decayed and
distressed servants of the turf, which was eventually denominated 'The
Bentinck Fund.'[73] He was exceedingly self-willed and arrogant, and
never could endure contradiction; and whatever he undertook he entered
into with an ardour and determination which amounted to a passion. As he
plunged into gaming on the turf, he desired to win money, not so much
for the money, as because it was the test and the trophy of success; he
counted the thousands he won after a great race as a general would count
his prisoners and his cannon after a great victory; and his tricks and
stratagems he regarded as the tactics and manoeuvres by which the
success was achieved. Not probably that the money itself was altogether
a matter of indifference to him: he had the blood of General Scott in
his veins, who won half a million at hazard, and the grandson most
likely _chassait un peu de sa race_. But to do him justice, if he was
'alieni appetens,' he was 'sui profusus.' Nobody was more liberal to all
his people, nor more generous and obliging in money matters to his
friends, and I am inclined to think that while he was taking to himself
the mission of purifying the turf, and punishing or expelling wrongdoers
of all sorts, his own mind became purified, and (though I do not know
it) I should not wonder if he looked back with shame and contrition to
all the schemes, plots, and machinations to which, in the ardour of his
racing pursuit, he had been a party. What makes me think that it was
less the base desire of pecuniary gain than the passionate eagerness of
immense success which urged him on, is the alacrity with which he cast
away his whole stud, at a moment when it promised him the most brilliant
results and most considerable profits, as soon as another passion and
another pursuit had taken possession of his mind; one in which there was
not only no pecuniary benefit in view, but the occupation of which
obliged him to neglect his turf concerns so entirely that he lost a
great deal of money in consequence.

[Footnote 73: [Here follow, in Mr. Greville's manuscript, several
details of racing transactions in which Lord George Bentinck took a
part, which Mr. Greville strongly disapproved; but they have now lost
their interest, and are omitted.]]


This brings me to his very extraordinary political career. I well
remember, in the winter of 1845, when Peel's intentions began to be
known or suspected, what indignation he expressed and what violent
language he used about him. As soon as Parliament met he began to take
an active part amongst the Protectionist malcontents, and he devoted
much time to getting up the _pro_ Corn Law case. He had never studied
political economy, and knew very little on the subject, but he was
imbued with the notions common to his party that the repeal of the Corn
Laws would be the ruin of the landed interest; he therefore hated the
Anti-Corn Law League, and--considering that the first and most paramount
of duties was to keep up the value of the estates of the order to which
he belonged, and that Peel had been made Minister and held office mainly
for this purpose--he considered Peel's abandonment of Protection, and
adoption, or rather extension, of Free Trade, as not only an act of
treachery, but of treason to the party which claimed his allegiance, and
he accordingly flung himself into opposition to him with all his
characteristic vehemence and rancour. Still neither he himself nor any
one else anticipated the part he was about to play, and the figure he
was destined to make. One of the men whom he was in the habit of talking
to, was Martin, Q.C.,[74] and he told him that he had a great mind to
speak on the Corn Law debate, but that he did not think he could; he had
had no experience and could not trust himself.[75] Martin told me this.
I said I thought he could; that I had been much struck with a speech he
had made at the Jockey Club, when he had spoken for two hours, and in a
way which satisfied me he had _speaking in him_. Martin went and told
him this, which struck him very much, and it decided him (so Martin told
me) to make the attempt. His _début_ in the House of Commons was a
remarkable exhibition, and made a great impression at the time: not that
it was a very good, still less an agreeable speech; quite the reverse.
He chose the worst moment he possibly could have done to rise; the House
was exhausted by several nights of debate and had no mind to hear more.
He rose very late on the last night, and he spoke for above three hours;
his speech was ill-delivered, marked with all those peculiar faults
which he never got rid of; it was very tiresome; it contained much that
was in very bad taste; but in spite of all defects it was listened to,
and it was considered a very extraordinary performance, giving
indications of great ability and powers which nobody had any idea that
he possessed.

[Footnote 74: [Afterwards a Baron of the Court of Exchequer.]]

[Footnote 75: He told Martin that he had carefully and elaborately got
up the case, but he could not make the speech, and he begged him to find
a man who would use his materials and speak for him. The man found, he
undertook to provide him with a seat in Parliament. The first man they
applied to was Humphry. George saw and conversed with him, and
immediately said he would not do. They then went to Serjeant Byles. He
was delighted with the Serjeant, and would gladly have taken him, but,
after at first consenting, the Serjeant drew back and declined the task.
After this, Martin asked Frederick Robinson if he knew of a man, when he
replied, 'It is all nonsense, looking out for a man; he must make the
speech himself. Do you think the House of Commons would listen to a
hired orator, brought down for the purpose? They will listen to him and
to nobody else.' This Martin repeated to him, telling him it was very
true; and then he added what I had said about his speech at the Jockey
Club. He said, 'Did he really say so? I thought it very bad, and I was
disgusted at doing it so ill, and making such bad use of the good
materials I had.' The next day he wrote word to Martin that he had made
up his mind to make the attempt himself. This was ten days or a
fortnight before the night on which he spoke.]


The rest of his career is well known. He brought into politics the same
ardour, activity, industry, and cleverness which he had displayed on the
turf, and some of the same cunning and contrivances too. He never was
and never would have been anything like a statesman; he was utterly
devoid of large and comprehensive views, and he was no pursuer and
worshipper of truth. He brought the mind, the habits, and the arts of an
attorney to the discussion of political questions; having once espoused
a cause, and embraced a party, from whatever motive, he worked with all
the force of his intellect and a superhuman power of application in what
he conceived to be the interest of that party and that cause. No
scruples, moral or personal, stood for a moment in his way; he went into
evidence, historical or statistical, not to inform himself and to accept
with a candid and unbiassed mind the conclusions to which reason and
testimony, facts and figures, might conduct him, but to pick out
whatever might fortify his foregone conclusions, casting aside
everything inimical to the cause he was advocating, and seizing all
that could be turned to account by any amount of misrepresentation and
suppression he might find it convenient to employ. It was thus he acted
in the West India Committee; his labour and application were something
miraculous; he conducted the enquiry very ably, but anything but
impartially; having had no political education, and being therefore
unimbued with sound principles on fiscal and commercial questions, he
had everything to learn; and having flung himself headlong into the
Protectionist cause, he got up their case just as he did that of
'Orlando' or 'Running Rein,' and ran amuck against everything and
everybody on the opposite side.

Against Peel he soon broke out with indescribable fury and rancour. Such
was the attack he made upon him about his conduct to Canning, which has
been since ascribed to his attachment to the latter, and a long
cherished but suppressed resentment at Peel's behaviour to him. Nothing
could be more ridiculously untrue; he did not care one straw for
Canning, alive or dead, and he did not himself believe one word of the
accusations he brought against Peel; but he thought he had found
materials for a damaging attack on the man he detested, and he availed
himself of it with all the virulence of the most vindictive hatred. It
was a total failure, and he only afforded Peel an opportunity of
vindicating himself once for all from an imputation which had been very
generally circulated and believed, but which he proved to be altogether
false. The House of Commons gave Peel a complete triumph, and George
Bentinck was generally condemned; nevertheless, with more courage and
bull-dog perseverance than good taste and judgement, he returned to the
charge, and instead of withdrawing his accusations, renewed and insisted
on them in his reply. This was just like him; but though his conduct was
very ill advised, I well remember thinking his reply (made too against
the sense and feeling of the House) was very clever.


I have always thought that his conduct in selling his stud all at one
swoop, and at once giving up the turf, to which he had just before
seemed so devoted, was never sufficiently appreciated and praised. It
was a great sacrifice both of pleasure and profit, and it was made to
what he had persuaded himself was a great public duty. It is true that
he had taken up his new vocation with an ardour and a zeal which
absorbed his old one, but still it was a very fine act, and excessively
creditable to him. He never did anything by halves, and having accepted
the responsible post of leader of his party, he resolved to devote
himself to their service, and he did so without stint or reserve; and
when he had ceased to be nominally their leader, a transaction in which
his behaviour was honourable and manly, he still voluntarily and
gratuitously imposed upon himself an amount of labour and anxiety on
particular questions, which beyond all doubt contributed to the accident
which terminated his life. Notwithstanding his arrogance and his
violence, his constant quarrels and the intolerable language he indulged
in, he was popular in the House of Commons, and was liked more or less
wherever he went. He was extremely good-looking and particularly
distinguished and high-bred; then he was gay, agreeable, obliging, and
good-natured, charming with those he liked, and by whom he was not
thwarted and opposed. His undaunted courage and the confident and
haughty audacity with which he attacked or stood up against all
opponents, being afraid of no man, inspired a general sentiment of
admiration and respect, and his lofty assumption of superior integrity
and his resolute determination to expose and punish every breach of
public honour and morality were quietly acquiesced in, and treated with
great deference by the multitude who knew no better, and were imposed on
by his specious pretensions. The sensation caused by his death, the
encomiums pronounced on his character, and the honours paid to his
memory, have been unexampled in a man whose career has been so short,
and who did not do greater things than he had it in his power to
accomplish. He had become, however, the advocate of powerful interests,
and of vast numbers of people whose united voices make a great noise in
the world, and there is something in the appalling suddenness of the
catastrophe which excites general sympathy and pity, and makes people
more inclined to think of his virtues, his powers, and his promise, than
of his defects. Of the latter perhaps the greatest was his constant
disposition to ascribe the worst motives to all those to whom he found
himself opposed;

  Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind;

and when he invariably fancied that he saw intentional fraud and the
utmost baseness in the conduct of his antagonists, it is impossible not
to ascribe such false and erroneous views of human nature to the moral
consciousness which was the result of his own former courses, constantly
suspecting others of the same sort of practices with which he was once
so familiar. I have not the least doubt that, for his own reputation and
celebrity, he died at the most opportune period; his fame had probably
reached its zenith, and credit was given him for greater abilities than
he possessed, and for a futurity of fame, influence, and power which it
is not probable he ever would have realised. As it is, the world will
never know anything of those serious blemishes which could not fail to
dim the lustre of his character; he will long be remembered and
regretted as a very remarkable man, and will occupy a conspicuous place
in the history of his own time.

[Sidenote: STATE OF FRANCE.]


    Louis Blanc on France--The Catholic Priesthood--Failure of
    Scheme for Ireland--Evils of Total Repeal of Duties--Reaction
    in Prussia--A Message from M. Thiers--Conversation of Louis
    Philippe with Lord Clarendon--Dinner at Mr. Reeve's--Death of
    Lord Melbourne--Death of Charles Buller--Their Characters--Plans
    for Ireland--A Dinner of Historians--Election of Louis
    Napoleon as President of the French Republic--Death of Lord
    Auckland--The Saturnalia of 1848--The Admiralty offered to
    Sir James Graham--Graham declines--Lord Palmerston's Attacks
    on Austria--Grounds of Sir J. Graham's Refusal--Opening of
    Parliament--Debate in the Lords--Debate in the Commons--Mr.
    Disraeli the Leader of the Tories--The Irish Policy of the
    Government--Lord John Russell limits the Suspension of the
    Habeas Corpus Act to Six Months--The Irish Grant--Dreadful State
    of Ireland--Admiral Cécille Ambassador in London--The Ceylon
    Committee--Affair of the Sicilian Stores--The Fall of Hudson,
    the Railway King--Sir Charles Napier's Appointment to command in
    India--The Sicilian Arms.

_London, October 20th, 1848._--One day the week before last, I dined
with D'Orsay to meet Louis Blanc. Nobody there but he and I. We had a
great deal of talk. He is very gay, animated, and full of information,
takes in very good part anything that is said to him, and any criticisms
on his Revolution and the Provisional Government. After that, a week at
Newmarket, and last week at the Grange with a large party, agreeable
enough. M. Dumon[76] was there, and we asked him to explain why the
Government of which he was a member had so obstinately refused to
concede any reform. He gave an explanation and apology for their
conduct, which was not very satisfactory, and amounted to little more
than the old story of the necessity of keeping together the Conservative
majority. Louis Blanc told me the Revolution had not ruined France; that
the ruin was already consummated, and the Revolution only tore away the
veil which concealed it.

[Footnote 76: [M. Dumon had been Minister of Finance in M. Guizot's

_November 7th._--While I was at Newmarket, Lord Clarendon came over
here, but I never succeeded in seeing him till yesterday. He is to have
the Garter, the Duke of Leinster and Lord Fitzwilliam having both
refused it, and he wished to refuse it also, but Lord John made a point
of his taking it. A Committee of Cabinet is appointed to consider Irish
measures, but I see very clearly that no attempt will be made to pay the
priests; and though I have not changed my opinion as to the measure
itself, I am disposed to think that at this time it could not be
attempted with any chance of success. While everything else is in a
constant state of change, Protestant bigotry and anti-Catholic rancour
continue to flourish with undiminished intensity, and all the more from
being founded on nothing but prejudice and ignorance, without a particle
of sense and reason.

_November 11th._--George Bentinck's servant called on me the other
morning, and told me that he had a strong impression his Lord would have
soon thrown up politics and taken to racing again as suddenly as he took
to the former; that his interest in the turf continued to be very great;
and that his disappointment at the failure of the West Indian attempt
had been excessive, having been confident of success, and of turning out
the Government upon it. This man gave me many details of his labours and
exertions, all corresponding with what I had heard before. He often sat
up all night, never got any air or exercise, and passed his whole time
between his own house and the House of Commons, writing, reading, and
seeing people, often as many as twenty or thirty in a day.

Just after writing the above I saw the correspondence which took place
between George Bentinck and Bankes on his giving up the leadership, from
which it was evident that the labour and anxiety had already begun to
make no inconsiderable inroad on his constitution, and that he was quite
conscious of the risk he incurred by continuing his parliamentary and
political career with the same intensity.


The Irish scheme propounded by Charles Buller, and so readily taken up
by the Government (at first), seems now likely to vanish into smoke. It
was soon evident that the payment of the priests would not be attempted.
Clarendon has been always against it, and he showed me two days ago a
letter from Redington (who had undertaken during his absence to sound
the Catholic prelates), with an account of his conversation with
Archbishop Murray, from which it was clear that it would be useless to
attempt it, and so Redington himself said, he being the man (so
Clarendon told me) above all others most strongly feeling the
degradation of his Church; so that this matter will be left _in statu
quo_. Last night I met Charles Wood, and soon found from his
conversation that there is not much greater probability of the financial
part of the scheme being carried out. He, at all events, is dead against
it, against raising money and expending capital _by the Government_. I
said something about this part of the plan, when he said, very
contemptuously, 'What, you are in favour of that scheme, are you? I am
surprised that with your sense you should think it practicable.' He then
went off upon the inexpediency of any government interference. He
admitted the evils that existed, the ruin that would overtake a great
many people, but nevertheless was for letting matters take their course.
He said: 'You are in too great a hurry. I admit that capital is required
for improvement, but it must come in the regular way and by private
investment. There is great depreciation, and there will be more, and in
the end this will attract capital, and people who have money to lay out
will have recourse to this as a profitable investment.' It is needless
to detail our several arguments, and sufficient to say that with the
Chancellor of the Exchequer of this mind it is not likely that anything
will be done. I told Charles Buller in the evening what had passed, and
he said it was only what he expected, as from the moment a _Committee_
of Cabinet was appointed he was sure nothing would be done.

Charles Wood lamented to me very bitterly the fatal effects of the
mistake Peel had made in abolishing all Corn duty whatever
(prospectively) and the Timber duties. He said George Bentinck was quite
right in his preference for low duties instead of abolition, and that if
we could now have the above duties they would relieve the revenue from
almost all its difficulties, and be felt by nobody; and the unhappy
thing is that this mistake is irretrievable, for _revocare gradum_ is
totally impossible. Peel acknowledged his error about timber, and
probably he might also about corn. He was, in fact, misled and carried
away by his flourishing revenue, and acted without consideration.

_November 15th._--The scheme for improving Ireland seems likely to fall
to the ground altogether. Everybody affirms or admits that the time is
so unpropitious for 'endowment' that it is useless to think of it, and
Charles Wood and George Grey have convinced themselves that Parliament
and the country will not be disposed to advance money in any shape for
Irish purposes. I had a long conversation with Clarendon on the subject
yesterday, and laboured to persuade him that this was an error, and that
if Government can show that the money will be judiciously employed, and
in all probability that there will be no ultimate loss to the State,
there will be no difficulty in gaining the assent of Parliament to the
fiscal part of the proposed plan.


In the morning I met Bunsen, who said the King of Prussia was going on
well, and he augured success to his present measures. It is a great
thing to see reaction anywhere, and the revolutionary and democratic
tide rolled back which has been deluging all Europe; but this is a very
doubtful contest, and the King inspires no confidence. The Prussian
affair points a great moral, and reads an important lesson. It shows at
once the danger of resistance to just demands and reasonable desires,
and the dangers and evils of full democratic sway, sweeping everything
before it. If the King of Prussia had long ago fulfilled his promises,
and given a constitution to his country while he could have done so
gracefully and safely, the new institutions would have had time to
develope and consolidate themselves, and would in all probability have
proved the security of the Crown when the flood of revolution broke
over Europe. He refused, and fought it off so long that at last his
people grew discontented and angry, and when the French Revolution set
all Germany on fire, the work was so far from being perfected that the
Crown was left to battle with the democratic fury that broke forth, and
its own weakness and vacillation rendered the power irresistible which
might have been coerced and restrained. Whether it is still time to
retrace his steps remains to be seen. The success of Louis Napoleon in
France now seems beyond all doubt. Thiers has sent a message to Guizot,
through a friend of both, to say that he is resolved to take no part in
his Government, and Normanby informs me that Odilon Barrot is to be his
Minister. This will make the whole thing perfect, Odilon Barrot being of
all men the most unpractical, and having failed ridiculously in
everything he ever undertook.

_November 25th._--I met Guizot at dinner twice last week. He told me
Thiers had sent a man over to him, _and to the King_, to make to him the
assurance above stated. Rather curious his keeping up this communication
with the exiled Sovereign and Minister--the two men, too, whom he most
detests. I asked him if he believed what he said, when he intimated that
it might or might not be true. They have never sent the Royal Family any
money up to this time, though the Chamber long ago voted back their
property; but the Government have promised to send the King 20,000_l._,
and the Duc d'Aumale 10,000_l._; the latter has 50,000_l._ a year and no
debts. From what Guizot's daughter said to me, it is clear they by no
means give up the idea of returning to France and of his taking a part
in public affairs, but not yet.

Lord Clarendon went to see the King a few days ago, and was with him two
hours, when he told him the whole history of his flight and all his
adventures. He said, he should not know which to vote for, Cavaignac or
Louis Napoleon, if he had a vote to give. Guizot, however, is all for
the latter, I can very well see. He told me it would be the first step
towards a monarchy, but he did not say what monarchy he meant. The King
told Clarendon we need not fear a war; that the army knew its strength,
and meant to exercise it, and would insist on deciding on the political
futurity of France; that it detested the Republic, but had no desire to
go to war, and moreover it could not, for it was _dénuée de tout_. He
said nobody knew how ill provided the French army was, and that this was
alone a security against war. Clarendon told him he did not consider it
as such, as a country like France could always provide everything very
quickly, but that he thought there were other causes operating in the
direction of peace. He found him very well and in very good spirits; he
has been greatly pleased at the visits of the National Guards to him
(who went in great numbers); but it drives him wild when they say to
him, 'Sire, pourquoi nous avez-vous quittés?' He knows he threw
everything away, and constantly tries to persuade himself and others
that the army would not have supported him. Flahault said to him the
other day that he had no right to cast such an imputation on the army,
which had proved its fidelity in all circumstances and to all
Governments, even in July, and that the army would have saved him if it
had been allowed to act. Everybody now knows that if he had done
anything but run away, if he had gone to St. Cloud only, or anywhere,
and called the troops about him, all would have been saved. He threw his
cards on the table, and the game was stupidly and disgracefully lost.

I met Guizot at a dinner at Reeve's on Thursday, with M. Lemoinne, one
of the _rédacteurs_ of the 'Journal des Débats,' and the man who wrote
the excellent articles on England and our politics and condition,
showing great knowledge of this country. There were besides, Woodham,
who writes in the 'Times,' a clever man; Longman, Lord Clarendon, and
Mr. Wheaton, the author of a well-known work on the 'Law of Nations.'

_November 29th._--Lord Melbourne died on Friday night at Brocket,
without suffering pain, but having had a succession of epileptic fits
the whole day, most painful and distressing to his family collected
about him.


This morning has occurred the death, after a short illness, of another
remarkable man, Charles Buller. He had an operation successfully
performed about ten days ago, but he was afterwards attacked by typhus
fever and diarrhoea. The case became hopeless, and be expired at
half-past five this morning in the forty-first year of his age. The
career of Melbourne was over; that of Charles Buller for great and
useful purposes may be said to have been only just beginning. His
friends are deeply annoyed and angry at a biographical article on
Melbourne which appeared in the 'Times' the morning after his death; and
it certainly was coarse, vulgar, and to a great degree unjust. It was a
mere daub and caricature, and very discreditable to the paper.

But it is a difficult thing to write a good article upon Melbourne,
one which shall delineate his character with impartiality and
discrimination, and describe fairly and truly his political career. I
have known a great deal of him in the course of my life, but I never
lived in real intimacy with him; and as he at no time seemed to have
much inclination for my company, though we were always very good
friends, I saw but little of him; but every now and then we had
something to say to each other, and at rare intervals we met on intimate
and confidential terms. He was certainly a very singular man, resembling
in character and manner, as he did remarkably in feature, his father,
the late Lord Egremont.[77] He was exceedingly handsome, when first I
knew him, which was in 1815 or thereabouts. It was at this period that
the irregularities of his wife had partly estranged him from her, though
they were not yet separated, and he was occasionally amused by her into
condonation of her amours, and into a sort of half-laughing,
half-resentful reconciliation. They lived in this queer way. He,
good-natured, eccentric, and not nice; she, profligate, romantic, and
comical. Both were kept together, as they had been brought together, by
the influence and management of their common relations and connexions;
but it was during this period that he devoted himself with ardour to
study, and that he acquired the vast fund of miscellaneous knowledge
with which his conversation was always replete, and which, mixed up with
his characteristic peculiarities, gave an extraordinary zest and
pungency to his society. His taste for reading and information, which
was confirmed into a habit by the circumstances of these years,
continued to the end of his life, unbroken, though unavoidably
interrupted by his political avocations. He lived surrounded by books,
and nothing prevented him, even when Prime Minister, and with all the
calls on his time to which he was compelled to attend, from reading
every new publication of interest or merit, as well as frequently
revelling amongst the favourite authors of his early studies. His memory
was extremely retentive, and amply stored with choice passages of every
imaginable variety, so that he could converse learnedly upon almost all
subjects, and was never at a loss for copious illustrations, amusing
anecdotes, and happy quotations. This richness of talk was rendered more
piquant by the quaintness and oddity of his manner, and an ease and
naturalness proceeding in no small degree from habits of self-indulgence
and freedom, a license for which was conceded to him by common consent,
even by the Queen herself, who, partly from regard for him, and partly
from being amused at his ways, permitted him to say and do whatever he
pleased in her presence. He was often paradoxical, and often coarse,
terse, epigrammatic, acute, droll, with fits of silence and abstraction,
from which he would suddenly break out with a vehemence and vigour which
amused those who were accustomed to him, and filled with indescribable
astonishment those who were not. His mother-in-law, Lady Bessborough,
told me that high office was tendered to him many years before he began
to play any political part, but at that time he preferred a life of
lettered and social idleness, and he would not accept it. He never was
really well fitted for political life, for he had a great deal too much
candour, and was too fastidious to be a good party man. It may be said
of him, at least in his earlier days, that he was

  'For a patriot too cool, for a drudge disobedient,
  And too fond of the right to pursue the expedient.'

[Footnote 77: [This sounds strange, but it was believed by those who
were acquainted with the _chronique scandaleuse_ of a former generation,
in the last century, that William Lamb and Lady Cowper (afterwards Lady
Palmerston) were not the children of their putative father, the Lord
Melbourne of that day, but of Lord Egremont, who never married, but had
numerous illegitimate offspring. William, Lord Melbourne, whose death is
here recorded, was the husband of Lady Caroline, a daughter of the Earl
of Bessborough, the authoress of 'Glenarvon,' celebrated for her passion
for Lord Byron and her subsequent quarrel with him.]]


And still less was he fit to be the leader of a party and the head of a
Government, for he had neither the strong convictions, nor the eager
ambition, nor the firmness and resolution which such a post requires.
From education and turn of mind, and from the society in which he was
bred and always lived, he was a Whig; but he was a very moderate one,
abhorring all extremes, a thorough Conservative at heart, and
consequently he was only half identified in opinion and sympathy with
the party to which he belonged when in office; he often dreaded and
distrusted his colleagues, and was secretly the enemy of the measures
which his own Government originated, and of which he was obliged to take
the credit or bear the obloquy. No position could be more false than the
position in which Melbourne was often placed, and no man ever was more
perplexed and tormented than he was by it, for he was remarkably
sensitive; and most of the latter years of his administration were
passed in a state of dissatisfaction with himself and with all about
him. He hated the Reform Bill, which he was obliged to advocate. He saw,
indeed, that Reform had become irresistible, and therefore he reconciled
it to his conscience to support the Bill; but he had not sufficient
energy of character or strength of will to make a stand against the
lengths which he disapproved, and he contented himself with those
indirect attempts to modify it which I have narrated in their proper
place. It was probably his personal popularity, and the reluctance of
Lord Lansdowne to take so laborious a post,[78] which led to his being
made Prime Minister on the resignation of Lord Grey, for there never was
a man more incapable of exercising the vigilance and supremacy which
that office demands. After the great breach of 1835, and the abortive
attempt of William IV. to throw over the Whig Government, his relations
with his Ministers became very uncomfortable; but Melbourne was a
good-natured man, and a gentleman, and perhaps no one else would have
gone on with the King so harmoniously as he managed it.

[Footnote 78: I read this to Lord Lansdowne, and he told me what had
occurred about himself. When the Whigs came in, in '30, Lord Grey
proposed to him to be First Lord of the Treasury, and offered to take
the office of Privy Seal himself. Lord Lansdowne told him the Government
must be _his_ Government, that he should only be _his_ First Lord, and
that it was fitter and better he should take the post himself: besides
that, for various reasons, he had no disposition for it, and he would
rather take some other office. When Lord Grey retired, and the King sent
for Melbourne, Melbourne spoke to Lord Lansdowne and said, 'I believe
you do not wish to take Lord Grey's place, is not that the case?' Lord
Lansdowne said it was so, and that he might make himself quite easy as
far as he was concerned. He had no objection to remain where he was, but
would not be at the head of the Government.]


But it was upon the accession of the Queen that his post suddenly grew
into one of immense importance and interest, for he found himself placed
in the most curious and delicate position which any statesman ever
occupied. Victoria was transferred at once from the nursery to the
throne--ignorant, inexperienced, and without one human being about her
on whom she could rely for counsel and aid. She found in her Prime
Minister and constitutional adviser a man of mature age, who instantly
captivated her feelings and her fancy by his deferential solicitude, and
by a shrewd, sagacious, and entertaining conversation, which were
equally new and delightful to her. She at once cast herself with
implicit confidence upon Melbourne, and, from the first day of her
reign, their relations assumed a peculiar character, and were marked by
an intimacy which he never abused; on the contrary, he only availed
himself of his great influence to impress upon her mind sound maxims of
constitutional government, and truths of every description that it
behoved her to learn. It is impossible to imagine anything more
interesting than the situation which had thus devolved upon him, or one
more calculated to excite all the latent sensibility of his nature. His
loyal devotion soon warmed into a parental affection, which she repaid
by unbounded manifestations of confidence and regard. He set himself
wisely, and with perfect disinterestedness, to form her mind and
character, and to cure the defects and eradicate the prejudices from
which the mistakes and faults of her education had not left her entirely
free. In all that Melbourne said or did, he appears to have been guided
by a regard to justice and truth. He never scrupled to tell her what
none other would have dared to say; and in the midst of that atmosphere
of flattery and deceit which kings and queens are almost always destined
to breathe, and by which their minds are so often perverted, he never
scrupled to declare boldly and frankly his real opinions, strange as
they sometimes sounded, and unpalatable as they often were, and to wage
war with her prejudices and false impressions with regard to people or
things whenever he saw that she was led astray by them. He acted in all
things an affectionate, conscientious, and patriotic part, endeavouring
to make her happy as a woman, and popular as a queen.

It is notorious that he committed two great errors in judgement, both of
which were attended with disastrous consequences, and I believe that in
both cases his discretion was misled by his feelings, and that it was
his care for her ease and happiness which betrayed him into these fatal
mistakes. The first was the Flora Hastings affair, the scandal of which
he might certainly have prevented; the other was the Bedchamber quarrel,
when her reluctance to part with him, and his tenderness for her,
overruled his better judgement, and made him adopt a course he must have
known to be both impossible and wrong. In these affairs (especially the
first), Melbourne must have suffered torments, for his tender solicitude
for the Queen, and the deep sense of his own responsibility, were sure
to weigh heavily upon him. His influence and authority at Court were not
diminished, nor his position there altered by her marriage; but the
Prince, though always living on very friendly terms with him, was
secretly rejoiced when the political power of this great favourite was
brought to a close; for, so long as Melbourne was there, he undoubtedly
played but an obscure and secondary part. When the inevitable change of
Government at last took place, the parting between the Queen and her
Minister was very sorrowful to both of them, and it was then that he
gave his last and generous proof of his anxiety for her happiness in
sending me with his advice to Peel.

It would be rendering imperfect justice to Melbourne's character to look
upon him rather as a courtier than as a statesman, and to fancy that he
made his political principles subordinate to his personal predilections.
He was deeply attached to the Queen, but he had all the patriotism of an
English gentleman, and was jealous of the honour and proud of the
greatness of his country. He held office with a profound sense of its
responsibilities; there never was a Minister more conscientious in the
distribution of patronage, more especially of his ecclesiastical
patronage. He was perfectly disinterested, without nepotism, and without
vanity; he sought no emoluments for his connexions, and steadily
declined all honours for himself. The Queen often pressed him to accept
the Garter, but he never would consent, and it was remarked that the
Prime Minister of England was conspicuous at Court for being alone
undecorated amidst the stars and ribands which glittered around him. He
has been not inappropriately compared to Sallustius Crispus, as
described by Tacitus: 'Quamquam prompto ad capessendos honores aditu,
sine dignitate senatoriâ multos triumphalium consulariumque potentiâ
anteiit; diversus a veterum instituto per cultum et munditias; copiâque
et affluentiâ luxu propior. Suberat tamen vigor animi ingentibus
negotiis par, eo acrior, quo somnum et inertiam magis ostentabat. Igitur
incolumi Mæcenate proximus; mox præcipuus cui secreta Imperatorum maxime

[Footnote 79: [The passage occurs in the 'Annals of Tacitus,' book iii.
ch. 30. Sallustius Crispus was a descendant of the sister of Caius
Sallustius, the historian who allowed him to assume the name of Sallust.
Horace addressed to him the second Ode of the second book of Odes.]]


At the time Melbourne left office he was only an occasional guest at
Court, but the Queen continued to correspond with him constantly, and
gave him frequent proofs that her regard for him was undiminished. He
took very little part in politics after 1841, and it was not long before
his health began to give way. He had been so completely absorbed by the
Court, that for many years he had been almost lost to society; but as
soon as he was out of office, he resumed his old habits, and was
continually to be found at Holland House, at Lady Palmerston's, and with
a few other intimate friends. There he loved to lounge and sprawl at his
ease, pouring out a rough but original stream of talk, shrewd, playful,
and instructive. His distinctive qualities were strong sound sense, and
an innate taste for what was great and good, either in action or
sentiment. His mind kindled, his eye brightened, and his tongue grew
eloquent when noble examples or sublime conceptions presented themselves
before him. He would not have passed 'unmoved by any scene that was
consecrated by virtue, by valour, or by wisdom.' But while he pursued
truth, as a philosopher, his love of paradox made him often appear a
strange mass of contradiction and inconsistency. A sensualist and a
Sybarite, without much refinement or delicacy, a keen observer of the
follies and vices of mankind, taking the world as he found it, and
content to extract as much pleasure and diversion as he could from it,
he at one time would edify and astonish his hearers with the most
exalted sentiments, and at another would terrify and shock them by
indications of the lowest morality and worldly feelings, and by thoughts
and opinions fraught with the most cold-hearted mocking and sarcasm. His
mind seems all his life long, and on almost every subject, to have been
vigorous and stirring, but unsettled and unsatisfied. It certainly was
so on the two great questions of religion and politics, and he had no
profound convictions, no certain assurance about either. He studied
divinity eagerly and constantly, and was no contemptible theologian;
but he never succeeded in arriving at any fixed belief, or in anchoring
himself on any system of religious faith. It was the same thing in
politics. All the Liberal and Constitutional theories which he had ever
entertained had been long ago more than realised, and he was filled with
alarm at the prospect of their further extension. All his notions were
aristocratic, and he had not a particle of sympathy for what was called
progressive reform. He was a vehement supporter of the Corn Laws, abused
Peel with all the rancour of a Protectionist, and died in the conviction
that his measures will prove the ruin of the landed interest.


During his administration his great object seemed to be to keep a
rickety concern together, less from political ambition than from his
personal feelings for the Queen. He abhorred disputes and quarrels of
every description, and he was constantly temporising and patching them
up when they occurred in his Cabinet (as they often did) by all sorts of
expedients, seldom asserting either the dignity or the authority of his
position as head of the Government. Such weak and unworthy misrule
brought his Cabinet, his party, and himself into contempt, and it was
unquestionably in great measure owing to his want of judgement and
firmness that they became so unpopular, and at last fell with so little
credit and dignity as they did in 1841. He was capricious about money,
and generous and stingy by fits and starts. Easy and indolent, he
suffered himself to be plundered by his servants, and took little
trouble in looking after his affairs. He was fond of his family, and
much beloved by them, but, both with regard to them and his friends, he
was full of a jealousy and touchiness, which made him keenly alive to
any appearance of indifference, and equally sensible of any attentions
that were shown him. This grew into a morbid feeling after his health
had given way, and tinged his latter days with melancholy, for he
fancied himself neglected and uncared for. On the promotion of Lord John
Russell's Government, he was mortified at not being invited to take a
share in it. It was evident that he was conscious of, and bitterly
felt, the decay of his own powers, and the insignificance to which he
was reduced. He would, if he could, have disguised this from himself and
others, but it preyed on his mind, and made him very unhappy, and often
apparently morose. Sometimes his feelings would find vent in these lines
from the 'Samson Agonistes,' which he would repeat with a sad memory of
the past, and sense of the present:

  So much I feel my general spirit droop,
  My hopes all flat, nature within me seems
  In all her functions weary of herself,
  My race of glory run, and race of shame,
  And I shall shortly be with them that rest.

Taking him altogether, he was a very remarkable man in his abilities and
his acquirements, in his character and in his career, with virtues and
vices, faults and merits, curiously intermingled, and producing as
eccentric results as society has often beheld.

_December 2nd._--The death of Charles Buller has occurred when he can be
ill spared to the party of which he was rapidly becoming an important
member, and to the country which he was capable of serving. He is a
great social and a great public loss, more especially in days of
mediocrity and barrenness like the present. He was clever, amiable,
accomplished, and honest. His abilities were of a very high order, and
though he loved the world and its pursuits, he had great powers of
application. Few people were more agreeable and entertaining in society,
and he had a very gentle and affectionate disposition. He never made,
and never would have made, much progress in the profession of the law,
which he originally embraced. It was evidently unsuited to his genius,
his taste, and his habits, and he judged rightly in exchanging it once
for all for a political career in which, had his life been spared, he
would have achieved great eminence. In politics he was originally a
Radical, but though the old leaven not unfrequently showed itself, it
was greatly modified in his latter years; and when he manifested
ultra-Liberal sympathies, it was probably more from love of paradox and
controversy, than from real and sincere conviction. His political
opinions, however, which for a long time seem to have been in an
unsettled and transitional state, he never suppressed or compromised for
any personal interest; and though he was both very ambitious and very
poor, he never committed a mean or discreditable act for the sake of
either favour or office. A man more honourable and independent never
existed, and he would have been indebted for the political exaltation
which was certainly in store for him to nothing but the force and
influence of his own capacity and power. His career of usefulness was in
fact only beginning. Up to a very recent period he had made no progress
in public life commensurate with his ability, and especially with his
parliamentary talents; but if justice was not done him, it was mainly
because he did not do justice to himself. He was perhaps the most
popular member of the House of Commons. By universal acknowledgement he
was an admirable speaker, full of matter, lucid, never dull, and
generally very amusing, so that he never rose without being sure of an
attentive and favourable audience. His greatest speeches were on dry and
serious subjects, such as colonisation, emigration, or records, none of
which became heavy or uninteresting in his hands. He had, however, one
great defect, which not only rendered him less agreeable in society than
he would otherwise have been, but which had a very serious and unhappy
influence on his political career. He was seduced by his keen perception
of the ridiculous and an irresistible propensity to banter into an
everlasting mockery of everything and everybody, which not only often
became tiresome and provoking, but gave an appearance of levity to his
character that largely deducted from the estimation in which he would
otherwise have been held. It was impossible to be sure when he was in
earnest and when he was in jest, when he really meant what he said, and
when he was only jeering, gibing, and making game. It is incredible what
damage this pernicious habit did him; for it created a notion that
though he was very witty and entertaining, he had no settled principles
and convictions, and that he 'made a mockery of life.' Of this defect
(with which his friends had often reproached him) he was manifestly
curing himself. He had begun to take a more sober and earnest view of
the great concerns of the world, and his really excellent understanding
was asserting its predominance over the wild vagaries of his wit. In
thus disciplining his mind into more of practical wisdom, he was paving
the way for his own success; and had he not been snatched away thus
suddenly, 'while his hopes were as warm and his desires as eager as
ours,' he would have become an eminent man. As it is he has left behind
him a memory cherished for its delightful social qualities, and a vast
credit for undeveloped powers.


Yesterday, Clarendon went to the Grange on his way to Dublin. I had a
long conversation with him before he went. He told me what they are
meditating for Ireland. They give up all idea of paying the priests, and
laying out money for any purpose but that of emigration. For this,
however, they have a great scheme connected with Canadian railways.
Their purpose is to establish a vast line of railways in Canada, and to
make a large emigration from Ireland for this purpose. A tax on Canadian
timber, and a sum of money to be borrowed here, the interest on which
Clarendon thinks he can supply (180,000_l._), are to provide the
necessary funds. They have satisfied themselves that this is as much as
they can venture to attempt.

He informed me that Wylde (to whom the Prince is in the habit of talking
very openly) told him that the Prince had been discussing with him the
possibility of some change of government being rendered necessary by
Lord John's health breaking down, and that they would like him
(Clarendon) to succeed him, and that if such an event occurred, the
Queen would certainly send for him to consult him on the subject.
Clarendon desired him to take an opportunity of telling the Prince that
no power on earth should induce him to accept such a post, and as it was
much better the Queen should never make an overture which would not be
accepted, he wished none such might ever be made to him. He then gave
his reasons for considering himself disqualified. I told him they would
not accept his excuses, because since his Irish administration he had
acquired a reputation which rendered him in the eyes of the world fit
for any post, but that I understood well why for various reasons he
might wish to decline the office. He said he could not speak, and had
not had parliamentary experience enough, having come too late into the
House of Lords, and never having been in the House of Commons. Finally
he begged me to tell anybody who suggested such a possible contingency,
that no power on earth would ever induce him to take it. But I don't
think he was displeased when I told him I should certainly not say that,
because I did not consider it so absolutely impossible, and that events
might occur, and the state of parties be such, that his acceptance of
the post would become a matter of public duty on his part. The truth is,
he is sincere in his disclaimer, but with an _arrière pensée_ of
ambition, which not unnaturally smiles on the idea of such a prodigious

_December 9th._--I dined on Tuesday last with Milman, Guizot, Macaulay,
and Hallam; Macaulay receiving felicitations with great modesty and
compliments on his book,[80] of which the whole impression was sold off,
and not a copy was to be got, though it had only been out three days.
Macaulay and Hallam talked of a branch of our literature of which
Guizot, well informed as he is, could know nothing. Macaulay's French is
detestable, the most barbarous accent that ever has _écorché les
oreilles_ of a Parisian.

[Footnote 80: [Lord Macaulay's 'History,' or at least the first two
volumes of it, had just been published.]]

On Tuesday I breakfasted with Macaulay, very small party and nothing
remarkable. Went in the afternoon to see Lord Beauvale.[81] He talked to
me of Melbourne, and so did she. They are not at all pleased at
Brougham's being his executor, which astonishes everybody. It would be
mighty inconvenient to have Melbourne's papers overhauled by Brougham.
Ellice has written to him to propose that they should all be delivered
to Beauvale unseen by anybody. He left a letter for Beauvale. In this
letter he gives certain pecuniary directions in favour of Lady Brandon
and Mrs. Norton, and a solemn declaration that what he had instructed
the Attorney-General to say on the trial as to her purity was true. He
said that, as his indiscretion had exposed her to obloquy and suspicion,
he was bound to renew this declaration.

[Footnote 81: [The Hon. Frederic Lamb, raised to the peerage as Lord
Beauvale for his diplomatic services, succeeded his brother William as
Viscount Melbourne. He was married to Mdlle. de Maltzahn, daughter of
the Prussian Minister at Vienna, but left no offspring, and with him
both titles expired.]]


_Bowood, December 20th._--The result of the French election for
President has astonished the whole world.[82] Everybody thought Louis
Napoleon would be elected, but nobody dreamt of such a majority. Great
alarm was felt here at the probable consequences of Cavaignac's defeat
and the success of his rival, and the French funds were to rise if
Napoleon was beaten, and to fall if he won. The election has taken
place: Napoleon wins by an immense majority, the funds rise, confidence
recovers, and people begin to find out that the new President is a
marvellous proper man. I really believe that the foolish affair of the
tame eagle in 1840 was the principal cause of the contempt with which he
was regarded here; added to this, he led an undistinguished life in this
country, associating with no conspicuous people, and his miserable
failure in the Chamber when he attempted to speak there, confirmed the
unfavourable impression. But Van de Weyer, who is here, says that he has
long known him and well, that he is greatly underrated here, and is
really a man of considerable ability. He crossed the water with him when
he went to take his seat after his election to the Assembly, and he then
expressed the most undoubting confidence in his own success at the
Presidential election, and said that he had every reason to believe, if
he chose to put himself forward, he would be supported by an immense
force, and that he might assume any position he pleased; but that he
should do nothing of the kind, that he had a legal position beyond which
he would not force himself, but that he was prepared to accept all the
consequences to which it might lead. And now there is a pretty general
opinion that he will be Emperor before long. The ex-Ministers and
Legitimists, who were hot for his election, considering him merely as a
bridge over which the Bourbons might return to power, begin to think the
success greater than is agreeable, and that such a unanimous expression
of public opinion may lead to the restoration of the Bonapartes instead
of to that of the Bourbons.

[Footnote 82: [On December 20 Louis Charles Napoleon Bonaparte was
proclaimed President of the French Republic. He was elected by 5,534,520
votes, General Cavaignac having 1,448,302 votes. From this moment the
Prince becomes one of the most important personages in the political
world, and virtually the master of the French nation.]]

_London, January 2nd, 1849._--The past year, which has been so fertile
in public misfortunes and private sorrows, wound up its dismal catalogue
with a great and unexpected calamity, the death of Auckland, who went to
the Grange in perfect health on Friday last, was struck down by a fit of
apoplexy on his return from shooting on Saturday, and died early on
Monday morning, having only shown a slight and momentary consciousness
on seeing his sister Fanny in the course of Sunday. His loss to the
Government is irreparable, and to his family it is unspeakably great. To
his sisters he was as a husband, a brother, and a friend combined
in one, and to them it is a bereavement full of sadness almost
amounting to despair. He was a man without shining qualities or showy
accomplishments, austere and almost forbidding in his manner, silent and
reserved in society, unpretending both in public and in private life,
and in the House of Lords taking a rare and modest part in debate, and
seldom speaking but on the business of his own department. Nevertheless
he was universally popular, and his company more desired and welcome
than that of many far more sprightly and brilliant men. His
understanding was excellent, his temper placid, his taste and tact
exquisite; his disposition, notwithstanding his apparent gravity,
cheerful, and under his cold exterior there was a heart overflowing with
human kindness, and with the deepest feelings of affection, charity, and
benevolence. Engaged from almost his earliest youth in politics and the
chances and changes of public life, he had no personal enemies and many
attached friends amongst men of all parties. His colleagues in office
were fully sensible of the merits which he never endeavoured to push
forward, and he was successively raised to the posts of President of the
Board of Trade, First Lord of the Admiralty, and Governor-General of
India; and he was a second time First Lord of the Admiralty on the
formation of John Russell's Administration in 1846.


His government of India was the subject of general applause till just as
it was about to close, when the unfortunate Cabul disaster tarnished its
fame, and exposed him to reproaches which he did not deserve. Whether
that expedition was wisely or unwisely undertaken, it is incontestable
that it was suggested or sanctioned by some of the greatest authorities
both in England and in India; that the military operations were
completely successful, and that the subsequent misfortunes were not
attributable to any neglect or impolicy on the part of the civil
government. But rage and shame took possession of the public mind at the
bloody and discreditable reverse which befel our arms, and without any
discrimination all who were concerned in the invasion were involved in a
common sentence of indignant reprobation. Lord Auckland bore this bitter
disappointment with the calmness and dignity of a man who felt that he
had no cause for self-reproach, probably trusting to an ultimate and
unprejudiced estimate of the general merits of his laborious and
conscientious administration.

His conduct of affairs at the Admiralty, his diligence, his urbanity,
his fairness and impartiality have been the theme of loud and general
praise. In an office in which jobbing and partiality have so often
prevailed, in which from the nature of the service the Minister is
compelled to disappoint many fair hopes and just expectations, and to
wound the pride, the vanity, and the feelings of many brave and
honourable men, it requires the greatest firmness to be just, and the
nicest tact and delicacy to avoid giving offence. In this most difficult
function no First Lord ever was more successful than Auckland. Always
patient and affable, holding out none of the false hopes which in the
end make sick hearts, dealing openly and frankly with his officers, he
inspired the whole profession with confidence and esteem. Such a
character and such a career may well be envied by every well-regulated
mind; nor can the termination of that career, however grievous and
deplorable to all who loved him, be regarded as an unhappy destiny for
himself, for if the pursuits and pleasures of existence were suddenly
and prematurely cut off, he was spared from sickness and infirmity with
their train of suffering and sorrow, and from the privations which
attend the approaches of old age and the gradual decay of the bodily and
mental powers. He closed a useful, honourable, and prosperous life with
his faculties unimpaired, leaving behind him a memory universally
honoured and regretted, and cherished by the tender affection and
inconsolable grief of his family and his friends.


This _Annus Mirabilis_, as it may well be called, is at last over, and
one cannot but feel glad at getting rid of a year which has been so
pregnant with every sort of mischief. Revolutions, ruin, sickness, and
death have ravaged the world publicly and privately; every species of
folly and wickedness seems to have been let loose to riot on the earth.
It would be easy to write a great deal of wise matter, but very little
that is new, on these topics. If ever mankind is destined to learn by
its own experience, to look at beginnings, middles, and endings, to see
what comes of what, and to test the virtue, wisdom, and utility of
plausible maxims and high-sounding phrases, this has been the time for
mankind's going to school and studying the lessons put before it. We
have seen such a stirring up of all the elements of society as nobody
ever dreamt of; we have seen a general Saturnalia--ignorance, vanity,
insolence, poverty, ambition, escaping from every kind of restraint,
ranging over the world and turning it topsy-turvy as it pleased. Every
theory and crotchet has had full swing, and powers and dominations have
bowed their necks to the yoke and cowered under the misbegotten tyranny
which has suddenly changed places with them. Democracy and philanthropy
have never before (or hardly ever) had their own way without let or
hindrance, _carte blanche_ to work out their own great and fancy
designs. This time they leave behind them--and all Europe exhibits the
result--a mass of ruin, terror, and despair. Nothing strikes one more
than the poverty of invention as well as the egregious folly of the new
patriots all over the world. They can think of nothing but overturning
everything that exists, and of reconstructing the social and political
machine by universal suffrage. To execute the most difficult task which
the human mind can have set before it, the task which demands the
highest qualities of knowledge, experience, and capacity, it is thought
enough to invite masses of men with strong passions and prejudices,
without even any of that practical knowledge which might serve, though
inadequately, to enable them to play their part in this prodigious
operation. Universal suffrage is to pick out the men fit to frame new
Constitutions, and when the delegates thus chosen have been brought
together--no matter how ignorant, how stupid, how in every way unfit
they may be--they expect to be allowed to have their own absurd and
ruinous way, and to break up at their caprice and pleasure all the
ancient foundations, and tear down the landmarks of society; and this
havoc, and ruin, and madness, are dignified with the fine names of
constitutional reform. Nor can the excuse be urged that this inundation
of wickedness and folly has been brought about by a resistance which
stood out too long, and was at last swept away by the effects of its own

Leaving out France altogether, whose Revolution was an accident--and
France is retracing her steps as fast as she can, scrambling,
crestfallen, perplexed, and half-ruined, out of the abyss into which she
suffered herself to be plunged--let us look at Prussia and Rome. In both
places the sovereigns spontaneously advanced to meet the wishes and
promote the interests of the people: they went to work in the right way.
In countries where the people had never exercised political rights and
privileges, where self-government was unknown, it was clear that the
masses were not capable of legislating or taking an immediate part in
framing Constitutions for themselves; but in every country, even in the
Roman States, there were some men of education, knowledge, genius, who
were more or less qualified to undertake the great work, and the Pope
called such men to his councils, and gave the Romans the framework of a
Government as liberal as was compatible with the working of any
government at all. This was what sense and reason suggested; but, though
it pleased his foolish and despicable people for a moment, they soon got
tired of such safe and gradual progress as this, ran riot, flung off all
control, and proceeded from one excess to another, constantly rising in
the scale of democracy, till they reached their climax by assassinating
the Pope's Minister, and forcing the Pope himself to escape in disguise
from Rome. Nobody knows what they want, nor do they know themselves how
they are to recover from the anarchy and ruin in which they are so
deeply plunged.

In Prussia better things might have been expected, for there at least
the people are better educated, and they have enjoyed municipal
institutions, and do know something of the practice of civil
administration; nevertheless, Prussia has not shown until lately much
more moderation and wisdom than Rome. This, however, now appears to have
been entirely the King's fault. If he had displayed more firmness and
decision he would have rallied round him the Conservative feelings and
interests of the country; but when these interests found themselves
abandoned by a Sovereign who commanded 200,000 faithful troops, and they
saw him bowing his head to the dictation of the rabble of Berlin, they
lost all heart, and democracy became rampant and unrestrained.

At length a reaction began. Vienna first, and Berlin afterwards, were
reduced to obedience, and the tide is now flowing back. It is impossible
to speculate on the final result, but for the present at least the
disgust and abhorrence of the brutal excesses committed under the
pretence of a spurious liberalism are intense and apparently


_London, January 19th._--Lord Auckland's death naturally excited great
interest and curiosity about the Admiralty. The first and most general
feeling was a desire that Lord Minto might not be his successor. This
was proclaimed in the press and in all places; but such a disagreeable
manifestation was hard upon him, as it turned out that he not only never
aspired to the place, but he at once told John Russell to take the Privy
Seal from him without scruple and do anything he pleased with it if his
resignation would be of use in any fresh combination he might wish to
make; in fact, he behaved very well. Lord John resolved to make the
offer to Graham (after having consulted Lord Lansdowne) provided the
Cabinet did not object. He called them together and proposed him. Though
certainly some of them did not like it, they consented unanimously, and
he accordingly wrote to Graham and asked him to come up to town. Graham
arrived, and they had a long and frank conversation. Graham said he was
quite independent, and his being invited _alone_ was no objection. He
asked Lord John what the views and intentions of Government were, and
Lord John explained everything to him in the most open and candid
manner. Graham seems to have made no objections to anybody or anything,
but rather to have hinted his apprehensions that they might not go far
enough in the way of economy; and he showed some leaning towards
Cobden's schemes, that is, he said he thought there was a great deal in
his speech and letter. At the end of the conversation he asked Lord John
if he had any objection to his consulting Peel, who, he had reason to
believe, was to pass through London that afternoon; if he had, he would
give him his answer at once. Lord John said he had no objection, and
Graham went away. In the evening he came back, said he had missed Peel
and could not consult him, and finally he declined, somewhat I think to
Lord John's surprise, for he gave no good reason for declining, and,
after asking for information as to the Government plans, and appearing
satisfied with them, Lord John naturally expected he would accept. They
parted on very friendly terms, but Lord John is not pleased; it has not
raised his opinion of Graham, and he will not make him another proposal
if he can help it. They cannot understand his conduct and motives, but
they think he was afraid--which probably is the truth. They then
proposed it to Sir Francis Baring, who took it directly. On the whole he
will probably be of more use to them than Graham. The accession of the
latter would have been distasteful to the Whigs generally and to many of
the Government; he would not have been at his ease with his colleagues
nor they with him, and I only wonder he ever hesitated. It is perhaps as
well that the offer was made to him, but on the whole better as it is.
The Protectionists, who, contemptible as they are as a party, can always
do some mischief, would have been more disposed to thwart and embarrass
the Government when Graham had become a part of it, for he is their
favourite aversion.

Cobden's new economical agitation is making a great stir, and the
Government are so uneasy at it that they are moving heaven and earth in
the way of reduction.


Palmerston has been dreadfully nettled at some recent attacks on him in
the 'Times.' Charles Wood sent for Delane and entreated him to desist
from these bitter attacks, and he promised he would for the present; he
said they had recorded their opinions and did not want to do any more.
The state of our foreign affairs and Palmerston's management of them are
the astonishment of Europe. There will certainly be more discussion than
usual about them in the ensuing Session, but probably with no more
result than heretofore. Stanley and Aberdeen will do their best or their
worst in the House of Lords, but all their blows will fall on the soft,
non-resisting cushion of Lansdowne's evasive urbanity, while in the
House of Commons there will be nobody to attack Palmerston, and between
those who won't grapple with him, and those who can't, he will come off
unscathed, as he has always done. It is said, however, that he is more
uneasy (as well he may be) than he ever was before, and from several
little symptoms I expect this to be the case. Whether _he_ is or not his
colleagues are, and his Royal Mistress still more. Within the last few
days fresh difficulties have arisen with reference to Lord Palmerston's
conduct of foreign affairs, for he keeps the Queen, his colleagues, his
friends, and the party in continual hot water; and on this occasion he
seems to have given serious offence to a foreign Power, insomuch that a
formal apology is said to be required of him. Yet Lord John has made up
his mind to fight through the Session in defence of a colleague whose
proceedings give him perpetual annoyance. Aberdeen has been with Peel,
and says that he is still more animated against Palmerston than he is
himself, and he expects that Peel will not abstain from manifesting his
opinion when Parliament meets. Aberdeen said he had no hostility to the
Government, and no objection to anything but the conduct of foreign
affairs, so much so that if Clarendon came to the Foreign Office he
would give him his proxy if he would hold it. The Government are
evidently in a stew. There was an article in the 'Times' on Thursday, in
which, though there was no attack on Palmerston, who was not named,
there was an allusion to former articles and to our conduct to Austria,
which evidently rubbed on a sore place, for Charles Wood sent for Delane
and expressed his regret that we were on such bad terms with Austria.
Delane said, he had all along been saying the same thing, when Charles
Wood replied that he did not think we had _done_ anything we could not
justify and defend, but unfortunately Palmerston's manner of doing
things and the language he employed had given great offence, and that it
was much to be regretted that he had given advice and expressed opinions
in so offensive a tone as he had done, especially to Austria.[83] All
this showed clearly enough that Austria was the Power whom he last
insulted. He has not, however, been quite idle about Russia, having
instructed Stratford Canning to move the Porte to take some steps to
thwart Russian policy in that quarter. Canning was very prudent, and
nothing serious came of it; but the Emperor is informed of his
proceedings, and has taken care to let him know that he is, without
making any quarrel. He has also given Palmerston to understand that it
is not his intention to allow great European questions, in which he may
naturally be expected to take an interest, to be dealt with without his
being consulted and considered.

[Footnote 83: [It was not Austria, but Naples, which had reason to
complain of Lord Palmerston. He had allowed stores to be sent from
Woolwich to the Sicilian insurgents, and for this breach of neutrality
Lord John Russell insisted that an apology should be made to the King of
Naples, and it was made. The transaction was first discovered and
disclosed by the 'Times' newspaper. Till then Lord John Russell knew
nothing of it.]]

_London, January 28th._--It appears that Graham did not give the same
account to Peel and to Lord Aberdeen of what had passed with John
Russell about his taking office. Lord John says that he appeared well
inclined to accept, made no serious objections to anybody or to
anything, and that he could not make out why he finally refused. It is
clear, however, that Graham must have given some reasons for declining,
and, in fact, they are pretty well agreed as to the latter part of their
several statements. John Russell, when the Queen asked him why Graham
declined, told her that the reasons he gave were some doubts whether
their contemplated reductions would go far enough, and some objections
as to the foreign policy; but Lord John clearly thought that these
doubts and objections were so faintly expressed that they did not amount
to anything like insuperable obstacles. He said with reference to
foreign policy, that it always must be remembered that Palmerston had
kept us at peace, and as Graham went away expressly to consult Peel,
that implied that if Peel advised him to accept he would do so. This is
not the conduct of a man who had serious objections to our past policy.
Of course he could not join without subscribing to the past and
undertaking its defence; but to Peel he declared that he had refused
because he could not approve of or defend Palmerston's foreign policy,
and because their reductions were not sufficient, putting his objections
and refusal in a much stronger way than he appears to have put them to
Lord John. All this comes from his timidity, and I have no doubt the
want of a really clear conscience. He pines for office, he dreads to
take it; he knows he is an object of suspicion and dislike to people of
all parties; he is embarrassed with his own position; he is
clear-sighted enough to perceive all its entanglements and difficulties.
All sorts of absurd stories are current about his demands and what the
negotiation went off upon.


_February 7th._--Parliament opened last Thursday, and the Government
began the campaign very victoriously. A great flourish of trumpets had
been sounded to announce the attack which Lord Stanley was to make,
especially on the vulnerable point of the foreign policy, and the
Government and their friends were not at all easy as to the result.
Stanley's was one of the worst speeches he ever made, ill put together
and arranged, full of ignorance, and consequently of misrepresentations
and misstatements. Lord Lansdowne made a very able and judicious reply.
The Government got a majority of two in a division which Stanley most
unwisely forced on, and the affair ended in a general opinion that the
Ministers had much the best of it, and that Stanley had been signally
defeated. His blunders, however, were not confined to his speech. He had
at first determined not to move any amendment to the Address, and the
Duke of Wellington had entreated him not to do so. He had accordingly
told Eglinton, his whipper-in, he should not, and Eglinton told
Strafford none would be moved. Then Stanley changed his mind, contrary
to the opinions of Eglinton and others, and much to the annoyance of the
former, who had misled Strafford by his information. After Lansdowne's
speech, to persist in the amendment was very injudicious. The Duke of
Wellington opposed it in a very sensible speech, when Stanley rose and
said there was nothing in his amendment about foreign affairs; on which
Lord St. Germains pointed out to him that that was an express allusion
to them. He said he had forgotten it, and still persisted; but it is
much believed that some of his own people were sent away to avoid the
embarrassment of their being in a majority. So much for the Lords.

In the Commons Government was equally triumphant. There had been a great
deal of squabbling among the Protectionists about their leadership,
some wanting Herries, some Granby, and some Disraeli, and when
Parliament met there was nothing settled. Stanley had written a flummery
letter to Disraeli, full of compliments, but suggesting to him to let
Herries have the lead. Disraeli, brimful of indignation against Stanley
and contempt for Herries, returned a cold but civil answer, saying he
did not want to be leader, and that he should gladly devote himself more
to literature and less to politics than he had been able to do for some
time past. Meanwhile Herries declined the post, and Granby with Lord
Henry Bentinck insisted on Disraeli's appointment, both as the fittest
man, and as a homage to George Bentinck's memory. I saw a note from
Disraeli a day or two ago, saying he had received the adhesions of
two-thirds of this party. In the House of Commons he appeared as leader,
for he moved Stanley's Amendment, which was sent to him so late that he
placed Stanley's draft in his own handwriting in the Speaker's hands. He
made a clever speech with some appearance of attacking Palmerston in
earnest. The debate was adjourned, and the next night Palmerston made
one of the cleverest, most impudent, and most effective speeches that
ever was heard. It took vastly with the House, threw his opponents into
confusion, and he came out of the _mêlée_ with flying colours. The
Opposition have committed nothing but blunders, and the Government have
naturally reaped the benefit of them, and they are in a high state of

As soon as Graham came to town, he called on me, and gave me his reasons
for not having accepted office. He said nothing could be handsomer or
more gratifying than John Russell's conduct to him. He had been more
than frank, he had been confidential, and had told him things that he
desired him not to repeat even to Peel or Aberdeen, and which he said he
never would repeat to anybody. Graham made an excellent case for
himself, and after hearing him I am satisfied that he both acted fairly
and judged wisely. He said, 'I have played some pranks before high
heaven in my time. I quitted the Whigs once, and it would not do to
quit them again; and unless I could subscribe to all their past conduct
and policy, as well as feel quite satisfied for the future, it was
better not to join.' The great obstacle he owned was Palmerston, and he
anticipated being very likely placed in a state of collision with him,
which might have been most embarrassing to himself and to the


On Sunday he came to me again. He told me he had called on Stanley and
had a good deal of conversation with him. Stanley found fault with
Clarendon's letter, which he thought insufficient for the re-suspension
of the Habeas Corpus,[84] and Graham said it appeared to him very
meagre. He then went on to say that he felt great difficulty in
supporting such a coercive measure, when unaccompanied by any remedial
measures whatever; that he did not wish to do or say anything to
embarrass the Government, but he could not conceal his opinion that
remedial measures ought to be brought forward, especially the payment of
the Irish Clergy, and he felt the more difficulty about this, because
Disraeli in his speech had made an evident appeal to Protestant bigotry
by treating this question as altogether gone by and defunct, and one
which never could be raised again, and against this he thought a protest
ought to be made. He said he was much struck by the absence of all
allusion to the suspension of the Habeas Corpus in both Stanley's and
Disraeli's speeches, and he could not help thinking they were preparing
to embarrass the Government by some opposition to it, and consequently
that the task of carrying it through the House of Commons would not be
so easy as Government imagined. He gave me to understand that he wished
me to communicate to John Russell what he had said to me.

The next day I went and told Lord John what had passed, and afterwards I
told Lord Lansdowne. Yesterday morning I saw Graham again, when I found
him no longer inclined to think that Stanley would take any part
against the Habeas Corpus Bill. When I got to the office, I saw Lord
Lansdowne, who told me (albeit not used to talk politics with me) that
what I had said to John Russell had had such an effect upon him, that he
had determined, as he (Lord Lansdowne) thought very unwisely, and much
to his regret, to propose the renewal for six months only instead of for
a year as had been intended. I was exceedingly annoyed at this, and told
Lord Lansdowne that Lord John must have misunderstood me, or exaggerated
the importance of what I had said, and I hoped it was not too late to
revert to the original intention, as I was quite certain there was no
necessity for limiting the period, and that if there was opposition from
any quarter, it would be as great for six months as for twelve. He
begged me to go to John Russell at the House of Commons and say so to
him, which I did; but he said merely that they had resolved to adopt a
former precedent, and should take it for six months. In the evening I
saw Lord Lansdowne, who was evidently extremely mortified and
disappointed, and said to me, 'I think we have made a great mess of it,'
which was a great deal for him. All this proves that there has been
considerable difference of opinion in the Cabinet, and it shows a
vacillation and infirmity of purpose, which has been all along the
besetting sin of this Government.

[Footnote 84: [A Bill for the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act in
Ireland for a period of six months had been passed in the previous
summer. It now became necessary to renew it, and it was originally
intended to renew it for twelve months, as Lord Clarendon, the
Lord-Lieutenant, thought it expedient to do.]]

_February 9th._--It appears that the change from twelve to six months
was a sudden turn of Lord John's under the influence of fear. He had got
it into his head that there would be a strong opposition to the longer
period, but not to the shorter. Accordingly at two o'clock on Tuesday he
summoned his Cabinet, and to the great astonishment of all or most of
them, announced his intention to make this alteration. There was
evidently a considerable struggle. Clanricarde told me he did not
believe the Bill was necessary at all, and he would rather have let it
drop. Labouchere owned yesterday morning it was all wrong. George Grey
and Wood evidently went with Lord John.


On Wednesday night the Government found themselves in a great dilemma.
When Charles Wood proposed his grant of 50,000_l._ he had no idea of
meeting with any opposition, for he told me he was not sure whether he
should _give_ the Irish 50,000_l._ or 100,000_l._; but the English
members and constituencies have become savage and hard-hearted towards
the Irish, and one after another of all parties jumped up and opposed
the grant. Graham said he was for giving it, with the understanding that
it should be the last, whereas Charles Wood proposed it as the first of
a series of grants. Nobody knows whether it will be carried or not, but
it is quite certain that nothing more will be given, let the
consequences be what they may. Meanwhile the state of things is
monstrous and appalling.

Ireland is like a strong man with an enormous cancer in one limb of his
body. The distress is confined to particular districts, but there it is
frightful and apparently irremediable. It is like a region desolated by
pestilence and war. The people really are dying of hunger, and the means
of aiding them do not exist. Here is a country, part and parcel of
England, a few hours removed from the richest and most civilised
community in the world, in a state so savage, barbarous, and destitute,
that we must go back to the Middle Ages or to the most inhospitable
regions of the globe to look for a parallel. Nobody knows what to do;
everybody hints at some scheme or plan to which his next neighbour
objects. Most people are inclined to consider the case as hopeless, to
rest on that conviction, and let the evil work itself out, like a
consuming fire, which dies away when there is nothing left for it to
destroy. All call on the Government for a plan and a remedy, but the
Government have no plan and no remedy; there is nothing but disagreement
among them; and while they are discussing and disputing, the masses are
dying. God only knows what is to be the end of all this, and how and
when Ireland is to recover from such a deplorable calamity. Lord
Lansdowne, a great Irish proprietor, is filled with horror and dread at
the scheme that some propound, of making the sound part of Ireland
rateable for the necessities of the unsound, which he thinks is neither
more nor less than a scheme of confiscation, by which the weak will not
be saved, but the strong be involved in the general ruin. Charles Wood
has all along set his face against giving or lending money, or any
Government interference in the capacity of capitalist, and he
contemplates (with what seems like very cruelty, though he is not really
cruel) that misery and distress should run their course; that such havoc
should be made amongst the landed proprietors, that the price of land
will at last fall so low as to tempt capitalists to invest their funds
therein, and then that the country will begin to revive, and a new
condition of prosperity spring from the ruin of the present possessors.
This may, supposing it to answer, prove the ultimate regeneration of
Ireland; but it will be at a cost of suffering to the actual possessors
and to the whole of the present generation such as never was
contemplated by any system of policy. Lord Lansdowne thinks
Trevelyan[85] is the real author of this scheme, who, he tells me, has
acquired a great influence over Charles Wood's mind.

[Footnote 85: [Mr. Trevelyan, afterwards Sir Charles Trevelyan, Bart.
and K.C.B., was at this time Secretary of the Treasury.]]

_February 11th._--I heard from Clarendon last night. He takes the matter
of the Habeas Corpus more quietly than I expected, but he says, 'I thank
you for telling me the cause of what I consider great vacillation and
cowardice on the part of the Government. In the speeches there is no
evidence of opposition that could justify a Government in turning away
from its purpose.'

Madame de Flahault told me an anecdote about the new French Ambassador,
Admiral Cécille, creditable to all the parties concerned. When the
Embassy here was offered him, he told the President that he had always
been attached to Louis Philippe, and if he was to be made the instrument
of saying or doing anything disagreeable to him or his family, he could
not accept it. The President said he might be perfectly easy on that
score, and that he might go and pay his respects at Claremont as soon as
he arrived if he pleased. Accordingly the Admiral sent to the King to
offer to wait on him, but Louis Philippe very sensibly said it would
only place him in a position of embarrassment, and that he had better
not come. I met Duchâtel at dinner on Thursday at Lansdowne House. He
spoke highly of the French Ministry and of the President, and he
evidently thinks the Monarchy or Empire is more likely to be revived in
his person than in that of any other candidate.


_February 15th._--The Government got good divisions the other night on
their Irish questions. Graham told me (the morning of the discussion)
that he would strongly advise them to make a declaration of their
intention to revise local taxation, and connect that question with the
Poor Laws. I wrote Charles Wood word what he said, and John Russell
acted on the advice. Lord Lansdowne did not conceal from me his disgust
at the resolution to which the Cabinet had come of proposing a sort of
rate which is to embrace under certain restrictions all Ireland.

_February 24th._--Last Tuesday was as disastrous a night as any
Government ever suffered, for it was injurious and humiliating.
Baillie[86] had given notice of a motion for a Committee of Enquiry into
the administration of Ceylon, British Guiana, and Mauritius, with a view
to their better government. He afterwards withdrew Mauritius, and the
Government resolved to give the Committee about the other two; and they
did this, though they knew that what was really meant was an attack on
Lord Torrington[87] about Ceylon, and on Lord Grey on both scores.
Ellice and I told Grey, whom we met at dinner the day before, that they
ought not to give the Committee; but he seemed to be all for it, whether
_nolens_ or _volens_ I know not. On Tuesday night this motion came on,
when Baillie made the most bitter and abusive speech that could be
uttered. He said that he meant it as a vote of censure, and he accused
Lord Grey (who was sitting under the gallery all the time) of the most
disgraceful and dishonourable conduct, especially in reference to the
celebrated Jamaica Memorial in the House of Commons last year. The House
went with Baillie, and against Grey and Torrington. The Government met
the case in a very poor, blundering, low way; a sort of dodge was
attempted and totally failed in the shape of an amendment proposed by
Ricardo. Peel said a few damaging words, and John Russell made a very
poor speech, which had all the air of throwing Grey over. The motion for
a Committee was carried without any division or resistance, and with
scarcely any alteration. The effect was as bad as it could possibly be.
The Government and their people were mortified and dejected, Grey
immensely disgusted, and the Opposition, especially Protectionists,
insolent and elated. It is generally believed that if they had divided,
they would have been beaten, for all the scattered sections of the
Opposition and some of their own friends would have voted against them,
and this has revealed the disagreeable truth that they have in fact no
hold in the House of Commons, no certain majority, and that whenever all
the other parties can find a common ground to meet upon, the Government
are sure to be beaten.

[Footnote 86: [Henry Baillie, Esq., of Redcastle, was then Member for
Inverness-shire, and a considerable West Indian proprietor. He was
assisted in organising this attack on the Colonial Department by Mr.
Matthew Higgins, better known as 'Jacob Omnium,' a man of great wit and

[Footnote 87: [Viscount Torrington was Governor of Ceylon during a
formidable insurrection which had occurred in that island in the
preceding year. He was violently attacked for the measures he had taken
to suppress it, but he eventually defended himself, on his return to
England, with complete success. Lord Torrington died in 1884.]]

Graham called on me on Thursday to talk over this debate. He thought it
very damaging and very bad; John Russell wretched; he thought after
Baillie's speech he ought to have refused the Committee and abided by
the consequences, standing up and manfully defending both his colleague
and his employé. He said he had observed that Peel had latterly been
more ill-natured to the Government, and that he still bitterly resented
Lord John's speech reviving the old dispute on the Appropriation Clause.
Lord Aberdeen says the same thing, adding that Peel had never liked Lord
John, and that he thought his conduct in attacking him, after the
support he had given him, was very bad, and he resented it accordingly,
and this was not the last proof he would give of his resentment.


_March 2nd._--A day or two ago Bankes asked a question in the House of
Commons about the stores furnished to the revolutionary Sicilian
Government, to which Palmerston made a reply, and the matter dropped. It
is very singular that none of the Opposition leaders got hold of it, for
there never was a stronger case coupled with all the rest of
Palmerston's Sicilian doings. They have so entirely mismanaged their
case, and contrived to give him so great a triumph, and to establish
such a prestige of his success and dexterity, that it is now difficult,
if not impossible, to take the field against him afresh with any
prospect of success. But the Sicilian case is so strong and so bad, that
even now, when the papers are published, they may make a good deal of
it, and do Palmerston some damage if they manage the case well. His case
for the maritime interference after the capture of Messina has been
thrown over completely by the speech of General Filangieri in the
Neapolitan Parliament, which bears every mark of truth; and I have since
heard how he got up the story of atrocities supposed to be committed,
which he put into the mouth of the Queen in her speech in Parliament,
and which he repeated himself with so much effrontery in the House of
Commons, and made Lord Lansdowne so innocently repeat in the House of
Lords. Long after, I believe two months after the intervention, he wrote
to Lord Napier, and desired him to instruct the British Consul at
Messina to collect details of the Neapolitan atrocities, and to send
them to him, and this was the evidence on which he made the statements
which so materially assisted in carrying him through the debate the
first night of the session. The mention in the Queen's Speech of the
'King of _Naples_,' instead of the King of the Two Sicilies, is now said
to have been a mere inadvertence, but I have no doubt it was overlooked
by his colleagues, but put in by him intentionally and with a
significant purpose. It is his whole antecedent conduct from first to
last which confers such importance on the case of the stores. Sicilian
agents came over here and applied to the Government contractor to
supply them, with stores. He said he had none ready, having just
supplied all he had to Government, but that if Government would let him
have them back, he would supply them to the agents, and replace the
Government stores in a short time. The Sicilians had no time to lose,
and by their desire the contractor applied to the Ordnance, stating the
object of his application. If the matter had been merely treated
commercially, and the contractor, without stating his object, had asked
the Government to oblige him as a convenience to himself, it would have
been quite harmless; but the object having been stated, it became a
political matter. So the Ordnance considered it, and they referred the
request to Palmerston as Foreign Secretary, who gave his sanction to the
transaction. This made the whole thing a political affair, and a direct
assistance rendered by Government to the Sicilian insurgents. The
Neapolitan Minister heard of it, and an apology to his Government became
necessary. All the Ministers saw the gravity of this matter, but by the
extraordinary good fortune which never deserts Palmerston, nobody found
it out, and not a word was said about it the first night, to the great
joy and surprise of the Ministers, who were trembling lest this delicate
point should be touched upon.[88]


The rate in aid for Ireland is making a great stir and very bad blood in
Ireland. The evidence before both Committees is very much against it.
Labouchere told me yesterday that the Commons Committee had been much
shaken by the evidence of one of the Poor Law Commissioners examined
before them yesterday, and the same effect has been produced in the
House of Lords. Lord Lansdowne cannot endure it, and, though it is a
Government measure, the Cabinet are anything but unanimous about it.
Clarendon does not like it either, but he must have money, _quocunque
modo rem_.

[Footnote 88: [It is curious that Mr. Greville should not have
remembered and stated exactly how this affair of the Sicilian arms
transpired. Mr. Delane knew Hood, the arms contractor--a man who used to
hunt with the Old Surrey Hounds--and by mere accident learnt from Hood
all this story. The 'Times' perceived the importance of it, and soon
afterwards charged the Government with having connived at a supply of
arms from the Queen's stores to the Sicilian insurgents. No notice was
taken of this first charge. It was therefore repeated in stronger
language. Upon this, Lord John Russell (who knew nothing of the matter)
took it up, said he must enquire into it, and that the charge must be
contradicted or the practice stopped. On enquiry, he found it was all
perfectly true, and then it was that he compelled Lord Palmerston,
sorely against his will, to make a formal official apology to the King
of Naples, the man whom he most hated and despised in the whole world.]]

In the midst of more important affairs the exposure that has just been
made of Hudson's railway delinquency[89] has excited a great sensation,
and no small satisfaction. In the City all seem glad of his fall, and
most people rejoice at the degradation of a purse-proud, vulgar upstart,
who had nothing to recommend him but his ill-gotten wealth. But the
people who ought to feel most degraded are those who were foolish or
mean enough to subscribe to the 'Hudson Testimonial,' and all the
greedy, needy, fine people, who paid abject court to him in order to
obtain slices of his good things.

[Footnote 89: [Hudson had made a large fortune in railway contracts and
speculations, which he afterwards lost. He was known as the 'Railway
King,' and had been the object of a most servile and contemptible homage
in the days of his prosperity.]]

_March 7th._--The news from India of Gough's disastrous and stupid
battle[90] filled everybody with indignation and dismay, and a universal
cry arose for Sir Charles Napier. On Saturday evening I met Lord John
Russell at Lord Granville's, and told him so, entreating him to send him
out. He answered, in his cold, easy way, that 'it was too late now,'
that the campaign could not last beyond the end of this month or middle
of the next, and that he therefore could not get out in time; that they
had appointed Sir William Gomm, and that the Duke of Wellington gave
him a high character, and he thought all would do well; in short, he
seemed not inclined to do anything.

[Footnote 90: [The battle of Chillianwallah, one of the most sanguinary
and least successful actions ever fought by the British in India, took
place on January 13. Lord Gough, the Commander-in-Chief, was severely
blamed for his rash and headstrong tactics on this occasion. Sir William
Gomm had just been appointed to succeed Gough, but he was believed to be
equally incompetent. The state of India demanded a far stronger hand,
and it was found in Sir Charles Napier. Lord Gough, however, defeated
the Sikhs shortly afterwards in a second battle at Gujerat.]]

On Sunday I called on Arbuthnot at Apsley House, where I found the Duke.
I talked to him of the battle; he shook his head, and lifted up his
hands. I said they ought to send out Napier; he said he had long ago
wanted to do so, that now he could not get out till the campaign was
over; that he hoped it would all end well, though it had been a bad
affair, and ill-managed. I asked him would Napier go if they would
appoint him. He said, 'Oh yes; he would go, he would go,' he repeated.
He then went away. When he was gone, Arbuthnot said to me, 'Though the
Duke puts a good face upon it, and endeavours to make the best of it, I
can tell you (though he will not say so to you or to anybody) that he is
extremely alarmed, and thinks the state of things most serious.' He then
said that the Duke would like exceedingly to send out Napier, but that
he would express no opinion, and give no advice; that he always said he
was not a Cabinet Minister, and it was not for him to tender advice, but
he would give it if it was asked. I said I had spoken to John Russell
the evening before, when Arbuthnot said, if I could do anything with the
Government to induce them to send Napier out, it would be doing a great
service, and he knew that the Duke would afford every assistance in his
power for that purpose. I said I would try. I determined to go and speak
to Hobhouse.[91] In my way to Brooks', where I went to look for him, I
met Lord Lansdowne, when I urged him to send out Napier. He said he
would not go. I told him I knew he would, and then repeated what had
passed at Apsley House. He said John Russell had seen the Duke the day
before, who had said nothing about it. I told him the Duke would not say
anything unless he was asked, but then he would, and would give his
opinion. I then went to Hobhouse, found him, and urged him, as strongly
as I could, to send Napier out, telling him how clamorous everybody was
for it, and what the Duke and Arbuthnot had said to me. He acknowledged
that it was the only thing to do, but that he did not know how the
Directors were to be brought to consent to it, and that his having the
seat in Council or not made the difference between 8,000_l._ or
18,000_l._ a year to him, to say nothing of the insult which Napier
considered would be put upon him by excluding him from the Council.
Hobhouse then said, 'You do not know the difficulties I have had with
these men. I have brought the Government, the Duke of Wellington, and
the Queen all to bear upon them, and all in vain. It was only the other
day, after the affair in which Cureton was killed, that I made another
attempt. I sent to Sir James Lushington, and asked him if it was not
then possible to send Napier out to India. The next day he sent me word
that it was impossible, for if it was proposed _not one man_ would vote
for it.'

[Footnote 91: [Sir John Cam Hobhouse was then President of the Board of


I replied, since all the powers had failed, that I would bring one more
to bear upon them, viz. the House of Commons, and advised him to go down
and announce the appointment of Napier as Commander-in-Chief; and if the
Directors refused the seat in Council, to cast all the responsibility on
them, and ask Parliament for the additional salary. He approved of the
plan, if it should become necessary. I ended by urging him to probe the
Duke of Wellington, who would tell him his real opinion (he was to see
him the next morning), and then to take a decisive step, and send Napier
out. I told him his Government wanted credit, and that while in
the event of any fresh disasters they would incur an enormous
responsibility, and be called to a severe account for not having sent
the best man they could find, by doing so now, they would acquire
reputation, vigour, and resolution. The next morning early he went to
Lord John Russell, and they agreed to appoint Napier. Hobhouse went to
the Duke, and it was settled at once, greatly to the Duke's
satisfaction. Napier, however, took twelve hours to consider of it, and
the Duke told me he did not at all like it. The Directors behaved well,
and, whether agreeable to them or not, they acquiesced with a good
grace. Ellenborough advised Napier to demand powers greater than had
ever been given to any commander-in-chief, but Napier consulted
Hardinge, who advised him to do no such thing. He said there was no
necessity for them, and that he had much better go out as all his
predecessors had done. This was sound advice, and Napier took it. It
would have been most unwise in a man appointed under such circumstances
to make extraordinary demands upon the authority which only with the
greatest reluctance could be induced to give him any powers at all.
Hardinge told me this in the House of Lords last night.

The satisfaction at Napier's appointment is great and universal, but I
really believe it is in a considerable degree attributable to the
accident of my seeing the Duke on Sunday, and bringing him and the
Government to an understanding on the subject. If I had not seen
Hobhouse on Sunday afternoon, I doubt if any change would have been
made, and am inclined to think Gomm's appointment would have been
carried out.

Last night in the House of Lords Palmerston got the hardest hit he has
ever yet had, though his skin is so impenetrably thick that he will
hardly feel it. Some nights ago Bankes had asked a question about the
Sicilian arms, which Palmerston answered in his usual offhand way, and
as usual the matter fell flat, nobody appearing to think or care
anything about it. Palmerston made a sort of explanation, such as it
was, without a word in it of regret or excuse, as if it had been all
quite natural and right. But the matter did not go off so easily in the
Lords. Stanley stated the case he had heard, and asked if it was true.
Lord Lansdowne at once owned it was true; he called it 'an
inadvertence'! But he said that as soon as it was known to the Cabinet,
they were deliberately of opinion that the permission ought to have been
withheld, and that instructions had been sent to Temple in case any
complaint was made, to apologise, explain, and promise nothing of the
sort should ever recur. A more mortifying declaration for Palmerston (if
anything can mortify him) could not well be, and it was besides an
exposure not to be mistaken. If this affair had stood alone, it might
have passed for an inadvertence, but conjoined with all the other
circumstances of the case, and the general tenor of Palmerston's Italian
policy, nothing can well be worse. Palmerston is _safe_ enough as far as
his office is concerned, and the Government will not be shaken, but it
is damaging beyond all doubt, and when the question comes to be
regularly discussed, Stanley, though now too late, will give him a
tremendous dressing.


_March 16th._--I have been entirely occupied with the labour and trouble
of migration from Grosvenor Place to Bruton Street, where I took up my
abode yesterday evening, and the consequence is that I have not found
time to write a line about passing events.[92]

A day or two after Lord Lansdowne's explanation in the House of Lords
about the Sicilian arms Bankes made another interpellation in the House
of Commons, the object of which was to ask the same question that
Stanley had done. But unlike his chief he made a long, rambling, stupid
speech, which gave Palmerston one of those opportunities of which he
never fails to avail himself with so much dexterity, and accordingly he
delivered a slashing, impudent speech, full of sarcasm, jokes, and
clap-traps, the whole eminently successful. He quizzed Bankes
unmercifully, he expressed ultra-Liberal sentiments to please the
Radicals, and he gathered shouts of laughter and applause as he dashed
and rattled along. He scarcely deigned to notice _the_ question, merely
saying a few words at the end of his speech in replying to it. All this
did perfectly well for the House of Commons, and he got the honours of
the day. Stanley was furious, and all the Anti-Palmerstonians provoked
to death, while he and his friends chuckled and laughed in their
sleeves. John Russell also came to his rescue, and made an apology for
him, which in his mouth was very discreditable, for it was in fact
inconsistent with what Lord Lansdowne had said in the House of Lords.

[Footnote 92: [Mr. Greville removed at this time from the house he had
occupied, No. 40, Grosvenor Place, to a suite of rooms in Lord
Granville's house in Bruton Street, in which he passed the remainder of
his life.]]


    Difficult Position of the Government--A Cloud in the East--Italian
    Affairs--Suppression of a Despatch--Sir Charles Napier goes
    to India--Sir James Graham's Alarms--Lord John Russell's
    Position--Battle of Novara--Opposition to the Repeal of the
    Navigation Laws--Sir James Graham's Pusillanimity--State of
    France--Conflicting Views on Irish Relief--Lord John contemplates
    a Peerage--Interview of Lord Clarendon with Sir Robert Peel--The
    Navigation Bill--Maiden Speech of Sir R. Peel's second Son--An
    Omission of Lord Palmerston's--Lord Palmerston's Opponents--Lord
    Palmerston's Defence--A Trip to Scotland--Dr. Candlish's
    Sermon--History of the Debates on Foreign Affairs--Extension
    of the Suffrage--The Queen's Visit to Ireland--A Council
    at Balmoral--Prince Albert's Conversation--Lord Aberdeen's
    Views--Lord John's Defence of Lord Palmerston.

_London, March 16th, 1849._--On Thursday in last week Mr. Disraeli made
his promised display in favour of the landed interest. His speech was
vehemently praised by the Tories, but regarded with very different
opinions by different people; on the whole it was not much admired. The
night before last, the debate having been adjourned for several days,
Charles Wood answered it in one of the best speeches that has been heard
for a long time, and by far the best he ever made. Peel warmly
congratulated him, and he told Ellice it was not merely a good, it was a
great speech. This has been very useful to the Government as well as to
the Chancellor of the Exchequer himself, and both required something of
credit. The Government are (as heretofore) hampered with measures which
they have brought forward with very doubtful means of being able to
carry them. The Rate in Aid and the Navigation Laws are both in
jeopardy, though this time by no fault of the Government, who have done
all they could to pass both. It is a state of things full of difficulty
and uncertainty. Every party is strong enough to thwart and embarrass
its opponents, and to obstruct and damage measures it dislikes, and none
is strong enough to have its own way, and carry matters with a high
hand. All this was foreseen as the inevitable result of the Reform Bill,
but so many years elapsed during which peculiar circumstances prevented
the actual occurrence of the result, that people forgot the prediction,
and everybody fancied matters were to be carried on exactly as they used
to be before the Reform Bill had destroyed the machinery of rotten
boroughs, and let in a flood of popular influence.

[Sidenote: A CLOUD IN THE EAST.]

_March 20th._--The complication of foreign affairs is not a little
increased by the bad humour into which we have thrown the Emperor of
Russia by our proceedings at Constantinople. Brunnow, generally so
_couleur de rose_ and such a fast friend of Palmerston, holds language
quite unusual with him. Graham told me he met him at a great dinner of
diplomats and politicians at Aberdeen's last Wednesday, when he talked
to him with much vehemence and in a very menacing tone. The case is
this:--By the treaty of Ackerman the Hospodars in the provinces are
elected for seven years, by that of Adrianople the election is for life.
The Emperor desired to revert to this former mode, and proposed it to
the Turks. They were disposed to consent, when Stratford Canning
interposed, prevailed on them to refuse, and so excited them that they
assumed a military attitude and began to arm. This is Brunnow's version
of the affair; at the same time intimating that he attributed it more to
Stratford Canning than to Palmerston himself. It is well known that
Stratford Canning is strongly anti-Russian, both politically and
personally, but I don't believe he would take any serious course without
being assured of Palmerston's concurrence; and Eddisbury[93] told me he
had done quite right. We suppose that Russia and Austria have a perfect
understanding, and if it be so, this is the result of Palmerston's
having quarrelled with Austria.

While clouds are gathering in that quarter, and the Hungarian war seems
far from its termination, the Danes have denounced their armistice, and
the King of Sardinia his, the Sicilians seem resolved to reject the King
of Naples' terms, and war is about to break again with fresh fury over
half of Europe, France and England alone remaining at peace within
themselves, with each other, and with all the world.

[Footnote 93: [The Right Hon. Edward John Stanley was called up to the
House of Lords on May 12, 1848, by the title of Baron Eddisbury. He
succeeded his father as second Baron Stanley of Alderley in 1850. Lord
Eddisbury was at this time Under Secretary of State for Foreign

_March 25th._--Lord Aberdeen made a strong attack on Palmerston on
Thursday night about the affairs of Piedmont, denouncing his partiality
for Sardinia and against Austria, and particularly his suppression of an
important despatch in the papers he had laid before Parliament at the
beginning of the last session. Lord Lansdowne replied with his usual
spirit, but he could not parry the attack, and was reduced to the
necessity of making a somewhat discreditable defence. Brougham rose
afterwards and lashed the whole transaction, and there it ended; but
Lord John was amazed at what had occurred, and said that he never saw
the Blue Books before they are presented, and therefore had not known
what was put before Parliament and what was not. It was a very damaging
discussion to Palmerston, as far as _character_ is concerned, but he
does not mind that sort of damage, and no other can be done to him.

The Government are dissatisfied with Dalhousie,[94] and it appears to be
in agitation to recall him. Hobhouse told me that Napier had proposed to
him to make him (Napier) Governor-General. It was not indeed a formal
proposal, but he said, 'Why don't you make me Governor-General at once?'
They would have given him a peerage if he had insisted on it as the
condition of his going to India, but this he did not know. When the
command was offered him, he would not give his answer without
twenty-four hours' consideration, in spite of all pressing to accept at
once. The Directors swallowed the pill with a good grace enough. Three
of them voted against his having a seat in Council, the rest agreed.

[Footnote 94: [Then Governor-General of India.]]


_March 30th._--At Althorp the last three days, for Northampton races.
The day before I went there I sate for two hours with Sir James Graham,
who was very serious and very sad about everything, more especially
Ireland and India. I think he now regrets not having gone to India, and
would go if it were again offered him. He is now prodigiously alarmed at
the opposition the Rate in Aid is meeting with from the Northern Irish,
and greatly staggered by Twistleton's[95] evidence and resignation, in
short he is shrinking from his original opinions on this subject,
expressed a great wish to talk to Clarendon, and discussed Palmerston
and foreign affairs, _cum multis aliis_. Amongst other things he spoke
of the conduct of the Chancellor to Romilly, Solicitor-General, about
the report of a committee, of which Romilly was chairman last year, to
enquire into legal abuses. Romilly had drawn up a report, and he said
because it affected the Master's offices, the Chancellor insisted on
burking it, and frightened Romilly from going on with it. As he made it
out, it was a very bad case.

Graham talked much of John Russell, and said his loss would be so great
that if he was unable to face the severe work of the House of Commons,
he had better go to the Lords and retain his office. At Althorp I told
the Duke of Bedford all that had passed between Graham and me. He was so
much struck by what he had said about Lord John, which chimed in with
his own feelings, that he resolved to write to him and propose to him to
take this course, and the next morning he told me he had done so; and
that he intended, if Lord John did it, with Tavistock's assent to make
him a sufficient dotation. This is so great an object for him and for
his son, that it will probably reconcile him in great measure to the
sacrifice of quitting the House of Commons.

[Footnote 95: [The Hon. Edward Twistleton had held the office of Chief
Poor Law Commissioner in Ireland, but had recently resigned.]]

Yesterday came the news of the defeat of the Sardinians[96] and the
abdication of Charles Albert, which was received with universal joy,
everybody rejoicing at it except Palmerston, who will be excessively
provoked and disappointed, though he will not venture, and is too
clever, to show it. Clarendon had a conversation with him a few days
ago, in which he told Palmerston how much he wished that Radetzky might
crush the King of Sardinia, when Palmerston did not disguise the
difference of his own opinions, and his wishes that the Austrians might
be defeated. Yesterday there was a Drawing-room, at which everybody, the
Queen included, complimented and wished joy to Colloredo, except
Palmerston, who, though he spoke to him about other things, never
alluded to the news that had just arrived from Italy. I met Colloredo at
Madame de Lieven's (who was in a state of rapturous excitement), and he
told us so there. Nothing could be more striking than this marked
difference between the Foreign Secretary and his Sovereign, and all his
countrymen, and we may be sure Colloredo will not fail to make a pretty
story of it to his Court. The moral, however, is deplorable, for while
it must satisfy the Austrians that England has no bad feeling towards
Austria but the reverse, they cannot but see that Palmerston is
permitted to drag the English Government and nation wherever it pleases
his crotchets, caprices, or prejudices to make them go. I certainly
never saw a more general expression of satisfaction than the
intelligence of Radetzky's victory excited here.


While I was at Althorp the Duke of Bedford showed me two letters, which
Hobhouse had sent him, of the Duke of Wellington's to Dalhousie,
containing his advice and opinions on the conduct of the war in the
Punjaub, which are admirable, and show that his mind is as vigorous,
comprehensive, and sagacious as ever.

[Footnote 96: [Marshal Radetzky defeated the Sardinian army at Novara on
March 23, 1849. This event was followed by the abdication of Charles
Albert, and deferred the emancipation of Italy for ten years. The
Piedmontese were unquestionably the assailants in this campaign, hence
it was thought that they were justly punished for their presumption.
Lord Palmerston was constant in his hatred of the Austrians and his
attachment to the cause of Italy.]]

_April 1st._--I do not think anything Palmerston has done has excited so
great a sensation, and exposed him to so much animadversion, as his
behaviour to Colloredo at the Drawing-room the day on which the news of
Radetzky's victory arrived. Everybody is talking of it; Clarendon told
Lord Lansdowne of it, who was both shocked and surprised. The impolicy
of this unmistakeable display of _animus_ is the more striking, because
we are now (through Ponsonby) entreating the Austrian Government to show
moderation, and not to exact large contributions. This is not the first
time men have suffered more from their small misdeeds than from their
great ones.

The Duke of Bedford told me yesterday that Lord John had taken in very
good part his proposal, and had promised to discuss the matter with him,
but said very justly that he must not quit the House of Commons without
a clear necessity, and that it would be very inexpedient to go to the
House of Lords just at the moment when a decision of that House may
possibly upset the Government. This may take place on the Navigation
Laws, for the Government have made up their minds to resign if they are
beaten upon it, and Lord John was to propose to the Cabinet that Lord
Lansdowne should announce their intention in the House of Lords.
Meanwhile it is understood that Lord Stanley means to beat them if he
can, and is prepared to take the Government if it is offered to him. The
Queen asked Graham the other night if it was true that Stanley really
did mean it, and he told her he believed it certainly was true. She then
asked him what would be the consequence. He said a struggle between the
aristocracy and the democracy of the country, very perilous to the
former. She said she entirely agreed in this opinion. Lord John Russell
sent on Friday for Ellesmere, and asked him to go and talk to the Duke
of Wellington, who is going to vote against the repeal, for they justly
think that though he would probably not carry many votes with him if he
went with Government, he would carry a good many if he went against

Clarendon has had two interviews with Graham with very full, frank, and
amicable discussion on all points. Clarendon is struck with his great
sagacity, and at the same time with a pusillanimity which goes far to
neutralise that sagacity. I have remarked this myself, and that his
judgement is often blinded by his fears. We certainly may be approaching
a very serious crisis, but nothing will make me believe, till I see it,
that Stanley and his crew will come into power, and that the Queen will
be reduced to the deplorable necessity, and even degradation, of taking
such a pack as he would offer her, and of dissolving Parliament at their
bidding. That she would struggle to avert such a calamity, and appeal to
all the statesmen of both parties to save her, I do not doubt, but there
would appear the fatal obstacle of Palmerston, for assuredly nobody will
join in any new arrangement by which he would remain at the Foreign

Reeve, who is just come back from Paris, gives a very unsatisfactory
account of the state of things there, and of the miserable uncertainty
about everything and everybody in which the country is involved. He says
that notwithstanding our close alliance and apparent intimacy, there is
really no amicable feeling towards us, but on the contrary great
jealousy and secret ill-will. They have no more confidence in our
diplomacy than the Powers whom we have sacrificed to the French
connexion, and any incident may any day put an end to this connexion.
There is absolutely no Government, Odilon Barrot has no weight,
influence, or capacity; the President is not unpopular, and that is all
that can be said of him. The army _they hope_ is still firm, but the
greatest efforts are made to corrupt the soldiers, and they read
Prudhomme's atrocious journal. He does not think that all France is so
resolutely pacific as we fancy, and that a little matter might again
kindle a warlike spirit; in short, it is a state of things full of
uncertainty and therefore of danger. Thiers is said to have fallen into
the lowest discredit. He is now known to have shown great cowardice on
February 24th, and this, which Frenchmen never forgive, together with
his recent vacillating conduct, has had a fatal effect on his influence
and position, and as he has quarrelled more or less with most of his old
friends, he is entirely without political power.

[Sidenote: IRISH RELIEF.]

_April 2nd._--It has been settled between Clarendon, John Russell, and
Charles Wood to give up the Rate in Aid and impose on the Irish the
income tax, which it is said they prefer. The two Ministers wanted the
Irish income tax to be for three years instead of putting it exactly on
the same footing as the English. This Clarendon stoutly opposed,
representing the extreme impolicy of making any difference, and he at
last, but not without difficulty, made them give way. On Thursday last
Peel made a great speech, bringing forward very elaborately his views of
Irish relief, but without explaining _how_ his plan was to be carried
out. Graham is dead against him, so much so that they have had no
conversation on the subject. Clarendon is equally against him, as are
the Government, but Clarendon determined to see him and talk it over
with him. They met at Palmerston's on Saturday night, when Peel treated
Clarendon with extraordinary cordiality, and Clarendon proposed an
interview, which is to take place at Peel's house to-morrow morning.

Ellesmere went to the Duke of Wellington to talk to him about the
Navigation Bill, and found him in excellent disposition. He promised to
do all in his power to support the Government, and he advised Prince
Albert, who called on him a day or two ago, to keep quiet and say as
little as possible on the subject to anybody.

_April 4th._--The Duke of Bedford told me yesterday morning that Lord
John has made up his mind to go to the House of Lords, but that he will
not have the Peerage continued to his son. His purpose is to be created
with remainder to the Duke. He disapproves of poor Peerages, of men
being created without ample patrimonies, and the property which the Duke
means to settle on Lord John (he did not tell me the amount or locality,
only that it is a good gentleman's property) he does not consider enough
for a Peerage. I know not whether he will adhere to this resolution,
which, if he does, will form a new precedent. It has only been mentioned
to Lord Lansdowne, whose disposition is to retire, but they will never
allow him, for his continuing with them is of the greatest consequence
to the Government and to Lord John himself; his loss would be
irreparable in all ways.

_April 6th._--Lord Clarendon[97] had a long interview with Peel, who
received him with the greatest cordiality and even warmth. Their
conversation was to the last degree open and friendly, and Peel
professed the most earnest desire to do anything in his power to
co-operate with Clarendon in doing good to Ireland. They discussed
Peel's plans, and Clarendon stated to him frankly all his objections to
them, and why a great part of them was quite impracticable. All this
Peel received with the utmost candour and goodwill, and Clarendon told
me he thought he had completely succeeded in proving to him that much
that he proposed (the Commission particularly) was quite impossible. I
never saw a man more satisfied than he was at this interview, or more
gratified at Peel's reception of him. Peel entreated him with the
greatest earnestness not to think of leaving Ireland till he had
accomplished something great and important towards the regeneration of
the country. This, however, Clarendon is not very sanguine as to his
power of doing with the present Government. His indignation against his
own political friends is boundless.[98] He poured it all out to me the
other night, and he is equally indignant about the past and hopeless
about the future; hopeless, because John Russell is so infirm of
purpose, that he will not predominate over his Cabinet and prevent the
chaos of opinions and interests which prevent anything Clarendon
proposes being done. Then he says that the Chancellor is a great
mortgagee in Ireland, and on account of his own personal interests he
resolutely opposes all the plans relating to the transfer of property
which by any possibility can affect the mortgagees. Lansdowne and
Clanricarde are both Irish proprietors, so they have their own separate
interests. The consequence of all this confusion is that he is
continually thwarted and baffled in his endeavours to carry measures he
thinks essential to the relief of Ireland, and he assures me that he has
all along predicted to John Russell and George Grey exactly what has
happened. The measures which the Government are now finding themselves
obliged to adopt are the very same which he originally proposed and
which they rejected. He appears not to have minced matters with John
Russell, but to have spoken his mind freely, and visited upon the
Cabinet in most unsparing criticism and reproach all their sins of
omission and commission.

[Footnote 97: [It will be remembered that Lord Clarendon was at this
time Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. He attached the greatest importance to
the opinion and co-operation of Sir Robert Peel.]]

[Footnote 98: [The measure which Lord Clarendon had in view, and was
anxious to carry, was a Bill to facilitate the sale of encumbered
estates in Ireland, which was ultimately adopted and carried by the
Government by the creation of the Land Court. In the course of the
thirty ensuing years, land to the amount of more than fifty millions was
sold under the direction of this Court, and the encumbrances cleared


_Thursday, May 11th (Bruton Street)._--For the last fortnight everybody
has been occupied with the division in the House of Lords on the
Navigation Bill; the greatest whip-up was made on both sides that ever
was known, and the lists made and re-made out with such accuracy that
every vote was pretty well ascertained, and the numbers quite correctly
calculated.[99] Stanley made a magnificent speech, the best it is said
he ever made, and one of the most brilliant and effective ever made by
anybody. He made a sort of attack on the Duke of Wellington which was
both unjustifiable and in bad taste. The Duke behaved oddly in this
matter. He gave repeated assurances to the Government that he would
assist them in every way he could, but he really gave them no assistance
at all, for he refused positively to communicate with any Peers on the
subject, would not speak to those who wished to consult him, and he
never opened his lips in the debate. I am compelled to believe that
Stanley really meant, if he could have defeated this Bill, to have
taken the Government if offered to him.

[Footnote 99: [The second reading of the Bill for the repeal of the
Navigation Laws was carried in the House of Lords on May 8 by a majority
of 10.]]

The Protectionists are gone mad with the notion of reaction in the
country against Free Trade. Many people, however, say that distress
really has produced a very considerable change of opinion, and it is
allowed on all hands that in the event of a dissolution the Irish,
frantic with distress, would support any Protectionist Government to a
man. We hear that Stanley means to overturn the Bill in Committee, as he
undoubtedly can, and that the Government will be compelled to restore
its integrity again on the report, and this is to be the future progress
of the contest.

On Monday night a great event occurred in the House of Commons. Young
Peel, Sir Robert's second son,[100] made a maiden speech (on the Jew
Bill) of such extraordinary merit, that it at once placed him at the top
of the tree. Its excellence and its great promise were universally
admitted. Peel came into the House just at the close of it, and it is
said that neither he nor Lady Peel had any idea their son was going to
speak. The appearance of a young man who promises something great, is in
these days of mediocrity an occurrence of enormous value and importance.


_May 21st._--I have been too much occupied with the Derby and Oaks to
write about political matters, but I cannot omit a fresh Palmerstonian
affair, as bad or worse than any which have preceded it. On Monday last
Lord Lansdowne in reply to a question of Beaumont's said, that 'no
communication whatever had been made by the Austrian Government to ours
relative to their intervention in Italy,' the fact being that Colloredo
had five or six days before gone to Palmerston, and communicated to him
by order of his Government their motives, objects, and intentions, as to
Italian intervention in great detail. This communication he never
imparted to his colleagues, and Lord Lansdowne was consequently
ignorant of it. On Tuesday the newspapers reported Lord Lansdowne's
answer, on which Colloredo went to Palmerston to complain of it. At the
Queen's ball on Wednesday night, Colloredo spoke to Lord Lansdowne and
asked him why he had said what he did. Lord Lansdowne had nothing for it
but to acknowledge his ignorance. On Friday, the first day on which the
House met, I heard what had passed between Colloredo and Palmerston. I
resolved to go to Lord Lansdowne. I found him at Lansdowne House, just
going to the House of Lords. I began to tell him the object of my
calling on him. He stopped me, said he knew all about it, that he was
going to the House to correct his former statement, and 'to make the
best excuse he could,' that it was exceedingly disagreeable, and the
more unaccountable as he had taken the precaution on Monday before he
went to the House of Lords to answer Beaumont, to send to the Foreign
Office to enquire whether any communication had been received, and the
reply was, 'None whatever.' On reference to Palmerston he had said that
'he had quite forgotten it,' and Lord Lansdowne told me that John
Russell was as much in ignorance of it as he was himself. I saw that he
was exceedingly annoyed, but nothing seems to rouse any of them to any
serious manifestation of resentment and displeasure. This is as bad a
case as can be, but will have no more result than any of Palmerston's
other delinquencies.

[Footnote 100: [Afterwards the Rt. Hon. Sir Frederic Peel, K.C.M.G.,
Under-Secretary for the Colonies, Financial Secretary to the Treasury,
and a Railway Commissioner. He entered Parliament as member for
Leominster in February 1849.]]

_June 3rd._--The Duke of Bedford told me a few days ago that the Queen
had been again remonstrating about Palmerston more strongly than ever.
This was in reference to the suppressed Austrian despatch which made
such a noise. She then sent for John Russell, and told him she could not
stand it any longer, and he must make some arrangement to get rid of
Palmerston. This communication was just as fruitless as all her
preceding ones. I don't know what Lord John said, he certainly did not
pacify her, but as usual there it ended. But the consequence of not
being able to get any satisfaction from her Minister has been that she
has poured her feelings and her wrongs into the more sympathetic ears
of her late Minister, and I believe that the Queen has told Peel
everything, all her own feelings and wishes, and all that passes on the

It is well known that Aberdeen and Stanley have for some time meditated
a vigorous and combined attack on the foreign policy of the Government,
and one day not long since Aberdeen said that they did intend to make
this attack, that he and Stanley and Peel were all agreed on opposition
to Palmerston, that of Disraeli they were not so sure, and that Peel,
though abhorring the foreign policy, was always in dread of doing
anything to damage the Government. Aberdeen had tried to persuade him
that an attack on Palmerston, if successful, need not affect the
Government, that it was now proved to demonstration that a Protectionist
Government was out of the question, and that an adverse vote would turn
out Palmerston, and by so doing would in the end strengthen and not
weaken the Government itself. It has been suggested that two courses
were possible; one, that Palmerston might resign and the rest stay in,
merely filling up his place; the other, that they might all resign, and
then when it was proved, as it would be, that no other Government could
be formed, that the old one might be reconstituted without Palmerston,
and with certain changes and modifications. The curious part of all this
is the _carte du pays_ it exhibits, and the remarkable and most improper
position which Palmerston occupies _vis-à-vis_ the Queen, his mistress,
and his own colleagues. I know not where to look for a parallel to such
a mass of anomalies, the Queen turning from her own Prime Minister to
confide in the one who was supplanted by him; a Minister talking over
quietly and confidentially with an outsider by what circumstances and
what agency his colleague, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, might be
extruded from the Government; the Queen abhorring her Minister and
unable to rid herself of him; John Russell fascinated and subjugated by
the ascendency of Palmerston, submitting to everything from him and
supporting him right or wrong, the others not concealing from those they
are in the habit of confiding in, their disapprobation of the conduct
and policy of their colleague, while they are all the time supporting
the latter and excusing the former, and putting themselves under the
obligation of identifying themselves with his proceedings and standing
or falling with him. The whole thing is bad, discreditable, and


_July 29th._--Two months have elapsed since I could bring myself to
write anything in this book. I was disgusted with the occupation,
nothing interested me; it was useless to jot down the common course of
events, which the newspapers record far better, nothing of sufficient
interest came to my knowledge to make me take up my pen.

In fact I had got so tired of everything, and so longed for something
fresh to stimulate my jaded mind, that I resolved to make a run into
Scotland, and see Edinburgh, and as much of the country as could be
visited in a few days. I really was ashamed of having never been in any
part of Scotland. Accordingly last Tuesday week, the 17th, I went with
the Ellesmeres to Worsley (a place I found immensely improved), and on
Thursday afternoon I proceeded to Edinburgh. On Friday I went all about
the town, new and old, going to all the remarkable places, and
clambering to the top of Arthur's Seat; on Saturday to see Melrose and
Abbotsford, the latter a miserable humbug of a place, ugly, mean, and
not worth crossing the street to see, and yet such is the influence of a
name, that crowds of travelling pilgrims repair to the habitation of
Walter Scott. Melrose is a beautiful ruin, but it is I dare say true

  If thou wouldst view fair Melrose aright,
  Go visit it by the pale moonlight.

On returning to Edinburgh, I went to the Calton Hill and again walked
about the town. On Sunday morning the aspect of the new town was
curious, it looked like a city of the dead. In the vast and magnificent
streets and squares, there was scarcely a human being moving about or a
sound to be heard; it looked like a town newly built that had not yet
been used, and which was waiting for its inhabitants. The effect was the
oddest I ever saw as I sauntered about for an hour before church time.
By eleven o'clock Princes Street was swarming, for they are a
church-going people.

I went to hear the celebrated Dr. Candlish preach, and was exceedingly
struck with him, and with the simple and impressive service. He is very
eloquent, and I was able to listen to a discourse above an hour long
without being tired, which is the best proof of the merit of the
preacher. The service in good hands is admirable, but all depends on the
minister, and on the whole I think such a Liturgy as ours a preferable
form of worship.

After church I walked about the old town, and dived into the wynds, and
examined the remnants of ancient architecture, and of the old edifices,
all very striking and curious. In the afternoon by rail to Perth. There
I met Lord Glasgow returning from Hay Mackenzie's funeral, and he
induced me to make an appointment with him at Glasgow on Wednesday, and
go steaming up the Lochs. On Monday morning I went to Dunkeld, walked
about the place; thence to Blair Athol, where I slept; next morning
retraced my steps through the Pass of Killiecrankie, and along a
beautiful road to Taymouth; found Breadalbane there, who took me all
over the place. It is grand and beautiful, as fine a place as I ever
saw. I could not stay, but returned by another road along the Tay to
Dunkeld, and then back to Perth. Next morning very early by rail to
Glasgow. There I met Lord Glasgow, who had hired a steamer, in which we
started and sailed up different lochs, ending at Tarbet, where we
landed, went to the foot of Ben Lomond, got into a boat and paddled
about the lake, then returned to Kilbirnie, a strange, old,
half-neglected place, very comfortable and exceedingly pretty, and there
I slept. Next morning started again, sailed round by Arran up Loch Fyne
to Inverary. Nothing can exceed the beauty of this scenery, especially
the approach to Inverary; the Duke and Duchess were very civil, and
pressed us to stay, but we could not, and returned to Kilbirnie. On
Friday walked about the place, then by rail to Glasgow, looked at the
town, and on Saturday morning by express train to London. A successful
and delightful expedition; saw a great deal in a very short time.


_August 8th._--The Session closed during my absence from London. Its
last days were distinguished by a long debate in the House of Lords on
foreign affairs, and a short demonstration got up in the House of
Commons by Palmerston. There is a _dessous des cartes_ about this
affair, as follows: the Session was drawing to a close, when the project
(originally entertained, but abandoned) of making an attack on
Palmerston and the foreign policy of the Government was resumed, and a
confederacy was formed for the purpose between Brougham, Stanley, and
Aberdeen, not without misgivings on the part of Aberdeen and his
friends, for both he and Canning[101] told me they thought it was too
late, and possibly might do more harm than good. This was a very unwise
confederacy; the only man of the three who was in earnest was Aberdeen,
and he never ought to have had anything to do with Brougham. As soon as
it was known that this field day was in preparation, a great whip began
on both sides, and it was considerably believed that the Government
would be left in a minority. Meanwhile Lady Palmerston was furious with
Brougham, and she wrote him some very angry and reproachful letters.
Brougham had no mind to quarrel with her. She fairly bullied him and
frightened him, and he accordingly threw over the cause he had
undertaken. He made a miserable speech, which enraged his colleagues and
all the opponents of the Government, who swore (and it was true) that he
had sold them. Aberdeen spoke well, and Lord Lansdowne admirably. The
Government was in a minority in the House, but by dint of proxies got a
majority of twelve, so that the whole thing was in fact a failure. A day
or two after Palmerston made his devils bring on a discussion in the
House of Commons, that he might make a speech. He replied after a
fashion to Aberdeen, that is, he made some offensive personal allusions
to him, but did not attempt to vindicate his own conduct in the
essential particulars. This exhibition was trumpeted forth as a great
Palmerstonian triumph, and the close of the Session has left him and his
spouse immoderately jubilant. It admits of no doubt that in spite of the
enormous case there is against him, Palmerston has not only escaped
undamaged, but seems to be invested with all the insignia of triumph. He
is now evidently endeavouring to make for himself a great Radical
interest in the House of Commons, and thus to increase his power, and
render himself more indispensable to the Government by making them feel
how dangerous he would be out of office.

[Footnote 101: [Lord Canning had been Under-Secretary for Foreign

_August 14th._--On Wednesday last to Stoke, on Friday to Nuneham. At
Stoke we discussed the very serious question of extension of the
suffrage, and Lord John Russell's position in relation to it. Just
before the Session ended Graham spoke to Lord John on this subject, told
him it would be one of the questions he would have to consider during
the recess, as it must occupy Parliament next Session, that he (Graham)
was prepared to support a measure of this kind, and that he must tell
Lord John that after his having upon two occasions in the House of
Commons declared himself favourable to some extension of the suffrage,
it was incumbent on him to give effect to those declarations. It is
pretty evident that Graham (after his wont) is afraid of not being
beforehand with public opinion or clamour, and that he is ready to
advocate some Radical, or at any rate Liberal measure. Lord John seems
to be conscious that this is a very grave matter, but he says he thinks
he can frame a good measure, and he intends to busy himself about it. I
called on Labouchere at Stoke on Thursday morning, and had some talk
with him about it. He is afraid of it, and sees all the danger and
difficulty of the question, and is not a little disgusted that the
agitation of it and the necessity of some proposition should have been
caused by John Russell's committing himself as he chose to do in the
House of Commons. Labouchere spoke also with much disapprobation of
Palmerston's parting speeches in the House of Commons, and his
expressions in reference to Hungary and Austria to please the Radicals
with whom he is coquetting, while they do nothing but sing his praises.


I saw Lord Lansdowne last night, just returned from Ireland, having had
an escape on the railroad, for the train ran off the rail. He said
nothing could surpass the success of the Queen's visit in every respect;
every circumstance favourable, no drawbacks or mistakes, all persons and
parties pleased, much owing to the tact of Lord Clarendon, and the care
he had bestowed on all the arrangements and details, which made it all
go off so admirably. The Queen herself was delighted, and appears to
have played her part uncommonly well. Clarendon of course was overjoyed
at the complete success of what was his own plan, and satisfied with the
graciousness and attention of the Court to him. In the beginning, and
while the details were in preparation, he was considerably disgusted at
the petty difficulties that were made, but he is satisfied now. Lord
Lansdowne said the departure was quite affecting, and he could not see
it without being moved; and he thinks beyond doubt that this visit will
produce permanent good effects in Ireland. All the accounts represent
the material prospects of the country to be better.

_London, September 15th._--On Monday, the 3rd, on returning from
Hillingdon, I found a summons from John Russell to be at Balmoral on
Wednesday 5th at half-past two, for a Council, to order a Prayer for
relief against the cholera. No time was to be lost, so I started by the
five o'clock train, dined at Birmingham, went on by the mail train to
Crewe, where I slept; breakfasted the next morning at Crewe Hall, which
I had never seen, and went on by the express to Perth, which I reached
at half-past twelve. I started on Wednesday morning at half-past six,
and arrived at Balmoral exactly at half-past two. It is a beautiful road
from Perth to Balmoral, particularly from Blairgowrie to the Spital of
Glenshee, and thence to Braemar. Much as I dislike Courts and all that
appertains to them, I am glad to have made this expedition, and to have
seen the Queen and Prince in their Highland retreat, where they
certainly appear to great advantage. The place is very pretty, the house
very small. They live there without any state whatever; they live not
merely like private gentlefolks, but like very small gentlefolks,[102]
small house, small rooms, small establishment. There are no soldiers,
and the whole guard of the Sovereign and the whole Royal Family is a
single policeman, who walks about the grounds to keep off impertinent
intruders or improper characters. Their attendants consisted of Lady
Douro and Miss Dawson, Lady and Maid of Honour; George Anson and Gordon;
Birch, the Prince of Wales's tutor; and Miss Hildyard, the governess of
the children. They live with the greatest simplicity and ease. The
Prince shoots every morning, returns to luncheon, and then they walk and
drive. The Queen is running in and out of the house all day long, and
often goes about alone, walks into the cottages, and sits down and chats
with the old women. I never before was in society with the Prince, or
had any conversation with him. On Thursday morning John Russell and I
were sitting together after breakfast, when he came in and sat down with
us, and we conversed for about three-quarters of an hour. I was greatly
struck with him. I saw at once (what I had always heard) that he is very
intelligent and highly cultivated, and moreover that he has a thoughtful
mind, and thinks of subjects worth thinking about. He seemed very much
at his ease, very gay, pleasant, and without the least stiffness or air
of dignity. After luncheon we went to the Highland gathering at
Braemar--the Queen, the Prince, four children and two ladies in one pony
carriage; John Russell, Mr. Birch, Miss Hildyard, and I in another;
Anson and Gordon on the box; one groom, no more. The gathering was at
the old Castle of Braemar, and a pretty sight enough. We returned as we
came, and then everybody strolled about till dinner. We were only nine
people, and it was all very easy and really agreeable, the Queen in very
good humour and talkative; the Prince still more so, and talking very
well; no form, and everybody seemed at their ease. In the evening we
withdrew to the only room there is besides the dining-room, which
serves for billiards, library (hardly any books in it), and
drawing-room. The Queen and Prince and her ladies and Gordon soon went
back to the dining-room, where they had a Highland dancing-master, who
gave them lessons in reels. We (John Russell and I) were not admitted to
this exercise, so we played at billiards. In process of time they came
back, when there was a little talk, and soon after they went to bed. So
much for my visit to Balmoral. I was asked to stay there the first
night, but was compelled to remain there the second, as the Braemar
gathering took all the horses, and it was impossible to get away. The
Prince was very civil about my staying when this was explained to him.

[Footnote 102: [The present castle of Balmoral was not then built. The
residence was at this time simply that of a Scotch laird.]]

[Sidenote: BALMORAL.]

I had a walk on Wednesday with Aberdeen, who came over for the Council.
He said the Government were going on very well _in all respects but
one_, but he admitted that it was impossible to get rid of Palmerston,
and therefore Lord John could do nothing but defend him; that Peel would
not attack him in the House of Commons, as nothing would induce him to
do anything to weaken the present Government, though he disapproved of
Palmerston's conduct as much as Aberdeen himself. He said that Peel
thought of nothing but the progress and developement of his Free Trade
measures; that the present Government alone could and would carry them
out, and therefore he strenuously supported them, being perfectly
conscious that he had no party, and consequently no power. This was just
what I believed to be the case in reference to Peel's sentiments and
conduct. He considers his own reputation as a statesman staked on the
success of these measures, and thinks of nothing else. This is, however,
a disagreeable prospect for those of his adherents who followed his
fortunes to the last, and are now left high and dry. Aberdeen spoke much
of the Queen and Prince, of course with great praise. He said the
Prince's views were generally sound and wise, with one exception, which
was his violent and incorrigible German unionism. He goes all lengths
with Prussia; will not hear of the moderate plan of a species of
federalism based on the Treaty of Vienna and the old relations of
Germany; and insists upon a new German Empire, with the King of Prussia
for its head. I saw by his conversation at dinner that his opinions were
just what Aberdeen represented them to be.

John Russell and I left Balmoral, and travelled together as far as Perth
on Friday morning. We discussed Palmerston, his policy, his character,
and his conduct, fully and freely. Lord John endeavoured to argue the
Spanish and Sicilian cases, but he really had nothing to say in defence
of Palmerston, or in opposition to my charges and assertions; and by
degrees, as we talked on, he came to admit that Palmerston was justly
chargeable with the faults that I had imputed to him. He told me,
moreover, of a case in which he had been obliged to interfere not long
ago. When the question of the Piedmontese indemnity was in discussion,
our Government, as well as the French, endeavoured to persuade that of
Austria to reduce the amount they at first demanded. With this object
Palmerston wrote a despatch; but he thought fit to put into it, that the
Austrians were the more bound to do this, as the war itself was their
own fault, for if they had sent ambassadors to the Congress that was to
have met at Brussels, as they ought to have done, it would never have
taken place. Lord John said he thought this very useless and
inexpedient, and insisted on its being struck out. Palmerston maintained
that it was true. Lord John said, true or not, there was no use in
saying it, and it was struck out, much to Palmerston's dislike.


In the course of our conversation Lord John told me something about the
famous despatch of July 19,[103] curiously illustrative of his _laisser
aller_ way of doing business. After acknowledging it was very
injudicious, he said, 'I remember the despatch was brought to me on a
Sunday morning, just as I was going to church. I read it over in a
hurry; it did not strike me at the moment that there was anything
objectionable in it, and I sent it back. If I had not gone to church,
and had paid more attention to it, it would not have gone;' and upon
this despatch, thus carelessly read and permitted to go, hinged the
quarrels with France and with Spain, the Montpensier marriage, and not
impossibly, though indirectly, the French Revolution itself.

[Footnote 103: [This was the celebrated despatch with reference to the
marriage of the Queen of Spain, in which Lord Palmerston named the
Coburg Prince as one of the candidates for her hand.]]

Lord John and I parted at Perth. He went on to Edinburgh and I to
Drummond Castle, where I stayed two nights. It is a grand place; the
finest on the whole I have seen in Scotland. The gardens, which are so
celebrated, really are fabulous, and unlike any others I ever saw. From
Drummond Castle I went to Tullyallan for one night; thence to Drumlanrig
for two. This is a magnificent place, the situation of the Castle
unrivalled, and presenting a noble object in a hundred different views.
The gardens are more extensive and more enjoyable, but not so curious as
at Drummond Castle. I went on Wednesday to Worsley, and on Thursday
returned to town, excessively amused and interested with my expedition,
and more than ever delighted with Scotland.


    The Case of Gorham _v._ the Bishop of Exeter--Death of Lord
    Alvanley--The Session opened--State of Parties--Clouds
    arise--The Greek Affair--The Ceylon Committee--The Removal of
    Lord Roden--The Pacifico Affair--Lord Clarendon arrives--The
    Dolly's Brae Debate--The Irish Encumbered Estates Act--The Greek
    Affair--Conversation with Sir Robert Peel--The Roden Affair--The
    Queen's View of Lord Palmerston's Foreign Policy--Debate on Mr.
    Disraeli's Motion--Mr. Gladstone's Equivocal Position--Grillon's
    Club--Precarious Position of the Government--The Gorham
    Judgement--The African Squadron--Ministerial Troubles--The Greek
    Dispute--Lord Campbell Lord Chief Justice--Negotiation between
    the Branches of the House of Bourbon--The French Ambassador
    recalled from London--Lord Palmerston's Prevarications--The Case
    of the French Government--Intention to remove Lord Palmerston
    from the Foreign Office--First Speech of Mr. Stanley--Sir James
    Graham's Schemes of Reform--Debate in the Lords on the Greek
    Dispute--Effects of the Division--Lord Palmerston's great Speech.

[Sidenote: THE GORHAM CASE.]

_London, January 16th, 1850._--Since I first began to keep a journal I
do not believe so long an interval has ever elapsed as between the last
time I wrote anything and now. Without there having been any matter of
great importance, there have been fifty small things I might have
recorded at least as interesting as one half that these books contain;
but I know not why, I have never felt the least inclination, but, on the
contrary, a considerable aversion, to the occupation. I have over and
over again resolved to recommence writing, and as often have failed from
an inexplicable repugnance to execute my purpose. I am at last induced
to take up my pen to put down what has taken place in the case of Gorham
and the Bishop of Exeter, because this is a matter which excites great
interest, which will not speedily be forgotten, and on which it is
desirable there should be some authentic account, especially in respect
to those parts of the proceedings which are not publicly known. The
details of the case itself are to be found in a hundred publications,
and I shall therefore confine myself to what passed behind the curtain.
Jenner[104] having given judgement in the Court of Arches in favour of
the Bishop, Gorham appealed to the Privy Council. We first had to
consider what steps we should take to form a competent Court. It was
immediately settled that the two Archbishops and the Bishop of
London[105] should be invited to attend, and I wrote them letters,
setting forth the clause in the Privy Council Act by which the Queen was
authorised to summon them, telling them they could not vote, but
signifying the desire of the Lord President they would attend to give
their opinions to the Judicial Committee. The two Archbishops wrote
answers that they would come; the Bishop of London sent no answer, and I
found out afterwards that he would have preferred the attendance of the
prelates being dispensed with. We then considered whom we should get to
form the Court, and after a consultation with Lord Lansdowne, it was
settled that the whole of the Judicial Committee should be summoned, but
with an intimation that while it had been considered advisable to send a
summons to every member of the Court on account of the importance of the
question, their attendance was not imperative. It was also deemed very
desirable to have at least one Common Law Judge there. In the Court of
Delegates a Common Law Judge was always indispensable, and Baron Parke
had often pronounced a strong opinion that one ought always to be
present in those Appeals to the Judicial Committee which formerly went
to the Delegates. We had, however, great difficulty in getting one;
neither Wilde nor Pollock would consent to attend, and Parke had made an
engagement to go into the country. At length, finding that unless Parke
agreed to come we should have no Common Law Judge, I wrote him a strong
and pressing letter, urging him to attend; and having got the Lord
President to back me up, he agreed to give up his engagement and assist
at the hearing of the case. The Court was finally composed of Lords
Langdale and Campbell, Baron Parke, Vice-Chancellor Knight Bruce, Dr.
Lushington, and Mr. Pemberton Leigh. Lord Lansdowne came the first day
and opened the proceedings; made a short speech, stating that Her
Majesty had been advised to summon the prelates in so important a case,
and that he himself did not contemplate attending throughout the
hearing, as he did not consider himself competent to act as a Judge in
that Court, though always ready to render his assistance in arranging
their proceedings, and then having fairly launched them he went away.
The cause was very elaborately and very ably argued by Turner for
Gorham, and Baddeley for the Bishop. The Court was crammed full almost
every day, and the interest very great. It was conducted with great
moderation and decorum on all sides, with one exception. At the end of
his speech Baddeley very injudiciously and very indecently made a
personal attack on the Archbishop of Canterbury. He charged him with
having given a living to a man holding Gorham's opinions, and therefore
being prejudiced in this case. The Prelate, with some emotion, but very
mildly, explained that he had given the living to the clergyman in
question before he had published the book in which these opinions were
said to be enunciated, and that he knew nothing about them. Baddeley
made a sort of apology, and Campbell rebuked him with some severity, but
at the same time acknowledged the ability of his speech, and, with this
exception, its moderation and becoming tone. When the arguments were
over, the Lords remained in discussion for some time. The Prelates all
said they should like to take time to consider their opinions, and then
to give them in writing. It was therefore agreed that they should meet
again on the 15th, when they would read their written opinions to the
Judicial Committee; and it was also settled that Lord Langdale should
draw up the Report. There was not much discussion, but it was evident
from what passed that the judgement would be reversed. Yesterday
afternoon they assembled again. The Archbishop of Canterbury began. His
paper was excellent. He showed that opinions, if not identical with, yet
very like, those of Gorham had been held by a host of great and good
Churchmen, and he was strongly of opinion that the Bishop was not
justified in refusing to induct him. The Archbishop of York followed. He
gave the same opinion, but in a much less able paper. Then came the
Bishop of London. He said he entirely agreed with the two Archbishops,
so far as they had gone; intimated that his first impression had been
the same as theirs, but in looking more closely into Gorham's doctrine
he had arrived at the conclusion that he had gone considerably beyond
what had ever been held by any of the eminent persons whom the
Archbishop had quoted, and that he had distinctly laid down positions
wholly inconsistent with the efficacy of the Baptismal Sacrament, and
that this he could not get over. He therefore gave an opinion, though it
did not seem to be a very decided one, against Gorham. The Lords thanked
the Prelates, and begged for copies of their several papers, and then
they proceeded very briefly to state their own views. Lord Langdale said
a very few words against the judgement of the Court below. Baron Parke
said he had written his opinion, and they begged him to read it. It was
a very good argument, of which, however, he did not read the whole, and
he agreed with Lord Langdale. Campbell neither made a speech nor read a
paper, but took a similar view. Lushington said he had written out his
opinion, but had not brought his paper with him. He made, however, a
short speech, very good indeed, in which he pronounced a strong opinion
against the Bishop, commenting in severe terms upon the nature of the
examination, and setting forth the great danger to the peace of the
Church which would result from a judicial declaration on their part that
Gorham's opinions were clearly proved to be heretical. After him came
Knight Bruce, who read a paper of moderate length, but strongly
condemnatory of Gorham, and for affirming the judgement of the Court
below. Pemberton Leigh was the last. He said he had not been prepared
to express any opinion, having conceived that they were only to meet to
hear those of the Prelates; but he made a very short speech, in which he
gave a very decided opinion for reversing the judgement; and he showed
very clearly that if there were some answers of Gorham's which appeared
to bear out the Bishop of London's view of the matter, there were others
by which they were neutralised, and in which he gave his unqualified
assent and consent to those doctrines of the Church which the Bishops
alleged that he rejected. Some conversation, all very amicable, then
ensued, and the question was settled. Lord Langdale undertook to prepare
the judgement. The Bishop of London said he hoped nothing would be said
in it condemnatory of the Bishop of Exeter's doctrine, at which they all
exclaimed that they would take care nothing of the kind was done; they
would steer as clear as possible of any declaration of opinion as to
doctrine, and found their judgement on this, that it had not been proved
to them that Gorham had put forth any doctrine so clearly and
undoubtedly at variance with the Articles and formularies as to warrant
the Bishop's refusal to induct him. Lushington said he had the greatest
difficulty in making out what Gorham's doctrine really was, and he was
much struck with the fact that in no part of the Bishop's pleadings did
he say explicitly with what he charged him. They then separated, no time
having been fixed for giving judgement. But for Knight Bruce it would be
unanimous; but he will never give way, and this will prevent their
declaring that they are unanimous.

[Footnote 104: [Sir Herbert Jenner, then Dean of the Arches, had given
judgement against Mr. Gorham, who was the promoter of the 'Duplex
Querela' for institution to the living of Brampford Speke, which was the
commencement of these celebrated proceedings.]]

[Footnote 105: [Dr. Sumner was then Archbishop of Canterbury; Dr.
Musgrave, Archbishop of York; Dr. Blomfield, Bishop of London.]]



_January 23rd._--If I had not been too lazy to write about anybody or
anything, I should not have suffered the death of Lord Alvanley to pass
without some notice. The world, however, has no time to think of people
who are out of its sight, and a long illness which had confined him
entirely, and limited his society to a few old friends, caused him to be
forgotten, and his departure out of life to be almost unobserved. There
was a time when it would have been very different, during those many
years when his constant spirits and good humour, together with his
marvellous wit and drollery, made him the delight and ornament of
society. I know no description of him so appropriate as the character of
Biron in 'Love's Labour's Lost':--

        ...A merrier man,
  Within the limit of becoming mirth,
  I never spent an hour's talk withal:
  His eye begets occasion for his wit,
  For every object that the one doth catch
  The other turns to a mirth-moving jest,
  Which his fair tongue (conceit's expositor)
  Delivers in such apt and gracious words,
  That aged ears play truant at his tales,
  And younger hearings are quite ravished;
  So sweet and voluble is his discourse.

He was originally in the army, came early into the world, and at once
plunged into every sort of dissipation and extravagance. He was the most
distinguished of that set of _roués_ and spendthrifts who were at the
height of the fashion for some years--consisting of Brummel, Sir H.
Mildmay, Lord Sidney Osborne, Foley, John Payne, Scrope Davies, and
several others, and when all of them were ruined and dispersed (most of
them never to recover), Alvanley still survived, invulnerable in his
person, from being a Peer, and with the means of existence in
consequence of the provident arrangement of his uncle, who left him a
considerable property in the hand of trustees, and thus preserved from
the grasp of his creditors. He was naturally of a kind and affectionate
disposition, good-natured, obliging, and inclined to be generous; but he
was to the last degree reckless and profligate about money; he cared not
what debts he incurred, and he made nothing of violating every sort of
pecuniary engagement or obligation. He left the friends who assisted him
in the lurch without remorse, and such was the _bonhomie_ of his
character, and the irresistible attraction of his society, that they
invariably forgave him, and after exhausting their indignation in
complaints and reproaches, they became more intimate with him than
before. Many a person has been astonished, after hearing the tale of
Alvanley's abominable dishonesty and deceit, to see the plaintiff and
the culprit the dearest of friends in the world. He was a great example
how true it is that--

  L'agrément couvre tout, il rend tout légitime;
  Aujourd'hui dans le monde il n'y a qu'un seul crime,
  C'est l'ennui: pour le fuir tous les moyens sont bons.

When I recollect his constant treacheries, and the never-failing
placability of his dupes, I always think of the story of Manon L'Escaut,
of whom he appears to me to have been a male prototype. It would be very
difficult to convey any idea of the sort of agreeableness which was so
captivating in him. He did not often say very witty things; it was not
uproarious mirth, and jokes exciting fits of laughter like Sydney Smith;
he was unlike any of the great luminaries of his own or of bygone times;
but he was delightful. He was so gay, so natural, so irresistibly
comical, he diffused such cheerfulness around him, he was never
ill-natured; if he quizzed anybody and bantered them, he made them
neither angry nor unhappy; he had an even and constant flow of spirits,
and till his health became impaired you were _sure_ of him in society.
He was vain, but it was a harmless and amusing vanity, which those who
knew him well understood and laughed at. He had rioted in all the
dissipations of play and wine and women, and for many years (a _liaison_
which began when neither were very young, and was the _réchauffé_ of an
earlier affair, before she was married) he was the notorious and avowed
lover of Lady ----. What Burke says with a sort of mock modesty of
himself, was true of Alvanley--he had 'read the book of life for a long
time, and other books a little!' For the first years of his life he was
too entirely plunged in dissipation and debauchery to repair in any way
the deficiencies of a neglected education; later, he read a good deal in
a desultory way, and acquired a good store of miscellaneous information.
At one period he addicted himself to politics, but he never made any
figure in the House of Lords, having no parliamentary experience, no
oratorical genius, and no foundation of knowledge. But it was during
this period that he signalised his courage in his duel with young
O'Connell. Before that event, for no particular reason but that he was
only known as a voluptuary, no very high idea was entertained of his
personal bravery; but on this occasion it shone forth with great lustre,
for no man ever exhibited more resolution or indifference to danger. For
the last four years of his life he was afflicted with painful diseases,
and his sufferings were incessant and intense. He bore them all with a
fortitude and a cheerfulness which never failed him, and which excited
universal sympathy and admiration.


_February 2nd._--The Session opened on Thursday,[106] and Ministers got
a great victory in the House of Lords the same night, and yesterday
another in the House of Commons so signal and decisive as to leave no
uncertainty in respect to the agricultural questions, or the stability
of the Government. After all the sound and fury which have pervaded the
country, and the formidable attitude they assumed, they entered on the
parliamentary contest in a very feeble and apparently undecided, if not
disunited manner. And nothing could be more shocking than the contrast
between the rage and fury, the denunciations and determinations of the
Protectionists all over the country for months past, and the moderate
language and abstinences from all specific demands on the part of the
leaders in both Houses. Stanley, who has never said or written a
syllable during the recess, and kept aloof from all agitation, made a
very reasonable speech, disclaiming any wish to interrupt the
experiment, which he was sure would fail, and only requiring that if it
did fail, we should retrace our steps. This was very different from
Richmond, who was coarse and violent, and declared he wanted to turn out
the Government, and restore Protection at once. In the other House,
Disraeli was very bad, and there was no possibility of making out what
he meant or was driving at. Cobden was very good, and had much the best
of him. All this disunion and weakness ended in good divisions, an
exposure of the weakness and inefficiency of the Tory party, and
apparently putting the Government at their ease and into smooth water.

[Footnote 106: [Parliament was opened by Commission on January 31. A
Protectionist amendment to the Address was defeated in the House of
Lords by 152 to 103, and in the House of Commons by 311 to 192.]]

But in the midst of all this apparent prosperity many people (of whom I
am one) are far from easy at the state of affairs. The Opposition are
rabid, and bent on annoying and damaging the Government in every way
they can. The Radicals are lying in wait to take advantage of their
resentment and turn it to their own purposes. It is impossible not to
feel that the Free Trade 'experiment,' as it is called, is a fearful and
a doubtful one; and even supposing it to succeed (as I think it will in
the long run), there are so many weak and vulnerable landlords and
tenants, that there will be a great deal of intermediate havoc and
distress; and the farmers have been so terrified and excited by their
leaders and orators, that there is good reason to fear, when they find
Protection cannot be had, that they will become financial reformers,
break through all the old patriarchal ties, and go to any lengths which
they may fancy they can make instrumental to their relief. The
Protectionists have had the folly to poison and pervert their minds, and
to raise a spirit they will find it difficult either to manage or
subdue. In short, the country is in a greater state of fermentation and
uncertainty than I have ever known it, and its conservative qualities,
and faculty of righting itself, and resisting extreme dangers, will be
put to a severe test.


_February 10th._--The brightness of the Ministerial prospect was very
soon clouded over, and last week their disasters began. There was
first of all the Greek affair, and then the case of the Ceylon
witnesses--matters affecting Lord Palmerston and Lord Grey. The Greek
case will probably be settled, thanks to French mediation, but it was a
bad and discreditable affair, and has done more harm to Palmerston than
any of his greater enormities.[107] The other Ministers are extremely
annoyed at it, and at the sensation it has produced. The disgust felt at
these bullying and paltry operations is great and universal, and it will
of course tend to make us still more odious abroad. As far as Palmerston
himself is concerned, he will as usual escape unscathed, quite ready to
plunge into any fresh scrape to-morrow, uncorrected and unchecked; he
bears a charmed life in politics, he is so popular and so dexterous that
he is never at a loss, nor afraid, nor discomposed. He is supported by
his own party; the Peelites will not attack him for fear of hurting the
Government; and he is the pet of the Radicals, to whom he pays continual
court, giving them sops in the shape of Liberal speeches, Hungarian
sympathies, and claptrap--unmeaning verbiage of different sorts.

[Footnote 107: [In consequence of the _hiatus_ in these Journals from
September to January, no mention has yet been made of the demands on the
Greek Government in favour of Don Pacifico, a Gibraltar Jew, by order of
Lord Palmerston, but they led to very serious consequences. On January
18, 1850, Admiral Parker proclaimed a blockade of the Piræus, the Greek
Government having refused to acknowledge the British claims. On February
5, France offered her good offices as a mediator; but this, as will be
seen, did not settle the question.]]

Very different is the case of Grey. He is as unpopular as the other is
popular. The House of Commons swarms with his bitter enemies, and he
commands very few friends. Notwithstanding his great and undeniable
abilities, he committed blunders, which proceed from his contempt for
the opinion of others, and the tenacity with which he clings to his own;
and while those who know him are aware that a man more high-minded, more
honourable and conscientious does not exist, he has contrived to make
himself pass for a Minister whose word cannot be relied on. This last
affair of the Ceylon witnesses is indeed well calculated to confirm such
an impression, and to heap additional odium on his head. It is wholly
without excuse, damaging to him, damaging to the Government, and will
animate and embitter the personal hostility with which he is pursued to
a degree that will probably bring him to grief in the course of this
Session, and perhaps the whole Cabinet with him.[108] The Government
was only saved from a defeat on Wednesday morning by the bad tactics of
Disraeli, who moved so strong a resolution that few would support it.
Bright then moved one more moderate, and was only beaten by nine; had
the more moderate one been moved at first, it would have been carried.
These two incidents have been vexatious and injurious, and were not
improved by an angry personal squabble between Horsman on one side and
John Russell and Sir George Grey on the other, in which, however, the
former is undoubtedly in the wrong.

[Footnote 108: [A Select Committee of the House of Commons had been
appointed to enquire into the grievances alleged to exist in Ceylon,
especially with reference to the means taken by the Governor to quell
the recent insurrection in that island, and an understanding had been
arrived at in the preceding Session, that certain witnesses should be
brought over from Ceylon on the reappointment of the Committee. These
witnesses were not forthcoming, and condemnatory motions were made by
Mr. Hume, Mr. Disraeli, and Mr. Bright, but rejected by the House of

Lord Stanley has taken up Lord Roden's cause,[109] and is going to
attack the Irish Government, much to my surprise, for he told me himself
at Newmarket that he thought Roden quite wrong, and that Clarendon could
not help dismissing him. But what he may have said or thought all goes
for nothing when he can find an opportunity of making an assault on the
Government, or 'giving them a gallop,' as he told Clanricarde he was
going to do, when he gave notice of his motion.

[Footnote 109: [In October 1849, Lord Clarendon, then Lord Lieutenant of
Ireland, dismissed from the Commission of the Peace Lord Roden and the
other Orange magistrates implicated in the fray which took place at
Dolly's Brae on July 12, 1849. Lord Stanley brought the whole subject
forward in the House of Lords on February 18, and Lord Clarendon
defended his measures in person.]]


_February 14th._--There has been a grand discussion whether Clarendon
should come over to meet Stanley and Roden on Monday next. He was
greatly against coming, and so were several of his friends; but John
Russell, George Grey, and Lord Lansdowne all thought he had better come,
and he acquiesced, though reluctantly, and retaining his opinion that it
was not expedient. Stanley told Granville yesterday that he was not
going to defend Orange processions, and had only taken up the matter for
the purpose of preventing personal matters between Clarendon and Roden
being mixed up with the discussion on the Processions Act, and to have
those personal matters settled beforehand; _au reste_, that he had at
first thought Clarendon had been quite in the right, but since he had
seen all the evidence and read the papers he had changed his opinion,
and thought Roden and the other Peers had been hardly treated. Clarendon
himself wrote me word he was convinced Stanley only brought forward this
matter to satisfy his Irish adherents, who had been urging him to do it.
It is most probable that he finds himself in a scrape with his party,
who must be excessively disappointed and disgusted at his very lukewarm
advocacy of Protection in his speech on the first night of the Session,
and indeed at the way he has kept aloof from all their agitation; and he
finds it necessary to do something to satisfy them in other ways. So he
will take every opportunity he can find of attacking the Government, and
try to excite and assure his party by such field-days as Dolly's Brae,
and by working the Greek question and anything else he can lay his hands

This Greek question is the worst scrape into which Palmerston has ever
got himself and his colleagues. The disgust at it here is universal with
those who think at all about foreign matters; it is past all doubt that
it has produced the strongest feelings of indignation against this
country all over Europe, and the Ministers themselves are conscious what
a disgraceful figure they cut, and are ashamed of it. Labouchere came
into my room yesterday and let loose about it without reserve. He said
it admitted of no excuse, and that John Russell, who alone could have
prevented it, was inexcusable for not having done so; that it ought to
have been brought regularly and formally before the Cabinet, who ought
all to have known precisely what it was Palmerston proposed to do.
Papers indeed were sent round in boxes, and Palmerston defended himself
on this ground, and asked why they did not read them; but (said
Labouchere) how was it possible for men who had large departments with a
vast deal of business of their own, to read all the papers which were
brought round in circulation? They neither did nor could. It was quite
clear from all this that the Greek affair was not a measure well
considered, discussed, and agreed on by the Cabinet, but done in the
true Palmerstonian style, offhand, partly and casually communicated to
his colleagues, but so managed as to be his own act, to which they
indeed became parties, completely implicated, but in which they were not
really consulted, and which passed under their eyes without entering
into their serious thoughts. Now that the whole magnitude of the scrape
is revealed to them they are full of resentment and mortification.
Graham told Arbuthnot the other day that he thought the breaking down of
the Government would be the greatest of evils, and he would do anything
to support them, but that it was impossible for them to go on with two
such men as Grey and Palmerston.

_February 17th._--I breakfasted with Senior yesterday, to meet Macaulay,
Hallam, and Van de Weyer, and I had some talk with the latter about
Greece. Of course, he expressed himself with reserve, but he owned it
was a very bad affair, and could not end either creditably or well. He
said he thought there was a good chance of patching up the quarrel with
Spain, which was in the hands of his King. After the breakfast I went to
Kent House, where I found Clarendon arrived the night before in very
good spirits. He gave me an outline of his case, and told me several
facts, very important and available, and I am sanguine as to his coming
well out of it, if he can manage his materials adroitly. On the other
hand, the Stanleians and Rodentes give out that they have a great case,
the first on constitutional, and the last on personal, grounds; but both
profess an intention to be moderate in their mode of pressing it. Lord
Grey has had a success in the Ceylon Committee in the evidence of
Captain Watson, who proved the proclamation attributed to him to be a
forgery; and he threw so much discredit on Baillie's evidence that
Graham told me he thought it would be fatal to his case.


_February 19th._--Stanley brought on the Dolly's Brae affair last night
in a long, clever, and artful speech, delivered in his best style. But
it was the speech of a clever _nisi prius_ advocate, and consisted
principally of an ingenious dissection of Berwick's report and the
evidence, and a bitter attack upon him. The useless and unmeaning
character of this display was very apparent when he announced his
intention of doing nothing, and asking no opinion of the House.
Clarendon rose after him. He made a very good case, his points told
remarkably well, and, on the whole, he acquitted himself successfully,
and to the satisfaction of his friends; but, coming after Stanley's
practised and brilliant declamation, his style appeared tame and feeble.
It was easy to see that he was no debater, and that his parliamentary
inexperience diminished his force and efficacy. For a little while I was
in great alarm for him, and thought he was going to break down; but he
recovered, and got through his speech very well. If he had had more
artistic power, he would have made his excellent materials much more
effective than they were. In such hands as Stanley's they would have
been crushing; they would have been very powerful if Lord Lansdowne had
had them; but as it was, it was well enough. There was no personality
introduced into the debate; the rival speeches were very civil and
complimentary to each other; and Roden, throughout his dull and
inaudible harangue, called Clarendon his noble friend, to which
Clarendon of course responded in his short second speech. Before it
began Stanley and Clarendon rushed to each other across the House, and
shook hands very cordially, like a couple of boxers before setting to.

_February 20th._--Clarendon called on me yesterday, very happy at his
success the night before. There is a pretty general opinion that he made
out a very good case, and that Stanley's was a failure. The latter made
one or two great mistakes, and was detected in one very discreditable
attempt. He quoted from an Act of Parliament, reading an extract from
it, but stopping short at that part of the clause which would have upset
his own argument. By a great piece of good luck, the Chancellor Brady
had anticipated the possibility of this Act being alluded to, and had
sent it over to Clarendon, pointing out this clause, and Clarendon only
received it two hours before the debate came on.

Clarendon told me he expected the Encumbered Estates Act would prove the
regeneration of Ireland, and that this measure was entirely done by
himself. When he was here last year he saw Peel, who said he would give
up his own scheme if Clarendon could accomplish something of this kind.
Clarendon spoke to John Russell about it, who said legal reforms were
impossible; the lawyers never would carry them out. Clarendon replied,
'Only lend me your Solicitor-General, and I will do it all.' Romilly
went over to Dublin, the Chancellor was cajoled, the Irish Attorney-and
Solicitor-General were frightened into acquiescence, and Romilly drew
the Bill with their concurrence, which was passed last Session, and is
now working with extraordinary effect. The Lord-Lieutenancy is to be
abolished on January 1, 1851, and the Bill to be brought in this
Session. Clarendon will then be Secretary of State for Ireland.

We had some talk about our foreign affairs, especially Greece, of which
he had himself only heard a little. I had heard that Palmerston had been
making some fresh proposal to the Cabinet, at which they had kicked, and
I now learned what it was. So little disposed is he, notwithstanding all
the feelings and opinions that have been manifested, to recede, that he
proposed that instructions should be sent to Wyse to insist that the
French Minister at Athens (or agent of the _bons offices_, whoever he
may be) should be obliged to require of the Greek Government an
immediate compliance with the whole of our demands. This the Cabinet
refused to do, but Lord Lansdowne owned to Clarendon that he was by no
means sure that they were apprised of all the instructions that had been
sent, or that this requisition might not have gone out, though the
Cabinet had refused its consent to it. Clarendon told Lord Lansdowne
that he hoped he was not insensible to the state of public opinion on
this matter, and he said he was fully aware of it.


_February 22nd._--On Wednesday, as I was crossing the Park, I fell in
with Sir Robert Peel, and turned back with him to Charles Wood's, where
he was going, after which we went towards his home, and walked up and
down behind Whitehall for half an hour or more, talking of all sorts of
things. He began about the Roden affair, on which he thought there was
no case against Clarendon, but that he might have made more clearly
known to Lord Roden his dislike to the procession, and considering the
friendly terms they had been on, that there was some want of courtesy in
making no communication to him before the notice of dismissal,
particularly after Roden had offered to resign if it would be of any use
to him that he should do so. I explained all these matters to him, and
showed him that Clarendon had said and done all he could, and that no
blame attached to him. He said he had known nothing of the matter but
what Jocelyn had told him.

He then spoke of foreign affairs, and did not spare Palmerston. He
reviewed the general course of our proceedings, and especially the Greek
affair, which he thought very bad; but what was still worse, was our
having sent our fleet into the Dardanelles, having no right to do so,
and then asserting we were driven there by stress of weather, which was
a pretence and a falsehood. This was very disgraceful, and the use to
which our fleet had been put very shameful. That Palmerston had met with
nothing but failures from Lisbon, where he first sent the fleet, and
where his enemy Cabral had been ever since in power down to the present
occasion. Brunnow had spoken to him the other day, and talked very good
sense. He said the Emperor of Russia would not quarrel on this matter,
not having done so on our fleet going to the Dardanelles; he would not
on account of two uninhabited islets, but he would feel it. He alluded
to the Emperor's sarcastic remark on the story of our fleet being
compelled to take shelter in the Dardanelles; that 'he had always
understood our fleets were most ably and powerfully manned, their
tactics very superior, and that Sir William Parker was a very skilful
officer; but that _his_ fleet, though lying in that sea for many
months, had never found itself under any such necessity.' Brunnow said
it was a great pity that somebody could not represent to Palmerston the
impolicy of the course he had been pursuing all over Europe; that it was
evident his real motive and intention in the Greek affair had been to
bring about a revolution there, and that he had expected, when his fleet
appeared, there would be a rising against Otho, who would be expelled;
that when Europe was only just emerging from a state of general
revolution, and order was only lately restored, what folly it was to
provoke a fresh revolution, and to reopen an important question, the
settlement of which might lead to the greatest difficulties! Brunnow
always defends Palmerston, and affects to make light of all the
_accidents_ that arise, but he speaks his real sentiments to Peel and
Aberdeen. Peel said he had seen a letter from an officer in Parker's
fleet, representing that the Admiral was exceedingly disgusted at the
business put into his hands. We occupied so much time in discussing
Ireland and Greece, that there was none to go into other matters, though
I should have liked to hear his opinion of the state and prospects of
the country.

Last night I met Clarendon at dinner at Bath House, when I told him what
had passed between Peel and me. He told me also that Roden had behaved
shabbily to him, when he quoted in the House of Lords the letter he had
written, offering to resign the magistracy, but concealing the latter
part of the same letter in which he said that he hoped he would not
accept it if he thought it would be any triumph to the Catholics, for
they had now got them down, and they should be able to keep them down.
This, Clarendon said, he felt tempted to read himself, as Roden chose to
read the first part, but he abstained.


He then gave me an account of what had passed between the Queen and
Prince and himself. He dined at the Palace on Tuesday. I told him they
were sure to talk to him on foreign affairs, but he said he should avoid
it. However, he could not avoid it. The moment he came into the
drawing-room after dinner the Queen exploded, and went with the utmost
vehemence and bitterness into the whole of Palmerston's conduct, all the
effects produced all over the world, and all her own feelings and
sentiments about it. He could only listen and profess his own almost
entire ignorance of the details. After she had done Prince Albert began,
but not finding time and opportunity to say all he wished, he asked him
to call on him the next day. He went and had a conversation of two hours
and a half, in the course of which he went into every detail, and poured
forth without stint or reserve all the pent-up indignation, resentment,
and bitterness with which the Queen and himself have been boiling for a
long time past. He commented on Palmerston's policy and conduct much in
the same terms in which the 'Times' does, and as I and others do. But
what he enlarged upon with the strongest feeling was the humiliating
position in which the Queen was placed in the eyes of the whole world.
The remonstrances and complaints, the sentiments and resentments of
other Sovereigns--of the King of Naples, and of the Emperor of Russia,
for instance--directly affected her dignity as the Sovereign and
Representative of this Nation; and the consciousness that these
Sovereigns and all the world knew that she utterly disapproved of all
that was done in her name, but that she was powerless to prevent it, was
inconceivably mortifying and degrading. Prince Albert said he knew well
enough the Constitutional position of the Sovereign of this country, and
that it was the policy and measures which the nation desired and
approved which the Government must carry out; but that the nation
disapproved of Palmerston's proceedings, and so did his own colleagues,
Lord Lansdowne particularly; yet by their weak connivance he was allowed
to set at defiance the Sovereign, the Government, and public opinion,
while the Queen could get neither redress nor support from John Russell,
and was forced to submit to such degradation. He then mentioned various
instances in which the Queen's remonstrances and suggestions had been
disregarded. Minutes submitted to her in one form and changed by
Palmerston into other forms; the refusal of Austria to send any
Ambassador here, because he could not transact business with her
Secretary of State. Clarendon asked him if he had ever endeavoured to
influence Palmerston himself, and remonstrated with him on those matters
which had justly excited the strong feelings of the Queen and himself.
He said that he had done so repeatedly, and for a long time; that he
always found him easy, good-humoured, very pleasant to talk to, but that
it was utterly impossible to turn him from his purposes, or to place the
least reliance on anything he said or engaged to do, and that at length
the conviction which had been forced upon him of the uselessness of
speaking to him had caused him entirely to leave it off, and for above a
year past neither the Queen nor he had ever said one word to him; that
it was in vain they had appealed to John Russell. He supposed it was the
etiquette for Cabinet Ministers never to admit there was anything
censurable in the conduct of each other, for though he was certain many
things were done of which John Russell could not approve, and for which
he was unable to make any defence, he never would admit that what had
been done had been wrong; that the consequence of this had been to
impair considerably the relations of confidence and openness which ought
to exist between the Queen and her Prime Minister, and to place her in
an unsatisfactory position _vis-à-vis_ of him. After dilating at great
length on this topic, he said something from which Clarendon inferred
that his object was to make _him_ a channel of communication with John
Russell, and thus to make their sentiments known to him more clearly and
unreservedly than they could do themselves, and he means to tell Lord
John all that passed. He said the Prince talked very sensibly and very
calmly, very strong, but without excitement of manner. I shall be
curious to hear what Lord John says to it all; but though it can hardly
fail somewhat to disturb his mind, I don't believe it will make the
least alteration in his conduct, or change an iota of the 'unconquerable
will and study of revenge' of Palmerston, or prevent his doing just what
he pleases in spite of all the world. Peel told me he understood we
were sending to Leghorn to make demands of some sort there, which he
concluded was done to annoy Austria.


_February 23rd._--The division in the House of Commons on Thursday night
was hailed with vociferous cheers by the Protectionists, who considered
it a great victory and the harbinger of future success.[110] Everybody
was taken by surprise, for though it was known that the Opposition would
muster strong, nobody imagined there would be so small a majority as
twenty, the Government expected about forty. Graham spoke very well, and
so did Gladstone _in reply to him_, the part the latter took exciting a
considerable sensation. Disraeli was good, both in his opening speech
and reply. Graham told me he was much improved, and his taste and tone
far better than formerly. Peel was long and heavy, talked of himself too
much, and made one of those defences of his former conduct which he
might as well let alone, for they are superfluous with one half of the
House and country, and useless with the other. He had much better, as
Disraeli told him, do like Cosmo de Medici, and leave his character to
posterity; he unwisely enough noticed a very warm and unjust attack
which Henry Bentinck had made upon him at some public meeting. Henry
Bentinck, like a true member of his family and own brother to George,
instead of recanting or apologising, insinuated his disbelief in what
Peel said, and was as offensive as the clamour and displeasure of the
House and his own inarticulateness allowed him to be. In the afternoon
yesterday Graham called on me to speak about the Australian Bill which
was to have come on next Monday, and on which he said Government would
infallibly be beaten, which following up the _quasi_ defeat of Thursday
would be very awkward. I suggested, after talking the matter over, that
he and Peel might give them some help, which he said they would do, but
must know what Government thereupon meant to do. I undertook to find
out, but in the meantime John Russell put off the Bill.

[Footnote 110: [On February 19 Mr. Disraeli moved for a Committee to
revise and amend the Poor Laws for the purpose of affording relief to
the agricultural classes. Mr. Gladstone voted for the motion, though it
became virtually a Protectionist demonstration. The resolution was
defeated by 273 to 253--only 20 majority for Government.]]

_February 28th._--Before Clarendon left town he saw John Russell, and
told him all that had passed between him and the Prince, and that he was
quite certain it had been said to him for the express purpose of its
being repeated to Lord John. He also told him that it was fit he should
understand the strong and unusual feeling that existed on this subject,
assuring him that he had not met with one single individual of any party
or condition who did not regard it with disgust and displeasure. He then
adjured him, whatever else he might do, to cultivate better _personal_
feelings, and more confidential relations with the Queen and Prince, to
be more open with them, and to enter into their feelings, and this Lord
John, who seems to have taken what he said in very good part, promised
he would not fail to do.

[Sidenote: GRILLON'S CLUB.]

Clarendon had also long conversations with Peel and Graham, who were
both very complimentary and satisfactory about his case in the House of
Lords, and Peel talked to him a great deal about affairs, both English
and Irish. He was as confident as ever in the impossibility of the
restoration of Protection, and the disastrous, and in the end abortive,
effects of any attempt to do so by a Stanley and Disraeli Government, if
by any possibility they could force themselves into office. He is
evidently much disgusted with Gladstone and Goulburn, who have given
indubitable signs of forsaking him, and advancing towards the
Protectionists, and Graham said Stanley would now be able to offer the
Queen a list, which would not be an insult. But Gladstone, though he has
twice voted with the Opposition, loudly declares that he has not changed
an iota of his Free Trade opinions, and has no thoughts of joining the
other party, though they think they can have him whenever they may
vouchsafe to take him. There is a considerably prevailing opinion of the
diminished vigour as well as of the diminished influence of Peel. His
speech the other night was laboured and heavy, and not judicious. Then
the House was much struck by the unusual spectacle of Peel and Graham
both rising to speak together, and both persisting to await the
Speaker's call instead of Graham's giving way to Peel, as he would have
done formerly. It was probably the first time Peel ever rose in the
House of Commons to speak, and had to give way to another speaker. The
House called for the one as much as for the other, and Graham made
incomparably the best speech of the two. Ever since their large
minority, the Protectionists have been in a very rampant and excited
state, overflowing with pugnacity and confidence; but they made a great
mistake in opposing very furiously and factiously the Irish Voters Bill,
and the Government think that night was exceedingly serviceable to them,
by rallying back a great many of the Irish Members, who were out of
humour, and disposed to go against them in the matter of protection and

I was last night elected at Grillon's Club, much to my surprise, for I
did not know I was a candidate.

_March 8th._--I dined on Wednesday at Grillon's, and was received with
vast civility and cordiality. A large party, much larger than
usual--amongst them Harrowby, Granville, Graham, Sir Thomas Fremantle,
Rutherford, Pusey, Sir Thomas Acland, &c. Sat next to Graham, and had
much talk on affairs. I told him that Labouchere had said to me a day or
two before that John Russell was uneasy about the House of Commons, and
expected that he should be beaten on more than one item in the financial
accounts; that people told him he must expect to be beaten; but he
replied that repeated defeats on such details materially impaired his
influence and authority in the House, and made it difficult to carry on
the business. Graham said this was very true, and that he probably would
be beaten. He thought the position of the Government unsatisfactory and
precarious; they had got into some scrapes about both Army and Naval
estimates, unnecessarily and injudiciously. Then there were the
questions of the African squadron and the Greek business behind. Stanley
is very bitter and active, and eager to fight. He thinks Gladstone,
Goulburn, and Aberdeen would all join Stanley in taking office. I asked
him how it was possible. He said the Protectionists would make some
concessions, and for various reasons and on different pretexts they
would be easily satisfied. He congratulated himself on his foresight in
refusing to take office. This Greek question was just one of those cases
in which he must have refused to obey the orders of the Foreign Office,
very different now from Lord Grey's time. Then when he was First Lord of
the Admiralty, he used to be every day at the Foreign Office, and Lord
Grey was paramount, allowing nothing to be done without his full
knowledge and assent, and constantly altering Palmerston's despatches as
a tutor might a boy's exercise. He talked a good deal about the
abolition of the Lord Lieutenancy of Ireland, of which he approves, but
said the arrangement of the details, especially about the Chancellor,
would be very difficult. Arbuthnot told me the other day that the
Protectionists are doing all they can to disgust the Yeomanry with the
service, and to induce them to resign, not without success. This is
their patriotism.

I met Brunnow a few days ago coming from Palmerston, where he had been
(though he did not say so) to present the Emperor's indignant note. He
was laughing as he always does when he speaks of Palmerston; said of
this affair, 'que c'était une bêtise; qu'il ne pouvait pas faire
comprendre à Palmerston l'humiliation de l'affaire.' So far from
acknowledging this, or evincing the least sign of regret or shame, when
Hume asked him a question in the House the other night, he replied with
the utmost effrontery, and with rather more than his usual insolence and
audacity. As on every occasion, the House laughed and nobody said a
word. All that relates to him, his character, conduct, and career, will
hereafter form one of the most curious passages in history and the most
astounding and unaccountable.


_March 9th._--Yesterday judgement was given in Gorham's case at the
Council Office. The crowd was enormous, the crush and squeeze awful. I
accommodated my friends with seats in court, and there were Wiseman and
Bunsen sitting cheek by jowl, probably the antipodes of theological
opinions. The Lords met an hour before. They made some alterations in
the judgement, and some judicious omissions. The Bishop of London, after
much vacillation, half assenting and half dissenting, being on and off,
by turns against Gorham and against the Bishop, disagreeing with
everybody and everything, finally sent his determination through
Lushington, and announcing (as was said in the judgement) that he could
not concur. He did not, however, concur in the statement of Gorham's
doctrine as gathered by the Lords, a difference of construction which
shows how impossible it would have been to condemn Gorham on the score
of heterodox, if not heretical, opinions, when a number of very able
men, laymen and clergymen, after careful examination, could not agree
what his opinions really were. Knight Bruce dissented altogether, wrote
to Lord Langdale to that effect, and declined coming. The Archbishop
agreed in both judgement and reasons. There was a preliminary discussion
about costs. Langdale, Campbell, and Lushington were for giving Gorham
costs in the Court below; Pemberton Leigh was against it; and the three
eventually yielded to the one, and it was agreed to say nothing about
costs. Langdale read the judgement well, and the people who heard it (at
least those I talked to) thought it able and judicious; but of course
all the highflyers and Puseyites will be angry and provoked, and talk of
schisms and secessions, which will be, I am firmly convinced, _bruta

Reeve received yesterday afternoon from Paris the Russian Note--not the
Note itself, but the whole substance of it, textual evidently, and
copied from the note.[111]

[Footnote 111: [This was a Note in which the Russian Government
protested against the abuse of the maritime power of England to coerce
small and unresisting States.]]

_March 19th._--Last Friday Aberdeen and Stanley had determined to bring
on the Greek affair in the House of Lords, and Stanley gave notice to
Lord Lansdowne he would ask for information. Lord Lansdowne, however,
before Stanley rose, got up and begged he would not discuss a question
which was in course of negotiation, and Stanley was obliged to
acquiesce. They were both of them provoked and disappointed, but there
was no help for it. Stanley then contented himself with asking for the
date of the orders to Parker to stop coercive measures, and it turned
out that Palmerston had delayed sending them for a week upon miserable
pretexts. Lord Lansdowne, as usual, attempted some lame excuses, and
there the matter ended.

To-night comes on the question of the African squadron, on which the
Government have acted a very unwise part.[112] They have determined (of
course in obedience to Palmerston's will and pleasure) not only to make
it a Government question, but to stake their existence on it; and they
have been moving heaven and earth to obtain support and avert the defeat
with which they were threatened. Their representations and appeals will
probably succeed, but I have already seen several people who are
excessively disgusted at being compelled to vote against their clear and
strong convictions, and support what they think wrong and foolish in
order to bolster up the Government and carry them through the difficulty
in which they have been involved by their own perverseness and

[Footnote 112: [The maintenance of a costly squadron on the coast of
Africa for the suppression of the slave trade had become very unpopular,
even with the Liberal Party. Mr. Hutt moved an Address for the purpose
of relieving the country from that obligation, but his resolution was
negatived by 232 to 154.]]


_March 20th._--John Russell convoked a meeting in Downing Street
yesterday, and made them a speech which gave equal offence in manner and
in matter. He told them if he was beaten on Hutt's motion he should
resign. Palmerston made another speech, and announced the same
intention. The people came away furious and indignant, and several came
into my room complaining of the hardship of being compelled to vote
against their conscientious opinions on such a question, and on the
unjustifiable conduct of the Government in threatening to resign at it.
It seems to me that John Russell is demented at taking this violent
course in reference to so unpopular a question, and one so entirely
fallen into disrepute. He has given deep offence and prepared great
difficulties for himself hereafter. Baring Wall told me he sent
Labouchere to him the night before to remonstrate, but he made no
impression, and his reply was too ridiculous; that he could not abandon
the course pursued by _Mr. Fox_ and all the great men of the time, who
had striven to put down slavery. He succeeded in cajoling or frightening
people into submission, and after a debate in which few people spoke,
and Palmerston not at all, leaving it all to Lord John, Hutt's motion
was rejected by a majority of seventy. A great many were absent, not
expecting a division, most of whom would have voted with Hutt. I never
saw anything like the surprise of some people and the indignation of
others at the course which John Russell took.

_April 23rd._--More than a month without a single line. The Government
are supposed to have been going on badly, having been left in minorities
on several occasions, but it is of no real consequence. The most serious
affair was the Stamp Bill, but it has been partly compromised and partly
patched up, and Charles Wood does not seem to care.[113] I saw him the
other day, when he said that he thought they should not be placed in any
more difficulties, for some were ashamed and some were sorry for having
deserted the Government already. They have made up their minds not to
stand repetitions of this fast and loose treatment on the part of their
friends and _soi-disant_ supporters. Wood is uneasy about the continued
low price of corn, and owned to me that it has continued much longer and
had fallen lower than he had ever contemplated or at all liked. All the
accounts represent that the farmers are behaving well, paying their
rents, and employing the people; but there is a strong feeling of
dissatisfaction and disaffection amongst them.

[Footnote 113: [Ministers were defeated on April 15 on their Stamp Bill
by a majority of 164 to 135.]]

The Greek affair has dragged on, and wears rather a sinister
appearance. Drouyn de Lhuys[114] fell in with Reeve on Sunday, took him
into his house, and opened to him largely and bitterly on the
subject. Yesterday Reeve dined with him, when he again renewed the
discussion--two remarkable conversations. He complained in strong terms
of Palmerston's conduct, said that France had exerted herself with great
sincerity to arrange the affair, but had been met in no corresponding
spirit here. He intimated that his Government would publish to the whole
world what had taken place, and that the matter was assuming a very
grave character towards both Russia and France. Instructions had,
indeed, gone out to Athens, agreed upon between Palmerston and himself,
but he seemed to regard it as very doubtful whether they would arrive in
time--that is, before Gros had returned home and Parker resumed
hostilities. He repeated what Van de Weyer had said of the 'universal
execration' in which we were held, and that no country could excite such
a feeling with impunity. It is pretty clear that if this matter is not
now settled there will be an explosion on the subject at Paris, and some
very disagreeable passages between us and both France and Russia. My own
conviction has all along been that Palmerston never intended anything
but to hoodwink his colleagues, bamboozle the French, and gain time. By
accepting the French mediation he prevented all discussion in
Parliament; and as he took care to furnish no instructions to Wyse such
as might enable him and Gros to come to terms, the affair could not fail
to drag on, and every day that it did so was fraught with disastrous
consequences to the Greeks. This was what he wanted; not to back out of
it as decently as he could have done, not to defer to the wishes,
opinions, and good offices of France, but by obstinacy and deceit to
gain all his ends--to terrify and bully Greece into complete surrender,
baffle Russia, and make France ridiculous. Drouyn de Lhuys told Reeve
that he and Brunnow were in constant communication and acting in
concert, the latter as usual doing all in his power to pacify the
Emperor at Petersburg, and to get Palmerston to be reasonable here.

[Footnote 114: [M. Drouyn de Lhuys was then French Ambassador in London.
Baron Gros had been sent to Athens to mediate, but had failed. The
irritation of the French Government at the measures taken at Athens
became so great that General Lahitte, then Minister of Foreign Affairs,
recalled M. Drouyn de Lhuys from London shortly afterwards, as will be
seen below.]]


_April 28th._--Charles Wood has got into a scrape with his Stamps Bill,
not being able to frame his measure so as to work satisfactorily.
Financial blunders are always injurious, and affect the credit and
authority of a Chancellor of the Exchequer; but it does not really
signify, for the Government cannot be shaken. John Russell made a
slashing attack in reply on Disraeli on Friday, well enough done, with
spirit and effect.

On Wednesday, Campbell gave judgement in the Court of Queen's Bench in
the Gorham case, on the rule moved for by Sir Fitzroy Kelly. The rule
was refused unanimously. Campbell's judgement was very good, and much
admired; he is doing exceedingly well in his Court.[115] Martin told me
he never heard anything better than the way in which he disposed of a
variety of cases, motions for rules mostly, which were before him on
Monday last. Baron Parke, too, who did not smile on the appointment,
said he was doing very well. He is not popular, and he is wanting in
taste and refinement, but he is an able lawyer; and already he appears
to great advantage in contrast with the dignified incompetence of
Denman, who was an honourable, high-minded gentleman, but no lawyer, and
one of the feeblest Chief Justices who ever presided over the Court of
Queen's Bench.

[Footnote 115: [Lord Campbell succeeded Lord Denman as Lord Chief
Justice of England on March 5, 1850. This was one of his first important
decisions in the Court over which he continued to rule with consummate
ability and success.]]

We may at last expect the Greek question to be settled, I suppose. The
decision and alacrity of Palmerston last Saturday week form a curious
contrast with his dilatory motions a few weeks ago. Then he could not
manage to frame an instruction and despatch it in less than a week or
more; but when matters were getting serious, and he found that he must
finish the affair, he was quick enough. On Saturday morning he received
the despatches announcing the difficulties at Athens. He sent for Drouyn
de Lhuys, concerted with him what was to be done, wrote his
instructions, laid them before the Cabinet, got all the forms through,
and sent them off the same evening. The plain meaning of all this is
that in the first instance his object was delay, and in the second his
object was expedition.


_May 14th._--I have written nothing here for many weeks, but no great
loss, for I have not had much to say, if anything. I am tempted to
resume my pen to record rather a curious event. I have heard this
morning of a mission from Paris to Louis Philippe, and the result of it.
The leaders of the Conservative party there, all except Thiers, have
come to a resolution that the only chance of restoring the Monarchy is
by a reconciliation of the elder and the Orleans branches, by the
recognition of Henri V., and by persuading Louis Philippe and his family
to accept this solution of the dynastic question. They have accordingly
sent over M. Malac to Claremont to communicate their sentiments to the
King. He was authorised to tell him that the Legitimists were willing to
acknowledge his title and his reign, and even the benefits that France
had derived from his government. The King entered into the subject with
great frankness, treating with indifference the offers which were
personal to himself, saying he had no need of any recognition of his
reign, of which history would bear sufficient record. He, however,
acquiesced in the views of the party who sent M. Malac, and declared
himself ready to agree to their terms, but he said that the women of his
family would be the most strenuous opponents of such a compromise. He
assembled a sort of _conseil de famille_, consisting of the Queen and
the Princes (not the Duchess of Orleans), and laid before them the
proposal that had been made to him. The Queen declared against it, the
Princes were all for it, and finally the Queen said she would defer to
the opinion of the King. He then proposed to the Ambassador to go and
talk to the Duchess of Orleans, from whom the greatest obstacles were
to be expected. He declined to speak to her on the subject, but said he
would go and see her, which he did. She received him, talked of all
other subjects, but not a word about the succession. On repeating to His
Majesty what had passed, he said he would send for her and talk to her,
and after having done so, he desired M. Malac to return and she would
enter on the affair. He went to her again and spoke to her with great
frankness, representing that the Orleans party was by far the weakest in
France, and that her religion would always make the people more or less,
and the clergy entirely, hostile to her. She was much startled and
discomposed at hearing language to which she seemed not to have been
accustomed; but though she did not avow it she was not unmoved by his
representations. He described various other meetings and conversations
which had occurred in which the Queen of the Belgians took part
(strongly adverse to the proposal), and finally he departed, without
indeed any formal acceptance of the overtures, but carrying back such
expressions of opinion and disposition on the part of the family as
amounted to a virtual acceptance, and leave no doubt that the bargain
will be concluded. It is not intended to draw up any compact, nor to
take any immediate steps in consequence. They have no intention of
waging war with the Republic, and only contemplate waiting for the
course of events in the hope that the evils of the country will
eventually drive the masses to seek a remedy for them in the restoration
of the Monarchy, and for this contingency to be prepared by merging the
differences of the two branches and uniting the strength of both to
re-establish the principle. It was Reeve who told me all this, having
had it from M. Malac himself. He also brought over a letter from Guizot
to Reeve in which Guizot alluded rather mysteriously to another
combination that was possible, and that would be auxiliary to this
scheme. This is a transaction with the President and Changarnier. Both
of the latter are aware that Louis Napoleon has no chance of
perpetuating his own power either as President or Emperor.[116] He is
overwhelmed with debts which he cannot pay, and the whole of his
private fortune is sunk. In no case, therefore, could he retire to any
other country, and he may naturally be willing to make terms for himself
which, in the event of the Monarchy being restored, would place him in a
position of ease and comfort. Besides his own political nullity, his
family _entourage_ presents an inseparable bar to the revival of the
Empire in his person. He is, indeed, himself by far the best of his
family, being well-meaning and a gentleman; but all the rest are only a
worthless set of _canaille_, altogether destitute of merit, and without
a title to public consideration and respect.

[Footnote 116: [An unlucky prediction! As it seems that this wild scheme
was communicated to me, I must be allowed to add that I never for an
instant entertained or encouraged so preposterous a proposal, having
known Prince Louis Napoleon far too well to suppose that he would
relinquish the prize which was already within his grasp.--H. R.]]


_May 17th._--This has been a day of agitation. On Wednesday night all
London was excited by the announcement at Devonshire House (where there
was a great rout) that Drouyn de Lhuys had been recalled and was gone to
Paris, and that neither Brunnow nor Cetto had been present at
Palmerston's birthday dinner. Everybody was talking yesterday in the two
Houses of these things and of the cause of them, which of course had to
do with Greece. Questions were put to Lord Lansdowne and to Palmerston,
when both of them said that the French Government had desired the
presence of Drouyn de Lhuys at Paris in order to explain matters, and
they both said what was tantamount to a denial of his having been
recalled. At the very moment that they were making these statements in
Parliament, the French Minister for Foreign Affairs was reading in the
tribune of the National Assembly the formal letter of recall which had
been sent to their Ambassador, which he was instructed to communicate,
and which he read to Palmerston on the preceding day, and he was at the
same time explaining that the Ambassador had been recalled on account of
the manner in which the English Government had behaved to that of
France, which rendered it incompatible with the dignity of the Republic
to leave any longer an Ambassador in London. The report of what had
passed appeared in all the papers this morning, and Brougham again
addressed an interpellation to Lord Lansdowne on the subject, while a
Member did the same to John Russell in the House of Commons, Palmerston
not having chosen to be present. Both made what must be called
shuffling, prevaricating answers, endeavouring by some clumsy and
sophistical pretences to make out that the letter of recall was not a
letter of recall. All this is very pitiable. After a series of blunders
and a long course of impolitic and unjustifiable acts, Palmerston has
contrived to involve us in a _quasi_ quarrel with France, and to break
up in the most wanton manner, and for the most ridiculous object, the
good understanding which existed between the two countries. His
colleagues, as usual, find themselves deeply plunged in the scrape into
which they have permitted him to drag them, and obliged, as a hundred
times heretofore, to make common cause with him, and to swallow all the
dirt which he crams down their throats. While I am writing this they
have brought me the newspaper with the report of what passed in
Parliament, and Lord Lansdowne's and John Russell's replies, and it
really is melancholy to see two such men reduced to such discreditable
shifts, trying to evade giving direct answers to plain questions,
attempting to mislead without doing so, and only exposing themselves. I
see already that the friends and adherents of Government are sadly
perplexed and annoyed. Lord Eddisbury, who sat next Lord Lansdowne in
the House of Lords and prompted him, told Granville 'he thought
Palmerston could not have told his colleagues everything that had
passed.' As to those colleagues, they deserve every mortification that
can befall them, and are entitled to no pity. They have gone on
submitting to all Palmerston's insolence and vagaries with full
knowledge of having been repeatedly deceived by him, and not one of them
has had spirit enough to cast off this disgraceful yoke. Instead of
forcing him to show some regard to truth, he has broken them in to back
his falsehoods, and one of the worst consequences that has been
produced by his unfortunate administration is that the confidence and
implicit reliance which ought to be placed on all that a Minister says
in Parliament, can no longer be felt.

This is the greatest scrape into which Palmerston has ever got, and it
will be curious enough too how he gets out of it. Our Government stands
charged by that of France with breach of faith and violation of compact.
We shall see whether he denies the facts. If he makes one statement, and
Drouyn de Lhuys another, there can be no doubt which will be best
entitled to credit. The latter had no motive to deceive his own
Government, or to do anything but report faithfully what passed between
Palmerston and himself.


_May 19th._--There is the devil to pay about this Greek affair, and at
last there seems a tolerable chance of Palmerston coming to grief:
'_Tant va la cruche à l'eau_,' &c. Yesterday morning the Duke of Bedford
came here and gave me an account of the state of affairs. It seems
Brunnow had written a long letter to John Russell, couched in very
temperate terms, but setting forth all his complaints of Palmerston's
behaviour, and especially of the language of that part of the press
which was avowedly under his control and direction, in reference to
Russia, and he asked Lord John to call upon him, he being confined with
a cold. Lord John sent this letter to Palmerston, accompanied with one
from himself, in which he said that he (Palmerston) well knew how much
he disliked such articles and such use of the press, and a good deal
more indicative of displeasure. Palmerston wrote an answer defending
himself, and the very same evening there appeared in the 'Globe' another
article not less offensive than the preceding ones, greatly to the
indignation of Lord John. He called on Brunnow, who repeated what he had
before said in his letter, and announced that he must go away, for he
would not stay here to be on bad terms with Palmerston, and it was
impossible for him to remain on good terms. Meanwhile, Lord John had
seen Drouyn de Lhuys before his departure, and from him he learnt what
(according to his version) had passed between himself and Palmerston,
that is, about the pledge which Drouyn de Lhuys affirmed Palmerston had
given him that hostilities should not be renewed. The statement of
Drouyn de Lhuys did not correspond with the accounts which Palmerston
had given his colleagues of what had passed, and Lord John at once saw
that there was no avoiding the unpleasant dilemma of the two Governments
being at issue on a matter of fact which involved the good faith of
ours. All this, together with what had already passed, had raised Lord
John's resentment and disgust to a high pitch, and the Duke said that
Lord John had at last resolved not to stand it any longer, although (he
added) he could not feel complete confidence in his firmness and
resolution after all he had seen on various occasions.

Lord John said that the first thing to be done was to settle this matter
as they best might; that they must support Palmerston's assertions, to
which they were bound to give credit; but that when this business was
concluded, in about a month perhaps, he would bring matters to a crisis,
that is, announce to Palmerston that he could not go on in the Foreign
Office. Lord John is at present very angry, and therefore very stout,
but I never can feel sure of him. He is to see the Queen on Tuesday, who
will of course be boiling over with indignation, and if she finds Lord
John at last disposed to take her views of the matter, the affair may
possibly be settled between them.

Meanwhile no words can describe the universal feeling of reprobation,
and almost of shame, with which the replies of Lord Lansdowne and Lord
John were heard on Friday night. The morning arrivals from France had
clearly shown that Lord Lansdowne in one House, and John Russell in the
other, had tried to deceive and mislead by what they had said on
Thursday. On Friday Palmerston did not make his appearance; but the
figures which Lord Lansdowne cut in the Lords and Lord John in the
Commons were most deplorable and humiliating; such shuffling, special
pleading, and paltry evasions were never before heard from public men
of their eminence and character; and of all that has occurred this
discreditable exposure appears to many friends of the Government to be
the most painful part. It appears inconceivable that any men should make
statements the falsehood of which was shown in less than forty-eight
hours; but the explanation is this. In the first place, Palmerston gave
to his colleagues an imperfect and unfaithful account of Drouyn de
Lhuys's communication to him. They were themselves not aware of the
whole truth; but besides this Palmerston gave them to understand that
Drouyn de Lhuys had carried with him such explanations, verbal and
documentary, as would he hoped satisfy his Government, and consequently
that the letter of recall might probably be cancelled, and the affair
arranged. Hoping therefore for this result, they ventured to deny the
recall altogether, but were completely confounded and exposed by the
revelations of Lahitte[117] in the tribune the very same day; and then
they had nothing for it but to try and shuffle out of it in the way they
tried but miserably failed to do. It would have been far better to have
spoken the plain truth, or to have declined to answer till the next day.

[Footnote 117: [General Lahitte was then French Minister for Foreign
Affairs. Sir Thomas Wyse was the British Minister at Athens, who
conducted the negotiations there, and regulated the coercive measures of
Admiral Parker's squadron.]]


_May 22nd._--I have read the long series of despatches published by the
French Government, and the result in my mind is that they do not make
out a case of breach of faith against our Government, supposing
Palmerston's instructions to Wyse to have been in conformity with what
was agreed upon between the two Governments here. This (the most
essential) part of the case lies in a narrow compass. It was all along
perfectly understood that if Gros threw up his mission, being unable to
induce the Greek Government to consent to equitable terms, our Minister
was at liberty to recommence the coercive measures without any further
reference to his Government; but if the negotiation came to a standstill
in consequence of Gros and Wyse not being able to agree, then the
difference between them was to be referred for the decision of the two
Governments upon it, and in this case the coercive measures were not to
be renewed. The French maintain that the last of these contingencies
occurred, Palmerston contends that it was the first. It is possible that
Wyse may have received instructions conformable with this arrangement,
and that he may have thought that the course which Gros took brought the
case within the former category. This may have been an unsound opinion,
but if such was the case it exonerates the British Government from the
charge of having violated an engagement to that of France. But in order
to make this defence valid, it will be necessary to prove that the
instructions given to Wyse were such as the French had a right to
expect. It does not appear that these instructions were ever imparted to
them. These are minute, however important, points; but emerging from the
confusion and perplexity of dates and circumstantial details, the
question is, what is the general impression as to the whole conduct of
the two Governments, more particularly of our own, throughout the
transaction. I reserve the consideration of this till I have seen
Palmerston's case as set forth in the papers that are to be laid before
Parliament, and in the long and able despatch which he is said to have
written in explanation and defence of his conduct.

_May 25th._--The morning before yesterday the Duke of Bedford came here
again. He had seen Lord John since, and heard what passed with the
Queen. She was full of this affair, and again urged all her objections
to Palmerston. This time she found Lord John better disposed than
heretofore, and he is certainly revolving in his mind how the thing can
be done. He does not by any means contemplate going out himself, or
breaking up the Government. What he looks to is this, that the Queen
should take the initiative, and urge Palmerston's removal from the
Foreign Office. She is quite ready to do this as soon as she is assured
of her wishes being attended to. For various reasons it would not do to
put Clarendon in his place. Clarendon would not like it, and it would
make Palmerston furious; therefore this is out of the question. The
only possible arrangement is that Lord John should himself take the
Foreign Office, provisionally, and he is quite prepared to take it. I
told the Duke I entirely agreed that this was the only feasible
arrangement, and I did not apprehend any danger to Lord John, because he
would do the business in a very different way, and manage to lighten the
burthen both by his mode of transacting it, and by delegating many
details to his Under-Secretary, instead of, like Palmerston, doing
everything himself. There certainly never appeared to be so good a
chance of getting the Foreign Office out of Palmerston's hands as now;
but long experience of his boldness and success, and of the
pusillanimity and weakness of his colleagues, make me feel very doubtful
and uncertain as to the result. If the thing is done, they mean to
propose to him to take another office instead; not to turn him out. I
don't know how they think of managing this, but he is sure to refuse to
give up the Foreign Office and take another instead of it. He would
consider this a degradation, and a sort of pleading guilty to the
charges that are brought against him. If he will lend himself to this
change, so much the better; if he does not go out, the Duke thinks, not
without reason, that it will be almost impossible for Clarendon to come
into office at present, and that he ought not; his opinions on foreign
affairs are so strong, that he could not join the Cabinet while
Palmerston was at the Foreign Office without the certainty of either
very soon quarrelling with him, or of being obliged to make concessions
against his conscience and real opinions, and which would therefore be
discreditable to him.


Meanwhile Palmerston has made his explanation in the House of Commons.
There is much difference of opinion as to how it was received, but I
gather that it was a good deal applauded by the Radicals and his own
people; it was clever as he always is, but it was weak. As the case more
develops itself (for now all the Blue Books are out, French and
English), it resolves itself into a very small point: Did Palmerston, or
did he not, send instructions to Wyse in conformity with what was agreed
upon between himself and Drouyn de Lhuys? This is what the French have
a right to ask: if he did, let him show these instructions; if he did
not, he broke faith with the French Government. By Wyse's letter of the
15th, it seems pretty clear he did not send any such instructions. I do
not see how volumes of Blue Books, or all the conferences and debates
imaginable, can put the case in a clearer light, or bring it to a more
direct issue than this.

_June 2nd._--I was never able to plunge into the Blue Book till Epsom
races were over, but I have now done it, and have gone through
both--that and the French Book. The case is quite complete, and it is
not difficult to extract from the mass of details with which the former
is uselessly encumbered a clear view of the case. The result is a
conviction in my mind that the French Government acted with amity and
good faith, and that the conduct of Gros at Athens was irreproachable.
He did his best to bring about an arrangement, and he failed because the
requisitions of the English Minister were such as in honour and
conscience it was impossible for him to support, sanction, or recommend
to the Greek Government. If Stanley works this case well, he will make a
great affair of it, for his materials are ample and excellent.
Palmerston's Blue Book is just like former productions from the Foreign
Office under him, voluminous details of matter quite uninteresting and
beside the question, and the absence of those documents which we most
require to see, and on which the whole case turns, his instructions to
Wyse and Parker--none of which, or scarcely any, are given.

The night before last was remarkable for the maiden speech of young
Stanley[118] in the House of Commons. It was very successful. He spoke
with great fluency, and gave promise of being a debater. I dined with
Sir Robert Peel yesterday, who said he heard him, and he spoke in terms
of great commendation of the speech. It was on the West Indian question,
on which he had just published and circulated a pamphlet, and it was
remarkable and showed a confidence in his own powers that his speech
did not appear to be a repetition of any part of his pamphlet.

[Footnote 118: [The present Earl of Derby, 1885.]]

_June 6th._--On Monday last Graham called on me at the Council Office,
and after talking about the Greek affair and Stanley's motion, he
proceeded to other matters about which he had come expressly to speak to
me as a channel of communication with John Russell. With reference to
the first matter, he said that a negotiation was evidently going on
between Stanley and Aberdeen, and that the latter was to support some of
Stanley's domestic questions, and in return Stanley would fight
vigorously the foreign policy. I did not pay much attention to this, for
Graham is always dreaming of this connexion and its results. He then
went on to say, that if there was (as there very probably would be) an
adverse vote in the House of Lords on Friday, the Government would be
very unwise if they attempted to procure a counter vote in the House of
Commons; and if they tried it, he thought they would fail; but that they
must counteract the effect in another way; and that Lord John had now an
excellent opportunity of acquiring reputation for himself and strength
for his Government, by proposing very important reforms of an
administrative kind, and which he was enabled to do by the abolition of
the Lord-Lieutenancy and the resignation of Lord Cottenham.[119] What he
wants him to do is this--to give up the idea of a fourth Secretary of
State, to take away the criminal business from the Home Secretary and
give it to the new Lord Keeper, or whatever the great legal functionary
to be created may be called. He thinks a fourth Secretary objectionable
on many accounts, and that Government would have great difficulty in
carrying it. He gave many reasons for this opinion which seemed to me
sound enough. Then he proposes that all the Chancellor's ecclesiastical
patronage shall be taken from the Great Seal and made over to the Prime
Minister; the livings to be sold as they become vacant, and the proceeds
handed over to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners to be applied to
ecclesiastical purposes, which he says would be an immense boon to the
Church, and by these means funds might be raised which are greatly
wanted, but for which it would be impossible to apply to Parliament with
any hope of success. He urged these reforms with great energy, and set
forth all the advantages which might be derived from them, and said Peel
was still more eager, especially about the Church patronage, than he

[Footnote 119: [The resignation of the Great Seal by Lord Chancellor
Cottenham was announced on May 28--the Seal to be put in Commission.]]


The same evening I told the Duke of Bedford all that had passed, and he
said he would see Lord John the next morning and speak to him. He did
so, and came to me afterwards on Tuesday morning. He said he had told
Lord John all that Graham had said, that he thought Graham was always
rather too much disposed to be running before what he thought was public
opinion; that with regard to the fourth Secretary he was quite bent upon
it, thought it absolutely necessary (as Clarendon did also), and he was
determined to adhere to it. With respect to the question of the
Chancellor's livings, he agreed with Graham, and he had brought before
the Cabinet a scheme founded on Graham's recommendations, but that it
had been rejected by the Cabinet _unanimously_. They thought it very
objectionable to part with so much patronage. However, though Lord John
could not under these circumstances press the matter at present, he will
not give it up, and still meditates some measure of this character,
though probably one less extensive. Yesterday morning I called on Graham
and told him what had passed, at which he expressed great disappointment
and regret, and after as much talk as we had time for (for I was going
out of town), I left him provoked and disheartened. He said he could
take no interest in a Government which rejected unanimously such a
proposition as this, and which had rejected unanimously the French
invitation to abide by the London Convention.[120] I had told him this
which Beauvale told me, and which, as well as I recollect, I have not
noted down. He said that when the French made this proposal, Palmerston
drew up a paper placing it before the Cabinet with the reasons for
accepting, and those for rejecting it, and desired them to determine,
himself taking no part; and that they had unanimously agreed to refuse,
so that it was their act and not his.

[Footnote 120: [This refers to the arrangements concluded in London
between the Great Powers for the maintenance of the integrity of the
Danish dominions, which were afterwards so shamefully violated and

_June 8th._--Graham called on me again yesterday morning. He had had a
long conversation with John Russell in the House of Commons on Wednesday
(sought by John Russell), in which Graham repeated to him at greater
length all he had said to me. The discussion was very frank and
friendly, but Lord John told him he could not give up the fourth
Secretary, and gave his reasons for thinking it necessary, which Graham
said were very weak ones. So they parted, Graham hoping that he would at
all events take time for consideration, but he was much surprised
and annoyed at hearing him give notice he should bring on the
Lord-Lieutenancy Bill to-morrow. He thought this very uncourteous, and
it had thrown him into perplexity as to the course he ought to take. He
had a strong opinion upon it, and he was convinced that if he opposed
it, and stated his reasons to the House of Commons, the clause would be
thrown out; that he neither liked going against his own decided opinion,
nor against the Government, and he did not know what to do. From me he
went to Lyndhurst, and then to Peel, and then came back to me.
Lyndhurst, blind, but full of vigour and spirit, is full of the new
arrangements about the Great Seal. Lord John has consulted him on the
subject, and he is going to call on him. Lyndhurst is against giving up
the ecclesiastical patronage. Peel regrets Lord John's determination,
but Graham said he is so bent on carrying the Government through the
Session, that he will not oppose them on anything. He thinks of nothing
but securing a fair trial for Free Trade, and keeping the Protectionists


To-day I called on Lord Lyndhurst and found him in great
force--Brougham, Baron Alderson, Stuart (the Protectionist Chancellor),
Brodie, and Hatherton, and Strangford were there. They were all
discussing the legal reforms, and Brougham broke out about Cottenham's
earldom. Cottenham, he said, wrote to him, lamenting that he disapproved
of this honour, which had been conferred on him as a mark of the Queen's
confidence and approbation of his services. Brougham wrote in reply that
he should not talk such 'Morning Post' twaddle, and that he knew very
well the Queen neither knew nor cared about his services, and that he
had got it because he insisted on having it! The new appointments which
are beginning to be known do not please. Jervis to be Chancellor and at
the head of the House of Lords and Judicial Committee seems strange.
[But this arrangement was not carried into effect.]

_June 18th._--The great debate in the House of Lords came off last night
in the midst of immense curiosity and interest.[121] The House was
crowded in every part; I never saw so many Peers present, nor so many
strangers. There were various opinions about the result, but the
Government was the favourite. Bear Ellice offered to lay two to one they
had a majority. Most people thought the same, but everybody was agreed
that go which way it would, the division would be a very close one, and
the majority small. Malmesbury, Stanley's whipper-in, counted on fifteen
on his side. Stanley spoke for two hours and three-quarters. He has made
more brilliant speeches, but it was very good, moderate and prudent in
tone, lucid, lively and sustained. I heard him, and then was so tired of
standing, I was obliged to go away, and did not return. The Government
made but a poor defence. Canning made a capital speech, and placed
himself in a high position. He had taken great pains with it, and it was
very effective, every word told. Granville told me Eddisbury was good
too, and it was the most important speech he ever made. I never was more
amazed than at hearing the division, never having dreamt of such a
majority; _reste à savoir_ what Government (and Palmerston especially)
will do. If he was disposed to take a great line he would go at once to
the Queen and resign, at the same time begging her not to accept the
resignation of his colleagues if they tendered it. This would be
creditable to him, and he owes them all the reparation in his power for
the hot water he has kept them in, and the scrapes he has made for them
for many years. They have over and over again allowed themselves to be
dragged through the mire for him, and since they have refused now and
heretofore to separate themselves from him, the least he can do is to
separate himself from them, and to insist upon being the only sacrifice.

[Footnote 121: [On June 17 Lord Stanley made his motion in the House of
Lords censuring the Government for their coercive measures against the
commerce and people of Greece, in a speech of extraordinary eloquence
and power. The debate lasted all night. As morning dawned the division
resulted in a majority of 37 against Ministers.]]

_June 19th._--There was a Cabinet yesterday, of course for the purpose
of considering what they should do, and the resolution they came to was
_to do nothing_. Labouchere saw Granville before the Cabinet, and told
him that _he_ was all for resigning, but he feared there was a
disposition to stick in amongst his colleagues, and, as he thought,
particularly in Charles Wood; but Delane, who saw Charles Wood after the
Cabinet, was assured by him that he would have preferred to resign, but
that he was overruled by the majority of his colleagues. This is all I
know of the matter, but it by no means surprises me to find that they
have resolved to take no notice of the buffet they got from the Lords,
and go on. I now expect that John Russell will lay aside all thoughts of
getting rid of Palmerston, and the rickety concern will scramble on as
heretofore. Nevertheless it is impossible this event and great majority
should not produce sooner or later very considerable effects. It will
abroad if it does not here. As to Palmerston's being corrected and
reformed, I don't believe a word of it, but the Foreign Office will
inevitably find itself in a situation of great difficulty and
embarrassment, and our relations with the rest of Europe will in all
probability assume a character mischievous, dangerous, and intolerable.


_June 20th._--It seems that the Ministers' minds misgave them, and
yesterday they began to doubt whether they ought not to do _something_.
Roebuck gave notice of a question, and John Russell told him he would
give him an answer this evening. John Abel Smith went and proposed that
they should make a sign of intention to resign, and that a vote of
general confidence should be moved in the House of Commons, on which
they should stay in. Many of the friends of Government (some in office)
are for resignation. It is no doubt embarrassing, but I am against their
resignation. If Palmerston was disposed to take a high and creditable
line, he might extricate them from the difficulty by voluntarily
sacrificing himself. This is what he ought to do, but I don't hear that
he has evinced any disposition of the sort. He did indeed offer to
resign at the Cabinet, but this of course (as he well knew) they could
not listen to.

_June 21st._--John Russell made his statement last night, giving the
reasons why he did not resign, quoting two precedents, one above a
century ago, and one in 1833, for not resigning in consequence of an
adverse vote of the House of Lords. I concur in the constitutional
doctrine he laid down on that score, but the rest of what he said was
very imprudent and ill-judged. He has now committed himself more than
ever to Palmerston, and has thrown down a defiance to all Europe,
announcing that they will make no difference whatever in their
administration of foreign affairs. He alluded to that part of Stanley's
resolution which laid down the right and duty of this country, asserted
that the words of it limited those rights and duties within bounds he
could not admit, and by implication at least asserted propositions
against which foreign nations will infallibly kick. It was very
imprudent to raise incidentally this very difficult and important
question, and he might easily have avoided such dangerous ground. Then
he finished by a very miserable and injudicious claptrap, which will be
as offensive as possible to foreign Powers; in short, he evinced little
judgement and taste. It is clear enough that he is now resolved to
adhere to Palmerston, and that his intention is, if he can get a
majority next Monday, to disregard the House of Lords and their
opinions, and to set all Europe at defiance by giving them notice that
they must have Palmerston to deal with and nobody else. The conclusion
to which he came a few weeks ago is evidently thrown aside. All his
indignation against Palmerston, his determination to endure it no
longer, his bold resolution to take the labour of the Foreign Office on
himself, have all evaporated, and are as a dream, and the fact of a
large majority of the House of Lords having condemned Palmerston's
proceedings, language, and conduct, instead of affording an additional
reason, and confirming him in the course he had thought of pursuing,
seems to have made him angry and obstinate, to have caused a reaction in
his mind, and engendered a determination to cling more closely than ever
to Palmerston, and fight his battle at all risks and at any cost, in
everything and against everybody. The other day there was a general
opinion that if a vote of approbation was moved in the House of Commons
it would not be carried. This was Graham's opinion, and so entirely did
John Russell himself concur in it, that he declared it should not be
attempted, if the vote of the Lords was adverse. All that is suddenly
changed. He now tries this experiment, and all the people I have seen
say Government will carry it. Bernal Osborne told me it was certain, for
the Whigs and the Radicals united could not be beaten, and all the
Radicals but four or five would support the Government. Never was there
such a state of difficulty and confusion in my recollection. It is at
last come to what I long ago predicted, and Palmerston is proving the
ruin of the Government.


_June 24th._--Nothing of course thought of but the division on Roebuck's
motion.[122] The general opinion is that there will be a majority of
about forty, but nobody knows what Peel will say or do, and many votes
are quite uncertain. That there will be some such majority none doubt,
and it is put about by the Government that they will resign if their
majority is less than that in the House of Lords against them, which I
don't believe, and it would be very absurd to make it turn on a mere
question of numbers. Lady Palmerston and her belongings continue to make
an active canvass. On Saturday afternoon the news came of the difference
being settled, by our conceding to the French all they demanded. Nobody
seems to care, or it would be a mortifying and a ridiculous conclusion,
for we have not only agreed to what we at first refused to the French
Government, but we have in fact gone back (with some modifications as to
detail) to Gros's propositions to Wyse, which the latter so obstinately
refused, and on his rejection of which the blockade at Athens
recommenced, and the quarrel with France was based.

[Footnote 122: [Mr. Roebuck moved a resolution applauding the principles
which have hitherto regulated the foreign policy of the Government, to
countervail the recent vote of the Lords. A great and memorable debate
followed, in which Lord Palmerston delivered his ablest speech, and Sir
Robert Peel his last. The debate ended by a Ministerial majority of 46,
so that, for the time, the supporters of Lord Palmerston were completely
victorious; yet in that majority a large number of votes were given by
those who most condemned his high-handed proceedings.]]

_June 25th._--Little progress was made in the debate last night; Graham
made a strong speech. In the morning I rode with Brunnow and had much
talk with him. He spoke out about Palmerston, though with great regret;
said he had done all he could in the way of warning and advice, to
prevent his running this headlong course; but he never could make the
least impression on him. He thinks there will be a calm of a few months'
duration, but that it will be impossible for Palmerston to go on _long_
at the Foreign Office. He complained of the great interests of the world
having been sacrificed to this miserable affair, especially the Denmark
question; that it might have been settled long ago; and if we had
pacified France by accepting the London Convention, the three Powers
would have immediately set to work to bring this knotty point to an end.
He goes to Petersburg in August. The Emperor, he told me, cannot
comprehend our political condition, and is at a loss to know why the
Queen does not dismiss Palmerston; and when he hears of the division in
the House of Lords, he will fancy that the Government will resign in
consequence of it.

_June 29th._--I have been for two days in the country, while the great
debate was going on. Palmerston came out the second night with
prodigious force and success. He delivered an oration four hours and
three-quarters long, which has excited unusual admiration, boundless
enthusiasm amongst his friends, and drawn forth the most flattering
compliments from every quarter. It is impossible to deny its great
ability; parts of it are strikingly eloquent and inimitably adroit. It
was a wonderful effort to speak for nearly five hours without ever
flagging, and his voice nearly as strong at last as at first. The
ability of it is the more remarkable, because on an attentive and calm
perusal of it, the insufficiency of it as an answer and a defence
against the various charges which have been brought against him is
manifest; but it is admirably arranged and got up, entirely free from
the flippancy and impertinence in which he usually indulges, full of
moderation and good taste, and adorned with a profusion of magnificent
and successful clap-traps. The success of the speech has been complete,
and his position is now unassailable. John Russell may save himself the
trouble of considering, when this is all over, how he may effect some
change involving the withdrawal of the Foreign Office from Palmerston's
hands, for they are now all tied and bound to him in respect to the
future as completely as to the present and the past. These discussions
and attacks, which were to have shaken him in his seat, have only made
_him_ more powerful than he was before; but whether they have
strengthened or weakened _the Government_ is another question. It now
remains to be seen what the attitude and animus of Foreign Powers will
be, and what the character of his future proceedings. The debate was on
the whole very able. Cockburn made a slashing speech, which will
probably procure for him the post of Solicitor-General. Graham's and
Gladstone's speeches were the best on the other side. Peel was very
moderate, and refused to go into the details or to attack the Government
on them. The majority of forty-six was rather more than was expected by
either party.


    Accident to Sir Robert Peel--Triumphant Success of Lord
    Palmerston--Death of Sir Robert Peel--Sir James Graham's
    Position--Lord Palmerston's Policy--Lord Palmerston's
    Ovation--Death of Mr. Arbuthnot--Death of King Louis
    Philippe--The Papal Hierarchy in England--German Affairs--Papal
    Aggression--General Radowitz invited to Windsor--Papal
    Aggression--Conversation with Lord John Russell--And with
    Lord Palmerston--Mr. Green's Lecture--Visit to Brocket--Bear
    Ellice--Lord Melbourne's Papers.

_London, July 1st, 1850._--The day before yesterday Sir Robert Peel had
a fall from his horse and hurt himself seriously. Last night he was in
imminent danger. His accident has excited the greatest interest, and his
doors are beset with enquirers of all parties without distinction. He
was in high spirits that day, for he was pleased with the division which
saved the Government, and with his own speech, which for his purpose was
very dexterous and successful.

I rode with Lord Grey yesterday in the Park, when we talked over the
debate and present state of affairs. He said that it was remarkable that
this discussion, which was intended to damage Palmerston, had left him
the most popular man in the country; that of this there could be no
doubt. Bright had said that his vote had given great offence at
Manchester, and that Cobden's vote and speech would probably cost him
the West Riding at the next election; that amongst all the middle
classes Palmerston was immensely popular. He spoke of Palmerston's
speech as having been not only one of consummate ability, but quite
successful as a reply, and he insisted that their side had much the best
of the argument. I denied this, but acknowledged the ability of
Palmerston, and his success, though his speech was very answerable, if
either Peel or Disraeli had chosen to reply to it, which neither of them
would. It is beyond all contestation that this great battle, fought on
two fields, has left the Government much stronger than before, and
demonstrated the impossibility of any change, and it has as
incontestably immensely strengthened and improved Palmerston's position;
in short, he is triumphant, and nothing can overthrow him but some fresh
acts of violence and folly, of insolent interference, of arrogant
dictation or underhand intrigue, which may be so flagrant that his
colleagues or some of them will not stand it, and so a quarrel may
ensue. But he has achieved such a success, and has made himself so great
in the Cabinet, and so popular in the country, and made the Government
itself so strong, that if he turns over a new leaf, takes a lesson from
all that has happened, and renounces his offensive manners and changes
his mode of proceeding abroad, he may consider his tenure of office
perfectly secure. Even the 'Times' is prepared to abandon its opposition
to him, and is seeking for a decent pretext to do so. I expect they have
found out that they have gone too far, and that their violent and
sustained vituperation of Palmerston who is liked, and of his policy
which is not understood, is not favourably received, and instead of
carrying public opinion with them, they have produced a good deal of
resentment and disgust.



_July 6th._--The death of Sir Robert Peel, which took place on Tuesday
night, has absorbed every other subject of interest. The suddenness of
such an accident took the world by surprise, and in consequence of the
mystery in which great people's illnesses are always shrouded, the
majority of the public were not aware of his danger till they heard of
his death. The sympathy, the feeling, and the regret which have been
displayed on every side and in all quarters, are to the last degree
striking. Every imaginable honour has been lavished on his memory. The
Sovereign, both Houses of Parliament, the press and the people, from the
highest to the lowest, have all joined in acts of homage to his
character, and in magnifying the loss which the nation has sustained.
When we remember that Peel was an object of bitter hatred to one great
party, that he was never liked by the other party, and that he had no
popular and ingratiating qualities, and very few intimate friends, it is
surprising to see the warm and universal feeling which his death has
elicited. It is a prodigious testimony to the greatness of his capacity,
to the profound conviction of his public usefulness and importance, and
of the purity of the motives by which his public conduct has been
guided. I need not record details with which every newspaper teems.
Those who were opposed to him do not venture or are not inclined to try
and stem the current of grief and praise which is bursting forth in all
directions, and most assuredly no man who in life was so hated and
reviled was ever so lamented and honoured at his death. I am not capable
of describing him with any certainty of doing justice to his character
and delineating it correctly; but as there are several notices of him
not very favourable in preceding pages, at such a moment it becomes a
duty to qualify what may have been misrepresented or exaggerated on the
information of others, by expressing my own doubts as to the perfect
accuracy of the statements that were formerly made to me. The Duke of
Wellington pronounced in the House of Lords a few nights ago a panegyric
on his love of truth, and declared that during his long connexion with
him he had never known him to deviate from the strictest veracity. This
praise would be undeserved if he had ever been guilty of any underhand,
clandestine, and insincere conduct in political matters, and it leads me
to suspect that resentment and disappointment may have caused an unfair
and unwarrantable interpretation to be put upon his motives and his
behaviour on some important occasions. My acquaintance with Peel was
slight and superficial. I never associated with him, and never was in
his house except on two or three occasions at rare intervals. He
scarcely lived at all in society; he was reserved but cordial in his
manner, had few intimate friends, and it may be doubted whether there
was any one person, except his wife, to whom he was in the habit of
disclosing his thoughts, feelings, and intentions with entire frankness
and freedom. In his private relations he was not merely irreproachable,
but good, kind, and amiable. The remarkable decorum of his life, the
domestic harmony and happiness he enjoyed, and the simplicity of his
habits and demeanour, contributed largely without doubt to the
estimation in which he was held. He was easy of access, courteous and
patient, and those who approached him generally left him gratified by
his affability and edified and astonished at the extensive and accurate
knowledge, as well as the sound practical sense and judgement, which he
displayed on all subjects. It was by the continual exhibition of these
qualities that he gained such a mastery over the public mind, and such
prodigious influence in the House of Commons; but it is only now
manifested to the world how great his influence was by the effect which
his death has produced, and by the universal sentiment that the country
has to deplore an irreparable loss. Nothing but a careful and accurate
survey of his career, an intimate knowledge of the secret transactions
of his political life, and a minute analysis of his character, can
enable any one to form a correct judgement concerning him. He might
easily be made the subject of a studied panegyric, or as easily of a
studied invective; but either the one or the other would of necessity be
exaggerated and untrue. The sacrifices which he made upon two memorable
occasions, upon both of which he unquestionably acted solely with
reference to the public good, forbid us to believe that he was ever
influenced by any considerations but such as were honest and
conscientious. Notwithstanding his great sagacity, it may, however, be
doubted whether his judgement was not often faulty, and whether in the
perplexity of conflicting objects and incompatible purposes, he was not
led to erroneous conclusions as to the obligations imposed upon him, and
the course which it was his duty to pursue. It is very difficult to
account satisfactorily for his conduct on the Catholic question. We must
indeed make great allowance for the position in which he was placed by
his birth, education, and connexions. His father was a Tory, imbued
with all the old Tory prejudices, one of those followers of Mr. Pitt
who could not comprehend and never embraced his liberal sentiments, and
who clung to the bigoted and narrow-minded opinions of Addington and
George III. It is no wonder then that Peel was originally an
anti-Catholic, and probably at first, and for a long time, he was an
undoubting believer in that creed. The death of Perceval left the
Protestant party without a head, and not long after his entrance into
public life, and while the convictions of his youth were still unshaken,
he became their elected chief. For about fourteen years he continued to
fight their battle in opposition to a host of able men, and in spite of
a course of events which might have satisfied a far less sagacious man
that this contest must end in defeat, and that the obstinate
prolongation of it would inevitably render that defeat more dangerous
and disastrous. Nevertheless, the man who eventually proved himself to
be one of the wisest and most liberal of statesmen maintained for years
a struggle against religious liberty, a struggle by which he was
involved in inconsistencies injurious to his own character, and which
brought the kingdom to the brink of a civil war. It is now impossible to
fathom the depths of Peel's mind, and to ascertain whether during that
long period he had any doubts and misgivings as to the cause in which he
was embarked, or whether he really and sincerely believed that Catholic
Emancipation could be resisted and prevented. It is strange that he did
not perceive the contest to be hopeless, and that such a contest was
more perilous than any concession could possibly be. But he declared
that up to the period of Lord Liverpool's death his opinions were
unchanged and that he thought the prolongation of this contest was not
unreasonable. I do not see how he can be acquitted of insincerity save
at the expense of his sagacity and foresight. His mind was not
enthralled by the old-fashioned and obsolete maxims which were so deeply
rooted in the minds of Eldon and Perceval; his spirit was more congenial
to that of Pitt; and if he had let his excellent understanding act with
perfect freedom, and his opinions take their natural course, it is
impossible to doubt that he would have concurred and cooperated with the
able men of different parties who were advocates of Emancipation,
instead of continuing to encourage and lead on those masses of bigotry
and prejudice whose resistance produced so much direct and indirect
mischief. The truth is that he was hampered and perverted by his
antecedents, and by the seductive circumstances of his position; and
having become pledged and committed in the cause, it was a matter of
infinite difficulty for him to back out of it, to recant his opinions,
and change his course; although any one who watched the signs of the
times (and no man watched or studied them more carefully than Peel),
might have seen that Catholic Emancipation was steadily but surely
progressing towards its consummation. For a long time no events occurred
so striking and important as to produce a new state of things, and to
scare by their disturbing force those theories and principles, with
which the anti-Catholics blindly imagined they could plod on for ever.
To change the whole mind of Peel, and bring about an abandonment of his
long-continued policy, something more was required than the accustomed
signs of agitation, parliamentary debates chequered by alternate victory
and defeat, and the accumulated power of eloquent speeches and able
writings. At length the crash came by which the moral revolution was
effected. The Clare election did what reason, and eloquence, and
authority had failed to do. The Duke of Wellington and Peel
simultaneously determined to strike their colours, to abandon a cause
which they had sustained at great risks and by enormous sacrifices, and
to carry out the measure which their whole lives had been spent in
opposing, and which they had denounced as incompatible with the safety
of the country. Historical justice demands that a large deduction should
be made from Peel's reputation as a statesman and a patriot on account
of his conduct through the last twelve years of the Catholic contest. It
may be doubtful in what respect he erred the most; but whatever his
motives may have been, it is indisputable that he was the principal
instrument in maintaining this contest, which terminated in a manner so
discreditable to the character, and so injurious to the interests, of
the country. For his share in this great controversy from first to last,
he must be held responsible to future generations. But whatever his
errors may have been, he made a noble atonement for them, and having
once changed his mind, he flung himself into his new career with a
gallantry and devotion deserving of the highest praise. It would be easy
to show that if Peel had been actuated by selfish motives, by regard for
his own political interests and views of personal ambition, other
courses were open to him far better calculated to promote such objects,
and which he might have adopted without any inconsistency; but he cast
aside all personal considerations and thought of nothing but how he
could most effectually serve the State. He encountered without flinching
the storm which he knew would burst upon him, and bravely exposed his
character and reputation to suspicions, resentments, and reproaches,
which might for aught he knew be fatal to his future prospects. Upon
this occasion indeed, he shared the obloquy with the Duke of Wellington,
upon whom as Prime Minister the responsibility principally rested. But
the indignation and resentment of the Tories fell, though unjustly, much
more upon Peel than upon the Duke. Peel was more emphatically the chief
of the anti-Catholic party, and in him it appeared a far greater
dereliction of principle. The authority of the Duke was so great, and
his followers were accustomed to look up to him with such profound
deference and submission, that they could not bring themselves to attack
him as the prime mover in this obnoxious measure, and they therefore
made Peel the scapegoat, and vented upon him all the exuberance of their


Their ill-humour and resentment led to the destruction of the Duke's
Government, and the change of Ministry brought about the Reform Bill and
the overthrow of the Tory party. It is difficult to discern any proofs
of sound judgement and foresight in Peel's conduct in regard to
Parliamentary Reform. If he had adopted the same course as Huskisson on
the East Retford question, and manifested a disposition to concede some
moderate and reasonable reforms as fit occasions presented themselves,
it is by no means improbable that the country might have been satisfied;
but his opposition to the transfer of the East Retford franchise to
Birmingham, together with the Duke's celebrated declaration that the
representative system could not be improved, and that as long as he was
in office he would oppose any measure of Parliamentary Reform, convinced
the Reformers that they were resolved to make no concessions, however
slight, and not to suffer any change to be made in the existing
representative system. Peel evidently made an incorrect estimate of the
state of the public mind upon the question of Parliamentary Reform. He
could not indeed foresee the French Revolution or its contagious effects
here; but unless the country had been already combustible, it would not
have been so inflamed as it was; and if he had been aware of its temper
and disposition, he never would have opposed the general sentiment so
pertinaciously as he did. I think, therefore, that his course in respect
to Reform exhibits a deficiency in sagacity and foresight, and must be
accounted one of the blemishes of his political career. He fought the
Reform battle with extraordinary energy, and the skill and perseverance
with which he afterwards rallied the broken forces and restored the
fallen spirits of his party were admirable. In 1835 the rash and
abortive attempt of William IV. to get rid of the Whigs made Peel the
Minister of a hundred days. This was the most brilliant period of his
life, and it was during that magnificent campaign that he established
the vast reputation which, while clouds of suspicion and distrust, of
enmity and dislike, were all the while gathering about him, made him for
nearly twenty years by far the most conspicuous, important, and powerful
of English statesmen. He not only reorganised his party, but he revived
its political influence, and laid the foundation for regaining its
former power. His policy was as successful as it was wise. He flung
himself cheerfully and confidently into the new order of things,
associated himself with the sentiments and the wants of the nation, and
day by day saw his reputation increasing both in Parliament and
throughout the country. The Tories abandoned themselves to his guidance
with a mixture of passive reliance and admiration and of lurking
resentment for the past with distrust and suspicion for the future. They
rejoiced in the chief who made them once more powerful, and led them on
to victory; but they felt that there were no real sympathies between
themselves and him. While he was boldly advancing with the spirit of the
age, they were lagging behind, gloomily regarding his manifestation of
Liberal principles, in which they did not participate, and lingering on
those traditions of the past which they saw that he had entirely


At length, ten years after the Reform Bill, the Whig Government was
overthrown, and Peel became Minister. At this time the great bulk of his
supporters coveted power principally for the sake of Protection. They
believed that it was the duty, the inclination, and the intention of
Peel to maintain the Corn Laws, and they had a right to think so. He had
been the vigorous and ingenious advocate of the protective system, not,
however, without some qualifications and reservations, which, though
they were enough to excite the jealousy and mistrust of the most
suspicious, were still insufficient to neutralise the effect of his
general professions. It is almost impossible to discover what the
process was by which he was gradually led to embrace the whole doctrine
of Free Trade. We cannot distinguish what effect was made upon his mind
by the reasoning, and what by the organisation and agitation, of the
Anti-Corn Law League. It would be interesting, if it were possible, to
sum up periodically the exact state of Peel's opinions upon commercial
and fiscal questions, and to know how he combined them with other
political as well as party considerations, which he was obliged
constantly to keep in view. No man but himself could explain and
vindicate the whole course of his conduct. It may safely be assumed that
when he began to reorganise the Conservative party, he did not
contemplate a repeal of the Corn Laws, and that it was by a severely
inductive process of study and meditation that he was gradually led to
the conception and elaboration of the commercial system which the last
years of his life were spent in carrying out. The modification, and
possibly the ultimate repeal, of the Corn Laws must have formed a part
of that system, but what he hoped and intended probably was to bring
round the minds of his party by degrees to the doctrines of Free Trade,
and to conquer their repugnance to a great alteration of the Corn Laws,
both by showing the imprudence of endeavouring to maintain them, and by
the gradual development of those countervailing advantages with which
Free Trade was fraught. That, I believe, was his secret desire, hope,
and expectation; and if the Irish famine had not deranged his plans and
precipitated his measures, if more time had been afforded him, it is not
impossible that his projects might have been realised. He has been
bitterly accused of deceiving and betraying his party, of 'close
designs, and crooked counsels,' and there is no term of reproach and
invective which rage and fear, mortification and resentment, have not
heaped upon him. He has been unjustly reviled; but, on the other hand,
it must be acknowledged that, wise as his views, and pure as his motives
may have been, his manner of dealing with his party in reference to the
changes he contemplated, could not fail to excite their indignation. If
they were convinced that the Corn Laws were essential, not merely to the
prosperity, but to the existence, of the landed interest, he had been
mainly instrumental in confirming this conviction. It was indeed a
matter of extraordinary difficulty and nicety to determine at what
precise period he should begin to disclose to his supporters the extent
of the plans which he meditated. His reserve may have been prudent,
possibly indispensable; but although they were not unsuspicious of his
intentions, and distrusted and disliked him accordingly, they were
wholly unprepared for the great revolution which he suddenly proclaimed;
and at such a moment of terror and dismay it was not unnatural that
despair and rage should supersede every other sentiment, and that they
should loudly complain of having been deceived, betrayed, and abandoned.


The misfortune of Peel all along was, that there was no real community
of sentiment between him and his party, except in respect to certain
great principles, which had ceased to be in jeopardy, and which
therefore required no united efforts to defend them. There was no longer
any danger of organic reforms; the House of Lords and the Church were
not threatened; the great purposes for which Peel had rallied the
Conservative interest had been accomplished; almost from the first
moment of his advent to power in 1841 he and his party stood in a false
position towards each other. He was the liberal chief of a party in
which the old anti-liberal spirit was still rife; they regarded with
jealousy and fear the middle classes, those formidable masses, occupying
the vast space between aristocracy and democracy, with whom Peel was
evidently anxious to ingratiate himself, and whose support he considered
his best reliance. His treatment of both the Catholics and Dissenters
was reluctantly submitted to by his followers, and above all his fiscal
and commercial measures kept them in a state of constant uncertainty and
alarm. There was an unexpressed but complete difference in their
understanding and his of the obligations by which the Government and the
party were mutually connected. They considered Peel to be not only the
Minister, but the creature, of the Conservative party, bound above all
things to support and protect their especial interests according to
their own views and opinions. He considered himself the Minister of the
Nation, whose mission it was to redress the balance which mistaken
maxims or partial legislation had deranged, and to combine the interest
of all classes in one homogeneous system, by which the prosperity and
happiness of the whole commonwealth would be promoted. They thought of
nothing but the present sacrifices which this system would entail on the
proprietors of land, while he thought only of the great benefits which
it would ultimately confer upon the people at large. Whether in 1847 he
was prepared for the unappeasable wrath and the general insurrection of
the Protectionists, I know not; but even if he viewed it as a possible
alternative, involving the loss of political power and a second
dissolution of the Conservative party, I believe he would have
nevertheless encountered the danger and accepted the sacrifice. If his
party were disgusted with him, he was no less disgusted with them, and
it is easy to conceive that he must have been sickened by their
ignorance and presumption, their obstinacy and ingratitude. He turned to
the nation for that justice which his old associates denied him, and
from the day of his resignation till the day of his death he seemed to
live only for the purpose of watching over the progress of his own
measures, in undiminished confidence that time and the hour would prove
their wisdom, and vindicate his character to the world. Though he was
little beholden to the Whigs in his last struggle in office, he gave
John Russell's Government a constant, and at the same time
unostentatious support. That Government alone could preserve the
integrity of his commercial system, and to that object every other was
subordinate in his mind. He occupied a great and dignified position, and
every hour added something to his fame and to the consideration he
enjoyed; while the spite and rancour of the Protectionists seemed to be
embittered by the respect and reverence by which they saw that he was
universally regarded. His abstinence from political conflicts, his rare
appearance in debate, and the remarkable moderation of his speeches made
some fancy that the vigour of his faculties was impaired; but if this
was at all the case, it was only by negative symptoms that it appeared,
and was by no means suspected by the community. Nevertheless, though his
death was so sudden and premature, and he was cut off in the vigour of
life, he could not have died at a moment and in circumstances more
opportune for his own fame; for time and political events might perhaps
have diminished, but could not have increased, his great reputation.


It is impossible to foresee the political effects of Peel's death. To
John Russell and to his Government it is a great loss, and the time may
come when his absence will be severely felt. Standing aloof from
parties, known to have no views of personal ambition, and giving them
the benefit of his influence and countenance, he would have been able to
afford them efficacious aid in the event of any Radical pressure, and as
long as he had lived he would have proved a powerful coadjutor in
resisting any attempts to assail or undermine the Monarchy or the
Constitution, It is against the Radical supporters of the Government,
and not against the Protectionist Opposition, that he would have been
mainly serviceable. So far as these are concerned his death is more
likely to remove than to create difficulties in the way of Lord John,
inasmuch as he becomes more indispensable than ever; and the certainty
that there is no alternative between him and Stanley--no Peel who in a
great emergency might have been called in--will certainly prolong his
term of office. Peel is a great loss to the Queen, who felt a security
in knowing that he was at hand in any case of danger or difficulty, and
that she could always rely upon his devotion to her person and upon the
good counsel he would give her. But his relations with the Court at
different periods are amongst the most curious passages of his political
history. In 1838, when the Bedchamber quarrel prevented his forming a
Government, there was probably no man in her dominions whom the Queen so
cordially detested as Sir Robert Peel. Two years afterwards he became
her Prime Minister, and in a very short time he found means to remove
all her former prejudice against him, and to establish himself high in
her favour. His influence continued to increase during the whole period
of his administration, and when he resigned in 1846 the Queen evinced a
personal regard for him scarcely inferior to that which she had
manifested to Lord Melbourne, while her political reliance on him was
infinitely greater. To have produced such a total change of sentiment is
no small proof of the tact and adroitness of Peel; but it was an immense
object to him to ingratiate himself with his Royal Mistress; he spared
no pains for that end, and his success was complete.

He appears to have suffered dreadful pain during the three days which
elapsed between his accident and his death. He was sensible, but
scarcely ever spoke. He had arranged all his affairs so carefully that
he had no dispositions to make or orders to give. Sir Benjamin Brodie
says that he never saw any human frame so susceptible of pain, for his
moral and physical organisation was one of exquisite sensibility. He was
naturally a man of violent passions, over which he had learnt to
exercise an habitual restraint by vigorous efforts of reason and
self-control. He was certainly a good, and in some respects a great man;
he had a true English spirit, and was an ardent lover of his country;
and he served the public with fidelity, zeal, and great ability. But
when future historians shall describe his career and sum up his
character, they will pass a more sober and qualified judgement than that
of his admiring and sorrowing contemporaries. It is impossible to forget
that there never was a statesman who so often embraced erroneous
opinions himself, and contributed so much to mislead the opinions of
others. The energy and skill with which he endeavoured to make the worse
appear the better cause were productive of enormous mischief; and if on
several occasions his patriotism and his ability were equally
conspicuous, and he rendered important public service, his efforts were
in great measure directed to repair the evils and dangers which he had
been himself principally instrumental in creating.


_July 16th._--I have seen Graham once or twice lately, when we have
talked over his own position and the state of affairs. He told me he had
had very friendly communication with John Russell, who had intimated to
him that Peel's death would necessarily place him in a position more
important and responsible. Graham, however, repudiated the notion of his
accepting any such position, and declared that he was quite unfit to
influence the opinions and regulate the conduct of other men. He thought
Peel was not unconscious of the power he possessed in the country, and
he had not long ago announced with great energy that if any attempt was
made in any shape to reimpose a duty on Corn, there was nothing he
would not do to oppose it; and he thinks that he would not have shrunk
from any means he might have deemed conducive to that object; that he
would have taken office if necessary, or have allied himself with any
person or party; in short, shrunk from _nothing_ in the most extensive
sense of the term. Graham is much alarmed at the reckless course Stanley
is taking in the House of Lords, especially with reference to the Irish
Franchise Bill, and augurs some very serious consequences from it.

_July 19th._--Clarendon arrived from Ireland a few days ago. He told me
he had only seen John Russell for a few minutes, in a great hurry as he
was going to the Cabinet, when these few words passed about foreign
affairs. Clarendon said 'they had got well out of their difficulties on
that score.'

_Lord John._--Yes, I think it did--very well.

_Lord Clarendon._--Yes; but don't misunderstand me. If what has passed
serves as a lesson to Palmerston, and induces him to begin another
course of conduct, I shall think you got very well indeed out of it; but
if he only regards what has happened as a triumph, and as sanctioning
and approving all his previous proceedings, then I shall think you got
very ill out of it, and that your success was a misfortune; but I hope
the former alternative is the truth.

_Lord John._--I hope so, too; but it is very difficult to get any man
who has long pursued any particular course to change that course, more
especially when that man is Palmerston.

From this Clarendon inferred that Palmerston means to go on just as
before and will not take a lesson from what has occurred, and he is
confirmed in this idea by something Charles Wood said to him in the same

Yesterday Normanby came to take leave of me before returning to Paris.
He has been very much dissatisfied and annoyed at Palmerston's goings
on, and at the _rôle_ which was imposed on him, and he told me he did
not like Palmerston's tone, which was much too triumphant, and he was
very much afraid he would not change his ways of proceeding. His best
hope was that no case would occur to elicit any fresh conduct or
language of his of a questionable nature.

_July 28th._--This day week the Radicals gave Palmerston a dinner at the
Reform Club. It was a sorry affair--a rabble of men, not ten out of two
hundred whom I know by sight. They asked John Russell who would not go,
and then they thought it better to ask no more of Palmerston's
colleagues. Neither Lord John nor any of them liked it, but of course
they said nothing. Palmerston would have done better to repose on his
House of Commons laurels, and find some pretext for declining this
compliment. The Court are just as much disgusted with him as ever, and
provoked at his success in the House of Commons.[123]

[Footnote 123: [In spite of the triumph Lord Palmerston had obtained
in the House of Commons, the evils of his arbitrary mode of
conducting-foreign affairs continued to excite the anxiety of his
colleagues and something more than the distrust of the Court, and an
attempt was made, with the concurrence of Lord John Russell, the Duke of
Bedford, Lord Lansdowne, and Lord Clarendon, to induce him to take some
other office in the Government, which, of course, he declined to do. The
details of this negotiation cannot now be published, but they were the
premonitory symptoms of the storm which wrested the Foreign Office from
the hands of Lord Palmerston in the following year.]]

_Brighton, August 26th._--I have been here for a week past. On Sunday
last the death of Arbuthnot took place at Apsley House, where he had
been gradually sinking for some time. He is a great and irreparable loss
to the Duke of Wellington, who is now left alone in the world. Arbuthnot
was almost always with him, he had his entire confidence. The Duke told
him, and talked to him, about everything, and on the other hand, all who
wanted to approach the Duke for whatever purpose, communicated through
Arbuthnot. The Duke, who has for a long time been growing gradually more
solitary and unsocial, more irritable and unapproachable, is now left
without any friend and companion with whom he can talk over past events,
and to whom he can confide present grievances and complaints. He will
feel it as acutely as at his age and with his character he can feel


Arbuthnot's career has been remarkable. He had no shining parts, and
never could have been conspicuous in public life; but in a subordinate
and unostentatious character he was more largely mixed up with the
principal people and events of his time than any other man. He might
have written very curious and interesting memoirs if he had only noted
down all that passed under his observation, and the results of his
political information and connexions, for few men ever enjoyed so
entirely the intimacy and unreserved confidence of so many statesmen and
ministers, and therefore few have been so well acquainted with the
details of secret history. He was successively the trusted adherent and
intimate friend of Lord Liverpool, Lord Castlereagh, and the Duke of
Wellington, and more or less of almost all their colleagues, besides
being on very good terms with many others with whom he had no political
opinions in common. He had in fact a somewhat singular and exceptional
position; much liked, much trusted, continually consulted and employed,
with no enemies and innumerable friends. This was owing to his
character, which was exactly calculated to win this position for him.
Without brilliant talents, he had a good sound understanding and
dispassionate judgement, liberality in his ideas, and no violent
prejudices. He was mild, modest, and sincere; he was single-minded,
zealous, serviceable, and sympathetic (_simpatico_), and he was moreover
both honourable and discreet. The consequence was that everybody relied
upon him and trusted him, and he passed his whole life in an atmosphere
of political transactions and secrets. After the death of his wife he
lived at Apsley House when in London, and during a great part of the
rest of the year with the Duke at Walmer and Strathfieldsaye, and he
went hardly at all into the world; but he rather extended than
contracted the list of his personal and political friends, for as the
Whig Ministers had often business to transact with the Duke, they
generally found it convenient to communicate with Arbuthnot too; and, as
he was always ready to render any service, public or private, in his
power, he made many acquaintances and acquired friends in that party,
specially the Duke of Bedford, with whom he had long been intimate, and
who was in the habit of communicating with him very unreservedly on
political matters. The preceding pages exhibit many proofs of
Arbuthnot's familiarity with the political history of his time, as well
as of his good sense and liberality. He was buried at Kensal Green, and
the Duke is said to have been very much affected at the funeral.

_Brighton, August 27th._[124]--Yesterday morning Louis Philippe expired
at Claremont quite unexpectedly, for though he had been ill for a long
time, it was supposed he might still live many months. Not long ago his
life was the most important in the world, and his death would have
produced a profound sensation and general consternation. Now hardly more
importance attaches to the event than there would to the death of one of
the old bathing-women opposite my window. It will not produce the
slightest political effect, nor even give rise to any speculation. He
had long been politically defunct. The effect that presents itself as
most likely is its paving the way to a reconciliation between the two
branches of the Bourbons, and a fusion of their interests; but as the
late King had consented to this fusion and desired it, while the Duchess
of Orleans was opposed to it, this consummation is more likely to be
prevented than brought about by his death. His character has been often
described with more or less of truth and justice, and of course there
will be many fresh descriptions of it now. I cannot attempt it, for I
never knew anything of him except at second-hand. He had certainly many
good qualities and an amiable disposition, and probably no vices but
selfishness and insincerity. These were, however, universally ascribed
to him, and consequently out of the limited circle of his own family and
a few friends and old servants, who were warmly attached to him, he
inspired neither affection nor respect. The worst kings have seldom been
destitute of many devoted adherents; but in his day of tribulation,
although he may rather be accounted amongst the best than the worst, he
was abandoned by all France, and his fall was not only unresisted, but
suffered to take place with scarcely a manifestation of sympathy and

[Footnote 124: [It may here be noted that the Minute of the Queen, in
which Her Majesty laid down the rules which ought to govern the conduct
of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and intimated that a
departure from them 'must be considered as failing in sincerity towards
the Crown, and justly to be visited by the exercise of her
constitutional right of dismissing that Minister,' bore date August 12,
1850, and was communicated to Lord Palmerston by Lord John Russell at
this time, within a few weeks of the termination of the debate on the
foreign policy of the Government.]]

_November 10th_.--After a lapse of nearly three months I resume my
notices of past and present events, these three months having furnished
very little matter worth recording nearly up to the present time. For
the last month, however, the world has been sufficiently agitated, on
different accounts and in different places, to afford ample opportunity
for either description or comment even to the most superficial observer.
I might, however, I have very little doubt, write that which would be
acceptable to one person or another by recording my own personal
experiences and the communications that I have with different people on
different matters, which certainly are ludicrously miscellaneous. Some
people like politics, some gossip, and almost all like political gossip.
I have had within these few weeks consultations and communications on
the most opposite subjects: men coming to be helped out of scrapes with
other men's wives, adjustments of domestic squabbles, a grand bother
about the Duke of Cambridge's _status_ in the House of Lords, a fresh
correspondence with Lady Palmerston about the 'Times' attacking her
husband, communication from Cardinal Wiseman about the troubled state of
ecclesiastical affairs, and so forth; odds and ends not altogether
uninteresting, and making a strange miscellany in my mind. It is
needless to attempt to say anything about the solution of the German
question, touching which I have no private information whatever.[125] It
is a drama, at which all the world is audience, and I have not been
behind the scenes. I think we have played a very paltry part in it, and
Palmerston's policy and conduct are so unintelligible to me that I shall
say nothing about them. I agree in all that the 'Times' has written
thereon, and its strictures have hit hard, as is evident by the
resentment expressed by Lady Palmerston.

[Footnote 125: [The German question relates to the proceedings which had
arisen out of the Frankfort Convention, the Schleswig-Holstein quarrel,
and the dispute in Hesse, which nearly led to war. Lord Palmerston was
strongly opposed to the views taken by the Court on these German

The Duke of Cambridge and his family have been, and still are, excited
about the place he is entitled to occupy in the House of Lords,[126] and
they are very angry with me because I said, in my pamphlet on Prince
Albert's precedence ten years ago, that he was only entitled to sit as
Duke of Cambridge according to the date of his peerage, and this I
adhere to now. It is incredible what importance they attach to this
nonsense. The Duchess of Gloucester sent to me to beg a copy of that old
pamphlet, and afterwards the Chancellor did the same. I have had a
correspondence with Lord Redesdale about it, who has taken up the Duke's
cause, and sustained it by some very bad arguments and very inapplicable
precedents. I have stuck to my original opinion, but nevertheless am now
endeavouring to help the Duke to attain his purpose, and have furnished
him with a better precedent than he and his advisers have been able to
find for themselves.

[Footnote 126: [H.R.H. Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, youngest surviving
son of George III., died in July 1850, and was succeeded by his son,
Prince George of Cambridge. A question arose as to his precedence; but
H.R.H. sits in the House of Lords as fourth Peer of the Blood Royal, the
Duke of Cumberland not having taken the seat to which he has an
hereditary right.]]


But such trifles as these, and such serious matters as an impending
German war, are uninteresting in comparison with the 'No Popery' hubbub
which has been raised, and which is now running its course furiously
over the length and breadth of the land. I view the whole of this from
beginning to end, and the conduct of all parties with unmixed
dissatisfaction and regret. The Pope has been ill-advised and very
impolitic, the whole proceeding on the part of the Papal Government has
been mischievous and impertinent, and deserves the severest censure.
Wiseman, who ought to have known better, aggravated the case by his
imprudent manifesto. On the other hand, the Protestant demonstration is
to the last degree exaggerated and absurd. The danger is ludicrously
exaggerated, the intention misunderstood, and the offence unduly
magnified. A 'No Popery' cry has been raised, and the depths of
theological hatred stirred up very foolishly and for a most inadequate
cause. John Russell, who acted prudently in declaring his Protestant
sympathies, joining the public voice in condemnation of the Pope's
proceedings, and clearing himself and his Government from any suspicion
of being indifferent to them, nevertheless writes a very imprudent,
undignified, and, in his station, unbecoming letter. He might have said
all that it was necessary to say without giving any offence; he might
have taken the movement into his own hands, and satisfied the
Protestants, and at the same time not dissatisfied the Catholics,
pouring oil on the waters, and moderating the prevailing effervescence.
But his letter has had a contrary effect. On one hand it has filled with
stupid and fanatical enthusiasm all the Protestant bigots, and
stimulated their rage; and on the other it has irritated to madness all
the zealous Catholics, and grieved, shocked, and offended even the most
moderate and reasonable. All wise and prudent men perceive this, and
strongly disapprove of his letter; all his colleagues with whom I have
spoken, and I have no doubt all the rest, do so; and Clarendon writes me
word that the effect it has produced in Ireland is not to be told. I
have already had a practical proof of the mischief it has done. Two days
ago Bowyer came to me from Cardinal Wiseman, who was just arrived, to
ask my opinion whether anything could be done, and what. I said if he
had sent to me some time ago, and told me what was contemplated, I might
have done him some service by telling him what the consequences would
be; but that now it was too late to do anything, John Bull had got the
bit in his mouth, and the Devil could not stop him. He told me the
Cardinal was drawing up a loyal address to be signed by ecclesiastics
and laymen, and asked me to look at it. I agreed, and he brought it the
next day. I said it was very well as far as it went, and only suggested
that the new Bishops should take care to sign their names only, and omit
all allusion to their sees. This he engaged for. I then talked over the
case, and what might be done. I said of course we could not expect the
Pope to retract; but that if he was really desirous of doing what could
be done to allay the prevailing irritation, he had better do that which
he still could consistently; that he had not yet pronounced any decision
as to the Irish Colleges, and he might either give one in their favour,
or at least abstain from giving any at all, and the Cardinal would do
well to urge this at Rome. Bowyer replied that this might have been
possible before, but Lord John's letter had made it impossible now, and
that this letter would be regarded as so insulting at Rome, and such a
proof of the hostility of the British Government to the Roman Catholic
religion, that they would put no trust in the writer of it, and it would
be impossible to ask the Pope, nor would he be induced, to do anything
in deference to the objects or wishes of this Government.

This odious agitation will continue till it is superseded by something
else, or expires from want of aliment more solid than fanatical
denunciations. Already sensible people, even those who are indignant at
the 'Papal aggressions' as they are termed, begin to think the clamour
exaggerated, that we are going too far, and raising a spirit of
theological and sectarian hatred and enmity, which is dangerous and will
be very troublesome. They begin to reflect that a great movement without
a definite and attainable object is a very foolish thing, and as it is
quite certain that the Pope will not retract what he has done, and that
we can neither punish him nor frighten him, that his ecclesiastical
arrangements will be carried into execution here whether we like it or
not, and that as we shall take nothing by all our agitation and clamour,
we shall probably end by looking very foolish. At present everybody,
Protestants, Puseyites, and Catholics, are all angry, excited, and
hostile. Some affect to be very angry and make a great noise because
they think it answers an end. John Russell is somewhat in this way, for
I don't believe he _really_ cares much; the 'Times' newspaper does the
same, and blows up the coals for the sake of popularity; but Delane, who
begged me not to write, as I was inclined to do, something in mitigation
of the movement, told me he thought the whole thing gross humbug and a
pack of nonsense.


_November 21st_.--The Protestant agitation has been going on at a
prodigious pace, and the whole country is up: meetings everywhere,
addresses to Bishops and their replies, addresses to the Queen;
speeches, letters, articles, all pouring forth from the press day after
day with a vehemence and a universality such as I never saw before. The
Dissenters have I think generally kept aloof and shown no disposition to
take an active part. A more disgusting and humiliating manifestation has
never been exhibited; it is founded on prejudice and gross ignorance. As
usual the most empty make the greatest noise, and the declaimers vie
with each other in coarseness, violence, and stupidity. Nevertheless,
the hubbub is not the less mischievous for being so senseless and
ridiculous. The religious passions and animosities that have been
excited will not speedily die away, nor will the Roman Catholics forget
the insults that have been heaped on their religion, nor the Vatican all
the vulgar abuse that has been lavished on the Pope. In the midst of all
this Wiseman has put forth a very able manifesto, in which he proves
unanswerably that what has been done is perfectly legal, and a matter of
ecclesiastical discipline, with which we have no concern whatever. He
lashes John Russell with great severity, and endeavours to enlist the
sympathies of the Dissenters by contrasting the splendour and wealth of
the Anglican clergy with the contented poverty of the Romanists, and
thus appeals to all the advocates of the voluntary system. His paper is
uncommonly well done, and must produce a considerable effect, though of
course none capable of quieting the storm that is now raging. Wiseman
does not evince any intention of receding in the slightest degree, but
on the contrary there appears to lurk throughout his paper a
consciousness of an impregnable position, round which the tempest of
public rage and fury may blow ever so violently without producing the
slightest effect.

Meanwhile the Government are, I suspect, in a great fix. They are all
disconcerted and perplexed by Lord John's letter. When the Cabinet met
and this letter was shown to them, Lord Lansdowne asked whether the
letter had been already sent, and when informed that it had, he declined
saying anything. As it was sent and published they thought it necessary
to do something, and the law officers were accordingly desired to look
into the law on the subject. There can be little doubt that the law will
not touch the case, and they will hardly have the egregious folly to
propose fresh laws which would be quite inoperative. Violence, menaces,
and abuse never made any people flinch from their religious opinions or
abandon any line of conduct they might have adopted in relation to them.
The Catholics know very well that in these days any serious persecution
is not to be apprehended, and, even if it were, the Roman Catholic
clergy, to do them justice, have never shrunk from enduring any
sufferings or privations to which they were exposed. They would probably
rather like than not to see some attempt made here to revive penal laws,
and to be exhibited to the civilised world in the character of martyrs.
From the beginning I foresaw that we should cut a poor figure in this
affair, and this is sure to be the result, whether we do anything or
nothing. There is great difference of opinion whether this agitation
will prove favourable or the reverse to the Roman Catholic religion in
England, that is, to its extension. The Roman Catholics themselves
evidently think we have by our violence been playing their game and that
it will promote their proselytising views. Time alone can show how this
will be. The Queen takes a great interest in the matter, but she is much
more against the Puseyites than the Catholics. She disapproves of Lord
John's letter.


_November 26th_.--At Brocket from Saturday till Monday. Nobody there; I
found Lord Beauvale[127] in good humour with Palmerston, who, he
assured me, had acted a very proper and a very spirited part in
reference to German affairs, having had to fight against the violent and
inveterate prejudices of the Court, to which some of his colleagues were
not disinclined to defer. He said that although the Court were quite
powerless in such matters as the Greek or the Sicilian questions, they
could do a great deal of mischief in Germany, for being in constant
communication with their relations and connexions there, they could
exercise a good deal of indirect influence, and he thinks they have not
scrupled to encourage the King of Prussia in his absurd conduct. A
letter was sent to Palmerston, doubtless written by Prince Albert, in
which they talked of Denmark wresting Schleswig from Germany, and that
the triumph of Austria would be fatal to the constitutional cause.
Palmerston replied that he had never heard that Schleswig belonged to
Germany, and as to the constitutional cause it was more in danger from
the King of Prussia, whose conduct was putting all thrones in jeopardy.
Beauvale also showed me a letter from Berlin in which the writer said
that nothing was more important there than the English press; and he
begged me, as Palmerston was now really doing all he could in the right
direction, to get him any support I could. Nobody knows whether this
will end in war or peace. Palmerston, always sanguine, says _peace_; and
Beauvale thinks, when Russia, France and England are all trying to avert
war, that it cannot ensue.

[Footnote 127: [Upon the death of William Lamb, Viscount Melbourne, his
brother, Frederic Lamb, previously created Lord Beauvale, succeeded to
the Melbourne title and to the Brocket and other estates. Lord Beauvale
had married at Vienna, where he was British Minister, Mdlle. de
Maltzahn, daughter of the Prussian Minister at that Court. Mr. Greville
was much more intimate with Frederic, than he had ever been with
William, Lamb, and he continued, during the remainder of Lord Beauvale's
life, to be a frequent guest at Brocket. He generally called his friend
by his former name or title, though he was, in fact, Viscount Melbourne
after his brother's death.]]

The Protestant movement goes on with unabated fury, and the quantity of
nonsense that has been talked and written, and the amount of ignorance
and intolerance displayed, exceed all belief, and only show of what sort
of metal the mass of society is composed. Of all that has been written
and spoken there has been nothing tolerable but the Bishop of Oxford's
speech, which was very clever; the letter of Page Wood in the 'Times' in
answer to Wiseman; and everything without exception which has emanated
from the Archbishop of Canterbury. He has displayed a very proper and
becoming spirit with great dignity, moderation, and good sense. All the
rest is a mass of impotent fury and revolting vulgarity and
impertinence, without genius or argument or end and object--mere abuse
in the coarsest and stupidest shape. It is not a little remarkable what
a strong anti-Papist Clarendon is. He writes to me in that sense, but
not so vehemently as he does to others; and I see how his mind is
inflamed, which is odd in so practical a man. But this is obviously the
result of the bitter hostility he has had to encounter in Ireland from
the Roman Catholic clergy, notwithstanding the efforts he made to
conciliate them.

_December 1st_.--I went to Brocket again on Wednesday, and returned on
Thursday. Palmerston and Lady Palmerston were there, but I had no talk
with her. Beauvale told me that Palmerston was acting with good faith,
and doing what he could to avert war. Cowley had written from Frankfort
that it was reported there that in the event of war we should support
Prussia. Palmerston wrote back that we certainly should not, and desired
him to contradict any such report. He sent his letter to the Queen by
way of an intimation of his course. Meanwhile Radowitz arrived, and had
hardly set foot in England before he was invited to Windsor, the pretext
being that he brought over a letter from the King. Palmerston was not
there, and John Russell left the Castle the day he arrived.


_December 11th_.--I could no longer stand the torrent of nonsense,
violence and folly which the newspapers day after day poured forth, and
resolved to write a letter, which was published in the 'Times' the day
before yesterday, and signed 'Carolus,' for I did not venture to put my
own name to it.[128] Delane could not bear publishing it, because it
was in opposition to the strong line the paper has taken; and he told
me beforehand he must attack me. Accordingly they replied to the article
they published, but in very complimentary terms and with very feeble
arguments. Labouchere told me last night this letter must do good, and
make people think calmly. However, the agitation continues with unabated
violence, and it is no wonder the masses are so intemperate and absurd,
when we see how ignorant and senseless men are who ought to know better,
and who pass for being clever and well-informed; and hear the
unreflecting nonsense they talk, and the extravagant views they
entertain. Bear Ellice, who is by way of being wiser than anybody, and
thinks it is his vocation to advise everybody, told me on Monday that he
had advised Charles Wood what to do, and this notable scheme was to
place matters by legislation on the same footing here that they had been
placed on in Prussia by _Concordat_. I told him it was impossible; and
when he insisted, I asked him if he knew what the state of things was in
Prussia: to which he was obliged to admit that he knew nothing about it!
Then we see the Head-Master of Rugby School petitioning the
Postmaster-General to remove a letter-carrier because he is a Roman
Catholic! Clanricarde writes a very good answer, which is in the 'Times'
of yesterday. Graham came to town yesterday on his way to Windsor, where
he is asked to stay three nights, and he came and passed two hours with
me yesterday morning. His opinions are precisely like my own, and he has
written a letter to Howard of Greystock, exactly in the same spirit as
'Carolus;' he is not only very sensible but very bold on the subject,
and quite prepared to confront public opinion in defence of the
principles of religious liberty. We discussed the whole subject at great
length. He acknowledged that the difficulty of the Government was very
great. I enlightened his mind as to the part Palmerston has recently
been playing in German affairs, which he was by no means aware of, and I
hinted to him that his joining the Government would not be disagreeable.
He owned that Palmerston would no longer be an insuperable objection,
but that he could not be a party to any measures savouring of religious
persecution, or even restriction. The Queen's answers to the addresses
will have satisfied him, and all reasonable and moderate people; but I
expect the zealots will cry out. Nothing certainly ever was more

[Footnote 128: [This letter is reprinted in the Appendix to the present

_December 13th_.--At Windsor yesterday for a Council. My letter
'Carolus' has made a decided hit. Delane told me yesterday that it had
certainly produced a considerable effect, as he could tell from the
innumerable letters he received about it, some for and some against. The
Ministers were for the most part shy of talking to me about it; but John
Russell came up to me and said, 'Well, I have derived a great deal of
information from your letter. I think it is very good.' I laughed, and
said, 'I'm glad you like it; you ought to be pleased, because I have
praised you up to the skies, and described your speech as a model of
wisdom.' He laughed too, and said, 'Yes, but that was not the part of it
I liked the best.'


I brought Palmerston from the station in my brougham; all very amicable.
We talked about Popery and Germany, and agreed very well; he mighty
reasonable. I asked him if he had had any conversation with Radowitz. He
said none, except of the most general kind. He thought Radowitz had been
advised to absent himself from Prussia, and that the King, for the
present at least, was entirely with Manteufel. I then asked him what
Prince Albert said to the turn affairs had taken. He said Prince Albert
was reasonable enough; that he condemned the King of Prussia as much as
anybody could; that he had been in favour of strengthening Prussia, and
against the old Federation, because he thought the influence of Austria
in it was too great, and that it was mischievously exercised; that the
condition that no organic change in the Diet could take place there,
without a unanimous vote, could not be endured; and that he thought,
while the influence of Austria remained paramount, the liberal cause,
and all advances in civilisation and general improvement, must be
paralysed; and this was to a certain degree true. I said no doubt it
was desirable to see changes and improvements, and for various reasons
that Prussia should be powerful, if her power was only acquired by fair
means, and without trampling on the rights of others, and on all
obligations human and divine. He said, 'Exactly, that is the real case;
but her conduct has been so wanting in prudence, in consistency, and in
good faith, that she has arrayed against her those who wish best to
her.' He told me the Pope had expressed great surprise at the effect of
his measures, and disclaimed any intention of affronting the Queen or
this country. The Pope said he had been induced to take the steps he had
done by advice from this country, and Palmerston thinks that Wiseman was
probably at the bottom of it all.

I went last night to the Royal Academy to hear an anatomical lecture by
a Mr. Green.[129] It was on _expression_, and very well done. I never
heard a man more fluent; he was very lucid in his expositions and
illustrations, and really very eloquent.

[Footnote 129: [Mr. Green was Professor of Anatomy in the Royal Academy
of Arts--a very eloquent and remarkable man, though but little known by
the public. He had been the most intimate friend of the poet Coleridge
in his later years, and published a work on the philosophical opinions
of Coleridge after his death.]]

_Bowood, December 26th_.--Went on Tuesday in last week to Panshanger, on
Saturday to Brocket, Monday to London, and Tuesday here; we were very
merry at Panshanger. The house and its Lord and Lady furiously
Protestant and anti-Papal; so we had a great deal of wrangling and
chaffing; all in good humour and amusing enough. At Brocket nobody but
the Bear (Ellice), who talked without ceasing, and told me innumerable
anecdotes about Lord Grey's Government, and different transactions in
all of which he had himself played a very important part, and set
everything and everybody to rights with his consummate wisdom. He is a
very good-natured fellow, entertaining and tiresome, with a prodigious
opinion of his own _savoir faire_, vain and conceited, though not
offensively so; clever, friendly, liberal, and very serviceable. They
put me at Brocket in Melbourne's room, and there I found a MS. book,
containing copies of letters written by him to Lord Anglesey, while
Lord Anglesey was Lord-Lieutenant and he was Chief Secretary--very
familiar and confidential. They were very frank, and giving Lord
Anglesey a good deal of advice, which on some occasions he seemed to
require. Their good sense struck me extremely. There was a detailed
account of the Huskisson quarrel, and the resignations thereupon, but it
contained nothing that was new to me. William Lamb (as he was then)
thought both the Duke and Huskisson were in the wrong; but he resigned
with the others, because, he said, 'he had always thought that it was
more necessary to stand by his friends when they were in the wrong, than
when they were in the right.' Poking about to see what else I could
find, I lit on two very different MS. One was a book which I suspect had
belonged to Pen Lamb, containing entries and pedigrees of hounds and
horses; and the other was a commonplace book of Melbourne's, which I had
not time to examine much, full of quotations, criticisms, comments and
translations, exhibiting various and extensive reading, especially of
Greek literature. The next time I go there, I will look at it again.



    Difficulties ahead--Lord John Russell resigns--Conduct of
    the Opposition--Lord Stanley waits on the Queen--Sir James
    Graham's Views--Ministerial Negotiations--Lord Stanley attempts
    to form a Ministry--Lord Stanley fails--The Whig Ministry
    returns to Office--Sir James Graham stands aloof--Dislocation
    of Parties--Embarrassments arising from the Papal Aggression
    Bill--Weakness of the Government--Relations of Sir James Graham
    and the Whigs--Debate on the Papal Aggression Bill--A Measure
    of Chancery Reform--Lord Stanley at Newmarket--Hostility of
    the Peelites--Opening of the Great Exhibition--Defeats of the
    Ministry--The Exhibition saves the Government--M. Thiers in
    London--Close of the Season--The Jew Bill--Overture to Sir James
    Graham--Which is declined--Autumn Visits and Agitation--Lord
    John Russell's Reform Bill--The Creed of a Capuchin--Kossuth's
    Reception in England--The Kossuth Agitation in England--Mr.
    Disraeli on Lord George Bentinck--Sir James Graham's Fears of
    Reform--Dangers from Lord Palmerston's arbitrary Conduct--Case of
    Greece--Case of Sicily--The _Coup d'État_ of the 2nd December.

_London, February 20th_, 1851.--I broke off what I was writing two
months ago, having been attacked by a severe fit of the gout, which has
tormented me on and off ever since, partly deterring and partly
disabling me from writing anything whatever. Indeed I have been in a
hundred minds whether I should not here and now close my journalising,
for I don't feel as if I had, or was likely to have, anything more to
say worth writing about. It is perhaps no loss to have omitted any
notice of the meeting of Parliament, and what has taken place with
reference to the Anti-Papal Bill, and other matters. Are not these
things amply narrated in all the newspapers of the day?--and I do not
think I have acquired any knowledge or information besides, or at least
none of any importance. I shall therefore not attempt to go over the
ground or any part of it, that we have been travelling over for the last
two months; but I am induced to forego my purpose of shutting up my
books and abandoning this occupation, partly from reluctance to quit it
entirely, and partly because I think we are in a very precarious and
difficult state, and that a crisis seems imminent, fraught with great
interest and great danger. In such circumstances I like to write what I
know and hear, and to record my own impressions and opinions.


_Brocket, February 24th._--Events have come quickly on us. On Thursday
night Locke King brought on his annual motion for extension of the
suffrage, and moved for leave to bring in a bill. Lord John opposed it,
but pledged himself that he would bring in a measure next Session, if he
was still in office. Nevertheless he was beaten by two to one--100 to
52. The Conservatives went away, no trouble was taken, and this was the
result. The conduct of the Radicals was offensive. Locke King, after
Lord John's promise, wanted not to divide; but Hume, Bright, and their
faction insisted on dividing, and one of them (I think Bright)
insultingly said, 'If you don't divide and beat him, he will throw over
his promise and do nothing.' It must be owned that he gave some colour
to this suspicion by his conduct. A few nights before Hume asked him if
he was going to bring in any measure _this year_. He said he was not,
but that he still intended to do so, at what he should deem to be a fit
time for it: not a word of _next_ year. This looks very much as if his
promise on Thursday was an impromptu got up for the occasion. Still not
a creature in or out of the House expected he would regard such a defeat
as this as a matter of any importance, and great and general were the
surprise and consternation when Lord John got up, just when the Budget
was to have come on, and made an announcement which was tantamount to
resignation.[130] The House dispersed in a state of bewilderment, and
the town was electrified with the news. At night there was a party at
Lady Granville's, and there it became known that the Government was in
fact out. It seemed the more unaccountable because Stanley had sent them
word of what had been resolved at his meeting, which was neither more
nor less than a sham attack on the Income Tax, which the Tories did not
expect or intend to succeed. Lord John, however, had resolved to resign
after Friday's check, not on that account only, but on the cumulative
case of many unmistakeable symptoms of the hostility of the House of
Commons and the impossibility of his going on. So he thought he had
better 'do early and from foresight that which he should be obliged to
do from necessity at last,' as Mr. Burke said on a different occasion.
Nobody knew what he was going to do,--none of his followers and
subordinates. He saw the Queen in the morning, to whom he no doubt
imparted his intention; then he assembled the Cabinet, where it must
have been settled, and then he saw the Queen again. Lord Lansdowne was
at Bowood, and ignorant of this decision. Carlisle was engaged in the
City, not at the Cabinet, and heard from Grey when he came into the
House of Lords that they were out. In the evening I was at home and
upstairs, and many of the men came up to talk it all over. Ellice said
Lord John was quite right. However, I think such was not the general
opinion, nor is it mine. Looking at the state of the country and the
obvious difficulty, if not impossibility, of forming any other
Government, still more of forming one entitled to, or which could
obtain, the confidence and support of the Crown and the country, I am
very strongly of opinion that he ought to have fought the battle for
some time longer, not to have yielded to any hostile manifestations, or
to the probability, however great, of damaging or fatal defeats, but to
have encountered without flinching all the opposition he might meet
with, and not to desert his post till the worst he apprehended should
actually occur. Many people think that, in spite of appearances, he
would have weathered the storms; and though in the midst of great
difficulties, he would eventually have evaded or surmounted them all.

[Footnote 130: [It was on the 22nd of February that Lord John Russell
moved the postponement of the Committee of Ways and Means, which implied
his intention to resign, though it was not generally understood to have
that meaning. An interesting and accurate account of this transaction is
to be found in a letter from Lord Canning to Lord Malmesbury in the
first volume of Lord Malmesbury's Journal, p. 274.]]

The conduct of the Protectionists about the Income Tax showed how
uncertain and little adventurous they were. This is partly explained by
the revelation that has been made of the opinions of some of their
leading men. It has been for some time apparent that there is a great
ambiguity in the conduct of the party, different members of which hold
the most discordant and inconsistent language. Disraeli the other night
declared he was not going for Protection, that it was out of the
question in this Parliament, and that the country must settle the
question. Granby directly afterwards says he is for Protection. In the
House of Lords, on a motion of Lord Hardwicke's when a great Free Trade
debate was expected, and when it was well known that Stanley had been
preparing a great speech, he never opened his lips, and the whole thing
ended briefly and flatly. But the Duke of Richmond made one of his
furious harangues, pointed to Stanley as 'the Leader of the
Protectionist party,' and gave a eulogistic commentary on Disraeli's
speech, asserting that he only meant that the battle of Protection must
be fought on the hustings, where it not only would be fought, but would
be won. Still Stanley was silent, and did not utter a word in approval
or in repudiation of these sentiments and intentions. Notwithstanding
these ambiguities, people still talked of the probability or the
possibility of a Protectionist Government. It was said that Stanley had
made up his mind to take it, if he could get it, and that he was of
opinion that, great as the risks and serious as the consequences might
be, it was better to encounter them all than to let slip the best
opportunity they should ever have of ousting the Whigs, turning back the
current of Free Trade, and restoring the Protective system. Everybody
was looking with anxious curiosity for the decision of Stanley's meeting
on Friday morning, as to the course they should adopt in reference to
the Income Tax; and when it was known (which it was not till after John
Russell's announcement in the House of Commons), the impression was that
they were afraid to fight on that question; but at night I heard a very
strange thing, which placed the condition and prospects of that party
in quite a new light. Two of the best men they have in the House of
Commons are Walpole and Henley, especially the first. Walpole told
Jocelyn in the House of Commons that he would have nothing to do with
any Government that would attempt to reimpose any duty on foreign corn,
and he added that Henley was of the same mind; and so, in fact, were at
least half the members of his party. This statement Walpole made twice
over to Jocelyn, and he said the same thing to others besides. If such
were the sentiments of some of their best men, what was to become of
Protection? how was the battle to be fought on the hustings? and how was
Stanley ever to form a Government, and on what principles?


However, the Government had resigned; somebody must be sent for, and
something must be done. Oddly enough, while all this was going on in the
House of Commons, Stanley was dining at the Palace. Yesterday morning
the 'Times' (whose editor was at Lady Granville's party) announced the
news to the astonished town. I went to my office, where presently
Labouchere, Carlisle, Granville, and Evelyn Denison came into my room.
Labouchere gave John Russell's reasons for resigning, which to me seemed
quite insufficient, and I told them why. Carlisle said nothing, and I
suspect agreed with me. Denison did entirely. I then came down here,
where I found Brougham fall of indignation and disapprobation of the
hasty resignation, and talking mighty good sense about the whole
question and the aspect of affairs. We heard this morning that Stanley
had been with the Queen, had refused to take office for the present, but
said he did not refuse absolutely if no other Government could be
formed; and that John Russell, Aberdeen, and Graham met afterwards at
the Palace. So matters stand up to this time.[131]

[Footnote 131: [Lord Malmesbury gives an account of the failure of Lord
Stanley to form a Government in his Journals (vol. i. p. 278), which was
mainly due to the timid conduct of Mr. Henley and Mr. Herries. Mr.
Disraeli did not conceal his anger at the want of courage and interest
shown by those persons. They may, however, have had better reasons for
refusing to join a Protectionist Cabinet.]]

I have seen a great deal of Graham lately, and he has talked to me with
considerable openness about the state of affairs, present and
prospective; the condition and prospects of the Government, and their
recent conduct, pointing out many of the faults they have committed, and
what they might have done. He found great fault with Charles Wood's
Budget, and his general opinion was that the Government could not go on,
and _coûte que coûte_ that we must pass through the ordeal of a
Protectionist Government--not that he thought it would stand long, and
he was aware that the experiment would be attended with great peril to
our institutions, and might lead to very serious consequences. Still
that it was inevitable. He said that his joining the Government now
would be of no use to them whatever, and he should only involve himself
in, without averting, their fate. He was evidently much pleased and
satisfied with his own speech on Disraeli's motion.[132] He was
conscious of its success, and of the great service he had rendered the
Government; for, while disapproving of much that they have done, he is
now desirous of reconciling himself with his old friends, looks
hereafter to coming into power with them, and is excessively pleased at
having put himself on amicable terms with John Russell. He told me that
he had said to John Russell the other day, that though circumstances had
separated them, and placed them for a long time in opposition to each
other, it would always be satisfactory to him to remember, that on the
three great questions which he regarded as the most important of his
political life, they had been agreed, and had taken the same part,
sometimes together and sometimes independently. These were the Catholic
Question, Reform in Parliament, and the Repeal of the Corn Laws.

[Footnote 132: [Lord Stanley said of this speech of Graham's that it was
very bitter but very telling; and it convinced him that the Tories had
nothing to hope for from the leading Peelites but opposition.]]


I found Graham in very low spirits, and full of disquiet and
apprehensions about the future prospects of the country. This is
generally his disposition, and he has communicated much of his alarm
and anxiety to me. On Friday morning, after Locke King's division, and
before he knew anything of John Russell's intention, I received a note
from him in these terms: 'My anticipations are most gloomy. I foresee
nothing but confusion; there are no means of escaping it; everything
will be shaken, and something more than a Government, I fear, will fall.
The "Times," I see, has passed sentence of death on the Administration
this morning. It is most likely it will be executed speedily, and I
doubt whether for their sakes it may not be said, the sooner the better.
They have lost all command over the House of Commons, and indistinct
promises of democratic change when made by a Prime Minister are most
dangerous, for vagueness encourages hope, and the hope is deferred. This
state of doubt and fear cannot last much longer; the public on all hands
would greatly prefer a struggle and a settlement.' When he wrote these
lines John Russell had already made up his mind to resign.

_London, February 25th._--I came to town yesterday morning and found
everything unsettled: Aberdeen, Graham, and John Russell trying to agree
upon some plan, and to form a Government. At half-past four Delane came
into my room, straight from Aberdeen. Aberdeen told him he was still
engaged in this task, but, he owned, with anything but sanguine hopes of
success. Delane said to him he hoped if he did succeed he would not
overlook the numbers and importance of the Liberal party. Aberdeen
replied, 'You may rest assured that I am well aware of their importance,
and I believe I am at least as _Radical_ as any of those who are just
gone out.' I went to Brooks's, found it very full and excited; some
persuaded Graham and his friends would come to terms and patch the thing
up. Bear Ellice and others thought it impossible, and that Stanley is
inevitable. In the House of Commons John Russell made his statement, and
when he had made it Disraeli, without tact or decency, denied that it
was correct. John Russell was not very discreet in what he said. He
ought not to have said a word, nor need he, of what passed between
Stanley and the Queen. Disraeli disgusted everybody by what he said,
and his manner of saying it. Lord Lansdowne, Carlisle, and Labouchere
dined here (Bruton Street), and about eleven o'clock a box was brought
to Lord Lansdowne. It was a circular from John Russell announcing the
final failure of the Graham negotiation, and that everything was at an
end. It broke off on the Papal Question, on which they could not come to
an agreement, though John Russell was ready to make some concessions. I
don't think Graham wished to complete any combination, and preferred
throwing the thing back on Stanley. His extreme timidity and his
inveterate habit of magnifying dangers and exaggerating difficulties are
very unfortunate and seriously mar his efficiency. If he had some of the
confidence and sanguine disposition of Palmerston--if he could only
bring himself to think that 'dangers disappear, when boldly they are
faced,' it would be better for the country and for himself. Gladstone is
expected to-morrow; Sidney Herbert says he will not join a Stanley
Government. Everybody goes over the lists of Peers and Commoners whom
Stanley can command, and the scrutiny presents the same blank result of
men without experience or capacity, save only Herries, who is past
seventy, and has been rusting for twenty years and more; and Disraeli,
who has nothing but the cleverness of an adventurer. Nobody has any
confidence in him, or supposes he has any principles whatever; and it
remains to be seen whether he has tact and judgement enough to lead the
House of Commons. It seems that in these negotiations everybody has
behaved well. There have been no difficulties about persons, no
pretensions, no selfishness, no vexatious obstacles from or in any
quarter. Had the thing been patched up, Charles Wood was resolved to go.
They wanted him to change his office, but he would not hear of it, and
said he would not face Halifax. He thought both Grey and Palmerston
ought to go out with him, but they declare that one and all were ready
to make any sacrifice that might be required.[133]

[Footnote 133: [The details of this negotiation between the Whigs, Lord
Aberdeen and Sir James Graham, have been published in an article on the
'Correspondence of Lord Aberdeen,' which appeared in the 'Edinburgh
Review' for October 1883. The insurmountable objections of the Peelites
to the Anti-Papal Bill was the deciding cause of the failure; but the
transaction is interesting, because it was the forerunner of the
Coalition ultimately formed between the Whigs and the Peelites in


_February 26th._--Nothing more known yesterday except that Stanley had
accepted the task of _trying_ to form a Government. From the Queen he
went to Aberdeen, and from him to Lord Canning. As I don't know what
passed, I will say no more. This morning Lord Lansdowne sent for me, and
on leaving him I met John Russell. He told me Stanley was to give his
answer to the Queen _to-day_, though Gladstone is not come. I asked him
what he thought would be the result. He was inclined to think it would
be _No_.

_February 27th._--It appears that Stanley was to say yesterday whether
he would _try_ or not. He is trying. Canning and Gladstone having
refused, it remains to be seen whether he can and will make a Government
out of his own party. Most people think he will not. Everybody asks,
nobody can tell, whether he will throw over Protection or go for it. His
followers now say nothing about _Protection_, but ask for _confidence_.
His rabble are very violent, and abuse him for not at once taking the
Government. This does not make his position easier. Disraeli has behaved
very well and told Stanley to do what he pleased with him; he would take
any office, and, if he was likely to be displeasing to the Queen, one
that would bring him into little personal communication with her. If he
could get anybody essential to his Government to join (Gladstone, of
course), he would act under him. All along everybody seems to have acted
personally well. The town is in a fever of curiosity, incessant
enquiries and no answers, heaps of conjectures and lies. I dined at
Grillon's last night; Graham in the chair, in high spirits. He said, if
Stanley took the Government, he _must_ dissolve on Friday night. But
even if disposed, it is said that this would be impossible, and that he
must get the Mutiny Bill and a money vote before he dissolves.

_February 28th._--I met Gladstone yesterday morning. From the tone of
his conversation his negotiation with Stanley must have been very short
indeed. He said he had come over entirely on account of the Papal Bill.
After another day of curiosity, and rather a growing belief that Stanley
would form a Government, it was announced in the afternoon that he had
given it up. He had a meeting of some of his principal friends, and they
agreed with him in the propriety of his resigning the task. Great
excitement at night, and the Whigs in extraordinary glee, foreseeing the
restoration of John Russell and his colleagues. The Ministers were all
to meet at Lansdowne House this morning and determine on the next move.
Lord John, who is rather sore, and not unconscious of the blame that
attaches to him, said with some bitterness to Granville yesterday, 'Lady
Palmerston called on Lady John for the purpose of telling her that all
that has happened is my fault. Lady John might have told her that if
Palmerston had chosen to be present on Locke King's motion, and have
spoken, it probably would not have happened at all.' Lady Palmerston is
evidently provoked that Palmerston has not been thought of to form a
Government in all this confusion, and at hearing so much of Clarendon
and Graham, and nothing of her husband.


_March 2nd._--I went to the House of Lords on Friday to hear Stanley's
statement. He made a very good speech and a lucid statement. Nothing
could be more civil and harmonious than all that passed; great
moderation and many compliments. The impression on my mind was that
Stanley was sick to death of his position as leader of the
Protectionists, and everybody agrees that he has been in tearing spirits
these last days, and especially since the announcement of his failure.
His conduct seems obnoxious to no reproach, and he did what he was bound
to do with reference to the Queen and his party. They would have been
intolerably disgusted if he had left untried any means of forming a
Government, and though there will be some grumbling and much
mortification and disappointment amongst them, they have no cause for
complaint. He tried everything and everybody, as I believe, without
either the desire or the expectation of succeeding. Nothing surprises
me more than that anybody should think he could form a Government, as
many very acute people did. What happened was almost sure to happen--the
fear and reluctance of many of his own people to undertake a task for
which they were conscious they were unfit. A man must be very ambitious
and very rash and confident, who, when it comes to the point, does not
hesitate to accept a very important and responsible office without
having had any official experience, or possessing any of the knowledge
which a due administration of the office demands. It was not, however,
without some appearance of sarcasm and bitterness that Stanley spoke of
the men of his own party, who for various reasons had declined to take
office. The man whose private affairs prevented him was Tom Baring; the
modest man was Henley, who is said to have told Stanley that he would
not _disgrace_ his Government by presenting himself to the House of
Commons as Home Secretary; the man who thought it would not last is said
to be Thesiger. Sugden accepted the Great Seal, and the Duke of
Northumberland the Admiralty, for which nobody imagines that he has any
qualification whatever; and it shows what slender materials Derby could
command when he applied to such a man.

John Russell made a poor speech in the other House, and his peroration
was a failure. The speeches of Aberdeen and Graham showed that any
coalition is out of the question, and nothing will induce them to be
parties to the Papal Bill. I think them too stiff on this question, and
can see no reason why they should not consent to be parties to a measure
which they admit to be indispensable. It would have been one thing to
consent to its introduction, but it is another to consent to
its going on, and with great modifications, after it had been once
introduced.[134] _Fieri non debuit, factum valet._ But Graham has all
along had a fixed idea that we must pass through what he calls the
ordeal of a Stanley Government, and he has been continually hoping, and
partly expecting, that Stanley would make the attempt. His object was
reconciliation with John Russell and the Whigs, and ultimate junction
with them, after Stanley should have failed, and I can't help thinking
these notions and views have confirmed him in scruples he might
otherwise have got over.

[Footnote 134: [In the negotiations with the Peelites, Lord John Russell
had offered to reduce the provisions of the 'Ecclesiastical Titles Bill'
to a minimum, and to omit the preamble. It was impossible for him, after
what had passed, to withdraw it altogether.]]

On Friday morning the Queen resolved to send for the Duke of Wellington,
which, however, was in reality a mere farce, for the Duke can do nothing
for her, and can give her no advice but to send for John Russell again.
He was on Friday at Strathfieldsaye receiving the Judges and the County,
so he only came to town yesterday. I do not know what passed between Her
Majesty and his Grace, but Lord Lansdowne went to her again in the
afternoon, and so matters stand at present, nobody doubting that the
Government will stay in as they are, and without any change. Labouchere
confided to me that the majority of the Cabinet did not wish for any
renewal of negotiation or any coalition with Graham, though he did
himself, which does not at all surprise me. No reconciliation, no
necessity for his co-operation, and no manifestation of goodwill on his
part, will do away with all the jealousy and dislike with which many of
the Whigs regard the Peelites.


I have been annoyed and disgusted at the part the 'Times' has taken
latterly, turning round upon the Government and upon John Russell in
particular with indecent acrimony. They have attempted a defence of
their conduct, but it is a very lame one, and they have been very
severely and very justly handled by the other papers, especially by the
'Daily News.' No doubt John Russell has committed great errors, and may
be reproached for carelessness and bad management. He has incurred much
odium with certain parties; he has lost a good deal of his authority and
influence in the House of Commons; but he is not a man to be flung aside
as damaged and used up, nor can his faults and mistakes, either of
omission or commission, cancel the antecedents of a long political life
or deprive him of the great position which, in spite of them and of
appearances, he still holds in the estimation of the Whig party and the
country. Nobody can be more sensible of the faults of his character and
of the blunders he has committed than I am; but he has still great
qualities, and I do not believe the Government could go on without him.

I heard last night the details of the Notts election, which appears to
have been lost by bad management. It was a very foolish thing in Lord
Manners to put up his son at all, but having done so, he ought to have
left no stone unturned to secure the victory. The effect of this contest
and the breach between landlords and tenants, unless it can be repaired,
presents the most alarming sign of the times.

_March 4th._--The last act of the drama fell out as everybody foresaw it
would and must. The Duke of Wellington advised the Queen to send for
Lord John again. He was sent for, and came back with his whole crew, and
without any change whatever. This was better than trying some trifling
patch-up, or some shuffling of the same pack, and it makes a future
reconstruction more easy. Last night it was announced to both Houses,
and coldly enough received in the House of Commons. There can be no
doubt that Lord John returns damaged, weak, and unpopular. His personal
and social qualities are not generally attractive, and this is a great
misfortune in such circumstances of difficulty. It is very difficult to
say how they will be able to go on, and what sort of treatment they will
experience from the House of Commons. The only thing that will obtain
for them anything like forbearance and support will be the very general
dread of a dissolution, and the anxiety of members to stave it off. This
may get them through the Session; but their friends are nervous,
frightened, and uneasy, and the general opinion is that they will break
down again before the end of it. If they do, they must dissolve, for
that is the only alternative left.

Lord Granville dined at the Palace last night, and the Queen and Prince
Albert both talked to him a great deal of what has been passing, and
very openly. She is satisfied with herself, as well she may be, and
hardly with anybody else; not dissatisfied personally with Stanley, of
whom she spoke in terms indicative of liking him. She thinks John
Russell and his Cabinet might have done more than they did to obtain
Graham and the Peelites, and might have made the Papal question more of
an open question; but Granville says that it is evident she is heart and
soul with the Peelites, so strong is the old influence of Sir Robert,
and they are very stout and determined about Free Trade. The Queen and
Prince think this resuscitated concern very shaky, and that it will not
last. Her favourite aversions are: first and foremost, Palmerston; and
Disraeli next. It is very likely that this latter antipathy (which no
doubt Stanley discovered) contributed to his reluctance to form a
Government. Such is the feeling about him in their minds. It is
difficult to penetrate Palmerston's conduct and motives during the late
crisis; but I am much inclined to think he was playing, or at least
looking for an occasion to play, a part of his own.[135]

[Footnote 135: [It is a remarkable proof of the candid and dispassionate
spirit of the Queen, that the three men who, at different times and for
different reasons, were notoriously the objects of her distrust and
aversion, subsequently obtained, as First Ministers of the Crown, her
entire confidence. Sir Robert Peel was no favourite at the time of his
abortive attempt to succeed Lord Melbourne in 1839. Lord Palmerston was
entirely at variance with the Court whilst he held the seals of the
Foreign Office. And Mr. Disraeli was supposed to be especially disliked.
Yet in the higher office of Prime Minister each of these statesmen
enjoyed the confidence and approval of the Sovereign, and carried on the
Government with success for several years. None, certainly, ever
received higher marks of favour and distinction than have been bestowed,
in life and in death, on Sir Robert Peel and Lord Beaconsfield.]]


_March 8th._--At Brocket from Tuesday till Thursday. In the morning I
saw Graham and had a long talk with him, principally about the Papal
Bill. I asked him why he could not make up his mind to support the
amended and curtailed Bill, which would not be inconsistent with his
original objection to any measure; but he went into the whole question
and satisfied me of the impossibility of his supporting and defending
(as he must have done) any measure whatever. The truth moreover is, that
he was not sorry to have this excuse for keeping aloof, for if he could
have got over this, there still remained behind the great difficulty of
Palmerston. This was never touched upon at all, and consequently they
were all able to say there were no _personal_ difficulties; but Graham
was satisfied that if he had joined them, he and Palmerston should have
speedily disagreed, and I do not think any coalition will ever be
possible which embraces Palmerston's remaining at the Foreign Office. My
own opinion is that Graham wished Stanley's Government to be formed; and
I am confirmed in this view by the remarkable fact that he and Aberdeen
_advised_ Lord Canning to accept Stanley's offer. Canning told Granville
this, and I asked Graham if Aberdeen had advised Canning to do so, and
why. He replied, rather evasively, that it was a great temptation; that
Canning was not committed to Free Trade; and that Aberdeen had suggested
there was no objection if he was disposed to accept. It was, however,
very strange advice. Granville thinks very ill of the prospects of the
Government, and has no reliance on their _savoir faire_. Meanwhile there
they are again, having lost something in reputation, while it is
questionable whether they have gained much in support; but, I think,
_something_. There is a greater disposition to toleration, and to let
them work through the Session, for everybody dreads a dissolution. There
is a universal feeling of doubt, disquiet, and insecurity. Parties are
dislocated; there is no respect for, or confidence in, any public men or
man. Notwithstanding the creditable manner in which every actor in the
late crisis is said to have played his part, and the fairness,
unselfishness, public spirit, and mutual urbanity and politeness
displayed by all, there lurks under this smooth surface no little
jealousy, dislike and ill-will; in truth, in all that passed, nobody was
in earnest. The Government threw up their offices not wishing to resign.
Stanley did not desire, and did not intend, if he could possibly avoid
it, to form a Government; Graham did not wish to coalesce with the Whig
Government, nor they with him. John Russell would have taken him in, if
they could have agreed; but most of his colleagues hated the idea of
coalition; he would have been ill received by most of the adherents of
the Government, and he is himself persuaded that he should not have gone
on long without a difference of some sort. Many great difficulties, as
they would have proved, were never touched upon, particularly who were
to come in, and who were to go out.

_March 10th._--I was interrupted, as I was writing, by the arrival of
Graham himself, who stayed two hours, talking over everything. He left
no doubt about his wishes for Stanley's forming a Government, for he
told me that he never was more sorry for anything than for his failure.
He still contemplates the great probability of such a Government,
supposing a dissolution to take place, and the return of a Parliament
prepared to vote for an import duty, and his mind is still bent on a
joint action between himself and the Whigs _in opposition_. This is what
he wants. He is not aware of the antipathy there is towards him on the
part of many of them. Lord Grey, for example, is very bitter against
him, and _tantum mutatus_, that he is now the warmest supporter and most
zealous colleague of Palmerston! John Russell told Graham that last year
Palmerston strongly urged him to get Graham to join them and take
office, if he could be persuaded to do so. This is curious enough.


Graham again entered at great length into all the objections against the
Papal Bill, and the bad policy and mistakes of the Government. He
thought it was one to have put up George Grey to usher it out, when John
Russell had himself ushered it in;[136] for he said it was both evident
and notorious that George Grey was in favour of stringent measures, and
his speech was one in favour of the clauses the omission of which he was
announcing. He said the announcement was very ill received, and he
thinks the Bill will not pass. He fancies the Protectionists will throw
it out, in which I disagree with him. There is an idea that they will
try and make it more stringent, by proposing to retain the clauses or
some other way; but this would be the best thing for the Government, and
would bring Whigs, Radicals, and Irish all together. Meanwhile the
effect of all that has happened is as bad as possible. I said in my
letter (Carolus), 'We shall assuredly look very foolish if all the
hubbub should turn out to have been made without some definite,
reasonable, and moreover attainable object; and yet we appear to be in
imminent danger of finding ourselves in this perplexing and mortifying
predicament.' Never, I may make bold to say, was any prediction more
signally accomplished than this. Everybody seems disgusted, provoked,
and ashamed at the position in which we are placed. The Roman Catholics
alone are chuckling over their triumph and our perplexity. They see that
we have plunged ourselves into a situation of embarrassment, which
leaves us no power of advancing or receding without danger or disgrace.
Our Government, and especially its chief, have gone on from one fault
and blunder to another. They manage to conciliate nobody, and to offend
everybody. Their concessions are treated with rage and indignation on
one side, and with scorn and contempt on the other. The Bill is reduced
to a nullity, but this does not appease the wrath of the Irish and the
Catholics; though what is left of it will do them no injury, they still
oppose this remnant with undiminished violence, determined if possible
to make us drain the last drop in the cup of mortification and shame. It
is not unnatural that people should be indignant with a Government whose
egregious folly has got us into such an unhappy and discreditable
dilemma. We are in such a position that the Roman Catholics and the
Radicals are alone the gainers; and accordingly, while all others are
disturbed and terrified at such a state of things, they are delighted,
and confidently expect their several ends and objects will be advanced
by the confusion, disunion, and discontent which prevail.

[Footnote 136: [The provisions of the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill were
considerably curtailed, when Sir George Grey moved the next stage of the
proceedings on this measure.]]

_London, March 18th._--Everything still going on as bad as possible. The
Government is now so weak and powerless that its feebleness is openly
talked of in Parliament, as well as derided in the Press. A day or two
ago we appeared to be on the eve of an immediate crisis. Baillie gave
notice of a motion of censure on Torrington and Lord Grey, on which John
Russell declared he would not go on with the Budget or any public
business with this vote hanging over their heads (which if carried
involved resignation) nor till it was decided. Last night Baillie
withdrew it, and business will go on. Nothing is more extraordinary than
the conduct of many of their friends, and the levity with which almost
everybody follows his own particular inclination or opinion, regardless
of the condition of the Government and of the grave questions which are
looming in the distance.


Of all strange and unaccountable things the conduct of Graham is the
strangest with reference to his ultimate views, objects and
expectations. On Lord Duncan's motion about the Woods and Forests, he
ostentatiously marched out first to vote against them; on the Naval
Estimates he went away. All this exasperates and disgusts the Whigs,
with whom he looks forward hereafter to acting, and whose chief he means
to be. On Duncan's motion, John Russell's brother-in-law, Romilly, voted
against him; his nephew, Hastings Russell, was in the House and did not
vote. Hayter told John Russell that when such men acted thus, he could
not ask independent members to come down and support the Government. I
called on Graham yesterday, and found him in a state of great disgust at
the Solicitor-General's speech the night before, against the violence
and imprudence of which he bitterly inveighed. He said that Stanley was
preparing resolutions, and he had contemplated having to fight the
battle of religious liberty side by side with John Russell, and the
Government against them; but that this speech perplexed him, and left
him in doubt what he ought to do or what he was to expect. Did John
Russell adopt all the furious 'No Popery' of his law officer, and was he
prepared to legislate in that sense? If so, he would oppose him _totis
viribus_. I told him I did not believe John Russell (who was not
present) by any means concurred with Cockburn, whose speech he must
only regard as an individual effusion, singularly injudicious. He talked
a great deal about this and on other things. I asked him why he had
voted against the Government on Duncan's motion, and told him that his
doing so had greatly annoyed them. He said they were to blame to fight
such a bad case; that he could not but vote with Duncan, having put his
name to an instrument, together with several other eminent persons he
named, recommending this very principle; and that the Government ought
to have shown more deference for the opinion of Parliament and less
condescension to the Court, to please which this proposition had been
resisted. He ridiculed the argument of Parliamentary control being
useless and inefficient, as Seymour pretended. Moreover, he said he had
told Tufnell how he was going to vote. I told him that as he
contemplated at some future time the dissolution of this Government, and
its reconstruction with a large Liberal infusion, including himself, a
combination devoutly to be desired, and as the great Whig party must
constitute the main strength of such a Government, it was very desirable
that he should avoid giving umbrage to them, and exciting hostile
feelings against himself as much as he could and that I wished when he
thought himself obliged to oppose them, that he would tell them so
fairly and amicably. He might prevent many things being done, and at all
events it would obviate much of the bitterness that otherwise was sure
to arise, and that as he was now on such good terms with John Russell he
could very easily do this, and could speak to him at any time. He said
he and John Russell were very good friends, but that all the rest hated
him. He had nothing to complain of on the part of John Russell in the
last transactions, but he thought he had on that of the others, and he
knew very well they did not desire his junction with them, and were very
glad it had failed. And while he took the same view that I do of the
necessity of widening considerably the basis of the Administration, and
taking in men from the Liberal ranks, he said nothing of the kind was
contemplated the other day. We had a great deal of talk, and I gathered
that the present state of his mind and opinions is this. He thinks
Stanley is ready to take the Government, but not just yet; that he is
prepared to push the Ministers later in the Session, and drive them out;
then to dissolve, and if such a Parliament as he hopes and expects be
returned, that Palmerston will join him and lead the House of Commons,
Stratford Canning taking the Foreign Office (as he fancied) till
Palmerston joined. We parted, and I undertook to find out for him what
the Government really meant to do, and whether they did intend
strenuously to resist any attempt to make the Anti-Papal Bill more
stringent, and he promised that he would communicate more frankly and
freely with John Russell in respect to any matters of difference, and
when he was disposed to take any adverse part.

_March 22nd._--I told Labouchere what had passed between Graham and me,
and suggested to him to speak to John Russell about it, which he said he
would do; and this morning I have a note from Lord John desiring me to
call on him. Labouchere told me that it was very true, that most of his
colleagues disliked and distrusted Graham, and they all seem aware that
his object is to see the Government broken up, it being necessary that
the old house should be pulled down before the new one can be built in
which he intends to live. He told me, moreover, that half the Cabinet
were disposed to make up to the Protectionists, but that _he_ considered
such policy equally false and discreditable. This is very curious,
however, and as I cannot doubt that Palmerston is one of this half, it
looks very much as if he would join Stanley whenever circumstances
permitted this junction.


_March 24th._--Yesterday morning Graham called on me, and said he heard
his speech had greatly offended the Ministerialists, he thought without
reason; that he had studiously avoided saying anything disagreeable to
John Russell, and had not touched on his letter or certain passages in
his first speech which might have provoked comment; that he had stated
his views and his case against the Bill very strongly as he was obliged
to do. For having refused to join the Government expressly and
exclusively on account of his invincible objections to this Bill, he was
compelled to show all the strength and force of these objections. He
then dilated afresh on the whole question, much as he had done before. I
told him that it was true they resented his speech, which they
characterised as one of bitter hostility to the Government, and that it
was so considered by some who did not belong to the Government, such as
Charles Villiers, for example, and they coupled this with his previous
vote on Duncan's motion, and inferred that he was actuated by a desire
to do them all the mischief he could; besides which they thought he was
much to blame in certain topics he had urged in reference to the
possibility of an Irish rebellion. I reminded him of what I had said to
him the other day, and of the bad impression he was making on the minds
of the Whigs, and how serious this was in reference to the possibility
of any future coalition.

He then talked in his usual way about Stanley and the Government he is
to form; said Walpole had made so good a speech that it put him up very
high, and would enable Stanley to make him Secretary of State; and then
he told me of a sort of overture or feeler which Walpole had the night
before made to him. It was at the Speaker's _levée_, where they were
conversing on the state of affairs and the prospects of the country,
when Walpole said, 'The only thing would be for you and Lord Stanley to
shut yourselves up in a room together, when you might come to an
understanding.' Graham replied it was impossible; Lord Stanley was a man
of honour, who would abide by his pledges and declarations; and he must,
if he came into power, propose a duty on corn. Walpole said if there was
a majority against it Stanley would give it up, and at all events it
would only be a duty for revenue, and not for protection. Graham replied
that was all nonsense. Let it be called what it would, it was and was
meant to be Protection; and in no way and under no name would he ever be
a party to any duty whatever on foreign corn. Besides, there was the
Papal question. He opposed the Government Bill, and Stanley and Walpole
were prepared to carry legislation still further; therefore these two
important questions rendered any understanding between him and Stanley
impossible. I told him I was going to John Russell, and that I was
pretty sure he had sent for me to talk to me about him.

In the afternoon I called on Lord John, and found him in very good
spirits and humour. It was as I expected, and he said to me exactly what
I had already said to Graham, that since the conferences which had taken
place, at which time there was a general acquiescence (though with some
a reluctant one) in his joining the Government, circumstances had very
materially altered, and that his recent conduct had produced so much
irritation and estrangement that any coalition with him for some time to
come would be very difficult. Time and other circumstances might again
render it possible, but now it was out of the question; this, it was fit
Graham should know, and as he did not like to say it to him himself, he
wished I would. I told him I was not surprised, and that I had already
said as much to him, and had pointed out to him the inevitable
consequences of the course he had adopted. The truth is they, most of
them, dislike and fear him. They dread his propensity to truckle to the
Radicals and to popular clamour, above all as to economy; and Lord John
told me that Palmerston, who had urged him at the close of the last
Session to get Graham to join him, had this year said he did not think
he would be safe, for he would probably insist on cutting down our
establishments to some dangerous extent. I told Lord John all I had said
to Graham about communicating with himself, and he said that he
personally felt no resentment towards him; he acknowledged that he had
not said anything offensive or hostile to him personally, and that he
should be very glad to talk to him, particularly about the Budget, which
was not definitely settled, and he desired me to propose to Graham to
let him call on him for that purpose. This ending did not correspond
well to the beginning of the communication I was to make to him, but I
said I would tell him, which I shall do, softening the hard part as
much as I can.


I afterwards called on Lord Lyndhurst, whom I found very flourishing.
Brougham was there, and they were full of talk, chiefly about law, and
agreeable enough. I asked Lyndhurst what would happen, and he said he
really did not know from any communication he had had with Stanley or
anybody, but his belief was that Stanley was prepared to take the
Government, whenever the way was made clear for him by the necessary
money being voted, and the Mutiny Bill passed. This is now the general

_March 27th._--On Monday I called on Graham, and found John Russell had
already been there. Graham was dressing, and could not see him, but made
an appointment to call in Chesham Place at three o'clock. I told Graham,
with a good deal of _ménagememt_, what John Russell had said, and I
added as much as I could, in addition to what I had said to him before
about his relations with the Government. He insisted that John Russell's
people hated him, and he said there were people about him who hated
them; and then he added that he could do nothing _alone_. I had little
difficulty in perceiving what is passing in his mind, and by what
considerations and with what views he is actuated. He thinks he can
rally round himself a body of supporters, of men who will look up to him
as a leader, and, by so doing, when there is a break-up, he may play the
part of a political potentate, and, in the event of the construction of
a Liberal Government, that he may have a large share of influence, and
make his own terms. He knows or suspects that the Whigs want nothing of
him, but that he should singly join them to help them out of their
difficulties, thereby giving up altogether any claim he might have to be
a political leader, and all distinctive character as such. This
intention of theirs he both resents and abhors, and though he is really
anxious to be on good terms with John Russell, with whom he wishes
hereafter to act, he can neither conceal his desire nor abstain from his
efforts to upset his Government. He is the strongest mixture of
timidity and rashness I ever saw. He is generally afraid of everything,
and sees many unnecessary and imaginary dangers; nevertheless, he is
prepared to hazard almost anything to bring about that consummation on
which his thoughts and his heart are fixed, but which can only be worked
out by the downfall of this, and the experiment of a Stanley Government.
He gave me to understand that it was probable that those who opposed the
second reading of the Papal Bill would take no part in the Committee,
and leave the Government to be beaten there on the clauses, in order to
compel them to vote against the third reading of their own Bill; and he
would do this, although the effect would be to leave the question
unsettled, and to render a terrific No-Popery agitation the principal
ingredient of a general election. His conduct and his views appear to me
greatly deficient in sagacity, and besides being mistaken and
mischievous, to be somewhat tortuous and insincere. One thing is
certain, that he has excited a strong sentiment of disapprobation and
distrust amongst all but the Radicals and the Irish, who probably care
very little for him, except so far as he plays their game. While he is
quite right in the main on the Papal question and probably on some
others likewise, he pursues these particular objects at the expense of
sacrificing or endangering far greater, more important, and more
permanent interests.

The great debate terminated yesterday morning, after a magnificent
speech from Gladstone, and a very smart personal attack of Disraeli on
Graham, which was done with his usual sarcastic power, and was very
generally cheered. As they left the House, Disraeli said to John
Russell, 'I could not help attacking your _Right Honourable friend_, but
I don't suppose you are very angry with me.' 'No,' he replied, 'I am not
angry with you, but you did not say anything of which I have any reason
whatever to complain.' The debate was on the whole very able, but a
preponderance of argument on one side as great as the majority was on
the other. Roundell Palmer, Graham, Fox, and Gladstone made admirable
speeches; while, except Walpole's, there was nothing very good on the
other. Disraeli did not attempt to argue the case.


_April 2nd._--Graham called on me on Sunday; said he had had a most
agreeable conversation with John Russell, who was very friendly, and
even confidential; in short, Graham appeared in much better humour than
before, and he said he had engaged, and was resolved, to do all he could
to help them in the Budget. I asked him if he could not do something
with the Irish members, whose cause he had espoused with so much
gallantry and devotion, and he said he thought he could, as he had a
channel of communication through Sir J. Young, and he would try. He then
talked of the Chancery measure, which would not do, and advised that
Lord John should consult Turner[137] about it, who thought it was in the
right line, though not the right thing, and that with some alterations
it might be made into a good measure. Graham thought Stanley quite ready
to take the Government, and that Ceylon was the case on which he meant
to give them the mortal stab. But it remains to be seen whether
Torrington's successful defence of himself last night will not defeat
this scheme if it really existed. I told John Russell what had passed
between Graham and me about Turner. This move of his about the Chancery
Reform has been another blunder. The measure is scouted, and the
Government do not themselves think it will do. I told Charles Wood and
John Russell that it would not. The former replied, 'I don't think it
will, but the House of Commons must be taught that if good services are
to be performed they must be paid for;' and this was again Lord John's
notion, and he acknowledged to me that 'he supposed it would not do.' He
was going to see Pemberton Leigh, and he told me afterwards he had seen
him, and that he disapproved. Why not have seen and consulted him before
producing his scheme instead of after? And why assume that the House of
Commons would be niggardly, instead of framing the best measure they
could, and casting on the House of Commons the responsibility of
refusing the necessary funds to carry out a proper and desirable
arrangement? All this is miserable, bad management. The other night
Lyndhurst came out for the second time, and made an attack on the
Chancery scheme; very well done, marvellous considering his age and his
recent illness. The Chancellor replied well enough, and Grey very
unwisely spoke after him. He is leading the Lords now that Lord
Lansdowne is away, but by no means with the same tact and discretion.

[Footnote 137: [George Turner, Esq., Q.C., afterwards one of the Lords
Justices in Equity.]]

Torrington made his speech last night, and did it very well, making a
very favourable impression, and a good case for himself. Nobody said
anything, and all would have ended there, and ended well, if Grey had
not unwisely got up and made a bitter speech against the Committee, and
on the case generally, in the course of which he said something about
martial law, and the Duke of Wellington's administration of it in Spain;
on which the old Duke rose in a fury, and delivered a speech in a
towering passion, which it would have been far better for Torrington to
have avoided. The Duke was quite wrong, and Grey made a proper
explanation, but the incident was disagreeable.

_April 10th._--At Newmarket on Sunday, and returned yesterday. It was
worth while to be there to see Stanley. A few weeks ago he was on the
point of being Prime Minister, which only depended on himself. Then he
stood up in the House of Lords, and delivered an oration full of gravity
and dignity, such as became the man who had just undertaken to form an
Administration. A few days ago he was feasted in Merchant Taylors' Hall,
amidst a vast assembly of lords and commoners, who all acknowledged him
as their chief. He was complimented amidst thunders of applause upon his
great and statesmanlike qualities, and he again delivered an oration,
serious as befitted the lofty capacity in which he there appeared. If
any of his vociferous disciples and admirers, if some grave members of
either House of Parliament, or any distinguished foreigner who knew
nothing of Lord Stanley but what he saw, heard, or read of him, could
have suddenly found themselves in the betting room at Newmarket on
Tuesday evening and seen Stanley there, I think they would have been in
a pretty state of astonishment. There he was in the midst of a crowd of
blacklegs, betting men, and loose characters of every description, in
uproarious spirits, chaffing, rowing, and shouting with laughter and
joking. His amusement was to lay Lord Glasgow a wager that he did not
sneeze in a given time, for which purpose he took pinch after pinch of
snuff, while Stanley jeered him and quizzed him with such noise that he
drew the whole mob around him to partake of the coarse merriment he
excited. It really was a sight and a wonder to see any man playing such
different parts, and I don't suppose there is any other man who would
act so naturally, and obey all his impulses in such a way, utterly
regardless of appearances, and not caring what anybody might think of
the minister and the statesman so long as he could have his fun.

_April 14th._--Graham called on me yesterday. He generally comes every
Sunday now; talked gloomily about everything, and seemed to think it
very doubtful if the Government would get through the Session. On
Disraeli's motion the other night,[138] on which there was only a
majority of thirteen, he said Gladstone had a great mind to vote against
them, and if he had, others of the Peelites would have gone with him,
and the Government would have been in a minority; that Disraeli had
managed his matters very ill, and had made a very bad speech. If he had
proposed to apply the surplus to a partial reduction of the Malt Tax, he
would have put the Government in a great dilemma, and they probably
would have been defeated. I told him I did not think he could have done
this, or could have got a majority on it, for nobody ever dreams of
abolishing the Malt Tax. He told me that Gladstone was disgusted with
the Government, and determined to turn them out if he could, and from
what he said of the disposition of the Peelites, I infer that they are
disposed to take Gladstone as their leader, and that they are animated
with the same spirit of hostility to the Government. Their views are
these: they think that when they have got the Government out, and there
shall have been a general election, Stanley will find there is so small
a majority for Protection, or none at all, that he will give it up, and
then Protection being abandoned, that they may join him, and the old
Conservative party may be thus rallied and reunited. Such is the view of
Gladstone, and the Duke of Newcastle and Sidney Herbert go along with
him. Then as to the Papal Bill, he returned to what he had before
mentioned to me, the notion of throwing all things into confusion in
Committee; that the Stanleyites will oppose the withdrawal of the
clauses, the opponents of the second reading take no part, the
Government be beaten, and then the Government and the _Anti-Billites_
together throw it out on the third reading. This accomplished, he
fancies there will be no more question of any Bill whatever, that
Stanley will give the go-by to legislation by appointing a Committee,
and so this great difficulty will be got rid of. I would not listen to
this fine scheme, which involved a whole series of discreditable
inconsistencies. He and those who were opposed to penal legislation
refusing to assist in expunging those clauses of the Bill which had such
a character, for the chance of indirectly getting rid of the whole, and
Stanley's coming into power and throwing over both Protection and Papal
aggression, after having fought his way to it upon nothing but the
assertion of these two principles. I urged him as strongly as I could to
be no party to any such schemes, but to co-operate in getting this
odious and mischievous question settled and disposed of in the best and
only way that circumstances now admit of. He is evidently much
perplexed, conscious he is in a false position, and does not see his way
clearly as to the best course for him to adopt. He said he was satisfied
Stanley was determined not to come into office if he could possibly
avoid it, and could find pretexts for refusing it; but his followers are
so eager and impatient, and he has led them on so far, that it is
become difficult for him to avoid it if fresh opportunities present

[Footnote 138: [On April 11 Mr. Disraeli moved resolutions in favour of
the owners and occupiers of land, which were negatived by 263 to 250


_May 10th._--On the day of the opening of the Great Exhibition I went
into the Park instead of the inside, being satisfied with fine sights in
the way of processions and royal magnificence, and thinking it more
interesting and curious to see the masses and their behaviour. It was a
wonderful spectacle to see the countless multitudes, streaming along in
every direction, and congregated upon each bank of the Serpentine down
to the water's edge; no soldiers, hardly any policemen to be seen, and
yet all so orderly and good-humoured. The success of everything was
complete, the joy and exultation of the Court unbounded. The Queen wrote
a touching letter to John Russell, full of delight at the success of her
husband's undertaking, and at the warm reception which her subjects gave
her. Since that day all the world has been flocking to the Crystal
Palace, and we hear nothing but expressions of wonder and admiration.
The _frondeurs_ are all come round, and those who abused it most
vehemently now praise it as much.

Government has been again defeated in the House of Commons, and the
state of affairs is worse than ever.[139] The apathy, indifference, and
careless disposition of almost everybody is as strange as it is
disgusting. One cannot make out what people want. The mass of the
Protectionists know what they want--to turn out the Government, get in
themselves, procure (as they expect) a majority on a dissolution, and
then restore Protection. Stanley is hanging back as much as he can,
evidently, and no wonder, shrinking from committing himself to the
desperate experiment of such an attempt; but his eager followers push
him on, and he has gone too far with them now to hang back. Yet on the
whole I think the Government will still scramble through the Session,
but a scramble it is. John Russell made one of his very best speeches
the other night, in reply to Roebuck who urged him to resign. But _non
est qualis erat_, he has committed great blunders and has been very
neglectful. Tufnell told me last night, he had observed for the last two
years that his personal influence was waning. There seems no doubt that
Protection has gained many advocates of late, and that in the event of a
dissolution most of the counties and the agricultural boroughs will
return Protectionists. It is therefore probable that there may be a
majority in favour of some import duties, still it is not likely that
the change can be so great as to give more than a bare majority to a
Protectionist Government, and such men with such a majority can hardly
hope to succeed in reversing the whole of our commercial policy and
restoring the old system. But the contest will be very alarming, and
nobody can tell what will come out of the new Reform Bill, and above all
out of the restless spirit of change and progress which has been put in
motion. I cannot help fearing that we are approaching times of
difficulty and danger, the more difficult and dangerous from the lack of
statesmen who have either capacity to deal with political exigencies, or
who possess the confidence and regard of the country sufficiently to be
enabled to take the conduct of affairs into their own hands, who will be
followed, listened to, and obeyed.

[Footnote 139: [A motion of Mr. Hume, limiting the Income Tax to one
year, was carried against the Government by 244 to 230.]]

[Sidenote: M. THIERS IN LONDON.]

_May 31st._--I have been too much occupied, even absorbed, by my Derby
concerns to trouble myself about anything else, but I have at least been
occupied to some purpose, for I won the largest sum I ever did win in
any race, the greatest part of which I have received, and no doubt shall
receive the whole. Meanwhile the world seems to have thought of nothing
but the Exhibition, and all politics have appeared flat, stale, and
unprofitable. This has turned to the advantage of the Government, who
after weathering other storms were finally set on their legs by the
excellent division they got on Baillie's motion about Ceylon. Everybody
now admits that they are quite safe for this Session, after which we
shall see; but though they are considered, and really are, a weak
Government, their weakness is strength compared with that of the other
party, which is hopelessly distracted and disorganised. They have no
unity of purpose, object, or opinion, no reliance on their leaders;
there is no mutual confidence and esteem amongst them; and their great
man, Stanley, has been all along making game of them, humbugging them
and laughing in his sleeve. He has never really intended to turn out the
Government, nor to take office himself, and his whole object has been to
pretend to aim at both these things, taking all the time especial care
to avoid being successful. I am now told that they are beginning to open
their eyes to what has long been obvious to all cool observers. All this
could hardly be otherwise; Stanley could not fail to be disgusted with a
party which suffers itself to be in great measure represented by such
men as G. F. Young and Ferrand.

_June 8th._--I broke off what I was writing to go to Ascot. There is a
picture in 'Punch' of the shipwrecked Government saved by the
'Exhibition' steamer, which really is historically true, thanks in great
measure to the attractions of the Exhibition, which have acted upon the
public as well as upon Parliament. The attacks upon the Government have
for some time past become so languid, and there has been so much
indifference and _insouciance_ about politics and parties, that John
Russell and his Cabinet have been relieved from all present danger. The
cause of Protection gets weaker every day; all sensible and practical
men give it up as hopeless; nevertheless that party will make a
desperate struggle when the elections take place, and though they will
infallibly fail in bringing back Protection, they will probably have
success enough to make government if possible more difficult than it is

M. Thiers has just been over here for a week. He came to see the
Exhibition, and was lodged at Ellice's house. He was indefatigable while
he was here, excessively amused and happy, and is gone back enchanted at
his reception in the world, and full of admiration of all he saw. He was
met by great and general cordiality, invited everywhere, had long
conversations with Palmerston, John Russell, and Aberdeen, dined with
Disraeli to meet Stanley, who, however, did not come, and he was the
only conspicuous man he missed seeing. He was presented to the Queen at
the Exhibition. Hearing he was there (for he usually went early every
morning like herself) she sent for him, was very gracious, and both she
and the Prince talked to him a good while. He talked very conservative
language while he was here, and did not abuse anybody.

_July 5th._--Politics are stagnant; the Government has had no
difficulties, and they are gliding through the Session with an ease and
safety which was not promised at the beginning of it. Their enemies have
done more for them than their friends. Lord Derby's death has taken
Stanley out of the field for a time. Disraeli made a foolish motion and
a bad speech. Government had a good majority; nobody took the least
interest in the proceeding. Protection falls lower and lower and becomes
every day more obviously hopeless; and this really is about all there is
to say. The great question of Law Reform seems to have a chance of being
taken up in earnest; the new Government Bill is rather popular, and has
been well received, and there appears to be something like a stir in the
public mind and a disposition to insist on an attempt being made to
cleanse this Augean stable. The question that most interests the public
is that of the retention or removal of the Crystal Palace. Curiously
enough, the Prince, whose child it is, and who was so earnestly bent on
keeping it in existence, has now turned round, and is for demolishing

The Anti-Papal Bill passed the other night, Thesiger having succeeded in
getting in some amendments, apparently making it more efficient and
stringent; but I don't believe, though they had better not be there,
that it will make any difference. While it was receiving its finishing
touches in the Commons, another rescript of the Pope made its appearance
with a fresh creation of Bishops in England! The opponents of the Bill
had intended to make one more grand display (Gladstone especially) on
the third reading; but by some blundering or negligence they lost the
opportunity. Gladstone made a short but good speech as it was.


_London, July 25th._--I have had nothing to say for some weeks past. I
went to Liverpool for the races; stayed there to assist at a great
_fête_ given by Mr. Brown, M.P. for Lancashire, on board the 'Atlantic,'
to the Exhibition Commissioners and foreigners. The 'Atlantic' is
magnificent, fitted up like a luxurious house, all painting, gilding,
silk and velvet, and with every sort of comfort. I went all about the
river and the docks. Foreigners are much struck with all they saw, there
and elsewhere. Thence I started on an expedition to the lakes, got to
Bowness, found nothing but torrents of rain, a hurricane of wind, cold
and discomfort; so came back to town after taking a look at Windermere,
without going on to Derwentwater and Ullswater, as I had intended. I
found London expiring, and the Session drawing to a close; Government
safe if not sound; two election defeats, Knaresborough and Scarborough,
have a bad aspect; John Russell is mortified at the last and disgusted
with Londesborough, whom he made a Peer, and whose agents took active
part in favour of G. F. Young. The Ecclesiastical Titles Bill has passed
the Lords by an enormous majority, after a tolerable debate. Brougham
and Derby both absent. The Jews are again defeated, and kicking and
plunging in the House of Commons, and going to try their case in a Court
of Law. They will not take the oath as it stands, which I would do if I
were a Jew. They have so far committed themselves against that course,
that they perhaps cannot now take it without inconsistency and
dishonour; but it would have been their best course if they had thought
of it at first. As it is, the Lords will not give way, but it is an
awkward question to have continually agitated. I have not seen Graham
for many weeks, but John Russell told me he had been acting a very
friendly part.

_The Grove, September 7th._--After four years' absence during
Clarendon's viceroyalty I find myself here again, glad to revisit a
place where I have passed so much agreeable time, glad to be in my old
room, and look upon the pictures, which are like old and familiar
acquaintances. My journalising has grown very slack; instead of one book
in three months or four, I have written half a book in six. I had
contemplated a summary of the Session, but abandoned it in disgust, and
I have never met with anybody or heard anything sufficient to rouse me
from my idleness and indifference for weeks or even months past. I did
indeed breakfast at Grote's one morning to meet Léon Faucher, the French
Minister of the Interior, and had some talk with him about French
politics, from which I brought away nothing particular except his
defence of centralisation, and his confident prediction that Louis
Napoleon would be re-elected. I have myself been so occupied with
racing, at which I have been generally successful, that I have hardly
thought of politics. For a long time I had not seen Graham. The Duke of
Bedford and I have ceased to correspond, and we seldom meet, so that my
sources of political information have been nearly dried up. One day,
however, not long ago, the Duke of Bedford came to me and told me that
Lord John had a great disposition to invite Graham to join the Cabinet,
and asked me what I thought of it. I said that I was against it, and
thought he had better strengthen his Government by his own friends; that
a Cabinet could only become stronger by the accession of persons who
would be well received, and between whom and those they joined there
would be feelings of cordiality and mutual confidence, which would not
be the case between Graham and the Whigs; that they disliked him, and
had no mind to have him; while he was not only aware of, but
exaggerated, their repugnance and dislike of him. The Duke said he took
the same view that I did, and should tell Lord John so. Some time after,
about a fortnight ago, he came to me again, and said Lord John had made
up his mind to make an overture to Graham, had broached it to the
Cabinet, who had consented, that others were to be invited with him, but
it was not settled who. Some were for Gladstone, some for Newcastle,
almost all for Cardwell; but what he had particularly to say to me was
this, that Lord John felt the difficulty and delicacy of this intended
negotiation with Graham; that he should not like to make an offer to be
refused; and as much discussion would be necessary he wished it to be
carried on through me, and that I should undertake to make the
overtures. I said that I should of course be ready to do anything Lord
John wished in the matter, and I suppose it will end in my having to
undertake the negotiation.


_September 23rd._--At the Grove on Saturday last, where I heard, with
some surprise, that George Lewis had been sent to Netherby a day or two
before with John Russell's proposals to Graham. He took a memorandum
with a frank and friendly offer, but I was quite sure it would not be
accepted, when I learnt that it was the Board of Control for himself,
and the Under Secretaryship of the Colonies for Frederic Peel. He was
informed that all the Cabinet concurred in the offer, and wished him to
join them; and their idea was, that if he was not indisposed, the Office
would not signify, besides that the India Board would be important nest
year, when the Charter of the East India Company had to be renewed. As
Graham had said he had no connexions, and the only man he cared about
was Frederick Peel, they offered him this office in place of Hawes,
which would be of consequence, as he would have to do all the House of
Commons work. It seems George Lewis himself did not expect this offer
would be accepted, nor did Clarendon, who told me this when I got to the
Grove on Saturday. Accordingly, the next morning, Sunday, a letter
arrived from George Lewis to his wife, informing her that Graham had
declined, and this is all I have as yet heard about it.

I went last week to Hickleton Hall for Doncaster Races, but there was
nobody there, and I had little or no conversation with Charles Wood.
Lady Mary spoke to me about John Russell, and lamented that he was so
careless and indifferent in his relations with the Court, exhibiting
such a contrast to Sir Robert Peel, who was so full of zeal and
attention, and ready on all occasions to give the Queen advice and
assistance in whatever way she might require it. This was _à propos_ of
their having asked him for his opinion and advice on some matter, when
he sent no answer at all. She thought very justly that this was
impolitic as well as wrong.

_September 27th._--George Lewis called on me the other day, and told me
all that passed between Graham and himself. He had written to him
previously, saying he had a message to deliver from John Russell, and
asking him to receive it at Netherby. They met at Carlisle, and George
Lewis says he is sure Graham guessed the purport of his visit, and had
already made up his mind to decline. He proposed forthwith to open the
matter to him, but Graham would not let him, and said, 'We will
talk of business to-morrow.' He evidently shirked the subject,
evinced no curiosity to hear his errand, and tried to put off the
_éclaircissement_. The next day after breakfast Graham proposed a walk,
when George Lewis opened the business, saying he was sent to ask him to
join the Government. Graham immediately began to make all sorts of
objections, talked of various matters and made many criticisms, and said
it was out of the question. Lewis argued the point with him, without
making any impression, and at last said, 'Well, but you had better let
me tell you what the offer is.' Graham replied he did not want to hear
it, and it was better he should not tell him. The other insisted, saying
he should not have fulfilled his mission unless he communicated the
offer, when Graham agreed to hear it. Lewis says he thinks he was rather
pleased than otherwise with the offer, particularly with that part of it
which concerned Frederic Peel. He said this was a very advantageous
offer to him. However, it made no difference, and ultimately he came
away, bringing with him a memorandum for John Russell which Graham
wrote, setting forth the reasons of his refusal. I was not sorry to hear
that on the subject of reform he was an alarmist, and only afraid lest
Lord John should go too far. So ends this negotiation, and I am glad
that Lewis was sent instead of myself upon so abortive a mission.


_October 10th._--Lord Granville returned to England a few days ago, when
I told him what had passed about Graham. He told me that he had known
what had taken place on the subject some time ago, when the resistance
in the Cabinet to his being invited was so great that it was given up.
The man most against it was Palmerston, and he wanted offers to be made
to Gladstone instead. If Graham had known this, it would have served to
improve his disposition to decline the offer.

_London, November 8th._--I was not aware till I opened this book that a
month had elapsed since I had written a line in it. At Newmarket I
seldom hear or think of politics, but this time an incident occurred in
which I took a part, and which was very near leading to serious
consequences. About three weeks ago Kossuth arrived in England, and was
received at Southampton and Winchester with prodigious demonstrations
and a great uproar on the part of Mayors and Corporations, the rabble
and a sprinkling of Radicals, of whom the most conspicuous were Cobden
and Dudley Stuart. While Kossuth was still at Southampton, but about to
proceed to London, on Monday, October 24th, I received a letter from my
brother Henry, informing me that he had just received information that
Palmerston was going to receive Kossuth, and he entreated me, if I had
any influence with the Government, to try and prevent such an outrage,
and that he believed if it was done Buol would be recalled. I could not
doubt that the information from such a quarter was correct, and it was
confirmed by a notice in one of the pro-Kossuth papers, that Lord
Palmerston was going to receive Mr. Kossuth 'privately and
unofficially.' Thinking that it would be an outrage, and one in all
probability attended with serious consequences, I resolved to write to
John Russell at once. I sent him a copy of my brother's letter, only
putting the names in blank, said that the authority on which this was
notified to me compelled me to attend to it, and added, 'I send you this
without comment; you will deal with it as you think fit, "liberavi
animam meam."' The result of this communication was that Lord John
Russell addressed a remonstrance to Lord Palmerston. Lord Palmerston
replied with his usual audacity that 'he would not be dictated to and
should receive whomsoever he pleased in his own house, but that his
office was at the disposal of the Government.' On receiving this answer
Lord John instantly summoned a Cabinet and laid it before them.
Ministers were of opinion (all but one) that Lord Palmerston should not
receive Kossuth, and he accordingly submitted to the decision of his

They are in great perplexity about this new measure of Reform, and how
to concoct it. Lord John, who hates details, and the collection and
examination of statistics, chose to entrust the first consideration of
it to a Committee of the Cabinet, consisting of Minto, Carlisle, and
Charles Wood. The first two are strange men to appoint, and the whole
business was in fact committed to Wood. He undertook to collect the
necessary statistics, and he began by expressing an opinion that they
should commence the work by disfranchisement, get rid of such small
boroughs as still remained--a new Schedule A. This the Duke of Bedford
strongly combated. Since that Charles Wood says the more he goes into
the matter the more difficulty he finds. He is, however, to lay his
statistics before Lord John, and it will probably end in the latter
concocting some scheme. There have been reports rife of dissensions in
the Cabinet about Reform, which is quite untrue, as no discussion has
yet taken place. I told Lord Lansdowne that many people were alarmed at
the prospect of a new Reform Bill, but still relied upon him, and
considered his being in the Cabinet a guarantee that no strong measure
would be proposed. He replied, 'They may rely with entire confidence on
me, for you may be sure that if any strong measure was to be
contemplated by the Cabinet, I should immediately walk out of it.'


_November 16th._--I was at Windsor for a Council on Friday. There I saw
Palmerston and Lord John mighty merry and cordial, talking and laughing
together. Those breezes leave nothing behind, particularly with
Palmerston, who never loses his temper, and treats everything with
gaiety and levity. The Queen is vastly displeased with the Kossuth
demonstrations, especially at seeing him received at Manchester with as
much enthusiasm as attended her own visit to that place. The numbers and
the noise that have hailed Kossuth have certainly been curious, but not
one individual of station or consideration has gone near him, which
cannot fail to mortify him deeply. Delane is just come from Vienna,
where he had a long interview with Schwarzenberg, who treated, or at
least affected to do so, the Kossuth reception with contempt and

_November 22nd._--At Brocket on Tuesday and Wednesday last. I found
Beauvale knew all about the Palmerston and Kossuth affair, and was of
course mightily pleased at his brother-in-law's defeat, and at the
interview not having taken place. But on Wednesday afternoon we were
both of us astounded at reading in the paper the account of the
deputation to Palmerston, the addresses and his answers.[140] We both
agreed that he had only _reculé pour mieux sauter_, and that what he had
now done was a great deal worse and more offensive than if he had
received Kossuth. The breach of faith and the defiance towards John
Russell and his colleagues are flagrant, and the whole affair
astonishing even in him who has done such things that nothing ought to
astonish me. I am waiting with the greatest curiosity to see what John
Russell will do, and how he will take it, and how it will be taken by
the Queen and the foreign Courts and Ministers. To receive an address in
which the Emperors of Russia and Austria are called despots, tyrants,
and odious assassins, and to express great gratification at it, is an
unparalleled outrage, and when to this is added a speech breathing
Radical sentiments and interference, it is difficult to believe that the
whole thing can pass off without notice. But I have seen such repeated
instances of lukewarmness and pusillanimous submission to Palmerston
that I have little or no expectation of his colleagues taking it up
seriously; and if they do stir in the matter Palmerston, with his usual
mixture of effrontery and adroitness, will contrive to pacify them and
get rid of the whole thing, and then go on as before. I think, however,
this is on the whole the worst thing he has ever done. The public do not
know how bad it is, because they do not know what had previously passed
in the Cabinet, and its consequences. In the great squabbles on the
Syrian question, and again on the Greek, he had a great advantage
because they were all committed with him and could not consistently go
against him, but this is a very different affair in all its bearings.
The ostentatious bidding for Radical favour and the flattery of the
democracy, of which his speeches were full, are disgusting in themselves
and full of danger. It is evident that he has seized the opportunity of
the Kossuth demonstrations to associate himself with them, and convert
the popular excitement into political capital for himself. He thinks to
make himself too formidable, by having the masses at his back, for his
colleagues to dare to quarrel with him, and by this audacious defiance
of them he intends to make himself once for all master of the situation.
If they endure this tamely he will be their master, and henceforward
they must do his bidding, be it what it may.[141]

[Footnote 140: [On November 18, a deputation from Finsbury and Islington
waited upon Lord Palmerston to congratulate him on the liberation of
Kossuth. Lord Palmerston took the opportunity of expressing his strong
sympathy and that of the British nation with the Hungarian cause.]]

[Footnote 141: [This transaction, which was little known at the time and
is now forgotten, derives importance from the events which followed, and
which led to Lord Palmerston's expulsion from the Cabinet. The proximate
cause of that rupture was his unauthorised approval of the _coup d'état_
in France on December 2. But that incident was only the crowning
incident of a long series of disputes recorded in these pages, which had
rendered Lord Palmerston's autocracy in the Foreign Office alike
intolerable to the Court and to his colleagues.]]


Kossuth is at last gone, but promising to return in a few weeks, and
openly announcing that he does so for the purpose of stirring up war
against Austria, and a great democratic movement for the liberation of
Hungary and all other countries under absolute Governments, in which he
expects England to take a conspicuous part; and his last injunction and
entreaty to his friends is to agitate for this purpose. His last speech
is by far the most open and significant that he has delivered, and
exhibits his confidence, well or ill founded, in the progress he has
made. That he is very able, and especially a great speaker, cannot be
denied; but I take it that a more hypocritical, unscrupulous,
mischievous adventurer never existed. His speeches here have been very
clever, but I derive a higher idea of his oratorical power from a
speech, reported in the 'Times' on Wednesday last, which he made in the
Hungarian Diet upon the question of employing Hungarian troops in Italy,
which was admirable, and reminded me of Plunket in lucidity and
closeness of reasoning.

_November 24th._--Yesterday morning Disraeli called on me to speak to me
about his work, 'The Life of George Bentinck,' which he has written and
is just going to bring out. I read him a part of my sketch of his
character. I found that he meant to confine it to his political career
of the last three years of his existence, and to keep clear of racing
and all his antecedent life. He seems to have formed a very just
conception of him, having, however, seen the best of him, and therefore
taking a more favourable view of his character than I, who knew him
longer and better, could do. I asked him, supposing George Bentinck had
lived, what he thought he would have done, and how he would have
succeeded as a Minister and Leader of a Government in the House of
Commons if his party had come in. He said he would have failed. There
were, besides, the defects of his education and want of flexibility in
his character. In his speaking there were physical defects he never
could have got over, and as it had been proved that he could not lead an
Opposition, still less would he have been able to lead a Government. He
said, what is very true, that he had not a particle of conceit; he was
very obstinate, but had no vanity. Disraeli thinks Henry Bentinck very
clever too. He told me his book was to contain a character of Peel which
had never been described. I asked him if he would like to see what I had
written about him. Very much, he said, so I gave it to him.

I find there are not two opinions about Palmerston's conduct, and those
who think so are ignorant how bad it is, because they know nothing of
what passed between Lord John and him. I have had two long letters from
Graham all about Palmerston and the new Reform Bill. With regard to the
latter he is full of gloomy apprehensions, and seems in a state of
contradiction with himself, desperately afraid lest John Russell should
go too far, and equally afraid he should not go far enough. With all his
ability he is a most strange and inconsistent politician. It is
impossible to know what he will do, and I suspect he does not know
himself. He writes to me one day full of alarm lest the Queen's Speech
should contain anything binding the Government to go considerable
lengths, and expressing strong hopes that the Court will resist any
proposal of the sort. The next day he says, unless they disfranchise I
know not how many boroughs, they will give no satisfaction, be deserted
by the Radicals, and he is not at all sure that the Conservatives will
support them; in short, his fears assume the most different shapes, and
it is pretty clear that whatever the Government proposes he will find
fault with their plan.

_December 2nd._--I was at the Grange last week from Wednesday to
Saturday. There I met Walewski, who talked to me a great deal about
Palmerston, whose character he seems to understand pretty well. He said
that nothing could be more _aimable_ than he was to him personally, or
more civil and obliging in their intercourse, but from the experience he
had already had of him he was convinced that, if France got over her
present difficulties and acquired a settled and permanent Government, so
as to be able to attend to foreign affairs, in which her domestic
troubles now prevented her from exercising any influence, six months
would not elapse without a quarrel of some sort taking place between the
two Governments. He then spoke of his interference, his _procédés_, and
his invincible obstinacy, which made it impossible to make any
impression on him, and he told me of two recent cases, one regarding
Greece, the other Sicily.


It seems that many months ago Wyse wrote an account to Palmerston of the
frightful brigandage that was going on in Greece, not, however,
pretending that there was any complaint to make on the part of British
subjects. On this Palmerston wrote a despatch in his usual style of
objurgation, bitterly reproaching the Greek Government for not putting
the brigandage down. The Greek Government, angry and frightened,
appealed to the French and the Russian Ministers, from whom of course
they received sympathy and comfort, and recently the Greek Minister has
sent 'a very strong answer.' This fresh squabble is probably by no means
distasteful to either the French or Russian Governments, particularly
the latter, and will have the effect of throwing Greece into the arms of
the Emperor. I do not know what the political effect of such dependence
may be, nor how British interests may be affected by it, but this result
is almost inevitable, and, whatever the consequences may be, is owing to
Palmerston's violence.

The case of Sicily is eminently characteristic. During the troubles in
'48 a destruction occurred of the property of English and other
foreigners, both at Naples and in Sicily, for which their respective
Governments required an indemnity. A Commission was appointed,
consisting of the French, Austrian, and English Ministers, and I think
the Russian. All the claims were laboriously investigated, and after
above a year of enquiry, the Commissioners came to a decision, and
allotted the amount of compensation they thought due, which was to be
paid in inscriptions in the Grand Livre or Neapolitan funds. This award
was regularly drawn up and signed by Sir William Temple. It was sent
home, when, after some delay, Palmerston sent it back and said the money
was not enough, and he arbitrarily fixed a higher sum to be given to the
English. Of this the Neapolitan Government bitterly complained, and the
other Commissioners considered it unwarrantable and unfair. After a
great deal of remonstrance and discussion, Palmerston proving
inexorable, the Neapolitans gave way. They then considered the affair
settled; but not at all. Palmerston then sent it back again, and said
the allotted sum should not be paid in stock, but in money. Walewski
told me this as I have written it down. In the course of the dispute he
arrived here, and very soon had to discuss the matter with Palmerston.
He represented to him that the English claims had already been treated
with peculiar favour and a very large indemnity granted, that Temple was
quite satisfied, and had subscribed to the award, and he pointed out the
injustice of fresh demands being superadded from hence. He had a
conversation of two hours with Palmerston, who listened with great
politeness, appeared struck by Walewski's representations, and ended by
saying, 'Well, I will write to Temple about it.' Walewski went away,
fancying he had produced a great effect, and that Palmerston was going
to write to Temple to relax the rigour of his exactions; but he did not
then know his man, and was only undeceived when he found afterwards that
he had written to Temple, but only to desire him to press his demands,
and exact a concession to them to the uttermost farthing.

_December 3rd._--At twelve o'clock yesterday morning the wonderful
Electric Telegraph brought us word that two hours before the President
had accomplished his _Coup d'État_ at Paris with success. Everybody
expected it would happen, nobody that it would happen so soon. Madame de
Lieven wrote to Beauvale on Sunday, giving him an account of the efforts
that were making by the Moderates, Guizot at the head of them, to bring
about a reconciliation and compromise with the President, and auguring
success. She says, 'Beaucoup de personnes prétendent que tout en ayant
l'air de s'y prêter, le Président n'a pas grande envie de ce moyen; un
Coup d'État le ferait mieux arriver: il s'y est tout préparé, la troupe
est à lui, le pays aussi.' She little thought that in twenty-four hours
the _Coup d'État_ 'allait éclater,' and that all was in preparation for
it, while he was amusing the Burgraves and Moderates with negotiations
and _pourparlers_, in which he was never serious.


_Panshanger, December 14th._--Naturally the French Revolution has
absorbed all interest. The success of Louis Napoleon's _Coup d'État_ has
been complete, and his audacity and unscrupulousness marvellous. The
French are indeed a strange people, so restless, fierce, and excitable
that they are ready to upset governments with the smallest possible
show of reason or necessity--with cause as in 1830, or without cause as
in 1848--and they acquiesce without a struggle, and tamely endure the
impudent and vulgar democratic rule of the blackguards and mountebanks
of the Provisional Government at the latter period, and now the
unlimited and severe military despotism of Louis Napoleon. The Press in
this country has generally inveighed with great indignation against him,
very much overdoing the case. Society in general is in a rather neutral
state. Few can approve of his very violent measures and arbitrary acts,
but on the other hand there was such a general feeling of contempt for
the Constitution, and of disgust at the conduct of the Assembly and the
parties which divided it, that nobody lamented their overthrow, or
regarded with the slightest interest or compassion the leaders who have
been so brutally and ignominiously treated. Everybody rejoices at the
misfortunes of Thiers, who is universally regarded as the evil genius of
France and the greatest maker of mischief who ever played a part on the
stage of politics. Flahault, who has been the agent and confidant of the
President, writes word that he has saved France, and it is the object of
his adherents to make the world believe that his measures were rendered
necessary by a Socialist plot, which he has saved the country by putting
down; and besides this we hear of an Orleanist plot, and of the violence
the Assembly was about to have recourse to against him, if he had not
anticipated them. These seem to be, and probably are, mere pretences,
got up to cover his violence with something plausible, and which the
world may swallow; the truth being that he prepared all that he has done
with singular boldness, secrecy adroitness, and success, amusing his
enemies with the semblance of negotiations which he never meant
sincerely to carry out to an end, and relying (as it has turned out that
he could do) upon the Army, by whose aid he has taken all power into his
own hands. Having done so, he resolved to do nothing by halves, and
certainly by the prompt, peremptory, and arbitrary measures he adopted
he has secured present success, given confidence as to the stability of
his Government, raised his own reputation for energy and ability, and in
all probability has prevented a great amount of disorder and bloodshed,
which would have taken place if his success had been less complete than
it was.



    Disraeli's Life of Lord George Bentinck--An approaching
    Storm--Peel's Conduct on the East Retford Franchise in 1830--Death
    of Mr. Luttrell--Dismissal of Lord Palmerston--Lord Clarendon
    declines the Foreign Office--Lord Granville takes the Foreign
    Office--Causes of Lord Palmerston's Dismissal--Effects of the
    Change--The Complete Story--Lord John negotiates with the
    Peelites--Whigs and Peelites--Lord Normanby's Relations with
    Louis Napoleon--Foreign Policy of the Country--Thiers' Account of
    the Coup d'État--Further Details on Palmerston's Dismissal--Lord
    Normanby's Recall--Lord John's Explanations--Change of
    Government--Lord Derby's First Ministry--Lord Palmerston's
    Position--Discredit of the Derby Government--Disraeli's Speech on
    the Budget.

_London, December 19th, 1851._--Mr. Disraeli has sent me his book, the
'Life of Lord George Bentinck,' which, though principally recording very
dry Parliamentary debates, he has managed to make very readable. He does
ample justice to his hero, but I think without exaggeration; and he
certainly makes him out to have been a very remarkable man, with great
ability and a superhuman power of work. It is the more extraordinary
because for above forty years George Bentinck was indolent, and addicted
to none but frivolous pursuits, though he always pursued his pleasurable
occupations in a business-like and laborious manner. The character of
Peel in this book is curious, but I do not think it is unfair, and it is
in a becoming spirit of seriousness and even respect, fully
acknowledging his great qualities, but freely criticising his character
and his career. The Jewish episode is amusing, and I like it for its

Something, but I know not what, has happened about Palmerston. This will
be no quarrel with Austria, because Buol has dined with Palmerston, and
the Emperor has, at last, received Westmorland;[142] but the Duke of
Bedford, who is by turns confidential and mysterious, and who delights
in raising my curiosity and then not satisfying it, has written to me
thus. After a good deal about Lord John's defending Palmerston and his
not approving his conduct, in one strain one day and another the next,
the Duke said there had been a correspondence between them on the
subject, which he was to see. He never said more about it, and to a
question I put to him thereon he sent no answer. In another letter I
alluded to this, but added that it did not now much signify, on which he
writes: 'You attach no importance to the correspondence I told you of,
and do not now care to know about it, but if I am not mistaken you will
ere long change your opinion.'

[Footnote 142: [It was supposed that the Austrian Government had
resented the reception by Lord Palmerston of Kossuth and the Hungarian
refugees. But more serious matters were impending.]]

_London, December 22nd._--A Cabinet has been suddenly called to-day,
which is about the matter the Duke alluded to.

I met Disraeli and told him what I thought of his book. It is difficult
to know what he is at, for, although he knows my opinion of George
Bentinck and of Peel and of Free Trade, he nevertheless wanted me to
review his book in the 'Times,' and he made a sort of indirect overture
to me for the purpose. Of course I said it was out of the question.
Graham is very indignant with Disraeli, and treats his character of Peel
as a great and malignant outrage. In my opinion he is quite wrong. I
sent him my own sketch, which he says is in a more kindly spirit; but he
is evidently not satisfied with it. He tells me one curious anecdote, if
it be true. I have criticised Peel's conduct about the East Retford
franchise just before the Reform Bill, and said he ought to have gone
with Huskisson. Graham says that he wished to do _more_ than Huskisson;
that Peel in the Cabinet supported the more Liberal measure, but was
overruled, and he yielded to the opinion of the majority, whereas
Huskisson took the other side in the Cabinet, but got frightened
afterwards, and supported in the House of Commons what he had opposed in
the Cabinet. If this be true, it was very disgraceful of Huskisson, but
it does not exonerate Peel. On the contrary, I think it makes his case
worse. He clearly ought to have resigned rather than take the course he
did, if such were his opinions.


On Friday last Mr. Luttrell died, at the age of eighty-one, having been
long ill and confined to his bed with great suffering. When I first came
into the world, nearly forty years ago, he was one of the most brilliant
members of society, celebrated for his wit and repartee, and for many
years we lived in great intimacy and in the same society. He was the
natural son of old Lord Carhampton, but was always on bad terms with his
father. He had been a member of the Irish Parliament, and obtained a
place, afterwards commuted for a pension, on which he lived. He never
took any part in public life, was always in narrow circumstances, and
had the air, and I think the feeling, of a disappointed man. He was, in
fact, conscious of powers which ought to have raised him to a higher
place than that which he occupied in the world. Why he never did
advance, whether it was from pride and shyness, or from disinclination,
or the unkind neglect of those who might have helped him on, I know not.
As it was, he never had any but a social position, but that was one of
great eminence and success. He was looked upon as one of the most
accomplished, agreeable, and entertaining men of his day; he lived in
the very best society, was one of the cherished and favoured _habitués_
of Holland House, and the intimate friend and associate of Sydney Smith,
Rogers, Lord Dudley, and all the men most distinguished in politics,
literature, or social eminence. Rogers and Luttrell especially were
always bracketed together, intimate friends, seldom apart, and always
hating, abusing, and ridiculing each other. Luttrell's _bons mots_ and
repartees were excellent, but he was less caustic, more good-natured,
but in some respects less striking in conversation, than his companion,
who had more knowledge, more imagination, and, though in a different
way, as much wit. His literary performances were few and far between,
consisting of little more than occasional verses, and 'Crockford House,'
an amusing but rather flimsy satire. His contribution to the pleasures
of society was in talk, and he was too idle and too much of a Sybarite
to devote himself to any grave and laborious pursuit. There are,
however, so many more good writers than good talkers, and the two
qualities are so rarely found united in the same person, that we owe a
debt of gratitude to Luttrell for having cultivated his conversational
rather than his literary powers, and for having adorned and delighted
society for so many years with his remarkable vivacity and wit. It used
to be said that he was less amusing, though in the same style, as his
father; but of this I cannot judge, as I do not remember Lord
Carhampton. Luttrell had excellent qualities, was an honourable,
high-minded gentleman, true and sincere, grateful for kindness and
attentions without being punctilious or exacting, full of good feelings
and warm affections, a man of excellent sense, a philosopher in all
things, and especially in religion. For several years past he had
disappeared from the world, and lived in great retirement, suffering
under much bad health and bodily pain, but cheerful and in possession of
his faculties nearly to the last. His death has removed one of the last
survivors of a brilliant generation, a conspicuous member of such a
society as the world has rarely seen, nothing approaching to which
exists at present, and such as perhaps it will never see again.


_December 23rd._--_Palmerston is out!_--actually, really, and
irretrievably out. I nearly dropped off my chair yesterday afternoon,
when at five o'clock, a few moments after the Cabinet had broken up,
Granville rushed into my room and said, 'It is none of the things we
talked over; Pam is out, the offer of the Foreign Office goes to
Clarendon to-night, and if he refuses, which of course he will not, it
is to be offered to me!!' Well might the Duke of Bedford say I should
'change my opinion,' and soon think this correspondence did signify, for
it was on the matter which led to the fall of Palmerston. Granville came
to town on Saturday, not knowing (as none of the Ministers did) what the
Cabinet was about. On Sunday he received a note from John Russell,
begging him not to come to it, and telling him he would afterwards
inform him why. This of course surprised him, but after going about
amongst such of his colleagues as were here, he arrived at the
conclusion that the matter related to foreign affairs, that Normanby was
to be recalled, and the Paris Embassy offered to him, or that he was to
be sent to Paris on a special mission. We discussed these contingencies
together with all other changes of office which occurred to us, but we
neither of us dreamt of the truth. It now appears that the cause of
Palmerston's dismissal, for dismissed he is, is his having committed the
Government to a full and unqualified approval of Louis Napoleon's _Coup
d'État_, which he did in conversation with Walewski, but so formally and
officially, that Walewski wrote word to his own Government that ours
approved entirely of all that Louis Napoleon had done. Upon this piece
of indiscretion, to which it is probable that Palmerston attached no
importance, being so used to act off his own bat, and never dreaming of
any danger from it, Lord John determined to act. I do not know the
details of the correspondence, only that he signified to Palmerston his
displeasure at his having thus committed the Government to an
approbation they did not feel, and it ended in his turning Palmerston
out, for this was in fact what he did. But though this was the pretext,
the _causa causans_ was without any doubt the Islington speech and
deputations, and his whole conduct in that affair. The Queen had deeply
resented it, and had had a discussion with Lord John about it, for he
rather defended Palmerston, and accepted his excuses and denials. It is
evident that he did this, because he did not dare to quarrel with him on
grounds which would have enabled him to cast himself on the Radicals, to
appeal to all the Kossuthian sympathies of the country, and to represent
himself as the victim of our disgraceful subserviency to Austria. But
having thus passed over what would have been a sufficient cause of
quarrel, he at once seized upon one much less sufficient, but which was
not liable to the same difficulties and objections. In fully approving
Louis Napoleon's _coup d'état_, Palmerston has taken a part against the
feelings of the Radicals, and if the cause of the quarrel is made
public, their approval will _ad hoc_ be rather with John Russell than
with him.

_December 24th._--To my unspeakable astonishment Granville informed me
yesterday that Clarendon had refused the Foreign Office, and that he had
accepted it. Lord John must have given notice to Clarendon the day
before the Cabinet that he was going to propose him, or they could not
have heard yesterday. Clarendon declined, and advised Lord John to offer
it to Granville, which he instantly did, and the thing was settled at
once. I have not yet heard from Clarendon, and am curious to know his
motives for refusing an appointment which I should have thought would be
not only peculiarly agreeable to him, but which would have enabled him
to quit Ireland in so honourable a manner. In no other way could he have
left his present post, just after the recent trial of Birch _v._
Somerville, and this trial with its disclosures must render it
particularly irksome to him to stay there. Granville, albeit conscious
of the greatness of the weight, accepted the office without a moment's

_Brocket, Christmas Day._--I received a letter from Clarendon yesterday
afternoon with his reasons for declining. They are very poor ones, and
amount to little more than his being afraid of Palmerston, first of his
suspecting it was an intrigue to get rid of him, and secondly, of the
difficulties Palmerston would throw in his way at the Foreign Office. He
had advised Lord John to take Granville, but he said if it was
absolutely necessary, he would accept. I can't help thinking he will be
mortified at his advice being so immediately taken. His conduct has been
to my mind very pusillanimous and unworthy of him.


Beauvale has had a long letter from Lady Palmerston with her version of
the whole affair, which is true in the main, but as favourably coloured
towards Pam as the case will admit of. She is in a high state of
indignation and resentment, and bitter against Lord John and the
colleagues who did not support Palmerston. They evidently expected when
the Cabinet met the other day, that the colleagues would have
pronounced Lord John's ground of quarrel insufficient, and protested
against his dismissal, and they are extremely mortified that nothing of
the kind was done. She complained that Palmerston's best friends were
absent. Not one person at the Cabinet said a word for him or made an
effort to keep him, but this she does not know. Her account is as
follows. On December 3rd Palmerston told Walewski _in conversation_ that
he thought the President was fully justified in his _coup d'état_, as
plots were hatching against him. He says that he expressed his
approbation in this conditional form. Walewski wrote to Turgot what
Palmerston had said, and at the same time Palmerston wrote a very strong
letter to Normanby, finding fault with his conduct, and advising him to
hold language calculated to satisfy the President that he was not
unfriendly to him, as he had reason to believe that the President did
regard him as so inimical, that he was meditating an application to the
British Government to recall him. Whatever Palmerston really did say to
Walewski, we may safely assume that Walewski made the most of it to
Turgot, and that he did convey to him the unqualified approbation of the
English Government, and Turgot probably communicated Walewski's despatch
to Normanby. Normanby was exceedingly annoyed at this communication, and
wrote to John Russell, conveying to him what had passed, and complaining
of the ill-usage he had received. Lord John shortly after wrote to
Palmerston, sent him a Minute of the Queen's, in which Her Majesty
expressed her displeasure at Palmerston's having committed her
Government by an unqualified approbation of the President's measures,
and he added from himself that he agreed with her, and thought
Palmerston had acted with great indiscretion, that he was tired of these
repeated difficulties and disputes, and he had to inform him that it was
the wish of the Queen to transfer the Foreign Office to other hands.
Palmerston wrote a reply, stating his readiness to give up the seals
whenever his successor should be appointed. He defended his own conduct,
denied that he had committed the Government, and said he had only
expressed his own individual opinion, and that a qualified one, and
then set forth the inconvenience there would be if a Minister could not
hold friendly communication with an Ambassador in his own person,
without being supposed to commit the whole Cabinet, in mere
conversation. It did not appear to me that the excuses he made,
according to Lady Palmerston's own account of them, were very good ones,
and they were not likely to produce any effect upon Lord John, who had
evidently already determined to get rid of him. What more passed I do
not know, but from her letter they clearly entertained some hopes that
Palmerston's position was still retrievable; that when the Cabinet met,
his colleagues would make an effort to retain him; and that in spite of
what Lord John had written to him he would have kept his post if he
could. It seems incredible that any man of high spirit and with a spark
of pride should consent to stay in office after being told by the Prime
Minister that he had been indiscreet, that the Prime Minister was tired
of his repeated misconduct, and that the Queen wished to get rid of him.
But it seems by what Lady Palmerston says, that he would have swallowed
all this if he could have made it up. She writes in a spirit of great
bitterness and resentment, and intimates her belief that the ground
taken by Lord John was merely a pretext, and not the real cause of what
had been done. In this she was quite right. The case is cumulative,
though the Paris communication is made the pretext of Lord John's _coup
d'état_. Beauvale thinks the last and ostensible cause is insufficient,
and that Lord John would have done better to act at once on the matter
of the Islington deputations. I am inclined to think it is sufficient,
though far less strong than the other, and it would have been more
straightforward as well as bold to have acted on the first occasion, and
I believe it would have been quite as safe. Labouchere, a very
honourable man, told me, when all was known, he thought Lord John's
conduct would come out in a very favourable light. So probably there are
circumstances which Lady Palmerston suppresses, which would not improve
Palmerston's case. The most striking circumstance in all this affair is
the conduct of John Russell. He took it up, and without imparting what
he was about to any of his colleagues, leaving them all completely in
the dark, he and the Queen settled the whole thing between them. For
nearly three weeks a correspondence was going on between the Queen, Lord
John, and Palmerston, of which not one word transpired, and which was
known to nobody but the Duke of Bedford. None of the Ministers had the
least idea why they were summoned. Lord Grey and Lord Lansdowne and Sir
Francis Baring all came up together from the Grange, asking each other
what it was about; nor was it till they were all assembled in the
Cabinet room in Downing Street that they were apprised of the astounding
fact that Palmerston had ceased to be their colleague. The secret was as
well kept as Louis Napoleon's, and the _coup d'état_ nearly as important
and extraordinary.


_London, December 27th._--A Council at Windsor. Palmerston did not come,
but desired Lord Eddisbury to send the seals to Lord John. Nevertheless
he was expected, and the Queen would wait for him above an hour. It now
turns out that the Foreign Office was not offered to Clarendon at all.
In his letter to me he says, It cannot be said that I refused what was
never offered me. Lord John wrote him word on Sunday that it would be
offered him; but the offer, which Granville told me on Monday afternoon
was gone, never did go. All along the Queen and Lord John wished to have
Granville instead of Clarendon. He tells me that when I know all that
has passed between John Russell and himself, I shall see he could not
possibly accept it. Lord Lansdowne was evidently put out by what he
heard yesterday. He said to me, 'You know it was offered to Clarendon.'
I said, 'He does not so consider it.' 'Oh! it certainly was. It was
clearly so understood in the Cabinet, when I left it on Monday, and I
wrote to him myself.' I said he had better enquire, and he would find no
offer was sent. He then talked to John Russell and Grey, and I asked him
afterwards, when he shrugged his shoulders and said I was right; but he
did not understand it. The truth is oozing out by degrees. Grey and I
had some talk about it, when I told him that I thought the former
ground, the reception of the deputations, the stronger of the two, and I
should have turned him out then, and he said he agreed with me. Madame
de Lieven writes in transports of joy, and on the whole the satisfaction
seems very general. Granville is very popular at Manchester and with the
Free Traders, which is a great thing; and as he is more of a Reformer
than Palmerston, he will not be attacked in that quarter. Brooks's and
the ultra Whigs and Radicals are sulky, but don't quite know what to
make of it. It seems Lord John struck the blow at last with great
reluctance; but having made up his mind, he did it boldly.

Bunsen told Reeve a version of the story, which he got from Stockmar,
and which came direct from the Court. Normanby wrote home for
instructions. At a Cabinet (on the 8th) it was determined that he should
be instructed to abstain from expressing any opinion, but to act with
perfect civility and every expression of international amity towards the
President, but with reserve. Lord John went down to Osborne on the 9th,
and informed the Queen of the resolution of the Cabinet. If, as Lady
Palmerston says, the conversation with Walewski had taken place before
this, Palmerston did not tell the Cabinet what he had said to the
Ambassador; but, be this as it may, they say he did not act in the
spirit of the Cabinet resolution, but in that of his own communication,
which was very different. I expect that it will not be easy to make a
good case out of this, especially as the Queen's name must not be
brought in. Palmerston, who is so adroit and unscrupulous, will deny
half he said, and find plausible excuses for the other half, and will
probably make it appear that the ostensible _casus querelæ_ was not the
real one. However, in matters of this sort, Lord John is tolerably
dexterous too, and he may have better materials than I am aware of to


M. de Flahault arrived last night, and came here this morning to talk to
Granville. He said that Palmerston's dismissal and the cause of it, as
hinted at in the newspapers, had produced a disagreeable impression at
the Elysée, especially after all the violence of the press. He said he
had told the President that what he had done could not fail to shock
English feelings and prejudices, and the press was sure to hold such
language. He received from Granville assurances as pacific as he could
desire, and he will probably have little difficulty in satisfying the
President and his Government that they will lose nothing by the change.
I have seen to-day an admirable letter of Guizot's, full of a melancholy
resignation to a state of things he abhors, commiserating and ashamed of
the condition of his country. He says if he was disposed to triumph over
his enemies _il a bien de quoi_. Where, he asks, is Thiers, where is the
Republic, where is Palmerston? France is now so frightened at Socialism,
and so bent on averting the peril of anarchy, that she will submit to
anything. But this panic will one day pass away, and the Government
cannot be carried on for ever by soldiers and peasants, and in spite of
all the intellect and all the elevated classes in the country.

Yesterday Granville was with Palmerston for three hours. He received him
with the greatest cordiality and good humour. 'Ah, how are you,
Granville? Well, you have got a very interesting office, but you will
find it very laborious; seven or eight hours' work every day will be
necessary for the current business, besides the extraordinary and
Parliamentary, and with less than that you will fall into arrears.' He
then entered into a complete history of our diplomacy, gave him every
sort of information, and even advice; spoke of the Court without
bitterness, and in strong terms of the Queen's 'sagacity;' ended by
desiring Granville would apply to him when he pleased for any
information or assistance he could give him. This is very creditable,
and, whatever may come after it, very wise, gentlemanlike, becoming, and

_London, January 2nd, 1852._--Though I have given the story of the late
rupture in scraps, and have not made many mistakes, I can now state the
case in a more clear and connected manner, and though this entails
repetition I am going to do it. It is best to go back to the first
Kossuth affair. I need only say as to this, that when Lord John brought
it before the Cabinet he was supported against Palmerston by every
member of it except one, and that was Lord Lansdowne. It is clear enough
why he took Palmerston's part. He had already committed himself by
receiving Pulsky at Bowood, two years ago. This made some noise at the
time, but it passed off. But he no doubt thought it would be
inconsistent to find fault with Palmerston for doing what he had already
done with regard to a refugee less celebrated, but not less obnoxious
than Kossuth. Then came the Islington deputations and the speeches. Upon
this, though very indignant, more than I was aware of, Lord John did not
think it safe and therefore expedient to quarrel with him, but he had a
correspondence with him, in which he expressed his opinion; and at the
end of it he (in the language of the Duke of Bedford) 'drew a moral,
which Palmerston accepted, as the rule for his future conduct.' That is,
he gave him to understand that if he continued his separate and
independent action without the knowledge, and often against the
opinions, of his colleagues, it was impossible to go on. I do not know
the words he employed, but am confident this was the sense. Palmerston
acquiesced in his reply, and said what Lord John considered to be
tantamount to a promise or engagement that the like should not happen
again. It was about a week after, on December 3, that Walewski went to
Palmerston and asked for an expression of his opinion upon the
President's _coup d'état_.[143] Palmerston gave his unqualified
approbation, which, of course, Walewski instantly wrote off to Turgot.
Very soon after, if not before, Normanby wrote home for instructions as
to his conduct in the new state of things. The Cabinet met on the 8th,
and there it was agreed that he should be instructed to adopt a friendly
but reserved tone, and abstain from any expression of opinion one way or
another on the acts of the President. On receipt of this he went to
Turgot, and when he spoke to him in the prescribed tone the French
Minister said he was already acquainted with the sentiments of the
British Government, and he produced Walewski's despatch informing him of
Lord Palmerston's unqualified approval of all that had been done. Of
course Normanby was thunderstruck at this communication, which revealed
a complete difference between Palmerston's assurance to Walewski and his
instructions to himself. Indignant at this, and smarting under
Palmerston's rebukes, he wrote to John Russell and told him what had
occurred. When the Queen learned what had passed, she was disposed to
insist upon Lord John's taking this occasion to get rid of him; but
Stockmar very wisely advised her to do nothing, and told her that the
case was so flagrant, Lord John was almost sure to propose it to her,
which was much better than her proposing it to him. She took this
advice, and accordingly Lord John did come to her, and said this could
not be endured, for it was besides a breach of faith, and he himself
proposed to the Queen that Palmerston should be dismissed from the
Foreign Office. About the same time, too (on the 12th), the Notes of the
three Powers about the refugees had been presented to Palmerston, and he
had never said a word about them. Then ensued the second correspondence,
in which there seems to have been great asperity on both sides. Probably
Palmerston never dreamt of any danger from his conversation with
Walewski, and his surprise was, therefore, as great as his indignation.
He defended himself, as I have already stated, and he refused somewhat
scornfully the Lord-Lieutenancy of Ireland. He said that John Russell
knew very well there were reasons why he could not accept it, and he
endeavoured to turn the offer itself against Lord John, by saying that
it was in itself a sufficient answer to his charge of indiscretion.

[Footnote 143: Flahault told me this, and that Walewski ought not to
have asked any opinion of Palmerston.]


_January 8th._--Graham came to me last night (as I am laid up with the
gout) at a quarter past nine, and went away at twenty minutes after one.
In the course of these four hours we discussed every subject of interest
that now engages attention and, as may be imagined, pretty fully. The
Palmerston catastrophe, its circumstances, merits, bearings and
probable results, Disraeli, the 'Life of George Bentinck,' in the course
of which he mentioned a great many things about Peel, and, lastly, the
political circumstances of the Government, its condition and prospects,
together with his own and those of the party with which he is connected,
or rather some of the leading men of it. It would be impossible, even
were I so disposed, to give even an outline of our long conversation. It
will be sufficient to preserve its general features, and his views on
the present state of things. I have never known him so confidential and
unreserved, nor has he ever before in his previous communications with
me spoken out so entirely. I gathered from him some things I only
imperfectly knew before of John Russell's proceedings with a view to
strengthen himself. What he has done has been with the Duke of
Newcastle, first through the Duke of Bedford, and then by direct
communication with himself. Newcastle came to Graham as soon as he
arrived in town and told him all that had passed. Lord John had invited
him to take office, which Newcastle declined, and he asked him to find
out what Sidney Herbert's disposition was. With regard to Gladstone
(whom Newcastle had alluded to), he had said that he was fully aware of
his great abilities, and should be glad if it was in his power to offer
him office, but he did not see how it could be done, intimating, with
expressions of respect, his disinclination to any connexion in that
quarter. With Cardwell it was different. He asked the Duke to make a
communication to Cardwell, but he would only consent to convey to
Cardwell that he might expect at some indefinite time an offer to be
made to him. This communication, together with what was intended, seems
rather strange; it was to this effect, that Lord Panmure would probably
very soon die being very old and very ill, and when he died and Fox
Maule must in consequence quit the War Office, Lord John would offer
Cardwell that place and a seat in the Cabinet. Graham remarked that this
was a strange proposal, considering that the life of Panmure (who has
been continually dying and recovering for years past) is a better one
than the life of the Government, the latter being the more sick of the


Then as to himself. The Duke said John Russell had asked him to find out
what his (Graham's) disposition was. He could not say to 'sound him,'
for he had made no use of such a term, though he would do so for
shortness. To this Graham replied that the best answer he could make was
to tell him what had passed in September last, and to show him the
memorandum of Lord John to him, and his in return, which he had never
mentioned before but to Lord Aberdeen and one other person, and that the
sentiments he had then expressed he still retained. As the Duke of
Newcastle went to Windsor yesterday, where he was to meet Lord John and
Lord Lansdowne, he will no doubt have told them what passed, and to-day
at the Cabinet Lord John will have to announce that his attempts to
strengthen himself have failed.

Graham's opinions on the whole matter are pretty much the same as those
which Ellice has been circulating amongst his friends. He thinks the
present Government will not get through the next Session; that weak and
unpopular as they are, and still further weakened by the loss of
Palmerston, and surrounded by dangers and enemies on all sides, they
must fall; and he does not think that his joining them, or some of the
other Peelites doing so, with or without himself, would save them. It
will not do to try and patch up the old garment. This Government must be
broken up completely, there must be a _tabula rasa_, and then an attempt
made to construct another on a wider and more comprehensive plan. John
Russell ought to go to the Queen and tell her he cannot go on, and then
she ought to send for Aberdeen and Russell together, and desire them to
set about the formation of a Government. I suggested it would never do
to send for Aberdeen in this way; it would be taken as an insult to
Palmerston, and exasperate one half of the Whigs and render them
unmanageable. The Queen might indeed send for Aberdeen alone, and he
might decline everything for himself, refuse to take office, as no
doubt he would, but advise her to send for Lord John and Graham, and bid
them to form a Government. He agreed to my amendment; acknowledged the
antagonism of Palmerston and Aberdeen would make a difficulty; but
contended that they should be empowered to make a Government of men of
Liberal-Conservative principles, of which John Russell must himself be
the head; that it should be understood that they had _carte blanche_.
Nobody was to have pretensions or _quasi_ right to office on account of
previous tenure, but that they were to make the best and strongest
Administration they could, taking in any efficient men who might be
ready to unite with them on the principles above mentioned. He thought
the best thing for the country would be that this _break up_ should
happen now, before Parliament met, and the attempt at reconstruction
made, while people were still free and uncommitted; but he owned that it
would be very difficult for John Russell, after what had recently
passed, to take such a course. He would not do so himself in his place,
and could not expect him to do so. He might indeed have consistently
given the thing up when he quarrelled with Palmerston, because he had
always said, and repeated it a hundred times, that without Palmerston he
could not go on. But after the Cabinet had agreed to go on, and to
support him in what he had done, it was very difficult for him without
any fresh incident to turn round on them, say he had changed his mind,
and break up the Government. I suggested this last view, which he
concurred in. The end of it was, he said, that Lord John would be
obliged to meet Parliament, fight his battle as best he could, and he
would die in the open field with harness on his back. This result,
sooner or later, he considers certain. As to himself, besides his
general objections to join the Government, he is deeply impressed with
the difficulty of the new Reform Bill. He could not, he says, be a party
to advising the Queen to announce in her Speech that the present system
is all wrong, and must be amended, which he assumes must and will be
done. He recurs again and again to the folly of having moved this
matter, 'set a stone rolling' which they have no power to stop. I
differed from him considerably in what seemed to me the exaggerated view
he takes of this question, and said I did not see why any such
announcement need be made in the Queen's Speech. But he is evidently
afraid to encounter and be mixed up with this matter, on which he feels
deep displeasure, dislike, and much apprehension. He spoke amicably of
John Russell, but was not pleased with his sending George Lewis down to
him, and could not believe he ever seriously expected him to accept an
invitation at that time, and, he contemptuously added, to such an
office; and he rather complained of the formality and stiffness of Lord
John's Memorandum on that occasion. But he appears to have been still
more nettled at having been 'sounded' by Newcastle on the part of Lord
John. 'Why,' he says, 'did not Lord John ask him to come to Chesham
Place, and talk the whole matter over with him frankly?' They have had
so many and such confidential and friendly communications at different
times, that this would have been a most natural and becoming course, or
Lord John might have spoken to me about it; but to get the Duke of
Newcastle, with whom he was on no terms of intimacy or confidence, to
'sound him,' was not the way he might expect to be dealt with. I think
this is a pretty faithful summary of the essential part of what passed
between us on this the most important head. If other things occur to me
of any interest, I will subjoin them.


_January 11th._--Graham came to me again last night. He was more gloomy
in his expectations, and saw nothing but dangers ahead. He had seen
George Lewis and told him all he had said to me. George Lewis had seen
John Russell, and of course repeated it all to him, and the result was
at all events amicable, for he told me that Lord John had sent him a
message by George Lewis to say if he would come to town a day or two
before Parliament met he would tell him what he was going to do. He now
thinks that if this Government is defeated and resigns, Lord John will
refuse to have anything to do with the formation of another, and this
might again bring about a fresh Protectionist attempt. He wavers between
his apprehension of Palmerston joining the Protectionists, and his
doubts of the possibility of such an alliance in the teeth too of the
Queen's antipathy to Palmerston; but he is not at all sure the next
election may not make the Protectionists numerically strong enough to
undertake the task they failed in accomplishing last year. It is not
worth while to record a conversation which was to a certain degree a
repetition of the last, and without any novel matter. He shakes his head
at the prospect of explanations, and thinks John Russell will have a
good deal of difficulty in making out his case.

Then he is moved by the letters written by Lansdowne, Grey, and Charles
Wood to Palmerston expressive of regret at parting with him. It is
pretty evident, that however plausible may be the scheme of a
comprehensive administration, the personal predilections and antipathies
will create enormous difficulties. The Whigs generally hate the
Peelites, and Graham especially. The Peelites hate the Whigs. Mutual
dislike exists between Graham on one side, and Newcastle, Gladstone, and
Sidney Herbert on the other. The three latter are High Churchmen of a
deep colour, which makes it difficult to mix them up with any other
party, so that the Peelite leaders are extremely divided, and the party
is so scattered that it can hardly be called a party. The Whigs, who
really are a party, and, though in a state of great insubordination, do
generally consider themselves one army and under one chief, do not at
all like the idea of treating with the Peelites on anything like equal
terms. If ever the time comes I fully expect they will all resist any
such basis of arrangement, and that John Russell will not be disposed to
agree to a Government being formed by himself _and_ anybody else. These
difficulties and causes of future bickering looming in the distance
present themselves to me. I only hope they may prove visionary.


There is certainly a great deal of sulky disapprobation at Palmerston's
dismissal, and all sorts of stories, and as many lies are rife about it.
The Palmerstons affect moderation, but their rage and resentment
overflow in every direction. He puts a good face on it, and appears calm
and cheerful; she holds different language to different people, but
loses no opportunity of getting up all the steam she can against Lord
John. Meanwhile Granville is doing well in his office, and the staff
there, who have been so long accustomed to Palmerston, and are critical
judges, think so. Cowley told me he had seen some of his papers, and
they were very good, and he particularly mentioned one to Russia. The
Emperor Nicholas has sent over to say that it is very possible Louis
Napoleon may any day be proclaimed Emperor, and that all the Powers were
bound by the Treaty of Vienna not to acknowledge any one of the family
as such, and he begged, should this event arrive, that we would do
nothing about it without previous communication with him, so that
England and Russia might act in concert. Granville replied with great
civility, and expressed a concurrence in the desire that England and
Russia should act in concert, but declined to engage that this
Government would wait till communication could be had with Russia,
representing that the news of any change in France would reach London in
an hour, and the official notification of it in a day, and that it might
be necessary for us to come to some early decision, whereas a
communication with Russia would take several weeks; and he also pointed
out that we had a much greater and more immediate interest than Russia
in what was passing in France, and must act for ourselves in certain
cases which might occur.

_January 13th._--Lord Normanby came to me yesterday to talk over his
affairs.[144] No love is lost between him and Palmerston. I asked him to
tell me frankly what he had ever said or done to provoke the enmity of
Louis Napoleon, and he declared that he was not conscious of having done
anything whatever; that he had continued to live as heretofore with his
old friends, and that was all. The President had always been as civil
and cordial in his manner as ever, and if he had any enmity towards him
he must be a great hypocrite, as he never testified any. When he last
saw him he begged Louis Napoleon, if he heard anything of him that he
thought he had a right to complain of, that he would tell it himself
frankly. Louis Napoleon replied that _la franchise_ was always best, and
he would. Napoleon complained much of Palmerston, not only for this last
affair but on various occasions, when he had given just offence to
France by his _procédés_. Normanby laughs at the notion of a plot, and
says the best proof that it was an after-thought is that when Turgot
immediately after the _coup d'état_ gave him the reasons for what the
President had done, he never alluded to any plot; and whereas it has
been supposed that the refusal of the Chamber to vote the revision of
the Constitution was one of the causes, Turgot told him that one cause
was their having ascertained that the revision would be carried, as the
Reds were going to vote for it. They intended to take this course,
because they believed that with universal suffrage another Assembly
would be returned of their colour, and for the same reason therefore
Louis Napoleon hurried on his _coup d'état_.

[Footnote 144: [The Marquis of Normanby formally resigned the office of
Ambassador to France on February 21, 1852, and one of the first acts of
Lord Granville as Foreign Secretary was to appoint the second Lord
Cowley in his place. The first Lord Cowley, who had been Ambassador at
Paris in the reign of Louis Philippe, died in April 1847.]]


_January 14th._--Granville brought me yesterday a paper which by the
Queen's desire, communicated through Lord John, he has been obliged to
draw up. It is a developement of what the foreign policy of this country
ought to be. He read it to me that I might criticise it. He has not yet
had practice enough in composition to write well; but it is clear,
sensible, and right. But after all it was a series of commonplaces, for
the simple reason that there is nothing mysterious and abstruse in the
foreign policy of this country, and in the substance of it there can be
little or no difference between different governments or men. There was
not a word in Granville's paper to which both Palmerston and Aberdeen
might not subscribe. In diplomacy, above everything, _c'est le ton qui
fait la chanson_, and it has been Palmerston's tone and manner which
have done much more harm than his acts; they have undoubtedly been very
often unjustifiable and offensive to a great degree; but they have been
rendered ten times more so, and, therefore, ten times more mischievous
than they would have been by his _animus_ and his language. Besides
laying down the rights and the duties of this country, which he very
properly states may be resolved into the moral axiom of doing as we
would be done by, Granville enters upon a new subject, and that is the
improvement of the _personnel_ of our diplomacy--the advancement of men
of ability, and who display qualities which will fit them for high posts
abroad. He tells me, too, that he meditates a system of examination,
which will no doubt please the educational propensities of the Prince.

_January 15th._--I dined with Ellice yesterday--a _partie
carrée_--himself, Thiers, Mrs. Grote, and myself.[145] It was very
amusing. The little man was _intarissable_, and gave us an account of
all that had happened to him from the moment of his arrest to that of
his expulsion from Brussels--for such it really was, though he went
voluntarily, and the Belgian Ministers told him they would not expel him
if he chose to stay, and would refuse compliance with the demands of the
French Government. He has some idea of writing a narrative of the last
two months, and we encouraged him to do so. He positively denies not
only that there was any plot whatever, but that there was any intention
of taking active measures against the President; they only contemplated
defensive measures, and their object was to surround themselves with a
military force to protect the Assembly against the _coup d'état_ which
the President was meditating, and which he was enabled to execute
because they were unprotected. The French troops will always obey their
commanders, and this accounts for the complete success of Louis
Napoleon; but 'les pantalons rouges' will not fire upon 'd'autres
pantalons rouges;' and if the Assembly had had its guard, the troops
under the order of the Minister at War would not have attacked their
comrades. Thiers knew of this intended _coup d'état_ for a long time
before (in the beginning of October), and told us how it came to his
knowledge. M. de Lariboissière, son of Napoleon's general, and a rich
man, was sent for by the President about the end of September. He told
him his project, asked him to join and take office. Lariboissière
declined, and went back to his house in the country. Being a great
friend of Thiers, he thought he could not leave him to get into the
scrape that was preparing for him, and he accordingly employed a lady
who was staying with him to go to Paris and give Thiers _a hint_, merely
that he had better quit Paris, or he would get into trouble. Thiers knew
perfectly well what this meant, and did all he could to make his friends
aware of the danger that was impending over them, and to take
precautions instead of being caught 'comme des nigauds,' as they
eventually were. He spoke with prodigious contempt both of the character
and the talents of Louis Napoleon.

[Footnote 145: [M. Thiers had been compelled to leave France after the
_coup d'état_, having been kept in arrest but a few days. He repaired
first to Brussels, and afterwards to London, where he remained for some

_January 28th._--I have had two long conversations with the Duke of
Bedford, who has been very open and communicative, though I don't know
that he told me much that I did not know before. He gave me some minute
details, which were perhaps rather different from previous statements I
had heard and noted, but not materially so. These corrigenda related
principally to the communications between Lord John and Palmerston, and
are hardly worth noticing except for the sake of circumstantial
accuracy. He said that in the Kossuth question his first communication
with Palmerston was personal, and at Windsor; and on Palmerston's
persisting in his intention to see Kossuth, Lord John wrote him a
letter, and then on getting his impertinent answer he summoned the
Cabinet. After the Islington deputations he wrote again to Palmerston in
excessively mild terms, but took that opportunity of remonstrating with
him against his habit of separate and independent action, and it was
then he received what he considered tantamount to an engagement that he
would cease to pursue that course. It was a week after that, while he
was at Woburn, that he received from Normanby the information which he
conceived to be a violation on Palmerston's part of the engagement; and
then he said to the Duke that he could stand it no longer, and would get
rid of him. He accordingly wrote at once to Palmerston, recapitulated
his subjects of complaint, and asked him to authorise him to lay his
resignation before the Queen. His first step, therefore, was with
Palmerston himself, and not with the Queen. Having received the
authority (which Palmerston could not refuse), he proceeded to
communicate with the Queen, and the reply expressed the great
astonishment of both Her Majesty and the Prince, as they had taken it
for granted that this difference, like all preceding ones, would be
patched up. I told the Duke that I had reason to believe the Queen was
displeased at the offer of Ireland being made to Palmerston _à son
insu_; but this was a mistake. Lord John did communicate to her
immediately the letter he wrote to Palmerston, containing not _an
offer_, but an intimation that he would propose it to Her Majesty if he
was disposed to accept it. This was certainly the proper and
constitutional course for him to take. He does, indeed, understand his
duty in this respect, and is very different from Palmerston; he never
conceals anything from the Queen, and invariably enters into her
objections, admitting or refuting them, when she makes any. Palmerston's
way was to make no answer whatever when she made objections; to take no
notice of them; a practice which Lord John had himself blamed, and
remonstrated with him upon. This, and the still more monstrous habit he
had of treating with contempt alterations that had been prescribed to
him, and sending despatches from which the Queen or Lord John had struck
out certain passages with the same restored, had excited her resentment
to a high pitch.

I find Normanby has been in fact _recalled_, though it is agreed that he
is to _resign_ so as to be let down easily. He puts a good face on it,
but is very indignant, and thinks himself very ill-used. His vanity is
very amusing, for he talks of his great influence, and the respect and
consideration in which he was universally held, when everybody knows
that there never was an Ambassador so generally disliked and despised.
It was intended to send Clanricarde there, but it was altered, I do not
know why, and Cowley appointed, to his great delight and astonishment,
and to mine. Cowley, who was at Windsor the other day, told me he saw a
most curious and interesting paper there which Stockmar showed him. It
was a report from Van de Weyer to King Leopold of his interviews with
the President while he was at Paris. He complained very much of the
English newspapers, as well as of our Queen's hostile feeling towards
him. Van de Weyer told him he must not be surprised if in a
Constitutional country like England the press spoke the language it did;
and as to the Queen's friendship for the Orleans family, his own
chivalrous feeling could only approve of her continuing to them in their
adversity the friendship which had been formed in their prosperous days.
It seems Louis Napoleon had promised to leave Leopold alone, and not
meddle with Belgium, but held threatening language towards Switzerland
and Piedmont.


_February 5th._[146]--I might have saved myself the trouble of writing
down a scattered and imperfect notice of the Palmerstonian dismissal,
since John Russell told the whole story on Tuesday night. The public
interest and curiosity to hear the 'explanations' were intense. Up to
almost the last moment the confidence and the _jactance_ of the
Palmerston clique were boundless. At length the moment arrived. In all
my experience I never recollect such a triumph as John Russell achieved,
and such complete discomfiture as Palmerston's. Lord John made a very
able speech, and disclosed as much as was necessary, and no more. Beyond
all doubt his great _coup_ was the Queen's Minute in 1850, which was
absolutely crushing. Some grave persons think the introduction of her
name was going too far, but it was irresistible. The effect was
prodigious. Palmerston was weak and inefficient, and it is pretty
certain that he was taken by surprise, and was unprepared for all that
John Russell brought forward. Not a man of weight or influence said a
word for him, nobody but Milnes and Dudley Stuart. The Queen's letter
was decisive, for it was evident that his conduct must have been
intolerable to elicit such charges and rebukes; and it cannot fail to
strike everybody that no man of common spirit, and who felt a
consciousness of innocence, would have brooked anything so insulting.
Such a man would have indignantly resigned, and have demanded what John
Russell meant by making himself the organ of such accusations; but he
submitted to them.

[Footnote 146: [Parliament was opened by the Queen in person on February
3rd, when full explanations were given by Lord John Russell and Lord
Palmerston of the transactions related in the preceding pages.]]

_London, March 26th._--I was taken ill before I had time to finish what
I was writing, and have been laid up ever since with a violent attack of
gout and fever, from which I am now slowly recovering. During all the
time of the change of Government[147] I was in my bed, and not allowed
to see anybody; but for the last few days I have been able to come into
my drawing-room and receive visitors, who have come in great numbers,
and of every imaginable variety, to see me, so that I have had enough of
occupation and amusement. I cannot pretend to write any account of what
has been passing, and not having recorded, as I heard them, the scraps
of unknown matters, I am now unable to do so. The new Government is
treated with great contempt, and many of the appointments are pitiable.
But, while it is the fashion to exalt Derby himself, and treat with
great scorn almost all his colleagues, I think Derby himself is quite as
unfit for the post of Prime Minister as any of them can be for those
they occupy. His extreme levity and incapacity for taking grave and
serious views, though these defects may be partially remedied by the
immensity of his responsibility, will ever weigh upon his character, and
are too deeply rooted in it to be eradicated. His oratory is his forte,
and without that he would be a very ordinary man. His speeches since he
took office have been excellent, and in a very becoming tone and spirit;
but the notion, which is generally entertained, of his being so
high-minded and chivalrous, is a mistake. He is not so in private
life--that is, in his transactions on the turf--and it is not likely
that a man should be one thing in private, and another in public, life.

[Footnote 147: [On February 16, Lord John brought in a Militia Bill, to
which Palmerston, who was burning with a desire to revenge himself for
his dismissal, moved an amendment, which he carried against the
Government by a majority of nine. On this John Russell resigned, and
Lord Derby was sent for. The resignation of the Russell Government was
announced to both Houses on the 23rd, and Lord Derby's first exposition
of policy as Prime Minister was made on February 27.]]


The great object of interest and curiosity this Session has been
Palmerston; everybody anxious to see to which side he leaned. A short
time ago he evinced a disposition towards reconciliation with John
Russell. The latter invited him to his meeting at Chesham Place;
Palmerston did not go, but was rather pleased at being invited; and soon
after John Russell went to one of Lady Palmerston's parties, and talked
to Palmerston a good while. But at this time his resentment was still
unappeased, for he got Clarendon to hear all his complaints, and showed
him all the correspondence. With his usual unfairness, he complained to
everybody of John Russell's having so unexpectedly sprung upon him the
Queen's Minute in the discussion on his dismissal, and he even did so to
Clarendon; whereas, so far from any surprise, Lord John wrote him word
three days before that he was going to read it in the House, and offered
him any papers he might desire to have. Clarendon asked him if he had
not received such a communication, and then he was forced to own he had.
Clarendon, however, did his best to bring about a renewal of their
intercourse, personal and political. Palmerston said John Russell had
given him his independence, and he meant to avail himself of that
advantage. The Whigs expect and desire that he will return to them, and,
in the event of a change, come again into office, but not the Foreign
Office, which he says himself he does not again wish for. Derby offered
him office, which he at once refused, on hearing that Protection was not
given up; but many think he will after all join Derby, as soon as this
question is finally disposed of. I doubt it, for he would not serve
under Disraeli, and Disraeli would hardly give up the leadership having
once enjoyed it. The Peelites sit together, all except Graham, who has
regularly joined John Russell, and sits beside him. Nobody knows what
they mean to do, nor which party they will eventually join. At present
Gladstone's speeches do not look like a junction with Derby, but nothing
is more possible than that, as soon as the great stumbling-block is
removed, they will go over to this Government, and the leaders take
office. They most of them hate the Whigs, and there is certainly no
great, if any, difference of opinion between them and the Derbyites,
except on the question of Free Trade. Graham rather expects this result.
I asked him if he thought Disraeli would consent to resign the lead to
anybody. He thought not, certainly not to Gladstone; possibly he might
to Palmerston. There are great complaints of Disraeli in the House of
Commons. They say he does not play his part as leader with tact and
propriety, and treats his opponents impudently and uncourteously, which
is egregiously foolish, and will end by exposing him to some great
mortification; the House of Commons will not stand such behaviour from
such a man.

_London, May 2nd._--I have been for some time past so disgusted with
politics and politicians, and have been driven to take such a gloomy
view of affairs and of our prospects, that I could not bring myself to
resume my task of noting down such matters as might appear not wholly
unworthy of being recorded. At last I have resolved to run over the
principal occurrences of the last few weeks. The Derby Government has
been sinking more and more in public opinion. The shuffling and reserve
of Derby in the House of Lords, coupled with the declarations on the
hustings of his adherents, especially Kelly, Solicitor-General, and the
extraordinary and still unexplained escapade of Walpole in the House of
Commons about giving votes to the Militia,[148] have all tended to
bring them into discredit and contempt. The Opposition were much elated
at seeing the Government in this state, and in fact they had a very good
game to play, when the petulance, obstinacy, and imprudence of John
Russell brought upon them a disastrous defeat, and set up the Government
completely. Without concert with his followers, and against the advice
and remonstrances of those who were apprised of his intention, he came
down to the House, and opposed the second reading of the Militia Bill.
The fault was enormous, for the inconsistency was glaring. Palmerston
instantly fell upon him with the greatest acrimony, and lashed him with
excessive severity, carrying the House along with him, and evidently
enjoying the opportunity of thus paying off old scores. Seymour spoke
against Lord John, and many of his own friends and supporters voted
against him, so that there was a majority of two to one in a full
House.[149] Nothing could exceed the exultation of the Ministerialists,
but the resentment and indignation of the Opposition, who saw all their
hopes and prospects marred by this extraordinary blunder on the part of
their chief. John Russell was denounced as unfit to lead a party; still
more, again, to be at the head of a Government. His best friends could
not defend him, and, while he has done irreparable damage to his own
political character and influence, he has thrown the Opposition into
such disorganisation and confusion, that it will be difficult for them
to act any more with union or effect. The Peelites are of course
disgusted, and, never liking John Russell, will be less than ever
inclined to form a junction with him. Palmerston's conduct in this
debate paves the way for his joining Derby if he chooses it, and it is
by no means improbable that a large proportion of the Peelites will do
the same. The probability of this is increased by Disraeli's speech the
night before last, on bringing on his Budget. This was a great
performance, very able, and was received with great applause in the
House. But the extraordinary part of it was the frank, full, and glowing
panegyric he passed on the effect of the Free Trade measures of Sir
Robert Peel, proving by elaborate statistics the marvellous benefits
which had been derived from his tariffs and reduction of duties--not,
however, alluding to Corn. All this was of course received with delight
and vehemently cheered by the Whigs and Peelites, but in silence and
discontent by his own side. It was neither more nor less than a
magnificent funeral oration upon Peel's policy, and as such it was
hailed, without any taunting, or triumphing, or reproaches, on account
of his former conduct to Peel, except a few words from Hume and Wakley.
It is difficult to say what may be the effect of this speech, but it
seems impossible that Protection in any shape can be attempted after it;
and it certainly opens a door to the admission of any Peelites who may
be disposed to join a Conservative Government, for even their personal
feelings against Dizzy will be mitigated by it. Graham has not been in
the House all this time, being laid up with the gout at Netherby.[150]

[Footnote 148: [Mr. Walpole, the Home Secretary in Lord Derby's
Administration, had announced that he should move on bringing up the
Militia Bill the insertion of a clause, 'That any person who shall serve
in the Militia for two years shall be entitled to a vote in the county
in which he resides.' This proposal excited a good deal of ridicule, and
was subsequently withdrawn. The Militia Bill passed the House of Commons
on June 7th, and the House of Lords on the 21st of the same month.]]

[Footnote 149: The second reading was carried by 355 to 165.]

[Footnote 150: [The Cabinet composed by the Earl of Derby in 1852
consisted of--

  Earl of Derby              First Lord of the Treasury.
  Lord St. Leonards          Lord Chancellor.
  Mr. Disraeli               Chancellor of the Exchequer.
  Earl of Lonsdale           Lord President of the Council.
  Marquis of Salisbury       Lord Privy Seal.
  Earl of Malmesbury         Foreign Secretary of State.
  Sir John Pakington         Colonial Secretary of State.
  Mr. Spencer Walpole        Home Secretary of State.
  Earl of Hardwicke          First Lord of the Admiralty.
  Mr. Herries                President of the Board of Control.
  Lord John Manners          First Commissioner of Works.]]



    The Trial of Strength--Defeat of the Government--Shuffling of
    Ministers--The No-Popery Cry--Dissolution of Parliament--Character
    of the Derby Government--The Ministers--The Opposition--A
    Difficult Situation--Public Indifference--Results of the
    Elections--Macaulay's Election--Policy of the Opposition--Scheme
    of a Coalition under Lord Lansdowne--Lord Derby at
    Goodwood--The Herefordshire Election--Sir James Graham's
    View of the Situation--Death of Count D'Orsay--Difficulties
    of Reconciliation--Lord John Russell's Position--A Divided
    Opposition--Lord Granby's Dissatisfaction--Lord John Russell
    on Reform--Lord Cowley's Proxy--A Plan to catch Lord
    Palmerston--Death of the Duke of Wellington.

_London, May 12th, 1852._--On Monday night came on the trial of
strength, which the Opposition had determined to have with the
Government, and which the latter very unaccountably provoked.[151] The
leaders made great exertions to bring the several sections of parties
together, and completely succeeded. The only doubt was about the
'Brigadiers,' as the Irish squadron are called, who it was feared might
refuse to go into the same lobby with John Russell on any terms, but it
ended in their adhesion. The Duke of Newcastle told me they hoped for a
majority of fifty, therefore eighty-six was far beyond their most
sanguine expectations. No immediate consequences will follow, but it was
a severe check to the Government, and the more important from the
circumstance of Gladstone's being the leader of the Opposition, and
Palmerston voting with the majority. Derby affected indifference, and
said to John Russell at the Queen's ball the same night, 'What will you
get by all this?' It will probably accelerate the dissolution, for
which they must now themselves be anxious, to put an end to the present
state of affairs, and relieve them even for a time from the position
into which their embarrassment and all their shuffling and double
dealing have placed them.

[Footnote 151: [The Chancellor of the Exchequer proposed on May 10 to
transfer the four vacant seats for Sudbury and St. Albans to the West
Riding of Yorkshire and the Southern Division of Lancashire. Mr.
Gladstone moved the previous question, which was carried by 234 to


The conduct of the Government is regarded with indignation and contempt
by all thinking people, out of the pale of their own thick and thin
supporters; but it does not seem to make much impression upon the
country at large, nobody appears to care one straw about anybody or
anything. There is very general prosperity and contentment, and people
are indifferent about politics, and who is in or out of office. There is
no public man who enjoys any popularity, or has a hold upon the regard
or the good opinions of the masses. If Derby remains in power it will be
from the enormous difficulty of forming any other government, for,
strangely enough, while a short time ago everybody said a Derby
Government was impossible, it now appears to be the only government
which is possible. All, however, is confusion and uncertainty, and so
will remain till the next Parliament meets, and the state and relative
strength of parties is manifested.

The object of the Ministerialists is to catch votes by representing
themselves as Conservatives, and creating as much doubt and uncertainty
as they can about their intentions on the most exciting topics, such as
Free Trade and Popery. It is supposed that there is under a smooth
exterior considerable discord in the Protectionist ranks, and even in
the Cabinet. Disraeli's Free Trade speech on the Budget evidently gave
deep offence to his party, for he felt himself obliged to make a sort of
recantation a night or two afterwards; and Derby took the very unusual
course of making a political speech at the Mansion House dinner, and in
it, with much show of compliment to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, did
his best to neutralise the Budget speech of the latter by a long and
laboured exposition of the doctrine of compromise, which he said entered
practically into all the policy and even institutions of the
country--all which seemed to imply that he meant to strike a balance,
in some protective shape, between the manufacturing and agricultural
interests. This speech, which was not particularly good, has been
universally considered as a snub to Disraeli.

Last night Spooner brought on his motion for an enquiry into Maynooth,
when Walpole made a strong anti-Maynooth speech, going much farther in
that direction than Derby had ever hinted at in the House of Lords; but
such is their language at different times and in different places, that
it is utterly impossible to guess what they think, mean, or intend; a
studied ambiguity conceals their principles and their policy, if they
have either. It would, however, look as if they meant to pander to the
'No-Popery' rage which is now so rife, and to make the country believe
they intend to give effect to the passionate desire, which no doubt
largely prevails, to attack the Catholics in some way.[152] This desire
is very strong and general in this country, but in Scotland it is
universal. Aberdeen told me the whole country was on fire, and they
would like nothing so much as to go to Ireland and fight, and renew the
Cromwellian times, giving the Papists the option of going to 'Hell or
Connaught.' As Ireland is equally furious, and the priests will send
sixty or seventy members full of bigotry and zeal, all ready to act
together under the orders of Cullen and Wiseman, we may look for more
polemical discussion, and that of the most furious character, than we
have ever seen before, even during the great Emancipation debates.

[Footnote 152: [The strong anti-Catholic feeling which had been excited
by the measure of the Pope for the establishment of a Roman Catholic
hierarchy in England in 1850, was kept alive by the Tories and directed
against the more recent provision made by Sir Robert Peel for the
College of Maynooth.]]


_Bath, July 7th._--The elections are now begun,[153] and a few days will
disclose whether Derby's Government will be able to stand its ground or
not. Both parties are excessively confident, for at this moment the
world may be divided between the supporters and opponents of the present
Government, though the latter will be split into a dozen different
factions when Parliament meets. The first act of the Derby drama has
been curious enough; they have in some respects done better and in some
worse than was expected of them. Derby himself has shuffled and
prevaricated and involved himself in a studied and laboured ambiguity,
which has exposed him to bitter taunts and reproaches, and Disraeli has
been a perfect will-o'-the-wisp, flitting about from one opinion to
another, till his real opinions and intentions are become matter of mere
guess and speculation. He has given undoubted proofs of his great
ability, and showed how neatly he could handle such a subject as
finance, with which he never can have been at all familiar; but having
been well taught by his subalterns, and applying a mind naturally clear,
ready, and acute to the subject, he contrived to make himself fully
master of it, and to produce to the House of Commons a financial
statement the excellence of which was universally admitted and gained
him great applause. Whatever his motives were--whether because it was
all true, and he could not resist the force of truth, or that he thought
_that_ the best opportunity he could find for evacuating an untenable
position, he pronounced such a full and unreserved panegyric on the
results of Free Trade, and so clearly stated them in detail, that his
speech was hailed as a practical conversion, and as such cheered
vehemently by the Whigs, and received in gloomy silence by his own
people. On subsequent occasions he attempted to shuffle out of his
previous declarations, and as they cannot afford to quarrel with him,
and a great many are like him and obliged to back out of Protection
also, no schism has taken place. On all subjects of interest the
Government have taken a doubtful, undecided course, and abstained from
any bold enunciation of principles and course of action, always
temporising, and trying to keep up the hopes of every party and interest
by their ambiguous language. On Maynooth, on the Education Question, and
the Privy Council Minute, they did this, evidently for electioneering
purposes: afraid in one case of affronting Protestant bigotry, and in
the other wanting to stimulate the zeal of the Churchmen in their

[Footnote 153: [Parliament was prorogued on July 1, and dissolved
immediately afterwards.]]

The appointment that created the greatest surprise, and was the most
criticised, that of Sir John Pakington, has turned out, as far as it has
gone, one of the best. He has done his business in the House of Commons
very fairly, has committed no glaring faults, and has a very tolerable
character in his office for industry and apprehension. Walpole, who was
thought one of the most capable, has been a failure. He had the folly to
make a strong anti-Catholic speech on the Maynooth grant, and he got
into the ridiculous scrape about the votes to Militiamen, which he was
forced so awkwardly to withdraw amidst a storm of ridicule from every
quarter, the real history of which has never yet been explained. The
other members of the Cabinet have appeared as mere dummies, and in the
House of Lords Derby has never allowed any of them to speak, taking on
himself to answer for every department. Young Stanley does not seem to
have had much success in the House of Commons, nor to afford much
promise of attaining excellence hereafter, at least as an orator. The
Chancellor has done very well in his Court, administering justice ably
and expeditiously, and _nolens aut volens_ he has concurred in carrying
through Parliament some very important law reforms, which will be
followed by more. It is by no means unlikely that more has been done in
this way than if John Russell's Government had not been thrown out.
Lyndhurst came out with great force, and his speech on the Baron de
Bode's case was a masterpiece, which was worthy of his more vigorous
age, and drew general admiration. Brougham has been extremely quiet and
reasonable, devoting himself almost entirely to law reforms, and doing
great service, acting a very honourable and useful part. The Opposition
have, on the whole, been very moderate and forbearing, with the sole
exception of John Russell's opposition to the Militia Bill, which was a
great blunder, and drew on him much resentment and disgust on the part
of his own friends and adherents. They appear now to have in great
measure forgotten and forgiven this unhappy blunder. Palmerston's
course has been thoroughly eccentric, and to this hour nobody can make
out what he is at, nor what are the motives and the objects of his
conduct. At one time it looked as if he was aiming at a junction with
Derby, but he voted with Gladstone in his great attack on the
Government, and his language has been uniformly that of their opponent,
and as if he still considered himself one of the Whig party, though a
perfectly independent one. He has taken a pretty active part during the
Session, and a very characteristic one, seldom losing an opportunity of
saying something spiteful about his former colleagues, and dealing
largely in those liberal clap-traps which have always been the chief
part of his political stock-in-trade. He wound up the Session by a
bitter attack on Granville and John Russell, when the latter was not in
the House, and the House of Lords had ended its sittings, so the former
had no opportunity of answering him. He was quite wrong in what he said,
and so far as Granville and Lord John were concerned could have been
easily answered, but he broke out in his old style about foreign
politics and Austria, all of which was loudly cheered and greatly
admired by his Radical friends, but the whole exhibition regretted and
blamed by the more sensible of his own adherents. This speech proved
that he has given up all idea of returning to the Foreign Office, which
indeed he professes not to desire.


The above is a very brief and imperfect sketch of the spirit in which
the recent short Session has been carried on by the different parties
and leaders, presenting a very unsatisfactory prospect for the future;
for while a more disgraceful and more degraded Government than this
cannot be imagined, it is difficult to see, if they fall, how any fresh
combination can be formed, likely to be efficient, popular, and durable.
It will be equally difficult to do without, and to do with, John
Russell. The Whigs will acknowledge no other leader; their allegiance to
him is very loose and capricious; he has lost his popularity and his
prestige in the country, and has very little personal influence. Then
the unappeasable wrath of the Irish Catholics, who will come to
Parliament brigaded together, and above all things determined on his
personal exclusion, will make any Government of which he is either the
head, or the House of Commons leader, next to impossible. Nothing in the
present balanced state of parties can resist a compact body of sixty or
seventy men acting together by word of command, and putting a veto on
one particular man. No past services nor any future expectations will
atone for the Durham Letter, which they seem pledged to a man never to
forget or forgive. The country all this time seems to be in a state of
complete indifference. The elections are carried on by the opposite
parties, but there appears to be no strong current of public opinion in
favour of or against any men or any measures. While the press thunders
away against Derby and the deep dishonour of his political conduct, the
masses seem mighty indifferent on the subject, and as the very conduct
that is impugned is principally his shuffling out of his engagement to
the cause of Protection, people only become more indifferent from seeing
that Free Trade is virtually safe, and so long as the great prosperity
now prevailing continues, the country at large does not seem to care a
straw whether Lord Derby or Lord anybody else is in office. The zeal of
the party in power is always greater _ceteris paribus_ than of that in
Opposition, unless some great object is in agitation and at stake, and
the Derbyites will make more strenuous efforts to keep the power they
have got, than their opponents will make to wrest it from them.


_London, July 23rd._--After passing a fortnight at Bath, I returned to
town, a fortnight ago. The elections are now nearly over, all indeed
except some in Ireland. They have been on the whole very unsatisfactory
in every respect, and nothing can be more unpromising than our political
prospects. The end has been a very considerable gain to the Government,
one with which they profess to be perfectly satisfied, and they are
quite confident of being able to defeat any attempts to turn them out.
In this, I think, they are right, for they certainly will have more
than 300 in the House of Commons, all Derbyites, staunch supporters, and
moveable like a regiment. The Opposition will number as many, or perhaps
rather more; but that is counting Whigs, Radicals of different degrees,
Peelites, and the Irish Brigade,--different factions, greatly at
variance amongst each other, and who will rarely combine for any
political object. There may be about fifty or sixty people who will not
consider themselves as belonging to the Government nor to the
Opposition, but of whom the majority will probably support the
Government, except on particular questions. Disraeli boasts that he
shall have 330 followers, and that he knows where to look for stray
votes. He probably overrates his regular force, but he will no doubt get
a great many of the neutrals. The most remarkable and most deplorable
features of the recent election are the exclusion of so many able and
respectable men; the malignant and vindictive as well as stupid and
obstinate spirit evinced by the constituencies, especially the
agricultural, and their bigotry and prejudices, as well as their total
indifference to character and intellectual eminence. The conduct of the
Government and their supporters has been just what might have been
expected from their language in Parliament: they have sacrificed every
other object to that of catching votes; at one time and at one place
representing themselves as Free Traders, and in another as
Protectionists, and everywhere pandering to the ignorance and bigotry of
the masses by fanning the No-Popery flame. Disraeli announced that he
had no thoughts, and never had any, of attempting to restore Protection
in the shape of import duties; but he made magnificent promises of the
great things the Government mean to do for the farmers and owners of
land, by a scheme the nature and details of which he refused to reveal.
All those (comprising almost everybody) who have found themselves
obliged to abandon Corn Laws, and to subscribe to the Big Loaf doctrine,
have nevertheless talked largely of Protection in the shape of
compensation and of justice to the landed interest by means of fiscal
arrangements; and this has so far succeeded, that, except in one or two
counties, the farmers have been as rabid against Free Trade and for
Protection as if the Government had never renounced their old
Protectionist principles, and there is no doubt that they have
everywhere supported the Derbyite candidates from a conviction that they
are to derive some great though unexplained advantage from the
Government. This, and the religious cry, and the utter insensibility of
the constituencies to the insincere and shuffling conduct of the
Ministers and their supporters, have produced the strong party which we
shall see established on the right side of the Chair when Parliament

There are also a good number of people who have supported Lord Derby
from fear of a Radical alliance between John Russell and Graham and the
Manchester men, and the dread of their returning to power with a budget
of new Reform Bills, and who really do believe that this Government is,
as it pretends to be, a barrier against revolution. Indeed the only
satisfactory part of this general election is the undoubted proof it
affords of the strength of the Conservative element in the country, and
it is only to be regretted that it should be found all enlisted on the
side of such a Government as this, and associated with so much of
ignorance and fanaticism. These last qualities, however, are common to
both parties; and if I had ever been impressed with any popular notions
of what is called the good sense of the people, I should be quite
disabused of them now; for whichever way we turn our eyes, whether
towards those who call themselves Conservative, or those who claim to be
Reformers, we find the same evidence of unfitness to deal with important
political questions, and to exercise an active influence on public
affairs, and on both sides we are disgusted with the profligate means
employed by candidates, who pander to every sort of po