The Project Gutenberg EBook of A Journal of the Reign of Queen Victoria
from 1837 to 1852 (Volume 2 of 3), by Chares C. F. Greville

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at

Title: A Journal of the Reign of Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1852 (Volume 2 of 3)
       The Greville Memoirs (Second Part)

Author: Chares C. F. Greville

Release Date: July 17, 2014 [EBook #46309]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


Produced by Paul Murray, Wayne Hammond and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at

Transcriber's Note:

There are two styles of footnotes used in this work:
Footnotes text enclosed in square brackets are by the editor.
Footnotes text not enclosed in square brackets are by the author.
Example footnotes:
1 [This note is by the editor]
2 This note is by the author


Vol. II.




The Greville Memoirs

FROM 1837 TO 1852



All rights reserved





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


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


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


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


The Duke of Wellington on the Afghan War—Charles Buller—Lord Ellenborough's Extravagance—Assassination of Edward Drummond—Nomination of Sheriffs—Opening of the Session of Parliament—Lord Ellenborough's Position—Disclosure of Evidence on the Boundary Question—Debate on Lord Ellenborough's Proclamation—Lord Ellenborough vindicated—Lord Brougham's Activity—Lord Palmerston attacks the American Treaty—Lord Althorp's Accession to Office in 1830—Death of John Allen—Death of the Duke of Sussex—Death of Mr. Arkwright—Death of Lady William Bentinck—Death of Lord Fitz Gerald—Lady W. Bentinck's Funeral—The Temple Church—Racing—State of the Country—The Privy Council Register—Ascot; the King of Hanover—Difficulties of the Government—A Tour on the Continent—The Rothschilds page 137


Results of this Tour—Ireland—The Irish Church—Decline of Sir Robert Peel's Popularity—Position of Sir Robert Peel—King of Hanover in London—The Duke of Wellington on the Duke of Marlborough—Anecdote of Talleyrand—Debates on Ireland—Parliament prorogued—The Queen's Yacht—Review of the Session—The Queen at Eu—Agreement there—The Queen of Spain's Marriage—Miss Berry and Lord Orford—Ranke and Macaulay at Kent House—A Council on Crutches—Chatsworth—Prosecution of O'Connell—Society—O'Connell—Lord Brougham's Action against Fonblanque—Death of Hon. Edward Villiers—The Irish Trials—Law against Betting—The Education Question—The Duc de Bordeaux's Visit—Lord Melbourne after his Illness—King George II. robbed—Royal Visit to Chatsworth—The 'Times' on the Duc de Bordeaux's Visit—The Westminster Play—Lord Melbourne—Our Relations with Rome—The Dublin Jury Lists—Lord Ellenborough and the Court of Directors—O'Connell's Remedies for Irish Discontent. page 187


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


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


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


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


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


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


FROM 1837 TO 1852.


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

May 7th, 1841.—All the world thinks and talks of nothing but the division next week and its consequences. The Whig masses are clamorous for a dissolution, and are every day growing more so, endeavouring to make out that the gain is sure; some for one purpose and some for another are stimulating the Government to make this desperate plunge. Lord Melbourne, however, is exceedingly averse to it. In the [Pg 2] Cabinet, Duncannon, Normanby, and Palmerston are all strongly and unhesitatingly for it. Clarendon, who is against a dissolution, set before Melbourne, the other day, all the reasons for such a measure, in order to elicit his opinion, and see if those reasons shook his previous convictions; but Melbourne said that he could not find anything in them to make him change his mind, and he thought the Crown ought never to make an appeal to public opinion unless there were solid grounds for believing that it would be responded to by the public voice. Yesterday there was a Cabinet, at which the question was fully discussed, and the result was satisfactory and creditable. The general opinion was that nothing should be decided till the state of public opinion in the country was seen, and the most careful investigation had been made into the electioneering prospects of the Government, so that a reasonable and probable conclusion might be arrived at as to the result; and unless it should appear that there is a strong probability of Government acquiring a majority by a fresh election, the notion of a dissolution will be given up. This deliberation is undoubtedly due to the Queen and to the party, and I am assured there is a prevailing disposition to deal fairly with the evidence that will be before them. The Queen, though very unhappy, acquiesces in this view of the matter. From what Lady Palmerston told me last night, Her Majesty is prepared, in the last necessity, to resign herself to her fate.

May 8th.— Mr. Barnes died yesterday morning, suddenly, after having suffered an operation. His death is an incalculable loss to the 'Times,' of which he was the principal editor and director; and his talents, good sense, and numerous connexions gave him a preponderating influence in the affairs of the paper. The vast power exercised by the 'Times' renders this a most important event, and it will be curious to see in what hands the regulating and directing power will hereafter be placed. Latterly it must be owned that its apparent caprices and inconsistency have deprived it of all right and title, and much of its power, to influence the opinions of others, but this has been the consequence of the 3 extraordinary variety of its connexions and the conflicting opinions which have been alternately, and sometimes almost, if not quite, simultaneously, admitted to discharge themselves in its columns. Barnes was a man of considerable acquirements, a good scholar, and well versed in English, especially old dramatic literature.1


May 9th.—The debate on the sugar duties began on Friday night by an extraordinarily good speech from John Russell, as was admitted by his opponents, who qualified the praise, as usual, by calling it a good party speech. Handley and Lushington declared against Ministers—one on Corn, the other on Sugar. The certainty of a majority against Government is now generally admitted, and it is expected to be large. The question of dissolution gains ground. The strong supporters of Government are more and more urgent, and they say that they must choose between the dissolution of Parliament or the dissolution of the party; that Ministers had no right to bring forward such measures and then shrink from appealing to the country on them; that if they do not dissolve, many of their old Whig supporters will retire in disgust, and not contest their seats when the dissolution under another Government takes place. I see clearly that all this is making a strong impression, and that 4 the resolution of those who think and feel they ought not to dissolve is waxing faint. Meanwhile the Queen is behaving very well. She is very unhappy at the situation of affairs, and at the change with which she is menaced, but she is acting with dignity and propriety. She says she will express no wish and no opinion; whatever she is advised to do she will do, but she remains perfectly passive, and makes no attempts to urge Melbourne to take any course which his own judgement does not approve. This the Duke of Bedford told me yesterday, and it is to her credit. The Tories will not believe that the Government have any thought of dissolving. Wharncliffe and Ellenborough both told me that they had not the slightest idea of their venturing on such a measure. Besides other objections there is a great technical difficulty in the shape of the sugar duty, which will expire in the beginning of July, before Parliament could meet again. Ellenborough said that the merchants would keep back their sugar (which they would be able to do in great measure), and then pour it in after the day had expired, free of duty, to the loss to the revenue probably of a million, and that the only way to counteract this would be by an Order in Council, which they would never dare pass merely for a party purpose as this would be.


May 11th.—The question of dissolution is still contested, and the Whigs of Brooks's and the young and hot-headed are making such a clatter, and talking with so much violence and confidence, that they have produced a strong impression that the measure is intended. I have had long conversations with Clarendon, Normanby, and the Duke of Bedford. The second, to my great surprise, talked very reasonably and moderately, and told me distinctly he was opposed to a dissolution; that he saw no way of getting over the difficulty about the sugar duties, and that if they attempted it and failed, they should go out with discredit. From the other two I learned that Melbourne is in a state of great agitation and disquietude, labouring under a sense of the enormous responsibility which rests upon him, embarrassed on one side by the importunities of his friends, and, on the other, 5 alarmed at the danger of taking so desperate a step; and he says very truly and sensibly that in his opinion the Queen should never make an appeal to the people which was not likely to be successful, and that he does not like to take upon himself the responsibility of carrying on the Government (while such important questions are in agitation) during the interval, with the almost certainty of meeting at the end of the term a hostile majority of the House of Commons. Of the Government with different shades of opinion, and each influenced by different motives and considerations, I think the most decided for a dissolution is Palmerston (who has never any doubts or fears, and is for fighting everybody), and the most against it Macaulay. The violent dissolutionists make light of the sugar difficulty, and talk of bringing in a Bill to meet the emergency, which they flatter themselves the Opposition would suffer to pass, because they would not venture, as they call it, to stop the supplies; and I was surprised to hear that John Russell, on whom the idea of the party being broken up seems to have made a great impression, partook of this notion. But in the midst of all this apparent doubt, I have none how it will end, and that they will not venture to dissolve when the moment for decision arrives. They are in fact preparing for resignation, for the Duke of Bedford came to me yesterday morning to consult me as to the course which the Ladies ought to adopt, a matter which is occupying the serious attention both of Melbourne and Lord John; and to do them justice, they seem only anxious to put matters in train for averting any repetition of the embarrassment which proved fatal to Peel two years ago, and which might again be productive of a good deal of difficulty and some unpleasant feeling. They want to make things go on smoothly, and to reconcile the dignity of the Queen with the consistency of Peel. Their own feelings, and those of the Ladies themselves, would suggest resignation, but then they shrink from the idea of deserting the Queen. Nice questions of conduct present themselves, which require much consideration. I told him I did not think the difficulty was now so great, for the question 6 of an exclusively political household had been settled by the recent appointments of Tory Ladies, and that Peel might very well consider the circumstances as having changed, and that he is thereby himself released from the obligation of doing the same thing over again. But I advised the Duke of Bedford to go and talk the matter over with the Duke of Wellington, which he agreed to do. I think this will pave the way to some satisfactory arrangement, and at all events it will show a good disposition on the part of the present Ministers to aid rather than embarrass their successors. I rode with the Duke of Wellington yesterday, and had a little, but very little, talk with him about the present crisis. He does not talk as he used to do, and he struck me as miserably changed. His notion was that they would neither resign nor dissolve, but endeavour to go on as they have heretofore done.

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


May 12th.—The Duke of Bedford communicated with the Duke of Wellington yesterday morning through Arbuthnot. 7 After some hesitation, because Melbourne had come to the conclusion that the Ladies had better all resign, the Duke of Wellington said he had never talked upon the subject to Peel, and he could say nothing himself; but he knew that there was an earnest desire to avoid any renewal of the old dispute, and that the circumstances were now in every respect so different, from the Queen's being married and the appointments of Tory Ladies, that he did not think there would be any occasion for it. Indeed, he thought, and so did Peel, that much of what had occurred before had arisen from mistake, and that if John Russell had in the first instance communicated with the Queen, instead of Melbourne, all would have been cleared up. It was agreed that what had passed should be communicated by the Duke of Wellington to Peel, and to Peel only, whenever (if at all) he thought it right and advisable to make the communication. This puts the affair in a good train. Melbourne means to advise the Queen to send for Peel himself at once, and without any intermediate, which is very wise, and will facilitate an amicable adjustment of delicate points. Lord John has written the Queen a letter, setting before her the actual state of the case, but giving no opinion of his own.

May 16th.—The debate was again adjourned on Friday night, having lasted a week, very languidly carried on, and up to the present time with very few good speeches since John Russell's; Sir George Grey, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Labouchere on one side; Gladstone and Stanley the best on the other. All is speculation, and nobody has any certainty what will be done. The Government people say, that everything tends to sanction a dissolution: that the reports from the country are in favour of their measures, and the Anti-slavery cry a failure. But the truth is, there is no great feeling in the country one way or the other, but an extraordinary apathy or indifference. The Whigs persist that Peel would not venture to thwart their attempt to get the necessary supplies passed; the Tories maintain that Peel will never make himself the accomplice of a dissolution under the pretence of not opposing the supplies. But while the 8 majority of the Cabinet seem now not indisposed to dissolve if they can, Melbourne's objections continue the same, and he will have to determine upon his own course, supposing the majority of his colleagues declare for dissolving. It is, I think, impossible that he as Prime Minister should give way upon a point of such vital importance. He must tell the Queen what his opinion is, and then the question will arise, whether she will consent to anybody else attempting to carry on the Government without him, and whether John Russell (the only possible alternative) will undertake it. Probably neither she, nor he, would try the experiment. Of the Government, the man most resolute, and desirous of trying a dissolution, is the Chancellor (Lord Cottenham), and Macaulay the most decided the other way. This is what few uninformed people would imagine, but there is no stronger political partisan than the Chancellor, or any man more prepared to go all lengths for his party.

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


May 19th.—They divided yesterday morning at three o'clock; division pretty much what was expected.3 A very fine speech, three hours long, from Peel, which John Russell said he thought remarkably able and ingenious, but not 9 statesmanlike. He has, however, always a prejudice against his great antagonist, and a bad opinion of him. Palmerston answered him in a speech, of smart, daring, dashing commonplaces, not bad, but very inferior to Peel. Yesterday morning the Cabinet met, and they resolved not to resign, but to make an attempt at dissolution. John Russell had asked Peel the night before to let a day pass, that they might consult before they stated to the House of Commons the course they meant to pursue. Thus Melbourne's weak vacillating mind has been over-persuaded, and he consents to what he so highly disapproves. Clarendon has likewise been brought round, for he was also for resignation, and against dissolution. Feeble resolves, easily overthrown, and here are both, these Ministers consenting to a measure, upon the pretext of its being required by public opinion, when in point of fact it is only insisted upon by the most violent of their own adherents, who think any evil tolerable but that of their party being weakened, and who would create confusion, and stir up excitement merely for the sake of embarrassing their opponents on their accession to office.

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

May 25th.—After the great division the Whigs were all in high spirits at thinking they had so quietly carried their point of dissolution, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer immediately introduced the Sugar Duties without comment and in the regular way. Nothing was said, but all the Tories were desirous of doing something, though the greatest doubt prevailed among them as to the steps it would be 10 proper and feasible to take. They were content, however, to leave the matter in the hands of their leaders, and yesterday morning Peel convened a meeting at his house, made them a speech, in which he told them all the objections there were to meddling with the supplies, and proposed the resolution of which he gave notice last night, which was hailed with general satisfaction.4

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


June 6th.—The division took place on Friday night, and there was a majority of one against the Government. 11 For the last day or two it was a complete toss-up which side won, and it evidently depended on the few uncertain men who might or might not choose to vote. As it was, it all turned on an accident. John Russell wrote to Sir Gilbert Heathcote (who never votes), and begged him to come up on Thursday, and to vote. Sir Gilbert did come, but, as there was no division that night, he went home again, and his vote was lost. They left no stone unturned to procure a majority, and brought down a lord who is in a state of drivelling idiotcy, and quite incapable of comprehending what he was about. This poor wretch was brought in a chair; they got him into the House, and then wheeled him past the tellers. Charles Howard, Melbourne's private secretary, told me he thought it a monstrous and indecent proceeding. The Government people now want them to bring on a debate about Corn, and John Russell is to announce to-morrow what he means to do; but it would be so strong a case to convert the House of Commons into a mere debating society for their party purposes, that I don't think they can attempt it.

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

On Monday John Russell announced very properly that after the vote last week he should not go on with any business but that which was indispensable, and Peel extorted from him an engagement to dissolve and reassemble Parliament 12 as soon as possible. This latter point was, I think, contrary to their intentions, and that they would have delayed to call Parliament together as long as they decently could if Peel had not urged it. It was a great mistake, after Lord John's announcement on Monday, to bring on the Chancery Reform Bill, on which they got beaten, and suffered a severe and just rebuke from Peel. It was, in fact, inconsistent with their own declaration, and probably merely attempted for the sake of the patronage.

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

On the other hand, Peel committed a blunder in repeating the absurd charge of the double Budget, which was no doubt put into his head by some of the low hangers-on of his party, and to which, if he had a more generous mind, or a greater knowledge of mankind, or more free communication with other men, he could never have given one moment's credit. It afforded the Government an opportunity 13 once for all of denying this stupid charge, and in a manner which extorted from Peel an expression of his own conviction that it was not true, and this sets the matter for ever at rest. Stanley would not, I think, have fallen into this mistake; he would not have suspected anything of the kind, nor would Peel have got into such a scrape as Stanley.


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

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

The Queen went to Nuneham last week for Prince Albert's visit to Oxford, when he was made a Doctor. Her name was very well received, and so was the Prince himself in the theatre; but her Ministers, individually and collectively, were hissed and hooted with all the vehemence of Oxonian Toryism. Her Majesty said she thought it very disrespectful to the Prince to hiss her Ministers in his presence; but she must learn to bear with such manifestations of sentiment and not fancy that these Academici will refrain from expressing their political opinions in any presence, 14 even in her own. They will think it quite sufficient to be civil and respectful to her name and her Consort's person, and will treat her obnoxious Ministers just as they think fit.

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

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

June 23rd.—Parliament was prorogued yesterday with a very short speech. Nothing new about the elections, but unabated confidence on both sides, though the Whigs cannot expect to counterbalance the loss of almost all the counties. They start with a loss of fifteen seats, given up without contest. Everybody is wondering at the numerous changes they are making, shuffling their cards at a great rate when the game is all but over, and the greatest disgust is expressed at the removal of Plunket and the appointment of Campbell.5 Nobody would believe it at first, and when I told Clanricarde of it, he said if it were done and a vote of censure were moved upon it in the House of Lords, he would support the motion. But it is now said that he accepts the office with an engagement not to take the pension. He told 15 Sheil so, but who will believe there is not some juggle in this, or that he would give up a business worth 10,000l. a-year to hold the Irish Seal for two months, and be left without any emolument at the end of that time?


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

Chester, June 24th.—Parliament having been dissolved yesterday, all the world are off to their elections, and I resolved to start upon an excursion to North Wales, which I have long been desirous of seeing, and which I can now do with great facility and convenience in consequence of Lord Anglesey's having established himself for a short time at Plas Newydd, so there I am bound. I was induced to make this expedition partly by my wish to see the scenery of North Wales and the Menai Bridge, and partly from a desire to stimulate my dull and jaded mind by the exertion and the object. I think of all the tastes and interests I have ever had, of all sources of pleasure, that which adheres to me the most, which is still the least impaired and dulled, is my pleasure in fine scenery and grand objects whether of nature or art, and it is to rouse me to the contemplation of better things and give if possible a wholesome stimulus to my thoughts that I am making this experiment. I could not procure a companion, but was very near getting Landseer, who would have come with me if he had not been obliged to paint every day this week at the Palace; and I also proposed the trip to Dr. Kay, who was prevented by his avocations from accepting the offer. I started by the six o'clock train and arrived here at three o'clock; set off to Eaton, where I saw the outside of the house only, a vast pile of mongrel Gothic, which cost some hundred thousands, and is a monument of wealth, ignorance, and bad taste. I did not see the gardens, nor the front towards the Dee, which are, I believe, the best part. The woody banks through which 16 the Dee runs and the reach of the river are very pretty. Walked afterwards round the walls and through the arcades, so to call them, of the curious old city, unlike any English town I ever saw, and not unlike Bologna.

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

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

In the evening Robert Grosvenor6 came to me, who is here for his own election, and to assist in the desperate contest which they expect between Wilbraham and Tollemache. He told me (which I doubt) that if Palmerston had gone to Liverpool he would certainly have come in.

Plas Newydd, Sunday, June 27th.—Left Chester at half-past eleven on Friday morning, having stopped to hear service at the Cathedral, a poor, but very ancient building, with fine chanting, which I particularly like. A rainy day, nothing particular in the road till Conway, where the Castle is very fine, a most noble ruin, and the old walls of the town, with their numerous towers, so perfect, that I doubt if there is anything like them to be seen anywhere. It presents a perfect fortress of those times (the end of the thirteenth century), and Conway is so well worth seeing, that it alone would repay the trouble of the journey. The Castle appears to have been habitable and defensible till after the Civil Wars, the great epoch of the ruin of most of these ancient edifices. From Conway a fine and striking road along the seashore, and round the base of Penmaen Mawr, a mountain nearly as high as Snowdon; crossed the Menai Bridge at dusk, with barely light enough to see the wonderful work, and arrived at this place between ten and eleven o'clock. Nobody here; Lord Anglesey not yet arrived in his yacht, which was beaten about on her passage by stormy 17 weather. This is a most delightful place on the margin of the Menai Strait, with the mountains in full view, presenting as the clouds sweep round and over them, and as they are ever and anon lit up by the sun, glorious combinations and varieties of light and shade. All day yesterday wasted in looking out for Lord Anglesey (who arrived in the afternoon), or occupied in dipping into travels in, and accounts of North Wales, and in making out excursions for the few days I have to spend here.


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

June 28th.—We walked to the Menai Bridge, where we got into a car and drove to Penrhyn Castle, a vast pile of building, and certainly very grand, but altogether, though there are fine things and some good rooms in the house, the most gloomy place I ever saw, and I would not live there if they would make me a present of the Castle. It is built of a sort of grey stone polishable into a kind of black marble, of which there are several specimens within. It is blocked up with trees, and pitch dark, so that it never can be otherwise than gloomy. We then went to the ferry, and got a boat in which we sailed over to Beaumaris, and went up to Baron's Hill (Sir Richard Bulkeley's), with which I was delighted. The house is unfinished and ugly, but the situation and prospect over the bay of Beaumaris are quite admirable. Nothing can be more cheerful, and the whole scene around, 18 sea, coast and mountains, indescribably beautiful. They compare this bay to that of Naples, and I do not know that there is any presumption in the comparison. Just below the house is the old Castle of Beaumaris, a very remarkable ruin, in great preservation, both the Castle and the surrounding wall. Drove home in another car; these cars are most convenient conveyances and in general use in these parts.

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


July 2nd.—On Wednesday I went on an excursion with Augustus Paget to see the country. We set off at eight in the morning in a boat to Carnarvon, where we breakfasted, got into a car, which took us to Beddgelert, walked to Pont Aberglasslyn and back, then in another car to Llanberis, saw the cascade, changed cars, and went to Moyldon Ferry, where we hired the boat of a slater, in which we were rowed home. We then went all round Snowdon; but the weather got so bad in the afternoon that ascending the mountain was out of the question. Nothing can be finer than the scenery between Beddgelert and Llanberis, and the latter is very wild and picturesque, though I was a little disappointed with the lakes. Yesterday and to-day it did nothing but rain, so any more exploring was out of the question, but 19 I hope to come again into North Wales. I have never travelled in any country which appeared more completely foreign. The road from Beddgelert is perfectly Alpine in character, and the peasantry neither speak nor understand anything but Welsh, so that it is impossible to hold any communication with them. The women, in point of costume, have no resemblance to English women. Besides the round hats which they almost all wear, and which, though not unbecoming, give them a peculiar air, many, though not all of them, wear a sort of sandal on their feet, without soles I believe, but with something bound round their naked feet, the nature and purpose of which I could not exactly make out. The women are generally good-looking, with a vigorous frame, and a healthy cheerful aspect; all the common people are decent in their appearance, and particularly civil and respectful in their manner. The cars, which have in great measure taken the place of postchaises, are very convenient, though, being totally uncovered, are only fit for fine weather. The horses which draw them—one horse—are excellent, and they go very fast; but the charge for them is enormous—a shilling a mile. It is really extraordinary that the English language has not made its way more among the mass of the people. It is spoken at all the inns, but, with the exception of people employed about the house or grounds of a proprietor, very few speak it, and many of those in his actual employment are wholly ignorant of it. A lad of eighteen years old here, who works about the house or on the water, and is in Lord Anglesey's service, cannot speak a word of English. The country seems to be very ill-provided with schools, nor is English taught at all in those which do exist. Nothing can be less advanced than education in these parts. The Welsh are generally poor and wages are low; their food consists principally of potatoes and buttermilk; the average wages of labour is about nine shillings a week. The people, however, are industrious, sober, contented, and well-behaved; they do not like either change or locomotion, and this makes them indifferent about learning English. They would rather remain where they have been 20 accustomed to work, and live upon smaller wages, than go a few miles off to Carnarvon, where they might earn a couple of shillings a week more. The new Poor Law is only in partial operation here. There is a workhouse at Pwlhelly, and there are Boards of Guardians and all the machinery requisite; but the law is unpopular, and it has never been rigidly and universally enforced. The people are extremely averse to its establishment, and the old system works well enough, for which reason its operation has not been much meddled with, and they hope that some expedient will be found to prevent its being carried into effect here.

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

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


July 11th.—I find London rather empty and tolerably calm. The elections are sufficiently over to exhibit a pretty certain result, and the termination of the great Yorkshire contest by the signal victory of the Tories—a defeat, the magnitude of which there is no possibility of palliating, or finding any excuse for—seems to have had the effect of closing the contest. The Whigs give the whole thing up as irretrievably lost; and though some of them with whom I have conversed still maintain that they did right to dissolve, they do not affect to deny that the result has disappointed 21 all their hopes and calculations, and been disastrous beyond their worst fears. They now give Peel a majority of sixty or seventy. The most remarkable thing has been the erroneous calculations on both sides as to particular places, each having repeatedly lost when they thought the gain most certain. The Whigs complain bitterly of the apathy and indifference that have prevailed, and cannot recover from their surprise that their promises of cheap bread and cheap sugar have not proved more attractive. But they do not comprehend the real cause of this apathy. It is true that there has not been any violent Tory reaction, because there have been no great topics on which enthusiasm could fasten, but there has been a revival of Conservative influence, which has been gradually increasing for some time, and together with it a continually decreasing confidence in the Government. They have been getting more unpopular every day with almost all classes, and when they brought forward their Budget the majority of the country, even those who approved of its principles, gave them little or no credit for the measure, and besides doubting whether the advantages it held out were very great or important, believed that their real motives and object were to recover the popularity they had lost, and to make a desperate plunge to maintain themselves in office. It was all along my opinion that their dissolution was a great blunder, that they would have consulted their own party interests better, and still more certainly the success of the fiscal measures they advocate, by resigning. But they thought they could get up excitement, and by agitation place matters in such a state that their successors would be unable to govern the country. This their understrappers and adherents kept dinning into their ears, and by urging the Cabinet one day in the name of the Queen, another in that of the Party, and setting before them the most exaggerated and erroneous representations of the state of public opinion, they at last persuaded Melbourne, Clarendon, and the two or three others who were originally against dissolution, to acquiesce in that desperate and, as it has turned out, fatal experiment. They 22 richly deserve the fate that has overtaken them, for their conduct has been weak and disgraceful, and as no Ministry ever enjoyed less consideration while they held power, so none will ever have been more ignominiously driven from it. They have tenaciously clung to office, and shown a disposition to hold it upon any terms rather than give it up; and when at last they have made a formal appeal to the country, and demanded of public opinion whether they should stay or go, they have been contemptuously and positively bid to go. They have done their utmost to make the Queen the ostensible head of their party, to identify her with them and their measures, and they have caused the Crown to be placed in that humiliating condition which Melbourne so justly deprecated when the question was first mooted. In no political transaction that has ever come under my notice have I seen less principle and more passion, selfishness, absence of public spirit, and less consideration for the national weal. Rage for power, party zeal, and hatred of their antagonists have been conspicuous in the whole course of their language and conduct.

August 4th.—It is nearly a month ago that I wrote the above, and in the meantime the elections progressed in favour of the Tories, and ended by giving them a majority of above eighty. Nothing was left for the Whigs but to comfort themselves with reflexions upon the united state of their minority, and hopes of the disunion that would prevail among the Tories; and upon these considerations, and upon the distresses and embarrassment of the country, which they trust and believe will make Peel's Government very difficult, they build their sanguine expectations of being speedily restored to office. Above all, they look to Ireland as a great and constant source of difficulty, and they evidently hope that O'Connell's influence will now be successfully exerted to render the government of Ireland impossible. And they insist upon the certainty, almost the necessity, of the Orangemen being so exigeants that Peel will have as much difficulty in dealing with them as with the O'Connellites, and between both that he will be inevitably swamped. 23 In these fond anticipations I believe they will find themselves egregiously disappointed, especially in what they expect from the Orangemen. My own expectation is that the Orangemen will no longer aspire to an exclusiveness and ascendency which are unattainable, and that with the protection, justice, and equality which they will obtain under a Conservative Government they will rest satisfied, and will not be fools enough to quarrel with Peel, and open a door to the restoration of the Whigs, because he does not do for them what it would be unreasonable to require, and what he never can have the power to do.


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

August 10th.—The Tories were beginning to quarrel about the Speakership, some wanting to oust Lefevre but the more sensible and moderate, with Peel and the leaders desiring to keep him. The latter carried their point without 24 much difficulty. Peel wrote to four or five and twenty of his principal supporters and asked their opinions. All, except Lowther, concurred in not disturbing Lefevre, and he said that he would not oppose the opinions of the majority. So Peel wrote to Lefevre, and gave him notice that he would not be displaced. The Whig papers, which were chuckling at the prospect of an early schism, were very sulky, and much disappointed at this settlement of the question. It would have been a very bad beginning for Peel if he had been overruled by the violence of the Ultra Tories. If he takes a high line, taking it moderately and discreetly but firmly, if he evinces his resolution to lead and not be driven, to govern the country according to his own sense of its necessities and rights, and to moral and political fitness, he may be a great and powerful Minister; but if the party he leads is so disunited, or so obstinate and unreasonable, that they will not consent to be led on these terms, if they will put forward their wants and wishes, and insist upon his deferring to their notions, prejudices, and desires, contrary to his own judgement, and to the sense and sentiment of the country, his reign will be very short. The party will be broken up, and the Government soon become paralysed and powerless. To this consummation, in full reliance upon his weakness, and the exactions of his party, the hopes of the defeated Whigs are anxiously directed, but I think they will be disappointed. All Peel's conduct for some time past, his speeches in and out of the House of Commons, upon all occasions, indicate his resolution to act upon liberal and popular principles, and upon them to govern, or not at all. That many will be dissatisfied, and many disappointed, there can be no doubt; but on the whole I think the dissidents will, with few exceptions, come into his terms; and as to the conscientious few, who on certain points will inflexibly maintain their opinions or principles, he will be able to afford to lose them. No man ever acquires greatness of mind, which is innate; but a man may acquire wisdom, and one may act from prudence as another would do from magnanimity. Peel's mind is not made of noble material, but 25 he has an enlarged capacity and has had a vast experience of things, though from his peculiar disposition a much more limited one of men. If he takes a correct and a lofty view of his own situation—and to be correct it must be lofty—he will succeed, and the really essential thing is that he should have a deep and determined feeling that possession of office is utterly worthless if it is to be purchased by concessions and compromises which his reason condemns, and that he should enter on the Government with an unalterable determination to stand or fall by the principles he professes.


August 12th.—The day before yesterday I met Dr. Wiseman at dinner, a smooth, oily, and agreeable Priest. He is now Head of the College at Oscott, near Birmingham, and a Bishop (in partibus), and accordingly he came in full episcopal costume, purple stockings, tunic and gold chain. He talked religion, Catholicism, Protestantism, and Puseyism, almost the whole time. He told us of the great increase of his religion in this country, principally in the manufacturing, and very little in the agricultural districts. I asked him to what cause he attributed it, if to the efforts of missionaries, or the influence of writings, and he replied that the principal instrument of conversion was the Protestant Association, its violence and scurrility; that they always hailed with satisfaction the advent of its itinerant preachers, as they had never failed to make many converts in the districts through which they had passed; he talked much of Pusey and Newman, and Hurrell Froude whom Wiseman had known at Rome. He seems to be very intimate with Dr. Pusey, and gave us to understand not only that their opinions are very nearly the same, but that the great body of that persuasion, Pusey himself included, are very nearly ripe and ready for reunion with Rome, and he assured us that neither the Pope's supremacy nor Transubstantiation would be obstacles in their way. He said that the Jesuits were in a very flourishing state, and their Order governed as absolutely, and their General invested with the same authority and exacting the same obedience, as in the early period of the institution. As an example, he said that when the Pope 26 gave them a College at Rome, I forget now what, the General sent for Professors from all parts of the world, summoning one from Paris, another from America, and others from different towns in Italy, and he merely ordered them on the receipt of his letters to repair forthwith to Rome. He invited me to visit him at Oscott, which I promised, and which I intend to do.

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


But what was of much greater importance than any questions about these Ladies was a letter which he showed me from his brother John written a day or two before his 27 marriage, in which he told him what his political intentions were. He said that while he would be in his place to support what he considered the good cause (a somewhat vague phrase), he would adhere to a moderate course, and he was aware in so doing that he should run the risk of giving great offence to many of his party, and probably of determining his own exclusion from office. This declaration is in exact conformity with his intentions, when the Tories were on the point of coming in two or three years ago, and when he published his famous Stroud letter. I believe he will adhere to this resolution, which cannot fail to have an important influence upon the prospects and the position of the Opposition party. It proves how fallacious is their reckoning of the union that is to prevail among them, and how much greater elements of disunion exist among the Whigs than among the Tories, though they have not yet of course begun to exhibit the symptoms of it. But Lord John, besides his intention to adopt the passive course of moderation, has a mind to make an attack upon O'Connell. He has been lately reading over O'Connell's speeches at different places, and is so disgusted and exasperated at them that he told the Duke of Bedford he felt exceedingly inclined to attack him in the House of Commons. This, however, the Duke means to dissuade him from doing. It would be unnecessary, and such an open and early schism would throw the whole Whig party into confusion, and excite their indignation, against their leader. But when such are his sentiments, and when the three hundred men who compose the Opposition consist of three distinct sections of politicians,—the great Whig and moderate Radical body, owning Lord John for their leader, the Ultra Radicals following Roebuck, and the Irish under O'Connell,—and when the Whig leader abhors the Roebuck doctrines, can hardly be restrained from attacking O'Connell, and is resolved to be meek and gentle with his Tory antagonists, it does seem as if Peel's difficulties, whatever may be their nature or magnitude, would not be principally derived from the compact union of his opponents. Lord John said that they should leave the 28 country to the Tories in a very good condition, excepting only the financial distress, which their measures would have relieved—a tolerably impudent assertion in both respects.

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


August 18th.—The day before yesterday the Judicial Committee gave judgement in the great case of James Wood's Will, reversing the whole of Sir Herbert Jenner's judgement both as to the will and the codicil. The surprise was great and general, for everybody expected that the judgement would have been affirmed, and this impression was the stronger, because they had had so little discussion and so few meetings on the matter. They seem to have made up 29 their minds as the cause went on, and they kept the secret so well, that nobody had the least notion what their decision would be, everybody guessing at it from their own opinions, or the circumstance I have alluded to. Brougham was there,7 and arrived long before the appointed hour. He told me that Lyndhurst would deliver the judgement, and, he concluded, would affirm. Soon after Lyndhurst arrived, when he took Brougham aside, and told him what they were going to do. I never saw a man so pleased. He came up to me and, giving me a great poke in the side, whispered: 'See how people may be deceived; they are going to reverse the whole judgement.' Lord Lyndhurst read the judgement, the delivery of it lasting about an hour. It was, I think, very superficial, and when he reversed so elaborate a judgement as Jenner's, it was due to the character of the Judge below, as well as to the importance of the cause, to go into much greater detail, and to reason the case more, and reply to those legal grounds on which Jenner's judgement was grounded. On these they did not touch at all. Having satisfied their minds that the documents were authentic, and that it was the intention of the testator that the four executors should have his money, they decided accordingly, stepping over the technical objection which arose upon the disjunction of the papers A and B, and discarding from their minds, as they were right in doing, all consideration of the misconduct of the parties interested. But it struck me as very extraordinary that they should not have expressed a stronger opinion on that point, and that they should have allowed Alderman Wood to take his 200,000l., and Philpotts his 40, or 50,000, without one word of animadversion upon their behaviour. The Chancellor had said on the Saturday preceding that he thought the judgement would be reversed.

August 24th.—On Saturday at Windsor for a Council, for the Speech: the last Council, I presume, which these Ministers will hold. Nothing particular occurred. I believe 30 that the Queen is extremely annoyed at what is about to take place, and would do anything to avert it; but as that is impossible, she has made up her mind to it. She seemed to me to be in her usual state of spirits. The truth is, when it comes to the point, that it is very disagreeable to have a complete change of decoration, to part with all the faces she has been accustomed to, and see herself surrounded with new ones. That, however, is a very immaterial matter in comparison with the loss of Melbourne's society, and of those confidential habits which have become such an essential part of her existence. 31



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

London: August 25th, 1841.—The Duke of Bedford has just come here with an account of the House of Lords last night.8 Lord Spencer was good; Lord Ripon very good indeed, the best speech he ever heard him make. The amendment to the Address was admirably composed, most skilful and judicious. Melbourne was miserable; he never made so bad a speech, mere buffoonery, and without attempting an answer to Ripon. The Duke of Richmond was strong both in manner and matter, threatening if the new Government did anything, as some said they would, that they would turn them out likewise. The Duke of Wellington complimented Melbourne handsomely on the judicious advice and the good instruction he had given the Queen. Lord Lansdowne was good, and quoted with effect a speech of Mr. Robinson's in favour of a fixed duty. Brougham was very bitter; he voted with the Government, but attacked 32 Melbourne, and taunted him with not having answered Ripon's speech. Lord John had communicated the Queen's Speech to Peel on Monday, in order that he might have time to frame his amendment. He behaved very well about this. He said that it was a very extraordinary occasion: that as the Speech was one which invited an amendment, it was fair to give the other side an opportunity of framing it in the most advisable manner, his great object being that the Queen's dignity and position should be consulted and cared for. Accordingly he proposed to the Cabinet that he should be authorised to send the Speech to Peel, to which they would not agree. On this he took it upon himself to do so, and he wrote to Fremantle, and told him if Peel would like to see the Speech he would send it him. Peel was very glad to have it, so Lord John sent it through Fremantle, and this gave them time to consider their amendment, and excellently done it is. The Duke of Wellington wrote to Lord John during the debates, to offer to adjourn the House till Friday. All these proceedings are decorous and graceful, and when such a spirit animates the Leaders, one feels that the great interests must be safe.

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

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


August 28th.—The House divided last night, and gave the Opposition a majority of ninety-one, almost all the 33 Conservatives attending, and some of the others being absent. Peel seems to have spoken out, and to have announced to friend and foe that he will resolutely follow his own course. If he adheres to this and takes a bold flight, he may be a great man. Yesterday morning Arbuthnot told me that the Duke certainly would not come to the Council Office. He does not like it, says he knows nothing of the business, and won't have anything to do with it; but he told me what surprised me more, and that is, that two years ago, when everybody supposed he was to have been President of the Council, he was in fact to have been Secretary for Foreign Affairs; and it would not much surprise me if he were to take the Foreign Office again, for whatever others may think, he fancies himself as fit as ever to do the business of any office.

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

September 1st.—On Monday morning Peel went down to Windsor. He was well enough satisfied with his reception. 34 The Queen was civil, but dejected; she repeated (what she said two years ago) the expression of her regret at parting with her Ministers. Peel, with very good taste, told her that, as he had never presumed to anticipate his being sent for, he had had no communications with anybody, and was quite unprepared with any list to submit to her, and must therefore crave for time. It was settled that he should have another audience this morning. Up to this time no appointment is known but that of Lord de Grey as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Peel sent for Francis Egerton and told him that he should have proposed that post to him, had he not known that it would not suit him to go to Ireland; and Francis said he was quite right, and that it was not his wish to take any office. If Peel had any occasion for his assistance, he would readily afford it, but he apprehended that his difficulty would be found rather in the abundance than the lack of candidates for office. Peel shook his head, and said it was so indeed, and added that he had not had a single application for office from anybody who was fit for it. It seems clear that the Duke will hold no office. In June he wrote a letter to Peel urging all the reasons why he should not hold office, but expressing his readiness to do anything he might think most serviceable to his Government. Among other reasons he said that a war was not improbable in the unsettled state of European politics, and in the event of its breaking out he should most likely have to take the command of an allied army in Germany, thus exhibiting his own reliance on his moral and physical powers. I did not know (what I heard yesterday) that last year the King of Prussia sent to the Duke, through Lord William Russell, to know if he would take the command of the Forces of the German Confederation in the event of a war with France. He replied that he was the Queen of England's subject, and could take no command without her permission; but if that was obtained, he felt as able as ever, and as willing to command the King's army against France.


It is impossible for Peel to have begun more auspiciously 35 than he has done. I expected that he would act with vigour and decision, and he has not disappointed my expectations. His whole conduct for some time past evinced his determination. Those liberal views, which terrified or exasperated High Tories, High Churchmen, and bigots of various persuasions; those expressed or supposed opinions and intentions which elicited the invectives of the 'British Critic,' or the impertinences of 'Catholicus,' were to me a satisfactory earnest that, whenever he might arrive at the height of power, he was resolved to stretch his wings out and fly in the right direction. He must be too sagacious a man not to see what are the only principles on which this country can or ought to be governed, and that, inasmuch as he is wiser, better informed, and more advanced in practical knowledge than the mass of his supporters, it is absolutely necessary for him immediately to assume that predominance over them, and to determine their political allegiance to him, without establishing which his Government would be one of incessant shifts and expedients, insincere, ineffective, and in the end abortive. I never doubted that, if he had the boldness and the wisdom to take a high line, and assume a high tone at the outset, they would all, bon gré, mal gré, succumb to him, and follow and support him on his own terms. He has now a grand career open to him, and the means of rendering himself truly great. The mere possession of office and the dispensation of patronage can be nothing to him; worse than nothing, to hold office on terms he could not but feel to be humiliating, which would not lead to fame, and would probably in the end entail downfall and disgrace. It is not worth his while, with his immense fortune, high position, and great reputation, to be a mere commonplace Minister, struggling with the embarrassments and the prejudices of his own party. This would be mere degradation and loss of character. He must therefore contemplate the illustration of his administration by the establishment of principles at once sound and popular, combining the essence both of Conservatism and Reform, scrupulously preserving from all assaults the Constitution in all its purity, and carefully 36 extending every sort of improvement and reform that the wants of the people or the imperfections of particular institutions may require. He must reconcile Conservatism with Reform, and prove to the world that instead of their being antagonistic principles, they only appear to be, or are rendered so by the exaggerations and perversions with which interested or bigoted men invest them both. He must satisfy the people of this country, that by the maintenance of the ancient Constitution, and the suppression of Radicalism, their real and permanent interests will be promoted and secured, and animate and invigorate the sentiment of loyalty and attachment to the Crown and Constitution, by teaching the universal lesson, that under its protecting shade the greatest attainable amount of happiness and prosperity may in all human probability be obtained. The Opposition fondly hope that Peel's followers will desert him rather than subscribe to his more liberal and generous maxims of government. I do not believe it. If success attends him, and they see his policy producing prosperity and tranquillity, they will be too happy to 'increase the triumph and partake the gale,' and, after all, their greatest object must be to secure the Constitution from Radical inroads, and exclude from power a Government which they believe could only retain it, if restored, by enormous concessions of a democratic tendency. I think, therefore, Peel is in no danger of being abandoned by the great body of the Conservatives, and if the liberality of some of his measures entails the loss of some Ultra Tories, it will be so much the better for him. What he has to do is to make himself popular with the country—not with 'the uninformed mob that swells a nation's bulk,' but with 'those who are elevated enough in life to reason and reflect, yet low enough to keep clear of the venal contagion of a Court,'—as Burns terms them, 'a nation's strength.'


September 4th.—Went yesterday to Claremont for the Council, at which the new Ministers were appointed—a day of severe trial for the Queen, who conducted herself in a manner which excited my greatest admiration and was really 37 touching to see.9 All the Members of the old Government who had Seals or Wands to surrender were there (not Melbourne), and in one room; the new Cabinet and new Privy Councillors were assembled in another, all in full dress. The Household were in the Hall. The Queen saw the people one after another, having already given audience to Peel. After this was over she sent for me to inform her in what way the Seals were to be transferred to the new men. I found her with the Prince, and the table covered with bags and boxes. She desired I would tell her what was to be done, and if she must receive them in the Closet, or give them their Seals in Council. I told her the latter was the usual form, and it was of course that which she preferred. Having explained the whole course of the proceeding to her, she begged I would take the Seals away, which I accordingly did, and had them put upon the Council table. She looked very much flushed, and her heart was evidently brim full, but she was composed, and throughout the whole of the proceedings, when her emotion might very well have overpowered her, she preserved complete self-possession, composure, and dignity. 38 This struck me as a great effort of self-control, and remarkable in so young a woman. Taking leave is always a melancholy ceremony, and to take leave of those who have been about her for four years, whom she likes, and whom she thinks are attached to her, together with all the reminiscences and reflexions which the occasion was calculated to excite, might well have elicited uncontrollable emotions. But though her feelings were quite evident, she succeeded in mastering them, and she sat at the Council Board with a complete presence of mind, and when she declared the President and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland her voice did not falter. Though no courtier, I did feel a strong mixture of pity and admiration at such a display of firmness. The Household almost all came to resign, but as Peel had not got their successors ready, she would not accept their resignations, and she was right. They came to me to know what was to be done. I went to Peel, who wrote down the only people he had to name—Master of the Horse, Steward, and Vice-Chamberlain. I gave the paper to the Queen, and it was settled that Errol and Belfast should alone resign. Lord Jersey kissed hands as Master of the Horse, and the rest continued to discharge their functions as before. Peel told me that she had behaved perfectly to him, and that he had said to her that he considered it his first and greatest duty to consult her happiness and comfort; that no person should be proposed to her who could be disagreeable to her, and that whatever claims or pretensions might be put forward on the score of parliamentary or political influence, nothing should induce him to listen to them, and he would take upon himself the whole responsibility of putting an extinguisher on such claims in any case in which they were inconsistent with her comfort or opposed to her inclination. I asked him if she had taken this well, and met it in a corresponding spirit, and he said, 'Perfectly.' In short, he was more than satisfied; he was charmed with her. She sent to know if any of the new Ministers wished to see her, but the only one who did so was the Duke of Wellington, who had an audience of a few minutes. He told me afterwards 39 that she reproached him for not taking office, and had been very kind to him. He told her that she might rely on it he had but one object, and that was to serve her in every way that he possibly could; that he thought he could be more useful to her without an office than with one; that there were younger men coming on whom it was better to put in place; and in or out, she would find him always devoted to her person in any way in which he could render himself useful to her. So that everything went off very well, plenty of civilities, and nothing unpleasant; but, for all these honeyed words, affable resignation on her part, and humble expressions of duty and devotion on theirs, her heart is very sore, and her thoughts will long linger on the recollections of the past.


In the evening I dined at Stafford House and met Melbourne. After dinner he took me aside and said, 'Have you any means of speaking to these chaps?' I said, 'Yes, I can say anything to them.' 'Well,' he said, 'I think there are one or two things Peel ought to be told, and I wish you would tell him. Don't let him suffer any appointment he is going to make to be talked about, and don't let her hear it through anybody but himself; and whenever he does anything, or has anything to propose, let him explain to her clearly his reasons. The Queen is not conceited; she is aware there are many things she cannot understand, and she likes to have them explained to her elementarily, not at length and in detail, but shortly and clearly; neither does she like long audiences, and I never stayed with her a long time. These things he should attend to, and they will make matters go on more smoothly.' I told him I would certainly tell Peel, and then I told him how well she had behaved in the morning, and all Peel had said to me, and that he might rely on it Peel wished and intended to consult her comfort in every way, and that he had spoken to me with great feeling of the painful situation in which he was placed, and how impossible it was for any man with the commonest feelings of a gentleman not to be annoyed to the greatest degree at being the instrument, however unavoidably, of giving her so much pain. I told him that I knew Peel, so far from taking umbrage 40 at the continuance of his social relations with her, was desirous that they should not be broken off. Melbourne said, 'That was a very difficult matter, not on Peel's account, for he had never imagined he would feel otherwise, but from other considerations.' This morning I called on Peel and told him word for word what Melbourne had said to me. He said, 'It was very kind of Lord Melbourne, and I am much obliged to him; but do you mean that this refers to anything that has already occurred?' I said, 'Not at all, but to the future.' Melbourne, knowing the Queen's mind better than Sir Robert possibly could, wished to tell him these things in order that matters might go on more smoothly. He said that he had hitherto taken care to explain everything to her, and that he should not fail to attend to the advice. I then repeated to him pretty much of the conversation I had had with Melbourne, and added that I had told him I was sure from what I had heard from others (not from Peel himself), that so far from taking umbrage at any continuance of the social intercourse between him and the Queen, he was perfectly content it should continue. He said that 'it was ridiculous to suppose he could have any jealousy of the kind, that he had full reliance on the Queen's fairness towards him, and besides he knew very well how useless it would be to interfere, if there were any disposition to act unfairly towards him, as he was sure there would not be. Nothing he could do could prove effectual to prevent any mischief, and therefore implicit confidence was the wisest course. People told him that Mr. M—— was a person to be guarded against, but he treated all such intimations with the greatest contempt. The idea of a Prime Minister having anything to fear from Mr. M—, or anybody in his situation, was preposterous.'


He then talked of his communications with the Queen. He said that he had told her that if any other Ministerial arrangement had been possible, if any other individual could have been substituted for him, as far as his personal inclinations were concerned, he should have been most ready to give way to such person; but it was impossible for him not 41 to be aware that no man but himself could form the Government, and that he had taken on himself responsibilities, and owed obligations to his Party, which compelled him to accept the task. The Queen had agreed upon this necessity, and upon the impossibility of anybody else being substituted for him. He said a great deal to me of his own indifference to office, of the enormous sacrifices which it entailed upon him; and as to power, that he possessed enough of power out of office to satisfy him, if power was his object. He had told the Queen that his present position enabled him to make concessions to her which it was impossible for him to do in '39, when he was so weak and in a minority in the House of Commons; that now he could consult her wishes in a manner that was then out of his power, and with regard to her Household she should have no one forced upon her contrary to her own inclination. As to her Ladies, he hoped, under the circumstances, she would take Conservatives, but he had no desire to suggest any particular individuals. Those who were most agreeable to her would be most acceptable to him, and he begged her to make her own selection. As to the men, she had said she did not care who they were, provided they were of good character; but every appointment had been made in concert with her, and it so happened that they were all exactly such as he had wished to make, as well as such as she liked to have. He then repeated that he would not suffer her to be annoyed with the pretensions of any people who would be disagreeable to her. He knew that there were many expectations, and would be many disappointments, but he could not help that, and if Conservatives were not ready to make some personal sacrifices—if for the advantage of having their Party placed in power they would not postpone their claims—he could not help it, and must take the consequences whatever they might be.

He was a good deal disappointed at the Duchess of Buccleuch's refusal to be Mistress of the Robes. Besides the extreme difficulty of finding a fit person for the office, it is awkward and mortifying to have so much difficulty in filling up these high places; and the Duke of Rutland's refusal to 42 be Chamberlain, and the subsequent offer to Lord Exeter (who had not given his answer), made it more mortifying to those candidates to whom no offers are made. He has, in fact, deeply offended and mortified a great many expectants of office, and first and foremost the Duke of Beaufort, who, after having received the Queen at his house, and been distinguished with rather peculiar marks of favour, fully expected that he would have been selected as one especially agreeable to Her Majesty, instead of finding himself in a manner proscribed, he cannot tell why. The Irish lords, Glengall and Charleville, are also furious, and consider Ireland—that is, Orange Ireland—insulted and neglected in their persons; the Beauforts are only sulky. Wilton is another disappointed aspirant; but the Irish lords are open-mouthed and abusive. On the other hand, his Whig enemies accuse him of endeavouring to shift the odium of these exclusions on the Queen, which is certainly not true; but in these times bitterness and disappointment never fail to engender swarms of lies.

With regard to Peel and his conduct, I think he is doing well, and acting a fair, manly, and considerate part. He was wrong, I think, to ask her to name Conservative Ladies. The principle of a mixed household having been admitted, he had better have placed no limitation on her discretion, and she would probably have taken Conservatives. While he was talking to me, I felt some surprise—some at his tone about office and power, some at what he said about M—, and all that. I thought to myself, 'You are a very clever man; you are not a bad man; but you are not great.' He may become as great a Minister as abilities can make any man; but to achieve real greatness, elevation of mind must be intermingled with intellectual capacity, and this I doubt his having. There is a something which will confine his genius to the earth instead of letting it soar on high. I dare say he can be just, liberal, generous and wise, but he has been so long habituated to expedients, to partial dissimulation, to indirect courses, and has such a limited knowledge of the world and human nature, and so little disposition or desire for reciprocal confidence with other men, that I doubt 43 his mind ever expanding into a true liberality and generosity of feeling. However, he has never before been in possession of real and great power, his course has been impeded and embarrassed by all sorts of obstructions and difficulties. It remains to be seen how he will act in his new capacity, and whether he will assert his independence to its fullest extent; above all, whether he will elevate his moral being to 'the height of his great argument.'


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

September 7th.—I fell in with the Duke of Wellington yesterday coming from the Cabinet, and walked home with him. He seemed very well, but totters in his walk. The great difference in him is his irritability, and the asperity with which he speaks of people. Everybody looks at him, all take off their hats to him, and one woman came up and spoke to him. He did not seem to hear what she was saying, but assuming as a matter of course that, she wanted something, he said, 'Do me the favour, Ma'am, to write to me,' and then moved on as quickly as he could. Not that by her 44 writing she would get much, for he has answers lithographed, to be sent to his numerous applicants, which is rather comical because characteristic. I had some talk with him about the applicants, when he told me, in confirmation of what Melbourne had said, that it was the Prince who insisted upon spotless character. He said it was impossible to explain all this, and he was aware how mortified and angry these people are, but he said some means must be found of pacifying them in other ways, and he talked in such terms of Beaufort's capacity that I began to think he was contemplating an embassy for him. They have been very fortunately delivered from the embarrassment of Lord Londonderry by the extravagance of his pretensions. They offered him Vienna, which he rejected with disdain; he wanted Paris, and not getting this, he went off in high dudgeon, and they were too happy to make him their bow and have done with him. In my opinion they were very wrong to offer him anything at all. It was a great blunder six years ago to have proposed to send him to Petersburg. He is neither useful abroad nor dangerous at home, and might very properly be left to his fate and his indignation.

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


September 17th.—A Council at Windsor on Wednesday, the first since the change. It went off very well, all the new Ministers being satisfied with their reception. The Queen was very gracious and good-humoured. At dinner she had the Duke next to her (his deaf ear unluckily) and talked to him a good deal. After dinner she spoke to Aberdeen and then to Peel, much as she used to her old Ministers. I saw no difference in her manner. She talked for some time to Peel, who could not help putting himself into his accustomed attitude of a dancing master giving a lesson. She would like him better if he would keep his legs still. When we went into the drawing-room Melbourne's chair was gone, and she had already given orders to the Lord-in-waiting 45 to put all the Ministers down to whist, so that there was no possibility of any conversation, and she sat all the evening at her round table with Lady De la Warr on one side and Lady Portman on the other, perhaps well enough for a beginning, but too stupid if intended to last. There was no general conversation. The natural thing would have been to get the Duke of Wellington to narrate some of the events of his life, which are to the last degree interesting, but this never seems to have crossed her mind. Peel told me that nobody could form an idea of what he had had to go through in the disposal of places, the adjustment of conflicting claims, and in answering particular applications, everybody thinking their own case the strongest in the world, and that they alone ought to be excepted from any general rule. I take it the examples of selfishness and self-sufficiency have been beyond all conception. A few I heard of: old Maryborough at seventy-nine years old is not content with passing the few years he may have to live in repose, and is indignant that nothing was offered to him. Lefroy, Peel told me, was with him for an hour consuming his precious time, and he had been forced to tell him that he must and would make his judicial appointments according to his own sense of their fitness and propriety. Chin Grant wanting to be Chairman of Ways and Means; everybody, as Peel said, fancying that to any office they had ever held they had a sort of vested right and title, and forgetting that younger men must be brought forward. I told him that he had had a great escape in Londonderry's refusal to go to Vienna, and that the appointment would have done him infinite mischief. The Duke of Beaufort has now applied for the Embassy at Vienna by letter to Peel.

September 22nd.—Peel is going on skirmishing in the House of Commons, where a Whig or a Radical every now and then fires a little shot at the new Government. John Russell is gone into the country. The grand topic of complaint is the refusal of Government to bring forward any measures of relief to the suffering interests, and any financial projects, before the usual period of meeting next year. But 46 the Opposition have made no case, though perhaps Peel would have done wisely to call Parliament together again in November. The appointments are most of them completed, except the diplomatic posts, which are still uncertain, and the Governor-Generalship of India. This was offered to Haddington, who refused it, and it is a curious circumstance that a man so unimportant, so destitute not only of shining but of plausible qualities, without interest or influence, should by a mere combination of accidental circumstances have had at his disposal three of the greatest and most important offices under the Crown, having actually occupied two of them, and rejected the greatest and most brilliant of all. He has been Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, he refuses to be Governor General of India, and he is First Lord of the Admiralty. To the list of the discontented I find one may be added in the person of Chief Justice Burke, who came over here to bargain for his retirement and solicit a peerage. He has held on that a Conservative Government might dispose of his office, and he thinks he has a good claim to be made a peer. But he has not only not got what he wants, but complains that Peel has been wanting in courtesy in not having any personal communication with him. He expected Peel would send for him, but he did not, and the Chief is gone back to Ireland with a strong sense of neglect and ill-usage.


September 27th.—Went on Friday to Woburn, and returned yesterday. Nobody there but Sir George Seymour and his wife, and old Lord Lynedoch, who is ninety-six, and just going to Italy for the winter. Not much talk on politics, but, with reference to the sanguine expectations of Palmerston of a speedy restoration to office, the Duke confirmed what I before thought, that, even if the road was again open, the old Government never could be reconstituted, and that, whatever others might do, Lord John never would consent to its restoration tale quale, for example, with Melbourne at its head, with all his vacillation and weakness. But as the Queen has no notion of a Whig Government except that of Melbourne, and cares for nobody else, it would not at all meet her wishes and expectations to propose the formation 47 of a Cabinet with any other Chief. I suspect Lord John would agree to no plan which did not make himself Prime Minister, and he would be quite right. Palmerston would agree to anything which took him back to the Foreign Office; but he would find the Foreign Office under Lord John a very different thing from the Foreign Office under Melbourne; and as the vindictive nature of Palmerston will never forgive Lord John for the part he took in the Eastern business, and as Lord John, though with a strange facility he became reconciled to Palmerston, has no confidence in him, I do not see how they could possibly go on.10 It is very pleasant to be at Woburn, with or without society, a house abounding in every sort of luxury and comfort, and with inexhaustible resources for every taste—a capital library, all the most curious and costly books, pictures, prints, interesting portraits, gallery of sculpture, garden with the rarest exotics, collected and maintained at a vast expense—in short, everything that wealth and refined taste can supply.

I read there a Diary of John Duke of Bedford (Junius's Duke), which is not at all interesting, but it affords strong evidence to show the injustice of Junius, and that he was a very good sort of man instead of being the monster that Junius represents him. The Duke told me that the intimacy in which Sir Philip Francis had lived with his uncle, and his having been an habitual guest at Woburn, was quite enough to account for his concealing and denying that he was the author. It would certainly have drawn a host of enemies upon him, as all the Russells and Fitzroys would have felt in duty bound to resent the fierce and savage attacks of Junius upon their grandfather and father. He had every motive for concealment, and none for disclosure, and as to his vanity, that must have been amply gratified by 48 the general suspicion and acknowledgement (implied by the suspicion) that he was capable of writing Junius. I never had a doubt that Francis was Junius, and that belief is growing very general.

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

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


Last night Charles Buller told me he did not think 49 Peel's Government would last, because he did not go the way to make it last, but that he thought Peel himself had done admirably well in every respect; and he must own the Government, as far as they had gone, had behaved properly and handsomely, especially about the Poor Laws and Canada—better than the late would have done as to the last. It is remarkable that the very people belonging to the late Government had no respect for it and no confidence in it. He owned to me that it was time such a miserable apology for a Government as the late Cabinet was (these were my words, not his) should come to an end: a government of departments, absolutely without a chief, hating, distrusting, despising one another, having no principles and no plans, living from hand to mouth, able to do nothing, and indifferent whether they did anything or not, proposing measures without the hope or expectation of carrying them, and clinging to their places for no other reason than because they had bound themselves to the Queen, who insisted on their continuance in spite of their feelings of conscious humiliation and admitted impotence, merely because she loved to have Melbourne domesticated at Windsor Castle, and she could not have him there on any other terms.

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

Elliot11 is expected home any day. There is a mighty clamour against him, but he confidently asserts, and his 50 friends fondly hope, that he will be able to make his case good. The Government will treat him impartially, for Lord Wharncliffe said to me the other day that he was not at all sure it would not turn out that Elliot was quite right in what he had done at Canton; but the disappointment, and disapprobation of the General and the Admiral have naturally damaged him in public opinion here, and people are so sick of this silly, inglorious, but mischievous war, that they are exasperated at any opportunity having been lost of terminating it by a decisive blow.

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

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



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

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

A curious point has arisen, interesting to the Guards. It has been the custom for the officer on guard at St. James's Palace to be promoted to a majority when a Royal Child is born.14 The guard is relieved at forty-five minutes after ten. At that hour the new guard marched into the Palace Yard, and at forty-eight minutes after ten the child was born. The question arises which officer is entitled to the promotion. The officer of the fresh guard claims it because the relief 52 marched in before the birth, and the keys were delivered over to him; but the other officer claims it because the sentries had not been changed when the child was actually born, his men were still on guard, and he disputes the fact of the delivery of the keys, arguing that in all probability this had not occurred at the moment of the birth. The case is before Lord Hill for his decision.

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

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

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


All is quiet enough here. The new Ministers tell me they are strong in the country, and that a general feeling of satisfaction and security is diffused by the substitution of a 53 real working Government for the last batch. They are certainly working very hard, and mean to allow themselves no repose. Cabinets have been constantly held, and in the beginning of December they are to meet for the purpose of regular and unbroken consultation. As yet, whatever Peel may contemplate, he has proposed nothing to his colleagues, so that no dissensions can have taken place among them, for the simple reason that there has been no discussion. I asked Lord Wharncliffe what the Duke of Buckingham would do when they came to discuss the Corn Laws, etc. He said he did not know; hitherto he had given no indications, and had, in fact, done nothing but apply to all the Ministers for places, being exceedingly greedy after patronage. He describes him as a very ordinary man, and apparently without any habits of, or taste for, business. Such as he is, however, he is at the head of a powerful interest, and they did well to take him in, end as it may. If Peel proposes Liberal measures, and can prevail on Buckingham to go along with him, his task will be much easier. If he is obstinate, and they turn him out, it will tell well with the country. I never contemplate the other alternative of Peel's succumbing to the Duke of Buckingham and the Corn Law monopolists.

Meanwhile, Lord Ripon's conduct with regard to Macgregor is not calculated to excite favourable expectations with reference to Free Trade,15 only it may have arisen more from personal than political motives. As soon as he came into office he told Macgregor that, after his evidence (on the Import Duties), he could have no confidence in him, and it was better frankly to tell him so. Macgregor expressed his regret, said that his opinions were unaltered, and that he was confident time would prove their correctness, and that Lord Ripon himself, or whoever might be Minister, would in the end be obliged to adopt the principles he had propounded. 54 Some days afterwards Ripon again spoke to him in the same strain, informed him that he had no confidence in him, and could not, therefore, with any satisfaction transact business with him. To this Macgregor responded that it was better he should once for all make known to his Lordship that he had no intention of resigning, that he should give his best assistance to him as President of the Board of Trade, without reference to any political considerations, and that if he chose to turn him out in consequence of the evidence he had given before the Committee of the House of Commons, he was of course at liberty to do so. This silenced Ripon, and he has never since returned to the subject. The truth seems to be that he wants the place for H. Ellis, and thought he could make Macgregor resign by what he said to him.

My brother writes me word that Louis Philippe has been plunging chin-deep into the Spanish intrigues, and is now furious at having been detected, and at the abuse which is lavished on him. We seem to have taken a very proper course, keeping matters quiet, and without any interference, giving the most cordial and amicable assurances to the Spanish Government. Guizot is supposed to have had no concern in these underhand dealings, but he can hardly avoid being mixed up in them, and he will probably in the end be forced to become an unwilling party to the King's manoeuvres, or to give up his office to Molé, who will be glad to take it on any terms, and the King too happy to have him. 55


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

November 24th, 1841.—If I do not vary the nature and enlarge the scope of this Journal, I shall very soon be completely aground and have nothing whatever to put down, for I am placed in very different circumstances with the present and the late Government. I have no intimacy or social habits with any of these people, and the consequence is that I know little or nothing of what is going on. I have, for a long time past, accustomed myself to what is, I believe, a very foolish, unprofitable way of writing. I have almost 56 entirely given up entering anything except such scraps of political information as I have picked up by one means or another, and consequently have grown very idle, and my entries have often had long intervals between them. Somebody remarked the other day what innumerable things were lost for want of some curious observer and chronicler, who would be at the trouble of recording and hoarding them in something less voluminous, and therefore more accessible than the columns of a newspaper. I was struck with the truth of this, and thought how many anecdotes, verses, jeux d'esprit, and miscellanies of various kinds I might have rescued from oblivion, but had never thought of doing so, because they had appeared in newspapers. Partly, therefore, because it may be more or less interesting and amusing, and partly because I think I shall have no political facts or circumstances to record, I have resolved to fill my pages with more general matter, although, such is the inveterate force of habit, I am anything but sure that I shall adhere to my resolution.

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


Another curious thing has happened. Lord Sudeley went with his brother to some sparring exhibition, where their pockets were picked. The brother had had the 57 precaution to clear his of everything valuable, but Lord Sudeley lost three Exchequer bills of 1,000l. each. He gave notice of his loss, and the usual means were adopted for recovering the bills, the numbers stopped, and so forth. Not long ago a man came into a banker's at Liverpool, and said he was going abroad, and wanted money, and would be much obliged if they would give him some in exchange for an Exchequer bill. He handed the bill in, when the banker, on looking at it, thought it was the same number as one of the advertised bills, and he told the gentleman that such was the case. The man expressed ignorance and surprise, but said that of course he could not expect the money under such circumstances, and begged he would give him back the bill. The other said he was sorry he could not do that, as he was bound to detain it. 'Well, then,' said the man, 'if that is the case, I will call again to-morrow, and you will be able, in the meanwhile, to enquire further into the business.' But the banker replied he could not allow him to go either, and was under the necessity of detaining him as well as the bill. A police-officer was sent for, and the gentleman was led into another room. Having secured his person, they concluded that the other Exchequer bills were probably not far off, and that somebody would call in the course of the day to make enquiry about the person in custody, and for this expected visit they set a watch. In a short time a man did come and enquire, when they told him the gentleman had been obliged to go off to London. The officer followed the enquirer to his lodging and into his room, where he explained the object of his visit. The man said he might make any search he pleased, which he immediately did, but without success. He was therefore preparing to leave the room, but as he passed the bed his eye fell upon a waistcoat, which the man had just taken off and thrown upon it. He had already searched the pockets before the man had taken it off, but nevertheless was tempted to take the waistcoat up again, when suddenly the man flew upon him, and seized him by the throat. A violent struggle ensued, but eventually the officer was able to examine the waistcoat 58 closely, and concealed therein were the other two Exchequer bills. Thus all three were recovered, but they turned out to be all three forged.

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

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


The Duke of Wellington is remarkably well. I saw him yesterday for the first time since the Council at Windsor, and he said he never was better. But he is altered in character strangely. He has now a morbid aversion to seeing people, which nearly amounts to madness. Nobody can get access to him, not even his nearest relations. When anybody applies for an interview, he flies into a passion, and the answers which he dictates to letters asking for audiences, or asking for anything, are so brutally uncivil and harsh that my brother Algy constantly modifies or alters them. The Duke fancies he is so engaged that he cannot spare time to 59 see anybody. This peculiarity is the more remarkable, because formerly his weakness was a love of being consulted by everybody, and mixed up with everything. Nobody was ever in a difficulty without applying to him; innumerable were the quarrels, tracasseries, scandals, intrigues, and scrapes which he had to arrange and compose. He has for a long time past kept up a correspondence with Raikes, encouraging him to write at great length, and punctually answering his letters. Raikes came over here to see what he could get, and the Duke interested himself in his favour, and spoke to Aberdeen; but although they have so long been correspondents, Raikes has never been able to obtain an audience at Apsley House, for though he solicited that favour as soon as he came, the Duke has never once admitted him. I was yesterday with Messrs. Sidebottom, in Lincoln's Inn, for the purpose of settling the disputes between Lord de Mauley and Lord Kinnaird, when they told me what had passed about the Duke's personal property, when a bill was brought in, upon Douro's marriage, to settle a jointure on Lady Douro. They urged him to take that opportunity to entail on the title all the curious and valuable things which had been given him by emperors and kings, and to have a clause inserted in the Bill for that purpose. He consented, but when he saw it, he said he did not like it; he thought the enumeration flashy, and he would have it expunged. At last they hit on an expedient, and they introduced a clause to the effect that anything which he should appoint by deed within two years should be entailed on the title for ever, and they prevailed on him to sign the deed on the very last day of the two years. The value of the property is said to amount to half a million, and a great number of things were brought to light which he did not know that he possessed. If his two sons die without issue, which is very probable, the disposal of all these valuables reverts to him.17


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


November 30th.—Graham has made Sir Edmund Head Poor Law Commissioner, an appointment very creditable to him. The Government are certainly going on well, and Tufnell, as strong a Whig as any, told me last night he thought their appointments excellent, and that they were doing very well. This appointment of Head is what Normanby was urged, but was afraid, to make. He shrank from it, however, for very poor reasons, not honourable to himself or to others concerned. First of all, John Russell's trying to 61 thrust Rich upon him, a man not for one moment to be compared with Head, and then because Chadwick was against him. Accordingly he left it to the Tories, fully expecting they would appoint Colonel A'Court; but Graham has thrown over all party considerations, and having, after strict enquiry, satisfied himself that Head is the ablest and the fittest man, he has given him the situation.

A correspondence has just appeared in the papers between the Duke of Wellington and the Paisley deputation, which is exceedingly painful to read, calculated to be very injurious to the Government, whom their enemies are always accusing of indifference to the public distress, and which, in my opinion, exhibits a state of mind in the Duke closely bordering on insanity. This deputation is come up to represent the distress prevailing at Paisley, and they ask for an interview to lay the case before the Duke. He refuses to see them, and writes a letter much in the style of his printed circulars, alleging that he has no time, and that he holds no office, and has no influence. They remonstrate temperately and respectfully, still press for the interview, and then he makes no reply whatever. All this is lamentable; it is a complete delusion he is under; he has nothing to do, and he has boundless influence. When we reflect upon his habits at the time he was Prime Minister, still more when he was in Spain, with such weight on his Atlantean shoulders, when he would find time for everything and for everybody's affairs, and when we compare the language of his despatches, and the conduct they exhibit, with his present querulous tone and pertinacious seclusion, we are painfully struck with the great change that has come over his noble spirit, and it becomes impossible not to regret that in his seventy-third year, and after three epileptic fits, he was not permitted to hold himself free from the trammels, cares, and duties of Executive Government. He might and would have been a great amicus curiæ, aiding with his moral influence the Government, adjusting differences and disputes, ready to be appealed to, to advise and assist in any case of necessity, but not wearing himself out by real or imaginary business, 62 and neither committing the Government by his strange fancies, nor injuring his own popularity by his mortifying and almost savage behaviour to the various people who approach him.


December 3rd.—I dined again with Bingham Baring yesterday and met Lord FitzGerald, with whom I had a long talk, the first time I have seen him since he came into office. We discussed the Duke of Wellington's Paisley correspondence, and he fully confirmed my impression of the vexation it would cause the Government. It is clear enough that they would be very glad to be without him; and after talking of the unhappy and increasing infirmity of his temper, he expressed his apprehension of the probable consequences in the House of Lords,20 and that the Government may be seriously compromised by some imprudent or intemperate expressions of the Duke; that, last year, nothing but the extreme forbearance of Brougham, and his good-nature, had prevented some disagreeable results of this kind; and it was now the more serious, when the Duke was to be the organ of the Government, and from his habits and his deafness it would be impossible for anybody to check or restrain him, Lyndhurst placed afar off on the woolsack, and the Duke sitting with his head buried in his chest, and neither consulting with, nor attending to, anyone. In 1835, he said, it had been the Duke's wish to do what he is now doing—to lead the House of Lords without a place; but Peel had then thought this was open to constitutional objections. Why he did not raise the same objections now, I don't know, unless it was that he found the Duke bent on forming part of the 63 Government, and that he would have insisted on the Foreign Office again, if he was not permitted to lead without one. This, however, is mere conjecture. FitzGerald owned that it would have been better if he had retired, and kept aloof from Government. It has been his great misfortune never to have people about him who ventured to oppose his opinions, and he has always liked the society of those who applauded to the skies everything he said and did. As long as his faculties were unimpaired, it is difficult not to believe that if he had had candid and intelligent friends he would have listened to and considered their opinions, for his obstinacy is not the result of pride or vanity, from both of which he is singularly free, but arises from the habit, become inveterate, of trusting entirely to himself and to his own judgement. FitzGerald told me that he had never been more struck by anything than by the despatches and State-papers of Lord Auckland, and that he had no sort of idea he was so able a man; that he was, with the sole exception of John Russell, by far the ablest man of his party. His views most statesmanlike, and his government of India particularly just. I never heard a warmer panegyric than he passed upon Auckland.21

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

December 5th.—The difficulties and trouble that may be caused by trifles may be well illustrated by a matter which is now pending. Peel sent for me the day before yesterday, to talk to me about the armorial bearings of the Prince of Wales, a matter apparently very simple and insignificant, 64 but not at all so in fact. The Queen and Prince are very anxious to allot to this baby his armorial bearings, and they wish that he should quarter the arms of Saxony with the Royal arms of England, because Prince Albert is alleged to be Duke of Saxony. The Queen gave the Princess Royal armorial bearings last year by warrant, but it is conceived that more formal proceedings are necessary in the case of the Heir Apparent. The last precedent is that of 1714, when George the First referred to the Privy Council the question of the Prince of Wales's arms, who reported to His Majesty thereupon. On that occasion the initiative was taken by the Deputy Earl Marshal, who transmitted to the Council a draft, which was afterwards approved. Then, however, the case admitted of no doubt; but now the Heralds, and others who have considered the matter, think that the Saxon arms ought not to be foisted upon the Royal arms of England. It is Her Majesty's predilection for everything German which makes her insist on this being done, and she wants it to be done offhand at the next Council without going through the usual forms of a reference and report. Peel, however, is not disposed to let the thing be thus hurried over; he thinks that it is a matter in which the dignity of the Crown is concerned, and that whatever is done should be done with deliberation, and that if the Privy Council are to advise, they ought to advise what is right and becoming, and not merely what she and the Prince wish. The difficulty, therefore, is, how to set the matter going. The Earl Marshal will not stir without an order to do so. If the Home Office order him to submit a draft of the armorial bearings of the Prince of Wales, they can only order him to make out what is right according to the rules and laws of heraldry, and the Earl Marshal is of opinion that what the Queen and Prince wish to be done is inconsistent with those rules. The matter therefore remains in suspense. I have sent to Lord Wharncliffe, by Peel's desire, to come up from Wortley to meet Graham, in order that they may put their heads together and settle this delicate and knotty affair. Melbourne would have made very light 65 of it; he would have thought it did not signify a straw, which, in fact, it does not, and that any fancy the Queen had should be gratified in the most summary way.


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

December 9th.—I saw Graham again yesterday about this business. They have gazetted the child 'Duke of Saxony,' which is very absurd, and at Lady Holland's, last night, the precedence given to that title over the English titles was much criticised. It was amusing to hear Lady Palmerston finding fault, and when I told her it was a particular fancy of the Queen's, to which she clung very tenaciously, she said 'that it was the duty of the Ministers to tell her it was wrong, but they had not the courage to do so.' I asked Graham how they were going on with the Queen. He said, 'Very well. They sought for no favour, and were better without it. She was very civil, very gracious, and even, on two or three little occasions, she had granted favours in a way that was indicative of good will.' He said that they treated her with profound respect and the greatest attention. 66 He made it a rule to address her as he would a sensible man, laying all matters before her, with the reasons for the advice he tendered, and he thought this was the most legitimate as well as judicious flattery that could be offered to her, and such as must gratify her, and the more because there was no appearance of flattery in it, and nothing but what was fit and proper. He said Ellenborough had immediately ingratiated himself with her, by giving her very good summaries of Indian intelligence, and explaining everything to her in his own very good style, so that the moment Peel proposed him to go to India, she said he was the fittest man he could select. I told him that Ellenborough might thank me for this, for I had advised him, the day we went to Windsor, to do so, and told him that she liked to have this done.

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


I have seen here a correspondence between the Chancellor and Lord Carrington about the appointment of Buckinghamshire magistrates, which is very discreditable to the former, and exhibits an example of authority exercised directly in the teeth of all the principles laid down by the Tories in a 67 case very analogous three years ago. On this occasion the Chancellor, almost immediately after he got the Great Seal, peremptorily appointed fifteen magistrates, which Carrington of course knew very well was a list of the Duke of Buckingham's. He was very angry, and expressed his resentment, but the Chancellor would not give way, and could not satisfy him. Three years ago Lord Howard complained, in the House of Lords, of Lord Cottenham for appointing eight magistrates at Leeds. On that occasion the Duke of Wellington made a speech, in which he laid down what the Lord Chancellor ought to do, and what he ought not to do, and if he had made it in reference to this case, it could not contain a stronger and more applicable censure of the conduct of Lord Lyndhurst. The circumstances, too, make this a much stronger and more odious case than the other.

I have been employed in reading the Duchess of Marlborough's correspondence with her two granddaughters, successively Duchesses of Bedford, and most amusing it is. I have urged the Duke to publish it, and, if Lord John, who is going to publish a volume or more of Bedford papers, does not choose to take the Duchess of Marlborough's letters in hand, to let me arrange them for the press, which he has promised to do. I hardly ever read any letters more expressive of character, and more natural than these, and they abound in shrewd observation and knowledge of human nature, besides a very good sprinkling of anecdotes, some very entertaining. I took Lord Spencer down with me to the librarian's room to look at them, when he told me two anecdotes of John Spencer, her grandson, to whom, after quarrelling with him violently, as she did with everybody else, she left all the property at her disposal.22 The first was about the cause of their quarrel. She gave a great dinner on her birthday to all her family, and she said that 'there she was, like a great tree, herself the root, and all her branches flourishing round her;' when John Spencer said to his neighbour that 'the branches would flourish more when the root was under ground.' This produced great hilarity, 68 which attracted the notice of old Sarah, who insisted on knowing the cause, when John Spencer himself told her his own bon mot, at which—and no wonder—she took great offence. She afterwards forgave him, and desired him to marry. He expressed his readiness to marry anybody she pleased, and at last she sent him a list, alphabetically arranged, of suitable matches. He said he might as well take the first on the list, which happened to be letter C, a Carteret, daughter of Lord Granville's, and her he accordingly married. Lord Spencer told me that his father and mother had destroyed a good many papers of old Lady Spencer's, some of which he much regretted, particularly a series of gossiping letters of old Lord Jersey's, who was a great friend of hers, and wrote to her all that was passing in the world every day. He has kept all his own correspondence while in office, and, since he went out, that with Brougham on various subjects, which he says is very voluminous, and will be very curious. It is, however, all in confusion at present.

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


Bowood:23 December 20th.—Came to town on Saturday, and here to-day. Saw Graham yesterday and told him what a scrape the Chancellor has got into about the Buckinghamshire magistrates, and discussed the whole matter with him, not mincing my opinion. He owned it was bad, but 69 had no better excuse to suggest than that Lord Cottenham had established a bad principle, and they must therefore carry it out. He said he should tell Peel. I found they are not going to give the Northamptonshire Lieutenancy to Lord Spencer, but to Lord Exeter, who lives in a corner of the county, takes no part in its affairs, and is already Lieutenant of Rutlandshire. The party would without doubt have been offended if Lord Spencer had had it, but the question, was whether so good an opportunity might not and ought not to be taken to relax the rigorous practice of conferring these appointments always on political adherents. I found a very different party here from what I left at Woburn. There nothing but idle, ignorant, ordinary people, among whom there was not an attempt at anything like society or talk; here though not many, almost all distinguished more or less—Moore, Rogers, Macaulay, R. Westmacott, Butler and Mrs. Butler, Dr. Fowler and his wife, Lady H. Baring, Miss Fox. Mrs. Butler read the three last acts of 'Much Ado about Nothing,' having read the first two the night before. Her reading is admirable, voice beautiful, great variety, and equally happy in the humorous and the pathetic parts.

December 23rd.—Three days passed very agreeably. Charles Austin came yesterday, Dundas and John Russell to-day. Last night Mrs. Butler read the first three acts of the 'Hunchback,' which she was to have finished to-night, but she ran restive, pretended that some of the party did not like it, and no persuasion could induce her to go on. Another night, Moore sang some of his own Melodies, and Macaulay has been always talking. Never certainly was anything heard like him. It is inexhaustible, always amusing and instructive, about everybody and everything. I had at one time a notion of trying to remember and record some of the conversation that has been going on, and some of the anecdotes that have been told, but I find it is in vain to attempt it. The drollest thing is to see the effect upon Rogers, who is nearly extinguished, and can neither make himself heard, nor find an interval to get in a word. He is exceedingly provoked, though he can't help admiring, 70 and he will revive to-morrow when Macaulay goes. It certainly must be rather oppressive after a certain time, and would be intolerable, if it was not altogether free from conceit, vanity, and arrogance, unassuming, and the real genuine gushing out of overflowing stores of knowledge treasured up in his mind. We walked together for a long time the day before yesterday, when he talked of the History he is writing. I asked him if he was still collecting materials, or had begun to write. He said he was writing while collecting, going on upon the fund of his already acquired knowledge, and he added, that it was very mortifying to find how much there was of which he was wholly ignorant. I said if he felt that, with his superhuman memory and wonderful scope of knowledge, what must ordinary men feel? He said that it was a mistake to impute to him either such a memory or so much knowledge; that Whewell and Brougham had more universal knowledge than he had, but that what he did possess was the ready, perhaps too ready, use of all he knew. I said what surprised me most was, his having had time to read certain books over and over again; e.g. he said he had read Don Quixote in Spanish, five or six times; and I am afraid to say how often he told me he had read 'Clarissa.' He said that he read no modern books, none of the novels or travels that come out day after day. He had read 'Tom Jones' repeatedly, but 'Cecil a Peer,' not at all; and as to 'Clarissa,' he had read it so often that, if the work were lost, he could give a very tolerable idea of it, could narrate the story completely, and many of the most remarkable passages and expressions. However, it would be vain, nor is it worth while, to attempt to recollect and record all his various talk. It is not true, as some say, that there is nothing original in it, but certainly by far the greater part is the mere outpouring of memory. Subjects are tapped, and the current flows without stopping. Wonderful as it is, it is certainly oppressive after a time, and his departure is rather a relief than otherwise. Dundas, who is very agreeable, and very well informed, said to-day that he was a bore; but that he is not, because what 71 comes from him is always good, and it comes naturally, and without any assumption of superiority. Perhaps the most extraordinary thing is the quantity of trifling matter which he recollects. He gave us verses of James Parke's,24 and others of Laurence Peel's,25 ludicrous lines, written on different occasions. His memory treasures up all sorts of trash and nonsense, as well as the most serious and most important matter; but there is never any confusion.


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

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

January 8th.—Lord Ashburton's appointment to America27 72 to settle all our disputes was much praised at first, but now the public mind is changed, and there is a general disposition to find fault with it. People reflect on his vacillation and irresolution, and think age and absence from affairs are not likely to have cured the defects of his character; however, it is creditable to him to make the sacrifice.

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

January 11th.—I dined with Lady Holland on Sunday, and had a talk with Dedel, who said that Palmerston had contrived to alienate all nations from us by his insolence and violence, so that we had not now a friend in the world, while from the vast complication of our interests and affairs we were exposed to perpetual danger—of which much is true, but it is not true that we are without friends absolutely. We are very well with Spain and with Austria. Yesterday 73 I saw Bidwell,29 who agreed with Dedel about Palmerston, for all the Foreign Office abhor him. He said that Palmerston's tone on every occasion, and to every Power, not only had disgusted them all, but made it very difficult for his successor to adopt another tone without some appearance of weakness. However, Aberdeen is doing well, avoiding Palmerston's impertinence of manner, and preserving his energy as to matter. He has taken a very fair and impartial part in the squabble between Salvandy and Espartero, and is urging the latter not to insist upon what is untenable, and contrary to precedent. He is also trying to get Austria to send a Minister to Madrid, and would probably have succeeded but for this French quarrel.


January 13th.—While waiting for the greater interest to be excited by the meeting of our Parliament on the 3rd of next month, all Europe is thrown into a state of agitation, and the gravest statesmen are occupied with the quarrel between Espartero and Salvandy, or rather Louis Philippe, for there seems no doubt that it originates with him, animated by spite and hatred of the Spanish Regent. This mighty and important question is neither more nor less than whether the French Minister shall deliver his credentials to the Regent at once, or whether he shall deliver them to the Infant Queen, by her to be placed in the hands of the Regent. On this momentous difference the political and diplomatic world is divided, a vast deal of irritation is produced, and, in consequence of it, very important negotiations are suspended and delayed. Aberdeen is vainly attempting to negotiate a compromise, and has opposed the pretensions of Espartero (after disapproving of the original demands of France) in a manner to draw down a very bitter and able attack upon him, evidently from the pen of Palmerston, in the 'Morning Chronicle' yesterday. To this the 'Times' has responded this morning very well, and the contest will be carried on between these not very unequal antagonists. Besides the question of Salvandy, it embraces several minor and collateral points. It is impossible for an attack to be 74 more virulent, bitter, and contemptuous than that of Palmerston upon Aberdeen, and it becomes rather amusing when we recollect Aberdeen's approbation and support of Palmerston's anti-Gallican policy in the Syrian campaign. All Aberdeen's predilections are anti-French, and he never forgets his old connexion with the Allies, but this does not save him from the lash of Palmerston, and from the most sarcastic gibes upon his supposed subserviency to France. It certainly surprises me that Aberdeen should have adopted the French rather than the Spanish view of the question, for I cannot but think Espartero in the right, and the argument in his favour appears to me unanswerable. I agree in this with Palmerston: the appointment of a Regent presupposes the incapacity of the Sovereign to discharge the functions of Royalty, and the Regent is consequently invested with all the authority of the Crown. All its rights, privileges, and duties appertain to the Regent, who can and must do everything which the Sovereign would do if of full age. The age of the Sovereign can make no difference; the incapacity must be absolute, and the rule, whatever it be, equally applicable to a baby in arms and to a person within a month of her majority. It is impossible to determine that the infant Sovereign becomes at some indefinite period capable of discharging one or more specific acts, but no others; for who is to decide what acts the infant can do, and what not, and at what particular age the incapacity shall partially cease? Supposing the Queen of England now to die, and Prince Albert become Regent, no Foreign Minister could commit the absurdity of insisting upon delivering his credentials into the hands of the Prince of Wales, who is barely two months old; yet the same principle must be applied in both, and in all cases of minority. It is true that matters of etiquette admit of great variety, and different precedents more or less analogous may be brought to bear on the question; but in this, the last precedent ought to be conclusive, and that is the practice during the Regency of Christina, when no difficulty was ever made, and the Ministers presented their credentials at once to her. It is clear that this 75 could not be in virtue of her own Royal dignity, for that can have nothing to do with it. Espartero, or whoever may happen to be Regent, be his rank whatever it may, is entitled to the same privileges, and to be treated exactly in the same manner as the Queen Dowager of Spain. Whatever she did, and whatever was done to her, was done in and to her character of the representative of the Crown, and had no reference to her own status. But whatever may be the result, there is no danger of our quarrelling with Spain on the question, for the Spanish Government know that we are trying to assist them in a much more important affair, their recognition by the three Great Powers, which we should probably have brought about already, but for this untoward dispute. It is not very clear that Palmerston (though partly well-informed) is aware of this; but his hatred of Guizot is so great, aggravated by his refusal to sign the Slave Treaty with him, and signing it immediately after with Aberdeen,30 that he could not resist any opportunity of flinging out his venom against France. However, the war that is waged by him, and against him, is very entertaining; he is an adversary well worth battling with, a magnus Apollo of newspaper writers.


A ridiculous thing happened the other day. B—, who corresponds with the editor of the 'State Gazette' at Berlin, sent him a very bitter philippic against Palmerston, and a severe critical examination of his modus operandi in the Foreign Office. The article hinted at a project of his, under certain contingencies, to stay in office with a Tory Government and a Whig Household, and talked of doing this with the aid of 'a woman not less able and ambitious than himself,' evidently alluding to Lady Palmerston. When the article was translated into German and appeared, it produced a great sensation, but Burghersh, who does not understand German, and to whom it was translated, very stupidly fancied that the woman meant the Queen, and he hurried off 76 to make his complaints of the audacity and insolence of the article. A great hubbub ensued, and, to satisfy the English Minister, the order for the dismissal of the editor was signed; but in the meantime the matter was brought before the King, who had the good sense to see at once what the real meaning was, put a stop to the proceedings, and exonerated the editor. Burghersh had, however, written home on the subject, and told the story to the Foreign Office. The next day (at Berlin) a softener appeared in the 'State Gazette,' with some civilities to Palmerston, and the article has fortunately never found its way into our newspapers.

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



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

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

Met Graham yesterday and walked with him; talked about different things. He said he thought they were going on well, but trade was very bad and distress very great, the people very enduring and well-behaved. He talked of Ireland, and said the Government were resolved to act upon liberal and impartial principles; that the idea of restoring the old Orange or any other domination was impossible, and he only regretted that they had not got some offices of profit that they might now bestow upon Catholics. They are reproached for diminishing the number of stipendiary magistrates, but they are strong enough on that point. As to the Lieutenancy of Northamptonshire, he said he thought Exeter was the best man on the whole; that Cardigan was very angry that he had not got it. I told him I thought Exeter was not a good man, took no part in the business of the county, and merely lived at a corner of it. 'To whom 78 would you have given it?' I said, 'To Lord Spencer; by far the fittest man omnium consensû.' He said it was impossible; the party would not have stood it; the Whigs had never done any such thing when they were in office. A low view of the matter; but if they are not strong enough to act more wisely and liberally than their opponents, if they cannot, under any circumstances, appoint men with reference to their fitness, instead of to their political connexion, and if the former consideration must invariably prevail over the latter, why, all one can say is, that they are to be pitied, and we must hope the time may come when better maxims and practices can be established.

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

February 1st.—For the last week the King of Prussia and his activity have occupied the world. He has made a very favourable impression here. In person he is common-looking, not remarkable in any way; his manners are particularly frank, cordial, and good-humoured; he is very curious, and takes a lively interest in all he sees, and has, by all accounts, been struck with great admiration at the conduct and bearing of the people, as well as the grandeur and magnificence he has found both at Court and elsewhere. Whether the order, and more especially the loyalty, he has witnessed, will induce him to entertain with more complacency the idea of a free constitution for his own kingdom, remains to be seen, not that what he finds here ought necessarily to imply that results equally happy would follow the concession of liberal constitutions in Prussia. He has been in London almost every day from Windsor, one day breakfasting with Peel, who collected the men of letters and science and the most distinguished artists to meet him. On 79 Sunday he went to church at St. Paul's, and then lunched with the Lord Mayor. Another day he went to Westminster Abbey, when he evinced great curiosity to learn all the local details of the Queen's coronation. Yesterday he went in the morning and paid a visit to Mrs. Fry, with whom he went to Coldbath Fields prison; in the evening to Drury Lane. He wanted to see one of Shakespeare's plays, and had no other opportunity, so he got the play acted at six instead of seven, and made the Duke of Sutherland, with whom he was to dine, have his dinner at nine. He asked for 'Macbeth,' but they told him it would take a month to get it up. They gave him the choice of the 'Merchant of Venice' or the 'Two Gentlemen of Verona,' and he took the latter. Nothing could exceed the magnificence of the fête the Duke of Sutherland gave him, dinner and party after it.


But an interest greater than any which the King of Prussia could make was produced by the intelligence of the Duke of Buckingham's resignation. I had been dining at Wharncliffe's Sheriffs' dinner, where all the Ministers were, except the Duke of Wellington and Aberdeen (who both dined at Stafford House), Goulburn, who was ill in bed, and the Duke of Buckingham. I was rather surprised at his absence, for which no excuse was made, but nobody said anything about it. They had been concocting the speech all the morning, and as soon as we had done with the sheriffs, they made me and my colleague withdraw, and resolved themselves into a Cabinet. Still I suspected nothing; but the moment I got to Stafford House I heard the news, and immediately understood the cause of his absence from the dinner, and saw that it must be true; and directly after it was confirmed. The time, however, is so near for the Ministerial announcement of their intentions, that it is not worth while to torment one's self with speculation. A few hours will show what it is the Duke can't swallow. All that is now known is that he has not resigned angrily, and that he promises his general support and continued goodwill. For a long time speculation has been rife as to the intentions of Peel, and the Government secret has 80 been so well kept that not a single person seems to have been apprised of them; indeed, the matter was not, in all probability, definitively settled before yesterday. The Opposition papers have been labouring to persuade the world that Peel, though not unwilling, had proved himself unable to do anything, and that what they called the Buckingham or landed interest had prevailed. I never thought this, and a few words that casually fell from Wharncliffe one day, convinced me it was not true. So thought most of the sensible men on both sides, when they were staggered by the intelligence that Lord March was to move the address, which, after the Duke of Richmond's hot speech last year, was taken as a proof that nothing serious in the Anti-Corn-Law line could be contemplated. This fact, now followed by the Duke of Buckingham's resignation, sadly perplexes men's minds, and everybody asks what it can be at which the Duke of Buckingham strains, but which the Duke of Richmond swallows. The Duke of Bedford, however, thinks that the Duke of Richmond does not know what is meant, for it is certain Lord Abercorn, who moves the Address in the House of Lords, does not. He asked Aberdeen to give him some hints from which he might frame his speech, and he told him he was unable to do so.

The Dublin election has gone off with remarkable quiet. Dan was not very violent, and some say he did not wish Morpeth to succeed where he had failed. The worst thing that has happened lately is the exhibition of bad feeling towards us in the French Chamber. Guizot has spoken admirably well, and magnificently defended himself, but he was obliged to allude coldly to us, and to disavow any intimacy between the two countries. The close alliance with France is therefore at an end, and we must count upon her readiness to seize any occasion that may present itself of injuring our interests and crippling our power. This we owe to Palmerston's famous diplomacy, who, thinking it a fine thing to gain a diplomatic advantage over a rival and hostile Government, overlooked the consequence of exasperating a powerful, susceptible, jealous, but not then unfriendly 81 nation. He did what neither man, woman, or nation can forgive: he deeply wounded their vanity and their pride.


February 5th.—Parliament met on Thursday: a great crowd, and the Queen well enough received. The King of Prussia went down in state, and sat in the House of Lords on a chair near the woolsack. On Friday he went away, having made a short but uncommonly active visit, mightily pleased with his reception by Queen and all classes of people, from highest to lowest; splendid entertainments from the rich, and hearty acclamations from the poor. All the world has been struck with his intelligence, activity, affability, and appetite, for since Louis XIV. I have never heard of a monarch who eats so copiously and frequently. The oddest thing he did was to go and lunch with Mrs. Fry, and the way of going not less odd, but that was the vagary of his rude, unmannered attendant, Lord Hardwicke. After visiting some prison, Mrs. Fry asked him to lunch at her house some four or five miles off, through the City, and he agreed. The coachman represented that the horses could not accomplish this jaunt, when it was proposed to send for post-horses; but Hardwicke would not have four, and insisted on a pair being attached as outriggers to the Queen's coach-horses, to the unspeakable disgust of the coachman, who, if the spirit of Vatel had been in him, would have cast himself from his box rather than submit to such an indignity. They say that nothing has struck the King so much as the behaviour of the people, their loyalty, orderly, peaceable demeanour, and he is naturally gratified at the heartiness and cordiality of his own reception. Some think that what he has witnessed will incline him to grant a free constitution to his own subjects; but as he can't create the foundations on which our constitutional system rests, and the various and complicated safeguards which are intertwined with it, he will hardly be induced to jump to any such conclusion. He made magnificent presents at parting to all the officers of the Royal Household: snuff-boxes of 500 guineas apiece to the Lord Chamberlain, Master of Horse, and Lord Steward; boxes and watches to others, and he left 1,500l. 82 with Charles Murray to be distributed among the three classes of servants at the Palace.

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



February 11th.—On Wednesday night Peel produced his modification of the Corn Law in an elaborate speech (which bored everybody very much) of nearly three hours long.33 The expectation, raised by the Duke of Buckingham's resignation, had been already brought down by a few words which Peel said on Tuesday, when he was taunted with adopting all the late Government's measures. His plan was received with coldness and indifference by his own people, and derision by the Opposition, and they all cried out that it was altogether useless, and would in reality effect no change at all. There are, however, a great many very different opinions on the subject, the result of the whole being that the measure is preferable to the present scheme; that it will be quite harmless to the producer, and may be of some service (but not much) to the consumer; that the settlement of the question is as remote as ever, this being no approximation to one. That inasmuch as it satisfies the landed interest it will keep Peel in office, but that eventually repeal either total or with a fixed duty must come, but in how many years must depend on the chapter of accidents, the course of events, and the temper of the people. Wharncliffe owned to me that it was a mountain producing a mouse, and that he thought it must end in a fixed duty, but that it would have been absolutely impossible for Peel to do anything more now, and that time must be given to bring round the minds of the landed interest to acquiesce in further measures. Macgregor, who is a man of violent opinions, told me he considered this plan worse than the present one. Charles Villiers said it was worthless and not so good as Canning's in 1827. Brougham said it was worth something as an instalment, an improvement on the old Corn Law, and might and must be taken as an instalment. Peel's did not seem to me a good speech; it was too long, and wearied his hearers; too highly coloured, and the speech of an advocate rather than of a statesman. But if he could 84 speak his mind, he would no doubt admit that he was arguing against his own opinion and convictions.

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

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


February 12th.—The Opposition were silly enough to renew the question of the Scotch judge last night. It was Fox Maule's doing, I fancy, for John Russell was not there.34 There is but one opinion among his own friends of the folly of his conduct. Ben Stanley told me so, and said he did it ex mero motu, and he could not imagine what induced him. 85 Nothing weakens the authority of a leader so much as any exhibition of want of tact and judgement. Castlereagh would never have made such a blunder as this, but he was reckoned the best leader any party ever had. I have a great liking for Lord John, but have for some time discovered that with high qualities and great abilities he is not a great man or anything like it. But where are we to look for great men? The generation of them has passed away.

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

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

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

February 19th.—The Corn Law debate closed very successfully for the Government; a greater majority than anybody 86 expected, and an excellent speech from Peel, putting the whole question in the best possible form, taking the right tone, and giving the right reasons for doing what he has done, and as he has done it. Palmerston made a good slashing speech, and Roebuck a very clever one. The question is now considered by everybody to be settled for a few years; but how many, and when another change will take place, depends on a thousand contingencies, idle to argue upon. Everybody admits that it is in a state of transition, and though the landed interest will fondly hope that the next steps never will be taken, the prudent among them (a great minority, I fear) will open their eyes to the reality of their position, and act accordingly.

I went on Wednesday with Lord and Lady John, Charles Howard and Macaulay, to the Battersea Schools, Robert Eden's and Dr. Kay's. We put forward Macaulay to examine the boys in history and geography, and Lord John asked them a few questions, and I still fewer. They answered in a way that would have put to shame most of the fine people's children. These schools are admirable, and the wonderful thing is, that when people see what can be done by good management at small expense, and by setting about the work of education in earnest, they do not turn their thoughts to the adoption of a similar scheme for the upper classes, who go through a certain process miscalled education, which leaves boys at the end of it nearly as ignorant as at the beginning, with the exception of the rudiments of Greek and Latin. At Eden's school they learn reading, writing, arithmetic, drawing, history, geography, and certain matters connected with statistics. At Dr. Kay's the same things, with the higher branches of mechanics, and especially music, in which they are great proficients. There is one striking contrast between the boys at Eden's school, and the aristocratic schoolboys: while the latter consider learning as an irksome employment, going to school an event full of misery and woe, and never think of anything but how to shirk their lessons, and find time for play and idleness, the poor boys rejoice in their school, love the instruction they receive, and 87 no punishment is so great to them as exclusion from the schoolroom. Much of this may be accounted for by the difference of their circumstances and condition of life, but the necessary result is a far greater aptitude to learn on the part of the poor than the rich.


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

March 13th.—On Friday night in the midst of the most intense and general interest and curiosity, heightened by the closeness and fidelity with which the Government measures had been kept secret, Peel brought forward his financial plans in a speech of three hours and forty minutes, acknowledged by everybody to have been a masterpiece of financial statement. The success was complete; he took the House by storm; and his opponents, though of course differing and objecting on particular points, did him ample justice. A few people expected an income tax, but the majority did not. Hitherto the Opposition have been talking very big about opposing all taxes, but they have quite altered their tone. It is really remarkable to see the attitude Peel has taken in this Parliament, his complete mastery over both his friends and his foes. His own party, nolentes aut volentes, have surrendered at discretion, and he has got them as well disciplined and as obedient as the crew of a man-of-war. This just measure, so lofty in conception, right in direction, and able in execution, places him at once on a 88 pinnacle of power, and establishes his Government on such a foundation as accident alone can shake. Political predictions are always rash, but certainly there is every probability of Peel's being Minister for as many years as his health and vigour may endure. Only a few weeks ago I heard from my Whig friends of nothing but his weakness and embarrassments, and of all the difficulties his own supporters would cause him, what a poor figure he cut, &c.; but now they have not a word to say, and one of them who had been loudest in that strain brought to the Travellers', where I was dining, an account of Peel's speech, and said, 'One felt, all the time he was speaking, "Thank God, Peel is Minister!"' There can be no doubt that he is now a very great man, and it depends on himself to establish a lasting reputation. Wharncliffe told me that the principle of their measure, the imposition of an income-tax, was settled six weeks after they came into office, which makes the wonder greater that nothing of it got out.

March 14th.—The manner in which Peel's measure was received was creditable to the Opposition; but they are beginning to recover from their quiescent state, to ask one another what they think of it, to suggest objections, and to speculate on its unpopularity. There is, however, a general disposition to accept the measure, and to acknowledge that Peel is entitled to a fair trial of what must be considered a great political and financial experiment. Labouchere owned this to me last night, though he thinks that he might have taken another and a better course; he might have raised a revenue, according to their plan, out of sugar, timber, and corn, not have made so great a sacrifice for Canadian timber, and have found means to get all the rest that they wanted by some tax less odious than his income-tax. Great differences of opinion of course there will be, and it remains to be seen how the country will take it. The press has been hitherto almost universally acquiescent. All men now admit Peel's power, and his superior fitness as a Minister. He has taken a very high line, and acted his part with great dignity as well as dexterity; he is also singularly favoured by fortune, 89 for the misfortunes which are now befalling us, the disastrous events in India, are useful to his political power. In times, too, of difficulty, men feel the mighty advantage of having a strong Government with a real efficient head to direct its energies, and predominate in its councils; and the perpetual contrast which presents itself between the present and the late, both as to the leaders, composition of the Cabinets and condition of the parties by which each was supported, extends and strengthens the impression in favour of Peel. It will be necessary for him to make some changes. Gladstone has already displayed a capacity which makes his admission into the Cabinet indispensable, and he must find some means of getting rid of Knatchbull. The very look of the man, which is that of a twaddler approaching to the ridiculous, is enough to make his exclusion an object, and as he is entirely useless and has fallen into universal contempt in the House of Commons, the sooner some decent retreat is found for him, the better for himself as well as for the Government.


The great interest excited by the Budget has in some degree absorbed that which the melancholy Indian news would otherwise produce, and we are still so imperfectly informed of the history of these transactions that we know not what to think of them. The Duke of Wellington told me at Court on Friday that there must have been either the grossest treachery, or the most inconceivable imbecility, and very likely a mixture of both, as they often go together. Auckland, who writes, as is natural, in great despondency, says that the whole thing is unintelligible to him, for, as far as they know, the 5,000 British troops at Cabul were never assailed by above 10,000 or 12,000 Afghans, irregularly armed with matchlocks and spears, while our force was provided with artillery, and all the appurtenances of war. According to all our notions and all former experience, a British force could always put to flight or destroy native tribes ten times more numerous. The Duke said that the captivity of the women would produce an effect from one end of Asia to the other, such as Europeans would form no idea of. But what reflexions this event gives rise to as to the uninterrupted 90 current of our past successes, which has been so great that we had got to fancy no reverse of any sort, or in any quarter, could possibly befall us! It is a grievous thing to lose 5,000 men, cut off by a sudden insurrection and perishing, because circumstances beyond the control of man prevented their obtaining succour; but when we hear that such a disaster as this has not befallen us for above fifty years, and we think of all the tremendous defeats, wholesale destructions of men, and miseries inflicted on other lands and other nations, we may well, instead of repining, feel grateful for the impunity we have enjoyed from the evils and afflictions which have been so abundantly poured upon almost every other nation in the world.


March 19th.—This day Lord Hertford36 is buried at Ragley, a man whose death excited much greater interest than anything he ever did in his life, because the world was curious to learn the amount of his wealth, and how he had disposed of it. A pompous funeral left Dorchester House three days ago, followed by innumerable carriages of private individuals,37 pretending to show a respect which not one of them felt for the deceased; on the contrary, no man ever lived more despised or died less regretted. His life and his death were equally disgusting and revolting to every good and moral feeling. As Lord Yarmouth he was known as a sharp, cunning, luxurious, avaricious man of the world, with some talent, the favourite of George IV. (the worst of kings) when Lady Hertford, his mother, was that Prince's mistress. He was celebrated for his success at play, by which he supplied himself with the large sums of money required for his pleasures, and which his father had no inclination to give him, and the son had none to ask of him. He won largely, 91 not by any cheating or unfairness, but by coolness, calculation, always backing the best players, and getting the odds on his side. He was a bon vivant, and when young and gay his parties were agreeable, and he contributed his share to their hilarity. But after he became Lord Hertford and the possessor of an enormous property he was puffed up with vulgar pride, very unlike the real scion of a noble race; he loved nothing but dull pomp and ceremony, and could only endure people who paid him court and homage. After a great deal of coarse and vulgar gallantry, generally purchased at a high rate, he formed a connexion with Lady Strachan, which thenceforward determined all the habits of his life. She was a very infamous and shameless woman, and his love after some years was changed to hatred; and she, after getting very large sums out of him, married a Sicilian. But her children, three daughters, he in a manner adopted; though eventually all his partiality centred upon one, Charlotte by name, who married Count Zichy-Ferraris, a Hungarian nobleman. She continued to live with Hertford on and off, here and abroad, until his habits became in his last years so ostentatiously crapulous that her residence in his house, in England at least, ceased to be compatible with common decency. She was, however, here till within a week or ten days of his death, and her departure appears curiously enough to have led to the circumstances which immediately occasioned it. There has been, as far as I know, no example of undisguised debauchery exhibited to the world like that of Lord Hertford, and his age and infirmities rendered it at once the more remarkable and the more shocking. Between sixty and seventy years old, broken with various infirmities, and almost unintelligible from a paralysis of the tongue, he has been in the habit of travelling about with a company of prostitutes, who formed his principal society, and by whom he was surrounded up to the moment of his death, generally picking them up from the dregs of that class, and changing them according to his fancy and caprice. Here he was to be seen driving about the town, and lifted by two footmen from his carriage into the brothel, and he 92 never seems to have thought it necessary to throw the slightest veil over the habits he pursued. For some months or weeks past he lived at Dorchester House, and the Zichys with him; but every day at a certain hour his women, who were quartered elsewhere, arrived, passed the greater part of the day, and one or other of them all the night in his room. He found the presence of the Countess Zichy troublesome and embarrassing to his pleasures, and he made her comprehend that her absence would not be disagreeable to him, and accordingly she went away. He had then been ill in bed for many days, but as soon as she was gone, as if to celebrate his liberation by a jubilee, he got up and posted with his seraglio down to Richmond. No room was ready, no fire lit, nevertheless he chose to dine there amidst damp and cold, drank a quantity of champagne, came back chilled and exhausted, took to his bed, grew gradually worse, and in ten days he died. And what a life, terminating in what a death! without a serious thought or a kindly feeling, lavishing sums incalculable on the worthless objects of his pleasures or caprices, never doing a generous or a charitable action, caring and cared for by no human being, the very objects of his bounty only regarding him for what they could get out of him; faculties, far beyond mediocrity, wasted and degraded, immersed in pride without dignity, in avarice and sensuality; all his relations estranged from him, and surrounded to the last by a venal harem, who pandered to the disgusting exigencies lassatæ sed nondum satiatæ libidinis. He left vast sums to the Strachan family, a considerable legacy to Croker, to whom he had been formerly under obligations, largely provided for his servants, and, with the exception of a few bequests to his executors and one or two other people, and a very large property to an old mistress (formerly Lady Strachan's maid), he left everything to his son Lord Yarmouth, with whom he had always been on very moderate terms.


March 20th.—Peel's financial measures are, of course, discussed in every quarter, but the general feeling in the country about them is not yet known. The Opposition, 93 who, at first, had not made up their minds what to do, have now resolved to oppose the whole scheme, and they took the field in force on Friday night, and flatter themselves, so John Russell told me, that they had the best of the debate. The 'Times' opposes the income-tax and supports the tariff. Various objections are raised in different quarters with more or less reason, the principal one with regard to the income-tax being the unfairness of taxing incomes derived from temporary to the same extent as those which are derived from permanent sources, and there is a great disposition to criticise his measure with regard to timber, and the sacrifice he has made for the sake of Canadian timber. As to sugar, it is pretty clear that he is preparing for a great measure, and if it succeeds, it will be a very fine stroke of policy. He will make a treaty with the Brazils, imposing conditions (which they will not keep) for the abolition of slavery, and then let in their sugar. This will give him all the advantage of the plan of the late Government, without compromising his own consistency or the character of the country.

March 23rd.—Dined on Sunday at Lady Holland's, with Melbourne and a number of Whigs. Much talk about Peel and his measures, and what would be the conclusion. Melbourne, to do him justice, is destitute of humbug, does not see things through the medium of his wishes or prejudices, but thinks impartially, and says what he thinks. He said Peel would carry all his points, and that there would be no serious opposition in the country, for if any public meetings were called, the Chartists would be sure to outvote any resolution against the income-tax. Then he thought the regular war which the Opposition had declared was very useful to him, as it was the very thing which would keep his own party together, silence their objections, and make them come down and vote steadily with him. The rest would not gainsay this, though they don't like such a view of the state of the case. They all said Peel lost his temper the other night, and so he seems to have done. He has certainly taken a very imposing attitude, but he ought 94 carefully to avoid any appearance of domineering, and to keep his temper under constant restraint. They will do all they can to provoke him. On Monday night the Opposition were very troublesome and factious, but that, however inconvenient to public business, will do him no harm, and he was so well aware of it that he never lost his self-command.

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

On Sunday Lord Munster38 shot himself. He had been in low spirits for some time, and was tainted with the hereditary malady. He was a man not without talent, but wrongheaded, and having had the folly to quarrel with his father, and estrange himself from Court during the greater part of his reign, he fell into comparative obscurity and real poverty, and there can be no doubt that the disappointment of the expectations he once formed, together with the domestic unhappiness of a dawdling, ill-conditioned, vexatious wife, preyed upon his mind, and led to this act. The horror of the deed excited a momentary interest, but he will be soon forgotten.

Last night died very suddenly Colonel Armstrong, a man who will leave many social regrets behind him. He was formerly A.D.C. to the Duke of York, and equally a favourite of his and of the Duchess. He had very little general knowledge, and had never received much education, 95 but he was very quick and intelligent, with a strong turn for humour and drollery, and perfectly good-humoured, inoffensive, and well-bred. Nobody ever heard him say a spiteful or ill-natured thing, and he was always lively and agreeable without ever being obtrusive in society. He was an excellent specimen of a man of the world, who lived upon its passing events without mixing himself up in its malignities and its quarrels, and who was universally respected and esteemed. The regrets of the world are of a very light and transitory nature, but Armstrong leaves a void in the society which he frequented, and this is all the sensation which anybody without public importance can expect to produce.


June 5th.—I have not written one line since March 23—a longer interval, I think, than has ever passed since I first began to journalise. The principal reason for this cessation has been that my mind has been disquieted and unsettled. The racing and racehorses, and all things appertaining thereto, the betting, buying, selling, the quarrels and squabbles, the personal differences and estrangements, the excitement and agitation produced by these things, have had the effect on my mind of withdrawing my attention from public affairs, from literature, from society, from all that is worth attending to and caring for, from everything that is a legitimate object of interest, and wasting my thoughts, faculties, and feelings on all that is most vile, most worthless, and most morally and mentally injurious. This is the confession that I am obliged to make, for this is the true cause why I have left unnoticed and unrecorded every event or circumstance that has occurred for many weeks past. It is also, in some degree, owing to the circumstance of my knowing very little of what is going on. While the late Ministry were in office, my intimacy with so many of them or their near connexions put me in the way of information; but I have no intimacy with any of these people, and consequently I know nothing but what everybody else knows. The history of the last two months may be very briefly told, and a short sketch will suffice for all that is essential of it. 96

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

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

The night before last, the play of 'The Hunchback' was acted at Bridgewater House by Mrs. Butler, Adelaide Kemble, Vandenhoff (instead of Sheridan Knowles, who was to have done it), my brother Henry, and some other amateurs. The dining-room made but a middling theatre, the actors and audience being too near each other. This materially injured the effect, still it went off well, and Mrs. Butler acted as well as Fanny Kemble did ten or twelve years ago, but, with 97 all her power, genius, and voice, she is not a first-rate actress.


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

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

Peel began the Session with his great financial measures, which were received, on their first appearance, with considerable applause by the Opposition, and with a sulky acquiescence on the part of the Tories. The former, however, soon began to change their note and to pick holes, but probably this rather was of service to him than otherwise, for the semblance of an Opposition—and it was no more—kept together the masses of the Government party, and the tone of superiority and even supremacy which he assumed from the beginning has imposed upon both friend and foe, and enabled him to get through a very laborious and troublesome session without any serious difficulty. John Russell not only showed no disposition to lead his party in regular attacks on the Government, but he very soon became impatient to go and seek rural recreation, and some time before the close of the session he abandoned them to their fate. Before his departure, however, a sort of guerilla warfare had begun, which afterwards became more desultory, but more brisk and incessant. Charles Buller, Tom 98 Duncombe, Hawes, and Vernon Smith took different departments, and, Palmerston taking the post of leader, they all kept up an incessant fire upon the Treasury Bench. The Whigs were exceedingly provoked with Lord John for quitting his post, and equally delighted with Palmerston for retaining his with such constancy and for taking so active a part. Nothing, however, occurred very remarkable in the way of debate till the last night of the session, when Palmerston made a grand attack upon the Government, à la Lyndhurst, in a speech of great ability, as his opponents themselves allow. Peel, however, replied to him in a still abler speech, and, with this brilliant single combat, which took place in a very empty House, the session ended.

Parliament was no sooner up, than the riots broke out,39 sufficiently alarming but for the railroads, which enabled the Government to pour troops into the disturbed districts, and extinguish the conflagration at once. The immediate danger is over, but those who are best informed look with great anxiety and apprehension to the future, and only consider what has recently happened as the beginning of a series of disorders. It is remarkable that whilst England and Scotland have been thus disturbed, Ireland has been in the profoundest tranquillity, and when everybody, themselves included, feared that Ireland would be hardly governable under Tory rule, they have not had the slightest difficulty in that quarter. O'Connell has been much quieter since Peel came into office than he was before, and is evidently doing all he can to keep the country quiet. The Queen, too, is to all appearance on just as good terms with the present Government as she was with the last. There is no such intimacy with anybody as there was with Melbourne, but she is very civil to all her Ministers, invites them constantly to her house, and, what is curious, hardly ever takes any notice of those members of the late Government and Household whom 99 she appeared not to be able to live without; even Melbourne is very rarely a guest either at Windsor or Buckingham House.


September 3rd.—One of the topics on which Palmerston attacked the Government with the greatest bitterness was the supposed abandonment of Auckland's policy with respect to Afghanistan, and the withdrawal of the troops from that country. He asserted that such was Lord Ellenborough's intention, but that he had been compelled to change or suspend it, by instructions from home, and then he thundered away on the disgrace of a retreat, the advantages of a permanent occupation, and asked, but without eliciting any reply, what Government really meant to do. Just after this speech and the close of the session, Lord Auckland arrived in England. He had an interview with Peel, with which both seemed satisfied. Auckland said that Peel received him with great civility and cordiality; and Graham told me that Peel had found Auckland by no means disposed to adopt and countenance all Palmerston's views and opinions; that he had been very guarded, and said nothing indicative of any difference of opinion between himself and his political friends, but that he had spoken like an honest man, looking to the true interests of the country under actual circumstances, and not to any mere party purpose. It was the impression of Peel, clearly, that Auckland does not contemplate the reoccupation of that country, unless it be merely for the purpose of recovering our honour and restoring our supremacy. A few days ago I met Sir Charles Metcalfe, the greatest of Indian authorities. He was decidedly opposed to the expedition originally, and he told me he never could understand how Auckland could have been induced to undertake it. But, he thinks that we have now no alternative, and must reoccupy Cabul, and re-establish our authority. When we have done so, he says, we ought to leave to the Afghans the choice of their ruler, and then make a treaty with him, whoever he may be, and such a one as it is his interest to keep, for he will not keep any other. The Opposition continually taunt the present Government with having approved of Auckland's policy, when 100 it appeared likely to be successful, and now finding fault with it, when unexpected failure and disaster have occurred. Graham, however, told me that his party had all along disapproved of it, that the four greatest authorities on Indian affairs had been opposed to it; viz. the Duke of Wellington, Lord Wellesley, Sir Charles Metcalfe, and Mountstuart Elphinstone, and that he had got up the whole question with the intention of bringing it before the House of Commons, and had only been prevented by the Duke of Wellington, who would not suffer it to be done. The Duke, who, from the moment when any question has assumed a national character, sets aside every party object, said that we had now gone so far, and the country was so completely committed in this measure, that nothing must be done calculated to mar its execution, and that it would produce a very serious and prejudicial effect if a large minority of the House of Commons should pronounce a condemnation of it. Accordingly Graham was obliged to be silent, and the consequence of that silence is, to afford the Opposition a fair pretext for saying that their policy met with no opposition and no objections, while success appeared likely to crown it. When Graham was getting up this case, he saw Lord Wellesley two or three times, who on one occasion had dressed himself with great care, and delivered a very eloquent oration on the subject, which lasted upwards of two hours, and was very good indeed. This is what he delights in doing. He continually talks of taking his seat in the House of Lords, and of the speeches he will make there, but it is only talk. In his own room he will hold forth, and though he requires a great deal of preparation and getting up, all those who hear him say that he exhibits wonderful ability and remarkable powers of memory in these tête-à-tête displays, for he never makes his speeches to more than one auditor at a time.


September 11th.—A day or two after I wrote the above, I dined with Auckland to meet General Ventura, the General of Runjeet Singh, where there was a great deal of Indian talk. Ventura thought that if Pollock had pushed on at once to Cabul after he had joined Sale, he would have occupied 101 the place without resistance, and met with no obstacles in his march; but Willoughby Cotton, who was there, said they could not move for want of camels, and that it was quite impossible for any force to proceed without the means of transport, which were totally wanting. Auckland differs with Metcalfe, and thinks we ought to reoccupy Cabul with the intention of establishing our authority permanently in these countries. The Whig papers are attacking Ellenborough with the greatest asperity, and doing all they can to divert public attention from the original expedition and its subsequent disasters, and to fix the general indignation upon him for the policy he is disposed to adopt. It is still, however, very little known to the world what has occurred, and what is meditated, but I cannot doubt from the tenor of the few observations I have heard from both Graham and FitzGerald, that Government have made up their minds to renounce all idea of permanent conquests and establishment in Afghanistan. The English public will be satisfied if we get back the prisoners, which is what they think most about, and though they will be dissatisfied and disappointed if some sort of vengeance is not executed upon Akbar Khan, they will on the whole be happy to be extricated from such an embarrassing and expensive scrape.

There is a very general feeling of satisfaction at the termination of the boundary dispute with the Americans,40 and it will be impossible for Palmerston, who is ready to find fault with everything the Foreign Office does, to carry public opinion with him in attacking this settlement. He showed his disposition in a conversation he had lately with M. de Bacourt (just come over from America), to whom he said that we had made very important concessions. But Charles Buller, who was with me when M. de Bacourt told me 102 this, said he for one would defend Lord Ashburton's Treaty, let Palmerston say what he would. He never would quarrel with any tolerable arrangement of such a question as that. I heard yesterday a curious thing relating to this matter. Lemon, of the State Paper Office, called on me, and told me that about three months ago they were employed by the Foreign Office in searching for documents relating to the original discussions on the Boundary question. There was a great deal of correspondence, much of which was copied for the use of Government. While thus occupied, he recollected that there was an old map of North America, which had been lying neglected and tossed about the office for the last twenty-five years, and he determined to examine this map. He did so, and discovered a faint red line drawn all across certain parts of it, together with several pencil lines drawn in parallels to the red line above and below it. It immediately occurred to him that this was the original map supposed to be lost (for it never could be found), which was used for marking and settling the Boundary question, and he gave notice to the Foreign Office of what he had discovered. The map was immediately sent for and examined by the Cabinet, who deemed it of such importance that they ordered it to be instantly locked up and that nobody should have access to it. First, however, they sent for the three most eminent and experienced men in this line of business, Arrowsmith and two others, and desired them to examine closely this map and report their opinions, separately and without concert, upon certain questions which were submitted to them. These related principally to the antiquity of the red and pencil lines, and whether the latter had been made before or after the former. They reported as they were desired to do. They all agreed as to the age of the line, and they proved that the pencil marks had been made subsequently to the red line. I forget the other particulars, but so much importance was attached to the discovery of this map, which was without doubt the original, that an exact account of its lines and marks was made out for Lord Ashburton, and a messenger despatched to Portsmouth with 103 orders to lay his hands on the first Government steamer he could find, no matter what her destination or purpose, and to go off to America forthwith. As soon afterwards as possible the Boundary question was settled, and it is certainly reasonable to suppose that this discovery had an important effect upon the decision.




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

Broadlands: September 17th, 1842.—I came here on the 14th, to meet Rogers and Baron Rolfe. Palmerston complains that our Foreign affairs are all mismanaged from first to last, and that we give up everything; universal concession the rule of action, and that there can be no difficulty in settling questions if we yield all that is in dispute. He is particularly dissatisfied with the Boundary Treaty, in which he says we have been over-reached by the Americans; that Lord Ashburton was a very unfit man to send there, having an American bias, besides a want of firmness in his character. He thinks the territorial concessions we have made very objectionable and quite unnecessary, and that we had already proved our right to the disputed land; that since the King of Holland's award, evidence (which was then wanting) has been adduced, which clearly establishes our rights. It is evident that he means to fall foul of this arrangement upon the first suitable occasion. He also complains of the treaty with the King of Hanover, and says we have allowed him to 105 levy duties twice as high, as he has any right to.41 Lady Palmerston talked to me for a long time about the old disputes on the Syrian question, and lauded his wonderful equanimity and good humour during those stormy and difficult times. She said Lord Holland's death was in great measure attributable to the vexation and excitement he underwent, and the recollection of the opposition Palmerston met with still rankles deeply in her mind. She declares that he is very happy out of office, and in no want of occupation; on the contrary, has his hands full of business, private and public. There is a very beautiful specimen of old Norman architecture in the church at Romsey, in very good preservation and of great antiquity.


September 24th.—From Broadlands I went to Canford42 through the New Forest, which I never saw before. There I stayed two nights, having had some curiosity to see a place the creation of which has caused violent family quarrels, which I have been engaged in making up. On Monday I came to London, which contains a good sprinkling of people for this time of year, who congregate generally at Lady Holland's.

The 'Morning Chronicle' opened a fire upon the American Treaty in the beginning of last week, which has been well sustained in a succession of articles of very unequal merit. To these the 'Times' has responded, and in my opinion successfully. It was amusing to me to read in the columns of the 'Chronicle' all that I had been hearing Palmerston say, totidem verbis; his articles were merely a repetition of his talk, and that as exactly as if the latter had been taken down in shorthand. As far as I can judge, he will, however, fail to carry public opinion with him; he will not be entirely supported by the writers on his own 106 side, nor by his political adherents. Sir James Kemp, an excellent authority, both civil and military, approves of the Treaty and attaches no importance to the objections that are urged against it. The 'Examiner' writes in its favour. The Ministers think they stand on very strong grounds, and the fact is that Palmerston's determination to find fault with everything that is done in the Foreign Office, and the indiscriminate abuse which he heaps upon every part of our foreign policy, deprives his opinion of the weight which it would be entitled to, if he was only tolerably impartial. I never saw so much political bitterness as that which rankles in the hearts of himself and his wife. He abuses the acts of the Government, but he always does so with an air of gaiety and good humour, and, to do him justice, he never expresses himself with any coarseness or asperity, never so as to make social intercourse impossible, or even disagreeable, between him and his opponents, but under this gay and gallant exterior there burns a fierce hostility, and a resolution to attack them upon every point, and a more unscrupulous assailant never took the field. She talks a great deal more than he does, and it is easy to see, through her graceful, easy manner and habitual urbanity, how impatient they are of exclusion from office, and how intolerant of any dissent from or opposition to his policy and opinions. They have never forgiven Lords Holland and Clarendon for having thwarted him on the Syrian question. She alluded, at Broadlands, to the supposed desire of the latter to supplant him at the Foreign Office, which she said she did not believe, though she evidently does, and she said that Clarendon had done himself an injury which he would never get over. She talked of their opposition as if they had been the only dissentients in the Cabinet, and then, forgetting this, she discussed the conduct of others, particularly of Melbourne, and John Russell, both of whom she described as alarmists, and the former as all along disinclined to the bold course which Palmerston was pursuing.


Besides the American Treaty, Palmerston is venting his indignation on the Stade Treaty with Hanover, and his conduct 107 with reference to that matter is very illustrative of the manner in which he carries on the war. He told me at Broadlands that the King of Hanover had not a shadow of right to the duties which he levied, though he had to much smaller duties, the amount of which was regulated by an old treaty with Denmark, and that, instead of formally conceding to him what he had no right to require, we ought to resist his claim, and compel him by force, if remonstrance failed, to abandon it. The case is this. Hanover has no right to the tolls she takes, but she has levied them for above 100 years, and has thus acquired a prescriptive or quasi right. Complaints were formerly made, but George III. refused to give them up, so did George IV. William IV. was the first king who was disposed to make any sacrifice. He died before anything was settled, and King Ernest succeeded. Fresh discussions arose, and the Whig Government were willing to purchase of him the abandonment or modification of his claims, and Palmerston made a formal proposal to Ompteda43 to that effect. But when he found he was going out of office, a very little while before their resignation, he put forth a protest against the King of Hanover's claims, and this he did (as I am told and as seems highly probable) for the express purpose of embarrassing the question, and rendering its settlement more difficult to his successor, besides providing himself with materials for attacking such an arrangement as he foresaw would probably be made, and which he would have made had he remained in office.

The other topic on which they are most eloquent and indignant is Ellenborough's order to retreat from Cabul, of the real truth of which very little is at present known. FitzGerald, however, told me the other day, he did think Ellenborough had not acted discreetly in the outset of his administration. He avers, however, distinctly, that it was Auckland's intention to withdraw the troops after the massacre at Cabul, which was what Peel alluded to in his speech. Auckland apparently does not admit this, and both parties 108 are anxious to enlist his opinions and intentions on their side.

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

Adolphus FitzClarence told me nothing could be more agreeable and amiable than she was, and the Prince too, on board the yacht, conversing all the time with perfect ease and good humour, and on all subjects, taking great interest and very curious about everything in the ship, dining on deck in the midst of the sailors, making them dance, talking to the boatswain, and, in short, doing everything that was popular and ingratiating. Her chief fault, in little things and in great, seems to be impatience; in sea phrase, she always wants to go ahead; she can't bear contradiction nor to be thwarted. She was put out because she could not get quicker to the end of her voyage, and land so soon as she wished. 109 She insisted on landing as soon as it was possible, and would not wait till the authorities were ready and the people assembled to receive her. An hour or two of delay would have satisfied everybody, and though it might be unreasonable to expect this, as Peel said it was, it would have been wise to have conceded it. Adolphus says there was very alarming excitement in the town for a little while, and much discontent among the crowds who had come from distant parts, and who had paid large sums for seats and windows to see her go by.


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

October 5th.—There was a very clever letter in the 'Morning Chronicle' yesterday from some Whig, attacking the paper for the line it has taken, which produced a furious defence and retort. This morning I have got a letter from the Duke of Bedford informing me that his brother John has gone back to his original opinion about the Treaty. First, he thought we had made too great concessions, then that we had not, and now he thinks again that we have. It is probable that Palmerston has been at him, and he thinks 110 it better to sacrifice his own opinion than to have a difference with his colleague.

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

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

I met yesterday Lord Ponsonby and sat next to him at dinner at Palmerston's, for although I have always been so opposed to Palmerston, and he knows it, and no doubt dislikes me, I live with them as much as if we were the greatest friends. Lord Ponsonby is a most remarkable-looking man for his age, which is seventy-two or seventy-three. He exhibits no signs of old age, and is extremely agreeable. His account of Turkey was very different from my ideas about the state of the country, but I fancy all he says is sujet à caution. He describes the Sultan to be intelligent, liberal, and independent, that is, really master, and not in the hands of any party; the Turkish public men as very able, the country improving in its internal condition, especially its agriculture, 111 and its revenue flourishing—five millions a year regularly collected, not a farthing of debt, and the whole military and civil service of the State punctually paid.


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

October 18th.—On Wednesday last I went to the Grove; on Friday to Gorhambury45 to meet the Bishop of London, who came there in the course of his visitation; yesterday back to London. It is always refreshing, in the midst of the cold hearts and indifferent tempers one sees in the world, to behold such a spectacle of intimate union and warm affection as the Grove presents. A mother, with a tribe of sons and daughters, and their respective husbands and wives, all knit together in the closest union and community of affections, feelings and interests—all, too, very intelligent people, lively, cheerful, and striving to contribute to each other's social enjoyment as well as to their material interests. I have always thought Clarendon the least selfish, most generous, and amiable man with whom I am acquainted.

Edward Villiers, who is just come from Germany, told me nothing could exceed the disgust excited all over that country by the publication of Lord Hertford's trial,46 and 112 that there was a universal impression there that the state of society in England and the character of its aristocracy were to the last degree profligate and unprincipled. We are mighty proud of our fine qualities, and plume ourselves on our morality; but it must be owned that a German public, which can know nothing of English society but from the specimens it sees of Englishmen, or what it reads in the press of English doings, may well entertain a less exalted idea of our perfections, and we need not wonder at the impressions which we think so unfair, and which are not in fact correct.

The Bishop of London was, and is still, going about his diocese, delivering a very elaborate Charge, which has excited a good deal of notice, and parts of which have been well enough quizzed in the 'Morning Chronicle.' To the surprise of many people, his Charge, like those of the Bishops of Exeter and Oxford, contained some crumbs of compliment to the Puseyites, and an endeavour to prescribe some formal observances half-way in advance towards their opinions. There is an evident desire on the part of these dignitaries to conciliate the Tractarians, probably because they are aware of, and alarmed at, their remarkable superiority in everything which relates to ecclesiastical learning. It is curious, too, to see the 'Times,' which certainly exercises no small or limited influence, become decidedly Puseyite. Its Catholic tendencies are intermingled with its Poor Law crotchets, and both are of a highly democratic character. The present object of attack is the pew system, which certainly appears obnoxious to censure. I asked the Bishop of London what the law was with regard to pews, and he owned that the whole thing was an anomaly, in some respects doubtful, but in many regulated by ancient usage, or by local Acts of Parliament. The Bishop is an agreeable man in society, good-humoured, lively, a little brusque in his manner. He sang a duet with Lady Jane Grimston on Friday evening, when there was no company. Though he is intemperate and imperious, he has always been distinguished for great liberality and a munificent disposition, 113 and from an anecdote I heard of him at the Grove, he must be of a generous mind, and capable of forgiving an enemy, and casting aside feelings of resentment and wounded pride. William Capel, brother of the late Lord Essex, a disreputable, good-for-nothing parson, and Rector of Watford, neglected his clerical duties, and incurred the displeasure of the Bishop, who insisted on Capel's appointing a curate, which he refused to do, on which the Bishop, who became very angry, appointed one himself, and sent him down there. Capel resisted stoutly, and on one occasion the rector and the curate had a race for the reading-desk in church. He refused to receive the curate or to pay him, and forbad him at his peril to execute any clerical function. The end of it was a trial at the Hertford Assizes, when the parson beat the Bishop, who in his angry haste had failed to comply with all the forms which the law requires. The trial cost the Bishop near a thousand pounds, and Capel was triumphant. I don't know what happened in the interim, but a few years afterwards they had become such good friends that the Bishop came down to preach a charity sermon at Watford, when he was the guest of William Capel, dining and sleeping at his house. Upon that occasion such was his want of common decency, that, having the Bishop for his guest, and under circumstances which demanded more than ordinary respect and attention, he came down to breakfast in an old grey dressing-gown and red slippers, much to the surprise and something to the discomposure of his Diocesan. Nobody would believe Capel when he told them that the Bishop was going to be his guest. 'The Bishop of London!' said Clarendon to him, when he told him, 'how on earth did you contrive to get the Bishop of London to come to your house?' 'How,' said the other, 'why I gave him a good licking and that made him civil. We are very good friends now.' The only pity is, that having the quality of generosity and forgiveness of wrongs—for successful resistance is the same as a wrong—those virtues did not find a more estimable subject for their exercise.


October 23rd.—To the Grove on Thursday; came back yesterday 114 to dine with Mr. Grenville; passed the whole morning of Saturday at the British Museum, where I had not been for many years, but where I propose to go henceforward very often. The number of readers is now on an average three hundred a day; in the time of Gray, as may be seen by his letters, it was not half a dozen. I had never dined with Mr. Grenville before, though he has more than once asked me, and I was glad to go there. He is a man whom I have always looked at with respect and pleasure. It is a goodly sight, to see him thus placidly and slowly going down the hill of life, with all his faculties of mind and body, not unimpaired, but still fresh and strong. One would rejoice to procure a new lease for such a man. He may well look round him, as he sits in his unrivalled library and surrounded by his friends, serene and full of enjoyment, and say, like Mazarin, 'Et il faut quitter tout cela!' but no reflexions or anticipations seem to overcast the mild sunshine of his existence. I certainly never saw so graceful and enviable an old age; and though he is eighty-six, and I am forty-eight, I would willingly change lives with him. I would much rather be approaching the end of life as he is approaching it, than live any number of years that I may yet chance to have in store as I am likely to live them. Mr. Grenville is rather deaf, and he complains of loss of memory, but he hears well enough for social purposes, and he is full of recollections of former times and remarkable people. He only laments his own infirmities on account of the trouble or inconvenience they may cause to others; not that he does not hear all that is said, but he pities those who are obliged to exert their voices to make him hear. No old man was ever less selfish and querulous. He told a story of Porson, which I will put in his own words: 'When I was a young man, which is now about seventy years ago, I used to live with Cracherode and other literary men of that day, who were good enough to allow me to come among them, and listen to their conversation, which I used to take great delight in doing, and I remember one day going into the room, and finding Cracherode and another person disputing about language, 115 and whether a certain English word had ever been used by any good authority. In the middle of the dispute, one of them said, "But why do we go on talking here, when that little fellow in the corner can tell us in a moment which of us is in the right?" The little fellow was Porson, who was on his knees poring over a book. They called him up, told him what they were disputing about, and asked if he knew of the word having been used, and by whom. He at once replied, "I only know of one instance, and that is in Fisher's funeral sermon on the death of Margaret of Richmond, the mother of Henry VII., and you will find it about the third or fourth page on the right-hand side;" and there accordingly they did find it.'


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

Yesterday morning I called on Mr. Grenville, and sat with him for an hour, while he told me many old stories of bygone times, and showed me some of his books, particularly his 'Julio Clovio,' which was what I went on purpose to see. He is a remarkable man, with his mind so fresh and firm, and teeming with recollections, a sort of link between the living and the dead, having been forward enough in his youth to mix with the most distinguished characters, literary and political, more than half a century ago, and still vigorous enough to play his part with those of the present time. He had often dined with Horace Walpole at his grandmother's 116 in Grosvenor Square (before it was planted), and he describes him as effeminate in person, trifling in conversation, and much less amusing and piquant than might be expected from his letters. He talked much of Lord North, whose speaking he thinks would not be admired now. It was of a sing-song, monotonous character. His private secretary used to sit behind him, and take notes of the debate, writing down every point that it was necessary for him to answer, with the name of the speaker from whom it proceeded. When he got up he held this paper in his hand, and spoke from it, sometimes blundering over the sheets in a way Mr. Grenville imitated, and which would certainly be thought very strange now, but he had great good humour and much drollery. He told me a story of Lord North and his son Frank, afterwards Lord Guildford, of whom he was very fond, though he was always in scrapes and in want of money. One day, Frank seemed very much out of spirits, and his father asked him what was the matter. With some hesitation, real or pretended, he at last said, 'Why, father, the truth is, I have no money, and I am so distressed that I have even been obliged to sell that little mare you gave me the other day.' To which Lord North replied, 'Oh, Frank, you should never have done that; you ought to have recollected the precept of Horace, "Æquam memento rebus in arduis servare mentem."' Mr. Grenville talked of the elder Pitt, whom he did not admire, but had never heard him except as Lord Chatham. Rigby was a very agreeable speaker, in style not unlike Tierney.

October 29th.—Lord Melbourne has had an attack of palsy, very slight, and he is recovering, but it is of course alarming. He is not himself aware of the nature of the seizure, and asks if it was lumbago. This shows how slight it was. Macaulay's book, which he calls 'Lays of Ancient Rome,' came out yesterday, and admirable his ballads are. They were composed in India and on the voyage home. He showed them to Dr. Arnold, who advised him to publish them, but probably while he was in office he had not time to think about them, and the publication is the result of his 117 leisure. He has long been addicted to ballad-writing, for there is one in the American edition of his works, and there is a much longer one written when he was at Cambridge (or soon after), upon the League, and one of Henry IV.'s battles, which is very good indeed. He is a wonderful fellow altogether.


Canadian affairs and Bagot's proceedings have lately occupied the world for want of something better.47 The Whigs are pleased that he has so fully admitted and acted on the principle of Parliamentary control, and carried out practically the theory of the Constitution which they gave the provinces, while the Tories are indignant that he should have been dictated to by men whom they consider disaffected to this country, and who were looked upon as quasi-traitors till a very short time ago, and as they have no taste for the independence and supremacy of a Canadian Parliament, there is no triumph of a principle to console them for what they consider dangerous in practice. But both parties, and everybody without exception, blame the manner in which Bagot has acted, which was indiscreet, undignified, and gives a poor idea of his qualifications for government. He is certainly not a strong man, and he has succeeded one who undoubtedly was. Sydenham turns out to have been a man of first-rate capacity, with great ability, discrimination, judgement, firmness, and dexterity. His whole administration in Canada fully justified the choice which Lord John Russell made of him, and the confidence he reposed in him. It is to the credit of Lord John Russell that he discovered and appreciated the talents of a man who was underrated here; but occasion and circumstance draw out the latent resources of vigorous minds. He was always known to be a man of extraordinary industry, but nobody knew that he had such a knowledge of human nature and such a power of 118 acquiring influence over others as he evinced when he went to Canada. Murdoch, who was his secretary, and himself a very clever man, gave me a remarkable account of him. He was in the habit of talking over the most inveterate opponents of his Government, so much so, that at last it became a matter of joking, and the most obstinate of his enemies used to be told that if they set foot in Government House they would be mollified and enthralled whether they would or no, and so it almost always was. Though of a weak and slender frame, and his constitution wretched, he made journeys which would have appeared hard work to the most robust men. On one occasion he travelled, without stopping, an immense distance, and the moment he got out of his carriage he called for his papers, and went at his business as if he had only returned from a drive. This is something very like greatness; these are the materials of which greatness is made—indefatigable industry, great penetration, powers of persuasion, confidence in himself, decision, boldness, firmness, and all these jumbled up with a finikin manner, and a dangling after an old London harridan; but, as Taylor says so well, 'The world knows nothing of its greatest men,' and half mankind know nothing of their own capacity for greatness. The mistakes made by ourselves and by each other with respect to moral qualities are incessant and innumerable.


November 2nd.—At Windsor yesterday for a Council; almost all the Cabinet went together in a special train. A Whig engineer might have produced an instantaneous and complete change of Government. The Royal consent was given to the marriage of the Princess Augusta with the Prince of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. The Chancellor was there, looking very ill and broken, but evidently wishing to be thought strong and capable.48 He not only affected to be very merry, but very active, and actually began a sort of dancing movement in the drawing-room, which reminded me of Queen Elizabeth and the Scotch ambassador; seventy 119 years of age, ten years of idleness, and a young wife will not do for the labour of the Great Seal. The Ministers are all come to hold Cabinets, and lay their heads together with, God knows, plenty to occupy them. Lord Wharncliffe and Kay Shuttleworth, who are both come from the north, have given me an account of the state of the country and of the people which is perfectly appalling. There is an immense and continually increasing population, deep distress and privation, no adequate demand for labour, no demand for anything, no confidence, but a universal alarm, disquietude, and discontent. Nobody can sell anything. Somebody said, speaking of some part of Yorkshire, 'This is certainly the happiest country in the world, for nobody wants anything.' Kay says that nobody can conceive the state of demoralisation of the people, of the masses, and that the only thing which restrains them from acts of violence against property is a sort of instinctive consciousness that, bad as things are, their own existence depends upon the security of property in the long run. It is in these parts that the worst symptoms are apparent, but there are indications of the same kind more or less all over the country, and certainly I have never seen, in the course of my life, so serious a state of things as that which now stares us in the face; and this, after thirty years of uninterrupted peace, and the most ample scope afforded for the development of all our resources, when we have been altering, amending, and improving, wherever we could find anything to work upon, and being, according to our own ideas, not only the most free and powerful, but the most moral and the wisest people in the world. One remarkable feature in the present condition of affairs is that nobody can account for it, and nobody pretends to be able to point out any remedy; for those who clamour for the repeal of the Corn Laws, at least those who know anything of the matter, do not really believe that repeal would supply a cure for our distempers. It is certainly a very dismal matter for reflexion, and well worthy the consideration of the profoundest political philosophers, that the possession of such a Constitution, all our wealth, industry, ingenuity, peace, and 120 that superiority in wisdom and virtue which we so confidently claim, are not sufficient to prevent the existence of a huge mountain of human misery, of one stratum in society in the most deplorable state, both moral and physical, to which mankind can be reduced, and that all our advantages do not secure us against the occurrence of evils and mischiefs so great as to threaten a mighty social and political convulsion.

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

November 18th.—Called on Mr. Grenville yesterday morning. He told me he was eighty-eight, and had never been ill in all his life; had colds, but never been ill enough to keep his bed a whole day since he was born. His memory, he said, failed as to dates and names. He told me a curious anecdote of Wolfe. In Pitt's (Lord Chatham's) administration, when Wolfe was going out to take the command of the army in America, at that time a post of the greatest importance, Mr. Pitt had him to dinner with no other person present but Lord Temple (Mr. Grenville's uncle). After dinner Wolfe got greatly excited, drew his sword, flourished it about, and boasted of the great things he would do with it in a wonderfully braggart style. Lord Temple and Mr. Pitt were horror-struck, and when the General was gone, they lifted up their hands and eyes, and said what an awful thing it was to think that they were about to trust interests so vital to the discretion of a man who could talk and bluster in such a way. Mr. Grenville said he had never liked to 121 repeat this anecdote, and had never done so till very lately, for he had been reluctant to say anything which might, by possibility, throw a slur on the reputation of Wolfe. But I told him it was too curious to be suppressed; curious as a peculiar trait of character, and that the heights of Abraham had secured the fame of Wolfe beyond the possibility of being injured by anything that could now be said.


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

Dined yesterday with Lady Holland, John Russell, Charles Austin, and Lady Charlotte Lindsay. Lord John told us some things about the Reform Bill, interesting enough. The first he heard of it was by a letter from Althorp, who told him Lord Grey and he wished him (Lord John) to bring in the Bill although he was not in the Cabinet. He wrote back that he could not agree to bring in the Bill without having a share in its concoction, which they agreed he was entitled to. He came to town and Lord Grey begged him to put himself in communication with Durham. He went to Durham and had a long conversation with him, and they agreed that a Committee should be formed which should meet constantly and settle the terms of the Bill. The first person 122 suggested was the Duke of Richmond, but Lord John objected to him, and then they settled to have Graham and Duncannon. They used to meet at Durham's every day and discuss the details of the Bill. Among these was the question of Ballot, Graham and Durham being strongly for it, John Russell against, and Duncannon neuter. The point was, however, referred to the Cabinet, and immediately negatived. Lord John said that the only chance they had of carrying such a Bill was the preservation of impenetrable secrecy. If once the plan got out, their own friends would be alarmed, and their success infallibly compromised. Accordingly they contrived to keep their plan secret till the last moment. So little did their opponents expect anything of the kind, that Peel, in a speech about a fortnight before, taunted them in these terms: 'You came into power avowedly to promote peace, retrenchment, and reform. Your peace is in the greatest danger of being broken; your estimates are not less than ours were; and as to your reform, I predict that it will be some miserable measure, with all the appearance of a change in the Constitution, without the reality of any improvement.' When the measure came out, many of the friends of Government were exceedingly frightened, and thought it would not fail to be their ruin. Hardinge told Graham in the lobby that 'Of course they had made up their minds to resign.' Allen said that there had always existed a strong opinion that Peel might have crushed it at first, if he had refused leave to bring in the Bill, but Lord John denied that this was feasible. He said, let Peel do what he would, they would have got a debate of several nights, and he had always told his timorous and desponding friends, that when the plan went forth to the country it would be responded to by such great and enthusiastic approval and so supported that it would be impossible for the Opposition to resist it. And this was what happened. The debate of eight nights gave time for the press to act, and the country to declare itself. Allen then said they had done wrong in giving way as they had on some points, particularly as to the freemen; they had gained nothing by that, and had 123 injured the Bill. But Lord John said that they had got all they expected. This sacrifice was made to Lords Harrowby and Wharncliffe, who had in consequence of it carried the second reading in the House of Lords, which could not have been done without them; and this had prevented the creation of Peers. Lord Grey was so determined to make Peers, if the second reading was not carried, that Lord John had himself given notice to some of his Tory friends, that if they wished to prevent this evil, they had better vote for it. We then discussed the communications which afterwards took place between Lord Grey and Palmerston and Harrowby and Wharncliffe, and Lyndhurst's famous motion, which produced such momentous results. I said that Harrowby and his friends had always accused Lord Grey of acting unfairly, but that I had always said that no man could act a more straightforward and consistent part than he did. I told Lord John he ought to write a history of the Reform Bill, which would be a very curious narrative.


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

November 25th.—I went last night to a place called 'The Judge and Jury Court'—Bingham Baring, Charles Buller, Frederic Leveson, and myself—and there we found several 124 others of our acquaintance who had been attracted to the same place. It is difficult to imagine anything more low and blackguard than this imitation of and parody on a court of justice, and if the proceedings of last night are to be taken as a fair example of the whole it is not very amusing. There is a long low room opposite Covent Garden Theatre, in Bow Street, lit with tallow candles and furnished along its length with benches; opposite these benches is a railed-off space for the Bar and the Jury, and an elevated desk for the Judge. You pay one shilling entrance, which entitles you to a cigar and a glass of rum or gin and water or beer, a privilege of which almost every man availed himself. The room was pretty well filled and in a cloud of smoke, and there was a constant circulation of these large glasses of liquid; smoking and drinking were, indeed, the order of the day. The judge, the counsel, and the jury, all had their cigars and gin-and-water, and the latter, as a recompense for their public services, were entitled to call for what they pleased gratis. Here they try such notorious cases as have been brought in any shape, complete or incomplete, under public notice, and last night we had 'Chesterfield v. Batthyany,' the names being slightly changed, but rendered sufficiently significant to leave no doubt of who and what is meant. Maidstone, for example, was examined as a witness under the title of Lord Virgin Rock, and twenty of the others which, however, I don't remember. The Chief Baron is a big burly fellow, editor of a paper which I never heard of before, called the 'Town,' and the jury are sworn upon The Town. I don't know who the counsel were, but there was one fellow who was a caricature of Brougham, certainly like him, and he attempted an imitation of him in manner, gesture, and voice, which was not very bad, and therefore rather amusing. But though the man had some humour, there was not enough or of sufficiently good quality to support the length of his speech. He opened the case for the plaintiff; the counsel for the defendant seemed very dull, and we would stay no longer. They say the charge of the judge is generally the best part of it. They deal in very gross 125 indecencies, and this seems to amuse the audience, which is one of the most blackguard-looking I ever saw congregated, and they just restrain their ribaldry within such limits as exclude les gros mots. Everything short of that is allowed, and evidently the more the better. On the whole it was a poor performance. It bore, in point of character and decency, about the same relation to a court of justice that Musard's balls do to Almack's.


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

November 30th.—Ellenborough's Proclamation, which has just appeared, is fiercely attacked by the Whig Palmerstonian press, but the purport of it seems to be pretty generally approved. Ellenborough is certainly not happy in his measures, his manners, or his phrases. He began by his much-abused orders for retreat, he lost no time in quarrelling with his Council and making himself personally obnoxious, and his present Proclamation is very objectionable in many respects, though it appears to me perfectly clear half the world thinks he meant to censure the policy of his predecessor, and though he certainly meant no such thing, he ought not to have left room for any doubt on that point. He enters into reasons for his measures, which is never advisable in such a document as this, and especially in India. In the midst of all our successes, however, the simple truth is that Akbar Khan and the Afghans have gained their object completely. We had placed a puppet king on the 126 throne, and we kept him there and held military possession of the country by a body of our troops. They resolved to get rid of our king and our troops and to resume their barbarous independence; they massacred all our people civil and military, and they afterwards put to death the king. We lost all hold over the country except the fortresses we continued to occupy. Our recent expedition was, in fact, undertaken merely to get back the prisoners who had escaped with their lives from the general slaughter, and having got them we have once for all abandoned the country, leaving to the Afghans the unmolested possession of the liberty they had acquired, and not attempting to replace upon their necks the yoke they so roughly shook off. There is, after all, no great cause for rejoicing and triumph in all this.


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

127 The fifth volume of Madame d'Arblay's journal or memoirs is just come out. I have read the first three volumes, and then could read no more, it was so tiresome; but I returned to the fifth because I found everybody was amused by it. It is certainly readable, for there are scattered through it notices of people and things sufficiently interesting, but they are overlaid by an enormous quantity of trash and twaddle, and there is a continuous stream of mawkish sentimentality, loyalty, devotion, sensibility, and a display of feelings and virtues which are very provoking. The cleverest part of it is the remarkable memory with which she narrates long conversations and minute details of facts and circumstances. It is true she generally makes her people converse in a very ordinary commonplace style, and she hardly ever tells any anecdote or any event of importance or of remarkable interest. Nevertheless her rambling records are read with pleasure, for there is and ever will be an insatiable thirst for familiar details of the great world and the people who have figured in it. Anecdotes of kings, princes, ministers, or any celebrities are always acceptable. I have often thought that my journal would have been much more entertaining if I had scribbled down all I heard and saw in society, all I could remember of passing conversations, jokes, stories, and such like, instead of recording and commenting on public events, as I have often, though irregularly, done. To have done this, however, and done it well, required a better memory and more diligence than I possess, to be more Boswellian than I am. I believe, however, there is and can be no general rule for journalising. Everybody who addicts him- or her-self to this practice must follow the dictates of his taste and fancy or caprice. It is a matter in which character operates and shows itself, for people are open and confidential or reserved with their blank page, in the same way as with their living friends. Some, indeed, will pour forth upon paper, and for the edification or amusement of posterity, what they never would have revealed to living ear; but the majority of those who indulge in this occupation probably only tell what they desire to have known. Few write for themselves only as a 128 sort of moral exercise, or for the refreshment of their own memories, or because they feel a longing to give utterance to, and record the feelings and thoughts that are rising and working and fighting in their minds. It is curious that so many great men, as well as so many small ones, have written journals, and an essay on the subject would be interesting enough if well done. Johnson, Walter Scott, Wilberforce, Windham, Byron, Heber, Gibbon, all kept journals, and many others, no doubt, whom I don't recollect at this moment. I omit Pepys and Evelyn, as men of a different sort.

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

December 8th.—I saw Emily Eden51 yesterday, and found they were full of bitterness against Ellenborough, and no wonder. In the first place, he and Auckland had always been friends. When Ellenborough came into office, he wrote to Auckland a friendly letter, in which he said what was tantamount to an invitation to him to stay in India. On his arrival at Calcutta, he was Auckland's guest for the first three days, till he was sworn in, and then Auckland was his, and when Auckland's sisters wanted to leave Government 129 House and go and pay a visit to a friend of theirs, Ellenborough would not hear of it, and made such a point of their remaining there till their departure that they did so. He lived with them morning, noon, and night, on terms of the greatest cordiality, and repeatedly expressed his regret that they were going away. This renders his Proclamation particularly odious, and the more so because she told me that during the last months of his Government, Auckland had done everything he could not to compromise or embarrass his successor, and had taken great pains to provide for any future military operations on which he might determine, which was a matter of considerable financial difficulty. All this makes them feel very sore, and they are besides of opinion that it is a grievous fault for a Governor to proclaim to the world that errors have been committed, and that the policy of the Indian Government is going to be altered. I am not so surprised at Ellenborough's animus, knowing that when he was at the Board of Control he never lost an opportunity of letting the Queen know his opinion as to the errors and blunders of his predecessor and his colleagues.


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


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


December 20th.—Went to the Grove on Friday, and came back yesterday. Nobody there but Charles Buller and Charles Villiers. Clarendon told me that when he was at Bowood there was a sort of consultation between him, Lord Lansdowne, and John Russell, about the 'Morning Chronicle' and Palmerston, Lord John having been already stimulated by the report (which his brother, the Duke, had made him) of the opinions of himself, Lord Spencer, and other Whigs, who had met or communicated together on the same subject. The consequence was that John Russell wrote a remonstrance to Palmerston, in which he told him what these various persons thought with regard to the tone that had 131 been taken on foreign questions, especially the American, and pointed out to him the great embarrassment that must ensue as well as prejudice to the party, if their dissatisfaction was manifested in some public manner when Parliament met. To this Palmerston replied in a very angry letter, in which he said that it was useless to talk to him about the Duke of Bedford, Lord Spencer, and others, as he knew very well that Edward Ellice was the real author of this movement against him. He then contrasted his own services in the cause with that of Ellice, and ended, as I understood, with a tirade against him, and a bluster about what he would do. Lord John wrote again, temperately, remonstrating against the tone he had adopted, and telling him that the persons whose sentiments he had expressed were very competent to form opinions for themselves, without the influence or aid of Ellice. This letter elicited one much more temperate from Palmerston, in which he expressed his readiness to co-operate with the party, and to consult for the common advantage, but that he must in the course of the session take an opportunity of expressing his own opinions upon the questions of foreign policy which would arise. He and Ellice, it seems, hate each other with a great intensity, and have done for many years past, since Palmerston suspected Ellice of intriguing against him; and latterly Ellice has taken an active and a noisy part against Palmerston's foreign policy generally, so that he is, and has been for some time, Palmerston's bête noire.

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

We were talking about the false statements which history hands down, and how useful letters and memoirs are in 132 elucidating obscure points and correcting false impressions. The Duke said that it was generally believed, and would be to the end of time, that the influence exercised by O'Connell over the late Government had been very great, and it never would be believed that the three great Irish measures which they adopted were opposed vehemently, instead of being dictated, by O'Connell, and yet this was the case. One of these measures everybody knows he opposed—the Poor Law—but the other two, the Appropriation Clause, and the Irish Municipal Bill, have always been supposed by the world at large to have been his own measures. I have, I think, somewhere else noticed his opposition to the first of these, and his vain attempts to induce John Russell (who was the author of this very indiscreet measure) to give it up. The truth of the matter, as regards the Corporation Bill, is rather more complicated and curious. The Lords made amendments in this Bill, and the question arose whether Government should take them or reject them. O'Connell strenuously urged their acceptance, and asked if it was not a good thing to get rid of the old corporations on any terms; but the Government, after much discussion, resolved to reject them, not, however, making their determination known to O'Connell or to anybody else. While matters were in this state, O'Connell had some communication with Normanby, from which he inferred that Government had resolved not to take the Bill, upon which he immediately determined to anticipate this decision, and to proclaim his own hostility to the amended Bill, in order that its rejection might appear to be attributable to him; and accordingly he published a violent letter in the newspapers, in which he said that the Bill ought to be indignantly kicked off the table, or some such words. The Duke of Bedford, who read his letter, and was aware of his previous opinion, was exceedingly disgusted at what he thought a flagrant instance of duplicity and hypocrisy, and, happening to meet him one day alone at Brooks's, he asked him how he reconciled this letter with the opinions he had previously expressed on the subject, to which appeal he had no satisfactory reply to make, but only some very lame 133 excuses in his usual civil and fawning manner. The fact is, that it suited his purpose to have it supposed that his influence over the Government was very great, and that he could make them do what he pleased; and as he gave every colour, by his conduct, to the accusation of the Tories, it is no wonder that the representation of his power was much greater than the reality. It was the interest of the Tories to make this out, as it was O'Connell's own, and it was vain for the Whigs to deny what facts appeared to prove, and which he himself tacitly admitted.


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

David Dundas was very agreeable at Woburn. I think I have seldom seen any man more agreeable in society. He is a great talker, but his manner and voice, and general style of conversation are all attractive; he knows a great deal, his reading has been extensive and various, and his memory appears retentive of such things as contribute to 134 the amusement and instruction of society; remarkable passages, curious anecdotes, quaint sayings, and a general familiarity with things worth hearing, and people worth knowing, render his talk very pungent and attractive.

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


Politically it has gone off with a tolerably equal mixture of good and evil, difficult foreign questions, and awkward quasi wars have been settled and concluded. Great discontent and great distress have prevailed at home, and we have the uncomfortable spectacle of this distress neither diminished nor diminishing, and of its most lamentable and alarming manifestation in the shape of our unproductive revenue. 135 As to the Ministry, if ever they had any popularity, they have none now left, but their power as a Government, and their means of retaining office, don't seem to be at all diminished. People are aware we must have a Government, and though they feel no great affection for Sir Robert Peel and Co., they cannot look round and descry anybody else whom they would prefer to him, and on the whole I believe there is a pretty general opinion that he is more capable of managing public affairs than any other man. The popularity which the Tory Government has lost has not by any means been transferred to the account of the Whig Opposition, who seem to be in a very prostrate and paralytic state as far as their prospects of recovering power are concerned. The public has not returned to them, and the Queen, their great supporter, has certainly fallen away from them. She has found, after a year's experience, that she can go on very happily and comfortably with the objects of her former detestation. She never cared a farthing for any of the late Cabinet but Melbourne, and besides having apparently ceased to care very much about him, now that his recent attack has made his restoration to office impossible, she will have no motive whatever for desiring all the trouble and risk attending a change of Government, and I have no sort of doubt she would infinitely prefer that matters should remain as they are.

Without going into any of the events which have occurred in the course of this year, I cannot help noticing the state of public opinion and feeling which appears at its close. Questions which not long ago interested and agitated the world have been laid upon the shelf; the thoughts of mankind seem to be turned into other channels. It is curious to look at the sort of subjects which now nearly monopolise general interest and attention. First and foremost there is the Corn Law and the League; the Corn Law, which Charles Villiers (I must do him the justice to say) long ago predicted to me would supersede every other topic of interest, and so it undoubtedly has. Then the condition of the people, moral and physical, is uppermost in everybody's mind, the state and management of workhouses and prisons, and the great question 136 of education. The newspapers are full of letters and complaints on these subjects, and people think, talk, and care about them very much. And last, but not least, come the Church questions—the Church of Scotland, the Church of England, the Dissenters, the Puseyites. Great and increasing is the interest felt in all the multifarious grievances or pretensions put forth by any and all of the above denominations, and much are men's minds turned to religious subjects. One proof of this may be found in the avidity with which the most remarkable charges of several of the Bishops have been read, the prodigious number of copies of them which have been sold. Of these, the principal are the charges of the Bishops of London (Blomfield), Exeter (Phillpotts), and St. David's (Thirlwall), especially the second. This charge, which is very able, contains inter alia an attack upon Newman for Tract No. 90, and a most elaborate argument, very powerful, in reply to a judgement delivered by Brougham at the Privy Council in the case of Escott v. Mastyn on Lay Baptism.

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




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

January 19th, 1843.—I went to Apsley House yesterday to see my brother,53 and while I was in his room the Duke came in. He was looking remarkably well, strong, hearty, and of a good colour. He was in very good spirits and humour, and began talking about everything, but particularly about Lieut. Eyre's book, the recent Indian campaign, the blunders committed, and Ellenborough's strange behaviour. He said that Lord Auckland had been unfortunate in having lost successively all his commanding officers, first Sir Henry Fane, then Lord Keane, who, when he had done the job on which he was employed, had come home; then Sir Willoughby Cotton, who would have done well enough, for he had marched his men up very well, and why he came away, he never had understood. So at last the command devolved on Elphinstone, who was unfit, and the end was that there was not one head amongst them. 'I know,' he said, 'very well what they ought to have done, and how all these disasters might have been avoided, if they had acted 138 as they should have done, in time; but if you ask me what they ought to have done, or what I should have done myself at a later period, about the middle of November, I could not give you any answer. I do not know what they could have done and I do not know what I should have done myself; I cannot tell you. What they ought to have done at first, was this: the moment Burnes was murdered, and the first symptom of an outbreak appeared, they should have occupied the Bala Hissar with 500 or 600 men, instantly taken military possession of Cabul, and of all the forts in the neighbourhood of the entrenchment, calculated the amount of stores and provision requisite, and set about their collection in Cabul itself; and if this had been promptly done they would have been able to maintain themselves without any difficulty, and none of these events would have occurred. But the great error they committed was in the breach of a fundamental rule universally established in our intercourse with the Native Powers, that no troops should be employed in the collection of the revenue. They sent Shah Soojah into the country with what they called his own army—in which there was not a single Afghan soldier, for it was collected in Hindostan, and officered by officers borrowed from the British Government—and these troops were employed in collecting tribute and revenue, and this produced all that animosity and hostility to us which were the causes of what afterwards happened.' He said very little about the original policy, but expressed his strong opinion of the neglect which had occasioned the partial disgrace inflicted on our rear-guard in the retreat. He said Pollock had taken all the necessary precautions with his division, crowning the heights which overlooked the defiles, and if the last corps had done the same thing, this would not have happened. He then went off about Ellenborough and his Proclamations, which he did not spare. My brother had just before shown me a letter which Lady Colchester, Ellenborough's sister, had written to the Duke, complaining of the attacks made upon her brother by the press, and asking him what could be done, with a great deal about Ellenborough's 139 veneration for him. The Duke's answer was to this effect: that it had always been the lot of those who served their country and rendered great services to be maligned and assailed, as he had been; that it had happened to the Duke himself, and he knew no remedy for it but patience; that he had constantly written out to him expressing his approbation of the orders he had given; and when Parliament met, an opportunity would probably be afforded to the Ministers of expressing their sense of his Lordship's conduct. This letter was written not above a week ago; it was therefore not very consistent with the opinion he expressed to me of Ellenborough's recent proceedings, for he was undoubtedly acquainted with them all at the time he wrote it. I told him that there was but one sentiment of indignation and ridicule at all Lord Ellenborough had been saying and doing. He lifted up his hands and eyes, and admitted that this was only to be expected. I told him that a friend of mine had seen a letter from Ellenborough in which he gave an account of the review he was going to have, when he meant to arrange his army in the form of a star, with the artillery at the point of each ray, and a throne for himself in the centre. 'And he ought to sit upon it in a strait waistcoat,' said the Duke.


He then talked of the Proclamations pretty much as everybody else does; he said that as soon as he had received that one about the Gates, he had perceived all the mischief it was likely to produce; that it would shock the religious feelings and prejudices of the people of this country; while in India it was the greatest imprudence to meddle with questions involving the religious differences of the Hindoos and Mahomedans; that if he chose to carry off the Gates, and send them back to the place from whence they had been taken, he might have done it without allusions calculated to offend the religious prejudices of any sect. He dwelt on the subject for a long time, and talked on various others, but there was nothing very remarkable; he praised Eyre's book exceedingly, and said it was evidently all true, and was not unfair towards others. 140

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


January 24th.—Went to the Grove on Friday, returned yesterday; Lord Auckland, Emily Eden, John and Lady John Russell, Charles Buller, and Charles Villiers; pleasant enough. Charles Buller very clever, amusing, even witty; but the more I see of him the more I am struck with his besetting sin, that of turning everything into a joke, never being serious for five minutes out of the twenty-four hours, upon any subject; and to such a degree has he fallen into this dangerous habit, in spite too of the remonstrances and admonitions of his best friends, that when he is inclined to be serious, and to express opinions in earnest, nobody knows what he is at, nor whether he means what he says. He goes on as if the only purpose in life was to laugh and make others laugh. He perpetually seeks to discover and point out what is ridiculous or what can be made so in other people, and his talk is an incessant banter and sarcasm, certainly very lightly and amusingly mixed and dished up. John Russell is always agreeable, both from what he contributes himself and his hearty enjoyment of the contributions of others. We talked a good deal, of course, about Ellenborough and his proceedings. Auckland told us that 141 he had been convinced he was mad from the moment of his landing, for he seemed to have worked himself up during the voyage to a pitch of excitement, which immediately broke forth. The captain of the ship he went in was so shocked at the violence he occasionally exhibited, and the strange things he said, that he on several occasions sent his youngsters away, that they might not hear him, and he was strongly impressed with the conviction that he was not in his right mind. He said to Auckland, 'that he should come Aurungzebe over them,' and repeatedly he used to say, 'what a pity it was he had not come to that country twenty years before, and what he should have made of it if he had.' This, too, spoken with perfect complacency to the man who had been governing it for seven years, and after the many eminent men who had preceded him! He told Auckland he intended to turn out the Royal Family from the Palace at Delhi and convert it into a residence for himself. Auckland suggested to him that the fallen representative of the Mogul Emperors had long occupied this vast habitation, which was rather the portion of a town than merely a palace; that there the family had increased till they amounted to nearly 2,000 souls, besides their innumerable followers and attendants, and it would not be a very easy or advisable process to disturb them. Ellenborough answered that it did not signify, out they must go, for he should certainly install himself in the Royal residence of Delhi. Since their departure from India, the letters they have received confirm the impression his conduct made. His talk is inflated with vanity and pride. He says he is not like an ordinary Governor of India, but a Minister, a President of the Board of Control, come there to exercise in person the authority with which he is invested.

It was just as I was starting for the Grove that I heard of the assassination of Edward Drummond,54 one of the most unaccountable crimes that ever was committed, for he was as good and inoffensive a man as ever lived, who could have had no enemy, and who was not conspicuous enough to have 142 become the object of hatred or vengeance to any class of persons, being merely the officer of Sir Robert Peel, and never saying or doing anything but in his name, or as directed by him. It is almost impossible that in his official capacity he can have offended, or even apparently injured, anybody, and as the man assigns no reason for what he has done, and does not appear in the slightest degree deranged, it quite baffles conjecture to account for the commission of such an enormity.

January 26th.—Poor Drummond died yesterday morning, and I never remember any event which excited more general sympathy and regret. He was informed the night before of his hopeless condition, which he heard with great composure, and he was sensible almost to the last. There never was a man who, according to every rule of probability, was safer from any chance of assassination. He was universally popular, much beloved and esteemed by numerous friends, and without an enemy in the world; of moderate but fair abilities, a cheerful, amiable disposition, and, entirely without vanity or ambition, he was content to play a respectable but subordinate part in life, which he did to the perfect satisfaction of all those with whom he was connected. The extreme strangeness of the event, and the absence of any apparent cause for the commission of such a crime, have given rise to various conjectures, the most prominent of which is the notion that he was taken for Peel. I utterly rejected this at first, because I thought the assassin could so easily have made himself acquainted with the person of Peel that it could not be true; but a circumstance of which I was reminded yesterday (for I had before heard it from Drummond himself, but forgotten it), has changed my opinion. When the Queen went to Scotland, Peel went with Lord Aberdeen, or in some other way, no matter how, but not in his own carriage. He sent Drummond in his carriage, alone. In Scotland Peel constantly travelled either with the Queen, or with Aberdeen, and Drummond continued to go about in his carriage. I well remember his telling me this, and laughing at the idea of his having been taken for a great 143 man. It has been proved that this man was in Scotland at the time; and if he saw, as he probably did, Drummond in a carriage which was pointed out to him as Sir Robert Peel's, he may have very naturally concluded that the man in it was the Minister, and he may therefore have believed that he was acquainted with his person. For many days before the murder he was prowling about the purlieus of Downing Street, and the Duke of Buccleuch told me that the day he was expected in town, and when his servants were looking out for him, they observed this man, though it was a rainy day, loitering about near his gate, which is close to Peel's house. If therefore he saw, as he must have done, Drummond constantly passing between Peel's house and Downing Street, and recognised in him the same person he had seen in the carriage in Scotland, and whom he believed to be Peel, he would think himself so sure of his man as to make it unnecessary to ask any questions, and the very consciousness of his own intentions might make him afraid to do so. This appears to afford a probable solution of the mystery, but if it should turn out to be true, it still remains to discover what his motive was for attacking the life of Peel.


January 29th.—The man who shot Drummond, it now appears, acknowledged that it was his intention to shoot Peel, and thought he had done so. He said so more than once. Graham, whom I sat by at dinner yesterday, told me that he considered it a very doubtful case, very doubtful what view the jury would take of the question of his insanity. He has certainly been under a sort of delusion that the Tories have persecuted him, but in no other respect is he mad. If the law as laid down by Chief Justice Mansfield in Bellingham's case, and as it was laid down in that of Lord Ferrers, prevails now, he will not escape; but unfortunately Denman (in ignorance probably of these dicta) laid down very different and very erroneous law in the case of Oxford, and though his authority is worthless when compared with the others alluded to, it is the most recent, and that is by no means unimportant. It will be a very serious thing if he escapes, and Graham agreed with me, that if this happens 144 sooner or later some dreadful catastrophe will occur. Some man or other will be sacrificed of much greater consequence than poor Drummond. It would be a great evil too, as well as a great absurdity, that the law on such an important question should be decided by such a man as Denman, who, though very honest and respectable, has not the slightest authority or weight as a lawyer. There never was in all probability a Chief Justice of the King's Bench held in such low estimation. It is one of the greatest evils of the way in which political influences work in this country, that we have never any security for having the ablest and fittest men promoted to the judicial office. We have seen in this century Erskine, Brougham, and now Lyndhurst, Chancellors; for the latter is now not much more competent than the other two were; and we have a man at the head of the Common Law with hardly a smattering of law in his head, and not looked up to by a single man in the profession.

We had our Sheriffs' dinner last night at Lord Wharncliffe's, and, what does not often happen, a great dispute about one nomination. Three men were named for Bucks, none of whom made excuses, but the Duke of Buckingham wrote a private letter to the Lord President, stating that the first two were unfit, and the first a mere grazier, who had been put on the list by the Lord Lieutenant (Carrington) and his lawyer as a mere job; the third man was unobjectionable. Wharncliffe and Lyndhurst proposed to pass over the two first, as the Duke suggested, and take the third. Peel, Graham, and Stanley remonstrated, and said that it was improper and irregular to pass over a man whose name was given in the usual way, and who made no objection to serve, on account of the interference of a person who had no right or business to interfere. It appeared too that the Duke had made the same objection to the Judge (Alderson), who had nevertheless given in, or left on the roll, the name of the gentleman. After a great deal of discussion it was resolved to pay no attention to the Duke's letter, and to appoint the first on the list, very much to my satisfaction, because this was the proper and the regular course, and I 145 was glad to see the Duke of Buckingham treated as he ought to be. He is resolved, as he is not Lord Lieutenant in title, to make himself so in reality. Under Lyndhurst's administration of the Great Seal, he has succeeded as far as the magistracy is concerned, and he tries to do the same with respect to every other department. I was glad to hear Peel treat his interference so properly as he did.


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

February 9th.—Wharncliffe told me the day after the Speech that he thought they should have no trouble about anything but about Ellenborough, whose case would embarrass them, and he expected the vote of thanks to him would be contested. He added, however, that he expected Ellenborough would come home. 'Why?' I asked. 'Because he would not think that they supported him sufficiently.' 'What more could they say or do than they had done?' 'Yes,' he said, but he would not be satisfied, nor think they supported him as he had a right to expect, and though they should not recall him, he thought it exceedingly likely he would come away in the summer. From this I inferred that, while they took up the cudgels for him in public, privately they had sent him a reprimand, and told him what all the world thought of his conduct here. On consideration, I 146 think they could not help supporting him, unless they could find serious fault with any of his acts, and of them they highly approve, except indeed the Gates of Somnauth, which is an act, as it has proved, of no small consequence, for it has done just what the Duke of Wellington apprehended, exasperated the Mahomedan population. They were placed in a very difficult position, and perhaps the best thing they could do was to defend him and reprove him. But whether they have done this latter as strongly as they ought or not, I have no idea that he will resign and come home. Melbourne says they were quite right to defend him as they did. I saw yesterday the copy of a long letter which the Duke has written to him, in which he rather hints than expresses his own disapprobation, but leaves him to infer it, when he tells him how his Proclamations will be assailed here, and earnestly begs him to be extremely cautious as to what he says and writes for the future. He does not mince the matter with respect to Pollock, of whose proceedings he highly disapproves, and he says that he thinks they shall have much greater difficulty in proposing the vote of thanks to him than to Ellenborough, on account of the atrocities he perpetrated and permitted, and which were done against the advice and opinion of Nott. He mentions especially the storming of Istalif and the destruction at Cabul. With regard to this latter, he says he ought to have known that no such havoc could be made without every kind of disorder and outrage being committed by the troops, and that if Pollock chose to order such a thing to be done, he ought to have attended with one half of his army, in order to keep the other half within the bounds of discipline. He was also very angry with them for not having taken all the necessary precautions to prevent the insult that was offered to the rear-guard on its retreat. He entered into great details about various matters of Indian policy, and he alluded to the probability of the Governor-General's having very soon to counteract some French intrigue or other, for he said that the French Government were now busily employed in attacking our influence and undermining our interests in every 147 quarter of the globe when they could find the means of doing so; that they despatched agents for this purpose (of various descriptions) in every direction, and he had no doubt Ellenborough would before long hear of some French agent in the regions about the Indus, probably attempting to establish some relations with the Sikh Government. He expressed some suspicion (I fancy without any cause) of General Ventura, and alluded to his having recently seen Louis Philippe at Paris. When he talked of the necessity of Ellenborough's caution in his public documents and private talk, he inveighed very bitterly against the free Press of India, and said, with an exaggeration to which he has been latterly rather prone, that this Press had produced a tyranny more insupportable than the Spanish Inquisition in its worst times. It was, on the whole, a remarkable letter, though not quite so good as he would have written in his best days.


A great sensation has been made here by the publication of the proceedings in the secret session of the Senate at Washington, when the Treaty was ratified. This brought out the evidence of Jared Sparks, who told them of Franklin's letter to Vergennes, and of the existence of the map he had marked, with a boundary line corresponding precisely with our claim. People cry out lustily against Webster,55 for having taken us in, but I do not think with much reason. Lord Ashburton told me it was very fortunate that this map and letter did not turn up in the course of his negotiation, for if they had, there would have been no Treaty at all, and eventually a scramble, a scuffle, and probably a war. Nothing, he said, would ever have induced the Americans to accept our line, and admit our claim; and with this evidence in our favour, it would have been impossible for us to have conceded what we did, or anything like it. He never would have done so, and the matter must have remained unsettled; and after all, he said, it was a dispute de lanâ caprinâ, for the whole territory we were wrangling about was worth nothing, so that it is just as well the discovery was not made 148 by us. At the same time, our successive Governments are much to blame in not having ransacked the archives at Paris, for they could certainly have done for a public object what Jared Sparks did for a private one, and a little trouble would have put them in possession of whatever that repository contained.

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


February 17th.—Since the Blue Book with all the Indian papers has appeared, there has been a considerable reaction in Ellenborough's favour. I have been at the trouble of mastering it, because I desired to know the truth and see that justice was done, and it is impossible to trust to the partial extracts and comments which appear in the newspapers on either side. I believe the opinion which I have formed is that which has been generally arrived at by those who have taken the trouble to read the papers in an impartial spirit. I think his case is completely made out (not of course including the last Proclamations). His despatches 149 are very able, and exhibit great caution, industry, and discretion; his views seem to have been very sound, and he took a comprehensive survey of the whole state of India, and of the dangers and difficulties by which he was surrounded. The various objects which he had to accomplish were arranged in his mind in a due and very proper subordination to each other, and his measures for their accomplishment seem to have been the most judicious that he could have adopted. All the charges with which he has been so pertinaciously and violently assailed for many months past, such as cowardice, meanly retiring from the contest, ordering troops to withdraw against the wishes and advice of the generals, indifference to the fate of prisoners, fall to the ground at once. There is not a shadow of a case against him on any of these points. I can't comprehend why the Government allowed such attacks to go unanswered in any way for such a length of time. The impression to his disadvantage was made, and it is always difficult to turn the public mind when once it has received a bias, no matter what. Wharncliffe told me that the Government were greatly alarmed when they received his despatches announcing his resolution to withdraw at the earliest moment; that they doubted the correctness of his decision, and represented to him how loudly the people of this country and the press were clamouring for vengeance and the recovery of the prisoners; but the Duke of Wellington alone maintained all along that Ellenborough was right.

March 19th.—For a month past I have been laid up with a painful and tiresome fit of the gout, which has left me neither spirits nor energy to write, and I have had nothing to say of the slightest importance if I had been possessed of either. Nothing can have been more dull than the march of public affairs. The Whigs made a great mistake in having a second debate about Ellenborough in both Houses. In the Lords, the Government had much the best of it, and the Duke of Wellington spoke marvellously well. Nothing is more extraordinary than the complete restoration of that vigour of mind which for the last two or three years was 150 visibly impaired. His speeches this Session have been as good, if not better than any he ever made. In the House of Commons the Opposition had the best of the speaking, and Macaulay in particular distinguished himself. Auckland has emerged from this scuffle very well. He is considered by people of all parties to have taken a very temperate, dignified, and becoming part in the discussions, and he has been treated with uniform respect and forbearance. There was a meeting at John Russell's at the beginning of the Session, to determine whether the vote of thanks to Ellenborough should be opposed or not. It was attended by the most conspicuous of the Opposition of both Houses, and they resolved, with only two dissentients (Minto and Clanricarde), that the vote should not be opposed. Auckland took no part, of course, but he entirely concurred. His sister, Emily Eden, however, who has great influence over him, and who is a very clever but wrongheaded woman, was furious, and evinced great indignation against all their Whig friends, especially Auckland himself, for being so prudent and moderate, and for not attacking Ellenborough with all the violence which she felt and expressed.

If it were not for Brougham, who keeps enlivening the world from time to time with his speeches and correspondence and quarrels with one person or another, the political dullness and stagnation would be complete. This singular being is in an incessant state of morbid activity, never silent, never quiet; the âme damnée of Lyndhurst, he grossly and incessantly flatters the Duke, and calls Peel his 'right honourable friend;' he hates his 'noble friends' and former colleagues with an intensity which bursts out on every occasion when he can contrive to vilify or assail them. He began the campaign with his squabble with M. de Tocqueville, which he had the best of, and this was eventually made up and civil messages were exchanged through the mediation of Reeve.56 Next came his comical reconciliatory intercourse 151 with the Queen. He has been for a long time by way of being in a sort of disgrace. He always has spoken disrespectfully or disparagingly of the Court and of 'Albertine,' and he has said uncivil things in sundry pamphlets. He behaved very ill one night when he dined at the Palace, and has never been to Court nor invited since. The other day the Queen said to the Chancellor, 'Why does Lord Brougham never come to Court?' This he repeated to Brougham, who considered it an overture, and by way of meeting it, he sent a copy of one of his books to the Queen, and another to Prince Albert. He received acknowledgements from both, and the Queen thanked him by an autograph letter. This was deemed a singular honour, and made a great sensation, and it was thought the more curious as he had just before made a most virulent speech, in which he had talked of 'vipers' in a way not to be mistaken, and which was levelled at her former Minister, and his friend, Lord Palmerston. The next thing was his squabble with Lord Lynedoch, who, though very near a hundred and stone blind, called him to account for saying something offensive about him in one of his speeches. On this, heaps of correspondence and many interviews took place between him and William Russell on the part of old Lynedoch, and he promised an explanation in the House of Lords, but they never could get him to make it, and at last Lord Lynedoch put something himself in the 'Morning Chronicle,' not very intelligible. His last appearance in public is in the shape of a correspondence with an Anti-Corn-Law Leaguer and Quaker of the name of Bright, which is long and not very intelligible either, but it is amusing inasmuch as it exhibits the slyness of the Quaker, who contrives to baffle his angry 'friend' by a good deal of cunning, and rather disingenuous verbiage.


Brighton, April 5th.—The gout which tormented me a 152 month ago continued, and is only now going off. I went to Winchester for two days, and have been here three; sent by the doctors. I have had all this time an invincible repugnance to writing anything in the way of journal, and I now take up my pen for little else than to enter the fact of having nothing of the slightest interest to say. I know nothing of politics, and believe there is nothing to know. Palmerston delivered his anti-Ashburton philippic a fortnight ago, in a speech of three hours and a half duration, which was universally allowed to be most able. It certainly raised his reputation as an orator, but his friends would have much preferred his having let it alone. The immediate consequence was, that Hume in one House, and Brougham in the other, gave notices of motions for votes of thanks to Lord Ashburton, much to the annoyance of everybody. Clarendon got me to make a communication to the Duke of Wellington, through Arbuthnot, to the effect that they (Lord Lansdowne and himself) were very anxious not to attack Ashburton and his Treaty, and if they were not compelled to do so, by the language of the Government, they would not. Arbuthnot spoke to the Duke, and wrote me word that he had no desire to say anything to provoke a discussion, and that he regretted the motion altogether, which had been brought forward without any concert with the Government.

In the course of conversation with Arbuthnot the other day on various matters, he told me something about Lord Spencer's taking office in '30, which I thought rather curious. Lord Spencer told it him himself. When Lord Grey was sent for by King William to form an administration, he went to Althorp and asked him what place he would have. Althorp said he would not have any. Lord Grey said, 'If you won't take office with me, I will not undertake to form the Government, but will give it up.' 'If that's the case,' said the other, 'I must; but if I do take office, I will be Chancellor of the Exchequer and lead the House of Commons.' 'Lead the House of Commons?' said Lord Grey; 'but you know you can't speak!' 'I know that,' he 153 said, 'but I know I can be of more use to you in that capacity than in any other, and I will either be that or nothing.' He became the very best leader of the House of Commons that any party ever had. Peel said that he never failed on every question to say a few words entirely to the point, and no argument open to reply escaped him. The whole House liked him, his own party followed him with devoted attachment. This was a curious piece of confidence and self-reliance in a very modest man. There is an anecdote of him, exemplifying the reliance placed in his word and on his character, which has often been told, and may probably be recorded elsewhere. I forget the particulars of the story, but the gist of it is this. During the discussion of some Bill, a particular clause was objected to, and by his own friends. Althorp said that he knew when the Bill was framed, very cogent reasons were produced in favour of this clause, but to say the truth he could not at the moment recollect what they were. He invited them to waive these objections in deference to these excellent but unknown reasons, and they did so at his request. It would be long enough before Canning or Peel would have obtained such a mark of confidence from their supporters.


Good Friday, April 14th.—Came back from Brighton on Sunday evening. The same night John Allen died, after a week's illness, much regretted by all the friends of Holland House. He was seventy-two years old, and had lived for forty years at Holland House, more exclusively devoted to literary pursuits and abdicating his independent existence more entirely than any man ever did. It is rather remarkable that no great work ever was produced by him; but perhaps his social habits, and still more the personal exigencies of Lady Holland, are sufficient to account for this. He was originally recommended to Lord Holland as a physician, being at that time a distinguished member of that remarkable literary circle at Edinburgh which contained Brougham, Horner, Jeffrey, and Sydney Smith, who revered Dugald Stewart as their master, and who originated the 'Edinburgh Review.' Allen does not seem to have been considered for 154 any length of time as belonging to Holland House in a medical capacity. He soon was established there permanently as a friend, and looked upon (as he was) as an immense literary acquisition. From that time he became an essential and remarkable ingredient of the great Holland House establishment, the like of which we shall never see again. Allen became one of the family, was in all their confidence, and indispensable to both Lord and Lady Holland. Lord Holland treated him with uniform consideration, affection, and amenity; she worried, bullied, flattered, and cajoled him by turns. He was a mixture of pride, humility, and independence; he was disinterested, warm-hearted, and choleric, very liberal in his political, still more in his religious opinions, in fact, a universal sceptic. He used for a long time in derision to be called 'Lady Holland's Atheist,' and in point of fact I do not know whether he believed in the existence of a First Cause, or whether, like Dupuis, he regarded the world as l'univers de Dieu. Though not, I think, feeling quite certain on the point, he was inclined to believe that the history of Jesus Christ was altogether fabulous or mythical, and that no such man had ever existed. He told me he could not get over the total silence of Josephus as to the existence and history of Christ. It was not, however, the custom at Holland House to discuss religious subjects, except rarely and incidentally. Everybody knew that the House was sceptical, none of them ever thought of going to church, and they went on as if there was no such thing as religion. But there was no danger of the most devout person being shocked or offended by any unseemly controversy, by any mockery, or insult offered to their feelings and convictions. Amongst the innumerable friends and habitual guests of the House were many clergymen, very sincere and orthodox, and many persons of both sexes entertaining avowedly the strongest religious opinions, amongst them Miss Fox, Lord Holland's sister, and his daughter, Lady Lilford. Allen's learning and still more his general information were prodigious, and as he lived amongst books, the stock was continually increasing. He 155 was the oracle of Holland House on all literary subjects, and in every discussion some reference was sure to be made to Allen for information, upon which he never was at fault. He was not accustomed to take much part in general conversation, but was always ready to converse with anybody who sought him, and when warmed up would often argue away with great vigour and animation, and sometimes with no little excitement. After Lord Holland's death, which he felt with an intensity of grief that showed the warmth of his affections, he devoted himself entirely to Lady Holland, and never left her for a moment. His loss is, therefore, to her quite irreparable. He was for twenty-two years Master of Dulwich College, but he never was allowed to live there, or to absent himself from Holland House, except for the few hours in each week when his attendance at Dulwich was indispensable. Allen was engaged in writing a review of Horner's correspondence when he died, and he had promised to write one on the Bedford papers, which John Russell is now publishing, and in which he was to have vindicated John, Duke of Bedford, from the malice of Junius, a pious duty which his great-grandson seems to consider as peculiarly incumbent on him. In no respect is the loss of Allen more important, than with reference to the Holland House papers, the collection of Lord Holland and Mr. Fox, probably the most curious and interesting mass of manuscripts, literary and political, which exists anywhere. They were in Allen's hands, and being in Lady Holland's power, and subject to her caprice, nobody can say what will become of them.


April 23rd.—The Duke of Sussex died yesterday, and his memory has been very handsomely treated by the press of different shades of politics. He placed the Court in great embarrassment, by leaving directions that he should be buried at the Cemetery in the Harrow Road; and there was a grand consultation yesterday, whether this arrangement should be carried into effect, or whether the Queen should take on herself to have him buried with the rest of the Royal Family at Windsor. 156

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

It is unnecessary to say that the discussion about the Duke of Sussex's funeral ended by his being buried with Royal honours at Kensal Green. It all went off very decently and in an orderly manner. Peel and the Duke, in both Houses, spoke of him very properly and feelingly. He seems 157 to have been a kind-hearted man, and was beloved by his household. On his death-bed he caused all his servants to be introduced to his room, took leave of them all, and shook hands with some.


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

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

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

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

May 14th.—Lord FitzGerald died on Friday morning,58 12th inst., suddenly, inasmuch as he was at the Cabinet on Tuesday; but having been long in a very bad state of health, he never ought to have taken office, for his constitution was unequal to its anxieties and fatigues, and he was too nervous, excitable, and susceptible for the wear and tear of political life. He did not contemplate, when he accepted Ellenborough's place, that his predecessor would render it one of the most troublesome, embarrassing, and important in the Government, and accordingly nothing could exceed FitzGerald's annoyance at finding himself in such a cauldron of boiling water as that into which Ellenborough with his 159 Proclamations had plunged him. I remember that Wharncliffe at the beginning of the session said to me in joke, 'Ellenborough will be the death of FitzGerald,' and this turned out in earnest to be very near the truth. There is no doubt that his constant nervous apprehension and unceasing anxiety materially contributed to undermine his constitution and occasion his death. He is a great loss in all ways, and few men could be more generally regretted. He was clever, well-informed, and agreeable, fond of society, living on good terms with people of all parties, and universally popular. He was liberal in his opinions, honourable, fair, and conciliatory, and personally on such good terms with his political opponents, and so much respected and esteemed for his candour, sincerity, and integrity, that his death is a public misfortune. He began public life with Peel, having been appointed to an office in Ireland when Peel was made Secretary in the Irish Administration of the Duke of Richmond. They continued intimate friends ever after, and FitzGerald was a faithful adherent of Peel's during the whole of his political career. His greatest fault was a disposition to despond, and to look at affairs in the gloomiest point of view. In history he will be for ever associated with that famous Clare election when O'Connell turned him out and got himself returned, that great stroke which led immediately to Catholic emancipation.


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

Went on Sunday to the Temple Church. Most beautiful to see, though perhaps too elaborately decorated. The service very well done, fine choir. Benson preached on 160 justification by faith, not a good sermon, though a fine preacher. I listened attentively, but found it all waste of attention. He ended by a hit at the Puseyites (as he often rejoices to do), and an extract from one of the Homilies, which was the best part of his sermon. Brougham was there and brought Peel with him.

June 6th.—Nothing written for a long time, and for the old reason, the Derby and the race-course.... I have been very slightly concerned in this great speculation, but larger sums have been wagered on it than ever were heard of before. George Bentinck backed a horse of his called Gaper (and not a good one), to win about 120,000l. On the morning of the race the people came to hedge with him, when he laid the odds against him to 7,000l.; 47,000 to 7,000, I believe, in all. He had three bets with Kelburne59 of unexampled amount. He laid Kelburne 13,000 to 7,000 on Cotherstone (the winner) against the British Yeoman, and Kelburne laid him 16,000 to 2,000 against Gaper. The result I believe was, to these two noble lords, that George Bentinck won about 9,000l. and the other lost 6,000l. or 7,000l. I have never much inclination to record racing details, though these particulars may not be unamusing or uninteresting many years hence. George Bentinck may eschew racing, and be found in his latter days addicted to some very different pursuit, and it may appear as strange to hear of his thousands lost and won, as it is to read of Wilberforce's gaming at the fashionable clubs, or to be told of the mild and respectable Tom Grenville heading the mob in the demolition of the Admiralty windows in the Keppel riots. Or times may change, and the value of money, or the usages and habits of the world. These sums may appear contemptibly small or alarmingly large. After all, when the letters and diaries with which the press now teems make their appearance, we always read with more or less interest the familiar details of the vices and follies, the amusements and pursuits of our forefathers; even their winnings and losings are attractive; so that if I chose to 161 tell more stories of the turf, somebody would be found to read them in times remote; but I always feel so ashamed of the occupation, and a sort of consciousness of degradation and of deterioration from it, that my mind abhors the idea of writing about it; in fact, I often wonder at my own sentiments or sensations, and my own conduct about the business and the diversion of racing. It gives me at least as much of pain as pleasure, and yet so strong is the habit, such a lingering, lurking pleasure do I find in it, such a frequent stimulus does it apply to my general indifference and apathy, that I cannot give it entirely up. One effect of that sort of active concern with the turf, which is unavoidable during the spring campaign, is an almost complete suspension of attention to political matters, and to what is passing in the world: and as I have learnt nothing but what everybody else knows, I have not thought it worth while to waste pen and ink in making my own observations on passing events. I have been too idle and too busy for that. If I had been used to write in the common diarial form, I should have put down something of this sort: On Tuesday in Epsom week I went to Bingham Baring's at Addiscombe, with the Clanricardes, Damers, Ben Stanley, Levesons, Poodle Byng; very agreeable people, but the women brimful of ill-nature. Clanricarde and his wife excellent members of society; both of them extremely clever, quick, light in hand.


The King of Hanover arrived on Friday, too late for the Royal christening, and all the world is asking why he did not arrive in time, or why they did not wait for him. The political world is all out of joint. Peel is become very unpopular. Ireland is in a flame. The whole country is full of distress, disquiet, and alarm. Religious feuds are rife. The Church and the Puseyites are at loggerheads here, and the Church and the Seceders in Scotland; and everybody says it is all very alarming, and God knows what will happen, and everybody goes on just the same, and nobody cares except those who can't get bread to eat. Somehow or other, it does seem very strange, that after thirty years of peace, a thing unprecedented, during which time all the elements of public 162 prosperity have been in full activity and had ample scope, while we have been reforming and improving, and fancying that we have been getting wiser and better, we find ourselves to all appearance in as bad a condition, with as much difficulty for the present, and as much alarm for the future, as we have often been in. This is a great problem, which I cannot pretend to solve, and which it would task most men's philosophy satisfactorily to explain.


June 7th.—I forget if I have ever touched upon my squabble with the British Museum about one of our Council Books, and it is too much trouble to look back and see whether I have or not. Until I came into office very little attention had been paid to the old Council Registers, and though they are replete with curious matter, interesting to the historian, the antiquary, and persons engaged in almost every sort of literature, they were nearly inaccessible in consequence of the deficiency of indexes, or the very incomplete and imperfect character of those which there are. I therefore resolved to set about the great work of indexing these books, which I may call great, because it involves great labour and great expense, and because the utility and convenience of it are already found to be very great. I first employed a certain William Augustus Miles, who pretended to be a natural son of one of the Royal Family, I forget which, and who turned out a scamp and vagabond, and who cheated me. This man got into prison, and I lost sight of him. I then, by the advice of Amyot, employed Mr. Lemon, son of old Lemon of the State Paper Office, a very excellent and competent man, who has been at work on these indexes for several years; he is very intelligent, industrious, and well-informed, and has done his work in a very satisfactory way. It occurred to me in the progress of this design to ascertain whether any of the lost books could be found and recovered, and I learned that there was one in the State Paper Office, and another in the British Museum.60 I wrote 163 a letter to the Secretary of State, requesting he would order the book in the State Paper Office to be given up to the Clerk of the Council, with which request he immediately complied. On one or two occasions, when I went to the Museum, I told Sir Henry Ellis that I meant to have back that book, but which, I dare say, he regarded as a joke. However, at last I resolved to apply for it formally, and I wrote a letter to the Secretary, Mr. Forshall, in the name of the Lord President, demanding the book. I received no answer whatever; so, after the lapse of some weeks, I complained of having received none. Mr. Forshall then wrote to say the matter was under the consideration of the Trustees, and I should have an answer. At the expiration of three months I got a long letter (which I now hear the Trustees and their Secretary think a very fine production), setting forth all sorts of very poor reasons involved in a prodigious verbiage, why we should not insist on having our book, and why they should retain possession of it. To this I responded that the President of the Council considered that he had no option in the matter, that he was bound to insist on the restitution of the lost books of the Council, wherever he could find them, and that he was very sorry he could not comply with the request of the Trustees that he would desist from his claim. There the matter stands at the present moment. When I found that the Trustees were resolved to resist our demand, I asked the Attorney-General, whether we had or had not a right to enforce it; and he said most undoubtedly we had, that it was impossible for the British Museum to resist it, and that he, who was ex officio a Trustee, should tell them so. These matters are always settled by a few active persons who take the lead and the trouble, and I fancy Hallam, William Hamilton, and one or two more, are the men who are fighting this battle. I wrote to Hamilton, 164 begging him to mediate, and get the matter amicably settled; and he sent me a very absurd answer, the gist of which was that as we had done without this book for two hundred years we might do without it still, and that we had better send the rest of our books to the British Museum, instead of requiring the restoration of this one. The other night I spoke to Lord Ashburton, who is a very active Trustee, and though I found he had been fully consenting to Forshall's letter, and to the purpose of retaining the book, I believe I satisfied him that it ought to be given up.

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

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


June 15th.—Yesterday we sent a case to the Attorney-General for him and the Solicitor to report on about the Council book. 165

On Saturday I am going abroad, partly for health and partly in search of amusement, and to get away from the London season. Lord Wharncliffe said to me yesterday, 'You are going away, and I shall not see you for some time. You leave us in a strange state, with many difficulties around us. Our friends are angry because we don't do more and come down to Parliament about Ireland, but we have no case to act upon. What can we do about O'Connell? He may go great lengths, and at some of these meetings may expose himself to a prosecution, but when would you find an Irish jury to convict him?' All this is true enough; the question of Ireland is very difficult, but the Government have done all they can do; they take precautions and are in readiness if anything happens. Lord Wharncliffe said that the dismissal of the Repeal magistrates had been done in concert with the Government here, but that Sugden61 had done the mischief by writing such a foolish letter. Then he is very uneasy about Scinde, on which I must say that he told me, before Parliament met, that he was not afraid of the Afghanistan part of Ellenborough's conduct, but that he was afraid of the Scindian part, and he has proved in the right. He says that, though it is rendered palateable by the brilliant victories Napier has gained, the conduct of both Napier and Ellenborough has been to the last degree arbitrary and tyrannical, and such as nothing can justify. Add to these things the distress in this country, the Corn Law quarrels, and the religious dissensions both in Scotland and in England, and the cauldron is surely bubbling and fizzing as merrily as need be; yet we shall scramble through all these difficulties, as we have done so many before pejora passi.

Liège, Monday, June 19th.—I set off at eleven o'clock, on Saturday morning, from London Bridge, by the 'Earl of Liverpool' steamer, which was loaded with passengers and machinery, and a slow bad boat, so that we were seventeen and a half hours crossing over. The weather was fine, and it was pleasant enough going down the river. All the people were very merry and very hungry during this part of 166 the voyage, but most of them very sad and very sick when they got out to sea. It was ludicrous to see the disappearance of their hilarity and to contrast it with their woebegone faces when they were heaved about in the Channel. Having secured what is called the state cabin (a box with two beds in it, one over the other), I turned in and slept very comfortably. On each side of this apartment were the men's and the women's rooms, and as the doors of both were left open for air, I saw them, all lying huddled together, in every variety of attitude and costume, as thick as plums in a box, without any appearance of motion or life. It was a foggy, misty night, but suddenly at break of day the fog was drawn up like a curtain, and we ran into Ostend harbour on a fine morning at half-past four o'clock. The people at the Custom House were very civil and expeditious, and we found a tolerable hotel, though not so good as it ought to be for such a place as Ostend, which is now become a flourishing town on account of the great number of people who flock to it as a bathing-place, not only from Belgium, but Germany. The sands are excellent, and there is a magnificent promenade overlooking the sea, half a mile long. We started at eleven o'clock on the railroad and came to Liège. The carriages and arrangements are superior to ours, and much cheaper as to fare, but very dear in the article of luggage. For example, my fare was fifteen francs, and the charge for my baggage was fourteen.

Cologne.—I was obliged to leave off, to set out in a hired carriage, which took us to Aix-la-Chapelle in six and a half hours. I saw nothing at Liège but the vast building which was once the palace of the Prince Bishop, and must have been exceedingly grand. It reminded me of Venice with its superb colonnade and richly carved pillars. The road is extremely pretty (by Chaude Fontaine) from Liège to Aix, and exhibits every appearance of prosperity. It keeps almost constantly in sight of the new railroad—a stupendous work—making its way along a country which is all hill, valley, and stream. The difficulty, the labour, and the cost must all be enormous; vast tunnels and magnificent viaducts 167 present themselves at every turn, and I doubt if there is a similar work in any part of Europe to be compared with this. We only stopped to dine at Aix-la-Chapelle, and while dinner was getting ready I walked up to look at the Hôtel de Ville and the outside of the Cathedral, and in the evening we came on to this place, where we arrived just as it was dark. On the whole, my expedition has answered perfectly as far as it has gone. The weather has been delightful, the travelling neither tedious nor disagreeable, no difficulties nor discomforts, and though I have not seen much, I have been well amused with the aspect of the country through which I have passed, and with the glimpses of the curious old towns.


Coblentz, June 20th.—This morning went to see the Cathedral at Cologne, which it is useless to describe. I was greatly struck with its grandeur, but do not like the quantity of painting and gilding which deface the choir, nor do I think the frescoes which are now being painted on the walls suitable to a Gothic church. They are doing a great deal, but it is out of the question to think of finishing such a building.62 Afterwards to two or three churches, all of which were tawdry, service going on in all of them, and some were very full. Set off at half-past ten in the steamboat. The morning was grey and cold, and it soon began to rain heavily, but by the time we reached Bonn, where the beauties of the Rhine open, it became fine, and the day continued to improve, only with occasional showers, till in the afternoon the weather was beautiful. Certainly nothing can be more agreeable than this voyage on the Rhine. The boats spacious and comfortable, an excellent dinner very cheap, and the people very civil and obliging. With regard to the scenery, I was disappointed in particular spots, but very well pleased on the whole. The beauties of the Rhine are not near so striking as I fancied they were; the scenery of the Wye is infinitely finer; in fact, there is not a single object of grandeur, but it is all excessively pretty; the river itself is noble, and the constant succession of towns, villages, 168 palaces, ruins, and the various objects which the Rhine presents, renders the voyage very interesting and enjoyable. The approach to Coblentz is beautiful, and it was set off by all the effulgence of a magnificent sunset. The inns here are so crowded that it was with the greatest difficulty we found apartments in the largest of them. On the whole I am delighted with the expedition and with all I have seen, though the banks of the Rhine are not to be compared to the scenery of Monmouthshire or North Wales. 'The castled Crag of Drachenfels' is not so striking a ruin as the castle of Dinas Bran; Dover Castle is much more imposing than Ehrenbreitstein; but then there is the Rhine instead of the Wye—the grandest of rivers instead of a slimy streamlet. It is an intolerable bore not being able to speak German, for though waiters and innkeepers speak French and English almost universally, the mass of the people only speak German, and one feels miserably stupid and helpless at hearing a language clattering around one in every direction without being able to comprehend a word of it. I am much struck with the gaiety of the people and a certain style of joyous familiarity they have among one another; all the people on board the steamer (belonging to it), from the man in authority down to the cabin boy, seeming so free and easy with each other, and though very civil and particularly obliging, they have a certain air more of independence than familiarity with the passengers.

Frankfort, June 23rd.—I left Coblentz by the ten o'clock steamer on Wednesday morning. The scenery from thence to Bingen is by far the finest and certainly very beautiful and interesting, not that there is anything on either bank so grand or romantic as in Italy, Switzerland, or Wales, but altogether it is very charming, and the attention is never allowed to flag. The Rhine is noble, and its turnings and windings exhibit a perpetual variety of prospect, the same objects being presented in so many different aspects. It would be ridiculous to attempt to describe what has been already described by a hundred tourists and artists. A man in the steamboat, who was evidently concocting a journal, 169 very sensibly copied out what he wanted to describe from Murray's handbook; probably he could not do better.


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

We reached Mayence about nine o'clock. The next morning early I sallied forth, as usual, and poked about the town. I went into the cathedral, where there are a vast number of monuments, not very remarkable, of the Archbishops of Mayence—great men in their time. There was one tomb with which I was struck. It represents in the upper part the whole history of Christ, or at least, of His sufferings and death, in bas-relief, and underneath He is lying in His tomb, with figures at the head, the feet, and on one side, all as large as life, and by no means ill-done. A bronze statue of Gutenberg (for whom the invention of printing is claimed) was raised a few years ago by the town of Mayence; a fine figure enough, but they have inscribed upon the pedestal four of the most execrable Latin lines that ever were written, and if these are the best verses Mayence can produce, poets must be scarce in the town. If Gutenberg could come to life again he would be ashamed to see his types employed in recording such poetry as they have written in his praise. At eleven o'clock the railroad brought me in an hour to this place. This is an extremely pretty town; gay and prosperous in appearance, the streets are so wide, houses so handsome, and shops so smart. I soon found Francis Molyneux, with whom I dined. Mr. Koch, the Consul and banker, gave me a card which admitted me to a club, and I amused myself very well, looking about the town 170 and gardens, and in the Bohemian glass shop. This morning I consulted Dr. Kop, a physician who lives at Hanau, and has a reputation in the country, about the waters. He advised me not to go to Wiesbaden, which he said was too strong for such a case as mine, but to drink the waters of Wildbad in Würtemberg. I had, however, already pretty well made up my mind not to drink any waters at present, but merely to hear what the medical authorities said on the subject, and reserve them for a future occasion.

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


At three o'clock I got on the railroad, and went over to Mayence, to hear the military bands, which play every Friday. This is a great lounge, attended by all the people of the town, and many from Frankfort and Wiesbaden. I was delighted. The music is really magnificent. It was an Austrian band, about sixty or seventy in number, admirably conducted. The garden in which they play, just beyond the fortifications of the town, is very pretty, and the people sit 171 at tables drinking chocolate or eating ice; the men mostly walking about and almost all smoking. There I fell in with Lord Westmoreland and Frederick FitzClarence from Wiesbaden, and we dined together afterwards, and at half-past eight returned home by railroad. This morning I have been wandering about and exploring. It is a fine town, and remarkable for the frequent intermixture of handsome modern houses with buildings of a very antique but generally decayed appearance; the place has a great look of well-doing, and one sees no beggars, and no miserable objects. I understand that there is a good system of relief for the poor, and no pauperism of the miserable and degraded character that shocks one so in England. Frankfort is not very gay or amusing. There is very little society; the rich people here live very quietly, and only display their wealth in occasional banquets, which are splendid, but long and tiresome. The old mother of the Rothschilds, the grandmother of the present generation, is here, living in the Jews' quarter in the old home of the family, which she will not be persuaded to quit. It is miserable-looking on the outside, but is said to be very different within. The old woman, who is ninety-four years old, drives about and goes constantly to the opera or play. The greatest man of the place is Count Münch-Bellinghausen, who has been for many years President of the Diet, and who, some think, will be one day Metternich's successor.

Wiesbaden, Monday, June 26th.—I dined with Strangways,63 on Saturday; drove after dinner round the town and into the forest. Yesterday afternoon came here by railroad, very ugly country, but very pretty town. The weather was very fine, and a gayer sight I never saw than the crowd of people—eating, drinking, smoking, walking, listening to the band in the garden in front of the gambling palace (for such it is). I dined with Lord and Lady Frederick FitzClarence and Lord Westmoreland, and went to the Casino, or whatever 172 they call it, in the evening. There play was going on (with crowds at the tables), as it does from morning till night, but the stakes appeared to be very small. The Grand Duke is residing here, and I saw his equipages returning from taking him and his suite to the theatre, evidently intended for an imitation of an English turn-out, but very poor and ridiculous. He is the richest of all the small German Sovereigns, and has got a very pretty territory. It is impossible not to be struck with the great appearance of ease and comfort in all these parts. I have seen no beggars, or hardly any, no miserable objects or wretched hovels. I asked Garg, the Master of the Hôtel de Russie at Frankfort, and a very intelligent man, and he told me the town was not so flourishing as it had been before they joined the Prussian League. However, all these places thrive without doubt by the immense number of travellers, especially English, who come to them. The inns are everywhere very superior to ours. Instead of the dirty, vulgar, noisy houses that most of our inns and hotels are, they are generally great and fine establishments, very clean, very well furnished, the service much better performed and incomparably cheaper. The town of Frankfort is divided between Protestants and Catholics, but the only religious squabbles or dissensions seem to have arisen among the English residents and the English clergyman. The dispute began about the management of the funds. A feud arose, two parties were formed, duels were fought, every sort of violence exhibited, volumes written on either side, and no end of trouble given to the legation here and the Foreign Office at home.

Wiesbaden, Wednesday, June 28th.—Lord Westmoreland agreed to go with me to Baden-Baden, if I would wait a day or two, so I agreed to do so. We went to the play on Monday evening, and found an extremely pretty theatre; a Mdlle. Herz, or some such name, the best actress at Berlin, appeared; the house was very thin. She reminded me of Rachel, and I should think she must be a very good actress, but as I did not understand a word, I can't pronounce confidently on her merits. I only know that her voice is sweet 173 and expressive, her action graceful, her manner excellent; she is rather good-looking, and though I did not comprehend what was said, I got sufficiently interested in the action of the piece to sit out five acts without fatigue, which I have often not been able to do at pieces I do understand. Yesterday in the morning I followed a long walk through the garden, and through shrubberies and fields, to a village and ruined castle, about a mile and a half or two miles off. After breakfast went with Westmoreland and his son, and G. Berkeley, to the Duke's hunting-place at the top of a hill three miles off. A tolerable house, fitted up with memorials of the chase, and all over stags' horns. A grand view from it of the Rhine, and all the country as far as Darmstadt. Two magnificent bronze stags at the entrance.


Mannheim, June 29th.—I went to Frankfort yesterday; went to see the Jews' street, the most curious part of the town. It is very narrow, the houses all of great antiquity, and not one new or modern in the whole street. This street exhibits a perfect specimen of a town of the fifteenth or sixteenth century. The houses are very lofty, a good deal ornamented, but they look dark and dirty, and as if their interior had undergone as little alteration as the exterior. Strange figures were loitering about the street, standing in the doorways or looking out of the windows. There was a man who might have presented himself on the stage in the character of Shylock, with the gaberdine and the beard; and old crones of the most miserable and squalid, but strange aspect. We had the good luck to see the old mother of the Rothschilds, and a curious contrast she presented. The house she inhabits appears not a bit better than any of the others; it is the same dark and decayed mansion. In this narrow gloomy street, and before this wretched tenement, a smart calèche was standing, fitted up with blue silk, and a footman in blue livery was at the door. Presently the door opened, and the old woman was seen descending a dark, narrow staircase, supported by her grand-daughter, the Baroness Charles Rothschild, whose carriage was also in waiting at the end of the street. Two footmen and some maids were in attendance to 174 help the old lady into the carriage, and a number of the inhabitants collected opposite to see her get in. A more curious and striking contrast I never saw than the dress of the ladies, both the old and the young one, and their equipages and liveries, with the dilapidated locality in which the old woman persists in remaining. The family allow her 4,000l. a year, and they say she never in her life has been out of Frankfort, and never inhabited any other house than this, in which she is resolved to die. The street was formerly closed at both ends, and the Jews were confined to that quarter. The French took away the gates and they have never been replaced. The Jews now live in any part of the town they please. The Rothschilds, of whom there are several residing at Frankfort, are said to do a great deal of good both to Christians and Jews. There was very near being an émeute the other day, in consequence of the high price of corn; the poor people are starving, and can't buy bread at the price it now fetches. The Government is obliged to assist them; to buy wheat or bread, and sell it to the people at half-price.

I left Frankfort at half-past eleven, and got to Mayence just in time to dine at the table-d'hôte at the Hôtel d'Angleterre: one long table, half of which was occupied by the Austrian officers, who kept up an incessant fire of talk; the other half by casual visitors, not one of whom said a word. The jabber of the military men sounded strangely in my ears, and as the formidable gutturals jostled each other, I fancied it must have been very like the confusion of Babel, when every man began to speak in a different tongue. The oddest part of the dinner business was the master of the hotel sitting down to table with us, with an air of perfect, but not impudent familiarity; and at the same time acting the part of host by constantly getting up from his seat, going to inspect the dishes, and occasionally serving some of them himself. At half-past two the steamboat arrived, I went on board, and got here at half-past eight. The Rhine is very uninteresting in this part of its course, the banks flat, and the river often very narrow. The only town of any importance we passed was 175 Worms, which is interesting from the historical recollections associated with it; but it has miserably fallen from the days when Charles V. and Luther met within its walls, while all Germany, in the highest state of excitement, was watching the progress of the conflict that was producing such mighty results. It is amusing, on board the steamer, to stop and exchange passengers, and we gave up some odds and ends of people at Worms, and got a whole school in return, some twenty specimens of the rising youth of Germany, and not bad ones on the whole—stout, active, intelligent-looking boys, with caps on their heads, very long hair, and satchels on their backs.


Baden-Baden, July 2nd.—I set off from Mannheim by railroad on Friday morning about ten, and got to Heidelberg in an hour. It began to rain as soon as we started, and poured torrents almost the whole day. I sat very disconsolately in my inn, hearing the rain pattering down, till a momentary cessation took place, of which I instantly availed myself, and set forth to the Castle. I went all over the ruins under the usual guidance, and then made the tour of the adjoining grounds, but the rain again fell in torrents and the opposite hills and surrounding country were immersed in dense masses of vapour. After braving the rain for some time, I descended, but had hardly got down before it cleared up, on which I crossed the bridge, and strolled down the road on the banks of the Neckar, and thence had a variety of views of the Castle from different points as well as of the course of the river, which is very pretty. Yesterday morning it was fine, so I went early up to the Castle, and wandered about for an hour or two in all directions. The statues of the Electors in the building in the inner court, the facade of which is nearly perfect, are very curious, and it is surprising how some of them have resisted such rude assaults of time and weather as they must have been exposed to. The town is swarming with students, wild-looking creatures, with long hair, open collars, and every variety of beard in cut, colour, and length. Their practice of duelling, though forbidden, still goes on, but the combats don't seem 176 to be very dangerous, as the first wound or scratch decides it. They told me that serious mischief rarely occurred. I went to see nothing but the Castle. The library is, I believe, fine and curious, but it is mere waste of time to look at the outside of books, or hear their titles enumerated.

At eleven o'clock the railroad took me to Carlsruhe, where I was obliged to hire a carriage to bring me here. Nothing could exceed the indignation of my servant at seeing the deplorable old rattle-trap which was produced for my use. It seemed to be dropping to pieces, and could not have been cleaned, within or without, for many years. Such as it was, I was forced to take it, and at the next stage I was shifted into another of precisely the same description. At Rastadt, the last stage, Thomas implored me to demand a more presentable vehicle, and piteously remonstrated on the disgrace it would be to make my entry into Baden in such an equipage. The Fates, however, had decreed that this disgrace should befall me, for there was no carriage better or worse to be had in Rastadt, and I was obliged to come on with the same, horse and all; and, to fill the cup to overflowing, I arrived at the hotel door in presence of a numerous assemblage of smart people who were just going to dinner at the table-d'hôte. The figure I must have cut was certainly not brilliant, but I could not help being amused at it, and especially at the despair of my faithful valet, who felt much more for my dignity than I did myself. There was no room whatever at the hotel I stopped at, so I went to look for a lodging elsewhere, and addressed myself to the Hôtel de l'Europe, a grand-looking establishment. I asked if they had rooms, and they said yes; but I suppose my appearance was not prepossessing (what would they have thought if they had seen my carriage?) for they took me to some miserable looking apartments in an adjoining outhouse. I rejected these with indignation, and said I would look elsewhere, when they ran after me, and offered me others; but I said, as they had not chosen to do so at first, I would have nothing to say to them, and I went on to the Hôtel de Russie, where I got very good rooms. In the evening I went to the promenade 177 and the gaming rooms, which are as fine as the saloons in any palace I know of, and splendidly fitted up, but the amount of play, which is to defray the expense, seemed to me very small. It is, however, a very bad season, the long continuance of bad weather having diminished the number of visitors. I did not see one individual I knew, except a Colonel O'Meara whom I had known a little in England, and who volunteered to be my cicerone, and was very civil and obliging. This morning I walked before breakfast through a delightful shady avenue to a village about a mile and a half off, stopping to drink some water at a famous spring; then came home and wrote my letters, and started to walk up to the old Castle, which, after losing my way just outside the town, I successfully accomplished, and a most glorious view it is from the top. I certainly have never seen a more lovely landscape, and am rejoiced to have seen it, to feed my memory with for the future.


July 3rd.—Dining at the table-d'hôte with just half a dozen people whom I don't know, with whom I have no conversation or communication, and not knowing whether they are French, Russians, or what, is a bore. I have done this twice, but will have no more of it. After dinner yesterday went to the usual place of resort, which, being Sunday, was crowded with people. There was a concert in the great room, and the whole thing was gay and amusing. It is totally unlike anything that can be seen in England, or I suppose anywhere but at some of these Baths. The society is extremely promiscuous, and completely democratic in its character, nevertheless perfectly respectable in appearance and behaviour. The locality is charming, the open booths round the garden exhibiting every variety of merchandise, and the numerous tables in the open air round which little parties are sitting, talking, drinking, eating, and smoking, while others are parading up and down, present a scene of remarkable gaiety, and when the concert began all the world flocked into the magnificent rooms, where everybody ranges about from high to low without paying anything. The early hour admits of children being there, and the little 178 wretches are scampering about in great numbers. All the time the rouge-et-noir and roulette are going on, with crowds round the tables, but not much money staked. I found at last some people I knew, the two Hannah Colmans (the youngest now Madame de Porbeck and wife to a Baden officer), Mrs. Herbert with Sir Francis Vincent and her daughter Lady Vincent. It is wonderful how glad one is to see anybody in such a solitude of unknown faces, and how people who scarcely ever notice each other at home strike up a sudden but brief intimacy under circumstances productive of a momentary attraction. Sometimes these accidental associations lead to permanent intimacies, and sometimes one discovers in a moment that people whom one has been acquainted with all one's life, without knowing anything of them, are full of merits of which one had no sort of notion.

July 4th.—Madame de Porbeck, who is gay, good-natured, and agreeable, proposed to me to go to Eberstein Castle, one of the most celebrated excursions from hence, which I gladly accepted, and we went after dinner. I have no talent for description of scenery, and, if I had, it would be superfluous, to describe these noted spots. Suffice to say that I never was so enchanted in my life as with this Castle and the panorama it commands. I cannot figure to myself anything more lovely, and it wants nothing to make it perfect. There is a mixture of everything that can interest, astonish, and delight; the magnificent pine forests, feathering up the sides of the mountains; the vast chaos of hills cast into every variety of form; the river winding, rushing, sparkling, and murmuring in its course; the innumerable villages with which the banks are studded; the patches of cultivation striping the hill-sides, so curiously subdivided, diversified between corn-fields, potatoes, and vineyards, looking so minute in the vast space; the bridges; the curling smoke; the moving objects, like Lilliputians, in the distance; the sounds and the smells wafted by the air—altogether make a combination which affords inexpressible pleasure. Above all, I must not forget the lights and shadows, and the 179 glorious effects of the setting sun in the calm and clear evening. The afternoon is the time for visiting such spots as these, when the noonday heats are past, and the blaze of the sun is softened and harmonised into a milder but a clearer light; and as the shadows lengthen and produce constant variety of shape, and draw fresh outlines on the opposite hills and in the valleys, and colours bright and changing like those of a rainbow dye the whole horizon, lighting up the course of the Rhine, and painting with purple hues the mountains of the Vosges, I looked and thought that nothing on earth could surpass this in beauty, and I thanked God for the faculty of enjoying it so much as I do. We went over the Castle, from which the views are charming. It is perched like an eagle's nest on the top of a conical hill; it was once a fortress of a feudal lord, and is now a small hunting-lodge, the new part curiously grafted on the old, and the interior prettily and comfortably arranged, but with hardly any accommodation. The Grand Duke comes here sometimes for a little while to shoot in the forest. The road up to it is like the Simplon, and has been recently made by the town. As we descended, we overtook some of the huge pines, which looked as if they were hewn 'to be the mast of some great ammiral.' They are put upon wheels at a great distance from each other, and drawn by oxen, and the way in which they contrive to get them round the turnings is really wonderful. We came on one at the turn, and it so completely barred the way, and seemed itself at such a fix, that I thought no one would have been able to pass; but by shifting, and moving, and dragging, between the men and the oxen, they managed it, I can hardly tell how. These are the vast pines that are floated down the Rhine; but those that we fell in with are used for domestic purposes.


July 5th.—Yesterday went to dine at Gersbach, a small village just below the Castle of Eberstein. Went by the circuitous but flat road that leads through the valley of the Murg; but the beauties of the valley only begin at Gersbach itself, so that there was not much good got by taking this 180 broiling roundabout route. There we met a party of people I never saw before, and after dinner we sat by the side of the river enjoying the fine weather and fine scenery in luxurious repose. Returned by a new and beautiful road over the mountain. My companion in the carriage, Mr. de Porbeck, an officer in the Baden army, a well-conditioned and intelligent man, gave me some scraps of information about what may be called German politics, some of which I was not prepared for. I asked him about the Chambers of his Grand-Duchy, and he told me they exercised a very real and effectual control over the finances and internal administration generally; that they sat long, debated a good deal, and there are some men of great ability and very good speakers in them. The particulars of the discussions of a Baden Parliament are not very interesting, but he told me that there is a great and growing desire on the part of the smaller States to form one nation with one or other of the great Powers, and that before long they would all be thus absorbed by their own desire. I said surely none of them could desire to belong to Austria. He said this feeling was more prevalent in the north, and he thought eventually all the Rhenish and Protestant States, Baden, Nassau, Würtemberg, Saxony, would be united to Prussia; that the first war which broke out would produce this revolution; that the fate of the Catholic parts of Germany might be different: that Bavaria might survive and possibly unite other provinces to herself. But as to Austria, he was convinced that the death of Metternich would be the signal for a great movement in that country; that everything was preparing for it, and that event would bring the projects which were spreading more and more every day to maturity. While this desire to make Germany a nation, or to merge the petty independencies in one or two great German Powers, is, according to him, becoming strong and general, there is also a great wish to have colonies and a navy, all of which he deems feasible, and says Prussia is already beginning to build ships of war. Whether there is truth in all this, or these are my friend's reveries, I know not; but as I had 181 never before heard of such aspirations, I was struck by what he told me. We had a great deal of talk besides, about the condition of the people, and he expressed with some pride his satisfaction that while they had nothing of the grandeur of English opulence to boast of, they had not the afflicting spectacle of English misery and destitution. The subdivision of land (the effects of which I saw in the minute stripes of cultivated land on the hill-sides) caused all the agricultural population—much the greatest part of Baden—to be removed above want, and he assured me that the whole of the people are tolerably educated. No soldier, for instance, is allowed to enlist without being able to read and write. I remarked that on Sunday, though all the shops were shut in the town, labour was going on in the fields—that is, haymaking; I won't answer for any other. There is certainly a degree of social equality which is very foreign to our habits, and yet it is not subversive of the respect which is due from persons in one station to those in another. To me it has nothing offensive. I see it as a trait of national character and manners. At the table-d'hôte here the master of the hotel did not sit down as at Mayence, but he conversed with the guests. Both he and all the waiters, who are very obliging and attentive, talk to me continually when I go out or come in. There is something of independence mixed with kindness in their way of doing these things, which quite reconciles me to what anybody, thoroughly imbued with English customs and prejudices, would probably be affronted or provoked at. As far as I can ascertain, nothing can go on more harmoniously than the Catholics and Protestants do here. Two-thirds of the people are Catholics, the reigning family Protestants; clergy of both persuasions paid by the State, education in common, and the schools open to teachers who give separate religious instruction. Go where one will, it seems to me that one finds a more satisfactory and harmonious state of things with regard to religion than in England. There is more intolerance, bigotry, obstinacy, and déraison at home than in all the world besides. In what I have written here I am 182 well aware that there is very little but the merest superficial view of the condition of the country, picked up in one or two casual conversations, and I value it at no more than it is worth. With regard to what De Porbeck told me of the German movement, it is not to be suspected as proceeding from an enemy of the Court, for he is on very good terms with the Royal Family, and appears to be something of a favourite.


July 7th.—On Wednesday evening we drove up an avenue of poplars to a Gasthaus, whence there is a view over the whole country through which the Rhine runs, bounded by the Vosges. There we saw the sunset, lighting up the Rhine till it shone like silver along its devious course, and the mountains and sky were bathed in tints of yellow and afterwards of purple, presenting a picture such as Claude delighted to paint. Last night to the old Castle and to the rocks above it, and afterwards to the Conversation-house garden to enjoy the cool air. The life here is the most idly luxurious I ever led, but however enjoyable, and much as I delight in the scenery, I begin already to feel that it would not do for long. It seems here as if everybody was enjoying one vast holiday, and had nothing to do but to amuse themselves. I get up between six and seven, walk for a couple of hours—yesterday to the top of the hill to see the view; this morning along the new road and back—then go into a cold bath, and dress, breakfast, and read and write for about two hours; go to the Club to read the newspapers, make visits and stroll about till dinner, dine at some of the tables-d'hôte or in my own room at something between four and five, then drive wherever I fancy to go, returning home when the sun is gone down and the moon and the stars are out, and repair to the garden. Then I sit with any friends I find at a little round table, in the cool of a delicious evening, eating ice and drinking what I please, a band of music playing, and the odours of new-mown hay, orange trees, limes, and roses, wafted on every gale. It is true that with these sweets the fumes of tobacco are very often mingled, for almost all the men smoke. There are crowds of men and women doing the 183 same thing that I do, some repairing to the newspaper-room, some flirting with the young lady who superintends it. Every now and then one saunters into the magnificent rooms where the eternal play goes on, and the monotonous voice of the croupier, 'Le jeu, est-il fait?'—'Messieurs, faites vos jeux,' wearies the ear. These creatures sit hour after hour, peddling with their florin stakes, and assiduously making cards with pins, till between ten and eleven the gardens are gradually deserted, and at eleven a kind of curfew tolls the knell of day departed and gambling ends. A bell rings, which is the signal for general dispersion and the closing of houses of resort. The lights in the rooms are extinguished, and the weary croupiers retire. The police drive people even out of the hotels, and long before midnight no sound is heard in Baden but the waters of the river gurgling over their pebbled bed.


Baden, July 9th.—On Friday dined with Lady Aldborough and Mrs. Murchison, wife of the geologist, at an hotel table-d'hôte, where Lady A.'s screaming and strange gestures alarmed me for the effect they would produce on the company, and lest she should come out with some of those extraordinary things which she does not scruple to say to almost everybody she talks to. She is eighty-seven years old, still vigorous, and has all her wits about her, only her memory is gone, for she tells a story, and, forgetting she has told it, begins it again almost directly after. I remarked that all the women who dined with us ate almost everything with their knives, which was very disagreeable to see. A boy was stuck up on a chair who gave us several recitations in German, and then came round to lay us under contribution, though it was hard upon me to be forced to pay for hearing what I did not understand, and what only interrupted my conversation with my neighbour. Yesterday, Westmoreland, his son and I, went to see the New Castle, which the Grand Duke is repairing and fitting up. He has given the Grand Duchess Stéphanie, to whom it belonged for her life, a house in the town in exchange for it, and he is going to make it a residence for himself, and very handsome 184 and agreeable it will be. The dungeons are curious and exhibit in perfection the local details of feudal tyranny and oppression. There are the long passages and dark chambers, the thick walls and stone doors, the shaft down which the wretches were lowered, the hall in which they were judged, and the well or oubliette into which by a trap-door they were precipitated, never to be heard of more. After seeing the Castle, we drove to La Favorite, a very curious place. It is not quite deserted, for the present Grand Duchess occasionally takes up her abode there. The house is, however, exactly in the state in which it was left by the Margravine Sybilla, who built it. Everything is faded, but nothing altered, and it exhibits a perfect specimen of a residence of the great people of that period, about 120 years ago. It is curiously but richly adorned with gilding, painting, glass, mosaic, and inlaid marble, all the furniture of silk or velvet, and an immense collection of portraits in miniature, half a hundred at least of Sybilla herself, and her husband, the Margrave Louis, in every variety of costume, some the most grotesque possible, besides those of curious worthies, let into the mirrors on the walls. Downstairs there is a quantity of Venetian and Bohemian glass, exceedingly fine, and a strange dinner service of delft, very well done, in which there are turkeys, woodcocks, bones, asparagus, cabbages, &c., the dishes representing the animals or the vegetables which are to be served up in them. The most extraordinary thing is the chapel which the old Margravine built in the garden in the days of her penitence, to which she used to retire during Lent, lying on a mat, lacerating herself with a scourge, wearing iron spikes under her clothes, and dining with three wooden figures (of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and St. John), who continue to sit at the table, though they have no longer any meat served up to them as they used to have. The whole place is so exactly as it was, that anybody who chose to go and live there would be in a condition to assume her state or her austerities, as they might feel inclined. A part of the road along which we passed was strewn with 185 grass, with boughs of trees planted on each side, and arches raised of flowers and moss. This was in honour of the Bishop, who is going about confirming the people. He seems to be received with great marks of reverence and joy, and I have never been in any country where I have seen so many crucifixes, figures of the Saviour, or the Virgin, or other members of the hierarchy of Heaven. The Bishop made his entry into Baden a few days ago, preceded by a band of music, and detachments of the National Guard both infantry and cavalry, by whom he was escorted to the Convent at Lichtenthal, where he took up his abode. He arrived in a wretched berline with four post-horses, and attended by two still more miserable vehicles in which his clerical attendants were seated. The convent—which is said to be very rich, and where there are still eighteen nuns, who educate girls—was gaily decorated with flowers and fanciful emblems to receive him. The churches all seem well attended on Sundays, and the people are very smartly dressed, but work does not cease, at least not necessarily and universally. I saw last Sunday the people haymaking, and this morning the shoemaker brought me home a pair of shoes. Notwithstanding the beauty of this place, I am beginning to feel that the life of it would be intolerable for any length of time. To ramble among the hills and valleys and feed one's eyes on such unrivalled prospects is delightful, and to loiter about inhaling sweet odours and listening to pretty music is pleasant enough; but lassitude and languor remain in the background, ready to pounce on the wretch who does and can do nothing but revel in such luxuries as these.


July 14th.—Since Sunday I have been leading the same sort of life, only extending more widely the circle of my acquaintance: one night to a play or vaudeville, the next to an opera, acting, dancing, and singing, all performed by the same people. On Monday to a ball, of which there are three every week; the company was very select, not above forty people; the room beautiful and very well lit; gay enough and unceremonious, everybody in morning dress. The people 186 walk in and out from the promenade; almost all dance; it begins at half-past eight and is all over at eleven. The ballroom was decorated with orange-trees. Yesterday morning I started at seven, with a party on horses and donkeys, and rode to Yburg Castle to breakfast. There was nothing to eat when we got there, and we had to send to the nearest village, where we procured sour bread and bad coffee. This morning I set off again at seven and rode up to Mercuriusberg. This is by far the finest of all the views I have seen; the panorama is grand beyond description, infinitely more diversified and more beautiful than that of Yburg. The ways and habits, the mode of life of this place, are certainly unlike those of any other, except, I suppose, the other German Baths. There is a freedom and ease, a liberty, an intermixture of various nations and unequal ranks, which surprises a fresh-comer. Everybody lives in the open air, the promenade is full of round tables at which little parties congregate; here, two men playing at chess; there, two men at dominoes. At one round table are Russians, Germans, English, French, all puffing away in one another's faces. At a second, we see the two Princesses de Béthune, Lady Aldborough, the Princess Troubetzkoi, and Madame de Bacellos, known better as Marchioness de Loulé. Close by is Madame Spindler, the wife of a great German author, smoking her cigar, and spreading her huge bulk over two or three chairs. 187



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

London, August 1st, 1843.—With this tableau of Baden life and manners my journalising ended. There certainly was no such variety in it as to require any further notice, and there was no necessity for my describing the beautiful scenery amidst which I continued to wander. I stayed on at Baden to meet the Granvilles, who arrived from Switzerland on Friday 14th, to my great joy. I remained till Wednesday 19th, when I took the diligence to Iffetsheim, steamed down the Rhine, embarked at Ostend on Saturday 22nd, had a rough, disagreeable passage to Dover, and got to London on Sunday morning. On Monday went to Goodwood, which was very good, and returned to take up my abode in London on Saturday 29th. This expedition answered to me even better than I had any idea it would. There were no difficulties or drawbacks of any kind. It acted on my mind as a moral alterative; the new scenes, the constant movement and occupation, did me a world of good. I felt in all ways better and happier while I was there, and I hope that it will not be 188 without a certain beneficial effect for the future. The interest and the pleasure produced by this short excursion confirm my resolution to do something of the same sort in some direction or other every year, and always, if I can, to avoid the season in London. I continued to the last to enjoy the beauties of Baden, and it was only the day but one before I left it that I walked under and over the rocks by the old Castle, one of the most striking and beautiful of all the celebrated localities. The scenery of the Rhine appeared to me exceedingly tame and uninteresting after that around Baden. There was nobody in Germany for me to discuss politics with; but at Baden the English newspapers arrived so regularly that I could follow the march of affairs here, and read all the debates.

I left the Irish Arms Bill64 in the House of Commons, and there I found it on my return. In the packet going out, I read John Russell's first speech with regret and indignation, and I afterwards read all the debates and speeches on both sides with extreme disgust. I think the Opposition have behaved very ill, in trying to turn the alarming state of Ireland to a mere party account, and doing their utmost to render it embarrassing and injurious to the present Government. On the other hand, the low tone taken by Peel, and the determination announced by him and Stanley to maintain the Irish Church, are both very distasteful to me; and the conduct of the Opposition leaders appears not only mischievous, but most inconsistent and absurd, when they jabber about the grievances of Ireland, and abuse the Government for not applying remedies to them, and at the same time say that they will not themselves consent to remove the monster grievance of the Church. The only man who spoke sense and truth was Rous, who, Tory as he is, told them that they never would do any good till they settled that question, but that they did not dare attempt it, because the bigotry of England and Scotland were opposed to it, and none of 189 them would venture to encounter the unpopularity of proposing to reform the Protestant, and establish the Catholic Church. However, the language of John Russell and Palmerston has been a good deal modified since the opening of these debates, and they have both ventured to suggest some measures of Church Reform, without exactly explaining how far they would go; and now they are about to vote for Ward's motion.


In the course of the Irish battles the Government has been fiercely attacked from the most opposite quarters, and on the most opposite grounds, both in Parliament and out, in all societies, and by the whole of the press, the 'Times' especially having turned against them in articles of extraordinary violence; and on arriving here I find a universal opinion, just as strong among the friends as among the enemies of Government, that Peel has fallen immensely in public opinion, and has so signally failed in his general administration of affairs as to have shown himself unequal to a great emergency and extraordinary difficulties and dangers. I think there is exaggeration and unfairness in this sentiment, though it is not without some foundation. He took the government with a grand flourish of trumpets, great things were expected of him, and now people compare his performances with their own expectations, and give vent to their disappointment in reproaches of a very vague character, and with an acrimony which he does not deserve; for, in the first place, he took on himself to play a very difficult part, that of steering a middle course, which was sure to offend one extreme without conciliating the other, and this, superadded to his cold and unsocial character, speedily made him very unpopular. But the worst that can be said is that he took the reins of government when various causes of distress and difficulty were in active operation, and he has not been able to find universal remedies for every evil. On the other hand, it must be owned that his measures have not been as well concerted and arranged, not as firmly and vigorously executed, as they might have been. They have many of them failed, very little has been done, and latterly, especially, 190 he has not taken that high and commanding tone which befits a great Minister. At all events, with whatever measure of justice, I find an impression greatly unfavourable to him, and the prestige of his Government is gone. Arbuthnot, sitting at Apsley House, and in constant communication with the Duke of Wellington, holds this language, and laments over the falling off of Peel. Not that there is any dissension or difference of opinion in the Government, both he and Wharncliffe assure me to the contrary; but he thinks Peel has spoken very ill, and has degraded his Government by the low tone which he has adopted. The Opposition are all cock-a-hoop about it: the sanguine among them fondly hoping that a door will be thereby opened for their return to office; the others, from a spirit of vengeance and rivalry, rejoicing in the discredit of their great antagonist.65

August 6th.—Since I have had time to look about me and hear what people say, I am of opinion that no serious injury has been done to the stability of the Government, whatever blows may have been inflicted on its credit; no other party, no other individuals, have gained, whatever they may have lost, on the score of popularity and character. The Court is entirely on their side. The Queen never cared for any individual of her old Government but Melbourne, and she knows that his political life is closed; she feels that her own personal comfort is much greater with Peel's Government and large majority, than it ever was, or is likely to be again, with the Whigs. She remembers what a state of continual agitation she was kept in, when they never knew from day to day whether they should not be beaten and turned out, and she infinitely prefers her present state of security and repose, especially as the present Ministers do all they can to please her, and her husband is their strenuous and avowed friend. I see nothing to alter my opinion that the principle on which Peel resolved to act, and has acted, was the wisest and best he could adopt—that of steering between 191 extreme parties, of guiding, regulating, and restraining forward movements, the advance of which was, he knew, inevitable, and which he did not deem undesirable. He might have foreseen that this was a difficult part to play well. It was pretty sure to make him unpopular with his friends, as it has done, and it was equally sure not to conciliate his enemies, who, on the contrary, rejoiced to see him weakened by dissensions with his allies, and hastened to place him between two fires, and by embarrassing his march as much as they could to cast universal discredit upon him. The way to meet these difficulties was, in the first place, to be perfectly single-minded; to be open, bold, and resolute; and with his friends frank and conciliatory. Unhappily, Peel's character is not such as enabled him to display these qualities. He acts rather like the cautious leader of a party, than like a great and powerful Minister determined to do what he thinks right, casting himself upon public opinion, and trusting to its bearing them out in the long run. Then he is so cold, so reserved, and his ways are so little winning and attractive, that he cannot attach people to him personally, and induce them to bear with the Ministers for the sake of the man. Although I think his general views are sound, his way of working out his measures is not happy, and therefore the clamour against him is very general, and he finds very few defenders, admirers, and friends.


Nevertheless the Opposition pretenders to power are mistaken if they think he is at all near his downfall, or themselves likely to succeed him. The Tories and landlords do not want to turn him out; none of the great interests which support him and look to him for protection have begun to turn their thoughts and wishes to any other quarter; and if the 'volvenda dies' brings about a better state of things, if trade revives, and Irish agitation stagnates, it will be found that the clamour against Peel's Government had no great foundation of facts to rest upon. Ward's motion about the Irish Church revenues fell to the ground in such a ridiculous way, and in one so little creditable to the Opposition, that they will not be anxious to fight any more this year; and 192 Lord John Russell is gone out of town. It would have been so inconvenient to the leaders to express any opinion on this question, that everybody will believe they contrived to let it drop as it did, or, at all events, rejoiced in its sudden conclusion.

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

August 8th.—Yesterday morning I found the Duke of Wellington in my brother's room and in high good-humour. I began talking to him about the discovery lately made at Woodstock of the Duke of Marlborough's correspondence, which Sir George Murray had told me of; and this led him to talk of the Duke of Marlborough, of his character and military genius, and so on to other things. He said that he considered the principal characteristic of the Duke of Marlborough to have been his strong sound sense and great practical sagacity. That it was a mistake to say he was illiterate. People fancied so because of the way in which his words were misspelt, but in his time they spelt them as they were pronounced. He thought the errors he had committed were owing to his wife. As to his character, we must not judge of it according to the maxims by which men in our time were governed; besides that, they were less strict in his day; the condition of affairs itself produced a laxity; 193 and though it was true he communicated with the Pretender and acted a double part, that was no more than many men in France did during Napoleon's reign, and he told a curious anecdote of Talleyrand. He said that at the Congress held at Erfurt, not long before Napoleon's marriage, he and the Emperor Alexander met for the purpose of discussing what should be done with Austria, Napoleon being anxious to plunder and degrade her to a great extent. He brought Talleyrand with him to this meeting, and Talleyrand completely threw him over. Every evening there was a meeting at the house of the Princess of Thurn and Taxis, between Alexander, Talleyrand, and Vincent, the Austrian Minister, at which they concerted what should be said to Napoleon the next day, and how they should parry his propositions. The Duke said that both Vincent and the Emperor Alexander had given him an account of all this transaction. He added, that though it was a sort of treachery on the part of Talleyrand towards Napoleon, he had no doubt he was really of opinion that it was very fit he should be thwarted, and that it was inexpedient to destroy the Austrian empire. He said many men, and respectable ones, in employment under Napoleon had been in constant communication with the Duke of Orleans, and he mentioned Royer Collard and some other names I have forgotten.


The Duke then talked of the military genius of Marlborough, and said that though he was a very great man, the art of war was so far advanced since his time that it was impossible to compare him with more modern generals; and unquestionably Napoleon was the greatest military genius that ever existed; that he had advantages which no other man ever possessed in the unlimited means at his command and his absolute power and irresponsibility, and that he never scrupled at any expenditure of human life; but nevertheless his employment of his means and resources was wonderful. I told him that I remembered to have heard him say that he considered Napoleon's campaign of '14 to have been one of the greatest, if not the greatest, of his exploits, and that he was then ruined by his own impatience. 194 He said it was quite true, and then repeated (what he had once before told me) that nothing could exceed the ability of Napoleon's operations, and if he had continued to act for a little longer in the same way, he would have forced the Allies to retreat, which they were in fact preparing to do. He said he should not have had time to get up, but his intention had been to act upon the Loire. If this retreat had taken place, it would not have been disastrous, and they would have had their choice of renewing the invasion in another campaign, or making peace on the Rhine, which he thought they would have done. From this we got to Espartero and Spain, and the recent bombardment of Seville, which he said was inexcusable, and he told us that he never had fired off a single mortar while he was in Spain. He also mentioned, that though he had taken about 3,000 pieces of cannon of different sorts, he had never in his life lost a single gun.


August 11th.—The other night, in the House of Lords, Lord Roden brought forward a motion about the law prohibiting Orange processions, and proposed either that it should be repealed or extended to the Catholics. He made a very good speech, in such an impressive tone that Wharncliffe told me it was very affecting. The Duke made a very good reply, in which he showed that Roden had mistaken the meaning of the Act, and on the part of the Government he declined to adopt either alternative. Brougham made one of his most effective speeches. This debate did good. There was another in the House of Commons on the third reading of the Irish Arms Bill; also a discussion on the landlord and tenant question, which were not without their separate utility. Peel made a pretty good speech, considerably better than he has lately been doing; but still he might have been more vigorous, have taken a loftier tone, vindicated himself and his acts in a more triumphant way, and have lashed his various opponents in the manner they deserve. The remarkable thing was the bitterness and insolence of his soi-disant friends and the civility of his adversaries. Moore O'Farrell and Morgan John O'Connell were even complimentary 195 in what they said on the landlord question, while Disraeli and Smythe, who are the principal characters, together with John Manners, of the little squad called 'Young England,' were abusive and impertinent. As the session is drawing to a close, the clamour subsides, and as it really had no foundation in truth, justice, or sense, it will not have done Peel any material injury. People will find out that he has after all taken the wisest course about Ireland, and that the 'do-nothing policy,' which has excited so much indignation on one side and sneering on the other, is that which will be the least dangerous and most conducive to ultimate tranquillity. The Opposition leaders have disgraced themselves by the part they have acted through this session, both upon the Education Bill and the Irish questions. They began by supporting the former, but when they found that the Dissenters were getting up an opposition to it, which would render its success difficult, instead of helping the Government, they began finding fault, increased the difficulty, and finally compelled them to give the Bill up. Then, on the Irish question, instead of joining the Government against the repealers, and giving all the strength they could to the supporters of the Union, they joined in the senseless and unmeaning rant about Irish insults and injuries, and went on railing at the Government without ever accusing them of having done anything they ought not to have done, or left undone anything which they ought to have done. It is satisfactory to see that this conduct has brought no profit with it of any kind on either side of the Channel. England does not approve of those who sympathise with Irish repealers, and O'Connell, so far from being mollified or propitiated by this miserable following in his wake, only heaps contumely and abuse upon them, and in his very last speech he told his mob that he would rather have twenty Tories than one Whig, and of all the Whigs that the most pitiful and contemptible was Lord John Russell. This is all Johnny has got by coming down to the House of Commons, and opposing his own bills, and talking at the Government in a strain which is not sincere. How different is this from the conduct of the Duke 196 of Wellington on all great national questions! But he is the only really great man.

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


The Queen is to embark on Monday, and she is going to pay Louis Philippe a visit at the Château d'Eu. It is odd enough that till yesterday the Duke of Wellington knew nothing of this, for though it is an event in its way, and rather remarkable, it seems never to have been even incidentally discussed. On Thursday I happened to mention it to Arbuthnot, who said it could not be true. He asked the Duke the same day, who told him he had never heard a word of any such thing. On this Arbuthnot contradicted it 197 to me in the most positive way; but yesterday he saw Peel, and asked him. Peel said it was so, and expressed his surprise that the Duke should not know it, as he thought he had told him. He, however, wrote to the Duke, and gave him a whole account of it. The Duke was surprised, but not at all angry. This is rather curious, because it shows how little they are in the habit of talking over the various miscellaneous matters that occur. It is the more remarkable in this instance, because a question arose whether she could go to a foreign land without appointing a Regency, and the lawyers have been consulted thereupon. The last interview between the Sovereigns of England and France was that between Henry VIII. and Francis I., and that, they say, took place within the English territory; the only occasion on which the King of England quitted his own dominions was when he went to Gravelines to pay a visit to the Emperor.66

September 10th.—I had intended to take something of a review of the session, and of the state of the Government at the end of it, but on looking back at what I have written, I do not know that I can add anything material to the opinion I have already expressed. The clamour against Peel has subsided, because people cannot go on for ever harping on the same tune, especially when there is really very small foundation for their reproaches and complaints. The Duke of Bedford, who has been in Ireland, and has conversed, he tells me, with people of all descriptions, and done his utmost to procure useful information about the state of the country, says he is quite convinced that Peel's do-nothing policy has been wise, but that Lord John was not pleased when he told him so. In a correspondence between them on the subject (which I saw) Lord John had, however, nothing to urge against Peel's Government more serious than this, that he might have made some more popular, and abstained from some unpopular, appointments. But Lord John hates Peel, 198 thinks ill of him, and sees bad motives in all he does. He still remembers the Catholic question and his conduct to Canning, and latterly on the Irish Registration, which he considers a proof of his insincerity and disposition to trifle with principles for party purposes. I think Peel might make out a case for himself about the Registration, as to everything but prudence; but when he must himself have thought that his advent to office was not distant, he ought not to have hampered himself with a measure which he could neither abandon without disgrace, nor carry without danger. He had not sufficiently considered all the bearings and circumstances of the question, and he yielded with too great facility to the impetuosity of Stanley, whose measure it was, and to the blind zeal of his party. It cannot be denied that in so doing he evinced a want of prudence and foresight, for he was compelled to give up when in office what he had urged on when in opposition.


To return, however, to the Duke of Bedford, he thinks O'Connell is extremely puzzled to know what to do next. He sent various civil messages to him through Blake, and he said if the aristocracy had anything to propose, he should be ready to listen to it. The Duke thinks that the Church question is of less importance than the landlord and tenant question, and that, difficult as it is to do anything on the latter, something must be attempted. Both he and Stradbroke, who has lately returned from visiting his Irish estates, told me that, with few exceptions, the absentee landlords were the best in Ireland; and the latter said that his tenants were in the greatest alarm lest he should sell his property, and that they paid him his rents very regularly, because he always threatened to sell it if they did not. The Duke of Bedford thinks that the sooner Lord de Grey quits the Government of Ireland the better, for he is not popular, and his Church appointments are supposed to be influenced by his wife. They have been, at all events, very hostile to the Education system, and in so far very injurious to the Government, who are accused, with some show of reason, of not being hearty in the cause which ostensibly they support. 199 Eliot67 too, though well-meaning and liberal, and not wanting in ability, is timid. He told the Duke that the temper of England would not allow of any provision for the Roman Catholic clergy. A more solid difficulty presents itself in the fact which Stradbroke told me, viz., that the emolument which the clergy derive from voluntary contributions is so large, that no State endowment they could obtain would be anything like an equivalent, and therefore they never would consent to the measure; but it is suggested in reply to this, that in the first place they would accept glebes, and if the State would liberally endow the Church, the people would leave off paying, and the priests would in the end be obliged to acquiesce. Stradbroke said that the priest of his parish told him he got 500l. a year; some get as much as 800l. A great part of their emoluments is made up of marriage fees, and when a rich man is married, the priest gets presents from all the relations, sometimes to the amount of above 100l. There is certainly a wide field open for improvement, enough to do to allay discontent, relieve distress, reform abuses, improve establishments, to mitigate the ferocity and soften the animosities of the people; but the difficulties are enormous, because all the remedies that calm and dispassionate prudence suggest would infallibly raise a storm of antagonist interests and of sectarian hatred, and produce a frenzy of national and religious violence. On the other hand there is a growing disposition to look the great evils of Ireland in the face, and to try some remedies to cure them. Peel's policy appears to me to be in everything continually to advance, but to do so by such slow and insensible degrees, that existing interests, or rather existing powers, may be as little frightened and as little hurt as possible. I do not think, whatever sins he may have committed on former occasions, that he is acting dishonestly now, or that the principle which he has laid down for his own guidance is unwise or unfair. It is not to do nothing, but to do gradually and safely all he can venture to do, to feel his 200 way; not to shock and alarm old prejudices which have long been cherished and deferred to, and old interests which have long been fostered and protected, but to reconcile those prejudices and those interests by degrees to the changes which times and circumstances and the progress of sound systems have put in motion, and the advance of which it is, he well knows, neither desirable nor possible to arrest.

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

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


September 19th.—I made a mistake about Aberdeen's 201 communication with Delane. The circumstances of this are rather singular. Delane says that instead of an agreement not to meddle with the Queen of Spain's marriage, they had agreed upon the person to whom she should be married, but that he was under an engagement to Lord Aberdeen not to say to anybody who that person is. From all this I should be disposed to infer that Aberdeen and Louis Philippe have pitched upon Don Carlos's son as the future husband of the Queen. I told Clarendon this, who scouts the idea of the Spaniards allowing France and England to dispose of her hand, and, notwithstanding the anarchy and dissension which prevail in that country, their pride is probably unabated, and the whole nation would oppose any such pretension. It is abundantly probable that Aberdeen was cajoled and deceived by the King and Guizot. It seems that Marliani, who was here the other day, saw Aberdeen, who told him what the King had said, and how much he regretted the late revolution. Marliani replied, ' On joue bien la comédie à Paris, et je ne suppose pas qu'on la joue moins bien an château d'Eu.' Why, he asks, did the French Government, if they considered the downfall of Espartero as a misfortune, do all in their power to weaken his Government and undermine his authority? It is certainly curious enough to see that the French Consul Lesseps, who exerted himself to prevent the bombardment of Barcelona when the city was in rebellion against the Regent, shows no such sympathy for the Junta which is opposing the Government of the insurrection.69

On Sunday I went to Richmond to call on Miss Berry,70 202 and found her in great indignation at Croker's recent article in the 'Quarterly' upon the series just published of Lord Orford's letters to Mann, angry on his account and on her own. Croker says, what has been often reported, that Lord Orford offered to marry Mary Berry, and on her refusal, to marry Agnes. She says it is altogether false. He never thought of marrying Agnes, and what passed with regard to herself was this: The Duchess of Gloster was very jealous of his intimacy with the Berrys, though she treated them with civility. At last her natural impetuosity broke out, and she said to him, 'Do you mean to marry Miss Berry or do you not?' To which he replied, 'That is as Miss Berry herself pleases;' and that, as I understood her, is all that passed about it. She said nothing could be more beautiful and touching than his affection for her, devoid as it was of any particle of sensual feeling, and she should ever feel proud of having inspired such a man with such a sentiment. She is angry with Bentley for having published these two volumes without having them prepared for the press by some competent hand, and his excuse is that it would have been too expensive. The truth is, he thought the letters sufficiently attractive, and did not care about anything but the profit. I think they are at least as amusing, if not more amusing than any of the other volumes, but I agree with Croker in his estimate of the character of the man. It is difficult to believe that he cared a straw about Sir Horace Mann himself, and there is no doubting that though he pressed him to come to England, he was very glad when he found he did not mean to come.


October 16th.—I have been laid up with the gout more or less during the last three weeks, and when that is upon me 203 I am always disinclined to write. Just before I was attacked I went to breakfast with George Lewis to meet Ranke, the author of 'The Popes of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century.' He had got Macaulay, who had reviewed his book, to meet him, Sir Alexander Duff Gordon and his wife (daughter of Mrs. Austin, his translator), and Sir Edmund Head. I went prepared to listen to some first-rate literary talk between such luminaries as Ranke and Macaulay, but there never was a greater failure. The professor, a vivacious little man, not distinguished in appearance, could talk no English, and his French, though spoken fluently, was quite unintelligible. On the other hand, Macaulay could not speak German, and he spoke French without any facility and with a very vile accent. It was comical to see the abundance of his matter struggling with his embarrassment in giving utterance to it, to hear the torrent of knowledge trying to force its way through the impediment of a limited acquaintance with the French language and the want of habit of conversing in it. But the struggle was of short duration. He began in French, but very soon could bear the restraint no longer, and broke into English, pouring forth his stores to the utterly unconscious and uncomprehending professor. This babel of a breakfast, at which it was impossible for seven people to converse in any common language, soon came to an end, and Ranke was evidently glad to go off to the State Paper Office, where he was working every day. After he was gone, Macaulay held forth, and was as usual very well worth listening to.

A day or two after this my gout began, and unluckily I was obliged to go down to attend a Council at Windsor, which was held ostensibly for proroguing Parliament, putting forth a proclamation against the Welsh rioters, and other ordinary matters, little aware of the much more important affair which had brought the whole Cabinet together. I was obliged to go down with my crutches, and to crave the Queen's permission to go into her presence upon them, which Lord Wharncliffe did for me. She was exceedingly gracious, and the Prince very civil. She seemed considerably 204 amused to see me come in on my crutches, and both she and the Prince said some civil things to me, and I flatter myself I contrived to sidle out, so as not to turn my back on Her Majesty, with no inconsiderable dexterity.

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

On Wednesday I set off, and reached Chatsworth on Thursday. There my gout began again, and I was only able, and that with difficulty, to get to the new conservatory in the garden, which is very fine in its way, and contains, I suppose, an unlimited collection of curious plants, the value of which I could not appreciate, as I know nothing of such things. Chatsworth is very magnificent, but I looked back with regret to the house in its unfinished state, when we lived in three spacious cheerful rooms looking to the south, which are now quite useless, being gorgeously furnished with velvet and silk, and marble tables, but unoccupied, and the windows closed lest the sun should spoil the finery with which the apartments are decorated. The comfort we had then has been ill exchanged for the magnificence which has replaced it, and the Duke has made the house so large that 205 he cannot afford to live in it, and never remains there above two or three months in the year.


While I was there Lady Georgiana Fullerton gave me to read so much as she has written of the novel she has been for some time about. It is a very extraordinary performance, and if the second part of it is as good as the first, it will be excellent; as it is, it is deeply interesting.72

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

October 31st.—I was laid up for two or three days in London, and then went to Riddlesworth for two or three more. I arrived at night, and on going into the drawing-room I found four people playing at whist, eight others at a round game, and one asleep in an armchair. And this is called society; and amongst such people I have lived, do live, and shall live—I who have seen, known, and had the choice of better things. Eating, drinking, and amusement is the occupation of these people's lives, and I am ashamed to say such has been mine. I was reading Charles Lamb's letters in the carriage, and very remarkable they are, among the very best I think I ever read. I was struck by one passage, which I applied to myself: 'I gain nothing by being with such as myself; we encourage one another in mediocrity.' This is it. We go on herding with inferior companions, till we are really unfit for better company. However, this is a sore subject, and I will say no more on it here and now. On Sunday week I went to Newmarket, where there was an unusual quantity of racing. The Queen took it into her head to come to Cambridge that week, but this made no difference to us. 206

I had some talk with the Duke of Bedford about Ireland. He told me that Lord John and Palmerston were both disposed to approve of the Government measures in Ireland, but thought they had been done in a bungling manner, and that Lord John took much the same view that I do of it, which is, that O'Connell is in all probability highly delighted at what the Government have done, and that it answers his purpose perfectly; but what then? There was not and there could be no collusion with him, but it was very wise to compel him to do what he was dying to do, but did not dare. Clarendon, who knows the man well from Sheil, wrote me word that the clue to all his conduct was his inconceivable cowardice, that he is the greatest coward on earth, and has an indescribable dread of imprisonment, or any sort of coercion or punishment. It is impossible to doubt that he desired nothing so much as to scramble, if possible, out of the scrape he had got himself into. But certainly the conduct of Government has been most extraordinary. It is difficult to imagine why they put off their Proclamation till the eleventh hour, when there was scarcely time to stop the meeting; why they did not prevent the meeting at Tara, and why Lord de Grey and Sugden were both absent. They certainly mismanage their affairs in various quarters. They suffered the Welsh disturbances to go on unchecked, and the grievances there unremedied, when they ought to have interfered with a strong hand long ago; they have made miserable work of the Scotch Church quarrel.73 Nothing is so bad as complimenting away what they believe to be right, and acquiescing in what they believe to be wrong, to meet the prejudices of individuals. This is what they did. Aberdeen, who has been all along almost, but not quite, a non-intrusionist, got into the hands of a few people at Edinburgh who wanted an excuse for not seceding, and who persuaded 207 him to bring in his Bill, which was neither more nor less than an indignity put on the House of Lords. Nobody was more disgusted, or more opposed to this Bill than Lyndhurst. He abused Aberdeen for it, but it is generally believed that the latter threatened, if Government would not support him, to resign, and so they knocked under. Lyndhurst said to Clarendon while Aberdeen was speaking: 'Damn the fellow, what does he bring in such a Bill as this for; I don't see why I should support anything so absurd!' He did, however, support it, and so did Brougham, who had himself been concerned in the Auchterarder judgement, but whose concurrence was obtained by some trifling alteration of detail, which made no difference in the principle of the Bill. The Bill did no sort of good, and only seemed to drag the House of Lords through the dirt. I wonder the Duke of Wellington stood it.


November 3rd.—A characteristic trait of Brougham has just come under my notice. Full of wrath and vengeance against Fonblanque for his reiterated attacks, he is pursuing the action which he long ago threatened against the 'Examiner.' He is gone off to France, having first arranged everything with Vizard for the cause. He thought it necessary to obtain from Reeve an affidavit about the practice in the Privy Council, by which he might prove that he could not be cognisant of a case before it was judicially brought before him. He desired Reeve to attend at Vizard's office, which he did, and found there an affidavit prepared for him according to Brougham's instructions. When Reeve read it over, he found that there was hardly one word of truth in it, and he said he would not sign it. He then proceeded to explain what the practice is, and what the facts were in this particular case, by which it was evident that Reeve's evidence would be prejudicial instead of serviceable to Brougham. They therefore gave up all thought of getting any affidavit from him; but it seems to have occurred to Brougham's restless mind, that it was just possible the other party might enquire into the practice, and call upon Reeve to make an affidavit, which would suit their purpose very 208 well, though not his. To avert this danger, he had the folly and the baseness to write to Reeve on the eve of his departure, telling him that in case any application was made to him of this nature by the opposite party, he must remember that it was a voluntary act on his part, that he was not obliged to comply, and that it would not be becoming in him to render any assistance to a party in litigation with one of the Judges of the Court to which he belonged. This letter Reeve brought to me, and he said that though it was not very probable they would apply to him, after receiving it he should decline to do anything on his own responsibility, and if called upon, should come to me for instructions. I told him to do so, and I would take it all on myself. This is as thorough a Broughamism as can be found in the history of his strange, discreditable life.


November 7th.—Last night came intelligence from Nice that Edward Villiers was dead. He went there in a hopeless state, was worse after his arrival; then an abscess in his lungs broke, which gave a momentary gleam of hope, but he expired very soon after. I had a great regard for him, and he deserved it. He was a man little known of the world in general, shy, reserved to strangers, cold and rather austere in his manners, and being very shortsighted, made people think he meant to slight them when he had no such intention. He was not fitted to bustle into public notice, and such ambition as he had was not of the noisy and ostentatious kind. But no man was more beloved by his family and friends, and none could be more agreeable in any society when he was completely at his ease. He was most warm-hearted and affectionate, sincere, obliging, disinterested, unselfish, and of scrupulous integrity, by which I mean integrity in the largest sense, not merely that which shrinks from doing a dishonourable or questionable action, but which habitually refers to conscientious principles in every transaction of life. He viewed things with the eye of a philosopher, and aimed at establishing a perfect consistency between his theory and his practice. He had a remarkably acute and searching intellect, with habits of 209 patient investigation and mature deliberation; his soul was animated by ardent aspirations after the improvement and the happiness of mankind, and he abhorred injustice and oppression in all their shapes and disguises with an honest intensity which produced something of a morbid sentiment in his mind, and sometimes betrayed him into mistaken impressions and erroneous conclusions. The expansive benevolence of his moral sentiments powerfully influenced his political opinions, and his deep sympathy with the poor not only rendered him inexorably severe to the vices of the rich, but made him regard with aversion and distrust the aristocratic elements of our institutions, and rendered him an ardent promoter of the most extensive schemes of progressive reform. But while he clung with inflexible constancy to his own opinions, no man was more tolerant of the opinion of others. In conversation he was animated, brilliant, amusing, and profound, bringing sincerity, single-mindedness, and knowledge to bear upon every discussion. His life, though short, uneventful, and retired, was passed in the contemplation of subjects of the highest interest and worthiest to occupy the thoughts of a good and wise man, and the few intimacies he cultivated were with congenial minds, estimable for their moral excellence or distinguished by their intellectual qualities and attainments. The world at large will never know what virtues and talents have been prematurely snatched away from it, for those only who have seen Edward Villiers in the unrestraint and unreserve of domestic familiarity can appreciate the charm of his disposition and the vigour of his understanding. No stranger would have divined that under that cold and grave exterior there lay concealed an exquisite sensibility, the most ardent affections, and a mind fertile in every good and noble quality. To the relations and friends, who were devotedly attached to him, the loss is irreparable and will long be deplored, and the only consolation which offers itself is to be found in the circumstances of his end. He was surrounded by kind and affectionate friends, and expired in the arms of a wife whose conduct he himself described to have been that of a heroine 210 as well as an angel. He was in possession of all his faculties, and was free from bodily pain. He died with the cheerfulness of a philosopher, and the resignation of a Christian, happy, devout, and hopeful, and joyfully contemplating death in an assured faith of a resurrection from the dead.

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

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

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

November 25th.—We are all occupied with the trials in Ireland. It was very generally thought by the lawyers here that the plea of abatement put in by O'Connell would be admitted, and the indictment quashed; but the judges unanimously admitted the demurrer, and overruled the plea. Baron Parke told me on Saturday last that the plea was certainly good, and that was Rolfe's opinion also. The majority of the lawyers, though there was much difference 211 of opinion, I believe inclined that way, and the Irish judges seem to have decided it rather in conformity with the practice of their predecessors, than upon their own construction of the statutes. There are many speculations as to the duration of the trial, various calculations from a fortnight to two years, and a strong belief that there is small chance of a conviction. However, as far as the business has gone, the measures taken by the Government seem justified by the results, and public opinion goes with them.


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

A rascally attorney has brought actions against a parcel of people for penalties for excessive gaming under an old statute of Anne, which has never been acted upon, at least as to bets on horse-races. The penalties are laid at a great amount, and the object is supposed to be vindictive. They have threatened me, but not served me with a writ. All the lawyers say that it is necessary to bring in a Bill to repeal the Act, or as much of it as may be necessary, and quash the proceedings. I suppose there is no doubt of its passing, but there will be found people to oppose it, and who would think it right to leave jockeys and bettors to their fate, 212 under any circumstances, in order to put down gambling, and, if it were possible, horse-racing itself, although it is the policy of the Legislators to encourage the latter, and it does so by annual votes of money for prizes to be run for.

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


December 7th.—There has been a great botheration about the Duc de Bordeaux. When he came here the question arose whether the Queen should receive him or not, and most people thought she ought, for his friends declared that he came without any political object or pretension, merely to amuse and inform himself. When the Queen was 213 at Eu, the Duke's intended visit to England was known and discussed, and at that time Guizot told Aberdeen that, so far from objecting, it was their wish that every civility should be shown him. But it subsequently appeared that, whether with or without his cognisance, his adherents intended to make his residence in London instrumental to a great political demonstration, and they had previously endeavoured to negotiate for his reception by the Emperor of Russia at Berlin through M. de St. Priest, who went there for that purpose. This entirely changed the nature of the case, and Guizot wrote to Aberdeen, stating these facts, and expressing a wish that under such circumstances the Queen would not receive him, and it was decided that she should not. The Prince began by a tour in the provinces, and a visit to Alton Towers, where he was very royally treated. He went to Chatsworth and Trentham to see the places, and wrote his name in the books of visitors as Henri de France, which might mean anything or nothing. About a week ago he arrived in London, and at the same time every Carlist in France, to the number of several hundred, flocked over to attend his Court. The town has ever since swarmed with monstrous beards of every cut and colour, and every night he receives a succession of them. A few days ago three hundred gentlemen waited on old Chateaubriand, and harangued him through the Duke de FitzJames, whom they unanimously elected as their mouthpiece. He began in these terms: 'These gentlemen who have been to render their homage to the King of France,' &c. Soon after this ceremony was concluded, the Duc de Bordeaux came into the room, and made a speech, in which he talked of looking towards the throne of his ancestors, and if he did so, it was for the good he might do to France. Such language as this was sure to make a great sensation; it showed what the pretensions and objects of these very foolish people were, and how indispensable it was that the Queen should have nothing whatever to say to him. The French Court were well pleased that they had thrown aside the mask, and committed him and themselves so entirely, and they immediately resolved to 214 attack such of the Carlist faction as are members of the Chamber of Deputies, as soon as the Chambers shall meet. St. Aulaire told me this the other night at Lady Holland's, where I had a long conversation with him on the whole subject, and Guizot took the trouble to write a letter to Reeve of two sheets of paper, in which he went at great length into the conduct of the party, and the feelings and intentions of the French Government in regard to it. St. Aulaire told me that the Queen is annoyed at the Duc de Bordeaux's having come here without her consent, and at his making London the theatre of this absurd Carlist drama.

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

Duncannon said the popularity of O'Connell, the Liberator, as they all call him, is unbounded, and the Rent this year will be 25,000l. He asked the people in his neighbourhood what they were making the great fires for, and they said. 'Because the Liberator has bet the Attorney-General.' 215 He asked them why they wished for Repeal, and they said, 'Because the Liberator said it would be a great thing for them.'


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

All the people who have been at the Royal progress say there never was anything so grand as Chatsworth; and the Duke, albeit he would have willingly dispensed with this visit, treated the Queen right royally. He met her at the station and brought her in his own coach and six, with a coach and four following, and eight outriders. The finest sight was 216 the illumination of the garden and the fountains; and after seeing the whole place covered with innumerable lamps and all the material of the illuminations, the guests were astonished and delighted when they got up the following morning not to find a vestige of them left, and the whole garden as trim and neat as if nothing had occurred. This was accomplished by Paxton, who got 200 men, set them to work, and worked with them the whole night till they had cleared away everything belonging to the exhibition of the preceding night. This was a great exploit in its way and produced a great effect. At Belvoir the Prince went hunting, and acquitted himself in the field very creditably. He was supposed to be a very poor performer in this line, and, as Englishmen love manliness and dexterity in field sports, it will have raised him considerably in public estimation to have rode well after the hounds in Leicestershire.

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

December 20th.—On Monday night I went to the Westminster Play, 'Phormio,' admirably acted by three of the boys. It was very amusing, much more than I thought possible on reading the play. It is the work of an accomplished 217 playwright, full of good situations and replete with stage effect. They ought to leave off the vile custom of encoring the prologue and epilogue. We had to listen to ninety-six lines of the latter repeated twice over, when the audience was tired and, however well entertained, impatient to disperse.


Broadlands, December 29th.—I came here to-day, having passed the previous week at Brighton with the Granvilles; found nobody but Melbourne and the Beauvales; the former in pretty good force, more grave, more silent than formerly, but with intervals of talkativeness in his usual tone and manner. Things drop from him now and then, curious or interesting. We were talking about newspapers and their contributors, and he told us that the famous article in the 'Times' about bludgeons and brickbats during the rage of the Reform Bill was written by Lord Dover, and that nothing was too strong for him to put in a newspaper. I asked him about a thing he had once before told me, which is the connexion which subsisted between our Government and the Court of Rome, and a particular appointment which he had solicited the Pope not to confer. It was that of Dr. M'Hale as Archbishop of Tuam. Melbourne caused a request to be made to the Pope not to sanction it, but the Pope would not comply, and appointed M'Hale. He observed on that occasion, that ever since the Relief Bill had passed, the English Government never failed to interfere about every appointment as it fell vacant. On another occasion Melbourne begged the Pope to confer some piece of preferment on a priest, whose name I forget, who had supported the Government candidate very zealously in some election. This state of things and such communications between the Holy Father and the English Minister are curious. Palmerston said that there was nothing to prevent our sending a Minister to Rome; but they had not dared to do it, on account of their supposed Popish tendency; Peel might. Talking about the Corn Laws, Melbourne said he had prevented any measure being proposed for above three years, and that if he had done it sooner his Government would 218 have fallen sooner. Many were earnest in favour of a proposition; John Russell particularly; Thomson, though the most strenuous free trader, was against it, foreseeing the consequences.

January 14th, 1844.—Everybody is full of the trial of O'Connell in Dublin—this unhappy trial, which has been one continual course of blunders and mismanagement from first to last. There is now an immense uproar about the jury list, and, as if fate had determined that the worst appearance should be given to the whole proceeding, Shaw the Recorder is implicated in a manner which can easily be made to look very suspicious. The Sheriff sent a list of some seventy-eight names to the Recorder; instead of remaining in Dublin, as he ought to have done, he must needs come to England to visit Lord Talbot. He went over for one day to Drayton, and it happened that on the same day he received the Sheriff's list; he returned it, but by some mistake did not return two slips, as they are called, containing sixty and odd names. The list, therefore, from which the jury was taken was an imperfect list, and they will say, and all the Irish will believe, that the mutilation was a concerted affair between Peel and Shaw. They also affirm that the excluded were mostly Catholics, which is, I believe, the reverse of the truth. This was an accident, but it was an awkward blunder to add to the long list of those already committed. Then the striking off all the Catholics from the jury is inveighed against here as an act of madness, there as of intolerable injustice and insult. It does appear to me an enormous blunder, and none of the excuses made for it seems even plausible. The Government ought to look far beyond the event of this trial. It would be a thousand times better to have O'Connell acquitted by a mixed jury than convicted by one all Protestant. I do not know whether such an acquittal would not be on the whole the best result; if he should be convicted, the whole process would be considered as a monstrous outrage against justice, and Government will be terribly puzzled to know how to deal with him. His conviction would produce the worst possible effect in Ireland, and 219 render the exasperation and hatred of the people more bitter and unappeasable. If he is acquitted by a Protestant jury the triumph of the Catholics will be much greater, their resentment not less, and in England his acquittal by a jury formed of both persuasions would only be attributed to the determination of the Catholics not to convict him; supposing that a strong case is really made out, and Ministers should appear to be justified in requiring any fresh powers they thought necessary, they would find it difficult to ask for any if he was acquitted by a Protestant jury—in short, it is an inextricable mess, and how they will get out of it, God only knows. They have missed the great opportunity that was afforded them of giving a convincing proof to the Irish people that they wish O'Connell to have a fair trial. If they had begun by doing this, and then exhibited to the world a good case, they might have felt easy enough as to the result. If the Catholic jurors had cast their mantles over him, it would soon have been known; the Irish might have sung universal jubilations and lit bonfires on every hill; but it would have been no real triumph, and the value of a moral conviction in the eyes of the people of England would have been unappreciable. All this has been overlooked in a stupid, narrow-minded, shortsighted, professional eagerness to ensure a conviction.


Yesterday Lord Wharncliffe showed me a despatch from Lord Ellenborough to Lord Ripon, on the subject of his position with respect to the Secret Committee of the Directors, which is admirable, both in sentiment and expression. I knew already that the Court and the Government were at variance about his Indian policy, and that the Duke of Wellington not only strongly supported him, but wrote to him (I saw one of his letters) in cordial terms of approval and encouragement; but I did not know that the differences between Ellenborough and the Court were so serious as it appears they were, and I suppose are. The Secret Committee passed a resolution condemnatory of his proceedings in Scinde, couched in very strong and even offensive language, and to this resolution he responds in terms full of 220 dignity and determination. He tells them that ever since he took the Government in India, which was at a time of unparalleled difficulty, they had thrown every obstacle in his way, and embarrassed his course by their want of co-operation and encouragement. He asks why, if such was their opinion, they did not exercise the power with which they are invested, censure and recall him; that he should not be provoked to resign, because he believed that his doing so at this moment would be productive of more evil than his endeavouring to administer the Government with such crippled means as they left to him, and he should therefore cast upon them the whole responsibility of withdrawing him if they pleased, and continue to discharge his duty, fully relying upon his possessing the confidence of the Crown, though he might not possess theirs. I believe he is doing well in India now. How, by the by, in all his letters, the Duke of Wellington inveighs against 'the licentious Press' both in India and here! He hates the press everywhere, but he knows that here it is, if an evil, a necessary and unavoidable evil; but in such a country as India, he cannot forgive those who introduced the pernicious anomaly of a free press, and in this I entirely agree with him. It was done by Sir Charles Metcalfe, a man of extraordinary ability, and considered as one of the greatest authorities, if not the greatest, on Indian affairs.


January 26th.—At Hatchford for three or four days. O'Connell's trial moves heavily along; nobody takes much interest in it, or expects any serious result from it. The Opposition mean to begin the session with an attack on the Government de rebus Hibernicis—rather dangerous warfare. Charles Buller wrote to O'Connell in his own name and Hawes's, asking him if anything could be done, and what. He wrote a very civil answer, saying he was happy to communicate with them, though it was quite useless; he could not give up Repeal, and England hated Ireland with too much intensity to render her real justice, especially John Russell, who was the bitterest enemy of the Catholic religion, his hatred to which he had proved on innumerable 221 occasions. However, he said, he would never do anything to obstruct any practical results, if they were possible, and he would tell them how his influence might be annulled and his political power put an end to. He then told him some half-dozen, items of 'justice,' the principal one of which was the Church. He said that the Irish never would be satisfied as long as the Protestant Church stood in all its predominance amongst them, a badge of their servitude and oppression, hateful, offensive, and mortifying to the Irish people; that what they wanted was perfect religious equality, and this could only be obtained by sweeping away all Church establishments, and paying neither. The rest of his recommendations were pretty much the same as when he has been in the habit of holding forth in his speeches and writings. There was nothing new in his letter, and nothing to lay hold of; he passed over the real evils which weigh down the people, and their causes—poverty, hunger, nakedness, no employment, no capital flowing there to set them to work. We shall have plenty of wrangling and violence, but no good will come of it all. The Irish question is a mighty maze, it is a vast babel of conflicting opinions, and hostile passions and prejudices. In the great divisions of party there are innumerable sub-divisions upon all Irish matters; there are vast masses of opinions, jostling with other masses, intermingling in a confused conflict, not arranged in one compact body against another compact body, with one distinguishing banner over each; and out of all this confusion it is impossible to look for any satisfactory and reasonable solution of all the difficult questions that are afloat. 222


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

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

February 8th.—The session has opened favourably enough for Ministers. The first night Peel made a decided speech, and he has taken a decided attitude. He declared that he did not mean to make any alteration at all in the present Corn Law, either as to duty or scale. This was such an agreeable announcement to his friends, that it put them at once into good humour, and they will now fight with him cordially and vigorously, and we shall at least have a clear line of demarcation, and good fair stand-up party contests. While he has made himself strong and his party united for the present, the Opposition have no unity of opinion, Howick and John Russell being evidently opposed to each other, and probably all of them entertaining all sorts of shades and gradations of opinion. Peel 223 evidently means to give up the notion of appealing to the reason of the country, and the moderation which he hoped would help him through his juste milieu course, and thinks only of rallying the great Tory body round him, and exhibiting himself as the master of certain and willing majorities. As long as this Parliament lasts, it makes him as firm as a rock, after which, God knows what will happen. The Irish trials are almost over. O'Connell made a miserable speech; Sheil and Whiteside were very good, especially the latter. The episode of the Attorney-General's challenge came very opportunely for the first night's debate, and the Government stood by him gallantly, which they probably were right in doing, for no Government will be well and heartily served, unless it throws its shield over its people when they fall into difficulties.


February 9th.—As everything is interesting that relates to the Duke of Wellington, it is so to hear the observations of those whose situation enables them to watch the descending course of this great luminary. Nobody has such opportunities as my brother. I was telling him yesterday what Lord Wharncliffe had said to me, that it was pleasant to see the extraordinary deference and attention which are shown to him by his colleagues at the Cabinet. He always sits in the same place, and each person who has anything to say or any subject to bring forward invariably goes and sits next to him, to enable him to hear better the material part of what is going forward, and the greatest respect is evinced to his opinions on all subjects. He told me that this was also very apparent in the correspondence of his colleagues, who addressed him in the most deferential manner, and often expressed their readiness to give up propositions which did not meet with his concurrence. But he said that he grew more and more irritable, and often expressed himself even to his colleagues with an asperity which was matter of great regret to him (Algernon Greville), and that frequently he felt the strongest desire to alter and soften the tone of his letters, but that this was quite impossible: nobody ever dared say anything to him, he could not, and it would be 224 useless if he did, as it was not an accidental ebullition, but proceeded from the increased and increasing irritability of his mind. He instanced two cases lately, one of a letter to Sir Robert Peel, and another to Lord Haddington, not on very material subjects, but in which a tone of ruffled temper and something like pique was apparent, very unlike his old disposition. The only person who sees his letters is Arbuthnot, who never ventures to object, or to criticise them; and if he did, Algy much doubts whether the Duke would take the trouble to alter what he has once written. However, he is a wonder, be his infirmities what they may.

February 11th.—Yesterday Algy showed me the Duke's correspondence with Haddington,75 which is a terrible rigmarole, lengthy, angry, mistaken, and altogether sadly demonstrative of a falling off in his great mind. The subject is so insignificant that it would be waste of time to say a word on it, if it were not for the interest which attaches to the great man to whom it relates. Admiral Parker wrote a warm panegyric on his nephew, Captain Wellesley, which he wound up by saying, he spoke cautiously and reservedly (or some such expression) for fear his motives should be misunderstood. The sentence was an awkward one, but the sense was clear, and could only mean that he was afraid it might be thought he praised the nephew in order to pay court to the uncle, and therefore he in reality said rather less than more than he deserved. The Duke chose to take it in an exactly opposite sense, and insisted that it could only mean that he was so obnoxious that even his relative was not to receive his just meed of praise—a thing not only quite improbable and absurd, but absolutely unmeaning. On this he descanted very angrily, and then went off on his own services, and that he never asked for anything for any of his belongings, and a great deal of very pitiful balderdash. Haddington seems to have tombé de son haut, at getting this extraordinary ebullition, and wrote back what he meant to be a soother, assuring the Duke that 225 he had never thought of taking it in that sense, far from it, and he added all that was respectful and obliging of himself and his nephew, as well as what was reasonable and true; but the old hero's blood was up, he had got his head the wrong way, and the devil would not get it right again. He insisted on his own version of the Admiral's letter, declared nobody could possibly read it in any other sense (nobody could possibly see it in his), and fired back another sulky broadside upon the First Lord of the Admiralty.


The night before last Brougham came down to the House of Lords and announced a bill which he is going to bring in to amend! the working of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, or, as he called it, to 'remedy its imperfections.' Yesterday Wharncliffe gave me the history of this transaction, which, if he is allowed successfully to carry on, will be one of the most impudent jobs that ever was perpetrated, and assuredly the Government must be strong which can afford to be a consenting party to it. In the state of incessant activity he has long been in he has, it seems, an ardent longing to do something for himself. Money I do not believe he cares about, though probably not averse to be well furnished with the means of feasting his numerous clients, and the noble, honourable, learned and fashionable friends with whom he cultivates or affects intimacies in all ranks and all parties; but he wants some distinction, and something which at least may give him the air of having authority somewhere and a kind of official right to be still more meddling and intrusive and dictatorial than he already is. Who knows, too, whether his excursive mind does not look to the possibility of his making any official or quasi-official situation a stepping-stone to the Woolsack, under certain circumstances or contingencies, which may glimmer to his mind's eye in the distant future? Be this as it may he has been pestering the Chancellor to make him Vice-President of the Judicial Committee. The Chancellor, who is very anxious to retain him in his service, has already committed himself to an opinion expressed in the House of Lords that it would be a good thing to give the Judicial Committee 226 a vice-president (i.e. a judicial head), and he has also said that those who come and work there ought to be paid for their services, and without such pay nobody ought to be required or expected to attend. This last dictum was purely selfish and to excuse himself from giving his own services during the many years he was out of office and doing nothing. When the Judicial Committee was first constituted Brougham intended to make a job of it, and framed several provisions accordingly; but meeting with some resistance (which I contrived to spirit up Lord Lansdowne to make), and finding that if there was any patronage the disposal of it would not be allotted to him (then Chancellor), he became indifferent on that score, and no provision was made for the payment of any members of the committee not deriving emoluments from other sources. For many years accordingly the clause which empowered the Queen to appoint certain persons who had not held judicial offices in England to be members was not acted upon at all. By arrangements made from time to time a quorum was always secured consisting of persons either in office or holding judicial pensions. These arrangements were not free from difficulties and objections, still with a little trouble and occasional obstacles the business went on pretty well; latterly, however, in consequence of certain new duties which have been imposed on the Common Law judges, we have in great measure lost the services of those of the judges who are members of our Court. On the other hand, as soon as Campbell relinquished the Great Seal in Ireland, he consented to be appointed a judge in the Privy Council (though having no pension), and he has ever since attended as a volunteer, punctually, generously, and efficiently. His aid has been the principal support of the Court, and it has lately obtained the equally important aid of Pemberton Leigh, who was made a Privy Councillor when he was appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Cornwall on the express condition of his sitting in the Judicial Committee, which he declared his readiness to do, and he was appointed accordingly. There never was any question of Pemberton's receiving a salary; indeed, if it had been contemplated 227 that whoever was named to the vacant seat in the Judicial Committee should be paid, Peel would probably have looked for some man to whom the salary would have been an object, and to whom it would have been an object to him to give it, instead of throwing away a lucrative office on one who is so rich that he has no occasion for it. However, Brougham was resolved to get himself made Vice-President, which is, in fact, President of this Court; but he was aware that it would be by no means palatable to some of the other members, especially Campbell, and probably Pemberton, that he should put himself over their heads, and as there is not the slightest occasion for any such change, and no reason to believe that either of the two volunteers desires or expects any salary, the matter was not very easy. Still he made such a bother about it that the Chancellor had a meeting with Lord Wharncliffe, the Duke, and Peel, to consider of it. The Duke said if there was any honorary appointment which would gratify him, and which they could, not improperly, confer on him, he thought, considering the way he worked for them, it would be as well to let him have it; but they agreed that they could not propose anything in the way of emolument, and at last it was settled that he should be made Vice-President. It occurred to them, however, that as the Judicial Committee was a Parliamentary creation it was not quite certain that the Queen had power to make the appointment, and that it would be right to consult the Attorney and Solicitor-General thereupon. The law officers said they would not assert that the Queen had not the power, but as it was in the nature of a change they thought it would be safer to do it by Act of Parliament. The Ministers therefore told Brougham they could not do it, and they declined bringing in any Bill; on which he said, with some reflexions on their want of spirit, that he would himself bring in a Bill, and accordingly he gave this notice the other night. I have not yet seen the Bill, and I don't know whether he has communicated with any of his colleagues on the subject, and in what light they regard the matter; but I am exceedingly desirous of defeating such a job, as it 228 appears to be, if I can, and most assuredly I will endeavour to do so.


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

Lord John Russell opened the debate in a speech three and a half hours long, the greater part of which was very good.77 His attack upon Lyndhurst was imprudent, unfair, and in bad taste, and his notice of Bradshaw pitiful. Graham 229 made a very good speech in reply to him. The most important circumstance in these speeches was the respective declarations of the speakers about the Irish Church. John Russell went further, and spoke more decisively than he had ever done before, and declared for a complete equality between Catholics, Anglicans, and Presbyterians; Graham, that he would not consent to touch the Protestant or endow the Catholic Church.


February 17th.—The debate has moved on heavily. The most remarkable speeches have been Howick's, Sir George Grey's, Disraeli's, and Stanley's. Howick spoke out and declared at once he would make the Catholic the established religion of Ireland. Disraeli made a very clever speech, not saying so much, but implying it, and under the guise of compliment making an ingenious and amusing attack on Peel, Stanley, and Graham. Stanley's speech satisfied his people and elicited their cheers, one of his slashing harangues, and perhaps he gave a sufficient reply to John Russell; for the fact is, that such speeches as theirs are quite useless and unmeaning, do not advance the question, or tend in the slightest degree to a solution of the enormous difficulties of our position; for it cannot be denied that to whatever plan, or rather experiment, any man may lean, the difficulties of execution are such as to terrify and embarrass the clearest head and the boldest heart. The debate will last some days more, but what may be said of it is this, that it will be the commencement of a new war of principles. The Opposition, however, are still divided and subdivided into many shades of opinion, and nothing but the necessity of union for party purposes will bring about those mutual concessions, without which no union can be accomplished. There is a long interval still between Howick and John Russell. The fear is, that this new Catholic question will be met by a new 'No Popery' cry; though the Tory leaders will prevent this if they can, still it is clear that their declarations must draw them closer to the Church, and 230 cement the alliance between them; whilst the Dissenters and the Scotch, however they may prefer a Whig connexion, will be pretty sure to join in opposition to the Catholics, and to anything like the establishment or endowment of the Catholic Church. Dundas told me to-day that hardly any Scotch Member could safely vote for a Catholic endowment.

February 22nd.—The debate is still going on. By far the most remarkable speech that has yet been made was Macaulay's—an essay perhaps it may be called, but still a brilliant oration, and the end of it, with his reply to Stanley and his appeal to Peel, admirable. He reserved himself for another occasion to speak about the Church, which meant that he was in dread of his constituents. Follett followed him, but disappointed everybody. Tuesday night was entirely occupied by Wilde, and last night by Smith, the Irish Attorney-General, both very able. Wilde was supposed to have made a very damaging assault on the trial and its incidents, to a great part of which Smith replied very successfully, and his speech was very well received. I met Lady Palmerston at dinner on Tuesday, and asked her if Palmerston was going to speak. She said he would not if he could help it. After dinner I talked to her about the strange condition of the question, when she said that 'everybody was agreed.' I said I thought no two people were agreed and pointed out how John Russell said one thing, Howick another, and so of all the rest, none seeming to have any fixed opinion what should be done, though all insisted that something must. She said John Russell had better not have said what he did, and they did not mind what Howick said, that Palmerston agreed with the Government, and that, in fact, their plan (of giving glebes to the Catholic clergy) was his, and that he had not only suggested it, but had acted on it as far as the law permitted. Peel is certainly acting very shrewdly in letting this debate go on as long as anybody chooses to continue it, for quot homines, tot sententiæ, and nothing can better excuse the Government for not adopting some decisive measures than the manifestation of such a chaos of sentiment and opinion as the opposite benches 231 afford. Stanley's speech a few nights ago, which was delivered in his best style, and much praised by his adherents, is severely censured by all but his adherents. It seems to have exhibited all that acrimony and disposition to bigotry which it is so desirable to get rid of, and though it may have been exhilarating to the spirits of his friends, it was much less suitable to his station, and less adapted to the great purposes of Government than Graham's.


All day yesterday I was listening to law in the Privy Council. Follett made a very able reply in the appeal of Croker against Lord Hertford. After which the Court proceeded to discuss the judgement. There were two points: one, whether Lord Hertford's codicil confirming all former codicils made good those which were not properly attested; the other, whether the will having been executed at Milan, and being good according to the lex loci, it was good here. If the first point was decided in favour of the appellant, the second would not arise, so they agreed to begin by considering the first. Dr. Lushington, Vice-Chancellor Knight Bruce, Baron Parke, and Lord Campbell concurred with the judgement; Abinger, Denman, and Brougham were against it; Tindal, who heard the first part of the case but not the last, was not there. After a great deal of talk they agreed to meet again and reconsider the case. They held the second point to be very difficult, but very little passed about it. Nothing can exemplify more the objection there would be to the Judges in our Court giving their opinions seriatim than this case. It would be very unsatisfactory to have so close a division made public; if Tindal should incline to the side of Brougham, Denman, and Co., I see that Knight Bruce will go over to them in all probability, and turn the scale the other way. In that case, if the Judges were to deliver their opinions, it is abundantly probable that the arguments of the minority would appear the soundest law, and it would be a curious anomaly that such a case would be decided by the casting vote of a man whose real opinion was at variance with that which he would have to express. The parties had better have tossed up for the money at first. 232

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

Sunday, February 25th.—On Friday night, after nine nights' debate, the longest since the Duke of York's case, the division took place, with 99 majority for the Government. The Attorney-General, Roebuck, O'Connell, and Peel occupied the last night: the Attorney-General very good; O'Connell spoke well, temperately, becomingly, was well received, and made a favourable impression; Peel an able speech of nearly four hours, very successful in repelling his opponent's attacks, a very good party speech, but in my opinion not well argued as to the Church question, and certainly containing nothing definite or satisfactory. Some thought it indicated a consciousness of the frail tenure by which the Church maintains itself, but he evinced no disposition under any circumstances to be a party to the alienation of its revenues. The general opinion is that the debate has reflected great credit on the House of Commons; the Speaker says he never heard one so good. There has been a great display of ability on both sides; the lawyers, the statesmen, and the orators have equally distinguished themselves; and, what is almost higher praise, the temper, the taste, and the tone have been excellent, just what becomes a discussion upon a subject so important and delicate. The best speeches have been those of John Russell, Sir George Grey, Howick, Macaulay, Wilde, and Sheil; Peel, Graham, Stanley, and the two Attorney-Generals; Disraeli very clever and original, full of finesse, in some respects the most striking of all. I think that on the whole it will do good: as far as the Government are concerned, it will strengthen them for a time; but from this moment a new Catholic question will begin, though it would be indeed rash to predict when 233 it will end. The Opposition all cry out that O'Connell has not had a fair trial, and the Government were extremely annoyed at Wilde's speech, which they felt was damaging. But the imputed unfairness amounts at most to this, that although the case was clearly proved against him, it is just possible, if the jury list affair had not occurred, that some strong Catholic or Repealer might have been on the jury, by means of whose obstinate determination not to consent to a verdict of guilty he might have got off.


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

March 9th.—During the last fortnight there has been a great deal of discussion about the great debate, and there is a general impression that it will prove productive of good. Peel's speech is much commented on, and considered to signify his own opinion that the Irish Church must be dealt with sooner or later, but also his resolution to have no hand in the 234 arrangement. At all events it is thought that his sentiments, as set forth in his speech, are very different from Stanley's, and even from Graham's. Some days ago John Russell called on me, and talked the thing over. He said this about Peel, whom he so dislikes that whatever he says of him is always rather tinged with bitterness; and with regard to his own notions, he said that he was not opposed to the establishment of the Catholic religion, provided the Protestant was preserved. He is in fact prepared to go farther than I was aware of.

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


March 16th.—Brougham has been outdoing himself about his Bill. He begins by naming a committee, very numerous, but containing hardly any of the Whigs or of those who would be likely to oppose him, none at least that he could possibly help naming. On Monday an article appeared in the 'Morning Chronicle,' very bitter and smart, and written by Clarendon, which stung him to the quick. He got up the next day in the House of Lords, and alluding to his having been accused of bringing in this Bill with personal views, rejected the accusation with vehement indignation, and in the most extravagant language, 'amidst loud laughter,' as the report said, 'in which the Lord Chancellor heartily joined.' None but Brougham himself can be his parallel; no other man would have dared to get up, and, in the 235 presence of at least half a dozen men who knew the whole truth, deliberately and vehemently tell a parcel of impudent lies—lies too which, if he succeeds in his object, must be exposed to the whole world. But one of the most curious characteristics is his utter shamelessness. With an inordinate vanity and a morbid activity, which prompts him to be eternally doing and talking, he has lost all care for his serious reputation, and for the applause and approbation of the best part of the world. To flourish away, and become Cock-of-the-Walk among silly and dissolute people of fashion, to talk incessantly in a strain of boisterous levity, and make free and frivolous men and women roar with laughter at his coarse, but not witty pleasantries, seems now the height of his ambition. He passes days and hours at Chesterfield House and Gore House; his most intimate associate is D'Orsay; and from the nonsense and idleness of such houses as these, he rushes away to mix in the high matters of politics and legislation, in an eternal whirl and bustle of alternate business and gossip, a sad spectacle to those who remember what he once was; and he has not even the merit of success in his new vocation, for whereas he was once more brilliant and amusing than anybody, he is now become an arrant bore. He has frittered down his really great powers to the level of his new friends and companions, but he has no notion how to converse or 'live with ease,' and nothing can be more awkward and ungraceful than the exhibition he makes of himself as a man of fashion. What a contrast it is, when one turns from the vagaries of this impure and degraded buffoon, who has been guilty of debasing and rendering useless the rare talents with which Nature endowed him, to the dignified old age and mild wisdom of Mr. Grenville—who counts only twenty years more than Brougham—so inferior in genius and intellectual power, so superior in moral worth, in rectitude of understanding, and in all the graces and proprieties of social life.

Writing of Mr. Grenville, I must mention an anecdote he told me the other day, illustrating the facility with which Pitt gave peerages to anybody who had a fancy for the 236 honour. Mr. Grenville one day asked his cousin, Lord Glastonbury, what had induced him to get made a peer, for he could not think he had ever cared much for a title. He said, 'God, Devil!' (for such it seems was his queer habit of expressing himself) 'I'll tell you. I never thought of a peerage; but one day I took up the newspaper, and I read in it that Tommy Townshend was made a peer. Confound the fellow, said I, what right had he to be made a peer I should like to know. Why, I am as rich again as he is, and have a much better right. So I resolved to write to Pitt and tell him so. I wrote, and was made a peer the following week.'


March 31st.—I never remember so much excitement as has been caused by Ashley's Ten Hours Bill,78 nor a more curious political state of things, such intermingling of parties, such a confusion of opposition; a question so much more open than any question ever was before, and yet not made so or acknowledged to be so with the Government; so much zeal, asperity, and animosity, so many reproaches hurled backwards and forwards. The Government have brought forward their measure in a very positive way, and have clung to it with great tenacity, rejecting all compromise; they have been abandoned by nearly half their supporters, and nothing can exceed their chagrin and soreness at being so forsaken. Some of them attribute it to Graham's unpopularity, and aver that if Peel had brought it forward, or if a meeting had been previously called, they would not have been defeated; again, some declare that Graham had said they were indifferent to the result, and that people might vote as they pleased, which he stoutly denies; then John Russell voting for 'ten hours,' against all he professed last year, has filled the world with amazement, and many of his own friends with indignation. It has, I think, not redounded 237 to his credit, but, on the contrary, done him considerable harm. The Opposition were divided, Palmerston and Lord John one way, Baring and Labouchere the other. It has been a very queer affair. Some voted, not knowing how they ought to vote, and following those they are accustomed to follow; many who voted against Government afterwards said they believed they were wrong. Melbourne is all against Ashley; all the political economists, of course; Lord Spencer strong against him. Then Graham gave the greatest offence by taking up a word of the 'Examiner's' last Sunday, and calling it a Jack Cade legislation, this stirring them to fury, and they flew upon him like tigers. Ashley made a speech as violent and factious as any of O'Connell's, and old Inglis was overflowing with wrath. Nothing could be so foolish as Graham's taunt; he ought to have known better how much mischief may be done by words, and how they stick by men for ever. Lyndhurst rubbed his hands with great glee, and said, 'Well, we shall hear no more of 'aliens' now, people will only talk of Jack Cade for the future,' too happy to shift the odium, if he could, from his own to his colleague's back. The Ministers gave out, if they were beaten last Friday, they would resign; but they knew there was no chance of it. Some abused Ashley for not going on and fighting again, but he knew well enough it would be of no use. The House did certainly put itself in an odd predicament, with its two votes directly opposed to each other. The whole thing is difficult and unpleasant. Government will carry their Bill now, and Ashley will be able to do nothing, but he will go on agitating session after session; and a philanthropic agitator is more dangerous than a repealer, either of the Union or the Corn Laws. We are just now overrun with philanthropy, and God knows where it will stop, or whither it will lead us.

May 1st.—This interval I passed at Newmarket (two weeks), where I took my books and papers, resolving to write, and go on with my pamphlet on Ireland; but it does not signify, I find it impossible at that place to put pen to 238 paper or to open a book. It is one incessant course of active idleness, which with me at least utterly precludes all occupation, and even thought. The last day of the last week I went over to Cambridge to my nephew George Egerton, and took a look at some of the lions, none of which, strange to say (though I have frequented Newmarket so many years), with the exception of King's College Chapel, I had ever seen. I walked over the gardens, through the University Library, saw Lord Fitzwilliam's pictures, and looked at the Fitzwilliam Museum; but nothing is to be compared to King's College Chapel, which I beheld again, as one always does really great and perfect works, with increased admiration and delight.

On arriving in town, I found the world had been rattled out of its torpor by the astounding news of Ellenborough's recall by the Court of Directors, admitted by Ministers in both Houses, in reply to questions asked of them. I was astonished, because after the letter which Wharncliffe showed me some weeks ago, in which he had, as it were, dared the Directors to recall him, and their not doing so at the time, I thought the quarrel had blown over; and as his great measures are accomplished, I concluded they would make up their differences by some means. Therefore I was anything but prepared for this coup d'état. There is a strong feeling of exasperation on the side of the Government, as well as on that of the Court. The Duke of Wellington is particularly incensed. He has all along taken Ellenborough under his especial protection, and encouraged and supported him with his praise and approbation. All his irritability is therefore stirred up on this occasion, and he expressed himself in the House of Lords the night before last in reference to the Directors in very strong terms, which was not very becoming, and still less prudent. Peel in the other House was much more reserved and discreet. At present nobody knows exactly the merits of the case, although the Directors and their friends give out theirs, and to a certain degree the Government do the same. But as the papers must shortly be produced (for the public will insist on having materials 239 wherewith to form its judgement, and that speedily), it is better to see what they contain, instead of guessing, and forming opinions on hypothetical cases and imaginary circumstances. The Government must have a very strong case indeed to exonerate them from the reproach of having allowed matters to come to this extremity; and having had full knowledge of the feelings, and ample notice of the intentions of the Directors, they ought to have made some arrangement with them, instead of exhibiting to the world an open breach. They say, however, that they could not be parties to Ellenborough's recall, or in any way consent to it, lest they should stultify themselves, having already approved of all his acts. But this strikes me to be very bad reasoning. They were bound to deal with the case as they find it. They may think it a bad thing that the Directors should have such a power, and a worse that they should exercise it; it was the duty of the Government to adopt such measures as should provide against the exercise of it becoming injurious to the public interests. The safety and prosperity of India are of infinitely greater consequence than the consistency, real or apparent, of the Ministry, and it would have been far better to have had Ellenborough recalled quietly, with some management and arrangement as to time and circumstance, than to suffer matters to be pushed to such extremities, and establish such hostile feelings between the Court of Directors and the Government as has now been done; nor can I see how the consistency of the Government could be affected by their deference to a power, created by the Legislature, and which they have no means of controlling. They have protested against its exercise, they have argued and remonstrated, but all in vain; and that being the case, they might with perfect consistency have taken some measures in concurrence with the Court as to the manner and time of his recall, while protesting against the measure itself, and repudiating all responsibility.


The town is full of speculation as to Ellenborough's successor, and nothing can exceed the difficulty of finding one who is competent. All sorts of men are mentioned, 240 most of them the most unfit and incapable that can be imagined. Metcalfe is in Canada, and could not be got home in time; Lord Elgin in Jamaica, to whom therefore the same objection applies. They talk of Lord Seaton, Fitzroy Somerset, Lincoln, Clare, Gladstone, and I know not whom besides. Graham will not go; he would have gone some time ago, but he will not now. My own opinion is, and I record it on this 1st of May, that Haddington will be sent. He is not a very brilliant, but a sensible, right-minded man, who has gained credit by his fairness and courtesy at the Admiralty. I declare I do not see where they could find a better man.

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


May 4th.—When I told Lord Wharncliffe that I thought Haddington would be the man for India, he told me he was quite out of the question, and would on no account go. He said Hardinge might possibly go, and I inferred from his manner of speaking of such an appointment that it was the most probable.79 Lord Aberdeen says that the Government 241 and the East India Directors are going to make their matters up, and that the Duke of Wellington's speech had been a great cause of embarrassment and annoyance to them. The papers will not be produced, because they are really not producible. Aberdeen owns that Ellenborough's conduct and language to the Directors had been such as it was impossible for them to endure, and he said both they and the Government were sensible how inexpedient it would be to publish such a correspondence. Accordingly these belligerents will agree to bury the past in oblivion, and make it all up. The greedy and curious public, and the eager and malicious Opposition, will be cheated of the banquet of political scandal they are both so anxiously expecting.

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

May 26th.—The usual occupation of this time of the year has prevented my writing anything in this book, and now I will briefly bring up the arrears of all I have to notice. I was at Gorhambury when the division on the Factory Bill took place, and Government got the extraordinary and unexpected majority of 135. Nothing could exceed the universal astonishment, and many of their supporters grumbled much at having been compelled to vote with them or stay away, without any necessity. But they were wrong, for it was of great consequence to get such a majority as should put an end to the question, which 242 this has done. It was a great triumph to Graham, who deserves it; for his conduct on this occasion, and the ferocious personality with which he has been assailed, have conciliated the sympathies of many, even of his enemies and opponents. But no man ever rose so much as he has latterly done. His capacity and administrative powers are admitted by all to be first-rate, and he has evinced so much more of temper and moderation, avoiding giving offence by a bitter and sarcastic tone, that he has disarmed a great deal of hostility and aversion, and there is a general disposition to do justice to his firmness, ability, and honesty on this occasion. This division is also a pregnant proof of the strength and power of the Government, when they choose to exert it; and when their position now is compared with that in which they were placed at the end of last session, everybody must see how enormously they have gained.

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

Meanwhile Brougham has been signalising himself both in the House of Lords and in the Judicial Committee. His railroad job in the former produced an exposure to the last degree discreditable, and not the less deplorable because the Duke of Wellington and the Tory Lords who were present were mean enough to vote with him. He was, nevertheless, beaten by one, after making eleven speeches. In the Judicial Committee he made a desperate effort to get a hearing for Madame Zichy (which was in fact a rehearsing of Croker's cause), but we had taken care to make use of the authority of the Lord President in convoking the Committee, and he was overruled by the majority, after a smart discussion. The circumstances of this case are quite sufficient to prove to me that the paramount authority of the Lord President is indispensable to make this machine work well, certainly so long as Brougham attends it, and I believe 243 will be always useful to prevent jealousies and dissensions among the Judges. The Lord President is above them, and while he never would think of exercising his own authority, except for purposes of regulation, for composing differences and taking care that no injustice is done, he never can himself come into legal competition with, or be himself an object of jealousy to, any of them.


June 10th.—For the last week this town has been kept in a fever by the brief and unexpected visit of the Emperor of Russia. Brunnow told me he was at Petersburg, and had given up all idea of coming here, and the very next day the telegraph announced that he was at the Hague, and would arrive in London in twenty-four hours. Nobody knows now what was the cause of this sudden and rapid expedition, for he travelled without stopping, and with extraordinary rapidity, from Petersburg, with the exception of twenty-four hours at Berlin, and forty-eight hours at the Hague. He alighted at the Palace, embraced the Queen, and after his interview went to establish himself at Brunnow's. He immediately visited all the Royal Family, and the Duke of Wellington. The Duke attired himself in the costume of a Russian Field-Marshal to receive the Emperor. On Monday he went to Windsor, Tuesday to Ascot, Wednesday they gave him a Review, which went off very badly, owing to mistakes and bad arrangement, but with which he expressed himself very well satisfied. The sight was pretty, glorious weather, 3,000 or 4,000 Guards, Horse, Foot, and Artillery in the Park, the Queen en calèche with a brilliant suite. It was striking when the Duke went and put himself at the head of his regiment, marched past, and saluted the Queen and Emperor. The air resounded with acclamations as the old warrior passed, and the Emperor rode up to him and shook him by the hand. He did the same by the Prince and Duke of Cambridge as they respectively marched by at the head of their regiments, but neither of them was so cheered as the Duke. There was a blunder about the artillery. The Queen cannot endure firing, and the Duke had ordered that the guns should not be fired till she left the ground. By some 244 mistake contrary orders were given, and they advanced and fired not far from Her Majesty. The Duke was furious, and would not be pacified, though Emperor, Queen, and Prince did their best to appease him; he blew up, and swore lustily, and ordered the luckless artillery into the rear. It was a mighty small concern for the Emperor, who reviews 100,000 men, and sees 15,000 mount guard every day; but he expressed his satisfaction, and when the Queen said her troops were few in number, he told her that she must consider his troops at her disposal exactly the same as her own.

On Thursday they went to Ascot again, where they were received very well by a dense multitude; on Friday to London, where they gave him a party at the Palace, omitting to ask half the remarkable people, especially of the Opposition. On Saturday a breakfast at Chiswick, a beautiful fête, and perfectly successful. Everything that was distinguished in London was collected to see and be seen by the Emperor. All the statesmen, fine ladies, poets, artists, beauties, were collected in the midst of a display of luxury and magnificence, set off by the most delicious weather. The Emperor lunched in a room fitted up with his arms and ensigns, and afterwards held a sort of circle on the grass, where people were presented to him, and he went round talking to one after another. His appearance on the whole disappointed me. He is not so tall as I had heard he was—about 6 feet 2, I should guess; and he has no remains of the beauty for which he was once so celebrated, and which at his age, forty-eight, need not have so entirely faded away; but the cares of such an Empire may well have ravaged that head on which they sit not lightly. He is become bald and bulky, but nevertheless is still a very fine and grand-looking personage. He accepts his age and its consequences, and does not try to avert them by any artificial appliances, and looks all the better for so doing. Though he has a very imposing air, I have seen much nobler men; he does not bear the highest aristocratic stamp; his general appearance is inferior to that of Lord Anglesey or Lord Granville (both twenty-five years older), and to others. 245 He gives me more the idea of a Thracian peasant raised to Empire, than of the descendant of a line of kings; still his head, and especially his profile, is very fine, and his manners are admirable, affable without familiarity, cordial yet dignified, and particularly full of deference and gallantry to women. As he moved round the circle all smiling and urbane, I felt a sensation of awe mixed with that of curiosity at reflecting that I saw before me a potentate so mighty and despotic, on whose will and pleasure or caprice depended the fortune, the happiness, and the lives of millions of creatures; and when the condition of these subject millions and the frequent exercise of such unbounded power flitted over my mind, I felt a pleasant consciousness that I was beyond the sphere of its influence, free as the birds in the air, at least from him, and I enjoyed that involuntary comparison of my freedom with the slavery of his subjects, which is in itself happiness, or something like it.


The Emperor seems to have a keen eye for beauty, and most of the good-looking women were presented to him. He was very civil to M. de St. Aulaire (and so he had been to Van de Weyer the night before), and very civil to Lord Harrowby, Lord Granville, Lord Lansdowne, to Clarendon, whom he had known in Russia, and to Palmerston. Lord John Russell was not presented to him, which was very wrong and ill-managed. Of all men he ought to have made acquaintance with the remarkable leader of the Whig party; but the Queen had not asked him to her party the night before, so that he never approached the Emperor at all. His Majesty thanked Lord Melbourne for having come to the breakfast, and afforded him the opportunity of making his acquaintance. He went away early, and the departure was pretty; the Royal equipages, the escort of Lancers with their pennons glancing in the sun, the steps and balcony clustered over with women to speed the parting guest; and as he bade the Duke of Devonshire a kind farewell, and mounted his carriage, while the Russian Hymn struck up, and he took his departure for ever from the gay scene and brilliant assemblage, proceeding on the march of his high and hard 246 destiny, while we all turned to our humble, obscure, peaceful, and uneventful occupations, it was an exhibition to stir the imagination and excite busy thoughts.


June 21st.—While we were still gossiping about the Emperor's visit and discussing in great tranquillity all its incidents, we were roused by a rumour, which, as it swelled into importance, soon consigned his Imperial Majesty to oblivion. On Friday night the Government were defeated on the Sugar duties by a majority of 20.80 A meeting had taken place previously at Peel's, at which some strong language was held by Sir John Rae Reid and some of the West Indians; and many of the Government people expected they should be beaten, without apparently attaching much consequence to their defeat, if it occurred. On Saturday afternoon vague rumours were afloat of resignation, to which nobody paid any attention. In the course of Sunday these rumours acquired consistency and importance, and it became known that there really was something in it. The town became curious, busy, and bustling; the clubs were full; and little knots of anxious politicians were to be found at the corner of every street. There had been a Cabinet on Saturday, the Queen came to town, and there was another Cabinet on Monday; still on Sunday night nobody believed Peel would really seriously meditate resigning. The Tories went about saying it was settled and made up; and the Whigs, who were anything but prepared to take office, cried out against the notion of resignation quite as lustily as the Tories themselves. On Monday it gradually came out that matters were in a very critical and alarming state. Peel, long dissatisfied with his party, had been exceedingly incensed at the language held at the meeting, and the adverse vote made him resolve to stand it no longer. He accordingly convened a Cabinet on Monday, and then they agreed, with 247 the full concurrence of Graham and Stanley, who, Wharncliffe told me, were quite as decided as Peel himself to adhere to their measure, to signify their resolution to the House of Commons, and, if beaten again, to resign. Peel went down and made a speech which appeared to everybody very injudicious. It was long and dull. It put forth pretensions which men of all parties said were not to be tolerated, for they construed what he said into an intimation that if the House of Commons did not do all he chose to insist upon, he would throw the government up; and with much bad taste and without any necessity, he lugged in the House of Lords also, in reference to the Bangor Bishopric Bill. His speech was determined enough, but it was very offensive and dictatorial, and people of all parties were exasperated and disgusted with it. For some time the fall of the Government was considered inevitable; nobody saw any prospect of their getting a majority, and it was thought that many people would be so shocked and offended at his speech that they would vote against him, for no other reason than to mark their opinion of it. The dissatisfaction was universal; however, he got a majority of twenty-two, and the storm blew over. Many who had not voted at all on Friday came and voted with him now; some went away, and the Leaguers remained firm and voted with Government again. But it was their doing so that saved him, and a capital speech of Stanley's is supposed to have done a great deal of good; but Peel's own moderate friends severely blamed both his conduct and language—men, for example, like Sandon and Francis Egerton—and the multitude were still more bitter and angry than before. It is generally admitted that the Government has been excessively weakened by this transaction, and that it will be very difficult for them to go on at all when such mutual feelings of estrangement and aversion are entertained by the leader of the party. Peel's personal reputation has suffered severely. He is thought to have been injudicious and unjust, and to have been influenced by personal motives and a morbid sensitiveness unworthy of a great man and of one who took on himself 248 to govern the country. Those who admit that he has received great provocation, and that his party have been insulting in their tone and lukewarm or hostile in their conduct, still maintain that his party have equal reason to complain of him. They complain that he is unsocial and reserved, that he never consults their wishes and opinions, and that their feelings towards him are in a great measure attributable to himself. There are, no doubt, grave faults on both sides, and it is not improbable that fresh subjects of disagreement will occur, and that some fresh crisis will bring his Government to an end. On the other hand, there is so much reluctance to see any change, and such a dread of a general election, that it is just possible this breeze may have alarmed the Tory malcontents, and that the necessity for a better understanding may tend to produce it. Peel is at the head of a weak, discontented party, and both Lords and Commons are animated towards him with an unfriendly spirit, and merely look upon him as a necessary evil. One striking circumstance is his forgetfulness of the Queen's condition, so near her confinement, and his not shrinking from exposing her to the difficulty and embarrassment into which his resignation must have thrown her. This indicates a predominance of selfish feeling, and a want of gallantry. He ought to have made every personal sacrifice, not absolutely incompatible with his public duty, rather than do anything to annoy her at such a moment, and nobody accepts the excuse he makes as a sufficient apology for the course which he adopted.

June 22nd.—Peel found an opportunity of making a sort of apology to his party in the House of Commons two nights ago. Tom Duncombe attacked him and them in one of his buffoon speeches, and Peel took advantage of it especially to disclaim the arrogant pretension of insisting on his party adopting every measure he thought fit to propose. The ground on which he took the decided part he did last week was the coalition between his people and the Opposition. He said he should not have minded the adverse vote; this might have been got over; but it was the agreement by which 249 it had been brought about which so deeply offended him. This, together with the personal conduct and language of many, indicated such a want of confidence in him, and proved to him that he was in such danger, and must be thrown into such difficulty, by the possibility of future coalitions of a similar kind, that he was resolved not to put up with it. It is now made up; but nothing can repair the mischief that has been done; nothing can restore that mutual confidence and goodwill which are so necessary between a Government (especially the leader) and the party which supports them; nothing can recover for Peel the estimation which he has forfeited. The dislike of many of his supporters to him will not be less, their distrust will be greater, and he has now lost their respect in great measure. His conduct has not been that of a great man, nor even that of a prudent and judicious man.


July 5th.—Since I last wrote the political atmosphere has been getting clearer, and Peel and his party seem to have made it up pretty well. It is likely enough that he will take more pains to keep them in good-humour, and that they will be afraid of provoking him again. However, this affair had hardly subsided before another storm was raised about opening letters at the Post Office. Tom Duncombe, indefatigable for mischief, and the grand jobman of miscellaneous grievances, brought forward the case of M. Mazzini, whose letters had been opened by Sir James Graham's warrant. This matter, in itself most ridiculous, inasmuch as Graham had done no more than what every other Secretary of State did before him, soon acquired a great and undue importance. The press took it up; the Whig press as a good ground of attack on the Government, and especially Graham; and the 'Times,' merely from personal hatred of Graham, whom they are resolved to write down if they can on account of his honest support of the Poor Law. No man ever distinguished himself more than Graham has done during this session, and none ever was so fiercely and unscrupulously assailed and bitterly vilified on all sides. The question was brought before the House of 250 Commons, and bruited abroad in such a manner, and with such comments, that it lit up a flame throughout the country. Every foolish person who spoils paper and pens fancied his nonsense was read at the Home Office. The Opposition took it up, and supported Duncombe. Graham did not deal with the matter very judiciously. He might have said more or less than he did; he might have said something more for the necessary irresponsibility of the power, and something less as to the manner in which it had actually been exercised. But whatever he said, it was very wrong and very unfair of John Russell not to make common cause with him, not to vindicate the law and its exercise, and to say manfully at once that he had done the same thing when he was in office; instead of this, he both spoke and voted against Graham, and I am positively assured that no Secretary of State ever was less scrupulous in the exercise of this power than himself. Palmerston was more prudent, for he said nothing at all on the subject. It seems Lord Lichfield left all the warrants which he had received in the office, and they can be produced. When Graham found himself thus attacked and reviled, he resolved to cast off all the official reserve in which he had at first wrapped the question, and to vindicate himself by showing that he had merely followed the example of his predecessors; and I conclude he found that he should lose nothing by a comparison of his proceedings with theirs, so he moved for a Secret Committee, who are to take evidence and make a report. He has composed it of five Whigs and four Tories, excluding all who are or have been in office, and Tom Duncombe the accuser. This concession by no means disarmed his opponents, and the 'Times' particularly has continued to attack him with the utmost virulence, but so coarsely and unfairly as quite to overshoot the mark.


On Monday and Tuesday last I was in the Court of Exchequer, to hear our great cause of 'Orlando' and 'Running Rein,'81 which ended very triumphantly by their 251 withdrawing the record early on the second morning. Our case was admirably got up, owing in great measure to the indefatigable activity and the intelligence and penetration of George Bentinck, who played the part both of attorney and policeman in hunting out and getting up the evidence. The opposite party had no idea we had got up our case so perfectly; but the trial was over before we had half developed it in evidence. The whole circumstances from the beginning to the end are very curious, and it has been equally interesting and amusing to all concerned in it. We have all worked hard in different ways, palmam qui meruit ferat; and though there is a feud between George Bentinck and myself, and we do not speak to each other, I must acknowledge all his great services on this occasion. The counsel on the other side, Cockburn, made a very violent attack on him in his speech, and accused him of being party, attorney, policeman; that he had tampered with the witnesses, clothed, fed, and paid them. This he was specifically instructed to say, and a great deal of it was true; but I think he said more than he need or ought to have done, though the Judge (Alderson) said he had only done his duty. On this occasion George Bentinck did no more than he was justified in doing, and he certainly did not tamper with any witnesses, or employ any unfair means to procure testimony. He wrote on the evening of the first day a letter of indignant but courteous remonstrance to Cockburn, to which he alluded in Court on the second. The object of it was to entreat him to put him in the box, and give him an opportunity of vindicating himself and telling all he had done in the matter. Some explanatory civilities were bandied about between George Bentinck, Cockburn, and the Judge, and it ended amicably.

Brougham has withdrawn the obnoxious clauses of his Privy Council Bill, making at the same time an asseveration that the judicial appointment in it was never intended for himself; and he appealed to his 'noble friends,' who nodded 252 or remained silent, three of whom at least (the Duke, the Chancellor, and Wharncliffe) knew the contrary, but they think it worth while to humour him, and to allow him to play his antics in the House of Lords ad libitum. The Duke of Wellington has lent himself to the sort of tacit compact which exists between him and the Government, to a degree I never thought he could have done; but he does not seem to hold the House of Lords in hand in the way he used to do.

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


During the recess, however, the dispute which had some time before begun between us and France took a threatening aspect, and for some time it was a toss-up whether we went to war or not. Peel had announced to the House of Commons in very lofty language that Government would exact an ample reparation for the outrage perpetrated on Pritchard at Tahiti, while Guizot evinced no disposition to make any. A long series of semi-diplomatic negotiations ensued. Aberdeen very prudently did not demand anything specific, but laid the case before the French Government, 253 expressing his conviction that they would do everything that justice and propriety demanded. The press in both countries blew the coals with all their might and main, and for a long time Guizot refused to make any such amende as we could possibly take. What we wanted (not demanded) was that some act should be done to mark the sense of the French Government of what was due to us,—the recall of D'Aubigny or of Bruat, or of both; but Guizot said, 'Je ne rappellerai personne,' and all he offered was to express 'regrets et improbation.' This, which was a mere scintilla of apology, we could not accept as a sufficient reparation for so gross an outrage, and at one moment up to the day, Tuesday last, when the Council was held for the prorogation, it looked very bad. That day Aberdeen told me he thought Guizot's Ministry was on its last legs, that he did not despair of an amicable settlement, but that he thought Guizot must fall, and he looked for an arrangement being made by Molé or Thiers, whichever of them might succeed him. But when matters appeared nearly desperate, a suggestion was thrown out (I believe by Jarnac),82 but in conversation between Jarnac and Aberdeen, and therefore either made by him or accepted by him, that, besides the verbal apology, a compensation in money should be made to Pritchard. On Wednesday the Cabinet met to decide whether they should accept the final offers of France to the above effect or refuse them; and the result was that they agreed to accept them. They were very anxious to be able to announce the pacification in the Queen's Speech, and they felt that it would be preposterous and absurd to go to war for so small a matter, and when the principle of making an apology was on the other side admitted, to haggle about the words of it; and therefore, though it was slender, they thought it better to take it. It is, I think, not impossible that the decision of 254 this Cabinet was in some degree quickened by the reversal of O'Connell's judgement, which took place the same morning, much to their disgust.83 I think they were right, especially as we have certainly done enough to make the French Government see that we do not intend to submit to any more impertinence on their part. Our case, too, was one of much complexity and difficulty, for Pritchard had been turbulent and mischievous, and had, with the sectarian zeal of a missionary, given all the trouble and embarrassment he could to the French; they, therefore, had a case against him, though the French officers were by no means justified in the violence they exercised. I called one day at Apsley House, saw the Duke, and found him in a talkative humour on this affair. He has been for some time urging the Government to make themselves stronger; and very much in consequence of his advice, measures had been in rapid progress for equipping ships and preparing a formidable force at sea. The Duke said that the disposition of the French was to insult us whenever and wherever they thought they could do so with impunity, and that the only way to keep at peace with them was to be stronger in every quarter of the globe than they were; that he had told Lord Melbourne so when he was in office, and that this was his opinion now. Wherever they had ships we ought to have a naval force superior to theirs; and we might rely on it, that as long as that was the case we should find them perfectly civil and peaceable; and wherever it was not the case, we should find them insolent and troublesome.

The judgement on O'Connell's case came on the world like a clap of thunder; though Ministers were aware of it, for Lyndhurst told them it would be so. Wharncliffe had the greatest difficulty in preventing the Tory Peers from voting; Redesdale and Stradbroke were especially anxious, 255 and the former in the highest possible dudgeon. If they had voted it would have been most injurious to the House of Lords, and Government must have immediately let O'Connell out of prison.


The Grange, September 14th.—O'Connell, as soon as he got out of prison, made a long speech, full of sound and fury, threatening and abusing everybody, but evidently desirous of finding plausible pretences for suspending all active movements, and for abstaining from doing anything that may bring him again into collision with the law or the Government. The high Tories and their press are exceedingly indignant with Wharncliffe for having interposed to prevent the lay Lords voting and overruling the law Lords; and much to my surprise I found Lord Ashburton rather leaning to that opinion, and talking a great deal of nonsense on the subject; but it is still more curious that this notion of his has been either produced or confirmed by a letter from 'that indescribable wretch Brougham,' as O'Connell calls him. In the House of Lords he backed up Wharncliffe, as it seemed, with great propriety and good sense, and now he writes to Lord Ashburton that for the first time in his life he lost his presence of mind, and takes blame to himself for not having opposed Wharncliffe, indeed for having supported him. If he had opposed him, unless the Chancellor had had the good sense and prudence to desire these Lords not to vote, they infallibly would have voted; indeed, I do not know if Brougham had urged them on, if they would not have done so even if the Chancellor had dissuaded them; and if they had, what a clamour would have been raised in Ireland, and what disgrace would have fallen on the House of Lords! This has certainly been a most unfortunate business from the beginning to the end, between the blunders and the accidents, the various untoward circumstances in the course of the trial, the unavoidable fact of a wholly Protestant jury, the undoubted partiality of the Chief Justice; then the division of opinion among the Judges, and the political character which the judgement itself displays, all ending with the triumph of 256 the criminals and the mortification of the Government. But, in spite of all this, the great end of arresting agitation was accomplished; and in all probability, notwithstanding his escape, O'Connell has had a lesson sufficiently severe to deter him from renewing the system of monster meetings. It is pretty evident that he does not know what to do next, and the Government is much in the same predicament; nor am I sure that what has occurred will not prove favourable for an attempt at conciliation and a reasonable settlement. He has seen the danger of agitation, and they have seen the difficulty of coping with it; nor are there wanting some indications of a disposition on his part to pause, and conditionally to give up Repeal. He makes advances for a reconciliation with the Whigs, who, he knows, are opposed firmly to Repeal, and he talks of going round England to make an appeal to the people, and if this fails, then to work Repeal all the more strenuously. However, everybody goes on lamenting the state of things, and saying they don't see what is to be done.

The last day of the session a writ was moved for Stanley, who is going to the House of Peers; they found they could not go on there any longer, and Stanley would stay no longer in the House of Commons. He had taken a disgust to it, and fancied his health was breaking down, and he gave notice that he would rather resign than remain there. Brougham was disgusted at Stanley's translation. Graham told me this about Stanley, and said what a weight it cast on himself and Peel, and what a loss he was to them there. Ripon is done up; the Duke of Wellington is grown so much deafer lately that he can no longer lead the House; Wharncliffe does but moderately; the Chancellor does nothing at all; and Aberdeen confines himself to his own business. The Government was therefore left in the degrading position of being constantly nursed and dandled by Brougham, who sat on the Woolsack and volunteered to speak for them on all occasions. This position of his, which was sufficiently anomalous, placed them in one which they now feel to be very humiliating and ridiculous, and it is to cure this evil 257 that Stanley has been translated to the other House. He said to me it was high time somebody should go there, and when he was there he should make the Chancellor take a more active part. Brougham will be highly disgusted at his advent because his own occupation will be gone. Stanley will fight the Government battles himself, and not suffer Brougham to take the Ministerial bench under his dangerous and discreditable protection.




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


London, January 12th, 1845.—More than four months have elapsed since I wrote anything in this book, and I have not much hope either of finding materials or having sufficient application to make it interesting or amusing. When people kept diaries in former times, there were no such newspapers as the 'Times' with its volume of letterpress, and dozens of Sunday papers all collecting and retailing the public events and the private anecdotes of the day, and the memoranda of very inconsiderable persons consequently became interesting and amusing; but now it requires that a writer should either have access to stores of hidden information, or live in intimacy with remarkable people and become the chronicler of their words, thoughts, and actions, or that he should have a 259 strong original genius of his own, and to none of these can I lay any considerable claim. I say considerable (I have none at all to the last), because, though I know very few State secrets, I do every now and then acquire the knowledge of curious and interesting facts; and I live more or less with conspicuous people, both literary and political, though much more, I am sorry to say, with the common herd. Certainly, however, the principal reason which has prevented my writing in this Journal has been the absorbing occupation of writing my book upon Ireland; and though the one need not have prevented the other, somehow it did, and whenever I was disposed to write, I always went to my manuscript and not to my red book. Having done that, I now turn to my Journal again, and am especially tempted to do so because I have something to say about my book. I will travel backwards up to the time when I last left off, as far as my memory serves me. But first of my book.84 The first idea of writing it laid hold of me after Lord John Russell's motion in February last, and I then began very slowly, and reading much more than I wrote, because I was obliged to plunge into books on Ireland, and grope my way through Irish history. When I had finished the first part, which brought down the history of Ireland to the Rebellion or near it, I showed what I had written to Clarendon, and he gave me so much encouragement that I resolved to go on with it, which I had by no means determined on before. I went on but slowly, and often interrupted by racing and other occupations, and 260 by October I had finished the historical part and most of the statistical, or, indeed, I believe, all of it. It was then that I showed what I had written to George Lewis, who read and approved of it, and gave me a great many suggestions, of which I made use afterwards. His criticisms were very serviceable to me, and he wrote not less than a hundred pages of Irish matter which I made use of in the argumentative part of my composition. It is not above three weeks or a month ago that I finished the whole, and the last person who read it all in manuscript was Sheil, who also gave me encouragement and many useful hints. Besides these, the Duke of Bedford saw a part, Lady Georgiana Fullerton the whole, Normanby some, Dundas a very little at Ampthill, and Charles Buller some more proofs at the Grange. All these people expressed approbation and gave me encouragement. Reeve read the manuscript and helped me in correcting the press. He also approved, but in some respects criticised and disagreed. Henry Taylor saw part of it, but I don't think he did approve of anything but the style, which he liked. So much for friendly critics and previous inspection.


January 15th.—About six weeks ago I told Lord Wharncliffe what I was about, who made no observation and suggested no objection of any sort or kind, and I told him partly for the purpose of giving him an opportunity of suggesting objections, if any occurred to him. Frequently the subject was alluded to at his house, but nothing particular was ever said. Some three weeks ago I told Graham. He laughed, and begged to have a copy when it came out. I went on with the work, and sent it to the press; and meanwhile, making no secret of it, everybody became aware that such a book was forthcoming, and it began to excite a good deal of interest and curiosity. On Saturday last Lord Wharncliffe wrote a note to Reeve from the Cabinet 'immediate,' desiring he would not leave the office till he saw him. On his return he began to talk about my book and of the objections there might be to its publication. Reeve said he had much better speak to me himself, and accordingly 261 he came into my room and began, 'I want to talk to you about your book. Do you think it is prudent in you to publish such a book?' I said I did not know why not. He did not, he said, know the exact nature of it, but supposed it was a pamphlet, and, as he gathered from my conversation, that the object of it was to recommend measures far beyond anything they could do. The Government were desirous of doing all the good they could, but that a book published by a person in my situation, connected as I was with the Government and in a position so conspicuous, might expose them to much misapprehension as to their intentions and greatly embarrass them. A great deal more conversation followed, in which he endeavoured to convince me of the reasonableness of giving up publishing my book, and I endeavoured to convince him that it could not do the Government any harm, and that I had a right to publish it. It ended by his begging me to reconsider the matter, which I engaged to do. I must add that there was no intimation of any threat, or of a positive prohibition. On Sunday I went and consulted Clarendon and George Lewis, and after our conference I wrote a long letter to Wharncliffe, which was intended for his colleagues as well as himself, explaining the nature of the work and the circumstances in which I was placed, and urging the reasons which I thought ought to reconcile the Government to the publication the consequences of which they appeared to apprehend. We went to Windsor on Monday for a Council, but on Monday evening I sent him this letter. He had, however, in the meantime come into my room and asked me if I had considered what he said. I replied that I would not then discuss it, as I had written him a letter; but after he had read it, and made what use he pleased of it, I would discuss it with him.

Yesterday, however, George Lewis went to Graham, and had a conversation with him about the publication, which he communicated to me last night, and which immediately determined me to abandon all idea of publishing it at all. From a conversation which Lord Wharncliffe had with Reeve in the morning, I gathered that the Government would be 262 satisfied if I would delay the publication for a short time, till Easter perhaps; and I had entirely made up my mind to do this, and really flattered myself that such a compromise would settle the question. But the tenor of Graham's language has convinced me that neither now, nor at Easter, nor at any other time, can I with anything like safety or future peace of mind venture on this publication, and that no course is left me but to suppress it. Whether Graham had seen my letter to Wharncliffe I do not know, but Lewis found him very serious on the subject. He repeated all the objections and apprehensions that had been already urged, dwelt much on my position, and ended with this very ominous and intelligible hint, that there were persons who would be deeply offended by (or would resent, I forget which expression) any comments on their conduct either present or past. He had heard, too, that a leading Member of the Opposition in the House of Commons who had read this book said it was very violent. All this and more, Lewis told me (Graham having authorised him to do so), and the moment I heard it my mind was made up. It is certainly mortifying after so much time and labour have been expended upon a work, which my friends tell me would be creditable to me and amusing or interesting to the world, to consign my book to oblivion; but the wisest thing to do is not to dwell on the disagreeable side of the question, but to look out for some topic of consolation, and there is a shape in which this presents itself to my mind. The persons (in the plural) of whom Graham spoke may be one or more, but of one I feel as sure as if I had heard what passed in the Cabinet, and that one is Peel. Of this I have no doubt, for who else can care for his past conduct being canvassed? If I am now vexed by this little mortification and disappointment, I must consider that it is entirely my own fault, and that if I had reflected on the exigencies of my position I should have employed my time more profitably, and not have exposed myself to this annoyance. However, it has been an interest to me for many months past; it has not unpleasantly occupied my mind; and the habit of writing 263 may perhaps lead me to do something more in the same way.85


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

January 18th.—The more I reflect on the affair of this book, the more satisfied I am with having suppressed it, and only dissatisfied with having spent so much time and trouble on the abortive production. I have written a note to Miss Berry, whom I had told that it was coming out, to account for its not appearing, and I have done this that no doubt 264 may exist as to the reason I have given for its non-appearance.

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

I went there from Broadlands, where I left the Viscount full of vigour and hilarity, and overflowing with diplomatic swagger. He said we might hold any language we pleased to France and America, and insist on what we thought necessary, without any apprehension that either of them would go to war, as both knew how vulnerable they were, France with her colonies and America with her slaves, a doctrine to which Lord Ashburton by no means subscribes. Before these places I was at Woburn and at Ampthill. At Woburn the Duke of Bedford told me a good deal about his communications with Prince Albert, who seems to talk to him very openly. One day he took him in his carriage to shoot at Bagshot, when he spoke about Ireland, of the long course of misgovernment, and the necessity of doing something, in such a strain that the Duke was convinced Peel has some serious intentions, or the Prince would not have said what he did; and we agreed that when my book came out he should advise the Prince to read it. He told me that 265 Prince Albert complained of the manner in which the proceedings and motions of the Court were publicly known and discussed, and how hard it was; that on the Continent the Government knew by its secret agents what the people were about, but here they knew nothing about other people's affairs, and everybody knew about theirs; that whatever they did, or were about to do, was known. The Duke told him he wondered he had not discovered that everything was and must be known here about them, and that it was the tax they paid for their situation; that the world was curious to know and hear about them, and therefore the press would always procure and give the information, and the only reason why more was known about them than about anybody else, was because there was not the same interest about others, and that, as it was, all conspicuous people were brought into public notice in the same manner. He owned this was true, and seemed struck by it. It is the misfortune of princes never to hear the language of truth and sense. They have men about them whose business it is to bow and smile and agree, and they hardly have any one with independence and force of mind enough to tell them what it would be good that they should hear, and what they would attend to.


At Ampthill I met Dundas, Baron Rolfe,87 and Empson. Nobody is so agreeable as Rolfe: a clear head, vivacity, information, an extraordinary pleasantness of manner without being either soft or affected, extreme good-humour, cheerfulness, and tact make his society on the whole as attractive as that of anybody I ever met. The conversation and the anecdotes of these lawyers would be well worth recording, but it is too late now. One hears in this way things which go to prove how many false notions take root in public opinion, and acquire all the solidity of undisputed facts. One, for example, which struck me was the concurrent opinion of Parke and Rolfe (both, it may be presumed, competent judges) of Eldon's value as a great lawyer and Chancellor. They rate it astonishingly low, and think 266 that he did nothing for the law and for the establishment of great legal principles, which surprised me.

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

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

The debates on the address in the French Chamber have ended after great alarm well for Guizot, who is safe for the 267 present. The most curious incident in French politics is the flirtation struck up between Thiers and Palmerston, which is matter of notoriety and amusement in Paris. It was brought about by the intermediation of Easthope, and some civil letters passed between the quondam rival statesmen; at least Palmerston wrote something to Thiers at which his friend Victor Cousin said he was extremely gratified.88


January 30th.—Yesterday Lord Wharncliffe told me he had a secret to tell me. This was Gladstone's resignation, which has been in agitation nearly a year, ever since Peel gave notice that he would do a great deal more for Irish education and improve Maynooth. Nor does Gladstone really object to these measures; but he thinks that he has so deeply and publicly committed himself by his books to the opposite principle that he cannot without a great appearance of inconsistency be a party to them.89 His resignation, just after Stanley's removal to the House of Lords, is a serious loss to the Government, and they have endeavoured to repair it by means which appear very inadequate. Sidney Herbert and Lord Lincoln come into the Cabinet, and Dalhousie becomes President of the Board of Trade, not in the Cabinet. They proposed to Sandon to be President of the Board; but he declined, I suppose not thinking it worth while to vacate his seat at Lord Harrowby's age. Sidney Herbert is a smart young fellow, but I remember no instance of two men who had distinguished themselves so little in Parliament being made Cabinet Ministers.90 Herbert has 268 done very neatly the little he has done; Lincoln is a sensible man enough, but rather priggish and solemn, with very little elasticity in him, and it appears a great absurdity that the Commissioner of Woods should be in the Cabinet and the President of the Board of Trade not, especially when there are no reasons of personal distinction to account for such an incongruity. But they mean to get Knatchbull out as soon as they can, and then to bring in Dalhousie; meanwhile no Government ever was weaker in point of speakers in the House of Commons, nor was there ever a Cabinet in my recollection so staffed with mediocrity. They have lost Stanley, Gladstone, and Follett, and the whole weight will fall on Peel and Graham. It remains to be seen what Sidney Herbert and Cardwell can do. In the Cabinet there are fifteen men (much too numerous), of whom four able, Peel, Graham, Stanley, and the Chancellor. The Duke must be considered as a man by himself, always great, clarum et venerabile nomen; and then comes a mass of mediocrity and rubbish—some men fair, sensible, and competent for the routine of business, not brilliant, but respectable; and some very ordinary, and admitted Heaven knows why into the Cabinet.91 Buccleuch, Knatchbull, and Lincoln92 are more 269 than useless; Wharncliffe, Aberdeen, Haddington, and Goulburn respectable, the latter a very good man of business; Granville Somerset, hard-headed, narrow-minded, and better adapted to the second rank than the first; Ripon always inefficient when wanted. The reason assigned for putting Lincoln in the Cabinet was that they could not put in Sidney Herbert without putting him in also, which seems a very bad one.


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

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

February 4th.—I attended yesterday the Council for the Queen's Speech; the new Cabinet Ministers were there, Sidney Herbert and Lincoln. There is general disapprobation of the arrangements, the Ministers wondering how the information of Gladstone's resignation reached the 'Times' and became known,93 and all suspecting and accusing each other. It appears, however, that Gladstone wrote word of 270 it to his brother-in-law, who read his letter out to sixteen people, and that is enough to explain it.

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

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

February 6th.—On Tuesday night, for the first time for some years, I went to the House of Commons, principally to hear Gladstone's explanation. John Russell called on me in the morning and told me that he and Palmerston had talked over French politics, and were both of one mind, and both disposed to say nothing offensive or hostile to France or to 271 Guizot. Lord John spoke, but not at all well, in a bad spirit, taunting and raking up all subjects of bitterness, accusing the Government of inconsistency, without much reason, and not very wisely or fairly, and casting in their teeth expressions which he had culled out of old files of the 'Times.' His speech disappointed me, but it afforded Peel an opportunity of which he availed himself remarkably well, and his retort gave him all the advantage of the night. What he said of France was perfect, excellent in tone and manner, all that Guizot could require, without being at all servile or even accommodating. Gladstone's explanation was ludicrous. Everybody said that he had only succeeded in showing that his resignation was quite uncalled for.


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

Hatchford, February 25th.—Here I am come to recruit my strength after being confined for a fortnight with gout and 272 fever, more than usually severe. While I was laid up, the Parliamentary campaign proceeded very briskly: first, with Peel's financial statement in a very able speech, more than three hours long, which was much admired for its clearness and force. His financial reforms are considered very bold and skilful, but the Tories hail them with anything but satisfaction, though they are too crestfallen to resist, or even to murmur, except an odd agriculturist here and there. Everybody regards this measure as a great wedge thrust in, and as the forerunner of still more extensive changes, and above all that the income tax is to be permanent. After this came Tom Duncombe94 and his attack on the Post Office, three nights' debate, some clever speeches, a very good one from Sidney Herbert, which was a capital thing for the Government, and very promising for his future success. The whole Opposition rallied round an amendment of Howick's, and fought a pitched battle on the question of a fresh Committee to enquire into the supposed opening of Tommy's letters in 1842. My Whig friends behaved as ill as they could, and all out of spite to Graham, and because they could not resist seizing the opportunity of flinging dirt upon the Government.


All this they did, well knowing, and not pretending to deny, that Graham had done nothing but what every other Secretary of State without exception had done, and though the Committee had fully absolved him of any blame in the execution of his office; still they endeavoured to pick holes, and by dint of insinuations and imputations, and torturing any circumstance they could find into something like a charge, to excite prejudice and raise or prolong clamour. The Whig members of the Post Office Committee bore their testimony fairly, and Ward, the Radical member for Sheffield, had the honesty and candour to denounce the scandalous set that was made at Graham, and to speak out 273 in the language of truth and justice. Both John Russell and Howick behaved very shabbily, but Palmerston took no part in the debate. I don't think the question was fully argued on the Government side, and the most simple and obvious answer given and pressed with all the force it might have been.

Yesterday we heard of the death of Sydney Smith, which took place on Sunday. His case had for some time been hopeless, and it was merely a question how long he could be kept alive by the remedies applied to stop the water on his chest. It is the extinction of a great luminary, such as we shall hardly see the like of again, and who has reigned without a rival in wit and humour for a great length of time. It is almost impossible to overrate his wit, humour, and drollery, or their effect in society. Innumerable comical sayings and jokes of his are or have been current, but their repetition gives but an imperfect idea of the flavour and zest of the original. His appearance, voice, and manner added immensely to the effect, and the bursting and uproarious merriment with which he poured forth his good things, never failed to communicate itself to his audience, who were always in fits of laughter. If there was a fault in it, it was that it was too amusing. People so entirely expected to be made to die of laughing, and he was so aware of this, that there never seemed to be any question of conversation when he was of the party, or at least no more than just to afford Sydney pegs to hang his jokes on. This is the misfortune of all great professed wits, and I have very little doubt that Sydney often felt oppressed with the weight of his comical obligations, and came on the stage like a great actor, forced to exert himself, but not always in the vein to play his part. It is well known that he was subject at home to frequent fits of depression, but I believe in his own house in the country he could often be a very agreeable companion, on a lower and less ambitious level, for his talk never could be otherwise than seasoned with his rich vein of humour and wit, as the current, though it did not always flow with the same force, was never dry. He was full of varied information, 274 and a liberal, kind-hearted, charitable man. The favourite objects of his jokes were the men of his own cloth, especially the bishops, among whom he once probably aspired to sit. I do not suppose he had any dogmatic and doctrinal opinions in respect to religion, and that in his heart of hearts he despised and derided all that the world wrangles and squabbles about; but he had the true religion of benevolence and charity, of peace and goodwill to mankind, which, let us hope (as I firmly believe) to be all-sufficient, be the truth of the great mystery what it may.

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

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


The day before yesterday Miss Fox died, a most amiable 275 woman, with excellent abilities; but she really died six months ago, when she was attacked by paralysis at Bowood. Thus are dropping off the yellow leaves of that great tree which adorned Holland House, and so long afforded shelter to the crowd of all that was eminent and attractive in political, literary, and social life which gathered under its branches. What an interesting biography would the life of Holland House be for half a century; but hardly anybody is now left alive who could write it; and Macaulay, whose genius is alone capable of illustrating the subject, came too late into the circle to have sufficient personal knowledge of those who shone at the earliest part of the period.

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

March 30th.—The effect which my book has produced is now beginning to appear, and, as far as it has gone, it amounts to this. With the Whigs of all descriptions its success is complete; I receive compliments and felicitations on all sides; I could not have desired, and certainly I did 276 not expect, such complete success; so far from it, that all the time I was writing it I was doubting if it ever would be worth publishing. With the Tories, as far as I can ascertain, it is far different; they are to the last degree angry and indignant; and as these little details and records of personal opinions become curious and interesting by the lapse of time and the change of circumstances and opinions, I will note down what I hear. Then moderate men, not belonging to any party, and men of sense and capacity have approved, which is, of course, very satisfactory to me; in this category Stephen, his brother-in-law Mr. Dicey, Senior (though he is a Whig), George Lewis, Amyot. Lord Clare, a Conservative and Irishman, has written me a letter, in which he thanks me for the good he thinks the book will do. Alvanley, on the other hand, has written me a criticism full of disapprobation, but not a good or clever letter, nor, critically, worth anything. I should have expected a better written letter, and objections more acutely raised and more ably put from him, but he only affords a proof that men who may be brimful of drollery, and able to keep the table in a roar from morning to night, may be utterly unfit to handle serious subjects when their reasoning faculties bear no proportion to their imaginative. I had expected greater concurrence of opinion in Alvanley, who a little while ago wrote a pamphlet on the same subject and with the same object. When he takes the objection that he does, it is no wonder that the foolish Tory mob fall on me tooth and nail. Accordingly I heard yesterday that Lady Jersey refused to read 'such a blackguard book.' She said so to Bessborough, who told me, and Cecil Forester would not read it, because Lady Jersey told him it was 'abominable.'


April 5th.—Peel brought on his Maynooth Bill on Thursday night.95 Strong symptoms had already appeared of opposition brewing in different parts of the country, and there was a good deal of ill-humour here. He made an excellent 277 and judicious speech, and had a majority of 102, but a queer one, for above 100 of his own people voted against him, and above 100 of the Whigs with him. Without them the division would have been nearly even. The Carlton Club was in a state of insurrection afterwards and full of sound and fury. Sandon made a strong bold speech; with him in the minority were Inglis, and the zealots, of course—Hastie and some of the Scotch, Tom Duncombe, Disraeli—a motley combination. It is a very odd state of things, and may be productive of great events before long. The disgust of the Conservatives and their hatred of Peel keep swelling every day, and what the Ministers expect is, that on some occasion or other they will play Peel a trick, stay away, and leave him to be beaten on some trumpery question. Indeed it is not impossible that they may become reckless, and grow to think that it does not signify to them whether he is in power or the Whigs, and that they have as much to fear from the one as from the other. Some people in office did not vote on this occasion—for instance, Granby and Meynell.96

April 6th.—Everybody is talking of the great stir that is making in the country against the Maynooth grant and the large increase to Peel's unpopularity which it has produced. Some even fancy that he will have difficulty in carrying the measure through, but I incline to think the difficulty indoors and the excitement without are both overrated, and certainly will not be enough to arrest the progress of the measure; but that it disgusts the Tory party and creates fresh sources of dislike and disunion between the great body of the Conservatives and the Government is indubitable, and Peel and his colleagues are so well aware of this, that they think something must, before long, occur to break up the Government. Wharncliffe told me Peel was quite sensible of this danger, and that he himself had for above a year been likewise sensible of it, and he showed me a paper which he drew up last year on the situation and prospects of the 278 Government, which is very sensible and very true. It was to the effect that they could not possibly go on much longer, as they clearly had not the confidence of the mass of those who were called their supporters; that they were placed in a false position, and that their measures appeared to be more suitable to the principles of their opponents than to those of their own party; that in all the great questions—agricultural, fiscal, educational, and Irish—this was evidently the case, and that on all of them the Tories or Conservatives were years behind their leaders. The truth is that the Government is Peel, that Peel is a reformer and more of a Whig than a Tory, and that the mass of his followers are prejudiced, ignorant, obstinate, and selfish. In his speech the other night he certainly said nothing calculated to coax or soothe his angry people, and still less did he utter a word about finality, or give out that this was to be the limit of concession; and everybody is now beginning to see that this beginning of endowment must lead to still larger measures, and eventually to the complete establishment of the Roman Catholic Church; in short (as I hope and believe) to the measures which my book contemplates and recommends.

A meeting has just taken place at Paris between Guizot and Thiers, of a very amicable nature. It was Thiers who sought it. He called on Madame de Lieven (whom he had latterly left off visiting) before the time he knew Guizot always came, and then said, 'I suppose I had better go away now.' She said, 'Oh no, why should you?' So he stayed. Guizot arrived, and the conversation very appropriately began about Thiers's History, which Guizot praised very highly; and then they got upon politics, and had a conversation of two hours. Thiers said his book would occupy him for a year or more, and he did not want to come into office, besides he was ten years younger than Guizot, and could afford to wait. He ridiculed the idea of Molé, who, it seems, is gone into the country, having retired from the field. This is a very curious scene between these two rival chiefs, and, at all events, will probably serve to keep Guizot on his legs for some time longer. Lady Clanricarde told me yesterday that 279 there was no premeditation in this interview, and that Thiers came at an hour when he thought Guizot would not be there. There was surprise and embarrassment at first, then Madame de Lieven laughed, so did the rival statesmen, and they got soon into talk on politics. Guizot told Thiers, in clever phraseology, that he (Thiers) had thrown Molé between his (Guizot's) legs, but that he, Guizot, had done Thiers better service, for he had disembarrassed him of Molé, and now nobody but Thiers himself could succeed him (Guizot).


April 22nd.—I was at Newmarket all last week, while the Maynooth debate was going on. The steam had been getting up in the country, and the table of the House of Commons was loaded with petitions against the Bill from all parts. The 'Times' newspaper kept pegging away at Peel in a series of articles as mischievous as malignity could make them, and by far the most disgraceful that ever appeared on a political subject in any public journal; the ultra-Tories grew more and more rabid, and Disraeli made one of his bitterest attacks on Peel, which was loudly cheered in the House, and well bepraised out of it by Whig and Tory papers and all the haters of Peel, who now compose a large majority of the world. Then came the speech of Macaulay, which was very fine, and ended also with a severe, but grave and dignified philippic against Peel. This too was hailed with much satisfaction by the same persons, but it was reprobated and deplored by moderate men, who thought this was not the time nor the occasion for throwing stones at Peel, nor for reproaching him, even though the reproaches might be justifiable and true. Such was the opinion of Lord Spencer and of the Duke of Bedford, with the former of whom I had much conversation last week at Newmarket. He highly disapproved of Macaulay's speech. On the last night John Russell and Peel spoke. The former made a speech which has excited universal admiration and applause. It was perfect, not for its eloquence or any remarkable display of ability, but for its tone, temper, discretion, and propriety. It was exactly what it ought to have been, neither more nor less; it was calculated to do good, and it has raised him 280 immensely in public estimation. Peel's speech, which was looked for with great curiosity and expectation, disappointed most people, and by the generality was considered low in tone, and imprudent in its admissions. But there was much in it that was judicious. He declined noticing any of the attacks on himself, and with much gravity and seriousness urged the necessity of passing the measure; but he alluded to America as if a quarrel was really to be apprehended, and he spoke of the disposition of Ireland, in reference to such a contingency in a tone which everybody said was a recognition of the truth of what O'Connell had so recently said in his very clever and ingenious speech at Dublin. Peel's speech too was considered as clearly indicative of a consciousness that his party was broken up, and the termination of his tenure of office approaching. The division gave him a better majority than was expected (147). I came to town on Friday, and on Saturday morning I saw Wharncliffe, and asked him what he thought of it. He said it was a large majority, and so far well, but that it made no difference in their position, and he did not think they should be in office a month hence. There is in fact all the excitement and expectation which usually precede events and changes, and certainly the state of affairs never was more curious and extraordinary than at present, nor more calculated to baffle and perplex all speculation and conjecture. Everybody knows that the Tory party has ceased to exist as a party; that Peel's unpopularity is at this moment so great and so general that there is no knowing where to find any interest friendly to him, scarcely any individual. On the other hand, his disgust at the position in which he finds himself, and at being thus made the object of so much obloquy and reproach, is equally strong, and no one doubts that he really contemplates, and anxiously desires resignation. But then what is to come next? The Tories wish Peel out, the Whigs wish themselves in; but when people, whatever their persuasion or desires, look at the condition of affairs, no practicable arrangement, no safe alternative present themselves. If Peel resigns, everybody asks who is to come in, and how is the 281 government to be carried on by the Whigs, if they return to power? To this question nobody can give an answer, and the extreme difficulty makes many think that there will be no change, and that Peel, partly out of regard to the difficulty into which the country would be plunged, and partly from consideration to those persons (of both sides) who have placed themselves in great danger by supporting him, will consent to remain. Then it is not impossible that when this question is settled as it will be, and as no other question of equal importance will probably arise, the malcontent Tories may again be induced to support him, and their ill-humour and resentment may in some degree subside. But the prospect of a change is sufficiently near and probable to induce the persons principally concerned to begin to arrange their thoughts, and mature their plans of action.


I asked Wharncliffe what they contemplated. He said, if Peel resigned, the Queen would probably in the first instance consult Melbourne, but he thought she would send for Lord Spencer. I told him I was sure nothing would induce Lord Spencer to take office; but from a conversation I have since had with the Duke of Bedford, I think this is by no means so certain. He told me that Lord John wrote him word last week, that if any change occurred, and he was applied to, he should want him and Lord Spencer to come up to town to talk matters over with him. And the Duke had accordingly a great deal of conversation with Lord Spencer, who said that nothing but a sense of duty so strong and imperative as to amount to a religious obligation, as well as a political necessity,97 could induce him to take office. This, however, was enough to prove that he might be induced to do so, if the pressure was sufficiently strong. Lord Spencer, however, looks to the possibility of a coalition, which the Duke of Bedford does not, because he knows how difficult, if not impossible, this would be, with Lord John's sentiments towards Peel. The Duke's notion is, that the Whigs could not coalesce with Peel, but could not go on 282 without his support; and that before they attempted to form a Government, they should make up their minds what they would do on the great questions in agitation, lay their intentions before Peel, and ask him if he would support them. This certainly presents the most eligible course, but there is this difficulty in it: first, whether Peel would act with sufficient candour and cordiality with them, and if he should be so disposed, whether he could carry with him sufficient strength to make them safe. I doubt whether the Whig leaders would ever feel complete confidence in him.

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


May 10th.—These are my holidays—exclusively devoted to the turf, passed in complete idleness, without ever looking into a book, or doing one useful or profitable thing. I was at Newmarket all last week, and I have been at Horton for Chester all this. One day I did give up the races, and Stradbroke and I went over to Birkenhead, meaning to see that place and then cross over to Liverpool, and make a day of sight-seeing, but we found enough at Birkenhead to occupy the whole day. A very obliging person, a Mr. Jackson, one of two brothers, who are great men there, and the principal agents in promoting the greatness and prosperity of this rising town, did us the honours and took us all about. It certainly is a very astonishing creation, 283 and most interesting to see the growing and youthful state of a town, which in a few years will probably be a vast city. The present managers of this thriving concern are projecting establishments and expending vast sums of money on various works, with an undoubting confidence that the town will go on in an increase corresponding to the magnitude of their plans. Not many years ago the ground was an unprofitable marsh. They showed us a small white house, which was the first that was built, and which stood alone for some time. The property belonged to a Mr. Price, and when first the notion of speculating in building there occurred to the late Mr. Laird (I think it was), and a negotiation took place for the purchase of land, 50,000l. was the sum offered Mr. Price for his property. Not long after he was offered 100,000l., and this time a bargain was nearly completed, and the only difference between the parties was whether it should be pounds or guineas. Luckily for Mr. Price it went off upon this, and such was the rapid increase in the value of the land, that he has since sold it for considerably above a million. We went to see the pier and the place where the docks are to be; then to Mr. Laird's ship-building establishment, and saw the iron steam frigate they are building; then to the park, and then to the new market-place. Everything is well done, and no expense spared. The present population is 16,000, but they are building in every direction. I know little or nothing about politics for some time past. The last divisions on Maynooth in the Commons, and on the Welsh Bishoprics in the Lords, have been serviceable to the Government. There is a sort of lull for the present after so much excitement, and no immediate danger of any change.

Ghent, June 16th.—More than a month and not a line. The truth is, that I was so absorbed with the Derby and the speculations I was concerned in so deeply, that I could not think of or look at politics at all, and now I must leave everything a blank, for I can't go backwards and write about the current events of the last month. All London was engaged for some weeks with the Queen's ball, and could 284 think of nothing else, all the elderly folks of both sexes dressing themselves up and learning to dance minuets.98 There was nothing but practising going on at one house after another. At last the eventful night arrived, and everybody said it was a very brilliant and amusing sight. Brougham was not asked, and was furious. He flared up in the House of Lords and twitted Prince Albert à propos of Barry and the Houses of Parliament, so they shortly after asked him to dinner to appease him. The Government seems gradually to have got itself firmly seated in the saddle again; all notion of change has vanished. With all Peel's unpopularity and the abuse that is showered on him from various quarters, there is an admission, tacit or express, that he is the fittest and the only man to be Minister. I met him at Ascot, and he was very civil and cordial; it was the first time since my book came out. His newspaper (the 'Morning Herald') attacked me in very bitter terms; the 'Morning Post' more civilly; the 'Times' was very complimentary, but made a feint attack on me for the sake of making a real one on Peel.

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


At last I escaped from racing and politics, and, on 285 Saturday evening, left London by the mail train, arrived at Dover at half-past twelve, crossed at four, and reached Ostend at a quarter-past nine, came on to Bruges at twelve, passed the day there, and this day up to a quarter to four, when I came by rail to this place; spent yesterday and to-day in seeing Bruges and Ghent, and whatever is best worth visiting in both, and a good deal there is of one sort or another; but I am too sleepy now to go on with the subject.

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

London, August 7th.—From the last date at Wiesbaden I never could bring myself to take up my pen to the present moment. The task of writing in this book has become 286 intolerably irksome. At Wiesbaden I had nothing whatever to record; one day told another; no society, no events, and I have an invincible repugnance to converse with myself on paper. Still, though reluctant to go on with this MS. (for journal it is not, and memoirs still less), I am likewise reluctant entirely to abandon a habit of so many years' standing, and thus from time to time I force myself to resume my entries, though languidly, dully, and with a conviction that the pages I write never can be worth reading. This acknowledgement, fully and sincerely made, must be taken once for all as an excuse by any one who may hereafter look into this book; and to the observation they will not fail to make, 'What vapid, useless stuff all this is,' they may consider my voice as replying from the grave, 'I know it is.'

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


I remained at Wiesbaden till the latter end of July, 287 making no acquaintance, and doing nothing but read such books as I got from Frankfort, going nowhere. The only excursion that I made was to the Château de Herrenheim, near Worms, where I found the Duchesse Dalberg, Lady Leveson, the Mariscalchis, and the D'Arcos. A comfortable house in a wretched country. I went to see Worms, a decayed old town, full of historical recollections, and I gazed at the great tree under which, according to tradition, Luther took shelter on his way to the Diet. From Wiesbaden I went to Ems for two nights, which was as full as Wiesbaden was empty. There I saw the old Elector of Hesse gambling on a great scale, and was presented to the Princess of Orange,101 an intelligent woman. At Ems I met Francis and my sister,102 who entered the place like pilgrims rather than like millionary aristocrats. They came over the mountains from Coblentz, she mounted on a sorry jade of a horse, the two girls on donkeys, Francis stoutly walking by their side, and all dressed in rough and inelegant habiliments, suited to work and not to show. From Ems I came on to Malines, when I diverged to Antwerp, and spent half a day there looking at the pictures, and was well repaid. The fine works of Rubens in the Cathedral are in such a bad light that it is difficult to see them satisfactorily, but the pictures in the Museum are very grand; crossed the water in one of the old boats, eight hours, and arrived in town on Tuesday morning, July 22.

The Monday after I went to Goodwood, where we had the usual party, with the addition of the King of the Netherlands, who was in high glee, and full of enjoyment with his old friends, his cordial reception here, and the gaieties with which he has been saluted on all sides. On coming back to town I found Madame de Lieven arrived, and had a talk with her about politics and what not. She gave me the real account of the interview between Thiers and Guizot at 288 her house, which was not exactly as I had heard it. She sent for Thiers, to speak to him about some mention he had made of the Empress Dowager of Russia in his history, which was unfair and inexact. He came, and then she ordered her doors to be closed to everybody while he was there. He asked why she did so, and why Guizot, who was always let in, should be excluded. She said it was on his account. He repeated, 'Why, as he did not object.' After some talk, she said, 'If you really wish it, I will withdraw my order.' He said he saw no reason why she should retain it. She then desired him to ring the bell, and said, 'I am at home to nobody but M. Guizot.' Presently Guizot came, not knowing Thiers was there. He started with amazement; she burst out laughing; Thiers laughed; Guizot laughed too. This hilarity ended, she told Guizot for what object she had sent for Thiers, and then they talked over the book, and the subject of the meeting. This ended, there was a pause, when she said to Thiers, 'I have had a message to carry to you from M. Guizot. He says he has behaved better to you than you have done to him, for you threw M. Molé between his legs, and he has disembarrassed you of M. Molé, and now there are only two political possibilities left, You and Himself.' Guizot said, 'Yes, it is true; I begged the Princess to say so.' They then began to talk politics, and discussed persons and things, external and internal policy, peace and war, all contingencies and probabilities. Thiers asked Guizot, 'Are you determined to remain Minister?' He said, 'Decidedly yes.' Then they discussed everything, and on every point were agreed, except on that of peace and war; Guizot maintaining that peace might be preserved, and Thiers insisting that in the long run it could not, and that difference of opinion was what alone made them the representatives of opposite principles, and influenced their conduct accordingly. She says they talked over everything, very frankly, very civilly, and that it was impossible for anything to be more interesting and more curious than such a conversation between two such men, or more worth writing down, if there had been a possibility of reporting it. She 289 told me Thiers' book was not thought much of in France, that the style was criticised, and it was such a continual panegyric of Napoleon, as to be rather an apology than a history.


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

I received yesterday a very gracious and obliging letter from Guizot about my book. I sent it him when it came out, and he apologised for not acknowledging and reading it before, on account of his illness and his affairs. It is remarkable that every one of the Ministers has preserved the same silence and reserve to me upon the subject. The few of them I have occasionally seen have not said a word. Peel I fell in with one day in the Park, and walked by his 290 horse some time, but he did not allude to it. Graham has avoided seeing me, but I have never heard that any fault has been found, or any complaint made in any quarter.

The Session of Parliament has ended, leaving Peel quite as powerful, or more so, than he was at the beginning of it. Everybody says affairs are in a strange state, but nobody foresees, and few seem to desire any change. The world seems weary of what are called politics, there is not a spark of party spirit visible. The Whigs see no prospect of coming into office, or making a Government that would be able to stand, and people will not make exertions and spend money without a reasonable expectation of some tangible result. On the other hand, everything like enthusiasm for Peel is extinguished; the Tories hate, fear, but do not dare oppose him. If the Whigs cannot see any alternative, the Tories can see still less: and odious as Peel's conduct is to them, and alarming as his principles are, they still think they are better off, and on the whole in less danger with him than with any other Ministry that could be formed. He has completely succeeded in getting the Court on his side, so that between the support he gets from one side on account of his liberality, and that which he continues to receive from the other on account of a combination of motives, habit, fear, hope and patronage, he is in fact, though very unpopular, still very powerful. Everybody expects that he means to go on, and in the end to knock the Corn Laws on the head,103 and endow the Roman Catholic Church; but nobody knows how or when he will do these things. He in the meantime proceeds with extreme caution and reserve, and to some his conduct appears the height of prudence, and the exercise of a sound discretion; while others regard it as pusillanimous and impolitic, and that in holding back so 291 long as he does, he is committing the old error of delaying till the moment passes away when concession can be beneficial and effectual. It is clear that his object is to do everything gradually, if possible to reconcile his own reluctant friends to his changes, and draw them along with him, partly by reason and partly by influence, so that he may still find himself at the end of each successive stage with his party unbroken, and his power unshaken. He probably believes sincerely that great good will ensue from his measures, and that if he can avoid a quarrel and a break-up, the manifestation, clear and indubitable, of the good effects he has produced will reconcile those whom no reasoning can reconcile or propitiate beforehand. He therefore endeavours to combine his two objects, and it is certainly by a profound calculation, be it wise or not, that he is acting and temporising as he does. Nobody perhaps represents so correctly the state of public opinion, which is itself unsettled, and in a state of transition.


I have said that what are called politics are out of fashion; there is no public man a jot more popular than another; nobody cares about parties, for there is no party distinguished by any peculiar badge of principle, with a distinct colour, and standing in open and defined antagonism to any other; none which has any great object to advance—constitutional, political, or commercial—in opposition to another party ranged against it. All is confusion, intermingling of principles and opinions, political rivalry and personal antipathy, the working of which produces, from time to time, something brisk and exciting, and a good deal of clever speaking and writing, interesting enough to the immediate actors, but which the mass of the country does not care a straw about. The world is absorbed by its material interests, railroads, and speculation in its multiform aspect, and it is in vain that John Russell reviews the session and delivers philippics against Peel; still more in vain that Palmerston harangues upon the Right of Search, Texas, Greece, or Spain, and endeavours to rouse the public indignation or contempt against Aberdeen and his foreign 292 policy. It all falls dead and flat, and nobody takes the slightest interest in orations, though they are prepared with indefatigable industry and delivered with extraordinary skill.

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

August 30th.—I was just setting off to Tottenham Park yesterday, when Graham sent for me. It was about the affair of the Guernsey duties, concerning which the Government have got into a scrape. The whole revenue of the island is derived from a duty on wine and spirits, which is imposed by an Act of the States, confirmed by an Order in Council, and it is imposed for a year more or less, and from time to time continued by subsequent Acts and Orders. The last Act expires the day after to-morrow. The Queen is in Germany, and there is no power to renew it by Order in Council till she returns. The people in Guernsey are aware of the blot, and intend to avail themselves of it to introduce spirits duty free. In this dilemma Graham sent for me, to desire I would search the Council books and see if there was any analogous case and any precedent for continuing the duty without an Order, and he had already sent to the Law Officers for their opinion whether an Order could be passed with a retroactive effect—meaning, if it could, to order an account to be taken meanwhile, and to levy the duty afterwards. 293 I found him and the Chancellor of the Exchequer together. I told him that this matter would be infallibly taken up as proving the necessity there had been for a Regency, and that those who had argued for one would, of course, triumph in the proof thus afforded that they were right. He said he was well aware of this. I then told him Melbourne's opinion, and that he thought if the matter had been properly explained to the Queen, there would have been no difficulty in satisfying her. Goulburn said Peel was much annoyed, as he had particularly desired that everything there was to be done should be brought to the last Council, and notice be served on all the offices to that effect, and he thought the fault lay with the Council Office. This I denied, and Graham at once said it was his fault if anybody's. The fault really lies with the people of Guernsey, whom it immediately concerns. I looked into the books, and found there was an analogous case, in which the same duties had expired, and orders were sent to levy them, with a notification that an Order in Council would be passed as soon as a Council could be held. It was a case exactly in point as to the principle, but differed in some of the official details. I went to Graham and found the Attorney-General there. He had brought the opinion of himself and the Queen's Advocate, which, much to my surprise, was, that an Order in Council might be made with a retroactive effect, and accordingly Graham determined to act upon this opinion, and to signify, by a letter to the Government, that an Order would be passed to renew the duties as soon as the Queen came home. I proposed to him to let the communication go from the Council Office, following the former precedent, and suggesting that they would be more disposed to defer to the authority of the Privy Council, to which they are used to look up, than to that of the Secretary of State, against which they are disposed to kick, but he said it was impossible to summon a committee. I said three were enough, and there were himself, Goulburn, and Haddington. He said Haddington would be frightened out of his senses at the notion of the responsibility, and he would rather take it all upon himself, 294 and so he had the letter written. This is, however, enough to prove that no foresight can provide against all the contingencies which may require the exercise of the Royal authority; that it would have been safer and wiser stetisse super antiquas vias, to have followed former precedents, and not to have departed from them.

September 3rd.—I read in the newspapers the day before yesterday an account of a lad brought up for not supporting his child. The father was fifteen or sixteen years old, the mother a year or two less, and the grandmother of the child—the girl's mother—appeared, who was twenty-nine years old, and had had fourteen children. This seems to me curious enough to be worth recording. There appear from time to time many odd and remarkable things, which would be well worth noticing, and which are hurried down and lost in the stream of events. If I were not too idle I would record them, for really I have no political transactions to speak of, as I am not in the way of knowing anything secret or interesting. 295



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

September 7th, 1845.—A complete absence of events, till a few days ago, when after a very short illness Lord Spencer died at his house near Doncaster. My own acquaintance with him was not intimate, but I had a great respect and esteem for him, and no man ever died with a fairer character, or more generally regretted. In his county he was exceedingly beloved and respected, not less by those who differed from him, than those who agreed with him in politics, and his personal friends and former colleagues, who were warmly attached to him, highly valued his opinions upon public matters, and on all important occasions anxiously sought, and placed great reliance on his advice. The career of Lord Spencer presents few materials to the biographer, for he had neither the brilliant nor even plausible exterior which interests and captivates vulgar imaginations, but he had sterling qualities of mind and character which made him one of the most useful and valuable, as he was one of the best and most amiable men of his day. He was the very model and type of an English gentleman, filling with propriety the station in which fortune had placed him, and making the best use of the abilities which Nature had 296 bestowed upon him. Modest without diffidence, confident without vanity, ardently desiring the good of his country, without the slightest personal ambition, he took that part in public affairs which his station and his opinions prompted, and he marched through the mazes of politics with that straightforward bravery, which was the result of sincerity, singleness of purpose, the absence of all selfishness, and a true, genuine, but unpretending patriotism. His tastes, habits, and turn, of mind were peculiarly and essentially English; he was a high-minded, unaffected, sensible, well-educated English gentleman, addicted to all those rural pursuits and amusements which are considered national, a practical farmer and fond of field sports, but enjoying all things in moderation, and making every other occupation subordinate to the discharge of those duties to his country, whether general or local, the paramount obligation of which was ever uppermost in his mind. In his political principles he was consistent, liberal, and enlightened, but he was too much of a philosopher, and had too deeply studied the book of life to entertain any wild notions of human perfectibility, or to countenance those extravagant theories of popular wisdom and virtue which are so dangerous to peace, order, and good government. He observed, therefore, a just proportion, and a perfect moderation in his political views and objects, firmly believing in the capacity of the Constitution to combine the utmost extent of civil and religious liberty with the predominance of law, and a safe and vigorous administration of public affairs. His whole life, therefore, was devoted to the object of widening and strengthening the foundations of the Commonwealth, of abrogating exclusive and oppressive laws, of extending political franchises, of giving freedom to commerce, and by the progress of a policy at once sound and safe, to promote the welfare and happiness of the mass of the people, and the power and prosperity of the country.


Lord Spencer came into office as Chancellor of the Exchequer and leader of the House of Commons with Lord Grey's Government in 1830; on the death of his father in 297 1834, his elevation to the House of Lords obliged him to relinquish that office, upon which, as is well known, King William dismissed the Whig Government, on the pretext that it was so weakened as to be unworthy of public confidence and incapable of carrying on the business of the State. This was indeed only a pretext for getting rid of an obnoxious Ministry; but the King's venturing upon so bold a step upon such grounds affords a convincing proof of the high consideration which Lord Spencer enjoyed in the House of Commons and in the country. Nor, indeed, was it possible to exaggerate that consideration. The greatest homage that ever was rendered to character and public virtue was exhibited in his popularity and authority during the four eventful years when he led the Whig Government and party in the House of Commons. Without one showy accomplishment, without wit to amuse or eloquence to persuade, with a voice unmelodious and a manner ungraceful, and barely able to speak plain sense in still plainer language, he exercised in the House of Commons an influence and even a dominion greater than any leader either after or before him. Neither Pitt the father, nor Pitt the son, in the plenitude of their magnificent dictatorships, nor Canning in the days of his most brilliant displays of oratory and wit, nor Castlereagh, returning in all the glory of an ovation from the overthrow of Napoleon, could govern with the same sway the most unruly and fastidious assembly which the world ever saw. His friends followed this plain and simple man with enthusiastic devotion, and he possessed the faculty of disarming his political antagonists of all bitterness and animosity towards him; he was regarded in the House of Commons with sentiments akin to those of personal affection, with a boundless confidence and a universal esteem. Such was the irresistible ascendency of truth, sincerity, and honour, of a probity free from every taint of interest, of mere character unaided by the arts which captivate or subjugate mankind. This is the great practical panegyric which will consecrate the memory of Lord Spencer, and transmit it nobly to the 298 latest posterity; but it is a panegyric, not more honourable to the subject of it than to the national character which is susceptible of such impressions, and which acknowledges such influences. We may feel an honest pride and a happy confidence in the reflexion that it is by such sterling qualities, by the simple and unostentatious practice of public and private virtue that men may best recommend themselves to the reverence, the gratitude, and the affection of their countrymen, and be remembered hereafter as the benefactors of mankind.


London, November 16th.—I have passed the last two months in locomotion and amusement, without anything worth noticing but a visit to the Grange, where I went purposely to meet M. Thiers. He came to England in his way from Spain, and passed about a fortnight here. He was extremely well received, invited to Bowood and to the Grange, dined with Lady Holland in London, and had interviews with Palmerston and Aberdeen. I had met him some years ago at Talleyrand's, in London, but he of course had forgotten me, nor do I know whether he recollected or not my connexion with Guizot during his administration in 1840. Whether he did or not, he was extremely civil and disposed to talk to me, though unfortunately the extraordinary rapidity of his utterance and the thickness of his articulation, added to my deafness, rendered half of what he said unintelligible. He was very agreeable and very loquacious, talking with a great appearance of abandon on every subject, politics general and particular, and his own History, which he was ready to discuss, and to defend against all objections and criticisms with great good humour. On the Sunday morning he took me aside, and talked for a long time about his position and practice, and he then said that it was to be regretted that Lord Aberdeen had evinced such a preference for one political party in France, and it was a mistake; and, for his part, he considered that he had nothing to do with Whigs or Tories here, but that it was his business to be equally well with public men of all parties; that he had called on Palmerston, and he should have called 299 on Peel and Aberdeen, if they had been in town, and he expressed a wish that I would make his sentiments known to them. I said I certainly would, and regretted that they were not in London to receive him. Soon after I learnt that Aberdeen was to be in town the next day on his way to the Grove, where I was to meet him, when I resolved to write to him and tell him what Thiers said, and to suggest that he should see him. We all went to town the next morning by rail, and on arriving at the station a messenger met me with a note from Aberdeen, saying he should be very glad to see Thiers if he would call at the Foreign Office. I told him, and he was extremely pleased. I took him there and introduced him to Aberdeen, who received him very cordially, and their interview lasted an hour and a half. When Lord Aberdeen came to the Grove he told me he was much obliged to me for bringing Thiers to him and very glad to receive him. He thought him very agreeable, but not so fair to Guizot as Guizot was to him, for the latter always spoke handsomely of Thiers, while Thiers spoke very disparagingly of him; in fact, Thiers speaks of Guizot with the greatest contempt. He says he is great in the tribune, but good for nothing elsewhere, neither a statesman nor a man of business, which is certainly doing his great antagonist much less than justice. We had a great battle in the train about many points of his History, and with a self-delusion, which is marvellous if sincere, he said that nobody could accuse him of any want of candour towards our country and of not having rendered us ample justice! I am sorry now that I did not at the time write down some particulars of his conversation and opinions about men and things, which would not be devoid of interest. The only thing of any consequence I recollect now is the fact, which he asserted on the evidence of letters now in existence, of Talleyrand's having advised the Spanish war, whereas it has always been supposed that he opposed it, and that his opposition to it was a principal cause of his disgrace with the Emperor.104 He spoke of Talleyrand with great bitterness 300 and dislike. Nothing would persuade him that our Government had not been implicated in Georges' conspiracy and his plots of assassination, but he entertains the most vulgar and mistaken notions about us, our affairs, and our national character. I take it, however, that he was not more surprised than pleased at his reception here, so frank, cordial, and dignified, received and entertained at Whig and Tory houses with equal cordiality, with the attention due to his celebrity as a writer and a statesman, and without the slightest appearance of resentment (or anything but the most perfect indifference) at his anti-English prejudices and violence. All this must have struck him with no small respect as well as wonder. I have heard since that the Queen said she should have been glad to receive him if he had expressed any desire to be presented to her; that she was not in the habit of receiving foreigners (passing through) at Windsor, but would have made an exception in his favour.

It has been during the last two months that the rage for railroad speculation reached its height, was checked by a sudden panic in full career, and is now reviving again, though not by any means promising to recover its pristine vigour. I met one day in the middle of it the Governor of the Bank at Robarts', who told me that he never remembered in all his experience anything like the present speculation; that the operations of '25, which led to the great panic, were nothing to it, and that there could not fail to be a fearful reaction. The reaction came sooner than anybody expected, but though it has blown many of the bubbles into the air, it has not been as yet so complete and so ruinous as many of the wise men of the East still expect and predict. It is incredible how people have been tempted to speculate; half the fine ladies have been dabbling in stocks, and men the most unlikely have not been able to refrain, from gambling in shares, even I 301 myself (though in a very small degree), for the warning voice of the Governor of the Bank has never been out of my ears. Simultaneously with all this has grown up to a gigantic height the evil of the potato failure, affecting in its expected consequences the speculations, and filling with fear and doubt every interest.105 That the mischief in Ireland is great and increasing is beyond a doubt, and the Government are full of alarm, while every man is watching with intense anxiety the progress of events, and enquiring whether the Corn Laws will break down under this pressure or not.


There have been Cabinets held, with long and anxious consultations, and (as it is believed) debates,106 but as I do not know what passed with anything approaching to certainty, I shall say but little about them. It has been said that Peel was not indisposed to take this opportunity of doing away with the Corn Laws, and again that he was resolved not to abandon his sliding scale; that Aberdeen was the strongest of any against the Corn Laws; the Duke most determined to support them. I am inclined to believe the two latter suppositions to be true, and I lean to the belief that Peel is waiting for a case sufficiently strong to lay before his agricultural friends, before he tells them that he 302 must throw the ports open. There have not been wanting circumstances significant of Peel's disposition, especially a speech which Dr. Buckland made at Birmingham of a very Free Trade complexion; and he went there from Drayton, and has since been made Dean of Westminster. However it is idle to speculate on intentions, which a short time must develop and explain.

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

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


Worsley, November 22nd.—I came here, for the first time, 303 on Monday last, to see the fine new house Francis Egerton has built. It is a very handsome specimen of Blore's architecture, rather spoilt by alterations made while the building was in progress; comfortable enough, but with many faults. The place is miserable; no place at all; no trees worth looking at, and a wet clay soil; no extent, and everything to make. The house stands on an eminence, and commands a very extensive prospect of a rich flat country, the canal running beneath, not a quarter of a mile off, while a little further off the railroad crosses Chat Moss and all day long the barges are visible on the one, and continual trains snort and smoke along the other, presenting a lively exhibition of activity and progress. But it is a miserable country to live in; so wet and deep that the roads all about are paved, and the air is eternally murky with the fire and smoke vomited forth from hundreds of chimneys and furnaces in every direction; no resources, such as hunting and shooting, and no society but the rare visitants from distant parts. In such a place as this they have expended 100,000l. in a fine house, with all the appendages of gardens, &c., and they have done this and much more from a sense of duty, from fully recognising the authority of the maxim that 'property, has its duties as well as its rights.' The Duke of Bridgewater created this vast property, and his enterprise and perseverance were crowned with a prodigious success. He called into activity and gave employment to an immense population, and he occasionally resided at Worsley, to have the satisfaction of witnessing the astonishing results which he had obtained; but with this he was contented. He bequeathed the canal and the collieries to his agent Bradshaw, with unlimited power of management, in trust for the late Duke of Sutherland, and after him to Francis Egerton. During the long reign of Bradshaw and the Duke the property continued to increase in value. Bradshaw was a profligate old dog, who feathered his own nest, and lived a dissolute life. The Duke touched the proceeds, and never troubled himself about the source from which he derived them. At length he died. The trust remained unaltered, but the new cestui que trust 304 came to the enjoyment of his enormous fortune with other ideas and a more stringent sense of obligation. He and his wife thought it behoved them to enquire into the condition of the population in their employment, and to do their best to improve it. They found that it was very bad; that the mass of the people was in the lowest state of ignorance and degradation, and that there was plenty for their beneficence to do. They soon set about the task, and began by making a bargain with Bradshaw to get him out of the trust. He made it over to a man of the name of Sotherton, who had been for some time employed in the canal office, and who was believed to be a fit and proper person. Sotherton no sooner found himself in power (for the power of the trustee is almost unlimited) than he began to play all sorts of pranks and to quarrel with the Lord. They endeavoured to oust Sotherton, and went to law with him, but found the difficulties so great that they ended by compounding with him, and gave him 45,000l. to relinquish the trust and appoint a nominee of Francis's in his room. He selected Mr. James Loch, who is now trustee. This done, they set to work in earnest. This house was erected, and they have built churches and established schools and reading-rooms in various places; they have done all they could, sparing neither pains nor money to civilise and improve the population, to diffuse education, and encourage habits of sobriety and order, and a taste for intellectual occupations. They have evinced a solicitude for the welfare of the people under their influence that has produced a very beneficial effect, and they are gradually improving their condition and purifying their morals without, however, entertaining any extravagant expectations of superhuman success.


I have passed these few days in seeing this place and some of the manufacturing wonders at Manchester. On Tuesday I went over the house and place; and then to Francis' yard, a sort of small dockyard and manufactory; then on the canal in the Trust boat—a luxurious barge fitted up with every convenience and comfort, with a fireplace, and where one may write, read, and live just as in the house; a 305 kitchen behind. The boat is drawn by two horses with postilions in livery, and they trot along at a merry pace, all the craft (except, by compact, 'the Swift boats,' as they are called) giving way to the Trust boat. On Wednesday I went through the subterraneous canal, about a mile and a half long, into the coalpit, saw the working in the mine, and came up by the shaft; a black and dirty expedition, scarcely worth the trouble, but which I am glad to have made. The colliers seem a very coarse set, but they are not hard worked, and, in fact, do no more than they choose. There are many miles of this underground canal. On Thursday I went to Manchester, and saw one of the great cotton and one of the great silk manufactories; very curious even to me, who am ignorant of mechanics, and could only stare and wonder, without being able to understand the niceties of the beautiful and complicated machinery by which all the operations of these trades are performed. The heat of the rooms in the former of them was intense, but the man who showed them to us told us it was caused by the prodigious friction, and the room might be much cooler, but the people liked the heat. Yesterday I went to the infant school, admirably managed; then to the recreation ground of the colliers and working hands—a recent establishment. It is a large piece of ground, planted and levelled round about what is called the paying-house, where the men are paid their wages once a fortnight. The object is to encourage sports and occupations in the open air, and induce them not to go to the alehouse. There are cricket, quoits, and football, and ginger-beer and coffee are sold to the people, but no beer or spirits. This has only a partial success. Afterwards to Patricroft, to see Messrs. Nasmyth's great establishment for making locomotive engines, every part of which I went over. I asked at all the places about the wages and habits of the workpeople. In Birley's cotton factory 1,200 are employed, the majority girls, who earn from ten to fourteen shillings a week. At Nasmyth's the men make from twenty to thirty-two shillings a week. They love to change about, and seldom stay very long at one place; some will go away in a week, and some 306 after a day. In the hot factory rooms the women look very wan, very dirty, and one should guess very miserable. They work eleven hours generally, but though it might be thought that domestic service must be preferable, there is the greatest difficulty in procuring women-servants here. All the girls go to the factory in spite of the confinement, labour, close atmosphere, dirt, and moral danger which await them. The parents make them go, because they earn money which they bring home, and they like the independence and the hours every evening, and the days from Saturday to Monday, of which they can dispose.

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


The day I came here Lady Holland died, that is, she died at two o'clock in the preceding night. She evinced during her illness a very philosophical calmness and resolution, and perfect good humour, aware that she was dying, and not afraid of death. The religious people don't know what to make of it. She never seems to have given the least sign of any religious feeling or belief. She has made a curious will, leaving the greater part of the landed property at her disposal to John Russell for his life, and her jewels to Lady Elizabeth Grey, a poor parson's wife—bequests severely 307 blamed and justly. The legatees ought not to accept what she has bequeathed to them, but give all up to her daughter who wants it. Though she was a woman for whom nobody felt any affection, and whose death therefore will have excited no grief, she will be regretted by a great many people, some from kindly, more from selfish motives, and all who had been accustomed to live at Holland House and continued to be her habitués will lament over the fall of the curtain on that long drama, and the final extinction of the flickering remnant of a social light which illuminated and adorned England and even Europe for half a century. The world never has seen and never will again see anything like Holland House, and though it was by no means the same thing as it was during Lord Holland's life, Lady Holland contrived to assemble round her to the last a great society, comprising almost everybody that was conspicuous, remarkable, and agreeable. The closing of her house, therefore, will be a serious and an irreparable loss, especially to those old friends who are too old to look out for new places of resort and to form new social habits. She was a very strange woman, whose character it would not be easy to describe, and who can only be perfectly understood from a knowledge and consideration of her habits and peculiarities. She was certainly clever, and she had acquired a great deal of information both from books and men, having passed her whole life amidst people remarkable for their abilities and knowledge. She cared very little for her children, but she sometimes pretended to care for them, and she also pretended to entertain strong feelings of friendship for many individuals; and this was not all insincerity, for, in fact, she did entertain them as strongly as her nature permitted. She was often capricious, tyrannical, and troublesome, liking to provoke, and disappoint, and thwart her acquaintances, and she was often obliging, good-natured, and considerate to the same people. To those who were ill and suffering, to whom she could show any personal kindness and attention, among her intimate friends, she never failed to do so. She was always intensely selfish, dreading solitude above everything, 308 and eternally working to enlarge the circle of her society, and to retain all who ever came within it. She could not live alone for a single minute; she never was alone, and even in her moments of greatest grief it was not in solitude but in society that she sought her consolation. Her love and habit of domination were both unbounded, and they made her do strange and often unwarrantable things. None ever lived who assumed such privileges as Lady Holland, and the docility with which the world submitted to her vagaries was wonderful. Though she was eternally surrounded with clever people, there was no person of any position in the world, no matter how frivolous and foolish, whose acquaintance she was not eager to cultivate, and especially latterly she had a rage for knowing new people and going to fresh houses. Though often capricious and impertinent she was never out of temper, and she bore with good humour and calmness the indignant and resentful outbreaks which she sometimes provoked in others, and though she liked to have people at her orders and who would defer to her and obey her, she both liked and respected those who were not afraid of her and who treated her with spirit and freedom. Although she was known to be wholly destitute of religious opinions she never encouraged any irreligious talk in her house. She never herself spoke disrespectfully or with levity of any of the institutions or opinions which other people were accustomed to reverence, nor did she at any time, even during periods of the greatest political violence, suffer any disloyal language towards the sovereign, nor encourage any fierce philippics, still less any ribaldry against political opponents. It was her great object, while her society was naturally and inevitably of a particular political colour, to establish in it such a tone of moderation and general toleration that no person of any party, opinion, profession, or persuasion might feel any difficulty in coming to her house, and she took care that no one who did should ever have reason to complain of being offended or annoyed, still less shocked or insulted under her roof. Never was anybody more invariably kind to her servants or more 309 solicitous for their comfort. In this probably selfish considerations principally moved her; it was essential to her comfort to be diligently and zealously served, and she secured by her conduct to them their devoted attachment. It used often to be said in joke that they were very much better off than her guests.


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

London, December 5th.—I came to town yesterday, and find political affairs in a state of the greatest interest and excitement. The whole town had been electrified in the morning by an article in the 'Times,' announcing, with an air of certainty and authority, that the discussions and disputes in the Cabinet had terminated by a resolution to call Parliament together early in January, and propose a total repeal of the Corn Laws, and that the Duke had not only consented, but was to bring forward the measure in the House of Lords. Nobody knew whether to believe this 310 or not, though all seemed staggered, and the more so because the 'Standard,' though affecting to disbelieve the 'Times,' and treating it as a probable fiction, did not contradict it from authority, as might naturally have been expected if it had been untrue. This morning I heard the whole matter precisely as it stands, and the affair, including the way it comes to my knowledge, presents a curious under-current in politics. On this question of the Corn Laws Aberdeen has taken a very strong and decided part, and he has been Peel's most strenuous supporter in the contest he has had to maintain in his Cabinet, for it now appears that Peel has all along been for repealing the Corn Laws, and has not, as I was once led to believe, been disposed to stand by his own sliding scale. It appears that before the appearance of John Russell's letter, the free-trading Ministers were disposed to take the course now determined on, and Aberdeen thinks it was a great error and misfortune that they did not do so in November, and so appear to have taken the initiative, rather than to be goaded to it. Lord John's letter, however (which was written without concert with, or the knowledge of, anybody), fell like a spark on a barrel of gunpowder. The effect it produced was far greater than he even could have expected, greater probably than he is yet aware of. It struck despair into the hearts of the Protectionists, but it really was of service to Peel, though it appeared to put him in fresh difficulty. The publication of the letter was followed by an article in the 'Times,' alluding to this difficulty, and the day this article appeared Aberdeen sent for Delane, and told him that Peel considered the letter mischievous, but the article far more mischievous than the letter. In the course of this and other conversations he gave Delane to understand what his own opinions were, and told him pretty clearly what sort of a contest was going on in the Cabinet. The Duke was at first decidedly against repeal;108 and Ripon and Wharncliffe were, as far as 311 I can make out, the most strenuous opponents besides. On Tuesday last the decisive Cabinet was held, at which it was finally to be determined which party should prevail, and if Peel could not carry his views, it was his intention to resign, and Aberdeen with him. On Wednesday, Aberdeen sent again for Delane, and after talking to him about all sorts of matters connected with foreign policy, and many other things, and when Delane was preparing to leave him, he began upon the Corn Laws, and told him, in fact, the substance of what appeared in the article yesterday, together with many details which did not appear. He told him that the Duke of Wellington had offered to resign, but that Peel said, if he resigned, he himself would also, for he could not undertake to carry the measure without the Duke's concurrence and support, and at last the Duke gave way, and agreed to stay in, and use his influence to carry it through the House of Lords. Peel was aware that without this it would have been impossible, and as it is, he expects great opposition, and several resignations in the Cabinet.109 These 312 resignations will, however, materially strengthen the Government, as the men who go out will probably be replaced by Ellenborough, Dalhousie, and Gladstone, a great improvement in point of capacity.


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


December 6th.—It is impossible to describe the agitation into which all classes of persons have been thrown by the 313 announcement about the Corn Laws—the doubts, hopes, and fears it has excited, and the burning curiosity to know the truth of it. Some deride and scout it; others believe it, partly or entirely. Yesterday morning I went to the office and saw Wharncliffe. 'His face was as a glass, where men might read strange matters;' it was easy to see his state of agitation. Assuming it was all true, I said I hoped he did not mean to resign, and that whatever his opinions might be, if the Duke did not, he surely need not either, and any break-up of the party would be an evil. He acknowledged nothing, but replied, very lugubriously, that he was seventy years old! I did my best to encourage him, and he did his best to make me doubt the accuracy of the 'Times' statement, telling me nothing, but mysteriously saying a very short time would reveal the truth. In the afternoon he went to a Cabinet. Meanwhile the 'Standard' appeared with a contradiction of the 'Times' in large letters. Wharncliffe came into my room from the Cabinet much excited, but apparently rather hilarious. I asked him if he had seen the 'Standard.' He said no, he wanted to see it. He read it, and then said, 'What do you say to that?' I said, I laughed at it, and had not a doubt that the 'Times' was right. 'Very well,' he replied, 'it will soon be seen who is right; but I tell you the "Times" has been mystified, and neither you nor Reeve know anything of what is going on.'110 I was enough staggered by his manner to write to Reeve and tell him this, and he went to Delane. They went over all that had passed with Aberdeen, which was too clear, too precise, and too decisive to admit of any mistake. After his communication to Delane, Aberdeen asked him what he meant to do with what he had told him. 'Publish it,' he answered, 'to be sure!' A pretty strong proof that he told it him for no other purpose. Palmerston hit the right nail on the head, for William Cowper told me last night he had guessed that Aberdeen had got this information put into the 'Times,' that it might go over to 314 America and influence the Oregon question; only he did not seem certain it was true, and was not without a suspicion that it was done with an intention to deceive, and not to enlighten the American public.

December 9th, Tuesday.—On Saturday afternoon Wharncliffe came to the office and sent for me. I found him walking about the room, when he immediately broke out, 'Well, I must say the impudence of the "Times" exceeds all I ever knew.' 'What's the matter?' I asked, 'what have they done?' 'Why, notwithstanding the contradiction in the "Standard" last night, they have not only neither qualified nor withdrawn their assertion, but have repeated the statement more positively than before. I must say this beats every other impudence.' 'Well,' I said, 'don't you see the reason, namely, that the "Times" does not care for the denial of the "Standard," and thinks its own authority for the statement better than any the "Standard" can have for denying it.' I then told him that everybody believed the 'Times,' go where you would people canvassed which was the most credible, and all believed the 'Times,' Lord Carnarvon, whom I met in the morning, for instance; and I myself believed it, that is, I believed it to be substantially correct, though perhaps not so in all its details. 'Very well,' he said, 'a short time will show the truth; but I tell you again that the "Times" knows nothing about it, has been mystified, and you will soon see that you are all wrong.' On this I said, 'Am I then to understand you that the facts put forth by the "Times" are really untrue, that no resolution has been come to by the Cabinet, and that the Duke of Wellington in one House and Peel in the other are not going to bring forward a measure which, without quibbling or splitting of hairs, is a virtual abandonment of the principle of protection?' He said, 'Well, I do mean to say that all this is untrue, it is not the fact; I positively tell you so, and I mean it without any quibbling whatever.' 'Very well, of course you know and I cannot, and I am bound to believe you. May I then contradict it on your authority?' 'No, I will not have my name used. I tell 315 you not to believe it, and you may say what you please as from yourself, but I will not have my authority mentioned, and events will contradict it soon enough.' We had a great deal more talk. He complained of the mischief that the report had done, and the speculation it had set afloat. After this contradiction so positive, specific, and peremptory, I knew not what to believe. On Monday I looked with anxiety for the article in the 'Times,' and found only a calm adhesion to its story. Delane had seen Aberdeen the evening before, who said to him that he had not said a bit too much, except that his statement the second day, that 'the heads of the Government had agreed,' was more correct than that of the first, which said that 'the Cabinet' had. He desired him to go on in the same strain, reasoning on it as a fact. He gave him, however, to understand that the publication had created considerable agitation. Delane in the course of conversation said that the whole thing turned on the Duke of Wellington, whether he was consenting or not, but Aberdeen would not tell him which way the Duke was.


In the afternoon I saw Delane himself. Peel went down to the Queen on Saturday, came up yesterday afternoon, and there was a Cabinet at five o'clock. Wharncliffe told me that Peel was very angry at the article in the 'Times,' and sent a messenger to the Queen thereupon. There is no doubt that Delane, in the excitement of the moment, said more, much more than he ought to have said, and that Wharncliffe's statement to me was really true, for the Cabinet, so far from being agreed on a measure, was in a state of disagreement, amounting almost to dissolution.111 Delane was very imprudent, for he might have guarded 316 his statement and yet produced precisely the same effect. My own belief is that yesterday evening decided the fate of the Government, and that all turned on the Duke. However, a very short time will clear up everything. Meanwhile the agitation, excitement, and curiosity are universal and intense. The rising wrath of the Tories and landlords is already muttering at the bare suspicion of the intended act, and it will be awful when all the truth breaks upon them. Peel's situation is very curious, and though many will think he has done a great service, he has so played his cards from first to last that his reputation will be irretrievably damaged by it, for men of both, or indeed of all, parties will unite in condemning him. He is now going to reap the fruits of the enormous error he committed in coming into office on the principle of Corn Law protection and the sliding scale, an error the more unpardonable because it was quite unnecessary.

Thursday, 11th.—On Tuesday afternoon Lord Wharncliffe sent for me, and told me Parliament was to be prorogued, but not called for despatch of business. This was enough: it satisfied me that the Ministers were out; there was no other solution of so strange a fact. Yesterday morning we went down to the Council at Osborne; the Duke joined us at Basingstoke. Nothing was said. I never saw the Cabinet in such a state of hilarity. Peel was full of jokes and stories, and they all were as merry (apparently and probably really) as men could be. Peel and Aberdeen alone had long audiences of the Queen; nothing transpired there. When I got back to town I found the reports of resignation current, and at dinner at George Harcourt's it was treated as a thing certain, and my conversation with James Wortley and then with Sir R. Gordon and Canning quite satisfied me that my conjectures the day before had been fully realised. When we returned from Osborne I had no idea the Ministers had already resigned some days before, for they none of them took leave, and Peel and Aberdeen only had audiences. Not one of them hinted to me what was going on, and the only thing said about it was a joke of Stanley's, who said to a Bishop, who was of the party, that the right 317 reverend prelate had probably often seen as much patience, but never could have seen so much resignation.


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

It is now more than ever to be regretted that Lord John is not on better terms with Peel, and that he should have allowed himself to twit him so offensively as he did in his letter the other day, for it is essential that there should be some concert between them; and as Lord John's Government must in fact depend for its existence on Peel's support, it would have been far more becoming and more convenient that their personal relations should be amicable, and that they should not be separated from each other by a barrier of mutual antipathy. I believe, however, that Lord John's feelings towards Peel are not at all reciprocated by the latter. The Tories will now bitterly regret that they rejected the eight-shilling duty, and how true have been the prognostics that they never would have again so good an opportunity of making a compromise. I doubt whether their rage and fury against Peel will be the least diminished by his resignation; on the contrary, they will think he has cast them into the lion's mouth. Everybody asks first of all 318 what is the crisis, what the necessity which compelled him to insist on throwing over the Corn Laws, and making it the condition of his remaining in office; and next, when the majority of the Cabinet would have supported him, why he did not let the dissentients go and fight his battle out. These questions will be answered in time.

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

Saturday, 13th.—Yesterday morning I called on Wharncliffe, who was still ill in bed, and very low. He complained of the 'Times' for saying that the Duke of Wellington had broken up the Government by changing his mind, first consenting and then withdrawing his consent; that 'it was hard upon the old man,' who had behaved admirably throughout, never having flinched or changed, but he had said to Peel that he (Peel) was a better judge of this question than himself, and he would support him in whatever course he might take. I said 'the old man' would probably not see the paper, and certainly not care a straw if he did. I told him everybody asked why they had resigned, and when the day of explanation came, that it would be difficult to give a satisfactory answer to the question. He said he thought so too; that he never could see any sufficient reason (it being now clear that the supposed deficiency of food would furnish none); but that from the beginning Peel and Graham, especially Graham, had appeared panic-struck, and would hear no reasons against the course they had resolved upon; that Lord Heytesbury had contributed to this panic by his representations; 319 that the original statement in the 'Times' was the most extraordinary, because on the very day when it appeared, Thursday, the Government was virtually broken up. Peel resolved to repeal the Corn Laws, but only to attempt it provided he could do so with a unanimous Cabinet. This he found was impossible, and that very Thursday he determined to resign. They begged him not to be in a hurry. He said he would not, and would take twenty-four hours to consider it. He did so, and on Friday he announced to his colleagues that he persisted in his resolution, and should go down the next day to Osborne to resign. All this, which I had from Wharncliffe's lips, is unquestionably true.


There was a meeting at John Russell's in the morning; no one was present but Palmerston, Cottenham, Clarendon, and Macaulay, who came in at the end. The letters convening his other friends had not reached them in time. X—— came to me afterwards and told me what had passed. The Queen wrote to Lord John, and summoned him to her presence. Sir Robert Peel had resigned, and she had thought it expedient to send for him to assist her. He asked her why Peel had resigned? She said that since November last he had been satisfied that the time was arrived when the Corn Laws must be repealed, but that the difficulty he had found with his Cabinet had at length induced him to resign. Lord John then said that, before he could undertake anything, he must know what would be Peel's course in respect to the measures he should propose, and what chance he should have of being able to carry them. The Queen told him that Peel had given her every assurance of his support. He left her without anything being settled, and he is in fact not yet Minister. At the meeting yesterday, Cottenham alone was against undertaking it; but Lord John was pretty well determined, only they all agreed that he must feel his way and obtain some positive information as to the sort and amount of support which Peel would and could give him. Clarendon urged this very strongly, and Lord John quite agreed. This morning, at eleven o'clock, they are all to assemble at his house, and in the afternoon Lord John and 320 Lord Lansdowne are to go down to Windsor together. Nothing will, I apprehend, be definitively settled till some communication, direct or indirect, has taken place between Peel and John Russell, so that the latter may have some certain knowledge of the intentions of the former. Lord John has, however, already had some communication with Graham, but I do not know what.112 The language at Brooks's is generally that of extreme despondency; but I have done my best to encourage them, and have told all those I have communicated with (and most of them come to me for information or an opinion) that the new Government will not fail. I met Lord Lansdowne last night, and I found that he meant to come back to his old office. However, the distribution of places will be a very difficult matter, the adjustment of claims and expectations, and making these square with the exigencies of the crisis.

Yesterday afternoon Graham met Lord Lansdowne and John Russell; the conversation was frank and amicable. Lord John said he must ask 'what was the measure which Peel had intended to propose.' Graham said he could not tell him without Peel's consent. This morning he received a letter from Graham recapitulating what had passed, but informing him Peel declined to tell him what his intended measure was. It seems, however, that it was a measure of Repeal, or leading to ultimate Repeal, accompanied with certain other measures of relief; that in November he announced to his Cabinet that he thought this necessary; but that it was received with such opposition that he never laid before them his measures, and the Cabinet has actually broken up without knowing what they were. Strange and incredible as this appears, it must be true, for Graham told Lord John so.113 His and Peel's motives were, that the state of Ireland 321 is so awful, with famine and complete disorganisation, and a social war probable, that money and coercive laws must have been called for; and these they could not demand of Parliament, and leave the Corn Laws as they are.


There was another meeting at Lord John's house at eleven to-day; present, the same as before, and the Duke of Bedford and Francis Baring. Lord John produced Graham's letter. Lord Lansdowne said that certainly he could not say there was anything in it at variance with what he had said at their interview, but that there was an appearance of drawing back in it, and something in the tone that he did not like. The feeling of this meeting was, that Peel and Graham were not going to deal fairly and frankly with them, and they would not hear of Peel's excusing himself from divulging his intentions, and giving as the excuse for his refusal that he could not tell them a plan which he had not told his colleagues. They unanimously agreed that great caution and determination were necessary, and that they must see their way more clearly before they committed themselves to taking office. It was settled that Lord Lansdowne and Lord John should go together to Windsor and tell Her Majesty what they proposed. This was, that Peel should again be invited to state frankly what sort of measure he contemplated and would be prepared to support; and if he refused to do this, Lord John was to commit to paper a project, which was to be sent to Peel, desiring at the same time that he would say whether he would support it, and what amount of support he calculated on being able 322 to bring with him. They will have no appearance of intrigue or underhand dealing, but an open, frank proceeding which may enable them to see the exact condition in which they stand. I saw the Duke of Bedford soon after the meeting, who gave me precisely the same account that Clarendon had done; he said that Lord John had acted with great judgement in his communication with the Queen, not pressing her or asking for details about the differences in the late Cabinet, taking what she chose to tell. She wrote to Melbourne, and told him she had sent for Lord John, knowing that the state of his health would not admit of his assisting her. He wrote back word that a voyage from Southampton to Cowes would be as bad for him as to cross the Atlantic.

The Queen spoke to Lord John immediately about Lord Palmerston, and expressed great alarm at the idea of his returning to the Foreign Office, and her earnest desire that he would take the Colonial Office instead, and that Lord John would propose it to him. She had already talked to Aberdeen about it, who told her she must make up her mind to Palmerston's returning to the Foreign Office, as he would certainly take nothing else. They agreed (Lord John and those whom he consulted) that it would never do to propose any other office to him, and it was much better to avoid any appearance of reluctance or distrust, and to give it him at once. But they mean that the Queen should herself express to Palmerston her earnest desire that nothing may be said or done to interrupt the amicable relations which subsist between her and the King of the French, and that Palmerston should be at once made to understand that the Foreign Office is to be a department of the Government, the affairs of which are to be considered in common, and not dealt with according to his good will and pleasure. He will not like this, but with or without a struggle he will no doubt conform to it; and John Russell is not a man to surrender the proper functions of a head of the Government, or to be either tricked or bullied into letting Palmerston be independent and arbitrary. Clarendon told Lord John not 323 to think about him in making his arrangements. Lord John threw out a hint about Ireland; but he at once said he could not go there at the expense of the certain ruin of his health. He asked his brother, the Duke of Bedford, if he would take office, but he said it was out of the question. I try to persuade him to be in the Cabinet without an office, and to this he seems rather inclined. There will be great difficulties about the offices, between the necessity of inviting new men, such as Cobden and Charles Villiers; the claims of men once but not last in office, such as Grey, Auckland, Charles Wood, George Grey, Clanricarde, &c.; and adjusting the pretensions of the men turned out by Peel. There was an admirable article in the 'Times,' giving the whole rationale of Peel's four years of office, of his conduct, motives, and the feelings and sentiments which he engendered, excellently done and perfectly true.


Tuesday, December 16th.—Nothing is settled; Lord Lansdowne and Lord John Russell went to Windsor on Saturday. The first novelty that struck them was the manner of their reception; all is changed since they went out of office. Formerly the Queen received her Ministers alone; with her alone they communicated, though of course Prince Albert knew everything; but now the Queen and Prince were together, received Lord Lansdowne and John Russell together, and both of them always said We—'We think, or wish, to do so and so; what had we better do, &c.' The Prince is become so identified with the Queen that they are one person, and as he likes business, it is obvious that while she has the title he is really discharging the functions of the Sovereign. He is King to all intents and purposes. I am not surprised at this, but certainly was not aware that it had taken such a definite shape. However, they told the Sovereigns that they thought it necessary to obtain a positive assurance that the dissentient section of the Cabinet was unable, and would in no case undertake, to form a Government, and suggested that they should either send for or write to Peel, and ask him the question. The Prince wrote, and last night John Russell got from him Peel's answer, 324 which was a distinct declaration that those persons could not and would not attempt to form a Government. This morning there is another and more numerous meeting, for now the scattered Whigs have had time to arrive. Peel having refused to disclose his intentions in his Cabinet, it now remains for Lord John to tell him what he is inclined to propose, and to ask him if he will support it. What this shall be will be discussed this morning. The greatest doubt prevails in the town about the formation of the Government. If Peel and Graham would communicate frankly with John Russell, and really try to come to some understanding or fair compromise; if they would consider the difficulties together and make a joint attempt to remove them, the work would not be difficult; but there is always a great difficulty when it is necessary to deal with such men as Peel and Graham—the one cold, reserved, suspicious, and insincere, the other slippery.

Certainly the contrast between Peel's position and his reputation on his coming into office four years ago, and at this moment of his quitting it, is most remarkable and curious. Never was any Minister so triumphant as he was then. He had routed his opponents, reduced them to a miserable state of weakness, and heaped unpopularity and discredit upon them. With his own party he was like a general who had just led his troops on to victory; they looked up to him with admiration, and obeyed him implicitly; all the world was admiring and applauding him, abroad and at home. And what has been his career before the world? Successful to the uttermost of general expectation; personally he vanquished the dislike of the Queen and ingratiated himself entirely with her. He terminated dangerous contests and embarrassing disputes, he restored peace, he put the finances in good order. It would be difficult to point out any failure he suffered, and easy to show that no Minister ever had to boast of four more prosperous years, or more replete with public advantage and improvement. His majority in both Houses of Parliament has certainly not been diminished; and if he had met Parliament 325 as Minister next session, he would in all probability have found himself supported by majorities quite as large as when he took possession of the Government. And the end of all this triumph, popularity, prosperity, and power is a voluntary fall, a resignation of office in the midst of such a storm of rage, abuse, and hatred as no other Minister was ever exposed to. His political opponents are not disposed to give him credit for either wisdom or patriotism, while his followers (friends he has none) heap reproaches upon him, in which they exhaust the whole vocabulary of abuse, and accuse him of every sort of baseness, falsehood, and treachery. And what is the cause of this mighty change? It is because he is wiser than his people, that he knows better than they do what are the true principles of national policy and national economy; because, amidst a chaos of conflicting prejudices and interests, amidst the clashing of mighty powers, he entertains sound views and wants to give effect to them. It was well said that it was his purpose 'to betray the country into good measures.' The tendency of his measures has been good. If he had had time, he would have accomplished much good; but he was unfortunately 'cribbed, cabined, and confined' by his antecedent conduct, and he has been obliged to work his way by the employment of means destructive of his character, subversive of his influence, and, in the end, fatal to the objects which he had in view. The history of Peel's four years is well worth a close study. There is so much in it in connexion with the past to blame, so much in connexion with the future to praise, and all well worth pondering upon and fit to point a moral.


Afternoon.—The meeting of the Whigs took place this morning, fourteen or fifteen present. The day before Howick114 had arrived, and immediately began squabbling 326 with and dissenting from everybody. He and Ellice were with Lord John together, and Lord John so much disagreed with Howick's violent views (for he was all for extreme measures, immediate repeal, no compensation, trampling on adversaries), that Howick said pettishly, 'I see it would be useless for me to attend your meeting to-morrow.' Ellice interfered and said, 'Oh, nonsense, you had better come,' and he did. Lord John said he was very sorry Ellice had prevailed on him to come, as he should much have preferred taking him at his word.

Lord John had written to the Queen, and begged her to obtain a more positive answer whether the Protectionist part of the Cabinet would or could form a Government; and the Queen wrote to Peel accordingly. Peel's answer Lord John received this morning; it was a long letter, four sides of paper. After stating positively that the dissentients would not make the attempt, he went on to say that he was disposed to support the measures of the new Government, but that he thought it better there should be no direct communication between them; that it would give offence to many people, and not be relished by Parliament; that he could say that there were many Peers who, whatever their opinions might be about the Corn Laws, would be anxious that any measure which passed the House of Commons should pass the House of Lords, and would do all they could to assist it. This letter was first read separately, and then when Lord Lansdowne arrived late (from Bowood), and they all took their places, it was read aloud. After considerable discussion upon it, some thinking it was not enough, Clarendon proposed that another letter should be written to the Queen, requesting that she would ask Peel whether he would be opposed to a measure of immediate and total repeal, accompanied by other measures of compensation, but entering into no details, and not saying what measures of compensation they meant. This was supported by Howick, and finally agreed to. They now know that Peel intended to propose immediate suspension and final abolition, but with a short period of revival. The 327 Whigs think this will never do; they do not indeed see any great cause for the immediate suspension; but to say so would be inconsistent with all they have been lately urging, and would make them appear less liberal than Peel. Then they do not think the Corn Laws, once suspended, can ever be allowed to revive; so on the whole they prefer immediate and total repeal, with other measures of a compensatory character. His letter was to be despatched to the Queen to-night, who would, of course, send it to Peel directly, and on his answer the formation of the Government depends. The Queen in sending Peel's letter expressed her concurrence with his reasoning, and her hope that it would be found satisfactory, and begged to have the letter back again directly. X—, from whom I heard all this, told me the meeting went off very well, and on the whole harmoniously. I wanted Clarendon to contrive that there should be some communication made through Graham to Peel, that he may understand how much depends on the answer he may think fit to send. He ought to be frank and candid, but it is not in his nature, and there are many people who fancy he wants to have the Government thrown back upon him, and to go on. I do not believe this.


Friday, December 19th.—Yesterday morning the die was cast. John Russell accepted the Government. As I have already said, he wrote a letter to the Queen, and a remarkably good one, setting forth that he did not think Sir Robert Peel's plan would be sufficient, and his reasons why, and begging to know whether he would have insuperable objections to total and immediate repeal. It was certainly understood by his whole conclave that on Peel's reply to this appeal to him was to depend the question of taking or refusing the Government. The Queen sent it to Peel, and all day on Wednesday he and Graham sat in consultation upon it. On Wednesday evening he sent his reply, and yesterday morning there was another meeting at Lord John's, where the reply was read. It was very cold, declined to enter into any discussion or give any pledges, and expressed a hope that Her Majesty would not consider him wanting in respect if he 328 referred her to his former letter. On this being read there was a silence, when Clarendon first said, 'There, you now see the wisdom of having required a positive assurance from Peel. It is evident that he will not support us, and there can be no question that it will not do for us to take the Government upon it.' Howick instantly interposed that he did not see that at all, quite disagreed with him, thought Peel could not say more, and that it was quite as much as they could expect. Then ensued a quantity of conversation and discussion, all the pros and the cons, Peel's peculiar character and position, and, in short, whether they should go on or give it up. At length Lord John, who had stood with folded arms and let this go on for some time in silence, said, 'If you wish to know my opinion, I think we ought to take the Government.' He did not enter into any argument, but thus pronounced his opinion, and at last it was put to the vote. Ten were for taking, five were for declining: Lord Lansdowne, the Duke of Bedford, Clarendon, and two others whom I do not yet know, were against; all the others for. On the whole I think they did right. The only awkward part of it is that they seemed at first to announce a determination only to accept it provided they could get a certain assurance from Peel. To ask for that assurance—to be refused by him—and then to draw back from their announced resolution—to submit to his refusal—and take the Government without it as they could not have it with it—there is something in this rather mortifying and a little undignified. But though Peel would not pledge himself to any particular course, there is one very important feature in his conduct. If he has not said that he had no insuperable objection to the measure they contemplate, neither has he said that he has; and he has, after learning the extent to which they mean to go, given the same assurance of a disposition to support them which he gave before he knew it. I think, therefore, that he means to act fairly by them, to give them his support, and that he really does think that it is better for them as well as for himself that he should not say more or pledge himself more, and that he should be able to tell the House of Commons and 329 his friends that he is unfettered, and that there is neither arrangement nor understanding between them. I should certainly have voted for accepting if I had been there. It is obviously Peel's interest to act a fair and honourable part. In no other way can he stand well with the country; and in spite of the hatred of the Tory landlords and his political followers, and the abuse of the press, there is a very strong impression throughout the country amongst the well-informed and business-like middle classes that Peel is the ablest of our public men, that his intentions are good, his principles sound, and his measures wise and skilful; that on the whole, in spite of prejudice and obloquy, he has governed the country well and supplied correction and improvement in every department and direction. Peel's conduct at the present moment seems to me to be inconsistent with any design of acting unfairly by the new Government. There is such an inveterate distrust and suspicion of him that many people cannot be persuaded he is not hatching some secret and cunning plot to overthrow them in the end; but if his object had been to recover power and reconcile himself with the Tories, he had now in his hands a better opportunity than he can ever expect to find again; if he had only said one word, the Government fell back at once into his hands; if he had said he had insuperable objections to total and immediate repeal, John Russell would at once have declined, and the Queen would have sent for him again. He would have reformed and reinforced his Cabinet, and he would have told the Tories he came back to save them from the extreme measure of John Russell; he would have invited them to support his safer and more moderate measure instead of appearing as their destroyer; he would represent himself as standing between them and destruction, as their defender against ruin. That with his dexterity he might have turned this to account and have assuaged the fury of many of them can hardly be doubted. But he has done nothing of the kind; and in not taking this advantage and rejecting the Government thus placed within his grasp, I think there is far greater assurance of his fair intentions than reason to doubt them because he 330 will not give specific and definite pledges and assurances. All this I have said to one of my friends this morning who has been all along disposed to take a different view of the case and has been the principal advocate for caution and non-acceptance.


December 20th.—No novel or play ever presented such vicissitudes and events as this political drama which has been for ten days acted before the public. Yesterday, when I went to dinner at Lord Foley's, Leveson whispered to me that 'everything was at an end.' I had seen nobody in the afternoon and knew nothing, but after dinner he told me Charles Gore had told him this. I went off to Kent House and there heard the whole story. Yesterday morning they met at John Russell's as usual, and first began by a discussion of the compensations, Lord Lansdowne and others thinking it advisable to come to an agreement as to the general principles on which they should proceed in this important particular. Howick as usual argued, disputed, and battled, but at last this question was settled. Then John Russell said, 'Now, if you please, I want to see you singly, and I will begin with Howick.' Accordingly the rest went into the next room. Howick remained there forty minutes, at the end of which he stalked out, head in the air, and, without saying a word to anybody, took himself off. John Russell then called in one or two more and told them what had passed. He had offered Howick the Colonies. Howick accepted, but begged to know the other arrangements, and particularly who was to have the Foreign Office. He told him 'Palmerston.' Then said Howick, 'I will not be in the Cabinet.' He argued with him, told him all the reasons for this arrangement, said everything he could think of, but all in vain. So they parted. Then Bear Ellice, whom John Russell called into council, said it was intolerable; and he and Sir George Grey, who was to have the Home Office, went after him, and it was settled there should be another meeting in the evening. They could not find him for a long time, and when they did he would hear of nothing. It appears that some days ago John Russell did sound Palmerston about 331 taking another office, hinted that people were alarmed at him, but said he would not offer him anything else, and that the Foreign Office was at his disposal. Palmerston did not bite the least, but treated the alarms as fictitious or ridiculous, said he knew nothing of any other office, eulogised his own administration, and said he would take nothing else. Howick had on his side written a letter to John Russell, not objecting to Palmerston, but intimating that he should expect to be informed how the offices were to be allotted: something indicative of a possible breeze, but not of the storm which has burst forth. In the middle of the day John Russell wrote to Palmerston and told him a difficulty had arisen, and that one of their colleagues objected to his taking the Foreign Office. Palmerston very properly replied that 'this was an additional reason for his accepting no other.' In the afternoon John Russell, finding Howick would come to no terms, declared that he would throw the whole thing up, that he could not do without Grey in the Lords, and that the breach with him would produce difficulties and embarrassments that would materially impair his chance of success. Peel was to go down to Windsor this morning to resign, and John Russell wrote to the Queen to inform her of what had occurred, and begged her to put Peel off till the afternoon, and meanwhile he would himself go down to Windsor, where he is, in fact, gone, to resign. I find that most of his colleagues concur in this resolution: Auckland, who was at Kent House, Clarendon and Lord Lansdowne, both of whom have always been against taking office, and I know not who besides. I think they are wrong. It may be a question whether they ought to have accepted or refused upon Peel's letter, whether they had then grounds enough; but it seems to me pusillanimous and discreditable to suffer Howick to break up the Government they had consented to form, upon a purely personal question, unmixed with any political one. Such is the state of things this day at twelve o'clock; but from hour to hour it is impossible to say or guess how it may all be changed. The Government is really like a halfpenny whirling in the air, with John Russell's head on one side and Peel's on the other. 332


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

At two o'clock Peel arrived, and upon her informing him that John Russell had resigned, giving him the Minute to read, and requesting him to retake the Government, he immediately and without making any difficulties consented to do so, saying, however, that he would have supported John Russell if he had formed his Government. The Queen wrote to John Russell and told him what had passed, which he announced to us at dinner at Palmerston's. I never saw people so happy, as most, perhaps all of them, are to have got out of their engagement; even Lady Palmerston said she did not wish for the Foreign Office again. It was known yesterday that Howick was the cause of this sudden break-up, and what he had done, and there was a general disposition to blame him severely, but also to blame them for not having let him depart and gone on without him. If they had been really anxious to come in, and if they had had an entire confidence in Peel's intentions, they no doubt would have done so; but the Peers of the party, who were all of them opposed to taking office on Thursday, were still more decidedly against it when they found Howick was to leave them. They had counted upon him as their principal speaker in the House of Lords, and when they found that 333 the whole burthen was to fall on them, and that they were very likely to have Howick against them instead of for them, urging impossible measures, they vehemently pressed John Russell to give it up; and this disinclination on the part of so many members of his Cabinet to face these difficulties determined him to resign. If Peel's engagement to support them had been more definite and positive, they would probably not have cared for Howick's secession; but, already dissatisfied with Peel, they were too happy to take the opportunity which Howick afforded them to draw back altogether. Peel's reserve was really then the cause of the failure, and I have a strong suspicion that he was reserved and abstained from pledging himself because he thought John Russell would very likely not be able to accomplish his task, that in case of failure the Government would fall back into his hands, and that he was resolved all the time to retake it if it was offered to him again. At all events he has shown his prudence, and it is very fortunate for him that he did not pledge himself to any particular course, and that he has kept himself at liberty to do exactly what he pleases. He is not the least pledged either for or against total repeal. The conversation I had with Sidney Herbert some nights ago gave me a suspicion that they were looking forward to the possibility, if not the probability, of their immediate resumption of office. I think, on the whole, Lord John had sufficient reason for giving it up, but that the world—that is, the Whig world—and those who desired his success, who cannot know what was passing in his green-room, will think he ought, after going so far, to have gone on to the end. The last scene will not appear to have been well played out. It will be thought that if they saw cause enough on public grounds to undertake it, they ought not to have been deterred from proceeding because one unreasonable member of the Cabinet raised objections and difficulties of a purely personal nature, and which had no reference to the great measure which it was their mission to carry through. This is, as far as one can see, the general opinion. 334



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

London, Monday, December 22nd, 1845.—Yesterday there was an interval of repose, and the world is now looking with great curiosity for Peel's proceedings, and what changes, if any, will be made in the Cabinet. I met Monteagle at dinner at Palmerston's last night, when we talked over the rise and fall of Lord John's attempt, and he expressed a strong opinion that they ought to have gone on; that Lord John ought not to have argued with Howick at all, but have said at once, 'I am sorry to lose you, but since this is your resolution, I am afraid we must be deprived of your aid, but I trust you will support us.' He says he knows the man, and if Lord John had taken this course Howick would have given way. It is now said that he desired Edward Ellice to impart to Lord John his objections to Palmerston, and that Ellice never did it; but, be this as it may, he ought not to have 335 left the matter in doubt, but have had a clear explanation with Lord John at first. Sidney Herbert told me they came back with great regret, but could not do otherwise, situated as the Queen was by Lord John's retiring. At this moment all speculation and all conjecture about what will happen, what Peel will propose, and what will be the event, must be so wild and uncertain, that though these questions are in everybody's mouth and occupy everybody's thoughts incessantly, I shall not now say anything on the subject.


I have been so engaged in the narration of passing events that I have not said a word on the sudden death of Lord Wharncliffe, who, after an illness of ten days, was struck on Thursday last by a stroke of apoplexy, and died on Friday morning, none of his family having supposed him to be in any danger. He was not a popular man in general society; his manners were ungracious, and to those who knew little of him, or who had occasional relations with him, he generally gave offence; but he was deservedly loved and esteemed by his family and his friends. He was kind-hearted, affectionate, hospitable, and obliging, an excellent, well-meaning man, and those who disliked him at first, on a more intimate acquaintance grew to regard and respect him. He was very far from being a man of first-rate capacity, but he had good strong sense, liberal opinions, honesty, straightforwardness, and courage—rather more perhaps of physical than of moral courage, for a braver man never existed; but in political action he was checked by a consciousness of his insignificance in comparison with his compeers, and he did not assert his independence and put forth his opinions with the confidence which an abler and more indispensable man would have done. He gave unquestionable proofs of his physical courage by braving a mob in a very dauntless manner upon I forget now what occasion, but I think in Yorkshire during some of the Reform riots; and he showed a want of moral courage in submitting so meekly to join the Tories in their mad attempt upon the Reform Bill, after the second reading had been carried, when Lyndhurst proposed to postpone Schedule A, one of the greatest political 336 blunders that ever was made. Wharncliffe's place in the political scale was that of the most conspicuous and important of the country gentlemen, with a large property, considerable local influence, fair talents, a respectable education, active, resolute, and honest. Upon two occasions he played a prominent part: first, when he moved the resolution which overturned the Ministry after Perceval's death, though that Ministry speedily recovered and had a long reign; and, secondly (by far the most important), when he, in conjunction with Lord Harrowby, collected that small band, in derision termed Waverers, whose junction with Lord Grey enabled him to carry the second reading of the Reform Bill in the House of Lords. In that Lord Wharncliffe did good service, but unhappily he had not resolution enough to persevere to the end, and was in such a hurry to reconcile himself to the Tories (who never forgave him) that he undid the merit of his first exploit, and contrived to render himself odious to both parties. The pages of this Journal are, however, full of the details of that transaction.115 On Peel's Government being formed in '35, he came into office; and again in 1841 Peel invited him to join, but he was disappointed in not having a more important office. He grew, however, to like the Council Office well enough, and he addressed himself to the Education Department with great zeal and ardour. He conducted it very fairly and liberally, too liberally for the High Churchmen, who regarded him with distrust and dislike, and who were deeply offended at the plainspoken way in which he rebuked them for their obstinate and illiberal counteraction of the beneficent intentions of the Government. He had not weight enough, however, in the Cabinet to obtain as great an extension of the system as he would have desired. During the last struggle in Peel's Cabinet he took the Protectionist side, and was one of the sturdiest opponents of Repeal. He would, however, probably have returned with the Duke of Buccleuch and others, and Peel counted upon his disposition to have done so, and expressed 337 his regret, in a letter to his son, that he had lost the aid of his courage and honesty at this trying time. Perhaps the moment of his life when he appeared to the greatest advantage was when he stood up in the House of Lords and prevented the Tory Peers from swamping the decision of the Law Lords in O'Connell's case. He was for above twenty years Chairman of the Quarter Sessions, and for four years Lord-Lieutenant of his county, and in both capacities acted with credit and approbation. In public life thus playing a secondary, but an honourable and useful part; in private life he was irreproachable, amiable, and respected. He had a warmth of affection and steadiness of friendship, and a simplicity both of manners and character, which endeared him to his family and his friends, and no man ever died with fewer enemies, with more general goodwill, and more sincerely regretted by every one belonging to or intimate with him.116


December 23rd.—Yesterday morning Lord Aberdeen stated that they did not mean to make many changes; hinted that the measure they contemplated would not be a decisive one; said the Queen had been much astonished at John Russell's conduct of the recent affair—first, at his taking so much time to consider, and secondly, throwing it up so soon after he had decided to take office, and on such grounds; and that she had contrasted the alacrity with which Sir Robert Peel retook it, with the hesitation of his opponents. In the afternoon Graham sent for me. He began to talk over the Whig failure, expressed his amazement at the want of firmness and resolution of John Russell, qualities for which he had always given him unlimited credit, and in which he seemed to have been strangely wanting on this occasion. He expatiated on this at great length, and said pretty much what all the Whigs are themselves saying; he said he regretted it on Lord John's account, for whom he felt regard and admiration; that he was sensible 338 of the great advantage it had given to them; that if John Russell had resigned on the public grounds he might have alleged, they should have been placed in great difficulty, and have incurred great odium and suspicion; but that as it was, the Whigs would appear to have failed discreditably, their leader to have evinced weakness and vacillation, and they were only doing what, under the circumstances, they could not avoid, and accepting a task that was forced upon them. He evidently considered that the Lord had delivered his opponents into the hands of himself and friends. I told him what the real cause of the failure was, the fears and scruples of the Whig Peers, and how this last difficulty revived and strengthened the objections and doubts before felt and expressed, and that John Russell would not attempt to drag on to the battle a Cabinet half of which was reluctant and frightened. Graham did not think these reasons at all sufficient, and still more that as they were such as could not be put forth, the case must appear a very bad one to the world in general—a lame and unaccountable conclusion. He then remarked upon the want of resource as well as of firmness of John Russell, said the remedy was obvious, that he should have let Howick go at once, and have called Palmerston up to the House of Peers; that Palmerston would then have had a fine position; that he could not have declined, as John Russell, after having stood by him, would have had a right to require him to lend his aid to the Government in whatever manner it could be rendered most efficient; that if it was not enough to call up Palmerston, he would have called up Morpeth, Macaulay, or any member that might have been necessary—anything rather than recede, after having advanced so far. He said that such infirmity of purpose was so unlike John Russell that he could not help thinking something had in some degree unnerved him. He said the Whigs could have carried this question better than they could, and that his and Peel's support would have enabled them to do so; gave me to understand that this support might have been counted upon; alluded to the extraordinary and unprecedented course of applying to them 339 (without touching on particulars), but admitted that the circumstances of the case were extraordinary, and excused a deviation from ordinary practice. He told me nothing of the plans of his own Government; expressed in the outset of the conversation some apprehension lest there might be some hidden and unexplained motive for the extraordinary break-up, and some ingredient of distrust or suspicion of them. I told him that there was no reason but that which had appeared, and certainly no distrust of them. After I left him, he saw George Lewis, and went over pretty much the same ground with him also. At night I met Morpeth at Miss Berry's, who talked it all over, and acknowledged his disgust and disappointment. He said he could not help thinking that some domestic anxiety had had a considerable effect on Lord John's mind, and unstrung his nerves; that when he had seen him after the finale he (Morpeth) had expressed himself rather strongly, and the next day he called on Lord John and said he was afraid he had done so. Lord John said he had felt a little hurt, and then pulled out of his pocket a letter, and desired him to read it. He burst into tears, and said he rejoiced for himself to be out of it. This corresponded with Graham's impression. So far as I have seen, all the strong men of the party are of Morpeth's opinion. Le Marchant, wishing to extract sweet from bitter, said, 'Well, after all, it may do us good. It will show that the Whigs are not so greedy after office, and it will wipe out the recollection of those two years when we stayed in too long.' Macaulay replied, 'I don't know that at all, it may only increase the blame. We stayed in when we ought to have gone out, and now we stay out when we ought to have gone in.'


London, December 24th.—Yesterday I attended a Council at Windsor; Stanley out, and Gladstone in. There I had a great deal of talk with Graham, Aberdeen, and Peel; nothing fresh with the former. Aberdeen expressed, like everybody else, his astonishment at the conduct of the Whigs; said they would have carried their measure, and that Peel would have unquestionably given them every support. They 340 could not doubt that, after what he had said. I told him they were not satisfied with what he had said, that they had indeed resolved to go on and to trust to him, but that there was a strong minority who thought his reply not explicit enough, and that it was not expedient to make the attempt upon so vague a promise of support. He expressed the greatest surprise at this, and that they, knowing the character of Peel, should expect anything more explicit from him, and that they should not see in the answer, such as it was, an unmistakeable indication of his resolution to support them. We then talked a little of his measure and their measure, and he said that, desirable as it was to settle the question once for all and put an end to the League, it might be very difficult for Peel to propose, what the Whigs might very properly and consistently do, and that he might have supported out of office, and under present circumstances, a measure which he could not himself have proposed as Minister. He hinted, however, that the change in the state of affairs enabled him now to do more (at least so I understood him) than he had contemplated doing before the break-up of his Cabinet. He talked very fairly of Palmerston, and said that he and Peel too had done all they could to reconcile the Foreign Ministers and others to Palmerston's return to the Foreign Office, and assured them that they had nothing to apprehend from it. He then talked of Oregon, treated the President's message with great indifference, and said he was quite certain to settle the question in the course of the year, and confident there was no disposition to go to war in America.

Peel afterwards talked about Lord John's failure, and expressed his astonishment and (with what sincerity is best known to himself) his regret, inasmuch as it lowered John Russell, for whom he felt great consideration and esteem; that he ought, when sent for, at once to have taken or at once to have refused office; that when the Queen told him (Peel) how she was situated, he at once said he would resume the Government; from that moment he was her Minister. He was evidently elated at the advantage that 341 had been thrown into his hands, and chuckling mightily at the pitiful figure which the Whigs cut, and at the contrast so favourable to himself which the whole case will exhibit.


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

At night I met Howick at the Travellers', who said he wanted very much to talk to me, that he heard I had abused him violently. I told him I had not done that, because I never condemned anybody without knowing first what they had to say; but that, like most others, I had certainly been unfavourably impressed with what I had reason to believe were the facts in respect to his conduct. He begged me to tell him what I supposed the facts to be, and I did so. He then said that he wished me to be acquainted with the true state of the case, the substance of which was as follows. He came up to town with Edward Ellice, and he then told him his insuperable objection to Palmerston's being at the 342 Foreign Office. He did not, indeed, desire Ellice to tell John Russell, but knowing that he would be confidentially consulted by John Russell, he made sure he would tell him, as he intended that he should. He did not himself in the first instance say anything to Lord John on the subject, nor Lord John to him. It was on a Monday they first met, and entered on discussion. There was then a difference of opinion about the measure to be proposed, which John Russell wanted to be less decisive than was afterwards settled, an intention which Howick opposed, and in which he prevailed. There were other discussions on various matters, but none on the composition of the Cabinet; but on Wednesday Howick wrote a long letter to John Russell, in which he expressed his sentiments and his wishes in respect to the Irish Church and one other matter, which I have forgotten, and then went at large into the question of the Cabinet. He said that he would much rather not take office at all, and that if he could do without him he would engage to give him every support out of office; but if he considered him indispensable, he must tell him upon what understanding he would consent to serve; that he considered that they should be very weak, do what they would, and that it was therefore of paramount importance that the Cabinet should be framed in such a manner as to command the confidence of the country; that the different offices should be filled by the men who were the best fitted for them, and that no considerations of interest or favour, but especially that no claims upon the ground of former possession, should be listened to. He dwelt upon the importance of this, and desired that the rule he proposed to lay down should be applied to everybody without exception. He said that it was impossible John Russell could have any doubt about his meaning, that he had indeed purposely abstained from naming Palmerston, because it was an invidious thing to do, and because he wished to put it on general rather than personal grounds; that to have named Palmerston would have greatly embarrassed Lord John; and, moreover, he knew that the objection he felt, and which he meant thus to convey, was felt by him in 343 common with many other members of the new Government, and especially by John Russell himself. He said that he knew Palmerston's appointment would be regarded with the greatest alarm by the great interests and the public generally here, and with dismay all over the Continent, and that he considered it of vital importance not to begin their difficult task by an appointment which all the world would consider so unwise and so dangerous. Having thus discharged his mind, he said no more. John Russell wrote him an answer in which he replied to the other topics, but did not say a word upon this. Then came the Thursday, the day John Russell resolved to accept; and he came to this resolution without any explanation with Howick. On Friday came the explosion. Howick said that the objection he raised was only what he had already intimated in his letter on Wednesday; but while he felt so strongly upon it that he could not give way, he offered to make every concession in his power to adjust the matter. Having been offered the Colonial Office, and the lead in the House of Lords, he offered to resign both to Palmerston if he would take them; to act under him if he would go to the Lords, and to take any other office which John Russell thought him fit for. He said he thought these were great concessions, that he had been extremely dissatisfied with other arrangements, particularly Hobhouse going back to the Board of Control, and Charles Wood having a sinecure, and not in the Cabinet; but these he had submitted to, and had given way on certain other matters which had not satisfied him; but that to Palmerston's being at the Foreign Office he could not and would not consent. This was the substance of his explanation to me, interlarded with many comments and much miscellaneous matter. I told him that this certainly altered the case very much, and put it in a very different light; but I would not conceal from him that in so important a matter he ought not to have left anything to chance, or have suffered an hour to elapse without coming to a clear understanding with John Russell; that he should not have trusted to Edward Ellice telling him, and that since he regarded it 344 as a matter of such consequence that his consent or refusal to join depended on it, he ought to have cleared everything up at once; on the other hand, that I must own his letter ought to have been intelligible, and that after receiving it Lord John was also much to blame in not bringing on an explanation. In fact, both were to blame; but I think John Russell was most to blame, because it was his business to see his way clearly before him, to reconcile and adjust rival pretensions and incompatible opinions; and most assuredly he had had warning enough on Wednesday not to pass the Rubicon on Thursday without settling so important a matter. Howick knows that Lord John tried to get Palmerston to take the Colonies, and he knows how many of the Whig leaders in their hearts thought as he did. He means to make his own defence in the House of Lords, and it is evident that he counts upon general sympathy with himself as to the cause of the dispute, whatever may be thought of the manner of conducting it. But whatever may be thought of Howick or Palmerston, it will add to the discredit which already attaches to Lord John as a statesman and leader of a great party; it will afford fresh evidence of a deficiency of the qualities requisite for his post and the task he undertook. There were no resource and adroitness, none of those arts of conciliation and persuasion, none of that commanding and insinuating influence which are so necessary in the conduct of transactions of such a difficult and delicate nature.


December 26th.—I receive daily letters from the Duke of Bedford, to whom all sorts of people write upon the subject of the late affair. He is exceedingly anxious to make out that Lord John and his friends acted well and wisely, but he evidently labours all the time under a consciousness that their case is not defensible, and that in public opinion they cut a very poor figure. He endeavours to comfort himself with the approbation which is expressed by many who may be sincere, but who may also only say to him what they think it would be agreeable to him to hear. Meanwhile the news of the return of Peel has been received abroad with transports of joy, and here the funds and all securities have 345 risen with extraordinary rapidity. My letters have been read at Paris by Guizot and Madame de Lieven with the greatest avidity, and by the former taken to the King, under a promise that he would say nothing about them in his own correspondence with Windsor.117



The other day Mr. Woodfall, grandson of the original publisher of 'Junius' Letters,' came to me to ask me if I 347 would edit a new edition of 'Junius.' He said he had nothing new to furnish, and the only scrap that never has been published is one which never could be, a copy of very indecent verses upon the Duke of Grafton and Nancy Parsons in Junius' handwriting, and sent to Woodfall. He told me that his father never had an idea who Junius was, but never would believe that Francis was the man.


January 1st, 1846.—I went to the Grove last Saturday; 348 nothing new, but the agitation of the famous ten days still leaves a ruffled surface, and the world is full of talk about the past and speculation about the future. John Russell, who was much disquieted at the effect produced by the sudden explosion of his concern, has got into good spirits again from the encouragement and approbation with which he has been comforted from his own adherents and friends. I have had a controversy with his brother about it, who, partly from conviction and partly from affection, highly approves of the resignation, while regretting it did not take place before, or rather that he ever accepted. He has satisfied me, now that I see even more than I did before of the extreme reluctance of some of his leading men, not merely to take office, but to the measure for which it was to be taken, that it ought to have been given up at once. Lord John was right to make the attempt for the Queen's sake, but he might and ought at once to have told her after the first meeting he could not undertake it. Instead of putting the matter upon the issue of Peel's answer, he ought not to have applied to Peel at all, but have given it up on the ground of difference among his own friends. If they had been united and cordial, then he might have communicated with Peel, and under the extraordinary circumstances he would have been justified in doing so. When I told the Duke of Bedford what Graham said about Palmerston's going to the House of Lords, he said, and repeated afterwards that it was impossible. I asked him why. In a letter to-day he tells me. He says that Palmerston was so much against the measure (the repeal of the Corn Laws), and so disapproved of Lord John's letter, that he made a great sacrifice in joining the Government at all, wished not to have done so, and that the most that could be expected from him was his vote; that to require him to go to the Lords, for the purpose of taking the lead in introducing and arguing for a measure of which in his heart he disapproved, would have been disgraceful to all parties, and he expressed the strongest feelings upon such a hypothetical case. His letter is a very good one, and his sentiments are just and honourable 349 and do him credit. I entirely agree in this view of the case; but though I was aware of Palmerston's opinions, I did not know they were so strong and decided as he tells me that they are. Melbourne's are the same.118 It is pretty clear that if Lord John had not so publicly and so irrevocably pronounced himself in his famous letter, there would have been disputes in his Cabinet on the measure they should propose which would have made the formation of any Government impossible. As it was, the different members had only to make up their minds whether they would subscribe to his declaration or not. Lord Aberdeen states that Peel had received many assurances of support from Conservatives, and many from quarters where he had reckoned upon opposition; that the plan for the Repeal of the Corn Laws is not yet matured, but that it was to be something of this sort—an immediate reduction of duty to the amount of two-thirds, a total abolition in three years.


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

Yesterday I went to Graham, to talk to him about the state of affairs, and to tell him what might interest him. I told him what the two brothers said, and about Cobden. He said, 'What I should like to know is, what John Russell says, and how he is disposed. I have the greatest confidence 350 in his capacity and his honour; he is by far the ablest man, and I consider that everything now depends upon him. We made a tender of the Government to those who we thought had a better right than we had to settle this question. I believe he is not dissatisfied with our conduct to him. It remains for us to propose a measure, the best we can devise, and such as we think ought to be accepted. We shall, as soon as Parliament meets, declare what we propose. We think it better that there should be no concert or communication between us and anybody; but when we have announced our plan, it will be for John Russell to consider it, and if he thinks, all things considered, that it is such a plan as we can and ought to propose, and as it would be expedient to accept, if it is a plan to which he thinks he can conscientiously give his assent (and if he does think so, I know his support will be given with effect), then I have no doubt we shall succeed. I consider everything depends upon this. I have never given myself the trouble of counting noses, nor should I, for I hold it quite impossible that any measure concurrently supported by Peel and John Russell can fail.' He said that as far as they could see at present the agriculturists would present 'an unbroken phalanx' in the House of Commons. I asked him about adhesions, and he shook his head and gave me to understand there were none of any consequence. They have asked Francis Egerton to move the address.

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


Clarendon received Henry Pierrepoint at the Grove a few days ago, who came from Strathfieldsaye, and his account of the Duke, and of what he said, is not without interest, so I transcribe it from his letter. 'Henry Pierrepoint has been very willing to communicate all he knew, which 351 did not amount to much. It is clear that the Duke of Wellington resents the whole of Peel's conduct, that he dislikes him, feels he has never had his whole confidence, and has foreseen for the last six months that he was preparing to overthrow the Corn Laws. Pierrepoint considers this to be the cause of the unapproachable state of irritation in which he has been during the autumn. The Duke says, "rotten potatoes have done it all; they put Peel in his d—d fright;" and both for the cause and the effect he seems to feel equal contempt. When he found that Peel was determined to meddle with the Corn Laws, he wrote a long paper against it, but said that he should defer to Peel, and certainly not leave the Government, if the majority of the Cabinet were in favour of the measure. He was not, however, sorry to be released by the majority being dissentient. When they all shuffled back to their places by the Queen's command, he looked on himself as one of the rank and file, ordered to fall in, and he set about doing his duty, and preparing for battle. He has written a great many letters to Tory Lords, such as Rutland, Beaufort, Salisbury, Exeter, and has received some very stiff and unsatisfactory answers, particularly from Beaufort, who tells him that when they all sacrificed their opinions on the Catholic question, they had at the head of the Government a leader on whose honour they relied and whose conscientious motives they could not but respect; but that the case was very different now, when they had for their leader a man who had violated every principle and pledge, and in whom no party could put any trust.' I have little doubt that Alvanley, who has long been laid up at Badminton, dictated this letter, for he is very violent, and says 'Peel ought not to die a natural death.'

There has been a curious scene with Melbourne at Windsor, which was told me by Jocelyn, who was present. It was at dinner, when Melbourne was sitting next to the Queen. Some allusion was made to passing events and to the expected measure, when Melbourne suddenly broke out, 'Ma'am, it is a damned dishonest act.' The Queen 352 laughed, and tried to quiet him, but he repeated, 'I say again it is a very dishonest act,' and then he continued a tirade against abolition of Corn Laws, the people not knowing how to look, and the Queen only laughing. The Court is very strong in favour of Free Trade, and not less in favour of Peel. Jocelyn told me that he went one day to covert with the Prince, when he asked him if he did not think John Russell had lowered himself very much by his conduct in the crisis, by taking so many days to consider whether he should take the Government, and then so suddenly giving it up for such a cause. Jocelyn said he did not think so, and added what occurred to him about the difficulties of the case, when the Prince said 'he acted very differently from Sir Robert Peel in 1835, and again the other day. He took no time to consider, but at once undertook it without any hesitation or delay.'

Leveson has asked me to write something about his father, and I am going to attempt to do so. He was a very amiable man, and a good friend to me always; his life was long and prosperous beyond that of most men; he never made an enemy, and had the art of making more and warmer friends than any man I have known, which, as he was reserved in his manners, is a proof of the excellence and the attractive qualities of his character. This is really the amount of what is to be said of him, for he was not concerned in any great events, or even took an active part in party politics, although he was engaged in many diplomatic missions of importance. But a just tribute may be paid to those high and honourable qualities which secured to him so much real regard and consideration from all who became intimately acquainted with him, not less in France than in this country, and a devoted affection from his nearest and dearest relations which nothing could surpass.119


January 14th.—I saw Lord Bessborough120 last night, just 353 come from Ireland, talked over present affairs, respecting which he is, like most other people, in a state of great uneasiness and uncertainty; he regrets that he was not here while Lord John's Government was forming, and does not doubt that if he had been he should have prevented what has occurred; for Howick would have told him at first his intentions, when he should have gone at once to John Russell and got everything cleared up before they proceeded further. His impression seems rather to be, that he should have prevented the acceptance; but he is clear that first taking it without seeing their way, and then giving it up, was all wrong. He says that he is sure Howick would have been reasonable and have given way. He has had a great deal of communication with him now, and he told me a part of Howick's case which I had not heard before. It seems that after his interview with Lord John on Friday, he went home and wrote him a letter, setting forth his reasons for objecting to Palmerston. This letter Lord John put into Ellice's hands, who went to Howick and asked him if it was final. Howick said it was, and asked him if he thought he was wrong. Ellice replied, 'I don't say I think you are wrong; but I tell you, if you persist, you will break up the attempt to form a Government,' and then he left him. Howick says that he did not believe the Government would have been thus thrown up, and that if an opportunity had been given him he would have referred the question to his colleagues, and if they had been of opinion that Palmerston ought to be at the Foreign Office, he would have deferred to that opinion and waived his own objection. This, however, is very well to say now; he should have said so at once, as he might have done. Bessborough says Howick cannot be excused for not speaking out to John Russell at once the first moment he saw him. I told him what I believed the Corn Law measure was to be, and he said that this would carry the support of the Liberal party, but not without some exceptions; he doubts if the Irish will come over. He says there will be no deficiency of consequence in the potato crop, none of the potatoes are entirely spoiled; 354 but the state of Ireland is very bad in parts, and requires coercive measures. He wants the Proclamation Act to be renewed; the Conciliation Hall has its agents everywhere, and governs Ireland more than the Government does. If he had been Lord Lieutenant he would not have consented to divide authority with that body, but would have insisted on curbing it in some way, and he thinks the Proclamation Act would be the most effectual.

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

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


During these last days the Whig and Peelite (for now there are Peelites, as contradistinguished from Tories) 355 whippers-in have been making lists, and they concur in giving Peel a large majority. They reckon Protectionists 200, Peelites 180, and then there are the Whigs and Liberals 200 or 300; but Bessborough, who is very experienced, says these lists are very loose and not to be depended on at all. Francis Egerton tells me Peel is in very good spirits—better than his colleagues—and thinks he has a very good case to make for himself. He tells me that he wrote to Peel to tell him he had changed his own opinion on the Corn Laws, and that the time was arrived when protective duties must be abolished. He wrote this letter knowing nothing of what was going on, and he sent it the very day before the famous article in the 'Times' appeared. He did not get an answer till after the resignations. He also told me that they would have made him Earl of Bridgewater and President of the Council, which he declined.

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

January 23rd.—Went to the House of Commons last night. Francis Egerton moved the Address very well, and his speech was admired. Immediately after the seconder, Peel rose and spoke for about two hours. A very fine speech in a very high tone. He owned to a change of opinion which had been going on for two years; was confirmed by the statistical result of his Free Trade experiment, and urged on to action by the potato failure in November, when he wanted to call Parliament together and open the ports, but was overruled in the Cabinet, where he had only three 356 others with him. His statistical results were very curious. He declared himself indifferent to office, which was too much for him bodily and intellectually, but while he could be of use to the Queen and the country he would stay there. His peroration was fine, in a tone of great excitement, very determined, and full of defiance. He did not get a solitary cheer from the people behind him, except when he said that Stanley had always been against him and never admitted either the danger or the necessity, and then the whole of those benches rang with cheers. He made two mistakes. He went on too long upon his Conservative measures, in a strain calculated to offend those in conjunction with whom he must now fight this battle; and he talked of 'a proud aristocracy,' which was an unlucky phrase, though clear from the context that he did not mean anything offensive in it. It certainly was not a speech calculated to lead to a reconciliation between him and the Tories; and it is difficult to see how he will be able to go on after this session, supposing him to settle the Corn Bill. Lord John rose after him, and spoke very well; gave his explanation (Peel had explained everything up to Lord John's being sent for), and read all the correspondence that had passed. It was very full and open; very moderate about Howick, for whom he expressed strong feelings of regard; very civil to Peel, and altogether proper and well done. Then came an hour of gibes and bitterness, all against Peel personally, from Disraeli, with some good hits, but much of it tiresome; vehemently cheered by the Tories, but not once by the Whigs, who last year used to cheer similar exhibitions lustily. I never heard him before; his fluency is wonderful, his cleverness great, and his mode of speaking certainly effective, though there is something monotonous in it. In the Lords the Duke of Wellington absurdly enough said he had not got the Queen's leave to enter into any explanations, and this prevented the others from doing so. In the end Howick will be sure to explain, but they have moved heaven and earth to get him to hold his tongue. Bessborough has passed hours and written volumes in this attempt. 357


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


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

As I proceeded I fell in with other people—Charles Buller, Hawes, Sir Charles Lemon, Fonblanque, and of the other faction, Lord Carnarvon. The Liberals were full of praise, and Fonblanque said, 'I don't hesitate to say it is the grandest scheme any Minister ever propounded to Parliament. I look upon it as greater than the Reform Bill.' He said, however, they must (the Liberals) propose immediate abolition; Hawes said the same; Lord Carnarvon, one of the cleverest of the Protectionists, seemed softened, and 359 not indisposed (as I thought, though he did not say so) to lay down his arms.


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

In the evening we all dined at the Duke of Buccleuch's for the Sheriffs, and then I told him there had been a meeting at Lord John's in the morning, where they had come to a resolution (twenty people being present) to determine on nothing for the present; they are, in fact, waiting to see how public opinion pronounces itself. Charles Villiers wanted to get up in the House of Commons on Tuesday night and declare his approbation of the plan, but Cobden would not let him. Not, however, that this was unfair, for Peel begged people not to express any opinion till they had had time to reflect upon it. I met Peel at dinner yesterday, but he did not say one word to me about my pamphlet, nor on any other subject. But Aberdeen came to me, and said he had long 360 wanted to see me to thank me for it, and then praised it with a warmth and strength of expression that I was not prepared for.

January 30th.—Yesterday morning Charles Villiers called on me to say that there had been a meeting the night before at Ricardo's, where Cobden, Wilson (Chairman of the London League), himself, and some others dined; and Lord Grey came in the evening. Cobden was very bitter against Peel, and Lord Grey, urgent for proposing immediate repeal. This Cobden decided upon also, and Wilson went down to Manchester yesterday morning to stir up public opinion there the same way. Charles Villiers said it certainly would be proposed, and that John Russell would as certainly support it. He asked whether there was not a possibility of the Government giving way; and if, as appeared lately, the Protectionists themselves were content to take it, whether immediate repeal could not be substituted for the sliding scale. I told him it was impossible; he said Lord Grey was going 'to break ground' in the House of Lords last night. I went out soon after and met Charles Wood, with whom I walked for half an hour. He was also full of proposing immediate repeal, and talked in the same strain of the preference of the Tories for it, rather than for the plan as it is. I told him as strongly as I could what the risk and difficulty would be of taking this course, implored him to accept the compromise that was offered, and at all events that he would well weigh the probable consequences of doing otherwise, and give my representations some consideration. He seemed somewhat struck by what I said. I then went to Graham, and told him of the meeting at Ricardo's, and Wilson's journey, and Grey's intention, and that it was now clear immediate repeal would be proposed, and that probably, though nothing was settled, Lord John and the Whigs would support it. He said that Ashley had just thrown in his Ten Hours Bill, availing himself of the weakness and distracted state of the Government, and they were at that moment (he and Peel) considering how they should deal with that question; he then talked of the meditated assault 361 upon them, and of John Russell's conduct. I said that, looking at his last letter to the Queen, I thought she would resent such an attack if he made it, and consider it inconsistent with his engagement to her.123 He said, 'I'll tell you what. You know I have a weakness for John Russell, that from old recollections I have a great regard for him, as well as admiration for his talents; but you may rely on it that if he takes this course the Queen will never forgive him, and that she will send for Lord Grey or for any man in her dominions rather than for him, if she has to choose a new Minister, and that nothing but compulsion will make her take him, for she will think that his engagement to her was a trick, and that he has shamefully deceived her.'


In the afternoon Charles Villiers came to me again, and told me that Cobden had received a great many letters from Manchester and elsewhere full of approbation of the scheme, and that it was very evident (though the sliding scale was disliked very much) that there would be a general manifestation of opinion in its favour, and such a one that the Whigs would have a very good excuse for not supporting the League, who must propose immediate repeal. What Charles Villiers wants is that it should be proposed and be defeated. He is quite content to take the plan as it is, but he cannot separate from his friends, and Cobden considers himself obliged to propose it. After all these communications I wrote to the Duke of Bedford, who is gone to Belvoir, begging him to come up to town, telling him matters were in a serious state, and that his moderating influence was very necessary. In all this affair, so far, and since his speech the first night which was very good, John Russell does not shine; but he is a very clever, ingenious, but little man, full of personal feelings and antipathies, and not, I suspect, without something of envy, which galls and provokes him and makes him lose his head and his temper together. 362 However, it is very necessary to keep him out of such a scrape as he is getting himself into by his intended attack on the Government measure, and in which the only safety for him would be in defeat; not but what the attempt would do him irretrieveable mischief.

February 2nd.—I dined with George Harcourt on Saturday, and sat next to Macaulay at dinner, when we talked about the measure, and what the Whigs should do. He was all for urging immediate repeal. I told him they must take care not to put the measure itself in jeopardy, and suggested my own view of what Peel might do, and what Lord John ought to do after his letter to the Queen. He said, on the first point, that he certainly would rather give up pressing for immediate repeal than endanger the measure, but that if Peel would consider a vote carried against him on that point so seriously as to induce him to throw it up or resign, he ought to say so; he ought to take an opportunity of giving them notice as to what he would regard in so serious a light, that they might at least understand what they were about. As to the second point, he said he was sure John Russell did not see it as I did, and that not one of the eighteen or twenty persons who were assembled the other day at his house took that view of it; that he apprehended all Lord John meant was to intimate to the Queen that if he did not succeed in improving the Bill in committee (which he was entirely at liberty to do as he thought best), he should be content to take it as the Government might have framed it. I said that I could not possibly put any such construction on it, and that it seemed hardly worth his while to tell the Queen that if he could not alter it he would take it unaltered, which he could not help doing; and I argued that taking it with the context of the letter, and with what had previously passed, I thought nothing but the greatest sophistry could put any other meaning on it than this—that though Peel's measure might not be the same as his would have been, nevertheless he would support it; that he would not insist as the condition of his support that it should be exactly the same: and, 363 therefore, to attack it in an essential part, and the part he had specified as that which he should not insist upon, would be a hostile move, and if successful might have very serious consequences.


In the evening I met Monteagle at Lady Palmerston's, when he took me aside and said, 'I want to say something to you. If Peel will consider an attempt to substitute immediate repeal fatal to his measure, he ought to say so, he ought to give some notice of his intentions.' I merely said, 'I understand you,' and we parted. Yesterday morning I called on Graham and had a long conversation with him, telling him precisely what had passed. I was not prepared for what he said in reply, inasmuch as it indicated a possibility at least of their adopting the immediate repeal instead of their own plan. He said it would be very difficult for Peel to give any such intimation as they required, and very inexpedient to fetter himself in any way, as it was quite impossible to say what course it might eventually be expedient to adopt; that if, as there seemed some reason to believe, the agriculturists themselves should clearly manifest a preference for immediate repeal, it might be advisable to alter the measure; and he then told me of a letter Sidney Herbert had received from a large farmer, one of his constituents, approving the measure, but regretting it was not immediate; and he then enlarged on all the objections to Peel's committing himself before he knew what turn affairs might take. I said Peel was quite right, and that it was not necessary he should do so at present, and all that was necessary was that before they came to any important vote he should let the Whigs know what might be the consequences of such a vote. In the debate itself, or just before it, would be time enough to speak, that they might know what his feelings were. He acquiesced in this, and said it might be done. He then talked of Cobden's letter, and how able it was; of their position, and the difficulties with their own Cabinet. It is perfectly clear that he and Peel would both gladly propose immediate repeal, but cannot do so unless the two Dukes (Wellington and 364 Buccleuch), and the others who are unwilling repealers, will consent, and with them it is more an affair of pride than anything else. He said a great deal of the importance of getting the Duke of Buccleuch's assistance on this occasion, which carried or neutralised Scotland. This he repeated very often, making it of more importance than I thought it was. He then talked of the resignations of seats, which he thought very serious, injurious, and wrong, the recognition of a democratic principle, and he expressed great apprehension lest these examples should lead others to do the same; then about Stanley and his bitterness, thought that he would be disposed to advise the Lords to pass the Bill if it went up to them, but that he would hardly be able to restrain himself from making strong speeches, and if he got warmed up and poured forth all his feelings and opinions, he would find an audience ready to sympathise with him, and that without intending it he would become the leader of a Protectionist party, and nobody could tell what might be the consequences if he did put himself at their head. He said Stanley disliked the manufacturing interest, and its progress and power in Lancashire and all round about him at Knowsley, where his territorial power was diminished by the contact. I asked him why they had not resigned (he and Peel) early in November, which would have been much better as it had turned out. He said it would, but that he had been acting for twenty years with Stanley and Peel, for a still longer time with the Duke, and they could not break up the Government without making an attempt to bring them round to their views and giving them time for consideration. He talked again of John Russell, and said he was disappointed at the spirit he evinced, and repeated that the Queen's feelings would be very strong and her resentment considerable if he took a part inconsistent with what she considered his engagement to her. I strongly urged him, if possible, to make the repeal immediate, suggesting how desirable it was to take away all pretext for the continuance of the League; and telling him, which he was disposed to doubt, that Cobden certainty did wish to close 365 his own career of agitation and settle the whole question, but that there were others who wanted to keep it open and to tack on other objects to Corn Law agitation, who would therefore rejoice that the sliding scale was still continued. We had a very long talk, which I have put down anyhow, and of course have omitted a great many particulars. He ended by saying I must be very cautious in what I said to those with whom I had been conversing in reference to what had passed between him and me; and I replied that I should say nothing, that almost anything would perhaps give rise to misconceptions and expectations, and that I should simply say I had made known what they wished Peel to know. He read me some extracts from his own and Peel's speeches, to show that they had said enough to satisfy everybody they had changed their opinions some time ago; but these extracts were very vague. He did this on my lamenting that Peel had not been more explicit, and had not better prepared his party for the change which he must have been contemplating, however undecided he might have been as to time. He also read me the letter which he wrote to Peel in October last, stating his opinion that the ports must be opened, and this must lead to a settlement of the Corn Laws. I always supposed he had taken the initiative on this occasion.


February 8th.—It is thought that the violence of the Protectionists is somewhat abated, and giving way to despondence. The resignations of seats still continue, but Peel is in high spirits, not at all dejected or dismayed. Francis Egerton went to Graham the other day and strongly advised him to give up the three years' delay. Meanwhile the Whigs have become perfectly reasonable, and mean to yield anything rather than risk the success of the measure. Clarendon had a long conversation with John Russell, and urged on him the expediency of moderation, and pointed out how he had bound himself by his letter to the Queen. He denied this, but yielded to the general argument, not however failing to display his bitterness towards Peel. He said since he had read my pamphlet he had a worse opinion 366 of him than ever, and he saw no reason why he should do anything to assist him; that he (Peel) had no claim on him. I told Clarendon that the real truth was that he was jealous of Peel and envious, he could not bear Peel's popularity and the prevailing opinion that he was the best man. It is all very small, but he is small, and since I have looked more narrowly into past transactions, and his career, I am the more struck with it.

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

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


February 14th.—I saw Aberdeen yesterday. He told me Peel was full of spirits and determination; he (Aberdeen) thought they could not go on long, though he believed they 367 would not be beaten on the Sugar Duties, and he did not know on what question they would be defeated; and then they would have to decide whether they should try a dissolution, for which the Queen would press vehemently, for (he said) she was quite as anxious to keep Peel as ever she had been to keep Melbourne. I told him I hoped they would never think of dissolving unless pretty sure of success; that the Whigs had disgraced themselves and lost everything by this measure in 1841, and nothing but success could justify such an appeal. He said he quite agreed with me; and though he evidently wishes to stay in, he is prepared to go out, and would prefer doing so with credit rather than sticking to place dangerously and disreputably.

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

There was a comment on my pamphlet in defence of Peel in Ward's paper, the 'Weekly Chronicle,' yesterday; 368 very well done, with much truth in it. The real fact is that Peel is not obnoxious to blame for what he has done; it is very fair for party men to attack him on this score, but he is easily defensible on it. But nothing can excuse all that he and his colleagues have said. When the best excuse their conduct admits of is made for them, it will be found that their language, the opinions and the arguments they have put forth do not correspond with the excuse. This is the first point against them, and the second is that they have made out no adequate case for doing now what they have done. The case which Graham put forth really is no case at all. All this does unquestionably give their friends and supporters a just cause of complaint; and though as a Free Trader I rejoice at the repeal of the Corn Laws, I must own that if I belonged to Peel's party I should feel the same disgust and indignation they all do. Then there is no denying the immensity of the moral mischief that has been done. It is very remarkable that I am the only person who has defended Peel and made any apology for him whatever. It is impossible that hundreds of people, members of both Houses of Parliament, and the whole press should go on day after day crying out against treachery and deceit and a violation of public honour, and not produce a deep and strong impression. When one hears the apologies the Ministers make for themselves, one cannot but feel how insufficient they are. There is no getting over the speeches that are flung in their faces; they are unquestionably now conscientious in what they are doing; but what were they before? If they were sincere before, if they did not anticipate the changes they are now (as they think) compelled to make, they were blind and unsafe guides, deficient in sagacity and foresight. I must say that, on calm reflexion, I think Peel has shown throughout this matter a considerable want of skill and wisdom. His scheme of gradual alteration and step by step Reform was wise, and probably was the only one practicable; but by his speeches he has counteracted his own object. He was so afraid of saying too much at first, and of prematurely frightening his friends, that he ran 369 into the opposite danger of confirming them in the convictions and expectations which it was his object to loosen; and at all events, if he did say enough to alarm them with a vague alarm, he said so little as to give them the right they are now exercising of reproaching him for the deceit he practised. He would have done much better to have proclaimed boldly at first that the principle of Free Trade was sound, but that its application was difficult, and could only be made safely by being made gradually and slowly. In this way he might have availed himself of what he calls his three years' experiment; but when he puts it forward as the ground of his conversion, everybody laughs at it and knows he is not speaking the truth. For my part, I earnestly wish to see this question settled, and the Government out; they cannot remain in either advantageously or creditably. If they can redeem their credit, it must be out of office, and through the success of their measure. To have sacrificed themselves to it is the only atonement that can be accepted for their former disingenuous professions. Their position is now very mortifying and embarrassing; their people who vacate can none of them be re-elected.


Rous will be beaten for Westminster, which will be a great slap on the face to the Government. This is the result of bad management; he never ought to have resigned without being pretty sure of re-election; neither he nor the Government took any pains to ascertain his chance. He fancied himself secure, told Peel so, and Peel believed him. The tardy and reluctant resignations of seats of some, and the clinging to seats of others, have excited a good deal of derision and disapprobation; in short, there is no shutting one's eyes to the fact, that this measure, so salutary in itself, is making its way through much that is deplorable and injurious to public morals. It matters not that by a very minute analysis it may be proved that the men who are accused are not really so much to blame as they appear, that it is difficult to show clearly what they ought to have done at different periods instead of what they have done; the loud and general clamour produces an effect which cannot be 370 prevented, and they have furnished out of their own mouths materials for any condemnation their enemies, old or new, are disposed to pass on them.

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

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


I have had a long correspondence with the Duke of Bedford about people and things connected with this affair, and as he was always drawing comparisons between the purity and consistency of Lord John, and the dishonesty and inconsistency of others, I at last resolved to show him what Lord 371 John's own course had been (though without finding fault with him), but letting him see that he was just as obnoxious to the charge of inconsistency or insincerity, if an enemy wished to urge it, as Peel or anybody else. I proved to him that between 1828 when he became (by his own avowal) the advocate of a fixed duty and 1839, during eleven years, he never opened his lips in favour of it; and on every occasion when it was brought forward by anybody else, he voted against it or stayed away. Then he advocated a fixed duty in 1841; and having done so with cogent reasons up to June 1845, in November of the same year he blurted out his famous letter declaring for total Repeal. The only excuse that his conduct admits of is that of expediency, the very same that is demanded, on grounds at least as strong, for Peel; but circumstances place the one man beyond the necessity of an apology, and render the other incapable of making the real and true one. Peel's best excuse for not having done before what he is doing now is afforded by the actual state of affairs. In spite of four or five years of discussion, of the dissemination of sound principles, of the diffusion of knowledge, of numerous and respectable conversions, of the success of his partial experiments in Free Trade, and of his having the potato famine as a base for his operation, he cannot do what he does now without entirely breaking up his party, and he has to encounter difficulties almost insurmountable—si argumentum requiris circumspice.

February 25th.—The debate drags on, this being the third week of it. The Protectionists are very proud of the fight they have made, which in point of fact has been plausible and imposing enough, though for the most part consisting of sarcasms and assaults upon the Ministers and their supporters, and with a very slender portion of argument mixed therewith. Their great hero, Disraeli, spoke on Friday for two hours and a half, cleverly and pointedly; it was meant to be an argumentative speech, and to exhibit his powers in the grave line. Accordingly there was very little of his accustomed bitterness and impertinent sarcasms on Peel, but a great deal of statistical detail and reasoning upon it. 372 The Protectionists thought it very fine, but in reality it was poor and worthless; and on Monday night Sir George Clerk, who is no great orator, made a very complete exposure of the fallacy of his arguments and the inaccuracy of his facts. Nobody has the least idea what the Lords will do, whether they will pass it, or throw it out altogether, or adopt Lord Ashburton's proposal of making the reduced sliding scale permanent.

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


March 1st.—On Friday night at three o'clock, after twelve nights' debate, the House divided and the Government measure was carried by 97; but for the delay and some casualties the majority would have topped 100. George Bentinck, who had all along threatened to speak, and had gone through a most laborious preparation, and was armed at all points with statistical details, wound up the debate in a speech of three hours' length, which was listened to with great impatience, restrained only by consideration for a speaker so unused to address the House. As his speech consisted entirely of statistical details, it was, as might have been expected, intolerably tiresome, and he committed an enormous error in judgement in rising at twelve o'clock at night on the last day, when everybody was weary, exhausted, 373 sick of the debate, and eager for the division. Nothing would have then gone down but a smart, brilliant, Israelitish philippic, if even that would. It was wonderful that the House was so enduring as it was, but everybody I have seen acknowledges that it was, all things considered, a very remarkable performance, exhibited great power of mind, extraordinary self-possession and clearness, and proving beyond a doubt that if he had for the last twenty years devoted himself to business instead of to horse-racing, if he had cultivated his mind and practised himself in the business of the House of Commons, he might have taken a high place in political life. My testimony as regards him is beyond suspicion, for we are not friends, and I have no doubt it is true that he has wasted energies and misused talents which, properly exercised, would have conferred on him an honourable fame, and made his career creditable and useful.

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

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



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

London, March 11th, 1846.—There has been nothing very remarkable these last few days, except on Friday night, when the Corn Bill went on rapidly, and the two amendments that had been announced were disposed of by being severally withdrawn. Early in the evening, however, the Government suffered a defeat, which was very significant for the future. It was on a Poor Law question, which Graham thought fit to fight. The majority against him was composed principally of malignant Tories. John Russell voted with the Government, but could not get the Whigs to stay for it; the Protectionists were uproarious at beating the Government; the Whigs desired no better than that they should be beaten; and so it will inevitably be. I do not think anything can prevent a change of Government very 375 soon, whatever may happen afterwards. If Peel is wise, he will court this change, and let people see how matters can be managed by others, and without him.


March 18th.—Few events or matters worth recording. John Russell, without consulting anybody, according to his custom, gave notice of a motion upon Ireland, having made up his mind, though very reluctantly, not to oppose the Coercion Bill.126 I met him one morning at Lord Clarendon's, and talked to him about this Bill. His first intention had been to oppose the Transportation clause, and he said O'Connell had asked him what he meant to do. He replied he did not know. We discussed the matter; and I told him I did not see how he could take on himself the responsibility of opposing it; and he acknowledged that he did not see it very well either; but he then broke out with a bitterness beyond description against the Government, which he said was the greatest curse to Ireland, and that while they were in office no good was possible there. I did not think it worth while to dispute with him; but just asked him what it was they had done or left undone? He said, 'Their policy of first truckling to the Orangemen, insulting, and then making useless concessions to, the Catholics, without firmness or justice.' Nothing, in short, but what was vague and unmeaning. I said, that, as to the Orangemen, I did not know what the Government had done to them; but that if they had been favoured, they were very ungrateful, for they abhorred and abused the Government with all their strength. It was just after this, and I believe while the bile was still flowing, that he gave his notice. It made a great stir. The Protectionists eagerly hailed it as something that was to disable and unseat Peel, while his own friends were excessively 376 annoyed and discomposed at what they thought a useless and dangerous move. The dissatisfaction was so great that it threatened to embroil him with his party, and the end was that the other night he put it off, which is tantamount to giving it up. The Duke of Bedford does not approve of it. I asked him why Lord John could not say what he wanted to say in a speech on the Bill itself, and he said he would ask him.

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

Last night in the Lords a little scene was got up between Clarendon and Aberdeen about Oregon. The former asked for papers and information, and the latter made a speech, giving some papers, refusing others, and declaring his confidence in the final arrangement. It was not only amicable, but concerted. Aberdeen asked Clarendon to do this, in order to give him an opportunity of saying something. Means were at the same time taken to prevent anything being said in the House of Commons, where Aberdeen dreads Peel saying anything, for he is almost sure to say something he had better not. His forte is not in dealing with foreign affairs, with which it seems that it is always 377 dangerous for anybody to meddle who is not in the trade. The division of labour seems as essential in politics as in matters of commerce and manual industry.


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

March 21st, 1846.—Yesterday I went to Chiswick, where the Duke of Devonshire showed me his manuscripts, which he has got very well arranged. He gave me four boxes full of letters, written by his mother to her mother, Lady Spencer; the beginning of a long correspondence from the time of her marriage. These I am going to look over. He talked to me of Devonshire House in the old time, and the strange connexion that existed between the Duke, the Duchess, and 378 Lady Elizabeth Foster.127 Lady Elizabeth, without great talents or great beauty, seems to have been one of those women, of whom there are rare instances, who are gifted with an undefinable attraction—or perhaps attractiveness is the word—which none can resist. Everybody was in love with her, and she exercised an influence of one sort or another up to the end of her life. In youth she drew to her lovers and friends, and made la pluie et le beau temps in society. In old age, Popes and Cardinals, savants and artists, attended her levées, rendered her an unceasing homage, and were obedient to all her wishes or commands.

The Tariff was got through last night; George Bentinck making a speech of two hours and a quarter. From never having spoken, he never now does anything else, and he is completely overdoing it, and, like a beggar set on horseback, riding to the devil. Stanley, in the House of Lords, declared his intention to oppose the Bill; but he tells his friends he will neither lead an Opposition nor make a Government. As the time advances, the division in the House of Lords looks more promising for Government. The delay which the Protectionists have caused has been of great service to the measure, for the longer the debates continue, the more effect is produced by the speeches in Parliament, the statistics published, and the able articles in the press. On the other hand, the new Opposition have cut a poor figure in point of reasoning and argument. Abstracting their abuse and charges of treachery and perfidy, very little is left in their speeches. The Court seem now to be convinced that Peel will eventually be obliged to go out, and that Lord John must come in. 379


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

The state of parties is curious and full of difficulty. The Protectionists are bent upon turning Peel out, and if possible grow more, rather than less, bitter. On Friday this was especially apparent; no Prime Minister was ever treated as Peel was by them that night, when he rose to speak. The 380 Marquis of Granby rose at the same time, and for five minutes they would not hear Peel, and tried to force their man on the House, and to make the Prime Minister sit down. The Speaker alone decided it, and called on Peel. When he said he knew they could turn him out, they all cheered savagely. Then the Whigs are just as eager to be in active opposition again; so that between the two parties—the rage and vengeance of the one, and the habitual rivalry of the other—his fall is certain. But the other night George Bentinck, the Protectionist organ, told the Whigs he would oppose them, so that when the Whig Government is formed, though it may be suffered to go on for a time, it will be intrinsically very weak and powerless, for the ultra-Liberals rather lean to Peel than to John Russell. Such a state of things, so confused, so uncertain, so at the sport of events and circumstances, never was seen before. Many people fancy that Peel will not go out, though they are quite unable to show how he is to stay in; but everybody sees clearly enough that parties are so divided and power so scattered, that any Government that can be formed must hold office by a very feeble and doubtful tenure. At present, however, Peel holds office for the sole purpose of carrying the Bill. The Whigs are guarding him, while he is doing this work, ready to turn against him the moment he has done it, and then, this great contest over, the Protectionists will either join the Whigs in their first onset, or leave him to his fate. They do not care what happens so long as they can break up this Government; they do not care how public business can be carried on, or by whom; whether a strong or a weak Government can be formed. Revenge is their sole object.

April 4th.—The Government would have been beaten on the Irish question if the division had taken place earlier than it did. John O'Connell would speak, and the time he gave saved a defeat. We are now involved in a maze of endless delays, but the news of the great victory at Sobraon and termination of the Sikh war has put the world in such good spirits, and filled everybody with such joy, that for the 381 time everything else has been almost forgotten. There certainly never was anything more complete than this piece of Indian history, so grand and so dramatic, such a glorious mixture of bravery and moderation, and such a display of national dignity and power. Auckland said to me last night that it was impossible to pick a fault if you wished to do so. He approves of everything that Hardinge has done. The Duke was very energetic in the House of Lords on the thanks; and it is a fine thing for him to have lived to see his military children covering themselves with glory on the scene of his own first achievements half a century ago, and himself still hale, fresh, and his intellect vigorous and unclouded.


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

April 23rd.—I was all last week at Newmarket, and as a matter of course utterly disabled from writing, reading, or thinking about politics or anything else. Came back on Friday night, went to Bath on Monday, and returned yesterday. Nothing can be more deplorable than the state of affairs, or less promising in reference to the existence or formation of a strong Government and the improvement of Ireland, the present paramount object of interest. The unhappy Irish Coercion Bill still lingers on in the House of Commons; and Monday night, when there seemed to be a chance of the Irish consenting to divide, there was no House. This had a very bad appearance, and was the fault of the Whippers-in; but probably they have a difficult duty to discharge, for their numbers are scanty and their people are indifferent, thinking 382 the Government itself on its last legs. Peel is said to have been much annoyed. After all, it is more than probable that the Irish Bill will not pass. The Duke of Bedford told me yesterday that Bessborough and Clanricarde, the two Whigs who most strenuously supported it, have now entirely changed their minds and are convinced it will do more harm than good, and that in fact it has already done a great deal of harm. Clanricarde has been in Ireland, and is come back of this opinion. Blake, who has also been there, and had much conversation with the Lord-Lieutenant, says that he never remembers Ireland in so bad a state, political and social. The consequence of all this is that John Russell is gone into the country, and does not mean to come back and vote on the Bill. Still, as the Protectionists mean to vote for the first reading, it will probably be carried, but it will hardly make its way through the other stages in the midst of such vehement opposition and lukewarm support. In my opinion, they deserve every distress and difficulty in which they may be placed, for their conduct about this Bill. If it was necessary at all, the necessity was urgent and admitted of no delay; if the country can go on without it for three or four months (three have already elapsed), it may as well go on for ever. The moment Parliament met, it ought to have been ready; and when they let week after week pass away without doing anything, and only did it at last when poked by Brougham, they lost their best title to general support. However, the final decision on this Bill will probably not take place till the Corn Law has got through the House of Lords, and then if Ministers are beaten upon it, it will be a good opportunity for their resigning. This I find they are quite prepared to do.

The Duke of Bedford gave me some information the other day which exhibits the present views and animus of the different parties. The Peelites and the Protectionists equally contemplate the speedy advent of John Russell, and both have made overtures, direct or indirect, to him. Aberdeen called on Lord John the other day about some 383 private business, after discussing which he talked on politics. He said that it was impossible they could go on, that Peel was well aware of it, and quite determined not to dissolve Parliament; that he did not know on what question they would have to go out; that he was told it would not be on the sugar duties, and that they should carry them; but that it was clear they would be beaten on something else if not on that; that a Whig Government must be formed, which must rely upon Peel and his friends for support, and would receive it. He told him that he had been wrong in not giving Peel credit for a real intention to support him before, and that he must look to that support for the future. John Russell would not distrust Aberdeen's sincerity, but it would be difficult to make him place reliance on that of Peel.


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

Palmerston has been preparing for his return to the Foreign Office by a visit to Paris, where his name has been held in terror and execration for some years; and the intelligence 384 of his probable restoration to power created universal dismay. Nevertheless, his visit has been triumphantly successful. The Court, the Ministers, the Opposition, the political leaders of all shades, have vied with each other in civilities and attentions. He has dined with the King, with Guizot, with Thiers, with Broglie, with Molé; he met with nothing but smiles, prévenance and empressement. Brougham was furious; he did all he could to prevent the Palmerstons going to Paris, abused them for going, and everybody whom he thought instrumental to their going, and when they arrived fawned upon them and insisted on doing the honours of them everywhere. He is now come back, but he had written to Le Marchant a letter full of spite, and desiring that nobody would believe what they heard of Palmerston's reception, which was by no means cordial and sincere; and that in their hearts they disliked his coming there, and hated him as much as ever.

Newmarket, Sunday.—For once in a way I sit down to write something at this place where I never do anything; but I have got the gout, and that, by disabling my foot, sets my hand to work. Yesterday morning I saw Clarendon and had a long talk with him on the subject of the Duke of Bedford's communication to me, which he had likewise had from the Duke even with more details. He told him (which he had not done me) the names of the people who wanted the Whigs to coalesce with the Protectionists. These are Lords Anglesey and Bessborough. The former, I hardly know why, except from a fancy he seems to have to join what he considers the most aristocratic party; the second is taken in by all the wonderful things the Protectionists offer to do for Ireland, and which have been conveyed to him through Duncannon by George Bentinck. Accordingly, Bessborough wrote off to John Russell, urging this strange and disgraceful alliance. It seems that the Protectionists profess to be ready to do anything the Irish please, provided they will not be expected to destroy the Irish Church; but even any reform in that they are prepared for. It was evidently in pursuance of this scheme that the ridiculous farce 385 was got up between Smith O'Brien and George Bentinck in the House of Commons on Friday night. Hearing now what has already passed with Bessborough, it is impossible to doubt that this scene has been concocted and concerted after considerable preparation, though at present I have no idea how or with whom it originated; it smells of the same shop, however. Clarendon said he did not imagine there would be any hesitation or doubt on the subject, or that any of the leading Whigs are in the least disposed to connect themselves with a party with whom they have no community of principle or opinion, by whom they know they are detested, and whom they heartily despise. This eccentricity of Bessborough's shows how unfit he is to take the lead and to direct affairs. His forte is in patching up quarrels, finding expedients for especial cases, and acting as a general go-between and negotiator, in which minor matters he displays a good deal of tact and temper.


Clarendon told me that Lord John had resolved, if sent for again, to take the government at once, and not make any difficulties. He and I both agreed that he must rely on Peel, and take his chance of his reliance being well placed. It is the straightforward, intelligible, and honourable course, and he had far better fall by that than succeed by such a monstrous and discreditable connexion as that with the Protectionists would be. The latter have now but one object, which is to turn out Peel, to wreak their vengeance on him, and they do not care what happens after, whether there is a good or bad, a weak or strong Government, nor what confusion or difficulty may occur. They are ready to join the detested Whigs, and to concur in the whole of those Liberal measures, by a partial adoption of which Peel had already rendered himself so obnoxious to them. No considerations of consistency, no care for the public interests, in the slightest degree influence their minds. It is impossible, however, to suppose that this party, now breathing nothing but rage and revenge, can be long held together for such an end. They entertain some glimmering of hope that events may open the way to their accession to office, and they want 386 to hold together for this chance. Bessborough, however, who seems to have taken a very low view of the matter all along, urged John Russell to connect himself with the Protectionists rather than with Peel, for this reason: that Peel was all staff, and no rank and file; men who would want offices and high ones, and bring little strength; whereas the others would bring great numbers, and be satisfied with very few and very subordinate offices! A very likely matter with a party of which George Bentinck and Disraeli are the leaders in the Commons and Stanley in the Lords! À propos of Stanley, he is supposed to be by this time identified with the Protectionists, and embarked in vehement opposition to the Government, in direct contradiction of all his promises and professions when he left them. Sidney Herbert told me the other day that when he went out he was still on excellent terms with them, and told them that he was well aware the Bill must pass, and that now he considered it best that it should; and he intimated his intention to prevent opposition as much as he could. Graham said long ago his moderation never would continue.

The Duke of Bedford has lately had a great deal of conversation with Arbuthnot, who talked to him very openly and told him a great many things about Peel, all unfavourable. I don't believe he (Arbuthnot) has ever liked him, and now, with others of the Duke of Wellington's friends, he is full of resentment against him for breaking up the party, and for dragging the Duke, much against his inclinations and opinions, through all this mire. Arbuthnot, as an old Tory deeply imbued with Tory principles and the alter ego of the Duke, whose disgust and annoyance he well knows at the whole state of affairs, is naturally very bitter against Peel. He told him that the Duke never knows anything of what is going on. They never tell him, and he is so deaf that in the Cabinet he does not hear. When they want him to know or to do something, Peel sends for Arbuthnot and tells it to him, well knowing he will report it to the Duke. Then he sends for papers, reads what is necessary for his information, and without concert or communication 387 with anybody goes down to the House of Lords and speaks; hence the strange things he says, and the confusion that is often made between the apparent opinions of the Duke and his colleagues.


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

On Friday night there was a breeze between Peel and Disraeli which at first appeared menacing, but ended amicably enough, though amicable is hardly a word to be used between these two men. But there was very near being something more serious out of the House owing to the excitement of Jonathan Peel. Disraeli had commented on Peel's cheering a certain part of Cobden's speech in his usual tone of impertinence and bitterness, and he said that Peel had by his cheer expressed his concurrence with such and such sentiments. Peel interrupted him, saying, 'I utterly deny it,' on which Disraeli said he had given him the lie, 388 and sat down. Then came all that is reported, which ended as I have said, but in the meantime Jonathan Peel went over to Disraeli, sat down by him and said, 'What you have just said is false.' He repeated it, and then went to George Bentinck and told him what he had just said. Disraeli was so astonished that he said nothing at first, but soon went to George Bentinck, told him also, and placed the matter in his hands. This made a referee necessary on Jonathan Peel's side, and he went and fetched Rous and put him in communication with George Bentinck. As soon as Rous heard the story he saw that his principal could not be justified, and he consented to an apology which was agreed on between him and George Bentinck, who seems to have acted with becoming moderation. The apology was not abject, but it was ample. Peel is a man of quick passions and excitable temper, but he generally has great command over himself, which he lost on this occasion.

May 3rd.—At Newmarket all last week. Stanley was there, joking and chaffing all the time, but I could not hear that he talked seriously upon politics; he was always with George Bentinck. The Palmerstons are come back from Paris, after a successful visit, excepting only his foolish letter to Louis Philippe.128 They say, however, now that he wrote it because it was suggested to him by somebody (meaning somebody about the Court) that it would be well taken; but it was a great mistake of his, and is thought very ridiculous here. Madame de Lieven writes me word 'that his language was très-mesuré et très-convenable,' but Normanby, who is just come over, says the French were beginning to ask themselves why they were so civil and empressés, and could not answer the question, and that in a few more days the tide would have turned, and something disagreeable would have been said or done. Normanby, who 389 had made Ibrahim Pacha's acquaintance at Florence, took Palmerston to see him; and when he presented him, the Pacha was so diverted at finding himself thus face to face with the great enemy of his house, that he burst out into an uncontrollable fit of laughter, but he received him very well.


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

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

May 7th.—The day before yesterday I met Sir Robert Peel in the Park, and for the first time for many years had some communication with him. He was in high spirits; asked me what I heard and what I thought of the Lords. I told him I believed they were prepared to pass the second reading of his Corn Bill, and meant to muster their strength in Committee to perpetuate the 5s. duty. He said he believed so too, but thought they would not carry it, because he did not think Stanley would be a party to it, and that he is not prepared to accept office and make a Government, 390 as he must be if he did this. I told him that the Protectionists had no object or desire but to drive him out, and if they could only succeed in this, they cared not who came in, whether there was a good or bad, or strong or weak Government. He said he was quite aware of it, and that they could have no difficulty in getting him out; that there never had been known in the history of this country such a state of things, with three parties, neither of which had sufficient strength to stand alone. The case it most resembled was that of Lord Shelburne's Government before the Coalition, a state of things which was brought about by its weakness; that what was wanting was a man, and if Lord John had been what last year he believed him to be, there would have been no difficulty. This was remarkable enough from him, and I have no doubt it is what he tells the Queen; there is a great deal of truth in it. I told him that overtures had been made to the Whigs, that there were men in the Whig party who wanted to have them accepted, but that John Russell, like a man of honour and sense, had at once declared he would have nothing to do with people with whom he had no agreement. Lord John had in fact spoken the night before, and well, in a corresponding sense, and Peel must have been pleased with his speech. I was not sorry to let him know that the Whigs could get other support than his if they chose. He replied to this, 'Yes; Lord John would rather rely on my support than on theirs.' I told the Duke of Bedford this, and desired him to tell Lord John.

May 11th. I was with Graham for two hours yesterday, and talked about the whole state of affairs, telling him their real condition and the strenuous endeavours that were making to retain a fixed duty. He said, come what might, he and Peel would be no parties to it. He is convinced that Stanley will and must take the Government if he succeeds in making this alteration in the Committee of the Lords. I told him I was convinced he did not mean to try to form a Government. Graham thinks he would be lost as a public man if he shrank from it. I said Lord Derby with 60,000l. 391 a year, and the finest debater in Parliament, could never be lost. I suggested the possible case of this alteration accepted as a compromise by all the Protectionists in the House of Commons, and what then? It had not struck him so much before; but he thought, if Palmerston could be got to join Stanley, a Government on this basis might be formed and stand, though there would then be a strong Opposition with Peel and John Russell acting in concert if not united, and a good stand-up fight. He said he should like to see such a combination and such a Government, and he thinks now that there is no solution of the present difficulties but through the attempt and the failure of a Protectionist Ministry; that is, of course, supposing the Bill to be mutilated.


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

May 21st.—Last week the debate in the House of Commons 392 came to a close at last, wound up by a speech of Disraeli's, very clever, in which he hacked and mangled Peel with the most unsparing severity, and positively tortured his victim. It was a miserable and degrading spectacle. The whole mass of the Protectionists cheered him with vociferous delight, making the roof ring again; and when Peel spoke, they screamed and hooted at him in the most brutal manner. When he vindicated himself, and talked of honour and conscience, they assailed him with shouts of derision and gestures of contempt. Such treatment in a House of Commons where for years he had been an object of deference and respect, nearly overcame him. The Speaker told me that for a minute and more he was obliged to stop, and for the first time in his life, probably, he lost his self-possession; and the Speaker thought he would have been obliged to sit down, and expected him to burst into tears. They hunt him like a fox, and they are eager to run him down and kill him in the open, and they are full of exultation at thinking they have nearly accomplished this object. It is high time such a state of things should finish. To see the Prime Minister and leader in the House of Commons thus beaten and degraded, treated with contumely by three-fourths of the party he has been used to lead, is a sorry sight, and very prejudicial to the public weal. He is no longer able to conduct the business of the country in Parliament. It matters not what the Government proposes; the Protectionists are ready to oppose anything and everything for the mere pleasure of beating it, and defeats are only prevented by the grudging, lukewarm, casual support of the Whigs, who, many of them, desire no better than to see the Government in difficulties. Such is the deplorable state of things in the House of Commons. Meanwhile the greatest doubt and anxiety prevail among the friends of the Bill as to its success in Committee, and the Protectionists are full of confidence that they shall succeed in making the alterations they contemplate. There is an active attempt going on to bring about this end by a coalition of a part of the Whigs with the whole of the Protectionists, and the greatest lies are unscrupulously told to 393 advance it. Among others, stories are circulated of the Duke of Wellington's undisguised wish that the Bill may not pass. It is true enough that he dislikes the whole concern, and laments over the breaking up of his party, but it is false that he has ever said anything to induce anybody to oppose the measure; and having consented to act in the cause, he is sure to prove faithful to it. It is from conversations here and there one gathers the secret wishes of different parties. Lady Ashley, who of course speaks the sentiments of Palmerston House, told me the other night that she was convinced this would be the end of the contest, and that John Russell would be induced to acquiesce in the compromise, which would be agreeable to many of the Whigs, and would bring about a union between them and the Protectionists. She said that Palmerston would not separate from John Russell and take this line alone; but that Lord John would (she was persuaded) go with him. Last night Cecil Forester, who passes every evening with Bessborough at Mrs. Lane Fox's, told me the same thing; and he said that the Whig party was not less disunited than the Tory party; so that there is a sort of intrigue on foot adding to the general confusion, and indicating the discordance of opinions and objects which undoubtedly prevails among the Whigs. The Ministers, however, are confident the Bill will pass; and Aberdeen told Delane the other day that they have made up their minds to employ all the means the forms of Parliament will admit of, and, if beaten in Committee, to restore the integrity of the measure on the report. This design is already bruited about, but the Protectionists maintain that it is impossible; that the Government will not attempt it, and would not succeed if they did.


June 1st.—So entirely occupied with Epsom all last week, that I had not a moment of time to attend to politics. I must, therefore, now that I have an interval of leisure, narrate briefly what I ought to have recorded at the time more in detail. On May 21, I mentioned the sanguine hopes and expectations of the Protectionists, which were suddenly and entirely overthrown by a bold, judicious, and successful 394 move of John Russell's. It reached his ears, from various quarters, that certain proceedings, very like intrigues, were going on, principally hatched at Palmerston House, and that it was confidently asserted by Protectionists and by Whigs who wanted to coalesce with the Protectionists, that a compromise and a coalition would certainly be brought about, to which he (John Russell) would be a party. He resolved at once and decisively to crush these hopes, and put an end to such reports. He accordingly begged Lord Lansdowne to convoke a meeting of Whig Peers at Lansdowne House, for the purpose of deciding what they should do. This was very unpalateable to the malcontents; but Lord Lansdowne did it. The meeting was attended by about sixty Peers, all who were in London, and by John Russell, Labouchere, and Palmerston. Lord John made a very stout speech, announcing his intention to support the measure in toto, saying he had once been for a fixed duty, which would then have settled the question, but would not do so now; and after the course Peel had taken, it would be inconsistent with his personal and political honour to be a party to any attempt to alter or mutilate it. Lord Fitzwilliam spoke, and said he had always been for a fixed duty, but that the time was come when he thought he ought to waive his own opinion and join in promoting the success of the measure as it was, and that he was ready to make this sacrifice. Melbourne made a bitter speech against Peel, and said that as he saw everybody was resolved to take what he considered a very mischievous course, he should not separate from his friends, but would assist in doing the mischief. There was some discontent evinced, but little or no disunion. Lord De Mauley declared he would vote in Committee against the Bill; but the rest were nearly unanimous. Lord Clarendon said that it was very desirable they should be apprised of the intentions of the Government, and that he was authorised to make them known to the meeting. He had had a conversation with the Chancellor, who had told him that the Government were resolved, in the event of any alteration being made in Committee, to have recourse 395 to the expedient of restoring the original clauses on the report, and that he was at liberty to communicate to his friends this determination. Normanby protested in strong terms against such a course, and declared he would oppose it. On this, Lord Cottenham rose, and made a speech, setting forth that it was justifiable both on precedent and principle, and he was supported by Lord Campbell so strongly that the meeting generally acquiesced in their views. This meeting and the result of it was speedily bruited through the town, and nothing could exceed the despair and mortification of the Protectionists at the news. It at once extinguished the hopes even of the most sanguine. The Duchess of Beaufort, of all men or women the most violent, owned to me that their game was up; their depression was in exact proportion to their previous elation.


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

June 14th.—All last week at Ascot at a house of Lady 396 Mary Berkeley's with a racing party. I won the Emperor's Cup with Alarm, but won little more than 2,000l. on it: small compensation for the loss of the Derby last year, which would have made me independent and allowed me to quit office and be my own master. It was a moment of excitement and joy when I won this fine piece of plate, in the midst of thousands of spectators; but that past, there returned the undying consciousness of the unworthiness of the pursuit, filling my thoughts, hopes, and wishes to the exclusion of all other objects and occupations, agitating me, rendering me incapable of application, thought, and reflexion, and paralysing my power of reading or busying myself with books of any kind. All this is very bad and unworthy of a reasonable creature. I ought to throw off these trammels, and abandon a pursuit so replete with moral mischief to me. Ibrahim Pacha was at Ascot on the Cup day, and desired to shake hands with me when I won the Cup. He is a coarse-looking ruffian, and his character is said not to belie his countenance.

The past week has been occupied by the Irish Coercion Bill in the House of Commons, on which George Bentinck made a furious and outrageous speech, attacking Peel with a coarseness and virulence which disgusted all but those to whom scurrility and insolence are particularly palateable. Stanley was very much annoyed at it, and nothing could be more injurious to the Protectionist party than such a speech from their elected leader. The gist of it was an accusation of his having 'hunted Mr. Canning to death' nineteen years ago. Peel replied on Friday night with a moderation that savoured of lowness of tone, and, as the House was with him, he had a fine opportunity for annihilating George Bentinck, if he had chosen to do so. He treated him much too leniently, but he vindicated himself in the matter of Canning with great success, and he is really indebted to his opponent for having given him the opportunity of doing so. I had myself been always under the impression that he had behaved very ill to Canning, and that he had avowed a change of opinion antecedent to his refusal to 397 join him when he formed his Government in 1827; but he certainly proved that this was not the case, and made out that his refusal to join Canning was almost inevitable in his position. It was his misfortune to be the leader and advocate of a cause which was rapidly declining, but which it was becoming dangerous to sustain any longer. It should not be forgotten that when Canning took office it was with the understanding, probably with a stipulation, that he should not urge the Catholic question, and he never attempted to advance it.


Stanley got a tremendous dressing on Friday night from Grey, and still more from Brougham, who spoke, they say, in his very best House of Commons style, cutting up Stanley with admirable wit, and keeping the House of Lords in a roar at his expense for three-quarters of an hour, the very thing that would annoy him the most. He had been very arrogant about his own speech, talking of nobody having answered it, though the many fallacies it contained had been exposed and refuted over and over again. There are now again all sorts of reports and speculations about Peel's destiny and his intentions. Some fancy that, notwithstanding the declared opposition of George Bentinck and John Russell, the Coercion Bill will be carried, and again, that if it is lost, he will dissolve instead of resigning. I think nothing of either report, and am persuaded he will be beaten and will resign. The best thing for him would be to resign without being beaten, and if the Corn Bill passes the Lords in the next few days he may still do this. But I cannot make out that he and his friends are taking the right and dignified view of their position. They are very angry with the Whigs for opposing the Coercion Bill, and a very bitter and acrimonious conversation took place at Lady Peel's the other evening between Aberdeen and Clarendon, the former attacking the party of the latter and their conduct in respect to this Bill in terms wholly unwarrantable. It was a curious outbreak of temper, because Aberdeen and Clarendon have always been great friends, and the latter has constantly abstained from any opposition to his foreign 398 policy, and lent himself on all occasions to any explanation he desired to make in the House of Lords, a forbearance and assistance not palateable to many of his own friends. Clarendon was very indignant, and poured in a broadside in reply; but they cooled afterwards, parted amicably, and Aberdeen next day wrote him a friendly note.

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

June 19th.—A day or two after Peel's speech in reply to George Bentinck, Disraeli came down and renewed the fight not without effect, treating Peel's defence of himself as an attack on George Bentinck, who could not speak again. Dizzy undertook to speak for him. It was a labour of love to him, and he accordingly delivered a bitter philippic against Peel, reviewing the charge of George Bentinck and supporting it with a mass of fresh evidence culled out of Hansard, and worked very adroitly into a plausible and formidable attack, and again putting Peel on his defence. It was to the last degree virulent, but very able, and considerably effective. Peel rose (as it was said very much annoyed), begged the House to suspend its judgement, and promised a future and full explanation. The Protectionists have ever since been uproarious, and their papers have teemed with articles abusive of Peel. The Whigs, though more reserved and decorous in their language, are not indisposed to chime in, and treat the matter as a serious blow very damaging to Peel, and in short rejoice greatly in the injury which they think his character sustains, and whisper 399 to the same effect as the Protectionists go bawling about. Meanwhile Peel has buckled on his armour, and declared that to-night he will make his defence. It is certainly a great occasion, and he has always rejoiced in personal altercation. If he has a clear conscience and a good case, this is the moment for his firing with effect upon his assailants, and he ought to take a far higher tone than he has ever yet done. It is at all events a curious and exciting exhibition, and wonderfully interesting to see how he comes out of it. There are generally in all matters of this sort various important details which it is impossible to produce, and I have little doubt that such is the case here. The real reason why so many of Canning's colleagues refused to serve under him in 1827 was that they had a bad opinion of him, and would not trust him. They knew of his intriguing, underhand practices, and though for the sake of not breaking up the party they would have gone on with him, some other person being head of the Government, they would not consent to his assuming that powerful and responsible post. This was a reason they did not and could not give at the time, and which it would be still more impossible to give now; and it is exceedingly possible that they, Peel as well as others, may have given reasons for their refusal which, though containing a part of the truth, did not contain the whole truth. Nothing is so difficult as to analyse such a case at such a distance of time, and, where something must be concealed, to present it in a perfect shape to public discussion. I well remember the correspondence between the Duke and Canning at the time, and how very much the Duke had the best of it, the sincerity and straightforwardness of the one appearing to great advantage against the finessing of the other. They knew very well that Canning was secretly negotiating with Brougham and Wilson.


June 20th.—Though ill with the gout, I made shift to hobble down to the House of Commons to hear Peel's defence last night. It was very triumphant, crushing George Bentinck and Disraeli, and was received with something like enthusiasm by the House. George Bentinck rose, in the 400 midst of a storm of cheers at the end of Peel's speech, which lasted some minutes, in a fury which his well-known expression revealed to me, and, with the dogged obstinacy which super-eminently distinguishes him, and a no less characteristic want of tact and judgement, against all the feelings and sympathies of the House, endeavoured to renew and insist upon his charges. Nothing could be more injurious to himself and his party. I never heard him speak before, and was induced to stay for five minutes out of curiosity. I was surprised at his self-possession and fluency, and his noise and gesticulation were even greater than I was prepared for. John Russell spoke handsomely of Peel, and so did Morpeth, which was very wise of them and will be very useful. Nothing could be more miserable than the figure which the choice pair, George Bentinck and Disraeli, cut; and they got pretty well lectured from different sides of the House, but not half so well as they ought and might have been. However, this affair has been of great service to Peel, and sheds something of lustre over his last days. The abortive attempt to ruin his character, which has so signally failed and recoiled on the heads of his accusers, has gathered round him feelings of sympathy which will find a loud and general echo in the country. 401



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

London, July 4th, 1846.—The day after I went to the House of Commons, I was much worse, and an attack of fever and gout came on, such as I never had in my life before. It was during the worst of my illness that the divisions took place in both Houses, and Peel's resignation.130 I need not fatigue myself with writing details which are generally known, and will be recorded in a hundred places. A few of the general impressions either less known or more evanescent, it will suffice to notice. Peel fell with great éclat, and amidst 402 a sort of halo of popularity; but his speech on the occasion, and a great occasion it was, if he had made the most of it, gave inexpressible offence, and was, I think, very generally condemned. Almost every part of it offended somebody; but his unnecessary panegyric of Cobden, his allusion to the selfish monopolists, and his clap-trap about cheap bread in the peroration, exasperated to the last degree his former friends and adherents, were unpalateable to those he has kept, were condemned by all parties indiscriminately, and above all deeply offended the Duke of Wellington. He might have wound up with something much more becoming, dignified, and conciliatory; but his taste, or his temper, or his judgement, were completely in fault, and he marred all the grace and dignity of his final address, and left a bad, when he might so easily have stamped a good, impression. With this exception his conduct has been admirable, and has won the esteem of his successors. Such a transfer of power from one Minister to another the world never saw before—no rivalry, no mortification, no disappointment, no triumph, no coldness; all has been civility, cordiality, and the expression of feelings, not merely amicable, but cordial.


Lord John Russell went to Peel and was with him an hour. The Duke of Bedford told me the conversation was most curious; on Peel's part, cordial and unreserved, open beyond anything that Lord John could have expected, telling him everything that it could be useful to him to know, much more than he need have done; unqualified promises of support, and, in short, everything that was most handsome and satisfactory. He said he would tell me more details another day. Not long after, Lord John called on the Duke of Wellington, who received him with equal frankness and cordiality, talked over everything that had passed, said that his own political career was at an end, that his age and the progress of events would deter him from ever taking a part any more, that he should speak no more in the House of Lords, except upon matters relating to his own department, or such questions as Gough's and Hardinge's pensions; talked of Peel, and said he did not believe he contemplated 403 ever coming back to office, and did not think he ever could. This conversation was just as satisfactory as the other. About the same time Clarendon had a conversation with Aberdeen similar in spirit and meaning. Aberdeen told him that they might count upon both his support and Peel's; that though it was impossible to foresee every political contingency and necessity that might occur, both he and Peel quitted office with a resolution never to take it again; that they were no longer young, and the labours and anxieties of office were so great that they had no desire ever again to encounter them. He told Clarendon, moreover, that, of all the new Cabinet, it was to him that the Queen and the Prince looked with the greatest confidence. They cared little for any of the others, but had a great opinion of him, and a great reliance on him, and mainly counted on his judgement and influence to make matters go on smoothly abroad. He said that Peel entertained the same opinion, and had said that Clarendon in the Cabinet was the best security for peace. This, for which Clarendon was not at all prepared, it was very kind of Aberdeen to tell him, and it is certainly very important, and gives him a fund of secret strength and influence, which may hereafter be very valuable and important to him. To me it is all intelligible enough. The Queen and Prince care more about foreign affairs than anything else, and have always had more to do with Aberdeen than any of the Ministers, except Peel. Throughout Aberdeen's foreign administration, Clarendon has constantly acted in concert with him, and has made his position in the House of Lords a bed of roses. Never was there a Minister for Foreign Affairs who had such an easy time of it. He no doubt talked often of Clarendon to the Queen, praised his sense and moderation, and acknowledged his constant obligations to him. This (added probably to a liking for his society) created a favourable impression. Small as is the direct authority of the Sovereign, it is by no means inconvenient or unimportant to have her preference and good will. It is a source of strength, and it may often turn a balance; in short, it is a very good thing and may 404 possibly hereafter be turned to great account. In spite of small difficulties, rival pretensions, dissatisfactions, and disappointments here and there, the formation of the Government has gone on smoothly. Lord Grey made no difficulties, but, on the contrary, was conciliatory, and apologetical. He said everything was changed since last December, and he owned that he had often been in the wrong when he had disturbed the harmony of the Cabinet in Lord Melbourne's time.

The Protectionists don't seem to know what to do; they are more indignant than ever with Peel; they are disgusted at their overtures not being accepted by the Whig Government; they are provoked exceedingly at places having been offered to Dalhousie, Sidney Herbert, and Lincoln, thus marking more strongly the determination of John Russell to look for support to Peel and his friends, and not to them. Nevertheless their organ and whipper-in, Major Beresford, told one of the Whig people (to be told to Lord John) that after having contributed to drive Peel out, and thereby forced the Government on Lord John, they should not feel justified in raising any opposition to his Government, so that, in fact, for the present there is no Opposition of any sort or kind; everybody seems to be acquiescent, and the swords are universally sheathed. So curious a change in so short a time was never seen. A few weeks ago hundreds of people fancied Peel would never go out, they could not tell why, but they insisted that the difficulty of forming another Government, and its weakness when formed, would be insurmountable. If Lord John came in, how was he to stay in? everybody asked, and the most sanguine Whigs did not pretend to answer and explain how, and generally professed no wish to turn out Peel. Well, Lord John comes in, forms a very strong Government with unparalleled facility, receives every assistance and every assurance of support from the Ministers he has turned out, finds himself not only without an organised Opposition in Parliament, but without an enemy or a malcontent in any quarter. His advent to power is received, in the country at least, with acquiescence, if not with delight; 405 he has no difficulties to encounter, no legacy of embarrassments to perplex him, and as far as all appearances go, his Government is, and for some time at least promises to be, the strongest the country has ever seen.131


July 9th.—The Duke of Bedford comes here most days and tells me what is going on, but the only thing worth recording is what he told me about Melbourne, which is curious. It seems he was mortified at not having a place offered him in the new Cabinet! It came out thus. The Duke was with George Anson, when the latter showed him a letter he had received from Melbourne, in which he said that nothing had been offered to him; and though he could not have taken a very active employment (such as Secretary of State, for instance), that there were places he might have held, and of which he should have liked at least to have had the offer. The Duke told Lord John, and Lord John took an opportunity, without appearing to know anything of this letter, to write to Melbourne and tell him the arrangements he had made, and then added that he had not proposed to him to take any office, because he knew that it was essential to his health that he should abstain from taking any active part in politics, and this alone had deterred him 406 from proposing to him to be Privy Seal. This pacified him; but how extraordinary his thinking of office, and, after having been Prime Minister, to wish to join his old colleagues in a subordinate capacity and under another head!

July 14th.—All things have apparently gone very smoothly with the new Government. They have been everywhere re-elected without difficulty, and there seems universal contentment in the country. Lord John Russell was extraordinarily well received in the City the other day at a great dinner given to Ibrahim Pasha, and they have concluded an alliance with the leviathan of the press—the 'Times'—which gives them a temperate, judicious, but very useful support. The 'Morning Chronicle' is furious at seeing the position of the 'Times' vis-à-vis of the Government, and the editor went to John Russell to remonstrate, but he got no satisfaction. He merely replied he did not wish to have any Government paper, but could not repudiate the support of the 'Times.' He remembers that the 'Morning Chronicle' was the paper of Palmerston, devoted exclusively to him, and not that of the Government. Aberdeen has behaved beautifully to Palmerston. He desired to have an interview with him, when he said, 'When I came into office five years ago, you wanted to come back again and turn me out, and you accordingly attacked me in every way you could, as you had a perfect right to do. Circumstances are very different now. I do not want to turn you out, and I never mean to come into office again, and I am therefore come to tell you that I am ready to give you every information that may be of use to you, and every assistance I can. I have been so long in office that there are many matters of interest, on which it may be of great use to you to receive information from me; and if you will ask me any questions, I will tell you all I can that you may desire to know, and everything that occurs to me as desirable you should know.' Palmerston was exceedingly touched at this frank and generous behaviour, and they had a conversation of two hours. Nothing can be more honourable and more patriotic than this. One feels a pride and satisfaction in such examples among our 407 public men. It is peculiarly generous in Aberdeen, because Palmerston has incessantly assailed him with great bitterness, and (though he failed) endeavoured to bring his administration of Foreign Affairs into discredit and contempt.


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

August 13th.—I had no inclination to write while I was 408 at Brighton and Goodwood, and have had little or nothing to say since I came to town. At Goodwood, Lord Stanley was laid up with the gout; the Duke of Richmond was as violent and talkative as usual, and incessantly clamouring against Peel, the renegades, and the Bill, and arranging 'Cabinets' to be held in Stanley's bedroom, with his Protectionist friends—George Bentinck, Beaufort, Stradbroke, and Eglinton, Stanley's new friends! The Government got a much better division in the House of Commons on the sugar duties than they expected, but the Lords were very near playing them a very shabby trick. Lord Stanley and his party had a meeting, at which they resolved not to divide in the Lords. This resolution Stanley imparted to Bessborough, and begged him to arrange matters in such a manner as to enable him to get away to Scotland as soon as possible. This Bessborough did, and he got the House of Commons to sit on Saturday (very unusual), in order to send the Bill up to the Lords on Monday, and then to take the debate (also unusual) on the first reading. Meanwhile, Brougham, who had gone to Westmoreland, returned, intending to speak and to divide on the Bill. The debate came on with a general understanding there should be no division. Stanley made a speech, and so did Brougham, and, at the end of the night, Stanley said that though he had no intention of dividing the House, if anybody else did, he should vote with them. The Government was in a minority in the House, and in a great fright they sent emissaries all over the town to bring Peers down. The Duke of Devonshire was brought from the Opera, and Granville from his bed, and they got enough to make it not worth while for the Opposition to divide.

This matter is settled, but there is another still pending, much more serious, and which has occasioned great discontent among the friends of Government, great perplexity to the Government itself, and done much mischief. This is the Irish Arms Bill, which Labouchere has proposed to renew for nine months. The resolution to do this was hastily taken, without much consideration on the part of the Government, without consulting their friends, and in consequence 409 of the unanimous opinion of the Irish Government, law officers and all, that it is necessary. When this opinion was notified to John Russell, he at once assented to the renewal, though not liking it. It was very ill-received by his adherents, and has thrown the Government into great embarrassment. They are now trying to make it palateable by cancelling some of the strongest clauses, the effect of which is to exasperate Bessborough132 (who talks of not going unless they are retained) without much conciliating others. It is not yet settled how it is to end, but everybody connected with the Government feels that it has been a very unfortunate and damaging occurrence.


X—— has been here this morning to talk of this and many other things. He says that already many disagreeable things are occurring, and there are elements of disunion and causes of danger in operation. The first of these originates with Palmerston. The French complain that Palmerston has already begun to disturb the harmony which subsisted in Aberdeen's time, and to alter the amicable relations which the latter had established. They complain of his tone and manner, and of what he was saying and doing at Madrid in reference to Louis Philippe, who was in a state of violent excitement on the subject, so much so that he had suddenly sent for Guizot, who was one hundred miles off, and ordered Jarnac133 to repair to Paris. Jarnac asked if he might see Lord John and speak to him on the subject. He said he knew how jealous Palmerston was of any diplomatic communications with anybody but himself. Lord John, however, consented to receive him; but Jarnac being meanwhile ordered off to Paris, did not see Lord John till his return. He then told him several things, I know not what, which it seems Lord John was not previously aware of, and he promised to speak to Palmerston on the subject. X—— said 410 Lord John was well disposed to interfere in foreign affairs, and indeed as a Prime Minister ought in every department; but what he feared was that he would not find time, and that he would be overwhelmed with the multifarious functions that were heaped upon him, the endless correspondence, the innumerable deputations, and the attendance in the House of Commons, where, for example, he was kept yesterday from twelve in the morning to twelve at night. All this he thinks will be too much for his health and strength, and above all will baffle his good intention of overlooking and controlling the other departments. It appears that he has got on very good terms with the Queen, whose displeasure has subsided. The Ministers, however, find the Prince in a very different situation from that in which they left him, more prominent, more important, with increased authority. This was the result of Peel's and Aberdeen's administration, and their continual care and attention to all his wishes and the Queen's. They must take things as they find them. These details show that even in so short a time, under all the apparent smoothness on the surface, there are jealousies and suspicions rankling, and difficulties preparing, which may at any time break out and shake the Government to pieces. If this catastrophe happens, Palmerston will be the cause of it; he is evidently dissatisfied and suspicious, and his colleagues are suspicious of him. The Protectionists are dying to entice him on their side; his family desire no better, and would like of all things to see the Whig Cabinet fall to pieces, and a Protectionist Cabinet formed, with Palmerston its leader in the House of Commons. Such a combination is by no means impossible, hardly improbable.

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


Wilberforce, Bishop of Oxford, made a very brilliant speech a few nights ago on the Sugar Bill. As his father's son 411 he thought it necessary to make an Anti-Slavery oration; it was very able and eloquent, and in tone and manner so well regulated as to show that he has profited by the criticisms which were made on his former speeches. He is certainly a remarkable man, full of cleverness and vivacity, very unlike a Churchman in society and in Parliament, and yet he must be deficient in that worldly tact which it might be thought he would most surely have acquired. I judge of this from what has passed between him and myself, which is certainly extraordinary. I met him for the first time the year before last at the Grange, where I spent a couple of days with him, and afterwards I dined once or twice in his company, but never had much conversation with him. One morning I met him at breakfast at Macaulay's (this year), and shortly afterwards he asked me to breakfast with him, which I did. This is all the intercourse I ever had with him, never amounting to anything like intimacy. Just as I was recovering from my illness, Lord Lansdowne sent me a letter from the Bishop about the Eton College case,134 which was pending before the Privy Council, entreating an early decision of it. I put the matter in train, and a few days after I went to Brighton. Just before I went the Bishop called at my house, but I was out, and after I got to Brighton I heard that he had called again, and expressed some disappointment at not having seen me. Meanwhile I learnt that a day was fixed for the hearing of his case. Never imagining that he had called on me for any other purpose than to urge this matter, by no means giving him credit for any especial interest in my health, but wishing to be very civil to him, I wrote him a letter from Brighton, saying that I concluded he had called on me about the Eton College case, and that I therefore wished to inform him that a day was fixed for the argument. I received a letter from him by return of post, in which he told me that that was not 412 his object in calling on me; that he had heard I had been dangerously ill, and that he had called to tender his spiritual advice and aid, and (in a rather commonplace style of writing) he urged me to listen to his religious exhortations. In the whole course of my life I never was so astonished, for he was about the last clergyman from whom I should have expected such an overture, and my acquaintance with him was so slight, that I could not conceive why he had selected me as the subject of a spiritual experiment. I was not a little puzzled how to reply to him. I determined, however, to take his letter in excellent part, to give him credit for the best motive, to express much gratitude, but to decline entering with him into any religious discussion; and to give him to understand, though with great civility, that his proposal was extraordinary and uncalled for. I think I succeeded tolerably well; but he never took any notice of my answer, so I do not know what he felt upon it, and I have not seen him since.

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


There was a curious occurrence in the House of Commons 413 yesterday morning and the evening before. George Bentinck, who employs what is left of the Session in collecting matter for assailing the late Government, and has brought forward divers cases of jobs or blunders against them, made a furious attack upon the appointment to an Indian judgeship, &c., which was a job of Lyndhurst's and Brougham's, and, in a smaller way, of Ripon's, though after all not a very flagitious one.136 He fired, however, into the Treasury Bench, not caring whom he hit provided his shot told on some of them; but Disraeli, who has his own reasons for courting Lyndhurst, was determined to throw a shield over him, so he got up, and (though there could be no doubt that the real jobber, for whose pleasure it was all done, was Lyndhurst)137 pronounced a flaming panegyric on the ex-Chancellor, and said there could be no doubt he would come quite clear out of the affair. This was ridiculous enough, but in the course of the night George Bentinck found out, as he thought, that he had made a mistake, and that the living which he accused Ripon of having got from the Chancellor was not in the Chancellor's gift, but in the gift of one of Ripon's relations. Down he went to the House of Commons in a great hurry, and begged the Speaker to call on him as soon as he took the Chair. He got up, and retracted what he had said with all sorts of expressions of regret, for which he got mighty credit and praise. But he had hardly sat down when a letter was brought him with information that he had been quite right in his original statement, that the 'Clergy List' was wrong, and the living was in the gift of the Chancellor, and that there was nothing for him to retract.

August 20th.—Last night Lyndhurst came down to the House of Lords, and in a towering passion delivered a tremendous philippic against George Bentinck for his attack 414 on him. It was extraordinarily powerful and eloquent, but language so bitter was hardly ever heard in the House of Lords. The matter when sifted and explained does not after all appear to have been much of a job, if at all. The most that can be said is that there was something wrong in the mode of appointment; but this appears to have been an error sanctioned by usage, and common to all Governments.

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

Yesterday morning I had a visit from Jarnac, who brought me a letter addressed by the King to Guizot, in answer to one I had sent to Madame de Lieven—avowedly in answer, for he says, 'I return you the letter,' and then proceeds to comment on it. His Majesty defends himself from the charge (which he considers as conveyed in my letter) of having originated the article upon Clarendon, complains of his having been misrepresented, boasts of his having refused to allow either of his sons to marry the Queen of Spain, though it was the wish of both Queens and of the country (I think he added of the country, but am not quite certain), and gave many assurances of his good opinion of Clarendon. This letter was sent over to be shown to Clarendon and to me, and Jarnac 415 had been with him already. Such an elaborate answer, which the King himself took the trouble to write, shows how keenly he felt the charge. I had a long conversation with Jarnac about this matter, about Palmerston, the relations of the two countries and the press, touching which he laboured to convince me that the 'Journal des Débats' was not in the confidence of the French Government, and that though Guizot did occasionally cause an article to be inserted in it, the connexion of the Government with the paper was by no means so close as I supposed. He expressed himself well satisfied with Palmerston, and admitted that matters could not go on exactly as they had done with Aberdeen, but might, nevertheless, be conducted very amicably.


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

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

There was an Alliance138 meeting at Hertford on Tuesday with some French and German orators, who harangued in English. I did not go.

I came here on Friday; half the Cabinet are here. John Russell, the Woods, the Greys, Macaulay, very agreeable; capital talk, Macaulay in great force. If it were possible 416 to recollect all the stories, anecdotes, jests, and scraps of poetry and prose he has given us, it would all be well worth writing down. Nothing is so rare as to find something he does not know; but he was not aware that there had been a contest for ecclesiastical supremacy between the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. He told me this morning that when he was in the War Office he found what he considers a piece of corroborative evidence to prove that Francis was Junius, or rather he found a difficulty done away with. In one of his letters to Draper he asks him if he did not swear that he received no other pension before he could take his other appointments. Draper replied he took no such oath. As Francis was a chief clerk in the War Office he must have had official knowledge of the practice, and it seemed strange he should charge Draper with what he must (or might) know to be untrue. But it turned out that Draper received his pension from the Irish establishment, where no oath was required. Francis might very well suppose that the custom was the same in Ireland, and knowing very well what it was in England, he would naturally think that he had caught Sir W. Draper tripping. Macaulay said he had not a shadow of doubt that Francis was Junius. We have been doing our best to persuade John Russell to induce the Queen to go to Ireland, but he is very obstinate and will not hear of it; he gives the worst reasons in the world, but there is no moving him.

Woburn Abbey, September 16th.—To London last Monday week, on Wednesday to Bretby, on Monday to this place. It makes me sad to see Bretby and the mode of life there: idleness, folly, waste, and a constant progress to ruin; a princely fortune dilapidated by sheer indolence, because the obstinate spoiled owner will neither look into his affairs, nor let anybody else look into them. He lies in bed half the day, and rises to run after pleasure in whatever shape he can pursue it; abhors business, and has no sense of duty; suffers himself to be cheated and governed by an agent, and thus drifts away to destruction. Such is the heir of the famous Lord Chesterfield, and the destiny of 417 his great estate. Here we have a very different prospect. This great and magnificent place, which is like a kingdom, is regulated with an order and an economy, without parsimony, which is worthy and pleasant to behold. When the details are looked into, the whole thing is truly vast and grand. Such magnificence in house, park, and gardens, such buildings all over the estate, farmhouses fit for gentlemen and intended for men of education and knowledge, vast workshops where everything is done that is required for the property, carpenters, ironmongers, painters and glaziers, three hundred artificers in the employment of the Duke, and paid every Saturday night. All this presents a striking contrast to the other establishment, and the consequence is that the Duke of Bedford is every day making his colossal fortune greater and greater.


Lord John went away the day I came. He is in high spirits, on good terms with the Queen, and well satisfied with the political aspect of his affairs. He seems very honourably and wisely disposed, meaning well and conscientiously, with no rash designs and extravagant projects, but, on the contrary, desirous of doing nothing but what public opinion and public necessity really demand, and determined to avoid all extremes, such as might rouse any great interest to a furious opposition against him. He resists a dissolution, which is strenuously urged upon him by Ellice and others. He seems to be wonderfully free from any spirit of jobbing and favouritism in his appointments of all sorts, and, without losing sight of party and political ties and obligations, to be resolved to do what is right and just and good for the public service. It is curious to see what good terms he is on with the Duke of Wellington, who is much more cordial and communicative with him than he was with his former colleagues. But Lord John is very civil and deferential to him, and he has no reason to find fault with the Whig Minister who always has been a Whig; he could not forgive his old friends for their new Whiggism, which was odious to him, and in which he found himself involved against his inclination. 418

They are all very much annoyed at the Montpensier marriage, and the way in which Louis Philippe has carried his point. They say that he has effected it by a long course of duplicity and intrigue, but that Aberdeen had suffered the marriage question to go so far, that they had not time or power to stop it. But Clarendon, who told me this, had just before told me that a proposition had come from France for some joint action about the Queen's marriage, and that Palmerston left this unanswered for above a month. At last Clarendon received a letter from William Hervey,139 complaining of this, and saying how mischievous it was, which letter he took to John Russell, and resolved to urge him to press Palmerston to send an answer. Lord John pulled out of his pocket one he had received from Normanby to the same effect. He did speak to Palmerston after (or, indeed, it may have been before) Palmerston wrote a despatch to Bulwer, which Clarendon said was quite admirable; but long before this reached Madrid the mischief was done. Now I find there is a difference between Palmerston and Jarnac about some matter of fact, and on the whole matter our Government considers that they have been deceived and ill-used, and that the independence of Spain, in which we have an interest, is about to be completely sacrificed. It is, however, now too late for us to take any energetic steps to prevent this marriage, and Palmerston, however angry, seems to take a very dispassionate and prudent view of the situation. But there is and must be an end of the intimacy between the two Governments, and probably between the two Courts, for the Queen and Prince Albert partake of the indignation and resentment of her Ministers. I confess I can feel none of the apprehensions that my friends do. I don't believe the influence of France will be increased in Spain by the marriage; more likely the reverse; and if it were, I do not see how it ever can be exercised in a manner injurious to us. There never can be a renewal of the family compact. Spain has no colonies except Cuba and no navy, nor will have any 419 for many years to come; the old dangers that excited the alarm and indignation of Chatham have long ceased to exist or to be possible. I believe that it will be attended with no greater evil (but that is a great one) than the revival of jealous, semi-hostile feelings between France and England, and the termination of that state of cordiality and confidence which have been, and would be, instrumental in maintaining the peace of the world.


September 24th.—Went to Broadlands on Friday last. Palmerston was so engaged, messengers arriving all day long, that there was no possibility of conversing with him for some time; but on Sunday morning, after breakfast, he gave me a very clear and succinct account of the Spanish marriage question. He is very much disconcerted, and very indignant at all that has taken place, and he thinks that the consequences will be, sooner or later, very mischievous. It seems that the question of the Montpensier marriage had been touched upon some time ago, but Guizot gave assurances to Aberdeen, and Louis Philippe did the same to the Queen, that there should be no question of it till the Queen of Spain was married and had got children (in the plural140). It was therefore impossible not to rely on an engagement so positive as this. Meanwhile the different actors in this drama seem to have been pulling different ways, and all sorts of intrigues were going on both at Paris and Madrid. Christina wanted the Queen to marry the Coburg Prince, and urged us to support this marriage. We refused. Louis Philippe was violently against this match, which he affected to consider as an English object, besides that he is not a Bourbon. The French Government instructed Jarnac to go on offering to settle the matter in concert with us, but at the same time, and without any instruction to us, they were concerting the scene that was acted at Madrid, and preparing for the simultaneous announcement of the two marriages. Palmerston told Jarnac that we would have no concern with the Coburg candidate as Christina wished. If we had chosen to consent to this, 420 and to connive at his being sent at once to Madrid and the match concluded, Palmerston says we could have made a bargain with Christina, and got her to prevent the Montpensier marriage, but this would have savoured of intrigue on our part, and have been false and underhand, the same sort of conduct that we now reproach France for having been guilty of. Palmerston therefore said to Jarnac, 'Why don't you at once take one of the Spanish princes, Don Francisco's sons? Of the two, Don Enrique seems the least objectionable, and would be preferred by Queen Isabella to his brother, whom she dislikes. We are quite ready to concur with you in this settlement and to communicate with the Spanish Government accordingly.' Jarnac appeared to acquiesce, but Palmerston says that it is quite clear that this did not suit Louis Philippe, and that he thought Enrique so much better a man, better endowed morally and physically, than his brother, that as soon as he found we were ready to join in settling such a marriage, he sent off orders to Madrid at once to clinch the affair with the Duke of Cadiz. All this was done without any intimation to us of his designs; on the contrary, Jarnac was deceiving Palmerston here, at the very time all this intrigue was working at Madrid. The nocturnal Council was held, and the young Queen compelled, much against her inclination, to accept as her husband a miserable creature, whom she dislikes and despises. They told her if she did not take him she should not be married at all. He is known to be imbecile, and supposed to be impotent; but it is possible in this latter respect the world may be mistaken, and that he may be the means, after all, of continuing a race of imbeciles, of which the Royal family of Spain has generally consisted. As to the other child, though policy would forbid the banns, she is well enough off. The Duc de Montpensier is probably a far better husband in all ways than she would have found elsewhere, and to be transplanted to Paris and made a member of such a family as that of Louis Philippe, people who have brains and hearts, is a blessed lot for her in comparison with that of her elder sister. But without any question the 421 manner in which all this has been done is odious and offensive to the last degree, and of necessity puts an end to all the intimacy which has existed between the two Governments and the two Courts. It has been a great damper to the Queen's engouement for the House of Orleans, for she fully enters into the feelings and sentiments of her Ministers upon the whole question. She wrote to the Queen of the French a letter, in which (though I suppose in very measured terms) she made known her thoughts. We have done all we can do with propriety and dignity in such a case. The long and short of it is that we have been tricked and deceived, but we cannot quarrel outright about it. We have remonstrated and given our opinion upon it, but the matter has now proceeded too far to be stopped, and Louis Philippe would not be such a fool as not to clutch the prize, when he has subjected himself to all the odium, nor could he now retract if he would.


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

I saw Clarendon for a few minutes on Tuesday, who 422 showed me a very curious and by no means ill-written letter from Narvaez, setting forth these designs, but saying that he must proceed with great caution in order to ensure success. This letter was written in Spanish to Madame Marliani at Paris (from whom and her husband he seems to have no secrets), and she translated it into French and sent it to Clarendon. It will be exceedingly curious to watch the progress of these complicated affairs. Louis Philippe, while accomplishing his darling scheme, may find that he has over-reached himself and plunged into a sea of troubles. Both Palmerston and Clarendon attach far greater political importance to the Montpensier marriage than I am disposed to do; they think it will rivet French influence on Spain. I think (though it may do so) that it is more likely to arouse and keep alive the jealousy of French influence. There can be no doubt that it is the interest of Louis Philippe to prevent the triumph of constitutional principles in Spain, and to make the Government as arbitrary as he can; while it is ours to promote their ascendency, because the more free the nation becomes, the less will they endure the domination of France. He has seen this all along, and I have not much doubt that what Palmerston told me about the Quadruple Alliance is true. He said that when he proposed it to Talleyrand, the latter jumped at it. He said, 'This is the very thing we most desire. What I want is to sign something, no matter what, with you, that our names should appear together in some public act demonstrative of our union.' Accordingly the Quadruple treaty was signed. It answered the end. The other Governments took alarm at the union between France and England, and began to make advances to France. Then Louis Philippe, having got all the good he expected out of this treaty, turned his thoughts to the object of improving his relations with the other Powers who had hitherto treated him so coldly. Pozzo went to him and remonstrated with him on the Quadruple treaty, and he replied (so Palmerston says), 'Mon cher, je vous donne ma parole d'honneur que je n'ai signé le traité que pour ne pas l'exécuter.' It seems hardly credible that he 423 should have so broadly announced his intentions, but whether he said it or no, he acted in exact conformity with the speech that is attributed to him, for it was nothing but the connivance of the French Government in the transport of stores from France to the Carlists which kept the war alive so long, and as soon as that connivance ceased the war was brought to an end. Jarnac tells people here that Palmerston wanted the Coburg alliance, which is certainly false, and he must know it to be so. He went down to Broadlands the other day with M. Dumont, and on that occasion Palmerston is said to have told him that 'it was the first time a King of France had broken his word,' but it is hardly possible he should have said this, though it may be true.141


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

October 7th.—At the Grove the last two days, with Lord and Lady Lansdowne, Panizzi, and a Spaniard with a name like this—Buschenthal,142 really an Alsatian, I believe, and the Hollands. Clarendon told me some things I had not heard before relating to the Spanish and other questions; among others about the Queen and Palmerston, which is remarkable, because it proves two things: one, that the Queen takes a more serious and prominent part in business than I was aware of; and the other, that Palmerston's independent action in the Foreign Office has received a complete and final check. It is pretty clear that although John Russell is so different from Melbourne, Palmerston had resolved to make an attempt to go on in his old way. It was about the end of 424 August that he wrote a despatch to Bulwer of a very important character, both with regard to the sentiments of England on the marriage question and the relations which he wished Bulwer to establish with the Progressista party. This despatch he sent to John Russell, requesting it might be immediately returned that he might send it off. It reached John Russell on a Sunday morning as he was going to church. He was not at all pleased at the hour and the day on which it was sent to him, and he kept it till the next day. He then returned it to Palmerston with an intimation that such a despatch could by no means go without being previously submitted to the Queen. He sent it to the Queen, who kept it two days and then returned it with her own comments and objections. Her letter was remarkably well written, and all the objections concisely but ably put, and it exhibited a very correct knowledge of the state of parties in Spain. The consequence of the Queen's letter was that John Russell assembled Palmerston, Lord Lansdowne, and Clarendon at his house, where they discussed the matter for two hours, and finally agreed on a letter to be written in place of that which Palmerston had first composed. It was divided into two parts and into two separate despatches. Though they did not separate till past twelve at night, Palmerston re-wrote these despatches before he went to bed, and the next morning they were again sent to the Queen, who returned them with her approbation. But on my expressing my surprise at this, Clarendon told me that the Baroness Lehzen had told him long ago that the Queen kept a journal in which she entered everything remarkable that came under her notice, with her own observations and thoughts thereupon, and that after every important debate she consulted all the newspapers, and taking what appeared to her the best reports of the most remarkable speeches, she made a précis from them of the whole. Nothing, it appears, can exceed her indignation and that of the Prince at the conduct of the King of the French, and she spoke of it to Clarendon in the most unmeasured terms. The entente cordiale is at an end, and can hardly be revived. 'He 425 did not write to me himself,' she said, 'but made the Queen write. I don't think they will be much pleased with my answer.' I heard also a miserable subterfuge of Guizot's, for which I feel quite sorry and ashamed. He gave (either to Normanby or to William Hervey) a positive assurance that there was no design of making the marriages simultaneous, of marrying the Infanta at the same time as the Queen. When he was subsequently called to account for this fresh piece of falsehood and deceit, he was not ashamed to descend to so paltry a subterfuge as to say that he never intended anything but that they were not to be married by one ceremony, that they were not to stand at the altar together!143 He had much better have brazened it out, and said that it had not been originally intended, but that they had changed their minds. Peel met John Russell at Windsor. He came one day and Lord John went away the next, which was a judicious way of managing their invitations. He told Palmerston that he and Aberdeen and Graham were as indignant at what had passed and at the conduct of the King and Guizot, as any of the Ministers could be, and I saw a letter from Graham to George Lewis in the same strain.


London, November 4th.—The last month has as usual been spent in and about Newmarket, and left neither time nor inclination for anything but racing occupations. I have not much to say about politics. The last month or two have been occupied with the Spanish marriages, Irish distresses and disturbances, and the question of the opening of the ports and the meeting of Parliament. In respect to the first, the King and Guizot, having accomplished their end, are now anxious to make it up with us, but they find this not so easy. All sorts of conciliatory attempts have been made through Jarnac, Madame de Lieven, myself, and others, which have been very coldly met. Jarnac sent to John Russell a letter of Guizot's, in which he spoke slightingly of Palmerston. Lord John wrote an answer expressing his own entire concurrence with Palmerston, and his view of the conduct of the French Government, an excellent letter, I am told. Madame 426 de Lieven wrote to me, begging me to go to Paris, where I might do a great deal of good. I wrote her a long letter telling her all I thought, and how unanimous all parties and public men were here, and showed my letter to the Palmerstons, who were very well pleased with it.

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

November 20th.—Some days ago Lady Palmerston got from Palmerston the correspondence between him and Guizot, which was printed for the Cabinet, and gave it me to read. There were three notes: Palmerston's first against the marriage before it took place; Guizot's case for himself and against us; and Palmerston's elaborate reply to the latter, which is certainly very able and conclusive, and exposes with great force the shuffling, tricking, and unfair conduct of the French Cabinet. I presume when Parliament meets these papers will appear, when the world may judge of them. The point on which I think Palmerston fails to make a case, and which he was imprudent in putting forward, was that of the Treaty of Utrecht. I think he has there no locus standi, and such is Aberdeen's opinion. It is the more to be regretted that he brought this forward, because it was of great importance that he and Aberdeen should be of one mind throughout the matter, besides which 427 I have very little doubt that when Parliament meets, and the question is discussed, Brougham will come down to the House of Lords and make a very powerful speech against the Government on this point of the case. If he does, there is nobody to answer him, and Clarendon takes the same view of it that I do. Brougham has written a long, rambling, absurd letter to Clarendon, the object of which is to complain of Normanby's conduct in not going to the reception, and generally of the impolicy of quarrelling with the French Government, of course written for Louis Philippe and Guizot. Clarendon wrote him a very good answer.


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

November 23rd.—The Cracow affair144 has made a great 428 sensation in France, and puzzled Guizot not a little. He now feels the embarrassment of having quarrelled with us, and is obliged to make overtures to us, which is rather mortifying to him, and in which our Government find great matter for exultation. It was suspected here that Guizot, in order to conciliate the Northern Courts, would give in to their violation of the Treaty of Vienna, but it turns out quite otherwise. Probably he does not dare; but be this as it may, Jarnac came down to the Foreign Office on Saturday when the Cabinet was sitting, and sent in a note stating that the matter was sufficiently urgent to induce him to 'poursuivre Palmerston même dans le sein du Conseil,' and stating that he was ordered by Guizot to go forthwith to him, and beg to know his sentiments on the transaction, and to convey to him those of the French Government; in short, to invite confidential intercourse with a view to joint action. The Cabinet were mightily pleased at Guizot's being reduced to the necessity of thus appealing to us. They resolved, however, to take a somewhat dry and stately, though civil tone. Palmerston had received an intimation from Metternich of what the three Northern Courts had resolved to do, in rather a peremptory style, and he had already written an answer and submitted it to the Cabinet. It was to the effect that he was bound to protest against this violation of the treaty, and that 'jusqu'à présent' he had not seen any evidence of the facts on the strength of which they had grounded the necessity for what they had done. The answer was as strong as it is advisable to make any document, which there is no intention of following up by any action. This note was to be submitted to the Queen, 429 and on its return from her to be sent off to Vienna. The answer to Jarnac was to be that we entirely disapproved of what had been done, and he was to be furnished with a copy of Palmerston's note, informing him that it had been already despatched to Vienna, thus concurring in opinion with Guizot, but acting independently. There seemed to me to be too much disposition to exhibit marked coldness, and to repulse any attempt at reconciliation; and I told Clarendon that as we must make it up sooner or later, I thought it much better to deal with the Cracow question in such a manner as to enable its being made the means of a rapprochement. The fear is that Palmerston will say or write twitting and irritating notes, and so keep alive the feud.


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

November 28th.—Yesterday I heard a great deal about foreign politics. Clarendon brought me a letter from Howden, who writes to him constantly from Paris. There is an idea now taken up by the French papers that the King has been all along cognisant of the intentions of the three Courts about Cracow, and has himself conducted an underhand intrigue with Flahault about it; that Flahault got leave of absence in order not to be placed in the false position of not 430 objecting, the King having secretly instructed him to laisser faire, and give them to understand that he must talk big, but that they were not to mind that, and to count on his doing nothing. This Howden does not believe, but Clarendon does. He saw yesterday a M. Grimblot, a violent partisan of Thiers, who hates the King and Guizot, and who told him he believed this story to be true; and, moreover, that if Guizot lost his place in the scramble that is likely to take place, and Thiers and Co. come in, there was nothing they would not do and no sacrifice they would not make to renew the English alliance, that all France wished for it, and that the estrangement had frightened them: 'nous avons peur' he said. This Clarendon swallowed down, though it seems to me so base and despicable an avowal that it must be false. It is an attempt at cajolery, coarse and overdone, to ingratiate the Thiers party with our Government. Clarendon thinks, however, that the above story of the King is true, and he rests his belief on the fragment of an intercepted letter from Princess Metternich; but it requires more confirmation than this. Delane arrived with a long letter he had received from Aberdeen, very just, sound, and sensible, very moderate towards Palmerston, and urging Delane to support him. He declared his belief in the sincerity of the convictions on which Guizot had acted, was satisfied that if he (Aberdeen) had remained in office the marriage would not have taken place, or at least not in the manner it did. He repudiated the construction put on the Treaty of Utrecht, and regretted its having been brought forward.


Last night, at the Duchess of Gloucester's ball, I met Jarnac and had at least an hour's conversation with him. He was in low spirits at the state of affairs, much disappointed at the rejection of his overture for a joint action about Cracow, complained of the inconvenience and the impolicy of it, that it was more our interest than theirs, that they were proposing to us to assist in tying up their own hands, and that such articles as had recently appeared in the 'Chronicle,' taken in conjunction with this rebuff, as it 431 must be considered (this was not his word), would make a great sensation in France, be regarded as indicative of a hostile feeling, and seriously widen the breach. He admitted that Palmerston's personal communication with him had been very civil. Palmerston had asked him if he had any remark to make on our despatch to Lord Ponsonby, and seemed to expect some, but he said he had none. We discussed all the questions at issue, and in a great deal that he said I was quite disposed to agree with him. He dwelt on the difficulty of getting over the deliberate and repeated demands for renunciation made both to France and Spain, where it must be well known that a compliance with such demands was utterly impossible and not to be expected. However, even in this point the French Court is trying to amuse us, for Clarendon received a letter from Billing (an âme damnée of Louis Philippe and Guizot) suggesting that we should open a negotiation with Spain for a renunciation there, and confirmation by the Cortes of a resignation of the eventual rights of the Infanta and her family, an absurdity too gross to impose on anybody. I told Jarnac that if the French Court had gone about their designs with something more of boldness and frankness, and in a more direct and straightforward manner, they would have accomplished all their ends without any risk or difficulty, and have averted the consequences that have followed. If the King had acted in bonâ fide concert with us about the marriage of the Queen, and from the first declared his intention to marry his son to her sister, making no engagements and conditions, but merely acting openly and honourably, all would have gone well, and everything he desired would have been accomplished, for so little did people here care about or object to the Montpensier marriage that it would have been impossible to get up the steam of public opinion, or to goad the nation into a quarrel on the marriage itself. Jarnac said, with an affected naïveté, 'You mean if the Queen had been married to Prince Leopold?' I said, 'I mean no such thing; why, you know perfectly well that we never had any such design or wish, that not even the Court wished it. The Queen and 432 the Prince did not wish for it, and the Government have all along discouraged and repudiated it. Your case, in fact, involves of necessity a charge against us, which we say is unfounded, and you attempt to defend your own good faith by impugning ours. You admitted the obligation you contracted, but affirm that it was conditional; that we bound ourselves by a reciprocal obligation, which we broke, and that this breach of ours released you from yours. You are half an Englishman yourself, and you know enough of the state of opinion in England and of the morality of public men to be aware that any underhand proceeding or intrigue, any conduct different from that which is avowed, is absolutely impossible here. The publicity which is given to everything, and the responsibility of public men to public opinion, render such conduct out of the question; therefore when we told you, as we have done all along, that we did not encourage this marriage, you knew it to be true.' I then recapitulated all that had passed, to which he could only reply that he could tell me a great deal more, but that was not the place and the moment, for Lady Palmerston was then sitting very near us. I told him, however, that though under existing circumstances we could not consent to a joint action, we did not want to bouder; that he must not regard the 'Morning Chronicle' as the exponent of the sentiments of the Cabinet, still less of the country; that the articles were much disapproved of, and that if they would have patience the cogent interests of the two nations to be on good terms would infallibly bring the Governments together likewise, though the same sort of intimacy could never exist again.


Bowood, December 12th.—Came here on Tuesday; on Monday saw the Duke of Bedford, who told me a scrap or two of information not very new, but which he imparts in this way when he thinks of it. He was just come from Arundel; the Queen and Prince Albert have got on vastly good terms with Lord John. He had lately met Lord Hardwicke, who told him that in September he had called on Peel in his way from Longshawe, and had a great deal of 433 conversation with him, in the course of which Peel told him that when he went to the Queen to take leave of her on quitting office, he said he had a request to make to her which she must beforehand promise him to grant, that he must not be denied. She said she should be glad to comply with any request of his if she could. He then said that the request he had to make to her was that she would never again at any time or under any circumstances ask him to enter her service. He did not say what Her Majesty's answer was. That Peel meant this as he said it I have no doubt, but his remaining in the House of Commons is rather inconsistent if such is his determination, and the best thing he could have done would have been to go to the House of Peers; that would have been a dignified retirement from political power. The Duke of Wellington is on excellent terms with these Ministers, and better satisfied with them than with his old colleagues in respect to the defences of the country. It seems that not very long ago such angry communications took place between the Duke and Peel on that subject, that the Government was very near being broken up, and would have been if Arbuthnot had not interfered and set it right. So at least Arbuthnot told the Duke of Bedford.

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

Lord John also told Clarendon how cleverly he had 434 managed to get the Duke of Wellington to do a gracious and popular act, which he has hitherto always roughly refused, the bestowal of decorations on the Peninsular soldiers. He advised the Queen to write to the Duke and express her own wish that it should be done. He replied with great alacrity, and expressed his readiness to carry her commands into execution. She then wrote again, and said she wished his name to be connected with the decoration in some way or other. He replied again in a very good letter that he hoped to be allowed to decline this distinction, that he had already been honoured and rewarded far beyond his deserts, and that he was only too happy to have been deemed to have rendered any service to his sovereigns and his country. Lord John, however, is resolved that his name and exploits shall in some way be introduced into the inscription, whatever it may be.

But the subject that has most occupied everybody here is Ireland. Charles Wood brought down all his papers, and has been constantly doing business with his two colleagues. He showed me a very good paper he had drawn up for the Cabinet, setting forth all that had been done, the present state of things, and the remedies he proposes to adopt, the legislative measures to be submitted to Parliament. His views are very sound, and I expect his measures will be well received. But the state of Ireland is to the last degree deplorable, and enough to induce despair: such general disorganisation and demoralisation, a people with rare exceptions besotted with obstinacy and indolence, reckless and savage—all from high to low intent on doing as little and getting as much as they can, unwilling to rouse and exert themselves, looking to this country for succour, and snarling at the succour which they get; the masses brutal, deceitful, and idle, the whole state of things contradictory and paradoxical. While menaced with the continuance of famine next year, they will not cultivate the ground, and it lies unsown and untilled. There is no doubt that the people never were so well off on the whole as they have been this year of famine. Nobody will pay rent, and 435 the savings banks are overflowing. With the money they get from our relief funds they buy arms instead of food, and then shoot the officers who are sent over to regulate the distribution of relief. While they crowd to the overseers with demands for employment, the landowners cannot procure hands, and sturdy beggars calling themselves destitute are apprehended with large sums in their pockets. We are here all of opinion that some tremendous catastrophe is inevitable. The evil is not in course of diminution, and what will happen, and when it will happen, God only knows; but there must and will be some tremendous convulsion, and that before very long.





  1. Abbotsford, visit to, iii. 291
  2. Aberdeen, Rt. Hon. Earl of, Foreign Secretary in Sir R. Peel's Administration, ii. 37;
  3. Acland, Sir Thomas, motion of, i. 92
  4. Adair, Sir Robert, anecdotes, iii. 212
  5. Adelaide, Queen, at Exeter Hall, ii. 97
  6. Afghanistan, expedition to, i. 241;
  7. Aix-la-Chapelle, visit to, ii. 167
  8. 'Alarm,' accident to, at the Derby, ii. 284;
  9. Alava, General, i. 241;
  10. Albert, H.R.H. Prince, betrothal of, to the Queen announced, i. 247;
  11. Aldborough, Lady, at Baden Baden, ii. 183
  12. Alexander, Grand Duke (afterwards Emperor Alexander II. of Russia), departure of, i. 215;
  13. Allen, Mr. John, i. 38;
  14. Alliance meeting at Hertford, ii. 415
  15. Althorp, library at, ii. 275
  16. Alvanley, Lord, death of, iii. 304;
  17. America, case of McLeod, i. 383;
  18. Ampthill, visit to, i. 250
  19. Anglesey, Marquis of, the, speech of, at the Waterloo Dinner, i. 102-104;
  20. Anti-Papal Bill, the objections of the Peelites to, iii. 385, 387;
  21. Antwerp, visit to, ii. 287
  22. Arbuthnot, Mr., death of, iii. 362;
  23. Arkwright, Mr., death of, ii. 157
  24. Armstrong, Colonel, ii. 94
  25. Ashburton, Lord, mission of, to the United States, ii. 71;
  26. 'Atlantic,' fête on board the, iii. 409
  27. Auchterarder Case, the, ii. 206, 207
  28. Auckland, Lord, great ability of, ii. 63;
  29. Augusta, H.R.H. Princess, Royal consent given for the marriage of the, ii. 118
  30. Austin, Mrs., salon of, in Paris, iii. 38
  31. Austria, revolution in, iii. 155, 158;
  32. Austria, Ferdinand, Emperor of, decision of, iii. 159
  33. Backhouse, Mr., correspondence of, with Mr. Urquhart, i. 158
  34. Bacourt, M. de, opinion of, of the Treaty of Washington, ii. 101
  35. Baden Baden, arrival at, ii. 176;
  36. Bagot, Sir Charles, Governor-General of Canada, ii. 117
  37. Baillie, Right Hon. Henry, motion of, for a Committee of Enquiry on Ceylon, British Guiana, and Mauritius, iii. 269
  38. Ball, fancy, at the Palace, ii. 283
  39. Ballot, The (for debates on, see Lords, House of, and Commons, House of), division on, i. 61;
  40. Balmoral, Council at, iii. 295;
  41. Bangor Cathedral, service at, ii. 17
  42. Bank Charter Act, the, suspended, iii. 101
  43. Barcelona, bombardment of, ii. 201
  44. Baring, Hon. William Bingham (afterwards second Baron Ashburton), returned for North Staffordshire, i. 17
  45. Baring, Hon. Francis (afterwards third Baron Ashburton), on French politics, iii. 35
  46. Baring, Sir Francis, First Lord of the Admiralty, iii. 260
  47. Barnes, Mr., i. 123;
  48. Bath, visit to, i. 222;
  49. Battersea Schools, the, i. 131;
  50. Battle of the Diamond, the, i. 30, 31
  51. Bavaria, King of, the, abdication of, iii. 155
  52. Beaudesert, party at, i. 48
  53. Beaumaris, visit to, ii. 17
  54. Beaumont, M. Gustave de, appointed French Ambassador to the Court of St. James's, iii. 218
  55. Beauvale, Lord, and Lord Palmerston, iii. 120
  56. Bedchamber, ladies of the, affair of the, i. 201, 209
  57. Bedford, fourth Duke of, diary of, ii. 47
  58. Bedford, sixth Duke of, letter of Lord Brougham to, on education, i. 238
  59. Bedford, seventh Duke of, Devonshire property of, iii. 206
  60. Bedford, Duchess of, resignation of, ii. 32
  61. Bentinck, Lord George, racing transactions of, ii. 160;
  62. Bentinck, Lady William, death of, and character, ii. 157;
  63. Berlin, revolution in, iii. 155
  64. Berry, Miss, ii. 201;
  65. Berry, Miss Agnes, ii. 201, 202
  66. Bessborough, Right Hon. Earl of, opinion of, on affairs, ii. 353;
  67. Beyrout, bombardment of, i. 328
  68. Birkenhead, visit to, ii. 282
  69. Birthday reflexions, i. 85
  70. Blanc, Louis M., iii. 152;
  71. Blessington, the Countess of, society at Gore House, i. 167;
  72. Bonaparte, Jérôme, Count de Montfort, at Gore House, i. 277
  73. Bonaparte, Louis Napoleon, afterwards Emperor of the French, see Napoleon
  74. Bordeaux, Duc de, visit to England of the, ii. 211;
  75. Bourqueney, Baron, letter from M. Guizot to the, i. 348;
  76. Bowood, party at, ii. 69
  77. Bradshaw, Mr., disloyal speech of, at Canterbury, i. 244;
  78. Bresson, Count, instructions to, on the Spanish marriages, iii. 24 (see Spanish Marriages)
  79. Bretby, visit to, ii. 309;
  80. Bridgewater House, private theatricals at, ii. 96
  81. Bridgewater Trust, account of the, ii. 303
  82. British Museum, correspondence with the, about the missing Privy Council Registers, ii. 162
  83. Broadlands, visit to, ii. 104
  84. Brocket, visits to, iii. 119, 375;
  85. Broglie, Duc de, speech of the, iii. 37
  86. Brougham, Lord, scene with Lord Melbourne, i. 32;
  87. Brown, Mr., M.P., fête on board the 'Atlantic,' iii. 409
  88. Brunnow, Baron, mission of, to England, i. 242;
  89. Buccleuch, the Duke of, Lord Privy Seal, ii. 82;
  90. Buccleuch, the Duchess of, Mistress of the Robes, ii. 44
  91. Buckingham, the Duke of, Lord Privy Seal in Sir R. Peel's Administration, ii. 37;
  92. Buckinghamshire, dispute on the appointment of sheriff, ii. 144
  93. Buckinghamshire magistrates, appointment of the, ii. 66;
  94. Buckland, Dr., at the Grange, ii. 264
  95. Bugeaud, Marshal, commands the troops in Paris in 1848, iii. 144
  96. Buller, Charles, Mr., Radical opinions of, i. 32;
  97. Bulwer, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Lytton, play of 'Richelieu,' i. 173
  98. Bulwer, Sir Henry, expulsion of, from Spain, iii. 169;
  99. Burge, William, Mr., Q.C., i. 255
  100. Burghersh, Lord (afterwards Earl of Westmorland), opera by, i. 116;
  101. Burghley, party at, i. 37
  102. Burgoyne, Sir John, letter from the Duke of Wellington to, iii. 107
  103. Burke, Rt. Hon. Edmund, iii. 213
  104. Bury, Lady Charlotte, book by, i. 48;
  105. Butler, Mrs., reading of, at Bowood, ii. 69;
  106. Cabul, retreat from, ii. 85, 89, 107;
  107. Cambridge, visit to, ii. 238
  108. Cambridge, University of, H.R.H. Prince Albert elected Chancellor of, iii. 65;
  109. Cambridge, H.R.H. Adolphus, Duke of, concedes precedence to Prince Albert, i. 270;
  110. Cambridge, H.R.H. George, Duke of, precedence of, iii. 365, 366
  111. Campbell, Lord, Lord Chancellor of Ireland with a peerage, ii. 14;
  112. Canada, insurrection in, i. 34;
  113. Canada Bill, see Commons, House of
  114. Candlish, Dr., sermon by, iii. 292
  115. Canford, visit to, ii. 105
  116. Canning, Rt. Hon. George, distrust of, ii. 399
  117. Canning, Stratford, Rt. Hon. Sir, opposition of, to Russia, iii. 279
  118. Cannizzaro, Duchess of, death of the, i. 365;
  119. Canterbury, Archbishop of, Dr. Sumner appointed, iii. 125
  120. Capel, Hon. and Rev. William, dispute with the Bishop of London, ii. 113
  121. Capua, Prince of, the, at dinner at Devonshire House, i. 279
  122. Carnarvon, visit to, with Lord Anglesey, ii. 18
  123. Carnot, iii. 153
  124. 'Carolus' letter to the 'Times,' iii. 372, 374;
  125. Catholic Clergy, Endowment question, ii. 199
  126. Cavaignac, General, iii. 199, 205
  127. Cécille, Admiral, Ambassador to the Court of St. James's, iii. 268
  128. Ceylon, committee of enquiry into administration of, iii. 269;
  129. Chantrey, death of, ii. 60;
  130. Charles Albert, King of Sardinia, defeat of, iii. 218;
  131. Chartists, progress of the, i. 155;
  132. Chatham, Rt. Hon. Earl of, anecdotes of the, i. 245
  133. Chatsworth, visit to, ii. 204;
  134. Chepstow, visit to, i. 222
  135. Chester, visit to, ii. 16
  136. Chester, Mayor of, question of baronetcy on the birth of the Prince of Wales, ii. 52
  137. Chillianwallah, battle of, iii. 273
  138. China, war with, i. 283; debate on, 283;
  139. Chiswick, visit of the Queen and Prince Albert to, ii. 14;
  140. Chloroform, an operation under, iii. 110
  141. Christina, Queen of Spain, intrigues of, ii. 419, 421;
  142. Church of Scotland, disruption in the, ii. 206
  143. Circourt, Madame de, salon of, iii. 45
  144. Clanricarde, Marquis of, Postmaster-General, ii. 405
  145. Claremont, council at, for events in the East, i. 328;
  146. Clarence, H.R.H. Duke of, see William IV., King
  147. Clarendon, Rt. Hon. Earl of, office of Governor-General of Canada offered to the, i. 173;
  148. Clifton, visit to, i. 222
  149. Cobden, Richard, Mr. Greville's letter to, in the 'Times,' iii. 123;
  150. Coburg marriage, fear of, in France, iii. 30
  151. Colborne, Sir John, Lieutenant-Governor of Canada, i. 35
  152. Coleridge, Stanza from 'Ode to Tranquillity,' i. 109
  153. Colloredo, Count, and Lord Palmerston, iii. 282, 283, 288
  154. Cologne, visit to the cathedral at, ii. 167
  155. Commons, House of, select committee on pensions, i. 29;
  156. Conference at Constantinople (1840), i. 328, 329
  157. Conroy, Sir John, i. 14, 20
  158. 'Constitutionnel,' indiscreet article in the, iii. 34
  159. Conway Castle, ii. 16
  160. Coplestone, Dr. (Bishop of Llandaff), publishes Lord Dudley's letters, i. 273
  161. Corn Laws, i. 158, 164;
  162. Cornwall, the Duchy of, iii. 67
  163. Coronation of Queen Victoria, i. 105, 106
  164. Cottenham, Lord High Chancellor, ii. 405;
  165. Council, picture of the Queen's first, i. 82;
  166. Courvoisier, murder of Lord W. Russell, i. 284
  167. Cousin, Victor, visit to, iii. 44
  168. Cowley, Lord, conversation with, in Paris, iii. 19;
  169. Cowley, Lord (afterwards Earl Cowley), Ambassador at Paris, iii. 441, 446;
  170. Cracow, ii. 427;
  171. Creevey, Mr., death of, i. 63;
  172. Croker, Right Hon. John Wilson, article by, in the 'Quarterly Review,' i. 103, 105;
  173. Cromer, visit to, ii. 120
  174. Curran, anecdote of, i. 153;
  175. Czartoryski, Prince, at the Hôtel Lambert, iii. 44
  176. Dalhousie, Right Hon. Earl of, President of the Board of Trade, ii. 267;
  177. Danton, anecdote of, iii. 111
  178. D'Arblay, Madame, journal of, ii. 127
  179. Day, Sam, the jockey, death of, i. 133
  180. De Grey, Right Hon. Earl, Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland in Sir R. Peel's Administration, ii. 37
  181. Delane, Mr. John T., succeeds Mr. Barnes as editor of the 'Times,' ii. 3;
  182. Delessert, M., on the state of France, iii. 157
  183. Denman, Lord, closes the term, ii. 63
  184. Derby, Right Hon. (fourteenth) Earl of, forms a government, iii. 447;
  185. Derby, the, accident to 'Alarm,' ii. 284
  186. De Ros, Lord, death of, i. 180
  187. Devonshire, Duke of, letters and papers of the, ii. 377
  188. Devonshire House, dinner at, to the Duke of Sussex and the Prince of Capua, i. 278
  189. Dickens, Charles, performance of, at the St. James's Theatre, ii. 302
  190. Disraeli, Right Hon. Benjamin, maiden speech of, i. 26, 30;
  191. Dolly's Brae affair, iii. 310, 313
  192. D'Orsay, Count, at Gore House, i. 167;
  193. Dost Mahomed, surrender of, i. 360
  194. Downton Castle, visit to, i. 218
  195. Drouyn de Lhuys, M., French Ambassador in London, iii. 326;
  196. Drumlanrig, visit to, iii. 299
  197. Drummond, Mr. Edward, assassination of, ii. 141
  198. Drummond Castle, visit to, iii. 299
  199. Dudley, Lord, letters of, published, i. 273;
  200. Duncannon, Lord, and the apartments in St. James's Palace, i. 280
  201. Duncombe, Mr. Thomas, attack of, on the Post Office, ii. 272
  202. Dundas, Right Hon. Sir David, at Ampthill, i. 250;
  203. Durham, Right Hon. Earl of, Governor-General of Canada, i. 49, 54;
  204. Eastern Question, the, beginning of, i. 242;
  205. Easthope, Sir John, proprietor of the 'Morning Chronicle,' i. 179
  206. Eastnor Castle, i. 219
  207. Eaton, visit to, ii. 15;
  208. Eden, Hon. and Rev. Robert (afterwards Bishop of Bath and Wells), Rector of Battersea, i. 131;
  209. Eden, Hon. Emily, letter of, i. 383;
  210. Edinburgh, visit to, iii. 291
  211. 'Edinburgh Review,' originators of the, ii. 153
  212. Education question, the, ii. 212
  213. Egerton, Lord Francis, at Ems, ii. 287;
  214. Egremont, Right Hon. Earl of, death of the, i. 23;
  215. Egypt, see Eastern Question
  216. Election, general, result of, in 1837, i. 13, 16, 18;
  217. Eldon, Right Hon. Earl of, death of the, i. 49
  218. Ellenborough, Right Hon. Earl of, Board of Control in Sir R. Peel's Administration, ii. 37;
  219. Ellice, Right Hon. Edward, at Brocket, iii. 375
  220. Elliot, Captain (afterwards Sir Charles), return of, from China, ii. 49, 52
  221. Emir Beschir, see Eastern Question
  222. Ems, visit to, ii. 287
  223. Endsleigh, visit to, iii. 205
  224. Epsom, racing transactions of Lord G. Bentinck and Lord Kelburne, ii. 160
  225. Espartero, downfall of, ii. 201
  226. Eton College case, ii. 411
  227. Eu, Château d', visit to, of Queen Victoria, ii. 196, 200;
  228. Evans, Sir De Lacy, made a K.C.B., i. 65
  229. 'Every Man in his Humour,' performance of, ii. 302
  230. Exchequer Bills, forgery of, ii. 50;
  231. Exchequer, Court of, anecdote, iii. 125
  232. Exeter, Bishop of, attacks the Archbishop, i. 120;
  233. Exeter, visit to, iii. 207
  234. Exhibition, the Great, 1851, opening of, iii. 405
  235. Eyre, Lieutenant, book by, on Cabul, &c., ii. 137
  236. Faubourg St. Germain, political feeling in the, iii. 42
  237. Faucher, M. Léon, in London, iii. 410
  238. Felbrigg Hall, visit to, ii. 120
  239. Ferdinand I., Emperor of Austria, political crisis, 1848, iii. 159
  240. FitzGerald and Vesey, Lord, conversation with, i. 46;
  241. Fitzroy, Lord Charles, resigns the office of Vice-Chamberlain, i. 86
  242. Fleetwood, Sir H., motion on 10l. householders, i. 216
  243. Foley, Lord, anecdote, i. 217
  244. Foster, Lady Elizabeth, ii. 378
  245. Fox, Right Hon. C. J., account of the death of, i. 154
  246. Fox, Maule, Right Hon., Secretary at War, ii. 405
  247. Fox, Mr. William, member for Oldham, iii. 103
  248. Fox, Miss, death of, ii. 274
  249. France, Lord Palmerston's hostility to, i. 347;
  250. France, Bank of, arrangement with the Emperor of Russia, ii. 70
  251. Francis, Sir Philip, at Woburn, ii. 47
  252. Frankfort, visit to, ii. 169;
  253. Frost, Mr. John, a magistrate, i. 250;
  254. Fullerton, Lady Georgiana, novel by, ii. 205
  255. Galiera, Duchesse de, ball at the house of the, iii. 35
  256. Garnier Pagès, iii. 153
  257. George II., King, anecdote of, ii. 215
  258. George IV., King, Memoirs of the time of, i. 48
  259. Germany, condition of the country and people of, ii. 180, 181
  260. Ghent, visit to, ii. 285
  261. Girondins, Histoire des, by Lamartine, iii. 111
  262. Gladstone, Rt. Hon. William E., President of the Board of Trade in Sir R. Peel's Administration, ii. 37;
  263. Glasgow, visit to, iii. 292
  264. Glastonbury, Lord, and his peerage, ii. 236
  265. Glenelg, Rt. Hon. Lord, resignation of, i. 161
  266. Gomm, Sir William, Commander-in-Chief in India, iii. 273
  267. Goodrich Castle, i. 220
  268. Goodrich Court, armoury at, i. 221
  269. Goodwood, party at, ii. 408; iii. 463
  270. Gore House, dinner at, i. 166;
  271. Gorham v. the Bishop of Exeter, iii. 300-304;
  272. Gorhambury, visit to, ii. 111;
  273. Goulburn, Rt. Hon. Henry, Chancellor of the Exchequer in Sir R. Peel's Administration, ii. 37
  274. Graham, Rt. Hon. Sir James, conduct of, i. 9;
  275. Granby, Marquis of, chosen leader of the Protectionist party, iii. 123;
  276. Grange, The, visit to, i. 137
  277. Granville, Rt. Hon. (first) Earl, paralytic seizure of, i. 390
  278. Granville, Rt. Hon. (second) Earl, Foreign Secretary, iii. 428;
  279. Greece, disputes with, iii. 308, 311, 314;
  280. Green, Mr., anatomical lecture by, iii. 375
  281. Greenwich dinner, freaks of Lord Brougham at a, i. 229;
  282. Gregory, Mr., house of, near Belvoir, i. 42
  283. Grenville, Thomas, Mr., anecdote of, i. 80;
  284. Greville, Charles C., Mr., pamphlet of, on Prince Albert's Precedence, i. 266, 269, 270 (see Appendix, vol. i.);
  285. Greville, Harry, Mr., at Bath, i. 222
  286. Greville, Mrs. Algernon, death of, i. 390
  287. Grey, Rt. Hon. Earl, prevents the formation of a Whig Government, ii. 330, 331;
  288. Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir George, Home Secretary, ii. 405
  289. Grey, Sir George (formerly Chief Justice of Bengal), views of, on Chinese affairs, ii. 72
  290. Grillon's Club, dinner at, iii. 321
  291. Grote, George, Mr., returned for the City of London, i. 13;
  292. Grove, The, visit to, ii. 111;
  293. Guards, the, question of promotion on the birth of the Prince of Wales, ii. 51
  294. Guernsey duties, affair of the, ii. 292
  295. Guizot, M., French Ambassador in London, i. 282;
  296. Gurwood, Colonel, second of Mr. Bradshaw, i. 254
  297. Habeas Corpus Act suspended in Ireland, iii. 207;
  298. Haddington, Rt. Hon. Earl of, the First Lord of the Admiralty in Sir Robert Peel's Administration, ii. 37;
  299. Hampden, Dr., made Bishop of Hereford, iii. 109;
  300. Hannibal, comparison with the Duke of Wellington, i. 57
  301. Hanover, the King of, proclamation of, i. 12;
  302. Hanover, Stade Treaty with, ii. 107
  303. Hardinge, Rt. Hon. Lord, Secretary at War in Sir R. Peel's Administration, ii. 37;
  304. Harewood Lodge for Ascot, ii. 11
  305. Harrowby, Rt. Hon. Earl of, death of the, iii. 112
  306. Harrowby, Countess of, the, death of, i. 96;
  307. Hastings, Lady Flora, i. 172;
  308. Head, Right Hon. Sir Edmund, Poor Law Commissioner, ii. 60
  309. Head, Right Hon. Sir Francis Bond, position of, i. 166;
  310. Heidelberg, visit to, ii. 175
  311. Herbert, Right Hon. Sidney, in the Cabinet, ii. 267
  312. Hereford, Bishop of, appointment of, iii. 109, 112;
  313. Herefordshir