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Title: A Journal of the Reign of Queen Victoria 1837-1852 - (Volume 3 of 3)
Author: Charles C. F. Greville
Editor: Henry Reeve
Release Date: July 17, 2014 [eBook #46310]
Language: English
Character set encoding: UTF-8
Produced by: Paul Murray, Wayne Hammond and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team
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Vol. III




The Greville Memoirs

FROM 1837 TO 1852


All rights reserved.





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


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


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


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


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


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


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


The Case of Gorham v. the Bishop of Exeter—Death of Lord Alvanley—The Session opened—State of Parties—Clouds arise—The Greek Affair—The Ceylon Committee—The Removal of Lord Roden—The Pacifico Affair—Lord Clarendon arrives—The Dolly's Brae Debate—The Irish Encumbered Estates Act—The Greek Affair—Conversation with Sir Robert Peel—The Roden Affair—The Queen's View of Lord Palmerston's Foreign Policy—Debate on Mr. Disraeli's Motion—Mr. Gladstone's Equivocal Position—Grillon's Club—Precarious Position of the Government—The Gorham Judgement—The African Squadron—Ministerial Troubles—The Greek Dispute—Lord Campbell Lord Chief Justice—Negotiation between the Branches of the House of Bourbon—The French Ambassador recalled from London—Lord Palmerston's Prevarications—The Case of the French Government—Intention to remove Lord Palmerston from the Foreign Office—First Speech of Mr. Stanley—Sir James Graham's Schemes of Reform—Debate in the Lords on the Greek Dispute—Effects of the Division—Lord Palmerston's Great Speech page 300


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


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


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


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


Appendix A. Defences of the Country 481

Appendix B. The Anti-Papal Agitation 486



FROM 1837 TO 1852.


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


December 19th, 1846.—On Thursday evening at seven o'clock Mr. Grenville died, after a week's illness which was no more than a severe cold or influenza. If he had lived till the 31st of this month, he would have completed his ninety-first year. I had only known him with any sort of intimacy for 2 the last five or six years, during which I saw a good deal of him. He was a remarkable man, not so much from great ability as from a singular healthiness of mind and body and the greenness of his old age. I never saw so old a man in possession of such mental and bodily faculties; his only infirmity was deafness; till about a year ago he used to walk vigorously; he never had an illness till the one with which he was attacked the year before last, and from which he recovered entirely though with strength somewhat impaired. His memory was remarkable; his cheerfulness, vivacity, and kindness of disposition delightful. He evinced an affection for his relations and a cordiality to his friends that were pleasant to behold, and he was not only entirely free from the moroseness and captiousness which so often attend old age, but he blended an extreme suavity of manner and sweetness of temper with the high-bred politeness of the more ceremonious age in which he had flourished. He was certainly the most amiable and engaging specimen of an old man I ever beheld. I do not conceive that his abilities were ever first-rate, and latterly (whatever may have been the case early in life) he entertained very strong prejudices and often very unreasonable ones; these prejudices caused him to act in some instances in a manner inconsistent with the urbanity of his disposition. He never could endure the Reform Bill or forgive its authors; he never would set his foot in Holland House after that measure; and he estranged himself from all his old political friends, even those with whom he had been the most intimate, not indeed absolutely quarrelling with them, but desisting from all intimacy. He was a scholar and a well-informed man, and he retained till the last all his literary tastes and habits; he loved the society of literary men, and to the last entered with zest and spirit and unimpaired intelligence into all questions both of literature and politics. It is difficult to say what the exact colour of his political opinions was. He used to be a Whig; but he was, at all events latterly, a moderate anti-reforming Whig, with a horror of organic changes and not fond of any changes, disliking free trade and disliking Cobden more; 3 favourable to Catholic emancipation and the establishment of a Catholic Church, but abhorring O'Connell who was his bête noire, and in his eyes the incarnation of all evil and mischief. He never was married, but when he was young he was desperately in love with the Duchess of Devonshire, and he never married because her image remained enthroned in his breast, and he never could find any other woman to be compared with her. For many years he was a poor man, and he never became a rich one till the death of Lord Glastonbury, who left him an estate and a great deal of money; the estate, which was entailed on his nephew George Neville, he generously gave up to him at once. He lived hospitably and handsomely, and was, I am told, very generous and charitable. His greatest expense was in books; he had collected a library of extraordinary value, and which for the size of it has always been reckoned the most complete of any private collection. It continued to interest and occupy him to the last, and he never ceased to add to it as occasion offered; he was, indeed, one of the last of the great collectors, of the bibliomaniacs; he collated every book himself, and placed in the title-page of each, in his own handwriting, an account of the book, where purchased, and its history when of any interest. His society in latter years was restricted, and he was not fond of making new acquaintances unless he fell in with them by accident, when he was easily approachable and always disposed to carry them on. He had constantly dinners and very agreeable ones, and it was wonderful to see him at ninety years old doing the honours of his table with all the energy, gaiety, and gallantry of a man in the prime of life. A happier life and an easier death it would be difficult to discover; his life was extended to nearly a century without any intermission of bodily health, any decay of mental faculties, and, what is more extraordinary and more valuable, without any deadness or coldness of human affections. He was blessed with affluence, with the love of rational and elevating pursuits, and with ample leisure and power to enjoy them. He was a philosopher, a gentleman, and a Christian, and he lived in constant social intercourse with the relations to whom he 4 was attached, or the friends of his predilection, to all of whom he was an object of the deepest respect and affection. A life so tranquil and prosperous was terminated by a death no less easy and serene; his indisposition was not such as to interfere with his usual habits; he rose at his accustomed hour and dressed himself to the last, even on the day of his death. He had always a book, latterly the Prayer Book, before him, and his mind was undisturbed and unclouded. He dined and went to sleep in his chair, and from that sleep he never awoke.

December 20th.—On Friday morning an article in the 'Times' announced that the Emperor of Russia was going to annex Poland to his empire, putting an end to the last vestige of Polish nationality. Yesterday morning the 'Chronicle' declared this report was exaggerated, if not erroneous, and that all that was contemplated was the abrogation of custom-house regulations between the Russian and Polish frontiers. The history of these contradictory articles is this: On Wednesday at the Cabinet dinner Palmerston brought this piece of news, communicated to him by Bunsen, who was in a great state of alarm and indignation, and said that Metternich was equally alarmed and eager to do something. The Austrian and Prussian proposals were severally these: Metternich wished for a declaration that the annexation of Cracow should not be used as a precedent, but considered as an exceptional case. Bunsen suggested that a naval demonstration should be made in the Baltic by us, of course in conjunction with Austria and Prussia. These two Powers now begin to see what an egregious folly they have committed in the Cracow affair, and are filled with shame and terror. The next morning, Friday, Palmerston saw Brunnow, and he asked him whether this story was true. Brunnow said he was glad he had asked him, and that he could assure him he had never heard one word of it and did not believe it, that he believed it to be a mere fiscal regulation which would be advantageous to the Poles and not agreeable to the Russians, but that the reported political move he disbelieved. He had, however, written to Nesselrode to ask 5 what the real truth was. Palmerston, without doubt, on this sent the article to the 'Morning Chronicle;' there is a phrase at the end of it about Guizot quite Palmerstonian. It is amusing to see the two papers moved by different ministerial interests. John Russell told me at Windsor yesterday that he believed the first account. It certainly seems to me that it is a very bad piece of policy of the Emperor's, if true; he has accomplished the absorption of Poland already in fact, and what can it signify to him to do so in form? By degrees he has stripped the Poles of almost all national distinctions, and he has only to go on as he has been doing for some time past to complete his work; nobody opposed, nobody remonstrated with him at each successive violation of those privileges which all Europe guaranteed; and now the Powers, who patiently and tamely endured the most flagrant violations in fact, are ready to explode with indignation at an announcement of them in form.


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

December 24th.—Jarnac was with me for three hours yesterday, and I am going to him to-day to see some of his papers. The whole of our conversation resolves itself into 6 this: he said that they really had believed that the Coburg marriage was imminent; that they had given ample and repeated notice (especially in the note of February 27) that, if ever they saw this, they should act accordingly, consider the Eu engagement at an end, and take their own line; that they never could get Palmerston to put on paper distinctly that we did not and would not encourage this match. This, involved in a vast deal of phraseology, and many minute details, with a great deal of false reasoning, and facts contradictory of each other, made up his whole discourse. I endeavoured to pin him down to one or two points, from which he was always trying to escape, and to cover his retreat by verbiage.

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

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

It is clear that we have been jockeyed by France in a very shabby, uncandid, underhand way. Guizot's private letters, admirably written, bear on them all the stamp of sincerity and conviction, and are calculated to impress anybody with the belief that he was sincere, and that he thought he was doing what he had a right to do as regarded England, 7 and what it was his duty to do as to France. But where rights and duties are clear, there is no need of concealment; everything may be, and ought to be, open and above board; and besides the object of defeating a Coburg scheme and securing the Spanish bride, there was that of preserving the entente cordiale, which he could not expect to do, acting as he did.


When disentangled from all its envelopments of verbiage and mutual insinuations, the case resolves itself into one of two very simple points, and lies in a very narrow compass:—The new ministers came into office about July 7; it was then about a fortnight afterwards that Jarnac spoke to Palmerston about the Queen of Spain's marriage (not a word about the Infanta de part ou d'autre). Palmerston had written to Bulwer on the 19th, and he read this despatch to Jarnac, and gave him a copy of it (confidentially) to send to Paris. This was the despatch on which they ground their whole case. It treated of two subjects: the marriage of the Queen, and the internal government of Spain. It was very able, very sound, but it was extremely imprudent to communicate it to the French Government. The substance of it was this: that we always had considered the marriage as a Spanish question, in which no foreign power had any right to interfere. That there were three candidates left in the field (Trapani and young Carlos being out of the field), 'Prince of Coburg and two sons of Don Francisco;' that we only desired that the Queen might take whichever of them would most conduce to her own happiness and the good of Spain. We neither supported nor objected to any of them; that therefore there were no instructions to be given to Bulwer, as it was only necessary to refer to those of his predecessor, on which he would continue to act. Then came a severe criticism on the Spanish Government, and the overthrow of all law and constitutional rights, still desiring Bulwer not to interfere in any way, but not to conceal the sentiments of the English Government thereupon. This was very strong, very bitter, and necessarily very offensive to the Spanish Government, and to their abettors and protectors at Paris; 8 however true, and however fit to be written by Palmerston to Bulwer, it was not wise to put it in the hands of the French Minister.

After the communication of this despatch, various letters and conversations passed with remonstrances, and not without some vague threats. Jarnac at once objected to what was said about the Prince of Coburg, complained it was different from the understanding with Aberdeen, and asked if it could not be reconsidered. The reply was that it was already gone. Guizot's reply to the receipt of this despatch was confirmatory of Jarnac's objections, and the latter made various attempts to obtain from Palmerston something on paper to the same effect as the verbal assurances which Palmerston gave him. Palmerston replied (as Jarnac reported) that he could not do this without consulting his colleagues. In the meanwhile (I don't exactly recollect the date), Jarnac spoke to the Duke of Bedford and Clarendon, and had an interview with John Russell. From all of these he admits, as well as from Palmerston himself, he received the most positive assurances that we did not, and would not, support the pretensions of the Prince of Coburg, and that we had no thoughts of departing from the principle laid down by Lord Aberdeen. It was certainly very imprudent of Palmerston to show this despatch of the 19th, and it is clear to me that he did it for the pleasure of provoking the French Government, and showing them what we thought of the whole management of Spanish affairs. It was, in fact, a covert and indirect but a bitter attack on them. Next, he was inexcusable for not giving them in writing that which they required, and for allowing nearly five weeks to pass away after their urgent demand for it, before he wrote (on August 28) the despatch, which did not reach Madrid till long after the marriages had been settled and proclaimed. The despatch of the 19th, which Bulwer was not desired to communicate to the Court of Spain, having been placed in Guizot's hands, he forthwith sent it to Bresson, who lost no time (but without Bulwer's knowledge) in communicating it to the Spanish Ministers, to whom it was sure to be most offensive. Taking dates 9 into consideration, it is difficult to doubt that at the same time, or very shortly after, Bresson was ordered to settle the marriages of both princesses, for this despatch is dated July 19, and on August 28 the 'Gazette' at Madrid published the Royal announcement of the Queen's marriage. Not one word, however, was ever hinted to our Government of any such instructions being given or being contemplated. In one of Guizot's letters to Jarnac he gives him to understand that, much as he is dissatisfied, he shall do nothing fresh; and, during the whole of this interval, Jarnac continued to press Palmerston for some positive and written disclaimer—that is, he did when he had the opportunity, for during a considerable part of this time Palmerston was sailing with the Queen. There was, indeed, one letter of Guizot's hinting at his taking a line of his own, 'une politique isolée;' but this was too vague (if it were communicated, which is not clear) to excite any serious apprehension in anybody's mind. It is, however, clear that well-informed persons did think it imprudent of Palmerston not to give the French Government at once the satisfaction they demanded, and, as I have before said, both Normanby and William Hervey wrote over very strongly on the subject.


At last, early in September, the news came like a thunderclap that both the marriages were settled and declared; and then began the feeling of indignation and resentment which broke up the intimacy between the two Courts, and infused such bitterness into our diplomatic relations. The war of notes began, and the world will judge whether Palmerston or Guizot had the best of it. The flimsiness of their pretext for breaking an engagement they admit to have made is the more obvious the more it is considered; and that it was a pretext, and one of which they wanted to avail themselves, is evident from the care they took to make no previous allusion to the note of February 27, which they have since endeavoured to turn to so much account. This was a note not delivered but read to Aberdeen, in which they said that, if the Coburg marriage appeared to be imminent, they should hold themselves disengaged from their pledges. They 10 now pretend that they forgot this note was not delivered, and did not know that Palmerston was not cognisant of it, but they never took any opportunity of finding out whether he was, nor of renewing to him the menace or intimation it contained. This omission and their secret instructions to Bresson, while they not only kept us in the dark, but did their best to blind us, are sufficient to convict them of duplicity and bad faith. Palmerston, on his side, may be blamed for imprudence and negligence. The way in which it was taken up here, and especially the things Palmerston said, exasperated Guizot prodigiously, and no doubt the King still more; and it was under this irritation that he wrote his letter (September 15) to Jarnac, containing a bitter philippic against Palmerston, his whole character and policy, and a comparison between him and John Russell, much to the advantage of the latter. This letter Jarnac was instructed to send to John Russell. He told me that he was so well aware of its imprudence that he remonstrated against the order, and delayed several days to obey it. His remonstrance was disregarded, and he was desired to give the letter to John Russell. He took it, however, to Palmerston, told him he had a letter which he was charged to show to John Russell, but, as it contained matter relating to him (Palmerston), he thought it right to place it in his hands that he might read it first and forward it to Lord John after. Palmerston said he did not want to see it, and would not look at it. On this he sent it to Lord John, who showed it to Palmerston, and wrote Jarnac an admirable but very severe answer, commenting in strong terms on the conduct of France, and expressing his entire concurrence with Palmerston in every particular. This reply must have been gall and wormwood to Louis Philippe, and very disagreeable to Guizot. Jarnac wrote an answer to Lord John, rather a rigmarole, but defending the King. This answer seems to have had great success at Paris, whatever it may have had here, for there were letters from both the King and Guizot; the first thanking his champion in very warm terms, and the latter praising his zeal and eloquence. 11


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

The next morning, just as I was setting off to Badminton, he came to me in consequence of letters he had received from Paris, in which he was informed that Normanby had openly said that the two countries could never be on good terms again till Guizot was turned out and we had obtained a renunciation from the Duchess de Montpensier; this they believed, and that it was the echo of sentiments entertained here. I told him I did not believe a word of it, either that 12 Normanby had said it, or that anybody here wanted to turn Guizot out; that lies of this sort were always rife on such occasions, and I had just heard a story of Louis Philippe's abusing our Queen at the tea-table at Neuilly, which I had no doubt was just as false as the one he had told me, and they might be set against one another. He then asked if our Government were not going to lay papers before Parliament in which Guizot would be implicated, and if so, if they would not first give him a copy of them, and he glanced at the printed papers to which I had referred in my conversation with him. He said in Aberdeen's time such things were always done in concert, and each Government previously communicated to the other everything it meant to publish, but of course this could not be the case now. I told him I did not believe anything was decided about papers; I knew of none, and what he saw in my hands was nothing but the notes of the recent correspondence printed at the Foreign Office by the Government press for the exclusive use of the Cabinet, to whom it would have been too long a process to send written copies; that such was the practice here with regard to all important papers of any length.

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


Yesterday I found Clarendon at the Board of Trade, and 13 had a very long conversation with him; he is now all for trying to make something of the proposal to get the Salic Law re-established in Spain, having in the first instance scouted it. It was first proposed to him by Baron Billing as a solution of the difficulty; he at once rejected it as impossible. Now he has changed his mind, and he wrote to Palmerston and Lord John to say so, and to propose writing to Billing to ask whether he had made this proposal with the knowledge and assent of Guizot, and if the French Government was prepared to assist in procuring such a settlement at Madrid. Lord John expressed doubts, and thought nothing would come of it but some fresh falsehood and deceit. Palmerston thought the plan a good one, and that it was worth while to write to Billing, which Clarendon had done, and he showed me the letter. I think the scheme utterly chimerical, and so I told him; in fact, it strikes me as one of the most absurd and impracticable that ever entered the mind of man. I stated the different objections that occurred to me, one (not the least) being that no Spaniard would be likely to support a measure almost sure eventually to produce another civil war. He said that before Olozaga left Paris he had been to William Hervey, who asked him if he would be willing to support such a measure. He replied that he would, and he thought all the Progressista party would likewise; but while he now looks to this as a possible solution of our difficulty, Clarendon is very anxious by some means to restore a good understanding, and he begged me to tell Guizot that if his language in the King's Speech and in the Chambers was moderate, he would compel a corresponding moderation here, but at the same time he informed me that it was Palmerston's intention to supply Thiers with information to use against Guizot; and he said this without any expression of disapprobation. It was at the end of our conversation, but the next day, upon reflecting on this, I wrote him a very strong letter denouncing the impolicy and the danger of such a communication to such a man. I might have also urged the immorality of it, and its inconsistency with the profession of not wanting to injure 14 Guizot or turn him out; the more I think of this the more shocked I am. If it is done, and Thiers exhibits good information, the French Government will know well enough how he came by it.


Here I have had a long conversation with Lady Palmerston, from which I infer that Palmerston's fixed idea is to humble France and to make her feel her humiliation, and, in order to do so, to connect himself more closely with the three Powers, who appear to be ready to do anything for him if he will break with France. She abused Aberdeen, and said he had made his agents all over the world act in subserviency to the French; this system Palmerston considers it his mission to put an end to, and I gather that he means on the contrary to thwart and oppose France whenever and wherever he can. She told me that these Powers were now better disposed than ever to us, and regarding France as the most encroaching Power, only wanted to join us in keeping her down. I took an opportunity of telling Palmerston that Bunsen and Prince Albert want to have a pamphlet written about Cracow and German affairs, and that the former had proposed to Reeve to write it; Reeve said he had no objection provided Palmerston was first consulted and approved, and this he wrote to Bunsen.1 I told Palmerston that Reeve wished him to be apprised of this. He said he was much obliged to me for giving him an opportunity of thinking of it, but that his impression was that it would be better not to write anything, as Cracow was now an affair settled and done, and it was not desirable to say anything offensive to the three Powers, whose co-operation with us was essential in the far more important concern of the Spanish marriages. From this I infer that he means to continue to wage war on the Montpensier marriage, and to form a sort of preparatory league against France. I am greatly alarmed at the spirit he evinces, and fully expect we shall sooner or later get into some scrape. 15 This evening (31st) I had a long conversation with him, in which he discussed Jarnac's communications with me (which I had told Lady Palmerston) and with him. He declares he gave him the verbal assurances he asked for as strongly as possible, and he does not believe anything else he might have done would have produced any effect in arresting the progress of the intrigue at Madrid. The French pretend that the Spanish Court insisted on having Montpensier, and that the Queen only consented to marry her cousin on condition that the King gave his son to the Infanta; that this match was therefore a Spanish and not a French object. He said that Villa Franca (Montemolin's man) told him that when he was at Paris Louis Philippe said to him that he wished the Count de Montemolin to marry the Queen; that he had only to renounce his claims, which would be a mere form, as he would declare himself King as soon as he was married, and that he contemplated the restoration of the Salic Law, which at all events he should insist on, as far as the Infanta was concerned, whenever the Duke de Montpensier married her. Palmerston's present idea is that this restoration of the Salic Law may be effected, and that the Spaniards will adopt such a course. I pointed out the difficulty and the levity of such a proceeding: enacting a law one day which cuts off the contingent rights of Don Carlos and his family and lets in Ferdinand's two daughters; then abrogating this law and restoring the former course of succession, but preserving only one of the sisters thus let in and excluding the other, and excluding also the heir under the abrogated law now again to be restored, thus re-establishing the law but not re-establishing the rights which that law conferred. All this would make such a mass of confusion and contradictions, and abrogating some rights and creating others so partially, arbitrarily, and capriciously, that the certain result would be a future state of uncertainty, rivalry, and strife. He did not say a word to me of my journey to Paris, nor I to him.

London, January 2nd, 1847.—Returned from Broadlands yesterday; I had written from thence to Clarendon, and 16 told him my impressions. He thinks that part of what was said of Aberdeen is true. English agents everywhere were made subservient to the French, and to such an extent that they did not dare complain of any French misconduct, because they knew they should be reproved and run the risk of being humiliated in their public capacities, and he attributes to this laissez faire of Aberdeen's much of Louis Philippe's success in his intrigues, and the uncomfortable state of things in Europe. He had been over to John Russell at Chorley Wood, and found him in no state of bitterness, but sick of foreign affairs and the plots and intrigues he had been so troubled with, and so absorbed with the much more important subject of Ireland that he could take no interest in the former. In short, Clarendon has in great measure succeeded in dissipating my alarm. He recommends that I should advise moderation, and give the French Government to understand that a moderate tone there will secure one here, and he has sent me a letter for Duchâtel, with whom he wishes me to communicate confidentially.2

January 3rd.—I saw M. de St. Aulaire and Jarnac yesterday, and had much conversation with both. St. Aulaire said he saw he had nothing to do but remain les bras croisés, and say as little as possible.

I go to-night.


Paris, January 6th.—Arrived here yesterday morning at half-past twelve o'clock, travelling all night from Boulogne. I had no sooner got here than Normanby put into my hands a box of papers, copies of his despatches to Palmerston, containing details he was anxious I should know, and filling up gaps in the history of the Spanish affair. The most essential of these papers are despatches to Palmerston, giving an account of two interviews with Guizot, and as to which there could be no mistake, as he read to Guizot his letter, giving 17 the details of one of them (the most important). Guizot acknowledged its general accuracy, and made a verbal amendment or two in it. I take for granted these papers will be published. Normanby is very anxious they should, and justly considers that unless they are, the strength of our case will never be known. There are certain things contained in them which Guizot never can explain away satisfactorily, and which must leave a stain on his candour and good faith. On August 28 Normanby formally proposed to Guizot a joint action in favour of Enrique; he replied that this would suit him perfectly, and that he would write to Bresson and instruct him accordingly. On that very day the announcement of the two marriages appeared in the Spanish Gazette. Normanby of course subsequently asked for an explanation of this extraordinary conduct. Guizot seems to have lost his head in the excitement of his exploit, for he replied that hearing nothing to satisfy him, and on the strength of his note of February 27, 'J'ai agi'—that is, that he had already acted independently and hostilely long before the day on which he pretended that he would give instructions to Bresson to act conjointly with us. He endeavoured to excuse this duplicity by saying that Bresson had acted on general, not on particular instructions; but this was inconsistent with his 'J'ai agi.' Then about the time of the celebration of the marriages, he had said they would not take place at the same time; again, on being pressed on this point, he said he had meant that they would not take place together, and that such had not been the intention when he said so. Jarnac told me the other day that he had heard great stress was laid on this by us, and that we meant to make it a matter of grave charge. I said I did not believe it was so seriously considered, and doubted that much more was thought about it, though at first it had been considered as a proof of insincerity; but I find that it is of importance, for upon the expectation thus conveyed by Guizot rests Palmerston's defence for one of the weakest points of his case, his long silence after hearing of the marriages being settled. Palmerston's conduct and his 18 delays throughout have been quite inconceivable, and certainly will, if not weaken his case, draw considerable censure upon him if it all comes out. There was, in the first place, his neglect and obstinacy in not giving in writing the assurances he had given verbally; next, as to the proposal of joint action, Jarnac came to him, intending to make the proposal, but in consequence of the despatch of July 19 he did not make it. He then went to Paris, and on his return he did make it. He could get no answer, and none was sent till August 22. Bulwer was then instructed to propose Enrique, and the French Government was invited to instruct Bresson to co-operate, but he allowed a month to elapse before he wrote this instruction; then when the conclusion of the marriages was imparted to him, he suffered three weeks to elapse before he took any notice, and then sent his protest. It never would have been effectual, but the only chance for him would have been an instantaneous remonstrance by return of post. All these delays, such tardiness, coupled with other slight circumstances, give some colour to the proceedings of the French Government, and, to a certain degree, help out their case. Normanby is fully conscious of the damage thus done to ours, and the only excuse for the last delay is, that Palmerston was reposing on the assurance that the marriage of the Infanta was not to take place at the same time with that of the Queen; but this, when examined, will appear hardly any excuse.


I called yesterday afternoon on Madame de Lieven, who was very glad to see me, and we forthwith broke into the subject, without, however, any sort of agreement. She abused Palmerston, and said if Aberdeen had been in office it would not have happened. As to argument, she really had none to offer, but repeated over and over that 'we had departed from the agreement with Aberdeen;' and if not, 'pourquoi nommer le Cobourg?' She said all Europe was against us, that we had with little dignity knocked at the doors of the three Powers who turned their backs on us, and that we had done good to France and harm to ourselves by this useless appeal, as they were now more alienated from 19 us and better inclined to the French, and that they all thought us in the wrong. She said much about Normanby, his greenness as ambassador, and the follies he committed; asking advice of different people, and very incompetent people too; and she repeated the story Jarnac had told me of his saying we never should have harmony restored till Guizot was turned out and the Infanta had renounced, which, she said, had been told her by Apponyi, who had heard it from Normanby himself. She had got other stories of the same kind, and a heap of little charges of holding communications with Thiers, Molé, and others hostile to the Government. She said that the King was very angry with our Queen for having said that he had broken his word, and never would be reconciled to her till she had withdrawn that accusation. I said that between his word and hers I could not for a moment doubt, and that I suspected he would have a long time to wait if he did so till she withdrew the charge she had made. She said Guizot was very strong, the King very firm, the marriage very popular, and that they all desired nothing so much as to make known all that had passed, secure that in so doing they should have public opinion all the world over on their side. We parted wide as the poles asunder, but very good friends.

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

I called on Lord Cowley,3 and had a long conversation with him. He is impatient for a reconciliation, and thinks that far too great importance has been attached to the question itself. He blames Palmerston severely for his despatch of July 19, and thinks that more warning and menace were 20 held out than I had conceived;4 that his communications ought to have satisfied Palmerston that the French Government were in an excited state and prepared to do something unless he prevented them. This makes his delays still more inexcusable. He also fancies that it would never have happened if Aberdeen had remained in office.

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


At night.—This morning I called on Madame de St. Aulaire, whom I found, and Madame de Gontaut, whom I did not; then, Madame de Lieven. Much talk on the old subject, and the fire of my tongue extinguished the fire of hers, for, without the least convincing her, I reduced her to silence. The great gun I brought to bear on her was Aberdeen's despatch to the Duke de Sotomayor, which proved that Palmerston had in no way departed from the system of conduct pursued by Aberdeen. From her I went to Guizot, and was with him for an hour and a half. We began with an agreement that we should be mutually frank and sincere. He went through the whole case and exhibited all his causes 21 of complaint and suspicion against Palmerston, that when he came into office he never said a word (in public or private) expressive of a desire to be on good terms with France, neither in his speech at Tiverton, nor in the House of Commons, nor to Jarnac; that he never alluded to the Spanish question nor sought to establish or confirm an understanding thereupon with France; that the despatch he wrote to Bulwer (19th), which contained instructions for his conduct, was not imparted to the French Government; and that when Jarnac spoke to him, and Palmerston showed him the despatch, it was already gone. All this apparent reserve and uncommunicativeness excited suspicions that he was not well disposed and, above all, not going to tread in the footsteps of Aberdeen. I defended him by saying that he ought to have considered Palmerston's situation—just come into office, encumbered with business, occupied with questions of much more urgent importance in the House of Commons. Nothing new having occurred about Spain, he contented himself with desiring Bulwer to abide by his predecessor's instructions, and really had nothing to say on the subject; that it was his habit to write in a rather familiar, offhand style, and his despatch to Bulwer, which was not intended to be published or communicated, was of that description, but that it meant nothing; and when asked, and the objection urged to the obnoxious passage, he gave the most positive assurance that no change of policy was contemplated. Guizot insisted that it did not signify what he meant; that the question was, what impression it was calculated to convey. Then he went into the various delays, and the impossibility of getting an answer from him; all of which served to confirm his suspicions that a different and hostile policy was already in active operation, that the note of February 27 gave him a right to act, le cas échéant, and that in a letter to Jarnac (which he gave me to read) he plainly indicated his intention by saying that if England adopted une politique isolée, he would adopt one also, and he asked me whether I would not have understood what this meant—and that it meant, what he afterwards did. I said I did not mean to 22 acquit Palmerston of much negligence and tardiness; that I thought he ought to have at once come to a satisfactory understanding with France about the marriages; that he was greatly to blame in all his delays, but that he did him less than justice; that Palmerston was not the bitter enemy of France which he supposed, and that he was reposing all along on the faith of the engagements which Aberdeen had communicated to him, never thought the matter pressed, nor had the least idea that they took it so seriously; that he must remember we did not regard Spanish affairs with the deep interest and attach to them the same importance they did. He said he was convinced that Palmerston came into office with a resolution to overturn French influence all over the world; that he fancied (as many others did) that Aberdeen had sacrificed the interests or the dignity of England to the French Government, while he himself had continually been charged with doing the same thing in France: charges which destroyed each other. But that this was Palmerston's idea, and that he was resolved to oppose France everywhere, to display his independence; that this was especially his object in Spain, where he wanted to raise the Progressista and depress the Moderado party as the most effectual means of substituting English for French influence; that the real reason he supported Don Enrique, and called him 'the only fit husband,' was that he was the head of the Progressista party, and his being chosen as the Queen's husband would be a great encouragement and triumph to it; that this party was the enemy of Christina and of the present government, and for this reason our choice was obnoxious to them; that except for these reasons he had no objection to Don Enrique, and long ago had desired Bresson to get him recalled in a despatch which he showed me; that he was convinced that Palmerston not only had determined to act in the way he had stated, but that he thought he could intimidate France.5


I replied that he was entirely mistaken: that he exaggerated 23 Palmerston's disposition and mistook his position; that in Melbourne's time he did what he chose in his own department, but that was not now the case; that all important affairs were decided by the Government, and that John Russell was far from having any bitter feeling against France, and had always entertained sentiments of esteem towards Guizot personally; that neither he nor anyone else (not even Palmerston) wished to see him out of office. It was true that they did think there had been on different occasions and in various places an undue succumbing to France, but that there was no desire to commence a general struggle against French interests; that they would certainly see with pleasure the Liberal party in Spain again lift up its head, and some such reaction as should promise a Government disposed to act in a constitutional manner, and put an end to the despotism that now prevailed. He said that he considered this the best and most constitutional Government that Spain had ever had; that it was far more so than Espartero's; that every change had been effected in a legal, constitutional manner by the Cortes itself; while all former changes, especially the expulsion of Queen Christina, had been effected by violence. I said I was amazed to hear him say so, and begged to ask him how the Cortes itself was constituted, and whether it had not been packed by stratagem and force, and by the most unscrupulous use of despotic power—the municipalities having been suppressed and all free opinion overborne. He only replied that the municipal question was made the instrument of the Queen's deposition, and that it had been voted by the Cortes.

It is very difficult to record accurately a conversation in which we often diverged and then returned to the same topic. I pressed him hard on his want of openness and confidence, and urged that when the two countries had been so long on such terms of amity, and the two Sovereigns also, that before he proceeded to act in so serious and decisive a manner and which could not fail to offend England, he ought to have left nothing vague, but have said distinctly and at once what he intended to do. He ought, if he took the note 24 of February 27 as his justification, to ascertain that Palmerston was cognisant of that note. Why did he not as soon as he came into office renew to Palmerston the notice he had thought it necessary to convey to Aberdeen, and why not say frankly that he regarded the state of the case to be such that, acting on the right he had reserved to himself, he should send instructions to Bresson to conclude the marriages. His answers to this were very weak. He said that it was not his business to look after Palmerston's affairs, and that he had a right to conclude, since Aberdeen had communicated with him, that he had imparted to him this note; that he showed confidence to those who showed confidence to him, and that he did not think Palmerston had acted towards him in such a manner as to require such confidential communication on his part. His real reason was (though I did not think it necessary to charge him with it), that if he had given notice to Palmerston, the latter would have sent off to Madrid and probably counteracted his scheme. He insisted that his letters to Jarnac, and the conversation he had had with Lord Cowley (which he repeated to me word for word as Lord Cowley had done), were warning enough and were sufficient indication of his intentions. Besides that Bresson's instructions were general, he had had them above a year with a discretionary power to act upon them whenever he had reason to believe the Coburg marriage was imminent, which case he contended had arrived. I said if its imminence arose from our despatch, Bresson had himself created it, inasmuch as he had shown it to the Spanish Government. He said that was not true, that Bresson had given him his most positive assurance that though he had spoken of it to different people he had never shown it to the Spanish Ministers. He spoke with great energy of the King's feelings and of his own, especially at the strong language that had been applied to him personally, and of his having been accused in a formal document as well as in a letter, of bad faith; that it was impossible to transact business with any confidence and in a useful manner with those who charged him with bad faith. Such accusations were intolerable. He 25 then spoke of his letter to John Russell; that he had only intended to call his attention to the difficulty of going on with Palmerston while he put such a tone into the discussions; that it was absurd to suppose that he had ever thought or dreamt of effecting Palmerston's removal from office. He excused this letter very clumsily, and said he had not expected any answer to it (being evidently to the last degree nettled at that which he had received). I admitted that this letter was very imprudent, that it was very strong, and spoke of Palmerston in terms he was likely to feel and not easily to forgive; that he should have recollected what a situation he placed John Russell in, who really was compelled to answer it as he did, or to quarrel outright with Palmerston; that if he had not answered it as he did, the indignation and resentment of Palmerston would have been very great, and he would probably have resigned; and that he might have found means of conveying his sentiments in some manner less dangerous and offensive. He insisted on the clear intention of Palmerston, from the despatch, the delays, and various circumstances, to depart from the engagement with Aberdeen. I said that we could prove that Aberdeen himself had laid down precisely the same rule of conduct on which Palmerston had acted, and expressed the very same sentiments; that they were recorded in a former despatch addressed to the Duke de Sotomayor for the information of the Spanish Government; that this was very different from the letter to Bulwer which was neither to be shown nor any thing done upon it, but was a reply to two important questions: the first, whether if the Spaniards chose a husband for the Queen not a Bourbon prince, such choice would be displeasing to England; and secondly, if France attempted to coerce their choice, whether England would support them. His reply was plain and decisive: viz. that their choice would not be objected to by England, whatever it might be; and that while it was impossible to conceive that France ever would attempt coercion, if she did, Spain would have the 'sympathy' of England and of all Europe. He said he had no copy of this despatch, and did not well recollect its 26 contents. I said, 'But you have seen it.' He 'had not had it in his hands, it had been read to him.' He was evidently much put out by the citation of it.


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

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


Yesterday morning I went to Lord Cowley, who showed me his letters to Palmerston giving him an account of the state of the Spanish question and of his conversations thereupon with the King and Guizot. These communications ought certainly to have drawn Palmerston's attention to the 27 subject, and have induced him to lose no time in coming to some understanding with the French Government. At the same time the anxiety of the King to gain time, and his urgent recommendations to Miraflores to have patience, may have misled Palmerston and made him think there was no danger. It is clear to me that what they took alarm at was Miraflores' communication; that they really did believe the Coburg alliance was imminent, and that when it was followed up by Palmerston's despatch of the 19th their fears were still more increased. They all along suspected both Palmerston and Bulwer; and they did, in truth, think that between Christina's impatience, the difficulty of finding an eligible Bourbon, the probable intrigues of Bulwer, and the suspected co-operation of Palmerston, unless they settled the matter themselves somehow it would be settled in the way they most dreaded. They knew, or at least they thought, that their difficulty would be very agreeable to Palmerston, and that it was not likely he would help them out of it. In this state of things I have no doubt that Guizot wrote to Bresson and told him to settle the affair if he could, and that Bresson was furnished with fresh instructions on which he did act, and not on the old discretionary ones on which they now pretend that he acted. Lord Cowley thinks Christina told Bresson that if he would at once strike a bargain and give the Duke de Montpensier for the Infanta, Don Francisco should have the Queen; that he instantly accepted this proposal, sent it off to Paris by telegraph, where it was confirmed at once. Whether this was the exact mode or not, or whoever took the initiative, I believe this is the way it was done; certainly the King seemed anxious to put the question off. Lord Cowley thinks he expected to be able to bring back Trapani. Guizot's vehemence (for he spoke much more strongly than the King) ought to have alarmed Palmerston. The mischief has arisen from Palmerston being careless and thoughtless, Guizot suspicious and alarmed.

Yesterday morning at two o'clock I called on Thiers by appointment, found him in a very pretty apartment full of 28 beautiful drawings, copies of Italian frescoes, pictures, bronzes, books and cahiers of MS., the sheets (much corrected and interlined I could see) of his work. These he told me were his 'seul délassement,' and that politics never interrupted his literary labour. We then talked about the present state of affairs, and very amusing he was, sparing nobody and talking with his usual abundance and openness. He said he had read the notes that had passed between Palmerston and Guizot; that his own opinion was that Guizot would break down on the procédés, but that at all events it was a quarrel à outrance; that each accused the other of bad faith, and could only justify himself by fixing that imputation on his antagonist; that moderation became impossible when such charges were bandied, and he had read with astonishment the strong things contained in these notes; that if Guizot had the worst of this encounter he would fall, not however by the desertion of the majority, not by this Chamber, but through the King. 'You must not,' he said, 'believe what you hear of the strength of the Government and of its security; don't believe all Madame de Lieven tells you; c'est une bavarde, une menteuse, et une sotte; vous l'avez beaucoup connue, vous avez été son amant, n'est-ce pas?' I defended myself from the imputation, and assured him that though she had had lovers when first she came to England I never had had the honour of being one of them. He then said he would tell me what would happen: the King se faisait illusion that the Whig Government could not stand; but when he found out that this was an error il aurait peur; and if we continued to refuse to be reconciled, he would get rid of Guizot. The present Chamber would not overthrow him, but the King would. 'Savez-vous ce que c'est que le Roi? Le mot est grossier, mais vous le comprendrez. Eh bien, c'est un poltron.'6 I said I was surprised to hear this, for we 29 thought he was un homme de coeur, and had given proofs of his courage very often. 'Non, non, je vous dis qu'il est poltron, et quand il se trouvera définitivement mal avec vous il aura peur; alors il suscitera des embarras à Guizot; il y a quarante ou cinquante hommes dans la Chambre, je les connais, qui tourneront contre lui, et de cette manière il tombera, pas par la Chambre, encore moins par vous.' He said the accusations had been so strong that each Minister was bound to prove his own case and the mauvaise foi of his adversary, and Guizot would stand or fall by the result of the explanations. 'Vous pouvez être sûr que ce que je vous dis est la vérité, d'autant plus que ce n'est pas moi qui lui succéderai, c'est Molé. Cependant je vous parle franchement, et je vous avoue que je serais enchanté de sa chute; d'abord parce que je le déteste, et après, parce que l'alliance anglaise est impossible avec lui; c'est un traître et un menteur qui s'est conduit indignement envers moi, mais je ne serai pas ministre.' However, he could afford to wait; he was forty-eight years old, and his health excellent. As long as the King was in no danger he would never send for him; as soon as he was he would send for him. The King could endure nobody who would not consent to be his tool; he would never take office without being his master, et j'en viendrai à bout; he would rather continue in his independence than take office on any other terms. He told me he had seen the notes, and was amazed at the sharpness of their contents. We then went out together, and walked to the Faubourg St. Honoré, talking about his book, Napoleon, etc.


At night.—I have been dining with Thiers, and met Odilon Barrot, Cousin, Rémusat, Duvergier de Hauranne, Mignet, and several others I can't remember. They were all prodigiously civil to me, and with Cousin and Mignet I had a great deal of conversation. Palmerston's note arrived this morning. It is very clever and well done, but 30 too long, and his polémique about the Treaty of Utrecht in my opinion déplacée and mischievous. But he is determined to urge this point, and is endeavouring to get the Allied Powers to join with him in a protest or some formal expression of opinion upon it. I don't believe they will ever do this; but if they did, it would probably produce most serious consequences. His policy in this is perfectly inconceivable to me. Normanby read it to Guizot this afternoon, and at the same time offered him the despatch of the 19th July (to Bulwer), and Aberdeen's to Sotomayor to publish with the other pieces, both or neither, but he refused them. I had another furious set-to with Madame de Lieven, who is the most imprudent woman I ever saw; but we always part friends. Normanby has shown Thiers several papers, and Molé many more he tells me. I have begged him to be cautious.


January 12th.—I called on Guizot yesterday by appointment; found him more stiff and reserved than the first time, and not apparently in good sorts. He did not appear to have anything particular to say, but reverted to the old topics; that he would not go again over the same arguments; but it was clear that from the beginning Lord Palmerston had a fixed policy which he had immediately begun to carry out: to raise the Progressista party in Spain, and destroy the Moderado and French influence with it; that we fancied ourselves obliged to substitute English for French influence there as an indispensable security for our power in the Mediterranean; and we appealed to the Treaty of Utrecht; that great changes had taken place since that time. It was true France had acquired Algeria, and through it a certain power in the Mediterranean; but that we had acquired Gibraltar, Malta, and Corfu, which we had not been possessed of before, and which were quite sufficient to secure our power there. He said a great deal more of Palmerston, for he still insists, and either believes, or at all events pretends to believe, that Palmerston was bent on the Coburg marriage, and doing his utmost to bring it about. He really thinks it was sound policy on his part, and for that 31 reason was pursuing it. I again and again assured him he was mistaken. 'You forget,' I said, 'that when this affair began, Palmerston had not been ten days in office, was overwhelmed with business, and had many other things more pressing to occupy his attention. He had found an understanding concluded with Aberdeen, which he accepted. He had no thoughts of doing anything; he knew of nothing urgent that had occurred, and the truth is, il n'y pensait pas.' 'Comment!' he said, rather angrily, 'il n'y pensait pas? Est-ce que vous nous prenez pour dupes que vous voulez nous faire croire cela? 'I said I believed it was so; that this Spanish question which was of such deep interest to them was of much less interest to us; and 'why,' I said, 'if you considered the matter so urgent, if you knew what was going on in Spain (which Lord Palmerston did not), and considered the marriage you so feared to be imminent, why did not you go at once to Palmerston and tell him so?' 'Ce n'était pas à moi,' he replied, 'de faire l'éducation de Lord Palmerston.' 'No,' I said; 'mais c'était à vous de faire vos propres affaires, and to communicate frankly with him when you wanted his assistance.' He would not allow this. I said, since I had been here and had seen and heard a great many things I did not know before, I had become convinced that his alarm about the Coburg marriage was perfectly sincere, that he really did believe it was likely to take place, and that the real object of the King had been to get the Spanish Court to wait and not insist on an immediate marriage; that it was not the despatch of July 19, but the mission of Miraflores and what he had said to the King which had really alarmed them. He said this was not exact; it was not that which had given them the alarm, but from various circumstances they were convinced that the Coburg marriage would have been settled offhand if they had not taken decisive steps to prevent it; that this marriage it was impossible for France to tolerate. There was already a Coburg in England, another in Portugal, and to have had a third at Madrid would have been to make Spain a part of Portugal, and to have exhibited to all the world the triumph of English over French influence; 32 that this combination which we wanted to bring about, they were bound to defeat, and then again assuming that our Court was bent on it, he said: 'Le fait est que vous êtes meilleurs courtisans que nous.' I told him that I was assured the Court had never sought this alliance, and that Prince Albert had long ago written to his cousin to say that he must not think of it, as it was impossible.

I then asked him why Christina had been so impatient to conclude a marriage of some sort, and why she could not wait as the King had advised. He said, for reasons partly personal and partly political; that Queen Christina was a very extraordinary woman—'très habile, avec un esprit très impartial'—that she had no prejudices, and he had heard her talk of her greatest enemies, of Espartero even, without rancour and with candour; that she had great courage, patience and perseverance, and never quitted a purpose she had once conceived; that royalty was irksome to her, and government and political power she did not care about except so far as they were instrumental to the real objects of her life, which were to live easily, enjoy herself, and amass money for her children, who were numerous, and whom she was very anxious to enrich; that she was aware of the precarious nature of her influence, and felt the necessity of connecting herself with, and obtaining the support of, one of the great Powers—England or France—the latter by preference, but the former if not the latter; that she had, therefore, always wanted the King to give her his son for the Queen, and when he refused this, she had got angry and turned to the Coburg alliance and the English connexion; that besides, the young Queen was impatient to be married, and that if they had not found her a husband, she would infallibly have taken a lover. 'Vous ne savez pas ce que c'est que ces princesses Espagnoles et Siciliennes; elles ont le diable au corps, et on a toujours dit que si nous ne nous hâtions pas, l'héritier viendrait avant le mari.' For these reasons she was impatient to conclude, and she infallibly would have concluded the marriage with the Prince of Coburg if we had persisted in refusing the Duke de Montpensier, and had not effected 33 some other arrangement. She trusted that the King, her uncle, would have accepted the fait accompli, and at all events that she should have been secure of English support.


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

Paris, January 13th.—This morning we read in the newspapers the pièces remises by Guizot to the Chamber of Peers, and among them, to our great surprise, an extract of Palmerston's despatch to Bulwer of July 19, Guizot having refused Palmerston's offer to place it (with Aberdeen's to Sotomayor) at his disposal. Normanby immediately wrote him a very strong note complaining of this publication after what had passed between them. In the afternoon I saw Madame de Lieven, who made very light of it, and treated it as a frivolous complaint. Bacourt, who was there, endeavoured to find excuses for Guizot, but was obliged to confess that he had no right to use this without our permission. When I got home I found Guizot's reply had come. He said he had given nothing more than he had quoted in one of his notes, and had done no more than produce the English version of what he had quoted in French, and he asserted 34 his right to do this. He finished, however, by saying that if Normanby would send him the two despatches, he would add them to the other documents. Normanby wrote back word that he regretted he should have produced this extract in a manner calculated to give a false impression of the tenor of the despatch, sent him the documents, and hoped, as he was going to publish more, he would produce Palmerston's last note. There has been a schism here in the Opposition; Billault, Dufaure, and thirty or forty deputies have separated from Thiers, and are preparing to join Molé if Guizot falls. It seems clear that neither party will take our side on the marriage question, and that the Government will not be attacked at all in the Peers, and very probably very feebly in the Deputies.

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

I dined with Guizot on Friday; had very little talk on politics. He came into one of the rooms where Bacourt and I were talking and joined us. I then said that though I had come here without any mission I had come not without the hope of being able to take back with me something which promised a renewal of good understanding. Guizot said he was ready to be on good terms with us, but he could do nothing of any sort or kind, and this he repeated in a very peremptory tone. He was probably (though very civil to me) not in the best of humours in consequence of the article which had appeared that morning in the 'Constitutionnel' (Thiers's paper), with a circumstantial and quite accurate account of what has recently passed between Guizot and Normanby about the despatches. This, which could only come from the Embassy, has shocked I suppose everybody, and made Guizot and his friends indignant. Normanby was himself very much annoyed when he read the article, and at once perceived the bad effect it would have. He said he did 35 not know how it got there, but he suspects Thiers who probably sent it or caused it to be sent; however, both William Hervey and Craven are so hot and so unreserved that the Opposition paper might very easily get over it. Normanby has told Thiers and Molé everything, and Thiers came twice in three days to the Embassy. All this is well known, and Normanby passes for an ambassador in constant and confidential communication with the enemies and rivals of the Ministers. In spite of all this, within the last two days I have found a less excited tone. We had, however, our own complaint to make, which probably kept them more quiet about the 'Constitutionnel.' When all the papers came out it appeared that Guizot had published another fragment that he had no right to do of one of Palmerston's despatches, about 'the only fit husband.' This had been read to him, but no copy given to him, and he took the words down with his pencil at the time. These words he published in a formal official shape. His excuse is the same, that the words had been quoted in one of his notes.


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

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

Went last night to a ball at the Duchesse de Galiera's, where I met Francis Baring,7 who told me a good deal about 36 French politics. He says Thiers is quite out of the question, and that his own errors and the schism in his party hare demolished him. Billault and Dufaure are making a second opposition. He thinks Guizot has more to fear from the effects of the very grave financial embarrassment which exists, and that if he got the country into any political difficulty in the midst of it he might be sacrificed, but Molé is a man without courage; the majority is the King's majority on the whole, but still Guizot has many followers and is not without power. It would not, therefore, be quite so simple and easy to dismiss Guizot unless some good opportunity presented itself. Everybody here will support the Government in its present contest with us. He said he should not dare to speak a contrary language to his wife, who would tear both his eyes out if he did. He thinks we were right to decline joint operation in the affair of Cracow, but that it is an enormous blunder to make so much of the Treaty of Utrecht; that it would have been wise to have made a protest, the more vague and general the better, but reserving to ourselves to take any course we thought fit in respect to Spanish marriages and successions, keeping all treaties and laws bearing on the subject in reserve, to be used or not according to our discretion. This is what I have always thought: the Treaty of Utrecht, the renunciations, the laws of Spain, and the other treaties between Spain and Austria furnish materials for a very good argument such as an astute counsel might turn to excellent account; but Palmerston has made the Treaty so prominent, and has been so decisive and peremptory, that he has got into a position where he can neither advance without danger nor recede without discredit. I saw the other day his protest at Madrid against the marriage in which he declared that England would never acknowledge the issue of the Duchesse de Montpensier as heirs to the crown of Spain.


January 21st.—Was at Madame de Lieven's on Tuesday afternoon when Guizot came in from the Chamber. He said the Duc de Broglie had spoken for an hour and a half avec un grand succès. The next morning I read this successful speech, 37 which was as bad as it well could be, and calculated to make matters worse with us. The Queen's Speech arrived yesterday, and was thought very moderate, as it is, but very ill written. In consequence of the passage about Cracow none of the Ambassadors of the three Courts would appear at the séance royale. Yesterday Guizot spoke for two hours, and certainly very adroitly in reference to his position and his object; being quite sure of whatever he said being accepted as all-sufficient by the Chamber, he could afford to glide over the difficult points and not attempt to grapple with them, and he carefully abstained from saying anything irritating or offensive to us, sparing even Palmerston as much as he could. I went to Madame de Lieven to-day, when she asked me what I thought of the debate. I said, 'If you want my candid opinion, I will give it you. Le discours du Duc de Broglie a été mauvais; il est indigne de lui et de la réputation qu'il s'est acquise; il n'est ni juste, ni vrai, ni sage. S'il avait eu le désir d'envenimer l'affaire, ce que je ne crois pas, il n'aurait pas pu parler autrement.' I then said that the speech of M. Guizot was of a very different character, that I did not attach much value to his argument, and that he had eluded all the real difficulties of the question, but that he had contrived to make a defence which was quite sufficient for his purpose here (though if it had been addressed to an English Parliament or court of justice it might have been easily answered), and to do so with a perfect reserve and moderation, and without allowing one word to escape him of a violent or offensive character; that it was very clever, very adroit, admirably adapted to the occasion, and I thought would produce a salutary effect chez nous. She was much pleased, and expressed her satisfaction that I thought this; when I said she must not forget that I said so always with a reserve as to the argument, and that I only meant to speak of the tone; that as to the value of the speech in reference to the question at issue, I agreed entirely with the 'Constitutionnel.' She laughed at this, affected to treat it with derision, and said that all the world knew the articles in that paper came from 38 the Embassy, which I treated with derision in my turn. Guizot then came in, but only stayed a moment; she told him that I admired his speech, but would tell him more of what I had said when he came to her in the evening. I then told her of the absence of the Ambassadors at the House of Lords, which struck her prodigiously, and she would hardly believe it. We afterwards talked of the future and how matters could be got right, and we both agreed that where 'la confiance avait été ébranlée' entirely, it was very difficult to restore it. I said the only way I knew was to act with mutual truth and good faith, to have no dessous des cartes on either side, and then by degrees each party would discover that the other really was doing so, and by degrees confidence might revive. But the notion of Palmerston's hatred of Guizot is so strong, of his independent power in the Government and his disposition to use it, that it is very difficult to bring them into anything like a quiet and confiding state of mind. I told her it was an error to suppose Palmerston was so powerful and that he could drag his colleagues with him unreasonably, and that if they found him wantonly and unfairly endangering the peace of the two countries, they would force him to desist or to go. Guizot's speech seems to have been received very favourably by most people for one reason or another, and it certainly was very able and judicious.

I dined to-day with Madame Graham (a dull party), and went afterwards to Mrs. Austin's, where I met M. de Tocqueville, Mignet, Alfred de Vigny, M. de Circourt, Mr. Wheaton, and several others whose names I cannot recollect. There was also a Mr. Schwabe, who has been travelling all over Spain with Cobden, and has a great deal to say about the country and the people. He says there is a sprinkling of Free Trade tendencies, but not at Barcelona. They were well received everywhere, and by nobody better than by the French consuls (especially Lesseps at Barcelona), whom they found advocates of Free Trade. The country appeared miserably desolate and depopulated, but they were told that the improvement within the last ten or twelve years was prodigious. The 39 Infanta's marriage was unpopular, French influence on the wane, and he is convinced that if the country is only left alone, the feeling of Spanish independence will be enough to provide an opposition to French influence.


January 24th.—On Friday the newspapers brought the English debate on the Address, which has made a great sensation here. The speeches, especially Lord Lansdowne's, all so moderate and expressive of an earnest desire for a reconciliation with France. Everybody, those who hoped and those who feared, were astonished; Guizot delighted, but taking it coolly. We think that Lansdowne's tone was too low, that he was too empressé, and that it will be misunderstood at Paris. Then the 'Times' has been writing articles abusing Palmerston and giving out that public opinion is all against him, and inclines to Guizot, doing all the mischief it can. These articles were received with a great deal of chuckling by Guizot and his people, and the low tone taken by Government and others corroborated their impressions. John Russell spoke very properly, very conciliatorily, but with more of firmness. There was a ball here on Friday night, where I had some conversation with Molé, Cousin, Duvergier, and Francis Baring. All are struck with our discussion. Molé, who wishes for reconciliation and rejoices at the spirit that has been evinced, told me he thought Broglie's speech very bad, and Guizot's very good and discreet, but that the latter was already triumphing. 'Avez-vous vu,' he asked him, 'les journaux anglais? Eh bien, vous voyez qu'on recule.' Cousin said that it was impossible for them to say anything for us in the Chamber when we did not seem disposed to say anything for ourselves. Duvergier said the same thing, and he with Thiers and his people are excessively disgusted and disappointed at the ground appearing to be taken from under their feet. M. de Beaumont said to me last night, 'Il paraît que vous avez mis bas les armes.' They now write from England that it is probable there will be no discussion in either House, a conclusion so impotent and discreditable that I hope it will not end thus. Palmerston can never permit 40 this; both he and the Embassy and Thiers will cut a ridiculous figure enough.

With great imprudence and impropriety, in my opinion, Normanby, with Palmerston's concurrence, has been in confidential communication with Thiers for the purpose of enabling the latter to attack the Government in the Chamber, it being of course expected and understood that we were to make a strong case against Guizot at home. All the world here knows of this connexion and blames it. Guizot is of course indignant at it, and it renders all communication between him and Normanby as cold and distant as possible. Thiers is as sulky as a bear; he knows that his alliance with the Embassy has done him no good, and now it seems unlikely to enable him to do anybody else any harm. It is clear to me that we are in great danger of cutting a contemptible figure and something more, for nothing can be so impolitic as to create a belief here that the people of England are resolved to submit to anything rather than go to war, and that the French Government may follow their own devices without hindrance, for if the Minister for Foreign Affairs (especially Palmerston) remonstrates and complains he will probably not be supported at home. The fact is, Palmerston's mismanagement of his case and his most unwise persistence in his argument about the Treaty of Utrecht have ruined him and given gain de cause to Guizot. I must say that I begin to think no reliance is to be placed on him, and that he really is a very bad and dangerous Minister. It appears that before the Session opened Lansdowne wrote to Palmerston and desired to know what he meant to do, what to insist on, and, in short, how they stood. He wrote back word that he had no thoughts of insisting on any renunciations, as it was clearly impossible to obtain them, and that he was ready to go on with France amicably and frankly on all matters of common interest, though of course there could not be the same confidence as heretofore. On this Lansdowne made his speech. But yesterday morning in the midst of all these honeyed words there arrives a letter from Palmerston to Normanby desiring him to go and complain 41 formally of the affair of the extracts, and particularly that what he did publish was not textually correct, and that Guizot's excuses were not satisfactory. Normanby never told me of this till the evening when he had done it. He went to him and read the letter, and Guizot was very angry and said excuses was not a proper word between gentlemen, and that it was difficult to carry on communications when such expressions were used. Normanby said he could only answer for the English word in which sense he ought to have understood it.


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

This morning I called on Tocqueville and sat some time with him and his wife, an Englishwoman. He looks as clever as he is, and is full of vivacity, and at the same time of simplicity, in his conversation. He gave me an account of the state of parties in France substantially the same as I had heard before; the schism of Billault and Dufaure, to whose section he belongs; they could not go on any longer with Thiers, who, he says, does not command above twenty or thirty votes, and is out of the question. He had formerly belonged rather to Odilon Barrot than to Thiers; said the marriage question was most decidedly popular in France, because considered as having given us a check which had paid off old scores, and that the being now quits had rendered a future good understanding more easy; and never did he remember so general a disposition to be on friendly terms with us, and to act in concert with us; he thinks the King could turn out Guizot and make another Government, but that he is not likely to do it. 42

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


January 26th.—Yesterday morning the 'Morning Chronicle' came with a bitter and violent article against Guizot's speech in the Chamber; the courier at the same time brought copies of our printed papers, and I took one to Madame de Lieven. There I found Guizot furious at this article, which he said he was sure had been dictated by Palmerston himself. I said I was as much shocked at it as he was, and that Normanby regretted it very much, but that I was persuaded Palmerston had had no hand in it, and no knowledge of it; that he had written to Lord Lansdowne the day after his speech saying he entirely approved of it and agreed in all he said, and it was impossible he should have at the same time written such a letter and sanctioned such an article, but that I was sorry he had not taken means to prevent such diatribes, and inspired the 'Chronicle' with a better spirit. It was preaching to the winds. His dislike of Palmerston is so great, and his conviction of the reciprocity of the sentiment so rooted, that he will not allow himself to doubt. I left them because I was engaged, and promised to 43 return in the afternoon to her. When I did return I found the perusal of the papers had made a great impression on her. She said there were many curious things she did not know before. I said 'Certainly, so I told you,' and I then pointed out to her certain letters and asked her if they did not prove to demonstration, first, that the proposal of a Coburg came entirely from Madrid and was the desire of the Spanish Court; secondly, that we had constantly refused to lend ourselves to it; and thirdly, that if we had answered the appeal to us according to the disposition they always had imputed to us, the marriage might have been made. She was obliged to own that it was so, but then again returned to the old question 'Why, then, did you name him?' I said once more for the fiftieth time that it never had entered into the head of Palmerston or of anybody else that the mention of his name would have raised such a notion or suspicion in them or in anybody, and that it was wonderful they would not see that if he had had the intention and that this letter contained the expression of it, the last thing he would have done would have been to show it to them. She then talked again about the 'Chronicle' and the difficulty of going on, of the unsatisfactory relations between the Foreign Office and the Embassy, and of the great difficulty of ever restoring them to such a condition as they ought to be in for any useful purpose. 'How,' she asked, 'could M. Guizot open his mind to Normanby, or talk confidentially to him, when he knows he is intimately connected with the Opposition, and that what he says may be repeated the next moment to Thiers and appear in the "Constitutionnel" on the following morning?' This is the real embarrassment, and it is not easy to see how it is to be got over. Guizot and Normanby are on civil terms, and that is all. When they meet on business they discuss the particular matter in hand, and never anything more; to William Hervey Guizot does not speak at all; when they meet at Madame de Lievens, Guizot appears not to see him. She says that I am the only Englishman to whom he can talk openly, and consequently they are very sorry for my departure. 44

After I left her in the morning I drove all over Paris: to the University to see Cousin, who lives up a staircase just like a Bencher or a Collegian. He was not at home, nor anybody there to answer the bell, so I stuffed my card through a crevice in the door. He is a Peer. Then to Prince Czartoryski's, who lives in a great old house in the Isle St. Louis, close to the Pont d'Austerlitz. The establishment is curious and interesting. The Princess told me she wanted a house which was spacious and cheap, and not therefore in the fashionable and dear part of the town. They were fortunate enough to find this, which exactly suits them. It was the hotel of the Duc de Sully, and there was formerly a subterraneous passage with a communication to the Arsenal. It afterwards fell into the hands of Lambert, a great financier, and is still called the Hôtel Lambert. Madame du Châtelet had it, and they show the apartment which Voltaire occupied for many years. At the Revolution it became a shop or magasin, I forget of what, but no change was made in the building. The Czartoryskis found it all délabré and dirty, bought it very cheap, and spent twice as much as the purchase-money in restorations. It is a great fine house, handsome staircase and gallery, very vast, with court and garden, and a delightful airy prospect towards the river and the Jardin des Plantes. The thick coat of dirt which was cleared away had preserved the original painting and gilding, which have come out, not indeed bright and fresh, but still very handsome, and they have furnished it in a corresponding style. It is not, however, for the purpose of being well lodged that they have thus provided themselves, but to perform a great work of beneficence and charity. The Princess has converted the whole of the upper stories into a great school for the daughters of distressed Polish officers and gentlemen, where they are lodged, fed, clothed, and educated, and what is left of their fortune they spend in this manner. She took me all over the apartments; they are like those in a very well-regulated pauper school, clean to an extreme nicety, but modest and economical. The girls crowded about her to kiss her hand. There they are prepared to become 45 governesses; the Princess's daughter is their 'Professeur d'Anglais,' she told me. It is a very striking sight and well worth support. I went from thence to the Place Royale; then to where the Bastille formerly stood, and down the whole length of the Boulevards, which is the way to see this curious town.


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

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

Thursday.—I prevented Normanby from going to Thiers' salon the night before last, and yesterday morning I gave him to understand as delicately as I could that all his communications with him and others in opposition to the Government were noted, reported, and much resented. He is, however, still impressed with the notion that Guizot may be got out, and that his connexion with his opponents 46 may conduce to that object, in my opinion a dangerous error.

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

Friday.—I saw Guizot yesterday, my last day; he is very sorry I am going, being the only Englishman he could speak to; he does not see how he can go on with Normanby in his notorious relations avec tous ses ennemis; then as to the press, the 'Morning Chronicle;' Palmerston's connexion with it is so notorious that one might as well try and persuade him day was night as that Palmerston was not concerned in the 'Morning Chronicle.' I told him frankly that I regretted both the appearance and the existence of intimacy between the Embassy and the Opposition, that it was exaggerated, but that I could not be surprised at its producing an effect on him. I did not think it worth while to go again into the case or to triumph over the effect produced by our blue book; I only said 'that he now admitted himself that he had been wrong about Palmerston before, and that this might inspire him with more confidence for the future;' but he said, 'No, he did not admit it; that Palmerston had come into office with the resolution of attacking him anywhere; that the Marriage question in Spain was merely subsidiary to that object, and he had only put forward Don Enrique in order to set up the Progressista party against him and French influence.' He said the greatest danger proceeded from les agents subalternes; that he had given a proof of his resolution to act justly by at once recalling the French 47 Consul at the Mauritius, for which he was well aware he should be attacked here, but that it was right, and he had therefore done it. He said he would communicate with me, but he thinks the disposition of the other Ministers of little consequence so long as Palmerston's are what they are. All our conversation ran on this; his on the difficulty of going on after all that had passed, mine on the necessity of trying. I said what I could for Normanby, and assured him he would find him personally easy to deal with. I then went to Madame de Lieven, who followed in the same strain, and said what is true enough, that Normanby, once having let himself drop into Thiers' hands, will find it difficult to get out again. This has always struck me. I have said what I could to Normanby, but I came too late for that. I am certain they are very uneasy at the effect produced both in England (even in the midst of its apathy) and here by the publication of our papers. Here it is unquestionably great, although they have not yet been distributed fully. I met Cousin last night, who was vehement on the subject, and told me, if he had been aware of their contents, nothing should have prevented his replying to the Duke de Broglie. Tocqueville told me that they had produced a very great effect; that men like himself who approved of what had been done were inexpressibly shocked at the way in which it had been done, and at the revelation of so much that was false and dishonourable in the conduct of the French Government.


Saturday.—Just setting off to London and not sorry to leave Paris, where I am, after all, a fish out of water. I have been most kindly and hospitably entertained, interested, and amused, but the excitement of the particular question once over, I feel that I have no business here, that I am not fit for the society, and should never take root in it; the exertion required, the stretch and the continual alacrity of attention, would be intolerable. I have fallen in here with Scrope Davies, a social refugee, whom I have not seen these twenty-five years, almost the last remnant of a circle of clever men of the world, and once the intimate friend of B. 48

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


Last night there was a party at the Embassy, at which Thiers and Duvergier were present. Thiers had been with Normanby in the morning. He made an attack on me for believing all Madame de Lieven told me; said I was 'une éponge trempée dans le liquide de Madame de Lieven,' and tried his best to persuade me that Guizot was weak, his majority not worth a rush, and that the King could and would get rid of him whenever he found himself in any sort of danger. 'Tell Lord Palmerston,' he said, 'when he speaks, to say "beaucoup de bien de la France, et beaucoup de mal de Monsieur Guizot."' I said I should give him one-half the advice and not the other, and that Palmerston's wisest course would be to hold moderate language, tell his 49 story, and leave everybody to draw the inferences. I have no doubt he will make a very powerful speech and present an admirable résumé of the whole question. But this new vigour infused into the Opposition, which will bring on an acrimonious debate, though it may cover Guizot with mud, will not shake him from his seat. I told Thiers he was quite mistaken in supposing that I took my opinions from Madame de Lieven or believed one half she told me, but nevertheless I could not believe that the King would part with Guizot if he could possibly help it, for he would look in vain for so supple an instrument, and one so well able to defend him and his measures in the Chambers. However, Thiers thinks of nothing but mischief, of gratifying his own personal passions and resentments. He has evidently persuaded Normanby, and I have no doubt Normanby tries to persuade Palmerston of the same. The cool people here meanwhile tell me that Guizot will not be turned out, and I am inclined to believe it. I leave the Embassy in certainly a very painful and unbecoming condition. Normanby seems not to care who sees his intimacy with Thiers, and he has none whatever with Guizot. They do not and cannot converse on anything but the merest matters of business, and their relations get worse, and seem likely to do so; the obstacles to an understanding sufficiently frank to be useful appear almost insurmountable. Thiers, having got Normanby into his clutches, will not easily let him go again, and the resentment of Guizot will hardly be appeased, nor do I see any chance of their ever being on really good terms. So ends my mission, and it only now remains for me to give the truest account I can of the state of affairs here to those whom it most concerns to know it; but then it will be very difficult for them to adopt any decisive and satisfactory course. 50


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

London, February 3rd, 1847.—I got to town on Monday; one hour and fifty minutes crossing the sea, which was like a duck-pond. Saw Lord Clarendon the same night for a long time, and Lord Lansdowne yesterday for a shorter. Told the first all I knew and thought, and gave the latter a succinct account of affairs in France, but did not say a word of Normanby and Guizot. He has heard of it, however, as I find others have likewise; and he asked Clarendon if I had said anything to him about Normanby's goings on at Paris. But Clarendon said he had not asked me, as living as I had 51 done in Normanby's house I should not like (if it were the case) to say anything about it. I have not yet had time to look round me and see the state of things here. It is determined not to have any discussion on foreign affairs if they can possibly prevent it.


February 6th.—I called on Graham yesterday, and sat with him for two hours and a half, discussing res omnes. He is not very well satisfied with the Government, though wishing to keep them in rather than let in the Protectionists; but he thinks they are inclined to curry favour with the Protectionists, and they are disgusted (he and Peel) at the soft sawder that is continually bandied backward and forward between John Russell and George Bentinck, which nettles Peel very much; and they both think, considering the avowed sentiments of George Bentinck towards him and his conduct, that it is very insulting to Peel. He thinks they don't take an independent line enough, and ominously hinted that if they meant to try to obtain the support or the forbearance of George Bentinck and Co. they must abide by the consequences as far as Peel and his friends were concerned. He thinks the aspect of affairs very threatening both abroad and at home, Stanley evidently looking to the Government and ready to try and form one, but saying 'he does not desire it.' After a sort of estrangement between him and Stanley ever since their Government broke up, they met in the House of Commons the night of George Bentinck's Railroad motion, when Stanley very cordially proposed they should walk home together, and then talking over the state of affairs Stanley said, 'This can't go on.' Graham: 'Well, perhaps not; and then it must fall on you.' Stanley: 'I do not desire it.' The event is by no means impossible, for this Railroad question may turn the Government out; everything, however, indicates that Stanley, as head of his party, is endeavouring to work his way into office. He is all for moderation and conciliation, and wants to allure back the mass of the Conservatives to his standard. Goulburn they count upon; Aberdeen says they have secured him; Gladstone they expect to get. But 52 it is endless to speculate on all the possible or imaginary contingencies by which they think they can form a Government. Stanley must now be ready to tear his hair at having quitted the House of Commons, for with all his great power of speaking (never greater than now) he is lost in the House of Lords where it is all beating the air. Then in the House of Commons he must trust to George Bentinck and Disraeli: the former with an intemperance and indiscretion ever pregnant with dangerous dilemmas; and the other with a capacity so great that he cannot be cast aside, and a character so disreputable that he cannot be trusted. The Duke of Wellington would give Stanley every support, and would bring Dalhousie with him if Dalhousie was not afraid of embarking in such a concern and with such associates. What Stanley and his party would like best would be to get Palmerston to join them and be leader in the House of Commons, which Palmerston would himself delight in if he dared run the risk. At this moment, however, everything is in a fearful state of uncertainty, and the weakness of the Government and their total want of power are lamentably apparent.

Aberdeen is in a state of violent indignation at the brutal and stupid attacks on him in the 'Morning Chronicle,' which he attributes to Palmerston; and he is so provoked that he says he is disposed to bring on a foreign discussion after all, that he may vindicate himself. He says that nothing could exceed the abhorrence in which Palmerston was held all over Europe, at the small courts more than at the great ones, from Washington to Lisbon but one sentiment. I sat next to Palmerston at the Sheriffs' dinner, and told him a great deal about Paris, and especially the mischief which the 'Morning Chronicle' had done there. He said, 'I dare say they attribute the articles to me.' I told him (since he asked me) that they did, and that it was difficult to convince them that they did not emanate from him. He affected to know nothing about them, but I told him it really would be well to find means to put a stop to them. Meanwhile, the attacks on Aberdeen have drawn down on 53 Palmerston two vigorous articles in the 'Times,' which may teach him that he has everything to lose and nothing to gain by such a contest; the very inferior articles in the 'Chronicle' not being read by a fifth part of those who read the far better ones in the 'Times.' I met Beauvale8 last night at Palmerston's, and found he took precisely the same view of foreign affairs (especially of the Spanish question of succession and renunciations) that I do, and it is pretty evident that he has as little respect as anybody for his brother-in-law's foreign policy. He said he could do no good, and therefore held his tongue, but that he had written to John Russell in the beginning, and told him he did not think the case on the Treaty of Utrecht could be maintained. Lady Palmerston had told me that Beauvale had examined the matter, and entirely concurred in their view of it!


February 8th.—With Aberdeen yesterday for a long time. He complained much of the articles in the 'Chronicle' against him, and said he had acted towards Palmerston throughout in the most amicable manner. He still is reluctant to believe Guizot so false as our case against him tends to prove, and thinks that he was sincere in his distrust of Palmerston and in his conviction that the Coburg marriage was imminent; and he cannot believe he was so stupid as to say what Normanby represents about en même temps, &c. Nevertheless, he blames much that Guizot has done, thinks his letter to John Russell the height of indiscretion, and has not a word to say for the secret despatch to Bresson of December 10, which he never saw and which never was communicated to him. He said it was written just when the Government appeared about to break up and Palmerston to be coming in; but he acknowledged that as long as he remained in he was left in complete ignorance of it. He said he was the more surprised at Palmerston's delays because he had told him (and John Russell too) that the French Government were positively insane on the Marriage question; that great as their confidence was in him, they 54 were in a state of continual suspicion and alarm, and always at him about it; that the memorandum of February 27 was no more than they had repeated verbally fifty times, and he had told Palmerston that they always said they should hold themselves free from their engagement if they saw this danger, but that he (Aberdeen) had constantly told them nothing was doing or intended, and that they need not alarm themselves. I asked him what necessity there was for this memorandum at that particular time? He said that about that time Prince Leopold did go to Lisbon, and they fancied he was going to Madrid, and the danger therefore increasing.

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

I dined with M. de St. Aulaire last night, who talked much of Guizot and Normanby, and of Guizot's heroism in foregoing the temptation to speak in the Chamber (as if he had meant to forego it), and to vindicate himself from the aspersions thrown on him by Normanby's despatch, which he was aware had done him the greatest injury here. However, he will not have done himself much good by his speech, which seems only to make bad worse. The result, too, of all the intimacy between Thiers and Normanby, by Palmerston's desire, is amusing when Thiers does not make half a case against Guizot, and announces to the Chamber that Palmerston is odious to all Europe and hateful to the three Northern Courts. 55


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

Yesterday morning John Russell sent for me, and I told him all about Paris and the state of affairs there. I did not conceal from him my opinion of Palmerston's conduct, though I had done all I could to defend him. He said in many respects Guizot's was as bad, especially as to the newspapers. I found fault with the negotiations with other Powers to join with us in a demonstration about the Treaty of Utrecht, but that he defended. I told him we totally differed on the question; but we had no time to discuss it, indeed, little to discuss anything, for he was going to a deputation, so we walked together from his house to the office. I told him I had intended to urge him to do something, but that Guizot's speech made it almost impossible to do anything. He begged me to see St. Aulaire and talk to him about it, and to tell him the Queen had a great regard for him, and did not mean to do anything neglectful by him. He gave me 56 an account of the strange state of things at Madrid, and of the confusion and quarrels which have followed this fine marriage the French have effected.

February 16th.—I saw Jarnac yesterday and had a long conversation with him. He defends Guizot, of course, but a great deal that he says is reasonable enough. Normanby took up Guizot's speech with a very unnecessary display of resentment, and fancied that he intended to impeach his veracity in respect to his second report of conversation. Accordingly he wrote an angry letter home, to which Palmerston immediately wrote an answer. Both these letters (Normanby's altered here) were laid before Parliament, and at the same moment published in the 'Morning Chronicle.' This was quick work, and on the whole irritating and offensive, but Normanby says all Paris considered that he was affronted by Guizot, and he was obliged to take it up. Here no one individual that I have seen construed what Guizot said in that sense. Such is the difference of the respective atmospheres of the two towns. There all fire, here all ice. It seems that Normanby made no communication on the subject to Guizot, but that the latter became aware of the resentment he had caused and made some sort of indirect offer to say something in the newspapers. This Normanby would not hear of, and said the reparation must be made in the tribune where the affront was given. There the matter stands. Jarnac thinks the appearance of the two last letters will rouse great indignation at Paris and complicate matters still more. He denies that there was any intention on the part of Guizot to impeach Normanby's veracity, and that his very vague and guarded intimation that the report was not accurate by no means implies such a charge. I think it very questionable whether any report of a conversation ought to be published without the party being referred to, and having an opportunity of admitting or denying the accuracy of such a report. It is a very nice matter, especially when the conversation passes in one language and the report is made in another. But Jarnac complains (and not without reason) of the tone of Palmerston's 57 letter. He says he was quite right to support his Ambassador, but he has done so in terms unnecessarily offensive to Guizot, and when he says that he has no doubt, notwithstanding what passed in the Chambers, of the perfect accuracy of the report, he transgresses the bounds of courtesy, and speaks positively to that of which he cannot by possibility have any knowledge. This criticism appears well founded. He said that similar circumstances had occurred here about reports of conversations, and that Palmerston himself had denied the accuracy of a report he had made of a conversation, and that his denial was admitted.


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

February 19th.—George Bentinck's railway scheme was signally defeated on Tuesday night: he had 118 with him, many less than he expected. He made a great exposure of himself in a reply full of bad taste, bad judgement, and impertinence. Peel made a very able speech, his attempts to reply to which were pitiable; the minority consisted of sad rubbish. Yesterday morning I was with Lord Lansdowne, and took the opportunity of pouring a broadside into him about the management of foreign affairs, and the necessity of his taking some decisive steps to prevent that 58 everlasting petite guerre that Palmerston will wage. I spoke very strongly indeed, and told him what the real state of affairs was at Paris. He made great grimaces and seemed vastly struck with what I said, and I hope something may come of it. This morning I have a letter from Normanby bitterly complaining of the article in the 'Times,' in which he is accused of holding communication with the enemies of the Government, and says it came at a very critical moment and prevented Guizot making the amende he otherwise would have done.

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

February 22nd.—On Friday Lord Lansdowne called me into his room, and told me I should be glad to hear that there was a probability of the quarrel at Paris being settled, as the King had undertaken to mediate between the parties. I went up to St. Aulaire directly after, but he had heard nothing of it. He expressed joy, and said it had all along been the only solution he had looked to. He then showed me a letter from Guizot to him, written two days after the debate, in which he said that he had spoken of Normanby with the greatest reserve, and avoided saying anything which could impugn his veracity or the intentional incorrectness of his report. I asked him whether Guizot would have said 59 this to Normanby if he had applied to him, and he said certainly he would, he had no doubt of it. He then told me that a fresh ingredient had been cast into the cauldron from the foolish incident of the invitation to Guizot, and he read me a letter from M. de Cazes with an account of it. Normanby gave a great assembly on the 19th, and amongst the invitations, one was sent by mistake to Guizot. Nothing ought to have been done but to let it alone; but very foolishly they made a great noise about it, and in a manner which was considered personally insulting to Guizot; they proclaimed all over Paris that they never intended to invite him. It had been settled in the first instance that the Ministers and others belonging to the Government should go to this party, and Guizot wished them to go; but after this incident M. de Cazes said it was thought impossible to go, and he believed none would. So much for gaucherie and maladresse.


On Friday there was a fight and a division, in which the Government beat Stanley by eight. He probably did not make great exertions, but, on the other hand, not one of the Peelite peers, members of the late Government, voted with this. The whole affair was characteristic of Stanley, and, as such, is worth recording. He had resolved to attack the Sugar measure of the Government by proposing to refer it to a committee, and he sent for his peers to come up and support him. Clarendon asked him if he really intended to do this, and suggested he had better inform himself of the merits of the question before he decided. He agreed, and they sent Wood, the Chairman of the Excise, to him, who was with him for two hours, explained everything, and satisfied him the measure was unobjectionable. After this Clarendon asked him again if he still meant to bring on his motion. 'Oh yes,' he said, 'I mean to give you a gallop. It is a long time since you have had one, and it will do you good. Besides, I have brought my people up, and I must give them something to do now they are come.' If he had got a majority he would have been more perplexed than the Government, and this is the man the peers are ready to follow and to make Prime Minister. The Railway debate and the speech of George 60 Bentinck have thrown the Protectionists into consternation and dismay. Any remaining illusion about him has been entirely dissipated by the display of his intemperance and incapacity, but they have got him mounted on their backs, and they don't know how to shake him off. It is pretty clear too that there is no cordiality between him and Stanley, and that the Carlton dinner scene is still rankling in the mind of George Bentinck, as was sure to be the case, for he never forgets or forgives anything or anybody. He held forth the other night to Charles Villiers against Stanley's folly for bringing forward this sugar affair; said he had no case, and that he was 'a pretty fellow to find fault with him for proposing the advance of public money he had done: he who had proposed first a loan of twelve, and then a gift of twenty millions to the West Indians.'

February 23rd.—The Normanby quarrel is not made up: very far from it. The King had an interview with Normanby, but does not seem to have attempted a reconciliation. Lord Lansdowne, it seems, fancied he was going to do so from something which Howden had written. I had a long letter yesterday from Normanby full of futilities and excitement, and still fancying that Guizot is weak. Normanby's assembly on Friday was attended by none of the Government or Court people, and Guizot's (for it was one of his nights) was crammed full. The corps diplomatique went to both. Nothing can be more deplorable than the state of the affair, and Normanby seems quite unconscious of the poor figure he is cutting. Jonathan Peel came to me yesterday fresh from Paris, and says the spirit rising there and the excitement are very great, and matters have got into such a state, that the least collision anywhere, or any difference however slight, would produce an explosion and most likely a war. He says the people most against Guizot are now still more against England. One man (he would not tell me his name) said to him, 'M. Guizot has rode his race in a manner that gives us great satisfaction, but there seems to have been a little crossing and jostling in it.' The King insinuated to Normanby the other day that he did not approve of Guizot's conduct, and that 61 though he must support him now, he might get rid of him by and by—at least it appears Normanby put this construction on what he said, and continues in the miserable delusion that Guizot will fall. This cauldron is now boiling furiously: the bitterest resentment, immense excitement, continual mischief-making, passion, incapacity, falsehood, treachery, all mingling in the mass, and making a toil and trouble which everybody looks at with dismay and disgust, except probably Palmerston himself. The Chancellor of the Exchequer introduced his Budget last night with the loan, and was very well received. I was sure it would take.


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

February 25th.—I did not think anything could surprise me about Palmerston or his colleagues—the audacity of the one or the endurance of the other; but I was surprised yesterday. In the morning I went to the Euston Station to meet the Duke of Bedford and bring him to Belgrave Square. I then told him the state of affairs at Paris, what I had said to Lord John and Lord Lansdowne, and entreated him to try and do something and get something done. On Saturday 62 last there was as usual a dinner at Palmerston's, where John Russell dined. At night, Clarendon had some talk with Beauvale who asked him how long this state of things was to go on, and if he was not aware of the danger of it; that it was no use to speak to Palmerston, but he thought he (Clarendon) might do something, and that he had been just talking to St. Aulaire on the subject. There they parted; but on Sunday morning he received a note from Beauvale saying that he found matters were much more serious than he had been aware of, and by a communication he had had from St. Aulaire that morning he learnt that Palmerston had formally announced to him that unless Normanby received an immediate and satisfactory reparation the intercourse between the two countries should cease. This was done by Palmerston without any concert with, and without the knowledge of, his colleagues; and though John Russell, the Prime Minister, dined with him the same day, he did not think proper to impart to him what he had done. Clarendon then resolved to act without loss of time, but he first went to call on Charles Wood, where he found John Russell. He opened on the subject of the state of the French quarrel and its possible consequences, and said, 'What should you say if Palmerston was to make a communication to St. Aulaire that unless reparation was offered to Normanby, all intercourse between France and England should cease?' 'Oh no,' said John, 'he won't do that. I don't think there is any danger of such a thing.' 'But he has done it,' said Clarendon; 'the communication has been made, and the only question is whether St. Aulaire has or has not forwarded it to the French Government.' This at once roused Lord John, and he instantly wrote to St. Aulaire requesting him, if he had not sent this communication to his Government, to suspend doing so. Fortunately it was not gone. What passed between Lord John and Palmerston I do not know, but the result has been a more moderate instruction to Normanby from both of them.


Lady Palmerston had a letter from Madame de Lieven last night, expressing her hopes that it would be arranged, 63 which looks as if Guizot would not reject the overture. She told me in the morning that St. Aulaire had asked Palmerston to get Normanby away, and whether they could not send him out to India!!! All this supplies very serious matter for reflexion. It exhibits in the first place in the most striking manner the character and the determination of Palmerston, and I have not the least idea that the check he has received will either discourage or deter him for the future. He will soon begin again on this or some other matter. It exhibits likewise the tameness of his colleagues, who will submit to this and anything else he may choose to do. Most of his colleagues, indeed, will never be aware of what has occurred. Lord John, Charles Wood, Clarendon, and probably Lord Lansdowne know it; but most likely the others will remain in ignorance. Lansdowne may tell Auckland. It strikes me that there is something base and false in the transaction. Palmerston, in a manner which ought not to be forgiven, takes this important and violent step by his own authority, and without the knowledge of any of his colleagues. He is found out, baffled, and he ought to be mortified, and to think himself to a certain degree dishonoured. To have a communication of his9 countermanded, without his knowledge, by the Prime Minister, is a sort of affront which any high-spirited man would naturally resent; but he is too much in the wrong to resent it; so he submits. An honourable, straightforward man would not have acted as he did; a high-spirited one would not have endured such a rebuff and mortification. But a Prime Minister who was sensible of the right and the duty of his position would not endure such conduct as Palmerston's, would not be satisfied with interfering in this particular case, but would at once assert his authority, loftily, firmly, and with a determination that it should be permanently respected. This I am pretty sure Lord John has not done.10 How he has settled the affair 64 with Palmerston I know not, but it is certain that he has done no more than stop this attempt, and has left everything to go on as it may. The consequence is a state of things at once dangerous and disgraceful: he dissatisfied with Palmerston and entirely distrusting him; Palmerston dissatisfied and angry with him; the rest of the Cabinet either ignorant of what is going on, or disinclined and afraid to interfere. I have not the least idea of Palmerston's changing his conduct or his policy. His fixed idea is to humble France, and to wage a diplomatic war with her on the Spanish marriages, and to this object to sacrifice every other. He is moving heaven and earth to conciliate the Northern Courts. Ponsonby is doing everything he can at Vienna, and holding the most despotic language. While there is the finest field open for us in Italy, and a noble part to be played, Palmerston is ready to truckle to Austria, and to abandon or counteract the Pope.11

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

Yesterday young Mr. Walter was brought to the office and introduced to me. Old Walter is dying, and his son is about to succeed (in fact has succeeded) to the throne of the 'Times,' and to all the authority, influence, and power which the man who wields that sceptre can exercise. He seems mild, sensible, and gentlemanlike. Though it was the first time we ever met, he talked to me with great openness about the affairs of the paper and the people connected with it. I 65 was surprised to hear from him that my original friend Barnes, who left behind him a great reputation, was (though a good scholar) an idle boy, who never wrote a line in the paper, and never had anything to do with any one of the articles which all the world attributed to him.


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

I always forget to notice a thing I heard many months ago, but which has never been known or talked of. A man (whose name and history I have now forgotten), who thought he had some claims on the Government for remuneration or employment, made several applications to John Russell, who would not attend to them. The fellow turned savage, and was heard to utter threats of personal violence, which from his determined character gave great alarm to the friends and 66 adherents who heard of them. Great uneasiness prevailed for a time, and many consultations were held, and the matter was deemed so serious, that at last they resolved to get the man out of the country, and to purchase his forbearance, though not with public money. In this emergency the Duke of Bedford came forward and agreed to pay him a pension of 300l. a year, with which he was satisfied, and went abroad. The Duke, intimate as I am with him, never mentioned the matter to me in any way, and he does not know I am aware of it. I think it was Le Marchant who settled this affair, and I do not believe Lord John himself has ever been informed of it.

March 2nd.—Accounts came yesterday that this miserable quarrel of Normanby's was made up, but the end answered to the beginning, and nothing could be more pitiful than the reconciliation. Howden wrote Clarendon an account of it, in which he said very truly that Normanby was like the month of March—coming in like a lion, and going out like a lamb. He got the worst terms he possibly could, very different from his first pretensions. Apponyi managed it, and they met at his house. Guizot gave Apponyi a verbal assurance that he never intended to impugn Normanby's veracity, and he received one that Normanby had not intended any incivility in the matter of the card, nothing more, and this after Normanby had proclaimed that he would accept nothing but an apology in the Tribune of the Chamber of Deputies, and Palmerston had informed St. Aulaire that if such an apology was not made, the diplomatic relations should cease, and that it was for Guizot to consider whether he should establish between England and France the same state of things as existed between France and Russia—the business of the two Governments being transacted by Chargés d'Affaires. A most lame and impotent conclusion indeed. Normanby feels this acutely, for he writes to me a querulous letter, in which he says that, 'if he had obtained less than he had a right to expect, and if his position there should not be quite as good as if he had insisted on more, it would be owing to the cavils and criticisms 67 of those over-candid friends who allowed their opinions of the probability that there must have been some indiscretion on his part to be known through Jarnac or some one of that description exactly in the quarter where it was calculated to do the most mischief.' It is really a comical instance of self-delusion, to see Normanby going on even to me, protesting his innocence of the charge of indiscretion and of communication with the French Opposition, notamment Thiers. It really is incredible that he can so deceive himself, and fancy he can deceive others.


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

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

March 13th.—On Thursday night 'Cracow'13 came on again, when George Bentinck made a long, violent, foolish speech, running counter to everybody's sentiments, and 68 extravagantly praising the three Great Powers who had perpetrated the deed. Peel followed in a speech full of sense and judgement, and very good for the Government, the whole of whose conduct in this matter he warmly supported. Nothing can exceed the disgust and despair of the Protectionists at the extravagance and folly of their leader, but they have got him, and cannot get rid of him; they are in a regular fix, and every day becoming more disorganised and discontented. Meanwhile he, by all accounts, improves in manner and facility, which only makes him the more dangerous because he is full of increased confidence in himself, and pours forth with the utmost volubility the nonsense with which his head is full. I met Lyndhurst at dinner the other day, whom I have not seen for a long time, and he began talking in his usual offhand style: said that George Bentinck had ruined the party, and, if it was not for him and for Peel, that the Conservatives would all come together again. If this Government would now avoid all extremes, he thought they were in for a long time. He had told Stanley that, unless they could make some great exertion before the next election, the party was at an end. Stanley said 'they should do very well.' I asked Lyndhurst what could be expected of any party of which Stanley was the head, to say nothing of George Bentinck, and he owned he was utterly unfit; still, Lyndhurst has a hankering after patching up the party. He insists that Brougham has persuaded himself that this Government cannot go on, and that in any fresh combination a Chancellor will be wanted, and that somehow the Great Seal will fall into his hands. Brougham made a display of more than usual violence and indecency in the House of Lords last night, and proved (if there was any doubt) how necessary it is to have a Speaker to keep order there. He has really made the House of Lords a bear-garden.


Normanby writes from Paris out of humour: he has lost his senses and his temper; he harps querulously upon the details of his miserable quarrel, and thinks the Government have used him ill by not supporting him. He is writhing 69 under the consciousness of cutting a poor figure, and of the triumph Guizot has gained over him, but there is no end of his gaucheries. When the quarrel was made up, and he invited Guizot to dinner, he selected the day on which Guizot himself always receives his friends. Guizot accepted, and announced that he should not receive that day, but of course the invitation was attributed either to stupidity or to impertinence. St. Aulaire asked me, 'Est-ce que c'était une étourderie, ou l'a-t-il fait exprès?' I assured him it must have been an étourderie, but an unpardonable one. What was graver, however, was that the first night of Guizot's reception after the reconciliation, when he ought to have taken care to go there, he went to Molé instead, and never went to Guizot at all. However, John Russell is now alive to foreign affairs, and his brother is keeping him up to it. The Duke told me he wrote him six sheets on the subject of our foreign relations, especially with France, 'very confidential.' The Government here are going on very well. Lord John speaks excellently; the Speaker says he never saw any Government do their business so well. Charles Wood's success is an immense thing for them; a good Chancellor of the Exchequer is a tower of strength to a Government. Goulburn was only Peel's chief clerk; Wood is taking a flight of his own. Every day strengthens the Government by exhibiting the utter incapacity of the Opposition, and the impossibility of any other Government being formed; and people who have no party heat or prejudices will have the best workmen; but there is a disposition to fronder in some quarters. I observed to Lincoln, whom I met, that the Government were going on very well, but he would not admit it.

March 14th.—Saw Graham yesterday, and had a long talk with him. He said John Russell's speech on the Irish Poor Law was the best thing he had done since he was Minister, and proved his competence for his high office; that he viewed with the deepest alarm the measure itself, but that, in the temper of the House of Commons and the country, it was inevitable; the Government could have done 70 nothing but what they have, and, having come to that resolution, nothing could exceed the skill and judgement with which John Russell has dealt with it, and his speech had carried the question. He thinks the consequence will be a complete revolution of property, the ruin of the landed proprietors, and the downfall of Protestant ascendency and of the Church. He expects that the first to abandon the Church will be the Protestant proprietors themselves; that a tremendous ordeal is to be gone through, involving vast changes and social vicissitudes, but that on the whole, and at a remote period, it will produce the regeneration of Ireland. This, much elaborated, was the substance of his opinion. I do not pretend to enunciate any opinion as to the solution of this tremendous problem which gives rise to so many thoughts—social, political, and religious—perplexing the mind upon all. How those devout persons who are accustomed to find in everything that happens manifestations of divine goodness and wisdom, and are always overflowing with thanksgiving and praise, accommodate this awful and appalling reality with their ideas and convictions, I do not divine. To me no difficulty is presented, because I never have allowed my mind to be exposed to the hazard of any such perplexity. I do not pretend to define the attributes, nor to pass judgement on the counsels of God; 'meâ ignorantiâ et debilitate me involvo,' and I submit and resign myself, with an implicit and unrepining humility, to all things that are decreed, public or private, without venturing to pronounce an opinion, and without wishing to give vent to a feeling on things which are far beyond the reach of any human comprehension.

March 23rd.—Last week the political and commercial world were struck with astonishment at the sudden and unexpected announcement of a financial arrangement between the Emperor of Russia and the Bank of France, of which nobody, either politicians or financiers, could make head or tail, nor up to this moment has any light been thrown upon it.14 Excursive and eager political minds, however, instantly 71 jumped to very vast conclusions, and beheld deep political designs, a monstrous union between France and Russia, French divisions crossing the Pyrenees, and Russian the Balkan.


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

March 31st.—George Bentinck made another exhibition in the House of Commons the night before last in the shape of an attack on Labouchere more violent and disgusting than any of his previous ones. He seems to have lost all command over his temper, and his indiscretion and arrogance 72 have excited a bitterness against him not to be described. The Protectionists are overwhelmed with shame and chagrin, and they know not what to do: he has ruined them as a party; he was hooted even by those who sat behind him, and all the signs of disapprobation with which he was assailed only excited and enraged him the more. The Government are now anxious to dissolve as soon as they possibly can, justly thinking that the time is very ripe for them. There is at this moment certainly no party spirit, no zeal and animation in any quarter, and there are neither great principles nor measures in dispute to serve as war cries or rallying points. The only party, therefore, that has any interest in exerting itself is that of the Government, who naturally wish to keep the power of which they have got possession. The Irish Poor Law Bill is going through the House of Commons with hardly any opposition, and everybody, willingly or unwillingly, has made up his mind that the great experiment must be tried.


The Government meanwhile are in a state of great uneasiness at the condition of foreign affairs15 in almost every quarter of the world—in Spain, Portugal, and Greece particularly; in Switzerland, in Italy, and Germany to a less degree; and they are not only in a state of uneasiness, but in one of extreme perplexity, because they by no means clearly see their way or have any accurate knowledge of the designs and objects of the different European Powers; they think, however, that France is now willing to let the entente with England drop, and is disposed to form connexions with 73 Russia and Austria in a sort of semi-hostility to England, and by a mutual connivance at each other's objects. They suspect, without being sure of it, that the recent financial operation has a deeper political significance, and that the object of France is to secure the neutrality of Russia and Austria in the affairs of Spain, and to repay it by suffering the Austrians to coerce the Pope and put down the rising spirit of Italian improvement. Then the condition of Spain and Portugal excites the greatest apprehension, and the more because it is evident we do not know what we can or what we ought to do. I never saw people so perplexed and with so little of fixed ideas or settled intentions on the subject.

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

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

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

I believe in God, who has given us in the wonders of 74 creation irresistible—to my mind at least irresistible—evidence of His existence. All other evidences offered by men claiming to have divine legations and authority, are, to me, imperfect and inconclusive. To the will of God I submit myself with implicit resignation. I try to find out the truth, and the best conclusions at which my mind can arrive are really truth to me. However, I will not write an essay now and here. Sometimes I think of writing on religious subjects amongst the many others which it occurs to me to handle. Ever since I wrote my book on Ireland, I have been longing to write again, and for more than one reason: first, the hope of again writing something that the world may think worth reading; secondly, because the occupation is very interesting and agreeable, inasmuch as it furnishes a constant object and something specific to do; and thirdly, because I find that nothing but having a subject in hand which renders enquiry and investigation in some particular line necessary is sufficient to conquer idleness. Mere desultory reading does not conquer it, and there is a want of satisfaction in reading without an object. Why then do I not write, when I am conscious that I have a very tolerable power of expressing myself? It is because I am also conscious that I want knowledge, familiarity with books, recollection sufficiently accurate of the little I have read, and that facility of composition which extensive information and the habit of using it alone can give. It is when this struggle is going on in my mind between the desire to write and the sense of incapacity, that I feel so bitterly the consequences of my imperfect education, and my lazy, unprofitable habits. But no more of this now. To-morrow I am going to Newmarket to begin another year of the old pursuits.


I dined with David Dundas the Solicitor-General the day before yesterday at the Clarendon Hotel: splendid banquet; twenty miscellaneous friends. Labouchere there told me that Lord Hatherton had not long ago shown him Dudley's diary, which is very curious.16 It was very regularly kept, 75 and told of everything he did, giving minute details of his adventures both in high and low life. Certainly nothing could be more injudicious than to commit to paper and to leave behind him such memorials as these, and accordingly Labouchere advised Hatherton to commit the MS. to the flames. Dudley speaks of his friends, and even of his acquaintances generally, in a very good-natured spirit, and of himself with modesty and diffidence. He was in a dreadful state of nervousness whenever he had to make a speech in Parliament. He felt very bitterly against his father, who, he thought, had ruined his prospects and character by the way he had brought him up. I hope Hatherton will not burn this MS., and that I shall some day manage to see it.

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

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

April 10th.—Just before I left town last week I saw Arbuthnot, who entreated me, if I had any influence with the Government, to get them to take up the subject of the defence of the country. He said it haunted the Duke of Wellington, 76 and deprived him of rest, and night and day he was occupied with the unhappy state of our foreign relations, the danger of war, and the defenceless state of our coasts. He afterwards wrote to the Duke of Bedford on that, as well as about the Enlistment Bill, the provisions of which he does not approve of. The Duke of Bedford spoke to me about these things, and we agreed that it was desirable Lord John should see the Duke of Wellington very soon, and come to some understanding with him. On the defences, Lord John agrees in the propriety of doing what the Duke wants, but he thinks the danger of war is not imminent, and that it is better to do what is necessary gradually and without noise.

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


Amongst other troubles the state of affairs in Portugal has exceedingly perplexed the Government, and a great diplomatic blunder seems to have been committed in regard 77 to them. Some time ago Clarendon wanted to propose to France a joint interference and mediation with Spain, to settle the miserable quarrel which is ruining the country. The Cabinet would not agree to it, Palmerston being always against France, and the others disinclined to make any proposals to the French Government; but now they find out that they are wrong and that they had better have done this at first, for France has offered the Portuguese Government its assistance or interference, and the knowledge of this has induced us to make the proposal now which we had better have done long ago. It was an excellent opportunity for renewing amicable relations with France, properly, prudently, and without affectation.17

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

The other night the Enlistment Bill was debated in the House of Lords, and the Government got a small majority by the aid of the Peelite peers. The Opposition were full 78 of eagerness and heat on this Bill and quite persuaded that the Duke of Wellington was with them. He had certainly given them to understand that he was so. Last week Stanley and Richmond were at Newmarket, and one day after dinner at the Duke of Rutland's we talked it over. I said they would find the Duke was not opposed to the Bill. 'Then,' said Stanley, 'he must be very much changed since I talked to him about it. There can be no secret as to what passed, because three or four people were present. I said to him, "Pray, sir, what is the necessity for this Bill?" and he said, "I'll tell you: they have got a d——d good army, and they want to make it a d——d bad one."' This, which was very characteristic, might very well convince Stanley and the rest that he was against Grey's measure, as, in fact, and in spite of this support, he really is, but he came to an agreement with the Government and promised to speak in favour of the Bill. So he did, but he spoke in such a way that though the Opposition were surprised and vexed at his supporting it at all, they saw pretty clearly that he did not like it, and they accordingly were not deterred from voting against it. Ellesmere told me yesterday that the Government must not attempt to try any fresh experiments with the army, for if they did the Duke would certainly resign.


Affairs in Spain and Portugal are in a very strange state. The young Queen of Spain exhibits some character and some talent, but she is unsteady and uneducated. The turn matters have taken at Madrid is, however, enough to provoke and annoy the French, while every day exhibits more and more the infamy and disgrace of the marriage which the French Government forced upon the Queen. Her husband is a wretched imbecile sulky fanatic, who passes his life in trying to make embarrassments for the Queen, and in praying to the shade of his mother to forgive him for having married the usurper of his cousin's throne. They have been endeavouring to effect the semblance of a reconciliation between them, but he is incurably sulky, and will not make it up. Not long ago he sent for Pacheco, and 79 told him it was his desire that a Council should be convened forthwith. Pacheco said very well, but begged His Majesty would be so good as to tell him for what purpose he wished for it. The King replied that his object was to lay before the Council proofs of the Queen's infidelity to him. Pacheco said if that was his object he must beg to decline to summon the Council. On this he announced that he had prepared a manifesto to the nation setting forth his wrongs, and that it should be immediately published. They persuaded him to desist from this scandalous intention, and as a sort of compromise they got Serrano to quit Madrid. It appears that the Queen-mother, seeing how matters were going on, intended to return; but her daughter had no mind she should, and told her Ministers they had better look to it. It was their affair, but that if Mama came back matters would go ill. On this they sent Concha to Paris to stop her. Christina wrote Isabella a lecture on her proceedings, and told her that she was too little educated to know how to conduct herself properly, to which she replied, 'Mama knows that I did not educate myself.' However, everything is in a state of the greatest doubt and uncertainty there, and the French are sure to begin their intrigues again and to create as much confusion as they can.

In Portugal, the other Queen continues as obstinate as ever, yielding inch by inch as the danger approaches her more nearly, and is supported in her obstinacy by the security she is still able to find in foreign intervention. We have anchored our ships close to the town, and are prepared to land our Marines to protect her person, and, thus knowing she is personally safe, she is emboldened to refuse or demur to the terms of accommodation which Palmerston has suggested, and to try on the chances of war totally regardless, of course, of the misery of prolonging the contest. The natural course for us to take would be to offer our mediation, and if she refused it to withdraw our ships and leave her to her fate. But we cannot do this, because if we were to desert her the Spaniards and French would instantly step in and reconquer her kingdom for her. Such is the nodo sviluppato in which 80 these wretched affairs are involved. Lisbon is ready to rise in insurrection the moment the army of the Junta makes its appearance. Southern writes very curious accounts to Clarendon of the state of the town. The jealousy and aversion of the Queen of Portugal to him have compelled him to withdraw altogether from the affairs of the mission, though he is still Secretary of Legation. Our Court continues to take the same interest in the Lisbon Coburgs, and would willingly interfere in their favour with more vigour if the Ministers would consent to do so. Palmerston's defects prove rather useful in his intercourse with the Court. To their wishes or remonstrances he expresses the greatest deference, and then goes on in his own course without paying the least attention to what they have been saying to him.

May 2nd.—Yesterday morning the Duke of Bedford called on me, and told me Lord John's secret intentions about Ireland, which he said he had not yet imparted to any of the Cabinet, and only discussed with him. I believe, however, that Lord John has told Labouchere, and nobody else. He thinks of taking this opportunity of abolishing the office of Lord-Lieutenant and making a Secretary of State for Ireland, who is not to reside permanently but go there occasionally, and he destines this office for Clarendon. This is his plan, which, however, he has by no means determined on, and they both think it doubtful if it would do. The moment, however, seems propitious for effecting this alteration; there is no O'Connell either to inveigh against it or to seize any power that may be, or appear to be, relinquished, and the difficulty of selecting a successor to Lord Bessborough is so great as to be almost insuperable. Meanwhile the town is full of reports about a new Lord-Lieutenant, nobody dreaming of what Lord John is resolving in his mind. Everybody has got some story (from the best authority) of the post having been offered to this person, and pressed upon that. Bessborough still lingers on, and a more striking and touching deathbed has seldom been seen. He is surrounded by the whole of his numerous family, overwhelmed with 81 affliction, a general manifestation of sympathy and regret, and the deep sense which is entertained of the loss which the country will sustain by his death, afford the best and most feeling testimony to his capacity and his merit. He is perfectly aware of his condition, and in full possession of his faculties. Duncannon wrote to John Russell yesterday, as I am told, an admirable letter, which was sent to the Queen. Bessborough was bent upon writing himself to John Russell before he died, and was preparing to do so. Certainly a greater loss both public and private has seldom occurred.


May 3rd.—The Duke of Bedford came here this morning. They now find there are immense difficulties in the way of abolishing the office of Lord-Lieutenant at present; they are assured that if it was proposed the Repealers would raise a furious clamour and be joined by the Orangemen. Some Irishman (he did not tell me who), a sensible man and favourable to the abolition, tells him and Lord John this, consequently Lord John has told the Duke that his going there would be the only solution of the difficulty. This difficulty, he says, is enormous and increasing; that everything tends to prove that dangers are thickening round them, and that next year they will have to propose measures that will be very unpopular. Bessborough has dictated to Lord John a most affecting letter; his daughter, Lady Emily, wrote also, saying that her father was so weak that he was scarcely intelligible, and she was not sure she had quite faithfully written what he had dictated, but that she had given the substance of it as well as she could. He tells Lord John that the dangers and difficulties are very great, and that he foresees their increase, and he expects him to appoint a man to succeed him who shall be firm and bold, and, above all, who will not seek for popularity. I found the Duke most unwilling, and almost, but not quite, decided not to go. He will go if Lord John insists on it, but he dreads and shrinks from it; neither his health, nerves, nor spirits are equal to such a task. The principal reason for his going is, that he alone can go temporarily, and Lord John does not contemplate his 82 remaining. Lord John says he cannot ask Clarendon to go on account of the expense, unless he was to stay there for three years. He says that not one of the men who have been mentioned will do for the office, especially Morpeth; and he thinks Bessborough's warning as to the sort of man they ought to choose was intended to point at Morpeth as the one they ought not to appoint. Morpeth himself is longing to go. 'It is now come to this,' the Duke said: 'it must be either Clarendon, myself, or Lords Justices.' He went from me to Clarendon to talk it over with him. Grey and Labouchere are the only members of the Cabinet to whom he has mentioned the matter. The Duke has had a long confidential letter from Arbuthnot about the Duke of Wellington, and his dread of Grey and his reforms, the object of it being to deter the Government from attempting anything else. It is clear they have dragged the Duke with them as far as he can be persuaded to go, and if they try anything more, and make any further attempts on his patience or condescension, he will then turn restive and resign.


June 7th.19—More than a month has elapsed since I have written anything, and from the usual cause, that of having been occupied with Epsom, Ascot, and Newmarket. The principal events which have occurred have been the deaths of Bessborough and O'Connell, which took place almost at the same time, within a day or two of one another. The departure of the latter, which not long ago would have excited the greatest interest and filled the world with political speculations, was heard almost with unconcern, so entirely had his importance vanished; he had in fact been for some time morally and politically defunct, and nobody seems to know whether his death is likely to prove a good or an evil, or a mere matter of indifference. The death of Bessborough excited far greater interest, and no man ever quitted the world more surrounded by sympathy, approbation, respect, and affection, than he did. During his last 83 illness, which he himself and all about him knew to be fatal, he was surrounded by a numerous and devoted family, and the people of Dublin universally testified their regard for him, and their grief at losing him. He continued in the uninterrupted possession of his faculties almost to the last hour of his existence, and he calmly discussed every matter of public and private interest, in conversation with his children and friends, or dictating letters to John Russell and his colleagues at home. He expired at eleven o'clock at night; at nine he felt his pulse and said he saw the end was approaching. He then sent for all his family, seventeen in number, saw them and took leave of them separately, and gave to each a small present he had prepared, and then calmly lay down to die; in less than two hours all was over. They say that his funeral was one of the finest and most striking sights possible from the countless multitudes which attended it, and the decorum and good feeling which were displayed. Clarendon has kept the whole of Bessborough's staff and household, with one exception; and he told them that he kept them on account of their attachment to his predecessor.

The reputation which Bessborough had acquired, which at the time of his death and since his Irish administration was very considerable, affords a remarkable example of the success which may be obtained by qualities of a superior description, without great talents, without knowledge and information, and without any power of speaking in Parliament. He had long been addicted to politics, and was closely connected by relationship or friendship with the most eminent Whig leaders. His opinions had always been strongly Liberal, and he seemed to have found the place exactly adapted to his capacity and disposition when he became the Whig whipper-in of the House of Commons; he was gradually initiated in all the secrets of that party, and he soon became a very important member of it from his various intimacies and the personal influence he was enabled to exercise. He had a remarkably calm and unruffled temper and very good sound sense. The consequence was that he 84 was consulted by everybody, and usually and constantly employed in the arrangement of difficulties, the adjustment of rival pretensions, and the reconciliation of differences, for which purposes some such man is indispensable and invaluable in every great political association. He continued to acquire fresh weight and influence, and at length nothing could be done without Duncannon as he then was. Everybody liked him, and King William, when he hated the rest of the Whigs, always testified good humour and regard for him. He took office and became a Cabinet Minister, and he contrived to do a vast deal of Parliamentary business, especially in the House of Lords, and carry bills through Parliament without ever making the semblance of a speech. In this way by his good nature and good sense, and an extreme liveliness and elasticity of spirits, which made him a very pleasant and acceptable member of society, he continued to increase in public reputation and private favour, and when the Government was formed last year, his appointment to the Lord-Lieutenancy of Ireland was generally approved of. He had almost always been on good terms with O'Connell, indeed he never was on bad terms with anybody; and as an Irishman he was agreeable to the people. In his administration, adverse and unhappy as the times were, he displayed great industry, firmness, and knowledge of the character and circumstances of the Irish people, and he conciliated the good will of those to whom he had been all his life opposed. Lord Roden, the head of the Orange party, who has all along acted a very honourable and patriotic part, afforded ample testimony to his merits, and gave him a very frank and generous support.


There was a great pother for some time before his death about a successor. The candidates soon became reduced to three, though candidates they must not be called; that is, the choice lay between the Duke of Bedford, Clarendon, and Morpeth. Lord John communicated with the Duke and with Labouchere upon the subject, and perhaps with Lord Lansdowne, and, for a long time, he rather leant to the Duke's going, and tried to persuade him, not, however, without 85 misgivings; but he thought it not fair to ask Clarendon, and he had no mind to send Morpeth, who was dying to go. The Duke was rather tickled at the idea of the appointment, somewhat encouraged by the numerous invitations he received to take it, but desperately afraid of it all the time. To my surprise he did not absolutely reject it, as I thought he would have done. In this wavering and uncertain state of mind he broached the matter to Clarendon, who affected to repudiate it and to dread and dislike it, and urged the Duke to go himself. I say affected, because it soon became very clear to me, as it did to the Duke, that Clarendon had no disinclination to go, and would in fact be excessively mortified and disappointed if anybody went but himself. The play of human nature was amusing; the Duke was not quite willing to give it up, but much more afraid to go, and he enjoyed mightily all the expressions of a desire that he should be Lord-Lieutenant, which were addressed to him from various quarters; on the other hand, Clarendon treated it as a sacrifice and a misfortune; hesitated, objected, and did everything to make it appear as if it were a painful burthen cast upon him, but he was all the time in a great fright lest the Duke should be persuaded to accept it, and he said, and made me say to him, that one of his principal motives for accepting it himself was his desire to save the Duke from a burthen which would, he was sure, break him down with anxiety and labour. A great deal of time was wasted and much useless talk expended in fictitious fears and scruples, but at last it was settled that he should go, as it might just as well have been without any fuss or difficulty, for the truth is that he is the fittest man, and is universally considered so. Nothing can be more flattering and gratifying than the reception he has met with from all ranks and all parties, and he is now (whatever doubts or misgivings he may have had, and, in spite of his secret wishes, he probably had some) quite satisfied with his appointment.

The death of O'Connell, I have said, made little or no sensation here. He had quarrelled with half of his followers, he had ceased to be the head of a great party animated 86 by any great principle, or encouraged to pursue any attainable object; the Repeal cause was become despicable and hopeless without ceasing to be noisy and mischievous. O'Connell knew not what to say or what to do; he had become bankrupt in reputation and in power, and was no longer able to do much good or much harm; broken in health and spirits, and seeing Ireland penetrated by famine and sickness, and reduced to a condition of helpless dependence on England, having lost a great part of his prestige in Ireland without having gained respect or esteem in England, he went away unregretted and unnoticed to breathe his last in a foreign land. He was received everywhere on his route with the marks of respect and admiration which were considered due to his wonderful career and to the great part he had played in the history of his country, and his memory has been treated with some appearance of affection in Ireland, and with a decent respect and forbearance here. History will speak of him as one of the most remarkable men who ever existed; he will fill a great space in its pages; his position was unique; there never was before, and there never will be again, anything at all resembling it. To rise from the humblest situation to the height of empire like Napoleon is no uncommon destiny; there have been innumerable successful adventurers and usurpers; but there never was a man who, without altering his social position in the slightest degree, without obtaining any office or station whatever, raised himself to a height of political power which gave him an enormous capacity for good or evil, and made him the most important and most conspicuous man of his time and country. It would not be a very easy matter to do him perfect justice. A careful examination of his career and an accurate knowledge of his character would be necessary for the purpose. It is impossible to question the greatness of his abilities or the sincerity of his patriotism. His dependence on his country's bounty, in the rent that was levied for so many years, was alike honourable to the contributors and the recipient; it was an income nobly given and nobly earned. Up to the conquest of Catholic Emancipation 87 his was certainly a great and glorious career. What he might have done and what he ought to have done after that, it is not easy to say, but undoubtedly he did far more mischief than good, and exhibited anything but a wise, generous, and patriotic spirit. In Peel's administration he did nothing but mischief, and it is difficult to comprehend with what object and what hope he threw Ireland into confusion, and got up that Repeal agitation, the folly and impracticability of which nobody must have known so well as himself.


June 14th.—The Duke of Bedford has been telling me what has been going on about India and the appointment of Hardinge's successor. In the first place Normanby has been making desperate attempts to get it, but Lord John will not hear of it, and believes the Directors would object to him if he was proposed. Lord John is resolved that this great appointment shall not be made an affair of party, and he desired the Chairs to furnish him with a list of the persons they would consider most eligible for the office of Governor-General without distinction of party. They sent him four or five names—Clarendon, Graham, I think Dalhousie, and the others I forget, but Normanby's was not among them. Lord John has made up his mind to offer the post to Graham, and has communicated his intention to the Duke of Wellington, at the same time consulting him about the military appointment. The Duke approves of Graham, and proposes Sir George Napier for Commander-in-Chief, to which Lord John agrees. Normanby, who had a suspicion that Graham was thought of, from something the Duke of Bedford had said to him, wrote him a long letter, strongly arguing against this appointment, and not a very bad argument either. Meanwhile I have seen Graham, and had a long conversation with him. It began about the Portuguese question, which is now going on in the House of Commons; but after discussing this and some electioneering matters, I asked him what his own projects were. He said he was indifferent about them and had settled nothing. I said, 'You know that it is reported in the world that you are likely to go to India.' He said he had three times refused 88 to go there; that it would always be a matter of much doubt and deliberation, both on private and public grounds, whether he should accept it if offered; but at present it was out of the question, for Lord John Russell was evidently animated by very implacable sentiments towards him, and he never would take an office from him while he was in such a disposition, and when the appointment would be clearly offered at the suggestion of others, and not by his own free will. He then talked a great deal about the feeling which subsisted between himself and the Whigs—of their resentment towards him; of the way in which he had been persecuted by them; of Lord John's sending for him in the autumn of 1845; about the change of government; how gratified he had been; how frankly he had behaved; how desirous he had been to give every aid in his power to his successor; how generally friendly to the Government, of which he gave instances; and then how hurt he had been at the bitterness and severity of Lord John's attack upon him in reply to his speech objecting to the exclusion of Catholics from the grant; that that speech had proved to him that Lord John's dislike of him was unmitigated and unappeasable. This is a very brief summary of a long discourse he made to me on the subject. I told him he was mistaken in Lord John's sentiments, which were by no means so bitter and hostile as he imagined, and on the occasion he alluded to, Lord John had spoken under great irritation and with strong resentment, thinking that Graham had made a most offensive and unjust speech, and that he had most unfairly done his best to embarrass the Government; that such was the general opinion of Lord John's friends, and I would not conceal from him my own opinion; that his speech had been calculated to produce that effect; that it had appeared to many people, to me amongst them, that Peel had been conscious of the effect produced by his (Graham's) speech, and had spoken, as he did, in a very different tone to repair the effect of it. He must not therefore infer from the vivacity of Lord John's tone on that occasion that he was animated by such sentiments as he ascribed to him; that I did 89 not mean to say he had any feelings of extreme cordiality; but I had reason to know that he rendered ample justice to his public character and capacity, and felt no bitterness towards him; that some day I would give him proofs of the truth of what I said, but that in the meantime I must beg him to take my word for it; and I entreated him not to deceive himself by the exaggerated, and, I was convinced, unfounded notion he entertained of Lord John's disposition. A great deal passed on this subject, and I found that he was very low and very much vexed, both on the above ground and about a very mortifying communication that had been made to him about Cumberland.


Aglionby had informed him they were going to put up Charles Howard and William Marshall, which was an intimation that that they would not have him. He replied that he would not pledge himself about the two candidates, but would support Howard, saying civil things about Lord Carlisle and the whole family. The other day he got a letter, not very judiciously worded—cold, but intended to be civil—from Morpeth, announcing that he was going to support the two candidates on his own side of the House, accompanied with some expression of regret that his support could not rather have been given to him. Graham took this very ill, and was evidently excessively hurt at the way in which he was thus excluded from the representation. All these things were evidently souring his mind, and I strongly suspect stimulating him to act an unfriendly part in the Portuguese discussion, and I was therefore very glad that I had an opportunity of saying what I did, for I said quite enough to let him see that India is full in view, and I do not think he will now do anything to mar this prospect. He would not tell me what he or Peel meant to do, and Peel happens to be exceedingly out of humour in consequence of young Campbell's speech at Cambridge; so is Graham. Graham told me he never saw Peel so put out and so angry with anything, and they are the more so because old Jack (Lord Campbell) went down, they say, to Cambridge with his son. 90

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

The first thing that happened was that Peel made an admirable speech in the House of Commons, strong in defence of Government, and without any 'buts' or drawbacks. He spoke very early. Very few people were there, and many went away after; so, finding the House in this state, George Bentinck made Newdigate count it out, and the whole thing thus fell to the ground. This he considered a very skilful piece of jockeyship, apparently unconscious of the ridicule which it cast on the whole affair. Great was the astonishment in the Lords when news was brought that the House of Commons had been counted out. Stanley had gone home to dinner, and after a few insignificant speeches (the Duke of Wellington having spoken strongly for the Government) nobody seemed disposed to go on. Clarendon went to Ellenborough and to Brougham, and asked them if they would not speak: both declined; the latter said it was very dull and he should say nothing. Accordingly they divided, many on both sides absent, and Government had a majority of twenty. 91 Stanley was not present, and when he came back to the House found it all over. So ended this solemn farce. Stanley would have beaten the Government if he could, and have thought it very good fun, trusting to the majority he knew they would have in the Commons to induce them to put up with a defeat. Lord John, however, was not disposed to take it so quietly, and there can be very little doubt that Brougham and the rest saw that a division against Government in the Lords without any division for them in the Commons would make matters very different, and the sudden termination of the debate in the other House greatly cooled their ardour.


The other day I met John Russell in the Park as he was going to Apsley House by appointment with the Duke. He said he was going on important business (it was about the Indian appointments), and he asked me if I thought he had better say anything to him or not about the Statue.20 I said 'Better not.' The Duke of Bedford told me after that it was very fortunate advice I gave Lord John, for if he had said anything there would have been an explosion. The Duke said to Arbuthnot, when Lord John wrote to say he wished to see him, 'What can he want? what can he be coming about? do you think it is about the Statue?' and then he went off on that sore subject, and said he should place his resignation in Lord John's hands! However, Lord John said nothing about it, and the Duke was put into great good humour by being consulted about the Indian affairs; and he said afterwards that he only wished they would get the pedestal made, put the Statue up, and have done with it. But it is curious, as showing how sensitive and irritable he 92 is become, how the strong mind is weakened. He is, however, very happy on the whole, in excellent health, and treated with the greatest deference and attention by everybody. The Queen is excessively kind to him. On Monday his grand-daughter was christened at the Palace, and the Queen dined with him in the evening. She had written him a very pretty letter expressing her wish to be godmother to the child, saying she wished her to be called Victoria, which name was so peculiarly appropriate to a grand-daughter of his. All these attentions marvellously please him.

June 20th.—The Duke of Bedford told me he wanted to speak to me. I called on him, and he said, 'I wish you would see Graham again; a good deal has passed; I won't tell you what now, but I am curious to know what he will say to you in reference to his last conversation.' I accordingly called on Graham; he talked incessantly de omnibus rebus, but never alluded to Lord John or himself, or India, or to what I had before said to him. I had considerable difficulty in getting anything in, but at last, just as I was going and seeing he was resolved to say nothing, I said 'I hope you have thought on what I said to you the other day, for I am quite certain I was right.' He broke in 'Oh, no, that is quite impossible,' and then began again upon Ireland, evidently determined to avoid the former subject. I returned to the Duke and told him what had passed between us, when with some difficulty I got him to tell me what had occurred. As soon as the Portuguese debate was over, Lord John wrote to Graham a very kind and handsome letter, and offered him India, saying that he wished to forget all their differences and only to remember that they had been colleagues in Lord Grey's Government. Graham asked leave to consult Peel, who at once put an extinguisher upon it, entreated him to decline it, and said that their support of the Government would be considered to have been given in reference to this appointment. Peel gave many reasons, which I now forget, against his taking it, and (as I suspect very reluctantly) Graham did decline the offer, of course with many expressions of gratitude and gratification. Peel 93 himself said nothing could be handsomer than the offer. Lord John, however, would not accept the refusal as final, and caused Graham to be informed that he should not appoint anybody else, but wait and see what might occur. Graham might not get a seat in the next Parliament, or the reasons which now influenced him might cease to exist; he would, therefore, not fill up the office till Sir John Hobhouse told him it was absolutely necessary to do so. So the matter stands at present. It is a profound secret only communicated 'to some of the Cabinet,' and Graham has not even told his wife. No wonder he was so reserved with me, though the Duke thinks he might as well have said that he was satisfied my opinion of Lord John's sentiments towards him was correct. Graham, who is always in the garret or in the cellar, was in such spirits the other day as compared with the day before, that it was easy to see something agreeable had happened to him. He talked of all sorts of things: poor laws, railroads, abolition of Lord-Lieutenancy, very good sense and friendly to the Government; said that they had been unlucky in Strutt's appointment, of which great things had been expected and which was a complete failure, and he strongly advised the Government should not persist in their Bill this year.21 I told the Duke of Bedford this, and I find the Bill was withdrawn last night.


It is very curious how jealously and anxiously Peel's actions and disposition are scanned, and amusing to hear what people say of them. Bonham went to Arbuthnot the other day, and told him Peel was getting up a party, and expected to have 250 people in the next Parliament. Then Lady Westmorland went and told him that Peel had told her he had 120 followers in the House of Commons, and that he alone kept the Government in office. They put these things together, and inferred all sorts of deep designs and ambitious projects on his part. Arbuthnot told the Duke of Bedford, who told me. I laughed at them, and 94 said that probably what Bonham and Lady Westmorland reported was false or exaggerated, and it was better to look at Peel's acts and see how they corresponded with such supposed intentions. He disclaims being the leader of any party at all, totidem verbis, and the other day he did not tell anybody what he was going to do. His speech was calculated to strengthen the Government, and to render them independent, whereas his policy would be to weaken them, if he had such designs as are imputed to him. I told Graham what I had heard, and what I had said. He said, 'Peel's position is a very extraordinary one, and he is determined to enjoy it. He has an immense fortune, is in full possession of his faculties and vigour, has great influence and consideration in Parliament and in the country; he has shown the world that he is capax imperii. In this position he will not retire from public life to please any man; he does not want to be the head of a party, still less to return to office, but he will continue to take that part in public affairs which he considers best for the public service, reserving to himself the faculty of acting according to circumstances in any political contingency.' I forget the exact phraseology he used, but what he conveyed was that Peel had made no positive resolution never to enter into the public service again, and that circumstances might occur to induce him to do so, but that he neither desired nor expected anything of the kind, nor would do anything to bring it about. At present he is certainly acting a very creditable and a very useful part, and one, if he persists in it, which will redound to his honour, and greatly enhance his reputation. But it is difficult to feel entire confidence in a man who is not really high-minded. If he once begins to shuffle and intrigue, he is lost. The best security for his good conduct is that it is not only his best policy, but it is almost his only possible policy. His influence and his power depend upon his great abilities, and upon his judicious and honourable employment of them; he has no party at his back, he has few political and still fewer personal adherents, nor does he seem to make any exertions to acquire either the one or the other. 95


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

July 13th.—The session is drawing to a close, but far from satisfactorily for the Government, who have lost ground in public estimation. Bill after bill has been thrown over, and, after a great deal of time entirely wasted, the session will end with hardly anything having been done. The last two measures given up were the Health of Towns and the Irish Estates Bills, and then the affair of the Wellington Statue came to crown all, in which the Government were bullied and tricked by Croker and Trench, who contrived to enlist the passions or prejudices of the Duke in their cause, made him their cat's-paw, and so accomplished their ends. The vexatious opposition to the Health of Towns Bill by George Bentinck, Hudson, and Co., made it very difficult to carry it, but the truth is they were wrong to bring in such measures so late in the session, and the measures were not framed in a manner to get through with short discussions. It is easy to say 'What could they do?' and 'They could not help it,' but the public does not analyse but looks to results, and therefore sees in the whole conduct of affairs proofs of weakness, vacillation, and mismanagement. This discredits the Government; they had before no popularity, and 96 were accepted as a necessity under circumstances rather than as desirable. Ellesmere, who is very friendly to them, tells me they have no credit or fame so far as his observation goes in the country, and people say 'this can't go on,' though without any fixed idea what is to be done. All this is very deplorable. Then Lord John does not make up by his personal qualities for his political mistakes or shortcomings; he is not conciliatory, and sometimes gives grievous offence. The other night in the House of Commons he was so savage with Hume, without any cause, that he enlisted all sympathies in Hume's favour, and was generally blamed for his tone and manner. He is miserably wanting in amenity, and in the small arts of acquiring popularity, which are of such incalculable value to the leader of a party, still more of a Government; then, while he has the reputation of being obstinate, he is wanting in firmness. His conduct about his own election has been very unwise, and has given great offence; he has suffered himself to be persuaded to stand for the City of London in conjunction with three other Liberals, including Rothschild, and to make a great contest, instead of coming quietly in by a compromise, which all moderate men desired, and none more than Lord John himself. He was so opposed to a contest, and especially to Rothschild's standing (which is a great piece of impertinence, when he knows he can't take his seat), that he threatened to resign himself if they persisted in their scheme of bringing in all four, and then he was over-persuaded to consent to the contest. They offered to pay his expenses; this he refused, and the Duke will have to pay them. In short, on the whole, the Government is not in good odour: they don't inspire confidence; they are neither popular nor respected, but they are indispensable, and have the strength of circumstances. If the country was polled, nineteen out of twenty would vote for Peel's being minister; the Queen would be enchanted to have him back; but Peel has no party, and can have none unless circumstances and necessities make one for him. The great Tory party is acephalous, or rather they are weak from the utter incompetence of their leaders, so that matters are 97 in that sort of lock which prevents any other combination and any change, but which renders the present Government very powerless.


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

July 22nd.—All last week at Croxteth for Liverpool races, on Saturday to Worsley, passing four hours at Liverpool to see sights; went to the docks, town hall, &c.; and met Cardwell canvassing. I was told there that Peel is very unpopular in Liverpool on account of the heavy losses that have been 98 sustained this year by mercantile men, all of which they attribute to his Currency Bill, consequently the Peelite Conservatives are very few; but my informant added that nevertheless everybody, even those who were most angry with him on account of this Bill, would be glad to see him in office again. I expressed surprise at this; he said they all thought him the best workman, and found when they approached him on business that he knew everything about the subjects which interested them. Liverpool is increasing enormously in trade, which is now greater than in London. Last week appeared Peel's letter to the electors of Tamworth, and John Russell's speech in the City. The latter was very good, and the former not bad in its way; but Peel's case for himself, however well put, is no answer to the accusations which have been elaborated in the 'Quarterly Review' with all the malignity and virulence of ungovernable hatred. There is some truth in the article, which is, however, revolting from its coarse and savage spirit. Arbuthnot told me yesterday an anecdote about that article. It was a review of a pamphlet called 'Pitt and Peel Policy.' Croker contrived to get hold of a copy of the proof-sheets of it, and sent it to the Duke of Wellington, pointing out a passage rather offensive to him, and informing the Duke he meant to review it. The Duke in sending it back advised Croker if he did review it to do so in terms of decency and moderation, and asked to see the review before it was printed. The passage about the Duke was struck out in the process of correction, and Croker had to alter his review in consequence; but he disregarded the Duke's advice, and published the article without letting the Duke see it. He gave as his reason for this that he wished the Duke to be able to say that he had never read a word of it. It seems that after some of his former attacks he tried to put himself on his former footing of intimacy with Peel, and wrote to him 'My dear Peel.' Peel would not hear of it, wrote to him a dry, formal answer, and told him in so many words that their intimacy was at an end. Croker was furious, and has been overflowing with gall and bitterness ever since.22




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

London, October 23rd, 1847.—After many weeks, or months, during which from idleness or unexplainable repugnance I have never written a line, I at last resume my pen, less for the purpose of writing the history of these past weeks than to begin again to record what occurs to me. Stirring weeks they have been, and full of interest of the most lively and general description. In the midst of all the agitation that has prevailed at home and abroad, intrigues and quarrels and wars begun or threatened in various countries, we have been absorbed by the great panic in the money market, which is still at its height, and of which no man ventures to predict, or thinks he can see, the termination. There never was a subject on which such diversified opinions prevail. Men are indeed pretty well agreed as to the cause of the present distress, and in admitting that it is the result of over-speculation, and of the Railway mania which fell upon the country two years ago. But the great contest is as to the share Peel's Bill of 1844 has had in aggravating and keeping up the state of distress and difficulty in which trade 100 and commerce are involved, and whether this Bill ought to be presently relaxed by the authority of Government or not. On these points the greatest disputes and varieties of opinion exist. Charles Wood has, however, been stout and resolute from the first, and quite determined not to consent to any interference. There have been some different opinions, and some shades of difference, some doubts, amongst the members of the Cabinet, though I do not know the particulars of them; but yesterday the Cabinet broke up, having terminated their deliberations, and resolved as matters now stand not to do anything. My own belief is that this will prove a sound resolution, and that they would only have aggravated the evil by interference. I shall not, however, write anything more now on this subject. I have nothing secret or curious or interesting to record, and the details of it will be found in a hundred publications.

The most remarkable circumstance is the intense interest and curiosity which are felt about Peel's opinions and intentions. Everybody asks with anxiety what he says, what he thinks, what he will do. His vanity may well be gratified by the immense importance which is attached to his opinions and to the course he may take and recommend; his power seems to be as great out of office as it ever was in office; nothing was ever so strange or anomalous as his position. Half the commercial world attributes the distress and danger to his Bill; he is liked by nobody. The Conservatives detest him with unquenched hatred, and abuse him with unmitigated virulence. The Whigs regard him with a mixture of fear, suspicion, and dislike, but treat him with great deference and respect. There is a party which is called by others and by itself, but not (publicly at least) acknowledged by him as his party; it is far from numerous, and too weak for substantive power. He has never opened his lips on the great questions of the day, and is an oracle shrouded in mystery. It would seem as if a man thus abandoned by the majority of his former political friends and adherents, without personal attachments and following, an object of hatred to one party and of suspicion to the other, the country at large 101 or a great proportion of it attributing to his financial measures the distress by which all are afflicted or endangered, could by no possibility occupy any great and important position in the country: nevertheless he does. All eyes are turned upon him as if by a sort of fascination. If the country could be polled to decide who should be Minister, he would be elected by an immense majority. There is a prevalent opinion that he must return to power; nobody knows when or how, but the notion is that the present men are weak, that the public necessities and perils are great, and if a crisis of difficulty and danger should arrive, that Peel is the only man capable of extricating the country from it. The consequence of all this is that his prestige and his influence are enormous.


Newmarket, November 1st.—I came here last Saturday week. On Friday I believed it to have been settled that nothing should be done by the Government to relieve the panic. On that day, however, George Glyn and other bankers had had an interview with John Russell, and they came from it with a persuasion that he would do something.23 The same evening Peel came to town on his way to Windsor. Charles Wood went to him, laid before him the state of affairs, telling him all the accounts they had received from the country, all the pressure they were undergoing, and explained their views and intentions. On the next day, Saturday, still more urgent demands were made, and still more alarming representations arrived. On Sunday, a Cabinet (or half Cabinet) was held, and there it was resolved to grant the relief that has been seen. The Duke of Bedford was bidden to Windsor to meet Peel, who went there on Saturday. At dinner on Sunday the Queen received Lord John's box with the result of the deliberations of the Cabinet, which he requested Her Majesty to communicate to Peel. The next day the Duke of Bedford had a long 102 conversation with Peel, very amicable and very satisfactory. He spoke in high terms of Lord John Russell and commended the Government, expressed his acquiescence under the peculiar circumstances of the case in the resolution they had come to, and declared his intention to support them. He appears to have talked very openly, and in a very friendly and even generous spirit. The Duke happened to have with him a letter which Lord John had written to him at the time of Peel's bill passing through Parliament, in which he had expressed his approval of the general principle, but found fault with some of the details. This letter the Duke showed to Peel, who was exceedingly pleased, and told him his brother was quite right, and that his bill had been faulty in the details which he had remarked upon.

London, November 8th.—The Archbishop of York is dead.24 He was in no way remarkable except for the wonderful felicity of his whole life from first to last. It would perhaps be difficult to find a greater example of uninterrupted prosperity. He was not a man of great capacity nor of profound learning, but he had peculiarly the mens sana in corpore sano. He was nobly born and highly allied. He enjoyed robust health, had a vigorous frame with a sound understanding, and he was cheerfully obliging, good-tempered, and sociable; his profession, his tastes, pursuits, and the quality of his mind cast him into the best and choicest society, where he played his part not brilliantly but with an amiable and graceful prosperity. He had many friends and no enemies, was universally esteemed and respected, and beloved by his own family. He was the most prosperous of men, full of professional dignities and emoluments, and the inheritor of a large private fortune; he was the father of a numerous family, whom he saw flourishing around him in opulence and worldly success; he lived in the exercise of a magnificent hospitality, and surrounded with social enjoyments. No misfortunes or sorrows disturbed the placid current of his life, and his mental and bodily faculties continued 103 unimpaired to the last; his illness, which lasted only a few hours, was without pain, and no more than the natural exhaustion of ninety-one accomplished years. Such a life and such a death so irreproachable and fortunate may well excite envy and admiration. He and Mr. Grenville so conjoined in life died at the same age, each having reached his ninety-first year, and within eleven months of each other—men in their different ways equally prosperous, virtuous, and happy.


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

The state of Ireland is awful. I have written to Clarendon repeatedly, urging him to ask for great powers. He was reluctant, and wanted to try the force of the law as it is, and the Cabinet were not disposed to adopt strong coercive measures; but the public voice loudly demands coercion and repression, and Lord Lansdowne told me yesterday he was resolved to act in accordance with the general feeling. Parliament never met in more difficult and disturbed times: complete disorganisation, famine and ruin in Ireland, financial difficulty, general alarm and insecurity here, want of capital, want of employment. It requires all one's faith in the general soundness and inherent strength of 'the thing' (as Cobbett called it) to silence one's apprehensions. Then Colonial distress is impending, by which I am likely to be personally affected to the extent perhaps of half what I possess. I thank God that I regard this contingency with the utmost tranquillity or insensibility. I should not like it, but if the necessity arises I hope and believe I can make the necessary sacrifices and changes in my habits 104 without repining outwardly or inwardly. I have not heard or known much lately that is worth recording, and I am in one of my fits of disinclination to write.


December 1st.—I went to the House of Lords the night Parliament opened, and heard Stanley's speech. It lasted above two hours, was a declaration of war, very slashing and flashing, and drew forth vehement cheers from the Lords behind him. It was a regular Stanleyan speech, just like himself, and exhibits all his unfitness for the great functions of government and legislation: not but what there was much truth in a great deal he said, especially about Ireland. The next day George Bentinck bellowed and gesticulated for two hours in the House of Commons with the same violence but without the same eloquence as Stanley. Everybody looked with impatience for the Irish measures, and everybody expected (most people earnestly desiring) that they should be as strong as they could be made. In the House of Lords I had seen the Duke of Bedford for a moment, who told me they were the result of a compromise between Clarendon and the Government, the latter refusing to give all he had required, and the former having resolved not to stay with less than he eventually obtained. The night before last Sir George Grey introduced the Government measures, which appeared to almost everybody insufficient for the object. Peel however supported them in a very dexterous speech. He said he felt bound to support the Government in whatever they thought fit to propose, and that it was not for Parliament to force upon them greater powers than they in their discretion required; but he hinted his apprehensions lest some of the provisions of the Bill, or rather its deficiencies, would be found obstructions of the objects in view. The Irish were evidently surprised and had expected more stringent measures, and in truth it would have been just as easy to carry a really efficient measure as this, which will probably prove abortive. This morning I have a letter from Clarendon, who tells me what took place between himself and the Cabinet on the subject. He says, 'I expect the Bill will prove unsatisfactory to all 105 parties...nevertheless I hope it will answer not so much by its own provisions as by the evidence it will afford that Parliament and the Government are in earnest.... In the present temper of England fancy what a figure the Government would have cut if they had opened Parliament without any repressive measure and announced that the ordinary law would prove sufficient, and that to it things were left! they would have been looked on as little better than accessories or instigators, and at all events I have the satisfaction of having saved them from this very serious scrape, which really would have caused an immediate increase of murder here. No one could be more desirous than myself to avoid Coercion Bills, or indeed to ask for any increased powers; but when I found that the ordinary law was insufficient to protect life and property, I sent over the heads of two Bills, both of which I meant should be permanent—one for punishing districts in which crimes were committed; the other for registering arms, &c.—a sort of police regulation proper for any country and especially required for Ireland. These Bills were ignored by the Cabinet, for which various utterly inexplicable reasons were given, and Lord John Russell said he hoped at least to get through the winter without any extraordinary measures. I then wrote both to Lord Lansdowne and John Russell to say that though I did not wish to cause them any embarrassment, and would get on here as well as I could for as long as I could, yet that nothing should induce me to remain an hour after I thought my power of usefulness was gone, as I was sure it would be unless my hands were strengthened. This produced an immediate change, and the only question then was what would be the best form of repression. A good deal of time was lost on this, and Sir George Grey at length proposed as a model one of the Six Acts (1819). I did not like it very much, but I had no wish obstinately to adhere to my own Bills, which perhaps might not have been stringent enough, as they were proposed before things had got so bad and the spirit of combination was so manifest, 106 and they were moreover intended to be permanent. So, after amending the Bill a little with the law officers here, I consented to it, and hope it will not be a failure when put into operation.' So that if Lord John and his Cabinet had been left to themselves they would have done nothing, and have let the Irish murderers do their worst with no other hindrance than the ordinary course of law! Clarendon saved the Government by insisting; for if they had met Parliament and proposed nothing, they would have been swept away in a whirlwind of indignation. Addresses would have been proposed in both Houses and carried by immense majorities, and the Government would have been at an end.

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


On Friday last Peel made a great speech on Wood's statement in re the Bank Charter. It was very able, and the Government were delighted because he supported them 107 so cordially; the Opposition cut a very miserable figure and showed how wavering and uncertain they are, without plan, object, or tactics. They divided on a question of adjournment, and sent their weakness forth to the country, but did not move an amendment on which they might have united all their force and caught many stray votes. I saw Graham two days ago; he was chuckling over their mismanagement, said that if they had moved that it should be an instruction to the Committee to report at once on the Bill of 1844, they would have put the Government into difficulties and might have divided a large number; but he sees how disorganised and inefficient they are. He talked about a great many things in an amicable strain towards the Government, and a great deal on the defences of the country, about which the Duke of Wellington is in such a perturbed state of mind.

The Duke wrote a very long and able letter to Sir John Burgoyne some time ago on this subject; this letter Lady Burgoyne and her daughters copied and distributed among their friends. Pigou, a meddling zealot, who does nothing but read Blue Books and write letters to the 'Times' and 'Chronicle,' contrived to get hold of a copy, and fired off a letter to the 'Morning Chronicle,' with a part of its contents. The Duke was not pleased at this, and Lord John Russell was very angry; it has made a noise in the world. The Duke always accuses his old colleagues of doing nothing about the defences, and turning a deaf ear to his remonstrances. Graham says this is not true, and he showed me a very elaborate paper he had drawn up for the Cabinet, with various recommendations, which he left with Sir George Grey when he left the Home Office, and the copy of a Bill for calling out the militia, which was also left with Fox Maule. He talked about Ireland, and said that the Master of the Rolls (Smith) had drawn up a Bill for the sale of entailed estates, which he recommended Clarendon to look at. He told me that Peel thought this an excellent Parliament, promising to be practical and business-like, serious listeners and men intent on not letting the time of the 108 House be wasted as it has lately been by eternal talkers, and continual early adjournments. Everybody was alarmed at the aspect of this Parliament at first, even the Speaker, who thought it would be unmanageable. I laughed at their fears from the first, and now everybody says it is an excellent Parliament.

A few days ago I met Dr. Wiseman, and had much talk with him about Rome and the Pope's recent rescript about the colleges in Ireland. He said it was all owing to there being no English Ambassador at Rome, and no representative of the moderate Irish clergy; Irish ecclesiastical affairs were managed by Machale through Franzoni, head of the Propaganda, and Father Ventura, who has the Pope's ear, and he strongly advised that Murray and his party should send an agent to Rome, and that Lord Minto26 should communicate with Father Ventura, who is an able and a good man, deeply interested in Irish affairs, and anxious for British connexion. He talked a great deal about the Pope, who, he said, had not time to enquire into these matters himself, and took his inspirations from the above-named personages; that he is of unbending firmness in all that relates to religion, but liberal and anxious to conciliate England. He thinks the rescript may be early got rid of by a little management, and he mentioned an instance of the Pope's good sense and fairness in a matter relating to a Scotch educational establishment in which a Dr. Gillies was concerned. I am going to speak to Lord John Russell about these things, and to try and persuade him to send Normanby as Ambassador to Rome; he is ready to go, and it would be a very good appointment, besides the great advantage of getting him away from Paris, where he is very uncomfortable, and feels the gêne and mortification of his position.


December 15th.—I called on Lord John Russell three days ago and told him what Wiseman had said, and also 109 about Normanby and Rome. He said he had ordered a Bill to be drawn up to legalise our intercourse with the Pope. I told him also what Graham desired me to do. He said he had read his paper at the time, but made no further remarks on Graham's communication. Last night in the House of Lords Stanley made a speech about Minto and his mission, when Lord Lansdowne made a very good reply and spoke out about our diplomatic relations with the Pope.

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

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

December 22nd.—On Sunday to the Temple Church; 110 divine music and a very good preacher—a Mr. Hawes. Monday night I dined with Milman and went to the Westminster Play; pretty well done. The Hampden controversy flares away. Hampden himself has written a long, querulous, ill-composed letter to Lord John Russell, which he had better have let alone; if he did write, he should have written a shorter, more pithy and more dignified letter. Every day makes the fault of having appointed him more apparent.

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

I went yesterday to St. George's Hospital to see the chloroform tried. A boy two years and a half old was cut for a stone. He was put to sleep in a minute; the stone was so large and the bladder so contracted, the operator could not get hold of it, and the operation lasted above twenty minutes, with repeated probings by different instruments; the chloroform was applied from time to time, and the child never exhibited the slightest sign of consciousness, and it was exactly the same as operating on a dead body. A curious example was shown of what is called the étiquette of the profession. The operator (whose name I forget) could not extract the stone, so at last he handed the instrument to Keate, who is the finest operator possible, and he got hold of the stone. When he announced that he had done so, the first man begged to have the forceps back that he might draw it out, and it was transferred to him; but in taking it he let go the stone, and the whole thing had to be 111 done over again. It was accomplished, but not of course without increasing the local inflammation, and endangering the life of the child. I asked Keate why, when he had got hold of the stone, he did not draw it out. He said the other man's 'dignity' would have been hurt if he had not been allowed to complete what he had begun! I have no words to express my admiration for this invention, which is the greatest blessing ever bestowed on mankind, and the inventor of it the greatest of benefactors, whose memory ought to be venerated by countless millions for ages yet to come. All the great discoveries of science sink into insignificance when compared with this. It is a great privilege to have lived in the times which saw the production of steam, of electricity, and now of ether—that is, of the development and application of them to human purposes, to the multiplication of enjoyments and the mitigation of pain. But wonderful as are the powers and the feats of the steam-engine and the electric telegraph, the chloroform far transcends them all in its beneficent and consolatory operations.


December 26th.—Lamartine's 'Histoire des Girondins' is the most successful book that has been published for many years. He is the Jenny Lind of literature; his book is on every table and in every mouth; it just suits the half-informed and the idle, whom it dazzles, amuses, and interests; but his apparent partiality shocks the humanity of the age; and the generality of readers are unable to comprehend his philosophical analysis, and psychological theories of Robespierre's character. One of his most striking anecdotes is the conversation he gives between Louis Philippe and Danton, in which, according to Lamartine, Danton predicts to the young Duc de Chartres that he will one day be King, and tells him when that happens to remember the prophecy of Danton. I last night asked the Duc de Broglie28 if that anecdote is true. He said it was not true: the King indeed had had a conversation with Danton, when the latter said to him, 'Young man, what do you do here? Your place is 112 with the army.' So much of it is true, but the rest—the essential part, the prediction—is all false. The Duke told me he had read the King's own account of the conversation in his own journal, where it is recorded as he described. He said the King had kept a copious journal from a very early period. He afterwards talked a great deal about him, of his great industry and activity, of the quantity he read and wrote, and that he read and commented upon all the documents submitted to him for his signature. I regret not having made more acquaintance than I have done here with the Duke de Broglie, and Jarnac gives me to understand that he had rather expected me to cultivate him more than I have, and was disposed to receive my advances. The chief reason for my not doing so was that I found the greatest difficulty in understanding what he says.

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


Last week, after a few days' illness, without pain or trouble, Lord Harrowby died at Sandon, having just completed his eighty-fifth year.29 The three old friends, Tom Grenville, the Archbishop of York, and Lord Harrowby, thus died all three of old age, peacefully and painlessly, within twelve months. Lord Harrowby survived Mr. Grenville exactly a year, and the Archbishop three months. He was the last of his generation and of the colleagues of Mr. Pitt, the sole survivor of those stirring times and mighty contests. He 113 had all along such bad health that half a century ago his life was considered a very bad one, and yet he reached his eighty-sixth year with his faculties very little impaired. He was at the top of the second-rate men, always honourable and straightforward, generally liberal and enlightened, greatly esteemed and respected. No man ever passed through a long political life more entirely without blemish or suspicion. It is curious that in the biographical notices of him, which according to the custom of the present day have appeared in the newspapers, no mention, or hardly any, has been made of by far the most remarkable transaction in which he ever was engaged, that of procuring the passing of the second reading of the second Reform Bill in the House of Lords—one of the most important services, as it turned out, that any man ever rendered to his country. In conjunction with Lord Wharncliffe he accomplished this, his conduct being perfectly disinterested, for he had long before resolved never again to take office, and had refused to be Prime Minister on the death of Canning. I was in their confidence, and much concerned in the whole of that transaction, as fully appears in my Journal of that period. His speech on the first Reform Bill was very celebrated, exceedingly able, and superior to any other he ever made. He was remarkably well informed. Madame de Staël speaks of him somewhere as Lord Harrowby, 'qui connaît notre littérature un peu mieux que nous-mêmes;' but his precise manner and tart disposition prevented his being agreeable in society. He was very religious, very generous, and a man of the strictest integrity in private and in public life. I lived a great deal with him, but all my intimacy was with his admirable wife, whose virtues and merits I have elsewhere recorded.

Bowood, January 7th.—I came here on Tuesday to meet the Duke of Bedford, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord Devon, Lord Auckland, &c. Wood talked to me about his scheme of taxation; he has been in great doubt how he should apportion and increase (as he must) the income-tax, whether income or property. After much consideration he appears to have nearly made up his mind to impose three 114 per cent. on Ireland, and to raise it in England to five, or perhaps something less; to announce that the increase is to be temporary, but the three per cent. to be permanent; and then, on the strength of the extension to Ireland, to propose a grant to that country, without which Clarendon cannot get on. Peel will concur in this plan.

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


The Hampden war has been turning greatly to the advantage of the Doctor; his enemies have exposed themselves in the most flagrant manner, and Archdeacon Hare has written a very able pamphlet also exposing the rascality (for that is the proper word) of his accusers, and affording his own valuable testimony to Hampden's orthodoxy; above all things, Sly Sam of Oxford (my would-be director and confessor) has covered himself with ridicule and disgrace. The disgrace is the greater because everybody sees through his motives: he has got into a scrape at Court and is trying to scramble out of it; there, however, he is found out, and his favour seems to have long been waning. The Duke of Bedford tells me the Queen and Prince are in a state of hot zeal in this matter. The Prince writes to Lord John every 115 day, and urges him to prosecute Dean Merewether, which of course Lord John is too wise to do. That Dean is a very paltry fellow, and has moved heaven and earth to get made a bishop himself; besides memorialising the Queen, he wrote to Lord Lansdowne and suggested to him to put an end to the controversy by making him a bishop now, and Hampden at the next vacancy. The whole proceeding reflects great discredit on the great mass of clergymen who have joined in the clamour against Hampden, and on the Oxonian majority who condemned him, for it is now pretty clear that very few, if any, of them had ever read his writings. Now that they are set forth, and people see his unintelligible jargon about dogmas themselves unintelligible, there must be some dispassionate men who will be disgusted and provoked with the whole thing, and at the ferocity with which these holy disputants assault and vituperate each other about that which none of them understand, and which it is a mere mockery and delusion to say that any of them really believe; it is cant, hypocrisy, and fanaticism from beginning to end. There is that old fawning sinner, the Bishop of Exeter; it appears that a dozen years ago he called on Hampden at Oxford to express to him the pleasure with which he had read his Bampton Lectures, and to compliment him on them. The Archbishop of Dublin was present on this occasion.

January 12th.—From Bowood to Middleton on Saturday, to town on Monday 10th. The morning I left Bowood, Senior showed me the correspondence (not published) between the Bishop of Oxford and Hampden. It is creditable to the latter; the former really very despicable. The Bishop put a parcel of questions to him as to his belief on points of faith and doctrine, some of which were the most ordinary matter of belief, others unintelligible. Hampden said he might have regarded such questions on the most elementary points of doctrine as an insult, but he would accept his assurances that they were put in a friendly spirit (though he must say much of his conduct was at variance with such professions) and would therefore say 'Yes' to all of them. 116 To his last letter announcing his having withdrawn the charges and read his works, Hampden merely sent a dry acknowledgement of having received the letter.

January 17th.—Still this Hampden affair. Kelly got a rule in Queen's Bench, and it will be argued in a few days. Tractarians hope from the known Puseyism of Coleridge and Patteson that the rule may be made absolute; but the lawyers don't expect it and think a strong Court would not have given a rule. However, it shows the anomaly (not to say worse) of the whole ecclesiastical proceeding under the Act of Henry VIII. The High Churchmen, who want a separation of State from Church, though it does not seem clear what it is they contemplate, are all on the qui vive, and fancy their projects are put in a fair train by all these proceedings; but though some of my friends think very seriously of these crotchets, I believe they are very despicable and harmless. This morning I got a letter from the Duke of Bedford enclosing one from William Cowper to him, informing him what took place when Hampden was made Regius Professor. William Cowper had given me some account of it at the time, which I inserted in my journal, and I copied it out for the Duke of Bedford during our discussion. I don't find that this more detailed account varies much from the other, though it contains several more particulars, and one relating to the Archbishop's nominees curious enough. His account of the transaction is this, saying he got it from Lord Melbourne, and by reference to letters which passed at the time: 'The Archbishop of Canterbury came to Lord Melbourne to announce the death of Dr. Burton. In the conversation that ensued my uncle requested the Archbishop to send him the names of the persons that occurred to him as best qualified for the situation, and begged him not to confine the list to a small number. The Archbishop sent a list including Pusey, Newman, and Keble; and if it was, as I believe, the list of the Archbishop which is now before me, it contained the names; but it is possible he may have sent only six, and that the other three were added from another quarter. 117 Lord Melbourne sent the nine names to the Archbishop of Dublin (Whately) without mentioning who had recommended them, and he justified the confidence reposed in him by giving a full and impartial statement of what he conceived to be the qualifications of each. But previous to this he had been consulted by Lord Melbourne, and asked whom he would recommend, and had written, on 22nd January, 1836, a long letter in which he said: "The best fitted for a theological professorship that I have any knowledge of are Dr. Hampden and Dr. Hinds, afterwards Principal of Alban Hall; the qualifications I allude to, and which they both possess in a higher degree than any others I could name, are, first, sound learning; secondly, vigour of mind to wield that learning, without which the other is undigested food; and thirdly, the moral and intellectual character adapted for conveying instruction. Both Hinds and Hampden are what are considered of liberal sentiments, but agree with me in keeping aloof from parties political and ecclesiastical."... Lord Melbourne doubted for some time between Arnold and Hampden, but, thinking the former rather too rash and unsettled in his opinions for so responsible a post, decided in favour of the latter; and it was not till after he had made up his mind that Hampden was the fittest person that he asked Dr. Copleston to give him his opinion of him, which opinion was so favourable that it confirmed him in his choice; he did not send any list to Copleston. You may rely on the accuracy of this statement as far as it goes.' The Duke also told me in his letter that there had been a very curious correspondence between Prince Albert and the Bishop of Oxford.


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

My dear Lord,—During the ten years which have passed since Dr. Hampden was appointed Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford, I have no reason to believe that he has taught from the Chair any 118 doctrines at variance with the Articles of our Church; and in justice to him I must say that I have discovered nothing objectionable in the few publications of his which I have seen and which are ably written; of his discretion or talents for business I have no means of judging. These qualifications may be more than ordinarily required in the first Bishop of such a place as Manchester. I have the honour to be, &c.

W. Cantuar.

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

January 21st.—Dined on Wednesday with Baron Rolfe—Campbell, Langdale, Wilde, and Solicitor-General (Dundas); much talk about the rule in Queen's Bench (in Hampden's case), and whether the law must be altered. Campbell against alteration, the rest thinking there must be some, and the old law of Edward VI. making the bishoprics donative restored. This is what Lushington told me must be done.30


January 22nd.—Aston31 called on me yesterday, and told me a great deal about Spain and Spanish affairs. He thinks it is the object of Queen Christina to destroy the Queen, her daughter, and that she will accomplish it; that she has always hated her, and prefers (without caring much for her) 119 the Infanta; he thinks that by medical treatment the cutaneous disease with which the Queen has been always afflicted has been thrown in, and hence the epileptic fits by which she has been recently attacked; he says that they have lately put about her a French doctor, since which all her Spanish physicians have declined to attend her. I own I cannot believe anything so horrible as this implies, but it accords with suspicions from other quarters. He told me that Espartero before he left England showed him a letter he had received from the Queen's music-master, a devoted adherent of his who had continued to correspond with him. This man was an eye-witness of the scene which took place when the Queen was forced by Serrano to take Narvaez for her Minister, having been by accident in the adjoining apartment. The details are revolting, and show, if true, that the Queen is nearly under duresse and incapable of any freedom of action. She has, however, one chance of emancipation, and that is in the attachment to her of the people of Madrid, which is general and enthusiastic. She has all the Manolas to a woman, and through them their lovers, brothers, and friends; they would rise en masse for her if called upon. Christina is universally unpopular and yet remains there; she is gorged with riches and in possession of uncontrolled power. When she left Spain in 1843 she stripped the palace of all the plate and all the crown jewels of enormous value; of all the gold and silver services there were not six spoons left. Espartero appointed a committee to enquire into the disappearance of the crown jewels, but they begged leave not to report to avoid the scandalous exposure of the Queen's mother, and she was left in possession of her spoil. The young Queen was found without clothes to her back; the Marchioness of Santa Cruz told Aston she had only six pairs of darned cotton stockings which hurt her legs, then sore with her cutaneous disease. Aston said that Bulwer was constantly intriguing, foiled, found out, and not trusted by any party or any individual.

Brocket, January 22nd.—I came here this afternoon, Melbourne having at last invited me. I have been intimately 120 acquainted with him for thirty-five years, and he never before (but once to dinner) asked me into his house. He expects people to come, and at dinner to-day he proclaimed his social ideas and wishes. 'I wish,' he said, 'my friends to come to me whenever they please, and I am mortified when they don't come.' I told him he ought to send out circulars to that effect. He is well and in good spirits, and ready to talk by fits and starts, very anti-Peel and anti-Free-trade, rattled away against men and things, especially against several of his old friends in particular. As usual, he put forth some queer sayings, such as that 'Nobody ever did anything very foolish except from some strong principle,' he had remarked that. He said very little about the Hampden quarrel, only that he 'thought Lord John might have avoided it.' He said he had wished to make Arnold a bishop, but somebody told him if he did he thought the Archbishop would very likely refuse to consecrate him; so he gave up the idea without finding out what the Archbishop thought of it. Beauvale was very strong against Palmerston and delighted with the articles in the 'Times' attacking his administration and his letter to the Greek Government; he thought it very lucky he had not gone to Paris, where he must have quarrelled with Palmerston for not obeying his absurd instructions, and said qu'il avait passé par là at Vienna. When he was there, Lady Westmorland told him she had been commissioned to give him a hint that he would not be able to remain there and oppose Palmerston as he often did. He asked her who told her this; she said Melbourne! This was the way the Prime Minister tried to prevent a rupture between his brother and his brother-in-law, not daring to face Palmerston, though disapproving of his policy and his ways. Well might Beauvale say Palmerston would always have his way, for he was bold, resolute, and unscrupulous; he would not yield to others, and would make all others yield to him; and he is unchecked by public opinion here, nobody knowing or caring anything about foreign affairs. Lady Beauvale told me some anecdotes of the Royal children, which may some day have an interest when time 121 has tested and developed their characters. The Princess Royal is very clever, strong in body and in mind; the Prince of Wales weaker and more timid.


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

Lady Beauvale gave me an account of the scene at dinner at Windsor when Melbourne broke out against Peel (about the Corn Laws). She was sitting next Melbourne, who was between her and the Queen; he said pretty much what I have somewhere else stated, and he would go on though it was evidently disagreeable to the Queen, and embarrassing 122 to everybody else. At last the Queen said to him, 'Lord Melbourne, I must beg you not to say anything more on this subject now; I shall be very glad to discuss it with you at any other time,' and then he held his tongue. It is however an amiable trait in her, that while she is austere to almost everybody else, she has never varied in her attachment to him, and to him everything has always been permitted; he might say and do what he liked. Now she constantly writes to him, never forgets his birthday.

The Attorney-General32 has got into a scrape about his son's election, but it remains to be seen if he will not get out of it; there was a petition against young Jervis, and they gave the petitioners 1,500l. to drop it. The bargain was discovered, and other parties presented a petition just in time. Dundas would be thrown into a great embarrassment by anything that removed the Attorney-General; he could not succeed; the Government would not have him, nor would he undertake it; he has no briefs, a thing unheard of for a Solicitor-General, and the Government found him so useless that they ceased to consult him, and desirous of getting somebody more efficient, they proposed to him to be Judge-Advocate, which however he refused: he hardly could have accepted it. He has many good qualities, is agreeable, and I like him; he is honourable, high-minded, proud, charitable, generous, accomplished, well-informed, and clever; but he is weak, timid, fastidious, affected, sentimental and very often absurd, and in no small degree a humbug. Altogether he is unfit for rough work and active life, either forensic or political.


February 8th.—A fortnight ago on Saturday week I went to the Grotes, at Burnham Beeches; Mrs. Butler and Prandi, a Piedmontese patriot, and formerly refugee, now restored by the adoption of liberal principles in Piedmont. He was condemned to death above twenty years ago, and 123 escaped with great difficulty. He has lived ever since in London.

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

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

There was a meeting yesterday at Lord Stanley's to choose a leader, but they parted without doing anything. Stanley said it was not for him to point out a leader to the members of the House of Commons, and he eulogised George Bentinck, who has taken his place on the back benches. They are to meet again to-morrow, and it is supposed Granby34 will be their choice! Except his high birth he has not a single qualification for the post; he is tall and good-looking, civil and good-humoured, if these are qualifications, but he has no others; and yet this great party can find no better man.

February 10th.—The Protectionists met yesterday and elected Granby, all the world laughing at their choice. It appears that the reports of George Bentinck's easy and good-humoured retirement are not true.35 There was an angry 124 correspondence, much heat, and considerable doubt about the successor; some being for Stafford, the majority for Granby, in the proportions of 60 to 40.

February 13th.—On Friday I was with Graham for a long time, who talked of everything, affairs at home and abroad. He expressed a doubt if the Ministers were up to their work and capable of coping with all their difficulties, said Peel was 'more sullen than he had seen him,' and had the same doubts, but nevertheless was more than ever resolved never to take office. He hoped, however, that Lord John might bring forward the state of the nation on Friday, and by making a great speech upon it show he was up to his situation; talked a good deal of colonial matters, and said the change in our commercial policy brought about the necessity of a great one in our colonial policy, that we ought to limit instead of extending our colonial empire, that Canada must soon be independent. He condemned the Caffre war, and extension of the Cape Colony, that we ought only to have a Gibraltar there, a house of call; condemned New Zealand and Labuan and Hong Kong; considered the West India interest as gone, and dilated at great length (and very well) on these points. Then on foreign affairs, which he thinks very critical, especially estranged as we are from France, he wants Beauvale to be sent to Paris and Vienna to concert measures, and try to avert the dangers he apprehends. He is for 'defence,' but says the only way is to draw our troops home which are scattered over our useless and expensive dependencies. He is entirely against the squadron on the African coast and keeping up that humbug, which he says costs directly and indirectly a million a year. I told him Auckland said it only cost 300,000l.; he replied, it was not so, and that including indirect expenses it cost a million. The Caffres cost another million, and now that we were going to add to the income-tax, it would only be endured by showing that we had made or would make every practicable reduction, and that we maintained no establishments 125 that were not really necessary. He highly approved of my letter.


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

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

February 20th.—At the House of Lords on Friday night, 126 for the Committee on the Diplomatic Bill. Government beaten by three, and all by bad management; several who ought to have been there, and might easily have been brought up, were absent: the Duke of Bedford, Duke of Devonshire, Lord Petre, a Catholic, dawdling at Brighton, and Beauvale. The Duke of Wellington, with his deafness, got into a complete confusion, and at the last moment voted against Government. It was a melancholy thing to see Stanley with Beaufort on one side of him, and Buckingham on the other, now going into a corner with the Bishop of Exeter, now earwigging Lord Kenyon, thus prostrating his fine talents to the folly and bigotry of the titled, tinselled mob, in the midst of whom he sits. Aberdeen behaved very ill, and spoke against admitting ecclesiastics; indeed, against any Nuncio, which was all wrong and untrue as to fact, and which he was crammed with by Bunsen. I did not stay it out, but went away to dinner, where I met Dr. Logan, head of Oscott; a very able man, very pleasing and good-looking, and neither in manner nor dress resembling a Roman Catholic priest. He is supposed to be the writer of Lord Shrewsbury's letters. He told Panizzi, however, that he was sorry to find that the English Catholics were very indignant with Lord Shrewsbury for having written these letters, which is very strange and very lamentable, for it has always been believed that they were more liberal and well-disposed than the Irish, and regarded with horror the excesses of MacHale and Co.

On Friday night Lord John Russell brought forward his financial statement, in a speech which has been much criticised. He seems to have treated the subject of defence, and to have alluded to the military establishments of France, in a style far from judicious; his speech and his plan were very ill received, and the state of the House was considered to be ominous and alarming; dissatisfaction was expressed in all quarters, and opposition threatened upon the most opposite grounds. Disraeli and Cobden both spoke against him, and the former vehemently attacked the latter, and made a very clever speech. Cobden's tone and spirit were 127 bad, and, so far as can be judged of his intentions, he means to go to work in the line of pure democracy, and with the object of promoting the power of the middle classes over that of the aristocracy. The most serious blow to the Government was the speech of Francis Baring, which told mightily. On the whole, the impression is very bad; people are gloomy, frightened, and angry; the Government inspires no confidence; the great monetary and commercial interests do not think Lord John and Charles Wood equal to their situation, and they cast back longing eyes towards Peel. This Macgregor told me yesterday, and it is confirmed by various signs.


Yesterday morning John Russell sent for me, and asked me to go to Graham and speak to him about the 'Godless' Colleges, and the payment of professors, giving me a letter of Clarendon's about it, which I was to show Graham with Clarendon's scheme, and ask if it was in accordance with their Bill, and if he and Peel would approve of it. Graham said he did approve, and would support the scheme, but he advised a different mode of paying the professors (by a vote in the estimates instead of paying them out of the 7,000l. a year given by the Act), which Lord John agreed to adopt. We had much talk about the House of Commons and the state of things. Graham thought the appearance of the House very alarming, said Lord John spoke well in a very difficult position, rather defended him, found fault with some of the details of the estimates, and thought they might have adjusted their taxation differently. Neither he nor Peel said a word on Friday. Peel went away after Lord John's speech. I can see that the Whigs are in a state of continual uneasiness about Peel and Graham and the Peelites. They hear it constantly repeated that Peel will not take office, and has announced that he will be no leader of a party, but they look with great apprehension towards Lincoln, who is certainly ambitious of playing a great part, and preparing to do so; and they suspect Peel is secretly aiding and encouraging him. The 'Morning Chronicle' is believed by the Government people to have been bought 128 by Lincoln.36 It is certain that its tone is quite altered. Old Delane (father of the 'Times' editor) has got the management of it, and a Mr. Cook, who was employed for two years under Lincoln in the Duchy of Cornwall, is editor. When Easthope sold it, he tried to bargain for its continued support of Palmerston, which was flatly refused. Young Delane told me the paper meant to support the Government, but it has begun by an attack on Grey, and has evinced no very friendly feeling to Lord John himself. The state of affairs is to the last degree extraordinary and perplexing.


Delane came to me yesterday morning to talk over the ministerial exposé and its effects. He said nothing could be worse, that it was fatal, that there was no use in attempting to defend them. He found people in the City all against the plan, that it could not pass; and he talked of nothing but defeat and resignation, without being able to suggest any possible alternative. He says, however, that people don't care for this, that they are reckless, that the Government must not look to be carried through, for fear they should resign, and because there is nobody to take their places; that nobody will be frightened by this, but that their measure will be opposed, let what may come of it. Others think differently, and Tom Baring told me last night that he thought, notwithstanding the discontent, they would find support enough for their purpose. It is difficult, however, as yet, in the midst of the uncertainty, excitement, and discontent that prevail, to form any plausible conclusion as to their prospect. There can be no doubt that, as a Government, their position is very unenviable; they are not strong in numbers—that is, they have not an absolute majority of the House of Commons—and they are in a minority in the House of Lords. They enjoy no confidence, and no favour; 129 neither collectively nor individually are they strong in public confidence and attachment. There is no enmity to them, and they have a sort of negative support, as being well-intentioned, honest, tolerably capable, and, from the state of parties, the only possible Government. But they are surrounded with cavilling, discontented people, and fragments of parties, all animated with particular objects and designs of their own, which are not yet ripe—people biding their time, and looking for their overthrow. There are the Protectionists, without any leader, and absolutely unable to find one; the Peelite staff, with a dozen men fit to lead, and most of them willing, but still kept asunder by the old film of political repulsion, the ever-burning hatred of Peel and Peelites on one side, and the honour and feeling which forbids any desertion of, or disrespect to, Peel on the other; and these feelings will still keep the two Conservative sections in this antagonistic state, till events and common interests, Heaven knows how or when, bring them together. There are, however, enormous difficulties, inherent in such a state of things, and aggravated by their continuance, and among them none greater than Stanley's position, and the egregious folly of his conduct. This is, in truth, the great security which the present Government has for keeping in office. If they are defeated, and offer to resign, no other Government will be found possible, and they will be forced to stay in; but I doubt much, even in such a contingency, if they would be able to do so entirely on their own terms, and they would never dare to make public opinion, if unmistakeably expressed, surrender at discretion.

February 23rd.—On Monday night Wood came suddenly down to the House of Commons, and proposed to refer the Army and Navy Estimates to a secret Committee, and then the miscellaneous estimates. This scheme was violently attacked, particularly the secrecy. Disraeli spoke forcibly against it. Peel came to the rescue. The effect was very bad: a confession of weakness and perplexity, and the Government lost credit. Last night Wood again proposed the 130 Committees, owned he was wrong about their being secret, and asked for 'select.' Disraeli attacked him very severely; Peel came forward handsomely, spoke for the Committees, but defended the estimates, and talked very sensibly about them and defences, ridiculing Ellesmere's letter very much. Delane had a long interview with the Chancellor of the Exchequer the day before yesterday, who told him he had been driven to his present expedient by the deplorable effect of Lord John's speech, which appears to have inflicted tortures on his colleagues all the time he was delivering it. He not only (Wood said) said all that he ought not to have done, and made great mistakes in his way of dealing with the subject, but he omitted a great part of what he was to have said, two points especially: Ireland, and what had been done there, and the Spanish marriage question, which it had been his intention to throw over! It certainly is remarkable that he showed none of the tact and dexterity which usually pre-eminently distinguish him; he had not been well, and was oppressed with the subject. The effect was very bad, and, as usual, his meaning ridiculously distorted and misrepresented. All the friends of the Government are exceedingly alarmed, and we do certainly appear to be very near a deadlock.


In reference to the Spanish marriage question, I have had some concern in stopping what would have been a very mischievous publication. William Hervey, who is mad on it, has written an elaborate polémique in the shape of a pamphlet, or rather book. He sent this over last summer to Clarendon, who, not having time to read it, asked George Lewis to prepare it for, and correct, the press; but first it was sent to Palmerston. He kept it some months, and about Christmas sent it to Lewis, with his imprimatur; Lewis, by accident, mentioned it to me just as he was correcting the last sheets. I thought it so objectionable that I begged him not to let it be published without John Russell's knowledge and approval. Lord John said he would not let it appear, for such a publication, at the moment when the Duchesse de Montpensier's grossesse is announced, would be 131 irritating to the last degree, and nothing could be more indiscreet.37



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


London, February 28th, 1848.—The French Revolution has driven for the time every other subject out of thought, and so astounding has the event been, so awful and surprising from its inconceivable rapidity and the immensity of the operation, that every mind has been kept in a restless whirl and tumult incompatible with calm reflexion; while from the quick succession of events crowding on each other, all dashed with lies, false reports, exaggerations, and errors, it has been almost impossible to sit down and give a clear, connected, and true account of what has happened; to jot down from hour to hour all that one hears would only have been to say one moment what must have been unsaid the next. By degrees the facts develope themselves and the fictions are cast aside; but the time is not yet arrived for completing this historical process. There are people alive who remember the whole of the first Revolution, and we of middle age are all familiar with the second; but this, the third, transcends them both, and all other events which 133 history records, in the astonishing political phenomena which it displays. The first Revolution was a long and gradual act, extending over years, in which the mind traces an elaborate concatenation of causes and effects. The second was not unexpected; the causes were working openly and ominously; and at last the great stroke so rashly attempted, and by which the contest was provoked, was only the concluding scene of a drama which for a long preceding time had been in a state of representation before the world. In 1789 everybody saw that a revolution was inevitable; in 1830 everybody thought that it was probable; but in 1848, up to the very moment at which the explosion took place, and even for a considerable time after it (that is, considerable in reference to the period which embraced the whole thing from first to last), no human being dreamt of a revolution and of the dethronement of the King. The power of the Government appeared to be immense and unimpaired. The King was still considered one of the wisest and boldest of men, with a thorough knowledge of the country and the people he ruled; and though his prudence and that of his Ministers had been greatly impugned by their mode of dealing with the question of Parliamentary reform, the worst that anybody anticipated was the fall of Guizot's Cabinet, and that reform of some sort it would be found necessary to concede. But no one imagined that the King, defended by an army of 100,000 men and the fortifications of Paris (which it was always said he had cunningly devised to give himself full power over the capital), was exposed to any personal risk and danger. There was a strong reforming and, it might be, a strong republican or revolutionary spirit abroad, but the principal leaders of Opposition were understood to have no designs against the monarchy, and it was believed by those who had good opportunities of knowing that the bourgeoisie of Paris were comparatively indifferent to political questions, averse to revolutionary movements, and the determined advocates of order and tranquillity. For some time before the day appointed for the Reform banquet, much anxiety prevailed for the peace of the capital; but 134 when it was announced that the Government did not mean to interfere, and that the question of the legality of the meeting was to be referred to a judicial decision, all apprehension subsided; and when the proclamation of Odilon Barrot and the chiefs of the Banquet appeared, it was regarded as a false and imprudent step, which by putting the Ministers in the right would only seem to strengthen their authority and avert their downfall, which otherwise had been probable. Duchâtel made a very good speech in the Chamber of Deputies, and proved that this last act was so clearly illegal and mischievous that the Ministers were bound to take the course they did; and as the banqueters showed a disposition to obey the Government, nobody doubted that the whole affair would end quietly.

When therefore this great and sudden insurrection took place, sweeping everything before it with the irresistible speed and violence of a hurricane, everybody here stood aghast; but for the first two days no one anticipated the final catastrophe. At Paris, from the King downwards, all seem to have lost their presence of mind and judgement. The state of things proved the fallacy of their former calculations and expectations, and their minds seemed incapable of keeping up with the march of events, of embracing the magnitude of the danger, and of discerning the means by which it could be met. Everything was involved in perplexity and confusion; the roar of insurrectionary Paris affrighted the ears and bewildered the senses of the inmates of the Tuileries. At the moment I am writing we are still ignorant of the minute details of all that passed, of what the King said and did, and how others played their several parts. We know that Guizot resigned, that Molé was appointed—a capital fault, for Molé was another Guizot, and the selection only proved how unconscious the King was of the precipice on the brink of which he was standing. Some precious hours were lost in Molé's abortive attempt. Then came Thiers and Odilon Barrot, Ministers of a few hours, who, seduced by the deceptive applause of the rabble, fancied they could command and restrain the people of Paris, and 135 who persuaded the King to withdraw the troops, telling him they would answer for the people. This fatal advice cost him the Crown, which, perhaps, he could not have kept on his head. The tide swept on; a host of people, and among them Emile Girardin, rushed to the Tuileries, told the King his life was menaced, and advised him to abdicate; he refused. The people about him, and his own son amongst them (Duc de Montpensier), pressed him, and he signed the act of abdication. Still the crowd pressed on, and the palace was unprotected. He resolved, or was persuaded, to fly; and with the Queen and such of his family as were with him he quitted the palace with such precipitation that they had no time to take anything, and they had scarcely any money amongst them. They proceeded to Dreux, where they separated, and as yet no one knows where the King is, or where those of his family are who are not yet arrived in England.


The Duchesse d'Orléans, after the terrible scene in the Chamber of Deputies, was taken to some house in or near Paris, where she now lies concealed. All these events passed with the velocity of an express train; hardly an interval was placed between circumstances and conditions of the most opposite description. No monarchy or monarch ever fell with such superhuman rapidity. There is something awful and full of fear and pity in the contemplation of such a tremendous vicissitude: of a great King and a numerous and prosperous family, not many hours before reposing in the security of an apparently impregnable power, suddenly toppled down from this magnificent eminence and laid prostrate in the dust, covered with ignominy and reproach, and pursued by terror and grief. All at once the whole edifice of grandeur and happiness fell to the ground; it dissolved, and, like the baseless fabric of a vision, left not a rack behind. The flight was undignified. It would be hard to accuse Louis Philippe of want of courage, of which he has given on various occasions many signal proofs; but he certainly displayed no resolution on this occasion. It is very doubtful whether his person would have been injured; 136 the people have evinced no thirst for blood. It was then, indeed, too late for resistance, for the means had been withdrawn; but it may fairly be asked if it would not have been the more becoming and the wiser course to affront the danger of popular rage, and to have tried what might have been done by firmness, by reason, and by concession at the same time. All this is speculation. It may be that his life and that of his Queen would have been sacrificed; but on a more terrible occasion, when the same palace was invaded by a more formidable mob, a King still more unpopular and a detested Queen were left uninjured; and it is far more probable that the abdication of Louis Philippe would have satisfied and disarmed the wrath and fury of the people. At all events it is certain that he descended from the throne in a manner which, if it is cruel to call it ignominious, was not rendered captivating or affecting by any of those touching or striking circumstances which often environ and decorate the sacrifice of fallen majesty.

There is a strong impression that if they had unsparingly used the military means at their disposal while it was still time, the monarchy would have been saved and the tumult suppressed. The recollection of the 13th Vendémiaire and the Place St. Roch, when the troops of the Convention defeated the Sections of Paris, produces this notion. But when the time was given to the émeute to grow and expand, and when the National Guards took part in it, all was over; for the troops of the line, who would have repressed the mob, would not fight against the National Guards. Between blunders, bad advice, and delay, the insurrection sprang at once into gigantic proportions, and the world has seen with amazement a King who was considered so astute and courageous, with sons full of spirit and intelligence, sink without striking a blow for their kingdom, perishing without a struggle, and consequently falling dishonoured and unregretted. The end of Charles X. was far more dignified than that of his cousin, and the survivors of that shipwreck may see with a melancholy satisfaction their successful competitor 'whelmed in deeper gulfs' than themselves. Louis 137 Philippe has been seventeen years on the throne; in many respects a very amiable man, and, though crafty and unscrupulous as a politician, and neither beloved nor respected, he has never done anything to make himself an object of the excessive hatred and bitter feelings which have been exhibited against him and his family. The mob, though, on the whole, moderate and good-humoured, have been violent against his person, and they plundered the Palais Royal, invaded the Tuileries, and burnt Neuilly to show their abhorrence of him. This manifestation is a cruel commentary on his reign and his character as King.


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

Yesterday I saw Madame de Lieven, and heard her narrative, both personal and historical. With the sufferers, as with the spectators, the predominant feeling is one of intense astonishment amounting to a sort of incredulity; every one repeats (as well they may) that nothing that history has recorded, or fiction invented, ever approached this wonderful reality, wonderful in every way, in its whole and in all its parts, There is nothing in it that is not contrary 138 to every antecedent probability, to all preconceived notions of the characters of the principal actors, and to the way in which almost everybody concerned might have been expected to act. The beginning, the middle, and the end of the contest have been equally wonderful: the conduct of the old Government and the conduct of the new; the events of months or years crammed into a few days or hours; the whole change so vast and complete, made as at the stroke of an enchanter's wand. France, on Monday, February 22nd, a powerful, peaceful, and apparently impregnable Monarchy; on Wednesday, 24th of the same month, the whole of her Royalty scattered over the face of the earth, and France become a Republic no less powerful and peaceful; the authority of the latter form of government as generally acknowledged as that of the former was a week before; and an able, vigorous, and despotic Government established in the name of the people, which was, with universal consent and approbation, and the admiration even of those whom it had displaced, discharging every legislative as well as executive function.


Madame de Lieven's story runs thus. On Sunday—that is, this day fortnight—she had a reception as usual. No alarm prevailed, but she was a little struck by Delessert telling her that there was a good deal of agitation amongst some of the lower orders of workmen, and those who were known to the Government as Communists; still he did not appear to attach much importance to it. On Monday evening Guizot told her that it was possible there might be some rioting and disturbance in the streets the following day, and he advised her to go out of her house for a few hours in the morning, which she did, ordering her dinner and meaning to return. That same day the commotions began, but still the Ministers were unterrified; and though the affair began to be serious, they never doubted that they should be able to suppress the tumult and restore order. Everything went on, as is well known, up to Wednesday morning, when Guizot saw the King, told him all would go right, and went to the Chamber. While there Duchâtel called him out, and told 139 him the King wanted him directly at the Tuileries. He was surprised, asked for what, and proposed they should go together, which they did. When they got there they found the King much disturbed; he said the Commandant of a Legion of the National Guard had been to him and told him they must have reform, and he was afraid the rest of the National Guard would follow the example. 'Well,' said Guizot, 'if they do, we shall have no difficulty in putting down such a demonstration.' 'Oh, but,' said the King, 'that will produce bloodshed, and may lead to lamentable events;' and then, after beating about the bush a good deal, and with many expressions of personal attachment to Guizot, he said, 'Perhaps a change of Ministers might settle everything, and relieve him from his embarrassment.' Guizot at once said that the mere suggestion of such a thing made it 'une affaire résolue,' and if His Majesty thought that by taking any other Ministers he could improve the state of his affairs, he, of course, ought to do so. The King then talked of his regrets, and that he would rather abdicate than part with him. Guizot said abdication was not to be thought of. The King then talked of sending for Molé, and Guizot assured him of his readiness to support Molé, or any other man who would maintain Conservative principles. He then returned to the Chamber, and announced that the Ministers were out. The Conservatives were struck with astonishment and alarm; crowded round Guizot, and asked him if he had resigned. He said 'No; that he had been dismissed.' Molé was sent for, and said he would try and form a Government. The King said he had only one exclusion to insist on: that Bugeaud should not command the troops. Molé said it was the very first appointment he should propose to His Majesty. The King wanted to keep the command in the hands of his sons. Molé went away to try his hand. Meanwhile the agitation of Paris increased. At night, hearing nothing of Molé, the King sent Pasquier to him; he found him alone. 'Well, is your Government formed?' 'No, not yet; but I expect to see Passy to-morrow morning.' He was told this would not do, and while he had been thus wasting time, the movement 140 was swelling and advancing. So Molé went to the Palace at ten at night, and threw the thing up. Then the King sent for Thiers and Odilon Barrot. Thiers made it a condition that the troops should not act for twelve hours, and said he would meanwhile answer for the people. The King consented, and he and Odilon Barrot went out into the streets on horseback to harangue the mob, announce their Ministry, and send them home satisfied; they were received with menaces and shots, and sent about their business. They went back to the Tuileries and said all was over, and they could do nothing. Early in the morning (Thursday morning) the state of affairs having become more and more formidable, a host of people came to the Tuileries (Emile Girardin amongst them), and all urged the King to abdicate. He asked Thiers what he advised. Thiers had lost his head, and said he was not his Minister, and could give no advice; all the rest (none more urgently than the Duc de Montpensier) pressed the King to abdicate. The King was reluctant, and Piscatory alone entreated him not to do so. 'Il ne faut jamais abdiquer, Sire,' he said to him; 'voilà le moment de monter à cheval et de vous montrer.' The Queen behaved like a heroine. She who was so mild and religious, and who never took any part in public affairs, alone showed firmness and resolution; she thanked Piscatory for his advice to the King, and said, 'Mon ami, il ne faut pas abdiquer; plutôt mourez en Roi.' But the more disgraceful counsel prevailed. He abdicated, and hurried off, as we know. Piscatory was with him to the last, and the Queen, on parting from him, told him to tell Guizot that she owed to him all she had enjoyed of happiness for the last six years. Thus fell the Orleans dynasty, pitoyablement, honteusement, without respect or sympathy. 'Where,' I asked, 'were the sons, and what did they do?' Madame de Lieven only shook her head. She herself had taken refuge at St. Aulaire's, then at Apponyi's, then at an Austrian attaché's; then Pierre d'Aremberg took her under his care, and hid her at Mr. Roberts', the English painter, who brought her to England as Mrs. Roberts, with gold and jewels secreted in her dress. Guizot 141 was concealed one day at Piscatory's, the other at the Duc de Broglie's.


In all this great drama Lamartine stands forth pre-eminently as the principal character; how long it may last God only knows, but such a fortnight of greatness the world has hardly ever seen; for fame and glory with posterity it were well for him to die now. His position is something superhuman at this moment; the eyes of the universe are upon him, and he is not only the theme of general admiration and praise, but on him almost alone the hopes of the world are placed. He is the principal author of this Revolution; they say that his book has been a prime cause of it;38 and that which he has had the glory of directing, moderating, restraining. His labour has been stupendous, his eloquence wonderful. When the new Government was surrounded by thousands of armed rabble, bellowing and raging for they knew not what, Lamartine contrived to appease their rage, to soften, control, and eventually master them; so great a trial of eloquence was hardly ever heard of. Then from the beginning he has exhibited undaunted courage and consummate skill, proclaiming order, peace, humanity, respect for persons and property. This improvised Cabinet, strangely composed, has evinced most curious vigour, activity, and wisdom; they have forced everybody to respect them; but Lamartine towers above them all, and is the presiding genius of the new creation. He has acted like a man of honour and of feeling too. He offered the King an escort; he wrote to Madame Guizot and told her her son was safe in England, and caused the report of this to be spread abroad that he might not be sought for; and, moreover, he sent to Guizot to say if he was not in safety where he was he might come to his house. When he first proposed the abolition of the punishment of death he was overruled; but the next day he proposed it again, and declared if his colleagues would not consent he would throw up his office, quit the concern, and they might make him if they pleased the first victim of the 142 law they would not abolish. All this is very great in the man who the Duc de Broglie told me was so bad, 'un mauvais livre par un mauvais homme,' and consequently all France is praying for the continuation of the life and power of Lamartine; and the exiles whom he has been principally instrumental in driving from their country are all loud in praise and admiration of his humanity and his capacity.

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


March 6th.—I called on Guizot yesterday; found several people there, and Delessert, who was telling his story and all that had happened to him. Then Guizot told us his, which, though it is essentially the same as what Madame de Lieven told me, as it is more circumstantial and in some respects different I will not pass over. He began with the morning of Wednesday, when he went to the Tuileries and transacted business with the King as usual; thence to the Chambers. Duchâtel called him out, and they went to the Tuileries together. In the way there Duchâtel told him that the King was very uneasy and alarmed at the reform petitions which had been presented to him by the National Guards, and had been talking of changing the Government and sending for Molé. When they arrived the King addressed Guizot in this sense, said that he had received petitions from this and that officer of the Garde Nationale, and that all the rest would follow their example; that they all asked for Reform, and for the dismissal of the Ministers. Guizot said he was quite ready to face the difficulty, having the support of the Chambers; 143 but that he must have that of the King also. The King then sent for the Queen and the two Dukes of Nemours and Montpensier, and they all joined with the King in urging on Guizot the necessity of a change of Ministers to appease the clamour that had been raised. Guizot said that from the moment the King and the Royal Family signified such an opinion and such a desire to him, it was 'une affaire résolue,' and it was his duty to submit to their pleasure. The King asked him if he thought Molé could form a Government. He said, 'Yes, he might;' and that he should certainly have his best support if he made the attempt. The King appears not to have been quite decided; but while they were still conversing some one arrived from the Chamber and informed Guizot that he must return there directly, as an interpellation was going to be made to him. He said to the King that he must return and tell the Chamber what the state of things was, and on what His Majesty thought fit finally to decide. The King said that he might announce that he had sent for Molé to form a Government. Guizot returned to the Chamber and made the announcement, which was received with astonishment and indignation by the Conservative deputies, who crowded round him and enquired if he had resigned, crying out, 'Nous sommes abandonnés.' He replied that he had not resigned, but had been dismissed. From the Chamber he returned to the Tuileries, and told the King what had passed there. The King said he had sent for Molé who had undertaken to try and form a Government. Meanwhile affairs were getting worse in the town, and the concession of the King had of course encouraged the factious. Guizot, who could not return home, went to the Duc de Broglie and went to bed. Not long after, at one in the morning, he was called up by a message desiring him to come to the Tuileries forthwith; he went, when the King told him he had just heard from Molé that he had tried Passy, Dufaure, and Billault, who had all refused, and consequently that he could not form a Government. His Majesty said that he was now disposed to give the command of the troops to Marshal 144 Bugeaud, and that of the National Guard to Lamoricière, and let them put down the émeute. Guizot said it was the best thing he could do, and he would sign the decree if he would make it. This was immediately done. Meanwhile the King had sent for Thiers, who came, accepted the office of forming a Government, but desired that Odilon Barrot might be joined with him, to which the King agreed. Thiers and Barrot then insisted that for some hours the military should not be allowed to act, and they undertook to pacify the people and put an end to the émeute. The King having consented to this, they mounted on horseback and went off in different directions to harangue the people and announce their Ministry. They were severally received with hisses, uproar, and in some instances shots, and returned to the palace and announced their failure. By this time there was an affluence of people at the Tuileries; the storm without increased and approached; the military, who were without orders, did nothing, and all was over. I asked Delessert whether the troops were well disposed. He said, 'Perfectly.' Guizot said, 'My entire conviction is, that if Bugeaud had acted the moment he took the command, everything would have been over before nine o'clock.' When the King was pressed to resign, Piscatory said to him, 'Sire, si vous signez votre abdication, vous n'aurez pas régné.' Guizot told me that the Government had long been aware of the secret societies, but never could ascertain who were their chiefs; that their intention had been to delay their republican attempt till the death of the King, but that they had changed this plan on the Tuesday night, and resolved to seize the present occasion. I told him we had always supposed the bourgeoisie of Paris, composing the bulk of the National Guard, to be disposed to order, and that they would have maintained it. He said the great majority of them were so, but that the well-disposed had not come forth, while the factious minority had. Moreover, 'you English cannot conceive what our lowest class is: your own is a mere mob without courage or organisation, and not given to politics; ours on the contrary, the lowest class, is eager about politics 145 and with a perfect military organisation, and therefore most formidable.' I said Lamartine had done very well. He said yes, and praised him, though not very cordially; and he added that he was a man who had always wanted to be in the first place, and had never been able to accomplish it. He had tried it in the Legitimist party, and had found Berryer; in the Conservatives, and had found him (Guizot); and in the Opposition, where he was met by Thiers. On the present occasion (he might have added) he had found Odilon Barrot, but he managed to give him the go-by. He and Odilon Barrot were at the meeting on Tuesday when the attempt was determined on, and Odilon Barrot wanted to try the intermediate measure of the Regency and the Duchess of Orleans; but Lamartine flung himself at once into the Republic, and thus crushed his colleague and placed himself without a rival at the head of the movement. Guizot said all this could not last; that France had no desire for a Republic; everybody had adhered from fear or prudence. He expected, however, that there would be a great battle in the streets of Paris within a few days between the Republicans and the Communists, in which the former would prevail, because the National Guard would support the former.39


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

March 7th.—The French Revolution has been so absorbing 146 as well as exciting that I have never found time to write about domestic affairs, so what I have now to say must be put in narrative form instead of that of journal. I have been in continual communication with Graham for some time past, especially during Charles Wood's income tax agony. Graham, who is by way of being very friendly to the Government (but is evidently not sorry to see their mismanagement and unpopularity), said so much of the difficulty they would have in carrying the two per cent. that I went to Charles Wood and told him what I had heard. I found him very uneasy, and he owned to me that he had received similar opinions from many other quarters. The same night (a Saturday) I met him at Lady Palmerston's, when he asked me to find out from Graham what substitute he would propose. I saw Graham on Sunday, when he more strongly urged the necessity of abandoning the addition, saying nothing would enable them to carry it; and he said, in answer to my enquiry, that he should take the money the Chancellor wanted from the reserve in hand—in short, just what the Government eventually did. I saw Charles Wood the same night, and told him what Graham recommended, and this advice they took.


After this, and indeed before it too, Graham and I had many conversations about the Government, its state and prospects, John Russell and his health, Peel and political probabilities and possibilities. We agreed that the Government was much damaged, weak and unpopular, and would have difficulty in going on, especially if, as seemed most likely, Lord John's health gave way, and he should be forced to retire. I said nothing would then be possible but Peel. On this he made me a speech, declaring Peel was impossible. He was, in the first place, determined not to take office; Lady Peel, who has great influence with him, doing her best to dissuade him; but, besides personal reluctance and objections, his position puts him out of the question. The Protectionists hate him as much as ever, and he hates them with equal intensity; he abhors what he considers their ingratitude as well as their folly, and nothing would induce 147 him to have anything to do with them, even if they would with him; therefore he has no party. In the House of Lords he has not ten followers: how then, in a country which can only be governed by party, can he become Minister? That to think of putting himself at the head of a Whig party would be absurd: at sixty years old to begin such a strange career would be ridiculous. He said a great deal more in the same strain, all very plausible and not easy to answer; and the conclusion from which was that, for various reasons, Peel would not under any circumstances be Minister again. But in the meantime the reports of Lord John's declining health gained ground; the weakness of the Government became more apparent; the Radicals declared war against them; and one person after another began to turn his eyes towards Peel. There was some talk about sending for Clarendon, which I wrote to him; and in reply he entreated me to extinguish any such idea if I met with it; and he then demonstrated that Peel was a necessity and the only alternative. So many people in different ways said the same thing to me, that I told Graham. He was (or affected to be) still impressed with all the insuperable obstacles to Peel's return, amongst which he himself and Aberdeen were considerable, as Peel would never return without both of them, and they were particularly odious to the Whigs. I said he was not popular with them, but neither was he so odious; and they knew very well that if Peel returned, he must and would return with him. As to Aberdeen it was different, because he had behaved so ill ever since he left office, and opposed the Government in the most unfair and ungenerous manner. He said Peel never would have Palmerston at the Foreign Office, and would want Aberdeen there, in whom all his confidence was placed: not but what Aberdeen would be very ready to make any sacrifice. I told him that it was evident there was but one way by which Peel could return to office, and that was the arrival of a state of things which at once rendered him a great public necessity, and the urgency of which would make his refusal impossible; that he must be invited by the whole Whig party, not as a favour due to 148 him but as a sacrifice exacted from him; and that this must be done heartily, sincerely, and in a spirit of unselfishness, and on public and patriotic grounds. Since this Lord John Russell has taken himself off to Hastings to try and get well. As Graham tells Peel everything I say, the latter now knows well what is thought and expected, and he has only so to conduct himself as to make the adhesion and overtures of the Whig party possible and not difficult when the time and occasion are ripe. The matter is replete with difficulties, and nothing but a great exigency can smooth them away. At present there are too many jealousies and animosities afloat; there is too much of suspicion, distrust, and old dislike lingering in men's minds to admit of the desired amalgamation; and unhappily the characters of the principal actors, both of John Russell and Peel, are extremely ill suited to deal with such a delicate and difficult state of affairs.


March 10th.—Lord John Russell is better, and writes word confidently from Hastings that he shall return convalescent. Yesterday I saw Southern and Mrs. Austin, both just arrived from Paris. They have each been writing letters the last two or three days in the 'Times,' which are excellent descriptions of the state of affairs in France. Nothing can be more deplorable than it all is, and daily getting worse: no confidence, no work, and everything threatening frightful financial and commercial difficulties, and a general expectation of confusion, violence, and bloodshed. Southern told me that the dissensions in the Provisional Government were great, and the discussions violent; Lamartine often in a minority; no regular parties formed, but a continual dividing and crossing on different subjects. Lamartine wanted to omit what he said in his Circular about the Treaties of 1815, but was overruled. Southern thinks the Provisional Government will quarrel and break up before the Chambers can meet. They both agree that all France abhors this Revolution, but notwithstanding the bitter and universal regret that it has occasioned, and will still more hereafter, that nobody thinks of endeavouring to restore the monarchy 149 in any way or under any head. The King was not so unpopular as Guizot, and they confirm all previous impressions, that not only he might have been saved, but that nothing but a series of fatal and inconceivable blunders and the most deplorable weakness could have upset him. The causes of this prodigious effect were ludicrously small. Southern declares there were not above 4,000 armed men of the populace actually employed; but the troops were everywhere paralysed, boys carried off the cannon from the midst of them without resistance. No one has the slightest conception what turn matters will take, but all seem to be of opinion they will have nothing to do with the Bonapartes. The Orleanses are now detested, and even the Legitimists do not look to the Duc de Bordeaux, because he is a poor creature, has no children, and they believe is not likely to have any; therefore it would not be worth while to restore a dynasty which would end with him.

March 11th.—Guizot received a letter from the Duc de Broglie yesterday, in which he said that Paris was quiet on the day he wrote, but such was the state of things that any day it might be the scene of confusion and rapine. I asked Madame de Lieven what the policy of the Government had been about Reform. She said, King, Duchâtel, and Guizot had all been determined against Reform; the latter willing to concede a very little, but always resolved to keep the Conservative majority, with which Reform was incompatible. I asked why, after having allowed the banquets in the provinces, they would not suffer that in the capital? The reply was very insufficient: because they did not like to stop the expression of public opinions in the country generally; but at Paris, when and where the Chambers were assembled, those opinions might have been expressed in them. I met Guizot at dinner at the Hollands'; he goes about everywhere, is very cheerful, and puts a good face on it; everybody is very civil to him, and he feels the kindness of his reception, especially as he knows he has been personally obnoxious since the Spanish marriages. He said last night, that he considered the payment of the members of the Convention fatal 150 to the composition of that Assembly. The old revolutionary Assemblies never paid their members. Napoleon was the first who introduced that custom: his Senators were paid 30,000 fr.; his Deputies 10,000 fr. Guizot went to see the King and Queen two days ago: the interview was very affecting; both threw themselves on his neck; the King is the most abattu of the two; he has no money.


March 12th.—Yesterday Lady Granville and Lady Georgiana Fullerton went to Claremont to see the Royal Family. The Queen was gone to town, but they were received by the King, who talked to them for an hour and gave them a narrative of his adventures, which they related to me last night. It was very carious, that is, curious as an exhibition of his character. He described his flight, and all his subsequent adventures, his travels, his disguises, his privations, the dangers he incurred, the kindness and assistance he met with, all very minutely. They said it was very interesting, and even very amusing; admirably well told. He was occasionally pathetic and occasionally droll; his story was told with a mixture of the serious and the comic—sometimes laughing and at others almost crying—that was very strange. It struck them that he was very undignified, even vulgar, and above all that he seemed to be animated with no feeling towards his country, but to view the whole history through the medium of self. He said of the French, 'Ils ont choisi leur sort; je dois supporter le mien.' He gave a very different account of what passed from that of Guizot. He said he was in personal danger when he was on horseback reviewing the National Guard on Thursday morning; that they pressed round him, shouting for reform. He cried out, 'Mais vous l'avez, la réforme; laissez-moi passer donc;' and that he was obliged to spur his horse through the mob, and got back to the Tuileries with difficulty. He said he had posé la question of resistance to Guizot, who had refused to entertain it, said that he could not give orders to fire on the National Guards. Their two statements are quite irreconcileable, and thus occur historical perplexities and the errors and untruths which crowd all history. I have always said that it is nothing 151 but a series of conventional facts. There is no absolute truth in history; mankind arrives at probable results and conclusions in the best way it can, and by collecting and comparing evidence it settles down its ideas and its belief to a certain chain and course of events which it accepts as certain, and deals with as if it were, because it must settle somewhere and on something, and because a tolerable primâ facie and probable case is presented. But when one sees how the actors in and spectators of the same events differ in narrating and describing them; how continually complete contradictions are discovered to facts the most generally believed; there is no preserving the mind from a state of scepticism, nor is it possible to read or hear anything with entire satisfaction and faith. It appears that the Royal Family have no money, the King having invested his whole fortune in France, and beggary is actually staring them in the face. The King evinced no bitterness except in speaking of the English newspapers, especially the 'Times;' and he attributed much of his unpopularity, and what he considers the unjust prejudices against him, to the severity of their personal attacks on him! Curious enough this; but as he felt these philippics so acutely, why did he not take warning from them?

John Russell made his appearance in the House on Friday, but as they were not to divide he did not stay. Wilson (of the 'Economist') made a very fine speech; Disraeli very amusing, and Gladstone very good. It was a great night for Free Trade, which Wilson and Gladstone vindicated with great ability. The Government have been sadly vexed at an article in the 'Times' on Friday, speaking of them, and Lord John especially, very contemptuously. The truth is, the 'Times' thinks it has sniffed out that they cannot go on, and wants, according to its custom, to give them a shove; but matters are not ripe for a change yet, nor anything like it. It is evident that the notion of the weakness and incapacity of the Government is spreading far and wide, and nothing can exceed Charles Wood's unpopularity, nor is any confidence felt in Lord John himself. Palmerston is the 152 most in favour at this moment; he has done well and gained some credit. Peel still holds the same language about not taking office, and treats it as a thing that is quite out of the question; but his friends see well enough that matters are moving on to this inevitable consummation.

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


Meanwhile, the other side of the account presents some formidable items for a political balance sheet. They have got a Government composed of men who have not the slightest idea how to govern, albeit they are men of energy, activity, and some capacity. The country is full of fear and distrust. Ruin and bankruptcy are stalking through the streets of the capital. The old revolutionary principles and expedients are more and more drawn forth and displayed by the present rulers; they are assuming despotic power, and using it without scruple; they confer it on their agents; they proclaim social and political maxims fraught with ruin and desolation, and incompatible with the existence of any Government. The different Ministers vie with one another in the extravagance of their several manifestoes. Louis Blanc holds a 153 parliament of operatives, whom he feeds with soft sawder and delusive expectations, giving them for political truths all the most dangerous absurdities of his book. Garnier Pagès, in his frank exposé of the finances of the country, approaches to the very verge of national bankruptcy, and is evidently prepared for the next step. Carnot instructs the people to elect for their representatives (who are to be the unchecked masters of the Empire), not men of property and education, but any men who have republican ideas; and Ledru Rollin desires his agents to act in the same spirit, and with all the authority (which means despotism) that a revolutionary government always assumes it to be its right to exercise. In short, all is terror, distress, and misery, both material and moral; everybody fleeing away from the turbulent capital, and hiding what money he can collect; funds falling, everything depreciated in value, the shops unfrequented, no buyers, tranquillity still doubtfully preserved by factitious means, but the duration of which no one counts upon. As the embarrassment and suffering increase, so will the clouds continue to gather, and at last the storm will burst—but how, when, and where, with what fury, whom it will spare, or whom sweep away, none can venture to predict. Such, however, is the state of the capital, the heart of everything; while the provinces are motionless, and seem to wait with patient resignation the unfolding of events. All the letters that arrive here, whether they come from Legitimists, or Liberals, or Orleanists, or indifferents to all parties, tell the same tale of disgust, distress, and dread.

March 16th.—I dined with Madame de Lieven tête-à-tête the day before yesterday. Our talk, of course, was almost entirely about French affairs. I asked her whether she thought, as many here do, that if the émeute had been put down by violence, the throne must have fallen, as the King could not have reigned in the midst of bloodshed. She said the Ministers would have gone out, but the throne would have been safe. She told me Guizot was not indisposed to give some parliamentary reform (not electoral), and was sensible that the great number of functionaries in the 154 Chamber was shocking to public opinion. He proposed to begin with his own department, and render all diplomatic agents incapable of sitting—a very small concession! She said something to me (as Lord Campbell did) about writing memoirs, and that my curious position—so intimate with so many persons of all parties and descriptions, and being so much in the confidence of all—gave me peculiar advantages for doing so. She knew I had written Journals, and I told her it was so, but in a very loose and casual way, and I asked her if she had not written. She said, 'Beaucoup.'

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

March 20th.—There has been all sorts of botheration about Louis Philippe and his affairs, particularly about his remaining at Claremont. Soon after he came, a notification was made to him by Palmerston that he was not to remain there permanently.40 He complained of this to all the people he saw (talking very loosely and foolishly), and it got wind and made a noise. Soon after, the Duke of Wellington went to see him, and told him that Claremont was the fit place for him, and the other day a letter arrived from Leopold telling him he might stay there as long as he liked; he is therefore to stay. So many different versions have been put forth of the details of what passed concerning this matter, that it is next to impossible to ascertain the exact truth. Everything in France gets more serious and alarming every day. The clubs of Paris are omnipotent, the National Guards are écrasés, the Provisional Government makes a show of independence, and Lamartine makes fine speeches; but they are 155 at the mercy of the Parisian mob, whose organisation is wonderful. The playing out of the game will be very curious. At present, this mob of the capital seems resolved to dictate to the provinces, and to set aside the army.


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

Next, a revolution in Austria; an émeute at Vienna; downfall and flight of Metternich, and announcement of a constitutional régime; émeutes at Milan; expulsion of Austrians, and Milanese independence; Hungary up and doing, and the whole empire in a state of dissolution. Throughout Germany all the people stirring; all the sovereigns yielding to the popular demands; the King of Hanover submitting to the terms demanded of him; the King of Bavaria abdicating; many minor occurrences, any one of which in ordinary times would have been full of interest and importance, passing almost unheeded. To attempt to describe historically and narratively these events as they occur would be impossible if I were to attempt it; and it is unnecessary, because they are chronicled in a thousand publications, from which time and enquiry will winnow out the falsehoods, and leave a connected, intelligible, and tolerably accurate story. It is only therefore left to me to save some small fragments of facts or sentiments which would otherwise 156 be swept down the stream and lost for ever, whenever such come across me.

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

Our most difficult task is to deal with Irish disaffection and Irish distress: the former has never been so bold, reckless, and insolent. Clarendon, after enduring much and allowing the agitators to go on unchecked, at last attacked them in the persons of O'Brien, Mitchell, and Meagher. The general opinion here was that they were not worth attacking, and were so contemptible, and had so entirely failed to work upon the people, that they might be let alone; but he judged otherwise, and there is a great disposition to defer to his judgement. No sooner had they been held to bail, than others of the same party not only renewed the seditious language the first had used, but broke out with far greater fury and indecency; in plain language, they called on the people to arm for the purpose of overturning the Constitution, and they said they would have no more kings or queens. I thought this must amount to high treason; but George Grey told me yesterday that the lawyers here hold that to make it treason it must be followed by some overt act. However, whether Clarendon was right or 157 wrong in attacking the rebel Repealers, it is clear that he ought now to throw away the scabbard, and war having been declared to wage it vigorously and unflinchingly. The confidence in him is unbounded, both there and here. It is a good feature in the case that the Roman Catholic clergy have on the whole behaved exceedingly well, and Clarendon has written to Lord John Russell that something must be done for them; but the difficulties of doing this something are next to insurmountable. No amount of danger, no policy however urgent, no considerations of justice, are sufficient to overcome the testimony and bigotry of the people of England and Scotland on this question.


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

March 31st.—Nothing new these last few days; Ireland getting more and more serious, and a strong opinion gaining ground that there will be an outbreak and fighting, and that this will be on the whole a good thing, inasmuch as nothing will tame the Irish agitators but a severe drubbing. Last night I met M. Delessert41 at dinner; he talked of the recent events in France and the state of the country; hopeless 158 about the latter, and gave a character of his countrymen which he said he was ashamed to give, but it was the truth. He said they were not to be governed, for they had no sense of religion or of morality, or any probity among them; he said he had been faithful to the Government to the last, and it did not become him now to speak against Guizot and his policy, but that his unpopularity was immense, and he had committed the great fault of staying in power in spite of it and for so many years, when the French could not bear anything that lasted long; he was always aware of the fatal mistake Guizot had made about the Spanish marriages, and the consequences of the rupture of the English alliance; and he said Duchâtel was of the same mind as himself, and had communicated to him the conversation I had had with him when I was in Paris, and all I had said on the subject. I was not aware before that I was prêchant un converti so entirely, though I suspected it. Delane told me yesterday that Leopold saw their correspondent the other day, and asked him if England would give him a subsidy to assist in repelling the French and Belgian republicans who threaten his territory; and Van de Weyer told him they were in a great dilemma, as the French Government were letting loose these ruffians upon them, affording them all sorts of assistance underhand; and if the Belgian Government repelled them, it was very likely the mob and clubs at Paris would compel the Provisional Government to support them and swallow up Belgium. Everybody now thinks there must be a war somewhere, out of such immense confusion and excitement.


April 2nd.—There is nothing to record but odds and ends: no new revolution, no fresh deposition. Madame de Lieven told me yesterday what she had heard from Flahault of the outbreak at Vienna and the downfall of Metternich. When the people rose and demanded liberal measures, they were informed that the Council would be convened and deliberate, and an answer should be given them in two hours. The Council assembled, consisting of the Ministers and the Archdukes. The question was stated, when Metternich rose 159 and harangued them for an hour and a half without their appearing nearly to approach a close. On this the Archduke John pulled out his watch and said, 'Prince, in half an hour we must give an answer to the people, and we have not yet begun to consider what we shall say to them.' On this Kolowrath said, 'Sir, I have sat in Council with Prince Metternich for twenty-five years, and it has always been his habit to speak thus without coming to the point.' 'But,' said the Archduke, 'we must come to the point, and that without delay. Are you aware, Prince,' turning to Metternich, 'that the first of the people's demands is that you should resign?' Metternich said that he had promised the Emperor Francis on his deathbed never to desert his son, the present Emperor, nor would he. They intimated that his remaining would be difficult. Oh, he said, if the Imperial Family wished him to resign, he should feel that he was released from his engagement, and he was ready to yield to their wishes. They said they did wish it, and he instantly acquiesced. Then the Emperor himself interposed and said, 'But, after all, I am the Emperor, and it is for me to decide; and I yield everything. Tell the people I consent to all their demands.' And thus the Crétin settled it all; and the great Minister, who was in his own person considered as the Empire, and had governed despotically for forty years, slunk away, and to this hour nobody knows where he is concealed. But in this general break-up of the Austrian Monarchy there seems still some vitality left in it, and we hear that those provinces which demand liberal governments do not want to get rid of the dynasty; and in the midst of the confusion there is no small jealousy of the King of Prussia, and disgust at his attempt to make himself Sovereign of Germany. The condition of Prussia is disquieting; and the King, who has acted a part at once wavering and selfish, has raised up a host of enemies against his pretensions.

There has been, however, something of a pause on the Continent for some days, which gives us leisure to look inwards and consider our own situation. We are undisturbed in the midst of the universal hubbub, and the surface of 160 society looks smooth and safe: nevertheless there is plenty of cause for serious reflexion and apprehension. It is the fashion to say that this country is sound; that the newfangled theories which are turning continental brains find no acceptance here; but the outward manifestations are not entirely to be relied upon. Ireland never was in so dangerous a state; not the less so because the Repealers and Republicans are so mad or so wicked, and the masses so ungrateful and stupid. It is in vain that we prove to demonstration that the Irish would gain nothing by separation from England, and that we point to our superhuman exertions in the famine as a proof of our good feeling. Our remonstrances and the violent appeals of the Irish leaders are addressed to vast masses who, in spite of all we have done for them, are in the lowest state of misery and starvation; it is not surprising that millions who are in this state should listen to the pernicious orators who promise to better their condition by the Repeal of the Union and the overthrow of English power. When men are so low and miserable that they cannot be worse off, and they see no prospect of being better off under the existing state of things; when they are ignorant and excitable, and continually acted upon by every sort of mischievous influence, it would be strange indeed if they were not as turbulent and disaffected as we find them.


April 5th.—I broke off the other day, and now resume. Lord John Russell, in reply to a question put by Jocelyn to him in the House of Commons, said the Government would come to Parliament for powers as soon as they deemed it necessary, and gave him to understand that they were preparing measures, but declined to say what. His answer did not give satisfaction. Everybody here wants something to be done to stop this torrent of sedition. I saw Graham this morning for a short time; he is greatly alarmed at the aspect of affairs both at home and abroad; he thinks the temper of the masses here very serious. The Chartist meeting on Monday next makes him uneasy, and he has talked much to George Grey and the Speaker about precautions. 161 The state of the law is very doubtful, and it is a nice question whether to prevent a procession to the House of Commons or not. The expressions of the Act about seditious assemblies are ambiguous. Then he strongly deprecates the Queen's going out of town on Saturday, which he thinks will look like cowardice in her personally, and as indicative of a sense of danger which ought not to be manifested. I advised him (and Peel, who thinks so likewise) to tell the Government this; he said Peel would tell the Prince. He spoke very bitterly of Lord John Russell's having allowed the Irish Arms Bill to expire, and showed me his speech in which he engaged, if necessary, to come down and ask for fresh powers. I said, 'Why don't they come now?' He said it would be very difficult now; that the forms of the House, which enabled anybody to obstruct, would infallibly be seized on, and no Bill allowed to pass; every sort of delay would be interposed. I said, 'They ought not to endure this, and should suspend the Standing Orders.'

J. G.—How was this to be done? They would never allow the question to be put.

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

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

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

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

The reply of Lamartine to the Irish deputation, which 162 has been so anxiously expected, came yesterday, and excellent it was. He gave a lecture to the Irish much stronger than any they have had here; and if his speech does no good, it will certainly do no harm. There is now an increasing opinion that the French will be driven to go to war somewhere as a relief from the intolerable distress in which the country will soon be plunged. Beggary and anarchy are striding on at a fearful rate, and the present bloodless but most agitated and frightened state will in all probability soon be changed into scenes of violence brought about by the ferocity of every kind of unchained passion.

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


This morning I had another conversation with Graham. He told me he sat next to Hobhouse at Hardinge's dinner43 at the India House last night, and had much very open talk with him. He understood from Hobhouse that Government 163 did not intend to do anything, and he told him that he was afraid that they would find great difficulty in surmounting the obstacles that the forms of the House would enable the Opposition to throw in their way. Subsequently, however, he had a conversation with Peel, who he found took a very different view of the matter, and the same that I do. He said that the Government ought to act as if they had no doubt of obtaining all they required from Parliament; to consider well what that was; to choose their time, not delaying it long, and then to have a call of the House and ask for all the powers they require. If they find themselves thwarted by a minority moving successive adjournments, to sit there for any number of hours; to divide twenty or thirty times; and at last, when they had sufficiently proved to the country that their efforts were vain, and that they had exhausted all legitimate means, to give up the contest, instantly hold a Cabinet, and then a Council, by which they should do by Order in Council what they wished to do by Act of Parliament, and trust to public opinion and Parliament to support and sanction their proceedings. He told me he had expressed to Hobhouse the strong opinion he has of the inexpediency, even the danger, of the Queen's quitting town at this juncture, and that if these strong measures are to be adopted, her presence would of course be indispensable. The Speaker told him that an Act of Parliament was not necessary, as by an old Act (21 & 22 George III.) the Lord Lieutenant could in case of rebellion (of the existence of which he was himself the judge) proclaim martial law and suspend the Habeas Corpus; but Peel is against having recourse to such a measure, and prefers the application to Parliament. He thinks, too, that if the Government do not soon adopt such a course, they will be incurring a responsibility far more fearful than any they can incur by its adoption—the responsibility of all the blood that will be shed and the mischief that will ensue. Graham again spoke of John Russell's conduct in giving up the Arms Act, and said that he had so great a regard for him that he would not say one word against him on that score; but that he must expect to hear 164 of it in case of extremities, and that he would be called to a severe account if there should be an outbreak, and if torrents of blood were shed by the instrumentality of those arms which but for him would not have been put into every man's hands. In my conversation with Grey yesterday, he told me that the Church question must be brought forward—not now, because the moment of rebellion and armed resistance was not that in which it would be wise or dignified or right to make concessions and introduce remedial measures; but that when peace was restored, and in another year, this great question must be faced and dealt with; the details, however, it is no use as yet to enter into.

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

All London is making preparations to encounter a Chartist row to-morrow: so much that it is either very sublime or very ridiculous. All the clerks and others in the different offices are ordered to be sworn in special constables, and to constitute themselves into garrisons. I went to the police office with all my clerks, messengers, &c., and we were all sworn. We are to pass the whole day at the office to-morrow, and I am to send down all my guns; in short, we are to take a warlike attitude. Colonel Harness, of the 165 Railway Department, is our commander-in-chief; every gentleman in London is become a constable, and there is an organisation of some sort in every district.


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

In the morning (a very fine day) everybody was on the alert; the parks were closed; our office was fortified, a barricade of Council Registers was erected in the accessible room on the ground-floor, and all our guns were taken down to be used in defence of the building. However, at about twelve o'clock crowds came streaming along Whitehall, 166 going northwards, and it was announced that all was over. The intended tragedy was rapidly changed into a ludicrous farce. The Chartists, about 20,000 in number, assembled on Kennington Common. Presently Mr. Mayne appeared on the ground, and sent one of his inspectors to say he wanted to speak to Feargus O'Connor. Feargus thought he was going to be arrested and was in a terrible fright; but he went to Mayne, who merely said he was desired to inform him that the meeting would not be interfered with, but the procession would not be allowed. Feargus insisted on shaking hands with Mayne, swore he was his best of friends, and instantly harangued his rabble, advising them not to provoke a collision, and to go away quietly—advice they instantly obeyed, and with great alacrity and good-humour. Thus all evaporated in smoke. Feargus himself then repaired to the Home Office, saw Sir George Grey, and told him it was all over, and thanked the Government for their leniency, assuring him the Convention would not have been so lenient if they had got the upper hand. Grey asked him if he was going back to the meeting. He said No; that he had had his toes trodden on till he was lame, and his pocket picked, and he would have no more to do with it. The petition was brought down piecemeal and presented in the afternoon. Since that there has been an exposure of the petition itself, covering the authors of it with ridicule and disgrace. It turns out to be signed by less than two millions, instead of by six as Feargus stated; and of those, there were no end of fictitious names, together with the insertion of every species of ribaldry, indecency, and impertinence. The Chartists are very crestfallen, and evidently conscious of the contemptible figure they cut; but they have endeavoured to bluster and lie as well as they can in their subsequent gatherings, and talk of other petitions and meetings, which nobody cares about.


London, April 15th.—Every account from every quarter proves the wonderful effect produced by the event of Monday last. Normanby writes me word that it has astonished and disappointed the French more than they care to admit; 167 and it has evidently had a great effect in Ireland, where Smith O'Brien is gone back in doleful dumps at his rebuff at Paris, and his reception in the House of Commons. Clarendon writes word that if there is any outbreak, which he now doubts, it will probably be after a great tea-party they were about to have on Smith O'Brien's return. The Government have gained some credit and some strength by this affair, as well as by their (at last) bringing fresh measures of a protective character into Parliament. The Conservatives are very angry with them for giving way on the clause about 'words spoken,' in the new Bill, and for consenting to make it temporary. Graham told me he had great doubts about that clause, but he would support whatever they proposed. It is certainly true that their concessions are not well managed; they do not come down and make them as if on mature consideration; but they suffer themselves to be bullied out of them by their Radical opponents, and this gives them an air of vacillation and irresolution which is very prejudicial. Lord John made a very good speech on this Bill, and George Grey by common consent does his work very well indeed.

I had some talk with the Duke of Bedford at Newmarket about Ireland, and told him my plan of operations, that is, the idea that has presented itself to my mind. It consists of two parts—one as to the land, the other the Church. I propose that the Government should become a great proprietor and capitalist, raising whatever funds are necessary, and expending them in productive works and the employment of labour. I have observed that all who have written, spoken, or thought on this subject, agree that the indispensable thing for Ireland is the application of capital to the developement of the resources of the country and the employment of its people. Nobody will invest capital there in its present state; consequently those resources remain undeveloped, and the people are in a state of idleness and starvation; that which it is desirable that everybody should do, but which nobody will do, must be done by the Government itself. I have only as yet formed the idea, without 168 having deeply considered it, still less attempted to work out its details. The other question, the Church, that eternal stumbling-block, does not present less difficulty, but is equally urgent. This morning the Duke of Bedford came here and told me he had spoken to Lord John about my ideas, but without going into any detail, or even explanation, and Lord John said he should like to talk to me about it himself; he said, moreover, that they not only mean to propose something about the Church, but have got a plan half prepared. They will not, however, attempt to bring anything forward this year, and they would be very wrong if they did.

There has just appeared in all the newspapers a long letter of Louis Philippe's to the Queen of the Belgians, giving his whole case about the Montpensier marriage, with certain other letters from Guizot and Salvandy on the same subject. These papers were found at the Tuileries, and have been published at Paris. The history of this letter is this. When the King had concocted the marriage he made his Queen write to ours, and after mentioning all his family by name, and telling her all they were severally about, she mentioned this marriage in the same casual way, as a happy event in the family. Our Queen wrote an answer, in which she expressed her satisfaction at the happiness and prosperity of the different members of her family whom Queen Marie Amélie had enumerated, excepting the last topic, that of the marriage. This she said was a political matter, on which she entertained very different sentiments. It was then that Louis Philippe wrote this long epistle which the Queen of the Belgians sent to our Queen, who wrote a very laconic reply, saying that it had not altered her opinion, and that she considered that the King had forfeited the word he had given her. These letters she showed to Lord John Russell and Palmerston. The King was furious, and from that moment no more communication took place between them till the letter the Queen wrote to him (or to Queen Marie Amélie) on the death of Madame Adélaïde. The Duchess of Gloucester sent the Duchess of Bedford a letter 169 of the Queen's to her on the present state of affairs and her own situation, which exhibits her in a very amiable light. She talks with such sympathy of the sufferings of others in whom she is interested, and with such thankfulness for the many blessings which she herself enjoys, and which she says she almost 'grudges' when she looks round and sees the afflictions of so many whom she loves. The expression is faulty, but the idea is clear.


April 30th.—While I was at Newmarket the newspapers published the correspondence between Palmerston, Bulwer, and Sotomayor, which excited great interest and no small animadversion even there.44 It was a choice specimen of Palmerston's spirit of domination, which, so far from being moderated by all that was said about his Greek correspondence, seems only to have broken out with fresh virulence on this occasion. It remains to be seen whether John Russell and his colleagues will once for all make a stand against his arbitrary and independent administration of the Foreign Office, or submit to it: this must be the crisis. The Duke of Bedford told me he had read it in the papers with much annoyance, because he foresaw the difficulties it would produce; that he had known of it some time ago, and of what had occurred relating to it; that Palmerston had shown John Russell the despatch, and that Lord John had objected to it, stating his reasons for so doing. According to his custom, Palmerston made no reply; but they parted, Lord John naturally concluding that after he had stated his objection the despatch would not be sent. Shortly after he was with the Queen, and in conversation on this subject he told her what had passed between Palmerston and himself, 170 and what he had said. 'No; did you say all that?' said the Queen. He said, 'Yes.' 'Well then,' she replied, 'it produced no effect, for the despatch is gone. Lord Palmerston sent it to me; I know it is gone.' What more passed I do not know. The only difference Palmerston made was that he divided his despatch to Bulwer into two, but he did not omit or alter a word of what Lord John had objected to. When I first heard this my impression was that this was such a daring defiance of the Prime Minister and such an insulting indifference to the sentiments of his colleagues that it must lead to a quarrel, and that Palmerston would be forced to resign. I anticipated discussions in both Houses of Parliament, in which Palmerston's colleagues would be obliged to speak out, especially John Russell, and that they would throw him over, which if they did it would be impossible for him to stay in. Lord Stanley, who was at Newmarket all last week, told the Duke of Bedford that it was very much against his inclination to attack Palmerston, who was so good-natured and agreeable, but that it was impossible to pass this over. Still on consideration I suspect that Palmerston's audacity and good fortune, his rare dexterity, and total absence of sensitiveness will carry him through. They will probably knock under to him, they will not venture to throw him over in public, and will content themselves with some timid remonstrance in private, which he will receive with perfect good humour and treat with sovereign contempt. He has not evinced the slightest disposition to give way, for I heard yesterday that he has written to Bulwer fully approving of his letter. He has replied to Sotomayor in a tone of sarcasm, and he has taken this opportunity to make Bulwer K.C.B. Of course he will not hear of recalling him, and I begin to think that it will end in his dictating to everybody, Spanish Cabinet and his own colleagues, and he will march on triumphant in the midst of ineffectual grumblings and abortive efforts to restrain him.


May 3rd.—Palmerston and John Russell seem to have made up this matter (if ever they quarrelled about it, which 171 they probably did not), for I hear of Lord John expressing joy that it is taken up by Urquhart in the House of Commons rather than by any more formidable opponent. Ben Stanley tells me that it is all Bulwer's fault, and that he was instructed only to interfere if a suitable opportunity presented itself, and then verbally; but as Palmerston will not throw over Bulwer, it is an imbroglio, and will make a bother; but it is clear that Palmerston is in no danger. Ben Stanley also says that the Spanish Government are very anxious to make it up; however, we shall have something elicited by the discussions.

I had a long letter from Clarendon yesterday, and saw Southern45 in the morning, just come from Dublin, where he has been staying several weeks. The former wrote to me on the subject of the Irish Church, and says that he is all against touching it, for that the Protestants are now the sole link between the two countries, and that they from feelings of pride and old associations cling to that Establishment with unconquerable tenacity, and any attempt to invade it would alienate the whole Protestant body and render them repealers also. He writes at considerable length on this topic, and what he says may be true; but if it be, and if it is always to be acted on, peace never can be attainable. Southern says everything is better so far as the chance of any immediate outbreak is removed, but that the state of the country is not improved, and that the chronic agitation and disaffection will only go on the more in every district under the priests. Clarendon says not a Roman Catholic in Ireland is to be trusted, and gives a deplorable picture of the condition of landed property and proprietors; the inveterate habit of selfishness and indifference to the state of the masses, which has so long distinguished the landowners, makes it impossible to get them to act on the principles which regulate the relations of landlord and tenant here; 172 and he assures me that there are many who contemplate in the most cold-blooded way the relief from a starving and redundant population by the operation of famine. Then the tricks and jobbing of those who are concerned in the administration of the poor laws produce infinite mischief, and in short the whole material, high and low, is so corrupt that it is an Herculean task for anybody to introduce order into such a chaos, and to try and weed out its manifold evils. He complains that his plans and schemes for employing the people and developing the national resources do not meet with the attention he has a right to expect from the Government, and he doubts if Lord John Russell comprehends, or even reads them.

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


May 7th.—The Limerick affair and discomfiture of the Young Irelanders has given a great blow to the whole rebellious 173 faction, put Clarendon in spirits, and for the time cleared the horizon, and dispelled all chance of disturbance or outbreak. People jump to the conclusion (and the press takes that line) that the agitation is entirely at an end, and Ireland about to become peaceable if not satisfied. I have had a letter from Bessborough,47 who tells me what Clarendon and Crampton said to him about Catholic endowment, and of the impossibility of it. The latter, he says, mixes with people of every denomination and description, and his opinion upon it he thinks entitled to much attention. Bessborough also thinks everything is looking better in Ireland, and more promising for future prosperity and tranquillity; he anticipates, in short, a very prosperous year.

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

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

May 9th.—Palmerston got another drubbing last night in the Lords, which will be a lesson to him, if anything can. Stanley made a second speech, still more effective than his first, and Aberdeen followed him. Lord Lansdowne was miserably feeble in reply, as he might well be, having no case. I never saw public opinion more strongly or generally pronounced, and it may be of use in moderating Palmerston for the future. If he were not the man he is, there would be 174 no doubt of it, but he is apparently incurable. The whole affair is very discreditable to the Government. It looks bad enough as it is; but what would people think of it if they knew that Lord John Russell had seen these offensive despatches, had objected to them, and that they had gone in spite of him; and now he and his colleagues are obliged to come down to Parliament and to defend them?

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

Charles Wood asked me to go to Graham and find out what his views were about the West Indian question, and whether he was prepared to grant the West Indians any relief, and to meddle with the Bill of 1846. I went to him yesterday morning, and was with him for two hours, talking about everything and everybody. 175


May 14th.—Graham said about the West Indians that the old proprietors must be ruined, nothing could save them. New purchasers who went out and cultivated these estates might do well, but men here could no longer derive incomes from sugar duties; he would not disturb the arrangement of 1846, though he thought the Government had been wrong in making it, and he and Peel had only supported them because if they had been beaten they would have gone out. Nor would he give any money; said that the Committees now sitting would recommend doing away with the African fleet and the whole of our anti-slavery machinery, and that all that could be done for the West Indians was to authorise a sort of regulated slave trade, procuring labourers and making them free; the people of this country had tasted cheap sugar, and would not now go back to dear; he anticipated no difficulty from the French Government in doing away with the Treaty, but much from Palmerston, who would hardly be brought to propose it. We talked much of the Spanish correspondence, of Palmerston, John Russell, and the rest; Graham could not understand how Lord Grey stood it, seeing that everything that had happened had justified him in his original objections. He told me a story of John Russell's having sat by somebody (I found out afterwards it was Ellice), just after the suppression of the insurrection at Madrid, to whom he expressed his satisfaction at the Government having put it down, and added, 'Think of that fool Bulwer having taken that opportunity to make an attempt in favour of the Progressista party,' which Graham said was a proof that he had not known anything of Palmerston's instructions. I did not tell him what the real state of the case was. He said that he and Peel did not want to turn the Government out, nor embarrass them, and therefore gave me to understand that they should not take any part against Palmerston; but he severely criticised his conduct, and was evidently very glad at his getting into such a scrape. His general views were very apparent to me; he has a great contempt for the Government, thinks nobody has done well but Sir George Grey and Clarendon, but is biding his time 176 and acting on the policy which I long ago saw was the true one, of making a junction with the Whigs possible hereafter. He is very much provoked with Lincoln and Gladstone, who he said were 'impatient,' and acting in a spirit of most injudicious half hostility and annoyance to the Government; he sees all the inconvenience of this course, but he does not choose to interfere, and I perceive he does not like Lincoln nor think highly of him. His object is to have as many doors open to himself and Peel as is possible by-and-by, and he looks to govern upon such popular principles, and at the same time safe ones, as may enable them to raise a standard that will have attraction for all moderate, sensible, and liberal people. He anticipates a great part to be played by Francis Baring, of whose talents and influence he thinks highly; that he is greatly improved in speaking; and being now head of the great family of Baring, opulent, with a strong mind and will, very rigid and severe in his principles, he must be a very conspicuous and powerful man in public life. I have no doubt he would like to coalesce with Baring by-and-by, and have him for Chancellor of the Exchequer in their Government when they make one; he talked of Aberdeen and the way he was 'cottoning' himself to Stanley; owned that these times of universal revolution were unsuitable to the genius and taste of Aberdeen, who was an excellent foreign minister with Peel, adopting his free trade principles, and dealing with monarchical Europe; but now the scholar of Castlereagh, whose inclinations all lay towards Metternich and Guizot, was disgusted and disheartened at the spectacle Europe presented. I hinted that this might in some degree prove convenient, which he perfectly understood. 177


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

Stud House: May 22nd and 25th, 1848.—In these times a hiatus of ten days leaves an immense arrear of events and circumstances of different sorts. The principal one last week was the strange scene in the French Chamber and the conspiracy against its independence which was so completely frustrated. It is never worth while to describe scenes which are better and more circumstantially narrated in the newspapers. The spirit of order was completely victorious, but the conduct of those who have got the upper hand is still 178 very unaccountable.48 People go on wondering that Lamartine should be so irresolute, and that he should endure Ledru Rollin as a colleague. Madame de Lieven supplied me with the solution of this question which I dare say is the true one. She told me that Roberts the painter (who brought her away from Paris) came to her the other day and told her that the Revolution found Lamartine as well as Ledru Rollin ruined men, and that they formed a compact to feather their nests, which both have accomplished. While they have been ostensibly (and perhaps really) the heads of different sections of the Government and the promoters of different principles, they have always been connected by a secret understanding and a common interest, and therefore they cannot break with each other, and accordingly whenever the moderate party appear to have the upper hand and cry out to Lamartine to come forward and crush his colleague, Lamartine, on the contrary, shuffles, temporises and compromises, and so he and Ledru Rollin go on together. The consequence of all this is that there is no Government in France, and all the material interests of the country keep getting worse and worse, and ruin stares everybody in the face.


On Monday morning before I came here I learnt that there had been a fresh matter of complaint against Palmerston, which had given Lord John great annoyance. It seems that several days ago Brunnow communicated to Palmerston that the Emperor of Russia had determined to make common cause with the King of Denmark, and at the same time he made this known to the Prince of Prussia.49 179 The next day the Prince went to pay a visit to the Queen, when he alluded to this important communication; the Queen was excessively embarrassed, for she had never heard a word about it, Palmerston having omitted to tell her. As soon as the Prince was gone, she sent for Lord John Russell, who was at Richmond. He came up to town and went to the Queen, who told him what had passed, describing her embarrassment, but said that she thought it better not to let the Prince know she was in ignorance of such a matter, and she had therefore pretended to be aware of it. By mere accident John Russell himself had received a box from Palmerston with this communication a few minutes before he went to the Queen; if it had arrived ten minutes later he would have known nothing about it either. This coming after the Spanish affair, and so soon, does not improve Palmerston's position with the Queen or his colleagues.

I found the Duke of Bedford, who had sent for me, much disturbed at a communication he had received from Arbuthnot, who told him that the Government would be very hard pressed on Friday upon Bankes' motion on the Spanish correspondence;50 that the motion had been settled by Bankes and Lincoln together, and approved by Stanley; that all the Protectionists would support it; and if Hume and the Radicals did so likewise, the Government would be beaten. All this Arbuthnot had learnt from a Protectionist friend, who added that he did not know what Peel and Graham and their friends would do. This latter point I undertook to ascertain, and I forthwith called on Graham and asked him. He told me that both he and Peel would support the Government, not approving Palmerston's conduct, but not wishing to damage the Government, and not thinking it fair or proper to inflict upon Palmerston a Parliamentary censure. He told me what he should say on the occasion, which I need not say here, as he will say it himself. We had a great deal of talk 180 about the state of affairs. I told him what was said about Lincoln and Bankes, and what the effect of Lincoln's conduct was; he deplored it very much, and said that it was not only very imprudent but very unfair to others, but that he could do nothing about it. If Peel was like other men he would keep Lincoln straight, and it behoves him especially to do so, as Lincoln is supposed to be his favourite adherent.

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

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


May 30th.—I called on Bulwer on Thursday, found him with Delane, and soon after Hayward came in, so had no opportunity of questioning him. He told his story in a long, rambling style, pretty much as the Spanish papers give it; he said he had originally sent a long account to Palmerston of the state of parties in Spain, and the character of the principal men, and advised him to be on good terms with Narvaez and his Government. He did not say what answer Palmerston sent, but I inferred that it did not meet his 181 views. The thing that struck me was the knowledge which he betrayed of the plots or intrigues that were going on against the Government, and it does not appear either from these papers or from what he said to me that he ever gave the benefit of his information to the Spanish Ministers. For example, he knew of the military insurrection, the day on which, the place at which, it was to take place, who was to command it, and, in short, particulars which implied familiarity, if not complicity, with the conspirators. Then there appears to have been a system of offensive and injudicious interference, and in the functions discharged by the English Minister one searches in vain for any international interest, or anything in which we are concerned, and he seems only to have existed at Madrid to meddle and give officious, unrequired, and unwelcome advice. The whole affair is at present in a very embarrassing state, but the man who takes it the most lightly is Palmerston himself. Everybody condemns the spirit of meddling which Palmerston has exhibited in this as in so many instances, and even those who think his interference warrantable, admit that his tone and manner have been very injudicious and in exceeding bad taste. At present his colleagues show no disposition to give him up, and his will is so strong and he is so daring and reckless, while they are all so feeble and yielding, that he will probably harness them all to his car and make them assist in lugging him out of the difficulty. This affair will, however, prove a source of discredit out of the Cabinet, and of weakness and dissension within it. There is not a Minister who does not feel more or less disgusted and alarmed at Palmerston's proceedings, and still more at his character. Out of doors the reprehension is universal. Graham, who had announced his opposition to Bankes' motion and his intention to assist the Government, has now communicated to them (through me) that he can pledge himself to no course till he shall have seen all the papers and heard all the explanations on the subject. Bulwer and Isturitz met at Palmerston's dinner on the Queen's birthday, and accosted each other very cordially. 182 It was remarked that the Queen was very civil to Isturitz at the Levée.

The account of Mitchell's conviction51 has given great satisfaction here, and compensated for the defeats in the other cases. The good of it is that the Government have proved to the Irish and to the world that they have the means of punishing these enormous offenders, and that they will not be able to pursue their turbulent and factious course with impunity. The three hundred imitators whom Mitchell announced as ready to encounter similar martyrdom will probably not be forthcoming. So far as the system of terror is concerned, which is the only one we can now employ, it is a great and happy event, but it will not contribute to the regeneration of the country, and will probably augment the fund of accumulating hatred against English connexion. Still, anything is better than political impotence, and, before any attempt can be made to introduce those practical improvements which may disarm the Irish of their prejudices and animosities, the power of the law and the Government must be firmly asserted and enforced. An incident has, however, accompanied these trials which is not pleasant to the Government. The Whigs, and Lord John Russell at the head of them, when in opposition, bitterly attacked the conduct of the Law Officers in their jury challenges in the political trials. On this occasion, the Whig Law officers found they must either do exactly as their predecessors had done, or connive at their own defeat. They wisely and properly chose the former alternative, but of course at the cost of exposing the present Government to charges of gross inconsistency. Last night in the House of Commons the subject was touched upon, and John Russell had the imprudence to read part of a private letter from Clarendon, referring to the conduct of the late Government in striking the jury in O'Connell's case as open to reproach. This 183 brought up Graham, who affirmed that the instructions given by his Government and those given by the present Government were precisely the same, which John Russell was obliged to admit. The allusion, however, gave offence both to Graham and to Peel. The former has written me a note about it this morning, by which I see that he is a good deal nettled.


May 31st.—Yesterday Lord Grey called on the Duke of Bedford to talk over the Spanish affair, at which he is beginning to kick, though very gently. The present state of the case is this: from all that appears in public, the Spanish Government has been wholly unjustifiable, and we are not likely to know more as yet, for Mirasol52 having brought no credentials, Palmerston refuses to receive him, and has desired him to convey what he has to say through Isturitz; but he came away in such a hurry (running a race with Bulwer) that he left all his papers behind him, and accordingly he has nothing to show. What between the awkwardness of the Spaniards, the artfulness of Palmerston, and the reluctance there is on all sides to push the Government to extremities, it appears most likely that the discussions in Parliament will produce no other result than a good deal of talk, and some expression of an opinion that the Spanish Government has been very impertinent. But nobody cares about the affront they have offered us, for the simple reason that it is universally considered as aimed at Palmerston and Bulwer, and that both have provoked it by their own insolent and unbecoming interference, the matter and the manner of which are equally condemned. It is now reported that Palmerston means to insist on sending Bulwer back to Madrid, for no other reason, of course, than to make the Spaniards eat humble pie; and, for the sake of achieving a personal triumph, he will not mind making the English Government and country odious in Spain. Every day the 184 difficulties of the Government increase, and its weakness becomes more apparent, but without any tolerable alternative presenting itself. The friends and subordinates of the Government acknowledge this. There is a general sense of rottenness, and a consciousness that they inspire no confidence. Hawes told me yesterday that 'he was nobody, and could only shrug up his shoulders at all he saw.' They were beaten last night (on small matters, it is true) in both Houses,53 and now there appears a very good chance of their being beaten on the resolutions of the West Indian Committee, which has reported to the House in favour of a duty on sugar of ten shillings for six years. Lord John at once declared he should oppose it. The division in the Committee was a very curious one; this resolution was carried by seven to five, and by a strange crossing over of opposite parties. Goulburn and Cardwell did not vote; two or three Whigs voted for it.

The Princess Sophia54 died a few days ago, while the Queen was holding the Drawing-room for her Birthday. She was blind, helpless, and suffered martyrdom; a very clever, well-informed woman, but who never lived in the world. She was the intimate friend of the Duke of York while he lived, and of the Duchess of Gloucester up to the last. The Princess left a letter for the Queen, which was delivered to her in the garden of Buckingham Palace by Andrew Drummond on Monday morning.


June 1st.—Isturitz has sent in Mirasol's case, which, he admits himself, is no case at all, flimsy and weak, and unsupported by proofs. This, however, though it puts the Spanish Government in the wrong, does not thereby relieve our embarrassment; for, while it imposes on us the necessity of requiring some reparation for so gross an affront, it is very difficult to know what to demand; and if the Spaniards don't comply, what are we to do next? There seems to be very 185 little doubt that the coals have been blown by Louis Philippe and Guizot, the latter of whom is in constant correspondence with Madrid, as our Government have ascertained, and both are animated with the strongest desire to do Palmerston an ill turn.

Meanwhile, the affair has become more serious here. Lord Grey has at last been to John Russell, and in very temperate terms told him matters cannot any longer go on as they have done, and he afterwards went to the Duke of Bedford, and told him what he had done. Grey learnt for the first time, when he spoke to Lord John, what had happened about the despatch to which Lord John had objected. The Duke wrote his brother a very long letter, setting forth all the danger and discredit which accrued to the Government from their proceedings, and the discontent which was produced amongst their friends. Lord John took this letter in good part, and he told the Duke that if they got over this affair something must be settled for the future. He at the same time gave him another anecdote as an example of Palmerston's way of doing business, which fortunately ended without mischief, but might have had a very different result. One day when the Duc de Broglie was with Palmerston, he asked him if there was any news. Palmerston said he had just got a box, which he had not yet opened, but he would open it then. He did so, found a despatch from Howden on the subject of the Monte Video business, and gave it to the Duc de Broglie to read. The Duc read it, said that its contents were not pleasant, and remonstrated against them, whatever they were, which I do not know, and, for the point of the story, does not signify. Immediately after, Palmerston joined the Queen in Scotland, leaving the conduct of this affair in the hands of John Russell. Lord John and the Duc de Broglie came to an understanding, but in the meanwhile Palmerston wrote a despatch to Normanby on the subject, which passed through London without being communicated to Lord John Russell. This, which Normanby was instructed to read to Guizot, surprised him very much, and he told Normanby that it was 186 different from what the Duc de Broglie had given him reason to expect. This annoyed Normanby very much, and as it placed him in a very awkward situation, he complained of it. The matter was then explained, and eventually Guizot acted with so much moderation that it was adjusted amicably. Palmerston when urged on the subject threw the blame on the Foreign Office, which they say he is constantly in the habit of doing.

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


June 3rd.—Yesterday morning I saw Graham. He said matters were going on worse and worse; the Government seemed to be paralysed, and to have lost their understandings. They had such a night on Tuesday in the House of Commons as he never witnessed. He then enumerated their defeats and their blunders and mismanagement, without bitterness but with great contempt. They sustained a defeat on Bowring's motion about the collection of taxes, a very important matter, not having got their people down. I found out afterwards that they did not expect a division, and thought to prevent one by counting out the House, and to aid this Sir George Grey told people who were waiting there they had better go away. This was blundering. Then they made a great mistake in fighting the Derby writ, in which they, in conjunction with the Protectionists, got 187 beaten by the Liberals and the Peelites. On Anstey's Roman Catholic Relief Bill none of the Government were present. On Thursday night Lord John came down with two very foolish notices, one for our alteration of the Oath (which is only a new Jew bill in a fresh form), and another to relieve voters from disqualification on account of non-payment of the assessed taxes, which was intended as a sop to Hume before his Reform motion. Both these Graham denounced as weak and unwise. I asked him what they thought of the resolution of the West India Committee.55 He said it was very awkward. He was as strong as ever against the proposition, and the best reason he gave was that it would be of no service to the West Indians if it was carried; that if all foreign sugar was prohibited they would be as much swamped by Mauritius and the East as by Cuba and Brazil. He will, therefore, oppose it; but he is not sure the Government may not be in a minority, and I told him if Lord John was defeated on it I really believed he would resign. He said he thought the Protectionists were prepared to form a Government if they carried the resolution. I do not, however, believe any such thing, and I reminded him that such a division, composed as the majority would be of the most heterogeneous materials, would be no test of their strength as a party; and that if they were mad enough to attempt it, and the Queen would consent (which she never would) to let them, they would not stay in three days. He said they must dissolve; they had no other course, and that revolution would be the inevitable consequence of a dissolution and a fresh election at such a time as this; that such a Parliament would be returned as we had never seen; Hume's reform and the four points would be carried, and the Monarchy swept away. However, though he believes these results would follow from the formation of a Stanley Government, he does not, I am sure, 188 for a moment, contemplate such a contingency as within the limits of possibility. I told the Duke of Bedford all Graham had said, and that he might make any use of the knowledge this gave him of the Government proceedings to put matters if he could in a better train. He said he would talk to Lord John, though he hates doing so, for he is always suffering under that deplorable infirmity of Lord John's—his disinclination to hear unpalatable truths, and above all to be found fault with. The consequence of this is that he receives everybody ill who goes to him to tell him what he does not like to hear, and nobody now but the Duke (and he very reluctantly) will go to him to tell him what he ought to hear. The Duke said he agreed with Graham as to the consequences of a Protectionist Government, but that it was out of the question, and if Lord John was forced to resign, Peel must take the Government, and the Whig party must join and support him; and between some of the present Cabinet and some of the late a very strong Government might be formed.

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


The Government are now getting seriously uneasy about the Chartist manifestations in various parts of the country, especially in London, and at the repeated assemblings and marchings of great bodies of men. Le Marchant told me that two or three months ago, when he was at the Home Office, he received accounts he thought very alarming of the wide-spreading disaffection of the people, and particularly of the enormous increase of cheap publications of the most mischievous and inflammatory character, which were disseminated among the masses and eagerly read; and lately, accounts have been received from well-informed persons, whose occupations lead them to mix with the people, clergymen—particularly Roman Catholic—and medical men, who 189 report that they find a great change for the worse amongst them, an increasing spirit of discontent and disaffection, and that many who on the 10th of April went out as special constables declare they would not do so again if another manifestation required it. The speeches which are made at the different meetings are remarkable for the coarse language and savage spirit they display. It is quite new to hear any Englishmen coolly recommend assassination, and the other day a police superintendent was wounded in the leg by some sharp instrument. These are new and very bad symptoms, and it is impossible not to feel alarm when we consider the vast amount of the population as compared with any repressive power we possess. The extent and reality of the distress they suffer, the impossibility of expecting such masses of people to be eternally patient and forbearing, to restrain all their natural impulses, and endure tamely severe privations when they are encouraged and stimulated to do otherwise, and are thus accessible to every sort of internal and external temptation,—all these considerations may well beget a serious presentiment of danger. But though many do feel this and brood much over it, there appears to be a fatal security amongst the majority, whose sluggish minds cannot be awakened to the possibility of a great convulsion here, notwithstanding the continental conflagration that stares them in the face. What we principally want is a strong Government which shall obtain public confidence and respect, and which may have a chance of conciliating, satisfying, and keeping in check public opinion. This the divisions and subdivisions of parties, and the enduring enmities and vindictive feelings of the Conservatives, effectually prevent. The only strong Government that could be formed would be a Liberal one under Peel, and the Protectionists would rather encounter the chances of revolution than see the man whom they detest so bitterly at the head of affairs again. They are so blind to their own interest, or so insane in their resentment, that they would prefer to run the risk of all that Radicals or Chartists could do than owe their safety to Peel, whom they affect to think the enemy of their best interests, 190 and a man not to be trusted; and this they go on harping upon, although half of them now admit that it is the greatest blessing to them to have been saved by his measures from the dangerous predicament in which they would now otherwise be.

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


The Government have at last taken strong measures against the Chartists; but in spite of the arrest of some of their leaders, another demonstration is expected on Monday, for which great preparations are to be made. These demonstrations are getting a great bore, besides being very mischievous. The townspeople, who are thus perpetually alarmed, are growing very angry, and the military are so savage that Lord Londonderry told the Duke of Wellington he was sure, if a collision took place, the officers of his regiment would not be able to restrain their men. Many people think that a severe chastisement of these mobs will alone put a stop to their proceedings, and that it will be better the troops should be allowed to act and open fire upon them. This is an extremity which must be avoided if possible, but anything is better than allowing such an evil as this to go on increasing. But if these multitudes of discontented men can be daunted into submission, fearful considerations remain behind. We have an enormous overgrown population, a vast proportion of which are in undeniable misery and distress, and are soured and exasperated by their sufferings. To expect such beings to be reasonable, and still more to be logical, is to expect a moral impossibility. While the minds of the masses are in a combustible state, and they 191 are ready to listen to anybody who appears to sympathise with them, and who pretends to be able to put them in the way of mending their condition, there are not wanting agents who strive with all their might, and not without success, to inflame and mislead them. The suffering people are prompt to believe that that cannot be a sound and just condition of society in which they are abandoned to starvation and destitution, while other classes are revelling in luxury and enjoyment. They have confused notions that this is all wrong, and that under some different political dispensation their interests would be better cared for, and according to their necessities they would be comforted and relieved. They are neither able to comprehend nor disposed to listen to the long processes of argument by which it might be demonstrated to them that all the prevailing misery and distress are attributable to causes over which Government has no control, and which no legislation can counteract: the unhappy state of the world, the confusion which prevails everywhere, the interruption of regular industry, the disturbance of the ordinary course of social life, and the universal poverty and suffering react upon this country and to a certain degree undermine the broad foundations on which our social and political fabric stands. We are not indeed yet shaken from our equilibrium, but there is a restlessness, an apprehension, a heaving and struggling, which appear like warnings and forerunners of a possible earthquake. We seem to have got into another stage of existence, our world is almost suddenly altered, we deal with new questions, men seem to be animated with fresh objects; what are called politics, international questions and the strife of parties, sink into insignificance; society is stirred up from its lowest depths, and we are obliged to turn our eyes and thoughts and faculties to the vast spectacle that is laid bare before us—and an appalling and awful spectacle it is which may well make the most thoughtless reflect, and turn levity and indifference into seriousness and fear.56


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

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

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


The expected Chartist demonstration yesterday ended in smoke, both here and in the provinces; nevertheless great preparations were made of military, police, and special constables. It rained torrents the whole day, which probably would have been enough to prevent any assemblages of people; but the determined attitude of the Government and the arrests that have taken place intimidated the leaders. Everybody had got bored and provoked to death with these continued alarms, but it is now thought that we shall not have any more of them. The Chartists themselves must get tired of meeting and walking about for nothing, and they can hardly fail to lose all confidence in their leaders, whose actions so ill correspond with their promises and professions. 193 A man of the name of MacDougal, who appears to be the chief of the London Chartists, harangued his rabble a few days ago, declared the meeting should take place in spite of Government, and announced the most heroic intentions. He went to the ground (at one of the rendezvous), and finding a magistrate there, asked him if the meeting was illegal, and if the Government really intended to prevent it. The magistrate referred him to the printed placard, by which he would see that it was illegal, and that the Government did intend to prevent it; on which he made a bow, said he did not mean to oppose the law, would go away, and advise his friends to do the same; and off he went. The failures have been complete everywhere, and nobody feels any alarm; nevertheless the spirit and the sour disaffection, and the vast numbers that are infected with it, are dangerous, and may some day be productive of serious consequences.

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

The curtain has fallen on another act of the Spanish drama, Isturitz having been civilly sent out of this country. 194 The papers present a case all to our advantage. Bulwer's despatch of May 30, in vindication of himself, was very well done, and Palmerston's last note to Isturitz excellent. The Spaniards have played their cards (not bad ones originally) so miserably ill, that they have given the game to our Foreign Office, though it is difficult to say what the stake is worth; they are, however, like people who had a very good hand, but revoked at a critical moment, and so lost the game. Bulwer and Palmerston are triumphantly curvetting about, completely smashing their antagonists in argument, partly because the latter are blunderers who have deceived themselves and been misled by others, and partly because they cannot put forth their true case and the reasons which have influenced them. They know perfectly well that Palmerston and Bulwer have all along moved heaven and earth to keep or drive Narvaez out of office, and Montpensier out of Spain, while Sotomayor has put forward frivolous or unsustainable pretexts for the violent and rash course they have adopted. Narvaez is compelled to keep back the real case he had against Bulwer, and the cause of his animosity towards him. He knows that Bulwer tried to prevent his coming into power; that he was the life and soul, the leader and director of the faction opposed to him, whom he instigated to adopt the most violent measures. I read in Bulwer's own handwriting an account of his proceedings and of the failure of his schemes. It was through Serrano all this was to be done, but Serrano was under the influence of his mother, and Narvaez of his doctor, and these were both corrupted by the other side. This was the cause of failure. Then Serrano, as all the world knows, was himself brought over, and he has since given to Narvaez in writing a detailed account of his communication with Bulwer, and of the conduct of the latter, but in which the Queen is so implicated and compromised, that it is impossible for Narvaez to make any use of it. This Guizot (who knows everything that passes at Madrid) told Reeve, and I have no doubt it is true, because it corresponds with that letter of Bulwer's which I myself saw. This is the secret history of the matter. 195


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

June 24th.—We are on the brink of a crisis and one of a most fearful nature. This sugar question is going to destroy this Government, as former sugar questions have destroyed former Governments. Until yesterday I was satisfied that Government would not think it necessary to resign if beaten on Pakington's amendment, and Hobhouse, whom I met the other day, seemed to think they need not. Many of them, however, thought differently, and yesterday there was a Cabinet, at which they came to a unanimous resolution to resign. The Duke of Bedford thought as I had done, and strongly urged Lord John not to resign; this he told me yesterday morning, but that he had not been able to convince him. After I saw him I went to Graham; I found him in great alarm at the state of affairs and the prospect of 196 the country. He said that he expected the Government would be beaten, and that he did not see how they could go on if they were; he approved of their resigning; that it was a vote of censure or want of confidence, and that in fact they had lost all hold of the House of Commons; that they had done so in great measure by their own blunders and follies; and he then enumerated many of these; and he was satisfied they had so lost credit and power that they could not go on, and therefore if they survived this vote they would fall by some other. He then told me that Peel's friends had separated themselves from him, and would vote with the Protectionists; he and Peel should support the Government, but he did not know for certain of any others who would go with them; he should do so with great reluctance he owned, but he would not turn them out. The rest of the Peelites are angry with Peel for supporting the Government as he had done; they were impatient, could no longer be restrained, and were resolved to join the Protectionists. Graham had had no communication with any of them, but he concluded they were and must be ready to join Stanley and take office under him if he invited them. He looked on Stanley's coming into office as inevitable. I asked him what his Cabinet would be: he supposed principally Peel's old Cabinet with George Bentinck and Disraeli; and he then descanted on all the evils and dangers to be apprehended from their assumption of power however brief, much as he did in our former conversation; the great impetus it would give to reform, and the vast power the Radical and subversive interest would acquire; in fact, his anticipations are of the most serious and gloomy character—foreseeing the downfall of the Church, the House of Lords, and the Crown itself. In the afternoon I told the Duke of Bedford what he had said of the defection of the Peelites from their chief, and that this event would be openly manifested in the course of the present debate. The Duke was to dine at the Palace, where I knew he would have a great deal of conversation with the Queen, so I called on him this morning to hear what had passed. She and the Prince entered into it all, 197 and were aware of what was impending, for Lord John had prepared her for it. She said she was very sorry, as everything had gone on very smoothly with one exception. Lord John has made up his mind to advise her to send for Stanley, and she is prepared to do so. Nobody now doubts that Stanley, if sent for, means to undertake it, and this is the state of affairs up to this time. There was a most scandalous scene in the House of Commons last night, originating in the virulence of George Bentinck's attack on Hawes; but I know nothing of it as yet but from the newspaper report.58


June 25th.—Everybody was full of the scene in the House of Commons, which seems to have been to the last degree deplorable and disgraceful, calculated to bring the House of Commons into contempt. Everybody behaved ill; nothing could exceed the intemperance of George Bentinck's attack on Grey and Hawes, accusing them in terms not to be mistaken of wilful suppression of documents, and then the most disgraceful shuffling and lying to conceal what they had done and escape from the charges against them. On the other hand, John Russell lost his temper; and as gentlemen in that predicament usually do, at the same time lost his good taste and good sense. He twitted George Bentinck with his turf pursuits, and managed to make what he said appear more offensive than it really was intended to be. This brought Disraeli to the defence of his friend, and he poured forth a tide of eloquent invective and sarcasm which was received with frantic applause by his crew; they roared and hooted and converted the House of Commons into such a bear-garden as no one ever saw before. When Hawes got up to defend himself they would not hear him, and attempted to bellow him down with groans and 'ohs,' spurning all sense of justice and decency. It was grief and scandal to all reasonable men. Peel sat it out and never uttered a word, but he cheered Hawes when he was speaking. 198


June 26th.—The state of the Government is like that of a sick man, the bulletins of whose health continually vary, one hour better with good hopes, another worse.59 Yesterday it looked up. Tufnell's list presented a chance of success; he had sixty-nine doubtfuls, and they now think a good many of these will vote with Government. Graham told me yesterday he had thought Government sure to be beaten, but he now found more people were disposed to go with Peel than he had believed, and that he now rather expected a majority. Many are waiting to hear Peel's speech, and will be guided by him. Everybody is talking, however, of what is to be done, and whom the Queen is to send for. The Duke of Bedford has persuaded Lord John not to say anything about resigning in his speech, and instead of at once advising the Queen to send for Stanley, to consult Peel as to the advice he shall give her. Melbourne has written to her and advised her to send for Peel. Beauvale told me this, and his notion is that a Government may be formed with Aberdeen at the head of it. It is incredible what harm Lord John's foolish speech on Friday night has done; it will very likely influence the votes, and certainly will prove very injurious to the Government; everybody thinks, let this end as it may, that we have got to the beginning of the end. At night I met Jocelyn, who told me that he meant to vote with Lincoln and Sidney Herbert against Government. I asked him how they could all be so foolish as not to follow Peel's example and do as he did. He then informed me that these Peelites have no intention whatever of joining Stanley and taking office with him; their notion is that this 199 Government is so weak and inefficient that it cannot stand, and that it will be found so impossible to form any other, that it cannot fail to fall into Peel's hands, and they expect by a sort of gentle violence to compel him to take it, having persuaded themselves that he will find a general support, though they can't well say how or where. Such are the tactics of the impatients; they hate the Whigs, and imagine they can become a Government and be recruited by moderate Conservatives and moderate Radicals, setting aside Whigs and Protectionists. He hinted to me that Peel might have prevented their taking this course if he disapproved of it. I told him they were plucking the fruit before it was ripe. On the other hand Graham discoursed largely on the impossibility of Peel's coming into office, and repeated what he has so often said before about party governments; the hatred of the Whigs, of Peel, and still more of himself; Peel's fear for his health, and the impression made on him by the fact that nobody had ever led the House of Commons after sixty, which Macaulay told him. I wasted a great deal of time in arguing with him against objections which were all simulated on his part. Every now and then he let out in the way of admissions certain things which showed how ready and anxious he really is to come in again whenever he can. I asked him why Peel had not endeavoured to keep his youngsters straight, and at all events given them good advice for their conduct. He declared that he had done so. His conduct is not very clear, and I have not that opinion of his purity and singleness of purpose that would make me believe his course has been altogether candid, straightforward, and fair, not such as the Duke of Wellington's would have been, but it is very difficult to know what he has really said and done, and impossible to know what he really thinks, wishes, and means. We were kept all yesterday in a state of intense curiosity by the news of the fighting in the streets of Paris.60 200

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


In the meantime, however, the division on Pakington's 201 motion was generally known to be safe, and accordingly there was a majority of fifteen against it last night, which was ten or fifteen less than was expected; on Sunday last Graham told me that he thought there would be a majority, as he found many people meant to wait for Peel's speech and would probably vote as he did. We then discussed what should be done if the Government should be in a minority, and consequently resign. The same evening I wrote him a note and told him that I thought if this did happen Lord John would consult Peel before he gave the Queen any advice. I am sure he told Peel this, for on Monday night I got a note from him (Graham) begging to see me the next morning. I went to him, when he said with great earnestness that he wanted to impress upon me that it was of the greatest consequence that the Queen (in case the necessity occurred) should send for Stanley forthwith, and that without consulting anybody Lord John should give her this advice. It was very desirable that there should be no appearance of any concert between him and Peel, while a consultation between them would certainly be known to Stanley, and would take away much of the grace of sending for him; that Stanley should have no excuse for declining, and the Queen should tell him she was left without a Government and that she placed herself in his hands, giving him carte blanche, and telling him she was prepared to agree to everything he proposed to her. He said he did not believe Stanley would be able to form a Government, still less to carry it on if he did form one; but he thought it of the greatest consequence that his failure should be complete, and that every opportunity and advantage should be given to him. He urged this with an unction which showed me clearly enough, if I had before had any doubt, which I had not, what his secret thoughts and intentions are, and that he is quite prepared, and Peel too, to come into office provided circumstances turn out favourably for Peel's resumption of power. I promised I would take care that this should be done, and yesterday morning I told the Duke of Bedford, who was just going off to Endsleigh. 202 Every day I find more evidence of the way in which people's minds are turning towards Peel and anticipating his return to power. Emily Eden told me that Auckland was very anxious for a junction, and quite ready to give up his own office to facilitate it. Matters are not yet ripe for such a consummation, but it must end in this manner.


The details which reach us of the extraordinary contest which has just taken place at Paris are equally horrible and curious. Hitherto we have been struck by the absence of that ferocity which distinguished the first Revolution, and the little taste there seemed for shedding blood; but the ferocity of the people broke out upon this occasion in the most terrible examples. There was a savage rancour about this exceeding the usual virulence of civil contests; the people not only murdered, but tortured, their prisoners. Since the victory the prisoners have been executed by hundreds, and with hardly any form of trial; indeed, no trial was possible or necessary, they were rebels taken en flagrant délit, at once rebels and prisoners of war. One man, when he was going to be shot, said he did not care, for he had had his revenge already, and he pulled out of his pocket twenty tongues that had been cut out. All agree that the organisation, the military skill displayed, and the vast resources the insurgents possessed in the material of war, were as extraordinary as unaccountable. The preparations must have been long before made, for the houses of their principal fortifications were perforated for the purpose of communication and escape, the staircase removed, and there were telegraphic signals arranged by lights on the tops of the buildings. There certainly was a commander-in-chief who presided over the whole, but nobody knows who he was; and the Government have never yet been able to ascertain who the leaders were. Although distress and famine were the prime causes of this great struggle, it is remarkable that there was no plundering or robbery; on the contrary, they were strictly forbidden and apparently never attempted. It is the only example, so far as I know, that history records of a pitched battle in the streets of a great capital between 203 the regular army and the armed civil power on one side, and the populace of the town militarily armed and organised also on the other, nobody knowing how the latter were organised or by whom directed. Colonel Towneley, who came from Paris last night, told me that it is believed that the old Municipal Guard, who were disbanded by the Provisional Government after the Revolution, had a great deal to do with it, but that the skill with which the positions had been chosen or fortified was perfect. Prodigies of valour seem to have been performed on both sides, and the incidents were to the last degree romantic. An Archbishop appearing as a minister of peace in the midst of the fray, and mounting the barricades to exhort the living and to bless the dying amidst the din and fury of the contest, and then perishing a martyr to his attempt to stop the effusion of blood; women mixing in the contest, carrying ammunition and supplies, daring everything, their opponents shrinking from hunting these Amazons, and at last being obliged to fire upon them in self-defence; the strange artifices employed to convey arms and cartouches. The Garde Mobile, composed of the gamins de Paris, signalised themselves with peculiar heroism, and it is fortunate that they were on the side of the Government instead of on that of the people. There was one boy, not above fifteen or sixteen, a frightful little urchin, who scaled three barricades one after another and carried off the colours from each; Cavaignac embraced him and gave him the Legion of Honour from his own person, and he was carried in triumph and crowned with laurels to a great banquet of his comrades. But it would be endless to write down the particulars of a contest which fills the columns of every newspaper now, and will be recorded in innumerable books hereafter.

July 5th.—Since the division on Pakington's motion the Government stock has considerably risen, and they are now generally considered safe for the present and for some indefinite time to come; they will probably get their Sugar Bill through. The loud complaints that have been made of this waste of time in Parliament have not been without effect, 204 and there is an appearance of getting on with business. Then the Chancellor of the Exchequer's announcement that the deficit of 2,000,00l. will be reduced to 500,000l., and that no new taxes will be wanted, has put people in better humour. The funds are rapidly rising, the harvest promises to be good, and on the whole our prospects are considerably improved within the last week. The state of the Continent, though still bad enough, is somewhat more promising; there appears to be something of a lull from exhaustion and perplexity, there is a chance of the Danish quarrel being arranged. The great victory in Paris, the establishment of a strong military Government, and the evident determination of the Assembly to promote the cause of law and order, and to put down all the wild theories which have been in the ascendant for the last three months, have largely tended to brighten the political sky; and this example may encourage others to act with the same vigour and in the same spirit. The whole world is influenced by all that is done at Paris. But in the midst of this improved prospect we have enough to disturb our tranquillity; it will be impossible for a long time for the Continent to be restored to a healthy state, and its disturbed and impoverished condition fearfully reacts upon us, and paralyses that foreign trade on which not merely the prosperity but the subsistence of vast masses of our population depends. We cannot therefore look forward to anything but great distress and suffering in our manufacturing population; and this, together with Ireland, are enough to keep us in hot water.


The Government, though safer, are not stronger, and nobody thinks they can go on very long, though without any clear idea what is to turn them out, or what is to succeed. It is pretty generally understood now that Stanley has never had the least notion of forming a Government, nor even of making the attempt. Had the event occurred he would have made a pirouette and whisked off; having done his mischief and had his fun, he would have considered his work over. It was very significant that while all the world was fancying he meditated becoming Prime Minister, he accepted the 205 office of Steward of the Jockey Club, to which high dignity he is this day to be promoted. I told Charles Wood this the other day, when he said he had never believed Stanley seriously contemplated being Minister, and that it was clear there were only two men in the country who could be—John Russell and Peel.

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

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

Endsleigh,61 July 14th.—I escaped from the 'fumum strepitumque Romæ,' from racing and politics, on Monday 206 last, and came down with De Mauley to this place. We have passed four days here pleasantly enough; it is exquisitely beautiful, so is the country round about it; a mass of comfort and luxury; house perfection, and everything kept as English houses alone are. This place was a creation of the Duke's. The house, which is a cottage, cost between 70,000l. and 80,000l., and the grounds, laid out with inimitable taste, must have cost thousands more. There are sixty miles of grass rides and gravel walks. Yesterday we went to see a farmhouse, once one of the hunting seats of the Abbot of Tavistock, a great man whose ample domains were granted to the Earl of Bedford, who was gorged with ecclesiastical spoils here and at Woburn. We then went to see the great copper mine discovered three or four years ago, the best and most profitable in the West of England. The ground was leased three and a half years ago to certain adventurers, who covenanted to give the Duke one-fifteenth of the gross produce; and as soon (if ever) as they made 30,000l. a year from it, one-twelfth. After some fruitless attempts they came upon this lode very near the surface, and found it of the best copper. A fortune was made instanter. The shares were at one time worth 700,000l., i.e. 700l. apiece; since that there has been a great fall, but they are now worth 200l. apiece. The expense of working is, however, so much increased, that the Duke's agent told me he got nearly one-half the net profits. All this country is full of copper, but the Duke told me he was resolved not to grant any more leases for mining, although he had applications every day and could make a great deal of money by giving them; but he does not want the money, and he is averse to promote the spirit of gambling, which money speculations very generally excite among the people, often greatly to their loss and always to the detriment of the agriculture of the country; the latter is neglected for the chances of the former; the farmers let their carts and horses to the miners instead of employing them on their own farms; and though mining is both a profitable and a popular employment, the Duke deems it so mischievous that he will not suffer any more of his 207 ground to be broken up for the chance of the copper that may be found underneath it. I have not heard a word here in the way of politics.


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

When I got here, found that Clarendon, whose arrival had been announced to me, and who was to have come on Monday, had been obliged to give up coming in consequence of the threatening aspect of affairs in Ireland, and he himself writes word that he does not think an outbreak can be prevented.62 The disgust felt here at the state of Ireland and the incurable madness of the people, constantly worked upon by the agitators, is now so great that most people appear to think the sooner the collision takes place the better, and that nothing is now left to be done but to fight it out and reconquer the country. I have certainly arrived at a conviction that no political measures can now avail to restore peace and to cement the Union, which in point of fact only now exists in name. There is no union for any of the 208 real purposes of a union. What makes the Irish question, the more dreadful is that the potatoes are again failing, and starvation will be the inevitable lot of the people. In that emergency, when it arrives, the Irish will look in vain to England, for no subscriptions or parliamentary grants or aid of any sort, public or private, will they get; the sources of charity and benevolence are dried up; the current which flowed last year has been effectually checked by the brutality and ingratitude of the people, and the rancorous fury and hatred with which they have met our exertions to serve them. The prospect, neither more nor less than that of civil war and famine, is dreadful, but it is unavoidable.

John Russell gave notice the other night of the measures he meant to go on with, and those he meant to abandon; nobody expected anything more, so no great complaints were made. The Government is safe enough, but they fall more and more into discredit. There has been a blunder about the sugar duties, which makes Ministers look ridiculous, and it is in fact the constant repetition of small things which damages their credit, and makes them so miserably weak. The funds have been rapidly rising and trade improving little by little, but this Irish affair has checked the rise and produced alarm. Then the potatoes are failing in England, and we have every chance of low prices of agricultural produce without abundance, and if this should happen we shall have an unquiet winter. So far as I can form an opinion from what I heard in my tour, the state of the country is not satisfactory. Chartism seems to increase, and the masses, the operatives in villages, are restless, ill-disposed, and want they know not what. It is a great evil that while education is sufficiently diffused to enable most people to read, they get either from inclination or convenience nothing but the most mischievous publications, which only serve to poison their minds, to render them discontented, and teach them to look to all sorts of wild schemes as calculated to better their position. The best part of the press (the 'Times,' for instance) seldom finds its way to the cottages and reading-rooms of the lower classes, who are fed by the cheap Radicalism of the 'Weekly Dispatch,' 209 and other journals, unknown almost to the higher classes of society, which are darkly working to undermine the productions of our social and political system. The lessons of experience which might be so well taught by the events now passing in France and elsewhere, are not presented to the minds of the people in a manner suggestive of wholesome inferences, but on the contrary they are only used as stimulants and for purposes of misrepresentation and perversion.


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

July 24th.—The House of Commons was wonderful on the 22nd; nobody had the least idea of it, not the Cabinet. It was an inspiration of John Russell's; he began by making an excellent speech, an hour and a half. When they divided he made a speech in the lobby, begged the people not to go away, and said he meant to propose to go on with the Bill. To his own amazement as much as anybody's, he found no opposition, and carried the Bill through at the sitting. By seven o'clock it was completed and he was on his way to Richmond, where I dined with him. He was in high spirits; Sheil and Ward were there, and we talked over the payment of the priests, which we all agreed (Lord John included) must be soon done, or at least attempted. Yesterday was spent in searching for precedents, to see if it was possible to pass the Bill to-day through the Lords. The Chancellor, Duke of Wellington, and others, said it was impossible, as notice must be given of the suspension of the Standing Orders. Lord Lansdowne said if only one precedent could be found he would take it, and carry the Bill through; but if not, they must wait till to-morrow. I should have made 210 the precedent: a more fitting occasion could not be. However, what was done in the House of Commons will infallibly produce all the effect that is required, and will strike terror into the Irish rebels. It was a great event, for which neither the Lord Lieutenant nor anybody in Ireland will have been the least prepared.


July 31st.—At Goodwood all last week, but I found no time to write or do anything there. The day after we arrived we were startled by the intelligence of the rebellion in Ireland having actually broken out; it was not, however, believed, and turned out to be a mere hoax.63 Instead of breaking out, it has not shown a symptom of vitality, and all the swaggering and boasting and the dreadful threats and exhibition of physical force have absolutely shrunk into nothing and evaporated before the formidable preparations and determined attitude of the Government. The leaders are skulking about nobody knows where; the clubs are either suppressed or self-dissolved; the people exhibit no disposition to rise; the sound and fury which were echoed and re-echoed from the clubs and meetings, and through the traitorous press, have been all at once silenced. The whole thing is suddenly become so contemptible as to be almost ridiculous. My own conviction was that there would be no outbreak; but I did not contemplate that all these mighty preparations, this club organisation and universal arming would all at once dwindle into nothingness and general submission just as easily as the Chartist demonstrations did here some weeks ago; but so it is, and it is now pretty clear that in a short time Ireland will be just as quiet and submissive as if Conciliation Hall had never existed. The most satisfactory part of the business is the good conduct of the Catholic clergy, who appear to have very generally used their influence over the people to deter them from their rebellious courses. It is to be hoped that 211 the recollection of their behaviour on this trying occasion will have a considerable effect in paving the way for the payment of the Irish clergy, when that vital question comes on, as very soon it must. George Grey declared himself in favour of it in a speech which he made on Saturday last, and it is clear that as soon as Ireland is thoroughly pacified, this question must be regularly taken up by the Government, and in spite of all the opposition which pride, prejudice, and bigotry will throw in its way, it must be forced through. It seems at first sight as if the best thing which could happen was the bloodless suppression of this talking rebellion, but I am not sure that it would not have been better in the end if the leaders had succeeded in bringing together a body of insurgents, and if a signal chastisement and ignominious dispersion of them had taken place. There would be a great advantage in letting them see the fearful consequences of a collision, and as far as England is concerned, the people of this country would be better disposed to clemency and conciliation after they had severely punished the Irish for their turbulence and folly. As matters are, though there will be no outbreak, no bloodshed, and an easy triumph, it will leave the great chronic disease of the country just where it was; the disaffection, the hatred of the Union, the enmity to law, will remain the same; the people will be subdued but not reconciled; and these feelings will be the stronger because the distress will be greater than ever. No country can be so shaken to pieces without enormous distress to the masses; and if the potato crop again fails (as it has threatened to do) the misery will be appalling and irremediable. By what has passed and is still passing, England will not be softened towards Ireland, but contempt will be added to resentment.

Clarendon will, I take it, have been astonished at the result corresponding so little with the beginnings of this Irish manifestation. He evidently considered an outbreak as imminent and almost certain. The Duke of Bedford showed me a letter from him which he received at Goodwood, bitterly complaining of the Government for not having at an 212 earlier period furnished him with the powers he demanded, and saying that though he had repeatedly asked both John Russell and George Grey to do so, they never would. He said he had never to any human being disclosed what had passed between himself and the Government on this matter, but he evidently feels deeply hurt both at their not attending to his request, and at the blame of stronger and earlier measures not having been applied for, being thrown upon him. It is certainly true that the Government have allowed it to be believed that they have all along been ruled by his advice, and that they have done at each successive stage of the business all that he desired. Even Lord Lansdowne in the House of Lords the other night declared that there had been the most perfect agreement all along between the Government and the Lord Lieutenant.


I dined at Holland House yesterday, and sat next to old Sir Robert Adair, eighty-five years old, but with mind very fresh. He lived in great intimacy with all the 'great of old, who still rule our spirits from their own,' and I believe possesses a great store of anecdotes of bygone days. He gave me an account of young Burke's preventing the reconciliation between his father and Fox, which, however, is too well known to require repetition; but he told me how the Duke of Portland64 came to be put at the head of the Whig party on the death of Lord Rockingham in 1782, which I had not heard before. There was a meeting of the party to choose their chief; the Duke of Richmond put forth his pretensions, but he was so great a Radical (having views of Parliamentary Reform not only far beyond those of any man of that day, but beyond the Reform we have actually got), that they were afraid of him; and Charles Fox got up and said that he thought he, as leader of the House of Commons, had claims at least as good as the Duke of Richmond's, but that they ought both of them to waive their own claims, and in his judgement the man they ought to place at their head was 213 the Duke of Portland. This compromise was agreed to, but the Duke of Richmond was so disgusted that he joined Lord Shelburne. My grandfather was a very honourable, high-minded, but ordinary man; his abilities were very second-rate, and he had no power of speaking; and his election to the post of leader of the great Whig party only shows how aristocratic that party was, and what weight and influence the aristocracy possessed in those days; they would never have endured to be led by a Peel or a Canning. Adair told me that old Lord George Cavendish expressed the greatest indignation at their party being led by Burke in the House of Commons, and it was this prevalent feeling, together with the extraordinary modesty of Burke, who had no vanity for himself, though a great deal for his son, which accounts for the fact, so extraordinary according to our ideas and practice, that though Burke led the Whig party in the House of Commons for four or five years, when that party came into power he was not offered a place in the Cabinet, but put in a subordinate office, which he condescended to accept, seeing men so immeasurably inferior to himself occupying the highest posts.

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

Brougham in the House of Lords delivered a flaming panegyric on Hardinge's patriotism in going to Ireland, and the Duke of Wellington's wisdom in appointing him; but the 214 real truth is that he was selected for this post by the Queen and Lord John Russell, without the knowledge and not entirely to the satisfaction of the Duke. Hardinge himself, though he evinced a proper readiness and immediately consented to go, begged he might be released as soon as possible. Arbuthnot told the Duke of Bedford that it was a pity Lord John had not consulted the Duke about sending Hardinge, instead of only telling him after it was settled, which sufficiently shows the Duke's feeling; and Clarendon, though he made no objection, evidently did not like it. If they had known how little there would be to do, he probably would not have been sent to Ireland at all. The Duke does not think very highly of Hardinge's military talents. The two men whom he places his confidence in are Sir Charles Napier and Sir Harry Smith; he was asked the question, and this was his answer; and moreover he thinks that on one occasion in India Hardinge committed a dangerous military blunder which Gough repaired; whereas all the world believes that Gough, though a very brave soldier, was a very inefficient commander, and that to Hardinge was attributable the success of the Sikh campaign.


The true history of that campaign is as yet little known, but whenever it is fairly put before the world it will exhibit one of the most striking and extraordinary examples of the chances and accidents on which the fate of empires depend that has ever been recorded. I have often heard that the events of those Sikh battles were very precarious, but it was only the other day that I heard on what a marvellous accident the last great battle depended. Hardinge considered the battle lost, and the destruction of his army inevitable. Not expecting to survive the defeat, he gave his watch and some other things about him to one of his officers, desiring him to have them conveyed to his wife, with the assurance that his last thoughts were with her. At this juncture a staff officer (whose name I did not hear), who from nervousness or fear had lost his head, went to the commander of our cavalry, and told him that he was the bearer of an order to him to retire; that officer asked if he had no written order, 215 he said he had not, but he spoke so positively as to the instruction with which he was charged, that the other believed him and began to draw off his men. This movement was seen by the Sikhs, and, mistaking its purport, they fancied it indicated a disposition to take them in flank and cut off their communications. They were seized with a sudden panic, and immediately commenced their retreat: it was thus that this victory was won when it was all but lost, and won by the mistake or the invention of an officer who in terror or confusion had communicated an order which never was given to him, and which he had himself invented or imagined. It is universally agreed that if we had been defeated in that action our Eastern Empire would have been lost to us, for the prestige of our power would have been lost, and all India would have risen to cast off our yoke. After the action the question arose how this officer was to be dealt with, but it was not considered prudent to bring him to a court-martial, when the consequences of his conduct had been such as they were, and the inquiry might have revealed the magnitude of the peril from which we had escaped.

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

On arriving in town yesterday found the news of Smith O'Brien's capture, which some think a good thing and some a bad one; some say he is mad, some are for hanging him, some for transporting, others for letting him go; in short, quot homines tot sententiæ. He is a good-for-nothing, conceited, contemptible fellow, who has done a great deal of 216 mischief and deserves to be hung, but it will probably be very difficult to convict him.

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

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


Thence to Nuneham, a charming place, and on Monday to London. I heard an anecdote at Nuneham which was new to me: Harcourt gave it on the authority of Sir Robert Peel. He said that when the discussion took place about the East Retford question during the Duke of Wellington's Government, in the Cabinet Peel was for giving the representation to one of the great towns, and Huskisson against it; that Peel was overruled by a majority of his colleagues and consequently took the part he did in Parliament; while Huskisson was induced to change his opinion and to take in Parliament the opposite line from that which he had taken in the Cabinet; he and Peel, in fact, both changing sides. 217 His colleagues were naturally very indignant with Huskisson, and this accounts for the bitterness which the Duke of Wellington evinced, and for his celebrated 'No mistake.' This seemed to me a strange story, though some people there wondered I had never heard it before. If it be true, it is equally discreditable to both Peel and Huskisson; in the former it was both a fault and a crime; it was a great error in judgement and very wrong in itself.

I found a letter from Clarendon when I got to town, telling me he had been 'much bothered by the vacillation and timidity of our rulers on this occasion as on the preceding ones, when I was compelled to insist on further power for the protection of life and the maintenance of law and order. It is not pleasant to have to poke a Cabinet into a sense of duty, or to extract by threats as if for a personal favour that which should be readily acceded to when the public necessity for it was proved and manifest. However, that has been my task, and I don't much care if the thing is achieved and nobody knows it.... Against the clubs a law of some kind was necessary. No one could doubt that, and so I insisted, making for the third time my remaining here conditional upon it. So they succumbed, but not with a good grace.' All along the Government have been afraid to adopt a vigorous and decided course, and have been fencing with Clarendon, who has insisted on it. The consequences of endeavouring to make the law work are now apparent in the failure of the first of the trials. It is trying to make bricks without straw; the people will not work the machinery of the law, but, on the contrary, abhor and will oppose the law itself; everybody sees that and still the Government do not dare openly say so, and adopt the measures that are necessary to cope with the difficulty. There was an excellent article in the 'Morning Chronicle' yesterday in this sense. I pointed it out to Lord Lansdowne, who expressed his concurrence with it. However, for the present I believe Clarendon is in possession of power enough to keep the country in order. He can imprison everybody and put down the clubs by so doing, but he will never be able to 218 obtain convictions. Indeed, it would probably be better they should all fail at first than have one succeed every now and then, just enough to prevent their having recourse to another system.

The brilliant success of the Austrians and the disgraceful termination of Charles Albert's campaign67 has produced a fresh interest in foreign affairs and great anxiety as to the result of the offered mediation of England and France. Palmerston's conduct throughout the Milanese war has been very extraordinary, but I will pronounce no positive opinion on it till I am better informed of all the hidden circumstances in which the question has been involved. What appears is this: some time ago the Austrians invited our mediation, sent Hummelauer over here for that purpose, and were prepared to make great sacrifices to settle the question. Palmerston refused; he thought the Austrian cause was irretrievably ruined, that all Italy would be lost to them, and he wished that result to take place. Old Radetzky cunctando restituit rem, and the tide of war was on a sudden victoriously rolled back, and the King of Sardinia completely baffled. Then Palmerston stepped in with his offer of mediation when there were no longer any parties to mediate between, or matters to mediate about, losing sight of his own conduct in the Swiss affair, when after the defeat of the Sunderbund he declared that the quarrel was decided and no mediation was necessary. He is now on the best possible terms with Cavaignac, and acting cordially with France. Cavaignac seems to have behaved with great frankness and good sense; he sent M. de Beaumont here with the most amicable professions;68 he said that his object was to preserve peace, did not attempt to disguise the fact of the deplorable state of his finances, and the great object 219 it therefore was to abstain from war; but he appears to have assumed that the honour of France was in some way concerned in delivering by fair means or foul the Milanese from the Austrian yoke. How far Palmerston has admitted this pretension remains to be seen, and we do not yet know whether he has come to an understanding with France as to what is to be done by her in the event of the joint mediation being declined; whether or no he has tacitly or expressly assented to the invasion of Italy by the French, and their making war on Austria to expel her from Lombardy. It would hardly appear possible that he should have done so, if it were not for his conduct in reference to Naples and Sicily, for if it turns out to be true that the British Admiral is ordered to prevent the King of Naples from making any attempt to reconquer Sicily, he cannot object to the French Government's interfering in the affairs of the North of Italy. But if the Austrians reject the mediation (as they probably will), and Cavaignac sends an army across the Alps with our connivance and consent, we shall not play a very dignified part, and I question if such policy will find general acceptance here.


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

All the people who come from Paris represent the state of affairs there and in France in a curious light. The tranquillity 220 is complete, the submission general, and there is little probability of any fresh outbreak, none of a successful one. The Republic is universally despised, detested, and ridiculed, but no other form of Government and no Pretender is in much favour or demanded by public feeling or inclination. They hate the Republic because they are conscious that the Revolution which turned France into one has inflicted enormous evils upon them. The best chance at the present moment seems to me to be that of the Duc de Bordeaux, Henry V., not because anybody cares about him, for he is almost unknown in France, and what is known of him does not make him an object of interest to Frenchmen, nor (what is by no means unimportant) to Frenchwomen; but he represents a principle, and there still lingers in many parts of France, and reigns in some, a sentiment of attachment and loyalty to the elder branch and the legitimate cause. This gives him a chance, but nobody seems to have any idea what sort of monarchy could be restored, if to a monarchy the French eventually recur. But I was told last night by Bulwer, who is just come from Paris, a fact which if it be true is of great importance, namely, that there has sprung up in France a great respect for station and position, a sentiment that did not exist before, indicating a revolution in the minds of men of a very reactionary and beneficial character.


Bessborough, who is just come back from Ireland, brings a very bad account of the state of the country, and Clarendon seems to have talked to him very openly upon all matters connected with Irish administration, and the views and conduct of the Government here. Though the rebellion is put down, the whole animus of the people is as bad as ever; they brood over their defeats, and only long for revenge and action at some future time. The outbreak was within an ace of taking place, and seems to have been prevented by an accident and by the pusillanimity or prudence of the clubs. They had established a very perfect club organisation and were in a state of great preparation, but had resolved not to rise till September. When the suspension of the Habeas 221 Corpus was proposed, Smith O'Brien and the other leaders saw that they must proceed to action instantly or that they should be taken up, and they proceeded to Carrick, addressed the people, and asked them if they were ready; they said they were, but the clubs must be consulted; he sent to the clubs, but a small body of troops having marched into Carrick the same day, the clubs were intimidated and refused their consent to the rising. This put an extinguisher on the whole thing; if the clubs had consented many thousands would have poured down from the hills, and the country would everywhere have been up. He says Clarendon does everything in Ireland himself, and directs judges, law-officers, commander-in-chief, stipendiary magistrates, police constables—his work enormous. He wants to come over here that he may see the Cabinet collectively and explain his own views and opinions; he is evidently disgusted to the greatest degree at the impossibility of getting them to move out of the beaten track, and face the difficulties of the case by measures of a decisive character.

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

We had a Council yesterday for the parting Speech, and to-day this long session, the longest and most tedious ever known, closes. On Wednesday last, Disraeli with a great 222 flourish of trumpets and note of preparation delivered an oration à la Lyndhurst, of three hours long, to which John Russell made a pretty good reply. Dizzy's speech was very sparkling and clever, but it was, after all, nothing but a theatrical display, without object or meaning but to show off his own powers. It was prefaced by a sort of advertisement that the great actor would take his benefit that morning on the stage of St. Stephen's; an audience was collected, and he sent word to Delane that he was going to speak in order that he might have one of his best reporters there. He quizzed Charles Wood unmercifully, and showed up a good many of the blunders and really stupid things which the Government did in the course of the session.

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


September 28th.—I was about to record my own proceedings and such other scraps as occurred to me, when my mind was diverted from all other topics by the intelligence of the death of George Bentinck.69 This event was so strange and sudden, that it could not fail to make a very great sensation in the world, and so it did. It would be false and hypocritical were I to pretend that it affected me personally with any feeling of affliction, but I can say with truth that I was much shocked, and that I was sincerely sorry for it. I was sorry for the heavy blow thus inflicted on his father and his family, and it was impossible not to regard with compassion and something of regret the sudden termination of a career which promised to be one of no small prosperity and success. He was in truth a very remarkable man, of very singular character and disposition, and his history is one very much out of the common way. I am in one respect better, and in another worse, fitted to describe him than any other person, for nobody knew him so intimately and so well as I 223 once did, nobody is so well acquainted with his most private thoughts and feelings as well as with his most secret practices; but, on the other hand, I should never be deemed an impartial biographer of a man from whom I had been so long and completely estranged, and between whom and myself there existed such strong feelings of alienation and dislike. Nevertheless, I will try to describe him as I think he really was, nothing extenuating, and nothing setting down in malice. The world will and must form a very incorrect estimate of his character; more of what was good than of what was bad in it was known to the public; he had the credit of virtues which he did not possess, or which were so mixed with vices that if all had been known he would have been most severely reproached in reference to the matters in which he has been the most loudly and generally bepraised; but his was one of those composite characters, in which opposite qualities, motives, and feelings were so strangely intermingled that nothing but a nice analysis, a very close and impartial inspection of it, can do him justice. His memory has been kindly and generously dealt with; he was on the whole high in favour with the world; he had been recently rising in public estimation; and his sudden and untimely end has stifled all feelings but those of sympathy and regret, and silenced all voices but those of eulogy and lamentation. He has long been held up as the type and model of all that is most honourable and high-minded; 'iracundus, inexorabilis, acer,' indeed, but the lofty and incorruptible scorner of everything mean and dishonourable, and the stern exposer and scourger of every species of delinquency and fraud, public or private. Oh for the inconsistency of human nature, the strange compound and medley of human motives and impulses, when the same man who crusaded against the tricks and villanies of others did not scruple to do things quite as bad as the worst of the misdeeds which he so vigorously and unrelentingly attacked! But it is only possible to make his character intelligible by a reference to certain passages of his life, especially to his transactions and connexions with myself. 224

He was brought up at home under a private tutor, was not studious in early life, and very soon entered the army. I do not remember whether he went to a public school. He soon distinguished himself in the army by his great spirit and courage, and by that arrogance which was his peculiar characteristic, and which never deserted him in any situation or circumstance in which he was placed. I well remember his getting into a quarrel which would have led to a duel, if his father had not got me to go to the Duke of York, by whose interposition the hostile collision was prevented.70 I have, however, forgotten both the name of his antagonist and the merits of the case. He very soon quitted the army, and when Mr. Canning became Prime Minister he made George his private secretary. It has been said that Canning predicted great things of him if he would apply himself seriously to politics, but I do not know whether this is true. It is certain that after Canning's death, although by no means indifferent to public affairs, he took no active or prominent part in them, and the first development of his great natural energy took place in a very different field. He fell desperately in love, and he addicted himself with extraordinary vivacity to the turf. At this time and for a great many years we were most intimate friends, and I was the depositary of his most secret thoughts and feelings. This passion, the only one he ever felt for any woman, betrayed him into great imprudence of manner and behaviour, so much so, that I ventured to put him on his guard. I cannot now say when this occurred, it is so long ago, but I well recollect that as I was leaving——after the races I took him aside, told him it was not possible to be blind to his sentiments, that he was exposing himself and her likewise; that I did not mean to thrust myself into his confidence in so delicate a matter, but besought him to remember that all eyes were on him, all tongues ready to talk, and that it behoved him to be more guarded and reserved for her sake as well as his own. He made no reply, and I 225 departed, I think I repeated the same thing to him in a letter; but whether I did or no, I received from him a very long one in which he confessed his sentiments without disguise, went at great length into his own case, declared his inability to sacrifice feelings which made the whole interest of his existence, but affirmed with the utmost solemnity that he had no reason to believe his feelings were reciprocated by her, and that not only did he not aspire to success, but that if it were in his power to obtain it (which he knew it was not), he would not purchase his own gratification at the expense of her honour and happiness; in short, his letter amounted to this—

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

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


The first time I ever knew him much occupied with politics was during the great Reform battles in 1831 and 1832, when he was member for Lynn. He took much the same views that I did, and was very anxious to modify the Reform Bill and render it a less Radical measure. The people of Lynn wanted a member and commissioned him to find one, and he exerted himself greatly for that purpose. By his desire I applied to Kindersley, then a man of some eminence at the Chancery bar, but he declined. I remember that he and his father did not coincide in their opinions. The Duke was frightened out of his wits, dreaded the loss of his vast property, and thought that the only safe policy was unconditional submission to the roar for Reform. Hating the measure in his heart, he was against any endeavour to arrest its progress; and he was not at all pleased with George for the part which he took. The latter, however, to 226 do him justice, was never afraid of anybody or anything; and he sturdily but deferentially adhered to his own opinion in opposition to the Duke's. Meanwhile, he constantly attended Newmarket, and it was not long before he began to have horses of his own, running them, however, in my name. The first good racehorse he possessed was 'Preserve,' which I bought for him in 1833, and she, alas! was the cause of our first quarrel, that which was made up in appearance, but in reality never. Of course in this quarrel (which took place in August 1835) we both thought ourselves in the right. Till then not an unkind word had ever passed between us, nor had a single cloud darkened our habitual intercourse; but on this occasion I opposed and thwarted him, and his resentment broke out against me with a vehemence and ferocity that perfectly astounded me, and displayed in perfection the domineering insolence of his character. I knew he was out of humour, but had no idea that he meant to quarrel with me, and thought his serenity would speedily return. I wrote to him as usual, and to my astonishment received one of his most elaborate epistles, couched in terms so savage and so virulently abusive, imputing to me conduct the most selfish and dishonourable, that I knew not on reading it whether I stood on my head or my heels. I was conscious that his charges and insinuations were utterly groundless, but what was I to do? I could not tamely endure such gross and unwarrantable insults, and I could not challenge my uncle's son. In this dilemma I consulted a friend, and placed the letter in his hands; he went to him, and (not I believe without great difficulty) he persuaded him to ask to withdraw it. It was agreed that the letter should be destroyed, and that there should be no ostensible quarrel between us; but it was evident that our turf connexion could no longer subsist, and accordingly it was instantly dissolved, and other arrangements were made for his stud.


Then commenced his astounding career of success on the turf; he soon enlarged the sphere of his speculations, increased his establishment, and ultimately transferred it all to John Day at Danebury, where he trained under all sorts 227 of different names, it being a great object with him to keep his father in ignorance of his proceedings.71 He and I met upon civil but cool terms, according to the agreement; but in about two years we began to jumble into intimacy again, and at length an incident happened which in great measure replaced our relations on their former footing. My horse Mango was in the St. Leger, and I wanted to try him. John Day told me he was sure Lord George would gladly try him for me. I proposed it to him, and he instantly assented. We went down together and tried the horse. Mango won his trial, won the St. Leger, and George won 14,000l. on the race. All this contributed to efface the recollection of past differences, and we became mutually cordial again.72 With me the reconciliation was sincere. I had forgiven his behaviour to me, and desired no better than to live in amity with him for the rest of my life; whether it was equally sincere on his part he alone knew, but I very much doubt it. We continued, however, to live very well together up to the time when he brought out the famous 'Crucifix,' when, without any fresh quarrel, our intimacy became somewhat less close in consequence of my perceiving a manifest intention on his part to keep all the advantage of her merits to himself without 228 allowing me to participate in them. Still we went on, till the occurrence of the notorious 'Gurney affair,' on which he and I took opposite sides, and in which he played a very conspicuous and violent part. While this was going on we were brought into personal collision at Newmarket in a matter relating to the revision of the rules of the Jockey Club, when his arrogance and personal animosity to me broke out with extraordinary asperity. There was still no regular and avowed quarrel till the spring following, when at a meeting of the Jockey Club I made a speech in opposition to him which he chose to construe into an intentional insult, and the next time he met me he cut me dead. I made several attempts, as did our mutual friends, to do away with this impression and to effect a reconciliation, but he refused to listen to any explanation or overture, and announced his resolution not to make it up with me at all. From that time our estrangement was complete and irreparable. He was now become the leviathan of the turf; his success had been brilliant, his stud was enormous, and his authority and reputation were prodigiously great.

In 1844 he became still more famous by his exertions in detecting the 'Running Rein' fraud, and in conducting the 'Orlando' trial. There can be no doubt that the success of that affair was in great measure attributable to his indefatigable activity, ingenuity, and perseverance. The attorney in the cause was amazed at the ability and dexterity he displayed, and said there was no sum he would not give to secure the professional assistance of such a coadjutor. He gained the greatest credit in all quarters by his conduct throughout this affair, which was afterwards increased by his manner of receiving a valuable testimonial, subscribed for the purpose of honouring and rewarding his exertions: he refused to accept anything for himself, but desired the money might be applied towards the establishment of a fund to reward decayed and distressed servants of the turf, which was eventually denominated 'The Bentinck Fund.'73 He was 229 exceedingly self-willed and arrogant, and never could endure contradiction; and whatever he undertook he entered into with an ardour and determination which amounted to a passion. As he plunged into gaming on the turf, he desired to win money, not so much for the money, as because it was the test and the trophy of success; he counted the thousands he won after a great race as a general would count his prisoners and his cannon after a great victory; and his tricks and stratagems he regarded as the tactics and manœuvres by which the success was achieved. Not probably that the money itself was altogether a matter of indifference to him: he had the blood of General Scott in his veins, who won half a million at hazard, and the grandson most likely chassait un peu de sa race. But to do him justice, if he was 'alieni appetens,' he was 'sui profusus.' Nobody was more liberal to all his people, nor more generous and obliging in money matters to his friends, and I am inclined to think that while he was taking to himself the mission of purifying the turf, and punishing or expelling wrongdoers of all sorts, his own mind became purified, and (though I do not know it) I should not wonder if he looked back with shame and contrition to all the schemes, plots, and machinations to which, in the ardour of his racing pursuit, he had been a party. What makes me think that it was less the base desire of pecuniary gain than the passionate eagerness of immense success which urged him on, is the alacrity with which he cast away his whole stud, at a moment when it promised him the most brilliant results and most considerable profits, as soon as another passion and another pursuit had taken possession of his mind; one in which there was not only no pecuniary benefit in view, but the occupation of which obliged him to neglect his turf concerns so entirely that he lost a great deal of money in consequence.


This brings me to his very extraordinary political career. I well remember, in the winter of 1845, when Peel's intentions began to be known or suspected, what indignation 230 he expressed and what violent language he used about him. As soon as Parliament met he began to take an active part amongst the Protectionist malcontents, and he devoted much time to getting up the pro Corn Law case. He had never studied political economy, and knew very little on the subject, but he was imbued with the notions common to his party that the repeal of the Corn Laws would be the ruin of the landed interest; he therefore hated the Anti-Corn Law League, and—considering that the first and most paramount of duties was to keep up the value of the estates of the order to which he belonged, and that Peel had been made Minister and held office mainly for this purpose—he considered Peel's abandonment of Protection, and adoption, or rather extension, of Free Trade, as not only an act of treachery, but of treason to the party which claimed his allegiance, and he accordingly flung himself into opposition to him with all his characteristic vehemence and rancour. Still neither he himself nor any one else anticipated the part he was about to play, and the figure he was destined to make. One of the men whom he was in the habit of talking to, was Martin, Q.C.,74 and he told him that he had a great mind to speak on the Corn Law debate, but that he did not think he could; he had had no experience and could not trust himself.75 Martin told me this. 231 I said I thought he could; that I had been much struck with a speech he had made at the Jockey Club, when he had spoken for two hours, and in a way which satisfied me he had speaking in him. Martin went and told him this, which struck him very much, and it decided him (so Martin told me) to make the attempt. His début in the House of Commons was a remarkable exhibition, and made a great impression at the time: not that it was a very good, still less an agreeable speech; quite the reverse. He chose the worst moment he possibly could have done to rise; the House was exhausted by several nights of debate and had no mind to hear more. He rose very late on the last night, and he spoke for above three hours; his speech was ill-delivered, marked with all those peculiar faults which he never got rid of; it was very tiresome; it contained much that was in very bad taste; but in spite of all defects it was listened to, and it was considered a very extraordinary performance, giving indications of great ability and powers which nobody had any idea that he possessed.


The rest of his career is well known. He brought into politics the same ardour, activity, industry, and cleverness which he had displayed on the turf, and some of the same cunning and contrivances too. He never was and never would have been anything like a statesman; he was utterly devoid of large and comprehensive views, and he was no pursuer and worshipper of truth. He brought the mind, the habits, and the arts of an attorney to the discussion of political questions; having once espoused a cause, and embraced a party, from whatever motive, he worked with all the force of his intellect and a superhuman power of application in what he conceived to be the interest of that party and that cause. No scruples, moral or personal, stood for a moment in his way; he went into evidence, historical or statistical, not to inform himself and to accept with a candid and unbiassed mind the conclusions to which reason and testimony, facts and figures, might conduct him, but to pick out whatever might fortify his foregone conclusions, casting aside everything inimical to the cause he was advocating, 232 and seizing all that could be turned to account by any amount of misrepresentation and suppression he might find it convenient to employ. It was thus he acted in the West India Committee; his labour and application were something miraculous; he conducted the enquiry very ably, but anything but impartially; having had no political education, and being therefore unimbued with sound principles on fiscal and commercial questions, he had everything to learn; and having flung himself headlong into the Protectionist cause, he got up their case just as he did that of 'Orlando' or 'Running Rein,' and ran amuck against everything and everybody on the opposite side.

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


I have always thought that his conduct in selling his stud all at one swoop, and at once giving up the turf, to which he had just before seemed so devoted, was never 233 sufficiently appreciated and praised. It was a great sacrifice both of pleasure and profit, and it was made to what he had persuaded himself was a great public duty. It is true that he had taken up his new vocation with an ardour and a zeal which absorbed his old one, but still it was a very fine act, and excessively creditable to him. He never did anything by halves, and having accepted the responsible post of leader of his party, he resolved to devote himself to their service, and he did so without stint or reserve; and when he had ceased to be nominally their leader, a transaction in which his behaviour was honourable and manly, he still voluntarily and gratuitously imposed upon himself an amount of labour and anxiety on particular questions, which beyond all doubt contributed to the accident which terminated his life. Notwithstanding his arrogance and his violence, his constant quarrels and the intolerable language he indulged in, he was popular in the House of Commons, and was liked more or less wherever he went. He was extremely good-looking and particularly distinguished and high-bred; then he was gay, agreeable, obliging, and good-natured, charming with those he liked, and by whom he was not thwarted and opposed. His undaunted courage and the confident and haughty audacity with which he attacked or stood up against all opponents, being afraid of no man, inspired a general sentiment of admiration and respect, and his lofty assumption of superior integrity and his resolute determination to expose and punish every breach of public honour and morality were quietly acquiesced in, and treated with great deference by the multitude who knew no better, and were imposed on by his specious pretensions. The sensation caused by his death, the encomiums pronounced on his character, and the honours paid to his memory, have been unexampled in a man whose career has been so short, and who did not do greater things than he had it in his power to accomplish. He had become, however, the advocate of powerful interests, and of vast numbers of people whose united voices make a great noise in the world, and there is something in the appalling suddenness of the catastrophe 234 which excites general sympathy and pity, and makes people more inclined to think of his virtues, his powers, and his promise, than of his defects. Of the latter perhaps the greatest was his constant disposition to ascribe the worst motives to all those to whom he found himself opposed;

Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind;

and when he invariably fancied that he saw intentional fraud and the utmost baseness in the conduct of his antagonists, it is impossible not to ascribe such false and erroneous views of human nature to the moral consciousness which was the result of his own former courses, constantly suspecting others of the same sort of practices with which he was once so familiar. I have not the least doubt that, for his own reputation and celebrity, he died at the most opportune period; his fame had probably reached its zenith, and credit was given him for greater abilities than he possessed, and for a futurity of fame, influence, and power which it is not probable he ever would have realised. As it is, the world will never know anything of those serious blemishes which could not fail to dim the lustre of his character; he will long be remembered and regretted as a very remarkable man, and will occupy a conspicuous place in the history of his own time. 235



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

London, October 20th, 1848.—One day the week before last, I dined with D'Orsay to meet Louis Blanc. Nobody there but he and I. We had a great deal of talk. He is very gay, animated, and full of information, takes in very good part anything that is said to him, and any criticisms on his Revolution and the Provisional Government. After that, a week at Newmarket, and last week at the Grange with a large party, agreeable enough. M. Dumon76 was there, and we asked him to explain why the Government of which he was a member had so obstinately refused to concede any reform. He gave an explanation and apology for their conduct, which was not very satisfactory, and amounted to little more than the old story of the necessity of keeping together the Conservative majority. Louis Blanc told me the Revolution had not ruined France; that the ruin was 236 already consummated, and the Revolution only tore away the veil which concealed it.

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

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

Just after writing the above I saw the correspondence which took place between George Bentinck and Bankes on his giving up the leadership, from which it was evident that the labour and anxiety had already begun to make no inconsiderable inroad on his constitution, and that he was quite conscious of the risk he incurred by continuing his parliamentary and political career with the same intensity. 237


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

Charles Wood lamented to me very bitterly the fatal effects of the mistake Peel had made in abolishing all Corn 238 duty whatever (prospectively) and the Timber duties. He said George Bentinck was quite right in his preference for low duties instead of abolition, and that if we could now have the above duties they would relieve the revenue from almost all its difficulties, and be felt by nobody; and the unhappy thing is that this mistake is irretrievable, for revocare gradum is totally impossible. Peel acknowledged his error about timber, and probably he might also about corn. He was, in fact, misled and carried away by his flourishing revenue, and acted without consideration.

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


In the morning I met Bunsen, who said the King of Prussia was going on well, and he augured success to his present measures. It is a great thing to see reaction anywhere, and the revolutionary and democratic tide rolled back which has been deluging all Europe; but this is a very doubtful contest, and the King inspires no confidence. The Prussian affair points a great moral, and reads an important lesson. It shows at once the danger of resistance to just demands and reasonable desires, and the dangers and evils of full democratic sway, sweeping everything before it. If the King of Prussia had long ago fulfilled his promises, and given a constitution to his country while he could have done so gracefully and safely, the new institutions would have had time to develope and consolidate themselves, and would in all probability have proved the security of the 239 Crown when the flood of revolution broke over Europe. He refused, and fought it off so long that at last his people grew discontented and angry, and when the French Revolution set all Germany on fire, the work was so far from being perfected that the Crown was left to battle with the democratic fury that broke forth, and its own weakness and vacillation rendered the power irresistible which might have been coerced and restrained. Whether it is still time to retrace his steps remains to be seen. The success of Louis Napoleon in France now seems beyond all doubt. Thiers has sent a message to Guizot, through a friend of both, to say that he is resolved to take no part in his Government, and Normanby informs me that Odilon Barrot is to be his Minister. This will make the whole thing perfect, Odilon Barrot being of all men the most unpractical, and having failed ridiculously in everything he ever undertook.

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

Lord Clarendon went to see the King a few days ago, and was with him two hours, when he told him the whole history of his flight and all his adventures. He said, he should not know which to vote for, Cavaignac or Louis Napoleon, if he had a vote to give. Guizot, however, is all for the latter, I can very well see. He told me it would be the first step towards a monarchy, but he did not say what monarchy 240 he meant. The King told Clarendon we need not fear a war; that the army knew its strength, and meant to exercise it, and would insist on deciding on the political futurity of France; that it detested the Republic, but had no desire to go to war, and moreover it could not, for it was dénuée de tout. He said nobody knew how ill provided the French army was, and that this was alone a security against war. Clarendon told him he did not consider it as such, as a country like France could always provide everything very quickly, but that he thought there were other causes operating in the direction of peace. He found him very well and in very good spirits; he has been greatly pleased at the visits of the National Guards to him (who went in great numbers); but it drives him wild when they say to him, 'Sire, pourquoi nous avez-vous quittés?' He knows he threw everything away, and constantly tries to persuade himself and others that the army would not have supported him. Flahault said to him the other day that he had no right to cast such an imputation on the army, which had proved its fidelity in all circumstances and to all Governments, even in July, and that the army would have saved him if it had been allowed to act. Everybody now knows that if he had done anything but run away, if he had gone to St. Cloud only, or anywhere, and called the troops about him, all would have been saved. He threw his cards on the table, and the game was stupidly and disgracefully lost.

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

November 29th.—Lord Melbourne died on Friday night at Brocket, without suffering pain, but having had a succession of epileptic fits the whole day, most painful and distressing to his family collected about him. 241


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

But it is a difficult thing to write a good article upon Melbourne, one which shall delineate his character with impartiality and discrimination, and describe fairly and truly his political career. I have known a great deal of him in the course of my life, but I never lived in real intimacy with him; and as he at no time seemed to have much inclination for my company, though we were always very good friends, I saw but little of him; but every now and then we had something to say to each other, and at rare intervals we met on intimate and confidential terms. He was certainly a very singular man, resembling in character and manner, as he did remarkably in feature, his father, the late Lord Egremont.77 He was exceedingly handsome, when first I knew him, which was in 1815 or thereabouts. It was at this period that the irregularities of his wife had partly estranged him from her, though they were not yet separated, and he was occasionally amused by her into condonation of her 242 amours, and into a sort of half-laughing, half-resentful reconciliation. They lived in this queer way. He, good-natured, eccentric, and not nice; she, profligate, romantic, and comical. Both were kept together, as they had been brought together, by the influence and management of their common relations and connexions; but it was during this period that he devoted himself with ardour to study, and that he acquired the vast fund of miscellaneous knowledge with which his conversation was always replete, and which, mixed up with his characteristic peculiarities, gave an extraordinary zest and pungency to his society. His taste for reading and information, which was confirmed into a habit by the circumstances of these years, continued to the end of his life, unbroken, though unavoidably interrupted by his political avocations. He lived surrounded by books, and nothing prevented him, even when Prime Minister, and with all the calls on his time to which he was compelled to attend, from reading every new publication of interest or merit, as well as frequently revelling amongst the favourite authors of his early studies. His memory was extremely retentive, and amply stored with choice passages of every imaginable variety, so that he could converse learnedly upon almost all subjects, and was never at a loss for copious illustrations, amusing anecdotes, and happy quotations. This richness of talk was rendered more piquant by the quaintness and oddity of his manner, and an ease and naturalness proceeding in no small degree from habits of self-indulgence and freedom, a license for which was conceded to him by common consent, even by the Queen herself, who, partly from regard for him, and partly from being amused at his ways, permitted him to say and do whatever he pleased in her presence. He was often paradoxical, and often coarse, terse, epigrammatic, acute, droll, with fits of silence and abstraction, from which he would suddenly break out with a vehemence and vigour which amused those who were accustomed to him, and filled with indescribable astonishment those who were not. His mother-in-law, Lady Bessborough, told me that high office was tendered to him many years before he began to play any 243 political part, but at that time he preferred a life of lettered and social idleness, and he would not accept it. He never was really well fitted for political life, for he had a great deal too much candour, and was too fastidious to be a good party man. It may be said of him, at least in his earlier days, that he was

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


And still less was he fit to be the leader of a party and the head of a Government, for he had neither the strong convictions, nor the eager ambition, nor the firmness and resolution which such a post requires. From education and turn of mind, and from the society in which he was bred and always lived, he was a Whig; but he was a very moderate one, abhorring all extremes, a thorough Conservative at heart, and consequently he was only half identified in opinion and sympathy with the party to which he belonged when in office; he often dreaded and distrusted his colleagues, and was secretly the enemy of the measures which his own Government originated, and of which he was obliged to take the credit or bear the obloquy. No position could be more false than the position in which Melbourne was often placed, and no man ever was more perplexed and tormented than he was by it, for he was remarkably sensitive; and most of the latter years of his administration were passed in a state of dissatisfaction with himself and with all about him. He hated the Reform Bill, which he was obliged to advocate. He saw, indeed, that Reform had become irresistible, and therefore he reconciled it to his conscience to support the Bill; but he had not sufficient energy of character or strength of will to make a stand against the lengths which he disapproved, and he contented himself with those indirect attempts to modify it which I have narrated in their proper place. It was probably his personal popularity, and the reluctance of Lord Lansdowne to take so laborious a post,78 which led to his being 244 made Prime Minister on the resignation of Lord Grey, for there never was a man more incapable of exercising the vigilance and supremacy which that office demands. After the great breach of 1835, and the abortive attempt of William IV. to throw over the Whig Government, his relations with his Ministers became very uncomfortable; but Melbourne was a good-natured man, and a gentleman, and perhaps no one else would have gone on with the King so harmoniously as he managed it.

But it was upon the accession of the Queen that his post suddenly grew into one of immense importance and interest, for he found himself placed in the most curious and delicate position which any statesman ever occupied. Victoria was transferred at once from the nursery to the throne—ignorant, inexperienced, and without one human being about her on whom she could rely for counsel and aid. She found in her Prime Minister and constitutional adviser a man of mature age, who instantly captivated her feelings and her fancy by his deferential solicitude, and by a shrewd, sagacious, and entertaining conversation, which were equally new and delightful to her. She at once cast herself with implicit confidence upon Melbourne, and, from the first day of her reign, their relations assumed a peculiar character, and were marked by an intimacy which he never abused; on the contrary, he only availed himself of his great influence to impress upon her mind sound maxims of constitutional government, and truths of every description that it behoved her to learn. It is impossible to imagine anything more interesting than 245 more calculated to excite all the latent sensibility of his nature. His loyal devotion soon warmed into a parental affection, which she repaid by unbounded manifestations of confidence and regard. He set himself wisely, and with perfect disinterestedness, to form her mind and character, and to cure the defects and eradicate the prejudices from which the mistakes and faults of her education had not left her entirely free. In all that Melbourne said or did, he appears to have been guided by a regard to justice and truth. He never scrupled to tell her what none other would have dared to say; and in the midst of that atmosphere of flattery and deceit which kings and queens are almost always destined to breathe, and by which their minds are so often perverted, he never scrupled to declare boldly and frankly his real opinions, strange as they sometimes sounded, and unpalatable as they often were, and to wage war with her prejudices and false impressions with regard to people or things whenever he saw that she was led astray by them. He acted in all things an affectionate, conscientious, and patriotic part, endeavouring to make her happy as a woman, and popular as a queen.

It is notorious that he committed two great errors in judgement, both of which were attended with disastrous consequences, and I believe that in both cases his discretion was misled by his feelings, and that it was his care for her ease and happiness which betrayed him into these fatal mistakes. The first was the Flora Hastings affair, the scandal of which he might certainly have prevented; the other was the Bedchamber quarrel, when her reluctance to part with him, and his tenderness for her, overruled his better judgement, and made him adopt a course he must have known to be both impossible and wrong. In these affairs (especially the first), Melbourne must have suffered torments, for his tender solicitude for the Queen, and the deep sense of his own responsibility, were sure to weigh heavily upon him. His influence and authority at Court were not diminished, nor his position there altered by her marriage; 246 but the Prince, though always living on very friendly terms with him, was secretly rejoiced when the political power of this great favourite was brought to a close; for, so long as Melbourne was there, he undoubtedly played but an obscure and secondary part. When the inevitable change of Government at last took place, the parting between the Queen and her Minister was very sorrowful to both of them, and it was then that he gave his last and generous proof of his anxiety for her happiness in sending me with his advice to Peel.

It would be rendering imperfect justice to Melbourne's character to look upon him rather as a courtier than as a statesman, and to fancy that he made his political principles subordinate to his personal predilections. He was deeply attached to the Queen, but he had all the patriotism of an English gentleman, and was jealous of the honour and proud of the greatness of his country. He held office with a profound sense of its responsibilities; there never was a Minister more conscientious in the distribution of patronage, more especially of his ecclesiastical patronage. He was perfectly disinterested, without nepotism, and without vanity; he sought no emoluments for his connexions, and steadily declined all honours for himself. The Queen often pressed him to accept the Garter, but he never would consent, and it was remarked that the Prime Minister of England was conspicuous at Court for being alone undecorated amidst the stars and ribands which glittered around him. He has been not inappropriately compared to Sallustius Crispus, as described by Tacitus: 'Quamquam prompto ad capessendos honores aditu, sine dignitate senatoriâ multos triumphalium consulariumque potentiâ anteiit; diversus a veterum instituto per cultum et munditias; copiâque et affluentiâ luxu propior. Suberat tamen vigor animi ingentibus negotiis par, eo acrior, quo somnum et inertiam magis ostentabat. Igitur incolumi Mæcenate proximus; mox præcipuus cui secreta Imperatorum maxime inniterentur.'79 247


At the time Melbourne left office he was only an occasional guest at Court, but the Queen continued to correspond with him constantly, and gave him frequent proofs that her regard for him was undiminished. He took very little part in politics after 1841, and it was not long before his health began to give way. He had been so completely absorbed by the Court, that for many years he had been almost lost to society; but as soon as he was out of office, he resumed his old habits, and was continually to be found at Holland House, at Lady Palmerston's, and with a few other intimate friends. There he loved to lounge and sprawl at his ease, pouring out a rough but original stream of talk, shrewd, playful, and instructive. His distinctive qualities were strong sound sense, and an innate taste for what was great and good, either in action or sentiment. His mind kindled, his eye brightened, and his tongue grew eloquent when noble examples or sublime conceptions presented themselves before him. He would not have passed 'unmoved by any scene that was consecrated by virtue, by valour, or by wisdom.' But while he pursued truth, as a philosopher, his love of paradox made him often appear a strange mass of contradiction and inconsistency. A sensualist and a Sybarite, without much refinement or delicacy, a keen observer of the follies and vices of mankind, taking the world as he found it, and content to extract as much pleasure and diversion as he could from it, he at one time would edify and astonish his hearers with the most exalted sentiments, and at another would terrify and shock them by indications of the lowest morality and worldly feelings, and by thoughts and opinions fraught with the most cold-hearted mocking and sarcasm. His mind seems all his life long, and on almost every subject, to have been vigorous and stirring, but unsettled and unsatisfied. It certainly was so on the two great questions of religion and politics, and he had no profound convictions, no certain assurance about either. He studied divinity eagerly and constantly, and was no contemptible 248 theologian; but he never succeeded in arriving at any fixed belief, or in anchoring himself on any system of religious faith. It was the same thing in politics. All the Liberal and Constitutional theories which he had ever entertained had been long ago more than realised, and he was filled with alarm at the prospect of their further extension. All his notions were aristocratic, and he had not a particle of sympathy for what was called progressive reform. He was a vehement supporter of the Corn Laws, abused Peel with all the rancour of a Protectionist, and died in the conviction that his measures will prove the ruin of the landed interest.


During his administration his great object seemed to be to keep a rickety concern together, less from political ambition than from his personal feelings for the Queen. He abhorred disputes and quarrels of every description, and he was constantly temporising and patching them up when they occurred in his Cabinet (as they often did) by all sorts of expedients, seldom asserting either the dignity or the authority of his position as head of the Government. Such weak and unworthy misrule brought his Cabinet, his party, and himself into contempt, and it was unquestionably in great measure owing to his want of judgement and firmness that they became so unpopular, and at last fell with so little credit and dignity as they did in 1841. He was capricious about money, and generous and stingy by fits and starts. Easy and indolent, he suffered himself to be plundered by his servants, and took little trouble in looking after his affairs. He was fond of his family, and much beloved by them, but, both with regard to them and his friends, he was full of a jealousy and touchiness, which made him keenly alive to any appearance of indifference, and equally sensible of any attentions that were shown him. This grew into a morbid feeling after his health had given way, and tinged his latter days with melancholy, for he fancied himself neglected and uncared for. On the promotion of Lord John Russell's Government, he was mortified at not being invited to take a share in it. It was evident that he was conscious 249 of, and bitterly felt, the decay of his own powers, and the insignificance to which he was reduced. He would, if he could, have disguised this from himself and others, but it preyed on his mind, and made him very unhappy, and often apparently morose. Sometimes his feelings would find vent in these lines from the 'Samson Agonistes,' which he would repeat with a sad memory of the past, and sense of the present:

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

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

December 2nd.—The death of Charles Buller has occurred when he can be ill spared to the party of which he was rapidly becoming an important member, and to the country which he was capable of serving. He is a great social and a great public loss, more especially in days of mediocrity and barrenness like the present. He was clever, amiable, accomplished, and honest. His abilities were of a very high order, and though he loved the world and its pursuits, he had great powers of application. Few people were more agreeable and entertaining in society, and he had a very gentle and affectionate disposition. He never made, and never would have made, much progress in the profession of the law, which he originally embraced. It was evidently unsuited to his genius, his taste, and his habits, and he judged rightly in exchanging it once for all for a political career in which, had his life been spared, he would have achieved great eminence. In politics he was originally a Radical, but though the old leaven not unfrequently showed itself, it was greatly modified in his latter years; and when he manifested ultra-Liberal sympathies, it was probably more 250 from love of paradox and controversy, than from real and sincere conviction. His political opinions, however, which for a long time seem to have been in an unsettled and transitional state, he never suppressed or compromised for any personal interest; and though he was both very ambitious and very poor, he never committed a mean or discreditable act for the sake of either favour or office. A man more honourable and independent never existed, and he would have been indebted for the political exaltation which was certainly in store for him to nothing but the force and influence of his own capacity and power. His career of usefulness was in fact only beginning. Up to a very recent period he had made no progress in public life commensurate with his ability, and especially with his parliamentary talents; but if justice was not done him, it was mainly because he did not do justice to himself. He was perhaps the most popular member of the House of Commons. By universal acknowledgement he was an admirable speaker, full of matter, lucid, never dull, and generally very amusing, so that he never rose without being sure of an attentive and favourable audience. His greatest speeches were on dry and serious subjects, such as colonisation, emigration, or records, none of which became heavy or uninteresting in his hands. He had, however, one great defect, which not only rendered him less agreeable in society than he would otherwise have been, but which had a very serious and unhappy influence on his political career. He was seduced by his keen perception of the ridiculous and an irresistible propensity to banter into an everlasting mockery of everything and everybody, which not only often became tiresome and provoking, but gave an appearance of levity to his character that largely deducted from the estimation in which he would otherwise have been held. It was impossible to be sure when he was in earnest and when he was in jest, when he really meant what he said, and when he was only jeering, gibing, and making game. It is incredible what damage this pernicious habit did him; for it created a notion that though he was very witty and entertaining, he had no settled principles and 251 convictions, and that he 'made a mockery of life.' Of this defect (with which his friends had often reproached him) he was manifestly curing himself. He had begun to take a more sober and earnest view of the great concerns of the world, and his really excellent understanding was asserting its predominance over the wild vagaries of his wit. In thus disciplining his mind into more of practical wisdom, he was paving the way for his own success; and had he not been snatched away thus suddenly, 'while his hopes were as warm and his desires as eager as ours,' he would have become an eminent man. As it is he has left behind him a memory cherished for its delightful social qualities, and a vast credit for undeveloped powers.


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

He informed me that Wylde (to whom the Prince is in the habit of talking very openly) told him that the Prince had been discussing with him the possibility of some change of government being rendered necessary by Lord John's health breaking down, and that they would like him (Clarendon) to succeed him, and that if such an event occurred, the Queen would certainly send for him to consult him on the subject. Clarendon desired him to take an opportunity of telling the Prince that no power on earth should induce him to accept such a post, and as it was much better the Queen should never make an overture which would not be accepted, he wished none such might ever be made to him. 252 He then gave his reasons for considering himself disqualified. I told him they would not accept his excuses, because since his Irish administration he had acquired a reputation which rendered him in the eyes of the world fit for any post, but that I understood well why for various reasons he might wish to decline the office. He said he could not speak, and had not had parliamentary experience enough, having come too late into the House of Lords, and never having been in the House of Commons. Finally he begged me to tell anybody who suggested such a possible contingency, that no power on earth would ever induce him to take it. But I don't think he was displeased when I told him I should certainly not say that, because I did not consider it so absolutely impossible, and that events might occur, and the state of parties be such, that his acceptance of the post would become a matter of public duty on his part. The truth is, he is sincere in his disclaimer, but with an arrière pensée of ambition, which not unnaturally smiles on the idea of such a prodigious elevation.

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

On Tuesday I breakfasted with Macaulay, very small party and nothing remarkable. Went in the afternoon to see Lord Beauvale.81 He talked to me of Melbourne, and so did she. They are not at all pleased at Brougham's being his executor, which astonishes everybody. It would be mighty 253 inconvenient to have Melbourne's papers overhauled by Brougham. Ellice has written to him to propose that they should all be delivered to Beauvale unseen by anybody. He left a letter for Beauvale. In this letter he gives certain pecuniary directions in favour of Lady Brandon and Mrs. Norton, and a solemn declaration that what he had instructed the Attorney-General to say on the trial as to her purity was true. He said that, as his indiscretion had exposed her to obloquy and suspicion, he was bound to renew this declaration.


Bowood, December 20th.—The result of the French election for President has astonished the whole world.82 Everybody thought Louis Napoleon would be elected, but nobody dreamt of such a majority. Great alarm was felt here at the probable consequences of Cavaignac's defeat and the success of his rival, and the French funds were to rise if Napoleon was beaten, and to fall if he won. The election has taken place: Napoleon wins by an immense majority, the funds rise, confidence recovers, and people begin to find out that the new President is a marvellous proper man. I really believe that the foolish affair of the tame eagle in 1840 was the principal cause of the contempt with which he was regarded here; added to this, he led an undistinguished life in this country, associating with no conspicuous people, and his miserable failure in the Chamber when he attempted to speak there, confirmed the unfavourable impression. But Van de Weyer, who is here, says that he has long known him and well, that he is greatly underrated here, and is really a man of considerable ability. He crossed the water with him when he went to take his seat after his election to the Assembly, and he then expressed the most undoubting confidence in his own success at the Presidential election, and said that he had every reason to believe, if he chose to put himself forward, he would be supported by an immense 254 force, and that he might assume any position he pleased; but that he should do nothing of the kind, that he had a legal position beyond which he would not force himself, but that he was prepared to accept all the consequences to which it might lead. And now there is a pretty general opinion that he will be Emperor before long. The ex-Ministers and Legitimists, who were hot for his election, considering him merely as a bridge over which the Bourbons might return to power, begin to think the success greater than is agreeable, and that such a unanimous expression of public opinion may lead to the restoration of the Bonapartes instead of to that of the Bourbons.

London, January 2nd, 1849.—The past year, which has been so fertile in public misfortunes and private sorrows, wound up its dismal catalogue with a great and unexpected calamity, the death of Auckland, who went to the Grange in perfect health on Friday last, was struck down by a fit of apoplexy on his return from shooting on Saturday, and died early on Monday morning, having only shown a slight and momentary consciousness on seeing his sister Fanny in the course of Sunday. His loss to the Government is irreparable, and to his family it is unspeakably great. To his sisters he was as a husband, a brother, and a friend combined in one, and to them it is a bereavement full of sadness almost amounting to despair. He was a man without shining qualities or showy accomplishments, austere and almost forbidding in his manner, silent and reserved in society, unpretending both in public and in private life, and in the House of Lords taking a rare and modest part in debate, and seldom speaking but on the business of his own department. Nevertheless he was universally popular, and his company more desired and welcome than that of many far more sprightly and brilliant men. His understanding was excellent, his temper placid, his taste and tact exquisite; his disposition, notwithstanding his apparent gravity, cheerful, and under his cold exterior there was a heart overflowing with human kindness, and with the deepest feelings of affection, charity, and benevolence. Engaged from almost his earliest youth in politics 255 and the chances and changes of public life, he had no personal enemies and many attached friends amongst men of all parties. His colleagues in office were fully sensible of the merits which he never endeavoured to push forward, and he was successively raised to the posts of President of the Board of Trade, First Lord of the Admiralty, and Governor-General of India; and he was a second time First Lord of the Admiralty on the formation of John Russell's Administration in 1846.


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

His conduct of affairs at the Admiralty, his diligence, his urbanity, his fairness and impartiality have been the theme of loud and general praise. In an office in which jobbing and partiality have so often prevailed, in which from the nature of the service the Minister is compelled to disappoint many fair hopes and just expectations, and to wound the pride, the vanity, and the feelings of many brave and honourable men, it requires the greatest firmness to be just, and the nicest tact and delicacy to avoid giving offence. In this most difficult function no First Lord ever was more successful than 256 Auckland. Always patient and affable, holding out none of the false hopes which in the end make sick hearts, dealing openly and frankly with his officers, he inspired the whole profession with confidence and esteem. Such a character and such a career may well be envied by every well-regulated mind; nor can the termination of that career, however grievous and deplorable to all who loved him, be regarded as an unhappy destiny for himself, for if the pursuits and pleasures of existence were suddenly and prematurely cut off, he was spared from sickness and infirmity with their train of suffering and sorrow, and from the privations which attend the approaches of old age and the gradual decay of the bodily and mental powers. He closed a useful, honourable, and prosperous life with his faculties unimpaired, leaving behind him a memory universally honoured and regretted, and cherished by the tender affection and inconsolable grief of his family and his friends.


This Annus Mirabilis, as it may well be called, is at last over, and one cannot but feel glad at getting rid of a year which has been so pregnant with every sort of mischief. Revolutions, ruin, sickness, and death have ravaged the world publicly and privately; every species of folly and wickedness seems to have been let loose to riot on the earth. It would be easy to write a great deal of wise matter, but very little that is new, on these topics. If ever mankind is destined to learn by its own experience, to look at beginnings, middles, and endings, to see what comes of what, and to test the virtue, wisdom, and utility of plausible maxims and high-sounding phrases, this has been the time for mankind's going to school and studying the lessons put before it. We have seen such a stirring up of all the elements of society as nobody ever dreamt of; we have seen a general Saturnalia—ignorance, vanity, insolence, poverty, ambition, escaping from every kind of restraint, ranging over the world and turning it topsy-turvy as it pleased. Every theory and crotchet has had full swing, and powers and dominations have bowed their necks to the yoke and cowered under the misbegotten tyranny which has suddenly changed places 257 with them. Democracy and philanthropy have never before (or hardly ever) had their own way without let or hindrance, carte blanche to work out their own great and fancy designs. This time they leave behind them—and all Europe exhibits the result—a mass of ruin, terror, and despair. Nothing strikes one more than the poverty of invention as well as the egregious folly of the new patriots all over the world. They can think of nothing but overturning everything that exists, and of reconstructing the social and political machine by universal suffrage. To execute the most difficult task which the human mind can have set before it, the task which demands the highest qualities of knowledge, experience, and capacity, it is thought enough to invite masses of men with strong passions and prejudices, without even any of that practical knowledge which might serve, though inadequately, to enable them to play their part in this prodigious operation. Universal suffrage is to pick out the men fit to frame new Constitutions, and when the delegates thus chosen have been brought together—no matter how ignorant, how stupid, how in every way unfit they may be—they expect to be allowed to have their own absurd and ruinous way, and to break up at their caprice and pleasure all the ancient foundations, and tear down the landmarks of society; and this havoc, and ruin, and madness, are dignified with the fine names of constitutional reform. Nor can the excuse be urged that this inundation of wickedness and folly has been brought about by a resistance which stood out too long, and was at last swept away by the effects of its own obstinacy.

Leaving out France altogether, whose Revolution was an accident—and France is retracing her steps as fast as she can, scrambling, crestfallen, perplexed, and half-ruined, out of the abyss into which she suffered herself to be plunged—let us look at Prussia and Rome. In both places the sovereigns spontaneously advanced to meet the wishes and promote the interests of the people: they went to work in the right way. In countries where the people had never exercised political rights and privileges, where self-government was unknown, it was clear that the masses were not capable 258 of legislating or taking an immediate part in framing Constitutions for themselves; but in every country, even in the Roman States, there were some men of education, knowledge, genius, who were more or less qualified to undertake the great work, and the Pope called such men to his councils, and gave the Romans the framework of a Government as liberal as was compatible with the working of any government at all. This was what sense and reason suggested; but, though it pleased his foolish and despicable people for a moment, they soon got tired of such safe and gradual progress as this, ran riot, flung off all control, and proceeded from one excess to another, constantly rising in the scale of democracy, till they reached their climax by assassinating the Pope's Minister, and forcing the Pope himself to escape in disguise from Rome. Nobody knows what they want, nor do they know themselves how they are to recover from the anarchy and ruin in which they are so deeply plunged.

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

At length a reaction began. Vienna first, and Berlin afterwards, were reduced to obedience, and the tide is now flowing back. It is impossible to speculate on the final result, but for the present at least the disgust and abhorrence of the brutal excesses committed under the pretence of a spurious liberalism are intense and apparently increasing. 259


London, January 19th.—Lord Auckland's death naturally excited great interest and curiosity about the Admiralty. The first and most general feeling was a desire that Lord Minto might not be his successor. This was proclaimed in the press and in all places; but such a disagreeable manifestation was hard upon him, as it turned out that he not only never aspired to the place, but he at once told John Russell to take the Privy Seal from him without scruple and do anything he pleased with it if his resignation would be of use in any fresh combination he might wish to make; in fact, he behaved very well. Lord John resolved to make the offer to Graham (after having consulted Lord Lansdowne) provided the Cabinet did not object. He called them together and proposed him. Though certainly some of them did not like it, they consented unanimously, and he accordingly wrote to Graham and asked him to come up to town. Graham arrived, and they had a long and frank conversation. Graham said he was quite independent, and his being invited alone was no objection. He asked Lord John what the views and intentions of Government were, and Lord John explained everything to him in the most open and candid manner. Graham seems to have made no objections to anybody or anything, but rather to have hinted his apprehensions that they might not go far enough in the way of economy; and he showed some leaning towards Cobden's schemes, that is, he said he thought there was a great deal in his speech and letter. At the end of the conversation he asked Lord John if he had any objection to his consulting Peel, who, he had reason to believe, was to pass through London that afternoon; if he had, he would give him his answer at once. Lord John said he had no objection, and Graham went away. In the evening he came back, said he had missed Peel and could not consult him, and finally he declined, somewhat I think to Lord John's surprise, for he gave no good reason for declining, and, after asking for information as to the Government plans, and appearing satisfied with them, Lord John naturally expected he would accept. They parted on very friendly terms, but Lord John 260 is not pleased; it has not raised his opinion of Graham, and he will not make him another proposal if he can help it. They cannot understand his conduct and motives, but they think he was afraid—which probably is the truth. They then proposed it to Sir Francis Baring, who took it directly. On the whole he will probably be of more use to them than Graham. The accession of the latter would have been distasteful to the Whigs generally and to many of the Government; he would not have been at his ease with his colleagues nor they with him, and I only wonder he ever hesitated. It is perhaps as well that the offer was made to him, but on the whole better as it is. The Protectionists, who, contemptible as they are as a party, can always do some mischief, would have been more disposed to thwart and embarrass the Government when Graham had become a part of it, for he is their favourite aversion.

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


Palmerston has been dreadfully nettled at some recent attacks on him in the 'Times.' Charles Wood sent for Delane and entreated him to desist from these bitter attacks, and he promised he would for the present; he said they had recorded their opinions and did not want to do any more. The state of our foreign affairs and Palmerston's management of them are the astonishment of Europe. There will certainly be more discussion than usual about them in the ensuing Session, but probably with no more result than heretofore. Stanley and Aberdeen will do their best or their worst in the House of Lords, but all their blows will fall on the soft, non-resisting cushion of Lansdowne's evasive urbanity, while in the House of Commons there will be nobody to attack Palmerston, and between those who won't grapple with him, and those who can't, he will come off unscathed, as he has always done. It is said, however, that he is more uneasy (as well he may be) than he ever was before, and from several little symptoms I expect this to be the case. Whether he is or not his colleagues are, and his 261 Royal Mistress still more. Within the last few days fresh difficulties have arisen with reference to Lord Palmerston's conduct of foreign affairs, for he keeps the Queen, his colleagues, his friends, and the party in continual hot water; and on this occasion he seems to have given serious offence to a foreign Power, insomuch that a formal apology is said to be required of him. Yet Lord John has made up his mind to fight through the Session in defence of a colleague whose proceedings give him perpetual annoyance. Aberdeen has been with Peel, and says that he is still more animated against Palmerston than he is himself, and he expects that Peel will not abstain from manifesting his opinion when Parliament meets. Aberdeen said he had no hostility to the Government, and no objection to anything but the conduct of foreign affairs, so much so that if Clarendon came to the Foreign Office he would give him his proxy if he would hold it. The Government are evidently in a stew. There was an article in the 'Times' on Thursday, in which, though there was no attack on Palmerston, who was not named, there was an allusion to former articles and to our conduct to Austria, which evidently rubbed on a sore place, for Charles Wood sent for Delane and expressed his regret that we were on such bad terms with Austria. Delane said, he had all along been saying the same thing, when Charles Wood replied that he did not think we had done anything we could not justify and defend, but unfortunately Palmerston's manner of doing things and the language he employed had given great offence, and that it was much to be regretted that he had given advice and expressed opinions in so offensive a tone as he had done, especially to Austria.83 All this showed clearly enough that Austria was the Power whom he last insulted. He has not, however, been quite idle about Russia, having instructed Stratford Canning to move the 262 Porte to take some steps to thwart Russian policy in that quarter. Canning was very prudent, and nothing serious came of it; but the Emperor is informed of his proceedings, and has taken care to let him know that he is, without making any quarrel. He has also given Palmerston to understand that it is not his intention to allow great European questions, in which he may naturally be expected to take an interest, to be dealt with without his being consulted and considered.

London, January 28th.—It appears that Graham did not give the same account to Peel and to Lord Aberdeen of what had passed with John Russell about his taking office. Lord John says that he appeared well inclined to accept, made no serious objections to anybody or to anything, and that he could not make out why he finally refused. It is clear, however, that Graham must have given some reasons for declining, and, in fact, they are pretty well agreed as to the latter part of their several statements. John Russell, when the Queen asked him why Graham declined, told her that the reasons he gave were some doubts whether their contemplated reductions would go far enough, and some objections as to the foreign policy; but Lord John clearly thought that these doubts and objections were so faintly expressed that they did not amount to anything like insuperable obstacles. He said with reference to foreign policy, that it always must be remembered that Palmerston had kept us at peace, and as Graham went away expressly to consult Peel, that implied that if Peel advised him to accept he would do so. This is not the conduct of a man who had serious objections to our past policy. Of course he could not join without subscribing to the past and undertaking its defence; but to Peel he declared that he had refused because he could not approve of or defend Palmerston's foreign policy, and because their reductions were not sufficient, putting his objections and refusal in a much stronger way than he appears to have put them to Lord John. All this comes from his timidity, and I have no doubt the want of a really clear conscience. He pines for office, he dreads to take it; 263 he knows he is an object of suspicion and dislike to people of all parties; he is embarrassed with his own position; he is clear-sighted enough to perceive all its entanglements and difficulties. All sorts of absurd stories are current about his demands and what the negotiation went off upon.


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

In the Commons Government was equally triumphant. There had been a great deal of squabbling among the Protectionists 264 about their leadership, some wanting Herries, some Granby, and some Disraeli, and when Parliament met there was nothing settled. Stanley had written a flummery letter to Disraeli, full of compliments, but suggesting to him to let Herries have the lead. Disraeli, brimful of indignation against Stanley and contempt for Herries, returned a cold but civil answer, saying he did not want to be leader, and that he should gladly devote himself more to literature and less to politics than he had been able to do for some time past. Meanwhile Herries declined the post, and Granby with Lord Henry Bentinck insisted on Disraeli's appointment, both as the fittest man, and as a homage to George Bentinck's memory. I saw a note from Disraeli a day or two ago, saying he had received the adhesions of two-thirds of this party. In the House of Commons he appeared as leader, for he moved Stanley's Amendment, which was sent to him so late that he placed Stanley's draft in his own handwriting in the Speaker's hands. He made a clever speech with some appearance of attacking Palmerston in earnest. The debate was adjourned, and the next night Palmerston made one of the cleverest, most impudent, and most effective speeches that ever was heard. It took vastly with the House, threw his opponents into confusion, and he came out of the mêlée with flying colours. The Opposition have committed nothing but blunders, and the Government have naturally reaped the benefit of them, and they are in a high state of elation.

As soon as Graham came to town, he called on me, and gave me his reasons for not having accepted office. He said nothing could be handsomer or more gratifying than John Russell's conduct to him. He had been more than frank, he had been confidential, and had told him things that he desired him not to repeat even to Peel or Aberdeen, and which he said he never would repeat to anybody. Graham made an excellent case for himself, and after hearing him I am satisfied that he both acted fairly and judged wisely. He said, 'I have played some pranks before high heaven in my time. I quitted the Whigs once, and it would not 265 do to quit them again; and unless I could subscribe to all their past conduct and policy, as well as feel quite satisfied for the future, it was better not to join.' The great obstacle he owned was Palmerston, and he anticipated being very likely placed in a state of collision with him, which might have been most embarrassing to himself and to the Government.


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

The next day I went and told Lord John what had passed, and afterwards I told Lord Lansdowne. Yesterday morning I saw Graham again, when I found him no longer 266 inclined to think that Stanley would take any part against the Habeas Corpus Bill. When I got to the office, I saw Lord Lansdowne, who told me (albeit not used to talk politics with me) that what I had said to John Russell had had such an effect upon him, that he had determined, as he (Lord Lansdowne) thought very unwisely, and much to his regret, to propose the renewal for six months only instead of for a year as had been intended. I was exceedingly annoyed at this, and told Lord Lansdowne that Lord John must have misunderstood me, or exaggerated the importance of what I had said, and I hoped it was not too late to revert to the original intention, as I was quite certain there was no necessity for limiting the period, and that if there was opposition from any quarter, it would be as great for six months as for twelve. He begged me to go to John Russell at the House of Commons and say so to him, which I did; but he said merely that they had resolved to adopt a former precedent, and should take it for six months. In the evening I saw Lord Lansdowne, who was evidently extremely mortified and disappointed, and said to me, 'I think we have made a great mess of it,' which was a great deal for him. All this proves that there has been considerable difference of opinion in the Cabinet, and it shows a vacillation and infirmity of purpose, which has been all along the besetting sin of this Government.

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


On Wednesday night the Government found themselves 267 in a great dilemma. When Charles Wood proposed his grant of 50,000l. he had no idea of meeting with any opposition, for he told me he was not sure whether he should give the Irish 50,000l. or 100,000l.; but the English members and constituencies have become savage and hard-hearted towards the Irish, and one after another of all parties jumped up and opposed the grant. Graham said he was for giving it, with the understanding that it should be the last, whereas Charles Wood proposed it as the first of a series of grants. Nobody knows whether it will be carried or not, but it is quite certain that nothing more will be given, let the consequences be what they may. Meanwhile the state of things is monstrous and appalling.

Ireland is like a strong man with an enormous cancer in one limb of his body. The distress is confined to particular districts, but there it is frightful and apparently irremediable. It is like a region desolated by pestilence and war. The people really are dying of hunger, and the means of aiding them do not exist. Here is a country, part and parcel of England, a few hours removed from the richest and most civilised community in the world, in a state so savage, barbarous, and destitute, that we must go back to the Middle Ages or to the most inhospitable regions of the globe to look for a parallel. Nobody knows what to do; everybody hints at some scheme or plan to which his next neighbour objects. Most people are inclined to consider the case as hopeless, to rest on that conviction, and let the evil work itself out, like a consuming fire, which dies away when there is nothing left for it to destroy. All call on the Government for a plan and a remedy, but the Government have no plan and no remedy; there is nothing but disagreement among them; and while they are discussing and disputing, the masses are dying. God only knows what is to be the end of all this, and how and when Ireland is to recover from such a deplorable calamity. Lord Lansdowne, a great Irish proprietor, is filled with horror and dread at the scheme that some propound, of making the sound part of Ireland rateable for the necessities of the unsound, which he thinks is neither more nor less 268 than a scheme of confiscation, by which the weak will not be saved, but the strong be involved in the general ruin. Charles Wood has all along set his face against giving or lending money, or any Government interference in the capacity of capitalist, and he contemplates (with what seems like very cruelty, though he is not really cruel) that misery and distress should run their course; that such havoc should be made amongst the landed proprietors, that the price of land will at last fall so low as to tempt capitalists to invest their funds therein, and then that the country will begin to revive, and a new condition of prosperity spring from the ruin of the present possessors. This may, supposing it to answer, prove the ultimate regeneration of Ireland; but it will be at a cost of suffering to the actual possessors and to the whole of the present generation such as never was contemplated by any system of policy. Lord Lansdowne thinks Trevelyan85 is the real author of this scheme, who, he tells me, has acquired a great influence over Charles Wood's mind.

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

Madame de Flahault told me an anecdote about the new French Ambassador, Admiral Cécille, creditable to all the parties concerned. When the Embassy here was offered him, he told the President that he had always been attached to Louis Philippe, and if he was to be made the instrument of saying or doing anything disagreeable to him or his family, he could not accept it. The President said he might be perfectly easy on that score, and that he might go and pay his respects at Claremont as soon as he arrived if he pleased. Accordingly the Admiral sent to the King to offer 269 to wait on him, but Louis Philippe very sensibly said it would only place him in a position of embarrassment, and that he had better not come. I met Duchâtel at dinner on Thursday at Lansdowne House. He spoke highly of the French Ministry and of the President, and he evidently thinks the Monarchy or Empire is more likely to be revived in his person than in that of any other candidate.


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

February 24th.—Last Tuesday was as disastrous a night as any Government ever suffered, for it was injurious and humiliating. Baillie86 had given notice of a motion for a Committee of Enquiry into the administration of Ceylon, British Guiana, and Mauritius, with a view to their better government. He afterwards withdrew Mauritius, and the Government resolved to give the Committee about the other two; and they did this, though they knew that what was really meant was an attack on Lord Torrington87 about Ceylon, and on Lord Grey on both scores. Ellice and I told Grey, whom we met at dinner the day before, that they ought not to give the Committee; but he seemed to be all for it, whether nolens or volens I know not. On Tuesday 270 night this motion came on, when Baillie made the most bitter and abusive speech that could be uttered. He said that he meant it as a vote of censure, and he accused Lord Grey (who was sitting under the gallery all the time) of the most disgraceful and dishonourable conduct, especially in reference to the celebrated Jamaica Memorial in the House of Commons last year. The House went with Baillie, and against Grey and Torrington. The Government met the case in a very poor, blundering, low way; a sort of dodge was attempted and totally failed in the shape of an amendment proposed by Ricardo. Peel said a few damaging words, and John Russell made a very poor speech, which had all the air of throwing Grey over. The motion for a Committee was carried without any division or resistance, and with scarcely any alteration. The effect was as bad as it could possibly be. The Government and their people were mortified and dejected, Grey immensely disgusted, and the Opposition, especially Protectionists, insolent and elated. It is generally believed that if they had divided, they would have been beaten, for all the scattered sections of the Opposition and some of their own friends would have voted against them, and this has revealed the disagreeable truth that they have in fact no hold in the House of Commons, no certain majority, and that whenever all the other parties can find a common ground to meet upon, the Government are sure to be beaten.

Graham called on me on Thursday to talk over this debate. He thought it very damaging and very bad; John Russell wretched; he thought after Baillie's speech he ought to have refused the Committee and abided by the consequences, standing up and manfully defending both his colleague and his employé. He said he had observed that Peel had latterly been more ill-natured to the Government, and that he still bitterly resented Lord John's speech reviving the old dispute on the Appropriation Clause. Lord Aberdeen says the same thing, adding that Peel had never liked Lord John, and that he thought his conduct in attacking him, after the support he had given him, was very bad, and he 271 resented it accordingly, and this was not the last proof he would give of his resentment.


March 2nd.—A day or two ago Bankes asked a question in the House of Commons about the stores furnished to the revolutionary Sicilian Government, to which Palmerston made a reply, and the matter dropped. It is very singular that none of the Opposition leaders got hold of it, for there never was a stronger case coupled with all the rest of Palmerston's Sicilian doings. They have so entirely mismanaged their case, and contrived to give him so great a triumph, and to establish such a prestige of his success and dexterity, that it is now difficult, if not impossible, to take the field against him afresh with any prospect of success. But the Sicilian case is so strong and so bad, that even now, when the papers are published, they may make a good deal of it, and do Palmerston some damage if they manage the case well. His case for the maritime interference after the capture of Messina has been thrown over completely by the speech of General Filangieri in the Neapolitan Parliament, which bears every mark of truth; and I have since heard how he got up the story of atrocities supposed to be committed, which he put into the mouth of the Queen in her speech in Parliament, and which he repeated himself with so much effrontery in the House of Commons, and made Lord Lansdowne so innocently repeat in the House of Lords. Long after, I believe two months after the intervention, he wrote to Lord Napier, and desired him to instruct the British Consul at Messina to collect details of the Neapolitan atrocities, and to send them to him, and this was the evidence on which he made the statements which so materially assisted in carrying him through the debate the first night of the session. The mention in the Queen's Speech of the 'King of Naples,' instead of the King of the Two Sicilies, is now said to have been a mere inadvertence, but I have no doubt it was overlooked by his colleagues, but put in by him intentionally and with a significant purpose. It is his whole antecedent conduct from first to last which confers such importance on the case of the stores. Sicilian agents came over here 272 and applied to the Government contractor to supply them, with stores. He said he had none ready, having just supplied all he had to Government, but that if Government would let him have them back, he would supply them to the agents, and replace the Government stores in a short time. The Sicilians had no time to lose, and by their desire the contractor applied to the Ordnance, stating the object of his application. If the matter had been merely treated commercially, and the contractor, without stating his object, had asked the Government to oblige him as a convenience to himself, it would have been quite harmless; but the object having been stated, it became a political matter. So the Ordnance considered it, and they referred the request to Palmerston as Foreign Secretary, who gave his sanction to the transaction. This made the whole thing a political affair, and a direct assistance rendered by Government to the Sicilian insurgents. The Neapolitan Minister heard of it, and an apology to his Government became necessary. All the Ministers saw the gravity of this matter, but by the extraordinary good fortune which never deserts Palmerston, nobody found it out, and not a word was said about it the first night, to the great joy and surprise of the Ministers, who were trembling lest this delicate point should be touched upon.88


The rate in aid for Ireland is making a great stir and very bad blood in Ireland. The evidence before both Committees is very much against it. Labouchere told me yesterday 273 that the Commons Committee had been much shaken by the evidence of one of the Poor Law Commissioners examined before them yesterday, and the same effect has been produced in the House of Lords. Lord Lansdowne cannot endure it, and, though it is a Government measure, the Cabinet are anything but unanimous about it. Clarendon does not like it either, but he must have money, quocunque modo rem.

In the midst of more important affairs the exposure that has just been made of Hudson's railway delinquency89 has excited a great sensation, and no small satisfaction. In the City all seem glad of his fall, and most people rejoice at the degradation of a purse-proud, vulgar upstart, who had nothing to recommend him but his ill-gotten wealth. But the people who ought to feel most degraded are those who were foolish or mean enough to subscribe to the 'Hudson Testimonial,' and all the greedy, needy, fine people, who paid abject court to him in order to obtain slices of his good things.

March 7th.—The news from India of Gough's disastrous and stupid battle90 filled everybody with indignation and dismay, and a universal cry arose for Sir Charles Napier. On Saturday evening I met Lord John Russell at Lord Granville's, and told him so, entreating him to send him out. He answered, in his cold, easy way, that 'it was too late now,' that the campaign could not last beyond the end of this month or middle of the next, and that he therefore could not get out in time; that they had appointed Sir William Gomm, and that the Duke of Wellington gave him 274 a high character, and he thought all would do well; in short, he seemed not inclined to do anything.

On Sunday I called on Arbuthnot at Apsley House, where I found the Duke. I talked to him of the battle; he shook his head, and lifted up his hands. I said they ought to send out Napier; he said he had long ago wanted to do so, that now he could not get out till the campaign was over; that he hoped it would all end well, though it had been a bad affair, and ill-managed. I asked him would Napier go if they would appoint him. He said, 'Oh yes; he would go, he would go,' he repeated. He then went away. When he was gone, Arbuthnot said to me, 'Though the Duke puts a good face upon it, and endeavours to make the best of it, I can tell you (though he will not say so to you or to anybody) that he is extremely alarmed, and thinks the state of things most serious.' He then said that the Duke would like exceedingly to send out Napier, but that he would express no opinion, and give no advice; that he always said he was not a Cabinet Minister, and it was not for him to tender advice, but he would give it if it was asked. I said I had spoken to John Russell the evening before, when Arbuthnot said, if I could do anything with the Government to induce them to send Napier out, it would be doing a great service, and he knew that the Duke would afford every assistance in his power for that purpose. I said I would try. I determined to go and speak to Hobhouse.91 In my way to Brooks', where I went to look for him, I met Lord Lansdowne, when I urged him to send out Napier. He said he would not go. I told him I knew he would, and then repeated what had passed at Apsley House. He said John Russell had seen the Duke the day before, who had said nothing about it. I told him the Duke would not say anything unless he was asked, but then he would, and would give his opinion. I then went to Hobhouse, found him, and urged him, as strongly as I could, to send Napier out, telling him how clamorous everybody was for it, and what the Duke and Arbuthnot had said to me. He acknowledged that it was 275 the only thing to do, but that he did not know how the Directors were to be brought to consent to it, and that his having the seat in Council or not made the difference between 8,000l. or 18,000l. a year to him, to say nothing of the insult which Napier considered would be put upon him by excluding him from the Council. Hobhouse then said, 'You do not know the difficulties I have had with these men. I have brought the Government, the Duke of Wellington, and the Queen all to bear upon them, and all in vain. It was only the other day, after the affair in which Cureton was killed, that I made another attempt. I sent to Sir James Lushington, and asked him if it was not then possible to send Napier out to India. The next day he sent me word that it was impossible, for if it was proposed not one man would vote for it.'


I replied, since all the powers had failed, that I would bring one more to bear upon them, viz. the House of Commons, and advised him to go down and announce the appointment of Napier as Commander-in-Chief; and if the Directors refused the seat in Council, to cast all the responsibility on them, and ask Parliament for the additional salary. He approved of the plan, if it should become necessary. I ended by urging him to probe the Duke of Wellington, who would tell him his real opinion (he was to see him the next morning), and then to take a decisive step, and send Napier out. I told him his Government wanted credit, and that while in the event of any fresh disasters they would incur an enormous responsibility, and be called to a severe account for not having sent the best man they could find, by doing so now, they would acquire reputation, vigour, and resolution. The next morning early he went to Lord John Russell, and they agreed to appoint Napier. Hobhouse went to the Duke, and it was settled at once, greatly to the Duke's satisfaction. Napier, however, took twelve hours to consider of it, and the Duke told me he did not at all like it. The Directors behaved well, and, whether agreeable to them or not, they acquiesced with a good grace. Ellenborough advised Napier to demand powers greater than had ever 276 been given to any commander-in-chief, but Napier consulted Hardinge, who advised him to do no such thing. He said there was no necessity for them, and that he had much better go out as all his predecessors had done. This was sound advice, and Napier took it. It would have been most unwise in a man appointed under such circumstances to make extraordinary demands upon the authority which only with the greatest reluctance could be induced to give him any powers at all. Hardinge told me this in the House of Lords last night.

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

Last night in the House of Lords Palmerston got the hardest hit he has ever yet had, though his skin is so impenetrably thick that he will hardly feel it. Some nights ago Bankes had asked a question about the Sicilian arms, which Palmerston answered in his usual offhand way, and as usual the matter fell flat, nobody appearing to think or care anything about it. Palmerston made a sort of explanation, such as it was, without a word in it of regret or excuse, as if it had been all quite natural and right. But the matter did not go off so easily in the Lords. Stanley stated the case he had heard, and asked if it was true. Lord Lansdowne at once owned it was true; he called it 'an inadvertence'! But he said that as soon as it was known to the Cabinet, they were deliberately of opinion that the permission ought to have been withheld, and that instructions had been sent to Temple in case any complaint was made, to apologise, explain, and promise nothing of the sort should ever recur. A more mortifying declaration for Palmerston (if anything can mortify him) could not well be, and it was besides an exposure not to be mistaken. If 277 this affair had stood alone, it might have passed for an inadvertence, but conjoined with all the other circumstances of the case, and the general tenor of Palmerston's Italian policy, nothing can well be worse. Palmerston is safe enough as far as his office is concerned, and the Government will not be shaken, but it is damaging beyond all doubt, and when the question comes to be regularly discussed, Stanley, though now too late, will give him a tremendous dressing.


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

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



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

London, March 16th, 1849.—On Thursday in last week Mr. Disraeli made his promised display in favour of the landed interest. His speech was vehemently praised by the Tories, but regarded with very different opinions by different people; on the whole it was not much admired. The night before last, the debate having been adjourned for several days, Charles Wood answered it in one of the best speeches that has been heard for a long time, and by far the best he ever made. Peel warmly congratulated him, and he told Ellice it was not merely a good, it was a great speech. This has been very useful to the Government as well as to the Chancellor of the Exchequer himself, and both required something of credit. The Government are (as heretofore) hampered with measures which they have brought forward with very doubtful means of being able to carry them. The Rate in Aid and the Navigation Laws are both in jeopardy, though this time by no fault of the Government, who have done all they could to pass both. It is a state of things full of difficulty and uncertainty. Every 279 party is strong enough to thwart and embarrass its opponents, and to obstruct and damage measures it dislikes, and none is strong enough to have its own way, and carry matters with a high hand. All this was foreseen as the inevitable result of the Reform Bill, but so many years elapsed during which peculiar circumstances prevented the actual occurrence of the result, that people forgot the prediction, and everybody fancied matters were to be carried on exactly as they used to be before the Reform Bill had destroyed the machinery of rotten boroughs, and let in a flood of popular influence.


March 20th.—The complication of foreign affairs is not a little increased by the bad humour into which we have thrown the Emperor of Russia by our proceedings at Constantinople. Brunnow, generally so couleur de rose and such a fast friend of Palmerston, holds language quite unusual with him. Graham told me he met him at a great dinner of diplomats and politicians at Aberdeen's last Wednesday, when he talked to him with much vehemence and in a very menacing tone. The case is this:—By the treaty of Ackerman the Hospodars in the provinces are elected for seven years, by that of Adrianople the election is for life. The Emperor desired to revert to this former mode, and proposed it to the Turks. They were disposed to consent, when Stratford Canning interposed, prevailed on them to refuse, and so excited them that they assumed a military attitude and began to arm. This is Brunnow's version of the affair; at the same time intimating that he attributed it more to Stratford Canning than to Palmerston himself. It is well known that Stratford Canning is strongly anti-Russian, both politically and personally, but I don't believe he would take any serious course without being assured of Palmerston's concurrence; and Eddisbury93 told me he had done quite right. We suppose that Russia and Austria have a perfect understanding, 280 and if it be so, this is the result of Palmerston's having quarrelled with Austria.

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

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

The Government are dissatisfied with Dalhousie,94 and it appears to be in agitation to recall him. Hobhouse told me that Napier had proposed to him to make him (Napier) Governor-General. It was not indeed a formal proposal, but he said, 'Why don't you make me Governor-General at once?' They would have given him a peerage if he had insisted on it as the condition of his going to India, but this he did not know. When the command was offered him, he would not give his answer without twenty-four hours' consideration, in spite of all pressing to accept at once. The 281 Directors swallowed the pill with a good grace enough. Three of them voted against his having a seat in Council, the rest agreed.


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

Graham talked much of John Russell, and said his loss would be so great that if he was unable to face the severe work of the House of Commons, he had better go to the Lords and retain his office. At Althorp I told the Duke of Bedford all that had passed between Graham and me. He was so much struck by what he had said about Lord John, which chimed in with his own feelings, that he resolved to write to him and propose to him to take this course, and the next morning he told me he had done so; and that he intended, if Lord John did it, with Tavistock's assent to make him a sufficient dotation. This is so great an object for him and for his son, that it will probably reconcile him in great measure to the sacrifice of quitting the House of Commons.282

Yesterday came the news of the defeat of the Sardinians96 and the abdication of Charles Albert, which was received with universal joy, everybody rejoicing at it except Palmerston, who will be excessively provoked and disappointed, though he will not venture, and is too clever, to show it. Clarendon had a conversation with him a few days ago, in which he told Palmerston how much he wished that Radetzky might crush the King of Sardinia, when Palmerston did not disguise the difference of his own opinions, and his wishes that the Austrians might be defeated. Yesterday there was a Drawing-room, at which everybody, the Queen included, complimented and wished joy to Colloredo, except Palmerston, who, though he spoke to him about other things, never alluded to the news that had just arrived from Italy. I met Colloredo at Madame de Lieven's (who was in a state of rapturous excitement), and he told us so there. Nothing could be more striking than this marked difference between the Foreign Secretary and his Sovereign, and all his countrymen, and we may be sure Colloredo will not fail to make a pretty story of it to his Court. The moral, however, is deplorable, for while it must satisfy the Austrians that England has no bad feeling towards Austria but the reverse, they cannot but see that Palmerston is permitted to drag the English Government and nation wherever it pleases his crotchets, caprices, or prejudices to make them go. I certainly never saw a more general expression of satisfaction than the intelligence of Radetzky's victory excited here.


While I was at Althorp the Duke of Bedford showed me two letters, which Hobhouse had sent him, of the Duke of Wellington's to Dalhousie, containing his advice and opinions on the conduct of the war in the Punjaub, which are admirable, 283 and show that his mind is as vigorous, comprehensive, and sagacious as ever.

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

The Duke of Bedford told me yesterday that Lord John had taken in very good part his proposal, and had promised to discuss the matter with him, but said very justly that he must not quit the House of Commons without a clear necessity, and that it would be very inexpedient to go to the House of Lords just at the moment when a decision of that House may possibly upset the Government. This may take place on the Navigation Laws, for the Government have made up their minds to resign if they are beaten upon it, and Lord John was to propose to the Cabinet that Lord Lansdowne should announce their intention in the House of Lords. Meanwhile it is understood that Lord Stanley means to beat them if he can, and is prepared to take the Government if it is offered to him. The Queen asked Graham the other night if it was true that Stanley really did mean it, and he told her he believed it certainly was true. She then asked him what would be the consequence. He said a struggle between the aristocracy and the democracy of the country, very perilous to the former. She said she entirely agreed in this opinion. Lord John Russell sent on Friday for Ellesmere, and asked him to go and talk to the Duke of Wellington, who is going to vote against the repeal, for they justly think that though he would probably not carry many votes with him if he went with Government, 284 he would carry a good many if he went against them.

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

Reeve, who is just come back from Paris, gives a very unsatisfactory account of the state of things there, and of the miserable uncertainty about everything and everybody in which the country is involved. He says that notwithstanding our close alliance and apparent intimacy, there is really no amicable feeling towards us, but on the contrary great jealousy and secret ill-will. They have no more confidence in our diplomacy than the Powers whom we have sacrificed to the French connexion, and any incident may any day put an end to this connexion. There is absolutely no Government, Odilon Barrot has no weight, influence, or capacity; the President is not unpopular, and that is all that can be said of him. The army they hope is still firm, but the greatest efforts are made to corrupt the soldiers, and they read Prudhomme's atrocious journal. He does not think that all France is so resolutely pacific as we fancy, and that a little matter might again kindle a warlike spirit; in short, it is a state of things full of uncertainty and therefore of danger. Thiers is said to have fallen into the lowest discredit. He is now known to have shown great cowardice 285 on February 24th, and this, which Frenchmen never forgive, together with his recent vacillating conduct, has had a fatal effect on his influence and position, and as he has quarrelled more or less with most of his old friends, he is entirely without political power.


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

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

April 4th.—The Duke of Bedford told me yesterday morning that Lord John has made up his mind to go to the House of Lords, but that he will not have the Peerage continued to his son. His purpose is to be created with remainder to the Duke. He disapproves of poor Peerages, of men being created without ample patrimonies, and the property which the Duke means to settle on Lord John (he did not tell me the amount or locality, only that it is a good gentleman's property) he does not consider enough for a 286 Peerage. I know not whether he will adhere to this resolution, which, if he does, will form a new precedent. It has only been mentioned to Lord Lansdowne, whose disposition is to retire, but they will never allow him, for his continuing with them is of the greatest consequence to the Government and to Lord John himself; his loss would be irreparable in all ways.

April 6th.—Lord Clarendon97 had a long interview with Peel, who received him with the greatest cordiality and even warmth. Their conversation was to the last degree open and friendly, and Peel professed the most earnest desire to do anything in his power to co-operate with Clarendon in doing good to Ireland. They discussed Peel's plans, and Clarendon stated to him frankly all his objections to them, and why a great part of them was quite impracticable. All this Peel received with the utmost candour and goodwill, and Clarendon told me he thought he had completely succeeded in proving to him that much that he proposed (the Commission particularly) was quite impossible. I never saw a man more satisfied than he was at this interview, or more gratified at Peel's reception of him. Peel entreated him with the greatest earnestness not to think of leaving Ireland till he had accomplished something great and important towards the regeneration of the country. This, however, Clarendon is not very sanguine as to his power of doing with the present Government. His indignation against his own political friends is boundless.98 He poured it all out to me the other night, and he is equally indignant about the past and hopeless about the future; hopeless, because John Russell is so infirm of purpose, that he will not predominate over his Cabinet and prevent the chaos of opinions and 287 interests which prevent anything Clarendon proposes being done. Then he says that the Chancellor is a great mortgagee in Ireland, and on account of his own personal interests he resolutely opposes all the plans relating to the transfer of property which by any possibility can affect the mortgagees. Lansdowne and Clanricarde are both Irish proprietors, so they have their own separate interests. The consequence of all this confusion is that he is continually thwarted and baffled in his endeavours to carry measures he thinks essential to the relief of Ireland, and he assures me that he has all along predicted to John Russell and George Grey exactly what has happened. The measures which the Government are now finding themselves obliged to adopt are the very same which he originally proposed and which they rejected. He appears not to have minced matters with John Russell, but to have spoken his mind freely, and visited upon the Cabinet in most unsparing criticism and reproach all their sins of omission and commission.


Thursday, May 11th (Bruton Street).—For the last fortnight everybody has been occupied with the division in the House of Lords on the Navigation Bill; the greatest whip-up was made on both sides that ever was known, and the lists made and re-made out with such accuracy that every vote was pretty well ascertained, and the numbers quite correctly calculated.99 Stanley made a magnificent speech, the best it is said he ever made, and one of the most brilliant and effective ever made by anybody. He made a sort of attack on the Duke of Wellington which was both unjustifiable and in bad taste. The Duke behaved oddly in this matter. He gave repeated assurances to the Government that he would assist them in every way he could, but he really gave them no assistance at all, for he refused positively to communicate with any Peers on the subject, would not speak to those who wished to consult him, and he never opened his lips in the debate. I am compelled to believe that Stanley really meant, if he could have defeated 288 this Bill, to have taken the Government if offered to him.

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

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


May 21st.—I have been too much occupied with the Derby and Oaks to write about political matters, but I cannot omit a fresh Palmerstonian affair, as bad or worse than any which have preceded it. On Monday last Lord Lansdowne in reply to a question of Beaumont's said, that 'no communication whatever had been made by the Austrian Government to ours relative to their intervention in Italy,' the fact being that Colloredo had five or six days before gone to Palmerston, and communicated to him by order of his Government their motives, objects, and intentions, as to Italian intervention in great detail. This communication he never imparted to his colleagues, and Lord Lansdowne 289 was consequently ignorant of it. On Tuesday the newspapers reported Lord Lansdowne's answer, on which Colloredo went to Palmerston to complain of it. At the Queen's ball on Wednesday night, Colloredo spoke to Lord Lansdowne and asked him why he had said what he did. Lord Lansdowne had nothing for it but to acknowledge his ignorance. On Friday, the first day on which the House met, I heard what had passed between Colloredo and Palmerston. I resolved to go to Lord Lansdowne. I found him at Lansdowne House, just going to the House of Lords. I began to tell him the object of my calling on him. He stopped me, said he knew all about it, that he was going to the House to correct his former statement, and 'to make the best excuse he could,' that it was exceedingly disagreeable, and the more unaccountable as he had taken the precaution on Monday before he went to the House of Lords to answer Beaumont, to send to the Foreign Office to enquire whether any communication had been received, and the reply was, 'None whatever.' On reference to Palmerston he had said that 'he had quite forgotten it,' and Lord Lansdowne told me that John Russell was as much in ignorance of it as he was himself. I saw that he was exceedingly annoyed, but nothing seems to rouse any of them to any serious manifestation of resentment and displeasure. This is as bad a case as can be, but will have no more result than any of Palmerston's other delinquencies.

June 3rd.—The Duke of Bedford told me a few days ago that the Queen had been again remonstrating about Palmerston more strongly than ever. This was in reference to the suppressed Austrian despatch which made such a noise. She then sent for John Russell, and told him she could not stand it any longer, and he must make some arrangement to get rid of Palmerston. This communication was just as fruitless as all her preceding ones. I don't know what Lord John said, he certainly did not pacify her, but as usual there it ended. But the consequence of not being able to get any satisfaction from her Minister has been that she has poured her feelings and her wrongs into the more sympathetic ears 290 of her late Minister, and I believe that the Queen has told Peel everything, all her own feelings and wishes, and all that passes on the subject.

It is well known that Aberdeen and Stanley have for some time meditated a vigorous and combined attack on the foreign policy of the Government, and one day not long since Aberdeen said that they did intend to make this attack, that he and Stanley and Peel were all agreed on opposition to Palmerston, that of Disraeli they were not so sure, and that Peel, though abhorring the foreign policy, was always in dread of doing anything to damage the Government. Aberdeen had tried to persuade him that an attack on Palmerston, if successful, need not affect the Government, that it was now proved to demonstration that a Protectionist Government was out of the question, and that an adverse vote would turn out Palmerston, and by so doing would in the end strengthen and not weaken the Government itself. It has been suggested that two courses were possible; one, that Palmerston might resign and the rest stay in, merely filling up his place; the other, that they might all resign, and then when it was proved, as it would be, that no other Government could be formed, that the old one might be reconstituted without Palmerston, and with certain changes and modifications. The curious part of all this is the carte du pays it exhibits, and the remarkable and most improper position which Palmerston occupies vis-à-vis the Queen, his mistress, and his own colleagues. I know not where to look for a parallel to such a mass of anomalies, the Queen turning from her own Prime Minister to confide in the one who was supplanted by him; a Minister talking over quietly and confidentially with an outsider by what circumstances and what agency his colleague, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, might be extruded from the Government; the Queen abhorring her Minister and unable to rid herself of him; John Russell fascinated and subjugated by the ascendency of Palmerston, submitting to everything from him and supporting him right or wrong, the others not concealing from those they are in the habit of confiding in, their disapprobation 291 of the conduct and policy of their colleague, while they are all the time supporting the latter and excusing the former, and putting themselves under the obligation of identifying themselves with his proceedings and standing or falling with him. The whole thing is bad, discreditable, and injurious.


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

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

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

On returning to Edinburgh, I went to the Calton Hill and again walked about the town. On Sunday morning the aspect of the new town was curious, it looked like a city of the dead. In the vast and magnificent streets and squares, there was scarcely a human being moving about or a sound to be heard; it looked like a town newly built that had not yet been used, and which was waiting for its inhabitants. The effect was the oddest I ever saw as I sauntered 292 about for an hour before church time. By eleven o'clock Princes Street was swarming, for they are a church-going people.

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

After church I walked about the old town, and dived into the wynds, and examined the remnants of ancient architecture, and of the old edifices, all very striking and curious. In the afternoon by rail to Perth. There I met Lord Glasgow returning from Hay Mackenzie's funeral, and he induced me to make an appointment with him at Glasgow on Wednesday, and go steaming up the Lochs. On Monday morning I went to Dunkeld, walked about the place; thence to Blair Athol, where I slept; next morning retraced my steps through the Pass of Killiecrankie, and along a beautiful road to Taymouth; found Breadalbane there, who took me all over the place. It is grand and beautiful, as fine a place as I ever saw. I could not stay, but returned by another road along the Tay to Dunkeld, and then back to Perth. Next morning very early by rail to Glasgow. There I met Lord Glasgow, who had hired a steamer, in which we started and sailed up different lochs, ending at Tarbet, where we landed, went to the foot of Ben Lomond, got into a boat and paddled about the lake, then returned to Kilbirnie, a strange, old, half-neglected place, very comfortable and exceedingly pretty, and there I slept. Next morning started again, sailed round by Arran up Loch Fyne to Inverary. Nothing can exceed the beauty of this scenery, especially the approach to Inverary; the Duke and Duchess were very civil, and pressed us to stay, but we could not, and returned to Kilbirnie. On Friday walked about the place, then by rail to Glasgow, looked at the town, and on 293 Saturday morning by express train to London. A successful and delightful expedition; saw a great deal in a very short time.


August 8th.—The Session closed during my absence from London. Its last days were distinguished by a long debate in the House of Lords on foreign affairs, and a short demonstration got up in the House of Commons by Palmerston. There is a dessous des cartes about this affair, as follows: the Session was drawing to a close, when the project (originally entertained, but abandoned) of making an attack on Palmerston and the foreign policy of the Government was resumed, and a confederacy was formed for the purpose between Brougham, Stanley, and Aberdeen, not without misgivings on the part of Aberdeen and his friends, for both he and Canning101 told me they thought it was too late, and possibly might do more harm than good. This was a very unwise confederacy; the only man of the three who was in earnest was Aberdeen, and he never ought to have had anything to do with Brougham. As soon as it was known that this field day was in preparation, a great whip began on both sides, and it was considerably believed that the Government would be left in a minority. Meanwhile Lady Palmerston was furious with Brougham, and she wrote him some very angry and reproachful letters. Brougham had no mind to quarrel with her. She fairly bullied him and frightened him, and he accordingly threw over the cause he had undertaken. He made a miserable speech, which enraged his colleagues and all the opponents of the Government, who swore (and it was true) that he had sold them. Aberdeen spoke well, and Lord Lansdowne admirably. The Government was in a minority in the House, but by dint of proxies got a majority of twelve, so that the whole thing was in fact a failure. A day or two after Palmerston made his devils bring on a discussion in the House of Commons, that he might make a speech. He replied after a fashion to Aberdeen, that is, he made some offensive personal allusions to him, but did not attempt to vindicate his own 294 conduct in the essential particulars. This exhibition was trumpeted forth as a great Palmerstonian triumph, and the close of the Session has left him and his spouse immoderately jubilant. It admits of no doubt that in spite of the enormous case there is against him, Palmerston has not only escaped undamaged, but seems to be invested with all the insignia of triumph. He is now evidently endeavouring to make for himself a great Radical interest in the House of Commons, and thus to increase his power, and render himself more indispensable to the Government by making them feel how dangerous he would be out of office.

August 14th.—On Wednesday last to Stoke, on Friday to Nuneham. At Stoke we discussed the very serious question of extension of the suffrage, and Lord John Russell's position in relation to it. Just before the Session ended Graham spoke to Lord John on this subject, told him it would be one of the questions he would have to consider during the recess, as it must occupy Parliament next Session, that he (Graham) was prepared to support a measure of this kind, and that he must tell Lord John that after his having upon two occasions in the House of Commons declared himself favourable to some extension of the suffrage, it was incumbent on him to give effect to those declarations. It is pretty evident that Graham (after his wont) is afraid of not being beforehand with public opinion or clamour, and that he is ready to advocate some Radical, or at any rate Liberal measure. Lord John seems to be conscious that this is a very grave matter, but he says he thinks he can frame a good measure, and he intends to busy himself about it. I called on Labouchere at Stoke on Thursday morning, and had some talk with him about it. He is afraid of it, and sees all the danger and difficulty of the question, and is not a little disgusted that the agitation of it and the necessity of some proposition should have been caused by John Russell's committing himself as he chose to do in the House of Commons. Labouchere spoke also with much disapprobation of Palmerston's parting speeches in the House of Commons, and his expressions in reference to Hungary and 295 Austria to please the Radicals with whom he is coquetting, while they do nothing but sing his praises.


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

London, September 15th.—On Monday, the 3rd, on returning from Hillingdon, I found a summons from John Russell to be at Balmoral on Wednesday 5th at half-past two, for a Council, to order a Prayer for relief against the cholera. No time was to be lost, so I started by the five o'clock train, dined at Birmingham, went on by the mail train to Crewe, where I slept; breakfasted the next morning at Crewe Hall, which I had never seen, and went on by the express to Perth, which I reached at half-past twelve. I started on Wednesday morning at half-past six, and arrived at Balmoral exactly at half-past two. It is a beautiful road from Perth to Balmoral, particularly from Blairgowrie to the Spital of Glenshee, and thence to Braemar. Much as I dislike Courts and all that appertains to them, I am glad to have made this expedition, and to have seen the Queen and Prince in their Highland retreat, where they certainly appear to great advantage. The place is very pretty, the house very 296 small. They live there without any state whatever; they live not merely like private gentlefolks, but like very small gentlefolks,102 small house, small rooms, small establishment. There are no soldiers, and the whole guard of the Sovereign and the whole Royal Family is a single policeman, who walks about the grounds to keep off impertinent intruders or improper characters. Their attendants consisted of Lady Douro and Miss Dawson, Lady and Maid of Honour; George Anson and Gordon; Birch, the Prince of Wales's tutor; and Miss Hildyard, the governess of the children. They live with the greatest simplicity and ease. The Prince shoots every morning, returns to luncheon, and then they walk and drive. The Queen is running in and out of the house all day long, and often goes about alone, walks into the cottages, and sits down and chats with the old women. I never before was in society with the Prince, or had any conversation with him. On Thursday morning John Russell and I were sitting together after breakfast, when he came in and sat down with us, and we conversed for about three-quarters of an hour. I was greatly struck with him. I saw at once (what I had always heard) that he is very intelligent and highly cultivated, and moreover that he has a thoughtful mind, and thinks of subjects worth thinking about. He seemed very much at his ease, very gay, pleasant, and without the least stiffness or air of dignity. After luncheon we went to the Highland gathering at Braemar—the Queen, the Prince, four children and two ladies in one pony carriage; John Russell, Mr. Birch, Miss Hildyard, and I in another; Anson and Gordon on the box; one groom, no more. The gathering was at the old Castle of Braemar, and a pretty sight enough. We returned as we came, and then everybody strolled about till dinner. We were only nine people, and it was all very easy and really agreeable, the Queen in very good humour and talkative; the Prince still more so, and talking very well; no form, and everybody seemed at their ease. In the evening we withdrew to the only room there is besides the 297 dining-room, which serves for billiards, library (hardly any books in it), and drawing-room. The Queen and Prince and her ladies and Gordon soon went back to the dining-room, where they had a Highland dancing-master, who gave them lessons in reels. We (John Russell and I) were not admitted to this exercise, so we played at billiards. In process of time they came back, when there was a little talk, and soon after they went to bed. So much for my visit to Balmoral. I was asked to stay there the first night, but was compelled to remain there the second, as the Braemar gathering took all the horses, and it was impossible to get away. The Prince was very civil about my staying when this was explained to him.


I had a walk on Wednesday with Aberdeen, who came over for the Council. He said the Government were going on very well in all respects but one, but he admitted that it was impossible to get rid of Palmerston, and therefore Lord John could do nothing but defend him; that Peel would not attack him in the House of Commons, as nothing would induce him to do anything to weaken the present Government, though he disapproved of Palmerston's conduct as much as Aberdeen himself. He said that Peel thought of nothing but the progress and developement of his Free Trade measures; that the present Government alone could and would carry them out, and therefore he strenuously supported them, being perfectly conscious that he had no party, and consequently no power. This was just what I believed to be the case in reference to Peel's sentiments and conduct. He considers his own reputation as a statesman staked on the success of these measures, and thinks of nothing else. This is, however, a disagreeable prospect for those of his adherents who followed his fortunes to the last, and are now left high and dry. Aberdeen spoke much of the Queen and Prince, of course with great praise. He said the Prince's views were generally sound and wise, with one exception, which was his violent and incorrigible German unionism. He goes all lengths with Prussia; will not hear of the moderate plan of a species of federalism based on the Treaty of Vienna 298 and the old relations of Germany; and insists upon a new German Empire, with the King of Prussia for its head. I saw by his conversation at dinner that his opinions were just what Aberdeen represented them to be.

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


In the course of our conversation Lord John told me something about the famous despatch of July 19,103 curiously illustrative of his laisser aller way of doing business. After acknowledging it was very injudicious, he said, 'I remember the despatch was brought to me on a Sunday morning, just as I was going to church. I read it over in a hurry; it did not strike me at the moment that there was anything objectionable in it, and I sent it back. If I had not gone 299 to church, and had paid more attention to it, it would not have gone;' and upon this despatch, thus carelessly read and permitted to go, hinged the quarrels with France and with Spain, the Montpensier marriage, and not impossibly, though indirectly, the French Revolution itself.

Lord John and I parted at Perth. He went on to Edinburgh and I to Drummond Castle, where I stayed two nights. It is a grand place; the finest on the whole I have seen in Scotland. The gardens, which are so celebrated, really are fabulous, and unlike any others I ever saw. From Drummond Castle I went to Tullyallan for one night; thence to Drumlanrig for two. This is a magnificent place, the situation of the Castle unrivalled, and presenting a noble object in a hundred different views. The gardens are more extensive and more enjoyable, but not so curious as at Drummond Castle. I went on Wednesday to Worsley, and on Thursday returned to town, excessively amused and interested with my expedition, and more than ever delighted with Scotland. 300


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


London, January 16th, 1850.—Since I first began to keep a journal I do not believe so long an interval has ever elapsed as between the last time I wrote anything and now. Without there having been any matter of great importance, there have been fifty small things I might have recorded at least as interesting as one half that these books contain; but I know not why, I have never felt the least inclination, but, on the contrary, a considerable aversion, to the occupation. I have over and over again resolved to recommence writing, and as often have failed from an inexplicable repugnance to execute my purpose. I am at last induced to take up my pen to put down what has taken place in the case of Gorham and the Bishop of Exeter, because this is a matter which excites great interest, which will not speedily be forgotten, and on which it is desirable there should be some authentic account, especially in respect to those parts of the proceedings which are not publicly known. The details of the case 301 itself are to be found in a hundred publications, and I shall therefore confine myself to what passed behind the curtain. Jenner104 having given judgement in the Court of Arches in favour of the Bishop, Gorham appealed to the Privy Council. We first had to consider what steps we should take to form a competent Court. It was immediately settled that the two Archbishops and the Bishop of London105 should be invited to attend, and I wrote them letters, setting forth the clause in the Privy Council Act by which the Queen was authorised to summon them, telling them they could not vote, but signifying the desire of the Lord President they would attend to give their opinions to the Judicial Committee. The two Archbishops wrote answers that they would come; the Bishop of London sent no answer, and I found out afterwards that he would have preferred the attendance of the prelates being dispensed with. We then considered whom we should get to form the Court, and after a consultation with Lord Lansdowne, it was settled that the whole of the Judicial Committee should be summoned, but with an intimation that while it had been considered advisable to send a summons to every member of the Court on account of the importance of the question, their attendance was not imperative. It was also deemed very desirable to have at least one Common Law Judge there. In the Court of Delegates a Common Law Judge was always indispensable, and Baron Parke had often pronounced a strong opinion that one ought always to be present in those Appeals to the Judicial Committee which formerly went to the Delegates. We had, however, great difficulty in getting one; neither Wilde nor Pollock would consent to attend, and Parke had made an engagement to go into the country. At length, finding that unless Parke agreed to come we should have no Common Law Judge, I wrote him a strong and pressing 302 letter, urging him to attend; and having got the Lord President to back me up, he agreed to give up his engagement and assist at the hearing of the case. The Court was finally composed of Lords Langdale and Campbell, Baron Parke, Vice-Chancellor Knight Bruce, Dr. Lushington, and Mr. Pemberton Leigh. Lord Lansdowne came the first day and opened the proceedings; made a short speech, stating that Her Majesty had been advised to summon the prelates in so important a case, and that he himself did not contemplate attending throughout the hearing, as he did not consider himself competent to act as a Judge in that Court, though always ready to render his assistance in arranging their proceedings, and then having fairly launched them he went away. The cause was very elaborately and very ably argued by Turner for Gorham, and Baddeley for the Bishop. The Court was crammed full almost every day, and the interest very great. It was conducted with great moderation and decorum on all sides, with one exception. At the end of his speech Baddeley very injudiciously and very indecently made a personal attack on the Archbishop of Canterbury. He charged him with having given a living to a man holding Gorham's opinions, and therefore being prejudiced in this case. The Prelate, with some emotion, but very mildly, explained that he had given the living to the clergyman in question before he had published the book in which these opinions were said to be enunciated, and that he knew nothing about them. Baddeley made a sort of apology, and Campbell rebuked him with some severity, but at the same time acknowledged the ability of his speech, and, with this exception, its moderation and becoming tone. When the arguments were over, the Lords remained in discussion for some time. The Prelates all said they should like to take time to consider their opinions, and then to give them in writing. It was therefore agreed that they should meet again on the 15th, when they would read their written opinions to the Judicial Committee; and it was also settled that Lord Langdale should draw up the Report. There was not much discussion, but it was evident from what passed that the judgement would be 303 reversed. Yesterday afternoon they assembled again. The Archbishop of Canterbury began. His paper was excellent. He showed that opinions, if not identical with, yet very like, those of Gorham had been held by a host of great and good Churchmen, and he was strongly of opinion that the Bishop was not justified in refusing to induct him. The Archbishop of York followed. He gave the same opinion, but in a much less able paper. Then came the Bishop of London. He said he entirely agreed with the two Archbishops, so far as they had gone; intimated that his first impression had been the same as theirs, but in looking more closely into Gorham's doctrine he had arrived at the conclusion that he had gone considerably beyond what had ever been held by any of the eminent persons whom the Archbishop had quoted, and that he had distinctly laid down positions wholly inconsistent with the efficacy of the Baptismal Sacrament, and that this he could not get over. He therefore gave an opinion, though it did not seem to be a very decided one, against Gorham. The Lords thanked the Prelates, and begged for copies of their several papers, and then they proceeded very briefly to state their own views. Lord Langdale said a very few words against the judgement of the Court below. Baron Parke said he had written his opinion, and they begged him to read it. It was a very good argument, of which, however, he did not read the whole, and he agreed with Lord Langdale. Campbell neither made a speech nor read a paper, but took a similar view. Lushington said he had written out his opinion, but had not brought his paper with him. He made, however, a short speech, very good indeed, in which he pronounced a strong opinion against the Bishop, commenting in severe terms upon the nature of the examination, and setting forth the great danger to the peace of the Church which would result from a judicial declaration on their part that Gorham's opinions were clearly proved to be heretical. After him came Knight Bruce, who read a paper of moderate length, but strongly condemnatory of Gorham, and for affirming the judgement of the Court below. Pemberton Leigh was the 304 last. He said he had not been prepared to express any opinion, having conceived that they were only to meet to hear those of the Prelates; but he made a very short speech, in which he gave a very decided opinion for reversing the judgement; and he showed very clearly that if there were some answers of Gorham's which appeared to bear out the Bishop of London's view of the matter, there were others by which they were neutralised, and in which he gave his unqualified assent and consent to those doctrines of the Church which the Bishops alleged that he rejected. Some conversation, all very amicable, then ensued, and the question was settled. Lord Langdale undertook to prepare the judgement. The Bishop of London said he hoped nothing would be said in it condemnatory of the Bishop of Exeter's doctrine, at which they all exclaimed that they would take care nothing of the kind was done; they would steer as clear as possible of any declaration of opinion as to doctrine, and found their judgement on this, that it had not been proved to them that Gorham had put forth any doctrine so clearly and undoubtedly at variance with the Articles and formularies as to warrant the Bishop's refusal to induct him. Lushington said he had the greatest difficulty in making out what Gorham's doctrine really was, and he was much struck with the fact that in no part of the Bishop's pleadings did he say explicitly with what he charged him. They then separated, no time having been fixed for giving judgement. But for Knight Bruce it would be unanimous; but he will never give way, and this will prevent their declaring that they are unanimous.


January 23rd.—If I had not been too lazy to write about anybody or anything, I should not have suffered the death of Lord Alvanley to pass without some notice. The world, however, has no time to think of people who are out of its sight, and a long illness which had confined him entirely, and limited his society to a few old friends, caused him to be forgotten, and his departure out of life to be almost unobserved. There was a time when it would have been very different, during those many years when his constant 305 spirits and good humour, together with his marvellous wit and drollery, made him the delight and ornament of society. I know no description of him so appropriate as the character of Biron in 'Love's Labour's Lost':—

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

He was originally in the army, came early into the world, and at once plunged into every sort of dissipation and extravagance. He was the most distinguished of that set of roués and spendthrifts who were at the height of the fashion for some years—consisting of Brummel, Sir H. Mildmay, Lord Sidney Osborne, Foley, John Payne, Scrope Davies, and several others, and when all of them were ruined and dispersed (most of them never to recover), Alvanley still survived, invulnerable in his person, from being a Peer, and with the means of existence in consequence of the provident arrangement of his uncle, who left him a considerable property in the hand of trustees, and thus preserved from the grasp of his creditors. He was naturally of a kind and affectionate disposition, good-natured, obliging, and inclined to be generous; but he was to the last degree reckless and profligate about money; he cared not what debts he incurred, and he made nothing of violating every sort of pecuniary engagement or obligation. He left the friends who assisted him in the lurch without remorse, and such was the bonhomie of his character, and the irresistible attraction of his society, that they invariably forgave him, and after exhausting their indignation in complaints and reproaches, they became more intimate with him than before. Many a person has been 306 astonished, after hearing the tale of Alvanley's abominable dishonesty and deceit, to see the plaintiff and the culprit the dearest of friends in the world. He was a great example how true it is that—

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

When I recollect his constant treacheries, and the never-failing placability of his dupes, I always think of the story of Manon L'Escaut, of whom he appears to me to have been a male prototype. It would be very difficult to convey any idea of the sort of agreeableness which was so captivating in him. He did not often say very witty things; it was not uproarious mirth, and jokes exciting fits of laughter like Sydney Smith; he was unlike any of the great luminaries of his own or of bygone times; but he was delightful. He was so gay, so natural, so irresistibly comical, he diffused such cheerfulness around him, he was never ill-natured; if he quizzed anybody and bantered them, he made them neither angry nor unhappy; he had an even and constant flow of spirits, and till his health became impaired you were sure of him in society. He was vain, but it was a harmless and amusing vanity, which those who knew him well understood and laughed at. He had rioted in all the dissipations of play and wine and women, and for many years (a liaison which began when neither were very young, and was the réchauffé of an earlier affair, before she was married) he was the notorious and avowed lover of Lady ——. What Burke says with a sort of mock modesty of himself, was true of Alvanley—he had 'read the book of life for a long time, and other books a little!' For the first years of his life he was too entirely plunged in dissipation and debauchery to repair in any way the deficiencies of a neglected education; later, he read a good deal in a desultory way, and acquired a good store of miscellaneous information. At one period he addicted himself to politics, but he never made any figure in the House of Lords, having no parliamentary experience, no oratorical 307 genius, and no foundation of knowledge. But it was during this period that he signalised his courage in his duel with young O'Connell. Before that event, for no particular reason but that he was only known as a voluptuary, no very high idea was entertained of his personal bravery; but on this occasion it shone forth with great lustre, for no man ever exhibited more resolution or indifference to danger. For the last four years of his life he was afflicted with painful diseases, and his sufferings were incessant and intense. He bore them all with a fortitude and a cheerfulness which never failed him, and which excited universal sympathy and admiration.


February 2nd.—The Session opened on Thursday,106 and Ministers got a great victory in the House of Lords the same night, and yesterday another in the House of Commons so signal and decisive as to leave no uncertainty in respect to the agricultural questions, or the stability of the Government. After all the sound and fury which have pervaded the country, and the formidable attitude they assumed, they entered on the parliamentary contest in a very feeble and apparently undecided, if not disunited manner. And nothing could be more shocking than the contrast between the rage and fury, the denunciations and determinations of the Protectionists all over the country for months past, and the moderate language and abstinences from all specific demands on the part of the leaders in both Houses. Stanley, who has never said or written a syllable during the recess, and kept aloof from all agitation, made a very reasonable speech, disclaiming any wish to interrupt the experiment, which he was sure would fail, and only requiring that if it did fail, we should retrace our steps. This was very different from Richmond, who was coarse and violent, and declared he wanted to turn out the Government, and restore Protection at once. In the other House, Disraeli was very bad, and there was no possibility of making out what he 308 meant or was driving at. Cobden was very good, and had much the best of him. All this disunion and weakness ended in good divisions, an exposure of the weakness and inefficiency of the Tory party, and apparently putting the Government at their ease and into smooth water.

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


February 10th.—The brightness of the Ministerial prospect was very soon clouded over, and last week their disasters began. There was first of all the Greek affair, and then the case of the Ceylon witnesses—matters affecting Lord Palmerston and Lord Grey. The Greek case will probably be settled, thanks to French mediation, but it was a bad and discreditable affair, and has done more harm to Palmerston than any of his greater enormities.107 The other 309 Ministers are extremely annoyed at it, and at the sensation it has produced. The disgust felt at these bullying and paltry operations is great and universal, and it will of course tend to make us still more odious abroad. As far as Palmerston himself is concerned, he will as usual escape unscathed, quite ready to plunge into any fresh scrape to-morrow, uncorrected and unchecked; he bears a charmed life in politics, he is so popular and so dexterous that he is never at a loss, nor afraid, nor discomposed. He is supported by his own party; the Peelites will not attack him for fear of hurting the Government; and he is the pet of the Radicals, to whom he pays continual court, giving them sops in the shape of Liberal speeches, Hungarian sympathies, and claptrap—unmeaning verbiage of different sorts.

Very different is the case of Grey. He is as unpopular as the other is popular. The House of Commons swarms with his bitter enemies, and he commands very few friends. Notwithstanding his great and undeniable abilities, he committed blunders, which proceed from his contempt for the opinion of others, and the tenacity with which he clings to his own; and while those who know him are aware that a man more high-minded, more honourable and conscientious does not exist, he has contrived to make himself pass for a Minister whose word cannot be relied on. This last affair of the Ceylon witnesses is indeed well calculated to confirm such an impression, and to heap additional odium on his head. It is wholly without excuse, damaging to him, damaging to the Government, and will animate and embitter the personal hostility with which he is pursued to a degree that will probably bring him to grief in the course of this Session, and perhaps the whole Cabinet with him.108 310 The Government was only saved from a defeat on Wednesday morning by the bad tactics of Disraeli, who moved so strong a resolution that few would support it. Bright then moved one more moderate, and was only beaten by nine; had the more moderate one been moved at first, it would have been carried. These two incidents have been vexatious and injurious, and were not improved by an angry personal squabble between Horsman on one side and John Russell and Sir George Grey on the other, in which, however, the former is undoubtedly in the wrong.

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


February 14th.—There has been a grand discussion whether Clarendon should come over to meet Stanley and Roden on Monday next. He was greatly against coming, and so were several of his friends; but John Russell, George Grey, and Lord Lansdowne all thought he had better come, and he acquiesced, though reluctantly, and retaining his opinion that it was not expedient. Stanley told Granville yesterday that he was not going to defend Orange processions, and had only taken up the matter for the purpose of 311 preventing personal matters between Clarendon and Roden being mixed up with the discussion on the Processions Act, and to have those personal matters settled beforehand; au reste, that he had at first thought Clarendon had been quite in the right, but since he had seen all the evidence and read the papers he had changed his opinion, and thought Roden and the other Peers had been hardly treated. Clarendon himself wrote me word he was convinced Stanley only brought forward this matter to satisfy his Irish adherents, who had been urging him to do it. It is most probable that he finds himself in a scrape with his party, who must be excessively disappointed and disgusted at his very lukewarm advocacy of Protection in his speech on the first night of the Session, and indeed at the way he has kept aloof from all their agitation; and he finds it necessary to do something to satisfy them in other ways. So he will take every opportunity he can find of attacking the Government, and try to excite and assure his party by such field-days as Dolly's Brae, and by working the Greek question and anything else he can lay his hands on.

This Greek question is the worst scrape into which Palmerston has ever got himself and his colleagues. The disgust at it here is universal with those who think at all about foreign matters; it is past all doubt that it has produced the strongest feelings of indignation against this country all over Europe, and the Ministers themselves are conscious what a disgraceful figure they cut, and are ashamed of it. Labouchere came into my room yesterday and let loose about it without reserve. He said it admitted of no excuse, and that John Russell, who alone could have prevented it, was inexcusable for not having done so; that it ought to have been brought regularly and formally before the Cabinet, who ought all to have known precisely what it was Palmerston proposed to do. Papers indeed were sent round in boxes, and Palmerston defended himself on this ground, and asked why they did not read them; but (said Labouchere) how was it possible for men who had large departments with a vast deal of business of their own, to 312 read all the papers which were brought round in circulation? They neither did nor could. It was quite clear from all this that the Greek affair was not a measure well considered, discussed, and agreed on by the Cabinet, but done in the true Palmerstonian style, offhand, partly and casually communicated to his colleagues, but so managed as to be his own act, to which they indeed became parties, completely implicated, but in which they were not really consulted, and which passed under their eyes without entering into their serious thoughts. Now that the whole magnitude of the scrape is revealed to them they are full of resentment and mortification. Graham told Arbuthnot the other day that he thought the breaking down of the Government would be the greatest of evils, and he would do anything to support them, but that it was impossible for them to go on with two such men as Grey and Palmerston.

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


February 19th.—Stanley brought on the Dolly's Brae 313 affair last night in a long, clever, and artful speech, delivered in his best style. But it was the speech of a clever nisi prius advocate, and consisted principally of an ingenious dissection of Berwick's report and the evidence, and a bitter attack upon him. The useless and unmeaning character of this display was very apparent when he announced his intention of doing nothing, and asking no opinion of the House. Clarendon rose after him. He made a very good case, his points told remarkably well, and, on the whole, he acquitted himself successfully, and to the satisfaction of his friends; but, coming after Stanley's practised and brilliant declamation, his style appeared tame and feeble. It was easy to see that he was no debater, and that his parliamentary inexperience diminished his force and efficacy. For a little while I was in great alarm for him, and thought he was going to break down; but he recovered, and got through his speech very well. If he had had more artistic power, he would have made his excellent materials much more effective than they were. In such hands as Stanley's they would have been crushing; they would have been very powerful if Lord Lansdowne had had them; but as it was, it was well enough. There was no personality introduced into the debate; the rival speeches were very civil and complimentary to each other; and Roden, throughout his dull and inaudible harangue, called Clarendon his noble friend, to which Clarendon of course responded in his short second speech. Before it began Stanley and Clarendon rushed to each other across the House, and shook hands very cordially, like a couple of boxers before setting to.

February 20th.—Clarendon called on me yesterday, very happy at his success the night before. There is a pretty general opinion that he made out a very good case, and that Stanley's was a failure. The latter made one or two great mistakes, and was detected in one very discreditable attempt. He quoted from an Act of Parliament, reading an extract from it, but stopping short at that part of the clause which would have upset his own argument. By a great piece of good luck, the Chancellor Brady had anticipated the possibility 314 of this Act being alluded to, and had sent it over to Clarendon, pointing out this clause, and Clarendon only received it two hours before the debate came on.

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

We had some talk about our foreign affairs, especially Greece, of which he had himself only heard a little. I had heard that Palmerston had been making some fresh proposal to the Cabinet, at which they had kicked, and I now learned what it was. So little disposed is he, notwithstanding all the feelings and opinions that have been manifested, to recede, that he proposed that instructions should be sent to Wyse to insist that the French Minister at Athens (or agent of the bons offices, whoever he may be) should be obliged to require of the Greek Government an immediate compliance with the whole of our demands. This the Cabinet refused to do, but Lord Lansdowne owned to Clarendon that he was by no means sure that they were apprised of all the instructions that had been sent, or that this requisition might not have gone out, though the Cabinet had refused its consent to it. Clarendon told Lord Lansdowne that he hoped he was not insensible to the state of public opinion on this matter, and he said he was fully aware of it. 315


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

He then spoke of foreign affairs, and did not spare Palmerston. He reviewed the general course of our proceedings, and especially the Greek affair, which he thought very bad; but what was still worse, was our having sent our fleet into the Dardanelles, having no right to do so, and then asserting we were driven there by stress of weather, which was a pretence and a falsehood. This was very disgraceful, and the use to which our fleet had been put very shameful. That Palmerston had met with nothing but failures from Lisbon, where he first sent the fleet, and where his enemy Cabral had been ever since in power down to the present occasion. Brunnow had spoken to him the other day, and talked very good sense. He said the Emperor of Russia would not quarrel on this matter, not having done so on our fleet going to the Dardanelles; he would not on account of two uninhabited islets, but he would feel it. He alluded to the Emperor's sarcastic remark on the story of our fleet being compelled to take shelter in the Dardanelles; that 'he had always understood our fleets were most ably and powerfully manned, their tactics very superior, and that Sir William Parker was a very skilful officer; but 316 that his fleet, though lying in that sea for many months, had never found itself under any such necessity.' Brunnow said it was a great pity that somebody could not represent to Palmerston the impolicy of the course he had been pursuing all over Europe; that it was evident his real motive and intention in the Greek affair had been to bring about a revolution there, and that he had expected, when his fleet appeared, there would be a rising against Otho, who would be expelled; that when Europe was only just emerging from a state of general revolution, and order was only lately restored, what folly it was to provoke a fresh revolution, and to reopen an important question, the settlement of which might lead to the greatest difficulties! Brunnow always defends Palmerston, and affects to make light of all the accidents that arise, but he speaks his real sentiments to Peel and Aberdeen. Peel said he had seen a letter from an officer in Parker's fleet, representing that the Admiral was exceedingly disgusted at the business put into his hands. We occupied so much time in discussing Ireland and Greece, that there was none to go into other matters, though I should have liked to hear his opinion of the state and prospects of the country.

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


He then gave me an account of what had passed between the Queen and Prince and himself. He dined at the Palace on Tuesday. I told him they were sure to talk to him on foreign affairs, but he said he should avoid it. However, he could not avoid it. The moment he came into the 317 drawing-room after dinner the Queen exploded, and went with the utmost vehemence and bitterness into the whole of Palmerston's conduct, all the effects produced all over the world, and all her own feelings and sentiments about it. He could only listen and profess his own almost entire ignorance of the details. After she had done Prince Albert began, but not finding time and opportunity to say all he wished, he asked him to call on him the next day. He went and had a conversation of two hours and a half, in the course of which he went into every detail, and poured forth without stint or reserve all the pent-up indignation, resentment, and bitterness with which the Queen and himself have been boiling for a long time past. He commented on Palmerston's policy and conduct much in the same terms in which the 'Times' does, and as I and others do. But what he enlarged upon with the strongest feeling was the humiliating position in which the Queen was placed in the eyes of the whole world. The remonstrances and complaints, the sentiments and resentments of other Sovereigns—of the King of Naples, and of the Emperor of Russia, for instance—directly affected her dignity as the Sovereign and Representative of this Nation; and the consciousness that these Sovereigns and all the world knew that she utterly disapproved of all that was done in her name, but that she was powerless to prevent it, was inconceivably mortifying and degrading. Prince Albert said he knew well enough the Constitutional position of the Sovereign of this country, and that it was the policy and measures which the nation desired and approved which the Government must carry out; but that the nation disapproved of Palmerston's proceedings, and so did his own colleagues, Lord Lansdowne particularly; yet by their weak connivance he was allowed to set at defiance the Sovereign, the Government, and public opinion, while the Queen could get neither redress nor support from John Russell, and was forced to submit to such degradation. He then mentioned various instances in which the Queen's remonstrances and suggestions had been disregarded. Minutes submitted to her in one form and changed by Palmerston into other 318 forms; the refusal of Austria to send any Ambassador here, because he could not transact business with her Secretary of State. Clarendon asked him if he had ever endeavoured to influence Palmerston himself, and remonstrated with him on those matters which had justly excited the strong feelings of the Queen and himself. He said that he had done so repeatedly, and for a long time; that he always found him easy, good-humoured, very pleasant to talk to, but that it was utterly impossible to turn him from his purposes, or to place the least reliance on anything he said or engaged to do, and that at length the conviction which had been forced upon him of the uselessness of speaking to him had caused him entirely to leave it off, and for above a year past neither the Queen nor he had ever said one word to him; that it was in vain they had appealed to John Russell. He supposed it was the etiquette for Cabinet Ministers never to admit there was anything censurable in the conduct of each other, for though he was certain many things were done of which John Russell could not approve, and for which he was unable to make any defence, he never would admit that what had been done had been wrong; that the consequence of this had been to impair considerably the relations of confidence and openness which ought to exist between the Queen and her Prime Minister, and to place her in an unsatisfactory position vis-à-vis of him. After dilating at great length on this topic, he said something from which Clarendon inferred that his object was to make him a channel of communication with John Russell, and thus to make their sentiments known to him more clearly and unreservedly than they could do themselves, and he means to tell Lord John all that passed. He said the Prince talked very sensibly and very calmly, very strong, but without excitement of manner. I shall be curious to hear what Lord John says to it all; but though it can hardly fail somewhat to disturb his mind, I don't believe it will make the least alteration in his conduct, or change an iota of the 'unconquerable will and study of revenge' of Palmerston, or prevent his doing just what he pleases in spite of all the world. Peel told me he understood 319 we were sending to Leghorn to make demands of some sort there, which he concluded was done to annoy Austria.


February 23rd.—The division in the House of Commons on Thursday night was hailed with vociferous cheers by the Protectionists, who considered it a great victory and the harbinger of future success.110 Everybody was taken by surprise, for though it was known that the Opposition would muster strong, nobody imagined there would be so small a majority as twenty, the Government expected about forty. Graham spoke very well, and so did Gladstone in reply to him, the part the latter took exciting a considerable sensation. Disraeli was good, both in his opening speech and reply. Graham told me he was much improved, and his taste and tone far better than formerly. Peel was long and heavy, talked of himself too much, and made one of those defences of his former conduct which he might as well let alone, for they are superfluous with one half of the House and country, and useless with the other. He had much better, as Disraeli told him, do like Cosmo de Medici, and leave his character to posterity; he unwisely enough noticed a very warm and unjust attack which Henry Bentinck had made upon him at some public meeting. Henry Bentinck, like a true member of his family and own brother to George, instead of recanting or apologising, insinuated his disbelief in what Peel said, and was as offensive as the clamour and displeasure of the House and his own inarticulateness allowed him to be. In the afternoon yesterday Graham called on me to speak about the Australian Bill which was to have come on next Monday, and on which he said Government would infallibly be beaten, which following up the quasi defeat of Thursday would be very awkward. I suggested, after talking the matter over, that he and Peel 320 might give them some help, which he said they would do, but must know what Government thereupon meant to do. I undertook to find out, but in the meantime John Russell put off the Bill.

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


Clarendon had also long conversations with Peel and Graham, who were both very complimentary and satisfactory about his case in the House of Lords, and Peel talked to him a great deal about affairs, both English and Irish. He was as confident as ever in the impossibility of the restoration of Protection, and the disastrous, and in the end abortive, effects of any attempt to do so by a Stanley and Disraeli Government, if by any possibility they could force themselves into office. He is evidently much disgusted with Gladstone and Goulburn, who have given indubitable signs of forsaking him, and advancing towards the Protectionists, and Graham said Stanley would now be able to offer the Queen a list, which would not be an insult. But Gladstone, though he has twice voted with the Opposition, loudly declares that he has not changed an iota of his Free Trade opinions, and has no thoughts of joining the other party, though they think they can have him whenever they may vouchsafe to take him. There is a considerably prevailing opinion of the diminished vigour as well as of the diminished influence of Peel. His speech the other night was laboured 321 and heavy, and not judicious. Then the House was much struck by the unusual spectacle of Peel and Graham both rising to speak together, and both persisting to await the Speaker's call instead of Graham's giving way to Peel, as he would have done formerly. It was probably the first time Peel ever rose in the House of Commons to speak, and had to give way to another speaker. The House called for the one as much as for the other, and Graham made incomparably the best speech of the two. Ever since their large minority, the Protectionists have been in a very rampant and excited state, overflowing with pugnacity and confidence; but they made a great mistake in opposing very furiously and factiously the Irish Voters Bill, and the Government think that night was exceedingly serviceable to them, by rallying back a great many of the Irish Members, who were out of humour, and disposed to go against them in the matter of protection and relief.

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

March 8th.—I dined on Wednesday at Grillon's, and was received with vast civility and cordiality. A large party, much larger than usual—amongst them Harrowby, Granville, Graham, Sir Thomas Fremantle, Rutherford, Pusey, Sir Thomas Acland, &c. Sat next to Graham, and had much talk on affairs. I told him that Labouchere had said to me a day or two before that John Russell was uneasy about the House of Commons, and expected that he should be beaten on more than one item in the financial accounts; that people told him he must expect to be beaten; but he replied that repeated defeats on such details materially impaired his influence and authority in the House, and made it difficult to carry on the business. Graham said this was very true, and that he probably would be beaten. He thought the position of the Government unsatisfactory and precarious; they had got into some scrapes about both Army and Naval estimates, unnecessarily and injudiciously. Then there were the questions of the African squadron and the Greek business behind. Stanley is very bitter and active, and 322 eager to fight. He thinks Gladstone, Goulburn, and Aberdeen would all join Stanley in taking office. I asked him how it was possible. He said the Protectionists would make some concessions, and for various reasons and on different pretexts they would be easily satisfied. He congratulated himself on his foresight in refusing to take office. This Greek question was just one of those cases in which he must have refused to obey the orders of the Foreign Office, very different now from Lord Grey's time. Then when he was First Lord of the Admiralty, he used to be every day at the Foreign Office, and Lord Grey was paramount, allowing nothing to be done without his full knowledge and assent, and constantly altering Palmerston's despatches as a tutor might a boy's exercise. He talked a good deal about the abolition of the Lord Lieutenancy of Ireland, of which he approves, but said the arrangement of the details, especially about the Chancellor, would be very difficult. Arbuthnot told me the other day that the Protectionists are doing all they can to disgust the Yeomanry with the service, and to induce them to resign, not without success. This is their patriotism.

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


March 9th.—Yesterday judgement was given in Gorham's case at the Council Office. The crowd was enormous, the crush and squeeze awful. I accommodated my friends 323 with seats in court, and there were Wiseman and Bunsen sitting cheek by jowl, probably the antipodes of theological opinions. The Lords met an hour before. They made some alterations in the judgement, and some judicious omissions. The Bishop of London, after much vacillation, half assenting and half dissenting, being on and off, by turns against Gorham and against the Bishop, disagreeing with everybody and everything, finally sent his determination through Lushington, and announcing (as was said in the judgement) that he could not concur. He did not, however, concur in the statement of Gorham's doctrine as gathered by the Lords, a difference of construction which shows how impossible it would have been to condemn Gorham on the score of heterodox, if not heretical, opinions, when a number of very able men, laymen and clergymen, after careful examination, could not agree what his opinions really were. Knight Bruce dissented altogether, wrote to Lord Langdale to that effect, and declined coming. The Archbishop agreed in both judgement and reasons. There was a preliminary discussion about costs. Langdale, Campbell, and Lushington were for giving Gorham costs in the Court below; Pemberton Leigh was against it; and the three eventually yielded to the one, and it was agreed to say nothing about costs. Langdale read the judgement well, and the people who heard it (at least those I talked to) thought it able and judicious; but of course all the highflyers and Puseyites will be angry and provoked, and talk of schisms and secessions, which will be, I am firmly convinced, bruta fulmina.

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

March 19th.—Last Friday Aberdeen and Stanley had determined to bring on the Greek affair in the House of Lords, and Stanley gave notice to Lord Lansdowne he would ask for information. Lord Lansdowne, however, before 324 Stanley rose, got up and begged he would not discuss a question which was in course of negotiation, and Stanley was obliged to acquiesce. They were both of them provoked and disappointed, but there was no help for it. Stanley then contented himself with asking for the date of the orders to Parker to stop coercive measures, and it turned out that Palmerston had delayed sending them for a week upon miserable pretexts. Lord Lansdowne, as usual, attempted some lame excuses, and there the matter ended.

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


March 20th.—John Russell convoked a meeting in Downing Street yesterday, and made them a speech which gave equal offence in manner and in matter. He told them if he was beaten on Hutt's motion he should resign. Palmerston made another speech, and announced the same intention. The people came away furious and indignant, and several came into my room complaining of the hardship of being compelled to vote against their conscientious opinions on such a question, and on the unjustifiable conduct of the Government in threatening to resign at it. 325 It seems to me that John Russell is demented at taking this violent course in reference to so unpopular a question, and one so entirely fallen into disrepute. He has given deep offence and prepared great difficulties for himself hereafter. Baring Wall told me he sent Labouchere to him the night before to remonstrate, but he made no impression, and his reply was too ridiculous; that he could not abandon the course pursued by Mr. Fox and all the great men of the time, who had striven to put down slavery. He succeeded in cajoling or frightening people into submission, and after a debate in which few people spoke, and Palmerston not at all, leaving it all to Lord John, Hutt's motion was rejected by a majority of seventy. A great many were absent, not expecting a division, most of whom would have voted with Hutt. I never saw anything like the surprise of some people and the indignation of others at the course which John Russell took.

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

The Greek affair has dragged on, and wears rather a 326 sinister appearance. Drouyn de Lhuys114 fell in with Reeve on Sunday, took him into his house, and opened to him largely and bitterly on the subject. Yesterday Reeve dined with him, when he again renewed the discussion—two remarkable conversations. He complained in strong terms of Palmerston's conduct, said that France had exerted herself with great sincerity to arrange the affair, but had been met in no corresponding spirit here. He intimated that his Government would publish to the whole world what had taken place, and that the matter was assuming a very grave character towards both Russia and France. Instructions had, indeed, gone out to Athens, agreed upon between Palmerston and himself, but he seemed to regard it as very doubtful whether they would arrive in time—that is, before Gros had returned home and Parker resumed hostilities. He repeated what Van de Weyer had said of the 'universal execration' in which we were held, and that no country could excite such a feeling with impunity. It is pretty clear that if this matter is not now settled there will be an explosion on the subject at Paris, and some very disagreeable passages between us and both France and Russia. My own conviction has all along been that Palmerston never intended anything but to hoodwink his colleagues, bamboozle the French, and gain time. By accepting the French mediation he prevented all discussion in Parliament; and as he took care to furnish no instructions to Wyse such as might enable him and Gros to come to terms, the affair could not fail to drag on, and every day that it did so was fraught with disastrous consequences to the Greeks. This was what he wanted; not to back out of it as decently as he could have done, not to defer to the wishes, opinions, and good offices of France, but by obstinacy and deceit to gain all his ends—to terrify and bully Greece into complete surrender, baffle Russia, and make France ridiculous. Drouyn de Lhuys told 327 Reeve that he and Brunnow were in constant communication and acting in concert, the latter as usual doing all in his power to pacify the Emperor at Petersburg, and to get Palmerston to be reasonable here.


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

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

We may at last expect the Greek question to be settled, I suppose. The decision and alacrity of Palmerston last Saturday week form a curious contrast with his dilatory motions a few weeks ago. Then he could not manage to frame an instruction and despatch it in less than a week or more; but when matters were getting serious, and he found 328 that he must finish the affair, he was quick enough. On Saturday morning he received the despatches announcing the difficulties at Athens. He sent for Drouyn de Lhuys, concerted with him what was to be done, wrote his instructions, laid them before the Cabinet, got all the forms through, and sent them off the same evening. The plain meaning of all this is that in the first instance his object was delay, and in the second his object was expedition.


May 14th.—I have written nothing here for many weeks, but no great loss, for I have not had much to say, if anything. I am tempted to resume my pen to record rather a curious event. I have heard this morning of a mission from Paris to Louis Philippe, and the result of it. The leaders of the Conservative party there, all except Thiers, have come to a resolution that the only chance of restoring the Monarchy is by a reconciliation of the elder and the Orleans branches, by the recognition of Henri V., and by persuading Louis Philippe and his family to accept this solution of the dynastic question. They have accordingly sent over M. Malac to Claremont to communicate their sentiments to the King. He was authorised to tell him that the Legitimists were willing to acknowledge his title and his reign, and even the benefits that France had derived from his government. The King entered into the subject with great frankness, treating with indifference the offers which were personal to himself, saying he had no need of any recognition of his reign, of which history would bear sufficient record. He, however, acquiesced in the views of the party who sent M. Malac, and declared himself ready to agree to their terms, but he said that the women of his family would be the most strenuous opponents of such a compromise. He assembled a sort of conseil de famille, consisting of the Queen and the Princes (not the Duchess of Orleans), and laid before them the proposal that had been made to him. The Queen declared against it, the Princes were all for it, and finally the Queen said she would defer to the opinion of the King. He then proposed to the Ambassador to go and talk to the Duchess of Orleans, from whom the greatest obstacles 329 were to be expected. He declined to speak to her on the subject, but said he would go and see her, which he did. She received him, talked of all other subjects, but not a word about the succession. On repeating to His Majesty what had passed, he said he would send for her and talk to her, and after having done so, he desired M. Malac to return and she would enter on the affair. He went to her again and spoke to her with great frankness, representing that the Orleans party was by far the weakest in France, and that her religion would always make the people more or less, and the clergy entirely, hostile to her. She was much startled and discomposed at hearing language to which she seemed not to have been accustomed; but though she did not avow it she was not unmoved by his representations. He described various other meetings and conversations which had occurred in which the Queen of the Belgians took part (strongly adverse to the proposal), and finally he departed, without indeed any formal acceptance of the overtures, but carrying back such expressions of opinion and disposition on the part of the family as amounted to a virtual acceptance, and leave no doubt that the bargain will be concluded. It is not intended to draw up any compact, nor to take any immediate steps in consequence. They have no intention of waging war with the Republic, and only contemplate waiting for the course of events in the hope that the evils of the country will eventually drive the masses to seek a remedy for them in the restoration of the Monarchy, and for this contingency to be prepared by merging the differences of the two branches and uniting the strength of both to re-establish the principle. It was Reeve who told me all this, having had it from M. Malac himself. He also brought over a letter from Guizot to Reeve in which Guizot alluded rather mysteriously to another combination that was possible, and that would be auxiliary to this scheme. This is a transaction with the President and Changarnier. Both of the latter are aware that Louis Napoleon has no chance of perpetuating his own power either as President or Emperor.116 He is overwhelmed 330 with debts which he cannot pay, and the whole of his private fortune is sunk. In no case, therefore, could he retire to any other country, and he may naturally be willing to make terms for himself which, in the event of the Monarchy being restored, would place him in a position of ease and comfort. Besides his own political nullity, his family entourage presents an inseparable bar to the revival of the Empire in his person. He is, indeed, himself by far the best of his family, being well-meaning and a gentleman; but all the rest are only a worthless set of canaille, altogether destitute of merit, and without a title to public consideration and respect.


May 17th.—This has been a day of agitation. On Wednesday night all London was excited by the announcement at Devonshire House (where there was a great rout) that Drouyn de Lhuys had been recalled and was gone to Paris, and that neither Brunnow nor Cetto had been present at Palmerston's birthday dinner. Everybody was talking yesterday in the two Houses of these things and of the cause of them, which of course had to do with Greece. Questions were put to Lord Lansdowne and to Palmerston, when both of them said that the French Government had desired the presence of Drouyn de Lhuys at Paris in order to explain matters, and they both said what was tantamount to a denial of his having been recalled. At the very moment that they were making these statements in Parliament, the French Minister for Foreign Affairs was reading in the tribune of the National Assembly the formal letter of recall which had been sent to their Ambassador, which he was instructed to communicate, and which he read to Palmerston on the preceding day, and he was at the same time explaining that the Ambassador had been recalled on account of the manner in which the English Government had behaved to that of France, which rendered it incompatible with the dignity of 331 the Republic to leave any longer an Ambassador in London. The report of what had passed appeared in all the papers this morning, and Brougham again addressed an interpellation to Lord Lansdowne on the subject, while a Member did the same to John Russell in the House of Commons, Palmerston not having chosen to be present. Both made what must be called shuffling, prevaricating answers, endeavouring by some clumsy and sophistical pretences to make out that the letter of recall was not a letter of recall. All this is very pitiable. After a series of blunders and a long course of impolitic and unjustifiable acts, Palmerston has contrived to involve us in a quasi quarrel with France, and to break up in the most wanton manner, and for the most ridiculous object, the good understanding which existed between the two countries. His colleagues, as usual, find themselves deeply plunged in the scrape into which they have permitted him to drag them, and obliged, as a hundred times heretofore, to make common cause with him, and to swallow all the dirt which he crams down their throats. While I am writing this they have brought me the newspaper with the report of what passed in Parliament, and Lord Lansdowne's and John Russell's replies, and it really is melancholy to see two such men reduced to such discreditable shifts, trying to evade giving direct answers to plain questions, attempting to mislead without doing so, and only exposing themselves. I see already that the friends and adherents of Government are sadly perplexed and annoyed. Lord Eddisbury, who sat next Lord Lansdowne in the House of Lords and prompted him, told Granville 'he thought Palmerston could not have told his colleagues everything that had passed.' As to those colleagues, they deserve every mortification that can befall them, and are entitled to no pity. They have gone on submitting to all Palmerston's insolence and vagaries with full knowledge of having been repeatedly deceived by him, and not one of them has had spirit enough to cast off this disgraceful yoke. Instead of forcing him to show some regard to truth, he has broken them in to back his falsehoods, and 332 one of the worst consequences that has been produced by his unfortunate administration is that the confidence and implicit reliance which ought to be placed on all that a Minister says in Parliament, can no longer be felt.

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


May 19th.—There is the devil to pay about this Greek affair, and at last there seems a tolerable chance of Palmerston coming to grief: 'Tant va la cruche à l'eau,' &c. Yesterday morning the Duke of Bedford came here and gave me an account of the state of affairs. It seems Brunnow had written a long letter to John Russell, couched in very temperate terms, but setting forth all his complaints of Palmerston's behaviour, and especially of the language of that part of the press which was avowedly under his control and direction, in reference to Russia, and he asked Lord John to call upon him, he being confined with a cold. Lord John sent this letter to Palmerston, accompanied with one from himself, in which he said that he (Palmerston) well knew how much he disliked such articles and such use of the press, and a good deal more indicative of displeasure. Palmerston wrote an answer defending himself, and the very same evening there appeared in the 'Globe' another article not less offensive than the preceding ones, greatly to the indignation of Lord John. He called on Brunnow, who repeated what he had before said in his letter, and announced that he must go away, for he would not stay here to be on bad terms with Palmerston, and it was impossible for him to remain on good terms. Meanwhile, Lord John had seen Drouyn de Lhuys before his departure, and from him he 333 learnt what (according to his version) had passed between himself and Palmerston, that is, about the pledge which Drouyn de Lhuys affirmed Palmerston had given him that hostilities should not be renewed. The statement of Drouyn de Lhuys did not correspond with the accounts which Palmerston had given his colleagues of what had passed, and Lord John at once saw that there was no avoiding the unpleasant dilemma of the two Governments being at issue on a matter of fact which involved the good faith of ours. All this, together with what had already passed, had raised Lord John's resentment and disgust to a high pitch, and the Duke said that Lord John had at last resolved not to stand it any longer, although (he added) he could not feel complete confidence in his firmness and resolution after all he had seen on various occasions.

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

Meanwhile no words can describe the universal feeling of reprobation, and almost of shame, with which the replies of Lord Lansdowne and Lord John were heard on Friday night. The morning arrivals from France had clearly shown that Lord Lansdowne in one House, and John Russell in the other, had tried to deceive and mislead by what they had said on Thursday. On Friday Palmerston did not make his appearance; but the figures which Lord Lansdowne cut in the Lords and Lord John in the Commons were most deplorable and humiliating; such shuffling, special pleading, and paltry evasions were never before heard from public 334 men of their eminence and character; and of all that has occurred this discreditable exposure appears to many friends of the Government to be the most painful part. It appears inconceivable that any men should make statements the falsehood of which was shown in less than forty-eight hours; but the explanation is this. In the first place, Palmerston gave to his colleagues an imperfect and unfaithful account of Drouyn de Lhuys's communication to him. They were themselves not aware of the whole truth; but besides this Palmerston gave them to understand that Drouyn de Lhuys had carried with him such explanations, verbal and documentary, as would he hoped satisfy his Government, and consequently that the letter of recall might probably be cancelled, and the affair arranged. Hoping therefore for this result, they ventured to deny the recall altogether, but were completely confounded and exposed by the revelations of Lahitte117 in the tribune the very same day; and then they had nothing for it but to try and shuffle out of it in the way they tried but miserably failed to do. It would have been far better to have spoken the plain truth, or to have declined to answer till the next day.


May 22nd.—I have read the long series of despatches published by the French Government, and the result in my mind is that they do not make out a case of breach of faith against our Government, supposing Palmerston's instructions to Wyse to have been in conformity with what was agreed upon between the two Governments here. This (the most essential) part of the case lies in a narrow compass. It was all along perfectly understood that if Gros threw up his mission, being unable to induce the Greek Government to consent to equitable terms, our Minister was at liberty to recommence the coercive measures without any further reference to his Government; but if the negotiation came to a standstill in consequence of Gros and Wyse not being able 335 to agree, then the difference between them was to be referred for the decision of the two Governments upon it, and in this case the coercive measures were not to be renewed. The French maintain that the last of these contingencies occurred, Palmerston contends that it was the first. It is possible that Wyse may have received instructions conformable with this arrangement, and that he may have thought that the course which Gros took brought the case within the former category. This may have been an unsound opinion, but if such was the case it exonerates the British Government from the charge of having violated an engagement to that of France. But in order to make this defence valid, it will be necessary to prove that the instructions given to Wyse were such as the French had a right to expect. It does not appear that these instructions were ever imparted to them. These are minute, however important, points; but emerging from the confusion and perplexity of dates and circumstantial details, the question is, what is the general impression as to the whole conduct of the two Governments, more particularly of our own, throughout the transaction. I reserve the consideration of this till I have seen Palmerston's case as set forth in the papers that are to be laid before Parliament, and in the long and able despatch which he is said to have written in explanation and defence of his conduct.

May 25th.—The morning before yesterday the Duke of Bedford came here again. He had seen Lord John since, and heard what passed with the Queen. She was full of this affair, and again urged all her objections to Palmerston. This time she found Lord John better disposed than heretofore, and he is certainly revolving in his mind how the thing can be done. He does not by any means contemplate going out himself, or breaking up the Government. What he looks to is this, that the Queen should take the initiative, and urge Palmerston's removal from the Foreign Office. She is quite ready to do this as soon as she is assured of her wishes being attended to. For various reasons it would not do to put Clarendon in his place. Clarendon would not like it, and it would make Palmerston furious; therefore this is out of the 336 question. The only possible arrangement is that Lord John should himself take the Foreign Office, provisionally, and he is quite prepared to take it. I told the Duke I entirely agreed that this was the only feasible arrangement, and I did not apprehend any danger to Lord John, because he would do the business in a very different way, and manage to lighten the burthen both by his mode of transacting it, and by delegating many details to his Under-Secretary, instead of, like Palmerston, doing everything himself. There certainly never appeared to be so good a chance of getting the Foreign Office out of Palmerston's hands as now; but long experience of his boldness and success, and of the pusillanimity and weakness of his colleagues, make me feel very doubtful and uncertain as to the result. If the thing is done, they mean to propose to him to take another office instead; not to turn him out. I don't know how they think of managing this, but he is sure to refuse to give up the Foreign Office and take another instead of it. He would consider this a degradation, and a sort of pleading guilty to the charges that are brought against him. If he will lend himself to this change, so much the better; if he does not go out, the Duke thinks, not without reason, that it will be almost impossible for Clarendon to come into office at present, and that he ought not; his opinions on foreign affairs are so strong, that he could not join the Cabinet while Palmerston was at the Foreign Office without the certainty of either very soon quarrelling with him, or of being obliged to make concessions against his conscience and real opinions, and which would therefore be discreditable to him.


Meanwhile Palmerston has made his explanation in the House of Commons. There is much difference of opinion as to how it was received, but I gather that it was a good deal applauded by the Radicals and his own people; it was clever as he always is, but it was weak. As the case more develops itself (for now all the Blue Books are out, French and English), it resolves itself into a very small point: Did Palmerston, or did he not, send instructions to Wyse in conformity with what was agreed upon between himself and 337 Drouyn de Lhuys? This is what the French have a right to ask: if he did, let him show these instructions; if he did not, he broke faith with the French Government. By Wyse's letter of the 15th, it seems pretty clear he did not send any such instructions. I do not see how volumes of Blue Books, or all the conferences and debates imaginable, can put the case in a clearer light, or bring it to a more direct issue than this.

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

The night before last was remarkable for the maiden speech of young Stanley118 in the House of Commons. It was very successful. He spoke with great fluency, and gave promise of being a debater. I dined with Sir Robert Peel yesterday, who said he heard him, and he spoke in terms of great commendation of the speech. It was on the West Indian question, on which he had just published and circulated a pamphlet, and it was remarkable and showed a confidence 338 in his own powers that his speech did not appear to be a repetition of any part of his pamphlet.

June 6th.—On Monday last Graham called on me at the Council Office, and after talking about the Greek affair and Stanley's motion, he proceeded to other matters about which he had come expressly to speak to me as a channel of communication with John Russell. With reference to the first matter, he said that a negotiation was evidently going on between Stanley and Aberdeen, and that the latter was to support some of Stanley's domestic questions, and in return Stanley would fight vigorously the foreign policy. I did not pay much attention to this, for Graham is always dreaming of this connexion and its results. He then went on to say, that if there was (as there very probably would be) an adverse vote in the House of Lords on Friday, the Government would be very unwise if they attempted to procure a counter vote in the House of Commons; and if they tried it, he thought they would fail; but that they must counteract the effect in another way; and that Lord John had now an excellent opportunity of acquiring reputation for himself and strength for his Government, by proposing very important reforms of an administrative kind, and which he was enabled to do by the abolition of the Lord-Lieutenancy and the resignation of Lord Cottenham.119 What he wants him to do is this—to give up the idea of a fourth Secretary of State, to take away the criminal business from the Home Secretary and give it to the new Lord Keeper, or whatever the great legal functionary to be created may be called. He thinks a fourth Secretary objectionable on many accounts, and that Government would have great difficulty in carrying it. He gave many reasons for this opinion which seemed to me sound enough. Then he proposes that all the Chancellor's ecclesiastical patronage shall be taken from the Great Seal and made over to the Prime Minister; the livings to be sold as they become vacant, and the proceeds handed over to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners to be 339 applied to ecclesiastical purposes, which he says would be an immense boon to the Church, and by these means funds might be raised which are greatly wanted, but for which it would be impossible to apply to Parliament with any hope of success. He urged these reforms with great energy, and set forth all the advantages which might be derived from them, and said Peel was still more eager, especially about the Church patronage, than he was.


The same evening I told the Duke of Bedford all that had passed, and he said he would see Lord John the next morning and speak to him. He did so, and came to me afterwards on Tuesday morning. He said he had told Lord John all that Graham had said, that he thought Graham was always rather too much disposed to be running before what he thought was public opinion; that with regard to the fourth Secretary he was quite bent upon it, thought it absolutely necessary (as Clarendon did also), and he was determined to adhere to it. With respect to the question of the Chancellor's livings, he agreed with Graham, and he had brought before the Cabinet a scheme founded on Graham's recommendations, but that it had been rejected by the Cabinet unanimously. They thought it very objectionable to part with so much patronage. However, though Lord John could not under these circumstances press the matter at present, he will not give it up, and still meditates some measure of this character, though probably one less extensive. Yesterday morning I called on Graham and told him what had passed, at which he expressed great disappointment and regret, and after as much talk as we had time for (for I was going out of town), I left him provoked and disheartened. He said he could take no interest in a Government which rejected unanimously such a proposition as this, and which had rejected unanimously the French invitation to abide by the London Convention.120 I had told him this which Beauvale told me, and which, as well as I recollect, 340 I have not noted down. He said that when the French made this proposal, Palmerston drew up a paper placing it before the Cabinet with the reasons for accepting, and those for rejecting it, and desired them to determine, himself taking no part; and that they had unanimously agreed to refuse, so that it was their act and not his.

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


To-day I called on Lord Lyndhurst and found him in great force—Brougham, Baron Alderson, Stuart (the Protectionist Chancellor), Brodie, and Hatherton, and Strangford 341 were there. They were all discussing the legal reforms, and Brougham broke out about Cottenham's earldom. Cottenham, he said, wrote to him, lamenting that he disapproved of this honour, which had been conferred on him as a mark of the Queen's confidence and approbation of his services. Brougham wrote in reply that he should not talk such 'Morning Post' twaddle, and that he knew very well the Queen neither knew nor cared about his services, and that he had got it because he insisted on having it! The new appointments which are beginning to be known do not please. Jervis to be Chancellor and at the head of the House of Lords and Judicial Committee seems strange. [But this arrangement was not carried into effect.]

June 18th.—The great debate in the House of Lords came off last night in the midst of immense curiosity and interest.121 The House was crowded in every part; I never saw so many Peers present, nor so many strangers. There were various opinions about the result, but the Government was the favourite. Bear Ellice offered to lay two to one they had a majority. Most people thought the same, but everybody was agreed that go which way it would, the division would be a very close one, and the majority small. Malmesbury, Stanley's whipper-in, counted on fifteen on his side. Stanley spoke for two hours and three-quarters. He has made more brilliant speeches, but it was very good, moderate and prudent in tone, lucid, lively and sustained. I heard him, and then was so tired of standing, I was obliged to go away, and did not return. The Government made but a poor defence. Canning made a capital speech, and placed himself in a high position. He had taken great pains with it, and it was very effective, every word told. Granville told me Eddisbury was good too, and it was the most important speech he ever made. I never was more amazed than at hearing the division, never having dreamt 342 of such a majority; reste à savoir what Government (and Palmerston especially) will do. If he was disposed to take a great line he would go at once to the Queen and resign, at the same time begging her not to accept the resignation of his colleagues if they tendered it. This would be creditable to him, and he owes them all the reparation in his power for the hot water he has kept them in, and the scrapes he has made for them for many years. They have over and over again allowed themselves to be dragged through the mire for him, and since they have refused now and heretofore to separate themselves from him, the least he can do is to separate himself from them, and to insist upon being the only sacrifice.

June 19th.—There was a Cabinet yesterday, of course for the purpose of considering what they should do, and the resolution they came to was to do nothing. Labouchere saw Granville before the Cabinet, and told him that he was all for resigning, but he feared there was a disposition to stick in amongst his colleagues, and, as he thought, particularly in Charles Wood; but Delane, who saw Charles Wood after the Cabinet, was assured by him that he would have preferred to resign, but that he was overruled by the majority of his colleagues. This is all I know of the matter, but it by no means surprises me to find that they have resolved to take no notice of the buffet they got from the Lords, and go on. I now expect that John Russell will lay aside all thoughts of getting rid of Palmerston, and the rickety concern will scramble on as heretofore. Nevertheless it is impossible this event and great majority should not produce sooner or later very considerable effects. It will abroad if it does not here. As to Palmerston's being corrected and reformed, I don't believe a word of it, but the Foreign Office will inevitably find itself in a situation of great difficulty and embarrassment, and our relations with the rest of Europe will in all probability assume a character mischievous, dangerous, and intolerable.


June 20th.—It seems that the Ministers' minds misgave them, and yesterday they began to doubt whether they ought 343 not to do something. Roebuck gave notice of a question, and John Russell told him he would give him an answer this evening. John Abel Smith went and proposed that they should make a sign of intention to resign, and that a vote of general confidence should be moved in the House of Commons, on which they should stay in. Many of the friends of Government (some in office) are for resignation. It is no doubt embarrassing, but I am against their resignation. If Palmerston was disposed to take a high and creditable line, he might extricate them from the difficulty by voluntarily sacrificing himself. This is what he ought to do, but I don't hear that he has evinced any disposition of the sort. He did indeed offer to resign at the Cabinet, but this of course (as he well knew) they could not listen to.

June 21st.—John Russell made his statement last night, giving the reasons why he did not resign, quoting two precedents, one above a century ago, and one in 1833, for not resigning in consequence of an adverse vote of the House of Lords. I concur in the constitutional doctrine he laid down on that score, but the rest of what he said was very imprudent and ill-judged. He has now committed himself more than ever to Palmerston, and has thrown down a defiance to all Europe, announcing that they will make no difference whatever in their administration of foreign affairs. He alluded to that part of Stanley's resolution which laid down the right and duty of this country, asserted that the words of it limited those rights and duties within bounds he could not admit, and by implication at least asserted propositions against which foreign nations will infallibly kick. It was very imprudent to raise incidentally this very difficult and important question, and he might easily have avoided such dangerous ground. Then he finished by a very miserable and injudicious claptrap, which will be as offensive as possible to foreign Powers; in short, he evinced little judgement and taste. It is clear enough that he is now resolved to adhere to Palmerston, and that his intention is, if he can get a majority next Monday, to disregard the House of Lords and their opinions, and to set all Europe at defiance 344 by giving them notice that they must have Palmerston to deal with and nobody else. The conclusion to which he came a few weeks ago is evidently thrown aside. All his indignation against Palmerston, his determination to endure it no longer, his bold resolution to take the labour of the Foreign Office on himself, have all evaporated, and are as a dream, and the fact of a large majority of the House of Lords having condemned Palmerston's proceedings, language, and conduct, instead of affording an additional reason, and confirming him in the course he had thought of pursuing, seems to have made him angry and obstinate, to have caused a reaction in his mind, and engendered a determination to cling more closely than ever to Palmerston, and fight his battle at all risks and at any cost, in everything and against everybody. The other day there was a general opinion that if a vote of approbation was moved in the House of Commons it would not be carried. This was Graham's opinion, and so entirely did John Russell himself concur in it, that he declared it should not be attempted, if the vote of the Lords was adverse. All that is suddenly changed. He now tries this experiment, and all the people I have seen say Government will carry it. Bernal Osborne told me it was certain, for the Whigs and the Radicals united could not be beaten, and all the Radicals but four or five would support the Government. Never was there such a state of difficulty and confusion in my recollection. It is at last come to what I long ago predicted, and Palmerston is proving the ruin of the Government.


June 24th.—Nothing of course thought of but the division on Roebuck's motion.122 The general opinion is that there will be a majority of about forty, but nobody knows what Peel 345 will say or do, and many votes are quite uncertain. That there will be some such majority none doubt, and it is put about by the Government that they will resign if their majority is less than that in the House of Lords against them, which I don't believe, and it would be very absurd to make it turn on a mere question of numbers. Lady Palmerston and her belongings continue to make an active canvass. On Saturday afternoon the news came of the difference being settled, by our conceding to the French all they demanded. Nobody seems to care, or it would be a mortifying and a ridiculous conclusion, for we have not only agreed to what we at first refused to the French Government, but we have in fact gone back (with some modifications as to detail) to Gros's propositions to Wyse, which the latter so obstinately refused, and on his rejection of which the blockade at Athens recommenced, and the quarrel with France was based.

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

June 29th.—I have been for two days in the country, while 346 the great debate was going on. Palmerston came out the second night with prodigious force and success. He delivered an oration four hours and three-quarters long, which has excited unusual admiration, boundless enthusiasm amongst his friends, and drawn forth the most flattering compliments from every quarter. It is impossible to deny its great ability; parts of it are strikingly eloquent and inimitably adroit. It was a wonderful effort to speak for nearly five hours without ever flagging, and his voice nearly as strong at last as at first. The ability of it is the more remarkable, because on an attentive and calm perusal of it, the insufficiency of it as an answer and a defence against the various charges which have been brought against him is manifest; but it is admirably arranged and got up, entirely free from the flippancy and impertinence in which he usually indulges, full of moderation and good taste, and adorned with a profusion of magnificent and successful clap-traps. The success of the speech has been complete, and his position is now unassailable. John Russell may save himself the trouble of considering, when this is all over, how he may effect some change involving the withdrawal of the Foreign Office from Palmerston's hands, for they are now all tied and bound to him in respect to the future as completely as to the present and the past. These discussions and attacks, which were to have shaken him in his seat, have only made him more powerful than he was before; but whether they have strengthened or weakened the Government is another question. It now remains to be seen what the attitude and animus of Foreign Powers will be, and what the character of his future proceedings. The debate was on the whole very able. Cockburn made a slashing speech, which will probably procure for him the post of Solicitor-General. Graham's and Gladstone's speeches were the best on the other side. Peel was very moderate, and refused to go into the details or to attack the Government on them. The majority of forty-six was rather more than was expected by either party. 347


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

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

I rode with Lord Grey yesterday in the Park, when we talked over the debate and present state of affairs. He said that it was remarkable that this discussion, which was intended to damage Palmerston, had left him the most popular man in the country; that of this there could be no doubt. Bright had said that his vote had given great offence at Manchester, and that Cobden's vote and speech would probably cost him the West Riding at the next election; that amongst all the middle classes Palmerston was immensely popular. He spoke of Palmerston's speech as having been not only one of consummate ability, but quite successful as a reply, and he insisted that their side had much the best of the argument. I denied this, but acknowledged the ability of Palmerston, and his success, though his speech was very 348 answerable, if either Peel or Disraeli had chosen to reply to it, which neither of them would. It is beyond all contestation that this great battle, fought on two fields, has left the Government much stronger than before, and demonstrated the impossibility of any change, and it has as incontestably immensely strengthened and improved Palmerston's position; in short, he is triumphant, and nothing can overthrow him but some fresh acts of violence and folly, of insolent interference, of arrogant dictation or underhand intrigue, which may be so flagrant that his colleagues or some of them will not stand it, and so a quarrel may ensue. But he has achieved such a success, and has made himself so great in the Cabinet, and so popular in the country, and made the Government itself so strong, that if he turns over a new leaf, takes a lesson from all that has happened, and renounces his offensive manners and changes his mode of proceeding abroad, he may consider his tenure of office perfectly secure. Even the 'Times' is prepared to abandon its opposition to him, and is seeking for a decent pretext to do so. I expect they have found out that they have gone too far, and that their violent and sustained vituperation of Palmerston who is liked, and of his policy which is not understood, is not favourably received, and instead of carrying public opinion with them, they have produced a good deal of resentment and disgust.


July 6th.—The death of Sir Robert Peel, which took place on Tuesday night, has absorbed every other subject of interest. The suddenness of such an accident took the world by surprise, and in consequence of the mystery in which great people's illnesses are always shrouded, the majority of the public were not aware of his danger till they heard of his death. The sympathy, the feeling, and the regret which have been displayed on every side and in all quarters, are to the last degree striking. Every imaginable honour has been lavished on his memory. The Sovereign, both Houses of Parliament, the press and the people, from the highest to the lowest, have all joined in acts of homage to his character, and in magnifying the loss which the 349 nation has sustained. When we remember that Peel was an object of bitter hatred to one great party, that he was never liked by the other party, and that he had no popular and ingratiating qualities, and very few intimate friends, it is surprising to see the warm and universal feeling which his death has elicited. It is a prodigious testimony to the greatness of his capacity, to the profound conviction of his public usefulness and importance, and of the purity of the motives by which his public conduct has been guided. I need not record details with which every newspaper teems. Those who were opposed to him do not venture or are not inclined to try and stem the current of grief and praise which is bursting forth in all directions, and most assuredly no man who in life was so hated and reviled was ever so lamented and honoured at his death. I am not capable of describing him with any certainty of doing justice to his character and delineating it correctly; but as there are several notices of him not very favourable in preceding pages, at such a moment it becomes a duty to qualify what may have been misrepresented or exaggerated on the information of others, by expressing my own doubts as to the perfect accuracy of the statements that were formerly made to me. The Duke of Wellington pronounced in the House of Lords a few nights ago a panegyric on his love of truth, and declared that during his long connexion with him he had never known him to deviate from the strictest veracity. This praise would be undeserved if he had ever been guilty of any underhand, clandestine, and insincere conduct in political matters, and it leads me to suspect that resentment and disappointment may have caused an unfair and unwarrantable interpretation to be put upon his motives and his behaviour on some important occasions. My acquaintance with Peel was slight and superficial. I never associated with him, and never was in his house except on two or three occasions at rare intervals. He scarcely lived at all in society; he was reserved but cordial in his manner, had few intimate friends, and it may be doubted whether there was any one person, except his wife, to whom he was in the habit of disclosing his thoughts, 350 feelings, and intentions with entire frankness and freedom. In his private relations he was not merely irreproachable, but good, kind, and amiable. The remarkable decorum of his life, the domestic harmony and happiness he enjoyed, and the simplicity of his habits and demeanour, contributed largely without doubt to the estimation in which he was held. He was easy of access, courteous and patient, and those who approached him generally left him gratified by his affability and edified and astonished at the extensive and accurate knowledge, as well as the sound practical sense and judgement, which he displayed on all subjects. It was by the continual exhibition of these qualities that he gained such a mastery over the public mind, and such prodigious influence in the House of Commons; but it is only now manifested to the world how great his influence was by the effect which his death has produced, and by the universal sentiment that the country has to deplore an irreparable loss. Nothing but a careful and accurate survey of his career, an intimate knowledge of the secret transactions of his political life, and a minute analysis of his character, can enable any one to form a correct judgement concerning him. He might easily be made the subject of a studied panegyric, or as easily of a studied invective; but either the one or the other would of necessity be exaggerated and untrue. The sacrifices which he made upon two memorable occasions, upon both of which he unquestionably acted solely with reference to the public good, forbid us to believe that he was ever influenced by any considerations but such as were honest and conscientious. Notwithstanding his great sagacity, it may, however, be doubted whether his judgement was not often faulty, and whether in the perplexity of conflicting objects and incompatible purposes, he was not led to erroneous conclusions as to the obligations imposed upon him, and the course which it was his duty to pursue. It is very difficult to account satisfactorily for his conduct on the Catholic question. We must indeed make great allowance for the position in which he was placed by his birth, education, and connexions. His father was a Tory, imbued with 351 all the old Tory prejudices, one of those followers of Mr. Pitt who could not comprehend and never embraced his liberal sentiments, and who clung to the bigoted and narrow-minded opinions of Addington and George III. It is no wonder then that Peel was originally an anti-Catholic, and probably at first, and for a long time, he was an undoubting believer in that creed. The death of Perceval left the Protestant party without a head, and not long after his entrance into public life, and while the convictions of his youth were still unshaken, he became their elected chief. For about fourteen years he continued to fight their battle in opposition to a host of able men, and in spite of a course of events which might have satisfied a far less sagacious man that this contest must end in defeat, and that the obstinate prolongation of it would inevitably render that defeat more dangerous and disastrous. Nevertheless, the man who eventually proved himself to be one of the wisest and most liberal of statesmen maintained for years a struggle against religious liberty, a struggle by which he was involved in inconsistencies injurious to his own character, and which brought the kingdom to the brink of a civil war. It is now impossible to fathom the depths of Peel's mind, and to ascertain whether during that long period he had any doubts and misgivings as to the cause in which he was embarked, or whether he really and sincerely believed that Catholic Emancipation could be resisted and prevented. It is strange that he did not perceive the contest to be hopeless, and that such a contest was more perilous than any concession could possibly be. But he declared that up to the period of Lord Liverpool's death his opinions were unchanged and that he thought the prolongation of this contest was not unreasonable. I do not see how he can be acquitted of insincerity save at the expense of his sagacity and foresight. His mind was not enthralled by the old-fashioned and obsolete maxims which were so deeply rooted in the minds of Eldon and Perceval; his spirit was more congenial to that of Pitt; and if he had let his excellent understanding act with perfect freedom, and his opinions take their natural course, it is 352 impossible to doubt that he would have concurred and cooperated with the able men of different parties who were advocates of Emancipation, instead of continuing to encourage and lead on those masses of bigotry and prejudice whose resistance produced so much direct and indirect mischief. The truth is that he was hampered and perverted by his antecedents, and by the seductive circumstances of his position; and having become pledged and committed in the cause, it was a matter of infinite difficulty for him to back out of it, to recant his opinions, and change his course; although any one who watched the signs of the times (and no man watched or studied them more carefully than Peel), might have seen that Catholic Emancipation was steadily but surely progressing towards its consummation. For a long time no events occurred so striking and important as to produce a new state of things, and to scare by their disturbing force those theories and principles, with which the anti-Catholics blindly imagined they could plod on for ever. To change the whole mind of Peel, and bring about an abandonment of his long-continued policy, something more was required than the accustomed signs of agitation, parliamentary debates chequered by alternate victory and defeat, and the accumulated power of eloquent speeches and able writings. At length the crash came by which the moral revolution was effected. The Clare election did what reason, and eloquence, and authority had failed to do. The Duke of Wellington and Peel simultaneously determined to strike their colours, to abandon a cause which they had sustained at great risks and by enormous sacrifices, and to carry out the measure which their whole lives had been spent in opposing, and which they had denounced as incompatible with the safety of the country. Historical justice demands that a large deduction should be made from Peel's reputation as a statesman and a patriot on account of his conduct through the last twelve years of the Catholic contest. It may be doubtful in what respect he erred the most; but whatever his motives may have been, it is indisputable that he was the principal instrument in maintaining this 353 contest, which terminated in a manner so discreditable to the character, and so injurious to the interests, of the country. For his share in this great controversy from first to last, he must be held responsible to future generations. But whatever his errors may have been, he made a noble atonement for them, and having once changed his mind, he flung himself into his new career with a gallantry and devotion deserving of the highest praise. It would be easy to show that if Peel had been actuated by selfish motives, by regard for his own political interests and views of personal ambition, other courses were open to him far better calculated to promote such objects, and which he might have adopted without any inconsistency; but he cast aside all personal considerations and thought of nothing but how he could most effectually serve the State. He encountered without flinching the storm which he knew would burst upon him, and bravely exposed his character and reputation to suspicions, resentments, and reproaches, which might for aught he knew be fatal to his future prospects. Upon this occasion indeed, he shared the obloquy with the Duke of Wellington, upon whom as Prime Minister the responsibility principally rested. But the indignation and resentment of the Tories fell, though unjustly, much more upon Peel than upon the Duke. Peel was more emphatically the chief of the anti-Catholic party, and in him it appeared a far greater dereliction of principle. The authority of the Duke was so great, and his followers were accustomed to look up to him with such profound deference and submission, that they could not bring themselves to attack him as the prime mover in this obnoxious measure, and they therefore made Peel the scapegoat, and vented upon him all the exuberance of their wrath.


Their ill-humour and resentment led to the destruction of the Duke's Government, and the change of Ministry brought about the Reform Bill and the overthrow of the Tory party. It is difficult to discern any proofs of sound judgement and foresight in Peel's conduct in regard to Parliamentary Reform. If he had adopted the same course as 354 Huskisson on the East Retford question, and manifested a disposition to concede some moderate and reasonable reforms as fit occasions presented themselves, it is by no means improbable that the country might have been satisfied; but his opposition to the transfer of the East Retford franchise to Birmingham, together with the Duke's celebrated declaration that the representative system could not be improved, and that as long as he was in office he would oppose any measure of Parliamentary Reform, convinced the Reformers that they were resolved to make no concessions, however slight, and not to suffer any change to be made in the existing representative system. Peel evidently made an incorrect estimate of the state of the public mind upon the question of Parliamentary Reform. He could not indeed foresee the French Revolution or its contagious effects here; but unless the country had been already combustible, it would not have been so inflamed as it was; and if he had been aware of its temper and disposition, he never would have opposed the general sentiment so pertinaciously as he did. I think, therefore, that his course in respect to Reform exhibits a deficiency in sagacity and foresight, and must be accounted one of the blemishes of his political career. He fought the Reform battle with extraordinary energy, and the skill and perseverance with which he afterwards rallied the broken forces and restored the fallen spirits of his party were admirable. In 1835 the rash and abortive attempt of William IV. to get rid of the Whigs made Peel the Minister of a hundred days. This was the most brilliant period of his life, and it was during that magnificent campaign that he established the vast reputation which, while clouds of suspicion and distrust, of enmity and dislike, were all the while gathering about him, made him for nearly twenty years by far the most conspicuous, important, and powerful of English statesmen. He not only reorganised his party, but he revived its political influence, and laid the foundation for regaining its former power. His policy was as successful as it was wise. He flung himself cheerfully and confidently into the new order of things, associated himself 355 with the sentiments and the wants of the nation, and day by day saw his reputation increasing both in Parliament and throughout the country. The Tories abandoned themselves to his guidance with a mixture of passive reliance and admiration and of lurking resentment for the past with distrust and suspicion for the future. They rejoiced in the chief who made them once more powerful, and led them on to victory; but they felt that there were no real sympathies between themselves and him. While he was boldly advancing with the spirit of the age, they were lagging behind, gloomily regarding his manifestation of Liberal principles, in which they did not participate, and lingering on those traditions of the past which they saw that he had entirely forsaken.


At length, ten years after the Reform Bill, the Whig Government was overthrown, and Peel became Minister. At this time the great bulk of his supporters coveted power principally for the sake of Protection. They believed that it was the duty, the inclination, and the intention of Peel to maintain the Corn Laws, and they had a right to think so. He had been the vigorous and ingenious advocate of the protective system, not, however, without some qualifications and reservations, which, though they were enough to excite the jealousy and mistrust of the most suspicious, were still insufficient to neutralise the effect of his general professions. It is almost impossible to discover what the process was by which he was gradually led to embrace the whole doctrine of Free Trade. We cannot distinguish what effect was made upon his mind by the reasoning, and what by the organisation and agitation, of the Anti-Corn Law League. It would be interesting, if it were possible, to sum up periodically the exact state of Peel's opinions upon commercial and fiscal questions, and to know how he combined them with other political as well as party considerations, which he was obliged constantly to keep in view. No man but himself could explain and vindicate the whole course of his conduct. It may safely be assumed that when he began to reorganise the Conservative party, he did not contemplate a repeal 356 of the Corn Laws, and that it was by a severely inductive process of study and meditation that he was gradually led to the conception and elaboration of the commercial system which the last years of his life were spent in carrying out. The modification, and possibly the ultimate repeal, of the Corn Laws must have formed a part of that system, but what he hoped and intended probably was to bring round the minds of his party by degrees to the doctrines of Free Trade, and to conquer their repugnance to a great alteration of the Corn Laws, both by showing the imprudence of endeavouring to maintain them, and by the gradual development of those countervailing advantages with which Free Trade was fraught. That, I believe, was his secret desire, hope, and expectation; and if the Irish famine had not deranged his plans and precipitated his measures, if more time had been afforded him, it is not impossible that his projects might have been realised. He has been bitterly accused of deceiving and betraying his party, of 'close designs, and crooked counsels,' and there is no term of reproach and invective which rage and fear, mortification and resentment, have not heaped upon him. He has been unjustly reviled; but, on the other hand, it must be acknowledged that, wise as his views, and pure as his motives may have been, his manner of dealing with his party in reference to the changes he contemplated, could not fail to excite their indignation. If they were convinced that the Corn Laws were essential, not merely to the prosperity, but to the existence, of the landed interest, he had been mainly instrumental in confirming this conviction. It was indeed a matter of extraordinary difficulty and nicety to determine at what precise period he should begin to disclose to his supporters the extent of the plans which he meditated. His reserve may have been prudent, possibly indispensable; but although they were not unsuspicious of his intentions, and distrusted and disliked him accordingly, they were wholly unprepared for the great revolution which he suddenly proclaimed; and at such a moment of terror and dismay it was not unnatural that despair and rage should supersede every other sentiment, 357 and that they should loudly complain of having been deceived, betrayed, and abandoned.


The misfortune of Peel all along was, that there was no real community of sentiment between him and his party, except in respect to certain great principles, which had ceased to be in jeopardy, and which therefore required no united efforts to defend them. There was no longer any danger of organic reforms; the House of Lords and the Church were not threatened; the great purposes for which Peel had rallied the Conservative interest had been accomplished; almost from the first moment of his advent to power in 1841 he and his party stood in a false position towards each other. He was the liberal chief of a party in which the old anti-liberal spirit was still rife; they regarded with jealousy and fear the middle classes, those formidable masses, occupying the vast space between aristocracy and democracy, with whom Peel was evidently anxious to ingratiate himself, and whose support he considered his best reliance. His treatment of both the Catholics and Dissenters was reluctantly submitted to by his followers, and above all his fiscal and commercial measures kept them in a state of constant uncertainty and alarm. There was an unexpressed but complete difference in their understanding and his of the obligations by which the Government and the party were mutually connected. They considered Peel to be not only the Minister, but the creature, of the Conservative party, bound above all things to support and protect their especial interests according to their own views and opinions. He considered himself the Minister of the Nation, whose mission it was to redress the balance which mistaken maxims or partial legislation had deranged, and to combine the interest of all classes in one homogeneous system, by which the prosperity and happiness of the whole commonwealth would be promoted. They thought of nothing but the present sacrifices which this system would entail on the proprietors of land, while he thought only of the great benefits which it would ultimately confer upon the people at large. Whether in 1847 he was prepared for the unappeasable wrath and the general insurrection 358 of the Protectionists, I know not; but even if he viewed it as a possible alternative, involving the loss of political power and a second dissolution of the Conservative party, I believe he would have nevertheless encountered the danger and accepted the sacrifice. If his party were disgusted with him, he was no less disgusted with them, and it is easy to conceive that he must have been sickened by their ignorance and presumption, their obstinacy and ingratitude. He turned to the nation for that justice which his old associates denied him, and from the day of his resignation till the day of his death he seemed to live only for the purpose of watching over the progress of his own measures, in undiminished confidence that time and the hour would prove their wisdom, and vindicate his character to the world. Though he was little beholden to the Whigs in his last struggle in office, he gave John Russell's Government a constant, and at the same time unostentatious support. That Government alone could preserve the integrity of his commercial system, and to that object every other was subordinate in his mind. He occupied a great and dignified position, and every hour added something to his fame and to the consideration he enjoyed; while the spite and rancour of the Protectionists seemed to be embittered by the respect and reverence by which they saw that he was universally regarded. His abstinence from political conflicts, his rare appearance in debate, and the remarkable moderation of his speeches made some fancy that the vigour of his faculties was impaired; but if this was at all the case, it was only by negative symptoms that it appeared, and was by no means suspected by the community. Nevertheless, though his death was so sudden and premature, and he was cut off in the vigour of life, he could not have died at a moment and in circumstances more opportune for his own fame; for time and political events might perhaps have diminished, but could not have increased, his great reputation.


It is impossible to foresee the political effects of Peel's death. To John Russell and to his Government it is a great loss, and the time may come when his absence will be 359 severely felt. Standing aloof from parties, known to have no views of personal ambition, and giving them the benefit of his influence and countenance, he would have been able to afford them efficacious aid in the event of any Radical pressure, and as long as he had lived he would have proved a powerful coadjutor in resisting any attempts to assail or undermine the Monarchy or the Constitution, It is against the Radical supporters of the Government, and not against the Protectionist Opposition, that he would have been mainly serviceable. So far as these are concerned his death is more likely to remove than to create difficulties in the way of Lord John, inasmuch as he becomes more indispensable than ever; and the certainty that there is no alternative between him and Stanley—no Peel who in a great emergency might have been called in—will certainly prolong his term of office. Peel is a great loss to the Queen, who felt a security in knowing that he was at hand in any case of danger or difficulty, and that she could always rely upon his devotion to her person and upon the good counsel he would give her. But his relations with the Court at different periods are amongst the most curious passages of his political history. In 1838, when the Bedchamber quarrel prevented his forming a Government, there was probably no man in her dominions whom the Queen so cordially detested as Sir Robert Peel. Two years afterwards he became her Prime Minister, and in a very short time he found means to remove all her former prejudice against him, and to establish himself high in her favour. His influence continued to increase during the whole period of his administration, and when he resigned in 1846 the Queen evinced a personal regard for him scarcely inferior to that which she had manifested to Lord Melbourne, while her political reliance on him was infinitely greater. To have produced such a total change of sentiment is no small proof of the tact and adroitness of Peel; but it was an immense object to him to ingratiate himself with his Royal Mistress; he spared no pains for that end, and his success was complete.

He appears to have suffered dreadful pain during the 360 three days which elapsed between his accident and his death. He was sensible, but scarcely ever spoke. He had arranged all his affairs so carefully that he had no dispositions to make or orders to give. Sir Benjamin Brodie says that he never saw any human frame so susceptible of pain, for his moral and physical organisation was one of exquisite sensibility. He was naturally a man of violent passions, over which he had learnt to exercise an habitual restraint by vigorous efforts of reason and self-control. He was certainly a good, and in some respects a great man; he had a true English spirit, and was an ardent lover of his country; and he served the public with fidelity, zeal, and great ability. But when future historians shall describe his career and sum up his character, they will pass a more sober and qualified judgement than that of his admiring and sorrowing contemporaries. It is impossible to forget that there never was a statesman who so often embraced erroneous opinions himself, and contributed so much to mislead the opinions of others. The energy and skill with which he endeavoured to make the worse appear the better cause were productive of enormous mischief; and if on several occasions his patriotism and his ability were equally conspicuous, and he rendered important public service, his efforts were in great measure directed to repair the evils and dangers which he had been himself principally instrumental in creating.


July 16th.—I have seen Graham once or twice lately, when we have talked over his own position and the state of affairs. He told me he had had very friendly communication with John Russell, who had intimated to him that Peel's death would necessarily place him in a position more important and responsible. Graham, however, repudiated the notion of his accepting any such position, and declared that he was quite unfit to influence the opinions and regulate the conduct of other men. He thought Peel was not unconscious of the power he possessed in the country, and he had not long ago announced with great energy that if any attempt was made in any shape to reimpose a duty on Corn, there was 361 nothing he would not do to oppose it; and he thinks that he would not have shrunk from any means he might have deemed conducive to that object; that he would have taken office if necessary, or have allied himself with any person or party; in short, shrunk from nothing in the most extensive sense of the term. Graham is much alarmed at the reckless course Stanley is taking in the House of Lords, especially with reference to the Irish Franchise Bill, and augurs some very serious consequences from it.

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

Lord John.—Yes, I think it did—very well.

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

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

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

Yesterday Normanby came to take leave of me before returning to Paris. He has been very much dissatisfied and annoyed at Palmerston's goings on, and at the rôle which was imposed on him, and he told me he did not like Palmerston's tone, which was much too triumphant, and he was very much afraid he would not change his ways of proceeding. 362 His best hope was that no case would occur to elicit any fresh conduct or language of his of a questionable nature.

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

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


Arbuthnot's career has been remarkable. He had no 363 shining parts, and never could have been conspicuous in public life; but in a subordinate and unostentatious character he was more largely mixed up with the principal people and events of his time than any other man. He might have written very curious and interesting memoirs if he had only noted down all that passed under his observation, and the results of his political information and connexions, for few men ever enjoyed so entirely the intimacy and unreserved confidence of so many statesmen and ministers, and therefore few have been so well acquainted with the details of secret history. He was successively the trusted adherent and intimate friend of Lord Liverpool, Lord Castlereagh, and the Duke of Wellington, and more or less of almost all their colleagues, besides being on very good terms with many others with whom he had no political opinions in common. He had in fact a somewhat singular and exceptional position; much liked, much trusted, continually consulted and employed, with no enemies and innumerable friends. This was owing to his character, which was exactly calculated to win this position for him. Without brilliant talents, he had a good sound understanding and dispassionate judgement, liberality in his ideas, and no violent prejudices. He was mild, modest, and sincere; he was single-minded, zealous, serviceable, and sympathetic (simpatico), and he was moreover both honourable and discreet. The consequence was that everybody relied upon him and trusted him, and he passed his whole life in an atmosphere of political transactions and secrets. After the death of his wife he lived at Apsley House when in London, and during a great part of the rest of the year with the Duke at Walmer and Strathfieldsaye, and he went hardly at all into the world; but he rather extended than contracted the list of his personal and political friends, for as the Whig Ministers had often business to transact with the Duke, they generally found it convenient to communicate with Arbuthnot too; and, as he was always ready to render any service, public or private, in his power, he made many acquaintances and acquired friends in that party, specially the 364 Duke of Bedford, with whom he had long been intimate, and who was in the habit of communicating with him very unreservedly on political matters. The preceding pages exhibit many proofs of Arbuthnot's familiarity with the political history of his time, as well as of his good sense and liberality. He was buried at Kensal Green, and the Duke is said to have been very much affected at the funeral.

Brighton, August 27th.124—Yesterday morning Louis Philippe expired at Claremont quite unexpectedly, for though he had been ill for a long time, it was supposed he might still live many months. Not long ago his life was the most important in the world, and his death would have produced a profound sensation and general consternation. Now hardly more importance attaches to the event than there would to the death of one of the old bathing-women opposite my window. It will not produce the slightest political effect, nor even give rise to any speculation. He had long been politically defunct. The effect that presents itself as most likely is its paving the way to a reconciliation between the two branches of the Bourbons, and a fusion of their interests; but as the late King had consented to this fusion and desired it, while the Duchess of Orleans was opposed to it, this consummation is more likely to be prevented than brought about by his death. His character has been often described with more or less of truth and justice, and of course there will be many fresh descriptions of it now. I cannot attempt it, for I never knew anything of him except at second-hand. He had certainly many good qualities and an amiable disposition, and probably no vices but selfishness and insincerity. These were, however, universally ascribed to him, and consequently out of the limited circle of his own family and a 365 few friends and old servants, who were warmly attached to him, he inspired neither affection nor respect. The worst kings have seldom been destitute of many devoted adherents; but in his day of tribulation, although he may rather be accounted amongst the best than the worst, he was abandoned by all France, and his fall was not only unresisted, but suffered to take place with scarcely a manifestation of sympathy and regret.

November 10th.—After a lapse of nearly three months I resume my notices of past and present events, these three months having furnished very little matter worth recording nearly up to the present time. For the last month, however, the world has been sufficiently agitated, on different accounts and in different places, to afford ample opportunity for either description or comment even to the most superficial observer. I might, however, I have very little doubt, write that which would be acceptable to one person or another by recording my own personal experiences and the communications that I have with different people on different matters, which certainly are ludicrously miscellaneous. Some people like politics, some gossip, and almost all like political gossip. I have had within these few weeks consultations and communications on the most opposite subjects: men coming to be helped out of scrapes with other men's wives, adjustments of domestic squabbles, a grand bother about the Duke of Cambridge's status in the House of Lords, a fresh correspondence with Lady Palmerston about the 'Times' attacking her husband, communication from Cardinal Wiseman about the troubled state of ecclesiastical affairs, and so forth; odds and ends not altogether uninteresting, and making a strange miscellany in my mind. It is needless to attempt to say anything about the solution of the German question, touching which I have no private information whatever.125 It is a drama, at which 366 all the world is audience, and I have not been behind the scenes. I think we have played a very paltry part in it, and Palmerston's policy and conduct are so unintelligible to me that I shall say nothing about them. I agree in all that the 'Times' has written thereon, and its strictures have hit hard, as is evident by the resentment expressed by Lady Palmerston.

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


But such trifles as these, and such serious matters as an impending German war, are uninteresting in comparison with the 'No Popery' hubbub which has been raised, and which is now running its course furiously over the length and breadth of the land. I view the whole of this from beginning to end, and the conduct of all parties with unmixed dissatisfaction and regret. The Pope has been ill-advised and very impolitic, the whole proceeding on the part of the Papal Government has been mischievous and impertinent, 367 and deserves the severest censure. Wiseman, who ought to have known better, aggravated the case by his imprudent manifesto. On the other hand, the Protestant demonstration is to the last degree exaggerated and absurd. The danger is ludicrously exaggerated, the intention misunderstood, and the offence unduly magnified. A 'No Popery' cry has been raised, and the depths of theological hatred stirred up very foolishly and for a most inadequate cause. John Russell, who acted prudently in declaring his Protestant sympathies, joining the public voice in condemnation of the Pope's proceedings, and clearing himself and his Government from any suspicion of being indifferent to them, nevertheless writes a very imprudent, undignified, and, in his station, unbecoming letter. He might have said all that it was necessary to say without giving any offence; he might have taken the movement into his own hands, and satisfied the Protestants, and at the same time not dissatisfied the Catholics, pouring oil on the waters, and moderating the prevailing effervescence. But his letter has had a contrary effect. On one hand it has filled with stupid and fanatical enthusiasm all the Protestant bigots, and stimulated their rage; and on the other it has irritated to madness all the zealous Catholics, and grieved, shocked, and offended even the most moderate and reasonable. All wise and prudent men perceive this, and strongly disapprove of his letter; all his colleagues with whom I have spoken, and I have no doubt all the rest, do so; and Clarendon writes me word that the effect it has produced in Ireland is not to be told. I have already had a practical proof of the mischief it has done. Two days ago Bowyer came to me from Cardinal Wiseman, who was just arrived, to ask my opinion whether anything could be done, and what. I said if he had sent to me some time ago, and told me what was contemplated, I might have done him some service by telling him what the consequences would be; but that now it was too late to do anything, John Bull had got the bit in his mouth, and the Devil could not stop him. He told me the Cardinal was drawing up a loyal address to be signed by ecclesiastics and laymen, and asked 368 me to look at it. I agreed, and he brought it the next day. I said it was very well as far as it went, and only suggested that the new Bishops should take care to sign their names only, and omit all allusion to their sees. This he engaged for. I then talked over the case, and what might be done. I said of course we could not expect the Pope to retract; but that if he was really desirous of doing what could be done to allay the prevailing irritation, he had better do that which he still could consistently; that he had not yet pronounced any decision as to the Irish Colleges, and he might either give one in their favour, or at least abstain from giving any at all, and the Cardinal would do well to urge this at Rome. Bowyer replied that this might have been possible before, but Lord John's letter had made it impossible now, and that this letter would be regarded as so insulting at Rome, and such a proof of the hostility of the British Government to the Roman Catholic religion, that they would put no trust in the writer of it, and it would be impossible to ask the Pope, nor would he be induced, to do anything in deference to the objects or wishes of this Government.

This odious agitation will continue till it is superseded by something else, or expires from want of aliment more solid than fanatical denunciations. Already sensible people, even those who are indignant at the 'Papal aggressions' as they are termed, begin to think the clamour exaggerated, that we are going too far, and raising a spirit of theological and sectarian hatred and enmity, which is dangerous and will be very troublesome. They begin to reflect that a great movement without a definite and attainable object is a very foolish thing, and as it is quite certain that the Pope will not retract what he has done, and that we can neither punish him nor frighten him, that his ecclesiastical arrangements will be carried into execution here whether we like it or not, and that as we shall take nothing by all our agitation and clamour, we shall probably end by looking very foolish. At present everybody, Protestants, Puseyites, and Catholics, are all angry, excited, and hostile. Some affect to be very angry and make a great noise because they think it answers an 369 end. John Russell is somewhat in this way, for I don't believe he really cares much; the 'Times' newspaper does the same, and blows up the coals for the sake of popularity; but Delane, who begged me not to write, as I was inclined to do, something in mitigation of the movement, told me he thought the whole thing gross humbug and a pack of nonsense.


November 21st.—The Protestant agitation has been going on at a prodigious pace, and the whole country is up: meetings everywhere, addresses to Bishops and their replies, addresses to the Queen; speeches, letters, articles, all pouring forth from the press day after day with a vehemence and a universality such as I never saw before. The Dissenters have I think generally kept aloof and shown no disposition to take an active part. A more disgusting and humiliating manifestation has never been exhibited; it is founded on prejudice and gross ignorance. As usual the most empty make the greatest noise, and the declaimers vie with each other in coarseness, violence, and stupidity. Nevertheless, the hubbub is not the less mischievous for being so senseless and ridiculous. The religious passions and animosities that have been excited will not speedily die away, nor will the Roman Catholics forget the insults that have been heaped on their religion, nor the Vatican all the vulgar abuse that has been lavished on the Pope. In the midst of all this Wiseman has put forth a very able manifesto, in which he proves unanswerably that what has been done is perfectly legal, and a matter of ecclesiastical discipline, with which we have no concern whatever. He lashes John Russell with great severity, and endeavours to enlist the sympathies of the Dissenters by contrasting the splendour and wealth of the Anglican clergy with the contented poverty of the Romanists, and thus appeals to all the advocates of the voluntary system. His paper is uncommonly well done, and must produce a considerable effect, though of course none capable of quieting the storm that is now raging. Wiseman does not evince any intention of receding in the slightest degree, but on the contrary there appears to lurk throughout 370 his paper a consciousness of an impregnable position, round which the tempest of public rage and fury may blow ever so violently without producing the slightest effect.

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


November 26th.—At Brocket from Saturday till Monday. Nobody there; I found Lord Beauvale127 in good humour with 371 Palmerston, who, he assured me, had acted a very proper and a very spirited part in reference to German affairs, having had to fight against the violent and inveterate prejudices of the Court, to which some of his colleagues were not disinclined to defer. He said that although the Court were quite powerless in such matters as the Greek or the Sicilian questions, they could do a great deal of mischief in Germany, for being in constant communication with their relations and connexions there, they could exercise a good deal of indirect influence, and he thinks they have not scrupled to encourage the King of Prussia in his absurd conduct. A letter was sent to Palmerston, doubtless written by Prince Albert, in which they talked of Denmark wresting Schleswig from Germany, and that the triumph of Austria would be fatal to the constitutional cause. Palmerston replied that he had never heard that Schleswig belonged to Germany, and as to the constitutional cause it was more in danger from the King of Prussia, whose conduct was putting all thrones in jeopardy. Beauvale also showed me a letter from Berlin in which the writer said that nothing was more important there than the English press; and he begged me, as Palmerston was now really doing all he could in the right direction, to get him any support I could. Nobody knows whether this will end in war or peace. Palmerston, always sanguine, says peace; and Beauvale thinks, when Russia, France and England are all trying to avert war, that it cannot ensue.

The Protestant movement goes on with unabated fury, and the quantity of nonsense that has been talked and written, and the amount of ignorance and intolerance displayed, exceed all belief, and only show of what sort of metal 372 the mass of society is composed. Of all that has been written and spoken there has been nothing tolerable but the Bishop of Oxford's speech, which was very clever; the letter of Page Wood in the 'Times' in answer to Wiseman; and everything without exception which has emanated from the Archbishop of Canterbury. He has displayed a very proper and becoming spirit with great dignity, moderation, and good sense. All the rest is a mass of impotent fury and revolting vulgarity and impertinence, without genius or argument or end and object—mere abuse in the coarsest and stupidest shape. It is not a little remarkable what a strong anti-Papist Clarendon is. He writes to me in that sense, but not so vehemently as he does to others; and I see how his mind is inflamed, which is odd in so practical a man. But this is obviously the result of the bitter hostility he has had to encounter in Ireland from the Roman Catholic clergy, notwithstanding the efforts he made to conciliate them.

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


December 11th.—I could no longer stand the torrent of nonsense, violence and folly which the newspapers day after day poured forth, and resolved to write a letter, which was published in the 'Times' the day before yesterday, and signed 'Carolus,' for I did not venture to put my own name to it.128 Delane could not bear publishing it, because it was 373 in opposition to the strong line the paper has taken; and he told me beforehand he must attack me. Accordingly they replied to the article they published, but in very complimentary terms and with very feeble arguments. Labouchere told me last night this letter must do good, and make people think calmly. However, the agitation continues with unabated violence, and it is no wonder the masses are so intemperate and absurd, when we see how ignorant and senseless men are who ought to know better, and who pass for being clever and well-informed; and hear the unreflecting nonsense they talk, and the extravagant views they entertain. Bear Ellice, who is by way of being wiser than anybody, and thinks it is his vocation to advise everybody, told me on Monday that he had advised Charles Wood what to do, and this notable scheme was to place matters by legislation on the same footing here that they had been placed on in Prussia by Concordat. I told him it was impossible; and when he insisted, I asked him if he knew what the state of things was in Prussia: to which he was obliged to admit that he knew nothing about it! Then we see the Head-Master of Rugby School petitioning the Postmaster-General to remove a letter-carrier because he is a Roman Catholic! Clanricarde writes a very good answer, which is in the 'Times' of yesterday. Graham came to town yesterday on his way to Windsor, where he is asked to stay three nights, and he came and passed two hours with me yesterday morning. His opinions are precisely like my own, and he has written a letter to Howard of Greystock, exactly in the same spirit as 'Carolus;' he is not only very sensible but very bold on the subject, and quite prepared to confront public opinion in defence of the principles of religious liberty. We discussed the whole subject at great length. He acknowledged that the difficulty of the Government was very great. I enlightened his mind as to the part Palmerston has recently been playing in German affairs, which he was by no means aware of, and I hinted to him that his joining the Government would not be disagreeable. He owned that Palmerston would no longer be an insuperable objection, 374 but that he could not be a party to any measures savouring of religious persecution, or even restriction. The Queen's answers to the addresses will have satisfied him, and all reasonable and moderate people; but I expect the zealots will cry out. Nothing certainly ever was more guarded.

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


I brought Palmerston from the station in my brougham; all very amicable. We talked about Popery and Germany, and agreed very well; he mighty reasonable. I asked him if he had had any conversation with Radowitz. He said none, except of the most general kind. He thought Radowitz had been advised to absent himself from Prussia, and that the King, for the present at least, was entirely with Manteufel. I then asked him what Prince Albert said to the turn affairs had taken. He said Prince Albert was reasonable enough; that he condemned the King of Prussia as much as anybody could; that he had been in favour of strengthening Prussia, and against the old Federation, because he thought the influence of Austria in it was too great, and that it was mischievously exercised; that the condition that no organic change in the Diet could take place there, without a unanimous vote, could not be endured; and that he thought, while the influence of Austria remained paramount, the liberal cause, and all advances in civilisation and general improvement, must be paralysed; and this was to a certain degree true. I said no doubt it was 375 desirable to see changes and improvements, and for various reasons that Prussia should be powerful, if her power was only acquired by fair means, and without trampling on the rights of others, and on all obligations human and divine. He said, 'Exactly, that is the real case; but her conduct has been so wanting in prudence, in consistency, and in good faith, that she has arrayed against her those who wish best to her.' He told me the Pope had expressed great surprise at the effect of his measures, and disclaimed any intention of affronting the Queen or this country. The Pope said he had been induced to take the steps he had done by advice from this country, and Palmerston thinks that Wiseman was probably at the bottom of it all.

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

Bowood, December 26th.—Went on Tuesday in last week to Panshanger, on Saturday to Brocket, Monday to London, and Tuesday here; we were very merry at Panshanger. The house and its Lord and Lady furiously Protestant and anti-Papal; so we had a great deal of wrangling and chaffing; all in good humour and amusing enough. At Brocket nobody but the Bear (Ellice), who talked without ceasing, and told me innumerable anecdotes about Lord Grey's Government, and different transactions in all of which he had himself played a very important part, and set everything and everybody to rights with his consummate wisdom. He is a very good-natured fellow, entertaining and tiresome, with a prodigious opinion of his own savoir faire, vain and conceited, though not offensively so; clever, friendly, liberal, and very serviceable. They put me at Brocket in Melbourne's room, and there I found a MS. book, containing copies of letters 376 written by him to Lord Anglesey, while Lord Anglesey was Lord-Lieutenant and he was Chief Secretary—very familiar and confidential. They were very frank, and giving Lord Anglesey a good deal of advice, which on some occasions he seemed to require. Their good sense struck me extremely. There was a detailed account of the Huskisson quarrel, and the resignations thereupon, but it contained nothing that was new to me. William Lamb (as he was then) thought both the Duke and Huskisson were in the wrong; but he resigned with the others, because, he said, 'he had always thought that it was more necessary to stand by his friends when they were in the wrong, than when they were in the right.' Poking about to see what else I could find, I lit on two very different MS. One was a book which I suspect had belonged to Pen Lamb, containing entries and pedigrees of hounds and horses; and the other was a commonplace book of Melbourne's, which I had not time to examine much, full of quotations, criticisms, comments and translations, exhibiting various and extensive reading, especially of Greek literature. The next time I go there, I will look at it again. 377



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

London, February 20th, 1851.—I broke off what I was writing two months ago, having been attacked by a severe fit of the gout, which has tormented me on and off ever since, partly deterring and partly disabling me from writing anything whatever. Indeed I have been in a hundred minds whether I should not here and now close my journalising, for I don't feel as if I had, or was likely to have, anything more to say worth writing about. It is perhaps no loss to have omitted any notice of the meeting of Parliament, and what has taken place with reference to the Anti-Papal Bill, and other matters. Are not these things amply narrated in all the newspapers of the day?—and I do not think I have acquired any knowledge or information besides, or at least none of any importance. I shall therefore not attempt to go over the ground or any part of it, that we have been travelling over for the last two months; but I am induced to forego my purpose of shutting up my books and abandoning 378 this occupation, partly from reluctance to quit it entirely, and partly because I think we are in a very precarious and difficult state, and that a crisis seems imminent, fraught with great interest and great danger. In such circumstances I like to write what I know and hear, and to record my own impressions and opinions.


Brocket, February 24th.—Events have come quickly on us. On Thursday night Locke King brought on his annual motion for extension of the suffrage, and moved for leave to bring in a bill. Lord John opposed it, but pledged himself that he would bring in a measure next Session, if he was still in office. Nevertheless he was beaten by two to one—100 to 52. The Conservatives went away, no trouble was taken, and this was the result. The conduct of the Radicals was offensive. Locke King, after Lord John's promise, wanted not to divide; but Hume, Bright, and their faction insisted on dividing, and one of them (I think Bright) insultingly said, 'If you don't divide and beat him, he will throw over his promise and do nothing.' It must be owned that he gave some colour to this suspicion by his conduct. A few nights before Hume asked him if he was going to bring in any measure this year. He said he was not, but that he still intended to do so, at what he should deem to be a fit time for it: not a word of next year. This looks very much as if his promise on Thursday was an impromptu got up for the occasion. Still not a creature in or out of the House expected he would regard such a defeat as this as a matter of any importance, and great and general were the surprise and consternation when Lord John got up, just when the Budget was to have come on, and made an announcement which was tantamount to resignation.130 The House dispersed in a state of bewilderment, and the town was electrified with the news. At night there was a party 379 at Lady Granville's, and there it became known that the Government was in fact out. It seemed the more unaccountable because Stanley had sent them word of what had been resolved at his meeting, which was neither more nor less than a sham attack on the Income Tax, which the Tories did not expect or intend to succeed. Lord John, however, had resolved to resign after Friday's check, not on that account only, but on the cumulative case of many unmistakeable symptoms of the hostility of the House of Commons and the impossibility of his going on. So he thought he had better 'do early and from foresight that which he should be obliged to do from necessity at last,' as Mr. Burke said on a different occasion. Nobody knew what he was going to do,—none of his followers and subordinates. He saw the Queen in the morning, to whom he no doubt imparted his intention; then he assembled the Cabinet, where it must have been settled, and then he saw the Queen again. Lord Lansdowne was at Bowood, and ignorant of this decision. Carlisle was engaged in the City, not at the Cabinet, and heard from Grey when he came into the House of Lords that they were out. In the evening I was at home and upstairs, and many of the men came up to talk it all over. Ellice said Lord John was quite right. However, I think such was not the general opinion, nor is it mine. Looking at the state of the country and the obvious difficulty, if not impossibility, of forming any other Government, still more of forming one entitled to, or which could obtain, the confidence and support of the Crown and the country, I am very strongly of opinion that he ought to have fought the battle for some time longer, not to have yielded to any hostile manifestations, or to the probability, however great, of damaging or fatal defeats, but to have encountered without flinching all the opposition he might meet with, and not to desert his post till the worst he apprehended should actually occur. Many people think that, in spite of appearances, he would have weathered the storms; and though in the midst of great difficulties, he would eventually have evaded or surmounted them all.


The conduct of the Protectionists about the Income Tax showed how uncertain and little adventurous they were. This is partly explained by the revelation that has been made of the opinions of some of their leading men. It has been for some time apparent that there is a great ambiguity in the conduct of the party, different members of which hold the most discordant and inconsistent language. Disraeli the other night declared he was not going for Protection, that it was out of the question in this Parliament, and that the country must settle the question. Granby directly afterwards says he is for Protection. In the House of Lords, on a motion of Lord Hardwicke's when a great Free Trade debate was expected, and when it was well known that Stanley had been preparing a great speech, he never opened his lips, and the whole thing ended briefly and flatly. But the Duke of Richmond made one of his furious harangues, pointed to Stanley as 'the Leader of the Protectionist party,' and gave a eulogistic commentary on Disraeli's speech, asserting that he only meant that the battle of Protection must be fought on the hustings, where it not only would be fought, but would be won. Still Stanley was silent, and did not utter a word in approval or in repudiation of these sentiments and intentions. Notwithstanding these ambiguities, people still talked of the probability or the possibility of a Protectionist Government. It was said that Stanley had made up his mind to take it, if he could get it, and that he was of opinion that, great as the risks and serious as the consequences might be, it was better to encounter them all than to let slip the best opportunity they should ever have of ousting the Whigs, turning back the current of Free Trade, and restoring the Protective system. Everybody was looking with anxious curiosity for the decision of Stanley's meeting on Friday morning, as to the course they should adopt in reference to the Income Tax; and when it was known (which it was not till after John Russell's announcement in the House of Commons), the impression was that they were afraid to fight on that question; but at night I heard a very strange thing, which placed the condition 381 and prospects of that party in quite a new light. Two of the best men they have in the House of Commons are Walpole and Henley, especially the first. Walpole told Jocelyn in the House of Commons that he would have nothing to do with any Government that would attempt to reimpose any duty on foreign corn, and he added that Henley was of the same mind; and so, in fact, were at least half the members of his party. This statement Walpole made twice over to Jocelyn, and he said the same thing to others besides. If such were the sentiments of some of their best men, what was to become of Protection? how was the battle to be fought on the hustings? and how was Stanley ever to form a Government, and on what principles?


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


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


I found Graham in very low spirits, and full of disquiet and apprehensions about the future prospects of the country. This is generally his disposition, and he has communicated 383 much of his alarm and anxiety to me. On Friday morning, after Locke King's division, and before he knew anything of John Russell's intention, I received a note from him in these terms: 'My anticipations are most gloomy. I foresee nothing but confusion; there are no means of escaping it; everything will be shaken, and something more than a Government, I fear, will fall. The "Times," I see, has passed sentence of death on the Administration this morning. It is most likely it will be executed speedily, and I doubt whether for their sakes it may not be said, the sooner the better. They have lost all command over the House of Commons, and indistinct promises of democratic change when made by a Prime Minister are most dangerous, for vagueness encourages hope, and the hope is deferred. This state of doubt and fear cannot last much longer; the public on all hands would greatly prefer a struggle and a settlement.' When he wrote these lines John Russell had already made up his mind to resign.

London, February 25th.—I came to town yesterday morning and found everything unsettled: Aberdeen, Graham, and John Russell trying to agree upon some plan, and to form a Government. At half-past four Delane came into my room, straight from Aberdeen. Aberdeen told him he was still engaged in this task, but, he owned, with anything but sanguine hopes of success. Delane said to him he hoped if he did succeed he would not overlook the numbers and importance of the Liberal party. Aberdeen replied, 'You may rest assured that I am well aware of their importance, and I believe I am at least as Radical as any of those who are just gone out.' I went to Brooks's, found it very full and excited; some persuaded Graham and his friends would come to terms and patch the thing up. Bear Ellice and others thought it impossible, and that Stanley is inevitable. In the House of Commons John Russell made his statement, and when he had made it Disraeli, without tact or decency, denied that it was correct. John Russell was not very discreet in what he said. He ought not to have said a word, nor need he, of what passed between Stanley and the Queen. 384 Disraeli disgusted everybody by what he said, and his manner of saying it. Lord Lansdowne, Carlisle, and Labouchere dined here (Bruton Street), and about eleven o'clock a box was brought to Lord Lansdowne. It was a circular from John Russell announcing the final failure of the Graham negotiation, and that everything was at an end. It broke off on the Papal Question, on which they could not come to an agreement, though John Russell was ready to make some concessions. I don't think Graham wished to complete any combination, and preferred throwing the thing back on Stanley. His extreme timidity and his inveterate habit of magnifying dangers and exaggerating difficulties are very unfortunate and seriously mar his efficiency. If he had some of the confidence and sanguine disposition of Palmerston—if he could only bring himself to think that 'dangers disappear, when boldly they are faced,' it would be better for the country and for himself. Gladstone is expected to-morrow; Sidney Herbert says he will not join a Stanley Government. Everybody goes over the lists of Peers and Commoners whom Stanley can command, and the scrutiny presents the same blank result of men without experience or capacity, save only Herries, who is past seventy, and has been rusting for twenty years and more; and Disraeli, who has nothing but the cleverness of an adventurer. Nobody has any confidence in him, or supposes he has any principles whatever; and it remains to be seen whether he has tact and judgement enough to lead the House of Commons. It seems that in these negotiations everybody has behaved well. There have been no difficulties about persons, no pretensions, no selfishness, no vexatious obstacles from or in any quarter. Had the thing been patched up, Charles Wood was resolved to go. They wanted him to change his office, but he would not hear of it, and said he would not face Halifax. He thought both Grey and Palmerston ought to go out with him, but they declare that one and all were ready to make any sacrifice that might be required.133



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

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

February 28th.—I met Gladstone yesterday morning. 386 From the tone of his conversation his negotiation with Stanley must have been very short indeed. He said he had come over entirely on account of the Papal Bill. After another day of curiosity, and rather a growing belief that Stanley would form a Government, it was announced in the afternoon that he had given it up. He had a meeting of some of his principal friends, and they agreed with him in the propriety of his resigning the task. Great excitement at night, and the Whigs in extraordinary glee, foreseeing the restoration of John Russell and his colleagues. The Ministers were all to meet at Lansdowne House this morning and determine on the next move. Lord John, who is rather sore, and not unconscious of the blame that attaches to him, said with some bitterness to Granville yesterday, 'Lady Palmerston called on Lady John for the purpose of telling her that all that has happened is my fault. Lady John might have told her that if Palmerston had chosen to be present on Locke King's motion, and have spoken, it probably would not have happened at all.' Lady Palmerston is evidently provoked that Palmerston has not been thought of to form a Government in all this confusion, and at hearing so much of Clarendon and Graham, and nothing of her husband.


March 2nd.—I went to the House of Lords on Friday to hear Stanley's statement. He made a very good speech and a lucid statement. Nothing could be more civil and harmonious than all that passed; great moderation and many compliments. The impression on my mind was that Stanley was sick to death of his position as leader of the Protectionists, and everybody agrees that he has been in tearing spirits these last days, and especially since the announcement of his failure. His conduct seems obnoxious to no reproach, and he did what he was bound to do with reference to the Queen and his party. They would have been intolerably disgusted if he had left untried any means of forming a Government, and though there will be some grumbling and much mortification and disappointment amongst them, they have no cause for complaint. He tried everything and everybody, as I believe, without either the 387 desire or the expectation of succeeding. Nothing surprises me more than that anybody should think he could form a Government, as many very acute people did. What happened was almost sure to happen—the fear and reluctance of many of his own people to undertake a task for which they were conscious they were unfit. A man must be very ambitious and very rash and confident, who, when it comes to the point, does not hesitate to accept a very important and responsible office without having had any official experience, or possessing any of the knowledge which a due administration of the office demands. It was not, however, without some appearance of sarcasm and bitterness that Stanley spoke of the men of his own party, who for various reasons had declined to take office. The man whose private affairs prevented him was Tom Baring; the modest man was Henley, who is said to have told Stanley that he would not disgrace his Government by presenting himself to the House of Commons as Home Secretary; the man who thought it would not last is said to be Thesiger. Sugden accepted the Great Seal, and the Duke of Northumberland the Admiralty, for which nobody imagines that he has any qualification whatever; and it shows what slender materials Derby could command when he applied to such a man.

John Russell made a poor speech in the other House, and his peroration was a failure. The speeches of Aberdeen and Graham showed that any coalition is out of the question, and nothing will induce them to be parties to the Papal Bill. I think them too stiff on this question, and can see no reason why they should not consent to be parties to a measure which they admit to be indispensable. It would have been one thing to consent to its introduction, but it is another to consent to its going on, and with great modifications, after it had been once introduced.134 Fieri non debuit, factum valet. But Graham has all along had a fixed idea 388 that we must pass through what he calls the ordeal of a Stanley Government, and he has been continually hoping, and partly expecting, that Stanley would make the attempt. His object was reconciliation with John Russell and the Whigs, and ultimate junction with them, after Stanley should have failed, and I can't help thinking these notions and views have confirmed him in scruples he might otherwise have got over.

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


I have been annoyed and disgusted at the part the 'Times' has taken latterly, turning round upon the Government and upon John Russell in particular with indecent acrimony. They have attempted a defence of their conduct, but it is a very lame one, and they have been very severely and very justly handled by the other papers, especially by the 'Daily News.' No doubt John Russell has committed great errors, and may be reproached for carelessness and bad management. He has incurred much odium with certain parties; he has lost a good deal of his authority and influence in the House of Commons; but he is not a man to be flung aside as damaged and used up, nor can his faults and mistakes, either of omission or commission, cancel the 389 antecedents of a long political life or deprive him of the great position which, in spite of them and of appearances, he still holds in the estimation of the Whig party and the country. Nobody can be more sensible of the faults of his character and of the blunders he has committed than I am; but he has still great qualities, and I do not believe the Government could go on without him.

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

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

Lord Granville dined at the Palace last night, and the Queen and Prince Albert both talked to him a great deal of 390 what has been passing, and very openly. She is satisfied with herself, as well she may be, and hardly with anybody else; not dissatisfied personally with Stanley, of whom she spoke in terms indicative of liking him. She thinks John Russell and his Cabinet might have done more than they did to obtain Graham and the Peelites, and might have made the Papal question more of an open question; but Granville says that it is evident she is heart and soul with the Peelites, so strong is the old influence of Sir Robert, and they are very stout and determined about Free Trade. The Queen and Prince think this resuscitated concern very shaky, and that it will not last. Her favourite aversions are: first and foremost, Palmerston; and Disraeli next. It is very likely that this latter antipathy (which no doubt Stanley discovered) contributed to his reluctance to form a Government. Such is the feeling about him in their minds. It is difficult to penetrate Palmerston's conduct and motives during the late crisis; but I am much inclined to think he was playing, or at least looking for an occasion to play, a part of his own.135


March 8th.—At Brocket from Tuesday till Thursday. In the morning I saw Graham and had a long talk with him, principally about the Papal Bill. I asked him why he could not make up his mind to support the amended and curtailed Bill, which would not be inconsistent with his original objection to any measure; but he went into the whole question and satisfied me of the impossibility of his supporting 391 and defending (as he must have done) any measure whatever. The truth moreover is, that he was not sorry to have this excuse for keeping aloof, for if he could have got over this, there still remained behind the great difficulty of Palmerston. This was never touched upon at all, and consequently they were all able to say there were no personal difficulties; but Graham was satisfied that if he had joined them, he and Palmerston should have speedily disagreed, and I do not think any coalition will ever be possible which embraces Palmerston's remaining at the Foreign Office. My own opinion is that Graham wished Stanley's Government to be formed; and I am confirmed in this view by the remarkable fact that he and Aberdeen advised Lord Canning to accept Stanley's offer. Canning told Granville this, and I asked Graham if Aberdeen had advised Canning to do so, and why. He replied, rather evasively, that it was a great temptation; that Canning was not committed to Free Trade; and that Aberdeen had suggested there was no objection if he was disposed to accept. It was, however, very strange advice. Granville thinks very ill of the prospects of the Government, and has no reliance on their savoir faire. Meanwhile there they are again, having lost something in reputation, while it is questionable whether they have gained much in support; but, I think, something. There is a greater disposition to toleration, and to let them work through the Session, for everybody dreads a dissolution. There is a universal feeling of doubt, disquiet, and insecurity. Parties are dislocated; there is no respect for, or confidence in, any public men or man. Notwithstanding the creditable manner in which every actor in the late crisis is said to have played his part, and the fairness, unselfishness, public spirit, and mutual urbanity and politeness displayed by all, there lurks under this smooth surface no little jealousy, dislike and ill-will; in truth, in all that passed, nobody was in earnest. The Government threw up their offices not wishing to resign. Stanley did not desire, and did not intend, if he could possibly avoid it, to form a Government; Graham did not wish to coalesce with the Whig Government, 392 nor they with him. John Russell would have taken him in, if they could have agreed; but most of his colleagues hated the idea of coalition; he would have been ill received by most of the adherents of the Government, and he is himself persuaded that he should not have gone on long without a difference of some sort. Many great difficulties, as they would have proved, were never touched upon, particularly who were to come in, and who were to go out.

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


Graham again entered at great length into all the objections against the Papal Bill, and the bad policy and mistakes of the Government. He thought it was one to have put up George Grey to usher it out, when John Russell had himself ushered it in;136 for he said it was both evident and notorious that George Grey was in favour of stringent measures, and his speech was one in favour of the clauses the omission of which he was announcing. He said the announcement was very ill received, and he thinks the Bill will not pass. He fancies the Protectionists will throw it out, in which I disagree 393 with him. There is an idea that they will try and make it more stringent, by proposing to retain the clauses or some other way; but this would be the best thing for the Government, and would bring Whigs, Radicals, and Irish all together. Meanwhile the effect of all that has happened is as bad as possible. I said in my letter (Carolus), 'We shall assuredly look very foolish if all the hubbub should turn out to have been made without some definite, reasonable, and moreover attainable object; and yet we appear to be in imminent danger of finding ourselves in this perplexing and mortifying predicament.' Never, I may make bold to say, was any prediction more signally accomplished than this. Everybody seems disgusted, provoked, and ashamed at the position in which we are placed. The Roman Catholics alone are chuckling over their triumph and our perplexity. They see that we have plunged ourselves into a situation of embarrassment, which leaves us no power of advancing or receding without danger or disgrace. Our Government, and especially its chief, have gone on from one fault and blunder to another. They manage to conciliate nobody, and to offend everybody. Their concessions are treated with rage and indignation on one side, and with scorn and contempt on the other. The Bill is reduced to a nullity, but this does not appease the wrath of the Irish and the Catholics; though what is left of it will do them no injury, they still oppose this remnant with undiminished violence, determined if possible to make us drain the last drop in the cup of mortification and shame. It is not unnatural that people should be indignant with a Government whose egregious folly has got us into such an unhappy and discreditable dilemma. We are in such a position that the Roman Catholics and the Radicals are alone the gainers; and accordingly, while all others are disturbed and terrified at such a state of things, they are delighted, and confidently expect their several ends and objects will be advanced by the confusion, disunion, and discontent which prevail.

London, March 18th.—Everything still going on as bad as possible. The Government is now so weak and powerless 394 that its feebleness is openly talked of in Parliament, as well as derided in the Press. A day or two ago we appeared to be on the eve of an immediate crisis. Baillie gave notice of a motion of censure on Torrington and Lord Grey, on which John Russell declared he would not go on with the Budget or any public business with this vote hanging over their heads (which if carried involved resignation) nor till it was decided. Last night Baillie withdrew it, and business will go on. Nothing is more extraordinary than the conduct of many of their friends, and the levity with which almost everybody follows his own particular inclination or opinion, regardless of the condition of the Government and of the grave questions which are looming in the distance.


Of all strange and unaccountable things the conduct of Graham is the strangest with reference to his ultimate views, objects and expectations. On Lord Duncan's motion about the Woods and Forests, he ostentatiously marched out first to vote against them; on the Naval Estimates he went away. All this exasperates and disgusts the Whigs, with whom he looks forward hereafter to acting, and whose chief he means to be. On Duncan's motion, John Russell's brother-in-law, Romilly, voted against him; his nephew, Hastings Russell, was in the House and did not vote. Hayter told John Russell that when such men acted thus, he could not ask independent members to come down and support the Government. I called on Graham yesterday, and found him in a state of great disgust at the Solicitor-General's speech the night before, against the violence and imprudence of which he bitterly inveighed. He said that Stanley was preparing resolutions, and he had contemplated having to fight the battle of religious liberty side by side with John Russell, and the Government against them; but that this speech perplexed him, and left him in doubt what he ought to do or what he was to expect. Did John Russell adopt all the furious 'No Popery' of his law officer, and was he prepared to legislate in that sense? If so, he would oppose him totis viribus. I told him I did not believe John Russell (who was not present) by any means concurred 395 with Cockburn, whose speech he must only regard as an individual effusion, singularly injudicious. He talked a great deal about this and on other things. I asked him why he had voted against the Government on Duncan's motion, and told him that his doing so had greatly annoyed them. He said they were to blame to fight such a bad case; that he could not but vote with Duncan, having put his name to an instrument, together with several other eminent persons he named, recommending this very principle; and that the Government ought to have shown more deference for the opinion of Parliament and less condescension to the Court, to please which this proposition had been resisted. He ridiculed the argument of Parliamentary control being useless and inefficient, as Seymour pretended. Moreover, he said he had told Tufnell how he was going to vote. I told him that as he contemplated at some future time the dissolution of this Government, and its reconstruction with a large Liberal infusion, including himself, a combination devoutly to be desired, and as the great Whig party must constitute the main strength of such a Government, it was very desirable that he should avoid giving umbrage to them, and exciting hostile feelings against himself as much as he could and that I wished when he thought himself obliged to oppose them, that he would tell them so fairly and amicably. He might prevent many things being done, and at all events it would obviate much of the bitterness that otherwise was sure to arise, and that as he was now on such good terms with John Russell he could very easily do this, and could speak to him at any time. He said he and John Russell were very good friends, but that all the rest hated him. He had nothing to complain of on the part of John Russell in the last transactions, but he thought he had on that of the others, and he knew very well they did not desire his junction with them, and were very glad it had failed. And while he took the same view that I do of the necessity of widening considerably the basis of the Administration, and taking in men from the Liberal ranks, he said nothing of the kind was contemplated the 396 other day. We had a great deal of talk, and I gathered that the present state of his mind and opinions is this. He thinks Stanley is ready to take the Government, but not just yet; that he is prepared to push the Ministers later in the Session, and drive them out; then to dissolve, and if such a Parliament as he hopes and expects be returned, that Palmerston will join him and lead the House of Commons, Stratford Canning taking the Foreign Office (as he fancied) till Palmerston joined. We parted, and I undertook to find out for him what the Government really meant to do, and whether they did intend strenuously to resist any attempt to make the Anti-Papal Bill more stringent, and he promised that he would communicate more frankly and freely with John Russell in respect to any matters of difference, and when he was disposed to take any adverse part.

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


March 24th.—Yesterday morning Graham called on me, and said he heard his speech had greatly offended the Ministerialists, he thought without reason; that he had studiously avoided saying anything disagreeable to John Russell, and had not touched on his letter or certain passages in his first speech which might have provoked comment; that he had stated his views and his case against the Bill 397 very strongly as he was obliged to do. For having refused to join the Government expressly and exclusively on account of his invincible objections to this Bill, he was compelled to show all the strength and force of these objections. He then dilated afresh on the whole question, much as he had done before. I told him that it was true they resented his speech, which they characterised as one of bitter hostility to the Government, and that it was so considered by some who did not belong to the Government, such as Charles Villiers, for example, and they coupled this with his previous vote on Duncan's motion, and inferred that he was actuated by a desire to do them all the mischief he could; besides which they thought he was much to blame in certain topics he had urged in reference to the possibility of an Irish rebellion. I reminded him of what I had said to him the other day, and of the bad impression he was making on the minds of the Whigs, and how serious this was in reference to the possibility of any future coalition.

He then talked in his usual way about Stanley and the Government he is to form; said Walpole had made so good a speech that it put him up very high, and would enable Stanley to make him Secretary of State; and then he told me of a sort of overture or feeler which Walpole had the night before made to him. It was at the Speaker's levée, where they were conversing on the state of affairs and the prospects of the country, when Walpole said, 'The only thing would be for you and Lord Stanley to shut yourselves up in a room together, when you might come to an understanding.' Graham replied it was impossible; Lord Stanley was a man of honour, who would abide by his pledges and declarations; and he must, if he came into power, propose a duty on corn. Walpole said if there was a majority against it Stanley would give it up, and at all events it would only be a duty for revenue, and not for protection. Graham replied that was all nonsense. Let it be called what it would, it was and was meant to be Protection; and in no way and under no name would he ever be a party to any duty whatever on foreign corn. Besides, there was the 398 Papal question. He opposed the Government Bill, and Stanley and Walpole were prepared to carry legislation still further; therefore these two important questions rendered any understanding between him and Stanley impossible. I told him I was going to John Russell, and that I was pretty sure he had sent for me to talk to me about him.

In the afternoon I called on Lord John, and found him in very good spirits and humour. It was as I expected, and he said to me exactly what I had already said to Graham, that since the conferences which had taken place, at which time there was a general acquiescence (though with some a reluctant one) in his joining the Government, circumstances had very materially altered, and that his recent conduct had produced so much irritation and estrangement that any coalition with him for some time to come would be very difficult. Time and other circumstances might again render it possible, but now it was out of the question; this, it was fit Graham should know, and as he did not like to say it to him himself, he wished I would. I told him I was not surprised, and that I had already said as much to him, and had pointed out to him the inevitable consequences of the course he had adopted. The truth is they, most of them, dislike and fear him. They dread his propensity to truckle to the Radicals and to popular clamour, above all as to economy; and Lord John told me that Palmerston, who had urged him at the close of the last Session to get Graham to join him, had this year said he did not think he would be safe, for he would probably insist on cutting down our establishments to some dangerous extent. I told Lord John all I had said to Graham about communicating with himself, and he said that he personally felt no resentment towards him; he acknowledged that he had not said anything offensive or hostile to him personally, and that he should be very glad to talk to him, particularly about the Budget, which was not definitely settled, and he desired me to propose to Graham to let him call on him for that purpose. This ending did not correspond well to the beginning of the communication I was to make to him, but I said I would 399 tell him, which I shall do, softening the hard part as much as I can.


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

March 27th.—On Monday I called on Graham, and found John Russell had already been there. Graham was dressing, and could not see him, but made an appointment to call in Chesham Place at three o'clock. I told Graham, with a good deal of ménagememt, what John Russell had said, and I added as much as I could, in addition to what I had said to him before about his relations with the Government. He insisted that John Russell's people hated him, and he said there were people about him who hated them; and then he added that he could do nothing alone. I had little difficulty in perceiving what is passing in his mind, and by what considerations and with what views he is actuated. He thinks he can rally round himself a body of supporters, of men who will look up to him as a leader, and, by so doing, when there is a break-up, he may play the part of a political potentate, and, in the event of the construction of a Liberal Government, that he may have a large share of influence, and make his own terms. He knows or suspects that the Whigs want nothing of him, but that he should singly join them to help them out of their difficulties, thereby giving up altogether any claim he might have to be a political leader, and all distinctive character as such. This intention of theirs he both resents and abhors, and though he is really anxious to be on good terms with John Russell, with whom he wishes hereafter to act, he can neither conceal his desire nor abstain from his efforts to upset his Government. He is the strongest 400 mixture of timidity and rashness I ever saw. He is generally afraid of everything, and sees many unnecessary and imaginary dangers; nevertheless, he is prepared to hazard almost anything to bring about that consummation on which his thoughts and his heart are fixed, but which can only be worked out by the downfall of this, and the experiment of a Stanley Government. He gave me to understand that it was probable that those who opposed the second reading of the Papal Bill would take no part in the Committee, and leave the Government to be beaten there on the clauses, in order to compel them to vote against the third reading of their own Bill; and he would do this, although the effect would be to leave the question unsettled, and to render a terrific No-Popery agitation the principal ingredient of a general election. His conduct and his views appear to me greatly deficient in sagacity, and besides being mistaken and mischievous, to be somewhat tortuous and insincere. One thing is certain, that he has excited a strong sentiment of disapprobation and distrust amongst all but the Radicals and the Irish, who probably care very little for him, except so far as he plays their game. While he is quite right in the main on the Papal question and probably on some others likewise, he pursues these particular objects at the expense of sacrificing or endangering far greater, more important, and more permanent interests.

The great debate terminated yesterday morning, after a magnificent speech from Gladstone, and a very smart personal attack of Disraeli on Graham, which was done with his usual sarcastic power, and was very generally cheered. As they left the House, Disraeli said to John Russell, 'I could not help attacking your Right Honourable friend, but I don't suppose you are very angry with me.' 'No,' he replied, 'I am not angry with you, but you did not say anything of which I have any reason whatever to complain.' The debate was on the whole very able, but a preponderance of argument on one side as great as the majority was on the other. Roundell Palmer, Graham, Fox, and Gladstone made admirable speeches; while, except Walpole's, there 401 was nothing very good on the other. Disraeli did not attempt to argue the case.


April 2nd.—Graham called on me on Sunday; said he had had a most agreeable conversation with John Russell, who was very friendly, and even confidential; in short, Graham appeared in much better humour than before, and he said he had engaged, and was resolved, to do all he could to help them in the Budget. I asked him if he could not do something with the Irish members, whose cause he had espoused with so much gallantry and devotion, and he said he thought he could, as he had a channel of communication through Sir J. Young, and he would try. He then talked of the Chancery measure, which would not do, and advised that Lord John should consult Turner137 about it, who thought it was in the right line, though not the right thing, and that with some alterations it might be made into a good measure. Graham thought Stanley quite ready to take the Government, and that Ceylon was the case on which he meant to give them the mortal stab. But it remains to be seen whether Torrington's successful defence of himself last night will not defeat this scheme if it really existed. I told John Russell what had passed between Graham and me about Turner. This move of his about the Chancery Reform has been another blunder. The measure is scouted, and the Government do not themselves think it will do. I told Charles Wood and John Russell that it would not. The former replied, 'I don't think it will, but the House of Commons must be taught that if good services are to be performed they must be paid for;' and this was again Lord John's notion, and he acknowledged to me that 'he supposed it would not do.' He was going to see Pemberton Leigh, and he told me afterwards he had seen him, and that he disapproved. Why not have seen and consulted him before producing his scheme instead of after? And why assume that the House of Commons would be niggardly, instead of framing the best measure they could, and casting on the 402 House of Commons the responsibility of refusing the necessary funds to carry out a proper and desirable arrangement? All this is miserable, bad management. The other night Lyndhurst came out for the second time, and made an attack on the Chancery scheme; very well done, marvellous considering his age and his recent illness. The Chancellor replied well enough, and Grey very unwisely spoke after him. He is leading the Lords now that Lord Lansdowne is away, but by no means with the same tact and discretion.

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

April 10th.—At Newmarket on Sunday, and returned yesterday. It was worth while to be there to see Stanley. A few weeks ago he was on the point of being Prime Minister, which only depended on himself. Then he stood up in the House of Lords, and delivered an oration full of gravity and dignity, such as became the man who had just undertaken to form an Administration. A few days ago he was feasted in Merchant Taylors' Hall, amidst a vast assembly of lords and commoners, who all acknowledged him as their chief. He was complimented amidst thunders of applause upon his great and statesmanlike qualities, and he again delivered an oration, serious as befitted the lofty capacity in which he there appeared. If any of his vociferous disciples and admirers, if some grave members of either House of Parliament, or any distinguished foreigner who knew nothing of Lord Stanley but what he saw, heard, or read of him, could have suddenly found themselves in the betting 403 room at Newmarket on Tuesday evening and seen Stanley there, I think they would have been in a pretty state of astonishment. There he was in the midst of a crowd of blacklegs, betting men, and loose characters of every description, in uproarious spirits, chaffing, rowing, and shouting with laughter and joking. His amusement was to lay Lord Glasgow a wager that he did not sneeze in a given time, for which purpose he took pinch after pinch of snuff, while Stanley jeered him and quizzed him with such noise that he drew the whole mob around him to partake of the coarse merriment he excited. It really was a sight and a wonder to see any man playing such different parts, and I don't suppose there is any other man who would act so naturally, and obey all his impulses in such a way, utterly regardless of appearances, and not caring what anybody might think of the minister and the statesman so long as he could have his fun.

April 14th.—Graham called on me yesterday. He generally comes every Sunday now; talked gloomily about everything, and seemed to think it very doubtful if the Government would get through the Session. On Disraeli's motion the other night,138 on which there was only a majority of thirteen, he said Gladstone had a great mind to vote against them, and if he had, others of the Peelites would have gone with him, and the Government would have been in a minority; that Disraeli had managed his matters very ill, and had made a very bad speech. If he had proposed to apply the surplus to a partial reduction of the Malt Tax, he would have put the Government in a great dilemma, and they probably would have been defeated. I told him I did not think he could have done this, or could have got a majority on it, for nobody ever dreams of abolishing the Malt Tax. He told me that Gladstone was disgusted with the Government, and determined to turn them out if he could, and from what he said of the disposition of the Peelites, I infer that they are disposed to take Gladstone as their 404 leader, and that they are animated with the same spirit of hostility to the Government. Their views are these: they think that when they have got the Government out, and there shall have been a general election, Stanley will find there is so small a majority for Protection, or none at all, that he will give it up, and then Protection being abandoned, that they may join him, and the old Conservative party may be thus rallied and reunited. Such is the view of Gladstone, and the Duke of Newcastle and Sidney Herbert go along with him. Then as to the Papal Bill, he returned to what he had before mentioned to me, the notion of throwing all things into confusion in Committee; that the Stanleyites will oppose the withdrawal of the clauses, the opponents of the second reading take no part, the Government be beaten, and then the Government and the Anti-Billites together throw it out on the third reading. This accomplished, he fancies there will be no more question of any Bill whatever, that Stanley will give the go-by to legislation by appointing a Committee, and so this great difficulty will be got rid of. I would not listen to this fine scheme, which involved a whole series of discreditable inconsistencies. He and those who were opposed to penal legislation refusing to assist in expunging those clauses of the Bill which had such a character, for the chance of indirectly getting rid of the whole, and Stanley's coming into power and throwing over both Protection and Papal aggression, after having fought his way to it upon nothing but the assertion of these two principles. I urged him as strongly as I could to be no party to any such schemes, but to co-operate in getting this odious and mischievous question settled and disposed of in the best and only way that circumstances now admit of. He is evidently much perplexed, conscious he is in a false position, and does not see his way clearly as to the best course for him to adopt. He said he was satisfied Stanley was determined not to come into office if he could possibly avoid it, and could find pretexts for refusing it; but his followers are so eager and impatient, and he has led them on so far, that it is become 405 difficult for him to avoid it if fresh opportunities present themselves.


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

Government has been again defeated in the House of Commons, and the state of affairs is worse than ever.139 The apathy, indifference, and careless disposition of almost everybody is as strange as it is disgusting. One cannot make out what people want. The mass of the Protectionists know what they want—to turn out the Government, get in themselves, procure (as they expect) a majority on a dissolution, and then restore Protection. Stanley is hanging back as much as he can, evidently, and no wonder, shrinking from committing himself to the desperate experiment of such an attempt; but his eager followers push him on, and he has gone too far with them now to hang back. Yet on the whole I think the Government will still scramble through the Session, but a scramble it is. John Russell made one of his very best speeches the other night, in reply to Roebuck who urged him to resign. But non est qualis erat, he has committed 406 great blunders and has been very neglectful. Tufnell told me last night, he had observed for the last two years that his personal influence was waning. There seems no doubt that Protection has gained many advocates of late, and that in the event of a dissolution most of the counties and the agricultural boroughs will return Protectionists. It is therefore probable that there may be a majority in favour of some import duties, still it is not likely that the change can be so great as to give more than a bare majority to a Protectionist Government, and such men with such a majority can hardly hope to succeed in reversing the whole of our commercial policy and restoring the old system. But the contest will be very alarming, and nobody can tell what will come out of the new Reform Bill, and above all out of the restless spirit of change and progress which has been put in motion. I cannot help fearing that we are approaching times of difficulty and danger, the more difficult and dangerous from the lack of statesmen who have either capacity to deal with political exigencies, or who possess the confidence and regard of the country sufficiently to be enabled to take the conduct of affairs into their own hands, who will be followed, listened to, and obeyed.


May 31st.—I have been too much occupied, even absorbed, by my Derby concerns to trouble myself about anything else, but I have at least been occupied to some purpose, for I won the largest sum I ever did win in any race, the greatest part of which I have received, and no doubt shall receive the whole. Meanwhile the world seems to have thought of nothing but the Exhibition, and all politics have appeared flat, stale, and unprofitable. This has turned to the advantage of the Government, who after weathering other storms were finally set on their legs by the excellent division they got on Baillie's motion about Ceylon. Everybody now admits that they are quite safe for this Session, after which we shall see; but though they are considered, and really are, a weak Government, their weakness is strength compared with that of the other party, which is hopelessly distracted and disorganised. They have 407 no unity of purpose, object, or opinion, no reliance on their leaders; there is no mutual confidence and esteem amongst them; and their great man, Stanley, has been all along making game of them, humbugging them and laughing in his sleeve. He has never really intended to turn out the Government, nor to take office himself, and his whole object has been to pretend to aim at both these things, taking all the time especial care to avoid being successful. I am now told that they are beginning to open their eyes to what has long been obvious to all cool observers. All this could hardly be otherwise; Stanley could not fail to be disgusted with a party which suffers itself to be in great measure represented by such men as G. F. Young and Ferrand.

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

M. Thiers has just been over here for a week. He came to see the Exhibition, and was lodged at Ellice's house. He was indefatigable while he was here, excessively amused and happy, and is gone back enchanted at his reception in the world, and full of admiration of all he saw. He was met by great and general cordiality, invited everywhere, had long conversations with Palmerston, John Russell, and Aberdeen, dined with Disraeli to meet Stanley, who, however, 408 did not come, and he was the only conspicuous man he missed seeing. He was presented to the Queen at the Exhibition. Hearing he was there (for he usually went early every morning like herself) she sent for him, was very gracious, and both she and the Prince talked to him a good while. He talked very conservative language while he was here, and did not abuse anybody.

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

The Anti-Papal Bill passed the other night, Thesiger having succeeded in getting in some amendments, apparently making it more efficient and stringent; but I don't believe, though they had better not be there, that it will make any difference. While it was receiving its finishing touches in the Commons, another rescript of the Pope made its appearance with a fresh creation of Bishops in England! The opponents of the Bill had intended to make one more grand display (Gladstone especially) on the third reading; but by some blundering or negligence they lost the opportunity. Gladstone made a short but good speech as it was. 409


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

The Grove, September 7th.—After four years' absence during Clarendon's viceroyalty I find myself here again, glad to revisit a place where I have passed so much agreeable time, glad to be in my old room, and look upon the pictures, which are like old and familiar acquaintances. My journalising has grown very slack; instead of one book in three 410 months or four, I have written half a book in six. I had contemplated a summary of the Session, but abandoned it in disgust, and I have never met with anybody or heard anything sufficient to rouse me from my idleness and indifference for weeks or even months past. I did indeed breakfast at Grote's one morning to meet Léon Faucher, the French Minister of the Interior, and had some talk with him about French politics, from which I brought away nothing particular except his defence of centralisation, and his confident prediction that Louis Napoleon would be re-elected. I have myself been so occupied with racing, at which I have been generally successful, that I have hardly thought of politics. For a long time I had not seen Graham. The Duke of Bedford and I have ceased to correspond, and we seldom meet, so that my sources of political information have been nearly dried up. One day, however, not long ago, the Duke of Bedford came to me and told me that Lord John had a great disposition to invite Graham to join the Cabinet, and asked me what I thought of it. I said that I was against it, and thought he had better strengthen his Government by his own friends; that a Cabinet could only become stronger by the accession of persons who would be well received, and between whom and those they joined there would be feelings of cordiality and mutual confidence, which would not be the case between Graham and the Whigs; that they disliked him, and had no mind to have him; while he was not only aware of, but exaggerated, their repugnance and dislike of him. The Duke said he took the same view that I did, and should tell Lord John so. Some time after, about a fortnight ago, he came to me again, and said Lord John had made up his mind to make an overture to Graham, had broached it to the Cabinet, who had consented, that others were to be invited with him, but it was not settled who. Some were for Gladstone, some for Newcastle, almost all for Cardwell; but what he had particularly to say to me was this, that Lord John felt the difficulty and delicacy of this intended negotiation with Graham; that he should not like to make an offer to be refused; and as much discussion would be necessary he 411 wished it to be carried on through me, and that I should undertake to make the overtures. I said that I should of course be ready to do anything Lord John wished in the matter, and I suppose it will end in my having to undertake the negotiation.


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

I went last week to Hickleton Hall for Doncaster Races, but there was nobody there, and I had little or no conversation with Charles Wood. Lady Mary spoke to me about John Russell, and lamented that he was so careless and indifferent in his relations with the Court, exhibiting such a contrast to Sir Robert Peel, who was so full of zeal and attention, and ready on all occasions to give the Queen advice and assistance in whatever way she might require it. This was à propos of their having asked him for his opinion and advice on some matter, when he sent no answer at all. 412 She thought very justly that this was impolitic as well as wrong.

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


October 10th.—Lord Granville returned to England a few days ago, when I told him what had passed about Graham. He told me that he had known what had taken 413 place on the subject some time ago, when the resistance in the Cabinet to his being invited was so great that it was given up. The man most against it was Palmerston, and he wanted offers to be made to Gladstone instead. If Graham had known this, it would have served to improve his disposition to decline the offer.

London, November 8th.—I was not aware till I opened this book that a month had elapsed since I had written a line in it. At Newmarket I seldom hear or think of politics, but this time an incident occurred in which I took a part, and which was very near leading to serious consequences. About three weeks ago Kossuth arrived in England, and was received at Southampton and Winchester with prodigious demonstrations and a great uproar on the part of Mayors and Corporations, the rabble and a sprinkling of Radicals, of whom the most conspicuous were Cobden and Dudley Stuart. While Kossuth was still at Southampton, but about to proceed to London, on Monday, October 24th, I received a letter from my brother Henry, informing me that he had just received information that Palmerston was going to receive Kossuth, and he entreated me, if I had any influence with the Government, to try and prevent such an outrage, and that he believed if it was done Buol would be recalled. I could not doubt that the information from such a quarter was correct, and it was confirmed by a notice in one of the pro-Kossuth papers, that Lord Palmerston was going to receive Mr. Kossuth 'privately and unofficially.' Thinking that it would be an outrage, and one in all probability attended with serious consequences, I resolved to write to John Russell at once. I sent him a copy of my brother's letter, only putting the names in blank, said that the authority on which this was notified to me compelled me to attend to it, and added, 'I send you this without comment; you will deal with it as you think fit, "liberavi animam meam."' The result of this communication was that Lord John Russell addressed a remonstrance to Lord Palmerston. Lord Palmerston replied with his usual audacity that 'he would not be dictated to and should receive whomsoever 414 he pleased in his own house, but that his office was at the disposal of the Government.' On receiving this answer Lord John instantly summoned a Cabinet and laid it before them. Ministers were of opinion (all but one) that Lord Palmerston should not receive Kossuth, and he accordingly submitted to the decision of his colleagues.

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


November 16th.—I was at Windsor for a Council on Friday. There I saw Palmerston and Lord John mighty merry and cordial, talking and laughing together. Those breezes leave nothing behind, particularly with Palmerston, who never loses his temper, and treats everything with gaiety and levity. The Queen is vastly displeased with the Kossuth demonstrations, especially at seeing him received at Manchester 415 with as much enthusiasm as attended her own visit to that place. The numbers and the noise that have hailed Kossuth have certainly been curious, but not one individual of station or consideration has gone near him, which cannot fail to mortify him deeply. Delane is just come from Vienna, where he had a long interview with Schwarzenberg, who treated, or at least affected to do so, the Kossuth reception with contempt and indifference.

November 22nd.—At Brocket on Tuesday and Wednesday last. I found Beauvale knew all about the Palmerston and Kossuth affair, and was of course mightily pleased at his brother-in-law's defeat, and at the interview not having taken place. But on Wednesday afternoon we were both of us astounded at reading in the paper the account of the deputation to Palmerston, the addresses and his answers.140 We both agreed that he had only reculé pour mieux sauter, and that what he had now done was a great deal worse and more offensive than if he had received Kossuth. The breach of faith and the defiance towards John Russell and his colleagues are flagrant, and the whole affair astonishing even in him who has done such things that nothing ought to astonish me. I am waiting with the greatest curiosity to see what John Russell will do, and how he will take it, and how it will be taken by the Queen and the foreign Courts and Ministers. To receive an address in which the Emperors of Russia and Austria are called despots, tyrants, and odious assassins, and to express great gratification at it, is an unparalleled outrage, and when to this is added a speech breathing Radical sentiments and interference, it is difficult to believe that the whole thing can pass off without notice. But I have seen such repeated instances of lukewarmness and pusillanimous submission to Palmerston that I have little or no expectation of his colleagues taking it up seriously; and if they do stir in the matter Palmerston, 416 with his usual mixture of effrontery and adroitness, will contrive to pacify them and get rid of the whole thing, and then go on as before. I think, however, this is on the whole the worst thing he has ever done. The public do not know how bad it is, because they do not know what had previously passed in the Cabinet, and its consequences. In the great squabbles on the Syrian question, and again on the Greek, he had a great advantage because they were all committed with him and could not consistently go against him, but this is a very different affair in all its bearings. The ostentatious bidding for Radical favour and the flattery of the democracy, of which his speeches were full, are disgusting in themselves and full of danger. It is evident that he has seized the opportunity of the Kossuth demonstrations to associate himself with them, and convert the popular excitement into political capital for himself. He thinks to make himself too formidable, by having the masses at his back, for his colleagues to dare to quarrel with him, and by this audacious defiance of them he intends to make himself once for all master of the situation. If they endure this tamely he will be their master, and henceforward they must do his bidding, be it what it may.141


Kossuth is at last gone, but promising to return in a few weeks, and openly announcing that he does so for the purpose of stirring up war against Austria, and a great democratic movement for the liberation of Hungary and all other countries under absolute Governments, in which he expects England to take a conspicuous part; and his last injunction and entreaty to his friends is to agitate for this purpose. His last speech is by far the most open and significant that he has delivered, and exhibits his confidence, 417 well or ill founded, in the progress he has made. That he is very able, and especially a great speaker, cannot be denied; but I take it that a more hypocritical, unscrupulous, mischievous adventurer never existed. His speeches here have been very clever, but I derive a higher idea of his oratorical power from a speech, reported in the 'Times' on Wednesday last, which he made in the Hungarian Diet upon the question of employing Hungarian troops in Italy, which was admirable, and reminded me of Plunket in lucidity and closeness of reasoning.

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

I find there are not two opinions about Palmerston's conduct, and those who think so are ignorant how bad it is, because they know nothing of what passed between Lord John 418 and him. I have had two long letters from Graham all about Palmerston and the new Reform Bill. With regard to the latter he is full of gloomy apprehensions, and seems in a state of contradiction with himself, desperately afraid lest John Russell should go too far, and equally afraid he should not go far enough. With all his ability he is a most strange and inconsistent politician. It is impossible to know what he will do, and I suspect he does not know himself. He writes to me one day full of alarm lest the Queen's Speech should contain anything binding the Government to go considerable lengths, and expressing strong hopes that the Court will resist any proposal of the sort. The next day he says, unless they disfranchise I know not how many boroughs, they will give no satisfaction, be deserted by the Radicals, and he is not at all sure that the Conservatives will support them; in short, his fears assume the most different shapes, and it is pretty clear that whatever the Government proposes he will find fault with their plan.

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


It seems that many months ago Wyse wrote an account to Palmerston of the frightful brigandage that was going on in Greece, not, however, pretending that there was any complaint 419 to make on the part of British subjects. On this Palmerston wrote a despatch in his usual style of objurgation, bitterly reproaching the Greek Government for not putting the brigandage down. The Greek Government, angry and frightened, appealed to the French and the Russian Ministers, from whom of course they received sympathy and comfort, and recently the Greek Minister has sent 'a very strong answer.' This fresh squabble is probably by no means distasteful to either the French or Russian Governments, particularly the latter, and will have the effect of throwing Greece into the arms of the Emperor. I do not know what the political effect of such dependence may be, nor how British interests may be affected by it, but this result is almost inevitable, and, whatever the consequences may be, is owing to Palmerston's violence.

The case of Sicily is eminently characteristic. During the troubles in '48 a destruction occurred of the property of English and other foreigners, both at Naples and in Sicily, for which their respective Governments required an indemnity. A Commission was appointed, consisting of the French, Austrian, and English Ministers, and I think the Russian. All the claims were laboriously investigated, and after above a year of enquiry, the Commissioners came to a decision, and allotted the amount of compensation they thought due, which was to be paid in inscriptions in the Grand Livre or Neapolitan funds. This award was regularly drawn up and signed by Sir William Temple. It was sent home, when, after some delay, Palmerston sent it back and said the money was not enough, and he arbitrarily fixed a higher sum to be given to the English. Of this the Neapolitan Government bitterly complained, and the other Commissioners considered it unwarrantable and unfair. After a great deal of remonstrance and discussion, Palmerston proving inexorable, the Neapolitans gave way. They then considered the affair settled; but not at all. Palmerston then sent it back again, and said the allotted sum should not be paid in stock, but in money. Walewski told me this as I have written it down. In the course of the dispute he arrived here, and very soon 420 had to discuss the matter with Palmerston. He represented to him that the English claims had already been treated with peculiar favour and a very large indemnity granted, that Temple was quite satisfied, and had subscribed to the award, and he pointed out the injustice of fresh demands being superadded from hence. He had a conversation of two hours with Palmerston, who listened with great politeness, appeared struck by Walewski's representations, and ended by saying, 'Well, I will write to Temple about it.' Walewski went away, fancying he had produced a great effect, and that Palmerston was going to write to Temple to relax the rigour of his exactions; but he did not then know his man, and was only undeceived when he found afterwards that he had written to Temple, but only to desire him to press his demands, and exact a concession to them to the uttermost farthing.

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


Panshanger, December 14th.—Naturally the French Revolution has absorbed all interest. The success of Louis Napoleon's Coup d'État has been complete, and his audacity and unscrupulousness marvellous. The French are indeed a strange people, so restless, fierce, and excitable that they are 421 ready to upset governments with the smallest possible show of reason or necessity—with cause as in 1830, or without cause as in 1848—and they acquiesce without a struggle, and tamely endure the impudent and vulgar democratic rule of the blackguards and mountebanks of the Provisional Government at the latter period, and now the unlimited and severe military despotism of Louis Napoleon. The Press in this country has generally inveighed with great indignation against him, very much overdoing the case. Society in general is in a rather neutral state. Few can approve of his very violent measures and arbitrary acts, but on the other hand there was such a general feeling of contempt for the Constitution, and of disgust at the conduct of the Assembly and the parties which divided it, that nobody lamented their overthrow, or regarded with the slightest interest or compassion the leaders who have been so brutally and ignominiously treated. Everybody rejoices at the misfortunes of Thiers, who is universally regarded as the evil genius of France and the greatest maker of mischief who ever played a part on the stage of politics. Flahault, who has been the agent and confidant of the President, writes word that he has saved France, and it is the object of his adherents to make the world believe that his measures were rendered necessary by a Socialist plot, which he has saved the country by putting down; and besides this we hear of an Orleanist plot, and of the violence the Assembly was about to have recourse to against him, if he had not anticipated them. These seem to be, and probably are, mere pretences, got up to cover his violence with something plausible, and which the world may swallow; the truth being that he prepared all that he has done with singular boldness, secrecy adroitness, and success, amusing his enemies with the semblance of negotiations which he never meant sincerely to carry out to an end, and relying (as it has turned out that he could do) upon the Army, by whose aid he has taken all power into his own hands. Having done so, he resolved to do nothing by halves, and certainly by the prompt, peremptory, and arbitrary measures he adopted he has secured 422 present success, given confidence as to the stability of his Government, raised his own reputation for energy and ability, and in all probability has prevented a great amount of disorder and bloodshed, which would have taken place if his success had been less complete than it was. 423



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

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

Something, but I know not what, has happened about Palmerston. This will be no quarrel with Austria, because Buol has dined with Palmerston, and the Emperor has, at last, received Westmorland;142 but the Duke of Bedford, 424 who is by turns confidential and mysterious, and who delights in raising my curiosity and then not satisfying it, has written to me thus. After a good deal about Lord John's defending Palmerston and his not approving his conduct, in one strain one day and another the next, the Duke said there had been a correspondence between them on the subject, which he was to see. He never said more about it, and to a question I put to him thereon he sent no answer. In another letter I alluded to this, but added that it did not now much signify, on which he writes: 'You attach no importance to the correspondence I told you of, and do not now care to know about it, but if I am not mistaken you will ere long change your opinion.'

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

I met Disraeli and told him what I thought of his book. It is difficult to know what he is at, for, although he knows my opinion of George Bentinck and of Peel and of Free Trade, he nevertheless wanted me to review his book in the 'Times,' and he made a sort of indirect overture to me for the purpose. Of course I said it was out of the question. Graham is very indignant with Disraeli, and treats his character of Peel as a great and malignant outrage. In my opinion he is quite wrong. I sent him my own sketch, which he says is in a more kindly spirit; but he is evidently not satisfied with it. He tells me one curious anecdote, if it be true. I have criticised Peel's conduct about the East Retford franchise just before the Reform Bill, and said he ought to have gone with Huskisson. Graham says that he wished to do more than Huskisson; that Peel in the Cabinet supported the more Liberal measure, but was overruled, and he yielded to the opinion of the majority, whereas Huskisson took the other side in the Cabinet, but got frightened afterwards, and supported in the House of Commons what he had opposed in the Cabinet. If this be true, it was very disgraceful of Huskisson, but it does not 425 exonerate Peel. On the contrary, I think it makes his case worse. He clearly ought to have resigned rather than take the course he did, if such were his opinions.


On Friday last Mr. Luttrell died, at the age of eighty-one, having been long ill and confined to his bed with great suffering. When I first came into the world, nearly forty years ago, he was one of the most brilliant members of society, celebrated for his wit and repartee, and for many years we lived in great intimacy and in the same society. He was the natural son of old Lord Carhampton, but was always on bad terms with his father. He had been a member of the Irish Parliament, and obtained a place, afterwards commuted for a pension, on which he lived. He never took any part in public life, was always in narrow circumstances, and had the air, and I think the feeling, of a disappointed man. He was, in fact, conscious of powers which ought to have raised him to a higher place than that which he occupied in the world. Why he never did advance, whether it was from pride and shyness, or from disinclination, or the unkind neglect of those who might have helped him on, I know not. As it was, he never had any but a social position, but that was one of great eminence and success. He was looked upon as one of the most accomplished, agreeable, and entertaining men of his day; he lived in the very best society, was one of the cherished and favoured habitués of Holland House, and the intimate friend and associate of Sydney Smith, Rogers, Lord Dudley, and all the men most distinguished in politics, literature, or social eminence. Rogers and Luttrell especially were always bracketed together, intimate friends, seldom apart, and always hating, abusing, and ridiculing each other. Luttrell's bons mots and repartees were excellent, but he was less caustic, more good-natured, but in some respects less striking in conversation, than his companion, who had more knowledge, more imagination, and, though in a different way, as much wit. His literary performances were few and far between, consisting of little more than occasional verses, and 'Crockford House,' an amusing but rather flimsy satire. His contribution to the 426 pleasures of society was in talk, and he was too idle and too much of a Sybarite to devote himself to any grave and laborious pursuit. There are, however, so many more good writers than good talkers, and the two qualities are so rarely found united in the same person, that we owe a debt of gratitude to Luttrell for having cultivated his conversational rather than his literary powers, and for having adorned and delighted society for so many years with his remarkable vivacity and wit. It used to be said that he was less amusing, though in the same style, as his father; but of this I cannot judge, as I do not remember Lord Carhampton. Luttrell had excellent qualities, was an honourable, high-minded gentleman, true and sincere, grateful for kindness and attentions without being punctilious or exacting, full of good feelings and warm affections, a man of excellent sense, a philosopher in all things, and especially in religion. For several years past he had disappeared from the world, and lived in great retirement, suffering under much bad health and bodily pain, but cheerful and in possession of his faculties nearly to the last. His death has removed one of the last survivors of a brilliant generation, a conspicuous member of such a society as the world has rarely seen, nothing approaching to which exists at present, and such as perhaps it will never see again.


December 23rd.Palmerston is out!—actually, really, and irretrievably out. I nearly dropped off my chair yesterday afternoon, when at five o'clock, a few moments after the Cabinet had broken up, Granville rushed into my room and said, 'It is none of the things we talked over; Pam is out, the offer of the Foreign Office goes to Clarendon to-night, and if he refuses, which of course he will not, it is to be offered to me!!' Well might the Duke of Bedford say I should 'change my opinion,' and soon think this correspondence did signify, for it was on the matter which led to the fall of Palmerston. Granville came to town on Saturday, not knowing (as none of the Ministers did) what the Cabinet was about. On Sunday he received a note from John Russell, begging him not to come to it, and telling him he 427 would afterwards inform him why. This of course surprised him, but after going about amongst such of his colleagues as were here, he arrived at the conclusion that the matter related to foreign affairs, that Normanby was to be recalled, and the Paris Embassy offered to him, or that he was to be sent to Paris on a special mission. We discussed these contingencies together with all other changes of office which occurred to us, but we neither of us dreamt of the truth. It now appears that the cause of Palmerston's dismissal, for dismissed he is, is his having committed the Government to a full and unqualified approval of Louis Napoleon's Coup d'État, which he did in conversation with Walewski, but so formally and officially, that Walewski wrote word to his own Government that ours approved entirely of all that Louis Napoleon had done. Upon this piece of indiscretion, to which it is probable that Palmerston attached no importance, being so used to act off his own bat, and never dreaming of any danger from it, Lord John determined to act. I do not know the details of the correspondence, only that he signified to Palmerston his displeasure at his having thus committed the Government to an approbation they did not feel, and it ended in his turning Palmerston out, for this was in fact what he did. But though this was the pretext, the causa causans was without any doubt the Islington speech and deputations, and his whole conduct in that affair. The Queen had deeply resented it, and had had a discussion with Lord John about it, for he rather defended Palmerston, and accepted his excuses and denials. It is evident that he did this, because he did not dare to quarrel with him on grounds which would have enabled him to cast himself on the Radicals, to appeal to all the Kossuthian sympathies of the country, and to represent himself as the victim of our disgraceful subserviency to Austria. But having thus passed over what would have been a sufficient cause of quarrel, he at once seized upon one much less sufficient, but which was not liable to the same difficulties and objections. In fully approving Louis Napoleon's coup d'état, Palmerston has taken a part against the feelings of the Radicals, and if the 428 cause of the quarrel is made public, their approval will ad hoc be rather with John Russell than with him.

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

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


Beauvale has had a long letter from Lady Palmerston with her version of the whole affair, which is true in the main, but as favourably coloured towards Pam as the case will admit of. She is in a high state of indignation and resentment, and bitter against Lord John and the colleagues who did not support Palmerston. They evidently expected when the Cabinet met the other day, that the colleagues 429 would have pronounced Lord John's ground of quarrel insufficient, and protested against his dismissal, and they are extremely mortified that nothing of the kind was done. She complained that Palmerston's best friends were absent. Not one person at the Cabinet said a word for him or made an effort to keep him, but this she does not know. Her account is as follows. On December 3rd Palmerston told Walewski in conversation that he thought the President was fully justified in his coup d'état, as plots were hatching against him. He says that he expressed his approbation in this conditional form. Walewski wrote to Turgot what Palmerston had said, and at the same time Palmerston wrote a very strong letter to Normanby, finding fault with his conduct, and advising him to hold language calculated to satisfy the President that he was not unfriendly to him, as he had reason to believe that the President did regard him as so inimical, that he was meditating an application to the British Government to recall him. Whatever Palmerston really did say to Walewski, we may safely assume that Walewski made the most of it to Turgot, and that he did convey to him the unqualified approbation of the English Government, and Turgot probably communicated Walewski's despatch to Normanby. Normanby was exceedingly annoyed at this communication, and wrote to John Russell, conveying to him what had passed, and complaining of the ill-usage he had received. Lord John shortly after wrote to Palmerston, sent him a Minute of the Queen's, in which Her Majesty expressed her displeasure at Palmerston's having committed her Government by an unqualified approbation of the President's measures, and he added from himself that he agreed with her, and thought Palmerston had acted with great indiscretion, that he was tired of these repeated difficulties and disputes, and he had to inform him that it was the wish of the Queen to transfer the Foreign Office to other hands. Palmerston wrote a reply, stating his readiness to give up the seals whenever his successor should be appointed. He defended his own conduct, denied that he had committed the Government, and said he had only expressed his own 430 individual opinion, and that a qualified one, and then set forth the inconvenience there would be if a Minister could not hold friendly communication with an Ambassador in his own person, without being supposed to commit the whole Cabinet, in mere conversation. It did not appear to me that the excuses he made, according to Lady Palmerston's own account of them, were very good ones, and they were not likely to produce any effect upon Lord John, who had evidently already determined to get rid of him. What more passed I do not know, but from her letter they clearly entertained some hopes that Palmerston's position was still retrievable; that when the Cabinet met, his colleagues would make an effort to retain him; and that in spite of what Lord John had written to him he would have kept his post if he could. It seems incredible that any man of high spirit and with a spark of pride should consent to stay in office after being told by the Prime Minister that he had been indiscreet, that the Prime Minister was tired of his repeated misconduct, and that the Queen wished to get rid of him. But it seems by what Lady Palmerston says, that he would have swallowed all this if he could have made it up. She writes in a spirit of great bitterness and resentment, and intimates her belief that the ground taken by Lord John was merely a pretext, and not the real cause of what had been done. In this she was quite right. The case is cumulative, though the Paris communication is made the pretext of Lord John's coup d'état. Beauvale thinks the last and ostensible cause is insufficient, and that Lord John would have done better to act at once on the matter of the Islington deputations. I am inclined to think it is sufficient, though far less strong than the other, and it would have been more straightforward as well as bold to have acted on the first occasion, and I believe it would have been quite as safe. Labouchere, a very honourable man, told me, when all was known, he thought Lord John's conduct would come out in a very favourable light. So probably there are circumstances which Lady Palmerston suppresses, which would not improve Palmerston's case. The most striking circumstance 431 in all this affair is the conduct of John Russell. He took it up, and without imparting what he was about to any of his colleagues, leaving them all completely in the dark, he and the Queen settled the whole thing between them. For nearly three weeks a correspondence was going on between the Queen, Lord John, and Palmerston, of which not one word transpired, and which was known to nobody but the Duke of Bedford. None of the Ministers had the least idea why they were summoned. Lord Grey and Lord Lansdowne and Sir Francis Baring all came up together from the Grange, asking each other what it was about; nor was it till they were all assembled in the Cabinet room in Downing Street that they were apprised of the astounding fact that Palmerston had ceased to be their colleague. The secret was as well kept as Louis Napoleon's, and the coup d'état nearly as important and extraordinary.


London, December 27th.—A Council at Windsor. Palmerston did not come, but desired Lord Eddisbury to send the seals to Lord John. Nevertheless he was expected, and the Queen would wait for him above an hour. It now turns out that the Foreign Office was not offered to Clarendon at all. In his letter to me he says, It cannot be said that I refused what was never offered me. Lord John wrote him word on Sunday that it would be offered him; but the offer, which Granville told me on Monday afternoon was gone, never did go. All along the Queen and Lord John wished to have Granville instead of Clarendon. He tells me that when I know all that has passed between John Russell and himself, I shall see he could not possibly accept it. Lord Lansdowne was evidently put out by what he heard yesterday. He said to me, 'You know it was offered to Clarendon.' I said, 'He does not so consider it.' 'Oh! it certainly was. It was clearly so understood in the Cabinet, when I left it on Monday, and I wrote to him myself.' I said he had better enquire, and he would find no offer was sent. He then talked to John Russell and Grey, and I asked him afterwards, when he shrugged his shoulders and said I was right; but he did not understand it. The truth is oozing out by degrees. Grey 432 and I had some talk about it, when I told him that I thought the former ground, the reception of the deputations, the stronger of the two, and I should have turned him out then, and he said he agreed with me. Madame de Lieven writes in transports of joy, and on the whole the satisfaction seems very general. Granville is very popular at Manchester and with the Free Traders, which is a great thing; and as he is more of a Reformer than Palmerston, he will not be attacked in that quarter. Brooks's and the ultra Whigs and Radicals are sulky, but don't quite know what to make of it. It seems Lord John struck the blow at last with great reluctance; but having made up his mind, he did it boldly.

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


M. de Flahault arrived last night, and came here this morning to talk to Granville. He said that Palmerston's dismissal and the cause of it, as hinted at in the newspapers, had produced a disagreeable impression at the Elysée, especially 433 after all the violence of the press. He said he had told the President that what he had done could not fail to shock English feelings and prejudices, and the press was sure to hold such language. He received from Granville assurances as pacific as he could desire, and he will probably have little difficulty in satisfying the President and his Government that they will lose nothing by the change. I have seen to-day an admirable letter of Guizot's, full of a melancholy resignation to a state of things he abhors, commiserating and ashamed of the condition of his country. He says if he was disposed to triumph over his enemies il a bien de quoi. Where, he asks, is Thiers, where is the Republic, where is Palmerston? France is now so frightened at Socialism, and so bent on averting the peril of anarchy, that she will submit to anything. But this panic will one day pass away, and the Government cannot be carried on for ever by soldiers and peasants, and in spite of all the intellect and all the elevated classes in the country.

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

London, January 2nd, 1852.—Though I have given the story of the late rupture in scraps, and have not made many mistakes, I can now state the case in a more clear and connected manner, and though this entails repetition I am going to do it. It is best to go back to the first Kossuth 434 affair. I need only say as to this, that when Lord John brought it before the Cabinet he was supported against Palmerston by every member of it except one, and that was Lord Lansdowne. It is clear enough why he took Palmerston's part. He had already committed himself by receiving Pulsky at Bowood, two years ago. This made some noise at the time, but it passed off. But he no doubt thought it would be inconsistent to find fault with Palmerston for doing what he had already done with regard to a refugee less celebrated, but not less obnoxious than Kossuth. Then came the Islington deputations and the speeches. Upon this, though very indignant, more than I was aware of, Lord John did not think it safe and therefore expedient to quarrel with him, but he had a correspondence with him, in which he expressed his opinion; and at the end of it he (in the language of the Duke of Bedford) 'drew a moral, which Palmerston accepted, as the rule for his future conduct.' That is, he gave him to understand that if he continued his separate and independent action without the knowledge, and often against the opinions, of his colleagues, it was impossible to go on. I do not know the words he employed, but am confident this was the sense. Palmerston acquiesced in his reply, and said what Lord John considered to be tantamount to a promise or engagement that the like should not happen again. It was about a week after, on December 3, that Walewski went to Palmerston and asked for an expression of his opinion upon the President's coup d'état.143 Palmerston gave his unqualified approbation, which, of course, Walewski instantly wrote off to Turgot. Very soon after, if not before, Normanby wrote home for instructions as to his conduct in the new state of things. The Cabinet met on the 8th, and there it was agreed that he should be instructed to adopt a friendly but reserved tone, and abstain from any expression of opinion one way or another on the acts of the President. On receipt of this he went to Turgot, and when he spoke to him in the prescribed tone the French 435 Minister said he was already acquainted with the sentiments of the British Government, and he produced Walewski's despatch informing him of Lord Palmerston's unqualified approval of all that had been done. Of course Normanby was thunderstruck at this communication, which revealed a complete difference between Palmerston's assurance to Walewski and his instructions to himself. Indignant at this, and smarting under Palmerston's rebukes, he wrote to John Russell and told him what had occurred. When the Queen learned what had passed, she was disposed to insist upon Lord John's taking this occasion to get rid of him; but Stockmar very wisely advised her to do nothing, and told her that the case was so flagrant, Lord John was almost sure to propose it to her, which was much better than her proposing it to him. She took this advice, and accordingly Lord John did come to her, and said this could not be endured, for it was besides a breach of faith, and he himself proposed to the Queen that Palmerston should be dismissed from the Foreign Office. About the same time, too (on the 12th), the Notes of the three Powers about the refugees had been presented to Palmerston, and he had never said a word about them. Then ensued the second correspondence, in which there seems to have been great asperity on both sides. Probably Palmerston never dreamt of any danger from his conversation with Walewski, and his surprise was, therefore, as great as his indignation. He defended himself, as I have already stated, and he refused somewhat scornfully the Lord-Lieutenancy of Ireland. He said that John Russell knew very well there were reasons why he could not accept it, and he endeavoured to turn the offer itself against Lord John, by saying that it was in itself a sufficient answer to his charge of indiscretion.


January 8th.—Graham came to me last night (as I am laid up with the gout) at a quarter past nine, and went away at twenty minutes after one. In the course of these four hours we discussed every subject of interest that now engages attention and, as may be imagined, pretty fully. The Palmerston catastrophe, its circumstances, merits, bearings 436 and probable results, Disraeli, the 'Life of George Bentinck,' in the course of which he mentioned a great many things about Peel, and, lastly, the political circumstances of the Government, its condition and prospects, together with his own and those of the party with which he is connected, or rather some of the leading men of it. It would be impossible, even were I so disposed, to give even an outline of our long conversation. It will be sufficient to preserve its general features, and his views on the present state of things. I have never known him so confidential and unreserved, nor has he ever before in his previous communications with me spoken out so entirely. I gathered from him some things I only imperfectly knew before of John Russell's proceedings with a view to strengthen himself. What he has done has been with the Duke of Newcastle, first through the Duke of Bedford, and then by direct communication with himself. Newcastle came to Graham as soon as he arrived in town and told him all that had passed. Lord John had invited him to take office, which Newcastle declined, and he asked him to find out what Sidney Herbert's disposition was. With regard to Gladstone (whom Newcastle had alluded to), he had said that he was fully aware of his great abilities, and should be glad if it was in his power to offer him office, but he did not see how it could be done, intimating, with expressions of respect, his disinclination to any connexion in that quarter. With Cardwell it was different. He asked the Duke to make a communication to Cardwell, but he would only consent to convey to Cardwell that he might expect at some indefinite time an offer to be made to him. This communication, together with what was intended, seems rather strange; it was to this effect, that Lord Panmure would probably very soon die being very old and very ill, and when he died and Fox Maule must in consequence quit the War Office, Lord John would offer Cardwell that place and a seat in the Cabinet. Graham remarked that this was a strange proposal, considering that the life of Panmure (who has been continually dying and recovering for years past) is a better one than the 437 life of the Government, the latter being the more sick of the two.


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

Graham's opinions on the whole matter are pretty much the same as those which Ellice has been circulating amongst his friends. He thinks the present Government will not get through the next Session; that weak and unpopular as they are, and still further weakened by the loss of Palmerston, and surrounded by dangers and enemies on all sides, they must fall; and he does not think that his joining them, or some of the other Peelites doing so, with or without himself, would save them. It will not do to try and patch up the old garment. This Government must be broken up completely, there must be a tabula rasa, and then an attempt made to construct another on a wider and more comprehensive plan. John Russell ought to go to the Queen and tell her he cannot go on, and then she ought to send for Aberdeen and Russell together, and desire them to set about the formation of a Government. I suggested it would never do to send for Aberdeen in this way; it would be taken as an insult to Palmerston, and exasperate one half of the Whigs and render them unmanageable. The Queen might indeed send for Aberdeen alone, and he might decline everything for himself, refuse to take office, as no 438 doubt he would, but advise her to send for Lord John and Graham, and bid them to form a Government. He agreed to my amendment; acknowledged the antagonism of Palmerston and Aberdeen would make a difficulty; but contended that they should be empowered to make a Government of men of Liberal-Conservative principles, of which John Russell must himself be the head; that it should be understood that they had carte blanche. Nobody was to have pretensions or quasi right to office on account of previous tenure, but that they were to make the best and strongest Administration they could, taking in any efficient men who might be ready to unite with them on the principles above mentioned. He thought the best thing for the country would be that this break up should happen now, before Parliament met, and the attempt at reconstruction made, while people were still free and uncommitted; but he owned that it would be very difficult for John Russell, after what had recently passed, to take such a course. He would not do so himself in his place, and could not expect him to do so. He might indeed have consistently given the thing up when he quarrelled with Palmerston, because he had always said, and repeated it a hundred times, that without Palmerston he could not go on. But after the Cabinet had agreed to go on, and to support him in what he had done, it was very difficult for him without any fresh incident to turn round on them, say he had changed his mind, and break up the Government. I suggested this last view, which he concurred in. The end of it was, he said, that Lord John would be obliged to meet Parliament, fight his battle as best he could, and he would die in the open field with harness on his back. This result, sooner or later, he considers certain. As to himself, besides his general objections to join the Government, he is deeply impressed with the difficulty of the new Reform Bill. He could not, he says, be a party to advising the Queen to announce in her Speech that the present system is all wrong, and must be amended, which he assumes must and will be done. He recurs again and again to the folly of having moved this 439 matter, 'set a stone rolling' which they have no power to stop. I differed from him considerably in what seemed to me the exaggerated view he takes of this question, and said I did not see why any such announcement need be made in the Queen's Speech. But he is evidently afraid to encounter and be mixed up with this matter, on which he feels deep displeasure, dislike, and much apprehension. He spoke amicably of John Russell, but was not pleased with his sending George Lewis down to him, and could not believe he ever seriously expected him to accept an invitation at that time, and, he contemptuously added, to such an office; and he rather complained of the formality and stiffness of Lord John's Memorandum on that occasion. But he appears to have been still more nettled at having been 'sounded' by Newcastle on the part of Lord John. 'Why,' he says, 'did not Lord John ask him to come to Chesham Place, and talk the whole matter over with him frankly?' They have had so many and such confidential and friendly communications at different times, that this would have been a most natural and becoming course, or Lord John might have spoken to me about it; but to get the Duke of Newcastle, with whom he was on no terms of intimacy or confidence, to 'sound him,' was not the way he might expect to be dealt with. I think this is a pretty faithful summary of the essential part of what passed between us on this the most important head. If other things occur to me of any interest, I will subjoin them.


January 11th.—Graham came to me again last night. He was more gloomy in his expectations, and saw nothing but dangers ahead. He had seen George Lewis and told him all he had said to me. George Lewis had seen John Russell, and of course repeated it all to him, and the result was at all events amicable, for he told me that Lord John had sent him a message by George Lewis to say if he would come to town a day or two before Parliament met he would tell him what he was going to do. He now thinks that if this Government is defeated and resigns, Lord John will refuse to have anything to do with the formation of 440 another, and this might again bring about a fresh Protectionist attempt. He wavers between his apprehension of Palmerston joining the Protectionists, and his doubts of the possibility of such an alliance in the teeth too of the Queen's antipathy to Palmerston; but he is not at all sure the next election may not make the Protectionists numerically strong enough to undertake the task they failed in accomplishing last year. It is not worth while to record a conversation which was to a certain degree a repetition of the last, and without any novel matter. He shakes his head at the prospect of explanations, and thinks John Russell will have a good deal of difficulty in making out his case.

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


There is certainly a great deal of sulky disapprobation at Palmerston's dismissal, and all sorts of stories, and as many lies are rife about it. The Palmerstons affect moderation, 441 but their rage and resentment overflow in every direction. He puts a good face on it, and appears calm and cheerful; she holds different language to different people, but loses no opportunity of getting up all the steam she can against Lord John. Meanwhile Granville is doing well in his office, and the staff there, who have been so long accustomed to Palmerston, and are critical judges, think so. Cowley told me he had seen some of his papers, and they were very good, and he particularly mentioned one to Russia. The Emperor Nicholas has sent over to say that it is very possible Louis Napoleon may any day be proclaimed Emperor, and that all the Powers were bound by the Treaty of Vienna not to acknowledge any one of the family as such, and he begged, should this event arrive, that we would do nothing about it without previous communication with him, so that England and Russia might act in concert. Granville replied with great civility, and expressed a concurrence in the desire that England and Russia should act in concert, but declined to engage that this Government would wait till communication could be had with Russia, representing that the news of any change in France would reach London in an hour, and the official notification of it in a day, and that it might be necessary for us to come to some early decision, whereas a communication with Russia would take several weeks; and he also pointed out that we had a much greater and more immediate interest than Russia in what was passing in France, and must act for ourselves in certain cases which might occur.

January 13th.—Lord Normanby came to me yesterday to talk over his affairs.144 No love is lost between him and Palmerston. I asked him to tell me frankly what he had ever said or done to provoke the enmity of Louis Napoleon, and he declared that he was not conscious of having done anything whatever; that he had continued to live as heretofore 442 with his old friends, and that was all. The President had always been as civil and cordial in his manner as ever, and if he had any enmity towards him he must be a great hypocrite, as he never testified any. When he last saw him he begged Louis Napoleon, if he heard anything of him that he thought he had a right to complain of, that he would tell it himself frankly. Louis Napoleon replied that la franchise was always best, and he would. Napoleon complained much of Palmerston, not only for this last affair but on various occasions, when he had given just offence to France by his procédés. Normanby laughs at the notion of a plot, and says the best proof that it was an after-thought is that when Turgot immediately after the coup d'état gave him the reasons for what the President had done, he never alluded to any plot; and whereas it has been supposed that the refusal of the Chamber to vote the revision of the Constitution was one of the causes, Turgot told him that one cause was their having ascertained that the revision would be carried, as the Reds were going to vote for it. They intended to take this course, because they believed that with universal suffrage another Assembly would be returned of their colour, and for the same reason therefore Louis Napoleon hurried on his coup d'état.


January 14th.—Granville brought me yesterday a paper which by the Queen's desire, communicated through Lord John, he has been obliged to draw up. It is a developement of what the foreign policy of this country ought to be. He read it to me that I might criticise it. He has not yet had practice enough in composition to write well; but it is clear, sensible, and right. But after all it was a series of commonplaces, for the simple reason that there is nothing mysterious and abstruse in the foreign policy of this country, and in the substance of it there can be little or no difference between different governments or men. There was not a word in Granville's paper to which both Palmerston and Aberdeen might not subscribe. In diplomacy, above everything, c'est le ton qui fait la chanson, and it has been Palmerston's tone and manner which have done 443 much more harm than his acts; they have undoubtedly been very often unjustifiable and offensive to a great degree; but they have been rendered ten times more so, and, therefore, ten times more mischievous than they would have been by his animus and his language. Besides laying down the rights and the duties of this country, which he very properly states may be resolved into the moral axiom of doing as we would be done by, Granville enters upon a new subject, and that is the improvement of the personnel of our diplomacy—the advancement of men of ability, and who display qualities which will fit them for high posts abroad. He tells me, too, that he meditates a system of examination, which will no doubt please the educational propensities of the Prince.

January 15th.—I dined with Ellice yesterday—a partie carrée—himself, Thiers, Mrs. Grote, and myself.145 It was very amusing. The little man was intarissable, and gave us an account of all that had happened to him from the moment of his arrest to that of his expulsion from Brussels—for such it really was, though he went voluntarily, and the Belgian Ministers told him they would not expel him if he chose to stay, and would refuse compliance with the demands of the French Government. He has some idea of writing a narrative of the last two months, and we encouraged him to do so. He positively denies not only that there was any plot whatever, but that there was any intention of taking active measures against the President; they only contemplated defensive measures, and their object was to surround themselves with a military force to protect the Assembly against the coup d'état which the President was meditating, and which he was enabled to execute because they were unprotected. The French troops will always obey their commanders, and this accounts for the complete success of Louis Napoleon; but 'les pantalons rouges' will not fire upon 'd'autres pantalons rouges;' and if the Assembly had had its guard, 444 the troops under the order of the Minister at War would not have attacked their comrades. Thiers knew of this intended coup d'état for a long time before (in the beginning of October), and told us how it came to his knowledge. M. de Lariboissière, son of Napoleon's general, and a rich man, was sent for by the President about the end of September. He told him his project, asked him to join and take office. Lariboissière declined, and went back to his house in the country. Being a great friend of Thiers, he thought he could not leave him to get into the scrape that was preparing for him, and he accordingly employed a lady who was staying with him to go to Paris and give Thiers a hint, merely that he had better quit Paris, or he would get into trouble. Thiers knew perfectly well what this meant, and did all he could to make his friends aware of the danger that was impending over them, and to take precautions instead of being caught 'comme des nigauds,' as they eventually were. He spoke with prodigious contempt both of the character and the talents of Louis Napoleon.

January 28th.—I have had two long conversations with the Duke of Bedford, who has been very open and communicative, though I don't know that he told me much that I did not know before. He gave me some minute details, which were perhaps rather different from previous statements I had heard and noted, but not materially so. These corrigenda related principally to the communications between Lord John and Palmerston, and are hardly worth noticing except for the sake of circumstantial accuracy. He said that in the Kossuth question his first communication with Palmerston was personal, and at Windsor; and on Palmerston's persisting in his intention to see Kossuth, Lord John wrote him a letter, and then on getting his impertinent answer he summoned the Cabinet. After the Islington deputations he wrote again to Palmerston in excessively mild terms, but took that opportunity of remonstrating with him against his habit of separate and independent action, and it was then he received what he considered tantamount to an engagement that he would cease to pursue that course. It 445 was a week after that, while he was at Woburn, that he received from Normanby the information which he conceived to be a violation on Palmerston's part of the engagement; and then he said to the Duke that he could stand it no longer, and would get rid of him. He accordingly wrote at once to Palmerston, recapitulated his subjects of complaint, and asked him to authorise him to lay his resignation before the Queen. His first step, therefore, was with Palmerston himself, and not with the Queen. Having received the authority (which Palmerston could not refuse), he proceeded to communicate with the Queen, and the reply expressed the great astonishment of both Her Majesty and the Prince, as they had taken it for granted that this difference, like all preceding ones, would be patched up. I told the Duke that I had reason to believe the Queen was displeased at the offer of Ireland being made to Palmerston à son insu; but this was a mistake. Lord John did communicate to her immediately the letter he wrote to Palmerston, containing not an offer, but an intimation that he would propose it to Her Majesty if he was disposed to accept it. This was certainly the proper and constitutional course for him to take. He does, indeed, understand his duty in this respect, and is very different from Palmerston; he never conceals anything from the Queen, and invariably enters into her objections, admitting or refuting them, when she makes any. Palmerston's way was to make no answer whatever when she made objections; to take no notice of them; a practice which Lord John had himself blamed, and remonstrated with him upon. This, and the still more monstrous habit he had of treating with contempt alterations that had been prescribed to him, and sending despatches from which the Queen or Lord John had struck out certain passages with the same restored, had excited her resentment to a high pitch.

I find Normanby has been in fact recalled, though it is agreed that he is to resign so as to be let down easily. He puts a good face on it, but is very indignant, and thinks himself very ill-used. His vanity is very amusing, for he 446 talks of his great influence, and the respect and consideration in which he was universally held, when everybody knows that there never was an Ambassador so generally disliked and despised. It was intended to send Clanricarde there, but it was altered, I do not know why, and Cowley appointed, to his great delight and astonishment, and to mine. Cowley, who was at Windsor the other day, told me he saw a most curious and interesting paper there which Stockmar showed him. It was a report from Van de Weyer to King Leopold of his interviews with the President while he was at Paris. He complained very much of the English newspapers, as well as of our Queen's hostile feeling towards him. Van de Weyer told him he must not be surprised if in a Constitutional country like England the press spoke the language it did; and as to the Queen's friendship for the Orleans family, his own chivalrous feeling could only approve of her continuing to them in their adversity the friendship which had been formed in their prosperous days. It seems Louis Napoleon had promised to leave Leopold alone, and not meddle with Belgium, but held threatening language towards Switzerland and Piedmont.


February 5th.146—I might have saved myself the trouble of writing down a scattered and imperfect notice of the Palmerstonian dismissal, since John Russell told the whole story on Tuesday night. The public interest and curiosity to hear the 'explanations' were intense. Up to almost the last moment the confidence and the jactance of the Palmerston clique were boundless. At length the moment arrived. In all my experience I never recollect such a triumph as John Russell achieved, and such complete discomfiture as Palmerston's. Lord John made a very able speech, and disclosed as much as was necessary, and no more. Beyond all doubt his great coup was the Queen's Minute in 1850, which was absolutely crushing. Some grave persons think the introduction of her name was going too far, but it was 447 irresistible. The effect was prodigious. Palmerston was weak and inefficient, and it is pretty certain that he was taken by surprise, and was unprepared for all that John Russell brought forward. Not a man of weight or influence said a word for him, nobody but Milnes and Dudley Stuart. The Queen's letter was decisive, for it was evident that his conduct must have been intolerable to elicit such charges and rebukes; and it cannot fail to strike everybody that no man of common spirit, and who felt a consciousness of innocence, would have brooked anything so insulting. Such a man would have indignantly resigned, and have demanded what John Russell meant by making himself the organ of such accusations; but he submitted to them.

London, March 26th.—I was taken ill before I had time to finish what I was writing, and have been laid up ever since with a violent attack of gout and fever, from which I am now slowly recovering. During all the time of the change of Government147 I was in my bed, and not allowed to see anybody; but for the last few days I have been able to come into my drawing-room and receive visitors, who have come in great numbers, and of every imaginable variety, to see me, so that I have had enough of occupation and amusement. I cannot pretend to write any account of what has been passing, and not having recorded, as I heard them, the scraps of unknown matters, I am now unable to do so. The new Government is treated with great contempt, and many of the appointments are pitiable. But, while it is the fashion to exalt Derby himself, and treat with great scorn almost all his colleagues, I think Derby himself is quite as unfit for the post of Prime Minister as any of them can be for those they occupy. His extreme levity and incapacity for taking grave and serious views, though these defects may be partially 448 remedied by the immensity of his responsibility, will ever weigh upon his character, and are too deeply rooted in it to be eradicated. His oratory is his forte, and without that he would be a very ordinary man. His speeches since he took office have been excellent, and in a very becoming tone and spirit; but the notion, which is generally entertained, of his being so high-minded and chivalrous, is a mistake. He is not so in private life—that is, in his transactions on the turf—and it is not likely that a man should be one thing in private, and another in public, life.


The great object of interest and curiosity this Session has been Palmerston; everybody anxious to see to which side he leaned. A short time ago he evinced a disposition towards reconciliation with John Russell. The latter invited him to his meeting at Chesham Place; Palmerston did not go, but was rather pleased at being invited; and soon after John Russell went to one of Lady Palmerston's parties, and talked to Palmerston a good while. But at this time his resentment was still unappeased, for he got Clarendon to hear all his complaints, and showed him all the correspondence. With his usual unfairness, he complained to everybody of John Russell's having so unexpectedly sprung upon him the Queen's Minute in the discussion on his dismissal, and he even did so to Clarendon; whereas, so far from any surprise, Lord John wrote him word three days before that he was going to read it in the House, and offered him any papers he might desire to have. Clarendon asked him if he had not received such a communication, and then he was forced to own he had. Clarendon, however, did his best to bring about a renewal of their intercourse, personal and political. Palmerston said John Russell had given him his independence, and he meant to avail himself of that advantage. The Whigs expect and desire that he will return to them, and, in the event of a change, come again into office, but not the Foreign Office, which he says himself he does not again wish for. Derby offered him office, which he at once refused, on hearing that Protection was not given up; but many think he will after all join 449 Derby, as soon as this question is finally disposed of. I doubt it, for he would not serve under Disraeli, and Disraeli would hardly give up the leadership having once enjoyed it. The Peelites sit together, all except Graham, who has regularly joined John Russell, and sits beside him. Nobody knows what they mean to do, nor which party they will eventually join. At present Gladstone's speeches do not look like a junction with Derby, but nothing is more possible than that, as soon as the great stumbling-block is removed, they will go over to this Government, and the leaders take office. They most of them hate the Whigs, and there is certainly no great, if any, difference of opinion between them and the Derbyites, except on the question of Free Trade. Graham rather expects this result. I asked him if he thought Disraeli would consent to resign the lead to anybody. He thought not, certainly not to Gladstone; possibly he might to Palmerston. There are great complaints of Disraeli in the House of Commons. They say he does not play his part as leader with tact and propriety, and treats his opponents impudently and uncourteously, which is egregiously foolish, and will end by exposing him to some great mortification; the House of Commons will not stand such behaviour from such a man.

London, May 2nd.—I have been for some time past so disgusted with politics and politicians, and have been driven to take such a gloomy view of affairs and of our prospects, that I could not bring myself to resume my task of noting down such matters as might appear not wholly unworthy of being recorded. At last I have resolved to run over the principal occurrences of the last few weeks. The Derby Government has been sinking more and more in public opinion. The shuffling and reserve of Derby in the House of Lords, coupled with the declarations on the hustings of his adherents, especially Kelly, Solicitor-General, and the extraordinary and still unexplained escapade of Walpole in the House of Commons about giving votes to the Militia,148 450 have all tended to bring them into discredit and contempt. The Opposition were much elated at seeing the Government in this state, and in fact they had a very good game to play, when the petulance, obstinacy, and imprudence of John Russell brought upon them a disastrous defeat, and set up the Government completely. Without concert with his followers, and against the advice and remonstrances of those who were apprised of his intention, he came down to the House, and opposed the second reading of the Militia Bill. The fault was enormous, for the inconsistency was glaring. Palmerston instantly fell upon him with the greatest acrimony, and lashed him with excessive severity, carrying the House along with him, and evidently enjoying the opportunity of thus paying off old scores. Seymour spoke against Lord John, and many of his own friends and supporters voted against him, so that there was a majority of two to one in a full House.149 Nothing could exceed the exultation of the Ministerialists, but the resentment and indignation of the Opposition, who saw all their hopes and prospects marred by this extraordinary blunder on the part of their chief. John Russell was denounced as unfit to lead a party; still more, again, to be at the head of a Government. His best friends could not defend him, and, while he has done irreparable damage to his own political character and influence, he has thrown the Opposition into such disorganisation and confusion, that it will be difficult for them to act any more with union or effect. The Peelites are of course disgusted, and, never liking John Russell, will be less than ever inclined to form a junction with him. Palmerston's conduct in this debate paves the way for his joining Derby if he chooses it, and it is by no means improbable that a large proportion of the Peelites will do the same. The probability of this is increased by Disraeli's speech 451 the night before last, on bringing on his Budget. This was a great performance, very able, and was received with great applause in the House. But the extraordinary part of it was the frank, full, and glowing panegyric he passed on the effect of the Free Trade measures of Sir Robert Peel, proving by elaborate statistics the marvellous benefits which had been derived from his tariffs and reduction of duties—not, however, alluding to Corn. All this was of course received with delight and vehemently cheered by the Whigs and Peelites, but in silence and discontent by his own side. It was neither more nor less than a magnificent funeral oration upon Peel's policy, and as such it was hailed, without any taunting, or triumphing, or reproaches, on account of his former conduct to Peel, except a few words from Hume and Wakley. It is difficult to say what may be the effect of this speech, but it seems impossible that Protection in any shape can be attempted after it; and it certainly opens a door to the admission of any Peelites who may be disposed to join a Conservative Government, for even their personal feelings against Dizzy will be mitigated by it. Graham has not been in the House all this time, being laid up with the gout at Netherby