Greville

The Greville Memoirs

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The Greville Memoirs

Chapter 15

Preparations for the Coronation — Long Wellesley committed by the Chancellor for Contempt — Alderman Thompson and his Constituents — Prince Leopold goes to Belgium — Royal Tombs and Remains — The Lieutenancy of the Tower — The Cholera — The Belgian Fortresses — Secret Negotiations of Canning with the Whigs — Transactions before the Close of the Liverpool Administration — Duke of Wellington and Peel — The Dutch invade Belgium — Defeat of the Belgian Army — The French enter Belgium — Lord Grey's Composure — Audience at Windsor — Danger of Reform — Ellen Tree — The French in Belgium — Goodwood — The Duke of Richmond — The Reform Bill in Difficulties — Duke of Wellington calls on Lord Grey — The King declines to be kissed by the Bishops — Talleyrand's Conversation — State of Europe and France — Coronation Squabbles — The King divides the old Great Seal between Brougham and Lyndhurst — Relations of the Duchess of Kent to George IV. and William IV. — The Coronation — Irritation of the King — The Cholera — A Dinner at St. James's — State of the Reform Bill — Sir Augustus d'Este — Madame Junot — State of France — Poland.

[165] 1831

July 15th

A Committee of Council sat yesterday at the Office about the coronation; present, the Cabinet, Dukes of Gloucester and Sussex, Archbishop and Bishop of London;. much discussion and nothing done. Brougham raised every sort of objection about the services and the dispensing with them, and would have it the King could not dispense with them; finally, the Attorney-General and Solicitor-General were sent for to the House of Lords and desired to reconsider the Proclamation.

July 20th.

I have been laid up with the gout these last few days, unable to move, but without violent pain. The Committee of Council met again on Friday last, when the Proclamation was settled. A Court of Claims is to sit, but to be prohibited from receiving any claims except those relating to the ceremonies in the Abbey. The Lords went to St. [166] James's and held the Council, at which the King made a little speech, to the effect that he would be crowned to satisfy the tender consciences of those who thought it necessary, but that he thought that it was his duty (as this country, in common with every other, was labouring under distress) to make it as economical as possible. A difficulty arose about the publication of the Proclamation, usually done by heralds with certain ceremonies. The first proclamation is not the one to be acted on; the second does not announce the coronation, but refers to the first. I asked Brougham what was to be done. He said both must be read. Lord Grey suggested neither, which was done.

The other day Long Wellesley carried off his daughter, a ward in Chancery, from her guardians, and secreted her. The matter was brought before the Chancellor, who sent for Wellesley. He came, and refused to give her up; so Brougham committed him to the Fleet Prison. The matter was brought the next day before the House of Commons, and referred to their Committee of Privileges; and in the meantime Brougham has been making a great splutter about his authority and his Court both on the judicial bench and from the Woolsack. The lawyers in the House of Commons were divided as to Wellesley 's right of privilege in such a case.[1]

There has been exhibited in the course of the last few days one of the most disgraceful scenes (produced by the Reform Bill) ever witnessed. On the question of the disfranchisement of Appleby a certain Alderman Thompson, member for the City, who stood deeply pledged to Reform, voted for hearing counsel in defence of the borough, on which there was a meeting of his ward, or of certain of his

[1] Both the Chancellor and Mr. Wellesley wrote to the Speaker, and their letters were read to the House before the Committee of Privileges was appointed. Meanwhile Mr. Wellesley remained at his house in Dover Street in charge of two officers of the Court of Chancery. There is, I believe, no doubt that the committal was good, and that Mr. Wellesley 's privilege as a member of Parliament did not protect him, a contempt of the Court having been committed. A similar point has recently been raised in the Court of Queen's Bench upon the committal of Mr. Whalley.

[167] constituents, to consider his conduct. He was obliged to appear before them, and, after receiving a severe lecture, to confess that he had been guilty of inadvertence, to make many submissive apologies, and promise to vote no more but in obedience to the Minister. It is always an agreeable pastime to indulge one's virtuous indignation, and wish to have been in the place of such an one for the sake of doing what he ought to have done but did not do, by which, without any of the risk of a very difficult and unpleasant situation, one has all the imaginary triumph of eloquence, independence, and all kinds of virtue; and so in this instance I feel that I should have liked to pour upon these wretches the phials of my wrath and contempt. If the alderman had had one spark of spirit he would have spurned the terrors of this plebeian inquisition, and told them that they had elected him, and that it was his intention, as long as he continued their representative, to vote as he thought proper, always redeeming the pledges he had given at his election; that he would not submit to be questioned for this or any other vote, and if they were not satisfied with his conduct when the Parliament should be over they might choose whom they would in his place. What makes the case the more absurd is, that this question of Appleby is monstrous, and it never ought (by their own principle) to have been put in Schedule A at all. There was a debate and a division on it last night, and a majority for the Ministers of seventy-five in a very full House; the worst division they have yet had. Every small victory in the House of Commons is probably equivalent to a great defeat in the House of Lords, unless they do what is now talked of make as many Peers as may be necessary to carry the Bill, which I doubt their daring to do or the King consenting to do. The lapse of time and such difficulties and absurdities will probably obstruct the Bill, so as to prevent its passing. God knows what we shall have instead.

Prince Leopold started on Saturday, having put his pension into trustees' hands (by the advice of Lambton), to keep up Claremont and pay his debts and pensions, and then hand over the residue to the Exchequer, the odds being that [168] none of it ever gets there, and that he is back here before the debts are paid. It seems that, desirous as he had been to go, when the time drew near he got alarmed, and wanted to back out, but they brought him (though with difficulty) to the point. He has proposed to the Princess Louise, King Louis Philippe's daughter.

Halford has been with me this morning gossiping (which he likes); he gave me an account of the discovery of the head of Charles I. in St. George's Chapel, Windsor, to which he was directed by Wood's account in the 'Athenæ Oxonienses.' He says that they also found the coffin of Henry VIII., but that the air had penetrated and the body had been reduced to a skeleton. By his side was Jane Seymour's coffin untouched, and he has no doubt her body is perfect. The late King intended to have it opened, and he says he will propose it to this King. By degrees we may visit the remains of the whole line of Tudor and Plantagenet too, and see if those famous old creatures were like their effigies. He says Charles's head was exactly as Vandyke had painted him.

July 26th.

At Oatlands on Saturday, and came back on Sunday night. Nobody there but my father, mother, Walpole, Sneyd, and Alava; very different from what I once remember it. There has been a great deal of talk about the Duke of Wellington giving Lord Munster the Lieutenancy of the Tower, the truth of which is as follows:— It is in the King's gift, and he sent to the Duke and desired him to name somebody. The Duke would have liked to name one of three— Fitzroy Somerset, Colin Campbell, or Hardinge. The latter would not have been agreeable to Government, and therefore it would have occasioned the King an embarrassment; the second was provided for, and Lord Hill advised the first to remain as he is (though I don't see why he could not have had both); so the Duke thought it would gratify the King if he was to name Munster. Munster wrote a very civil letter to the Duke, full of thanks, and saying that he begged he would not think of him if he had anybody else to give it to, and that he would take upon himself to explain to the King his [169] not accepting it. The Duke persisted, and so he had it. I must say he might have found some one out of the number of his old officers to give it to rather than Munster.

The King of France's Speech arrived yesterday, but nothing was said in the House of Lords, because Lord Grey was at Windsor. It will make a stir — the general tone of it, and the demolition of the fortresses which cost us seven millions. Not one of the papers made a remark upon it; nothing will do for them but Reform.

Fresh claims have been raised about cholera morbus. A man at Port Glasgow insists upon it, without much apparent reason, that it prevails there; so we have sent a medical man down, in order to quiet people's minds and to set the question at rest. Lord Grey, who is credulous, believes the Glasgow man's story, and spread the news in his own family, who immediately dispersed it over the rest of the town, and yesterday nobody could talk of anything else; not believing it very much, and not understanding it at all, for if they did they would not be so flippant. Lady Holland wrote to Lord Lansdowne to desire he would recommend her the best cholera doctor that he had heard of. I have just received a letter from Moore saying he has ordered his publisher to send me a copy of 'Lord Edward Fitzgerald,' and that he only sends copies to the Duke of Leinster and me, but begs I will send him no opinion, for 'opinions fidget him' — 'genus irritabile vatum.'

July 27th.

Yesterday Aberdeen asked Lord Grey some questions in a very few words, accompanied as usual with a sneer, which is very unbecoming, and of course gave Lord Grey the advantage of repelling it with scorn. The Duke spoke, and pretty well, but laid some stress more on Portugal than upon Belgium, which is what I cannot understand, but Alava told me that when he came to town yesterday he had said to him that, as an Englishman, he had never felt so deeply affected for the honour of his country as in this transaction. I met him after the debate, and he said he thought he had done some good by what he said. The question of the Belgian fortresses is not without great [170] difficulty, and the strong part of it for Government is that their demolition was agreed to by all the Powers interested (except Holland), and without the presence of the French Plenipotentiary at the meeting when it was decided. I am inclined to think that the manner in which it was blurted out in the King of France's Speech, as a clap-trap for him, will have made the principal difficulty, though the policy may be very questionable.

July 28th.

On Tuesday night they got through Schedule A, but in a very bungling manner, and the events of the night, its enemies say, damaged the Bill, not, however, that anything can hurt it in the House of Commons, though such things may tell in the House of Lords; but on the question of Saltash, which the Opposition did not consider as a very strong case, so little that they had not intended to divide on it, John Russell and the rest suddenly gave way, and without informing their friends moved that it ought to be in Schedule B. On a division all the Ministers voted with the Opposition, so the borough was transferred to B. Their friends were furious, and not without reason, that they had not determined where it ought to be placed, and have transferred it themselves instead of leaving them in the dilemma they were in when the division arrived. A Court and levee yesterday.

Oatlands, July 31st.

The Arbuthnots and Mr. Loch here. I rode down after the Opera last night; walked for an hour and a half with Arbuthnot under the shade of one of the great trees, talking of various old matters and some new, principally about Canning and his disputes and differences with the Duke of Wellington. He says that the Duke's principal objection to Canning was the knowledge of his having negotiated with the Whigs previously to Lord Liverpool's illness, which was communicated to the Duke; he would not say by whom. The person who went between them was Sir Robert Wilson, deputed by Brougham, and those who afterwards joined Canning. Sir Robert spoke to Huskisson, and he to Canning. What they said was this: that finding his view so liberal, they were ready to support and join him, and [171] in the event of his becoming Minister (on Lord Liverpool's death or resignation) that they would serve under him. Arbuthnot does not know what answer Canning sent to this, nor whether he did anything on it, but when on Lord Liverpool's illness Canning went to the King at Windsor, he told him that if the Tories would not consent to his being named Minister ' he was sure of the Whigs,' but this he entreated the King not to mention. Immediately after Canning the Duke went to the King, and to him the King directly repeated what Canning had said. The Duke told the King that he was already aware of Canning's intercourse with the Whigs, and with that knowledge that he could not consent to his being Prime Minister, as he could have no confidence in him. Shortly after this, and before the resignation of the Ministers, but after the difficulties had begun, Knighton came to Arbuthnot, and said he was afraid his Royal Master had done a great deal of mischief by repeating to the Duke what Canning had said, that he was very anxious to bring the Duke and Canning together again, and asked him (Arbuthnot) to go with him to Canning and see what could be done. Arbuthnot declined, but said if Canning wished to see him he would go. Canning sent for him, and they had a long conversation in which he expressed his desire to go on with the Duke, and it was agreed the Duke should call on him and have a conversation and see what could be arranged. The Duke called on him, and they talked of a variety of matters, but not a word passed about the formation of a new Ministry. Arbuthnot went to the House, and told Canning how much he was surprised and disappointed that nothing had come of this conversation, to which he made no reply, but Arbuthnot found afterwards that between his leaving Canning and the Duke's going to him Peel had been to him and proposed that the Duke should be Prime Minister. This so offended Canning, believing that it was a measure of the party and done with the Duke's consent, that he resolved not to utter a word to the Duke on the subject, and so ended the hopes of their agreement.

It does not appear, however, as if anything could have [172] been done, for Canning was bent upon being Prime Minister; and I asked Arbuthnot to what the Duke would have consented, and he said, 'Not to that;' that after the transaction with the Whigs he could not have felt sufficient confidence in Canning to agree to his being Prime Minister. (If he distrusted Canning he ought to have refused to act with him at all, not merely objected to his being Prime Minister, but the ground of his objection was shifted.) Originally the King could not bear Canning, and he was only persuaded by the Duke to take him into the Cabinet. Afterwards he was so offended at the influence he acquired there, and particularly with that which he had got over the mind of Lord Liverpool, that he one day sent for Arbuthnot and desired him to tell Lord Liverpool that he could not endure to see Canning make a puppet of him, and he would rather he was Prime Minister at once than have all the power without the name by governing him (Lord Liverpool) as he pleased, and that unless he could shake off this influence he was determined not to let him continue at the head of the Government, and, moreover, he must find some means of getting rid of Canning altogether. This Arbuthnot wrote to Lord Liverpool, who wrote an answer couched in terms of indignation, saying he by no means coveted his situation, that he was sure his colleagues would resent any indignity offered to him, and that the King had better take care what he was about, and not, by producing disunion in the Government, incur the risk of making the end of his reign as disastrous as the beginning of it had been prosperous.

Not very long after Canning got into favour, and in this way: — Harriet Wilson at the time of her connection with Lord Ponsonby got hold of some of Lady Conyngham's letters to him, and she wrote to Ponsonby, threatening, unless he gave her a large sum, to come to England and publish everything she could. This produced dismay among all the parties, and they wanted to get Ponsonby away and to silence the woman. In this dilemma Knighton advised the King to have recourse to Canning, who saw [173] the opening to favour, jumped at it, and instantly offered to provide for Ponsonby and do anything which could relieve the King from trouble. Ponsonby was sent to Buenos Ayres forthwith, and the letters were bought up. From this time Canning grew in favour, which he took every means to improve, and shortly gained complete ascendency over the King.

Arbuthnot said that Canning and Castlereagh had always gone on well together after their reconciliation, but that Lord Liverpool's subjection to him arose more from fear than affection. Liverpool told Arbuthnot that he earnestly desired to resign his office, that his health was broken, and he was only retained by the consideration that his retirement might be the means of breaking up a Government which he had (through the kindness of his colleagues to him) been enabled to hold together; that Canning worked with a twenty-horse power; that his sensitiveness was such that he [Canning] felt every paragraph in a newspaper that reflected on him, and that the most trifling causes produced an irritation on his mind, which was always vented upon him (Lord Liverpool), and that every time the door was opened he dreaded the arrival of a packet from Canning. Arbuthnot had been in great favour with the King, who talked to him and consulted him, but he nearly cut him after the disunion consequent on Canning's appointment. Knighton came to Arbuthnot and desired him to try and prevail on the Duke to consent to Canning's being Prime Minister, which he told him was useless, and from that time the King was just civil to the Duke, and that was all. The Duke had always suspected that Canning wanted all along to be Prime Minister, and that when he sent him to Russia to congratulate Nicholas it was to get him out of the way, and he was the more convinced because Canning proposed to him to go on to Moscow for the coronation, which he positively refused, having promised his friends to be back in April, which he accordingly was. Canning never had a great opinion of Huskisson, nor really liked him, though he thought him very useful from being conversant with the subjects on which he was [174] himself most ignorant — trade and finance; but he did not contemplate his being in the Cabinet, and had no confidence in his judgment or his discretion; and this tallies with what Lady Canning told me, though certainly he did not do Huskisson justice in any way, which Arbuthnot admitted. Knighton behaved exceedingly well during the King's illness, and by the vigilant watch he kept over the property of various kinds prevented the pillage which Lady Conyngham would otherwise have made. She knew everything, but did not much trouble herself about affairs, being chiefly intent upon amassing money and collecting jewels.

He talked a great deal of Peel, of the difficulty of going on with him, of his coldness, incommunicativeness; that at the time of the opening the Liverpool Railroad he had invited the Duke, Aberdeen, and some more to meet at Drayton to consider of strengthening themselves; that they had left the place just as they had gone to it, nothing settled and nothing elicited from Peel; that on the late occasion of the wine duties they had gone to Peel and asked him whether they should fight out and divide on it; that he had referred them to Goulburn, who had decided in the affirmative, on which he had agreed to their friends being mustered, but that he took offence at something that was said in debate, and marched off sans mot dire; that somebody was sent after him to represent the bad effect of his departure, and entreat him to return, but he was gone to bed. This is by no means the first time Arbuthnot had spoken to me about Peel in this strain and with such feelings. How are the Duke and he to make a Government again, especially after what Lyndhurst said of the Duke ? Necessity may bring them together, but though common interest and common danger may unite them, there the seeds of disunion always must be. I have scribbled down all I can recollect of a very loose conversation, and perhaps something else may occur to me by-and-by.

In the meantime, to return to the events of the present day. Althorp raised a terrible storm on Friday by proposing that the House should sit on Saturday. They spent six hours debating the question, which might have been [175] occupied in the business; so that, though they did not sit yesterday, they gained nothing and made bad blood. Yesterday morning Murray made a conciliatory speech, which Burdett complimented, and all went on harmoniously. John Russell is ill, nearly done up with fatigue and exertion and the bad atmosphere he breathes for several hours every night.

Long Wellesley has given up his daughter and has been discharged from arrest. I met the Solicitor-General yesterday, who told me this, and said that Brougham had been in the midst of his blustering terribly nervous about it. This was clear, for both he and Wellesley were waiting for the report of the Committee of the House of Commons, though Brougham affected to hold it cheap, and talked very big of what he should do and should have done had it been unfavourable to his authority. The fact is that Long Wellesley was contumacious, but after a short confinement he knocked under and yielded to the Chancellor on all points, and was released from durance.

We had a meeting on the Coronation business yesterday morning, and took into consideration the estimates. That from the Chamberlain's Office was £70,000 and upwards, which was referred to a sub-committee to dissect and report upon.

August 5th.

Yesterday morning arrived the news of Casimir Périer's resignation in consequence of the division in the Chamber of Deputies on the election of President. He had very unnecessarily committed himself by declaring he would resign if Lafitte was elected, and though the other candidate (M. Girod de l'Ain) was chosen, as it was, only by a majority of five, he considered this tantamount to a defeat, and accordingly went out of office. [1] It was supposed, but not quite certain, that Molé would be First Minister, but without much chance of being able to keep that post.

At the same time comes intelligence that the King of Holland has marched into Belgium at three points with

[1]M. Casimir Périer did not retire from office on this occasion, though he had momentarily resigned it. He remained in power till his death, which took place from cholera in the following year.

[176] three corps, under the Prince of Orange, Prince Frederick, and the Prince of Nassau. This, however, was premature, for it turns out that the Prince of Orange in a proclamation to his army declares that the armistice was to end last night at half-past nine, and that he marches 'to secure equitable terms of separation,' not therefore for the purpose of reconquest. I saw Lord Grey in the morning in a state of great consternation, the more particularly as he told me a Dutch Plenipotentiary had arrived the day before with full powers to treat, and that he had not in his intercourse with him and with Palmerston uttered one word of the King of Holland's intentions. In the evening I had a long conversation with Matuscewitz. He says that it is impossible to foresee the end of all this, but that the most probable event is a general war. Coming at the moment of a change in the French Ministry, nobody can guess what the French may do, and the Conferences are useless, because any resolution they may make may probably be totally inapplicable to the state of things produced by events hastening on elsewhere. The King of Holland has all along very justly complained of the proceedings of the Allies towards him, which they justify by necessity ('the tyrant's plea') , and to which he has been obliged sulkily to submit, though always protesting and never acquiescing, except in an armistice to which he agreed. Meantime the Allies went on negotiating, but without making much progress, and the Dutchman borrowed money and put his army on a respectable footing. It is remarkable that as long as he held out that he sought the reunion he could get no money at all, but no sooner did he renounce the idea of reunion, and propose to make war for objects more immediately national to the Dutch, than he got a loan filled (in two days) to the amount of about a million sterling. When the proposition was made to Leopold, though no arrangement was actually agreed upon, there was a general understanding that the King of Holland would consent to the separation of the two States, and that the Belgians should resign their claims to Limbourg and Luxembourg, and after Lord Ponsonby's letter which made so much noise, Falck's [177] protestation, and Ponsonby's recall this seemed to be clearly established. When Leopold received the offer of the Crown, he only consented to take it upon an understanding that the Belgians would agree to the terms prescribed by the Allies; but before the whole thing was settled he took fright and began to repent, and it was with some difficulty he was at last persuaded to go by .the Belgian deputies with assurances that these terms would be complied with. Go, however, he did, and that unaccompanied by any person of weight or consequence from this country. Matuscewitz told me that he went on his knees to Palmerston to send somebody with him who would prevent his getting into scrapes, and that Talleyrand and Falck, by far the best heads among them, had both predicted that Leopold would speedily commit some folly, the consequences of which might be irreparable. [1] Our Government, however, paid no attention to these remonstrances, and he was suffered to go alone. Accordingly he had no sooner arrived than, intoxicated with the applause he received, he forgot all that had occurred here and all the resolutions of the Allies, and flourished off speeches in direct contradiction to them, and announced his determination to comprehend the disputed provinces in his new kingdom. It is no wonder that this excited the indignation of the King of Holland, but it is unfortunate that he could

[1] This account of Leopold's arrival in Belgium is hardly fair, and forms an amusing contrast to Baron Stockmar's narrative of the same occurrence in his ' Memoirs,' p. 180. Unquestionably Leopold showed far more foresight, judgment, and resolution than Mr. Greville gave him credit for. He was not accompanied by 'any person of weight or consequence' from this country, because that would have given him the air of a puppet and a British nominee. But Stockmar was with him. The King entered Brussels on the 21st of July, and was well received. On the 4th of August the Dutch broke the truce and invaded Belgium. It was impossible to provide against so sudden a movement, and the Army of the Scheldt was beaten at Louvain on the 12th of August. The King then claimed the intervention of France and England in defence of the neutrality and independence of Belgium, which had been guaranteed to him by the treaty of the eighteen articles under which he had accepted the Crown. But the passage in the text is curious, because it shows how little confidence was felt at that time in a prince who turned out to be one of the ablest rulers and politicians of his time.

[178] not be patient a little longer. Notwithstanding his march, however, his Plenipotentiary here has full power to treat of all the disputed points, and is authorised to put a stop to hostilities at any moment when he can see the prospect of satisfaction; it is, however, believed here (though at present not on any sufficient grounds) that Prussia secretly supports the King of Holland. The danger is that France may without any further communication with her Allies consider the aggression of the Dutch as a justification of a corresponding movement on her part, and should this happen the Prussians would no longer deem themselves bound by the common obligations which united all the conferring and mediating Powers, and a general war would infallibly ensue. Nor is it unlikely that the French Ministry, beset as they are with difficulties, and holding their offices de die in diem, may think a war the best expedient for occupying the nation and bringing all the restless spirits and unquiet humours into one focus. I have long been of opinion that such mighty armaments and such a nervous state of things cannot end without a good deal of blood-letting. [The Prussians did not support the Dutch, the French did march, and war did not ensue.— August 28th.]

At night.

Lord Grey was attacked by Aberdeen tonight on his foreign policy, and particularly about Portugal, and he is said to have made a splendid speech. Sir Henry Seton arrived from Liverpool to announce what is going on, and he is bent on fighting at present. Abercromby, who is come likewise, reports that he has 50,000 or 60,000 men.

August 9th.

On Saturday morning we were saluted with intelligence that on the French King's hearing of the Dutch invasion he ordered Marshal Gerard, with 50,000 men, to march into Belgium; and great was the alarm here; the funds fell and everybody was prepared for immediate war. In the afternoon I called upon Lord Grey at East Sheen (in my way to Monk's Grove, where I was going) to say something to him about the coronation, and found him with a more cheerful countenance than I expected. He did not appear alarmed at what the French had done, [179] and very well satisfied with, the manner of their doing it, marching only in virtue of their guarantee and proclaiming their own neutrality and the Belgian independence, and the King had previously received the Belgian Minister. I told him I thought Leopold's folly had been the cause of it, and that his speeches about Luxembourg had given the Dutch King a pretext. He said, not at all, and that the King of Holland would have done this under any circumstances, which I took leave to doubt, though I did not think it necessary to say so. [1]

On Sunday, overtaken by the most dreadful storm I ever saw flashes of lightning, crashes of thunder, and the rain descending like a waterspout — I rode to Windsor, to settle with the Queen what sort of crown she would have to be crowned in. I was ushered into the King's presence, who was sitting at a red table in the sitting-room of George IV, looking over the flower garden. A picture of Adolphus Fitzclarence was behind him (a full-length), and one of the parson, Rev. Augustus Fitzclarence, in a Greek dress, opposite. He sent for the Queen, who came with the Landgravine and one of the King's daughters, Lady Augusta Erskine, the widow of Lord Cassilis's son. She looked at the drawings, meant apparently to be civil to me in her ungracious way, and said she would have none of our crowns, that she did not like to wear a hired crown, and asked me if I thought it was right that she should. I said, 'Madam, I can only say that the late King wore one at his coronation.' However she said, 'I do not like it, and I have got jewels enough, so I will have them made up myself.' The King said to me, 'Very well; then you will have to pay for the setting.' 'Oh, no,' she said; 'I shall pay for it all myself.' The King looked well, but seemed infirm. I talked to Taylor afterwards, who said he had very little doubt this

[1] Lord Grey's composure was mainly due to the entire confidence he felt in the honour of the Duc de Broglie, then French Minister of Foreign Affairs, who had given positive assurances to the British Cabinet that the intervention of France would be confined to the immediate object in view. This confidence was equally honourable to both statesmen, and these assurances were faithfully fulfilled.]

[180] storm in Belgium would blow over, and agreed that Leopold's folly had been in great measure the cause of it. There have been discussions in both Houses, which have in some measure quieted people's apprehensions. Today that ass Lord Londonderry (who has never yet had his windows mended from the time they were broken by the mob at the Reform illumination) brings on a motion about Belgium.

August 11th.

Nothing new these last two days. Londonderry's motion produced an angry debate, but no division. Brougham is said to have been very good. The Government wanted to divide, but the Opposition know that it is not their interest to provoke a trial of strength. The Ministers, if beaten, would not go out, and they are anxious to see what their opponents' strength is. At Court yesterday, when Van de Weyer, the new Belgian Minister, made his appearance. I said to Esterhazy, 'You will blow this business over, sha'n't you? ' He said, ' Yes, I think we shall this time.'

Nothing remarkable in the House of Commons but Lord John Russell's declaration that 'this Bill would not be final if it was not found to work as well as the people desired,' which is sufficiently impudent considering that hitherto they have always pretended that it was to be final, and that it was made so comprehensive only that it might be so; this has been one of their grand arguments, and now we are never to sit down and rest, but go on changing till we get a good fit, and that for a country which will have been made so fidgety that it won't stand still to be measured. Hardinge, whom I found at dinner at the Athenaeum yesterday, told me he was convinced that a revolution in this country was inevitable; and such is the opinion of others who support this Bill, not because they think concession will avert it, but will let it come more gradually and with less violence. I have always been convinced that the country was in no danger of revolution, and still believe that if one does come it will be from the passing of this Bill, which will introduce the principle of change and whet the appetites of those who never will be satisfied with any existing order of things; or if it follows on the rejection of this Bill, which [181] I doubt, it will be owing to the concentration of all the forces that are opposed to our present institutions, and the divisions, jealousies, rivalships, and consequent weakness of all those who ought to defend them. God only knows how it will all end. There has been but one man for many years past able to arrest this torrent, and that was Canning; and him the Tories — idiots that they were, and never discovering that he was their best friend — hunted to death with their besotted and ignorant hostility.

I went to the play last night at a very shabby little house called the City Theatre a long way beyond the Post Office to see Ellen Tree act in a translation of 'Une Faute,' one of the best pieces of acting I ever saw. This girl will turn out very good if she remains on the stage. She has never been brought forward at Covent Garden, and I heard last night the reason why. Charles Kemble took a great fancy for her (she is excessively pretty), and made her splendid offers of putting her into the best parts, and advancing her in all ways, if she would be propitious to his flame, but which she indignantly refused; so he revenged himself (to his own detriment) by keeping her back and promoting inferior actresses instead. If ever she acquires fame, which is very probable, for she has as much nature, and feeling, and passion as I ever saw, this will be a curious anecdote. [She married Charles Kean, lost her good looks, and became a tiresome, second-rate actress.]

August 12th.

Yesterday a Committee of Council met to settle the order of the coronation and submit the estimates, which we have brought under £30,000 instead of £240,000, which they were last time.

The question now is whether our Ministry shall go along with France, or whether France shall be pulled up; and it is brought to this point by Leopold's having sent to the French to thank them for their aid, but to say that he can do without them, and to beg they will retire, which they have refused to do. It was known yesterday that they are at Mons, and strongly suspected they will not so easily be got out of it; but the French Government will not venture [182] to quarrel with us if we take a peremptory tone. It is not, however, clear that the French Government can control the French army; and I have heard it said that, if they had not ordered the troops to march, the troops would have marched without orders. L. is all for curbing France; so a very short time must bring matters to a crisis, and it will be seen if the Government has authority to check the war party there. In the meantime the French have taken the Portuguese ships without any intention of giving them back; and this our Ministers know, and do not remonstrate. J. asked L. if it was true, and he said, 'Oh, yes,' for that having been compelled to force the Tagus, they were placed in a state of war, and the ships became lawful prizes. If it was not for Reform I doubt if this Government could stand a moment, but that will bring them up. In the country it is too clear that there are no symptoms of a reaction, and if a state of indifference can be produced it is all that can be hoped and more than should be expected. I do not think the Government by any means responsible for the embroiled state of Europe, but they certainly appear to have no fixed plan or enlightened view of foreign policy, and if they have not been to blame hitherto (which in acting with all the Allies, and endeavouring to keep things quiet, they have not been), they are evidently in great danger of floundering now.

Goodwood, August 20th.

Here I have been a week today for the races, and here I should not be now for everybody else is gone if it were not for the gout, which has laid me fast by the foot, owing to a blow. While on these racing expeditions I never know anything of politics, and, though I just read the newspapers, have no anecdotes to record of Reform or foreign affairs. I never come here without fresh admiration of the beauty and delightfulness of the place, combining everything that is enjoyable in life large and comfortable house, spacious and beautiful park, extensive views, dry soil, sea air, woods, and rides over downs, and all the facilities of occupation and amusement. The Duke, who has so strangely become a Cabinet Minister in a Whig Government, and who is a very good sort of man and my [183] excellent friend, appears here to advantage, exercising a magnificent hospitality, and as a sportsman, a farmer, a magistrate, and good, simple, unaffected country gentleman, with great personal influence. This is what he is fit for, to be,

With safer pride content,
The wisest justice on the banks of Trent,

and not to assist in settling Europe and making new constitutions.

I find on arriving in town that there is nothing new, but the Bill, which drags its slow length along, is in a bad way; not that it will not pass the Commons, but now everybody attacks it, and the press is all against what remains of it. Lord Chandos's motion and the defeat of Government by so large a majority have given them a great blow. Still they go doggedly on, and are determined to cram it down anyhow, quite indifferent how it is to work and quite ignorant. As to foreign affairs, the Ministers trust to blunder through them, hoping, like Sir Abel Handy in the play, that the fire 'will go out of itself.' Sefton has just been here, who talks blusteringly of the Peers that are to be made, no matter at what cost of character to the House of Lords, anything rather than be beaten; but I am not sure that he knows anything. In such matters as these he is (however sharp) no better than a fool — no knowledge, no information, no reflection or combination; prejudices, partialities, and sneers are what his political wisdom consists of; but he is Lord Grey's âme damnée.

Stoke, August 28th.

My gout is still hanging on me. Very strange disorder, affecting different people so differently; with me very little pain, much swelling, heat, and inconvenience, more like bruised muscles and tendons and inflamed joints; it disables me, but never prevents my sleeping at night. Henry de Ros called on me yesterday; nothing new, and he knows everything from L., who sits there picking up politics and gossip, to make money by the one and derive amusement from the other. L. is odd enough, and very malin with what he knows. He is against Reform, but not against the Government; for the Duke of Wellington, and not for the Opposition [184] — in short, just as interest, fancy, caprice, and particular partialities sway him. It was he who told me the fact of the French having carried away the Portuguese ships, and he said that I might tell the Duke that he might make what use he pleased of it; but soon after, wishing if it did come out that it should fall harmless, he bethought him of the following expedient: Seeing that Valletort (who is a good-natured blockhead) is always spluttering in the House of Commons, he thought in his hands it would do no harm, so he told him the fact with some flattering observations about his activity and energy in the House, which Valley swallowed and with many thanks proceeded to put questions to Palmerston, which sure enough were so confused and unintelligible that nobody understood him, and the matter fell very flat. I don't see that Government is saved by this ruse, if the case against them is a good one; but it is curious as indicative of the artifice of the person, and of his odd sort of political disposition. As I don't write history I omit to note such facts as are recorded in the newspapers, and merely mention the odd things I pick up, which are not generally known, and which may hereafter throw some light on those which are.

The Belgian business is subsiding into quiet again. The Dutch have gained some credit, and the Prince of Orange has (what was of importance to him) removed the load of odium under which he had been labouring in Holland, and acquired great popularity. Leopold has cut a ridiculous figure enough; not exhibiting any want of personal courage, but after all the flourishes at the time of his accession finding himself at the head of a nation of blustering cowards who would do nothing but run away. The arrival of the French army soon put an end to hostilities, and now the greater part of it has been recalled; but Leopold has desired that 10,000 men may be left for his protection, whether against the Dutch or against the Belgians does not appear. This excites considerable jealousies here, for as yet it is not known why he asked for such aid, nor on what terms it is to be granted.

L. told me an odd thing connected with these troops. [185] Easthope received a commission from a secretary of Soult to sell largely in our funds, coupled with an assurance that the troops would not retire. I don't know the fate of the commission.

There are various reports of dissensions in the Cabinet, which are not true. The Duke of Wellington was sent for by Lord Grey the other day, to give his opinion about the demolition of the Belgian fortresses; so the ex-Prime Minister went to visit his successor in the apartment which was so lately his own. No man would mind such a thing less than the Duke; he is sensitive, but has no nonsense about him. He is very well and, however disgusted with the state of everything at home and abroad (which after all is greatly imputable to himself), in high spirits.

The King did a droll thing the other day. The ceremonial of the coronation was taken down to him for approval. The homage is first done by the spiritual Peers, with the Archbishop at their head. The first of each class (the Archbishop for the spiritual) says the words, and then they all kiss his cheek in succession. He said he would not be kissed by the bishops, and ordered that part to be struck out. As I expected, the prelates would not stand it; the Archbishop remonstrated, the King knocked under, and so he must undergo the salute of the spiritual as well as of the temporal Lords.

August 30th.

Left Stoke yesterday morning; a large party — Talleyrand,De Ros, Fitzroy Somersets, Motteux, John Russell, Alava, Byng. In the evening Talleyrand discoursed, but I did not hear much of him. I was gouty and could not stand, and all the places near him were taken. I have never heard him narrate comfortably, and he is difficult to understand. He talked of Franklin. I asked him if he was remarkable in conversation; he said he was from his great simplicity and the evident strength of his mind. He spoke of the coronation of the Emperor Alexander. Somebody wrote him a letter at the time from Moscow with this expression: 'L'Empereur marchait, précedé des assassins de son grandpère, entouré de ceux de son père, et suivi par les siens.' [186] He said of the Count de Saint-Germain (whom he never saw) that there is an account of him in Craufurd's book; nobody knew whence he came nor whither he went; he appeared at Paris suddenly, and disappeared in the same way, lived in an hôtel garni, had always plenty of money, and paid for everything regularly; he talked of events and persons connected with history, both ancient and modern, with entire familiarity and a correctness which never was at fault, and always of the people as if he had lived with them and known them; as Talleyrand exemplified it, he would say, ' Un jour que je dînais chez César.' [1] He was supposed to be the Wandering Jew, a story which has always appeared to me a very sublime fiction, telling of

That settled ceaseless gloom
The fabled Hebrew wanderer bore,
Which will not look beyond the tomb,
Which cannot hope for rest before.

Then he related Mallet's conspiracy and the strange way in which he heard it. Early in the morning his tailor came to his house and insisted on seeing him. He was in bed, but on his valet de chambre's telling him how pressing the tailor was he ordered him to be let in. The man said, 'Have you not heard the news? There is a revolution in Paris.' It had come to the tailor's knowledge by Mallet's going to him the very first thing to order a new uniform! Talleyrand said the conspirators ought to have put to death Cambacérès and the King of

[1] This mysterious adventurer died in the arms of Prince Charles of Hesse, in 1784; and some account of him is to be found in the ' Memoirs' of that personage, quoted in the 'Edinburgh Review,' vol. cxxiii. p. 521. The Count de Saint-Germain was a man of science, especially versed in chemistry, botany, and metallurgy. He is supposed to have derived his money from an invention in the art of dyeing. According to his own account of himself he was a son of Prince Ragozky of Transylvania and his first wife, a Tekely, and he was Protestant and educated by the last of the Medicis. He was supposed to be ninety-two or ninety-three when he died. His knowledge of the arcana of science and his mysterious manner of life had given him something of the reputation of a wizard and a conjuror, but he was an honourable and benevolent man, not to be confounded with such charlatans as Mesmer and Cagliostro.

[187] Rome. I asked him if they had done so whether he thought it possible the thing might have succeeded. He said, 'C'est possible.' To my question whether the Emperor would not have blown away the whole conspiracy in a moment he replied, 'Ce n'est pas sûr, c'est possible que cela aurait réussi.'

He afterwards talked of Madame de Stael and Monti. They met at Madame de Marescalchi's villa near Bologna, and were profuse of compliments and admiration for each other. Each brought a copy of their respective works beautifully bound to present to the other. After a day passed in an interchange of literary flatteries and the most ardent expressions of delight, they separated, but each forgot to carry away the present of the other, and the books remain in Madame de Marescalchi's library to this day.

August 3lst.

Dined at Osterley yesterday; Lady Sandwich, Esterhazy and the Bathursts, Brooke Greville and George Villiers. Esterhazy told me he had no doubt that there would be a war, that General Baudron was arrived from Brussels, and Leopold had sent word by him. that the French troops were absolutely necessary to his safety, to protect him from the turbulence of his own subjects. He considered that the Polish business was over, at which he greatly rejoiced. He said that nobody was prepared for war, and the great object was to gain time, but a few weeks must now bring matters to a crisis; the only difficulty appears to be what to go to war about, and who the belligerents should be, for at the eleventh hour, and with the probability of a general war, it is a toss-up whether we and the French are to be the closest allies or the deadliest enemies. He told me that Casimir Périer would probably be unable to keep his ground, that the modified law about the House of Peers did not give satisfaction. If he is beaten on this he goes out, and if he does, with him will probably vanish all hopes of peace. It is pretty evident that France is rapidly advancing to a republic. Her institutions have long been republican, and, though very compatible with a despotic empire, incompatible with a constitutional and limited monarchy. This Buonaparte knew.

Another Coronation Committee yesterday, and, I am happy [188] to say, the last, for this business is the greatest of all bores. There is a furious squabble between the Grand Chamberlain and the Earl Marshal (who is absent and has squabbled by deputy) about the box of the former in Westminster Abbey. At the last coronation King George IV. gave Lord Gwydir his box in addition to his own, and now Lord Cholmondeley claims a similar box. [1] This is resisted. The present King disposes of his own box (and will probably fill it with every sort of canaille); the Lords won't interfere, and the Grand Chamberlain protests, and says he has been shamefully used, and there the matter stands. The Grand Chamberlain is in the wrong.

September 3rd.

On Wednesday a Council was held. Very few of the Ministers stay for the Councils; small blame to them, as the Irish say, for we are kept about three times as long by this regular, punctual King as by the capricious, irregular Monarch who last ruled over us. This King is a queer fellow. Our Council was principally for a new Great Seal and to deface the old Seal. The Chancellor claims the old one as his perquisite. I had forgotten the hammer, so the King said, 'My Lord, the best thing I can do is to give you the Seal, and tell you to take it and do what you please with it.' The Chancellor said, 'Sir, I believe there is some doubt whether Lord Lyndhurst ought not to have half of it, as he was Chancellor at the time of your Majesty's accession.' 'Well,' said the King, 'then I will judge between you like Solomon; here (turning the Seal round and round), now do you cry heads or tails? ' We all laughed, and the Chancellor said, 'Sir, I take the bottom part.' The King opened the two compartments of the Seal and said, 'Now, then, I employ you as ministers of taste. You will send for Bridge, my silversmith, and desire him to convert the two halves each into a salver, with my arms on one side and yours on the other, and Lord Lyndhurst's the same, and you will take one and give him the other, and both keep them as presents from me.' The Duchess of Kent

[1] Lord Gwydir and Lord Cholmondeley filled the office of Lord High Chamberlain for alternative lives as the representatives of the joint claimants of the office.

[189] will not attend the coronation, and there is a report that the King is unwilling to make all the Peers that are required; this is the current talk of the day.

September 5th.

At Gorhambury since Saturday; the Harrowbys, Bathursts, Frankland Lewises, Lady Jersey, Mahon, Lushington, Wortleys; rather agreeable and lively; all anti-Reformers, so no quarrelling about that, though Lord Harrowby is ready to squabble with anybody either way, but furiously against the Bill.

September 8th.

Dined with the Duke of Wellington yesterday; thirty-one people, very handsome, and the Styrian Minstrels playing and singing all dinner time, a thing I never saw before. I sat next to Esterhazy and talked to him (a very little) about Belgian affairs. He said Talleyrand had given positive assurances that the French troops should be withdrawn whenever the Dutch retired, that the other Powers were aware of Périer's difficulties, and were ready to concede much to keep him in power, but that if he had not sufficient influence to repress the violent war faction there was no use in endeavouring to support him. Our Government had behaved very well, and had been very strong in their remonstrances.

After dinner I had much talk with the Duke, who told me a good deal about the late King and the Duchess of Kent; talked of his extravagance and love of spending, provided that it was not his own money that he spent; he told an old story he had heard of Mrs. Fitzherbert's being obliged to borrow money for his post-horses to take him to Newmarket, that not a guinea was forthcoming to make stakes for some match, and when on George Leigh's [1] entreaty he allowed some box to be searched that £3,000 was found in it. He always had money. When he died they found £10,000 in his boxes, and money scattered about everywhere, a great deal of gold. There were about 500 pocket-books, of different dates, and in every one money guineas, one pound notes, one, two, or three in each. There never was anything like the

[1] Colonel George Leigh, who managed his race-horses; he was married to Lord Byron's half-sister.

[190] quantity of trinkets and trash that they found. He had never given away or parted with anything. There was a prodigious quantity of hair — women's hair — of all colours and lengths, some locks with the powder and pomatum still sticking to them, heaps of women's gloves, gages d'amour which he had got at balls, and with the perspiration still marked on the fingers, notes and letters in abundance, but not much that was of any political consequence, and the whole was destroyed. Of his will he said that it was made in 1823 by Lord Eldon, very well drawn, that he desired his executors might take all he had to pay his debts and such legacies as he might bequeath in any codicils he should make. He made no codicils and left no debts, so the King got all as heir-at-law. Knighton had managed his affairs very well, and got him out of debt. A good deal of money was disbursed in charity, a good deal through the medium of two or three old women. The Duke, talking of his love of ordering and expense, said that when he was to ride at the last coronation the King said, 'You must have a very fine saddle.' 'What sort of saddle does your Majesty wish me to have?' 'Send Cuffe to me.' Accordingly Cuffe went to him, and the Duke had to pay some hundreds for his saddle. (While I am writing the King and Queen with their cortége are passing down to Westminster Abbey to the coronation, a grand procession, a fine day, an immense crowd, and great acclamations.)

We then talked of the Duchess of Kent, and I asked him why she set herself in such opposition to the Court. He said that Sir John Conroy was her adviser, that he was sure of it. What he then told me throws some light upon her ill-humour and displays her wrong-headedness. In the first place the late King disliked her; the Duke of Cumberland too was her enemy, and George IV., who was as great a despot as ever lived, was always talking of taking her child from her, which he inevitably would have done but for the Duke, who, wishing to prevent quarrels, did all in his power to deter the King, not by opposing him when he talked of it, which he often did, but by putting the thing off as well [191] as he could. However, when the Duchess of Cumberland came over, and there was a question how the Royal Family would receive her, he thought he might reconcile the Cumberlands to the Duchess of Kent by engaging her to be civil to the Duchess of Cumberland, so he desired Leopold to advise his sister (who was in the country) from him very strongly to write to the Duchess of Cumberland and express her regret at being absent on her arrival, and so prevented from calling on her. The Duchess sent Leopold back to the Duke to ask why he gave her this advice? The Duke replied that he should not say why, that he knew more of what was going on than she possibly could, that he gave her this advice for her own benefit, and again repeated that she had better act on it. The Duchess said she was ready to give him credit for the goodness of his counsel, though he would not say what his reasons were, and she did as he suggested. This succeeded, and the Duke of Cumberland ceased to blow the coals. Matters went on quietly till the King died. As soon as he was dead the Duchess of Kent wrote to the Duke, and desired that she might be treated as a Dowager Princess of Wales, with a suitable income for herself and her daughter, who she also desired might be treated as Heiress Apparent, and that she should have the sole control over the allowance to be made for both. The Duke replied that her proposition was altogether inadmissible, and that he could not possibly think of proposing anything for her till the matters regarding the King's Civil List were settled, but that she might rely upon it that no measure which affected her in any way should be considered without being imparted to her and the fullest information given her. At this it appears she took great offence, for she did not speak to him for a long time after.

When the Regency Bill was framed the Duke desired the King's leave to wait upon the Duchess of Kent and show it to her, to which his Majesty assented, and accordingly he wrote to her to say he would call upon her the next day with the draft of the Bill. She was at Claremont, and sent word that she was out of town, but desired he would send it to her in [192] the country. He said she ought to have sent Sir John Conroy to him, or have desired him to go to her at Claremont, which he would have done, but he wrote her word that he could not explain by letter so fully what he had to say as he could have done in a personal interview, but he would do so as well as he could. In the meantime, Lord Lyndhurst brought on the measure in the House of Lords, and she sent Conroy up to hear him. He returned to Claremont just after the Duchess had received the Duke's letter. Since that he has dined with her.

[I must say the King is punctual; the cannon are now firing to announce his arrival at the Abbey, and my clock is at the same moment striking eleven; at eleven it was announced that he would be there.]

His Majesty, I hear, was in great ill-humour at the levee yesterday; contrary to his usual custom, he sent for nobody and gave no audiences, but at ten minutes after one flounced into the levee room; not one Minister was come but the Duke of Richmond. Talleyrand and Esterhazy alone of the Corps Diplomatique were in the next room. He attacked the officer of the Guards for not having his cap on his head, and sent for the officer on guard, who was not arrived, at which he expressed great ire. It is supposed that the peerages have put him out of temper. His Majesty did a very strange thing about them. Though their patents are not made out, and the new Peers are no more Peers than I am, he desired them to appear as such in Westminster Abbey and do homage. Colonel Berkeley asked me what he should do, and said what the King had desired of him. I told him he should do no such thing, and he said he would go to the Chancellor and ask him. I don't know how it ended. Howe told me yesterday morning in Westminster Abbey that Lord Cleveland is to be a duke, though it is not yet acknowledged if it be so. There has been a battle about that; they say that he got his boroughs to be made a marquis, and got rid of them to be made a duke. [l]

[1] The Earl of Darlington had been made Marquis of Cleveland in 1827, and was raised to the dukedom in January 1833.

[193] September 17th.

The coronation went off well, and whereas nobody was satisfied before it everybody was after it. No events of consequence. The cholera has got to Berlin, and Warsaw is taken by the Russians, who appear to have behaved with moderation. Since the deposition of Skrznecki, and the reign of clubs and mobs and the perpetration of massacres at Warsaw, the public sympathy for the Poles has a good deal fallen off. The cholera, which is travelling south, is less violent than it was in the north. It is remarkable that the common people at Berlin are impressed with the same strange belief that possessed those of St. Petersburg that they have been poisoned, and Chad writes today that they believe there is no such disease, and that the deaths ascribed to that malady are produced by poison administered by the doctors, who are bribed for that purpose; that the rich, finding the poor becoming too numerous to be conveniently governed, have adopted this mode of thinning the population, which was employed with success by the English in India; that the foreign doctors are the delegates of a central committee, which is formed in London and directs the proceedings, and similar nonsense.

The talk of the town has been about the King and a toast he gave at a great dinner at St. James's the other day. He had ninety guests — all his Ministers, all the great people, and all the foreign Ambassadors. After dinner he made a long rambling speech in French, and ended by giving as 'a sentiment,' as he called it, 'The land we live in.' This was before the ladies left the room. After they were gone he made another speech in French, in the course of which he travelled over every variety of topic that suggested itself to his excursive mind, and ended with a very coarse toast and the words ' Honi soit qui mal y pense.' Sefton, who told it me, said he never felt so ashamed; Lord Grey was ready to sink into the earth; everybody laughed of course, and Sefton, who sat next to Talleyrand, said to him, ' Eh bien, que pensez-vous de cela?' With his unmoved, immovable face he answered only, ' C'est bien remarquable.'

In the meantime Reform, which has subsided into a calm for some time past, is approaching its termination in the [194] House of Commons, and as it gets near the period of a fresh campaign, and a more arduous though a shorter one, agitation is a little reviving. The 'Times' and other violent newspapers are moving heaven and earth to stir up the country and intimidate the Peers, many of whom are frightened enough already. The general opinion at present is that the Peers created at the coronation will not be enough to carry the Bill (they are a set of horrid rubbish most of them), but that no more will be made at present; that the Opposition, if united, will be strong enough to throw out the Bill, but that they are so divided in opinion whether to oppose the Bill on the second reading or in Committee, that this dissension will very likely enable it to pass. Up to this time there has been no meeting, and nothing has been agreed upon, but there would have been one convened by the Duke of Wellington but for Lady Mornington's death, and this week they will arrange their plan of operations. From what Sefton says (who knows and thinks only as Brougham and Grey direct him) I conclude that the Government are resolved the Bill shall pass, that if it is thrown out they will do what the Tories recommended, and make as many Peers as may be sufficient, for he said the other day he would rather it was thrown out on the second reading than pass by a small majority. With this resolution (which after having gone so far is not unwise) and the feeling out of doors, pass it must, and so sure are Government of it that they have begun to divide the counties, and have set up an office with clerks, maps, &c., in the Council Office, and there the Committee sit every day.

Stoke, September 18th.

I came here yesterday with the Chancellor, Creevey, Luttrell, my father and mother, Esterhazy, Neumann. Brougham was tired, never spoke, and went to bed early. This morning I got a letter from the Lord President enclosing an order from the King for a copy of the proceedings in Council on the marriage of the Duke of Sussex and Lady Augusta Murray. The Chancellor told me that the young man Sir Augustus d'Este had behaved very ill, having filed a bill in Chancery, into which he had put all [195] his father's love letters, written thirty years ago, to perpetuate evidence; that it was all done without the Duke of Sussex's consent, but that D'Este had got Lushington's opinion that the marriage was valid on the ground that the Marriage Act only applied to marriages contracted here, whereas this was contracted at Rome. He said Lushington was a great authority, but that he had no doubt he was wrong. The King is exceedingly annoyed at it.

September 19th.

Came to town. Talleyrand, Madame de Dino, and Alava came to Stoke yesterday. Talleyrand had a circle, but the Chancellor talked too much, and they rather, spoilt one another. He said one neat thing. They were talking of Madame d'Abrantès's 'Memoirs,' and of her mother, Madame Pernon. My father said, 'M. de Marboeuf était un peu 1'amant de Madame Pernon, n'est-ce pas? ' He said, 'Oui, mais je ne sais pas dans quelles proportions.'

September 20th.

News arrived of great riots at Paris, on account of the Polish business and the fall of Warsaw. Madame de Dino (who, by-the-bye, Talleyrand says is the cleverest man or woman he ever knew) said last night that she despaired of the state of things in France, that this was no mere popular tumult, but part of an organised system of disaffection, and that the Carlists had joined the ultra-Republicans, that the National Guard was not to be depended upon, that 'leur esprit était fatigué.' Talleyrand himself was very low, and has got no intelligence from his Government. This morning I met Lord Grey, and walked with him. I told him what Madame de Dino had said. He said he knew it all, and how bad things were, and that they would be much worse if the Reform Bill was thrown out here. I asked him how they would be affected by that. He said that a change of Ministry here would have a very bad effect there, from which it may be inferred that if beaten they mean to resign. He said the French Ministry had been very imprudent about Poland. I said, 'How? for what could they have done? They could only get at Poland through Prussia.' He said they might have sent a fleet to the Baltic with our concurrence, though we could not urge [196] them to do so. I asked him what he thought would be the result of the dissolution of Périer's Government; I said that there appeared to me two alternatives, a general bouleversement or the war faction in power under the existing system. He replied he did not think there would now be a bouleversement, but a Ministry of Lafayette, Lamarque, and all that party who were impatient to plunge France into war. I said I did not think France could look to a successful war, for the old alliance would be re-formed against her. He rejoined that Russia was powerless, crippled by this contest, and under the necessity of maintaining a great army in Poland; Austria and Prussia were both combustible, half the provinces of the former nearly in a state of insurrection; that the latter had enough to do to preserve quiet, and the French would rouse all the disaffected spirit which existed in both. I said 'then we were on the eve of that state of things which was predicted by Canning in his famous speech.' Here we met Ellis, and I left them.

I afterwards saw George Villiers, who told me that he knew from a member of the Cabinet that there had been a division in it on the question of going out if the Reform Bill should be rejected, and that it had been carried by a majority that they should. He told me also a curious thing about Stanley's Arms Bill: that it had never been imparted to Lord Anglesey, nor to the Cabinet here, and that Lord Grey had been obliged to write an apology to Lord Anglesey, and to tell him he (Lord Grey) had himself seen the Bill for the first time in the newspapers. This he had from Lord C., who is a great friend of Lord Anglesey's, and who had seen Lord Grey's letter before he left Ireland ; but the story appears to me quite incredible, and is probably untrue.

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