Greville

The Greville Memoirs

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The Greville Memoirs

1835

[248] CHAPTER XXVIII

Lord Grey and Sir James Graham express Conservative Views — Opinions of Lord Stanley — Lord Grey sees the King, but is not asked to resume Office — Lord Melbourne's Second Administration — His Moderation — A Difficulty — Spring Rice — A Joyless Victory — Exclusion of Brougham — The New Cabinet — Lord John Russell defeated in Devonshire — Lord Alvanley and O'Connell — Duel with Morgan O'Connell — Lord Wellesley resigns the Lord Stewardship — The Eliot Convention — Swift . Kelly — The Kembles — London University Charter discussed at the Privy Council — Corporation Reform — Formation of the Conservative Party — The King's Habits— Secretaryship of Jamaica — Lord Melbourne's Tithe Bill — The Pope rejects the Recommendation of the British Government — Relations with Rome — Carlists and Christinos in Spain— Walcheren — The King's Address to Sir Charles Grey — Stanley and Graham cross the House — Failure of Stanley's Tactics — Alava and the Duke of Cumberland — A Sinecure Placeman — Lord Glenelg and the King — Concert at Stafford House — The King's Aversion to his Ministers and to the Speaker — Decision on the Secretaryship of Jamaica— Archbishop Whateley — Irish Church Bill — Payment of Catholic Clergy — Peel and Lord John Russell — Factious Conduct of Tory Peers — The King's Violence — Debate on the Corporation Bill.

April 9th

Yesterday the Ministers resigned. Peel announced it to the House of Commons in a short but admirable speech by all accounts, exactly suitable to the occasion and to his principal object that of setting himself right with his own supporters, who begin to acquiesce, though rather sulkily, in the course he has pursued. Lord Grey is to be with the King this morning. He was riding quietly in the Park yesterday afternoon, and neither knew nor cared apparently whether he had been sent for or not. His daughter told me (for I rode with them up Constitution Hill) that his family could not wish him to return to office, but would not interfere. She then talked, much to my surprise, of the possibility of a junction between him and Peel; she owned that [249] Peel had done wonders, but said that she could not wish for such a junction now, however it might be possible and desirable that it should take place some little time hence. This shows a very Conservative spirit and a marvellous thaw in the rigidity of the Grey politics.

In the morning I went to Graham to ask him to advocate my cause in the Sinecure Committee and defend my interests there. After talking over my case (about which he was very obliging and promised his zealous assistance) we discussed general politics at great length. It is very evident that he and Stanley have no leaning towards the Whigs, and look now solely to a junction with Peel and the construction of a Liberal and Conservative party and Government. He talked of this, and of the mode of accomplishing it, with as much zeal and fervour as if he had been a member of the Cabinet which has just fallen, and I think his opinions coincide very much with my own. He wants the King to be well endoctriné, and that his firmness (if he has any) should be directed to one or two points, and his mind not puzzled with complicated instructions. He should be advised never to admit O'Connell to any office, and to resist a creation of Peers. He thinks, if his Majesty is stout on these points, that things will come round, and he by no means despairs of the feeling and animus of the country. I told him the Tories and late Government people still contended that if he and Stanley had joined the thing would have gone on, which he vehemently denied, and declared that they could not have saved Peel and should have entirely compromised themselves; he talked with great admiration of Peel, and of the reception he had met with from him in the interview they had on his return, which he said was cordial and obliging to the greatest degree, and without any appearance of that coldness and reserve of which he has been so often accused. He then talked of Stanley with great openness — of his talents, character, and political views. I told him that Stanley had not raised himself this session, that he had given much offence by the general levity of his conduct, and especially to the Tories by the occasional flippancy or severity of his attacks upon them, that as it was [250] clear that any Conservative Government must depend upon the great body of the Tory party for support, it was imprudent in him to make himself obnoxious to them, and that he would do well to exert his influence over Stanley for the purpose of restraining those sallies in which he was too apt to indulge, and showing him the expediency of conciliating that not very wise but still powerful body. He asked in what way Stanley had offended. I told him generally in the sarcastic or reprobating tone he had used, and particularly in his personal attack on the Duke of Wellington for holding the offices. He owned there was truth in this, ' but what could you do ? it was impossible to change a man's character, and Stanley's was very peculiar. With great talents, extraordinary readiness in debate, high principles, unblemished honour, he never had looked, he thought he never would look, upon politics and political life with the seriousness which belonged to the subject ; he followed politics as an amusement, as a means of excitement, as another would gaming or any other very excitable occupation ; he plunged into the melee for the sake of the sport which he found it made there, but always actuated by honourable and consistent principles and feelings, and though making it a matter of diversion and amusement, never sacrificing anything that honour or conscience prescribed.' I said that this description of him (which I had no doubt was true) only proved what I already thought that, with all his talents, he never would be a great man. He said he always must be very considerable; his powers, integrity, birth, and fortune could not fail to raise him to eminence. All this I admitted — that nothing could prevent his being very considerable, very important, as a public man — but I argued that one who was animated by motives so personal, and so wanting in gravity, to whom public care was a subsidiary and not a primary object, never could achieve permanent and genuine greatness. He said that Stanley had a great admiration for Peel, without any tincture of jealousy, and that he was quite ready to serve under him, though he could not help doubting whether it would be possible for two such men, so different in character, to go on [251] well together in the same Cabinet. I told him what Wharncliffe had said to me, that no man was ever more easy to act with, more candid and conciliatory, and less assuming than Peel in the Cabinet ; and Graham said that Stanley was likewise perfect as a colleague, so that it may be hoped there would not be any such incompatibility if they were to come together. I was with him two hours and a half, and we discussed very fully all political contingencies with the freedom of twenty years ago, when we were great friends.

April 10th.

Nothing decisive yesterday. Lord Grey was with the King in the morning ; he there met Lord Melbourne, Lord Holland, Lord John Russell, and Lord Lansdowne, and went back to St. James's. It was said in the evening that Lord Grey was to assist in the formation of the Government, but not to take office himself.

April 11th.

The intention of Lord Grey evidently was to avoid office if he could, but if strongly urged by the King, and his feelings appealed to, to yield. The King, however, did not urge him at all, probably much to his astonishment, but, assuming apparently that he would under no circumstances return to office, consulted him as to the course he should adopt. All my information as to what has hitherto taken place amounts to this: — His Majesty has been in a very composed state of mind, has received the Whig leaders in a way that has given them complete satisfaction, and as far as personal intercourse goes the embarrassment appears to be removed. He has given Melbourne carte blanche to form a Government, and he is proceeding in the task. Notwithstanding the good face which the King contrives to put upon the matter in his communications with his hated new-old Ministers and masters, he is really very miserable ; and the Duchess of Gloucester, to whom he unbosoms himself more than to anybody, told Lady Georgiana Bathurst that with her he was in the most pitiable state of distress, constantly in tears, and saying that ' he felt his crown tottering on his head.'

It is intended to leave O'Connell out of the arrangement, and at the same time to conciliate him and preserve his [252] support. In this they have apparently succeeded. O'Connell ' has behaved admirably well,' and the difficulty with regard to him is at an end. Of the Radicals some are to be included and no notice taken of the rest. Brougham is to be set at defiance ; his fall in public estimation, his manifold sins against his own colleagues, and his loss of character all justify them, and enable them (as they think) to do so with impunity. Melbourne, who when Lamb [1] is here is greatly influenced by him, is strongly against any Radical measures or Radical colleagues, and has no thought of a creation of Peers or of any desperate expedients, and he is not at all satisfied with the resolution which John carried, and which was the immediate cause of Peel's resignation, being fully alive to all the inconvenience of it.

Just now Tavistock was here, having come from St. George's Church, where he went to assist at Lord John Russell's marriage, and as the ceremony could not begin for half an hour, he came over to pass the interval with me. [2] He told me that ' there still existed one difficulty, one only, which I should not think of, apparently unimportant, but which circumstances rendered important, and if this was got over, the Government would be formed and go on, that he thought it was an even bet whether it was got over or not.' What this difficulty is, so little obvious, but so important, I do not guess ; but in such affairs one difficulty will not stand in the way of completing an arrangement the consummation of which has cost such incredible exertions, and such sacrifices of consistency and of public interests to the interests or ambition of a party.

April 12th.

Nothing was settled yesterday, and great doubts if anything would be. Lord John was married in the morning ; he returned to Kent House with his bride, and Melbourne was to have sent him word at one what was definitively

[1] Meaning Sir Frederick Lamb, his brother, usually residing abroad in the diplomatic service. [2] Lord John Russell married, in April 1835, Theresa, widow of Lord Ribblesdale. Mr. Greville lived at this time on the north side of Hanover Square.

[253] settled ; he waited till two, when no news arriving from Melbourne, he went off to Woburn. He was at that time by no means sanguine as to the arrangements being completed, and talked in doubt of the Foreign Office, to which he is to go. However, Melbourne was to be with the King this morning to announce that the Ministry would or would not do. Sefton told me last night that the difficulty proceeds from Spring Rice ; if it should fail (which it will not, I expect) Peel must stay in and take in the Dilly, who would not then scruple to join him. The Government would be formed upon the principle of not settling this eternal Irish Church question, which I think so great an evil that it is on the whole better that Melbourne should form a Government and go on as long as he can — that is, till something decisive is done about the Irish Church. I met the whole Dilly at dinner yesterday at Stafford House, and when I told Stanley and Graham that I understood Spring Rice made the difficulty, they both said that it must be what they called ' his conundrum,' which I had never heard of before ; but it means his determination to apply the surplus to the purposes of general education, but not to go a jot further, and they suppose that this is not far enough for the others, and hence the difficulty.

April 13th.

Nothing was positively known yesterday, but that the thing is settled in some way. Clusterings and congregations of Whigs about Brooks's, audiences with the King, and great doubt whether Grey took office, and the Foreign Office.

April 14th.

Yesterday it was understood that everything was settled, but after all it was only the night before last that Melbourne was definitively charged with the formation of a Government. The difficulties were O'Connell and Spring Rice ; the former was got over by his waiving all claim to employment and promising his gratuitous support. By what underhand management or persuasion, and what secret understanding, this was effected will be a mystery for the present, but nobody doubts that it has been accomplished by some juggle. Spring Rice wanted to wash his hands of [254] the concern ; he did not think it promised sufficient stability, and without some assurance of its lasting he wished to decline taking office. They would not hear this, and represented to him that he was indispensable, and it ended in his giving way. It certainly would have been very unjustifiable of him, after going all lengths with them, to hold back at last, but it shows the opinion of the best men among them of the rottenness of the concern. Lord Grey declined taking office, but wrote to say that the Government should have all his support, and that he wished Howick to be included in it, which is the same thing as if he were there himself. Nothing was settled about the cast of offices, and they were waiting for Lord John's arrival from Woburn to discuss that matter. Between the pretensions of one man, the reluctance of another, and the hymeneal occupation of the leader, the matter hobbled on very slowly. I certainly never remember a great victory for which Te Deum was chanted with so faint and joyless a voice. Peel looks gayer and easier than all Brooks's put together, and Lady Holland said, ' Now that we have gained our object I am not so glad as I thought I should be,' and that I take to be the sentiment of them all.

Riddlesworth, April 16th.

At Newmarket the day before yesterday, and came here to-day, where I find the Duke and Duchess of Cleveland and two or three others. I know nothing but by my letters from London, by which I learn that nothing is yet settled, but they go on negotiating and endeavouring to arrange their rickety concern. Having concluded their bargain with O'Connell, they have taken fright about Brougham, and degraded as he is, and contemptuous and confident as they were about him, they are endeavouring to make terms with him, and it will probably end in his recovering the Great Seal. When this is done they will have consummated their disgrace. Shiel said, 'The difficulty is how to deal with a bully and a buffoon ; ' and as they have succumbed to and bargained with the one, now they are going to truckle to the other ; there is not one of them who has scrupled to express his opinion of Brougham, [255] but let us see if he really does come in or much indignation may be thrown away. The general opinion (I am told) is that this Ministry will last a very short time, and that ultimately a coalition must take place under the direction and supremacy of Sir Robert Peel. This is jumping to a conclusion over many difficulties. However, nothing can be more meagre than the triumph of the Whigs nor more humiliating than their position ; even my Whig- Radical friends write me word that ' O'Connell holds the destiny of the Government in his hands, and is acknowledged to be the greatest man going.' It was hardly worth while (in a national point of view, whatever it may have been in a party one) to turn out Sir Robert Peel in order to produce this result.

Buckenham, April 29th.

At Newmarket all last week ; here since Monday. I know nothing of politics but from newspapers and my letters ; racing and hawking are my present occupations. There seems to be an impression that the present Government will not last very long, but as the grounds of that opinion are the badness of its composition, I do not see that its speedy dissolution is so certain ; the public seems to have got very indifferent as to who governs the country. I was curious to hear how the Council went off at which the Ministers took their seats, and how the King comported himself. He seems to have got through it tolerably, though it must have been a bitter ceremony to him. He made no speeches and took no particular notice of anybody except Lord Howick, to whom he was very civil, on account probably of his father, and because he is a new man. The threatened contests of most of them ended in smoke. Devonshire and Yorkshire will, however, be important and severe. Of all the appointments those that are most severely criticised are Mulgrave's and Morpeth's. It is said that Charles Kemble and Liston might as well have been sent, as the former has always imitated the one, and the latter involuntarily resembles the other. Mulgrave, however he may be sneered at, has been tried and found capable, and I think he will do very well ; he has courage and [256] firmness and no want of ability. He is besides hospitable, generous, courteous, and agreeable in private life. [1]

May 1st.

Morpeth made an excellent speech on introducing his Irish Tithe Bill, and has raised himself considerably. Morpeth is (as it appears to me) ill selected for the difficult post he occupies ; he has very fair ability of a showy kind, but I doubt the solidity and strength of his material for the rough work which is allotted to him.

The last day of Parliament was distinguished by a worse attack of O'Connell upon Alvanley for what he had said the day before in the House of Lords. Alvanley has sent him a message through Dawson Damer demanding an apology or satisfaction, and the result I don't yet know.[2]

London, May 17th.

Newmarket and gout have between them produced an interval of unusual length in my scribblings, though I am not aware of having had anything particularly interesting to record. We had Stanley at Newmarket the second week as well as the first, taking a lively interest in John Russell's defeat in Devonshire. This defeat was a great mortification to his party, and was not compensated by the easy victory which Morpeth obtained in Yorkshire. These elections and the affair between Alvanley

[1] Lord Melbourne's second Administration was composed as follows:

First Lord of the Treasury Viscount Melbourne
Lord President of the Council Marquis of Lansdowne
First Lord of the Admiralty Lord Auckland.
Lord Privy Seal Viscount Duncannon
Home Secretary Lord John Russell.
Foreign Secretary Viscount Palmerston.
Colonial Secretary Lord Glenelg
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Lord Holland.
Board of Control Sir John Cam Hobhouse.
Secretary at War Viscount Howick.
Board of Trade Mr. Poulett Thomson.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Mr. Spring Rice.
.Irish Secretary Viscount Morpeth.
The Earl of Mulgrave was Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. The Great Seal was put in Commission

[2] O'Connell had called Lord Alvanley a 'bloated buffoon,' and as usual took refuge in his vow never to fight another duel. Upon this his son, Morgan O'Connell, offered to meet Lord Alvanley in lieu of his father, which was accepted, and the duel took place.

[257] and O'Connell have been the chief objects of attention ; all the newspapers are full of details, which I need not put down here. Alvanley seems to have behaved with great spirit and resolution. There was a meeting at De Ros's house of De Ros, Damer, Lord Worcester, and Duncombe to consider what was to be done on the receipt of Morgan O'Connell's letter, and whether Alvanley should fight him or not. Worcester and Duncombe were against fighting, the other two for it. Alvanley at once said that the boldest course was the best, and he would go out. It was agreed that no time should be lost, so Damer was despatched to Colonel Hodges, and said Alvanley was ready to meet Morgan O'Connell. ' The next morning,' Hodges suggested. ' No, immediately.' The parties joined in Arlington Street and went off in two hackney coaches ; Duncombe, Worcester, and De Ros, with Dr. Hume, in a third. Only Hume went on the ground, for Damer had objected to the presence of some Irish friend of O'Connell's, so that Alvanley's friends could only look on from a distance. The only other persons who came near them were an old Irishwoman and a Methodist parson, the latter of whom exhorted the combatants in vain to forego their sinful purpose, and to whom Alvanley replied, ' Pray, sir, go and mind your own affairs, for I have enough to do now to think of mine.' ' Think of your soul,' he said. ' Yes,' said Alvanley, ' but my body is now in the greatest danger.' The Irishwoman would come and see the fighting, and asked for some money for her attendance. Damer seems to have been a very bad second, and probably lost his head ; he ought not to have consented to the third shots upon any account. Alvanley says he execrated him in his heart when he found he had consented to it. Hodges acted like a ruffian, and had anything happened he would have been hanged. It is impossible to know whether the first shot was fired by mistake or not. The impression on the minds of Alvanley's friends is that it was not, but it is difficult to believe that any man would endeavour to take such an advantage. However, no shot ought to have been fired after that. The affair made an amazing noise. As [258] O'Connell had threatened to mention it in the House of Commons, Damer went to Peel to put him in possession of all the circumstances, but he said that he was sure O'Connell would not venture to stir the matter there.

Lord Wellesley's resignation of the White Wand [his staff of office] has set conjecture afloat as to his motives, and it is asserted on one side, but denied on the other, that disgust at O'Connell's predominance is the reason, following disappointment at not having been himself reinstated. I do not know the truth of the matter. Lord John Russell takes his seat on Monday, after which business will begin again in earnest in the House of Commons. There is an impression that this Government will not be of long continuance, and that the Ministers are themselves aware that their tenure of office must be brief. They will at all events get through this session, for much remains to be done in the way of approximation and combination between different sections of public men before any satisfactory arrangement can be made for replacing the present Ministers. If it was not for the Irish question, and the apparent impossibility of bringing that to any final adjustment, I should not despair of the introduction of a better state of feeling and the mitigation of the bitterness and animosity which set men of different parties so irreconcilably against each other. At present there is certainly a great calm after the storm which raged so fiercely a little while ago. I have been so out of the world between Newmarket and the gout that I know but little of what has been passing, and merely throw in this brief notice to keep up the chain of my observations and remarks.

May 24th.

Came from Newmarket on Thursday night. Melbourne is said by his friends to be doing very well in the House of Lords, but the discussion on Friday about Lord Wellesley's resignation gave him great annoyance. Lord Wellesley declined to say why he had resigned, and merely declared it was not on account of Mulgrave's procession, but he did not contradict any one of the assertions that the cause was disgust at O'Connell's ascendency. When Lord Harrowby said that ' if he had been Mulgrave he [259] would rather have been torn in pieces than have marched in under such banners as were displayed,' Lord Wellesley loudly cheered him. Peel's speech at the dinner the other day has made a great deal of noise, for he is supposed to have thrown over his High Tory friends very completely in it, and to have exhibited a determination to adapt his opinions and conduct to the spirit of the times. However, the Tories affect to be satisfied, laud it to the skies, and distribute it through the country. In the House of Commons up to this time nothing has been done; Peel has made over his Dissenters Bill to the Government, who will probably do nothing with it this session. Nobody expects the present Administration to last long, as it is said, not even themselves; but nothing is prepared for the formation of a better and more durable Cabinet.

Lord Eliot [1] and Colonel Gurwood have returned from Spain, satisfied that the Carlist party cannot be put down, and having had a conversation with Louis Philippe, the substance of which appeared in the ' Times,' and very correctly. Great indignation is expressed at the indiscretion which let this out, and it is understood that Gurwood has been chattering about what passed in all directions. The King of France, it is clear, will not interfere, and so they must fight it out. Spanish stock fell 15 per cent, in one or two days. The King is in such a state of dudgeon that he will not give any dinners to anybody.

Yesterday Swift and Kelly's [2] case came on before the Privy Council. It was to have been heard the Monday

[1] Lord Eliot (afterwards Earl of St. Germans) had been sent to Spain by the Duke of Wellington, in March 1835, to endeavour to mitigate the atrocities which at that time disgraced the leaders on both sides in the civil contest raging in Spain. He was eminently successful in his mission, and a Convention (commonly known as the Convention of Asarta) was signed under his Lordship's mediation at Logroilo on the 27th of April, 1835. A narrative of this mission was printed by Lord St. Germans in 1871.

[2] The curious case of Swift v. Kelly was heard by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, and is reported in Knapp's ' Privy Council Reports,' vol. iii. p. 257. Mr. Greville had known the parties in Rome, and their adventures are related in a former part of these Journals

[260] before, when it would have been argued and decided, because every day in the week was disposable for the purpose, but Brougham thought fit to interfere. He insisted upon being there to hear it, and compelled Lord Lansdowne to put off the hearing till Saturday, to the extraordinary inconvenience of all parties. On Saturday the court met, but no Brougham. They began, and in about two hours he made his appearance, read his letters, wrote notes, corrected some paper (for the press, as I could see), and now and then attended to the cause, making flippant observations, much to the terror of Jervaise — Miss Kelly's uncle — for all his interruptions appeared to be directed adversely to them. I told Mr. Jervaise he need not pay any attention to what Brougham said. As he came late, so he went away early, breaking up the court at half-past three, and as other engagements occupied the Judges the rest of the week, it was put off till the 18th of June.

May 30th.

On Wednesday last went to Charles Kemble's in the evening ; singing and playing ; Mrs. Arkwright, Miss Strutt, old Liverati (horrible squabbling), and Miss Adelaide Kemble. The father and mother both occupied with their daughter's book, which Kemble told me he had ' never read till it appeared in print, and was full of sublime things and vulgarities,' and the mother 'was divided between admiration and disgust, threw it down six times, and as often picked it up.'

Thursday night.

To what Horace Twiss called ' a Judy party' — a supper and jollification, where all were expected to contribute to the amusement of the company who possessed wherewithal. The contributors were Twiss himself, Mrs. Arkwright, Miss Cooke, Dance, Miss Dance, Planché, Mrs. Blood, Mrs. Groom, Theodore Hook, Billy something, who imitated Cooper and Ward. I stayed till two, and they went on till three. It was sufficiently amusing altogether, though noisy and vulgar ; company very miscellaneous, but even body ready to amuse and be amused.

Friday.

The Committee of Council met on the matter of the London University ; Brougham of course the great [261] performer ; the same persons were summoned who had attended before, but great changes had since taken place, which made the assembly curious. There were Melbourne, Lord Lansdowne and certain of his colleagues, Brougham and Lyndhurst — both ex-Chancellors since the last meeting — Richmond, Ripon, Stanley and Graham, the Dilly complete, and Lord Grey. When they came to discuss the matter nobody seemed disposed to move; at last Brougham proposed a resolution 'that the King should be advised to grant a charter making the petitioners an University, the regulations and restrictions to be determined hereafter.' The Bishop of London objected on behalf of King's College to any advantages being conferred on the London University which would place the latter institution in a better condition than the former. After much tedious discussion the words 'university,' &c., were omitted, and the resolution moved was ' to grant a charter.' The Duke of Richmond formally opposed it, his principal objection being to the insolvent state of the concern. Brougham sat in contemptuous silence for a few minutes while the Duke spoke, and then replied. There was a squabble between them, and an evident inclination on the part of the majority present to refuse the charter, but the address of the Commons with the King's answer were read, which presented a very difficult case to act upon. The King's answer amounted very nearly to an engagement to grant a charter ; the Privy Council was bound to decide without reference to the address and answer, and the bias there was to advise against the grant. Brougham, after much ineffectual discussion, said in a tone of sarcastic contempt that 'their hesitation and their scruples were ridiculous, for the House of Commons would step in and cut them both short and settle the question.' This is doubtless true, and he can effect it when he will ; but how monstrous, then, was the vote. The House of Commons had never heard a tittle of the evidence or the argument ; the Council had heard it all, and were bound to report upon it, when the House, while the judgement of the Privy Council was still pending, voted an address to the Crown for the purpose of obtaining an [262] adjudication of the matter one particular way, without reference to the proceedings before the tribunal. They all seemed agreed that if it was expedient to grant a charter it required much consideration to decide under what restrictions and regulations it should be conceded, and Lord Grey declared that if he was called upon, without reference to any proceedings elsewhere, to decide upon the arguments they had heard at the bar, he should decide against giving the charter, but if he were called upon to advise the Crown what under all the circumstances it was expedient to do, his advice might be very different. Graham said he could not divest his mind of the knowledge he possessed of what had passed in the House of Commons, and he thought the Government ought to advise the Crown on its own responsibility what course it was expedient to adopt. After wasting an hour and a half in a very fruitless and not very interesting discussion (everybody looking bored to death except Brougham, who was talking all the time) the Council broke up without doing anything, and agreed to meet again on Friday next. Old Eldon was very busy and eager about it, and had all the papers sent to him ; he could not attend, being wholly disabled by the gout. Of course the charter (at least a charter) will be given, because the House of Commons in the plenitude of their ignorance, but of their power, have so decided.

June 14th.

Taken up with Epsom since I last wrote, and indisposed to journalising, besides having nothing to say. I did not attend the second meeting at the Privy Council on the London University question. Lord Eldon came to it, and there was some discussion, but without any violence ; it ended by a report to the King, requesting he would dispense with the advice of the Council ; so the matter remains with the Government. It is clear that they would have advised against granting the charter but for the answer which the King made to the address of the House of Commons, which was in fact a promise to grant it. This answer was the work of Peel and Goulburn, and I can't imagine what induced them to put such an one into his [263] Majesty's mouth, when they might have so properly made him say that he had referred the matter to the Privy Council, and was waiting for their report.

The calm and repose which have succeeded to the storms of the early part of the session are really wonderful ; all parties seem disposed to lay aside their arms for the present, one reason of which is that parties are so evenly balanced that neither wishes to try its strength. Then the line which Peel is taking precludes any immediate renewal of hostilities. The measures of Government are confined to one or two questions, of which the Corporation Reform has alone been brought forward. Peel made a very able and dexterous speech upon John Russell's introduction of that measure, in which he exhibited anew his great superiority, and at once declared his intention of admitting the whole principle of it, reserving to himself to deal as he thought fit with the details. It has been asserted on both sides that the Whigs and the High Tories are equally disgusted at his speech, the former for cutting the ground from under his feet, the latter for his departure from good old High Tory principles. There may be some truth in this, but the Tories profess generally to be satisfied and convinced, and to be quite ready to follow him in the liberal course on which he has entered; so much so that it is now said there is no longer such a thing as a Tory. Peel clearly does not intend that there shall be (as far as he is concerned as their leader) a Tory party, though of course there must be a Conservative party, the great force of which is the old Tory interest, and his object evidently is to establish himself in the good opinion of the country and render himself indispensable — to raise a party out of all other parties, and to convert the new elements of democratic power into an instrument of his own elevation, partly by yielding to and partly by guiding and restraining its desires and opinions. Neither is there any mystery in his conduct; his object and his intentions are evident to all, and it is perhaps advantageous that he has nothing to conceal. At the same time he plays this game with great prudence and ability. It is not his interest to [264] strike great blows, but constantly to augment the reputation and extend the influence he has acquired, and this he does visibly and sensibly. There seems to be an universal impression that nothing can keep him out of office long. This Government may probably scramble through the session ; there is no particular question on which they are likely to be overturned, but there is a conviction that any Government must be provisional in which Peel is not included, and that before long the country will insist upon his return to power.

June 19th.

At Stoke for the Ascot races. Alvanley was there — nobody else remarkable; fine weather and great luxury. Riding to the course on Wednesday, I overtook Adolphus Fitzclarence in the Park, who rode with me, and gave me an account of his father's habits and present state of mind. The former are as follows: He sleeps in the same room with the Queen, but in a separate bed ; at a quarter before eight every morning his valet de chambre knocks at the door, and at ten minutes before eight exactly he gets out of bed, puts on a flannel dressing-gown and trousers, and walks into his dressingroom. Let who will be there, he never takes the slightest notice of them till he emerges from this sanctuary, when, like the malade imaginaire, he accosts whoever may be present with a cheerful aspect. He is long at his ablutions, and takes up an hour and a half in dressing. At half-past nine he breakfasts with the Queen, the ladies, and any of his family ; he eats a couple of fingers and drinks a dish of coffee. After breakfast he reads the ' Times ' and ' Morning Post,' commenting aloud on what he reads 'in very plain terms, and sometimes they hear ' That's a damned lie,' or some such remark, without knowing to what it applies. After breakfast he devotes himself with Sir Herbert Taylor to business till two, when he lunches (two cutlets and two glasses of sherry) ; then he goes out for a drive till dinner time ; at dinner he drinks a bottle of sherry — no other wine — and eats moderately ; he goes to bed soon after eleven. He is in dreadfully low spirits, and cannot rally at all; the only interval of pleasure which he has lately [265] had was during the Devonshire election, when he was delighted at John Russell's defeat. He abhors all his Ministers, even those whom he used rather to like formerly, but hates Lord John the most of all. When Adolphus told him that a dinner ought to be given for the Ascot races he said, ' You know I cannot give a dinner ; I cannot give any dinners without inviting the Ministers, and I would rather see the Devil than any one of them in my house.' I asked him how he was with them in his inevitable official relations. He said that he had as little to do with them as he could, and bowed them out when he gave any of them audiences as fast as possible. He is peculiarly disgusted with Errol, for whom he has done so much, and who has behaved so ungratefully to him; but it is a good trait of him that he said ' he hoped the world would not accuse Errol of ingratitude.' He did not invite Errol to the Castle even for the Ascot races, and has seen little or nothing of him since the change. Adolphus said that he believed he was saving money. He has £120,000 a year, of which £40,000 goes in pensions ; the rest is at his own disposal. He gives up his Hanoverian revenue — about £16,000 — a year to the Duke of Cambridge.

June 21st.

Yesterday I dined with Lord Ripon ; Lord Grey and Stanley and Graham dined there. I sat next to the latter, who holds nothing but Tory language. He talked of Stanley's letter to Sir Thomas Hesketh, and of the great offence it has given the Tories. Graham thought it indiscreet and uncalled for, though in the principles (anti-clubbism and anti-associations) he agreed. Graham is very full of the expedition to Spain, [1] and expresses much alarm at the idea of an army being formed which is to act independently of the control and authority of the Government, to be composed of Irish Catholics, supplied by O'Connell (who, he says, has been to Alava and offered him any number of men) and commanded by Evans, who is a Republican. He believes that Peel entertains the same sentiments of aversion and

[1] This was the Spanish Legion, commanded by General de Lacy Evans. Licence was given under the Foreign Enlistment Act for British subjects to enter the service of Queen Isabella.

[266] alarm that he does ; but he said that when he attempted to draw from him his opinion the other night he could not succeed ; that Stanley has no alarm on the subject ; expects that on Wednesday next Peel will make a severe attack upon the Government on this matter ; [but this fell to the ground].

In the morning yesterday I was in court for the unfortunate case of Swift and Kelly, about which I cannot help taking an interest from having been originally concerned in it, and because I think there has been great villany somewhere. Some of the circumstances connected with this appeal are curious, as showing the accidents on which the issue of matters of vital importance to the parties often depend, and how the mistakes or selfishness of individuals concerned may influence the result, and in a way they little expected or calculated upon.

June 27th.

I am again tormented to death with the Committee on West India places, and menaced with a report that will be fatal to my case. [1] Graham has been very obliging about it, and attended the Committee on Thursday to see what they were about and give me notice. I went to Lord Melbourne yesterday and stated my case to him, invoking his protection, and he appeared extremely well disposed to do what he could for me. I told him I did not wish him to pledge himself till he had seen the case and considered it, such as I had laid it before the Committee: and then, if he is satisfied that I stand upon tenable grounds, I will ask him to exert his influence and authority in my behalf. However, I much doubt whether, strive and struggle as I may, I shall ever escape from the determination of this morose and rigid millionaire [Francis Baring, who was not, however, a millionaire or anything like it, either in præsenti or in futuro to strip me of my property ; and I have made up my mind to its loss, though resolved to fight while I have a leg to fight upon.

[1] Mr. Greville held the sinecure office of Secretary of the Island of Jamaica, which was threatened at this time by a Committee of the House of Commons. He succeeded, however, in retaining it, until he voluntarily resigned the appointment many years afterwards. His salary as Clerk of the Council was diminished by £500 a year as long as he held the two offices.

[267] Yesterday we were again occupied all day with Swift and Kelly, which to-day will be brought to a close. The conduct of Brougham on this trial exceeds all imagination and belief. From the beginning he has taken a one-sided view of the case, and apparently set out with a bias which has continually increased, till he has become altogether identified, and in a manner passionately identified, with the appellant's side ; and he exhibits this bias by one continual course of advocacy, battling every argument and every point with the respondent's counsel with a virulence and an intemperance that are so disgusting that my blood boils while I listen to him. But his conduct in all other respects displays the most extraordinary contrast with that of the other judges who sit there ; they, at least, listen attentively and consecutively to the whole case, and when they do interrupt it is for the purpose of obtaining explanations and elucidations, and without the exhibition of any bias. But he is writing letters, reading newspapers, cutting jokes, attending only by fits and starts ; then, when something smites his ear, out he breaks, and with a mixture of sarcasm and ribaldry and insolence he argues and battles the point, whatever it may be.

Afternoon.

I am just come from the court. Lushington finished his speech at two, and when Pemberton was about to reply Brougham announced that he must go away to the London University, where he was to distribute prizes. The consequence was that the reply was deferred till next Wednesday, and the parties will be put to the expense of £60. more. His conduct to-day was exactly of a piece with that which he has exhibited throughout the trial. With all the ingenuity and astuteness of which he is master he has attacked every part of the respondent's case ; and, to do him justice, he has often displayed great acuteness and expressed himself with admirable force and precision ; but it was the conduct of an advocate and not of a judge, and a much better advocate has he been for Swift than either of those he retained. (Pemberton, however, conducted the case with consummate skill and judgement.) He finished by declaring that as far as he was concerned he should not desiderate a [268] reply, except on one or two points on which he wished to hear it. After the court broke up Baron Parke came into my room and asked my opinion, at the same time telling me his own, which was as decidedly against the girl as Brougham's. I argued the case with him, especially the points which Lushington failed to enforce as strongly as I think he might have done, but his mind was made up. Shadwell, on the contrary, leans the other way, and agreed with me in my view of it. It is, however, very clear that nothing can prevent the reversal of Sir John Nicholl's judgement ; for Erskine will very likely go with Brougham and Parke, and if he does not Lord Lansdowne undoubtedly will ; but if I were to attend this court a hundred years I should never forget the conduct of Brougham on this trial. My disgust would not have been a jot less had he espoused the same side that I do ; and if I were myself engaged in a suit, and he were to take up my own cause in such a barefaced and outrageous manner, with such an utter contempt of dignity and decency, I should feel the utmost shame at such partiality, though exerted in my behalf.

June 30th.

I went to Melbourne on Sunday and carried him my case. [1] He told me he had already desired Spring Rice to speak to Baring on the subject, and I believe he will do what he can ; but these great people, however well disposed, can seldom be urged into sufficient resolution and activity to take an energetic way of settling the matter, and they have always so much consideration for each other that Melbourne will probably, with all his good-nature, feel a sort of delicacy to his subordinate colleague in rescuing me from his clutches. Yesterday I went to the Duke of Wellington and gave him my case to read, requesting him to exert his influence with his Tories, and get them to attend the Committee and defend me there. He read it, approved, and promised to speak to both Peel and Herries. I had previously desired George Dawson to speak to Peel. I might certainly, after the very essential services I rendered Peel and his Government, go with some confidence to Peel or any

[1] Relating to the Secretaryship of Jamaica.

[269] of them and ask for their aid in my difficulty ; but it is not wise to remind men of an obligation ; if they do not feel it without being reminded they will not be made to do so by any hint, and an accusation of ingratitude will be implied, which will only excite their resentment ; if they are sensible of the obligation they will return it without any reminder.

After I had said what I had to say to Melbourne he asked me what was thought of the Tithe Bill. I told him it was thought a very outrageous measure by the Tories, but that I thought it useless and that it did not go far enough. ' I know you do,' he said, ' but such as it is it will very likely overturn the Government.' He then talked over the Irish question, and owned that nothing could settle it, that they might perhaps bolster up the Irish Church a little longer than the other party could, that they, however, could not do more than this now, and it was only doubtful if they could do this. He talked the language of reason, and with a just sense of the insuperable difficulties which present themselves on all sides with respect to this question, but at the same time of their eventual (though as to time uncertain) solution. I told him that I had long been of opinion that the only practicable and sound course was to open a negotiation with Rome, and to endeavour to deal with the Catholics in Ireland and the ministers of the Catholic religion upon the same plan which had been mutatis mutandis adopted universally in Germany and almost all over the Continent, and that there was nothing the Church of Rome desired so much as to cultivate a good understanding with us. He then told me a thing that surprised me, and which seemed to be at variance with this supposition — that an application had been made to the Pope very lately (through Seymour) expressive of the particular wish of the British Government, that he would not appoint M'Hale to the vacant Catholic bishopric, anybody but him, notwithstanding which the Pope had appointed M'Hale ; but on this occasion the Pope made a shrewd observation. His Holiness said that 'he had remarked for a long time past that no piece of preferment of any value ever fell vacant in Ireland that he did not get an application [270] from the British Government asking for the appointment.' Lord Melbourne supposed he was determined to show that he had the power of refusing and of opposing the wishes of Government, and in reply to my question he admitted that the Pope had generally conferred the appointment according to the wishes of Government. Can anything be more absurd or anomalous than such relations as these? The law prohibits any intercourse with Rome, and the Government whose business it is to enforce the law has established a regular but underhand intercourse, through the medium of a diplomatic agent, whose character cannot be avowed, and the Ministers of this Protestant kingdom are continually soliciting the Pope to confer appointments, the validity, even the existence, of which they do not recognise, while the Pope, who is the object of our orthodox abhorrence and dread, good-humouredly complies with all or nearly all their requests. These are the national and legislative follies of this wise and prosperous people, and such is the false position into which we are drawn by a long course of detestable policy — policy arising at first out of circumstances, and eventually adhered to from those powerful prejudices which have struck their roots so deep into the soil that the force of reason and philosophy has not yet been sufficient to tear them up. Peel, in one of his speeches on Catholic emancipation, bade the House of Commons not to deceive itself, and to be aware that if that Bill was carried, we must have Episcopal or Protestant England, Presbyterian Scotland, and Catholic Ireland. He prophesied well and truly no doubt, and to that consummation affairs will eventually come, as they ought to come, though not without many a struggle, through many a year. The prophecy of Peel is advancing to its accomplishment, but he has either forgotten it or finds it convenient to forget it.

Yesterday the Duke of Wellington talked about the Spanish war, the nature of which he described very well, and expressed his opinion that on the whole the Christinos have the best chance ; he said Zumalacarreguy was an able man, and that his death must have a very important influence on the [271] result. We talked of Napier's controversy with Perceval. [1] He said Napier had not fairly treated Perceval's character in the controversy, said he had never read a syllable of the book, in order to keep clear of discussions, but that when the work was completed, and all controversies were silenced, he might probably look it over, and if he discovered any errors tell the author of them. He said that no doubt the army had been greatly in want of money, but that this was not the fault of the Government. It was a great mistake to suppose that any advantage had been derived (as to obtaining funds) from the bank restriction ; certainly the raising of loans was facilitated by it, but the war would have been much less expensive without it, and he had always been of opinion that the immediate cause of the bank restriction was the Loyalty Loan. This loan bad drained the bankers and individuals of ready money, and the consequence was a stagnation in commerce, and therefore in circulation, which rendered the bank restriction necessary, He then talked of the Walcheren expedition, and said that though it was wretchedly conducted and altogether mismanaged, it was not ill-planned, and if they had gone straight to Antwerp it might have rendered very great service to the general cause, and have put Bonaparte in great difficulties. I had always fancied that he had disapproved of that expedition.

July 1st.

This morning Pemberton was heard in reply in Swift's case, and after a short discussion the court came to a resolution to upset Sir John Nicholl's decision. Brougham behaved very decently to-day, and stated fairly enough his opinion, but he was quite clear, and so was Baron Parke, as to the judgement. The Vice-Chancellor with hesitation acquiesced, and Erskine said nothing ; the Lord President went with them, so that the court was unanimous.

From thence I went to St. James's to swear in Sir Charles Grey [2] and Charles Fitzroy Privy Councillors, when we had a most curious burst of eloquence from his Majesty. This

[1] The Duke referred to Sir William Napier's History of the Peninsular War.

[2] Sir Charles Grey was about to go to Canada as one of three Commissioners appointed to enquire into the affairs of that colony, Lord Gosford and Sir George Gipps being the other two. Sir Charles was previously Chief Justice of Bengal, and after his return from Canada sat as member of Parliament for Tynemouth. Some years later he succeeded Lord Elgin as Governor of Jamaica, and enjoyed at this time a considerable reputation in Society. The Minister to whom the King referred in his concluding observation was Lord Glenelg, as will be seen presently.

[272] is the first time I have seen him and his present Ministers together, and certainly they do not strike me as exhibiting any mutual affection. After Sir Charles Grey was sworn the King said to him, ' Stand up,' and up he stood. He then addressed him with great fluency and energy nearly in these words: ' Sir Charles Grey, you are about to proceed upon one of the most important missions which ever left this country, and, from your judgement, ability, and experience, I have no doubt that you will acquit yourself to my entire satisfaction ; I desire you, however, to bear in mind that the colony to which you are about to proceed has not, like other British colonies, been peopled from the mother-country — that it is not an original possession of the Crown, but that it was obtained by the sword. You will take care to assert those undoubted prerogatives which the Crown there possesses, and which I am determined to enforce and maintain, and I charge you by the oath which you have just taken strenuously to assert those prerogatives, of which persons who ought to have known better have dared even in my presence to deny the existence.' His speech was something longer than this, but the last words almost precisely the same. The silence was profound, and I was amused at the astonishment depicted on the faces of the Ministers. I asked Lord Lansdowne and Lord Holland who it was that he alluded to. Neither knew, but the former said he thought it might be Ellice, and that the King referred to something Ellice had said to him when he was Minister. Somebody said they thought it was Spring Rice, but that could not be when Rice was sitting at the table. I have heard many specimens of his eloquence, but never anything like this. After this he had to give Durham an audience on his embassy, which must have been very agreeable to him, as he hates him and the Duchess of Kent, whose 'magnus Apollo' Durham is.

July 3rd.

The night before last Lord Stanley and Graham quitted their neutral seats below the gangway, and established [273] themselves on the opposite bench below Peel. This was considered as an intimation of a more decided hostility to the present Government, and as an abandonment of the neutrality (if such it can be called) which they have hitherto professed. Last night O'Connell made a very coarse attack upon Stanley in consequence of this change, which lashed him into a fury, and a series of retorts followed between them, without any result. O'Connell half shuffled out of his expressions, but refused to apologise ; the chairman (Bernal) took no notice, and the matter ended by a speech from Stanley and a few remarks upon it from Lord John Russell. The former stated his reasons for this ostentatious locomotion, which amounted to this: that he had been rudely treated in the House by ironical cheers and other unintelligible sounds, and attacked by the Government newspapers, and he had, therefore, departed from a society for which he owned he was not fitted. It was not, I think, dignified or judicious, and George Bentinck, the most faithful of his followers, was not satisfied with the proceeding or the explanation. His party, such as it was, was finally extinguished by this act, though it hardly had any existence before ; some five or six men, among whom were Gally Knight, George Bentinck, Stratford Canning, and Sir Matthew Ridley, went over to the Opposition benches ; the others dispersed where they chose.

The real history of the transaction is this: it originated with Graham, and it is not the first time he has lugged Stanley into what may be called a scrape. He was returning from some division to his usual seat, when he was assailed by those cheers, and some voice cried out, ' Why don't you stay where you are? ' on which he bowed in acquiescence to the quarter whence the recommendation proceeded, and instantly retreated to the other side. The next day he told Stanley that he must now stay where he was, and at the same time he produced the ' Globe ' newspaper, which contained a very coarse attack upon Stanley himself. This article, together with Graham's representation, determined him to take up his position on the Opposition bench, and accordingly there he went, but without any intimation to his friends, who, [274] to their great surprise, found him there, and only got from him the above explanation that evening in the House. Lord John Russell's reply to Stanley's speech was very courteous, and rather well done as far as it went, for he only said a few words. Lord Stanley is certainly fallen from his high estate, and is in a very different position from that which he aspired to occupy at the beginning of the session. He is without a party, and without any authority in the House except what he derives from his own talents for debate. He has now no alternative but to unite himself with Peel's party, and to act under him, without any pretension to competition, and without the possibility of being considered as a separate element of political power. He has been brought to this by a series of false steps from his first refusal to join Peel, followed by his flippant and undecided conduct throughout the great contest. The Whigs and the Tories both hate him, and neither will be very ready to forgive him. There is a mixture of contempt in the dislike of the former, and an undisguised satisfaction among the most violent at having got rid of him, which make any future approximation to their side impossible, and the Tories, though they will receive him in their ranks, will never forgive him for his conduct, to which they attribute the failure of the Conservative effort, for his presumption in endeavouring to set up a middle party and render himself the arbiter of the contest, and especially for his affectation of want of confidence in Peel and his attacks upon the Duke. In the meantime this move of Stanley's has rather served to strengthen the Government in the House of Commons ; between the disposition of many to go with Government, the lukewarmness and indolence of the Conservatives, and the steady attendance of a phalanx of Radicals, they have got good, regular, steady-working majorities, and appear as strong in the House of Commons as any Government need be.

July 4th.

Yesterday Brougham gave judgement in the case of Swift and Kelly a written judgement and at great length. I thought it remarkably well done, embracing all the points of the case, and laying down the law and the [275] reasons for reversing the decree of the court below in a very forcible and perspicuous manner. He must have written this judgement with great rapidity, for it was only on Tuesday afternoon that it was settled to be given on Thursday, all of which is a proof of his admirable talents. His conduct on the last day of the hearing and this judgement in some degree made up for his previous intemperance and violence. He said that he had shown the judgement to Lord Lyndhurst, who entirely agreed with him. A negotiation had been previously opened to endeavour to get the other side to concur in an application to the court to stay the judgement and to consent to a pecuniary compromise, but it was quite ineffectual.

A night or two ago there was a breeze at Lady Jersey's between the Duke of Cumberland and Alava, and many stories made of it, more than were true. The Duke, who had frequently taunted him before, was again attacking him about his expedition and Spanish affairs generally, when Alava got into a fury and said to him, ' Monseigneur, Don Carlos peut etre roi d'Espagne, mais il ne sera jamais le roi du general Alava.' This Lord Jersey told me, and that the other things he is reported to have said to the Duke are not true.

July 7th.

I can't deny that many persons have shown a very kind disposition to assist me in this business of my Jamaica place, of different political persuasions, and with most of whom I have but a very slight personal acquaintance, among these none more than Mr. Gladstone and Lord Lincoln, neither of whom did I know to speak to till I put myself into communication with them on this business. On the other hand Charles Wood, who is against me in his opinion, has been the channel of communication with Baring and shown generally a good will towards me. These demonstrations are agreeable enough, and contribute to put one in harmony with mankind, but it is after all a humiliating position, and I feel unutterable disgust, and something akin to shame, at being compelled to solicit the protection of one set of men, and the friendly offices of another, in [276] order to be maintained in the possession of that which is in itself obnoxious to public feeling and opinion. A placeman is in these days an odious animal, and as a double placeman I am doubly odious, and I have a secret kind of whispering sensation that these very people who good-naturedly enough assist me must be a little shocked at the cause they advocate. All that can be said in my favour is not obvious, nor can it be properly or conveniently brought forward, and all that can be said against me lies on the surface, and is universally evident. The funds from which I draw my means do not somehow seem a pure source ; formerly those things were tolerated, now they are not, and my prospects were formed and destiny determined at a remote period, while I incur all the odium and encounter all the risks consequent upon the altered state of public feeling on the subject.

July 15th.

Sefton told me that a correspondence has taken place between Lord Glenelg and Sir Herbert Taylor about that speech of the King's at the Council on Wednesday se'nnight. Glenelg felt himself called upon to enquire whether the blow was aimed at him, and it was evident from the tenor of the reply that it was. I heard from Stephen a day or two afterwards the real truth of this matter. It was Lord Glenelg that the King intended to allude to in his speech. Lord Melbourne spoke to his Majesty on the subject, remonstrated, and said it was impossible to carry on the government if he did such things. He said that he was greatly irritated, and had acted under strong feelings in consequence of what Glenelg had said to him. Melbourne rejoined, 'Your Majesty must have mistaken Lord Glenelg.' 'Not at all,' said the King, and he then went into a dispute they had had about the old constitution of Canada — I forget what, but something the King asserted which Glenelg contradicted. He repaired to the Colonial Office and told Stephen, who informed him that the King was right and he was wrong. The King, in fact, had got it up, and had the thing at his fingers' ends. This was awkward ; however, it ended in the King's making a sort of apology and crying peccavi for the violence of his language, [277] and this will probably be somewhat of a lesson to him, though it will not diminish the bitterness of his sentiments towards his Ministers.

I expressed my astonishment that any man could consent to stay in office after receiving such an insult as this was, to which Stephen replied that they were all thoroughly aware of their position relatively to the King and of his feelings towards them ; but they had undertaken the task and were resolved under all circumstances to go through with it, and, whatever he might say or do, they should not suffer themselves to be influenced or shaken. This is the truth; they do not look upon themselves as his Ministers, and perhaps they cannot do otherwise as things now are. It is, however, a very melancholy and mischievous state of affairs, and does more to degrade the monarchy thar anything that has ever occurred: to exhibit the King publicly to the world as a cypher, and something less than a cypher, as an unsuccessful competitor in a political squabble, is to take from the Crown all the dignity with which it is invested by that theoretical attribute of perfection that has been so conveniently ascribed to it. Both King and Ministers have been greatly to blame, the one for the egregious folly which made him rush into this sea of trouble and mortification without calculation or foresight ; the other for the unrelenting severity with which they resolved to gratify their revenge and ambition, without considering that they could not punish him without degrading the throne of which he is the occupant, and that the principle involved in his impunity was of more consequence in its great and permanent results than any success of theirs. But it would have required more virtue, self-denial, wisdom, and philosophy than falls to the lot of any public man individually in these days to have embraced all these considerations, and it would have been a miracle if a great mob of men calling themselves a party could have been made to act under the influence of such moral restraints. The King's present behaviour only makes matters worse. When he found himself compelled to take these people back, and to surrender himself a prisoner into [278] their hands, he should have swallowed the bitter pill and digested it, and not kept rolling it in his mouth and making wry faces. He should have made a very bad business as tolerable as he could, by yielding himself with a good grace ; and had he treated them with that sort of courtesy which one gentleman may and ought to show to all those with whom he is unavoidably brought into contact, and which implies nothing as to feeling and inclination, he would have received from them that respect and attention which it would have been equally their interest and their desire to show. This would have rendered their relations mutually much more tolerable, a decent veil would have been thrown over all that was humiliating and painful, and the public service must have gained by the tacit compromise ; but extreme folly, great violence in those about the King, and hopes of emancipation secretly cherished, together with the intensity of his hatred of his Ministers, have conspired to keep his Majesty in his present unwise, irksome, and degrading posture.

The night before last there was a great concert on the staircase at Stafford House, the most magnificent assembly I ever saw, and such as I think no crowned head in Europe could display, so grand and picturesque. The appearance of the hall was exactly like one of Paul Veronese's pictures, and only wanted some tapestry to be hung over the balustrades. Such prodigious space, so cool, so blazing with light; everybody was comfortable even, and the concert combined the greatest talents in Europe all together Grisi, Malibran, Tamburini, Lablache, Rubini, and Ivanhoff. The splendour, the profusion, and the perfect ease of it all were really admirable.

Dined yesterday with the Vice-Chancellor ; sixteen people whom I never saw before, almost all lawyers and lawyeresses. Shadwell told me that he believed Melbourne had no intention as long as he was Minister of changing the present arrangement with regard to the Great Seal, [1] that he

[1] The Great Seal was still in commission.

[279] was of opinion that a Chancellor was of no use, and that it was more convenient to keep in his own hands the law patronage of the Great Seal, that this obviated the disputes between Ministers and Chancellors, which have generally been very violent, as between Thurlow and Pitt, and still more between Eldon and Liverpool, which were incessant, and that nothing could exceed the hatred Eldon had for Lord Liverpool, as he knew.

Tavistock told me a day or two ago that his Majesty's Ministers are intolerably disgusted at his behaviour to them and his studied incivility to everybody connected with them. The other day the Speaker was treated by him with shocking rudeness at the drawing-room. He not only took no notice of him, but studiously overlooked him while he was standing opposite, and called up Manners Sutton and somebody else to mark the difference by extreme graciousness to the latter, Seymour, who was with him as Serjeant-at-Arms, said he had never seen a Speaker so used in the five-and-twenty years he had been there, and that it was most painful. The Speaker asked him if he had ever seen a man in his situation so received at Court. Since he has been Speaker the King has never taken the slightest notice of him. It is monstrous, equally undignified and foolish.

July 18th.

Yesterday I sat all day at my office wondering why I heard nothing of the Committee, till at half-past four o'clock Graham and Lord Lincoln came in with smiling countenances, that announced good news. They had had an angry debate of three hours' duration. Baring moved that my holding the office of Secretary of Jamaica was against the spirit of the Act of Parliament. Graham moved that holding it with the leave of absence was in accordance with the Act, and the division was nine to seven. A teller on each side and Baring, who as chairman did not vote, made the numbers ten to nine. They told me that Baring and Vernon Smith were furious. The former endeavoured to turn off his defeat by proposing that the question should be reopened on framing the report ; but even Grote opposed that, and he was forced to own that he was wrong in [280] proposing it. I must say that Gladstone told me that Baring behaved very well after the division. I will not conceal the truth, much as I have reason to complain of the man. I owe this victory to the zealous assistance of the Conservatives, for not one Whig or Radical voted with me; some of the former stayed away, whether designedly or not I don't know, except Stanley, Secretary to the Treasury, who told me he could not make up his mind to go and vote against me. The majority consisted of Herries, Fremantle (Sir Thomas), Gladstone, Nicholl, Graham, Lord Lincoln, Bethell, Fector, Bramstone, and Pringle ; the minority, Baring, Vernon Smith, Pendarves, Ruthven, Scholefield, Evans, Grote, Hume, R, Stewart. I never had any intimacy with any one of those who supported me except with Graham, and we were friends, and very intimate friends, twenty years ago. He dropped me all of a sudden from caprice or calculation, and we have been on very decent but scarcely cordial terms ever since. On this occasion I whipped up the old friendship, and with great effect, for he has served me very zealously throughout the business. I scarcely knew any of the others before, Lord Lincoln and Gladstone only on this occasion, and Fector, Nicholl, Bramstone, Bethell, and Pringle I do not know now by sight. It is really amusing to see the joy with which the news of Baring's defeat has been hailed by every member of his own family, and all others who have heard of it. The goodwill of the world (a very inert but rather satisfactory feeling) has been exhibited towards me, and there is mixed up with it in all who are acquainted with the surly reformer who is my adversary a lively pleasure at his being baffled and mortified.

July 23rd.

Dined with Bingham Baring [1] yesterday, and met Whateley, Archbishop of Dublin, a very ordinary man in appearance and conversation, with something of pretension in his talk, and telling stories without point, which smelt of the Common room ; nevertheless he is a very able man, and they told me that when he is with such men as Senior, and

[1] Afterwards the second Lord Ashburton.

[284] those with whom he is very intimate, he shines. I was greatly disappointed with what I saw and heard of him. The Church Bill has been in the House of Commons these two nights. Peel introduced his motion for dividing the Bill in a very able speech, well adapted to the purpose, if anything was to be gained in such a House of Commons ; but the fact is, both parties look beyond the immediate question: one wants to bolster up the present system, the other to overthrow it, and though I go along with Peel on his point, I go along with his opponents on their principle. He stated, however, very forcibly the dilemma in which his opponents are placed, and said, 'Why don't you make the Establishment Catholic at once, openly and avowedly, or abstain from doing what has that inevitable tendency?' Melbourne said there was no escape from this, and I replied that I would take him at his word, and that it must come to this, and he might immortalise himself by settling the question. It certainly would be a glorious field for a statesman to enter upon to brush away all the obstacles which deeply rooted prejudices and chimerical fears founded on false reasoning throw in his way, and bend all his energies to a direct and vigorous course of policy, at once firm and determined, looking the real evil in the face, and applying the real remedy to it. If I were Prime Minister I would rather fall in the attempt than work on through a succession of expedients none of which were satisfactory to myself, to hold language at variance with my opinions, and to truckle to difficulties which it is now time boldly to face. I am as satisfied as of my existence that if the heart's core of Peel could be laid open, it would be found that he thinks so himself. His is not the conduct of conviction, and he has been led into contradictions and inconsistencies which must ever beset and entangle those who persist in the attempt to maintain positions which have ceased to be tenable.

Goodwood, July 29th.

To Petworth on Saturday and here on Monday ; a smaller party than usual, and no women on account of the Duchess of Argyll's death ; far better not to have women at a racing party. Tavistock told me that a man [282] (he did not say who) had been to Lord John, evidently commissioned, though not avowedly, to tell him on the part of Peel and Lord Stanley that they would both support him if he would bring forward a proposition to pay the Irish Catholic clergy. John, however, ' timet Danaos et dona ferentes,' [Beware of Greeks bearing gifts] and hinted that his own popularity would be sacrificed if he did. This is curious, however John also told him that he never saw Peel laugh so much as during Graham's speech the other night, and he meant (but forgot it) to ask him why he laughed so. To Peel it is nuts to see Stanley and Graham drawing down unpopularity on themselves and every day widening the breach between them and their old friends; but I was somewhat struck with the apparent intimacy which was evinced in what John Russell said about Peel, and asked his brother if they were on very good personal terms. He said, 'Oh, excellent ' — a sort of House of Commons intimacy. Peel told John all he meant to do in the Committee on the Church Bill — that he should propose so and so, and when they came to the appropriation clauses he should make his bow and leave them. Tavistock remarked (which had escaped me) that Peel had in his last famous speech (certainly one of extraordinary ability) omitted all mention of the principle of appropriation, and confined himself to the proof that there was no surplus ; but what is most remarkable perhaps of all is this: Peel said to John, ' If you will appropriate, I will show you a much better plan than your own,' and he accordingly did show him a plan by which there would be a considerably greater surplus, and John acknowledged that Peel's plan would be better than his own. I wonder what the High Tories and the King would think of all this. While he is quarrelling with Johnny and his friends for Peel's sake, and undergoing martyrdom in his social relations with them, there they are hand and glove, and almost concerting together the very measures which are the cause of all the animosities and all the political violence which agitate and divide the world. There is something extremely ludicrous in all this.

I hear to-day that Peel is going into the country for [283] good, and leaves the Lords to deal with the Bills. He probably expects them to commit some follies, and fancies he may as well be out of the way.

August 4th.

Came to town on Sunday, having slept at Winchester on Saturday night to see the town and the cathedral, and hear the service in the latter, which was very moderate ; the cathedral, however, is worth seeing. When I got to town I found the Tory Lords had been worked into a frenzy by Wetherell and Knight [1] at the bar of the House of Lords (the latter of whom is said to have made a very able speech), and Newcastle and Winchilsea bellowed and blustered in grand style. Lord Rosslyn had told me some time ago that the Duke would have great difficulty in managing his people, but that I think was a propos of the Church Bill. Yesterday at two o'clock there was a great assemblage of Peers at Apsley House to determine what was to be done, and amazed was I when I learnt at about five o'clock that they had resolved to move that evidence should be heard against the principle of the Municipal Corporation Bill, which was accordingly moved by Carnarvon last night. At dinner I met Stuart, to whom I expressed my astonishment at the course they had adopted, and he owned that it was ' rather hazardous,' and said that it was adopted at the suggestion of Lyndhurst, who had insisted upon it at Apsley House, and that the Duke had given way. He said that this had followed as a necessary consequence of Brougham proposing that counsel should be heard upon the details, as it appeared that the evidence on which the Bill was founded was not to be relied on. He owned that it was probable Peel would disapprove of the proceedings of the Lords, and a breach between him and them be the consequence. He told me that at a dinner on Saturday, at which the Dukes of Wellington and Cumberland, Peel, and Wetherell were present, the question had been argued ; that Sir Charles Wetherell had urged all the leading arguments he had used in his speech, and Peel had contested every part and particle of his argument, while

[1] Mr. Knight Bruce, afterwards Lord Justice in Equity.

[284] the Duke of Cumberland did not utter a word. Stuart added that he heard the Government meditated something very strong, and I repeated what Hobhouse had told me in the morning, when I met him in the Park — that Melbourne would probably adjourn the House, that there would be a call of the House of Commons, and some strong resolution proposed there. Some Whigs, however, who were present last night, suggested that it would be better to adjourn the House of Commons, and let the Lords go on with their evidence while they pleased to hear it, and then reassemble the Commons in case the Bill was sent back to them. Hobhouse said, ' Depend upon it, it is the commencement de la fin'. It does certainly appear to me that these Tory Lords will never rest till they have accomplished the destruction of the House of Lords. They are resolved to bring about a collision with the House of Commons, and the majority in each House grows every day more rabid and more desperate. I am at a loss to comprehend the views by which Lyndhurst, the ablest of the party, is actuated, or how he can (if it be so, which from Stuart's account is probable) fancy that any object is attainable which involves in it a breach or separation between Peel and the great body of the Tories. I would give much to see the recesses of his mind, and know what he really thinks of all these proceedings, and to what consequences he believes that they will lead.

August 6th.

Yesterday to Brighton, to see my horse Dacre run for the Brighton stake, which he won, and back at night. The day before I met the Vice-Chancellor [1] at Charing Cross, going down to the House of Lords. ' Well,' said he, shrugging his shoulders, ' here I am going to the House of Lords, after hearing evidence all the morning, to hear it again for the rest of the evening.' ' What is to happen ? ' I asked him. ' O Lord, it is the greatest bore ; they have heard Coventry and Oxford ; they got something of a case out of the first, but the other was beyond anything tiresome;

[1] T he Great Seal being in commission, the Vice-Chancellor of England (Sir Lancelot Shadwell) sat as one of the Commissioners on the Woolsack.

[285] they are sick to death of it, and Brougham and Lyndhurst have agreed that it is all damned nonsense, and they will hear nothing more after Saturday next.' So this is the end of all this hubbub, and here are these two great comedians thundering against each other in the House of Lords overnight with all imaginable vehemence and solemnity, only to meet together the next morning and agree that it is all damned nonsense. There is something very melancholy and very ludicrous in all this, and though that great bull calf the public does not care about such things, and is content to roar when he is bid, there are those on the alert who will turn such trifling and folly to account, and convert what is half ridiculous into something all serious. Winchilsea and Newcastle after all did not vote the other night ; they said they wanted no evidence, that they would have no such Bill, and would not meddle with the discussion at all except to oppose it point-blank. Fools as they are, their folly is more tolerable and probably less mischievous than the folly of the wise ones.

August 9th.

On Wednesday last at the levee the King made a scene with Lord Torrington, one of his Lords of the Bedchamber, and a very disgraceful scene. A card was put into Torrington's hands of somebody who was presented, which he read, 'So and so, Deputy-Governor'. 'Deputy-Governor?' said the King, 'Deputy-Governor of what?' 'I cannot tell your Majesty,' replied Torrington, 'as it is not upon the card.' 'Hold your tongue, sir,' said the King ; ' you had better go home and learn to read ; ' and shortly after, when some bishop presented an address against (I believe) the Irish Tithe Bill, and the King was going as usual to hand over the papers to the Lord in waiting, he stopped and said to Lord Torrington, who advanced to take them, ' No, Lord Torrington ; these are not fit documents to be entrusted to your keeping.' His habitual state of excitement will probably bring on sooner or later the malady of his family. Torrington is a young man in a difficult position, or he ought to have resigned instantly [1] and as publicly as the insult was offered. The King cannot bridle his temper, and lets

[1] It is now stated with authority that Lord Torrington did resign, and the matter was immediately set right, the King requesting that no more should be said about it

[286] slip no opportunity of showing his dislike, impotent as it is, of the people who surround him. He admits none but Tories into his private society, wherever he goes Tories accompany him ; at Windsor Tories only are his guests. This provokes his Ministers, but it necessarily makes them more indifferent to the cultivation of his favour, and accustoms them to consider themselves as the Ministers of the House of Commons and not of the Crown.

My brother writes me from Paris very interesting details of the funeral of the victims of the assassination plot, [1] which was an imposing and magnificent ceremony, admirably arranged, and as it has produced a burst of enthusiasm for the King, and has brought round the clergy to him, it will serve to strengthen his throne. His undaunted courage ingratiates him with the French.

August 15th

On Wednesday the Lords commenced proceedings on the Corporation Bill. The Ministers were aware that they meant to throw it out, for Lord John Russell and Lord Lansdowne both told me at the levee that they had heard such was the intention of the Tories. However, they never had such a design, and the second reading passed without a division ; on Thursday they went into Committee, and the freeman's clause was carried against Government by a majority of 93 — 130 to 37 — the debate being distinguished by divers sallies of intemperance from Brougham, who thundered, and menaced, and gesticulated in his finest style. When somebody cried, ' Question,' he burst out, ' Do you think to put me down ? I have stood against 300 of the House of Commons, and do you think I will give way to you?' This was uttered with all imaginable rage and scorn.[2] This amendment was

[1] The victims of the Fieschi conspiracy.

[2] Brougham had some reason to be angry. Lyndhurst did not reply to him on Wednesday, when he might have done so, pleading the fatigue of late hours and his own indisposition, and on Thursday he attacked him when he was absent ; he therefore gave him good ground of complaint. Brougham's insolence and violence have done great injury to the House of Lords by lowering the style and character of their debates and introducing coarseness and acrimony such as never were known there before. Hardly a night passes without some discreditable scene of squabbling and vituperation bandied between him and the High Tory Lords, one or other of them ; their hatred of him and his scorn of them are everlastingly breaking out. He and Lyndhurst, though constantly pitted against each other, are great friends all the time, but with the others it is a rabid passion of hatred and contempt, mutually felt and continually expressed.

[287] always anticipated, and though the Government object to it, Lord Lansdowne told me that as the ratepaying clause had passed without opposition, he did not care for the other alterations, but the minority appeared to everybody bordering upon the ridiculous ; a Minister who could only muster thirty-seven present, and who was in a minority of three to one, presented a novel spectacle. Nobody could account for the carelessness of their muster, for many Peers were absent who might easily have been there, and several who belong to Government by office or connexion. It did not, however, occur to anybody that they would feel themselves compelled to resign upon it, except perhaps to a few Tories, who hinted their notion that Melbourne could not go on with such a majority against him, which, however true it may be in the long run, signifies nothing as to any immediate change.

Last night the qualification clause was carried against Government by an equally large majority, or nearly so, and this time Government does not seem disposed to take it so patiently. It was well understood that a qualification would be imposed, and many of the supporters of the Bill said they did not object thereto, but they had no notion of such a qualification as Lyndhurst proposed and carried last night, and the Duke of Richmond (whom I met at Crockford's) told me that it would be fatal to the Bill. He saw Lord John Russell after the division, who told him so, and that the Commons would never take the Bill with such an alteration as this. Richmond himself goes entirely with Government in this measure, and I was rather surprised to hear him say that ' it had been urged that Lord Stanley was opposed to this part of the Bill, but that if this were so a man must judge for himself in so important a matter,' which looks a little as if he meant to back out of the Dilly, and I should not be very much surprised if he came into office again with these people, if they stay in. I asked him what in his opinion would happen, and he [288] replied that he thought the House of Lords was nearly done for, that he expected the Commons would reject their amendments and pass some very strong resolutions ; he should not be surprised if they refused to pass the Appropriation Bill. I said they would hardly do that, because it would be a measure against Government, and would compel these Ministers to resign. This he admitted, but he went on to say that he expected it would throw the House of Commons into a ferment, that they would adopt some violent course, and then there would be a ' row royal.' What astonishes me most in all this is that Lyndhurst, a man of great abilities, and certainly, if wishing for anything, wishing for the success of the party he belongs to, should urge these desperate courses. He it was who proposed the fatal postponement of Schedule A, which led to such utter ruin and confusion, and now it is he who manages this Bill, and who ventures to mutilate the Ministerial measure in such a manner as will in all probability bring down all the wrath of the Commons on him and his Conservative majority. I am not at all sure but that the Government is content to exhibit its paltry numbers in the House of Lords, in order that the world may see how essentially it is a Tory body, that it hardly fulfils the conditions of a great independent legislative assembly, but presents the appearance of a dominant party-faction which is too numerous to be affected by any constitutional process and too obstinate to be turned from its fixed purpose of opposing all the measures which have a tendency to diminish the influence of the Conservative party in the country. It is impossible to look at the disposition exhibited by this great majority and not admit that there is very small chance of its acting harmoniously with the present House of Commons, and that some change must take place in order to enable Government and legislation to go on at all. It is anything but clear that the nation desires the destruction of the House of Lords, nor is it clear that the nation cares for its preservation. It is, I think, exceedingly probable that a majority of those who return members to Parliament, and in whom collectively the supreme power really resides, though they might be content [289] to retain the House of Lords, if it could be made to act in harmony with, and therefore necessarily in subordination to, the House of Commons, would not hesitate for an instant to decree its downfall if it became clear that there was no other way of crushing the Tory faction which now rules triumphant in that House. At all events the Lords are playing a desperate game ; if it succeeds, they who direct the energies of the party are great and wise men ; but what if it fail ? They seem to have no answer to this but that if they

Screw their courage to the sticking place,
It will not fail.

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