The Greville Memoirs

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The Greville Memoirs

Chapter 19

Foreign Difficulties — Conduct of Peel on the Resignation of Lord Grey — Manners Sutton proposed as Tory Premier — Coolness between Peel and the Duke — Embargo on Dutch Ships — Death of Lord Tenterden — Denman made Lord Chief Justice — Tableau of Holland House — The Speakership — Horne and Campbell Attorney- and Solicitor-General — The Court at Brighton — Lord Howe and the Queen — Elections under the Reform Act — Mr. Gully — Petworth — Lord Egremont — Attempt to re-instate Lord Howe — Namik Pacha — Lord Lyndhurst's Version of what occurred on the Resignation of Lord Grey — Lord Denbigh appointed Chamberlain to the Queen — Brougham's Privy Council Bill — Talleyrand's Relations with Fox and Pitt — Negro Emancipation Bill — State of the West Indies — The Reformed Parliament meets — Russian Intrigues — Four Days Debate on the Address — Peel's Political Career.

[324] London, October 7th.

I went to Newmarket on the 30th of September, to Panshanger on the 5th, and came to town on the 6th. Great fears entertained of war; the obstinacy of the Dutch King, the appointment of Soult to be Prime Minister of France, and the ambiguous conduct of the Allied Courts look like war. Miguel has attacked Oporto without success; but, as he nearly destroyed the English and French battalions, he will probably soon get possession of the city. It is clear that all Portugal is for him, which we may be sorry for, but so it is. The iniquity of his cause does not appear to affect it.

October 12th.

Lady Cowper told me at Panshanger that Palmerston said all the difficulties of the Belgian question came from Matuscewitz, who was insolent and obstinate, and astute in making objections; that it was the more provoking as he had been recalled some time ago (the Greek business being settled, for which he came), and Palmerston and some of the others had asked the Emperor to allow him to stay here, [325] on account of his usefulness in drawing up the minutes of the proceedings of the Conference; that Lieven had by no means wished him to stay, but could not object when the others desired it. Accordingly he remained, and now he annoys Palmerston to death. All this she wrote to Madame de Lieven, who replied that it was not the fault of Matuscewitz, and that he and Lieven agreed perfectly. She talked, however, rather more pacific language. This clever, intriguing, agreeable diplomatess has renewed her friendship with the Duke of Wellington, to which he does not object, though she will hardly ever efface the impression her former conduct made upon him. My journal is getting intolerably stupid, and entirely barren of events. I would take to miscellaneous and private matters if any fell in my way, but what can I make out of such animals as I herd with and such occupations as I am engaged in?

Euston, October 26th.

Went to Downham on Sunday last; the Duke of Rutland, the Walewskis, Lord Burghersh, and Hope. Came here on Wednesday morning; the usual party. At Downham I picked up a good deal from Arbuthnot (who was very garrulous) of a miscellaneous description, of which the most curious and important was the entire confirmation of (what I before suspected) the ill blood that exists between the Duke of Wellington and Peel; though the interests of party keep them on decent terms, they dislike one another, and the Duke's friends detest Peel still more than the Duke does himself. He told me all that had passed at the time of the blow-up of the present Government, which I have partly recorded from a former conversation with him, and his story certainly proves that the Duke (though I think he committed an enormous error in judgment) was not influenced by any motives of personal ambition.

As soon as the King sent for Lyndhurst the latter went to the Duke, who (as is known) agreed to form a Government, never doubting that he was to be himself Prime Minister. Lyndhurst went to Peel, who declined to take office, and he then went to Baring. Lyndhurst and Arbuthnot sent for Baring out of the House of Commons, and took [326] him to old Bankes' house in Palace Yard, where they had their conversation with him. He begged for time to consider of it, and to be allowed to consult Peel, to which they assented. He afterwards agreed, but on condition that Manners Sutton should also be in the Cabinet. Lyndhurst had about the same time made overtures to Manners Sutton, and though nothing was finally settled it was understood he would accept them. So matters stood, when one day (it must have been the Wednesday or Thursday) Vesey Fitzgerald called on the Arbuthnots, and in a conversation about the different arrangements he intimated that Manners Sutton expected to be Prime Minister, and on asking him more particularly they found that this was also his own impression. The next morning Arbuthnot went off to Lyndhurst's house, where he arrived before Lyndhurst was dressed, and told him what had fallen from Fitzgerald, and asked what it could mean. Lyndhurst answered very evasively, but promised to have the matter cleared up. Arbuthnot, not satisfied, went to the Duke and told him what had passed, and added his conviction that there was some such project on foot (to make Sutton Premier) of which he was not aware. The Duke said he did not care a farthing who was Premier, and that if it was thought desirable that Sutton should be he had not the smallest objection, and was by no means anxious to fill the post himself. I asked whether the Duke would have taken office if Sutton had been Minister, and was told that nothing was settled, but probably not.

The same day there was a meeting at Apsley House, at which the Duke, Lyndhurst, Baring, Ellenborough, and (I think) Rosslyn or Aberdeen, or both, were present, and to which Sutton came, and held forth for nearly four hours upon the position of their affairs and his coming into office. He talked such incredible nonsense (as I have before related) that when he was gone they all lifted up their hands and with one voice pronounced the impossibility of forming any Government under such a head. Baring was then asked why he had made Sutton's coming into office [327] the condition of his own acceptance, and why he had wished him to be Prime Minister. He said that he had never desired any such thing himself, and had hardly any acquaintance with Sutton, except that as Speaker he was civil to him, and he dined with him once a year, but that when he had gone to consult Peel, Peel had advised him to insist upon having Sutton, and to put him at the head of the Government. This avowal led to further examination into what had passed, and it came out that when Lyndhurst went to Peel, Peel pressed Manners Sutton upon him, refusing to take office himself, but promising to support the new Government, and urging Lyndhurst to offer the Premiership to Sutton. At the same time he put Sutton up to this, and desired him to refuse every office except that of Premier. Accordingly, when Lyndhurst went to Sutton, the latter said he would be Prime Minister or nothing, and Lyndhurst had the folly to promise it to him. Thus matters stood when Lady Cowley, who was living at Apsley House, and got hold of what was passing, went and told it to her brother, Lord Salisbury, who lost no time in imparting it to some of the other High Tory Lords, who all agreed that it would not do to have Sutton at the head of the Government, and that the Duke was the only man for them. On Saturday the great dinner at the Conservative Club took place, at which a number of Tories, principally Peers, with the Duke and Peel, were present. A great many speeches were made, all full of enthusiasm for the Duke, and expressing a determination to support his Government. Peel was in very ill humour and said little; the Duke spoke much in honour of Peel, applauding his conduct and saying that the difference of their positions justified each in his different line. The next day some of the Duke's friends met, and agreed that the unanimous desire for the Duke's being at the head of the Government which had been expressed at that dinner, together with the unfitness of Sutton, proved the absolute necessity of the Duke's being Premier, and it was resolved that a communication to this effect should be made to Peel. Aberdeen charged himself with it and went to Peel's house, [328] where Sutton was at the time. Peel came to Aberdeen in a very bad humour, said he saw from what had passed at the dinner that nobody was thought of but the Duke, and he should wash his hands of the whole business; that he had already declined having anything to do with the Government, and to that determination he should adhere. The following Monday the whole thing was at an end.

I am not sure that I have stated these occurrences exactly as they were told me. There may be errors in the order of the interviews and pourparlers, and in the verbal details, but the substance is correct, and may be summed up to this effect: that Peel, full of ambition, but of caution, animated by deep dislike and jealousy of the Duke (which policy induced him to conceal, but which temper betrayed), thought to make Manners Sutton play the part of Addington, while he was to be another Pitt; he fancied that he could gain in political character, by an opposite line of conduct, all that the Duke would lose; and he resolved that a Government should be formed the existence of which should depend upon himself. Manners Sutton was to be his creature; he would have dictated every measure of Government; he would have been their protector in the House of Commons; and, as soon as the fitting moment arrived, he would have dissolved this miserable Ministry and placed himself at the head of affairs. All these deep-laid schemes, and constant regard of self, form a strong contrast to the simplicity and heartiness of the Duke's conduct, and make the two men appear in a very different light from that in which they did at first. Peel acted right from bad motives, the Duke wrong from good ones. The Duke put himself forward, and encountered all the obloquy and reproach to which he knew he exposed himself, and having done so, cheerfully offered to resign the power to another. Peel endeavoured to seize the power, but to shield himself from responsibility and danger. It is a melancholy proof of the dearth of talent and the great capacity of the man that, notwithstanding the detection of his practices and his motives, the Tories are compelled still to keep well with [329] him and to accept him for their leader. No cordiality, however, can exist again between him and the Duke and his friends, and, should the Whig Government be expelled, the animosity and disunion engendered by these circumstances will make it extremely difficult to form a Tory Administration. [In a short time it was all made up forgiven, if not forgotten.]

November 7th.

Came to town on Sunday. The answer of the Dutch King to the demand of England and France that he should give up Antwerp was anxiously expected. It arrived on Monday afternoon, and was a refusal. Accordingly a Council met yesterday, at which an order was made for laying an embargo on Dutch merchant ships, which are to be sequestrated, but not confiscated. The French army marches forthwith, and Palmerston told me they expected two or three days of bombardment would suffice for the capture of the citadel, after which the French would retire within their own frontier. The combined fleets will remain at the Downs, for they can do nothing on the coast of Holland at this season of the year. There is a good deal of jealousy and no friendly spirit between the English and French sailors; and the Duke of Richmond told me yesterday that the Deal pilots desired nothing so much as to get the French ships into a scrape. Great excitement prevails about this Dutch question, which is so complicated that at this moment I do not understand its merits. Matuscewitz, however, who is opposed totis viribus to the policy of England and France, told me that nobody could have behaved worse than the King of Holland has done, shuffling and tricking throughout; but they say he is so situated at home that he could not give way if he would. A few days must now decide the question of war or peace. All the Ministers, except Brougham, Lord Holland, Grant, and Carlisle, were at the Council yesterday the Archbishop of Canterbury for a prayer (for we omit no opportunity of offering supplications or returning thanks to Heaven), and the new Lord Chief Justice to be sworn a Privy Councillor.

Lord Tenterden died on Sunday night, and no time was [330] lost in appointing Denman as his successor. Coming as he does after four of the greatest lawyers who ever sat upon the Bench, this choice will not escape severe censure; for the reputation of Denman as a lawyer is not high, and he has been one of the most inefficient Attorneys-General who ever filled the office. It has been a constant matter of complaint on the part of the Government and their friends that the law officers of the Crown gave them no assistance, but, on the contrary, got them into scrapes. Denman is an honourable man, and has been a consistent politician; latterly, of course, a Radical of considerable vehemence, if not of violence. The other men who were mentioned as successors to Tenterden were Lyndhurst, Scarlett, and James Parke. The latter is the best of the puisne judges, and might have been selected if all political considerations and political connexions had been disregarded. Lyndhurst will be overwhelmed with anguish and disappointment at finding himself for ever excluded from the great object of his ambition, and in which his professional claims are so immeasurably superior to those of his successful competitor; nor has he lost it by any sacrifice of interest to honour, but merely from the unfortunate issue of his political speculations. When he was made Chief Baron a regular compact was made, a secret article, that he should succeed on Tenterden's death to the Chief Justiceship; which bargain was of course cancelled by his declaration of war on the Reform question and his consequent breach with Lord Grey; though by far the fittest man, he was now out of the question. It will be the more grating as he has just evinced his high capabilities by pronouncing in the Court of Exchequer one of the ablest judgments (in Small v. Attwood) that were ever delivered. [It was after wards reversed by the House of Lords.] Scarlett, who had been a Whig for forty years, and who has long occupied the first place in the Court of King's Bench, would have been the man if his political dissociation from his old connexions, and his recent hostility to them, had not also cancelled his claims; so that every rival being set aside from one cause or another, Denman, by one of the most extraordinary pieces [331] of good fortune that ever happened to man, finds himself elevated to this great office, the highest object of a lawyer's ambition, and, in my opinion, one of the most enviable stations an Englishman can attain. It is said that as a Common Serjeant he displayed the qualities of a good judge, and his friends confidently assert that he will make a very good Chief Justice; but his legal qualifications are admitted to be very inferior to those of his predecessors. [He made a very bad one, but was personally popular and generally respected for his high and honourable moral character.]

Tenterden was a remarkable man, and his elevation did great credit to the judgment which selected him, and which probably was Eldon's. He had never led a cause, but he was a profound lawyer, and appears to have had a mind fraught with the spirit and genius of the law, and not narrowed and trammelled by its subtleties and technicalities. In spite of his low birth, want of oratorical power, and of personal dignity, he was greatly revered and dreaded on the Bench. He was an austere, but not an ill-humoured judge; his manners were remarkably plain and unpolished, though not vulgar. He was an elegant scholar, and cultivated classical literature to the last. Brougham, whose congenial tastes delighted in his classical attainments, used to bandy Latin and Greek with him from the Bar to the Bench; and he has more than once told me of his sending Tenterden Greek verses of John Williams', of which the next day Tenterden gave him a translation in Latin verse. He is supposed to have died very rich. Denman was taken into the King's closet before the Council, when he was sworn in; the King took no particular notice of him, and the appointment is not, probably, very palatable to his Majesty.

November 15th.

Sheriff business at the Exchequer Court on Monday; saw Lyndhurst and Denman meet and shake hands with much politeness and grimace.

November 20th.

Dined at Holland House the day before yesterday; Lady Holland is unwell, fancies she must dine at five o'clock, and exerts her power over society by making everybody go out there at that hour, though nothing can be more [332] inconvenient than thus shortening the day, and nothing more tiresome than such lengthening of the evening. Rogers and Luttrell were staying there. The tableau of the house is this:— Before dinner, Lady Holland affecting illness and almost dissolution, but with a very respectable appetite, and after dinner in high force and vigour; Lord Holland, with his chalkstones and unable to walk, lying on his couch in very good spirits and talking away; Luttrell and Rogers walking about, ever and anon looking despairingly at the clock and making short excursions from the drawing-room; Allen surly and disputatious, poring over the newspapers, and replying in monosyllables (generally negative) to whatever is said to him. The grand topic of interest, far exceeding the Belgian or Portuguese questions, was the illness of Lady Holland's page, who has got a tumour in his thigh. This 'little creature,' as Lady Holland calls a great hulking fellow of about twenty, is called 'Edgar,' his real name being Tom or Jack, which he changed on being elevated to his present dignity, as the Popes do when they are elected to the tiara. More rout is made about him than other people are permitted to make about their children, and the inmates of Holland House are invited and compelled to go and sit with and amuse him. Such is the social despotism of this strange house, which presents an odd mixture of luxury and constraint, of enjoyment physical and intellectual, with an alloy of small désagréments. Talleyrand generally comes at ten or eleven o'clock, and stays as long as they will let him. Though everybody who goes there finds something to abuse or to ridicule in the mistress of the house, or its ways, all continue to go; all like it more or less; and whenever, by the death of either, it shall come to an end, a vacuum will be made in society which nothing will supply. It is the house of all Europe; the world will suffer by the loss; and it may with truth be said that it will 'eclipse the gaiety of nations.'

November 27th.

At Roehampton from Saturday till Monday. The Chancellor had been there a few days before, from whom Lord Dover had picked up the gossip of the Government. [333] There had been a fresh breeze with Durham, who it seems has returned from Russia more odious than ever. His violence and insolence, as usual, were vented on Lord Grey, and the rest of the Cabinet, as heretofore, are obliged to submit. I have since heard from the Duke of Richmond that the cause of this last storm was something relating to Church Reform, and that he had been forced to knock under. I fancy he wanted to go much further than the others, probably to unfrock the Bishop of Durham and Bishop Phillpotts, the former because he is a greater man in the county than himself, and the latter from old and inextinguishable hatred and animosity.

There has been another dispute about the Speakership. All the Cabinet except Althorp want to put Abercromby in the chair, and Althorp insists on having Littleton. The former is in all respects the best choice, and the man whom they ought, from his long connexion with the Whigs and his consistency and respectability, to propose, but Althorp thought fit to commit himself in some way to Littleton, who has no claims to be compared with those of Abercromby (having been half his life in opposition to the present Government), and he obstinately insists upon the expectations held out to him being realised. Lord Grey, though very anxious for Abercromby, thinks it necessary to defer to the leader of the House of Commons, and the consequence is a very disagreeable dispute on the subject. Abercromby is greatly mortified at being postponed to Littleton, and not the less as Althorp has always been his friend. The language of Dover, who is a sort of jackal to Brougham, clearly indicates the desire of that worthy to get rid of Lord Grey and put himself in his place. All these little squabbles elicit some disparaging remarks on Lord Grey's weakness, folly, or cupidity. Hœret lateri — the offer of the Attorney-Generalship, and the day of vengeance is intended to come. [1]

After considerable delay Horne and Campbell were appointed Attorney- and Solicitor-General; the delay was

[1] This refers to Lord Grey's having offered the Attorney-Generalship to Brougham when Government was formed.

[334] occasioned by ineffectual attempts to dispose of Horne elsewhere. They wanted to get some puisne judge to resign, and to put Horne on the Bench, but they could not make any such arrangement, so Horne is Attorney. Pepys was to have been Solicitor if the thing could have been managed. I don't think I picked up anything else, except that the King was very averse to the French attack upon Antwerp, and consented to the hand-in-hand arrangement between France and England with considerable reluctance. The fact is he hates this Government so much that he dislikes all they do.

Lord Lansdowne is just come from Paris, and gives a flourishing account of the prospects of King Louis Philippe and his Government, but as he is the Duc de Broglie's intimate friend his opinion may be prejudiced. The King appears certainly to have rather gained than not by the attack which was made on him, from the coolness and courage he evinced, and it is a great point to have proved that he is not a coward.

Brighton, December 14th.

Came here last Wednesday week; Council on the Monday for the dissolution; place very full, bustling, gay, and amusing. I am staying in De Ros's house with Alvanley; Chesterfields, Howes, Lievens, Cowpers, all at Brighton, and plenty of occupation in visiting, gossiping, dawdling, riding, and driving; a very idle life, and impossible to do anything. The Court very active, vulgar, and hospitable; King, Queen, Princes, Princesses, bastards, and attendants constantly trotting about in every direction: the election noisy and dull — the Court candidate beaten and two Radicals elected. Everybody talking of the siege of Antwerp and the elections. So, with plenty of animation, and discussion, and curiosity, I like it very well. Lord Howe is devoted to the Queen, and never away from her. She receives his attentions, but demonstrates nothing in return; he is like a boy in love with this frightful spotted Majesty, while his delightful wife is laid up (with a sprained ankle and dislocated joint) on her couch.

Brighton, December 17th.

On Sunday I heard Anderson preach. He does not write his sermons, but preaches from [335] notes; very eloquent, voice and manner perfect, one of the best I ever heard, both preacher and reader.

The borough elections are nearly over, and have satisfied the Government. They do not seem to be bad on the whole; the metropolitans have sent good men enough, and there was no tumult in the town. At Hertford Duncombe was routed by Salisbury's long purse. He hired such a numerous mob besides that he carried all before him. Some very bad characters have been returned; among the worst, Faithful here; Gronow at Stafford; Gully, Pontefract; Cobbett, Oldham; though I am glad that Cobbett is in Parliament. Gully's history is extraordinary. He was taken out of prison twenty-five or thirty years ago by Mellish to fight Pierce, surnamed the 'Game Chicken,' being then a butcher's apprentice; he fought him and was beaten. He afterwards fought Belcher (I believe), and Gresson twice, and left the prize-ring with the reputation of being the best man in it. He then took to the turf, was successful, established himself at Newmarket, where he kept a hell, and began a system of corruption of trainers, jockeys, and boys, which put the secrets of all Newmarket at his disposal, and in a few years made him rich. At the same time he connected himself with Mr. Watt in the north, by betting for him, and this being at the time when Watt's stable was very successful, he won large sums of money by his horses. Having become rich he embarked in a great coal speculation, which answered beyond his hopes, and his shares soon yielded immense profits. His wife, who was a coarse, vulgar woman, in the meantime died, and he afterwards married the daughter of an innkeeper, who proved as gentlewomanlike as the other had been the reverse, and who is very pretty besides. He now gradually withdrew from the betting ring as a regular blackleg, still keeping horses, and betting occasionally in large sums, and about a year or two ago, having previously sold the Hare Park to Sir Mark Wood, where he lived for two or three years, he bought a property near Pontefract, and settled down (at Ackworth Park) as John Gully, Esq., a gentleman of fortune. At the Reform dissolution he was [336] pressed to come forward as candidate for Pontefract, but after some hesitation he declined. Latterly he has taken great interest in politics, and has been an ardent Reformer and a liberal subscriber for the advancement of the cause. When Parliament was about to be dissolved, he was again invited to stand for Pontefract by a numerous deputation; he again hesitated, but finally accepted; Lord Mexborough withdrew, and he was elected without opposition. In person he is tall and finely formed, full of strength and grace, with delicate hands and feet, his face coarse and with a bad expression, his head set well on his shoulders, and remarkably graceful and even dignified in his actions and manners; totally without education, he has strong sense, discretion, reserve, and a species of good taste which has prevented, in the height of his fortunes, his behaviour from ever transgressing the bounds of modesty and respect, and he has gradually separated himself from the rabble of bettors and blackguards of whom he was once the most conspicuous, and tacitly asserted his own independence and acquired gentility without ever presuming towards those whom he has been accustomed to regard with deference. His position is now more anomalous than ever, for a member of Parliament is a great man, though there appear no reasons why the suffrages of the blackguards of Pontefract should place him in different social relations towards us than those in which we mutually stood before.

Petworth, December 20th.

Came here yesterday. It is a very grand place; house magnificent and full of fine objects, both ancient and modern; the Sir Joshuas and Vandykes particularly interesting, and a great deal of all sorts that is worth seeing. Lord Egremont was eighty-one the day before yesterday, and is still healthy, with faculties and memory apparently unimpaired. He has reigned here for sixty years with great authority and influence. He is shrewd, eccentric, and benevolent, and has always been munificent and charitable in his own way; he patronises the arts and fosters rising genius. Painters and sculptors find employment and welcome in his house; he has built a gallery which is full of [337] pictures and statues, some of which are very fine, and the pictures scattered through the house are interesting and curious. Lord Egremont hates ceremony, and can't bear to be personally meddled with; he likes people to come and go as it suits them, and say nothing about it, never to take leave of him. The party here consists of the Cowpers, his own family, a Lady E. Romney, two nieces, Mrs. Tredcroft a neighbour, Ridsdale a parson, Wynne, Turner, the great landscape painter, and a young artist of the name of Lucas, whom Lord Egremont is bringing into notice, and who will owe his fortune (if he makes it) to him. Lord Egremont is enormously rich, and lives with an abundant though not very refined hospitality. The house wants modern comforts, and the servants are rustic and uncouth; but everything is good, and it all bears an air of solid and aristocratic grandeur. The stud groom told me there are 300 horses of different sorts here. His course, however, is nearly run, and he has the mortification of feeling that, though surrounded with children and grandchildren, he is almost the last of his race, and that his family is about to be extinct. Two old brothers and one childless nephew are all that are left of the Wyndhams, and the latter has been many years married. All his own children are illegitimate, but he has everything in his power, though nobody has any notion of the manner in which he will dispose of his property. It is impossible not to reflect upon the prodigious wealth of the Earls of Northumberland, and of the proud Duke of Somerset who married the last heiress of that house, the betrothed of three husbands. All that Lord Egremont has, all the Duke of Northumberland's property, and the Duke of Rutland's Cambridgeshire estate belonged to them, which together is probably equivalent to between £200,000 and £300,000 a year. Banks told me that the Northumberland property, when settled on Sir H. Smithson, was not above £12,000 a year. [1]

[1] The eleventh Earl of Northumberland, Joscelyn Percy, died in 1670, leaving an only daughter, who married Charles Seymour, ninth Duke of Somerset, This lady is described as 'the betrothed of three husbands,' because she was married at fourteen to Henry Cavendish, son of the Duke of Newcastle, who died in the following year. She was then affianced to Thomas Thynne of Longleat, who was assassinated in 1682; and at last married to the Duke of Somerset. The eldest son of this marriage, Algernon Seymour, who succeeded to the Dukedom of Somerset in 1748, was created Earl of Northumberland on the 2nd of October, 1749, and Earl of Egremont on the following day, with remainder (as regards the latter title) to his nephew Sir Charles Wyndham, who succeeded him in February 1750. The Earldom of Northumberland passed at the same time to Sir Hugh Smithson, son-in-law of Duke Algernon, who was created Duke of Northumberland in 1766. The titles and the vast property of the Duke of Somerset, Earl of Northumberland, thus came to be divided.

George O'Brien Wyndham, third Earl of Egremont, to whom Mr. Greville paid this visit, was born on the 18th of December, 1751. He was therefore eighty-two years old at this time; but he lived five years longer, and died in 1837, famous and beloved for his splendid hospitality and for his liberal and judicious patronage of the arts, and likewise of the turf.

[338] Brighton, December 31st.

Lady Howe gave me an account of the offer of the Chamberlainship to her husband again. They added the condition that he should not oppose Government, but was not to be obliged to support them. This he refused, and he regarded the proposal as an insult; so the Queen was not conciliated the more. She likewise told me that the cause of her former wrath when he was dismissed was that neither the King nor Lord Grey told her of it, and that if they had she would have consented to the sacrifice at once with a good grace; but in the way it was done she thought herself grossly ill-used. It is impossible to ascertain the exact nature of this connexion. Howe conducts himself towards her like a young ardent lover; he never is out of the Pavilion, dines there almost every day, or goes every evening, rides with her, never quitting her side, and never takes his eyes off her. She does nothing, but she admits his attentions and acquiesces in his devotion; at the same time there is not the smallest evidence that she treats him as a lover. If she did it would be soon known, for she is surrounded by enemies. All the Fitzclarences dislike her, and treat her more or less disrespectfully. She is aware of it, but takes no notice. She is very civil and good-humoured to them all; and as long as they keep within the bounds of decency, and do not break out into actual impertinence, she probably will continue so.

[339] Two nights ago there was a great assembly after a dinner for the reception of the Turkish Ambassador, Namik Pacha. He was brought down by Palmerston and introduced before dinner to the King and Queen. He is twenty-eight years old, speaks French well, and has good manners; his dress very simple a red cap, black vest, trousers and boots, a gold chain and medal round his neck. He did not take out any lady to dinner, but was placed next the Queen. After dinner the King made him a ridiculous speech, with abundant flourishes about the Sultan and his friendship for him, which is the more droll from his having been High Admiral at the time of the battle of Navarino, to which the Pacha replied in a sonorous voice. He admired everything, and conversed with great ease. All the stupid, vulgar Englishwomen followed him about as a lion with offensive curiosity.


January 3rd.

Lady Howe begged her husband to show me the correspondence between him and Sir Herbert Taylor about the Chamberlainship. It is long and confused; Taylor's first letter, in my opinion, very impertinent, for it reads him a pretty severe lecture about his behaviour when he held the office before. Howe is a foolish man, but in this business he acted well enough, better than might have been expected. Taylor, by the King's desire, proposed to him to resume the office; and after some cavilling he agreed to do so with liberty to vote as he pleased, but promising not to be violent. So stood the matter on the 9th of September. He heard nothing more of it till the 5th of November, when young Hudson [1] wrote by the King's orders to know definitely if he meant to take it, but that if he did he must be 'neutral.' Howe wrote back word that on such terms he declined it.

[1] 'Young Hudson ' was the page of honour who was sent to Rome in the following year to fetch Sir Robert Peel, when, as Mr. Disraeli expressed it, 'the hurried Hudson rushed into the chambers of his Vatican.' He grew up to be a very able and distinguished diplomatist, Sir James Hudson, G.C.B., who rendered great services to the cause of Italian independence.]

[340] told him my opinion of the whole business, and added my strenuous advice that he should immediately prevail on the Queen to appoint somebody else. I could not tell him all that people said, but I urged it as strongly as I could, hinting that there were very urgent reasons for so doing. He did not relish this advice at all, owned that he clung tenaciously to the office, liked everything about it, and longed to avail himself of some change of circumstances to return; and that though he was no longer her officer, he had ever since done all the business, and in fact was, without the name, as much her Chamberlain as ever. Lady Howe, who is vexed to death at the whole thing, was enchanted at my advice, and vehemently urged him to adopt it. After he went away she told me how glad she was at what I had said, and asked me if people did not say and believe everything of Howe's connexion with the Queen, which I told her they did. I must say that what passed is enough to satisfy me that there is what is called ' nothing in it' but the folly and vanity of being the confidential officer and councillor of this hideous Queen, for whom he has worked himself up into a sort of chivalrous devotion. Yesterday Howe spoke to the Queen about it, and proposed to speak to the King; the Queen (he says) would not hear of it, and forbad his speaking to the King. To-day he is gone away, and I don't know what he settled, probably nothing.

Lyndhurst dined here the day before yesterday. Finding I knew all that had passed about the negotiations for a Tory Government in the middle of the Reform question, he told me his story, which differs very little from that which Arbuthnot had told me at Downham, and fully corroborates his account of the duplicity of Peel and the extraordinary conduct of Lyndhurst himself. He said that as soon as he had left the King he went to the Duke, who said he must go directly to Peel. Peel refused to join. The Duke desired him to go back to Peel, and propose to him to be Prime Minister and manage everything himself. Peel still declined, on which he went to Baring. Baring begged he might [341] consult Peel, which was granted. He came back, said he would take office, but that they must invite Manners Sutton also. They did so, and Sutton refused. Vesey Fitzgerald, however, suggested to Lyndhurst that if they proposed to Sutton to be Prime Minister perhaps he would accept. Another conversation ensued with Sutton, and a meeting was fixed at Apsley House on the Sunday. In the meantime Lyndhurst went down to the King and told him what had taken place, adding that Sutton would not do, and that the Duke alone could form a Government. At Apsley House Sutton talked for three hours, and such infernal nonsense that Lyndhurst was ready to go mad; nor would he decide. They pressed him to say if he would take office or not. He said he must wait till the next morning. They said, 'It must be very early, then.' In the morning he put off deciding (on some frivolous pretext) till the afternoon. He went to the House of Commons without having given any answer. The famous debate ensued, and the whole game was up.

All this tallies with the other account, only he did not say that Peel had desired Baring to insist on Sutton, and had advised Sutton to take no place but the highest, nor that he had without the Duke's knowledge offered Sutton that post, and concealed from Sutton his subsequent opinion of his incapacity and determination, that he should not have it. I asked Lyndhurst how he managed with Sutton, and whether he had not come to Apsley House with the impression on his mind that he was to be Premier. He said that 'he had evaded that question with Sutton' — that is, all parties were deceived, while the Duke, who meant to act nobly, suffered all the blame. He showed great disregard of personal interests and selfish views, but I shall always think his error was enormous. It is remarkable that this story is so little known.

They had a dinner and dancing the night before last at the Pavilion for New Year's Day; and the King danced a country dance with Lord Amelius Beauclerc, an old Admiral.

London, January 11th.

Came to town with Alvanley the day before yesterday. Howe plucked up courage, spoke to [342] the King and Queen, and settled Denbigh's appointment, [1] though not without resistance on the part of their Majesties. Lord Grey came down, and was very well received by both. At the commerce table the King sat by him, and was full of jokes; called him continually 'Lord Howe,' to the great amusement of the bystanders and of Lord Grey himself. Munster came down and was reconciled, condescending moyennant a douceur of £2,500 to accept the Constableship of the Round Tower. The stories of the King are uncommonly ridiculous. He told Madame de Ludolf, who had been Ambassadress at Constantinople, that he desired she would recommend Lady Ponsonby to all her friends there, and she might tell them she was the daughter of one of his late brother's sultanas (Lady Jersey). His Majesty insisted on Lord Stafford's taking the title of Sutherland, and ordered Gower to send him an express to say so. One day at dinner he asked the Duke of Devonshire 'where he meant to be buried!'

I received a few days ago at Brighton the draft of a Bill of Brougham's for transferring the jurisdiction of the Delegates to the Privy Council, or rather for creating a new Court and sinking the Privy Council in it. Lord Lansdowne sent it to me, and desired me to send him my opinion upon it. I showed it to Stephen, and returned it to Lord Lansdowne with some criticisms in which Stephen and I had agreed. It is a very bungling piece of work, and one which Lord Lansdowne ought not to consent to, the object evidently being to make a Court of which Brougham shall be at the head, and to transfer to it much of the authority of the Crown, Parliament, and Privy Council; all from his ambitious and insatiable desire of personal aggrandisement. I have no doubt he is playing a deep game, and paving the way for his own accession to power, striving to obtain popularity and influence with the King; that he will succeed to a great degree, and for a certain time, is probable. Manners

[1] William Basil Percy, seventh Earl of Denbigh, was appointed Chamberlain to Queen Adelaide at this time, and remained in the service of her Majesty — a most excellent and devoted servant — to the close of her life.

[343] Sutton is to be again Speaker. Althorp wrote him a very flummery letter, and he accepted. The Government wants to be out of the scrape they are in between Abercromby and Littleton, and Sutton wants his peerage. Everything seems prosperous here; the Government is strong, the House of Commons is thought respectable on the whole and safe, trade is brisk, funds rising, money plentiful, confidence reviving, Tories sulky.

January 17th.

The Government don't know what to do about the embargo on the Dutch ships. Soon after they had laid it on they made a second order allowing ships with perishable goods to go free; and thinking the whole thing would be soon over, they desired this might be construed indulgently, and accordingly many ships were suffered to pass (with goods more or less perishing) under that order. Now that the King of Holland continues obstinate they want to squeeze him, and to construe the order strictly. There have been many consultations what to do, whether they should make another order rescinding the last or execute the former more strictly. Both are liable to objections. The first will appear like a cruel proceeding and evidence of uncertainty of purpose; the last will show a capricious variation in the practice of the Privy Council, with which the matter rests. Their wise heads were to be put together last night to settle this knotty point.

Wharncliffe showed me a paper he has written, in which, after briefly recapitulating the present state of the Tory party and the condition of the new Parliament (particularly as to the mode in which it was elected, or rather under what influence), he proceeds to point out what ought to be the course for the Tories to adopt. It is moderate and becoming enough, and he has imparted it to the Duke of Wellington, who concurs in his view. I wonder, however, that he is not sick of writing papers and imparting views, after all that passed last year, after his fruitless attempts, his false moves, and the treatment he received at the hands of the Tories; but he seems to have forgotten or forgiven everything, and is disposed to wriggle himself back amongst the party upon [344] any terms. He acknowledges one thing fully, and that is the desperate and woebegone condition of the party itself, and the impossibility of their doing anything now as a party.

Lord Lansdowne received very complacently my criticisms on Brougham's Bill, and has acknowledged since he came to town that it would not do at all as it now stands. The King has been delighting the Whigs, and making himself more ridiculous and contemptible by the most extravagant civilities to the new Peers that is, to Western and about Lord Stafford. He now appears to be very fond of his Ministers.

January 19th.

I have at last succeeded in stimulating Lord Lansdowne to something like resistance (or rather the promise of it) to Brougham's Bill. I have proved to him that his dignity and his interest will both be compromised by this Bill, which intends to make the Chancellor President of the Court, and ergo of the Council, and to give him all the patronage there will be. Against these proposals he kicks; at least he is restive, and shows symptoms of kicking, though he will very likely be still again. I sent the Bill to Stephen, who instantly and currente calamo drew up a series of objections to it, as comprehensive and acute as all his productions are, and last night I sent it to Leach (who hates the Chancellor), and he has returned it to me with a strong condemnatory reply. Stephen having told me that Howick would be too happy to oppose this Bill, on account of the influence it would have on Colonial matters, particularly about Canada, I took it to him, but he declined interfering, though he concurred in Stephen's remarks.

January 22nd.

Dined with Talleyrand the day before yesterday. Nobody there but his attachés. After dinner he told me about his first residence in England, and his acquaintance with Fox and Pitt. He always talks in a kind of affectionate tone about the former, and is now meditating a visit to Mrs. Fox at St. Anne's Hill, where he may see her surrounded with the busts, pictures, and recollections of her husband. He delights to dwell on the simplicity, gaiety, [345] childishness, and profoundness of Fox. I asked him if he had ever known Pitt. He said that Pitt came to Rheims to learn French, and he was there at the same time on a visit to the Archbishop, his uncle (whom I remember at Hartwell, [1]

[1] Mr. Greville had paid a visit with his father to the little Court of Louis XVIII. at Hartwell about two years before the Restoration, when he was eighteen years of age. His narrative of this visit has been printed in the fifth volume of the 'Miscellany of the Philobiblon Society,' but it may not be inappropriately inserted here.

A Visit to Hartwell April 1 4th, 1814.

I have often determined to commit to paper as much as I can remember of my visit to Hartwell; and, as the King is about to ascend the throne of his ancestors, it is not uninteresting to recall to mind the particulars of a visit paid to him while in exile and in poverty.

About two years ago my father and I went to Hartwell by invitation of the King. We dressed at Aylesbury, and proceeded to Hartwell in the afternoon We had previously taken a walk in the environs of the town, and had met the Duchesse d'Angoulême on horseback, accompanied by a Madame Choisi. At five o'clock we set out to Hartwell. The house is large, but in a dreary, disagreeable situation. The King had completely altered the interior, having subdivided almost all the apartments in order to lodge a greater number of people. There were numerous outhouses, in some of which small shops had been established by the servants, interspersed with gardens, so that the place resembled a little town.

Upon entering the house we were conducted by the Duc de Grammont into the King's private apartment. He received us most graciously and shook hands with both of us. This apartment was exceedingly small, hardly larger than a closet, and I remarked pictures of the late King and Queen, Madame Elizabeth, and the Dauphin, Louis XVII., hanging on the walls. The King had a manner of swinging his body backwards and forwards, which caused the most unpleasant sensations in that small room, and made my father feel something like being sea-sick. The room was just like a cabin, and the motions of his Majesty exactly resembled the heaving of a ship. After our audience with the King we were taken to the salon a, large room with a billiard table at one end. Here the party assembled before dinner, to all of whom we were presented — the Duchesse d'Angoulême, Monsieur the Duc d'Angoulême, the Duc de Berri, the Prince and Princess de Condé ci-devant Madame de Monaco), and a vast number of ducs, &c.; Madame la Duchesse de Serron (a little old dame d"honneur to Madame d'Angoulême), the Duc de Lorges, the Duc d'Auray, the Archevêque de Rheims (an infirm old prelate, tortured with the tic-douloureux), and many others whose names I cannot remember. At a little after six dinner was announced, when we went into the next room, the King walking out first. The dinner was extremely plain, consisting of very few dishes, and no wines except port and sherry. His Majesty did the honours himself, and was very civil and agreeable. We were a very short time at table, and the ladies and gentlemen all got up together. Each of the ladies folded up her napkin, tied it round with a bit of ribbon, and carried it away. After dinner we returned to the drawing-room and drank coffee. The whole party remained in conversation about a quarter of an hour, when the King retired to his closet, upon which all repaired to their separate apartments. Whenever the King came in or went out of the room, Madame d'Angoulême made him a low curtsy, which he returned by bowing and kissing his hand. This little ceremony never failed to take place. After the party had separated we were taken to the Duc de Grammont's apartments, where we drank tea. After remaining there about three quarters of an hour we went to the apartment of Madame d'Angoulême, where a great part of the company were assembled, and where we stayed about a quarter of an hour. After this we descended again to the drawing-room, where several card tables were laid out. The King played at whist with the Prince and Princess de Condé and my father. His Majesty settled the points of the game at 'le quart d'un sheling.' The rest of the party played at billiards or ombre. The King was so civil as to invite us to sleep there, instead of returning to the inn at Aylesbury. When he invited us he said, 'Je crains que vous serez très-mal logés, mais on donne ce qu'on peut.' Soon after eleven the King retired, when we separated for the night. We were certainly 'très-mal logés.' In the morning when I got out of bed, I was alarmed by the appearance of an old woman on the leads before my window, who was hanging linen to dry. I was forced to retreat hastily to bed, not to shock the old lady's modesty. At ten the next morning we breakfasted, and at eleven we took leave of the King (who always went to Mass at that hour) and returned to London. We saw the whole place before we came away; and they certainly had shown great ingenuity in contriving to lodge such a number of people in and about the house — it was exactly like a small rising colony. We were very much pleased with our expedition; and were invited to return whenever we could make it convenient.

[346] a very old prelate with the tic-douloureux), and that he and Pitt lived together for nearly six weeks, reciprocally teaching each other French and English. After Chauvelin had superseded him, and that he and Chauvelin had disagreed, he went to live near Epsom (at Juniper Hall) with Madame de Staël; afterwards they came to London, and in the meantime Pitt had got into the hands of the émigrés, who persuaded him to send Talleyrand away, and accordingly he received orders to quit England in twenty-four hours. He embarked on board a vessel for America, but was detained in the river off Greenwich. Dundas sent to him, and asked him to come and stay with him while the ship was detained, but he said he would not set his foot on English ground again, and remained three weeks on board the ship in the river. It is strange to hear M. de Talleyrand talk at seventy-eight. He opens the stores of his memory and pours forth a stream, on any subject connected with his past life. Nothing seems to have escaped from that great treasury of bygone events.

January 24th.

I have at last made Lord Lansdowne [347] fire a shot at the Chancellor about this Bill. He has written him a letter, in which he has embodied Stephen's objections and some of his own (as he says, for I did not see the letter). The Chancellor will be very angry, for he can't endure contradiction, and he has a prodigious contempt for the Lord President, whom be calls 'Mother Elizabeth.' He probably arrives at the sobriquet through Petty, Betty, and so on.

Dined with Talleyrand yesterday; Pozzo, who said little and seemed low; Talleyrand talked after dinner, said that Cardinal Fleury was one of the greatest Ministers who ever governed France, and that justice had never been done him; he had maintained peace for twenty years, and acquired Lorr