The Greville Memoirs
I am happy that you are using this web site and hope that you found it useful. Unfortunately, the cost of making this material freely available is increasing, so if you have found the site useful and would like to contribute towards its continuation, I would greatly appreciate it. Click the button to go to Paypal and make a donation.
The Recorder's report — Manners of George IV. — Intrigues of the Duke of Cumberland — Insults Lady Lyndhurst — Deacon Hume at the Board of Trade — Quarrel between the Duke of Cumberland and the Lord Chancellor — A Bad Season — Prostration of Turkey — France under Polignac — State of Ireland — Mr. Windham's Diary — George IV.'s Eyesight — Junius — A Man without Money — Court-martial on Captain Dickinson — The Duke and the 'Morning Journal' — Physical Courage of the King — A Charade at Chatsworth — Huskisson and the Duke — Irish Trials — Tom Moore — Scott — Byron — Fanny Kemble — Sir James Mackintosh — His Conversation — Black Irishmen — Moore's Irish Story — Moore's Singing — George IV. and Mr. Denman — Strawberry Hill — Moore at Trinity College — Indian Vengeance at Niagara — Count Woronzow — Lord Glengall's Play — The Recorder's Report.
 July 21st, 1829
There was a Council last Thursday, and the heaviest Recorder's report that was ever known, I believe; seven people left for execution. The King cannot bear this, and is always leaning to the side of mercy. Lord Tenterden, however, is for severity, and the Recorder still more so. It not unfrequently happens that a culprit escapes owing to the scruples of the King; sometimes he put the question of life or death to the vote, and it is decided by the voices of the majority. The King came to town at one, and gave audiences until half-past four. He received Madame du Cayla, whom he was very curious to see. She told me afterwards that she was astonished at his good looks, and seemed particularly to have been struck with his 'belles jambes et sa perruque bien arrangee;' and I asked her if she had ever seen him before, and she said no, 'mais que le feu Roi lui en avait souvent parle, et de ses belles manieres, qu'en verite elle les avait trouvees parfaites.' There was a reigning Margrave of Baden waiting for an audience in the room we  assembled in. Nobody took much notice of him, and when the Duke spoke to him he bowed to the ground, bow after bow; when he went away nobody attended him or opened the door for him.
July 24th, 1829
The accounts from Ireland are very bad; nothing but massacres and tumults, and all got up by the Protestants, who desire nothing so much as to provoke the Catholics into acts of violence and outrage. They want a man of energy and determination who will cause the law to be respected and impartially administered. If Lord Anglesey was there, it is very probable these outrages would not have taken place, but no one cares for such a man of straw as the present Lord Lieutenant.
The Duke of Cumberland is doing all he can to set the King against the Duke; he always calls him 'King Arthur,' which made the King very angry at first, and he desired he would not, but he calls him so still, and the King submits. He never lets any of the Royal Family see the King alone; the Duchess of Gloucester complains bitterly of his conduct, and the way in which he thrusts himself in when she is with his Majesty. The other day Count Munster came to the King, and the Duke of Cumberland was determined he should not have a private audience, and stayed in the room the whole time. He hates Lady Conyngham, and she him. They put about that he has been pressed to stay here by the King, which is not true; the King would much rather he went away. The Duke of Wellington told me that he one day asked the King when the Duke was going, and he said, 'I am sick to death of the subject. I have been told he was going fifty times, but when he goes, or whether he ever goes at all, I have not the least idea.' He is now very much provoked because the King will not talk politics with him. His Majesty wants to be quiet, and is tired of all the Duke's violence and his constant attacks.
August 8th, 1829
There is a story current about the Duke of Cumberland and Lady Lyndhurst which is more true than most stories of this kind. The Duke called upon her, and grossly insulted her; on which, after a scramble, she rang  the bell. He was obliged to desist and to go away, but before he did he said, 'By God, madam, I will be the ruin of you and your husband, and will not rest till I have destroyed you both.'
Vesey Fitzgerald has turned out the Chief Clerk in the Board of Trade, and put in Hume  as Assistant Secretary. He told me it was absolutely necessary, as nobody in the Office knew anything of its business, which is, I believe, very true, but as true of himself as of the rest. Hume is a very clever man, and probably knows more of the principles of trade and commerce than anybody, but so it is in every department of Government — great ignorance on the part of the chiefs, and a few obscure men of industry and ability who do the business and supply the knowledge requisite, sic vos non vobis throughout.
 Mr. Deacon Hume, a very able public servant. He remained at the Board of Trade many years.
O'Connell was elected without opposition; he was more violent and more popular than ever. They treat him with every indignity, and then they complain of his violence; besides, he must speak to the Irish in the strain to which they have been used and which pleases them. Had he never been violent, he would not be the man he is, and Ireland would not have been emancipated.
[See the cartoon "See-Dan" for a political comment of the day]
August 18th, 1829
Last Saturday I came back from Goodwood, and called on Lady Jersey, whom I found very curious about a correspondence which she told me had taken place between the Duke of Cumberland and the Chancellor relative to a paragraph which had appeared in the 'Age,' stating that his Royal Highness had been turned out of Lady Lyndhurst's house in consequence of having insulted her in it. She said she was very anxious to see the letter, for she heard that the Duke had much the best of it, and that the Chancellor's letter was evasive and Jesuitical. The next day I was informed of the details of this affair. I found that the Duke had called upon her and had been denied; that he had complained half in jest, and half in earnest, to the Chancellor of her not letting him in; that on a subsequent  day he had called so early that no orders had been given to the porter, and he was let in; that his manner and his language had been equally brutal and offensive; that he afterwards went off upon politics, and abused the whole Administration, and particularly the Chancellor, and after staying two or three hours, insulting and offending her in every way, he took himself off. Soon after he met her somewhere in the evening, when he attacked her again. She treated him with all possible indignation, and would have nothing to say to him.
Yesterday I met the Chancellor at the Castle at a Council. He took me aside, and said that he wished to tell me what had passed, and to show me the correspondence. He then began, and said that after the Duke's visit Lady L. had told the Chancellor of his abuse of him and the Government, but had suppressed the rest, thinking it was better not to tell him, as it would put him in a very embarrassing position, and contenting herself with saying she would never receive the Duke again upon the other grounds, which were quite sufficient; but that some time after reports reached her from various quarters (Lord Grey, Lord Durham, Lord Dudley, and several others) that the Duke went about talking of her in the most gross and impertinent manner. Upon hearing this, she thought it right to tell the Chancellor the other part of his conduct which she had hitherto concealed, and this she did in general terms, viz. that he had been very insolent and made an attack upon her. The Chancellor was exceedingly incensed, but he said after much consideration he thought it better to let the matter drop; a long time had elapsed since the offence was committed; all communication had ceased between all the parties; and he felt the ridicule and inconvenience of putting himself (holding the high office he did) in personal collision with a Royal Duke, besides the annoyance which it would be to Lady Lyndhurst to become publicly the subject of such a quarrel. There, then, he let the matter rest, but about a fortnight ago he received a letter from the Duke enclosing a newspaper to this effect, as well as I can recollect it, for I was  obliged to read the letter in such a hurried way that I could not bring the exact contents away with me, though I am sure I do not err in stating their sense: —
'My Lord, — I think it necessary to enclose to your Lordship a newspaper containing a paragraph which I have marked, and which relates to a pretended transaction in your Lordship's house. I think it necessary and proper to contradict this statement, which I need not say is a gross falsehood, and I wish, therefore, to have the authority of Lady Lyndhurst for contradicting it. 'I am, my Lord, yours sincerely, 'Ernest.'
This was the sense of the letter, though it was not so worded; it was civil enough. The Chancellor answered: — 'The Lord Chancellor with his duty begs to acknowledge the favour of your Royal Highness's letter. The Lord Chancellor had never seen the paragraph to which your Royal Highness alludes, and which he regards with the most perfect indifference, considering it as one of that series of calumnies to which Lady Lyndhurst has been for some time exposed from a portion of the press, and which she has at length learnt to regard with the contempt they deserve.' He said that he thought it better to let the matter drop, and he wrote this answer by way of waiving any discussion on the subject, and that the Duke might contradict the paragraph himself if he chose to do so. To this the Duke wrote again: — 'My Lord, — I have received your Lordship's answer, which is not so explicit as I have a right to expect. I repeat again that the statement is false and scandalous, and I have a right to require Lady Lyndhurst's sanction to the contradiction which I think it necessary to give to it.' This letter was written in a more impertinent style than the other. On the receipt of it the Chancellor consulted the Duke of Wellington, and the Duke suggested the following answer, which the Chancellor sent: — 'The Lord Chancellor has had the honour of receiving your Royal Highness's letter of — — . The Lord Chancellor does not conceive it necessary  to annoy Lady Lyndhurst by troubling her upon the subject, and with what relates to your Royal Highness the Lord Chancellor has no concern whatever; but with regard to that part which states that your Royal Highness had been excluded from the Lord Chancellor's house, there could be no question that the respect and grateful attachment which both the Chancellor and Lady Lyndhurst felt to their Sovereign made it impossible that any brother of that Sovereign should ever be turned out of his house.' To this the Duke wrote another letter, in a very sneering and impertinent tone in the third person, and alluding to the loose reports which had been current on the subject, and saying that 'the Chancellor might have his own reasons for not choosing to speak to Lady Lyndhurst on the subject;' to which the Chancellor replied that 'he knew nothing of any loose reports, but that if there were any, in whatever quarter they might have originated, which went to affect the conduct of Lady Lyndhurst in the matter in question, they were most false, foul, and calumnious.' So ended the correspondence; all these latter expressions were intended to apply to the Duke himself, who is the person who spread the loose reports and told the lies about her. When she first denied him, she told Lord Bathurst of it, who assured her she had done quite right, and that she had better never let him in, for if she did he would surely invent some lies about her. Last Sunday week the Chancellor went down to Windsor, and laid the whole correspondence before the King, who received him very well, and approved of what he had done; but of course when he saw the Duke of Cumberland and heard his story, he concurred in all his abuse of the Chancellor. I think the Chancellor treated the matter in the best way the case admitted of. Had he taken it up, he must have resigned his office and called the Duke out, and what a mixture of folly and scandal this would have been, and how the woman would have suffered in it all!
August 22nd, 1829
The day before yesterday Sir Henry Cooke called on me, and told me that he came on the part of the Duke of Cumberland, who had heard that I had seen the  correspondence, and that I had given an account of it which was unfavourable to him, that his Royal Highness wished me, therefore, to call on him and hear his statement of the facts. Cooke then entered into the history, and told me that it was he who had originally acquainted the Duke with the reports which were current about him, and had advised him to contradict them, but that he had not found any opportunity of taking it up till this paragraph appeared in the 'Age' newspaper; that the Duke had given him an account of what had passed, which was that Lady Lyndhurst had begged him to call upon her, then to dine with her, and upon every occasion had encouraged him. I heard all he had to say, but declined calling on the Duke. As I wished, however, that there should be no misrepresentation in what I said on the subject, I wrote a letter to Cooke, to be laid before the Duke, in which I gave an account of the circumstances under which I had been concerned in the business, stating that I had not expressed any opinion of the conduct of the parties, and that I did not wish to be in any way mixed up in it. After I had seen Cooke I went to the Chancellor and read my letter to him. I found he had not shown the King the two last letters that had passed; and as Cooke had told me that the Duke meant to go to Windsor the next day and lay the whole correspondence before the King, the Chancellor immediately sent off a messenger with the two letters which the King had not seen. The Chancellor has since circulated the correspondence among his friends, but with rather too undignified a desire to submit his conduct to the judgment of a parcel of people who only laugh at them both, and are amused with the gossip and malice of the thing.
August 25th, 1829
I came to town from Stoke yesterday morning, and found a palavering letter from Cooke, returning mine, saying that the Duke was quite satisfied, and saw that it would be useless to have an interview with me; that he had persuaded his Royal Highness to drop the whole affair; and ended with many protestations of respect for the Chancellor and the purity of his own motives in meddling with the matter. I sent his letter to the Chancellor, together with  my own, that he might show them both to the Duke of Wellington.
Melbourne, who is a pretty good judge of Irish affairs, thinks that Government will probably be under the necessity of adopting strong coercive measures there; but whether they are adopted, or a temporary policy of expedients persisted in, nobody is there fit to advise what is requisite. The Duke of Northumberland is an absolute nullity, a bore beyond all bores, and, in spite of his desire to spend money and be affable, very unpopular. The Duchess complains of it and can't imagine why, for they do all they can to be liked, but all in vain.
August 28th, 1829
At Stoke since Tuesday for the Egham races; Esterhazy, Alvanley, Montrond, Mornay, B. Craven, &c. The King came to the races one day (the day I was not there) in excellent health. The weather exceeds everything that ever was known — a constant succession of gales of wind and tempests of rain, and the sun never shining. The oats are not cut, and a second crop is growing up, that has been shaken out of the first. Everybody contemplates with dismay the approach of winter, which will probably bring with it the overthrow of the Corn Laws, for corn must be at such a price as to admit of an immense importation. So much for our domestic prospect here, to say nothing of Ireland.
In the meantime the Sultan with his firmness has brought the Russians to the gates of Constantinople, and not a soul doubts that they are already there, or that they will be directly; there is nothing to resist either Diebitsch or Paskiewitch. Esterhazy talks of it as certain, and so unaccountable does it seem that Austria should have been a passive spectator of the Russian victories, that a strong notion prevails that Metternich has made his bargain with them, and that in the impending partition Austria is to have her share. Still more extraordinary does it appear that the Duke, from whom vigour and firmness might have been expected,  should not have interfered. That cursed treaty of the 6th of July, and the subsequent battle of Navarino, which were intended to give us a right to arrest the ambition of Russia, have been rendered nugatory by the obstinacy of the Turks on the one hand, and the perpetual changes of Administration here and in France, which have prevented any steady and consistent course of policy from being followed; while the Russians, availing themselves of both these circumstances, have pushed on with singleness of purpose and great vigour of execution. It is quite impossible now to foresee the end of all this, but the elements are abroad of as fine disturbances as the most restless can desire.
France is probably too much occupied with her own affairs to pay much attention to those of Turkey, nor is it clear that the French would much regret any event which tended to impair our commercial greatness. So busy are the French with their own politics, that even the milliners have left off making caps. Lady Cowper told me to-day that Madame Maradan complained that she could get no bonnets, &c., from Paris; for they would occupy themselves with nothing but the change of Administration. Nothing can exceed the violence that prevails; the King does nothing but cry. Polignac is said to have the fatal obstinacy of a martyr, the worst sort of courage of the ruat coelum sort. Aberdeen said at dinner at Madame de Lieven's the other day that he thought him a very clever man; and that the Duke of Wellington went still further, for he said that he was the ablest man France had had since the Restoration. I remember him well when he was courting his first wife, Archy Macdonald's sister; and if being first a prisoner, then an emigrant, then a miser, and now a saint can make him a good Minister, he may be one.
 The Polignac Ministry took office on the 8th of August.
August 31st, 1829
The Duke, the Chancellor, and Privy Seal came from Walmer to-day for a Cabinet; and Esterhazy, who was to have dined with me, sent word that as he had received a courier this morning, and was obliged to send off Dietrichstein this evening, he could not come. It is said  that Sir Frederick Gordon has sent word that the Turks are frightened and wish to treat, but probably it is now too late.
Last night news came that Villa Flor had routed Miguel's expedition against Terceira, and at the same time the little Queen is embarking with the Empress for the Brazils. This probably comes too late; some time ago it might have been of some use. Miguel will probably be recognised by this country, and then the game is up. I have long been convinced that the Duke meant eventually to acknowledge Miguel, or he would not have tolerated Beresford's conduct. If Lamb is to be believed, Beresford was secretly in it all.
I met the Chancellor this morning, who gave me back my letter and Cooke's answer. He said, 'There are other reports afloat now, I hear.' I said, 'What? I have heard none.' 'Oh,' he said, 'on public matters, and they are put about by that blackguard,' meaning the Duke of Cumberland. I suppose he alludes to changes in the Government, but I have heard of none; they are, in fact, kept in hot water by this fellow's activity, though I think he cannot do the mischief he would, like.
From what I hear, it is probable that Lord William Bentinck will be speedily recalled from India. His measures are of too Liberal a cast to suit the taste of the present Government. The Duke has never liked him, not since the war in Spain, when he did not behave quite well to Lord William, and he seldom forgets old animosities; besides, he cannot bear anybody who takes a line of their own.
Lord Ellenborough, strong in the concurrence of the Duke, is inclined to be insolent in his tone to Lord William, which, I take it, he will not stand. The Duke looks upon Lord William as a hasty, imprudent man, with bad judgment, and I am not sure that he is very wrong. He has made himself popular by the affability and bonhomie of his manner, his magnificence and hospitality, and the liberal and generous character of his political opinions, but he is far from a clever man, and I suspect his judgment is very indifferent.
I hear from Ireland that Doherty conducts the trial of the policeman with consummate skill; the object was that  the trial should appear fair, and that the men should be acquitted. They were acquitted, and the people were furious. There is excitement enough in that wretched country, and every effort is made to keep it up at its highest pitch; the press on each side teems with accusations and invectives, and the Protestants strain every nerve to inflame the spirit of rancorous fury which distinguished the Brunswickers before the Catholic question was carried, and to provoke the Catholics to overt acts of violence. Both sides are to blame, but the Protestants the most. George Villiers wrote me word of a crime that has been perpetrated, the most atrocious I ever heard of.... The country in which such an abomination was perpetrated should be visited with the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah. The arm of justice is too slow; public indignation should deal out a rapid and a terrible vengeance.
September 5th, 1829
There is a strong report that the Turks want to treat, and the proclamation of Diebitsch looks as if the Russians were ready to make peace. There is also a hope that the Russian army may have been too bold, and finds itself in a scrape by having advanced too far from its resources, but the former notion is the most likely of the two. Three or four sail of the line are ordered out to the Mediterranean.
Yesterday I went with Amyot to his house, where he showed me a part of Windham's diary; there are twenty-eight little volumes of it, begun in 1784, when he was thirty-four years old, and continued irregularly till his death; it seems to be written very freely and familiarly, and is probably a correct picture of the writer's mind. I only read a few pages, which were chiefly notices of his moving about, where he dined, the company he met, and other trifles, often very trifling and sometimes not very decent; it abounds with expressions of self-reproach for idleness, breach of resolutions, and not taking care of his health; talks of the books he reads and means to read, and constantly describes the state of spirits he is in. There is a paper containing an account of his last interview with Johnson, shortly before Johnson died; he says that he told Johnson how much he reproached himself for not having lived more in his society,  and that he had often resolved to be with him as much as he could, but that his not having done so was a proof of the fallacy of our resolutions, that he regretted. In Windham's diary are several Johnsoniana, after the manner of Boswell, only much shorter, his opinions on one or two subjects briefly given, some quotations and criticisms. I was much struck with his criticisms on Virgil, whom he seems to have held in great contempt, and to have regarded as inferior to Ovid. He says, 'Take away his imitation of Homer, and what do you leave him?' Of Homer his admiration was unbounded, although he says that he never read the whole of the 'Odyssey' in the original, but that everything which is most admirable in poetry is to be found in Homer. I care the less about remembering these things because they will probably appear in print before long.
 A selection from Mr. Windham's journals was published by Mrs. Henry Baring in 1866. The Johnsoniana had previously been published by Mr. Croker in his edition of Boswell's 'Life of Johnson.'
Windham told Johnson that he regretted having omitted to talk to him of the most important of all subjects on which he had often doubted. Johnson said, 'You mean natural and revealed religion,' and added that the historical evidences of Christianity were so strong that it was not possible to doubt its truth, that we had not so much evidence that Caesar died in the Capitol as that Christ died in the manner related in the Bible; that three out of four of the Evangelists died in attestation of their evidence, that the same evidence would be considered irresistible in any ordinary historical case. Amyot told me, as we were coming along, that Windham had questioned Johnson about religion, having doubts, and that Johnson had removed them by this declaration: if, then, the commonest and hundred times repeated arguments were sufficient to remove such doubts as were likely to occur to a mind like Windham's, it may be counted a miracle, for I am sure, in the ordinary affairs of life, Windham would not have been so easily satisfied. It has always appeared to me questionable whether Johnson was a believer (I mean whether his clear and unbiassed judgment was satisfied)  in Christianity; he evidently dreaded and disliked the subject, and though he would have been indignant had anybody hinted that he had doubts, his nervous irritation at any religious discussion betokened a mind ill at ease on the subject. I learnt one thing from Windham's diary which I put into immediate practice, and that is, to write mine on one side only, and leave the other for other matters connected with the text; it is more convenient certainly.
September 16th, 1829
Went to Brighton on Saturday last to pay Lady Jersey a visit and shoot at Firle. Jersey and I shot 376 rabbits, the greatest number that had ever been killed on the hills. The scenery is very fine — a range of downs looking on one side over the sea, and on the other over a wide extent of rich flat country. It is said that Firle is the oldest park in England. It belongs to Lord Gage.
I heard at Brighton for the first time of the Duke of Wellington's prosecution of the 'Morning Journal,' which was announced by the paper itself in a paragraph quite as scurrilous as those for which it is attacked. It seems that he has long made up his mind to this measure, and that he thinks it is a duty incumbent on him, which I do not see, and it appears to me to be an act of great folly. He stands much too high, has performed too great actions, and the attacks on him were too vulgar and vague to be under the necessity of any such retaliatory measure as this, and he lowers his dignity by entering into a conflict with such an infamous paper, and appearing to care about its abuse. I think the Chancellor was right, and that he is wrong. There is a report that the King insists upon the Duke of Cumberland being Commander-in-Chief, and it is extraordinary how many people think that he will succeed in turning out the Duke. Lord Harrington died while I was at Brighton, and it is supposed that the Duke of Cumberland will try and get the Round Tower,  but probably the King will not like to establish him so near himself. The King has nearly lost his eyesight, and is to be couched as soon as his eyes are in  a proper state for the operation. He is in a great fright with his father's fate before him, and indeed nothing is more probable than that he will become blind and mad too; he is already a little of both. It is now a question of appointing a Private Secretary, and Knighton, it is supposed, would be the man; but if he is to abstain from all business, there would seem to be no necessity for the appointment, as he will be as little able to do business with his Private Secretary as with his Minister.
 Lord Conyngham got the Round Tower, and Lord Combermere the regiment.
I have been living at Fulham at Lord Wharncliffe's villa for six or seven weeks; I have lived here in idleness and luxury, giving dinners, and wasting my time and my money rather more than usual. I have read next to nothing since I have been here; I am ashamed to think how little — in short, a most unprofitable life.
September 23rd, 1829
At Fulham till Friday, when I came to town. Went to Stoke on Saturday, and returned yesterday; old Lady Salisbury, Giles, E. Capel, and Conroy. There is always something to be learnt from everybody, if you touch them on the points they know. Giles told me about the letter to his sister written by Francis,  and which was supposed to have afforded another proof that he was Junius. Many years ago Francis was in love with his sister, Mrs. King (at Bath), and one day she received an anonymous letter, enclosing a copy of verses. The letter said that the writer had found the verses, and being sure they were meant for her, had sent them to her. The verses were in Francis' handwriting, the envelope in a feigned hand. When the discussion arose about Francis being Junius, Giles said to his sister one day, 'If you have kept those verses which Francis wrote to you many years ago at Bath, it would be curious to examine the handwriting and see if it corresponds with that of Junius.' She found the envelope and verses, and, on comparing them, the writing of the envelope was  identical with that of Junius as published in Woodfall's book.
 Sir Philip Francis, the reputed author of the 'Letters of Junius.' This anecdote has since been verified with great minuteness by Mr. Twisleton in his researches on the authorship of 'Junius.' The copy of verses and the envelope in a feigned hand are still in existence. I have seen them. The feigned hand appears to be identical with that of Junius.
Old Creevey is rather an extraordinary character. I know nothing of the early part of his history, but I believe he was an attorney or barrister; he married a widow, who died a few years ago; she had something, he nothing; he got into Parliament, belonged to the Whigs, displayed a good deal of shrewdness and humour, and was for some time very troublesome to the Tory Government by continually attacking abuses. After some time he lost his seat, and went to live at Brussels, where he became intimate with the Duke of Wellington. Then his wife died, upon which event he was thrown upon the world with about £200 a year or less, no home, few connections, a great many acquaintance, a good constitution, and extraordinary spirits. He possesses nothing but his clothes, no property of any sort; he leads a vagrant life, visiting a number of people who are delighted to have him, and sometimes roving about to various places, as fancy happens to direct, and staying till he has spent what money he has in his pocket. He has no servant, no home, no creditors; he buys everything as he wants it at the place he is at; he has no ties upon him, and has his time entirely at his own disposal and that of his friends. He is certainly a living proof that a man may be perfectly happy and exceedingly poor, or rather without riches, for he suffers none of the privations of poverty and enjoys many of the advantages of wealth. I think he is the only man I know in society who possesses nothing.
Captain Dickinson's trial  ended last week, with a sentence which was levelled against Codrington, and which called the charges groundless, frivolous, and vexatious. It  is generally thought that this sentence might have been spared, though the acquittal was proper; that Codrington behaved very foolishly, and in ever mentioning the round robin after he had forgiven it, very inexcusably; but that, on the other hand, the Admiralty had displayed a spirit of hostility and rancour against him which is very disgusting, and that Blackwood was sent down to the court-martial for the express purpose of bullying and thwarting him. I saw him after the sentence; he seemed annoyed, but said that such a sentence made it necessary the matter should not stop there, and that it must be taken up in Parliament. I cannot see what he is to gain by that; he may prove that the Ministry of that day (which was not the Duke's) behaved very ill, but that has nothing to do with the court-martial.
 Captain Dickinson fought the Genoa at the battle of Navarino after Captain Bathurst, the commander of the ship, was killed. A quarrel afterwards took place between him and Sir Edward Codrington, and Dickinson was tried by court-martial for not making proper use of the springs ordered by the Admiral to be placed on the anchors, the consequence of which was that her broadside was not directed against the enemy, but fired into the Albion. Captain Dickinson was honourably acquitted of all the charges, and it was proved that Sir Edward Codrington's recollection of what had passed was inaccurate in some particulars.
The whole press has risen up in arms against the Duke's prosecution of the Morning Journal, which appears to me, though many people think he is right, a great act of weakness and passion. How can such a man suffer by the attacks of such a paper, and by such attacks, the sublime of the ridiculous? — 'that he is aiming at the Crown, but we shall take care that he does not succeed in this.' The idea of the Duke of Wellington seeking to make himself King, and his ambition successfully resisted by the editor of a newspaper, 'flogs' any scene in the 'Rehearsal.' I saw the Duke yesterday morning; he was just come from Doncaster, where he told me he had been very well received. He was with Chesterfield, who was to have had a large party. Afterwards I rode with him, and he took me to see his house, which is now excellent. He told me that both the King's eyes were affected, the left the most, and that he would have the operation performed when they were fit for it; he said that the King never evinced any fear upon these occasions, that he was always perfectly cool, and neither feared operations or their possible consequences; that he remembered when he had a very painful and dangerous operation performed some time ago upon his head, that he was not the least nervous about it, nor at all afraid of dying, for they told him that he would very likely not recover. I said, 'Then, after  all, perhaps he who has the reputation of being a coward would prove a very brave man if circumstances occasioned his showing what he is.' He said, 'Very likely;' that he seemed to have but one fear, that of ridicule: he cannot bear the society of clever men, for fear of ridicule; he cannot bear to show himself in public, because he is afraid of the jokes that may be cut on his person.
In the evening I met Matuscewitz, who is all glorious at the Russian successes. He, Montrond, and I talked the matter over, and he said that they should make peace, but of course (I had said, 'Vous serez modestes, n'est-ce pas?') they should profit by circumstances; that the Allied Ministers would not be permitted to interfere, and they should grant such terms as they pleased without consulting them. This was a lie,  for Bandinell had told me in the morning that the negotiations were going on in concert with the Ambassadors of the Allies.
 It was not a lie though after all, for I don't believe the Allied Ministers had any concern in the matter. (December 5th.)
November 4th, 1829
Left London the last week in September, and, after visiting at several country houses, slept at Harborough, and went to Bretby to breakfast; got there at twelve and found nobody up. In process of time they came down to breakfast, the party consisting of the Chancellor and Lady Lyndhurst, the Worcesters, Mrs. Fox, and Williams, the chaplain, and his wife. I saw very little of the place, which seems pretty, but not large; a very large unfinished house. I stayed two or three hours, and went on to Chatsworth,  where I arrived just as they were going to dinner, but was not expected, and so there was no room at the table. The party was immense; 40 people sat down to dinner every day, and about 150 servants in the steward's room and servants' hall; there were the Lievens, Cowpers, Granvilles, Wharncliffes,  Granthams, Wiltons, Stanleys, Belfasts, Newboroughs, Dawsons, Matuscewitz, Clanwilliams, G. Anson, H. de Ros, &c. Nothing could be more agreeable from the gaiety of numbers and the entire liberty which prevails; all the resources of the house — horses, carriages, keepers, &c. — are placed at the disposal of the guests, and everybody does what they like best. In the evening they acted charades or danced, and there was plenty of whist and ecarte high and low. It was in the middle of that party that news came of the negotiations being begun between the Russians and Turks,  and I received a letter from Robert Grosvenor, which Madame de Lieven was ready to devour, and she was very angry that I would not let her see the whole of it. Our Russians were of course triumphant, and the Princess's good humour was elevated to rapture by a very pretty compliment which was paid her in the shape of a charade, admirably got up as a piece de circonstance, and which has since made some noise in the world. The word was Constantinople, which was acted: Constant, Penelope and the suitors; Inn, a tavern scene; and Opal, the story in 'Anne of Geierstein.' The whole represented the Divan, the arrival of Diebitsch's Ambassadors, a battle between the Turks and Russians, the victory of the latter, and ended by Morpeth as Diebitsch laying a crown of laurel at Madame de Lieven's feet. She was enchanted, and of course wrote off an account of it to the Empress. The whole thing is abused as a bassesse by her enemies, but it was very amusing, and in the Duke's house, who is a friend of the Emperor, a not unbecoming compliment.
 The hospitality of Chatsworth in the lifetime of William Spencer Cavendish, sixth Duke of Devonshire, was princely. The Duke of Portland, Mr. Greville's grandfather, married Dorothy, only daughter of William, fourth Duke of Devonshire, from whom Mr. Greville derived his second name of Cavendish. He was therefore second cousin of the sixth Duke and of Lady Granville and Lady Carlisle.
 The negotiations for the peace of Adrianople, which terminated the Russo-Turkish war.
I returned to Newmarket on the 11th of October. At the end of the week I had a fall from my horse, which confined me to my room for ten days. The Arbuthnots were at Newmarket, having come from Sudbourne, where Lord Hertford had brought the Duke and Huskisson together. Nothing seems to have passed between them beyond the common civilities of society, but Huskisson has suffered  greatly from a universal opinion that the meeting was sought by him for the purpose of re-ingratiating himself with the Duke, and, if possible, getting into office on any terms. It is a proof of the low estimation in which his character is held even by those who rate his talents the highest that all his former political adherents think this of him. With such a reputation his political efficacy never can be great again. There was a strong report that he was to join the Government, which is now dying away. The Duke is very fortunate, for his most formidable opponents always do something to lower their own characters and render themselves as little formidable to him as possible.
The trials in Ireland are just over, and the Government have been defeated, which I find they think may be productive of very important consequences to the peace of the country. The obstinacy of one man, who held out against the other eleven, in the second batch of conspirators who were tried, obliged them at length to dismiss the jury, and the prisoners will be tried at the next assizes; the others were acquitted, though the evidence against them was the same as that on which Leary, &c., were convicted. The exertions of O'Connell, who appears to have acted with great ability, produced this result. The Government say, of course, that he has acted very ill, but as the Judge, at the conclusion of the trial, said publicly that the defence had been conducted with perfect regard to the due administration of the laws, we may conclude that while he availed himself of every advantage, he did not overstep the legitimate duty of an advocate to his client. It is, however, agreed on all hands, notwithstanding these excesses, that the state of the country is improving, and the Emancipation Bill producing fresh benefits every day.
November 9th, 1829
Dined to-day with Byng and met Tom Moore, who was very agreeable; he told us a great deal about his forthcoming 'Life of Byron.' He is nervous about it; he is employed in conjunction with Scott and Mackintosh to write a history of England for one of the new publications like  the Family Library. Scott is to write Scotland, Mackintosh England, and Moore Ireland; and they get £1,000 apiece; but Scott could not compress his share into one volume, so he is to have £1,500. The republication of Scott's works will produce him an enormous fortune; he has already paid off £30,000 of the Constable bankruptcy debt, and he is to pay the remaining £30,000 very soon. A new class of readers is produced by the Bell and Lancaster schools, and this is the cause of the prodigious and extensive sale of cheap publications. Moore had received a letter from Madame de Guiccioli to-day; he says she is not handsome. Byron's exploits, especially at Venice, seem to have been marvellous. Moore said he wrote with extraordinary rapidity, but his corrections were frequent and laborious. When he wrote the address for the opening of Drury Lane Theatre, he corrected it repeatedly.
 Dr. Lardner's 'Cyclopaedia.' Moore told me that the editor of one of the annuals offered him £600 to write two articles for his work, but 'that he loathed the task' and refused, though the money would have been very acceptable. The man said he did not care about the merit of the performance, and only wanted his name; when Moore refused, the editor raked out some old and forgotten lines of his to Perry, and inserted them with his name. — [C.C.G.]
I saw Miss Fanny Kemble for the first time on Friday, and was disappointed. She is short, ill made, with large hands and feet, an expressive countenance, though not handsome, fine eyes, teeth, and hair, not devoid of grace, and with great energy and spirit, her voice good, though she has a little of the drawl of her family. She wants the pathos and tenderness of Miss O'Neill, and she excites no emotion; but she is very young, clever, and may become a very good, perhaps a fine actress. Mrs. Siddons was not so good at her age. She fills the house every night.
The King, who was to have gone to Brighton, has given it up, nobody knows why, but it is supposed that the Marchioness is not well. This morning the Duke and my brother were occupied for half an hour in endeavouring to fold a letter to his Majesty in a particular way, which he has prescribed, for he will have his envelopes made up in some French fashion.  I hear he thinks that he rode Fleur de Lis for the cup at Goodwood, which he may as well do as think (which he does) that he led the heavy dragoons at Salamanca.
O'Connell has been making a most infamous speech at Youghal, and is moving heaven and earth to begin a fresh agitation about the Union, and to do all the mischief he can. Francis Leveson is to meet Sheil at dinner to-morrow for the first time; he did not dare do this without asking leave of Peel. Peel answered his letter that he 'rather inclined himself to do anything to win him, but stating that the Duke would urge the difficulties of their position, and also the King's horror of the man,' &c. The King's horror is in consequence of his speech about the Duke of York. I am told Greece is to be erected into a kingdom, with a boundary line drawn from Volo to Arta, and that the sovereignty is to be offered to Prince Frederick of Orange, and, if he refuses it, to Leopold.
November 12th, 1829
At Roehampton at Lord Clifden's from Tuesday, the 10th, till to-day; Sir James Mackintosh, Moore, Poodle Byng, and the Master of the Rolls. It was uncommonly agreeable. I never was in Mackintosh's society for so long before, and never was more filled with admiration. His prodigious memory and the variety and extent of his information remind me of all I have heard and read of Burke and Johnson; but his amiable, modest, and unassuming character makes him far more agreeable than they could either of them (particularly Johnson) have been, while he is probably equally instructive and amusing. Not a subject could be mentioned of which he did not treat with equal facility and abundance, from the Council of Trent to Voltaire's epistles; every subject, every character, every work, all were familiar to him, and I do not know a greater treat than to hear him talk.
 Hon. Frederick Byng, formerly of the Foreign Office, universally known at this time as 'The Poodle,' probably because he once kept a fine animal of that breed.
Mackintosh said he was a great reader of novels; had read 'Old Mortality' four times in English and once in French.  Ellis said he preferred Miss Austen's novels to Scott's. Talked of the old novelists — Fielding, little read now, Smollett less; Mackintosh is a great admirer of Swift, and does not think his infamous conduct to Vanessa quite made out. Talked of the articles of our religion, and said that they were in almost exact conformity with certain doctrines laid down in the Council of Trent. The Jansenists differ very little from our Church, except as to the doctrine of the Real Presence. Speaking of India, Mackintosh said that it was very remarkable that we had lost one great empire and gained another in the same generation, and that it was still a moot point whether the one really was a gain or the other a loss. Called America the second Maritime Power. Franklin wept when he quitted England. When he signed the treaty at Paris, he retired for a moment and changed his coat. It was remarked, and he said he had been to put on the coat in which he had been insulted by Lord Loughborough at the English Council Board. Madame de Stael, he said, was more agreeable in tete-a-tete than in society; she despised her children, and said, 'Ils ne me ressemblent pas.' He told her she did not do them justice, particularly her daughter. She said, 'C'est une lune bien pale.' She took an aversion to Rogers, but when she met him at Bowood, and he told her anecdotes, she liked him. She had vanquished Brougham, and was very proud of those conquests.
Moore told several stories which I don't recollect, but this amused us: — Some Irish had emigrated to some West Indian colony; the negroes soon learnt their brogue, and when another shipload of Irish came soon after, the negroes as they sailed in said, 'Ah, Paddy, how are you?' 'Oh, Christ!' said one of them, 'what, y're become black already!'
Moore, without displaying the astonishing knowledge of Mackintosh, was very full of information, gaiety, and humour. Two more delightful days I never passed. I could not help reflecting what an extraordinary thing success is in this world, when a man so gifted as Mackintosh has failed completely in public life, never having attained honours, reputation, or wealth, while so many ordinary men have reaped an  abundant harvest of all. What a consolation this affords to mediocrity! None can approach Mackintosh without admiring his extraordinary powers, and at the same time wondering why they have not produced greater effects in the world either of literature or politics. His virtues are obstacles to his success; he has not the art of pushing or of making himself feared; he is too doucereux and complimentary, and from some accident or defect in the composition of his character, and in the course of events which have influenced his circumstances, he has always been civilly neglected. Both Mackintosh and Moore told a great many anecdotes, but one morning at breakfast the latter related a story which struck us all. Mackintosh said it was enough to furnish materials for a novel, but that the simple narrative was so striking it ought to be written down without exaggeration or addition. I afterwards wrote it down as nearly as I could recollect it. It was Crampton, the Surgeon-General, who told it to Moore, and Crampton loquitur.
'Some years ago I was present at a duel that was fought between a young man of the name of MacLoughlin and another Irishman. MacL. was desperately wounded; his second ran up to him, and thought to console him with the intelligence that his antagonist had also fallen. He only replied, "I am sorry for it if he is suffering as much as I do now." I was struck by the good feeling evinced in this reply, and took an interest in the fate of the young man. He recovered, and a few years after my interest was again powerfully excited by hearing that he had been arrested on suspicion of having murdered his father-in-law, his mother's second husband. He was tried and found guilty on the evidence of a soldier who happened to be passing in the middle of the night near the house in which the murder was committed. Attracted by a light which gleamed through the lower part of the window, he approached it, and through an opening between the shutter and the frame was able to look into the room. There he saw a man in the act of lifting a dead body from the floor, while his hands and clothes were stained all over with blood. He hastened to give information of what he  had seen; MacLoughlin and his mother were apprehended, and the former, having been identified by the soldier, was found guilty. There was no evidence against the woman, and she was consequently acquitted. MacLoughlin conducted himself throughout the trial with determined calmness, and never could be induced to acknowledge his guilt. The morning of his execution he had an interview with his mother; none knew what passed between them, but when they parted he was heard to say, "Mother, may God forgive you!" The fate of this young man made a deep impression on me, till time and passing events effaced the occurrence from my mind. It was several years afterwards that I one day received a letter from a lady (a very old and intimate acquaintance) entreating that I would immediately hasten down to the assistance of a Roman Catholic priest who was lying dangerously ill at her house, and the symptoms of whose malady she described. Her description left me doubtful whether the mind or the body of the patient was affected. Being unable to leave Dublin, I wrote to say that if the disease was bodily the case was hopeless, but if mental I should recommend certain lenitives, for which I added a prescription. The priest died, and shortly after his death the lady confided to me an extraordinary and dreadful story. He had been her confessor and intimate friend, and in moments of agony and doubt produced by horrible recollections he had revealed to her a secret which had been imparted to him in confession. He had received the dying confession of MacLoughlin, who, as it turned out, was not the murderer of his father-in-law, but had died to save the life and honour of his mother, by whom the crime had been really committed. She was a woman of violent passions; she had quarrelled with her husband in the middle of the night, and after throwing him from the bed had despatched him by repeated blows. When she found he was dead she was seized with terror, and hastening to the apartment of her son, called him to witness the shocking spectacle and to save her from the consequences of her crime. It was at this moment, when he was lifting the body and preparing to  remove the bloody evidence of his mother's guilt, that the soldier passed by and saw him in the performance of his dreadful task. To the priest alone he acknowledged the truth, but his last words to his mother were now explained.'
November 20th, 1829
Roehampton. Only Moore and myself; Washington Irving and Maclane, the American Minister, come to-morrow. Moore spoke in the highest terms of Luttrell, of his wit and information, and of his writings, to which he does not think the world does justice, particularly the 'Advice to Julia,' but he says Luttrell is too fearful of giving offence. Moore was very agreeable, told a story of Sir — — St. George in Ireland. He was to attend a meeting at which a great many Catholics were to be present (I forget where), got drunk and lost his hat, when he went into the room where they were assembled and said, 'Damnation to you all; I came to emancipate you, and you've stole my hat.' In the evening Moore sang, but the pianoforte was horrid, and he was not in good voice; still his singing 'va dritto al cuore,' for it produces an exceeding sadness, and brings to mind a thousand melancholy recollections, and generates many melancholy anticipations. He told me as we came along that with him it required no thought to write, but that there was no end to it; so many fancies on every subject crowded on his brain; that he often read what he had written as if it had been the composition of another, and was amused; that it was the greatest pleasure to him to compose those light and trifling pieces, humorous and satirical, which had been so often successful. He holds Voltaire to have been the most extraordinary genius that ever lived, on account of his universality and fertility; talked of Scott and his wonderful labour and power of composition, as well as the extent to which he has carried the art of book-making; besides writing this history of Scotland for Dr. Lardner's 'Encyclopaedia,' he is working at the prefaces for the republication of the Waverley Novels, the 'Tales of a Grandfather,' and has still found time to review Tytler, which he has done out of the scraps and chips of his other works. A little while ago he had to correct some of the proofs of the  history of Scotland, and, being dissatisfied with what was done, he nearly wrote it over again, and sent it up to the editor. Some time after finding another copy of the proofs, he forgot that he had corrected them before, and he rewrote these also and sent them up, and the editor is at this moment engaged in selecting from the two corrected copies the best parts of each.
Yesterday I met the Chancellor at dinner at the Master of the Rolls', when he told me about the King and Denman. The King would not have the Recorder's report last week, because the Recorder was too ill to attend, and he was resolved not to see Denman. The Duke went to him, when he threw himself into a terrible tantrum, and was so violent and irritable that they were obliged to let him have his own way for fear he should be ill, which they thought he would otherwise certainly be. He is rather the more furious with Denman from having been forced to consent to his having the silk gown, and he said at that time that he should never set his foot in any house of his; so that business is at a standstill, and the unfortunate wretches under sentence of death are suffered to linger on, because he does not choose to do his duty and admit to his presence an officer to whom he has taken an aversion. As the Chancellor said to me, 'the fact is, he is mad.' The fact is that he is a spoiled, selfish, odious beast, and has no idea of doing anything but what is agreeable to himself, or of there being any duties attached to the office he holds. The expenses of the Civil List exceed the allowance in every branch, every quarter; but nobody can guess how the money is spent, for the King makes no show and never has anybody there. My belief is that — — and — — — — plunder him, or rather the country, between them, in certain stipulated proportions. Among other expenses his tailor's bill is said to be £4,000 or £5,000 a year. He is now employed in devising a new dress for the Guards.
 Thomas Denman, afterwards Lord Denman and Lord Chief Justice of England, was at this time Common Serjeant of the City of London. George IV. hated him for the part he had taken on the Queen's trial, and did all he could to prevent his having a silk gown. Vide supra, p. 156, January 16th, 1829.
November 21st 1829
Maclane, the American Minister, could not come, but Irving did. He is lively and unassuming, rather vulgar, very good-humoured. We went to Strawberry Hill to-day — Moore, Ellis, Lady Georgiana, and I. Ellis is an excellent cicerone; everything is in the state in which old Horace Walpole left it, and just as his catalogue and description describe it. He says in that work that he makes that catalogue to provide against the dispersion of his collections, and he tied up everything as strictly as possible. Moore sang in the evening and was very agreeable the whole day. He said that Byron thought that Crabbe and Coleridge had the most genius and feeling of any living poet. Nobody reads Crabbe now. How dangerous it is to be a story-teller, however agreeable the manner or amusing the budget, for Moore to-day told a story which he told here last week! However, they all laughed just the same, except me, and I moralised upon it thus. Clifden is a very odd man, shrewd and well informed, and somewhat sarcastic, but very gay and good-humoured, fond of society and the 'Times' newspaper, a great enemy to the Church, and chuckles over its alarms and its dangers, but I was amused with a comical contradiction. Somebody told a story about an erratum in an Irish paper, which said that such a one had abjured the errors of the Romish Church and embraced those of the Protestant, at which he was greatly diverted, and said, 'That is just what I should have said myself;' and to-day after dinner, all of a sudden, he said grace (he says grace on Sunday only).
Moore gave an account this morning of his being examined in Trinity College, Dublin, when a boy, during the rebellion. Many of the youths (himself, and he says he is pretty sure Croker, among the number) had taken the oath of the United Irishmen  (Emmett  and some others who were in the College had absconded). The Chancellor (Lord Clare) came to the College, erected his tribunal, and examined all the students upon oath. He asked first if they had belonged  to any society of United Irish, and, if the answer was in the affirmative, he asked whom they had ever seen there and what had passed. Contumacy was punishable by expulsion and exclusion from every profession. At the end of the first day's examination Moore went home to his parents, and told them he could not take an oath which might oblige him to criminate others (as he should be forced to answer any question they might choose to put), and though they were poor, and had conceived great hopes of him, they encouraged him in this resolution. The next day he was called forth, when he refused to be sworn, stating his reasons why. The Chancellor said he did not come there to dispute with him, but added that they should only ask him general questions, on which he took the oath, but reserved to himself the power of declining to answer particular questions. They only asked him such questions as he could conscientiously answer (they had got all the information they wanted, and were beginning to relax), but when they had done with him Lord Clare asked him why he had demurred to answer. He said he was afraid he might be called on to criminate others, and that he had never taken an oath before, and naturally felt some reluctance and dread on such an occasion.
 He did not take the oath till after this examination.
 He had lived in intimacy with Emmett.
Moore told a story of an Irishman who saw from the pit a friend of his acting Othello, and he called out, 'Larry, Larry, Larry, there's the least taste in life of your linen hanging out!' One day in America near the falls of Niagara Moore saw this scene: — An Indian whose boat was moored to the shore was making love to the wife of another Indian; the husband came upon them unawares; he jumped into the boat, when the other cut the cord, and in an instant it was carried into the middle of the stream, and before he could seize his paddle was already within the rapids. He exerted all his force to extricate himself from the peril, but finding that his efforts were vain, and his canoe was drawn with increasing rapidity towards the Falls, he threw away his paddle, drank off at a draught the contents of a bottle of brandy, tossed the empty bottle into the air, then quietly folded his arms, extended himself in the boat, and  awaited with perfect calmness his inevitable fate. In a few moments he was whirled down the Falls and disappeared for ever.
Washington Irving wants sprightliness and more refined manners. He was in Spain four years, at Madrid, Seville, and Grenada. While at the latter place he was lodged in the Alhambra, which is excellently preserved and very beautiful; he gives a deplorable description of the ignorance and backward state of the Spaniards. When he returned to France he was utterly uninformed of what had been passing in Europe while he was in Spain, and he says that he now constantly hears events alluded to of which he knows nothing.
December 1st, 1829
After I left Roehampton last week came to town and dined with Byng, Moore, Irving, Sir T. Lawrence, and Vesey Fitzgerald; very agreeable. No news but the failure of the Spanish expedition against Mexico, which capitulated, and the soldiers promised never to bear arms against Mexico again. On Friday went to see Lord Glengall's comedy, with a prologue by F. Mills and an epilogue by Alvanley. It succeeded, though the first two acts went off heavily; not much novelty in it, but the characters well drawn and some of the situations very good: it amused me very well, and was exceedingly well acted. Glengall came to me afterwards to get criticisms on his play. I told him some of the faults, and he was not in the Sir Fretful line, but took it all very thankfully. At Roehampton on Sunday; Byng, Sir Robert Wilson, Sharpe, and Luttrell. There is a joke of Luttrell's about Sharpe. He was a wholesale hatter formerly; having a dingy complexion, somebody said he had transferred the colour of his hats to his face, when Luttrell said that 'it was darkness which might be felt.' Wilson has written to the Sultan a letter full of advice, and he says the Turks will be more powerful than ever. Wilson is always full of opinions  and facts; the former are wild and extravagant, the latter generally false.
 A comedy by the Earl of Glengall, entitled 'The Follies of Fashion.'
 [Richard Sharpe, Esq., well known by the sobriquet of 'Conversation Sharpe.']
No Council yet; the King is employed in altering the uniforms of the Guards, and has pattern coats with various collars submitted to him every day. The Duke of Cumberland assists him, and this is his principal occupation; he sees much more of his tailor than he does of his Minister. The Duke of Cumberland's boy, who is at Kew, diverts himself with making the guard turn out several times in the course of the day to salute him.
December 3rd, 1829
Came from Roehampton. Lady Pembroke and her daughter, Luttrell and I, and the Lievens, dined there one day. Lady Pembroke was Countess Woronzow; Lord Pembroke pleaded poverty all his life, and died leaving each of his five daughters £20,000, and his wife £200,000 to do what she liked with. Old Woronzow was Ambassador here many years, has lived here ever since, and never learnt a word of English. His son Michel is one of the most distinguished officers in the Russian army, and now Governor of Odessa and the province of which that city is the capital.
I went to see Glengall's play again, which was much better acted than the first time, and, having been curtailed, went off very well. Henry de Ros, Glengall, and I went together. I was very much amused (but did not venture to show it) at a point in one of the scenes between Lureall and Sir S. Foster: the latter said, 'Let me tell you, sir, that a country gentleman residing on his estate is as valuable a member of society as a man of fashion in London who lives by plundering those who have more money and less wit than himself;' when De Ros turned to Glengall and said, 'Richard, there appears to me to be a great deal of twaddle in this play; besides, you throw over the good cause.'
December 5th, 1829
This morning the Duke of Wellington sent for me about the Council on Monday, and after settling that matter he began talking about the King's conduct with reference to the Recorder's report. I told him it was thought very extraordinary. He said, 'You have no idea what a scene I had with him; there never was anything like it.  I never saw him so violent.' He then rang the bell, when Drummond (his secretary) appeared, and the Duke desired him to bring the correspondence with the King about the Recorder, which was done. He then said, 'I came to town on the Monday for the Council and report, which was to have been on Tuesday, and which he had himself settled, without consulting me; in the afternoon Phillips came to me and said that the Recorder could not attend, and that they did not know if his Majesty would receive Denman. I wrote to the King directly this letter.' He then read the letter, which was to this effect: that he informed the King that the Recorder was ill, and therefore the Common Serjeant, Mr. Denman, would have the honour of making the report to his Majesty; that he thought it right to apprise him of this, and if he had any objection to receive Mr. Denman, it would be better to put off the Council, as no other person could now lay the report before him. 'To this the King wrote an answer, beginning "My dear Duke," not as usual,' the Duke said, '"My dear Friend," that the state of his eyes would not allow him to write by candle-light, and he was therefore obliged to make use of an amanuensis. The letter was written by Watson, and signed by the King, "Your sincere Friend, G. R." It was to the effect that he was quite surprised the Duke should have made him such a proposal; that he had been grossly insulted by Denman, and would never admit him to his presence; that it had been settled the Deputy-Recorder, Arabin, in the absence of the Recorder, should make the report, and that he had already done so; that he was surprised, knowing as the Duke must do the firmness of his character, that he should think him capable of yielding on this subject; that he never would do so, and desired the Council might take place, and the report be made by Arabin.' His letter was much longer, but this was the pith of it. On the receipt of this the Duke held a consultation with Peel and the Chancellor, when they determined to put off the Council, which was done, and the Duke wrote to the King, as nearly as I can recollect, as follows.  This was an admirable letter — business-like, firm, and respectful: — 'That upon the receipt of his Majesty's letter he had thought it his duty to consult the Chancellor, and that they had come to the resolution of postponing the Council and report; that the making of this report was the privilege of the City of London, and that the Recorder in the execution of this duty, being unable to attend, had placed it in the hands of the Common Serjeant, whose duty it then became to present it; that it was now in his hands, and could not be withdrawn without his consent; that the only occasion on which it had been presented by Mr. Serjeant Arabin had been when the Common Serjeant was on the circuit; that as his Majesty objected to admit Mr. Denman to his presence, they had thought it best to put off the Council, as if Mr. Arabin was summoned he could have no report to present, and there would probably arise some discussion between the Common Serjeant and him, which would be a proceeding such as ought not to take place in his Majesty's palace, and that he would wait upon his Majesty the next morning and take his commands upon the subject.' The next day, he continued, he went to Windsor, where he had a grand scene with his Majesty. 'I am sure,' said the Duke, 'that nobody can manage him but me.' He repeated all he had said in his letter, and a great deal more; represented to him that having given his sanction to the official appointment of Denman since the Queen's trial, he could not refuse to receive him in the execution of his duty without alleging legal objections for so doing; to which the King replied that Lord Liverpool had behaved very ill to him, and had made him do this; and then he became very violent, and cursed and swore, and said he never would see him. The Duke said that he might put off the report; that there were three men who must be hanged, and it did not signify one farthing whether they were kept in prison a little longer or shorter time (he forgets that there are others lying under sentence of death, probably several), and that he had better put it off than have the Common Serjeant come down to a scene in his palace. After letting him run on in his usual way, and exhaust his violence,  he left him, and the report stands over once more; but the Duke told me that it could not stand over after this, and if the Recorder is not well enough when the time arrives for the next report, his Majesty must receive Denman whether he will or no, and that he shall insist upon it. He told me the whole history in great detail mixed with pretty severe strictures on the King. I have put down all I could carry away. I have not such a memory (or such an invention) as Bourrienne.
The Duke then told me that he had made strong remonstrances about the excess of expenditure on the Civil List; that in the Lord Steward's department there had been an excess of £7,000, in that of the Master of the Horse of £5,000, and that of the Master of the Robes (the tailor's bill) of £10,000 in the last half-year;  that he had stated that unless they could save the difference in the next half-year, or pay it out of the Privy Purse, he must go to Parliament, which would bring the whole of the expenses of the Civil List under discussion. He said it was very extraordinary, that the King's expenses appeared to be nothing; his Majesty had not more tables than he (the Duke) had.
 I am not sure that I am correct in the sums, but very nearly so.
I asked him about Brummell and his Consulship. He said Aberdeen hesitated; that he had offered to take all the responsibility on himself; that he had in Dudley's time proposed it to him (Dudley), who had objected, and at last owned he was afraid the King might not like it, on which he had spoken to the King, who had made objections, abusing Brummell — said he was a damned fellow and had behaved very ill to him (the old story, always himself — moi, moi, moi) — but after having let him run out his tether of abuse, he had at last extracted his consent; nevertheless Dudley did not give him the appointment. The Duke said he had no acquaintance with Brummell.
|Meet the web creator
These materials may be freely used for
non-commercial purposes in accordance with applicable statutory allowances
and distribution to students.
Last modified 12 January, 2016
|American Affairs 1760-83
|The Age of the French Wars 1792-1815
|Irish Affairs 1760-89
|Economic Affairs in the Age of Peel
|Primary sources index
|British Political Personalities
|British Foreign policy 1815-65