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The worst men often give the best ad vice. Our deeds are sometimes better than our th oughts,. I pray thee cease thy counsel. Know when to speake; for many times it b rings. Danger to give the best advice to kings. I'm growing wise; I'm growing,--ye s, A nd his big manly voice,.
Turning again toward childish treble , pipes. Time has la id his hand. Upon my heart, gently, not smiting it,. Fire from the mind, as vigor from the limb;. And life's enchanted cup but sparkles near the brim. For we are old, and on our quick'st decree s.
SIR W. Though I look old, yet I am strong and lusty;. Nor did not with unbashful forehead wo o. But grant, the virtues of a temp'rate prime. An age that melts with unperceived d ecay,. The year grows rich as it groweth old,. And life's latest sands are its sands of gold! D ORR. The spring, like youth, fresh blosso ms doth produce,. But autumn makes them ripe and fit for use:.
On the green promises of youthful h eat. Is fallen into the sear, the yel low leaf:. And that which should accompany old age,. As honor, love, obedience, troops of frie nds,. I must not look to have; but, in their stead,.
Curses, not loud, but deep, mouth-hon or, breath,. Which the poor heart would fain den y, and dare not. What is the worst of woes t hat wait on age? What stamps the wrinkle deeper on t he brow? To view each loved one blotted from life's page ,. And buy men's voices to commend our deeds;. It shall be said--his judgment rule d our hands. As you are old and reverend, you should be wise.
So may'st thou live, till like ripe fruit thou drop. Into thy mother's lap, or be wit h ease. Gathered, not harshly plucked for death mature. This castle hath a pleasant seat: the air. The heaven's br eath. Buttress, nor coigne of vantage, but this bird. Hath made his pendent bed and procreant cradl e:. Where they most breed and haunt, I have observed,. Whispered it to the woods, and from their wings. Flung rose, flung odors from the spicy shrub. The air bites shrewdly; it is very cold.
It is a nipping and an 'eager air. Burns frore, and cold performs the effect of fir e. Where houses thick and sewers annoy th e air. Nor waste their sweetness in the dese rt air. To reign is worth ambition, thou gh in hell:. Better to reign in hell, t han serve in heaven. Lowliness is young ambitio n's ladder,. But when he once attains the up most round,.
He then unto the ladder turns his b ack,. Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees. By which he did ascend. To prick the sides of my intent; but o nly. Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itsel f,. But wild ambition loves to slide, not stand,. And Fortune's ice prefers to Virtue's lan d.
Ambition's monstrous stomach does increase. By eating, and it fears to starve unless. It still may feed, and all it sees devour. But see how oft ambition's aims are crossed,. And chiefs contend 'til all the prize is l ost! PO PE. O, sons of earth! Heaven still with laughter the vain toil surveys,. And buries madmen in the heaps they raise. The very substance of the ambitious is merely t he shadow. Why then doth flesh, a bubble-glass of b reath,. Oh, sons of earth!
We rarely know, till 'wildered eyes. See white wings lessening up the skies,. The angels come, and go, the Messengers o f God! Nor, though they fade from us, do t hey depart Adown their shining ranks, but see t hem nevermore.
To visit oft the dwellings of just m en. Delighted, and with frequent inte rcourse. But sad as angels for the good man's sin ,. Weep to record, and blush to give it in. What though my winged hours o f bliss have been,. A full-hot horse; who being allowed his way,.
Being once chased, he cannot. Be reined again to temperance; then he speaks. But, sure, the bravery of his grief did put me. Senseless, and deformed,. That it do singe yourself: we may ou trun. By violent swiftness, that which we run at,. That cometh to net. In genial spring, beneath the quivering shade,. Where cooling vapors breathe along the mead,.
The patient fisher takes his silent st and,. Intent, his angle trembling in h is hand;. With looks unmoved, he hopes the scaly breed ,. And eyes the dancing cork, and bending reed. While yet the dark-brown water aids t he guile,. To tempt the trout. The w ell-dissembled fly,. The rod fine tapering with elastic sprin g,. Snatched from the hoary steed the floatin g line,.
And all thy slender wat'ry stores prepare. Just in the dubious point, where with the pool. Is mixed the trembling stream, or wh ere it boils. There throw, nice judging, the delusive fly;. With eye attentive mark the sprin ging game.
Straight as above the surface of the fl ood. They wanton rise, or urged by hunge r leap,. Then fix, with gentle twitch, the barbed hook:. Some lightly tossing to the gra ssy bank,. And to the shelving shore slow-draggin g some,. With various hand proportioned to their force.
Give me mine angle, we'll to the r iver; there,. Tawny-finned fishes; my bended hook shall pierce. His line a cable which in storms ne'er broke;. His hook he baited with a dragon's tail,. KI NG. Cats of all colors, black, white, gr ay;. I am his Highness' dog at K ew;. Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you? The little dogs and all,. Tray, Blanche, and Sweetheart, see, they bark at me. Stiff, by the tainted g ale, with open nose,. Fearful and cautious, on the latent p rey. A horse! My kingdom for a ho rse!
The courser pawed the ground with re stless feet,. And snorting foamed, and champed the golde n bit. Round-hoofed, short-jointed, fetlocks shag and long,. Broad breast, full eye, small head and nost ril wide,. High crest, short ears, straig ht legs and passing strong,. Thin mane, thick tail, broad butt ock, tender hide:. Look, what a horse should have he did not lack. Oft in this season too the ho rse, provoked.
While his big sinews full of sp irits swell,. Trembling with vigor, in the hea t of blood,. Springs the high fence Luxuriant and erect, the seat of st rength! Champing his foam, and bounding o'er the plain,. Arch his high neck, and graceful spread his mane. SIR R. Is it the wind those branches stirs? A trampling troop; I see the m come! But where are they the reins to guide! With flowing tail, and flying mane,. Wide nostrils, never stretch ed by pain,.
I holde a mouses herte nat worth a leek. That hath but oon hole for to ster te to. When now, unsparing as the scourge of war,. Blast follow blasts and groves dismantled roar;. Around their home the storm-pinched ca ttle lows,. Half in the flood, and, often bending, sip. The strong laborious ox, of honest front,. The troublous insects lashes with his t ail,. Tossed from rock to rock,. At last, of snowy white, t he gathered flocks.
The shepherds sit, and whet the sound ing shears. The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to- day,. Had he thy reason, would he skip and pl ay? Pleased to the last, he crops the fl owery food,. And licks the hand just raised to sh ed his blood. Welcome, ye shades! Delicious is your shelter to the soul ,. As to the hunted hart the sallying spring,. Or stream full-flowing, that his sw elling sides.
Laves, as he floats along the herbaged brink. A poor sequestered stag,. That from the hunter's aim had ta 'en a hurt,. Cruel as Death, and hungry as the G rave! Burning for blood! And, pouring o'er the country, bea r along,. Keen as the north wind sweeps the glossy snows. Infinite riches in a little room.
A footstep, a low throbbing in t he walls,. A noise of falling weights that never fell,. Weird whispers, bells that rang withou t a hand,. And bolted doors that opened of th emselves;. And one betwixt the dark and light had seen. Great Pompey's shade complains that we are slow,. And Scipio's ghost walks unavenged amongst us! For night's swift dragons cut the clo uds full fast,. At whose approach, ghosts, wandering here and there,.
The light of love, the purity of grace,. The mind, the music breathing from her face,. The heart whose softness harmonized the who le,. And oh! There's nothing ill can dwell in su ch a temple;. If the ill spirit have so fair a house,. Good things will strive to dwell with 't. In that she never studied to b e fairer. Than Nature made her; beauty cost her no thing,. Bright with intelligence, and fair and smooth;.
Her eyebrow's shape was like the aerial bow,. Her cheek all purple with the beam of you th,. Mounting, at times, to a transpa rent glow,. The glass of fashion, and the mould of for m,. They brought one Pinch, a hung ry lean-faced villain,. A threadbare juggler, and a fortune- teller,.
Falstaff sweats to death,. And lards the lean earth as he walks along;. Were't not for laughing, I sh ould pity him. Act ii. I saw him once: he was a goodly king. He was a man, take him for all in all,. Yet had not quenched the open truth ,. The sparkling glance, soon blown to fire.
Bring me the fairest creature northw ard born,. Where Phoebus' fire scarce thaws t he icicles,. To prove whose blood is reddest, his or min e. Incensed with indignation Satan stoo d. That fires the length of Op hiucus huge. In th' arctic sky, and from his horrid hair. Look here, upon this picture, and on this;. The counterfeit presentment of two broth ers. See, what a grace was seated on th is brow:. Hyperion's curls; the front of Jove himse lf;. Where every god did seem to set his seal ,.
When we mean to build,. We first survey the plot, the n draw the model;. And when we see the figure of the house,. Then must we rate the cost of the erection. And some the architect: his ha nd was known. Where sceptred angels held their re sidence,. Cost little less than new, before th ey're ended.
Built his great heart int o these sculptured stones,. And with him toiled his children, a nd their lives. Were builded, with his own, int o the walls,. As offerings unto God. Error a fault, and truth discourte sy. They must describe; they nothing pr ove. PRIO R. And soundest casuists doubt, like you and me?
Those poor possessions from another's deeds. He lives to build, not boast, a generous r ace;. No tenth transmitter of a foolish face. Let wealth and commerce, laws and learning die,. LORD J. Whoe 'er amidst the sons. Displays distinguished merit, is a no ble. Fond man! Bedeck your halls, and round your galleries shine. In proud display; yet take this t ruth from me Boast not the titles of your ancestors, brave youth!
Nobler is a limited command. Given by the love of all your native land ,. Drawn from the mouldy rolls of Noah's ark. That we, lest they their righ ts should lose,. Should trust our necks to gripe of noose? Produce their debt, instead of their disch arge. Few sons attain the praise of the ir great sires, and most.
He stands for fame on his forefather's fe et,. And lords whose parents were the Lord knows who. Builders wrought with greatest care. It is not strength, but art, obtains the prize,. And to be swift is less than to be wise. His pencil was striking, resistless, and grand;. Still born to improve us in every part,. The marvels which his pencil wrough t,. That tie me down where wretched mortals sigh- -. Happy the heart that keeps its twil ight hour,. And, in the depths of heavenly pe ace reclined,.
Loves to commune with thoughts of ten der power, Thoughts that ascend, like angels be autiful,. The desire of the moth for th e star,. Of the night for the morrow,. I held it truth, with him who sings. Of their dead selves to higher thin gs. Of the many is not well. One must be chief. Thou hast seen a farmer's dog bark at a beggar,. And the creature run from the cur: There,. There, thou might'st behold t he great image of authority;.
O, what authority and show o f truth. But words are things, and a small drop of ink,. Falling, like dew, upon a thought , produces. That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think. Habits of close attention, thinking heads,. Till authors hear at length one gene ral cry. Lives not to please himself, but othe r men;. Is always drudging, wastes his life an d blood,. Yet only eats and drinks what you thin k good. But foul descriptions are offensive stil l,.
Either for being like or being ill. Shut, shut the door, good John! Tie up the knocker, say I'm sick, I'm dead. The Dog-star rages! Fire in each eye, and papers in each hand ,. They rave, recite, and madden round the land. Why did I write? Dipped me in ink,--my parents', or my own!
It down, until at last it ca me to be. For length and breadth, the high ness which you see. None but an author knows an author's car es,. Or Fancy's fondness for the child she bears. Whether the charmer sinner it, or saint it,. If folly grow romantic. I must paint it. But easy writing's curst hard reading. True ease in writing comes from art, not chance,. As those move easiest who have learned to dance. Soft is the strain when zephyr g ently blows,.
And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows;. But when loud surges lash the sounding shore. The hoarse rough verse should like th e torrent roar. When Ajax strives some rock's vast weight t o throw. Not so when swift Camilla scours the plain,. Flies o'er th' unbending corn, and skims along the main. Then, at the last and only couplet fraugh t. With some unmeaning thing they call a thought,.
That, like a wounded snake, drags its slow le ngth along. Abstruse and mystic thought you must express. For truth shines brightest thr o' the plainest dress. Thoughts that shall glad the t wo or three. High souls, like those far stars th at come in sight. The last and greatest art--the art to blot.
Whatever hath been written shall remain ,. The unwritten only still belongs to th ee:. Take heed, and ponder well, what that sh all be. Fresh fallen from God's own home to flower on eart h. Her eyes are blue, she's twelve weeks old,. She fluttered down in lucky hour. As living jewels dropped unstained from heaven. God mark thee to his grace! Thou wast the prettiest babe that e'er I nursed:. An I might live to see thee married once,. Suck, baby! Drain the sweet founts that only t hrive by wasting!
SCO TT. To see him shine so brisk, and smell so sw eet,. And talk so like a waiting gentle woman,. And that it was great pity, so it was,. Out of the bowels of the harmless earth ,. Which many a good tall fellow had destroyed. By Heaven! For one who hath no friend, no brot her there. Their various arms that glitt er in the air! What gallant war-hounds rouse them from their lair,. And gnash their fangs, loud yelling for the prey!
All join the chase, but few the triumph share;. The grave shall bear the chiefest p rize away,. And havoc scarce for joy can number their ar ray. From the glitt ering staff unfurled. Th' imperial ensign, which, full h igh advanced,. Shone like a meteor, streaming to t he wind,.
With gems and golden lustre rich imb lazed,. Seraphic arms and trophies; all the w hile. A shout that tore hell's concave, and beyond. Frighted the reign of Chaos and old Night. When Greeks joined Greeks, then was the t ug of war.
In worst extremes, and on the perilou s edge. Fight, gentlemen of England! Draw, archers, draw your arrows to t he head! Spur your proud horses hard, and ride in blood;. And pass them current too. God's me, my h orse! That Fate itself could awe the soul o f Richard. Hence, babbling dreams; you threaten here in vain;.
Conscience, avaunt, Richard's himself again! To horse! My soul's in arms, and eager for the fr ay. Altered , Act. And she is fair, and fairer than th at word. Beauty provoketh thieves sooner than go ld. Her beauty hangs upon the cheek of nig ht. Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear. And sweet as English air could make her, she. Yet I'll not sh ed her blood;.
Nor soar that whiter skin of hers than snow,. From thy full bosom to thy slender waist ,. There's nothing that allays an ang ry mind. The beautiful seems right. But with the lines and outwa rd air. We wish to see it still, and pr ove. We court, we praise, we more than love ,. There's nothing ill can dwell in su ch a temple:. A daughter of the gods, divinely tal l. Beauty is Nature's coin, must not be hoarded. But must be current, and the g ood thereof.
If you let slip time, like a neglect ed rose,. It withers on the stalk with la nguished head. Thoughtless of beauty, she was Beauty's se lf. Her beauties, while she hides, reveal s:. MOOR E. Beauty is but a vain and doubtful g ood;. A shining gloss that vadeth sud denly;. A flower that dies when first it 'gin s to bud;. A brittle glass that 's broken presently;.
A doubtful good, a gloss, a gl ass, a flower,. Lost, vaded, broken, dead within a n hour. May it record the flight of time! The bells themselves are the best of preach ers,. From their pulpits of stone, in th e upper air,. Sounding aloft, without crack or flaw ,. Shriller than trumpets under the La w,. And the Sabbath bell,. Wanders so far, chasing all thoughts unholy. Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh. Yet the first bringer of unwelcome new s.
Hath but a losing office, and his t ongue. And better had they ne'er been b orn,. And truth is drawn in fairest l ines. We read thy name in fairer lines. WAT TS. Just knows, and knows no more, her Bib le true. It gives a light to every age ,. Starres are poore books, and oftentimes do misse;. This book starres lights to et ernal blisse. Do you ne'er think what wondrous beings these? Do you ne'er think who made them, an d who taught. Alone are the interpreters of t hought? Sweeter than instrument of man e 'er caught!
The black-bird whistles from the thorny brake;. Nor are the linnets, o'er the flowerin g furze. Poured out profusely, silent. Joined to th ese,. Innumerous songsters, in the freshening sh ade. The jay, the rook, th e daw,. And each harsh pipe, discordant he ard alone,.
Aid the full concert: while t he stock-dove breathes. Whither aw ay, Bluebird,. The blast is chill, yet in t he upper sky. Thou still canst find the co lor of thy wing,. Warbler, why speed thy southern flight? Thou too, whose song first told u s of the Spring? The crack-brained bobolink courts his crazy mate,.
Poised on a bulrush tipsy with his we ight. One day in the bluest of summer weathe r,. I heard five bobolinks laughing toge ther,. Passes in a narrow cage. The cook, that is the t rumpet to the morn. Doth with his lofty and shrill-so unding throat. Where wide the storms their bann ers fling. Where, the ha wk,. High in the beetling cliff, h is aery builds. And the, humming-bird that h ung. And, with whispered laughter, slipped away. In nature there is nothing melancholy. Then from the neighboring th icket the mocking-bird, wildest of singers,.
Swinging aloft on a willow spray that h ung o'er the water,. Shook from his little throat such floods of de lirious music,. That the whole air and the woods and t he waves seemed silent to listen. Rise with the lark, and with th e lark to bed. And the daylight that awakes him. What bird so sings, yet so does wa il? O, 'tis the ravished night ingale Jug, jug, jug, jug--tereu--she crie s,. Hark, hark! Warblest at eve, when all the woo ds are still;.
Thou with fresh hope the lover's h eart dost fill. While the jolly Hours lead on propitious Ma y. Thy liquid notes, that close th e eye of day,. O honey-throated warbler of the gro ve! That in the glooming woodland art so proud. Of answering thy sweet mates in soft or loud,. Thou dost not own a note we do not love. Lend me your song, ye Nightingales! O , pour. The crow doth sing as sweetly as the lark. When neither is attended; and I think. The nightingale, if she should sing by day,.
When every goose is cackling, would be t hought. No better a musician than the wre n. To their right praise and tr ue perfection. A falcon, towering in her pride of pla ce,. Call for the robin-redbreast and the wre n,. And lilies face the March-winds in full blo w,. Put on, to welcome spring, their best attire,. With his red stalks upon this sunn y day! Blithely she sings, and sweet and clear;.
The stately-sailing swan. Gives out his snowy plumage to the gal e;. And, arching proud his neck, with oary feet. Rears forward fierce, and guards his osier isle ,. Blessings star forth forever; but a curse. In virtue rich; in blessing othe rs, blessed. Like birds, whose beauties languish ha lf concealed,.
Till, mounted on the wing, th eir glossy plumes. Expanded, shine with azure, green, and gol d;. How blessings brighten as they take their flight! In the nine heavens are eight P aradises;. Where is the ninth one? In the human breast. Who has not seen that feeling born of flame. Crimson the cheek at mention of a nam e?
When hands clasped hands, and lips to lip s were pressed. And the heart's secret was at o nce confessed? By noting of the lady I have marked. Into her face; a thousand innocent sham es. From every blush that kindles in thy cheeks,. The rising blushes, which her ch eek o'erspread,. Girls blush, sometimes, because they are alive,.
Half wishing they were dead to save the shame. They have drawn too near the fire of life, like gnats,. The man that blushes is not quite a brute. Our voices keep tune and our oars keep t ime,. We'll sing at Saint Ann's our parting hymn;. The rapids are near and the daylight's past! And all the way, to guide their chime,. We talked of Brougham, but Clarendon, though anxious to have Brougham in as President of the Council, thinks he would not do for the woolsack, and that it will be better to have Cranworth if Lord St.
Leonard's will not stay. There is a great difficulty in respect to the retiring pension. There can only be four, and Sugden's will make up the number, so that a fresh Chancellor could have none except at the death of one of the others. The worst part of the foregoing stor [Pg 20] y is, that Lord John will not join cordially and heartily, and it is impossible to say, during the difficult adjustment of details, what objections he may not raise and what embarrassments he may not cause.
There was a meeting at Lord Derby's yesterday morning, at which he told his friends he would continue to lead them, and he recommended a moderation, in which he probably was not sincere, and which they will not care to observe. Lord Delawarr got up and thanked him. Nothing can be more rabid than the party and the ex-ministers, and they are evidently bent on vengeance and a furious opposition. Drumlanrig told me he knew of several adherents of Derby who were resolved to give the new Government fair play, and would not rush into opposition, and Ousely Higgins said he thought the Irish would be all right, especially if, as the report ran, Granville was sent to Ireland; but there is no counting on the Irish Brigade, whose object it is to embarrass every Government.
If they could be friendly to any, it would, however, be one composed of Aberdeen, Graham, and Gladstone, the opponents of the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill. But he owed his celebrity and his promotion to his eminence as a lawyer, far more than to his activity as a politician. December 22nd. He had seen Aberdeen, who had received no answer from John Russell, and Aberdeen was prepared, if he did not get his acceptance the next morning, to give the thing up.
Lansdowne was greatly alarmed and far from confident Lord John would agree, at all events, that he would not take the Foreign Office, in which case Lansdowne said he Clarendon must take it. Nothing could look worse. This morning Clarendon received a letter from Aberdeen announcing that Lord John had agreed to lead the House of Commons, either without an office or with a nominal one, and asking Clarendon to take the Foreign Office.
We came up to town together, he meaning to accept unless he can prevail on Lord Joh [Pg 21] n to take it, if it be only for a time, and he is gone to see what he can do with him. He told me last night that when he was at Woburn last week, the Duke informed him that he had had a confidential communication from Stockmar, asking for his advice, whom the Queen should send for if the Government was beaten and if Derby resigned.
He had just received this letter, and had not answered it, and consulted Clarendon what he should say. Clarendon advised him to recommend Lansdowne and Aberdeen, and he wrote to that effect. The very morning after the division, just as they were going hunting, the hounds meeting at the Torr, a Queen's messenger arrived with another letter, requesting he would communicate more fully his sentiments at the present crisis.
The messenger was ordered to keep himself secret, and not to let his mission transpire. The Duke, under Clarendon's advice, wrote a long letter back, setting forth in detail all that had, not long ago, passed about Palmerston and Lansdowne, and his notions of the difficulties and exigencies of the present time. He said that it was evident Lord John could not make a Government, and that he was himself conscious of it.
December 23rd. Aberdeen offered him the Admiralty, saying he considered it in existing circumstances the most important office, and the one in which he could render the greatest service to the country, but if he for any reason objected to that office, he begged him to say what other office he would have.
Palmerston replied that he had no hostile feeling towards him, but they had for so many years been in strong opposition to each other, that the public would never understand his taking office in Aberdeen's Government, and he was too old to expose himself to such misconceptions. And so they parted, on ostensibly very friendly terms, which will probably not prevent P [Pg 22] almerston's joining Derby and going into furious opposition.
In the course of the day yesterday both Clarendon and Lansdowne called on Palmerston, and he expressed great satisfaction at Clarendon's appointment to the Foreign Office. In the afternoon I called on Lady Clanricarde, who gave me to understand that Clanricarde was likely to become a personage of considerable influence and power and therefore worth having , inasmuch as the Irish Band had made overtures to him, and signified their desire to act under his guidance.
She said this was not the first overture he had received of the kind from the same quarter; that for various reasons he had declined the others, but she thought at the present time he might very well listen to it; that they were very anxious to be led by a gentleman, and a man of consideration and station in the world.
All this, to which I attach very little credit, was no doubt said to me in order to be repeated, and that it might impress on Aberdeen and his friends and colleagues the importance of securing Clanricarde's services and co-operation; and I am the more confirmed in this by receiving a note from the Marchioness in the evening, begging I would not repeat what she had told me.
There was nothing new yesterday in the purlieus of Whiggism, but I think somewhat more of acquiescence, and a disposition to regard this combination as inevitable. The Derbyites quite frenzied, and prepared to go any lengths. Lonsdale told me the party were delighted with Derby's intemperate speech in the House of Lords, which seems to have been rehearsed at his own meeting the same morning; and the other day twenty ruffians of the Carlton Club gave a dinner there to Beresford, to celebrate what they consider his acquittal!
After dinner, when they got drunk, they went upstairs, and finding Gladstone alone in the drawing-room, some of them proposed to throw him out of the window. This they did not quite dare to do, but contented themselves with giving some insulting message or order to the waiter, and then went away. Hatchford, Friday, 24th. Lord Lansdowne had called on him the day before, and had, I suspect, little difficulty in persuading him to change his determination and join the new Cabinet.
He said he would place himself in Lord Lansdowne's hands, and yesterday morning I heard as a secret, though it was speedily published, that he had agreed to take the Home Office. The next thing was Lord John's consent to take the Foreign Office. This he was persuaded to do by Clarendon, who engaged to help him in the work, and relieve him by taking it himself the moment Lord John should find himself unequal to it, and on these conditions he consented.
It was settled that Gladstone should be Chancellor of the Exchequer, but Delane went to Aberdeen last night for the purpose of getting him to change this arrangement on the ground of the difficulty there would be about the Income Tax. The important part of forming the Cabinet is now done, and nothing remains but the allotment of the places. It will be wonderfully strong in point of ability, and in this respect exhibit a marked contrast with the last; but its very excellence in this respect may prove a source of weakness, and eventually of disunion.
The late Cabinet had two paramount chiefs, and all the rest nonentities, and the nominal head was also a real and predominant head. In the present Cabinet are five or six first-rate men of equal or nearly equal pretensions, none of them likely to acknowledge the superiority or defer to the opinions of any other, and every one of these five or six considering himself abler and more important than their Premier.
They are all at present on very good terms and perfectly satisfied with each other; but this satisfaction does not extend beyond the Cabinet itself; murmurings and grumblings are already very loud. The Whigs have never looked with much benignity on this coalition, and they are now furious at the unequal and, as they think, unfair distribution of places. These complaints are not without reason, nor will it make matters better that John Russell has had no communication with his old friends and adherents, nor made any struggle [Pg 24] , as it is believed, to provide for them, although his adhesion is so indispensable that he might have made any terms and conditions he chose.
Then the Radicals, to judge from their press, are exceedingly sulky and suspicious, and more likely to oppose than to support the new Government. The Irish also seem disposed to assume a menacing and half hostile attitude, and, having contributed to overthrow the last Government, are very likely according to the policy chalked out for them after the election to take an early opportunity of aiding the Derbyites to turn out this. Thus hampered with difficulties and beset with dangers, it is impossible to feel easy about their prospects.
If, however, they set to work vigorously to frame good measures and remove practical and crying evils, they may excite a feeling in their favour in the country, and may attract support enough from different quarters in the House of Commons to go on, but I much fear that it will at best be a perturbed and doubtful existence.
Such seems the necessary condition of every Government nowadays, and unfortunately there is a considerable party which rejoices in such a state of things, and only desires to aggravate the mischief, because they think its continuance and the instability of every Government will be most conducive to the ends and objects which they aim at. London, December 28th. This will nevertheless be a great difficulty, for Graham and Wood, though not perhaps so much committed as Gladstone, are both against the alteration, which the public voice undoubtedly demands.
Last night the new Ministers took their places on the Treasury bench, and the Tories moved over to the opposite side. Aberdeen made his statement, which was fair enough and not ill received, but it was ill delivered, and he omitted to say all he might and ought to have said about Lord Lansdowne, nor did he say enough about John Russell. He said, on the other hand, more than enough about foreign policy, and gave Derby a [Pg 25] good opportunity of attacking that part of his speech.
Derby was more moderate and temperate than on the first night, and made a pretty good speech. He was wrong in dilating so much on what had passed in the House of Commons, and he made very little of the case of combination; he was severe on Graham and his speech at his election at Carlisle, and Graham heard it all.
Nobody else said a word. The Government is now complete, except some of the minor appointments and the Household. It has not been a smooth and easy business by any means, and there is anything but contentment, cordiality, and zeal in the confederated party.
The Whigs are excessively dissatisfied with the share of places allotted to them, and complain that every Peelite without exception has been provided for, while half the Whigs are excluded. Though they exaggerate the case, there is a good deal of justice in their complaints, and they have a right to murmur against Aberdeen for not doing more for them, and John Russell for not insisting on a larger share of patronage for his friends.
Clarendon has been all along very anxious to get Brougham into the Cabinet as President of the Council, and he proposed it both to Lord John and Aberdeen, and the latter acquiesced, and Clarendon thought it was going to be arranged that Granville should be President of the Board of Trade, and Brougham President of Council; but Newcastle and Sidney Herbert not only upset this plan, but propos [Pg 26] ed that Ellenborough should be President of Council, and then, when he was objected to, Harrowby.
With what object they wished for these appointments I have not an idea, but the very notion of them is an insult to the Whigs, and will be resented accordingly. Lord Lansdowne seems to have taken little or no part in all this. He hooked Palmerston, and, having rendered this great service, he probably thought he had done enough. The Whigs at Brooks's are very angry, and Bessborough told me that he thought his party so ill used, that he had implored Lord John to withdraw even now rather than be a party to such injustice.
Lord John seems to have been very supine, and while the Peelites were all activity, and intent on getting all they could, he let matters take their course, and abstained from exercising the influence in behalf of his own followers which his position and the indispensability of his co-operation enabled him to do. This puts them out of humour with him as much as with Aberdeen and his friends.
We had a great reunion here at Lord Granville's last night, with half the Cabinet at dinner or in the evening. I told Graham what the feelings of the Whigs were. He said they had a very large and important share, the Chancellors of England and of Ireland, etc.
They have made Monsell, an Irish Catholic convert, Clerk of the Ordnance, together with some other Irish Catholic appointments, and he said that these were necessary in order to reconquer in Ireland what had been lost by the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill, and that it was of more consequence to conciliate that large part of the Empire than to provide for the Ansons and the Pagets; and on the same ground he justified the appointment of St.
Germans instead of Lord Carlisle as Lord Lieutenant. All this may be very true, but the Whigs to be left out to make room for these [Pg 27] substitutes will not be convinced or pacified by the political expediency which Graham sets forth, nor will such appointments be at all popular here. If, however, they really should be the means of rallying the Irish Brigade to the support of the Government, it may be patronage well bestowed.
But this makes it a disagreeable start, and may be hereafter productive of serious consequences. Nothing can be more shortsighted, as well as unfair, than the conduct of the Peelites in trying to thrust their own people instead of Whigs into the offices, for they can only hope to keep their places at all by the zealous support of the whole Whig force, themselves bringing next to nothing in point of numbers, and to encounter such a numerous and compact Opposition will require the zealous co-operation of all who wish well to the Liberal cause, and who are against Derby.
Newcastle talked to me last night about Aberdeen's speech, acknowledged its deficiencies, and said he had told Aberdeen what he thought of it. Aberdeen acknowledged it all, said he was so unaccustomed to make such statements, that he had forgotten or overlooked it, and wished he could have spoken it again to repair the omission.
They all seem at present very harmonious in their intercourse. After dinner last night John Russell and Charles Wood went off to meet Aberdeen, for the purpose, I believe, of settling some of the arrangements not yet fixed. Clarendon told me that Charles Wood had been of use in stimulating John Russell to interfere and prevent some of the proposed changes which the Peelites wished Aberdeen to make in the list as originally settled between him and Lord John, and it is very well that he did.
It is impossible not to see that Lord John himself, though now willing to co-operate and do his best, has never been hearty in the cause, nor entirely satisfied with his own position; and this has probably made him more lukewarm, and deterred him from taking a more active and decided part in the formation of the Government. We are just going down to Windsor, the old Government to give up seals, wands, etc. They go by different railways, that they may [Pg 28] not meet. It is singular that I have never attended a Council during the nine months Lord Derby was in office, not once; consequently there are several of his Cabinet whom I do not know by sight—Pakington, Walpole, and Henley.
With my friends I resume my functions. Cardwell, the President of the Board of Trade, from having a seat in the Cabinet, on the ground that there were already too many Peelites in it. December 29th. Palmerston was there, looking very ill indeed. They all seem on very cordial terms.
Graham told me he had had a very friendly conversation with Palmerston, and was greatly rejoiced at being again united to his old colleague. He acknowledged that it was a great mistake in Aberdeen to have offered the Mastership of the Horse to Lord Jersey.
Aberdeen has now proposed the Lord Steward's place to Carlisle, which he will probably not take, and possibly be offended at the offer. I suppose Aberdeen has been subjected to pressure from various quarters, but might have made a better selection and distribution than he has done. January 5 th , Nothing could exceed the disgraceful conduct of his opponents, lying, tricking, and shuffling, as might be expected from such a party.
The best thing that could happen for Gladstone would be to be beaten, if it were not for the triumph it would be to the blackguards who have got up the contest; for the representation of Oxford is always an embarrassment to a statesman, and Peel's losing his election there in was the most fortunate event possible for him. The only speech of the new Ministers calling for special notice is Palmerston's at Tiverton, which appears to me to conceal an arri? He spoke in civil, even complimentary, terms of the Derby Government, so much so, that if any break-up or break-down should occur in this, and Lord Derby return to office, there appears no reason why Palmerston should not form a fresh coalition with him; and it looks very much as if he was keeping this contingency in view, and putting himself in such an attitude as should enable him with some [Pg 29] plausibility to join the camp of such a restoration.
Bowood, January 12 th, Senior talked to me about the Government and Reform, and the danger of their splitting on the latter question and propounded a scheme he has for obviating this danger. He wants to have a Royal Commission to enquire into the practice of bribery at elections and the means of preventing it, or, if possible, to have an enquiry of a more extensive and comprehensive character into the state of the representation and the working of the Reform Bill.
We talked it over, and I told him I thought this would not be a bad expedient. He had already spoken to Lord Lansdowne about it, who seemed not averse to the idea, and promised to talk to Lord John Russell on the subject. Senior, when he went away, begged me to talk to Lord Lansdowne also, which I attempted to do, but without success, for he seemed quite indisposed to enter upon it. Beaudesert, January 19th. Lord Anglesey and M. Flahault was aide-de-camp to Marshal Berthier till the middle of the Russian campaign, when he became aide-de-camp to Napoleon, whom he never quitted again till the end of his career.
His accounts of what he has seen and known are curious and interesting. He says that one of the Emperor's greatest mistakes and the causes of his misfortunes was his habit of ordering everything, down to the minutest arrangement, himself, and leaving so little to the discretion and responsibility of his generals and others that they became mere machines, and were incapable of acting, or afraid to act, on their own judgements.
On several occasions great calamities were the consequence of this unfortunate habit of Napoleon's. London, January 24th. I had not seen him for an age; he was just come from Windsor with a budget of matter, which as usual he was in such a hurry that he had not time to tell me.
I got a part of it, however. I began by asking him how he had left them all at Windsor, to which he replied that the state of things was not very satisfactory. The Queen disapproved Lord John's arrangement for giving up the seals of the Foreign Office on a given day the 15th February which had not been previously explained to her Majesty, as it ought to have been.
She said that she should make no objection if any good reason could be assigned for what was proposed, either of a public or a private nature, any reason connected with his health or with the transaction of business, but she thought, and she is right, that fixing beforehand a particular day, without any special necessity occurring, is very unreasonable and absurd. Then they are all very angry with Lord John for an exceeding piece of folly of his, in announcing to the Foreign Ministers, the day he received them, that he was only to be at the Foreign Office for a few weeks.
This, as the Duke said, was a most unwise and [Pg 32] improper communication, particularly as it was made without any concert with Aberdeen, and without his knowledge, and, in fact, blurted out with the same sort of levity that was apparent in the Durham letter and the Reform announcement, with both of which he has been so bitterly reproached, and which have proved so inconvenient that it might have been thought he would not fall again into similar scrapes.
The Foreign Ministers themselves were exceedingly astonished, and not a little annoyed. Brunnow said it was a complete mockery, and they all felt that it was unsatisfactory to be put in relation with a Foreign Secretary who was only to be there for a few weeks. The Queen is delighted to have got rid of the late Ministers. She felt, as everybody else does, that their Government was disgraced by its shuffling and prevarication, and she said that Harcourt's pamphlet which was all true was sufficient to show what they were.
Yesterday Delane called on me, and gave me an account of a curious conversation he had had with Disraeli. Disraeli asked him to call on him, which he did, when they talked over recent events and the fall of the late Government, very frankly, it would seem, on Disraeli's part. He acknowledged that he had been bitterly mortified.
When Delane asked him, 'now it was all over,' what made him produce such a Budget, he said, if he had not been thwarted and disappointed, he should have carried it by the aid of the Irish Brigade whom he had engaged for that purpose. Just before the debate, one of them came to him and said, if he would agree to refer Sharman Crawford's Tenant Right Bill to the Select Committee with the Government Bill, they would all vote with him.
He thought this too good a bargain to miss, and he closed with his friend on those terms, told Walpole what he had arranged, desired him to carry out the bargain [Pg 33] , and the thing was done. No sooner was the announcement made than Lord Naas and Sir Joseph Napier  who had never been informed came in a great fury to Disraeli and Walpole, complained of the way they had been treated, and threatened to resign. With great difficulty he pacified or rather silenced them, and he was in hopes the storm had blown over, but the next day he found Naas and Napier had gone to Lord Derby with their complaints, and he now found the latter full of wrath and indignation likewise; for Lord Roden, who had heard something of this compromise i.
Added to this, as soon as the news reached Dublin, Lord Eglinton and Blackburne testified the same resentment as Naas and Napier had done, and threatened to resign likewise. All this produced a prodigious flare up. Disraeli represented that it was his business to make the Budget succeed by such means as he could, that the votes of the Brigade would decide it either way, and that he had made a very good bargain, as he had pledged himself to nothing more, and never had any intention of giving any suite to what had been done, so that it could not signify.
He did not succeed in appeasing Lord Derby, who, a night or two after in the Lords, repudiated all participation in what had been done, and attacked the Irishmen very bitterly. Disraeli heard this speech, and saw at once that it would be fatal to the Budget and to them, as it proved, for the whole Brigade voted in a body against the Government, and gave a majority to the other side. He seemed in pretty good spirits as to the future, though without for the present any definite purpose.
He thinks the bulk of the party will keep together. Delane asked him what he would have done with such a Budget if he had carried it. He said they should have remodelled their Government, Palmerston and Gladstone would have joined them Gladstone after the debate and their duel! He never seems to have given a thought to any consideration of political morality, honesty, or truth, in all that he said.
The moral of the whole is, that let what will happen it will be very difficult to bring Lord Derby and Disraeli together again. They must regard each other with real, if not avowed, distrust and dislike. Disraeli said that Derby's position in life and his fortune were so different from his, that their several courses must be influenced accordingly.
It is easy to conceive how Lord Derby, embarked no matter how or why in such a contest, should strain every nerve to succeed and fight it out; but the thing once broken up, he would not be very likely to place himself again in such a situation, and to encounter the endless difficulties, dangers, and mortifications attendant upon the lead of such a party, and above all the necessity of trusting entirely to such a colleague as Disraeli in the House of Commons without one other man of a grain of capacity besides.
As it is, he will probably betake himself to the enjoyment of his pleasures and pursuits, till he is recalled to political life by some fresh excitement and interest that time and circumstances may throw in his way; but let what will happen, I doubt his encountering again the troubles and trammels of office. William Harcourt published a pamphlet at this time on 'The Morality of Public Men,' in which he censured with great severity the conduct of the late Ministers.
Francis Blackburne Irish Lord Chancellor. The alliance of Lord Derby and Mr. Disraeli remained unbroken, and continued long enough to enable them after a second failure to bring the Conservative party back to power. January 30th. He was in his seventy-first year. Lady Palmerston thus becomes a rich heiress. He was not so remarkable a man in [Pg 35] character as his brother William, less peculiar and eccentric, more like other people, with much less of literary acquirement, less caustic humour and pungent wit, but he had a vigorous understanding, great quickness, a good deal of general information, he was likewise well versed in business and public affairs, and a very sensible and intelligent converser and correspondent.
He took a deep and lively interest in politics to the last moment of his life, was insatiably curious about all that was going on, and was much confided in and consulted by many people of very different parties and opinions. He never was in Parliament, but engaged all his life in a diplomatic career, for which he was very well fitted, having been extremely handsome in his youth, and always very clever, agreeable, and adroit.
He consequently ran it with great success, and was in high estimation at Vienna, where his brother-in-law, Palmerston, sent him as Ambassador. He was always much addicted to gallantry, and had endless liaisons with women, most of whom continued to be his friends long after they had ceased to be his mistresses, much to the credit of all parties. After having led a very free and dissolute life, he had the good fortune at sixty years old, and with a broken and enfeebled constitution, to settle as it is called , by marrying a charming girl of twenty, the daughter of the Prussian Minister at Vienna, Count Maltzahn.
This Adine, who was content to unite her May to his December, was to him a perfect angel, devoting her youthful energies to sustain and cheer his valetudinarian existence with a cheerful unselfishness, which he repaid by a grateful and tender affection, having an air at once marital and paternal.
She never cared to go anywhere, gave up all commerce with the world and all its amusements and pleasures, contenting herself with such society as it suited him to gather about them, his old friends and some new ones, to whom she did the honours with infinite grace and cordiality, and who all regarded her with great admiration and respect. In such social intercourse, in political gossip, and in her untiring attentions, his last years glided away, not without enjoyment.
He and his brother William had always been [Pg 36] on very intimate terms, and William highly prized his advice and opinions; but as Frederic was at heart a Tory, and had a horror of Radicalism in every shape, he was not seldom disgusted with the conduct of the Whig Government, and used sorely to perplex and mortify William by his free and severe strictures on him and his colleagues. He nominally belonged to the Liberal party, but in reality he was strongly Conservative, and he always dreaded the progress of democracy, though less disturbed than he would otherwise have been by reflecting that no material alteration could possibly overtake him.
His most intimate friends abroad were the Metternichs and Madame de Lieven, and his notions of foreign policy were extremely congenial to theirs. Here, his connexions all lying with people of the Liberal side, he had nothing to do with the Tories, for most of whom he entertained great contempt.
Brougham, Ellice, and myself were the men he was most intimate with. He was very fond of his sister, but never much liked Palmerston, and was bitterly opposed to his policy when he was at the Foreign Office, which was a very sore subject between himself and them, and for a long time, and on many occasions, embittered or interrupted their intercourse; but as he was naturally affectionate, had a very good temper, and loved an easy life, such clouds were always soon dispersed, and no permanent estrangement ever took place.
He was largely endowed with social merits and virtues, without having or affecting any claim to those of a higher or moral character. I have no doubt he was much more amiable as an old man than he ever had been when he was a young one; and though the death of one so retired from the world can make little or no sensation in it, except as being the last of a remarkable family, he will be sincerely regretted, and his loss will be sensibly felt by the few who enjoyed the intimacy of his declining years.
February 8th. Here is a woman thirty-two years old, [Pg 37] and therefore in the prime of life, who has lost a husband of seventy-one deprived of the use of his limbs, and whom she had nursed for ten years, the period of their union, with the probable or possible fatal termination of his frequent attacks of gout constantly before her eyes, and she is not merely plunged in great grief at the loss she has sustained, but in a blank and hopeless despair, which in its moral and physical effects seriously menaces her own existence.
She is calm, reasonable and docile, talks of him and his illness without any excitement, and is ready to do everything that her friends advise; but she is earnestly desirous to die, considers her sole business on earth as finished, and talks as if the prolongation of her own life could only be an unmitigated evil and intolerable burden, and that no ray of hope was left for her of any possibility of happiness or even peace and ease for the future. She is in fact brokenhearted, and that for a man old enough to be her grandfather and a martyr to disease and infirmity; but to her he was everything; she had consecrated her life to the preservation of his, and she kept his vital flame alive with the unwearied watching of a Vestal priestess.
She had made him an object and an idol round which all the feelings and even passion of an affectionate heart had entwined themselves, till at last she had merged her very existence in his, and only lived in, with, and for him. She saw and felt that he enjoyed life, and she made it her object to promote and prolong this enjoyment. February 9th. Madame de Montijo's most intimate friend is the Marchioness of Santa Cruz, and to her she wrote an account of what had [Pg 38] passed about her daughter's marriage and the Emperor's proposal to her.
When he offered her marriage, she expressed her sense of the greatness of the position to which he proposed to raise her. He replied, 'It is only fair that I should set before you the whole truth, and let you know that if the position is very high, it is also perhaps very dangerous and insecure. If this latter danger, he said, were to become more formidable, he knew very well how to avert it by a war; and though his earnest desire was to maintain peace, if no other means of self-preservation should remain, he should not shrink from that, which would at once rally the whole army to one common feeling.
All this he told her with entire frankness, and without concealing the perils of his position, or his sense of them, and it is one of the most creditable traits I have ever heard of him. It was, of course, calculated to engage and attach any woman of high spirit and generosity, and it seems to have had that effect upon her. It is, however, curious in many ways; it reveals a sense of danger that is not apparently suspected, and his consciousness of it; and it shows how, in spite of a sincere wish to maintain peace, he may be driven to make war as a means of self-preservation, and therefore how entirely necessary it is that we should be on our guard, and not relax our defensive preparations.
I was sure from the conversations I had with M. He said that it remained to be seen whether it was possible that a Government could be maintained permanently in France on the principle of the total suppression of civil and political liberty, which had the support of the masses, but which was abhorred and opposed by [Pg 39] all the elevated and educated classes. The limbs of the body politic are with the Emperor, and the head against him. February 11th. Lord Derby threw off in the Lords by asking Lord Aberdeen what the Government meant to do, which Aberdeen awkwardly and foolishly enough declined to give any answer to.
The scene was rather ridiculous, and not creditable, I think, to Aberdeen. He is unfortunately a very bad speaker at all times, and, what is worse in a Prime Minister, has no readiness whatever. Lord Lansdowne would have made a very pretty and dexterous flourish, and answered the question.
Lord John did announce in the House of Commons what the Government mean to do and not to do, but they say he did it ill, and it was very flat, not a brilliant throw-off at all. February 16th. He called on me, and gave me an account of the state of things there and some curious details about the Emperor's marriage and his abortive matrimonial projects. He confirms the account of Louis Napoleon's position set forth in Madame de Montijo's letter.
The effect of his marriage has been very damaging everywhere, and the French people were not at all pleased at his calling himself a ' parvenu ,' which mortified their vanity, inasmuch as they did not like to appear as having thrown themselves at the feet of a parvenu.
For some time before the marriage was declared, Cowley, from what he saw and the information he received, began to suspect it would take place, and reported it to John Russell. Just about this time Walewski went to Paris, and when Cowley saw him he told him so. Walewski expressed the greatest surprise as well as mortification, and imparted to Cowley that a negotiation had been and still was going on for the Emperor's marriage with the Princess Adelaide of Hohenlohe, the Queen's niece, at that time and still with the Queen in England.
This was begun by Lord Malmesbury, and the Emperor had regularly proposed to her through her father. A very civil answer had been sent by the Prince, in which he said that he would not dispose o [Pg 40] f his daughter's hand without her consent, and that he had referred the proposal to her, and she should decide for herself.
The Queen had behaved very well, and had abstained from giving any advice or expressing any opinion on the subject. They were then expecting the young Princess's decision. This being the case, Cowley advised Walewski to exert his influence to stop the demonstrations that were going on between the Emperor and Mlle. The next day Walewski told Cowley that he had seen the Emperor, who took him by both hands, and said, ' Mon cher, je suis pris, ' and then told him he had resolved to marry Mlle.
However, on Walewski representing the state of the other affair, he agreed to wait for the Princess Adelaide's answer, but said, if it was unfavourable, he would conclude the other affair, but if the Princess accepted him he would marry her. The day following the answer came: very civil, but declining on the ground of her youth and inexperience, and not feeling equal to such a position.
The same day the Emperor proposed to the Empress. Cowley says he is evidently much changed since his marriage, and that he is conscious of his unpopularity and the additional insecurity in which it has involved his position. February 19th. He saw the Queen on Thursday 17th , who told him all about it. The first step was taken by Morny, who wrote to Malmesbury, and requested him to propose it, stating that the Emperor's principal object in it was to ' resserrer les liens entre les deux pays.
She was annoyed, justly considering that the proposal, with the reason given, placed her in a very awkward situation, and that it ought not to have been mentioned to her at all. The result was what has been already stated, but with this difference, that the Queen set her face against the match, although the girl, if left to herself, would have accepted the offer.
However, nobody knows this, and they are very anxious these details should not transpire. The two accounts I h [Pg 41] ave given of this transaction seem to me to afford a good illustration of the uncertainty of the best authenticated historical statements. Nothing could appear more to be relied on than the accuracy of Cowley's first account to me, and if I had not seen him again, or if he had not imparted to me his conversation with the Queen, that account would have stood uncorrected, and an inaccurate version of the story would have been preserved, and might hereafter have been made public, and, unless corrected by some other contemporaneous narrative, would probably have been taken as true.
The matter in itself is not very important, but such errors unquestionably are liable to occur in matters of greater moment, and actually do occur, fully justifying the apocryphal character which has been ascribed to almost every historical work. The Queen seems to be intensely curious about the Court of France and all details connected with it, and on the other hand Louis Napoleon has been equally curious about the etiquette observed in the English Court, and desirous of assimilating his to ours, which in great measure he appears to have done.
Last night there was the first field day in the House of Commons, Disraeli having made an elaborate and bitter attack on the Government, but especially on Charles Wood and Graham, under the pretence of asking questions respecting our foreign relations, and more particularly with France. It was, however, a speech of devilish malignity, quite reckless [Pg 42] and shamelessly profligate; for the whole scope of it was, if possible, to envenom any bad feeling that may possibly exist between France and England, and, by the most exaggerated representations of the offence given by two of the Ministers to the French Government and nation, to exasperate the latter, and to make it a point of honour with them to resent it, even to the extent of a quarrel with us.
Happily its factious violence was so great as to disgust even the people on his own side, and the French Government is too really desirous of peace and harmony to pay any attention to the rant of a disappointed adventurer, whose motives and object are quite transparent.
Greville's narrative. The speech was thought to be unbecoming in the mouth of a Cabinet minister, and Sir Charles apologised for it. But Mr. Disraeli made it the subject of a fierce attack in the House of Commons. February 20th. It is asserted that he communicated his intention to his followers, who disapproved of it, but he nevertheless persisted.
The speech itself was too long; it was dull and full of useless truisms in the first part, but clever and brilliant in the last; and his personalities were very smart and well aimed; but there was not a particle of truth and sincerity in it; it was a mere vituperation and factious display, calculated to do mischief if it produced any effect at all, and quite unbecoming a man who had just been a Minister of the Crown and leader of the House of Commons, and who ought to have been animated by higher motives and more patriotic views.
This was what the more sensible men of the party felt, and Tom Baring, the most sensible and respectable of the Derbyites, and the man of the greatest weight amongst them, told me himself that he was so much disgusted that he was on the point of getting up to disavow him, and it is much to be regretted, as I told him, that such a rebuke was not administered from such a quarter.
It does not look as if the connexion between Disraeli and the party could go on long. Their dread and distrust of him and his contempt of them render it difficult if not impossible. Pakington is already talked of as their leader, and some think Disraeli wants to shake them off and trade on his own bottom, trusting to [Pg 43] his great abilities to make his way to political power with somebody and on some principles, about neither of which he would be very nice.
Tom Baring said to me last night, 'Can't you make room for him in this Coalition Government? Lord John Russell has taken leave of the Foreign Office, and has had an interview with the Queen and Prince, satisfactory to both. She has been all along considerably annoyed at the arrangement made about his taking the Foreign Office only to quit it, and his leading the House of Commons without any office, which she fancies is unconstitutional, and the arrangement was announced in the newspapers without any proper communication to her.
The consequence has been some little soreness on both sides, but this has now been all removed by explanations and amicable communication. The Queen attacked him on the constitutional ground, but here elle l'a pris par son fort , and he easily bowled over this objection. Then she said that a man independent of office might consider himself independent of the Crown also, and postpone its interests to popular requirements; which he answered by saying that he did not think any Minister, as it was, thought very much of the Crown as contradistinguished from the people, and that he was not less likely to take such a part as she apprehended by holding an office of 5, l.
He appears to have satisfied them both, and to be satisfiedhimself, which is still more important. But in fact, as a Privy Councillor of the Crown, a Minister, with or without office, is under precisely the same obligations to the Sovereign and to Parliament. February 25th. The most remarkable incident was young Stanley  voting with the majority in both questions, and speaking on Maynooth, and well. As he is pretty sure to act a conspicuous part, it is good to see him taking a wise and liberal line.
Disraeli voted for the Jews, but did not speak, which was very base of him. Last night I met Tomline at dinner, who is a friend of his, and told me a great deal about him. He has a good opinion of him, that is, that he has a good disposition, but his personal position perverts him in great measure. He says he dislikes and despises Derby, thinks him a good 'Saxon' speaker and nothing more, has a great contempt for his party, particularly for Pakington, whom they seem to think of setting up as leader in his place.
The man in the House of Commons whom he most fears as an opponent is Gladstone. He has the highest opinion of his ability, and he respects Graham as a statesman. Tomline told me that his system of attacking the late Sir Robert Peel was settled after this manner. When the great schism took place, three of the seceders went to Disraeli Miles, Tyrrel, and a third whom I have forgotten , and proposed to him to attack and vilify Peel regularly, but with discretion; not to fatigue and disgust the House, to make a speech against him about once a fortnight or so, and promised if he would that a constant and regular attendance of a certain number of men should be there to cheer and support him, remarking that nobody was ever efficient in the House of Commons without this support certain.
Now they dread and hate him, for they know in his heart he has no sympathy with them, and that he has no truth or sincerity in his conduct or speeches, and would throw them over if he thought it his interest. Tomline as stated in the text. It was mentioned in the lifetime of Lord Beaconsfield, and in justice to him it must be said that he altogether denied the truth of the story. March 1st.
They have at present no difficulty in the House of Commons, where there is no disposition to oppose their measures, and an appearance of moderation generally, which promises an easy Session. John Russell has spoken well, and seems to have recovered a great share of the popularity he had lost. Aberdeen has done very well in the House of Lords, his answers to various 'questions' having been discreet, temperate, and judicious; in short, up to this time the horizon is tolerably clear.
On the other hand the divisions have presented meagre majorities, and the Government have no power in the House of Commons, and live on the goodwill or forbearance of the several fractions of which it is composed. John Russell is in his heart not satisfied with his present position, and not animated with any spirit of zeal or cordiality, though he is sure to act honestly and fairly the part he has undertaken. There is still a good deal of lurking discontent and resentment on the part of those who were left out, and of the Whig party generally, who are only half reconciled to following the banner of a Peelite premier; of the malcontents the principal are Carlisle and Clanricarde, who are both in different ways very sore; Normanby is dissatisfied, Labouchere, Seymour, and George Grey not pleased, but except Clanricarde none have shown any disposition to withhold their support from the Government, or even to carp at them.
Aberdeen seems to have no notion of being anything but a real Prime Minister. He means to exercise a large influence in the management of foreign affairs, which he considers to be the peculiar, if not exclusive, province of himself and Clarendon. Palmerston does not interfere with them at all, but he must do so, if any important questions arise for the Cabinet to decide, and then it is very likely some dissension will be the consequence.
Argyll began rather unluckily, running his head indiscreetly against Ellenborough on an Indian petition. He is burning with impatience to distinguish himself, and broke out too soon, and out of season; but he was not unconscious of his error, and it will probably be of use to him to have met with a little check at his outset, and teach him to be more discreet. He spoke again last night, and very well, on the Clergy reserves, when there was a brilliant passage of arms in the Lords, in which Lord Derby and the Bishops of Exeter and Oxford distinguished themselves.
News came by telegraph last night that the dispute between Turkey and Austria is settled, which will relieve us from a great difficulty. If it had gone on, we should have had a difficult part to play, and unluckily the good understanding that was reviving between us and Vienna has all been upset by the late attempt on the Emperor's life,  which has thrown the Austrians into a ferment, and renewed all their bitter resentment against us for harbouring Kossuth and Mazzini, to whom they attribute both the?
They are no doubt right about Mazzini and wrong about Kossuth, but fortunately for us the first is not in England and has been abroad for some time, and it will probably be impossible to bring any evidence against Kossuth to connect him with the Hungarian assassin.
But these troubles and attempts, the origin of which is attributed to men residing here, and, though neglected by the Government, more or less objects of popular favour and sympathy, render all relations of amity impossible between our Government and theirs, and the disunion is aggravated by our absurd meddling with such cases as the Madiai and Murray at Florence and at Rome, which are no concern of ours, and which our Government does i [Pg 47] n compliance with Protestant bigotry.
What makes our conduct the more absurd is that we do more harm than good to the objects of our interest, for no Government can, with any regard to its own dignity and independence, yield to our dictation and impertinent interference. The Grand Duke of Tuscany said that the Madiai would have been let out of prison long ago but for our interference. John Russell's published letter on this subject, which was very palateable to the public, was as objectionable as possible, and quite as insolent and presumptuous as any Palmerston used to write.
Last night the Marquis Massimo d'Azeglio came here. He was Prime Minister in Piedmont till replaced by Count Cavour, and is come to join his nephew, who is Minister here. He is a tall, thin, dignified looking man, with very pleasing manners. He gave us a shocking account of the conduct of the Austrians at Milan in consequence of the recent outbreak. Their tyranny and cruelty have been more like the deeds in the middle ages than those in our own time; wantonly putting people to death without trial or even the slightest semblance of guilt, plundering and confiscating, and in every respect acting in a manner equally barbarous and impolitic.
They have thrown away a good opportunity of improving their own moral status in Italy, and completely played the game of their enemies by increasing the national hatred against them tenfold.
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