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writing part of the department. I hope you will come to no decision in your own mind till I see you. . . .
Almost immediately afterwards, apparently on the next day, Lord Tavistock wrote again —
Dear John, I saw Lord Grey to-day by appointment. He informs me that the Foreign Office is now quite out of the question for you. Lords Lansdowne and Holland having declined it, they have given it to Palmerston —not a very popular appointment, I fear . . . .
Lord Grey is in a dreadful state of anxiety and annoyance: thinks he shall break down under his load ; says that Brougham stands between him and rest. They talk of sending Lord Anglesey to Ireland, a popular appointment if our friends had not been almost pledged to abolish the office; Stanley Secretary. It won't do, I fear. Lord Grey asked me if you would like to be Paymaster. I could give no answer, so you must come and answer for yourself. . . .
Lord John accordingly came to London and agreed on accepting an office which, he may perhaps have recollected with pleasure, had been held by Sir Robert Walpole, Mr. Pelham, Lord Chatham, the first Lord Holland, and Mr. Burke. From London he issued the following address to the electors of Tavistock :—
Gentlemen, Since I had the honour of paying my respects to you, it has pleased the King to confer upon me the office of Paymaster of the Army, but I have the satisfaction to think that the Ministry which I have thus joined is formed upon the principles to which I have ever been attached. The preservation of peace with foreign Powers, a just and systematic economy at home, and a reform in the state of the representation are the main objects to which, in office or out of office, my votes in Parliament will be directed.
I regret that the urgency of public business will not allow me to be present at the election, but rely with confidence on your indulgence upon this occasion, and trust you will not attribute my absence to any want of respect or regard.—I remain, gentlemen, your faithful
obedient servant, J. RUSSELL. London: Nov. 23, 1830.
Among the congratulatory letters which he received on his accession to office, he seems to have specially valued, and at any rate he only preserved, the following:—
Sloperton : Nov. 24, 1830. - My dear Lord John, It is a long time since we have taken any notice of each other; and, if you did not know me not to be a courtier, my choosing this moment to put you in mind of me when you are just become a man in office might look suspicious. But, if ever I did expect anything from anybody in the way of place, that dream is long gone by, and it is far more with fears for them than with hopes for myself that I contemplate the accession of so many friends to office. For myself my ‘crust of bread and liberty’ is all I have or want ; and, while a Whig Administration is not likely to butter the former for me, it may but too much embarrass the latter by making me silent (for friendship's sake) when a good grumble would be a relief to me. I shall, however, try hard not to abuse you,
though that you'll all want it before long I have very little doubt. . . God bless you, my dear Lord John, and there are few in the world that wish you more heartily every earthly blessing than I do ; and the only place I desire of you, or ever shall, is the little corner in that honest heart of yours which is, I believe, now mine, and which (though I treat it so like a sinecure by never writing to you) you cannot doubt
that I value . . . Ever yours most truly, THOMAS MOORE.
THE REFORM ACT.
THE office to which Lord John Russell was appointed in 1830 on the formation of Lord Grey's Administration, was one which did not impose many duties on its holder. Lord John said himself— The work was all done by the cashiers, and the only official act
of any consequence that I performed was the giving allotments of garden ground to seventy old soldiers.
If this, however, were the solitary result of four years' official labour, the action was one to which Lord John long looked back with satisfaction. Immediately after his return to London in 1841, after his second marriage, his young wife Wrote—
He took me to see his gardens at Chelsea, a piece of waste ground, adjoining the hospital, which he proposed giving to the old pensioners for gardens. He was much opposed, but persisted, and it succeeds admirably—one hundred and thirty poor old men, each a plot of his own, which no doubt keeps them many an hour from the gin-shops. The neatness of the gardens—some vegetables, some flowers, ac
cording to the owner's taste—and the grateful manner of the old soldiers to Lord John show that he was right."
The not very onerous duties attached to the office were rewarded in 1830 with a substantial salary of 2,OOO/. a year, and with a pleasant house in Whitehall. But the most rigid economist had no objection to make to this arrangement. Even the editor of the Black Book, instead of criticising the lavishness of Lord John's salary, praises his services; and posterity, thankful for what it owes to him, may rejoice that the first four years of his official life—while his health was still fragile—were passed in an office which involved no harder labours than the appropriation of some waste ground to Chelsea Pensioners. The house, which was attached to the Pay Office, necessitated some change in Lord John's way of living. His headquarters had hitherto been either at the Hundreds Farm at
* These gardens still continue.
Woburn,' which had been in his occupation from 1820 to
1832, or in lodgings. He had lodged successively at 66 South Audley Street, at 1 I Old Burlington Street, and at 19 Half Moon Street; and he was still nominally living in Half Moon Street at the time of his accession to office. But he had been accustomed to pass much more time either in travelling * or in his friends' houses than in the occupation of
* The family tradition is that, when Lord John gave up the farm, the stock upon it was reduced to one hen. In the farmhouse Lord John kept his library, and thither he retired for quiet study. Sir Robert Inglis used to visit it “as the place in which the mind was formed.”
* The previous chapters have given some glimpses of Lord John abroad. It is probably impossible to give a complete list of his journeys, but it may be stated that he was constantly abroad seeking either health or relaxation. Writing to Mr. Moore in April 1821, he said, ‘Your offer of a bed at Meudon’ (Mr. Moore was still living in seclusion in France) “is one that I hope to accept more than once in the summer. You will, I dare say, be very poetical there, and I shall be very well in my stomach, which is more prosaic.” Accordingly, at the close of the session of 1821, Lord John went to Paris, arriving there on June 13, and remaining there till September 24; cf. Moore's Memoirs, I I I, 241, 279, 281. He apparently meditated returning there early in 1822, but was prevented doing so by ill-health, for he wrote to Mr. Moore in January, “I am not going to Paris; but I shall do little here. I mean to amuse myself this year and perhaps the following.” Accordingly in 1822 he took very little part in Parliament; and was even prevented by the state of his health from presiding in April at a great Reform dinner in London. At the close of the session of 1822 he went down to Endsleigh, where his father was detained by “a very dangerous attack arising from blood in the head.” In the summer of 1823 he contemplated visiting Ireland in Mr. Moore's company, but the arrangement fell through ; partly in consequence of the Duke's continued illness, and Lord William Russell's return to England. But in the autumn of 1823 he was again abroad for six weeks. He returned to the Continent in the autumn of 1824; he was abroad in the spring of 1825; and in October 1825 he refused a proposal of Mr. Moore's for a fresh visit to Paris by alleging ‘My bones, my eyes, and my mind are all tired of travelling, and I want a little rest.” And again a few days afterwards, “What keeps me from Paris is a surfeit of travelling, and the knowledge how cold it will be coming back. But this does not seem to stop you.
“Quin etiam hiberno moliris sidere classem
But, tired as he evidently was, Lord John again altered his mind; and, at the
his Bedfordshire farm or of his rooms in London ; and, even when he was in London, he was perhaps as much at Holland House as at his own lodgings. An official residence, therefore, made a change in the habits of his life; and, instead of solely enjoying the pleasure of society at other people's tables, he began to exercise a hospitality of his own. On Saturday, June 11, 1831, he gave the first of the many dinner parties at which he subsequently delighted to collect his political and other friends."
Lord John, on learning that he was entitled to an official residence, offered three-fourths of it to his brother Lord William. But the answer, which is in Lady William's handwriting, but in which his brother had apparently a share, will tell the result:—
Geneva: Dec. 11, 1830.
Clarissime Frater, This moment I receive your letter of November 26, from somebody's house in Burlington Street; it has been sent to me from Genoa. It contains the offer of your house at Whitehall aliuded to in your letter to Gulielmus, which allusion I have thanked you for imo de Aectore in the letter written I believe yesterday. But this letter which I now answer contains facts and éclaircissements. I refuse your house with the same sentiments of gratitude I accepted. We won't come to England now positively ; and, if you have tenants in these hard times, take them in and don't keep the mansion open for us. I thought it was yours adhesively, so that "on gré mal gré you were obliged to live in it, and, as you are not yet married (though I am sure your place will lead to it) I had no scruple in occupying fraternally three parts of the bachelor's home. But, as you can get rid of it, it alters the case. . . Understand me well, dear man, and don't be stupid. I am just as thankful to you as if I lived in your
request of the Duke of Bedford, who was passing the winter in France, paid a three weeks' visit to Paris in January 1826. His visit to the Continent in the autumn of that year has already been related ; as well as his later visits in 1829 and 1830.
' The party consisted of Lady Hardy and her daughters, Lord Seaford, Lord Fordwich, his brother (I presume the late Lord Mount Temple), and Mr. Moore. Lady Hardy was the widow of Sir Thomas Hardy—the ‘Anchor, Hardy, anchor" —and the daughter of Lord Berkeley. She had three daughters, who were probably all at Lord John's dinner. She was subsequently married to another of Lord John's guests—Lord Seaford, a title which, on his death, was merged in the older barony of Howard de Walden. The list of the guests will be found in Moore's Memoirs, vi. 200.