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His father wrote at once—
My dear John, You are defeated but not disgraced. Like Francis I. you have lost everything but honour. They must prepare fresh triumphs for you in some other quarter and that without delay. . . .-Your affectionate Father,
A seat was easily procured. At the previous election, Colonel Fox, the son of Lord and Lady Holland, had been returned for Stroud.-He wrote to Lord John, with whom he had been on terms of closest intimacy from boyhood.
Addison Road : May 6.
My dear John, I suppose some arrangement has been made in case of what has happened so unfortunately. . . . But, as I am not certain of this, I lose no time in letting you know that Stroud is at your service, and I feel sure that you would be elected unanimously and without expense. I shall write this day to my right hand man, to say what I have done, but he will not, of course, reveal it till I hear from you.-Ever yours sincerely,
C. R. Fox.
The offer was accepted. Colonel Fox retired from Parliament; and Lord John, sixteen days afterwards, took his seat in the House of Commons as the member for Stroud. TT - -
TFew men had probably ever passed through so much as
had happened to Lord John during the forty days which had followed his marriage. Yet, busy as he had been, he had found time to think of an old friend. On the Sunday which preceded the Devonshire election, he wrote the following letter :—
Mamhead : May 3.
My dear Moore, I have been too busy, since I last saw you, to be able to write on any but public concerns. Having, however, a little time to spare to-day, I wish to consult you on your own private affairs. I am now in a better position than I formerly was for serving my friends. Still there are very few opportunities of finding any situation that will suit a gentleman who does not belong to a profession. It has occurred to me that a pension from the Crown for one or both of your sons might be a source of comfort to you in days of sickness or lassitude. But perhaps, on the contrary, the
offer might be displeasing to you, and I do not like to speak to Melbourne upon it without consulting you. If you have anything else to suggest which is more agreeable to your wishes, pray tell me freely as an old sriend, and I will answer you as a friend and not as a Minister. I see that Mr. Barnes, not satisfied with assailing me for re forming the Irish Church, has been raking up my private conversation at a party at Devonshire House, among a number of ladies and dandies. I should have thought a barrister and a scholar would not have condescended to such weapons. Is it revenge for my going with you to the Haymarket?—Yours truly, J. RUSSELL."
* Sir R. Peel had very unwisely decided on appointing Lord Londonderry Ambassador at St. Petersburg. The Times, of which Mr. Barnes was the editor, in an article on April 28th, declared that Lord John had met Lord Londonderry at Devonshire House, had taken an opportunity of telling him that he considered the attacks made on him unfair, and had promised that he would have nothing to do with any attack made on him in the House of Commons. A few days afterwards, however, Mr. Sheil made a motion condemning the appointment, and Lord John supported the motion both by his voice and his vote. The Zimes declared that it was “lamentable to think that the rancour of party feeling should so far prevail over an otherwise honourable mind as to tempt a man like Lord John Russell to make a gratuitous offer of friendship, and then fly from it, as he did, without the slightest reason for doing so.” And the Devonshire Conservatives, using the article, printed it as a placard, heading it in bold type, “Disreputable Conduct of Lord J. Russell,” and called upon the electors to say whether they would “confide the dearest rights of Englishmen to a man who, it is proved, is not to be trusted or believed in private society.’ The charge created so much heat that Lord John was compelled to send a full explanation of the matter to Mr. Fulford, one of the leading Conservatives of the county. It seems that Lord Londonderry had spoken to Lord John about the Russian Embassy at a . party at Devonshire House; that Lord John had made the natural observation that if any one was to blame for the appointment it was the Secretary for Foreign Affairs rather than the Ambassador; and that, so thinking, he had dissuaded an English member of the House of Commons from moving an address to the Crown to cancel the appointment. Two days afterwards Mr. Sheil, without any concert with Lord John, moved for a copy of Lord Londonderry's appointment; and Mr. Cutlar Fergusson, in seconding the motion, read an extract from one of Lord Londonderry's speeches, in which the Poles were described as “the rebellious subjects’ of the Emperor of Russia. “This speech changed my opinion, as, I believe, it did that of others, upon the question. But I took no part in the debate. On the following Monday I asked Sir Robert Peel whether it was still intended to persist in the appointment, and upon his reply I applauded Lord Londonderry for the course he had taken. . . . On the following Wednesday, at a ball at Devonshire House, Lord Londonderry spoke to me again, and expressed his surprise at what had occurred. But as he at the same time held out his hand, and I was engaged in other conversation more suited to the time and the occasion,
Mr. Moore replied—
My dear Lord John, My first feelings on receiving your most friendly letter yesterday were those of surprise, joy, and thankfulness. I had long given up every little dream that might once have haunted me with respect to my chances of being ever thought of by my great friends, in the way of office or place, partly because time and other circumstances have made me a difficult person to serve, and partly because I began almost to believe that what Swift says in one of his letters might be true : ‘I never,’ he says, “knew a Ministry do anything for those whom they had made companions of their pleasures.’ Your letter, however, proves that this is not always the case, and I am, from my heart, grateful for your recollection of me in the midst of so many cares and distractions.
With respect to the manner in which you propose to serve me—I mean, by doing something for my poor boys—you have perhaps chosen the only mode of pecuniary aid which I should not at once have declined. I do not know whether I ever told you that, when my father died, Lord Wellesley—then Lord Lieutenant—very kindly, of himself, sent to offer a pension for my mother. But this, coming from a party then adverse to my own in politics, I thought it right to refuse, and the Lansdownes, among others, thought me foolish in so doing. That I want some little help is but too true. I live from hand to mouth, and sam] not always sure that there will be anything in the former for the latter. You may form some notion of my means of getting on when I tell you that for my history just published I received 75ol., and was two years and a half employed upon it. You should never have been annoyed with this view of the interior but for your kind remembrance of me, so that you see what you have brought upon yourself.
To return to the main point (for it is just post-hour): “to be or not to be 'a pensioner—that is the question. If myself alone, or even my other self (into the bargain), were concerned, I think I should not hesitate as to my answer, but the responsibility of refusing such timely aid for the poor boys is more than I feel inclined to encounter. All I shall therefore say, at this moment, is that I leave the matter entirely in your hands—think for me, feel for me, and act for me in that capacity which you have always shown yourself so worthy to fill, of a true and real friend. I think you may even call into council
I did not go into any explanation.” Lord John added, “If private society is to be made the rehearsal of public debate, all its charm and confidence will be destroyed.’
also Lord Melbourne, whom I have known at least long enough to embolden me to count upon his good will. Whatever you both think
I may do, I will do.--Ever most truly yours,
Lord Melbourne, to whom Lord John at once wrote, suggested that the pension should be given to Mr. Moore himself and not to his children ; and, in the following August, this arrangement, which was warmly supported by Lord Lansdowne, was carried out, and a pension of 3OO/, a year was awarded to the poet.
The pleasure which this pension gave will be recollected by those who have read Mr. Moore's memoirs. Mrs. Moore, ‘in a fever of hope and anxiety,' told her husband that she should thenceforward indulge in butter with her potatoes. And the time came—and sooner than might have been anticipated—when illness and grief incapacitated Mr. Moore from all exertion, and the pension had to provide the potatoes as well as the butter. It is pleasant to find, too, Lord John, in editing his friend's memoirs, ascribing to his sovereign the bounty which had been really procured on his own intercession.
Happily for Moore and his partner, they had a certain income derived from the bounty of the sovereign, which flowed on indeed in a stream not exuberant but perpetual. On this income Mr. Moore regulated his expenses, and regulated them so as to incur no debts.
THE SESSIONS OF 1835–1836.
THE Administration formed by Lord Melbourne in the spring of 1835 was destined to remain in office under two sovereigns and in two Parliaments for a period of more than six years. Its achievements and its failures occupy a very striking page in the political history of England during the nineteenth century. Yet the fortunes of the Ministry throughout this time were subjected to great variations. From 1835 to the death of William IV. it was distinguished for its activity, and, with one striking exception, for its success. From the accession of the present Queen in 1837 to the Bedchamber question in 1839, its career was one rather of compromise than of victory; while, from its resumption of office in 1839 to its final fall in 1841, it was doomed to inaction, to which it ultimately succumbed. It is remarkable, however, that, as the domestic policy of the Ministry declined in energy, its foreign policy increased in vigour, till, in its closing days, the career of Mehemet Ali was checked by the bombardment of Acre, and a possible advance of Russia in the East was stopped by the occupation of Afghanistan. During the first of the three periods, which have been thus enumerated, the Whig Ministers were constantly exposed to a vigorous Opposition. The King formed a violent antipathy to his new advisers. He had taken the extreme course of abruptly dismissing them in the previous autumn. He was mortified and annoyed at being forced to recall them to his counsels. Mr. Greville declared, on the authority of Lord Adolphus Fitzclarence, that William IV. abhorred all his Ministers, but that he hated Lord John the most of all. According to the same authority, the monarch's only interval of pleasure ‘was during the Devonshire election, when he was delighted .