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in the second year of his widowhood, the Duke marricq a second time. The new wife—another Georgiana—was a daughter of the fourth Duke of Gordon. In due time she presented her husband with a very large family of seven sons and three daughters. It is more to the purpose of this memoir that she proved an affectionate stepmother to her husband's children.
About two months after his father's second marriage Lord John began the journal, the first entry in which has been inserted at the commencement of this chapter.
The following extracts are also taken from it. Each extract is a complete entry for the date to which it refers.
Isoburn, Monday, August 29, 18o3.—I went out hunting to-day for the first time in my life, with Tavistock's harriers. We set off at four o'clock in the morning, and went to a little wood (of which I don't know the name), where we were joined by Mr. Moore. We found nothing there. We looked about the most likely places. Mr. and Lady Fanny Ponsonby, Mr. and Mrs. Whitbread, Mr. Bennet, Mr. Gilpin, Mr. Gunning, the Duke of Manchester, Mr. Atkin, and Mr. Peirce, an Etonian, all came here to-day from Southill, except the Duke of Manchester. A very hot day. We went to Crawley–Moore too—where we at length found a hare, but soon lost it in consequence of the bad scent."
Isoburn, Saturday, September 10.-Hot. I went out shooting to-day with Tavistock, Lord Preston, and William. There were also Bowdler, Brookes, and Will, who carried bread and cheese. One time, when the dogs pointed, they got off. Bowdler went to take hold of Lord Preston's mare, which was just before me, who was getting off my pony. The mare happened to have the bridle upon her leg and went upon me, who fell down and got under her belly. She trod upon me, but I soon got up, cried, and ran to Lord Preston, who took me in his arms and told Bowdler to go to the alehouse and get some vinegar and brandy. In short, I was not much hurt, and got on my pony directly. They killed eight brace and a half of partridges and a landrail. Mr. Morris went to-day.
London, Thursday, September 22.—Rather hot, but not much
Southill is Mr. Whitbread's seat in Berkshire. Lady Fanny should, I pre-. sume, be Lady Mary Ponsonby. The wife of the Mr. Ponsonby who asterwards led the Opposition was a Lady Mary Butler.
sun. I, William, and Tavistock came here in a post-chaise. It is forty-two miles, and we came in five hours. Herbert rode post. We went to Drury Lane in the evening to see “Lovers' Vows,” and “The Children in the Wood.” Mrs. H. Johnston made her first appearance in the character of Miss Wieldhaim [sic]. Herbert went with us."
Is estminster, Friday, September 23.-Coldish. We came here. Henry Lambert is come here. The boys play at hoops, peg-tops, and pea-shooters. I went to Geary's.
Isestminster, Sunday, October 2.-Rather cold. I shall now I have leisure put some of the rules of the school. We go into school every morning at eight. The Sixth, Shell, Second, and Petty come out to breakfast at nine and stay till ten. The Fifth, Fourth, and Two-thirds come out at ten and stay till eleven. On Tuesdays school is up at eleven, on other days at twelve ; on whole school-days we go in again at two and come out at five. Monday is a whole school-day, Tuesday a play, Wednesday a whole school-day, Thursday a half-holiday; Friday is a whole school-day, and Saturday is a half-holiday. On an early play, school is up at nine ; on a late one, half-past eleven, and the upper school have all their exercises excused them, the under school half of them. All the fellows have verses on Thursdays and Saturdays. We go on a Sunday to church in the morning in Henry the Seventh's Chapel, and in the evening have prayers in the school. Carey is head-master, and hears the Sixth ; Old Smedley the Shell, Dodd the Fifth, Ward the Fourth, and Page,” the under-master, the Upper Third; Smith the Under Third, young Smedley the Second, and Connebeer [sic] the First and Petty. . . . There are four boardinghouses, Grant's, Clapham's, Glover's, and Smedley's. I board at Grant's, and am in the upper part of the Under Third.
JWestminster, Monday, October 10.—Cold. I was flogged for the first time to-day.
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" Herbert was an old confidential servant, and is frequently alluded to in the early diaries. Mrs. Johnston played the part of Amelia, daughter of Baron Wilderhaim.
* Carey became Bishop of Exeter in 1820, and was translated to St. Asaph in 1830. Smedley seems to have been usually known as ‘old’ Smedley. Lord Albemarle, who went to Westminster some years after his cousin Lord John Rus. sell, uses the same epithet in enumerating the masters of his time in two doggerel Latin lines:—
Carey, vetus Smedley, Jemmy Dodd, simul et Johnny Campbell,
Zondon, Tuesday, October 25.—Not so cold—rather misty. Today is a holiday, and my father came to town yesterday, so we are come out to him. I went to the play with my father, the Duchess, Tavistock, and William to see ‘The Duenna’ and “The Camp' at Drury Lane. King's accession.
Westminster, Wednesday, October 26.—Ditto [i.e. not so cold]. The fellows expected a play to-day, but Carey would not give it. At twelve o'clock the fellows hissed, and Carey called them back and flogged every tenth fellow of the Fifth, and did not do anything to the Sixth, although they began it. The Sixth, when they came in at two, hissed again. He asked who it was that hissed. Tavistock said it was him, and he flogged him.
Mondon, Thursday, October 27.-I came home again to-day, as to-morrow is a whole holiday. I went to Covent Garden to see ‘The Gamester’ and “The Review.’ Kemble, Cooke, and Mrs. Siddons acted Beverley, Stukeley, and Mrs. Beverley. The weather was the Sanne.
IWestminster, Saturday, Movember 5-Cold. A holiday for the gunpowder plot. The fellows went out Guy Fawksing, which is, they all get clubs and go to everybody whom they hear have got “guys’ to take them from them if they can. I went. In the evening there was a bonfire and fireworks, a great deal of squibbing, and so great a crowd and smoke that I soon came away. The Bow Street officers came afterwards to put it out. Ward gave a lecture about it at names, in which he said that we were the example to all the rascals and scoundrels in the kingdom.
London, Saturday, November 12.—Rainy. A play. My father and the Duchess and Herbert are come to town. I go out. I went to Drury Lane to see ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor,’ in which Palmer acted Falstaff, and the new thing called ‘The Caravan of the Driver and his Dog,' where there is real water, and a dog jumps in and saves a child. Bannister acts the Driver. By the bye, I quite forgot to mention that we acted ‘Tom Thumb' at Westminster. Tavistock acted the King and I Tom Thumb. Brent made the epilogue and prologue. I ought to have put the prologue first. Peyton spoke the prologue, and Tavistock, Brent, Cator, and myself the epilogue. . . . The Parliament also met on that day, and I went out on the Thursday and went to Covent Garden to see ‘Venice Preserved ’ and “Raising the Wind.' I quite forgot to put all this at the time.
Westminster and Zondon, Monday, December 12.—I came this morning to Westminster, but went back again at night. I have broke up for the holidays. How jolly! I went to the play again to-night at Covent Garden to see “Macbeth’ and “Raising the Wind.” Kemble and Mrs. Siddons were Lord and Lady Macbeth. . . . Mondon, Tuesday, December 13.-To-day is the College play and breaking-up day at Westminster. Iondon, Wednesday, December 14.—Cold, wet. I went to the play to-night to see at Drury Lane ‘Deaf and Dumb' and “The Driver and his Dog.” Julio, Miss de Camp." Mondon, Thursday, December 15.-Cold and wet. I went to Covent Garden to see ‘The English Fleet’ and “The Intriguing Chambermaid. . . . London, Friday, December 16.—Cold and wet. I went to the play again to-night at Drury Lane to see ‘The Castle Spectre.' The farce was “The Caravan,’ but as I had seen it twice before I did not stop to see it. Mondon, Saturday, December 17.—Cold and wet. I went to Covent Garden to see ‘The English Fleet’ and ‘The Birthday.” Zondon, Sunday, December 18.—I took a black dose this morning so I did not go out. Wet. Zondon, Monday, December 19.-Wet. I went to Drury Lane to see ‘Othello.' Othello, Mr. Pope; Iago, Mr. Barrymore ; Desdemona, Mrs. Young. And “The Caravan.’ Woburn, Tuesday, December 20.—I am at last come to Woburn again, having been away three months and three days. Lord Ludlow is here, who was Lord Preston. Wet still.
These few extracts from the boy's diary at school, and the record of the remarkable manner in which he spent the first week of his holidays, bring down the picture of his life to the close of 1803. Mr. Disraeli said of himself that he was born in a library; and the reader of Lord John Russell's early diaries is tempted to think that Lord John was nurtured in a playhouse.
From September 23 to December 12 not a single day passes in which some short entry is not made in the diary. But throughout the period no word of complaint is inserted in it. The brave delicate little boy took the rough life of Westminster, as he took his first flogging, as matters of course. It is true that he had the advantage of his elder brother's
Miss de Camp played the part of Rosa; Julio, the boy who is saved by the dog, was played by Master West.
presence at school. But even elder brothers are occasionally hard taskmasters. More than thirty years afterwards, when Lord John had become one of the first men in England, Lord Tavistock wrote to him—
I shall be delighted to be godfather to your child, or to do anything else to show my affection and attachment to you. I often think, with great reproach to myself, of my harsh treatment to you at Westminster, in fagging you, when you were a very little boy and out of health, to do work which I ought to have done myself, and often taking you to task for not doing it as I wished (probably most unreasonably). But fagging is too apt to make boys tyrants and brutes, although it may be a good thing on the whole. However, thank God, you are not the worse for it now, and if you had been any other boy's fag (which you must have been if you had not been mine) he might have treated you even less well. Still, I feel it to be the greatest sin I have to answer for.
More than thirty years later still, Lord John himself said in the memorandum which he dictated to Lady Russell—
Talleyrand said, with his usual point, “La meilleure éducation du monde est celle des “public schools” en Angleterre, et celle-lâ est détestable.” There is in public schools a spirit which partakes much of the nature of a democratic republic. A boy must always be ready to fight any other boy of his own size and strength." He must never betray to the masters any faults or misdeeds of his fellows. He must show a gallant bearing on every occasion. Truth and courage, and the equality of boy with boy are encouraged by this species of life. It is a life totally separate from the discipline of the masters, who confine their attention to the Latin and Greek which they are engaged to teach. At Westminster School physical hardihood was always encouraged. If two boys were engaged to fight during the time of school, those boys who wanted to see the fight could always get permission to leave school for this purpose. Westminster School was a rough place. Being placed in the under school, I at once became a fag, and, as such, was directed by some of the boys of Grant's boarding-house to desire the glazier to mend a window which was broken. Two days afterwards, as the glazier had not appeared,
Lord John's chief friend at Westminster was a boy named H . . . He grew up to be killed in a duel—“not an unlikely end for him —so wrote Lord Tavistock in March 1835; a sentence which probably illustrates his character at school.