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3. I can hardly expect that the principles on which I have thus acted will commend themselves to all my readers. An illustrious member of the Russell family, indeed, intimated to me at the commencement of my work that a life of Lord John Russell must be a history of England and of the Whig party during some fifty years. Any one who shares this opinion will meet with nothing but disappointment in these pages. From the beginning to the end of my book, I have endeavoured to recollect that I was not writing a history of England or of the Whig party, but a life of Lord John Russell ; and I have been much more anxious to draw a portrait of the man, than to write an account of the time.
4. The title of a book is not perhaps a matter of great importance. But, as those whose judgment I value have told me that the life of a man who became a peer should bear his later and not his earlier name, I am glad to think that you, equally with myself, are of another opinion. The Fox Club, moreover, drinks at its meetings to the memory of Lord John Russell, not of Lord Russell ; and it seems to me that it would be as illogical to call a life of Lord John Russell a life of Lord Russell, as it would be to call a life of Francis Bacon a life of Lord Verulam, or a life of Sir Robert Walpole a life of the Earl of Orford.
5. It only remains for me to add that in discharging my task I have endeavoured to remember that it was my business to give Lord John Russell's opinions and not my own. I have, as far as possible, left the facts to speak for themselves. I have neither tried to emphasise those passages of Lord John's career which make me respect and admire him, nor have I attempted to throw any false colour on the few incidents in it which I regret. Lord John himself placed on the title-page of one of his boyish diaries the words of Queen
No other speaker of my living actions,
And it is in the spirit of this quotation that I have sought to compose this memoir.—Believe me, my dear
Lady Russell, yours very sincerely,
Gover NMENT House, Isle of MAN.
I have dutifully and gratefully to acknowledge her Majesty's goodness, (I) in giving me access to three bound volumes of Lord John Russell's letters to her Majesty, and (2) in sanctioning the publication of (a) those of her letters which appear for the first time in this memoir, (b) the letters of King William IV.
I have also gratefully to acknowledge the great kindness of Sir Arthur Gordon, who has placed the whole of the privately printed correspondence of Lord Aberdeen at my disposal; of Lord Clarendon, who has given me access to his father's papers at The Grove; of Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice, who, with Lord Lansdowne's consent, selected and forwarded to me the correspondence of Lord Lansdowne with Lord John Russell and Lord Palmerston; of Sir A. H. Layard, who handed to me the whole of Lord Russell's letters to himself; of Mr. George Dalhousie Ramsay, who gave me access to Lord John's correspondence with Lord Panmure; of Mr. Redington, who selected for me some valuable documents from his father's, Sir T. Redington's, papers; of Professor Fraser, who made careful research for me in respect to Lord John's life at Edinburgh; of the Duke of Westminster, Lord Granville, Lord Moncrieff, Mr. Russell Barker, and many others, who have placed either information or material at my disposal. I have also thankfully to acknowledge the assistance which I have received from the Duke of Bedford, who has supplied me with the (almost) complete set of Russell literature from the shelves of Woburn Abbey; from Lord Arthur Russell ; from your brother, Mr. George Elliot, who has a unique knowledge of Lord John Russell's papers; from your nephew, Mr. Arthur Elliot, who handed me the whole of the 6th Duke" of Bedford's correspondence with Lady Minto : from Sir Henry Elliot, Mrs. Maurice Drummond,
* The Duke was for many years in the habit of writing almost daily to Lady Minto on political and other subjects. In one of these letters he writes, “I have been much occupied during the whole of my illness both in Devonshire and here [Woburn] in destroying old letters. Clarendon says truly that no man has (or rather had) such an interesting number of political letters. It has been disappearing daily for some months. To some future publisher they would have been invaluable.' I insert the paragraph because suspicion may otherwise be felt that I have not availed myself of correspondence which unfortunately no longer exists. The Duke's letters to Lord John and Lady Minto, however, form important relics of it.
VOL. I. d
Mr. H. Villiers, and many others either related to or connected with your family.
So far as it was possible to do so I have endeavoured to obtain the distinct authority of the descendants of the men whose letters I have published. If I have, however, inadvertently omitted to make any such application, I trust that those whom I have failed to consult will accept my apology and excuse my neglect. In addition to those whose names have already been mentioned, my thanks are due on this account to the Dukes of Argyll, Devonshire, Wellington, and Westminster; to Lords Normanby, Bessborough, Cowley, Cowper, Derby, Durham, Fortescue, Grey, Northbrook, Pembroke, Selborne, Spencer, Strafford, Halifax, Brougham, and Rowton; to the Dowager Lady Lilford; to the Speaker of the House of Commons; to Mr. Gladstone, Mr. C. P. Villiers, Sir George Trevelyan, Mr. Evelyn Ashley; Sir Edward Grey, Sir R. Owen, Major Graham, Mr. Daniel O'Connell, Mrs. Trotter, Miss Hogarth, and others, for sanctioning the publication of letters.