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From these circumstances, rumours circulated in London of the approaching disruption of the Ministry; and Lord Derby took the unusual course of intimating to Lord Palmerston that, if Lord John and Mr. Gladstone retired from the Government, the Ministry should receive Conservative support. But the disruption of the Government was not so near as Lord Derby had supposed. Lord Palmerston could not afford to dispense with Mr. Gladstone's assistance, and Lord John's resignation was never even dreamed of Hardly ever a day passed in which he did not receive long and confidential communications from the Prime Minister, and no thoughts of separation can be traced in any of these letters. During the autumn of 1860 Lord John accompanied the Queen on a visit which she paid to Germany. At Coburg, where the Court stayed for some time, Lord John had a day's wild boar shooting ; and, to the Prince Consort's amusement, killed his boar. If it were true that he was the first Prime Minister who had ever been out deer-stalking, it was probably also true that he was the first Foreign Secretary who had ever killed a wild boar. But, attached as he was to the Queen, life in Court was always distasteful to him ; and he regretted every little incident of the journey that delayed his return to Lady John and his children. The autumn, after his return home, was spent chiefly at Richmond ; till, at the end of January, the family moved up to Chesham Place for Society, Cabinets, and Parliament. Politically, the year 1861 has little interest. The Conservative policy of Lord Palmerston reflected the mood of the country; and the session hardly produced any changes which are worth recording. One great struggle, indeed, arose at the end of May, on the repeal of the Paper Duty; which was supposed for some weeks to portend a crisis in the to come to the same conclusion. There is no need of precipitating a quarrel between the two Houses, though the Lords seem to think there is. There would be great mischief in doing so in the present state of affairs both at home and abroad. The House of Commons are much stronger than the Lords, and are sure to win at any time. . . .-Yours truly, J. Russell.
Mr. Gladstone was a little less yielding than Lord John ; and Lord John two months afterwards told the Duke of Bedford that “ Gladstone's speech [was] magnificently mad on the Privilege question.’
Ministry, and the defeat of the Government. But, after a somewhat remarkable debate, Ministers—on the last day but one of the month—obtained a sufficient majority, and during the rest of the session no serious attempt was made to disturb them."
But in a personal sense the year was more eventful. In April Lord John's second daughter, Victoria, was married to Mr. Villiers, the eldest son of the then Bishop of Durham. Mr. Villiers, who had recently taken holy orders, is now well known as the incumbent of St. Paul's, Knightsbridge. This was the first marriage among Lord John's own children, and the parting created some natural regrets. Ten days before it Lady John addressed the following verses to her step-daughter :—
On the brae the bonnie primrose, the violet in the wood,
* Lord Malmesbury says that, at a concert at the Palace on June 28, Lord John joined Lord Derby and him. Lord Derby exclaimed, “How do you do, Lord John You have got into very bad company.’ He looked round on us all with a grim smile and said, ‘I see I have ; when Lord Derby, looking at him attentively, observed that he was incorrectly dressed, having his levée uniform instead of the full dress which he ought to have worn. Lord John said, ‘I know I am wrong, and the porter wanted to turn me out.” “Oh, did he?' exclimed Lord Derby; ‘Thou canst not say I did it." Of course all round laughed at the apt quotation from Shakespeare, and no one more than Lord John himself (..]/emoirs of an ex-A/inister, p. 543). Early in 1859 Lady John happened to be placed at dinner at Buckingham Palace between Lord Clarendon and Lord Malmesbury. As she sat down she said, ‘I am between the past and the present.” Lord Malmesbury added, ‘Yes, and you are the future.”
To meet new joys that beckon thee thy heart is bounding fast,
Three weeks after his daughter's marriage, Lord John was summoned hastily to Woburn, in consequence of his brother the Duke's serious illness. The Duke died on the 14th of May. Lord John was much overcome with the death of his brother, with whom, throughout his life, he had been on terms of intmate affection, and whose loss snapped the last link between him and his distant childhood. By the Duke's death Lord John at once entered on the Ardsalla estate; and his income, which had so often proved too narrow for the calls upon it, was thereby increased. His improved position justified him in seeking relief from the late hours of the House of Commons in the quiet of the House of Lords. Lord John, indecd, knew well that the bracing air of the former chamber was far preferable to the enervating atmosphere of the latter. But his sixty-nine years of life were steadily reminding him that there were sixty-nine good reasons for the change he was making. In an excellent caricature, ‘Punch' made old Lord Brougham receive him at the door of the Peers' chamber with the exclamation, ‘Oh, Johnny, ye'll find it mighty dull here;’ while, as a matter of fact, Lord Derby greeted him with the opposite dictum : ‘Oh, Johnny,' he said as he shook hands with him, ‘what fun we shall have here !’
It was at first supposed that Lord John would take the title of Lord Ludlow,' the origin of the Ardsalla estate
1 This title suggested Mr. Punch's lines : —
You would have scorned the haven
The House of Lords, I fear, John,
And for the Commons, gipsy-like,
accounting for the suggestion. But, as a matter of fact, Lord John became Earl Russell of Kingston Russell, and Viscount Amberley of Amberley and Ardsalla.
Mr. Disraeli wrote to him on this occasion—
I congratulate you and your family on the great honours which deservedly await you. But I cannot congratulate the House of Commons or myself; for I feel the House will lose very much of its authority by your retirement from it, and that I shall lose an opponent whom it was yet permitted to respect and regard, and with whom it was a distinction to contend. D
My dear Lord J. Russell,—I cannot despatch, as I have just done, the Chiltern Hundreds for you without expressing the strong feelings which even that formal act awakens. They are mixed as well as strong ; for I hope you will be repaid in repose, health, and the power of long continuing service for the heavy loss we suffer in the House of Commons.
Although you may not hereafter have opportunities of adding to the personal debt I owe you, and of bringing it vividly before my mind by fresh acts of courage and kindness, I assure you the recollection of it is already indelible.—Believe me, most sincerely yours,
W. E. GLADSTONE.
VOL. II. Z
My honourable friend [Sir John Ramsden] alluded the other night to one subject in a tone which I was very sorry to hear used by any one. My honourable friend said that ‘the great Republican bubble in America had burst.' Now, sir, I am proud to confess that . . . if a despotic Government fall, and the people who have been subjected to it are likely to obtain better and freer government, I cannot conceal that it gives me satisfaction. . . . But I own I have very different feelings when a great Republic, which has enjoyed for seventy or eighty years institutions under which the people have been free and happy, enters into a conflict in which that freedom and happiness is placed in jeopardy. The joy which I felt at the overthrow of some of the despotisms of Italy is counterbalanced by the pain which I experience at the events which have lately taken place in America. I admit that I have thought, and I still think, that in this country we enjoy more real freedom than the United States have ever done. . . . Yet we cannot be blind to the fact that the Republic has been for many years a great and free State, exhibiting to the world the example of a people in the enjoyment of wealth, happiness, and freedom, and affording bright prospects of the progress and improvement of mankind. When I reflect that the reproaches which are cast by the States of the North upon the States of the South . . . have arisen from that accursed institution of slavery, I cannot but recollect also that, with our great and glorious institutions, we gave them that curse, and that ours were the hands from which they received that fatal gift of the poisoned garment which was flung around them from the first hour of their establishment. Therefore I do not think it just or seemly that there should be among us anything like exultation at their discord, and still less that we should reproach them with an evil for the origin of which we are ourselves to blame.
Such was Lord John's generous language on the eve of the great American civil war.
Those people who have carefully reflected on the remoter