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absolutely free from affectation or a wish to shine ; he was ready to talk, and enjoy doing so, with anybody-man or woman, young or old. Sincerity rang in every word he uttered. . . . With such materials in his mind and character, it is no wonder that his conversation was sought and valued.
There were times, however, at Pembroke Lodge, which were still more pleasant for wife and family, when, alone with her or alone with them, he would read aloud some such poem as the “Task' or the Excursion,' or discuss the simple but fervent faith which they held in common. It was to such quiet as this that Lady John referred in the following lines, which were headed : ‘To J. R. : Pembroke Lodge, June 30, 1850.
Here, statesman, rest! and, while thy ranging sight
While childhood's silvery tones the stillness break
Go tread again, and with thy country's God. At the close of the session Lord John secured a longer holiday. On August 19, the day after his fifty-eighth birthday, he set out for Scotland, taking with him his wife and his four younger children. They slept at Carlisle and Glasgow, where he was much cheered by the people ; passed two days on Loch Lomond ; and subsequently paid visits to Lord Breadalbane at the Black Mount and to Mr. Fox Maule at Drumour. Thence, sending the two younger children to Minto, Lord and Lady John proceeded with the two elder ones to the DowagerDuchess of Bedford at The Doune in Inverness-shire. Lady John wrote
John had a very pretty reception here. A number of people ranged along both banks of the Spey at a ferry by which we cross to this place, who hurrahed with all their might, while bagpipes played. An address was presented. We crossed, stepped out on a Gordon plaid, and were received by the Duchess and her sons and daughters in a most cordial way.
Sir Edwin Landseer, who was very intimately acquainted with the Duchess, and who was staying at The Doune, availed himself of the opportunity to make the slight sketch of Lord John's two children (Lord Amberley and Lady Victoria Villiers)
i Walking on the banks of Loch Lomond the family were caught by a heavy shower, and took refuge in a cottage. The good wife, to quote Lady Russell's account, gave the children some excellent milk. Her husband on his return home said nothing till the Russells were leaving, when he inquired of Lady John, 'Is that no Lord John Russell?' His old wife asked him what he was saying. “Why, it's Lord John Russell- the biggest man in the kingdom !' She did not seem as much impressed as he expected. My belief is that she knew nothing of Lord John Russell, but was surprised, as she looked at him, to hear her husband call him the biggest man in the kingdom.' History telleth not how the old man recognised Lord John. Perhaps, if he had been asked, he would have answered, as the Welsh postman is said to have answered Lord Palmerston, “Seen your picture in Punch, my lord !'
which still hangs on the walls of Pembroke Lodge. After staying a few days at The Doune, Lord and Lady John paid a series of visits to the Duke and Duchess of Leeds, General Duff, and others; passed a fortnight on their way south at Minto; and finally reached Pembroke Lodge on the 16th of October, in time to celebrate his step-daughter's (Miss Lister) birthday.
Lord John had happily the capacity for enjoyment which almost always accompanies a capacity for work. He went north with the panoply of a sportsman and with the ardour of a boy. There are still carefully preserved, among his other more important papers, a note from the Speaker, no mean authority on such a subject, advising him not to waste his time by trying to shoot capercailzie with a rifle, but to use his gun and load it with cartridges ;1 and a letter from his cousin, Mr. William Russell, giving him directions, which his own experience suggested, for his behaviour while deer-stalking. Yet, though Lord John worked hard and late, nature, which had so freely endowed him with many qualities, had not given him the steady hand and quick eye which make a good shot. A Scotch gillie-Lord Lansdowne is responsible for the story -said of him, 'Forbye it hadn't pleased the Lord to make him a sportsman, he was a very decent body.' And at the Black Mount, at Taymouth, and at Braemar, Lord John failed. At last, at General Duff's, to the old General's great joy, he succeeded in repeating the achievement of the previous year, and brought down his stag.
After his return from his two months' holiday, Lord John threw himself into the many anxious affairs which will be related in the following chapter. Here it may be well to add that he saw the old year out and the new year in at Woburn. Miss E. Lister and his own son acted in one of the little plays which Mr. Stafford O'Brien was in the habit of writing for the
1 I do not know whether it is necessary to remind my younger readers that in 1850 breech-loaders had not been invented, and muzzle-loaders were pain. fully loaded with powder and shot. But, even in 1850, the shot was occasionally separately enclosed in a cartridge, and was supposed to carry further and hit harder than when merely rammed down with wadding.
amateur troupe at the Abbey. No one enjoyed these performances more, or laughed more heartily at them, than the Prime Minister. And perhaps on the present occasion he was vividly reminded of his own youth. For the epilogue to “The Eggs of Gold 'the title of the play—was spoken on New Year's Eve by his own boy, who had played the part of a page.
Ladies and gentlemen, at your desires,
THE FALL OF THE WHIGS.
DURING his long administration, Lord John was chiefly occupied with the various questions which had their origin in Irish distress and continental revolution. But he was concurrently attending to other matters of great significance; and among these there was none to which he attached more importance, or in which he took a deeper interest, than the state of the English Church.
Lord John had always regarded with deep distrust the progress of the great religious movement which is associated with the names of Cardinal Newman and Mr. Pusey. Its votaries, he thought, were not merely traitors to the Church, but guilty of shocking profanation.' They were, consciously or unconsciously, initiating a movement which was leading to Rome, and they were simultaneously turning a service of remembrance into an offensive spectacle.1 Holding such opinions, Lord John used his influence during the Ministry of Lord Melbourne, and during his own administration, to secure the promotion of men free from all taint of Tractarianism to the highest offices of the Church.
It so happened that, in the years which succeeded his accession to office, the vacancies on the bench were more than usually numerous. Lord John appointed, in 1847, an Archbishop of York; in 1848, an Archbishop of Canterbury; he filled
up, in the first four years of his administration, the sees of St. Asaph, Sodor and Man (twice), Hereford, Manchester,
i These words are taken from Recollections and Suggestions,