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ence which, if not exercised, has been attempted to be exercised in the United Kingdom of late years. Seeing these things, I give my decided resistance to the proposal of the hon. gentleman.

Such sentiments were not new in Lord John. They can be traced in the Life of Lord Russell ;' they are directly expressed in one paragraph in the 'Essay on the Constitution ;' and though, in the interval between 1835 and 1849, their author had laboured in the cause, first of Appropriation, and second of part endowment of the Roman Catholic religion, they had flared up in their original force in the Durham letter. The strong religious feelings which formed so striking a feature in Lord John's character were again obtaining a mastery over the liberality of his political views; and he was repeating the opinions of that famous document. His language was, of course, enthusiastically cheered from the Opposition benches, but was at once condemned in strong terms both by Mr. Bright, and, on the part of the Roman Catholics, by Mr. Fitzgerald. But the evil did not stop at this point. The Roman Catholic members of the Government signified to Lord Aberdeen through Mr. Monsell, the Clerk of the Ordnance, that they could no longer remain in the Administration; and Lord John himself wrote to the Prime Minister

I cannot but think that you ought not to be made to pay the penalty of my hasty speech. But I feel so much the inconvenience to you of the loss of Mr. Monsell and of the Roman Catholic members of your Government, that I think you had better, as an alternative, allow me to retire, and retain their services.

Lord Aberdeen at once replied

ARGYLL HOUSE, June 2, 1853. MY DEAR LORD JOHN,-Although I hope to see you to-morrow, I write a line to-night in answer to your letter.

You will not be surprised that I should not listen for a moment to the alternative you propose ; but I entreat you calmly to consider the actual position of the Government and see what it may be possible for us to do.

The Duke of Newcastle tells me you had spoken to him ; and,

as he liaz some influence with the Catholic party, I have desired him to see Mr. Monsell and ascertain in what manner they might perhaps be satisfied. I have mentioned to the Duke your own impossible proposal ; not for the purpose of being communicated to them, but only in order that he might speak with a full knowledge of the serious consequences that might ensue. In truth, however, the only alternative I can admit is the resignation of the Catholic members or their remaining in office. I shall know tomorrow what may be the result of the Duke's interference.

I shall say nothing of the personal state of matters, except to Clarendon and Graham, and I trust that in the course of tomorrow we may devise some means for settling this untoward circumstance.-Ever most sincerely yours,

ABERDEEN. The unfortunate circumstance was eventually settled. Lord Aberdeen wrote a letter to Mr. Monsell, which was published, assuring him that the opinions which Lord John had expressed were not shared by many members of the Government; and with this explanation, in which Lord John himself concurred, Mr. Monsell and his friends expressed themselves satisfied.

The months through which the session of 1853 was protracted left deep impressions on Lord John's domestic life. In February his step-mother, the Dowager-Duchess of Bedford, died, somewhat suddenly, at Nice; in July his mother-in-law, Lady Minto, died, after a long illness, at Nervi. If, however, older faces were dropping out of the family circle, fresh and younger additions were being made to it.

In May his stepson, Lord Ribblesdale, was married to Miss Mure of Caldwell. In June his step-daughter, Isabel, was married to Mr. Warburton. Three out of his four step-children had thus taken their flight from the nest where they had been so long sheltered; but in March another child (Lady Agatha Russell)

1 Lord Ribblesdale had been educated at Eton and Oxford. He caused Lord John some anxiety in 1851 by purchasing Colonel (better known as General) Jonathan Peel's racehorses. To Lord John's remonstrance he wrote, • Every man, say I, his own métier. We are all good for something, as your friend Horace justly remarks to Mæcenas in his first ode: curriculo pulverem Olympicum,” &c. And again, “Hunc si nobilium turba Quiritium,” &c. We of the nineteenth century remain the same as in Horace's time. I should take as much interest in a race in which I had a horse running, as you in the issue of an election for a Government borough.'

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was added to its inmates. This child, their parents' first and only daughter, was born during the Easter recess, and its birth ‘made the Easter holiday at Pembroke Lodge even happier than usual.'

While the session lasted, Lord John was, of course, compelled to be much in town, but he usually contrived to sleep three nights a week, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, in the fresher air of Richmond; and, when he was able to leave town early enough, he either rode down to Pembroke Lodge, or drove to Hammersmith, where he was met by his roan horse, Surrey, and his children on their ponies. In the autumn Lord John carried his family down to Scotland, where the Duke of Argyll had placed Roseneath at his disposal. There they remained some weeks yachting, riding, walking, reading. The urgency of the Eastern question, however, compelled Lord John to return suddenly to London in September. Its growing acuteness made Lady John fear that future journeys would unavoidably be entailed on him; and, alarmed at the consequences of rapid railway travelling to and from Scotland, she persuaded him to cut short his stay in the north, and to return to London. For the long peace of thirty-eight years was drawing to a close, and the Aberdeen Administration was drifting into the whirlpool of war.

i The Commission (Ireland) of Inland Revenue placed the Seamew at Lord and Lady John's disposal.

CHAPTER XXIV.

THE CAUSES OF THE CRIMEAN WAR.

At the time when the Aberdeen Administration was formed the English public was agitated by one of those alarms which seem periodically to affect the people of this country. The assumption by Napoleon of the imperial title, and the suspicion that the master of legions would desire to fortify his dynasty by some military achievement, influenced men's minds. There was a general belief that the first object of a new Napoleon must be to avenge the defeat by which the old Napoleon had been crushed. “Panic' pamphlets were again issued broadcast from the printing-press ; panic letters and speeches succeeded one another in the newspapers; and a people brooding over panic literature, and communicating their fears to one another, persuaded themselves that the dreaded hour had at last come, and that the invasion of England was at hand.

There is never smoke without fire: but, in the political as in the material world, the smoke is frequently the greatest when the fire is feeblest. The people were right in supposing that the conversion of a Republic into an Empire did not make for peace; they were only wrong in inferring that, if war broke out, it would necessarily be with England. Even, however, on this point there was some ground for alarm. And there is still among Lord John's papers a singular document which purports to be a translation of a series of confidential questions issued by Napoleon III. on the possibility of a French expedition, secretly collected in different ports, invading, conquering, and holding Australia. How the paper

VOL. II.

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reached the Foreign Office, what credit was attached to it, what measures were suggested by it, there is no evidence to show. This only is certain. Lord John dealt with it as he occasionally dealt with confidential papers which he did not think it right to destroy, but which he did not wish to be known. He enclosed it in an envelope, sealed it with his own seal, and addressed it to himself. It was so found after his death.

Whatever reason Lord John may have had for watching the new Emperor with caution, during his short tenure of the Foreign Office he laboured for peace; and he soon had distinct evidence that, if Napoleon were meditating hostile expeditions in December, he was desirous in January of standing on the best of terms with England and the English Court. Before the end of the month a wedding took the place of a war; and in February Lord John brought upon himself a painful correspondence with Lord Mount-Edgcumbe by the vehemence with which he denied in the House of Commons the positive statements which that nobleman had made in the Times of preparations in the French dockyards which could only be for aggression.

While, however, the cloud of war with France was slowly lifting, a new question in Eastern Europe was creating a new anxiety. The Sultan, endeavouring to stamp out insurrection on the borders of Montenegro, found himself confronted by Austria ; while a struggle for the possession of the Holy Places between the Greek and Latin Churches subjected him to inconsistent demands from Russia and France. Lord John strove to effect a settlement of both questions. He told Lord Westmorland--the British representative at Vienna-to spare no effort to secure a pacific solution of the Montenegrin difficulty; and, in language which was unusual in a despatch, but which was very characteristic of Lord John, he told Lord Cowley, the British Minister at Paris, that

We should deeply regret any dispute that might lead to conflict between two of the great powers of Europe ; but when we reflect

1

Napoleon was married to the Empress Eugénie in January 1853.

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