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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, indeed, 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 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—
July 22, 1861.
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.
1 This title suggested Mr. Punch's lines:—
John Russell, Earl Ludlow, John,
You would have scorned the haven
The House of Lords, I fear, John,
And for the Commons, gipsy-like,
Mr. Gladstone wrote—
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.
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 causes which led to the American civil war, will be disposed to trace them to a distant past. The wealth of the Southern States depended on slave labour; and, so long as power remained in their hands, slavery was an institution which no one seriously threatened. But, while the Southern States were thus reposing on the stability of their institutions and on the security of their “property,’ the other States of the Union, where labour was free, were rapidly increasing in wealth and importance. A movement, which is so universal that it seems almost a law of nature, was slowly transferring power from the South and the East to the North and the West; and, at the moment when this change was occurring, the nation's conscience was awakening to the shame which was inseparable from slavery and its many attendant evils. The efforts of Mr. Garrison, the poetry of Mr. Whittier and of Mr. Longfellow, the writings of Mrs. Beecher Stowe, were, in one sense, only the expression of sentiments which were penetrating into the heart of the nation. But it is the unvarying lot of true prophecy to stimulate the movement by which it is itself inspired; and, if “Uncle Tom's Cabin’ was only the outcome of the higher ideas of the age in which it appeared, its extraordinary success carried the new gospel to every cabin in the land.
While Mrs. Beecher Stowe's romance was being read, the decision in the Dred Scott case, that an escaped slave could be claimed in a free State, increased the agitation, Mr. Lincoln was nominated as candidate for the President's chair. His election, in the autumn of 1860, a little more than a year after the formation of Lord Palmerston's Government, virtually transferred political power to the Northern States. The South saw at once that its institution, its ‘property,’ was menaced by the election. In the Southern States there was a prodigious ferment; in the Northern States the more remarkable spectacle of what a French writer, M. Gasparin, analysing its causes and its consequences, called ‘un grand peuple qui se releve.”
Writing on November 12, 1860, Lord Lyons, the British Minister at Washington, said—
The result of the primary elections has been to ensure to Mr. Lincoln a larger number of votes in the Electoral College than is necessary to place him in the Presidental chair. He is therefore virtually elected President for the term beginning on the 4th of March next. . . . This transfer of the executive power from the South to the North, from the pro-slavery to the anti-slavery party, has caused an explosion of dissatisfaction in some of the Southern States even more violent than was anticipated. In South Carolina especially the excitement has carried men of all classes beyond the bounds of reason and common sense. . . . The Legislature of the State has passed unanimously a resolution calling a convention of the people to decide the question of secession from the Union. . . If, by the withdrawal of the members for South Carolina and three or four more of the violent little States, the anti-slavery party should be placed in possession of a permanent working majority in the Congress, then the whole South may be brought to consider it necessary in self-defence to secede from the Confederation.
Lord Lyons's anticipations were unfortunately fulfilled. Congress met on December 3; and the outgoing President, Mr. Buchanan, declared in his message that no State had a right to secede from the Union without the consent of the other States, but that the others had no right to use force against a seceding State. Language of this kind naturally encouraged secession. On December 20–
The convention at Charleston passed unanimously an ordinance declaring that the Union now subsisting between South Carolina and other States under the name of the United States of America is dissolved.
The example of South Carolina was rapidly followed. Writing on January 16, Lord Lyons said— ,
Three more States, Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama, have formally seceded. Forts, arsenals, and other Federal property have been seized by the State authorities in States which are still nominally members of the Confederation. A steam vessel (the