Memoirs of the Life and Correspondence of Henry Reeve, C.B., D.C.L.
John Knox Laughton
Part 3 out of 8
Skibo. Thence to Brahan. On the 31st, pic-nic to the Falls of Rogie, with
Lord Blandford playing on the bugle.
_September 1st_.--To Raith. 7th, to Arniston. 10th, to Ancrum, Kirklands.
16th, to see Harriet Martineau at Ambleside. 18th.--Home.
_September 22nd_.--Torry Hill. 23rd, excursion to Margate races, with Lord
Kingsdown. Shooting at Torry Hill.
Mr. Richardson died at Kirklands on October 4th. Attended the funeral at
Ancrum on the 10th. Mr. Liddell read the English service at the grave. To
Brougham on my way back.
_October 13th_.--Left London on a visit to the Marochettis at Vaux.
_23rd_.--Visit to the Guizots at Val Richer. 27th, to Caen. 28th, to
Angers. 30th, to Saumur.
_November 1st_.--Amboise. 2nd, Loches. 4th, Paris.
_8th_.--Dinner at Lord Granville's.
_23rd_.--Munro of Novar died very suddenly. He was buried at Kensal Green
on December 1st.
_To Mr. Dempster_
_C. O., November 24th_. You may conceive with how much surprise and concern
I received this morning a telegram from the factor at Novar, to announce
the sudden death last night of my old and much-valued friend, the Laird
of Novar, for whom, in spite of his singularities, I had a most sincere
regard. I have telegraphed to Butler Johnstone, in Dumfriesshire, and
to his son at Rokeby, and urged them to go down immediately; but it has
occurred to me that perhaps you would take the train and go over yourself,
as there is no one there to give any directions, and the factor is a new
man. I have also telegraphed to Raith at Cannes.... Let me know if you hear
any particulars. I wonder whether he left a will; very probably none.
_C. O., November 28th_.--We felt so much alike in our regard for Novar,
that I was confident that we should feel exactly alike in this most sudden
and terrible catastrophe. I could well have spared many a better man, and,
in spite of his peculiarities, there are few persons for whom I could feel
a more sincere and painful regret. For more than twenty years I have shared
with Novar many of the pleasantest hours of life; and although we were in
many respects very dissimilar, there are few persons for whom I felt a
greater sympathy. I have no doubt you decided rightly as to not going to
Novar. My telegram, fortunately, reached Butler Johnstone and his son, both
of whom were in the country, and they speedily got down to Novar. I am told
they have decided to inter our poor friend in London--a decision I should
not have taken myself, but which I bow to, as it is their wish.
Mrs. Butler Johnstone was so much agitated by this event--for she was
passionately attached to her brother--and so entirely solitary--for there
was no one with her but young Theobald Butler--that my wife thought it her
duty to go down to Brighton with her on Saturday, to endeavour to calm and
comfort her until Harry can come back to his mother, which I hope will be
I have heard from Ferguson, who little expected to survive his cousin and
_C. O., December 1st_.--I am just returned from the funeral of our poor
friend at Kensal Green. It was as quiet as possible.... There is no will
at all; but every paper and letter of Novar's is carefully preserved, and
accurately docketed, so that the whole state of his affairs and accounts
may be seen in a moment. The personal property is enormous; he cannot
have had much less than 24,000 £ a year. Ferguson's share of the entailed
estates is about 5,000 £ gross rental; everything else goes to the B. J.'s.
I am very much pleased with the spirit in which B. J. takes all this--a
great desire to do whatever is right to those who may have any claim on
Novar, and no brag or ostentation. He and Harry immediately determined, as
money is no object to them, they would allow nothing to be sold, but would
keep together the gallery of pictures and everything else Novar collected.
The quantities of things are incalculable.... I thought these details would
interest you. For my part, I feel that I have lost one of the persons in
the world with whom I had spent the most pleasant hours, and for whom I had
an extreme regard.
The Journal mentions:--
Shooting at Haslemere and Farnborough to the end of the year.
_January 2nd_, 1865.--Went to Strawberry Hill. A large party in the house;
Clarendon, Duc d'Aumale, Lady Hislop, Perrys, &c. On the 5th to Torry Hill.
12th, to Ampthill. 13th, down to Woburn with Lord Wensleydale and Froude.
14th, to the Grove.
When at Torry Hill I got a note from Charles Greville asking me to come up
to see him. I did so on the 10th. It was then he asked me to take charge of
his journals. Some further conversation took place between us. On the
17th I was with him till half-past seven, and in the same night he died.
[Footnote: See _post_, p. 230.]
_From M. Guizot_
Paris, 1 février.
My dear sir,--Je regrette Charles Greville. C'etait l'un des spectateurs
politiques les plus clairvoyants, les plus fins et les plus équitables que
j'aie rencontrés en ma vie; et un ami fidèle sans se donner tout entier à
personne. Vous devez regretter beaucoup son amitié et sa société. Ses
mémoires seront bien curieux. Je suis charmé qu'il vous les ait légués.
Personne ne saura mieux choisir ce qu'il en faut publier, et le moment
opportun pour les publier. Quand vous prendrez une résolution à cet égard,
je vous prie de m'en avertir; vous en désirerez, ce me semble, une édition
The Journal here gives a remarkable contribution to the history of the
French Revolution of 1830, the substance of which Reeve afterwards
published in the 'Edinburgh Review,' in an article on 'Circourt' (October
_March 14th_.--The Club elected the Duc d'Aumale and Tennyson.
_19th_.--Mrs. Gollop [Mrs. Reeve's mother] died. I joined Christine at
Strode, and attended the funeral at Lillington.
_April 5th_.--M. de Circourt has been staying with us for three weeks;
inexhaustible in memory, anecdote, and conversation. I first knew him at
Geneva in 1830, where he took refuge after the storm of the Revolution, and
where he soon afterwards married Anastasia de Klustine.
I asked him the other day what he knew of the 'Ordonnances' of July. He
was at that time, with Bois-le-Comte and Vieil-Castel, one of the chief
employés of Prince Polignac, in the Office of Foreign Affairs; and from his
wonderful memory and facility, Polignac used often to send him to Charles
X., to relate the substance of the despatches from foreign Courts. But,
although he was thus versed in foreign affairs, he knew very little of what
was passing in the interior of France, though from the violence of the
conflict between the Court and the Chamber he foreboded a catastrophe.
Polignac told him nothing of the Ordinances, nor had he told the Princess,
his wife; for Circourt dined with them on the day they were signed--it was
Sunday, July 25th, 1830. The minister was _distrait_. The Princess got C.
aside to the piano after dinner, and said to him: 'Il se passe quelque
chose;--do you know what it is?' Neither of them knew. C. thinks, however,
that Bois-le-Comte was in Polignac's confidence.
In consequence of the absence of Marshal Bourmont on the Algerian
expedition, Polignac was minister of war _ad interim_ [as well as
minister of foreign affairs]; but he had not made the smallest military
preparations, or even inquiries, as to the possibility of putting down
a popular tumult. On that Sunday, for the first time, he sent for the
officers in command of the troops. A dispute arose between them, which
Polignac had to settle. It then turned out that in the whole of the first
military division, which included not only Paris, but Orleans and Rouen and
all the intermediate places, there were not 12,000 men. In Paris itself
about 3,400 at that moment, including the _gendarmerie_.
The reason of this was a political and military combination which the
Government had formed, but which I never before heard mentioned by anyone.
Polignac had for some time been intriguing to detach Belgium from the
King of Holland's dominions--chiefly from a fanatical desire to release a
Catholic population from their Protestant connexion, but in part, also,
from a notion that a military demonstration on the side of Belgium would be
popular in France, and would disarm the Opposition. So that the movement
which took place at Brussels shortly after the Revolution of July, and was
attributed to the example of that democratic explosion, had, in fact, been
prepared by Polignac himself. This is strange enough; but what is still
more strange is that the very means taken to promote this lawless object
proved to be the ruin of Charles X. and his minister.
With a view to the occupation of Belgium, or at least of a demonstration on
the frontier, they had assembled two large camps at Luneville and St.-Omer;
and in these camps the bulk of the available forces of the kingdom
were collected, especially as Bourmont had with him a considerable and
well-appointed army in Africa. So that at the very moment when troops were
most needed in Paris, one portion of the King's army was beyond the seas,
and another out of reach on the Belgian frontier.
Bourmont was perfectly aware that some such scheme as that of the
Ordinances was hatching, and the King had given him special orders to
terminate the campaign in Algeria, to carry off the treasure from the
Kasbah, and bring the troops back to France, as soon as possible. About
a month before the Revolution, a ciphered despatch came from Bourmont
--which, I think, Circourt said he was told to transcribe--in which the
marshal earnestly entreated the King to take no important step till his
return; adding that he hoped in a few weeks to terminate the African
expedition, and to prove to the King what he was capable of in his
Majesty's service. He had calculated that by the month of September he
could bring the greater part of the army hack to Paris, and that the
success they had recently had in Africa had attached the troops to himself,
as their commander, so that he would be in a condition to crush all
resistance; and had this plan been pursued, it is by no means impossible
that the _coup d'état_ might have succeeded, as we have seen on some
But Bourmont's despatch in cipher had exactly the opposite effect from that
contemplated by the marshal. It produced in the mind of Polignac a violent
jealousy of his military colleague, and the determination to act in
Bourmont's absence, so as to have all the credit to himself, and remain at
the head of the King's Government. On the day the Ordinances were signed,
Polignac said to Circourt: 'From this day the King begins to reign, which
he has not done before.' These were the motives which precipitated the
blow, and caused it to overwhelm its authors with ruin and confusion.
_April 8th_.--I was elected a corresponding member of the Académie des
Sciences Morales et Politiques, in France.
_14th_.--Went to Paris, and on the 22nd took my seat at the Institute.
_From Lord Clarendon_
_The Grove, April 23rd_.--Fould is not reasonable about Mexico; for he well
knows that it is we who had to complain of France, and not France of us, in
the original convention, and that ever since we got out of it, so far from
thwarting French designs, we have done what was in our power to support
them; our Government can't help to float a bad loan, but I am sure we have
done the French no harm at Washington. It will be good policy on the part
of Maximilian to encourage Confederate soldiers, provided they don't come
and squat in too great numbers. I understand that the French army is not to
be withdrawn until it is no longer wanted by Maximilian, but that will not
be till the day of judgement--if then.
The journey to Algeria is an inscrutable business. McMahon, I am told, has
insisted strongly upon it, and says that the Imperial presence is
indispensable to _relever_ the tone of the colony; but that is hardly
reason enough for such a _grosse affaire_ as absenting himself from Paris
for six weeks; but if he wishes to create alarm and make people feel how
much he and social order are bound up together, and that they want him
more than he them, then the expedition has a motive, and may have a great
Palmerston had the gout all last week, and was unable to attend the Cabinet
yesterday, but he is expected in town tomorrow, so I hope it is a slight
attack. The uneasiness on one side and excitement on the other, whenever he
is ailing, are curious to observe; for it is pretty generally understood
that until he dies there will be no real shuffle of cards. Last autumn the
Tories talked tall about the majority that the general election was to give
them, but of late they have come down very much, and the best informed
among them now say that things will remain pretty much as they are.
The Journal continues:--
_April 27th_.--Excursion to Port Royal and Dampierre, where we were
received by order of the Duc de Luynes. Circourt was with us. 28th, to
Fontainebleau. Met William Stirling and Lady Anna there; they were just
married. 30th, races in Bois de Boulogne. Took Mrs. Henry Baring there.
Dined at the Embassy.
_May 3rd_.--Excursion to Reims with Circourt and Belvèze.[Footnote: The
Comte de Belvèze, an intimate friend of the Circourts, a man, Reeve wrote,
'of great wit and discernment.' In 1873 he had printed, for private
circulation, a small volume of _Pensées, Maximes et Reflèxions_, a copy of
which he gave Reeve, who 'highly valued it for its intrinsic merit and its
rarity.'] Back to London by Lille and Laon.
_13th_.--My uncle, Tom Reeve, the rector, died. I attended the funeral, and
went on to Thorpe Abbotts.
_June 10th_.--Party given by the Hudson's Bay Company to see their ships at
Gravesend. Dined there.
Went to Bracknell and Ascot.
_From Lord Clarendon_
_The Grove, June 11th_. I make you my sincere compliment upon the article,
[Footnote: 'Dissolution of Parliament,' by Reeve. It appeared in the July
number of the _Review_.] and thank you for giving me an early read of it.
It is by far the ablest defence I have yet seen for the donothingness of
the Government about Reform; and you have most skilfully brought all the
different schemes face to face, in order to knock their heads together, at
the same time that you show yourself, as the organ of the Whig party, to be
liberal and progressive, and not only ready, but anxious, to adopt any
plan of Reform that will really effect that which reasonable men unite in
desiring. I think the article will do great good; and I only wish that it
could be circulated among classes rather lower than the ordinary readers of
the 'Edinburgh Review.'
Might you not in the last page enlarge a little more upon the opposition
which the Tories, for party purposes, or from shortsightedness, have always
made to Liberal measures? For that in reality is the strong case against
them; and in judging of their fitness for power, the electors should
consider how the country would have stood if their persistent opposition
had been successful; how we should have passed through the political crisis
of '48 if the Corn Laws had been unrepealed; or the cotton famine, if
Free-trade had not been established. The electors should also well consider
whether they will accept, as governors and guides, men who predicted evils
of the worst kind from measures which have produced the happiest results.
All these points are well alluded to in the last page, but they seem to me
to want a few grains of salt; and we may be sure that Lord Robert Cecil
[Footnote: The present Marquis of Salisbury. His elder brother, Viscount
Cranborne, died three days after the date of this letter, June 14th.] in
the 'Quarterly' will pepper the Whigs abundantly.
The Journal at this time has:--
Gout in July. Went to Aix on the 25th. The Aumales, Alcocks, and Lord St.
Germans there. Home on August 17th.
_August 9th_.--To Scotland. We went again to Skibo. Harry Butler Johnstone
there. Stayed at Skibo till the 30th. Then to Brahan. Found the Fergusons
at Novar. Lord Kingsdown had taken Holme House, near Nairn. Went to see him
there. Cawdor Castle. Then to Pitcorthie [James Moncreiff's] [Footnote: At
this time Lord Advocate. Created a baronet in 1871, and a peer, as Lord
Moncreiff, in 1874.] and Raith and Abington.
_September 23rd_.--Dined with Lord Granville to meet Castalia Campbell and
Lady Acton. Lord G. was married on the 26th [to Miss Campbell].
To Torry Hill in October; also to Badger Hall and High Legh, and Loseley
(then rented by Thomson Hankey).
_November 15th_.--Went down to Woodnorton [near Evesham], to see the
Aumales at their farm. Shot there.
But the great topic of the latter part of the year, the subject which was
in everyone's mind, was the cattle plague--the rinderpest--which threatened
to become a matter of extreme national importance. When, at the time that
now is, people are inclined to grumble at the precautionary measures
adopted by Government, they should look back to the records of 1865 and
read of the very serious alarm then felt. Writing to Dempster, himself a
high authority on agricultural questions, Reeve naturally spoke of this,
and the correspondence is largely filled with such sentences as:--
_September 22nd_.--A nearer acquaintance with the cattle disease is a very
disagreeable addition to one's knowledge. They are afraid it will last for
many years, and sweep off a great portion of the cattle in the kingdom....
You'll think I have got the rinderpest myself to write about nothing but
_September 28th_.--The disease has now spread to sheep, and I verily
believe we shall have a meat famine.
_October 12th_.--The ravages of the disease increase. We were to have gone
to pay two visits in Essex this week, but our hosts are so distracted by
the loss of their kine and the absence of dairy produce that they broke up
their party and put us off.
_October 18th_.--The opinion of the Cattle Commission is that nothing can
be done to stay the plague without putting a stop to all transport or
movement of live cattle; and I expect this will be done. But how are we to
_November 23rd_.--The Lords of the Council have at last resolved to give
all local authorities in Britain the power of stopping the entry of cattle
into their own district, and all beasts brought to the Metropolitan Market
are to be killed there.
And thus this plague, the illness and death of Lord Palmerston, and--more
personal--the alarming illness and slow, lingering convalescence of Miss
Charlotte Dempster--'my fair contributor,' as Reeve used to call her--fill
the correspondence of the year. One note only, an account of Reeve's visit
to Woodnorton, has a more particular interest.
_To Mr. Dempster_
_C. O., November 23rd_.--My last campaign has been in Worcestershire, where
I went to see a barnful of princes and princesses in a house much more like
a very wild Highland shooting quarter than an Englishman's hunting-box.
However, this only made the whole party more jolly; and as the stables are
very superior to the house, I shall entreat them, the next time I go, to
give me a loose box instead of a bedroom. Cutbush is supposed to have slept
on a dresser in the servants' hall; and a stray Frenchman who arrived one
evening was laid up in the smoking-room, on a sofa.
And, according to the Journal, the year closed with--
Visits to Farnborough, Denbigh (Haslemere), and Timsbury [Ralph Dutton's,
Between Reeve and the Duttons there was a friendship of many years'
standing, and they were there, wrote Mrs. Reeve, 'a pleasant little party
of ten, only Henry has had a very bad fit of gout and could not join the
shooters, or even the dinner-table some days: too provoking!' They remained
at Timsbury for a week, and then:--
_January 10th_.--A pleasant party at Torry Hill, with Sir E. Head and Kit.
Pemberton. Shooting in the snow, which was heavy.
_18th_.--Sir C. Eastlake was buried.
One day at a dinner party of Royal Academicians at Eastlake's, they were
discussing the merits of Solomon the painter and praising him. 'Yes,' said
Valentine Prinsep, 'but Solomon in all his glory is not R.A.ed like one of
_24th_. We were invited rather late in the morning to the christening
of Sir Robert and Lady Emily Peel's infant daughter, and to a banquet
afterwards. Christine came down to my office at two o'clock, and we went
across to Whitehall Chapel. Sir Robert stood _rayonnant_ at the door; Lady
Emily looked the picture of maternal beauty; and in the chapel we found a
small but remarkable party--Duke and Duchess of Wellington, Lord and Lady
Russell, the Gladstones, Lady Ely, the Dufferins, &c., about fifty in all.
Lord Russell said he had never been inside that building [Footnote: Now the
Museum of the Royal United Service Institution.] before. Gladstone was very
cordial, and we joined our enthusiasm about the roof of the building and
the Rubenses. The Queen stood Godmother.
After the ceremony we all adjourned to Whitehall Gardens. I was unluckily
obliged to go away, but Christine stayed for the luncheon, which was
superb. Gladstone proposed the health of the infant.
_25th_.--Dinner at Orleans House, on Condé's departure for his journey to
the East; Murchison and Trevelyan there. The Prince de Condé [Footnote: The
eldest son of the Duc d'Aumale, born in 1845, died at Sydney on May 24th,
1866. The Duke's second and third sons lived only a few weeks; the fourth,
the Duc de Guise, born in 1854, died in 1872.] reached Sydney, but caught a
fever there and died. His poor mother never recovered the shock.
_27th_.--John Edward Taylor, my oldest friend,[Footnote: A first cousin,
elder son of Edward Taylor; see _ante_, vol. i. p. 167.] died.
A couple of months later Mr. Taylor's daughter, Lucy, was married to
William Markby, going out to Calcutta as a judge on a salary of 4,000 £
a year. 'She is a very lucky girl' wrote Mrs. Reeve, 'her face her sole
fortune, to win the love of a man so clear-headed and warm-hearted.'
Circourt came on a visit to us in March. We went together to Lincoln. I
spent Easter at Lord Wharncliffe's at Wortley, with the Samuel Bakers (the
African traveller) and the Tankervilles, and rejoined Circourt at Frystone
(R. M. Milnes'). Thence to Ampthill, also with Circourt.
_From Lord Westbury_
_March 1st_.--I send you the proof of the judgement in Edwards _v_.
Moss, corrected and purged of some of its colloquial pleonastic forms of
expression. It is very difficult to reduce a speech to the accuracy of a
written composition. In doing so, the merit of the speech is lost, and the
'redacted' elements form a very bad paper. Old Tommy Townshend, when he
heard of a good speech being printed, used to ask 'How does it read?--for
if it reads well, it was not a good speech.' A judgement orally delivered
extempore may be satisfactory to the ear, but when reduced to paper, the
sentences become involved and jejune.
The diction of a good composition is [Greek: lexis katestrammeon],
the diction of a speech is [Greek: lexis eiromeon]. I cannot understand
how the senators or the Roman plebs could follow or endure the elaborate
periods of Cicero, if they were delivered as written. I am sure with the
funeral oration of Pericles, a common audience would have sat with mouths
open, incapable of following a single sentence. So also with the orations
of Livy. In fact, if the speeches delivered in the Roman Senate or the
Athenian Forum were anything like the speeches reported, to listen to them
must have been a great strain upon the mind and attention of the hearer.
I am writing to you whilst a learned counsel is arguing, but whose words
and meaning are so obscure and involved that I am much in the condition of
my supposed [Greek: aplous hakroataes] of the funeral oration.
The Journal goes on to speak of a subject of peculiar literary and
_April 11th_.--Started with Christine and Circourt for Paris _viâ_ Havre,
and at Rouen paid a visit to the Cardinal-Archbishop (Bonnechose).
The publication in 1864 of three volumes of the letters of Marie
Antoinette, under the title 'Louis XVI., Marie Antoinette et Madame
Elisabeth. Lettres et Documents inédits;' publiés par F. Feuillet de
Conches, and of another volume--' Correspondance inédite de Marie
Antoinette. Publiée sur les Documents originaux;' par le Comte Paul Vogt
d'Hunolstein--had excited a keen controversy, in which one party, led by
Professor von Sybel, the historian of the Revolution, maintained that the
letters were forgeries. On the other hand, Reeve wrote an article for
the 'Edinburgh Review' of April 1866, on the 'Correspondence of Marie
Antoinette' in which he argued that the letters edited by M. d'Hunolstein
were of very doubtful authenticity, but that those of the larger work of
M. Feuillet de Conches were genuine. His visit to Paris gave him the
opportunity to make a further examination, of which, and his interview with
Sybel, he wrote a curious account.
_Sunday, April 15th_.--I called on M. Feuillet de Conches, the editor
of the Marie Antoinette letters, whose authenticity is impugned, and on
leaving his house I called on Lavergne, where I met M. de Sybel, the German
professor, by whom these charges have been most actively brought and
disseminated. I found that M. de Sybel, though in Paris, had not seen
anything of Feuillet's collection, though he had publicly stated that he
was going to Paris to clear up the whole story. Upon this I assured him
(as was the fact) that I knew Feuillet would receive him with the utmost
courtesy, if he would call upon him, and would show him anything and
everything in his collections bearing on this matter; and as he appeared
to hesitate, I offered myself to conduct and introduce him. Upon this he
hesitated still more, and at last said that the fact was that his mind was
so fully made up on the subject, and his conviction that these documents
are forged is so complete, that no amount of ocular evidence would shake
it, and he should only conclude that the author of these fabrications was a
very skilful fellow.
Upon this I desisted from any further attempt to bring M. de Sybel
acquainted with M. Feuillet's collection, but I made this note of the
conversation (which took place in the presence of M. de Lavergne) to show
how strong M. de Sybel's prepossessions are. I have myself again examined
the documents, and though I have doubts as to one or two of them, said to
proceed from the Abbé Vermond's papers, I see no reason to disbelieve the
genuineness of the vast majority of the letters of the Queen which Feuillet
Home on April 26th.
_May_.--Dr. Watson said, dining at the Literary Club, that he had been
present at the death of Lord Palmerston. He retained his usual courtesy and
cheerfulness in his last illness, and when Lady Palmerston came into the
room he kissed his hand to her. The immediate cause of his death was his
taking a walk on the terrace at Brocket without his hat. The apothecary
remonstrated--upon which he said: 'Oh! it's only what the bathers call
taking a "header."' As the hour of dissolution approached he lost
his consciousness, but still spoke occasionally. His last words were
(apparently as if his mind was at work on a treaty) 'That's article
ninety-eight; now go on to the next.' Very characteristic end.
_From M. Guizot_
_Val Richer, June 9th_.--I had little doubt of the war, and I now consider
it as begun. With the exception of the Italians and M. de Bismarck,
everyone is entering on it with regret and uneasiness. I have never known
France so unanimous in the desire for peace; but notwithstanding the
injury to our interests and the shock to our opinions, the country has no
confidence in its right to resist, and has lost the habit of it. There
will be grumblings and prophecies of misfortune, but there will be no
opposition; and if there should be any military success, followed by
territorial aggrandisement, people will forget their ill humour, and will
even applaud a little, but always without confidence. It is impossible to
stray with impunity from the path of sound policy; as soon as we leave it,
we enter on the wrong path and advance by that. In this life it is not
possible to remain stationary.
I understand your political attitude. There is no reason why you should
take part in the struggle; but what I do not understand, what I regret, is
the manifest uncertainty of your opinions. Not only do you do nothing, but
you seem as if you did not know what to believe. As lookers-on you are
undecided, as actors you are inert. In the state of trouble and weakness
in which the intelligence of Europe is now plunged, you, simply by letting
your opinions be clearly seen, by the directness of your language, might
have an enormous influence on the course of events. But in England, as
everywhere else, the idea of moral force seems lost. It is true that such
idea requires a knowledge of what one thinks, and of what one desires. It
is possible not to give material support to a cause, but it is necessary to
In any case, I am extremely glad that Lord Clarendon remains at the Foreign
Office. He will, perhaps, see more clearly, will act with less want of
foresight than others. Is it true that, on account of the state of affairs
on the Continent, there is in England a tacit suspension of hostilities
between the two parties, and that the Cabinet is no longer seriously
Je suis charmé que le second volume de mes 'Meditations' vous ait
intéressé. Je ne sais pas le nom de la personne qui fait, dans 'l'Edinburgh
Review,' un article sur le premier volume. Dites-moi si elle aurait quelque
envie de parler du second, et si vous voulez que je vous en fasse envoyer,
pour elle, un exemplaire. Most cordially yours,
War broke out between Prussia and Austria in June.
_June 9th_.--Party down to Gravesend by water to see the Hudson's Bay
Company's ships. Dinner at Gravesend.
_July 13th_.--To Aix-la-Chapelle by way of Paris. Heard Mignet read his
notice of Tocqueville at the Institute. Spent a fortnight at Aix, and
visited Bruges in our way home.
_August 11th_.--Went to Novar, by Perth. Thence to Braban, to Ardross, and
to Foss, where Lord Kingsdown had taken a moor. Then to Dunnichen; called
at Glamis and Kinnaird Castle. Then to Eaith, and to Lord Belhaven's at
Wishaw; the Warwicks and Sir A. Alison there. Home on September 17th.
_To Mr. Dempster_
_Dunnichen, September 10th_.--Your kind letter from Paris reached me at
Novar, at the precise moment when I was about to take the field with the
new laird on August 13th. It gave me real pleasure to have something of
your company on that day; and when we had reached the back of Fyrish, and
could command the Dornoch Firth and the hills beyond it, even to Dunrobin,
I looked with affectionate eyes to the woods of Skibo.
The season has been favourable. Raith and I--neither of us a first-class
walker--killed seventy brace on the Monday, and I got thirty brace alone on
several succeeding days. From Novar we went to Brahan, where everything
is as lively as usual, and Seaforth in great force,... I then joined Lord
Kingsdown at Foss, on Loch Tummel, a delightful place in the centre of the
Perthshire Highlands, where you see all Scotland at your feet, from Ben
Nevis to Lochnagar. By this time the grouse were becoming wild, and we had
descended to fifteen or sixteen brace a day, but we had a splendid drive of
blue hares, and slew 367 of them. I then came on here, where I find a
most comfortable house, a most kind reception, and a most sociable
neighbourhood.... All in short is extremely pleasant, and it is most
agreeable to see George so perfectly in his place, and at the head of a
_From Lord Westbury_
_September 5th_.--I am anxious, before I leave for the Continent, to know
if I can be of any service at the sittings of the Judicial Committee. My
present purpose is to go to Biarritz, and thence to Italy. But if I can be
of utility, and am really wanted, I would return from Biarritz by November
1st, and could devote the whole of November to diligent attendance on
the Judicial Committee. I am sorry that I cannot offer to attend during
December, as matters of a pressing nature will then require my presence in
It is, I think, very desirable that the sittings of the Judicial Committee
should be certain and continuous at and during a considerable portion of
the year; and I should be glad to see the practice adopted of its beginning
to sit on November 1st in every year, and continuing its sittings until
Christmas if required. You will know whether the state of business at
present renders this desirable....
Lord Justice Knight Bruce is a great invalid, and it is hardly fair to
expect that, after a laborious term, the Lords Justices should at once
commence sitting at the Privy Council. These considerations induce me to
write to you. But you will fully understand that, if it is possible to do
without further aid, I shall be much obliged to you not to accept my offer.
I shall not write to the President or the Lord Chancellor until I have
heard from you.
_To Lord Westbury_
_C. O., September 28th_.--Under the peculiar circumstances of the present
year and the state of business in the Court, the Lord Chancellor thinks
it right to acquiesce in your lordship's suggestion that the Judicial
Committee should sit one month earlier than usual in order to dispose of
the existing arrear of causes. The Lord Chancellor is, however, of opinion
that this sitting in Michaelmas term should be regarded as exceptional and
not to be drawn into a precedent, and that it will be expedient hereafter
to adhere to the established practice and to the order in Council which
directs the sittings to be held after each term. For many years the
sittings have been invariably so held in December, February, and June and
July; and at each sitting the whole of the business ready for hearing has
been disposed of. The only exception to this order occurred last summer in
consequence of the illness of Sir James Colvile; and the consequence is
that (for the first time for many years) there is now an arrear to be
disposed of. Your lordship's timely assistance will, however, enable the
court to clear off this arrear by this extraordinary sitting; and it is not
to be anticipated that the same necessity will occur again, although it
undoubtedly exists at the present time. When November 1st approaches, I
shall have the honour to send the printed cases and the usual summons to
your lordship's residence in London, and I shall give ample notice to the
parties that the Judicial Committee will meet for the despatch of business
on that day.
_From Lord Chelmsford_[Footnote: At this time Lord Chancellor.]
7 Eaton Square, October 3rd.
Dear Reeve,--Lord Westbury's letter is satisfactory. Your communication to
him, which was highly judicious, has contributed mainly to put things on
the right footing.
Knight Bruce's state of health, following upon what I should think must
have been for some time his felt incapacity for work, ought to be a warning
to him to terminate a life of useful labour by an honourable retirement. If
the hint is lost upon him, he will be a great impediment to the efficiency
of the Judicial Committee.
I suppose the temporary assistance of Lord Westbury will not dispense with
the necessity of providing some permanent addition to the strength of the
tribunal. Your suggestion as to Vice-Chancellor Kindersley quite met my
views, and I suppose might still be carried out with advantage. Of course I
can do nothing of this sort without Lord Derby's sanction, and therefore I
should like to have your confirmation of my opinion that this is the best
plan that can be resorted to for the present, before I communicate with him
on the subject. A letter sent to my house will be forwarded in my box which
I receive daily. Yours sincerely, CHELMSFORD.
The Journal notes:--
Visits to Sparrow's Herne and to Shendish (Charles Longman's), Parnborough
and Torry Hill. The Judicial Committee sat early-November 1st.
_November 8th_.--Lord Westbury, Froude, Lecky, Mrs. Norton, Bayleys,
Simpson, and Longman dined with us. It was very amusing. [Mrs. Reeve wrote
of it as 'brilliant;' and of Lord Westbury as resembling Falstaff and Lord
Bacon rolled into one.]
The earliest critical notice of the battle of Lissa, fought on July 20th,
appeared in the 'Revue des deux Mondes' of November 15th. It was at the
time, and has been ever since, generally attributed to the Prince de
Joinville; an error which gives the following letter a more especial
interest, though it may be thought doubtful whether the suggestion offered
by the Prince was correct:--
_From the Prince de Joinville_
Woodnorton, 22 novembre.
Mon cher Monsieur Reeve,--Mon frère Aumale vient de me communiquer votre
aimable lettre, à laquelle je m'empresse de répondre. Les éloges que vous
donnez à l'auteur de l'article sur Lissa sont très-mérités, car le
travail est très-intéressant; mais ils ne sont pas pour moi, car je suis
_complètement_ étranger à la paternité de ce remarquable morceau, auquel je
ne reproche qu'une chose--la sevérité de ses jugements sur un homme dans la
position de Persano.
J'ignore absolument le nom de l'auteur; mais le style élégant, la précision
des informations et quelques détails d'opinion que je ne partage pas
m'avaient fait supposer que nous devions attribuer à Jurien de la Gravière
le travail en question. En tous cas, quelque soit l'auteur, je demande
à tous mes amis de lui renvoyer le mérite et la responsabilité qui lui
Croyez toujours, Monsieur, à mes sentiments d'amitié.
_To Lord Westbury_
_G. O., November 28th_.--I received the revised judgements yesterday, and
have sent them to the printers for correction. I will take care that your
emendations are carefully made, and I will again look them all carefully
over. Unless I hear again from you to the contrary, I do not understand
that you wish to see another revise of them (as it is termed) before they
In spite of your own preference for the 'wild freshness of morning' and all
the dewdrops hanging on the roses, I must be allowed to assure you that, in
my poor judgement, they are improved by this severe revision, and that the
judicial style is, like Musidora, when 'unadorned adorned the most.' Of
that style I think these judgements will be quoted hereafter as masterly
_From Lord Kingsdown_
Torry Hill, Sittingbourne: January 7th, 1867.
My dear Reeve,--I have read your paper, and have no hesitation in saying
that I think the smallness of your salary quite a scandal and a disgrace
to the Court of which you are so important an officer. Knowing as I do the
past services which, during a period of more than twenty years, you have
rendered to the board, whilst its position has been gradually settling,
I should say that 2,000 £. a year would be not at all more than a fair
remuneration to you during the remainder of your term of office. If the
country could be certain, by the same salary, of securing an equally
efficient successor, I should think it money well laid out. Your duties
are of a very peculiar character; and often require, in addition to the
qualities required for the discharge of the ordinary routine duties of a
registrar, others of a much rarer description. The correspondence with the
different tribunals whose decisions are reviewed, and with the different
departments of the Government, which are sometimes disposed to shift to the
Judicial Committee the determination of matters not properly belonging to
it, demand not unfrequently the exercise of great tact, discretion, and
delicacy. But unfortunately a large salary does not always secure services
of corresponding value, and sometimes, I am afraid, rather has an opposite
tendency, and operates as a temptation to jobbery. On the whole, I should
say that 1,500 £. a year would be a fair offer to a new man; but I think
that the Treasury should have the power to increase it to any amount
not exceeding 2,000 £. after ten or fifteen years' service, on the
recommendation of the committee.
The next letter, from Lord Wensleydale, is interesting as a piece of verbal
criticism; showing, also, how a pilot in avoiding Scylla may easily run
his bark into Charybdis, or how a writer, whilst objecting to a harmless
'firstly,' may perpetrate an atrocious 'differ with.'
Ampthill Park, January 31st.
My dear Reeve,--I was much pleased to hear that 'firstly' was an error. I
hope you will take some course to indicate your judgement--'a very best
authority'--and to prevent the 'Edinburgh Review' giving the word its high
authority. I have taken every opportunity to amend Acts of Parliament when
I find the error in Dom. Proc. I have a sort of mania on the subject.
I have not had an opportunity of looking at the Bishop of Oxford's case.
I differ with him entirely about the Banns case, and, between ourselves,
think he is oily and saponaceous.--Yours ever sincerely,
The following, from Professor--afterwards Sir Richard--Owen, seems to refer
to a proposed review of the Duke of Argyll's 'Reign of Law,' and possibly,
also, of the Rev. Edwin Sidney's 'Conversations on the Bible and Science.'
Whether Owen was too drastic in his methods or not does not certainly
appear; but, for some reason, the article was either not written or not
published, though the friendly relations between Owen and Reeve remained
Sheen Lodge, Richmond Park, March 9th.
My dear Reeve,--The end and aim of the 'Reign of Law' is to exalt our
conceptions of its head, and to destroy pretenders to the throne. The Duke
has shown, as you observe, caution in avoiding the latter application. But
the old 'Edinburgh' was once eminently iconoclastic, and its reputation
still floats on the brave work of its youth. I fear, too we should have
lost some best bits and hits of dear old Sydney had his editor been too
precise in defining a personality. As to the other old Sidney, I, too, know
him well; his libellus _is_ small game, but it is the type of a class doing
much mischief. You think I have been too outspoken. Believe me, it is only
a question of time; and _you_ will speak out quite as plainly when the
'Forlorn' has made the breach safe. But one would wish to see the 'Blue and
Yellow' in the post of honour.
I had misgivings at the first that I might be unfit for your want. My time
draws on, and, under a sense of responsibility for its use, I cannot write
The Journal for 1867 begins with--
Usual engagements in the early part of the year. Circourt came in April,
and we went together to Norwich.
To Paris in April. Met Mrs. Grote and Hayward on the road. Morny gave me a
card to see the Great Exhibition before it opened. A great banquet at the
Embassy on the 25th. On the 30th with Chevalier to Lemaire's fabrique. He
gave me my aluminium binocle. Ball at the Marine. Dined at Julian Fane's.
[Footnote: The secretary of the embassy.] Binet came to Paris from Geneva.
May 6th, went to see Thiers on the last evening. May 7th, dined with Mon,
the Spanish ambassador. Home on the 8th.
_May 11th_.--Some of the Novar pictures were sold. I bought my Cuyp, small
Claude, P. Veronese, Watts, Rubens' drawing, Palma Vecchio, and some small
Visit to Torry Hill in June, but Lord Kingsdown was dying. [Footnote: He
died on October 7th.] I took De Mussy down to see him. I went there again
_From Lord Kingsdown_
_Torry Hill, June 26th_.--It is most kind in you to write to me as often as
you do, and always whenever you have anything agreeable to tell me. Both
your last letters are full of such matter. It is inexpressibly pleasing to
me to receive so many marks as I do of the kindness and affection of my
friends; and if any or all of those who professed a disposition to come and
see me would do so, I should be delighted to receive them, collectively
or individually. I have a letter from Cranworth this morning, most kindly
offering to come down here on Saturday next. If you could look up and send
down anybody as a companion to him, it would be more agreeable to him and
to me. Possibly Peel [Footnote: Sir Lawrence Peel.] might be induced to
I have not, of course, the face to ask you to come down on Saturday, but I
hold you to your promise to see me again here before you go to the North.
I am, truly and gratefully yours,
The Journal mentions some of the functions of the season.
_June 27th_.--Dinner at home to the F. Stanleys, [Footnote: The present
Earl and Countess of Derby.] Mme. Mohl, Seaforth, Lecky, Blumenthal, T.
Bruces, Fords remarkably pleasant.
_29th_.--Dinner at the Duc de Chartres', at Ham. The Russells, Clarendons,
Saxe-Weimars, Waldegraves, A. Kinnaird.
_July 10th_.--Holland House garden party. Lady Derby's party to the Pasha
of Egypt. On the 19th, grand ball, at the India Office, to the Sultan.
_From Lord Cairns_
5 Cromwell Houses, South Kensington, July 17th.
Dear Reeve,--I enclose the Indian judgement, revised, and also the 'Agra'
judgement [Footnote: A case of collision in the Channel between the ship
'Agra' and a bark, 'Elizabeth Jenkins.' The judgement was delivered on the
20th by Sir William Erle.] with a few verbal alterations. I am sorry I
cannot deliver the latter; but the state of our work in Chancery is such
that the sittings cannot be well curtailed, even for an hour. I trust some
member of the board, with a strong nautical twang, will be so good as to
deliver it; and if the speaker could but adopt that hitch of the trouser
which made Lord Clarence Paget so effective in the House of Commons, it
would, I have no doubt, add much to the effect of a composition otherwise
Yours faithfully, CAIRNS.
_From Lord Kingsdown_
_Torry Hill, July 30th_.--I hear you are starting for Scotland the end of
this week, and I cannot let you go without repeating to you once more my
earnest and most cordial thanks for the great kindness which you have shown
to me during my long sickness, both in constantly writing to me and in many
other ways. I wish I had a letter from you this morning, for the upshot of
what passed last night in the House of Lords far passes my comprehension.
If you should find occasionally a leisure half-hour, and will employ it in
informing me of your proceedings on the moors, I shall be very grateful.
I think it not impossible that in the course of your wanderings you may
fall in with Jowett. If you do, pray explain to him how very sensible I was
of his friendship in offering to come down here to see me, and how very
much I was mortified at being obliged to decline his offer. In my present
condition, it is absurd even to suppose plans for the future; but I do not
_quite_ despair of seeing you here during this next partridge or pheasant
The Journal mentions that--
Gladstone agreed to write the political article for the 'Edinburgh' in
October. It was called 'Sequel to the Session.' Curious conversation with
him about the Irish Church.
_August 3rd_.--Went down to Weybridge to see Mrs. Austin. It was the last
time, for she died on the 8th, when I was at sea, on my way to Scotland. We
arrived at Aberdeen on the 9th, and learned it there. To Novar and Ardross,
where good shooting. Then to Uppat, boating and fishing with the Duke of
Sutherland, George Loch, and Forsyth.
We went from Uppat to Brahan; then to Dunnichen and Springfield, a place
near Roslyn the Dempsters had taken. Then to Abington and home.
_From M. Guizot_
Val Richer, 15 Août.
My dear Sir,--Sir Alexander Gordon m'avait annoncé la perte que nous
venons de faire. Je dis nous, car Madame Austin était pour moi une vraie
et intime amie. Je l'ai connue dans mes joies et mes tristesses, dans mes
succès et mes revers. Je l'ai trouvée toujours la même, la même élévation
d'esprit, le même coeur sympathique et dévoué. Je n'espérais plus la
revoir; je le lui disais dans la dernière lettre que je lui ai écrite, et
en me répondant il y a un mois, elle me disait presque adieu. Mais la
distance est grande entre l'adieu annoncé et l'adieu réel. Sa mort est
pour moi un vrai chagrin. Et pour mes filles aussi, à qui elle a temoigné
tant d'affection et de bonté.
J'ai prié Sir Alexander de m'envoyer la meilleure gravure en photographie
qui existe d'elle. Envoyez moi aussi, je vous prie, ce qui sera publié sur
son compte, et ajoutez y tous les détails que vous recueillerez.
Sadly and sincerely yours,
Early in October, Reeve, with his wife--Miss Reeve--was staying in
Scotland--set out for Geneva, and, travelling by easy stages through
Antwerp, Luxembourg, Metz--'a very pretty, attractive town,' not yet
brought into vulgar repute by its siege and surrender in the Franco-German
war--Nancy, Strasbourg, and Bale, arrived on the 12th. The weather was
cold and wintry; and, after a short stay at Geneva, they went on to
Marseilles, where Reeve's uncle, Philip Taylor, the founder of the 'Forges
et Chantiers,' was still living, a hale old man of eighty, with his wife,
'some seven years younger, and not at all old in figure, look, and voice.'
Then to Cannes, which was coming fast into note--'building going on with
great activity, and ground fetching higher prices every year'; and, after
an excursion to Nice and Mentone, they turned northwards, were at Paris on
November 6th, and reached home on the 10th. The Journal adds:--
_January 6th, 1868_.--Went on a visit to Loseley Park, then occupied by the
Thomson Hankeys--the old seat of Sir Thomas More. Mlle. Ernestine declaimed
_From Lord Westbury_
_January 14th_.--Pray, if you can, give us a paper with some variety, and
not wholly composed of dreary Indian appeals, the hearing of which always
reminded me of the toil of Pharaoh's charioteers, when they drave heavily
their wheelless chariots in the deep sands of the Red Sea.
Who is it that has dug so deep into the Talmud, and written that remarkable
paper, [Footnote: 'The Talmud,' _Quarterly Review,_ October 1867.] for
which, a century ago, he would have been the subject of a writ _De
_Hinton St. George, January 16th_.--Your arrangement is a very good one,
but, for fear of accident, I will certainly leave this place on Monday,
February 3rd, so that you may count on me for Tuesday if required. The
gorge rises at the thought of being fed on curry, rice, and chutnee sauce
for three weeks; I shall certainly contract a disease of the liver. If you
can send us occasionally to sea on an Admiralty case, it will be a little
relief. I have observed that petitions for prolongation of patents
frequently occupy an (apparently) undue time. If there are any such, I
think we may despatch them. I hope Lord Justice Cairns will use the days he
gains for reducing the arrears in Chancery. I am much obliged to him for
his kind expressions.
The best advice that his friends can give Rolt [Footnote: Sir John Rolt
resigned in February 1868, and died in June 1871.] is to resign. It is the
only chance of long life. Let him not be afraid of ennui from idleness.
He has a great love of the country and country pursuits, and that is
all-sufficient. Age cannot wither it, nor custom stale its infinite
variety. And it is so much better to be a looker-on than an actor in life.
Aristotle, in the last chapter of his 'Nicomachean Ethics,' sets himself
to consider what can be the happiness of the gods; and he finds nothing in
which he can put it but in contemplation. And it might be so, if it were
still true. 'And God saw (contemplated) all that He had made, and behold it
was very good.'
I thought it was an 'Ebrew Jew' that wrote the article entitled 'Talmud.' I
have only read a few extracts. It is quite in keeping with the times that
it should be in a Tory journal. The Conservatives have begun by being
avowed reformers, and next they will be declared free-thinkers. This is the
first step to their confession. Their great schoolmaster, Dizzy, gets his
compatriot to publish this article. I am glad to hear from you that it is
shallow; but novelty and originality now are nothing but the reproduction
of forgotten things; and, to speak seriously, I thought it seemed a thing
likely to lead many to some form or other of Arian opinions.
The following refers to a work recently published by Longmans. Mr. Longman
had apparently suggested it as a fit subject for an article in the 'Review
_To Mr. T. Longman_
_C. O., January 31st_.--I have read Rudd's translation of Aristophanes with
a good deal of interest. It is as good as it can possibly be without the
slightest gleam of fun or genius. Frere's translations are blazing with
both, and that constitutes their charm. Rudd is evidently a worthy, dull
man, who administers the Aristophanic champagne as if it were mere brown
stout. It is for this reason that I have felt a difficulty about reviewing
him, and the more so as I am overladen with all kinds of articles. But if a
favourable opportunity occurs, I will not forget it.
I am deeply grieved at the loss of poor Head. [Footnote: Sir Edmund Head
died suddenly on January 28th.] He was one of the best and pleasantest
companions I have ever known, and latterly we have lived very much indeed
together. It is frightful to think how very many are already gone of those
who made life agreeable; and gone, most of them, suddenly and prematurely.
The Journal records:--
_February 11th_--I was elected to be treasurer of The Club in place of
Sir Edmund Head [deceased]. I proposed Lord Cranborne, afterwards Lord
Salisbury, at The Club.
For many years from this time The Club was such an important factor in
Reeve's social life, and enters so largely into both his Journal and his
correspondence, that a list of its members, as it stood in 1867, has a
strong personal interest.
March, 1867 Date of Election
1 Lord Brougham March 9th, 1830.
2 Earl Stanhope May 14th, 1833.
3 The Dean of St. Paul's February 23rd, 1836.
4 Sir Henry Holland February 18th, 1840.
5 Mr. Charles Austin March 7th, 1843.
6 Lord Kingsdown February 25th, 1845.
7 Earl of Clarendon May 20th, 1845.
8 Professor Owen May 20th, 1845.
9 Monsieur Van de Weyer February 9th, 1847.
10 Sir David Dundas February 23rd, 1847.
11 The Duke of Cleveland June 5th, 1849.
12 The Bishop of Oxford June 5th, 1849.
13 Lord Overstone June 25th, 1850.
14 The Duke of Argyll June 17th, 1851.
15 Lord Cranworth June 17th, 1851.
16 Sir Wm. Stirling Maxwell February 21st, 1854.
17 Mr. Gladstone March 10th, 1857.
18 Earl Russell April 21st, 1857.
19 Mr. George Grote March 9th, 1858.
20 Lord Stanley February 14th, 1860.
21 Sir W. Page Wood February 14th, 1860.
22 Mr. George Richmond February 14th, 1860.
23 The Bishop of London April 9th, 1861.
24 Mr. Henry Reeve April 9th, 1861.
25 Sir Roderick I. Murchison June 18th, 1861.
26 Sir Edmund Head February 25th, 1862.
27 Mr. Robert Lowe May 12th, 1863.
28 Mr. Spencer Walpole March 8th, 1864.
29 The Dean of Westminster February 28th, 1865.
30 Mr. J. A. Froude February 28th, 1865.
31 The Duc d'Anmale March 14th, 1865.
32 Mr. Alfred Tennyson March 14th, 1865.
33 Lord Cairns February 27th, 1866.
34 Mr. Edward Twisleton April 24th, 1866.
_From Lord Clarendon_
_Rome, February 2nd_.--I cannot let an old friend like yourself hear by
common report an event most interesting to us, and which will therefore, I
am sure, not be without interest to you. Emily [Footnote: Lord Clarendon's
youngest daughter. The marriage took place on May 5th.] is to marry Odo
Russell. [Footnote: Afterwards Lord Ampthill.] It has been an attachment of
some standing on his part, and as she has become very certain of its depth
and sincerity, they came to an understanding two days ago. His worldly
goods are not superabundant, but he is very rich in all the qualities
likely to make a woman happy; he is very clever and accomplished, and I
speak with a knowledge of him for many years when I say that he is one of
the best-tempered and kindest-hearted men I ever was acquainted with. Such
a son as he has always been must make a good husband. In short, we are all
How I should like to have a talk with you upon home and foreign affairs,
and how I should like to think that you viewed them less gloomily than I
do! There is great expectation at Rome that Italy will break up, and that
the Holy Father will recover his provinces. Italy, mishandled as she has
been by quacks, is doubtless very sick; but she is still proud of the
union, and will fight for it against all comers. Things look black, and
are, to my mind, getting blacker, every day in France. That _paries
proximus_ concerns us, in our present uneasy condition, more than one likes
to think of.
_From Lord Chelmsford_
_7 Eaton Square, February 10th, 11 P.M._--Your letter, just received, has
caused me the greatest perplexity. To provide you help on the sudden is
impossible; and, agreeing with you that it is desirable to supply Lord
Kingsdown's place with a strong man, I ask, Where is the judicial Samson
to be found? I think it highly improbable that Mellish would abandon his
professional profits for the barren honour of a right honourable title and
a seat at the board. Besides, there is no knowing what the Commission,
which is inquiring into all the superior Courts, both original and
appellate, may recommend; and I hear of very sweeping suggestions being
made. I therefore feel that, at present, I am fettered in my attempts to
add strength to the Judicial Committee. In your difficulties, I hardly know
what to advise; but could you not take the Admiralty cases and postpone the
others, getting Phillimore to join you till Kindersley can return? This is
the only possible escape from the necessity of closing your sittings that
occurs to me at the present moment.
The Journal here notes:--
_February 12th_--The Duc d'Aumale dined with us, to meet Lady Minto, G.
Lefevre, and E. Cheney. A spy got hold of this little dinner, and it
was reported to the French Government as a conspiracy. Mon [the Spanish
Ambassador in Paris] told Raymond of it afterwards.
_14th_--I dined with the Joinvilles; and on the 16th with the Duc de
Nemours at Bushey. Xavier Raymond was staying with us.
_February 23rd_--I walked back from the Temple Church with Lord Chancellor
Chelmsford. Two days afterwards he was turned out of office by Disraeli.
_From Mr. Robert Lytton_ [Footnote: At this time secretary of legation at
Lisbon, and known in the world of letters as 'Owen Meredith.' Afterwards
Lisbon, February 22nd.
My dear Mr. Reeve,--I am ashamed of having left so long unanswered your
last very kind letter. But for the last three weeks I have had little
leisure, and less health to enjoy it. Indeed, this is really my first free
moment since your letter reached me. Your excellent and welcome news of
Emily's engagement [Footnote: Lady Emily Villiers. See _ante_.] to Odo
Russell was confirmed by the same post in a line from Emily to Edith,
[Footnote: Mrs. Lytton, the Lady Emily's first cousin.] and has given us
the greatest pleasure--me especially; for I have a great regard for Odo,
and any other settlement of this particular Roman question [Footnote: Odo
Russell was at this time, and had been for the last ten years, living at
Rome, practically--though not formally--ambassador to the Vatican.] would
have much disappointed my hopes. Emily, in her letter to my wife, spoke of
remaining at Rome for another month or more (the marriage not being fixed
to take place before May, at the Grove); but I see by the papers that Lord
Clarendon is already on his way homeward, and I am much _intrigué_ by that
article in the 'Times,' which has, I see, been re-echoed by other papers,
suggesting some modification in the present Cabinet on account of Lord
The present Portuguese Government does not seem to be at all favourably
disposed towards Mr. Flores, or to think more highly of him than you do.
But in this country one can never be quite sure what the pressure of
political opposition or support may wring from a weak Government in the way
of concession to any _intriguant;_ and, if Flores can command votes, he may
be listened to; otherwise not, I fancy.
The monthly F. O. bag has just brought me the January 'Edinburgh,' for
which a thousand thanks. I have not yet had time to cut the leaves of it.
Pray accept my best thanks for the cheque mentioned in your letter. I am
all the more grateful to you for the good will on behalf of 'Chronicles and
Characters,' to which you so kindly and generously give renewed expression,
because I have just seen what I cannot but think a very unjust notice of
the book in the 'Athenaeum.' In endeavouring to illustrate a continuous
strain of thought passing over a wide range of subject, one of my chief
aims was diversity of form and variety of style; but there can be no doubt
that versatility is always in danger of running into imitation. Play always
on the Jew's harp, and no one will accuse you of imitating the tone of any
other instrument. I do not pretend that my own instrument is an organ: but
I would rather it should be the smallest harmonicum than the strongest and
shrillest Jew's harp.
_From Mr. S. H. Walpole_
Ealing, March 29th.
My dear Mr. Reeve,--I am quite ashamed of myself for not having thanked you
before for your valuable hints about the effect and ultimate consequences
of Gladstone's motion. [Footnote: March 30th, for the Disestablishment of
the Irish Church, of which notice was given on March 23rd.] I have long
thought that his aim and object has been for years to separate the Church
from the State, and so set up an episcopal and sacerdotal power, which
would endeavour to exercise an unbounded control over the consciences,
actions, and private judgement of men. The only check upon this is the
supremacy of the civil power in the external government of the Church, and
the obligation of the clergy to submit and subscribe to the doctrine
and liturgy which, once for all, the Church and State have concurred in
prescribing. All ritualism, all tractarianism, and much high-churchism is
in secret, if not in avowed, rebellion against such a supremacy; and if it
[Footnote: _Sc_. the supremacy of the civil power.] could only be struck
down in Ireland, it would not be long before an attack on it was made in
England. What may happen to-morrow I cannot regard with much satisfaction.
Gladstone's motion is the most impudent assault on the Crown which any
ex-minister ever made; and Stanley's amendment is an illogical surrender
of our best defence. He ought to have ended in plain words, by saying that
'the House is of opinion that the disestablishment and disendowment of the
Church in Ireland would be contrary to, and in direct violation of, the
fundamental and essential articles of the Treaty of Union.' The country
would have then understood what we were about; it can hardly understand it
I am out of heart and have many misgivings when ex-ministers of the Crown,
and the actual minister of the Crown, assail or abandon the Crown's
prerogative for the value of place and power.
Yours always very sincerely,
S. H. WALPOLE.
Walpole's interpretation of Gladstone's 'aim and object' may now appear
strained. It was, however, certainly held, at the time, by many who argued
that Gladstone's character was itself a direct contradiction to the charge
of his proposed measure being one of spoliation and robbery. [Footnote: See
_post_.] It is, perhaps, more probable that he was greatly influenced by
the Utopian sentimentalism which so powerfully influenced his later career,
and led him to the extreme courses so bitterly condemned by many of his old
colleagues and adherents. At the same time it must be remembered that when,
nearly thirty years later, a Radical measure was brought forward for the
disestablishment of the Church in Wales, with the avowed intention of
advancing by it to the disestablishment of the Church of England, although
the great body of the Church, clergy and laity, vehemently denounced it as
antagonistic to the best interests of the Church and the country, there
were many of the extreme ritualistic section who openly favoured and
supported it, with freedom on their tongues and sacerdotalism in their
The Journal here has:--
Went to St. Leonard's with the Watneys for Good Friday (April 10th). On
Easter Sunday to Holland, with Circourt. Dined with Baudin, [Footnote:
The son of Charles Baudin, the distinguished admiral. Cf. _Les Gloires
Maritimes de France_, par Jurien de la Gravière.] the French minister at
_April 13th_.--Spent the evening with the Queen of Holland at the Old
Palace. 14th, evening with the Queen. 16th, went on, by Utrecht, to Aix,
where Circourt and I remained ten days. Came home by Antwerp.
_From Mr. Robert Lytton_
Madrid, April 29th.
Dear Mr. Reeve,--I must apologise for not having sooner thanked you for
your very kind letter of the 8th, which reached me just as I was starting
(paperless and penless) for Madrid. The cares of this world (in the shape
of house-hunting), quite unaccompanied by the deceitfulness of riches,
have, I am sorry to say, eaten up every hour of my time not otherwise
absorbed by official visits and presentations, &c., since we reached--a
week ago--this pretty, busy, but horribly hot and dear, town.
I am really pained to think that your kind intention on behalf of my book
should already have been the occasion of so much trouble to you, dear Mr.
Reeve; and I can only say that I am all the more grateful to you for not
having altogether abandoned it. A notice in the 'Edinburgh' will at all
times be most valuable; and the more touches there may be in it from your
pen, the more valuable it will be. The notice in the 'Times' was indeed
very kindly written, and very kindly inserted, and I doubt not that it will
be very advantageous to the book in many ways.
I am greatly and agreeably struck by the animation and showiness of
Madrid--after Lisbon, which is one of the dullest towns I ever saw. Life
at Lisbon is _en robe de chambre_; here it is all _en toilette_. Madrid is
like a pretty provincial who has been to Paris, and come back _mise à la
mode_, and with a decided taste for spending more money than she has at
her bankers'. The beauty of the women's faces, too, as you see them in the
streets, the Prado, and at the opera (for I have not yet seen the _beau
monde_ at home), is very agreeable. Pretty faces seem to be as plentiful
here as gold nuggets in the streets of Eldorado, when Candide saw them.
The day after we got to Madrid, Narvaes died, and till yesterday he has
been lying in state and receiving the visits of a grateful public at all
hours of the day. Yesterday his body, _empaillé_, was removed with due
honours to be buried in Andalusia. The story goes about the town that on
his deathbed his confessor, having told him to forgive his enemies, he
replied: 'I have none.' 'Impossible! A man who has been governing Spain so
long must have many.' 'But I assure you there is no man alive whom I even
suspect to be my enemy.' 'No enemies?' 'None; I have shot them all!'
I sincerely hope that you will be able to visit Spain in the autumn. About
that time, if still here, I shall try to see Seville and the South. But my
plans are entirely dependent on Crampton's [Footnote: Sir John Crampton,
minister plenipotentiary at Madrid, retired from the public service on
July 1st, 1869.] movements; and I fear we shall have to pass the summer at
Madrid, which I rather dread on account of the children, who have already
caught feverish colds. With my wife's affectionate greetings, and my own
respects, to Mrs. Reeve, pray believe me to be yours very faithfully,
The Journal records:--
_May 6th_.--Disraeli was in the chair at the Literary Fund dinner. [He
spoke--wrote Mrs. Reeve--with grace, and had a brilliant reception. I never
heard such cheering at any previous dinner. He has stormy nights in the
House of Commons, and how it will end is still uncertain; but his
wonderful tact and control of feature, voice, and language give him marked
_From the Comte de Paris_
York House, Twickenham, le 20 mai.
Mon cher Monsieur Reeve,--Je ne puis résister au désir d'appeler votre
bienveillante attention sur le dernier numéro de la 'Revue des deux
Mondes,' que je ne vous envoie pas, sachant que vous la recevez, où notre
excellent ami X. Raymond a traité la question de l'église d'Irlande.
Je veux en même temps réclamer votre indulgence pour son travail, et vous
demander de ne pas vous étonner si vous n'y retrouvez ni la clarté de
style ni la variété de connaissances qui distinguent votre ami. Ne le lui
reprochez pas trop sévèrement, car, s'il est coupable, ce n'est pas de
Élevé dans le respect de la loi, je ne puis vous en dire davantage, et je
me bornerai à vous rappeler qu'il y a actuellement dans la loi française
deux articles, l'un interdisant aux exilés d'écrire dans les journaux,
qui ne me permet pas de me présenter comme collaborateur de la 'Revue;'
l'autre, punissant les journaux qui publient des articles sous des
signatures autres que celle de l'auteur, qui ne me permet pas de vous en
Je termine en vous priant de me croire toujours
Votre bien affectionné,
_From the Dean of St. Paul's_
Deanery, St. Paul's, June 19th.
My Dear Reeve,--Your article [Footnote: 'The National Church,' which
appeared in the _Edinburgh Review_ of July.] I think admirable. I have
ventured to make one or two verbal suggestions, but on the main of your
argument I am fully with you. There are only two points which I should
propose for your reconsideration. I do not quite see the bearing of your
argument about the Cardross case, and do not quite understand the decision
of the Scotch judges. [Footnote: The Free Church minister of Cardross had
been deposed by the Church Courts for drunkenness. He applied to the civil
court for redress, and was thereupon summarily ejected from the Free
Church. The Court of Session decided that the defenders--the Church
Courts--'are invested with no jurisdiction whatever, ecclesiastical or
civil.'] Surely every corporation, or, indeed, every club, has, and must
have, the power of excluding--excommunicating is only the theologian's term
for the same thing--any member who flagrantly violates its rules and first
principles. If a member of the Athenaeum were to get roaring drunk and
disturb the place, and endanger the character of the club, the committee or
a general meeting might eject him, though he would have some plea in his
vested right in the property of the club--the house, library, &c. If the
mistake in the Cardross case was that the culprit was ejected without
trial, that, I think, should be distinctly stated. If the flaw is that it
was done by the Church officers, without the general consent or sanction of
the Kirk, this also should be made clear. I rather demur to the division
of the ecclesiastical property now held by the Irish Church, according
strictly to the proportion of its members to the rest of the population.
Possession, and possession for three centuries, ought, I think, to be taken
into account. But this is a question rather of detail than of principle.
But the real difficulty you have stated fairly and clearly: On what terms,
and under what character, is the Protestant Church, when disestablished,
to hold the property--the churches, parsonages, &c.--which is to remain to
her? The Church must have a constitution--I do not see why not ratified by
Act of Parliament--by which the trustees which represent her will legally
hold that property. She must not be exposed in a few years to a Lady
Hewley's charity case. [Footnote: Sarah, Lady Hewley, at her death, in
1710, left landed property in trust for the support of 'poor and godly
preachers of Christ's holy Gospel.' The original trustees were all
Presbyterians; but in the course of a hundred years the trust had got into
the hands of Unitarians, and the case was brought to the notice of the
Charity Commissioners. After a prolonged litigation, it was finally decided
by the House of Lords (August 5th, 1842) that, by the terms of the bequest,
Unitarians were excluded from participating in the charity.] I suggested
to the Archbishop of Armagh--a good-natured, but not a very powerful,
man--that the Irish Church, when in one sense free, should yet retain, of
its own will, the advantages of the supremacy of the Crown and of the law.
She should take, as the fundamental tenet of her constitution, conformity
to the Articles and Formularies of the Church of England, which the
majority of the English hold, in their meaning and interpretation. On
this principle she might retain a jurisdiction, amenable to law, over her
members; her members be protected against episcopal tyranny, against that
which is now the great danger, parsonocracy, which I rejoice to find that
you repudiate as strongly as I or Stanley. Ever very truly yours,
H. H. MILMAN.
_From Lord Cairns_
_July 23rd_.--Many thanks for the copy of your article on the National
Church. I had begun to read it with great interest in the 'Edinburgh
Review,' not knowing that it was directly from your pen, and I shall now
continue the perusal with increased pleasure.... I will enclose with this,
in exchange for your paper, a copy of my speech on the Irish Church--a
Diomedean exchange; the value of ten oxen for a hundred.
During all this spring Reeve had suffered a great deal from gout, so, by
the advice of Sir Henry Holland, who spoke strongly of the necessity of
change of air and of rest from all work and effort, he and his wife started
for the Continent on July 24th. Passing through Paris, and staying a few
days at Fontainebleau, they went on to Clermont-Ferrand in Auvergne, and
to Royat, then newly come into vogue as a health resort. After about three
weeks of the baths and the mountain air, Reeve was so far recovered as to
be able to walk a little; and on August 18th they passed on to Geneva,
where they were joined by their friends the Watneys, with whom they went
on to Evian, and thence by the Valais to the Bel Alp, an hotel 7,000 feet
above the sea-level, commanding magnificent views. 'Christine,' wrote Reeve
in his Journal, 'went up the Sparrenhorn with Binet,' whilst, according
to Mrs. Reeve, 'Henry and Mrs. Watney, not being moveable bodies, sat at
windows and pooh-poohed the energetic use of legs.' From the Bel Alp,
Reeve, still very much of a cripple, 'was carried'--the expression is his
own--to Brieg. Thence, by the Furca, to Hospenthal and to Zurich, the falls
of the Rhine, Bâle, and Paris, where they stayed a few days, and returned
to London on September 10th.
_From the Comte de Paris_
_York House, July 26th_.--I had already seen the remarkable article which
you have just published in the 'Edinburgh Review,' when I received the copy
you so kindly thought of sending me, and which I shall keep as a souvenir
of the author. I hasten to thank you, and to tell you with what interest
I have read this study, so full of curious facts and remarkable
appreciations. If I was called on to decide the question in its entirety,
I should decline, in the first place as a Catholic. Indeed I cannot place
myself at the Protestant point of view so as to judge what services the
union of Church and State has rendered to the religious principles which
are the basis of the Protestant faith. And the lay system of the official
Church of England is so foreign to our ideas of religious authority that it
is difficult for us to be impartial towards it. Those who do not belong to
the Anglican Church are naturally tempted to attribute to this subjection
everything in her which, in their eyes, is error or change. I should also
decline as a Frenchman, for I confess that what troubles me most at the
present time is the relation between the Catholic Church and the State,
a relation which has been equally prejudicial to both, when founded on a
But without trying to judge such a delicate question, which will be a
subject of controversy as long as the world is given up to the disputes of
man, I have found a real pleasure in seeing this clear explanation of the
principles which form the basis of a system whose adherents are so many and
_From Lord Clarendon_
_The Grove, August 2nd._--Lord Russell does not much like some parts of the
article on the Irish Church, and wishes to write five or six pages on the
subject for the November [Footnote: _Sic_ for October.] number; but
not feeling sure whether you would accept them, he has asked me to
inquire--which I hereby do. If you have not set out for Russia, [Footnote:
_Sc._ or other out-of-the-way place. It has been seen that, at the time,
Reeve was at Royal.] perhaps you will write him a line yourself, as I start
for Wiesbaden on Tuesday.
As no note from Lord Russell appeared in the October number, it would seem
probable that Reeve did not encourage the idea. His own relations to Lord
Russell were not such as to prompt him to any undue complacence, and he was
at all times extremely averse from anything like a controversy either in
or about the 'Review.' It has happened to the present writer to have
statements or opinions put forward in his contributions to the 'Review'
called in question in the daily or weekly papers, and to have been
pointedly requested by the editor to take no notice of the hostile letters
or criticisms. As the articles were strictly anonymous, the responsibility,
of course, rested with the editor, who, probably for that very reason, was
strongly opposed to an early revelation of a writer's personality.
The Journal notes visits to Farnborough and Denbigh, and some shooting at
Torry Hill; but the gout was still troublesome, and in October Reeve and
his wife went into Cornwall, where, after a week's visit to Lady Molesworth
at Pencarrow, they went to Penzance, to the Land's End and the Logan
Stone--on to which Mrs. Reeve clambered--and thence to Falmouth and
Torquay, where they met the Queen of Holland and Prince Napoleon, with whom
they spent two evenings. 'Her Majesty,' wrote Mrs. Reeve on November
4th, 'is a clever, original woman, speaking four tongues perfectly well,
conversant with literature and politics, and finding in them consolation
for an uncongenial family.' The sittings of the Judicial Committee, which
began on November 10th, called Reeve back to town, where, on the 27th, he
had the sad news of the death of his old friend Colonel Ferguson of Raith,
and, for the last three years, of Novar.
_From Lord Clarendon_
Grosvenor Crescent, November 13th.
My dear Reeve,--The Queen of Holland has proposed to dine here in the
unfurnished cupboard where we have our frugal repasts, on Monday next at
eight. We have no servants, plate, or usual appurtenances, and only six can
be crammed into the locale. Will you be one of them? and will Mrs. Reeve
excuse us for asking you alone on account of our no room? Please let me
have an answer as soon as you can.
Ever yours truly,
_Endorsed_--The dinner consisted of the Queen, Cockburn, Seymour, and self.
From the Bishop of Lincoln [Footnote: Christopher Wordsworth. Cf. _ante,_
vol. i. pp. 31, 68. VOL. II.]
My dear Reeve,--It is very good of you to write as you do concerning my
promotion. I should indeed have been well content to remain in the peaceful
harbour of Westminster for the remainder of my days, instead of putting out
to sea in a rather weather-beaten bark in stormy weather. But such kind
words as yours encourage me to hope that, if I am wrecked in the storm, I
may be picked up by some friendly vessel and brought to land again. I have,
my dear friend, your congratulations, and let me have also your prayers. I
am, my dear Reeve,
CHR. WORDSWORTH. [Footnote: He had not yet adopted the episcopal
I send you three pamphlets. Do not think me troublesome, but you ought
really to take up (pardon me for saying so) the question of the approaching
great Roman Council, which will probably affirm the personal infallibility
of the Pope, and be fraught with the most important results to Europe,
political as well as ecclesiastical.
_From Lord Cairns_
Windsor Castle, November 29th.
My dear Reeve,--I send you in a separate cover my notes of a judgement in
Rugg _v._ Bishop of W. for printing and circulation; and I enclose in this
a letter which I have had from Lord Westbury, which is in accordance with
the judgement as it stands, but which it would perhaps be best to put in
print and circulate along with the judgement. I hope in a week or ten days
to have Mackonochie ready--that is, if I am not smothered in the meantime
by the books and pamphlets which the Ritualists daily shower upon me.
Yours faithfully, CAIRNS.
As the general election had left his party in a minority of about 130,
Disraeli resigned on December 4th, and Mr. Gladstone, who had put the
disestablishment of the Irish Church prominently before the electors,
formed a ministry which was from the beginning pledged to the measure. It
was known that this would meet with no support from Lord Westbury, so that
he was necessarily 'left out in the cold,' not without some misgivings as
to what a man so cunning in fence might say or write when his opinions were
sharpened by a sense of personal injury. To Lord Westbury, however,
the slight was lost in his wrath at the barefaced avowal of a plan of
spoliation; and, without taking the trouble to date his letter, he wrote:--
_From Lord Westbury_
[_December_].--These written judgements are a great bore. I imagine
(no doubt from vanity) that, at the end of the argument, I could have
pronounced _viva voce_ a much more effective and convincing judgement than
that which I have written. The _vis animi_ evaporates during the slow
process of writing; the conception fades and the expression becomes feeble.
What we shall do with the other case of Mackonochie I dread to think. I
wish we had knocked it off while the iron was hot, as we used to do
the running down cases. There is no chance of a decision this side of
I have come up to town on some private matters, and have not the least
notion of mingling in any political matters. In fact, I gave my people to
understand so clearly last session that I would reject with abhorrence
any measure that embodied these two wicked things--l. Stripping the Irish
Church of its property to convert it to secular uses, which is robbery; 2.
Destroying episcopacy in, and the Queen's supremacy over, the Established
Church in Ireland, which is a wanton, unnecessary, and most mischievous
act--that of course I could not expect any communication from them.
The weakness of the Government in its legal staff in the House of Commons
will be very great, but the opposition will be weaker. It cannot be
expected that Palmer [Footnote: Sir Roundell Palmer, afterwards Earl of
Selborne, had been successively Solicitor--and Attorney-General during the
whole of the Liberal Administration 1859-66; but on the formation of Mr.
Gladstone's Government declined the Great Seal with a peerage, on account
of his disapproval of the proposed disestablishment and disendowment of the
Irish Church. Notwithstanding Lord Westbury's forecast, he did speak very
strongly against the Bill on the second reading (March 22nd, 1869), voted
with the minority against it, and took an active part against it in the
Committee.] will take a very active part in opposition. Then what lawyer
have they? But in the House of Lords I hope the principles of English law
and of political expediency will be abundantly illustrated and explained,
and shown to be in direct opposition to the Government's destructive and
revolutionary measure; and if this be done, as the people of England are a
law-loving and law-abiding people, there may be a great reaction in public
feeling. And what will Wood be able to do against those opposed to him?
What a Cabinet! 'Misery,' says Trinculo, 'makes one acquainted with strange
bedfellows'--so, it seems, does unlooked-for prosperity. Only fancy
Granville, Clarendon, and the rest, pigging heads and tails with John
Bright in the same truckle bed! I am very thankful that I have an
opportunity of conversing in quiet with philosophers and poets at Hinton.
The following, written in a feminine hand on a half-sheet of note-paper,
belongs to this time. It is endorsed by Reeve--'Lord Derby's acrostic on
Gladstone;' but it does not appear whether the attributing it to Lord Derby
was on positive knowledge or on mere current gossip. The name of the author
was certainly not generally known.
G was a Genius and mountain of mind;
L a Logician expert and refined;
A an Adept at rhetorical art;
D was the Dark spot that lurked in his heart;
S was the Subtlety that led him astray;
T was the Truth that he bartered away;
O was the Cypher his conscience became;
N was the New-light that lit up the same;
E was the Evil-One shouting for joy,--
'Down with it! down with it! Gladstone, my boy!
[Footnote: Another, slightly different, edition of this acrostic, with the
answer to it from the Radical point of view, is given in Sir M. E. Grant
Duff's _Notes from a Diary,_ 1873-81, vol. i. p. 126.]
_From Lord Cairns_
_December 7th_--Putting aside the well-regulated party feeling which we
ought all to endeavour to cultivate, the sensation of a period of repose
after twenty-five years of hardish work is, to me, so novel and agreeable
that I fear I do not look on my exit from office [Footnote: On the fall of
Disraeli's ministry.] with the solicitude that I ought. But I do not the
less appreciate the kind sentiments in your note, and I can safely say that
upon the Judicial Committee, whether as Chancellor or as Lord Justice,
it has been a very great pleasure to me to co-operate with anyone whose
anxiety and efforts for the efficiency of the tribunal, and whose ability
to contribute to that end, are as great as yours.
I am most desirous that the two ecclesiastical judgements should be given
before Christmas, as I may be absent for some weeks after that day. I hope
to send you my draft in Mackonochie on Wednesday, and I will beg you to
print and circulate it as soon as possible. I wish I could have done it
sooner; but it is _magnum opus et difficile_, and I have had judgements in
chancery and other work on hand, and in this I felt obliged to trust to no
The following letter is from the widow of Sir James Smith, the botanist
(_d_. 1828), and at this time in her ninety-sixth year. By her maiden name
she was Pleasance Reeve, an old family friend, but not a relation of
her namesake. Her letters are not less remarkable for the clearness and
strength of the writing, than they are for the vigour of the thought and
the lucidity of the expression. Five years later, just as she had completed
her one hundredth year, Reeve and his daughter paid her a visit at
Lowestoft, which is recorded on a later page. [Footnote: See _post_, p.
_Lowestoft, December 16th_--Surely, dear Mr. Reeve, this is not the first
time you have inquired of me concerning Lowestoft china? Either you, or Dr.
Hooker it might be; whichever it was, I sent him all that I knew about it,
and that all is very little, for I am one of the sceptics, and have been
filled with doubt and surprise at the reports I have heard. But I am told
I am quite mistaken, and that it surely had arrived at a great state of
perfection; that foreign artists had been employed; and that, if what is
shown is not Lowestoft china, what other is it? For there is a peculiarity
in it which those acquainted with [it] know at first sight, and which
is totally different from Chelsea, or Derby, or Worcestershire, or
Staffordshire. This I admit. One peculiarity Mr. S. Martin observed. The
bottoms of the saucers have very slight undulations, looking, as he said,
like a ribbon that requires ironing to be perfectly flat and smooth. This,
when he showed me, I also noticed; and, I must add, I have seen the same in
real Chinese china; but he told me he could distinguish better, and that it
was not the same. Also, there is a uniformity in certain little flowers
and roses which is seen in no others. The shapes are good, and as the
manufacture advanced the painting was improved; armorial bearings were
represented, and gilding.
S. Martin, who could send you a much more perfect account than I can,
always calls on an old woman--the widow of Rose, a painter--who recollects
their melting guineas for gold to gild with. She, perhaps, is dead now, for
when he last called she was bedrid, and nearly insensible. I recommend you
to ask of Mr. S. Martin, Liverpool, who, I am sure, would give you much
information I cannot.
What I do know I will tell as well as I can--That in my early youth there
was a manufactory; that I often went and _saw_ Mr. Allen dab a piece of
white clay on a wheel, and, with his foot turning the wheel, with his
right hand he formed a handsome basin or cup in a minute or two. The china
basins, cups, saucers, pots, jugs--everything was made here, painted here,
by poor sickly looking boys and girls, for it was a very unwholesome
trade--baked here; and they had a shop in London, which, I suppose,
took off the bulk of their manufactured articles. I remember the great
water-wheel which ground the clay--a fearful monster, sublime, I must say,
for it 'hid its limits in its greatness;' but the beautiful lake that
supplied it with water, and was covered with water-lilies, was one of my
Gillingwater [Footnote: _Historical Account of the Ancient Town of
Lowestoft_ (1790).] tells us that Mr. Hewling Luson found the clay on his
estate in 1756, made experiments, was defeated; other persons took it up,
and were also hindered through jealousy; another trial proved unsuccessful,
but repeated efforts succeeded, and the manufacture began, and went on till
about the end of the century, or early in 1800, when my brother bought a
few articles at the final sale by way of remembrance, but these, though
pretty, are by no means the choicest specimens. A man in the town has a
whole dinner service, with, I think, ducal bearings; and only last summer
Mr. Bohn [Footnote: Henry George Bohn, the well-known publisher, and almost
equally well-known collector of articles of vertu.] gave 5 £ to an old
man for one little cup, which the poor fellow intended as a legacy to his
daughter, and he unwillingly sold it; but 5 £ bribed him--or it might be
more; the original price was probably 4_d_. or 6_d_. at most.
Pray, dear Mr. Reeve, take no trouble to correct the name in Mrs.
Palliser's book of pottery. I never was a patroness of the Lowestoft china,
know but little about it, and do not wish my name to appear as being in
any other way connected with it than as being an inhabitant of the same
town.--I am, dear Mr. Reeve, yours faithfully,
And the Journal winds up the year with--
_December 31st_--To Hinton St. George, on a visit to Lord Westbury.
1869. The year opened at Hinton, shooting with Lord Westbury. Montague
Smith was there. Nothing ever amused me more than Lord Westbury's society,
and I became intimate with him. He was a strange mixture of intellectual
power and moral weakness, and his peculiar mode of speaking was at once
precise, pertinent, and comical. He had hired Hinton from Lord Paulet, and
lived there with a host of children and grandchildren. On Sundays all dined
together--I think, thirty-two of them.
_From the Duc d'Aumale_
_Woodnorton_, 16 _janvier_.--... Nous aurons une passable chasse à tir le
jour sacramental du lr février. Voulez-vous en être? L'ennui est que
c'est un lundi, et que le train du dimanche est d'une lenteur fabuleuse.
Voulez-vous venir dîner et coucher ici samedi 30, ou dimanche 31?
From a later note of the Duke's, it appears that Reeve was unable to accept
the invitation to the _passable chasse,_ which he would have enjoyed,
especially as after four years there was no longer a question of the 'loose
box' or the 'kitchen dresser.'
The next letter, from Lord Westbury, is in evident answer to one from
Reeve about Lord Campbell's 'Lives of Lyndhurst and Brougham,' then newly
published, of which a very severe--not, it was thought, too severe--article
appeared in the 'Review' for April. The article was not by Reeve; but we
may fairly suppose that he--to some extent, at least--inspired it; and
that--also to some extent--the inspiration was supplied by Lord Westbury.
_Hinton St. George, January 24th_--I wish you were here for two or three
days' shooting before the season closes, as the weather is so mild and
beautiful, and I hear that in London it is miserably cold. So tell Mrs.
Reeve that her Zomerzet is a favoured county after all.
As to what you say about the book, I remember a celebrated dinner at the
Temple, to which I invited Lyndhurst, Brougham, Campbell, and Charlie
Wetherell, when the latter warned Lyndhurst and Brougham of Campbell's
design, in terms almost prophetic of what has occurred. 'My biographical
friend will excel in exhibiting every little foible; _Hunc tu Romane
caveto_.' I cannot describe the whole scene to you, but will some day _vivâ
_From the Duc d'Aumale_
Woodnorton, January 31st.
My dear Mr. Reeve,--An absence at Badminton, where I struggled for a few
hours' sport, first with the frost and then with hurricanes, has prevented
me from sooner answering your letter of the 26th.
I have searched the archives at Monte Cassino very minutely; I do not know
those of La Cava, which have the reputation of being very curious, but
more local and of less general interest than those of Monte Cassino.
The Cassinesi had a printing press, to which we owe many beautiful
publications, some unpublished sermons of St. Augustine's, several works by
the eloquent and learned Father Tosti, &c. They had prepared an edition of
an unpublished Commentary on Dante, and also of the valuable correspondence
of Mabillon, Montfaucon, and other clerics of the Congregation of St. Maur,
when, in consequence of the events of 1848, their printing presses were
sequestrated. At that time they were suspected of Liberalism. Now, when
secularisation has replaced sequestration, it seems to me that the Italian
Government ought to continue the literary and archaeological work of the
monks, as it has substituted itself in their proprietary rights; just as,
after the French Revolution, the Academy of Inscriptions and Belles Lettres
carried on the immense work of the clerics of the Congrégation de St.-Maur.
This is my first impulse on reading M. de Circourt's letter. However, we
will speak of it further when I have the pleasure of seeing you again,
which I hope will be soon. _Mille amitiés._
The Journal notes:--
In London the usual dinners. Dined at Mr. Gladstone's on February 1st. This
was the first dinner he gave after becoming Prime Minister. There were
present Lord Lansdowne, Clarendon, Hammond, Northbrook, Helps, Kinnaird,
Doyle, Hamilton, and Salomons [Footnote: Created a baronet on October 26th
of the same year.]--an odd party. He received us in the hall.
_April 9th_--To Paris. 10th, at the Institute; saw Guizot, Mignet,
St.-Hilaire, Wolowski, Chevalier, &c., there. 18th, Chapel at the
Tuileries; saw the Emperor there--I think for the last time. 20th, went to
La Celle, [Footnote: La Celle St.-Cloud, about four miles from Versailles,
where M. de Circourt lived throughout the evening of his life.] and spent
some days there with Circourt. ['Henry,' wrote Mrs. Reeve, 'enjoyed his
days in the country with M. de Circourt vastly. We thought it unreasonable
to go all three, and a maid, to his small house; so Hopie and I careered
about the streets, went to a play, and to a dance at the Chinese
Embassy!--not very Chinese, as the minister is American, so also is his
wife, and the guests were mostly his country-folk.']
_23rd--Dined at M. Guizot's. 25th_--Dined with Thiers, and met Mignet,
St.-Hilaire, Duvergier, and Rémusat.
The Royal Academy Exhibition took place for the first time in Burlington
House. I dined with the R.A.s at Pender's.
_From M. Guizot_
_Val Richer, May 13th_--I took up my summer quarters here a week ago,
leaving the fifth volume of my 'Mémoires' in Paris, ready printed and on
the eve of publication. You will receive it next week. It deals entirely
with my embassy to England in 1840. I am anxious to know what will be
said of it in England; it will be very kind of you to supply me with the
information. You know that I love and honour England sufficiently always
to say what I think of her; and what she thinks of me concerns me closely,
whether our opinions are or are not the same.
I have found many letters and conversations of yours for 1840. But it was
more especially after this, and during the first year of my ministry,
that you helped me so effectively in preserving peace and re-establishing
friendly relations between our two countries. I hope you will not object to
my saying so....
The Journal mentions:--
_May 22nd._--Visit to Tom Baring's, at Norman Court. [Mr. Baring--wrote
Mrs. Reeve--is the head of the house of Baring Brothers; an elderly
gentleman and a bachelor, very simple, but very kindly. The house is not
large for the park and property, which is, all together, about 7,000 acres;
but pictures and china are renowned; so is the cooking; and, with such
wealth as is at our host's command, all the details are in perfection.
In the park there are many fine beech and other trees, and the yew grows
wonderfully, contrasting its dark tint with the soft, white may. On the
slope of the hill, about three miles off, grow service-trees and juniper;
and, from the ridge, one sees across the New Forest to the Solent and the
Isle of Wight.]
_June 4th_--Went to Windsor to see Mr. Woodward and the Queen's library.
Then to Farnborough for the Ascot week.
_July 2nd._--Watney's water-party to Medmenham Abbey, where we were all
_13th_--Lucy Duff Gordon died at Cairo. Alexander asked me to write an
epitaph, which was put up there.
_From M. Guizot_
_Val Richer, July 14th_--When your letter of the 8th arrived I was on the
point of writing to ask you to tell me what is the best History of England
from the accession of Queen Anne to that of Queen Victoria. I have the
'Pictorial History of England,' Lord Stanhope's 'Eighteenth Century,' and
Mr. Alison's big volumes on the recent revolutionary times. These do not
satisfy me; I do not want political or moral appreciations. What I should
like would be a book in which all the events of any importance are related
in chronological order. I particularly hold to knowing the correct dates.
It is only on this condition that history can be materially known and
morally understood. It will be very kind of you to give me the information
I want. I amuse myself by relating to my grandchildren, at one time, the
history of France, at another, the history of England. They take great
interest in it. I want them to know both correctly, and understand them
The Journal continues:--
_July 16th_.--Met the Duke of Leinster at Robartes' at dinner. He had made
a capital speech in the House of Lords a few days before, which I heard. It
lasted only three minutes; but it stated these facts:--That he had given
land and houses, with complete success, to priests, Presbyterians, and
Episcopalians; that all were grateful, and they lived happily together.
He afterwards told me, at this dinner, that he had not given the houses and
glebes to any ecclesiastical persons, but to certain lay members of each
congregation, in trust for their respective ministers. This was exactly
what I had suggested some little time before. The Duke said that, having
called one day to inquire for a very old Catholic priest living in one
of these houses, while he was sitting by his bedside, the Episcopalian
clergyman came into the room for the same purpose.
_Sunday, 18th_.--Dinner at Lord Granville's. I had not dined with him for
some years--since his marriage. The room was rather dark when I went in.
Lord Granville said something, as I understood, about a foreign countess to
whom he presented me, but I did not catch her name, and concluded she was
some Italian relative of the Marochettis. Lady Granville did not appear,
being unwell; and Lady Ailesbury, the only other lady present, did the
honours. The party consisted of the Duc de Richelieu (whom I had met the
night before at the Clarendons'), the Duca di Ripalta, Lord Clanwilliam,
Lord Tankerville, Baron Brunnow, Count Strogonoff, Chief Justice Cockburn,
Upon sitting down at table I found myself between the Duc de Richelieu and
Lord Clanwilliam, and one removed from the foreign lady, who turned out
to be H.I.H. the Grand Duchess Marie of Russia. Strogonoff is the man she
married three years after her first husband's death--but she had to wait
till Nicholas died too. When Nicholas first observed his daughter's
preference for the young officer, he took him by the arm and pointed out
from the window the view of Fort George. Strogonoff thought the Emperor's
manner strange, but did not take the hint till his brother officers
reminded him that Fort George is a State prison; so there was no more
love-making till after the Tsar's death.
The Princess is at this time fifty, still extremely handsome, with a long
string of enormous pearls round her neck. Nothing could be more lively and
agreeable. She first carried on a contest with my neighbour, the Duc, about
the Emperor Napoleon; said he was only _trop bon_, and lauded him to the
skies. The Duc came out as the pure Legitimist, though he said his own
party had not a shadow of a chance; that the Emperor had been going down
ever since the fatal Italian campaign; that there were no Orleanists in
France, and that the Duc d'Aumale was conspiring against the Comte de
Paris, &c. &c.--a tissue of absurdity. Then, _sotto voce_ to me, 'Je
voudrais bien jouir davantage de votre société, mais vous voyez comme
je suis placé' (i.e. next the Princess). 'Très conservative dans mes
principes, je n'aime pas les princes. Il faut vivre avec ses égaux.' He
said this twice. The second time I replied, 'Monsieur, cela est bon pour
les ducs--mais nous autres?'
'Ah! sous ce rapport je ne fais aucune distinction. Hors des princes, tout
A good deal of conversation about the Irish Church Bill which is just now
in the crisis of the Lords' amendments. H.I.H. asked me my opinion. I
replied that they were now disputing about nothing at all--i.e. the
application of a surplus which will not exist for many years. Brunnow said
he was of the same opinion.
Lord Clanwilliam and I had a great deal of talk. He had been with Lord
Castlereagh at the Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1818. Spoke a good deal
of Metternich, justly. When M. met Guizot in London after 1848, he
was struck by the motto G. had adopted--_via recta brevissima_. Lord
Clanwilliam said that the shortest way was also the best. 'Yes,' added
Metternich, 'and it has also the advantage that on that path you don't meet
anybody'--'auf diesen Weg wird niemand begegnet.'
Sitting upstairs after this dinner I had a curious conversation with
Brunnow and Lord Granville on the causes of the Crimean War. They agreed
that had either Aberdeen or Palmerston been in power alone, the war would
have been prevented; but that the combination of the two rendered it
Brunnow said that there was, at one moment, a period of about ten days
during which the war might have been prevented, if Lord Granville had been
sent off on a special mission to St. Petersburg, but the Cabinet refused;
and then came Sinope. He declared that he had always told the Emperor that
Aberdeen, though averse to war, had not the power to prevent it; and in
proof of his own sincerity he caused a million of Russian money which was
in the Bank of England to be removed, as early as September 1853, though
this was against the opinion of Nesselrode.
After his return to England on the peace, Lord Aberdeen said to him,
with great emotion, 'I never deceived you, my dear Brunnow.' To which B.
replied: 'No; my dear lord, you never did.' He said that at Paris in 1856
Walewski had at once told him that the Emperor Napoleon was resolved to
It was a most pleasant and curious evening, and everyone went away in good
_25th_--Went to Aix with Helen Richardson. Over to Cologne and Kreuznach
with the Watneys and Boothbys. Dined with Goldsmid at Bonn. Saw Professor
The following letter, on a subject in which Mrs. Oliphant took much
interest, was addressed to Reeve rather in his editorial than his personal
capacity. The two were very well acquainted, but do not seem to have
corresponded in ordinary course.
Dunkerque, August 14th.
Dear Sir,--You will, I have no doubt, think it extremely womanish and
unreasonable on my part to have proposed writing a paper on such a
much-discussed subject as Mr. Mill's book, without indicating the manner in
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