Memoirs of the Life and Correspondence of Henry Reeve, C.B., D.C.L.
John Knox Laughton
Part 5 out of 8
_November 13th_.--Dined at Sandbach's with the Queen of Holland, Prince
Edward of Saxe-Weimar, Lady Eastlake, and Bishop Wilberforce. A few other
_Monday, 25th_.--I have been down to the Van de Weyers at New Lodge,
Windsor Forest, from Saturday till Monday, a thing I have frequently done
of late. Van de Weyer is almost the last survivor of the brilliant London
society of thirty or forty years ago, and to his great literary and social
experience he unites an unequalled knowledge of the politics of Europe.
During the whole of his reign King Leopold was his own foreign minister;
and he succeeded, by his connexion with the Queen of England, and with
Louis-Philippe, and with Germany, in creating a most influential position
in the world, which he did not impart to his Belgian ministers. But Van de
Weyer was the exception. He was the constant channel of communication with
the Court of England. The King wrote to him two or three times a week, and
he to the King. Their correspondence must be a complete history of the
times. Baron Stockmar was to an equal degree in his King's confidence; but
Stockmar never had the political position of Van de Weyer, nor do I think
he was so able a man. I had hinted, in my review of Stockmar's Life,
[Footnote: _Edinburgh Review_, October 1872.] that his oracular powers had
been somewhat exaggerated, and that he was rather more attached to the
interests of the House of Coburg than to those of England; for which I do
not blame him. However, Van de Weyer and some others of Stockmar's friends
(including the Queen) dispute this, and probably think I have not done him
For instance, Van de Weyer asserts that when the marriage of the Queen of
Spain was on the _tapis_, Leopold and Queen Victoria had it in their power
to bring about the Coburg marriage, but that they deliberately refused to
do so from respect to their engagements with France. And they acted in this
with the full concurrence of Stockmar. The Queen of Spain had established,
by private means, a correspondence with Queen Victoria. The letters passed
through the hands of Mr. Huth, the merchant, and from him to Van de Weyer,
who delivered them. Isabella complained in these letters of her desperate
and forlorn condition; said she was bullied and threatened by the French,
and expressed her abhorrence of the marriage Bresson was urging upon her.
She declared that if Leopold and Queen Victoria would sanction the Coburg
marriage, she would throw the French over, and marry Prince Leopold the
The King and our Queen held a solemn conference and deliberation on the
subject. Palmerston was informed of the transaction; but the ministers seem
to have had no great voice in the matter, for the Queen considered the
engagement she had entered into at Eu as a personal promise, and England
had consistently declared that 'she had no candidate.' To put forward
Leopold at the last hour would have been to forfeit this pledge, which, on
the contrary, was most strictly and honourably maintained.
It was the knowledge of this, and the consciousness that a less
conscientious policy might have rescued the Queen of Spain from a dreadful
fate, that rendered the Queen of England and Stockmar so indignant when it
turned out that the French Government had been far less scrupulous, and had
not only forced on the marriage of the Queen to a man she detested, but had
also married the other Infanta to Montpensier.
This communication of Queen Isabella to Queen Victoria is to this day
With regard to Leopold's annuity (which I explained in the 'Edinburgh
Review'), it was not only secured by act of Parliament, but by treaty; for
there was a regular treaty of marriage concluded between Prince Leopold and
the Crown of England on his marriage with the Princess Charlotte.
The intrigues going on with reference to Belgium, both in France and in
Holland, during the Polignac Ministry have been alluded to in a former
page. [Footnote: _Ante_, pp. 111-12.] But it is less generally known that
at this same time, the Prince of Orange, afterwards William II., was
intriguing to form a party to place him on the throne of France in the
event of the overthrow of the Bourbons.
He spent thirty or forty millions of francs in bribing officers of the army
and others, which was the cause of his subsequent embarrassment and debts.
The French found the plot out, and demanded of the King of Holland that
the Prince should be signally punished. He was accordingly deprived of his
command and of his rank in the army, and even for a time arrested and put
in confinement. He then found out that his French adherents had only been
deluding him to get his money.
_December 4th_.--To Teddesley. Shooting there. Thence to Crewe, to meet
Lady Egerton of Tatton.
_12th_.--Henry Greville died. To Farnborough. I determined to publish the
To Bracknell to see the Winkfield land; and to Timsbury for Christmas.
1873.--At Bournemouth early in January, about the house. To London on
_January 25th_.--Lord Lytton's funeral in Westminster Abbey.
_February 14th_.--Dined at Harvie Farquhar's. He was one of C. Greville's
executors, and was curious about the Journals.
_To Mr. W. Longman_
_C.O., March 4th_.--Mr. Morris [Footnote: Edward E. Morris, editor of
_Epochs of Modern History_.] writes under a complete delusion. I could not
possibly write anything for him in less than two years; and I had rather
not enter into any agreement. On reflection, I am satisfied that it would
not answer my purpose to write a popular 'History of the French Revolution'
for 100 £, and to surrender the copyright. An author never ought to
surrender a copyright unless he is compelled to do so. If I wrote a History
of the French Revolution which became a school book or an educational book,
it might become a property of some little value.
But the truth is that the 'Review' suffers when I am too busy to write in
it; and I have in my hands and before me literary work and materials of a
far more remunerative character, which will suffice to fill the remainder
of my life. It would be unwise in me to undertake a fresh task, which could
not possibly pay me. Therefore, upon the whole, I think you had better put
it in other hands. [Footnote: Eventually the work was written by Mrs. S. R.
Gardiner, though from a point of view very different, we may believe, from
that which Reeve would have taken.] O'Connor Morris would do it very well.
I am sorry to alter my mind. My first impulse was to accept from a wish to
oblige you, and from interest in the subject; but further consideration
The Journal notes:--
_March 19th_.--Dined at Goschen's at the Admiralty. Mme. Novikoff there, an
active Russian agent.
Mr. Gladstone's Government was beaten by a majority of three. Most of the
casual elections this year went against the Government. Gladstone resigned
on this occasion, but came in again, which he had better not have done.
_March 31st_.--Dined with Charles Austin--very old and infirm; his last
effort. Lord Belper was there.
To Bracknell at Easter, in Miss Handley's house. Took the horses; went to
meet of Queen's Hounds; stayed there till April 19th.
_To Mr. W. Longman_
Old Bracknell House, April 13th.
My dear William,--I am glad you have been to see my scrap of land. I have
taken a great fancy to the spot, and should be very well contented to end
my days there, gazing on that magnificent view of the coast and the sea. At
present I am spending this vacation in Berkshire, and only suffering from
the excessive cold.
I am reading with the greatest interest Baron Hübner's 'Promenade autour du
Monde,' which was reviewed in the 'Times' two or three days ago. It is a
work of extraordinary merit and importance. I shall review it in the next
'Edinburgh,' and I strongly recommend you to publish a translation of it,
if you can. I have seldom read so wonderful a book.
Ever yours faithfully,
The Journal goes on to speak of perhaps the most remarkable 'centenarian'
of the nineteenth century:--
_May 23rd_.--Dined at Lord Stanhope's with the Antiquaries. Dean Stanley
proposed Lady Smith's health. She was just 100.
Pleasance Reeve, Lady Smith, widow of Sir James Smith, the botanist and
founder of the Linnaean Society, was born on May 11, 1773, and christened
on the following day at Lowestoft, where her baptismal register still
exists. On May 13, 1873, having just completed her hundredth year, she
caused a dinner to be given to the hundred oldest persons in Lowestoft,
whose joint ages averaged seventy-seven years, and public rejoicings were
held in the town. On May 24th I went down with my daughter to see her, and
spent the best part of three days with her. Married in 1795 to Dr. Smith,
afterwards Sir James, she had been the intimate friend, in Norwich, of my
grandfather and grandmother. On my father's marriage in 1807, he took a
house in Surrey Street, next door to the Smiths, and their intercourse was
perpetual. I have myself no earlier recollection than that of her kindness
to me and attachment to my mother. We used to sit in their pew at the
Octagon Chapel, Norwich; and the first evening party I can remember was at
her house, when Mrs. Opie and William Taylor were present--the latter I
think rather drunk!
We found Lady Smith at Lowestoft on this 24th of May, sitting in her chair,
looking extremely well, though shrunk; her voice was firm and unchanged; no
deafness; no dulness of sight; and when they served a little collation she
had ordered for us, she got up, moved to the table, and did the honours.
She complained, however, that the excitement of the last two or three weeks
had impaired her strength and taken away her appetite, I told her that the
evening before, when I was dining at Lord Stanhope's with the Antiquaries,
her health had been proposed in a graceful speech by the Dean of
Westminster. The venerable Society drank the most venerable lady. This
affected her, and she exclaimed, 'You must not tell me such things as
these. They drive me mad. I find it harder to support the many marks of
kindness and distinction I have received than to bear the burden of a
I asked her what was the first thing she remembered. She said she was
confident she remembered being taken to her aunt's at Saxmundham as an
infant of nine months old, and still saw her eyes, the crocuses in the
border, and the flutter of the fringe on her own robe. Of political events
she thought the first in her memory was the taking of the Bastille, and she
enlarged on the extraordinary enthusiasm excited by the French Revolution.
I said the American war came before the Revolution of 1789; and she replied
'Yes, no doubt I remember hearing the American war talked about;' and then
quoted the lines (Dr. Aikins' she said):--
See the justice of Heaven! America cries;
George loses his senses, North loses his eyes.
When first they provoked me, all Europe could find
That the Monarch was mad and the Minister blind.
But the date of this epigram must be somewhat later. Lord North became
blind in 1787 [and the King's insanity was not publicly known till November
She remembered Mr. Windham as one of the most graceful and fascinating
of men. Lady Morley [Footnote: Frances, daughter of Thomas Talbot, of
Wymondham, Norfolk, married Lord Boringdon, afterwards Earl of Morley, in
1809.] (the present Earl's grandmother) was staying with the Smiths when
she came out, and was equally remarkable for her wit, her beauty, and her
fine hair. Her mother, Mrs. Talbot, was very ugly. We then talked over all
the old Norwich families, Gower, Taylors, Aldersons, Bathurst, &c. She said
she thought my mother a much finer character than Mrs. Austin, and, she
added, a fine understanding too.
Her interest in all the events of the day--the last spider discovered
by Dr. Carpenter at the bottom of the ocean and the last improvement at
Burlington House--is as keen as the recollection of the past. 'Punch' and
the 'Illustrated News' and the other newspapers bring it all before her.
_May 28th_.--Gladstone presided at the Literary Fund dinner. I took Meadows
Taylor, who was staying with us.
_From Lady Smith_
_Lowestoft, May 31st_.--Many thanks, dear Mr. Reeve, for sending me the
handsome present of turtle soup, which came on Thursday evening and made
the best part of my dinner on Friday. My intellectual treat has been the
speeches by the Premier and others at the Literary Fund dinner, and I much
admire the eloquence of the several talented gentlemen. I write so badly
I will spare you, and only send my affectionate regards to Mrs. Reeve and
dear Hopie, and to yourself. I am very sincerely yours,
Continuing the Journal:--
To Bracknell again on June 1st. Attended Ascot for the last time. The Shah
of Persia was in London this year, and was received in state. The Queen
lent him Buckingham Palace.
_June 25th_.--Goschen's fête to the Shah of Persia at Greenwich Hospital.
Fine sight. We steamed through the docks after the Shah.
_29th_.--Met M. de Laveleye at Van de Weyer's.
_July 14th_.--Dined at Merchant Taylors' Hall; made a speech.
_17th_.--Dined at Lambeth, to talk over the Judicature Bill with the
Archbishop. Met Bishop Wilberforce as I was driving down Constitution Hill.
He was killed two days afterwards (on the 19th) by a fall from his horse,
riding with Lord Granville.
Count Münster came as German ambassador. I dined with him at Beust's and at
Lord Westbury died in London on July 20th, 1873; a man whose bitter tongue
made him many enemies, and procured for him a reputation as of one without
respect or regard for aught human or divine. Those who knew him well told
a different tale. He has been described by them as having a most kind and
feeling nature. 'He did not make many professions, but had the good of his
fellow-creatures at heart. He always found time to give advice and help.'
Reeve, who had been thrown into frequent and familiar intercourse with him,
was in the habit of speaking of him as one whose real character was very
different indeed from that assigned him by popular repute; and the letter
of sympathy which he wrote to Lord Westbury's daughter, the Hon. Augusta
Bethell,[Footnote: Afterwards Mrs. Parker, and, by a second marriage, Mrs.
Nash.] merely expressed his honest opinion.
Rutland Gate, July 23rd.
Dear Miss Bethell,--I should have written sooner if I had had the use of
my hand, to express to you my profound sorrow and sympathy in the loss you
I look back with unmixed satisfaction on the relations I maintained for
so many years with your father. He honoured me with his confidence and
friendship. I have the profoundest admiration, not only for his qualities
as a lawyer, but for his just and enlarged mind, his vast reading, his
memory, and the inexhaustible kindness of his heart. He was one of the
greatest men I have known, and one of those whose loss to us all is most
irreparable. How much more so to you!
Mrs. Reeve begs to unite her condolences to mine; and we remain always
Your much attached friends,
The Journal notes a six weeks' tour with Mrs. Reeve in Switzerland and
_August 1st_.--To Paris and Geneva, _viâ_ Dieppe. Saw Thiers in Paris. He
had been turned out of office on May 4th. On August 4th reached Binet's
_campagne_. Family dinners, &c., at Geneva. 12th, called at Blumenthal's
_chalet_, near Vevey. 14th, to Berne, Grindelwald, and Ragaz, by Zurich.
Took baths at Ragaz. Longmans came there on the 22nd. Pleasant excursion
to Glarus. 26th, to Syrgenstein [near the Lake of Constance--wrote Mrs.
Reeve--where some cousins of ours, the Whittles, bought an old schloss
with some 300 acres, and settled about fifteen years ago]. 31st, by Ulm to
Baden-Baden, Bonn, Aix, Antwerp; home on September 8th.
_September 10th_.--Sir Henry Holland dined with us. He had just been to
Nijni Novgorod, and was starting for Naples. He died as soon as he got
back, on October 27th. This was the last time I saw him. He was then
eighty-five. To Bracknell in September.
_September 27th_.--To Christchurch. Ordered fences for Foxholes.
_October 3rd_.--To Cultoquhey (Lord Moncreiff's). 6th, fishing at Battleby
(Maxtone Graham's), in the Tay. We killed seven fish; I, one of 19 lbs.;
Hopie, two, one of 25 lbs. Thence to the Colviles', at Craigflower, and on
the 11th to Minto. 14th, drove to Ancrum and Kirklands. Beautiful day.
We went from Minto to Dartrey, co. Monaghan, by Carlisle and Stranraer;
crossed to Larne, but had to sleep at Dundalk, on the 17th. At Dartrey
found the Ilchesters, Mr. Herbert, and others. Lady Craven and the
Headforts came later. Returned to England on the 27th by Greenore and
For the October number of the 'Review,' Reeve had written an article on
the Ashantee War, in which he would seem to have been assisted by Lord
Kimberley, then Colonial Secretary. On its appearance, Mr. Pope Hennessy,
at this time Governor of the Bahamas, but who, in the preceding year, had
been Governor of the Gold Coast, wrote to 'The Editor of the "Edinburgh
Review,"' objecting to some of the statements regarding his own conduct,
which, he declared, were inaccurate. And, having given utterance to his
objections, he continued:--
_November 28th_.--As I have ventured on fault-finding about one article, I
must not deprive myself of the pleasure of congratulating you heartily
on another. Since October 1802 no article on foreign affairs has been so
apropos as your Cuban one of last October. Here it has been read with
avidity and universal satisfaction, and I believe it will do much to guide
influential opinion in England at this crisis. I hope to see you return to
the subject in January. Remember that your January number, as far as the
instruction of M.P.s is concerned, is always an important political one. In
view of your dealing with the subject again, I give you a few facts that
may perhaps add special interest once more to the 'Edinburgh's' mode of
dealing with it.
England is directly concerned in Cuba by its close proximity to the
Bahamas. Cay Lobos (British territory) is but fourteen miles from Cay
Confites (Cuban territory). That leaves but eight miles of high seas in
width. The people of the Bahamas have made frequent complaint to the
governor about the conduct of the Spanish authorities in Cuba. In
August this year the Governor of the Bahamas sent a memorial to the
Captain-General of Cuba about the impediments to the Bahama sponging trade
caused by the arbitrary acts of the Spaniards. No notice has been taken of
this. It has not even been acknowledged. In 1870 complaints were made to
Sir James Walker (my predecessor) that James Fraser and three other British
subjects were captured in a Bahama schooner, taken ashore to Cuba, and
there shot. The Spaniards justified this by saying that the ship was
conveying supplies to the insurgents, and they (the Spaniards) executed
Fraser and the others as pirates. In the same year a man named Williams
complained that sixty or seventy Spanish soldiers landed at Berry Island (a
part of the Bahama colony), chasing Cuban refugees, firing off their guns,
and threatening to hang Williams if he did not aid them in their search.
Subsequently the Spanish admiral, Melcampo, made a sort of apology for
this; but the Captain-General of Cuba, on the other hand, wrote to Sir
James Walker, complaining that the British lighthouse-keepers on Berry
Island had refused to aid the Spaniards in pursuit of 'pirates' on British
soil. Lord Granville took up the matter in a proper spirit. He sent
energetic remonstrances to Madrid. He got the Admiralty to telegraph to Sir
Rodney Mundy, at Halifax, to despatch ships of war to aid the Governor of
the Bahamas in protecting the colony from the raids of the Spaniards. As to
the seizing of ships on the high seas under neutral flags, he telegraphed
to Sir John Crampton, at Madrid, to say that it would be 'a glaring
violation of the law of nations.' The Madrid Government promised to get the
Captain-General's proclamation revoked; but my predecessor reported that
General Dulce had not revoked it, and he returned to Spain without doing
so. The half-and-half revocation that took place left 'exceptional
cases' at the discretion of the Spanish cruisers. Hence the case of the
The excitement here about the recent executions is intense. Twenty-nine of
those shot resided at Nassau. The public feeling is now so strong that it
deprives me of power (especially as all British troops are withdrawn) to
stop expeditions against the Spaniard, though I am doing my best to allay
it and to be strictly neutral. Indeed, in the interest of the peace and
well-being of the Bahamas, I have had to write to Lord Kimberley, asking
him to use his influence in getting some law-abiding government substituted
in Cuba for the present lawless rule of the volunteers. Your article will
do much to support H.M. Government in a decided course now.
Believe me, yours faithfully,
J. POPE HENNESSY.
The Journal records here:--
_December 8th_.--We went to Knowsley, with Lord Cairns. There were there
Lord C. Hamilton, Henry Cowper, &c. Lord Sefton shot with us. We killed
827 head on the 9th, 784 head on the 10th, 366 head on the 11th. Went to
Liverpool with Lord Cairns on the 12th, and home next day.
_To Lord Derby_
_C. O., December 15th_.--The last edition of my translation of
Tocqueville's book on France has probably not yet found its way to
Knowsley's library, and I shall be much gratified if you will allow me to
place a copy there. This edition has the advantage of containing fourteen
posthumous chapters not to be found in any other, and these certainly are
not the least remarkable part of the work. I was moved to translate them
partly by your saying to me one day, 'Can't you give us any more of
The Journal goes on:--
To Paris for Christmas. Saw M. Guizot; dined at the Embassy. Dined with
Mme. Faucher on Christmas Day; with M. Guizot on the 27th; Camille Rousset
and Taine there. On the 28th dined at the Duc de Broglie's, then home
minister; Apponys, Prince Orloff, Lord Lyons, Lambert de Sainte-Croix
there. Dined on the 29th with the Lyttons at Mme. Gavard's; and on the 30th
with the Comte de Paris at De Mussy's.
1874.--The year opened at Paris. Called on M. Guizot and dined with the
Raymonds on New Year's Day. Breakfasted with the Duc d'Aumale at Chantilly
on the 2nd; first time I had seen him there. Dined at Mohl's with
Haussonville, the Lyttons, and Tourguéneff.
Renewed my acquaintance with Drouyn de Lhuys, who related to me the affairs
of 1866. Very curious. Dined at the Political Economy Club on the 5th; and
at Lytton's on the 6th. Back to London on the 7th.
_January 24th_.--To Aldermaston, with Lord Aberdare, the Samuel Bakers,
Herbert Spencer, Franks and others. Pleasant and interesting; but I had the
gout and was laid up for a month. This was the day Gladstone published his
fatal address to the electors at Greenwich. Parliament was dissolved on the
26th. We all told Lord Aberdare that the party would be smashed, and so it
was. Disraeli's Government came in on February 21st.
_21st_.--The Master of the Rolls gave judgement in the Handley suit, which
gave me the Winkfield property.
The case was shortly described by Mrs. Reeve:--
'There were two wills, one of Edwin Handley, the other that of his two
surviving sisters. His will was good as to devise of money, bad as to land;
therefore the land passed to the sisters, and their bequests of land come
into effect. The property in Winkfield which comes to Henry is a little
more than 30 acres. Of course the agricultural value is not very great; but
we hope, as building and accommodation land, to make a good thing of it.'
It appears, indeed, that the advisability of settling on it themselves was
considered; but there was no house on the property; so that as in either
case a house had to be built, the Christchurch site was preferred. In June
Reeve sold this Winkfield property for nearly 6,000 £., which--he added to
a note of the sale--'enabled me to build Foxholes.'
The following is endorsed:--'M. Guizot on the death of [his daughter]
Pauline. The last letter he wrote me with his own hand.'
8 _mars_.--Je vous remercie de votre sympathie, my dear Sir. J'y comptais.
Vous êtes un des anciens témoins de ma vie et de mon bonheur. Il a été
grand; mais le bonheur se paye. Je me soumets douloureusement mais sans
murmure. La vie est ainsi faite. C'est pour mon gendre Cornélis de Witt que
je ressens une pitié profonde. Il a joui pendant vingt-cinq ans de ce que
j'ai moi-même appelé le bonheur parfait, l'amour dans le mariage. Il reste
seul avec ses sept enfants. Ils viendront tous vivre avec moi, sous les
yeux de ma fille Henriette,[Footnote: Mme. Guizot de Witt.] une vraie mère.
Revenez nous voir.
Je n'ai pas le coeur à vous parler d'autre chose. Je n'ai pas encore reçu
'l'Edinburgh Review' des mois d'octobre et janvier dernier. Je les fais
demander. Je vis aussi en Angleterre. C'est beaucoup d'avoir deux vies et
presque deux patries. Mr. Burton a-t-il publié l'article qu'il projetait
sur mon Histoire de France? Je vous envoie quelques pages que je viens
d'écrire sur mon excellent ami, M. Vitet. [Footnote: Louis Vitet, 'de
l'Académie française,' _d_.June 1873. This is presumably the 'notice'
prefixed to Vitet's _Etudes philosophiques et littéraires_ (8vo. 1875).]
Encore un profond regret.
Adieu, my dear Sir. Tenez-moi un peu au courant de ce qui se passe chez
vous et de ce que vous en pensez. Nous végétons ici dans les ténèbres,
en attendant un mieux qui viendra, je ne sais quand ni comment. Mais je
persiste à y croire. Tout à vous, GUIZOT.
The Journal here has:--
_March 10th_.--The Duc d'Aumale dined at The Club dinner.
_18th_.--Met Disraeli at Lady Derby's first party. A day or two before
this, at Windsor, Lord Granville was chaffing Lady John Manners and
said--referring to the Prime Minister's birth--'You must acknowledge that
your chief's nose is very queer.' 'At all events,' was Lady John's ready
rejoinder, 'it is not out of joint.'
_28th_.--Took the Duc de Rochefoucault (the French Ambassador) to the boat
race at Mortlake.
_April 2nd_.--To Christchurch. On the 4th, in torrents of rain, we fixed,
with Cockerell, the exact site of Foxholes House.
_May 8th_.--Ball to the Prince of Wales at the French Embassy. Duchess of
Lord Hertford, the Tory Lord Chamberlain, omitted me from the Court ball
this year, for the first time since 1847. This was before the publication
of the 'Greville Memoirs,' and not on account of it.
To Aix in the end of May. Longman was with me. Home on June 4th.
_From M. Guizot_
Val Richer, ce 22 juillet.
My Dear Sir,--Je réponds à votre aimable lettre du 14 juillet, et je
commence par supprimer mon écriture. J'en avais autrefois un qu'on trouvait
très jolie, mais, depuis quelques mois, ma main est devenue si tremblante
que j'ai renoncé à écrire moi-même. Je ne veux cependant pas tarder
davantage à vous dire avec quel plaisir j'ai lu l'article de Mr. Burton
sur mon Histoire de France que je viens de trouver dans le numéro 285 de
'l'Edinburgh Review.' C'est excellent; il est impossible de serrer de plus
près les diverses parties de mon ouvrage en les analysant d'une manière
plus claire et plus frappante. Les liens de l'histoire de France avec
l'État, la Couronne, l'Église et les moeurs publiques y sont résumés
dans toute leur vérité. Je ne pourrais dans ce moment-ci, avec ma main
tremblante, en remercier moi-même Mr. Burton comme je le voudrais faire.
Je me promets d'y revenir plus tard. En attendant, je vous prie de le
remercier pour moi, en lui disant tout ce que je pense de son parfait
résumé. Vous me pardonnerez d'être si bref; je suis encore assez souffrant
et fatigué. Je reprends pourtant dans ce moment même la publication
périodique des livraisons de mon histoire; elles seront envoyées chaque
semaine à Mr. Burton comme à vous, et je serai bienheureux si vous me dites
qu'elles vous intéressent autant que les précédents volumes. Pardon, my
dear Sir, de ne pas vous en dire davantage. Je suis au Val Richer jusqu'à
la fin de l'année. Ecrivez-moi quelquefois, je vous prie, et croyez-moi
affectueusement tout à vous,
P.S.--C'est ma fille Henriette qui me sert de secrétaire pour ma
correspondance comme pour mon histoire. Je n'en retrouverais nulle part un
This letter, written by Mme. Guizot de Witt, was the last Reeve received
from his old friend, who died at Val Richer on September 12th, in his 87th
year. A month later he received the following:--
_From Mme. Guizot de Witt_
Val Richer, ce 20 octobre.
Mon cher Monsieur,--Je savais bien ce que vous senteriez pour nous et aussi
pour vous-même. Mon père avait pour vous beaucoup d'amitié. En rangeant ses
papiers, au milieu de toutes vos lettres, je trouve une foule de minutes de
ses réponses; quelques-unes sont bien belles. Je ne vous parle pas du vide
affreux de ma vie et de mon âme. Je sais que Dieu me donnera la force de le
supporter en travaillant encore pour ceux qui m'ont quittée. Et le jour du
revoir viendra. Mon père est parti tout entier, lui-même jusqu'au bout,
dans la possession de son esprit et de son âme, plein de confiance en Dieu,
nous recommandant de servir le pays qu'il avait suprêmement aimé et dont
les malheurs ont d'abord ébranlé sa santé. Ma Pauline aussi ne s'était
jamais relevée de la guerre. Us sont ensemble et en paix. Adieu, mon cher
Monsieur. Vous viendrez certainement à Paris cet hiver, et nous vous
verrons. Je compte aller dans six semaines retrouver tout mon monde qui
y est déjà. Remerciez pour moi Mrs. Reeve et Hope, et croyez à tous mes
GUIZOT DE WITT.
_July_.--The building Foxholes was now going on. To Scotland, July 31st,
having again taken Loch Gair. Also hired a 16-ton yacht--the 'Foam.' Got
there on August 1st. John Binet came to Loch Gair, straight from Geneva.
Mrs. Reeve wrote of him:--'It is his first visit to North Britain, and his
enthusiasm--at 62--is quite delightful to witness. He travelled here from
Paris without stopping, and though a good deal tired and half-starved, was
ready for a walk that afternoon and for climbing hills the next morning.'
I was engaged all the autumn at Loch Gair in revising the press of 'The
Greville Memoirs' and in preparing a new edition of the 'Democracy in
We left Loch Gair on October 8th: and after visits to Abington, Ormiston
and Minto, returned to London on the 26th.
The publication of the first part of 'The Greville Memoirs' took place on
October 17th. It excited far greater interest than I had expected, and the
first edition sold very rapidly. Five editions were published in less than
six months; the two first of 2,500 each, and the three last of 1,000; so
that about 8,000 copies were sold.
The Press, in the main, was highly favourable. On the 28th the
Queen--though I believe she had not yet read the book, but only newspaper
extracts--sent me a message by Helps to express her disapproval of it, on
these grounds 1. It was disparaging to her family. 2. It tended to weaken
the monarchy. 3. It proceeded from official persons. I begged Helps to
reply, with my humble duty, that the book showed that, if the monarchy
had really been endangered, it was by the depravity of George IV. and the
absurdities of William IV.; but that under Her Majesty's reign it had
become stronger than ever.
It may, however, be believed that the Queen, who was, not unnaturally, much
offended, never quite forgave the publication; and it is at least probable
that the annoyance she had felt was the principal reason for Reeve's never
receiving the K.G.B., to which his long service at the Council Office would
seem to have, in a measure, entitled him.
I saw the Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg the same day, October 28th, but I
don't think the Cambridges were very angry. The old Duchess was having the
book read to her, and frequently added amusing recollections to it.
This publication was one of the most important incidents in Reeve's
literary life; one which was warmly discussed at the time and has been much
commented on since. It is probably as the editor of this remarkable book
that Reeve will be best known to future generations, and it is therefore
well to relate the story in a clear and detailed manner. From the first,
Reeve was fully alive to the responsibility he was undertaking; and the
following memorandum was apparently drawn up at the time of Greville's
_Memorandum on 'The Greville Memoirs,' and on the death of Charles
On January 7th, 1865, I received from Mr. Greville, I being at Torry Hill,
a note requesting me to call on him for a matter, as he expressed it,
not very important, but partly of a personal and partly of a literary
character. I answered directly that being out of town I could not call
immediately, but would not fail to do so as soon as I returned to London.
I returned to London on the afternoon of Monday, the 9th, and called in
Bruton Street about 11 A.M. on Tuesday the 10th. I thought Mr. Greville
looked thin, but not ill, and he was free from gout. He said, however, that
he was seriously unwell in other ways. The truth was (although he did not
then tell me so) that he had an effusion of water on the heart. I know
not how long it had been coming on; but in the preceding week he had been
staying at the Grenfells' at Taplow, where Lady Colvile had the scarlatina.
From Taplow he proceeded to Savernake; but Lady Ailesbury had so violent a
fear of the infection that she sent a servant to stop Greville's fly on the
way from the station to the house, on the ground that she could not receive
him. He was therefore compelled to go to sleep at the inn at Marlborough,
where, besides being excessively annoyed, he caught a bad cold. The next
day he returned to Taplow, saying to Grenfell, 'I come back here because no
one will receive me!' and he soon afterwards came back to Bruton Street.
This was the history of the malady of which he died; but whether it was
brought on by the cold he caught, or by any other cause, I do not know.
When I saw him on the 10th he was in no pain, and apparently not seriously
ill. He began by talking about Privy Council affairs; he then gave me an
account of the Windham papers, which Mrs. Henry Baring is preparing for
publication; but I saw that these were not the subjects on which he wished
to see me, and there was evidently a nervousness in his manner as he
approached it. At last, sitting down in his easy-chair, he said--'And now
I want to speak to you about my own affairs. Reeve, I am getting devilish
old, and I think in all probability I have not long to live. I have
therefore been considering what I ought to do with the journals I have kept
on all important occasions for so many years of my life. They amount, I
think, to ninety volumes [Footnote: These are now in the British Museum.],
and extend over nearly fifty years. I left off writing them two years ago,
finding that since I withdrew from the office I knew less of the course of
events. Let us look at them.' He then opened the lower part of a bookcase
in which I saw these volumes in a row. He then added, 'Now, will you take
charge of them? I have been thinking a great deal of what I can do with
them. They contain a good deal of curious matter, as you know, which may
be of interest hereafter. I can do nothing better than leave them in your
hands. You will be the judge whether any part of them, and what, can be
To this I replied, that I was very much touched by so great a mark of his
confidence and friendship; that as for the journals, he was quite right in
supposing that I should set as much store by them as he did himself, and
that in whatever I did with them hereafter, I should conform to what
I might suppose to be his wishes; that it appeared to me that a broad
distinction exists between the earlier half, including the reigns of
George IV. and William IV., and the latter half, subsequent to the Queen's
accession, and that if the former part might to a certain extent be
published soon, the other part could not. That the person I should
naturally consult in such a trust would be Lord Clarendon; but that at
present it was not necessary to take any steps, as I hoped he would still
be with us some years; that I would read the journals through, with his
permission, and tell him what I thought.
To all this he assented. He said, 'They are all full of Clarendon, who
has always been so intimate with me. I will bring you down a dozen of the
volumes the first day I go out in my carriage; and if my life should be
spared a few years, we will talk them over.'
He then spoke of his letters, particularly of his own letters to the late
Duke of Bedford, which had been recently sent back to him. He said he would
read them over; that some of them might serve to fill up and complete
passages in the journals. To this I remarked, 'Do you mean, then,
these letters are to go with the journals?' He replied, 'That requires
consideration.' He did not therefore give me any power over the letters.
I was going that day (January 10th) to Ampthill, to see Lord Wensleydale;
and on the 14th to the Grove. This led me to say, 'Am I at liberty to
mention to Lord Clarendon what has passed on this subject?' He answered
'No. I had rather it should be entirely confidential.' I therefore of
course said nothing to anyone.
On Monday, the 16th, I returned to town from the Grove, and went in the
evening, about five, to Bruton Street. Lady Sydney and Lady Enfield were
with him. He looked somewhat weaker, and complained of total loss of
appetite. As soon as the ladies were gone, he resumed the subject of the
journals, and immediately said, 'Now you are come back to town, you
can take some of them.' He rang for his servant to hold a light to the
bookcase, and by his directions I took vols. v., vi., vii., and viii., and
carried them home with me. He said he had lent the first four vols. to his
brother Henry, but that I should have them soon. He then again said, 'When
you have read these, you will see what you think can be published; but as
you advance they become more interesting.' I read these volumes nearly
through the same evening, beginning from the death of Lord Liverpool.
On Tuesday, January 17th, I returned to Bruton Street about six. He was
alone. Another volume of the journals was on the table by him, which he
gave me, saying, 'You will find this more interesting'--but this was as I
was going away. I told him that I had read the former volumes greedily, and
that he had treated George IV. with great severity. He replied, 'What I
have said of him is not flattering; but that is what he was.' I then asked
him about the passages in cipher. He said he had invented this cipher
himself for the purpose of his journal; that he could read it, but nobody
else. That he would read to me the passages in cipher if I would bring them
to him; but he added, 'For that matter, the truth is the greater part of
them had better be omitted, as they relate to things which are better
forgotten.' He then mentioned that he had told Henry Greville that 'I was
to have the journals.' And I afterwards found that he had intimated his
intention to Mr. Baring and I think to Lord Granville.
He said that Meryon (his doctor) thought him better to-day-that the day
before had been a very bad one; but he had still no appetite, though he was
going to try to eat a piece of woodcock for his dinner. It was then near
seven o'clock, and I left him, taking the volume with me, but with no
presentiment that we were parting for ever. He said, as I wished him good
night, 'Come again to-morrow if you are near me.' I promised to come, and
to come often, and left the room.
He can scarcely have seen anyone afterwards; for the evening was advancing,
and between nine and ten he went to bed. His servant proposed to sleep
near him. He said, 'No; I don't want that, unless I am very ill.' He fell
asleep, and seems never to have waked, for when he was found in the morning
he lay with his finger resting on his pillow in his accustomed attitude,
like a child asleep.
On January 27th I received a letter from Henry Greville, stating that
Charles had informed him of his intention, but that there was nothing about
the journals or letters in the will or codicil. I answered this letter
the same day, by giving him an abridged copy or version of the preceding
I ought to have stated that, in the conversation of January 10th, Mr.
Greville said that he thought it better not to fix any stated time
within which the journals might or might not be published. Part might be
published, but it was a mere question of discretion and propriety what and
I observed to him that in selecting me as his literary executor, the only
question was whether some member of his own family might not more properly
be selected. To this he replied that he had considered that, and preferred
that I should have them. I have since found that, prior to the death of
Sir George Lewis, he had been selected by Greville for this trust. He then
hesitated for some time whom he should appoint, and then chose me.
Having made up his mind that the time was ripe for the publication of the
earlier volumes of the journals, Reeve--as has been said--gave them to the
world on October 17th, fully prepared to take all the responsibility of his
act. And indeed he was quickly called on to do so; for some of Greville's
relations, uneasy--it would appear--at the hostile attitude of the Court,
called on him to make a public declaration that they had nothing to do with
it, whilst others were disposed to question Reeve's legal right. Of this,
however, he had plenty of evidence; amongst others, that of Mr. T. Longman,
_Farnborough Hill, November 7th._--... In the interview I had with Mr.
Harvie Farquhar, I stated that Mr. Greville consulted me some time before
his death as to whom he should leave his journals to, and that Mr. Greville
concurred in my suggestion that he should leave them to you. As Mr.
Greville acted on this some time after our conference, it became obvious to
Mr. H. Farquhar that, as between gentlemen, the main question that had been
raised, as to your right of possession, fell to the ground.
After this the matter was settled in a perfectly amicable manner in a
meeting between Reeve and Mr. Harvie Farquhar, representing the timorous
kinsfolk, and together they wrote the following letter, which was
published, under Reeve's signature, in the 'Times,' 'Pall Mall Gazette,'
and some other papers, on November 7th.
Finding that statements are current that Mr. Charles Greville's and Mr.
Henry Greville's executors had been consulted as to the publication of Mr.
Charles Greville's Journals of the Reigns of George IV. and William IV.,
I think it right to say that they were in no way consulted by me, nor
was their assent asked for, because I believed it to be the wish of
Mr. Greville that his family and executors should be relieved from all
responsibility in the matter.
The journals were not left to Mr. Henry Greville, nor did they pass to
his executors, having been given to me by Mr. Greville himself before
his death, as stated by me in the preface, for the purpose of eventual
publication, but the time and manner of publication were left to my sole
discretion. I am, therefore, alone responsible for the production of this
portion of the journals at the present time, and any beneficial interest
in them is a matter entirely between my publisher and myself. Beneficial
interest in the publication had not, however, the slightest influence on
the course I thought it right to pursue, and I take this opportunity of
stating that, in my opinion, many years must elapse before the more recent
portions of these journals can with propriety be published.
On the actual publication he received many encouraging letters, a few of
which are here given, together with a remarkable expression of opinion from
Lord Russell, one of the few public men then living who could speak of the
regency and the reign of George IV. from personal knowledge.
_From Mr. Delane_
Dear Reeve,--I am glad you are pleased with the first notice of Greville's
Journals. There are at least two more to come, which will, I hope, be
equally gratifying to you. Certainly you did not publish too soon. The
world moves too quickly for long intervals of suppressed publication. I
suppose the book is not really published, as I have only seen it in sheets.
Yours ever faithfully,
J. T. DELANE.
_From Lord Derby_
Knowsley, October 31st.
Dear Reeve,--The Greville papers are quite the most interesting and amusing
work of the year; and, considering the extreme difficulty of editing such a
work without spoiling it--on the one hand, by too much suppression, or by
leaving in it passages which would give reasonable cause of offence to
private persons--I think you have been singularly judicious.... As to the
journalist's criticisms on public men, they seem to me to be the harsh
judgements of a man trying to be impartial, though inclined to be
acrimonious. There is certainly nothing in them which you could have
the slightest scruple about publishing, or which the relatives of those
concerned can resent.
Very sincerely yours,
_From Mr. E. Cheney_
St. Anne's Hill, Chertsey, October 31st.
My dear Reeve,--... I have been reading Charles Greville with much interest
and entertainment. I think you are quite right in publishing now, and not
waiting for a generation 'who knew not Joseph.' There is always a clamour
against those who tell the truth. Charles Greville may very likely [have
been], and certainly was, very often wrong; but he believed he told the
truth, and he certainly uttered his genuine sentiments. These journals
throw a strong light on contemporary events, and will be very valuable to
the future historians of the period. Ch. G. was a man who felt much and
expressed himself strongly; and had you attempted to soften his language
you would have injured the effect and destroyed the _couleur locale_.
He was a man naturally of a quick and irritable temper, and he had been a
spoilt child all his life. His original education was defective. He lived
with the selfish and the self-indulgent, and naturally became selfish and
self-indulgent himself. At six years old an old friend of his mother's
found him crying at dinner because he had not got the liver wing of the
chicken; and to the last he would have wanted 'the liver wing.' But he had
naturally a kind heart, and a just perception; and he admired what was
noble and generous, if he did not always practise it. He suffered greatly
in health, and he was too self-indulgent, even with the certainty of pain
before his eyes, to moderate his appetite. His last years were unhappy. The
indulgence of his temper made his company often disagreeable, and he very
keenly felt the neglect of his old friends. With a better education
he would have been a most valuable man, for his natural powers were
considerable. Like so many other London men, he thought the whole world was
bounded by Oxford Street, Pall Mall, the Parks, and the City; and he took
his opinions from the clubs in St. James's Street and Pall-Mall, and, as
those opinions varied, so we find his judgements in these journals vary.
But he himself was convinced, and he uttered the genuine sentiments of the
moment.... I hope you will publish the rest of the four vols. before long,
and that you will preserve exactly the same plan you have done in these....
Yours very sincerely, E. C.
_From Mr. Harvie Farquhar_
16 St. James's Street, November 28th.
The yeast of society ferments easily, and--at present--C. G.'s manes are
the best abused in or out of Hades; but all will settle down soon, and when
people have done throwing stones, and the water is placid enough to enable
them to see below the surface, they will better appreciate what lies at the
bottom. Whether abused or not, the book will be in every library--on its
_From the Queen of Holland_
The Hague, Monday, November 30th.
My dear Mr. Reeve,--Saturday night, November 28th, the books arrived. I
am afraid, after Sunday church, more of my time than ought to have been
Sunday's occupation was given to these three volumes. Of course, I have not
_read_ them; I _rushed_ through, and am now going to read page by page.
The interest is an immense one. Not only that I have _known many_ of the
persons named, but I have _heard_ from all, and they seem to me like
shadows reviving, returning to light and life. Dear Lord Clarendon's name
struck me several times; and I remember, when Mr. Greville died, Lord
Clarendon wrote me 'his papers had been given to the person most able to
judge them.' At that time I did not know Mr. Reeve; but I recollect the
words perfectly. Pray give my best compliments to Mrs. Reeve, and believe
me very sincerely yours,
_From Lord Russell to Mr. T. Norton Longman_
_December 9th_.--I was much interested in C. Greville's Memoirs. He is not
a bit too severe on George IV. A worse man has not lived in our time.
On the other hand, many of the papers criticised the work in a hostile and
violent manner. It was, they said, a breach of official confidence for a
man in Greville's position to keep a journal at all. Greville--whose name
it was fatally easy to rhyme to Devil--was described as a man delighting in
listening at keyholes, and habitually misrepresenting the only half-heard
secrets. Here is a specimen; one epigram out of many, all to the same
effect, and all ending with the same rhyme:--
For fifty years he listened at the door,
And heard some secrets, and invented more;
These he wrote down, and statesmen, queens and kings,
Are all degraded into common things.
Though most have passed away, some still remain
To whom such scandal gives a needless pain;
And though they smile, and say 'Tis only Greville,'
They wish him, Reeve, and Longman at the devil.
The 'Quarterly Review,' too, in a peculiarly venomous article, compared
the relative positions of Greville and Reeve with those of Bolingbroke and
Mallet, as painted by Dr. Johnson. Bolingbroke, he had said, was a cowardly
blackguard, who loaded a gun which he was afraid to fire off himself, and
left a shilling to a beggarly Scotchman to pull the trigger after his
death. The inference was inevitable; and though Reeve was neither a
Scotchman nor a beggar, he unquestionably felt the sting, coming, as it
did, from a friend of more than forty years' standing, Abraham Hayward
[Footnote: See _ante_, vol. i. pp. 12, 34.]. The friendship was not
unnaturally broken, nor does the old intimacy appear to have been ever
Of course the gravamen of this charge, made not only by the 'Quarterly
Review,' but by other less distinguished journals, was that Reeve had been
mainly, if not solely, influenced by the idea of making a good thing out of
it. The sale of the work--they said--was very great. Commercially, it had
been a brilliant success. Reeve's trained insight into literary affairs had
shown him that it must be so, and, tempted by the _auri sacra fames_, he
had yielded, maugre the counsels of his better part. Never was charge more
unjust, more untrue. Reeve, though not a wealthy man, was now in easy
circumstances, with a sufficient and assured income. Prudent in the
management of his property and in his expenditure he seems to have always
been; but as far removed, both by temperament and education, from parsimony
as from extravagance. Money he valued only for what it could give him; and
both in fact and in sentiment he was in a position to say with the poet--
mihi parva rura et
Spiritum Graias tenuem Camoenae
Parca non mendax dedit, et malignum
Still, the charge was made at the time, was currently repeated, and
has been believed by many. It happens, however, that the most complete
contradiction of it remains in the shape of Reeve's letters to Mr. T.
Longman, some of which we can now read.
_C. O., November 7th_.--Nothing could end better for me than the amicable
discussion with H. Farquhar, and I am exceedingly glad to have had an
opportunity of writing the letter which appears in the 'Times' and 'Post'
I have never desired to make this book a source of profit to myself, beyond
a reasonable remuneration for the time and labour I have spent on it.
The returns have already exceeded my expectation and desire. It is not,
therefore, my wish or intention to press or urge the sale of the book. I
have no doubt the second edition will go off fast enough--indeed a good
part of it is already bespoken. But I have not at all made up my mind to
proceed to a third edition if the second is exhausted. I am inclined to
think I shall hold my hand. I have no wish to make more money out of the
book, or to make it a very common popular work; and my feeling is that I
should best consult my own dignity by leaving matters as they are, at any
rate for the present.
However, it is needless to decide this now, as the demand for a third
edition may never arise. But I think it right to let you know my view of
the matter, because you are by no means called upon to advertise largely,
or make efforts to extend the sale--at least, not more than you think
necessary to cover your own interests. But I believe you would be sure to
sell this second edition without any advertising at all. I certainly do not
wish to have any puffing advertisements. I had rather that the book were to
become scarce and dear than that you should sell ten thousand copies.
_November 9th_.--There is a good deal of truth in what you say about not
publishing a third edition if the second is sold off. People would probably
attribute it to the wrong motive, and say I had been stopped in some
way, or was afraid; and nobody gets any credit for disinterestedness.
Fortunately the first edition was a very small one, for you could have sold
5,000 as easily as 2,500, and this has given a check to the sale, which I
do not regret. If necessary, I suppose these editions must go on as long as
there is a demand for the book. But the desire to get hold of new books is
a short-lived passion, and is soon turned aside by some other novelty. I
shall not wish to publish the book at all in a cheaper form, and I think it
will require very little outlay in advertising.
Reeve would, however, have been more than human if the continued success
of the book had not greatly modified his views, and reconciled him to the
steady sale; and some months later he wrote again:--
_January 25th_, 1875.--The general impression seems to be that Hayward's
article is a fiasco. It has done me no harm, and his clients have no reason
to thank him. The fourth edition of Greville will contain a good many
improvements and corrections, and will be the best edition to keep. I
believe they are printing 1,000. I wish they had made it 1,500, for this
multiplication of editions is troublesome, and I have no doubt that 1,500
will ultimately be sold. The book has struck root below the stratum of the
_April 15th_, 1875.--Nothing seems to be wanting to the indirect
advertisement of Greville's Journals, though the usual advertisements were
by my desire restricted. I do not recollect another instance of a book
being made the subject of a hostile motion in the House of Commons.
Anyone whose memory needs refreshing will find in the 'Edinburgh Reviews'
of the next five years sufficient indication of the interest which Reeve
continued to take in the great questions of the day, whether at home or
abroad; but his private correspondence at this time is mainly devoted to
social or literary topics. The death of Lord Clarendon in England, of M.
Guizot in France, had deprived him of the living keys to the dark problems
of policy, and there was no one with equal knowledge and opportunities
to take their place. He was, too, in opposition. In form, at least, the
principles of the 'Edinburgh Review' differed widely from those of
the Government; and though many things even then told of a probable
_rapprochement_ of moderate Whigs and moderate Conservatives, it was still
held by most to be an extravagant dream. But even had it been otherwise,
the personal element was wanting. With Disraeli, Reeve's acquaintance was
limited; with Lord Salisbury, though on friendly terms, he had never been
intimate; his intimacy with Lord Derby was of a later date. From our
foreign embassies and from India, his communications were on a more
familiar footing; but many of these took the form of articles for the
'Review,' and of the rest, in view of the delicacy of the subjects
discussed, the frankness with which they were discussed, and the
comparatively recent date, it has seemed unadvisable to publish much. The
result of all which is that during this peculiarly busy, exciting and
important time, Reeve's available correspondence is more purely personal
than at any other period of his working life. The Journal is seldom
anything else. It records here:--
_October, 1874_.--M. de Jarnac was now French Ambassador, to my great
delight, as he was a very old and valued friend. The first planting at
Foxholes was done in the course of this autumn, but the garden was not made
till the following spring.
_November 17th_.--Dined at Lord Derby's with several of the ministers, and
was introduced to Count Schouvaloff.
_20th_.--Dinner at home to the Jarnacs, Lady Derby, Lady Cowley, Lady
Molesworth, Chief Justice Cockburn and A. Elliot. Several pleasant dinners
through the winter.
_December 22nd_.--To Paris, with Christine and Hopie. Cold. On the 26th
breakfasted with the Due d'Aumale, and went with him to the Institute.
Evening, Duchesse de Chartres. 27th, dined at Versailles with Thiers;
Mignet, Barthelémy St.-Hilaire and Vacherot. It was on this occasion that
Thiers related the story of the Duc d'Enghien.
_January 1st_, 1875.--We dined at the Embassy for the _Jour de l'an_. While
there rain fell and the streets were covered with _verglas_. I walked with
great difficulty to Thiers's at the Hôtel Bagration, three doors off, where
the scene was burlesque. Not a carriage could move; not a horse could
stand; and the company walked home with napkins tied round their feet. [But
Mrs. Reeve, who was at the dinner, wrote: Our _fiacre_ managed to crawl
home with Hopie and me. Henry, who had gone to the Thiers's, returned
safely on his feet tied up in dusters. M. Thiers suggested dusters on the
hands also, so as to go _à quatre pattes_; but Henry did not become a
quadruped. I was horribly uneasy till he came in, but his was the ludicrous
side of the question; of the tragic, I heard next day plenty of instances.]
_January 3rd_.--Dined with the Duc de Nemours, and went to the Duchesse
Decazes's reception. Home on the 7th.
_From the Rev. G. W. Cox_ [Footnote: Now Sir George Cox, Bart.]
_February 5th_.--Nothing but lack of leisure has prevented me from
expressing sooner the very hearty satisfaction and delight with which I
have read and re-read your article on Mill's Essays. I suppose it is this
article which has sent the 'Edinburgh' into a second edition. I am rejoiced
to think that it is so. The ground which you take is, I feel sure,
impregnable; but the force of your whole argument, which is much what I
have tried to work out for years past, only makes me lament the more
the folly of the line taken by most of the writers who shrink from the
materialistic and atheistic philosophy of Mill and Tyndall--for the latter
seems to put himself into the same boat. I believe that the thought of
England is, on this subject, taking, or is likely to take, a very healthy
turn, which such an article as yours must greatly promote.
_From M. B. St.-Hilaire_
Paris, February 5th.
My dear Reeve,--I have received your article on Mr. Stuart Mill, for which
I thank you. I read it with the greatest interest, and congratulate you on
your vigorous refutation of that supercilious and hollow materialism. I am
glad, too, to see that you have profited by M. Dumas's last discourse on M.
de la Rive. You have done well to record these declarations of a permanent
secretary of the Academy of Sciences. Unfortunately, M. Dumas's character
has not the moral authority which is desirable in such serious matters.
His taking part in public business, far from increasing his credit, has
lessened it; even his scientific standing has suffered; people doubt his
sincerity; and his interested flattery of the Empire does not show that
greatness and purity of soul which inspire confidence. He is, however,
everywhere recognised as a man of great ability, and I am truly glad that
he should be counted among the partisans of spiritualism. I believe the
other permanent secretary of the Academy of Sciences is far from sharing
these opinions; and it is, therefore, all the more important that M. Dumas
should profess them publicly. With you, materialism is an exception and
an eccentricity. With us, on the contrary, it is almost the rule of the
learned world; and the Catholic clergy, given up to superstition and
ultramontanism, do not in any way help us to combat it. It was an honour to
the 'Edinburgh Review' to adhere so stoutly to the principles you uphold;
and for this, it is indebted to you.
Agréez, mon cher Reeve, mes salutations bien cordiales, que je présente
aussi à toute votre famille. Votre bien dévoué,
The Journal continues:--
_March 6th_--Sir Arthur Helps died. [He caught a chill at the levee on the
Monday, and died on the Saturday.]
Charles Peel was appointed Clerk of the Council.
_22nd_.--Jarnac died--a great loss. I drove down with Lord Derby to the
_April 1st_.--Saw Salvini in 'Othello' at Drury Lane. Very fine.
_2nd_.--To Christchurch. Roof on house at Foxholes. Garden beginning to be
made. On the 6th, lunched with the Lord Chancellor at Bournemouth. Bought
additional strip of land.
_From Professor Owen_
British Museum, May 13th.
My dear Reeve,--Two portraits would be famous and instructive and replete
with interest to all ages; to wit: the one of Miss Reeve (?) [Footnote:
Lady Smith. The (?) presumably is whether the portrait was taken before or
after her marriage.] by Opie, showing the 'human face divine' in a
female of the highest race of mankind, at her prime of beauty; and the
second--could it but be got--by Millais, of Lady Smith, giving the
characteristics of the same face, of the same individual, at a stage of
human life never again likely to be a subject for art, under the same
circumstances. For the 'Natural History of the Human Species,' such a
pair of portraits would be notable in every work thereon, as well as in
countless collateral works; and that to all time. The present opportunity
is worth every exertion to availment; if lost, it is most improbable that
it may ever again occur. Can you enlist your sympathy and aid in bringing
this about? [Footnote: Sir Richard Owen succeeded in obtaining a pair of
photographs, taken from the Ople and the life. His grandson, the Rev.
Richard Owen, has them now.]
Yours always truly,
_From Lady Smith_
_Lowestoft, May 14th_.--Dear Mr. Reeve,--As we know not what the morning
mail may bring forth, I look with impatient curiosity when I see letters
on my breakfast table; so yesterday had the great pleasure of perceiving
yours, knowing I should have something pleasant to hear, but little
anticipating what followed--the news of Arthur Stanley. To be remembered
kindly by the Dean of Westminster, anywhere, is honour; but to be [so] in
so distinguished a manner and in a place dedicated to [such] a name as Fox
is an honour never to be forgotten. Besides the domestic blessings I enjoy,
I also reckon that of living to witness the progress of a new Reformation,
in which the Dean of Westminster is the brightest light; and who, like
Shakespeare among the poets, stood on a higher pedestal than they--exalted
and good men as they are. I always rejoice that the Dean of Christ Church,
Oxford, and Stanley are good friends and worthy of each other. If I could
write better, I would tell you what my friend Mr. Leson Smith said of the
Greville Memoirs,, quite approving all of it. In a second letter he turns
the shafts aimed at yourself upon the calumniator. The Dean of Oxford
also approves. I am in better health than I was two years since, and have
nothing to complain of but a failing sight, which hinders my expressions of
gratitude to you for your friendship to Pleasance Smith.
Oh that you were here to see the wild beauty of the heath and dunes--a
cloth of gold far as the eye can reach!--what was the Field of Cloth of
Gold to this!
Continuing the Journal:--
_May 20th_.--Went to Holland, by Harwich, to see the Queen. Dined with Her
Majesty at the House in the Wood. On the 24th, breakfasted with the Queen
in the boudoir at the end of the Gallery in the Wood. Charming spring
morning. Went on to Aix. Home by Ostend on the 31st.
_June 15th_.--Helen Richardson was married to Sir Edward Blackett at
Ottershaw. We went down the day before.
_22nd_.--The Queen of Holland came to London. Dined with Her Majesty at the
Sandbachs' on July 1st. She came to see the statue of Lord Clarendon at the
Foreign Office on July 2nd.
_July 6th._--I took the Queen of Holland to see the Novar pictures. Meadows
Taylor stayed with us. Christine went to take the waters of St.-Honoré in
Robert Lemon [Footnote: Son of Robert Lemon, a clerk in the State Paper
Office, and editor of some of the Calendars of State Papers, who died in
1867.], my clerk for thirty-three years, died in a fit.
Reeve deeply felt the loss of one who had been for so long associated with
him; but, independently of this, Mr. Lemon's death at this particular time
had an important influence on Reeve's immediate future. For some months he
had been contemplating retiring from the office, which he had now held for
close on forty years, in the view of devoting himself more exclusively to
literary work--apparently to a task of some magnitude. He had also been in
correspondence with Mr. Longman on a proposal from the firm that he should
act as their literary adviser; and thus, after long consideration he had,
on July 5th, mentioned, in a semi-official manner, his wish to retire in
October. On July 6th he wrote to Mr. Longman, provisionally accepting the
offer of the firm; but the next day had to write again--
What a world is this! On Monday I told the Duke [of Richmond] I would
resign on October 25th. Yesterday evening, my chief clerk, Robert Lemon,
had an apoplectic fit, and he died in the course of last night. He was a
most excellent and valuable assistant to me, and I looked forward to him
to drill in my successor. It may now become impossible for me to leave the
office as soon as I meant to do, for poor Lemon and myself are the only two
men who know the detail of the business, and I can't leave the department
It is a most melancholy and distressing occurrence.
_July 14th_.--It is clear that the vacancy which has occurred in this
office will detain me here six months, and perhaps a year longer than
I wished or intended. This being so, our arrangements must remain in
abeyance, with entire liberty to you to renew or withdraw your offer. At
this distance of time it is superfluous to discuss details, but if I accept
the duties you propose to me, I should of course adapt my movements and
residence to the exigency of the case. At present, I find my work here
vastly increased, because I have to look more to the detail of the
The contemplated arrangement was thus postponed for the time, and was not
again taken up in that form. Reeve continued--as he had long done--to act
as confidential adviser to the firm; but he remained at the Council Office
for another twelve years, and when he ultimately retired, it was not with
the view of undertaking any heavy additional work. The Journal goes on:--
_August 2nd_.--To Paris. Met Christine at Dijon on the 3rd. Then by Dole to
Vevay. Binet came. Met the Wodehouses. Visit to the Blumenthals at their
_chalet_. 13th, to the Gorges du Trient, and so to Chamonix, with Binet
and Christine. Splendid weather at Chamonix. 16th, St. Martin's; full moon
rising behind Mont Blanc. 17th, to Chambéry, St. Laurent du Pont, and the
Grande Chartreuse--very interesting. Geneva on the 20th, and back to Vevay
on the 21st. Thence to Besançon, Belfort, and Nancy. 27th, Metz. Drove
round the fields of battle of Gravelotte and St. Privat. To Brussels, by
Luxembourg. Bought furniture at Brussels for Foxholes. Home by Antwerp on
_October 7th_.--To Bournemouth, to look over Foxholes. 26th, Timsbury.
_November 20th_.--House nearly finished. Christmas at Farnborough. The
workmen left Foxholes on December 28th.
The Government bought the Khedive's shares in the Suez Canal. I attacked
the bargain in the 'Edinburgh Review.'
But from the earliest inception of the Suez Canal, Reeve had strongly
opposed it. He held, and in fact all history warranted him in holding,
that the opening of a water-way through the isthmus would be more than
prejudicial, would be destructive, to English interests. He was very far
from being alone in this opinion; it was one which he shared with several
of the most able and experienced men of the day, quite irrespective of
party. France, on her side, indulged in golden dreams. The wealth and
grandeur of mediaeval Venice was to find its counterpart in the commercial
prosperity of Marseilles; and it is permitted us to believe that much of
the enthusiasm which the scheme excited was due to the hope that it would
irretrievably damage England. Hence, too, the ill will rising out of the
disappointment, out of the conviction forced on the people of France that,
far from injuring us, it has turned out altogether to our advantage. French
skill constructed the canal, French capital paid for it. England stood
aloof till success was achieved, and then hastened to reap the profit;
then, by buying up the shares, doubled that profit; and since then, by the
occupation of Egypt, has usurped the control of the whole. Never has there
been such a case of the _Sic vos non vobis_; and the French are very
angry. Reeve's constant and familiar intercourse with French society had
necessarily taught him the opinions so universally held in France, and had
persuaded him that the only safe plan for England was to have nothing to do
with the pestilent thing. Disraeli, on the other hand, with a wider grasp
of the situation, understood that, in this, at any rate, inactivity was
not masterly, and that by boldness the enemy would be hoist with their own
_From Lady Smith_
Lowestoft, December 5th.
Dear Mr. Reeve,--It gave me pleasure to see your handwriting again, and
some surprise. In the first place, I must mention that I think you would
prefer Opie's original portrait to that which I possess, which, though by
Opie, is the copy of my portrait. When I last saw the original picture it
was in the Royal Academy; where it is now, I do not know; but [that] may
perhaps be ascertained. I must add that from its long residence in
London it looked very dingy, and required a refreshment from some good
picture-mender, and fresh varnish. If this picture is not come-at-able, I
shall be happy to send that I have here, of which you will acquaint me, and
send particular directions of the place and time it may be expected.
I am glad to hear you, and Mrs. Reeve, and my amiable young friend your
daughter are well. I hear you are building a superb mansion at Bournemouth;
a charming place, I have no doubt. My kind regards to you and them, from
your attached friend, PLEASANCE SMITH.
Very sorry am I to hear of Lady Augusta Stanley's hopeless illness, and
happy am I to observe the Dean's perpetual vigour. Long may he continue to
illume the realm of mist in that Temple of Reconciliation where his light
shines in so brilliant a lustre. In what a remarkable period do we live!
The picture by Opie was exhibited from Mr. Botfield's [Footnote: Beriah
Botfield, of Deckel's Hill, Shiffnal, Shropshire, and Grosvenor Square;
died 1863.] collection (at one of the Old Masters' Exhibitions) about nine
or ten years ago.
The Journal notes:--
_January 1876_.--I meant to go to Paris, but gout came on, and I gave it
_March 28th_.--Sent down furniture, &c. by vans to Foxholes.
_April 2nd_.--Took possession of Foxholes; cold and windy, and I gouty.
_To Mr. T. Longman_
_Foxholes, April 19th_.--Lady Holland has written me a note quite as
amiable as her brother, and all the family seem to be satisfied with my
article. The little crack of the whip just nicked the fly on Abraham's ear.
A touch is often more keenly felt than a blow, when dealt in the right
The only fault to be found with living here is that life glides away too
rapidly, and I feel as if I should hardly have time to read over again the
works of the Immortals, before I go to join them.
We have just got a splendid billiard table, and Hopie and I intersperse
cannons and winning hazards with literature.
And the Journal:--
_April 27th_.--Returned to town. Very bad fit of gout. This was the year
of my grand climacteric (sixty-three), and I was uncommonly ill. I went to
Aix, May 30th; but was worse there, and came back, June 19th.
_July 7th_.--Garden party at Holland House; the only thing I was able to go
to this year from incessant gout.
_12th_.--Came down to Foxholes. Great heat; no rain from April till August.
_To Lord Derby_
62 Rutland Gate, April 28th.
My Dear Lord Derby,--I cannot forbear to express to you our very great
and cordial sympathy in the great loss you have sustained.[Footnote: The
Dowager Countess of Derby died on April 26th, 1876.] It was Gray, I think,
who said that a man can have but one mother, and in losing her one loses
the only real witness of the tenderest part of the growth of life. Nobody
else has any memory for infancy, childhood and youth, and no one else has
the same claims to dutiful affection. The loss is irreparable. I find it so
myself every day. Lady Derby had the happiness to see you combine with the
most affectionate regard for her the public duties and honours which are
almost hereditary in your family. Few women have seen life played out on a
nobler scale. She was the link between two generations of statesmen,
and lived in the entire intimacy and affection of both. But these
considerations cannot alleviate sorrow!
With every assurance of sincere regard to yourself and Lady Derby from Mrs.
Reeve and myself, believe me, always faithfully yours,
Continuing the Journal:--
_August 12th_.--Disraeli made Earl Beaconsfield.
_14th_.--From Southampton to Havre and Rouen with Christine and Hopie.
Dined with the Cardinal de Bonnechose; Circourt joined us there.
_17th_.--To the Château d'Eu; found there the Duc de Montpensier and
Infanta Christine, Duc and Duchesse de Chartres, Mme. de Rainneville and
Lambert de Sainte-Croix. Drive in forest; very hot.
_21st_.--Celebrated our silver wedding at Eu. To Dieppe and back by Havre
on the 24th. William Longman came to Foxholes. Saw Lady Charlotte Bacon
[Footnote: See _ante_, vol. i. p. 88.] again.
Mrs. Reeve gave 'Ianthe,' whom they met at a luncheon party at Bournemouth,
a fuller notice. She wrote, 'A bad husband and narrow means kept her out of
England for thirty-five years or so, and she is now a corpulent matron of
seventy, with no trace of those charms sung by the poet.'
All this autumn an immense agitation was kept up, chiefly by Gladstone,
on the 'Bulgarian Atrocities.' Meetings were held all over the kingdom. I
published an article in the 'Review' in October, which Lord Derby said was
the first thing that turned the tide. It soon turned altogether; and in a
few months the people were as anxious to attack the Russians as they had
been to coerce the Turks.
To Mr. Dempster
_Foxholes, October 17th._--Can you, who know all the genealogies of
Scotland better than the Red Lion himself, tell me what relation Countess
Purgstall was to Dugald Stewart? [Footnote: She was his wife's sister.] I
know she was a Cranstoun; but was she related to the great Professor? When
my father was in Vienna in 1805, she received him very kindly, because he
had known Dugald Stewart, and followed his lectures in Edinburgh.
I enjoy my life here above all things. Four months have slipped away in
this Olympian calm, between the sea and the sky, and I fancy that the New
Forest is the Highlands; but it is time to be up and doing, and next week I
return to London, with a large stock of health and good spirits.
Matters look very black in the East. I am afraid it is a deep-laid Russian
plot, which Gladstone has done not a little to promote and encourage. You
will see that I have held to my own line in the Blue and Yellow.
To Mr. T. Longman
_Rutland Gate, November 1st._--I have a great dislike to the proposal of
reprinting an article of my own in a cheap form. It seems to me to be
descending to the level of Mr. Gladstone's sixpenny agitation. Moreover,
the political situation is now considerably altered. Many things which
were said hypothetically on October 12th have assumed a different shape on
November 1st. But if any arrangement can be made to supply the Mayor of
Bristol with one hundred copies of the 'Review,' at a cheap rate, I shall
be very glad of it. The cheap republication of the attractive article would
be just as injurious to booksellers who have copies of the 'Review' on hand
as the distribution of copies of the 'Review.' Both measures interfere with
the regular course of sale, and are therefore mischievous.
The Journal notes:--
_January 23rd_, 1877.--The Folkestone (Ritualist) case [Footnote: Ridsdale
_v._ Clifton and others. See _Times_, January 24th and following days.
Judgement, _Times_, July 19th.] heard by the Judicial Committee, by eleven
privy councillors, and five bishops. It lasted nearly a fortnight.
_January 24th_.--Christine and I went to pay a visit to the Duke and
Duchess of Cleveland at Battle Abbey. It was singularly interesting and
agreeable. Nothing could exceed the vivacity of the Duchess, or her
attention to her guests. The party consisted of Maud Stanley, Charles
Newton, Banks-Stanhope, Raglan Somerset, and the Mercer Hendersons.
I have known the Duke these forty years, having first met him at the
Duchesse de Mailly's, in Paris, about the year 1836. He is the only
Englishman I ever knew who is perfectly at home in the best French society,
and as Lord Harry Vane he was extremely popular in Paris. There is now
nobody living who has known so many of my oldest and best friends--most of
whom are now no more--both in Paris, Geneva, and London; and our talk of
these old times was most abundant.
Battle Abbey is certainly one of the most curious and beautiful remains in
England, and as it was built on the morrow of the Conquest (1067), it
is astonishing how much remains. The present drawing-room is a long,
low-arched room, with Gothic arches springing from columns of Purbeck
marble. Much of the great refectory and part of the cloisters still
remains. This is part of the original building of William the Conqueror.
The great gateway and outer wall is of the time of Edward III. The great
hall is about two hundred years old. The Abbey was given by Henry VIII. to
Sir Anthony Browne, and afterwards purchased in 1722 by the Websters, from
whom the Duke of Cleveland bought it a few years ago.
The Duchess drove us over to call at Ashburnham, about three miles on the
other side of Battle. There we saw a most beautiful Sir Joshua of Lady St.
Asaph (the present Earl's grandmother) and the shirt King Charles wore on
the day of his execution. Lady Ashburnham told us that old women had,
in our time, asked for leave to spread the cloth which is with it over
children to cure the King's evil.
Lord Ashburnham [Footnote: He died in June 1878, in his eighty-first
year.] is himself a sight--a man of eighty, in high boots, very deaf, very
caustic, and clever; possessing under lock and key most wonderful literary
treasures and curiosities. He gave 3,000 £ for a manuscript bible, but that
we did not see.
_February 3rd_--Lady Smith died at Lowestoft, aged 103 and 9 months.
_March 13th_--Tennyson dined at The Club; Archbishop and Chancellor there.
_16th_--To Foxholes. April 14th, back to town.
It was about this time that Miss Agnes Clerke--who has since come into the
foremost rank as a popular exponent of science and as the biographer of
its votaries--was making her _début_ in literature, and contributed two
articles to the 'Edinburgh Review,' the one in April on 'Brigandage in
Sicily,' and the other, which appeared in July, on 'Copernicus in Italy,'
subjects which her residence in Italy had brought more immediately under
her notice. Just before the publication of the first of these Reeve wrote
to her, introducing M. de Circourt, who was then at Florence where Miss
Clerke was. A fortnight later he wrote again in answer to her reply.
Rutland Gate, April 19th.
My Dear Miss Clerke,--It gives me very sincere pleasure to have contributed
to introduce you to your first literary success. I hope it may be the
prelude to many more. I can hardly venture to recommend to you the course
in which you should steer your bark. On scientific subjects I am very
ignorant, but there has been an article in the 'Review' on Spectrum
Analysis, by Professor Roscoe, and another on the Transit of Venus last
year. You have the advantage of seeing before your eyes the intellectual
_renaissance_ of Italy, and it has already supplied you with two very good
It is probable that before October something else may turn up. If not, I
will send you a book from England to review--for instance, Miss Wynne's
Letters and Journals, which are being printed, and will come out in
October. Miss Wynne was a delightful person, who lived in the society of
Paris, when it was most agreeable. M. de Circourt is the last survivor of
it--unless I may be reckoned a survivor too. I am glad you appreciate him.
He was private secretary to M. de Polignac in 1830, and married in 1832 an
incomparable Russian--Mlle. de Klustine. They used to say that she knew
seventeen languages and he eighteen. She died some years ago from a
burn, and Circourt now passes his life chiefly with Mme. d'Affry and her
daughter, the Duchess Colonna.
I have another cousin (besides Mrs. Ross) who passes her winters in
Florence, or near it--Mrs. James Whittle. She is a great invalid, and never
goes out. But she is now returning to a Schloss (Syrgenstein) they have in
Bavaria. ... You are right. I have left my hill, which overlooks the great
seaway between the Needles and Hengistbury Head, and come to London for the
next three months; but I had much rather stay in my hermitage. London is as
disagreeable as an east wind can make it. Believe me,
The Journal here notes:--
_April 25th_--Lord Derby gave a great dinner at the F.O. I sat between
Stirling-Maxwell and Pender.
_May 9th_--Lord Derby presided at the Literary Fund dinner. I proposed the
health of the Chinese Ambassador. I retired this year from the council of
the Literary Fund.
_18th_--Went to Paris alone. 20th, long interview with the Duc Decazes.
Dined at the Embassy. Thiers in the evening.
_May 22nd_--Dinner at Laugel's. [Footnote: The Duc d'Aumale's secretary.]
Duc de Broglie, Duc Decazes, Chabaud-Latour and the Haussonvilles. The
'_coup d'état_ of the Marshal,' as it was called, when Macmahon turned out
Jules Simon and the Radicals, took place on May 16th, just before I reached
Paris. Hence the agitation was extreme; and at this dinner at Laugel's I
had to encounter the dukes, who wanted to know why we disapproved their
_23rd_.--Dined with Thiers, who was depressed. I had, however, several
important conversations with him during this visit, of which I took a note.
He expected to become president again. If that had happened, much would
have been altered, but he died on September 3rd.
_28th_.--Back to London. Related to Lord Derby what Thiers said.
_31st_.--Severe gale. To Foxholes for a day on June 2nd.
_June 12th_.--The Duc d'Aumale came over to dine with The Club.
_19th_.--Mrs. Oliphant's party to Maga at Runnymead [to celebrate her 25th
year of alliance with 'Blackwood's Magazine.' A lovely day, and an amusing
party of littérateurs, publishers, writers, &c.]
_July 19th_.--Came down to Foxholes.
_October 18th_.--London to Durham, with Hopie. Durham Cathedral. 19th,
to Matfen (Sir E. Blackett's); 24th, to Yester (Lord Tweeddale's) by
Edinburgh; 29th, to Ormiston; and 31st to Minto. Back to town on November
3rd. Some London dinners.
_To Mr. T. Longman_
_C. O., November 8th_.--There ought to be, in the January number, an
article on the Organisation of the Liberal Party. I have asked several
leading politicians of the party to undertake it, but in vain. The truth
is, that it is a very thankless and hopeless subject; and the recent
discussion of the county franchise by Lowe and Gladstone renders it still
more difficult. I put my own opinions wholly out of the question, and
should give _carte blanche_ to any competent and accredited writer to treat
the subject. I think I shall ask Lord Hartington what he wishes to be done.
My own opinion is that this county franchise move is suicidal to the
Liberal party, and I clearly perceive that the Tories are preparing--when
somewhat hard pressed--to take up and carry some such measure, accompanied
by a redistribution of seats that will swamp a great many Liberal boroughs.
They say, If the thing is to be done, we had better do it....
It is generally supposed that Gladstone published his article, which points
to universal suffrage, in order to cut the ground from under Hartington's
feet at the Scotch meetings. Hitherto Whig principles and the whole Whig
party have been decidedly opposed to an unrestricted franchise.
_C.O., November 15th_--Lord Granville is so cautious and reserved a man
that it is impossible to extract any definite opinion or advice from him.
I have tried repeatedly, and I never got so much as a hint from him worth
anything How different from Lord Clarendon or Lord Aberdeen! The truth is
that Granville is always waiting upon fortune; ready to take any course
that may turn up, but utterly incapable of taking a strong resolution based
on principle and conviction....
I dare say May's book will have success. It is very well written; but it
is not what I expected. It is an historical survey of the political
institutions of all nations, 'from China to Peru,' executed with care and
great reading; but there are no traces of original thought, and it leaves
you exactly where you were before in relation to the democratic element in
society. Bagehot's books have ten times as much _thought_ in them.
A most excellent book, which I am reading with great delight, is Mr.
Gardiner's 'Reign of Charles I. before the Rebellion.' It is, to me, as
interesting as Macaulay, and singularly impartial.
And the Journal winds up the year with:--
_December 12th_--To Foxholes. Christmas at Farnborough. [Mrs. Reeve wrote
on December 24th: We start this morning for Farnborough Hill. It is now
eighteen years that we have spent Christmas with the Longmans.] Back to
1878.--We spent the first week of the New Year at Foxholes, the weather
charming, and returned to London on January 11th.
_To Mr. T. Longman_
_Foxholes, January 7th._--I know the authoress of the Russian letters very
well. She is one of the boldest and keenest Russian agents in Europe, who
was sent here three or four years ago to endeavour to prepare English
society for the coming war, and she has returned here every winter. She has
made repeated attempts to capture me, though, as you may suppose, without
success. But on politicians of a sentimental cast her influence has been
considerable, especially on Gladstone, who is singularly amenable to female
flattery, and a perfect child in the hands of a clever _intrigante_ of this
But I am certainly sorry that Froude should have attached his name to her
letters. To suppose that this great and dreadful war has been undertaken
for the sole purpose of 'liberating' the Southern Slavs, and that the
Russians hate the Turks because the Tartars conquered Russia some centuries
back, are assumptions which can hardly impose on the most credulous of men.
This is a war of conquest, and the spirit of the Crusades has been evoked
to stimulate an ignorant and enthusiastic people.
One of the points of the Russian party in England is to denounce and
misrepresent the Crimean war. That war was carried on in defence of great
principles of European law--not for the sake of the Turks--by the statesmen
to whom we are particularly attached--Palmerston, Clarendon, Russell,
Lewis, Panmure, &c. Mr. Carlyle, Froude, Freeman, Goldwin Smith, Bright,
and at last Gladstone, were opposed to it. I adhere to the views of the
statesmen, which the 'Review' defended in 1854 and 1855. I am, therefore,
extremely glad, and think it highly proper and necessary that the Queen
should defend the course taken by her ministers and by the nation at that
time; and it would be the excess of inconsistency in the 'Review' not to
maintain, as a matter of history, the same principles for which we have
_C. O., January 12th_.--One of the first persons I met on coming to London
yesterday was Lord Granville, and I had a long talk with him. He was less
reserved than usual. I don't know that there is any difference in our view
of the foreign question, except that he thinks the Government should have
said and done even less than they have done. But the disposition of many
of the moderate Whigs, such as Lord Morley, Duke of Bedford, Duke of
Cleveland, &c., is to support the foreign policy of the Government. The
Duke of Sutherland is to dine at Disraeli's dinner, out of hatred of
Gladstone. I believe Dizzy is to have the Garter!
Lord Granville said, 'I saw that the last article in the last number of the
"E. Review" was _not_ Reeve. It might have been written by a contributor to
the "Daily Telegraph."' To this I replied: 'It was written, in fact, by a
very intimate friend of your own, who was, I think, staying at Walmer last
summer; a man of great experience in political writing, not for the "D. T."
but for the "Times;" and, although I don't think it a good article, and
differ from many things in it, I thought myself pretty safe in the hands of
Sir George Dasent.' It was amusing to see G.'s look of astonishment.
Politically, the topic of 1878 was the settlement of the Russo-Turkish war.
The fall of Plevna in the previous December, and the subsequent collapse of
Turkey, led to the advance of the Russians to San Stefano and the treaty
of March 3rd, which seemed a direct step towards the seizure of
Constantinople, and the swallowing up of the Turkish Empire. In England
public feeling ran very high, but, unfortunately, in opposing currents.
The Government was resolved, at all risks, to prevent the extreme result
foreshadowed by the Treaty of San Stefano, and to do so by acting on the
_si vis pacem, para bellum_ principle. In the East, the Mediterranean fleet
was ordered to pass the Dardanelles and to anchor in the Sea of Marmora;
whilst at home, a vote of credit to the amount of 6,000,000£. was rapidly
passed through Parliament, the navy was strengthened, the army reserves
were called out, and the initial preparations were made for the despatch of
an expeditionary force. And at this time what threatened to be a serious
blow to the Ministry, in reality strengthened it. Lord Derby, the foreign
secretary, resigned, possibly influenced, it was said, by personal intimacy
with Count Schouvaloff, and in any case disapproving of the measures of the
Government. He was succeeded by the Marquis of Salisbury, who, in June,
accompanied Lord Beaconsfield to Berlin to attend the Congress, from which
they returned on July 16th, bringing back, in Beaconsfield's now classical
words, 'Peace with honour.'
_From Mr. Richard Doyle_
7 Finborough Road, January 15th.
My Dear Reeve,--When at Foxholes, in August last, I began a sketch of the
view from your house. It was my intention to ask you to accept the drawing
when complete. In the presence, however, of the very attractive original,
I, on leaving, was so little satisfied with my copy that I had not the
heart to say anything about it. But, after an interval, and a little more
work upon it, I begin to think that, after all, when in town, it perhaps
may remind you imperfectly of the fresh skies and blue waters left out
of town. So I return to my original intention, and herewith send you the
little drawing for your acceptance. With best remembrance to Mrs. and Miss
Reeve, yours very sincerely,
_From Mr. Theodore Martin_
31 Onslow Square, January 16th.
Dear Mr. Reeve,--I have been much gratified by reading the review of my
third volume in the 'Edinburgh Review,' which my publishers have just sent
me. It brings out with admirable effect the passages which bear on the
present crisis--passages which I inserted in the volume from a strong
feeling that there would be occasion to strengthen the sound view of the
Eastern Question by the emphatic language of the Prince Consort. God grant
they may not have come too late!
With reference, especially, to what you say at the top of page 151, I must
disabuse you of what seems to be the prevailing impression that things in
this book have been written by the direct inspiration of the Queen. Not one
word of it, from beginning to end, was prompted by Her Majesty, who has
left me, from the first, unfettered, to draw my own conclusions, to select
the documents to be made public, and to state my own convictions in my own
What I have selected and what I have written has, when printed, been
submitted, of course, for Her Majesty's approval, which, I am happy to say,
I have always had. In regard to the third volume, it was written almost
entirely last summer and autumn, at my country house, where I had no
opportunity of even consulting Her Majesty. Your conjecture, therefore,
as to the note you cite on page 151 is a mistaken one. That note only
expresses a conviction which I have strongly felt for many years. You will,
on reflection, I think, see that I could not with propriety refer to the
circumstances alluded to in the note on the same page of the 'Review.' It
is one of hundreds of cases where reticence seemed to myself, as, in some
sense, representing Her Majesty, to be prescribed to me. When my book is
complete, an abridged 'Life' will be published. I am sure this article
must do good by being in the hands of the public before the meeting of
Believe me, very truly yours,
_January 19th_.--I have no doubt the Queen will be much pleased with the
'E. R.' article. Believe me, Her Majesty's mind is far too candid and
sincere to take any umbrage at what you say about the Prince's _Germanism_.
She may not think it went so far as you do; but she has always frankly
acknowledged its existence, seeing, with her usual good sense, both the
good and bad effects of any extreme views. If there be any one person more
than another to whom the artificial language commonly addressed to royal
personages is distasteful, it is the Queen herself. Such at least is my
experience. I am delighted to see that the opinions of the Queen and Prince
brought forward in this volume are causing some stir in the Parisian
journals. They are being used to stimulate an active interest in the
Eastern Question; and this, I venture to think, may produce results not
unimportant at the present crisis.
The Journal here notes:--
_January 25th_.--Huxley lectured on Harvey.
_February 7th_.--Dinner at Dicey's, to meet Mr. Welch, the U.S. minister.
John Bright, Hayward, Chandos Leigh, Mme. Van de Weyer there.
_8th_.--To Foxholes, for three days only.
_13th_.--The fleet went up the Sea of Marmora, the Russians having
_28th_.--Marriage of Ellinor Locker to Lionel Tennyson in Westminster
Abbey. All the literary world there. Imposing aspect of Alfred Tennyson,
who looked round the Abbey as if he felt the Immortals were his compeers.
The Journal mentions:--
_March 28th_.--Lord Derby resigned the Foreign Office.
_From Lord Derby_
_March 29th_.--What has happened is disagreeable, as all political
separations are; but it did not seem to me that there was any choice. As to
discussion in Parliament, I suppose I cannot altogether help myself; but it
will be a business unwillingly gone into, and not at all unless there seems
some chance of being of use.
And the Journal:--
_April 3rd_.--Dinner at Longman's. Froude, Trevelyan, Walpoles, Quain. This
was the last of the pleasant literary dinners which Longman used to give.
_4th_.--Great sale of the Novar collection. Fetched over 70,000£. Kirkman
Hodgson gave 20,000£. for three Turners.
_April 13th_.--To Foxholes.
From Lord Lytton [Footnote: Governor-General of India.]
Government House, Simla, April 29th.
My dear Mr. Reeve,--I think you in nowise overestimate the value of Meadows
Taylor's life and work in India, and I cordially recognise the exceptional
claims of the two ladies, on whose behalf you have written to me, to the
grant which I regret to hear they require. Their case is rather a difficult
one to deal with, owing to the fact that nearly the whole work of Meadows
Taylor's life was performed, not in the service of the Government of India,
but in that of the Nizam's Government; and we are precluded, by rules as
inflexible as the laws of the Medes and Persians, from granting public
money to the distressed survivors of our own public servants on purely
compassionate grounds. In my own opinion, however, the claim of these
ladies may be fairly admitted on other grounds furnished by their father's
eminence, not only as a literary man, but also as an administrator, and the
fact that his work, though not performed in the service of the Government
of India, has been, and is, in various ways, unquestionably beneficial to
India. I am glad to say that I have obtained the concurrence of my council
in this view of the case, and we propose to grant 100£. a year to each of
these ladies from the Indian revenues. Our proposal, however, cannot be
acted on without the sanction of the Secretary of State, to whom it will
probably be submitted by this mail; and, as it is of a financial character,
I think Lord Staplehurst [Footnote: Viscount Cranbrook is meant. The patent
of his peerage was not dated till May 4th; but it had been previously
understood, and telegraphed to India, that he would take his title from
Staplehurst.] cannot deal with it except through his council. It is
therefore fortunate that you have secured their suffrages, for at present
it seems to be the invariable practice of the 'wise men of the East' at
the India Office to reject every proposal, however trivial or however
important, which emanates from the Government of India.
Yours, my dear Mr. Reeve, very faithfully,
_Endorsed_--The pension was granted on June 30th.
_From the Comte de Paris_ Château d'Eu, May 11th.
... I am glad to see that the hope of peace is stronger. A war between
England and Russia would be the greatest catastrophe that could fall
upon the world at present; it would be the cause of incalculable ruin
everywhere. Since the wars of 1866 and 1870 the maintenance of the peace
of Europe depends solely upon the relations between England and Russia. To
France the preservation of peace is of the deepest interest, for the day it
is broken she may expect to see her own frontiers threatened by Germany,
either directly or by the moral subjection of Holland, Switzerland, and
Belgium. We wish no evil either to England or to Russia; but, above all
things, we wish that these two Powers should live in harmony.
Here the Journal has:--
_May 13th_.--Returned to town.
_May 28th_.--Gladstone dined at The Club. Six present; interesting.
_June 3rd_.--Excursion to Greenwich to see the telegraph works. Great
dinner at the Ship afterwards.
_8th_.--All to Norwich, to stay with Dean Goulburn at the Deanery. I had
scarcely been there for fifty years. Dr. Jessop, Canon Heaviside, and Canon
Robinson to dinner--very pleasant.
_9th_.--Communion in Norwich Cathedral. 10th, drove to Costessy (Lord
Stafford's); 11th, to Spixworth; 12th, to Ely, on a visit to Dean Merivale;
13th, to Peterborough; 14th, back to town.
_June_.--Very hot weather. 26th, dinner of the Antiquaries at Lord
_July 5th_.--Lady Northcote's garden party. Helen Blackett there, looking
ill. I never saw her again. [Footnote: See _post_. p. 265.]
_July 13th_.--To Foxholes. Gout prevented me from going to Paris, where the
exhibition was going on, and to La Celle.
_To Mr. T. Longman_
_Foxholes, July 15th_.--I send just a line to say that _no part_ of the
article on 'The Constitution and the Crown' is written by me. I thought
it due to the writer to leave it untouched, and I don't think it is too
The article in the 'Quarterly' was certainly not written by Dr. Smith, and
I have reason to know that he is a good deal ashamed of it. Nobody seems to
know who wrote it. I do not expect they will reply upon us; but nothing is
more beneficial to the two Reviews than a little controversy, especially
when serious principles are concerned. This question is precisely the
_crux_ or test of Whig and Tory principles; it is the old fight of
parliamentary power against prerogative. There has not been in England, for
a hundred years, a minister so indifferent to Parliament and so subservient
to the Court as Lord Beaconsfield.
_Foxholes, July 16th_.--Dizzy's fireworks will soon burn out; and when
people come to reflect on these transactions, and their consequences,
they will be found to be some of the most questionable in modern English
history. He has the merit of presenting a bold front to Europe and of
avoiding war; but the cost will be great and the ulterior consequences
formidable. I suppose they are going to give him a Roman triumph this
afternoon from Charing Cross to Downing Street.
...... Idem populus...
... hac ipsa Sejanum diceret hora
To my old eyes all this is a sham--a scene out of 'Tancred' and 'Lothair.'
Depend upon it, the article on the 'Constitution and the Crown' will be
_Foxholes, August 10th_.--I never in my life read a better article than
this of Froude on Copyright. It is incomparably good in force of argument,
vigour of style, point, and truth, and, I think, will go far to settle the
assailants of copyright. I confess I enjoy the smashing of the sages of
the Board of Trade and old Trevelyan. They will see that if they attack
literature, literature is able to defend itself.
_From Mr. T. Longman_
_Farnborough Hill, August 14th_.--... I entirely agree with you in the
excellence of Froude's article [on Copyright]. ... I see that he thinks
that copyright may be in danger, and that the tendency of writing will
flow into periodical literature. That I know has long been XIXth Century
Knowles's opinion. He says he cares nothing for any copyright, and never
asks for it. Like the 'Times,' he does not, in fact, need it. His writers
are highly paid, and he and they are satisfied.
_To Mr. T Longman_
_Foxholes, August 15th_.--... No doubt any restriction of copyright in
permanent works would have the effect of inducing literary men to write
more and more in periodicals, which are not permanent but well paid. This
argument is very important. I am not sure that Froude has laid sufficient
stress upon it. Good and solid literature already suffers considerably from
the fact that fugitive literature is far better paid, and that a literary
man can rarely afford to write a large and substantial book requiring years
of labour. Herbert Spencer's evidence is very interesting; but few men have
the courage to risk their all in labouring for the future.
I shall make Froude's article the first in the next number, as I think it
will attract great attention.
_August 24th_.--Froude's article will make nearly fifty pages of the
Review, which is more than I like; but I don't know what to leave out, it
is all so good and amusing to literary people, so I think we must swallow
A note from the Journal:--
_August 23rd_.--Visit to Highclere (Lord Carnarvon's). A good deal of gout
in October. To Farnborough on the 30th. Back to town on November 4th.
_To Mr. T. Longman_
_Foxholes, October 10th_.--I see the 'Quarterly' announces an article on my
'Petrarch.' Unless Smith is the falsest of men, it will be a civil article,
for he was enthusiastic in his praises of the book to me personally. But I
shall not be surprised if it is another flourish of Hayward's stiletto.
_October 19th_.--The article in the 'Quarterly' on my 'Petrarch' is very
courteous, and certainly _not_ by Abraham.
_C. O., December 2nd_.--This day's post brings me the melancholy
intelligence that our friend Kirkman is so ill he is not expected to
survive, and that dear old Mrs. Grote is in much the same condition. To me,
by far the most painful part of advancing years is the loss of those who
made life delightful. It is the only thing I regret. These friendships of
forty or fifty years are quite irreparable.
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