Memoirs of the Life and Correspondence of Henry Reeve, C.B., D.C.L.
John Knox Laughton
Part 7 out of 8
Like you, I am uneasy at the existing relations of France and England,
though I fully believe that the two Governments are respectively animated
by the most conciliatory intentions. In my opinion, the blame rests on
what is now called 'the colonial policy,' which consists in scattering our
forces to the four corners of the world, while Continental Europe is armed
to the teeth and does not afford us a single ally. But even this policy
might be followed without causing any difficulty with England, if there was
a readiness to anticipate it by frank explanations. The world is big enough
for it. Unfortunately, since the Egyptian business--which might easily have
been the opportunity for a friendly agreement, but which we have made such
a mess of--all these questions are confused and taken amiss....
Je termine en vous renouvelant encore tous mes remerciments, et en vous
priant de me croire votre bien affectionné,
The Journal then has:--
_July 24th_.--Great dinner at the Granvilles' to receive Waddington
[Footnote: M. Waddington had a career that has perhaps no parallel. The son
of an Englishman settled in France, he was educated at Rugby and at Trinity
College, Cambridge; and was second classic, Chancellor's medallist, and
No. 6 in the University boat in 1849. Having elected to be a Frenchman, he
travelled in Asia Minor, and achieved a reputation as an archaeologist and
numismatist. After the fall of the Empire he entered into public life; was
foreign minister and the representative of France at Berlin in 1878; was
prime minister and the representative of France at the Coronation of the
Tsar in 1881, and was French ambassador in London from 1883 to 1893.
He died in 1894 at the age of 68.] [the new French Ambassador]. I was
introduced to Count Herbert Bismarck. Sat by Errington. Forty-two people
there at several tables.
_September 10th_.--Left Foxholes for Broglie _viâ_ Havre. Slept at Rouen.
11th, Broglie, by rail to Bernay; at Broglie, Vieil Castel, Laugel, Target,
Gavard. Old name of Broglie, Chambrey.
_15th_.--Left Broglie for Val Richer. Drive with De Witt.
_17th_.--Gout coming on in foot. Started for Honfleur and Havre; quite
lame. Spent the day on board the Wolf; met Prothero again. Managed to get
home on the 18th. Laid up in bed for a week.
_From Lord Granville_
_September 29th_.--The Comte de Paris has a difficult game to play; and the
large intelligent family, living in great luxury and consideration, is not
the best machine for carrying hopes more or less forlorn; but I expect it
would be difficult to find an abler or more judicious pretender. My fear is
that--as you say--their way to success lies through some disaster. I do
not feel convinced, if an opportunity or a necessity arose, that men like
Waddington and Ferry would not be among the first to act as civil Moncks.
In the meantime, we shall know in a very few days whether the wisest among
the present ministry will have their way and do the right thing by us in
the Madagascar matter. It will take a little longer to settle the Chinese
difficulty. This can only be done by great sacrifices on the part of the
French. The Chinese will not hurry themselves, and believe they have the
French in their pockets.
_From the Comte de Paris_
Château d'Eu, 3 octobre.
Mon cher Monsieur Reeve,--J'ai reçu votre lettre du 4 septembre à mon
retour de Frohsdorf, mais j'ai eu tant à faire depuis lors que je n'ai
pas, jusqu'à ce jour, trouvé un instant pour vous remercier de la preuve
d'amitié et de sympathie que vous m'avez donnée dans ces circonstances si
graves pour moi. J'ai eu depuis des nouvelles de votre séjour à Broglie et
au Val Richcr par Messieurs Gavard et de Witt, et j'ai bien regretté que
les convenances du deuil ne m'aient pas permis de vous demander cette année
de venir an Château d'Eu. J'aurais été, en effet, fort heureux de pouvoir
causer avec vous de toutes les graves questions qui se posent aujourd'hui
devant nous, tant à l'intérieur qu'à l'extérieur.
Je serai heureux d'en retrouver l'occasion; car, plus les événements
rendent ma situation grave et difficile, plus ils grandissent ma
responsabilité, plus naturellement je tiens à recueillir les avis d'un
observateur éclairé, impartial et bienveillant pour la France. Dans cette
situation si nouvelle, et, je puis dire, sans précédents, je tiens à
resserrer les liens de mes vieilles amitiés, et je tiens particulièrement
à entretenir mes relations avec la société anglaise, ce grand centre
intellectuel qui recueille et juge les affaires du monde entier....
Je vous prie d'offrir mes hommages à Madame et à Mademoiselle Reeve et de
me croire Votre bien affectionné,
PHILIPPE COMTE DE PAEIS.
All the Comte de Paris' earlier letters are signed Louis-Philippe
D'Orleans, the capital D' being a noticeable peculiarity. By the death of
the Comte de Chambord at Frohsdorf on August 24th, the Comte de Paris had
become the head of the Bourbons, [Footnote: Always excepting the impossible
Don Carlos.] and linked the Legitimists and Orleanists in the person of one
capable man. At the same time he changed his signature, as now claiming
the throne by hereditary right. Among the Orleanists, however, there were
many--including the Duc d'Aumale--who considered the change ill-judged,
as implying that his grandfather, Louis Philippe, was a usurper--as,
of course, he was, if the will of the people is to count for nothing.
[Footnote: Cf. _Le Duc d'Aumale_, par Ernest Daudet, pp. 334-5.] Among the
Legitimists, on the other hand, there were many who protested that under
no circumstances could they accept one of the line of Philippe Égalité as
their lawful sovereign. Still, for the next two or three years, it seemed
not impossible that the Comte de Paris might be called to the throne by a
constitutional reaction and a popular vote. He does not seem to have had
any wish to head or stir up a revolution of force and bloodshed.
The Journal records:--
_October 29th_.--To Oxford. Dined at the Deanery. Jowett, Duke of
Buckingham, Max Müller, Brodrick. 31st, dined at All Souls. Sir William
Anson. November 1st, lunched with Max Müller.
_From M. B. St.-Hilaire_
_November 21st_.--I notice that to you, as to me, the situation of France
appears very sad. I conceive that it is a source of alarm to all Europe. We
are falling lower and lower towards the Radicals and the Extreme Left. If
that party should come into power, it would be a very serious threat to the
peace of the world. From the weakness of our Government, everything is to
be feared; and as this weakness must become greater, there does not seem
any remedy in the near future. Notwithstanding our wealth, our finances
are in a bad state, and it is on that side that the inevitable storm will
burst. To ward it off an entire change of conduct would be necessary; and
at the present time we have no one strong enough to guide our policy in the
_To Mrs. Parker_
_Foxholes, December 18th_.--If anyone is to write Lord Westbury's Life,
yours is the pen to do it. Nobody expects a daughter to be impartial, or
wishes it. I will see what letters I can find, and will write again when I
have looked over my packets of letters.
This promise was afterwards fulfilled. Lord Westbury's letters were sent to
Mrs. Parker, and several of them, with some of Reeve's, were incorporated
in the 'Life of Lord Westbury' (2 vols. 8vo. 1888), by Mr. T. A. Nash, whom
Mrs. Parker afterwards married.
Early in January 1884, Mrs. Reeve went to Paris, on a visit to Lady
Metcalfe--one of Mr. Dempster's nieces. On the 16th Reeve joined her there.
Among other entries, the Journal notes a breakfast at Chantilly on the
27th--'château finished, galleries splendid'--and on the 30th, dinner at
the Embassy. They returned to London on the 31st. A few dinners in town are
noted, and a visit to Covent Garden on March 5th, to see Salvini in 'King
Lear.' To Foxholes on April 9th.
This meagre chronicle of course gives no idea of Reeve's intellectual
activity at the time, which was really very great. With his official
duties, the conduct of the 'Review,' an extensive correspondence, and, at
this time, the preparation of the second part of the 'Greville Memoirs,'
with dinner parties or receptions three or four times a week, it would seem
as if Reeve's days must have consisted of an abnormal number of hours. And
effectively they did; for, though on pleasure--at proper seasons--Reeve
might be bent, he had always a frugal mind as to the disposal of time.
Most, if not all, of his correspondence, much even of his more serious
work, was got through in spare half-hours at the Council Office; and when
at home, in his study in the house in Rutland Gate, it was a standing rule
that he was not to be disturbed. The study was a cosy room on the ground
floor, built out at the back, and so removed from all noise of passing to
and fro. It had no outlook to distract the attention, and no man was ever
less addicted to day-dreaming. To work whilst he worked and play whilst he
played was the golden rule which enabled Reeve for over fifty years to
get through as much hard work as a successful lawyer, to do as much hard
writing as a successful novelist, to hunt, shoot, or travel whenever
opportunity offered, and to be one of the best known figures in the world
of London society.
_From the Duke of Argyll_
_March 8th_.--Many thanks for your letter. I am pleased to know that the
scientists find my science accurate. Writers in the interest of religion
have generally, of late, been disposed to make as much as possible of the
distinction between man and nature. The speciality of my book [Footnote:
_The Unity of Nature._ There is an article on it in the April number of the
Review.] is, on the contrary, to maintain the unity, as really essential to
all belief, thus going back to the paths of Butler.
_From M. B. St.-Hilaire_
_Paris, 15 avril._--Cher Monsieur Reeve,--J'étais bien sûr de vous faire
plaisir en vous envoyant les discours prononcés sur la tombe de M. Mignet.
Celui de M. Martha est le plus remarquable; M. Jules Simon a très bien
parlé aussi; mais on peut trouver cependant que M. Martha l'emporte.
Je suis très sensible à votre amicale invitation, et je serai heureux de
visiter cet été votre ermitage de Foxholes. Nos vacances commenceront
probablement en août, et je réglerai mes mouvements sur les vôtres.
Je vous remercie de votre bienveillance pour l'Histoire des Animaux; je ne
crois pas que nulle part le génie d'Aristote se soit montré plus grand,
plus scientifique et, l'on peut ajouter, plus moderne. Entre lui et Linné,
Buffon et Cuvier, il n'y a rien. L'histoire de la science a beaucoup à
profiter de cet exemple frappant.
Je suis absolument de votre avis sur le rôle de l'Angleterre en Égypte;
vous n'avez qu'à faire ce que nous avons fait à Tunis, où les choses
marchent à souhait. C'est l'intérêt de votre grand pays, en même temps que
l'intérêt de la civilisation et de l'humanité. Les affaires égyptiennes ne
peuvent rester dans l'état où elles sont; et il faut les régler au plus
vite, pour l'honneur de tout le monde.
Je présente mes hommages bien respectueux a Madame Reeve, en attendant le
petit voyage a Foxholes vers l'automne. Votre bien dévoué,
And here the Journal notes:--
April 16th.--Edward Cheney died, aetat. 82.
From Dr. Vaughan [Footnote: Then Master of the Temple; he died November 15,
1897, aged 81.]
The Deanery, Llandaff: April 19th.
Dear Mr. Reeve,--I am grateful to you for your kind letter. I will try to
remember to make the reference with which you furnish me when I am again at
The year 1185 is always in my recollection as the date of the consecration
of the Round Church by the Patriarch Heraclius. I am already in
communication with Dr. Hopkins about the musical part of its celebration,
on or about the day (I think February 10) next year. And there must be a
sermon about it on the nearest Sunday. So you see how exactly your thoughts
and mine agree on the subject.
Ever truly yours,
C. J. VAUGHAN.
The other part of the church was consecrated on Ascension Day 1240. Who
will be Master when _that_ seventh centenary comes round?
_From the Duke of Argyll_
Argyll Lodge, Kensington: April 19th.
My Dear Mr. Reeve,[Footnote: Written in pencil.]--I am laid up with a very
sudden and sharp attack of the enemy; but I must write a line from bed to
say how _more_ than satisfied I am by the article in the Review, which goes
straight to the main points of my Essay, and which distinguishes exactly
those which best deserve notice. I am the more grateful as all the others
I have seen--whether laudatory or not--have all been the production of
ignorant men who did not see, or of learned men who did not wish to see,
any of the specialties of the book.
I am better, but unfit for any work.
Yours very truly,
_To Mr. T. Norton Longman_
_Foxholes, April 20th_.--Much obliged to you for the Beaconsfield book,
[Footnote: The _Beaconsfield Birthday-Book_.] which is very pretty. I hope
you will sell as many as there are bunches of primroses in Covent Garden
Market. The extent of Lord Beaconsfield's popularity is really curious. Yet
this is the man whom Gladstone hunted to death and called a fiend!!
And the Journal for the summer runs:--
At Foxholes all May.
_June 26th_.--Marriage of Hallam Tennyson and Miss Boyle in Henry VII.'s
_July 12th_.--Dinner at Sir Henry Maine's. The Actons, Lindleys, Evelyn
Barings, Brookfield, Venables--interesting party.
_16th_.--Duchess of Argyll's garden party.
_17th_.--The great Canadian case between the Provinces of Ontario and
Manitoba was argued for six days before the Judicial Committee.
_24th_.--To Foxholes. On August 11th we went to Strode, to see Mr. Gollop,
aetat. 93. 15th, back to Foxholes.
* * * * *
At this time, on behalf of Sir Henry Taylor, Reeve had been conducting a
negotiation with Longmans for the publication of Taylor's Autobiography,
and an agreement had been come to which was to take effect after Taylor's
_From Sir Henry Taylor_
Bournemouth, August 26th.
My dear Mr. Reeve,--Thanks for your very kind letter. I am so glad you can
take a favourable view of my autobiography.
I am rather surprised myself that there is nothing in it of Mrs. Austin
and Lucy. I was intimately acquainted with them, and I may perhaps find
something said of them in letters, as I proceed with the task of sorting
my correspondence. Of Mr. Austin I saw very little. He led such a secluded
life. But one could not see him at all without knowing something of the
intellect which lay hidden in him for so many years.
As to the date of publication, I shall leave the necessary instructions. I
wish the work to be published as soon as possible after my death.
Believe me, yours sincerely,
_From the Comte de Paris_
Château d'Eu, 17 septembre.
Mon cher Monsieur Reeve,--Je ne veux pas tarder un instant à vous remercier
de votre lettre du 14, et des félicitations que vous m'adressez à
l'occasion de la naissance de mon fils Ferdinand.... Grâces à Dieu, tout
s'est passé aussi bien que possible et, depuis l'événement, la mère et
l'enfant vont à merveille. Je vous remercie bien cordialement des voeux que
vous formez pour celui-ci. Je connais de longue date les sentiments qui
vous inspirent, et vous savez tout le prix que j'y attache.
Vous avez raison de dire que l'avenir se montre assez sombre pour toutes
les nations de l'Europe. Les opérations de l'Amiral Courbet au Tonkin et
en Chine montrent que notre marine se maintient à la hauteur de sa
vieille réputation; elle le doit aux traditions, à l'esprit de corps, aux
sentiments de respect pour les chefs qui s'est conservé chez elle tandis
qu'il disparaissait ou s'affaiblissait partout ailleurs. Mais cette
démonstration nous coûte bien cher. La guerre avec la Chine nous alarme,
parce qu'il n'y a pas de guerre plus difficile à terminer que celle-là. La
politique coloniale est un luxe que nous aurions pu nous donner dans un
autre temps, mais que ne nous convient pas dans notre situation européenne.
Elle a de plus été conduite d'une façon irrégulière, l'action au Tonkin
succédant à l'inaction en Egypte. Cette affaire d'Egypte aurait pu servir
de base à une entente avec l'Angleterre. Au lieu de cela on n'a pas voulu
l'aider, puis on a boudé parce qu'elle agissait seule, et lorsque les
difficultés ont commencé pour elle, on n'a su ni s'entendre absolument
pour agir en commun, ni s'effacer derrière l'Europe pour ne pas assumer la
responsabilité de l'echec de la conférence. Bien des gens croient ici que
toute cette politique a eu pour but de sauver le ministère Gladstone. Cela
n'en valait pas la peine. Il en est résulté de l'aigreur dans les journaux.
Mais cette aigreur sent bien un peu le fonds des reptiles, et personne n'a
sérieusement envie de chercher querelle à la perfide Albion.
Ceux qui admirent ses institutions et qui croient que leur pondération est
la garantie du plus précieux de tous les biens--la liberté, se préoccupent
vivement des tendances jacobines de notre ami Gladstone. L'extension du
suffrage est logique, l'anéantissement de la chambre des Lords est logique.
Mais les meilleures institutions ne sont pas les plus logiques. À force de
logique on tend à remplacer le gouvernement pondéré de l'Angleterre par ce
que nous appelons le gouvernement conventionnel, c'est à dire le despotisme
d'une Assemblée unique appuyée sur la brutale loi du nombre. Que Dieu vous
garde d'un tel avenir. C'est le voeu d'un ami sincère de vos institutions.
Ce qui préoccupe ici bien plus, et à bon titre, que les aventures
coloniales, c'est la situation économique. La France s'appauvrit parce
qu'elle perd en impôts improductifs une partie de son épargne, parce que
ses fils travaillent moins, dépensent plus et boivent davantage, parce
qu'ils demandent des salaires trop élevés, et parce que la concurrence
allemande, américaine, italienne, anglaise, nous ferme peu à peu tous les
marchés, et enfin parce que le phylloxera ruine la moitié du pays. Le
courant protectionniste se prononce avec une force irrésistible en ce
Je vous prie d'offrir mes hommages à Madame et à Mademoiselle Reeve, et de
me croire Votre bien affectionné,
PHILIPPE COMTE DE PARIS.
_From M. B. St.-Hilaire_
Paris, 19 octobre.
Cher Monsieur Reeve,--J'ai reçu le numéro de la _Revue d'Edimbourg_, et je
vous en remercie. Le rédacteur de l'article a été plein de bienveillance à
mon égard, et je vous prie de lui faire savoir que je suis fort touché de
l'appréciation qu'il veut bien faire de mes travaux. Je profiterai de ses
justes critiques pour mes autres traductions; mais il est un point où je ne
suis pas tout à fait d'accord avec lui. Je ne trouve pas qu'il tienne assez
compte à Aristote d'avoir commencé la science, et de l'avoir fondée.
Les débuts sont toujours excessivement difficiles, et il ne serait pas
équitable de demander à ces temps reculés de savoir tout ce que nous savons
aujourd'hui. Nous devons toujours nous dire que dans deux mille ans d'ici
on en saura beaucoup plus que nous, tout savants que nous sommes. Ceci doit
nous engager à être reconnaissants et modestes.
Je vais mettre sous presse le Traité des Parties des Animaux en deux
volumes, et je prépare celui de la Génération, qui, sans doute, en aura
J'espère que vous vous portez bien, ainsi que Madame Henry Reeve; je lui
présente mes respects et mes amitiés, avec tons mes voeux pour sa santé et
pour la vôtre.
Votre bien dévoué,
The Journal here has:--
_October 28th_.--Dinner of The Club to Lord Dufferin before his departure
_November 14th_.--Dinner at Lady Molesworth's to the Waddingtons.
_December 3rd_.--Small dinner at Lord Cork's, with Gladstone and Sir H.
_From Sir Henry Taylor_
Bournemouth, December 10th.
Dear Mr. Reeve,--It has come into the head of my family, and through theirs
into mine, that there is no particular reason why my Autobiography should
not be published now, instead of posthumously, and that there are some
motives for giving a preference to present publication. The agreement
with Messrs. Longman which you brought about has been, perhaps, a sort of
suggestion of this change of purpose; so I write to mention it. The work
was written with more unreserve than would be natural to a man who hears
what he says, and some erasures will be required; but a man in his
eighty-fifth year is, in some respects, as good as dead, or, at all
events, as deaf: so there need not be much alteration. I hope you will not
Believe me, yours very sincerely,
On December 17th the Reeves went to Foxholes, where they spent Christmas,
ushered in the New Year, and returned to London on January 15th, 1885. The
entries in the Journal are for the most part trivial, though politically
the year was one of extreme interest and excitement, much of which is
reflected in the correspondence.
_From the Comte de Paris_
6 _janvier_.--J'ai été vivement touché de la lettre que vous m'avez écrite,
des voeux que vous m'adressez au moment où nous entrons dans une année qui
semble nous réserver bien des surprises. L'avenir est plein d'incertitudes
et de dangers. Je n'ai pas besoin de vous dire que j'observe avec une
sérieuse inquiétude l'état des relations entre l'Angleterre et la France,
non que je croie même à la possibilité d'un conflit qui répugnerait
également à tous les membres des deux nations voisines, mais parce qu'une
hostilité diplomatique seule serait déjà un grand malheur pour l'une et
pour l'autre.... Vous avez raison de croire que le désir universel de la
paix prévaudra sur les périls de la situation internationale. Ce désir
est bien puissant en France, et les aventures de l'extrême Orient, dans
lesquelles on nous a lancés si mal à propos, ne font que lui donner
l'occasion de se manifester.
Ces aventures ne font pas diversion à la crise si grave qui éprouve notre
industrie et notre agriculture. Les causes de cette crise sont multiples.
Quelques-unes sont communes à toute l'Europe, d'autres le sont aux quelques
nations qui avaient le monopole de certaines industries, et le
perdent, grâce aux facilités actuelles des transports. Il en est une,
malheureusement très-active, qui nous est propre; c'est la tendance des
ouvriers depuis l'établissement de la Rèpublique à chercher l'amélioration
de leur sort, moins dans l'accroissement de leur salaire que dans la
diminution de leur travail. Cette funeste tendance leur a été inspirée
par les flatteries de tous ceux qui briguent leurs suffrages, et leur
rappellent que toute législation émane d'eux. Le pays produit moins, et
par conséquent s'appauvrit. L'imprévoyance de nos gouvernants a aggravé
la crise. Aujourd'hui un cri puissant s'élève en faveur des droits
protecteurs, même sur le blé. Il est probable qu'on en fera assez pour
inquiéter les consommateurs des villes, pas assez pour satisfaire
l'agriculture.... Si Mademoiselle Reeve voulait faire de jolies pêches de
truites, c'est le 1er juin qu'elle devrait venir à Eu.
_From the Duke of Argyll_
_Inveraray, February 13th_.--The Nile affair is too miserable. No possible
issue can be otherwise than a misfortune. The despatch in which the
Government asked Gordon to advise them how to relieve him--in April last,
when he was closely beleaguered--reads like a horrible joke now.
A horrible joke indeed:--for on February 5th news had come of the fall of
Khartoum and the death of Gordon. On the 26th a vote of censure on the
Government was carried in the House of Lords by 189 to 63; but a similar
motion in the Commons was rejected by 302 to 288. The Government majority
had fallen from 56 to 14.
On March 8th a special service was held in the Temple Church to commemorate
the completion of the seventh century since its consecration. [Footnote:
See _ante_, p. 322.] The Master preached the sermon on the text Psalm xc.
1--'Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.' [Footnote:
The _Times_ of March 9th gave a pretty full abstract of the sermon.] Reeve,
who was present, considered it one of Dr. Vaughan's happiest efforts,
and wrote to say how greatly he had been pleased by it. Vaughan's
acknowledgement of the kindly feeling which dictated the letter has
otherwise no particular interest.
_From Sir Alfred Lyall_ [Footnote: At that time lieutenant-governor of the
_March 31st_.--When we closed in 1881 the second act of the Affghan drama,
I calculated on an interval of at least five years; and I thought that if
we could get a joint commission to settle some boundary that Russia could
provisionally agree to, the interval might be longer. But the Boundary
Commission, which I first pressed for in 1881, has propelled, instead of
delaying, the crisis. I suppose our Egyptian entanglement seemed to Russia
to offer an irresistible opportunity; at any rate, the Russians have some
reason for precipitating the issue between us, and at this moment we may be
on the verge of a war. It is very curious to find ourselves so close to the
collision that we have been so long trying to fend off, and to realise that
a land invasion of India by a European Power, which has been the nightmare
of Anglo-Indian statesmen since Bonaparte seized Egypt in 1798, is now no
longer a matter of remote speculation. The Russian menace is, however,
already producing one result that I had always anticipated; it is evoking
among all substantial classes of Indians a strong desire to support the
British Government in India. You may remember that in my paper of January
1884 I wrote that the natives would, in times of rumoured invasion, hold by
any Power that could keep the gates of India against Central Asia; and this
is now strongly showing itself. The adventurous classes are ready to
enlist and follow our colours; the propertied classes look to us as the
representatives of order and security; the educated classes depend wholly
upon our system; if the Russians calculate on any serious rising against
us in India, they will be mistaken. Of course a series of reverses would
change the whole face of affairs.... We are very fortunate in having Lord
Dufferin here at this time. Everyone likes him, and has confidence in him.
He is clearly a Viceroy who listens to everyone, but makes up his own mind
independently. And Lady Dufferin charms us all....
The Mahdi's fortunes do not interest India. The talk in some of the papers
about the necessity of smashing him, in order to avert the risk of some
general Mahomedan uprising, is futile and imaginative. The Indians think
the English rather mad to go crusading against him in the Soudan, and they
may soon get irritated at the waste of Indian lives at Suakin, when we want
our best men on the N.W. frontier; but, for the rest, they do not concern
themselves about remote Arab tribes. Of course everyone sees that the
English Government has now an excellent pretext for getting partially out
of a hopeless mess by transferring most of our English troops from the Red
Sea to the Punjab.
* * * * *
On April 9th news reached London that on March 30th the Russians, under
General Komaroff, had attacked and carried the Affghan positions at
Penjdeh, concerning which negotiations were going on. As our Government was
pledged meanwhile to the support of the Amir, this action of Komaroff's was
held to be a very aggravated insult to England. Explanations were demanded,
but preparations for war were hurried on, and on April 27th, after an
impassioned speech by Mr. Gladstone, a vote of credit for eleven millions
was passed almost by acclamation. The negotiations, however, were
continued; explanations were given: the Russians kept Penjdeh; the Affghans
had lost their territory, their guns, and 500 men; and Mr. Gladstone
expressed himself satisfied. Four days afterwards, May 8th, the Government
was defeated on the budget, and resigned a few days later, the Marquis of
Salisbury forming the new ministry.
_From Sir Alfred Lyall_
_June 5th_.--Probably you know more in England than we do in India of the
course of negotiations with Russia, It seems just now more smooth than
satisfactory. I fear we have lost credit in India over that unlucky Penjdeh
business. One would fancy that our representatives on the spot might have
been wary enough to discern that where the Russians and the Affghans were
drawing close to each other, there lay the risk and the strain of the
situation. I have a very moderate trust in our ally the Amir, though he is
a very able, if unscrupulous, ruler. I hope fervently he has sense enough
not to use those breech-loaders we are sending in such quantities, and that
he won't repeat the Penjdeh blunder by provoking some collision with the
Russians on his border....
India is very quiet. The Russian scare of the spring has turned rather to
our advantage, as I always prophesied it would, by bringing home to the
natives their dependence on England for protection from foreign invasion.
_From Sir Henry Taylor_
_Bournemouth, July 14th_.--I have just read the excellent article in the
'Edinburgh Review' on my Autobiography; and as there is no amount of
kindness on your part which I cannot believe in, I am disposed to think
that it is you who have written it. [Footnote: It was written by Reeve.]
Whoever it is, I should like him to know that I am very thankful.
_From Sir Alfred Lyall_
_August 1st_--India is now perfectly quiet; but the new generation of
hungry, ambitious, English-speaking natives are persuading themselves
that they can have all the benefits of English rule without the burden of
English officialism. If they are encouraged and supported by the English
_Demos_, there will be confusion before long.
* * * * *
On August 14th Parliament was prorogued, with the clear understanding that
the dissolution would follow. This, however, was put off for three months,
during which time the country was turned upside down by the excitement of
the electoral campaign and the unbridled license which many of the most
distinguished candidates permitted themselves; rank Socialism, the
abolition of property, 'three acres and a cow,' being freely spoken of by
the irresponsible, and hinted at, in no obscure language, by some who had
borne office in the Gladstone ministry. By a curious coincidence, the
French elections were nearly synchronous with ours, and the results were
keenly watched by one, at least, of Reeve's correspondents. But of all this
excitement and agitation the Journal has no trace. The only entries of any
Foxholes: very hot: no rain for two months.
_August 22nd_.--Excursion to Studland with the Denisons, Lord Canterbury,
_26th_.--To Malvern with Hopie; 27th, Worcester; 28th, Tewkesbury; 29th,
Hereford Cathedral; then Boss, Monmouth, and Chepstow.
_September 1st_.--Chepstow Castle, Tintern Abbey, then to Clifton across
the Severn. 2nd, rain, so returned to Foxholes.
_From the Comte de Paris_
18 _septembre_.--Je m'empresse de vous remercier de votre lettre du 15, qui
m'est parvenue hier. Vous savez avec quel plaisir je reçois toujours de
vos nouvelles, avec quel intérêt je lis toujours vos appreciations sur la
situation de nos deux pays. Malgré de bien grandes différences dans l'état
politique, qui sont tout à l'avantage du vôtre, et dans l'état social, qui
le sont peut-étre moins, ces deux situations ne sont pas sans analogies.
Les modérés, de part et d'autre, comme vous le dites, semblent être
peu écoutés, et cependant je suis persuadé que leurs vues finiront par
l'emporter des deux côtés du détroit, parce que, sous une surface agitée en
apparence, aucune passion violente ne bouillonne dans l'une ou l'autre des
deux nations. Vous avez devant vous le grand inconnu de la nouvelle loi
électorale; dangereux, parce que l'omnipotence de la Chambre des Communes,
favorable au gouvernement parlementaire lorsque cette Chambre se recrutait
exclusivement dans la haute classe et en avait l'esprit, pourra être un
instrument redoutable pour la liberté et pour toute l'organisation sociale
le jour où MM. Chamberlain, Parnell et Bradlaugh auront chacun un parti
derrière eux. Heureusement pour vous, l'institution monarchique vous
permettra de traverser la crise qu'entraînera la modification de la
composition et de l'esprit de la Chambre des Communes. Grâce à cette
institution, l'esprit politique du pays pourra rétablir l'équilibre entre
les pouvoirs publics. En France, l'expérience de la République démocratique
et pacifique s'est faite dans les conditions les plus favorables, et a
échoué. Elle n'est ni conservatrice ni réformatrice. Tout en restant
bourgeoise, elle est pardessus tout prodigue. Les classes qui payent
l'impôt sont parfaitement édifiées sur son compte; celles qui nele
payent pas, et qui votent cependant, sont frappées indirectement par
l'appauvrissement national et commencent à s'étonner que la République,
dont le nom les flatte encore, réponde si mal à leur attente. La République
reste bourgeoise parce que le suffrage universel est trop défiant pour
chercher des représentants dans le sein de la classe la plus nombreuse.
Mais il n'est pas difficile dans les choix qu'il fait dans les rangs d'une
classe plus élevée. Le niveau intellectuel et moral des Assemblées qu'il
élit s'abaisse à chaque renouvellement. C'est un fait qu'il faudra accepter
désormais comme inévitable, et dont il faudra tenir compte dans l'avenir.
La République est essentiellement prodigue parce que, toute la machine
gouvernementale reposant sur l'élection, les ministres sont obligés de
donner aux deputés des places innombrables pour satisfaire la foule encore
plus nombreuse de leurs agents électoraux, et de permettre des travaux, des
dépenses exagérés dans chaque arrondissement, ici pour favoriser le député
républicain, là pour nuire au député conservateur. C'est par là qu'elle
périra, parce que le mal est sans remède et s'aggrave chaque jour. Loi
générale d'ailleurs. C'est par les finances que périssent les gouvernements
définitivement condamnés: témoin l'ancien regime. Cette mort-là est sans
Le caractère nouveau de la période électorale qui s'est ouverte
pratiquement depuis quelques mois est le réveil des Conservateurs. Ils
comprennent enfin qu'ils peuvent et doivent lutter pour défendre la société
menacée, les richesses nationales compromises. Ils apportent à cette lutte
une ardeur tout à fait nouvelle. Depuis deux ans [Footnote: Since the death
of the Comte de Chambord.] je me suis efforcé de faire comprendre à nos
amis que la politique avait sub les mêèmes transformations que la guerre;
que, pour gagner la victoire sur le terrain politique, il ne fallait rien
laisser au hasard, rien confier aux petites coteries; qu'il fallait agir
avec de gros bataillons, et que, pour les mouvoir il fallait un système de
mobilisation aussi parfait que celui de l'armée allemande. Ces conseils ont
été suivis, et les monarchistes se sont préparés à entreprendre la
lutte électorale avec une organisation de comités de départeméent,
d'arrondissement et de canton, appuyés le plus souvent sur des réunions
plénières qui marquent un grand changement dans la vie politique du parti
conservateur. Cette organisation se perfectionnera dans les élections
mêmes. Elle doit donner un jour, et par l'élection et par l'action plus
puissante encore de l'opinion publique, le pouvoir à ceux qui l'auront
constituée et qui sauront s'en servir.
A la veille des elections... tandis que tous les autres partis faisaient
faire leur programme par un petit comité parisien, craignant qu'une grande
réunion ne trahît leurs divisions, les monarchistes ont envoyé des quatre
coins de la France des délégués qui, tous animés du même esprit, ont adopté
par acclamation le programme soumis à leur approbation. Je dois même dire
que nous avons tous été frappés de leur extrême modération. Pas une voix ne
s'est élevée pour réclamer en faveur d'un ton plus aggressif. Le programme,
retouché sur place par une commission de neuf membres, avait, vous le
pensez bien, été soigneusement préparé d'avance; toutes les expressions en
avaient été pesées. Aussi suis-je heureux qu'il ait eu l'approbation d'un
aussi bon juge que vous.
21 _septembre_.--Depuis gue je vous al écrit, j'ai lu le grand manifeste
de M. Gladstone. De celui-là, on ne peut pas dire qu'il brille par la
modération. Il y a des phrases redoutables et effrayantes à l'adresse de la
richesse et de la propriété, base de la société. Jamais je n'aurais cru le
Gladstone que j'ai connu capable de parler de la Chambre des pairs comme il
le fait. Et cependant, une profonde modification dans la composition de
la Chambre Haute ne sera-t-elle pas un jour le salut de la cause et des
intérêts conservateurs en Angleterre? Si cette Chambre se retrempe au
moins partiellement dans l'élection, elle y trouvera, peut-être, une force
capable de lui assurer dans le gouvernement une part au moins égale à celle
de la Chambre des Communes, au moment où celle-ci baissera en valeur morale
proportionnellement à l'extension du suffrage....
En ce moment, il serait bien désirable, également en France et en
Angleterre, de voir les modérés de nuances diverses se rapprocher, pour
former un véritable parti conservateur: chez vous, anciens whigs et anciens
tories; chez nous, les centres droits et les centres gauches. Mais c'est
entre ceux qui sont le plus rapprochés en politique que le souvenir des
luttes passées laisse les plus profondes rancunes.
* * * * *
The Journal notes:--
_October 12th_--Went to town for the Riel [Footnote: Louis Riel had
stirred up a rebellion in Manitoba, had been captured, tried, and sentenced
to death. He appealed, and the case thus came before the Judicial
Committee. On October 22nd the appeal was dismissed, and on November 16th
Riel was duly hanged at Regina.] case. Dined with Captain Bridge [Footnote:
Now Rear-Admiral Bridge, lately commander-in-chief on the Australian
station.] at the United Service Club.
_14th_.--Second part of 'Greville' published; 2,700 copies subscribed.
* * * * *
In comparison with the tremendous excitement caused by the publication of
the first part of the Greville Memoirs, the second part attracted little
notice, although large sales testified to the interest it raised. Reeve
mentions 2,700 as the number of copies subscribed for: but the first
edition of 4,000 was exhausted almost immediately, and a second large
edition was sold out within a few months.
_To Lord Derby_
_Foxholes, October 28th_--I am much obliged to you for your note. We might
elect three new members of The Club, because there remain two vacancies
caused by the honorary list, besides the death of Houghton. I should very
much like to see Edward Stanhope and Harry Holland in The Club. They are
among the most rising men of the day--accomplished and agreeable--and their
fathers were respectively two of our most faithful members. We should,
I think, choose men from the younger generation, for many of us are
frightfully old. It is more difficult to point out eligible men in the
literary or scientific world. To say the truth, there is a remarkable
dearth of distinguished authors. Violent politicians are objectionable.
I am very much gratified by what you say of the new volumes of Greville's
Journals. Your estimate of their value exactly coincides with my own. I am
happy to say that I have not yet heard that anyone is annoyed or offended.
I sent a copy to Henry Ponsonby, who laid it before the Queen, but I have
not heard what sentence Her Majesty has passed upon me.
There is a great deal of political noise, but very little light. In the
south of England I think the Conservatives will carry a good many seats. If
I were to venture on a prognostic, I should say that the opposition will
have a majority in Great Britain, though by no means so large a one as the
Radicals expect. The effect of this would be that the Irish can turn the
scale, and I think Mr. Parnell would refuse, for the present, to turn out
the present Government in order to bring in Mr. Gladstone. In that case,
the existence of the present ministry may be prolonged for some time, but
it would be on sufferance and by Irish support. On the other hand, if a
Liberal Government were formed, it could only exist with the support of the
Irish vote. Eventually, I hope, this anomalous state of things may bring
the moderate men of both the British parties together, and throw both
extremes into opposition. That, I am convinced, is the real wish of the
country, and the obstacles to such a combination are chiefly personal.
I fancy the next parliaments will be very impracticable and probably
_From the Comte de Paris_
22 _novembre._--Je vous remercie de ce que vous me dites à propos des
Mémoires de M. Greville. [Footnote: Sc. that there were passages in it not
complimentary to the Orleans family.]
Je comprends parfaitement que vous ne pouviez supprimer certains passages
dont vous ne voulez cependant pas assumer la solidarité. Ces passages
ne m'empêcheront pas de lire avec intérêt la suite des oeuvres de cet
observateur peu bien-veillant, mais fin et spirituel.
Ne croyez pas que je vous écrive avec d'autre pensée que de faire part de
mes vues à un êtranger qui connaît, comprend et aime la France.
On November 18th Parliament was dissolved by proclamation and the elections
were held from the 23rd to December 18th. In the English towns, where the
elections were first held, the Conservatives had a large majority, and it
seemed as if they were going to sweep the board. In the counties, however,
the 'three acres and a cow' was taken by the ignorant rustics, just
admitted to the franchise, as a splendid reality, and their votes went
strongly in favour of the Liberals, or rather--as it would be more correct
to say--the Radicals. Mr. Gladstone had appealed to the country to give him
a working majority. He had, in fact, a majority of eighty-four over the
Conservatives; but the Irish, or so-called Nationalist, party numbered
eighty-six; and as these were bound by their bond of union to oppose the
Government, whatever it was, they had to be counted with the Conservatives
as soon as the Conservative Government had fallen. And the comparison of
the numbers showed that it must fall as soon as Parliament met. As Reeve
had forecast, neither party could form an effective administration without
the support of the Nationalists, a position which seemed for the moment to
render them the arbiters of the nation's destiny.
_From Count Vitzthum_
Paris, December 1st.
Dear Mr. Reeve,--Many thanks for your kind letter. You will find me here
in my winter quarters until the end of May, then from June to the end of
October at Baden-Baden, where we have built a villa. I would always be
happy to see you and talk over old times.
I have just finished reading the third volume of Greville's Memoirs and
have been very much struck by your notes, without which some passages would
not have been intelligible. Old Greville was a portrait-painter rather in
Rembrandt's style. In putting together all he says of Palmerston, Peel, and
the Duke of Wellington, very remarkable full-length portraits would come
out. He seems rather partial for John Russell.
My little book makes more noise in Germany than I expected. W. Oncken, the
celebrated historian of Austria and Prussia in 1813, will review it for
the 'Allgemeine Zeitung,' and the Vienna press has been unexpectedly
favourable. An English friend of mine wants to translate it. I think it
would be 'love's labour lost;' for everybody who cares for such trifles and
photographs taken on the spot understands German nowadays in England, and
will prefer the original. Still, if you thought it worth your while to send
a short notice to the 'Times,' it would be a favour. My old friend Delane
is no more, else I should have asked him. Cotta writes me that he has
secured the English copyright, and sent some copies to the principal
Reviews and the 'Times.' Believe me, very faithfully yours,
_From the Comte de Paris_
Château d'Eu, 9 décembre.
Mon cher Monsieur Reeve,--Un de mes amis va partir pour la Belgique. Je
tiens à en profiter pour lui confier une lettre à votre adresse, qu'il
mettra à la poste chez nos voisins. En effet, je connais par expérience
I'indiscrétion dont la poste française a pris la mauvaise habitude sous
l'Empire, habitude qu'elle n'a pas perdue sous la République. J'ai hâte de
vous remercier de votre lettre du lr qui m'a vivement intéressé. J'ai été
un peu confus d'apprendre l'usage que vous aviez fait de la mienne, car
je l'avais écrite au courant de la plume, et uniquement pour me donner le
plaisir de causer avec vous. Mais, puisque vous l'avez trouvée bonne à
montrer, je m'en rapporte à votre amitié, et j'espère qu'elle n'a pas été
trop indulgente. Je suis d'ailleurs fort heureux d'avoir quelquefois, par
votre intermédiaire, des relations avec Lord Salisbury, pour le caractère
et le talent duquel j'ai toujours eu une si haute estime, et que j'aime
d'ailleurs toujours à considérer comme mon proche voisin de campagne.
The success of the Conservatives in the towns, their defeat in the country,
is the very opposite of what is taking place here; so that we foreigners
must exercise great reserve in giving an opinion on the political situation
created in England by these last elections. It is, however, evident
that there, as everywhere else, the old parties are in process of
disintegration, and that, in a new social state, in presence of new
problems, a new distribution of parties is called for. In the history of
all nations there are periods when the need of political progress renders
it necessary for the reformers to remain long in power; and if from time to
time they yield it to their adversaries, it should only be for long enough
to recover breath in climbing the long ascent. On the other hand, there
are also periods when the wearied people long for repose; when progress no
longer aims at completeness, but at change; when reforms are mere Utopian
fancies or appeals to evil passions; and when the partisans of the _status
quo_ ought to have the direction of affairs for as long a time as possible.
I believe that we are now entering on one of these periods. But it becomes
the duty of the Conservatives to defend existing institutions by taking the
initiative in such modifications as may be necessary. This is what, with a
true political insight, they have always done in England. The vote of the
counties does not affect the justice of your appreciation of the general
character of the elections. It is not a return to the old Tory party, but
rather the condemnation of the Radical programme; and from this point of
view they have an international importance which nothing can weaken. All
the same, this vote of the counties seems to me to render absolutely
necessary the modification of parties which the complete success of the
Ministry would have postponed. After the redistribution of seats, there
is need of a redistribution of persons and of political groupings. Either
Parliament will be controlled by the Irish Nationalists, and Ireland by Mr.
Parnell, or, in opposition to the Nationalists and the Radicals, there will
be formed a Government which will be Conservative in its respect for
the great social institutions, in its antagonism to the levelling and
centralising spirit, and withal Liberal in the manner in which it will
handle the agrarian question.
Judging by what I see here, where over three millions of rural proprietors
are 'a tower of strength' for the Conservatives, I am persuaded that in
England also the Conservatives have no greater interest--after the defeat
of the socialist and revolutionary plans of Mr. Chamberlain--than to work
vigorously at the formation of a numerous class of small landowners.
_Mutatis mutandis_, we have here also the corresponding phenomenon of the
transformation of parties. We are unquestionably entering on a period of
lassitude. The Conservatives have gained one hundred and twenty seats at
the last elections, for four principal reasons, all of which spring from
the faults of their adversaries.
1. The Tonkin expedition.
2. The waste of the national and municipal finances.
3. The aggravation of the agricultural and industrial crises by the gross
errors in the conclusion of treaties of commerce and the establishment of
4. The war on the clergy, foreshadowing the separation of Church and State.
To these particular reasons must be added the general dissatisfaction with
an administration at once weak and corrupt, which is not in accord with
those instincts which a thousand years of monarchy have impressed on our
manners and tone of thought.
The moderate Republicans have been beaten because they allied themselves
with the Radicals, and because they themselves have not shown the governing
qualities which could gain the confidence of the country. If the check
has not been still greater, it is because the country has a horror of all
change; because the interest of the Government is exceedingly strong;
because the electors do not care to vote for the opposition candidate, who
cannot do anything for them; and lastly, because, at the second _tour de
scrutin_, the Government, in the most shameless manner, brought pressure to
bear on all who are directly or indirectly dependent on it, the number of
whom is very great.
We have then two hundred Conservatives deputies, who represent three and a
half millions of electors. Three-fourths of these are Monarchists more or
less avowed; one-fourth represents the Bonapartist element, and among these
last are many with whom I have well-established personal relations. It is
not, however, the part of this large minority to set forth any opinions as
to the form of the Government, nor even to cause obstruction; still less to
ally itself with the Radicals for the vain satisfaction of overturning the
Ministry. Its aim must always be to promote the passing of Conservative
laws, and by every possible means to oppose such Radical measures as will
be proposed to the Chamber. It is for this that it has been elected. If it
fulfils its task aright, when the dissolution comes--and this cannot be
far off--it will reap the fruits of its policy. It will have merited
the country's confidence, which the Radicals will have lost; and,
notwithstanding the pressure, perhaps even the violence of the Government,
the current of public opinion will be so strong that it will send a
Conservative majority to the Palais Bourbon. Under the influence of this
current we may hope to see the collective or individual conversion of
the moderate Republicans, which must lead to the reconstruction of the
Conservative party and to placing the direction of it in the hands of the
Monarchists. For, though by temperament these moderate Republicans ought
to be the last to come to us, the Radical danger must bring them; they are
bound to come; their place is marked in our ranks. They will never go to
Bonapartism: on the contrary, they will one day enable us to rid ourselves
of the _intransigeunt_ element which forms a disturbing minority in the
This will be the work of to-morrow. To-day, the principal task which I
recommend to my friends is the reconstitution, or rather the creation, of
the 'active list' of the Conservative array. We have the model in Belgium.
People are beginning to understand that the Conservatives cannot remain for
ever on the sufferance of the Government. No Government shall he stable
but that which they can support. For this they must form a compact and
well-organised party. Encouraged by the results of the elections, every one
has set to work with new ardour. My only trouble at present is the utter
inexperience of the Conservative minority. It is made up of men almost all
of whom are new to Parliament, are unacquainted with each other, and as
yet are without a leader. I reckon, however, that such blunders as it may
commit will be balanced and amended by those of its opponents.
Je tennine sur cette pensée consolante, et je vous prie de me croire.
Votre bien affectionné,
PHILIPPE COMTE DE PARIS.
It is interesting to compare with this another view of the French elections
and of the probable course of events, taken from a very different
_From the Due de Broglie_
8 _novembre_.--Vous avez vu le rèsultat de nos élections, qui ont été plus
heureuses pour la cause générale du parti conservateur que pour ce qui me
regarde particulièrement. Si nous ne vivions pas dans un temps oú toutes
les prévisions sont trompées par une certaine inertie générale qui amortit
toutes les passions et ralentit le cours naturel des événements, je
croirais qu'une crise violente est assez prochaine, les éléments extrêmes
se trouvant réums et rapprochés dans l'Assemblée nouvelle, de manière à
former un mélange explosible comme la chimie redoute d'en amener. De part
ni d'autre, d'ailleurs, il n'y a d'homme en état de diriger les événements;
ils iront done probablement tout seuls, commes des chevaux qui n'ont pas de
cocher, ce qui est le moyen à peu près sûr d'aller dans le fossé.
Christmas and the early days of the New Year were passed at Foxholes. On
January 15th the Reeves returned to Rutland Gate. Parliament met on
the 21st, and, as had been foreseen, the Government was defeated on an
amendment to the Address. Lord Salisbury's resignation was announced on
February 1st, and, on the 3rd, Mr. Gladstone's Cabinet was formed, Sir
William Harcourt being Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord Rosebery Foreign
Secretary, and Mr. John Morley Secretary for Ireland. Sir Henry James,
now Lord James of Hereford, declined the office of Lord Chancellor; Lord
Hartington, the present Duke of Devonshire, declined office of any sort in
a Ministry whose policy, as yet but dimly shown, was generally understood
to be on the lines of advanced Radicalism. For his part, Reeve abhorred
Radicalism. He had never approved of Gladstone as a politician, and now
less than ever. He looked on him as a danger to the Empire, to be fought
against, to be resisted, to be crushed. Nor was he singular in this. It
is customary to speak of the extraordinary influence which Gladstone
exercised. It was this influence, directed by sentiment or by vanity, which
constituted the danger. There were many who believed the country to be
on the eve of a violent, perhaps a sanguinary, revolution, fomented and
abetted by Mr. Gladstone; and this belief was strengthened when, on
February 8th, an East-end mob, meeting in Trafalgar Square, was allowed,
without opposition, to march by Pall Mall, St. James' Street and
Piccadilly, to Hyde Park, breaking the windows and plundering the shops on
the way. When to this supposed revolutionary tendency of the new Ministry
was added their avowed intention to bring in a measure for the pacification
of Ireland, which--in the absence of details--was believed to mean the
disintegration of the kingdom, the feeling of alarm, which must be very
well remembered by many who read these pages, can be easily understood.
_From Lord Ebury_ [Footnote: Lord Ebury died at the age of 92, in 1893.]
Moor Park, January 4th, 1886.
Dear Reeve,--Allow me to wish you and Mrs. Reeve a happy New Year, and
to say how much I have been interested in the second part of our common
friend's Memoirs, which--if you care to know it--pleased me more than the
first; but the most characteristic passage of the writer, and which made me
laugh aloud, is the three pages in which he vents all his wrath against the
public for their approbation of Lady Blessington as an authoress, and the
pedestal upon which they placed her. I was glad to read the editor's note,
which completed the page. When once he got into that sort of mood, and
perhaps was influenced by a touch of gout, and let himself go, it was very
funny to listen to him; and really he was a good-natured man. I wonder
what he would have said of Parnell and his ragged regiment, and the G. O.
M.[Footnote: As even in twelve years the name has become quite obsolete, it
may be as well to note that Mr. Gladstone was generally designated by these
letters, said by his friends and admirers to stand for Grand Old Man.] as
he now appears. What in the world are we to do? The 'Times' is working most
patriotically; but why, in the world, did it or he not find out earlier
what the G. O. M. really was and is?...
With my best regards to Mrs. Reeve,
I remain, yours very truly,
_From the Comte de Paris_
_8 janvier_.--Je vous remercie bien sincèrement des bons voeux que vous
m'adressez pour la nouvelle aimée. Comme vous le dites fort bien, il y a
des bonheurs que la politique ne peut pas empoisonner, et ce sont les plus
L'année 1886, je le crois comme vous, nous réserve des surprises plus
dramatiques que celle don't nous venons de voir la fin. En France, ce
renouvellement de l'année nous donne un Président renommé mais non rajeuni,
un Ministère reconstitué mais non raffermi ... En Angleterre, Gladstone
et les Irlandais vous auront pour une fois rendu service s'ils forcent à
s'unir les conservateurs, aujourd'hui séparés par d'anciennes divisions
en whigs et en tories. Ce jour-la vous pourrez de nonveau avoir un
gouvcrnement fort et national.
_From Lord Ebury_
_February 13th_--I cannot recollect anything about Charles Greville's
pamphlet on Ireland, though I imagine I must have read it at the time. Can
one get it now to look at it? or are things so much changed by the march
of events since that its interest has passed away? I re-read Gustave de
Beaumont's marvellous work, with which no doubt you are acquainted.
I confess it rather staggered me when it first came out; and how the
prophecies it contained are accomplished, almost to the letter! I remember
calling the old Duke's attention to it; especially to that strange
phrase-speaking of the then Irish landowners--'C'est une mauvaise
aristocratic; il faut la détruire.' Was it ever reviewed in the
When will this horrible Government be overthrown?
_To Mr. T. Norton Longman_
_Rutland Gate, March 29th_--From what I learned yesterday as to the
probable course of proceeding in the House of Commons, I am strongly of
opinion that it will be necessary to accelerate the publication of the
'Review' by two days, instead of postponing it, as we had proposed to do.
The 'Review' would be of use in the debate which will then be going on, and
will probably be noticed; whereas, after the division on leave to bring in
the Bill, it would be less opportune. The article on Ireland is complete,
and it would be premature to speculate on the details of an unknown
The 'Review' was published on April 13th, and, as Reeve had expected, the
article on 'England's Duty to Ireland' was in everyone's mouth. It was a
powerful appeal to the Liberals, as distinct from the Gladstonians, which
may even now be read with advantage as a lucid exposition of the principles
of the Union.
_From Lord Ebury_
_April 14th_.--Thank you for so speedily answering my question: also for
pointing my attention to the concluding article of the 'Edinburgh'--just
published--written by yourself. I have just finished its perusal, and am
very much pleased with it. No doubt you have had a certain advantage
in seeing what has been already said upon this insane proposition of
Gladstone's; but I have hitherto seen nothing which so completely exposes
the dangers that threaten us, and gives so much historical information to
guide opinion upon the subject; and you have put forward a subject which
to my astonishment has not (or scarcely) been noticed at all. I mean
the danger to the throne of England. I see you dismiss with scarcely a
remark--which, indeed, in your province, would have been injudicious--the
responsibility of those, our grandees--I won't mention names--who have
assisted in giving the G. O. M. power to do the almost irreparable mischief
he has perpetrated.
The Journal here has:--
_April 17th_.--To Foxholes. On the 29th, Unionist meeting at Christchurch;
Lord Malmesbury in the chair. I read an address [which was printed and
circulated as a leaflet]. This was one of the first Unionist meetings in
_May 3rd_.--To Portsmouth, on a visit to Captain Bridge, on board the
On May 10th Gladstone, in moving the second reading of his 'Home Rule'
Bill, seemed to accept the truth of the maxim that 'Speech is given to man
to conceal his thoughts,' and led someone--commonly believed to be Mr.
Labouchere, who made no attempt to hide his own opinions--to say, 'How is
it possible to play with an old sinner who has got an ace up each sleeve,
and says God Almighty put them there?' What Gladstone wanted to do was,
in fact, never exactly known; all that could be made out was that he was
prepared to grant whatever the Irish Nationalist party demanded. It was for
Mr. Parnell to speak; for him to obey. Such an attitude was revolting to
a very great many of the Liberal party. They maintained--they rightly
maintained--that the name 'Liberal' belonged to principles, not to men; and
that those who sacrificed their principles to follow the lead of one man,
even of Gladstone's eminence, ceased to be Liberals, and could only be
called Gladstonians. The Bill was discussed for many days, and on June
7th it was negatived by the House of Commons in the fullest division ever
known; the numbers being:
_Against the Bill. For the Bill._
Conservatives. . . . 250 Gladstonians. . . . 230
Liberals. . . . . . 93 Nationalists. . . . 83
Majority against the Bill, 30.
Reeve was triumphant, and wrote to Mr. T. Norton Longman the next day,
'What a triumphant division! What a defeat for the G. O. M.! Even he must
believe this. I think his colleagues will hardly agree to dissolve. If they
do, they will be annihilated.'
They did, and they were. The General Election held in July fully ratified
the vote of the House on June 7th, and left the Gladstonians and
Parnellites combined in a minority of 115.
_To Mr. T. Norton Longman_
_C. O., June 23rd_.--Sir Francis Doyle's Epilogue [Footnote: The last
chapter of Doyle's _Reminiscences and Opinions_ (8vo. 1886). It is
more than 'invective;' it contains much sound argument and admirable
illustration.] is a powerful piece of invective; but it is essentially
addressed to Gladstone's public career and conduct, and if he likes to
publish it, I see no objection. Doyle was at Eton with Gladstone, and is
one of his oldest and most intimate friends--or rather, _was so_. What he
has written is not stronger than what George Anthony Denison has published
on Gladstone, he too being a friend of forty years. I do not remember
another instance in which a man's best and earliest friends have turned
upon him, to unmask him, and that without any motive of personal
resentment. It is the noble motive which led Brutus to strike Caesar.
If this is to appear, it should be published _immediately_, as it relates
to the affairs of the day.
_C. O., July 21st_.--I think Gladstone has fulfilled all my predictions and
completed the ruin of the Liberal party and his own. The net result is that
he has brought in the Tories for several years.
Whilst this tremendous storm was raging in the political world in England,
France also had been much excited. The letters of the Comte de Paris
have shown that he was, in point of fact, conducting an intrigue for the
subversion of the republic, the re-establishment of the monarchy; and it
is not surprising that the Government, more or less cognisant of what was
going on, struck in defence of the constitution under which they ruled.
Their action was said to be illegal; but in time of war the laws depend on,
are upheld by, and interpreted by the greater force; and on June 23rd
the Comte de Paris, with his family, was ordered to quit France, and the
Orleanist princes, including the Duc d'Aumale, were deprived of their rank
in the army, their names being erased from the army list. On June 29th
Reeve noted in his Journal, 'To Tunbridge Wells, to see the Comte de
Paris, exiled the week before;' but that is all; the home interest was too
absorbing, though even of that the only trace in the Journal is on July
5th, 'Unionist meeting at Tuckton. I took the chair. Election.'
_To Lord Derby_
_C. O., July 10th_.--I am much obliged to you for the copy of your
excellent speech. In this remarkable debate _coram populo_, it seems to me
that the defeat of the Home Rulers in argument has been even more complete
than their rout at the polling booths. The people have shown more serious
intelligence than I had given them credit for. I saw this even in our
On July 20th the Gladstonian Ministry resigned, and before the end of the
month the new ministry was formed under Lord Salisbury as premier and first
lord of the treasury. The Journal is occupied with personal and family
affairs of special interest.
_July 25th_.--To Antwerp by the 'Baron Osy.' Forty-seven Americans on
board. Aix very dull. Back to London on August 11th.
_August 18th_.--Letter from Hopie announcing her intended marriage.
_September 6th_.--Hopie married at Kirklands to Thomas Ogilvie of Chesters.
Chesters is in the immediate neighbourhood of Kirklands, and the friendship
between Miss Reeve and Mr. Ogilvie was of many years' standing, though the
determination to marry was rather sudden, and the engagement very short.
Mr. Ogilvie was a man of good family and property, and though several years
older than his bride, Reeve appears to have been very well satisfied; his
relations with his son-in-law were always cordial, though the distance at
which they lived restricted the intercourse, and the formed habits of both
prevented anything like intimacy.
Amidst the political excitement and the family interest of the summer, the
following comes in almost like the Fool in 'King Lear' or Caleb Balderstone
in the 'Bride of Lammermoor.' It refers to a proposition--surely one of the
strangest ever submitted to a publisher--which, in ordinary course, had
been sent to Reeve for an opinion. And this is what Reeve wrote:--
_To Mr. T. Norton Longman_
_Foxholes, August 24th_.--Your correspondent is the coolest fellow I ever
heard of. He not only proposes to complete Macaulay's 'Lays' by some new
ones, but to re-edit and correct the original Lays, which, he says, 'are
very irregular.' His own verses have not a spark of poetry or fire in them;
they are mere trash, and he is an impertinent fellow.
Here the Journal has:--
_September 7th_.--Went to Exeter with Christine; 8th, to Chagford and
Dartmoor; 10th, back to Foxholes.
_29th_.--To Holyhead and Penrhos with Christine. Bad weather at Penrhos;
gout in hand came on.
_October 2nd_.--To Knowsley; Lord Lyons there.
_6th_.--To London and Foxholes. Christine went on to Chesters. On the 20th,
Mrs. Ogilvie came from Scotland. November 2nd, James Watney died.
_From Count Vitzthum_
Paris, November 7th.
Dear Mr. Reeve,--I beg you to accept kindly a copy of my memoirs 'St.
Petersburg and London,' 1852-1864, which Cotta will send you from the
author. Please to remember, if you find time to read these two little
volumes, that it is a German book, written for Germans, by one who is
neither Whig, nor Tory, nor Red; who is very fond of Old England,, but
has nothing to do with your party feelings and prejudices. I see men and
things, not from the English, but from the European standpoint, and leave
it, as far as possible, to the leading men of the day to tell their own
tale. If you find time, read the book and tell me what you think of it.
Yours very truly,
_To Mr. T. Norton Longman_
C.O., _November 12th_.--My old friend, Count Vitzthum, formerly Saxon
Minister in London, has sent me his 'Reminiscences of St. Petersburg
and London from 1852 to 1864' in German, 2 vols. This is a book of
extraordinary interest to the English public, full of conversations and
confidential details of Prince Albert, Lord Palmerston, Lord Clarendon,
Disraeli, &c.--quite a contemporary political history, as amusing and
interesting as Greville himself. Vitzthum knew this country well, and all
I shall write on Monday [15th] to thank him for the book, and I propose to
ask him whether he has made any arrangements for the translation of it. I
am not much in favour of translations; but this book is of such peculiar
and exciting interest that I should strongly recommend you to secure it
if possible. I think the Taylors, who did Luther, would undertake the
I think this an important affair.
_November 15th_.--I am afraid you are out of town, but it is of great
importance to come to an immediate decision about Count Vitzthum's book. It
is a work of the greatest possible interest and importance, and contains
many entirely new facts and anecdotes as to contemporary history. You will
perceive this from the enclosed notice of the book which appeared last
week in the 'Daily News.' [Footnote: November 6th, 'From our Berlin
Correspondent,' a notice mostly made up of extracts from the book, then
described as 'just about' to be published by Cotta of Stuttgart.]
The Queen has seen the sheets and approved them.
The result of this notice was that three English publishers at once applied
to Cotta for the right of translation; but the Count has retained that in
his own hands, and he says that, if _you_ will publish the translation on
suitable terms, and if _I_ will edit the translation with my name, and
write a preface to it, he will make an arrangement with us. This I am ready
to do, and I shall tell him so to-day. There is not a moment to lose; and
as you appear not to be in town, I must act myself in the matter. I want
to know as soon as possible what terms you would offer. I think the Count
would accept either a sum down or a share of the profits; you might propose
either alternative. The Taylors would execute the translation promptly and
the book would appear in May. I do not suppose that you will hesitate to
agree to so important a proposal; but if it does not please you, I am
certain that Murray or Macmillan would jump at it.
_C.O., November 17th._--Max Müller has written to Count Vitzthum, to make
exactly the same suggestion I have done. He highly applauds the book and
recommends the Count to make arrangements with _you_ for the translation. I
have seen Fairfax Taylor. He will undertake to complete the translation by
the 15th or 20th of February. The printing can go on when he has got some
copy in hand, and the book can be brought out early in April, which is a
very good time. I have given him my copy of the first volume to begin upon.
Pray get another copy of the book.
_November 18th._--Count Vitzthum accepts your proposal. He asks me whether
he should write to you; but that is unnecessary. _Four_ other English
publishers have applied to him for the right of translation.
_November 23rd._--It will be necessary that the translation of Vitzthum's
book should be set up in slips, in order that he and I may have an
opportunity of adding notes or making omissions.
At this time the question of having him elected as a foreign member of the
Institute was mooted by Reeve's friends in Paris. It is to this that
the following letters refer. Though not successful on this occasion,
because--as Reeve was afterwards told--two out of the six foreign members
were already English, they carried their point some eighteen months later,
on an English vacancy.
_From M. Jules Simon_
Paris, 18 décembre.
Cher Monsieur,--J'ai en effet exprimé à notre ami commun, M. Gavard, le
désir que j'éprouve de vous attacher plus complètement à notre Académie.
C'est line opération assez difficile, car les associés étrangers pouvant
être choisis indistinctement dans tous les peuples du monde, il y a
rarement disette de candidats. A chaque vacance, une commission est nominée
au scrutin. Elle présente trois noms à l'Académie, qui consacre une séance
à les discuter, et vote dans la séance suivante. Nous devons élire tout à
l'heure le successeur de Ranke. Parmi les deux noms qui ne sortiront pas de
l'urne, il y en a un qui pourra bien réussir quand on élira le successeur
de Minghetti. En général on est porté deux ou trois fois avant de passer.
Vos amis s'occuperont d'abord de vous faire figurer sur la liste. Il faut
pour cela qu'un d'entre eux ait la liste exacte de vos écrits, et de tous
les titres que l'on peut invoquer en votre faveur. Les débats ne sont pas
publics; les candidats n'écrivent pas de demande; celui qui les propose
parle en son propre noni, ct est même censé les proposer à leur insu.
Enfin, le public ne connaît que le nom de l'élu. Je crois que vous avez
envoyé a M. Barthélemy St.-Hilaire les renseignements nécessaires. Si cela
n'est pas fait, faites-le, je vous prie, sans délai. Vous pouvez, si vous
le préférez, les envoyer à M. Gavard, qui me les remettra, ou m'écrire
directement. Je vous prie, cher monsieur, de croire à mes sentiments
_From M. Leon Say_
Paris, 25 décembre.
Mon bien Cher M. Reeve,--Je ferai naturellement tous mes efforts pour vous
rapprocher encore plus de l'Institut, et vous y donner un rang digne de
vous; mais je ne dois pas vous laisser ignorer qu'il y aura lutte. Je ne
sais s'il vous conviendra que votre nom soit discuté. Pour vous éclairer
sur ce point, je vous envoie à titre confidentiel un billet que me fait
parvenir M. Aucoc pour faire suite à un entretien que j'ai eu avec lui.
Je vous prie de croire à mes sentiments les plus distingués et les plus
Jules Simon m'a promis une note qui me servirait à soutenir vos titres, et
me permettrait de dire aux Français de ma section, passablement ignorants
de l'étranger, avec exactitude ce que vous avez fait.
Meantime the Journal notes:--
_December 7th._--Meeting of the Liberal-Unionist party. On the 11th, dinner
at home. Duc d'Aumale, Froude, Carnarvon, Lady Stanley, Colonel Knollys, F.
Villiers, Lady Metcalfe, Newton.
_19th_--Dined at the Duc d'Aumale's, who had bought Moncorvo House in
Ennismore Gardens. Comte and Comtesse de Paris, Haussonville, Ségur,
Target, Audiffret, Leighton.
_December 21st_.--To Timsbury. 24th, to Foxholes. The Ogilvies there.
1887. _January 3rd_.--Came to London. 10th, dinner at Pender's to meet
Stanley, the African traveller, before he went to find Emin Bey.
_19th_.--The third part of Greville published, 3,007 copies subscribed.
Among the many letters which the publication of these last volumes of
the 'Greville Memoirs' brought him, the following from Sir Arthur Gordon
[Footnote: Fourth son of the Earl of Aberdeen.]--now Lord Stanmore,
and then Governor of Ceylon--have a peculiar interest from their exact
criticism of a point of detail with which the writer was personally
acquainted at first hand:--
Queen's House, Colombo, June 18th.
My dear Mr. Reeve,--I have very long delayed answering your last letter, in
the hope that, when I did so, I might at the same time be able to send you
my notes on the two last volumes of 'Greville.' But these notes will
be numerous, and my time is scant for such work. On one point, the
'graspingness' alleged to have been shown by the Peclites after the
formation of the Government in December 1852, and its modification to
satisfy their exigencies, I have felt constrained to address the 'Times.'
[Footnote: June 13th. The letter is reprinted in the Appenduxm _post_, p.
411.] The truth happens to have been exactly the other way, and Greville's
notes are only the echo of the grumblings of the disappointed Whig placemen
who talked to him. It is decidedly unjust not only to my father, Graham,
and Gladstone, who are indirectly charged with this trafficking, but to the
Duke of Newcastle and Herbert also, who more directly are so.
I have, of course, read the volumes with great interest, but have had
my suspicions greatly heightened that whatever may have been the case
before--say 1841, the confidences Mr. Greville received in the later years
of his life were not unfrequently only half-confidences, for the sake
of obtaining his opinion on some collateral point, or of flattering or
pleasing him by the show of confidence. There are, of course, many matters
treated of in these volumes as to which I have no personal or private
information, and I have no reason to question what he says about them; but
I have some inclination to doubt, even as to these; for I find that as
regards almost every transaction of which I do happen to know the whole
history, he knows a good deal about it, but not _all_ about it. He was
kept specially in the dark about the real history of Lord Palmerston's
resignation in 1853 which is all the odder because he very nearly found it
out. Hardly anybody does know what lay behind, though the difference about
Reform was a very real one, so far as it went, and quite sufficient to
justify--at all events, ostensibly--Lord P.'s virtual dismissal. Again, on
another occasion, I see Mr. G.'s special friend, Lord Clarendon--I will
not say, deliberately deceived him, but, certainly with full knowledge
--allowed him to deceive himself on the strength of a half-confidence.
[Footnote: A politic reticence, that has been called 'an economy of
I am more disappointed than I can say to find that M. de Sainte-Aulaire's
elaborate Memoirs have been 'used up' for that stupid book of Victor de
Nouvion's, [Footnote: Histoire du Règne de Louis Philippe (4 tom 8vo.
1857-61)], if--as I suppose-that is the book you refer to. I thought it had
never got beyond the first two volumes, and have never seen any more of it.
I am vexed that M. de Sainte-Aulaire's elaborate Memoirs should have been
utilised for such a book; generally, because I know M. de Sainte-Aulaire
contemplated their publication, and because they deserved to appear in
a separate form; and, personally and specially, because, of course, his
accounts of his intercourse with my father, and the elaborate study of his
character which he had written, are thus lost....
Yours ever faithfully,
_To Sir Arthur Gordon_
_C.O., June 13th_.--I have just read in the 'Times' of this morning your
interesting letter on the formation of Lord Aberdeen's ministry. I have no
doubt you are quite right. It _was_ John Russell and the Whigs who were
rapacious for office--much more than the Peelites. John Russell, I know,
kept Cardwell out of the Cabinet. You observe that Greville only notes what
Lord Clarendon told him; and I have no doubt that Clarendon was rather out
of humour with arrangements which were personally disagreeable to himself.
But that again was John Russell's fault, because he insisted on taking the
Foreign Office _pro tem_. I shall probably publish another complete edition
of Greville next year, and I think it would be well to insert in a note the
whole of your letter, or at least the greater part of it. [Footnote: See
Appendix, post, p. 411.] If you have any other criticisms to make, they
would be valuable to me. I have availed myself of those you were so good as
to send me on the second series.
You are aware that Mme. de Jarnac is dead. I do not know who has her
husband's papers; but the Comte de Paris is here, and as I frequently see
him, I will take an early opportunity of asking him whether he can give me
any information about Lord Aberdeen's letters. M. Thureau's 'Histoire de
la Monarchic de Juillet' is a remarkable book, because he has access to
original sources and quotes largely from them, especially from the Memoirs
of M. de Sainte-Aulaire which are still in MS. [Footnote: And _still_ so in
1898.] They appear to be extremely interesting.
We are getting on here pretty well. If the Whigs had joined the Government,
there might have been a scramble for office, as there was in 1853; for
the Whigs are now in the same position as the Peelites were at that
time--officers without an army. It is much more to the credit of my friends
to give a disinterested support to Lord Salisbury; and this alliance gives
a sufficiently Liberal colour to the measures of the administration. There
is every appearance that the Unionists will hold together. Mr. Gladstone
continues to be in a state of hallucination and excitement which exceeds
belief. It is a case of moral and political suicide. The crisis will
probably end by the death of Mr. Parnell, the falling [off] of the American
subscriptions, and the extinction of Mr. Gladstone; but in the meantime
they have totally ruined Ireland.
_From Sir Arthur Gordon_
_August 30th_.--Your letter of June 13th must have crossed one from me,
in which I explained to you why I had written to the 'Times' about
the formation of the Government of 1853 instead of merely sending my
observations to you as a note for future use. I need not say that I am much
flattered by your proposal to insert the letter--or part of it--in a note
to a future edition of Mr. Greville's Memoirs... I am struck very much
by what I think I mentioned once before--the frequency with which Mr.
Greville's friends gave him what may be called 'a three-quarters knowledge'
of pending affairs. They told him a great deal, but frequently not _all_.
In the affairs with which I am really acquainted, there is almost always
something--and that an important something--which does not appear in his
notes... I have specially noticed this with regard to Lord Palmerston's
'resignation' in 1853, It is the more remarkable, because it is apparent
from various passages that he 'burnt'--as they say in a game of hide and
seek--but never actually quite caught the true facts. I have never known
a secret better guarded than the fact--which, after a lapse of four and
thirty years, one may, I think, mention--that Lord P.'s resignation on
that occasion was _not_ voluntary, and that he was, in fact, extruded.
[Footnote: In a later letter, June 5th, 1888, Sir Arthur Gordon wrote:--'He
had given great offence to the Queen; and his colleagues--at least, his
most important colleagues--distrusted his action in reference to pending
negotiations, Lord Clarendon especially resenting the intrigues he believed
he was carrying on. Things being in this state, he announced his hostility
to Reform, and it was determined to take advantage of this announcement to
remove him; and removed he would have been, but for the two causes I have
noted.'] But, to be sure, half the Cabinet did not know this; and it was
their ignorance, coupled with Newcastle's and Gladstone's dislike of Lord
John, that brought him back again.
I must get M. Thureau's 'Histoire de la Monarchic de Juillet,' of which I
never even heard. It is dreadful to reflect how utterly behindhand one gets
in all things, literary, artistic, and political, through long sojourns out
of Europe. But I do hope there is some prospect of M. de Sainte-Aulaire's
Memoirs themselves being published at full length. I know it was M. de
Sainte-Aulaire's wish and deliberate intention that they should be given to
the world, and he took much trouble with them.
_From the Duke of Argyll_
Inveraray, January 22nd.
My dear Mr. Reeve,--I have been longer in getting the book off my hands
than I had hoped. It is now in the press, and Douglas talks of getting it
out about February 10th or a little later.... There is a good deal in
the book which, in one sense, may be called 'padding,' because I have
endeavoured to relieve the very dry subject of Tenures and Agricultural
Improvement with historical episodes, with pictures of manners, and even
with personal anecdote. But I think there is a considerable bulk of new
matter, or at least of old matter put in new points of view, and every part
is written with an aim to establish the principles which _we_ think 'sound'
on Law, on Property, and on Union. Your new Greville seems to be very
Yours very sincerely,
_From M. B. St.-Hilaire_
_Paris_, 29 _janvier_.--Je vous remercie de la peine que vous voulez
bien prendre, et j'ai profité des corrections que vous avez bien
voulu m'indiquer. J'avais déjá profité des deux articles de la 'Revue
d'Edimbourg' sur les chemins de fer russes en Asie et sur l'armée indienne.
I have no wish to appear more royalist than the king himself; but I cannot
feel so sure as you do about the security of India. The Russians are
already threatening it, and I do not think they are near stopping. The base
of their operations will be in the Caucasus, where they already have very
considerable forces. It is true that their finances are in bad order; but
this may perhaps be an additional motive to them to undertake a war of
conquest. I agree with you, however, that before the attack on India will
come the attack on Constantinople, the consequences of which will be very
great. On the other hand, the railway connecting Candahar with the Indus
will certainly be a great obstacle to the advance of the Russians on Cabul.
In all this I see many of the elements of catastrophes which the next
generation will witness. I hope I may be out of this world before they
_To Mr. T. Norton Longman_
_Foxholes_, _April 17th_.--I see the 'Athenaeum' complains that I did not
correct all Vitzthum's mistakes and rearrange his book; but that is more
than I undertook to do. We did correct a good many mistakes, natural enough
in a foreigner; but I do not hold myself responsible for his facts or his
_April 22nd_.--I know more about M. Barthélemy St.-Hilaire's book on India
than any other Englishman, for I revised and corrected the proof-sheets for
him. A French writer on the subject was sure to make blunders. The book is
most valuable to _foreigners_, for it is a perfectly fair account of the
British administration of India; but it would be entirely useless in this
country, inasmuch as it is a mere compilation from well-known English
documents. I think, therefore, that a translation into English would be a
work of supererogation and a failure.
_April 30th_.--Dined at the Royal Academy dinner.
_May 9th_.--Great Unionist meeting at Winchester.
_28th_.--Barthélemy St.-Hilaire came to Foxholes on a visit.
_June 10th_.--Dined with the Duc d'Aumale, Moncorvo House. Electric light.
_15th_.--Dined at the Middle Temple. Grand day; Prince of Wales in the
_18th_.--Dined with the Lord Mayor. Literature, Science, and Art.
_21st_.--Celebration of the Jubilee. Splendid day.
_July 3rd_.--Went to Eastbourne.
_7th_.--Dined at East Sheen with the Comte de Paris. Duc and Duchesse
of Braganza there. Duke of St. Albans, Arran and daughter, Duc de la
_18th_.--Duc d'Aumale's evening party; very brilliant.
_25th_.--To Ostend and Brussels. 26th, to Cologne. Great heat.
_27th_.--To Wiesbaden. Lady Dartrey died while I was at Wiesbaden. I took
leave of her on her death-bed just before I started. It was the loss of a
most kind, faithful, and affectionate friend.
_August 5th_.--Ill in the night; incipient fever. 6th, to Cologne. 7th, to
Aix, very unwell. 9th, got back to London by Ostend-Dover.
_From Captain Bridge, R.N._
H.M.S. 'Colossus,' Gibraltar, August 3rd.
Dear Mr. Reeve,--The Naval Review and the ensuing operations have not, I
hope, given you such a surfeit of naval affairs as to indispose you to hear
a little of the recent cruise of the Mediterranean squadron. We left Malta,
under the command of the Duke of Edinburgh, in May, and visited several
ports on the coast of Italy. During H.R.H.'s absence in England, when
attending the Jubilee, we stayed at the convenient harbour of Aranci Bay
in the island of Sardinia. There we carried out a series of instructive
torpedo and under-water mining exercises. After leaving Sardinia, we
called at several Spanish ports--Barcelona, Valencia, Cartagena and
Malaga--eventually reaching this place last Friday evening.
The effect of our visits to both Italy and Spain has been--especially in
the case of the latter country--remarkably gratifying. The presence of
a son of the Queen was evidently taken as a compliment by Italians and
Spaniards of all classes. Barcelona, Cartagena, and Malaga are notoriously
anti-monarchical in sentiment. Yet in every one H.R.H. had a most
flattering reception. The enthusiasm of the populace at Cartagena was fully
equal to any shown by an English crowd for any popular royal personage.
People may say what they like, but the advantages to the country of
having a prince in the position held by the Duke are considerable. The
friendliness of the Italians is striking; and I am confident the feelings
of Spaniards of all classes are more favourable to England than they have
been for half a century. We hear now that we are to go on to Cadiz, where a
maritime exhibition is to be opened this month; and it is understood that
this extension of our cruise is at the request of the Spaniards themselves.
I have visited Spanish ports often before now, and never noticed any
friendliness towards us. Should the necessity of looking for allies arise,
it is nearly certain that both Italy and Spain would be disposed to range
themselves on our side. It will be a pity if diplomatic bungling occurs to
alter this satisfactory condition of things....
Pray give my kind remembrances to Mrs. Reeve.
CYPRIAN A. G. BRIDGE.
It has been seen that for some years back Reeve had been occasionally
thinking of retiring from his post of Registrar. The near completion of
fifty years' service revived the notion, and his illness at Wiesbaden,
following an earlier attack in April, confirmed it. When his mind was once
made up, the rest was a matter of detail. The Journal notes:--
_August 10th_.--Taxed costs and wound up business at the Council Office for
the last time again; but went there again on October 11th.
_12th_.--To Foxholes, where fever and bad fit of gout came on; I was very
unwell till September 3rd.
_21st_.--My dog Sylvia [Footnote: A collie, so called after her donor, M.
Sylvain van de Weyer. A brother of hers belonged to the Queen.] died. A
fond and faithful companion of sixteen years.
_September 5th_.--Mr. G. H. Dorrell came as my secretary, and I dictated an
article on foreign affairs.
_From Mr. C. L. Peel_ [Footnote: Clerk of the Council in succession to Sir
Arthur Helps. Now Sir Charles Peel.]
56 Eccleston Square, October 5th.
My Dear Reeve,--I was so taken aback by your announcement to-day, that I
really could not find words in which to express the sincere regret with
which I heard it. You are so thoroughly identified in my mind with the
Council Office, and I am so much indebted to you for advice and assistance
during the last twelve years, that I shall feel quite lost when I can
no longer rely upon the experience, judgement, and kindness which have
hitherto been available to me in any difficulty.
I only trust that by relieving yourself in good time from the ties of
office, you may enjoy a long spell of happy and active retirement, which
you have so well earned, and into which you will be followed by the best
wishes of all you leave behind. Believe me always,
Yours most sincerely,
C. L. PEEL.
It appears from the Journal that the resignation was not officially made
till some days later.
_October 24th_.--I resigned the Registrarship of the Privy Council, which I
had held, as Clerk of Appeals and Registrar, since November 17th, 1837. The
rest of the year at Foxholes.
At the sitting of the Judicial Committee on November 2nd, Sir Barnes
Peacock formally announced to the Bar the resignation of the Registrar, and
after briefly mentioning the dates of his service as Clerk of Appeals since
1837 and Registrar since the creation of the office in 1853, he went on:--
'It is unnecessary to state to the Bar the manner in which the duties of
that office have been performed by Mr. Reeve. He is not present to-day. He
has been prevented, I believe, by the state of his health, from travelling
to London. Their Lordships are sorry that he is not present, that they
might personally bid him farewell. They have given me, as the oldest member
of the Judicial Committee now present, the privilege of expressing and
recording their deep sense of the loss which must be sustained, both by
the Judicial Committee and the public, by being deprived of the valuable
services of Mr. Henry Reeve. His long and varied experience, extending over
a period of nearly half a century, his extensive knowledge, his great tact
and the sound judgement which he brought to bear in the discharge of the
duties of his office, render his retirement a serious loss both to the
Judicial Committee and to the public. Their Lordships could not allow Mr.
Reeve to depart from his office in silence. They trust that he may long
enjoy in health and happiness that rest, relaxation, and repose which
he has so fully and meritoriously earned, and to which he is so justly
entitled. Many men retire from an arduous profession or office, and when
they are relieved from the duties which they have for many years been
called upon to discharge, sink into a state of _ennui_ and listlessness
which are not conducive either to a long life or to health or happiness.
But their Lordships feel sure that that will not be the case with Mr.
Henry Reeve. His literary and other congenial tastes and pursuits, and his
industrious habits, will no doubt supply him with full employment for his
still active and vigorous mind. In taking their leave of Mr. Henry Reeve
on his departure from office their Lordships will only add, 'Let honour be
where honour is justly deserved.'
To this Mr. Aston, Q.C., replied, as the oldest member of the Bar
'I refrain from attempting to add anything to what your Lordship has said,
for fear that the feebleness of my addition might detract from the force
of that which your Lordship has expressed. But I cannot help saying that,
after having appeared at your Lordships' Bar in this place for upwards of
a quarter of a century, I have myself personally received, and I have seen
the members of the Bar who have practised with me always receive, from Mr.
Reeve the utmost courtesy, attention, and assistance. We often have, my
Lords, in practising before you, a difficult task to discharge. Our clients
are not familiar with the practice of your Lordships' Court, if I may use
the term. But on all occasions Mr. Registrar Reeve has given the utmost
assistance, and therefore I beg to say, on behalf of the Bar whom I venture
to represent, that we cordially endorse all that your Lordship has said,
and express our unfeigned regret that we shall no longer have the services
of Mr. Reeve in your Lordships' chamber.'
_To Mr. T. Norton Longman_
_Foxholes, November 4th._--I hope you saw the funeral oration Sir Barnes
Peacock pronounced on me in the Privy Council. It is in the outer sheet of
the 'Times' of Tuesday [Nov. 1st], and perhaps in some other papers; a very
kind and handsome tribute; and it is pleasanter to have these things said
when one is alive than when one is dead.
The notice in the 'Times' brought Reeve many letters from his friends;
amongst others, the following:--
_From Lord Ebury_
_November 9th._--I see you are going to desert the Council altogether. I
hope you will long enjoy the _otium_ which you have so worthily merited,
and will have time to assist in extinguishing Gladstone.
_From the Duc d'Aumale_
_Woodnorton, 15 novembre._--Je regrette d'apprendre que votre santé a été
si eprouvée.... Je suis toujours affligée de voir mes amis se retirer de
la vie active; mais je comprends les motifs qui vous ont dicté votre
Je suis si honteux de ce qui se passe en France que je n'ose pas vous en
parler, et je me borne a vous serrer bien cordialement la main.
The Journal then notes:--
1888.--The year began at Foxholes. The Ogilvies there for three weeks. Came
to London on January 3rd.
_February 4th._--Sir Henry Maine died at Cannes. A great loss.
_March 5th._--The railroad from Brockenhurst to Christchurch opened. Went
down to the ceremony. Came back at 7 and dined with Millais to meet the
Lord Chancellor. Mrs. Procter died.
_9th_--Emperor William of Germany died. Various dinners.
_April 10th._--Gladstone dined at The Club. Froude, Smith, Hewett, and
_27th_--Left London for Basle with Christine at 11 A.M. and arrived there,
and thence, at Lucerne, on the 28th at 9 A.M. Capital journey.
From Lucerne they went on to Milan and Bologna and to Florence, which they
reached on May 3rd, which they made their headquarters for the next three
weeks, seeing all that was interesting in the city and the neighbourhood,
and visiting Siena, Chiusi, Perugia, and Assisi. Then to Spezia, Turin,
Geneva, and to Paris on the 24th.
Meantime Reeve, having been proposed by St.-Hilaire, supported by the Duc
d'Aumale, Jules Simon, and Duruy, as a foreign member of the Institut de
France, in succession to Sir Henry Maine, had been elected by a large
majority on May 8th. He seems to have received the first news of this from
the Duc d'Aumale, who wrote from Palermo on May 10th:--
Mon ancien maître, confrère et ami, Duruy, m'ecrit que vous venez d'etre
nommé associé étranger de son Académie par vingt-sept voix. C'est un beau
succès dont je veux tout de suite me réjouir avec vous, en attendant que je
puisse le faire de vive voix. Je compte être le 20 de ce mois à Bruxelles,
et dîner avec le Club quelque jour du mois de juin.
The election had to be approved by the President of the Republic, and the
result was not officially communicated till the 19th. It would seem that
Reeve did not receive it till his arrival in Paris, and on the next day,
May 25th, St.-Hilaire wrote:--
Demain je vous accompagnerai pour votre entrée à l'Académie. Vous verrez
que le cérémonial est des plus simples. Je vous présenterai spécialement à
M. Franck, qui, sur ma demande, a été votre rapporteur, et qui a parlé de
vous en termes excellents.
From the Duc d'Aumale he received, a few days later:--
_Bruxelles, 31 mai._--Je ne doutais pas du bon accueil qui vous serait fait
à l'Institut, et je suis ravi d'en recevoir le témoignage par votre lettre.
Je voudrais bien pouvoir assister au dîner du Club du 12 juin; mais j'en
ai quelque doute, tandis que je crois être certain, _Deo adjuvante_, de
pouvoir m'asseoir à notre table fraternelle le mardi 26. Je vous serre
affectueusement la main.
On May 28th Reeve returned to London. The entries in the Journal are of
little interest, but he noted:--
_June 12th._--At Lady Knutsford's, evening, met Lord and Lady Lansdowne,
just back from Canada.
_15th_.--To Foxholes. The Emperor Fritz of Germany died. During the whole
of his short reign, which lasted ninety-nine days, the most bitter quarrels
went on about his medical treatment. It was a great tragedy.
_25th_.--To London again. 26th, breakfasted with the Duc d'Aumale, who
dined at The Club.
_July 2nd._--To Winchester Quarter Sessions to qualify as J.P. for
Hampshire, having been recently appointed by Lord Carnarvon.
_9th_.--Attended Petty Sessions at Christchurch.
_30th_.--Winchester Assizes. On the Grand Jury.
The next letter, from Sir Arthur Gordon, refers to an incident alluded to
in the 'Greville Memoirs,' [Footnote: Third Part, i. 54-5.] which Reeve
had commented on at some length, with a reference to the Memoirs of Lord
Malmesbury, published some four years before.
What Lord Malmesbury had said amounted to this--that in 1844, when the
Russian Emperor Nicholas was in London, 'he, Sir Robert Peel (then prime
minister) and Lord Aberdeen (then foreign secretary) drew up and _signed_
a memorandum' to the effect that England 'would support Russia in her
legitimate protectorship of the Greek religion and the Holy Shrines,
without consulting France. Lord Malmesbury added that the fact of Lord
Aberdeen, one of the signers of this paper, being prime minister in 1853,
was taken by Nicholas as a ground for believing that England would not
join France to restrain the pretensions of Russia, and therefore, by
implication, that Lord Aberdeen's being prime minister was a--if not
the--principal cause of the war. [Footnote: _Lord Malmesbury's Memoirs of
an Ex-Minister_ (1st edit.), i. 402-3.]
The memorandum itself, as printed in the Blue Book, differs essentially,
both in matter and form, from Lord Malmesbury's description of it. It
is entitled 'Memorandum by Count Nesselrode delivered to Her Majesty's
Government and founded on communications received from the Emperor of
Russia subsequently to His Imperial Majesty's visit to England in June
1844.' [Footnote: _Parliamentary Papers_, 1854, lxxi. 863.] It is unsigned,
and from the nature of it must be so; it is in no sense an agreement, but
a proposal that England should agree to act in concert with Russia and
Austria; and nothing whatever is said about the Greek religion, the
Holy Places, or the Russian protectorate. It is of course possible that
conversations between Nicholas and Lord Aberdeen, which preceded the
drawing up of this memorandum, may have encouraged the one and hampered
the other; but of this there is no evidence, and Lord Malmesbury could
not possibly know anything about it, though he did know something--very
inaccurately it appears--about the memorandum. The discrepancies had,
in fact, led Reeve to suppose that Malmesbury's statement must refer
to another memorandum; and thus Lord Stanmore's letter has a singular
historical interest, bearing, as it does, on a point that has been much
_From Sir Arthur Gordon_
_Queen's House, Colombo, July 30th_--I am very sorry that I did not
contrive to meet you while in England.... I am almost equally sorry--in
fact, am equally sorry--that my laziness and procrastination in sending you
my notes prevented their being of any use in the revision of the seventh
volume [of the Greville Memoirs]. I am the more sorry because I confess
I greatly regret that the mare's-nest of the Russian Memorandum of 1844
should remain unpulled to pieces. You seem half-incredulous as to my
explanation, and ask very naturally, If that is all, why should there have
been any secrecy about it? The secrecy was due to the form, not the matter.
The memorandum was the Emperor's own account of his conversations with
the Duke, Sir R. Peel, and Lord Aberdeen, and a copy of it was sent in a
private letter from Count Nesselrode to Lord Aberdeen. It was never in the
hands of the ordinary diplomatic agents for official communication to the
English Government, nor was it ever treated as an official document. But
its importance was too great to allow its being treated as an ordinary
private letter, and my father personally handed it to Lord Palmerston when
replaced at the F. O. by him. Lord Palmerston delivered it in the same way
to Lord Granville, Lord Granville to Lord Malmesbury, Lord Malmesbury to
Lord John Russell, and Lord John to Lord Clarendon. In 1853 the Emperor
made some reference to this paper which was supposed to make it a public
document, and it was then printed and laid before Parliament soon after the
beginning of the war. This I assure you is the whole history and mystery
of the Russian Memorandum, Lord M. notwithstanding. This is not the only
instance in which Lord M. has mixed up, in singular fashion, what he
himself knew and what was the club gossip at the time.
The Journal here notes:--
_August 20th._--Drove over to Lytchet Heath, to stay with the Eustace
_September 10th._--Joined Mrs. Watney in the 'Palatine' yacht at
Bournemouth. Crossed to Trouville in the night. Lay in 'the ditch' for
twenty hours. 12th, Cherbourg. Met the French fleet and saw the arsenal.
13th, back to Southampton and to Foxholes. Pleasant trip; good weather.
_20th_--The Eustace Cecils came: took them to Heron Court. This was the
last time Lord Malmesbury saw people there.
_From the Duc d'Aumale_
Woodnorton, 26 septembre.
Très cher ami,--Vous êtes bien heureux de pouvoir aller vous promener à
Cherbourg et à Paris. Enfin!
Oui, j'ai reçu un peu de plomb, et même assez près de l'oeil gauche; mais
le proverbe dit que ce métal est ami de l'homme. J'en serai quitte pour
quelques petites bosses sous la peau, et je vous souhaite de vous porter
aussi bien que je le fais en ce moment.
J'irai à Knowsley dans la seconde quinzaine d'octobre; à Sandringham,
dans les premiers jours de novembre; puis mes neveux viendront tirer mes
faisans. J'espère bien prendre part aux agapes du Club le 27 novembre et 11
décembre, et serai bien heureux de vous revoir un peu. En attendant je vous
serre la main, mon cher confrère.
_To Lord Derby_
_Foxholes, October 2nd._--I am amused by the Court quarrel in Germany,
though I am afraid the broken heads will not be royal heads. Bismarck will
wreak his vengeance on numberless victims. Geffcken is a very old friend
of mine, and an occasional contributor to the 'Edinburgh Review;' but I am
afraid it will go hard with him, for Bismarck regards him as a personal
enemy. If the Prince had lived Bismarck could not have remained in office,
and the course of affairs might have been materially changed.
* * * * *
On October 25th Reeve, with his wife, crossed over to Paris. He attended
the Institut on the 26th, and heard mass at Notre Dame on the 27th; but his
principal object seems to have been to consult Dr. Perrin about his eyes,
which for some time back had caused him some uneasiness. A literary man of
seventy-five is naturally quick to take alarm, and an English oculist had
recommended an operation. This Reeve was unwilling to undergo, at any
rate without another and entirely independent opinion; and as Dr. Perrin
pronounced strongly against it, no operation was performed; and with care
and good glasses his eyes continued serviceable to the last. On November
8th the Reeves returned to London, where, as Parliament was sitting, they
remained till Christmas; and, according to the Journal:--
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