Part 6 out of 8
The Journal notes:--
_December 5th_.--Parliament met. 9th, first dinner of the Club. 24th, to
Ottershaw Park for Christmas. 28th, to Farnborough--last time. 29th, Mrs.
Grote died. 31st, returned to town.
_To Mr. E. Cheney_
_December 13th_.--I brought up two volumes of the MS. Journals for you to
read when you come to town. But I perceive the further you proceed the less
can you publish. I dismiss all thoughts of that from my mind, and bequeath
the task to posterity.
The debate in the Commons has been very dull, [Footnote: On a motion to
condemn the policy of the Government in Afghanistan. It was defeated by a
majority of 101 in a House of 555.] but the Government will have a very
large majority. They tell me Dizzy is negotiating another little purchase
of Seleucia and Scanderoon. Jerusalem is in the next lot.
I gave the 'Secret du Roi' to an Irishman to review, and the wretch has
disappointed me. I am afraid it is now too late, or I would do it myself.
[Footnote: It was reviewed in the April number (1879), but neither by
Reeve nor the Irishman.] Read M. de Lomenie's book, 'Les Mirabeau'--a very
_Rutland Gate, January 4th_, 1879.--This Christmas has been marked beyond
all others by the most tragical events. To me, Mrs. Grote and Lord
Tweeddale are deplorable losses, and I could add a catalogue of names of
less note, besides those of public interest. What irony to call it the
season of mirth and gaiety!
Mrs. Grote has very kindly left Hayward l,000£. I am glad of it, for it
will make him more comfortable, and, I hope, less cross.
The Journal then has:--
_January 7th_.--Dined at Sir P. Shelley's; Spedding, Browning.
_To Mr. E. Cheney_
_January 18th_.--I fully intended to come to see you to-day, and to bring
you the MS. volumes of C. C. G.; but I am very lame with rheumatism in my
knee, and the weather is so infernal that I cannot use the carriage, and I
am afraid to make the expedition in a cab. I must therefore defer my call
till I can move better. On such a day as this one can only burrow like the
I think the Cenci article in the new 'Ed. Rev.' will interest you.
_January 22nd_.--I send you Vols. III. and IV. of the mystic record. Pray
keep it locked up.
In the 'True Tale of the Cenci,' by T. Adolphus Trollope, there was much
that Mr. Cheney dissented from, and he wrote a long letter on the subject,
which Reeve in due course forwarded to Trollope. This led to a reply, with
which, as far as Reeve's correspondence shows, the discussion dropped. If
it was continued further, it was without Reeve's assistance.
_To Mr. E. Cheney_
_January 23rd_.--I saw Lady Shelley to-day, and, as I told her you could
not call on her, she very obligingly said she would be happy to call on
you and bring you the enlarged photograph of the poet to look at. These
photographs are done on porcelain. There are only three copies of them,
which Lady S. has got. The negative is destroyed. ... She says the drawing
is the image of Shelley's sister, Helen Shelley.
_January 31st_.--Many thanks for your prompt return of the volumes. I am
glad they have amused you, and you can give evidence that they are not very
wicked. I am afraid I cannot supply any more until I have been down to
Foxholes, as I find I have locked up part of the MS. there; and I must now
have the whole of it bound.
_February 3rd_.--I send you Trelawny's book on Shelley, and I also enclose
an interesting letter from Mr. Trollope in answer to your remarks on the
Cenci article. You will see he has taken pains with the subject. I did
not mention your name to him in connexion with the remarks, but only with
reference to the Philobiblon notes. He therefore does not know that you are
as well acquainted with the Italians as he is.
_To Mr. Dempster_
_C. O., February 26th_.--I hope this will not arrive too late to
congratulate you on having achieved in health and good spirits
three-quarters of the road to our centenary. Unluckily, the last quarter is
the most difficult. But _sursum corda_! When I look back and about me, I
am astonished to have got so far. The great pleasure of advancing years
is retrospection. One sees such groups and groups of pleasant people. The
prospective eyes of youth see nothing so real or charming. I fancy I am
sitting with you on a flowery bank of heather in the Highlands, about
August 15th, talking of these things. There are a dozen brace of dead
grouse in the bag. Donald is at the well. Don't remind me that it is
February, 1 in London, the wind in the northeast.
Here the Journal records:--
_February 27th_.--My sister-in-law, Helen Blackett, died at Matfen.
_March 4th_.--Charles Newton and Sir J. Hooker elected by The Club.
_April 28th_.--I was named Vice-President of the Society of Antiquaries for
_From Lord Kimberley_
_35 Lowndes Square, May 3rd_.--There is a savage article in the 'Quarterly'
(by Froude, I believe), many of the statements in which arise from mere
ignorance. Whatever chance of success Carnarvon's scheme of confederation
had--it was in any case small--was destroyed by Froude's blundering, which
was caused mainly by his knowing nothing whatever about the political
history and literature of the colony. But, for all that, his article is
worthy of attention. Like you, I am very apprehensive about the Zulu war;
but this is too long a story for a short note. I should very much like to
talk the matter over with you.
The Journal again:--
_May 15th_.--Presided at Antiquaries as V.-P.
_June 11th_.--Great party at Count Münster's for the golden wedding of
_From Mr. E. Cheney_
_Audley Square, July 1st_.--I have an impression of Shelley's portrait,
which Colnaghi has just engraved. Sir Percy wishes it not to be re-copied,
and he entertains no doubt of its authenticity. He says it is extremely
like a maiden aunt of his--the only survivor of the past generation of the
Shelleys. I beg your acceptance of an impression.
_To Mr. E. Cheney_
_July 1st_.--I am uncommonly obliged to you for the exquisite engraving of
the drawing of Shelley. I shall cherish it alike in memory of him, and of a
better man--yourself, and for the strange legend about it.
I am sorry to hear that ------ has taken offence at the mention of her
father in the 'Greville Memoirs.' I was wholly unconscious of the offence,
and indeed had forgotten that he was mentioned in them at all.... I should
like, with great simplicity, to say to these eminent persons that I value
the honour of being the Editor of Charles Greville's Journals infinitely
more than any distinction that Queens or Duchesses could bestow on me. But
I esteem the talents and good qualities of ------ and certainly I never
dreamed she was offended.
And then the Journal:--
_July 5th_.--Lady Waldegrave died. The news came while we were attending
Lord Lawrence's funeral in Westminster Abbey.
_26th_.--To Foxholes. _August 16th_.--Visit to Weymouth; 18th, drove to
_August 30th_.--Tom Longman died at Farnborough--seventy-five.
_September 3rd_.--His funeral.
_5th_.--To St. Malo with Christine and Hopie; 6th, to Dinard and on to
Dinan; 8th, to Guingamp; 9th, to Lannion, seeing Chateau de Tonguebec on
the way; 10th, to Louannec--fine rocky coast; 11th, Morlaix--drove to
St. Pol de Léon; 12th, Brest, but it rained; 13th, to Auray; 14th,
expedition to Carnac; 15th, expedition to Locmaria-quer; 16th, Auray to St.
Malo; 18th, home again--a pleasant tour.
_24th_.--To Stratton, to see Lord Northbrook about article on Affghan War.
Read him the article.
_October 21st_.--Lord Northbrook at Foxholes.
_30th_.--Left Foxholes. Visit to Pember's [at Lymington], Beaulieu Abbey.
To town on November 1st.
Frequent mention has been made of M. de Circourt's letters, the writing of
which occupied a great part of his time. In a short memoir, or, rather, an
appreciation, which Reeve contributed to the 'Edinburgh Review' of October
1881, he wrote: 'It was his pleasure and his desire to live and die
comparatively unknown. With an insatiable curiosity and love of knowledge,
with an extraordinary facility in mastering languages, and a universal
love of literature; with a memory so precise and so inexhaustible that it
retained without effort all he had acquired, he found in the mere exercise
of these singular gifts a sufficient employment for a long and not inactive
life.... He possessed and enjoyed the friendship of an extraordinary number
of men of the highest distinction, not only in France, but in all lands.
The correspondence he carried on with his friends in Germany, Italy,
England, Switzerland, America, and Russia was inconceivably voluminous. To
each of them he wrote in their own respective language, equally vehement
and profuse in every tongue.'
The bulk of his letters to Reeve alone is truly formidable. But these, and
presumably most others, were to a very great extent political or literary
pamphlets, which, though not given to the press, were--there can be little
doubt--intended to be circulated among a select public such as he delighted
in addressing. Two of the latest of these, written very shortly before his
death, are here given:--
_From M. de Circourt_
La Celle, October 27th.
My dear Reeve,--I don't know whether the article 'Germany since the
Peace of Frankfort' has done in Great Britain so much noise as the
'Affghanistan,' which has been, over here, an event in the literary-politic
world. But the first one is quite equal to the second, and gives career to
endless (alas! useless, too!) reflections. It is a sombre picture, quite in
the style of Rembrandt, with a _chiaroscuro_ much akin to darkness. It can
be objected that the lights are sacrificed to the shades. But, excepting
the strong constitution of the Imperial army, and the perfection to which,
according to competent judges, the preparations for an offensive and
defensive war have been pushed, I cannot see anything, in the condition of
finances, industry, husbandry, and, above all, public morals, which is not
threatening, if not absolutely disheartening. No traveller comes back from
Germany without a tale of woe. _Savior armis Luxuria incubuit, victamque
ulciscitur Galliam_. And while the rancour and the thirst for vengeance are
still, in France, what they were in 1871, the whole of power, riches,
and fashion in Germany crowding to Paris, give it a sort of transient
popularity, and suffers itself to be led by what is among us most
frivolous, most immoral, and even less French, in the old and legitimate
sense of that word. It is very curious to observe how the strangers flock
to Paris in order to enjoy the spectacle of themselves, reckoning the
French for nothing save the ministers of their pleasures, _et improbi turba
impia vici_. If, in the midst of these brilliant saturnalia, the _pares_
were to rise, and another Commune spring from the kennel to the day, how
many of the lords of the Philistines would be buried under the ruins of the
temple of Dagon? But to revert to Germany, or, rather, to her ruler.
Prince Bismarck, I apprehend, has lived too long. He begins to feel the
fickleness of fortune. He has never had any friends; he begins to be
burdensome to his associates. I don't know whether he could have managed a
Parliament elected after the actual method on the Continent; I am certain
that he did not, and never was able to, uphold a consistent and honourable
system whatever. He is no financier, no economist; and as he does always
act upon the interests of the present hour, without regard to past
engagements, he can have with him but those who superstitiously deem him
a prophet, or those who choose to _servir à tout prix_. He is rude,
suspicious, and vindictive. The only great minister with whom he can be
compared, Richelieu, was at least frank and open towards friend and foe.
Bismarck has never negotiated with any man, nor charged any man with an
important measure, without becoming their ruin, or changed them into
implacable enemies--Savigny, Usedom, Arnim, Gortschakoff. The good genius
of his country has protected Moltke against his insidious praises and
bitter censures. It is easy to prove that, during the late war, all the
good advice given to the King came from Moltke; all hurried, or lame, or
improvident, or perfidiously cruel measures came from the Chancellor. Why
did he leave half of the forts round Paris in the power, not of our
army, but of the armed rabble, to which he left the possession of 1,500
field-pieces and 300,000 guns, while he disarmed the regulars to the last
man? To his calculations we owe the Commune; posterity will hold him
responsible for that incalculable calamity, which it was at every hour in
his power to avert, or to crush instantly. Presently his tenure of office
is very precarious. The Emperor is eighty-two, and has never liked
Bismarck; he has given recently some signs that he feels galled by the
chain. The Crown Prince may make use of him, and sacrify his personal
feelings to the advantage not to upset suddenly the system of government;
but, under Friedrich Wilhelm V., it is more than probable that Bismarck
shall have to choose between retire or obey. Even in the present
occurrence, considering that France is wholly taken up with her internal
dissensions, which are not likely to become soon better, and that Russia
has need of time for recruiting her exhausted resources, it was certainly
not sound policy to blow the trumpet of a coalition which was, presently,
dreamed of by nobody, and shall, in the future, result from the necessity
The article upon the Code of Criminal Law is an excellent treatise of
_Criminalison_; we, too, want a _refonte_ of our criminal law. What is
called civilisation has gorged our society with an infinity of malpractices
unknown to our ruder but better fathers; and we suffer from the bane of
modern civilisation, that idiot charity towards the refuse of mankind,
coupled to a perfect indifference for the honest people they assail or
bring to ruin. To that endemic disease of the mind no penal statute can
afford a remedy. MacMahon was as weak as a school-girl on such occasions;
Grévy is scarce better; at least he does not call weakness Christian
'The Impressions of Theophrastus Such' are little intelligible to me,
merely because I have read so few books of the authoress. Doudan [Footnote:
Ximenes Doudan (1800-72) was in early life a tutor in the family of the
Due de Broglie, and remained attached to him. His critical judgement and
sparkling conversation made him a special feature of the Duchess's _salon_.
He was well known in literary society, and was compared by Reeve (_Ed.
Rev._, July 1878) with John Allen of Holland House. Like Allen, his
reputation was based almost entirely on his conversation and encyclopaedic
knowledge. After his death, his few essays and numerous letters were
collected and edited by the Comte d'Haussonville, under the title of
_Mélanges et Lettres_(4 tomn. 8vo. 1876).] wrote that he could never be
quite unhappy while he had _des romans anglais à lire_; I confess that,
when they are not first-rate, they seem to me to belong rather to the
department of industry than to that of literature. The article upon the
civil engineers of Britain is an admirable compilation of much that's
useful to know and easy to understand; the magnificence of the _tableau_
strikes the fancy and weighs upon the mind. But, after all, is humanity
become grander, or better, or happier by so many performances of the
inquisitive and constructive genius? _That's the question_. With trembling
hope I'll answer Yes! Life is less dark, a little longer, and better
provided against the material plagues of nature: but farther?
I am pent up with a severe cold, and losing the last day of a capricious
autumn. Mme. d'Affry has promised me a visit.
What of the parliamentary strife between Disraeli and his rivals? At least,
it is _Diomedes cum Glauco_, statesman pitched against statesman. But in
our camp: _non melius compositus cum Bitho Bacchius_. Yours truly,
The letter that follows is endorsed by Reeve 'M. de Circourt's last letter
to me. He was struck with apoplexy on the 15th, and died on the 17th of
November. The last token of fifty years' friendship':--
_From the Comte de Circourt_
La Celle, November 12th.
My dear Sir,--Many thanks for your kind letter of the 6th. I am still an
invalid, _conjuguant_ in all its tenses the verb _grippe_, with its
near relation bronchitis. However, I am recovering by-and-by, and the
weather--not fine, still very mild--helps me towards recovering my liberty
of locomotion. I am the more sorry for my _réclusion_ that I had begun some
plantations in my garden. Fancy what it is to plant trees by half-dozens
and to buy land by wheelbarrows!
We are in a state of partial fermentation and general disgust. The
President _videt meliora probatque, deteriora sequitur_; he is absolutely
sunken in the opinions, but tolerated, because he lets every party at
freedom to plot and to hope. Waddington does not fare better, but Jules
Simon has presently no chance of replacing him. The sympathy which Ferry
has proclaimed for the Reformed Church [Footnote: See _Times_, November
8th.]--very natural in itself--may be mischievous for them; our nation has
never any sympathy for minorities. The leaders of the Clerical party have
lowered their teaching and their practices to the level of the most obtuse
intellects and the most childish enthusiasms; they make conquests by
myriads; and as, in our present state of society, numbers are accounted for
everything, the Government and ruling party have already encountered, and
shall encounter more and more, a formidable opposition, which, if it
does not drag the country into civil war, cannot fail to accelerate and
precipitate the fate of the Republican Government. As the Duc d'Aumale
seems resolved never to put himself forward, the conjectures hover between
Galliffet [Footnote: General de Galliffet was more especially known for the
stern justice he had meted out to the Communards of 1871.] and several
others, all men of action, although none of them has the prestige which
made, in 1799, the task of Bonaparte so wonderfully easy. The 'Great
Unknown' will be revealed to us by some sudden stroke; our people is
perfectly disposed to acknowledge a master, and prays only that 'nous ayons
un bon tyran,' since we must have one.
Lord Beaconsfield's speech [Footnote: At the Mansion House on the 10th. See
_Times_, November 11th.] shall not put an end to the embarrassments of
our Exchange, shaken to its foundations by the curiously tragical episode
[Footnote: 'Gigantic swindle' would more correctly designate it. See
_Times_, November 7th. Philippart, having made away with some 100,000,000
francs, had judiciously vanished.] of Philippart. _Imperium et Libertas_,
i.e. 'Domination abroad and Freedom at home,' is a proud legacy of 'the
most high and palmy days of Rome'; but it will be difficult to force the
submission to that maxim upon all the powers of the world. If the Turks had
studied the history of classical times, they would believe that the days of
_Civis Romanus sum_ and the _Reges clientes Populi Romani_ are come again
for the East; and what immense space does this name design, since the
exclusive and dominating influence claimed by the Premier begins at the
Adriatic and ends--nowhere; for the whole of Affghanistan being brought
under British control, and Turkish Asia on the other side being claimed as
a protected and indirectly governed country, it will become necessary
that the intermediate region, Persia, be assimilated to the rest of the
dependencies of an Empire which, at the farthest end, shall soon be
contiguous to China.
The task of the Russian people is very different. The stern decrees of
Providence have made of it the antagonist and hereditary foe of the Asiatic
barbarics, which it has faced under the walls of Kief and Moscow, and
pressed, by dint of repeated battles and immense sacrifices, to the foot
of the Himalaya range and the course of the Upper Oxus. Sooner or later, a
tremendous shock must happen between the two gigantic Empires which meet
upon that debateable ground. I hope I may never witness it; but I do
regret much the disparition of the ample neutral ground, which till lately
stretched from the Indus to the Yaxartes....
Many wishes for your health and occupations.
Yours very truly,
The Journal gives the chronicle of the last weeks of the year:--
_November 22nd_.--Visit to Chatsworth. Delane died. _23rd_.--Chatsworth.
Long talk with Lord Hartington.
_29th_.--Delane's funeral at Easthampstead. Went down with Barlow and
Stebbing; then across by Woking to Lithe Hill (Haslemere); very cold.
At Christmas severe illness came on--gout and violent bleeding of the nose.
I was totally laid up for two months.
The year had been a sad one, and had marked its progress by the death of
many of Reeve's dearest and oldest friends--Lady Blackett (to whom he had
always been tenderly attached), Longman, Circourt, and Delane.
OUTRAGE AND DISLOYALTY
The very serious illness which ushered in the year 1880, and which confined
Reeve to his room till near the end of January, formed a very important era
in his life. Though it passed away, so that, after a fortnight at Brighton,
he was able, by the middle of February, to attend to his official duties at
the Council Office, the bad effects remained. He was no longer a young man,
but he had carried his years well. He had travelled, he had occasionally
shot, and always with a keen sense of enjoyment. Now, the full weight of
his age told at once. His illness left him ten years older; unable to
undergo the fatigue of field sports, and feeling that of travel sometimes
And Foxholes afforded him a tempting excuse. From this time, instead of
going for his holiday to Scotland, to France, or to Geneva, it seemed so
much easier to go to Foxholes, so much more comfortable to spend it there.
And for the next fifteen years a large part of his time was passed at
Foxholes, where, in the most delightful climate known in this country,
surrounded by beautiful scenery and with a commanding view of the sea,
amid the comforts of home and in the company of his books and his chosen
friends, he could say, from both the material and moral point of view:
Suave, mari magno turbantibus aequora ventis,
E terra magnum alterius spectare laborem.
Of course, his duties at the Council Office required him to be in town
during the season and while the Court was sitting; and in the April of this
year he noted a breakfast at Lord Houghton's, to meet Renan, and presiding
as a Vice-President at a meeting of the Society of Antiquaries. Otherwise
the Journal is almost a blank, containing little beyond the dates of going
to Foxholes or returning to town.
But though thus in a measure withdrawing from the swirl of society in which
so much of his life had been passed, he in no sense lost touch with the
movements of the day, and in none of these did he take a more lively
interest than in those which affected the state of France. And that seemed
particularly unsettled. No one could attempt a forecast of the future,
though wild guessing was easy. Nothing was certain; everything was
possible. Hope was guided rather by fancy than by reason, and tinted the
years to come in brighter colours than--now that those years have passed
--history has warranted. For many years back the French Princes had been
Reeve's occasional correspondents, but their letters had seldom had any
political significance. At this time they began to have a more serious
importance; and during the next six years those of the Comte de Paris, more
especially, are full of deep and pregnant meaning. In England, the topics
of the day were the dissolution in March, Mr. Gladstone's Mid-Lothian
campaign, which will live in history as an instance of the noxious
admixture of sentiment and politics, and the overwhelming success of the
Liberal party at the polls, which brought Mr. Gladstone back to office, at
the head of an absolute majority in the House of Commons of 56. Reeve, of
course, followed the progress of the election with anxious eyes. To Mr. T.
Norton Longman he wrote:--
_Foxholes, April 2nd_.--The Liberal gain on the Elections is far more than
I anticipated, and I begin to hope there may be a decided Liberal majority.
What I most deprecate is an even balance of parties. If the Liberals are
strong, they will be moderate; if weak, they will be violent.
It is raining heavily to-day--rather damp for the electors, but a capital
thing for the country and for my shrubs.
The further course of the election brought him the following letters from
the Comte de Paris:--
_Château d'Eu, le 12 avril_.--Je vous remercie de tout mon coeur des voeux
que vous m'adressez à l'occasion de la naissance de mon fils, et je suis
heureux de pouvoir vous donner les meilleures nouvelles de la mère et de
Je suis bien peiné d'apprendre que vous avez été si longtemps souffrant cet
hiver. La rigueur de la saison peut bien en avoir été la cause, et j'espère
que l'été achèvera de vous remettre. Nous serions heureux, la Comtesse de
Paris et moi, si durant cet été vous pouviez, avec Madame et Mademoiselle
Reeve, renouveler la visite que vous nous avez faite au château d'Eu il y a
trois ans. Depuis lors la maison a été toujours en deuil; l'événement qui
vient de s'accomplir ici nous permet, j'aime à le croire, une année plus
The result of the elections in England has caused great surprise in France.
Nothing led us to expect such a complete change in the opinion of the
electorate. When I saw Mr. Gladstone a few months since, he did not seem at
all confident of his party's speedy return to power. A year or two ago I
should have greatly regretted the fall of Lord Beaconsfield; but my
opinion is entirely changed since Lord Salisbury's speech in honour of the
Austro-German alliance. Lord Beaconsfield's term of power has had the one
good result of obliging the Government which succeeds him to pay more and
closer attention to Continental politics than the English Cabinet did in
1870 and 1871. But for some time back the Russophobia of the Foreign Office
and its agents has been so great that it looked as if England was going to
give up the idea of preserving the equilibrium of the Continent, and become
the accomplice or the dupe of those who played on this passion.
_20 avril_.--Je m'empresse de vous remercier de votre lettre et de vous
dire tout le plaisir que la Comtesse de Paris et moi nous aurons à vous
voir ici avec Madame et Mademoiselle Reeve. Malheureusement les trois
dernières semaines d'août sont le seul moment où je ne serai pas ici, et si
vous venez un peu plus tôt en France je vous prierais de commencer par le
château d'Eu.... I have read the article on M'Clellan by Mr. Curtis, in the
last number of the 'North American Review.' It did not teach me much, for I
have often talked it all over with M'Clellan, in his visits to Europe. But
the article is good, and all the facts alleged are perfectly true. Lincoln
was very weak in this business, the tool--without knowing it--of Stanton
and Halleck. The author sometimes closes his eyes to M'Clellan's faults,
which, though they do not excuse Lincoln, impartiality will not permit us
to ignore. M'Clellan was an excellent organiser and a skilful general, but
he made blunders; he could not take a decided resolution at the proper
time, and it is not correct to say that he was considered a faultless
general: he was loved, appreciated, and respected by all, and justly
considered as the best chief of the Federal armies, when Grant, Sherman,
and Thomas were as yet little known. Personally, he was, at times, very
indiscreet: he permitted those about him to speak of the President in
insulting terms, and he wrote the letter quoted by Mr. Curtis. An extremely
silly thing, for it could not possibly do any good, and it was easy to
see that his enemies would use it against him. With these exceptions, I
entirely share the views of the author of the article.
We await the formation of your new ministry with curiosity. I agree with
you that it is better that Gladstone should be its recognised head than its
unofficial and irresponsible leader. I hope the experience of 1871, and the
verdict of the electors in 1874, have opened his eyes to the dangers of a
_far niente_ policy, as practised by the Foreign Office during his last
_27 avril_.--Je vous remercie infiniment de votre lettre du 21 et je me
réjouis bien de penser que nous aurons probablement votre visite ici au
mois de juillet. Je vous remercie de l'intention que vous m'exprimez
d'arranger vos projets de manière à pouvoir venir en France à cette époque.
I see Mr. Gladstone has not been afraid of the fatigue you thought would
be too much for him. I quite understand that after his disaster in 1874 he
should insist on a material proof of his wondrous political rehabilitation.
But it seems to me that he ought not to have combined the Exchequer with
the leadership--unless, indeed, his friends wanted to handicap him by
allowing him to take upon his strong shoulders a burden which is usually
divided between two ministers. I am not surprised at this change, so
complete, so striking to one who thinks of the time when Mr. Gladstone,
almost disavowed by the party he had so imprudently led to defeat, could
hardly find a constituency to open the doors of the House to him. It is
a spectacle presented by all free countries, a salutary warning to the
victors of the day, and a consolation to the vanquished, to whom hope is
always left. But what does astound me is that the change should not have
been foreseen. It is rather a severe democratic shock to the parliamentary
machine. Is it the effect of the lowering of the franchise, or of the
secret ballot? I do not know. But does not the astonishment of the leaders
of the victorious party prove that their followers are escaping from their
control? And if so, where and to whom will they go? However, I am confident
that the practical spirit which has hitherto inspired all classes of the
English people, as they have been successively called upon to take
their part in the government--from the old nobility to the petty
shopkeepers--will not be found wanting in the new electoral body,
constituted by the last reform.
_4 juin_.--Si, comme je l'espère bien, vous pouvez réaliser la bonne
promesse que vous m'avez faite de venir ici avec Madame et Mademoiselle
Reeve dans la seconde moitié de juillet, je serais heureux de vous voir
fixer votre visite aux environs du 22: en effet, nous attendons ce jour-là
ou le suivant quelques personnes qui vous intéresseront certainement et qui
seront charmées de vous rencontrer: le Comte et la Comtesse d'Eu, le Duc et
la Duchesse d'Audiffret-Pasquier, M. et Madame de Rainneville (Rainnevillea
formosa, d'après votre botanique spéciale).
_19 juillet_.--Je m'empresse de vous remercier de votre lettre, et de vous
dire que je vous enverrai jeudi, à Dieppe, une voiture pour vous chercher à
l'Hôtel de la Plage à deux heures après midi, à moins d'avis contraire.
Toutefois je dois vous prévenir que M. Alexandre Dumas, qui habite près de
Dieppe, et auquel j'avais demandé de venir déjeuner ici l'un de ces jours,
en lui laissant le choix du jour, m'annonce qu'il viendra déjeuner au
château le jeudi 22. Le déjeuner est à onze heures et demie. Si vous
désiriez le rencontrer il faudrait que vous partiez le matin de Dieppe.
Dans ce cas, sur un avis de vous, je vous enverrais la voiture à neuf
heures du matin, au lieu de deux heures après midi.
So on July 21st, Reeve, with Mrs. Reeve, left London for Dieppe, whence
they went on to the Château d'Eu. On the 26th they went on, through St.
Quentin, Namur, and Liège, to Aix, where, for the next fortnight, Reeve
drank waters and took baths. They then returned through Brussels and
London, reaching Foxholes on August 14th.
And there they stayed for nearly three months, during which time, beyond
noting a few visits or visitors, the Journal is a blank. On November 6th
they returned to London.
_To Mr. T. Norton Longman_
_C. O., November 26th_.--I have not for a long time read a book so
fascinating to me as these Reminiscences of Carlyle; for though he calls
them reminiscences of Irving &c., they are, in fact, essentially an
autobiography. It is impossible to present the details of life with more
attractive clearness and picturesque effect. The most curious thing is
that the style, instead of being a mass of cloudy affectation, is simple,
flowing, and natural. To me, especially, all this is most captivating. The
account of Mrs. Montagu, Coleridge, the Bullers, the Stracheys, &c. revives
a thousand recollections. It was through the Bullers that we first knew
Carlyle, and I suppose in due time he will relate his intimacy with the
Austins and Sterlings in the same manner.
It is right to say that there are many persons still alive who will not be
pleased at having their portraits drawn by so strong a hand--Mrs. Procter,
Altogether, I think the book is eminently interesting and valuable, and
will have a very large circulation indeed. It is the sort of book everybody
likes to read, and in this case it is backed by names of great celebrity. I
will send the MS. back to you on Monday. What a wonderful thing it is
that Froude should have had the patience to copy all this out in his own
I dined last night with the Chancellor, and found both him and the Home
Secretary deep in 'Endymion.' Everybody abuses it more or less, but
everybody reads it, so the abuse does not go for much. Only Lady Stanley
(the dowager) declares she could not get through the first volume. Such is
the strength of party feeling.
_From the Duc d'Aumale_
Chantilly, 2 décembre.
Mon cher Monsieur Reeve,--Je me fais une fête de vous revoir. J'ai vendu
mon hôtel de Paris et n'ai pas encore pu y reconstituer d'établissement.
Mais Chantilly [Footnote: During the next few years, before he was again
exiled, the Duc d'Aumale restored Chantilly on a magnificent scale (see
_post_, pp. 319, 320), making it a repository for his splendid collection
of pictures, works of art, and library, which included many precious MSS.
By a will dated June 3,1884, he bequeathed the whole to the 'Institut de
France,' in trust for the nation.] est si près! Dès que vous pourrez,
donnez-moi votre adresse de Paris, et indiquez-moi quels jours vous serez
libre, afin que je puisse en choisir un et vous demander de venir à
Chantilly. Dites-moi aussi quels jours il vous serait agréable d'avoir ma
loge aux Français.
J'espère bien avoir lu 'Endymion' d'ici là. Je vous serre la main.
Reeve was thus meditating a visit to Paris for Christmas, as soon as the
Court rose. Its session ended in the death of one of its most esteemed
members. Sir James Colvile, formerly Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
of Bengal, had a house in Rutland Gate, and a great intimacy had grown up
between the two. On Friday, December 3rd, he had dined with the Reeves, 'in
fair health and excellent spirits,' as Mrs. Reeve wrote a few days later.
'He, with Lady Colvile and his brother-in-law, Lord Blachford, sat on for
quite half an hour after the other guests left' On Saturday morning he went
down to the office with Reeve. On the Monday he was dead. Sir Lawrence
Peel,[Footnote: First cousin of Sir Robert Peel (the statesman), formerly
Chief Justice of Calcutta, and since 1856 a member of the Judicial
Committee. He died in 1884, in his 85th year.] one of his colleagues in the
Judicial Committee, himself now old and feeble, wrote, apparently the same
My dear Reeve,--A blow terrible indeed to all of us, to me most terrible. A
man so close to death as I think myself feels more deeply the awe a sudden
death causes. I know not the man to whom a sudden death could come and find
more well prepared than he was. I thank you for your kind forethought. Say
for me to his late colleagues that I feel his loss to them and to all of
us irreparable. That he should go first! Oh God, preserve me and bless you
all. Ever yours truly,
Could you say or write a line in season to Lady Colvile? They say I am
_To Mr. T. Norton Longman_
_Rutland Gate, December 7th_.--I have been and am horribly upset by the
sudden death of Sir James Colvile, which took place yesterday morning. He
was really my most intimate friend; for twenty-two years we have worked and
lived together, and to all of us the loss is irreparable,
_From Sir Lawrence Peel_
_December 11th_,--One word about your 'resignation.' 'Don't.' The weaker
the thing is, the more your value will be felt. Sir Montague [Footnote:
Sir Montague Smith, one of the paid members of the Judicial Committee. He
resigned the office on December 12th, 1881, and died, in his 82nd year, in
1891.] will go. He has as much as told me so, not very lately. It will be a
new Court, not the old P. C., nor can it have the character of the House of
Lords. It will have its entire way to make, and where is the stuff? It may
in time win approval; but it will be a child at first. Of course if things
are made unpleasant to you, Go; but my impression is the other way.
I think I do get better, but I am very bad. It [the death of Sir James
Colvile] was a terrible shock; and I lie and think, yet cannot throw it
off. To-day is the funeral. Alas! Alas! _Nulli flebilior quam mihi!_
When earth covers him, not a better man will be left on its face. _Tibi
constabat_. Ever the servant of Duty and of his God, and letting no man
note in him a sign that he thought himself better than the ruck.... God
bless you! Don't resign--wait.
On December 15th Reeve went to Paris alone. His Journal notes:--
_17th_.--Opera 'Aïda,' with the Comte de Paris and the Duc d'Aumale.
_18th_.--To the Français, with the Duc d'Aumale.
_19th_.--Breakfasted at Chantilly; went all over the Château, rebuilt.
_24th_.--Dined alone with Lord Lyons.
But a few letters written at this time to his wife give the best
description of his visit, and call more particular attention to what seems
to have been in great measure the cause of it--the paper to be read before
_Paris, December 21st_.--I dined yesterday with Laugel to meet the De
Witts, the young De Barantes and M. de Mérode. The Duc de Broglie came in
the evening. The eldest son of Cornélis de Witt is about to marry Mlle.
de Labruyère, a considerable heiress, dans l'Agénois. This is a capital
marriage for the family. To-morrow I am going to a lecture by M. Caro at
the Sorbonne. On Thursday there is the reception of M. Maxime du Camp (who
wrote about the Commune) by M. Caro at the Académie Française, when I
shall take my seat amongst the Forty Immortals. It will be interesting. On
Wednesday 29th I shall probably make an address to the Institute (simple
énoncé de faits) on the State of Landed Property in Ireland--a formidable
I think now that the Radicals will break up the Government and break their
own necks. I cannot conceive that the English people and Parliament will
condone such monstrous conduct. I therefore now hope that they will play
out their abominable game. Mr. Plunket's speech is admirable.
_December 23rd_.--I am just come back from the Institute, where there has
been a grand function--the reception of Maxime du Camp by M. Caro on behalf
of the Académie Française. All Paris was mad to go, and I believe they
expected the Communards would storm the sacred building. I sat aloft among
the Immortals, with the Duc de Broglie, Haussonville, Lesseps, Vieil
Castel, and next Alexandre Dumas, who was very pleasant. The Duc d'Aumale
was on the other side.
Yesterday we had a very pleasant dinner at the De Broglies'--Gavard,
Lambert de Ste.-Croix and Cornélis de Witt. They shot 1,250 pheasants
at Ferrières [Footnote: It was here that the celebrated meeting between
Bismarck and Jules Favre (cf. _ante_, pp. 186-7) took place, on September
19th, 1870.] (Baron Rothschild's) on Sunday. The Comte de Paris brought
down 300 himself.
I have written out my speech on Irish Land and read it to Gavard. It will
take about fifteen or twenty minutes in the delivery. I breakfast tomorrow
morning with St. Hilaire.
_December 27th_.--I went to the English Church in the Rue d'Aguesseau on
Christmas Day--full congregation and nice service--but saw nobody I knew.
Mme. Faucher's dinner was dull, but Passy and Leroy-Beaulieu were there,
and there was some good music after dinner. I called yesterday on Feuillet
de Conches and Mme. Mohl, each looking a thousand and older than the hills;
and I spent some time in the galleries of the Louvre with my old favourites
in their eternal youth. It is infinitely touching, when so much else is
gone, to look at those pictures which I myself remember for sixty years in
unchanging beauty. I perfectly remember the impression made on me when I
was seven years old by the picture of the Entry of Henry IV into Paris.
I have copied out my whole oration to be read on Wednesday, and, in
copying, enlarged it. It is chiefly taken from the Irish Land Pamphlet.
_December 30th_.--My discourse at the Institute went off very well. I was
told by the best French writer, Mignet, that it was well written, and by
the best French speaker, Jules Simon, that it was well delivered, which is
enough to satisfy a modest man. The MS. will be printed and published in
several forms. Léon Say sat by my side. There were about thirty people
I went to the Due de Broglie's reception last night. Nothing can exceed the
dulness of French society--ten or twelve men sitting in a circle to discuss
miserable municipal politics; not another subject, or a book, or an idea
so much as mentioned. I am now going to breakfast with the Duc d'Aumale at
Gladstone seems to think that everything must go right since he is in
power. It is a case of mental delusion, but I am curious to see how the
House of Commons will deal with him.
_December 31st_.--We had a very pleasant breakfast with the Duc d'Aumale at
Laugel's yesterday. He was most agreeable. He had a narrow escape on Monday
from a stag at bay, which pursued him with fury, killed a hound and wounded
a horse. He said, 'J'ai fui comme je n'ai jamais fui de ma vie.' The stags
they hunt are wild red deer. He asked me to go in the evening with him
to the Français to see 'Hernani,' which I did; glad to see the old piece
again, though I thought it not well acted.
I am now going to breakfast with St.-Hilaire.
_To Mr. T. Norton Longman_
_Paris, December 29th_.--I am very anxious to learn what the bulk of the
Liberal party in England now think of the results of a Radical policy in
Ireland and elsewhere. Unhappily our friends, the Whigs, are to a certain
extent responsible for having assented to it, though reluctantly; but the
real author of this Irish policy is Mr. Bright. The consequences of it
appear so disastrous that I cannot conceive it will last. But we are on the
eve of stormy times.
The Journal continues:--
1881, _January 2nd_.--Returned to London in 8 1/2 hours.
The Club met in January as Parliament was sitting.
_14th_.--Dinner at home. Prince Lobanow,[Footnote: The Russian Ambassador.]
Acton, Burys, C. Villiers, Leckys.
_15th_.--Small dinner at Lord Derby's.
_18th_.--Tremendous snow-storm. 21st. Excessive cold.
_From Mr. E. Cheney_
_Audley Square, January 5th_.--I must apologise for having kept your
precious manuscript [Footnote: The _Greville Memoirs_, second part], so
long. The truth is, I left town for a month, and left the volumes carefully
locked up, and only finished them on my return. I have read them with the
deepest interest, and am truly obliged to you for having procured me so
much amusement. I think these volumes even surpassing the last in interest.
I see you have marked several passages for omission which I should retain.
I allude particularly to those relating to the French Revolution and the
conduct of the Orleans family. It is impossible that any relation of those
facts can be made so as to be agreeable to that family; and no omissions
could be made that would render the narration palatable to them. Besides,
these are Charles Greville's opinions, and not yours; and you are not
answerable for them.
His remarks on the state of Ireland and the conduct of the Government are
curious, as being exactly those which people are making at this moment.
Gladstone's policy is exactly that of Lord John Russell; but the urgency of
action is now still greater, and the outrages committed still more heinous.
Gladstone may apply the words of the poet to himself--'In not forbidding,
you command the crime.' Also the Duke of Wellington's opinions on army
reform are applicable to the present moment, when such determined attacks
are made upon its efficiency. The Duke said, 'We had a damned good army,
and they are trying to make it a damned bad one.' Our present patriotic
Government, he might say, 'are trying to make it a damned deal worse.'
What would be personally offensive to the Queen should be omitted; but as
to his criticisms on public men and their measures, I cannot see why they
should be suppressed. The daily newspapers all over England are free to
make what comments they please, and I cannot see that a well-informed
individual is not entitled to the same privilege.
His account of his quarrel with Lord G. Bentinck should in justice to him
be printed; Lord G. told his own story, and Greville has every right to
give his version of it. He certainly intended it, for he read me that part
of his journal. The name of the Duchess of ------ should of course be left
in blank, but, with this exception, I think the whole might be printed.
There is no private scandal, and public men and their friends should not
be thin-skinned, and must learn to bear adverse criticism. The affectation
of calling Lord Russell 'John' and 'Johnny' is offensive and tiresome;
also, by omitting persons' titles there is frequently some ambiguity--
'Grey' may mean Sir George or the Earl, and the context does not always
make his meaning clear.
I think a few lines of preface from you explaining your motives for leaving
Greville to express his own views and opinions would quite clear you with
all reasonable people.
_From M. B. St. Hilaire_ [Footnote: At this time Ministre des Affaires
Paris: January 10.
Cher Monsieur Reeve,--I quite understand that the reticence of the Tories
is very wise. Office is not tempting, and it is prudent to leave it to
those who actually have it. But the situation is very precarious, as Mr.
Gladstone will no doubt soon learn. Meanwhile he has given me powerful
assistance by speaking of arbitration as he has done, supported by the
complete and unanimous assent of the English Cabinet. This may very likely
decide the Greeks and Turks to adopt more sensible notions. But the thing
is giving me a great deal of trouble...
I hope you may be able to pacify Ireland, but it will be very difficult.
Against such atrocious and persistent determination, force is almost as
unavailing as gentleness. If, as we may believe, that is what Cromwell met
with, we can understand the excesses into which the barbarity of his age
led him; but in two hundred and thirty years we have not gained much. Even
emigration has had no good effect. 'Tis a frightful sore; though during the
last forty years England has done wonders to cure it.
Much might be said on this subject. I see by the newspapers that you have
read before our Academy a most interesting paper on Property in Ireland. If
you should print it, I hope you will not forget me. Towards the end of this
month I will send you one of my latest works--to wit, a Yellow Book on
Greece. It will at least be curious.
Agréez, cher Monsieur Reeve, tous mes voeux de nouvel an pour vous et pour
tous ceux qui vous sont chers. Bonne santé.
Votre bien dévoué,
B. ST. HILAIRE.
_Paris, January 11th_.--I am greatly obliged for the account of your
interview with Musurus Pasha. If the key to this business is in our views
on the Conference of Berlin, the house is open, and we have nothing to do
but enter. I have written with my own hand three long despatches, showing
by a reference to Vattel that the Conference was nothing more than the
mediation promised by the XXIVth article of the Treaty of Berlin.
These despatches I have communicated in the first place to Athens and
Constantinople, and afterwards to all the foreign ambassadors here, as well
as to Essad Pasha and to Braïlas Arméni.
If there is one thing certain, it is that the Conference of Berlin neither
did nor could do anything but mediate; it merely gave advice; it did not
deliver judgement to be enforced. I am doing what I can to convince the
Greeks of this all-important fact, but hitherto without much success. I
have even gone farther, and have pointed out to them in these despatches
the limits within which arbitration will probably have to confine itself.
As I am only one out of six, I can do no more, and even this was perhaps
too much. The Porte and Greece cannot help knowing all this. The public
also will know it by the end of the present month, when I shall publish the
despatches in the yellow book which I am preparing, and which I will send
The state of Ireland appears to us here to be truly dreadful. We do not see
how such crimes can be tolerated.
_From Mr. E. Cheney_
_January 13th_.--I see no reason why this sequel [of the 'Greville
Memoirs'] should not be published whenever it is convenient, but of this
you only can be judge. There is very little private scandal, and that
little should of course be omitted.
The Queen should always be spared; but as to Lord J. Russell and Lord
Palmerston, they are public men, and their public conduct requires no
reserve in the discussion of it;--the Queen herself, in her own Journals,
speaks of them and of Gladstone in terms that prove how little reserve she
thought necessary. It is amazing to me that a man who lived so much in the
world [as Greville], and who had great curiosity and a taste for gossip,
should so carefully have avoided all scandal.
The criticism that was sometimes made on the former volumes reminds me
rather of the note on the quiz on Crabbe in the 'Rejected Addresses':--'The
author is well aware how ill it becomes his clerical profession to give any
pain, however slight, to any individual, however foolish or wicked.' Pain
must be given, and offence will be taken; but you will do what is right and
must be indifferent. I think these last volumes even more amusing than the
first, and the discussions about Ireland are of peculiar interest at this
moment--I am very glad that these precious volumes are again in your hands.
I felt quite uneasy whilst they were in mine.
_From the Comte de Paris_
Chateau d'Eu, le 2 février.
Mon cher Monsieur Reeve,--Nous ne pouvions douter, ma femme et moi, de la
part que vous et Madame Reeve prendriez au malheur si cruel et si inattendu
qui vient de nous frapper. Vous aviez vu ici le bel enfant que Dieu
nous avait envoyé il y a dix mois [Footnote: _Ante, p. 275_] et dont la
naissance nous avait causé une si grande joie. Il était si fort et si bien
portant que jusqu'à la veille de sa mort nous n'avions pas eu un instant
d'inquiétude. Vous comprenez done bien notre douleur. Je ne doute pas que
Mademoiselle votre fille ne s'y associe, car nous connaissons et nous
apprécions les sentiments dont vous nous avez donné, tons les trois, tant
Ma femme, qui depuis dix ans a perdu trois soeurs, deux frères, et deux
fils, est, comme vous le pensez, bien accablée; mais les enfants qui lui
restent l'obligeront heureusement à reprendre à la vie. Ne voulant plus
après notre malheur laisser derrière elle notre dernière fille, la petite
Isabelle, et ne pouvant l'emmener en Espagne dans cette rude saison, elle a
remis ce voyage à l'automne prochain, et s'est décidée à ne pas quitter le
château d'Eu, où l'hiver a été rude. Mais si nous avons eu le froid et la
neige, l'Andalousie n'a pas été épargnée par la tempête, et les inondations
y sont terribles.
Je termine en vous priant de croire aux sentiments bien sincères de
During the preceding autumn the state of Ireland had been exceptionally
bad. There were many who believed that the attempt was being made, by a
cold-blooded calculation, to work on the sentimental instincts of Mr.
Gladstone's character. The verb 'to boycott' had been introduced into the
English language; murders and agrarian outrages had been frequent; but
witnesses and juries were so terrorised, that prosecution was found to be
difficult and conviction impossible. In charging the grand jury at Galway
on December 10th, the judge had commented on the fact that, out of
698 criminal offences committed in Connaught during the four months,
thirty-nine only were for trial, no sufficient evidence as to the other
659 being obtainable. On November 2nd, fourteen members of the Land
League--including five members of Parliament--were arrested and committed
for trial on the charge of inciting to crime. The facts were matter of
public notoriety, but the jury refused to convict, and the prisoners were
discharged. The Government was compelled to act; and on January 24th Mr.
Forster moved for leave to bring in a bill for the better protection of
person and property in Ireland. After an unprecedented obstruction on the
part of the Irish members, and after a continuous sitting of forty-one
hours, the Speaker summarily closed the debate, and the bill, commonly
known as the Coercion Bill, passed the first reading on February 2nd. On
the 3rd, twenty-seven of the Irish members were suspended; and the bill,
having passed through the succeeding stages, finally became law on March
* * * * *
_From M. B. St.-Hilaire_
_Paris, February 6th_.--I am happy in your approval, and permit me to add
that I am proud of it. I know the value and sincerity of your judgements.
You have a long experience of politics, and every reason not to be deceived
even by the most obscure complications. There was certainly an intrigue on
foot against the Cabinet, but I believe a stop has been put to it for some
time to come, and we shall now probably have all the trouble of the general
election, which will be very advantageous for the republic; but, from
a personal point of view, I am anything but charmed with the prospect,
finding myself chained up for several months. Nothing could be more
vexatious, though I put as good a face on it as I can.
We do not understand here how a political assembly can endure what your
Parliament has put up with. Thanks to Mr. Gladstone, the Speaker is now
armed with sufficient power, and I take for granted he will know how to
use it. But Ireland, terrible Ireland, is always there. If an insurrection
break out, it will be necessary to have recourse to repressive measures,
more or less similar to those of Cromwell. I do not believe that there
would be many in Europe to blame you. How can you do otherwise? Of their
own free will, the Irish sink to the level of brute beasts, which are to be
tamed only by force.
* * * * *
The next letter, and many others following it, from M. Barthélemy
St.-Hilaire, refer to the action of France in regard to Tunis, as to which
there was a strong feeling in England both then and since. France, it may
be admitted, had grievances; whether she would have taken the steps she did
for their settlement if the English Government had been stronger in its
foreign policy may very well be doubted.
For many years, almost since the first establishment of the French in
Algeria, there had been differences between France and Tunis, over which
the French pretended a protectorate which neither Tunis nor Constantinople
would allow. There had been also many commercial difficulties--some
honest, some dishonest; but what led to the acute stage which these
difficulties and differences assumed in 1881 was the purchase, in 1880, by
the Société Marseillaise, for 100,000 £, of a large tract of land known as
the Enfida--subject, it had been stipulated, 'to the provisions of the
local law.' But the purchase was no sooner publicly declared than its
legality was disputed; a Maltese--therefore an English subject--named
Levy claiming that by the local law he had a right of pre-emption and was
prepared to buy. This right the French Government denied, and alleged that
the intending purchasers were really Italians--private or official--Levy
being only a man of straw put forward to strengthen their case by the
English name. Lord Granville, the then Foreign Secretary, instructed the
English Consul at Tunis that it was an affair of Tunis law, and that he was
not to interfere beyond seeing that the English subject got what the law
entitled him to. The French Government, however--of which M. St.-Hilaire
was the exponent--refused to be bound by Tunis law, and on May 1st landed
10,000 soldiers, and took military possession of Tunis, disclaiming all
idea of being at war with Tunis, but being obliged--they said--to defend
and maintain their just rights. They were neither going to annex Tunis nor
to rebuild Carthage.
* * * * *
_From M. B. St.-Hilaire_
_Paris, February 25th_.--I should be quite as deeply vexed as you if any
coolness should arise between England and France. I am doing everything in
my power to maintain and even strengthen the good relations. I am happy to
say we have a better understanding than ever in Egypt; but at Tunis matters
are not so favourable, and I fear that the English Cabinet has been too
hasty in taking under its protection a person who is but little deserving
of it. I hope to show this very plainly. The Marseilles Company which we
defend is quite _en règle_, in every respect, and what M. Levy is aiming at
against it is simply a forcible spoliation by means of an intrigue hatched
by the principal members of the Tunis Government, [Footnote: It is quite
possible that this was true, but it was merely an assertion based on the
one-sided declaration of the Marseilles Company and its agents.] with the
prime minister at their head. And whatever difference of opinion there may
be, Lord Granville, of his own accord, said to M. Challemel-Lacour that in
this there was no cause of quarrel between the two countries. That is my
opinion also, and I hope to bring the English Cabinet to it; but it is not
for us to sacrifice the Marseilles Company, by subjecting it to tribunals
whose hostile decision is known beforehand. The whole trouble has been
caused by the Italians, who have started and are prosecuting this intrigue,
at the very moment in which they are asking us for a loan of six hundred
and fifty millions.
The speech of M. Gambetta was eloquent, and above all dramatic, but not
convincing; and it is really very difficult to believe that he knew nothing
of the Thomassin mission till after it had failed. I have no knowledge of
what passed between M. de Freycinet and M. Gambetta; but it is certain that
for the last five months Gambetta has made no attempt to control me and my
policy. He affects to show his sympathy and approval whenever he meets me,
and notably so last Monday. At the same time, his newspapers attack me in
every way they can, whilst he, verbally, disavows them, as he did for M.
Proust and M. Reinach. This double game does not tell in Gambetta's favour;
he has lost much during the last two months, and if the _scrutin de liste_
is not passed, his influence will be greatly diminished. In short, he is
playing a very equivocal part, which is injurious both to himself and to
this republic. What saves him are attacks of the kind which M. de Broglie
ineffectually made yesterday in the Senate....
Of current and social events the Journal notes:--
_March 5th._--Visit to Battle Abbey. Duke and Duchess of Somerset there.
Ed. Stanhope, Arthur Balfour, H. Brougham, Lord Strathnairn.
_11th._--Dinner at home for General Roberts: but he had been ordered off to
_13th._--Emperor of Russia (Alexander II.) murdered.
_16th._--Tennyson gave an evening party in Eaton Square.
_April 7th._--To Foxholes. Cold: gouty. Lady Colvile came.
_20th._--My cousin, John Taylor, died.
_26th._--Lord Beaconsfield's funeral.
Of this last, he received the following account from Mr. T. Norton
_April 28th._--The sad ceremony I had the honour of attending the day
before yesterday will for ever live in the memory of all who were present.
Nothing could have been more simple in its character, nothing more striking
in its solemnity, and nothing more in strict accordance with his wishes.
I may well say I shall not forget so great an occasion, not only from the
fact that the ceremony was the burial of a great man, but from the very
select band of followers I had the privilege of joining. There were only
120 invitations sent out, and all these were not made use of. I travelled
down in a saloon carriage with Drs. Quain, Bruce, Lord Lytton, Lord
Alington, Count Münster, with all of whom I had very pleasant conversation.
Sir William Harcourt, Lord Rosebery, the Danish Minister, and another
ambassador were also in the carriage; so I had plenty of good company.
I had a little conversation with poor Lord Rowton, and thanked him for
thinking of me. 'Not at all,' he said; 'I am quite sure it would be _his_
wish that you should be here to-day.' This was, to say the least of it,
gratifying. The persons who appeared to be most touched were poor Bruce and
Lord Henry Lennox. On our return to the Manor about fifty of us went into
the drawing-room to hear the will read, and a very interesting document it
proved to be. It is perfectly clear Lord Beaconsfield contemplated a great
deal of publication. After the reading was finished and those present had
mostly left the room, I waited behind a little for the three Princes to
move first; and, much to my surprise, the Duke of Connaught turned round
and shook me by the hand. This little incident makes it all a peculiarly
interesting and eventful day. We all returned to town together (I mean the
Princes and the guests); and I think I may safely say that a train never
arrived at Paddington Station with a more distinguished company on board.
As I walked up from the church I could not help thinking that the last
time I walked up that hill I had poor Lord B. on my arm. The demand for
'Endymion' is very great, and in fact the demand for all his novels is
greater than we can meet. We are printing night and day to try and keep the
_From M. B. St.-Hilaire_
_Paris, 27 avril_. Il y a bien des jours que je voulais vous écrire, et ce
long silence me faisait craindre que vous ne fussiez malade, comme vous
l'étiez en effet; mais je me disais aussi que les vacances de Pâques vous
ameneraient sans doute à Paris. J'espère que le printemps vous guérira
complètement de cet accès; et que vous serez délivré de ce mal si
douloureux, dès que la chaleur nous sera revenue. Ici, nous avons un temps
des plus maussades.
I have done everything in my power to keep clear of this Tunis business;
but the Khroumirs' affair has filled the cup to overflowing, and we are
obliged to resort to force. I shall finish the business off as quickly as
I can, and as we have no idea of annexation, all that we want is a treaty
with the Bey, giving a lasting guarantee for the security of our frontier
and our interests. I believe that even in Italy people are beginning to
understand or to admit the necessity which is pressing on us; but they will
owe us a grudge, and later on will resent it, if they can. For the present,
the loan of six hundred and fifty millions paralyses their wrath. We are
no more going to refound Carthage than Italy is going to re-establish the
The death of Lord Beaconsfield is a great blow for England. I have noticed,
not without some surprise, that I am of the same age as he was.
I have reason to believe that Lord Dufferin is quite of your opinion about
Russia, and thinks that the most truly sick man is not at Constantinople.
He may be right. Meanwhile the Conference will fail. I happen to know that
three of us will refuse--England, Italy, and France. Austria would like to
do the same.
People are speaking no more of the _scrutin de liste_ than if the question
did not exist. It was in fact altogether artificial; but the talk will
begin again with the meeting of the Chamber. The _scrutin d'arrondissement_
appears to gain ground. Its success is much to be desired; for if it is
rejected, we shall pretty quickly find ourselves in a critical position.
_May 16th_.--Your letter is gloomy indeed, and should your forebodings be
realised you may be sure that I should be as grieved as yourself. All my
life, and now as much as ever, I have looked upon the alliance of France
and England as infinitely desirable for both; and if I were so unfortunate
as to cause a breach between the two countries, it would be very much
against my will, and without my knowledge. Tunis cannot be a source of
discord between us, and I hope that public opinion, over-excited at
present, will return to a more calm and just appreciation of the case. We
have declared to Europe that we wish for no annexations or conquests, and
will attempt none; we have quite enough with the two million five hundred
thousand Mussulmans in Algeria; it would be madness to add fifteen or
sixteen hundred thousand more to them, and a hundred and fifty leagues
to our frontier. For Algeria thus extended we should require an army of
100,000 men, who would be much missed in case of any complication in
Europe. All that we want in Tunis is a power which will not be hostile to
us, and continually threaten our African possessions. We shall only occupy
Biserta and the other places as long as appears necessary; but we will not
make a port of it; for that, as Sir Charles Dilke has said, would involve a
cost of some 200 millions. I have just sent Lord Lyons a despatch upon that
special subject, which will appear in the next Blue Book.
Tunis will never belong to France; she does not want it; but should it
belong to Italy, who already owns Sicily, the passage to Malta might be
made difficult. I know that England has not much to fear from Italy; but
circumstances may change; and the gratitude she shows towards us now proves
how much she will have for other benefactors. I cannot understand how my
despatch of May 9th can have been interpreted as the announcement of our
taking possession. In form and intention it was quite the contrary. Our
actions will show that we only speak the truth. Neither can I admit that
even the conquest of Tunis can ever equal in importance the taking of
Constantinople by the Russians, which in my eyes will be the greatest event
of modern times, as the taking of it by the Turks in 1453 was an important
event in the fifteenth century.
As to the Treaty of Commerce, I am doing all in my power to facilitate
the negotiations. I suppose that public opinion in England is at present
principally occupied with this; and that, if it is satisfactorily arranged,
Tunis will very soon be forgotten. A thousand more interests are engaged
in the agreement on a specific tariff than could ever be involved in this
But I content myself with saying with the poet--_Di avertant omen_; and I
desire that England may be as well disposed towards us as we are towards
_May 23rd_.--I knew of the correspondence between Lord Salisbury and Mr.
Waddington long ago. I should never have thought myself authorised to
publish it; but I will take it from the Blue Book and publish it in the
Yellow Book. It is quite allowable.
My declarations of our intentions in Tunis are the exact truth. Annexation
would be an act of folly. We have quite enough with three million
Mussulmans in Algeria without adding another two million in Tunis, and
another hundred and fifty leagues to the length of our frontier, which
already reaches from Nemours to La Calle. In doing good to the Regency we
are serving ourselves, and we only ask one thing in return--that it should
be as well disposed to us as we are towards it. But it is not easy to
establish the good terms which would be so profitable to all. England ought
to be very well pleased that both sides of the passage to Malta are not in
the hands of the same Power, which would be the case if Italy, who already
possesses Sicily, had possession of Tunis on the other side. Geography
demonstrates the fact. As to us, we wish to do nothing at Biserta. Our port
is necessarily at Algiers in the centre of our possessions.
Like you, I deplore the _scrutin de liste_. It will give rise to formidable
difficulties in the near future. I am an optimist by nature, but that
future seems to me very dark. I do all I can to prevent it by foretelling
it to everyone; but I only play the part of Cassandra. In the Council,
M. Ferry and myself were the only ones who supported the _scrutin
_July 9th_.--I did not think that the Tunis affair was concluded by the
treaty of May 12th; that is the first stage if you like; but it was rather
difficult. The difficulties which arise are very simple consequences; we
will put down rebellion, but this will not incite us to conquest, which
we do not want. The interests of the English, and those of other nations,
would not suffer by our preponderance; and unless all the advantages of
civilisation are ignored, it is certainly better to treat with the French
than with the Moors. Europe will soon see [Footnote: Europe has seen;
though not quite in the sense that St.-Hilaire wished to convey.] that our
promises are not vain, and that we have only good intentions towards Tunis.
We wish for nothing but the security of our great African colony.
The commercial negotiations have been transferred to Paris, at the request
of the English Cabinet, which had at first expressed a wish that they
should take place in London. This seems to me to imply the very opposite of
a rupture, which, for our part, I can answer for it, we ardently desire
to avoid. We only wish for an equitable treaty, and this I hope we shall
Est-ce qu'on ne vous verra pas durant les vacances? Mistress Ross est
passée par Paris il y a huit ou dix jours; elle est venue me voir un
instant; elle m'a paru très bien portante. Bonne santé et bien des amitiés.
_July 22nd_.--I assure you that should any rupture take place between
England and France, it will be very much in spite of all my efforts to
preserve harmony between two great nations. The English alliance is, in my
opinion, the right one for France; for many reasons, with which you are
as familiar as myself, it is the one which should take precedence of all
others. I do not by any means disdain other alliances, but the English is
the first, the most important, and, I may add, the most natural. It was
sincerely desired under Louis Philippe, in spite of a few passing clouds.
Under Napoleon III. they were, in reality, strongly inclined to break it,
notwithstanding the Crimean war. To-day we are anxious for an agreement
with England, if both sides will consent to reciprocal concessions.
I am deeply grieved--surprised too--at the death of Dean Stanley. Sixty-two
is too early to die, and nothing seemed to foretell his premature end. He
passed through Paris, scarcely two months ago, and came to see me at the
Like yourself, I should be happy to escape, but my chain is too short; and
whilst I am minister I shall not go the length of a day's journey away. We
must be at the command of circumstances, since they are not at ours, and
the shortest absence is enough to spoil many things. But I shall be happy
on the day when I can break my bonds, and return to philosophy.
_July 27th_.--I hope that my answer to the Duc de Broglie the day
before yesterday will convince England of the value I set upon our good
intelligence, and of the open honesty of French policy. I hope, too, that
my declarations may appease Italy and Turkey. I have done my best, and if I
do not succeed it will not be my fault.
Our treaty of commerce is my chief source of anxiety, and for my part I
am trying to avoid a rupture. But there are the resolutions of the two
Chambers which cripple the negotiators and above all our minister of
commerce. These are impassable limits to the best will. The negotiations
will doubtless begin again in Paris, in about a fortnight, but it is not
yet certain. The incident you point out is very curious, and England
becoming Protectionist, and England becoming Protectionist again under Mr.
Gladstone, would be an astonishing spectacle....
Je ne savais pas que l'île de Man fût 'le royaume des chats sans queue.'
The Journal meantime notes:--
_June 3rd_.--To Foxholes: beautiful weather; 13th, back to town. More
_30th_.--To Drury Lane to see the German company act 'Julius Caesar.'
_July 2nd_.--Dinner at Walpole's to meet Archbishop Tait, Arthur Stanley,
Lord Coleridge, Lord Eustace Cecil.
_6th_.--Arthur Stanley's garden party at the Abbey. Lord Carnarvon's dinner
to the Antiquaries. [Footnote: Lord Carnarvon was president of the Society
of Antiquaries, of which Reeve was, at this time, a vice-president.]
_July 13th_.--Breakfast of Philobiblon at Lord Crawford's. Large garden
party at Holland House. Great heat.
_16th_.--To Foxholes and back. 18th, Arthur Stanley died.
_July 23rd_.--From London to Government House, Isle of Man, on a visit to
the Henry Lochs--eleven hours.
_25th_.--To Peel Castle with Loch and Coleridge; thence to Castletown.
_July 29th_.--To Barrow in Furness. Furness Abbey. [Thence to
Scotland--Ormiston, Novar, Perth, Abington, &c.]
_August 24th_.--Back at Foxholes.
_From Archbishop Tait_
My dear Reeve,--It seems to me that a most important service might be
done if a good article was published in the 'Edinburgh' on the pernicious
periodical literature which spreads low Radicalism and second-hand scraps
of infidelity amongst the labouring classes, both of town and country. My
friend Mr. Benham lately gave a lecture at Birmingham on the literature of
this or a kindred style, written for boys--'Police News' and the like. We
do little for the people if we only educate them to read and rejoice in
this trash. Ever yours,
A. C. CANTUAR.
The hint was not lost on Reeve, but it did not bear fruit till nearly six
years later. In January 1887 the 'Edinburgh Review' contained a strong
article on 'The Literature of the Streets,' in which the proposal was
definitely made for the issue of wholesome fiction and good works of good
writers, sensational and otherwise, in penny booklets. Eight or nine years
later the idea was taken up by at least two publishers; such penny books
are now issued by thousands, and, together with the countless number
of halfpenny and penny periodicals, do something to mitigate the evil
complained of by the Archbishop. The Journal notes:--
_September 9th_.--Picnic in New Forest with the Lochs and Clerkes. 30th,
steamed round the Isle of Wight.
_To Lord Derby_
_Foxholes, October 6th_.--I must express to you the very great pleasure
with which I have read your article [Footnote: 'Ireland and the Land Act,'
in the _Nineteenth Century_ for October. It does not attempt to argue the
question of Home Rule, but concludes with the pregnant words: 'My present
object will be sufficiently accomplished if I have indicated some of
the difficulties which lie before us, and explained why--at least in my
belief--it is premature to say, "Now we have settled our Irish troubles and
may deal in peace with questions that concern England."'] on the Irish Land
Act. It states in the most terse and telling language precisely the views
I have entertained for the last two years; and the conclusions it suggests
are even more striking than those it expresses. The ministers of England,
be they who they may, have a difficult task before them. The odd thing is
that our present ministers seem totally unconscious of the difficulty and
the dangers. I am told that they view the state of Ireland with great
complacency. It is astonishing how office blinds people's eyes.
We have lost two members of The Club--Lord Hatherley and alas! Arthur
Stanley. I hope you will be able to suggest somebody to replace them.
_From Lord Derby_
_October 8th_.--I am glad you liked the article in the 'Nineteenth
Century.' I do believe it comes near to an accurate statement of the facts
of the case--no one can hope for more than approximate accuracy in such
matters--and on that account I expected it to be equally disagreeable to
both sides. Its reception has been better than seemed probable. Gladstone
has spoken out his mind about Parnell, and quite right too; but I wish he
had not accused the unlucky loyalists in Ireland of being slack in their
own defence. He does not know, evidently, how much they are overmatched...
As to The Club. Two names have occurred to me--one, Browning the poet,
who is an excellent talker (I have heard him), and as unlike his books as
possible; the other, Sir John Lubbock. What do you say?
The opening sentence of the next letter, from Lord Derby, appears to refer
to an after-dinner speech made by Mr. Gladstone at Leeds, on the 7th, when
he had alternately complimented Mr. Dillon and denounced Mr. Parnell. The
latter part, the denunciation of Mr. Parnell and his faction, is unusually
straightforward, and might profitably be studied in connection with some of
Mr. Gladstone's later speeches.
_October 11th_.--I don't understand Gladstone's phrase any better than
you. Probably the explanation of it is that in Ireland it will be read as
meaning fresh concession, in England as meaning coercion. For anybody who
had leisure and disposition to take it up, I think a very interesting and
useful article for the 'Edinburgh Review' might be made out of the present
state of Irish literature and journalism. I do not believe the Irish lower
and middle classes ever read an English book or newspaper, and their native
literature is saturated throughout with the bitterest hatred to England and
all that belongs to our side the water. We do not in the least know here
the kind of mental food which is supplied to the amiable Celt. A good
analysis of it would throw more light on the very old subject of why they
hate us so.
Reeve adopted the suggestion, and the subject was discussed in an article
on 'Irish Discontent' in the next number of the 'Review.' Lord Derby goes
_October 15th_.--Since you wrote the Government has screwed up its courage
to act. I never knew any proceedings so universally approved as the arrest
of Parnell. [Footnote: Mr. Parnell, Mr. Dillon, Mr. Sexton, and the chief
officials of the League were arrested in Dublin on the 13th and lodged in
Kilmainham.] But we have not seen the end yet.
_October 21st_.--Many thanks for your letter, which is returned. I do
believe that it would be of use, as making intelligible the present state
of Irish feeling, to show to the English public (which is absolutely
ignorant on the subject) what the kind of instruction is that the Irish
peasant and farmer receives.
Another matter. What do you think of Matthew Arnold as a possible member
of The Club? He is a good fellow and his literary reputation is very
considerable. I think we could do with him if he would attend.
_From M. B. St.-Hilaire_
_November 22nd_.--You know how little value I set on my office; I only
accepted it from a sense of duty, and quit it to-day, not only without
regret but with great pleasure. I am glad to receive your congratulations
because you correctly estimate the person to whom they are addressed.
Like yourself, I am not without anxiety for the future. In placing matters
in the hands of M. Gambetta, I said all I possibly could on the affairs
of Europe and our relations with Germany; but I will not swear that more
attention will be paid to my advice than to that of many others.
The Journal has:--
_December 10th_.--To Timsbury; 13th to Foxholes. The Mintos were living at
Bournemouth. Lunched with them on the 31st.
1882, _January 1st_.--At Foxholes. Sir A. Lyall came.
_9th_.--Returned to London. A few dinners.
_From Mr. E. Cheney_
_Badger Hall, January 19th_.--I have been reading the political articles in
the last number of the 'Edinburgh' with great interest and pleasure. The
one on 'The Bonapartes,' though not strictly political, amused me much,
as at one time of my life I knew Hortense and Louis Bonaparte intimately.
Hortense was an agreeable woman, very French, but lively and full of
anecdote. She had been and was _très galante_, but with decency. When I
knew her at Rome she was near fifty, and though not handsome, had still the
appearance of once having been a desirable woman.... Her son was then with
her--a youth of my own age, with whom I was intimate without liking him. He
was cold, disagreeable, and full of pretension, silent and reserved in his
own family, and anxious for distinction, which no one seemed willing to
accord him. I believe--contrary to the usual opinion--that he was the
son of Louis Bonaparte; he was like him. He was short, not ill-made, but
ungraceful; his face was plain, his skin bad, complexion muddy; small pig's
eyes, a coarse nose and mouth, lank hair, with little expression, and what
he had far from good. Neither I, nor any that then knew him, thought him
at all clever. I remember he got into a ludicrous scrape by intruding,
in female attire, into the apartments of the mistress of the Spanish
ambassador, from whence he was kicked out with every circumstance of
When the disturbances broke out in the Papal States, he took a part in them
which was eminently unfitting, as he and his mother had found hospitality
in the States of the Church which they were refused in every other country.
I saw Hortense at night, just before her hurried departure from Rome, when
the news of her son's participation in the revolt at Ancona became public.
I had always been well treated by her, and had tasted her hospitality both
at Rome and at Arenenberg, and wished to show her sympathy and interest,
though I had nothing else in my power.... She received a passport from
Sir Hamilton Seymour and travelled through France. In Paris she had an
interview with Louis Philippe, who was kind to her. In the days of her
prosperity she had had an opportunity of showing kindness to the King's
mother. She showed me a letter from that princess, in which there were very
ardent expressions of gratitude for the service rendered to her. This she
told me she intended to show to L. Philippe as the certificate for her
claims on his protection. I saw her in London several times during her
stay; she returned to Switzerland, and I never saw her again.
Louis Bonaparte I only spoke to once afterwards. I happened to be at Cork
when he landed there from America. I was at the same inn, and I understood
he was in great distress for money. I asked to see him, and we met. I asked
him if he required any trifling service that I could render him, thinking
a five-pound note might take him to London. He thanked me, but said he was
supplied for the moment. He lived with the D'Orsay and Blessington set,
which I did not frequent. I did not call on him, and in Paris I never
afterwards made the slightest effort to renew my former acquaintance with
I had intended saying something about the two other articles that relate
to home politics, but I have been already too prolix. I must tell you,
however, how much I like them. Whigs as well as Tories will soon cease to
be separate; the struggle will soon be between those who have _culottes_
and those who have not. We have got already to the Girondist ministry--a
party I hate particularly, in spite of their pretensions to virtue and
philosophy, or perhaps in consequence of it. There are some men of
birth and distinction who belong to the party; but the Levesons and the
Cavendishes may soon find themselves stranded like the Narbonnes and
Montmorencies amongst the Rolands and the Condorcets....
When are your new volumes to make their appearance? I long to have them as
though I had not already read them.
_To Mr. E. Cheney_
_Rutland Gate, January 20th_.--I am uncommonly glad to hear from you again,
and I have to thank you for a most interesting and amusing letter. My
acquaintance with Louis Napoleon began when yours left off, and I saw a
good deal of him in 1838 and 1839. He wanted me to translate his 'Idées
Napoléoniennes.' But when he became a great man I dropped his acquaintance.
I am glad you like my tirade. I suspect my Whig friends do not; for the
more one asserts Whig principles, the bitterer is the reflection on those
who desert and betray them. I do not believe that the majority of the
country or of the Liberal Party is Radical; but the danger is that a
violent minority always overpowers an inert majority. I care nothing at all
for any political persons, and but little for parties. It seems to me that
the right and the wrong of government lies in the principles that regulate
it, some of which are as certain as the truths of mathematics.
The 'Greville Memoirs' have rather slumbered of late, but I am gradually
screwing up my courage to begin printing, slowly.
We are very well, and spent our Christmas pleasantly in Hampshire, the
weather being delightful. London is dark and _un_delightful.
Then the Journal:--
_February 24th_.--Visit to the Markbys at Oxford. Vespers at New College.
Dined at All Souls.
_28th_.--The Club. I was in the Chair. Mr. Gladstone attended; Lord Derby,
Maine, Hewett, Tyndall, Coleridge. Matthew Arnold elected.
_March 23rd_.--Electrical Exhibition at Crystal Palace, with Dr. Mann.
_April 1st_.--To Foxholes. Very fine weather. No rain for three months.
_To Mr. T. Norton Longman_
_Foxholes, April 4th_.--I like the concluding pages by Froude in the
Carlyle book, but I am disappointed in Mrs. Carlyle's letters. They are
pleasant and cheery, but there are thousands of women who write as well.
As for Carlyle himself, he is _odious_--arrogance, vanity, self-conceit,
ingratitude to old friends--I never thought I should dislike him so much.
He seems to have looked at everything the wrong side outwards.
The Journal notes:--
_April 11th_.--Lunched with the Mintos. They drove me to Christchurch. Lady
Minto died on the 21st.
_29th_.--A great salt hurricane that singed the trees all over the country,
and also in France.
_May 5th_.--Saw Lord Frederick Cavendish before he started for Dublin. On
the 6th he was murdered.
_From the Duke of Argyll_
_May 8th_.--You ask a difficult question about politics. On the one hand, I
see no possibility of a Conservative Government being formed just now,
nor do I believe that a Liberal Government could be formed on purely Whig
lines. On the other hand, I have the deepest conviction of the mischievous
tendencies of Gladstone's leadership, and of the utter instability he is
imparting to all the fundamental principles of government as hitherto
understood in all civilised countries. I can only advise that the truth
in this matter should be spoken freely, in the hope that when Gladstone
disappears from the stage, there may be some return to sounder principles
of legislation. I do not wish to see a change of Government just now. The
Tories could not govern Ireland in its present condition; at least it would
be a dangerous experiment. Half the Liberal party, which now supports
coercion when it is forced on Gladstone, would undoubtedly oppose every
possible form of it if proposed by Tories. The deplorable disaster made
known to-day will have its effect. I hope it will force the Government
to give form and substance to an amended Coercion Act--strengthening the
ordinary law and widely extending the sphere of summary jurisdiction. If
this be done well and sufficiently, it will be better than the power
of arbitrary arrest. But before this event, I really feared that die
Government might do nothing of the kind.
The Journal mentions:--
_May 20th_.--At Foxholes, till June 13th. Bought rowing boat.
_June 20th_.--Great dinner at The Club to the Duc d'Aumale. Nineteen
_21st_.--Great dinner at Archbishop Tait's at Lambeth. Forty-three people.
Evening service in Lambeth Chapel.
_22nd_.--Wagner's 'Meistersinger' at Drury Lane.
_From Sir Henry Taylor_ [Footnote: A very old friend of Reeve's. See
_ante_, vol. i. p. 91.]
Bournemouth, June 22nd.
Dear Mr. Reeve,--Thanks for telling me what splendours I missed at The Club
dinner. You ask what Dr. Johnson would have said if he had stepped in. As
it was his own Club, he would have been gracious; but it was not every
dinner that could please him. Do you remember his remark as he went
away with Boswell from a dinner at one of the colleges at Oxford? 'This
merriment amongst parsons is mighty offensive.'
I always remember the singularly representative character of the only
dinner I have had an opportunity of attending since I was elected.
Literature and Learning represented by yourself, Dr. Dictionary Smith,
Lecky and Lord Acton; the Church by the Archbishop of Canterbury and Dean
Stanley; political life by Lord Derby and Spencer Walpole; the Law by Lord
Romilly, and the Dukes by the Duke of Cleveland--and there was no one else.
It was very pleasant, and there were not too many for conversation in
I always feel that, as I have not been in London for more than a day since
that dinner, and am not likely to be there again, it is hardly right to
occupy a place which might afford so much pleasure to some one else; but I
have said this before, and your answer was that no one ever retired from
The Club. As I am in my eighty-second year, I suppose it will not be long
[Footnote: He lived four years longer, dying in 1886.] before Providence
will place my seat at the disposal of some one who will turn it to more
account. Believe me, yours sincerely,
_From the Comte de Paris_
Château d'Eu, 22 juin.
Mon cher Monsieur Reeve,--J'apprends par M. Gavard que vous avez
l'intention de venir en France vers le 20 juillet. Je m'empresse de vous
dire tout le plaisir que vous nous ferez, à la comtesse de Paris et à
moi, en commençant ce voyage par un séjour au Château d'Eu. Je regrette
seulement que vous ayez l'intention de l'entreprendre seul. J'ai fait ici,
il y a trois semaines, de fort belles pêches à la truite, qui m'ont fait
regretter que Mademoiselle Reeve ne fût pas ici. Vous trouverez chez nous
le Duc d'Audiffret Pasquier, que vous avez déjà vu ici, je crois, il y a
deux ans; et un général américain, qui a servi avec moi sous M'Clellan, M.
Je ne vous parle pas de la situation de nos deux pays en Orient: elle est
pénible, et il me semble que le dernier numéro du _Punch_ l'exprime avec
une vérité parfaite.
Veuillez offrir mes hommages à Madame Reeve et me croire votre affectionné,
The Journal here notes:--
_July_.--The Egyptian Expedition was now resolved on. [Alexandria was
bombarded on the 11th: the Army Reserves were called out on the 25th.] Lord
Granville thought it would be finished before the end of August.
_16th_.--Crossed to Boulogne. Thence by Abbeville to Château d'Eu. Duc
d'Audiffret, St. Marc Girardin, Duchesse de Montpensier. 21st, drive in the
Great Park. Tréport. 24th, returned to London. 28th, to Foxholes: quiet
_To Mr. E. Cheney_
_Foxholes, October 20th_.--I am glad the article on Shelley [Footnote:
'Shelley and Mary,' _Edinburgh Review_, October 1882.] has interested you.
The perusal of these private letters and correspondence has considerably
altered and raised my estimate of Shelley as a man. As to his poetry, it
produces on me exactly the effect of delicious music, which enchants the
ear even when you can't understand it. But these papers, which Lady Shelley
has had printed in order to secure their preservation, are a sealed book. I
believe she never can show them again to anyone--at least not at present.
The copy she lent me has been returned to her and I do not possess it.
Nobody else does. It is, therefore, impossible to ask her for a copy. I
undertook to compile an article--as I did for Lady Dorchester, on her
father--_omissis omittendis_. But that is all. I think the history of
Allegra is in great part new, and one of the difficulties in this matter is
the connexion existing between these papers and the papers of Lord Byron,
which are unpublished.
Are you going to stay in London? I hope so. I shall return to town on
November 6, and should be very glad to find you there.
And the Journal accordingly has:--
_November 6th_.--Returned to London.
_18th_.--The troops came back from Egypt.
_December 3rd_.--Archbishop of Canterbury (Tait) died.
_4th_.--The Law Courts opened.
_16th_.--To Foxholes till the end of the year. Gambetta died just as the
_To Lord Derby_
_Foxholes, December 23rd_.--The Club has lost one of its most respected
members in the Archbishop, and all parties seem now to feel how great
and wise a man he was. Huxley would be rather an odd successor to an
archbishop; but I am inclined to think that he ought to be one of our next
I am a very old and fervent supporter of the Anglo-French alliance, but in
the present state of France I doubt whether anything is to be gained by
making sacrifices to her pretensions. In justice to other States, such as
Italy and Austria, I see no reason for conceding to France any exceptional
position in Egypt, and I think all countries should be treated with equal
justice and liberality. It is probable that a firm though friendly attitude
towards the French will answer best for them and for us. Their expeditions
to Congo, Tonkin, and Madagascar will do more harm to themselves than to
anyone else; but they prove the weakness of the present French Government.
_From Lord Derby_
_Knowsley, December 25th_.--I agree in what you say about France, if you
mean that the dual control is dead and cannot be revived; nor ought it, if
it could. Other nations may fairly claim a voice in Egyptian affairs. What
I lay stress upon is that we should make it clear that we are not going to
take Egypt for ourselves; which nearly all foreigners suppose to be our
intention, and give us credit for disguising it so well.
It is odd that the French are doing badly. The country is fairly
prosperous, there is no war of classes, no apparent revolutionary feeling,
yet distrust and doubt as to the future seem universal. It almost looks
as if revolutions had driven the better sort of men out of public life. I
cannot believe that their colonial craze will last long. There is, in all
Europe, no country to which colonies are so entirely useless; for the
French never emigrate and seldom even travel; and to send conscripts to
tropical settlements cannot be popular with the peasantry.
As to The Club--I am quite in favour of Huxley's admission; but have we
only one vacancy? Would not any possible opposition to him be disarmed, if
he were brought in, not singly, but as one of two or three? We must talk
over candidates when we meet.... Poor old Owen cannot, in the course of
nature, last long. [Footnote: He lived, however, for another ten years,
dying at the age of eighty-eight in 1892.] Huxley would be his natural
heir; more than the Archbishop's.
_To Lord Derby_
_Foxholes, December 27th_.--To return to what you say of France. Do you not
think that a democratic republic, in which every citizen is striving to get
all he can for his vote at the expense of the State, necessarily becomes
the most rapacious and corrupt form of government? It is this which has
raised the budgets of France for 1883 to 122 millions sterling; and if you
add the communal expense, to 154 millions. It is this which compels them
to persist in a reckless expenditure, and to invent new modes of spending
money and creating places by absurd expeditions abroad. The system there,
as you say, drives every man of honour and honesty out of political life,
and substitutes for them adventurers and idiots. The evil will become more
intolerable still, and there will come another revolution, probably
at first violent in form and ultimately put down by force. This is a
melancholy forecast, but it is that of all the persons in France whose
judgement is of value.
As to The Club--we had better not propose Huxley while Owen is amongst us.
But we have several octogenarians--Overstone, Henry Taylor; and as for the
lower grade of septuagenarians, they are numerous; but I will say nothing
of them, as I shall shortly join that body. Altogether The Club presents
a respectable array of years, and tends to longevity. I should like an
engineer, if we could catch an agreeable one. What would you say to Sir
Henry Loch? Few men have seen more of the world--in India, China, the
Crimea, down to the Isle of Man; and I think him vastly agreeable. However,
we can talk this over when we meet.
THE FRENCH ROYALISTS
Many others besides Lord Derby were at this time speculating on the chances
of one more revolution in France. The state of public opinion seemed to
point to a coming weariness of the corruption incidental to a republic, and
a desire for the restoration of the monarchy. Since the obstinate refusal
of the Comte de Chambord, in 1873, to accept the change from the _drapeau
blanc_ of the Bourbon dynasty to the flaunting _tricolor_ which savoured of
democracy, monarchy had seemed impossible. But the Comte de Chambord was
known to be in feeble health, and he had no children. If he should die, the
fusion of the antagonistic parties was possible, was indeed probable; and
it was generally understood that the Comte de Paris was singularly free
from the prejudices which had rendered impossible a restoration in the
person of his cousin. He was, indeed, not ambitious, and he was wealthy.
The two ordinary motives of conspirators were wanting; but he loved France
by force of sympathy and education, and he honestly believed that a
restoration would be the best thing for his country. As a matter of love
and duty he felt bound to work in order to bring about this most desirable
_From the Comte de Paris_
Chateau d'Eu, le 2 janvier 1883.
Mon cher Monsieur Reeve,--Je suis bien touché de la bonne pensée que vous
avez eue de m'écrire à l'occasion de la nouvelle année. Je vous remercie
de tous vos bons voeux, et je vous prie de recevoir ici l'assurance de
ceux que je forme pour vous et pour les vôtres.
I am greatly obliged by your remarks on the future of France. This is
indeed dark; and, as you so well express it, the sterility of democracy and
the impotence of the institutions based on it are most striking. They are
especially so here. This dearth, this void, of which you speak increases
from day to day. The men of note who were formed under a different rule,
and who came to the front under special circumstances, are dying off and
are not replaced. It is only a few days since one, [Footnote: Gambetta,
died December 31st, 1882.] the most able we have had since the death of M.
Thiers, has been carried off by an obscure--a mysterious--illness. Of those
left, there is no one who can take his place. In some respects he was a
truly remarkable man. He, and he alone, was known from one end of France
to the other; he, and none but he, could even for one day have united the
blind and jealous forces of democracy; he alone could give the republicans
the organisation and appearance of a party, but owing to the violence of
his temperament he could never have held the reins of government. He would
have been exceedingly dangerous in the department of foreign affairs, which
would have been his choice. He would, indeed, have brought to it a most
honourable sentiment of the dignity of France, but he had neither prudence
nor experience. There were in Europe some who counted on him; others who
feared him; every one, I think, exaggerated what he would have done or
tried to do.
I regret extremely the difficulties which are rising between France and
England about Egypt, and I confess I do not understand the attitude of our
Government. The temper of France towards England resembles that of a man
who has been offered an equal share in a profitable adventure, who has
refused to accept the risk, and who is now vexed at the success of his
neighbour. But no Government worthy of the name will allow itself to be
influenced by such feelings, or is unable to adapt itself to the changes
which circumstances may give rise to. And besides, so little attention is
paid in France to foreign politics that the Government may do whatever it
likes, provided that does not lead to war--under any form or against any
J'ai bien regretté de ne pas pouvoir rencontrer Mlle. Reeve à Paris.
Veuillez lui dire que si elle veut prendre quelques truites, elle devrait
venir ici du 28 ou 29 mai au 5 ou 6 pin. C'est la date exacte de l'éclosion
du May-fly, et à ce moment-là nous faisons vraiment de très belles pêches.
En attendant nous partons pour Cannes la semaine prochaine. J'espère
y rencontrer quelques amis d'Angleterre, dont plusieurs sont déjà fort
anciens--comme Lord Cardwell, Sir C. Murray, Lord Clarence Paget, le Duc
Veuillez offrir mes hommages à Madame Reeve, et me croire.
Votre bien affectionné,
_From Lord Granville_
_Walmer Castle, January 7th_.--I return you, with many thanks, the Comte de
Paris' remarkable letter. If the Duc de Bordeaux would follow the example
which has been sadly set by Gambetta and Chanzy, [Footnote: Chanzy had died
two days before, January 5th. The Duc de Bordeaux better known at this
time as the Comte de Chambord, did follow the example a few months later,
August 24th.] the prospects at Eu would be good.
With you, I do not feel inclined to gush over Gambetta. It is true that
he was well disposed towards England, but his love would have been of a
troublesome and exacting character.
The Journal has little of interest. It notes the return to London on
January 13th; a journey to York on the 29th, on a visit to the Archbishop
[Thomson], who wrote an article for the 'Review' on the Ecclesiastical
Commission; and, on February 17th, to Battle Abbey. Beyond these trivial
entries, nothing except the mention of several dinner parties--some 'good,'
some 'dull.' Then, later:--
_April 16th to May 22nd_.--At Foxholes. Very cold. Snow in May.
_June 8th_.--Dinner at Lord Carnarvon's. Sir R. and Lady Wallace, Lord
Salisbury, Lady Portsmouth.
_15th_.--Dinner at Alfred Morrison's, [Footnote: Mr. Morrison, so well
known to historical students by his splendid collection of MSS., died on
December 22nd, 1897.] first time. Splendid house.
_21st_.--Dinner at home. Duc d'Aumale, Granvilles, Malmesburys,
Carlingford, G. Trevelyans, and others.
_23rd_.--Philobiblon breakfast at Gibbs's. Duc d'Aumale, Duke of Albany. To
Military Tournament with Lady Malmesbury.
_25th_.--Duke of Cleveland's dinner to Duc d'Aumale. Duke of Grafton, Lady
_From the Comte de Paris_
Château d'Eu, 16 juin.
Mon cher Monsieur Reeve,--J'ai hâte de répondre à votre aimable lettre du
8, et de vous remercier de votre bienveillante appréciation d'un travail
qui prend des proportions vraiment formidables. Je suis en effet en train
d'imprimer le 7me volume, et d'écrire le 8me, qui sera suivi encore de deux
autres, si Dieu me prête vie. Je suis obligé d'entrer dans beaucoup de
détails pour donner à cette histoire un véritable intérêt aux yeux du
public américain, qui est celui auquel je m'adresse particuliérement, le
seul qui puisse me fournir beaucoup de lecteurs. La traduction anglaise en
un gros volume a dû paraître ou paraîtra incessamment à Philadelphie.
Vous trouverez le Duc d'Aumale en fort bellé sante et très brillant, malgré
toutes les préoccupations que nous avons eues, et la blessure très vive
que lui a faite l'odieuse mesure militaire [Footnote: The removal of the
Orleanist princes from the active list of the army in February.] dont il a
été l'objet. Je regrette de ne pouvoir l'accompagner en Angleterre, où
j'ai tant d'amis que je serais heureux de revoir. Mais ne puis-je au moins
espérer que vous nous ferez cette année, avec Madame et Mademoiselle Reeve,
une visite au Château d'Eu? Nous resterons ici tout le mois de Juillet.
J'ai été assez heureux à la pêche ici dans notre petite rivéire. Pendant
une quinzaine, du 25 mai au 10 juin, j'ai pris à la mouche 82 truites
pesant 42 livres.
This was the sport to which he had particularly invited Miss Reeve in
January, and which, he goes on to say, has given him the idea of going to
Norway in August. As to this, he begs Reeve to make some inquiries for him,
and concludes--Veuillez me croire votre bien affectionné,
Another chatty letter, four days later, June 20th, has:--
Nous serons charmés de vous voir venir ici vers le 24 juillet avec Madame
Reeve, tout en regrettant que Mademoiselle votre fille ne puisse pas vous
accompagner. Nous espérons qu'elle pourra venir ici l'année prochaine en
mai. Mais qui peut faire sous un gouvernement démocratique des projets à si
The visit was, however, prevented by an event of the most serious political
importance; an event which during the next three or four years was thought
by many to be likely to change the destinies of France, to affect the
fortunes of Europe. It may be best told in the words of the person most
_From the Comte de Paris_
Château d'Eu, le 18 juillet.
Mon cher Monsieur Reeve,--Je suis revenu ici il y a deux jours après avoir
fait en Autriche un voyage imprévu dont vous avez connu le motif et le
résultat. J'ai été reçu par l'auguste malade [Footnote: The Comte de
Chambord, known among the Legitimists as Henri V.] avec une affectueuse
cordialité qui m'a profondément touché, et j'ai quitté Vienne en conservant
quelque espoir de le voir sortir de la crise cruelle qu'il vient de
traverser. Les dernières nouvelles reçues ne démentent pas cet espoir,
quoique son état soit toujours fort grave et plein de périls. Je ne puis
naturellement faire dans une pareille situation de projets à longue
échéance. Non seulement tout plan de voyage est abandonné pour le moment,
mais je vis au jour le jour, toujours prêt à partir au reçu d'une dépêche
annonçant le dénouement fatal. Aussi ne puis-je dans ce moment insister
pour vous engager à faire au Château d'Eu cette visite dont je me
promettais tant de plaisir et d'intérêt, mais qui, dans les circonstances
actuelles, risquerait fort d'être brusquement interrompue. Je le regrette
vivement, et j'espère pouvoir m'en dédommager plus tard.
En attendant, j'ai hâte de vous remercier de tout ce que vous me dites sur
ma situation actuelle et sur l'intérêt que vous y portez. Je vous remercie
également de ce que vous avez écrit sur ce sujet à la fin du dernier numéro
de la _Revue d'Edimbourg_. On sent en lisant ce morceau combien celui qui
l'a écrit aime et connaît bien la France. Il a été fort remarqué chez nous.
Si vous me permettez d'ajouter un seul mot qui vous prouvera que je l'ai lu
avec attention, je vous signalerai un _lapsus calami_ qui vous a échappé.
Le fondateur de notre branche d'Orléans, fils de Louis XIII, frère de Louis
XIV, s'appelait Philippe et non Gaston. Gaston était le nom du fils de
Henri IV, frère de Louis XIII, le Duc d'Orléans de la Fronde, qui ne laissa
que des filles, entre autres Mlle. de Montpensier.